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THE CHURCH OF JESUS CHRIST
OF LATTER-DAY SAINTS.
The seventieth annual conference of PRESIDENT LORENZO SNOW. the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter
Opening Address. day Saints convened in the Tabernacle
My brethren and sisters-I desire a at 10 a. m. on Friday, April 6th, 1900, deep interest in your faith and prayers. President Lorenzo Snow presiding.
When I say this I express the feelings, of the general authorities present I presume, of every Elder who arises to there were, of the First Presidency, speak to the Latter-day Saints. So far Lorenzo Snow, George Q. Cannon and
as giving information and assisting the Joseph F. Smith; of the Quorum of the Latter-day Saints in their faith is conTwelve Apostles-Brigham Young,
cerned, we are dependent on the Spirit Francis M. Lyman, John Henry Smith,
of the Lord and, in a measure, the exGeorge Teasdale, Heber J. Grant, John
ercise of faith by the people of God. W. Taylor, Marriner W. Merrill, Anthon
I am thankful for the blessings that H. Lund, Matthias F. Cowley, Abraham
have attended me in my endeavors to 0. Woodruff and Rudger Clawson; Pa
forward the interests of the Church triarch John Smith; of the First Seven
and for the prayers and support that I Presidents of Seventies-Seymour B.
have had from the people, who have Young,C. D.Fjeldsted, George Reynolds, listened to the requirements of the Lord Jonathan G. Kimball, Rulon S. Wells
and have conformed to them at least and Joseph W. McMurrin; of the Pre
to a certain extent. siding Bishopric-William B. Preston,
Seventy years ago this Church was Robert T. Burton and John R. Winder.
organized with six members. We comThe choir and congregation sang the
menced, so to speak, as an infant. We hymn which begins:
had our prejudices to combat. Our igOur God, we raise to thee,
norance troubled us in regard to what Thanks for thy blessings free
the Lord intended to do and what He We here enjoy.
wanted us to do. Through the blessThe opening prayer was offered by ings of the Lord, however, we managed Elder John Nicholson.
to move along in our stage of infancy, The choir and congregation sang the receiving support from the Lord as He hymn commencing:
saw proper to give it. We advanced Now let us rejoice in the day of salva
into boyhood, and still we undoubtedly tion,
made some mistakes, which did not No longer as strangers on earth need generally arise from a design to make we roam,
them, but from a lack of experience. Good tidings are sounding to us and each nation,
We understand very well, when we reAnd shortly the hour of redemption flect back upon our own lives, that is
boys, because of our lack of experience fields tell us that the excitement which and because we had not learned fully has been created and carried to obey the instructions of our fathers almost universally throughout the and mothers. We could not then com- United States has caused people prehend that it was absolutely neces- to become wonderfully interested to sary, for our proper advancement, that know what Mormonism is, and, in orwe should observe the counsels of our der to get an understanding of our parents. Many of us afterwards learned principles, they flock to our meetings. it, but too late perhaps to correct our- Because of this the Elders feel very selves. Yet as
we advanced the ex- grateful. This is what we wish and perience of the past materially assist- what there has been a difficulty in aced us to avoid such mistakes as we complishing, that is, in getting the peohad made in our boyhood.
ple out to hear what we have to say, It has been so with the Church. Our so that they might understand what errors have generally arisen from a lack Mormonism really is from those who of comprehending what the Lord re- understand what it is, instead of required us to do. But now we are pret- ceiving it from those who understand ty well along to manhood; we are sev- nothing at all about it, only as they enty years
age, and one would hear stories concerning it. So this is imagine that after a ruan had lived going on all right and will work all through his infancy, through his boy- right. We ought to be very grateful hood, and on until he had arrived at that this missionary work is being acthe age of seventy years, he would be complished so successfully by the able, through his long experience, to do many Elders that are now in the vari. a great many things that seemed im- ous missionary fields. possible and in fact were impossible We are also establishing colonies here for him to do in his boyhood state. and there. We are sending many famiWhen we examine ourselves, however, lies into Canada, and they are moving we discover that we are still not doing along very successfully. We are exactly as we ought to do, notwith- about to send a hundred families into standing all our experience. We dis- the Big Horn region, in the State of cern that there are things which we fail Wyoming, and Latter-day Saints are to do that the Lord expects us to per- moving into other places and building form, some of which he required us to up the country. do in our boyhood. But we feel thank- Now that we are approaching our ful and grateful that we are enabled seventy-first year, the Lord expects that now, through our past experience, to we will do something-something that accomplish many things that we could will cause the nations to marvel, as not do in former times and that we are what we have done has caused them able to escape individual sins that have already to wonder. brought trouble upon us in times past. Now, Latter-day Saints, how is it While we congratulate ourselves in this with us? We have received the Gosdirection, we certainly ought to feel pel. We have received the kingdom that we have not yet arrived at per- of God, established on the earth. We fection. There are many things for us have had trouble; we have been perto do yet.
secuted. We were driven from Ohio; The Lord has prospered us amazingly, we were driven from Missouri; and we are doing large things at the were driven from Nauvoo; and once present time. We are blessing the peo- we were driven for a time from this ple of the world. We are sending well beautiful city. Many have lost thouson towards two thousand Elders out ands of dollars; lost their homes and into the missionary field, and we learn all they had, and some of the brethren that they are having very good success; have seen their wives and children lay and notwithstanding all the difficulties down their lives because or that seemingly have arisen to make the hardships they had to
extrouble for the Latter-day Saints, we perience during these changes, these are pleased to find that it has all tend- persecutions, these revolutions
and ed to good. Our Elders in the mission these drivings. The people have
looked with astonishment at the gates of hell shall not prevail against willingness of the Latter-day Saints it.” The Church of Christ today is built to suffer these things. Why do upon this same principle, and the gates we do this? Why do we adhere to of hell shall not prevail against it. these principles that have caused us at They did not prevail against us in our times so much grief and sacrifice? infancy; they did not in our boyhood; What is it that enables us to endure they did not in our early manhood; and these persecutions and still rejoice? It I will assure you they will not now is because we have had revelations that we are seventy years old. from the Almighty; because He has This Church will stand, because it is spoken to us in our souls and has given upon a firm basis. It is not from man; to us the Holy Ghost, which is a prin- it is not from the study of the New ciple of revelation wherever it exists Testament or the Old Testament; it is and is promised to every man, as in not the result of the learning that we the days of the former Apostles, who received in colleges nor seminaries, but will believe, repent of his sins and be it has come directly from the Lord. The immersed in water for the remission of Lord has shown it to us by the revealthem by those who have the authority ing principle of the Holy Spirit of light from the Lord to administer this ordi- and every man can receive this same nance. Jesus, when he was among the spirit. children of men, said that He would In the days of Noah the people of that build His Church upon this principle generation had the privilege of knowing of revelation and the gates of hell should whether Noah spoke from the Lord and not prevail against it. When He was whether the message that he claimed to in Cesareea He asked His disciples have from the Lord was genuine or not. “Whom do men say that I the Son of They could have had a revelation for Man am?" He had been performing
themselves, because he preached the miracles and accomplishing the most
Gospel as you and I now preach it in astonishing wonders in the midst of the
the world, and they could have known people. What did the people learn
that their salvation depended upon their from these things and what did they
receiving and obeying this message think of Him? As the Apostles re
which Noah delivered unto them. plied, some said that He was John the
the days of Jesus it was the same. But Baptist, risen from the dead; some
no person can know that Jesus is the thought He was one of the former
Son of God, except by revelation. That Prophets, while others thought He was
was the way Peter received it. The Elias. The Savior said to His dis
Lord is a consistent being. He does not cipies "But whom say ye that I am ?"
require the people to do that which is Peter replied “Thou art the Christ, the
improper, nor does he expect of them Son of the Living God.” How dio he
anything unreasonable. He gives us a find it out? On the same principle
knowledge of what we shall do, inasthat you and I have found out that
much as we are willing to sacrifice our Joseph Smith was a Prophet of God,
lives rather than go contrary to that who, like Noah, was sent into the
knowledge. He opens to us the secrets world to give the people warning before
of the celestial kingdom, and he is conthe great burning should occur and to
stantly communicating to us things call upon them to repent of their sins.
that we never knew before. This knowlPeter had found it out by the principle edge and intelligence is growing upon of revelation. He had not learned
Ought we not this of man, nor by reading the
therefore, cient Scriptures, but the Lord had re
today? Every man and
woman vealed it unto him. Jesus said unto him,
within the sound "Blessed art thou, Simon Bar-jona;
grateful for flesh and blood hath not
that circumstances are as favorable vealed it unto thee, but my Father as they are. Everything is for us and which is in heaven. And I say also unto nothing can prevent our moving forthee, that thou art Peter; and upon this ward now in our seventy-first year.
There is no
as thers has been none in the past. We have marched on, conquering and to have received too niuch knowledge to conquer. In our youth, as stated by our be thwarted in our purposes. Those President, when struggling against who desire to persecute and overthrow fearful odds, we came out greater, noMormonism, let them go on and do their bler, better soldiers of the cross than work; that is for them to do. Our work when we entered into this vortex of is to grow in the knowledge of God, to persecution; and now in our manhood, keep the commandments of God, to be in our riper years, thank God that we faithful and to continue to increase and have heard the voice of our leader say. to become more and more perfect as we ing that we are marching on to success advance in years.
and victory-to the time when men and God bless you, brethren and sisters. nations will arise up and say, "Thou We rejoice to see you here. You have blessed people, that have fought the come that you might be blessed that good fight, that have led the way and you might get information that will be established righteousness in the land of service to you and knowledge that
of our fathers.” I expect to see this will increase your intelligence; and day. There is no power that can bat
tle successfully against our Father and there will be from fifteen to twenty speakers, I am sure that every person
God. If we are His people, we are sure
to win. If who has come here for the purpose of
we are not His, how is it
that we have been so sucreceiving information and being blessed
cessful from the beginning? will have the opportunity, through some
and have through His power, in which of the speakers, to get something that
we have trusted, grown to be seventy will be very valuable to them for the
years old, instead of being future scenes through which they will
child in swaddling clothes? God has be called to pass.
done it; He has given us these rights God bless you, brethren and sisters,
and blessings. I felt in my heart while and may we have a glorious time and
the President was talking that I could one of the best conferences that we
prophesy to those who fight against us, have ever had, is my prayer, in the
Do your worst; do your hest; try to acname of Jesus. Amen,
complish all the evil that is in your
hearts; but as true as God lives this ELDER BRIGHAM YOUNG.
kingdom will sweep on, this Church God has brought the Saints through every ordeal
will progress, and the Kingdom of God Tithe-paying not a question of Money, but of principle-The Redumption of Zion.
will be as the stone cut out of the moun.
tain without hands-it will crush all I take great pleasure in bearing testi
opposition. Now, that is not disloyal, mony to the remarks that have been
because God will do it, not man. made by President Snow this morning.
I am not opposed to any man who I am thankful to God and to our Presi
seeks to do right. I am not opposed dent for the testimony that he has giv
to any government that seeks to give en us. It arouses in my mind many re
liberty to the people and the privilege flections, brings before me the past his
to exercise that free agency which Go tory of this Church and foreshadows
has given to all men. Every man an: the future destiny of this people. God
woman must have their agency. No has been merciful to the Latter-day
can take it from the sons an 1 Saints, and if there are any men oppos
daughters of our Father. ing us that have the idea that we do not
It occurred to me this morning while pray for them, they are mistaken. We pray the Lord to soften the hearts of sitting here that if I happened to be
called upon to speak, I would read a our enemies. We pray that they may be turned from their evil ways and not
part of the 29th chapter of Alma, in the
Book of Mormon. kick against the pricks, but seek to forsake the evil that is within them and "O, that I were an angel, and could to do good. They are, however, in the have the wish of mine heart, that I hands of God, as we are.
might go forth and speak with the
trump of God, with a voice to shake We are glad to know that this people the earth, and cry repentance unto
oftor victory They