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Latter-day Saints. I wish that we had millions more of them today, and that the world were full of this class of people, who fear God and who desire to serve Him and keep His commandments, and whose sons and daughters are reared in the principles of the Gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ.
I thank my heavenly Father for the testimony which He has given me that this is His work, that President Snow is a Prophet of the true and living God, that God is with him, that He has inspired him, and that the changes which are being brought about in our financial conditions are due to the revelations of God through His Prophet. May God help us to be faithful, to be loyal. May He give us His Spirit, that we may not get into the dark, that we may not lose the Spirit of the Gospel of the Lord Jesus. Let us stand up to the rack and do our part. Let us see to it that the responsibility which is placed upon us is discharged, that we may enter into the presence of God our Father, and share the reward of the laborer and those who have been valiant for the testimony of Jesus, and receive eternal life. I ask it through Christ, our Redeemer. Amen.
PRESIDENT JOSEPH F. SMITH. Preservation and Multiplication of life-Dangers of sign seeking-Man established in the truth by faithfulness and the spirit of God,
It will give me great pleasure to receive the spirit to bear testimony to that which we have heard today and yesterday. I think the true spirit of counsel and instruction has rested upon the Apostles who have spoken to us during this conference so far, and I desire to say that I endorse with all my heart the excellent counsel and blessed instruction which they have given to this people. I sincerely hope we will remember these counsels, and remembering them, carry them out in our lives. It matters not how many good things we may hear, nor how much we may know, if we do not apply the instructions we receive and the knowledge we possess to the accomplishment of the work that we have in hand. The paramount duty is to labor for Zion, and work for our own salvation, that we may gain the victory over ourselves and
world. The Gospel has been preached to us, and we have essayed to obey it. that we might become the sons and daughters of God-heirs of God and joint-heirs with his Son. We can never attain to the blessings of the Gospel by merely becoming acquainted with it and then sitting down and doing nothing ourselves to stem the current of evil that is preying upon us and upon the world.
The remarks that have just been made by Brother Woodruff are worthy of attention and acceptation on the part of the young men and young women of Zion. Those who have taken upon themselves the responsibility of wedded life should see to it that they do not abuse the course of nature; that they do not destroy the principle of life within them, nor violate any of the commandments of God. The command which he gave in the beginning to multiply and replenish the earth is still in force upon the children of men. Possibly no greater sin could be committed by the people who have embraced this Gospel than to prevent or to destroy life in the manner indicated. We are born into the world that we may have life, and we live that we may have a fulness of joy, and if we will obtain a fulness of joy, we must obey the law of our creation and the law by which we may obtain the consummation of our righteous hopes and desires-life eternal.
If the time will permit, I desire to endorse the sentiments that were expressed by Brother Grant. It is a wicked and adulterous generation that seeketh after a sign. Show me Latterday Saints who have to feed upon miracles, signs and visions in order to keep them steadfast in the Church, and I will show you members of the Church who are not in good standing before God, and who are walking in slippery paths. It is not by marvelous manifestations unto us that we shall be established in the truth, but it is by humility and faithful obedience to the commandments and laws of God. When I as a boy first started out in the ministry I would frequently go out and ask the Lord to show me some marvelous thing, in order that I might receive a testimony. But the Lord withheld
truth, line upon line, precept upon precept, here a little and there a little, un-. til he made me to know the truth from the crown of my head to the soles of my feet, and until doubt and fear had been absolutely purged from me. He did not have to send an angel from the heavens to do this, nor did He have to speak with the trump of an archangel. By the whisperings of the still small voice of the spirit of the living God, He gave to me the testimony I possess. And by this principle and power He will give to all the children of men a knowledge of the truth that will stay with them, and it will make them to know the truth, as God knows it, and to do the will of the Father as Christ does it. And no amount of marvelous manifestations will ever accomplish this. It is obedience, humility and submission to the requirements of heaven and to the order established in the kingdom of God upon the earth that will establish men in the truth. Men may receive the visitation of angels; they may speak in tongues; they may interpret; they may prophesy; they may heal the sick by the laying on of hands; they may have visions and dreams; but except they are faithful and pure in heart, they become an easy prey to the adversary of their souls, and he will lead them into darkness and unbelief more easily than others. The devil himself can appear like an angel of light. False prophets and false teachers have arisen in the world. There is perhaps no gift of the spirit of God more easily imitated by the devil than the gift of tongues. Where two men or women exercise the gift of tongues by the inspiration of the spirit of God, there are a dozen perhaps that do it by the inspiration of the devil. Bless your souls, apostates speak in tongues, apostates prophesy; apostates claim to have marvelous manifestations. And what is that to us? The trouble is, we know so little of the truth ourselves and we live by it so poorly that almost any little jackanapes in the country may rise up and claim he has had a vision, or some marvelous dream, and however absurd or untrue it may be, he may find believers and followers among those who profess to be Latter-day Saints.
I believe in the gifts of the Holy
Spirit unto men, but I do not want the gift of tongues, except when I need it. I needed the gift of tongues once and the Lord gave it to me. I was in a foreign land, sent to preach the Gospel to a people whose language I could not understand. Then I sought earnestly for the gift of tongues, and by this gift and by study, in a hundred days after landing upon those islands I could talk to the people in their language as I now talk to you in my native tongue. This was a gift that was worthy of the Gospel. There was a purpose in it. There was something in it to strengthen my faith, to encourage me and to help me in my ministry. If you have need of this gift of tongues, seek for it and God will help you in it. But I do not ask you to be very hungry for the gift of tongues, for if you are not careful the devil will deceive you in it. He can talk by the gift of tongues as well as the Lord can. Paul did not seem to care much about the gift of tongues either. He said to the Corinthians:
"I had rather speak five words with my understanding, that by my voice I might teach others also, than ten thousand words in an unknown tongue."
So far as I am concerned, if the Lord will give me ability to teach the people in my native tongue, or in their own language to the understanding of those that hear me, that will be suffiYet if cient gift of tongues to me. the Lord gives you the gift of tongues, do not despise it, do not reject it. For if it comes from the Spirit of God, it will come to those who are worthy to receive it, and it is all right. But this idea of seeking it, desiring it, when you don't pay your tithing, when you don't pray in your families, when you don't pay your debts, when you desecrate the Sabbath day, and when you neglect other duties in the Church; I tell you the devil will take advantage of you bye and bye, if he does not at first.
The time will not permit me. or I would like to take the Scriptures and read from them in relation to this subject. I love the truth; I love my brethren, and I know that the visiting of an angel alone will not keep one in the Church. The opening of the heav
ens to you in marvelous manifestations will not establish you in the truth. We have abundant proof of that in the history of the Church. But the men and the women who are honest before God, who humbly plod along, doing their dutv paying their tithing and exercising that pure religion and undefiled before God and the Father, which is to visit the fatherless and widows in their afflictions and to keep ones self unspotted from the world and who help look after the poor; and who honor the holy Priesthood, who do not run into excesses, who are prayerful in their families and who acknowledge the Lord in their hearts, they will build up a foundation that the gates of hell cannot prevail against; and if the floods come and the storms beat upon their house, it shall not fall, for it will be built upon the rock of eternal truth. I pray that this vast congregation will build upon this imperishable foundation. upon the principle expressed by the
Sunday, April 6th, 10 a. m.
The choir and congregation sang the hymn commencing:
Redeemer of Israel,
On whom for a blessing we call.
Opening prayer by Elder Charles W. Penrose.
Singing by the choir:
All hail the glorious day,
By Prophets long foretold,
best that we have ever had. What a great variety of instruction has been given to this people, and we can see the growth and progress that has been made since we were convened in conference one year ago. We rejoice in it, and our hearts are made glad. Notwithstanding this, however, we witness things in the Church that need attention and correction, and we know that there is opportunity for still greater growth and progress. The Lord, as if in smiling approval of His Church (speaking of the Church as a whole) has sent a most glorious storm-a storm that was greatly needed and that gives promise of abundant crops in the year 1900. So greatly needed was this storm that the Latter-day Saints can overlook the inconvenience of getting around,
Brethren and sisters, I can say that I have greatly rejoiced in the spirit of and can lift up their hearts in praise this conference. We have truly had a and thanksgiving to God. Truly we time of instruction and refreshing to are a blessed people. our souls, and this conference, held in the seventieth year of our age as a Church, has this far been one of the
I was very deeply impressed with the revelation that was read in part by President Snow at the Priesthood meet
ELDER RUDGER CLAWSON.
A striking evidence of God's goodness-Tithing and consecration Importance of Church records.
words of Joshua, "as for me and my house, we will serve God," and as also expressed by Job, "Though he slay me, yet will I put my trust in Him." If you have that spirit toward God and His work in these latter days, you will build, steadily and, slowly it may be, but surely, upon a foundation that will endure throughout the countless ages of eternity. And if you do not get anv great manifestations, you need not worry about it. You will get the testimony of Jesus Christ in your hearts and you will know God and Jesus whom He has sent, whom to know is life eternal, just as well as those who receive visions. For those who do receive visions, the devil will try to make them believe that they were delusions, and if they commit sin, he will be sure to make them believe it. God bless you, is my prayer. Amen. The choir sang:
"Ye simple souls who stray,
ing last evening, and also the very instructive comments made upon it. It is of such great and vital interest that I have thought to read the revelation to you this morning. It is recorded in section 85 of the Book of Doctrine and Covenants. The Lord says:
"It is the duty of the Lord's clerk, whom He has appointed, to keep a history, and a general Church record of all things that transpire in Zion, and of all those who consecrate properties, and receive inheritances legally from the Bishop;
"And also their manner of life, their faith, and works; and also of the aposwho apostatize after receiving tates their inheritances.
"It is contrary to the will and commandment of God, that those who receive not their inheritance by consecration, agreeably to His law, which He has given, that He may tithe His people, to prepare them against the day of vengeance and burning, should have their names enrolled with the people of God;
"Neither is their genealogy to be kept, or to be had where it may be found on any records or history of the Church;
"Their names shall not be found, neither the names of the fathers, nor the names of the children written in the book of the law of God, saith the Lord of Hosts.
"Yea, thus said the still small voice, which whispereth through and pierceth all things, and often times it maketh my bones to quake while it maketh manifest, saying:
"And it shall come to pass that I, the Lord God. will send one mighty and strong, holding the sceptre of power in his hand, clothed with light for a covering. whose mouth shall utter words. eternal words; while his bowels shall be a fountain of truth, to set in order the house of God, and to arrange by lot the inheritances of the Saints whose names are found, and the names of their fathers, and of their children, enrolled in the book of the law of God:
are found to have apostatized, or to have been cut off from the Church; as well as the Lesser Priesthood, or the members, in that day, shall not find an inheritance among the Saints of the Most High;
"Therefore it shall be done unto them as unto the children of the priest, as will be found recorded in the second chapter and sixty-first verse of Ezra."
Brethren and sisters, the Lord in revealing to the Prophet Joseph that a day of vengeance and burning is coming upon the earth, did not desire, I think, to arouse any feelings of fear or anxiety in the minds of His people. It was simply that they should be made acquainted with the fact that such a day is coming upon the earth and also that there should be a preparation made by his people for that time, that they might be able to abide that great and dreadful day of the Lord. One peculiar feature of this revelation is that while the Lord speaks of this time of trouble and calamity, he also comes down to the simple matter as it might seem to some, of giving instructions to his clerk. He says that his clerk shall keep a history and a general Church record of all things that transpire in Zion, and in the manner of life and faith and works of His people, and especially that it should be recorded of His people that they pay their tithes and offerings, and later perhaps that they shall observe the law of consecration, that they may escape the day of vengeance and burning. We see that the Lord is very particular in this matter. In the early days of the Church, some baptisms for the dead that were not properly witnessed and recorded, were rejected of the Lord, and the We work had to be done over again. know that great care and attention is given to this matter today in our Temples, and that efficient help must be secured to do this. Let me tell you something in relation to this great Temple of the Lord in Salt Lake City. From the time that that Temple was dedicated, in 1893, up to the year 1899, there were 475,662 ordinances performed therein, and for the year 1899, 68.871. making a grand total of 544,337 ordinances performed in the House of the Lord for the living and the dead, and
include the work that h
been done in other temples of God. Truly it is a great and marvelous work, and not the least important thing about it is that these ordinances are all carefully recorded in the books and are filed away in the archives of the Temple, to be brought forth in due time. From these records the people who have gone to that house will be judged. Nothing that is done in that Temple will be accepted of the Lord, except is properly witnessed and recorded. The Temple work is strictly looked after each day, so that nothing is neglected or omitted, much to the credit of those who labor in the Temples. The great work performed in the Salt Lake Temple, has thus far been accomplished under the Presidency of our Prophet and Seer, and we rejoice in it.
I also want to say to you, my brethren and sisters, inasmuch as there is more or less anxiety at times among some of the Saints concerning the tithing, that the tithing records of this Church were never before in such good condition as they are today. I ask the Presidents of Stakes and the Bishops of wards to bear witness with me that the tithing is most strictly looked after, and that no mistakes occur, but which are readily detected. I was going to say that the "eagle eye" of the Presiding Bishop of this Church, through the very efficient help that he has, detects every inaccuracy and every neglect in the recording of the tithes. The Presiding Bishop is one of the Lord's clerks, and he of necessity must keep a strict and careful record. All of the tithing reports which come from the forty-two Stakes of Zion, covering five hundred and thirty-eight wards, are carefully tabulated and filed away in the Bishop's office, and you would be astonished, if you went there, to find how readily you could get any information pertaining to the tithing of this Church. There is no man, woman or child in this Church who has paid tithing, but whose name will be found upon the tithing records in the Bishop's office and the office of the First Presidency. It is all understood, and we are fast coming to that condition where nothing will be neglected or wasted. There are losses that occur in a natural and proper way,
tithing is most carefully looked after. I have admired the system that is followed in the Presiding Bishop's office.
There is another matter that I would like to speak of briefly, and that is this: God has inspired his servant not only to look after the proper recording of the tithes of His people, but also to call for the names of the nontithepayers of the Church. This is something that has never been done before, so far as I know. A list most carefully prepared as to names, but not always as to explanations has been compiled and furnished the First Presidency of this Church. That action seems to have come to us through the inspiration of God, that it shall be known who are neglectful in the midst of His people. I do not know that I am authorized to tell you how many names there are in it, but I can say that it is a large book. It was presented at the Priesthood meeting last night as a text book to talk upon. Presi dent Snow talked from that text. and Presiding Bishop Preston talked on it. It was a big text, so large that he could hardly follow it. There is not a man or woman in this Church who ought to pay tithing and who does not, but whose name is recorded in that great book.. It was designed that in each case a reason should be given why each person had not paid tithing. But this has not been fully done in all cases, owing no doubt to the fact that this is the first request of the kind that has been made of the Bishops of this Church; but there will be an improvement in this particular hereafter. The lines are being drawn. It must be known to the authorities of this Church and to the people who are faithful and who are not faithful. God requires it and it must be recorded, for the reason plainly set forth in the revelation, that those whose names are not found recorded in the book of the law of God shall have no inheritance in Zion in that day when our eternal inheritances shall be divided out to us. Therefore it is a matter of serious importance, and we appreciate the meaning of the great text that was given to us in our Priesthood meeting. I am sure that those who were present were deeply impressed by