Imatges de pÓgina

upon this block, when, striking his cane upon the ground, he said, "Here we will build a temple of God." How glorious、 ly that prediction has been fulfilled! That Temple has been erected, though he did not live to see its completiona monument to the faith, the determination and the good works of the Latter-day Saints. Not only is there Temple on this block, but there is one at St. George, one at Manti, and one at Logan. And shall we cease building Temples? No; other Temples will be built. There is a reason for this.



Strangers come into our midst, and they gaze upon the Temple. In many instances they say it is a magnificent building, a great accomplishment have been commenced in the early days of the settlement of this country and to have been carried on at such vast expense until finally completed. It certainly was a great accomplishment. But, my brethren and sisters, the value of that building is not in its outward appearance, not in the expense that has been put in it, not in the beauty of its architecture, nor in the richness of its furnishings. The value of that Temple is in the ordinances which are performed therein for the living and the dead.

The keys of this great power of binding and sealing, referred to by the Prophet Joseph Smith, are with us. That power breaks down the barriers of the grave. By it both the living and the dead are made to stand before the Lord as if there were no such thing as mortal time. Moreover, the dead are made equal with the living. Glorious thought! Do we not see that God is no respecter of persons? The man who lived upon earth in a time when the light of the Gospel had been extinguished, and who therefore lived in ignorance of the Gospel, will not be consigned to endless misery because he did not accept an opportunity that never came to him, but the mercy and justice of God will reach out to that man and he will have the opportunity in the other life. Therein is the virtue and force of the binding and sealing power. It reaches into the spirit world to every soul, no matter how humble or obscure that soul has been on earth. The light of the Gospel will break in

upon him, and there will be a time in the other life for repentance and reformation. Then shall the people of the earth go forth in the temples of God and do a vicarious work for those behind the veil, as the Savior of the world has done a vicarious work for us all. We will taste of the fruits of His great work in our salvation; so will the dead receive the good fruits of our work in their behalf in the temples of God.

Is it not time, brethren and sisters, that our minds should run back and be interested in the fate and condition of our ancestors? Shall we not be interested in every soul that has passed away? Must not the chain be made complete, and the dead be connected with the living, and the living with the dead? Otherwise, we shall be rejected as a church; for the Apostle has told us that we without them cannot be made perfect, nor they without us.

Some thoughts have come to my mind in relation to this great and glorious subject, and these thoughts have relation to the missionary work of this Church. We are calling upon many able-bodied young men to go forth and proclaim the Gospel of salvation to the nations of the earth. This glorious duty and privilege is today resting upon the young men of Israel. But there are many who are not in a position to accept a call of this kind. Many are deeply engrossed in the affairs of life in a way perchance that they cannot be spared to take upon them this great responsibility. Then there are those who are so advanced in years that it would not be wisdom for them to go forth and proclaim the Gospel, Must it be said of them that they shall be denied the privilege of becoming saviors upon Mount Zion, because of the infirmities of age and the engrossing cares of life? No, it shall not be so said. There is a chance for them. If they cannot go forth into the world to win souls unto Christ, let them go forth into the temples of God and spend a portion of their time in working for the salvation of the dead. I believe that the soul of one who is dead is just as precious in the sight of God as the soul of one who is living. Need the father say to his family, "There is not much opportunity now for

me to do good; my days of usefulness them in a hundred per cent.

are past." No; your days of usefulness are still with you; your opportunities are still present; go forth and perform this great labor.

But it will be said by many in the Church that their employment or their business connections are such that they cannot give any time to temple work. What shall be done in such cases? Men are spending their whole time, not alone in providing for themselves and their families the comforts of life, but to accumulate means and build up a fortune. This is being done by hundreds of Latter-day Saints; for God is blessing and multiplying His goodness upon the peo, ple, and the windows of heaven are opened unto us, until many are becoming rich in this world's goods. Is it not so? If you do not believe it, go to some of the Stake conferences and see the expensive vehicles that are tied all around the meeting house. Do people walk to meeting any more? Not except they live within a half a block of it or so. If they live a mile or a mile and a half away, they never think of walking. And they do need to walk; for God has blessed them with horses and carriages, by means of which they can ride to meeting in comfort. They are being blessed in all their affairs and multiplied exceedingly, until it has come to that condition that some of our brethren in the Church hardly know what to do with their means.


The question with them is, Where shall we invest our riches? Put money

in the sugar factory? Yes, by all means, because it is a good investment; it pays a good dividend. It did not pay a good dividend when the Presidency of this Church were urging the people to take hold of the industry and contribute of their means to establish it. They could not see it then; but now they can see it, and sugar stock can hardly be purchased at present, it is so desirable. However, as I was saying, the people hardly know where to put their savings.

Now, I want to tell the men of means among the Latter-day Saints of a good investment; where they can place some of their means to bring

Find me

an investment in this country today that pays twelve per cent, or perhaps fifteen per cent, and I will point out to you a most splendid enterprise. But this investment that I allude to will pay one hundred per cent, and never fail. What is it? Lay up some of your treasures in heaven. Invest with the Lord. Put some of your means into His temple.

If you are so busily employed in looking after your material interests, which are so vast and varied that it takes all your time, send your son to the temple, and support him while he works there for you. 'If you have no son, perhaps you have a good neighbor, a man of God, who has no means of his own and no employment; send him to the temple, and provide well for him while he is there; look after his bodily wants, and let him work for your dead and save your ancestors.



Perhaps you will tell me that you have no list of your ancestors; you have not even a single take it that that is no excuse. If you cannot do a work for your own dead, do a work for your neighbor's dead. Assist that poor man across the way who has perhaps hundreds and thousands of names, but has no means and no way of having them officiated for, and verily you shall in no wise lose your reward. When an Elder is sent into the world to preach the Gospel, if circumstances are favorable, he goes first to his relatives and acquaintances, and then he preaches the Gospel to the world. So we must labor home. If we cannot get information concerning our own dead, let us expend a portion of our means, if we have any, for the salvation of the dead of others. In this we will manifest the spirit of true charity.


As it is at present, we find that in some instances brethren are building up fortunes for their children to quarrel over and spend when they are gone. We know by experience that we cannot take these things with us from this life, and the result is all we accumulate of this world's goods is left behind, and trouble generally arises among children over such things.

I am reminded of an occurrence that

is said to have actually happened. One of our rich brethren died, and after a time his spirit returned to earth. He visited a friend, and this is the language that he used in speaking to that friend: "What a fool I have been. I spent days and weeks, months and years upon the earth in accumulating means, and I was abundantly successful. I built up a big fortune, and then I was called away. I passed into the spirit world, and left it all for my children to quarrel over. What a fool I have been."

Is there not a text in his words? It might have occurred to that man, while he was talking' to his friend, that he could have founded an institution of learning, or endowed a hospital, or better than that, he could have created a temple fund; that is to say, he could have provided amply for each one of his children, and with the remainder, or a goodly portion of it, could have created a temple fund, to be used for the salvation of the dead; and had the fund been sufficiently large, the interest only, and not the principal, might have been expended to save his dead and the dead of others. Perhaps the thought occurred to him that if he had done this, while his body rested in the grave and his spirit dwelt in the spirit land, the means that God had given him on earth would be doing a great and glorious work and perpetuating his memory upon earth. This is one way in which we can perpetuate our memories.

It seems to me that this is a most glorious subject to contemplate. And not only shall the brethren be saviors

upon Mount Zion, but the sisters, too, shall share in this glorious work; for they can go to the temple and assist in officiating for the dead. The sisters as well as the brethren shall have credit

on the books for their share in this grand work. Brethren and sisters, here are the temples before us. Now let me ask the question, Who shall be worthy to go into them and to do the work that I have indicated? You know something of the power and sacredness of the work; you know something of this binding and sealing power; you know

the great responsibility of exercising that power. I ask you, Who shall be worthy to go into these temples? We have been told by our Prophet and President that the man who does not pay his tithing in this Church shall not have access to them. Not that he shall be coerced, not that he shall be frightened, by this saying of the President's; but simply because he is unworthy to go into the temple. If he violates this great commandment of God-the law of tithing-then he is not worthy to receive and participate in the blessings of the House of the Lord. It is a simple proposition. The Bishop shall not recommend him; the president of the Stake shall not recommend him. They cannot do it. It would not be pleasing in the sight of God. And they who violate the other commandments-and there are many who disregard the authority of the Priesthood, who slight the counsels of the servants of God, anđ who will not give ear to their teachings -are not worthy to go into the house of the Lord and officiate for the living and the dead. And that shows a very close connection between the living and the dead, between this world and the other world; for you can scarcely mention the work for the dead, except you shall say something concerning the living; and you can scarcely speak of the living, except you shall say something concerning the dead.

I believe that God speaks to us as if we were in eternity, and that whenever He gives a commandment or a law unto this Church, it is done as if there were no such thing as death or a veil

dividing us from His presence. His laws are permanent and eternal in their nature; they are binding upon this world and upon the world to come; they are binding upon the living and binding upon the dead.

As I have said, this is a glorious theme for contemplation, and could not be exhausted in a sermon a month long. God bless you, Amen. The choir sang:

All hail the glorious day,

By Prophets long foretold. Benediction by Patriarch John Smith.


The choir and congregation sang: Come, come, ye Saints, no toil nor labor fear,

But with joy wend your way.

Prayer by Elder Jonathan G. Kimball. Singing by the choir:

Guide us, O thou great Jehovah,

Guide us to the promised land. We are weak, but Thou art able. Hold us with Thy powerful hand.

ELDER A. O. WOODRUFF. Individual Responsibliity of the Saints-Neglect of duties of the Priesthood deprecated-Baneful effects of bad example-Officers should be wisely selected-Saints should not take their hands from the plow.


My beloved brethren and sisters: feel very grateful this afternoon that the Lord is mindful of his people. I thank him for the prosperity that is attending the Latter-day Saints, for the liberty that we enjoy, and for the marvelous way in which he has operated upon the people in many sections of the earth to bring about the freedom that his servants enjoy today. In standing before you this afternoon I feel very humble, and I pray that the power and inspiration of God may rest upon me that I may be led to give forth the words that he would have me speak on this occasion; for he knows the hearts of this people and the teachings that will be best adapted to their needs. I have greatly enjoyed the instructions that have been given here today. I do not know that ever heard President Snow speak when his voice sounded clearer or more forceful than it did this morning, and this reminded me of the change that ofttimes comes over men when they are called of God to certain positions. In many instances their

bodies and their minds seem to be renovated and renewed by the power of God within them. I felt in listening to President Snow's words to glorify the name of our Eternal Father for his goodness and for the abundant manifestations of his approval of this people.

There is a matter that I have thought of a great deal of late in connection with the work of our Heavenly Father, and that is the individual responsibility which the Latter-day Saints are under. I doubt very much if in our different callings we appreciate this as we ought

to do. There is too great a tendency on the part of those who bear the Holy Priesthood to try to shift responsibility onto the presiding officers of the wards or the Stakes or the Church. Did we ever think of the fact that every one of us should be as interested in the work of God as our brother or our sister? We ought not to try to shift responsibility onto some one else; but we ought to secure a clear conscience before God by faithfully discharging the duty whereunto we have been called, be that duty ever so humble.

Every quorum of the Priesthood is If necessary in the Church of Christ. it were not, it never would have been given to I have the dis





been regard of duty shown by many men who have been honored with the Priesthood of the Son of God. Especially is this the case in the Lesser Priesthood, and in many instances it is to be found among the Elders and Seventies. This ought not to be. I feel that will never arrive at the condition which we would like to attain until there is a renewal of interest in all the quorums of the Priesthood. Our heavenly Father has placed each quorum in the Church to perform an especial labor. The duty of the Deacon is different from that of he Teacher, the duty of the Teacher is different from that of the Priest, the duty of the Priest is different from that of the Elder, the duty of the Elder from that of the Seventy, the Seventy from that of the High Priest, and the High Priest from that of the Apostle. In some of the Stakes we discover that such an officer as a Priest has not been heard of; the homes of the people have never been visited by Priests, and they have never heard of a quorum of Priests in their Stake. The quorum of Teachers is almost as badly neglected in some quarters; as also is the quorum of Deacons.

Now there is a great and a grand work for the Deacons, the Teachers and the Priests to perform, as well as for the Elders and the Seventies. If we are not faithful in the Lesser Priesthood, how can we expect to advance? If we do not fulfill the duties whereunto God has called us, how can we expect him to honor us with greater things. There

is no young man in this Church who has been honored with the Priesthood of the Deacon and has been faithful in discharging the duties of that calling, but what has been honored with some higher calling and Priesthood. This is true also of the Teachers and Priests. There is always room for advancement in the Priesthood of the Son of God. Our Eternal Father will always honor those who honor Him and His authority.

I feel that there are officers of Stakes and wards who have taken upon themselves a grave responsibility in maintaining men and women in positions in this Church who have not magnified or even appreciated the callings whereunto the Lord has called them. And I fear that in some instances whole Stakes have suffered by the example of some member of the Stake Presidency, of the High Council, or of some other organization of the Priesthood. Men have pointed to a brother who perhaps has been retained as



High Councilor or a Stake the President, who has not honored Priesthood that has been conferred upon him, and whose example has not been a good one before the youth of Zion, and they have justified themselves in evil conduct by reason of such examples. The presiding officers in Stakes and wards have been lenient in many instances. People have been tolerated who have not observed the Word of Wisdom; others have been tolerated who have not paid tithing, and still others who have violated other laws of God; and this course has been followed in some instances because of the desire of the brethren to keep these people in the Church and save their souls. The question is, is it better to maintain officers in the Church under these conditions, for the sake of their own feelings, than to make changes which would benefit the people in general? And is it not a fact that those who do retain officers in the Church who do not prize the Priesthood and have no interest in the work, are assuming a great responsibility? President Snow, President Cannon or President Smith cannot go into all the Stakes and wards in Zion. They therefore send the Aposand the Apostles never go except

they are sent by the Presidency. They go into these Stakes authorized to perform certain labor, and if they, on account of leniency, retain men in office whose example they know is bad, are they not shouldering upon themselves the responsibility of the unsatisfactory conditions found in those Stakes. If this be true of the general authorities of the Church, it is also true of the Stake authorities, when they retain in office Bishops or officers in any of the different associations who are not doing their duty? Do you believe, my brethren and sisters, that Stake Presidents will be justified in whose Stakes we have never heard tell of a Priests' quorum or a Teacher's quorum, and if we have heard tell of a Teachers' quorum, those Teachers were not doing their duty? And where Bishops allow this condition to exist, they as well as the Stake Presidents are taking upon themselves responsibilities I should not like to assume.

Stake Presidents and Counselors, High Councilors, Bishops and Counselors ought to have the guidance and the inspiration of the Spirit of God in the selection of men to fill offices. Because a man holds

a certain degree of priesthood, it does not follow that he will make a good Teacher or a good Priest, or that he will make a good man to instruct the people on the Sabbath day. Bishops and counselors and Stake officers should study this matter. They ought not to send Teachers into the homes of the people who will visit for two or three hours and never do any teaching. They ought to send men out who are filled with the Spirit of God, who will go into the homes of the Saints and pray with them, and who will make a study of the people under their watchcare. Such brethren, when they see a member of a family who is not a tithepayer, will labor with that member upon that point; and if there is a member who is not an observer of the Word of Wisdom, they will labor with that one upon that particular point, and so on. They will find all the defects and weaknesses, and in the spirit of love and kindness they will labor with those brethren and sisters who are delinquent and will try to reform them.

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