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"And I say also unto thee, that thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.
"And I will give unto thee the keys of the kingdom of heaven; and whatsoever thou shalt bind on earth, shall be bound in heaven; and whatsover thou shalt loose on earth, shall be loosed in heaven."
It is the latter remark I wish to refer to more particularly. Peter at that time held the same position that President Lorenzo Snow holds today, and this was a very great endowment that he received from the Lord Jesus Christ, to bind on earth and it should be bound in heaven, or to loose on earth, and it should be loosed in heaven. This same power has been bestowed in these days. It is our custom when
a wife to go to the man who holds this great power and by His authority we are sealed together in the holy bonds of matrimony for time and for all eternity, according to the promise of the Lord Jesus Christ, and we will be husband and wife in eternity. There are many other eternal blessings that have been given unto the children of men. I wish to refer to a great promise that the Lord made unto Abraham, our forefather. The Lord was very much pleased with Abraham and his course in life. Abraham would be a very man today. Out of all the millions of people that dwelt upon the earth then, the Lord saw fit on one occasion to visit His servant Abraham, and while He was there He gave him commandments. He said unto Abraham:
"Get thee out of thy country, and from thy kindred, and from thy father's house, unto a land that I will shew thee;
"And I will make of thee a great nation, and I will bless thee, and make thy name great; and thou shalt be a blessing;
"And I will bless them that bless thee, and curse them that curseth thee; and in thee shall all families of the earth be blessed."
Here is another instance of a man whom the Lord visited and conferred divine authority upon, to bless the children of men, and they should be blessed, or to curse them and they should be cursed. in accordance with the authority, Abra
ham blessed his son Isaac: Isaac blessed his son Jacob; Jacob blessed his twelve sons from his four wives, and they became the founders of the house of Israel. In this Jacob officiated as a Patriarch, and he not only blessed his sons, but he prophesied what should befall them, even unto the latest day. I refer to these instances that we may have before our minds the fact that it has been the custom in various ages of the world to exercise this divine authority for the benefit of the children of men. Enoch, the Prophet of God, also officiated in this Patriarchial order, and Enoch was a friend of God. The Lord our God talked unto him as one man talks to another, and Enoch became so familiar with the mind and will of the Father that he not only led his people out of bondage, but he brought them to see eye to eye. They became of one heart and of one mind. and the Lord was so pleased with them that He took Enoch and his city unto Himself.
I wish to draw your attention especially to the Patriarchial order that has been revealed in these last days for the benefit of the Church and kingdom of God. We have a man who stands at the head of the patriarchal That order in our Church. man is Brother John Smith. He always sits here with the First Presidency of the Church, Why is it that he occupies this exalted position when sitting before the people in their general conferences? It is because the Lord acknowledges a Patriarch as a man who is endowed with a very high office in the Church and kingdom of God, and who has a special endowment given unto him for a special purpose. If there is any man in this Church who has a special calling for life it is a Patriarch. I have sometimes thought, however, from remarks which I have heard from men bearing the holy Priesthood, that the ignorance regarding the Patriarchal order is extremely dense among the Latter-day Saints.
In order that you may better understand my remarks, I wish to refer to a conversation that I had the other day with a gentleman in one of the Stakes of Zion. One of the Twelve Apostles had been around in that locality, mak
ing some changes in the ward. What is the duty of the Apostles? We are informed by the Apostle Paul that they are placed in the Church for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ, and to bring the people to a unity of the faith. All these men on my right and on my left are engaged in this kind of a calling from one year's end to another. As I was saying, one of the Twelve had been around and he found a certain Bishop presiding over a ward. He felt impressed that it would be well to make a change in that ward, The Bishop was quite aged, but he had been a faithful man all his days; so faithful indeed that this Apostle felt impressed that if he could get the consent of the First Presidency this man should be ordained a Patriarch. The change was accordingly made. What was the result? This Bishop began to complain immediately that he had been laid upon the shelf, and that he had been dropped from his calling as a Bishop without receiving any special notice that this change was going to take place in his ward.
to say to the Bishops of wards, you are not called there for life; but when you are released from your Bishopric your Priesthood is never taken away from you, except through transgression.
Now to return to this Bishop of whom I was speaking. The Apostle had felt inspired of God to recommend to the First Presidency of this Church that said Bishop be ordained a Patriarch. Did that man appreciate that patrierchal order which was bestowed upon him? No, he did not. Now, let me make a quotation to those who are laboring in this calling:
"The rights of the Priesthood are inseparably connected with the powers of heaven, and the powers of heaven cannot be controlled nor handled only upon the principles of righteousness."
This man, I understand, said that he had never received the spirit of the patriarchal order. I want to tell you that there never was a man in the Church of God that received the spirit until he started to administer in that of any calling whereunto he was called calling. If I am called on a foreign mission and expect to get the spirit of that mission, I must go to work and prepare myself and begin to seek after the Lord. It is the same with a Patriarch or any other officer in the Church of God. Now regarding this change being made without any notice to the Bishop, which seemed to give him so much offense. There is no man under the sound of my voice that can cite me to an instance where the Lord has ever said, "I will come and tell you when I will need you for some other kind of a work." I have heard this kind of talk until I am tired of it. To me its always an indication of men's ignorance concerning the glorious promises connected with the Holy Priesthood. I have heard of an instance where a man said that he had been laid upon the shelf. I have heard of others who have actually been offered the privilege of being ordained a Patriarch and have refused it, because they felt like they were being degraded rather than exalted in the Priesthood. I say again that the Lord never informs people when he is going to make a change. In his own time he comes and makes the change. Let us see what one of the
Before proceeding any further, let me explain a moment. As I understand the order of this Church, a man who is called to be a Bishop is called to that office for the especial purpose of looking after the business affairs of that ward, and when through old age, sickness or incapacity he becomes disqualified to perform the duties of that office, or when through his faithfulness he is called to a greater ordination in the Church, it is right and pleasing in the sight of God that this change should take place. When the First Presidency of this Church informs a Bishop that he is released from presiding over a certain ward, there is just as much propriety about it as there would be if that man were presiding over a mission and he were released from that mission by the Presidency of the Church. I am now called to preside over the Colorado mission. I do not expect that I shall stay there all the balance of my life, and if I receive a release from the First Presidency of this Church at any time in the future, I assure you I shall never enter any complaint against them, or anybody else, or being released. I want greatest men that ever lived, in my
opinion, said when a change of this kind was made with him. He was a man whose character I have always admired. I have loved his memory, and I love his descendants today. As I remember, he was occupying the position next to the Prophet, Seer and Revelator to this Church-exactly the same high and exalted position that President George Q. Cannon occupies in the Church today. I refer to Hyrum Smith. The mind and will of the Lord came unto him without any notice whatever, and he did not complain about it, he did not feel like he had been laid on the shelf. The word of the Lord is as follows:
"And again, verily I say unto you, let my servant William be appointed, ordained, and anointed, as a counselor unto my servant Joseph, in the room of my servant Hyrum, that my servant Hyrum may take the office of Priesthood and Patriarch, which was appointed unto him by his father, by blessing and also by right.
"That from henceforth he shall hold the keys of the patriarchal blessings upon the heads of all my people,
"That whoever he blesses shall be blessed, and whoever he curses shall be cursed: and whatsoever he shall bind on earth shall be bound in heaven; and whatsoever he shall loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven;
was the mind and will of God, and this should always be considered above all other things. Hyrum Smith went forth and officiated in that calling, and here is his descendant today, the Patriarch of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latterday Saints.
Another thing. When I received my patriarchal blessing there was a clause in it which has always been a warning unto me. My blessing concluded like this: "I seal these blessings upon your head according to your faithfulness in keeping the commandments of God." I advise all you Patriarchs when you bless the children of men to put in a clause of this kind, because, as I have said, the blessings and powers of heaven are inseparably connected with the Priesthood, and they can only be controlled and handled upon the principle of righteousness. The young man said to Jesus, "What shall I do to be saved?" Jesus told him to sell all his goods, give them to the poor, and follow him. That was the condition. When Jesus promised a blessing to the individual or the people he always added something that they should do to secure the blessing. Said he, "Blessed are the meek: for they shall inherit the earth. Blessed are the poor in spirit: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. 'Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness: for they shall be filled. Flessed are they which are persecuted for righteousness sake: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven." If you will notice, Jesus always put in a condition upon which the blessing could be received by the children of men. I suggest to the Patriarchs that in your blessings you also add a condition. As we were told yesterday by President Did Hyrum Smith stand up and tell his Lorenzo Snow at the opening of the brother Joseph that he was occupying conference, God will judge us by what the position of one of the First Presi- we do and not merely by what we say dency of the Church and stood as the I have known people to receive Patrisecond man in the kingdom, and he did archal blessings which have not been not wish to be released from that posi- fulfilled, and their sons and daughters tion to become the Patriarch of the have stood up in reproach and made it Church? No, he did not. Why? Be- known that their father's or their mothcause he realized it was the mind and er's blessing had not been fulfilled. But will of God,and instead of being a step I want to tell you that there would be backward in the Church, it was a step very few Patriarchal blessings unfulforward; in other words, it was a step filled, if those who received them would into another department which was remember that no blessing can be equally honorable. More than that, it vouchsafed unto the children of men,
"And from this time forth I appoint unto him that he may be a Prophet, and a Seer, and a Revelator unto my Church, as well as my servant Joseph."
The last paragraph contains a special appointment unto Hyrum Smith and does not refer to Patriarchs in general, without they receive a similar commission from the Lord. But the power to seal on earth and it shall be sealed in heaven belongs to every Patriarch in the Church of Christ.
excepting through their faithfulness in
The choir sang the anthem, "Jesus, I
Benediction was pronounced by Elder Rulon S. Wells.
The choir and congregation sang:
Singing by the choir:
Come, dearest Lord, descend and dwell.
ELDER HEBER J. GRANT.
Saints cannot plead Ignorance as an excuse-A constant effort necessary-The Lord does not expect impossibilities of His children-What the Lord requires of His people is the Word of Wisdom-Encouraging home industries.
I rejoice exceedingly in having the opportunity of again assembling with the Latter-day Saints in general conference. I have listened with much interest and pleasure to the remarks that have been made thus far, and while I stand before you I most earnestly desire that the same good spirit that has inspired the remarks of the previous There is no speakers may be with me. other desire in my heart than that I may be able to say something that shall be beneficial to those who listen as well as to myself, and which may be calculated to strengthen our determination to serve the Lord. I believe that every true Latter-day Saint desires to know the mind and will of God and to have the strength of character to perform, in the daily walk of life, those duties that will tend to advance the cause of God upon the earth. If we have not this desire in our hearts, then we are not true Latter-day Saints.
We have the commandments of the Lord before us in the written word, and from time to time we have our minds refreshed by the outpouring of the Holy Spirit upon those who are called upon to preach to us. There is therefore no excuse for the Latter-day Saint who does not keep the commandments of God. We cannot say that we do not know what our duties are, because they are so often and so forcibly brought to
our minds by those who speak to us. I
"And it came to pass that I, Nephi, said unto my father, I will go and do the things which the Lord hath com
manded, for I know that the Lord giveth no commandments unto the children of men, save he shall prepare a way for them that they may accomplish the thing which he commanded them."
This is the spirit that should animate every Latter-day Saint.
They went up after the plates and were driven out. The elder brethren desired to go back to their father; but Nephi said unto them, "As the Lord liveth, and as we live, we will not go down unto our father in the wilderness until we have accomplished the thing which the Lord hath commanded us." They then gathered up their gold and their silver and their precious things and went up once more to try to get the plates. Laban stole their wealth and tried to destroy them. Nephi's brethren commenced to murmur again, and they took a rod and beat him with it. As they did so an angel of the Lord stood before them, and he commanded them to go up again, promising that God should deliver Laban into their hands, I call the attention of the young men and young ladies to this, for I have heard many of them say, "Oh, if I could only see an angel, I would believe and forever after be faithful." The seeing of an angel amounts to nothing, unless you are keeping the commandments of God. No sooner had the heavenly messenger departed than these elder brethren. who were lacking in faith and did not keep the commandments of God, commenced to murmur, and instead of having faith in the promises of the angel, they said unto Nephi, "How is it possible that the Lord will deliver Laban into hands? Behold, he is a mighty man, and he can command fifty, vea, even he can slay fifty; then, why not us?" Did this discourage Nephi? Did he lack faith? No; he believed in the promises of the angel of God, and he said unto them, "Let us go up again unto rusalem, and let us be faithful in keeping the commandments of the Lord; for behold He is mightier than all the earth, then why not mightier than Laban and his fifty, yea, or even than his tens of thousands?" They went up and were successful.
God has commanded the Latter-day
Saints to keep His commandments. Ever since I can remember we have had preached unto us what our duties and obligations are. Well do I remember, when a boy, hearing President Brigham Young, in the conferences that were held in the old bowery, teach the Latter-day Saints their duties and obligations. say as Nephi of old said, that God has required nothing at our hands save He will prepare a way whereby we can accomplish it. What does God require at our hands? He requires that we shall overcome our selfishness; that we shall be honest in our dealings with Him, and that we shall pay an honest tithing. I want to make a little explanation here with regard to my remarks that were quoted by Brother Smoot. Any young man who would go around and make the statement that I said ninety cents would pay more debts than one dollar, simply states what is not true. It is like hearing a man say, "I killed John Jones in self-defense," and then quoting him as saying, "I killed John Jones," and leaving the "self-defense" off. I say to the Latter-day Saints that God will bless the man who is honest with Him, and that the nine-tenths will go further and will bring down upon his head the blessing of God more than though he robbed God and kept the ten-tenths. That is what I said, and I repeat it.
I have heard taught to the Latter-day Saints all my life that they should obey the Word of Wisdom; and I say that a Bishop, a father of a ward, who so far forgets his duty and the example which he should set as to break the Word of Wisdom, is unworthy to occupy that position; and if he does not repent, it is only a question of a short time before his resignation will be tendered to him, and he will have to accept it. The day is gone by when the Lord will trifle with the Latter-day Saints. He has said that His Spirit shall not always strive with man. In the very first section of the Book of Doctrine and Covenants the Lord says:
"For I the Lord cannot look upon sin with the least degree of allowance; "Nevertheless, he that repents and does the commandments of the Lord shall be forgiven;
"And he that repents not, from him