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have entered into covenant with the Lord to serve Him and to keep His commandments, that the keeping of His commandments is the greatest desire that we have, and that we have other God before the Lord, our God; that we have not set our affections upon any other thing, but that we have an eye single to the keeping of the commandments of the Lord and a determination to sustain and uphold His Priesthood. I take it that this is a very grave responsibility, and that men and women who have entered into covenant with the Lord should examine themselves and seek to put themselves in such a condition that they would have the Spirit of the Lord, that when we hear the voice of the Good Shepherd we will be able to understand it, and have a disposition to be in line with the authority that God has upon the earth.
The rights, independence and liberty of no man can be infringed upon in the keeping of the commandments of God. We hear when we are away from home as missionaries among the nations many things concerning the bondage of the people, that we are priest-ridden, and that we are not allowed to do the things that we desire to do; but we know by our own experiences that this is not the case. I know as an individual, having been born and reared in the midst of this people, that no man, no authority, no priest, or apostle, or president has ever attempted in the slightest degree to interfere with the liberty that God has given me. I have had as great liberty in the midst of the Latter-day Saints as any man could possibly enjoy upon the face of the earth. When I bear this testimony I realize and understand that in this great congregation of people every man every woman who has received the Gospel and who is acquainted with the spirit and doings of the wonderful work in which we are engaged know that what I say is true. You all know it, because you have all had the same experience, every member of the Church knows that we are a free people.
I have thought in listening to the remarks that have been made by some of the brethren, that there might be some
thing said to the missionaries. A good
But the performance of a mission to the nations is a small thing in the winning of the race upon which we are now set out for eternal life. Many a man returns from a mission who has valiantly maintained his position, who has stood up in the presence of opposir multitudes and with the power of God resting upon him has borne testimony to the truth of the glorious Gospel, and his words have pierced the hearts and intellects of the people, and they have been made to feel that they were listening to the truth. Many a man has filled a mission of this charac
ter and has done honor to the cause that he represented, but has returned home feeling, in a little while, that he ought to rest from the ministry that someone else should take up the labors here at home. I desire to lift my warning voice to returned missionaries. I desire to plead with them in the name of the Lord, as I feel it to be my duty to do, and that it pertains to the responsibilities that rest upon me to lift up my voice and cry aloud to the missionaries, the Seventies of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, that they shall not seek for rest, that they shall not feel that they have accomplished their salvation, or that they are secure, merely because they have filled a mission in the preaching of the Gospel. I feel when I greet a young Elder returning from abroad that the gravest period of his life stands before him when he returns, when there is fear that he may become a little careless, that he may have a disposition to seek after the rest that many have sought after, and in seeking after that rest they have found not only rest but rust. They are becoming rusty in the service of the Lord, and they are not willing to labor at home as they did abroad. What a glorious feeling we have had, when we have gone away from our homes, impelled by the spirit of truth, to preach the Gospel among the children of men. I suppose that every missionary that responds to an appointment, goes away from his family and friends with a determination in his heart that he will do honor to his calling. I have met hundreds of missionaries in the old country, sometimes boys who have been indifferent to the responsibilities of the Priesthood at home; but I do not now recall having ever met one in all the hundreds with whom I have been brought in contact who reached the missionary field with a feeling of indifference, with a disposition to oppose authority, with a feeling in his heart that he would question the counsels of the men who presided over him. You who have filled missions know that you go into the world with these thoughts uppermost from the very moment that you respond, that you will be obedient, that you will hearken to
counsel, that you will be zealous in carrying out counsel, and that you will keep yourself clean and pure, and sweet before the world. What is the result? Men return who have never had experience before, and they are filled with the power of God, filled with the testimony of the Lord Jesus Christ and it is this testimony and this vigor, and this life that I feel anxious that the brethren should preserve within them after having returned home. It can be preserved, it can be maintained through their entire lives, if they will only return with a determination to hearken to counsel and be obedient to those who preside in the Church and be diligent in the discharge of the duties that rest upon them. In traveling and visiting among the people, when talking to the Bishops about returned missionaries with whom I have been acquainted, asking how they were doing in their callings at home, the answer has often been given, "they are not doing anything." Brother So and So "will not act as a Teacher, he will not act in the Sunday school, he will not act in the Improvement associations. He returned and bore us a good testimony, but we have seen but little of him since that time."
I plead, in the name of the Lord, with young men. Great and glorious opportunities are before them. This is an age of opportunities for young men. The Priesthood, the Apostles, the Presidency of the Church, are conferring honois upon the young men of Israel, paths are opening on every hand in which we can labor, opportunities are being made everywhere wherein we can work for the advancement of the work of the Lord and for the salvation of the souls of men and women here at home. When we are abroad we sometimes travel ten miles to attend a meeting, and would a hundred miles, if need be, that we may meet with some one that would be willing to listen to the testimony we have concerning the Cospel, that we might explain the principles of the Gospel. And how our hearts are aglow, and we are filled with the fire of the Holy Ghost when men listen, when we see that they are convinced of the truth. What a dreadful thir it is after being abroad and b
ing filled with this happiness, that we should return home to smoulder away and die, become indifferent and cold to the duties that rest upon us! I plead with Bishops, and I plead with the presidents of quorums and with the presidents of Stakes, to throw their arms around returning missionaries, young men; to point out the troubles that are in their paths, the temptations that will beset them, the fearfulness of turning away from the path of duty and of becoming careless and neglectful concerning the things of God. We ought not to return and feel that we have given to the Lord two years or more of our time, and that now we will be justified in seeking after the things of the world to the exclusion of the things pertaining to our duties. But we should be more anxious, if anything, when we return to set a goodly example before the people, that when the young men and young women, who have known us when we have not been so careful and so diligent, look upon us in a year after our return-in ten years after our return-they will say, "Surely the power of God came to that man. The testimony of the Lord Jesus was given him, and when he returned and bore record that he knew this work to be true, it was a solemn truth, and God had given him that assurance, for his whole life and his conduct before us, ever since he has returned, has testified all the time that he had a knowledge of the truth of the Gospel." And we should not have to bear the responsibility of testifying to the truth before the people and then turning away from the path of duty.
God bless the missionaries at home and abroad wherever they may be; bless those who have returned and who are returning, that they may be filled with the missionary spirit at home, for there is need of the missionary spirit in all the wards and stakes of Zion. There is need at home for men who are devoted to the work of the Lord, and who feel that it is of the utmost importance all the time. It is a glorious thought that we are given to the Lord, that we are given to the accomplishment of His work, and that we have the courgo and determination to hearken to
the counsel of the Lord, and honor the Lord by the observance of His laws upon the earth and by sustaining the authority of His holy Priesthood. We cannot sustain the Priesthood by the mere lifting of our hands. The man who sustains the Priesthood is the man who responds to the appointments that are given him, the man who says "yes" to the Bishop, and to the president of the Stake, the man who responds in his quorum. The man who is always work
g willingly and dutifully, is the man who sustains the authority of God. There is no other way to sustain that authority.
May the Lord help us to seek after His spirit and to be filled with His power, that we may magnify our callings and accomplish much righteousness, is my prayer through Jesus Christ, Amen.
ELDER JONATHAN G. KIMBALL. My brethren and sisters: One thing I specially like about our conference is the plain talk that has been given to the Latter-day Saints. I realize that some of you have fairly crawled in your seats for fear the brethren would say something. It is a spirit that is creeping into the hearts of our people. My father once in preaching prophesied that goods would be as cheap here as they were in the streets of New York; and after the spirit subsided a little, he turned to President Young and said, "Well, President Young, I have done it now." President Young said, "Never
ind, Brother Kimball, let it go." He didn't believe it either. But it came to pass. I want to ask you Latter-day Saints if, when men are inspired of God and you exercise faith for them, as you have done in this conference, they are to be always held accountable for what they say under the influence of the Holy Spirit. It is bad enough to be held personally responsible when a man is not under the influence of the Spirit. I have been fearful that some of us have become cowardly in our hearts in advocating the principles of the doctrines of Christ. I remember in laboring among the Elders in the Southern States, the question came up, shall we go when they tell us to go? Well, I said, if you
do you will all be home in three weeks. You ought to go when you feel impressed by the Spirit to go, and when you are not you are to hold the fort and let God take care of you. That is the kind of doctrine I believe in; I don't know whether I live up to it or rot. I have a little boy at home. I didn't know how to train children, and when he was a little fellow we made him give up to every little child that came in to visit us, till today he hasn't got grit enough to take his own part, and we have him come home crying because somebody has whipped him. And now I have to go to work and train that boy to fight, if he ever gets on in this world. I have another little boy growing up, and I tell you I don't bother myself about these things. I believe in being loyal and true to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, and I believe in doing right. And I believe in men being under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, and women, too. I don't know that I can tell you how I feel during this conference, any better than to tell you how I felt when I was down to the Chicamaugua Park, when they were mobilizing soldiers for the war. They mobilized forty thousand soldiers at that place, and one day I saw there nine thousand soldiers under dress parade, and I heard the martial music, and I saw them pass under the great flag of the United States, and every one of them doffed his hat when he came to the flag. My blood coursed rapidly through my veins, and I felt as if I was eight or ten feet tall, and that I would like to go to the war and see how it felt. I don't know how long the feeling would have lasted, but I never felt better in my life. I never felt more inspired with that kind of inspiration and loyalty to the United States than I did on that one occasion. It has been the occasion of my life, and I learned that I was patriotic, that I was loyal, that the blood of the revolutionary fathers coursed through my veins, and I was mighty glad to find it out I felt just the same way during this conference, and I wouldn't be afraid of all the world, all the devils in hell, if I could always have the same spirit of
inspiration that has actuated me during this conference.
It is getting so a man dares not to open his mouth for fear he will say what they term holy ground. I think something, for fear he will tread on
we ought to be wise, and I think that during the times that are coming the Latter-day Saints ought to keep their feet warm and their heads cool.
I remember a time not long ago, during our troublous times, a very nice, prominent Gentile-he was very much aroused and excited about matters-who raised his hand in indignation (I guess he thought I would run), and he roared like a lion: "Keep your hands off from the State, and you see to it that your authorities do the same." I said look here and I wasn't very cool eitherI don't think I had an overload of the
Spirit myself. I said, look here, my friend, you were not born here like I was, in these mountains. I was brought up in the mountains. I don't know anything else but liberty, like the birds that fly in the air, and I love this country because my fathers and my noble loved ones are buried over here on the hill, over sixty of them. I love this country because I have been with my father as a child when he walked around the site of this great tabernacle before it was built. My father's oxen and his mules and his wagons hauled rock for that temple when I was a child. My father and my mother, whom I loved and venerated, came to this country as pioneers. I can't tell you about our temples, about our worship, about our marriages, about the Holy Ghost, about the Priesthood-I can't tell you, no man can tell you, unless you have the Spirit of God; but I want to tell you now, I shall not be cowardly and stop my tongue, but you must keep your hands off the Church, and you must respect the men that I honor, or you and I will no longer be friends. A man is a cowardly craven that will sit by for fear of trouble and allow men to be-little and abuse him and call the authorities of the Church everything under heaven. I don't believe in war. I believe in loving the souls of the children of men. But I tell you when you respect the authorities your
self, other people will respect them, and the world will. The Gentile world and the people of this city and State would have respected the authorities more than they do had our own people set the example. That is what I want to tell you, and I have told you, and I am not going to take it back either. I am not going to make any apologies because I have made that statement. It is true, just as true as the Lord lives. If you honor your wife and speak well of her, other people will do So. If you do not honor your chlidren and you have a hired girl in the house and you do not treat them kindly, the girl herself will treat your own children unkindly.
saved, and I want to see the Gospel preached to every tongue and people as a witness, an I will be mighty glad when the end comes. May the Lord bless you. Amen.
Sister May Young sang a solo.
ELDER ABRAHAM O. WOODRUFF.
I desire, my brothers and sisters, that the words that I shall speak may be dictated by the Holy Spirit. I have rejoiced exceedingly in this conference in the words that have been spoken to the Latter-day Saints, and I feel that the
Lord has greatly favored the Latterday Saints in giving them the instructions that He has given through the mouths of His servants; and I pray that we may be faithful and true in carrying out these instructions that will be for our good and blessing.
I desire to raise my voice in warning to the fathers and mothers of young men and young women, who come to this city to attend school or to find work. I desire to caution them to see that they are under proper influences, and know something of the families that they are living with, something of their environments, for we are all influenced to a great degree by our surroundings. It is a great deal better or easier for us to do right and keep the commandments of the Lord when we are under
good influences; and it is a great deal
easier to do wrong when we are under conditions of wrongdoing, or where others set the examples. And especially are the youth, the young men and maidens of Zion, or of any community or of any people, inclined to be influenced by conditions which surround them. I feel that this is a very important matter. There are things that are of more importance to the Latter
day Saints' parents than the mere earning of dollars and cents by their sons and their daughters; and the question ought not to be, when their sons and daughters come to this city, or to any Now I pray God to bless you. I feel other city, to obtain employment, "How to be loyal, I feel to be true to the cause much money can they get?" The conof Christ, and I want to be saved in sideration ought to be, in part at any the kingdom of God; and I want to go rate, what are the conditions where my father went and where my that will surround them in this pomother went. I want to be with this sition or in this employment? people. I want to see all the world I feel that great evil has come
Now I feel that we ought to honor God. We ought to be loyal to our country, and I believe that honest men ought to rule this nation, that honest and good men ought to rule this country. It is a mighty poor time for us now to sit down and feel bad about it, if any mistakes are made. I want to tell you that while I am a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, I have my franchise, and my citizenship, and I have my vote, and I have a right to cast it. And if every single man and woman that is entitled to their franchise, instead of going and howling after the trouble is over, would shake themselves and realize that they are members of this great nation and great State, and go to their primaries and cast their ballot, I tell you mighty few dishonest men would find their way into our State and into the offices. But it is your fault, because we do not do our duty as American citizens. I claim that every man and every woman in this nation that has the franchisethat own property, that pays taxeshas a right to go to the primaries and see to it that honest men go into the convention, and then you leave the matter in their hands and let them do the rest, and hold them responsible.