Imatges de pÓgina


Comprehensiveness of the plan of Salvation-Faith the result of evidence-What we enjoy here a fore taste of that which is to come-Forgiveness asso. ciated with repentance-Testimony of Jesus and of the ancient and modern prophets.

I trust, my brethren and sisters, that you will give me the same support of your faith and prayers that you have my brethren who have spoken, that the Spirit of the Lord may assist me as they have been assisted. Many thoughts pass before the mind when we hear our brethren speak upon the principles of life and salvation. We realize that we are connected with a very important work-as important, no doubt, as any work that has ever been established upon this earth. The fact that it has been introduced by our heavenly Father and is His work, for the salvation of the children of men, certainly should be evidence enough to make it of sufficient importance for us to give to it our undivided attention.

people and our doctrines; and there are many people, as suggested by Elder John Henry Smith, that believe the doctrine but have not the courage to embrace it, because it is so unpopular and so trying to men's souls.

The authority of the Lord has been revealed in our day, and it is possessed by a host of men. We are under obligation to bear testimony to the doctrines that are revealed for the salvation of the world, that light may come into the hearts of the people; for this world lieth in darkness, in a fallen state. We are dependent upon the assistance of our heavenly Father for our redemption, and it is important that we should be redeemed in this life. The design of our Father is that His children should be relieved from the effects of the fall, be redeemed from the power of sin and Satan, and be brought back into fellowship with Him. The plan that He has offered us for this purpose commends itself to every honest, unprejudiced soul, because it is a reasonable plan, founded on truth. It has saved people before, it is saving people now, and will save people so long as there are people to be saved, and there always will be people to be saved. When we think of this work as it has been spoken of in this conference, and what it has accomplished in sixty-nine years, we cannot help but be impressed with it. Though there be many people who have never heard of us, yet this work has stirred the world. There is not a nation perhaps but what has been


CR logg ogitated in regard to this

The Gospel is suited to all the conditions of mankind. It will meet every requirement of man, and it will satisfy every rational ambition and every righteous desire of the human heart. It is perfect in every respect. It is broad enough and deep enough for the rich and for the poor, for the intelligent and for the ignorant. It will bring to every person exactly what is necessary for his salvation. If men need to be humbled, it will school them. If they need to be exalted, it will lift them up. If they have need to be reformed, it will reform them. In fact, as I have said, it will meet all the requirements of human nature.

The first principle of the Gospel is faith in God. How could we have such faith as is established among this people, if it were not for evidence? Men may believe the doctrines that are taught them, but it takes reliable evidence to establish faith in the hearts of the children of men; for we are rea sonable beings, the offspring of reason. able parents, and we need to be convinced that the doctrines are what they profess to be. We need not only to believe in God, but we need to have faith in Him. When faith springs up in the heart, its germs are living germs, and it develops and increases as the soul remains in proper condition for its growth and development; and as it increases in our hearts, so we labor, so we are humble, so we are faithful and devoted to the Lord. We desire to become more acquainted with God, and with the principles that have made Him and His Son so great, and that have made so many of His posterity great men and women. We desire to go back into His presence. The Gospel is taught for this purpose, and it is having its influence over us. We are listening to the counsels of the Holy Spirit. True, we have at our head a prophet, seer and revelator. We have quite a number of them. Then in every home, in every ward, in every stake, in every quorum, in every mission, and in every department of this work there are men with the in


spiration of the Holy Ghost, the testimony of the Lord Jesus; and that testimony directs these men acording to the degree in which they are devoted to the service of God and lose their own selfishness. So that there is a stream of revelation and inspiration coming to the Church, not only through the prophet, seer and revelator who stands at our head and gives the word of the Lord for the whole Church, but it comes to every man and woman. It has borne record to your hearts during this conference, as it has done in all conferences when we have together with a desire to know the will of God. The testimony of the Holy Ghost in our hearts has brought conviction and satisfaction to our souls, and we have had a taste of inspiration and a measure of understanding in regard to the Gospel of life and salvation. We have been saved a little; and as we have learned and enjoyed a little in this life, so shall we in the world to come enjoy much. As in this life we have been faithful over a few things, in the world to come we shall be made rulers over many things. As we have a foretaste of heaven in this life, we shall have a fulness of joy and happiness in the world to come. And it may be increased very materially in this life. We have no need to be satisfied with the little we have already received; for the windows of heaven are open, and inspiration comes to us just as freely and as liberally as our hearts are open to receive it. Heaven may be upon this earth, and no doubt it will be. We are

which we attain, the cleansing and purifying of our own hearts, that we may come as near being perfect in this life as our Father and His Son Jesus Christ are perfect. Why shall we not do right? What commandments of the Lord are there that we cannot observe? What re


quirements are there in this Church we cannot comply with? The Lord wants us to have faith in Him. Now, that is possible. He has the faith to bestow. He is the giver of it. Man cannot impart it. It is the gift of God-a gift that He is anxious to bestow upon all His children.

Repentance is also a gift from the Lord, as precious as faith. We cannot be saved by faith alone. We must repent. Repentance is necessary to salvation. Elder M. W. Merrill suggested that the first step to get out of debt was to quit going in debt; so I say that the very first step to repentance is to quit sinning and to become manly, honorable and upright. There is no forgiveness of sin without repentance. Forgiveness does not come by faith alone, nor by promising that we will do better some time. It is necessary that we should cease sinning and begin to do well. Where we were liars, we must tell the truth; where we were unrighteous and impure, we must be pure and upright. Then we can obtain the blessing of forgiveness. Is there a man in the world that can say that that is unreasonsable? Is it reasonable that men should be forgiven of their sins if they do not cease sinning? Certainly not. Men must cease to sin, and turn to the

having a little foretaste of these things Lord; for there is no one else can forgive. We are not able to forgive each


We know what is good, what is sweet, what is delicious, what is precious, and what is valuable to us in this life, and what is suited to our needs and desires; and we shall want a fulness of these things hereafter. But if we are wise we shall come as near to obtaining a fulness in this life as we can. We will seek the riches of eternity

other's sins. We cannot atone for our own sins. That is why it was necessary that the Son of God should come from heaven, where He had such joy and glory with the Father, into this world and offer an atonement for mankind. He offered His life and suffered as a

here. We can take the riches of eternal life with us when we leave this sphere, but we cannot take the riches of this world. Yet the riches of this world are convenient and necessary, and we cannot very well get along without them. But the riches of eternal life are lasting and permanent. They come from the good we accomplish, the righteous

God only could suffer, in order that men might be relieved of their sins. Man could not do that; it was the work of a God. And it is the work of God to give you and me faith and repentance. These are principles that come from the upper world, not from beneath. We must therefore look above for them, and the Lord will give them to us, but on proper principles. Now,

can repent and have our sins blotted out, is it not profitable to us to sacrifice our tastes, our appetites, our carnal desires, and those principles that only yield a temporary satisfaction, that we may obtain these precious blessings? Men are not curtailed in their joy and happiness, but are rather increased therein, by the service of the Lord. We ought not, however, to be niggardly, but we should be generous and great-hearted in regard to these matters, and seek to vie with each other in seeing which can accomplish the most for the salvation of the children of men. We should see which can be the most humble, the most faithful and devoted to the Lord, in order that we may stand in the fellowship and favor of God. For there is no real joy and happiness, no salvation, except that which comes from the Father, in answer to the atonement of His Son and the shedding of His precious blood.

How grateful and thankful we ought to be for this, and that this work, revealed to the Prophet Joseph Smith, has brought that knowledge to the world! I would testify of this with my brethren. The Presidency are all here, the Apostles are all here, the presiding quorum of Seventies are all here, the presiding Bishopric here, are the presiding patriarch is here. do not know when we have had SO complete and perfect a representation of the power and authority of God at our conference. And the people are well represented from all over the country. Now, these men are true men, whose hearts and souls are in the work of the Lord, and have been for many years. President Snow, President Richards, President Cannon and President Smith are men who were intimately acquainted with the Prophet Joseph Smith, and with Hyrum Smith, and with the early Apostles and Elders of the Church. They knew their private lives and their public labors, and that God was with them. Many of us have not known them so intimately, not being old enough; but the Lord has revealed to us that Joseph Smith was a prophet of God, and we know it just as President Snow or these other brethren who have had the privilege of shaking hands with the Prophet. Jesus was known only by those who received that knowledge from the Father. Thousands and tens

of thousands of men saw the Prophet Joseph who never once intimated that they thought or believed that he was a prophet of God. Thousands knew the Son of God personally, but they never believed He was the Son of God, be cause the Father did not bear record to them. But to us He has borne record that Joseph was a prophet of the living God. He has borne record to us that Jesus is His Only Begotten Son in the flesh, the Redeemer of the world. He committed this testimony and knowledge to this people. He has given us a knowledge also concerning President Brigham Young, that great and grand man who led Israel in those dark and dismal days after the death of the Prophet Joseph, out of bondage unto this land of liberty, and established us here. What wonders he did for us! He was a man among men-the very proper man to follow in the footsteps of the Prophet Joseph. We do not know him as we will yet know him. Then President John Taylor, the personification of devotion, manliness and courage! No more honorable and upright man than John Taylor even lived. And President Wilford Woodruff, the very personification of humility and meekness, of conscientiousness of and honesty,-a man God! And President Lorenzo Snow, the equal of any of them! Are we worthy, my brethren and sisters, to be associated with and led by such men? If so, then let us listen to their counsel, and uphold their hands. God will vindicate His cause in the earth. It is spreading today unobserved. The kingdom grows, and prosperity waits upon us as a people and as individuals. Let us be conscientious, honest and upright, and be indeed Latter-day Saints, teaching the Gospel by example. We have not long to live, and there is no investment like serving God, for it is all profit. Let me beg of you, Presidents, High Councilors, Bishops, and men who bear the priesthood, and all saints who have named the name of Jesus, let us walk in the footsteps of the Lord, and honor Him the remainder of our days, and thus be redeemed from the power of Satan, that old monster; for we are in his dominion and under his power more or less, and can only be redeemed by the service of the Lord.

God bless you, my brethren and sis

ters; bless Zion and all her interests; bless our nation-the nation that has given an asylum to this work and the people of God. The Lord raised it up, and He is directing and controlling it. If the people of the nation have offended in the past, they will make satisfaction; and the Lord is using and directing them, as He will direct us, for the accomplishment of His purposes. Amen.

PRESIDENT JOSEPH F. SMITH. Witnesses of the truth-Those whose hearts are not hardened receive it-Some believe but do not openly acknowledge-Enemies of Zion aid her cause-An excellent industrial institution. My brethren and sisters, so far throughout this conference I have been delighted and edified with the most excellent spirit that has prevailed. I endorse heartily all that has been said, and I exhort you to a diligent and faithful consideration of the counsels and instructions we have received.

The testimonies which have been borne by the Apostles in relation to the divine mission of the Prophet Joseph Smith and of the direction by God of all his successors down to the present, are true witnesses and verifications of God's great truth restored to the earth in these last days, which all mankind must sooner or later give ear to. These testimonies will stand as a witness before all these people assembled here, and they will extend out unto all the world; for all men unto whom these testimonies come must receive or reject them, and God will not hold them irresponsible for neglect or indifference in relation thereto.

I was struck by a remark made by one of the brethren with respect to the many people who saw and heard the Prophet Joseph Smith and yet didn't believe that he was a prophet of God, or a man raised up by the Almighty to lay the foundations of this great latter-day work. It was said that the Lord had not revealed it unto them. Now, I do not dispute that statement, or call it in question; but it occurred to me that there are thousands of men who have heard the voices of the inspired servants of God, unto whom the Almighty has borne record of the truth, and yet they have not believed it. It is my opinion that the Lord bears record o the testimonies of His servants unto

those who hear those testimonies, and it is left with them whether or not they will harden their hearts against the truth and not listen to it, and abide the consequences. I believe the Spirit of the Almighty God is upon most of the Elders who go out into the world to proclaim the Gospel. I believe their words are accompanied by the testimony of the Spirit of God. But all men are not open to receive the witness and the testimony of the Spirit. And the responsibility will rest with them. Yet it may be possible the Lord withholds His Spirit from some, for a wise purpose in Him, that their eyes are not opened to see and their minds not quickened to comprehend the word of truth. As a rule, however, it is my opinion that all men who are seeking after the truth and are willing to receive it, will also receive the witness of the Spirit which accompanies the words and testimonies of the servants of the Lord; while those whose hearts are hardened against the truth and will not receive it when it is borne record of to them, will remain ignorant and without a comprehension of the Gospel. I believe there are tens of thousands of people who have heard the truth and have been pricked in their hearts, but they are seeking every refuge they possibly can to hide themselves from their convictions of the truth. It is among this class that you will find the enemies to the cause of Zion. They are opposing the truth in order to hide themselves from it. There are men possibly within the sound of my voice-certainly within the limits of this city-who have read our books, who have listened to the discourses of the Elders, and who are familiar with the doctrines of the Church; but they will not acknowledge -openly, at least-the truth of this Gospel and the divinity of this work. Well, the responsibility rests with them. God will judge them and deal with them in His own way and time. Many of them through their efforts to bring reproach upon the cause of Zion, are awakening the attention of people in the world to "Mormonism," and thus unwittingly advancing the cause of Zion, though they know it not. I thank God my Father that He brings good out of the evil designed against His people by their enemies. And He will

continue to do this.

The clouds may gather over our heads, and, as in the past, it may seem impossible for us to penetrate them; yet there can be no clouds so dark, so gloomy or so heavy, but God will roll them away in His own time and will bring good out of threatening evil. He has done it in the past, He will do it in the future; for it is His work, not the work of man.

Reference was made here by one of the brethren to what is being said and done with a view to bringing reproach upon the Church, because one of its members has aspired to political honors, and has reached the goal of his aspiration by the votes of the people. They are seeking to make the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints responsible for the election of one of its members to an office in the House of Representatives of the United States Congress. Let me say to this congregation—which will be borne out by all my brethren and by the truth-that Brother B. H. Roberts was not (and never was) the candidate of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, for Representative to Congress. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latterday Saints nor any of its authorities as such ever had one thing to do with his nomination or election, there are members of the Church who belong to his political party and they voted for him, and by their votes as well as by the votes of the unbelievers he was elected. And now these miserable scoundrels that seek to blacken the character of the Church and try to bring trouble upon it, are endeavoring to make it appear that the Church is in politics, and Brother Roberts' election is due to "Church influence." This is not true. Brother Roberts was the candidate of his own party; and was elected by his party; the Church had no more to do with it than it had to do with the election of some Senator or Representative in New York, only so far, as I said before, as members of his political party voted for him. I felt that I wanted to say this much to the congregation; and I know the facts bear me out in this statement. The Church of Christ is not responsible for the actions of either of the political parties, in any sense, or form. If it were, they would stop their quarreling

and contending, and the bitterness and animosity they exhibit towards one another would cease. If we had anything to do with them, we would stop their wrangling, and we would have peace in their ranks. The fact that they quarrel as they do is proof positive we have nothing to do with them.

We have had some excellent remarks here in relation to our home industries and to the labors that are being performed by Z. C. M. I., our great cooperative institution which was established by the Latter-day Saints, and is conducted upon the soundest business principles, and is today one of the most substantial and influential institutions in this western country. It is giving employment to many people, and producing shoes and wearing apparel, thereby saving capital at home. It is an institution of the people. It was established for the benefit of the people of Utah. It should be sustained by the people. They should see that by their patronage it is made strong so that it may never waver during the hard times and the financial wreck and ruin that may come from time to time. If the people will do their duty, there will be one institution belonging to them which will always be upon a firm foundation. And we ought to increase our industries, to give employment to our people. In relation to providing labor for those who come here from foreign lands through obedience to the Gospel, I fear we are not as careful of their welfare now as we were in years past. Formerly they were assigned to the various wards as they came in, with recommendations to the Bishops and leading men to look after them, to provide them labor, and assist them in their inexperience, that they might obtain whatever was needful for their good, and eventually establish themselves in independency and prosperity by the results of their own labor. This is a very important question. It is also important to provide labor for those who have been accustomed to dwelling in large cities, who, when they come here, feel unable to make a living anywhere else but in the city. We have many of such in Salt Lake City, and it would be well for some of them at least to go into the new settlements, take up land; change their mode of liv

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