« AnteriorContinua »
clare that they knew that the plates had been translated by the gift and power of God, for "His voice hath declared it unto us; wherefore we know of a surety that the work is true." And again they testify that the angel came down and they beheld and saw the plates and the engravings thereon, and they say: "It is marvelous in our eyes, nevertheless the voice of the Lord commanded us that we should bear record of it; wherefore, to be obedient unto the commandments of God, we bear testimony of these things. And we know that if we are faithful in Christ we shall rid our garments of the blood of all men, and be found spotless before the judgment seat of Christ, and shall dwell with Him eternally in the heavens." Notwithstanding all this, they failed to keep the commandments God, and fell by the wayside. Take Sydney Rigdon, who was with Joseph Smith when he received that great vision and revelation wherein it is declared that they saw Jesus Christ who came into the world to bear the sins of the world; and the testimony which they bore of Jesus was: "After the testimonies which have been given of him, this is the testimony, last of all, which we give of Him, that He lives, for we saw Him, even on the right hand of God, and we heard the voice bearing record that He is the only begotten of the Father." And they testify that they saw the angels and those that were sanctified singing praises to God. I say, notwithstanding they saw the Savior and bore His testimony, this man Sidney Rigdon, fell by the wayside. I say to the Latter-day Saints, no amount of knowledge, no amount of testimony, no amount of sealing in the temples of God to our wives and children will save us; but the keeping of the commandments of God, being honest in our dealings with God and with out fellow men, paying our tithing, obeying the Word of Wisdom and doing our duty as Latterday Saints-these are the things, and the only things that will save us.
What does the Lord say? "Although a man may have many revelations, and have power to do many mighty works, yet if he boasts in his own strength and
follows after the dictates of his own will and carnal desires, he must fail and incur the vengeance of a just God upon him." It is easy for us to fail to be honest with Almighty God in the payment of our tithes and offerings, and to follow the dictates of our own wills. The devil is ready to blind our eyes with the things of this world, and he would gladly rob us of eternal life, the greatest of all gifts. But it is not given to the devil, and no power will ever be given to him to overthrow any Latterday Saint that is keeping the command. ments of God. There is no power given to the adversary of men's souls to destroy us if we are doing our duty. If we are not absolutely honest with God, then we let the bars down, then we have destroyed part of the fortifications by which we are protected, and the devil may come in. But no man has ever lost the testimony of the Gospel, no man has ever turned to the right or to the left, who had the knowledge of the truth, who was attending to his duties, who was keeping the Word of Wisdom, who was paying his tithing, who was responding to the calls and duties of his office and calling in the Church.
May God bless us! May the teachings of this conference abide with us, and may God help all of us to be true to Him, is my prayer and desire. I ask it in the name of Jesus. Amen.
Singing by the choir and congregation.
Benediction by Elder Karl G. Maeser.
At the Tabernacle, 2 p. m.-The choir and congregation sang: We thank Thee, O God, for a Prophet, To guide us in these latter days, We thank Thee for sending the Gospel, To lighten our minds wi its rays. Prayer by Elder Charles W. Penrose. The choir sang an anthem, "Unfold, ye portals."
PRESIDENT LORENZO SNOW. The redemption of Zion - Many Saints now living will go to Jackson County-Testimony that Joseph Smith was a Prophet of God and D honorable and moal man-A reformation in progress-Consecration will be established.
Brethren and sisters, I will read a few
sets at nought the counsels of God and verses embraced in the sixty-third sec
tion of the Book of Doctrine and Cove- with him. The Lord has shown me most nants:
"Wherefore, I, the Lord, willeth that you should purchase the lands that you may have advantage of the world, that you may have claim on the world, that they may not be stirred up unto anger;
"For Satan putteth it into their hearts to anger against you, and to the shedding of blood;
"Wherefore, the land of Zion shall not be obtained but by purchase or by blood, otherwise there is none inheritance for you.
"And if by purchase, behold you are blessed;
"And if by blood, as you are forbidden to shed blood, lo, your enemies are upon you, and ye shall be scourged from city to city, and from synagogue to synagogue; and but few shall stand to receive an inheritance."
These words were spoken of the Lord to Joseph the Prophet in 1831.
Now the time is fast approaching when a large portion of the people that I am now addressing will go back to Jackson county. A great many people that are now dwelling in the State of Utah will have this privilege. Whether I, President Cannon, President Smith, or all the brethren of the Twelve will go back I know not. But a large portion of the Latter-day Saints that now dwell in these valleys will go back to Jackson county to build a holy city to the Lord, as was decreed by Jehovah and revealed through Joseph Smith.
A word or two about Joseph Smith. Perhaps there are very few men now living who were so well acquainted with Joseph Smith the Prophet
as I was. I was with him oftentimes. I visited him in his family, sat at his table, associated with him under various circumstances, and had private interviews with him for counsel. I know that Joseph Smith was a Prophet of Cod; I know that he was an honorable man, a moral man, and that he had the respect of those who were acquainted
clearly and completely that he was a Prophet of God, and that he held the Holy Priesthood and the authority to baptize people for the remission of their sins and to lay hands upon them for the reception of the Holy Ghost, that they might receive a knowledge themselves in relation to these things. I am one that has received from the Lord the strongest revelation concerning the truth of this work. That manifestation was with me powerfully for hours and hours; and whatever circumstances may occur in my life, as long as memory lasts this perfect knowledge will remain with me. I shall never forget. the first time I saw Joseph Smith. It was in Father Johnson's house, in the township of Hiram, in the State of Ohio, about twenty-five miles from Kirtland.
It was near Father John
son's where the mob tarred and feathered him. When I saw him he was standing in the doorway. Before him was a small bowery occupied by about a hundred and fifty or two hundred men and women. There for the first time I heard his voice. When I heard his testimony in regard to what the Lord had revealed to him, it seemed to me that he must be an honest man. He talked and looked like an honest man. He was an honest man.
Through this man, Joseph Smith, the Lord has said to us what I have been reading. As some of the brethren stated in their addresses here, I think that there was need of a reformation among the Latter-day Saints. I believe that that reformation has already commenced. One of the evidences of this to me is that the Latter-day Saints throughout all the Stakes of Zion have done that which they never did before in regard to paying their tithing. They have paid twice the of tithing this year and last year than they paid two years ago. It is wonderful how the Saints have reformed in this duty especially in view of the fact that the Latter-day Saints have always had trouble to reform themselves in money matters. They could not do it in the day in which this revelation was given. Joseph tried to develop them so that they would con
form to the law of consecration, which is in advance of the law of tithing, and is a principle which, as sure as I am speaking, you and I will one day have to conform to. When that day comes we will be prepared to go to Zion. We will not take possession of the land of Zion by force. If we should do, it would turn out to us as it did with the people who were upon the land of Zion when this revelation was given. As the Lord here tells us, there are only two ways in which we can come into possession of that land. One way is by purchase, "and if by purchase, behold you are blessed." The other way is by blood, "and if by blood, as you are forbidden to shed blood, lo, your enemies are upon you, and ye shall be scourged from city to city, and from synagogue to synagogue, and but few shall stand to receive an inheritance." These are the words of God. They did not come to us today, nor yesterday. nor last year, but they did come to the people of God some years ago. They came to the Latter-day Saints were upon the land of Zion at that time. I do not know that it would be right to say that they are of more importance to us than they were to them. But there is this about it: The Latterday Saints in these valleys have had an experience that the Saints then did not have, We have learned that which they did not learn. They were badly persecuted and driven forth from the land of Zion, and as the revelation says, "but few shall stand to receive an inheritance." There are some perhaps within the sound of my voice who will receive an inheritance in Jackson county before they pass into the next life.
Jackson county failed to do for lack of experience and faith? Jackson county is the place, the point that we should have continually in view. A brother the other day said that he had a thousand dollars and he was keeping it to purchase land in Jackson county, as soon as it would be proper to do so.
We cannot consider ourselves prepared, however, to go back to Jackson county when we fail to pay our tithing. I do not wish to say very much about tithing, for I think I have said enough. In the settlements that we traveled through coming from St. George, I talked very strongly about it, because I knew it was a command of the Lord that the people should repent and reform from the great neglect that we had all been guilty of more or less. I felt determined about it then with all my heart and soul, and I did not know but that the Saints might think I was
going a little too far. To ease their minds upon this I told them that I should never come again to talk to them as I talked at that time. But I said they must do what they had been told if they calculated to be Latterday Saints. The reformation in this line has been effectual. There are some, I am told, that do not think it is right to pay tithing. That need not surprise anybody. But the great mass of the people are doing well in relation to this.
Let us all exercise faith for the Lord to open the way that we may go back to Jackson county. A short time ago something occurred in this connection that was a little extraordinary. men came here-good, honest men, as I have every reason to believe-and to our surprise they wanted to establish a union between the Latter-day Saints and the Josephites. We asked them to explain themselves. They said they had received a revelation that the time had now come to build a Temple in Jackson county, and in order that this might be accomplished, they had felt it was their duty to go to the Josephites. They do not believe in the Josephites any more than we do; but they went there and had a conversation with the president and counsel of the Josephites. It was proposed that they
send four of their elders, that we send four of our Elders, and that the Hedrickites (to which body these two men belonged) have four of their elders, and that all these Elders should meet on the land of Zion and see if they could not make some arrangement by which the Temple could be built. Of course, we could see very well that there was no use trying in that direction; but they seemed to have faith that it could be effected. In part these men may have had a manifestation. I believe that they were about right on the point that the time had arrived to build a Temple; at least, the time is arriving when that Temple should be built; but it will not be built by that class of people. It will be built by the Latter-day Saints in connection with the Lamanites.
God bless you, my brethren and sisters, and let us try and be as perfect as we possibly can be from day to day. No religion has in it such prospects as has the religion of the Latter-day Saints. Nothing was ever introduced to man equal to it in its grand and glorious advantages. We ought to enjoy our religion to such an extent as to be happy most all the time. We should never allow ourselves to get into a position where we cannot secure some happiness. The prospects that have been opened up to us are grand. In the next life we will have our bodies glorified and free from sickness and death. Nothing is so beautiful as a person in a resurrected and glorified condition. There is nothing more lovely than to be in this condition and have our wives and children and friends with us. So long as we are faithful, nothing can prevent us from getting all the enjoyment that can be secured through prospects of this kind. Whether we are in prison, or whether we are in poverty, these prospects are always before us, if we live our religion. Now, brethren and sisters, be faithful, keep the commandments of God, and do not forget the teachings that you have had during the three days of this conferAmen.
"Jerusalem" was sung by Horace S.
PRESIDENT GEORGE Q. CANNON. Coming of Christ is near-Preparation needed for the event-The Church lead continuously by revelation-Work of warning the nationsBenefits of prosecuting the Ministry withont purse or script-The Gospel should be carried to many nations not yet warned.
In looking at this congregation and thinking that I might have to speak to it, a great fear has come over me, and I feel as though I never was weaker in my life or had more dread of speaking. The spirit of God has been here and has rested upon the brethren who have spoken, and it seems as if everything has been said that is necessary to enlighten, to strengthen and to build up the members of this Church. In the remarks that I shall make I trust that I shall have the Spirit of God also, as well as your faith and prayers, that what I say may be dictated by the Spirit and be of profit to all of us. In my public ministry I have never felt satisfied unless I was instructed edified myself in the remarks which I made, and generally I have been more strengthened and edified by my own remarks than perhaps any member of the congregation has. I think this should be the case. I believe all speakers, when they speak by the Spirit of God, are edified by the Spirit of God which rests upon them.
I have had resting upon my mind now for some time a feeling to call upon the Latter-day Saints and tell them that the coming of the Lord is near, even at our doors. I have been greatly impressed with this feeling. I know that Jesus is coming, and I feel that, as a people and as individuals, we ought to prepare for His coming. It ought to be our study every day how we can best prepare for His coming. While the angels themselves do not know when He will come, yet they do know, and we know also, for God has revealed it to us, that Jesus will come. He will come suddenly, when the world is unprepared for Him, and when He will be least expected by the inhabitants of the earth, and perhaps by us. commands us to be "looking forth for the coming of the Son of Man, for He cometh in an hour you think not." There may be many of us, and I hope
there will be, who will be prepared for control them, are brought into such a that great and glorious event.
In view of the certainty of His coming, I think it is our duty to prepare for it by every means in our power. The Lord has revealed unto us that which He wants us to do, and though we do not receive written revelations (the men who have held the keys have not always felt led to write revelations as the Prophet Joseph did), the servants of the Lord do receive revelations, and they are as binding upon the people as though they were printed and published throughout all the Stakes of Zion. The oracles of God are here, and He speaks through His servant whom He has chosen to hold the keys. He gives revelations to others also concerning many matters, but it is reserved for one man, and one man alone at a time, to give revelations to the Church. We have been blessed as a people with an abundance of revelation. Some have deceived themselves with the idea that because revelations have not been written and published, therefore there has been a lessening of power in the Church of Christ. This is a very great mistake, as we will find out sooner or later. This Church has been continually led by the spirit of revelation. The spirit of revelation has been here in our conference. The addresses that have been delivered have been made under the inspiration of the Holy Ghost, and they are the word of God unto this people, binding upon them, and they will be judged by these words that we have heard. If we do not listen to these instructions and counsels and abide by the word of God as it is given to us from time to time, we shall be held to a strict accountability.
If it be true, as I testify it is, that the coming of the Lord is not far distant, ought we not as a people and as individuals to prepare ourselves by listening to the instructions that we receive, and putting our households and all our affairs in such a condition that if the Lord should come suddenly upon us we should be prepared for His coming? We should see to it that nothing is left undone by us, no commandment unfulfilled, no counsel or instruction disregarded; but that our lives and the
s of our families as far as we can
condition as to be prepared for that glorious event; that we shall have oil in our lamps, and the lamps be trimmed and burning, that when we lay down at night, if the Lord should come, as He has said he would, like a thief in the night, we would not be unprepared for His coming.
Many who are now within the sound of my voice have been promised that they shall live, if they have faith, to behold the second coming of the Lord. The Lord has also promised that certain events shall take place while men that are standing in the generation in which these promises were made will yet be alive. All these promises go to show that it is not wise for us to put off the day of preparation and to think, "Oh! the Lord delayeth His coming. He may come while my children, or my grandchildren, or some of my posterity are living, but he will not come in my day." I know there is a great work to be done before the coming of the Lord, and for one I want to do all in my power to perform the part that is allotted to me. I desire, my brethren and sisters, that when the Lord comes our garments shall be clean and unspotted from the blood of this generation; that we shall not have left undone anything that God has commanded us to do in connection with the generation in which we live.
We have been laboring as a people and as individuals with a good deal of zeal and devotion. Elders have gone forth and have spent the best years of their lives in proclaiming the word of the Lord to the people. We have sent to foreign lands and have brought those who have embraced the Gospel to Zion, When I think of the labors of this people in this direction, I am amazed at what they have done. How willing the Elders have been to go and spend their means to save the inhabitants of the earth! There is nothing like it in history, that I know anything about. In this respect we have been indefatigable. Nevertheless, there is a great deal to be done. I believe many of the Latter-day Saints have shown more of a disposition to save other people than they have to save themselves. This class has been more willing to do that which is necessary to save the souls of the children of men than they have been to save their