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´╗┐Title: Cowley's Talks on Doctrine
Author: Cowley, Matthias F.
Language: English
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Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

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By Elder

M. F. Cowley.

_One of the Twelve Apostles of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day




_Notwithstanding what has already been written upon the principles and
doctrines of the Gospel of Jesus Christ as taught by the Latter-Day
Saints, I feel an assurance that this little work will be received with
no little pleasure and a great degree of satisfaction by members of
the true Church, as well as those who are seeking light upon religious

_The style in which the articles comprised in this little volume are
written, is pre-eminently plain, and peculiarly adapted to the reading
public. Loaded as the articles are, with careful thought and numerous
scriptural quotations and references, itself not only a thought
gatherer but a thought generator, it will come as a valuable aid to
our missionaries and theological organizations, and also to the many
investigators throughout the civilized world. Truth in studied brevity
has been aimed at, without seeking the least embellishment of diction._

_With an intense desire to impart the truth to mankind as widely as
possible, this little messenger is sent forth, trusting that it may
prove a blessing to thousands who are as yet grovelling in darkness and
superstition and lead them to the sunlight of truth._


_Chattanooga, Tenn., February, 1902._


Restoration of the Gospel
The Church
Church Organization
Divine Authority
Personality of God
Reception of the Holy Spirit
Salvation for the Dead
The Gathering of Israel
Eternal Rewards and Punishments
The Resurrection
The Book of Mormon
The Millennium


The subject of Apostasy occupies the minds of people of modern
times but very little. This, however, is not surprising when we
consider their views regarding the Church of Christ; for they claim a
continuation of divine authority and the plan of salvation from the
apostolic age to the present time, the idea prevailing among them
being, that the Bible alone is a sufficient guide without immediate and
continued revelation. In this respect, the position of the Latter-day
Saints differs widely from that of all other religious organizations.
The Saints bear no relationship to any, but declare in words of
soberness, that our Heavenly Father has restored the Gospel by modern
revelations to the Prophet Joseph Smith. This being true, there must
have been a departure from the proper order of the Gospel.

To prove that this has been the case, we will refer to statements of
Holy Writ. In II Peter i:20, it is said, "Knowing this first, that no
prophecy of the Scripture is of any private interpretation, for the
prophecy came not in old time by the will of man; but holy men of God
spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost." The Savior said, when
addressing His disciples: "And then shall many be offended, and shall
betray one another, and shall hate one another, and many false prophets
shall rise and deceive many, and because iniquity shall abound, the
love of many shall wax cold." (Matthew xxiv:10-12.)

To this testimony of Matthew, concerning the words of the Savior, in
relation to the subject under consideration, there will be found the
corresponding testimonies of Mark and Luke. It will be remembered
also, that the testimony of the Lord was in answer to a very important
question. When He had foretold the overthrow of the temple, His
apostles asked Him: "When shall these things be, and what shall be
the sign of Thy coming, and of the end of the world?" The appearance
of false prophets; the deception of man; the martyrdom of the
apostles; the betrayal of the Saints; the love of many waxing cold;
the overwhelming prevalence of iniquity; the universal discord and
contentions of the nations, all were prominent events to transpire
before the advent of the Savior to reign in power and glory upon the
earth. To this we will add the words of Paul: "Now we beseech you,
brethren, by the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, and by our gathering
together unto Him, that ye be not soon shaken in mind, or be troubled,
neither by spirit, nor by word, nor by letter as from us, as that the
day of Christ is at hand. Let no man deceive you by any means: for that
day will not come, except there come a falling away first, and that man
of sin be revealed, the son of perdition." (II Thes. ii:1-4.)

It is evident from the foregoing that some were likely to be deceived
with regard to the time of His second coming. Paul, to prevent their
being misled by false teachers who were likely predicting the Savior's
advent, testified that there should come a "falling away first." The
language is so pointed that one can readily see that nothing but a
departure from the unchangeable plan of salvation could fulfill this
prediction. We read in the Scriptures that "God hath set some in the
Church, first apostles; secondarily, prophets," and other officers;
all of whom were divinely inspired "for the work of the ministry,"
with spiritual gifts following the baptized believers. Only a short
time elapsed, however, before these officers, principles, gifts and
blessings, mentioned in the New Testament, were not to be found on the
earth: and when we examine the religious institutions of the present
time, these things, which God set in the Church, are not found, save
with the Latter-day Saints. The present generation then, as those of
many centuries past have been, are witnesses to the verification of the
words we have quoted.

When Paul was about to depart from Miletus, he called to him the Elders
of the Church from the city of Ephesus, and in his farewell address
warned them, as appears in the following words: "For I know this,
that after my departing shall grievous wolves enter in among you, not
sparing the flock. Also of your own selves shall men arise, speaking
perverse things, to draw away disciples after them?" (Acts xx:29, 30.)
As an evidence that this prophecy was being verified as early as the
time of the apostle John's banishment on the Isle of Patmos, this
appears in the second chapter of Revelations, first and fifth verses:
"Unto the angel of the Church of Ephesus write: These things saith he
that holdeth the seven stars in His right hand, who walketh in the
midst of the seven golden candlesticks; Remember, therefore, from
whence thou art fallen, and repent, and do the first works; or else
I will come unto thee quickly, and will remove thy candlestick out
of this place, except thou repent." By reading the second verse we
discover that false teachers had arisen among the people, professing to
be apostles, thus verifying the words of Paul. Following closely the
context, we discover that similar reproofs were meted out to most of
the branches of the Church in Asia, because they were departing from
the truth.

Peter, the presiding apostle, also has spoken very plainly regarding
the apostasy. Beginning with the first verse of the second chapter
of his second epistle, we read: "But there were false prophets also
among the people, even as there shall be false teachers among you,
who privily shall bring in damnable heresies, even denying the Lord
that bought them, and bring upon themselves swift destruction. And
many shall follow their pernicious ways; by reason of whom the way of
truth shall be evil spoken of. And through covetousness shall they with
feigned words make merchandise of you: whose judgment now of a long
time lingereth not, and their damnation slumbereth not." From this
we learn not only that false teachers should arise among the people,
but that they should succeed in deceiving the people, causing them to
follow pernicious ways. In connection with this part of the subject,
Paul says to Timothy: "For the time will come when they will not endure
sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves
teachers, having itching ears; and they shall turn away their ears from
the truth, and shall be turned unto fables." (II Timothy iv:3, 4.) Thus
it is clearly stated, not only that men should arise "speaking perverse
things," and by their evil designs succeed in making innovations upon
the teachings of the apostles, but that the people themselves would be
so allured from the way of life, as to heap unto themselves these false
teachers, and many would adhere to their spurious doctrines. The terms
"heap" and "many" do not signify a few but a great number.

These quotations from the Holy Scriptures bear especially upon the
internal eruptions that occurred in the Church, causing many to depart
from the straight and narrow path which leadeth unto life eternal.
Those causes which create internal division and discord in the midst of
the Saints are the worst of all, for "a house divided against itself
cannot stand."

Having shown that many of the ancient Saints departed from the plan
of salvation, we will now proceed to examine another branch of the
subject, namely: The External Events in Connection with the History of
the Church which Conspired to Overthrow the People of God. From the
quotations here given, stating that "the love of many waxed cold; many
shall follow their pernicious ways," etc., it may be asked, "What shall
become of the few who were faithful? Did not they confer the authority
upon a people in some remote corner of the earth? And from thence has
it not continued, as the true Church, down to the present time?" In
answer to these queries we shall refer to declarations of Holy Writ.

When the Savior made His appearance in the flesh there were many
religious denominations extant, some of which professed a firm belief
in the Bible--the Old Testament--and notwithstanding the ancient
prophets plainly foretold the birth and ministry of the Savior, the
religious element bitterly opposed Him and denounced new revelation,
as manifested through the Redeemer. This peculiar perversity of the
human family has been displayed prominently whenever the Almighty
has introduced a new dispensation of the Gospel. The Lord, fully
understanding the result of such bitter persecution, said to His
apostles: "Then shall they deliver you up to be afflicted, and shall
kill you; and ye shall be hated of all nations for my namesake." (Matt.

The vile treatment to which the ancient apostles were subjected and the
martyrdom of many of them, is known to all acquainted with the history
of those inspired men; and scriptural evidence as to their having been
informed thereof in advance is quite abundant. The Savior says in Mark,
thirteenth chapter, ninth verse: "But take heed to yourselves; for they
shall deliver you up to councils; and in the synagogues ye shall be
beaten; and ye shall be brought before rulers and kings for my sake,
for a testimony against them." Another witness to this testimony of our
Savior has also left us the following: "And ye shall be betrayed both
by parents, and brethren, and kinsfolks, and friends, and some of you
shall they cause to be put to death."

It is a remarkable fact that, in every age of the world when the
Lord has committed a dispensation of the Gospel to men upon the
earth, the heavenly message has been rejected by the great majority
of the human family, and the envy and hatred of many have been such
as to instigate measures of violence against the humble servants of
the Lord. Especially is this true when applied to the professedly
religious element, and more directly to those who aim to be public
instructors of the people. Notice the action taken by the Pharisees,
Sadducees and other religious classes regarding the ancient Saints;
while the devotees of these sects were divided on points of doctrine
and disagreed upon the writings of the prophets, they combined their
efforts to overthrow the Lord's chosen people. The Savior, indicating
the class who would imbrue their hands in the blood of the prophets,
said: "These things have I spoken unto you, that ye should not be
offended. They shall put you out of the synagogues; yea, the time
cometh, that whosoever killeth you will think that he doeth God's
service." (John xvi:1, 2.) This could not apply to the atheistic world,
for it denies the existence of God. It could not mean the infidel
class, for while they may not deny the existence of a Supreme Being,
they disavow all forms of worship. The Savior's prediction was directed
to the religious world, and from the facts of the case, it seems
especially applicable to that portion of it which claimed to believe in
the writings of the ancient prophets. Immediate revelation from heaven
has always come in contact with the vain traditions and religious
crafts of men, so that the strictest professors of religion anciently
were, and are now, among the foremost in persecuting the Saints and
seeking to deprive them of the rights and privileges which other men
enjoy. In connection with the evidence found in the Holy Scriptures on
this part of the subject, the thousands of Latter-day Saints who have
suffered by the hand of oppression in this dispensation of the Gospel,
are living witnesses.

While the revelator John, who was the last remaining member of the
quorum of the Twelve Apostles on the Eastern Hemisphere, was in
banishment upon the Isle of Patmos, he saw the image of a beast,
representing a power that should arise in the earth, make war upon the
Saints and overcome them. And they worshipped the dragon which gave
power unto the beast, and they worshiped the beast, saying, "Who is
like unto the beast? Who is able to make war with him? And he opened
his mouth in blasphemy against God, to blaspheme His name, and His
tabernacle, and them that dwell in heaven. And it was given unto him to
make war with the Saints, and to overcome them; and power was given Him
over all kindreds, and tongues, and nations." This declaration of the
Scriptures is very broad, indicating clearly that the Saints should be
overcome, and the power of the beast should be so extensive as to cover
all "kindred, tongues and nation," thus leaving the people destitute of
divine authority and bereft of the glorious plan of redemption.

By turning to the second chapter of Daniel, we learn something with
regard to the period of time when this power which made war with the
Saints and overcame them should flourish in the earth. The metallic
image which Nebuchadnezzar saw in His dream consisted of gold, silver,
brass, iron and clay, so we are told in the interpretation given by
Daniel the prophet. It represented several kingdoms, beginning with
Babylon, which we learn from history flourished in the fifth and sixth
centuries before Christ; and second, the Medio-Persian government,
from about 580 to 331 B. C.; third, the Macedonian kingdom, founded by
Alexander the Great, from 331 B. C., to 161 B. C.; fourth, the Roman
Empire, established in 161 B. C., and which flourished until 483 A.D.
This last named government was represented in the metallic image by
the two legs of iron, which resembled very much the two divisions of
the Roman Empire, the one having its seat of government at Rome, the
other at Constantinople. These subsequently subdivided into the petty
governments of modern Europe, having in them the elements of strength
and weakness, as indicated by the feet and toes of the image, which
were part of iron and part of clay. It will be observed by the dates
given above that it was during the time of the Roman Empire that our
Lord and Savior was born into the world. As early as the banishment of
the apostle John, about 96 A. D., we discover that nearly all apostles
forming the chief quorum of officers in the Church of Christ had been
martyred. We are informed in Mosheim's Ecclesiastical Institutes that
the year 70 A. D. Vespasian and his son Titus besieged the city of
Jerusalem with an army, destroyed the city and the temple and slew many
of the inhabitants, this event having been predicted by the Savior, and
recorded in Matthew, twenty-fourth chapter.

In speaking of this power that should destroy the Saints, Daniel the
prophet, says, "And he shall speak great words against the Most High
and shall wear out the Saints of the Most High." We might illustrate
how literally these prophecies were verified by the following example:
Previous to the late Civil War in the American Union, the South
organized a republican form of government with the requisite officers
to constitute such a government. In a short time, however, the Northern
States engaged in war with the South and overcame them, so that the
confederacy of that section ceased to exist. Suppose a stranger should
visit the South at the present time and inquire of some person in that
region of country if they have a republic entirely independent of the
North, and on being answered "We have," the visitor queries, "Where
is your president?" "Well, he is done away with, because no longer
needed." He is asked, "Where is your vice-president?" "Oh, we have
none." "Where is your congress?" "Well, that was dissolved long ago and
has not existed since." "Pray, then," says the stranger, "What have
you left?" "Well, we have a judge, and a policeman, besides the book
which gives a history of the officers you inquire about." Such answers,
however absurd and inconsistent, are very similar to those offered by
the religious world of today who claim to have the Church of Christ;
but when asked where are their apostles, they answer, "We have none,
they are done away with." "Have you prophets?" "Oh, no! They are no
longer needed." "Do the members of your church enjoy the gifts of the
Holy Spirit that Jesus promised should follow believers?" "Certainly
not, they have passed away centuries ago, and we have no occasion for
them now." "Well, then, what have you left?" "Why, we have a pastor
and a deacon, and then we have the good Book, the Holy Bible, that
describes the officers you mention."

It is very clear, from the condition of affairs, that we have briefly
described, that at some period in the past, the Church of Jesus Christ
was taken from the earth and the human family left without the direct
and authorized administration of the plan of salvation. The prophecies
we have quoted show, first, that such an event was to transpire some
time in the future; second, about the period of time in which many of
these predictions were verified, and, third, the means of power by
which the Saints were overcome.

There are other prophecies in the Bible which plainly show that the
extent of the ancient apostasy would be universal and continue in
the earth until a certain period in the history of the human family,
which will, with other items, form the subject matter for our next
consideration. As the predictions of the prophets relating to the past
have been so literally verified, this fact should promote, in the
hearts of the people, great faith in the words of the Lord, as these
are given in the Bible.

We have shown that the Church established by the Savior in all its
pristine beauty and purity was taken from the earth. As none of the
religious denominations, existing between the time of the ancient
apostles and the nineteenth century have received a new commission from
heaven, that fact is proof that the effect of the primitive apostasy
has extended without interruption to the present age of the world.

Dr. Mosheim is the author of four large volumes of religious history
comprehending about eighteen centuries of the Christian era. This work
has been translated by Dr. Murdock with copious notes, or extracts,
from the writers who lived contemporary with the times of which he
writes. From the translation of Mosheim's Ecclesiastical Institutes we
make a few quotations.

In speaking of the second century of the Christian era, Mosheim says
(Vol. 1, p. 142): "For the noble simplicity and the majestic dignity
of the Christian religion were lost, or at least impaired, when these
philosophers presumed to associate their dogmas with it and to bring
faith and piety under the dominion of human reason." On pages 182
and 183 of the same volume we are informed that, to conform to the
customs of Jews and Pagan priests, rites and ceremonies were added
to the simplicity of correct worship, and a "large part therefore of
the Christian observances and institutions even in this century had
the aspect of Pagan mysteries." Passing on to the third century on
page 257, we have the following: "All the monuments of this century
which have come down to us, show that there was a great increase of
ceremonies." Page 259: "Baptism was publicly administered twice a year
to candidates who had gone through a long preparation and trial."

Of the fourth century we learn from p. 345 that the regard for Platonic
philosophy was embraced and mingled with the doctrine of the Savior:
"Hence it is that we see on every hand evident traces of excessive
veneration for Saints in heaven; of belief in a fire to purify souls on
leaving the body; of partiality for priestly celibacy; the worship of
images and relics, and for many other opinions which, in the process
of time, almost banished the true religion or at least very much
obscured and corrupted it." Of the fifth century, an account is given
of impostors perpetrating artifices to make people think they were
miracles and thereby induce them to embrace Christianity. Religious
teachings, we are informed, "were substantiated, not so much by the
declarations of the Holy Scriptures, as by the authority and logical
reasonings of the ancient doctors." Page 455: "The whole Christian
Church was in this century overwhelmed with these disgraceful fictions."

We might proceed with similar quotations relative to subsequent
centuries intervening between the fifth and the time of the
Reformation, but the foregoing will suffice to show that religious
matters grew worse from one age to another, presenting to the world a
mass of religious confusion. Although there may have been honorable
men who protested against these evils, it is evident that genuine
authority and the principles of the Gospel in their purity could not be
derived from such a corrupt source. We are informed in the Scriptures
that an evil tree will not produce good fruit nor a bitter fountain
send forth sweet waters. As neither Luther, Melancthon, Huss, Zwingli,
Calvin nor any of the reformers of that age received revelation from
heaven authorizing them to establish the Church, we find that the
world was still without the plan of salvation, and that the products
of the Reformation, as religious bodies, are the offspring of the
mother church, described in the Scriptures as the "mother of harlots
and abomination of the earth." This unnatural mother, like some of the
fashionable women of modern times (whose husbands and illicit patrons
are zealously opposing the Latter-day Saints), endeavored to procure
abortion, but failing in this, she tried to destroy her children after
birth. Both attempts being futile, the children grew to years of
maturity and in turn gave birth to other children, and so on until now
there are several generations of them living. These offspring, being
without natural affection, have been and still are quarreling with each
other and casting missiles at their mothers and grandmothers as the
case may be.

In the midst of this religious spectacle, however, there are and have
been many honorable people who have realized the fallen condition of
the world and were honest enough to acknowledge the same. From Elder
John Morgan's Tract No. 1, we make the following extracts: "Roger
Williams refused to continue as pastor over the oldest Baptist church
in America on the grounds that there was no regularly constituted
church on earth nor any person authorized to administer church
ordinances, nor can there be until new apostles are sent by the Great
Head of the Church for whose coming I am seeking." (See Picturesque
America, page 502.) Smith's Bible Dictionary also says: "We must not
expect to see the Church of Holy Scriptures actually existing in its
perfection on the earth. It is not to be found thus perfect either in
the collected fragments of Christendom or still less in any one of
these fragments." The names of sixty-five learned divines and biblical
scholars are on the preface page as contributors to and endorsers of
this book.

Mr. Wesley states that the reason the gifts are no longer in the
church, is because the love of many waxed cold and the Christians had
turned heathens again and had only a dead form left. (See volume 1,
sermon 94.)

The situation of the religious world is beautifully depicted in poetic
verse on page forty-one of the Latter-day Saints' Hymn Book, in a hymn
from Wesley's collection. In speaking of the golden age of the apostles
and prophets, when the Saints were endowed with spiritual gifts and
graces, the writer says:

  "Where shall we wander now to find
  Successors they have left behind?
  The faithful whom we seek in vain
  Are 'minished from the sons of men.
  Ye different sects who all declare:
  'Lo! here is Christ' or 'Christ is there!'
  Your stronger proofs divinely give,
  And show me where true Christians live."

I will now quote from the Bible to illustrate how plainly the prophets
foretold what the writers from whom I have quoted clearly show to have
been verified: "Behold the days come, saith the Lord God, that I will
send a famine in the land, not a famine of bread nor a thirst for
water, but of hearing the words of the Lord: And they shall wander from
sea to sea and from the north even to the east they shall run to and
fro to seek the word of the Lord, and shall not find it." (Amos viii:
11, 12.) We learn from this that the time was coming when men should
seek to the four points of the compass, and in all directions, and yet
fail to find the word of God; but we find the Bible in every direction,
and that is said to contain the word of the Lord. Very true, but that
word was directed to past generations and is a record of the dealings
of our Heavenly Father with His children in bygone days.

The sacred record states: "Surely the Lord God will do nothing, but He
revealeth His secrets unto His servants the Prophets." (Amos iii:7.)
From this we learn that if there are no prophets of the Lord, then
our Heavenly Father is doing nothing in a religious sense among the
people of this earth; but if He is doing a work among them for their
redemption, then there must be prophets. By this it will be easy to
ascertain whether the prediction of Amos has been verified or not.
Who, previous to the year 1827, for many centuries has found in his
researches an inspired prophet who could stand in the midst of the
people and say, "Thus saith the Lord?" Have not the people denied the
prophets and visions of heaven? We learn from the nineteenth chapter of
Revelations that "the testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy."
Therefore, if any have had this testimony they have been inspired with
the spirit of prophecy. And again, we are informed by the Savior, as
written in the sixteenth chapter of John, that the "Spirit of truth
shall guide into all truth," and "show you things to come." Who has
seen things to come? And where is the word of the Lord? Surely not with
those who deny prophets and apostles.

We learn from the twenty-fourth chapter of Isaiah that the effects of
this ancient apostasy would be so universal as to cover all classes of
society, affecting not only the religious and social circles, but the
business transactions of the human family. In the second verse he says:
"And it shall be as with the people, so with the priest; as with the
servant, so with his master; as with the maid, so with her mistress;
as with the buyer, so with the seller; as with the lender so with the
borrower; as with the taker of usury, so with the giver of usury to
him." By reading the fifth verse of the same chapter we learn that even
the earth upon which we dwell is seriously effected. Isaiah says: "The
earth also is defiled under the inhabitants thereof, because they have
transgressed the laws, changed the ordinances, broken the everlasting

As a testimony to the fulfillment of this prophecy, thousands of people
in the American Union are witnesses to the fact, that in many parts the
land will not produce such prolific crops as it would several years
ago, but is gradually growing weaker and losing its virtue. Many places
once fruitful are now turned aside as being too poor to cultivate, and
are occupied by hedge grass, sassafras bushes and growths of small
pine. Such is the rapid decline of the strength of the soil. I have
been informed that in one state some of the people, desiring to learn
why the soil was losing its virtue, took quantities of earth from
different points and had it analyzed. The analysis revealed the fact
that the soil had lost its salt and was therefore comparatively of
but little worth, only to be trodden under the foot of man. This test
of the soil in one section is a fair sample of the same condition of
the land in many other places. These are the terrible effects, Isaiah
informs us, of the inhabitants of the earth transgressing "the laws,"
changing "the ordinances," and breaking the "everlasting covenant."

Among other important features wherein the everlasting covenant has
been broken is that pertaining to the marriage contract, which,
agreeable to the laws of heaven, is binding through time and eternity,
not recognizing death, which is said to be the "wages of sin," as
having power to sever that which is joined together by the power
and authority of God. The world is now following the pattern of the
Sadducees (who denied the resurrection), and therefore pronounce the
ceremony of marriage "until death do you part."

Another prophecy which vividly portrays the religious state of affairs
in the last days is that contained in (II Timothy iii:1-6) as follows:
"This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come. For
men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud,
blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, without
natural affection, truce-breakers, false accusers, incontinent, fierce,
despisers of those that are good, traitors, heady, high-minded, lovers
of pleasure more than lovers of God; having a form of godliness, but
denying the power thereof; from such turn away."

This is so plain that no one need to doubt its verification. It clearly
sets forth the very evils that are now prevalent in all the civilized
nations of the earth. While this statement of evils may apply to the
world at large, it is evident that it was directed specially to a
certain class of people--not to infidel nor atheist, nor yet to the
heathen nations, which are unacquainted with the name of the Savior
and with what is termed Christianity, but to those religious bodies
which, as Paul declares, "have a form of godliness, but deny the power
thereof." It plainly describes the situation of the Christian world
at the present time, who, while they have various forms of worship,
deny the gifts of vision, prophecy, healing, tongues and nearly all
the manifestations of the power of the Lord, as enjoyed by the ancient
Saints. In fine, they deny the Gospel, for that, says Paul, "is the
power of God unto salvation." The apostle, it appears, would not
attribute to them even true forms of worship, for he says they have a
"form of godliness." "From such," says Paul, "turn away."

If all would receive this admonition and "turn away" from these
powerless forms, what would become of the churches that are now extant?
With the foregoing positive predictions upon this subject, and the
facts before us in verification of the same, we can testify that the
words of Isaiah have been fulfilled, wherein he says: "Behold the
darkness shall cover the earth and gross darkness the people;" and that
nothing short of more revelation direct from heaven could place the
present generation in possession of the everlasting Gospel.

Having shown that many of the ancients fell away from that Gospel; that
the faithful remainder were warred against by the enemies of truth,
and that the last of the saints who held the Priesthood were overcome,
leaving no successors to continue the works of the ministry; it is
therefore made clear that the plan of salvation was taken away from the
earth, that the results of the ancient apostasy were universal and have
extended down without interruption to the present century.

The gloom that these serious events would cast upon the minds of the
honest in heart who saw this sad picture unfolded to the gaze of the
world, and which would effect their posterity in future generations,
was greatly relieved when they beheld, while rapt in heavenly vision,
angels from the mansions of glory descending to the earth with the
Gospel message in all its purity and holiness, to deliver to the sons
of men, causing the "poor among men to rejoice in the Holy One of
Israel." The apostle John, while in banishment upon the Isle of Patmos,
said: "And I saw another angel fly in the midst of heaven having the
everlasting Gospel to preach to them that dwell on the earth, and to
every nation, and kindred, and tongue, and people, saying with a loud
voice, Fear God, and give glory to Him; for the hour of His judgment is
come; and worship Him that made heaven, and earth, and the sea, and the
fountains of water." (Revelation, xiv:6, 7.) There are now thousands of
honest-hearted people upon the earth who testify that the angel spoken
of in the foregoing quotation visited Joseph Smith, the prophet, and
delivered to him the everlasting Gospel. Scattered Israel is coming
to a knowledge of the truth while the day spoken of by Jeremiah is
dawning. "O Lord, my strength, and my fortress, my refuge in the day
of affliction, the Gentiles shall come unto Thee from the ends of the
earth, and shall say, surely our fathers have inherited lies, vanity,
and things wherein there is no profit." (Jeremiah xvi:19.)

These predictions are being fulfilled and will be fulfilled to the very
letter; and as the apostasy and its effects were universal, so will
the restoration of the Gospel be universal, extending to every nation,
kindred, tongue and people, until Satan shall be bound and the voice of
"peace on earth and to men good will" shall be heard from the rivers to
the ends of the earth; when "the earth shall be full of the knowledge
of the Lord, as the waters cover the sea;" and when "they shall teach
no more every man his neighbor, and every man his brother, saying,
know the Lord; for all shall know Me, from the least of them unto the


Having shown conclusively that the Church of Christ in its purity
and entirety was taken from the earth, we find the world without
divine authority, without ordinances of the Gospel, having a "form of
godliness but denying the power thereof." "From such turn away."

This would be truly a sad picture to gaze upon and contemplate, were it
not that the Lord also revealed to the apostles and prophets anciently
that in the last days there would be a restoration of all that had been
enjoyed in previous dispensations. The apostle Peter, speaking of the
second advent of the Messiah, prophesied as follows: "And He shall send
Jesus Christ, which before was preached unto you: whom the heaven must
receive until the times of restitution of all things, which God hath
spoken by the mouth of all His holy prophets since the world began."
(Acts iii:20, 21). This prediction is so plain that a "wayfaring man,
though a fool, need not err therein."

A restitution means bringing back that which was lost; even if God had
not spoken by the mouth of many prophets since the beginning, giving
in detail various conditions which would be restored to the earth,
this prophecy would be sufficient in itself in assuring "a restitution
of all things" to justify mankind in looking for a new dispensation
containing all the gifts and powers of the apostolic age.

These gifts and powers do not exist in the Catholic church, nor in any
Protestant denomination of modern Christendom. Nothing short of new
revelation from God will fulfill the prediction of the apostle Peter.

The twenty-second and twenty-third verses of the same prophecy read:
"For Moses truly said unto the fathers" (his prophecy here quoted
by Peter is found in Deuteronomy, 18th chapter, commencing with the
fifteenth verse), "A prophet shall the Lord your God raise up unto
you of your brethren, like unto me; Him shall ye hear in all things,
whatsoever He shall say unto you. And it shall come to pass that every
soul which will not hear that prophet shall be destroyed from among
the people." This prophecy undoubtedly refers to the Savior, but the
conditions specified were never verified at His first coming. Those
who would not hear Him were not destroyed from among the people. It
is plain therefore that the prediction must allude to His second
advent. In this connection, we refer our readers to the third chapter
of Malachi, 1 to 3, inclusive: "Behold, I will send my messenger, and
He shall prepare the way before me; and the Lord whom ye seek shall
suddenly come to His temple, even the messenger of the covenant whom ye
delight in, behold He shall come, said the Lord of hosts. But who may
abide the day of His coming? And who shall stand when He appeareth? For
He is like a refiner's fire, and like fuller's soap, and He shall sit
as a refiner and purifier of silver, and He shall purify the sons of
Levi, and purge them as gold and silver, that they may offer unto the
Lord an offering in righteousness."

These conditions did not exist when Jesus came as the Babe of
Bethlehem. The people then abode His coming. They despised Him, and
persecuted Him to the death. The sons of Levi were not purged. Many
centuries have elapsed since they offered an acceptable offering unto
the Lord, so far as we are informed in sacred or other history. The
Messiah did not come suddenly; He came as other infants came, only
under humbler circumstances, being born in a stable and cradled in a
manger. Truly does the Scripture say: "He descended below all things
that He might rise above all things." He did not come to His temple,
for He said that "the foxes had holes and birds of the air had nests,
but the Son of Man had not where to lay His head;" and again that the
temple occupied by money changers, rather than being a house of prayer,
had become a "den of thieves."

When He comes in verification of Malachi's prophecy, He will come
suddenly and in power and great glory. He will find a temple to come
to. To do this, there must be a people called of God, instructed by
revelation direct, in order to know where, when and how to erect, in
keeping with divine approval, such a sacred edifice. Such information
cannot be found in the written word of bygone ages, much less in the
writings and commentaries of learned divines who deny the necessity
of new and continuous revelation. Nothing short of a new Gospel
dispensation, ushered in and perpetuated by direct revelation from the
Lord, can fulfill the provisions of Malachi's prediction.

Passing on to chapter four of Malachi's prophecy, we find the inspired
utterances respecting the judgments of God, the burning and overthrow
of the wicked and the rising of the Son of Righteousness to those who
fear His holy name. In the fifth verse it is said: "Behold, I will send
you Elijah, the prophet, before the coming of the great and dreadful
day of the Lord." This is so definite that comments are unnecessary.
The prophet Elijah who was taken to heaven in a chariot of fire without
tasting death is doubtless referred to.

In the verse following the one quoted, the mission of Elijah is
specified to "turn the hearts of the fathers to the children and the
hearts of the children to their fathers." How consistent and glorious
such a mission! The children receiving the Gospel in a new dispensation
naturally inquire what has become of their fathers who died without the
Gospel. In other pages of this volume, referring to the redemption of
the dead, we notice more fully this prophecy and testify that Elijah
has come and also restored the keys of salvation for the dead.

Zechariah saw the time when Jerusalem should be rebuilt, and said:
"Behold, the angel that talked with me went forth and another angel
went out to meet him, and said unto him, run, speak with the young
man, saying, Jerusalem shall be inhabited as towns without walls for
the multitude of men and cattle therein." (Zech. ii:3, 4.) Continuing,
the prophet speaks of Israel coming from the North, and from Babylon,
and being gathered to their inheritances, and that God Himself "shall
dwell in the midst of thee." The Scriptures are replete with similar
prophecies pointing to the gathering of Israel to Zion and Jerusalem,
the coming of the Lord, and other important events. How any one could
believe that these glorious prophecies could be verified without more
revelation and the establishment of a new dispensation of the Gospel,
is more of a marvel to a true believer in the Bible than is believing
in prophecy, revelations, visions, miracles, etc.

In Revelations, chapter xiv, verses 6 and 7, we have the following very
clear prophecy on this important subject: "And I saw another angel fly
in the midst of heaven, having the everlasting Gospel to preach unto
them that dwell on the earth, and to every nation, and kindred, and
tongue, and people, saying with a loud voice, Fear God and give glory
to Him, for the hour of His judgment is come; and worship Him that made
heaven, and earth, and sea, and the fountains of waters." The inspired
utterance cannot have reference to an event in the age in which it was
uttered for two reasons at least: first, the people had the Gospel at
the time, and John's mission was to declare the same; second, the voice
from heaven as recorded in Rev. iv:1, 2, called to John saying, "Come
up hither, and I will shew thee things which must be hereafter."

"What is prophecy but history reversed?" Thus the book of Revelation
is one unbroken chain of prophetic history from first to last. The
declaration that an angel should come with the Gospel is proof that
the Gospel would be taken away. Again, the angel was to come in the
"hour of God's judgment," a day not at all fulfilled during the earthly
ministry of our Savior. One of the most remarkable features of the
prophecy is that the inhabitants of the earth, without exception
(every nation, kindred, tongue and people, is included in the glorious
message), are called upon to worship Him who made the heaven and earth
and the sea and the fountains of water.

When we come to the subject of personality of God, it will be our
purpose to show that the "God without body, parts, and passions"
is not the God who made the heaven and the earth, and hence the
necessity of just such an injunction as that quoted from the fourteenth
chapter of Revelation being given to the world in the last days. The
specifications of the prophecy are plain. The question which logically
follows is, "Has that angel come?" If he has not, then he must do so,
or the word of God is null and void, and this is impossible. "Not one
jot or tittle shall fall unfulfilled." "Though heaven and earth shall
pass away, my word shall never pass away."

Certainly the angel has not come to any Catholic or Protestant
ministers, for they dispute the necessity of angels. The only claim
to the reception of the heavenly message is made by Joseph Smith, the
Prophet, and his followers, who testify that the angel came to the
young man Joseph. It will not do to dismiss this claim by saying that
"false prophets shall come," for false prophets, counterfeit coin,
and every spurious imitation exists as a counterfeit to the true
article, so that the existence of false prophets is usually a very fair
indication that true prophets are not far away.

Following the coming of the angel having the Gospel to restore was to
be another, urging the Saints to come out of Babylon: "And I heard
another voice from heaven, saying, come out of her, my people, that ye
receive not of her plagues." (Rev. xviii:4.) Thus it is a gathering
dispensation, as stated by Paul in the first chapter of Ephesians. The
Savior, in speaking of the signs associated with His second coming and
the consummation of His Father's work in the last days, says: "And this
Gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in all the world for a witness
unto all nations; and then shall the end come." (Matt. xxiv:14. ) This
prophecy was uttered in connection with the stating of other signs
given by the Savior respecting His second advent, and in answer to a
question by the disciples: "Tell us when shall these things be? and
what shall be the sign of Thy coming and of the end of the world?"

"This Gospel of the kingdom;" "The Everlasting Gospel;" The Gospel
of apostles, prophets, revelations, visions, miracles and all the
gifts of the Holy Ghost. This only true Gospel could not be preached
for a witness unto all nations unless restored to earth by modern
revelations, for the religious world, so far as enjoying the true
Gospel is concerned, comes under the prophecy of Isaiah, chapter ix:2:
"For behold darkness shall cover the earth and gross darkness the
people;" and again, chapter xxiv:5: "The earth also is defiled under
the inhabitants thereof; because they have transgressed the laws,
changed the ordinances, broken the everlasting covenant," all this
going to prove the necessity of a Gospel restoration.

When Jesus taught His disciples how to pray He instructed them to say,
among other things, "Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done in earth as it
is in heaven." (Matt. vi:10.) If the kingdom referred to by Him had
come, He would not have instructed them to pray for what they already
possessed. They were looking for a future day.

On one occasion after His resurrection, the apostles asked the Savior
this question: "'Wilt Thou at this time restore again the kingdom to
Israel?' And He said unto them, it is not for you to know the times or
the seasons, which the Father hath put in His own power." (Acts i:7.)
This indicates plainly the establishment of God's kingdom at a future
period of time. We may connect with these inspired sayings of the
Savior the prophecy of Daniel, recorded in the second chapter of his
prophetic utterances. By reading from the second chapter of his book we
learn that the king of Babylon had received a dream which, having gone
from his mind, he demanded to know of the wise men; and not only the
interpretation, but the dream itself. They, of course, failed. Daniel,
the prophet, was called in, and in the spirit of a true prophet and
Saint of God acknowledged that it was not in man to reveal such things,
"But there is a God in heaven that revealeth secrets, and maketh known
to the King Nebuchadnezzar what shall be in the latter days." The image
seen in the dream is next described by Daniel as being in form like a
man, with a head of fine gold, his breast and arms of silver, his belly
and thighs of brass, his legs of iron, his feet part of iron and part
of clay. The interpretation made known that this image represented the
kingdoms of the world, beginning with Babylon, the head of gold; next
came the Medio-Persian, under Alexander the Great: then arose the Roman
empire, out of which grew the modern kingdoms of Europe, represented
by the feet and toes. Here comes the important feature of the prophecy
which was to take place in the "latter days," of which the prophet
Daniel says, "And in the days of these kings shall the God of heaven
set up a kingdom, which shall never be destroyed and the kingdom shall
not be left to other people, but it shall break in pieces and consume
all these kingdoms, and it shall stand forever."

The language of this prophecy shows: first, that unlike the preceding
kingdoms, this last named kingdom was to be set up by God Himself, in
other words, the kingdom of God, not of man. Second, unlike the other
kingdoms, it should never be destroyed. Third, it should not, like the
kingdoms of men, pass from one people to another, but should not be
left to other people. Fourth, that it should have power to break in
pieces and consume all other kingdoms.

The terms of this prophecy, and the history of God's dealings with
men since it was uttered, are such that no thoughtful, well-informed
man can suppose that this event took place at the first coming and
ministry of the Savior, for the following reasons: first, the kingdoms
represented by the toes and feet, contemporary with which the kingdom
of God was to be set up, did not exist; the Roman empire, symbolized by
the legs of iron, was that part of the image then extant. Second, the
kingdom spoken of by Daniel was not to be left to other people, whereas
the Savior Himself said to the disciples, as recorded in Matthew
xxi:43, "Therefore say I unto you, the kingdom of God shall be taken
from you and given to the nation bringing forth the fruits thereof."
To this the testimony of Paul agrees in Acts xiii:46. "Then Paul and
Barnabas waxed bold, and said, It was necessary that the word of God
should first have been spoken to you: but seeing ye put it from you,
and judge yourselves unworthy of everlasting life, lo, we turn to the

These statements taken together, as well as many other conditions
referred to, prove clearly that the kingdom spoken of by Daniel was
not established in the days of our Savior. We are thus forced to the
admission that if the kingdom of God has not come in this age, it is
yet to come. There are, however, many other prophecies relating to the
restoration of the last days, which show not merely that a restoration
has been predicted, but that the Gospel veritably has been restored
to man in this dispensation, with all the gifts and blessings which
characterized the same in the days of the Messiah; and more, that a
people are being prepared for the coming and reign of our Lord and
Savior Jesus Christ.

We have proved from the Bible prophecies that a restoration of the
Gospel in its fullness, by modern revelation, would take place in the
last days. We now desire to show that this restoration has taken place,
and that Joseph Smith, the Prophet, was the man through whom God has
established anew His Church upon the earth, after the ancient pattern,
with apostles, prophets, gifts and blessings, visions and revelations.

Joseph Smith announced to the world that he had received the visitation
of heavenly messengers, also that they conferred upon him authority to
speak and officiate in the name of the Lord with the same power and
authority received and exercised by John the Baptist and the apostle
Peter in ancient times.

Now, the prophecies quoted here could not be verified unless some one
should come to the world bearing just such a testimony as that borne by
Joseph Smith.

Furthermore, when we ask Catholic and Protestant ministers if an angel
has come to any of them with the everlasting Gospel, they answer in the
negative, and deride the idea of new revelation. Ask them if Elijah
the Prophet has come to them, to plant in the hearts of the children
the promise made to the fathers. They say no. Has the messenger spoken
of by Malachi come to you and taught you how to build a temple to the
Lord, that He may "suddenly come to His temple?" The very question
itself is treated with utter astonishment, and the man who asks it is
regarded as being erratic. We must therefore turn from sects having
forms of godliness "but denying the power thereof," to other sources to
find some one who has received, or shall receive, the revelations of
the Almighty in the last days.

One thing is certain, if the claims of the Latter-day Saints are not
true, then some one must come in the future with just such claims. We
ask the question, will the world be any better prepared to receive a
message of this character in the future than it is today? Certainly the
hearts of the people are not being prepared for such testmonies by the
influence and teachings of modern ministers. Come, dear readers, let
us reason together; let us divest our minds of all prejudice. "Prove
all things, hold fast that which is good," and ask the question, what
constitutes complete evidence that a man is a prophet of God?

To be a reliable witness in a human court, an individual must be a
person of veracity, whose honor cannot be impeached. Such a man was
Joseph Smith, the Prophet. His parents were hard-working farmers.
They had a standing in the community of virtue, honesty, industry and
sincerity in religious devotion, unexcelled by any. His forefathers
were among the early founders of New England, who came from the
"mother country" to enjoy the greater liberty of worshiping God
without molestation and according to the dictates of conscience. His
progenitors were soldiers of the Revolution. They offered their lives
freely upon the altar of liberty, for the freedom of the American
colonies and their descendants for all generations to come. From such
a line of ancestors came the Prophet Joseph Smith. If they were not
popular, nor great, nor affluent, in the eyes of the world, neither
were the immediate ancestry of Jesus and His apostles. If Joseph was
poor and earned his bread by the sweat of his brow, so did most all of
the prophets since the world began. He enjoyed the reputation, among
those who knew him best, in every state in which he lived throughout
life, of being an honest, industrious, virtuous, patriotic man. On
trumped-up charges by the enemies of truth, he was arrested and tried
thirty-nine times in courts not conducted by men of his own faith, and
thirty-nine times he was honorably acquitted. The last time he was
arrested, his enemies said, "If the law cannot reach him, powder and
lead shall." How like the experience of Jesus before Pilate! Honorably
acquitted by the judges, they cried out, "Let His blood be upon us and
our children!" And so it has been; the same is true of those who shed
the blood of the Prophet and Patriarch in these last days.

In view of the unpopularity of believing in angels and revelations
in this age, what purpose could a man have in view, to make such a
declaration, unless it was true? Joseph Smith gained no popularity
or honors of men by it; he made no wealth of a worldly character by
such a course. On the other hand, he suffered ignominy, scorn, and
persecution in almost every form, including hunger, fatigue, exile,
imprisonment and death at the hands of assassins. If it could be urged
with the least propriety that when he announced his first vision he was
so young--only about fifteen years of age (not much older than Samuel
the prophet when God called him)--that he did not realize the terrible
consequences of such a testimony, he certainly realized in a very short
time and had every opportunity to correct his assertions had they been

Human nature is not such as to maintain known errors with such
unwavering integrity and consistency against the bitter opposition of
the world from boyhood to the grave. Yet with all his increasing trials
and persecutions, which rolled upon him all his life like the angry
waves of the ocean, driven by the winds against the peaceful shore,
he never faltered. His testimony never wavered. He testified that he
saw God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ, and received of the
ministrations of John the Baptist, Peter, James and John, Elijah and
other prophets who lived in bygone ages. With an understanding of these
circumstances and a knowledge of his character, the charge of fraud and
dishonesty cannot be laid against him. If so, every prophet since the
world began can be counted a dishonest man.

The question which naturally follows in this place is: Could Joseph
Smith be mistaken? In answer we say: He was not a religious zealot. He
was a young man of a practical turn of mind. While not a skeptic, he
was reasonable, and thought that men professing to be the servants of
the Lord should give proof of their calling similar to that given by
the ancient prophets. If they had the true Gospel, with the gifts of
the Holy Ghost, they should not be full of contradictions on doctrine,
at least. This feature shows that Joseph was of a disposition not
easily deluded by the unfounded theories of men. He belonged to no
church, and like the ancient apostles, was free from preconceived
dogmas and theories. He had no system to bolster up nor pet theory to
maintain. His mind was free and of an order most likely to be selected
for the great work which the Lord assigned him.

The circumstances which led to Joseph Smith's prayer offered in the
grove near Palmyra, New York, in the spring of 1820, were these:
A great religious revival had been in progress. He attended. It
consisted of people who were Baptists, Methodists, Presbyterians, etc.,
represented in the pulpit by their respective ministers. When a convert
joined the Baptists the other ministers would say: "This is the way;
walk ye in it." And another: "This is right; follow this way." Yet
their doctrines were in conflict. He could get no light from them. In
this frame of mind he commenced to read the Scriptures. He came to the
first chapter of James, fifth and sixth verses. This reads as follows:
"If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men
liberally and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him. But let him
ask in faith, nothing wavering, for he that wavereth is like a wave
of the sea, driven with the wind and tossed. For, let not that man
think that he shall receive anything from the Lord." Joseph believed
the promise. He put it to the test. He knelt in a grove of timber, and
asked God which denomination was right. While thus engaged an unseen
power seized him, tied his tongue, as it were, and apparently would
have destroyed his life. Here are Joseph's words, quoted from the
"Pearl of Great Price," page 59: "Just at this moment of great alarm
I saw a pillar of light exactly over my head, above the brightness
of the sun, which descended gradually until it fell upon me. It no
sooner appeared than I found myself delivered from the enemy which held
me bound. When the light rested upon me I saw two personages, whose
brightness and glory defy all description, standing above me in the
air. One of them spoke unto me, calling me by name, and said (pointing
to the other), 'This is my beloved Son, Hear Him.' In answer to my
question, which of the sects were right, He answered that none of them
were, and I was forbidden of the Lord to join any of them."

This prayer was offered by an honest boy, seeking after truth, unable
to get the whole truth from men. Would the Lord suffer such a prayer to
go unanswered, or suffer this boy to be deceived by Satan? All reason,
all Scripture answers, no. "Ask and ye shall receive; knock and it
shall be opened unto you." If a son ask his father for bread "will he
give him a stone?" "If he ask for fish will he give him a serpent?" The
Savior answers, no. If it is argued that Joseph was alone and no one
else present to corroborate his testimony, we have two answers: One is
that those determined to reject such revelations will deny the veracity
of two or three men as readily as the assertion of one; the other is
that those who believe the Bible, to be consistent, if they doubt the
testimony of Joseph because he was alone, must also doubt the testimony
of Moses, who was alone when God spoke to him from the burning bush,
and again when he stood in His presence on the mount and received the
Ten Commandments. Will they doubt that Isaiah saw the Lord in the days
of King Uzziah? (Isa. vi.). Because Stephen alone saw God and His Son
in the last moments of His life, is his testimony false? Paul saw the
Savior, but the men who were with him saw Him not. Yet the Christian
world believes that Paul saw the Lord, even though other men in the
presence of Paul did not see him.

While Joseph was alone on the occasion above related, he was not alone
in all the manifestations which the Lord gave him. We have other
honest witnesses who corroborate the testimony of the Prophet Joseph
Smith, and their testimony has not been impeached. They were men of
good repute. On the 5th day of May, 1829, John the Baptist appeared
to Joseph Smith and Oliver Cowdery, laid his hands upon their heads
and conferred upon them the Aaronic Priesthood, which holds authority
to preach the principles of the Gospel and baptize in water for the
remission of sins, but not authority to administer in the laying on of
hands for the gift of the Holy Ghost. This Aaronic Priesthood was held
by John the Baptist, by Philip, who baptized the Samaritans, and by
others in the times of the apostles. Subsequent to this Peter, James
and John presented themselves to the same men, Joseph and Oliver,
conferring upon them the holy apostleship, which included authority to
organize the Church in its fullness and to open the door of the Gospel
to all nations.

Passing over the many remarkable manifestations given to the Prophet
and others, we will conclude this part of the subject by reference to
the statements of the three witnesses respecting the Book of Mormon.
Their testimony will be found in the title pages of every copy of
that sacred volume, signed with their names--Oliver Cowdery, David
Whitmer and Martin Harris. They assert that an angel appeared before
them, held in his hands the metallic plates, giving an account of the
ancient inhabitants of America; their origin, history and destiny; the
dealings of God with them; and the fullness of the Gospel as taught
by the Savior and ancient prophets on this land, from which sacred
plates the Book of Mormon is translated into English. The witnesses saw
and handled the plates, and gave their solemn testimony to the world.
Under all circumstances the witnesses maintained their testimony to
the end in private and public; to all who came to ask of them, they
told the same unchanging story. Another feature of this evidence of
these three witnesses is this: In the course of time they transgressed
the rules and regulations of the Church, and of necessity had to be
excommunicated. Having thus fallen away from their adherence to the
Church, from their association and fellowship with the Prophet Joseph
Smith, they were placed in a condition where every inducement was
presented them to deny their testimony and in this way frustrate the
scheme, if it had been false. If such a procedure had been possible
they could thereby gain the fellowship and applause of the world for
exposing to ridicule and shame the man who came to the world with a
New Dispensation. But they did not do this. Being outside the pale
of the Church, may they not be called truly disinterested witnesses,
witnesses stronger in that sense than can be produced to substantiate
the divinity of ancient Jewish Scriptures?

The writer once sat in the presence of David Whitmer and can testify
from personal contact with him that he was firm and unshaken in the
testimony which he bore to the divine authenticity of the Book of
Mormon. In David Whitmer's dying hours, when enemies of this work
may have had some hopes of his recanting, he asked the leading men
of Richmond, Mo., if they could honestly give an affidavit before an
officer that, from their acquaintance and dealings with him, he was a
man of honesty and truth. This they did, and published it. They were
men not of Mr. Whitmer's religious views. With that affidavit signed by
about twelve leading business men of the town, and the testimony of his
physician that his mind was perfectly sound, he published again to the
world his testimony that he had seen the angel, had handled the plates,
and that the Book of Mormon was the divinely translated record.

In connection with the coming forth of the Book of Mormon, a remarkable
prophecy of Isaiah has been strikingly verified: "And the vision of
all is become unto you as the words of a book that is seated which men
deliver to one that is learned, saying, Read this, I pray thee: and he
saith, I cannot; for it is sealed: and the book is delivered to him
that is not learned, saying, Read this, I pray thee: and he saith, I
am not learned." (Isaiah xxix:11, 12.) When Joseph obtained the plates
he discovered that a portion of them were sealed and learned from the
angel that the time had not come to publish that part of the volume,
but from the unsealed plates he copied some characters and sent them
by Martin Harris to a learned linguist in New York--Prof. Anthon. The
learned man examined them and gave Mr. Harris a certificate testifying
that they were true characters of Hebrew and reformed Egyptian. Before
leaving, the learned man asked Mr. Harris to bring him the plates and
he would translate them. Mr. Harris answered that he was forbidden to
do that, and also that a portion of the plates were sealed. He replied,
"I cannot read a sealed book," and asked where Joseph Smith obtained
them. When answered that an angel revealed them, he asked to see the
certificate he had given of their genuineness. It was handed him and
he tore it up in a rage, saying, "Angels do not appear nowadays." The
words of the book, not the book itself, were delivered to the learned
man, as Isaiah said they would be. He said he could not read a sealed
book, as Isaiah said he would say. The book itself was delivered to
Joseph, the unlettered youth, and in his humility he said, I am not
learned; but God gave the gift of translation, that it should be done;
not by the wisdom and learning of men, but by the power of God.

Other Bible prophecies might be quoted referring to the Book of Mormon,
but our purpose at present is not to treat upon that sacred record, but
incidentally to show that its coming forth furnishes strong evidence
that Joseph Smith was a Prophet of God. How it would be possible for
an unsophisticated youth to devise a scheme that would answer in its
workings so minutely the details of ancient prophecy, unless God
inspired him, should require far more credulity to believe than it
would that he was sent of God, and thus attribute to the Almighty the
honor for the great work.

With this array of corroborating witnesses, and the practical character
of Joseph Smith, we do not see the possibility of his being mistaken
any more than were Paul, Stephen, Moses, Peter, James and John and all
the ancient prophets. It should be remembered that God has His own
way and does not show Himself openly to all the people, but to chosen
witnesses. "Him God raised up the third day, and showed Him openly, not
to all the people, but to witnesses chosen before God." (Acts x:40, 41.)

We come now to another phase of evidence that the Gospel has been
restored, namely, that the organization of the Church as established
by the Prophet Joseph Smith, and also the doctrines taught by him, are
in perfect accord with the teachings of the Bible. The proof of this
is given in other chapters of this volume. The evidence there given of
the divine mission of Joseph Smith is all the stronger when we take
into consideration the fact that for seventeen centuries learned men
have been organizing churches and teaching what they esteemed to be
the essentials of salvation, without being able from the fragmentary
teachings of the apostles to organize a church with apostles, prophets,
seventies, etc. The force of this condition is also enhanced when we
recall that each generation of reformers has possessed the advantages
arising from the experience and conclusions of each generation
preceding them. Neither has been able to unite upon the principles
essential for mankind to obey in order to secure salvation.

Joseph Smith presents to the world a system which is a monument of
inspiration, both as to the scriptural evidence that the organization
is divine and in the fact that the practical workings thereof are
perfect. He does not stop at this. He says to his followers that on
condition of their acceptance of faith in God and in His Son, Jesus
Christ, repentance from all sin, baptism by immersion for the remission
of sins, and the laying on of hands by Elders of the Church of Jesus
Christ of Latter-day Saints, they shall receive the Holy Ghost, and
that the fruits thereof are the same as in olden times; they shall
prophesy, speak in tongues, have dreams, visions, revelations,
healings and miracles. There are in the Church today 310,000 souls.
Of this number many are children, but the thousands who have arrived
at the years of accountability have put the promise to the test, and
the universal testimony of these people is that they have received
knowledge of God for themselves. The tens of thousands, also, who have
passed from life, since the date of the organization of the Church
(1830), received the same testimony.

During the troubles of the Saints in Illinois, judge Stephen A. Douglas
was an acquaintance of Joseph Smith and his people. He knew the
injustice heaped upon them by his personal acquaintance with the facts.
While in the presence of judge Douglas and others, the judge requested
the Prophet to give him a history of the persecutions in Missouri,
which he did. While addressing the judge the Prophet said: "Judge, you
will aspire to the presidency of the United States; and if you ever
turn your hand against me or the Latter-day Saints, you will feel the
weight of the hand of the Almighty upon you; and you will live to see
and know that I have testified the truth to you; for the conversation
of this day will stick to you through life." (_Deseret News_, Sept.
24th, 1856.)

Judge Douglas aspired, as stated, to the Presidency of the United
States, and was nominated for that position on June 23d, 1860, at
the Democratic convention held in Charleston. When he thus aspired
he was a popular man, eloquent and gifted, and no one seemed to have
brighter hopes of success. However, in his mistaken effort to win
popular approval, in a speech delivered in Springfield, Illinois, June
12th, 1857, he, in defiance of his own knowledge of the Latter-day
Saints and their character, said: "The knife must be applied to this
pestiferous, body politic. It must be cut out by the roots and seared
over by the red-hot iron of stern and unflinching law." Much more
he uttered against the Latter-day Saints, in harmony with misguided
public sentiment. When the election came Douglas was badly defeated.
Of the electoral votes he had but twelve. He carried but one state.
Feeling "the weight of the hand of the Almighty upon him," he died a
disappointed, heart-broken man, in less than a year, in the prime of
life, being but forty-eight years of age. Thus the word of the Lord was
fulfilled with terrible accuracy.

Again Joseph said: "I prophesied that the Saints would continue to
suffer much affliction and would be driven to the Rocky Mountains;
many would apostatize, others would be put to death by our persecutors
or lose their lives in consequence of exposure and disease; and some
of you will live to go and assist in making settlements and build
cities and see the Saints become a mighty people in the midst of the
Rocky Mountains." (_Mill. Star_, Vol. xix., page 630.) The Saints
did continue to suffer much persecution, some did apostatize, others
did die of exposure, disease and privation. Others were put to death
by persecutors; some lived to go to the Rocky Mountains. They have
assisted there in building cities, towns and temples, in making a
great commonwealth, and the Saints have become a mighty people in the
midst of these mountains. They attract the attention of the world. "A
city set on a hill cannot be hid." These prophecies, uttered by Joseph
Smith, have come to pass, as have many others, and that, too, contrary
to all human prospects. All his prophecies not yet verified relate to
future times, and will come to pass as literally and exactly as those
of the past or those of any other prophet since the world began, for
God inspired and Joseph spoke.

Having finished his mission, accomplished all in the flesh the Lord
gave him to do, the Prophet Joseph Smith suffered the shedding of his
blood at the hands of a wicked mob, June 27th, 1844, in Carthage,
Illinois. Why was he slain? His doctrine, his promises, his life, his
prophecies, all proved him to be a prophet of God before he died a
martyr. Let the Scriptures answer the question: "For where a testament
is, there must also of a necessity be the death of the testator." (Heb.
ix:16.) God gave to the world through Joseph Smith a new testament of
the plan of salvation. He gave the Book of Mormon, a record of the
Gospel to the ancient inhabitants of America. He gave the Doctrine
and Covenants, containing the revelations of God to the Saints of the
last days. These do not supplant the Bible. They prove it true, and
all agree in one. "In the mouth of two or three witnesses shall every
word be established." Through Joseph, to this generation, came the
witness of the Holy Ghost and the authority of the Holy Priesthood. By
the continuation of that authority the Church exists today, with the
Prophet Joseph F. Smith as its earthly living head. Every Elder of the
Church can trace his authority back directly to Joseph Smith, who was
ordained by the apostles Peter, James and John, who received it from
the hands of the Lord Jesus Christ.

Joseph Smith's testimony is weighty. It effects the whole world. The
evidence must also be weighty, and it can now be said that no class
of evidence was withheld. He gave all that any Prophet ever gave,
including life itself. He sealed his testimony with his blood and his
testimony is in force upon all the world. The sealing of his testimony
with his blood also accords with ancient prophecy. John the Revelator
was called into a high mountain to see the visions of the future. Read
(Rev. iv:1). Also, among other things, the apostle says: "And when he
had opened the fifth seal, I saw under the altar the souls of them
that were slain for the word of God, and for the testimony which they
held: And they cried with a loud voice, saying: How long, O Lord, holy
and true, dost thou not judge and avenge our blood on them that dwell
on the earth? And white robes were given unto every one of them; and
it was said unto them, that they should rest yet for a little season,
until their fellow servants also and their brethren, that should be
killed as they were, should be fulfilled." (Rev. vi:9-11.)

Joseph Smith, the great Prophet of the last days, and his martyred
brother, the Patriarch Hyrum Smith, were among these fellow servants
who were to be slain. They have fulfilled this last requirement of
their earthly existence. Their testimony is true, attested by every
evidence that man could give or the world require. That testimony
is binding upon all the world. The Gospel has been restored to man,
through Joseph Smith, in all its fullness. Will men obey the divine
message? A proper answer by every individual is of the greatest


The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is the organization
through which the Lord is accomplishing the declaration of the Gospel
in the last days, gathering Israel, administering the ordinances of
salvation, and, in short, is accomplishing the work of redemption--that
accomplishment which has been predicted by the mouths of all His holy
prophets since the world began. The Church is called the Church of
Jesus Christ because it is His. He directed how and when to organize
it, pointing out by direct revelation the manner of Church government;
the principles and ordinances of the Gospel; the blessings to be
enjoyed by those who obey Him, and also the respective duties of each
quorum or council of the Holy priesthood. The words "Latter-day Saints"
are used to distinguish it from the former-day dispensation, or from
the Church of Jesus Christ of Former-day Saints.

The authority of God delegated to man is called the Holy priesthood.
This priesthood is arranged under two great heads. The lesser branch is
called the Levitical or Aaronic, because it was conferred upon Aaron
and his posterity. It holds the keys of the administration of angels,
administering the outward ordinances of the Gospel, such as "baptism
by immersion for the remission of sins," the sacrament of the Lord's
supper, the receiving and distribution of tithes and offerings, all
subject to the direction of the high priesthood. The officers in the
Aaronic priesthood consist of Bishops, Priests, Teachers and Deacons.
There is a presiding Bishop, who holds the keys of this priesthood,
also other Bishops, who preside over the interests of the lesser
priesthood in Wards or Branches, looking after the temporal interests
of the Saints. The Priests are standing ministers, organized into
quorums of forty-eight in each.

The duty of the Priest is to visit the home of each member, expound
the Scripture, invite all to come unto Christ and exhort the Saints to
perform every duty enjoined by the Gospel.

Teachers are organized into quorums of twenty-four each. The duty of
those bearing this office is to see that the Saints do their duty and
entertain no ill-feelings toward their fellow-beings, and that no
iniquity exists in the Church. These general duties, common to all
Saints, consist in living a chaste, honest, upright, temperate and
industrious life, attending to secret and family prayers, attendance at
meetings of worship, partaking of the sacrament, the payment of tithes
and offerings, observing the Sabbath day, and kindred obligations, all
made plain in the revelations of God to the Church.

The Deacons are organized into quorums of twelve each, and are to
assist the Teacher in all the duties of his calling, as occasion
may require, but their especial duty is to look after the houses of
worship, keep them clean, see to the arrangement of seats and the
seating of the people in public assemblies of worship, and such other
labors under the direction of the Bishop as may conduce to the welfare
of the Church.

The Melchisedek or higher priesthood holds the keys to the kingdom of
heaven. It has the power to seal on earth, and what is done is sealed
in heaven; to loose on earth and it is loosed in heaven; to receive
the revelations of God; to guide the Church in all things, and to
understand the mysteries of godliness as far as they are revealed to
men in the flesh. In ancient times these keys and fullness of authority
were given to Peter when the Savior said to him: "And I give unto thee
the keys of the kingdom of heaven." (Matt. xvi:19.)

The offices of this priesthood consist of the First Presidency, a
quorum of three, bearing the holy apostleship, and as the organization
of the Church on earth typifies the heavenly, these three symbolize the
Father, Son and Holy Ghost, and hold the keys of authority over all
departments of the Church, on all matters, spiritual and temporal, even
as the Godhead is the great ruling power of the universe, the heavens
and the earth and all that in them is.

Next come the Twelve Apostles, who hold the keys of opening the door
of salvation to all nations, kindreds, tongues and peoples. The reason
that this quorum numbers twelve is in honor of the twelve tribes of
Israel. Jesus said to the Twelve at Jerusalem: "Thou shalt sit upon
twelve thrones, judging the whole house of Israel;" and again, upon
the foundations of the heavenly Jerusalem were to be the names of the
"Twelve Apostles of the Lamb." The Church in government is "built upon
the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ Himself being
the chief corner stone." (Eph. ii:19, 20.) The duty of the Twelve
is to carry the Gospel to all nations and to send the same by their
associates, the Seventies.

The Seventies are organized into quorums of seventy in each, presided
over by seven of their number. Their especial calling is, like that of
the Twelve, to be witnesses of the truth in all the world, and they are
the ones especially appointed to associate with the Twelve in conveying
the Gospel message to all mankind.

The office of High Priest is one of presidency. The High Priests are
not limited to any especial number to constitute a quorum, but any
number existing in a Stake of Zion is a quorum, presided over by three
of their members. High Priests are chosen to preside over Stakes of
Zion, to act as High Counselors, preside over temples, officiate in the
ordinances of the house of the Lord, and, where the literal descendants
of Aaron are not found, the High Priest is chosen to officiate in the
Bishopric. Where men are found among the Seventies or Elders in any
Ward or Stake, more suitable to fill a vacancy in the Ward Bishopric,
Stake Presidency, or High Council, than the resident High Priests, such
men are selected and ordained to the office of High Priest.

As standing ministers in Wards and Stakes the office of Elder exists,
and a quorum of Elders numbers ninety-six. They have authority to
preach the Gospel, baptize, confirm, administer the sacrament, anoint,
and lay on hands for the healing of the sick, but differ from the
Seventies in not being under the especial duty of traveling abroad to
preach the Gospel. They have authority, however, as do High Priests, to
travel abroad and preach the Gospel when called by the Presidency of
the Church.

There is in the Church a presiding Patriarch, and other Patriarchs
in all the Stakes of Zion. The duty of this high office is to impart
blessings to the Saints of God. In presenting the general authorities
of the Church the name of the Patriarch is presented next to the Twelve

The general authorities of the Church, presented for the acceptance of
the Church at every general conference, are the Presidency, the Twelve
Apostles, the Patriarch, the Seven Presidents of Seventies, and the
Presiding Bishopric of the Church. The names of the officers in the
Priesthood are Apostles, Patriarchs, High Priests, Seventies, Elders,
Bishops, Priests, Teachers and Deacons.

When difficulties arise between members of the Church and they fail to
settle by themselves and the assistance of one or two witnesses, as the
Savior directs, the Bishopric of the Ward form an ecclesiastical court,
to which the disputants can refer their difficulties. If the decision
is unsatisfactory to either party, there is a court of appeal in each
Stake, called the High Council, consisting of twelve High Priests
presided over by the Presidency of the Stake. From their decision an
appeal can be had to the Presidency of the Church, which is the end of
controversy. Trials by these courts are conducted free of charge. They
are to exercise the functions of their calling without partiality and
with the fear of God before their eyes, and to be guided by the Spirit
of the Lord in their conclusions.

In the selection of any and all officers in the Church, the Saints have
a voice. "No person is to be ordained to any office in this church,
where there is a regularly organized branch of the same, without
the vote of that church." (Doctrine and Covenants, section xx, 65.)
"And all things shall be done by common consent in the Church, by
much prayer and faith, for all things you shall receive by faith."
(Doctrine and Covenants, section xxvi, 2.) The Gospel is a perfect
law of liberty, and no people upon the earth have broader freedom and
a stronger voice in government, religious or otherwise, than do the
Latter-day Saints in the governmental and all other affairs of the

The reader is referred to the revelations of God, given in the last
days to the Prophet Joseph Smith, for a more perfect understanding of
the offices and duties thereof, pertaining to the Church of Christ.
They are to be found in the Book of Doctrine and Covenants. These
revelations throw great light upon the fragmentary statements of the
New Testament, because in the latter no one can learn the relationship
of one quorum in the Church to another, nor the explicit duties of the
respective offices in the Holy Priesthood.

This Church was organized on the 6th of April, 1830, as far as could
be, with the limited membership of six men--Joseph Smith, Jr., Hyrum
Smith, Oliver Cowdery, Samuel H. Smith, Peter Whitmer, Jr., and David
Whitmer. It was truly "a grain of mustard seed, the smallest of all
seeds," in comparison with other organizations. A less number could
not have been organized under the laws of New York. The great founder,
under God, of this Church, had never belonged to any other. It was not
an off-shoot of Catholic or Protestant, but as "a little stone cut out
of the mountains without hands," it bore no relationship to any human
system; and as the stone should increase in velocity as it rolled on,
so has the Church grown in magnitude from the "mustard seed" to a great
tree. It is believed by the Saints that the Savior was born on the 6th
of April, and that the organization of this Church commemorates that
great event.

On the 11th of April, 1830, Oliver Cowdery preached the first Gospel
discourse of this dispensation. Soon branches of the Church were raised
up in New York and Pennsylvania. Men were brought into the fold who
later filled notable places in the Church. Brigham Young, John Taylor,
Wilford Woodruff, Lorenzo Snow and other leading men embraced the
Gospel between 1830 and 1837. The Book of Mormon had been translated
and published to the world previously. News of the new dispensation was
heralded abroad by friend and foe. At that time many were prepared to
embrace the Gospel, for the Lord had shown unto them that the Gospel in
its fullness and purity did not exist in the Catholic and Protestant
systems of so-called Christianity. The ministration of heavenly beings
had been renewed, and during the entire lifetime of Joseph Smith he was
the recipient of messages from the eternal worlds.

Persecution arose, and bitter opposition was arrayed against the
Church. The Prophet was at times waylaid by wicked men, and sometimes
arrested upon unfounded, trumped-up charges. From all these he was
delivered until the time came for him to offer his life as a martyr.

In the fall of 1830 Oliver Cowdery, Parley P. Pratt, John Whitmer
and Ziba Peterson were called to carry the Gospel to the Indians
(Lamanites), located in what was then the western wilds of these United
States. Near Kirtland, Ohio, they met Sidney Rigdon and other followers
of Alexander Campbell. The Elders presented to them the restored
Gospel, with the Book of Mormon. Many of them received the truth, and
the town of Kirtland became a gathering place for the Saints. Joseph
Smith, the Prophet, removed to that point, and the Church as a body was
chiefly located there as early as 1831.

In the meantime the future site of the chief city of Zion was
designated by revelation to the Prophet, dedicated and set apart for
the gathering of the Saints. In 1832 the first periodical in the
Church was published, the _Evening and Morning Star_, at Independence,
Missouri. The press and property of this publication were subsequently
destroyed by a mob. Persecution in Missouri became very bitter. Many of
the Saints were treated with bodily violence, their houses and property
destroyed by fire and themselves expelled from the county by armed mobs.

During this time Kirtland was being built up. The Lord required the
Saints to build a temple, in which to receive sacred ordinances for the
salvation of the living and the dead. To this labor they devoted their
energies, and notwithstanding their poverty the temple was completed
and ready for dedication in March, 1836. Joseph Smith, the Prophet,
translated by inspiration the New Testament, completing the work Feb.
2, 1833. Five months later he finished the translation of the Old
Testament, so far as the Lord indicated the necessity of so doing. The
_Latter-day Saints' Messenger and Advocate_ was published in Kirtland.
The Church, though organized by the authority of the apostleship, did
not contain sufficient adherents at first to organize the councils of
the priesthood, so as time went on and numbers increased, the Lord
would indicate when and how to organize these quorums. The quorum of
High Priests was organized in Kirtland, March 18, 1833. The Presidency
and High Council of the Church were organized Feb. 17, 1834. That of
the Seventies commenced Feb. 28, 1835. Thus from time to time, as the
Church grew and developed, the Lord made plain by revelation how to
organize every quorum, and finally Stakes of Zion and branches thereof
and branches scattered abroad.

On Aug. 17, 1835, the Book of Doctrine and Covenants, containing the
revelations of the Lord to the Church up to that date, was accepted
as a rule of faith and practice. Between that date and the martyrdom
of the Prophet many revelations were given, but owing to the poverty
and unsettled condition of the Church all of them were not published
until subsequent to the decease of the Prophet. During the troubles in
Missouri, a body of men called "Zion's Camp" left Kirtland May 5, 1834,
to carry supplies and relieve the distress of their co-religionists,
who had been exiled from their homes in Independence, Missouri. They
performed the arduous journey on foot, through the wildernesses of
Indiana, Illinois and Missouri, accomplished their mission and returned
to Ohio.

Early in the year 1836 the ordinances of blessing and anointing were
attended to in the Kirtland temple, and that sacred edifice was
dedicated to the Lord March 27, 1836. In the temple the gifts of the
Holy Ghost were poured out in abundance. Many saw visions. The Savior,
Moses, Elias and Elijah appeared to Joseph Smith and Oliver Cowdery.
Previous to this, Joseph's first visit was a personal visit of the
Father and the Son. Again on Feb. 16, 1832, the Savior appeared to
Joseph Smith and Sidney Rigdon, and revealed to them the glories of
the celestial, terrestrial and telestial worlds, and the suffering and
condemnation of these who are unworthy a kingdom of glory. In 1837,
during the financial panic, a great apostasy took place in Kirtland,
which involved the standing of several of the Twelve Apostles.
Persecution raged in Missouri.

Elders Kimball, Hyde and Richards introduced the Gospel into England
and performed their first baptism July 30th, 1837, in the river Ribble.
From that time until the present date a prosperous mission has been
conducted in Great Britain. Thousands have joined the Church in that
land and gathered to Zion. Subsequently John Taylor introduced the
Gospel into France, and with others, into Germany; Erastus Snow into
Scandinavia, and Lorenzo Snow into Italy; and from these countries,
especially Germany and Scandinavia, thousands have come to swell the
ranks of the Latter-day Saints. Into each of these tongues, and others,
the Book of Mormon has been translated in fulfillment of prophecy.

The Gospel continued to spread in Canada, where it had been introduced
by Parley P. Pratt, also in the United States and Europe. Persecution
raged in Ohio and Missouri. The Saints as a body left Kirtland July
6th, 1838, for Missouri, chiefly locating at Far West, Caldwell county.
In the fall of that year, Apostle David W. Patten fell a martyr at the
hands of a mob on Crooked river; Joseph, Hyrum and others had been
sent to prison without trial or conviction; yet the work prospered and
spread abroad. During these sore trials, when death to the Prophet and
others appeared inevitable, he prophesied their safe deliverance from
the mob in Missouri.

While Joseph and Hyrum were yet in prison, Presidents Young and Kimball
led the suffering Saints to Illinois, where they established the famed
city of Nauvoo. To that point Joseph and his brethren made their escape
and enjoyed a brief respite from mobocracy. The Prophet predicted,
however, that Nauvoo would not be a resting place of the Saints for a
great length of time. In keeping with this inspiration, he prophesied
on Aug. 6th, 1842, of their coming location and greatness in the Rocky
Mountains. He also prepared an expedition to explore the West, but died
a martyr before its consummation.

Although Nauvoo was a sickly place, the industry of the Saints was
attended with the blessings of divine Providence, and the city grew
with magic speed. A temple was soon commenced. A charter was obtained
from the State Legislature to establish a university, and prosperity
almost unparalleled characterized the labors of the people. However,
the combination of political intrigue and religious bigotry on the
part of religious professors, coupled with transgressing apostates,
soon conspired to spread death and destruction among the Saints. In
Missouri, at Haun's mill and elsewhere, many had been shot down in cold
blood, property was burned, and the whole people exiled from the state.

In Illinois further trouble was inaugurated by Missourians. They sought
on one occasion to kidnap the Prophet, but failed. Fabricated charges
were made against the Prophet. He was tried as before, and every time
acquitted. When his last trial was being conducted, the mob (like the
rabble in the halls of Pilate) said that if the law could not touch
him, powder and lead should. Their nefarious purposes were permitted to
be carried out, and on June 27th, 1844, Joseph and Hyrum, while under
the pledged protection of Gov. Ford, were assassinated by a howling mob
in Carthage jail, Hancock county, Illinois. Previous to his martyrdom,
the Prophet Joseph had received more than one hundred revelations,
had been instrumental in organizing the Church in its fullness, and
bestowing the keys of the kingdom of God upon the Twelve Apostles.
To Nauvoo were gathered thousands of people from the several states,
Canada and Great Britain. At the time of the Prophet's martyrdom the
Twelve were abroad on missions, with the exception of Elders John
Taylor and Willard Richards, who were with the Prophet and Patriarch at
the time of the martyrdom, Elder Taylor himself being wounded with four

While the Saints were in Missouri the Lord commanded that they should
importune the officers of the law in the districts where the trouble
occurred, and not being heeded, should appeal to the governor, thence
to the president of the United States. All this was done, without
avail. The president answered their appeal by saying, "Gentlemen, your
cause is just, but I can do nothing for you." Governors of states were
written to, to use their influence to avert the wrongs heaped upon the
Saints, but from one or two only came a favorable response. On the
failure of the states and nation to protect their own citizens against
mob violence and plunder, the Lord promised to vex the nation with a
sore vexation. This was done in the hundreds of thousands of lives and
the millions in treasure lost in the Civil War. The outbreak of this
war was revealed by the Lord to Joseph twenty-eight years before it
came to pass, and published to the world as early as 1851.

The Church was not founded by men, nor did it depend upon any
particular man or set of men for strength, growth or progress. God has
rounded and protected and is perpetuating His Church on the earth, so
that when the Prophet passed to the life beyond, the work continued and
grew with great rapidity. It is said, and truly, that "the blood of the
martyr is the seed of the Church."

President Brigham Young and his associates of the Twelve, according to
the voice of the Spirit and the order of the Holy Priesthood, succeeded
to the Presidency of the Church. The work of the Lord continued to
prosper, contrary to the prediction of its enemies that when the
Prophet Joseph was out of the way the work would come to naught. The
foundation of a temple had been laid which was pushed to completion,
dedicated to the Lord, and ordinances performed therein. Mobocratic
hostilities were renewed, however, with determined vigor. Nauvoo was
besieged. The temple was burned and Elder William Anderson and his son
killed. The Saints were expelled at the point of the bayonet. They
had a flourishing city in an incredibly short time. They were quiet,
peaceable, law-abiding, industrious citizens. The killing of their
leading men, the burning of their homes, the numerous indignities
heaped upon them, were as dastardly and cold-blooded as any persecution
chronicled in the annals of history, especially when we consider
that it occurred in a free country, where liberty for every race and
religion is the proud boast of its people. Many of the people left
Nauvoo in the dead of winter, 1845-6, crossing the Mississippi river
on the ice. The day after the general exodus, nine children were born
in the camp of the exiled people. Under the leadership of President
Young and his associates, the Saints moved westward across the state of
Iowa and built up a settlement called Winter Quarters, where the people
remained to recruit until 1847. While there the government called on
the Saints for five hundred men to engage in the war with Mexico. These
were promptly supplied, and the most able-bodied men were sent to
defend their country.

In the spring of 1847, President Young and a small company numbering
143, including three women, started from the Missouri river to find
beyond the Rocky Mountains a place of rest, where they might build and
inhabit homes and worship God "free from the furious rage of mobs."
After an interesting and trying journey of about three months this
noble band of pioneers entered Salt Lake valley July 24th, 1847, over
a thousand miles from the Mississippi river. As they emerged from
the mouth of what was afterwards named Emigration Canyon, they stood
upon a plateau facing westward. To the north and south a great valley
extended, bordered on the west by mountains and a great inland sea of
salt water, the Great Salt Lake. The islands in the lake are mountains
almost destitute of timber, but supplied with grass suitable for the
grazing of horses and cattle. The valley was poorly watered, and dry
and sterile was the appearance of the country before them. But God was
their leader. He had shown to President Young beforehand the Salt Lake
Valley. When the pioneer band entered the valley the Prophet said,
"This is the place. Here we will build a city." When they came upon the
ground where the temple now stands, President Young, thrusting his cane
into the ground, said in substance, "Here we will stay, and upon this
ground we will build a temple."

All the events conducing to the growth and development of the valleys
prove that President Brigham Young knew whereof he spoke, and God has
confirmed his words by the many blessings of divine Providence showered
upon the people in building up a commonwealth in what was in those
days a great barren waste. The soil upon which the Saints then stood
belonged to Mexico. Those pioneers were as truly exiles from their
country as were the Puritans who sailed the trackless ocean and planted
their feet upon Plymouth Rock. And yet the Latter-day Saints then had
five hundred men in the American army, in the contest with Mexico.
Upon a prominent mountain peak, called Ensign, the "Mormon" pioneers
planted the Stars and Stripes, the flag of their country, and possessed
the land as citizens of the United States. Upon the arrival of this
first company the work of plowing and building immediately commenced.
It would take volumes to tell the history of the growth and progress
of the Saints from that time till now; but this wondrous recital is
written upon the mountains and in the valleys, which are open to the
inspection of all people.

In the fall of 1847 a large company of Saints crossed the plains,
led by President John Taylor and other prominent men. The companies
continued to pour into Salt Lake valley and spread into the valleys
north and south each year from 1847 to 1900, coming as Latter-day
Saints, under the regulations of the Church. The leading brethren
had made covenant that they would not cease their energies until all
the Saints who would remain faithful should be gathered to the place

Before the death of Prophet Joseph many had apostatized. The Saints
were not so well established in doctrine as they are today, and
some were led astray by the pretensions of prominent men who were
disposed to leave the Church and follow their own course. The Twelve
Apostles stood next in authority to the Presidency of the Church
by the order pointed out in the revelations of God and at the time
when Sidney Rigdon was asserting his claims to the guardianship
of the Church, President Young stood up to address the Saints. A
remarkable manifestation of God's power took place. President Young
was transfigured before the people. He appeared to increase in height
and in form of his face and body to the exact personal appearance of
the Prophet Joseph Smith. When he spoke his voice was as that of the
martyred Prophet. People who were present on that occasion say that
if their eyes had been closed when he arose from his seat they would
have believed the speaker to be none other than the Martyr. Truly
the mantle of Joseph had fallen upon Brigham, and while Joseph had
received all the keys of the priesthood, he had bestowed them upon
the Twelve, also the revelations upon which to build the Church of
Christ. President Young truly built upon these revelations during his
entire administration. In 1849, at Winter Quarters, he was sustained as
President of the Church by the unanimous voice of the priesthood, Heber
C. Kimball and Willard Richards then being chosen Counselors and so
endorsed by the voice of the Church thereafter at general conferences
during the remainder of their lifetimes. President Young presided over
the Church as the senior Apostle for thirty-three years, five years in
connection with the Twelve and twenty-eight years in the Presidency.

Soon after the settlement of the Saints in Salt Lake valley, other
valleys were explored north and south, and settlements established
wherever water could be obtained, as rapidly as the strength and
numbers of the Saints would justify. As early as 1860 settlements
were rounded and the Saints organized in Wards and quorums of the
priesthood, from Cache valley to St. George, a distance of over 400
miles from north to south. Wherever the Saints locate in settlements
of a few families, or more, they are organized with a Bishop and
counselors to preside over them, with Priests, Teachers and Deacons,
as before explained, for a local ministry. As helps in government
they had in those early days the Relief Society to relieve the poor
and afflicted. The society is composed of women, and was first
organized March 17, 1842, by the Prophet Joseph Smith, in Nauvoo. In
1849 the first Sunday school was established in the Church by Richard
Ballantyne, in the Fourteenth Ward, Salt Lake City. Later, and during
the administration of President Young, the Young Men and Young Ladies'
Mutual Improvement Associations were inaugurated. Still later, by
suggestion of Sister Aurelia Spencer Rogers, under the administration
of President John Taylor, the Primary Associations, presided over
and conducted by capable sisters, were established for the especial
benefit of little children. All these are helpful regulations to meet
the growing requirements of the Saints in matters of religious, moral
and intellectual training and development. One of these organizations
exists in every Bishop's Ward, unless the number of any class who
properly belong to one of the associations named is too limited to make
the organization profitable. In such cases those who would take part
in such associations are not unprovided for because the Sunday school,
more than any other association in the Church, takes in all ages of
both sexes. Our Sunday schools now have a membership of nearly 125,000.

Where there are a sufficient number of Wards, in any section of
the country, these Wards are presided over by a President and two
counselors, with a High Council, who have certain jurisdiction
over matters pertaining to the Church in this group of Wards. The
associations, Sunday schools, societies, etc., have a general
superintendency of three, with assistants. This organization, composed
of the Wards, is called a Stake of Zion. For convenience sake, the
geographical boundaries of the Stake are usually the same as those of
the county, but not always, or necessarily so. Sometimes the population
of two or three counties is not too great to be one Stake, where
the settlements are close together, or not separated by mountains,
which would render the attendance of the people at Stake conferences,
especially in the winter season, very laborious, and in some instances
almost impossible. We have now fifty Stakes of Zion. They extend
from Canada to Mexico. They exist in Utah, Idaho, Arizona, Wyoming,
Colorado, Canada and Mexico. Many of them were organized just prior to
the decease of President Young, the remainder under his successors,
respectively: Presidents Taylor, Woodruff, Snow and Smith.

April 6th, 1853, the Temple in Salt Lake City was commenced. It is
constructed of granite. The rock was hauled, the first fifteen years,
with ox teams, a distance of sixteen miles, two yoke of oxen frequently
being required to draw one huge stone. But many years before the
completion of the Temple, the locomotive, with many ear loads of stone
at a time, rolled into the Temple block and left its cargo by the side
of the growing edifice. The capstone of this magnificent house of the
Lord was laid by electricity. The current was applied by the finger of
God's Prophet, Wilford Woodruff, then eighty-four years of age, and one
of that noble band of one hundred forty-three who entered Salt Lake
valley July 24th, 1847. President Young was instrumental in laying the
foundation of four temples in Utah, at Salt Lake, St. George, Logan
and Manti. All have been, years ago, completed; the Salt Lake Temple
being dedicated April 6th, 1893, by President Wilford Woodruff. The
ordinances of salvation for the living and the dead are performed in
the temples, and tens of thousands have been officiated for since their

Subsequent to the exodus of the Church from Nauvoo to Salt Lake valley,
the Gospel was introduced to the Pacific Isles by President George Q.
Cannon and other Elders in 1853. In the work of preaching the Gospel
many countries have not yet accorded perfect religious freedom, and to
penetrate these the Church awaits only the provinces of the Almighty
to break down the barriers and make it feasible to promulgate the
Gospel in those countries. In other lands, where freedom reigns, the
Elders have carried the glorious message. The Book of Mormon has been
translated into German, Danish, Swedish, French, Spanish, Italian,
Hawaiian, Maori and other tongues, and will continue to be given to
the world until the truths of the Gospel upon its sacred pages shall
be read by every nation, kindred, tongue and people. The thousands who
have embraced the work with honest motives have received the witness
of the Holy Spirit to their own satisfaction. Gifts and blessings
which the ancient saints enjoyed have been renewed in this glorious

The external history of the Church has been the same as in other times.
"If ye were of the world, the world would love its own; but because ye
are not of the world, therefore the world hateth you." "And they that
live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution." Prophecy has been
and is being fulfilled. "What is prophecy but history reversed?"

History repeats itself. When Joseph Smith promulgated a new revelation,
religious and irreligious fought against such an idea. Professional
religionists seek to prove by the Scriptures that revelations are not
for our day. In this they fail, because the Old and New Testaments
abound in predictions of future revelations and events which cannot
be filled without revelation. The wicked have resorted to slander,
ridicule and falsehood, then to violence, resulting in the destruction
of property and human life. All this being futile, they moved the
nation by the falsehoods of Judge Drummond to send an army to Utah.
But when the army came they found that this United States officer
had basely deceived the president of the nation, by telling that the
Mormons were in a state of rebellion and had burned the court records,
these being found unharmed. The Mormons were at peace with God and all
mankind, quietly minding their own business, pursuing their vocations
of life and building up the country for the benefit and blessing of all
who should come within their gates. The army came to Utah in 1857, and
subsequently returned East, going chiefly to the South, their leading
officer, Gen. Albert Sidney Johnston, taking part with the Confederate
army in the great rebellion. He fell upon the battlefield of Shiloh,
April 6th, 1862, thirty-two years to the day after the Church was born
in this dispensation. The army sold to the Mormons mules, wagons,
harness and other materials much needed, at a mere nominal figure, and
thus being a blessing, proved the words of Isaiah true, "I will make
the wrath of man to praise me."

As the Saints grew in prosperity and importance, avarice and prejudice
seized political demagogues, adventurers and religious bigots, to stir
the nation to a systematic effort to crush out "Mormonism." Special
legislation was enacted and enforced beyond the severity of its own
provisions. About eight hundred men went to prison; a few women were
incarcerated because they would not testify against their husbands;
heavy fines were paid and hundreds went into exile rather than prove
untrue to the solemn covenants and obligations they had entered into
under their religious convictions. Finally confiscation of Church
property took place, but most of it was afterwards restored. In 1890
President Woodruff issued his manifesto regarding plural marriage,
feeling that the courts of the country had abused justice in denying
the Saints the liberty of religious worship granted by the American

In this form of opposition to the Church, a prophecy of Joseph Smith
is fulfilled, in which he said, in substance, that persecution against
the Saints would extend from township to county, from county to state,
and from state to nation. His words have been literally fulfilled. The
Saints, in enduring persecution, did so with patience and forbearance.
They have no spirit of revenge. They understand that much of the
popular sentiment against them is based upon misunderstanding, rounded
in the falsehood of wicked and designing men. The spirit of the Gospel
teaches them that it is better to suffer wrong than to do wrong, and
that patience and charity are as necessary as a testimony of the truth;
for without the approval of the Lord they could not endure the trials
and temptations which beset them.

From the commencement the Church had taught the utmost freedom of
mankind to worship as they chose, such liberty being curtailed only
when it runs into license and infringes upon, the rights of others. In
the early inception of the Church, God commanded His people to study
and learn from the best of books, to acquire an understanding of the
laws of God and the governments of men, to become acquainted with the
heavens and the earth. Thus the Saints are the friends of all true
education. Joseph Smith established a school in Kirtland for the study
of Hebrew and other branches of knowledge. For Nauvoo he obtained a
charter for a university. Brigham Young and his associates founded the
Deseret University, now called the University of Utah. They have also
established church schools, the Brigham Young Academy in Provo, the
Brigham Young College in Logan, Stake academies and other schools. The
sons of Latter-day Saints have graduated with honor in the Military
Academy at West Point. In Ann Arbor, Michigan, they have a record
unsurpassed in the law school and in other branches taught by that
noted institution. The same is true of their record at Harvard and
elsewhere; also are there numerous graduates of medicine, dentistry,
civil engineering, etc., as taught in the great schools of Chicago,
Philadelphia and other places. Mission conferences are established in
almost every state of the American Union, also in England, Ireland,
Wales, Scotland, Denmark, Sweden and Norway, Germany, Holland,
Palestine, New Zealand, Australia, the Hawaiian and many other islands
of the Pacific ocean, including Japan.

The present living membership of the Church, men, women and children,
is not less than 310,000 souls. While there has been steady progress
in numerical strength, it is not in numbers altogether that strength
consists. We fully realize that "Straight is the gate and narrow is
the way that leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it." The
greatest strength consists in the purity of the principle and the
impossibility of the wicked and corrupt to remain long in the Church.
God is its founder and builder. He established the Church of Jesus
Christ of Latter-day Saints. It will stand always, for "whatsoever the
Lord doeth, He doeth it forever."


We have treated briefly upon the subject of Divine Authority, merely
pointing out the absolute necessity of such authority in order to
obtain complete salvation, and how it was bestowed and perpetuated
whenever a Gospel dispensation existed upon the earth. It will not be
amiss to deal briefly with the subject of Church Organization, as this
specifies the distribution of divine authority to the various offices
in the Church of Christ, each having specific duties to perform.

In the beginning we wish it distinctly understood that we accept of
the New Testament as the record of this organization, and that nowhere
within that sacred record is even an intimation that, by divine
appointment, the offices established in the Church of Christ by the
Savior of mankind would be done away. On the other hand, neither do we
claim that the New Testament contains a full and explicit statement of
every office in the Church, with the several duties of each officer
and the relationship which each council or order of authority bears
to every other council. The New Testament is fragmentary and has been
translated and re-translated many times since it was first written by
inspired apostles and prophets; those translations were by men not
claiming the inspiration which characterized the men of God who wrote

In this connection we must not forget the statement of Holy Writ:
"The things of God knoweth no man but the Spirit of God. * * * But
the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God; for
they are foolishness unto him; neither can he know them, because they
are spiritually discerned." (I. Cor. ii:11, 14. ) Therefore, where the
inspired record is not sufficiently full in elucidating any principle,
nothing short of new revelation from God will clear away the mist and
bring us to a knowledge of the truth. The writings of Matthew, Mark,
Luke, John, Peter, James and Jude, so far as they bear upon the sayings
and acts of the Savior during His earthly ministry, are the testimonies
of what they saw and heard personally, as well as the revelations of
the Holy Ghost to them, subsequent to the crucifixion and ascension
of the Savior. Paul embraced the Gospel later, and was not personally
associated with Jesus in His ministry. His testimony is equally
binding, however, as he "wrote and spoke as he was moved upon by the
Holy Ghost." "In the mouth of two or three witnesses every word may be
established." (Matt. xviii:16.)

In Matthew, chapter 10, commencing with the first verse, we have this
statement: "And when He had called unto Him His Twelve disciples, He
gave them power against unclean spirits to cast them out and heal
all manner of sickness and all manner of disease. Now the names of
the Twelve apostles are these;" then follows the name of each of the
Twelve. Mark gives more detail as to when and where they were called,
as follows: "And He goeth up into a mountain and called unto Him whom
He would; and they came unto Him. And He ordained twelve," etc. (Mark
iii:13, 14.) Luke records the calling of the Twelve in the sixth
chapter of his book, beginning with the twelfth verse: "And it came
to pass in those days that He went out into a mountain to pray, and
continued all night in prayer to God. And when it was day He called
unto Him His disciples: and of them He chose twelve, whom also He named
apostles." Paul says in I. Cor. xii:28: "And God hath set some in the
church, first apostles;" and again in Ephesians, chapter 4, verse 11:
"And He gave some apostles."

From the statements of four New Testament writers, it is plain that
the first officers placed in the Church of Christ were apostles. Jesus
delegated unto Peter the keys of the kingdom of heaven, that whatsoever
he should bind on earth should be bound in heaven, as recorded in the
sixteenth chapter of Matthew, thus delegating to the apostleship all
authority essential to the preaching of the Gospel, and administering
in all the ordinances thereof, at home and abroad, for the salvation of
all who would render obedience. It is apparent that other men such as
Paul and Barnabas received the apostleship, but while this was the case
it is evident that the Twelve apostles constituted a quorum. When Judas
fell, one was chosen to take his place in that quorum, as written in
the Acts of the Apostles, first chapter, 23-26 verses. It would appear
from the reading of the Scriptures that while these twelve still lived,
Paul and probably others received the holy apostleship, but did not
become members of that council.

The work of preaching the Gospel to all the world, to every creature,
was undoubtedly too extensive for the accomplishment personally of
twelve men, so Jesus chose others to assist them. "After these things
the Lord appointed other seventy also, and sent them two and two before
His face into every city and place, whither He Himself would come."
(Luke x:1.) As He conferred upon them similar powers and gave them a
similar calling to preach the Gospel, they were undoubtedly the next
associates of the Twelve in preaching the Gospel to the inhabitants of
the earth. Some think by the language used by Luke, "other seventy,"
that He had chosen one quorum of seventies before this one, but this is
not necessarily correct, as it will apply in meaning to "other" than
the Twelve apostles.

In Hebrews, fifth chapter and first verse, Paul says: "For every high
priest taken from among men is ordained for men in things pertaining to
God." While it is true that the words "high priest" are used in a more
general sense in some instances, such as in Hebrews, third chapter,
first verse, where the Savior is called both the "Apostle and High
Priest of our profession," it appears evident from the above quotation
and other passages that there was in the order of ecclesiastical
government in the Church of Christ a distinct officer with specific
duties called a High Priest.

Again, in Acts, fourteenth chapter and twenty-third verse, we read:
"And when they had ordained them elders in every church, and had
prayed with fasting, they commended them to the Lord, on whom they
believed." "And when they were come to Jerusalem, they were received
of the church, and of the apostles and elders. * * * And the apostles
and elders came together." (Acts xv:4-6.) "And as they went through the
cities, they delivered them the decrees for to keep, that were ordained
of the apostles and elders which were at Jerusalem." (Acts xvi:4.) "And
from Miletus He sent to Ephesus, and called the elders of the church."
(Acts xx:17.) "And ordained elders in every city as I had appointed
thee," (Titus i:5.)

The term "elders" is used in many other passages of Scripture. In some
instances the apostle is called an elder, as Paul and John allude to
themselves personally as elders. In some places the term is used in
reference to the aged, as in I. Timothy, chapter v., verses 1, 2:
"Rebuke not an elder, but entreat him as a father, and the younger
men as brethren, the elder women as mothers, the younger as sisters,
with all purity." Yet the quotations made will be ample to prove that
the office of Elder was an order anciently in the organization of the
Church of Christ.

In I. Timothy, third chapter, verses 1, 2, we learn of the office of
Bishop, with some essential qualifications. "This is a true saying:
If a man desire the office of a bishop, he desireth a good work. A
bishop then must be blameless, the husband of one wife, vigilant,
sober, of good behavior, given to hospitality, apt to teach." Also,
in Titus i:7: "For a bishop must be blameless, as the steward of God,
not self-willed, not soon angry, not given to wine, no striker, not
given to filthy lucre; but a lover of hospitality, a lover of good men,
sober, just, holy, temperate." These passages show clearly the office
of Bishop to be a department in the government of the Church of Christ,
and should be held by a married man.

"There was in the days of Herod, the king of Judea, a certain priest
named Zacharias, of the course of Abia." (Luke i:5.) The order of the
Priest as established in ancient Israel seems to have continued in the
New Testament dispensation. Although the offering of sacrifice was
consummated at least for that period, in the atonement of our Savior,
it is apparent that John the Baptist, Philip, and others, were priests
after the order of Levi, having authority to baptize for the remission
of sins, and to preach faith and repentance, but not to officiate
in the higher ordinances of the Gospel which secured the baptism of
fire and the Holy Ghost, nor to preside over the Church of Christ and
regulate the affairs thereof throughout the world.

In Acts xiii:1, I. Cor. xii.28, and Eph. iv:11, we learn of an officer
called Teacher, though nothing as to the especial functions of that

Paul to Timothy, in the third chapter of his letter, refers to the
Deacons, and enumerates some of the qualifications essential to the
possession of men who bear that sacred calling in the Church of Christ.

In the First Epistle to the Corinthians, twelfth chapter, verse 28, the
apostle declares: "And God hath set some in the church, first apostles,
secondarily prophets, thirdly teachers, after that miracles, then gifts
of healings, helps, governments, diversities of tongues." "And He gave
some apostles; and some prophets; and some evangelists (patriarchs);
and some pastors and teachers," (Eph. iv:11.) "Now there were in the
church * * * certain prophets and teachers." (Acts xiii:1.)

Peter and Paul, in their writings, make reference to the ancient
patriarchs, and although no definite statement is made, as to such an
office existing in their time, it is more than probable that it existed
in the Church of Christ whenever that Church had an existence on the

The quotations give us the names of, at least, the following offices
as departments of the Holy Priesthood and essentials to the work of
the Lord: Apostles, Patriarchs, High Priests, Seventies, Elders,
Bishops, Priests, Teachers and Deacons. The words pastors, shepherds,
evangelists, etc., are also used in reference to officials in the
Church, but it is probable that some terms were used not so much to
name the exact title of a man's position or calling in the order of the
priesthood as to indicate the nature of the work his calling enjoined
upon him. For instance, a pastor is one who has charge of a flock, a
shepherd; applied religiously, one who has the oversight of a Branch of
the Church (president of conference, for example); and this term would
apply to Elders and Bishops, who, according to the New Testament, had
watched over branches of the Church in different parts of the earth.

We wish to again call attention to the fact that the exact and full
duty in detail of each officer is not wholly explained in the Jewish
Scriptures. The precise order in which all of these officers were
placed is not clear. The difference between the general duties common
to all and the particular labors enjoined upon one officer, which
distinguished him from every other officer in the church, is not told.
This is not surprising, either, as undoubtedly each man in his order
understood his duties from the instructions of the living oracles of
God. Furthermore, they had writings, which are referred to in the
Testament, but which are not preserved and handed down to us; and it is
probable they had still other writings that are neither compiled nor
alluded to in the Scriptures.

The New Testament contains letters of instructions, exhortations,
warnings and testimonies of the apostles to the Church and to the
world, and does not claim to be a complete exposition of Church
Organization, etc. The Church was guided by direct revelation, and
was to be so guided in all time; and the fact that man, with all his
learning and the benefits of researches made by preceding generations,
cannot organize a church after the ancient pattern, is indisputable
proof that we need more revelation from God. The world by wisdom
knew not God. Suffice it to say, that as long as we need divine
instructions, which will be the case forever, we need the God-given
officers which Christ placed in His Church, and which He designed to
continue as long as the Church should exist.

Here is the testimony of Paul to the Ephesians, chapter 4: "And He
gave some apostles; and some prophets; and some evangelists; and some
pastors and teachers; for the perfecting of the saints, for the work
of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ: Till we all
come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God,
unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fullness
of Christ: That we henceforth be no more children, tossed to and fro,
and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men,
and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive." In this
connection it is perhaps sufficient to remark that the history of the
world is ample proof that apostles, prophets and inspiration are always
needed. The reader is asked to carefully study the chapter on the
"Church," given in this work, as it points out the duties of officers
in the Church Organization, as given us by modern revelation.


A very remarkable feature in the religious sentiment of modern
"Christianity" is the indifference which prevails as to the question of
legitimate authority to speak and officiate in the name of the Lord.
Should an unauthorized man operate in matters of human government, or
an impostor pretend to be the agent of a mercantile institution and
deceive the people by taking their orders for goods and receiving their
money, no one with sound reason would expect the government or firm
to make good the unauthorized contracts of such an impostor; but the
deceiver would be arrested and thrust into prison for his fraudulent
acts. Why should the consideration of sacred ordinances involving the
salvation of mankind be treated with less concern?

There seems to have grown up in the hearts of the people a feeling that
mere belief and intellectual assent to the theories of the Gospel is
all-sufficient to secure salvation in the presence of the Lord. But
this is an unscriptural delusion. "Even so faith, if it hath not works,
is dead, being alone." "Thou believest that there is one God; thou
doest well: the devils also believe and tremble." "But wilt thou know,
O vain man, that faith without works is dead? . . . For as the body
without the spirit is dead, so faith without works is dead also." (St
James ii:17, 19, 20 and 26.)

We have shown from the Scriptures that baptism and confirmation are
essential ordinances to salvation; and to these might be added other
sacred rites, instituted by the Savior of the world for the redemption
of man. He has said that "not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord,
shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of
my Father which is in heaven." (Matt. vii:21.)

Can anyone reasonably suppose that baptism, confirmation, the
sacrament, or any other sacred ceremony administered by one not sent
of God will be followed by the blessings which attended the primitive
saints? Will unauthorized acts secure the remission of sins, or the
gifts of the Holy Spirit, which are manifest in visions, dreams,
healings, prophecies, tongues, etc.? Not by any means; and the reason
the signs do not follow professed believers of the present day is
because their ministers are not called of God according to the pattern
instituted by Him. The condemnation of the Lord will rest upon all who
speak presumptuously and who willfully usurp authority to officiate in
sacred things.

The Lord said in the days of Jeremiah, concerning certain men who spoke
without authority: "I have not sent these prophets, yet they ran; I
have not spoken to them, yet they prophesied." (Jer. xxiii:21.) The
whole history of the dealings of God with His people as it is recorded
in the Bible, proves the constant necessity of living, divine authority.

Upon this branch of the subject we cite the reader to the Scriptures.
When Moses was about to depart from Israel he sought the Lord to
designate his successor, knowing full well that without succession of
authority the work of God could not continue. He said, "Let the Lord,
the God of the spirits of all flesh, set a man over the congregation,
which may go out before them, and which may go in before them, and
which may lead them out, and which may bring them in; that the
congregation of the Lord be not as sheep which have no shepherd." (Num.
xxvii:16-17.) In Romans x., 14 to 17, we have the following: "How then
shall they call on Him in whom they have not believed? And how shall
they believe in Him of whom they have not heard? And how shall they
hear without a preacher? And how shall they preach, except they be

The Savior, who called Twelve apostles and other seventy to continue
the work which He, by the direction of His Father, had inaugurated, was
so particular that they should not "run before they were sent" that
He said to them, "And that repentance and remission of sins should be
preached in His name among all nations, beginning at Jerusalem. And
behold, I send the promise of my Father upon you: but tarry ye in the
city of Jerusalem, until ye be endued with power from on high." (Luke
xxiv:47, 49.)

This emphatic injunction was given, notwithstanding that these apostles
had been already called and ordained as recorded in Mark iii:14, and
notwithstanding their great experience by personal association with
the Savior of mankind, who was pure, without guile, and perfect in all
things, "who spake as never man spake." The apostles had witnessed the
sick healed, the blind see, the deaf hear, the dumb speak, the dead
raised. Three of them, Peter, James and John, had been with Christ when
He was transfigured on the holy mount. Moses and Elias had ministered
unto them. These Twelve were the living oracles of Almighty God, but
for all that, they must not "run before they were sent, nor speak
before they were spoken to." They must enjoy especial power. Are men in
modern times as particular to avoid speaking in the name of the Lord
before they are truly called?

Let us ascertain how men are called of God and His authority
perpetuated in the earth. In speaking of the honor and authority of
the Holy Priesthood, Paul says, "And no man taketh this honor unto
himself, but he that is called of God, as was Aaron." By reading the
fourth and twenty-eighth chapters of Exodus, the information as to how
Aaron was called can be obtained. He was called by a revelation through
a prophet of God. That prophet was called by revelation and ordained
by one having authority to ordain him. This method of calling men to
the ministry was ever adhered to by true Saints, and when departed
from, the departure has been of men and not of God. Aaron received the
anointing literally at the hands of the prophet Moses, as recorded
in Exodus xl:15, 16, and thus conferred the Levitical priesthood
upon Aaron, which was to be transmitted by the holy anointing from
generation to generation, as long as they should observe the statutes
of the Holy One of Israel.

When Joshua was called to succeed Moses in leading Israel into the
promised land, it was done by revelation from God and the laying on of
hands by one having authority. "And the Lord said unto Moses, Take thee
Joshua, the son of Nun, a man in whom is the spirit, and lay thine hand
upon him. * * * And he laid his hands upon him, and gave him a charge,
as the Lord commanded by the hand of Moses." (Num. xxvii:18 23.) "And
Joshua, the son of Nun, was full of the spirit of wisdom; for Moses had
laid his hands upon him." (Deut. xxxiv:9.) During the entire history
of ancient Israel, men were called by revelation, and when any person
presumed to officiate without such a call, their acts were invalid and
were rejected of the Almighty.

The New Testament furnishes direct evidence of the plan of calling men
to the ministry and perpetuating the authority of God among men. Jesus
said to His apostles, "Ye have not chosen me, but I have chosen you,
and ordained you." (St. John xv:16.) "Now there were in the church that
was at Antioch certain prophets and teachers; as Barnabas, and Simeon
that was called Niger, and Lucius of Cyrene, and Manaen, which had been
brought up with Herod the tetrarch, and Saul. As they ministered to the
Lord, and fasted, the Holy Ghost said, Separate me Barnabas and Saul
for the work whereunto I have called them. And when they had fasted
and prayed, and laid hands on them, they sent them away." (Acts xiii:
1, 2, 3.) "And when they had ordained them elders in every church, and
had prayed with fasting, they commended them to the Lord, on whom they
believed." (Acts xiv: 23.) Men thus called have authority to speak in
the name of the Lord, to officiate in His name; and their acts are
valid, binding in time and eternity.

When Paul found a number of disciples at Ephesus who had received
baptism, but in answer to his question, said that they had not "so much
as heard whether there be any Holy Ghost," he promptly baptized them;
yet they had received this ordinance after the form of John's baptism,
that is, by immersion, which was correct. It was evident, however, that
their first baptizing was done without authority, otherwise the person
officiating would have told them of the baptism of the Holy Ghost, as
did John the Baptist. Under these circumstances Paul had to rebaptize
them, or rather administer the true baptism, he having authority from
God to administer it, and then he conferred the Holy Ghost upon them
by the laying on of hands. This example is a lesson as applicable
to similar conditions of today as it was in the New Testament
dispensation. All ceremonies, ordinances, rites, etc., administered
without the administrator being "called of God as was Aaron," are null
and void.

The dispensation of the fullness of times has been ushered in. The
Father and the Son and other heavenly messengers have visited the earth
and restored authority to act in the name of Jesus as in days of old.
This authority has been transmitted from the Prophet Joseph Smith to
others, as designated by the inspiration of the Holy Ghost and by the
laying on of hands. In this manner the authority of the Holy Priesthood
will be perpetuated without interruption until the "kingdoms of this
world shall have become the kingdom of our God and His Christ."


The general idea of Deity accepted throughout the so-called Christian
world is stated briefly in this way: "God is a being without body,
parts or passions."

The Latter-day Saints regard our Heavenly Father as possessing an
actual tabernacle of flesh and bones (not blood), and that in His
image man is created. Our views respecting this important subject are
based upon the revelations of God to man in ancient and modern times,
and regarding which there is no contradiction in the testimony of the
prophets. "God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness;
and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl
of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every
creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth. So God created man in His
own image, in the image of God created He him; male and female created
He them." (Gen. i:26, 27.)

It is claimed by some that this likeness is only to be understood as a
moral image. There is, however, nothing to justify such a view, either
in the statement quoted or any other passage of Holy Writ. On the
contrary, the Scriptures show that man is actually in the image of his
Maker. Concerning His appearance to Abraham, we read: "And the Lord
appeared unto him in the plains of Mamre; and he sat in the tent door
in the heat of the day; and he lifted up his eyes and looked, and, lo,
three men stood by him: and when he saw them, he ran to meet them from
the tent door, and bowed himself toward the ground, and said, 'My Lord,
if now I have found favor in thy sight, pass not away, I pray thee,
from thy servant: Let a little water, I pray you, be fetched, and wash
your feet, and rest yourselves under the tree.'" (Gen. xviii:1-4.)

Material as this may appear to many, the first verse of the chapter,
as well as other verses following those quoted, proves conclusively
that this records a personal appearing of the Lord, and also that He
has a tangible being, composed of various parts of the body, as real
as those which characterize His offspring. This instance is only one
out of many in which the Lord appeared to Abraham. Read the seventeenth
chapter of Genesis, 1-3, "And when Abraham was ninety years old and
nine, the Lord appeared to Abram, and said unto him, I am the Almighty
God; walk before me, and be thou perfect. And I will make my covenant
between me and thee, and will multiply thee exceedingly. And Abram fell
on his face; and God talked with him." Then follows the conversation
engaged in between God, our Eternal Father, and Abraham, the "father
of the faithful." How such an event should occur between a real human
being and one who had no real organization, "without body, parts or
passions," requires more credulity to believe than to accept the idea
which the Scriptures themselves convey in these chapters, viz: that God
has an actual personality.

If language more direct than the foregoing is required, it can be found
in the eleventh chapter of Genesis, regarding the confusion of tongues
at the tower of Babel. "And the Lord came down to see the city and
the tower, which the children of men builded. * * * Go to, let us go
down, and there confound their language, that they may not understand
one another's speech." It is evident from this that the Lord was in
one place, the tower of Babel in another; that He was surrounded by
associates, and in counsel with them proposed to go to the place where
the tower was in course of construction and there defeat the purpose of
its builders. No one could take this account, written in the simplicity
of truth, believing that it is a truthful statement of the historical
facts, and still believe that God is without body, parts or passions
and in His actual individuality fills at once the immensity of space.

The entire Bible history of Abraham is also one continuous account of
personal visits, conversations and covenants made by the Almighty to
and with the patriarch. Isaac was also favored with the presence of
the Lord: "And Isaac went unto Abimelech, king of the Philistines,
unto Gerar. And the Lord appeared unto him and said, Go not down into
Egypt; dwell in the land which I shall tell thee of." (Gen. xxvi:1, 2.)
And again in the twenty-fourth verse of the same chapter: "And the Lord
appeared unto him the same night, and said, I am the God of Abraham thy
father; fear not, for I am with thee, and will bless thee, and multiply
thy seed for my servant Abraham's sake."

Jacob, the grandson, of Abraham, was no less favored of the Lord in
being a personal witness of His existence, with love and interest
in His earthly children: "And Jacob said unto Joseph, God Almighty
appeared unto me at Luz in the land of Canan and blessed me, and said
unto me, Behold I will make thee fruitful, and multiply thee, and I
will make of thee a multitude of people; and will give this land to thy
seed after thee for an everlasting possession." (Gen. xlviii:3, 4.)

Abraham was designated "the father of the faithful, the friend of
God." Of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob the Lord has said, "I am the God
of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob." To them He made glorious promises and
entered into everlasting covenants extending into eternity. He promised
that their seed should be as numerous as the stars of heaven and as
countless as the sands upon the seashore. To the thoughtful person who
reads the Scriptures in the spirit of truth, it must be apparent that
our Heavenly Father foreknew the unchanging integrity of these men, and
because of this gave them such great promises and made them, by His
visits to them, living witnesses of His existence and personality.

Moses is another witness to the personality of God. "And Moses hid his
face; for he was afraid to look upon God." (Ex. iii:6.) On another
occasion there were over seventy witnesses that God is a personal
being. "Then went up Moses, Aaron, Nadab and Abihu, and seventy of the
elders of Israel; And they saw the God of Israel; and there was under
His feet as it were a paved work of sapphire stone, and as it were
the body of heaven in His clearness." (Ex. xxiv:9, 10.) He said to the
prophet Moses: "Thou canst not see my face; for there shall no man
see me and live. And the Lord said, Behold, there is a place by me,
and thou shalt stand upon a rock; and it shall come to pass, while my
glory passeth by, that I will put thee in a clift of the rock, and will
cover thee with my hand while I pass by; and I will take away my hand,
and thou shalt see my back parts; but my face shall not be seen." (Ex.
xxxiii:20-23.) Again it is written: "My servant Moses is not so, who is
faithful in all mine house. With him will I speak mouth to mouth, even
apparently, and not in dark speeches; and the similitude of the Lord
shall he behold." (Num. xii:7, 8)

These quotations respecting the prophet Moses show that on some
occasions he had personal visits from the Lord. In one instance he was
accompanied by over seventy associates, and once he was permitted to
see the back parts only. These statements are so much in detail and
in such direct language that they are not susceptible of any private
interpretation, but must be taken in a literal sense. How any one can
profess to believe in the Bible and read these statements, yet deny
the personality of God, is a matter of wonder and astonishment, and
can only be accounted for in the fact that people have been taught to
accept the precepts of men without taking the natural and reasonable
conclusions which a personal reading of the Scriptures would establish
in their own minds.

When Hezekiah, king of Judah, was beset by the Assyrians he offered
the following prayer to the Lord: "Lord, bow down thine ear, and hear;
open, Lord, thine eyes, and see; and hear the word of Sennacherib,
which hath sent him to reproach the living God." (II Kings xix:16.) And
again it is written: "Now mine eyes shall be open, and my ears attend
unto the prayer that is made in this place. For now have I chosen and
sanctified this house, that my name may be there forever; and mine eyes
and mine heart shall be there perpetually." (II Chron. vii:15, 16.) The
Psalmist David expressed himself, saying: "I have called upon Thee,
for Thou wilt hear me, O God; incline thine ear unto me, and hear my
speech. As for me, I will behold thy face in righteousness; I shall be
satisfied, when I awake with Thy likeness." (Psalms xvii:6, 15.) These
expressions in the prayers of righteous men point to the manifest
truth that God has eyes to see, ears to hear, a heart with which to
love, a mouth to speak; and taken with other statements of Holy Writ,
show beyond the possibility of a reasonable doubt, that our Heavenly
Father is possessed of a body composed of the various parts which go
to constitute the several members of a human body, and that He is
susceptible of anger, love and hatred. He hates iniquity and loves
righteousness. He is angry with the wicked every day. Such are the
statements of Holy Writ. He, therefore, cannot be without body, parts
or passions.

The Lord was also seen by the prophet Isaiah. "In the year that King
Uzziah died, I saw also the Lord sitting upon a throne, high and lifted
up, and His train filled the temple." (Isa. vi:1.) To corroborate these
testimonies of the Old Testament we call the attention of the reader
to several passages in the New. When Stephen was being martyred he saw
God: "But he, being full of the Holy Ghost, looked up steadfastly into
heaven, and saw the glory of God, and Jesus standing on the right hand
of God, and said, Behold, I see the heavens opened, and the Son of Man
standing on the right hand of God." (Acts vii:55, 56.) Nothing could
be plainer and more convincing from the written Scriptures than that
Stephen actually saw God, and that He and His Son were in the heavens
in the presence of each other.

Paul wrote to the Philippians as follows: "Let this mind be in you,
which was also in Christ Jesus; who, being in the form of God, thought
it not robbery to be equal with God." (Phillip. ii:5 6.) And again in
Col. i:15, Paul said respecting the Savior: "Who is the image of the
invisible God, the first born of every creature." To the Hebrews the
same apostle says, concerning Jesus: "Who being the brightness of his
glory, and the express image of His person, and upholding all things by
the word of His power, when He had by Himself purged our sins, sat down
on the right hand of the Majesty on high." (Heb. i:3.) These writings
of Paul, though not relating to a personal appearance of God, fully
corroborate in doctrine all the quotations on the subject made from the
Old and New Testaments. The Scriptures referred to show conclusively
the personality of the Father, and a portion of the quotations
presented, point to the fact that He is a separate personage, and
entirely distinct in person from His Son Jesus Christ.

We now call the attention of the reader to a few passages of Scripture,
showing the personality of the Savior, not only in reference to
His individuality before His crucifixion, but showing that in His
resurrected and immortal state, He will continue a separate and
distinct personality from all other beings. Subsequent to His
resurrection He appeared to the apostles; at first sight they were
terrified, and supposed they had seen a spirit, "And He said unto them,
Why are ye troubled? And why do thoughts arise in your hearts? Behold
my hands and my feet, that it is I myself; handle me and see; for a
spirit hath not flesh and bones, as ye see me have. And when He had
thus spoken He showed them His hands and His feet. And while they yet
believed not for joy, and wondered, He said unto them, Have ye here any
meat? And they gave Him a piece of a broiled fish, and of an honeycomb.
And He took it, and did eat before them." (Luke xxiv:38-45.) Thomas,
one of the Twelve, was not with them when Jesus came, and when told by
his brethren that they had seen the Lord, he would not believe them,
and said: "Except I shall see in His hands the print of the nails, and
put my finger into the print of the nails, and thrust my hand into His
side, I will not believe." Subsequent to this appearance, Thomas was
present when the Savior invited him to satisfy his mind to the fullest
extent, thrusting his hand into His side and beholding the wounds in
His hands and feet, when he exclaimed, "My Lord and my God." (John
xx:2, 5, 28.)

Here is a clear demonstration that Jesus in His immortal state
continues as a personal being, with a tangible body of flesh and bones.
To show that there is no change in the personal status of the Savior,
eighteen hundred years have passed away since His resurrection, and yet
we learn from the Scriptures that still in the future He shall appear
in the same body: "And His feet shall stand in that day upon the Mount
of Olives, which is before Jerusalem on the east, and the Mount of
Olives shall cleave in the midst thereof. * * * And the Lord my God
shall come, and all the saints with Thee." (Zech. xiv:4-6.) In the
thirteenth chapter, which appears to be connected with His appearance
upon the Mount of Olives, we find the following statement: "And one
shall say unto Him, What are these wounds in thine hands? Then He shall
answer, Those with which I was wounded in the house of my friends."
(Zech. xiii:6.)

Many entertain the belief that of the three personages constituting
the Godhead only one is a personal being with a tangible body, viz.:
the Lord Jesus Christ. Enough evidence has been offered to prove the
contrary of this erroneous theory; but as the Scriptures are full of
evidence on this important subject, I will present the reader with
several quotations which will aid him in his researches after the truth
respecting this important doctrine. Matthew informs us concerning the
baptism of the Savior that "The heavens were opened unto him, and he
saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and lighting upon Him:
And lo a voice from heaven, saying, 'This is my beloved Son, in whom
I am well pleased.'" (Matt. iii:16, 17.) In this instance the Savior
is represented as being at the waters of Jordan, while the voice of
His Father came from the courts of heaven, showing that the Father
and Jesus are two distinct personages, existing in separate places at
the same time. This testimony of Matthew is corroborated by that of
Mark and Luke, the former in the eleventh verse of his first chapter:
"And there came a voice from heaven, saying, 'Thou art my beloved
Son, in whom I am well pleased'"; and in Luke, the third chapter and
twenty-second verse, as follows: "And the Holy Ghost descended in a
bodily shape like a dove upon Him, and a voice came from heaven, which
said, 'Thou art my beloved Son; in thee I am well pleased.'"

It is recorded that on one occasion, while the Savior seriously
contemplated the coming ordeal of His crucifixion, this occurred:
"And Jesus answered them, saying, 'The hour is come, that the Son of
Man should be glorified. He that loveth his life shall lose it. If
any man serve me, let him follow me. If any man serve me, him will my
Father honor. Now is my soul troubled; and what shall I say? Father
save me from this hour; but for this cause came I unto this hour.
Father, glorify thy name.' Then came there a voice from heaven, saying,
'I have both glorified it, and will glorify it again.'" (St. John
xiii:23, 25, 26, 27, 28.)

Still another instance where the voice of the Father was heard, and
in the presence of other witnesses than the Savior, is recorded in
Matthew, seventeenth chapter, fifth and sixth verses: "While He yet
spake, behold, a bright cloud overshadowed them: and behold a voice
out of the cloud, which said, 'This is my beloved Son, in whom I am
well pleased; hear ye him.' And when the disciples heard it, they fell
on their face, and were sore afraid." The disciples here referred to
were Peter, James and John. Peter relates this impressive event as
follows: "For we have not followed cunningly devised fables, when we
made known unto you the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, but
were eye-witnesses of His majesty. For He received from God the Father
honor and glory, and there came such a voice to Him from the excellent
glory, 'This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.' And this
voice which came from heaven we heard when we were with Him in the holy

The account of this vision is also recorded in Mark ix:7: "And a voice
came out of the cloud, saying: 'This is my beloved Son; hear Him.'" it
is also said in Luke ix:35. "And there came a voice out of the cloud,
saying, 'This is my beloved Son: Hear Him.'" Surely the testimony of
three or four reliable witnesses is sufficient to affirm the truth
of this matter. When the Savior addressed the Father, no one could
reasonably say that He was addressing Himself. We have many instances
recorded by the writers of the New Testament that Jesus supplicated
His Father in humble prayer. "I thank Thee, O Father, Lord of heaven
and earth, that Thou hast hid these things from the wise and prudent,
and hast revealed them unto babes; even so, Father, for so it seemed
good in thy sight. All things are delivered to me of my Father." (Luke
x:21, 22.) "Father, the hour is come; glorify Thy Son, that Thy Son also
may glorify Thee. And now, O Father, glorify Thou me with Thine own
self, with the glory which I had with Thee before the world was." (John
xvii:1, 5.) "I came forth from the Father, and am come into the world;
again, I leave the world, and go to the Father." (John xvi:28.)

To these references may be added those before referred to, giving an
account of the martyrdom of Stephen, in the seventh chapter of the Acts
of the Apostles, and the statement by Paul, in the first chapter of his
letter to the Hebrews. Many other scriptural testimonies might be cited
to prove that the Father and the Son are personal beings, each separate
and distinct from the other.

The following passage of Scripture is often cited to prove that the
Savior is the only personal being in the Deity: "Neither pray I for
these alone, but for them also which shall believe on me through their
word; that they all may be one; as Thou, Father, art in me and I in
Thee, that they also may be one in us; that the world may believe that
Thou hast sent me. And the glory which Thou gavest me I have given
them; that they may be one, even as we are one." (John xvii:20-22.)

The very wording of this Scripture shows that the Father and the Son
are not one in person, because He prays that all the disciples may
be one in the same manner that the Father and the Son are one, and
one in that sense only, for the simple reason that the oneness of the
Father and the Son is perfect and complete. Their unity consists in
being one in wisdom, one in knowledge, one in power, one in council,
having a unity of purpose in the accomplishment of man's salvation to
the tallest extent and in every conceivable respect. The disciples of
Jesus could not be one in person, for each of himself is a separate
individuality; they can be one, however, as the Father and Son are
one, in the accomplishment of one great purpose--the salvation of
mankind--because they are baptized by one Spirit into one body, even
the church of Christ; they have one Lord, one faith and one baptism,
and are all taught of God, having "access by one Spirit unto the
Father" (Eph ii:18), who is not the author of confusion, and cannot
consistently, with His own attributes, contradict Himself.

When Jesus sent His disciples into the world He commanded them to
baptize penitent believers "in the name of the Father, and of the Son,
and of the Holy Ghost." (Matt. xxviii:19.) These three personages are
understood by believers in the Bible to constitute the Godhead. We have
shown that the Father and Son are separate personages. It is just as
evident, from the Scriptures, that the Holy Ghost is as much a separate
and distinct personage as are the other two. Concerning the enormity of
sinning against the Holy Ghost, Jesus said: "Wherefore I say unto you,
all manner of sin and blasphemy shall be forgiven unto men: but the
blasphemy against the Holy Ghost shall not be forgiven unto men. And
whosoever speaketh a word against the Son of Man, it shall be forgiven
him; but whosoever speaketh against the Holy Ghost, it shall not be
forgiven him, neither in this world, neither in the world to come."
(Matt. xii:31-32). Again, "Verily I say unto you, all sins shall be
forgiven unto the sons of men, and blasphemies wherewith soever they
shall blaspheme; but he that shall blaspheme against the Holy Ghost
hath never forgiveness, but is in danger of eternal damnation." (Mark

Agreeable to the language of these quotations, there is a distinct
separation between the personality of the Savior and that of the Holy
Ghost. Jesus, in speaking of those who should believe and obey Him,
used this language: "He that believeth on me, as the Scripture hath
said, out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water. But this
spake he of the Spirit, which they that believe on Him should receive;
for the Holy Ghost was not yet given; because that Jesus was not yet
glorified." (John vii:38, 39.) It appears from this statement that while
Jesus was the representative of the Godhead to men in the flesh, at
least for a period of time, the Holy Ghost had not come to officiate
at that time as a personal witness of the Father and the Son to the
children of men. To corroborate this idea, we quote from the sixteenth
chapter of John, seventh verse: "Nevertheless I tell you the truth;
it is expedient for you that I go away; for if I go not away, the
Comforter will not come unto you; but if I depart, I will send Him
unto you." That this Comforter is the Holy Ghost is evident from the
fourteenth chapter of St. John, sixteenth and twenty-sixth verses:
"And I will pray the Father, and He shall give you another Comforter,
that He may abide with you forever. But the Comforter, which is the
Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, He shall teach you
all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I
have said unto you." Further: "But when the Comforter is come, whom I
will send unto you from the Father, even the Spirit of Truth, which
proceedeth from the Father, He shall testify of me." (John, xv:26.)

These promises are so definite that no one could reasonably mingle
the personality of the Holy Ghost with that of either the Father or
the Son. After the crucifixion and resurrection of the Savior, and
when He had spent forty days with His disciples before His ascension,
instructing them preparatory to their great mission, before He allowed
them to go out, He reminded them of the promise which He had made to
them, and commanded them to tarry at Jerusalem "until ye be endued
with power from on high." (Luke xxiv:49.) This promise was fulfilled
on the day of Pentecost, when the powers of the Holy Ghost were
manifest through His glorious gifts which attended the apostles on
that occasion. On that great day the Holy Ghost as a gift for their
permanent guidance, was promised to all without distinction of time
or place, if they would have faith, repent and be baptized by divine

The personality of the Holy Ghost as a minister for God has been
enjoyed in every dispensation of the Gospel. "Men and brethren, this
Scripture must needs have been fulfilled, which the Holy Ghost by
the mouth of David spake." (Acts i:16.) Again: "Ye stiff-necked and
uncircumcised in heart and ears, ye do always resist the Holy Ghost; as
your fathers did, so do ye." (Acts vii:51.) This is proof that David
and the prophets spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost, as did
the disciples in the dispensation of Christ; also that the ancients
rejected the inspiration of the Holy Ghost, as did the people in the
days of the apostles. The apostle Peter says: "For the prophecy came
not in old time by the will of man; but holy men of God spake as they
were moved by the Holy Ghost." (II Peter i:21.) No one by reading the
Scriptures can reasonably deduce therefrom that divinely authorized men
were justified in their official ministrations in speaking by any other
power than that of the Holy Ghost. Paul says: "No man can say that
Jesus is the Lord but by the Holy Ghost." (I Cor. xii:3.)

The great gifts of the Spirit have been referred to in earlier pages of
this work, and need not be repeated here; but the character of those
gifts and the constant necessity for their existence, together with
the passages quoted here, are positive proof that the Holy Ghost is
one of the Deity and a separate personage from the Father and Son. At
the Baptism of the Messiah He was present in the waters of the Jordan
with John the Baptist. The Father was in the heavens above, and His
voice was heard, while the Holy Ghost descended upon the Savior, as
witnessed by its appearance in the form of a dove. The Father, Son and
Holy Ghost. The three constitute the great, supreme Godhead, yet are as
separate and distinct in their personalities as any earthly parents and
the children.


For eighteen centuries the people of this world have been groping in
spiritual darkness. They have had the Bible, it is true, but what have
they learned from it? In letter, many things. In the true spirit of
divine inspiration, they have learned little. "The letter killeth, but
the spirit giveth life." (II Cor. iii:6.) They are "ever learning,
and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth." (II Tim.
iii:7.) These statements of Holy Writ are fully corroborated by human
experience in religious matters. The world is divided and sub-divided
into many contending factions, professing Christianity, yet not having
a unity of faith. Many ideas of the Lord, many faiths in baptism. "One
Lord, one faith, one baptism." (Eph. iv:5), was the doctrine of Paul.
"Straight is the gate and narrow is the way which leadeth unto life,
and few there be that find it." (Matthew vii:14.)

What is the cause of all this uncertainty respecting the glorious plan
of eternal life? If one was or is right, all opposing methods must be
wrong. We answer that the lack of unity, the ignorance in relation
to the Gospel, and finally skepticism and infidelity, are due to
substituting the wisdom of men for the revelation of God, using human
learning instead of the inspiration of the Holy Ghost.

We desire to show in this article that without direct and continuous
revelation from God, the Gospel cannot be understood and properly
applied for the salvation of mankind, nor can the purposes of God
be accomplished on the earth. First, we take direct statements of
Scripture: "Where there is no vision, the people perish; but he that
keepeth the law, happy is he." (Prov. xxix:18.) The law of God has
never been kept without the Spirit of God to enlighten those who
sought to keep it. The history of the human family, from Adam to Noah,
from Noah to Moses, from Moses to the Lord Jesus Christ, and in all
subsequent ages, proves beyond cavil that where there was no vision
from heaven, no inspired voice, no revelation, the people utterly
perished in darkness and unbelief. The combined wisdom and learning of
men could not save them from spiritual darkness.

That there may be an authorized channel of communication between the
heavens and the earth, the Lord has, whenever His Church has existed
on the earth, appointed men to receive His will and make it known to
the people. "Surely the Lord God will do nothing, but He revealeth His
secrets unto His servants, the prophets." (Amos iii:7.) This literally
might be understood as equivalent to saying that where no prophet was,
there the Lord was doing nothing that would result in man's salvation.
Without being technical respecting the language of Amos, the history
of the world from Adam down proves his statements true. When there
has been no prophet there has been no revelation from God. When there
has been no revelation or vision the people have wandered to and fro,
have tossed upon the billows of clashing opinion, perished in darkness
and have been buried in the great ocean of doubt and uncertainty. On
the other hand, when authorized prophets have existed among men we
may exclaim with the ancient Scriptures: "I have also spoken by the
prophets, and I have multiplied visions, and used similitudes, by the
ministry of the prophets. And by a prophet the Lord brought Israel out
of Egypt, and by a prophet was he preserved." (Hosea xii:10, 13.) And we
affirm that without prophets Israel never was preserved and never will

In looking over the field of mysterious sayings contained in the Bible,
as well as the mystery which enshrouds many phases of human history,
we are consoled by the promise of the Savior: "For there is nothing
covered, that shall not be revealed; neither hid, that shall not be
known." (Luke xii:2; Matthew x:26; Mark iv:22.) In this connection we
may cite the fact that men by learning do not see the truth alike, they
do not harmonize on the fundamental principles of the Gospel. As an
example, they cannot, unaided by revelation, tell the origin, history
and destiny of the American Indians.

Isaiah, over 200 years before the advent of the Messiah, foresaw the
spiritual ignorance of the last days and how that condition would
be overcome by the light of revelation. He prophesied as follows:
"Wherefore the Lord said, Forasmuch as this people draw near me with
their mouth, and with their lips do honor me, but have removed their
heart far from me, and their fear toward me is taught by the precept
of men: Therefore, behold, I will proceed to do a marvelous work among
this people, even a marvelous work and a wonder; for the wisdom of
their wise men shall perish, and the understanding of their prudent men
shall be hid." (Isa. xxix:13, 14.) By reading the context it is evident
that the prophecy refers to a time later than the first coming of the
Savior, and that the prediction never could be verified without direct
revelation from heaven.

Paul, writing to the Hebrews, calls attention to the great truth that
the method of the Lord in leading His people from the beginning has
been by revelation. He says: "God, who at sundry times and in divers
manners, spake in time past unto the fathers by the prophets, Hath in
these last days spoken unto us by His Son." (Heb. i:1, 2.) Jesus said in
St. John xvii:3: "And this is life eternal, that they might know Thee,
the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom Thou hast sent." Paul says in
I Cor. xii:3. "No man can say that Jesus is the Lord but by the Holy

When Peter received a knowledge of the divinity and mission of the
Lord Jesus Christ, the Savior said unto him: "Blessed art thou, Simon
Bar-jona; for flesh and blood hath not revealed it unto thee, but
my Father, which is in heaven." It required a revelation for Peter
to receive that testimony. How could any one receive that knowledge
without revelation from God? The Jews saw Jesus, witnessed His wondrous
miracles of healing the sick, giving sight to the blind, unstopping
the ears of the deaf and even raising the dead, but all that was not
sufficient. They read the ancient prophecies, pointing to the birth and
nativity, the birthplace, life, ministry and martyrdom of the Messiah.
Yet were they blind, with eyes to see; deaf, with ears to hear, and
without understanding. No reason can be assigned for the ignorance of
the masses and the enlightenment of the humble fishermen other than
that the former depended upon the learning of men; the latter had
received a revelation from God.

To place the necessity of revelation beyond question as to obtaining
a knowledge of God, we quote the statement of Jesus to His disciples:
"All things are delivered to me of my Father; and no man knoweth who
the Son is, but the Father; and who the Father is, but the Son, and
he to whom the Son will reveal Him." (Luke x:22.) Compare this plain,
unmistakable testimony of Jesus with the assertions of modern divines,
who claim that the canon of Scripture is full and that we do not need
divine revelation as it was given to men in ancient days. The position
of the latter simply contradicts the plainest teachings of Holy Writ.
If it required revelation 2,000 years ago to know that Jesus was the
Christ, nothing short of revelation from heaven will secure that
knowledge now. Notice, too, the remarkable fact that notwithstanding
all the personal experience of the apostles through their association
with the Savior, He commanded them to "tarry ye at Jerusalem until ye
be endued with power from on high." (Luke, chapter 24.)

Another phase of the subject is this, that men claim that which is
written in the Scriptures is sufficient. This view simply makes
uninspired men the judge of what is and what is not essential as to all
the writings of the apostles and prophets of the Lord Jesus. This is an
unwarrantable assumption, condemned by the Scripture; for John says,
concerning that which he had written in the Book of Revelation: "For I
testify unto every man that heareth the words of the prophecy of this
book, If any man shall add unto these things, God shall add unto him
the plagues that are written in this book; and if any man shall take
away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God shall take away
his part out of the book of life, and out of the holy city, and from
the things which are written in this book." (Rev. xxii:18, 19.)

This does not deny God the privilege of adding more revelation, as it
is an undisputed fact that the Gospel according to St. John was written
subsequent to the Apocalypse; but it is a decree of divine displeasure
upon any man who shall add to or take from the revelations of the
Almighty. In the face of this decree, history informs us that councils
of the Roman Church sat in judgment upon the writings of the apostles,
and received only that which, in the light of their human wisdom, was
acceptable to them. Notwithstanding this fact, the various factions of
Christendom are essaying to build upon the foundation of what has come
down to them through the channel of unauthorized councils of men. May
we not ask with perfect propriety, is not that which was rejected or
lost just as valuable as much of that which has been handed down to us?

As proof that writings of the disciples of Jesus have been lost to
the world, I would call special attention to several passages of
the Scripture. The writings of the New Testament are from eight
authors--Matthew, Mark, Luke, John, Peter, Paul, James and Jude. Luke
says: "Forasmuch as many have taken in hand to set forth in order a
declaration of these things which are most surely believed among us."
(Luke i:1.) While there is no definite proof in this statement as to
how many had written their testimonies concerning the Messiah, it is
evident they were not few, but many. That there was opportunity and
material upon which to write respecting this glorious subject, the life
and ministry of Jesus, is very apparent from the last verse of the
twenty-first chapter of St. John, as follows: "And there are also many
other things which Jesus did, the which, if they should be written,
every one, I suppose that even the world itself could not contain the
books that should be written." With such a statement, it is to be
wondered at that the world who believed in the Redeemer should rest
contented with the narrow view that we have all that is important.

We have in the New Testament what is called I Cor. and II Cor., written
to the Saints in Corinth by the apostle Paul. In I Cor. chapter v:9,
we have this: "I wrote unto you in an epistle not to company with
fornicators." This must have been previous to the one in which this
occurs, and yet such an epistle is not found in our New Testament.
In Col. iv:16, Paul says: "And when this epistle is read among you,
cause that it be read also in the church of the Laodiceans; and that
ye likewise read the epistle from Laodicea." This refers to an epistle
from Paul to the Colossians, written from Laodicea, but which is not
found in the canon of Scripture as we have it. In II Tim., chapter
iv:13, Paul requests Timothy to bring him certain parchments; what
they contained we know not. Jude says: "And Enoch also, the seventh
from Adam, prophesied of these things, saying: 'Behold the Lord cometh
with ten thousand of His saints.'" How delightful it would be to read
the predictions and teachings of that great prophet Enoch, the man
who walked and talked with God 365 years, "and was not, for God took
him." Only a few verses in the Old and New Testament are all we have in
the canon of Scripture respecting Enoch and his city. What a glorious
flood of light will dawn upon the world when the writings of Enoch are
revealed! In the Old Testament may be found references to about thirty
books written by the Jewish scribes and prophets, but which have been
lost to the world, rejected and cast aside by uninspired, unauthorized
councils of men.

Suppose that all that is necessary so far as explanation of doctrine
is concerned is contained in the New Testament, we are then confronted
with man's inability to understand what has been revealed without
the light of revelation to guide the human mind in understanding and
applying the truth. As proof of this I will cite the testimony of Paul:
"For what man knoweth the things of a man, save the spirit of man which
is in him? Even so the things of God knoweth no man, but the Spirit of
God. * * * But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit
of God; for they are foolishness unto him; neither can he know them,
because they are spiritually discerned." (I Cor. ii:11, 14.) Jesus said
to Nicodemus: "Except a man be born again he cannot see the kingdom of
God." (St. John iii:3.) "No man can say that Jesus is the Lord but by
the Holy Ghost." (I Cor. xii:3.) The truth of these sacred sayings is
verified by the history of the world, which has languished in darkness
without revelation, as shown by previous quotations.

Another very important feature of this subject consists in the fact,
that there always have been in every gospel dispensation labors to
perform of a practical character, such as the building of temples,
the gathering of Israel out of Egypt, the building of the Ark of
the Covenant, etc., none of which could be accomplished except by
direct revelation from God. We may therefore conclude that while the
ordinances and doctrines of the gospel are eternal and unchangeable,
the circumstances associated with the people in every dispensation of
the gospel are constantly changing. The emergencies of this situation
must be met, not by the dead letter of ancient Scripture, but by
present inspiration and revelation given through living oracles of God.

"By a prophet the Lord brought Israel out of Egypt, and by a prophet
was he preserved." (Hosea xii:13.) The prophecies of the Jewish
prophets in the Old Testament, pointing to the advent of the Messiah,
are clear and explicit. Read the seventh chapter of Isaiah, fourteenth
verse; the ninth chapter and sixth verse; the fifty-third chapter of
the same book; the fifth chapter of Micah, second verse; and many other
passages of the Old Testament. In these we find plain predictions which
were verified in the birth, ministry and crucifixion of the Savior,
which were read by the Jews but not understood by them, because the
light of revelation from God was not the source of their information.
This was rather the wisdom of their own learning, which led them to
reject the Messiah and discard the great message of life which He
brought unto them.

As there were many plain prophecies relating to the first coming of
the Savior and the great work associated with His advent, so there are
pointed predictions referring to His second coming and a work of great
magnitude to precede that great event. I will call attention to a few
as proof that more revelation will be given, and that without it these
prophecies could never be fulfilled: "Behold, I will send my messenger,
and he shall prepare the way before me; and the Lord, whom ye seek,
shall suddenly come to His temple, even the Messenger of the covenant,
whom ye delight in; behold, He shall come, saith the Lord of hosts.
But who may abide the day of His coming? and who shall stand when He
appeareth? for He is like a refiners' fire, and like fuller's sore. *
* * And He shall purify the sons of Levi," etc. (Mal. iii:1-3.) This
prophecy must refer to His second coming. At His first advent He did
not come suddenly; He did not come to His temple. The house of the Lord
had become "a den of thieves." He did not accept it. He did not purify
the sons of Levi. It was a day when they could in their wickedness
abide His coming. "Who shall stand when He appeareth" is clearly a
condition when He shall come in power and glory to take vengeance on
the ungodly.

How could He suddenly come to His temple unless a temple should be
built for Him? One could not be built without a chosen people to build
it; and how can men build the house of the Lord without revelation to
tell them where, when and how to construct such a holy edifice? In
Malachi, chapter iv, we have a very striking prophecy of the judgments
of the Almighty in the last days, before the coming of the Lord. In
the fifth verse the prophet says, "Behold, I will send you Elijah the
Prophet, before the coming of the great and dreadful day of the Lord."
The great prophet Elijah, who was taken to heaven in a chariot of fire
without tasting death, was to visit the earth in the last days. The
apostle John, when upon the isle of Patmos, also saw the hour of God's
judgement, and uttered the following prediction: "And I saw another
angel fly in the midst of heaven, having the everlasting gospel to
preach unto them that dwell on the earth, and to every nation, and
kindred, and tongue, and people, Saying with a loud voice, Fear God and
give glory to Him; for the hour of His judgment is come: and worship
Him that made heaven, and earth, and the sea, and the fountains of
waters." (Rev. xiv:6-7.) From this prophecy we learn that an angel
was to visit the earth at a later period than when John uttered the
above words. His mission was to be to restore the everlasting gospel,
a gospel that does not change; a gospel of apostles, prophets, gifts,
visions, revelations, etc.

"The everlasting gospel." Why should an angel bring the gospel if it
already existed upon the earth? Why should the call be to worship the
God who made the heavens, the earth and the fountains of water, etc.,
if these creations were brought into existence by a God "without body,
parts or passions"? This prophecy of John agrees with Peter's words
recorded in the third chapter of Acts, wherein he says: "And He shall
send Jesus Christ, which before was preached unto you; whom the heaven
must receive until the times of restitution of all things, which God
hath spoken by the mouth of all His holy prophets since the world
began." (Acts iii: 20-22.) By this we learn that before the advent of
the Messiah to reign on earth there should be a grand restitution,
bringing back that which was lost; a restoration of revelation,
ministry of angels, prophecies, tongues, healings, miracles, etc.
Who can believe the Scriptures and yet deny the necessity for more
revelation? The quotations here given are only a few compared with many
that can be made bearing upon the subject. They all show that direct
and continuous revelation from God is an absolute necessity to the
welfare, progress and final salvation of the children of men.


In considering the principles of the gospel, it will not be difficult
to see that faith occupies the first place in the catalogue of
righteous principles which, as a whole, go to constitute the plan of
salvation. It is the principle existing in the human soul which goes
before all action and leads to good works. It pleases God that man
should repent of all sin by ceasing therefrom, thus accomplishing
a reformation of life without which remission of sins would not be
granted; and as repentance and good works are pleasing to God, we
must accept of faith first, for Paul says: "But without faith it is
impossible to please Him: for he that cometh to God must believe that
He is, and that He is a rewarder of them that diligently seek Him."
(Heb. xi:6.)

"Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things
not seen." (Heb. xi:1.) The inspired translation by the prophet Joseph
Smith renders the word "assurance" instead of "substance," which
appears more consistent with the latter clause in the passage, which
says, "the evidence of things not seen," not the substance itself, for
that would amount to knowledge or the actual possession of the object
hoped for. This assurance of things hoped for must come through some
evidence, either of a character which can be demonstrated in a tangible
manner, or through some impression which gives an assurance to the mind
of the individual possessing it, if to no other. This faith prompts to
action all intelligent beings. Without the assurance of reaping, the
farmer would not sow; the laborer would not commence his daily task
unless he believed he would accomplish it; and so it is in religious

Upon the day of Pentecost the multitude never would have appealed to
the apostles to know what they should do to be saved unless they first
believed in God and in His Son, Jesus Christ--so recently crucified in
their midst--and also in the authority of the apostles to teach and
administer in the ordinances of eternal life. This faith was based upon
the evidence presented by Peter that Jesus was the Christ, sealed upon
their hearts by the Spirit of God, and not by the wisdom or ability
of man. The result was obedience, and a knowledge of the truth for
themselves; for the promise is: "If any man will do His will, he shall
know of the doctrine, whether it be of God, or whether I speak of
myself." (St. John vii:17.) If Peter had been an impostor, deceiving
the people, he might, perchance, have persuaded some to accept his
theories; but what would have been the result? The evidence being
false, the faith or assurance would have a false foundation to act
upon, and disappointment would have been the result. When the evidence
is true, the faith resulting and acted upon will bring knowledge.

When Columbus discovered America, and the use of gunpowder was
displayed to the astonishment and fear of the Indians, some of the
Europeans told the natives that all they had to do was to procure some
powder and sow it like grain, and it would grow. The poor natives
believed the lie, acted upon their belief, and disappointment was the
result, to the destruction of their confidence in the white man. This
illustrates that belief may be built upon false evidence, and no matter
how sincere the believer, the laws of sincerity cannot be changed to
vindicate the dishonesty of the deceiver nor to avoid disappointment
befalling the deceived. Why should it be otherwise regarding the law
of God? Sincerity is not evidence that the believer will obtain the
good for which he seeks, for if his religious devotion is based upon
his confidence in the preaching or teaching of false guides, God will
not change His laws and ordinances, neither will He acknowledge the
authority of impostors, and thus become accessory to the deception, in
order to satisfy those who allow themselves to be led astray.

It is a maxim of skeptics that "We doubt all things in order to prove
all things"; and thus doubting, they reject the means which God
has designated as the way to become acquainted with and prove for
themselves the truth of the promise: "If any man will do His will, he
shall know of the doctrine."

The history of the world proves that in the advancement made in
science, in arts, in human government, the leaders and promoters of all
that is good, in the majority of instances, have been believers in God;
and their faith in Him and the ultimate success of their enterprises
have prompted them to action. In the language of Paul on this subject
of faith: "By faith Noah, being warned of God of things not seen as
yet, moved with fear, prepared an ark to the saving of his house; by
the which he condemned the world, and became heir of the righteousness,
which is by faith": "By faith Abraham, when he was called to go
out into a place which he should after receive for an inheritance,
obeyed; and he went out, not knowing whither he went." (Heb. xi:7, 8.)
I might add numerous testimonies from the Scriptures that faith is
the assurance of things hoped for, and the principle which prompts to
action all intelligent beings, and that when based upon the promises
of the Lord, unmixed with the theories of men, and acted upon, it has
never failed to bring knowledge and rest to the weary mind in that
security which comes from a pure knowledge of God.

Having shown something of the nature of faith in a general way, as a
principle existing in the human mind and as directing all human action,
whether religious or secular, let us now draw the line of distinction
between faith in its general sense, and faith as a principle of power
as enjoyed and exercised by those who are truly the people of God.

Let us first remember that it is one thing to believe in the power
of God as manifested by revelation, prophecy, healing, etc., when
presented to us merely as the events of history, and altogether
another thing to be confronted with the testimony of living apostles,
presenting to the world doctrines that are unpopular and with which the
cherished creeds of men have never failed to conflict--apostles who ask
us to believe them to be servants of God, called by new revelation,
and testing our faith by the promise that "if you will repent and
be baptized" with honest hearts, you shall know for yourselves the
truth, and need not depend upon the assertions of any other man for
your knowledge concerning it. It is an undeniable fact of history that
God has never sent a prophet to warn the world but He found thousands
professing belief in the dead prophets, yet ready to reject and slay
the living. It cannot be said that this generation is an exception,
for the religious education they receive from the so-called Christian
pulpit is that apostles and prophets, together with the ancient gifts
and powers of the gospel, are no longer needed; and if any come
professing the ancient apostleship, they may reject them without
investigation as "false prophets." They apparently forget that it would
be difficult, if not impossible, to produce a counterfeit coin unless
the genuine existed.

In speaking of faith as a principle of power, the apostle Paul said to
the Hebrews: "Through faith we understand that the worlds were framed
by the word of God, so that things which are seen were not made of
things which do appear. * * * And what shall I more say? For the time
would fail me to tell of Gideon, and of Barak, and of Samson, and of
Jephthae, of David also, and Samuel, and of the prophets: Who through
faith subdued kingdoms, wrought righteousness, obtained promises,
stopped the mouths of lions, quenched the violence of fire, escaped
the edge of the sword, out of weakness were made strong, waxed valiant
in fight, turned to flight the armies of the aliens. Women received
their dead raised to life again," etc. (Heb. xi:3 32-35.) Besides
these, innumerable other events have been brought about through faith
exercised by men having authority to speak and act in the name of God.
Jesus promised that "these signs shall follow them that believe. In my
name shall they cast out devils, they shall take up serpents, and if
they drink any deadly thing, it shall not hurt them; they shall lay
hands on the sick and they shall recover."

These are only a few of the characteristics associated with true faith,
the "faith that was once delivered to the saints," and so much in
striking contrast to the weak yet high-sounding pretensions of modern
professors who have a form of godliness, yet deny the power thereof.

As a contrast to the wisdom and learning of men, we are promised as
the result of acting upon true faith, that to one is given the word
of wisdom, to another knowledge. Tongues, prophecy, etc., all are
characteristic of that faith which emanates from God. These gifts are
not merely to satisfy curiosity or to convince skeptics.

As a principle of eternal truth it is a necessity that not only must
the administrator have faith, but the one who is the recipient of the
blessings also must exercise it so far as he is capable. Therefore, as
a rule, when Jesus healed the sick and opened the eyes of the blind,
He said to the individual: "Go thy way, _thy_ faith hath made thee
whole." As a further testimony of this He told unbelievers when they
sought a sign: "An evil and adulterous generation seeketh after a sign,
and there shall no sign be given to it, but the sign of the prophet
Jonas; for as Jonas was three days and three nights in the whale's
belly, so shall the Son of Man be three days and three nights in the
heart of the earth." (Matt. xii:39, 40.) Yet be it remembered that this
sign of Christ's three days' rest in the tomb was not given to convince
skeptics, for it was an event ordained of God before the foundation of
the world, in the plan of human redemption, and would have occurred if
all the world had received Him gladly. But they did not receive Him
even when He was resurrected, for the same class who sought a sign
circulated the fabrication that the body of Christ was not risen from
the dead, but that His disciples had come in the night and stolen Him

There are sign-seekers today, even among those who profess Christ,
and may we not say the same of them as Jesus said of the ancient
sign-seekers, from the fact that what was true then is true now, and
what is true of a generation is true of the individuals which compose
it. Further, the Savior said to His apostles when they failed to cast
out the devils and sought Him to know the reason: "Because of your
unbelief, for verily I say unto you, If ye have faith as a grain of
mustard seed, ye shall say unto this mountain, 'Remove hence to yonder
place,' and it shall remove; and nothing shall be impossible unto you."
(Matt. xvii:20.)

To these quotations might be added many others, but this will suffice
to show the effects of faith, that it is a principle of power. We ask,
has God changed? Is not faith, being a principle emanating from Deity,
as unchangeable as God Himself? Who, professing to believe in Christ,
will say, if we believe and are baptized by rightful authority in this
age, that Jesus will fail in His part of the contract to bestow the
promised blessings?

In view of all that is written in the Bible concerning this true faith
and the effects which flow therefrom, and the reverse of that pure
faith of the Bible which characterizes the "Christianity" of today, is
it wonderful that the Savior exclaimed: "When the Son of Man cometh,
shall He find faith on earth?" (Luke xviii:8.)


Repentance follows faith as a natural sequence; for when the human
mind has sufficient faith in God, based upon the perfection of His
attributes, to desire His guidance and a final return to His presence,
the thought is foremost that no unclean thing can enter his presence.
Repentance from all sin, not merely an expression of sorrow but a
discontinuance of sinful practices, amounting to a reformation of life,
therefore suggests itself as a matter of course. This philosophical
view of the subject is in perfect accord with Holy Writ. Hence it was,
upon the day of Pentecost, when the sin-convicted multitude cried out:
"Men and brethren, What shall we do?" that Peter commanded them to
repent as the first step following the manifestation of their faith in
Christ and His atonement. (Acts ii:37.)

That repentance is an indispensable condition of salvation has been
taught in all ages of the world by men of God, the only exception
being that which applies to all other requirements of the Gospel. That
exception is in the case of persons incapable of knowing good from
evil, such as children who cannot believe, or disbelieve, and are
exempt from the law until they arrive at the years of accountability.
Hence the saying of the Savior: "Suffer little children, and forbid
them not, to come unto me, for of such is the kingdom of heaven."
(Matt. xix:14.)

Ezekiel said to ancient Israel, in his 18th chapter and 30th verse,
"Repent and turn yourselves from all your transgressions, so iniquity
shall not be your ruin." Israel did not repent as a nation, and their
sad history proves that iniquity caused their ruin. The olive branch of
peace was offered them without money and without price. They rejected
the means of escape, and in consequence they have verified the words of
Moses, their great lawgiver: "And I will scatter you among the heathen
and will draw out a sword after you; and your land shall be desolate
and your cities waste." (Lev. xxvi:33.)

It was supposed by those in Palestine that the Galileans, whose blood
Pilate had mingled with the sacrifices, were greater sinners than
others because such agonies had come upon them. "And Jesus answering
said unto them, 'Suppose ye that these Galileans were sinners above
all the Galileans, because they suffererd such things? I tell you nay,
but except ye repent, ye shall all likewise perish.'" The foregoing
contains the divine lesson that suffering is not a substitute for
repentance: that while He did not justify the agonies brought upon
them by persecution, He did not intimate that the suffering would be
acceptable instead of repentance, or that these sufferings were any
evidence of the sins of the sufferers as to the height or depth of
their transgressions. The weight of responsibility is measured either
by the light men possess or the light which opportunities afford them
to possess. As Paul said to the Athenians (Acts xvii:30.), "And the
times of this ignorance God winked at, but now commandeth all men
everywhere to repent"; and again the Savior enunciated this doctrine:
"And this is the condemnation that light is come into the world, and
men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil."
(St. John iii:19.)

No matter how strict the individual may be in living a life of moral
rectitude, it is very plainly taught in the Scriptures that rejecting
further light from God constitutes a sin. We cite the case of the
young man told of in Matthew, chapter 19, who came to the Savior
for instructions, but who, when he was commanded by the Redeemer to
sell all that he had, give to the poor, and follow Him, went away
sorrowful, rejecting the injunction of the Savior, and yet he had kept
the commandments from his youth up, and probably was as righteous as
any modern Christians, who, if commanded by the Savior to give their
possessions to the poor, would go away sorrowful. There were "devout"
people assembled on the day of Pentecost, and yet Peter made no
exception when he commanded the multitude to repent. If they had done
the best they could previously with the light they had, greater light
had come to them and they must receive it or be condemned.

This truth applies to every gospel dispensation, not excepting the
"dispensation of the fullness of times," the greatest of all. God
promised to send a holy angel and make a restitution of all things as
predicted by the ancient prophets, preceding the second advent of the
Messiah. The light has come. A new dispensation has been ushered in.
The Everlasting Gospel has been restored with its ancient gifts and
blessings, and "God commandeth all men everywhere to repent," whether
they be so-called Christians or infidels. Repentance is a principle
and not merely an expression of penitent grief. It involves, as
before stated, a reformation of life. In II Cor, vii:9, 10, Paul says:
"Now I rejoice, not that ye were made sorry, but that ye sorrowed to
repentance. * * * For godly sorrow worketh repentance to salvation not
to be repented of, but the sorrow of the world worketh death." The
sorrow of the world may be illustrated by the conduct of the inebriate,
who, when intoxicated, commits acts of violence which mantle his brow
with shame and fill him with remorse in his sober moments. He expresses
sorrow, perhaps weeps in his agony, but again gives away to the tempter
and repeats his acts of dishonor instead of "fleeing temptation."
This kind of sorrow does not work repentance to salvation. We find
religious people sorrowing and sometimes confessing their sins, only to
repeat sin. This is the sorrow of the world and needs to be repented
of because it savors so much of hypocrisy, and consequently "worketh
death." On the contrary, true repentance consists, not in the outward
expression of grief, but in forsaking sin. "Let the wicked forsake his
way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts: and let him return unto the
Lord, and He will have mercy upon him, and to our God, for He will
abundantly pardon." (Isa. lv:7.) Repentance is required not only of the
evil deed, but of the unrighteous thought. Every wicked deed is first
conceived in the mind, hence the need of casting away the evil thought
before it germinates into actual crime, which leads to prison, the
gallows and to spiritual death. Of the ruin caused by the talented, but
corrupt Aaron Burr it was truly said: "His brain conceived it, his hand
brought it into action."

Let us now examine a passage of Scripture which is frequently quoted to
substantiate the erroneous doctrine that God is pleased to save men in
their sins, or that death-bed repentance is all-sufficient. The passage
is found in Luke xxiii:42, 43, and reads thus: "And he (the penitent
malefactor) said unto Jesus, 'Lord, remember me when Thou comest into
Thy kingdom.' And Jesus said unto him, 'Verily I say unto thee, today
shalt thou be with me in Paradise.'" From this statement thousands
in the Christian world have taken it for granted that the thief on
the cross received full and complete salvation. With this unwarranted
perversion of a sacred passage, the minister has taught the murderer
in the felon's cell to confess Christ and all would be well with
him; and as the hangman drew the bolt and let the culprit swing into
eternity, the minister has stood close by and said, "The Lord Jesus
receive thy soul." On the other hand, the poor victim of the assassin
has been cut off without time to confess Christ, and the same doctrine
which wafts the murderer to the courts of glory consigns the victim
to the flames of hell. Is it possible that Christ ever taught such a
heinous doctrine? A doctrine so inconsistent, so revolting to reason,
so repugnant to justice! We answer emphatically "No," nor did He utter
a syllable from which such an inference can be drawn or establish the
idea that the malefactor went to heaven. The question is, then, where
did he go? If not to heaven, then the paradise named and heaven are two
different places. Let the Scriptures answer for themselves. Three days
after the crucifixion the Savior came forth a resurrected being, and as
Mary met Him at the tomb, He said to her, "Touch me not, for I am not
yet ascended to my Father." Thus we have from His own lips, in which
there was never guile, that He had not ascended to the Father; and if
He had not, neither had the thief. If no further light than this could
be found in the sacred volume, this would be sufficient to show that
the malefactor did not go to heaven, for where Jesus went the thief
went, for that was the promise. Where, then, did the Lord go? Turn to
I Peter iii 18-21, and the question is answered: "For Christ also hath
once suffered for sins, the just for the unjust, that He might bring us
to God, being put to death in the flesh but quickened by the Spirit:
By which also He went and preached unto the spirits in prison; Which
sometimes were disobedient when once the long suffering of God waited
in the days of Noah."

This makes it plain that the paradise referred to was the prison house,
to which place Jesus went and opened up a dispensation of the Gospel
to the dead. The next chapter, 6th verse, says: "For for this cause
was the Gospel preached also to them that are dead, that they might
be judged according to men in the flesh, but live according to God in
the spirit." The thief therefore went to a place of confinement to
remain until the justice of God should be satisfied and mercy step in
and claim her own. The difference between the penitent malefactor, who
appears to have repented before death, and the antediluvians was that
the former immediately went to a place where Christ would present to
him the plan of life, that day, while the latter had waited hundreds
of years for that privilege. This shows that repentance brings its
blessings even upon the deathbed; but to say that, after a life of sin,
the malefactor went straight to the abode of the Father and remained
there in glory, is in conflict with the teachings of Christ and Peter.
The statements of Peter relative to the mission of Christ to the
spirits in prison throws light upon the saying of the Savior in St.
John v:25, "Verily, verily, I say unto you, the hour is coming and now
is, when the dead shall hear the voice of the Son of God, and they that
hear shall live."

Thus we see the privileges of the penitent malefactor. He went to the
prison house and heard the Gospel, but how long he remained there
before receiving all the saving benefits of the Gospel, we are not
told. One thing is certain-he did not come back with the Messiah, nor
have we ever heard of him sitting down with Christ on the right hand of
the Father. The Scripture being true which says, "The murderer hath not
eternal life abiding in him," it is safe to say that the prayers of all
the ministers on earth cannot carry the souls of the assassin to the
presence and glory of God. As there are different degrees of glory, so
are there various grades of crimes to which are attached the different
degrees of punishment, all of which clearly maintain the justice and
mercy of God.

In Galatians v:19-21, we read as follows: "Now the works of the flesh
are manifest, which are these: adultery, fornication, uncleanness,
lasciviousness, Idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulations,
wrath, strife, seditions, heresies, Envyings, murders, drunkenness,
revellings, and such like; of the which I tell you before, as I have
also told you in time past, that they which do such things shall not
inherit the kingdom of God."

In conclusion, as a true definition of repentance, let us quote the
words of Paul to the Ephesians, iv: 25, 30: "Wherefore putting away
lying speak every man truth with his neighbor. * * * Be ye angry and
sin not: let not the sun go down upon your wrath. Neither give place
to the devil. Let him that stole, steal no more. * * * Let no corrupt
communication proceed out of your mouth. * * *" This is the only
repentance taught in Holy Writ, and simply means to forsake all sin and
accomplish a reformation of life.


We come now to considering the necessity of the ordinance of baptism.
When men have repented of their sins it is natural for them to
desire a forgiveness of those sins. How shall this boon be obtained?
That repentance alone does not blot out the sins of the past may be
illustrated in part by a comparison between the temporal and the
spiritual. A man acquires a debt by purchasing goods on credit, and
finding it a ruinous policy, resolves, for the future, to pay as he
goes. This changes his course and constitutes in his business life a
reformation, but it does not pay the debt already incurred. He must
liquidate the obligation, or be forgiven the debt by the creditor. Some
may say that this is the difference between the earthly transaction
of men and the dealings of God with His children. God forgives, it
is true, but every blessing is predicated upon a condition, and the
condition is laid down by the Lord; hence it is written in Mark
i:4: "John did baptize in the wilderness and preach the baptism of
repentance for the remission of sins." From this scripture it is
evident that baptism is to follow repentance, and that at least one
object of baptism is the remission of sins.

Let us now examine some statements of Holy Writ which point out clearly
the necessity of this ordinance. "Then cometh Jesus from Gallilee to
Jordan unto John to be baptized of him. But John forbade Him, saying,
'I have need to be baptized of Thee, and comest Thou to me? And Jesus,
answering: said unto him, 'Suffer it to be so now; for thus it becometh
us to fulfill all righteousness.' Then he suffered Him." (Matt.
iii:13-15.) Every thoughtful, God-fearing person must be impressed with
the feeling that if it was essential for the "Only Begotten of the
Father," "who is full of grace and truth," to be baptized, none can be
exempt who have arrived at the years of accountability. It appears also
from the language used in the quotation that without being baptized he
could not fulfill "all righteousness." After teaching His disciples
for three years, being crucified and risen from the dead, He gave to
them this commission: "Go ye into all the world and preach the gospel
to every creature. He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved;
but he that believeth not shall be damned." (Mark xvi:15, 16. ) Also in
Matthew xxviii:19: "Go ye, therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing
them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost";
and in Luke xxiv:45-47: "Then opened He their understanding that
they might understand the Scriptures, And said unto them, Thus it is
written, and thus it behooved Christ to suffer, and to rise from the
dead the third day: And that repentance and remission of sins should
be preached in His name among all nations, beginning at Jerusalem." In
the latter quotation the word baptism is not used, but the same writer
says in Luke iii:3, regarding the mission of John: "And he came into
all the country about Jordan, preaching the baptism of repentance for
the remission of sins," thus enunciating the doctrine that remission of
sins is obtained through baptism.

The same writer gives us the following (Luke vii:29, 30): "And all the
people that heard him, and the publicans, justified God, being baptized
with the baptism of John. But the Pharisees and lawyers rejected the
counsel of God against themselves, being not baptized of Him." From
this it is manifested that by receiving baptism they honored and obeyed
God, and that the rejection of this simple yet divine institution
amounted to rejecting the counsel of God, with all the terrible
consequences attendant upon such disobedience.

We read in the eighth chapter of Acts that Philip baptized the
Samaritans and the Ethiopian. In the same book is related the baptism
of Saul, of Lydia, of the Philippian jailor, and of Cornelius. It
is not necessary to multiply quotations to show that baptism was
taught and practiced all through the apostolic dispensation, as being
essential to salvation. As a direct statement of Jesus Himself, to
close this part of the subject, we quote His words to Nicodemus, St.
John iii:5: "Verily, verily, I say unto thee, except a man, be born
of water and of the spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God."
The birth of the water can only be accomplished by baptism, and if an
accountable being cannot enter into the kingdom of God without baptism,
then that ordinance must be essential to salvation.

Let us next consider the object of this sacred rite. It is evident that
inasmuch as a man cannot enter into the kingdom of God without the
baptism of water, then his sins must necessarily be remitted through
faith, repentance and baptism from the fact that "no unclean person * *
* hath any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and of God."

In Mark i:4 and Luke iii:3 we read that "John did baptize in the
wilderness and preached the baptism of repentance for the remission of
sins." On the day of Pentecost, when the mighty power of God rested
upon the apostles and the Spirit bore witness to the multitude that
they were in sin, notwithstanding their devoutness, they cried out,
"Men and brethren, what shall we do?" To this Peter answered, "Repent
and be baptized, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the
remission of sins." (Acts ii:38.)

Paul narrates before King Agrippa his conversion, in Acts xxii:16,
and says that Ananias, to whom he had been commanded to apply, said:
"And now, why tarriest thou? Arise and be baptized and wash away thy
sins, calling on the name of the Lord." The foregoing quotations will
suffice to show that God instituted baptism for the remission of sins,
but from other passages already quoted. Mark i:4, also xvi:15-16,
and the account of Simon, the sorcerer, in the eighth chapter of
Acts, it is very evident that the result--forgiveness--is not secured
unless baptism is accompanied on the part of the candidate by faith
and a genuine repentance in turning aside from sin. Otherwise there
would be the solemn mockery of administering a sacred ordinance to a
hypocrite. Hence the apostles said to Simon, "Thy money perish with
thee because thou hast thought that the gift of God may be purchased
with money." (Acts viii:20.) Notwithstanding he had been baptized he
was still in his sins, because his heart was not pure, and he had not
repented. For this reason the apostles said to him, "Repent therefore
of this wickedness. * * * For I perceive that thou art in the gall
of bitterness and in the bond of iniquity." (Acts viii:22-23.) This
should be a warning to those modern professors whose religion is in
many instances a cloak, hidden beneath which is the depraved heart that
garnishes the sepulchres of the dead prophets but is ready to slay the
living ones.

We now come to that part of the subject which formerly caused so
much dissension among the Christian sects, but which latterly is
smoothed over with the assertion that it makes no difference which
mode--sprinkling, pouring, or immersion--is used; "either will do,"
"let the candidate take his choice; it is immaterial." To these
unwarranted assertions we reply: First, that if either mode will
do, none will do, for still other forms may be added by the whims
of men. Christ established but one true mode, "One Lord, one faith,
_one baptism,"_ and if one is right, the others are wrong. This is a
plain proposition. Again, the dissension and conflict on this point
is proof against the inspiration of the sectarian world, if they have
any, for the reason that the Spirit of God will not lie nor contradict
itself. If, therefore, the Spirit of the Lord teaches me that immersion
is right, it will not teach another sprinkling, and yet another
pouring. This division, then, is because men are guided by opinion and
preference and not by the spirit of revelation from God, which guides
into all truth and brings those who possess it to a unity of faith.

Now as concerning the baptism of Jesus, who is the pattern, we have
Matt. iii:16, which says, "And Jesus when He was baptized went up
straightway out of the water." It is not likely that John would be
baptizing in Jordan and that Jesus would have gone down into the water
if anything less than immersion would have fulfilled the law. This also
agrees with the account of the Ethiopian's baptism by Philip (Acts
viii:38): "And they went down both into the water, _both Philip and the
eunuch,_ and he baptized him." As making still plainer this using a
river of water and going _"down into the water"_ to receive the sacred
rite, we quote from St. John iii:23: "And John also was baptizing in
Enon, near to Salim, because there was _much water there."_ A statement
so plain as the foregoing needs no comment. It speaks for itself. He
was baptizing not only in Enon, but at a certain point in the stream
"because there was much water there." Such a reason could not have been
given if sprinkling or pouring had been a proper mode.

We refer further to the New Testament statements where not only the
mode of baptism is indicated by the language, but the fact that baptism
symbolizes the birth into the world, the death, and the resurrection of
the body. To Nicodemus, Jesus said: "Verily, verily, I say unto thee,
except a man be born of water, and of the spirit, he cannot enter into
the kingdom of God." (St. John iii:5.) When man comes forth into the
world, he is born or brought out from the watery element, being first
buried in it, and this constitutes his birth. To be "born of water" as
a sacred ordinance would be impossible if the rite of sprinkling or
pouring be the mode employed. Only complete immersion will answer the
ordinance indicated in the language of Jesus to Nicodemus.

Paul also said to the Romans, "Know ye not that so many of us as were
baptized into Jesus Christ were baptized into His death? Therefore we
are buried with him by baptism into death; that like as Christ was
raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also
should walk in newness of life. For if we have been planted together
in the likeness of His death, we shall be also in the likeness of His
resurrection." (Rom. vi:3-5.) The foregoing shows that baptism is a
likeness of burial. When the body is laid lifeless in the tomb it is
covered completely; it is not left partly buried and partly uncovered;
and as the body comes forth in the resurrection, immortal, and free
from the conditions of mortality, thus walking in "newness of life,"
so by the remission of sins through faith, repentance and baptism, the
obedient candidate comes forth free from sin, and walks in a new life,
prepared for the birth of the spirit, thus symbolizing in beautiful
similarity the death and resurrection of the body. This is still
farther emphasized by the language, "For if we have been planted,"
etc., thus using a word which implies a complete burial as in planting
seeds in the earth.

Again, we quote the words of Paul to the Colossians, ii:12: "Buried
with Him in baptism, wherein also ye are risen with Him through the
faith of the operation of God, who hath raised Him from the dead." This
corresponds with the statement before quoted from Romans, and also the
teachings of Christ to Nicodemus.

From the Scriptures already quoted on the necessity, object and mode of
baptism, we may deduce the conclusion that the ordinance established
to follow and go with faith and repentance, and which constitutes
the third principle of the gospel, is baptism by immersion for the
remission of sins.


Having shown that faith, repentance and baptism are essential to the
remission of sins, let us now consider the reception of the Holy
Spirit. That this should follow, and not precede, the birth of the
water must be evident to every thoughtful person. It is clear that a
man is not prepared for the indwelling of the Holy Ghost unless he
repents of his sins and becomes freed from them by obedience to the
laws of God. Some people may contend that, because Jesus stated that
man must be born again, in order to see the kingdom of heaven, such
a birth precedes baptism, and is synonymous with the birth of the
Spirit mentioned by the Savior in the third chapter of St. John; but
being born again, in order to see the kingdom, evidently shows that a
man must have some light above the natural senses, sufficient to the
light of Christ to make him see the kingdom of God. In other words, to
secure, and we may say, consistently constitute his conversion.

This light which guides him to the truth does not, however, forego
the absolute necessity of obeying the laws and ordinances of the
Gospel. As proof of this we cite the conversion of Paul. He received
a personal manifestation of the Savior's power, even hearing his
voice and witnessing a light from heaven. Notwithstanding this, Jesus
commanded him to go to Ananias, an authorized servant of Christ, who
should instruct him regarding his salvation. He was therefore required
to be born of water and of the Spirit. Cornelius, also, as related in
the tenth chapter of Acts, saw an angel and received a manifestation
of the Holy Ghost previous to baptism. Yet both men were required to
obey the ordinances enjoined by the Gospel of Christ. If they rejected
these requirements, undoubtedly the light they had received would have
departed from them and this would have added to their condemnation.

The historical fact of the laying on of hands for the gift of the Holy
Ghost is not, in every instance, recorded in the Scriptures, and it is
not necessary that it should be, in order to prove that the ordinance
was established by the Messiah. In the matter of baptism He said to
John, "Suffer it to be so now, for thus it becometh us to fulfill all
righteousness." He made no exception of Himself, but gave the example
by his own obedience. How can others be excused? To show that the
laying on of hands for the gift of the Holy Ghost, by those having
divine authority was practiced by the ancient apostles, we refer to
Acts viii:14, 17: "Now, when the apostles which were at Jerusalem heard
that Samaria had received the word of God, they sent unto them Peter
and John, who, when they were come down, prayed for them, that they
might receive the Holy Ghost: (for as yet He was fallen upon none of
them: only they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus.) Then laid
they their hands on them and they received the Holy Ghost."

Philip did not have the authority to lay on hands for this gift, hence
Peter and John were sent from Jerusalem for the express purpose of
performing this higher ordinance of the Gospel. In the nineteenth
chapter of Acts is an account of Paul's visit to the city of Ephesus,
where he found about twelve men who claimed to have received the same
form of baptism as administered by John the Baptist. But in answer to
Paul's question, "Have ye received the Holy Ghost since ye believed?"
they told him they had not so much as heard of it, and his action
in re-baptizing them would strongly indicate that some imposter had
counterfeited in form the true baptism. This being performed without
legitimate authority, their sins were not remitted, and they were not
in a condition to receive the Holy Ghost. Hence Paul baptized them; and
the sixth verse says: "And when Paul had laid his hands upon them, the
Holy Ghost came upon them and they spake with tongues and prophesied."

An imposter can baptize in water by physical force, imitate the true
form at the submission of the candidate, but the gift of the Holy Ghost
cannot be given without authority from God; and while the water baptism
is equally destitute of its legitimate results when not performed by
authority, the imposture is not so readily detected because not usually
accompanied by the same manifestation of divine power; therefore
designing or ignorant men have taken pains either to deny the gift of
the Holy Ghost as being essential with its ancient spiritual powers, or
to tell the people that no outward ordinance was essential to confer
it, thus endeavoring to dispense with this sacred ordinance.

The following references also indicate the laying on of hands as a
sacred rite which would not have been adopted by the apostles unless
'commanded of God to do so: I Tim. iv:14-"Neglect not the gift that
is in thee, which was given thee by prophecy, with the laying on of
the hands of the presbytery." II Tim. i:6-"Wherefore I put thee in
remembrance that thou stir up the gift of God which is in thee by the
putting on of my hands." Also showing that this ordinance was laid
down as a positive doctrine, we call attention to the sixth chapter
of Hebrews, first and second verses: "Therefore leaving (another
translation, that of the prophet Joseph Smith, reads 'not leaving') the
principles of the doctrine of Christ, let us go on unto perfection, not
laying again the foundation of repentance from dead works, and of faith
toward God of the doctrine of baptisms and of laying on of hands."

That man might duplicate in form this divine ceremony without authority
and without effect, we do not deny; but we confidently assert that
without this ordinance being administered by an acknowledged authority
from God, the operation would be of non-effect. The undeniable facts
of religious history for seventeen centuries prove that men did not
receive the Holy Ghost. Where the tree is, there will the fruit be
produced, unless the tree is dead; and no one will contend that the
Holy Spirit is dead.

The following quotations will point out the fruits of the Holy Spirit:
"But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send
in my name, He shall teach you all things and bring all things to your
remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you." (St. John xiv:26.)
"Howbeit, when He, the Spirit of Truth, is Come, He will guide you
into all truth: for He shall not speak of Himself; but whatsoever
He shall hear, that shall He speak, and He shall show you things to
come." (St. John xvi:13.) "As they ministered to the Lord and fasted,
the Holy Ghost said, 'Separate me Barnabas and Saul, for the work
whereunto I have called them.'" (Acts xiii:2.) "Wherefore I give you
to understand that no man speaking by the Spirit of God calleth Jesus
accursed: and that no man can say that Jesus is the Lord, but by the
Holy Ghost. Now there are diversities of gifts, but the same Spirit. *
* * For to one is given by the Spirit the word of wisdom; to another,
the word of Knowledge by the same Spirit; To another, faith by the
same Spirit; to another, the gifts of healing by the same Spirit; to
another, the working of miracles; to another, prophecy; to another
discerning of Spirits; to another, divers kinds of tongues." ( I Cor.
xii:3, 4, 8, 9, 10.) "But the fruits of the Spirit is love, joy, peace,
long-suffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance."
(Gal. v:22-23.)

The same cause will ever produce the same effect; a tree is known by
its fruits, and to be convinced that we need such gifts today it is
only necessary to look at the spectacle of jarring "Christianity" with
its many creeds. Where is the Spirit that guides into all truth, which
does not contradict itself, but teaches the "common salvation" of "one
Lord, one faith, one baptism, one God and Father of all?" That brings
us "to a unity of faith," and makes us one in Christ, as He prayed
that His disciples and all whom the Father should give Him out of the
world might be one even as I am one in the Father and the Father in me,
that they may be one in us, "that the world may believe that thou hast
sent me?" Where is the Spirit of prophecy? "The testimony of Jesus is
the Spirit of prophecy," the gifts of revelation, healings and all the
glorious powers enumerated in the Scripture quotations made. Well did
Isaiah say, "The earth also is defiled under the inhabitants thereof,
because they have transgressed the laws, changed the ordinances and
broken the everlasting covenant." (Isa. xxiv:5.)

Without further comment on the gifts of the Spirit, we will introduce
quotations to show that the laying on of hands was practiced also for
ordination to office in the Church of Christ, and for the healing of
the sick, as well as to confer the gift of the Holy Ghost: "Whom they
set before the apostles; and when they had prayed, they laid their
hands on them." (Acts vi:6.) This refers to the ordination of Stephen
and six others. "As they ministered to the Lord and fasted, the Holy
Ghost said, separate me Barnabas and Saul for the work whereunto I have
called them. And when they had fasted and prayed and laid their hands
on them they sent them away." (Acts xiii:2, 3.)

The same ordinance was also had in ancient times before the coming of
the Savior. Paul informs us in Gal. iii, that the Gospel was preached
before unto Abraham. "And the Lord said unto Moses, Take thee Joshua,
the son of Nun, a man in whom is the Spirit, and lay thine hands upon
him. And he laid his hands upon him and gave him a charge, as the Lord
commanded by the hand of Moses." (Num. xxvii:18, 23.) "And Joshua, the
son of Nun, was full of the Spirit of wisdom, for Moses had laid his
hands upon him." (Deut. xxxiv:9.)

It is most reasonable to conclude from the evidence presented that this
practice came down from the beginning, and was before and after Christ
a divine ordinance. That it was practiced for the healing of the sick
is evident from the following historical and doctrinal statements made
in the New Testament by the Messiah and His apostles: "They shall lay
hands on the sick and they shall recover." (Mark xvi:18.) "And He could
there do no mighty work save that He laid His hands upon a few sick
folk and healed them." (Mark vi:5.) "Now when the sun was setting, all
they that had any sick with divers diseases brought them unto Him; and
He laid His hands on every one of them, and healed them." (Luke iv:40.)
"And putting His hands on him, said Brother Saul, the Lord, even Jesus,
that appeared unto thee in the way as thou camest, hath sent me that
thou mightest receive thy sight," etc. (Acts ix:17.) "And it came to
pass that the father of Publius lay sick of a fever, and of a bloody
flux; to whom Paul entered in, and prayed, and laid his hands on him,
and healed him." (Acts xxviii:8.) "Is any sick among you? Let him call
for the elders of the church, and let them pray over him, anointing him
with oil in the name of the Lord: And the prayer of faith shall save
the sick, and the Lord shall raise him up," etc. (James v:14, 15.).

Although the laying on of hands is not expressly mentioned in the last
quotation, it is readily seen that the sick could not be anointed
without the imposition of hands.

The foregoing should be sufficient to convince all Bible believers that
the laying on of hands is a sacred ordinance for the purposes specified
in Holy writ, that it follows the baptism of water, and occupies
its relationship in the plan of salvation as the fourth essential
principle to fully establish men in the Church of Christ; the order
is, faith, repentance, baptism by immersion for the remission of sins,
and the laying on of hands for the gift of the Holy Ghost. This is the
door into the sheepfold; "he that entereth not by the door into the
sheepfold, but climbeth up some other way, the same is a thief and a
robber." (St. John x:1.)


As Latter-day Saints we believe that all creation existed spiritually
before the physical organism was brought into existence; "And every
plant of the field before it was in the earth, and every herb of the
field before it grew." (Gen. ii:5.)

"And God said, Let the earth bring forth the living creature after
his kind, cattle, and creeping thing. And beast of the earth after
his kind; and it was so." (Gen. i:24.) Therefore each kind, whether
beast, bird or fish, as well as man, existed before it came to occupy
a physical being, otherwise how could each have been created after its
own kind? The spirit and the body must be the soul, as enunciated by
the Lord in a revelation to the prophet Joseph Smith. (Doctrine and
Covenants, sec. 88, verse 15.) "And the spirit and the body is the
soul of man." Otherwise there might be an eternal fullness when the
spirit and the body are separated. When Jesus was crucified He went, as
stated by Peter, to preach to the spirits in prison, and did not enter
into the fullness of His Father's glory until He ascended after His
resurrection. This was the pattern to all men.

Without the union of the spirit and the body there is not a fullness
of glory. As the spirit exists between death and the resurrection, so
the spirit existed before the birth of the mortal body. God is the God
and Father of the spirits of all flesh, as stated by Moses: "O God, the
God of the spirits of all flesh, shall one man sin, and wilt Thou be
wroth with all the congregation?" (Num. xvi:22.) "Let the Lord, the God
of the spirits of all flesh, set a man over the congregation." (Num.
xxvii:16.) This declaration is corroborated by the apostle Paul in
writing to the Hebrews: "Furthermore, we have had fathers of our flesh,
which corrected us, and we gave them reverence; shall we not much
rather be in subjection to the Father of spirits and live?"

We associate in this life with our natural fathers; we see them as they
are. They teach, guide and direct us by virtue of their fatherhood and
their advanced experience, which qualify them to teach us and direct
our footsteps in the way we should walk. So in our pre-existence did
we mingle with our heavenly Father and His children, our brother and
sister spirits. We knew God and partook of His influence and power. We
were agents to ourselves, and when propositions affecting man's eternal
welfare were placed before us, we were left to choose for ourselves
and be responsible for our own course. Thus Lucifer rebelled, and
drew one-third part of the heavenly host away. They were cast out,
and denied a body. So keenly have they felt this curse that they seek
to possess the bodies of the human family. When Jesus cast the evil
spirits from the men coming out of the tombs, so eager were they to
possess some physical tabernacle, that they besought Him that they
might enter the herd of swine. The request was granted, and the swine,
possessed of evil spirits, ran down violently into the sea.

Not only the fact of man's pre-existence, but also his power to do good
and ill, seemed to be understood by the ancient apostles when they
said, "Master, who did sin, this man or his parents, that he was born
blind? Neither hath this man sinned, nor his parents." (John ix:2, 3.)
Jesus did not deny the possibility of sinning before birth. Why should
not the spirit be just as capable of intelligent action before the
birth into this world, as it is during its existence between death and
the resurrection? As to that time, Jesus taught that all that were in
their graves should hear His voice. (St. John v:25, 29.) When Job was
in the depth of his affliction the Lord said unto him, "Gird up now thy
loins like a man; for I will demand of thee, and answer thou me. Where
wast thou when I laid the foundations of the earth? * * * When the
morning stars sang together, and all the sons of God shouted for joy?"
(Job xxxviii:3, 4, 7.) Doubtless Job was somewhere in existence or the
Almighty would never have propounded such a question. The sons of God
shouted for joy, and without doubt Job was among that honored number.
Solomon also gives us to understand that the spirit once dwelt in the
presence of the Lord. He says: "And the spirit shall return unto God
who gave it."

The subject of pre-existence is made very plain in the first chapter,
5th verse of Jeremiah: "Before I formed thee in the belly I knew thee:
and before thou camest forth out of the womb I sanctified thee and I
ordained thee a prophet unto the nations." Thus in his pre-existent
state did Jeremiah receive his ordination to be a prophet of the Lord
to the nations of the earth. If such were the case with Jeremiah,
why not with thousands of the sons of God? Indeed it is evident from
Paul's writings that the time of man's coming to this world is not
mere chance, neither is it regulated by the arrangements of human
philosophy in this world: "God that made the world * * * hath made
of one blood all nations of men for to dwell on all the face of the
earth: and hath determined the times before appointed and the bounds
of their habitations." (Acts xvii:24, 26.) In other words, the Father
of our spirits determined when we should come and those portions of
the earth where should be set the bounds of our habitation. It was
no chance-work, then, that Abraham, Moses, Isaiah, Ezekiel, Daniel,
the Savior, Joseph Smith, and the founders of liberty in this and
other lands came to the earth in their respective times and to those
countries where they played their great parts in the purposes of God
and the drama of life. "I came forth from the Father, and am come
into the world; again I leave the world and go to the Father." (St.
John xvi:28.) "And now, O Father, glorify Thou me with thine own self
with the glory which I had with Thee before the world was." (St. John
xvii:5.) Jesus dwelt with the Father before He came here, so did we.
Entering our temples of mortality we forget all that has passed before
in our spiritual existence. This mortal state is a veil which hides
the eternal past, from our recollection, and shuts off the visions of
the eternal future, only as from time to time the revelations of the
Holy Ghost bring "things past to our remembrance and shows us things to

It is probable, from some references in the Scriptures, that if our
spirits were sent here unembodied, the remembrance of the past would
come with us. At least, this was doubtless the case with Lucifer
and his rebel host. When he tried to tempt the Savior, as recorded
in Matthew, fourth chapter, he knew Him undoubtedly from their
acquaintance in a pre-existent state. When the man with evil spirits
met the Savior in the synagogue, the spirits cried out, "saying, let us
alone. What have we to do with Thee, thou Jesus of Nazareth? Art thou
come to destroy us? I know Thee who thou art, the Holy One of God."
(Luke iv:34.) A similar testimony was borne by evil spirits possessing
the men coming out of the tombs, as recorded in Matthew, viii:29. "And
behold they cried out, saying, What have we to do with Thee? Jesus,
thou Son of God? art Thou come hither to torment us before the time?"
"And unclean spirits, when they saw Him, fell down before Him and cried
saying, Thou art the Son of God." (Mark iii:11) In Luke, viii:28,
we have the testimony of the historian that the devils possessing a
certain man cried out, "and with a loud voice" said, "Jesus, Thou Son
of God." It is not probable that these evil spirits knew Jesus because
of a testimony from above, while all Judea failed to recognize in Him
the Messiah, the Savior of the world. Many likely knew Him because they
had been associated and acquainted with Him before the world was.

John the Revelator in Revelations, twelfth chapter, describes the war
in heaven, which took place between Satan and his followers on the
one hand and Michael and his angels on the other. This description
refers to their spiritual existence, as do the foregoing quotations
from Holy Writ. These show us clearly that man did not begin with this
world, nor does he end with this earthly life. Man is eternal, and
will have no end. He lived and reigned with God in the heavens. His
course there largely affects his condition here, as our conduct in this
life will have all to do with the glory we attain to in the world to
come. Man will live on forever. He dies as to the body, lives in the
spirit world, and will again take up his body, a resurrected, glorified
being, prepared on certain conditions to dwell with God throughout the
countless ages of eternity, to become like unto Him. Possessing all
things, even as Jesus, being in the image of His Father, "thought it
not robbery to be made equal with him." "What is man, that Thou art
mindful of him? and the Son of Man, that Thou visitest him? For Thou
hast made him a little lower than the angels, and hast crowned him with
glory and honor. Thou madest him to have dominion over the works of Thy
hands; thou hast put all things under his feet." (Psalms viii:4-6.)


"I am not ashamed of the Gospel of Christ, for it is the power of God
unto Salvation to every one that believeth."

We must not infer from this quotation that mere conviction of the mind
to religious truths will secure salvation; for pure belief would lead
men to actual works, thus constituting a living, active faith.

The Apostle James declares that "faith without works is dead." The
Savior taught in His sermon on the mount that "Not every one that saith
unto me, 'Lord, Lord,' shall enter into the kingdom of heaven, but he
that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven." From these and
other passages of Scripture we learn that the Gospel is the power of
God unto salvation to all who believe, obey and remain faithful to the
end. This gives us a general definition of what is meant by the term

To understand the principles which constitute the Gospel, we may remind
our readers that mankind find themselves under the necessity of a
redemption which is two-fold in its character. First, by the act of
our first parents, all creation is subject to the death of the mortal
body. Second, by individual sins man becomes unworthy to dwell in the
presence of the Eternal Father.

The Gospel, then, consists of the atonement of Christ, by which all are
entitled to a resurrection of the body; in the language of Paul, "For
as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive." It also
consists of laws and ordinances for man's obedience, by which he is
redeemed from his own sins, placed in communication with God, and led
back into His presence.

In the justice of the Almighty the plan of salvation must be so
comprehensive and general that the human family, without distinction,
shall have the opportunity of receiving it.

We learn from the Pearl of Great Price that before Adam departed
to the life beyond, God revealed to him the plan of salvation. He
obeyed it and communicated this knowledge to his posterity during the
seven generations that lived contemporary with him. With the Gospel,
necessarily came the authority of God to administer in the ordinances
thereof. This authority is called the Holy Priesthood. In a revelation
given the prophet Joseph Smith, September 22d and 23d, 1832, and
contained in Sec. 84 of the Doctrine and Covenants, we learn that the
priesthood was conferred through Father Adam by the laying on of hands
upon Abel, and from Abel or Seth was conferred through the lineage of
their descendants to Enoch, and from Enoch to Noah down to Melchisedek,
who conferred it upon Abraham. In the days of Abraham lived the great
prophet Esaias, who, the revelation informs us, received the priesthood
under the hand of God. From Esaias it was handed down through an
unbroken chain to the prophet Moses, but because of the unbelief and
hardness of the people, "He took Moses out of their midst and the Holy
Priesthood also, and the lesser priesthood continued." (Doctrine and
Covenants, Sec. 84.)

This record shows an unbroken succession of the Holy Priesthood and the
Gospel of Christ from Adam to Moses, a period of about 2,500 years.
Then began those periods of the world's history when the fullness of
the Gospel was not to be had among the children of men, periods when
the spirit of darkness engrossed the human family and left mankind,
in a great degree, as a blind man groping for the wall. The first of
these periods continued from Moses until the Savior came and restored
the higher priesthood, established His church upon the earth, and sent
his apostles to preach the Gospel in all the world. Another similar
period was from the time the Gospel became corrupted, in the first
two or three centuries of the Christian era, to its restoration in
this dispensation through the prophet Joseph Smith. The Christian
dispensation of the Gospel continued to a greater length upon the
American continent, extending to nearly 400 years after Christ. What
success attended the Gospel among the ten lost tribes whom the Messiah
visited and how long it was maintained among them is not yet revealed,
but will be in the due time of the Lord.

The Elders in preaching the Gospel abroad are often confronted with an
objection to this claim of apostasy from the truth, that such periods
of spiritual darkness do not harmonize with the mercy and justice of
God. The objectors, therefore, incline to the belief that the Christian
world has enjoyed the Gospel ever since the coming of the Messiah.
The query then arises, what is the cause of such apparent difference
in the opportunities of human beings? Some are born in the church,
heirs to the Holy Priesthood; others, in a Gospel dispensation, not
in the church, but under conditions favorable to their accepting it;
still another class in the same dispensation is under such adverse
circumstances that believing and obeying are rendered very difficult;
and yet a larger number, counted by millions, live and die where no
voice from God comes to their relief.

In the absence of revelation giving any detailed information on this
question, we may rest contented with the reflection that God is just,
and that a just cause exists for that which appears inconsistent in the
eyes of mortal man, but that reflection is not satisfying; we are in
absolute need of revelation to enable us to comprehend the cause and to
justify in our minds the conditions which exist.

Our works in this life are known to God, and our rewards and
punishments are meted out according to the deeds done in the body. Our
pre-existent merits and demerits are equally well known to our Heavenly
Father. As proof that God knew before this life with all the exactness
that we are known here, I here introduce the following from page 41,
Pearl of Great Price: "Now the Lord had shown unto me, Abraham, the
intelligences that were organized before the world was; and among all
these there were many of the noble and great ones: and God saw these
souls that they were good, and He stood in the midst of them; and He
said, 'These I will make my rulers,' for He stood among those that were
spirits; and He saw they were good; and there stood one among them like
unto God, and He said unto those that were with Him, 'We will go down,
for there is space there, and we will take of these materials, and we
will make an earth, whereon these may dwell; and we will prove them
herewith, to see if they will do all things whatsoever the Lord their
God shall command them; and they who keep their first estate shall be
added upon; and they who keep not their first estate, shall not have
glory in the same kingdom with those who keep their first estate; and
they who keep their second estate shall have glory added upon their
heads forever and ever."

In the first chapter fourth and fifth verses of Jeremiah, we have the
following: "Then the word of the Lord came unto me, saying, Before I
formed thee I knew thee, and before thou camest forth, I sanctified
thee, and I ordained thee a prophet unto the nations." From these
plain teachings of the prophet, it is readily seen that the measure of
integrity attached to our pre-existence was fully understood by our
Father; and as our future condition is based upon our works in this
life, is it not a reasonable conclusion that our situation in this
world is largely due to our conduct in a pre-existent state?

That God has a distinct hand in the appointment of the time for His
children to come upon the earth is very clearly stated by the Apostle
Paul. In the seventeenth chapter of Acts he says: "God that made the
world and all things therein, giveth to all life, and breath, and all
things; and hath made of one blood all nations of men for to dwell
on all the face of the earth and hath determined the times before
appointed and the bounds of their habitations." Thus we learn that this
great emigration of souls from the presence of the Lord to this earth
is controlled and directed by the Almighty. That He designed them all
at some time to learn of Him is stated in the verse following the above
quotation, which reads, "That they should seek the Lord and find Him."

We are compelled from these facts to believe that, as God Himself
sent millions into the world when the Gospel was not had among the
inhabitants of the earth, then His saving plan, to be compatible with
His attributes of mercy and justice, must be of such a character as to
reach these people after they leave this world. We may add here that
this vast host of humanity who lived when the Gospel was not extant is
greatly augmented by the unnumbered millions of people who live during
the dispensation of the Gospel, but who never see or hear an authorized
servant of the Lord.

In connection with this branch of the subject it may be well to refer
to the belief of many that, at death the wicked are consigned to their
final doom and the righteous to full and complete exaltation in the
presence of God. We can explode this fallacy by quotations from Holy
Writ. In line with this mistaken belief we find ministers attending
the culprit at the gallows, urging him to confess Christ, and telling
him that by such confession he will be saved in the kingdom of heaven.
In the face of such doctrine the Scriptures plainly declare that, "The
murderer hath not eternal life abiding in him." We who live in this
dispensation are forbidden by the living oracles of God to receive
temple ordinances for even the suicide. To exhibit the error of many in
the religious world on this point read the forty-second and forty-third
verses of the twenty-third chapter of Luke. The thief on the cross is
recorded as saying to the Savior, "Lord, remember me when Thou comest
into Thy kingdom." Jesus then said to him, "Today shalt thou be with
me in Paradise." The claim is made that such a promise amounted to
salvation, taking the malefactor to a condition of eternal glory. In
the face of this mistaken interpretation of the Scripture, we have the
assertion of Christ Himself, made three days later to Mary: "touch me
not, for I am not yet ascended unto my father." (John xx:17.) This is
conclusive evidence that the paradise spoken of was not the enjoyment
of the presence and glory of God. But we are not left in ignorance of
where He did go. He had previously said to His apostles, as recorded
in John v:25, "The hour is coming and now is when the dead shall hear
the voice of the Son of God, and they that hear shall live." The object
of this preaching is stated in the fourth chapter, sixth verse, of I
Peter, to be, "For, for this cause was the Gospel preached also to them
that are dead, that they might be judged according to men in the flesh,
but live according to God in the spirit."

This Scripture establishes the truth beyond doubt that death does
not perfect people, and dying without obedience to the Gospel does
not relieve them of the impartial obligation placed upon all men to
believe and obey. It also maintains the doctrine of man's free agency
by showing that salvation is only realized when man exercises his own
volition to receive the Gospel, and by education in the knowledge of
God, step by step, becomes prepared to dwell in the glorious presence
of the Father and the Son. With this testimony of the Savior and the
Jewish apostles, the teachings of the Book of Mormon and of the Prophet
Joseph Smith are in perfect harmony.

The sacred record of the Nephites informs us that the spirit which
possesses a man who dies in his sins will have power to possess him in
a future state. The Prophet Joseph, speaking upon this subject, also
said, on April 10, 1842: "If you wish to go where God is, you must
be like God, or possess the principles which God possesses, for, if
we are not drawing towards God in principles, we are going from Him
and drawing towards the devil. A man is saved no faster than he gets
knowledge, for, if he does not get knowledge, he will be brought into
captivity by some evil power in the other world, as evil spirits will
have more knowledge and consequently more power than many men who
are on the earth. Hence, it needs revelation to assist and give us
knowledge of the things of God."

To show still more definitely Christ's mission in the spirit world,
we read from Peter, third chapter, eighteenth verse, as follows: "For
Christ also hath once suffered for sins, the just for the unjust,
that He might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh, but
quickened by the spirit; by which also He went and preached unto the
spirits in prison; which sometimes were disobedient, when once the
long-suffering of God waited in the days of Noah."

We may infer safely that the penitent thief had the privilege of
going to the prison house with the Savior and hearing the Gospel; the
distinction between his situation and that of the antediluvians being
that they had remained in purgatory for hundreds of years, while the
penitent man, who had shown some repentance in the last hour of his
life, may have heard, with but little delay, the Gospel. Whether he had
heard it in life and rejected it we are not informed, and how long he
would remain in the spirit world without realizing its full benefits
we do not know, but the above quotations are ample to disprove the
fallacy of the position taken by those in the religious world who deny
salvation after death.

One objection made by the world to this doctrine is, that offering
salvation after this life destroys the incentive to embrace the Gospel
here and holds out the inducement to indulge in the pleasures of sin,
through people believing that they might be redeemed in a future state
where the pleasures of sin would be less delusive. If we admit, for
the sake of argument, this theory, the evil results following are
incomparably less than would be those which offer salvation to some
and deny it to others, for this amounts virtually to a destruction of
the attributes of justice and mercy which dwell in the bosom of a wise
Creator; but there is another side to this part of the question. We
may illustrate by comparison. If a man obey the law of the land simply
because he fears the penalty of violating the law, you have at once an
individual devoid of love for right and of no strength of character,
a man who is a mere slave to the influences which surround him; or
if you find a being who is willing to pay the penalty of stealing
or committing other crimes, for the pleasure he finds in them, with
the knowledge that when he has served his term in prison he may be
liberated only to steal again, you have a man devoid of character, and
to say that this would be the course of mankind relative to the boon of
eternal life is only to belittle the character of the human family and
strip them of those attributes which come from God their Father. This
mission of the Savior was contemplated by the ancient Jewish prophets.
They, knowing that the atonement of Christ and the principles of the
Gospel must apply to those who lived before His coming as well as to
all who came after, understood that the millions who died without the
Gospel in this life must hear and obey in the life to come. Isaiah
prophesied concerning the mission of the Son of God: "I, the Lord, have
called thee in righteousness, and will hold thine hand, and will keep
thee, and give thee for a covenant of the people, for a light of the
Gentiles; to open the blind eyes; to bring out the prisoners from the
prison, and them that sit in darkness out of the prison house." (Isaiah
xlii:6, 7.)

Thus salvation for the dead is a scriptural doctrine. The Gospel is
preached to the spirits in prison. At the same time, it is evident
from all that we learn upon this subject that the ordinances of
baptism, confirmations, sealings, etc., are received by those living
in the flesh, in behalf of those who die without the Gospel in this
world, but receive it in the next. Paul, in the fifteenth chapter of
I. Corinthians, speaking of the resurrection, says: "Else what shall
they do which are baptized for the dead, if the dead rise not at all?
Why are they then baptized for the dead?" While Paul's argument is not
upon the subject of baptism for the dead, why does he thus forcibly
allude to this subject if no such an ordinance belongs to the Gospel?
The theologians of sectarianism have exhausted their ingenuity in a
fruitless effort to mystify or explain away the true meaning of this
passage, for the evident reason that it strikes a deadly blow at their
unjust dogmas respecting the eternal damnation of those who die without
the truth. The plain meaning of the above statement of Paul is that a
living person receives baptism in behalf of those who are dead. This
simple interpretation was adopted by the early writers on Christianity.
Scaliger, Meyer, Erasmus, Calixtus, De Witt, Grotius and others,
counted as good authority, adopted the same view.

Epiphanius, in the fourth century, writing of the Marcionites, makes
use of this language: "A traditional fact concerning them has reached
us, that when any of them had died without baptism, they used to
baptize others in their name, lest in the resurrection they should
suffer punishment as unbaptized."

Another very emphatic evidence that this ordinance was practiced by the
ancient followers of Christ is that the council of Carthage, A. D.,
397, in Canon No. 6, forbids the ordinance of baptism for the dead.
Why would such a decree be issued against this ordinance if it had no
existence in the Church?

Having shown that salvation for the dead is scriptural doctrine,
adopted in theory and practice by the Former-day Saints, let us turn
now to the dispensation of the fullness of times.

We have seen that the mission of Christ to the dead was spoken of by
Isaiah in the forty-second chapter. The same great prophet utters a
prediction in the twenty-fourth chapter as follows: "The earth is also
defiled under the inhabitants thereof, because they have transgressed
the laws, changed the ordinances, broken the everlasting covenant."
The context shows clearly that this prophecy refers to the last days,
because it predicts that "the inhabitants of the earth are burned and
but few men left." The term "everlasting covenant" cannot refer to
the Mosaic law, which existed under the lesser priesthood. This law
consisted in the rites and ceremonies of the offering of sacrifice,
pointing to the great sacrifice of the Messiah, and of the law of
carnal commandments, which served, Paul says, as a schoolmaster to
bring them to Christ. The Mosaic law was done away in Him, because he
fulfilled the law. It was not everlasting. Breaking the everlasting
covenant must, therefore, refer to an apostasy from the fullness of the
Gospel as instituted by the Savior.

In connection with this apostasy Isaiah tells us in the same chapter:
"And it shall come to pass in that day that the Lord shall punish the
host of the high ones that are on high and the kings of the earth
upon the earth. And they shall be gathered together as prisoners are
gathered in the pit, and shall be shut up in the prison, and after many
days shall they be visited." In other words, we might say that they
have rejected the Gospel during the Christian era, as the antediluvians
rejected it in the days of Noah; the judgments of God destroyed them
in the flesh, and their spirits were consigned to the prison house
and could not be visited until after many days. Whether the Gospel
dispensations in the spirit would correspond in their divisions of
time to those delivered to men in the flesh, we do not know so far
as preaching to the spirits in prison is concerned; but this much is
evident, that when no Gospel dispensation exists upon the earth, those
in the spirit world, whatever their opportunities to hear, cannot enjoy
the blessings of the Gospel, because no one in the flesh has authority
to receive the ordinances in their behalf. It, therefore, follows that
the haughty ones spoken of by Isaiah could not receive the Gospel
until it should be revealed again from heaven in the latter days; and
to fulfill this prophecy such a revelation must come, comprehending
the keys of a dispensation of the Gospel to the dead as well as to the

Malachi, whose prophecies are the last of those of Jewish prophets
recorded in the Old Testament, in speaking of the great day of the
Lord's second coming and the judgements of God which would precede,
utters the following prediction (Malachi iv:5, 6): "Behold, I will send
you Elijah the prophet before the coming of the great and dreadful
day of the Lord; and he shall turn the heart of the fathers to the
children, and the heart of the children to their fathers, lest I come
and smite the earth with a curse." This prophecy is in beautiful
accord with that of the apostle Peter recorded in the twentieth and
twenty-first verses of the third chapter of Acts: "And He shall send
Jesus Christ which before was preached unto you; whom the heavens must
receive until the times of restitution of all things, which God hath
spoken by the mouth of all His holy prophets since the world began."
How different these joyful words to those of an apostate Christianity
which denies the necessity of revelation and tells us that the canon of
Scripture is full!

John the Baptist, who was the forerunner of the Messiah at His first
coming, was also the forerunner of the higher priesthood in these last
days. On the 15th of May, 1829, he appeared to Joseph Smith and Oliver
Cowdery and ordained them to the Aaronic priesthood, the authority to
preach unto and baptize those living in the flesh. Afterwards came
Peter, James and John, with the keys of the Melchisedek priesthood,
embodying authority to administer all the ordinances of the Gospel to
men in the flesh. But the prophecy of Malachi, chapter iv., was yet to
be fulfilled. On the 3d of April, 1836, in the Kirtland Temple, the
Prophet Joseph testified that "Elijah the prophet, who was taken to
heaven without tasting death, stood before us and said: 'Behold the
time has fully come which was spoken of by Malachi, testifying that
he (Elijah) should be sent before the Lord come to turn the hearts of
the fathers to the children, and the children to the fathers, lest
the whole earth be smitten with a curse. Therefore, the keys of this
dispensation are committed into your hands, and by this ye may know
that the great and dreadful day of the Lord is near, even at the

In connection with the restoration of the keys of temple ordinances
by Elijah, let us contemplate for a few moments a prediction by the
Prophet Joseph Smith. He stated that the Gospel as preached by the
elders would yet revolutionize the religious world. Without going
into detail regarding the application of this prophecy to several
principles of the Gospel, the subject in hand, salvation for the dead,
will clearly prove the prophecy correct. When Joseph first taught the
redemption of the dead, it was not believed, but was ridiculed by every
denomination of Christendom, so far as we know, and by nearly all the
religious world individually; yet during the past fifteen years this
doctrine has been growing in favor in the minds of prominent men. Dr.
Thomas, of the Methodist church in Illinois, was brought in question
a few years ago by his church for teaching unorthodox doctrine, which
consisted in claiming that those who did not hear the Gospel in this
world would hear it in the spirit world. There is now a vast number in
the various denominations that believe there is hope for the dead such
as was never thought of before the words of the Prophet Joseph were
spoken. Since the glorious visitation of Elijah, the Lord has revealed
definitely how to conduct the ordinance for the dead. He has fulfilled
the words of Jeremiah that He would take "one of a city and two of a
family and bring them to Zion." It required "two of a family," or at
least a male and a female representative of the dead, to receive the
ordinances of salvation for the dead of their respective sexes.

It has been related of Henry Ward Beecher that he said, if a literal
rendering of the Scriptures was to be accepted, then "Mormonism" was
correct. In line with his sentiments on this subject, it has been
reported that he delivered a lecture in Nashville, Tennessee, his
subject being, "What Christianity Has Done to Civilize the World,"
in which he said: "What has Africa done for the world? She has never
produced a sage, a philosopher, a poet nor a prophet, and why not?
Because the name of Christ and the influence of Christianity are
scarcely known in her dark regions. Millions of her children have
lived and passed away without hearing the truth. What will become of
them? Will they be forever damned? No, not if my God reigns, for they
will hear the gospel in the spirit world." He then proceeded to show
by irrefutable evidence that salvation for the dead is a scriptural

The writer was not present at the lecture, but another Latter-day Saint
elder was present, and, at the conclusion of the lecture, stepped up
to the platform and said: "Mr. Beecher, I have been much interested
in your lecture and would like to ask you a question. Jesus said to
Nicodemus, 'Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit he cannot
enter into the kingdom of God.' Now, how is it possible for a man to
be baptized in water when his body has already crumbled in the earth?"
The great preacher looked at the interrogator for a moment and then
said: "Young man, where do you hail from?" "From the West." "From what
part of the West?" "From Salt Lake City," answered the Elder. "Oh,"
said Mr. Beecher, "you may answer your own question. Good evening,"
and walked away. Mr. Beecher probably had read enough on the subject
of baptism for the dead to know that such a doctrine must be coupled
with preaching to departed spirits, but he did not wish to be accused
of teaching "Mormonism," so he stopped short of that. He said enough,
however, to verify the words of Joseph Smith, and also those of the
Savior, when He said that if men put new wine into old bottles it would
break them to pieces; in other words, new doctrine into old systems.

Other instances might be cited, but this will suffice to illustrate how
the influence of the Gospel is working among the children of men.

We now come to one of the most important, interesting and extensive
branches of this great subject, namely, that of securing the names,
births, marriages and deaths of our ancestors, a class of information
essential for record in order to prosecute this great work of salvation
for the dead. The genealogical research must be an arduous one and
ofttimes attended with great difficulty.

Nathaniel H. Morgan, author of a genealogical history entitled "James
Morgan and His Descendants," makes this observation in the introduction
of his work: "The task of the genealogist, in groping his way amid the
dusty records of the past, is much like that of the African Indians
in pursuing an obscure trail through a tangled wilderness. An acute
faculty of perception and a keen and practiced eye must note and
scrutinize every obscure footprint, every rustled leaf, every bent
twig; now, progressing rapidly, under a clear light, and guided by sure
tokens; and anon, suddenly arrested by a total absence of all further
signs, and forced hopelessly to abandon the trail long and patiently
pursued until, perchance, again some new and unexpected waymark greets
his eye, inspiring fresh pursuit."

While there have been isolated instances of genealogical works in
America since the year 1771, it is a noteworthy fact (and one showing
the hand of God plainly manifest in moving upon the Gentiles to do
this work) that since the coming of Elijah to the Kirtland Temple,
this spirit of writing genealogies has rapidly increased in the United

I cannot do better at this juncture than to include as a part of our
article a letter written to the writer by Elder Franklin D. Richards
on this important subject. Elder Richards, through his researches, has
been instrumental in furnishing printed genealogies to many families of
Latter-day Saints. He says, under date of Nov. 29th, 1895:

"In answer to your question when the first genealogical history was
published, either in this country or in foreign nations, I must say it
is impossible for me to answer, as I have not searched the libraries
of Europe or of any foreign countries to learn when their first
genealogies were published; but, narrowing your question down to this
country, I may say that the first that we have any account of was
published in 1771, consisting of twenty-four pages and was 'A genealogy
of the family of Mr. Samuel Stebbins and Hannah Stebbins, his wife,
from the year 1707 to the year 1771, with their names, time of their
births, marriages and deaths of those that are deceased,' published
at Hartford in 1771. The author, Mr. William H. Whitmore, says: 'This
I believe to be the earliest genealogy in a distinct form published
in the United States.' It is safe to conclude that an interest in
genealogical work did not take very deep root among the people until
after the Lord revealed to the Prophet Joseph Smith the great work of
extending salvation to the dead. This is made evident from the dates
noted in the following excerpts taken from works on genealogical lore,
published in Boston and Albany. In the introduction of a work entitled
'The American Genealogist,' by William H. Whitmore, and published by
Joel Munsell, Albany, 1868, the following very interesting pages occur,
in which you will observe the years 1844 (the year of the Prophet's
martyrdom) and 1847 are named as the respective dates when the New
England Historical Genealogical Society was formed, and the 'Register'
was established under its patronage.

"It seems evident that the English element has predominated throughout
our country, and the greater portion of English colonists settled in
New England. Hence the great activity of genealogists there has had
more than a local importance, and will be the means of preserving the
records of the greater portion of our nation. There is difficulty in
tracing the American pedigree of any family. Mr. Savage's admirable
dictionary will furnish the inquirer with the first three generations
of the name, and the indices of the register will enable him to examine
numerous town and county records. There are very few names which will
not be found in one or the other of these easily accessible works. The
county registers of wills and deeds are open to every inquirer, free
of expense, and it is rarely that any town clerk demands a fee for the
inspection of his books. It is safe to say that nowhere else is the
genealogist so favored as in New England, and consequently no community
exists where so great a proportion of its families have had their
records preserved.

"We have been fortunate in our historical records from the first.
Bradford and Winthrop have noted down even the minute particulars of
the settlement of their respective colonies; Mather and Prince have
given us numerous items concerning the lives and pedigrees of the
clergy and magistrates. In establishing the registry of deeds, our
forefathers not only were in advance of England in political science,
but they gave the genealogist a source of information elsewhere wanting.

"Very soon after the Revolutionary war an effort was made to revive
the former taste for historical research. The Massachusetts Historical
Society was formed, and has continued slowly to acquire wealth and
influence, having greatly extended its usefulness within the past ten
years. John Farmer, secretary of the New Hampshire Historical Society,
early devoted himself to the study of genealogy and biography, and by
his genealogical register attracted public attention to the subject.
Our list will show that but little progress was made for thirty years
from the time he issued his Farmer genealogy, but enough was done to
keep the fire alive. In 1844, the Register was established under his
patronage; since then the study of history and genealogy has been
greatly encouraged, and with good results. When the new society was
formed the science of genealogy was little understood. The wealth of
our records was hardly imagined, the necessity of severe examination of
traditions scarcely thought of, and the simplest and most economical
form of arrangement was not yet invented. Soon, however, all these
points were examined, old manuscript published, and the State
authorities were persuaded to enact laws for the preservation of its
documents. Since 1845 numerous local societies have been established
or revived; over two hundred distinct works on genealogy have been
published up to 1868, and innumerable town histories and historical
pamphlets have been issued. In many instances these results have been
known to be due to the establishment of the new societies, and it is
unquestionable that the spirit it fostered has been the mainspring
in all Massachusetts, Connecticut and Rhode Island have issued large
volumes of their early annals, under the patronage of the respective
governments. Maine, New Hampshire and Vermont possess active historical
societies. New York has not only published her own records but assisted
her neighbors, and established the largest and richest historical
society in existence. Similar associations exist in more than half
the States in the Union, and a new magazine, the _"American Notes
and Queries,"_ established as their organ, has continued to the
present time. Circular No. 3 of the New England Historic Genealogical
Society, issued June, 1847, signed by the following gentlemen, viz:
Charles Ewer, Lemuel Shattuck, Samuel G. Drake, Samuel H. Riddle and
W. H. Montague, treats of the great importance which they attach to
genealogical and historical work and works; and in this connection
I may be permitted to suggest that what appealed so directly to
their needs in those early times applies with much greater force to
the Saints of the Latter Days, who are clearly and pleasurably made
aware of the glorious relationship which exists between parents and
children and the vital obligations the living are under to the dead.
These intimations, no doubt you will appreciate, and when time and
opportunity permit let us hope that you will actively take pleasure
in promoting the aims of the Genealogical Society of Utah, which
was especially organized to advance temple work, which includes the
salvation and redemption of both dead and living.      F.D. RICHARDS."

With all these prophecies before us, with the keys of salvation
restored to the earth, with the spirit of Elijah moving not only the
Saints but men of the world to action, who can fail to see the truth of
this doctrine and the power of God made manifest to promote the great
work of salvation for the dead?

In conclusion, let us heed the voice of God to the Prophet Joseph,
saying, "Therefore renounce war and proclaim peace and seek diligently
to turn the hearts of the children to the fathers and the hearts of the
fathers to the children;" and the exhortation to us of the prophet who
received this commandment, "Brethren, shall we not go on in so great
a cause? Go forward and not backward. Courage, brethren and on, on to
victory! Let your hearts rejoice, and be exceedingly glad. Let the
earth break forth into singing. Let the dead speak forth anthems of
eternal praise to the King Immanuel, who hath ordained before the world
was, that which would enable us to redeem them out of their prison; for
the prisoners shall go free."


This subject is of great moment. It should interest all people, Jew
and Gentile, especially those who profess Judaism and Christianity.
It involves several features which affect the claims made by the
Latter-day Saints that more revelation has been given and that the
gospel has been restored in these, the last days. The solution of this
question involves the fulfillment of many prophecies in the Old and New

The trend of the teachings of modern Christianity is such as to keep,
from the human mind, the idea that the Lord is a practical being and
has anything whatever to do with the temporal affairs of the children
of men. Yet by a careful reading of the Scriptures it is readily seen
that God designated various portions of the earth to be occupied by
different bodies of His children. He gave Palestine to the seed of
Abraham, and designated where the children of Esau and other races
should dwell. This truth is beautifully expressed by the apostle Paul
in Acts xvii:26, as follows: "And hath made of one blood all nations of
men for to dwell on all the face of the earth, and hath determined the
times before appointed and the bounds of their habitation."

To make this subject clear to the reader, we will first show that
the seed of Abraham were promised certain countries, that they once
occupied those promised lands, and were driven and scattered from them.
Hence, in order to receive the fulfillment of the promise regarding
their inheritance, they must of necessity be gathered home from their
long dispersion.

In Genesis xiii:14, 15, we have the following: "And the Lord said unto
Abraham after that Lot was separated from him, Lift up now thine eyes,
and look from the place where thou art northward, and southward, and
eastward, and westward; for all the land which thou seest, to thee
will I give it, and to thy seed forever." This promise was renewed to
his son Isaac, as recorded in Genesis xxvi:2, 3: "And the Lord appeared
unto him and said, Go not down into Egypt; dwell in the land which I
shall tell thee of; sojourn in this land, and I will be with thee, and
will bless thee; for unto thee and unto thy seed I will give all these
countries, and I will perform the oath which I sware unto Abraham,
thy father." And again, the promise was made to Jacob, the father of
the twelve tribes of Israel. In Gen. xlviii:3, 4, it is said: "And
Jacob said unto Joseph, God Almighty appeared unto me at Luz, in the
land of Canaan, and blessed me. And said unto me, Behold I will make
thee fruitful and multiply thee, and I will make of thee a multitude
of people; and will give this land to thy seed after thee for an
everlasting possession."

It is not necessary to make special quotations to prove to Bible
readers that the tribes of Israel were led into the land of Palestine
in the days of the prophet Joshua, and under his administration
received their respective inheritances in the promised land.

On reading the forty-ninth chapter of Genesis we find a brief statement
of the blessings pronounced by the great patriarch upon his twelve
sons. In blessing Joseph it is plainly indicated that his seed was "a
fruitful bough by a well, whose branches run over the wall;" in other
words, his posterity should receive a land beyond the limits which
bound the country occupied by the other tribes of Israel. This view
is corroborated by the thirty-third chapter of Deuteronomy, in the
blessing and prophecy of Moses upon the head of the tribe of Joseph.

The descriptions of the land of Joseph, given in these two chapters,
together with the other passages of Holy Writ, show that the land
of Joseph was no less than the Western Hemisphere, known to us as
North and South America. It is well known that the tribes of Israel
occupied the promised land from generation to generation, until through
apostasy and transgression nearly all the tribes were carried into
captivity long before the advent of the Messiah. When He came the land
was occupied chiefly by the tribe of Judah, which was subsequently
scattered among the various nations of the earth.

The Lord plainly warned the house of Israel that, to enjoy His
blessings and to remain unmolested in the land of their fathers, they
must keep His commandments. If they did not, this was to follow: "And
I will bring the land into desolation; and your enemies which dwell
therein shall be astonished at it. And I will scatter you among the
heathen, and will draw out a sword after you, and your land shall be
desolate and your cities waste." (Lev. xxvi:32, 33.) Very much like
this prophecy are the sacred words of the Messiah, spoken 1500 years
later: "For there shall be great distress in the land, and wrath upon
this people. And they shall fall by the edge of the sword, and shall be
led away captive into all nations: And Jerusalem shall be trodden down
of the Gentiles, until the times of the Gentiles be fulfilled." (Luke
xxi:23, 24.)

It is also stated in Deut. xxviii:63-65: "And ye shall be plucked from
off the land whither thou goest to possess it. And the Lord shall
scatter thee among all people, from the one end of the earth even unto
the other; and there thou shalt serve other gods which neither thou nor
thy fathers have known, even wood and stone. And among these nations
shalt thou find no ease, neither shall the sole of thy feet have rest;
but the Lord shall give thee there a trembling heart, and failing of
eyes, and sorrow of mind."

History records beyond the possibility of a doubt how literally and
terribly the various clauses in these predictions have been fulfilled.
Israel has been scattered, and Judah has been persecuted and oppressed
and become a hiss and a byword in the mouths of all the Gentile nations.

With the sacred promises before us, that Israel should receive those
countries and the history which proves that they were scattered and
are still unreturned to their promised land, we must be convinced, if
nothing were said in the Scriptures of the restoration, that Israel
must be gathered and re-established in the land of their fathers or
the promises of the Almighty would come to naught. We are not left,
however, without predictions which specify, in considerable detail,
that the chosen people shall be gathered and the circumstances and
signs of the times associated with the gathering of Israel in the last

Four hundred and forty-six years before Christ, the prophet Nehemiah,
bowing down in sorrow because of this scattering and destruction of his
people, besought the Lord in humble supplication, thus: "Remember, I
beseech thee, the word that thou commandest thy servant Moses, saying,
If ye transgress, I will scatter you abroad among the nations; but if
ye turn unto me, and keep my commandments and do them; though there
were of you cast out unto the uttermost part of the heaven, yet will I
gather them from thence, and will bring them unto the place that I have
chosen to set my name there." (Neh. i:8, 9.)

The psalmist David said (Psalms l:5): "Gather my saints together unto
me; those that have made a covenant with me by sacrifice." The context
of this psalm shows plainly that the fulfillment of the words quoted
should take place in the last days, near the time of the coming of the
Son of God. Those who should be called saints would be required to
sacrifice the associations of their native lands as Abraham was when
called upon to turn aside from the false religion of his fathers and go
to a land into which the Lord should lead him. The Latter-day Saints
have made a covenant with God, and through self-denial are gathering
together in fulfillment of the words of David the psalmist.

Another prophecy from the same book is as follows: "O give thanks unto
the Lord, for He is good; for His mercy endureth forever. Let the
redeemed of the Lord say so, whom He hath redeemed from the hand of
the enemy; and gathered them out of the lands, from the east, and from
the west, and from the north, and from the south. They wandered in the
wilderness in a solitary way; they found no city to dwell in. Hungry
and thirsty, their souls fainted in them. They cried unto the Lord in
their trouble and He delivered them out of their distresses."

The provisions of this prophecy have been and are being verified in
the gathering of the Saints to the Rocky Mountains. In Isaiah ii:2, 3,
we have the following prediction: "And it shall come to pass in the
last days that the mountain of the Lord's house shall be established
in the top of the mountains, and shall be exalted above the hills; and
all nations shall flow unto it. And many people shall go and say, Come
ye, and let us go up to the mountain of the Lord, to the house of the
God of Jacob; and He will teach us of His ways, and we will walk in
His paths; for out of Zion shall go forth the law and the word of the
Lord from Jerusalem." This prediction is too plain to be mistaken when
it is fulfilled. This prophecy was not fulfilled at the coming of the
Messiah, neither before nor since His time, but it is being fulfilled
in the gathering of the Latter-day Saints. They have established the
house of the Lord in a mountainous country; many people are gathering
to it, their object being to learn the ways of the Lord that they may
more perfectly walk in His paths. This prediction should be verified
at a time near which people should beat their swords into plowshares
and their spears into pruning hooks; "neither shall they learn war any
more," as shown by the verse following those we have quoted.

Micah, fifty years after this, uttered a similar prophecy, in almost
the same language, as will be found in the first and second verses of
his fourth chapter.

Another prophecy of Isaiah on this subject will be found in chapter
five, twenty-sixth and twenty-seventh verses. It reads as follows: "And
He will lift up an ensign to the nations from afar, and will hiss unto
them from the end of the earth; and behold, they shall come with speed
swiftly; none shall be weary nor stumble among them; none shall slumber
nor sleep; neither shall the girdle of their loins be loosed nor the
latchet of their shoes be broken." The wording of this, in connection
with verses which follow, seems plainly to have its fulfillment in the
manner of travel by which the Saints are being and shall be gathered to
the place appointed. They come by railroad, "with speed swiftly," which
prevents them, in a great measure, from stumbling or becoming weary by
the way. Notice that the words of this prediction, that the ensign was
to be set up from afar, undoubtedly indicate a far distant land from
the place where Isaiah stood when he uttered the prophecy. He stood
upon the Eastern Hemisphere; America was far distant, and upon this
land the ensign has been lifted up. Is it not an ensign to the nations?
The authority of God, the house of the Lord, where the nations of the
earth are invited to repent of their sins and freely partake of the
blessings to be obtained where the ensign is established, surely are

A prediction very similar to the foregoing in its provisions was
uttered by the same prophet and is contained in the eleventh chapter of
his book, the eleventh and twelfth verses: "And it shall come to pass
in that day, that the Lord shall set His hand again the second time to
recover the remnant of His people, which shall be left, from Assyria,
and from Egypt, and from Pathros, and from Cush, and from Elam, and
from Shinar, and from Hamath, and from the islands of the sea. And He
shall set up an ensign for the nations, and shall assemble the outcasts
of Israel, and gather together the dispersed of Judah from the four
corners of the earth."

These prophecies could not be fulfilled short of bestowing more
revelation upon the children of men to show them how, where and when
these great events should be accomplished.

We have quoted from the eleventh chapter of Isaiah, in the twelfth
verse of which this language is used: "And shall assemble the outcasts
of Israel, and gather together the dispersed of Judah." It will be
noticed that the word outcasts applies to Israel, which means that
Israel was _cast out from_ the knowledge of the Gentile nations, while
the seed of Judah was _scattered among_ the nations of the earth. The
reason distinction is made between Israel and Judah, when Judah was one
of the tribes of Israel, is that in the days of David and Solomon the
Lord divided the kingdom of Israel, making Judah the distinct nation
and the remaining tribes another distinct nation, having two separate
kings. The tribes of Israel were led away into the north country, and
became lost to the knowledge of the world, while Judah and a portion of
Ephraim remained in Palestine, and were scattered among the nations.
This is why the prophet applies the word "outcast" to Israel and the
word "dispersed" to the tribes of Judah.

Zechariah the prophet says: "Ho, ho, come forth, and flee from the land
of the north." (Zech. ii:6.) This return of the tribes of Israel from
the land of the north will be attended with much miraculous power. The
miracles wrought in the days of Moses will not be the reference made by
Israel to show the power of God in their behalf, but this prophecy will
be fulfilled: "Therefore, behold the days come, saith the Lord, that
it shall no more be said, the Lord liveth that brought up the children
of Israel out of the land of Egypt; But the Lord liveth that brought
up the Children of Israel from the land of the north, and from all the
lands whither He had driven them: and I will bring them again into
their land that I gave unto their fathers." (Jer. xvi:14, 15.)

One very interesting feature associated with the gathering of Israel in
the last days is expressed in the sixteenth verse of the same chapter,
as follows: "Behold, I will send for many fishers, saith the Lord, and
they shall fish them; and after will I send for many hunters, and they
shall hunt them from every mountain, and from every hill, and out of
the holes of the rocks." When men engage in fishing they cast their
lines into the water, and know not until drawn to shore whether the
fish caught be of one kind or another; but when they go hunting they
know exactly the game they shoot at, whether it is a lion or a tiger,
a buffalo or a deer. This Scripture is fulfilled in the preaching of
the Gospel among the Gentile nations by the elders of Israel; it is not
known by them whether the person who embraces the Gospel and gathers
to Zion is of the blood of Israel, a Gentile or otherwise, until it
is made known by the light of revelation. This, then, is as casting
the Gospel net into the sea, which gathers of all kinds, who remain
together until the bad are separated from the good and cast back into
the sea.

Isaiah says, in chapter xxvii:12, "Ye shall be gathered one by one, O
ye children of Israel." This is corroborated in the third chapter of
Jeremiah, fourteenth and fifteen verses, which read: "I will take you
one of a city, and two of a family, and I will bring you to Zion; and
I will give you pastors according to mine heart, which shall feed you
with knowledge and understanding."

How strikingly true it is that in this dispensation only one or two, in
many instances, of a numerous family, receive the truth. And frequently
but one, or very few, in a whole city. But these, when they receive the
Holy Spirit through embracing the Gospel, at the hands of inspired and
divinely authorized men, are filled with a desire to gather to Zion,
and there are taught by pastors "called of God as was Aaron."

A prophecy very like the foregoing is found in the eighteenth chapter
of Revelations, fourth and fifth verses: "And I heard another voice
from heaven, saying, Come out of her, my people, that ye be not
partakers of her sins, and that ye receive not of her plagues. For her
sins have reached unto heaven, and God hath remembered her iniquities."
That they are out of Babylon is made clear by the verses preceding the
ones quoted. Babylon signifies confusion, and is shown in the preceding
chapter of Revelation to apply to "people and multitudes, and nations
and tongues." Should there be among the nations of the earth any class
of people professing to be the Saints of God, yet who have no desire
to gather from Babylon in order to avoid her sins and thus escape her
plagues, it would be proof that they had not received, in spirit and
truth, the Gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ.

Another prophecy bearing upon the return of the tribes from the
north, as well as those scattered among the nations, is found in Jer.
xxxi:8, 9, 10: "Behold, I will bring them from the north country, and
gather them from the coasts of the earth, and with them the blind and
the lame, the woman with child, and her that travaileth with child
together: A great company shall return thither. They shall come with
weeping, and with supplications will I lead them; I will cause them to
walk by the rivers of waters in a straight way, wherein they shall not
stumble; for I am a Father to Israel, and Ephraim is my first born.
Hear the word of the Lord, O ye nations, and declare it in the isles
afar off, and say, He that scattered Israel will gather him, and keep
him, as a shepherd does his flock." In the twelfth verse it says,
"Therefore they shall come and sing in the height of Zion." This latter
clause in the prophecy shows that the place of their gathering shall
be an elevated region of country. In some instances the term Zion is
used with reference to a place or land, as shown in the sixty-second
chapter of Isaiah, which the reader can refer to at leisure. And in
other instances the word applies to a people. Modern revelation through
the prophet Joseph Smith says: "This is Zion, the pure in heart." Using
the word in this sense, light is thrown upon the foregoing prophecy
of Jeremiah by one found in Isaiah xl:9: "O Zion, that bringest good
tidings, get thee up into the high mountain." This would not have been
verified if the Saints of latter days had remained in a scattered
condition among the nations, or even in the lower regions first
occupied by them in the United States, for America is the land of Zion.
The great events which go to make up the history of the Latter-day
Saints furnish indisputable evidence that they were led there by the
hand of God, and that, too, in fulfillment of ancient and modern

In reference to the saints being led by the rivers of water in
a straight way, Isaiah has a similar prophecy, contained in the
thirty-second chapter, eighteenth, nineteenth and twentieth verses:
"And my people shall dwell in a peaceable habitation, and in sure
dwellings, and in quiet resting places; when it shall hail, coming down
on the forests; and the city shall be low in a low place. Blessed are
ye that sow beside all waters, that send forth thither the feet of the
ox, and the ass." The prophets foresaw that the gathering place of the
saints should be in a section of the country where the rains should not
be abundant, and for that reason they would plant beside all waters,
that the system of irrigation might be employed to water the crops of
the earth, and through this also that grasses and other vegetation
might be provided for their domestic animals. It is also an interesting
fact that the cities built by the Saints in the valleys, in comparison
with the summit of the snow-capped mountains around them, are situated
in low places, so that many times when the hail comes down in fury upon
the mountain forests above, the city is free from storm.

One feature of the pleasantness which characterizes the Saints of
God is their custom, in their mountain homes, of coming together in
a social capacity and joining in the dance. In this capacity, as in
gatherings of more weighty importance, the old and the young, male
and female, mingle together, that parents may rejoice in the innocent
recreation of their children and that the children may be under the
guiding influence of their parents. Strange as it may seem to the
world, even to those professing Christianity and a consequent belief in
the Bible, such a condition is in fulfillment of sacred prophecy found
in the thirteenth verse of the thirty-first chapter of Jeremiah, which
reads as follows: "Then shall the virgin rejoice in the dance, both
young men and old together; for I will turn their mourning into joy,
and will comfort them, and make them rejoice from their sorrow." This
was to be at the time of their getting up into the high mountains, and
expressing their praises to the Almighty in the heights of Zion.

Closely connected with the foregoing prophecies is one found in Isaiah,
thirty-fifth chapter, first and tenth verses: "The wilderness and the
solitary place shall be glad for them; and the desert shall rejoice
and blossom as the rose. And the ransomed of the Lord shall return,
and come to Zion with songs and everlasting joy upon their heads; they
shall obtain joy and gladness, and sorrow and sighing shall flee away."
Almost the entire chapter has a bearing upon this subject.

The Lord has so abundantly blessed the labors of His people in that
once barren region that truly the desert does rejoice and blossom as
the rose. That Salt Lake valley was a most forbidding place cannot be
denied. James Bridges, an old trapper who had seen Salt Lake valley
before the Pioneers, was so confident of the perpetual sterility of
the soil, rendered so by having little or no water, scarcely any rain,
and frost nearly every month in the year, that he said to President
Brigham Young: "I will give you a thousand dollars for the first ear
of corn that can be produced in Salt Lake valley." Our geographies
designated that country as the Great American Desert. Daniel Webster,
the great statesman and orator, earnestly opposed the annexation of
that section of the country to the United States on the ground of its
almost utter worthlessness, claiming it would be a financial burden to
the government.

Notwithstanding these forbidding aspects, the Prophet Joseph Smith
predicted on the 6th of August, 1842, that the Latter-day Saints would
become a mighty people in the midst of the Rocky Mountains. This
prophecy will be found readily in a work entitled "A New Witness for
God," by Elder B. H. Roberts, which work also contains really other
predictions of the prophet Joseph Smith, and shows their fulfillment.
The following in the prophecy of Isaiah, chapter thirty-five, "For in
the wilderness shall waters break out, and streams in the desert, and
the parched ground shall become a pool, and the thirsty lands springs
of water," has been fulfilled in the settlement of the Rocky Mountain
region by the Latter-day Saints.

As the judgments of God come upon the earth the gathering of Israel
will be accelerated, and the words of the prophet Isaiah will be
fulfilled wherein he asks the question, "Who are these that fly as a
cloud, and as the doves to their windows?" (Isa. lx:8.) As they come
together from their long dispersion, and from the north country, in
times of famine, pestilence and bloodshed, the Lord will strengthen
them by saying, "Fear not; for I am with thee; I will bring thy seed
from the east and gather thee from the west; I will say to the north,
give up; and to the south, keep not back; bring my sons from afar, and
my daughters from the ends of the earth; even every one that is called
by my name." (Isa. xliii:5 6.) How universal will be this gathering
from all points of the compass, and which will apply to all who are
truly called by the name of the Lord!

This gathering will be attended by greater power than heretofore, and
no power will be able to impede the progress of the great work. Hear
what Ezekiel says: "And I will bring you out from the people, and
will gather you out of the countries wherein ye are scattered, with a
mighty hand, and with a stretched out arm, and with fury poured out.
And I will bring you into the wilderness of the people, and there will
I plead with you face to face." (Ezekiel xx:34, 35.) The same prophet
also predicts the gathering of Israel in unmistakable terms, in chapter
xxxvi:24: "For I will take you from among the heathen, and gather you
into your own land."

The foregoing predictions are chiefly from the Old Testament, but the
New Testament also contains many very definite forecasts upon this
glorious subject; indeed, in the last days, when the Gospel should
be restored to earth by divine revelation, the dispensation thus
established was to be designated as a gathering dispensation, as stated
by Paul in Ephesians, chapter i:9, 10: "Having made known unto us the
mystery of His will, according to His good pleasure which He hath
purposed in Himself; that in the dispensation of the fullness of times,
He might gather together in one all things in Christ, both which are in
heaven, and which are on the earth; even in Him." This is in perfect
accord with the prophecy of Isaiah before quoted, that all who are
called by the name of the Lord should be gathered together.

Jesus offered the gathering to the house of Judah in His day, but they
rejected it. He said unto them, "O, Jerusalem, Jerusalem, which killest
the prophets, and stonest them that are sent unto thee; how often would
I have gathered thy children together, as a hen doth gather her brood
under her wings, and ye would not! Behold, your house is left unto you
desolate; and verily I say unto you, ye shall not see me, until the
time come when ye shall say, blessed is he that cometh in the name
of the Lord." (Luke xiii:34, 35.) How terribly have these words been
fulfilled upon the Jews through their having rejected the Messiah and
the principle of gathering which He offered to them.

By reading the book of Zechariah we learn that when the Jews have
gathered to their promised land, in the last days, and the armies of
the Gentiles surround them, the Messiah will appear unto them on the
Mount of Olives. Looking to the fulfillment of the great predictions
the feeling now pervades the hearts of the Jews, to a very great
extent, to furnish means for the purchase of the land of Palestine,
that they may return and rebuild the city of Jerusalem.

When the Twelve Apostles at Jerusalem requested of the Savior to know
the signs of His second coming, He gave various evidences, among
which was the preaching of the Gospel of the kingdom and consequently
its restoration to the earth, and the raising up of prophets to warn
the people, without which the comparison of the days of Noah and the
days of the second coming of the Messiah would not be complete. To
counterfeit the work of God through prophets that should be raised
up, false prophets and teachers should also arise; kingdom should
arise against kingdom; war, pestilence and bloodshed should desolate
the nations of the earth; the gathering of Israel should be going on,
as proved by the prophecies heretofore quoted, and when the signs of
His appearing should appear in the heavens, "He shall send His angels
with a great sound of a trumpet, and they shall gather together His
elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other." (Matt.
xxiv:31; see also Mark xiii:27.)

This is the dispensation of the fullness of times in which all the
keys, power and authority enjoyed by all previous dispensations
have been restored to the earth, and this includes the keys of the
gathering. Under date of April 3d, 1836, Joseph Smith and Oliver
Cowdery were the recipients of many splendid visions and revelations
at Kirtland Ohio, in the Temple of the Lord. They solemnly testify as
follows: "After this vision closed, the heavens were again opened unto
us, and Moses appeared before us, and committed unto us the keys of the
gathering of Israel from the four parts of the earth, and the leading
of the ten tribes from the land of the north." (Doctrine and Covenants,
Sec. 110:11.)

From that time the spirit of gathering has rested richly upon the
saints of the Most High, and tens of thousands have gathered from many
nations of the earth. The Saints will continue until they are assembled
in the places designated for them to occupy. Since the date mentioned,
the spirit of the gathering also has been working among the Jews, and
when all things are revealed it will undoubtedly be found that the
spirit of gathering is working among the ten lost tribes of Israel,
looking to the restoration promised to them in the predictions of their
fathers. Thus in the purpose of God will be accomplished the gathering
together in one, all who will serve Him and keep His commandments, that
they may "learn of His ways and walk in His paths," that the earth
may be "filled with the knowledge of the Lord as the waters cover the
mighty deep, when no man shall say to his neighbor, 'know ye the Lord,'
for all shall know Him, from the least to the greatest."


Unlike other religious sects professing Christianity, the Latter-day
Saints do not observe the law of tithing, the ordinances of baptism,
confirmation or any other sacred rite merely because the Bible records
that such observances were had among the ancient saints, but for the
reason that in this age of the world, God has commanded us to receive
these laws and ordinances.

The law of tithing was given in the early history of God's dealings
with the children of men. Abraham paid tithes to Melchisedek, according
to the statement of Paul to the Hebrews. The apostle also refers
to the fact that the tribe of Levi had been selected from all the
sons of Israel to officiate in that order of the priesthood which
has to do with the outward ordinances of tithes and sacrifice, and
notwithstanding there was a higher order, of which Melchisedek was the
great High Priest, those bearing the higher priesthood were not exempt
from the law of tithing. (Heb. vii:4-5.)

Jacob also paid one-tenth to the Lord. (Gen. xxviii:20-22.) During the
administration of Moses as the leader and lawgiver under the Almighty
to Israel, tithing was enjoined as a universal law to the people of
God. "And all the tithe of the land, whether of the seed of the land or
of the fruit of the tree, is the Lord's; it is holy unto the Lord. And
concerning the tithe of the herd, or of the flock, even of whatsoever
passeth under the rod, the tenth shall be holy unto the Lord. He shall
not search whether it be good or bad." (Lev. xxvii:30, 32, 33.) This did
not require a selection of the very choicest product of the flock, the
herd or the soil, neither did it justify a man in offering for his
tithes the poorest or least valuable of his income. Of the flocks, each
one "that passeth under the rod" was to be tithed. The custom was to
pen the flocks in a corral, with a gateway too small for the passage of
more than one animal at a time; and as they passed out, a man stood at
the gateway with a rod in his hand, and as the tenth one of the flock
went out, the man at the gate marked the animal with his rod. Thus
every tenth one, whether it was good, poor or medium, was sanctified to
the Lord as tithing; any disposition to offer as a tithe an inferior
article was disapproved of by the Lord. In matters of sacrifice upon
the altar, pointing to the sacrifice of the Great Redeemer who should
be offered in the meridian of time to redeem a fallen world, Israel was
positively forbidden to offer the blind, the lame or the bruised. "Ye
shall offer at your own will a male without blemish, of the beeves, of
the sheep, or of the goats. But whatsoever hath a blemish, that shall
ye not offer; for it shall not be acceptable for you. * * * Blind, or
broken, or maimed, or having a wen, or scurvy, or scabbed, ye shall not
offer these unto the Lord, nor make an offering by fire of them upon
the altar unto the Lord." (Lev. xxii:19, 22.)

The atonement symbolized by the sacrifices was one (the Lamb of God)
free from blemish in every particular--"a pure and perfect being
without spot or blemish." Not only was the offering upon the altar a
reminder of the atonement as a fact, by the shedding of blood, but the
character and quality of the offering must symbolize the perfect purity
of the Son of God.

While tithing was not so directly pointing to the atonement, nor was it
designed for that purpose, it is yet an offering to the Lord required
by Him, to be used for righteous purposes and to prepare the heart
of the tithe-payer to give his all to God, to consecrate all in the
interest of human redemption. The Lord, in tithing, does not demand the
best nor justify His people in offering that of the least value in any
substance tithed. How penurious, mean and small-souled on the part of
any saint it would be to offer for tithing that of the poorest value
to himself, especially in the light of the fact that God is the Giver
of all we enjoy, whether of a spiritual or physical nature, and in the
face of His great liberality in not demanding a selection of the very
best of any product which is tithed. If any man is tempted to pay the
poorest calf, the poorest ton of hay, or a scabby sheep to rid himself
of it, let him remember the word of the Lord to ancient Israel and the
condemnation that followed when they robbed God in tithes and offerings.

These injunctions continued throughout all the history of Israel,
from Moses to the Savior. Malachi says "And if ye offer the blind for
sacrifice, is it not evil? And if ye offer the lame and sick, is it
not evil?" (Mal. i:8.) It should be considered evil to offer such for
tithing in our day. When Israel turned from their observance of this
law, as from all others enjoined by the Almighty, the people were
reprimanded severely, and were followed by the withering hand of God's
displeasure. "Will a man rob God? Yet ye have robbed me. But ye say,
wherein have we robbed thee? In tithes and offerings. Ye are cursed
with a curse, for ye have robbed me, even this whole nation. Bring ye
all the tithes into the storehouse, that there may be meat in mine
house, and prove me now herewith, saith the Lord of hosts, if I will
not open you the windows of heaven and pour you out a blessing that
there shall not be room enough to receive it. And I will rebuke the
devourer for your sakes, and he shall not destroy the fruits of your
ground, neither shall your vine cast her fruit before the time in the
field, saith the Lord of hosts, and all nations shall call you blessed,
for ye shall be a delightsome land, saith the Lord of hosts." (Mal.
iii:8-12.) Thus was the law of tithing given to Israel; thus were
they to be blessed in its observance and cursed if they transgressed
it. As the law was given anciently for the same purposes as in this
dispensation, it would naturally agree in the blessings following
its observances and the curses for its disobedience. When the Savior
chastised the Pharisees for their hypocrisy, He evidently approved the
law of tithing, for He said, "But woe unto you Pharisees! For ye tithe
mint and rue and all manner of herbs, and pass over judgment and the
love of God; these ought ye to have done, and not to leave the other
undone." (Luke: xi:42.)

It is erroneously supposed by many that the laws observed by Israel
previous to Christ's atonement were almost entirely obliterated,
being, as many think, all fulfilled in His mission on earth. A little
reflection upon this subject will correct this error in the minds of
all who are diligently and honestly seeking for the truth. The Ten
Commandments themselves are pre-eminently a part of the Gospel of
Christ. When the young man came to the Messiah to learn the way of
salvation, he was enjoined to observe the commandments, "Thou shalt
not kill, Thou shalt not commit adultery," etc. (Matt. xix;16-21.)
Whatever was discontinued after the atonement was that which had been
established to symbolize and teach the great atonement to come. The
offerings of lambs and bullocks in sacrifice was dispensed with, as
it had pointed to the coming atonement now fulfilled in the Messiah.
It was replaced by the sacrament, the broken bread and the wine, both
blessed and administered to the disciples and enjoined as a continuous
ordinance to keep bright in memory the sufferings, atonement and
resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ.

The only time when the law of tithing was not enjoined upon the
people of God, so far as the Scriptures indicate, is when they not
only consecrated one-tenth to the Lord, but all they had. This law
of consecration, we learned, was observed in the city of Enoch. It
was carried out in a measure by the ancient Saints in Palestine after
the day of Pentecost: "And the multitude of them that believed were
of one heart and of one soul; neither said any of them that ought of
the things which he possessed was his own; but they all had things
in common. And with great power gave the apostles witness of the
resurrection of the Lord Jesus; and great grace was upon them all.
Neither was there any among them that lacked: for as many as were
possessors of lands or houses, sold them, and brought the prices of the
things which were sold, and laid them down at the apostles' feet; and
distribution was made unto every man as he had need." (Acts iv:32-35.)

This law of consecration, which comprehended the law of tithing
and much more, was also observed for some 200 years upon the
American continent subsequent to the visit of the Savior to and the
establishment of His Church among the Nephites upon this land. The
law of consecration was revealed to the Latter-day Saints through the
Prophet Joseph Smith, and will be established and carried out fully in
the redemption of Zion; without it Zion cannot be redeemed.

This is the dispensation of the fullness of times, the one containing
in its revelations all the keys, powers, prerogatives, authorities and
blessings, enjoyed by any and all previous dispensations combined-a
day of the restoration of all things spoken by the mouth of all His
holy Prophets since the world began. (Acts iii:20-21; Eph. i:9-10.)
Consequently the law of tithing, with other grand doctrines, has been
restored to the earth. The revelation on this subject is found in the
Doctrine and Covenants, Sec. 119, and was given to the Prophet Joseph
Smith July 8, 1838. It shows what constitutes tithing, the purpose
thereof and the blessings to be received as a reward of obedience

The law specifies one-tenth of all our interests annually. This means
what it says, "one-tenth of our interests;" in other words, whatever
comes to us as the result of our labors in any and every vocation of
life. If we lend money, whatever the interest on the loan amounts to,
one-tenth of this interest is tithing. If the money is invested in any
enterprise and brings a dividend, one-tenth of the dividend is the
tithing. If a man is a carpenter, a blacksmith or a school teacher,
and earns a salary, one-tenth of that salary should be consecrated to
the Lord as tithing; and the tithe-payer has the other nine-tenths to
meet his expenses and to use as a means of livelihood. Whatever the
occupation, whether farmer, mechanic, professor, miner or whatever,
one-tenth of his interest annually is the tithing. If questions arise,
as they sometimes do, especially with the farmer regarding legitimate
expenses used in producing what is left to us as a profit on our
labors, the Latter-day Saint, if in doubt as to the amount to pay, is
usually certain of this--that between two propositions one of which he
knows is right, and the other may be but he is not sure, he is always
safe to act upon that side of the question which extends to the law of
the Lord the greater liberality. "It is more blessed to give than to
receive." "The Lord loveth a cheerful giver," and "He that deviseth
liberal means, shall stand by his liberality," while the man who
complies grudgingly or studies how little he can do, and at the same
time have the name and record of doing, is not the man who loves the
Lord with all his heart, mind and strength, and should not anticipate a
full measure of blessing attached to His law.

By an honest compliance, the individual is blessed in spirit and in
temporal substance. The testimonies of thousands, and even of the
widow who has paid her full tithing, is that God has increased their
substance in some instances in a most remarkable manner, even as He
increased in the barrel the meal of the poor widow who fed the prophet
Elijah. He also has given testimony of His goodness and power and the
increase of His Holy Spirit to the honest tithe-payer, who receives
blessings greatly exceeding in value the increase of gold, silver or
any physical substance.

In tithing is strongly exemplified the eternal law that what is given
as God directs increases the substance of the giver. When men exert the
intellectual talents with which they are endowed in imparting knowledge
to others, their own knowledge does not decrease but is enhanced, while
the active intellect grows strongly and the talents are more quickly
developed and increased. When our young Elders go forth and preach the
Gospel as they are moved upon by the Holy Ghost, the Spirit they employ
does not grow less nor the gifts thereof diminish because they are
constantly imparting to others, but these increase abundantly. It is
just as easy for the Lord to increase physical substance as to add to
spiritual blessings and powers. When we sow the grain upon the earth,
it would seem thrown away, but by the law of the Great Creator, the
seed germinates in it and produces again, sometimes thirty and forty
fold. So it is with tithing. We may not understand fully the process,
but the result is plain. God increases the faith and substance of him
who freely pays his tithing.

Among the conditions associated with this law is, "those who are not
tithed shall not be worthy the blessings of the house of the Lord;"
and again, "He that is tithed shall not be burned" (at His coming).
(Doctrine and Covenants, Sec. 64:23.) It is predicted by Malachi and
other prophets, as well as by the words of the Lord in the last days to
the prophet Joseph Smith, that the days of God's judgment are coming
upon the earth, and that the wicked, proud and rebellious shall become
as stubble, "and the day that cometh shall burn them up, saith the Lord
of hosts." (Malachi iii. Doctrine and Covenants, Sec. 64.)

In the revelations on tithing the Lord also says, "Verily I say unto
you, it shall come to pass that all those who gather into the land of
Zion shall be tithed of their surplus properties, and shall observe
this law or they shall not be found worthy to abide among you. And I
say unto you, if my people observe not this law, to keep it holy, and
by this law sanctify the land of Zion unto me, that my statutes and my
judgments may be kept thereon, that it may be most holy, behold, verily
I say unto you, it shall not be a land of Zion unto you. And this shall
be an example unto all the Stakes of Zion. Even so, Amen." (Doc. and
Cov., Sec. 119.)

The perfection and benefits of the law of tithing could not be
comprehended by men of this age of the world prior to the revelations
given from the Lord. This divine instruction was necessary, and its
demonstration in the lives of the people is a further witness of the
prophetic calling of Joseph Smith; the facts connected therewith are
within easy reach of those who will investigate among the people
who have actual experience and knowledge of the divine blessings
that attend obedience to the law of tithing and are unimpeachable
testimonies of the truth of God's word.


There is nothing more strikingly plain and explicit in all the Holy
Scriptures than that God is just and His paths are "mercy and truth."

Justice is an essential attribute of Deity; it is as necessary in
government as love and mercy; it demands that man shall acquiesce in
divine law, without which all were confusion, utterly devoid of order
and method, and the learned essayist has informed us that "Heaven's
first law is order." Justice should govern law, and when the law is
violated or its statutes are broken, justice calls for a penalty
therefor. It is by law that penalties are affixed, and we find in
Deuteronomy, the 28th chapter, beginning with the 15th verse, "If
thou wilt not hearken unto the voice of the Lord thy God, to observe
to do all His commandments and His statutes which I command thee this
day, that all these curses shall come upon thee." In Mark xvi:16, we
read, "He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that
believeth not shall be damned." Here we find a penalty affixed for the
violation of the laws of God.

We find it verily true that in all God does and in all that He orders,
He manifests goodness and love, maintains justice and equity and
exercises mercy and long-suffering. Notwithstanding His compassion and
mercy, He is nevertheless just and true, therefore a full assurance
that He will bestow rewards and inflict punishments, as He has
aforetime decreed, must take root in the mind of every considering,
inquiring, honest soul. As the apostle said: "In hope of eternal
life, which God, that cannot lie, promised before the world began."
(Titus i:2. ) Mercy shall ever season justice, but never be permitted
to rob her of her inexorable demands Love will never cease to be a
ruling attribute in all God's dealings, but not to mitigate or lessen
punishment, unless repentance be manifest and forgiveness granted;
goodness, kindness, forbearance and gentleness, while they are forever
and always exercised in Deity, will not stand to thwart or forestall
the judgments of God, or remove deserving penalties, only as provision
is made in the plan of redemption.

There are numerous instances recorded upon the pages of Holy Writ
which go to prove that God is just, and that His decrees will be
fulfilled to the letter. Perhaps none are so convincingly clear as that
portrayed in the atonement of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. He
became pre-eminently the "man of sorrows and acquainted with grief."
Not for His own sins, for He was the one person free from sin, but He
bore affliction and suffering beyond our finite comprehension before a
remission of that penalty, which justice demanded for Adam's sin, could
be procured. When we consider the agonies of the garden, the scoffings
of the council and the torture of the crucifixion, we begin to realize
the exaction of punishment ere the sons of Adam could be freed from the
original transgression enacted in Eden. Christ, in His vicarious work
of interposition for fallen man, humbled Himself before His Father,
being subject to pain, scorn, ignominy and death, that justice might
be satisfied. Herein, then, is plainly discerned the justice of the
Almighty--a justice as strict in its works as it is stern in its words,
yet seasoned with mercy and dealt kindly with love; requiring of that
Just One a full and complete atonement, unsparingly and unflinchingly,
for thus did justice demand. We are assured, then, of the justice of
God; the debt must be paid before the burden is lifted, but when the
requirements of the law are righteously met and kept, the load is
removed, for our Father is not only just, but merciful and true.

In the minds of many there exists a vague and erroneous idea as to
what is really meant by the term "eternal rewards" and "eternal
punishments." A misunderstanding of these expressions has doubtless
caused many to be skeptical and infidelic. The word "eternal" does not
refer to the length or duration of the blessings endowed or penalties
inflicted, but to the everlasting nature of the Great God, under whose
righteousness and justice the faithful are exalted and the wicked

Through Moses, that ancient seer, the Lord spoke thus: "The eternal
God is thy refuge, and underneath are the everlasting arms." (Deut.
xxxiii:27.) God, then, being eternal, His rewards are "eternal
rewards," His punishments "eternal punishments." If the United States
were an eternal government, its justice would be eternal; if it were
unchangeable, it always would punish violators of the law, and if
justice were meted out to all, they would be punished in proportion to
the crime committed, and when the demands of justice were satisfied
they would be released, but the punishment would still continue to
exist, and being eternal, all who fell under its ban would taste
of eternal punishment. The punishment will always endure, although
criminals may serve their penalties and come out from the prison
house; it is even so in the kingdom of God. God is the highest type
of justice. He is eternal, everlasting, unchangeable, and always will
punish sin. His punishment is eternal, because He is eternal. Eternal
is one of His names, and eternal punishment is used in the sense
of God's punishment, and not to designate it as everlasting in its
duration upon the offender of the law. He will beat with many stripes
all who commit sins worthy of the same, and with few stripes those
guilty of less venal crimes. This will be determined according to the
light and knowledge one may possess. For example, three men commit
murder, an African in the jungles of Africa, a negro who was formerly a
slave, and a white man. Other things being equal, the white man, with
his advanced intelligence, will suffer most, for he has had the most
light and by far the best opportunity to advance.

There are degrees of punishment, as well as degrees of reward. Here is
a tender, moral girl, who dies without accepting Christ as her Savior,
and here is an old man, eighty years old, who dies in his sins; dare
any one assert that a just and holy God is going to punish those two
alike? And yet many, very many, look upon hell as a place where all
suffer alike, and heaven an ethereal, uncertain abode, where all enjoy
like blessings. Our salvation from death depends entirely upon Christ,
but our exaltation is upon our acts of obedience, and our condemnation
upon our sins and transgressions. How plain and simple are the words of
the apostle Paul, "Every man shall receive his own reward according to
his own labor." (I Cor. iii:8.)

God rewards according to our faithfulness to all opportunities. He does
not require a quart from a pint vessel. "Where much is given much is
required." "As ye sow, so shall ye reap." As with rewards, so likewise
with punishments. When justice is satisfied, the sinner has paid the

How beautiful and holy is this plan of eternal justice! How consistent
with the words of the Messiah, "Be ye perfect, as your Father in heaven
is perfect." Paul informs us that after the resurrection and eternal
judgment, we are to go on unto perfection, and not until then, will
the measure of our creation be filled.

Let all ponder the simple truth that God is just, holy and righteous,
wondrously tender, loving, gentle and kind. Eternal rewards are the
blessings we receive from God for our faithfulness and fealty to His
laws. Eternal punishments are the inflictions which He imposes for
our violation of His righteous commands. Our rewards we merit; our
punishments we justly deserve. The Lord has said, "I will never leave
thee; I will never forsake thee," therefore, we are assured that "His
mercy endureth forever."


"To obey is better than sacrifice, and to hearken than the fat of
rams." (I. Samuel xv:22.) In an age of the world when independence is
the proud boast of the nations, obedience is, by mistaken ideas of
freedom, considered a mark of humiliation. To the reader I will say,
in reality, true obedience to the Lord's commands is an indication
of moral courage, union and power. It is not blind obedience that is
referred to and maintained, but that type which characterized the
ancient seers and saints, who, like the Messiah, were ready to say by
word and deed, "I came not to do mine own will, but the will of my
Father who sent me."

The Latter-day Saints are credited with being obedient and submissive
to authority, this fact being often used by their opponents as the
occasion of reproach. Those who so use it surely must forget that God
requires obedience; that the best embodiment of this principle, the
most humble and yielding to the divine will, was the best and purest
Being who ever dwelt in mortality, viz., the Lord Jesus Christ; He
in whose mouth there was found no guile; who was perfect and without
blemish in all the walks of life. While He was obedient to His Father's
will and humble to the extreme, He was independent of the influence and
persuasions of wicked men.

The status of Latter-day Saints is conformable to this example.
They are obedient to conscience, to convictions of right, to divine
authority and to God, in whom they trust. While thus submissive, their
persecutors have found them equally oblivious to the behests of wicked
men, whether high or low. Men in the factories of the old world,
working side by side at the weaver's loom, in the coal pit or elsewhere
in following the various vocations of life-in this condition the Gospel
preached by the elders of Israel has reached them. Alike, many of them
have received convictions of the truth. They have said: "This is the
truth; I must obey it or stand condemned." Other people have said: "It
is true, but if I obey I will be ostracized, perhaps lose my employment
and be an outcast from my father's house. Better that I reject the
truth and live in peace, than take upon me this cross of obedience to
unpopular truth."

The courageous obey the Gospel, suffer persecution, prove themselves
men, and will attain to eternal life. The other people referred to are
slaves to their own fear of popular clamor and to the unseen powers of
darkness which lead men to reject the plan of salvation. Of the first
named class are the Latter-day Saints, a host of men and women who have
left home, kindred and country for the Gospel's sake. They have endured
persecution even unto death, privation and suffering in every form;
have redeemed a desert and built up a commonwealth so fruitful with
education, thrift and enterprise that any nation beneath the sun might
well be proud of them. Their obedience and moral courage they bequeath
to their posterity is a legacy better than diamonds or the honors and
praise of a fallen world. They look back to their associates in early
manhood who, for fear, rejected the truth, and find these, whether
living or dead, in most cases unhonored and unknown.

The obedience rendered by Latter-day Saints to the authority of the
priesthood is not secured by virtue of any solemn obligation entered
into by the adherent to obey the dictum of his superiors in office;
but upon the nature of the Gospel, which guarantees to every adherent
the companionship of the Holy Spirit, and this Spirit secures to every
faithful individual a living testimony concerning the truth or falsity
of every proposition presented for his consideration.

"By one spirit have we access unto the Father." (Eph ii.) So that as
all men and women who embrace the Gospel are entitled to an individual
testimony of the truth, the same spirit guides into all truth reveals
the things of the Father and imparts the inspiration essential to
preserve mankind from a blind obedience to erroneous principles and
false guides.

The statement of the Savior, recorded in St. John vii:17, covers
the ground in the broadest light: "If any man will do His will, he
shall know of the doctrine, whether it be of God or whether I speak
of myself." This secures to every true Saint, if he is faithful,
protection against imposture, the abuse of power and the false
decisions of man-made councils. In this particular the Church of
Christ is distinguished from all other system and institutions. He
has promised to guide and direct, and that He "doeth nothing, but He
revealeth His secrets unto His servants, the prophets." (Amos iii:7.)
This does not imply the infallibility of man, but it does imply the
promise that no man or council of men who stand at the head of the
church shall have power to lead the Saints astray. With this assurance,
then, the people of God in every dispensation have been justified in
rendering absolute yet intelligent obedience in the direction of the
holy prophets. It is an undeniable fact in the history of the Saints
that obedience to whatever has come, either by written document or
verbally, from the presidency of the church, has been attended with
good results; on the other hand, whosoever has opposed such council,
without repentance, has been followed with evidence of condemnation.

Applying this principle of obedience to organizations of a civil and
business character, confusion and weakness result from men refusing
their support to the decision of the presiding authority or of the
majority, where the action is left to popular vote. Carlyle, the great
English writer, said: "All great minds are respectfully obedient to all
that is over them; only small souls are otherwise."

The obedience rendered to God is based upon a conviction that He is
perfect in all His ways possessing the attributes of justice, judgment,
knowledge, power, mercy and truth in all their fullness. Obedience to
His appointed authority upon the earth is obedience to Him, and is
so taught by the Savior. "He that receiveth you receiveth me, and he
that receiveth me receiveth Him that sent me." (Matthew x:40.) He that
heareth you heareth me; and he that despiseth you despiseth me; and he
that despiseth me, despiseth Him that sent me. (Luke x:16.) "Verily,
verily, I say unto you, He that receiveth whomsoever I send, receiveth
me; and he that receiveth me, receiveth Him that sent me." (St. John

It is not the attractive qualities of the individual, however great,
that renders submission to his administration valid, but the authority
of God which he fears. The acts of Philip, Stephen, Paul or James
were just as valid and binding as those of the Messiah Himself, when
performed by His authority and in His name. To reject the personal
teachings and offices of the Savior could bring no greater condemnation
than to reject the teachings of any man sent of God bearing authority
and the inspiration of the Holy Spirit to speak and act in the name
of the Lord. This great truth was taught by the Savior on more than
one occasion, but perhaps no more forcibly or in more beautiful terms
than in the following: "When the Son of Man shall come in His glory,
and all the holy angels with Him, then shall He sit upon the throne of
His glory; and before Him shall be gathered all nations; and He shall
separate them one from another, as a shepherd divideth his sheep from
the goats. And He shall set the sheep on His right hand, but the goats
on the left. Then shall the King say unto them on His right hand, Come,
ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the
foundation of the world. For I was an hungered and ye gave me meat;
I was thirsty and ye gave me drink; I was a stranger and ye took me
in; naked and ye clothed me: I was sick and ye visited me; I was in
prison and ye came unto me. Then shall the righteous answer Him saying:
Lord, when saw we Thee an hungered and fed Thee? or thirsty and gave
Thee drink? When saw we Thee a stranger and took Thee in? or naked
and clothed Thee? or when saw we Thee sick or in prison and came unto
Thee? And the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto
you, inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these, my
brethren, ye have done it unto me." When He told the wicked that they
had failed to thus administer unto Him, they began to plead that they
had not seen Him sick, in prison, hungry, naked or athirst. He answered
them, "Inasmuch as ye did it not unto one of the least of these, ye did
it not unto me." (Matt. xxvi:31-46.)

It is not the individuality of the person which calls for respect
and consideration, it is the principle involved. God had placed His
authority upon humble men. Through their administrations can be secured
the benefits and blessings which follow obedience to the ordinances
of the Gospel. Implicit obedience must be rendered. The mandates
of Jehovah are imperative. No substitute will do. The condition is
complete to the plan of salvation as established by Almighty God.

Saul was commanded to destroy Agag and all his hosts, man and beast.
He kept the best of the flock for, he said, a sacrifice, but God had
ordered otherwise, and Saul's disobedience caused him to lose the
kingdom, shut him out from the revelations which came by dream, vision
and the Urim and Thummim. "Thou shalt not steady the ark"; and they who
disobeyed were smitten of the Lord. Israel by disobedience lost the
guidance of the Almighty, went into spiritual darkness, and have been
scattered to the four quarters of the earth, "a hiss and a by-word in
the mouths of all nations."

Obedience is essential to salvation, essential to success in every
avenue of human enterprise. Whether rendered to the laws of God direct,
in their moral and spiritual phases, or to His authority vested in man,
obedience must be implicit. The haughty man boasts of independence.
He scorns the humble followers of the Lord, but while he prates of
freedom, he is himself slavishly obedient to his own whims and mistaken
ideas or to the spirit of evil, to popular sentiment or to some other
influence always dangerous to the welfare of mankind.

The Saints have been accused of being priest-ridden and fearful to
use their own judgment. What do the facts show? They are only asked
to do right, live pure lives, do good to all men, evil to none, and
to respect the order of God's kingdom that salvation may come to them
and be extended to all the world. Their obedience has made them the
best and purest body of people on the earth. What of the character of
those who have derided them? They are slaves to a shallow and excited
sentiment or to wickedness and vice, obedient to their own lusts and
wicked ways. Compared with those they misrepresent they are below them
in almost every trait which characterizes noble manhood. By obedience
to God and His priesthood the Saints in this age have come off
triumphant over obstacles within and foes without. By obedience to God
and His commands they will continue the blessed and favored of the Lord
forever. They have proved the words of Samuel to Saul, verily true: "To
obey is better than sacrifice, and to hearken than the fat of rams."


What is charity? Does it consist solely in the giving of bread to the
hungry, clothes to the naked or succor to the distressed? "Though I
bestow all my goods to feed the poor, and though I give my body to
be burned, and have not charity, it profiteth me nothing. Charity
suffereth long, and is kind; charity envieth not; charity vaunteth not
itself, is not puffed up; doth not behave itself unseemly, seeketh not
her own, is not easily provoked, thinketh no evil; rejoiceth not in
iniquity, but rejoiceth in the truth; beareth all things, believeth all
things, hopeth all things, endureth all things. Charity never faileth."
(I. Cor. xiii:3-8.) If to say that one has charity to any considerable
extent requires the possession of all the foregoing characteristics,
then we may truthfully admit that there is a great charity famine now
prevailing throughout the world.

It is not difficult to find people who will impart of their substance
to feed the poor; but too frequently many who do so will look with
scorn upon those who differ from them in matters of religion, politics
or other subjects. Modern history records many instances where people
noted for their hospitality have shown intense hatred and bitterness
toward some who have come into their midst preaching doctrines which
were in conflict with the theories they and their fathers had espoused.

In many cases mobs have been headed by ministers of religion, who have
instigated and participated in shedding the innocent blood of their
fellow beings for no other reason than their hatred of a religion
different from their own. Indeed, few if any in modern Christendom
can be said to exemplify in their lives all the traits attributed to
charity in the quotation from the sayings of the apostle Paul. Who
"suffers long" without a murmur, especially if the suffering comes by
oppression from an outward foe, and in return for evil? Who are kind to
those who wrong them? Where is he who "envieth not" the possessions of
his neighbor, or the honors and emoluments of office enjoyed by others?
Who, under the wave of prosperity, in the lap of luxury, or dwelling
in popular favor, "vaunteth not" himself, "is not puffed up" or "doth
not behave himself unseemly?" Who "seeketh not" his own, "but rather"
prefers his brother before himself? Who is not "easily provoked,"
and therefore does not retaliate against those who may give offense?
Who "thinks not evil" of those who go contrary to his views, but the
motives of whose hearts he knows nothing about?

How many persons there are who have not become acquainted with our
people, yet who, through the circulation of scurrilous reports, have
imbibed deep-seated prejudice against the Latter-day Saints, and having
become acquainted with them, have rejoiced to find them a better people
than such preconceived ideas had led them to the belief that they
were? In missionary experience, the Elders frequently have found many
professing Christians exasperated when confronted with proof that the
Saints were a God-fearing, virtuous, temperate, honest and industrious
people. Such professors "rejoice in iniquity," and "love darkness
rather than light, because their deeds are evil." They do not rejoice
in truth, but rather "have pleasure in unrighteousness." Few there are,
even among the Saints, who fully and becomingly "bear all things" and
prove themselves the true type of the Savior of mankind, who preferred
ever to suffer wrong than to do wrong.

Do we "believe all things" and "hope for all things" which have been
predicted by the prophets since the world began?

Who in the world is looking for angels to visit the earth in the last
days, for the restoration of the ancient Gospel in its primitive beauty
and power? Who is looking for the restoration of the Jews to Palestine?
Who looks for a people to build a temple where the Savior shall
suddenly come, and who looks for Elijah to appear before that great
and terrible day of the Lord's coming, when the wicked shall become as
stubble, and be consumed by the judgments of God? If these events have
not occurred or are not transpiring, they must do so, or the words of
the prophets will fail, the Scriptures be proved fallacious, and our
hope is vain. And he who believes not these things has not charity. If
he had, he would be patient to hear, anxious to learn, and the Lord
would lead all such to the light. Charity should be sought after and
cultivated by the Saints above all other people. Our professions are
greater. If our deportment contradicts our teachings, our ignorance is
more apparent, or our hypocrisy is more pronounced.

It is stated in the Book of Mormon that "Charity is the pure love of
God." By this plain yet comprehensive definition, we learn that unless
the love of God dwells in our hearts we have not charity. This love
for the salvation of mankind induces the true servants of the Lord to
travel to the ends of the earth, without the shadow or hope of earthly
reward, to preach the Gospel to the world. Not only that; with all the
self-denial of home and its comforts which such a mission implies, we
also esteem all the good which others have, not asking them to forsake
one truth they now possess, but inviting them to receive more truth,
pointing them to a greater light, and leaving them perfectly free from
undue persuasion to receive the message or reject it as they may choose.

The Prophet Joseph instructed the Twelve and the Elders, in preaching
the Gospel, not to tear down the tenets of other men's faith, but
in the spirit of meekness explain the Gospel and bear testimony to
its divinity, leaving all mankind absolutely the keeper of their own
consciences, to do as they please and meet the responsibility of
their own acts at the bar of eternal justice. Neither should it be
forgotten that much of the labor of mankind, without a knowledge of
the Gospel, in many respects has been directed by a divine Providence
to ameliorate the condition of mankind. "There is a spirit in man,
and the inspiration of the Almighty giveth them understanding." The
achievements of the reformation by Luther and others, the inventions
of the printing press, of electrical machinery, the locomotive and the
steamboat, the discovery of America, the revolution, the rounding,
establishment and perpetuity of our civil government in the United
States, all were events preparing the way for the restoration of the
Gospel and the final establishment of the kingdom of God in these last

A striking instance of divine purpose in the labors of men outside the
true church is pointed out in a revelation given in December, 1830, to
Joseph Smith, Jr., and Sidney Rigdon. The Lord said: "Behold, verily,
verily, I say unto my servant Sidney, I have looked upon thee and thy
works. I have heard thy prayers and prepared thee for a greater work.
Behold, thou wast sent forth, even as John, to prepare the way before
me, and before Elijah, which should come, and thou knewest it not. Thou
didst baptize by water unto repentance, but they received not the Holy
Ghost. But now I give unto thee a commandment, that thou shalt baptize
by water, and they shall receive the Holy Ghost by the laying on of
the hands, even as the apostles of old." (Doctrine and Covenants, sec.
xxxv, 3-6.)

The revelation given December, 1830, from which the above is quoted,
was upon the occasion of the first visit of Sidney Rigdon and Edward
Partridge to the prophet Joseph Smith. The labors of Sidney Rigdon,
referred to in the quotation, must have alluded to his ministry in the
Campbellite church, for he had been in the Church of Christ only about
six weeks when this revelation was given, having embraced the Gospel
at the hands of Parley P. Pratt and fellow missionaries near Kirtland,
Ohio, late in October or early in November, 1830.

As is well understood, the followers of Alexander Campbell preach
faith, repentance and baptism by immersion for the remission of sins.
These views Sidney Rigdon espoused as being better than what he already
had, and when the true Gospel, in its fullness, with authority from God
to administer the ordinances thereof, found him, he gladly obeyed the
same. In about three weeks from the time Brother Pratt and co-laborers
entered Kirtland, 127 persons were baptized. Subsequently the numbers
were augmented to about 1,000 souls. In the providences of the Lord,
Kirtland soon became the gathering place of the Saints, the facilities
there being greatly enhanced by so many people embracing the Gospel and
thus making a foothold for the prophet Joseph Smith and the Saints who
should follow him from the East. There the Kirtland Temple was built.
There the Savior, Moses, Elijah, Elias and other ancient worthies
appeared to the prophet. There the endowments were given, and the
Spirit from on high was poured out in the last days, as upon the day of

All these subsequent events, of such a glorious character, show how
distinctly the Lord's hand was manifest in the mission and labors of
Sidney Rigdon before he embraced the Gospel. Such instances serve as
pointed lessons to the youth of Israel, teaching us to be broad and
generous in viewing the labors of those not of us, so that if the hand
of Providence is manifest we shall not be oblivious thereto, nor be
found in the ranks of those who have not charity.


The skeptical doubt the resurrection of the dead. Some scientific
men have denied the possibility of the actual redemption of the body
from the grave. One would think, as time goes on, with the wonderful
developments of science which reveal things that were classed among the
impossibilities of a century ago, that it is not reasonable to doubt
the possibility of anything, however remarkable, which is within the
scope of blessings to mankind. The date, in the past, is not remote
when it would have been deemed almost an indication of insanity for a
man to say that such an instrument as the X-ray would be invented, by
which a photograph of the interior of the human body could be taken.
Astounding as it may appear, such is now an accomplished fact, and this
is but one of the many remarkable and grand achievements of modern
times. If such things are possible by the intelligence given to mortal
man, is it not equally probable that the elements which enter into the
composition of the human body can be brought together and resuscitated
by an Omniscient Being? Is the resurrection any more unaccountable
from a natural and scientific view than the organization of the human
body before its birth into the world? Many things are admitted in
nature to be a fact, but why they are such, the most learned and
scientific have been unable to explain. The elements in any substance
do not become annihilated; they change from one form of organization
to another. Wheat, by a grinding and separating process, is made into
flour, bran and shorts; from flour, by another process, into bread.
Each change produces an article very different in appearance from the
one preceding it, but the same elements are there. They are eternal and
indestructible. This being true of all forms of life in the vegetable
kingdom, it must also be true of human life.

Even Christians dispute with respect to the character of the
resurrection of the body, some believing in an actual resurrection
thereof, and others denying the immortality of the body of flesh and
bones. It is our aim simply to present the statement of the Scriptures,
which, the Latter-day Saints claim, are clear in declaring the actual
resurrection of the body.

Christ is the first fruits of the resurrection and the pattern of what
is an eternal principle, applicable to all mankind. As He took up the
same body which was laid in the tomb, so will all the human family
receive a renewal, each of his own body. The change is, that the blood,
which is the life of the mortal body, will not occupy the immortal one.
"Flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God." (I. Cor. xv:50.)
It is evident, however, that flesh and bones can inherit, occupied by
immortal spirit; for Jesus was the type.

After His resurrection He appeared unto many. He said to His disciples,
when they were affrighted and supposed they had seen a spirit: "Behold,
my hands and my feet, that it is I myself; handle me and see; for a
spirit hath not flesh and bones, as ye see me have." (Luke xxiv:39.) He
then showed them His hands and feet, which had been pierced with spikes
in the terrible hour of His crucifixion. While He was with them He
called for food, and they gave Him broiled fish and honeycomb, which He
ate in their presence.

What could be more real, more tangible than this? When He was
resurrected, many others received the same glorious blessing and came
bodily out of their graves. "And the graves were opened; and many
bodies of the saints which slept arose, and came out of the graves
after His resurrection, and went into the holy city and appeared unto
many." (Matt. xxvii:52, 53.) These undoubtedly were the bodies of the
righteous who had embraced the Gospel in the various dispensations
prior to the coming and atonement of our Lord and Savior. The
antediluvians who rejected Noah were not among this number, for Peter
informs us that the Messiah, when put to death in the flesh, was
"quickened by the spirit; by which also He went and preached unto the
spirits in prison; which sometime were disobedient, when once the long
suffering of God waited in the days of Noah." (I. Peter iii:18-20.)

Is this not a beautiful yet terrible lesson to all, that those who hear
the Gospel in the flesh and reject it shall not come forth in the first
resurrection, but remain, their bodies mingling with the dust, while
their spirits are gathered as prisoners in the pit, awaiting with awful
anxiety the judgment of the great day.

The Savior Himself said to His disciples: "Verily, verily, I say
unto you: The hour is coming and now is, when the dead shall hear
the voice of the Son of God; and they that hear shall live." (St.
John v: 25.) Continuing His remarks, it would appear that He spoke
of the two resurrections, for in the first, which took place when He
came forth from the tomb, the saints were resurrected, while in the
following verses, twenty-eight and twenty-nine, He says: "Marvel not
at this; for the hour is coming, in which all that are in the graves
shall hear His voice, and shall come forth; they that have done good,
unto the resurrection of life; and they that have done evil, unto the
resurrection of damnation."

The reader will notice that the twenty-fifth verse reads "the
dead," and may only apply to the righteous as coming forth at His
resurrection, while the twenty-eighth verse says, "All that are in
the graves," which would make it universal and apply to the just and
the unjust, the evil and the good. This resurrection of the wicked
doubtless applies to the same event that is recorded in the book of
Revelations John first saw the resurrection of the righteous, and then
says: "And I saw thrones, and they sat upon them, and judgment was
given unto them: and I saw the souls of them that were beheaded for the
witness of Jesus, and for the word of God, and which had not worshiped
the beast, neither his image, neither had received his mark upon their
foreheads, or in their hands; and they lived and reigned with Christ a
thousand years." (Rev. xx:4.) Glorious thought! The righteous rewarded
for all their trials and tribulations! "Who are these arrayed in white,
brighter than the noon-day sun?" "These are they which have come up
through great tribulation, washed their robes, and made them white in
the blood of the Lamb." This reward is well worth all the hardships
incidental to preaching the Gospel and living the life of a Saint. "But
the rest of the dead lived not again until the thousand years were
finished. This is the first resurrection."

"And I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God; and the books
were opened; and another book was opened, which is the book of life;
and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the
books; * * * and they were judged every man according to their works."
(Rev. xx:12, 13.)

Nothing could be more literal, more tangible, more real than this;
nothing more just. The righteous were to come forth and enjoy a
thousand years of absolute peace and freedom from the tribulations
heaped upon them by the wicked, untrammeled with trials brought upon
them by Lucifer; free from sickness, sin and sorrow; living in the
personal presence of the Lord Jesus Christ, in full enjoyment of the
earth in all its paradisic glory; justice meted out to the wicked, who
will be denied the opportunity to revel in the lusts of the flesh or to
persecute those who "live godly in Christ Jesus."

No wonder that Job rejoiced in all his affliction, because his soul was
enlightened with the visions of the future. Notwithstanding his bodily
pains and the annoyance of friends who attributed his afflictons to his
own failings, he exclaimed from the depths of his soul: "Oh, that my
words were now written! Oh, that they were printed in a book! That they
were graven with an iron pen and lead in the rock forever! For I know
that my Redeemer liveth, and that He shall stand at the latter day upon
the earth. And though after my skin worms destroy this body, yet in my
flesh shall I see God." (Job xix:23-26.) Undoubtedly this great and
good man was resurrected when the Messiah was, and received a partial
fulfillment of this glorious vision, but whatever was lacking in the
full realities of this prophecy will be complete when the Son of Man
shall come, in His glory, to reign on the earth.

Paul said to the Thessalonians: "For if we believe that Jesus died and
rose again, even so them also which sleep in Jesus will God bring with
Him. * * * For the Lord Himself shall descend from heaven with a shout,
with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God; and the
dead in Christ shall rise first." (I. Thess iv:14-16.) This agrees with
the testimonies already quoted from the Savior and the apostle John in
reference to the resurrection at two different periods; one for the
just and one for the unjust.

This great subject is also portrayed by the prophet Daniel. In the
seventh chapter of his prophecy, ninth and twenty-second verses, he
speaks of the coming of the "Ancient of Days." The most ancient man of
days associated with this earth is our father Adam, and it is plain
that he has a great part to perform in placing judgment in the hands of
the Saints and subduing the wicked. It would appear by the mission to
be performed by Michael, as described in the first verse of the twelfth
chapter of Daniel, and in the twelfth chapter of Revelations, that
Michael and the Ancient of Days are the same person, and that he will
be upon the earth at the opening of the millennium and will dwell in
the midst of the people of God.

In modern revelation the Lord has said to the Prophet Joseph Smith,
"And the Lord appeared unto them, and they rose up and blessed Adam,
and called him Michael, the prince, the archangel." (Doctrine and
Covenants, Sec. 107, verse 54.) In connection with the coming of
Michael in the last days, Daniel says: "And many of them that sleep in
the dust of the earth shall awake, some to everlasting life, and some
to shame and everlasting contempt." (Daniel xii:2.)

In Paul's address before Felix he refers to the resurrection in the
following language: "And have hope toward God, which they themselves
also allow, that there shall be a resurrection of the dead, both of the
just and unjust." (Acts xxiv:15.) Again "Him God raised up the third
day and showed Him openly; not to all the people, but unto witnesses
chosen before of God, even to us, who did eat and drink with Him after
He rose from the dead. And He commanded us to preach unto the people,
and to testify that it is He which was ordained of God to be the Judge
of quick and dead." This was the testimony of the chief apostle, Peter,
when the Gospel was first delivered to the Gentiles.

It is evident that the burden of the teachings and testimonies of the
apostles was to establish the divinity of the mission of the Lord Jesus
Christ. This necessarily included His atonement and resurrection.
The fall of our first parents brought not only a banishment from the
presence of the Lord, which may be termed a spiritual death, but it
caused the death of the physical body. When an atonement was wrought
out as a redemption from that fall, it would be incomplete unless it
brought to pass immortality and eternal life to the body.

"The spirit and the body is the soul of man." The body is resurrected
from the grave, independent of whether the individual in this life was
good or bad, as shown by the declarations of Scripture. "For as in Adam
all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive." (I. Cor. xv:22.)
Paul describes in a very definite way the different degrees of glory
in the resurrection, which vindicates the justice of God in rewarding
every man according to his works, and establishing the free agency of
man by holding him personally accountable for every act of his life.
"There are also celestial bodies, and bodies terrestrial; but the glory
of the celestial is one, and the glory of the terrestrial is another.
There is one glory of the sun, and another glory of the moon, and
another glory of the stars; for one star differeth from another star in
glory. So also is the resurrection of the dead." (I. Cor. xv:40-42.)
Jesus said to the apostles: "In my Father's house are many mansions:
If it were not so I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for
you * * * that where I am there ye may be also." (St. John xiv:2, 3.)
These assertions all agree that there has been a resurrection (so far
as they refer to the resurrection of Jesus and those who came forth
from their graves at the same time) and that there will yet be two more
resurrections, one of the just, one of the unjust. The only reasonable
conclusion to be reached by reading these testimonies is, that the
resurrection will be an actual reunion of the spirit and the body.

If in the mind of the reader anything seems to be deficient in the
conclusions from the statements quoted, certainly the account of the
resurrection from the inspired writings of Ezekiel should dispel every
doubt. The entire thirty-seventh chapter of Ezekiel should be read.
In this vision of the prophet he saw the resurrection of the house
of Israel, so real in its nature that bone came to bone, sinew to
sinew; flesh and skin covered the frame, and the spirit entered the
body of each. Thus a complete resurrection of the bodies was wrought
out. Ezekiel says, after the Lord commanded, "So I prophesied as I
was commanded; and as I prophesied there was a noise, and behold,
a shaking, and the bones came together, bone to his bone. And when
I beheld, lo, the sinews and the flesh came up upon them, and the
skin covered them above; but there was no breath in them. * * * Come
from the four winds, O breath, and breathe upon these slain, that
they may live. * * * And they lived and stood up upon their feet, an
exceeding great army." (Ezek. xxxvii:7-10.) That this is to be an
actual resurrection of the bodies of the dead is made plain by the
twelfth and thirteenth verses: "Thus saith the Lord God: Behold, O my
people, I will open your graves and cause you to come up out of your
graves and bring you into the land of Israel. And ye shall know that I
am the Lord, when I have opened your graves, O my people, and brought
you up out of your graves." * * * "Moreover, I will make a covenant of
peace with them; it shall be an everlasting covenant with them: and I
will place them, and multiply them, and will set my sanctuary in the
midst of them forevermore. My tabernacle also shall be with them; yea,
I will be their God, and they shall be my people." (Verses 26, 27. )
Thus there shall be a real, actual resurrection of the body, a complete
reunion of the spirit with the body.

After the resurrection, those whose bodies and spirits are thereby
reunited will join their living brethren, receive revelation from God,
including the everlasting covenant, be gathered to their own lands, and
continue to multiply and increase, with the sanctuary of God in their
midst, and with His divine approval forevermore.

How beautiful, how joyous to contemplate, and how real and tangible
is this, as contrasted with the poor, rambling, uncertain theories of
uninspired men, who are controlled by the systems of men rather than
guided by that "more sure word of prophecy," the revelations of God.

To the Latter-day Saints the doctrine of the resurrection is a
living, tangible reality because, added to the testimonies of the
Jewish Scriptures, the Old and the New Testaments, and the Book of
Mormon, which corroborates the Bible, they have the testimony of
men in this century, who have seen the living bodies of resurrected
beings. Joseph Smith was a man of unblemished character. His veracity
was never impeached. His honor in religion, in morality and business
transactions, attested by friend and foe, were unsullied to the end
of his mortal career, when he sealed his testimony with his innocent
blood. His testimony is that he saw God the Father and His Son Jesus
Christ, the latter on several occasions. Joseph also had a visitation
from John the Baptist, Peter, James, John, Moses, Elijah, Moroni and
other ancient prophets of God who lived on the Eastern or Western
hemispheres. He was not alone in being a witness to the existence of
resurrected beings. Others in modern times also have seen these, and
have published their testimonies to the world. Those who have received
the witness of the Holy Ghost, and who also know that there is a
resurrection and that the words of the Savior and the prophets are true
and faithful, are numbered by the thousands.

This is my testimony on the subject: I testify in the name of the
resurrected Redeemer that God has spoken from the heavens in this age
of the world; that Jesus Christ is the Son of God, the Redeemer of the
world; that Joseph Smith was a prophet of the Most High, and received
the revelations of God for the benefit of mankind; that angels and
ancient prophets visited him and delivered to him the keys of the
"dispensation of the fullness of times;" that Brigham Young, John
Taylor, Wilford Woodruff, Lorenzo Snow, each in his time, has been the
successor of the prophet Joseph Smith, and that Joseph F. Smith is
now such successor. I also testify that all who receive this Gospel
with honest hearts shall know that the doctrine is true, and if they
are faithful unto death shall come forth in the resurrection of the
righteous, to live and reign with Christ a thousand years. Those who
reject this message, and who fight against the truth and persecute the
advocates thereof will, unless they repent, die in their sins, and will
remain unredeemed, their bodies in the earth, their spirits in bondage,
until the thousand years are finished, when death, hell and the grave
shall deliver up their dead to stand before God, living, resurrected
beings, to receive the reward of their deeds, whether they be evil or
whether they be good.


It is not the purpose in this brief chapter to enter into a detailed
argument on the divine authenticity of the Book of Mormon, but to state
sufficiently what the sacred record purports to be. The Bible records
some of the leading events in the dealings of the Almighty with His
children upon the Eastern hemisphere, prefaced by the Mosaic history
of the creation. The Book of Mormon is to the American continent what
the Bible is to the Eastern. The Bible is more especially the stick of
Judah, being written by Jewish prophets and apostles. Of the ten tribes
carried into the North countries and lost from the world, the Bible
gives no account, beyond brief statements which go to prove that they
were lost to the rest of mankind.

Of the various colonies "scattered from the tower of Babel" upon all
the face of the earth, according to Genesis, chapter xi., the Bible
offers no information. Of the branches of Joseph which ran over the
boundary walls of the other tribes of Jacob, extending to the utmost
bounds of the everlasting hills, the Jewish record is silent.

What became of them? Whither did they flee, and are they lost to God?
Are they less His offspring because they went to people other lands?
From the time the ten tribes were carried away, no communication has
been established between them and the Gentile nations, and not until
the discovery of America by Columbus was there any correspondence
between the aborigines of America and the countries of Europe and the
East. Because these were lost to Jew and Gentile, is it reasonable to
suppose they were lost also to Him who is the Father of the spirits
of all flesh, and who made of one blood all nations to dwell upon all
the face of the earth? Reason, mercy, justice and the Bible all deny
that these should not have revelations from God and write them as well
as did the Jews. Jesus Himself most emphatically declared, "There is
nothing covered, that shall not be revealed, neither hid, that shall
not be known." (Luke xii:2.) The Book of Mormon reveals the fact
that from the Tower of Babel came a colony of people to the Western
continent. They were led by a prophet to whom God spake and His words
were written. They became a mighty nation on this land, having prophets
and inspired men to lead them. Finally, like the Jews, they fell into
apostasy and through war and bloodshed became extinct as a nation. The
Book of Mormon gives a brief review of their rise, progress and fall.
It also records the fact that in the days of Jeremiah, two colonies
came from Jerusalem to America, years before Christ. It gives a history
of God's dealings with them until four hundred years after Christ,
covering a period of one thousand years.

From the Book of Mormon we also have light thrown upon sayings of the
Savior, recorded in the New Testament. He said to the Twelve, "Other
sheep I have which are not of this fold. Them also I must bring,
and they shall hear my voice; and there shall be one fold and one
shepherd." (St. John x:16.) Who can tell us where those other sheep
were and when the Savior visited them? He said they should hear His
voice. The Book of Mormon gives the history of this visit to the
descendants of Jacob upon this land. He organized His church among
them, with apostles, prophets, etc., "one fold and one shepherd." This
occurred subsequent to His resurrection. While teaching His disciples
on this land, He told them of this statement to the Jewish apostles,
that He had other sheep to visit; and to the apostles chosen upon this
land He said, "I have other sheep which are not of this land; neither
of the land of Jerusalem; neither in any parts of that land round
about, whither I have been to minister. For they of whom I speak are
they who have not as yet heard my voice; neither have I at any time
manifested myself unto them. But I have received a commandment of the
Father that I shall go unto them, and that they shall hear my voice
and shall be numbered among my sheep, that there may be one fold and
one shepherd; Therefore I go to show myself unto them." (III. Nephi,
chapter xvi:1-3.)

These sayings of our Savior afford the only present scriptural and
reasonable interpretation of the parable in Matthew, thirteenth
chapter: "The kingdom of heaven is like unto leaven, which a woman took
and hid in three measures of meal, till the whole was leavened." The
leaven must be a symbol of the Gospel, as its effects upon the meal
to lighten and prepare it for use are like the effects of the Gospel
of Christ upon the hearts of those who obey the same, viz., to refine
and purify that men may be prepared for the kingdom of the Father. The
three measures of meal doubtless are representative of three divisions
of the house of Israel. These were, according to the Book of Mormon,
the Jews in Palestine, the seed of Joseph on the Western hemisphere,
and the ten tribes in the North country. These all were visited by the
Savior. They heard His voice and were taught of Him "one Lord, one
faith, one baptism," that there might be "one fold and one shepherd."
The Gospel going to the Gentiles could have no part in the fulfillment
of the parable of the three measures of meal, because the Messiah never
did visit the Gentiles, and He says of the other sheep, "they shall
hear my voice." The only account of such an event given to mankind
thus far is that recorded in the Book of Mormon. If that is not the
true one, then we must look for one no less remarkable and no less in
conflict with the spiritual bigotry and ignorance of the nineteenth
century. That there should be a record kept by another branch of
Israel than the Jewish tribe, is plainly set forth by Ezekiel in his
thirty-seventh chapter, where the Lord commands the prophet to take
"one stick" and write upon it for Judah and his brethren, and another
stick and write upon it for Ephraim and his brethren, and then predicts
that they shall become one in the hand of the Lord. The Book of Mormon
claims to be the stick of Joseph, and it and the Bible have become
one in the hand of the Lord in these last days. Each corroborates the
other. They are one in doctrine, one in prophecy, one in history so far
as they treat upon the same events. Each throws light upon the other,
and yet bear the marks of having been written far apart by a different
people, of different surroundings and education.

Isaiah speaks of a book (see Isa. xxix.) that should come forth. And
"the vision of all is become unto you as the words of a book that is
sealed, which men deliver to one that is learned, saying, read this, I
pray thee: and he sayeth, I can not; for it is sealed: And the book is
delivered to him that is not learned, saying, Read this, I pray thee:
and he sayeth, I am not learned." This prophecy was verified as set out
in a previous chapter. The book itself was delivered by an angel to
the young man Joseph Smith, with the injunction that they should never
be used to get gain, but for the salvation of mankind. Joseph, feeling
his own weakness and knowing that he could not of himself translate
them, acknowledged that he was not learned. He was told that he should
translate them by the gift and power of God, which he did by the use of
the Urim and Thummim, the instrument used by seers of old. Thus were
the words of the prophet Isaiah verified.

No amount of credulity could make a reasonable mind believe that Joseph
Smith, an unlettered, unsophisticated boy of twenty-two years, could
prepare such a scheme, conniving with men of maturer years to aid him
in the fraud, that the words of an ancient prophet, spoken 2,500 years
before, should be literally fulfilled. The probability is that neither
Joseph Smith, Martin Harris nor Prof. Anthon knew anything of the words
of Isaiah relating to such a record. Prof. Anthon was not in sympathy
with Joseph Smith and became an avowed opponent of the Book of Mormon.
What he said in fulfillment of prophecy in this instance regarding the
Book of Mormon may be said of all others, for many have been verified
since it came forth--prophecies regarding it and predictions in the
book itself.

The Psalmist David said that "Truth shall spring out of the earth and
righteousness shall look down from heaven." The Book of Mormon was
written upon metallic plates, and hidden in the earth 400 years after
Christ. They literally came out of the earth, and righteousness in the
personage of a holy angel came down from heaven and placed them in the
hands of the Prophet Joseph Smith. Isaiah speaks of the ancient seers
being covered, and that in the latter days their speech should be "low
out of the dust." The Book of Mormon was written by seers upon the
American continent. Through martyrdom they had been covered and their
words lost to the apostate Lamanites for many generations. In the last
days, however, their words came forth. They speak "out of the dust" and
light shines upon the hidden mysteries of a whole continent, revealing
a period of ten centuries.

Among the many prophecies in the Book of Mormon verified since its
publication in 1829, is one found in II. Nephi, chapter 29, verse 3:
"And because my words shall hiss forth, many of the Gentiles shall say,
A Bible! A Bible! we have got a Bible and there cannot be any more

"But thus saith the Lord God: O fools, they shall have a Bible; and it
shall proceed forth from the Jews, mine ancient covenant people. And
what thank they the Jews for the Bible which they receive from them?
Yea, what do the Gentiles mean? Do they remember the travels, and the
labors, and the pains of the Jews, and their diligence unto me, in
bringing forth salvation unto the Gentiles? O ye Gentiles, have ye
remembered the Jews, mine ancient covenant people? Nay; but ye have
cursed them, and have hated them, and have not sought to recover them.
But behold, I will return all these things upon your own heads; for I
the Lord have not forgotten my people. Thou fool, that shall say, A
Bible, we have got a Bible, and we need no more Bible. Have ye obtained
a Bible, save it were by the Jews?

"Know ye not that there are more nations than one? Know ye not that I,
the Lord your God, have created all men, and that I remember those who
are upon the isles of the sea; and that I rule in the heavens above,
and in the earth beneath; and I bring forth my word unto the children
of men, yea, even upon all the nations of the earth? Wherefore murmur
ye, because that ye shall receive more of my word? Know ye not that
the testimony of two nations is a witness unto you that I am God, that
I remember one nation like unto another? Wherefore, I speak the same
words unto one nation like unto another. And when the two nations shall
run together, the testimony of the two nations shall run together also.
And I do this that I may prove unto many, that I am the same yesterday,
today, and forever; and that I speak forth my words according to mine
own pleasure. And because that I have spoken one word, ye need not
suppose that I cannot speak another; for my work is not yet finished;
neither shall it be, until the end of man; neither from that time
henceforth and forever.

"Wherefore, because that ye have a Bible, ye need not suppose that it
contains all my words; neither need ye suppose that I have not caused
more to be written: For I command all men, both in the East and in the
West, and in the North, and in the South, and in the islands of the
sea, that they shall write the words which I speak unto them; for out
of the books which shall be written, I will judge the world, every man
according to their works, according to that which is written.

"For behold, I shall speak unto the Jews, and they shall write it; and
I shall also speak unto the Nephites, and they shall write it; and I
shall also speak unto the other tribes of the house of Israel, which
I have led away, and they shall write it; and I shall also speak unto
all nations of the earth, and they shall write it. And it shall come
to pass that the Jews shall have the words of the Nephites, and the
Nephites shall have the words of the Jews; and the Nephites and the
Jews shall have the words of the lost tribes of Israel; and the lost
tribes of Israel shall have the words of the Nephites and the Jews.
And it shall come to pass that my people which are of the house of
Israel, shall be gathered home unto the lands of their possessions; and
my word also shall be gathered in one. And I will shew unto them that
fight against my word and against my people, who are of the house of
Israel, that I am God, and that I covenanted with Abraham, that I would
remember his seed forever."

It has been decreed by the Almighty, and spoken of by Book of Mormon
prophets that slavery should not obtain and be perpetuated upon this
land: "Behold, this is a choice land, and whatsoever nation shall
possess it shall be free from bondage, and from captivity, and from
all other nations under heaven, if they will but serve the God of the
land, who is Jesus Christ, who hath been manifested by the things
which we have written." (Ether ii:12.) This decree of the Almighty
has determined the history of this country from the beginning, so
far as internal slavery and freedom from bondage of other nations is
concerned. If the skeptic shall say that the prophecy was published
to the world long after the freedom of the American colonies and the
independence of this government were attained, we call attention to the
fact that slavery has been abolished in this land since then, and that
no nation which has made war with the United States has ever succeeded,
and never will, unless the inhabitants of this land shall become
overwhelmed in iniquity and abominations.

Another striking prediction contained in the Book of Mormon is the
following: "And this land shall be a land of liberty unto the Gentiles,
and there shall be no kings upon the land, who shall raise up unto the
Gentiles; and I will fortify this land against all other nations; and
he that fighteth against Zion shall perish, saith God; For he that
raiseth up a king against me shall perish, for I, the Lord, the king of
heaven, will be their king, and I will be a light unto them forever,
that hear my words." (II. Nephi x:11-14.) Gradually, yet with certain
progress, has the government of kings been abolished from the American
continent until nearly all governments in North and South America are
republics. Canada is still under the rule of Great Britain, but is
managed in such a manner that the liberties of the people are almost,
if not quite equal to those of a republican territory. Those who know
the history of the effort to make Maximilian a king in Mexico also know
how terribly the words of the Book of Mormon have been verified: "For
he that raiseth up a king unto me shall perish."

This continent is the land of Zion, "and he that fighteth against
Zion shall perish, saith God." Before the late Spanish-American war,
George Q. Cannon read these predictions from the Book of Mormon before
a congregation in the Tabernacle, and with a knowledge that these
prophecies were given of the Lord foretold the result of the war and
the certain banishment of Spanish kingly power from the American isles.
Other prophecies of the sacred volume have been verified since its
publication to the world. Those verified should establish faith in
reasonable minds that the unfulfilled parts will surely come to pass.

The external evidences afforded by archaeologists to the divine
authenticity of the Book of Mormon are very numerous; they may be
ascertained by a careful study of the sacred volume and a comparison
with the discoveries of later times, in the ruins of ancient cities,
towns, temples, roadways, etc., which have been brought to light and
are treated upon in the writings of Stevens and Catherwood, Dr. Le
Plongeon, and many other eminent antiquarians. While the Book of Mormon
without investigation is discarded, its opponent is led to prove its
divinity by his researches into archaeology. In connection with the
coming forth of this word Isaiah said, "The wisdom of their wise men
shall perish, and the understanding of their prudent men shall be hid."

All the old subterfuges published against the book have been exploded
long since, and yet people are still repeating them. It was stated that
Joseph Smith's ingenuity and Sidney Rigdon's learning devised the Book
of Mormon from the Solomon Spaulding romance. The Book of Mormon was
published to the world before Joseph Smith and Sidney Rigdon ever saw
each other. Prof. Fairchild of the Oberlin College in Ohio, examined
the Spaulding manuscript and compared it with the Book of Mormon; he
then testified over his signature that there was no similarity between

Some people have ridiculed the record because in point of literary
merit it did not equal the Jewish record, the Holy Bible. If this were
any just cause of rejection, why not discard several books in the Bible
because their literature does not equal in merit the writings of the
patriarch Job? But laying this aside, the Book of Mormon offers its
own explanation of literary defect. "Condemn me not because of mine
imperfection; neither my father, because of his imperfections; neither
them who have written before him, but rather give thanks unto God that
He hath made manifest unto you our imperfections, that ye may learn
to be more wise than we have been. And now behold, we have written
this record according to our knowledge in the characters, which are
called among us the Reformed Egyptian, being handed down and altered
by us, according to our manner of speech. And if our plates had been
sufficiently large, we should have written in Hebrew; but the Hebrew
hath been altered by us also: and if we could have written in Hebrew,
behold, ye would have had no imperfection in our record. But the Lord
knoweth the things which we have written, and also that none other
people knoweth our language, therefore He hath prepared means for the
interpretation thereof." (Mormon ix:31-34.) In the preface of the
record is written: "And now if there be faults, they are the mistakes
of men, wherefore condemn not the things of God, that ye may be found
spotless at the judgment seat of Christ." "But he that believeth these
things which I have spoken, him will I visit with the manifestations
of my Spirit, and he shall know and bear record. For because of my
Spirit, he shall know that these things are true; for it persuadeth men
to do good." (Ether iv:11.) Again, "And whoso receiveth this record,
and shall not condemn it because of the imperfections which are in it,
the same shall know of greater things than these. Behold, I am Moroni;
and were it possible, I would make all things known unto you." (Mormon
viii:12.) Those persons who would esteem literary imperfections an
evidence against the divine authenticity of the Book of Mormon must
belong to one of two classes--they are either not honest at heart and
are seeking opportunity to evade the responsibility of knowing the
truth, or they are shallow-minded, and to the world of sound reason,
good judgment, and practical ability prefer the shadow compared with
the substance. He "that will do the will of the Father shall know
of the doctrine," is the promise of our Savior; and the promises in
the Book of Mormon that those who will not condemn the things of God
because of human imperfections, but shall receive greater knowledge,
are plain enough to condemn the world if they reject them, as much as
the teachings of the Jewish record shall condemn mankind if they will
not hearken.

The truth of the Book of Mormon is affirmed by the direct testimony of
four witnesses-Joseph Smith, Oliver Cowdery, David Whitmer and Martin
Harris, who saw the angel Moroni, and the ancient plates from which
the sacred volume was translated. None of them ever wavered from that
testimony. They maintained it under great trials and persecutions to
the end, and Joseph Smith sealed his testimony with his life, a martyr
to the truth. Eight other men, whose names are recorded in the fore
part of the book, saw and handled the plates. Many thousands of people
from various lands and climes have read the book with prayerful hearts,
have received the ordinances of the Gospel and by the power of the Holy
Ghost solemnly testify that the Book of Mormon is a divine record.
Added to this I testify, as an humble disciple of the Lord, in the name
of Jesus Christ who is our Redeemer, that Joseph Smith was a prophet
of the living God and the Book of Mormon is a divine record, revealed
by the God of heaven and translated by the gift and power of God as a
witness unto this and all future generations that Jesus is the Christ,
that the Bible is true, that there is but one plan of salvation, and
that Jesus taught the same plan to the Jews, to the seed of Joseph and
to the lost tribes by his own personal ministrations. He also sent the
Gospel to the Gentiles by the hands of His apostles, and thereby shows
to all men in every land and in all ages that God changes not, and is
the same today, yesterday and forever.


No people hold more sacred the principle of marriage, nor esteem more
highly the possession of chastity, than do the Latter-day Saints. Among
no people, either Catholic or Protestant, is a lapse of virtue so rare
as among this people. We consider sexual crime the most blighting curse
that infests the earth today. Adultery is considered as next in the
catalogue of crime to murder. Individuals guilty of fornication or
adultery are promptly excommunicated from the church, unless the sin is
followed by the most profound repentance and the best reparation which
can possibly be made. The children around the family altar, in Sunday
school, Mutual Improvement Associations, Primary Associations, and all
the institutions of the church, are taught to hold their virtue more
sacred to them than life itself. When they attain to years of maturity
and enter the holy state of matrimony, they vow before God, angels and
living witnesses that they will never violate the marriage covenants.

We believe that God ordained the union of the sexes in marriage, not
only for time but for all eternity. It is greatly due to this fact
and the deeply religious element which enters into marriage among our
people, that divorces are so rare. Young men and women are taught
that, while pure love and perfect congeniality should exist between
the parties to the marriage covenants, passion and infatuation should
not be the ruling motive, but principle should control; and that in
the weakness of humanity the dangers of mistakes in the mating of
the sexes are so great, the only safe way is to seek in prayer and
supplication the guidance of divine Providence; they are, also taught
to so live in daily walk and conversation that their heavenly Father
will answer their prayers. To feel sublimely impressed that marriage is
for all eternity, and that God is directly interested in us, tends to
make people more careful and considerate, more prayerful in choosing
a husband or wife, than otherwise they would be. The result of such
teaching is a far greater percentage of happy unions and a much smaller
percentage of divorces among the Latter-day Saints than among other
Christian communities.

The primary design of marriage, to "multiply and replenish the earth"
and not to gratify lust, is upheld by the Latter-day Saints as in no
other community. The consequence is twofold. Infanticide, foeticide
and illegitimacy are very rare. The two former practices, so common in
the world and adopted to lessen the responsibility of child-bearing
while increasing the facilities for lustful gratification, are esteemed
by this people as abominations in the sight of God, little short of
outright murder in heinousness. Parties known to be guilty of such
acts would not be fellowshiped in any sense, but would be cast out of
the church without hesitation. The result of such high regard for the
purposes of the Lord in marriage is, that the percentage of children
in every family is much larger on the average than it is among any
other Christian community of equal population. Because the children are
numerous they are not weaker but usually stronger in body and intellect
than in communities where the blighting curse of a reprehensible modern
custom prevails. The wives of men thus taught and convinced of the
sacredness of their procreative functions are healthier and happier in
the home than are the wives and mothers in other communities. Prof.
Phineas Priest, a non-"Mormon" phrenologist who traveled among the
"Mormon" people in Idaho and Utah, said that in all his travels he had
not found so large a percentage of healthy and intelligent children,
with a corresponding condition of health and happiness on the part of
the mothers, as he had among the "Mormon" people.

As to the eternity of the marriage covenant, a helpmeet was provided
for man before death entered the world and therefore death could not
prevail against the covenants of the Lord. "And the Lord God said, It
is not good that the man should be alone. I will make him an helpmeet
for him." (Gen. ii:18.) The Savior came and offered up a sacrifice to
redeem man from the fall, to destroy death and all the effects thereof.
If His atonement simply redeemed the body from the grave, without
restoring the condition of the Paradise lost, it would be altogether
incomplete, and the words of Paul would be without effect wherein he
said to the Corinthians, "O, grave, where is thy victory? O, death,
where is thy sting?" If death destroyed and the grave buried the
covenants of the Lord, we would indeed be, as Paul says, "of all men
most miserable." God is eternal, and "I know that whatsoever God doeth,
it shall be forever." (Eccl. iii:14.)

When the ceremony of marriage is performed by a true servant of God,
and the parties to the agreement are under the same covenant, he
pronounces them one for time and all eternity. If this were not true
of what avail was the authority delegated to Peter, when the Lord said
unto him, "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 whatsoever thou shall loose on earth, shall be loosed in heaven."
(Matt. xvi:19.) The apostle Peter, performing the marriage ceremony
for members of the Church of Christ, would not pronounce them husband
and wife "until death do you part;" for death was to be banished and
"immortality brought to light" through the atonement of Christ.

All Christians pray and sing and preach about going to heaven. Will
they be in the Lord there? If so, and they have embraced the true
Gospel here, they will be united as husband and wife for all eternity,
and that covenant will prevail there; hence, the apostle Paul says,
"Nevertheless, neither is the man without the woman, neither the woman
without the man in the Lord." (I. Cor. xi:11. ) If they are in the
Lord, then they are united; if not in the lord, they are damned.

Again the same apostle tells us, "For the husband is the head of the
wife, even as Christ is the head of the church." (Eph. v:23.) Will any
man say that Christ was the head of the church for time only, during
His few years of brief mortality, and that then the church is left
without a head? No; Christ is the head of the church for all eternity
and God so designed the husband to be the head of the wife.

The doctrine of marriage until death, appears to be a Sadducee
doctrine, for they denied the resurrection. It was the Sadducee who
asked the Savior whose wife should the woman be who had seven husbands
in this world. The answer was undoubtedly designed to apply to those
who rejected the Gospel of Christ, while pretending to cling to the
laws of Moses. They virtually made a covenant with death. Isaiah says,
"And your covenant with death shall be disannulled, and your agreement
with hell shall not stand. When the overflowing scourge shall pass
through, then ye shall be trodden down by it." (Isa. xxviii:18.) In
making a covenant with death they broke the "everlasting covenant"
and dishonored God, for He is everlasting and His ordinances endure
forever, unimpaired by death, hell or the grave.

The earth also is defiled under the inhabitants thereof, because
they have "transgressed the laws, changed the ordinances, broken the
everlasting covenant." (Isa. xxiv:5.) As a result of this condition
the prophet says: "Therefore hath the curse devoured the earth, and
they that dwell therein are desolate: therefore the inhabitants of the
earth are burned and few men left." (Isa. xxiv:6.) Among the causes of
this great desolation yet to come upon the earth is the breaking of the
everlasting covenant. The earth is to be burned and few men left. Jesus
says that except "those days shall be shortened there should be no
flesh saved." To shorten those days and provide the way for honorable
women to fill the measure of their creation in holy wedlock, God has
restored this everlasting covenant and will yet cleanse the earth of
wicked men by His judgments, until few men shall be left. Whoredoms,
adultery and all sexual abominations will be swept away, and the words
of Isaiah in the fourth chapter will be verified. They that are the
"seed of Abraham will do the works of Abraham." As the apostle Paul
says, "And if ye be Christ's then are ye Abraham's seed and heirs
according to the promise." (Gal. iii:29.) That all honorable women,
who desire wifehood and motherhood under the laws of God may have this
privilege and not be left to live and die as spinsters, nor become a
prey to wicked, lustful men, God will fulfill the prophecy found in
Isaiah, chapter iv., verses 1, 2: "In that day seven women shall take
hold of one man, saying, we will eat our own bread and wear our own
apparel; only let us be called by thy name to take away our reproach.
In that day shall the branch of the Lord be beautiful and glorious, and
the fruit of the earth shall be excellent and comely for them that are
escaped of Israel."


The Latter-day Saints are looking for the coming of the Savior to reign
upon the earth, at which coming will commence the reign of peace for
one thousand years. This is the Millennium, during which period Satan
will be bound and all iniquity shall be done away. When Jesus had
finished his ministry at Jerusalem and had ascended into heaven from
the presence of His apostles, two heavenly beings "stood by them in
white apparel; which also said, 'Ye men of Galilee, why stand ye gazing
up into heaven? This same Jesus which is taken up from you into heaven
shall so come in like manner as ye have seen Him go into heaven.'"
(Acts i:10, 11.) He ascended in glory and power. In glory and power will
He come to reign. The preparation shown forth in the restoration of the
Gospel by a holy angel; the gathering of Israel; the restoration of
the ten tribes; the return of the Jews; the establishment of Zion and
Jerusalem--all are signs to precede His second coming, as referred to
in preceding chapters of this little work, in its discussion of several

That Jesus will come in power and glory is evident from many
prophecies. And Enoch also, the seventh from Adam, prophesied of these,
saying, "Behold the Lord cometh with ten thousands of His saints to
execute judgment upon all." (Jude i:14, 15.) Malachi says: "Behold, I
will send my messenger, and he shall prepare the way before me, and the
Lord whom ye seek shall suddenly come to His temple. But who will abide
the day of His coming, and who shall stand when He appeareth? For
He is like a refiner's fire and like fuller's soap." (Mal. iii:1, 2.)
Unlike this first advent as the meek and lowly babe of Bethlehem, He
next comes in glory, to avenge the blood of His Saints, to purify the
sons of Levi, to cleanse and purify the earth that it may enjoy a reign
of peace and rest.

When Jerusalem is partly rebuilt by her ancient covenant people, the
Gentile nations will be gathered against them to battle. Then will the
crucified Redeemer appear to the Jews. He will set his feet upon the
Mount of Olives, and the mount will cleave in twain. The house of Judah
will look upon Him, and seeing the wounds in His hands and feet, will
ask where He obtained them. When He shall answer, "in the house of my
friends," they will weep and mourn, their separate houses and families
apart, to realize that He whom their fathers rejected is in truth their
Deliverer and Redeemer. Then will the fountain for uncleanness be
opened, and the house of Judah will be baptized for the remission of
their sins.

"Behold the day of the Lord cometh, and thy spoil shall be divided in
the midst of thee. For I will gather all nations against Jerusalem to
battle; and the city shall be taken, and the houses rifled, and the
women ravished; and half of the city shall go forth into captivity,
and the residue of the people shall not be cut off from the city. Then
shall the Lord go forth, and fight against the nations, as when He
fought in the day of battle. And His feet shall stand in that day upon
the Mount of Olives, which is before Jerusalem on the east, and the
Mount of Olives shall cleave in the midst thereof toward the east and
toward the west, and there shall be a very great valley; and half of
the mountain shall move toward the north, and half of it toward the
south." (Zech. xiv:1-4.)

"And one shall say unto Him, What are these wounds in Thine hands?"
Then He shall answer, "Those with which I was wounded in the house
of my friends." (Zech. xiii:6.) "And it shall come to pass in that
day that I will seek to destroy all the nations that come against
Jerusalem. And I will pour out upon the house of David, and upon the
inhabitants of Jerusalem, the spirit of grace and of supplication: and
they shall look upon me whom they have pierced, and they shall mourn
for him as one mourneth for his only son, and shall be in bitterness
for Him as one that is in bitterness for his firstborn. In that day
shall there be a great mourning in Jerusalem, as the mourning of
Hadadrimmon in the valley of Megiddon. And the land shall mourn, every
family apart; the family of the house of David apart, and their wives
apart; the family of the house of Nathan apart, and their wives apart;
the family of the house of Levi apart, and their wives apart; the
family of Shimei apart, and their wives apart; All the families that
remain: every family apart, and their wives apart." (Zech. xii:9-14.)
"In that day there shall be a fountain opened to the house of David,
and to the inhabitants of Jerusalem for sin and for uncleanness." (Zech

Many other plain and precious prophecies of the Old and New Testaments
might be cited to show forth the second coming of our Savior. These
predictions are corroborated by the prophecies in the Book of Mormon,
and by the predictions of the prophet Joseph Smith, made in the
revelations of God to him in these latter days.

In close connection with the Savior's second coming will be presented
the glorious conditions of the Millennium. "For the earth shall be
filled with the knowledge of the glory of the Lord as the waters cover
the sea." (Hab. ii:14.) "The wolf also shall dwell with the lamb, and
the leopard shall lie down with the kid: and the calf and the young
lion and the fatling together; and a little child shall lead them.
And the cow and the bear shall feed; their young ones shall lie down
together: And the lion shall eat straw like the ox. And the sucking
child shall play on the hole of the asp, and the weaned child shall put
his hand on the cockatrice's den. They shall not hurt nor destroy in
all my holy mountain; for the earth shall be full of the knowledge of
the Lord, as the waters cover the sea." (Isa. xi:6-10.)

Man is the great head of God's creation, the image of his Maker. He has
made him "a little lower than the angels, and hast crowned him with
glory and honor." (Ps. viii:5.) Man led the way to the fall by which
came the enmity between himself and the lower animal creation. Should
man not lead the way, as the Lord directs, back to his "Paradise Lost"?

As an incident pointing the way to and expressing the true spirit
of the Millennium, when Zion's Camp, a body of more than 200 men,
journeyed through the wilderness of Indiana, Illinois and Missouri
from Kirtland to Western Missouri, the Camp at night would be visited
by serpents, which the brethren were inclined to destroy. The Prophet
Joseph told them not to kill the snakes, but to carry them peaceably
from their tents with sticks. Joseph promised them that if they kept
this counsel none should be bitten, adding that it was man's duty to
set the example of peace and lead the way back to the perfect harmony
existing in Eden before the fall. The Camp observed his advice and
realized his promise.

The time spoken of by Isaiah, as already referred to here, was also
predicted by Joel when he said: "And ye shall know that I am in the
midst of Israel, and that I am the Lord your God and none else: And my
people shall never be ashamed. And it shall come to pass afterward,
that I will pour out my spirit upon all flesh, and your sons and
your daughters shall prophesy, your old men shall dream dreams, your
young men shall see visions; and also upon the servants and upon the
handmaids in those days will I pour out my spirit." (Joel ii: 27-29.)
The apostle Peter, upon the day of Pentecost, gave the multitude to
understand that the Spirit which gave utterance to the apostles on that
occasion was the same Spirit concerning which Joel the prophet said in
the last days should be poured out, not upon the few only, but upon all
flesh. The Spirit of God alone can bring perfect unity, destroy enmity,
and fill the earth with the knowledge and glory of God.

Of this glorious epoch the prophet Jeremiah says: "And they shall teach
no more every man his neighbor, and every man his brother, saying, Know
the Lord; for they shall all know me, from the least of them unto the
greatest of them, saith the Lord; for I will forgive their iniquity,
and I will remember their sin no more." (Jer. xxxi:34.) Such a
condition would be in harmony with the promise of the Savior that there
should be "one fold and one shepherd." The Spirit of Truth is the guide
into all truth, rather than to man-made theories taught by men devoid
of the authority and inspiration of Almighty God.

Paul says, "When that which is perfect is come, then that which is in
part shall be done away." (I Cor. xiii.) Prophecy and tongues and the
gifts of the Gospel imperfectly enjoyed by man in his weakness were
never designed to be done away until we come to enjoy a more perfect
fullness, "when we see as we are seen and know as we are known."
Zephania says: "For then will I turn to the people a pure language
that they may all call upon the name of the Lord, to serve Him with
one consent." (Zeph. iii:9.) The pure language was confounded at the
tower of Babel, because men sought to thwart the purposes of Jehovah.
When the time comes that the wicked who will not obey are swept from
the earth, the Lord will restore to His children the language which
they learned from their mother tongue and which was spoken from Adam to
the time of the tower of Babel. He will also unite the great bodies of
water into a mighty ocean and roll it back to its place in the North,
while the lands of the earth will be reunited and become one vast

Isaiah says, speaking of the land of Zion, which is the Western
hemisphere, and the land of Jerusalem, on the Eastern continent:
"Thou shalt no more be termed forsaken, neither shall thy land any
more be termed Desolate; but thou shalt be called Hephzi-bah, and thy
land Beulah: for the Lord delighteth in thee, and thy land shall be
married." (Isa. lxii:4.) In other words, the lands shall be united.
What a glorious period and condition! The earth geographically
restored, spiritually redeemed and politically exalted to the
government of God. John, the revelator, prophesied: "The kingdoms of
this world are become the kingdoms of our Lord and of His Christ, and
He shall reign forever and ever." (Rev. xi:15.) And again, in the
twentieth chapter, fourth verse, "And I saw thrones, and they sat upon
them, and judgment was given unto them: And I saw the souls of them
that were beheaded for the witness of Jesus, and for the word of God,
and which had not worshipped the beast, neither his image, neither had
received his mark upon their foreheads, or in their hands: And they
lived and reigned with Christ a thousand years."

The further writings of the apostle John in the Apocalypse describe
the conditions of peace during the Millennium, and subsequently the
last resurrection, the change of the earth, the banishment of Lucifer
therefrom, and the earth celestialized as man's eternal abode, our
heaven. The apostle Peter says "the elements shall melt with fervent
heat," and John the apostle informs us that the earth shall become as
a sea of glass, a great Urim and Thummim. What a joyous consummation
to the labors of the faithful, in the great and marvelous blessings
that will bring such glory to those that serve the Lord and to their
heavenly abode!

Transcriber's Note

Various apparent printer's errors (e.g. "whem" for "when") and
mismatched quotation marks have been resolved as seemed reasonable.

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