It is a matter of rejoicing to me, brethren and sisters, that I have
the privilege of assembling here with you in a Conference capacity,
contemplating the growth of the kingdom of the Almighty which has been
upon the earth for the past thirty-one years, and considering the
progress that this people have made in knowledge, power, and
intelligence. We meet together in this capacity from time to time.
Twice in a year we have always the same privilege.
After considering the past, and seeing the improvements we have made,
as a people and as individuals, it is a matter of importance to us to
consider ourselves, to see whether we are making such progress as is
required of us—to learn if we are keeping pace with the times and the
improvements that are being made by the leading men of the Church—to
find out whether we, as individuals, are improving in the principles
of the Gospel, whether we are improving in the practice of righteous
and holy principles, and whether we are gaining knowledge, wisdom,
virtue, and getting a more full understanding of how to make ourselves
happy, and thus prepare ourselves for that situation that we expect to
occupy in future.
As has been said by our President, we can clearly see the rapid
improvements and advances that this people are making from year to
year. It is a pleasure to us, and we ought to feel grateful to
our Heavenly Father for the strength that he has given to this people
in consequence of the union, the knowledge, and wisdom that we are
We can easily see the improvements that the people are making. It is
like the babe that passes from a state of infancy to childhood, and
thence to manhood. You cannot tell the particular moments of its
growth and increase in stature; you cannot point out the particular
day, hour, or minute in which it increases; but you are all the time
perfectly aware that it is gaining, growing, becoming greater
continually. It is precisely so in regard to ourselves spiritually. If
we are doing our duty, though we cannot point out the moment, the day,
or the particular time when we receive the increase of knowledge,
wisdom, or power, yet we know and feel conscious, as we reflect back,
that we have gained. This is a blessing, and for this we should feel
deeply grateful to our Heavenly Father. We are where we want to make
ourselves happy, and the nature of the objects around us are such as
to cause us to bear some fruit, be it good or bad, sweet or sour.
We are in the world, but we are ignorant. We do not know what will
make us happy, or whether we shall receive what we anticipate. We know
little or nothing about these things. We seek happiness and that which
will make us comfortable, but we do not really understand what will
make us happy for time and happy for eternity.
The Priesthood has been restored. It has been bestowed upon man, that
through that medium all who would like to be good and happy might have
the privilege. The Gospel tells us how to be great, good, and happy.
The Spirit of the Gospel of Christ teaches all things that are
neces sary for our present and future welfare.
We have these objects in view today, and we should continually keep
them before us. Look back for twenty-five years, or look back ten
years only, and a great many have been in the Church that length of
time, and see what we have accomplished. We see farther and comprehend
things better; hence we are better prepared for the things that are
coming on the earth than we were ten, fifteen, twenty, or twenty-five
years ago to know how to be useful—to know how to do things as they
should be done.
A man may be a very good man, and yet not have wisdom to do things
right; but we have got the Spirit that will enable us to know how to
put them in the best channel, so that they will be best calculated to
roll on the kingdom of God, to make us happy, and prepare us for the
scenes that lie before us. Is not the Gospel a good thing? Is it not
worthy of a man losing his substance and even his life to gain the
blessings that are promised to the faithful in Israel? The man who has
the priesthood, who is filled with the Holy Ghost, is to be guided and
dictated by it in the way of happiness and life. It is very necessary
for us to have these things laid before us frequently, that we may be
put in remembrance of our duties.
The organized spirit which God gave us is the one which conceives
through the revelations that are given from on high. The nature and
the character of those teachings that come from the Priesthood are
such that we comprehend them: the Spirit manifests them unto us as
they are. By it we learn our duties to God and man. We are taught by
it to shun the evil and cleave unto that which is good. We understand
this, if we are in the path of duty. It is not miracles that produce
within us that living faith of which President Young so
frequently speaks; but we learn the nature and character of our
religion. We learn that which is calculated to enable us to shun all
evil power and to make us happy.
When a man receives knowledge, he is prompted to impart it to others;
when a man becomes happy, the Spirit that surrounds him teaches him to
strive to make others happy. It is not so in the Gentile world. If a
man attains to any important position, he does not strive to elevate
others to participate in the same blessings. In this respect there is
a great difference between the Latter-day Saints and the world of
mankind. The object of the Priesthood is to make all men happy, to
diffuse information, to make all partakers of like same blessings in
their turn. Is there any chance of a man's becoming happy without a
knowledge of the Gospel of Christ? A man may make the thunders roll,
the lightnings flash; but what has that to do with making a can happy?
Nothing. Though in the world they try to make themselves happy, still
they are not successful in what they strive to accomplish. They cannot
be happy except upon one principle, and that is by embracing the
fulness of the Gospel, which teaches us not to wait till we get into
eternity before we begin to make ourselves happy; but it teaches us to
strive here to make ourselves and those around us rejoice in the
blessings of the Almighty.
This, then, should be our aim and object—to learn to make ourselves
useful—to be saviors to our fellow men—to learn how to save them—to
communicate to them a knowledge of the principles that are necessary
to raise them to the same degree of intelligence that we have
Men may be very good, and yet they may not be very wise, nor so useful
as they might be; but the Gos pel is given to make us wise, and to
enable us to get those things in our minds that are calculated to make
us happy. The time that we have to meet together here and compare
ourselves with the principles of our profession is a great blessing.
We are a Territory; we have our own Government; we have our own
dispenser of light and knowledge, who is supported by our united
faith; and the Spirit within us teaches to sanction their proceedings,
and how to walk in the path of life.
I dare say that some of us do not sufficiently reflect upon the good
things that are in our minds, nor do we have that gratitude that we
ought to have to our Heavenly Father.
I see some of my brethren around me who hold the holy Priesthood that
has descended out of the heavens in these last days; I behold their
faces multiplied around me; I see them appointed to become saviors
among men—to be always on hand to officiate in the Priesthood. They
are destined to become saviors on the earth—rulers among the children
of men, to teach mankind how to increase in the principles and
likeness of Deity—how to increase in those principles of power that
will enable them constantly to ascend in the path of eternal life—to
be like the child that grows when in infancy, gradually increasing in
the knowledge of God.
This is the condition in which they are placed, if they are acting in
their proper positions, and if they are upholding and sustaining those
who are in our midst, and who are appointed to lead and guide this
people to eternal life and exaltation. We may increase in knowledge
and power, and in our ability to build up the kingdom of God upon the
earth, and that, too, by our diligence, our humility, and
faithfulness to the covenants we have made. We do not require miracles to enable as to perform the duties of today. We know, from
defending the teachings of the servants of God, that we are right—that
the Spirit from on high accompanies us. We knew that we are right
as well as the Lord does. How do we know this? Because Deity is within
us, and that Spirit of Deity that is within us teaches us that we are
the sons of God; it teaches the sisters that they are the daughters of
God, and by it we are all taught that we are the children of our
Father in heaven. Therefore we know if we are in the line of our duty;
for the Spirit of the Gospel teaches every man who lives in the line
of his duty that he is in the path of right, and so it does every
woman. By it she knows she is walking in the path of truth and life.
It is this Spirit which teaches the sisters as well as the brethren
the right from the wrong; and she has a perfect right to know the
truth of her religion—to have a knowledge for herself that the
principles of her profession are divine. Is there anything wrong or
mysterious in this? No. It is because she is a child of God, and
therefore she is capacitated to know as he knows—to comprehend the
principles of her religion, its divine origin, and its tendency onward
This is a good and glorious principle, and we are uniting ourselves
together, and continually striving to form a nucleus of power, and
getting round us that support that will endure forever; and we will
stand shoulder to shoulder, and break in pieces and subdue that which
would strive to overcome us, and then plant the principles of
righteousness over all the earth. This we will accomplish, for it is
given to us to do; and this is the period in which it is to be done,
and we will do it. We will gird up our loins and rejoice, in the work
given to us, and in erecting constantly around us that which will
enable us to increase in wisdom, in experience, and in the knowledge of God.
Brethren and sisters, short sermons is the doctrine of the day;
therefore I say, The Lord bless you! And I bless you with all the
power that I possess. President Young blesses you, his Counselors
bless you, the Twelve Apostles bless you, the Seventies bless you, the
High Priests bless you, and we all bless each other; and hence we are
a blessed people, inasmuch us we live for each other's good, and the
building up of the kingdom of God.
Brethren, who can overcome us? Who can place a stumbling block in the
way of our feet as we are wending our way to celestial glory? Is there
any need of tears? No, not much. Need we have any fear of the result?
No. There is no need of crying and mourning, for we are the saviors
of men, appointed to be the kings and queens of the earth. We cannot
always do what we would like to do, but we shall have the power to do
that which we should do. The Lord will give us the power to do this.
The Lord bless you! Amen.