We wish the entire attention of the congregation; the assembly being
so vast, it will almost be impossible for the speaker to be heard
unless there is great order and strict attention. We wish no
disturbance on the outskirts of the assembly, as we wish all to hear.
I will read for the edification of the assembly, a portion of the 2lst
chap. of Luke, contained in what is called King James' translation of the New Testament, from the 5th to the 36th verse.
I will remind those who hear me this day of one fact which can be
clearly demonstrated to the mind of every careful reader of the
Scriptures, and which fact is a guarantee, as it were, to the rational
mind, for the manner of the fulfillment of that which is future; it is
this, that the prophecies contained in the Holy Bible, spoken by Moses
and the Prophets, Jesus and the Apostles, have been fulfilled
literally and naturally, so far as they have been fulfilled at all.
Not in the sense, however, that modern blindness and priestcraft have
tried to throw over them, but in a plain and common sense, as plain as
if a man were to rise here and tell that the wall around this Temple
Block would be overthrown, and not one stone left upon another, and
then tell the circumstances that would transpire before it, and in
connection with it, and after it, and then it afterwards be fulfilled
and recorded in history; so plain, so clear, so full, and so exact
have the predictions of the Prophets of God, and the Apostles of God,
and of the Son of God been fulfilled, except such portions as remain
to be fulfilled.
Keep that one fact in view, and then search the prophecies, and trace
them out; search history for their fulfillment, and give diligent heed
to the things that are written, for these are the commandments not
only of the ancient Apostles and Prophets, but of the Apostles and
Prophets of the last days.
Jesus himself, while he traveled upon the earth in his mortal
tabernacle read the Scriptures to the people, "he opened the book and
taught;" his manner was to do it in the synagogue every Sabbath day—he
exhorted them to search into the things that were written.
And after he had risen from the dead, and received all power in heaven
and on earth, he referred his disciples to that which was written.
On a certain occasion he said, "O fools, and slow of heart to believe
that which the prophets have written."
When he appeared to the Nephites, in his risen body, as you will find
it written in the Book of Mormon, he took pains to refer them to the
written prophecies of Isaiah and many others, and quoted many of them,
and exhorted the people to search the things contained in the
prophecies of Isaiah diligently, bearing testimony of their literal
fulfillment; and said he, "A commandment I give unto you that ye search
these things diligently," for they have been fulfilled, and will be
fulfilled according to that which is written, not in some other way.
Not only are we included in these general exhortations and
commandments of the ancients, and of Jesus Christ himself, but the
same commandments have been renewed to us by our great Prophet and
founder, Joseph Smith, and by our Prophets and Apostles that still
How often have they told us to treasure up the words of God, those
things that are written for our profit and learning, and to search
diligently and treasure up in our hearts continually words of wisdom
from the best books.
Says the word of God through Joseph Smith to this people, search the
Scriptures, treasure them up in your hearts, put them in a good
storehouse—the storehouse of your memory; then the Holy Spirit will
be at liberty when you are called up to teach others to select from
that well-stored treasure things new and old.
It is not to study up what you shall say particularly, but to treasure
up truth in your hearts, to have them well filled with it, kept well
stored, and then give free liberty to the Spirit of God to operate
upon you, to collect out of that treasure that portion which
will be best suited to the wants and condition of men who do not
treasure up the words of life.
If the Holy Spirit should come upon a man of that description to
select out of that storehouse, he would find it empty, and he would
have the trouble of putting it there, or it would not be there; hence
he would be barren and unfruitful.
Search the Scriptures, ye Saints of the Most High; among all your
cares, and all your duties, search the Scriptures of the Old and New
Testaments, of the Book of Mormon, and the revelations of God that
have been written for our profit and learning.
And to the young people among us, a generation brought up amid the
hurry, toil, and cares of a new country, I say do not neglect to
treasure up in your hearts the history, and the prophecies, and their
fulfillment, and the promises, and hopes shadowed forth therein, and
the doctrines, and principles, and examples left on record.
You may say you have not time; take those portions of time you would
otherwise devote to something less useful. We all have time to do it.
I have been as hard working in my day as any other man, perhaps, and I
always had time to do it, and always have done it, and it was by the
light that shone in a dark place, diligently and prayerfully searched
out, and the Holy Spirit that shone upon the understanding, through
the prayer of faith, and through diligent search, that caused me to
see, and understand, and lay hold on certain things that came in
fulfillment of these prophecies.
If anyone asks how I came to be a Latter-day Saint, or what some
people would call a "Mormon," a follower of Joseph Smith, the modern
Prophet, I answer, it was be cause I had given heed to the sentiments
of truth from my early youth, carefully and prayerfully searching and
believing them; it was because the Holy Spirit rested upon me, and
opened my understanding to the same through the prayer of faith, and
diligent search. It was because that the Holy Spirit gave me clearly
to understand that this modern Prophet, and the fulness of the Gospel
restored by him, had come in fulfillment of certain promises made by
the ancient Prophets and Apostles; that is the reason why I really
embraced the fulness of the Gospel which the world calls "Mormonism."
Let us review the things we have read, and make a few remarks upon
Some of the disciples, feeling proud of their great temple, or
national house of God, and feeling to rejoice in its workmanship,
beauty, grandeur, and probably flattering themselves it would endure
forever as the great center of the Jewish worship for all nations,
they called the attention of Jesus to it, saying, "Master, see what
manner of stones and buildings are here." "Why," said Jesus, "the
will come when there will not be left one of these stones on the top
Does that need spiritualizing? Does it need some learned man from a
college to tell you what that means, and give you the spiritual sense
of it? It had but one sense, and that a child could understand.
"The days will come when there will not be one of those beautiful
stones left upon another, that shall not be thrown down." In the
Indian phraseology they inquired how many moons first, or in other
words, "Master, when shall these things be, and what sign will there
be when these things transpire?" Jesus begins to tell them some of the
things that would immediately happen in their day.
The first thing he calls their attention to, among the things that had
been transpiring, was, that a great many deceivers should come and profess to be Christ, saying, "I am Christ, but do not go
after them, take care and not be deceived by them."
The reason of this was that the Jews were looking for a Messiah, and
for a deliverance from the Roman yoke, and for their national
independence to be restored to them; and for their city, and temple,
and nation, to be the seat of government for all nations, a universal
They were looking for this, and they had rejected the true Messiah,
and were about to kill him, and were looking for another to fulfil
what all men were in the expectation of; for the old Prophets had told
them that such a day would come, in relation to that nation, and their
city Jerusalem, and the temple; that the throne of God would be there;
that the tabernacle of God would be there; that there would be one
king and one Lord, and his name one; that all the nations of the earth
would come up to worship—the nations they were acquainted with in that
They had reason to look for that day, because the old Prophets had
foretold it, and John the Baptist came along as a special Prophet, and
nearly all that people had received him as a Prophet, professedly,
though in reality, some of them received him, and he told them some of
those things were about to be fulfilled.
He had told them about their king, about the Lamb of God, about the
Messiah, and that they must repent and be baptized for the remission
of their sins, and make his paths strait.
With this double assurance, first the testimony of their old Prophets,
and secondly the renewed testimony of a new Prophet, to immediately
prepare for the fulfillment of some of the old prophecies; with this
double assurance they were looking for some body to do something, and
that pretty largely too; and as they had rejected the true king—the
true Messiah, of course they would be looking for somebody, that
ambitious spirits would enter, and they would rise up and tell the
people, "I am he you look for; set me up, and I will deliver you from
the Roman yoke, I will break your fetters, and bring about the
restoration of your national independence."
"Don't you be deceived," says Jesus, "for many of those who
hearken to me will come, saying, I am Christ, but do not go after
them." These very things happened in those days, for which you may
"When you hear of wars and commotion, be not terrified: for these
things must first come to pass; but the end is not yet; Nation shall
rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom" —which had been a
common thing, and was then—"great earthquakes, and famine, and
pestilence, and great sights from heaven."
Go and read Josephus, and read about these things being fulfilled in
that same age.
"But before all these things shall take place, they shall lay their
hands upon you."
Some people have been in the habit of trying to apply every scripture
to everybody in every age; they had need to give heed to the
exhortation of Paul to Timothy, "Show thyself a workman that need not
be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth, giving to everyone
their portion," not everything that is written for everybody in every
Jesus was talking to Peter, James, and John, and to the rest of his
immediate followers. "They will lay their hands on you, Peter, on
James, and on you, John, and also upon others, and they will persecute
you, delivering you up to the synagogues and into prisons, and you
shall be brought before kings and rulers for my name's
sake." And of which, I need not observe, was literally fulfilled in
that age, the New Testament itself bearing record of it in part; "this
shall turn to you for a testimony." That is as much as to say, when
this happens to you that I have foretold, it will be a witness and a
testimony—it will be another proof; therefore, instead of mourning
about it, and feeling downhearted, understand that I have before told
you it must be. And when you are brought before rulers for my name's
sake, do not study up a speech beforehand to speak in self-defense,
for I will give you a mouth, and wisdom which all your adversaries
will not be able to gainsay nor resist.
Read the New Testament—the history of Peter and the Twelve, of Stephen
and of Paul, and see if they had not a mouth and wisdom that
confounded their enemies when they were afterwards summoned before the
different authorities, and kings, and magistrates, in fulfillment of
"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."
This was fulfilled in the circumstances of James, the brother of the
Lord, whom they killed with the sword, according to the New Testament.
It was fulfilled in the case of Peter, in the case of the stoning of
Stephen to death; it was fulfilled literally in many instances in that
"And ye shall be hated of all men for my name's sake." Nations were
not singing the name of Jesus then as they are now by tradition, but
the bare mention of his name gave a shock to the wicked, to kings and
Go to Illinois and Missouri, and mention Joseph Smith to the mob that
tried to butcher and kill him and drive the Saints; go where they
reside, and say, Joseph Smith, the Prophet, and it would not cause a
greater shock, greater rage and hate, more bitter feelings than it
would in those days to mention the name of that crucified Nazarene;
"Ye shall be hated of all men for my name's sake," that is,
because you will be running from place to place, making use of my name—making
mention of what nearly everybody considers the name of an impostor and
"That deceiver said, he would rise again from the dead on the third
day," said some of those pious Jews after they had killed him,
applying the same terms they now apply to the modern martyrs.
To go about and preach his name then was not that pleasant thing it is
now in Christendom; I assure you, it was a cross, and nothing but the
Spirit of truth, inspired in the heart of man, would give him boldness
enough to do it. "But there shall not a hair of your head perish. In
your patience, possess ye your souls."
Now, then, comes the thing the Apostles asked about, after he had told
them the preliminary leading to it; filling up the interstices of
time, he gets at length to the destruction of that temple—to the
throwing down of those beautiful stones. "When ye see Jerusalem
compassed with armies, then know the desolation thereof is nigh." Does
that need any spiritualizing?
Go and read Josephus, read the history of the Roman army under Titus,
the Roman general, who came up and laid siege against that city and
surrounded it with the Roman legions; and then read the history of the
war. It took place at the time when almost the whole nation had poured
into that devoted city, just as you have poured into Salt Lake City,
only we are a mere handful compared with that great nation; they had
come into one of the great Conferences that happened about
once a year; it was during the time that tens of thousands and
hundreds of thousands that come into Jerusalem, from all the
surrounding country, that they were laid siege to by the Roman army.
The city was blockaded—none could escape. Besides this there were
several factions within the city; Jews were at war with Jews under
different leaders. This made a desolating war within, while the enemy
was encamped without; and besides all this, famine overtook them, and
pestilence caused by want; and by being crowded and shut up in the
city, and by the dead bodies with no place to bury them.
Hence with sword, famine, pestilence, &c., Jerusalem began to be
desolated. "Now when you see this, understand that the desolation
thereof is nigh. Then let them which are in Judea flee to the
mountains; and let them which are in the midst of it depart out; and
let not them that are in the countries enter thereinto."
Some of our Sectarian friends tell us that Jesus Christ did not preach
a gathering; he only preached the Gospel, and then let the people live
right where they had a mind to. But here is a positive revelation from
the Son of God, to those that would give heed to his warning voice, to
actually remove to the mountains in order to escape the war, the
troubles, and pestilence that awaited the Jews and Jerusalem.
Now if we had all the history of those times; if we only had what the
Apostles have written, in full, instead of a little of it, we should
have the particular place where they did go, and where they lived, you
would have an account of the organization of a gathered people taking
care of themselves, while war desolated the nation. We have not got
this part of ancient history, but we will have it, for there is
nothing secret but what will be re vealed—hid but what will be brought
When God sees fit we will have the record of the fulfillment of this
gathering; of every man, woman, and child that heeded the warning of
the blessed Jesus. About seventy years after the birth of Christ,
which was about the date that the Roman army compassed Jerusalem, I
warrant you they left Judea and Jerusalem, and gathered into the
mountains to take care of themselves. This is the very period of
Christian history I would very much like to read—how they conducted
themselves when they were gathered together, and how they maintained
themselves when their nation and temple were crumbling to the dust.
"Let them which are in the midst of it depart out; and let not them
that are in the country enter thereinto." We are given to understand
that there was a little time after the Roman army had laid siege to
Jerusalem, in consequence of a certain movement of that army, that
gave a chance to the people in the city that were wide awake, to
gather. If they would give heed to the warning voice of Jesus, or to
the words of his Apostles, not to come down from the housetop, or
stop to get their bed, but run with all their might, they could
escape. A little moment of relaxation, an advantageous position of the
army, made escape possible to those who would not stop to take their
clothes out of the house, their bed, or anything else, but flee at
"For these be the days of vengeance." Vengeance on what? On the people
of the Jews and on all the people of Jerusalem that had rejected the
Gospel, that had rejected and killed the true Messiah, and persecuted
and killed the Apostles, and his disciples.
"These be the days of vengeance." What for? That all things that were written may he fulfilled, not spiritualized, nor transformed,
nor done away, but absolutely fulfilled.
What did he mean by that saying? Go and read Moses; I shall not
trouble myself to give chapter and verse; go and read Moses and the
Prophets and see if they do not predict the horrors of war to that
age, and desolation, even to the eating of their own children for mere
want, because of the pressure of the famine; "even the tender and
delicate women," says Moses, "who would not venture to put the soles
of their feet on the ground for tenderness and delicacy, should eat
their own children in the siege and the straitness, whereby your
enemies shall distress you in all your gates, if you will not hearken
to my words." He also predicted that the Lord God would raise up a
Prophet like unto him, and the people should hear him in all things
whatsoever he should say unto them, and every soul that would not hear
him, should be cut off from among the people.
What do our enemies complain of us about? For believing we must
hearken to the Prophet of the Lord which we profess to have among
us—Joseph Smith, and Brigham Young, or whoever it may be. "They
believe," say our enemies, "that they must hearken to their Prophet in
all things whatsoever he shall say unto them." Just as though it was a
new thing; that is what they are mad at us about; it is the main point
that is found fault with from California to Maine, and throughout
Europe, by editors and priests.
Everywhere the word is, "what is the matter with the Mormons in Utah?
They hold to that abominable principle of hearkening to all things the
Prophet of God says to them." O dear, what hurt does that do? It gives
them power—they will all vote one way.
We are not the only people that are troubled with that doctrine, and
this is not the only, age that has had that kind of trouble to contend
Moses had laid it down, that they should not only give heed to his
word, and if they did not they should be destroyed, and have to eat
their own children while their enemies besieged them, but that they
should give heed also to another Prophet that should arise, and that
too in all things whatsoever he should say unto them; and if they did
not, they should be cut off from among the people.
But that part of "Mormonism" is very ancient, and applied to Moses,
and to Christ, and to every Prophet that has ever been sent to lead
"These be the days of vengeance, that all things that are written may
be fulfilled." I have quoted a little of what has been written.
"But woe unto them that are with child, and to those that give suck, in
those days!" What kind of a woe is this? "Eternal hell," says one.
That is not the meaning; but the language signifies that it will be
hard on those who are in that situation in those days; they will have
trouble because they will not be in circumstances to flee from their
enemies; it will be very inconvenient indeed for them to escape;
therefore sorrow to them; it will be hard on them; they are to be
I used to think, when I was a boy, that every time the Scriptures said
woe, it meant eternal hell. I did not understand very much of the
Scriptures then; in this instance Christ was simply speaking of the
trouble and inconvenience it would be to those who had little
I have often thought how much more merciful God is to the Latter-day
Saints, in telling them not to go in haste nor by flight, without
stopping to get their coat, their garment, or their bed; he has not
told them to escape empty-handed; I feel thankful for this
On the other hand, I have thought that we have had some burdens to
bear, over and above what they had, which makes the thing about even.
"For there shall be great distress in the land, and wrath upon this
people." That is, in the land of Judea, upon the Jews, and in that
"And they shall fall by the edge of the sword, and they shall be led
away captive among all nations: and Jerusalem" —what will become of it
finally?—"shall be trodden down of the Gentiles,
until" —that is a big
word, and means much in the position it occupies
here—"UNTIL" —on that
word is suspended that nation's fate, and the fate of all the
neighboring nations—"Jerusalem shall be trodden down of the Gentiles,
until the times of the Gentiles be fulfilled."
I tell you there is meaning in these words, contained in that single
line. O ye nations of the earth, if I had the voice of an angel's
trump, that I could be heard to earth's remotest bounds, by kings,
rulers, captains, generals, armies, and nations, I would wish to read
that one line in their ears, and tell them the things that are summed
up in it.
"Jerusalem shall be trodden down of the Gentiles until the times of
the Gentiles be fulfilled." What is meant by it? One thing we know
certain, we have no need to conjecture, that is, that all these things
happened literally. The Roman army on the outside, and the three
factions on the inside of the city of Jerusalem, and the famine, and
the pestilence helping it on, performed their work until finally it
came to an end by the city being taken by the Romans, the temple set
on fire, and burned, and the whole city desolated, and brought under
Gentile rule, namely, Roman rule. And it is said, in the history
written by Josephus, that one million and a half of Jews perished in
that siege, that is, in that one city, in putting an end to a national
polity; a national corrupted form of government, a national
priesthood, a national house of worship.
One million and a half perished! They fell by the edge of the sword,
by pestilence, and by famine, and the remnants of the Jews were
carried captive among all nations. To remain how long? As I have said,
we know this prophecy has been literally fulfilled, for we see them
scattered among all nations to this day.
I have seen them in San Francisco, in Chile, in Scotland, in England,
and in every part of the United States, and Canada; and wherever my
brethren, the Elders of this Church, have been; I can assure them of
one thing, if they have looked about them they have seen a Jew or
Jews. Wherever there is a nation to be found, or a people of commerce,
ships, camels, or any other means of conveyance, there will be found
Jews; that we know.
But about one stone of the temple at Jerusalem not being left one upon
another—the fire itself would not do this—but history has informed us
that the Jews concealed their treasures under the stones of the
temple, and the Roman army went to work, and tumbled them about, and
did not leave one stone upon another, and finally they were removed.
In fulfillment of another scripture, they took a plough and ploughed
the temple site—so completely was the scripture fulfilled.
Had I time I would quote the chapter and verse of this plowing, and
the history which refers to it.
Now then this last line I have read has been fulfilling until now;
that is certain. The Jews are among all nations, in captivity—without
being organized and nationalized; without being restored; without
having returned to the God of their fathers; to His matchless power;
to the administration of His Holy Spirit; to the enjoyment of heavenly
communica tion, through Holy Prophets, by the revelations of
God; to the administration of angels; to the enjoyment of the religion
of their fathers, and to the power of God to defend them, and deliver
them from their enemies.
They have been 1,800 years without these blessings. This is a fact
foretold in this chapter, and literally fulfilled before the eyes of
all men. All the nations know it that know anything about the Bible or
Now there was a time allotted for the Gentile powers to reign, for
their corruptions to bear rule, and during the time here designated as
the times of the Gentiles, the times of their polity, of their
nationality, their religion, and to prove them and to see what they
would do with the power committed unto them—the times spoken of by
Daniel the Prophet, in which the fourth monarchy, namely, the Roman,
and all those divisions, and subdivisions that should grow out of it
in modern times, the times when these divided powers should bear rule.
There is just as much a time for these to have their day and prove
themselves, and bring forth the fruits of their rule, and a time for
them to come to an end, as ever there was a time for Jerusalem to rule
or for the Jewish polity to come to an end. Now when that time
arrives, ye nations look out, for there is a prophecy gone forth about
you; it is in these words, and recorded in the Old Testament: "Though
I make a full end of all nations where I have scattered you, yet will
I not make a full end of you," speaking of Israel.
Now, when the times of the Gentiles are fulfilled there will be an
uprooting of their governments and institutions, and of their civil,
political, and religious polity. There will be a shaking of nations, a
downfall of empires, an upturning of thrones and dominions, as Daniel
has foretold, and the kingdom and power, and rule on the earth will
return to another people, and exist under another polity, as Daniel
has further foretold. But let me read it here, let Jesus speak in his
own words, or the writer for him. Now understand that we have got down
to the present time, that is sure with this prophecy, no man can
mistake it. Jerusalem has been overthrown, and not one stone of that
magnificent temple has been left upon another. A great portion of that
nation fell by the edge of the sword, and the residue went captive
among all nations, and their city has been trodden under foot of the
Gentiles, and will be until their times are fulfilled, that is, until
they have had their reign out. Then what will happen? We will read;
"And there shall be signs in the sun." Has anybody seen them?—not away
back among those other things; there were signs in the air then;
Josephus tells you about it, and this book tells you about it, as I
have been reading today in this chapter, about the signs which
happened as a forerunner of the destruction of Jerusalem, and the Jews
as a nation. Now after the Jews have remained among the Gentiles until
the times of the Gentiles are fulfilled, as a forerunner of this
latter overturn, "there shall be signs in the sun, and in the moon."
Have any of you seen them during the last 30 years? I have. "And in
the stars." Have you seen any signs in the stars? Think back for the
last 30 years. "And upon the earth distress of nations, with
perplexity; the sea and the waves roaring; Men's hearts failing them
for fear, and for looking after those things which are coming on the
earth: for the powers of heaven shall be shaken. And THEN" —not some
other time. Are there any Millerites here who have been setting a time
for the Son of Man to come? "Then shall they see the Son of
man coming in a cloud with power and great glory." Not you, my
disciples, whom I told a little while ago should be delivered up to
the synagogues, and to prisons, and be beheaded, and suffer many
things; not you whom I have warned to take heed lest you are deceived
by false Christs that shall come to you; and when you should hear of
wars and commotions to be not terrified, &c.; but Jesus Christ now
directs his attention to another age; this does not refer to you my
followers, you will be dead, and in paradise when these things that I
now refer to shall take place. But THEY. Who? The people who shall
live when the times of the Gentiles are fulfilled—when their reign is
about to come to an end, the generation that will be alive when
Jerusalem and the Jews are about to be restored, and the full end of
all Gentile polity is about to usher in. "Then shall they see," those
that shall live in those days. And what shall they see? "The Son of
man coming in a cloud with power and great glory."
That is the proud sight that is to be seen in connection with the end
of the Gentile rule, or the breaking up of the Gentile nations, when
their times are completed; when Jerusalem is to be rebuilt, to be no
more trodden down nor governed by them, when the Jews are to be
restored; and when there are signs in the sun, and in the moon, and in
the stars, and upon the earth, men's hearts failing them for fear, and
for looking after the things that are coming, then shall they see, not
the crucified Jesus hanging upon the ignominious cross, mocked by the
wicked Jews, not persecuted by a Herod, clothed in all the pomp and
pride of Gentile authority, not a Roman army to overthrow and succeed
the Jewish polity, but they shall see the Son of Man coming in a cloud
clothed with great power and great glory.
Do ye believe this, ye young people, ye boys and girls? Do ye believe
this? All the prophetic sayings contained in this chapter have been
fulfilled, down to this day. Do you believe that portion of it which
is yet in the future, ye people of New York, of San Francisco, of
China, of London, of France? Do the Gentile nations believe this? You
see the Jew among you, and the Gentile bearing rule; do you believe
that this is a true prophecy? You ought to believe it, for it is right
before your eyes in its fulfillment, and if you do, do you expect to
see the Son of Man coming in the clouds of heaven with power and great
glory? That is a sight some of you will see; you have only to live
until the time comes, and you will see it.
Whether there has been signs in the sun, moon, and stars, and upon the
earth distress of nations and perplexity, men's hearts failing them
for fear, in the last few years, I will leave each one to draw his own
conclusion. If this has not already been sufficiently fulfilled, one
thing is certain, it is being fulfilled, and when it is sufficiently
completed the Son of Man will be seen in heaven with power and great
glory, as sure as you ever saw a Jew, that is, it is a fact. "And when
these things begin to come to pass," for that is an important point,
"then look up, and lift up your heads; for your redemption draweth
nigh." Does it not appear a little strange that Peter, and James, and
John, and the Jewish nation have to wait until then for their
redemption, and the dead and the living, as well as the Latter-day
Saints? They have to wait until then, whether in this world or in the
other, for the redemption of their bodies, unless they died before
Christ, and rose from the dead when he did, and the Jews must wait
until then for the redemption of their nation and national polity, and
for their triumph over their enemies, and for the putting down of all
other power, and for the establishment of the reign of righteousness on the earth, the redemption of their friends, and
vengeance on all those who have shed the innocent blood, whether of
Latter-day Saints or Former-day Saints. This is the day of their
redemption, be in what world they may, they are preparing for it.
"Lift up your heads; for your redemption draweth nigh." When? Not when
Jerusalem is compassed with armies, not when they (the Jews) are
destroyed by the edge of the sword, not while wandering among the
nations of the earth from age to age, not while the Gentile powers
bear rule, but when the sun, moon, and stars shall put forth their
signs, the heavens shake, and men's hearts failing them for fear,
looking for the things that are coming upon the earth—then is the time
to begin and look up, to lift up your heads and rejoice, ye spirits
that are waiting for redemption, whether ye are in this world or in
the other, straighten your backs in your hard toil, and look up, for
your redemption draweth nigh.
"And he spake to them a parable; Behold the fig tree, and all the
trees." We have not any fig trees here, but they had there. "And all
the trees," embraces trees we have here. "When they now shoot forth,
ye see and know of your own selves that summer is now nigh at hand."
You do not need a Prophet to come along and prophesy that summer is
nigh at hand, for even the children may know it. "So likewise ye, when
ye see these things come to pass, know ye that the kingdom of God is
nigh at hand."
O ye Millerites, ye made a great mistake; you thought the first thing
was the coming of the Lord in power and great glory; you were going to
have him come immediately, without any kingdom to come to, without a
forerunner in the shape of a Prophet, but just by men guessing, and
predicting, and remarking, and commenting on the prophecies; but so
far as the coming of the Lord being the first thing you knew, you will
"begin to see these things come to pass, and then know that the
kingdom of God is nigh at hand" and we have to be born again or we
cannot see it.
People hear of "Joe Smith," as he is called, of the Book of Mormon, of
angels coming from heaven again; of the inspiration of the Holy
Spirit; of modern Prophets and Apostles, and martyrs, and they think,
"what under heaven does all this mean, we have no reason to look for
anything of the sort, but we expect the Lord here every minute." They
have no idea of a modern Prophet; of angels visiting the earth in the
latter times; of modern inspiration; of a modern Church that will
hearken to the voice of a Prophet in all things that he shall say unto
them; it is all new to them, they are astonished, and say, "what does
it mean, I wonder what is this Mormonism coming to?"
The Lord will never come until he has organized his kingdom on the
earth, and prepared his people by sending a messenger to prepare the
way before him; that messenger has come, and the man that delivered it
has been slain, namely, Joseph Smith, and by the instrumentality of
that messenger, here sit the Apostles and Prophets, ordained to hold
the keys of the kingdom of heaven.
If the people had read the Scriptures they would have been looking for
all this, if they had not listened to a set of blind guides, who have
hired out for money to tell them the Scriptures mean something else.
When you see these things come to pass, know ye that the kingdom of
God is nigh at hand. Says one, "for my part I believe the kingdom of
God was set up 1,800 years ago, and is not going to be set up again; he
is not going to have it set up twice, or I do not know what you are
going to do with the Scriptures, you had better burn them up
as a thing of no account, because John the Baptist, Jesus Christ, the
Twelve Apostles, and the Seventies all agreed in their former
testimonies that the kingdom of God was then nigh at hand, it must
therefore have been immediately set up, or they were all false
witnesses; and if it was immediately setup, as an event following
their predictions, namely, on the day of Pentecost, when the power of
God was shed forth, and the Apostles that held the keys of it
organized it upon the earth; if that event did really follow what John
the Baptist, Jesus, and his Apostles had predicted, then of course it
was set up in those days."
We say there will be another time when it will be at hand; how do we
prove it. By the words of Jesus himself in our text, for he did not
only state that the kingdom was then at hand when he first began to
preach, but he also said it would be at hand when we should see these
modern signs here referred to. What did he say should come? False
Christs, and the Apostles were to be betrayed, and hated of all
nations, and some would be put to death; He told them they should be
brought before kings and rulers; that the Roman army should compass
Jerusalem, and there should not be left one stone upon another of
their temple, and the Jews should go captive among all nations; that
they should remain there for a certain time during which the Gentile
power should rule; that after all this there should be signs in the
sun, moon, and stars, and upon the earth distress of nations, and
perplexity, men's hearts failing them for fear; when these thing come
to pass, then know that the kingdom of God is at hand.
What does this make out? That there were two distinct times, or ages,
varying in circumstances, in which the kingdom of God would be
introduced to the inhabitants of the earth; the one should immediately
follow John the Baptist, and Jesus, and Peter, who held the keys of
it, and the other should be looked for and ushered in, in connection
with these modern signs; in short Jesus and Peter held the keys of the
one, and his brother Joseph Smith, and his Apostles hold the keys of
Now I think you can understand both predictions; one by John the
Baptist, and all the holy Prophets, and by Jesus and his Apostles, and
the other was predicted by Jesus Christ and all the Holy Prophets
since the world began, and both of them fulfilled right here before
your eyes this day. The one in the events recorded in the New
Testament, the other in the history of Joseph Smith, and what follows.
I have already been lengthy; having got at the main review, I will
close by reviewing one more sentence. "Watch ye therefore, and pray
always, that ye may be accounted worthy to escape all these things
that shall come to pass, and to stand before the Son of man."
Now I know the habit of praying always in Christendom, that is certain
portions of them, they pray in their families and in secret, and have
prayer meetings; they pray for this, that, and the other, and say the
Lord's prayer and a great many prayers, but the question is do they
pray always? He did not tell them to pray the Lord's prayer always,
particularly, neither did he tell not to; but this one prayer he did
tell them to pray always, and causes it to be written; do WE fulfil
it, and do they; it is not to pray always nor to watch always, but it
is to pray this particular prayer always—that we may be accounted
worthy to escape all these things that shall come to pass and stand
before the Son of Man.
Whatever else they might pray in all the varying circumstances of
their lives, all right, but this one thing they would be sure to
need, to be accoun ted worthy to escape all those things Christ
foretold, and stand before him.
And why should they pray this always? Because it is not only the
living generation that had to meet it, and had need to be prepared,
but it was a chain of prophecy that would be gradually fulfilling from
that time until he comes, and whether they passed through the veil or
remained in the flesh, one thing was certain, they would all have to
meet some part of it; if they lived in Jerusalem they would have some
part of it to meet; or if they were scattered among all nations they
would have some part of it to meet; and if they live until there
should be signs in the sun, moon, and stars, and upon the earth
distress of nations, they would have some part of it to meet;
therefore whether they lived in modern or in former times, behind the
veil or on this side of it; it was necessary to pray always to be
accounted worthy to escape all these things and stand before the Son
This would have cautioned the drunkard a little, and the miser a
little, the man who is engaged head, heart, and hand to accumulate all
the riches of the world and heap them up to himself, and not use them
to build up the kingdom of God; it would have told him not to have his
heart overcharged with the cares of this earth, or with surfeiting and
drunkenness, if these words do not say so exactly, another writer
does, who writes on the same subject.
Take care how you get drunk, how you are a glutton, how you are wholly
swallowed up in the cares of this world, in accumulating riches, and
take care to pray that you may escape all these things, and stand
before the Son of Man.
It would not do for me to talk always, but I want to tell you how to
prepare; and I trust my brother Orson, or someone who will follow me
in the course of the day, will enter upon that subject more fully, and
illustrate the Gospel; the remission of sins; the gift of the Holy
Ghost, and the ordinances pertaining thereto, as well as a good,
moral, prayerful life, all of which would open up an extensive field
for reflection, had we time to enter upon it.
If we had time, and it was expedient we could show you that in order
to restore the kingdom of God, and prepare the way for the coming of
the Son of Man, the Gospel would have to be restored in its fulness,
baptism, and repentance for the remission of sins preached, and a
messenger like John the Baptist sent of old to prepare the way; but we
will leave the subject unfinished.
I expect to go where Jesus did and tell the spirits in prison the good
news that their redemption draweth nigh, and the good news of the
Gospel, my mouth never can be shut on that subject, in heaven, earth,
or hell, if I am at liberty to tell it, and the Holy Spirit given to
me to direct.
I leave the subject praying God to bless you all, and all those that
watch and pray always to be accounted worthy to escape all these
things that are coming to pass, and stand before the Son of Man.
- Parley P. Pratt