Brethren and sisters, I can say that I feel rejoiced with the
opportunity of beholding your faces in this place. It has been a
little over two years since I enjoyed such a privilege, and perhaps I
can appreciate it better by being deprived of it. Those who have been
absent from this place can appreciate this privilege as well as
I see a great many faces that I am acquainted with, and many that I am
not. Thousands have immigrated from different countries to this place,
since I left here, who have embraced the everlasting Gospel for the
same purpose I have—that is, for the purpose of being Saints.
I have often remarked, and truly feel, that even the Saints themselves
do not appreciate the blessings they enjoy. Those who have been away
from the Saints, in the world, have been made acquainted with the
doings of the world and with their spirit: these can to a little
extent appreciate the blessings that the Saints enjoy.
We have embraced the everlasting Gospel in different countries, and
immigrated to this country, for the purpose of obtaining salvation;
and truly there is nothing to hinder us in obtaining it, if we only
embrace the Gospel as it should be embraced; for if we embrace the
Gospel as we should, we embrace the salvation that pertains to it;
that is, it will save us all the time.
The difference between the Gospel of Jesus Christ and the ceremonies
that are in the world is, that they propose to save people a thousand
years hence, or some other time; but the Gospel we have embraced
proposes to save us at the time we receive it, and so continue to all
For this purpose we immigrated to these valleys, that we may live our
religion, obey the precepts of the Gospel, and do as we should do
every day we live; consequently, we are all the time saved by
discharging the duties incumbent upon us today: we are saved today.
But, if we do not do these duties today, we are not saved today. It
is this course that will make us happy—that will establish us in a
present salvation, and make us rejoice continually.
Truly we can embrace these principles of salvation which have been
revealed to us in the Gospel; we can live them: but we have seen that
at present we cannot do it in any other land than this. Consequently,
this is a choice land to us; and we have much reason to rejoice in the
blessings we enjoy.
When I look around and behold the prospects before the Saints, and the
great improvements since I left this place, it astonishes me. We have
great reason to acknowledge the hand of God in the rich blessings he
is continually bestowing upon us. It remains for us to fully embrace
the principles of salvation taught to us from time to time, and live
our religion from day to day.
If we pursue this course, we shall all the time be saved and
prepared for what is coming tomorrow; but, if we do not do this, we
can neither be prepared for present duties nor for the duties of the
It is to me the greatest satisfaction I can think of to enjoy the
privilege of being with the Saints, and being engaged in establishing
the principles of the kingdom of God on the earth. If we cultivate
those principles in our bosoms and practice them in our lives, it
brings universal peace and happi ness; this is what we will enjoy.
Principles that dwell in the bosom of our heavenly Father he has
revealed unto us, and will continue to reveal to us what will make us
happy and prepare us to dwell with him in heaven.
That we may live and discharge the duties incumbent upon us all the
days of our lives, and build up and establish the kingdom of God on
the earth, is my prayer in the name of Jesus Christ. Amen.
- Charles C. Rich