I am in hopes that what I do say will be dictated by the right guide,
as brother Heber says. I do not wish for any other. It is difficult
for me to communicate my ideas, though I do not make this statement
because I wish to apologize or to excuse myself from any duty.
I think I realize with you, brethren, the situation that we are in and
the circumstances that surround us. Every reflecting mind will rest
his thoughts and attention upon our present situation; and if we have
in us the light of the Holy Ghost, we shall believe it is all right.
This is my conclusion, and I presume it is the conclusion of most of
If we, as individuals, are right before God, all will go well with us
and the Lord will prosper us. I do not think that the reform that we
have undertaken and that is undertaken with this community is done
with. I find that it becomes me to concentrate my mind daily and
hourly upon the grand things that lie before me.
As to the enemy that is come up to destroy or curtail us in any of our
blessings, I care but little about them. It makes me think of the
past, when my mother used to have a rod over the mantelpiece for me to
look at. I think we have got one that we can look at, and it is where
it can be used; and probably if it is used, it will be used to our
If we can prepare our hearts and our lives, we need not fear anything
about our enemies. The greatest fear is that I shall not sustain and
carry out correct principles in my own bosom. I believe that our grand
object is to have all things right within. If we do this, we shall do
We are taught in one place to "pray without ceasing," and watching is
as necessary as prayer. I am of the opinion that we can correct our
thoughts so far as to know and understand what our motives are and
what our affections are placed upon. If our minds are wandering to the
nations of the earth, what will it benefit us? The grand place for our
operations to begin is in our bosoms, and to see that our minds and
bodies are influenced by those principles that pertain to light, life,
There are great attainments in reserve for the faithful of this
people. I believe that we may enjoy even more peace and satisfaction
than we do now, which may be obtained by prayer and watchfulness. We should reflect upon the covenants and obligations that we
have made unto God and before our brethren. There are many keys in
those holy covenants whereby we can derive comfort.
Obedience is the grand key whereby this people are to be exalted; and
I sincerely believe that the Presidency are comforted by the obedience
that is rendered to their requirements.
It is the mind that makes the man; and if that mind is centered upon
correct objects—if it cultivates and cherishes them, that mind is
improving. There is no time nor circumstances through which we may be
passing but there is opportunity for improvement. I learn this daily.
And there are no hours that pass but there are opportunities for our
advancement in the principles of exaltation.
I believe that reformation and union can be carried to a greater
extent than they have been. If there is a love for the truth in the
people, it will be manifest in true plainness and true honesty: our
yea will be yea, and our nay will be nay. The Scriptures say,
"Whatsoever cometh more than this is evil;" but true plainness and
true honesty is what we want.
If we are not advancing in light, we are either standing still or
going backward. The great principles that we are to be governed by
dwell in simplicity; they are easy to be understood by any and all who
will apply themselves.
The condescension of Heaven is great: there can be no greater
condescension than is manifested to us. We have attained our heirship.
We know there is such a principle as well as we know there is a God.
Baptism for remission of sins and the laying on of hands for the gift
of the Holy Ghost are as simple as anything can be. All the great
fundamental principles of salvation are simple. We can comprehend and
understand them—we can increase and grow by the power of them.
In adding to our faith, it is necessary that we should add virtue
first, then knowledge; and these we should cultivate daily and hourly.
Brethren, I intend, as far as I have power, to instruct by example.
Without it, I would give very little for all the precepts that are or
can be set forth in a family or abroad among the people.
May God bless you, is my prayer, in the name of the Lord Jesus. Amen.