Brother George was talking about setting the world on fire. I think,
when the Elders have traveled through the world as far as some of us
have, and seen the rottenness and weakness of their institutions—the
folly and corruption that everywhere prevail, they will find that it
is pretty near time, as the Prophets have said, for it to be burned
up, and all its works.
But I suppose it is necessary, before the world is burned up, that the
good wheat should be saved and gathered into the garner, and prepare
to take a fresh start in peopling the earth and placing affairs upon a
There is no person that reflects upon the condition of the world, as
it now exists, but his heart must be pained—must be filled with
sympathy for the inhabitants of the earth. I have gazed upon their
proceedings myself; I have watched their follies, abominations, and
corruptions; I have seen them with mine own eyes until I have wept
over them. They seem to me to be regardless of God, heaven, hell,
eternity, or anything else; and there are thousands, and tens of
thousands, and millions of people upon the continent of Europe that
would like no better employment than to go into deadly combat and
destroy one another.
The people talk about how corrupt we, the Latter-day Saints, are. If
all they say about us be true, it is only a tithing of what you will
find in the world. I have told them to look at home—to examine their
own firesides, and they would find plenty of corruption and
abomination. They are living without God in the world—without hope,
and they are dying without hope; consequently, they are careless,
profligate, and reckless.
The Lord has shone upon us: he has lit up a candle of intelligence in
our souls—has imparted to us the principles of eternal truth, opened
the heavens, and sent his holy angel to put us in possession of
principles that will exalt us in the scale of intelligence among men,
and raise us up to be associates of the Gods in the eternal worlds.
Then shall we who have thus been blessed with the visions of
eternity—with light and intelligence—we who are filled with the
Spirit of God burning in our hearts, who have gazed upon the hidden
things of eternity, and contemplated the purposes of God in their
majesty and glory—I say, shall we shrink from the task of going
forth to snatch these fallen sons of men from everlasting burning?
Should we refuse to do so, it would testify that we had not a single
spark of humanity in our bosoms, and were not fit to live in the
world, much less to associate with the Gods in the eternal worlds.
I know you have a desire to do these things; but I will tell you,
there are many things that are calculated to try the feelings of men.
Those who have to go out have to put their noses to the grindstone,
and keep them there, and let them grind at it, and not murmur a word;
and then, before they are healed, put them there again, and bear it
all the time, and go along without saying anything; for you know it is
a sin in the religious world to get angry. You need not attempt to
without faith in God; and you will have need of all the wisdom and
intelligence you can command. You cannot go and convert the world all
at once; for it is too far sunken in folly and vice. This reminds me
of a dream a brother had in France. He said he thought he was trying
to kindle a fire on the seashore. Every time he attempted to light
it, a wave came and rolled over it, and he could hardly accomplish it
until the tide began to recede; and then he considered he would build
up a fire when the wood got dry.
You need not think of going abroad into the world, and going, as the
Methodists sing, "on flowery beds of ease;" for a great many consider
you as impostors, and as a general thing you are looked upon as
suspicious characters, to say the least of it, and you will be closely
watched. If you go to those foreign nations, your footsteps will be
traced. No matter how privately you may make your entrance, or how
privately you may take your departure, it will all be known to the
police authorities, and they can give all the information required
touching your movements.
It was not more than ten minutes after I had taken the cab and started
to the railway station to take my last departure from France, when one
of the high police came to inquire after me. The gentleman with whom I
stayed was a very affectionate friend to me, and he kept the police in
conversation for two hours, speaking very highly of me. He told them I
was a respectable, high-minded man, &c. The police told him of every
place I had been at since I came to Paris; when I came to France; what
hotel I stayed in; when I went to England, and how long I stayed
there; when I went to Germany, and how long I stayed there; what books
I had printed, &c., &c. He gave my friend a most minute account of
every step I had taken; and all this is recorded in the books of the
police. They have a congress of police among the nations of Europe, by
which they can transmit information about every per son who
appears as a public character in any of those nations.
This is the way you will be watched. If you go to any of these
nations, it will be necessary for you to use the greatest wisdom and
prudence, and that you should pray to God to guard you in all things.
This police authority did not come after me until I had finished my
work. I suppose they would not have injured me, for I had broken no
law; but this is their policy. With it we have nothing to do; and I
should recommend you strictly to obey all police regulations, and
never interfere with any national, civil, or police institutions or
regulations. I suppose they might have telegraphed after me, if they
wished; but I took another course—not, however, knowing that they
were after me. I turned off the main route to go by a little seaport
town, and I missed the whole concern, and was in France a week longer,
and they knew nothing about me. I was out of their track, and came off
safe. The Lord blessed me, and I have been blessed as much in these
nations as anywhere else.
You may talk about difficulties and what you have passed through here
and there; but we should not be men, if we did not have difficulties
to meet with; and we always feel much better when we have conquered
This is the difference between us and the world. They meet with
difficulties, and they quash down under them, while we ride over them
and become victorious. This is the reason why there are so many
institutions among the Gentiles that come to naught. They meet with
difficulties and fall before them: we meet with the same, but we have
a God at the helm, and we triumph over them.
Another Elder and myself stayed in a hotel in a small town for about a
week, the landlord of which was an infidel. After we had been there
two or three days, I told the landlord I was a religious man. He
replied, "Oh, you are religious, are you? Religion is a pack of
nonsense." I told him I cared as little about most of the religion of
Christendom as he did; but the one I believed in, I told him, would
benefit both body and soul, in time and eternity. I talked to him a
little about it, and he began to feel much interested.
I told him about the success and the prosperity that attended our
works; and finally he said, "I don't know but I will sell out and go
to America; for I am tired of France." I said, I will tell you where
you will find a first-rate place to settle down in that country; and I
directed him to Iowa. He spoke to an Elder that was with him after I
had gone away, and said, "I don't like the way Mr. Taylor speaks to
me." "Why?" said the Elder. "He speaks as though he wants to
off on one side somewhere; and I want to go where he is. You have got
the right religion; and had I found this, I should have been a
I talked to another gentleman who came in, who wanted to be introduced
to me—a man of good education, and who talked the English language as
well as I did. We talked about everything, almost, until religion came
on in the conversation. When I was preparing to leave, the gentleman
said, "Oh, Mr. Taylor, I wish you would stay three or four days more
here, and I will introduce you to a rich sugar manufacturer; and there
is a gentleman living in a castle not far from here—I will introduce
you to him." They felt as sorry at my going away as though I had
stayed with them twelve months, and they came more than a mile to see
me off and bid me goodbye, and prayed God to bless me before I left.
You will see many such things as these. I could have
introduced the Gospel in the whole of that country, had I had time.
You will find that the Spirit of the Lord will go before you and
prepare the way. I had men come to me and say, "God bless you! You
are the man I dreamed about." That is the kind of feeling that
operates upon the people in those parts, as well as in other parts of
the world. The Spirit of the Lord goes before his servants.
I recollect associating with some medical professors—American
gentlemen, who had come to Paris for the purpose of attending medical
lectures, &c., at l' Ecole de Medicine, and visiting the hospitals;
and though we were "Mormons," they were glad to have our society, and
seemed to feel a desire to associate with us. We talked "Mormonism" to
them, and many other things.
These men came there, remained two or three months, and went away.
Nobody cared anything about them, only just as much as they paid their
way, and that was all. We went there and planted the Gospel in the
hearts of the people; and they feel as all other people do who are
members of this Church. The Spirit of God was with them, and we could
rejoice in the bosom of our friends and talk of the things of God and
the blessings he gives to his people. I looked at these doctors, and I
said to myself, You poor miserable creatures! You wander round the
world without the Spirit and blessings of God, and nobody cares for
you, whether you live or die, while we come here to plant the standard
of truth in the hearts of the people, and can rejoice with them in its
If any of you go into those countries, you will find as warm-hearted
people as you will find anywhere else. Brothers F. D. Richards and E.
Snow can bear testimony to this. The Gospel has the same effect in
their hearts as it has in yours. I won't occupy your time further. May
God bless you, in the name of Jesus. Amen.