1854 February 19 Remarks in the Tabernacle

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1854 February 19 Remarks in the Tabernacle

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Sermons

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1854/02/19

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George D. Watt

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Tabernacle Feb. 19 1854.
After Edwin D Wooly had spoken <at some> lengthy upon the subject of the resurrection, Pres. Young made the following remarkes.
I realise that it is nearly time our Morning meeting should be brought to a close. I will, However, occupy a short time <few moments> and express breifly what I have to communicate previous to the <our> close<ing> of this meeting.
I wish the Congregation to understand the facts in the case before us.
Bro. Woolly has told us he expected a whiping, or a lashing. The <My> Bren. know my manner of lashing them, which never <does> takes place without a cause. When the Bren. are chastened; or corrected in matters of docterine, it is when they disign a wrong, when they may be corrected or chastised, in all mildness.
<I invited> Bro. Wooly was invited by me to preach here to day. I made this request of him for certain reasons.
I have been convinced these many years, <of the fact> that the variations in <their> beleif of docterine that exists among this people, is in the manner of expressing themselves more than in their ideas.
Bro. Woolly has made a statement to day, while talking upon the resurrection, something like this, "Go to the Catacombs of Ejypt and see the thousands of embalmed bodies that <wher they> have lain for thousands of years in those solatary monuments of the dead." He says <he does not beleive they can embalme> "if they get a ressurrection, their ressurrected bodies will go and gaze upon the old dusty remains that are lying <still> in an embalmed state still in those <those> antient caticombs". This is an incorrect idea, But who is to blame for this incorrectness? In reality
<I> he <we> and I beleive <as he does> alike, if he could explain his beleif in fitting language. But he does not use language callculated to convey his beleif to my <mind> understanding.
For instance, he says," you cannot embalm the immortal part." Who of the Sisters do not know better than that. It is incorrect to say we cannot embalm any portion of the body, did we understand the method of embalming. Were I to ask Bro. Wooly if he beleives <that> this matter that constitutes our bodies is orgonised <is organised> for the express purpose of being glorified in immortality, he would answer me in the affirmative. But his manner of expressing himself would gives the conterary of this. The error is not so much in his beleif, as for want of knowing how to place his words in the fittest way to convey his ideas.
I have wished the Bren. would <would> as freely preach their sentiments and docterins from this stand <and the doctrines which as freely which> as they preach them in the Ward Meetings, and in other places. <It is> Not more than a week since, I was told the baby resurrection docterin was spreading among the people. It is something I do not understand. Some say <the have> the spirit of Joseph Smith is in the<ir> bodies of their children and some have the spirit of Hiram; and I do not know but some would go so far as to say that the spirit of old Mother Smith had acctualy come into the bodies of some child before she was dead. The returning again of the spirits of the dead into the bodies of our babies, is the theory of the baby resserection.
I will now tell the people once for all, that no man lives, or ever did live, that can <can> teach a docterine except he possesses the keys of
it. I never proffesed to preach and understand the docterine of the ressurrection. Joseph Smith did not profess to teach it, only so far as to say he beleived in the docterine of A litteral resurrection of the body. He did not beleive that the bones which are preserved for entire decay by embaming, or in any other way, could not be ressurrected. Bro. Woolly has said, "when the graves are opened, no mortal eye can see any alteration upon the serface of the ground where the graves of the dead <are> were situated." That is, the graves will not be litteraly opened. He then, almost in the next breath, informes us that Jesus Christ is an example, or pat - eren of the ressurection. In the account of his ressurrection we read "Mary Magdalene came early on the first day of the week, when it was yet dark, and seeth the stone taken away frome the Sepulchre". Another Apostle speakes of Mary who saw the stone rolled away from the door of the sepulchre. Why should the stone at the mouth of the grave of Jesus be rolled away. That the saviour might walk out. The graves of the saints will, upon the same principle, <will> be opened <and> to follow the patteren, that the saints may come up out of their graves. It was necessary that the door of the sepulchre should be opened by the rolling away of the stone that the saviour might walk out, or escape from his grave. His resurrection is a perfect example, and yet Bro. Woolley says there can be no change disscovered by mortal eyes on the graves of the dead when they are open.
This disscrepency is for want of a clear conception of the truth as it is, and language judiciously used in a manner not to confuse the minds of those who hear.
A great many things might be said upon this subject that would be perticularly edifieing to the people, had we time this morning. I will advance a few ideas in a breif manner.
Take Jesus Christ for an example. Do you supose the bones of Christ decayed? No. Do you supose that any part of his body suffered decomposition while he lay in the sepulchre? His body did not decay, and he is said to be our pateren for the resurrection. He was the first <person> of the children of Adam who was resurrected on the earth to die no more. No person ever received a resurrection from the dead to eternal life on this earth until after the saviour received his <resurrection>. As his body did not decay, neither need mine decay. Do you beleive <that> the body of Jesus Christ, that came from the womb of Mary, with its bones, sinues, nerves, blood, vessels ligaments, mussels, with all the internal machinery that is common to the Mortal body, and with the skin to cover the whole was laid in the speulchre to decay? You do not beleive they were. Then you beleive that that very identical body with all its parts unimpared, (with the exception or the external scars) came out of the sepulchre again, clothed with imortality and eternal life. When the diciples heard of his resurrection, they came running to the sepulchre, and went down into it. Did they find his old body <being> there still? no, it was gone, and the linin clothes that was arround it was found neatly folded in one corner of the sepulchre. They did not see any portion of his body, all had sprung again into life, and the same Jesus who went about doing good, and finaly laid down his life <for> to redeem man, showed to his diciples his hands
and his feet, and the place where the speer entered his side, eating fish and honey comb before them. He is the resurrection and the life.
With regard to embalmed bodies I will remark. If by embalming, the body is preserved from utter decay, or any part of it, until the time of its resurrection, it will again be renued and spring into life immortal. After the power of the resurrection has visited <comes to> the Antient catacombs of Egypt, those dusty mumies will not be there. Tho' the dusty <filthy> rags that covered them, and other relics of the antients, may <be found> occupy the place where their bodies lay.
If by the power of God Christ could take up his body that was mutalated with wounds, and afterwards lay three days in the sepulchre, the same power can cause those mamoth sepulchres of the dead in Egypt, where everlasting solitude reigns, to teem with life, and motion. He can break the bands of death, and set the prisoners free. The same comparison will hold good in the case of those who have moldered into dust. The task is no greater to cause the solid eart to open, and bring forth from the ashes of the sleeping dead bodies filled with immor - tality. It is as easy for the resurrection power of the Almighty to resurrect the dead to immortality, as to preserve the immortal part of man from dissol - ution.
What is the immortal part of man? It is taught you from this stand every sabath. It is the native element organised to become eternal, after it has passed through certain ordeals, obtained a resurrection, and has become glorified to change no more. The bodies that we expect to obtain a resurrection is coruptible. They are composed to be decomposed. This will perticularly apply to the flesh, and not to the spirit that tenants it
<the body>. <They have been resurrected long age.> Men may beleive alike, and endeavor to teach alike, but my counsel to all is, meddle not with docterine you do not understand. This counsel is necessary, for just as quick as some men are in a prayr meeting, a quoram meet - ing, or a circle meeting they can expound (whether truly or untruly I do not say) the marvelous mysteries pertaing to the Gods in eternity. Where I to ask the
Bro. I heard the other eveing teaching in his circle meeting, to preach the same mass of nonsense in this stand, would he do it? No. And What I say of him will apply to many others. They teach such things in their private meetings, and to their wives, and neighbors; and thus it is passing <conveyed> from one to the other like an under current through the community. If these <such> docterines are good, if they are true, if you understand them <docterines you teach> why not teach them here?
I thank Bro. Woolly for telling his mind this morning. We can see clearly at the first glance, that, if Jesus is a pateren of the resurrection, the graves of the dead will be opened so as to be visible to the mortal eye. They will be opened as litterly as the stone was rolled from the door of the saviours sepulchre.
I can beleive that the componant parts of our bodies comosed of their resective particals when prepared for the resurrection, will be brought together again, and receive a litteral resurection from the litteraly opened grave, as easily as I can beleive the body of Jesus Christ was resurrected, and the stone litteraly rolled away from the door of his sepulchre.
I have no scolding to do, but I do wish that men, who are fond of telling what wonderful knowlege they have obtained from the Almighty, would be as plain as brother Woolly has been, and tell it from this stand to the people.
I tell you again what I have often told you in times past, and what every man will tell you who stands before the people to preach the truth; unless a man is full of the visions of eternity he has no buisness to meddle with <such> matters that pertain to eternity. I wish you to pay perticular attention to this, and practice the principle throughout your lives. You can teach things which you beleive, but teach them as matters of your individual beleif, and not as things acknowleged by this people as a church, & forming a part of their relegious faith. Every man must be responsible for his own beleif, inasmuch as it cannot be sub - stanciated by the principles and docterines of the Church of God. A beleif in a sertian principle is one thing, and to know it is true, is another.
<I will answer another of bro. Wooleys questions> It apears is inconsistant to me, to beleive that Jesus Christ is a perfect example of the resurrection, and then straightway declare that no person can be resurrected as he was. I understand that every person that receives a resurrection, will receive it as the saviour did, though their bodies should sleep in the dust for thousands of years, or only for a few days. A time will come when the people will be resurected as quick as lightening. These times and seasons, and the method by which this will be brought about by the Allmighty is known to himself. We have nothing to do with that. It will be enough for us to obtain <if we get> our resurrections; and we
shall get the resurrection we live for. And If we prepare our bodies for an inheritance in A Celestial kingdom, they will be quickened by a celestial glory, and of it receive a fullness.
I will notice another idea touching the Holy Ghost begetting the Son of God.
Who was it that spoke from the heavens, and said this is my beloved son hear ye him? Was it God the Father? It was. The Apostles bear testemony that such a voice was actualy heard, "this is my beloved son, (and if it is true the Holy Ghost begat him <him> I would add, which was begotten by one of my neighbors, hear ye him. Who was the saviour beggotten by? 0 by his Father or his Brother, or some other person. So the H Gohst begetting the saviour looks to me. It makes me think of A story I heard in a dramatical performance once, that a sertian individual was born of one of his Aunts but he had no Mother. <That> It apears as reasonable to me <as> to say a couson or a fellow laborer of the sav - iours begat him, as to say the H Ghost begat him. Who did beget him? His father, and his father is our God, and the Father of our Spirits, and he is the framer of the body, the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. Who is he? He is Father Adam; Michel; the Antient of days. Has he a Father? He has. Has he a Mother? He has. Now to say that the son of God was begotten by the Holy Ghost, is to say the Holy Ghost is God the Father, which is inconsistant, and conterary to all the revelations of God both Moderen, and antient.
I silensed this erronious docterine a year ago last fall con - ference. It was I think when a dispute arose among some of our best Elers, as to who
was the Father of the son of Man pertaining to the flesh. Some contended it was the H Ghost; and some that it was Elohem. When I spoke upon it in this stand before a conference of Elders, I cautioned them when they laid their hands upon the people for the Gift of the H Ghost, according to the instructions of the saviour, to be very careful how they laid hands upon young women, for if it begat a child <one> in the days of the virgin Mary it is just as liable to beget children <one now> in these days. It has all the power in this day that it had then, it has lost none.
As to the resurrection I franckly confess I do not know how the particals which form the new body is brought together, any more than I can tell how the same <earth> soil can produce grass, flowers, and trees from their simple seeds. What has been written, and what the Lord is dissposed to reveal touching this docterine is all I ever pofessed to know. A man has no business with it in perticular until he shall receive the keys of it. He has as much buisness with it as the world <world> has with the Gospel we preach. They say Joseph Smith was an imposture, and spurn every ordenance of the Gospel. At the sametime they are bold to affirm they have the orcals of divine truth, and can administer in the ordenances of Gods house. Notwithstanding this, they do not know enough, to know what they affirm is true. Why is it so? Because they have not <got> the keys that unlock the truths of the Gospel, therefore they cannot teach it.
To explain my veiws with regard to little children loseing anything by dieing in infancy I will ask a simple question. I will simplyfie it as much as I can, therefore I will direct my question tothe little boyes in the Congregation. Did you ever own that knife? No Sir, I never saw it before." Why did you lose it then. "I never did lose it, for I never possessed it." The boy's answers are an answer to Bro. Woollys question whether little childeren lose anything by dieing in infancy. It is impossable for a person to lose a theing they never possessed. If a person never possessed a farm or a good house in his life time, he could not say he had lost a house or a farm. So it is with childeren who die young. They do not meet with any loss in the next world by an early death in this. They meet with death, if that can be considered a loss. It may be said, "but <we> they do not live long enough to gain that knowlege, and experience and do that good in the flesh, that they <are> <I> could if <I> <we> they lived till <I> they were 50 years of age, is it therefore not a loss, because <i> <we> they have not had an opertunity of gaining it? that they might have had? Could you converse with the child who has died when 5 years of age, and ask him if he has lost anything by his death, he would say "No". But little child, are you not sorry you did not live on the earth longer to gain blessings you have not ob - tained through your early death? "I am not sorry," would be the reply, "be - cause the Lord Jesus Christ has provided that for me which I could have obtained if I had lived on the earth to the full age of man." Why is this? The power of the enemy is so great upon the earth, which is exercised with such determined force upon Mortal man, and upon all corruptable things, he had power to disstroy the body of child, <but> the spirit he could not disstroy, but it returned to God who gave it. The Lord, in order to give every person an opertunity to attain to the fullness of salvation, has made this wise provision for childeren, and so thwarted
the wicked intent of the disstroyer. Little childrern can, after death increase in all the wisdom, power, glory, gifts, and blessings that pertain to the Celestial kingdom. <after death>. Take for example two childeren, and supose one of them dies fifty years before the resurrection, and the other lives to the resurection; when they come together after the resurrection, when they meet in the eternal world, one will have learned as much as the other,though one died at five years old, and the other at fifty five.
Bro. Woolly is <going> for having them all raised <at 33> from the dead in the prime of life, or at 33 years old, the age of the saviour when he was crusi - fied. They will all be alike <fo> in size, and all apear of the same age. Bro. Woolly is a small man in stature, I thought of the comparison there would be if Bro. Hunter should stand by his side, Bro Hunter being a larg corpulant man. The difference would be more pleasing to the eye than if they were exactualy alike. Supose the inhabitants of the eternal world should range from two to fifteen feet what matter of that. <Some of the descendants of Adam where> There used to be jiants on the earth, and some of these decendants <are> still <upon the earth> existe, if they obtain a resurrection will they not come u as they were laid down? Yes, just as the saviour did. Will they be of the same size of the saviour? It is no matter about that, but they will obtain a resurrection of the body they laid down. This heavenly,beautiful, and glorious variety you disscover in the works of God here below, will be seen in the resurrection. You will see the child of three, four, and five years old,
possessing all the intellegence of the Angels of God. Could you not enjoy the society of such interesting beings? It is the intellegence in them that makes them capable of enjoyment and duration. Resurrected bodies will be as diversified as the<y are> bodies of mortal flesh, for variety, beauty, and extention, and to suply that, that will please the eye, the ear, and the other senses of the body throughout all the eternities we may live in. I will not comlain that My body is not <a> larger, <body> or if it had been a few inches taller I would not have complained. The hight of my body, or its extention in width will make no difference to my enjoyments and blessings in the eternal worlds.
I know there is a mystry, and it is couched in the ignorance of the people. It may be asked if a child of premature birth will be resurrected? Now if it be the will of the father that the spirit of that child drop that body, which it could not retain through some accident, weakness, or sickness of mortality which was unavoidable, and suffer it to take another, the <old> <other> first body will be as though it was not. On the other hand, if the father says that body shall be preserved to the spirit, so it will be.
When the spirit takes a body, a veil is droped so that every thing the spirit new previously is forgotten. Natural sleep is a fit illusteration of this. When a person is in a sound sleep, the assasin's knife might be held for hours to his throat, and he be perfectly unconcious of the fact. His house might be wraped in flames, and his childeren consuming, without his having the least idea of what was transpiring arround him. So when the Spirit comes into this earthly tabernacle all is forgot, which it formerly
knew, the same as <the childeren of men> a person forgets the doings of yesterday, when to night he is wraped in deep sleep. But when we wake up in the morning we remember what we had forgoten.
When the spirit leaves the body it returns <home> again to its <fathers house> spiritual home, where it is more familiar, than any child is with its fathers house in this City; and it is filled intellegence light, and glory.
Now it is for the saints to get wisdom and understanding in all these things. And I request my Bren. to be just as honest, frank, and free as Bro. Woolly has been this morning in expressing their veiws; though I might have lived for years, and not have got his sentiments on the docterine of the ressurrection had I not asked him to state them here. I shall ask others to do the same thing.
Were I to take up the subject of the resurrection, I would preach it as far as I could by scripture and reason, but were I only to make a statement of the way I understand that subject, or any other, I would do so without bringing up my array of evedence. When speaking on that subject I generaly apeal more perticularly to Bro. Joseph Smith. He did say absolutely, when preaching funeral sermons, <and> the bodies of the dead which were laying before him would come up in the resurrection. I know this is the truth by the revelations of the Lord Jesus Crist to him. The mortal body is composed of the same elements <that> of which this earth has been made; <into an earth>; and it was orgonised to honor the spirit which came from the father in heaven. If the body honors the spirit, it will by its influence santify the body and prepare it for glory in the Celestial
world. When the two work unitedly together, the body yeilds obedience to the influence of the spirit, which the spirit purifies. In this way the body and the spirit, both forming one being are <perfected> prepared for a glorious resurection, to be perfected in one, in spheres ot endless blessedness.
Is it reasonable then, that I should disire the body, or any part of the body of some other person in the resurrection? No. No man who honors his calling desires it ifhe is resurrected but he will <would> say, "let me have the particles of matter that honored my spirit." This is good reason to me. Can it be done? Yes, The power of God can do anything.
This is all I wish to say conserning Bro. Woollys preaching. Let us have more of it, from others, and suffer me to correct you, when you stray from the correct - ness of truth, with regard to language, docterine, and government.
Let the Elders humble themselves before the Lord Jesus Christ, and live your releigeon; and let alone docterins, and principles you do not understand. It is not for me to trouble myself with what is hid in the womb of the future, but if I live my relegion I shall be prepared to meet whatever shall come to pass.
God bless you in the Name of Jesus. Amen.