"Times for All Things - Prayer - Chastisement - Unity - Faithfulness - Reverence for Sacred Things - Reformation" (July 13, 1855)

Title

"Times for All Things - Prayer - Chastisement - Unity - Faithfulness - Reverence for Sacred Things - Reformation" (July 13, 1855)

Description

Journal of Discourses, 26 vols. (Liverpool: F.D. Richards, et al., 1855-86) 3:51-54.
Discourses by Presidents B. Young, H. C. Kimball, and J. M. Grant, and Elder E. T. Benson, Delivered July 13, 1855, at a Conference held at Provo City, Utah Territory.
Reported by G. D. Watt.

Type

Sermons

Date (allowed formats: yyyy, yyyy/mm, yyyy/mm/dd)

1855/07/13

extracted text

PRESIDENT B. YOUNG -- As the people have now begun to assemble, I take the liberty of making a few remarks. I request those who profess to be Saints to exercise faith, and to endeavor to realize that the worship of God is sacred, and beneficial to His people. It is true that we have much to do of a temporal nature, as it is termed; many duties pertaining to daily business and the affairs of this life devolve upon us.
This is necessarily the case, for if we are to build up the kingdom of God, or establish Zion upon the earth, we have to labor with our hands, plan with our minds, and devise ways and means to accomplish that object.
There is a time for all these duties, and there is also a time to serve the Lord by praying, preaching, singing, meditating, watching, and fasting. Inasmuch as there is a time for all things, and as this is the time that we have unitedly set apart for the express purpose of worshipping the Lord, and of enjoying His Holy Spirit by calling in our reflections pertaining to earthly things and objects, that we may attend more immediately to a deep reflection and contemplation of heavenly things, it is necessary for these my [52] brethren, who have accompanied me, to this place, to bring their thoughts to bear upon the things that are present, and while we are here, to let Great Salt Lake City remain where it is -- don't bring it here.
Those who have left their families at home, and are away from their houses, cattle, fields, flocks, herds, and other possessions, and also all who have assembled from the different settlements in this county, one and all, let all your affairs, those that you were obliged to leave at home, stay where they are, and you stay here and worship the Lord.
In this way every person who has assembled here can feel to leave their affairs and effects where they belong, and bring their minds to bear upon the spiritual things of the kingdom of God. Then they can have their minds enlightened by the Holy Spirit, and understand that which will make them rejoice.
If those are our feelings and determinations, the candle of the Lord will be lighted within our hearts, but if we keep our minds constantly upon our families and effects, we shall be but little benefited by coming here; this is true in regard to each one of us.
Where our hearts are, there our thoughts will be: and if our thoughts are bound up in our earthly possessions, we had better remain at home and attend to what we have most set our affections upon, and not pretend to try to obtain happiness from any other source.
There is a time for all things, and this is the time for meeting according to appointment. I am frequently requested to come out and hold meetings among the brethren, but I do not recollect that we have at any time appointed a three days' meeting here, though we have previously been here and held one during two days. Much instruction has to be given to enable us to overcome our passions, and to govern and control our feelings and disposition.
Those Elders of Israel who have traveled and preached much have had a good opportunity for experience, and have learned that they cannot, figuratively speaking, take their families, friends, and goods with them, or if they did, they accomplished but little good.
Those who go out to preach the Gospel and at the same time say, "My poor wife and my poor children; and I shall be glad when my mission is out," seldom do much good.
I think that the helpmate was designed to take care of the children, house, and gardens, and see, as far as possible, that all is cared for and preserved, as they anciently did. Some went out to war, but they must always leave a few at home to stay with the goods, or whatever they had to be taken care of.
Elders who have had an experience in this matter know whether they carried their families in their feelings, or not; but it is our privilege to train our feelings and dispositions, and to bring all into subjection to the dictates of wisdom, even that wisdom which proceedeth from our God.
When an Elder goes out to preach he ought not to let his mind be filled with care for his family, only when he is praying about them; and if they have lived by faith, all right; and if they have died during his absence, all right; they are the Lord's; and say, "that He gave them to me, it is all right; at the same time I would like to have them, but blessed be the name of the Lord."
An Elder has possessions great or small, much or little, and instead of carrying those possessions in his feelings he ought to leave them, and say that they are the Lord's, and say, "I give my spirit and body and what is committed into my hands, I am only [53] a steward over it; I yield its care to Him, since He sends me from my home so that I cannot directly look after it." That man can go as free as the air, and will feel that he has in his possession the Spirit of the Lord, which should be considered of paramount importance.
When people assemble to worship they should leave their worldly cares where they belong, then their minds are in a proper condition to worship the Lord, to call upon Him in the name of Jesus, and to get His Holy Spirit, that they may hear and understand things as they are in eternity, and know how to comprehend the providences of our God. This is the time for their minds to be open, to behold the invisible things of God, that He reveals by His Spirit.
Again, suppose a family wish to assemble for prayer, what would be orderly and proper? For the head of the family to call together his wife, or wives, and children, except the children who are too small to be kept quiet, and when he prays aloud, all present, who are old enough to understand, should mentally repeat the words as they fall from his lips; and why so? That all may be one.
If the people will ask in faith, they will receive, and let all mentally ask precisely as does the one who is spokesman. Let all leave the cares of their work behind them; let the kitchens take care of themselves, and let the barns, the flocks and herds take care of themselves, and if they are destroyed while you are praying, be able to freely say, "Go, they are the Lord's; He gave them to me, and I will worship Him; I will assemble my family and call upon the name of my God."
By leaving business and the cares thereof where they belong, and attending strictly to worship in its season, if not at first, you soon will be united, and be able to bring every evil principle into subjection. If all are bound up in this manner, don't you see that it will make a mighty cord of faith?
I will now ask this congregation, how many of you thought of mentally repeating my prayer as the words came to your ears? Did you realize that the order of prayer required you to mentally follow the words of the person who was praying? With us every one should mentally repeat the same words and ask for the same things as does the one who leads vocally, and let all say, amen. There are times and places when all should vocally repeat the words spoken, but in our prayer meetings and in our family circles let every heart be united with the one who takes the lead by being mouth before the Lord, and let every person mentally repeat the prayers, and all unite in whatever is asked for, and the Lord will not withhold, but will give to such persons the things which they ask for and rightly need.
In some denominations the hearers are accustomed to cry out, "Amen, amen, amen, hallelujah, praise the Lord," &c., during the prayer service, and immediately let their minds wander to the ends of the earth. That is not the right way to pray, but let everyone throw off care for their effects, for the Lord knows all about them; He protects them while we are with them; and He is equally able to protect them while we are absent; therefore, while engaged in worshipping Him, let every heart be concentrated upon the subject before them. If this congregation will take this course, I promise them that they will go to their dwellings satisfied that the Almighty has been with us to strengthen us; but if our minds are like the fool's eyes, we shall be profited but little.
There are several here who will ad- [54] dress you, and suppose that they should chastise us a little, do we not deserve it? Still, perhaps some will complain of the speaker for chastising them, when perhaps the first sentences which meet their eyes upon opening the Bible, will convey the idea that every son and daughter whom the Lord loveth, He chasteneth, but those who are not chastened are bastards and not sons.
Says one, "I am willing to be chastened, but I am not willing to have that brother who has just come from England, or some other country, chasten me, but if someone high in authority should do it, I would kiss the rod and reverence the hand that gave it;" but the man who will only receive chastening from the Lord Himself is not in a proper state of mind before Him.
The Latter-day Saints have been chastened much and often. Many in this congregation have had their corn and wheat stacks burned in consequence of their religion, and have often been called to part with their fathers and mothers, their wives and children, in consequence of their religion. They have been chastened here and there, and perhaps some may think we are being chastened now by the drought and insects. I am willing to take it as a chastisement, and to learn that wisdom and knowledge which I had not before it happened; and if every man could realize and understand it, they would receive it as a prize and as a lesson that would qualify them for future duties. Though our chastisements are often hard to be borne, those who bear them patiently, willingly, and submissively, will find that they yield the Gospel fruits of righteousness insomuch that they will know how to be Saints indeed.
Chastisement often comes upon the Saints of God on account of the wicked, and that also will redound to the benefit of the humble and faithful. If we receive chastisement for our sins, it will teach us to forsake our sins, and become righteous, for we receive chastisement because there is wickedness among us, and it is permitted to come to prevent our turning from the path of duty, and is always designed for our good. In all these things we have to acknowledge the hand of the Lord, and to be passive in His hands, that we may receive the things of His kingdom, that we may govern and control natural things, and all those with whom we have to do, that those we preside over may become eternal heirs of the celestial kingdom of our God.
It seems to be hard work for me to speak here this morning, and I will give way and let the brethren occupy the remaining time this forenoon. The ideas that I have laid before you, if you think of them and lay them to heart, will do you good; and in our protracted meeting we may be spiritually benefited, and receive joy and satisfaction. I feel to bless you all the time, and pray that we may be prepared to build up Zion and to inherit the fulness of the glory of God on the earth; this is my prayer continually. May the Lord bless you. Amen.