1854 April 8 Conference Address


1854 April 8 Conference Address



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George D. Watt

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Tabernacle April 8th 1854 10 A. M.
President Brigham Young Addressed the Confcrence as follows.
I embrace the present opportunity of occupying a short time this morning.
It is supposed by those who profess Christianity who beleive in the Lord Jesus Christ, and in his sayings, that his people or his Bren. must become one. This is accknowleged by all who profess to beleive the New Testament, and follow its precepts.
The mode of becoming one is a question upon which the opinions of the people have varied very much. Christians do not agree upon this point any more than those who do not profess Christianity; they are all at a loss as to how this disired object, this very essential part of christianity, <shall be aff> this union that is so disirable among all classes of people,-- is to be brought about. Though professing Christians are ignorant of this, yet they all agree in declaring they must become one.
This is an item I wish to be disstinctly understood by this congregation. There is but one method for <of> the Saints of God to becom<ing> one; and this method, if persued faithfully, <will produce oneness among> by all classes of people, will produce a corresponding oneness among them also, the principle is eternal and if adered to by any people will produce its ligitimate affect. There is A great variety of feeling touching this matter, and as I have not time to take up this matter item by item, and notice every perticular, I will lay down the system as breifly, and as quickly as possable.
This is a difficult matter for people to understand. Do you know the reason? Supose I should set forth certian principles before this congregation; when they disperse, and retire to their homes; the High Preists, the Elders, and the Sisters will talk over what they have heard from the stand, and you can scarcely find two of them that will agree in <on> the matter. <in which they understood the seaker> Is this variation --this <aparent> difference in their understanding, or in their manner of explaination? The most of it is in their manner of communicating their ideas to each other. If their should be any who did not understand principles that are set forth by the light of the Holy Ghost in the speaker it is because the spirit of the Holy Gospel is not in them to light up their hearts to understand,-- to quicken their minds to readily comprehend the simplicity of the truth presented. In all principles that pertain to life and salvation,-- in all principles of truth, whether they are of this world or the next, for a correct understanding of them, it is necessary that the minds of Men and women should <should> be in in a proper state, or they cannot be quick to comprehend what they hear. Let all men be quick to hear and quick to understand; but slow to speak, and slow to judge. If people generaly would persue this course greater union would prevail than at present exists.
Without introducing a thousand items of argument to prove a simple fact, I want to lay before you this morning in plainness, what is upon my mind relating to this matter. You may commence at the first Presedency of this Church, and pass on thro' the ranks of the Highs Preists, Seventies, and Elders, embraceing all other officers, and members of the <same Church and> kingdom of God, and it is impossable to make them one, in the sense the Christian world anticipates becoming one, in time nor in all eternity. I will tell you the reason. I <we> have to do with this world; We are <I am> in the world, and our <my> bodies are of the earth earthy; all our <my> acts; our <my> whole life, all our <my> doings, and everything that pertains to human beings is of this world; it is the stage upon which we must all play a part, both Christian and Pagan. Everv person therefore has a disposition to gather arround him the things that pertain to this world. Every man gathers for himself, and not for his neighbour. But when <we> people come to the sacrement table, and keel before the Lord and offer up <our> their petition before him, there we apear to be one; but who can give them the knowlege <to know> whether they are one in spirit or not? They think they are wheh they are engaged in the worship of God. Every person may can judge whether they are one in spirit or not if they will look at the diversified faiths, feelings, and principles that exist among that portion of mankind called Christians. Considering these differences that are so prevelant among them it is not hard to see that they are not one in any one respect whatever. The reason is simply this. <Inasmuch as> We are in this world, and mortal like every thing arround us, the Lord has given us a tabernacle, that is composed of these elements,-- that is made of the earth on which we live, and which we use in adminestering to our natural wants, as well as to our artificial wants. He has given man <us> power, and has made him supreme, the king, the governor, controler, and God of the earth Now, if men cannot be one pertainingto natural ideas, pertaining to things which <that> <which> the natural understanding which God has endowed them, with can grasp, how can they be one in those things they do not understand, even the things of God, the things of eternity which can only be understood by the spirit of revelation. If every man and woman were endowed with the spirit of revelation, so as to be in open vision every day of their lives they might become one in spirit before the thrown of God. This is not given to man, but there is a spirit given to man to profit with all; besides diversities of Gifts, and operations of the spirit that is given to every man; and Jesus Christ is the light that lighteth every man that cometh into the world; but is given here a little and there a little etc. To supose that the inhabitants of the earth, or any Christian body of people are going to be in open vision from year to year throughout their life time to make them one in their faith, veiws, feellings understanding, <and> judgement, and one in all that they <do or> know pertaining to eternity in this life, is a misstake, for it never will be given to any people until the vail is taken from the nations of the earth. If you cannot be one in little trifling matters that pertain to this world, how can you be one in those greater matters. You never can be; and you may write it as revelation, that this people nor any other never will see the time that they can be one in the Lord until they are first one in their temporal operations upon the earth to build up the kingdom of God; <on the earth>, and do it perfectly independant of selfish feelings. This is the warfare in which we are engaged, and until we gain the victory, and perfectly subdue that feeling of selfishness in our hearts, and the Kingdom of God become all in all to as we shall have to fight wiith it. <until we al> The Latter day Saints will never be prepared to enter into Zion, or into the Celestial kingdom of our father and God until they attend to the first thing required of them after they have received the remission of sins, enterd into his kingdom, and espoused his cause, which is preparetory to endless lives, namely for them to become of one heart, and of one mind in things that pertain to this life; in things that are before them every day; in buisness transactions, in the avocations of life, and in all things that are naturaly understood. If you have not got the spirit of revelation enough to see the thing with these few remarkes or hints it is plain to you that we are far from being of one heart, and of one mind. You will see how far the Latterday Saints are from being perfect, from enjoying the privileges and blessings the Lord has in store for them. They cannot enjoy the faith of the Antients, and be endowed with the power from <the most> on high they disire, until they are of one heart, and of one mind. I am ashamed to accknowlege it, though it is a fact, we are not of one heart, and of one mind. If we were we could not know it until we commence to learn the first lessons God has set before; we cannot understand the greater things of God until we are of one heart, and of one mind pertaining to the temporal persuits of life; pertaining to the building up of the temporal kingdom of <God> our temporal God, (I was going to say) but I will say, pertaining to the building up of the kingdom of God on earth. I we cannot understand how to count our fingers, how can we count stars? If we cannot understand the things of a natural life, how can we understand the things of a spiritual life? It is impossable. Before the people are prepared to enter into the kingdom of glory they are anticipating, they must learn the first lesson that is callculated to land them there, and prepare them for that station of honor; they must practice upon what I proposed yesterday to the Conference as one of the first lessons to be studied by the Saints. We have tried to bring about the same thing several times since the the first existance of this Church. In its first organisation, and when the first Gathering of the saints took place; when the first revelations were given, the people made an effort to introduce the principle I laid before you yesterday; if I recollect rightly the revelation given upon that matter at that time amounts to the same. If I am misstaken in that,I have told you what the revelation is that is in me conserning it, so that I hope the High Preists and Elders will not be confused and dark in their understanding upon it; if they are, it will prove to me they do not understand the things of God: Or they do not know their Mother tongue which <that> they have spoken from their youth up, nor know one thing from another, an ox from a sheep, or a sheep from a serpent. If you do not understand me I am convinced you know nothing about the things of God. Were I to step into a meeting house and hear you preach the principle under the influence of a wild and extravagant enthusiasm it would be proof positive to me, to Angels, and to God that you are still babes in the knowlege of true principles and need to be taught like babes.