1861 June 10 Remarks at the Funeral of Domenico Ballo


1861 June 10 Remarks at the Funeral of Domenico Ballo



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Robert L. Campbell
John V. Long

extracted text

Great Salt Lake City, Monday, June 10, 1861. 4 p.m.

Prests. Young, Kimball and Wells attended the funeral services of Dominico Bonney Ballo, held in the Music hall 14th Ward. The hall was filled with brethren and Sisters. Bishop Hoagland opened the meeting with singing and prayer.
Prest. Young preached about thirty minutes the following is a synopsis of his discourse:--
"The circumstance which has brought this assembly together occurs frequently. I have had parents children, wife and relatives with whom I have been called to part. Don't know that I have felt pained but a few times by the separation. When Joseph left us it gave me pain, if I had been constituted like many are it would have hurt me. It should not cause sorrow for a saint to leave this world of anguish trials and trouble. It should bring more felicity to the hearts of survivors than the acquisition of mountains of gold. I have not time to fully give the reasons for this, but to Saints who have been instructed and are quick to comprehend I can offer a few items. All the things of this earth with which we are surrounded wives and children houses and lands and all the fine substance which we seem to possess there is but one thing which rightfully belongs to mankind, that I will call his sovereign will, the will to choose the way of life and salvation or the opposite path. Suppose we say we possess wives and children, houses lands or substance, what value are they to us when death finds us. All that belongs to Bro. Ballo which pertains to this earth lays here in the form of a man; it is of the earth, of the elements which we breath, we tread upon, and it will be preserved and brought together again, because in the exercise of his sovereign will he has overcome and chosen the way of life and the body is thereby preserved for a glorious resurrection. If he had possessed Egypt's wealth of what avail could it be to him now? The beggar and the King are alike in death. There lies a fellow creature who had put in his possession the oracles and ordinances that pertain to life and salvation, to prepare him for a glorious resurrection.
(The following part is verbatim, reported by J. V. Long)
His will, his passion and the whole soul of the man has been bent upon doing the will of God and preparing himself to dwell eternally with his father, in the kingdoms that are prepared for them that love God and keep his commandments. Now what shall I say? I say it is one of the most blessed points in the existence of mankind to know that they have fought the good fight of faith, finished their work here and ended their affliction, this world of sorrow, this world of fame, this world of pride and sin and that they have ended their pain and are now where pain cannot reach them, where they will be no more be afflicted with pains either in the ear, the head, the body, the natural ills of humanity are passed over; the ordeals, the scenes, the trials, the privations; they are where they cannot receive any more sorrow, they have gained the victory over that nature which has afflicted them while here. They have gained the ascendancy over that which afflicts the body when it cannot afflict the mind.
The destroyer has no power nor dominion over man in the spirit, but so long as they remain in the body the enemy strives to torment and afflict them, and he goes about in the world to afflict them with death. What particular enemy would that child be that now sits on its mother's lap, to the progress of satan's kingdom? Why, if permitted to live, he will one day become a man and be clothed upon with the power and authority of the holy priesthood, and will wage war against the kingdom and works of the devil; lucipher knows this and therefore he afflicts that child and also all the children of the saints, when he has an opportunity. When the spirits of the saints pass through this world and go into the spirit world, they are placed beyond the power of the enemy, he has henceforth no power over them.
We are frequently in the habit of quoting from the words of the ancients, but we do not always appreciate the words of modern Prophets. Now previous to the introduction of the gospel in this <in this> dispensation all mankind was in a lost condition and had been ever since the priesthood was taken from the earth; not one could say, till Joseph Smith came, this is the only true doctrine, I know that this is the only way that mankind can be saved. This you all know and understand for yourselves.
The greatest anxiety I have is that I may be profitable to this people and do my duty to all the children of men; that I may do them good by teaching them the way of life. Take the most common person that lives upon the earth, without the Spirit of revelation, and although he may live according to the best light and knowledge he possesses, yet he when he dies he has not the power of being free like one who has embraced the fulness of the gospel, for the power to be saved is to have power over all our enemies.
If I am saved I have power over all enemies and their influences. To be saved in the spirit world is to pass through the ordeal of the ordinances of the gospel, of the Son of God, and to pass by the affliction and power of the enemy that afflicts the world.
What becomes of those who have died without the knowledge of this gospel, without the benefits of its ordinances and blessings? They will have the favor of God, for they have the promise of being saved in the day of the Lord Jesus; they have the promise of Saviors coming upon Mount Zion to officiate for them, so that they may be brought forth to possess every thing that any person can possess who has ever lived upon the earth.
I am a little hoars and cannot speak quite as distinctly as I could wish, and if I could speak a little lower and be heard I would be glad. Such occasions as this presents to us principles, an opportunity for the extending of our thoughts, food for our meditations; on these occasions the most precious items of doctrine are brought forth, such as are comforting to the saints. We are here striving to do right, just as thousands and millions have done upon the earth in various ages. I will say for the consolation of each and every individual here. pertaining to ourselves, you and I have friends, fathers and mothers, grand parents and uncles and forefathers -- every one of us have our friends in eternity, and it is for our consolation while here to know that every person who has left this world before the gospel was restored, and who has lived according to the best light and knowledge they have received from the father of lights, will be brought in the resurrection and dwell in a kingdom and glory prepared for them; it will a kingdom and glory as high, beautiful and lively as they
are capacitated to receive and endure. This consolation is for them as much as it is for you and I. We have the privilege of passing through this life in the light of eternal truth; we have also the privilege of officiating in the ordinances of the Lord's House for a friend, a brother, a sister, father, mother, wife, child, husband or acquaintance, if we are faithful in this kingdom. We have the opportunity of gaining power with our experience in this kingdom; we can gain knowledge by experience and faithfulness in this. It is sometimes said that it is better to go to the house of mourning than it is to go to the house of mirth. If there is any joy with me on such occasions it is to witness the lifeless lump of clay like this that I see before me. I might go on and show the purpose of the almighty in all the trials of life, and thereby strive to cheer and comfort the oppressed soul by saying that I rejoice that there is another gone into the spirit world there to assist in the good work, although at many times
I can scarcely keep from weeping on such occasions as the present. But it is <nothing that> proof where a person is joyous or filled with grief when they are present at a funeral and tears flow freely from their eyes; that is nothing but the affection of the nerve of the system whether we laugh or weep, rejoices aloud and sing praises to our God. Whether we are in deep mourning and our countenances are sad and we are clothed in sackcloth and ashes, it is no difference; this happens to a person's nervous system only.
It is a matter of rejoicing when a person passes through this world of affliction in good health, full of joy and the power of God; but while here all are exposed to the ravages of the enemy. The Almighty will not suffer his chosen people to be overcome by the enemy, but I have reason to believe that if the Lord saw the enemy likely to get an advantage over his chosen people and to cause them to swerve from the path of truth and virtue, he would immediately take them from the earth; the Lord Almighty would take them home to himself rather than suffer them to be led astray. But we have no certainty as a people that we shall not be left to doubt our own certainty. I have heard persons say "I shall never doubt this faith", but I never saw a moment in my life that I dare it. I feel to say, all the time, God help me to be faithful. When I have heard men declare that they would never deny the faith I have trembled for them. We have no assurance of this kind from the Lord; we are in the hands of the Almighty; he gives us a day of trial; he has formed within us germs of independence. This is the key, the power, the trust given to us -- the sovereign will! Who knows but the enemy will so far get the control over us as to make us choose the way of death instead of the way of life.
When we see our friends go behind the veil, are they going where we shall never see them again? No; not at all. Suppose I was to go to a beautiful climate to prepare every kind of vegetables, and suppose I was to go to prepare a place, <as I have been lately> preparing mansions, beautiful gardens, orchards and streets to walk in and for our horses to pass through the air like lightening, and then we are all going to it, what do the brethren say? Are you going to see them? You are? They are awaiting you behind the veil --Our parents, our brethren and sisters die, and they go to prepare a place for us where we shall not die, but enjoy life eternally in the heaven. Now bring this home and suppose it to be that br. Brigham had gone behind the veil, you would not want me to go <behind> there for a few days and then come back, would you? No, it would be where is the wagon, the handcart or any suitable means of conveyance, I want to go to my friends, where they have every thing to comfort and cheer the heart, and where they do not part, except they have a mind to. This would be the feeling. They have power to live forever. Would you feel sorrowful? Would your eyes be filled with tears? I think you would weep for joy. Our friends go into the spirit world, where they are free from affliction such as is heaped upon them in this life. Those who have not received the ordinances of the gospel, <that> who have now passed where the saints can command and they the enemies of righteousness must obey, they can then an there learn many important lessons. Those who hold the priesthood may go into the midst of fevers, and if a person should have a bone broken, they can say to the fever depart from this house, and to the lame be thou made whole, and when their faith is pure it will be done.
Why not persons rejoice when their friends go into that world where this power is enjoyed to such a great extent that they can command all evil influences? I do rejoice, and I say the house of death is a house of rejoicing and should be one of the happiest in our experience to know that our friends are safe, that they have gained an experience here and have fought the good fight and gone to wait till the resurrection, then to come again and take the body and dwell with the Father and the Son for ever. This, I say, is a matter of rejoicing.
Now this brother we have known a good while, and as br. Felt says he has been a companion of his, and I do not think there is a single person that can point out an act of his life but what has been good, and according to his religion, but I will not bring up the other side of the picture.-- When we talk of the man, we can say he has not been where he has mingled his voice with those who would destroy you and I. Compare him with them that have shaken hands with our enemies and bid them God's speed.
I do not know that I will dwell longer upon the subject, but will simply remark that no longer ago than yesterday here was br. Ballo with the singers, assisting in the worship of God. He was ready at a moment's notice, and so is every saint that is faithful. They will not gain the same amount of experience in the spirit world as here, but they are safe for the kingdom of God.
To sister Ballo I will say, Mourn not, weep not, you will soon follow; we shall all soon follow and shake hands together, yes enjoy his society, and heart has not conceived, neither can mortal conceive the joy and blessings that God has reserved for those that love him.
May the Lord bless you all: Amen.
The choir sung "Praise God from whom all blessings flow."
Bishop Hoagland then made a few timely and appropriate remarks, and spoke in eulogistic terms of br. Ballo.
President H. C. Kimball pronounced the benediction, and the funeral services were brought to a close.