1862 November 23 Remarks in the Salt Lake Tabernacle

Title

1862 November 23 Remarks in the Salt Lake Tabernacle

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Sermons

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

1862/11/23

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George D. Watt

extracted text

REMARKS
by President Brigham Young G.S.L. City, Tabernacle, Nov 23d 1862.
Reported by G. D. Watt.

The ordenance of the Lord's supper was a requirement made in the days of the incarnation of the <Savior> son of God upon the earth. We observe this as one of the ordenances of the house of God -- as one of the manifestations of the faith of those who in their lives endeavor to keep the commandments of God. We observe this ordenance as a testemony that we disire to live so as to be in the favor of God Jesus Christ, and all holy ones. The Apostle Paul says, "For I have received of the Lord, that which also I dilivered unto you, That the Lord Jesus, the same night in which he was betrayed, took bread: And when he had given thanks, he break it, and said, take, eat: this is my body, which is broken for you: this do in rememberance of me. After the same manner also he took the cup, when he had supped, saying, This cup is the new testament in my blood: this do ye, as oft as ye drink in rememberance of me." These were the last instructions the saviour gave to his diciples previous to his crucifixion. Indeed they were the last words of his life in the mortal body except a few words he spoke when he was being led as a lamb to the slaughter up the hill of calvery. "And there followed him a great company <of> of people, and of women which also bewailed and lamented him. But Jesus turning unto them said, Daughters of Jerusalem, weep not for me, but weep for yourselves; and for your children, etc. And also his words to the theif who was crucified at the same time with him, "And one of the malefactors which were hanged, railed on him, saying, If thou be Christ, save thyself and us. But the other answering, rebuked him, saying, Dost not thou fear God, seeing thou art in the same condemnation? And we indeed justly; for we receive the due reward of our deeds: but this man hath done nothing amiss. And he said unto Jesus, Lord, remember me when thou comest into thy kingdom. And Jesus said unto him, Verily I say unto thee, To-day shalt thou be with me in paradise."
The disign and purpose of the sacrament of the Lord's supper is well understood by the saints, and it is a subject upon which we seldom speak, <and> to strangers it would appear that we attend to this ordenance as a mere idle ceremony. This is not so, I trust we do it in rememberance of the body and blood of the son of God that <was> were broken and shed for us, and for the sins of the whole world. In a revelation given to Joseph Smith Sep 1830. It is said "Listen to the voice of Jesus Christ, your Lord, your God, and your Redeemer, whose word is quick and powerful. For, behold, I say unto you, that it mattereth not what ye shall eat, or what ye shall drink, when ye partake of the sacrament, if it so be that ye do it with an eye single to my glory; remembering unto the Father my body which was laid down for you, and my blood which was shed for the remission of your sins: wherefore a commandment I give unto you that ye shall not purchase wine, neither strong drink of your enemies: wherefore, ye shall partake of none, except it is made new among you; Yea, in this my Fathers kingdom which shall be built upon the earth." "And he took the cup, and gave thanks, and said, Take this and divide it among yourselves. For I say unto you, I will not drink of the fruit of the <vine> vine until the kingdom of God shall come." Jesus and his diciples eat and drank together for the last time until he should come again upon the earth to reign in righteousness. Will Jesus come again? When he spoke of coming again did he mean that he would come in the flesh to suffer, and redeem the earth
again? No. He simply ment that he would come in the capacity of a of <a rig> ruler. He will come as the jewes were looking for him, when he appeared among them as a babe in the manger. He will come as a king as a dictator, as a lawgiver, and to him every knee shall bow and every tongue confess to the glory of God the father that Jesus is the Christ. The professers of Christiandom put off his coming to a distant period in the future. and some say that he has already come spiritually in the hearts of his people, others beleive that he comes at the death of beleivers. The hope of the Latterdaysaints is that he will soon come and show himself in the midst of his people, and satisfy them that all <which> that has been spoken of his second coming by the prophets and Apostles will be litter-
ally fulfilled, and that the words of the Lord which was given to Joseph Smith Junr. conserning him are true and faithfull. If we remain faithful we shall all be made perfectly satisfied of this by ocular demonstration to our joy peace and exaltation in the presence of God forever. Then we will break and eat bread in rememberance of his broken body; We will pour out water, or wine, and drink of it in rememberance of his blood which was shed for us, and this we will do until he comes. <This> Jesus Christ <has done> has offered up himself that every intellegent being may, if they will, receive life everlasting and be prepared through obedience to the ordenances of the gospel <be prepared> to dwell eternally in the presence of God. We should not make of this sacred ordenance a mere unmeaning, empty, formal ceremony, without giveing to it that due amount of thought and reflection it merits. While we attend to this sacrament our reflections should be deep and wide, our repentance thorough, our humility sincere, our forgiveness of those who have sinned against us complete, that we may be forgiven of our Father in heaven, that our prayrs may not be hindered, and our hopes of enjoying the fullness of his glory may not be cut off. I trust that we as latterdaysaints are duly and truly benifited by this ordenance of God's house, and enjoy all it is disigned we should enjoy through this divine institution. I will give you my veiws about partaking of the sacrament of the Lord's supper unworthily. It is <would be> a matter of deep regrett to me to know that there is one person upon the whole earth that has the privilege of partaking of the sacrament is overcome by evil through the power of Satan, so far, as to refuse to participate in the divine institution. It may be said, "We cannot fellowship such and such a persons actions, and we cannot partake with them.
Our custume is or should be wherever the saints meet together in all the world to break bread in rememberance of the Lords body etc. never to object to any person partaking with us. Again we do not invite other orders of religionists to partake with us, neither do we object to their doing it; if <they> any partake with us it must be at their own risk, no matter whether they belong to a <Christian> religious society or not, or make any profession of religion or not, or beleive in the son of God or not, or in the father, or in his revelations to the human family, or in angels or in the Gift of the Holy Ghost. It matters not what men beleive or what they profess, the atonement is for all; it is represented in this bread and water, will you receive it, or cast it from, and count yourselves unworthy of eternal life. Partake of the sacrament or not as you please, we offer you life and salvation.
It is the business of the Elders who go forth into all the world with the message of Salvation, to call upon all the inhabitants of the earth to repent, and offer to them the redemtion made by the son of God for all the human family, to restore them, the earth and all things therein to their former State. Partake of this great salvation if you will, if you refuse it you do it at your own peril, and if you partake unworthily you do it at your own peril. This is the custome of the latterdaysaints. Sacrament meetings are expressly for those who are unworthy, and for members of the Church and kingdom of God, where they make their confessions, and humiliations before God and their brethren. In a revelation given to Joseph Smith March 1831 it is said "Ye are also commanded not to cast any one, who belongeth to the church, out of your sacrament meetings; nevertheless, if any have <transgressed> tresspassed, let him not partake until he makes reconciliation. And again I say unto you, ye shall not cast any out of your sacrament meetings, who are earnestly seeking the kingdom: I speak this concerning those who are not of the church". It should be our constant endeavor to prepare ourselves to partake of this ordenance with clean hands and a consciense void of offence towards God and all men. Then will the Lord <partake> accept of our sacraments on these conditions. But if we harber sin in our bosomes. and cherish unrighteousness in our affections. the Lord will not accept of our sacraments, and we shall be found unworthy to receive his blessings.
lf five saints should meet together to partake of the sacrament, and a mixed multitude of all sects and parties, and infidels, and deists should also be present, and they were all disposed to partake of the bread and wine with the five saints, should the persons administering refuse to do their duty in offering to them salvation through the blood of the Lamb? No. This is an individual matter, and though the worst of earth, <are> and the most malignant devils out of hell are present to throwg dirision upon the holy institutions of heaven, if I am properly prepared to receive these holy emblems I shall receive the promiced blessing. If a brother or a sister renders themselves unworthy of our confidence, we know they committ sin, yet they meet with the saints to partake of the sacrament, shall we refuse to do our duty in consequence of that persons sins? Shall we stand still in the path and refuse to travel on because some person will not travel with us? Because we see a person partaking of the sacrament whome
we know to be unworthy, shall we who are worthy deprive ourselves of the blessings flowing throug that ordenance on their account? If they eat and drink damnation to their own souls whose business is it but their own? What? would you eat and drink with the swarer, and with the drunkard. I do it every sabath day. I eat and drink in this ordenance with the swindler, and with the liar etc. etc. We have mixed up with us every variety of sinful persons, if we have not they will soon be here. We have the best men and women here there is in the world, and we have the worst, yea I will insure it that worse cannot be found this side the gates of hell. If they are not here I trust they soon will be for we must have them if this is the kingdom of God. Take this as my brethren and sisters as counsel, as good advice, and as truthful sayings. It is no difference who has wronged you, no matter who has sinned against you, or how much people have sinned against their God, their religion and themselves, if you eat and drink of the sacrament of the Lord's supper as a pure and holy child of God should, you will receive the blessing looking for the period when Jesus will come from the heavens again as the angels declared to the diciples who stood gazing up into heaven after a cloud had received the saviour out of their sight. "And <as> while they looked steadfastly toward heaven as he went up, behold, two men stood by them in white apparel, which also said, Ye men of Galilee, why stand ye gazing up into heaven? this same Jesus which is taken up from you into heaven, shall also come in like manner as ye have seen him go into heaven." I am a witness to the truth of this saying. He will come and eat and drink with his diciples upon this earth, but when that happens I do not think it will be controled quite as much <and> nor quite as far by the power of Satan as it is now. While our beloved br. was praying this morning for the light and glory of God to go forth upon all the face of the earth the spirit said its is here. While br. Taylor was preaching upon the same ideas, disireing that the Lord would streatche out his mighy Arm, and speedily overthrow the kingdom of Satan, the spirit said it is already streatched out; it is here made bear, light is here, the spirit and power of the Holy Gospel <Ghost> is here, the kingdom of heaven is here; angels are here, power and glory are here, and the kingdom is advancing. I frequently exhort the people to faith. Why do I do so? Allow me here to say that there is too much slothfulness in the midst of this people in attending to the things of God. They neglect their duty, in not secureing for themselves those comforts and blessings which is for them to enjoy. They neglect that which would fill them <them> with the light of life, and the power of God. Do you expect to enjoy bliss, happiness, and glory, and be made perfectly happy in the enjoyment of the things of this world? If you expect this, you will be disapointed. The riches of this world alone, will not produce happiness and peace in the heart of the true beleiver -- in the heart of one who wishes to become a son or a daughter of the Almighty, and be prepared to enter into the presence of God. The<ir> prayr to the father of nearly all is, "mould and fashion me as you will, do with me as you please, fashion me to please yourself" etc. etc. and they streightway think no more of their prayr, and <they> have no idea of that which will make them truly happy; but they persue an object here, and there, <an and they> thinking when they have obtained this amount of wealth <and> and that amount of property, this or that object, they will obtain a fullness of real joy and happiness. To obtain this fancied happiness they go to the gold mines, or go at raising stock, making farmes, trading etc. all the time forgeting their prayr that God would mould and fashion them to suit himself.
In this way the very object they are persueing eludes their grasp, supposing to themselves that it may be found here and there <in the very places> where it is not to be found. They <Elders of Isreal> persue their dayly labor, for what? For a few more cattle, for a larger farm, for a few more goods, a larger store, a little more gold, a larger house, and more of this, and more of that, while it seldom enters into their hearts that their labors should always point in one dirrection, that their accumalations should always be for one purpose, (viz) to build up, establish, extend, enrich, and make powerful in an earthly point of veiw, the kingdom of our God. I exhot the people to stop and reflect, cease to lift a hand or a foot, cease to make one movement towards getting rich, until the Lord Almighty by the power of his spirit is in us, and will dwell with us: If we take this course we shall be happy every day. it is the sure way to become rich in this worlds goods, rich in faith and heirs of the kingdom of heaven. Out of Christ there tribulation without a refuge, sorrow without a comforter. In the abscense of the light of Christ, and the power of the Holy Ghost this world produces little else but sorrow and trouble. The wicked appear to be happy, <it may be said>, David, the psalmist said, "I have seen the wicked in great power, and spreading himself like a green bay tree. Yet he passed away, and lo, he was not: yea, I sought him, but he could not be found. Mark the perfect man, and behold the upright: for the end of that man is peace."
Since I have resided in these mountians I have had numerous oppertunities to speculate, and make money; but if I have ever done anything in making a trade or performing any peice of business with any individual outside of this kingdom I have never failed to reap sorrow and vexation. Not long since a br. said to me, why not do so and so there is money, property, goods, wealth in it. I remember the reply I made, said I. "If you had the vision of the Spirit to know how the Lord Almighty looks upon the earth and its wealth you will then know how you look upon it. I would not turn aside one millionth part of the breadth of a hair from one of the smallest privileges I enjoy in the kingdom of God, or part with so much of the interest I have in it, for all the gold and silver there is on the earth, in, or under the earth, and for all the goods and chattles, and every thing that pertains to this world. I would rather have the peace of God in my heart than have all the world besides. No I would not do it for all <the> creation. Few can understand this.
Out of all who have embraced the Gospel how many love it, and the truth it inculcates more than all things else upon the face of this earth? How many have endured the faith up to this time, and walked up to the full enjoyment of their blessings, <and> have suffered the spoiling of their goods with joy, and have come up to the help of the Lord against the mighty. Not one fourth of the number who have been baptized into this Church have kept the faith, and more will yet apostatize. Nothing short of enjoying the light of Christ will give unto us a love of the Gospel. Uninspired by the light of Christ the duties of a Saint are hardeous, a severe toil, and unthankful labor. That person who has enjoyed the light of Christ from day to day, and from one year to another while they have been in this Church have not seen sorrow. They have not been weighed down in spirit, or have found cause to mourn at any time unless it<s> has been for the sins of their fellow creatures, or at the folly of some of their brethren. They may have lost a child, a freind, a companion, a brother or a sister, but their hearts have been constantly comforted by the Holy Ghost the comforter that Jesus said should come, and they can under every circumstanse say all is well, I am safe, I am happy. That young <man or woman> persons who have left the paternal hearth for the gospel's sake, if they have faithfuly lived their religion, they have never seen a moment of regrett, or an hours sorrow since they embraced the<y> religion of the Lord Jesus Christ. They enjoy constantly the love of God, and they walk in a pleasent path, although they are destitute of near and dear kinsmen, but here their freinds dwell, here they have found fathers, and mothers, and
kinsmen in the kingdom of God. The saints are my kinsmen and relations, I claim in relationship in the least with any other. I know not what trials I may have to meet, I know not how weak I am if left entirely to myself, or how destitute of light and intellegence I may be, but my feelings have always been since I became a member of this Church that if my own kindred should refuse to receive the Gospel they would henceforth be no more to me than mere strangers. When I went out to preach the gospel I went out to make freinds; and I could do it under the power and influence of the spirit off my mission. Go forth then ye Elders and gather up your fathers and your mothers, and receive the fulfilment of the promice Jesus has made. "And every one that hath forsaken houses, or brethren, or sisters, or father, or mother, or wife, or children, or lands, for my name's sake, shall receive an hundred-fold, and shall inherit everlasting life." The world is full of Good folks. Our spirits were own brothers and Sisters in the heavens before they came here. If Adam and Eve are our first parents we are certianly their children, there has been no mixture of blood in the race from the days of Adam until now; we are all natural brothers and Sisters. All nations of men have sprung from the one stock. The Chinees have records that claim to be older than the bible, but we have not learned the validity of their records. The Apostle understood it when he said, "And hath made of one blood all nations of men for to dwell on all the <earth> face of the earth, and hath determined the times before appointed, and the bounds of their habitations." The<re are> different nations of coulered people have all sprung from the same stock, but through disobedience a curse has come upon that portion of Adam's race; climate and location may have some effect in darkning the skins of some dark skinned nations. The gospel of Jesus Christ is for all, but the power of Satan is such that he will lure and draw away sertain ones, and have power over them so that they will rebell against the commandments and ordenances of God, and take the way that leads to death. Let us live so that we know our peace is made with God, no matter what comes or what goes, let us live so that we may have freinds in heaven, there our kindered spirits dwell. Let us prepare to leave those who will take the way to death. They will meet their doom, and the particals of Mother earth that compose their bodies will moulder away, and many of them will never come together again; they will return to their native element, and their spirits will be swallowed up in the second death. Let the saints take a course to secure to themselves eternal happiness here, and not wait until death. Instead of preparing to die let us prepare to live forever, with our lives hid with Christ in God. Let us accknowledge his hand in all things, humbling ourselves continually before him, that we may no more walk in darkness, and our joy will be full. Then shall we submitt willingly to all the providences of God, and secure to ourselves the asurance of receiving our bodies again in the first resurrection, when they shall be called forth partical to partical, bone to bone, and the sinues and flesh to cover them, perfect bodies to enjoy the glory of God. Forsake that which tends to evil, and seek with all diligence patience and long suffering that which pertains to life and salvation which elevates the heart above <every> sorrow, and gives strength and fortitude in trial and affliction. Try to remember these things and treasure them up in good and honest hearts. Should it not be our cheif study to secure to ourselves an eternal existance, to dwell with God and holy ones. When we lay these bodies down down to rest in the grave, it is for their refinement and purification, let us live so that we may be prepared to inherit them again, in their resurrected and purified state. Which may the Lord grant. Amen.