History of the Word of Wisdom, Jul 24, 1854

-- Jul 24, 1854
[Sermon] Brigham Young: The Word of Wisdom Especially Suited to Infants and Youth - Privations in Missouri - Necessity of Integrity, and Strife for Excellence - Responsibility of Parents, JD 2:16 - 21 (1)

-- Apr 8, 1855
[Sermon] Ezra T. Benson: The Word of Wisdom, JD 2:357 - 359 (1)

[Sermon] George A. Smith: Ordaining Young Men to Office - The Word of Wisdom - Union, JD 2:360 - 368 (1)

-- May 20, 1855
[Sermon] Orson Pratt: Trials of the Saints - Redemption of Zion - Second Coming of Christ - The Word of Wisdom, JD 3:12 - 19 (1)

-- Oct 21, 1855
[Apostle Wilford Woodruff Journal] Sunday Oct 21 Meeting opened by singing & Prayer By T D. Brown at 10 oclock. Brother Lorenzo D Young addressed the People in the forenoon. He spoke upon the subject of setting up the kingdom of God On the Earth in our day & the blessings which God will give us & refered to the coming of Christ in the flesh to the Jews who were looking for a Great king to come to sit upon the throne of David.

Spake of the crusifixion of Christ. His blood was shed & that Nation had to be chastized in consequence of it & they deserved it for they were worthy. We know the Blood of Christ was shed for the redemption of mankind.

He spoke of the Endowments in the temple.

Said the people always were afraid of the truth & always prejudiced against the profits of God but that did not stop the spread of the work of God.

Some say Shall we stay here long? I do not know but I can say that we shall stay as long as we wish to. If all the Nations of the Earth were to Come against us they could not drive us away if we do our duty before the Lord & put our trust in him & do unto all men as we would wish to be done by in all things & if all will do this we shall not have much trouble in the kingdom of God.

Some think that we have not as much faith as we used to have. I cannot believe this. I believe we are advanceing in the kingdom of God.

Some are much tryed because all are not healed that they lay hands upon but I do not feel so. I had a Case during Conference concerning the case of Sister Baris. She was sick & I laid Hands upon her & blessed her with life & helth & went to meeting. In an hour I had word that she was dead. It did not try me. The Lord saw fit to take her & all is right.

There is many duties devolving upon us & one of these duties are to pay our debts. If I owe a man & He comes to me & says you owe me so much & I need it in my family I will pay that man to the full extent of my power. I will divide the last loaf with him. I consider this one of our duties & I will say I never knew a man [to] get rich by taking great Interest neither do I ever expet to.

He requested the Brethren to remember the Twelve & administer in temporal thing while they Administered in spiritual things.

Sunday PM. Elder O. Pratt addressed the Assembly. He arose & said I should have been pleased to have heard from Brother Woodruff & others [if I] had not been Called upon to speak.

I dont know when I have been more Edifyed than in the discourses I have heard at this Conference esspecially the discours of Brother Parley yesterday morning it was so plain & simple I tried to enter into the feelings of the speaker. I tryed to bring myself to this scene & fancied to myself how I would feel in Hearing the message of Glad tidings that a savior was born & also in being associated with him in life then the sorrow of his being taken away & crucified then the great Joy in his resurrection & his teachings while in his Immortal body.

But when I think of the greater things which are to take place in our day I do not regret that I did not live in that day for there are greater things to come forth than were manifest in that day. For that kingdom of God of which all the prophets have spoken since the world began has now come forth as a preparation for the second coming of Christ. Not coming to be born in a manger but He will come From Heaven Clothed with all that great Glory & power of which the prophets have spoken.

Now are we preparing for this great Event? Now if a stranger was to come to us they would not suppose that we were preparing for this great Event but was merely Cultivating the Earth to raise potatoes corn wheat &c. I do not believe for a moment that is the case. For I do believe that this people are preparing for the Coming of Christ.

What will take place at that time? I have red in the book of mormon what that book says will take plase. We can read the great things that are spoken in that Book. (He read some unto the people.)

I will take it to myself. I have not been as diligent in reading that Book as I should have been. I have red many other books of late but not so much in the book of Mormon as formerly. I have seen the time that I could read nearly whole Book in the book of Mormon without looking upon the book. I am trying to get all the sayings in the Books in my own mind that are spoken concerning the signs of the times in the day in which we live for I am well aware that it will overtake many as a thief in the night in the midst of the saints.

Now let us look at the tokens or signs of the times that are passing before us as many as present themselves to our minds. I will read a Revelation given to P P Pratt & others. "Jesus Christ will not come in the form of a woman nor like a man walking upon the face of the Earth. But look forth for the Heaven to be shaken & the mountains to be laid low &c.

When shall thes things be? When the Angel shall sound his trumpet two events will take place at the same time. Also the Lord said the Lamanites Shall Blossom as the rose in the wilderness. Now we know that this will not take place in a moment for we know it will take some time to prepare the Lamanites for this work. It will require a great miracle to bring that people to that State or it will take some great Changes to bring it about. This is but one of the Events that is to take place before the coming of Christ.

I am glad to hear the account of the brethren who have gone among that people. I am satisfied that that people will not be prepared to receive the blessings of God untill they cultivate the Earth & when this [is] done we shall Have accomplished the great work but /not/ untill that time is done. Then sumthing will be done. Then we will be inspired to teach them & ther Children and all men will be blessed who labour faithfully to bring them to this State of things.

Joseph Shall flourish in the wilderness. The Lamanites shall blossom as the rose. We shall hear of Israel and of their prophets & Revelations in other parts of the Earth. I do not say that they will have the priesthood from this people nor I do not say they will not for there are other men who hold the keys of the kingdom of God on the earth. The Revelator & the three Nephits hold the keys of the kingdom of God & they will administer unto the children of men. Zion shall flourish upon the Hills & rejoice excedingly upon the mountains.

When this revelations was given there was no gathering at all. Joseph had got to kirtland. I have no idea that the prophet himself knew at that time whare this would be. We are now here in the mountains in fulfillment of that Prophesy and Revelation.

Also in the 40th Chapter of Isaiah comforting words were spoken Concerning the Jews & Jerrusalem. They were to go to Jerrusalem for they had received double reward for all their sins. Now Comfort them. Did all thes things take place in the wilderness in Zion & in Jerrusalem in the days of the /Birth of the/ Savior? No they did not. Then that same John Had yet to do a great work in the Earth in the last days. Who first delivered the priesthood to Joseph Smith the prophet & founder of the church of Christ in this dispensation? It was this same John the Baptist. So he has fullfilled a part of his last day mission.

O Zion get the up into the High mountains that bringest good tidings. We say that this was not done at its first organization. Why shall Zion get up into the High mountains? Why to Judge the Nations of the Earth. This people will know righteous Judgment. This people will be protected & shall Judge the people of the Earth. It is said God will pour out knowledge & power upon Zion.

These [are] some of the things that will take place before the Coming of Christ. Now that we may know that this is the case see what the Lord says. Behold the Lord will come. He will gather his people & carry them in his arms. We have come up Here in these mountains. Well now have we flourished? Yes we have. We have flourished. Yet not as much as we shall.

The Lord has said that we shall be the ri[ghteous?] of all people yet we are cautioned to beware of pride lest we become like the Nephites of old & some prophets have said that we should be chastized that the church wandered in the wilderness were faint & ready to fall down. This people from the Commencement have passed through oppression & difficulty. We that have not been in the church from an Early day & do not know the History of it can learn it by reading the News published in Salt Lake City and we can Just as well read the future History & events of this church by reading the prophets that have spoken concerning us.

Shall we be in these mountains when Christ Comes? No at least head quarters will not be here. It will have to be on more ground. It will be in Jackson Co Mo. We may leave some Millions here but the Head quarters will be on More ground.

Where shall we go? To the New Jerrusalem whare there will be built a great Capitol & Temple & we have got to build it. We & all our Children who are 8 years old know that when we have tryed to build a City the Lord has suffered it to be thrown down so that we may have experience. So that we shall know how to build up a New Jerrusalem. So that it will be exceptable unto the Lord. So that it will never be thrown down but be saved & taken into Heaven and preserved in Eternity & when that is done Jesus Christ will Come to visit it. Angels will come. That will be before the great day of Christs Coming & our dwellings will be overshadowed with a Cloud by day & a pill[ow?] of fire by night so we can see to get home without Stumbling. It will be the most improved plan of lighting up our City.

How will it be with the Lamanites? They will be the most important actors in the scene. We shall be secondly in that work. They will be so delightful & have such great knowledge of Architecture that they will be able to build up a New Jerrusalem. Then we shall go out throughout all the land to gather all the remnant of Jacob the Lamanits to come to the New Jerrusalem. What For? Why that they may be prepared to be Caught up to meet Christ in the clouds of Heaven.

Then Christ will Come & stand in the midst of this people & they will be prepared to be caught up to meet Jesus Christ in the air.

Then do I want to have lived in the day when Christ was born? No I do not. I would rath[er] live in this age. Now some of us may live in that day to see the seed of Israel gatherd. What Should you expect? We should expect to see Jesus come. But should we see him come without any sign? No. We should see Angels flying through the Heavens crying to all the Earth to prepare for the great day of Judgment is coming.

What next should we see? There will be a sign that all people will see in all the Earth. As Israel made a Calf to worship so will there be five foolish virgins in the midst of all these signs, what shall we hear then? We shall hear another Trumpet sounded saying that the great day of God will Come upon Babylon that her bands are made strong so that No man can loose them. Then shall the curtain of Heaven be unfolded as a scroll so you can see it as you would gaze upon a map. Then you may know the time has come for the Saints of God to be Caught up into Heaven. That will be the great day for the Saints of God, but awful to the wicked. Then the Earth will reel to & fro like a drunken man. It will be the greatest Earthquake there ever has been On Earth.

What next will take place? The graves of the Saints will be opened & they will come forth out of their graves clothed with glory Immortality & Eternal life & Enter into the cloud. Jesus Christ does not Come yet for there is other signs to take place.

The Angels are to sound there Trumpets. O what must be the feelings of the people of all the Earth when they see the Heavens opened and the New Jerrusalem with all its inhabitants & the resurrected Saints all asscend into the Cloud while they are left upon the Earth. There feelings must be awful.

There are many more things I might speak of but time will not permit. There is many of the greatest things to take place in our day that has ever taken place on Earth. Are we prepared? I think not. I mourn over this people to see them so Stupid. I feel that there hearts are more set upon the things of their farms than they are to prepare for the great day of the Lord. I pray the Lord to Bless us & give us his Holy spirit to prepare us for his kingdom & Comeing for Christ sake Amen.

At 7 oclock in the evening the people again assembled & Filled the House and they were addressed by W. Woodruff who said Brethren & Sisters I am truly glad to meet with you in the capacity of a quarterly Conference & visit you as a mission[ary]. I am truly thankful that I have a mission appointed me in connextion with Parley P & Orson Pratt two of the Twelve Apostles. For it is the first time since the organization of this church & Quorum that I have had this privilege of being associated together with these two men on a preaching mission ownly as we have met in a conference from time to time to transact business as a Quorum.

I Called them Apostles. Is it true that they are apostles? It is either [true] or false. If it [is] false then your faith is vain your religion is vain you have not the kingdom of God with you nor the priesthood with the blessings have you? But if they are true Apostles then you have the kingdom of God with you the Priesthood & the keys of the kingdom of God & a presidency who hold the keys of the kingdom of God on the Earth & govern that kingdom for the benefit of the people. Then you are bound to listen to our words & teaching & to the teaching of the presidency of this Church.

When I arived in this place I spent the night at Brother Steels. After I retired to rest I prayed to the Lord to show me what he wished me to teach to the people. The spirit of the Lord said to me teach the people to obtain the Holy spirit that they may receive teaching. Then let the missionaries keep the spirit of the Lord with them & that will Constantly dictate them what to teach.

You have had a flood of light poured out upon you since the commencement of this Conference & we should listen to it. We should pay particular attention to our children & teach them good things & not permit them to spend their time in reading novels & filling their minds with falshood & folly & things wharein there is no profit which will lead them asstray & make them fit subjects for destruction. When this is the case through the parents neglect they will have to answer for that sin. The Bible Book of Mormon & Doctrins & Covenant[s] should be read by our Children instead of French novels & negro songs for whatever seed is sown in the minds of our children the same kind of fruit will be produced. (2)

1 - Journal of Discourses, http://jod.mrm.org
2 - Wilford Woodruff's Journal: 1833-1898 Typescript, Volumes 1-9, Edited by Scott G. Kenney, Signature Books 1993, http://amzn.to/newmormonstudies

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