SUNDAY, DEC. 22, 1907
Regular Sunday meeting commenced at 2:15 P.M. Bishop Hart and Coun. Clark present; Bishop Hart conducting.
Choir sang hymn, “Earth with her ten thousand flowers” &c.; Opening prayer by Coun. Clark. Choir sang hymn, “Come O thou King of Kings” &c. Sacrament was administered by Elders I.W. Merrill and William Gray.
Elders Rowan and Jeffs, of Iona, were present as home missionaries, and occupied the time. Elder Rowan said it had been over 5 years since he has been here, sees some familiar faces here. Have great sympathy for people of this ward; do not know where ever treated better than here while traveling in ward as missionary.
Desire interest in prayers and faith, that may say something beneficial. We find if we go back as far as we can in history, find always needed assistance of spirit of God to teach them. Can go back to Adam, after his transgression Lord required him to offer sacrifice to God. God sent Noah to teach people; Noah teacher of righteousness; aught for 120 years trying to get people to follow path of truth and righteousness.
Others followed Noah; God always has righteous men to teach people. We come for school; if we do not take advantage of these opportunities, will never get to highest goal. If child never takes advantage of school, never gets to higher school; devolves on us whether we get this knowledge; cannot go in by wishing, but by work. If we expect to enter into higher position, prepare for it; must qualify for position to be reached. Is by strict obedience to law that we prepare for that position. Often think how indifferent we are to those things important to us; are passing those things aside most important to us. Brought to my mind while in the world, while talking to people in world: they believe things taught by us as true, but did not have courage to follow in way Christ marked out. Takes great deal of courage to leave associates a person has always known. Saviour says must leave father and mother for my sake. “If persecute you, they persecuted the prophets which were before you.”
Prophet Joseph always persecuted; been so through all time, will be so till the end. Persecute those whom God raised up as teachers of righteousness. Jesus said, “let your light so shine, be light to all people.” Have same kind of organization as taught by Jesus; same doctrine taught. We are to let our light shine, be light to people, if do not are recreant to those things entrusted to our care that others may follow our example and get exaltation in father’s kingdom. Many seeking too much for passing pleasures of the day; cannot see far enough ahead, are not laying up treasures in heaven, as Jesus spoke of; earthly treasures all vanish, treasures we lay up in heaven are everlasting. Gospel of church, if lived, will bring greater joy than anything that can come on earth. why not live and enjoy those things on earth and eternally in heaven. Saviour said, “a new commandment I give unto you, as you love yourself, also love one another. Can we understand what this means, to love enough to lay down life for one another? If not, want to come to this. The way to cultivate this is to cultivate the spirit of God; is a gift of God. to get that spirit, must live worthily, must live pure lives, have spirit of God in hearts continually. When we can love neighbor as Christ loved children of men; he came to redeem all mankind; when this condition exists, what a happy condition will exist! When that condition comes, we will be near condition to redeem Zion. Find the Lord telling people years ago, before saints left the east, but people would not live the law necessary to redeem Zion. Saviour prayed for disciples to become one as he and the father were one. Must have sufficient knowledge of gospel to stand alone and not depend on other people. When we have knowledge of gospel, makes no difference what others do, we will stand alone.
Is necessary to cultivate that spirit of love, must be spirit of Lord to give this spirit. Pray God to give us this spirit: Amen.
Elder Jeffs followed: – Can truly say pleased in one way, to be here with you today. Is pleasure to do duty, to serve Heavenly Father in spirit and truth. Thankful Heavenly Father placed me in position to see error of my way. had quite a trial to get me in condition, to get me in position to serve him; is having quite a trial with all people. Parents can realize how God has same anxiety as we have for our children: we desire to see our children grow up in righteousness. Nothing makes parents more happy than to see children grow up in righteousness. Can see in my past life where I caused parents pain. If God will tell me what to do, will do it.
Is three years ago called to Australia on a mission; while there had hard time to shake off tricks boys have. Wrote letters home, telling mother trials I was having; no place just right for me to work in, could not find job that I could do; told mother must find job to fit me, for the job I had would kill me. Mother wrote me that gospel is worth living for and dying for. If all Latter-day Saints had this spirit, when we go into world, that is kind of faith Latter-day Saints need. That kind of faith prophet Joseph Smith had. Often think of saying of prophet; were tired of being driven about, was drilling men of Nauvoo Legion, said, “Boys, God bless you, I love you.” wonder if prophet endowed with spirit of God on that occasion, feel sure he was; would be great if we could walk up to brother or sister and say, “God bless you, I love you”; be better condition than we now have. I went into mission field without testimony of gospel, believed in it, but did not have stamina to come out and say I know it is true. Could not humble myself and go to God and ask him to help me; never in life did I suffer more than when trying to labor without spirit of God. We do not know what happiness is, if not serving God with his spirit. Satan is telling me, “have a good time,” when I was serving wrong master; had to seek God for wisdom to perform work called me to do. We find Apostle Paul, how he obtained a testimony of gospel, also others who have received testimonies. Believe if we can tell our experiences in obtaining knowledge, is good for brethren and sisters. I said I could not find a place where I could fit, worked along, knew I must get spirit of God or go home. Was traveling with companion, well educated; as we were tracting through the country, in town where elders had been driven out, man asked about plural marriage. Said he believed if any truth in world, Latter-day Saints have it; when manifesto was issued, lay down one principle; what would you do if they say lay down some other principle. Elder with me could not think of anything to say. I came along and he asked me what if law of paying tithing was stopped; I said the law never stopped polygamy, we had means to get word of God, Lord said law had been practised long enough and to stop it. Man said, show me law of God given, and then taken away. I said, do you offer sacrifice now, he said, no; I said 100 other laws had been given and taken away, but men are blind and cannot see it. Man said to other elder, you are educated, your companion is not, he makes me believe things; you cannot make me believe anything. companion felt bad, says, what good is education? I said no good without spirit of God. Grand education is no good if we do not have spirit of God. Get this spirit and we can then find place where we fit to work. Find young man saying, Cannot work, am not religious. this means a whole lot; religion embraces virtues, truth &c; if young men say not religious, might as well say are not truthful or virtuous. We want to be honest, love brothers and sisters. If asked to do wrong, something like wireless telephone says “do it.” We must drop receiver when temptation comes. I thank God for strength to drop the receiver. Can drop companions if necessary, if not in tune with me, same as two instruments in room in perfect tune.
Have seen men speaking, they say something that goes through us, thrills us, if we were not in tune would not respond when key is struck.
Had companions before I left, had to see them every day; is different today, between us, they do not treat me same as before I left; I have companions today filled with spirit of God. Want to fill position God requires me to do; if God gives me strength, will try to do my duty; has become pleasure to serve Heavenly Father; nearer we get to him, better time we have. Know I am better man by keeping commandment of God, am better to family and better citizen than three years ago. work of Lord brings us happiness. Pray God to help us realise our covenants with him. Know it is pleasure, when laboring in place to meet with people again; would give all I have if could be in Australia today. Do not have charity for world we ought to for outside world; they are not our enemies; we think they are, but I found men in world who loved me for the principles I taught; find the world does not hate us as we sometimes think they do. Find a great many elders who claim to be persecuted; great many of them bring on their own persecution. They jump on a man brought up in certain principles, tell him he is all wrong and they are all right; this ruffles people. Many out preaching gospel who can preach it by actions; found out that a good way is to make friends first.
Speaker here told of visiting house and giving the woman a tract, when the husband came along, asked who he was, what he wanted; when told, took him out and showed him way to gate. As going out elder remarked on a certain tree; man said it was not a common tree, had other in back yard, come and see it. Went back, talked quite a while, visited man again, talked timber, kept on visiting for four months; became very friendly, finally man asked why he did not talk religion; elder said when I did, you kicked me out, I do it no more. Man had been reading tracts and asked to have gospel explained. Talked till late hour, finally baptized him. Had to win his friendship first.
If we go to neighbor to do some good, can do more good than trading horses; better go to him to save his soul. god placed us here and has given us way to win hearts of men. Ask God to bless us to find that way.
Bishop Hart spoke few moments; said was refreshing and invigorating to have returned elders come and teach gospel to .latter-day Saints; wish more would come.
Choir sang hymn, “Arise O Glorious Zion,” &*c.
Benediction by Elder William Merrill.