Biography and family record of Lorenzo Snow/Chapter XXVI
|←Chapter XXV||Biography and family record of Lorenzo Snow:||Chapter XXVII→|
Address to the Saints. Responsibility of those holding the Priesthood. Eternal prospects. The best policy in governing. Priesthood to be honored. By benefiting others we benefit ourselves. Must pass through suffering. Must be pure and humble. Need patience. Esti- mation of F. D. Richards. His wise policy. Progress of the mission. Expression of gratitude. The Edilor speaks. Lorenzo's courage and faithfulness.
HE following is an address of my brother, to the Saints in Great Britain, as he was about to leave England to return to his mission:
A short sojourn in this land has served to bind more closely those feelings of interest which must ever be called into action during an intimate acquaintance with the Saints. As the period now approaches when, for other climes, I must bid adieu to the kindly smiling faces and warm hearts of the
192 BIOGRAPHY AND
brethren in the British Isles, I can but express my deep and heartfelt wishes for the prosperity and continued progress of the work in this country, and the well-being and happiness of all those who have the privilege of co-operating in the great and glorious cause of spreading light and intelligence amongst the children of men.
To my brethren in the Priesthood I beg to offer a few words of counsel, instruction and exhortation. Upon you rest high and sacred responsibilities, which relate not only to the salvation of this generation, but of many past generations, and many to come. The glorious ensign of EmanuePs King- dom, once again established in the world, must be unfurled in every nation, kingdom, and empire: the voice of warning the voice of the Bridegroom, Prepare ye, prepare ye the way of the Lord," must be carried forth unto all people. You are
the ones whom the Lord has chosen for this purpose, even the horn of Joseph, to "push the people together." Surely you cannot be too anxiously, nor too industriously engaged, seek- ing the best, the manner most useful to yourselves and mankind, to magnify your holy and sacred offices.
It is the Priesthood that will give you character, renown, wisdom, power, and authority, and build you up here below among the children of men; and above, exalt you to peace and happiness, to thrones and dominions, even through countless eternities. This world, in its kingdoms and empires, possesses, in some small degree, glory and greatness, faintly shadowing forth what exists in regions above: but here, with these, are associated little happiness and little durability.
The world we seek offers to its inhabitants unfading glory, immortal renown, and dominions of continued increase, where families grow into nations, nations into generations, generations into worlds, worlds into universes: this is the path of the Priesthood the path of the Holy Ones. Well did the Apostle say, "Eye hath not seen, nor car heard, neither hath it entered into the heart of man to conceive the things
that God hath prepared for them that love Him, but God hath revealed them unto us by His Spirit, for the Spirit searcheth all things, yea, even the deep things of God."
Authoritative rule is not the proper code by which to govern Saints, but rather seek to rule in the spirit of humility, wisdom and goodness, teaching not so much by theory as by practice. Though one teach with the eloquence of an angel, one's good acts and good examples, constantly manifesting whole-heartedness for the interests of the people, teach much more effectively, if not more eloquently. Very few indeed have enough moral courage to be strictly honest, faithful, virtuous and honorable in all positions those few will hold the Priesthood and receive its fulness, but no others.
Purity, virtue, fidelity, and godliness must be sought ambitiously, or the crown cannot be worn. Those principles must be incorporated with ourselves woven into our consti- tutions becoming a part of us, making us a centre, a foun- tain of truth, of equity, justice, and mercy, of all that is good and great: that from us may proceed the light, the life, the power, and the law to direct, to govern and assist to save a wandering world acting as the sons of God, for and in behalf of our Father in heaven. We expect, in the resurrec- tion, to exercise the powers of our Priesthood we can exercise them only in proportion as we secure its righteous- ness and perfection. These qualifications can be had only as they are sought and obtained ; so that in the morning of the resurrection we will possess those acquisitions only which we secure in this world! Godliness cannot be conferred, but must be acquired a fact of which the religious world seem strangely and lamentably unconscious.
Seek to benefit others, and others will seek to benefit you he that would be great, let him be good, studying the interests of the whole becoming the servant of all, whereby he will secure to himself much of the wisdom and power of God, and the love, esteem and veneration of His people.
194 BIOGRAPHY AND
The Elders must become persons of the highest responsi- bility. The happiness of people, nations, and of generations, will depend upon the right and faithful exercise of the powers of their offices. If, in a lower sphere of action, they fail to be trustworthy, who will depend upon them in the higher? In view of the vast responsibilities to be placed upon men in this high calling, they are in a measure left to themselves, to act upon their agencies. If they pass onward to the close of this probation, without being overthrown by evil powers, keeping their spirits pure, and, through the power of the Holy Ghost, educate themselves in those qualifi- cations essential to such exaltations, in due time God will elevate them to those positions.
In all your acts and conduct, ever have the consciousness that you are now preparing and making yourselves a life to be continued through eternities. Act upon no principle that you would be ashamed or unwilling to act upon in heaven employ no means in the attainment of an object that an enlightened conscience disapproves. When feelings and passions excite you to action, let principles pure, honorable and virtuous govern you. We are the children of God, begotten in His likeness; therefore, brethren, "Let the same mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus, who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God." The children of God were introduced into this world, "not willingly subject to vanity," pains and sorrows, but to do the will of the Father, and obtain a glory, a heavenly inherit- ance, to become one with God. "And he that hath this hope in him, purifieth himself even as God is pure."
We are here that we may be educated in a school of suf- fering and trials, which school was necessary for Jesus, our elder Brother, who, the Scriptures tell us, "was made perfect through suffering." It is necessary that we suffer in all things, that we may be qualified and worthy to rule, and govern all things, even as our Father in heaven, and His
eldest Son, Jesus. God has revealed to us the mystery which all the world seek after, but fail of obtaining because of pride, wickedness and the power of Satan darkening their minds, viz: the path of salvation and the happiness of our being.
And now, where is the man among you, having once burst the vail and gazed upon the purity, the might, majesty and dominion of a perfected man, in celestial glory, will not cheerfully resign mortal life suffer most excruciating tortures let limb be torn from limb, sooner than resign or dishonor his Priesthood. In truth did the Savior utter this parable: "The Kingdom of Heaven is like unto a merchantman seek- ing goodly pearls, and having found one of great price, went and sold all he had to buy it." "And again, like unto a man finding a treasure in a field, sold all he had and purchased that field." The glory revealed to our view, and which we seek, is tangible it can be felt, seen and heard; but its length, its breadth, its majesty, peace, joy and happiness, surpass all understanding: tongue cannot express it language fails to portray the vastness of its extent.
To the Saints I would affectionately add: Your prospects, in every respect, are the most encouraging. The Lord, who fails not in His promises, has undertaken your deliverance, spiritual and temporal, and you are witnesses of the accom- plishment of the first. Your fetters of superstition and priestcraft
have burst asunder the false and dark mantle of
tradition has been rent you have been shown the Mother of Harlots, and her daughters, in all their characteristic ignorance, folly and filthiness, and have hearkened to and obeyed the voice, "Come out of her my people, that ye be not partakers of her sins, that ye receive not of her plagues." Your hearts, your thoughts and feelings are no longer asso- ciated with those Babylonish schemes which bind thought and reason, making it blasphemy for man to dare speak of the nobility of 'his birth and the true being of his Father in heaven. You feel that you are delivered and restored to
196 BIOGRAPHY AND
reason, and to yourselves, under the government of but one law that which makes you free, even the law of glorious Truth the word and will of God, by whom we all are begotten children of one great Parent; yea, in this that we are made free, will we lift up the voice and make melody with thanks- giving to our God, that He has listened to the cries of His people, and sent forth His messengers with the fulness of the Gospel, to redeem and save, and glorify His elect make them kings and priests unto God, in heaven and over earth, that thereby He might bring to pass, in due time, His good will and purposes respecting all the families of man- kind.
As the Lord has made you spiritually free, herein you have assurance, also, of your temporal deliverance. However great may be your poverty, how stupendous your difficulties, it matters little, the word has gone forth in your favor, and no opposing arm can stay its course. Zion must be established, her lands inhabited, her cities built, her Temples reared, and her sons become mighty; that she may rise "fair as the moon, clear as the sun, and terrible as an army with banners." And all nations shall fear and tremble, and stand afar off in the day of her majesty.
"But you have need of patience, that after you have done the will of God, you may receive the promise," a caution which should not be forgotten. Many of you may have severe trials, that your faith may become more perfect, your confidence be increased, and your knowledge of the powers of heaven be augmented; and this before your redemption takes place. If a stormy cloud sweep over the horizon of your course in this land, as in America if the cup of bitter sorrow be presented and you be compelled to partake if Satan is let loose among you, with all his seductive powers and cunning craftiness if the strong arm of persecution is raised against you, then, in that hour lift up your heads and rejoice that you are accounted worthy to suffer with Jesus, the Saints
and Prophets of old; and know that the period of your redemption approaches.
I feel, my brethren and sisters, to exhort you with heart- felt expression. ' Be of good cheer be not disheartened, for surely the day rapidly approaches when your tears shall be dried, your hearts comforted, and you shall reap the products of your labors sit under your fig tree and in the shade of your vine unmolested, and no more feel the hand of tyranny. You shall possess the riches and fat of the land, gold and silver, fields and vineyards, flocks and herds, houses and pal- aces; your sons shall grow up as plants of renown, your daughters as polished stones, that you may boast yourselves in all the glory of the Gentiles. And unto you, verily, shall the Scripture be fulfilled, "Seek first the Kingdom of Heaven and its righteousness, and all these things shall be added"
Be honest, be virtuous, be honorable, be meek and lowly, courageous and bold. Cultivate simplicity, be like the Lord: hold to the truth through fire and sword torture and death. Act honorably towards all men, for they are our brethren a part of the family of God, but are ignorant and blind, hav- ing forgotten their God and their covenants with Him in eter- nity.
I feel to express, in the highest terms, my sanction and approbation of F. D. Richards' presidency of the British Isles. The wise, prudent, and proper spirit and manner in which he has conducted the editorial department merits the warmest meed of praise. The many interesting and useful publications he has issued, together with the enlarged and much improved edition of the hymns used by the Saints, in addition to his other labors, furnish a true testimony of his indefatigable zeal and enterprising spirit. The deep interest he has taken in forwarding our foreign missions, has secured to him not only the warmest thanks and feelings of gratitude from us on whom is laid the heavy burdens and responsibili- ties of those missions, but from thousands and tens of thous-
198 BIOGRAPHY AND
ands whose deliverance from sectarian bondage is now being effected in all those extended fields of our foreign labors.
In the arrangement of conferences, much wisdom has been displayed in selecting good and faithful men to preside over them men who will do well for the Saints generally, thereby lightening and relieving the anxieties and responsi- bilities of the Presidency as far as possible. My long acquaintance with President Richards gives me the most unqualified confidence in his wisdom, excellence of heart and mind, a.nd entire devotion to the work and service of the Lord, and faithfulness in his honorable position. His coun- selors I know to be wise men, and men of God, and as such I recommend them to the confidence and esteem of the brethren.
Respecting the progress of those missions I ha\e under- taken, the prospect in ihe future, and the field of labor I have assigned to the various Elders, it may be gratifying to the Saints to have the following particulars, that their faith and prayers in behalf of them may ever be kept in lively exer- cise. Elder Willis, whom I have appointed to take charge of the Calcutta mission, is supposed to have about reached his destination. Elder Findlay, late President of the Hull Con- ference, is now on his way to the Bombay mission. Elder Obray, late President of Sheerness, whom I have appointed to Malta, is now prepared, and will soon set sail for that island. Elder Stenhouse presides in Switzerland, and Elder Woodard in Italy. The translation of the Book of Mormon into Italian is about completed, parts are in the hands of the printer, and will be ready for circulation in about two months.
Having set in operation those missions, I turn my thoughts to the far distant fields of labor I contemplate shortly undertaking a mission requiring ail my energies- extending over nations, continents, islands, seas, oceans and empires encountering the freezing Alps, the burning sun of
the torrid zone, the dangers of the trackless waters, the pesti- lential cholera, the miasma of various climes, together with all the casualties of sea and land which must be encountered.
To aid and assist me in this enterprise, deeply do I feel to call upon Israel's God, and for the prayers of my brethren, for support and agency. To the service of the Lord I have devoted my life. My all has been placed upon the altar of sacrifice, that I may honor Him do His will acceptably, and spread the principles of life among the children of men.
When I reflect upon the past, and trace the hand of the Lord marvelously opening my way, and prospering me in everything relative to these missions, beyond my highest expectations, I feel doubly encouraged to press forward to the future; language indeed fails to express the deep gratitude of my heart for His blessings. Those brethren and sisters whose liberality of soul and interest for the work of God have been particularly manifested in these missions, to them I feel to say, May the blessing of the Most High be poured out to them with equal liberality, and when in after years they shall hear the sweet sound of thousands of those nations shouting the praises of the Almighty for the light of revelation, then will their hearts also rejoice in the glad consciousness that they had taken part in bringing to pass this glorious redemption.
I take my departure from here to Switzerland, thence to Italy, to Malta, to Bombay, and from there to Calcutta; and shall probably, after completing these missions, accomplish the circumnavigation of the globe, by returning home by way of San Francisco, San Diego and our newly established settle- ments in the valleys of California.
Need I say how deeply I feel in all matters respecting my own missions? Notwithstanding, this does not prevent me taking the most lively interest in the welfare of the numerous conferences of the Saints with whom I have formed an acquaintance during my labors in the British Isles. To those, and all in the bond of the Spirit, I would, with warmest feel-
200 BIOGRAPHY AND
ings, subscribe myself their brother in the New and Everlast- ing Covenant, LORENZO SNOW.
Our missionary has now before him a very extensive field in which to operate. What a vast weight of responsibil- ities rest upon him what a multitude linked together for him to shoulder! Never was there a more extensive mission projected, and few men, if any, have lived that were better calculated to carry it into effect.
With a mind that comprehended the condition of the millions of human beings, members of the great brotherhood of mankind, and a sympathy which reaches out to their most important needs a soul wholly devoted to the great work of salvation and exaltation of the generations past, present and to come; and, above all, knowing that the Almighty had called him to the work, his courage is commensurate to the situation, and he never falters.