Latter Day Saints' Messenger and Advocate/Volume 2/Number 2/To the saints

From Wikisource
Jump to navigation Jump to search


Beloved brethren and sister: You undoubtedly are well assured that this is the day and generation in which the prophecies are to be fulfilled, concerning the upbuilding of Zion, in which men are to be made partakers of the fulfilling of the covenants made with the fathers; consequently, of the glories that are to be brought unto the saints at the revelation of Jesus Christ. But remember that it is written. "After much tribulation, cometh the blessing," and that it is no where said, that we shall attain unto the unutterable blessings of the celestial kingdom, but through great tribulation. You who have and do keep the commandments of the Lord, (for it is to such that I now address myself) have great reason to rejoice, seeing you have already been brought to pass through many tribulations because of your faith in the words of the Lord Jesus Christ. Therefore, be not discouraged, neither cast down because of your distresses and great afflictions which you have to pass through, but rather count it a blessing, seeing that "we must, through great tribulation enter the kingdom." Acts, 14:22. Again, "knowing that tribulation worketh patience, and patience experience, and experience hope, and hope maketh not ashamed, because the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts." Rom. 5:3,4. And we have been begotten again unto a lively hope which is sure and ste[a]dfast, through the manifestation of the truth shed forth upon us by the opening of the heavens, the ministering of angels, and by the raising up a prophet in these last days, by whom the word of God cometh unto us, which word maketh our hope the more lively because it teacheth us plainly that the time draweth nigh, when the things spoken of and hoped, by the former day saints, are to be made manifest in very deed; of which things we shall be made partakers, if we faint not.

I well remember the time when the first little branch of the church of Latter Day Saints removed from this place to the land of Zion; the place of that city of the living God, which was at that time pointed out by revelation.—And from that day to this, these, together with other branches which have since moved to the same place, have been suffering tribulations and afflic-page 220tions of various kinds. And why all this? You will answer me, because of iniquities! And you answer well, for so it is: you did not live perfect before God. But still, had you not believed in the words of the Lord, as given to us, you would not have been persecuted; therefore, you have been persecuted for righteousness' sake, or for Christ's sake. For, notwithstanding all your imperfections, you would not, in the midst of the most perilous circumstances, give up your hope, nor deny the revelations of Jesus Christ. You are well aware, that according to the prophets, perilous times await mankind, and great persecutions the saints that are not gathered. Therefore, much prayer is necessary, with great faith and diligence, that Zion may be redeemed and the way prepared for the salvation of the children of men, both spiritual and temporal: for it is written in the last chapter of Isaiah, "by fire and by sword will the Lord plead with all flesh, and the slain of the Lord shall be many." But before all this, Zion must arise and become an ensign to the nations; and Gentiles shall come to her light, and kings to the brightness of her rising:" for it is again said by the same prophet, "For Zion's sake I will not hold my peace, and for Jerusalem's sake I will not rest, until the righteousness thereof go forth as brightness, and the salvation thereof as a lamp that burneth." Again, "Come near ye nations to hear; hearken, ye people; let the earth hear, and all that is therein; the world, and all things that come forth of it for the indignation of the Lord is upon all nations; for it is the day of the Lord's vengeance, and the year of recompense for the controversy of Zion."—Isaiah 34:1&8. This, the world of mankind are not aware of; neither will they be made sensible of it, though we warn them: for, while we behold the approaching storm, and distant thunders roll, and make preparations to stand in that evil day, men, mocking say, None of these things await us. Thus, blind deaf man will be overtaken as a thief in the night, and in an hour when he least expects it.

But I will adopt the words of the prophet who saith to the saints, "Be strong; fear not; behold your God will come with vengeance, even God with a recompense: he will come and save you. And the ransomed of the Lord shall return and come to Zion, with songs of everlasting joy upon their heads: they shall obtain joy and gladness, and sorrow and sighing shall flee away."—Isaiah 35:4&10.