Journal of Discourses/Volume 18/Resurrection of the Saints, etc.
I will read a few verses in the latter part of the fourth and in the fore part of the fifth chapters of Paul's first epistle to the Thessalonians. [The speaker read from the 13th verse of the 4th chapter, to the 6th verse of the 5th, both inclusive.]
I have read these few passages of Scripture relating to the great day of the coming of our Lord, according as it is predicted by. the mouth of the ancient Apostle, and also concerning a very important event which will then happen, namely, the resurrection of the righteous dead—those who are in Christ; and also another event closely connected with the resurrection—namely, the ascension of the Saints then living upon the earth, to meet the Lord at his coming. These events are looked for by most of the Christian world, indeed we may say that all the Christian world, who do not spiritualize the Scriptures, are looking for events similar to those here described. They believe, according to the New Testament, that there is a time-fixed in the mind of the Almighty, when the heavens shall be parted as a scroll is parted when it is rolled up, and that the heavens, invisible to us now, will be unveiled before the eyes of all people; that the armies of heaven, the spirits of just men made perfect, through obedience to the law of God, will be revealed; that the angels who stand in authority in the presence of God and do his bidding, will also be numbered with that great company which will be revealed from the heavens. We also believe, and so do the inhabitants of the Christian world at large, that there will be an audible sound of a trump—the trump of the archangel—in the heavens at the time this grand scenery is opened to mankind; that at the sound of that trumpet the dead in Christ will come forth from their silent dusty tombs; that at the sound of that trump the Saints then living will be instantaneously caught up to meet the Lord in the air. This doctrine is believed in by Christians generally who do not spiritualize altogether the sense and meaning of the Scriptures.
It may be well for us, in the examination of that great event, the second coming of Christ, to refer to some of the predictions of inspired writers in regard to the time of our Savior's revelation from the heavens. I do not mean to say the day nor the hour of his coming, for that is unknown, no man that lives on the face of the earth knows anything about the day or the hour; neither will there be any man on the earth prior to the coming of the Lord who will know the day and the hour, for it is hidden from mortal man. However, the age in which that great event will take place is very clearly revealed in both the Old and the New Testament. That age is to be characterized by certain events, predicted by the inspired writers, which are unmistakable in their nature, and which can be easily understood by all, both learned and unlearned. These events are to be so conspicuous that I presume there will not be a nation, people, kindred or tongue upon the face of the whole earth but what will know that, according to the Scriptures, some great event is about to take place, for every people in that day will be more or less enlightened in the Scriptures, for before that great day shall come, missionaries will be sent to the uttermost parts of the earth, to testify to all people concerning the Gospel of the Son of God, and they will cry in the ears of all living, saying unto them—"Prepare ye, prepare ye, for the great and coming day of the Bridegroom." They will have a preparatory message to deliver to all nations.
When the Lord, in the meridian of time, came and took upon himself a mortal body, he saw proper to send as his forerunner one of the greatest Prophets that ever was born into our world—John the Baptist, and he went, announcing, by the inspiration of the Spirit and by the power of his holy calling, that there was one to come after him who was mightier than he, whose shoe latchet he was not worthy to unloose; and that when he should come he would thoroughly purge his floor, and that he would baptize with fire and with the Holy Ghost. Said John—"I merely come to prepare the way. I am the voice of one crying in the wilderness, prepare ye the way of the Lord and make his paths straight. I come preaching unto you repentance, and baptism for the remission of sins, but he who comes after me, holding higher authority and a greater Priesthood, shall baptize you with a baptism that is greater than that of water—the baptism of fire and the Holy Ghost."
Now, if the Lord, when he came the first time, in his humility and meekness, born in a manger, of parents of low estate, saw that it was necessary to prepare the way before him by raising up one of the greatest Prophets that ever came into the world, why should it be thought unreasonable that he should also raise up a latter-day Prophet to prepare the way before one of the mightiest and grandest events that ever has taken place, or that ever will take place on our earth in its temporal condition? If the heavens are to be revealed; if the face of the Son of God is to be unvailed; if the glory of his countenance is to outshine the sun in his strength; if he is to come in flaming fire, while the very heavens themselves shall shake by his power, and the earth reel to and fro like a drunken man the mountain themselves, feeling his power, are sunk and the valleys are raised up; if all these grand events are to attend the second advent of the Son of God, is it unreasonable that he should raise up a great Prophet in the latter days to make preparations for so great an event? Or will he let the world pass on in blindness and darkness without any signs of the times, without any warning voice, without any inspired man sent of God to wake them up from their condition, and to prepare the way for his coming? To me it looks consistent and reasonable that such a preparatory work should be sent forth among the children of men, and it looked consistent to the ancient inspired writers, hence they have left an abundance of testimony on record in this good book (the Bible) concerning this preparatory work.
One of the means which God will use to prepare the way before his second coming, is to send angels from heaven with a proclamation, not to benefit a few individuals, not for one nation alone, but to all the inhabitants of our globe, and that too before he comes. Do you want to know where this prediction is recorded? Let me refer you to the fourteenth chapter of the revelations given to St. John on Patmos. Did St. John behold, in vision, the coming of the Son of God? He did. How does he describe it in that fourteenth chapter? He said, as you will find by reading the chapter through, that he saw one sitting on a white cloud, having a sharp sickle in his hand. He had reference to the time when Jesus should come in the clouds of heaven; however, before John saw the personage sitting on the cloud, he saw a preparatory work commence, as it is declared in the sixth verse, in which the Prophet says—"I saw another angel fly in the midst of heaven, having the everlasting Gospel to preach unto them that dwell on the earth, unto every nation and kindred and tongue and people," declaring that the hour of God's judgment was come.
Now if that angel does not come and bring the Gospel, then the Son of Man will not come; no trumpet will sound and call forth the nations of the righteous from their sleeping tombs; there will be no destroying the wicked as stubble from the face of the earth; no shaking of the heavens and causing the earth to tremble and to remove to and fro. None of these events will transpire if no angel comes, for one is just as certain as the other; and to show that one is to precede the other, there must be a time for this everlasting Gospel to be preached to every nation, kindred, tongue and people after the angel appears with it. That will take some length of time, however rapidly it may go forth, for the mere preaching of the Gospel would be of no benefit, unless there were persons authorized to administer its ordinances. The angel might preach, but who could obey it? No one. It is true that we might repent if we heard the angel proclaim it by his own voice, as he flew from nation to nation and from kingdom to kingdom; and we might also believe in Jesus Christ, but how could we be baptized for the remission of our sins? Would the angel come down from heaven and take every believing penitent person and baptize him himself? How long would it take an angel to go over all the nations and baptize all the penitent believers? It would take ages and ages for him to do it personally. But it is very evident to every one who reflects upon these passages, that when that angel comes with the everlasting Gospel, there will be authority given to man on the earth to administer the ordinances of that Gospel, to build up the Christian Church again on the earth as it was built in ancient times, a Christian Church organized according to the pattern that God has given in the New Testament; a Christian Church having Apostles inspired from heaven; a Christian Church with Prophets called of God to prophesy future events; a Christian Church possessing the gifts and graces of the ancient Gospel in all their beauty, power and fulness, as they were possessed in ancient times. These works and these ordinances must be administered by man, and not by the angel who brings the Gospel. Will that be a preparatory work?
What other preparations are necessary to be made besides the preaching of this Gospel to all nations? Supposing that among the nations of the earth there were to be raised up a true Christian Church, is there anything particular for that Christian Church to do after having received the ordinances of the Gospel in order to more fully prepare them for the coming of the Son of God? I answer, yes. The Christian Churches built up in the four quarters of the earth after the angel comes, will be required to gather from all these nations unto one place. That is something which no Christian denomination believes in, or if they do believe in it they do not practice it, for the members of Churches called Christian remain in the respective nations where they receive the truth; it is true that individuals may emigrate, but as Churches they do not. But the Scriptures, speaking of the great day of the coming of the Lord, say there is to be a gathering from all the nations of the earth unto one place of those who have taken upon them the name of the Lord Jesus. That great gathering is referred to in the chapter I have quoted from, also in another chapter in which, referring to the downfall of spiritual Babylon, it is declared that there shall be a gathering of the people, and that too by inspiration, by the command of the Almighty; it will not be left to the wisdom of man, but it will be directed by—"Hear ye the word of the Lord," as declared to John on the Isle of Patmos. He says—"I heard a great voice from heaven saying—'Come out of her, my people!'" What people? "My people." Who are God's people? Those who obey the everlasting Gospel which the angel brings by authority. "Come out of her, my people, that ye be not partakers of her sins and that ye receive not of her plagues. For her sins have reached unto heaven, and God hath remembered her iniquities;" and now, you who are Saints, you who have obeyed the Gospel restored by the angel, come out of her, for the Lord is going to punish great Babylon. How is he going to punish her? By casting her down, and causing her overthrow. After speaking of the bringing of the Gospel by an angel, the very next verse says—"There followed another angel." What, two angels come. Yes, and mark the message of the second one. "There followed another angel, saying, 'Babylon is fallen, is fallen, that great city, because she made all nations drink of the wine of the wrath of her fornication.'"
The description of this fall of Babylon is given in various places in John's revelations. Awful and most terrible judgments will fall upon Mystery Babylon the Great. She is to be punished with plagues of various kinds; a grievous sore will fall upon her people, so much so that they will blaspheme God, but they will not repent of their sins. They are to be punished with having the fountains and rivers turned into blood, and the waters of the great ocean are to become as the blood of a dead man, and every living thing that is therein will die; and one of the last plagues and judgments that will be poured out upon her will be devouring fire, and she will sink as a millstone, and her name will be blotted from under heaven and all that are connected with her.
Before these terrible judgments are sent forth upon the nations of the earth, God will save all who receive the everlasting Gospel by gathering them to one place, where they can serve him and keep his commandments. He will not merely give them some idea, by reading the Scriptures, that he desires them to gather, but John says there will be a great voice from heaven proclaiming—"Come out of her, my people, that ye be not partakers of her sins, and that ye receive not of her plagues."
Then there is to be a gathering of the people of God in the latter days? Yes. Do you marvel to see this people coming forth from all the various nations, leaving the homes of their ancestry, the graves of their ancient fathers, leaving their acquaintances and friends, and gathering up here into these mountain vales? Do you see it? Do you marvel at it? Remember, O ye inhabitants of the earth, who are looking upon these things, that you are beholding the fulfillment of prophecy, prophecy spoken by the Apostle Paul, in the first chapter of his epistle to the Ephesians. Paul saw the gathering; he saw that it would be a new dispensation, a dispensation to come after his day. Let me repeat Paul's words—"That in the dispensation of the fullness of times he might gather together in one all things in Christ, both which are in heaven, and which are on earth." Thus you see that all things in Christ are to be gathered together in one. What does this include? Are the inhabitants of heaven to be made one with the inhabitants of the earth that are in Christ? Yes. The dispensation of the fullness of times is to bring about one of the grandest events that our earth has ever experienced—the union of all things in Christ, both in heaven and upon earth. Are the Saints in Christ? As many of you as have been baptized into Christ have put on Christ, consequently if you are in Christ, if you live in the dispensation of the fullness of times, you will be required to take part in this great and grand gathering together of those who are on the earth. But how about all things in Christ in heaven, are they to come too? That is what I have been explaining. When Christ comes the inhabitants of heaven will come with him. The spirits of the righteous of all dispensations, who have not already received a resurrection, will then come forth, and when the trump of the archangel shall sound, the dead in Christ shall rise first. Then those spirits which appear in the heavens will take possession of their renewed immortal bodies which will spring forth from the tomb, and they will be with those who are gathered here on the earth. Then the dispensation will be complete—all things in Christ, whether in heaven or on earth, will be gathered in one.
Enquires one—"Do you really think that we poor mortals, frail as we are with all our imperfections, that have come because of the fall, are going to associate with those high and exalted beings that dwell in the presence of God in the eternal worlds? Are we to be gathered with them?" Yes. Why not be with them? If our hearts are pure as their hearts are pure, if we have received and obeyed the truth, and have been sanctified by it, shall we not have boldness in that day? Or shall we hang down our heads, and shrink with shame, before the face of Him who sits upon his throne. If we have received the truth we shall look upon the face of our Redeemer with all the joy that we look upon the face of a kind and benevolent parent here on the earth. There will be no fear, no shrinking, but we shall feel that he is indeed our Redeemer and that we are his sons and his daughters, and that, having obeyed his doctrine, we are prepared to associate with him and to dwell in his presence. Oh, how happy the ancient Apostles were when they saw their risen Redeemer! There was no shrinking. They were out fishing on a certain time, and when they had learned that their Redeemer was on the shore, and calling to them, they could not wait for the ship to reach the shore, but they must plunge into the sea, to try and get there as soon as possible. Their Redeemer was there, and instead of shrinking they were eager to behold him once more. Then, do not, for a moment, suppose that the people of God who keep his commandments and live in the latter days, in the great and grand dispensation of gathering, will shrink when the heavens shall unvail the face of the Son of God. They will be prepared to take these resurrected beings by the hand, and they will go forth and salute Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, for they are in the kingdom of God. Jesus said, although they were polygamists, that they are in the kingdom of God. We shall be very glad, in the day when the heavenly hosts are revealed to men, to take them by the hand and to sit down with them, as Jesus has said—"Many shall come from the east and from the west, and shall sit down with Abraham, and Isaac and Jacob in the kingdom of heaven." It will be some pleasure then to be in the company of polygamists, will it not?
Now, as I go along with item after item of the work preparatory to the coming of the Savior, I want to ask what the belief of this people is, and whether we are or are not fulfilling the word of the Lord which I have quoted? Joseph Smith brought forth the Book of Mormon,—the Lord calls it the everlasting Gospel, because it is the same Gospel which Jesus himself preached to the ancient inhabitants of this continent, and to the people who dwelt anciently on the continent of Asia. It was brought forth in these latter days by his power, by an angel sent from heaven, and revealed to this generation. And have missionaries been sent forth? Yes. What for? To carry this Book of Mormon, containing the everlasting Gospel, to every nation, kindred, tongue and people. And these missionaries, as far as time would permit, have fulfilled the missions that were given unto them.
We first began to preach this Gospel in the little town where this Church was organized with six members only, on the 6th day of April, 1830. A few missionaries then began to teach in the neighborhood, next in the county, next in the adjoining county, next in the adjoining States, next in the adjoining Territories, next in British America, and finally across the great ocean among the European nations. Have these missionaries visited and preached to any other people besides those living on the continent of Europe, and those of the United States and the Canadas? Yes. They have preached this same Gospel contained in the Book of Mormon on the Islands of the sea, in Australia, New Zealand, the Society Islands, Sandwich Islands—where thousands have received this Gospel and been baptized. Missionaries have also carried this everlasting Gospel to the northern portions of Europe—Norway, Denmark and Sweden; also into the German States, to Austria, Italy, Switzerland, France, some of the islands of the Mediterranean, to Hindostan, and in fact wherever there has been a sufficient degree of liberty to permit the proclamation of the Gospel, thither have missionaries, called of God to declare the message of life and salvation to the people, been and proclaimed it.
Wherever we have preached this Gospel, the word has so been published by command of the Almighty, saying—"Come out, my people, from the nations you now inhabit." "Where shall we go?" "Go to the place which I have appointed by revelation, by the voice of my servants, by my own voice—to the mountains of the new world, where my kingdom shall be established as a stone cut out of the mountain without hands." Daniel predicted that, in the last days, the kingdom of God should be established upon the earth, and that, in its commencement, it would be like a little stone cut out of the mountains without hands, but that it would gradually gain power and greatness among the people; and the reason that you have gathered to these mountains from the various nations in which you obeyed the Gospel is that you may assist in establishing and building up that kingdom spoken of by Daniel. Not a week has elapsed since some seven or eight hundred, from the northern regions of Europe, arrived in our city. A few days after their arrival we look around and we scarcely notice that there is any addition. Where are they? Friends have taken them by the hand and invited them to their homes. Any more coming? Yes, numerous hosts are coming. We have sent across the Atlantic ocean between one and two hundred ships, most of them loaded, to the fullest extent that the law would allow, with Latter-day Saints gathering together to one place in fulfillment of the predictions of the ancient Prophets.
Says one—"How long will this continue?" Until the people are thoroughly warned. At the present time there are some nations who will not permit any religion to be proclaimed within their borders except that which is established by law. When God shall cast down thrones, which he will soon do; when he shall overturn kingdoms and empires, which time is very near at hand, then other governments will be formed more favorable to religious liberty, and the missionaries of this Church will visit those nations. Already we find greater religious liberty advocated in the northern portions of Europe where formerly imprisonment was the penalty of declaring any other religious doctrine than that which was permitted by their laws. Austria, that great Roman Catholic power, containing thirty-one millions of Catholics, is increasing in religious liberty. Spain, which for centuries has persecuted everything but the established religion, where countless martyrs have been tortured and put to death by the so-called "Holy Inquisition," is at present forming a constitution which proposes to grant a large share of religious liberty. And so we might enumerate what God is doing among these despotic powers, overturning and changing long-established usages and institutions, that His servants may go by His own command, to deliver the great and last message of the Gospel to the inhabitants of the earth, preparatory to the coming of his Son.
After the times of the Gentiles are fulfilled, which period is set in the mind of God, another scene will open up before the world, in the grand panorama of the last days. What is that? The downfall of the Gentile nations. Says one—"Whom do you call Gentiles?" Every nation excepting the literal descendants of Israel. We, the Latter-day Saints, are Gentiles; in other words, we have come from among the Gentile nations, though many of as may have the blood of Israel within our veins. When God has called out the righteous, when the warning voice has been sufficiently proclaimed among these Gentile nations, and the Lord says "It is enough," he will also say to his servants—"O, ye, my servants, come home, come out from the midst of these Gentile nations, where you have labored and borne testimony for so long a period; come out from among them, for they are not worthy; they do lint receive the message that I have sent forth, they do not repent of their sins; come out from their midst, their times are fulfilled. Seal up the testimony among them and bind up the law." What then? Then the word of the Lord will be—"O, ye, my servants, I have a new commission for you. Instead of going forth to convert the Gentile nations, go unto the remnants of the house of Israel that are scattered in the four quarters of the earth. Go and proclaim to them that the times of their dispersion are accomplished; that the times of the Gentiles are fulfilled; that the time has arrived for my people Israel, who have been scattered for generations in a dark and cloudy day, to gather unto their own homes again, and to build up old Jerusalem on its former heap. And then will commence the gathering of the Jews to old Jerusalem; then the ten tribes in the northern regions, wherever they may be, after having been concealed from the nations for twenty-five hundred years, will come forth and will return, as Jeremiah has said, from the north country. A great company will come, and they will sing in the height of Zion, and "flow together for the goodness of the Lord, for wine and for oil, and for the young of the flock; and their souls shall be as a watered garden, and they shall not sorrow any more at all." What a happy time for them, when they come from their cold quarters in the north! The Jews dispersed among the Gentiles will not come and sing in the height of Zion, or but very few of them, they will go to Jerusalem. Some of them will believe in the true Messiah, and thousands of the more righteous, whose fathers did not consent to the shedding of the blood of the Son of God, will receive the Gospel before they gather from among the nations. Many of them, however, will not receive the Gospel, but seeing that others are going to Jerusalem they will go also; and when they get back to Palestine, to the place where their ancient Jerusalem stood, and see a certain portion of the believing Jews endeavoring to fulfill and carry out the prophecies, they also will take hold and assist in the same work. At the same time they will have their synagogues, in which they will preach against Jesus of Nazareth, "that impostor," as they call him, who was crucified by their fathers.
After awhile, when tens of thousands of them have gathered and rebuilt their Temple, and re-established Jerusalem. upon its own heap, the Lord will send forth amongst them a tremendous scourge. What will be the nature of that scourge? The nations that live in the regions round about Jerusalem will gather up like a cloud, and cover all that land round about Jerusalem. They will come into the Valley of Jehoshaphat, east of Jerusalem, and they will lay siege to the city. What then? The Lord will raise up two great Prophets, they are called witnesses, in the Revelations of St. John. Will they have much power? Yes, during the days of their prophecying they will have power to smite those who undertake to destroy them, and until their testimonies are fulfilled they will be able to keep at bay all those nations besieging Jerusalem, so that they will not have power to take that city. How long will that be? Three and a half years, so says John the Revelator. If any man hurt them, they shall have power to bring upon that man, nation or army, the various plagues that are there written. They will have power to smite the earth with plague and famine, and to turn the rivers of water into blood. And when they have fulfilled their prophecy, then the nations that have been lying before Jerusalem so long, waiting for an opportunity to destroy the city, will succeed in killing these two Prophets, and their bodies, says John's revelations, will lie in the streets of Jerusalem three days and a half after they are killed. What rejoicing there will be over the death of these men! Those who have been waiting so long and anxiously for this to take place, will no doubt send gifts one to another, and if the telegraph wires are not destroyed, they will telegraph to the uttermost parts of the earth that they have succeeded in killing the two men who had so long tormented them with plagues, turning the waters onto blood, etc. But by and by, right in the midst of their rejoicing, when they think the Jews will now certainly fall a prey to them, behold there is a great earthquake, and in the midst of it these two Prophets rise from the dead, and they hear a voice up in the heavens saying—"Come up hither;" and they immediately ascend in the sight of their enemies.
What next? Notwithstanding all this, those nations will be so infatuated, and so determined to persecute the people of God—as much so as Pharaoh and his army in ancient days—that they will say—"Come, now is the time to pitch into the Jews and destroy them." And they will commence their work of destruction, and they will succeed so far as to take one half the city, and while they are in the very act of destroying Jerusalem, behold the heavens are rent, and the Son of God with all the heavenly hosts appears, and he descends and rests upon the summit of [the] Mount [of] Olives, which is before Jerusalem on the east. And so great will be the power of God that will then be made manifest, that the mountain will divide asunder, half going towards the south, and half towards the north, producing a great valley going east and west, from the walls of Jerusalem eastward.
What next? The Jews that are not taken captive by these nations, will flee to the valleys of the mountains, says the Prophet Zechariah; and when they get into that great valley, where these personages are who have descended, they expect to find the Deliverer which their Prophets have spoken of so long. But they do not for a moment suppose that it is Jesus, oh no, Jesus was an impostor. The personage they have been looking for some eighteen hundred years is the true Messiah, and now, say they—"He has come to deliver us." But how great will be their astonishment when, while looking at their Deliverer, they see that his hands are marred considerably! Say they, one to another—"There are large scars in his hands; and there is another large scar in his side, and behold his feet, they are scarred also!" And, as the Prophet Zechariah has said, they will begin to enquire of him—"What are these wounds with which thou art wounded?" And he replies—"These are the wounds with which I was wounded in the house of my friends."
What then? Then they begin to believe, then the Jews are convinced, I mean that portion of them who formerly despised Jesus of Nazareth, and being convinced they begin to mourn, and they mourn every family apart, and their wives apart. The family of the house of Levi apart and their wives apart; the family of the house of David and their wives apart, and all their families that remain will mourn, they and their wives apart, and there will be such mourning in Jerusalem as that city never experienced before. What is the matter? What are they mourning about? They have looked upon him whom their fathers pierced, they behold the wounds, they are now convinced that they and their fathers have been in error some eighteen hundred years, and they repent in dust and ashes.
The next step for them will be baptism for the remission of their sins. They look upon him whom their fathers pierced and they mourn for him as one who mourns for his only son, and, as Zechariah says, they are in bitterness for him. But repentance alone would not be sufficient, they must obey the ordinances of the Gospel; hence there will be a fountain opened at that time on purpose for baptism. Where will it be opened? On the east side of the Temple. A stream will break out from under the threshold of the Temple, says the Prophet, and it will run eastward, and will probably pass directly through the deep valley made by the parting of the Mount of Olives. It will run eastward, and as you go down from the Temple a few thousand cubits it increases so rapidly that it becomes a great river that cannot be forded.
This is the fountain that Zechariah says is open to the inhabitants of Jerusalem and to the house of David for sin and uncleanness. "How is it that" says one? "Water for sin and uncleanness? Why yes, baptism for the remission of sins. Then the Jews will receive the Gospel and they will be cleansed from all their sins by being baptized in water for their remission. Then will be fulfilled the words of the Prophet Isaiah, when speaking of Jerusalem—"For henceforth there shall no more come into thee the uncircumcised and the unclean." But the name of the city from that day will be—"The Lord is there;" that is, the Lord will be personally there, there with his Apostles and with all his ancient Saints, for Zechariah says that when he comes and stands his feet on the Mount of Olives, all his Saints will come with him.
We have found out the place where Jesus will descend, and we have found out who comes with him. Now we enquire will he remain on the earth after he thus descends? Yes, he will remain on this earth as literally and personally as he went around in ancient times, and taught the people from house to house and synagogue to synagogue. And in that day there shall be one Lord, and his name one. There will not be any heathen gods, for there will be no heathens; no idolatrous worship, but one Lord, and his name one.
And this water which breaks out from the threshold of the Temple, will not only run eastward but westward also, and there will be a great change in the land there, certain portions rising up, others lowered, rough places made smooth and mountains cast down; and half the waters of this spring which will burst forth, will go towards the former sea and half to the other sea; in other words half towards the Dead Sea and half toward the Mediterranean.
From that day forward there shall be written upon the bells of the horses and upon the vessels of the house of the Lord,—"Holiness to the Lord;" and thenceforth all the people who are spared from the nations round about, will have to go up to Jerusalem year by year to worship the King, the Lord of Hosts.
These are some of the grand events spoken of in this Bible; these are events that the Latter-day Saints believe in, and that so far as it lies in their power, they are trying to fulfill. If we are not Jews we are not required to go to old Jerusalem but we are required to build up a Zion; that is spoken of as well as the building of Jerusalem. Zion is to be built up in the mountains in the last days, not at Jerusalem. Read the fortieth chapter of Isaiah, where he speaks of the glory of the Lord being revealed, and all flesh to see him when he comes the second time and how the mountains and hills should be lowered and the valleys be exalted; and in the same chapter the Prophet also says that, before that great and terrible day of the Lord Zion is required to get up into the high mountains. Isaiah predicts this. Says he, in his fortieth chapter—"Oh Zion, thou that bringest good tidings, get thee up into the high mountains."
Thus you see that the people who organize Zion through the everlasting Gospel which the angel brings, have good tidings to declare to all the inhabitants of the earth. But these people are required, according to this prophecy, to get up into the high mountains. You Latter-day Saints are four thousand three hundred feet above the level of the ocean, scattered over four hundred miles of Territory, north and south, and you are extending your settlements continually, and are building up some two hundred towns, cities and villages in the mountains of the great American desert, fulfilling the prophecies of the holy Prophets.
By and by you will leave this country. Says one—"What, are the Mormons going to leave Utah?" Oh yes, most of us; we are going to leave, but we shall disappoint some of you. You want to know which way we are going? We are going by and by eastward. I do not say hat we shall go directly from this city eastward, but we shall, after a while, be in Jackson County, in the western borders of Missouri. Why are we going there? Because it is the great central gathering place for the Saints of latter days, for all that will be gathered from South America, Central America, Mexico, the Canadas, and from all the nations of the Gentiles—their head quarters will be in Jackson County, in the State of Missouri. We shall roll down from the mountains, and though we may be considered but a little stone cut out of the mountains without human ingenuity, without mankind under-taking to carry on this work of their own accord, the time will come when God will cause the stone of the mountains to roll, and then it will roll down and build up the central city of Zion, and that, too, long before this gathering from the distant nations shall cease. I do not know how much before the ten tribes will come from the north; but after Zion is built in Jackson County, and after the Temple is built upon that spot of ground where the corner stone was laid in 1831; after the glory of God in the form of a cloud by day shall rest upon that Temple, and by night the shining of a flaming fire will fill the whole heavens round about; after every dwelling place upon Mount Zion shall be clothed upon as with a pillar of fire by night, and a cloud by day, about that period of time, the ten tribes will be heard of, away in the north, a great company, as Jeremiah says, coming down from the northern regions, coming to sing in the height of the latter-day Zion. Their souls will be as a watered garden, and they will not sorrow any more at all, as they have been doing during the twenty-five hundred long years they have dwelt in the Arctic regions. They will come, and the Lord will be before their camp, he will utter his voice before that great army, and he will lead them forth as he led Israel in ancient days. This long chain of Rocky Mountains, that extends from the cold regions of the north away into South America, will feel the power of God, and will tremble before the hosts of Israel as they come to sing on the heights of Zion. In that day the trees of the field will clap like hands, says the Prophet, and in that day the Lord will open waters in the wilderness, and streams in the desert, to give drink to his chosen, his people Israel. And when they come to the height of Zion they shall be crowned with glory under the hands of the servants of God living in those days, the children of Ephraim, crowned with certain blessings that pertain to the Priesthood, that they could not receive in their own lands. In that day will be set apart twelve thousand out of each of these ten tribes—one hundred and twenty thousand persons ordained to the High Priesthood, after the order of the Son of God, to go forth to all people, nations, kindreds and tongues, for the salvation of the remnants of Israel in the four quarters of the earth, to bring as many as will come unto the Church of the firstborn. Thus God will have twelve thousand out of all the tribes of Israel to fulfill his purposes; and when they have completed his work here on the earth, they will be called home to Zion, be crowned with glory and stand upon Mount Zion and sing the song of the redeemed, the song of the hundred and forty-four thousand, and the Father's name will be written in their foreheads.
By and by, when all things are prepared—when the Jews have received their scourging, and Jesus has descended upon the Mount of Olives, the ten tribes will leave Zion, and will go to Palestine, to inherit the land that was given to their ancient fathers, and it will be divided amongst the descendants of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob by the inspiration of the Holy Ghost. They will go there to dwell in peace in their own land from that time, until the earth shall pass away. But Zion, after their departure, will still remain upon the western hemisphere, and she will be crowned with glory as well as old Jerusalem, and, as the Psalmist David says, she will become the joy of the whole earth. "Beautiful for situation is Mount Zion on the sides of the north, the city of the great King."
Zion will be caught up when Jesus comes, to meet him. Jesus will descend not only upon the Mount of Olives, but he will descend and stand upon Mount Zion. But before he stands upon it, it will be caught up to meet him in the air. Will the buildings of Zion be caught up? Yes. And its land? Yes. And Jesus will stand upon Mount Zion, according to the prediction of John the Revelator, and he will reign over his people during a thousand years; and his associates will be the resurrected righteous of all former dispensations, those, among others, who dwelt on this continent before the flood. Says one—"Do you mean to say that America was inhabited before the flood?" Yes, Adam dwelt on this continent. I do not know that the Garden of Eden was here but we know from what God has revealed to us, that before Adam closed his days he dwelt on a certain portion of this continent with a great number of the righteous. All the righteous that lived on this continent before the flood, those who lived upon this continent who were righteous, who came from the Tower of Babel after the flood, and lived here some sixteen hundred years, before the nation was destroyed. All the Prophets, and wise, and good men of these several periods, will be permitted to reign as kings and priests upon this western hemisp[h]ere during the period of Christ's reign on the earth. The Israelites, too, the remnants of Joseph, the forefathers of these poor degraded Indians, who are righteous, will come forth also to reign as kings and priests on this land.
We might continue this subject much further. We might portray before you the duties that will be performed by these resurrected righteous who reign as immortal beings on this continent and on the eastern continent. We might portray some of the great doings that will be accomplished by the King of kings and Lord of lords, when he shall sit upon his throne in the Temple at Jerusalem, surrounded by his Twelve Apostles, who will also sit upon twelve thrones to judge the twelve tribes of Israel. We might also relate to you concerning the judges and the thrones of those that were beheaded for the witness of Jesus and for the word of God, who will reign on the western hemisphere as well as on the eastern; but time will not permit us to continue this subject any further.
May God bless the Latter-day Saints in the kingdom of God established here in the tops of the mountains; bless you in your residences, in your towns, in your cities, in your villages, and throughout the length and breadth of the land, and increase and multiply you as the stars of heaven that cannot be numbered, until the kingdoms of this world shall become the kingdoms of our God and his Christ, and the Saints shall reign forever and ever. Amen.