Conference of the Church, April, 1844, Continued—Address of Patriarch Hyrum Smith—The Building of the Temple.
Saturday, April 6, 1844, [Conference Report Continued.]
The President arrived at the stand at half-past two o’clock. P.M. The choir sang a hymn; after which prayer by Elder John P. Greene, when the choir sang another hymn.
Elder Rigdon resumed his history of the Church.
A little before five o’clock the assembly was dismissed without ceremony, until next morning, on the appearance of a shower. The people had scarcely time to retire before a heavy shower of rain, wind, thunder and lightning followed. A splendid double rainbow seen in the heavens.
Very pleasant morning. The President arrived at ten o’clock, the largest congregation ever seen in Nauvoo having assembled. The choir sang the hymn, “Ye slumbering nations that have slept.”
President Rigdon offered an affectionate appeal for the prayers of the Saints on behalf of the sick, and then prayer by Elder George J. Adams.
Choir sang the hymn, “The Spirit of God like a fire is burning,” &c.
President Joseph Smith.
The Mayor requested the people to keep good order, and observed to the police, who were round the outskirts of the congregation to keep order, “Policemen, I want you to exercise your authority; and don’t say you can’t do anything for us, for the constitutional power calls you to keep good order, and God Almighty calls you, and we command you to do it.”
Elder Sidney Rigdon arose and continued his subject of yesterday.
Choir sang. Benediction. Intermission.
During the intermission, thirty-five were baptized in the Mississippi river for the remission of their sins.
Address of Elder Hyrum Smith, Patriarch to the Church.
At 2 o’clock P.M.
Patriarch Hyrum Smith arrived at the stand, and said he wanted to say something about the temple.
“We want 200,000 shingles, as we shall resume the work on the Temple immediately. All who have not paid their tithing, come on and do it. We want provisions, money, boards, planks, and anything that is good; we don’t want any more old guns or watches. I thought some time ago I would get up a small subscription, so that the sisters might do something. In consequence of some misunderstanding, it has not gone on as at first. It is a matter of my own; I do not ask it as a tithing. I give a privilege to any one to pay a cent a week, or fifty cents a year. I want it by next fall to buy nails and glass. It is difficult to get money. I know that a small subscription will bring more than a large one. The poor can help in this way. I take the responsibility upon myself, and call again upon the sisters. I call again until I get about $1,000. It only requires two thousand subscribers.
I have sent this subscription plan to England and the branches. I am not to be dictated to by any one except the Prophet and God. I want you to pay in your subscriptions to me, and it shall always be said boldly by me, the sisters bought the glass in that house, and their names shall be written in the Book of the Law of the Lord. It is not a tax, but a free will offering to procure something which shall ever be a monument of your works. No member of the Relief Society got it up. I am the man that did it. They ought not to infringe upon it. I am not a member of the Female Relief Society! I am one of the committee of the Lord’s House.
I wish to accomplish something, I wish all the Saints to have an opportunity to do something. I want the poor with the purse of five dollars to have a chance. The widow’s two mites were more in the eyes of the Lord than the purse of the rich; and the poor woman shall have a seat in the house of God—she who pays her two mites as well as the rich, because it is all she has. I wish to have a place in that house. I intend to stimulate the brethren. I want to get the roof on this season. I want to get the windows in, in the winter, so that we may be able to dedicate the House of the Lord by this time next year, if nothing more than one room. I will call upon the brethren to do something.
I cannot make a comparison between the House of God and anything now in existence. Great things are to grow out of that house. There is a great and mighty power to grow out of it. There is an endowment. Knowledge is power. We want knowledge. We have frequently difficulties with persons who profess to be Latter-day Saints. When the sacrament will be administered in the Lord’s House it will do away with a great deal of difficulty that is now in existence. If we can have a privilege and confess our faults unto God and one another every Sabbath day, it will do away with these. * * * You sisters shall have a seat in that house. I will stand on the top of that pulpit and proclaim to all what the sisters have done. When you offer up your sacraments every Sabbath, you will feel well a whole week; you will get a great portion of the Spirit of God, enough to last you a week—and you will increase. We are now deprived of the privilege of giving the necessary instruction; hence we want a house.
All the money shall be laid out for what you design it. It shall not be paid for anything else. I am one of the committee. The committee tells me the quarry is blockaded; it is filled with rock. The stone cutters are wanting work. Come on with your teams as soon as conference is over. It is not necessary for me to tell who will come and do it. I will prophesy that you will do it. There is not one in the city but what will do right if he knows it, with only one or two exceptions, and they are not worth notice. God will take care of them, and if He doesn’t, the devil will. I described them once, and you will always know them while you see them. They will keep hopping till they hop out of town. Some of them are tree toads, who climb the trees and are continually croaking.
We are now the most noble people on the face of the globe, and we have no occasion to fear tadpoles. We are designated by the All-seeing Eye to do good, not to stoop to anything low. We are apt to suffer prejudice to get into our hearts on hearing reports. We never should allow it—never should pass our judgment until we hear both sides.
I will tell a Dutch anecdote: A certain Dutchman had a case brought before him, and heard one side, and he gave in his decision—”Sure you have got the case;” and when the other party brought their witnesses, he said again, “Sure, you have got the case, too.” If you hear of any one in high authority, that he is rather inclined to apostasy, don’t let prejudice arise, but pray for him. God may feel after him, and he may return. Never speak reproachfully nor disrespectfully; he is in the hands of God. I am one of those peacemakers who take a stand above these little things. It has been intimated we should have investigations this conference. Do you think I would trouble this conference with it? If I have a difficulty with a man, I will go and settle it. Let them settle their difficulties. There is not a man who has had a difficulty who would trouble this congregation about it. We ask no favors; we can settle it ourselves. Don’t think anything about persons who are on the eve of apostasy; God is able to take care of them. Let God judge. do your duty and let men alone.
Never undertake to destroy men because they do some evil thing. It is natural for a man to be led, and not driven. Put down iniquity by good works. Many men speak without any contemplation; if they had given the matter a little contemplation it would not have been spoken. We ought to be careful what we say, and take the example of Jesus, cast over men the mantle of charity, and try to cover their faults. We are made to enlighten, and not to darken one another; save men, not destroy them. Do unto others what you would have them do unto you. It is well enough to root out conspiracy. Do not fear, but if you are in the right track, having God to guide you, He will save you; for God will save you, if He has to destroy the wicked so as by fire.
I want to put down all false influence. If I thought I should be saved and any in the congregation be lost, I should not be happy. For this purpose Jesus effected a resurrection. Our Savior is competent to save all from death and hell. I can prove it out of the revelation. I would not serve a God that had not all wisdom and all power.
The reason why I feel so good is because I have a big soul. There are men with small bodies who have got souls like Enoch. We have. We have gathered our big souls from the ends of the earth. The Gospel picks the big souls out of all creation, and we will get the big souls out of all the nations, and we shall have the largest city in the world.
We will gather all the big souls out of every nation. As soon as the Gospel catches hold of noble souls, it brings them all right up to Zion. There is a thing called guiding star. The Gospel is similar. We will have a people great enough to be saved.
Popery could not write what Enoch preached. He told the people that the Spirit of God took him up into a high mountain, showed him the distress of the people—the destruction of the world, and he said his heart swelled wide as eternity. But adherents of Popery could not receive anything as large as that, and every man-made society is just like them. Men’s souls conform to the society in which they live, with very few exceptions, and when men come to live with the Mormons, their souls swell as if they were going to stride the planets as I stride the Republic of America. I can believe that man can go from planet to planet—a man gets so high in the mansions above.
A certain good sister came to my house and she was troubled because she heard so many big things. She thought it weakened her faith. I told her she had too much faith. She believed too much. I will tell you how you may know whether the thing is true or not. When any one comes to you with a lie, you feel troubled. God will trouble you, and will not approbate you in such belief. You had better get some antidote to get rid of it. Humble yourself before God, and ask Him for His Spirit and pray to Him to judge it for you. It is better not to have so much faith, than to have so much as to believe all the lies.
Before this conference closes, I want to get all the Elders together.
I shall make a proclamation. I want to take the line and ax and hew you, and make you as straight as possible. I will make you straight as a stretched line. Every Elder that goes from Nauvoo to preach the Gospel, if he preaches anything else, we will silence him through the public print. I want all the Elders to meet and to understand; and if they preach anything but the pure truth, we will call them home.
At a quarter-past three P.M., President Smith having arrived, the choir sang a hymn. Elder Amasa Lyman offered prayer.
President Joseph Smith delivered a discourse before twenty thousand Saints, being the funeral sermon of Elder King Follett.