|Concerning our Whereabouts - Watchman, What of the Night?||Joseph Luff|
He Who Foresees the Approach of Evil or Its Consequences upon His Fellows, and Fails to Give Timely Warning Thereof, Is an Unfaithful Watch-man, and Must Share, as He Deserves, the Distress of His Vision.(See Ezekiel 33rd Chapter; also 3:33-19.)
It is more than probable that the issuance of this pamphlet will give rise to varied feelings in the minds of its readers concerning it and myself; but it is performed as a duty, with a determination to cheerfully accept the fate or fortune it invites. The matter of each item must furnish its own defense, should any be demanded. I offer none, believing that to do so would be tantamount to an admission of its necessity and betray a fear that the potency lodged within and associated with them was insufficient to meet their own entailments.
I frankly confess, however, that going thus into print is distasteful to me. A factional arena, already reverberant with the echoes of apocryphal effusions along similar lines, offers no enticement to me. To enter it and await the direct interposition of heaven or the arbitrament of time for vindication while a safe investment-is nevertheless, repellant to my impatient nature, and were it not for the conviction that follows several days of fasting and prayer I would not venture.
If the several communications herein are true in their import, that fact alone is, of course, sufficient defense for their publication, for to withhold them from those who, according to that import, they were evidently intended to affect, would be a breach of trust on the part of the one who was made their custodian. Their contents clearly imply their mission. They surely were not intended for the pigeon hole of my private desk.
If on the other hand they are not true to that indication, the honest reader will not be injured by having had the privilege to read and judge and denounce them. And let me here say that, whether denounced or endorsed and welcomed, my personal feelings wil remain undisturbed. I shall at least have performed conscientiously what appeared to be a duty, and the results for us all will remain with God. What would you have done with them, reader, had they come to you?
Had I heeded the requests of some to whom they were read at or near the time they were written, all of them except the very recent ones would have been given to the printer long ago; but some experiences that followed the heeding of similar advice before have made me sensitive and cautious perhaps unduly so; but, having, I think, now passed the danger of their repetition, I hesitate no longer.
That the reader may understand, let me give an item or two: The communication bearing date May 31, 1906, was sent to Pres. Joseph Smith, at Lamoni, Iowa, with instruction to treat it as God showed him it deserved. He sent it back to me, after a couple of weeks, with his complete endorsement of it as the voice of the Spirit, and requested me to embody it in an epistle to the Church and publish it simultaneously in both Herald and Ensign. This I did (see issues for June 7, 1906). Later, Pres. Joseph Smith, in a sermon at a conference at Lamoni, quoted a sentence from it and declared it to be the voice of the Lord.
During a later conference, -when discussing a resolution submitted by the quorum of apostles, regarding secret societies, two elders on the affirmative side of the question, quoted from the above communication in support of their position. One of the most prominent officials of the church, on the negative side of the question, answered those two elders on that point by declaring that revelation to be a manifest effort of its publisher to climb up into the “Moses seat.”
Yes, dear reader, it did hurt; but it gave me a suggestion and developed my bump of caution just a little. It made the thought of my being used again in that line a bit distasteful to me.
A few years ago reliable information reached me to the effect that in certain places where I had spent some of the best years of my active missionary life, the rumor was being circulated and to quite an extent believed, that I had received revelations pointing to my elevation to the leading office in the Church and was anticipating their fulfillment. Of course I tried to run it down, but like the scattered thistle seed, who could regather it?
Right here in Independence, about the same time word reached me that a prominent church dignitary had declared that I was holding and presiding over secret meetings where plans were being developed to have the president of the Church ousted at the next conference; or, failing in that, to impeach him. I ran it down, secured written denials, which were followed by reaffirmations and offers to go into court and prove that the party charged had circulated the report-all from prominent elders.
Since then this town and many other places throughout the States and elsewhere have been flooded with the information that I had started a church of my own. A certain meeting house where a group of Saints were congregating was declared to be “Luff’s Church.” It so appeared in one of the local papers here, and that gave me opportunity to publicly deny it, which I did in plain terms; but still the story is in circulation. Every one of these statements was absolutely and unqualifiedly false, but they are mentioned here that the reader may discern what mental barriers have been in the way of an earlier publication of some of the contents of this pamphlet.
I had purchased a one-roomed commodious building, formerly used as a printing office and was moving it to a lot I owned with the intention of remodeling and renting it. While it was on rollers en route to the lot, a brother who with others was holding meetings in a theatre room stopped me on the street and asked me to not partition it, but rent it to them for their meetings as they much preferred such a building and location to the theatre building. I did so until I sold it, and that is the extent of my running a church. True, I have preached in it when requested; so has the presiding evangelist of the church many times. So has one of the First Presidency. So have some of the apostles and a number of the general missionaries and local elders of the Reorganization. Hence, it must be their church also if it is mine. It is true I have taken the sacrament there, for they use the common cup and that is my preference, but so do a dozen other ministers of the Reorganized Church. In fact the little group that assembles there are all staunch members and supporters of the Reorganization, in doctrine and practice as they learned the faith from its founders and promoters from 1860 to 1925. They will not allow the use of their pulpit to any one for antagonizing the Reorganization in any way. What differences they hold regarding administrative procedure they reserve for the proper time and place for their expression, believing that these do not include the pulpit nor the hours set apart for devotional exercise. They devote their time to the proclamation of the Restoration story as delivered by the angel, and they are devoutly praying and waiting for a divine interposition that they hope will bring all saints into union and happy fellowship.
This pamphlet is not issued to air grievances or defend attitudes, but to announce my whereabouts and relieve myself of any blame that a further withholding of its contents might make me deserving of. Two of the communications are of comparatively recent date, but the conviction that frees me to the publication of the others covers these equally. Perhaps I have been recreant or cowardly in delaying. I hope not: but being now in my 78th year and so far as that fact indicates, standing on the brink of the grave and waiting for the transfer summons to where human judgment need not disturb, and where-face to face with the all-seeing, all-knowing, infinite God, I shall hear a judgment rendered upon my course (including the issuance of this pamphlet) that is of eternal import, surely this fact will give me immunity from suspicion of vanity or aspiration now to office or place in the minds of my brethren because of this publication, and inasmuch as the expense of publishing it has. been met exclusively from my own purse and no payment is asked for the copies circulated, the thoughts of money-lust will also be excluded.
For nearly fifty-four years I have been a minister of the Church. For twenty-two years I was a member of the Quorum of the Twelve. The gospel reached me by letter, containing a leaflet, when I was living and acting as a local minister of the Methodist Church in Toronto, Canada. As a result of reading that leaflet and two subsequent ones, I, a few months later, went 120 miles to meet the Latter Day Saints in the city of London. There I was baptized and in a few days returned to my home where I was the only Latter Day Saint in that city of 120,000 people. There my work as a member and soon after as a minister began. What such a situation meant for me, after severing my connection with the church of all my former life, I leave the reader to imagine, remembering that was fifty-four years ago, when prejudice ran high and persecution was bitter; but neither ostracism nor privation, the loss of home and friends, or the threats of organized mobs when their guns rattled around me, ever made me regret for a moment the step that entailed them. I have tramped the rough roads, carrying my satchel, forty miles in a day and held meeting at night and counted it a joy, nor did I ever consciously droop the flag whose staff I held. And now, after half a century of service under it, I say devoutly that if, knowing what I now do, I had to choose my life course again-if, instead of having to go by train one hundred and twenty miles, the distance was a thousand miles and had to be traveled on foot, and barefoot over rocks at that, I would gladly make the journey rather than remain without the gospel I found at the end of that trip. I would rather die before the dusk of today to promote the interest of that gospel and Church than live a hundred years and spend one day of them in hindering them. I have sometimes thought that perhaps some persons got this gospel too cheaply to appraise it as highly as it deserves.
I write thus that my readers may know, regardless of what may have saluted their ears concerning me since I have had the opportunity of traveling among them, that where I was, as to the faith, when I was in their midst I am now.
Perhaps no now living man was more closely associated and intimate with our late President Joseph Smith than myself. Certainly no man ever loved him more. Yet no man, perhaps, ever more openly and earnestly opposed him than did I, when we differed on matters under legislation. In most instances he proved to be right in his convictions and contentions, but not in all, and I well remember his appearance before the Twelve one morning and saying as he stood before us: “Brethren, I have come to offer my apology to you. I am now convinced that you are right.” I could scarcely refrain from embracing and kissing him at that moment. He looked so noble to my eyes.
As he was lying upon what proved to be his dying bed, surrounded by quite a number, he turned to me and said: “We haven’t always agreed, Joseph, have we? We’ve had some pretty strong contentions-you and Brethren Lambert and Caffal and Kelley and Heman and others of the Twelve and I.”
When I acquiesced he added: “Well, Joseph, I never loved any of you less because of it. I knew you all and that I could trust you anywhere, and that the work as well as myself was always safe in your hands. They were all noble men.”
To this I answered: “Brother Joseph, no man was ever bigger in my estimation than you and I couldn’t love any man more than I have you; but there was one thing that was always bigger than you, and that was the Church, and when that got between us you couldn’t see me and I couldn’t see you.”
Stretching forth his hand and seizing mine, he replied: “That’s it exactly. I couldn’t have said it so nicely; but there is one thing I want to say to you, Joseph, and that is that you men saw the situation at that time better than I did, and as I said to you once before, Joseph, some men have been apprehensive concerning you because of your disagreement with me and because of their opinion of your attitude, and have predicted your apostasy; but, Joseph, you will never trail the flag. I feel certain of that.”
Blessed old man. He towers like a monumental vision of honor before my eyes as I think of him. He did not make me vain by the remark concerning me; but he clinched the conviction that, like a rivet, his former association with me had entered, viz., that he understood me. He knew me as but few, if any other, individuals ever did. I well remember one piece of advice he gave me years before, when in the course of our conversation he said: “Joseph, never drive your stakes so deep that you will not be able to withdraw them later if you shall desire to.” Our differences of opinion or judgment never disturbed our affection for each other.
I refer to these things to pass on the lessons he helped to teach me, that rank or station does not exempt any man from the liability to be mistaken, nor relieve him of the moral obligation to acknowledge his mistake when he discovers it. He did not want to go from us forever without leaving with us the acknowledgement of his discovery, and no act of any high-ranking man ever betokened nobility more clearly. Oh. what a friend and helper I lost in his departure from us.
If from the realm of light to which he has been transf erred he has been able to survey the field of my occupancy since then, and can discern me today, he can record the fulfillment of his prophecy. The flag staff Is still in my hand and the ensign is floating to the highest breeze I feel myself capable of holding it. My efforts in that line are attended to this day with as rich spiritual experiences as at any time in my active life, and the hope of my soul today is that the hour is fast closing upon the Church when as a result of divine intervention and a sanctified experience, all who have come under the Restoration covenant shall present a united front and reflect the glory of God’s abiding presence-a Zion in the reality portrayed in the Enoch Story.
Concerning the several communications contained herein there is but little left to state. The “Song of Admonition” has been in circulation and use throughout t-he Church since 1904, and reports from everywhere indicate Its universal endorsement as a loving appeal -from heaven. The “Song of Entreaty” was sung by me in the Stone Church during the period of the World War on April 1, 1917. The communication dated May 31, 1906, has already been referred to as the one endorsed by President Joseph Smith and published in the Church papers at his request.
The document bearing date April 11, 1916, came to me in my office after three days of fasting and prayer, occasioned by deep anxiety over existing conditions. It was never printed, but I read it as the close of my sermon about two years afterwards and to one of the First Presidency at his request and privately to as many as requested it. The one bearing date June 12, 1923, was received while riding on a train from Saint Joseph to Independence. It was read a few months afterwards to one of the First Presidency and also to one or two assemblies of Saints by request. Otherwise it has not been circulated. In 1925 for some time before the General Conference, a number of the active and some of the leading ministers of the Church were holding prayer meetings, which were open to everyone, in different available residences in Independence. These assemblies resulted in the formulation and presentation at conference of what is known as the Protest, which caused so much discussion during its sessions. I attended and was a participant at most of those meetings and on the morning of April 5, 1925, was moved upon to write the communication bearing that date, which was addressed, as I understood it, to that group. I, later, read it to them, and still later to any person that asked me to. Beyond that it has not been circulated.
The headings in all cases where they appear were selected and placed by me as I thought they were appropriate. The communication entitled “Love’s Warning and Entreaty” was written quite recently-February 10, 1930, and has only been read to half a dozen persons prior to its going into this printer’s hands.
One final word. In the receiving and writing of the contents of this pamphlet I neither saw a personage nor heard a voice. There was no accompaniment of outer demonstration in any instance. My being was invaded with an influence or power of enlightenment and intelligent outreach, such as I have become familiar with, and a peculiar constraint to write, from which I never was freed in any instance till I had yielded to the urge, and which in each case was followed with a feeling of restfulness and a happy consciousness of having performed a good work, for which I felt, 0, so thankful to God.
As between the experiences connected with the production of the “Song of Admonition” and any one of the others, I know of no difference. To me the power, the influence, the operations and the results were identical. I make these statements plainly because I do not want the reader’s mind to be influenced favorably by the imagination of spectacular display or anything in that line, or by any personal testimony from me as to their divinity. Using perhaps plainer words, I want the reader to peruse the contents of this pamphlet just as he or she would listen to or read a sermon, and to be governed in judgment as to the character of their matter and origin. by the convictions (favorable or otherwise) borne in upon them by the Spirit whose guidance they depend upon for safety as the disciples of Christ.
That is all in the way of personal testimony that I care to give regarding them. Any member of the Church is welcome to a copy of the pamphlet upon application while they last. If the contents are esteemed of sufficient importance to the reader to lead him or her to pray, if in doubt concerning them, may God lend an ear to their petitions and grant them an answer that will ensure their safety and add an item of value to their gospel experience, and bring Him glory from the decision they are led to make. With this prayer I send it forth and relieve my soul. I have not sought to invade any other man’s sphere or assume any other man’s prerogatives; but simply to yield to the constraint I have referred to and occupy as has been the accorded privilege of every member of the Church throughout its history, as our prayer meeting experiences and our Church history will bear ample witness, that I might thereby contribute the mite entrusted to my custody toward the promotion of the interests they may serve-happily conscious that no man, by the observance of what is therein enjoined will ever thereby be made less a saint of God or -disciple of the Christ.
Received at Independence, Missouri, March 31, 1906
Behold, saith the Lord: I have heard and do hear the petitions of those who are called my people. My ear is not heavy, neither is my arm short. My covenant with Israel is not forgotten, nor is my will glow to perform; but to whom shall I speak, and by whom shall my counsel be observed?
Behold I am wedded to my covenant and am jealous of my agreement with those who are there under. Once I have spoken!-yea, twice have I declared that the set time to favor Zion has come; but my army is not yet very great, and their weapons, many of them, are yet carnal. Nevertheless my word shall, not fail, neither shall my purpose be changed, notwithstanding my people are slow to perceive and the confidence of some has failed.
Dig ye deep into the mountains which centuries have formed and into which my providences are interwoven, and bring forth the witnesses of my forgetfulness or the testimonies of my failure. Reveal unto me wherein the generations have made frail the texture of my ordinances or dissolved the integrity of my promises. Speak! and I will hearken unto you. Declare! and I will give audience! Who hath been able to stand in the way of my accomplishment, or hath put fetters upon my hands? Are not cities and nations and villages but as pebbles in my hands? For, behold, on yesterday their magnitude was thine amazement, and tomorrow thou shalt ask: “Where are they?” and shalt declare, “Surely the Lord’s hand is in this thing.”
Remember, therefore, that I change not, neither in my power nor my purpose, and what I have designed I will execute, and naught shall stay my hand, and my heritage shall not fail.
But who shall be called my Zion-my habitation- and through whom shall I execute my purpose? Where shall my hand find its weapons of execution and its instruments for performance? Shall it not be among those whose hearts are found pure and whose eyes shall be single? Yea, verily! Stand ye, therefore, in holy places, and if ye will enjoy my intelligence be ye mine and mine only! For such is your agreement.
But ye say, “Wherein have we failed and in what is our Infidelity revealed?” Listen! And I will give answer, and then shall ye reply whether ye have been silent when evil has been present among you, and whether ye have consented thereby to a defilement of my heritage. For, behold, houses have been builded unto me and have been, nevertheless, reserved for pleasures which do not enrich the soul. Altars have been dedicated unto me and have been shared with other gods., The mammon of this world hath been sought by guile and oppression and unseemly desire by some, and because a portion thereof has been given as a tithe or an offering unto me, it hath been imagined that I will wink at these things; some have declared themselves separated unto me and I have chosen them out of the world and made them to be agents unto me; but they have sought out other shrines and made covenant in secret places in which I have no delight.
Behold and consider: If my weapons are not sufficient for your faith shall these things give them increase? Or shall ye add that which is carnal to make effective the work for which my Spirit hath been given? Shall I be content while this evil doth pollute my estate? Behold the brick that is not burned and the mortar which is not tempered; yea, and the material which I have not selected, shall not find permanent place with that of my choosing; for my fires shall consume and my floods shall overwhelm, and men within and without my church shall yet learn that but one pattern hath been given by which ye shall build, if I shall accept your labor; and but one line hath been given by which to measure; and whosoever shall not gauge himself thereby and crucify himself to the world, shall yet be gauged thereby and shall lose his all; for “whosoever shall fall upon this Stone shall be broken, but upon whomsoever it shall fall it shall grind him to powder.”
Live ye, therefore, and labor in love, not so much that ye may obtain; but that ye may make effective my law and exemplify my life. In this ye shall find riches and your peace shall not fail, and thus I shall have delight in those who not only say but do according to the purpose of my gospel.
Received April 11, 1916
Concerning my people and my work observe this:
I have chosen them out of the world that through them I might reveal the sufficiency of my arm and the completeness of my ordinations for the performance of my great and strange work-yea, even the work unto which alone I had appointed them, that their achievements should not be by the wisdom of men, nor their triumphs give glory to the flesh; but behold they have returned to the world for their equipment. They have forgotten their calling. They have crowded my altars and my sanctuaries with the innovations of men and the weapons of their own choosing, till they have made the place too narrow for my feet that I cannot walk therein and there is small room for my dwelling among them. Instead of gold of my refining they have chosen brass and have thought to behold my image in the burnishing of their own hands. They have supplanted me in my house, insomuch that men seek me there and find me not as I am, but their ears are saluted with the creations of men and their eyes with the vision of that wherein my glory is not reflected.
I have counseled equality among my people and my words have been upon their banners, but wherein have they been honored? Is it meet in my sight that one shall be the equal of many when his hand shall enter the treasury of my house? Shall it be said, of one, “he shall judge of his own needs and his exactions be regarded” and to another: “others shall judge for thee and thou shalt be content with a tithe of what was given to thy brother, notwithstanding thee and thine have as great need”? Have not my people consented to such things while with their lips they have said: “We are one and the Lord is our counselor”?
Surely I have counseled a heedless people, for my words are soon forgotten. I have appointed their work and endowed their hands, but have failed of their confidence. Yet who has trusted me in vain, or who that has been faithful has found my weapons insufficient? Where has my work been put to shame among those who have trusted my provision? Has he whom I have chosen become wiser than I, or have years brought feebleness to my hand? Hath not my eye foreseen, or are the conditions that confront my heritage a surprise unto me? Have I grown small in my people’s eyes or have my ordinances become shrunken that they are without virtue? If my appointments avail not, shall I make potent the instruments of their choosing, or by what line shall their success be measured? Has my light grown dim and will they draw oil from wells without for my replenishment? By what form of speech shall I appeal unto them and what language shall impress, that they may know that I am God! I change not! Nor shall my glory be given to another?
Nevertheless, I will yet awhile be patient with my people. My purpose shall stand and its consummation shall not fail. I will exalt whom I will and it shall be for my honor. I will displace whom I will and it shall be to my praise, and my movements shall speed the redemption of Zion and the vindication of my covenant. For behold the time is ripe for my accomplishment and my appointments have been from the beginning. Whoso trusteth in me shall find me sufficient and in due time shall share in my triumph. He that hath not this faith must be content with the fruit of his own sowing. My ways are not man’s ways, nor my thoughts his thoughts, but he that abideth in my ways shall not be disappointed.
Received June 12, 1923
Who shall speak of God’s yesterday or prepare for Him a tomorrow? Who shall command His steps to complete the program of their devising, or move His fingers to perform their purpose? Wait ye on His bidding and be satisfied with the counsel of His lips, for the Lord liveth not to magnify your designs, but to unfold His own and that you may have glory in cooperation. Say not to your young men, seek wisdom of men as do others, that you may expertly handle the things of God and be not left to shame, for skill cometh with the handling to whom he hath chosen, who shall prove faithful. If ye would excel, wait on the Lord and trust in the sufficiency of His leading, for He knoweth the fountains that satisfy and thou shalt be led to drink therefrom. Therein shall the youth find knowledge and the aged strength.
Aged men whom ye have discarded shall live. Young men and middle aged upon whom ye depend shall fail and your calculations shall not stand; for the strength of the house of God shall not be gathered as you have reckoned. Abraham and Sarah waited on age for the fulfillment of the covenant in a righteous begetting and thus, as from the grave, shall emerge giants in God’s strength, and as the womb of age brought forth to execute, so shall the Lord perform according to His design and not as your imaginations have prepared His paths, for He shall walk in His own ways to reveal His power and His glory. The stripling shall be wise, but not in your wisdom, and the aged shall move with the speed of a young man who hasteth to his bride, and neither shall have preeminence, for God alone shall be in remembrance and His hand shall be extolled. The tortoise of His choosing shall outstrip your swift messengers and the rough stone of His selection shall excel the luster of the gems of your adornment, and when He shall whisper your thundering shall not be heard. He shall walk in the paths of His own appointing, as of old, and the avenues of your invention shall not be entered, for it shall be a day of God’s revealment and His steps shall be taken as He hath arranged from the beginning. His ordinances shall speak glory and His weapons shall declare achievement, and shame and confusion shall cover all that hath wrought in their stead.
Then shall the beholder exclaim: “Surely the God of the ancients-the unchangeable Jehovah has returned, to magnify His ordinations and to vindicate His covenant; to reveal the life of His utterances, and to bring to pass the triumph of His kingdom among men. 0, that we had trusted in the eternity of His recollection and had not leaned on our understanding, then might we have had place in the glory of this revealment.
As among the Gentiles, even so among His people has it come to pass. They are drunken, but not with wine; they stagger, but not with strong drink. A spirit of deep sleep has been poured out upon them. They drink deep from the fountains of pleasure and in their dreams say, “This is the vintage of God-behold, this is our life.” They eat at the tables of carnal delight, which His hand hath not spread and exclaim: “Thus we banquet for our strength; behold this hath God created, that we might feast to our delight and revel in our abundance.” They clothe themselves with the garments woven without His kingdom and of a texture that moths destroy and worms consume, and in the beauty of these delight themselves; but they shall awake and shall have intense appetite, and who shall then appease their hunger, or how shall their wasted years be redeemed? See ye not herein the unwise virgins of whom hath been written, and hear ye not herein a call unto repentance?
Ye have read and seek to teach others. Why will ye not first understand? Have ye not fulfilled the Scriptures: “Your prophets are hidden and your Seers are covered”? But, remember, your turning of things upside down shall be esteemed as potter’s clay, for shall the thing framed say of Him that formed it, ‘He hath no understanding and we must needs improve his method”?
“Surely the Lord will proceed to do a marvelous work among this people, even a marvelous work and a wonder, for the wisdom of their wise men shall perish and the understanding of their prudent men shall be hid.” Ye were chosen out of the world to achieve by His method and for the glory of His name, but ye have returned to the world for your equipment and have esteemed His panoply insufficient; but He will bring His ordinances to honor and His council to be praised by all men. For shall He that hath created be led forth by the thing He hath made? Shall wisdom leave Him who hath made the wing when it is to be feathered for flight? The Lord shall clip thy wings in the day thou shalt spread them, and thou shalt fall prostrate before Him in thy peril, that thou mayest know that the heights of His consummation can not be reached on the wings that He hath not plumed.
The Lord shall proceed as of old and your wise men and your noble ones shall scarce be considered. His messengers shall bear His image-they shall be clothed with the power of His might and their tongues shall be as a flame of fire. Their beauty shall be the excellence of His adornment, for unto -this end have they been permitted to suffer in the days of their preparation, that the marks of His body might be upon them. These shall go forth with all of His chosen and shall achieve as has been written, and their conquest shall be in the glory of His power, for in them shall He be revealed, and before this revelation shall the thousands of earth prostrate themselves, and at this beholding shall they cry out unto Him. The speech of these shall subdue and through the utterance of these shall many be quickened. The polish of your chosen words which have lulled them to slumber and the expressions of your preparation, together with the manner of your modeling by which ye have thought to allure shall be as the dust with which the foolish maiden hath sought to make her face beautiful, and shall cease to persuade. Men shall seek life and these cannot supply.
Blessed in that hour shall he be who hath made the word of the Lord his study and in that hath found contentment, for his face shall shine with the glory of its fulfillment, and his feet shall be beautiful in the light of its vindication. His lips and his tongue shall minister as in the stead of his Master and in these shall the heavens have delight. Their words shall mean accomplishment, for upon them shall the heavens wait and their eloquence shall be as the noise of the Holy Ghost. They shall not be known by the name given them of their fathers, but as the messengers of God, for in them shall He be discerned and His shall be the glory of their success.
Who hath ears to hear, let him be warned. He that hath heart for service let him herein find education. Behold your Omega in your Alpha, and remember that He who formed His tools for a beginning hath whetted them for the finish, and the day is at hand. The instrument shall not employ the Builder, but shall accomplish by the hand that formed it, as His wisdom hath planned from the beginning, for eternity is His season and perfection is His attribute.
Received April 5, 1925
UNTO THOSE WHO HAVE EARS TO HEAR: Your zeal for my cause is pleasing unto me and your present travail for my Church shall bring forth according to my pleasure, for wheresoever my law is in honor and my ordinances are held as a sacred thing, even as they were delivered unto you from the beginning, Behold there is my church; and he that imagineth change in them hath not known me, for I CHANGE NOT, and my ordinances are my witness.
Whoso laboreth to maintain the integrity of these among my people confesseth me as his Lord; but he that varieth therefrom, seeketh not to build up my kingdom, but his own.
I called forth a people from the world in these last days and entrusted them with treasures from heaven, that they might be agents unto me, that through them I might achieve in my own way and that the glory of my purpose might appear; but I have not been trusted., nor have my provisions been accounted sufficient, and my people have returned to the world for their equipment and to make effective their instruments of accomplishment.
They have mingled my sacred things with their carnal selections. They have made of my house a resort for pleasure. They have employed the revenues of my church to promote pursuits that are secular and interests for which no provision is made in my law. They have sought to embellish my provisions and the creations of my will with the inventions of their own imagination until I am nowhere to be found amid the spectacles of their performance in the separateness of my own attire, and I have no longer a peculiar people on the earth who are content with me as I am and as I have revealed myself. My covenant with many has been counted insufficient, and for purposes outside of my Gospel’s intent, they have adopted the vows of other shrines and pledged themselves in secret places where I cannot be found.
I have heard your cries unto me and it is my will to deliver. My means are available and sufficient; but who will be content therewith and permit me to glorify myself in them after the manner of my preference?
Ye have prayed that my kingdom may come and my will be done among you as it is done in heaven, and in this ye do well; but who shall be your instructor in these things? Who hath knowledge of things as they are done in heaven, or who, better than your heavenly Father, can perform on earth what he hath accomplished in heaven. If his law and ordinances are sufficient in heaven, shall they prove insufficient if honored on earth?
Ye would be loyal to me and therefore have arisen against usurpation by man in my church. Blessed are ye in so doing, and if ye will be consistent in this my favor shall attend you, for ye have had great occasion; but remember ye are but reaping today what ye sowed on yesterday, for had ye been as zealous of my house and mine ordinances heretofore, then the ears of those entering my house would not have been saluted, by your consent, with sounds of revelry and mirth and human dogmas and philosophy, nor their eyes with spectacles of carnal display which seek but to entertain; but rather with those things which I delivered unto my church, from heaven, to be used for my glory-those things which voice only holiness unto the Lord and wherein your discipleship to me is revealed. Such is my Gospel purpose, for therein have I revealed myself, as I wish men to behold me, and as I wish to be revealed in them, and this for my glory in their sanctification.
If unto one belongs the right to lessen the sacredness of any of my institutions, then belongs it also unto another to pervert the purposes of my law as his inclinations or ambitions may lead; for if ye consent that the soil be corrupted to grow the weed of your selection, then be not surprised if the thistle and thorn of your discomfort shall later appear.
Know ye not that the field is mine and the seed given for your sowing is from heaven? If therefore ye desire God’s kingdom, as it is in heaven, among you, plant only the seed wherein alone the desired fruit is found. If ye desire a celestial harvest, purge yourselves of terrestrial longings and set your affections on things above.
The policies and assumptions against which you proclaim shall not prevail, for I am jealous of my law and whom I shall permit to occupy must minister as a servant, even as did your Lord, for I alone am supreme; and if my people shall be agreed in holding my word and ordinances in honor and shall keep themselves pure before me, and preserve my tabernacles in the holiness unto which they have by formality dedicated them, ye shall see the salvation of God and that speedily.