A TRUE PROPHET.
The Latter Day Saints Defend the Founder of Their Church.
Many of Joseph Smith's Prophecies Have Been Fulfilled and the Others Will Be— Why Be Should Not he Placed in the Category of False Prophets— A Sermon on the Resur- rection — Other Proceedings at Kirtland.
KIRTLAND, 0., April 11.—[ Special.]— There were still some visitors left in town Sunday night and the temple was well filled. Elder Joseph Luff of Independence, Mo., spoke:
" The saints at Independence," said Mr. Luff, " are thinking of building a $ 15,000 church and I had thought of addressing you on the subject of subscriptions, but will not do so tonight. ' Beware of false prophets that come to you in sheeps' clothing, for in- wardly they are roaring wolves,' will be my text. Josh Biilings once wrote that when a man entered a conflict he should be careful not to take his weapon by the blade. I once preached iti a certain church and as I passed out I heard one of the outsiders say, that man should have read a little more scripture and he would have seen that it said beware of false prophets. I once listened to an orth- odox minister preach, and he looked me straight in the eye and repeated that quota- tion. I thought these people were making the mistake Josh Billings referred to— tak- ing the weapon by the blade. Ever since Joseph started this religion we have heard this cry hounded into our ears. In one town where I was preaching with a brother, some parents posted their little boys on top of a shed beside the road and instructed them to cry this portion of scripture as we passed. We admit that this caution has been needed, but it has been used against those who least of all deserved it, bv those who did deserve it.
" There was a prophecy in Bible days that told of a man coming who should be called
A FALSE PROPHET and whose influence shouid be great both for evil and for good all over the land." The speaker here related the manner of Joseph's conversion, the discovery of the plates and the ' translation of them into the Book of Mormon. The keynote of the Book of Mor- mon was that the gospel of Christ should be founded and organized as of old, and that a gospel shouid go forth to the world as deep and far reaching as the love of God; that Irsael should be gathered and Judea rebuilt. It exploded the theory that mail's probation ceased with life no matter how adverse were his circumstances, and taught that Christ should preach • to the spirits of the departed who had no opportunity of hearing the gospel. The book also holds that the object of this work is to prepare the people for the second coming of Christ.
" Jesus knew that one of the first evils to assail this work would be false prophets; he gave the spirit of prophecy, gift of healing and the discernment of spirits, and he knew these things would be counterfeited, hence the warning, ' Beware of false prophets.' When this young man began his work no sect believed in revelation, so he could not have taken advantage of their credulity. Did he fill the bill as a false prophet? Let us see. ' Beware of false prophets that come to you in slieeps' clothing.' Where was the sheep's clothing that Joseph used? Did he ever bleat like a Methodist, or like a Baptist or any of the others? No. He said they were all wrong. If he had put on their garb and joined them they
WOULD HAVE RALLIED AROUND HIM. As a wearer of sheep's clothing he didn't come up to the standard.
" Again, he taught baptism of water and of the spirit. The serpent „ V. rd Eve to eat the fruit andfv, b" l^ uld not b^ harmed; that was iv- proJFiiecv^ oJ^ kt^ rf rfra it told of some'thmg that would come to pass in the future. It took time to determine whether the prophecy was false or not. But it was a contradiction of God's plain word, and we know it was a lie. If in the garden of Eden it was a lie to contradict God's word, is it not a plain lie no" w to say that baptism is not necessary when God says ll is? Ah! that is a hard statement, you say, for it says a great many men are standing in the pulpit today and lying in God's name. Now, I never knew that the serpent knew he was lying when he told Adam and Eve they should not be harmed if they partook of the forbidden fruit— the Bible doesn't say so; he may have been persuaded by the devil that lie was telling the truth. So it is with these orthodox ministers; but the harm done is just as great if they realized what they were doing.
These, then, are the things Joseph taught, and I ask you what one of them can be dropped when God has commanded that they all should be observed. If Christ says these things should be done, I regard that man as a false prophet who says they need not be done. We pass from this to the lat- ter part of the text, ' by their fruits ye shall know them.' Solomon the wise made mis- takes— everyone does; but take Joseph's sayings and writings when he claimed to have the spirit of prophecy and if they fail to come to pass call him a false prophet, and if they have come to pass call him
A TRUE PROPHET. Take the prophecy concerning the civil war, earthquakes, etc. Did they not come true? " What is it that made men " begin to inquire if Christ's second coming would be literal and bring about a prophetic convention in Chicago? It is because this man's proph- esies have been coming to^ pass. Fifty years ago JosepK announced that the Jews would be reinstated in Judea, and the idea Avas ridiculed. Today that prophecy is being fulfilled in a wonderful manner. " So it will be with all these prophecies, until the truth is pushed home to their very thresholds.
" When Joseph promulgated the doctrine of probation after death he was laughed at by everybody, but such men as Beecfier, Dr. Thompson of Chicago and Canon Farrar have now announced their belief in it. I thank God that such a man as Canon Farrar was honest enough to come out and stand for the truth in spite of prejudice. Why, so great has been the agitation of this question that the Methodist church is threatened with a division on that ground.
" Some years ago the doctrine of healing by faith was called jugglery, but now we see cards stuck up in many windows announcing that reverend ministers of the orthodox creeds will teach the science of healing by faith. Was this any the less true fifty years ago, when Joseph Smith taught it? We see that Joseph Smith did not come in sheep's clothing— he had some of his own, and men like Canon Farrar and Beecher have picked little bits of wool off and pasted it on their own coats.
" ' Beware of false prophets,' but don't take every man for a false prophet because society labels him as such."
J. IS. Roth of Iowa spoke in the temple Monday on the subject of
" Faith, repentance, baptism, laying on of hands and the resurrection of the dead are all interesting subjects to me, but the resur- rection is of paramount interest. In life we suffer and toil because we have faith in the resurrection; and yet there are many who do not believe in a resurrection. One says, Why should I bother myself with re- ligion? There is no hereafter. Others say that for those who sin there is complete annihilation. ' If a man die, shall he live again?' is a most important question. Head- ing a little farther in the scriptures we find that ' like as Christ was raised up from the dead so we shall be, also;' again, when Christ appeared to his disciples ' he showed them his hands and his side.' Why did he do this? To prove that the body they had Been laid in the tomb was resurrected, and when Thomas Didymus didn't believe he bade him thrust forth his hand and put his fingers into his side, when Thomas cried: ' My Lord and my God!' Then said Christ: ' Blessed are those who believe and have not seen.' In Luke we learn that his disciples gathered together and said: ' The Lord has risen again,' and Christ appeared to them and showed thim his hands and his feet and told them to touch him that they might be convinced he was in the flesh: The he ate with them as he did before his death.
" In Acts his disciples say he appeared, even to us who did cat and drink with him after he
COME FROM THE DEAD. Christ said, in the 22d chapter of Matthew, ' For in the resurrection they neither marry nor are given in marriage, but are as the angels of God in heaven.' Now, if we are to live as the angels after death, let us see if we can get a clue to what the angels are like. In my youth I thought angels had wings," and it was a matter of much speculation to me how they could man- age them, but we learn that angels appeared to the Sodomites and they could not distin- guish them from men. Angels are like men in body. A stranger asked food of a lady and upon her refusing it, lie told her that she might some day refuse unawares to en- tertain an angel. ' Yes,' replied the lady, but he would not have a quid of tobacco in his mouth.'
" The Lord says is the ' God of the living/ Our ideas of death mean that it is annihilation, but in order to be with God in heaven we must become alive again. When a man dies his breath, warmth and flesh go back to the elements from which they sprung— not an iota is annihilated. Job says, ' in my flesh shall I see God.' Ezekiel, in the valley filled with bones, was asked by the Lord, ' Shall these bones live again?' and he answered and said, ' Thou knowest.' Then God made the bones to come together, and sinew and flesh be adefed, when, lo, there was a mighty army of them. Then the Lord added breath and they lived. ' The whole house of Israel shall live again,' said the Lord, The whole house of Israel is not dead yet. So we see that everything but blood was added to these resurrected bodies — therein lies the difference between us and angels.
" Again we read, if the dead do not rise, then has Christ not risen; but Christ is risen and
SO SHALL MAN RISE. Paul says there is a natural body and a spiritual body. This may seem to contra- dict my statements, but it does not. He also says fiesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of heaven; but he does not say that flesh and bone may not. There is a difference between natural and spiritual bodies, one is animated by blood and the other is not.
•' ' And I saw the souls of them that were beheaded for the witness of Jesus, and for the word of God, and they lived and reigned with Christ a thousand years.' This is the lot of those who are resurrected as angels. Let us so live that we may enjoy the glori- ous privilege of reigning a thousand years with Christ and the angels."
Several of the saints have departed from Kirtland, but the majority are still here.
THE BUSINESS SESSION.
At the. business session of the Kirtland con- ference Monday afternoon it was decided that the next annual conference should be held at Independence, Mo.
The committee appointed to look into the report of the board of publication made their . report and said they found everything in a satisfactory condition. A mistake had been made in adding up a column of figures which increased the net gain $ 11. The committee also suggested the propriety of annually ex- amining the books of this department and the following gentlemen were appointed to constitute such a committee: J. H. Peters, W. C. Cad well and Joseph Luff.
The present officials of the church were sus- tained in their positions for the ensuing year.
A discussion occupied a large portion of the business session on the subject of allow- ing the publishers of the Saints' Herald more liberty in the publication of matter.
President Joseph Smith has received a revelation in regard to the filling of offices in the church, but has not yet made it public.
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