HEALIjfe BY FAITH.
The Kirtland Conference Dis- cusses This Subject.
Conditions Must toe Favorable for the Relief of the Afflicted One Through the Laying On of Hands- Nineteenth Century Prophets No More Infallible Than Those of Olden Times— Some Remarkable Cures Reported— Religious Exer- cises.
KIRTLAND, 0., Api; il 6.—[ Special.]— Quite a large congregation assembled in the temple at the evening services Wednesday night. After the usual sihging and prayer Mr. Hiram Rathburn of Michigan addressed the meeting: " I will take for my theme to- night the second verse in the second chapter of John: ' And, now, little children, abide in him.' Observe the character of that ad- dress— children. In the first place they are addressed as children, not aliens or strangers, but persons belonging to the family of God. Hence, in the scripture we frequently come across the language, ' sons of God.' Right in the next chapter we read, ' Behold what manner of love the father has bestowed on us, that we should be called the sons of God.' Just think of that. Paul, in his epistle to the Corinthians, says, ' Ye are the temple of God,' and Christ has said, ' I will walk in them and dwell iii them, wherefore touch not or taste not unclean things.' As to the word children, we understand that it involves what is commonly called the new birth; they are spoken of as being born again— born of God. This is wonderful, high and holy; no wonder the apostle exclaimed: ' Behold what manner of love the father has bestowed on'us, that we should be called the children of God!' Thus we become heirs to
AN INHERITANCE OF GOD.
" The next noticeable feature of the text is being called little children, notwithstand- ing this high exaltation of being called chil- dren of God. In one sense it means that we are little in number, for Jesus has said ' Straight is the gate and narrow is the way, and few there be who go in thereat.' So it is indicated in the scriptures that the children of God shall be few in number. They are not the great multitude who travel the broad and popular way of the world, where all speak well of them. On another occasion Jesus said: ' Fear not, little flock'; and we conclude, first, that they are small in num- bers, and secondly, little in their own esti- mations of themselves; they think soberly and are disposed to humble themselves in vtheir thoughts, exhibiting a spirit of meek- ness in all the walks of life. They think 110 more of themselves than tney ought. Again, they are little in experience, for though they may attain to a glorious experi- ence in this life, the magnificent glory they shall possess when they dwell with Christ after he comes to reign on the earth for a thousand years is beyond comparison. The experience of this life is as a drop to the great ocean compared with the superlative glory we shall enjoy with the master whom we now serve. And now, little children, abide in him— such is the abundant
INSTRUCTION OF THE SCRIPTURES. The question is, How are we to abide in liirn? We read again that we know we are in Christ by the spirit within us. Now, it makes no difference howr many ways there are in the world of clouding your brain with error, for myself I must follow the word of God. I turn over to Romans and the apostle says, ' Know ye not that so many of us as we're baptized into Jesus Christ,' and again in Galatians, ' For as many of you as have been baptized into Christ have put on Christ.' From all this we naturally infer that we must be baptized, and we understand a per- son to have been baptized when he has made a holy consecration of himself to Christ. Peter says, ' Repent ye and be baptized.' By doing this we gain a moral standpoint before God, but we are not to stop there. We must not stop until we gain a spiritual standing. After having gained a moral standing we must go a step further— to the laying on of hands— and thus % et a spiritual standing. Then are we chil- dren of God. As I stated before, we are not left to wend our way through mazes of doubt. ' Hereby we know we are in him and he in us,' says the apostle. There is no specula- tion about it. Jesus savs, ' By this shall all men know ye are my disciples— if ye love one another!'
" The injunction to abide makes it natural for us to infer that there is opposition to be encountered, and that we must stand firm and abide in him. First of all, there is the devil to encounter— the enemy of all souls— but if we abide in him who came on earth to destroy the work of the devil we shall be saved. May God bless us and help us to abide in him."
Mr. Rathburn is one of the leading doctors of medicine in the state of Michigan.
Messrs. John Chisnel! . and David Cham- bers presided at the meeting in the temple Thursday morning. Mr. Chisnel! said he supposed the congregation was more or less unacquainted with one another, but they had all come there to worship God. He an- nounced that an hour would be spent in a general service in which any one was at lib- erty to participate, and the members were asked to prajy sing or speak as the spirit moved them.
Prayer was offered by one of the brethren, who asked the Lord to bestow on them a special blessing that they might be enabled to resist the opposition of all evil. Several others prayed, asking that the sick and sor- rowful might be comforted, that all might be strengthened in the faith and that the Lord's spirit might be with them in this conference.
Then a hymn was sung:
" Come, 0 my soul, to Calvary
And see the man who died for thea Upon the accursed tree.
Behold the Savior's agony, While groaning in Grothsemane, Beneath the sins of men."
" Ten years ago today a brother informed me through the gift of tongues that I was commanded to embrace this gospel. In En- gland," said a sister, " I was afflicted with a tumor, and was administered to by three brethren. I was healed, and I know that this gospel is true."
A brother arose and said he felt it a duty to bear his testimony for the gospel. He had desired to attend a certain conference, but did not see his way clear for tiie accomplish- ment of his wishes. One day in a meeting a brother was moved to deliver a message from God, and the Lord informed the speaker that he should attend the conference and that he should receive a greater portion of the Holy Ghost than ever before. " When I came into this building I felt the spirit thrill me from the crown of my head to the tips of my fin- gers and the soles of my feet."
Another sister had lost a child, and the child prayed on its deathbed for the mother to meet it in heaven. Almost broken- hearted she had sought consolation in vain and had united with the MethoJists, but could get no comfort from their creel. Fi- nally she joined the Latter Day Saints and all doubt lied. She knew, that she was in the right wavnow, and felt comforted and thank- ful.
The hymn entitled " We thank thee, O Lord, for a prophet," was sung. This is a genuine Mormon hymn and illustrates their belief in prophecy and revelation. It is sometimes sung in the tabernacle in Salt Lake by thousands of people at once, and on ! such occasions the fervent emotion of that I people make the words ring out with empha- sis. The hymn begins;
" We thank thee, 0 God, for a prophet— lor a prophet in these latter days," and in another stanza it says: " The wicked who fight against Zion will surely be smit- ten at last." We would state right here, how- ever, that the members of the reorganized church are entirely different from the Utah Mormons, and we seek to draw no compar- ison but to the advantage of the reorgan- ized saints.
Again a sister related what Gentiles consider rather a remarkable occurrence. She
SAW A VISION. In the foreground was a beautiful lake, and on its glassy bosom floated a white boat; the boat approached the shore and when it touched the beach she took her seat in it and was borne off. After a time she came i^ i sight of a beautiful city filled with light to which, that of the sun is no comparison, and no earthly city was ever so pure and beautiful — mortal tongue could make 110 description. She could see above and beneath the celes- tial city, but not to the north or south of it.
A recess of ten minutes was taken and then the meeting again came to order and after being opened as usual, Mr. Isaac Smith of Illinois spoke on
THE POWER OF HEALING
" We read," said Mr. Smith, " of the won- derful things done in past ages by Moses, Abraham and others, and in our admiration of their powers we overlook their faults and failures and come to the conclusion that it is impossible to do those things in these days. Now, in the scriptures we have instances of the most signal failures when some of these miracles have been attempted; their efforts were not always crowned with success. Some people sav to us, ' Why, if I believed as you'do and thought I could heal the sick by laying 011 my hands I would be doing it all the time.' We claim 110 such po. wer for . ourselves, but only through God and only at such times as he deems fit" to let us exercise it. Christ appeared to his dis- ciples walking on the water and said to Peter, ' Be not afraid.' Then he bade Peter come to him, and Peter had faith enough to believe he could do it and he started. But before, he reached the master Christ caused the waters to rise, and doubt and fear filled Peter's heart and he felt himself sinking. His faith was strong enough for the calm sea, but not for the troubled waters. We find that the Lord did not alwavs answer his dis- ciples' prayers, but after they had gained faith enongh to trust to God, they never failed in working a miracle afterwards.
" The sick, in many cases, have brought on illness by violating the laws of God and nat- ure, and it would be wrong to heal them, for they would go back to their sins again, knowing that they would easily be healed if taken sick. The failures among the apostles ought to teach us that God grants this healing power only when he sees fit— the power is not in us. We must not put our trust in human power, but there " is one to whose power we may always trust— Jesus Christ, if we put our trust in him we shall be saved, but if we put our trust in men, we shail be accursed. The experience of the people of Christ's ti me shows that God's manner of dealing with men has been about the same in all ages."
TIIE AFTERNOON SESSION.
Just after dinner time T'narsdav afternoon a huge bundle of morning PLAIN' DEALERS arrived at the Kirtland hotel, and the saints
— likewise one sinner, your representative
eagerly sought out the long article 011 the conference. We had scarcely time to read the article before the business session of the afternoon convened in the temple, President Smith and W. W. Blair occupying the pul- pit. A hymn was sung and prayer was of- fered, when the minutes of yesterday's busi- ness meeting were read and the committee 011 credentials instructed to report as soon aa convenient, several delegates having newly arrived.
The bishop's report was referred to tiie auditors, who will look over the financial matters contained in it.
The report of the secretary of the board of publication was referred to a committee in- structed to inquire into the wages, of printers and employes of that department and to make a thorough report of all expenditures.
The reading of reports from elders who are engaged in missionary work-- was continued, and letters from the following men were heard: ApostleE. C. Briggs, High Priest W. II. Kelley, C. Derry and D. S. Mills.
A communication from a quorum of the twelve auostles reads: " We or the quorum of the twelve ( being but five in number) re- port to your honorable body that we are now ready and willing to transact such business as may be properly referred to us in our pres- ent condition. We note with gladness the progress made in the general work, but can- not but regret our inability to perform im- portant work which seems " so essential to the present and future safety and prosperity of the cause.
" We earnestly call your attention to the present condition of our quorum. We have but seven members, one of • whom is in a distant land, Thus you will see that the second quo- rum of the church, as a quorum, does not exist iu the land of America. Will your honorable body adopt such measures as you may deem proper with a view to bettering our condition? We deem this as important a matter as can engage the attention of the conference, and we believe that God is will- ing to hear our prayer and relieve us from this embarrassment. JAMES CAFFALL, " Acting Secretary."
The elders' reports are ail encouraging to the saints and every missionary evinces a determination to keep hard at work.
TALK AVITH AN OLD- TIME SAINT.
Your representative had a quiet talk with Mr. D. S. Mills, a genial old- timer from Cali- fornia, who is attached to this faith. Mr. Mills has had a. varied experience in life, and anyone who has lived for a time in the west would pick him out at first sight as one of those rugged, kindly men who have some- how partaken of the broadness of the west- ern plains in the make- up of their charac- ters.
While Mr. Mills was 011 his way to Cali- fornia in ' 53 the mountain fever attacked his company and five out of nine " men were buried. Mr. Mills was the sixth one taken sick and they concluded to stop in Salt Lake until he either got. well or died. While lying at the point of death in that place, Mr. Mills received a visit from Orson Pratt, who introduced himself and said, hearing of sickness he had concluded to call.
" You are a very sick man," said Mr. Pratt. " Do you expect to live?"
" I'do not," answered Mr. Mills.
" Do you wish to live?"
" Being a young man," said Mr. Mills, " I naturally wanted to live, and I told him so. Then he said to me, ' Do you believe in God?'
" ' No,' I again answered.
'" Do you believe in the Bible?"
" ' No,' I again replied.
' Where under the sun were you brought up!' exclaimed Mr. Pratt. I told him that I had been brought up under the blue laws of Connecticut, and I had seen too much of the ' Bible to believe iu it.
"' I don't wonder at it,' said Mr.. Pratt. ' But I believe in the Bible, young man, and 1 know that Christ was the son of God. You may know the same thing, and if you follow mv advice I will convince you.'
"" ' 0£ course, I asked him what I should do. Such language as he used seemed the flight of nonsense to me, and I took 110 stock in it. Well, anyway, he told me to consider the matter and if I embraced the gospel I should live, if not I should die in three days.
" The next day Mr. Pratt, John Taylor, now president of the Brighamite church, and Hcber C. Kimball came to my bedside.
" ' Are you any better?' asked Mr. Pratt.
" I replied that I was not.
" ' Then,' he said, ' I have come to bajDtize you.'
" Well, I finally consented to try it and those three men took me in their arms and carried me to City creek. There Mr. Pratt i baptized me, and as I came up from the | water placed me on my feet and said, in a voice like a clap of thunder ( as it sounded to me), ' In the name of Jesus Christ I command you to walk!'
" Strength came into my limbs and in an instant I was as well as ever and I walked out of the water and was healed,"
PRATT'S BELIEF IN POLYGAMY.
The reporter asked Mr. Mills how he thought Mr. Pratt came to believe in polyga- mv.
"" Mr. Pratt was forced into it by Brigham Young," replied Mr. Mills. " Brigham had some of those good men right under his thumb. I cannot understand how it was, es- peciallv with a man of as much intellect and stanima as Mr. Pratt. But Mr. Pratt was sick of polygamy before he died. He told me at one time that it was of the devil and there was 110 good in it. He said he wished he was out of it, but he had been drawn in so deeply that he could hardly go back. Why, I heard Joseph Smith, sr., tell a gath- ering of saints that if Brigham Young ever got the presidency of the Mormon church he would lead them to hell, and I think he suc- ceeded in doing just that."
Mr. Mills says that lower California is " booming," and that it will soon take the lead of the northern part of the state.
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