The Duty and Obligation of the Gentiles to Restore the Remnant of Joseph
(From Journal of Discourses, Volume 9, Discourse 33; Orson Pratt lived from 1811 to 1881, Spoken July 15th, 1855)
It is with a great degree of satisfaction that I arise to bear my humble testimony before the Saints here in Provo, in connection with the testimonies that have been borne to you by the servants of God who have addressed you heretofore. We have had some great and good instructions imparted to us since our meetings commenced here the day before yesterday. We have had instructions which are of the greatest importance—instructions that pertain both to our temporal and future prosperity. The teachings imparted have been clothed with wisdom, and the gift and power of the Holy Ghost sent down from heaven, which has inspired the hearts of the servants of God who have addressed us from this Stand, and more especially has this been the case with regard to the instructions that have been imparted to us this forenoon, setting forth our relations, as Gentile Saints (or Saints that have received the Gospel from among the Gentiles), with the house of Israel.
Perhaps there is no subject that could be presented at the present time that is of so much importance, and that has so great a bearing upon the human family, as the one set before us this forenoon. It is one on which the salvation of the Latter-day Saints depends. It is one, also, on which the salvation of the remnants of the tribe of Joseph upon this American continent depends. It is one that we must not only understand, or reason about, or think of, but one in which we must engage every faculty and power of our minds, if we would be blessed as a people. It is for this object, as has been plainly shown to you this forenoon, that the angels of God descended from the eternal world and spoke in the ears of mortal man. It is for this object that the heavens have been opened, and the everlasting Priesthood sent down and conferred upon chosen vessels. It is for this object—namely, the salvation and redemption of the poor, lost, degraded sons of the forest, that God has given the Urim and Thummim, and caused to be translated one of the most glorious sacred records, or histories that was ever introduced into the world by mortal man. It is for this object that we have been permitted to leave the land of our forefathers, to traverse the sandy deserts and plains of Nebraska, and to locate ourselves here in the midst of these lonely and peaceful vales; it is that we might fulfil and accomplish the purposes of the great Jehovah, in the redemption of the remnant of Joseph who dwelt here before us. I shall not, perhaps, make a great many remarks this forenoon, as there are others present who no doubt desire to bear their testimony before the Saints; yet I feel to make a few observations in relation to that degraded people, and in relation to ourselves, and our duties in regard to them; not that I expect my feeble abilities will impart anything that is of much consequence or importance, more than what has already been clearly portrayed before your minds this forenoon.
With these preliminary remarks, I will select a passage of Scripture as a text. It reads as follows—”Woe be unto them that are at ease in Zion.” I think we will find this text in the predictions of Isaiah. We shall also find it in the Book of Mormon. I will repeat the words—”Woe be unto them that are at ease in Zion.” Do you think, brethren and sisters, while so much depends upon our exertions and conduct, that we can come to these valleys, or go anywhere else on this American continent, and settle down upon our farms, or engage in our merchandise or in our business transactions, and be at ease in Zion? It is of no use thinking of this for a moment; for the day, even the time of the redemption of Israel, is now nigh at hand; and Zion, instead of being at ease, must travail in pain to be delivered.
When the Saints first began to assemble themselves together in Jackson County, Missouri, and began to build fine houses and open rich farms, and were surrounded with every facility for becoming rich in this world’s goods—when they were thus inclined to settle down in pleasant places, with their affections placed upon the things of the earth—upon their houses and their lands, upon their grain, their flocks and their herds, and when the great and important duties required of them as Latter-day Saints were laid aside, or, at least, placed on the background—when they thus settled down, and were determined to enjoy their own Zion at perfect ease, did the Lord suffer them to remain at ease? No. He suffered them to be uprooted, to be driven from their houses and inheritances, and to be afflicted, tormented, and oppressed. Why did the Lord suffer this? Because the people felt a disposition to be at ease in the land of Zion, and to neglect the important duties required at their hands. This has been more or less the case from the day that we settled in the western part of Missouri until the present time. We have forgotten who we are; we have forgotten in a measure what God has been doing with us as a people; we have forgotten his purposes that he has determined to accomplish in our day and generation; we have forgotten the degraded, forlorn condition of the sons of Joseph; we have forgotten the predictions of the holy Prophets among their fathers, who so earnestly prayed to the Most High for themselves and their children to the latest generation, whose prayers have been recorded in the records of eternity and preserved in the archives of heaven, to be answered upon the heads of their posterity in the last days. We have forgotten these things to a great extent, and are dwelling at ease in Zion, and neglecting the great redemption of Israel.
It almost seems sometimes that the people are determined to take their rest and be at ease before their great labor is accomplished or their day of rest comes. They build houses, they plant vineyards, they sow their fields, they gather together large flocks and herds, they multiply their goods and substance, they surround themselves with the comforts and luxuries of this life, and say to themselves, “We will enjoy ourselves and be at ease in Zion; we will remain upon our farms and in our fine houses; we will engage in our merchandise and in various occupations; we will let the Lamanites take care of themselves, and we will let the purposes of the Almighty roll round without our help.” And after all these things, they will pray every day that the Lord will roll round events, accomplish his purposes, and fulfil the covenants made with the house of Israel, and yet not lift one solitary finger to facilitate the answer to their prayers.
As it was said this forenoon, God is not going to do this without our agency and exertions. What says the Apostle Paul concerning the Gentiles? “For as ye in times past have not believed God, yet now have obtained mercy through their unbelief: Even so have these (that is the house of Israel) also now not believed, that through your mercy they also may obtain mercy.”
The Apostle shows plainly that blindness in part happened to Israel, and that you Gentiles, as a consequence, obtained mercy. Has not the light of truth shone upon our minds, that these Lamanites, who are of the house of Israel, might, through the mercy of us Gentiles, obtain mercy?
[Elder Pratt then asked a blessing upon the bread.]
Through the mercy of the Gentiles, it is decreed that the house of Israel in the last days shall obtain mercy; that is, through the believing of the Gentiles, or, in other words, through the Saints of the living God who have embraced the covenant of peace from among the Gentiles, and have separated themselves from the wicked Gentile nations. It is through their mercy, through their long-suffering, patience, and forbearance, that the house of Israel are to find salvation and mercy. And if we do not accomplish this work, we shall suffer; and I just as much believe this as I believe that the sun shines in the firmament of heaven. Without this people becoming the saviors of Israel, we shall be accounted as salt that has lost its savor, and therefore no longer good for anything but to be trodden under the feet of Israel or of our enemies. Whosoever will not extend the hand of mercy to redeem this people will go down, and lose their influence with God and all good men.
We are placed here as saviors upon the mountains, and God has placed us here because we understand principles that they are ignorant of. We know about God; we have learned something of Jesus Christ and of the redemption wrought out by him; we have also learned some little of the future state of man. We are in possession of knowledge which is hid from all the rest of the world. Shall we, therefore, dwell at ease upon our farms and in our habitations, and suffer these sons of the forest to remain in eternal ignorance of the great truths that we are in possession of? If so, woe be unto this people, or any other people that are entrusted with the sacred things committed to our charge, and who do not use them according to the mind and will of God; for it is his mind that they should be used for the redemption of those that are unacquainted with these principles by which alone salvation can be obtained.
But how can we save this fallen remnant of Israel? Can the redemption of this widely scattered and degraded race be brought about in a moment? It cannot…. We are commanded to be of one heart and of one mind; and in this case in particular we are required to be united in all our exertions, and to use all the power and faculties of our minds for the salvation of the nations of Joseph. Will the brethren reach forth the helping hand, and try to redeem the sons of the forest with whom we are surrounded? I believe they will; for the purposes of God must be fulfilled; and we are the people who have to do the work; and to those who do not take part in it, I will apply the words of my text—”Woe to them that are at ease in Zion.” And this woe will find them out; it will surely come upon them, and sorely afflict them from the rising of the sun unto the going down thereof; and when the night cometh, it will not cease; it will follow them day by day, until they learn by sad experience that there is no such thing as being at ease in Zion until Zion has travailed in pain and brought forth her children, and especially when the work is of the importance of the one now before us, and required at our hands.
Here are numbers of the Lamanites before me. How much good it would do them, if they could only sit down and read as we can concerning their fathers! Place yourselves in the same position, and imagine that you had lost all that was good and great, and suppose that you were among a people who understood all this knowledge, and suppose that they were not willing to put forth their hands to impart the blessings they enjoyed to you, how would you feel? You would feel as God feels, and the same as the old Prophets and Patriarch of the Nephites feel, who are now in the heavens, and who are acquainted with the purposes of God that are now transpiring upon the earth. How do you think they would feel, if they were to come down and look upon their descendants, and see them wandering in darkness, without the knowledge of God or their ancestors, and then turn and see a people in their midst who were in possession of the sacred records and prophecies of their fathers, and yet that people so careless, and so much at ease, that they used scarcely any exertion to impart the heavenly knowledge to them?
Perhaps some may inquire, How are you going to impart information to so dark and degraded a people as our red neighbors? Do as brother Young has counseled, instead of driving them out from your midst to some desolate region. Cultivate their friendship; be forbearing and kind, and show a sympathetic spirit for them. Build for them a good schoolhouse, and let the people be engaged in teaching them the English language, both old and young, as far as they are willing to be taught. Teach them concerning their forefathers, the carrying forth of the Book of Mormon, and the plan of salvation which is revealed to us, with the promise of eternal life to all those who believe and obey.
They require to be taught in order that they may have faith; for how can they believe without being taught by those whose right it is to teach? Teach them to read; and if you can persuade them to be attentive, it will not take them long to acquire a knowledge of our language. If you can possibly afford it, feed them and keep them from perishing with hunger. Just as long as they have to hunt in the mountains and canyons for food, and to eat snails, snakes, and crickets, in order to keep themselves alive—I say, so long as they have to do this, you cannot make them think of God. They will think of their hunting, and of procuring something to prevent starvation; for they must procure something to subsist upon, even if it is by stealing.
Then if you want them to learn knowledge, and to acquire it in the best way, and with the least expense to yourselves, feed and clothe them, and then instruct them; and if you can get their minds bent down to study our language, it will be but a very short time before they will read as well as the best of us. Get them so that they can read the record of their forefathers—the Book of Mormon, and they will soon learn what God intends to do for them; and then the Holy Spirit will be poured out upon them, according to the intelligence and capacities they have for receiving the light of truth. In this way they may soon be fitted and prepared for a greater amount of knowledge, and [recognize] the eternal Priesthood upon their heads, and then they will go forth to the surrounding nations, tongues, and tribes of their own people, and bring them to a knowledge of the truth.
And this is the place for us to work; and we have the liberty and the means to first begin directly here at home; and when we have instructed and taught those directly in our midst, not merely by our theories, but by our precepts and examples, then will be the time to go and convert [others]. But if we cannot convert those whom we have around us, and persuade them to hearken to the Priesthood, it is but very little use to go to others at a greater distance; for here is the place. God has not sent us as a people to dwell in the southern extremities of South America; but he has caused us to be located here; and hence here is the place where he intends us to work. We are called upon to begin here in the city of Provo, on the lands that these Lamanites call their own, and where they have chosen their homes.
You may say in your hearts that “it would be so much labor and trouble—it would cost us so much of our time and means to convert those around us, that we have not courage to perform the great undertaking.” But what were we sent here for? The Lord has caused us to come here for this very purpose—that we might accomplish the redemption of these suffering, degraded Israelites, as predicted in the sacred records of their forefathers,.. and therefore we can have no excuse, for our duty has been plainly told us. This work is of the greatest importance of any work of the present day. I believe with all my heart… that this people will be our shield in days to come; and I believe that if we lose this shield by our carelessness, or by settling down at ease in Zion, it will be woe to us that call ourselves Latter-day Saints. Yes, it will be woe to us if we do not accomplish this work that is given us to do. Do you not know that they will be the principal actors in some of the grand events of times to come?
What says the Book of Mormon in relation to the building up of the New Jerusalem on this continent—one of the most splendid cities that ever was or ever will be built on this land? Does not that book say that the Lamanites are to be the principal operators in that important work, and that those who embrace the Gospel from among the Gentiles are to have the privilege of assisting the Lamanites to build up the city called the New Jerusalem? This remnant of Joseph, who are now degraded, will then be filled with the wisdom of God; and by that wisdom they will build that city; by the aid of the Priesthood already given, and by the aid of Prophets that God will raise up in their midst, they will beautify and ornament its dwellings; and we have the privilege of being numbered with them, instead of their being numbered with us. It is a great privilege indeed (and we are indebted to their fathers for it), that we enjoy of being associated with them in the accomplishment of so great a work.
It is to their fathers and to God that we are indebted for the enjoyment of such great blessings in fulfillment of the prophecies. Their ancient Prophets among their ancestry looked with interest upon their children, and they interceded day and night for their redemption. In answer to their prayers, an angel has flown through the midst of heaven to preach the everlasting Gospel to the nations; and it is therefore to them that we are indebted for many of the privileges that we now enjoy.
If we are thus indebted as a people—woe be unto us who are gathered from among the Gentiles, if we neglect to pay the debt by our exertions to save them! Woe to us who have contracted the debt! For a day of judgment and retribution will come, and there will be no escape! No lawyers will be there to quibble and bring up technicalities of law; but the debt will have to be paid, for to their forefathers are we indebted for the light and knowledge that we possess. Therefore, let us bestir ourselves, and perform those duties incumbent upon us, and then we shall receive our reward.
I do not wish to take up the time when there are others of our brethren that have not had the privilege of speaking; but I did feel to say these words. I felt to shout glory to God this morning when I heard our President speak of these things. My advice to you, my brethren and sisters, is the same as to myself—Let us wake up to a sense of these things; let us sacrifice whatever is required of us for the salvation of this people. With regard to going to foreign nations to preach the Gospel among the idolatrous heathen, I will say, for my own part, that I would prefer going and laboring for years in those mountains to save Israel… [for] What are these sacrifices to the glory that is to follow?
[Elder Pratt asked a blessing upon the cup.]
Brethren and sisters, may God bless you, and may his Spirit inspire you when you lie down at night, and in your dreams of the night, when you rise up in the morning, and when you go about your temporal labors. May He inspire you continually to search and find out what your duties are to the remnants of Israel that are in your midst. I ask that God will give you this spirit of inquiry and earnestness in the name of Jesus Christ. Amen.
– Orson Pratt
Also, read the April 6, 1845 Proclamation of the Twelve Apostles (bolded text is intended for emphasis)
OF THE TWELVE APOSTLES OF THE CHURCH OF JESUS
CHRIST, OF LATTER-DAY SAINTS.
To all the King’s of the World;
To the President of the United States of America;
To the Governors of the several States;
And to the Rulers and People of all Nations:
THAT the kingdom of God has come: as has been predicted by ancient prophets, and prayed for in all ages; even that kingdom which shall fill the whole earth, and shall stand for ever.
The great Eloheem Jehovah has been pleased once more to speak from the heavens: and also to commune with man upon the earth, by means of open visions, and by the ministration of HOLY MESSENGERS.
By this means the great and eternal High Priesthood, after the Order of his Son, even the Apostleship, has been restored; or, returned to the earth.
This High Priesthood, or Apostleship, holds the keys of the kingdom of God, and power to bind on earth that which shall be bound in heaven; and to loose on earth that which shall be loosed in heaven. And, in fine, to do, and to administer in all things pertaining to the ordinances, organization, government and direction of the kingdom of God.
Being established in these last days for the restoration of all things spoken by the prophets since the world began; and in order to prepare the way for the coming of the Son of Man.
And we now bear witness that his coming is near at hand; and not many years hence, the nations and their kings shall see him coming in the clouds of heaven with power and great glory.
In order to meet this great event there must needs be a preparation.
Therefore we send unto you with authority from on high, and command you all to repent and humble yourselves as little children, before the majesty of the Holy One; and come unto Jesus with a broken heart and a contrite spirit; and be baptized in his name, for the remission of sins (that is, be buried in the water in the likeness of his burial and rise again to newness of life, in the likeness of his resurrection), and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit, through the laying on of the hands of the Apostles and elders, of this great and last dispensation of mercy to man.
This Spirit shall bear witness to you, of the truth of our testimony; and shall enlighten your minds, and be in you as the spirit of prophecy and revelation. It shall bring things past to your understanding and remembrance; and shall show you things to come.
It shall also impart unto you many great and glorious gifts; such as the gift of healing the sick, and of being healed, by the laying on of hands in the name of Jesus; and of expelling Demons; and even of seeing visions, and conversing with Angels and spirits from the unseen world.
By the light of this Spirit, received through the ministration of the ordinances—by the power and authority of the Holy Apostleship and Priesthood, you will be enabled to understand, and to be the children of light; and thus be prepared to escape all the things that are coming on the earth, and so stand before the Son of Man.
We testify that the foregoing doctrine is the doctrine or gospel of Jesus Christ, in its fulness; and that it is the only true, everlasting, and unchangeable gospel; and the only plan revealed on earth whereby man can be saved.
We also bear testimony that the “Indians” (so called) of North and South America are a remnant of the tribes of Israel; as is now made manifest by the discovery and revelation of their ancient oracles and records.
And that they are about to be gathered, civilized, and made one nation in this glorious land. (has not happened yet)
They will also come to the knowledge of their forefathers, and of the fulness of the gospel; and they will embrace it, and become a righteous branch of the house of Israel.
And we further testify that the Lord has appointed a holy city and temple to be built on this continent for the endowment and ordinances pertaining to the priesthood; and for the Gentiles, and the remnant of Israel to resort unto, in order to worship the Lord; and to be taught in his ways and walk in his paths: in short, to finish their preparations for the coming of the Lord.
And we further testify, that the Jews among all nations are hereby commanded, in the name of the Messiah, to prepare, to return to Jerusalem in Palestine; and to rebuild that city and temple unto the Lord:
And also to organize and establish their own political government, under their own rulers, judges, and governors in that country.
For be it known unto them that we now hold the keys of the priesthood and kingdom which is soon to be restored unto them.
Therefore let them also repent and prepare to obey the ordinances of God.
And now, O ye kings, rulers, and people of the Gentiles: hear ye the word of the Lord; for this commandment is for you. You are not only required to repent and obey the gospel in its fulness, and thus become members or citizens of the kingdom of God, but you are also hereby commanded, in the name of Jesus Christ, to put your silver and your gold, your ships and steam-vessels, your railroad trains and your horses, chariots, camels, mules, and litters, into active use, for the fulfillment of these purposes. For be it known unto you, that the only salvation which remains for the Gentiles, is for them to be identified in the same covenant, and to worship at the same altar with Israel. In short, they must come to the same standard. For, there shall be one Lord, and his name one, and He shall be king over all the earth.
The Latter-day Saints, since their first organization in the year 1830, have been a poor, persecuted, abused, and afflicted people. They have sacrificed their time and property freely, for the sake of laying the foundation of the kingdom of God, and enlarging its dominion, by the ministry of the gospel. They have suffered privation, hunger, imprisonment, and the loss of houses, lands, home, and political rights, for their testimony.
And this is not all; but their first founder, Mr. Joseph Smith, whom God raised up as a Prophet and Apostle, mighty in word and in deed, and his brother Hirum, who was also a prophet, together with many others, have suffered a cruel martyrdom in the cause of truth; and have sealed their testimony with their blood. And still the work has, as it were, but just begun.
A great, a glorious, and a mighty work is yet to be achieved, in spreading the truth and kingdom among the Gentiles—in restoring, organizing, instructing and establishing the Jews—in gathering, instructing, relieving, civilizing, educating and administering salvation to the remnant of Israel on this continent; in building Jerusalem in Palestine; and the cities, stakes, temples, and sanctuaries of Zion in America; and in gathering the Gentiles into the same covenant and organization—instructing them in all things for their sanctification and preparation; that the whole Church of the Saints, both Gentile, Jew and Israel, may be prepared as a bride, for the coming of the Lord.
And now, O ye kings, rulers, presidents, governors, judges, legislators, nobles, lords, and rich men of the earth; will you leave us, to struggle alone, and to toil unaided in so great a work? Or will you share in the labors, toils, sacrifices, honors and blessings of the same?
Have you not the same interest in it that we have? Is it not sent forth to renovate the world—to enlighten the nations—to cover the earth with light, knowledge, truth, union, peace and love? And thus usher in the great millennium, or sabbath of rest, so long expected and sought for by all good men? We bear testimony that it is. And the fulfillment of our words will establish their truth, to millions yet unborn: while there are those now living upon the earth who will live to see the consummation.
Come, then, to the help of the Lord; and let us have your aid and protection—and your willing and hearty co-operation, in this, the greatest of all revolutions.
Again, we say, by the word of the Lord to the people, as well as to the rulers: your aid and assistance is required in this great work, and you are hereby invited, in the name of Jesus, to take an active part in it from this day forward.
Open your church, doors, and hearts for the truth. Hear the Apostles and elders of the church of the Saints, when they come into your cities and neighborhoods. Read and search the scriptures carefully and see whether these things are so—read the publications of the Saints, and help to publish them to others. Seek for the witness of the Spirit, and come and obey the glorious fulness of the gospel: and help us build the cities and sanctuaries of our God.
The sons and daughters of Zion will soon be required to devote a portion of their time in instructing the children of the forest. For they must be educated, and instructed in all the arts of civil life, as well as in the gospel. They must be clothed, fed, and instructed in the principles and practice of virtue, modesty, temperance, cleanliness, industry, mechanical arts, manners, customs, dress, music, and all other things which are calculated in their nature to refine, purify, exalt and glorify them, as the sons and daughters of the royal house of Israel, and of Joseph; who are making ready for the coming of the bridegroom.
Know assuredly, that whether you come to the help of the Saints in this great work, or whether you make light of this message, and withhold your aid and co-operation, it is all the same as to the success and final triumph of the work. For it is the work of the great God; for which his WORD and OATH has been pledged, from before the foundation of the world. And the same promise and oath has been renewed unto man from the beginning, down through each succeeding dispensation: AND CONFIRMED AGAIN BY HIS OWN VOICE OUT OF THE HEAVENS IN THE PRESENT AGE. Therefore he is bound to fulfil it; and to overcome every obstacle.
The loss will therefore be on their own part, and not on the part of God, or of his Saints, should the people neglect their duty in the great work of modern restoration.
There is also another consideration of vast importance to all the rulers and people of the world, in regard to this matter. It is this: As this work progresses in its onward course, and becomes more and more an object of political and religious interest and excitement, no king, ruler, or subject, no community or individual, will stand neutral. All will at length be influenced by one spirit or the other; and will take sides either for or against the kingdom of God, and the fulfilment of the prophets, in the great restoration and return of his long dispersed covenant people.
Some will act the part of the venerable Jethro, the father-in-law of Moses; or the noble Cyrus; and will aid and bless the people of God; or like Ruth, the Moabitess, will forsake their people and their kindred and country, and will say to the Saints, or to Israel: “This people shall be my people, and their God my God.” While others will walk in the footsteps of a Pharaoh, or a Balak, and will harden their hearts, and fight against God, and seek to destroy his people. These will commune with priests and prophets who love the wages of unrighteousness; and who, like Balaam, will seek to curse, or to find enchantments against Israel.
You cannot therefore stand as idle and disinterested spectators of the scenes and events which are calculated in their very nature to reduce all nations and creeds to one political and religious standard, and thus put an end to Babel forms and names, and to strife and war. You will, therefore, either be led by the good Spirit to cast in your lot, and to take a lively interest with the Saints of the Most High, and the covenant people of the Lord, or on the other hand, you will become their inveterate enemy, and oppose them by every means in your power.
To such an extreme will this great division finally extend, that the nations of the old world will combine to oppose these things by military force. They will send a great army to Palestine, against the Jews; and they will besiege their city, and will reduce the inhabitants of Jerusalem to the greatest extreme of distress and misery.
Then will commence a struggle in which the fate of nations and empires will be suspended on a single battle.
In this battle the governors and people of Judah distinguish themselves for their bravery and warlike achievements. The weak among them will be like David, and the strong among them will be like God: or like the angel of the Lord.
In that day the Lord will pour upon the inhabitants of Jerusalem the spirit of grace and supplication, and they shall look upon the Messiah whom they have pierced.
For lo! he will descend from heaven, as the defender of the Jews: and to complete their victory. His feet will stand in that day upon the Mount of Olives, which shall cleave in sunder at his presence, and remove one half to the north, and the other to the south; thus forming a great valley where the mountain now stands.
The earth will quake around him, while storm and tempest, hail and plague, are mingled with the clash of arms, the roar of artillery, the shouts of victory, and the groans of the wounded and dying.
In that day all who are in the siege, both against Judea and against Jerusalem, shall be cut in pieces; though all the people of the earth should be gathered together against it.
This signal victory on the part of the Jews, so unlooked for by the nations, and attended with the personal advent of Messiah, and the accompanying events, will change the whole order of things in Europe and Asia, in regard to political and religious organization, and government.
The Jews as a nation become holy from that day forward; and their city and sanctuary becomes holy. There also the Messiah establishes his throne, and seat of government.
Jerusalem then becomes the seat of empire, and the great centre and capital of the old world.
All the families of the land shall then go up to Jerusalem once a year, to worship the King, the Lord of Hosts, and to keep the feast of Tabernacles.
Those who refuse to go up, shall have no rain, but shall be smitten with dearth and famine. And if the family of Egypt go not up (as it never rains there) they shall be smitten with the plague. And thus all things shall be fulfilled according to the words of the holy prophets of old, and the word of the Lord which is now revealed, to confirm and fulfil them.
In short the kings, rulers, priests and people of Europe, and of the old world, shall know this once that there is a God in Israel, who, as in days of old, can utter his voice, and it shall be obeyed.
The courts of Rome, London, Paris, Constantinople, Petersburgh, and all others, will then have to yield the point, and do homage, and all pay tribute to one Great Centre, and to one mighty Sovereign, or, THRONES WILL BE CAST DOWN. AND KINGDOMS WILL CEASE TO BE.
Priests, bishops, and clergy, whether Catholic, Protestant, or Mahomedan, will then have to yield their pretended claims to the priesthood, together with titles, honors, creeds and names; and reverence and obey the true and royal priesthood of the order of Melchisedech, and of Aaron; restored to the rightful heirs, the nobility of Israel; or, the dearth and famine will consume them, and the plague sweep them quickly down to the pit, as in the case of Korah, Dathan and Abiram, who pretended to the priesthood, and rebelled against God’s chosen priests and prophets, in the days of Moses.
While these great events are rolling on the wheels of time, and being fulfilled in the old world, the Western Continent will present a scene of grandeur, greatness, and glory, far surpassing the scene just described.
The Lord will make her that halted a remnant; and gather her that was driven out and afflicted; and make her who was cast afar off, a strong nation; and will reign over them in Mount Zion from that time forth and for ever.
Or, in other words, He will assemble the Natives the remnants of Joseph in America; and make of them a great, and strong, and powerful nation: and he will civilize and enlighten them and will establish a holy city, and temple, and seat of government among them, which shall be called Zion.
And there shall be his tabernacle, his sanctuary, his throne, and seat of government for the whole continent of North and South America for ever.
In short, it will be to the western hemisphere what Jerusalem will be to the eastern.
And there the Messiah will visit them in person; and the old Saints, who will then have been raised from the dead, will be with him. And he will establish his kingdom and laws over all the land.
To this city, and to its several branches or stakes, shall the Gentiles seek, as to a standard of light and knowledge. Yea, the nations, and their kings and nobles, shall say, Come and let us go up to the Mount Zion, and to the temple of the Lord; where his holy priesthood stand to minister continually before the Lord; and where we may be instructed more fully, and receive the ordinances of remission, and of sanctification, and redemption; and thus be adopted into the family of Israel, and identified in the same covenants of promise.
The despised and degraded son of the forest, who has wandered in dejection and sorrow, and suffered reproach, shall then drop his disguise, and stand forth in manly dignity, and exclaim to the Gentiles who have envied and sold him: “I am Joseph: does my father yet live?” Or, in other words: I am a descendant of that Joseph who was sold into Egypt. You have hated me, and sold me, and thought I was dead. But lo! I live, and am heir to the inheritance, titles, honors, priesthood, sceptre, crown, throne, and eternal life and dignity of my fathers who live for evermore.
He shall then be ordained, washed, anointed with holy oil and arrayed in fine linen, even in the glorious and beautiful garments and royal robes of the high priesthood, which is after the order of the Son of God; and shall enter into the congregation of the Lord, even into the Holy of Holies, there to be crowned with authority and power which shall never end.
The Spirit of the Lord shall then descend upon him, like the dew upon the mountains of Hermon, and like refreshing showers of rain upon the flowers of Paradise.
His heart shall expand with knowledge, wide as eternity; and his mind shall comprehend the vast creations of his God, and His eternal purpose of redemption, glory, and exaltation, which was devised in heaven before the worlds were organized; but made manifest in these last days, for the fulness of the Gentiles, and for the exaltation of Israel.
He shall also behold his Redeemer and be filled with his presence, while the cloud of his glory shall be seen in his temple.
The city of Zion, with its sanctuary and priesthood, and the glorious fulness of the gospel, will constitute a standard which will put an end to jarring creeds and political wranglings, by uniting the republics, states, provinces, territories, nations, tribes, kindred, tongues, people, and sects of North and South America in one great and common bond of brotherhood.
While truth and knowledge shall make them free, and love cement their union. The Lord also shall be their king and their lawgiver; while wars shall cease and peace prevail for a thousand years.
Thus shall American rulers, statesmen, citizens, and savages know, “this once,” that there is a God in Israel, who can utter his voice, and it shall be fulfilled.
Americans! This mighty and strange work has been commenced in your midst, and must roll on in fulfilment.
You are now invited, and earnestly intreated, to investigate it thoroughly, and to aid and participate in its accomplishment.
You ask, What can be done?
We answer: Protect the Saints; give them their rights; extend the broad banner of the Constitution and laws over their homes, cities, fire-sides, wives, and children; that they may CEASE to be BUTCHERED, MARTYRED, ROBBED, PLUNDERED, AND DRIVEN, and may peaceably proceed in the work assigned them by their God.
Execute the Law upon the offenders, and thus rid your garments of INNOCENT BLOOD.
Pass acts, also, to indemnify them in the millions they have lost, by your cruel and criminal neglect.
Contribute liberally of your substance for their aid, and for the fulfilment of their mission.
Let the Government of the United States also continue to gather together, and to colonize the tribes and remnants of Israel (the Indians), and also to feed, clothe, succor, and protect them, and endeavor to civilize and unite; and also to bring them to the knowledge of their Israelitish origin, and of the fulness of the gospel which was revealed to, and written by, their forefathers on this land; the record of which has now come to light.
It is these records, together with the other scriptures, and the priesthood and authority now conferred upon the Saints, that will effect their final conversion and salvation; while the creeds of man, and the powerless forms and dogmas of sectarianism will still remain powerless and inefficient.
The Lord has spoken, and who can disannul it? He has uttered his voice, and who can gainsay it? He has stretched out his arm, and who can turn it back?
Why will not the government and people of these States become acquainted with these Records? They are published among them for this purpose.
They would then begin to know and understand what was to be done with these remnants, and what part they have to act in the great restitution of Israel, and of the kingdom of God. They would also know the object of the labors, and the final destiny of the Latter-day Saints as a Church and people. And this very subject has been a source of wonder and conjecture, and sometimes even of anxiety among the people, ever since the first organization of the Saints in the year 1830.
And more than all this, they would know the destiny of this Republic, and of all other Governments, States, or Republics in America—and the purpose of God in relation to this continent, from the earliest ages of antiquity, till the present, and from this time forth till the heavens and the earth shall pass away, and be created anew. All these subjects are made plain in these ancient Records, and are rolling on in fulfilment.
If the rulers and people will now inform themselves on these momentous subjects, and fulfil the duties we have just pointed out to them, they will then be entitled to a continuation of the great national blessings and favors they have heretofore enjoyed; yea, and to more abundant favors from His bountiful hand, who first raised them to national greatness. They will in that case be prospered and enlarged, and spread their dominions wide and more wide over this vast country, till not only Texas and Oregon, but the whole vast dominion from sea to sea, will be joined with them, and come under their protection as one great, powerful and peaceful empire of Liberty and Union. Millions of people would also come from all nations, their silver and their gold with them, and would take protection under our banner, till in less than half a century from the present time we would have upwards of a hundred millions of population, all united and free, while civilisation, arts, cultivation and improvement would extend to the most wild regions of our continent, making our “wilderness like Eden and our deserts like the garden of the Lord.” Or, if they will go still further, and obey the fulness of the gospel, they would then be entitled, not only to temporal blessings, but to the gifts of the Holy Spirit, and thus be prepared to receive their king, Messiah, and to dwell for ever under his peaceful government in this happy country.
But, so long as they remain indifferent and ignorant on these subjects, and so long as they continue to breathe out slanders, lies, hatred and murder against the Saints and against the remnants of Israel, and to speak evil of and oppose the things which they understand not, so long the blood of the Saints and of the martyrs of Jesus must continue to flow, and souls to cry from under the altar for vengeance on a guilty land, till the great Messiah shall execute judgment for the Saints, and give them the dominion.
It is in vain to suppose that the sword, the musket, the thunder of cannon, or the grating and rattle of chains, bolts and bars, will take away the faith, hope or knowledge of a Latter-day Saint. They know some facts—and these will continue to be known facts when death and war in their most horrid forms are raging around them. They cannot shut their eyes upon these facts to please either governors, rulers, or the raging multitude.
We would now make a solemn appeal to our rulers and other fellow-citizens, whether it is treason to know? or even to publish what we know? If it is, then strike the murderous blow, but listen to what we say.
We say, then, in life or in death, in bonds or free, that the great God has spoken in this age.—And we know it.
He has given us the Holy Priesthood and Apostleship, and the keys of the kingdom of God, to bring about the restoration of all things as promised by the holy prophets of old.—And we know it.
He has revealed the origin and the Records of the aboriginal tribes of America, and their future destiny.—And we know it.
He has revealed the fulness of the gospel, with its gifts, blessings, and ordinances.—And we know it.
He has commanded us to bear witness of it, first to the Gentiles and then to the remnants of Israel and the Jews.—And we know it.
He has commanded us to gather together his Saints on this Continent, and build up holy cities and sanctuaries.—And we know it.
He has said, that the Gentiles should come into the same gospel and covenant; and be numbered with the house of Israel and be a blessed people upon this good land for ever, if they would repent and embrace it.—And we know it.
He has also said that, if they do not repent, and come to the knowledge of the truth, and cease to fight against Zion, and also put away all murder, lying, pride, priestcraft, whoredom, and secret abomination, they shall soon perish from the earth, and be cast down to hell.—And we know it.
He has said, that the time is at hand for the Jews to be gathered to Jerusalem.—And we know it.
He has said, that the Ten Tribes of Israel should also be revealed in the North country, together with their oracles and records, preparatory to their return, and to their union with Judah, no more to be separated.—And we know it.
He has said, that when these preparations were made, both in this country and in Jerusalem and the gospel in all its fulness preached to all nations for a witness and testimony, He will come, and all the Saints with him, to reign on the earth one thousand years.—And we know it.
He has said that he will not come in his glory and destroy the wicked, till these warnings were given and these preparations were made for his reception.—And we know it.
Now, fellow-citizens, if this knowledge, or the publishing of it, is treason or crime, we refuse not to die.
But be ye sure of this, that whether we live or die, the words of the testimony of this proclamation which we now send unto you, shall all be fulfilled.
Heaven and earth shall pass away, but not one jot or tittle of his revealed word shall fail to be fulfilled.
Therefore, again we say to all people, Repent, and be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ, for remission of sins; and you shall receive the Holy Spirit, and shall know the truth, and be numbered with the house of Israel.
And we once more invite all the kings, presidents, governors, rulers, judges, and people of the earth, to aid us, the Latter-day Saints; and also, the Jews, and all the remnants of Israel, by your influence and protection, and by your silver and gold, that we may build the cities of Zion and Jerusalem, and the temples and sanctuaries of our God; and may accomplish the great restoration of all things, and bring in the latter-day glory.
That knowledge, truth, light, love, peace, union, honor, glory, and power, may fill the earth with eternal life and joy.
That death, bondage, oppression, wars, mourning, sorrow, and pain, may be done away for ever, and all tears be wiped from every eye.
In fulfilment of the work assigned them, let the Saints throughout the world, and all others who feel an interest in the work of God, forward their gifts, tithes, and offerings, for the building of the temple of the Lord, which is now in progress in the city of Nauvoo, in the State of Illinois.
Let them also come with their gold and silver, and goods, and workmen, to establish manufactories and business of all kinds, for the building up of the city; and for the employment and support of the poor, and thus strengthen the hands of those who have borne the burden and heat of the day, and who have made great sacrifices in laying the foundation of the kingdom of God, and moving on the work thus far.
We also make a solemn and an earnest request of all Editors of newspapers, both in this country and other countries to publish this proclamation. It certainly contains news, such as is not met with at all times, and in every place, and cannot fail to interest the reading public, especially those who have prayed every day of their lives for the Lords kingdom to come; and for his will to be done on the earth, as it is done in heaven.
President Wilford Woodruff, who superintends the publishing department of the Latter-day Saints, in Liverpool, England, is also requested to give this proclamation a wide circulation throughout England, Scotland, Ireland and the Isle of Man.
Elder Jones, our minister to Wales, is hereby instructed to publish the same in the Welsh language, and circulate it widely through that country.
It should also be translated into German, by some of our German elders, and published both in this country, and on the continent of Europe. Also in Spanish and in French.
Our Norwegian elders in the branch at Norway, Illinois, should also translate and publish it in their language, both in this country and in Norway, in Europe.
Elder Adison Pratt, our missionary to the Sandwich Islands, should also translate and publish it there.
We also rely on our friends, the Jews, throughout the world, to give it a wide circulation in all their tongues and languages.
And last, but not least, we would invite the Editor of the Cherokee Advocate, and others of the remnant of Joseph, to publish the same as extensively as possible in the Indian tongues.
We also will endeavor on our part, to publish at our office, No. 7 Spruce street, New York, one hundred thousand copies of this work, to circulate in this country, gratis. And will do our best endeavors to send them to all presidents, governors, legislators, judges, postmasters, rulers, and people, not forgetting the clergy.
All persons who wish to aid us in so doing, will please forward us contributions for that purpose, directed to our office, No. 7, Spruce street, New York.
All who wish a number of copies for distribution, will obtain them at the above-named office, at 50 cents per hundred.
The world are also informed, that further information can be had by applying to the following general publishing offices of the Latter-day Saints.—Mr. John Taylor, “Times and Seasons” office, Nauvoo, in the State of Illinois; Messrs. Pratt and Brannan, “Prophet” office, No. 7, Spruce street, New York; Mr. Wilford Woodruff “Millennial Star” office, No. 36, Chapel street Liverpool, England. Also, of our travelling elders, and in our religious meetings throughout the world.
New York April 6, 1845.