History, 1834–1836

  • Source Note
  • Historical Introduction
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It is only necessary to say, relative to the foregoing reproof and  instruction, that, though it was given in sharpness, it occasioned glad ness and joy, and we were willing to repent and reform, in every par ticular, according to the instruction given. It is also proper to remark,  that after the reproof was given, we all confessed, voluntarily, that such  had been the manifestations of the Spirit a long times since; in conse quence of which the rebuke came with greater sharpness.
Not thinking to evade the truth, or excuse, in order to escape censure,  but to give proper information, a few remarks relative to the situation  of the Chuch previous to this date, is necessary. Many, on hearing the fulness  of the gospel, embraced it with eagerness; <yet,> at the same time were unwilling  to forego their former opinions and notions relative to Church government, and  the rules and habits proper for the good order, harmony, peace, and beauty of  a people destined, with the protecting care of the Lord, to be an ensample and  light of the world. They did not dispise government; but there was a dis position to organize that government according to their own notions, or  feelings. For example: Every man must be subjected <to> wear a partic ular fashioned coat, hat, or other garment, or else an accusation was brought  that we were fashioning after the world. Every one must be called by  their given name, without respecting the office or ordinance to  which they had been called: Thus, President Smith was called Joseph, or broth er Joseph; , brother Sidney, or Sidney, &c. This manner of  address gave occasion to the enemies of the truth, and was a means  of bringing reproach upon the Cause of God. But in consequence  of former prejudices, the Church, many of them, would not submit to prop er and wholesome order. This proceeded from a spirit of enthusiasm, and  vain ambition—a desire to compel others to come to certain rules, not  dictated by the will of the Lord; or a jealous fear, that, were men cal led by thier respective titles, and the ordinance of heaven honored in  a proper manner, some were in a way to be exalted above others, and their form  of government disregarded. In fact, the true principle of honor in  the Church of the Saints, that the more a man is exalted, the more humble  he will be, if actuated by the Spirit of the Lord, seemed to have been over looked; and the fact, that the greatest is least and servant of all, as  said our Savior, never to have been thought of, by numbers. These facts,  for such they were, when viewed in their proper light, were sufficient, of  themselves to cause men to humble themselves before the Lord; but when  communicated by the Spirit, made an impression upon our hearts  not to be forgotten. [p. 18]
It is only necessary to say, relative to the foregoing reproof and instruction, that, though it was given in sharpness, it occasioned gladness and joy, and we were willing to repent and reform, in every particular, according to the instruction given. It is also proper to remark, that after the reproof was given, we all confessed, voluntarily, that such had been the manifestations of the Spirit a long time since; in consequence of which the rebuke came with greater sharpness.
Not thinking to evade the truth, or excuse, in order to escape censure, but to give proper information, a few remarks relative to the situation of the Chuch previous to this date, is necessary. Many, on hearing the fulness of the gospel, embraced it with eagerness; yet, at the same time were unwilling to forego their former opinions and notions relative to Church government, and the rules and habits proper for the good order, harmony, peace, and beauty of a people destined, with the protecting care of the Lord, to be an ensample and light of the world. They did not dispise government; but there was a disposition to organize that government according to their own notions, or feelings. For example: Every man must be subjected to wear a particular fashioned coat, hat, or other garment, or else an accusation was brought that we were fashioning after the world. Every one must be called by their given name, without respecting the office or ordinance to which they had been called: Thus, President Smith was called Joseph, or brother Joseph; , brother Sidney, or Sidney, &c. This manner of address gave occasion to the enemies of the truth, and was a means of bringing reproach upon the Cause of God. But in consequence of former prejudices, the Church, many of them, would not submit to proper and wholesome order. This proceeded from a spirit of enthusiasm, and vain ambition—a desire to compel others to come to certain rules, not dictated by the will of the Lord; or a jealous fear, that, were men called by thier respective titles, and the ordinance of heaven honored in a proper manner, some were in a way to be exalted above others, and their form of government disregarded. In fact, the true principle of honor in the Church of the Saints, that the more a man is exalted, the more humble he will be, if actuated by the Spirit of the Lord, seemed to have been overlooked; and the fact, that the greatest is least and servant of all, as said our Savior, never to have been thought of, by numbers. These facts, for such they were, when viewed in their proper light, were sufficient, of themselves to cause men to humble themselves before the Lord; but when communicated by the Spirit, made an impression upon our hearts not to be forgotten. [p. 18]
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