Discourse, 7 April 1844, as Reported by Wilford Woodruff

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3 oclock P M April Sunday 7[th] 1844
The following important edefying & interesting discourse was delivered by President. Joseph Smith to about twenty <ten> thousand souls upon the subject of the death of Elder
 
I now call the attention of this congregation while I addres you upon the subject of the dead The case of our Beloved Brother , who was crushed to death in a well, as well as many others who have lost friends will be had in mind this afternoon, & shall speak upon the subject in general as far as I shall be inspired by the Holy spirit to treat upon the subject <it>, I want the Prayers & faith of the saints that I may have the Holy Ghost, that the testimony may carry conviction to your minds of the truth of what I shall say & pray that the Lord may strengthen my lungs, there is strength here <&> your prayers will be herd. Before I enter upon an investigation of this subject, I wish to pave the way, and bring up the subject from the beginning that you may understand. I do not intend to please you with oritory but with the simple truths of heaven <to> Edify you Go to the morn of Creation to understand of the decrees of the Eloheem at the Creation. It is necessary for us to have an understanding of God at the beginning, if we get a good start first we can go right, but if you start wrong you may go wrong. But few understand the character of God. they do not know, they do not understand their relation to God. the world know no more than the brute beast & they know no more than [p. [133]] to eat drink and sleep, & this is all man knows about God or his exhistance, except what is given by the inspiration of the Almighty. go then to the beginning that you may understand. I ask this congregation what kind of a being is God? turn your thoughts in your hearts, & say have any of you seen or herd him, or communed with him<?> this is a question that may occupy your attention The scriptures inform us that this is eternal life to know the ownly wise God & Jesus Christ whom He has sent. If any inquire what kind of a being God is— I would say If you dont know God you have not eternal life, go back & find out what kind of a being God is. If I am the man that shows you what kind of a being God is, then let evry man & woman sit in silence and never lift up his hand against me again, if I do not do it, I will not make any further pretentions to inspiration or to be a prophet, I would be like the rest of the world, fals teachers & you would want to take my life. But you might just as well take the lives of other fals teachers as mine if I was fals, But meddle not with any man for his religion, evry goverment ought to permit evry man to enjoy his religion, I will show the world is wrong by showing what God is. I am going to inquire after God so that you may know God, that persecution may cease Concerning me, I go back to the beginning to show what kind of a being God, was, I will tell you & hear it O Earth! God who sits in yonder heavens is a man like yourselves That God if you were to see him to day that holds the worlds you would see him like a man in form, like yourselves. Adam was [p. [134]] made in his image and talked with him <&> walked with him. In order to understand the dead for the Consolation of those that mourn, I want you to understand God and how he comes to to be God. We suppose that God was God from Eternity, I will refute that Idea, or I will do away or take away the veil so you may see. It is the first principle to know that we may convers with him and that he once was <a> man like us, and the Father was once on an earth like us, And I wish I was in a suitable place to tell it The scriptures inform us mark it that Jesus Christ Said As the Father hath power in himself so hath the son power in himself to do what the father did even to lay down my body & take it up again do you believe it, if not, dont believe the bible, I defy all Hell and earth to refute it. And you have got to learn how to make yourselves God, king and priest, by going from a small capacity to a great capacity to the resurrection of the dead, to dwelling in everlasting burnings, I want you to know the first principle of this law, how consoling to the mourner when they part with a friend to know that though they lay down this body it will rise & dwell with everlasting burnings to be an heir of God & joint heir of <with> Jesus Christ enjoying the same rise exhaltation & glory untill you arive at the station of a God. What did Jesus Christ do, the same thing as I se[e] the Father do, see the father do what, work, out a kingdom, when I do so to I will give to the father which will add to his glory, He will take a Higher exhaltation & I will take his place and am also exhalted. These are the first principles of the gospel. It will take a long time after the grave to understand the whole If I should say anything but what was in the bible the cry of treason would be herd. I will then go to the bible, [p. [135]]
Barasheet in the beginning, Analize the word in and through the head, an old Jew added the word Bath, it red the head one of the gods, broat forth the gods, I will transpose it in the english language. I want you to know & learn that the Holy Ghost knows somthing. The grand Council sat at the head and contemplated the creation of the world, some will say, the scriptures say so & so, but I will show you a text out of an old book containing the four languages, the german is here, what does this text say, yoakabeam, the son of Zebadee, the bible says James the son of Zebedee, but this says Jacob son of Zebadee 21 ch 4th ver Mathew The Dr says (I mean Dr of Law not of physic) If you say any thing not according to the Bible we will cry treason, But if ye are not led by revelation how can ye escape the damnation of Hell, here we have the testimony of four I have the oldest Book, in the world & the Holy Ghost I thank God for the old Book but more for the Holy Ghost. The Gods came to gether & concocked the plan of making the world & the inhabitants, having an knowledge of God we know how to Approach him & ask & he will answer An other thing the Learned Dr says the Lord made the world out of nothing, you tell them that God made the world out of somthing, & they think you are a fool. But I am learned & know more than the whole world, the Holy Ghost does any how, & I will associate myself with it. Beaureau, to organize the world out of Chaotic matter, element they are principles that cannot be disolved they may be reorganized. Another subject which is Calculated to exhalt man I wish to speak of, The resurrection of the dead [p. [136]] The soul the mind of man, whare did it come from<?> The learned says God made it in the beginning, but it is not so, I know better God has told me so, If you dont believe it, it wont make the truth without effect, God was a self exhisting being, man exhis<ts—> upon the same principle. God made a tabernacle & put a spirit in it and it became a Human soul, man exhisted in spirit & mind coequal with God himself, you who mourn the loss of friends, are ownly separated for a moment the spirit is separated for a little time, they are now conversant with each other as we are on the earth. I am dwelling on the immutibility of the spirit of man, is it logic to say the spirit of man had a begining & yet had no end, it does not have a begining or end, my ring is like the Exhistanc of man it has no beginning or end, if Cut into their would be a beginning & end, so with man if it had a beginning it will have an end, if I am right I might say God never had power to Create the spirit of man, God himself Could not create himself. Intelligence is Eternal & it is self exhisting, All mind that is susseptible of improvement the relationship we have with God places us in a situation to advance in knowledge. God has power to institute laws to instruct the weaker intelligences that they may be exhalted with himself this is good doctrin, it taste good, I can taste the principle of eternal life, so can you, they are given to me by the revelations of Jesus Christ and I know you believe it. All things <that> God sees fit to reveal to us in relation to us, reveals his Commandments to out spirits, and in saving our spirits we save the body, (the same as though we had no Body [p. [137]] How comes the awful responsiblity if in relation to our dead, if they do not be baptized they must be damned, (I wish I had 40 days to talk) what promises are made, what can be said if in the grave, God dwells in eternity, and he does not view things as we do, the greatest responsibility lade upon us in this life<,> is in relation to our dead Paul <said we> cannot be made perfect without us, for it is necessary that the seals are in our hands to seal our children & our dead for the folness of the dispensation of times, A dispensation to meet the promises made by Jesus Christ befor the foundation of the world for the salvation of man. All sins and blasphemy, were to be forgiven except the sin against the Holy Ghost. God has made provision for evry spirit in the eternal world, and the spirits of our friends should be searched out & saved, Any man that has a friend in eternity can save him if he has not commit<ted> the unpardonable sin, He cannot be damned through all eternity, their is a possibility for his escape in a little time, If a man has knowledge he can be saved, if he has been guilty of great sins he is punished for it, when he Consents to obey the gospel whether, Alive or dead, he is saved, his own mind damns him I have no fear of hell fire that dont exhist, no man can commit the unpardonable sin, untill He receives the Holy Ghost, All will suffer untill they obey Christ himself, even the devil said I am a savior and can save all<, he> rose up in rebellion against God and was cast down. Jesus Christ will save all except the sons of perdition. What must a man do to commit the unpardonable sin they must receive the Holy Ghost, have the heavens opened unto them, & know God, & then sin against him, this is the case with many [p. [138]] apostates in this Church, they never seease to try to hurt me, they have got the same spirit the devil had, you cannot save them<,> they make open war like the devil, stay all that hear; dont make any hasty mooves you may be saved, if a spirit of Bitterness is in you, dont be in haste, Say you that man is a sinner, well if he repents he shall be forgiven. I could go back and trace evry subject of interest concerning the relationship of man to God if i had time, their is many mansions in my fathers Kingdom, what have we to console us in relation to our dead, we have the greatest hope in relation to our dead of any people on earth we have seen them walk worthy on earth and those who have died in the faith are now in the selestial kingdom of God, they have gone to await the resurrection of the dead, to go to the celestial glory, while their is many who die who will have to wait many years, But I am authorized to say to you my friends in the name of the Lord, that you may wait for your friends to come forth to meet you in Eternity in the morn of the Celestial world, those Saints who have been murdered in the persecution shall triumph in the Celestial world, while their murderers shall dwell in torment untill they pay the utmost farthing.
I have Fathers, Brothers, Children, that are gone to eternity soon to meet me, the time will soon be gone, the trump will soon be blown. A question will Mothers have their Children in Eternity<?> yes, yes, you will have the Children, <But> as it falls so it will rise, It will never grow, It will be in its precise form as it fell in its mothers arms Eternity is full of thrones upon which dwell thousands of Children reigning on thrones of glory not one cubit added to their stature [p. [139]]
I will leave this subject here and make a few remarks upon Baptism, I will read a tex[t] in Jerman upon Baptism, John says I Baptise you with water But when Jesus Christ Comes He shall administer the baptism of fire & the Holy Ghost, John said his baptism was good for nothing without the Baptism of Jesus Christ, Many talk of any baptism not being essantial to salvation but this would lay the foundation of their damnation, There has also been remarks made concerning all men being redeemed from Hell, But I say that any man who commits the unpardonable sin must dwell in hell worlds without end [p. [140]]