Note that only the editorial content created specifically for this issue of the Elders’ Journal is annotated here. Articles reprinted from other papers, letters, conference minutes, and notices, are reproduced here but not annotated. Items that are stand-alone JS documents, such as the letter from Wilford Woodruff and others, are annotated elsewhere.
the beginning: but when we take into consideration the plan of God for the salvation of the world, we can readily see that plan carried out most faithfully in all its bearings.
See after the fall of Adam, the plan of salvation was made known to him of God himself; who in like manner, in the meredian of time revealed the same, in sending his first begotten son Jesus Christ: who also revealed the same to the apostles, and God raised him from the dead to perfect that plan. And the apostles were made special witnesses of that plan; and testified, “That in the dispensation of the fullness of times, that God would gather together in one, all things in Christ, whether they be things in heaven, or things on the earth.”
Now the thing to be known, is, what the fullness of times means, or the extent and authority thereof. It means this, that the dispensation of the fullness of times is made up of all the dispensations that ever have been given since the world began until this time.
Unto Adam first was given a dispensation. It is well known that God spake to him with his own voice in the garden, and gave him the promise of the Messiah. And unto Noah also was a dispensation given. For Jesus said, “As it was in the days of Noah, so shall it be at the coming of the son of man. And as the righteous were saved then, and the wicked destroyed, so it will be now.
And from Noah to Abraham; and from Abraham to Moses; and from Moses to Elias; and from Elias to John the baptist; and from John to Jesus Christ; and from Jesus Christ to Peter, James and John. The apostles all having received in their time, a dispensation by revelation from God, to accomplish the great scheme of restitution, spoken of by all the holy prophets since the world began. The end of which is the dispensation of the fullness of times. In the which, all things shall be fulfilled, that has been spoken of since the earth was made.
Now the question is, unto whom is this dispensation to be given? or by whom to be revealed? The answer is, to the deliverer that was to come out of Zion, and given to him by the angel of God. Rev. 14: 7. “And I saw another angel flying in the midst of heaven, having the everlasting gospel to preach to them that dwell on the earth. And to every nation, and kindred, and tongue, and people, saying with a loud voice, fear God, and give glory to him for the hour of his judgement is come; worship him, that made Heaven, and Earth, and the Sea, and the fountains of water.”
Now observe, this angel delivers the everlasting gospel to man on the earth, and that too when the hour of the judgements of God had come on the generation, in the which, the Lord should set his hand the second time, as stated above.
Now we have learned that this deliverer must be clothed with the power of all the other dispensations, or it could not be called the fullness of times.— For this is what it means, that all things shall be revealed, both in heaven and on earth. For the Lord said, there was nothing secret that should not be revealed, or hid that should not come abroad, and be proclaimed upon the house top. And this may, with propriety, be called the fullness of times.
The authority connected with the ordinances, renders the time very desirable to the man of God, and renders him happy, amidst all his trials, and afflictions. To such an one, through the grace of God, we are indebted for this dispensation, as given by the angel of the Lord. But to what tribe of Israel was it to be delivered? we answer, to Ephraim, because to him were the greater blessings given. For the Lord said to his father Joseph: “A seer shall the Lord raise up of the fruit of my loins, and he shall be a choice seer unto the fruit of my loins; yea, he truly said: Thus saith the Lord, a choice seer will I raise up out of the fruit of thy loins, and he shall be esteemed highly; and unto him will I give commandment, that he shall do a work for the fruit of thy loins, his brethren, which shall be of great worth unto them, even to the bringing of them to the knowledge of the covenants which I have made with their fathers. And I will give unto him a commandment that he shall do none other work, save the work which I shall command him; and I will make him great in mine eyes, for he shall do my work, and he shall be great like unto Moses; and out of weakness he shall be made strong, in that day when my work shall com [p. 41]