History, 1838–1856, volume C-1 [2 November 1838–31 July 1842]

  • Source Note
  • Historical Introduction
Page 908
image
<​April 4 Joseph’s Epistle from ​> should be discussed with a great deal of care and propriety, lest you grieve the Holy Spirit, which shall be poured out at all times upon your heads when you are exercised with those principles of righteousness that are agreeable to the mind of God and are properly affected one toward another and are careful by all means to remember those who are in bondage and in heaviness and in deep affliction for your sakes and if there are any among you, who aspire after their own aggrandisement, and seek their own opulence, while their brethren are groaning in poverty, and are under sore trials and temptations they cannot be benefited by the intercession of the Holy Spirit, which maketh intercession for us day and night, with groaning that cannot be uttered. We ought at all times to be very careful, that such high mindedness never have place in our hearts, but condescend to men of low Estate, and with all long suffering bear the infirmities of the weak. Behold there are many called, but few are chosen. And why are they not chosen? Because their hearts are set so much upon the things of this world, and aspire to the honors of men, that they do not learn this one lesson, that the rights of Priesthood are inseparably connected with the powers of Heaven, and that the powers of Heaven cannot be controlled, nor handled only upon the principles of righteousness. That they may be conferred upon us, it is true, but when we undertake to cover our sins, or to gratify our pride, or vain ambition or to exercise control or dominion or compulsion upon the souls of the Children of Men in any degree of unrighteousness, Behold the Heavens withdraw themselves, the Spirit of the Lord is grieved, and when it is withdrawn— Amen to the Priesthood— or the Authority of that Man. behold ere he is aware, he is left unto himself to kick against the Pricks, to persecute the Saints, and to fight against God. We have learned by sad experience that it is the nature and disposi[HC 3:299]tion of almost all Men, as soon as they get a little authority as they suppose, they will immediately begin to exercise unrighteous dominion, hence many are called, but few are chosen. No power or influence can or ought to be maintained by virtue of the Priesthood only by persuasion, by long suffering, by gentleness and meekness and by love unfeigned, by kindness and pure knowledge which shall greatly enlarge the soul without hypocrisy, and without guile reproving betimes with sharpness when moved upon by the Holy Ghost and then showing forth afterwards an increase of love toward him whom thou hast reproved, lest he esteem thee to be his enemy, that he may know that thy faithfulness is stronger than the cords of death, thy bowels also being full of charity towards all men and to the household of faith and virtue garnish thy thoughts unceasingly, then shall thy confidence wax strong in the presence of God and the doctrines of the Priesthood shall distil upon thy soul as the dews from Heaven, the Holy Ghost shall be thy <​constant​> companion and thy scepter an unchanging scepter of— righteousness and truth, and thy dominion shall be an everlasting dominion and without compulsory means it shall flow unto thee for ever and ever. the Ends of the Earth shall enquire after thy name, and fools shall have thee in [p. 908]
April 4 Joseph’s Epistle from should be discussed with a great deal of care and propriety, lest you grieve the Holy Spirit, which shall be poured out at all times upon your heads when you are exercised with those principles of righteousness that are agreeable to the mind of God and are properly affected one toward another and are careful by all means to remember those who are in bondage and in heaviness and in deep affliction for your sakes and if there are any among you, who aspire after their own aggrandisement, and seek their own opulence, while their brethren are groaning in poverty, and are under sore trials and temptations they cannot be benefited by the intercession of the Holy Spirit, which maketh intercession for us day and night, with groaning that cannot be uttered. We ought at all times to be very careful, that such high mindedness never have place in our hearts, but condescend to men of low Estate, and with all long suffering bear the infirmities of the weak. Behold there are many called, but few are chosen. And why are they not chosen? Because their hearts are set so much upon the things of this world, and aspire to the honors of men, that they do not learn this one lesson, that the rights of Priesthood are inseparably connected with the powers of Heaven, and that the powers of Heaven cannot be controlled, nor handled only upon the principles of righteousness. That they may be conferred upon us, it is true, but when we undertake to cover our sins, or to gratify our pride, or vain ambition or to exercise control or dominion or compulsion upon the souls of the Children of Men in any degree of unrighteousness, Behold the Heavens withdraw themselves, the Spirit of the Lord is grieved, and when it is withdrawn— Amen to the Priesthood— or the Authority of that Man. behold ere he is aware, he is left unto himself to kick against the Pricks, to persecute the Saints, and to fight against God. We have learned by sad experience that it is the nature and disposi[HC 3:299]tion of almost all Men, as soon as they get a little authority as they suppose, they will immediately begin to exercise unrighteous dominion, hence many are called, but few are chosen. No power or influence can or ought to be maintained by virtue of the Priesthood only by persuasion, by long suffering, by gentleness and meekness and by love unfeigned, by kindness and pure knowledge which shall greatly enlarge the soul without hypocrisy, and without guile reproving betimes with sharpness when moved upon by the Holy Ghost and then showing forth afterwards an increase of love toward him whom thou hast reproved, lest he esteem thee to be his enemy, that he may know that thy faithfulness is stronger than the cords of death, thy bowels also being full of charity towards all men and to the household of faith and virtue garnish thy thoughts unceasingly, then shall thy confidence wax strong in the presence of God and the doctrines of the Priesthood shall distil upon thy soul as the dews from Heaven, the Holy Ghost shall be thy constant companion and thy scepter an unchanging scepter of— righteousness and truth, and thy dominion shall be an everlasting dominion and without compulsory means it shall flow unto thee for ever and ever. the Ends of the Earth shall enquire after thy name, and fools shall have thee in [p. 908]
Page 908