History, 1838–1856, volume E-1 [1 July 1843–30 April 1844]

  • Source Note
  • Historical Introduction
Page 1705
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<​August 26​> “I dont know; my master never suffered me to go into his cheese house, but I do know this, that he has a grist mill of four run of stones, which is propelled by the whey which runs from that cheese house.”
councilled the Elders to be wise enough to let such things alone and talk about the whey which runs from the cheese house; or in other words, the good things of the kingdom which we have received; and do understand, and wait patiently until the Lord takes off the vail of darkness. He spoke of the collegiate education he received from President Joseph Smith, which was to preach short sermons, and make short prayers, which had done him much good in life.Prest. said the Scriptures had been mystified to that degree, that the greatest divines of the day are as ignorant as the dumb ass concerning the things of God;— comparatively they don’t know their right hand from their left. We are trying to revere the Scriptures, and to make them so simple that the people can understand them. Place a man in this room who is ignorant of science and take every thing out that we can see, and then ask him if there is anything in the room. He will say no, only we two. I tell him that there are millions of live animals in the room,— that we even breathe them, and I will shew him, by the aid of the Microscope, that there are <​live​> animals in a drop of water, which appear to be eight feet long, but he won’t believe it until he sees it through the magnifying glass. So with the unbeliever in revelation, he does not believe in God, in Angels, or in Spirits, because he cannot [HC 5:550] see them; but let him have spiritual glasses, or obey the commandments of— God, get the Spirit of God, and then he can see the truth.
A Hymn was then sung:
Then several questions were asked, as follows
1st. Can any officer in any branch of the church say that his word is law, and shall be obeyed? Answer. [blank]. <​He can say that his word is law, but does that make it so? Yes, if he has the law of God, and delivers it; otherwise it is not.​>
2nd. Is it right for a priest to be appointed to accompany a Teacher, to visit the houses of each member, when his duty is set forth in the covenants? Answer. Yes. any officer from a High Priest to <​a​> Deacon, may visit the church or members, and be set apart for this purpose, if the church will receive it.
3d. Can a branch of the church make bye laws on the principle of expediency, which are not specified in any Revelation? Answer. Yes; if they wish they may make laws to stick their fingers in their eyes; but it is like the man who habituated himself to sticking his finger into a knot hole in a board partition every morning, until custom compelled him to do it; for having omitted it one morning, he felt so curiously at the breakfast table that he could not eat, he then bethought himself, went and put his finger into the knot hole and returned with a good appetite and eat a hearty breakfast.
said that if Elders or High Priests are so situated that they cannot get word from the Prophet or the Twelve <​Apostles,​> they may get a Revelation concerning themselves. The Twelve may get a Revelation in any part of the world concerning the building up of the kingdom, as they have to establish it in all parts of the world; so any person can ask the Lord for a Witness concerning himself, and get an answer; but not to lead the church.— that belongs to the head of the church. [p. 1705]
August 26 “I dont know; my master never suffered me to go into his cheese house, but I do know this, that he has a grist mill of four run of stones, which is propelled by the whey which runs from that cheese house.”
councilled the Elders to be wise enough to let such things alone and talk about the whey which runs from the cheese house; or in other words, the good things of the kingdom which we have received; and do understand, and wait patiently until the Lord takes off the vail of darkness. He spoke of the collegiate education he received from President Joseph Smith, which was to preach short sermons, and make short prayers, which had done him much good in life.Prest. said the Scriptures had been mystified to that degree, that the greatest divines of the day are as ignorant as the dumb ass concerning the things of God;— comparatively they don’t know their right hand from their left. We are trying to revere the Scriptures, and to make them so simple that the people can understand them. Place a man in this room who is ignorant of science and take every thing out that we can see, and then ask him if there is anything in the room. He will say no, only we two. I tell him that there are millions of live animals in the room,— that we even breathe them, and I will shew him, by the aid of the Microscope, that there are live animals in a drop of water, which appear to be eight feet long, but he won’t believe it until he sees it through the magnifying glass. So with the unbeliever in revelation, he does not believe in God, in Angels, or in Spirits, because he cannot [HC 5:550] see them; but let him have spiritual glasses, or obey the commandments of— God, get the Spirit of God, and then he can see the truth.
A Hymn was then sung:
Then several questions were asked, as follows
1st. Can any officer in any branch of the church say that his word is law, and shall be obeyed? Answer. [blank]. He can say that his word is law, but does that make it so? Yes, if he has the law of God, and delivers it; otherwise it is not.
2nd. Is it right for a priest to be appointed to accompany a Teacher, to visit the houses of each member, when his duty is set forth in the covenants? Answer. Yes. any officer from a High Priest to a Deacon, may visit the church or members, and be set apart for this purpose, if the church will receive it.
3d. Can a branch of the church make bye laws on the principle of expediency, which are not specified in any Revelation? Answer. Yes; if they wish they may make laws to stick their fingers in their eyes; but it is like the man who habituated himself to sticking his finger into a knot hole in a board partition every morning, until custom compelled him to do it; for having omitted it one morning, he felt so curiously at the breakfast table that he could not eat, he then bethought himself, went and put his finger into the knot hole and returned with a good appetite and eat a hearty breakfast.
said that if Elders or High Priests are so situated that they cannot get word from the Prophet or the Twelve Apostles, they may get a Revelation concerning themselves. The Twelve may get a Revelation in any part of the world concerning the building up of the kingdom, as they have to establish it in all parts of the world; so any person can ask the Lord for a Witness concerning himself, and get an answer; but not to lead the church.— that belongs to the head of the church. [p. 1705]
Page 1705