Work of the Mormon church in Montana reviewed—Butte and Anaconda stakes are united, with L.B. Bingham in charge.

The regular conference of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, more generally known as Mormons, was held in Good Templars’ hall yesterday afternoon and evening, President Nephi Pratt of Portland, Ore., being the presiding officer. Mr. Pratt made a brief address to the conference, reviewing the work that had been done in Montana and the other near-by states during recent months, and, altogether, he found matters most encouraging. One of the most recent changes has been the uniting of the two stakes of Anaconda and Butte under one head, with L. B. Bingham as president and W.F. Bromley as first councilor.

President Pratt is in charge of the Northwest mission, which includes the states of Montana, Washington, Oregon, Northern Idaho and British Columbia. His headquarters are in Portland and he has been making a tour of the various stakes under his jurisdiction, finding the state of the church generally in a very satisfactory condition. Last night an especially large audience was present, the president making a stirring address, having for his subject, “Future and Punishment.” Others of the elders present, and some of the laymen as well, also made brief addresses during the evening. At the afternoon meeting Elders Cameron and Ence and J.M. Boyson made brief addresses in addition to that of President Pratt.

The Afternoon Session.

At the afternoon session. Presiding Elder Nephi Pratt of Portland preached a most interesting sermon, taking for his theme. “The Coming of the Lord.” He dwelt upon the history of the religious world to a great extent, reviewed the conditions which prevailed at the time of Noah and said that individual had preached the coming of the flood for 120 years and was scoffed at for his belief and the pains he had taken in the construction of the ark. The elder believed the second coming of the Lord was imminent and said the conditions were as they were in the time of Noah. People feast and make merry; they are marrying and giving in marriage, but all the while drifting away from the religious life. A prediction of the end of the world was “there should be wars and rumors of wars, famines and earthquakes.” These preliminaries to the great coming had already been fulfilled, he asserted, and he enumerated the various wars that had occurred in the past 150 years and told of the great famines which had visited the countries of the world and how the United States had come to the aid of stricken humanity and helped other nations in their darkest hours of distress and sorrow.

“When we, the Mormon people, were driven from Missouri by mob violence and forced to seek a home in the West, in all the years we lived there, no evidence of storms, such as cyclones and hurricanes, could be seen. Now it is necessary for the people who live in that same place to build their cyclone cellars and too frequently they are forced to use them to save their lives from the devastation of the awful funnel-shaped cloud which carries death in its wake. There were then no floods on the Mississippi or Missouri, which are now too frequent and death dealing.” These conditions were cited to show that the prophesies of Revelations are gradually being fulfilled and the people were urged to put aside their doubts and link themselves more closely with God by attending to their religious duties.

“We have revelations, which have named the great cities,” said the speaker, “which have offended most in the eyes of the Lord. A few years ago a tidal wave swept over an island of Japan and wiped it completely from the face of the earth. Its people and its rice fields were destroyed completely. Only a short time ago a tidal wave formed in the Atlantic and swept within a few hundred miles of New York city and had it been the appointed time for it to carry destruction to that city, it would have rushed in and carried that splendid city before it and soon New York would have been but a memory, for that wave was of such a height that nothing could have stood before it. These are but a few instances of the awful power of that wrath the Lord can pour upon the earth when the predictions told by Revelations are fulfilled.”

Women and Dogs.

The elder took a sharp rap at the women who “wash and fondle and caress a poodle dog,” saying, among other things, they were not fit for motherhood and that the hundreds of thousands of unborn spirits in the midst of the unknown land would be held back forever before the Lord would trust them in the arms of such mothers.

Mr. Pratt made an especial appeal to the members of the Mormon church to attend services better than in the past. “I am told that at some services we have as many as three persons in addition to the choir present. You may think the services are uninteresting and stay away. I say to you make them interesting by attending and in that way you will be serving Him who has put you on earth to glorify His name and make of you better men and women.”

The elder goes from Butte to Anaconda, where he will hold meetings Wednesday night, leaving for the coast Thursday morning. The Anaconda meeting will be in the nature of a social and a dance will follow.

[MS 5719 9]

[Transcribed by Heather Hoyt and Erin T. McAllister, Mar. 2011]

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