Fiftieth Annual Conference.

Prayer was offered as follows by Elder Orson Pratt:

O God, the Eternal Father of Heaven and of earth, we thy children, thy sons and daughters, have assembled ourselves together on this the 6th day of April—the day appointed and set apart for the general conference of thy Saints from year to year—we have assembled in this large and commodious tabernacle, for the purpose of commemorating this day, and of hearing the words that may be spoken from this stand, and also of giving in our votes and our voices unitedly in relation to all business matters that pertain to the Church of God here on the earth that may be transacted on this occasion.

We thank thee, holy Father, that we have been permitted to receive the fulness of the everlasting Gospel revealed anew in this great last dispensation of the fulness of times. We thank thee that thou hast organized thy Church and established the kingdom that was spoken of by Daniel the prophet, and other holy men that lived in ancient times, in fulfillment of their words, and that it has been organized to stand for ever, never more to be destroyed or given into the hands of other people.

And we thank thee, Holy Father, that in the midst of all the persecutions and difficulties we have encountered during the fifty years now being brought to a close, that thou hast sustained us, that thou hast not utterly cast us off, that thou hast not suffered us to become victims to our enemies and to those that have persecuted us; but that thou hast sustained thy Saints and brought them into these mountain valleys and planted them in the midst of the fastnesses of these everlasting hills, and spread them forth upon the right and upon the left, until we have become a great and a numerous people.

We thank Thee for the great gathering which thou hast commanded and inaugurated in this dispensation—the gathering of thine elect, the gathering of the Saints of the Most High—that we have been permitted to come from all the various nations wherever the gospel has been preached and churches raised up, and establish ourselves in these mountain vales.

We thank Thee, O Lord, for all thy peculiar care and thy great mercies that have been extended to this people. Notwithstanding our many imperfections, our many follies and sins, thine eyes have been upon us for good. Thou hast raised up; thou hast strengthened our hands; thou hast encouraged us in our work; thou hast visited us by the manifestations of thy Spirit; thou hast given revelations from time to time to strengthen thy servants and encourage thy Saints. And we thank thee for all these blessings in the name of thy beloved Son. And as the 50th year since the organization of thy Church is now about drawing to a close, we pray that thy peculiar blessings may continue to rest upon thy people, and that we may be able to esteem the past year since our general conference as a year of jubilee to the Latter-day Saints. And we pray that as the close of this year of jubilee will come to an end this day, notwithstanding the close thereof, that we may, in all our future years humble ourselves before the Lord our God and keep thy commandments blameless, and walk in all thy ordinances and the institutions of thy kingdom, and serve the Lord our God and be united more perfectly according to the law which thou hast given concerning the union in thy people.

Bless we humbly pray thy servant Brother Taylor. Thou hast raised him up by thy power and placed him in a high and important position in thy church to preside, in connection with his brethren the Apostles, over the affairs of this great latter-day Kingdom. We pray that thou wilt inspire him with great and important knowledge and information for the welfare and happiness and benefit of the Saints over whom he presides. Bless him abundantly with the spirit of revelation; bless him with the visions of eternity; bless him with knowledge that comes down from heaven; bless him with the discernment of thy spirit; bless him in all things, and qualify him for the important and high position in this thy church and thy kingdom, in this thine earth.

Bless his brethren the Apostles, fill them with the Holy Ghost, inspire their hearts from on high, and give unto them the spirit of counsel and wisdom, that they may impart unto these thy people that which shall benefit them and build them up in their most holy faith. Bless all the presidents of the Stakes of Zion and their counselors, and also the Bishops and also the various Wards in every Stake. Bless them with inspiration, with the knowledge of God, with an understanding of their several duties and callings; and may thy servants from the highest to the least, in all of the various councils of the priesthood, be inspired from on high, and thus be able to carry out the great purpose which thou hast intended concerning the everlasting priesthood again sent down from heaven and conferred upon man.

We pray, O Lord, that the work of the gathering of thy Saints may continue, that thine Israel may be gathered from all nations and peoples under the whole heavens, to dwell in these mountain valleys, and become a great people, that the borders of Zion may be stretched out, and the cords of Zion be strengthened and thy people be prepared with one heart and one mind for that great redemption which thou has promised to them in the latter days.

Let thy blessing, O Lord, be upon this congregation, upon every man, every woman, every child and every person that attends whose heart is desirous of serving the Lord his God. May the spirit of inspiration rest upon them all. May the spirit of the Most High impart peace and consolation to all who may be sick and afflicted, that are not permitted to meet with us this day—may they find favor in the sight of God, may thine angels be sent forth to minister unto them that they may be comforted, raised up and healed, and that the destroyer may be rebuked from the midst of this people in every settlement.

O, Lord, we ask in the name of Jesus Christ that during the convention of our Conference from day to day until the close thereof, that the Lord our God may be in the midst of this people, that thine angels may be round about us, that the heavenly hosts may rejoice over us, that the vision of our minds may be opened to contemplate the things of God; and that all who speak may speak by the inspiration of thy spirit and all be edified together. We ask thee, O Lord, to let thy blessing be upon all the missionaries that are sent forth into the nations of the earth, that they may go in power, go in strength, filled with the spirit and power of God, filled with courage and holy boldness to carry forth among the children of men the glorious gospel of the Son of Man, revealed in these latter days for the benefit of the human family.

Hear us, O Lord, in these our supplications. Be with us in our deliberations. Assist us in this Conference, and smite upon us from thy holy habitation. And when we have fully accomplished the work thou hast given us to do in this probation, may we be prepared to go into thy kingdom, behold thy face, and receive that welcome plaudit, “Come ye blessed of my Father, and inherit the kingdom prepared for you from before the foundation of the world.” These, together with all other blessings which we should pray for, we seek for at this time, not in our own name, but in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ. Amen.

Third Day.

Elder Orson Pratt felt with all his heart to thank the Lord our God for His blessings upon this people. We were now living in the 51st year of this kingdom upon the earth. The Lord had put it into the hearts of His servants to deal liberally with the poor. It was to be hoped that this example would be followed by the rich in Israel. It had been his duty and that of others, not only to preach the gospel but to declare things of the future, also to proclaim the times of the Gentiles and gather out from their midst those who would hearken to the truth. The great events at hand had been sounded so many times that some seemed to think they were like an old song. These things would come to pass shortly. God would pour out his judgments, and who that had any human feeling would not mourn over the calamities that would befall the wicked! The speaker knew that these things would take place. In connection with prophecy he pointed out the disclosures of the Great Pyramid of Egypt, among the symbols of which was the organization of this Church on the 6th day of April, 1830, plainly, clearly, unmistakably portrayed in the measurement of the Grand Gallery, and the step at the end thereof. Elder Pratt proceeded to give the figures of prophetic measurement by cubic inches, showing this fact. He alluded to the impending wall at the end of the Grand Gallery, which might signify “the end.” But whether the speaker knew anything of the Pyramid or not, he knew that the end of wickedness was nigh. He knew that God had spoken from the heavens, and that this work was from Him. God had revealed this to him in his youth, and that this kingdom would prevail. Every nation would be warned and then would come the awful downfall of Great Babylon. “Therefore let the people of Zion awake, work righteousness and put away evil, that they may escape the judgments to come and inherit the rich blessings promised!” The time of our redemption and re-inheritance of Zion was nigh at hand. He called for the blessings and spirit of the living God upon all that desired to serve the Lord, that the destroyer might be rebuked from our midst, and the glory of God be revealed in Israel.

[Deseret News, Apr. 14, 1880]

[transcribed and proofread by David Grow, Apr. 2006]

Return to Discourses by Orson Pratt