Thirty-Eighth General Conference.
Tuesday, 2 p.m.
At the hour for commencing meeting, the immense building was crowded, a large number being compelled to stand.
Elder Orson Pratt said the Latter-day Saints had covenanted to serve the Lord, not for a time, but for all time; and that meant to do the will of the Lord when it is known, whether commanded or not. The Word of Wisdom had not been given as a command when it was revealed, because of the weaknesses of the human family; for they would have risked the penalty of disobedience, sooner than obey it, had it been a command. Thirty-five years, on February last, have elapsed since the Word of Wisdom was given, and it is time we had learned to do the will of God in this matter, as well as obey His commandments, when made known to us.
The speaker reasoned at length on the relations of the lower animal creation to the human family, and the uses for which they have been made. He quoted various scriptures and revelations to show that they were made to be used by man with care and judgment, and not to be destroyed, when necessity does not require it. If we wantonly kill the wild animals around us that can be used for food, we might see the time when we would be glad that our sage plains were filled with them. The glorious time of peace that will be enjoyed in the millennium, will see the brute creation robbed of their ferocity and their savage nature changed; and we should now view them as the creatures of our Father and God, and not destroy them in wantonness.
Singing by the choir. Prayer by Elder Wilford Woodruff.
[Deseret News, Apr. 15, 1868]
[transcribed and proofread by David Grow, Sept. 2006]