Annual General Conference.

Elder Orson Pratt read a few passages commencing with the 18th verse of the last chapter, of Isaiah.  There were some very important prophecies contained in the above verses, especially in reference to the gathering together of the children of Israel in the last days, at which particular period of time a certain sign was to make its appearance, all nations and tongues were to be gathered to Jerusalem as predicted.  Messengers were to be sent among the Gentiles.  The sign, promised by the Almighty God, was uttered by Jesus Christ to the inhabitants of this continent, was the “Book of Mormon,” when it should come forth to the Gentiles, then the time for the gathering of Israel should commence, that the covenant of the Father might be fulfilled.  The Book of Mormon should then go from the Gentiles to the Lamanites or Indians, who had previously dwindled in unbelief, because of their iniquity, and had become a dark and loathsome people.  But these things were to take place on this continent because of the existence of civil and religious liberty, and for the purpose of establishing the Kingdom of God upon the earth.  When the Gospel should be preached among the Lamanites, the scattered tribes of Israel were to be gathered together.  Forty-five years had God’s missionaries been sent forth among the Gentiles, and had held up and preached to them the word of God as revealed in the Book of Mormon.  Some missionaries had been sent to the Lamanites, and it was reported that they had also been visited by the three Nephites who were permitted to remain upon the earth and not taste of death.  It was stated that these men had visited the Indians and told them to seek after the Elders of the Latter-day Saints, to be baptized, to repent of their sins, to lay aside their weapons of war and stop stealing.  The three Nephites were promised by the Savior that they should live upon the earth until all things should be accomplished, spoken of by the prophets, and until the glory of God should be revealed.  They were also promised that they should not have any more pain or sorrow, were caught up into heaven, and saw and heard things which God told them not to reveal.  Their bodies underwent some kind of a change, so that they should not taste of death.  Thrice were these three Nephites cast into a furnace of fire, coming out unhurt.  Thrice were they cast into a den of wild beasts, playing with them like a child would with a suckling lamb.  They were thrust into prison, but at their word the prison walls fell down.  No kind of torture nor any place into which they were thrust was permitted to hurt them.  The remnants of the house of Israel did not embrace the whole house of Israel.  The expression only had reference to the tribe of Joseph who was sold into Egypt.  There were a host of other branches of Israel who were led into the north country.  These had to come to Zion, and when that time came the mountains of ice would flow down at their presence the barren deserts would yield pools of water as they advance.  This was a prophecy delivered by Joseph Smith the prophet, he being the greatest prophet that ever lived on the earth, Jesus excepted.  The ten tribes would come to Zion, and receive a blessing under the hands of the children of Ephraim, and there were some in this congregation who would assist in setting apart one hundred and forty-four thousand as missionaries that would go forth and gather in the scattered remnants of Jacob from every part of the habitable globe.

He then read another prophecy from the Book of Mormon, wherein it set forth that the Indians would be smitten by the hands of the Gentiles, after which if the Gentiles should reject the fulness of the gospel as set forth in the Book of Mormon, then the Lord would withdraw the fulness of the gospel from them, and send it to the poor degraded Indians.  Every prophecy that had been uttered by the mouth of the servants of God in relation to this nation or other nations that fought against Zion should be fulfilled to the very letter.

[Deseret News, Apr. 14, 1875]

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

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