Meetings at Parowan and Cedar.

Kanarra, Wednesday, March 27, 1877.

Editor Deseret News:

The company spent the Sabbath at the beautifully situated little city of Parowan. The weather was delightful; and in the morning, about fifteen minutes after the tolling of the bell, could be seen in the neat, well seated meeting-house, full five hundred persons, anxiously waiting the arrival of Elder Taylor and the brethren of the Twelve.

When all the brethren of the company had been comfortably seated on the stand, a motion was made to the choir leader, Brother Thomas Durham, and a well trained choir at once awakened our emotional feelings with their soft, sweet music.

When prayer had been offered, and after another hymn had been sung, Elder Orson Pratt spoke. He said after the expiration of twelve years he was pleased to meet with the Saints at Parowan, and to witness the growth of the place during that time. It was a great privilege conferred upon them and the Saints of the southern country to have a temple among them.

The Lord had said there were certain blessings which could not be received, except during the poverty of the Saints, unless it was in a temple. The Endowment House in which we had officiated in the ordinances was only temporary; but now it was no longer acceptable for that purpose, for our condition was such as to make it imperative on our part to build temples. He esteemed it a great and glorious privilege to journey with his brethren to the House of the Lord. Many blessings never conferred upon any peoples in former temples had been reserved to be revealed in this dispensation of the fullness of times. The speaker felt fully persuaded that as far as the Lord was concerned, he was waiting to bestow those blessings upon us; in fact he was willing to confer them in the Kirtland Temple. He there revealed to the Prophet Joseph the dedicatory prayer, and many of the faithful there received great and glorious manifestations; the ordinances of washing of feet and anointing of the head with oil were given there. At the dedication of the second temple, which was built in Nauvoo, still greater blessings were received. Many in the first temple had testified that they saw the heavens opened, and that angels appeared to them, and in divers other ways were his glories manifested. That temple was constructed according to revelation.

A few weeks after the dedication Joseph Smith and Oliver Cowdery entered into the Temple and prayed to the Lord, and great and glorious things were made manifest to them on that occasion. Bro. Pratt here referred to page 369 of the new edition of the Doctrine and Covenants, which contained a record of what was seen and heard at that time. Referred to the vision that Joseph had, in which the Prophet Moses appeared to him, revealing and bestowing on him the key of the gathering, this being the dispensation when scattered Israel would be gathered together from the four quarters of the earth, which had never before been done. After this Elias appeared to him, committing the gospel of the dispensation of Abraham, saying that in us and our seed all the generations after us should be blessed. After this vision had closed, another glorious vision burst upon them, when Elijah stood before them, saying, “Behold the time has fully come,” &c.

The dispensation of the fullness of times brought in all the keys and authorities and glories and promises made in all the former dispensations, concentrating them, as it were, in one, to bring about the union of all the former and latter-day Saints, both of heaven and earth.

As temples had been built, so God had increased his blessings in number and magnitude. Should we not now hope in faith that God would accept our present Temple at our hands, and unveil the heavens to those who were pure in heart, and also hope that in this house ordinances never before revealed might be administered?

It was now our duty to obey and fulfil the command written in the Book of Covenants, given just before the Saints were driven from Missouri, commanding us to seek the face of the Lord.

How should we prepare ourselves for this important occasion? Through prayer and watchfulness and by observing all the laws and ordinances of his kingdom.

In the millennium, when man and beasts, birds and fishes, as well as the earth, would be more or less changed, in the temple or temples he would converse with his people. Ezekiel saw this time. It was said to him, “Son of man, behold the place of my throne and the place of the soles of my feet, where I will dwell in the midst of the children of Israel forever, and they shall not pollute my holy name anymore.” If it were necessary that temples should be built in order to receive the Lord in the days when the curse would be more or less removed, how much more so in these days of darkness?

The Lord had given us the high priesthood and the ordinances pertaining to it, and without which no man could look on the face of God and live; that meant to converse with him face to face. Moses sought to sanctify the children of Israel, in order that they might be prepared to behold the face of the Lord. But because they had not prepared themselves, they could not endure his presence; and therefore the Lord was angry with them. If the Latter-day Saints did not prepare themselves to behold the face of the Lord, we should certainly incur his displeasure.

Elder Pratt concluded by saying, that he hoped what he had said would have a tendency to induce us to prepare ourselves for the great day when the curse of God would be removed from the earth, and all flesh should see him together.

[Deseret News, Apr. 18, 1877]

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

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