Sunday Services

Religious services of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints were held in the Tabernacle, Sunday, Aug. 30, Elder Wm. Eddington, presiding.

The choir sang: Arise, O glorious Zion, Thou joy of Latter days.
Prayer by Bishop O.F. Whitney.
The choir sang: ‘Twas on that dark, that solemn night, When powers of earth and hell arose.

The Bishopric of the Seventh Ward officiated in blessing and dispensing the Sacrament.

Elder Nephi Pratt first addressed the congregation. He stated that this was the first occasion on which he had been called to address the Saints in the Tabernacle, and requested the prayers and faith of the congregation that he might speak under the influence of the Holy Ghost. Said that those who had embraced the Gospel in this age had been led to search deeply after the principles of salvation; they had been convinced that there was but one way of life and one God, and that the strife which existed among the sects of Christendom was not inspired from heaven, but was the result of the varied opinions of men. In having divested themselves of the creeds of their fathers, the Saints had become a peculiar people, and obeyed the doctrines of the Holy Scriptures. They believed in the teachings of the Prophets, and the fulfillment of the prophecies. The ancient Prophets had declared the events of the last days, when Zion should be established, in the tops of the mountains, and the Saints were gathering in fulfillment of those predictions. The speaker was an American, as were also his ancestors for generations back, and they had struggled for the establishment of a free government on this land. His father had been assassinated for the truth’s sake. The Latter-day Saints had suffered great privations under trying circumstance sin defense of truth. They had been driven from place to place, not because they had broken any law, or done anything wrong, but for their religiou’s sake, and not one of their persecutors had ever been punished. He believed the Constitution to have been inspired of God, and as such he revered it. He felt that, so long as his religion did not permit him to infringe on the rights of others, the Constitution guaranteed him the privilege of practicing it. The Saints had been advised on one occasion to disband their organization and put aside their Bishops, etc., that the feelings of the people might not be incensed against them. Some of the Latter-day Saints had married more wives than one, and it was said that they should be punished. It was, indeed, just as proper to punish them for this as it was to punish the Savior when he was called a winebibber and an associate of publicans and sinners. The present generation claimed that they were sincere in their opposition to the “Mormons;” doubtless the Jews were also sincere in opposing the Savior, but that did not make them right. Today some of the Saints were in exile, and others were incarcerated in prisons, for their devotion to God and His laws, and the cries of their wives, children and friends were ascending to heaven in their behalf for retribution. Those who opposed the Saints charged that polygamy was what they were shocked at. But a plurality of wives was no offense under the Scriptural law; it was not immoral as taught and practiced by the Latter-day Saints; nor was it wrong when obeyed by those whom God honored anciently. The Almighty had held as honorable examples the offspring of plural marriage, but had cursed with a grievous cursing the children of adultery, and those who committed that crime. The sectarian world, who reviled the Latter-day Saints, would have rejected Abraham, Moses, or even an angel from heaven. The Saints were persecuted because they advocated the principles of truth, and sought to bring about and establish the reign of peace on the earth. Those who opposed the doctrines of the Gospel as taught to and practiced by Abraham and his descendants would be required to take their place outside the walls of the great city, among the wicked and ungodly, while those who kept the commandments of Jehovah would enter into His rest and be crowned with eternal lives and happiness….

[Journal History of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Aug. 30, 1885, 2]
[Deseret News, Aug. 31, 1885]

[transcribed and proofread by David Grow, May 2006]


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