General Conference
April 6, 1850

Elder Parley P. Pratt arose and occupied nearly two hours in bringing to the notice of the Saints many scenes he had passed through, on the first establishment of this church on the earth, and several visible manifestations of the Providence of God in the various movements of this Church for the past twenty years, and of the manner in which they have been sustained.  Enquired for what purpose is this advancement of knowledge, to qualify the Saints for the great and marvelous work—the restoration of the whole house of Israel—and showed examples, from among the Jews and Lamanites.  He showed clearly that the scriptures had done him a great deal of good, and when he read them he wished to emulate the examples of Joseph, David, and Sampson.  He rejoiced in reading the doctrines of our Lord Jesus Christ, and completely refuted the doctrines as taught by Moses Martin, that the five senses were the counselors of man.  He said the great book of Nature has been open in all its sublime grandeur to the Utes, Shoshones, and other Indians, and they had the five senses to lead them; compared their low situation with those who were cleanly and industrious, and who believe in the divine oracles of God; he exhorted the Saints to teach their children faith in the Lord Jesus Christ, repentance towards God, that they might be prepared to be baptized when eight years old; and exhorted them to meet often, and partake of the emblems of the broken body and shed blood of our Lord and Saviour.

Many persons are very anxious to hear preaching about the resurrection.  He said he had not the keys of the resurrection, but he knew what was written about it, as he had been searching diligently for the last twenty years, and as he now seems more light upon it he argued he saw through a glass dimly, but twenty years hence he might have more light upon the subject.  Some persons have the idea, that when a Saint of God dies, when he rises from the dead he will go among the Gods, and do as they do—but, said he, I have no the idea that a man goes straight into celestial glory, but that he will come on the earth and improve in the things of God, until he is perfected.  He enquired what was the meaning of that scripture, which saith, they are sown a mortal, but raised a spiritual body?  They are natural, because they die, and it is right to call them spiritual, because they are quickened by the spirit of God; they are temporal, because they belong to things that are temporal; it is time, because the earth has not passed away.  When the earth is purified time will be no more; what we call the end of time is the winding up scene of this earth; it is made new, and eternity commences; the earth passes away and becomes celestialized.  It is one thing to remove the curse from earth, and another to purify it; and there is a great difference in being free from death, pain, and misery; and being restored to the glory and splendor of youth.  He exhorted the faithful Saints to read their patriarchal blessings, claim the promises therein, and add all the good things they can think of, and that is not all they will have; for Jesus has promised, that whosoever forsakes father, mother, wife, or children, lands or possessions, for his sake, shall receive in this time an hundred fold, and in the worlds to come life eternal.  He said that death and resurrection was like going to sleep at night and waking up in the morning.  This opens, that scripture, which says, “I created all things: first spiritual, then temporal.  Again, first, temporal, then spiritual; for, to myself, my work has no beginning or ending.”  We were firstly, spiritual, then fell under the curse; then take a higher temporal degree, and finally a higher spiritual degree.  I would like to rise and see things improve, see those mountains leveled, those barren sage plains turn out their pools of water, and all the swords, spears, and gun-barrels gathered into the blacksmith’s shop, and made into implements to till the earth; have one thousand years of peace, gather up my poor scattered children, cheer up the hearts of the widow and the fatherless, and say, here is your hundred fold that you have suffered for the gospel’s sake, when you were in the latter day on the earth.  Not having seen these things twenty years ago, shows me, that I now only see through a glass dimly; but if I had a voice like a trumpet, I would say, repent and prepare for the great restitution of all Israel.  Amen.

[Millennial Star, 1850]
[Journal History of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Apr. 6, 1850, 1-2]

[transcribed and proofread by David Grow, July 2006]

Return to Summaries of Discourses by Parley P. Pratt