« הקודםהמשך »
ine that sacred instrument, framed by the most dangerous character, cal.
the Divine sanction, by the most Tradition and custom_have great righteous men who ever lived on the influence over nations. Long estab. earth; holy Prophets and Patriarchs lished customs, whether right or who were inspired by the Holy wrong, become sacred in the estima. Ghost-who were enwrapt in the tion of Mankind. Those nations visions of the Almighty-who con. who have been accustomed from versed with holy angels—who saw time imbemorial to the practice of God face to face, and talked with Him what is called Polygamy, would con. as a man talks with his friend-were sider a law abolishing it, as the very “Polygamists,” that is, they had height of injustice and oppression; many wives-raised up many chil. the very idea of being limited to the dren by them and were never re. one wife system, would be considered proved, by the Holy Ghost, nor by not only oppressive and unjust, but Angels, nor by the Almighty for be. absolutely absurd and ridiculous ; it lieving in and practicing such a doc. would be considered an innovation trine ; on the contrary, each one of upon the long established usages, these “Polygamists" received, by customs, and laws of numerous and revelation, promises and blessings powerful nations-an innovation of for himself, for his wives, and for his
numerous children, born unto him the gospel covenant were still obliged by his numerous wives. Moreover, to obey; and until we can find some the Lord, Himself, gave revelation to law of God abolishing and prohibito different wives, belonging to the same ing a plurality of wives, we are com. man, revealing to them the great pelled to believe it a Divine institu. blessings which should rest upon tion; and we are, furthermore, com. their posterity; angels also were pelled to believe, that if this institusent to comfort and bless them; and tion be entered into now, under the in no instance do we find them re. same principles which goverred the proved for having joined themselves holy Prophets and Pairiarchs, that in marriage to a “ Polygamist,”. In. God will approbate it now as much deed, the Lord, Himself, gave laws, as He did then; and that the per. not to prohibit “ Polygamy,” but sons who do thus practice it conscien. showing His will in relation to the tiously and sincerely, are just as hon. children raised up by the different orable in the sight of God, as those wives of the same man; and further. who have but one wife. And that more, the Lord, Himself, actually offi. which is honorable before God should ciated in giving David all the wives of be honorable before men ; and no Saul; this occurred, too, when David one should be despised when he acts already had several wives which he in all good conscience upon any prin. had previously taken : therefore, as ciple of doctrine ; neither should the Lord did actually give into Da. there be laws in any of these States vid's Own
bosom all the wives of or Territories to compel any indi. Saul, lle must not only have sanc. vidual tn act in violation to the dic. tioned "
Polygamy,” bút established tates of his own conscience : but and instituted it upon a sure founda. every one should be left in all mat. tion by giving the wives, Himself, ters of religion to his own choice, the same as he gave Eve to Adam. and thus become accountable to God, Therefore, those who are completely and not to his fellow man. divested from the influence of Na. If the people of this country have tional customs, and who judge con. generally formed different conclusions cerning this matter by the word ot from us upon this subject; and if God, are compelled to believe, that the they have embraced religions which Plurality of wives was once sanction. are more congenial to their minds ed, for many ages, by the Almighty; than the religion of the Saints, we and by a still further research of the say to them that they are welcome to Divine vracles, they find no intima. their own religious views ; the laws tions that this Divine institution was should not interfere with the exercise ever repealed. It was an institution, of their religious rights. If we can. not originated under the law of Mo. not convince you hy reason nor hy
but it was of a far more ancient the word of God, that your religion date; and instead of being abolished is wrong, we will not persecute you, by that law, it was sanctioned and but will sustain you in the privileges, perpetuated : and when Christ came guaranteed in the great Charter of io lielfil that law, and to do it away American Liberty: we ask from you by the introduction of a better Cove. the same generosity-protect us in nant, He did not abolish the plurality the exercise of our religious rightssystem: not being originated under convince us of our errors of doctrine, that law, it was not made null and if we have any, by reason, by logical void when that law was done away. arguments, or by the word of God, Indeed, there were many things in and we will be ever grateful for the connection with the law that were inforınation, and you will ever have not abolished when the law was ful. the pleasing reflection that you have filled; as for instance, the ten com- been instruments in the hands of mandments which the people under God of redeeming your fellow beings
from the darkness which you may pute it to the weakness and imper.
(To be continued.)
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All ye inhabitants of the world, and dwellers on the earth, See Ye, when Ale
listeth up an Ensign on the Mountains.—Isaiah xviii, 3.
THE PRE-EXISTENCE OF MAN. 1. Man in this life consists of a made from the same materials? If body of flesh and bones quickened and they were, then they would, at death, animated by a living intelligent spirit. return to dust; but as they are not It has been supposed that spirit be. reduced to dust, like the body, they gins to exist within the mortal taberna- must be formed of materials far sucle while it is yet in embryo, and that perior to those of the earth. Where prior to the organization of the body, did those materials come from? They the spirit had no existence. These came from God. Solomon, when are the views of modern christendom. speaking upon the subject of death, We shall endeavor to prove that this says, "'Then shall the dust return to view of the subject is incorrect. the earth as it was: and the spirit
2. There is not anything unreason. shall RETURN unto God who gave able in the pre-existence of spirits. it.” (Eccles. 12: 7.). According If spirits can exist after death in a to this passage, the spirit has, not an state of happiness or misery, is there earthly origin, but a heavenly one: any reason, why they can not exist it came from God-it returns to God. prior to the organization of the body ? " God who gave it,” also receives it if they can think, and will
, and move back into His presence. after they leave the body, why can 3. Could the spirit return to God, They not exercise these functions be. if it never were in His presence ? fore they take possession of the body ? Could we return to a place where If the destruction of the body is not we never were before ?' If, then, the the death of the spirit, then it must spirits of men existed with God, and be admitted that the spirit is in no came from Him to animate mortal way dependant on the body for its ex. bodies, they must either be created istence, and, therefore, it can exist in Heaven at the time the infant prior to the body, as well as after it. tabernacles are being formed, or else The disorganization of the body does they existed before. If the spirit is not deprive the spirit of life, neither formed in Heaven at the time the does the organization of the body earthly house is being prepared for give to the spirit life : it possesses its reception, then God must have life in itself. Life and intelligence are been engaged in the work of crea. not the result of organization, but they ting spirits at the rate of about ten are the cause ; and, therefore, they millions per year, or about twenty spir. must exist before the effects can fol. its per minute, which is the average low. Our bodies are formed from number born into our world in the the dust of the earth, but are our spirits same time. Now we read that God made all things, pertaining to our of the nature of intelligent beings; earth in six days, and rested on the in fine, the period of pre.existence seventh.
Can we suppose, for one must have been sufficiently long to moment, that God neglected the for. have constituted a probationary state, mation of spirits in the grand work or the “ First Estate” wherein the of creation? Can we suppose that spirits are on trial, and may fall, and he has been engaged in creating hu. be reserved in chains of darkness unman spirits for this earth, at the rate to the judgment of the great day. of one every three seconds, ever since 6. The pre.existence of man is a He pronounced the Heavens and the doctrine which was believed by the earth and all things therein finished ancients. The disciples of Jesus, and very good ? Such an idea is in. when observing a man who had been consistant and unscriptural.
blind from his birth, put the follow. 4. Again, would a good and wise ing question to their Master: “Who Being creale spirits, and before they did sin, this man, or his parents, that had time 10 prove themselves by he was born blind ?" (John 9: 2.) obeying or disobeying His laws, It is evident, from the nalure of this thrust them out of His presence, question, that the disciples considered banish them from His glorious king. it possible for a man to sin before he dom,-shut them up in earthly taber. was born ; and that in consequence nacles, hide His face from them, and of such sin, he might be “born blind.” subject them to temptation, wretch. This passage shows most clearly, edness, and misery? Now, if we that the disciples, not only believed suppose that the spirit is formed in in the pre-existence of man, but be. Heaven, while the embryo tabernacle lieved that he was an intelligent is being formed upon the earth, then agent, governed by laws which he it has no time to gain experience in was capable of obeying or disobey. the presence of its Creator; it has ing, and that his sins in his former no time to act upon its agency; it state might be the cause of his being has no time to obey or disobey; but born blind, and that his condition in as soon as it is formed, it is, accord. his present state was affected by his jug lo this supposition, banished into acts in the former state. The Sav. dreary exile from the presence of its iour, in replying to this question, says, Father, and from the glory of Heaven, " Neither hath this man sinned, nor to linger out a life of sorrow in an his parents : but that the works of earthly tabernacle. Such a supposi. God should be made manifest in him." tion is absurd, and at war with the (verse 3.) Now, if the pre-existence atributes of goodness, justice, and of man were not a true doctrine, Bercy which appertain to the Deity. why did not our Saviour take this
5. Inasmuch as Scripture informs opportunity to correct the ideas of us that the spirit of man existed with his disciples, by telling them that the God, and came from Him, and returns blind man could not sin before he to Him, it is reasonable to believe was born? Why did he merely tell that its formation took place at a them that his blindness was not the period anterior to the organization of effects of the sins of himselt or pa. the body. This period of pre-exis. rents? Why did he still leave the tence must have been sufficiently impression upon their minds that the long to have educated and instructed blind man had a pre-existence ? the spirit in the laws and order of 7. Jesus, himself, believed in pregovernment, pertaining to the spirit. existence : for he said, "I proceeded ual world; to have rendered itself ap. forth and came from God; neither proved or disapproved by those laws; came I of myself, but he sent me.' to have been tried in all points, ac. And, again, he said, “Before Abra. cording to its capacities and know. ham was, I am.” (John 8: 42, 58.) ledge, and the free agency which al. Jesus prays thus : “And now, O ways accompanies and forms a part! Father, glorify thou me with thine