The Kingdom of God or Nothing!!!

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UNITED ORDER

The United Order

by
Ogden Kraut

 

* * * * *

But it is not given that one man should possess that which is above another, wherefore the world lieth in sin. (D. & C. 49:20)

For if ye are not equal in earthly things, ye cannot be equal in obtaining heavenly things. (D. & C. 78:6)

Brethren and sisters, think of these things, and as the spirit of the Almighty was in your hearts when you received the laying on of hands and the baptism of the Holy Spirit, bearing testimony that the Gospel of Jesus Christ was true, seek with all your hearts, and know, by the same spirit, that the establishment of the United Order, is another step towards the triumph of that great and glorious work for which we are continually laboring, namely the dawning of the Millennium and the commencement of the reign of Christ on the earth. (George A. Smith, J.D. 17:62)

* * * * *

 

September

1983

 

PREFACE

Nations and empires, like waves of the sea, rise and then fall. As one is swept away, another follows in its wake. Always at the peak of wealth and power, nations collapse through the lust and love of riches. Any nation, or any individual, abandoning righteous principles to acquire or use wealth, will ultimately suffer calamity. The lust for gold will tarnish its beauty; and men with unclean hearts will surely spoil its purpose. They, like Esau of old, can lose an eternal inheritance for a mess of temporal pottage.

The fabulous wealth and glory of Solomon is gone. The power of ancient Rome stands in ruins. The majesty of Greece is only a dim reflection, and the beautiful temples of ancient America are empty. All of these tragedies clearly depict the collapse of magnificent empires that failed because of their misuse of wealth.

From ancient scriptures and in the records of our own time, can be found many examples of men who struggled to build a heavenly society; however, only a few ever achieved any measure of success. Until men learn to live by the Golden Rule rather than to rule with gold, their talents, their industry, their riches and their culture will fail. Men must learn to bend their will, to love their neighbors as themselves, or their society will remain sick and decadent.

Thousands of books have been written on the methods of financing, investing and the acquisition of monetary success, but very few have ever been written on the Lord’s plan for making men happy and wealthy. This is one of them.

-The Author

 

 

[5]                               Chapter 1

 

INTRODUCTION

The greatest-temporal and spiritual blessings which always come from faithfulness and concerted effort, never attended individual exertion or enterprise. (TPJS, p. 183)

One of the most noticeable differences between Mormonism and other religions is the close relationship between the spiritual and the temporal. Mormonism is not just another etherial, mystic or philosophical religious system–but rather a practical down-to-earth religion that ran deal with dollars and rents, butter and beans, parcels of real estate, or heavenly kingdoms–because a religion that cannot help people temporally has little power to help them spiritually. Mormonism embraces both practicality and spirituality.

In a doctrinal dissertation by Dean D. McBrien, it was noted that in 112 revelations to Joseph Smith, 88 dealt in part or wholly with economic matters. This is not out of harmony with the Gospel of Matthew, Mark, and Luke, for one verse in every six deals with the money question. Out of the 29 parables of Christ, 16 of them mention the Christian and his money.

 

[6]           The Lord also made it clear that “all things unto me are spiritual” (D. & C. 29:34); therefore, we must conclude that the United Order, the raising of food and families, or the creation of worlds is centered within the spiritual realm of both God and man. This was explained by Brigham Young, who, without a doubt, was one of the wisest practical-minded leaders who ever lived. He could preach a sermon describing an angel, and in the same sermon, counsel his brethren on how to raise chickens or irrigate their farms. He said:

We cannot talk about spiritual things without connecting with them temporal things, neither can we talk about temporal things without connecting spiritual things with them. They are inseparably connected. (J.D. 10:329)

Men of every class, from wild aborigines to the most sophisticated educators, have sought for better methods of economically and politically regulating society. Billions of dollars, and as many lives, have been spent in the struggle to reach a fair and prosperous commonwealth. Yet history is a continual record of wars, depressions, crime and injustice. Even with all the vast riches and technology, the nations of the world today are in a worse financial and moral condition than ever before because of the inequality of wealth.

Men must first understand their purpose in life rather than seeking for the pleasure of wealth and luxury. Indeed, the reason for mortality is a test to see if man will adopt God’s laws in his temporal affairs.

 

[7]           The scriptures direct men to look for a “holy City” and a “new nation”, much superior to all others. God has not been unmindful, nor negligent in directing men in how to achieve this society. In fact, he has revealed a preponderant number of laws, principles and ordinances for achieving such a civilization.

In man’s search for a Utopian society, where everyone had sufficient for their needs, many socialistic and cooperative efforts–under many different names–have been attempted. Throughout the centuries, Only a few ever tasted success.

In the study of the economic doctrines of Mormonism there have been four basic programs designed to alleviate this age-old problem. There have been tithing, cooperatives, United Orders, and Consecrations. Tithing called for a tenth to be donated from out of the annual increase of their production. Cooperatives of various kinds attempted to bring some equalization through stocks, shareholding, and trading. An assortment of rules and by-laws were adopted by many different United Orders in an attempt to make a fair distribution of wealth. Consecration was the most difficult, for it required offering everything of a temporal nature, including the giving of a man’s time, talents, possessions–even to the sacrificing of his whole self.

The success of any of these systems could only be achieved by believing and understanding–

 

(1)           that the earth and all thereon is the Lord’s,

(2)           that all men are the children of God,

(3)           that every man is a free agent,

(4)           that the responsibility of government should rest primarily with each individual.

 

[8]           One of the main functions of the United Order is to utilize the abilities of everyone, including the weak, the poor and the unemployed. It is a cooperative plan designed to improve the character and talents of all who enter into it. Its purpose is to improve each member financially, socially, morally and spiritually. When it functions properly, there is an absence of crime, corruption and political schemers–neither are there any poor nor rich. When a community has achieved these objectives, it can be called a “Zion”.

But selfish dictators and bureaucrats create most of the troubles on earth. Their Socialism, Fascism and Communism are counterfeits for the United Order. Yet these corrupt and evil conspiracies are dominating the nations of the world today. They have rejected God’s plan for freedom, peace and prosperity, but they won’t find these conditions in the course they pursue.

The Lord, who created the heavens and the earth, has declared that the earth is full with enough to spare. (D. & C. 104:17); yet greed and selfishness have resulted in some who are rich while millions live in wholesale poverty. Even Mormons have strayed so far from those divine principles that they often say that “United Order cannot be lived in our time,” or that “it has been revoked” or that those doctrines have been “substituted” by something else. These are expressions of ignorance or confessions of personal weakness. The laws of the Gospel are eternal. Righteous people should attempt to live the Gospel regardless of the time, circumstances or the influences of the world. God never revokes, changes or alters His eternal laws–only His blessings are revoked when His children fail to abide by His laws. (See D. & C. 58:32)

 

[9]           Certainly men who bear the Priesthood should obey the laws of the Priesthood. Or, is it possible for men to enter the Celestial Kingdom by not living celestial laws? Can man hope to dwell with all the ancient prophets by living a different set of laws and principles than they did? If we live according to the traditions, customs and regulations of a gentile society, can we expect to gain a different reward than they?

It is not riches alone, but the lust for riches, that overcomes the human will. “The love of money is the root of all evil.” (I Tim. 6:10) So when men idolize riches, they will condescend to any evil means to obtain them.

President John Taylor described our society by saying:

The fact of the matter is, we are all of us on the highway to financial or temporal ruin. The world is going to the devil just as fast as it can go. Corruption, fraud, chicanery, deception, evil and iniquity of every kind prevail, so that you cannot trust a man in any place, you cannot rely upon his word, you cannot rely upon any instrument of writing that he gets up, and there is nothing you can rely upon.

We, as a people, have come out from Babylon, but we have brought a great amount of these infernal principles with us, and we have been grabbing, grasping, pinching, squeezing, hauling, homing and hooking on every side, and it seems as though every man was for himself and the devil for us [10] all. That is about the position we are in today. We want a change in these things. (J.D. 17:49)

Our light should no longer be hid under a bushel. A major mission for the Latter-day Saints is not only to teach, but to live an example of correct spiritual and temporal principles. Nearly every law of God has become foreign to our society, and if men do not rise up to protect themselves from the evil schemes and financial messes of the world, they must suffer the fate of Babylon when she falls.

Thus, this book is written to convey information regarding this important principle. The first half deals with a condensed history of the United Order, while the last half explains its principles.

 

 

[11]                              Chapter 2

 

CAPITAL WEALTH:

A BLESSING OR A CURSING

He that loveth silver shall not be satisfied with silver; nor he that loveth abundance with increase. (Ecc. 5:10)

If you had been a male born an Assyrian 1500 years before Christ, you probably would have been raised as a soldier for the rest of your life. You never would have learned a trade or owned a business. If you had been born in Egypt in the height of its glory, you would probably have been raised in the rock quarries, the mines, or as a farm slave, and would have lived in a mud hut. The Pharaoh would have accumulated any excess profits, for he had assumed the position of a god, and you never would own a piece of ground. If you had lived in Athens, you would have been a slave to a huge bureaucratic group who exploited the masses by robbing them of their wealth and liberties. Being born in the Roman Empire would have offered you little more. The emperors were corrupt dictators, extracting money from the citizens by numerous and unreasonable taxes. The wealth of the Romans financed a huge government and innumerable soldiers with all its barbarism and corruption. In the Dark Ages you would have been a serf under a feudal system, and all the wealth produced would be taken by feudal lords. If you were born in the Orient, anciently or presently, you likely would have no more prosperity than a few days of extra food.

 

[12]         America has been one of the few nations to ever offer the common citizen the privilege of owning land or property. But, alas, in less than 200 years, it, too, has become corrupted by a huge government, excessive taxation, and diminishing freedoms.

The natural disposition of most men is to exploit the wealth of others, rather than to produce their own. Then after this wealth is obtained, they usually refuse to share it.

The centralization of wealth into the pockets of a few has led to the downfall of countless empires and nations. When Egypt went down, two percent of her population owned 97 percent of the wealth. When Babylon collapsed, two percent owned all of its wealth. When Rome fell, 1,800 men owned all the known world. Today in America, three percent of its population owns nearly 3/4 of its wealth. In such unjust conditions, wealth is taken from the middle class, leaving only the poor and the rich.

Eventually the rich can control the markets, the prices, and all the other elements of society. A doctor, a sly politician, the shrewd lawyer, or a man simulating banker can quickly sweep away a man’s lifetime of savings. With the stroke of a pen, a man can be reduced to poverty and bankruptcy. By the shrewd manipulation of unjust economics, a man can be reduced to welfare.

It is the lust and love of wealth that turns men into robbers and thieves, plundering the lives and property of others.

 

[13]                         What will not men do for gold? They will toil for it, lie for it, swear for it, steal for it, murder for it, live for it, and die for it. They will do more, and suffer more, ten times over, for gold, than they will do, or suffer for eternal life and happiness. *** yet, “What shall it profit a man if he shall gain the whole world and lose his own soul?” (Mill. Star 14:369)

It is not riches that create problems, but rather lusting after them. The more greed and selfishness in men, the greater their crimes and inequality. Why should one man own a castle but his neighbor have a shack? The problem, then, is not the amount of money that men have, but rather how they obtain it and what they do with it. God often gives men wealth as a test. Many men use it only to gain more wealth, while others squander it. But wealth can also be used for doing good. A good man will consider wealth an obligation–as a missionary tool to be used for the cause of Christ and his fellowmen. He recognizes that all wealth belongs to God–that God created it, and therefore He has the right to dictate how it should be used.

He made the earth and all connected with it, organized it. and brought it forth, and now He intends to see what the people will do with it; whether they are disposed to do anything more than to say, “This is mine, and that is thine.” If you cling to the world, and say it is hard for you to do this or that, recollect that the love of the Father is not in you. Let me love the world as He loves it, to make it beautiful, and glorify the name of my Father in heaven. It [14] does not matter whether I or anybody else owns it, if we only work to beautify it and make it glorious, it is all right. (Brigham Young, J.D. 2:308)

When men are reduced to cheating, stealing or committing murder for riches, it is because they have lost or do not have any spiritual understanding. When men can understand the nature of eternal riches. and the glories of heaven, then the lust for gold will have lost its glitter.

There is a vail between man and eternal things; if that vail was taken away and we were able to see eternal things as they are before the Lord, no man would be tried with regard to gold, silver or this world’s goods, and no man, on their account, would be unwilling to let the Lord control him. (Wilford Woodruff, J.D. 17:71)

The proper perspective of life is to place God first and all else secondary. In such a condition God would be glad to give all the wealth of the earth to His children.

What is our duty? It is our duty to improve upon every blessing the Lord gives us. If He gives us land, improve it; if He gives us the privilege of building houses, improve it; if He gives us wives and children, try and teach them the ways of the Lord, and exalt them above the dark, degraded, and sunken state of mankind. (Brigham Young, J.D. 2:334)

 

[15]         But, when men prize their wealth more than the needs of their neighbor, there will be injustices in our society. While the old, the sick, and the poor are of less concern than the zeal for self-aggrandizement, we will live in sin.

Man’s attitude toward wealth will prove to be real “success” or his “downfall”. Since wealth and riches can be an important factor in his eternal salvation, they should be an essential study among the principles of the Gospel.

 

 

[16]                              Chapter 3

 

ENOCH AND HIS CITY

And Enoch and all his people walked with God, and he dwelt in the midst of Zion; and it came to pass that Zion was not, for God received it up into his own bosom; and from thence went forth the saying, ZION IS FLED. (Moses 7:69)

While Adam was still alive on the earth, the greatest financial success story took place. From that time to the present, there has never been a society to equal it–as the people were so righteous, they were translated. At this early date, God provided that crowning attainment for an example that others could follow. And, the man who made. it all possible was Enoch.

It is only through the Mormon scriptures that we know the principles that made-Enoch so great in the sight of God. Thus, Mormons should have a particular interest in the accomplishments of Enoch.

Enoch was born when Adam was 622 years old. In his youth he said, “My father taught me in all the ways of God.” In spite of Enoch’s speech impediment handicap, God called him to preach repentance to a wayward generation. To this call, Enoch replied:

 

[17]                         Why is it that I have found favor in thy sight, and am but a lad, and all the people hate me; for I am slow of speech; wherefore am I thy servant? (Moses 6:31)

The Lord assured him that he would have utterance and also power, even to change rivers out of their course and to move mountains, He was told to anoint his eyes with clay and wash them, and was amazed to discover that he could see the spirit world and those things which “are not visible to the natural eye.” Thus Enoch became a “Seer” for the Lord.

When Enoch was rebuking the people for their sins, they said, “a wild man hath come among us,” and “all men were offended because of him.” Yet, as he spoke, the people could not refute him, nor dared they. He told them that they had become “carnal, sensual and devilish and are shut out from the presence of God”. (Moses 6:49) His warnings should have been enough to make the people fear God, because Enoch had spoken “face to face” with God and understood Him, and knew what He wanted from His children. Yet, the people would not accept his testimony.

He then prophecied of a battle between the Canaanites and the Shumites, in which the people of Shum would be “utterly destroyed”. He saw blackness come upon the people of Canaan and they were identified as the seed of Cain and “were despised among all people”.

When Enoch was 65 years old, he began to build his “City of Zion”. At that same time his son, Methuselah, was born who would be an heir to the Priesthood. Also it was at this time that the great Patriarchal head of the human race, Adam, put his hands [18] upon Enoch’s head and gave him another special blessing. (He was only 25 years old when first “ordained under the hand of Adam.” See D. & C. 107:48.)

Enoch’s ministry took him into the lands of Sharon, Enoch, Omner, Heni, Shem, Haner and Hanannihah; in fact, to “all the people, save it were the people of Canaan”. (Moses 7:12) Enoch drew the issues to a head. He caused a clear separation between the people–either they gathered with him, or they opposed him. Those who opposed him where so angered that they wanted to destroy him.

Those who followed Enoch were peaceful, God-loving, and obedient in keeping the commandments. However, now they were faced with war by the rebellious.

Mighty armies of conquest were marching in upon them: Enoch had realized that his campaign for reformation had been a cause of offense among the proud and wicked multitudes who had assembled to hear him, but just how deeply they were offended now became apparent. For the first time in the recorded annals of sacred history the people of God were subjected to direct attack by their enemies. Being a peace-loving people, they were probably caught completely unawares. (The First Two Thousand Years, Cleon Skousen, p. 165)

But Enoch didn’t bother to make weapons of war, nor did-he study any manual on military tactics. He simply called upon God to fight his battles for him!

 

[19]                         And so great was the faith of Enoch, that he led the people of God, and their enemies came to battle against them; and he spake the word of the Lord, and the earth trembled, and the mountains fled, even according to his command; and the rivers of water were turned out of their course; and the roar of the lions was heard out of the wilderness; and all nations feared greatly, so powerful was the word of Enoch, and so great was the power of the language which God had given him. (Moses 7:13)

The enemies who were spared from destruction, then began to fight among themselves, and “from that time forth there were wars and bloodshed among them”. But peace was enjoyed by the people of Enoch, and for over three centuries they were left alone and “the fear of the Lord was upon all nations, so great was the glory of the Lord, which was upon his people”. (Moses 7:17)

Enoch established a spiritual work that was not to be forgotten; but he also established a temporal work that was never to be duplicated. His city would live as a family, all laboring for each other–no rich and no poor–all for the space of over 360 years.

The city of Enoch prospered, and “the Lord blessed the land, and they were blessed upon the mountains, and upon the high places, and did flourish”. (Moses 7:17) This people lived so close to the laws and commandments of God, that the “Lord came and dwelt with his people, and they dwelt in righteousness”. (Moses 7:16)

 

[20]         Enoch also “walked with God,” and he saw the abode of God in heaven, and said:

And I saw the Lord; and he stood before my face, and he talked with me, even as a man talketh one with another, face to face; and he said unto me: Look, and I will show unto thee the world for the space of many generations. (Moses 7:4)

He also saw the destiny of his people, Zion, and their heavenly abode. His people were “a mixture of all the seed of Adam save it was the seed of Cain, for the seed of Cain were black, and had not place among them”. (Moses 7:22) He saw the destructions that would soon come upon the earth through the flood; then he saw the coming of the Son of Man to the earth and his atonement to save mankind. He was also promised that a “remnant o[ his <Noah’s> seed should always be found among all nations, while the earth should stand”. (Moses 7:52)

Enoch taught and prepared the people extensively before they were ready for translation. Brigham, Young said:

Enoch had to talk with and teach people during a period of three hundred and sixty years, before he could get them prepared to enter into their rest, and then he obtained power to translate himself and his people, with the region they inhabited, their houses, gardens, fields, cattle and all their possessions. (J.D. 3:320)

 

[21]         Enoch and his city became so righteous that they enjoyed nearly every conceivable blessing from God. Then when Enoch was 430 years old, both he and the people in his city were translated. The Prophet Joseph Smith explained this doctrine of translation:

Many have supposed that the doctrine of translation was a doctrine whereby men were taken immediately into the presence of God, and into an eternal fullness, but this is a mistaken idea. Their place of habitation is that of the terrestrial order,and a place prepared for such characters He held in reserve to be ministering angels unto many planets, and who as yet have not entered into so great a fullness as those who are resurrected from the dead. * * * translation obtains deliverance from the tortures and sufferings of the body, but their existence will prolong as to the labors and toils of the ministry, before they can enter into so great a rest and glory. (T.P.J.S., pp. 170-171)

Elder Joseph Young, brother of Brigham Young, relates information he heard from the Prophet Joseph regarding the translation of the City of Enoch:

. . . the people, and the city, and the foundations of the earth on which it stood, had partaken of so much of the immortal elements, bestowed upon them by God through the teachings of Enoch, that became philosophically impossible for them to remain any longer upon the earth; consequently, Enoch and his people, with the city [22] which they occupied, and the foundations on which it stood, with a large piece of earth immediately connected with the foundations and the city, had assumed an aerial position within the limits of our solar system; and this in consequence of their faith. * * *

Joseph Smith said, on another occasion, in the hearing of some of the saints still surviving, that the city of Enoch would again take its place in the identical spot from which it had been detached, now forming that chasm of the earth, filled with water, called the Gulf of Mexico.” (Enoch and His City, Joseph Young, pp. 11 & 12; see also LDS Reference Encyclopedia, Melvin R. Brooks, p. 121)

The Last Days by Robert Smith also records an occasion where Joseph Smith stated that the City of Enoch had been located “where the Gulf of Mexico now exists”. (p. 215)

The same call that was received by Enoch has been given in our own time–and for the same reasons. God wants to gather together a select people to prepare them temporally and spiritually to meet the conditions and tribulations that are about to befall the earth. The Lord gave this directive to the Mormon people when the Church was only six months old. Consider how similar to Enoch’s revelation was the commandment to this people:

And ye are called to bring to pass the gathering of mine elect; for mine elect hear my voice and harden not their hearts; wherefore the decree hath gone forth from the Father that they shall be gathered in [23] unto one place upon the face of this land, to prepare their hearts and be prepared in all things against the day when tribulation and desolation are sent forth upon the wicked. For the hour is nigh and the day soon at hand when the earth is ripe; and all the proud and they that do wickedly shall be as stubble; and I will burn them up, saith the Lord of Hosts, that wickedness shall not be upon the earth; For the hour is nigh, and that which was spoken by mine apostles must be fulfilled; for as they spoke so shall it come to pass; For I will reveal myself from heaven with power and great glory, with all the hosts thereof, and dwell in righteousness with men on earth a thousand years, and the wicked shall not stand. (D. & C. 29:7-11)

Because of these conditions that are upon us, it is necessary to understand the principles and doctrines that brought Enoch and his city into the presence of God. First we must understand that both temporal and spiritual things were brought into common harmony. This has often been called “The Order of Enoch”, or the “United Order”, as was so designated by the Lord Himself:

After you are organized, you shall be called the United Order of the Stake of Zion, the City of Shinehah <Kirtland>. And your brethren, after they are organized, shall be called the United Order of the City of Zion. (D. & C. 104:48)

The Lord gives men their free agency to work out their temporal affairs, but their principal [24] objective should be to establish a ZION. Enoch was able to achieve a Zion and it was acknowledged by the Lord, for we read:

And the Lord called his people Zion because (a) they were of one heart, (b) and one mind, (c) and dwelt in righteousness; (d) and there was no poor among them. (Moses 7:18)

Most of the principles which brought Enoch and his city into such favor with God and to the point of translation, were hidden with the past. However, they are now better understood because they were revealed again when the gospel was restored in our dispensation. W. Cleon Skousen gave a clear and brief account of these basic principles of the United Order:

First, that all things in the earth belong to the Creator and that men are only the custodians of these resources and riches which He has placed upon the earth for the welfare of mankind. (D. & C. 104:15-17; 55-57)

Second, that the fatherhood of God and the brotherhood of man require that human beings look upon one another as members of the same family–the family of God, and that they are directly responsible for one anothers welfare. (D. & C. 104:18)

Third, that in this family relationship every person is expected to do his share. Each shall give what he has (labor, skills, art, management, goods, services)and in return, receive what he needs. All have a place in the program except one type of [25] person–the idler. Under the Order of Enoch, the managers of the system were forbidden to give the fruits of others’ labors to any person who could, but would not work. (D. & C. 42:42)

Fourth, that the members of the Order of Enoch shall take the responsibility of giving education and assistance to those who are lacking in the ability or capacity to provide for themselves. This was not just charity for the poor but a program to provide the poor with the necessities of life and then aid them in becoming self-sustaining members of the order. The ultimate object–and one which the people of Enoch attained–was to have “no poor among them.” (Moses 7:18)

Fifth, that private property and the dignity of the individual must be preserved. The private property of each member of the order was to be “according to his family, according to his circumstances and his wants and his needs,” (D. & C. 51:3)”inasmuch as his wants are just.” (D. & C. 82:17) Everything he could produce over and above the needs of himself and family was to be donated to the common treasury of the Order for the welfare of others less fortunate. (D. & C. 42:33, 34, 55; 70:7-10) As for the dignity and independence of the individual, Dr. John A. Widtsoe points out that in this Order, “every man must be respected as a free agent. He may enter the Order at his pleasure. Once in the Order”, he must be allowed to use, fully, and as he pleases, any properties placed in his hands. He may leave the Order at his pleasure.” (Church News, [26] 15 May 1949, p. 23)<The First 2000 Years, pp.173-175>

The Prophet Joseph Smith eagerly sought to establish these principles among the Mormon people even during the first year of the organization of the Church. His vision and hope was that–

The Lord was going to make the Church of Jesus Christ a kingdom of Priests, a holy people, a chosen generation, as in Enoch’s day, having all the gifts as illustrated to the Church in Paul’s epistles and teachings to the churches in his day. (T.P.J.S., p. 202)

The Prophet had previously given the people assurance that these great promises could be realized by this people and could bring them into the presence of God.

It is the privilege of every Elder to speak of the things of God; and could we all come together with one heart and one mind in perfect faith, the veil might as well be rent today as next week, or any other time…. (T.P.J.S., p. 9)

Brigham Young was a prophet, seer, and revelator who understood the past, present and future. In an 1872 conference sermon on the Law of Consecration, he described conditions as they existed in the City of Enoch. He began:

Suppose we should examine a city in a stake of Zion conducted after the order of Enoch! . . . No person can be exalted in [27] the kingdom of heaven without first submitting himself to the rules, regulations,laws and ordinances of that kingdom, and being perfectly subject to them in every respect. * * * No person is fit to be a ruler until he can be ruled; no one is fit to be the Lord of all until he has submitted himself to be servant of all. (J.D. 15:220)

The remainder of his talk (J.D. 15:220-229) deals with a description of this ideal city, patterned after Enoch’s city, summarized in the following categories:

Housing

“Would we build our houses all Mike? No. * * * Build your houses just the size you want them ….if there is any one person who has better taste in building than others, and can get up more tasteful houses, make your plans and we will put them up, and have the greatest variety we can imagine.”

Eating

“Instead of having every woman getting up in the morning and fussing around a cookstove or over the fire, cooking a little food for two or three or half a dozen persons, or a dozen,as the case may be, she would have nothing to do but to go to her work. Let me have my arrangement here, a hail in which I can seat five hundred persons to eat; and I have my cooking apparatus–ranges and ovens–all prepared. And suppose we had a hall a hundred feet long with our cooking room attached to this hall; and there is a person at the further end of the table and he should telegraph that he wanted a warm beefsteak; and this is conveyed to him by a [28] little railway, perhaps under the table, and he or she may take her beefsteak. What do you want to take with it? A cup of tea, a cup of coffee, a cup of milk, piece of toast, or something or other, no matter what they call for, it is conveyed to them and they take it, and we can seat five hundred at once, and serve them all in a very few minutes. And when they have all eaten, the dishes are piled together, slipped under the table, and run back to the ones who wash them.”

Work

“What will we do through the day? Each one go to his work. Here are the herdsmen–here are those who look after the sheep–here are those who make the butter and cheese, all at their by themselves. Some for the kanyon, perhaps, or for the plow or harvest, no difference what, each and every class is organized, and all labor and perform their part.”

Education

“The youth would have a good education; they would receive all the learning that could be given to mortal beings; and after they had studied the best books that could be got hold of, they would still have the advantage of the rest of the world, for they would be taught in and have a knowledge of the things of God. Bring up our children in this way and they would be trained to love the truth. Teach them honesty, virtue and prudence, and we should not see the waste around that now is witnessed.”

 

[29]         Business

“Half the labor necessary to make a people, moderately comfortable now, would make them independently rich under such a system. You would see a people all attending to their business, having the most improved machinery for making cloth, and doing every kind of housework, farming, all mechanical .operations, in our factories, dairies, orchards and vineyards; and possessing every comfort and convenience of life. A society like this would never have to buy anything; they would make and raise all they would eat, drink and wear, and always have something to sell and bring money, to help to increase their comfort and independence.”

Doctors

“And if we have sick, would they want a carriage to ride in? Yes, and they would have it, too; we would have nice ones to carry out the sick, aged and infirm, and give them exercise, and give them a good place to sleep in, good food to eat, good company to be with them and take care of them.

Would you want doctors? Yes, to set bones. We should want a good surgeon for that, or to cut off a limb. But do you want doctors? For not much of anything else, let me tell you, only the traditions of the people lead them to think so; and here is a growing evil in our midst. It will be so in a little time that not a woman in all Israel will dare to have a baby unless she can have a doctor by her.

Now the cry is, “Send for a doctor.” If you have a pain in the head, “Send for a doctor;” if your heel aches, “I want a doctor.” The study and practice of anatomy and surgery are very [30] good; they are mechanical, and are frequently needed. Do you not think it is necessary to give medicine sometimes? Yes, but I would rather have a wife of mine that knows what medicine to give me when I am sick, than all the professional doctors in the world.”

Lawyers

“Do you think we shall want any lawyers in our society? No, I think not. * * * I feel about them as Peter of Russia is said to have felt when he was in England. He saw and heard the lawyers pleading at a great trial there, and he was asked his opinion concerning them. He replied that he had two lawyers in his empire, and when he got home he intended to hang one of them. That is about the love I have for some lawyers who are always stirring up strife.

For a man to understand law is very excellent, but who is there that understands it? They that do and are peacemakers, they are legitimate lawyers. There are many lawyers who are very excellent men, What is the advice of an honorable gentleman in the profession of the law? Do not go to law with your neighbor; do not be coaxed into a lawsuit, for you will not be benefited by it. If you do go to law, you will hate your neighbor, and you will finally have to pick some of your neighbors to settle it for you … to act as a jury, and your ease goes before them to decide. They are not lawyers, but they understand truth and justice, and they have got to judge the ease at last. Why not do this at first, and say we will arbitrate this ease, and we will have no lawsuit, and no difficulty with our neighbor, to alienate our feelings one from another? This is the way we should do as a community.”

 

[31]         The Sabbath

“When Sunday morning came every child would be required to go to the school room, and parents to go to meeting or Sunday School; and not get into their wagons or carriages, or on the railroads, or lounge around reading novels; they would be required to go to meeting, to read the Scriptures, to pray and cultivate their minds.”

Prayers

“This is our prayer room, where we would assemble perhaps five hundred persons at one time, and have our prayers in the evening and in the morning.”

* * *

Such a system would, of course, be a challenge and a complete break from our present traditions. As in Enoch’s time, it involves many years to teach the people to break away from worldly influences.

The Lord has said that in the last days there would be a separation of the “sheep from the goats”, or the “wheat from the chaff”. It will be a day very much identical to that of Enoch, except that–

Enoch and his brethren . . . were separated from the earth and were received unto myself–a city reserved until a day righteousness shall come. (D. & C. 45:11-12)

And this “day of righteousness” was shown to Enoch in vision. He saw that God would–

 

[32]         . . . gather out mine elect from the four quarters of the earth, unto a place which I shall prepare, an Holy City, that my people may gird up their loins, and be looking forth for the time of my coming; for there shall be my tabernacle, and it shall be called Zion, a New Jerusalem.

And the Lord said unto Enoch: Then shalt thou and all thy city meet them there, and we will receive them into our bosom, and they shall see us; and we will fall upon their necks, and they shall fall upon our necks, and we will kiss each other;

And there shall be mine abode, and it shall be Zion, which shall come forth out of all the creations which I have made; and for the space of a thousand years the earth shall rest. (Moses 7:62-64).

Many of the great events that occurred in the days of Enoch will also occur in the latter days of the world. All the ancient prophets have desired to live in our day because of the tremendous powers of God that will be manifest on the earth. It is both interesting and astounding to see the parallel between the events and circumstances of Enoch’s day and those of our own. Consider the following:

*              The Lord established Joseph Smith as His prophet on the earth just as He did Enoch. (D. & C. 21:1-2)

*              There would be a separation of the righteous from the wicked, to one place. (D. & C. 29:8)

*              The Priesthood was not taken nor given to the Canaanite people. (D. & C. 14:10; 39:11)

 

[33]         *              The Gospel was taken to all other people as a warning testimony. (D. & C. 88:84-85)

*              The wicked nations that rejected the gospel were often at war and destroying each other. (D. & C. 87:6)

*              The Lord brought down calamity upon the wicked nations with earthquakes, pestilence, famine, etc. (D. & C. 84:114-119)

*              The true Saints of God will be advocating and living the United Order, without rich or poor. (D. & C. 104:1)

*              The Lord’s people would establish a city of “Zion”. (D. & C. 42:35-36)

*              The true Saints would have God to give them divine protection and fight-their-battles. (D. & C. 105:32)

*              The true Saints of God will be given spiritual gifts and know the will of God. (D. & C. 84:64-73)

*              The true Saints will be given the power and blessings of translation to a terrestrial glory. (D. & C. 63:49)

*              And the Lord shall rule and reign in their midst and be their God. (D. & C. 1:36)

 

[34]         Enoch received the Gospel and the Priesthood by which he brought his city into a translated condition. The Gospel and Priesthood were restored again in our dispensation, and the same true principles must be obeyed so a chosen people can become prepared to live in a translated world, where the Holy City of Zion (the New Jerusalem) will be established and the presence of God will be manifest.

 

 

[35]                              Chapter 4

 

OTHER ANCIENT ORDERS

Gather my saints together unto me; those that have made a covenant with me by sacrifice. (Psalms 50:5)

From the time of Enoch to the Gospel’s restoration in 1830, there have been only a few sporadic periods of time during which some of God’s children have been capable or worthy of obeying the United Order law. This chapter will include the three main economic systems where these principles were at least presented and taught to the people–as recorded in the Old Testament, Book of Mormon, and New Testament.

 

Moses

Whenever the Lord sought to guide the children of Israel, He also gave them certain laws pertaining to land title and stewardships. So it was at the time of Moses. The laws of Moses comprise several hundred statutes, judgments and commandments given for the regulation of government as well as individuals. Those considered here are land title, usury, indebtedness, and the Jubilee Law.

 

[36]         One of the first things Moses did after leading the children of Israel into the wilderness, was to give them God’s laws outlining an economic system of regulating their lands and possessions. Under these laws, each person would be given a stewardship, but the title of land would be held by the tribe in common. This title of land was not to be given or sold to an alien, thus preserving every parcel of land for the House of Israel. Previously, God had promised land title to Abraham by saying, “For all the land which thou seest, to thee will I give it, and to thy seed for ever”. (Gen. 13:14) Furthermore, the children of Israel were told:

I will deliver the inhabitants of the land into your hand; and thou shalt drive them out before thee. Thou shalt make no covenant with them, nor with their gods. They shall not dwell in thy land, lest they make thee sin against me: for if thou serve their gods, it will surely be a snare unto thee. (Exodus 23:31-33)

But the Lord placed a stipulation upon the land that the Israelites should obtain:

The land shall not be sold forever: for the land [s mine; for ye are strangers and sojourners with me. (Lev. 25:23)

All the land acquired by the Israelites was to be kept in the possession of the Israelites; no Israelite land could be sold to gentiles.

 

[37]         The Lord gave another economic law for the Israelites concerning their money and its usury (interest):

If thou lend money to any of my people that is poor by thee, thou shalt not be to him as an usurer, neither shalt thou lay upon him usury. (Ex. 22:25)

And if thy brother be waxen poor, and fallen in decay with thee; then thou shalt relieve him; yea, though he be a stranger, or a sojourner; that he may live with thee. Take thou no usury of him, or increase: but fear thy God; that thy brother may live with thee. Thou shalt not give him thy money upon usury, nor lend him thy victuals for increase. (Lev. 25:35-37)

But note that this law pertained only to the Israelites, and a distinction was made in the law for those who were not of Israel:

Thou shalt not lend upon usury to thy brother; usury of money, usury of victuals, usury of any thing that is lent upon usury: Unto a stranger thou, mayest lend upon usury; but unto thy brother thou shalt not lend upon usury: that the Lord thy God may bless thee in all that thou settest thine hand to in the land whither thou goest to possess it. (Deut. 23:19-20)

Thus, it was a sin for an Israelite to ask usury of another Israelite.

 

[38]         The question was asked by King David, “Lord, who shall abide in thy tabernacle? who shall dwell in thy holy hill?” (Or, as we would say, “Who is worthy of a temple recommend?”) Part of the answer was, “He that putteth not out his money to usury, nor taketh reward against the innocent”. (Psalms 15:1, 5)

The Prophet Jeremiah declared his own innocence by saying that he had never charged usury (see Jer. 15:10); and Ezekiel said that if a man did what was right, he would not charge usury; and furthermore, that if a man did (among other sins), “he shall not live: he hath done all these abominations; he shall surely die.” (Ezek. 18:13)

Martin Luther rendered his view of the “usury” banking system, so prevalent in the world:

The Heathen, out of natural reason and understanding, were able to render an account that an Usurer is a three-fold thief and murderer. But we that are Christians hold them in such honor and esteem that in a manner we adore and worship them; no regard is had and what scorn and derision thereby we procure to the name of a Christian and to Christ Himself. For although we were not Christians, yet natural sense and reason tells us that an Usurer is a murderer, for who so sucks the maintenance of another, the same not only robs and steals, but also he commits even as great a murder as he that starves and utterly destroys one. This does an Usurer, and in the meantime sits in his chair, whereas he justly ought to hang on the Gallows, and be devoured by so many Ravens as he has [39] stolen shillings, if otherwise so much flesh were on him that so many Ravens might be able to piece it and to part it out. Cato, the Usurer’s enemy, said: “Little thieves lie stocked, ironed in Prisons, but great Thieves ride prancing in silks and chains of gold,” but so much as we neither punish nor strive against them, therefore without doubt in the end we together with the Usurers shall pay sweetly for it. (Table Talks, Martin Luther)

The Prophet Joseph Smith seemed to agree with the law of Moses regarding usury when he said, “The temporal economy of this people should be to establish and encourage manufactures, and not to take usury for their money.” (T.P.J.S., p. 328)

The question may be asked today, “Do the Mormons take usury from their own people as they do from the outsiders?” And how does this apply to Church-owned Zions Bank?

The Lord also gave a law to prevent unpayable debts from accumulating, or to prevent people from borrowing longer than they should, and to keep “banking” merchants from loaning huge sums to collect usury. His plan was to set apart every seventh year so that any balance owing on a debt would be cancelled. This period did not apply to the seven years after the origination of the debt, but at the national cycle of seven years–thus all debts would be cancelled on the same year. This law reads:

At the end of every seven years thou shalt make a release. And this is the manner of the release: Every creditor that [40] lendeth ought unto his neighbour shall release it; he shall not exact it of his neighbour, or of his brother; because it is called the Lord’s release. Of a foreigner thou mayest exact it again: but that which is thine with thy brother thine hand shall release. (Deut. 15:1-3)

If this law were in practice among the Latter-day Saints, there would be no Mormons having a debt on their home or car or farm over seven years. Mortgages on houses could not exceed the seven years allotted by the Lord. Even prisoners whose crimes brought them a greater than seven-year sentence, would either be executed or released. No one could be sentenced for over seven years.

According to God’s law, all of our present long-term loans are illegal. Thus, all federal spending exceeding a seven-year time period would be illegal as well.

The Prophet Nehemiah rebuked his national leaders for their usury, their binding of servants, and the bondage of the people, because they were sins against God’s law. In this great temporal bondage, “there was a great cry of the people and of their wives against their brethren the Jews”–not too different from our present condition. They were complaining because “We have mortgaged our lands, vineyards, and house”, and “we have borrowed money for the king’s tribute, and that upon our lands and vineyards.” The federal tax had become so severe that even their children were in bondage. This condition has a very familiar ring today!

 

[41]         However, the bankers heeded the rebuke of Nehemiah and released the bondage. For so doing, the people and the land were blessed of the Lord. (See Nehemiah 5:1-13.) Could this be a lesson or example to the International Bankers of our day?

According to the Lord’s law–“It is not right that any man should be in bondage one to another.” (D. & C. 101:79)

Another wise law, which was both practical and effective to keep Israel solvent, was the Jubilee law. At the end of every 49 years was the year of “Jubilee” in which “ye shall return every man unto his possession, and ye shall return every man unto his family”. (Lev. 25:10) For another 45 verses the Lord continues to explain all of the requirements of this law which would be a year of cancellation of all debts, foreclosed properties and releasing of all slaves, servants or captives.

These laws regarding land title, usury, indebtedness and bondage-were given to the Israelites to protect them from the evils of the Gentile economic system. These were religious laws and principles that could have led them into the United Order. But the children of Israel were indeed children in their spiritual growth, and so–

They murmured against God for bringing them away, and against Moses for being the instrument in doing it. Whereas God was trying to fulfill the promises he had made with Abraham, their father; and he was making use of Moses as his instrument to deliver the people from that bondage with which they had been oppressed for so long a [42] time; but because of their transgressions, their wickedness and their rebelliousness, the law was added or given unto them, which was a law of carnal commandments and ordinances…. And that law of carnal commandments and ordinances seemed to suit them a little better than the Gospel; they loved these carnal commandments better than the light, the truth, the revelation and spirit that was associated with the Gospel. And they could not come into the presence of God. (John Taylor, J.D. 21:247-248)

The children of Israel became so attached to their temporal possessions, that they lost God’s blessings. They, too, probably wanted to speculate in business ventures, dabble in real estate and set up banking systems. The result was that they went bankrupt–they lost their lands and fell into bondage both temporally and spiritually.

 

Book of Mormon

In many ways, the story of the Nephite people is the same as that of the children of Israel. They were taught United Order principles, but because of their weakness, they, too, became disobedient. As early as 600 B.C. Lehi counseled his sons:

. . . arise from the dust, my sons, and be men, and be determined in one mind and in one heart, united in all things, that ye may not come down into captivity. (2 Nephi 1:21)

 

[43]         Many years later the wise Jacob, son of Lehi, denoted the true source of wealth and how to obtain it:

O that he would rid you from this iniquity and abomination. And, O that ye would listen unto the word of his commands, and let not this pride of your hearts destroy your souls! Think of your brethren like unto yourselves, and be familiar with all and free with your substance, that they may be rich like unto you. But before ye seek for riches, seek ye for the kingdom of God. And after ye have obtained a hope in Christ ye shall obtain riches, if ye seek therein; and ye will seek them for the intent to do good–to clothe the naked, and to feed the hungry, and to liberate the captive, and administer relief to the sick and the afflicted. (Jacob 2: 16-19)

Several centuries later the Prophet Alma saw wickedness in the people who were becoming “proud because of their exceeding riches”, and they were–

. . . lifted up in the pride of their eyes, and to set their hearts upon riches and upon the vain things of the world, that they began to be scornful, one towards another, and they began to persecute those that did not believe according to their own will and pleasure. (Alma 4:8)

This pride led to the fall of their church, and Alma saw the “great inequality among the people” because they would turn “their backs upon the needy, the sick and the hungry.” The weakness of human [44] nature is clearly depicted in the Book of Mormon. Those people would become rich, full of pride, and then fall. After humbling themselves, they would again become generous, then rich; then pride came again and they would suffer another fall.

However, after a particular persuasive discourse by Mosiah, the Nephites heeded his instructions and once again the Lord blessed them. This has become recognized as one of the finest discourses in scripture on the true nature of wealth and its purpose; and although it is rather lengthy, it certainly deserves space in this chapter.

And also, ye yourselves will succor those that stand in need of your succor; ye will administer of your substance unto him that standeth in need; and ye will not suffer that the beggar putteth up his petition to you in vain, and turn him out to perish.

Perhaps thou shalt say: The man has brought upon himself his misery; therefore I will stay my hand and will not give unto him of my food, nor impart unto him of my substance that he may not suffer, for his punishments are just–

But I say unto you, O man, whosoever doeth this the same hath great cause to repent; and except he repenteth of that which he hath done he perisheth forever, and hath no interest in the kingdom of God.

For behold, are we not all beggars? Do we not all depend upon the same Being, even God, for all the substance which we have, for both food and raiment, and for gold, and for silver, and for all the riches which we have of every kind?

[45]                         And behold, even at this time, ye have been calling on his name, and begging for a remission of your sins. And has he suffered that ye have begged in vain? Nay; he has poured out his Spirit upon you, and has caused that your hearts should be filled with joy, and has caused that your mouths should be stopped that ye could not find utterance, so exceeding great was your joy.

And now, if God, who has created you, on whom you are dependent for your lives and for all that ye have and are, doth grant unto you whatsoever ye ask that is right, in faith, believing that ye shall receive, O then, how ye ought to impart of the substance that ye have one to another.

And if ye judge the man who putteth up his petition to you for your substance that he perish not, and condemn him, how much more just will be your condemnation for withholding your substance, which doth not belong to you but to God, to whom also your life belongeth; and yet ye put up no petition, nor repent of the thing which thou hast done.

I say unto you, wo be unto that man, for his substance shall perish with him; and now, I say these things unto those who are rich as pertaining to the things of this world.

And again, I say unto the poor, ye who have not and yet have sufficient, that ye remain from day to day; I mean all you who deny the beggar, because ye have not; I would that ye say in your hearts that: I give not because I have not, but if I had I would give.

[46]                         And now, if ye say this in your hearts ye remain guiltless, otherwise ye are condemned; and your condemnation is just for ye covet that which ye have not received.

And now, for the sake of these things which I have spoken unto you–that is, for the sake of retaining a remission of your sins from day to day, that ye may walk guiltless before God–I would that ye should impart of your substance to the poor, every man according to that which he hath, such as feeding the hungry, clothing the naked, visiting the sick and administering to their relief, both spiritually and temporally, according to their wants. (Mosiah 4:16-26)

Alma records the resulting wealth and success of the Nephite people because of their following these correct principles:

And now, because of the steadiness of the church they began to be exceeding rich, having abundance of all things whatsoever they stood in need–and abundance of flocks and herds, and failings of every kind, and also abundance of grain, and of gold, and of silver, and of precious things, and abundance of silk and fine-twined linen, and all manner of good homely cloth.

And thus they did prosper and become far more wealthy than those who did not belong to their church. (Alma 1:29, 31)

After this prosperous occasion, however, the Nephites once again were tempted by the lure and lust of riches. The description of what took place is recorded as follows:

 

[47]                         For there were many merchants in the land, and also many lawyers, and many officers.

And the people began to be distinguished by ranks, according to their riches and their chances for learning, yea, some were ignorant because of their poverty, and others did receive great learning because of their riches.

Some were lifted up in pride, and others were exceedingly humble; some did return railing for railing, while others would receive railing and persecution and all manner. of afflictions, and would not turn and revile again, but were humble and penitent before God.

And thus there became a great inequality in all the land, insomuch that the church began to be broken up; yea, insomuch that in the thirtieth year the church was broken up in all the land save it were among a few of the Lamanites who were converted unto the true faith; and they would not depart from it, for they were firm, and steadfast, and immovable, willing with all diligence to keep the commandments of the Lord. (3 Nephi 6:11-14)

The explanation for this great trouble was that “Satan had great power . . . puffing them up with pride, tempting them to seek for power, and authority, and riches, and the vain things of the world”. (3 Nephi 6:15) Furthermore, it says that “they did not sin ignorantly, for they knew the will of God.” The result of this was one of the greatest destructions in the history of the world. The few that were left were forced to be humble and seek [48] their God, leading to the appearance of Christ among them.

For an extended period of time, Christ taught the Nephites personally and gave them His commandments. After receiving these teachings directly from the Lord, we read that–

And they taught, and did minister one to another; and they had all things common among them, every man dealing justly, one with another. (3 Nephi 26:19)

The work of their missionaries extended to every portion of the land and to every class of people. It was a magnificent missionary effort and the results were astounding.

. . . the people were all converted unto the Lord, upon all the face of the land, both Nephites and Lamanites, and there were no contentions and disputations among them, and every man did deal justly one with another. And they had all things common among them; therefore there were not rich and poor, bond and free, but they were all made free, and partakers of the heavenly gift.

And it came to pass that there was no contention among all the people, in all the land; but there were mighty miracles wrought among the disciples of Jesus.

And it came to pass that there was no contention in the land, because of the love of God which did dwell in the hearts of the people.

[49]                         And there were no envyings, nor strifes, nor tumults, nor whoredomes, nor lyings, nor murders, nor any manner of lasciviousness; and surely there could not be a happier people among all the people who had been created by the hand of God.

There were no robbers, nor murderers, neither were there Lamanites, nor any manner of -ites; but they were in one, the children of Christ, and heirs to the kingdom of God.

And how blessed were they! For the Lord did bless them in all their doings. (4 Nephi 2, 3, 13, 15-18)

After living in a lifestyle similar to that of Enoch for nearly 200 years, the influence of riches once again began to creep into the Nephite society. These people had spread all over the land and some began to be “lifted up in pride” and they wore “costly apparel” and sought for all the “fine things of the world”.

This change in their attitude brought calamity upon them, and “–from that time forth they did have their goods and their substance no more common among them”. (4 Nephi 1:25) This division caused classes among the people, and of course, some had to deny” what was once the order of the church, and to “deny the more parts of his gospel.” The “church did multiply exceedingly because of iniquity, and because of the power of Satan who did get hold upon their hearts”. (4 Nephi 1:28) It was mainly because they were fled by many priests and false prophets”.

In only a few more years both the “people of Nephi and the Lamanites had become exceeding [50] wicked”. The final curtain was about to be dropped on a magnificent civilization. They had a beautiful land and magnificent cities, yet the lust for riches sowed the seeds of their own destruction, never to rise again. Their colossal monuments of art and their towering temples, still rising above the jungle floor. are testaments of what they abandoned because of foolishness and pride.

 

The New Testament

When a young man came to Jesus asking what he might do to gain eternal life, Jesus quoted some of the Ten Commandments to him. The man said that he had done this from his youth. Then Jesus said, “Sell whatsoever thou hast, and give to the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven . . . and follow me.” (Mark 10:21) When the young man heard that, he went away sorrowful,”for he had great possessions.” Apparently, this love of riches was the only part of the gospel that kept him from consecrating his riches.

It is also evident from this that the Lord was teaching the principles of economic equality as a part of His Gospel. This fact Was mentioned by Luke when he wrote:

And all that believed were together, and had all things common; And sold their possessions and goods, and parted them to all men, as every man had need. And they, continuing daily with one accord in the temple, and breaking bread from house to house, did eat their meat with gladness and singleness of heart, praising God, and having favour with all the people. (Acts 2:44-47)

 

[51]         A couple of chapters later we read more concerning the sharing in common of their temporal wealth:

And the multitude of them that believed were of one heart and of one soul: neither said any of them that ought of the things which he possessed was his own; but they had all things common.

Neither was there any among them that lacked: for as many as were possessors of lands or houses sold them, and brought the prices of the things that were sold, and laid them down at the apostles feet: and distribution was made unto every man according as he had need. (Acts 4:32, 34, 35)

This is a clear description of the Gospel of Christ functioning in the temporal affairs of the Christians. From this graphic illustration, it is evident by comparison that the thousand contending “Christian” churches of today do not practice the Gospel of Christ. Jesus commanded His disciples that they must love their neighbors (see Mark 12:30-31), which means helping, sharing, and contributing to their needs, or it means nothing.

To obey this law and commandment was to receive great blessings, but to disobey it was to commit a great sin. To illustrate the importance and sacredness of obedience to this law, the following event is recorded:

But a certain man named Ananias, with Sepphira his wife, sold a possession, and kept back part of the price. his wife also being privy to it, and brought a certain [52] part, and laid it at the apostles’ feet.

But Peter said, Ananias, why hath Satan filled thine heart to lie to the Holy Ghost, and to keep back part of the price of the land? While it remained, was it not thine own? and after it was sold, was it not in thine own power? why hast thou conceived this thing in thine heart? thou hast not lied unto men, but unto God.

And Ananias hearing these words fell down, and gave up the ghost: and great fear came on all them that heard these things. And the young men arose, wound him up, and carried him out, and buried him.

And it was about the space of three hours after, when his wife, not knowing what was done, came in. And Peter answered unto her, Tell me whether ye sold the land for so much? And she said, Yea, for so much.

Then Peter said unto her, How is it that ye have agreed together to tempt the Spirit of the Lord? behold, the feet of them which have buried thy husband are at the door, and shall carry thee out.

Then fell she down straightway at his feet, and yielded up the ghost: and the young men came in, and found her dead, and, carrying her forth, buried her by her husband.

And great fear came upon all the church, and upon as many as heard these things. (Acts 5:1-11)

Paul the Apostle said, “as many as have sinned in the law shall be judged by the law”. (Rom. 2:12) So important was this law among the Christians that death was the penalty for disobedience!

 

[53]         This United Order among the early Christians was not just a plan to set the Apostles up in a “priestcraft” form of livelihood, as is so often seen today, but rather a cooperative system in which they all shared labor as well as their necessities. Paul said:

Neither did we eat any man’s bread for nought; but wrought with labour and travail night and day, that we might not be chargeable to any of you: Not because we have not power, but to make ourselves an ensample unto you to follow us. For even when we were with you, this we commanded you, that if any would not work, neither should he eat. (II Thes. 3:8-10)

It may be assumed, therefore, that living the United Order was the major effort of Christ and the Apostles. In fact, nowhere in the New Testament did Christ or His Apostles mention that tithing was to take precedence over their United Order effort.

However, this United Order established among the early Christians apparently did not survive for long. Paul complained of the wickedness among the saints at Ephesus, Galatia, Corinth and other places. Also, the Apostle John wrote to the saints in Sardis, Laodiceans, Ephesus, Smyrna, Pergamos, Thyatira, and Philadelphia–all of whom were chastised for not living the gospel. Christianity in its purity was short-lived–never to be properly taught or practiced again until its restoration–nearly 2,000 years later.

 

* * * * *

 

[54]         In the study of ancient scripture, it is astonishing to discover how little has been recorded of the higher law of United Order. The two most notable examples of communities obeying this law are confined to only a few short verses [n Holy Scripture.

If it had not been for the restoration of the Gospel to the Prophet Joseph Smith, we would know nothing more than the rest of modern Christendom concerning this important law of the Gospel.

 

 

[55]                              Chapter 5

 

THE KIRTLAND CATASTROPHE

It is not given that one man should possess that which is above another, wherefore the world lieth in sin. (D. & C. 49:20).

It was in Kirtland, Ohio, that some of the most important events in Church history occurred. Here the Prophet Joseph Smith made his home, and from here every major activity of the Church was conducted–the planning of towns, performing missionary work, building a temple, publishing information (such as the Book of Commandments, The Book of Mormon, and the Inspired Translation of the Bible). It was also in Kirtland that the Church obtained. the rolls of papyrus which came to be the writings of Abraham.

When the temple was built in Kirtland, the Saints enjoyed a modern Pentecost of spiritual experiences to witness the Lord’s approval of its construction and dedication. It was also here that some of the greatest manifestations that have ever been experienced by man took place. Ancient prophets holding the keys of their dispensations came to Kirtland to bestow them to this people. (See. D. & C. 110)

The Church enjoyed peace and prosperity in Kirtland–but also persecution and terrible losses. The Prophet was dragged from his house, stripped, covered with tar and feathers, and beaten.

 

[56]         The Church experienced some of its most important lessons in financial ventures in this Ohio town. From 1831 it began with the Lord’s program of the United Order, and ended in 1838 with the terrible national economic depression.

Bible scholars and preachers have all recognized that extreme wealth and extreme poverty are a social injustice and also a moral sin. By the year 1830 there were many communes or social organizations trying to establish some sort of “common” property arrangement. Most of these creations had already failed or were about to. Now the Mormons would have a chance. But a cooperative society in which things are shared in common requires many to surrender the control of their purse strings. This is a tender spot for man. Some men will put their eternal destiny into the arm of flesh with a recklessness that would astound dictators; but when their pocketbooks are to be assessed, they speedily retreat.

Among these other communal systems (such as the Shakers, Harmonists, Ephratists, Rappists, Separatists, Robert Owen’s Socialists), was Sidney Rigdon’s society called “The Family”. Rigdon and most of his followers joined the LDS Church in the latter part of 1830; so when the Prophet Joseph came to Kirtland in February, 1831, he asked the “Family” to break up the “common-stock” principle and join the “more perfect law of the Lord”. (See D.H.C. 1:146)

 

Rigdon’s family communal system was breaking up because “everything was everybody’s”; and according to John Whitmer, they would “take each other’s clothes and other property and use it”, which brought a great deal of “confusion and disappointment”.

 

[57]         The Prophet mentioned Rigdon’s “Family” in his journal:

I attended a second lecture on Socialism, by Mr. Finch; and after he got through, I made a few remarks, alluding to Sidney Rigdon and Alexander Campbell getting up a community at Kirtland, and of the big fish there eating up all the little fish. I said I did not believe the doctrine. (D.H.C. 6:33).

In 1831, while the Church was only a few months old, the Lord gave a revelation; in which He said, “… be one; and if ye are not one, ye are not mine”. (D. & C. 38:27) It was a hint that they were to become one not only in doctrine, but in temporal things as well.

As the Saints began to gather to Kirtland, Ohio the Prophet told them to be equal according to their families, according to their circumstances, and their wants and needs. Then the Lord gave further information on their temporal unity, saying, “It is not given that one man should possess that which is above another, wherefore the world lieth in sin”. (D.& C. 49:20)

This commandment regulating their temporal affairs was to be called the “United Order”. Even though it governed temporal possessions, it was considered a spiritual law. B.H. Roberts noted that:

By the act of consecration, according to the above law, and as afterwards developed, a man visibly and actually recognized God as proprietor of the earth; and by receiving back from such consecration a stew-[58]ardship from God’s visible agency, the church, he acknowledged himself but a steward over that which he possessed, but he is accountable to God only for his management of that stewardship. (C.H.C. 1:247)

Any surplus developed from this order would be used for community interests or added to the Lord’s storehouse for helping the poor, aiding missionary work, putting out publications, etc.

The Saints understood that this communal system was not meant to be an experiment or a temporary program. It was the order of heaven! This was a commandment from God–an eternal law! The Saints were informed that if faith, repentance, and baptism were true and required obedience, so did the United Order.

However, the Prophet Joseph explained that the people of the Church “had no common stock business among us; that every man enjoys his own property”. (D.H.C. 2:295) Therefore, to such questions as, “Do the Mormons believe in having all things in common?” he answered, “No”. (See D.H.C. 3:28)

Sidney Rigdon also wrote a letter denying the common stock principle by saying:

The old, stale story, about common stock, in defiance of fact and truth, it would appear by your letter and that of your friend Evans, is professedly believed by the people in the vicinity of Waynesville, Ohio. This falsehood was invented by an ignorant blockhead, by the name of Matthew Clapp, who for want of any other [59] means to stop the progress of truth in its more incipient stages, invented this falsehood…. (D.H.C. 5:281)

Later, in September of 1843, Joseph said, “I preached on the stand about one hour on the 2nd chapter of Acts, designing to show the folly of common stock. In Nauvoo every one is steward over his own”. (D.H.C. 6:37-38)

Thus, in the principle of United Order, everyone would share the real estate, facilities, and capital gain; but each would be appointed as stewards over certain projects. Also, each person would have his own clothes, toothbrush, and personal items. “Everything” was not shared in common.

In a revelation to Joseph Smith on February 9, 1831, the Lord gave the following outline for the organization of a United Order:

 

  1. All property is consecrated to the Bishop.
  2. The Bishop provides for the poor.
  3. Consecration is made with an unbreakable covenant.
  4. Stewardships over property are given to individuals or families.
  5. Everyone receives according to needs.
  6. Excess production goes to the Bishop.
  7. Periodically all surpluses are given to the Bishop.
  8. Those who forsake the order, forfeit their consecration.
  9. The surpluses would help in gathering others.
  10. Blessings here and hereafter would be received.

(See D. & C. 42:30-38)

 

[60]         To better understand the process whereby men consecrated themselves and their goods into the United Order, we can take a “walk-through” as though we were doing it ourselves.

A man gives to the Bishop all that he has, as a consecration or “sacrifice” to the Lord. The Bishop then considers the talents, gifts and abilities of the man and designates a stewardship for him to manage. He may receive more or less than he consecrated. His stewardship will most likely be coordinated with his profession–a mason, carpenter, farmer, etc.

The Lord says that the Bishop should give to “people their portions, every man equal according to his family, according to his circumstances and his wants and needs.” (D. & C. 51:3) Let’s consider how this applies to different people–every man receiving

 

(1)           equal according to his family. A single man would naturally require only one-tenth the amount of food, clothes, etc., than a man would with ten in his family, yet it would be an “equal” portion.

 

(2)           equal according to his circumstances. If the Order is blessed with great wealth, then they all share equally the same good fortune of their circumstances. If they are in an Order that is poor, then they all share equally those circumstances or conditions.

 

(3)           equal according to his wants. A man who is a farmer would want a tractor, plow, harrow, truck and other farm equipment. A carpenter would want saws, planers, lathes, etc. Though each man would want different things, they would be equal in their wants.

 

[61]

(4)           equal according to his needs. Some may need a wheelchair or glasses, more blankets or books for education, etc. Each would be getting different items, but equal according to his needs.

Neither the Bishop nor anyone else had complete say as to how everything should be done. The Lord had said that all these things were to “be done by common consent”. (D. & C. 26:2) This was the Lord’s method of preventing priestcraft. Nothing was spent, given, or taken except by the common consent of the order–either by the individuals themselves or through their elected officers.

And there shall not any part of it be used, or taken out of the treasury, only by the voice and common consent of the order. (D & C. 104:71)

The moment some people receive community funds without the consent of the people, it either becomes a priestcraft or a dictatorship.

The Lord calls this distribution of wealth “the law of my gospel”. (D. & C. 104:18) This was considered to be another spiritual law, just as any other laws of the gospel. Wilford Woodruff said he consecrated his goods so that he might “be a lawful heir in the Kingdom of God, even the Celestial Kingdom”. (Journal of Wilford Woodruff, December 31, 1834)

The Lord said to–

. . . remember the poor, and consecrate of thy properties for their support that which thou hast to impart unto them, with a covenant and a deed which cannot be broken. [62] And inasmuch as ye impart of your substance unto the poor, ye will do it unto me. (D. & C. 42:30-31)

Furthermore, He said, “… all these properties are mine, or else your faith is vain”. (D. & C. 104:55)

Each stewardship was to be deeded to the individual steward and secured by law; and if the person were to leave, it would be his right to “have claim on that portion that is deeded unto him”. (D. & C. 51:5) This applied to his present stewardship rather than the original consecration, so that a rich man could not have power to disinherit the poor by taking his whole original consecration which may have included large portions of land.

This system was not only a law and a protection, with spiritual blessings accompanying it, but it was a very practical program. Ten farms united would need only a couple of tractors instead of ten. The same would apply to tools, trucks, and everything else right down to the breakfast table. Said Brigham Young:

. . . instead of each one of a hundred women getting up in the morning to cook breakfast for father and the large boys, that they may go to their labor, while the little children are crying and needing attention, breakfast for the whole can be prepared by five or ten women, with a man or two to help. (J.D. 17:44)

The Prophet Joseph Smith was encouraging men into the United Order by merely giving them an understanding of sound Christian principles, by saying:

 

[63]         . . . let every selfish feeling be not only buried, but annihilated; and let love to God and man predominate, and reign triumphant in every mind, that their hearts may become like unto Enoch’s of old, and comprehend all things, present, past and future, . . . (T.P.J.S., p. 178-179)

He also said that a great missionary work would result from this temporal endeavor because, “the best measure or principle to bring the poor to repentance is to administer to their wants”. (T.P.J.S., p. 241) And Joseph added:

The nearer we get to our Heavenly Father, the more we are disposed to look with compassion on perishing souls; we feel that we want to take them upon our shoulders, and cast their sins behind our backs. My talk is intended for all this society; if you would have God have mercy on you, have mercy on one another. (T.P.J.S., p. 241)

It was a rule of the Order that if persons wanted to leave, it was their privilege. Also, if they were not making any contribution to the Order, or were a detriment to it, they would be asked to leave. Everyone in the Order was accountable for his actions and his stewardship. Orson Pratt explained:

When you come to render up an account of that stewardship to the Bishop at the end of the year, there may be some prominent, leading questions asked, but not about these little matters. It will be asked if you have squandered your stewardship [64] unnecessarily; have you been very extravagant in things unnecessary and neglected other things of importance? If you have done these things, you will be counted an unwise steward, and you will be reproved; and perhaps, if you have gone too far, you may be removed out of your stewardship, and another person more worthy may step into it, and you be dropped because of doing wrong. (J.D. 17:33)

During these early years of the Kirtland period, the Saints’ efforts were small but noble. They purchased the holdings of the old settlers that would sell, and also bought government land when it was available. Most of the approximate 300 families in the Church were poor, yet purchases were astounding. The temple site containing 63 acres was purchased outright by Bishop Partridge in 1831. Sidney Gilbert was in charge of the Lord’s Storehouse and acted as an agent in purchasing land.

In November 1831, Joseph Smith organized the Literary Firm (an industry or corporation in the Order, with stewards over it) that was to print books for the work of the Church. Then in the spring of 1832 Joseph organized a mercantile corporation called the United Firm in Kirtland and another in Independence, Missouri. Years later in Far West, Missouri, there was an agricultural corporation called Western Agricultural Company which took in over 7,000 acres of land. Other agricultural orders were established with just as much land and under the same stewardship system.

The mercantile stores in Kirtland and Jackson County were to serve as outlets for merchandise [65] collected in stewardships (i.e., Newell K. Whitney & Company and Gilbert, Whitney, and Company). The United Firm was set up to carry on business mostly among the Mormon people. It is interesting to note that when Zions Camp was organized, the law of consecration was made a pre-requisite for all its members. Everyone gave all they had to a commissary from which needed supplies were distributed.

 

George A. Smith recalled those difficult days in Kirtland and the struggles they had in trying to unite themselves according to this law.

I moved into Kirtland with five families. The question immediately arose–“Where shall we settle?” Why, right here in Kirtland; the Lord designs to make this a stronghold for a few years, and here we are to settle, which was the counsel of the Prophet. The very first thing that occurred after this advice was that two out of the five came to the conclusion that they had better go to the neighbouring town, because they thought they could gain some temporary advantage. To Chagrin they went, in opposition to the advice of the Prophet, and in a few weeks they were in darkness, and not long after they were numbered with the enemies of Zion, and were soon using all their power for the destruction of the Saints. He that gathereth not with us scattereth abroad. Joseph, the Prophet, told us to go to work and build up the cities of Zion, and not to build up strange cities. (J.D. 12:150)

 

[66]         The Saints were the modern Israelites and they were to build up their inheritance just as the ancient Israelites did. However, many money-making schemes and speculation efforts took their hearts away from these objectives. Brigham Young recalled that this occurred with some of the Twelve Apostles as well:

When the Twelve Apostles were chosen in this dispensation, they were told not-to labor with their hands, but to preach the gospel to the nations of the earth. Some of them, before a year had elapsed, were engaged in trade; they became merchants, and they apostatized. (Mill. Star, 30:626)

The majority of the Kirtland Saints were not able to keep their covenants and stewardships in the United Order. They either forgot or didn’t completely understand the principle of stewardship which was so beautifully described by the Savior when He taught the following parable:

For the kingdom of heaven is as a man travelling into a far country, who called his own servants, and delivered unto them his goods. And unto one he gave five talents, to another two, and to another one; to every man according to his several ability. (See Matt. 25:14-30)

The parable goes on to show that the servants who improved upon their stewardship received more, but the stewardship of the unprofitable servant was taken away, and he was cast out.

The Lord also uses this same illustration [n our dispensation when He said:

 

[67]         . . . if any man among you obtain five talents <dollars> let him cast them into the treasury; or if he obtain ten, or twenty, or fifty, or an hundred, let him do likewise;… If it be five talents <dollars>, or if it be ten talents <dollars>, or twenty, or fifty, or a hundred, the treasurer shall give unto him the sum which he requires to help him in his stewardship–until he be found a transgressor, and it is manifest before the council of the order plainly that he is an unfaithful and an unwise steward. (D. & C. 104:69, 73, 74)

Brigham Young mentioned the difficulty the Lord had in finding wise stewards among the early Saints:

He <the Lord> has called upon the people to consecrate their property, to see whether they could understand so simple a thing as this. When they bow down to worship the Lord, they acknowledge that the earth is His, and the cattle upon a thousand hills; and tell the Lord there is no sacrifice they are not willing to make for the sake of the religion of Jesus Christ. The people were crying this continually among the churches when the Book of Mormon came forth, and the Lord spoke through Joseph, revealing the law of consecration, to see whether they were willing to do as they said in their prayers. In their weekly meetings they have told how the Lord has blessed them and forgiven their sins, what glorious visions they have had, and have declared that the Lord was present, and [68] that they had angels to visit them, and they felt so good that they would give all for Christ. Said the Lord to Joseph, “See if they will give their farms to me.” What was the result? They would not do it, though it was one of the plainest things in the world. * * * Yet, when the Lord spoke to Joseph, instructing him to counsel the people to consecrate their possessions, and deed them over to the Church in a covenant that cannot be broken, would the people listen to it? No, but they began to find out that they were mistaken, and had only acknowledged with their mouths that the things which they possessed were the Lord’s. (JD. 2:305)

Thus, on April 10, 1834, the United Order at Kirtland was dissolved. Yet, only 13 days later the Lord gave a revelation to Joseph Smith concerning the Order of Enoch. (See D. & C. Sec. 104) The whole revelation was devoted to this United Order effort. The Lord seemed determined to have this principle lived, even if most of the people didn’t. It began by saying:

Verily I say unto you, my friends, I give unto you counsel, and a commandment, concerning all the properties which belong to the order which I commanded to be organized and established, to be a united order, and an everlasting order for the benefit of my church, and for the salvation of men until I come …. (D. & C. 104:1)

The Lord wanted His people to become “one”, but they preferred to remain “separate”–speculating, [69] investing, and trying to get rich by the many gentile money-making schemes.

Elder B.H. Roberts summarized the reason for the great apostasy and failure of the Saints in Kirtland:

They had entered into that spirit of reckless speculation which for several years had been rife throughout the United States, and which expressed itself chiefly in land speculation and in excessive banking, culminating in the disastrous financial panic of 1837. (C.H.C. 1:398)

The result of the financial panic was that millions of dollars throughout the area were lost and “the sheriff was a frequent visitor at Kirtland and mortgage foreclosures followed each other in surprising frequency.” (C.H.C. 1:407) Kirtland became uprooted and apostasy reached its highest point during these times.

If the Saints had lived true to the laws of consecration as the Lord had commanded in 1831, the catastrophe of 1837 could have been avoided.

 

 

[70]                              Chapter 6

 

THE MISSOURI MISCARRIAGE

I received, by a heavenly vision, a commandment in June following, to take my journey to the western boundaries of the State of Missouri, and there designate the very spot which was to be the central place for the commencement of the gathering together of those who embrace the fullness of the everlasting Gospel. (Joseph Smith, T.P.J.S.,p. 79)

While the Saints in Kirtland were attempting to live a United Order, the Lord gave a revelation concerning a “land of promise” which would have “no curse when the Lord cometh”. The place had not been revealed. but if they would gather to Ohio, they would be informed of this “Zion”. Later, it was revealed that the “New Jerusalem” or “Holy City”, the capital of the government of God, would be located in Jackson County, Missouri.

The Lord also revealed that this Zion could not be established except by obedience to the “law” of consecration. Another United Order was attempted in Missouri, and the Prophet dedicated the site for the Temple of the New Jerusalem at Independence. (See D. & C. 58:61-64)

 

[71]         The Saints began to move “en masse” into Missouri, where land was purchased for $1.25 an acre. Many began consecrating their property to receive their stewardship.

Here the City of Zion should be built. Not only was it the site for the “gathering”; it is also revealed as the location of the Garden of Eden. Indeed the doctrine teaches that God has been especially solicitous of this land, keeping it as an “inheritance” for the “chosen”. Nationalism is further expressed in their assumption of the role of Israel. They identified themselves literally with ancient Israel and therefore became the “chosen people” who were to inherit the “chosen land”. (The Mormon Village, Nelson, p. 34)

Joseph Smith quoted the prophet Enoch, which was actually a prophecy of the Lord:

. . . to gather out: mine own elect from the four quarters of the earth, unto a place which I shall prepare, a holy city, . . . and it shall be called Zion. a new Jerusalem. (T.P.J.S., p. 84)

The city of Zion was built according to a specific plan.

The plan provided that all the people should live in the city; that the city should be a mile square; that the blocks should contain 10 acres, cut into half-acre lots, allowing 20 houses to the block; that the streets should be 8 rods wide and intersect [72] each other at right angles and run north and south and east and west; that the middle tier of blocks should be 50% wider than the others (three of these were to be used for schools, churches, and public buildings); that stables and barns should be outside the city; that farm lands should be laid off north and south of the city; that no lot should contain more than one house; that all houses should be set back 25 feet from the street, and some other specifications.

Several towns were laid out according to this plan, with certain modifications, in the Middle West including Kirtland, Ohio (1834); Far West (1836), and Adam ondi Ahman, in Missouri; and Nauvoo, Illinois (1837). The plan of the City of Zion thus became the foundation for the settlements of the Mormons in the Great Basin, Salt Lake City being the first “village” established, in 1847. (The Mormon Village, Nelson, p. 38)

At first the law of consecration was generally accepted by the Saints in Missouri. Land was cheap and the Lord instructed them to “purchase the whole region of country, as soon as time would permit” and then added that “Behold here is wisdom. Let them do this lest they receive none inheritance, save it be by the shedding of blood”. (D. & C. 58:52-53) The Apostle Orson Pratt said that–

It would appear from this, that unless the “whole region” should be purchased by the Saints they were to receive “none inheritance” there; and at the same time an [73] intimation was given, that unless the Saints were faithful and expeditious to do this, there would be a “shedding of blood”. (The New Jerusalem, Pratt, p. 16)

With land so cheap, and with so many Mormons moving onto the land, making it more valuable, many of the Saints took advantage of the old gentile philosophy to “buy cheap and sell high”. They were motivated by the temporal profit rather than gaining an eternal inheritance. The Lord saw this and warned them that “the rebellious shall be cut off out of the land of Zion, and shall be sent away, and shall not inherit the land” (D. & C. 64:35), because He decreed that “my law shall be kept on this land”. (D. & C. 58:19) The Prophet Joseph Smith wrote a letter to the Saints in Missouri and warned them also that–

. . .if Zion will not purify herself, so as to be approved of in all things, in his sight, he will seek another people; for his work will go on until Israel is gathered, and they who will not hear his voice, must expect to feel his wrath. (D.H.C. 1:316)

All of this was given as warning to the Saints at a time when everything was peaceful in Jackson County, Missouri. The Saints were greedy after the temporal things. and within two and a half years of their settling in the land of Zion, the words of these Prophecies were fulfilled.

Since the Saints failed to keep the law of United Order, they suffered the consequences. The Apostle Orson Pratt explained what happened.

 

[74]                         Did the people carry out this law? Why? Because they had imbibed the notions which had prevailed among the people of the whole earth, and these notions were in direct opposition to the order of heaven. The notions and traditions of the world were that every man must be for himself, every family for themselves, and they must labor with their might, mind and strength to gain all they possibly could gain, and use only for themselves and their generations after them, caring nothing at all about their neighbors. These traditions had been instilled into our minds, and we were too full of covetousness and of false notions about property to carry out the law of God, and hence many, when they came up to Zion, looked abroad upon that beautiful, rich soil, and the excellent groves of timber, and the fine prairies and meadows, with springs breaking forth in numerous places, as they do in Jackson County, and their souls lusted after these things, and the rich man said, “No, I will not consecrate all my property, I will go to the General Land Office and purchase for myself, and I will buy largely in order that I may sell to my poor brethren when they come up here. I will buy land and speculate upon it, and make my fortune.” That was the feeling which existed in. the hearts of some of the Latter-day Saints. (J.D. 16:5)

It would have been well for the Saints to have considered the admonition of Paul, who said:

 

[75]                         For we brought nothing into this world, and it is certain we can carry nothing out. And having food and raiment let us be therewith content. (I Tim. 6:7-8)

The Lord continued to chastise the Saints for their selfishness and inequality, and in the summer of 1834 He said:

Behold, they have not learned to be obedient to the things which I required at their hands, but are full of all manner of evil, and do not impart of their substance, as becometh Saints, to the poor and afflicted among them; and are not united according to the union required by the law of the celestial kingdom. (D. & C. 105:3-4)

When the Saints left Independence and went about 50 miles north to settle Far West, it was their third attempt to live the United Order. This was in 1837, and they were buying up land to again become a Zion according to the law of the Lord. Some formed United Order cooperatives called United Firms. Some of the agricultural orders were called Western Agricultural Company, the Eastern Agricultural Company, and the Southern Agricultural Company. These farming companies would enclose about 7,000 acres of land (12 sections) and put them into grain. Three other corporations were organized to unite other industries with the United Effort.

United Firms consolidated property holdings and became business companies among the Saints. From the Journal History of the Church, the following glowing prospect was anticipated:

 

[76]                         All kinds of necessary articles will soon be manufactured by these firms that we may be under no necessity of purchasing of our enemies. * * * Any surplus that may remain after paying the demands of the firm is to be divided according to the needs and wants to each family, annually or oftener if needed….

The operation of these firms enables a man to get a comfortable house in a very few days, when he gets about it, first by working for the firm 70 or 80 days, then the firm turns out stone cutters, teams, carpenters, masons, etc., to complete the house and nearly everything is paid for by the man’s own labor . . . .

Arrangements will soon be made that a person can get every necessity to eat,drink,live in, and to wear, at the storehouse of the firms, and the best part of it all is that they want no better pay than labor.Arrangements are making that no person shall have the excuse for not laboring, nothing to do, nor shall the idle eat the bread of industry. (Journal History, November 19, 1838)

Although such noble efforts were to be commended, there still arose troubles from within and from without. John Cotrill wrote:

Every man was to put in all his property by leasing it to the firm for a term of years; overseers or managers were to be chosen from time to time, by the members of the firm, to manage the concerns of the same, and the rest were to [77] labor under their direction. . . Many joined these firms, while many others were much dissatisfied with them, which caused considerable feeling and excitement in the Church. (A Brief History, John Cotrill, p. 46)

The Saints were their own worst enemy. Because of their own weaknesses and faults, the Lord allowed them to suffer the persecution and plundering that resulted in Missouri. Elder George A. Smith reported:

The settlements in Jackson County were commenced on the principle of the law of consecration. * * * There were, however, at that period, professed Latter-day Saints, who did not see proper to abide by this law of consecration; they thought it was their privilege to look after “number one”, and some of them, believing that Zion was to become a very great city, and that being the centre stake of it, they purchased tracts of land in the vicinity with the intention of keeping them until Zion became the beauty and joy of the whole earth, when they thought they could sell their lands and make themselves very rich. It was probably owing to this, in part, that the Lord suffered the enemies of Zion to rise against her. (J.D. 17:59)

The Missourians rose up against the Mormons and burned out 203 Mormon homes, and burned or destroyed many graineries and grain fields. They ripped out fences, tore down their printing office and other businesses, whipped, beat and raped the Mor-[78]mons. Over $318,000 had been paid for land in Missouri, but all of it was lost to the mobs. George A. Smith concluded his explanation for the reason that such things occurred:

We have been gathered from many nations, and we have brought many notions and traditions with us, and it has seemed that with those notions and traditions we could not dispense. (J.D. 17:60)

The Lord would not allow the Saints to have that land if they possessed such gentile feelings in their hearts.

The Prophet Joseph Smith gave a speech at Far West which was not only a warning to the Saints then, but a prophetic warning to the Saints in our day:

Brethren, we are gathered to this beautiful land to build up Zion . . . . But since I have been here I have perceived the spirit of selfishness. Covetousness exists in the hearts of the Saints …. Here are those beginning to spread out, buying up all the land they are able to . . . thinking to lay a foundation for themselves, only looking to their individual families . . . . Now I want to tell you that Zion. cannot be built up in such a way. I see signs put out, beer signs, speculative schemes are being introduced. This is the way of the world, Babylon indeed, and I tell you in the name of the God of Israel, if there is not repentance . . . you will be broken and scattered from this land. (Edward Stevenson Autobiography, p. 40)

 

[79]         The Saints were not all willing to consecrate– indeed only a few were. Brigham Young, with his sardonic wit, explained the general character of many Saints at this time:

When the revelation which I have read was given in 1838, I was present, and recollect the feelings of the brethren. A number of revelations were given on the same day. The brethren wished me to go among the Churches, and find out what surplus property the people had, with which to forward the building of the Temple we were commencing at Far West. I accordingly went from place to place through the country. Before I started, I asked brother Joseph, “Who shall be the judge of what is surplus property?” Said he, “Let them be the judges themselves, for I care not if they do not give a single dime. So far as I am concerned, I do not want anything they have”.

Then I replied, “I will go and ask them for their surplus property;” and I did so; I found the people said they were willing to do about as they were counselled, but, upon asking them about their surplus property, most of the men who owned land and cattle would say, “I have got so many hundred acres of land, and I have got so many boys, and I want each one of them to have eighty acres, therefore this is not surplus property.” Again, “I have got so many girls, and I do not believe I shall be able to give them more than forty acres each.” “Well, you have got two or three hundred acres left.” [80] “Yes, but I have a brother-in-law coming on, and he will depend on me for a living; my wife’s nephew is also coming on, he is poor, and I shall have to furnish him a farm after he arrives here.” I would go on to the next one, and he would have more land and cattle than he could make use of to advantage. It is a laughable idea, but is nevertheless true, men would tell me they were young and beginning the world, and would say, “We have no children, but our prospects are good, and we think we shall have a family of children, and if we do, we want to give them eighty acres of land each; we have no surplus property.” “How many cattle have you?” “So many.” “How many horses, etc.?” “So many, but I have made provisions for all these, and I have use for everything I have got.”

Some were disposed to do right with their surplus property and once in a while you would find a man who had a cow which he considered surplus, but generally she was of the class that would kick a person’s hat off. or eyes out, or the wolves had eaten off her teats. You would once in a while find a man who had a horse that he considered surplus, but at the same time he had the ringbone, was broken-winded, spavined in both legs, had the pole evil at one end of the neck and a fistula at the other, and both knees sprung.

This is the description of surplus property that some would offer to the Lord. (J.D. 2:307)

 

[81]         In Missouri the Commanding General, John W. Clarke, told the Mormons that if they would renounce their religion they could remain on their land. Also an edict of banishment was issued by the governor of the state, Lillburn Boggs, and was executed by Clarke with an army to carry it out. The Lord said:

Zion cannot be built up unless it is by the principles of the law of the celestial kingdom; otherwise I cannot receive her unto myself. And nay people must needs be chastened until they learn obedience, if it needs be, by the things which they suffer. (D. & C. 105:5-6)

The Saints suffered severely–more perhaps than they should have; but nevertheless they would not yield to the laws of God.

The Lord also said:

Behold,I say unto you, there were jarrings, and contentions, and envyings, and strifes, and lustful and covetous desires among them; therefore by these things they polluted their inheritances. (D. & C. 101:6)

Not only did the Saints begin to suffer from their own weaknesses, but they had trouble with those who apostatized. Parley Pratt said:

In all the general persecutions, from that time to the present, I do not recollect of a single instance, that the general storm was not brought about by men from among ourselves, professing the name, membership, [82] and Priesthood of the Latter-day Saints, traitors to the cause that they professed to believe. This was the direct means of the suffering, and the breaking up, of the community in Kirtland; of the breaking up of the community in, and the expulsion of them from Missouri. (J.D. 1:85)

Persecutions continued in Far West and the Mormons were driven out again, leaving nearly a half million dollars in property and goods. In January of 1839, the Saints left for Illinois to make another settlement.

During the next five years, Nauvoo grew and developed into one of the largest and most important cities in Illinois. About 25,000 Mormons settled this swampy land to make it almost a self-sustaining community. Work on a temple began, along with the construction of a church building, a hotel, and the Nauvoo House.

In Nauvoo the Church began the organization of the “Nauvoo Agricultural and Manufacturing Society”, a joint-stock system of ownership. In two years the city had a tool factory, foundry, flour mill, sawmills, and a steamboat. Church members were required to individually contribute one-tenth of their possessions and one-tenth of their annual increase. Those who had little or no money were required to donate one day in ten for the Church (called labor tithing).

In January 1840, during the time that the Saints were settling Nauvoo, Patriarch John Smith wrote from the Iowa Territory to his son, George A. Smith:

 

[83]                         We <the Saints in Iowa Territory> have voted to organize after the order of the Law of Consecration as given in the Doctrine and Covenants of the Church, but there are some objections to that order at Nauvoo. I have debated in public with some of their champions and they acknowledge the justice of our proceedings yet we learn they are not all satisfied. What will be the event I know not, but one thing is evident: his satanic majesty has been trotting across the river back and forth all winter to prevent the Saints from keeping the Law of the Lord, and many are led by that spirit and seem to love to have it so. (Doctrines of the Kingdom, Hyrum Andrus, p. 258)

The disorganization and conflict among the Saints, apostates and half-apostates were a constant problem for the Nauvoo settlement. Under such stress, and a realization that they would be there only temporarily, Joseph said that Nauvoo would not be able to live the United Order, The following statement is taken from the Minutes of the Iowa High Council:

The law of consecration could not be kept here <Nauvoo>, and that it was the will of the Lord that we should desist from trying to keep it; and if persisted in, if would produce a perfect defeat of its object, and that he assumed the whole responsibility of not keeping it until proposed by himself. (See D.H.C. 4:93-94)

This reprieve was short-lived, however, for in January 1847 the Lord told Brigham Young in Iowa to [84] organize the Saints into companies with a “covenant and promise to keep all the commandments and statutes of the Lord”. And, that “each company bear an equal proportion, according to the dividend of all their property”. (D. & C. 136:8)

However, many years later some of the Apostles and Saints thought that the law of United Order had again been suspended, replaced or revoked. Orson Pratt also held to the idea that the Lord had revoked it in ancient times and He had done so in our day. (J.D. 16:5) However, when he finished his sermon, Brigham Young arose and said that “the Lord Almighty has not the least objection in the world to our entering into the Order of Enoch. I will stand between the people and all harm in this”. (J.D. 16:8) The Lord never prevented any man from living the Gospel when he was worthy.

How similar the law of United Order is to the law of plural marriage. Some of Joseph’s High Council, several Apostles and the majority of the Saints could not accept either of these doctrines. Both are laws which only a few are worthy and willing to obey.

Because the Saints failed to keep the commandments of the Lord, they were forced more than once to leave their homes, their lands and their temples. Now they had to leave the United States to wander in the desert wilderness to try again to live, the Gospel the way the Lord had revealed it.

 

 

[85]                              Chapter 7

 

ISRAEL’S JOURNEY IN THE WILDERNESS

I saw that this people would have to flee into the mountains, and into a climate and country that the Gentiles would not desire. If we are not in such a place, I do not know where we will find one more undesirable than this. (Brigham Young, J.D. 3:210)

After the Saints were driven from the United States, they camped in the Iowa Territory. This was their first stepping stone towards their new home in the desert. It was here that the Twelve Apostles “adopted” numerous families until Israel was divided into twelve tribes, or companies.

As in ancient Israel, they were going into a wilderness where no one suspected they would survive. Similarly they landed near a large body of salty water, which joined a small fresh water lake. They, too, would call the river joining them the River Jordan.

After the rulership of Moses, Joshua and several other leaders, the Lord’s kingdom was finally established, and only then did they enjoy peace, power and prosperity, with the Lord manifesting His pleasure in them. This will be repeated, but the day of deliverance is yet in the future.

 

[86]         In the Utah Territory, the Saints were forced together by the elements and the circumstances, to work together as a family. They had to build homes, farms and send out missionaries to gather the rest of Israel in a cooperative effort.

The barren wilderness of Utah was a means of Purification. Those who wanted to live in a better climate, more Prosperous conditions, with an easier means of livelihood, were quick to leave this desert oasis. Some headed for the gold fields of California; others sold their Possessions and joined the numerous caravans heading West. Brigham Young, with his usual scornful wit for apostates, gave some Practical advice to those who were thus tempted to leave:

If the People had done their duty and consecrated all their property to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, they could not have gone away and lost their souls ….I want to have you consecrate your property if you wish it; if not, do as you please about it. If any man will say, “I am going to apostatize,” I will advise him to consecrate all he has that he might be kept with the Saints and saved, so that if you are tempted to go away, you may feel it best to stay where your treasure is. (quoted in Improvement Era, Feb. 1944)

But the Saints who remained were given other temptations and trials. Indians, inclement weather, poverty, famine, crickets, and other vicissitudes caused the hardiest to struggle for survival. Even under this stress there were many who deeded over their possessions in consecrations. However, a [87] peculiar situation occurred because prior to January 1, 1855, none of these deeds were ever recorded. In April 1855 it was said that the reason these consecrations were delayed was because they could not find a form “which should be legal in accordance with the laws of the Territory”. Then it was announced that one had finally been found and consecrations and stewardships would proceed; but it took nearly 20 years more for the actual orders to be functional.

More disrupting elements plagued the Saints when the Gentiles brought in their goods and wares. Competitive priced items and alluring luxuries were temptation enough, but added to this came Johnston’s Army. One must realize the odds that were against the Saints even without these outside influences.

Until 1861 the area of Utah was nearly three times that of the present state. To possess and people this inland empire was a challenge to the brain and brawn of every man and woman and child in the church whether already settled in the valleys of the mountains or waiting eagerly the opportunity to migrate from the various centers of missionary activity where they had heard the gospel and cast their lot with the Saints. Four major phases of the work of empire-building required the pooling of immense amounts of labor and capital. These were proselyting, immigration, colonization, and the making of public improvements. (Imp. Era, March 1944)

All of the main functions of the Church were attempts to draw the people together in cooperation. [88] One of these projects of unification was their irrigation system:

The task of bringing water, five, ten, and twenty miles through canals cut deep into hard rock, along steep mountain sides and through soil containing roots of trees and brush was not accomplished by a few individuals. It required the united effort of an entire community. This was always taken into account in sending out colonizing companies. The size of the company depended upon the character of the irrigation project that must be undertaken as well as upon the number and size of the streams of water in the locality. When the canals were completed and water was brought to the land there was usually enough for each man to irrigate a garden plot and a ten- or twenty-acre farm. In the construction of the canal each man was expected to contribute his labor and would receive water (water right) in Proportion to his contribution. The canals and the streams of water became thus the property of the community.

The social and economic results of co-operative irrigation are significant. The country was settled by colonizing communities rather than by individuals going out by themselves. (Mormon Group Life, Erickson, p. 41)

There were very few attempts to once again get the Order established. Some people had consecrated their Possessions to the Church during the 1850’s but “the records indicate that the movement was practically terminated in 1858.” (Building the City of [89] God, Arrington, Fox & May, p. 75) In 1857 Lorenzo Snow, a chief advocate of United Order, said:

Take this people at the present time–consider what they possess–then inquire how many of them have consecrated their property, and you will find that the amount consecrated is a mere nothing compared with that which the people actually possess. (J.D. 5:65)

The most successful effort in getting the people into the Order was the establishment of a mercantile cooperative. In 1868 the first steps were taken towards a “Zion’s Cooperative Mercantile Institution”, and branches of the cooperative were established in many of the settlements as stock companies. Everyone was given the opportunity to buy stock with cash, produce, or labor.

The issue was, Should the church “hold her temporal power or lose it?” Should the gentile money agencies be permitted to exact tribute from the “Chosen People”? As early as 1868, Brigham Young recognized the approaching problem and began to take steps toward the organization of a cooperative system which he intended should completely monopolize all the mercantile business in the Territory. A year later his scheme was completed and there was put in operation a most comprehensive mercantile system entitled Zion’s Co-operative Mercantile Institution. (Mormon Group Life, Erickson, p. 53)

 

[90]         They helped distribute home manufactured goods, lowered the price of merchandise, created uniform prices, and distributed profits and earnings among the Saints.

In front of every store was the inscription, “Holiness to the Lord”. These cooperatives were just as sacred in their functions as the United Order, and people who were employed in them entered into “a covenant by re-baptism to be subject to the priesthood in temporal as well as spiritual things …. (Mormon Group Life, Erickson, p. 53)

The American Fork Co-op was set up in 1873. Their primary function was merchandising, manufacturing, and the incorporation of several other branches of industry. Company officers were appointed as president, vice president, secretary, treasurer, and board of directors. Not more than 5% of the profits could be held in their reserve fund. Stockholders had one vote for each share of stock. Dividends came in proportion to the amount of stock invested. This organization’s capital was to be the medium through which the United Order could be established.

The Mormon people felt the need for Co-ops to protect their economy from being taken over by “outsiders”. The railroads brought in a flood of merchants, gold-diggers, lawyers, and gentile hucksters who were all attempting to get money from the Mormons. Some form of economic protection was sought for.

When the Brigham City cooperative was set up, a host of Mormon merchants began exchange with this movement. Over 80 Mormon merchants joined [91] this wholesale house for their own protection from gentile competition. George A. Smith commented on this:

I advise the Saints to form cooperative societies and associations all over the Territory, and to import everything they need that they cannot manufacture, and not to pay their money to men who use it to buy bayonets to slay them with, and to stir up the indignation of our fellow men against us. (J.D. 13:124)

Brigham Young was just as adamant on this principle of exchange and said:

How are friends, the outside merchants will complain because we are going to stop trading with them! We cannot help it. It is not our duty to do it. Our policy, in this respect, hitherto, has been one of the most foolish in the world. Henceforth it must be to let this trade alone, and save our means for other purposes than to enrich outsiders. We must use it to spread the Gospel, to gather the poor, build temples, sustain our poor, build houses for ourselves, and convert this means to a better use than to give it to those who will use it against us. (J.D. 12:301)

Business was booming for the new Z.C.M.I., but it was a death blow to many of the other merchants –including some of the Mormon stores. But Brigham thought that merchandising was not a very contributing, factor in a community. It was unproductive and too often it became an over-pricing scheme to get rich. He said:

 

[92]                         I know that many of our traders in this city are feeling very bad and sore over this. They say “you are taking the bread out of our mouths.” We wish to do it, for they have made themselves rich. Take any community, three-eighths of whom are living on the labor of the remaining five-eighths and you will find the few are living on the many. Take the whole world and comparatively few of its inhabitants are producers. If the members of this community wish to get rich and enjoy the fruits of the earth they must be producers as well as consumers. * * *

It is always disgusting to me to see a big, fat, lubberly fellow handing out calicoes and measuring ribbon; I would rather see the ladies do it. (Des. News, May 26, 1869)

This bitter conflict between the Mormons and non-Mormons grew during the 1860’s and 1870’s. The Government now took the position that mobs had formerly taken. Not only did they send a whole army out west to “put down” the Mormons, but they began to hatch up numerous and unconstitutional laws to persecute, religiously uproot, and economically destroy the Mormon people.

These were the forces and conditions that drove the Mormon people into an economic independence and the birth of the United Order again among its people. Another event that helped the germination of the United Order was the great national panic and depression of 1873.

 

[93]                         The depression hit first the mining industry–an industry completely dependent on the whims of national and international markets. The industry was obviously an enclave of non-Mormons. While considerable numbers of Latter-day Saints were employed in mining in 1873, virtually all the mines and banks that sustained them and depended upon them were owned by non-Mormons. Bank deposits dropped by one-third during the twelve months following the panic. With a shrinkage of national markets, the mines were shut down. Unemployment and economic stagnation were the result, and Mormons lost both their jobs in the mines and their market for foodstuffs and other commodities used in the mining camps. It seemed obvious to Brigham Young that the “outsiders” had been vectors of the plague visited upon Utah in the wake of the panic. * * * Prospering from supplying and servicing the mining camps, many Latter-day Saints contracted considerable indebtedness in order to expand their profit-making ventures. To these people, closing of the mining camps spelled disaster. A bishop in the Parawan area lamented that because of the heavy lumber trade with Pioche, “the brethren doing the hauling <have> got into debt to the Gentiles and since the falling off of the… trade, those debtors have been at the mercy of the Gentiles who are their creditors.” (Building the City of God, Arrington, Fox, May, p. 137-138)

There were many reasons for the Saints to live the United Order, but the principal factor was the failure of the gentile economy.

 

[94]                         But the depression gave President Brigham Young an opportunity for which he was not unprepared. It allowed him to move smoothly into a major change of social idealism which many individuals would have resisted in a normal economic period. At the same time, he could regroup his people and insulate them from the tastes some had acquired from “Babylon”. (Utah Historical Quarterly, Vol. 42:145)

With the United States depression of 1873, the strongest bridge between the Mormons and the gentiles was crashing down. The Latter-day Saints were now getting conditioned to live the law of the Lord.

Thus, in retrospect, it was in the mid-1830’s that the Church abandoned the practice of the United Order. Not until the mid-1870’s did they fully support that practice again. This was a gap of 40 years, It took Moses 40 years in the desert wilderness, waiting for a “new” generation that would obey the laws of God. Now the modern Moses, Brigham Young, would give a new generation another attempt at living God’s economic law of heaven.

 

 

[95]                              Chapter 8

 

ORDER AND DISORDER

Thus saith the Lord unto my servant Brigham, Call ye, call ye, upon the inhabitants of Zion, to organize themselves in the Order of Enoch, in the New and Everlasting Covenant, according to the Order of Heaven, for the furtherance of my kingdom upon the earth, for the perfecting of the Saints, for the salvation of the living and the dead.

You can accommodate yourselves by calling this a new revelation, if you choose; it is no new revelation, but it is the express word and will of God to this people. (Brigham Young, 1874, J.D. 17:154)

In 1872 Brigham Young delivered a sermon in which he said:

If Babylon should happen to tip over so that we could not reach out and the necessaries of life, we should be in a bad condition. I want to put you in mind these things, and it is my duty to say to the Latter-day Saints that they should take measures to sustain themselves–they should lay a foundation for feeding and clothing themselves. (J.D. 15:158)

 

[96]         Within a year after this sermon, Babylon did “tip over”. A national depression hit the United States and reached its bottom by 1875, and didn’t turn around until 1879. It was during these six years that people all over the country were trying to find ways of financial relief.

On January 11, 1874, Brigham Young began to take active measures for establishing the United Order among the Mormons. At a meeting in the home of Erastus Snow in St. George, Robert Gardner gathered a list of about a dozen names of people who were willing to enter the Order. Brigham said it was enough for a start. On February 9, Gardner was set apart as president of the New Order; and on February 15, in a general meeting, Young told them it was time for all the Saints to enter into that law. This was the beginning of a major change in the church, resulting in at least 220 different United Orders. (See Building the City of God, Arrington, Fox & May, pp. 414-419)

Brigham was thoroughly convinced that this was the time for the Orders to be initiated:

If we are disposed to enter the Order of Enoch, now is the accepted time and blessed are the Latter-day Saints. But if we are not disposed to enter the Order, the curse of God will come upon this people; I cannot help it. I will not curse them. But the time has come for this work to be commenced. (Annals of the Southern Utah Mission, Book B, p. 218)

On March 11, 1874, from St. George, Brigham telegraphed instructions to the Apostles in Salt Lake [97] City concerning the United Order and its new reestablishment. Part of the telegram read:

Such as do not wish to join, treat them with all the kindness and fellowship as though they were in the Order, for many will wish to wait and see what the result of acts will be. But those who have been preaching this order for thirty or forty years need not wait any longer. (Building the City of God, Arrington, Fox & May, p. 204)

After organizing the Saints in St. George, Brigham recommended that the Saints in Santa Clara enter into a cooperative system, where they could raise fruits and vegetables and crops best suited to low altitudes. Settlers in Pine Valley at higher altitudes would raise grain and potatoes and other high altitude crops.

The Saints in Washington and Price City were organized into the new Order in February. Then in March, other new Orders were established in Rockville, Virgin City, Toquerville, Kanab, Johnson, Paria, Mt. Carmel and Glendale–by Brigham Young, George A. Smith and John W. Young. Then Erastus Snow, Milo Andrus, and Angus M. Cannon went out organizing orders in the north and west, including Pine Valley, Pinto, Panaca, and Hebron. Orders were also organized this month at Morristown, Leeds, Harrisburg and Shunesburg.

On April 6, 1874, Brigham Young and a large group of others, including George A. Smith, Erastus Snow, Milo Andrus, Angus M. Cannon, began their travel north. They held meetings in almost every [98] town they entered and organized them into United Order. They established Orders in Belleview, Kannarra, New Harmony, Cedar City, Parowan, Paragonah, Beaver, Kanosh, Fillmore, Holden, Scipio, Nephi and Payson. Their party reached Salt Lake City on April 20th.

The central theme of their preaching was both spiritual and temporal. The Saints were told to be self-sustaining and not import or buy anything that they could make themselves. They were not to have any poor among them–everyone could labor in some way. Brigham advised:

Let some of the sisters take charge of the nursery to see that the children are properly fed, clothed, nursed and taught, and inculcate good order and conduct. Place good teachers in the school rooms and have beautiful gardens and teach them to know and enjoy the beauties of flowers and plants and their uses, astringent, cathartic, aesthetic with beautiful colors. Teach them lessons of beauty while young instead of playing in the dirt and mud. When old enough, place within their reach the advantages and benefits of a scientific education. Let them study the formation of the earth, the organization of the human system and other sciences. (Mormon United Order in Utah, Dr. Angus Woodbury, p. 10)

The Order of Enoch spread in Utah, Wyoming and Idaho–to include the towns of Bear Lake, Montpelier, Paris, Liberty, Ovid, Bloomington, St. Charles, Fish Haven, Laketown, Woodruff, Randoff, Almy, Malad Clarkston, Mantua and others Orson [99] Pratt and John Taylor went south and organized others in Nephi, Moroni, Mount Pleasant, Spring City, Ephraim, Fairview, Manti, and Fountain Green.

From Paris, Idaho, in the north, to Joseph City, Arizona, in the south, and westward to Bunkerville, Nevada, the United Effort was effective in helping the Saints out of the catastrophic depression of the gentile economic system. The Saints were catching the spirit and effects of equality, independence and improved economic affluence.

While these Orders were being established throughout these four states, many were also established within the wards of the Great Salt Lake Valley.

The people were inexperienced and untaught on the plans or procedures for establishing or living a United Order because so few men had any practice with it. Because these orders were established so quickly, and the leaders had no time to be trained or educated in this economic system, each order had a different method of organization. However, the object of a self-sustaining cooperative was the same, in spite of the many different approaches.

In some communities it was merely a loose cooperative undertaking, in other places it was highly communistic. In Hyrum, Cache County, for example, the people owned in common the sawmill, the tannery, and the store, but the individuals owned the farms, the houses, and the cattle. In Price, Carbon County, on the other hand, the people lived together as one large family. Their farms, mills, horses, cattle, wagons, [100] houses, and everything except the clothing they wore were owned in common. They all ate at the same table, and the women prepared the food and washed the dishes cooperatively. (Mormon Group Life, Erickson, p. 51)

Within weeks new Orders were organized throughout the State–in Provo, Pleasant Grove, Spanish Fork, Lehi, Ogden, Plain City and other communities.

Enthusiasm was contagious. Everyone seemed caught up in the spirit and desire to establish or belong to an Order. Each conference and each Sabbath meeting was dominated with the subject, and the unity of temporal with spiritual was the theme. Brigham Young asked speakers to present arguments both for and against the United Order. Wilford Woodruff said the only “argument” he could give against the Order was that it would prevent us from buying merchandise from our enemies.

Apostle George Q. Cannon reported a visit he had with the Order in Price and described the unity and cooperation they enjoyed there:

I spoke to the Superintendent–How do you manage with your men? Are the brethren willing, when you require them to do anything, do they go with alacrity, or do you have difficulty in controlling them”? “Not in the least,” said he, “I have never made a requirement or asked a man to do a thing that he has refused to do, and in our farming they have worked well and patiently together, and they are satisfied with the [101] arrangement.” I spoke to others who worked there and made inquiries of them, and I found, in every instance, that there was a good deal of satisfaction in the arrangement. (J.D. 17:238)

Then Apostle Cannon mentioned traveling to a little settlement called Hebron, where about 30 families were living the United Order.

In that settlement they have labored during this past season in the United Order, and they told me they had raised double the amount of crops they ever raised before; and all their labors are proportionately advanced, and this is the testimony of a good many settlements. (J.D. 17:239)

But after the first six months of organizing the Saints into the United Order, the effort reached its zenith. From that point on, the Church leaders had to constantly encourage them to continue with that program. The cooperative effort at Brigham City proved to be more successful than others.

The organization drive seems to have come to a climax at the stake conference at Brigham City on June 28. Brigham Young, George A. Smith, Daniel H. Wells, Orson Pratt, Wilford Woodruff, John Taylor and Erastus Snow were all there. Here was Brigham City which had been operating

successfully several departments of a cooperative capitalistic system which they proposed to reorganize under the United Order system. The change was easily made and continued to function just as effectively under the system.

 

[102]

The Organization was now practically completed. The general United Order of Zion had stake branches in nearly all the stake headquarters. Each stake had many branches in the various wards or settlements; some stakes reporting that every ward had a United Order branch. The Personnel of the United Order was in the majority of cases identical with the Church officials. The Presidents of the stakes were in most cases heads of the stake branches of the order, and the bishops of the wards were usually selected to head the ward branches of the order. This produced two mammoth organizations that were practically identical in Personnel. One was a mechanical robot set up by the other. (The Mormon United Order in Utah, Dr. Angus Woodbury, pp. 12-13)

Obviously, not everyone in the Church belonged to a United Order. Everyone was a free agent and could make his own decision to join or to remain out of these orders. Some wanted to wait and see if they succeeded or failed before they made a consecration.

Brigham Young encouraged the Saints to be rebaptized when going into this Order, so they would realize that it was a higher principle of the Gospel that should be taken very seriously–as a covenant with God.

At Ephraim on June 27, 1875, the 31st anniversary of the martyrdom of Joseph and Hyrum Smith, seven of the twelve apostles were re-baptized. In the course of the next few weeks, thousands followed their example.

 

[103] Re-baptism did strengthen many of the Saints. But, for many others, the Order of Enoch was just difficult to obey, and their efforts failed. However, in some instances the Order was re-established as it was in Toquerville. This community began a second time on August 18, 1875, with $7,000 to initiate a wine business. The remains of that winery still stand today.

But every Order had its days of trouble and sorrow. The strain of management, or else weaknesses in the members themselves, were too severe for most of the Orders. All of them were operating with different degrees of success or failure. Some members had gone into it with a complete consecration; others still had private interests and businesses. Some consecrated all their time to the Order, while others were only half into it. Part of the members wanted money for their wages. Some drew all of their credits out as soon as they earned them, while a few took only the very essentials to exist.

The credit system was probably one of the greatest single problems in the United Order. Some thought it should be managed as a company with people drawing credits against their capital stock. Others thought it should be operated as a large family, each receiving what they needed regardless of their credits or debits. Strangely enough both systems in some places did prove successful, while in others it seemed to be the reason for division and failure.

It was the complaining of the members that probably created most of the real trouble. Members would complain about the management, or their neighbors, or their personal treatment, or the way [104] the tools were handled, or the livestock. They would grumble about those that were lazy, or had a better job, or the general conditions of the project. Complaints were common–both written and oral. Church headquarters was flooded with requests for answers to their problems.

The efforts of [he Church leaders now turned from recruiting members to the Order, to defending it and encouraging members to stay with it.

In November of 1876, Brigham Young made his last journey to St. George for the winter. He was concerned about finishing the temple and holding the various Orders together. Said he:

Brethren, with regard to the United Order: You are my witness that we did not ask for your gold, nor silver, nor houses, nor lands, goods nor chattels, nor anything else of property kind; but we asked for you, your time, your talents and all the ability that God has given to you, to enter into the United Order after the pattern of Heaven to build up the Zion of God upon this land . . .

You may not understand one fact that is before our eyes; that this temple in St. George is being built upon the principle of the United Order; and when we cease our selfishness, and our whole interest is for the building up of the Kingdom of God on earth, we can then build temples and do anything that we want to with united voice and hands. (Building the City of God, Arrington, Fox & May, p. 168)

 

[105] In 1877 the St. George Temple was dedicated. Orders at Glenwood, Orderville, Richfield and Brigham City were successful and prospering, but amidst these successes was the collapse of many others. Some had attempted stock or share companies others were co-ops or total consecrations with dividends on surplus. Some were just small type orders with only a few members while others took in stakes or large territories. But Young’s practical advice comprised a few rules for success. He explained:

I know how to start such a society, right in this city, and how to make its members rich. * * * Would you like to know how to do this? I can tell you in a very few words–never want a thing you cannot get, live within your means, manufacture that which you wear, and raise that which you eat. Raise every calf and lamb; raise the chickens, and have your eggs, make your butter and cheese, and always have a little to spare. The first year we raise a crop, and we have more than we want. We buy nothing, we sell a little. The next year we raise more; we buy nothing, and we sell more. In this way we could pile up the gold and silver and in twenty years a hundred families working like this could buy out their neighbors. (J.D. 16:11)

More than 200 different United Order programs were begun, but only a small number were successful for more than a few years. It has been estimated that during the first year of the organization of these Orders, nearly half of them were unsuccessful.

 

[106] Time and space do not Permit a detailed study of the many different Orders of that Period, but a short review of the rise and fall of some of them has been included. Brief histories on Kanab, Mr. Carmel, and St. George will occupy the balance of this chapter. The following chapter, “A Glimpse of Success” will cover the more successful orders in Richfield, Brigham City and Orderville.

 

Kanab

John R. Young arrived in Kanab on March 11, 1874, with a letter from Brigham Young and George A. Smith, authorizing him to establish a United Order in the Kanab Stake. The next day the people unanimously approved the Order, and 367 People volunteered to join. Included among the volunteers was Tuba, a friendly Hopi Indian, who joined and gave his horse and colt. He was the first of his people to accept baptism and the first to enter the United Order.

The Order was gradually built up to become a very Prosperous and Promising settlement.

And at one time or another the following concerns appeared on the books: Kanab Lumber Co., the Sawmill Co., the Tannery and Manufacturing Co., the Brickyard, the Co-op Sheep Herd, the Sink Valley Ranch, and dairies at Cave Lakes, Swallow Park, and Buttermilk. (Kanab United Order, by P. T. Reilly; Utah Historical Quarterly 42:152)

Difficulties, however, were soon encountered when the People were divided on the leadership of [107] the Order. Some chose to follow their Bishop, Levi Stewart, while others contended that John Young was the President of the Order. This became a major problem for everyone. One of the members of the Order wrote in his journal:

President Brigham Young sent a letter of instructions for the people to elect a President for the order and said let him be Bishop. Levi Stewart was then Bp. of the Ward; As a member of the Ward, I did not consider that we had any authority to change his position and as John R. Young’s authority as President of the United Order did not appear to be fully sustained in my mind; I voted for Bro. Stewart to be President and of course Bp. which was sustained by the majority. J.R. Young having previously promised to sustain whoever was elected but failing in his promise, in a few hours another party was organized with him at their head as President of the Order. Thus there was again a division of the people, there being two meetings held <on> the Sabbath day representing two parties, one under the direction of Bp. Stewart, and one under the direction of J.R. Young. (Diary of William Henry Solomon)

John R. Young wrote to President Brigham Young and gave a one-sided story of the division. Brigham must have discovered the reason for the trouble and sent a letter back to John which settled the issue. John returned a letter of apology and his intention to decline any further presiding position.

 

[108] On August 8th a telegram came from the First Presidency of the Church informing them that L. John Nuttall was being sent to replace Bishop Levi Stewart. This action would be the means of uniting the people together under one man, who would be both bishop and president of the Order.

Nuttall’s ability and wise decisions soon united the people by employing chief members of both sides in high positions. Thus, 58 families were re-united.

But a year later, when another reorganization took place, ill feelings were prevalent again.

A strong feeling of dissatisfaction is showing itself in many members of the U.O. which is a sweet morsel to the opposition party. There seems to be a crisis drawing near …. (Allen Frost Diary, Aug. 24, 1877)

On August 29, 1877, Brigham Young died and Nuttall had to go back to Salt Lake City to help unsnarl the properties of Brigham Young’s estate from that of the Church.

Sextus Johnson, a mild-mannered and frail school teacher, became the new Bishop and third president of the Order. He was young, inexperienced and lacked the power to control the various factions. He later wrote to Nuttall and said that, “Particular pains is <sic> taken to chastise me in public ….” and he desired to be released to go on “a mission to Arizona, Mexico, or any other place”.

On June 8, 1884, Edwin D. Woolley was appointed as stake President, and Richard S. Robinson [109] was made bishop, concluding the organized effort of Kanab’s United Order, and placing it back into a ward/stake Private enterprise system–also caused by transaction between members and non-members of the Order.

But it was the opening of public land in the area that made a final blow to the little colony.

 

Mt. Carmel

After organizing the United Order in Kanab on 11, 1874, John R. Young set up an Order on March 20th at Mr. Carmel and two days later at Glendale. Mt. Carmel was so named for its resemblance to the Mt. Carmel in Palestine.

The colonists of this Order were composed of saints who had been on the “Muddy” expedition in Nevada. They had suffered for several severe years and were trained in hard knocks. Even though these members suffered from crop failure, they were determined to succeed in their united efforts.

Mt. Carmel had its first major setback when the treasurer of the Order, Henry B.M. Jolley, announced his withdrawal. Brigham Young blamed the dissensions that occurred on Bishop James Leithead because of lack of firmness. Therefore, Howard Orson Spencer was sent down in September to replace Bishop Leithead as president of the Order, the people voting to accept him at the November 6th Conference.

But Howard Spencer also had troubles with the Order:

 

[110]

Here the people were divided between the individuals of an acquisitive society and those communally minded souls reaching for a Mormon Utopia. The first group simply would not accept the United Order as presented by John R. Young. Bishop Spencer, seeing the basic differences between them were irreconcilable, advised those of one mind to establish a new town. Accordingly, the advocates of the Order began moving up the valley on February 20, 1875, and soon established Orderville. Bishop Spencer’s Solomon-like decision not only satisfied the Jolleyites at Mount Carmel, but allowed the opposing side a freedom of choice which effected the formation of the most outstanding United Order to be spawned by the movement. (The Kanab United Order, P.T. Reilly; Historical Quarterly 42:156)

Thus, the Mt. Carmel Order was dissolved because of personal disagreements.

 

St. George

 

St. George, so named for the Apostle George A. Smith, was the winter headquarters for Brigham Young. It was here that the United Order was first established and was therefore under the supervision of President Brigham Young. One of the first projects achieved was a program for consistency in the control and merchandising of goods in the importing and exporting from St. George, which was a central hub of exchange. It was also in a group five miles south of St. George that the first family form of the United Order was organized.

 

[111] Brigham Young offered to donate a large piece property, large enough for 500 to 1,000 people to settle upon, “to start the business, to see if we can actually accomplish the affair, and show the Latterday Saints how to build up Zion”. (J.D. 15:227)

The St. George Order continued for about three years after which money merely passed through the “company” and landed in the pockets of those who had donated or contributed the most. It was beginning to be a capitalistic stock market or shareholder profiteering, rather than a common cooperative. This, course, created ill feelings and caused many to desire disincorporation. After six years it, too, gave its death-rattle and was gone.

 

* * * * *

Thus, some of the joys and sorrows, successes and failures, can be seen by studying these communities. Even though some knew the theory was correct, it was very difficult for them to actually agree to the practice of the United Order. Brigham Young described this reluctance among some of the brethren:

We organized every ward or town south of the rim of the basin, and left them in tolerably good working order, so far as they had advanced. The only trouble with them was, “they did not understand”. They would say, “It is right, and the Scriptures tell us about it; but we do not understand the mode of its operation”. One man came to me, an old “Mormon”, whom I have known over forty-two years, just as we were organizing, and said–“Brother Brigham, I [112] have preached for you all the time. I did the same for brother Joseph. Brother joseph preached this doctrine; is it not strange that the people do not see it?” “Then,” said I, “you are ready to put down your name?” His answer was–“I will think about it”. You do not fully understand your own faith, nor the doctrines you preach to the people if you do not understand this doctrine; and are not as ready to enter it as you would be to lay down this mortal body and enter heaven if God should call you, or to do any other duty. Suffice it to say, God will establish this order on the face of the earth, and if we do not help Him, others will, and they will enjoy the benefits of it. (J.D. 17:43)

Even Brigham Young himself, who knew the great blessings that could accompany the law of United Order, found difficulty in joining one. He enthusiastically once said:

This is what I calculate to do, and I am going to do. Ask me if I am going into the Order with all that I have? Yes, as I told them in a meeting not long ago, l am going in with hat, coat, vest, pants, shirt, boots, and all I have. And if the question is asked, if your family do not go into the Order, what are you going to do with your property? I am going to seal it up to the Kingdom of God, for I do not mean that the enemies of the kingdom shall have a penny if I can help it. I want it appropriated for the salvation of the human family, to build temples, to sustain the families of the [113] Elders who go abroad to preach; I want it to be used for the good of the poor and for the establishing of truth and righteousness on the earth. (J.D. 18:248)

That was June of 1874. By August of the same year he said:

I am laboring under a certain embarrassment and so are many others, with regard to deeding property, and that is to find men who know what to do with property when it is in their hands. (J.D. 17:157)

But Brigham never did find anyone that he thought was capable of handling his fortune. Within 3 years he was dead, and his estate was so entangled up with Church property that it took a revelation to John Taylor to unscramble it to the satisfaction of his children.

But most of the Orders, like the Church, were embroiled in financial and social problems. The Orders had trouble getting the rich to join instead of all the poor. When the wealthy did join, they caused trouble because of the way their goods were being handled or used. Some of the members were lazy, incompetent, wasteful or just outright dishonest. Then when they were chastised, they let their feelings take over; many were filled with jealousy, envy, stubbornness, or pride.

Some of the Orders began to be run under the principles of priestcraft instead of the priesthood. The leaders would use funds and materials for their own benefit instead of that of the people in the Order. The Lord had realized this would be a perpet-[114]ual problem within any Church or group, and He warned:

And there shall not any part of it be used, or taken out of the treasury, only by the voice and common consent of the order. (D. & C. 104:71)

When money or funds were taken from the treasury without the “common consent” or without being used for “common benefits”, the people were under a priestcraft and had a justifiable excuse for abandoning such a system.

Within a few years of the inception of these United Orders, most of them no longer existed. Nearly every community that tried and failed in the practice of the United Order, never made another attempt. Those principles have died in the pages of history, labeled as “non-essential” or as having been”replaced”. No effort or exhortation from the pulpit or the press could encourage the Saints to become united in their economic social structure.

 

 

[115]                             Chapter 9

 

A GLIMPSE OF SUCCESS

Will the time ever come that we can commence and organize this people as a family? It will. Do we know how? Yes, what was lacking in these revelations from Joseph to enable us to do so was revealed to me. (Brigham Young, J.D. 11:326)

Some of the members of the Church were given revelations and manifestations to convince them of importance of the law of United Order. For them this principle was of divine origin and they had a religious conviction that it was true. Others were touched by the spirit of it when they heard it and received a testimony that it was to be obeyed. For example, Charles Walker described his convictions when he heard of its announcement:

Sunday, Feb. 15, 1874: Went to meeting all day. Bro. Brigham spoke in a powerful manner with a spirit that went to the hearts of the people, saying that the time had come for this people to enter into the order of Enoch. He said the Lord said come, the spirit said come, and said (meaning the first presidency) we say come, and let us enter into the united order and devote our labor, time, talent, means, strength and abilities to the building up of the Zion of our God. Said if we would enter into it, we [116] should have wealth and union and the blessings of the Most High would attend us. If we would not receive it, we should bring curses upon ourselves and the sin would lie at our own doors. He said that now was the time, not tomorrow, next year, but right now, today. He then called for a show of hands of those who were willing to enter the order to be controlled temporally in all things to the building up of Zion. The vote of hands was unanimous with very few exceptions, at least I saw no contrary vote and after meeting I authorized H. Erving, the Clerk, to put my name down as willing to join the order. (Charles Walker Journal, p. 382)

Another man by the name of Orton received a wonderful manifestation concerning this Order and wrote:

The United Order was sought to be established by Pres. B. Young. An evening meeting was called to consider the matter and organize. Anxious to be in harmony with its spirit, yet not feeling its inspiration, on the evening previous to time set for its organization, kneeling in secret I made my wish known. I slept. Just before arising in the morning, a voice was heard in a tongue unknown to me. Given apparently in poetry about the same as in common metre stanza. Asking for the interpretation of the tongue, it came instantly and ran thus: “Without the United Order we cannot become one; without the United Order angels cannot hold communion with us a [117] people. The dead cannot be raised nor Jesus come to dwell with his people.” I said, “It is enough; I am prepared to give my name as a member of the United Order tonight”. (Autobiography of Joseph Orton, p. 22)

Among the many who initially joined these Orders, there were a few faithful and stalwart men who were willing to unconditionally sacrifice their time and talents towards its success. They were men who would not let petty jealousy, discouragement, nor the faults of others prevent them from obeying the law of the Lord. Several Orders became successful because of such members and leaders. A few of these success stories will be briefly described–Richfield, Brigham City, and Orderville.

 

Richfield

Richfield had a population of 145 families by March of 1874. Most of them were Danish immigrants who lived in one-room cabins and had but few possessions. Joseph A. Young, son of Brigham Young, had been called in 1872 to preside over the wards in Sevier County, and in the spring of 1874 he went to St. George and witnessed the first organization of the United Order there. After his return home, he immediately set up the order in each of the eight communities in the Sevier Stake. Two-thirds of the people were willing to enter the Orders; but some, even a bishop, failed to concede to this principle.

It was decided to retain individual ownerships, such as homes, animals, etc., but all else was turned in at appraised values. The order got off to a rather poor start with everything on an experimental basis.

 

[118] The first cooperative program was in construction, as there was a great need for homes, roads and buildings. However, these were considered dead properties, as they did not increase wealth or create produce for trade.

In August, Erastus Snow visited Richfield and explained the principles of incorporation which were discussed and voted on in mass meetings. The Order was incorporated with authorized capital of $1 million, with shares valued at $25 par.

One of the items considered was the prevention of members withdrawing their invested capital. Board meetings were held every two or three days to grant requests of the members. Requests for cash, traveling, etc., had to be approved. Later an Executive Committee was established to carry the load of business and to economize time.

Each family was given an acre lot to raise garden vegetables. There were, of course, differences in home gardens due to differences in ability to produce and difference in family sizes.

. . . wages were based on an eight-hour day in 1874 with the standard fixed at $1.50 a day. No wages were actually paid but earning were entered on the books as credits to be drawn against for necessary supplies. Because of disappointing crop yields, however, it was impossible to pay the credits earned with crops produced and goods and services available from the mechanical departments. * * *

[119]

The majority were reasonable and courageous and willing to accept adversity as the price of ultimate success; but there were many who took a very selfish view and demanded the book value of their earnings in store-pay. The board of management was harrassed with requests that it could not justly meet. (“United Order of Richfield”, F. Fox, Utah Historical Quarterly, 32:367)

In 1875 Joseph A. Young met an untimely death, and his family had to draw heavily upon the stores of the Order. Half of all the capital in the Order had belonged to him. In mid-January 1877 ZCMI made demands for payments of goods purchased by the Order for its co-op store. Other purchases of cattle, machinery etc. caused a shortage of grain; and by May of 78 the members were put on rattons of eight pounds of flour a week for all members over ten years old.

For additional means of relief, some of the men were sent to earn cash wages at a mine near Beaver, which they turned into the Order for credit on the books, and were allowed 15% for personal use as encouragement.

In the year 1874 when the Order operated on the Gospel Plan of living as though all were of a family, accounts were of small importance. But they were absolutely essential under the requirements of the corporate plan.

A member of the board stated that the Order was carrying 100 non-producers, by which he doubtless meant those whose charges exceeded their credits. He favored [120] rigid limitations on supplies turned to those in debt. Bishop Seegmiller, more kindly disposed, remarked that it would not be right to cut off supplies so abruptly.

Meanwhile, the directors were learning much about individual differences. That some would work for the glory of God and others only when hungry…. (“United Order of Richfield,” F. Fox, Utah Historical Quarterly, 32:373)

Because of the many non-producers in the order (for example, one had earned only $10.00 credits in six weeks), efforts were made to bring such members back into line. They were first urged, then commanded, and at last expelled.

One man was given $100 to assist in his housekeeping. In five weeks he asked for $15 to pay some debts in Provo and to redeem his watch. Such men could never achieve any financial success in a private enterprise system, and certainly were no asset to the United Order.

As mentioned, Joseph Young’s family drew heavily upon the Order. As it became more difficult to keep the ship from sinking, they adopted another program called the “United Family Organization, which was adopted by eight families. One of these members wrote:

Without any or but little help from the outside, they have, while fulfilling their duties to the United Order of Richfield, and amidst many difficulties, been able to erect a dining room and six sleeping rooms, and [121] are prepared to build more as soon as time and means permit. So far as the experiment is concerned, it has been highly successful, and although our fare is humble, yet we all feel contented and happy, and feel the spirit of love, order and unity among us. We feel that we have been greatly blessed thus far, in having been, by the providence of our Heavenly Father, able to accomplish so much with so little. Our little community numbers about forty-two souls, although not all as yet living together, on account of want of room. There is also in Joseph City a few families living together on the same principle….

Let me say for my own part that, as in my youth, in the old country, it was given to me, in answer to my prayer, that the gospel as preached by Joseph Smith and the Latter-day Saints was true and from heaven, so also, when Pres. Brigham Young preached the principles of the United Order, it was given unto my understanding that it emanated from heaven for the benefit of the Latter-day Saints. This is the testimony of your humble servant, Henry Edward Desaules. (Des. News, July 4, 1877)

The death of Joseph A. Young and loss of his leadership and business ability left the Order in confusion. A letter was written to Brigham Young inquiring if it would be proper to make everyone stewards over their property, as had been done in Salt Lake City. President Young replied that it was his advice to continue the Order without changes.

 

[122]

. . . For you to change your method of doing business to that of stewardships would be taking a step backwards and would not be in accordance with our feelings. So far as we know concerning your operations you have been doing well, and the prospects before you are encouraging. What can you possibly gain by changing your system? . . . what end can be accomplished by your turning back? We cannot perceive any good that will result.

It is union of the People, their means, and their efforts that are wanted, and the shortest cut to that is the best. We deem it advisable that at certain convenient times, to be decided by Yourselves, general meetings of the Order be called at which the work done, the products raised, and the other results of the labors of the Order can be discussed. At such meetings it should be decided how much tithing shall be paid by the Order collectively and a statement of the amounts and kinds should then be drawn out and should be signed by each head of a family in the Order. This statement should then be carefully filed away for future reference. Instead of paying tithing, when we Perfect the Order we will pay what we want, which will be used in building temples, supporting missionaries, assisting the poor, etc., and ultimately there will be no poor with us. <Signed> Brigham Young (“United Order of Richfield”, F. Fox, Utah Historical Quarterly 32:375)

 

[123] The Richfield Order was collapsing with the problems that some of the others were. It was that some of the problems of these failing were “no returns to capital, no extravagance. consumption, and no individual claim to surplus”. When men failed to realize the principles of the Order as a brotherhood, the structure could not take strain. Often the cry of “Priestcraft instead of Priesthood” would be heard, and it would mean death to the order.

For several months semi-monthly meetings were for the purpose of solving problems and conflicts between property owners and non-owners. Others discouraged and lost faith saying, “I’m leaving the order because there is no order in it.” Apostle Erastus Snow saw the ugly hand of disunity and suggested disincorporation, but a few still wanted to “see it through”. Opposition turned into two groups: one that wanted to make it prosper and other that wished to see it destroyed. In of 1877, the troublemakers burned hay and machinery belonging to the Order. Amidst the dying embers of those ashes, went the last glimmer of hope for the success of the Richfield Order.

 

Brigham City

A little fort with dirt floors, leaky roofs and many bugs was built in “Youngsville”; but as the population grew to 75 families, it was made a city called Brigham City. Lorenzo Snow was assigned to preside over this little community; and with his wisdom and devotion towards its success, it became of the foremost examples of unity and financial success in the United Order system.

 

[124] Lorenzo Snow started a co-op at Brigham City in 1864 with the basic goal being a United Order. A fort, a gristmill, a sawmill, and a few other prerequisites were there to begin with, and Lorenzo persuaded some of the merchants to unite their efforts and stock and form a Brigham City Cooperative system. It began as only a joint-stock enterprise with dividends which could be used only for locally produced merchandise. The principle objective was to make it succeed through home industries for a “co-operative system for the general welfare and interest of the community.”

They built a large two-story tannery building. Then came a shoe shop that employed eight People who turned out new shoes and boots. After that came another two-story building for their woolen mill, which in turn opened the way for them to build a large herd of sheep. Cattle also became another necessary part of the program. By 1874, ten years after its birth, the Brigham City enterprise had almost totally absorbed the entire economic mainstream of the community. There were 40 enterprises that made the community almost self-supporting and had a surplus to sell in other towns. By 1877 there were 340 People employed, with 585 shareholders, and an annual income in excess of $260,000. The number of families in the town was just about equal to the number of shareholders.

Accounts were kept separately for each department of labor, and at the end of each year a balance sheet was made out reporting gains or losses. From information on this report, dividends were made on the investment or capital stock to be shared equally by the stockholders. Wages were paid in merchandise.

 

[125] Lorenzo Snow was always the overseer in spiritual as well as temporal affairs, and his general attitude was–

I have labored to inspire the overseers of the various departments with a proper sense of their obligations to the people, to be satisfied with a reasonable wage, and be willing that their abilities should be employed, to a certain extent, for the building up of Zion. I endeavor to influence all our laboring hands not to be greedy for high wages, and also those who furnish the capital, to be satisfied with reasonable dividends, and thus work together in harmony on principles of equal justice, that the Lord may take cognizance of our works, and bestow blessings of prosperity and salvation in the hour of necessity. (Building the City of God, Arrington, Fox, and May, p. 119)

Each Saturday the employees were paid in scrip which could be redeemed in merchandise from any division of the co-operative. They might get furniture, shoes, cheese, bacon, milk, or even exchanged for admission to a concert or play. Their wages were about equal with any of those around the rest of the country.

It took about eight years for this community to work itself into an almost total United Order system. When the 1874 crusade came for United Orders to be established, by then the Brigham City Co-op was almost totally self-sustaining.

In 1878 Lorenzo Snow reported at Ogden how all of this came about:

 

[126]

To engage in this labor seems to be a great and sacred undertaking. President Young used to say, “Why, up there in Brigham City Brother Snow has led the people along, and got them into the United Order without their knowing it.” But I can see many things that we are very short of accomplishing. We have not entered into the fulness of the principles of the United Order, but we talk about them, and many of us try to conform to them, and get the spirit of them in our hearts. Now we number about three thousand souls…. (J.D. 19:347)

Continuing, he gave an insight into the importance of this system and what would happen if was not perpetuated:

Zion is the pure in heart. Zion cannot be built up except on the principles of union required by the celestial law. It is high time for us to enter into these things. It is more pleasant and agreeable for the Latter-day Saints to enter into this work and build up Zion, than to build up ourselves and have this great competition which is destroying us. Now let things go on in our midst in our Gentile fashion, and you would see an aristocracy growing amongst us…. You would have classes established here, some very poor and some very rich. Now, the Lord is not going to have anything of that kind. There has to be an equality; and we have to observe these principles that are designed to give every one the [127] privilege of gathering around him the comforts and conveniences of life. (J.D. 19:349)

In 1874 Brigham City was put into the “United system, although no changes were made in its operations. Each member was made a steward over his possessions, and he had a “savings account” by saving his certificate of credits with the Order. He could use these to.improve his home, farm, equipment he could spend them for other things such as amusement, or extra food.

These communities, such as Brigham City, had their own system of insurance; and should someone’s home be burned, the community was ready to rebuild another for them. If a man died, the community step in to take care of the widow and children. If someone was sick, or went on missions, or was required to leave for some business purpose, their family was secure.

A correspondent from the Salt Lake Herald visited the Brigham City United Order and wrote a brief synopsis which leaves a nostalgic glimpse of the past–and of what might have been.

If the example of the inhabitants of this town was more generally followed, Utah would be far more prosperous and her people much better off. Our present suicidal policy of exporting raw materials and importing manufactured articles would be stopped, we would be far more independent of our sister states and territories; the financial panics of the east or west would not affect us; our people would all have [128] good homes and enjoy more of the comforts of life than they can hope for under present regulations; and our children could stand a much better chance of receiving good educations and becoming useful members of society. (Salt Lake Herald, Oct. 25, 1876)

Yet in spite of the great accomplishments of the Brigham City Order–which received visitors from over the world, and had glowing reports written in many different countries–Lorenzo Snow still felt that they had a long way to go. So did John Taylor, who said:

There are some things that Brother Lorenzo Snow is doing that are very creditable; but it is not the United Order. He is working with the people something after the same principle that our sisters teach the little ones how to walk; they stand them in a sort of chair which rolls along, and the babies appear delighted, they think they are walking. But we have not learned how to walk yet. (J.D. 20:44)

Although the Brigham City Order was not a total “family” order, it had many great advantages. During the great national depression of 1873, a calamity for everyone including most of the people of Utah, the Brigham City Cooperative continued to run smoothly and was very prosperous. It was model of good economics and draws a great deal of admiration from the rest of the country.

This cooperative society began to see 15% dividends, and on occasion, 30%. They had a cotton farm in Southern Utah which successfully provided [129] materials to manufacture over 100,000 yards of cloth. They also manufactured $19,000 worth of boots and shoes. By 1874 they had an annual mercantile business amounting to $250,000.

 

They soon acquired a tannery, saddle and harness shops, tailoring and dressmaking departments, and furniture shops, blacksmiths, machine and wagon shops and even straw hats. In their agricultural department they had large farms, many herds of cattle and sheep, the best dairy in the territory, and cheese factory. Everyone was employed and kept busy. Even transients were given work to earn some food.

They dug an irrigation ditch one and a half miles long and three feet wide and built a dam 150 feet long. They put out 625 grape vines, 1800 grape cuttings, and planted 100 peach trees. Their herd of cattle for beef and hides increased to 1000 animals in four years. Their straw hat factory employed over 20 girls.

The employees in the various departments are paid weekly, at the secretary’s office, in two kinds of scrip; one of which is redeemed at our mercantile department, the other is good and redeemed at our various manufacturing departments. (Biography and Family Record of Lorenzo Snow, Eliza R. Snow Smith, p. 295)

When Lorenzo Snow went to Europe and Palestine, he wore a suit and boots that were made in Brigham City. He was proud to show it “as a specimen of “Mormon industry,” respectable enough [130] to wear in the Presence of the President of the French Republic. (Life of Lorenzo Snow, Thomas C. Romney, p. 311)

One contributing factor in their successful work force was, as Lorenzo explained, because of the youth. “Youths are more willing and pliable in the hands of the servants of God than many men who have been in the Church from the beginning.” (J.D. 5:65)

By the year 1877 the Brigham Order had reached its zenith. One of the first wounds to afflict it was a loss of farm Products because of the grasshoppers. Then the woolen mill was burned down which was a loss of more than $30,000. A railroad contract had been agreed to for the Utah Northern Railroad to supply lumber, but in 1878 their mill was raided, and 53 mill workers were indicted for unlawfully cutting timber.

The sawmill purchased by the Brigham City Mercantile and Manufacturing Association in Marsh Valley had been in operation twelve years before the purchase. After the raid the foreman of the Jury bought it from the Association for half price and kept it running, his supply of timber coming from the same source as before. This circumstance proved the dishonesty of the jurors and branded the entire scheme as a product of unprincipled minds. (Life of Lorenzo Snow, pp. 326-327)

Lorenzo Snow complained of the $400,000 that Brigham City had paid to ZCMI since its organization; and except “for $3,000 or $4,000 worth of [131] cheese accepted by ZCMI, cash had been paid during last two or three years”. The situation was severe and the only answer to their problem was to close several departments and dispose of some property. They needed cash to pay off some of the obligations against the Order.

There were also many internal troubles, which often took up most of the time during the directors meetings, rather than concentrating on the usual problems. The Order grew, but as the world took on mechanized means of cheaper goods, the Order had competition. Money had to be spent for machinery, tools, and articles that could not be grown or manufactured in the Utah Territory. Sometimes crops failed which caused more cash outlays. At other times the imports would exceed the exports. Added to these troubles came interference of the law, and their leaders were put in prison or hid in the underground for polygamy. Illegal fines, taxes and confiscation of property added more turmoil. Then, too, the apostates who joined with the gentiles stirred up contention and false charges.

Another heavy blow came when in July of 1878 Internal Revenue levied a penalty tax of $10,200 on the circulation medium of the Brigham City Co-op. Although the levy was found to be illegal, they had to pay the tax or be found in contempt of Federal Law!

The sole purpose of so many attacks against the Mormons was to break up their economical power. Thus, the United Order was fazed out in the summer 1880, but the Mercantile and Manufacturing Association continued in an effort to keep the co-op [132] functioning. In 1881 the woolen mill was shut down, and in 1888 the severe winter wiped out nearly all their sheep.

Private business sprang up to take the place of the Co-ops; and during the depression of the middle nineties, the cooperative institutions founded by Lorenzo Snow came to an end.

In 1894 two different fires sent the last vapors of the Order into the winds. In 1895 the Brigham City Co-op went bankrupt during the great national depression.

The Brigham City Order began with a little mercantile store–and ended up with a little mercantile store!

 

Orderville

No other town in Utah has gained as much recognition for their efforts in living the United Order as Orderville, Utah. Its very name has drawn attention to its unique history.

This community lived the United Order longer than any other–approximately 25 years. It began in March 1874 when John R. Young came to Mt. Carmel to organize an Order there, but it was not long before some members became disgruntled and withdrew. However, others were convinced of the “Gospel Plan” and were determined to live it. Although they had been a people of little means, and still were, they decided to go up the Virgin River and choose place where they could establish their own order.

 

[133] They found the ideal spot in March of 1875. It was remote, the land was fertile, range land was extensive (for both winter and summer pastures), there were abundant supplies of lumber, coal and fuller earth nearby, and the Virgin River furnished water for irrigation and power.

Twenty acres were set aside for a vegetable garden and orchard, while 315 acres were cleared for farming. On the 14th of July, 1875, the town was organized under the name of the “Orderville United Order;” there were nine members of the Board of directors and Thomas Chamberlain was president. Chamberlain was an important contributing factor to the success of Orderville. He had “abounding energy, and executive ability of a high order. He was honest, handsome and of a kindly disposition,” and had five to assist him.

The first building erected was a hotel where all who were in <good> health could eat at one table. Wm. M. Black was placed in charge of the hotel, with seven sisters as a working force. When the order was in the zenith of its prosperity, those eight persons placed the food upon the two tables for eighty families. The meals were served at 7, 12, and 6 o’clock, and were as regular as clockwork. (The Mormon United Order in Utah, Dr. Angus Woodbury, p. 18)

One member recalled that about 300 pounds of flour were made into bread each day, and about three bushels of potatoes were eaten at a meal.

 

[134] The Order was built up according to the desires of Brigham Young, on the “Big Family” plan, which he designated as the order of heaven. Except for a few items, there were no books kept as they deemed it unnecessary to keep individual records of the people. Each year, according to the revelations in the Doctrine and Covenants, the Order paid tithing to the Church from the net increase; therefore, individual members were not required to pay tithing.

A letter was received from President Young on July 7, 1875, instructing those who wished to live that principle to be baptized into the United Order. So, on July 11, 1875, a meeting was held at Orderville, the people of Glendale and Mr. Carmel attending. Joseph W. Young spoke on the principle of the United Order, read the adopted rules, and called on all who were willing to obey these rules to make a covenant of the same by baptism. At the close of the meeting, about 50 members of the Order, including John R. Young, William Black, and Allen Frost, were baptized.

On July 24, 1875, 15 families ate the first community meal in the new dining room. By 1877 the number had grown to 370, and by 1882 the population numbered 602.

One member of the order wrote a letter and said, “As we learned each other’s weaknesses, we learned also their virtues. The love born of constant and daily inter-mingling caused us to help and to defend each other as would members of an individual family. * * * Perhaps we did invite a few wisecracks in our home-spun clothing, home-made straw hats, home-made shoes, community eating, arrangement of houses, etc., but we lived a clearly normal life and were happy.”

 

[135] The Order was governed by an annually elected of nine men who supervised the buying and directed the labor, and also heard complaints. Everything was done according to common consent.

In Orderville they secured the title to all land for the Order. All persons involved had to deed all real and personal property to the community so that there were no rich or poor, and all things were held in common.

In 1876 President Brigham Young visited the Order and offered much good advice. One of his suggestions was that each day a record should be kept of the time and labors of those engaged in that work, and that they should “credit a man for what he does”. It is a true principle that every person should be rewarded for the labor he performs, and credited for all the good he does.

Those who lived in Orderville were convinced that the Almighty had given them the laws for living that Order. This was the cement that held them together; it was a comfort in their sorrow and a strength when they were cast down. But, even so, there were some who complained for something “better” or for a “change”–which in reality was a petition to leave the Order. But President Young encouraged them by saying, “It was the nearest right in organization, and the most successfully run, of any that had made the attempt”.

They had a shoe shop, carpenter shop, tannery, schoolhouse, blacksmith shop, woolen factory, greenhouse, dairy and sheep herd. However, the general standards of living were not as high as in other communities; yet they had their necessities.

 

[136]

The town, as a whole, bore more resemblance to a Christian military camp than to an individualistic society of free men and women. With periodic calls by the United Order bugler (or by the clanging of the dining hall bell) to arise, to attend prayers, to eat breakfast, to go to work, to eat dinner, to attend evening prayers, and to retire, life must, indeed, have had a military aspect. (Building the City of God, Arrington, Fox & May, p. 271)

The Orderville community never felt the economic fluctuations on the money markets, for they were almost totally self-sustaining. They had their own meat, eggs, cheese, soap, coal, lumber, milk, silk, wool, cotton and leather products. They didn’t feel the effects of the depression. In addition, they were able to furnish material and labor in the building of the St. George and Manti temples, and they also sent out missionaries.

By 1880 the community had assets of nearly $80,000, which is an astounding gain for those pioneer days. According to instructions from Brigham Young, they were told to keep individual records so that apostates could not sue for an unreasonable sum. The pay rate scale was the same for any labor or occupation within the Order.

. . . in a few years Orderville was the most self-contained town in Utah, with a surplus of wool, livestock and manufactured goods to sell and exchange. A sawmill was the first purchase. The flour mill at Glendale was bought for $3,000. A fine grade of [137] leather was made at the tannery and fabricated into boots, shoes, harnesses, and saddles. At the cabinet shop, not only furniture, but spinning wheels were made. At the bucket shop, tubs, buckets, barrels and firkins were manufactured. The making of shingles was another industry. At a ranch, eleven miles north from Orderville, cheese and butter were produced; molasses was made in large quantities at Moccasin Springs; and early fruits and vegetables were grown on a farm at Leeds. (Utah Historical Quarterly, 7:149)

One of the products for which the Order became famous was molasses which was made from the many fields of sugar cane. For awhile it was the only source of sweetening. The fields produced an abundance of “peaches, grapes, plums, and melons galore”. Large fields of broom corn were planted from which hundreds of brooms were made each year. The whole operation was a fascination even to those who lived there.

A week spent at the sawmill where there was always a family living, a trip to the grist mill, the sight of logging and sawing of lumber, the different stages of grinding wheat until it came out as flour, each had its individual charm. We were clearly delighted with a visit to the tannery, shoe shop, cooper shop, and carpenter shop, each having its peculiar attraction. (Utah Historical Quarterly, 7:181)

 

[138] Eventually, there came a time when those living in Orderville were better dressed and better fed than any of their neighbors.

During the depression of the late 1870’s and early 1880’s, many people sought to join the Orderville community. There were those who joined but would not work, and some who soon withdrew from the Order–both of which caused trouble.

So, in 1879 there were heavy obligations, and the people were quite pressed for many necessities. Some of the leading brethren met together at a suitable place and petitioned the Lord to help them to obtain the means to relieve their distress. It was an answer to their prayer when Charles N. Carroll came from Heber City and offered to sell his interest in the “Silver King” mine at Park City. The mining stock was sold for $1,000, and the pressing obligations were met and new goods were added to the Order.

The Church was determined that the Order should continue, as they wanted an example left of a good United Order. The Church gave the Order charge over a large cattle ranch at Pipe Springs, Arizona, and they almost received the Washington cotton factory. Some thought the order would soon own the whole bottom half of the state.

Then mining ventures and railroads brought wealth into the surrounding communities, which, by comparison, left the Orderville people with drab clothing and homemade goods, causing some discontent.

 

[139] In 1880 they dropped the communal dining, which caused an individualistic spirit to develop among the people. Three years later different kinds work were given different salary rates. These two small items as they may seem, caused differences in attitude and, of course, opened the door to destroying influences. Later, there arose a leasing agreement which created richer portions for some and poorer conditions for others. Then they began an Order “currency”, so the wage system began to creep in. Some complained that this was “falling away” from the original commandment, and they left the Order.

In 1885 there were some serious thoughts about breaking up the Order. By 1889 capital stock in the company went out for sale and the Order weakened further. In January of 1896, all the members of the board were re-elected with the exception of one who died a few months previously. They were the last members of the Orderville Board of Directors, remaining until July 14, 1900. The Order was still financially independent when it was disorganized, and negotiations were even under way at this time for purchase of several cotton mills.

However, it was not the weakness of members, difficulty of internal practices or stringent rules that caused the Order its greatest trouble. It was the Federal Government. The Edmunds Act in 1885 induced fines and imprisonment for polygamists for “unlawful cohabitation”, causing many to leave for the underground. Some of the men were apprehended and sent to prison, including the president of Orderville,Thomas Chamberlain.

 

[140]

Many of the families in Orderville were plural and to escape from U.S. Marshals who were enforcing the Edmond Act, many men went into hiding; some were caught and sentenced to prison. Apostle Lyman advised the citizens to discontinue the Order…. (“Orderly Orderville”, Nick Carling, The Trolley Times, p. 2)

Because of the Edmunds-Tucker Law, the Government was legally stealing Mormon Church land. Some of the leaders were more willing to capitulate with their enemies than to stand up for their rights. It was during this confusion of what was right and what was wrong that–

The Church authorities sent John R. Young, Brigham,s first son, to dissolve the Order. He couldn’t convince them to-dissolve, so they had to send another man to do it. (Des. News, Sept. 4, 1974, B-3)

The apostles Brigham Young, Jr., and Heber J. Grant also came to recommend that the Order disband so that they could make peace with the Government. Gradually each piece of property, equipment and livestock was transferred, sold or deeded. lt was not until 1900 that the last item–the incorporated Order–was fazed out of existence. Church Historian, Andrew Jensen, wrote:

The good Saints of Orderville gained an experience that will never be forgotten by those who passed through it, and I was assured by several of the brethren who stuck to it till the last that they never felt happier in their lives than they did when [141] the Order was in complete running order and they were devoting their entire time, talent and strength for the common good. Good feelings, brother love and unselfish motives characterized most of those who were members until the last. (Des. News, March 4, 1892)

On July 14, 1900, committees were appointed and a final celebration was undertaken. One of the inhabitants of Orderville described the big occasion:

Invitations were sent to all who had been in any way connected with the Order and to their descendants wherever it was possible to reach them, and to many others. The result was all that could be desired. Many came from distant states. Under the able management of the chairman of the building committee, the social hall was planned and erected in about three weeks’ time to a stage that could be comfortably used, though it was not fully completed, in which to accommodate the crowd that was expected. To get the material on the ground and the hall ready for use was an almost superhuman undertaking but it was accomplished by quick and decisive Work. Soon all was in readiness; the time had arrived and a three-day festival or homecoming was in progress.

Tears were very near the surface in those few days of hearty handclasps and reminiscences of by-gone days. Almost a week in which to relive the past; a past that had brought the people together in a bond more closely knit than would have [142] been possible in any other manner of living. People coming home by the hundreds; every house was filled; days had been spent in gathering in food supplies, in cooking and making other preparations, in practically every home.

Men and women visiting in homes and meeting on the street! Men standing in groups, reviewing the more weighty problems of the past or joking over some humorous incident recalled. Women greeting each other as they wended their way hither and thither, laughing, crying, but overjoyed at meeting once again after many years.

As I reflect over that early period of my life, my heart warms with a conscientious appreciation for its wholesome experiences and the integrity of the people, and I believe my views express the feelings of the great majority of those who remained with the enterprise to the finish. (Utah Historical Quarterly, 7:194)

The co-operative spirit would soon be replaced by the competitive spirit. Money schemes, financeering, and all that goes with modern merchandising, soon became incorporated with the Mormon economic system. United Order among the Mormons would become a relic of the past with little more value than their handcarts, muskets, and Prairie Schooners. The United Order was once the “law of the Lord” to a people making attempts to practice it. Now it gathers dust in books upon the shelves of pioneer history.

 

 

[143]                             Chapter 10

 

THE TITHE IS THE LORD’S

And all the tithe of the land, whether of the seed of the land, or of the fruit of the tree, is the Lord’s: it is holy unto the Lord. (Lev. 27:30)

Tithing was not a new law introduced by Moses, for it existed in, the days of the patriarchs–even from the beginning of time. These tithes came from the annual “increase” of crops, herds, etc. (See Deut.14:22) Some of this 10% was for the assistance of the poor, the fatherless and widows–also to sustain the Levites, whose full time was devoted to administering the ordinances of the Lord. (See Deut. 14:29)

There is an important scripture indicating the close relationship between tithing and the law of consecration, and showing that they were both being practiced in the time of Abraham. From the Inspired Translation of the Bible we read:

Wherefore, Abram paid unto him <Melchizedek> tithes of all that he had, of all the riches which he possessed, which God had given him more than that which he had need <surplus>. And it came to pass, that God blessed Abram, and gave unto him riches, and honor, and lands for an everlasting possession <inheritance>: according to the covenant <consecration> which he [144] had made, and according to the blessing wherewith Melchizedek had blessed him <stewardship>. (Gen. 14:39-40)

Thus, the Principles of tithing, surplus, inheritances, consecration and stewardships were all in vogue at the time of father Abraham. It will be discovered that both the laws of tithing and consecration are companions–both eternal and everlasting principles that are never to be done away. One does not substitute or supplant the other.

A good example of the close relationship of these two laws can be found in the Book of Mormon. When the Savior appeared to the Nephites after his resurrection, He commanded them to obey the statute of tithing, which He quoted from the Prophet Malachi:

For I am the Lord, I change not–Bring ye all the tithes into the storehouse, that there may be meat in my house; and prove me now herewith, saith the Lord of Hosts, if I will not open you the windows of heaven, and pour you out a blessing that there shall not be room enough to receive it. (3 Nephi 24:6, 10)

But then we read that on the very next day they “did minister one to another;and they had all things common among them”! (3 Nephi 26:19) Did they reject the law of tithing that the Lord had just given them–and then during the night set up a United Order? Why did the Lord give this law of tithing to them and say that it would be also for “future generations”, if they were going to abandon it the next day? It is another proof that both tithing and [145] consecration were being practiced at the same time, by the same people–but for different purposes.

The Nephites continued to obey the Principles of United Order for a considerable time, and “they had all things common among them; therefore, there not rich and poor, bond and free, but they were made free, and partakers of the heavenly gift”. (4 Nephi 3)

Both tithing and United Order were also combined in the revelations of the Lord to the Latter-day Saints. Although many Mormon people say that tithing is a “lesser law”, there is no scripture to substantiate that theory. Others say that it is a stepping stone to lead people into the United Order and consecration; but if such were the case, then the Lord would have given tithing to the Mormons before He gave them the law of consecration. However, it was the other way around. When the Church was only few months old, the Lord gave the Saints the law of consecration (February 9, 1831; see D. & C. 42.) Shortly afterwards, the Lord gave further instructions for obeying this law of consecration in Sections 51, 52, 56, 57, and 58.

Seven months later, on September 11, 1831, (see C. 64:33), the Lord said that it was a day of “the tithing of my people”. This sounds as if the Lord may be giving up the Principles of consecration. But two months later He told the Saints more about this law of consecration. He said that their surplus must go to the storehouse, and that “none are exempt from this law who belong to the church of the living God” (D.& C. 70:10). He continued to add more instructions on the law of consecration in Sections 78, 82, 84, 85, and 88.

 

[146] Later, on August 2, 1833, the Lord again calls for the Saints to build a house “by the tithing of my people”. (D. & C. 97:11) A year after this tithing law, the Lord continued to reveal more on the law of consecration, saying that it is for the benefit of my church, and for the salvation of men until I come”. (D. & C. 104:1) Three months after this revelation on consecration, the Lord gave a revelation on tithing which was “for my holy priesthood”. (D & C. 119:4) Three years after this tithing revelation in Section 119, the Lord called George Miller to be a Bishop like Edward Partridge to “receive the consecrations of mine house”. (D. & C. 124:21)

Doesn’t this seem inconsistent? Can anyone determine where consecration was repealed and tithing was substituted? If anyone thinks that consecration was done away and tithing was left as the law for the Church, how does he explain why the Lord gave a revelation nearly ten years after the last law of tithing which called for Brigham Young to organize the Saints into companies that would “bear an equal proportion, according to the dividend of their property”. (D. & C. 136:8) Essentially we must conclude that consecration was the first and the last economic law given the Church.

But that does not explain how tithing can be a law that would continue until the Lord would come. To make this all a little more confusing, it is interesting to note the Lord sometimes, mentioned tithing and consecration in the same paragraph, or even in the same sentence. Once He said:

I require all their surplus property to be put into the hands of the bishop… and this shall be the beginning of the tithing of my people. (D. & C.119:1,3)

 

[147] On another occasion the Lord said that the Saints should receive their “inheritance by consecration, agreeable to his law, which he has given, that he may tithe his people. (D. & C. 85:3)

Again, on July 8, 1838, a public meeting was held to discuss the law of consecration and stewardship when a revelation was given that pertained to tithing! (See D.H.C. 3:44)

The reason why tithing and consecration were often mentioned together is because they are meant to function together. Simply said, tithing belongs to the law of consecration, and consecration is not complete without the law of tithing. The Lord said that consecration is an “everlasting order” (D. & 104:1) and that tithing is a “standing law unto them forever”. (D. & C. 119:4)

It may seem contradictory that both the United Order and tithing can exist at the same time and among the same people. And it may seem impossible consecration and tithing can both be “everlasting” laws of the gospel. The question then arises as to how these two important principles of the Gospel can function at the same time.

Consider the following revelation on how these two laws can function when they are obeyed properly:

Verily, thus saith the Lord, I require their surplus property to be put into the hands of the bishop of my church in Zion.* * * And this <consecration> shall be the beginning of the tithing of my people.

[148]

And after that, those who have thus been tithed shall pay one-tenth of all their interest annually; and this shall be a standing law unto them forever, for my holy priesthood, saith the Lord. (D. & C. 119:1,3,4)

It is clear that the law of tithing was to take effect after the consecrations had been made. After the increase had been given to the storehouse of the Lord, then a tithe was taken. A man living the United Order was commanded to put all his surplus into the Bishop’s storehouse. Nowhere does it say that he must pay his tithing first. After it is in the storehouse, then it is the duty of the Bishop to draw a tithing out and present it to Church headquarters. The Church then has the duty to pay, to purchase or to contribute the Lord’s tithing for those things which the Lord has designated.

Consider the problem for Church headquarters if everyone in the Church lived the United Order and tithing was done away! Where would the Church receive funds to operate or to do all the things which the Lord has designated? The Lord’s tithing is for Him to spend in the way that He has designated.

The Lord indicates that tithing provides for the poor, Church headquarters, the publication of books and Pamphlets, the missionary system, temples, church buildings and other things which He may designate. The United Order is for the benefit of the Saints, but the tithing belongs to the Lord. It was on the principle of tithing coordinated with the principle of the United Order that would open “the windows of heaven, and pour you out a blessing that there shall not be room enough to receive it”. (Mal. 3:10) The [149] tithing system that we have in the Church today could never open any of the windows of heaven, the reason being that a rich man who pays tithing might be living next door to a poor widow who is also paying tithing–and that inequality is an evil which the Lord cannot condone. That is an unjust and unfair system which is not according to the Lord’s law of tithing.

Today in the Church the rich are getting richer the poor are getting poorer. The Lord is not satisfied with that kind of condition among His people even if they are individually paying tithing. The Lord said that “it is not given that one man should possess that which is above another”. (D. & C. 38:27) But under our present system of economies and tithing, all men are unequal in their possessions, and therefore unapproved by the Lord. Only when men live the United Order and then collectively pay a tithe of their surplus to the Lord, can the windows of heaven be opened.

There is another objection for individual payment of tithing–even in a United Order. Let us consider a ward, stake or a whole community living the highest form of the United Order–after the family system. We learn that some men are devoting all of their time and talents to spiritual things, just as the Levites did. The Lord said:

He who is appointed to administer spiritual things, the same is worthy of his hire, even as those who are appointed to a stewardship to administer in temporal things …. Nevertheless, in your temporal things you shall be equal, and this not grudgingly … (D. & C. 70:12, 14)

 

[150] If a man is devoting all of his time to the spiritual things, then he has nothing to pay 10% from. Even a Bishop might be devoting all of his time to the functioning of the Order, not realizing any temporal profits for his labor. A teacher, a missionary, etc., all might be laboring in the Order and never see any money for their work, and it would be impossible for them to pay a tithing. In fact, there may be only a very few men in the Order who would be handling money, doing the merchandising and buying or selling for the whole order. It would certainly not be their responsibility to pay the tithing. Orson Pratt explained:

If they are equally faithful, they are equally beloved of the Lord; and they are equally entitled to food and raiment, and to the good things of the earth. And the bishop has no more claim upon the Lord’s storehouse, than the least member of the Church, only as his time may be more occupied in public matters, which may prevent him from cultivating the earth or engaging in other business avocations. And the same is true in regard to the Twelve, or the First Presidency. The highest officers and the lowest are all one in Christ–children of the same great family. (The Seer, O. Pratt, p. 293)

A properly organized United Order might function for many years with most of the members never handling money. Yet, if the Bishop were paying to Church headquarters a tithe from the surplus of the Order, then all the members would be full tithe payers, and yet equally faithful to the law of consecration! This is the Lord’s law of tithing and [151] United Order. No other system is acceptable to Him. A tithing from the surplus would make them all obedient in the, law of consecration and tithing, and equal as He has commanded.

It would be foolish to think that we must continue to keep living by the gentile money system that we can individually pay tithing. United Order is a law of heaven and it is ridiculous to assume that greenbacks have any place inside the pearly gates! Tithing is a fair law only when it is drawn proportionately from the surplus of the order or community. A true United Order lives like a family–with only a few at the head that control the buying and selling.

Several of the “family” orders in early Church history paid their tithing from the surplus at the end of the year, according to the law of the Lord. In Orderville, Utah, it was part of their law that “ten percent of the net increase of the Order was paid to the Church each year for tithing”. (Building the City of God, Arrington, Fox, & May, p. 276) There were several good reasons for this, and one was that “The Church received tithing from the Order and hence was in a strategic position to maintain control of the order.” (Mormon United Order in Utah, by Angus Woodbury, p. 13) This assured the Church that it was receiving a full tithing from its members–something that has never been achieved under the present system of tithing!

It is difficult to point to a time when the Church was obedient to the law of United Order and Tithing as the Lord commanded. Brigham Young knew this and said:

 

[152]

I sometimes think that I would be willing to give anything, to do almost anything in reason, to see one fully organized Branch of this kingdom–one fully organized Ward. * * * Is there even in this Territory a fully organized Ward? Not one. It may be asked, “Why do you not fully organize the Church?” Because the people are incapable of being organized. I could organize a large Ward who would be subject to a full organization, by selecting families from the different Wards, but at present such a Branch of the Church is not in existence. (J.D. 10:20)

Our tithing system in the Church today is in many respects less equitable, and certainly less fair, than the gentile system of income tax. This tithing system takes the same percentage from everyone, which is easy for the rich, but a burden on the poor. But the income tax takes most from the rich and nothing from the poor–and in some instances the wealth taken from the rich is given to the poor. The income tax is an unconstitutional and an abominable program, because it is enforced upon people, but, nevertheless, it is more fair and just than our individual tithing system. There are several faults to this present tithing system, as noted by some students of Mormonism. For example:

In regard to the financial affairs of the Mormon Church, three criticisms are now common: (1) that the tithing system is inequitable; (2) that the revenues of the church are controlled by a few of its leaders; (3) that the pecuniary interests rather than the social welfare of the people [153] have become the controlling factor in the distribution of its income. (United Order Among the Mormons, Joseph Geddes, p. 66)

Specific purposes for tithing were revealed by Lord when He said:

. . . to administer to the poor and the needy, as shall be appointed by the high council of the church, and the bishop and his council; and for the purpose of purchasing lands for the public benefit of the church, and building houses of worship, and building up of the New Jerusalem which is hereafter to be revealed–that my covenant people may be gathered in one in that day when I shall come to my temple. And this I do for the salvation of my people. (D.& C.42:34-36)

From this we learn that there are at least six important areas for which tithing from the United Order storehouse was to be used:

 

  1. administering to the poor and needy.
  2. purchasing more land.
  3. building houses of worship.
  4. building the New Jerusalem.
  5. gathering Israel.
  6. promoting the temporal and spiritual salvation, of the Saints.

When the Saints seek to accomplish these things with the tithing funds, then the Lord will bless them; but when they do not, He will curse them. He said:

 

[154]

Will a man rob God? Yet ye have robbed me. But ye say Wherein have we robbed thee? In tithes and offerings. Ye are cursed with a curse: for ye have robbed me, even this whole nation. (Mal. 3:8-9)

Too often the tithing from churches, groups or religious organizations is used by a few for investments in business enterprises, which in turn pays dividends or creates lucrative positions for Church leaders rather than for the tithepayers. Often tithing is used by a few for their private expenses or personal use, without the consent, and often without even the knowledge, of the tithepayer. This is priestcraft, and the Lord has–

–commanded that there shall be no priestcrafts; for, behold, priestcrafts are that men preach and set themselves up for a light unto the world, that they may get gain and praise of the world; but they seek not the welfare of Zion. (2 Nephi 26:29)

The Nephites had trouble with priestcraft even after the death of Nehor, the major advocate of it:

Nevertheless, this did not put an end to the spreading of priestcraft through the land; for there were many who loved the vain things of the world, and they went forth preaching false doctrines; and this they did for the sake of riches and honor. (Alma 1:16)

It has persisted and is still prevalent in the land today. Therefore, money taken for tithing but got used as prescribed by the Lord, is priestcraft. For tithing is the Lord’s.

 

[155] United Order was not to be done away by the law of tithing; neither is tithing to be abandoned when this people live the United Order.

Neither has the law of consecration been done away; it is still binding upon the Latter-day Saints. Everyone going through the temple makes an oath and covenant to obey that law. Although the whole temple ceremony has been published many times, it is not understood by Mormon or anti-Mormon. Consider the covenant taken:

Each of you bring your right arm to the square. You and each of you do covenant and promise before God, angels and these witnesses at this altar, that you will keep the Law of Consecration as contained in this the book of Doctrine and Covenants, which is that you do consecrate yourselves, your time, talents and everything with which the Lord has blessed you or with which he may bless you, to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints for the building up of the Kingdom of God on the earth and for the establishment of Zion.

This is another way of saying that we will love God with all our might, mind and strength.

If the Lord had done away with the Law of Consecration, then why did He continue making the Saints covenant to obey it? Or, why do the Saints go through the temple and take this oath and covenant to obey the Law of Consecration, and then come out thinking that consecration was done away? When men make this commitment to consecrate “yourselves, [156] your time, talents, and everything” to the Lord, then they should make every attempt to do so–either collectively or individually so that covenant is not broken. If they don’t, the “windows of heaven” will continue to remain closed to them.

 

[157]                        ORGANIZATIONAL CHART

FOR TITHING AND UNITED ORDER

 

 

[158]                             Chapter 11

 

BUILDING A ZION

I also beheld the redemption of Zion, and many things which the tongue of man cannot describe in full. * * * My scribe also . . . saw, in vision, the armies of heaven protecting the Saints in their return to Zion, and many things which I saw. (Joseph Smith, D.H.C. 2:381)

Zion and Babylon have always been competing with each other. They are as opposite in principle as good and evil; but they can exist only in proportion to the will and works of people. Good people cannot participate or assist in building up Babylon; nor will the wicked people seek to build up Zion. They cannot long exist together.

Babylon is just as pure in its way as is Zion; it is pure evil–for even good, when it becomes contaminated and perverted, becomes an evil. The main thing is that Babylon and Zion cannot mix in any degree; a Zion that makes concessions is no longer Zion. (What is Zion? A Distant View, Hugh Nibley, pp. 3-4)

 

[159] The Lord uses the word “Zion” more frequently any other word in the Doctrine and Covenants. Yet most of the Latter-day Saints scarcely know its meaning. The importance of Zion cannot be over-estimated, for the Prophet Joseph said, “without Zion, and a place of deliverance, we must fall.” (TPJS, p. 71) He also said:

. . . for if Zion will not purify herself, so as to be approved of in all things, He will seek another people; for His work will go on until Israel is gathered, and they who will not hear His voice, must expect to feel His wrath. (TPJS, p. 18)

The Prophet implies that if this people do not establish a Zion, then God will find someone else who will. The work of gathering Israel must continue, in spite of the efforts of those who try to keep them scattered around the world or mixed with those who are not Israel. Furthermore, those who reject these commandments must suffer the wrath of God. Perhaps no injunction upon the Latter-day Saints and its Zion Is as forceful and as imperative as this. The grand purpose for the establishment of a “Zion” is explained by the Lord:

And ye are called to bring to pass the gathering of mine elect; for mine elect hear my voice and harden not their hearts; wherefore the decree hath gone forth from the Father that they shall be gathered in unto one place upon the face of this land, to prepare their hearts and be prepared in all things against the day when tribulation and desolation are sent forth upon the wicked. (D. & C. 29:7-8)

 

[160] In speaking of this Zion, the Lord also says that “there is none other place appointed . . . for the work of the gathering of my saints” and that they should “gather together, and stand in holy places” until the Savior comes to establish the Millennium. (See D. & C. 101:20 & 22)

But to establish Zion, it is first necessary to define what it is. The clearest definition was perhaps written in the book of Moses: “… the Lord called his people Zion, because they were of one heart and one mind, and dwelt in righteousness; and there was no poor among them.” (Moses 7:18)

To obtain a clearer picture of this description, let’s place that scripture into a spectrum–just as light that passes through a prism.

And the Lord called his people Zion, because:

  1. they were of one heart
  2. and one mind
  3. and dwelt in righteousness;
  4. and there was no poor among them.

Conversely, Babylon may also be described by the same measure or analysis, but by using the opposite principles.

  1. They have contentious hearts;
  2. They are disunited in their beliefs;
  3. They dwell in wickedness;
  4. There are many poor among them.

 

[161] It doesn’t require much education to understand which kind of society we are living in today.

We may have answered WHAT Zion is, but now the question arises as to WHERE it is, and how do establish it? According to the scriptures, it begins with the individual and grows until it covers whole continent. For instance:

 

A Person:               The Lord has said “this is Zion–the pure in heart”. (D. & C. 97:21)

 

A Community:

And it is written that “according to the law every man that cometh up to Zion must lay all things before the bishop in Zion” (D. & C. 72:15), which is the law of United Order. And Brigham Young added that “the Latter-day Saints will never accomplish their mission until this inequality shall cease on the earth”. (J.D. 19:47) And further that “this is the way that I the Lord, have decreed to provide for my Saints, that the poor shall be exalted, in that the rich are made low.” (D. & C. 104:16)

 

A Society:

They must be obeying the highest forms of law, for the Lord said, “Zion cannot be built up unless it is by the principles. of the law of the celestial kingdom; otherwise I cannot receive her unto myself. (D. & C.105:5)

 

[162] The Center Stake:

“The Lord has declared it to be his will that his people enter into a covenant, even as Enoch and his people did, which of necessity must be before we shall have the privilege of building the Centre Stake of Zion. for the power and glory of God will be there, and none but the pure in heart will be able to live and enjoy it.” (Brigham Young, J.D. 18:263)

 

The Land of Zion:

“You know there has been great discussion in relation to Zion–where it is, and where the gathering of the dispensation is, and which I am now going to tell you. The prophets have spoken and written upon it; but I will make a proclamation that will cover a broader ground. The whole of America is Zion itself from north to south, and is described by the Prophets, who declare that it is the Zion where the mountain of the Lord should be, and that it should be in the center of the land. When Elders shall take up and examine the old prophecies in the Bible, they will see it.” (Joseph Smith, TPJS, p. 362)

Zion represents heaven on earth. Its people are the pure in heart, and where they dwelt is the land of Zion. God gave a commandment for such a place to be built when he said:

 

[163]

And it shall be called the New Jerusalem, a land of peace, a city of refuge, a place of safety for the saints of the Most High God. And the glory of the Lord shall be there, and the terror of the Lord also shall be there, insomuch that the wicked will not come unto it, and it shall be called Zion. (D. & C. 45:66-67)

Orson Pratt also gives the conditions for building a Zion:

Talk about sanctification, we do not believe in the kind of sanctification taught by the sectarian religion–that they were sanctified at such a minute and such an hour and at such a place while they were praying in secret. We believe in the sanctification that comes by continued obedience to the law of heaven. I do not know of any other sanctification that the Scriptures tell about, of any other sanctification that is worth the consideration of rational beings. If we would be sanctified then, we must begin to-day, or whenever the Lord points out, to obey his laws just as far as we possibly can; and by obedience to these laws we continually gain more and more favor from heaven, more and more of the Spirit of God, and thus will be fulfilled a revelation given in 1834, which says that before Zion is redeemed let the armies of Israel become very great, let them become sanctified before me, that they may be as fair as the sun, clear as the moon, and that their banners may be terrible unto all the nations of the earth. (J.D. 17:112)

 

[164] The purchasing of lands to make this Zion must be according to the laws of heaven:

For it is my will that these lands should be purchased; and after they are purchased that my saints should possess them according to the laws of consecration which I have given. (D. & C. 105:29)

 

Brigham Young also added:

The elements are here to produce as good a Zion as was ever made in all the eternities of the Gods. * * * It is for us, as children of our heavenly Father, to arise and assume the right the law of the Holy Priesthood gives us, and organize the elements for a Zion, and bring it forth, no matter where we are. I would not give much for a religion that is not thus practical. (J.D. 9:285)

It was this type of obedience to law and the resulting sanctification that caused Enoch and his city to have such power with God that they could make the earth to quake and the mountains to fall down: It is this same obedience, sanctification and power of God that will cause a few of this people to go back and redeem Zion. They will be able to fulfill that prophecy only by obedience to the law of heaven called the United Order.

When Jesus prayed to the Father, He prayed for his disciples “that they all may be one; as thou, Father, art in me, and I in thee, that they also may be one in us. … (John 17:21) Only by living in the oneness of the United Order can that prayer be fulfilled.

 

[165] There are perhaps four main reasons why Zion should be established:

 

  1. For economic and social strength and for a place of refuge. (See D. & C. 115:6 & 124:36)

 

  1. For missionary work–to gather the elect Saints to one place from out of the world. (See D. & C. 133:14 & 29:7-8)

 

  1. For establishing the patriarchal domestic relationship in large families. (See D. & C. 132:28-32)

 

  1. For the establishment of the United Order.

The Lord has promised that “if Zion do these she shall prosper, and spread herself and very glorious, very great, and very terrible.” & C. 97:18)

It is apparent that even in the days of Brigham they failed, for he said:

Looking at matters in a temporal point of view, and in the light of strict economy, I am ashamed to see the poverty that exists among the Latter-day Saints. They ought to be worth millions and millions, and millions on millions, where they are not worth a dollar. (J.D. 17:44)

President John Taylor described it in more detail:

We as a people, have come out from Babylon, but we have brought a great amount of these infernal principles with us, [166] and we have been grabbing, grasping, pinching, squeezing, hauling, homing and hooking on every side, and it seems as though every man was for himself and the devil for us all. That is about the position we are in today. We want a change in these things. (J.D. 17:49)

Instead of gathering an elect people to make a Zion, we have scattered the elect and gathered in Babylon and indulged in her wicked practices. Rather than laboring for Zion, we are laboring for gentile money; and we have been warned that “the laborer in Zion shall labor for Zion; for if they labor for money they shall perish”. (2 Nephi 26:31) We are now being deluged with “success” books on how to get rich on stocks, real estate, investments, selling, etc.; but none of them tells us how to build up Zion.

The Lord has warned us that we must bring forth “fruit meet for their Father’s Kingdom; otherwise there remaineth a scourge and judgement to be poured out upon the children of Zion”. (D. & C. 84:58) And again:

Zion shall escape if she observe to do all things whatsoever I have commanded her. But if she observe not to do whatsoever I have commanded her, I will visit her according to all her works, with sore affliction, with pestilence, with plague, with sword, with vengeance, with devouring fire. (D. & C. 97:25-26)

This puts the Latter-day Saints in a very precarious position today. The Lord said in 1834 that Zion could have been redeemed even then (See D.& C. 105:2), and after 150 years, it is still unredeemed.

 

[167] In the parable of the vineyard which depicts the redemption of Zion (D. & C. 101:43-62), the prophecy says that the servants of the Lord were slothful and hearkened not to the commandments of their Lord”; therefore the Lord came and chose others to go and redeem that goodly land. That prophecy will be and is going to be an event that has been the hope and desire of nearly every prophet of God. The Prophet Joseph Smith said:

The building up of Zion is a cause that has interested the people of God in every age; it is a theme upon which prophets, priests and kings have dwelt with peculiar delight; they have looked forward with joyful anticipation to the day in which we live; and fired with heavenly and joyful anticipations they have sung and written and prophesied of this our day; but they died without the sight; we are the favored people that God has made choice of to bring about the Latter-day glory …. (T.P.J.S., p. 231)

But today nearly all the Saints are laboring for money, rather than for Zion. This is a time for every man to ask himself for whom is he laboring.

Our “Zion” in Utah has been transformed into a jungle of money-making schemes, cut-throat competition, mixed with lawyercraft, priestcraft, doctorcraft; and all of this mess is ruled by political parasites.

When God spoke from heaven to Joseph Smith, the people were bound down by Priestcraft, Doctor-craft, King-craft, and [168] Lawyer-craft, which are the four Grand Crafts that uphold Satan’s kingdom. (Brigham Young, Deseret News, Vol. 13, July 12, 1863)

However, Brigham Young appeared optimistic when he said, “We are not going to wait for angels, or for Enoch and his company to-come and build up Zion, but we are going to build it”. (J.D. 9:284) The prospects now look very dim, but this was according to the prophecy of Joseph Smith, who said that “Zion shall yet live, though she seems to be dead”. (T.P.J.S., p. 129)

 

Today Zion not only appears to be dead, but we can scarcely find its skeleton!

The following quotation is a vivid and beautiful description of how and why a Zion should be built!

Making the waste places blossom as the rose, and the earth to yield abundantly of its diverse fruits, therefore, was more than an economic necessity; it was a form of religious worship. As one early leader later wrote, the construction of water ditches was as much a part of the Mormon religion as Water baptism. The redemption of man’s home (the earth) was considered to be as important as the redemption of his soul. The earth, as the future abiding place of God’s people, had to be made productive and fruitful and transformed into a virtual Garden of Eden. (“Religion and Economics in Mormon History”, L. Arrington, BYU Studies 1961; see 3:15-33)

 

[169] Yet the prospects of building Zion a hundred years ago seemed to be an impossibility to Orson Pratt, who said:

I do not know but that it would be an utter impossibility to commence and carry out some principles pertaining to Zion right in the midst of this people. They have strayed so far that to get a people who would conform to heavenly laws, it may be needful to lead some from the midst of this people and commence anew somewhere in the regions round about in these mountains. (J.D. 15:361)

Somehow, someday, a few faithful Elders will rise up, bearing the banners of the Kingdom of God, and will rally together to redeem Zion. To these noble men, who will prove their valiancy to the cause of Zion rather than to the financial plaudits of the gentile kingdoms, will be given the keys and powers to unlock the wealth of the world and the redemption of that promised Zion.

 

 

[170]                             Chapter 12

 

THE INHERITANCES OF THE SAINTS

I, The Lord God, will send one mighty and strong,… to arrange by lot the inheritances of the saints…. (D.&C.85:7)

The above quotation is a portion of a revelation contained in a letter from the Prophet Joseph Smith to W.W. Phelps at Independence, Missouri. After quoting the revelation, the Prophet continued by writing, “… if what I have said is true, how careful men ought to be what they do in the last days, lest they are cut short of their expectations, and they that think they stand should fall, because they keep not the Lord’s commandments….” (D.H.C. 1:299)

In an article dealing with this particular letter, and the revelation it contains, the First Presidency of the Church issued their views in 1907 so the members of the Church could understand their position on the matter. They agreed that the subject of this whole letter to Phelps, and the part “accepted as a revelation, relates to the affairs of the Church in Missouri, the gathering of the Saints to that land and obtaining their inheritances under the law of consecration and stewardship”. (Improvement Era, 10:931)

 

[171] The Lord called Edward Partridge to the office of bishop with a particular mission so the “Saints might be gathered upon the land of Zion” (D. & C. 58:14) and to divide “by lot their inheritances.” At one time Partridge conducted these affairs in a different manner than the revelations designated. Part of his trouble was his “unbelief and blindness of heart”. (D. & C. 58:14-16) These sins were not confined just to Edward, but to the whole Church! The Lord said in 1832:

And your minds in times past have been darkened because of unbelief, and because you have treated lightly the things you have received which vanity and unbelief have brought the whole Church under condemnation. And this condemnation resteth upon the children of Zion, even all. And they shall remain under this condemnation until they repent . . . otherwise there remaineth a scourge and judgment to be poured out upon the children of Zion. (D. & C. 84:54-58)

History clearly shows that the Saints were “cast out from the land of their inheritance” because of the “envyings, strifes, and lustful and covetous desires among them”. (See D. & C. 101:1-8) Brigham Young verified this by saying:

In some of the first revelations which were given to this Church, the Order of Enoch was given for a pattern to this people; and Enoch patterned after the heavens. In the commencement of the Church, the Latter-day Saints could not receive it, and they were driven from city to city, as the [172] Lord said they should be, through the mouth of his servant Joseph, until they should be willing to receive this Order. (J.D. 12:210)

But another significant error in Partridge’s method was that he would give back to the saints a “title to land” as a part of their stewardship, whereas all land titles should have stayed with the Church or Order. This land consecrated to the Church was not to be sold, as individuals had only a stewardship over it. This is a very important factor in building up the hand of Zion and in the receiving of inheritances. The whole land of Zion was meant to be built on this principle.

This plan would also discourage opportunists who might join the group, to acquire an inheritance, and promptly withdraw. Finally, the non-title policy gave Partridge the power, under threat of the forfeiture of the entire stewardship, to enforce standards of workmanship, social behavior, and personal morality among those receiving inheritances. The wealth of the community would never be lost to apostates, trouble-makers, or idlers. (Building the City of God, Arrington, Fox, & May, p. 23)

When a deed or gift was given over to the bishop, the man was at that moment “poor”, after which the Bishop then gave back property as a “loan” or “lease” which became his stewardship, and his inheritance in Zion.

This stewardship covenant was to be continuous, and the property was to be evaluated at the end of the year and then all surplus given to the Bishop. [173] This contract was binding during the life of the man, unless he left the order. It was also binding for his widow and children in the event of the man’s death, and his children also had claim upon the contract until they were of age.

The duties assigned to Bishop Partridge were appointed to others as directed by the Lord,

And let my servant Edward Partridge stand in the office to which I have appointed him, and divide unto the saints their inheritances, even as I have commanded; and also those whom he has appointed to assist him. (D. & C. 57:7)

But the inheritances mentioned in these revelations could be obtained only by obedience to God and the principles of the United Order:

And with one heart and with one mind, gather up your riches that ye may purchase an inheritance which shall hereafter be appointed unto you. (D. & C. 45:65)

And also–

Save all the money that ye can to be enabled to purchase land for an inheritance. (D. & C. 48:4)

Then later the Lord again said:

Wherefore, it is wisdom that the land should be purchased by the saints, and also every tract lying westward, even unto the [174] line running directly between Jew and Gentile; and also every tract bordering by the prairies, inasmuch as my disciples are enabled to buy lands. Behold, this is wisdom that they may obtain it for an everlasting inheritance. (D. & C. 57:4-5)

The object of purchasing land was to consecrate it to the Church, or the United Order, which would in turn build up the territory or nation of Israel for the people. The Lord said:

. . . whoso standeth in his mission is appointed to be a judge in Israel, like as it was IN ANCIENT DAYS, to divide the lands of the heritage of God unto his children. (D. & C. 58:17)

The program of land distribution “as it was in ancient days” was to-assign the tribes an apportionment, or stewardship, for an everlasting inheritance. The grand peak of such a program was achieved under Joshua. Each tribe received their inheritance in Canaan, becoming a separate state or government within a government. The map of this divided inheritance is usually found in every Bible.

 

[175]                           Picture (map)

THE TRIBES OF ISRAEL

1445 B.C.

The Tribes of Israel had reached the peak of their national existence under Joshua. Each tribe received an inheritance. In Canaan and became distinct nation with established boundaries and separate government.

 

[176] This “gathering” of Israel was in obedience to a revelation of God and had divine approval. But, the Israelites sinned by forsaking the covenants the Lord gave them, and eventually became “scattered among the nations,,. We read where “the children of Israel had sinned against the Lord their God . . . and walked in the statutes of the heathen”. (II Kings 17:6-8) Their identity became lost because they were no longer a “peculiar” Or distinct people. They lived like gentiles and became “one” with the gentiles in all their customs, fashions, and laws.

 

The fate of the tribes of Israel has perplexed many historians and scriptorians, but the problem of “where” Israel is or what became of them is not as important to consider as “why” they became lost. We should ask, “Why did they lose their lands, their inheritances, their kingdom, and their rights to the priesthood”? The scriptures indicate that they rejected His statutes” and “followed after vanity”, and “went after the heathen”. It is little wonder that they were taken captive, losing their temporal and spiritual powers–not to mention their separate identity. The Lord warned them that if they sinned against him, He would scatter them among the heathen (see Lev. 33), and to the “coasts of the earth” (Jer. 31:8), and so it was that the Lord said: “I scattered them among the heathen, and they were dispersed through the countries”. (Ezek. 36:17)

Thus, Israel failed to keep their inheritances and land titles, and were unable to stay gathered. During the time of Christ, Jesus tried to gather the house of Israel back together, declaring that He was “not sent but to the lost sheep of the house of Israel” (Matt. 15:24). Even His Apostles attempted to gather them together from their long dispersion. The [177] Apostle James wrote a letter “to the twelve tribes which are scattered abroad” (James 1:1); but their efforts also failed. It was not until nearly 2,000 years later that the Lord made another attempt to gather them together again.

In our dispensation, the Lord gave instructions that land titles should be kept by the Church, even though the person holding the stewardship over it should apostatize and leave.

If he shall transgress and is not accounted worthy to belong to the church, he shall not have power to claim that portion which he has consecrated unto the bishop for the poor and needy of my church;. . . but shall only have claim on that portion that is deeded unto him. (D. & C. 51:5)

The Prophet Joseph added the same counsel:

I would inform you that it is not the will of the Lord for you to sell your lands in Zion . . . . (TPJS, p. 31) Zion should not be removed out of her place; therefore, the land should not be sold, but be held by the Saints, (TPJS, p. 33)

And again–

Concerning inheritances, you are bound by the law of the Lord, to give a deed, securing to him who receives inheritances, his inheritance, for an everlasting inheritance, or in other words, to be his individual property, his private stewardship, and if he is found a transgressor and should be cut off, [178] out of the church, his inheritance is his still, and he is delivered over to the buffetings of Satan, till the day of redemption. But the property which he consecrated to the poor, for their benefit and inheritance and stewardship (in other words, his surplus), he cannot obtain again by the law of the Lord. Thus you see the propriety of the law, that rich men cannot have power to disinherit the poor by obtaining again that which they have consecrated. (Contributor 6:7)

The Lord said that, “No man among you shall call it his own, or any part of it, for it shall belong to you all with one accord”. (D. & C. 104:62)

The basic principles upon which an inheritance was obtained were predicated upon the following premises:

 

  1. An inheritance was obtained through consecration.

 

  1. Titles of land were given to the Order or Church.

 

  1. Land could not be sold to Gentiles.

 

  1. If a person left the order, he could not have claim upon land title, but only his stewardship.

 

  1. Inheritances would continue to be held by widows and their children.

 

  1. The laws of God were to be obeyed, as they were anciently, for the benefit of all Israel.

 

[179]

  1. Every Saint had his free agency to improve his stewardship.

 

  1. All temporal efforts were utilized for the building up of Zion and the Kingdom of God.

Thus, the Lord has shown His people how to receive an inheritance, and Brigham Young explained when:

When shall we receive our inheritances so that we may say they are our own? When the Savior has completed the work, when the faithful Saints have preached the Gospel to the last of the spirits who have lived here and who are designed to come to this earth; when the thousand years of rest shall come and thousands and thousands of temples shall be built, and the servants and handmaids of the Lord shall have entered therein and officiated for themselves, and for their dead friends back to the days of Adam; when the last of the spirits in prison who will receive the gospel has received it; when the Savior comes and receives his ready bride, and all who can be saved in various kingdoms of God–celestial, terrestrial, and telestial, according to their several capacities and opportunities; when sin and iniquity are driven from the earth, and the spirits that now float in this atmosphere are driven into the place prepared for them; and when the earth is sanctified from the effects, of the fall, and baptized, cleansed and purified by fire, and returns to its paradisiacal state, and has become like a sea of glass, a urim and thummim; when all this is done, and the [180] Savior has presented the earth to his Father, and it is placed in the cluster of the celestial kingdoms, and the Son and all his faithful brethren and sisters have received the welcome plaudit–“Enter ye into the joy of your Lord,” and the Savior is crowned, then and not till then, will the Saints receive their everlasting inheritances. I want you to understand this. We seem to have something now, but how long shall we keep it? (J.D. 17:117)

Orson Pratt also gave the Saints a sombre bit of advice for gaining this everlasting inheritance:

Use every exertion to flee out from the corruptions of the Gentiles, and to obtain for yourselves an everlasting inheritance among the people of God; for the day of the wicked is far spent, their sun will soon go down in the midst of clouds and thick darkness–a long and dreary night awaits them; but upon such as fear the Lord, and keep His commandments the sun of righteousness will arise, and their day will be glorious; and their sun shall no more go down; for God will be unto them an everlasting light; which shall shine for evermore. (The Seer, pp. 168-69)

Jesus told His disciples that whatever they had “forsaken”, or consecrated for the cause of the gospel would be returned “an hundredfold”. (Matt. 19:29; see also D. & C. 76:19 & 132:55)

The Prophet Joseph also added a similar exhortation to the Saints:

 

[181]

All men who become heirs of God and joint heirs with Jesus Christ will have to receive the fulness of the ordinances of his kingdom; and those who will not receive all the ordinances will come short of the fulness of that glory, if they do not lose the whole. (TPJS, p. 309)

The Latter-day Saints have not been able to rid themselves of the spirit of speculation. Today the Mormons are into the real estate business of buying and selling to anyone, anytime–just for the profit. No one is purchasing land to consecrate it to the Church. The principle of purchasing land and consecrating it to the Church, or the United Order for an inheritance has been abandoned. If someone would ask a Bishop to receive the consecration for a stewardship and inheritance, there wouldn’t be a Bishop in the Church that would know how to go about it nor would they know if it could even be done. Earlier, this had been the specific duty and responsibility of a Bishop, according to the revelations of the Lord.

But in spite of the many admonitions and warnings, the Saints, in general, failed to consecrate their land, choosing rather to speculate upon it for personal profit. The Apostle Orson Pratt commented upon this failure by saying:

We find, therefore, that the Lord drove out this people because we were unworthy to receive our inheritances by consecration. As a people, we did not strictly comply with that which–the Lord required. Neither did they comply in Kirtland. Many of those persons were called by name to enter into an [182] inferior order, afterwards called The Order of Enoch in which only a portion of their property was consecrated, and even they did not comply, but some of them broke the most sacred and solemn covenants made before high heaven in relation to that order. The Lord said concerning them that they should be delivered over to the buffetings of Satan in this world, as well as be punished in the world to come. He also told them that that soul that sinned and would not comply with the covenant and promise which they made before him in relation to their properties, should have his former sins returned to him, which had been before remitted in baptism.

This ought to be an example for us who are living at a later period in the history of the Church of the living God, and who ought, by this time, to have become thoroughly experienced in the law of God. (J.D. 15:358)

As alluded to already in this chapter, the Lord intended that righteous Israel would receive both temporal and spiritual inheritances, pertaining to both this mortal sphere as well as in eternity. Jesus said, “The meek shall inherit the earth”, which refers to their eternal inheritances. This is further explained:

And I hold forth and deign to give unto you greater riches, even a land of promise, a land flowing with milk and honey, upon which there shall be no curse when the Lord cometh; and I will give it unto you for the land of your inheritance, if you seek it with all your hearts. And this shall be my covenant with you, ye shall have it for the land of [183] your inheritance, and for the inheritance of your children forever, while the earth shall stand, and ye shall possess it again in eternity, no more to pass away. (D. & C. 38: 18-20)

Thus, the blessings of an inheritance, according to the Lord’s law, cannot be over-estimated, because they are eternal in their nature. (See also D. & C. 63:20 & 48)

Speaking of the eternal and everlasting inheritances that would be given to the Saints, the Lord spoke of the resurrection:

And then shall the angels be crowned with the glory of his might, and the saints shall be filled with his glory, and receive their inheritance and be made equal with him. (D. & C. 88:107)

Gaining for ourselves an “inheritance” is more than just obtaining a piece of real estate. When the Saints learn to consecrate everything to the Lord, they are gaining an inheritance that will last through all eternity and will be a richness beyond the powers of understanding. Orson Pratt reasoned this way:

Oh, ye Saints of the latter days, don’t forget the high destiny that awaits you. An eternity is before you, which has no end; a boundless space surrounds you, filled with an infinitude of worlds, The kingdoms, principalities, and heavenly powers that fill all the vast expanse are yours; the heights, and depths, the lengths, and breadths, the riches and honors, the wisdom and excellency, the [184] knowledge and power, the glory of all things, and the fulness of all things, are yours forever and ever. (The Seer, p. 300)

After our mission on earth is finished and we stand in the resurrection to receive our everlasting inheritance, it will then be realized what our sacrifices and consecrations in mortality have been. What offerings and consecrations are this people making today? How many Saints understand what an inheritance in Zion really is? How many Saints today are trying to gain an everlasting inheritance?

Once many of the Saints sought with all their hearts to gain an inheritance in Zion–today it is not even mentioned. But now is the time for Saints to be striving for this eternal blessing, and say as Orson Hyde, “I count an inheritance in the kingdom of God greater than anything that this world can afford”. (J.D. 4:215)

 

 

[185]                             Chapter 13

 

THE HONORABLE LAWS OF THE LAND

We believe in being subject to kings, presidents, rulers, and magistrates, in obeying, honoring, and sustaining the law. (12th Article of Faith)

In Thompson, near Kirtland, Ohio, some of the Latter-day Saints; attempted to organize themselves into a United Order. But, before a full organization could be completed, according to the principles of consecration, some of the wealthy members backed out. They turned to the gentile civil courts and sued the Church. This was a serious blow to the establishment of the United Order in its earliest attempt, because they won the case, causing the collapse of the order. The Saints learned from this early lesson that it was necessary to organize, purchase land, and deed properties according to the laws of the land; otherwise, the gentiles and the apostates would have power to destroy and rob them of their property.

This rule of obeying the law of the land in temporal affairs was also confirmed by the Lord who said, “Organize yourselves according to the laws of man; that your enemies may not have power over you”. (D. & C. 44:4-5)

 

[186] And again, “Let no man break the laws of the land, for he that keepeth the laws of God hath no need to break the laws of the land”. (D. & C. 58:21)

It was evident that the Saints could, according to the laws of the land, acquire the land they needed, gain titles and deeds, and organize themselves into a United Order. Furthermore, by doing so, they would be under the protection of those laws from enemies or apostates who might create trouble for them. The Lord made it clear that He had been instrumental in the establishment of the U.S. Constitution for this very purpose. (See. D. & C. 98:5-6)

One of the main problems the Saints had was the constant changing of laws by those in public office, who violated their oath of office. Many of these politicians made rules, regulations and even laws, which were against the Constitution. The Prophet Joseph Smith was aware of this fickle nature of man, both in and out of public office, and said:

Laws and opinions, like the vanes on steeples, change with the wind. One Congress passes a law, another repeals it; and one statesman says that the Constitution means this, and another that; and who does not know that all may be wrong?” (Powers and Policies of Government, pp. 25-26)

Devising a practical equitable, and trouble free United Order system according to the laws of the land was a most exhaustive labor. Many systems and policies were tried. It seemed that lawyers and apostates were the major problems for those early Saints. Brigham Young said:

 

[187]

I say to the Latter-day Saints that the only reason why we do not take up the subject and enter into the Order of Enoch or a city of Enoch, is simply because we have not been able to find every item of law bearing upon this matter, so as to organize in a way that apostates cannot trouble us. This is the only reason. This is a matter that I am paying particular attention to, with some of my brethren. As soon as we can accomplish this, and get an instrument that lawyers cannot pick to pieces, and destroy, we expect to get up this institution and enter most firmly into it. (J.D. 16:122)

The Lord gave many instructions to the Saints pertaining to the purchasing of lands in Missouri. It was a very important item of their faith, and in some cases they were commanded to do it. Orson Pratt commented:

And lest the churches should be negligent and slothful upon this subject, the Lord told them that it was his will that the disciples should “purchase the whole region of country, as soon as time would permit”. “Behold, here,” saith the Lord, “is wisdom. Let them do this lest they receive none inheritance, save it be by the shedding of blood”.

It would appear from this, that unless the “whole region” should be purchased by the Saints, they were to receive “none inheritance” there; and at the same time an intimation was given, that unless the Saints were faithful and expeditious to do this, there would be a “shedding of blood”. (The New Jerusalem, p. 16)

 

[188] The Lord explained these conditions and reasons:

Behold, the land of Zion–I, the Lord, hold it in mine own hands; nevertheless, I, the Lord, render unto Caesar the things which are Caesar’s. Wherefore, I the Lord will that ye should purchase the lands, that you may have advantage of the world, that you may have claim on the world, that they may not be stirred up unto anger. (D. & C. 63:25-27)

After the Saints failed to obey these instructions, they were forced into the wilderness to make another attempt. Thousands of deeds were made to the Church, but they were “delayed for a time in order to obtain the form of a deed which should be legal according to the laws of the Territory”.

In 1854 these deeds were conveyed to Brigham Young, trustee-in-trust, and not to the Presiding Bishop of the Church, which was “departing from the letter of the revelations and from the practice in Jackson County, Missouri, twenty years earlier”. (Building the City of God, Arrington, Fox & May, p. 69)

The deeds were never transferred, for it seemed they wanted to make them binding within the limits of the law.

The hostility of the federal territorial courts to any aspect of Mormon life departing from greater American norms loomed as a constant threat, making incorporation advisable as a protection against suits by apostates. (Ibid. p. 203)

 

[189] Brigham made a very clear statement regarding these “laws of the land” and the reasons that Mormons were trying to comply with them.

. . . we have to bow to the whims and caprices of the ignorant, and to the prejudice of the wilful, ignorant sectarianism. We are under the necessity of getting up our constitution or the articles of our association so that they will agree with existing statutes and be legal, that we can carry on business as we wish without being infringed upon or molested by anybody. (J.D. 17:157)

However, it was only a few years later that trouble again came to the Mormon people regarding their property. This time the laws and constitution of the land were ruthlessly disregarded by the United States legislators. They passed the Poland bill which divested the Mormon dominated probate courts of criminal jurisdiction, so any apostate could take a particular United Order group into the courts and collect as much as $20,000 in cash. An apostate brother named Copeland in Beaver sued his former Order, in the gentile courts, and received $10,000 settlement.

 

From an editorial in The Evening and Morning Star to “The Elders stationed in Zion” came the following advice in support of the laws of the land:

We would advise in the first place, that every disciple if in his power, pay his just debts, so as to owe no man, and then if he has any property left, let him be careful of it; and he, can help the poor by consecrating some for their inheritance; for as yet there [190] has not been enough consecrated to plant the poor in inheritances according to the regulation of the church and the desire of the faithful.

This might have been done had such as had property been prudent. It seems as though a notion was prevalent in Babylon that the Church of Christ was a common stock concern. This ought not so to be, for it is not the case. When a disciple comes to Zion for an inheritance it is his duty, if he has anything to consecrate to the Lord, for the benefit of the poor and the needy, or to purchase lands, to consecrate it according to the law of the Lord and also according to the law of the land; and the Lord has said that in keeping His law we have no need to break the laws of the land. And we have abundant reason to be thankful that we are permitted to establish ourselves under the protection of a government that knows no exceptions to sect or society, but gives its citizens a privilege of worshipping God according to their own desire. (United Order Among the Mormons, Geddes, p. 63)

And then was added:

But to suppose that we can come up here and take possession of this land by the shedding of blood, would be setting at naught the law of the glorious gospel, and also the word of our great Redeemer; and to suppose that we can take Possession of this country, without making regular purchases of the same according to the laws of our nation, would be reproaching this great republic, in [191] which the most of us were born, and under whose auspices we all have protection. (Ibid., p. 64)

Christian laws and gentile laws have always had conflicts; but the United Order was a principle that would suffer as much from within as it would from without. The laws of the land were serving a double purpose:

The decision to organize the branches of the Order under the territorial law of incorporation provoked regret, if not dissatisfaction, among those who longed for a system cemented by unselfishness and brotherly love. A legally corporate Order controlled by stock-voting, seemingly similar to the co-ops, stood in stark contrast to their expected “family-type” Order with all working for all and no account kept in terms of money wages. The presidency answered that although all communities would eventually take that form, people were not yet ready for a perfect system; consequently, accepting the legally incorporated form meant a move toward the goal. In rare cases where the members were willing and eager to adopt the family pattern, it was advised that account should be kept by a credit and debit system of the contributions in goods and labor and of the consumption of each individual. Thus, misunderstandings over supposed inequality and discrimination would be avoided. (Building the City of God, Arrington, Fox & May, p. 151)

 

[192] The more we study these statements about honoring the laws of the land, the more we learn that they apply to titles, land purchases, deeds, conveyances, abstracts, etc., but do not apply to doctrines or religious principles. Notice Brigham Young’s advice:

. . . we are at liberty from this Conference, to go and build up a settlement, or we can join ourselves together in this city, do it legally–according to the laws of the land–and enter into covenant with each other by a firm agreement that we will live as a family, that we will put our property into the hands of a committee of trustees, who shall dictate the affairs of this society. (J.D. 16:8)

It was at this point in history there came a major conflict between the laws of God and the laws of man. Obeying the laws of the land means that men should obey laws that pertained to the land–not to laws opposing religious principles or doctrines. This has always been a problem for prophets, patriarchs, apostles and all the Saints. The laws of the land were meant for the protection and the good of all–but those laws could not infringe on the inalienable rights or the common law of man.

The laws of the land pertain to the land, but not to religion. But notice how a vicious law actually was used against the Mormons:

As the destruction of the Brigham City cooperative sawmill project at Marsh Valley, Idaho, illustrates, Mormons were subject to harsh, arbitrary applications of the law at the hands of hostile federal appointees. [193] Church leaders wanted to break with traditional economic and social usages, inaugurating a new, more just order, but were hindered by the knowledge that hostile judges were scrutinizing their every act, prepared to bring the full weight of the law to combat any activities contrary to accepted American practice. (Building the City of God, Arrington, Fox & May, p. 162)

But the Saints could not compromise if rules, regulations, laws or the whims of courts should contradict the laws of God. The Lord said that “Zion cannot be built up unless it is by the principles of the law of the celestial kingdom; otherwise I cannot receive her unto myself”, (D. & C. 105:5) Neither did the Saints need to worry about defending themselves or fighting to defend the laws of God, for He said, “I will fight your battles”. (D. & C. 105:14)

The people of the United States did not abide by the laws of their own Constitution, for they confiscated the land of the Mormons, sanctioned the depredations of mobs, allowed the Saints to be driven from state to state, and finally forced them into the wilderness territory. Even this was not enough, for they soon sent an army out to destroy them; then they made direct laws against the rights and religion of the Mormons. The Latter-day Saints believed in honoring and sustaining the constitutional laws of the land–but the people of the United States didn’t!

President John Taylor said that, “There are certain principles that emanate from God; but we have to protect ourselves in carrying them out, and make. them conform, as near as we can, to the laws of the land.” (J.D. 17:178) But this did not mean [194] sacrificing the laws of God to the laws of man. Jesus said that he would “render unto Caesar the things which are Caesar’s; and unto God the things that are God’s”. (Matt. 22:21) It was again repeated in our dispensation. (See.D. & C. 63:26) This indicates a definite distinction between church and state, or property and religion, or the temporal and the spiritual. Only dictators assume the right to make laws of the land that dictate man’s religion. Religious freedom is supposed to be protected by the Constitution and by those men who take an oath to defend it. God does not expect man to give up his religion to the unrighteous demands of political tyrants.

Governments cry for a “separation of church and state”, but it also applies that there must be a separation of state from church. Almost every government that ever existed has trampled on the rights of religious freedom. In the United States, both state and federal governments have made some of the most violent abuses against religious freedom. The separation of church and state must apply both ways.

An important concept in Mormon theology is obedience to the laws of the land; but we cannot sustain and obey any unjust, immoral, unconstitutional or tyrannical law just because it is law. Neither should men submit to any form of unholy law opposing the law of God. We believe in “honoring and sustaining the law” if it is honorable and worthy of sustaining. We also claim and demand the “privilege of worshipping Almighty God according to the dictates of our own conscience, (11th Article of Faith), but not submitting to a law that demands us to act against our conscience. Laws are often created by biased and unwise men. It is not proper to meekly [195] submit to statutes, rules and regulations that are unconstitutional just because it has become passed by some agency of government. Submission to unjust law is voluntary servitude. Men must defend their inalienable rights and make appeals to civil authority for any infraction of civil or religious liberties. (See all of D. & C. 134) When any injustice, or denial of liberty, is enforced by a government through some vicious or prejudicial law, the Lord instructs His people to appeal for a redress of their wrongs:

Let them importune at the feet of the judge; and if he heed them not, let them importune at the feet of the governor; and if the governor heed them not, let them importune at the feet of the president; and if the president heed them not, then will the Lord arise and come forth out of his hiding place, and in this fury vex the nation. And in his hot displeasure, and in his fierce anger in his time, will cut off those wicked, unfaithful, and unjust stewards, and appoint them their portion among hypocrites, and unbelievers; even in outer darkness, where there is weeping, and wailing, and gnashing of teeth. (D. & C. 86:91)

Religious liberty is more sacred than civil liberty, being a part of the inalienable rights of man. No man or set of men have the just power to deprive anyone of their sacred rights. Therefore, “whatsoever God hath joined together (as marriage, United Order, or whatever) let not man put asunder” (Matt. 19:6). Certainly God will not honor a dishonorable law; nor does he expect any good man to obey an evil law.

 

 

[196]                             Chapter 14

 

OUR CONTEMPORARY (OR CONTEMPTIBLE)

SOCIETY

But I know that there is no man on this earth who can call around him property, be he a merchant, tradesman, or farmer, with his mind continually occupied with: “How shall I get this or that; how rich can I get; or, how much can I get out of this brother or from that brother?” and dicker and work, and take advantage here and there–no such man ever can magnify the priesthood nor enter the celestial kingdom. (Brigham Young, J.D. 11:297)

The Savior made a parallel between our generation and that of Noah’s–not because of heavy rainfall or large ships–but because of the necessity for the whole world to be cleansed. The time has long passed for the Latter-day Saints to decide which course they wish to pursue–following the worldly to their inevitable collapse and destruction, or seeking to obey the laws and principles of heaven which God has already given them. Brigham Young described our conditions to Mosiah Hancock, who said:

He <Young> conversed freely on the situation of the Saints in the mountains, and said that he dreaded the time when the Saints would become popular with the world; [197] for he had seen in sorrow, in a dream, or in dreams, this people clothed in the fashions of Babylon and drinking in the spirit of Babylon until one could hardly tell a Saint from a black-leg. (Life of Mosiah Hancock, pp. 73-74)

Then Brigham Young added:

Many of this people for the sake of riches and popularity, will sell themselves for that which will canker their souls and lead them down to misery and despair. It would be better for them to dwell in wigwams among the Indians than to dwell with the gentiles and miss the glories which God wishes them obtain. I wish my families would see the point and come forth before it is too late; for oh, I can see a tendency in my families to hug the moth-eaten customs of Babylon to their bosoms. This is far more hurtful to them than the deadly viper; for the poisons of the viper can be healed by the power of God, but the customs of Babylon will be hard to get rid of. (Ibid., pp. 73-74)

The Apostle Orson Pratt also understood the traditions, customs and temptations of the gentiles for he said:

The Gentile god has great influence even over the Saints; consequently it will take years to eradicate covetousness from our hearts; as our President has told us that the law relating to a full consecration of our property would perhaps be one of the last [198] laws that would be fulfilled before the coming of Christ. Much patience and forbearance will need to be exercised before the Saints will get completely rid of their old traditions, Gentile notions, and whims about property, so as to come to that perfect law required of them in the revelations of Jesus Christ. (J.D. 2:261)

One of the principal objectives of the United Order was to protect the Mormon people from the catastrophic events that will befall the world. The Saints had been warned and fore-warned of the impending doom and collapse of gentile Babylon. If the Mormon people will not take the precautions to separate themselves from the gentile economic, social and moral system, they too will be destroyed in the great fall of Babylon. The Lord warned the Saints of these judgments:

Be diligent in keeping all my commandments, lest judgments come upon you, and your faith fail you, and your enemies triumph over you. (D. & C. 136:42)

And,

 

. . . inasmuch as they keep not my commandments, and hearken not to observe all my words, the kingdoms of the World shall prevail against them. (D. & C. 103:9)

Babylon is a snare to Mormonism; it is a dangerous quicksand, innocent in appearance, but deadly to the unwary trespasser. Their politics, economy, education, morality, and laws are diametrically opposed to the doctrines of the Lord.

 

[199] Even the Mormon Church school system has been infiltrated by gentilism. Brigham Young University was established to refute these philosophies of the world, but according to Dr. Hugh Nibley, it has failed:

We have enough and to spare at present in these mountains of schools where . . . the teachers . . . dare not mention the principles of the gospel to their pupils, but have no hesitancy in introducing into the classroom the theories of Huxley, or Darwin, or of Mill and the false political economy which contends against co-operation and the United Order. (BYU Today, Nov. 1982)

But it is the economic evils of the world that are bringing some of the worst corruptions and practices among the Mormon people. Perhaps one of the greatest evils of our time is the vast inequity between the poor and the rich. Another evil, which is unnecessary, is the constant “inflation-depression” cycle which is created for the benefit of the bankers. These situations are created–they are not accidents. Today the Mormon people are being trained in the worldly crafts of banking, politics and law.

Depressions are inevitable, and the next major depression will be the worst. The Saints should become aware of the causes and indicators leading up to a depression. There are several similarities between the conditions and events of the 1929 crash and those of our own time:

 

Debt:      Just prior to the depression, personal income had an 88% obligation to debt. It is almost identical today.

 

[200]

Housing:                Home building and real estate sales slumped off. Today we are all aware of the great drop in home building and the sale of real estate.

 

Inflated Interest:

Interest on loans doubled in only a few years. We have seen it more than double within the last few years.

 

Auto Production:

Automobile production tapered off to 50% during the first half of 1929. This past year (1982) only one American ear company made a profit, another went bankrupt, and the rest lost money.

 

Stock Market Rise:

Wild speculation pushed the stock market to an all-time high. Today (1983) we have just passed through the highest peak on the market.

Many other parallels and similarities are evident. Even the best and most renowned economists say that we are headed for a depression of the worst possible kind. They are beginning to say the same things that prophets have foretold for centuries.

The great depression of 1929 affected almost everyone; and when the stock market fell, it caught many who had invested with wild speculation and with borrowed money. The people who lost so heavily were unable to buy anything. This stopped production, which in turn caused lay-offs. Wages went to the bottom. Unemployment continued until 25% of the work force were looking for jobs. There were no food stamps, welfare payments, or unemployment checks. Anyone who had a mortgage on his home, car or farm, and lost his job, simply had those things taken away from him.

 

[201] Corn sold as low as $.10 a bushel and wheat went for $.20. Hogs arrived at Chicago stockyards and were bought for $3.00 per 100 pounds and cattle at $5.00 a hundredweight–which was too low to pay for the freight to get them there. Men of wealth suffered such losses that they sold apples on the street. In the cities, families doubled up in homes.

On March 6, 1933, Franklin Roosevelt ordered a closing of all banks in the United States to prevent any more destruction or runs on them. Electric companies, railroads, newspapers and other companies made their own scrip which was honored by many businesses as money. People lived on $5.00 to $10.00 a week. Some lived in chicken houses, garages, or even tents. They stood in lines to buy a bowl of cereal for a penny. There were bread lines, soup lines, and people migrating in lines.

 

[202] All along the railroad yards were hastily made shacks with men–not just bums, but Professional men who were searching for jobs or money so they could provide something for their families who were struggling for survival. One girl passing by these shanty towns on her way to school said, “That is when I learned that grown men cried–from hunger, anger, loneliness and frustration”.

When people live in an inflationary period, everyone borrows on high interest, to the benefit of the bankers. When a depression hits, the people can’t pay their debts, so the bankers foreclose. The People always lose and the bankers always win. The Lord gives a key to who Possesses the power and control of the people:

The stranger that is within thee shall get up above thee very high; and thou shalt come down very low. He shall lend to thee, and thou shalt not lend to him; he shall be the head, and thou shalt be the tail. (Deut. 28:44-45)

What really happened in 1929? Sheldon Emry explained:

Bankers, the source of America’s money and credit, had deliberately withheld $8 billion from circulation by refusing loans to stable and growing industries, stores, and farmers. At the same time they demanded Payment on existing loans so that money was rapidly taken out of circulation and was not replaced. America was put in a “depression” and in deep trouble. Goods were available to be purchased, jobs waiting to be done, but [203] little money. Twenty-five per cent of the workers were laid off. Banks took possession of tens of thousands of farms and businesses on foreclosures. (Billions for the Bankers, Emry, p. 4)

But many years before the depression, these bankers had manipulated their way into the United States Government. Great wealth is great Power. It not only can make paupers and slaves out of people, but it can buy good seats in politics, controlling businesses, judges, and the leaders of state and federal government. These national and international bankers gained their greatest victory in December of 1913. They carefully waited until the Christmas holidays, when most Congressmen were gone, having their own congressmen available to vote for “The Federal Reserve Act”. The “Federal Reserve” is a private banking house, but was so named to lead people into believing that it was a government agency.

This is what resulted. The Federal Reserve (the International Bankers) printed a billion dollars in money, which probably cost them about $500. Then they loaned it to the Government with interest, and the Government gave them $1 billion in bonds as security. Wars were created so the Government borrowed more money from the bankers. After World War I and II, Korea and Viet Nam, the American citizens are paying just the interest on this loan, and there is no hope of ever paying the principle. The Government tells us how much money they owe, but they never tell us they are paying it to the big bankers.

 

[204] There was also another benefit for the bankers. The bonds given to the Reserve Banks are solid assets. The U.S. banking laws require only a 10% reserve for loans, so these bankers now loan out $10 billion (or up to ten times the amount of the value of $1 billion in bonds), to private customers, with interest. All this goes on with their original cost of $500 in printing expenses for each $1 billion. Sheldon Emry said:

The Bankers who control the money at the top are able to approve or disapprove large loans to large and successful corporations to the extent that refusal of a loan will bring about a reduction in the price that that Corporation’s stock sells for on the market. After depressing the price, the Bankers” agents buy large blocks of the stock, after which the sometimes multimillion dollar loan is approved, the stock rises, and is then sold for a profit. In this manner, billions of dollars are made with which to buy more stock. This practice is so refined today that the Federal Reserve Board need only announce to the newspapers an increase or decrease in their “rediscount rate to send stocks up ,and down as they wish. Using this method since 1913, the Bankers and their agents have purchased secret or open control of almost every large corporation in America. Using that control they then force the corporations to borrow huge sums from their banks so that corporation earnings are siphoned off in the form of interest to the banks. This leaves little as actual “profits” which can be paid as dividends and explains why stock prices are so [205] depressed, while the banks reap billions in interest from corporate loans. In effect, the bankers get almost all of the profits, while individual stockholders are left holding the bag. (Billions for the Bankers, Emry, p. 8-9)

In 1913 another illegal and unconstitutional agency was pawned off on the American people–the Internal Revenue Service. This was an agency created to collect money from the private earnings of the people, to pay off the debts created by wars, inflation and depression.

When a war is not being created, then other manipulations are promoted to get the Government into debt. Suddenly the Government decides to give money away for “foreign aid”, “easing tensions”, “increased relations”, “minority programs”, “disaster areas”, “military preparedness”, and every other project down to and including the study of the breeding habits of the whooping crane. Anything to create more debt. And as if this weren’t enough, the Government began to go into business–always losing money. Popular losses like Amtrak, land management, and thousands of other businesses not only are always losing money, but operate in competition to private businesses, who pay taxes to this giant competitor! The Federal Government now operates more than 25,000 corporate units competing with private enterprise. Most of these operate at staggering losses, even though they pay no property taxes.

According to figures tabulated by the Liberty Amendment Committee, the Federal Government now owns more than 20% of all industrial properties and some 40% of all the land mass of the United States. [206] The Government owns, illegally and unconstitutionally, more land than is found east of the Mississippi River! As more and more land goes into Government hands, that land comes off the tax rolls and the owners of private land must make up the difference. Gradually federal controls are imposed on lands still held in private hands in the form of “land use” and “regional planning” regulations.

The city, county, and state laws are all being replaced by new federal laws and regulations.

The object of good government is to protect the citizen in his rights of freedom, but today the Government demands the freedom to take away the rights of its citizens.

The work of the Lord is to bless, build, give, and help; but the devil always destroys, takes away, curses, and steals.

Many government “humanitarian” projects are actually grafts. Our foreign aid only produces more countries to stand in line for handouts. Taxes are created to support more give-away programs, and welfare which, in turn, only encourages more people to get welfare.

If a thief meets a man on the street and takes his wallet, we call it robbery. But when the Government takes money from a man, we call it “legal”. The difference is that the robber may never rob the man again, but the Government is there every payday. No one knows what the robber does with the money he takes; similarly no one has ever been able to audit the Internal Revenue Service.

 

[207] Money spent by some departments of the Government is often diametrically opposed to that spent by other departments. For instance, one department will pay the farmers not to plant crops, while another agency pays for dams to help the farmer irrigate more land for more crops. One agency will spend billions for arms to destroy other countries–then another department will spend billions to help rebuild them. One department is spending for peace–another for war. One agency is taking money away from the people while another is giving it away to others. One is buying dairy products from the farmers to keep the prices high; another is giving the products free to the people who can’t afford to pay those high prices established by Government.

Our political and economic experts are always blaming the people for the economic mess we are in. They blame the workers for inflation, the president for recession, and the American dollar for devaluation. These experts are always creating another remedy–a new tax on gas, tires, autos, cigarettes or personal income. They say the answer to every problem is another tax–they want to give us more of the medicine that made us sick in the first place!

Many people are turning to the Constitution to help protect them in their rights against the monster that is eating them up. Over 22 million people are refusing to pay their income tax, and many millions of people are resorting to help from private churches, such as Universal Life Church (second largest church in the U.S.). Others resort to every tax loophole available. But the Government doesn’t seem to get the message that the people are fed up with taxation, their foolish spending programs, and the unconstitutional agencies that are making thousands of these outlandish laws.

 

[208] At the turn of the century, the national debt was in the millions; today it is a trillion. The average American paid no income tax, few other taxes, and had almost no debt. Today he pays over half his income into numerous taxes and debts.

Just before the Federal Reserve was established in 1913, the federal debt was about $12.00 per citizen; but today it is nearly $4,000 per person!

Owning your own home was the American dream and most people did. The average home today is valued at $80,000. To borrow the money and pay it back with interest, the homeowner will pay the bankers over $250,000–$170,000 of it goes for usury.

If Congress would have followed the Constitution, creating their own money and regulating it, instead of trusting the bankers, there would be no national debt, nor $4 trillion in other debts. Money going into circulation would remain there, as the medium of exchange that it was meant to be.

The theory is often advanced, both in public and private, that the borrowing of big money is the beginning of prosperity. The people have become educated to this misleading and fallacious idea. That one generation can assume the prerogative to borrow money and burden not only itself but the subsequent one with debt, in order that it may establish some public convenience, necessity, or luxury, is apparent. Indeed, the greater part of our much vaunted public prosperity today is but the spending of borrowed money. (The United Order, Midgley, 16)

 

[209] Jefferson once said that “Men are the agents of their own destruction, and debt is surely one of the fastest means towards-that end.” In fact, debt is disastrous. The loss of work or income, sickness, death or a multitude of calamities can wipe out the profits of many years due to a small mortgage.

It is to the super-bankers that we owe our inflations, plunging stock markets, wars, depressions and foreclosures. It is through our national debts and national taxes that these greedy money-makers have become the worst thieves of all time. They are the modern Gadianton robbers.

These plundering pirates have reduced the world into poverty, war and death in their quest for money. We are victims of sorrow and grief because of their swindling extortions. The treasuries of many nations are being bled dry by these economic vampires who sap money from the poor and middle classes until their wealth is gone and their will to work is broken. With taxes upon taxes, they have created a huge central power which “is grinding the faces of the poor”. Mankind in general are becoming drones and slaves to bureaucracy.

Today in America, everyone suffers with the heavy burden of taxes, hidden taxes and national debts which have been drained off in futile military blunders, Santa Claus give-away programs and ridiculous spending. Our top-heavy Government has become a mammoth money-monster and the more it eats, the more it wants. This is the “great society” of modern gentile civilization. It is enough to make anyone want to get out of it and join a United Order!

 

[210] These are just some of the evils of a gentile system which are a misery to its individuals, a detriment to a community, a wicked power in government, and a system despised by God. But He has made the promise that He would “overthrow the money-changers in mine own due time, saith the Lord”. (D. & C. 117:16)

The whole world is fast heading towards total socialism, and some have claimed that this worldly socialism and the United Order have much in common, if not are really the same. However, consider the following illustration comparing Socialism to the United Order: Two men are living on two different islands. They have all they need for existence. They are not troubled by interferences from the outside world. There are no phones, no salesmen, no taxes to pay, and no worry about work, food, clothes or any debts. The only difference between the two is the amount of freedom they can enjoy. One is on a tropical island near Samoa; the other is at Alcatraz! United Order provides individual freedoms and is of God. Socialism is tyranny without freedom and comes from the devil.

But the world, and the Mormons, have moved more towards socialism and tyranny than they have towards United Order and the principles of freedom. Brigham Young described what will eventually happen to the nations of the world because of this great evil, and to the Latter-day Saints, too, if they continue to follow these worldly standards.

There is one principle I would like to have the Latter-day Saints perfectly understand–that is, of blessings and cursings. For instance, we read that war, pestilence, [211] plague, famine, etc., will be visited upon the inhabitants of the earth; but if distress through the judgments of God comes upon this people, it will be because the majority have turned away from the Lord. Let the majority of the people turn away from the Holy Commandments which the Lord has delivered to us, and cease to hold the balance of power in the Church, and we may expect the judgments of God to come upon us; but while six-tenths or three-fourths of this people will keep the commandments of God, the curse and judgments of the Almighty will never come upon them . . . . (J.D. 10:335)

But today the Saints are entwined into the great and wicked society of the gentiles. Little or no effort is made to encourage the Saints to leave Babylon and its system, nor to live the United Order. The Church has even gone further in defending the unrighteous system of the gentile bureaucracy than other churches. In a message from the Presidency of the Church to all Stake Presidents in the United States:

(January 21, 1983) . . . a member who deliberately refuses to pay state or federal income taxes, or to comply with any final judgment rendered in an income tax case, federal or state, is out of harmony with the basic teachings of the Church …. (Jurisdictional Journal, Second Quarter 1983, p. 8)

This creates a problem for the Latter-day Saints who believe in obeying God’s law of the United Order, the Constitution, and the principles of freedom. It is the final test of their integrity to see if they will obey true principles.

 

[212] We live in a time of testing. Heber C. Kimball often Prophecied of these events that we are now experiencing:

His <HCK> public discourses about this time were the most earnest and impressive that I had ever heard; and on several occasions in the Provo meeting house, he clearly fore-shadowed the time of trial the Saints are now passing through, and to a period still before us. He often used the language, “A test, a test, is coming”. (Life of Heber C. Kimball, O.F. Whitney, p. 445 & 447)

The nature of this test was to see if the Saints would draw more towards God and His laws, or towards the world and their evil system. Are the Mormons being drawn towards Wall Street or the United Order? Are they drawn towards destruction or the Millennium? Isn’t it evident that righteously living in a United Order would eliminate all the evils of our contemporary (contemptible) society? Every person should ask himself if he is building up the world or Zion!

Jesus said we have but two masters–we must serve one or the other. And, “I say unto you, be one; and if ye are not one ye are not mine”. (D & C. 38:27) A moment of reflection will show a less than optimistic view of our condition in the eyes of the Lord.

 

 

[213]                             Chapter 15

 

THE PHILOSOPHY OF CONSECRATION

And let every man deal honestly, and be alike among this people, and receive alike, that ye may be one, even as I commanded you. (D. & C. 51:9)

The Lord never gave instructions or commandments that would result in harm or misery for His children. Every commandment has been designed to eventually bring its own reward and compensation. The Prophet Joseph Smith said:

He never will institute an ordinance or give a commandment to His people that is not calculated in its nature to promote that happiness which He has designed, and which will not end in the greatest amount of good and glory to those who become the recipients of his law and ordinances. (TPJS, p. 257)

Every revelation from God to man has a purpose, although it may not be understood at the time it is given. The principle of the United Order has not been understood or appreciated, nor do people understand the blessings that can be obtained by obedience to that law. Men in general have a tendency to cling tightly to their possessions, and the mere mention of consecration is disturbing to them. They immediately think they will lose their wealth and freedom. [214] Nothing could be further from the truth. When the United Order is properly functioning, it will offer more opportunities and greater advantages than any other social program that has ever been attempted. The benefits apply not only to our present mortal life, but also in the life to come.

Under our present economic, system, poor men look upon the rich with envy and covetousness, while the proud rich look upon the poor with destain and contempt. Neither are innocent. It is all too common that the hard laborer or the honest professional man has little more than the necessities of life, while the swindler, the manipulators of usury, and the cunning grafters are acquiring great wealth. It is the producers–the farmers, the builders, and the laborers–who contribute the most to. society. But it is the politician, the banker, the lawyer and others, who usually contribute the least, that obtain the most wealth. It is very evident that a more equitable distribution of the earth’s riches should be found and put into practice before society destroys itself.

Dale Carnegie spent many years, and a small fortune, gathering information for his book, How to Stop Worrying. He concluded that over 75% of man’s worries resulted from his money problems. If some form of equitable financial system could be practiced, then most of man’s worries would be absolved. The law of United Order is the answer to this problem.

Brigham Young explained how fast the United Order could create wealth for those who lived it, and also how much could be accomplished in a short time:

 

[215]

I know how to start, such a society, right in this city, and how to make its members rich. I would go to now, and buy out the poorest Ward in this city, and then commence with men and women who have not a dollar in the world. Bring them here from England, or any part of the earth, set them down in this Ward and put them to work, and in five years we would begin to enter other Wards, and we would buy this house and that house, and the next house, and we would add Ward to Ward until we owned the whole city, every dollar’s worth of property there is in it. We could do this, and let the rich go to California to get gold, and we would buy their property. (J.D. 16:11)

Furthermore, the Lord has said that “Zion cannot be built up unless it is by the principles of the law of the celestial kingdom; otherwise, I cannot receive her unto myself.” (D. & C. 105:5) It is apparent that we cannot look for a Zion on earth or in heaven, until we incline our thinking and actions towards this principle. Brigham added that, “Just as long as every man works for himself, we are not the: Lord’s; we are not Christ’s, we are not his disciples, in this point of view at any rate”. (J.D. 15:166)

Consecration into a United Order is the only form of common distribution of wealth that can function to the satisfaction of everyone. It does not stifle a man’s intellect or ability as does socialism or communism.

Yet there is a certain amount of both equality and inequality in a United Order. Everyone receives an equal portion of food, clothing and housing, but [216] stewardships are allotted in different amounts. This is a key to the success of the system. For instance, it would not be consistent or wise to apportion two men with the same acreage and,equipment, if one had 20 years of farming experience and the other person had none. So, the man capable of handling a larger portion should receive an increased stewardship; while the person who wastes or ruins more than he can properly handle, should be apportioned less. A United Order should not take from the producers to share with the idler. This would be robbing the producer and rewarding the lazy.

Jesus gave a parable designed to illustrate the “kingdom of heaven”. It was the parable of the talents, which most appropriately portrays the United Order. (See. Matt. 25:14-30) Each of the producers was given an increase in his stewardship, but the non-producer was removed from the system.

One of the principal dangers to avoid in a United Order is the lazy idler. The Lord made an injunction that “Thou shalt not be idle; for he that is idle shall not eat the bread nor wear the garments of the laborer.” (D. & C. 42:42) And, “The idler shall not have place in the church except he repents and mends his ways”. (D. & C. 75:29, see also 68:30; 60:13; 88:124)

In the study of the United Order, it will be realized that the lazy can cause as much or more trouble for the system as any other single factor. The moment any society begins to use doles to support either the lazy or a hierarchy, the system creates a welfare or priestcraft program, and either or both can cause termination to the society.

 

[217] The United States established stringent immigration laws to protect itself from unprofitable and undesirable people. The United Order must also protect itself from the idler, the speculator, or troublemaker.

But what about the crippled, the aged or those who are mentally or physically incapable of doing a regular work load? Each person is capable of contributing something. The Government discovered that handicapped people often out-produce many others who are not. Some might be able to sew, to keep books, to teach, or perform even a minor task–but each can contribute something!

To collect a vastly different group of people into an order without close supervision would probably have little chance of success. A good United Order must have intelligent and wise leadership, industrious people, and cooperative productive efforts. The whole community must adhere to sound economic principles, and work together just as a well-run business or a well-tuned engine.

The true source of wealth is in the labor of men. It is from the land, the timber, and the streams that capital is transformed; and through the united efforts of talent and brawn, the magic of wealth is produced. Gold or jewels are merely objects of material; in and of themselves, they produce nothing. But through the cooperative efforts of men, they can produce homes, industry, farms and every other convenience.

The man who can see and enjoy the fruits of his labor will have the desire to improve and increase his allotment. It was upon this principle that private [218] enterprise built America so quickly. Conversely, robbing the producer and giving to the lazy is now destroying America. Men must share in the profits of their labor, and in the United Order the profits are shared with those who produce it.

It may be laid down, as a safe postulate, that no plan of economic organization will Permanently succeed which does not make basic strong economic motives for the individual. To be more specific, each individual has private interests and public interests. In both he is interested. As population grows, each individual’s public interests tend, in the main, to grow rather more rapidly than do his private interests. Both grow as population and wealth increase. The United Order, by means of stewardships, places the essential private interests of the individual in his own hands. The economic motive is the making of a living for himself and family. There is no stronger economic motive known. (The United Order Among the Mormons, Geddes, p. 44)

There were many different systems of United Order. Each one had been geared to accommodate the capacity and wishes of its members. Their descriptions have been categorized into four general types:

 

  1. In certain communities every producer was asked to assign his economic property (land, livestock, tools) to a community cooperative, and the labor of all was directed by an elected board of management. Each shared in the common product according to his contribution in labor and property. This type of order had first been established at [219] St. George during the winter of 1873-74, and was duplicated in many “Mormon valleys,” including Sevier County.

 

  1. In other communities this collectivization was carried one step further by the maintenance of communal living. Everyone ate in a common dining hall, wore clothes from the same bolts of cloth, and shared more or less equally in the common product. Reverently referred to as “the Gospel Plan”, this arrangement was followed at Orderville, Utah; Bunkerville, Nevada; and at several Mormon settlements in Arizona.

 

  1. Some of the larger and more complex communities, such as Salt Lake City, participated in the movement by forming a single cooperative enterprise in each ward or division of a city. Thus, one ward might cooperatively establish a woolen factory, another a machine shop, still another a cooperative dairy.

 

  1. Finally, in Brigham City and Hyrum, Utah, and at Paris, Idaho, the establishment of independent cooperative enterprises multiplied until virtually all aspects of community economic life were managed by a central board of cooperatives, with almost universal ownership of cooperative shares, and with virtually all settlers employed within the cooperative network.

(“United Order of Richfield”, F. Fox, Utah Historical Quarterly 32:355)

 

[220] The family type order was the principal object of all United Orders. If the Saints refuse to live together as one large family, they are not showing the fulfillment of the commandment to love one another as themselves.

Brigham Young asked several pertinent questions which should cause serious consideration:

Do you think we will ever be one? When we get home to our Father and God, will we not wish to be in the family? Will it not be our highest ambition and desire to be reckoned as the sons of the living God, as the daughters of the Almighty, with a right to the household, and the faith that belongs to the household, heirs of the Father, His goods, His wealth, His power, His excellency, His knowledge and wisdom? (J.D. 11:326)

And again–

We all concede the point that when this mortality falls off, and with it its cares, anxieties, love of self, love of wealth, and love of power, and all the conflicting interests which pertain to this flesh, that then, when our spirits have returned to God who gave them, we will be subject to every requirement that he may make of us, that we shall then live together as one great family; our interest will be a general, a common interest. Why can we not so live in this world? (J.D. 12:153)

 

[221] It seems that man has a tendency to spend his money as soon as he earns it. This self-interest motive is the reason that men find difficulty in joining a United Order. And, his love of money is the greatest temptation and reason so many men have failed in their attempt to live this law of the Gospel.

In a well organized United Order, the money system could be almost entirely done away. Only a few persons would be required to do the buying, selling, and marketing of produce from the United Order. Most of the people working in the Order may not have any involvement with money, as there would be no need for it. When each man in our society is dependent upon getting money, skimping, manipulating it, gouging, hooking, and being involved with all the petty evils connected thereto, then society becomes a den of thieves and barbarians. Under our present system, the slightest failure to acquire wealth, may result in the loss of years of labor. For instance, a man might make payments on a home for 20 or 30 years; then because of unemployment, illness, or an accident, he might be forced to miss a few payments, eventually leading to his home being taken away from him. This kind of system should not be allowed in a Christian society because it is legalized robbery. Also, in our present system, a man is forced to be a bookkeeper and accountant so that he can pay all the numerous forms of taxes or else be threatened and harrassed and possibly sent to jail. Each man becomes a slave to income tax, sales tax, auto tax, federal tax, state tax, etc., etc. In a United Order he is free from such servitude.

Consider the many sound reasons for a United Order to be established among men:

 

[222]

  1. It provides work for everyone. There are no lines of unemployed or welfare applicants.

 

  1. Every man is able to share in the profits of the community. As it grows in wealth, power, and profits, so do all the people who helped to create it.

 

3              It eliminates unjust taxation and unstable Socialized Security; and a man’s profits are not doled out to the lazy, incompetent idler.

 

  1. It equalizes the value of labor and time. It prevents men such as doctors, lawyers or swindlers from taking a small fortune from the unfortunate or unsuspecting. A doctor or lawyer may take 1% of his work time to acquire the amount of wealth that a hard working laborer acquires in 99% of his work time.

 

  1. It provides the education, training, and means to offer everyone a chance to utilize their talents and abilities. Men don’t go to work somewhere just to have an income–as it is done now.

 

  1. It prevents the temptations of robbery and thieving due to poverty or unemployment. Swindlers are not allowed to practice their schemes. It prevents lawsuits so common in our society, involving money, inheritances, land or property.

 

  1. God has promised blessings to those who obey this law and curses to those who do not. Vast sums of temporal riches are promised to those who live this law as well as spiritual gifts and manifestations. Anyone with common sense would [223] not prefer our present economic system to one in which everyone shares temporal and spiritual blessings equally.

There is no limitation to the numbers of people that could live this principle. Brigham Young stated that:

A city of one hundred thousand or a million of people could be united into a perfect family, and they would -work together as beautifully as the different parts of the carding machine work together. Why, we could organize millions into a family under the order of Enoch. (J.D. 16:170)

Both small and big orders are cemented together by mutual trust, kindness, and friendship. The Prophet Joseph Smith said:

Friendship is one of the grand fundamental principles of “Mormonism”; it is designed to revolutionize and civilize the world, and cause wars and contentions to cease and men to become friends and brothers. * * * It is a time-honored adage that love begets love; let us pour forth love –show forth our kindness unto all mankind, and the Lord will reward us with everlasting increase; cast our bread upon the waters and we shall receive it after many days, increased to a hundredfold. (TPJS, p. 316)

There is another important factor to consider in the principles of the United Order, and that is caring for the poor. The Lord said:

 

[224]

And remember in all things the poor and the needy, the sick and the afflicted, for he that doeth not these things, the same is not my disciple. (D. & C. 52:40)

But there is a method or principle in which relief should be given to the poor. Geddes noted this in his book:

The frequent exhortations in the Doctrine and Covenants to remember the poor, are not in the main, intended to bring about “charity relief”, but belong rather to the preventative arrangements. (United Order Among the Mormons, Geddes, p. 68)

Brigham Young’s philosophy was–

My policy is to keep every man, woman, and child busily employed, that they may have no idle time for hatching mischief in the night, and for making plans to accomplish their own ruin. (J.D. 2:144)

. . . it is never any benefit to give out and out, to man or woman, money, food, clothing, or anything else, if they are able-bodied and can work and earn what they need, when there is anything on the earth for them to do. This is my principle, and I try to act upon it. To pursue a contrary course would ruin any community in the world and make them idlers. (J.D. 11:297)

He later explained more on this “dole” system (which does not really help the poor) by saying:

 

[225]

Says one, “It was preached thirty years ago, that nothing belongs to us, and, if I have a thousand dollars, to at once give it all to the poor”. That is your enthusiasm and ignorance. Were you to make an equal distribution of property to-day, one year would not pass before there would be as great an inequality as now.

How could you ever get a people equal with regard to their possessions? They never can be, no more than they can be in the appearance of their faces. * * * It is not for me to take the Lord’s property placed under my charge and wantonly distribute it; I must do with it as He tells me. In my stewardship I am not to be guided by the mere whims of human folly, by those who are more ignorant than I am, not by the lesser power, but by the superior and wiser. * * * We are to be guided by superior knowledge, by a higher influence and power. The superior is not to be directed by the inferior, consequently you need not ask me to throw that which the Lord has put into my hands to the four winds. If, by industrious habits and honorable dealings, you obtain thousands or millions, little or much, it is your duty to use all that is put in your possession as judiciously as you have knowledge, to build up the kingdom of God on the earth. Let the people equalize their means, and it would be one of the greatest injuries that could be done to them. (J.D. 4:29-30)

Brigham claimed to know how to help men become rich:

 

[226]

I can take fifty men who have not a cent, and if they would do as I would wish them to do, they would soon be worth their thousands, every one of them. (J.D. 16:170)

In the book and movie called The Ugly American, it was demonstrated that a poor, but wise man, could do more towards helping people in foreign lands than the Government could with all their millions of dollars in foreign aid.

There is an old proverb that says, “Give a man a fish and he will return tomorrow. Teach a man how to fish and he will thank you forever”.

Every soul born on this planet has an equal right to land, air, water and sunshine. The earth is the Lord’s and the fullness thereof, and we are only tenants here by equal permission of the Creator. He has given us all certain inalienable rights with no exclusive rights to anyone.

However, the natural man is always trying to sell everything for the most he possibly can. Every business deal becomes an attempt to squeeze out every cent of profit possible. This is a temptation that leads men into sin, self-aggrandizement, and the love of riches. It was George Q. Cannon who said that “many Latter-day Saints have refrained from taking hold of merchandising and other branches” because “there was the temptation to make immense profits out of the necessities of their brethren and sisters”. (J.D. 16:119) He concluded by acknowledging that “under the Order of Enoch, men would not be thus tempted”.

 

[227] It is for these reasons that men must adopt a philosophy, or establish in their minds certain rules or principles which will help them to avoid the pitfalls of our present society. Brigham Young voiced this wise guideline:

The Lord has given to me all I possess; l have nothing in reality, not a single dime of it is mine. You may ask, “Do you feel as you say?” Yes, I actually do. The coat I have on my back is not mine, and never was; the Lord put it in my possession honorably, and I wear it; but if He wishes for it, and all there is under it, He is welcome to the whole. I do not own a house, or a single foot of land, a horse, mule, carriage, or wagon, nor wife, nor child, but what the Lord gave me, and if He wants them, He can take them at His pleasure, whether He speaks for them, or takes them without speaking. Should this be the feeling to animate every bosom? It should. What have you to consecrate that is actually your own? Nothing. (J.D. 2:307)

Martin Luther put wealth in the proper perspective when he said:

Wealth is the smallest thing on earth, the least gift that God has bestowed on mankind. What is it in comparison with God’s word–what, in comparison with corporal gifts, as beauty, health, etc.? Nay, what is it to the gifts of the mind, as understanding, wisdom, etc.? Yet are men so eager after it, that no labour, pains, or risk is regarded in the acquisition of riches. Wealth has in it neither material, formal, efficient, nor [228] anything else that is good; therefore, our Lord God commonly gives riches to those from whom he withholds spiritual good. (Table Talks, p. 67)

The Apostle Paul expressed the same sentiments when he said:

Perverse disputings of men of corrupt minds, and destitute of the truth, supposing that gain is godliness: from such withdraw thyself. But godliness with contentment is great gain. For we brought nothing into this world, and it is certain we can carry nothing out. And having food and raiment let us be therewith content. But they that will be rich fall into temptation and a snare, and into many foolish and hurtful lusts, which drown men in destruction and perdition. For the love of money is the root of all evil: which while some coveted after, they have erred from the faith, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows. But thou, O man of God, flee these things; and follow after righteousness, godliness, faith, love, patience, meekness. Fight the good fight of faith, lay hold on eternal life, . . . (I Tim. 6:5-12)

Some people feel that they never have any surplus to consecrate. Brigham Young said:

If we have our hundreds and thousands, we may foster the idea that we have nothing more than we need; but such a notion is entirely erroneous, for our real wants are very limited. What do we absolutely need? I [229] possess everything on the face of the earth that I need, as I appear before you on this stand. (Mill. Star 32:818)

With this clearer understanding of wealth and surplus, let us consider again the principles and ideology behind the laws of consecration.

 

  1. When a person consecrates his property, he receives a stewardship sufficient for himself and his family. This becomes his inheritance in Zion. (D. & C. 42:32)

 

  1. Those who receive alike are accounted as “one”, which is the oneness that Christ spoke of in the New Testament and which Mormons should understand and practice. (D. & C. 38:27; 51:9)

 

  1. The true Saints (“elect”) are commanded to gather together into one place upon this land so that they can be prepared in “all things” for the day when vengeance cometh upon the world. (D. & C. 29:6)

 

  1. The Saints who do not and have not kept the law of consecration, fail to redeem Zion and will not until that law is kept. (D. & C. 105:5)

 

  1. All Saints who do not, or will not consecrate, are not to have an inheritance; they should not have their names enrolled with the people of God; their genealogy is not to be kept, neither are they to be written in the book of the law of God. (D. & C. 85:3-5)

 

  1. All those who are Saints are obligated to live this law of consecration. (D. & C. 70:10)

 

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  1. All Saints who fail to abide by the law of being equal in all things will have the manifestations of the Spirit withheld from them. (D. & C. 70:14)

 

  1. The consecration of property in the church is to be recognized as an everlasting order, for men’s salvation, and to be continued until the Savior comes. (D. & C. 104:1)

 

  1. All saints who do not prove themselves faithful to this law will come near to being cursed (D. & C. 104:3)

 

  1. Men must recognize that they are the children of God and that He alone owns the earth and all things therein, and that He has established laws which would provide all the necessities needed by the Saints. He said that His law is that the poor should be exalted and the rich made low so that all can share equally. (D. & C. 104:14-16)

This “commandment” is from the Lord and rests upon “every man”. (D. & C. 104:11-13)

The Lord gives man a few temporal possessions to see what he will do with them. He allows us all to possess a few talents to see if we will bury them or improve upon them in a righteous cause. Brigham Young taught this:

I want to say to you who have a little money, a farm or other property, seek first to know where God wants you to put that property. That is the word of the Lord to you. Hearken and hear it, men and women, seek to know where God wants you to put it, and if it is into a factory where you will not [231] get a farthing for ten years, put it there, and in the end the Lord will bring out more means to you than if you let it out at twenty four per cent. You will make by it. “How do you know, brother Brigham?” I know by my own experience; my character and my life have shown that from the first time I had fifty cents after I came into the Church my first desire was to know what to do with it. In the days of Joseph where we lived and worked, it was harder then to get fifty cents than it is for a poor man to get a hundred dollars now, but if Joseph came along, and said–“Brigham, have you got fifty cents?” “Yes, I have.” “I want it.” “You can have it always and forever.” If it was a hundred dollars, or two hundred dollars, he had it, and had it freely, and I never asked for it again. And if ever I could work at home and get fifty cents in money to buy a little molasses for my family to sop their johnny cake in, if Joseph wanted it he always had it, and I got rich by it, and I can say so of all who take the same course; while the covetous, those who are striving continually to build themselves up in the things of this life, will be poor indeed; they, will be poor in spirit and poor in heavenly things. (J.D. 17:158)

Although the Church excuses itself from establishing the United Order, there are no valid reasons for it. If they think the Lord has excused us from living the laws of consecration and the United Order, then He has also excused us from inheriting the celestial kingdom. Those who live laws of a lesser kingdom will also inherit a lesser kingdom. (See D. & C. 130:18-21) The Prophet also added:

 

[232]

If men could acquire salvation, they have got to be subject, before they leave this world, to certain rules and principles, which were fixed by an unalterable decree before the world was. (D.H.C. 6:51)

The Lord also said:

If any man shall take of the abundance which I have made, and impart not his portion, according to the law of my gospel, unto the poor and the needy, he shall with the wicked, lift up his eyes in hell, being in torment. (D. & C. 104:18)

These are the reasons that men should bend their thinking toward the United Order rather than toward the ideals and philosophies of men. If we disregard laws of the Gospel and obtain the whole world, but lose our souls, it has profited us nothing.

The Latter-day Saints have an obligation to cast out all the gentile schemes and philosophies for getting rich, and obey the Lord’s laws and principles which will make us rich in this life and the next.

 

 

[233]                             Chapter 16

 

LATTER-DAY SINNERS

The earth also is defiled under the inhabitants thereof; because they have transgressed the laws, changed the ordinance, broken the everlasting covenant. Therefore hath the curse devoured the earth, and they that dwell therein are desolate: therefore the inhabitants of the earth are burned, and few men left. (Isa. 24:5-6) <Note: Joseph Fielding Smith declared that it is the Latter-day Saints who have transgressed the laws, changed the ordinance, and broken the everlasting covenant. Des. News, Church Section, Oct. 17, 1936>

Two principal sins are related to wealth–the love of money (1 Tim.6:10) and the inequality of riches (D. & C. 49:20). For the past 150 years the Saints have been guilty of both evils. The question now arises what happened to cause this failure. Orson Pratt contended that the Saints were guilty of these sins over a century ago:

Anything short of a perfect equality in temporal things is a sin; hence, the Lord says, “It is not given that one man should possess that which is above another, wherefore, the world lieth in sin.” Is this law now enforced upon the Saints? Do they have all [234] things in common? Do they all possess the same? No; they have not become righteous enough to obey this law. Covetousness has taken such deep root in their hearts, through the wicked tradition of their Gentile fathers, that this law remains unheeded. (The Seer, O. Pratt, p. 291)

But there is greater danger in turning away from God’s laws than not having them at all. The last verse from the Lord recorded in Section 136 of the Doctrine and Covenants, reads like a special warning to the Saints: “Be diligent in keeping ALL my commandments, lest judgements come upon you, and your faith fail you, and your enemies triumph over you!”

Inequality is a sin, not only to the Latter-day Saints, but also to the world, and Brigham Young said, “The Latter-day Saints will never accomplish their mission until this inequality shall cease on the earth.” (J.D. 19:47) It is a sad commentary to realize that the Saints have not been able to divert the gentiles from the inequality of their money, but rather the gentiles have been able to divert the Mormons from the equality of theirs.

There is nothing wrong with riches, explained Orson Pratt:

Riches are not a curse, but they are a great blessing: it is inequality in riches that is a great curse. God has made all the riches of the earth, and the riches of all worlds. He made the gold, and the silver, and the precious metals: He formed the flocks and herds, and all useful animals: He has made the earth [235] exceedingly rich; and He has given man dominion over all these things: the more His people enjoy of these things the better He is pleased; it is impossible for His people to become too rich; if the whole world, with all the treasures thereof, were in the hands of the Saints, the Lord would still be delighted for them to have more. But these blessings have become a great curse to man, because they have been unequally possessed. We again repeat the word of the Lord to this Church: “It is not given that one man should possess that which is above another: wherefore the world lieth in sin.” Unequal possession of that which God has made for the benefit of all His children, is sin. All nations, kindreds, and people, are in sin because of this inequality. The Saints are still in sin so far as they approve this unequal possession; and we shall remain in sin until we make exertions to put this inequality away from us. We must be one, not only one in heavenly riches, but one in earthly riches. (The Seer, O. Pratt, pp. 293-94)

Pratt added a prophecy regarding this inequality of wealth among the Saints:

But I will prophesy concerning this Church and the people, that all who wilt not come into that order of things, when God, by his servants, counsels them so to do, will cease growing in the knowledge of God, they will cease having the Spirit of the Lord to rest upon them, and they will gradually grow darker and darker in their minds, until they [236] lose the spirit and power of God. and their names will not be numbered with the names of the righteous. You may put that down and record it. (J.D. 15:357)

Over 100 years ago Heber C. Kimball rebuked the Elders because they were “greedy after the things of this world”. Times have not changed. It will be more difficult ,to persuade the Elders to live the United Order today than ever before. It will take a severe catastrophe to bring them to their knees, humbling them enough to obey this law of God.

Brigham Young could foresee the time when these worldly temptations would greatly increase among this people, and he commented that:

Men have said, probably, to all of you who have been out and mingled with the world, “It is very well for you Latter-day Saints to talk about your condition now, because you are a primitive people, you are a young community, you have not been tempted and tried. Wait till you increase in wealth, and until you become familiar with the sins which surround the wealthy. Wait until you are brought in contact with luxury; wait until the spirit of reform which animated your pioneers dies out, and a generation rises up who will think more of the world; then there will be a different feeling and spirit, and you will not be persecuted, hated or despised. You will become more popular, because the world will become familiarized with your ideas. Then “Mormonism” and the Latter-day Saints will become like every [237] other people that have preceded them–overcome by the luxuries of the world, and by the love of riches. (J.D. 15:207)

Brigham concluded by saying that the Saints could avoid these evils only by obedience to “the Order of Enoch, when there shall be no rich and no poor among the Latter-day Saints”.

By the time John Taylor became president of the Church, it was getting into a worse condition than before. President Taylor reflected:

How many years is it since this <United Order> was started, and how little we have done! I tell you if we go a little further in our drawing off, and each taking his own course, God will leave us to ourselves. (J.D. 21:60)

Brigham Young had acknowledged this, too, and described what would happen to the Saints if they rejected these laws:

If the Latter-day Saints, to whom the Lord has revealed the light and truth of the Gospel, were to prove unfaithful and rebel against God, they would be cursed below any people on the earth, below even these miserable Lamanites that we see wandering around our settlements; . . . (J.D. 11:248)

The Saints have always claimed that their religion is the principle factor in their lives, and of their great love for God. But claiming something and possessing it are two different things. Brigham commented that:

 

[238]

. . . Lord would be glad to see the people practise out of doors what they hypocritically profess before Him indoors. They say they are the Lord’s, and when their children are taken sick, or their wives, fathers, mothers, or husbands are taken sick, O, how humble they then are, and they will send for the Elders to pray for them, and acknowledge that all is the Lord’s, and say, “We give ourselves and all we have to thee.” The Lord makes them well by His power, through the ordinances of His house, but will they consecrate? No. They said, “It is mine, and I will have it myself.” There is the treasure, and the heart is with it, and what will be the end thereof? That which they seem to have will be given to those who are faithful, and they will receive nothing at all. (J.D. 2:306)

How sad that the Mormon people have never realized the great potential strength of their position. The gentiles understood more about the power of the economic, social and political structure of Mormonism than the Mormons did. It is a clear illustration that the “children of this world are . . . wiser than the children of light”. (Luke 16:8)

Men of great intellect have discerned the powerful sovereignty of Mormonism, and viewed it as a -threat to their own cunning and wicked system. Others understood its potential and considered it a great achievement and had respect for it. The noted Count Leo Tolstoi also realized the strength of the Mormon position. He expressed his in-depth analysis of it to the president of Cornell University, Dr. [239] Andrew D. White, who served as the United States Foreign Minister to Russia in 1892. During one of their discussions the Count said to him:

The Mormon people teach the American religion; their principles teach not only of heaven and its attendant glories, but how to live so, that their social and economic relations with each other are placed on a sound basis. If that people follow the teachings of this Church, nothing can stop their progress –it will be limitless. There have been great movements started in the past but they have died or been modified before they reached maturity. If Mormonism is able to endure, unmodified, until it reaches the third and fourth generations, it is destined to become the greatest power the world has ever known. (Mormonism, Americanism and Politics, Richard Vetterli, p. 4; and Marvelous Work and a Wonder, Richards, pp. 435-36)

How disappointed Tolstoi would have been if he had known that while he was making that comment, the Mormon people were compromising their principles in social, economic and political areas.

It was very evident that polygamy was not the only principle that bothered the gentiles, even from their own public admissions: Orson Whitney stated that the gentiles were often saying:

We care nothing for your polygamy. It’s a good war cry and serves our purpose by enlisting sympathy for our cause; but it’s a “meres bagatelle” compared with other issues [240] in the irrepressible conflict between our parties. What we most object to is your unity; your political and commercial solidarity; the obedience you render your spiritual leaders in temporal affairs. We want you to throw off the yoke of the Priesthood, to do as we do, and be Americans in deed as well as in name. (History of Utah, Orson F. Whitney, 3:547)

The Mormons had three basic fundamentals upon which to build their empire: (1) their political Kingdom of God; (2) their temporal power in the United Order; and (3) their population growth through polygamy. What happened to these three?

The most influential of all the “AntiMormon” bills was the Edmunds Act, passed in 1882, which in essence, removed the government of Utah from the hands of the Mormons and placed it in the hands of a commission appointed by the national president. It was quickly followed, in 1887, by the Edmunds-Tucker Act, in which Congress provided for the confiscation of the properties of the Mormon Church. Eventually, church leaders found it necessary to give up the unequal struggle and attempted to bring their ideas and practices more into conformity with the prevailing sentiment of the federal Congress. National leaders and church leaders are said to have entered into a “compact”. We do not know whether such a “compact” was actually made, but at least the agreement and actions which it is said to have involved did take place. In the supposed “compact”, national leaders are said to have [241] promised statehood for Utah provided three things were done: (1) plural marriage was abandoned; (2) the church political party was dissolved; and (3) the church dissolved its relations with the economy. Plural marriage, of course, was abandoned with the Manifesto of 1890; the Peoples’ party was dissolved in 1891 and the people were divided between Republicans and Democrats; and the church began to take steps to withdraw from many of its economic activities. (Religion and Economies in Mormon History, L.J. Arrington, “BYU Studies”, 3:31-32)

The “compact” had a disastrous effect upon the basic structure of Mormonism. By the turn of the century, the Mormons had abandoned their economic (United Order), their political (Kingdom of God), and their social (polygamy) doctrines. We not only willingly shook hands with our enemies, but joined their ranks. This condition was noted by Mormon and non-Mormon alike. Keith E. Norman, a non-Mormon, clearly portrayed this ecclesiastical rupture of Church dogma:

Although the Manifesto was undoubtedly perceived by most Mormons as a tactical and temporary expedient rather than a defeat, it is significant that Wilford Woodruff explained his “inspiration” in terms of the disaster that faced the Church, rather than the promise of redemption just around the corner. Yet this latest delay of the Parousia <The Second Coming> was perhaps the most profound of all for Mormonism, because it marks the beginning of an about-face which drastically altered the character of the church.

[242]

Briefly stated, the Church abandoned its adversarial role in American culture and entered the mainstream. Within a few years of 1890, not only polygamy, but theocracy and communitarianism, the three most distinct practices of nineteenth-century Mormonism, were relegated to the heroic past and the idealized future in Mormon thought. It is difficult for modern members of the church to comprehend the enormity of these changes. As Hansen points out, “Mormonism . . . has experienced a social and intellectual transformation of such magnitude that a resurrected Joseph Smith, returning to earth today, might well wonder if this was indeed the same church he had founded . . . .” Once the vanguard of a radical “alternate sexual life-style”, offensive to the moral sensibilities of virtually every “decent” American, Mormonism has become the foremost bastion of bourgeois monogamy. Once enthusiastically experimenting in the creation of a divinely” egalitarian economy, the Church has since embraced the capitalist ethic to the point of rounding its large financial empire firmly upon the grey flannel rock of Adam Smith. As early as 1922 E.E. Ericksen noted, “the philosophy of the church leaders was at one time radical and socialistic; it is now conservative and capitalistic. (“How Long, O Lord? The Delay of the Parousia in Mormonism”, a paper by Keith E. Norman, July 1982)

In the dilemma of threatening war upon the Saints, they raised the white flag before a shot had been fired. With a half-dozen promises from the Lord that He would “fight your battles”, they chose not to [243] “experiment upon His word”, but rather chose to serve God and mammon at the same time.

This war was not only a temporal battle, it was also a spiritual one. Dr. Hugh Nibley, like a voice in the wilderness, poignantly explains that:

It is not difficult to discover the plot of the drama of the restored gospel. But the prince of this world does not like certain aspects of the play, and so his people have undertaken to rewrite the script. What has happened is an old story and is crassly obvious-they have switched villains on us. They have cast an obnoxious young lightweight (a very minor devil) to the role of the Evil One while the one most qualified to play it prefers to take the part of a dignified, upright, mature, and often charming gentleman. (What Is Zion? A Distant View, H. Nibley, p. 19)

The abandonment of the United Order became the loss of a great temporal blessing to the Saints. But more than that, it was a great spiritual loss. The Lord said:

Nevertheless, in your temporal things you shall be equal, and this not grudgingly, otherwise the abundance of the manifestations of the Spirit shall be withheld. (D. & C. 70:14)

The lack of spiritual gifts is very evident in the Church today. In the early days of the Church, while they were living the United Order, they had many wonderful spiritual manifestations. When the Order [244] broke up in Kirtland and in Missouri, the Saints had one of the most difficult times of apostasy in its history. Today, throughout all the teachings and in the numberless oceans of books that the Saints are publishing, probably not one in a hundred mention or advocate the United Order. What has been the result of their rejection of the doctrine of United Order?

 

  1. Spiritual gifts have ceased.
  2. Written revelation ceased.
  3. Persecution ceased, and friendship with the world was substituted.
  4. Temporal prosperity is sought more than the spiritual.
  5. The Saints ceased to be united; they are scattered all over the world.
  6. Worldly standards, immorality, and sin have become commonplace among our youth.
  7. Teachings of the leaders are clashing with those of former prophets of God.
  8. Sermons lack the Holy Spirit and must be read.
  9. The laws of man are sustained in preference to the laws of God.
  10. What little of the Spirit of God is left, whispers to every Saint that something is surely out of order!

When the Church sacrificed the principles of their temporal equality for the gentile system of inequality, they established new goals. They wanted riches for the prestige and honors of the world that accompanies them. J. Golden Kimball noticed this when he said, “If I had a million dollars, I’d be the most sought-after man in the Church. But I haven’t got it, damn it!” (The Golden Legacy, p. 92) Yet he was wise enough to see the dangers of such a course and he warned the saints, “Don’t set your heart upon [245] riches; don’t speculate; and don’t go into debt”. (Ibid., p. 90)

When men depart from the principles of the Gospel, they begin to lose the spirit of it, and they lose the thrill and joy of it, too. They become dissatisfied, discontent, and discouraged with what little spirituality remains. Orson Pratt asked this question, which is probably more applicable to members of the Church today than it was when he wrote it:

Do you enjoy as great a measure of the spirit of God as when you were first baptized into this kingdom? Or are your minds barren? Your understandings unfruitful? Your souls in darkness? And your feelings cold and indifferent towards the great work which you have embraced and which once made you joyful and happy? If this be your condition, it is of the utmost importance that you know the causes of these unhappy changes in your feelings. Is it because the Lord has changed and forgotten to be gracious? Is it because the fullness of His Gospel does not produce the same effects or happiness now, as it did in ancient times? (The Seer, pp. 2-3)

It is clearly evident to anyone, in or out of the Church, that Mormonism does not have the power, the spirit and the blessings that God once gave it.

There is so much to be gained by obeying the laws of God and so little reward for practicing the ways of the world. Yet, United Order has been one of the most difficult of all the laws given to this people. Brigham Young said:

 

[246]

It was one of the first commandments or revelations given to this people after they had the privilege of organizing themselves as a Church, as a body, as the Kingdom of God on the earth. I observed then, and I now think, that it will be one of the last revelations which the people will receive into their hearts and understanding of their own free will and choice, and esteem it a pleasure, a privilege, and a blessing unto them to observe and keep most holy. (J.D. 2:299)

John Taylor added:

But the time will come when we will obey these things <United Order> as they are given by the revelations of God, and it will not be a hardship either; it will be a pleasure to those who are under the influence of the Lord. (J.D. 22:11)

It is a frightful and sobering thought to realize that all the hosts of heaven are looking upon the frailties and imperfections of this people. They look with eager anticipation for the Saints to obey the laws of God. Brigham said:

Why, if they (the dead) had the power, the very thunders of heaven would be in our ears, if we could but realize the importance of the work we are engaged in. All the angels in heaven are looking at this little handful of people, and stimulating them to the salvation of the human family. So also are the devils in hell looking at this people, too, and trying to overthrow us and the [247] people are still shaking hands with the servants of the devil, instead of sanctifying themselves and calling upon the Lord and doing the work which he has commanded us and put into our hands to do. When I think upon this subject, I want the tongues of seven thunders to wake up the people. (J.D. 18:304)

This people have become so glued to Babylon, one wonders when they will ever become free of that influence, or what it will take to tear them away from it. Heber Bennion reasoned that:

. . . we came willingly to the mountains of Ephraim to dwell just because we had to, and we will go into the United Order willingly just because we will have to. (Gospel Problems, H. Bennion, p. 26)

Brigham also understood that this would be the condition for establishing the United Order among this people. He said, “Do you not see that we are coming to where the Lord will make us consecrate?” (Des. News, Oct. 18, 1857) We should realize that if we do not go into the United Order willingly, then we must learn obedience by the things which we will suffer. And John Taylor prophesied it would be so:

At the general conference held in Salt Lake April 1884 President John Taylor said, “The time will come when we will not have to preach the United Order, for people will pray to get into it.” (Oliver B. Huntington Journal, p. 23)

 

[248] Although some have presumed that “all is well in Zion” and that nothing in the least is out of order, it was not the opinion of Joseph Smith, Brigham Young, and many others–even in their day. Brigham Young once said:

I sometimes think that I would be willing to give anything, to do almost anything in reason, to see one fully organized Branch of this kingdom–one fully organized Ward . . . . Is there even in this Territory a fully organized Ward? Not one. It may be asked, “Why do you not fully organize the Church?” Because the people are incapable of being organized. I could organize a large Ward who would be subject to a full organization, by selecting families from the different Wards, but at present such a Branch of the Church is not in existence. (J.D. 10:20)

And again he said:

I have had visions and revelations instructing me how to organize this people so that they can live like the family of heaven, but, I cannot do it while so much selfishness and wickedness reign in the Elders of Israel . . . . There are many great and glorious privileges for the people, which they are not prepared to receive. How long it will be before they are prepared to enjoy the blessings God has in store for them, I know not–it has not been revealed to me. I know the Lord wants to pour blessings upon this people, but were he to do so in their present ignorance, they would not know what to do with them. [249] They can receive only a very little, and that must be administered to them with great care. (J.D. 9:269)

It certainly should be easy to see the folly of the course we have taken, and the foolishness of the world’s course. Problems are growing at an avalanche rate. Speaking of only the temporal mess, George Q. Cannon said:

All these problems of capital and labor can be solved by this principle <United Order> and in no other way, and there will be an incessant and never-ending conflict between capital and labor until they are solved in this manner. (J.D. 17:244)

If the Saints would have continued with the principles of the United Order, they would not be experiencing so much unemployment and poverty now. Brigham said that men would have to work for only half a day–the other half would be devoted to education, recreation, visiting, travel, missionary work, etc. There would be no worry about enough food, high medical bills, or insufficient finances. The vast sums of money that we waste on lawyers, advertising, banking, brokers, salesmen, unions, management, etc., would be distributed to make this people millionaires.

Today we have broke and broken men, welfare, handouts, overflowing prisons, numerous mental institutions, sluts, a plague of diseases and criminals. When we bartered away the Lord’s programs, we inherited all these gentile “blessings”!

 

[250] These conditions were seen by many of the ancient prophets; and they warned us of them. The ancient prophet Mormon spoke directly to the Latterday Saints by saying, “I speak unto you as if ye were present.” and that “Jesus Christ hath shown you unto me and I know your doing”. What he had to say about us was lacking in praise or compliments over what we have achieved. Said he:

And I know that ye do walk in the pride of your hearts; and there are none save a only a few who do not lift themselves up in the pride of their hearts, unto the wearing of very fine apparel, unto envying, and strifes, and malice, and persecutions, and all manner of iniquities; and your churches, yea, even EVERY ONE, have become polluted because of the pride of your hearts. For behold, ye do love money, and your substance, and your fine apparel, and the adornment of your churches, more than ye love the poor and the needy, the sick and the afflicted. O ye pollutions, ye hypocrites, ye teachers, who sell yourselves for that which will canker, why have ye polluted the holy Church of God? Why are you ashamed to take upon you the name of Christ? (Mormon 8:36-38)

Mormon concluded by saying that all of our business ventures to get gain are nothing more than “secret abominations” that are only going to bring “vengeance” upon our heads. The Prophet Joseph Smith also made a solemn warning that “except the Church receive the fulness of the Scriptures that they would yet fail”. (TPJS, p. 9) Receiving the [251] fulness of the scriptures means more than merely believing them. This was another way of saying that we “cannot serve God and mammon”. (Matt. 7:24)

Two roads have been placed before the Latterday Saints. One is directed to great blessings in this life and in the eternal worlds yet to come. The other road leads to sorrow, regret and cursings. (See D. & C. 104:3 and 84:58-59) The United Order is one of the everlasting laws and covenants that leads to temporal and spiritual blessings. We have excused ourselves from obeying it and chose another divergent path to follow! Instead of becoming like Jacob who treasured his inheritance, we have become like Esau and traded it for a mess of pottage!

 

 

[252]                             Chapter 17

 

A HOUSE IN ORDER

The Almighty is a lover of order and good government. (TPJS, p. 187)

The house of Jacob (Israel) became out of order when the eleven sons of Jacob refused to acknowledge Joseph as the rightful heir to rule as their leader. The descendants of Joseph have had a difficult time to regain their rightful place as rulers ever since. Jesus came through the lineage of Jacob and was told to “reign over the house of Jacob forever”. (Luke 1:33) Jesus understood the problems and conflicts in Jacob’s house and said, If a house be divided against itself, that house cannot stand”. (Mark 3:25)

 

Also there was the influence of filthy lucre which He denounced by saying, “My house shall be called of all nations the house of prayer, but ye have made it a den of thieves” (Mark 11:17), indicating that the house of Jacob was still out of order during His ministry. This was certainly evident when the Jews rejected Christ and His right to rule. But the prophecies of apostasy were not without the promise of a setting in order. Paul the Apostle reiterated the prophecy of Jeremiah:

 

[253]

Behold, the days come, saith the Lord, when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah, Not according to the covenant that I made with their fathers in the day when I took them by the hand to lead them out of the land of Egypt; because they continued not in my covenant, and I regarded them not, saith the Lord. For this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, saith the Lord; I will put my laws into their mind, and write them in their hearts; and I will be to them a God, and they shall be to me a people; And they shall not teach every man his neighbor, and every man his brother, saying, Know the Lord: for all shall know me, from the least to the greatest. (Heb. 8:8-11 & Jer. 31:31)

This prophecy has not yet been fulfilled; but when it is, the House of God will be in the order that was promised to Joseph of old.

The early Christian Church was never totally obedient to the laws of God. Brigham Young said that it was–

–through the weakness in the lives of the Apostles, many were caused to err. Our historians and ministers tell us that the church went into the wilderness, but they were in the wilderness all the time. They had the way marked out to get out of the wilderness and go straightforward into the Kingdom of God, but they took various paths. (J.D. 12:66)

 

[254] Peter recognized the calamity of disorder that had come upon the house of God and prophecied:

For the time is come that judgment must begin at the house of God; and if it first begin at us, what shall the end be of them that obey not the gospel of God? (I Peter 4:17)

Those that “obey not the Gospel of God” are apostates, rather than those who never had the Gospel. The Prophet Joseph Smith explained this interpretation in the Lord’s parable of the sower. He identified the wheat and the tares as members and apostates of the Church and Kingdom:

We learn by this parable, not only the setting up of the Kingdom in the days of the Savior, which is represented by the good seed, which produced fruit, but also the corruptions of the Church, which are represented by the tares, which were sown by the enemy, which His disciples would fain have plucked up, or cleansed the Church of, if their views had been favored by the Savior. But He, knowing all things, says, Not so. As much as to say, your views are not correct the Church is in its infancy, and if you take this rash step, you will destroy the wheat, or the Church, with the tares; therefore it is better to let them grow together until the harvest, or the end of the world, which means the destruction of the wicked, which is not yet fulfilled, as we shall show hereafter, in the Savior’s explanation of the parable, which is so plain that there is no room left for dubiety upon the mind. (TPJS, p.98)

 

[255] In 1846, after the death of the Prophet Joseph Smith, many apostates and luke warm Mormons were causing trouble in the Church. Orson Hyde became very “grieved” because of the many “false pretenses” that were causing so many to be led astray. After praying one morning about this condition, he received the following revelation:

Evil men, ambitious of power, must needs arise among you, and they shall be led by their own self-will and not by me. Yet they are instruments in my hands, and are permitted to try my people, and to collect from among them those who are not the elect, and such as are unworthy of eternal life.

Grieve not after them, neither mourn nor be alarmed. My people know my voice and also the voice of my spirit, and a stranger they will not follow; therefore as follow strangers are not my people. (Unpublished Revelations, published by Fred Collier, Part 65, p. 104)

The wheat and the tares have been growing in the Church ever since. Both are reaching their maturity–both dwelling in a house out of order.

The prophet Jeremiah describes a situation that exists when the house of God is out of order–whether it occurs in his own day, Christ’s dispensation, or in the latter days. Said he:

Woe be unto the pastors that destroy and scatter the sheep of my pasture! saith the Lord.

[256]

Mine heart within me is broken because of the prophets; all my bones shake; . . .

For both prophet and priest are profane; yea, in my house have I found their wickedness, saith the Lord.

Thus saith the Lord of hosts, Hearken not unto the words of the prophets that prophesy unto you: they make you vain: they speak a vision of their own heart, and not out of the mouth of the Lord.

For who hath stood in the counsel of the Lord, and hath perceived and heard his word? who hath marked his word, and heard it?

The anger of the Lord shall not return, until he have executed, and tell he have performed the thoughts of his heart: in the latter days ye shall consider it perfectly.

I have not sent these prophets, yet they ran: I have not spoken to them, yet they prophesied.

But if they had stood in my counsel, and had caused my people to hear my words, then they should have turned them from their evil way, and from the evil of their doings.

I have heard what the prophets said, that prophesy lies in my name, saying, I have dreamed, I have dreamed.

How long shall this be in the heart of the prophets that prophesy lies? yea, they are prophets of the deceit of their own heart.

Behold, I am against the prophets, saith the Lord, that use their tongues, and say, He saith. (Jer. 23:1,9,11,16,18,20-22,25,26,31)

 

[257] The Prophet Joseph Smith explained that these false prophets always arise when God sends true prophets:

When a man goes about prophesying, and commands men to obey his teachings, he must either be a true or false prophet. False prophets always arise to oppose the true prophets and they will prophesy so very near the truth that they will deceive almost the very chosen ones. (T.P.J.S., p. 365)

Whenever God establishes the Gospel among men, the devil is there to set up competition. Also, whenever the Church is established, the devil seeks to get into it and take over the uppermost seats. when this happens, certain fruits are manifest indicating the house is out of order, such as:

 

  1. The leaders lose their prophetic ability to foretell the future. The Urim and Thummim is absent; seer stones aren’t used; and the spirit of genuine, constant revelation is gone.

 

  1. The spiritual gifts promised to the Saints are gone. Visions, dreams, angelic visitations, speaking in tongues, and many other gifts and miraculous powers disappear.

 

  1. Principles of the gospel are changed, discontinued, or even opposed. For example, leaders and members alike are not concerned with the United Order, but labor with the gentiles for money and soon become like them.

[258]

  1. The whole house of the Lord takes on the conditions, the likeness, and the customs of the rest of the world. Added to all this is the horrible influx of immorality, lack of spirituality, and general acceptance of the ways of Babylon.

Jesus said that in the last days “Many false prophets shall rise, and shall deceive many” (Mat. 24:11), and that “false Christs, and false prophets … if it were possible, . . . shall deceive the very elect”. (Mat. 24:,24)

Isaiah warned the house of “Ephraim” because of their “crown of pride” and because they were “out of the way” and did “err in vision, they stumble in judgment”. (Isa. 28:3-9) Because of their wickedness, the Lord would have to send “a mighty and strong one, which as a tempest of hail and a destroying storm, as a flood of mighty waters overflowing, shall cast down to the earth with the hand, the crown of pride. The drunkards of Ephraim, shall be trodden under feet”. (Isa. 28:1-3)

According to the revelations to Joseph Smith, this “mighty and strong one” was yet to come. It was revealed that:

And it shall come to pass that I, the Lord God, will send one mighty and strong, holding the scepter of power in his hand, clothed with light for a covering, whose mouth shall utter words, eternal words; while his bowels shall be a fountain of truth, to set in order the house of God, and to arrange by lot the inheritances of the saints whose names are found, and the names of their fathers, and of their children, enrolled in the book of the law of God;

[259]

While that man, who was called of God and appointed, that putteth forth his hand to steady the ark of God, shall fall by the shaft of death, like as a tree that is smitten by the vivid shaft of lightning.

And all they who are not found written in the book of remembrance shall find none inheritance in that day, but they shall be cut asunder, and their portion shall be appointed them among unbelievers, where are wailing and gnashing of teeth.

These things I say not of myself; therefore, as the Lord speaketh, he will also fulfil. (D. & C. 85:7-10; 1832)

Since the House of God must be set in order, it is obvious that it would first be out of order. The Lord warned this people that such a thing would occur in this dispensation because–

–liars and hypocrites shall be proved by them <inhabitants of Zion>, and they who are not apostles and prophets shall be known. And even the Bishop, who is a judge, and his counselors, if they are not faithful in their stewardships shall be condemned, and others shall be planted in their stead”. (D. & C. 64:39-40)

Brigham Young pointed his finger at the Saints and said, “Do the Latter-day Saints live according to the light that has been exhibited to them? No, they do not.” (J.D. 12:66) And conditions are worse today than they were in his day!

The Lord foretold of the time when the people of the Church would fall into bondage:

 

[260]

Behold I say unto you, the redemption of Zion must needs come by power; therefore, I will raise up unto my people a man, who shall lead them like as Moses led the children of Israel. For ye are the children of Israel, and of the seed of Abraham, and ye must needs be led out of bondage by power, and with a stretched-out arm. And as your fathers were led at the first, even so shall the redemption of Zion be. (D. & C. 163: 15-18)

Orson Pratt believed that Joseph Smith was the man “like unto Moses” and would fulfill that mission even after his death:

But we still were in hopes that he (Joseph Smith) would be the man who, like Moses, would lead this people from bondage. I do not know but he will yet. God’s arm is not shortened that he cannot raise him up even from the tomb. (J.D. 15:363)

In 1868 Orson Pratt mentioned this “one mighty and strong” who would yet come and the principle of consecration that must be obeyed by the chosen people before they could redeem Zion: (To redeem means to reclaim something that has been lost.)

For thus saith the Lord God in one of the new revelations which He has given, recorded in the history of Joseph the prophet, “Behold I will send one mighty and strong, clothed with light as a garment, whose mouth shall utter words–eternal words, and whose bowels shall be a fountain of truth, who shall divide to the Saints their inheritances.” He will send one ordained to [261] this purpose, and to fulfill this particular duty, that the Saints may receive their inheritances after they have consecrated everything in their possession. Then we can build up a city that will be a city of perfection, “the perfection of beauty.” (J.D.12:323)

Parley P. Pratt received a revelation that Joseph Smith would yet stand in the flesh to finish his mission on the earth:

On a sudden the Spirit of God came upon me, and filled my heart with joy and gladness indescribable; and while the spirit of revelation glowed in my bosom with as visible a warmth and gladness as if it were fire. The Spirit said unto me: “Lift up your head and rejoice; for behold! it is well with my servants Joseph and Hyrum. My servant Joseph still holds the keys of my kingdom in this dispensation, and he shall stand in due time on the earth, in the flesh, and fulfil that to which he is appointed.” (Autobiography of Parley P. Pratt, p. 333)

Apostle Pratt received this message a second time to confirm the validity of that revelation.

In a message from the First Presidency in 1907, President Joseph F. Smith and his counselors concluded that a time will yet come when good men will be put into office and–

–appointed by the law of the Church, just as Edward Partridge was called and accepted; and just as the “one mighty and strong” will [262] be called and accepted when the time comes for his service. (Imp. Era 10:943)

When Apostle Orson Pratt divided the Doctrine and Covenants into chapters and verses, with footnotes, in 1879, he made a footnote for this verse which read, “A future messenger promised”. This has been deleted from all editions of the Doctrine and Covenants since 1921. Also in 1873 he said that he believed God would raise Joseph Smith up “from the tomb” to lead this people “out of bondage”. (J.D. 15:363)

Since conditions are even worse today than they were in the days of Edward Partridge, it is obvious the One Mighty and Strong is needed more than ever. Therefore, we should be aware of certain events surrounding his coming:

 

  1. The one “holding a scepter of power and clothed with light for a covering” will be an immortal being.

 

  1. The one who was called of God and put forth his hand to steady the ark of God will be smitten.

 

  1. The one mighty and strong will then set in order the house of God.

 

  1. He will arrange by lot the inheritances of the Saints.

 

  1. Those that are of the High Priesthood whose names are not found written in the book of the law and those who do not receive an inheritance, shall be cut asunder.

 

[263] The “One Mighty and Strong” will come to give the righteous people a chance to do what God has commanded them. Men must have faith in God to give them valiant leaders and correct principles. Brigham Young gave the following counsel and advice:

I want you to have faith enough concerning myself and nay counselors for the Lord to remove us out of the way, if we do not magnify our calling, and put men in our places that will do right. (J.D. 9:142)

If you have leaders who do not teach you the words of life and salvation–who do not give you the words of the Lord, why not have faith sufficient to remove them out of the way and have better men? If this people are righteous and have any leaders that are not capable of dictating you, why not stretch your faith to the heavens for God to remove them and give you men that are capable of leading you? (J.D. 6:173; see also Mark 9:46, Inspired Version)

The Lord gave a prophecy pertaining to the setting in order of His house in the parable of the vineyard–which depicted the final stages of Zion’s redemption. This parable, found in Section 101 of the Doctrine and Covenants, verses 43-62, is summarized in the following paragraph.

The servants of the vineyard began to say among themselves, “What need hath my lord” of some of the things that had been appointed to them. They began to throw out one thing and drop off another until it was apparent that they “hearkened not unto the commandments of their lord”. Eventually their enemies came in and almost totally “destroyed their works”. [264] In this stage of the parable the lord of the vineyard returned and rebuked them for the “great evil” which had overtaken his vineyard, and he said: “Ought ye not to have done even as I commanded you?” It was clearly evident that his vineyard was out of order.

Who is this “servant” who would “gather together the residue of my servants” and redeem Zion? Many have claimed to be this “one mighty and strong” servant, but so far they have all failed to accomplish this great work. According to the Lord–

Verily, verily I say unto you, that my servant Baurak Ale (Joseph Smith, Jun.) is the man to whom I likened the servant to whom the Lord of the vineyard spake in the parable which I have given unto you. (D. & C. 103:21)

Joseph Smith still holds the keys of this dispensation (see D. & C. 90:3), so he is responsible for regulating or setting in order the Lord’s house. At the proper time, Joseph Smith will direct the gathering of the Saints and proclaiming the principles that will usher in the millennial reign of Christ on the earth.

Joseph related the following dream which he had just before he was martyred:

I was back in Kirtland, Ohio, and thought I would take a walk out by myself, and view my old farm, which I found grown up with weeds and brambles, and altogether bearing evidence of neglect and want of culture. I went into the barn, which I found without floor or doors, with the weather-[265]boarding off, and was altogether in keeping with the farm.

While I viewed the desolation around me, and Was contemplating how it might be recovered from the curse upon it, there came rushing into the barn a company of furious men, who commenced to pick a quarrel with me.

The leader of the party ordered me to leave the barn and farm, stating it was none of mine, and that I must give up all hope of ever possessing it.

I told him the farm was given me by the Church, and although I had not had any use of it for some time back, still I had not sold it, and according to righteous principles it belonged to me or the Church.

He then grew furious and began to rail upon me, and threaten me, and said it never did belong to me nor to the Church.

I then told him that I did not think it worth contending about, that I had no desire to live upon it in its present state, and if he thought he had a better right I would not quarrel with him about it but leave; but my assurance that I would not trouble him at present did not seem to satisfy him, as he seemed determined to quarrel with me, and threatened me with the destruction of my body.

While he was thus engaged, pouring out his bitter words upon me, a rabble rushed in and nearly filled the barn, drew out their knives, and began to quarrel among themselves for the premises, and for a moment forgot me, at which time I took the opportunity to walk out of the barn about up to my ankles in mud.

[266]

When I was a little distance from the barn, I heard them screeching and screaming in a very distressed manner, as it appeared they had engaged in a general fight with their knives. While they were thus engaged, the dream or vision ended. (T.P.J.S., pp. 393-94)

If Joseph Smith were to return to the Church today or in the near future, could that be the fulfillment of his dream?

The great judgments of the last days are to begin upon the house of God first and then go out to the rest of the world:

And upon my house shall it begin, and from my house shall it go forth, saith the Lord; First among those among you, saith the Lord, who have professed to know my name and have not known me, and have blasphemed against me in the midst of my house, saith the Lord. (D. & C. 112:23-26)

Many years after this revelation was given to Joseph Smith, a revelation was received by Wilford Woodruff indicating that this, “setting in order” would still take place among the Latter-day Saints. The Lord said:

Let my Saints search the Word of the Lord and treasure up wisdom and be prepared for that which is to come. As I have decreed, so shall my judgments begin at the House of God. * * * Judgments will begin upon my house, and from thence will they go [267] forth unto the world and the wicked cannot escape. (Journal of Wilford Woodruff, p. 191, 1/26/1880)

Heber C. Kimball also prophecied of this event and said:

There will not many calamities come upon the nations of the earth, until this people first feel their effects, and when hard times commence they will begin at the house of God, and if there is any house of God on the earth, where is it? It is here, is it not? (Des. News, March 2, 1856)

And again another apostle mentioned this housecleaning by the Lord and foretold:

I will say when this nation, having sown to the wind, reaps the whirlwind; when brother takes up sword against brother; when father contends against son, and son against father; when he who will not take up his sword against his neighbor must needs flee to Zion for safety–then I would say to my friends come to Utah; for the judgments of God, commencing at the house of the Lord, will have passed away…. (J.D. 26:334)

Heber C. Kimball also said that “the time will come when the Lord will choose a people out of this people upon whom he will bestow his choicest blessings.” (J.D. 11:145) Brigham Young added a prophecy about this great day by saying:

 

[268]

God will preserve a portion of this people, of the meek and the humble, to bear off the kingdom to the inhabitants of the earth, and will defend His Priesthood; . . . (Contributor 10:362)

And again he said:

I have had visions and revelations instructing me how to organize this people so that they can live like the family of heaven, but I cannot do it while so much selfishness and wickedness reign in the Elders of Israel. . . . There are many great and glorious privileges for the people, which they are not prepared to receive. (J.D. 9:269)

To “live like the family of heaven” is to live the United Order. It has always been that way and always will be. Nothing else has been “substituted” or “replaced”, nor will it be.

The promise of the setting in order of the House Jacob was clearly foretold in a “Proclamation to all the kings of the world and President of the United States”. This statement from the Council of Twelve Apostles was sent around the world on April 1845.

He <God> will assemble the natives, the remnants of Joseph in America, and make of them a great, and strong, and powerful nation; and he will civilize and enlighten them, and will establish a holy city, and temple, and seat of government among them, which shall be called Zion.

 

[269]

And there shall be his tabernacle, his sanctuary, his throne, and seat of government for the whole continent of North and South America forever; in short, it will be to the western hemisphere what Jerusalem will be to the eastern.

And there the Messiah will visit them in person, and the old Saints who will then have been raised from the dead, will be with him; and he will establish his kingdom and laws over all the land.

To this city, and to its several branches or stakes, shall the Gentiles seek, as to a standard of light and knowledge; yea, the nations, and their kings and nobles shall say–Come, and let us go to the Mount Zion, and to the temple of the Lord, where his holy priesthood stand to minister continually before the Lord; and where we may be instructed more fully, and receive the ordinances of remission, and of sanctification, and redemption, and thus be adopted into the family of Israel, and identified in the same covenants of promise.

The despised and degraded son of the forest, who has wandered in dejection and sorrow, and suffered reproach, shall then drop his disguise and stand forth in manly dignity, and exclaim to the Gentiles who have envied and sold him–“I am Joseph; does my father yet live?” or in other words,I am a descendant of that Joseph who was sold into Egypt. You have hated me, and sold me, and thought I was dead; but lo! I live and am heir to the inheritance, titles, honours, priesthood, sceptre, crown, throne, and eternal life and dignity of my fathers, who live for evermore.

[270]

He shall then be ordained, washed, anointed with holy oil, and arrayed in fine linen, even in the glorious and beautiful garments and royal robes of the high priesthood, which is after the order of the son of God and shall enter into the congregation of the Lord, even into the Holy of Holies, there to be crowned with authority and power which shall never end.

The spirit of the Lord shall then descend upon him like the dew upon the mountains of Hermon, and like refreshing showers of rain upon the flowers of Paradise.

His heart shall expand with knowledge, wide as eternity, and his mind shall comprehend the vast creations of his God, and his eternal purpose of redemption, glory, and exaltation, which was devised in heaven before the worlds were organized; but made manifest in these last days, for the fulness of the Gentiles, and for the exaltation of Israel.

He shall also behold his Redeemer, and be filled with his presence, while the cloud of his glory shall be seen in his temple. (The Writings of Parley Parker Pratt, see pp. 1-16)

The house of Jacob was set in order when Joseph of Egypt came out of his bondage and prison to take his rightful place as ruler. Under similar conditions, Joseph’s descendants will come out of their bondage and servitude to become rulers over the world.

The “setting in order” of God’s “house” is to be more than a religious re-arrangement. According to the Prophet Joseph, the word “house” implies kingdom–which extends to both the religious and political spectrum of God’s rule. According to Bishop [271] John Koyle who often accurately prophecied future events, the setting in order would cover “first the Church, then the State, and then the Nation”. This means the setting in order will encompass at least one religious and two political arenas. The Lord himself has said “the inhabitants of the earth (shall) be made to feel the wrath, and indignation, and chastening hand of the Almighty God, until the consumption decreed hath made a full end of all nations”. (D. & C. 87:6)

The Lord told of the time when His House would be in order on the earth, when “the wolf shall dwell with the lamb” and “the lion shall eat straw like the ox”; and also–

They shall not hurt nor destroy in all my holy mountain; for the earth shall be full of the knowledge of the Lord, as the waters cover the sea. And in that day there shall be a root of Jesse, which shall stand for an ensign of the people; to it shall the Gentiles seek: and his rest shall be glorious …. The envy also of Ephraim shall depart, and the adversaries of Judah shall be cut off. (Isa. 11:9-10, 13)

The Lord is going to “clear the board” of anything that may conflict or hinder His setting things in order. He will not tolerate any competition. When it is in order, He will personally come to reign over all the earth as King of kings in his “house”.

The Lord has said that “if ye are not one, ye are not mine”. (D. & C. 38:27) A pertinent question then is, “If we are not one, who do we belong to?” And furthermore, it is obvious that if we are not in the United Order, then we are certainly “out of order”.

 

 

[272]                             Chapter 18

 

CONCLUSION

If faith, repentance and baptism and laying on of hands is right and true and demands our obedience, so does co-operation and the United Order. (John Taylor, J.D. 21:60)

There is a fine line between the temporal and the spiritual. Man is commanded to renounce the world; yet he is commanded to weed it and make it livable by the sweat of his face. He is commanded to diligently serve God, yet he must always be administering relief to his fellow man. He is taught that the love of money is the root of all evil; yet he is considered worse than an infidel if he provides not these things for his family. Man has been commanded to love God with all his might, mind, and strength; yet he must labor six days out of seven in temporal affairs. A wise man realizes that he is sinful and imperfect, yet he knows that he is a child of God and can be exalted as a God. With his feet on the earth and his head in the heavens, man is torn between the temporal and the spiritual–between God and the devil. In this strange maze of mortality, man progresses or regresses in his quest for an understanding of life.

 

[273] The object of a good religion is to make man’s life worth living, and himself worthy of life. We should be able to enjoy the things of the world, yet always be ready to sacrifice them if necessary.

Too often we measure a man’s success by his wealth, but Jesus said, “A man’s life consisteth not in the abundance of the things which <he> possesseth”. (Luke 12:15) And again he told his disciples not to be concerned about food and drink because, “your Father knoweth that ye have need of these things. But rather seek ye the kingdom of God”. (Matt. 16:32) But Israel, both ancient and modern, have fallen prey to the styles, customs, traditions, and foolish laws of the Gentile world. God wanted Israel to become “a peculiar people” and a “holy nation”, but we have become servants to the Gentiles, and “hewers of wood and drawers of water” (Josh. 9:27) for Babylon.

Today the Mormons are seeking to gain riches by common gentile practices of banking, investments on Wall Street, commercial corporations and other scheming business practices. The Lord will never make them rich by that means–in fact, it is a snare that will soon lead to total bankruptcy and depression. A simple remedy was given by former prophets and apostles; for example, President Brigham Young explained:

We can get rich a great deal quicker by serving God than by serving ourselves, do a great deal better, and do a great deal more good. The earth is the Lord’s and the fullness thereof. He is anxious, and is waiting with extended arms and hands, comparatively, to pour the wealth of the world into the [274] laps of the Latter-day Saints, if they will not give it away to their enemies. (J.D. 15:228)

Others, such as Orson Pratt, promised the same:

If we unite ourselves together upon this principle, with all our hearts, mights, minds, and strength, laying aside all covetousness, there is not any power beneath the celestial kingdom that is able to prevail against us; we will prosper in all things, and the Lord will make us the richest of all people that have been upon the face of the earth for, many generations, and He will bless our basket and our store, and increase and multiply the flocks and the herds in the fields, and cause them to flourish exceedingly, and make us mighty; and when we go forth He will make the nations to tremble before us, because His power and glory will be with us when we are doing His will and are united in one. (J.D. 2:104)

Fifteen years later President Young realized that the Saints were still incapable and unprepared for the greater riches. Said he:

Looking at matters in a temporal point of view, and in the light of strict economy, I am ashamed to see the poverty that exists among the Latter-day Saints. They ought to be worth millions and millions; and millions on millions where now they are not worth a dollar. (J.D. 17:44)

 

[275] Further enlightenment came from Brigham Young on the reasons why the Saints do not have God’s blessings of great riches:

Has He not told us, in the early rise of this Church, if we would do His will, and seek the riches that is the will of the Father to bestow upon us, we should be the richest of all people; for the riches of eternity should be given to us, and it must needs be, saith the Lord, that the riches of the earth are mine to give. They are all His; how easily He could turn all the riches of the earth into our hands, if we were only prepared to receive them and use them according to His will. But He knows the time to hasten them, and He knows the secret intents of our hearts as a people; He knows whether we are prepared to use the riches of the earth to build up His kingdom or not, and He will withhold them, until the time shall fully come for Him to bless us according to the promise He has made–until we shall be prepared to receive them; we shall have riches then in great plenty. Gold will be so plentiful that we may find no use for it only to make culinary and other utensils; we may use some of it for paving our streets, and for whatsoever is necessary; . . . (J.D. 2:265)

But there are only a few people who understand the true purpose for gold and riches. Brigham Young continued to explain that:

Gold is a pure and precious metal, and the wicked love it through selfishness or an unholy lust, while God and his true people [276] love to pave the streets of Zion with it, to overlay altars and pulpits of temples with it, and to make utensils of it for the use of the Priests of the Lord in offering sacrifices to Him, and also for household purposes. (J.D. 10:254)

Brigham said he knew where he could go and get a hatful of gold anytime he wanted, and “have known this ever since I have been in these valleys.” “If we possessed true knowledge and power with God, we should know how to get gold in great abundance”. (J.D. 10:267)

Explaining the power of God over these temporal elements, he said:

These treasures that are in the earth are carefully watched, they can be removed from place to place according to the good pleasure of Him who made them and owns them. He has his messengers at his service, and it is just as easy for an angel to remove the minerals from any part of one of these mountains to another, as it is for you and me to walk up and down this hall. This, however, is not understood by the Christian world, nor by us as a people. (J.D. 19:37)

Although Brigham Young knew where to get gold, he never produced large amounts of it for the market. In fact, he discouraged others from doing so, too, as described by an English convert by the name of Croslin, who found a ledge of rock studded with gold. Croslin was herding his sheep near Tooele one day when he accidentally found this gold, and took samples of it to Brigham Young.

 

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Young examined the specimens and returned them to Croslin, agreeing they were rich in gold; he then instructed him never to show or tell anyone where the gold came from, and that he was never to return to the ledge again. When Croslin started to object, Young told him that digging gold would frustrate the plans of the church. “We could dig tons of gold and line the streets with it,” he told Croslin, “but it would not feed a single hungry Mormon. We need to grow grains to feed ourselves and others to come and raise sheep for wool for our clothing, but we don’t need gold. Perhaps sometime in the future the time may come when we need it, but that time is not now. (“Brigham Young’s Cursed Lost Ledge of Gold”, George Thompson, Western Treasures, Aug. 1968, p. 59)

Croslin talked about the mine to the day of his death, and showed people samples of the ore, but he never went back on his promise to Brigham. He declared that he walked near it, and saw it many times, but he never went back to that ledge of gold.

It is evident that the Lord would have given the Saints the treasures of the earth if they had been obedient to the laws of the United Order. “Instead of being united in our feelings to build up all, each one takes his own course; whereas, if we were united, we would get rich ten times faster than we do now,” said Brigham. (J.D. 11:349)

President John Taylor understood the problem and said:

 

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But I will tell you one thing you can never do–unless you can get the United Order in the hearts of the people, you can never plant it anywhere else; articles and constitutions amount to very little; we must have this law, which is the law of God, written in our hearts. (J.D. 20:45)

The Lord also said that “where your treasure is, there will your heart be also” (Luke 23:34), and it is for this reason that “I, the Lord, require the hearts of the children of men”. (D. & C. 64:22)

Brigham Young understood this from the commencement of the United Order:

Sunday. Jan. 31, 1875: The president (B. Young) spoke on the United Order, said that it would never fail no more than the eternities would. Said that the brethren who had been trying to carry out the order had no conception what the Lord wanted. Said the course the brethren in this place had pursued would beggar the people; said the Lord, nor the first presidency, wanted the gold, silver, the houses, horses or chattels of the people, but all He asked for was this: “Son, give me thy heart”. Said when the people felt like that, there would be no trouble in carrying out the United Order. (Charles Walker Journal)

Only when men are willing to “sacrifice all things” for God are they worthy of obtaining “the keys of the kingdom of an endless life”. (TPJS, p. 322)

 

[279] The Lord does not need the real estate which men presume to own, for “what is property unto me saith the Lord, . . . have I not made the earth?” (D. & C. 117:4, 6) The Lord neither needs nor wants man’s temporal possessions; He wants his heart. How simple this may seem, but yet how many millennia has He been trying to gain a few people that would give Him their heart! Properly said, President George Q. Cannon asked:

When you made up your minds to obey this Gospel, did you hesitate because your friends told you that if you became Mormons you would spoil your prospects and lose your friends? No; you sacrificed every worldly consideration, you risked all for the truth, for the salvation which God promised you. And so in this United Order if you have a testimony that it is of God, you will feel–“No matter what it costs, all right”. Failures, yes there may be failures. I expect there will be failures and mistakes as long as we are so full of frailty, but who cares for that? But this will not be the fault of the principle. If God commands us to do anything, let us do it with all our heart, and he will prepare the way and preserve us from the bad effects of failures. (J.D. 17:242)

Heber Bennion understood the effect of love in a United Order, just as it is in a family:

We work for our families just as we work for ourselves, because we love them as we love ourselves, and we will do the same thing when we come to love our neighbor as ourselves. (Gospel Problems, H. Bennion, p. 64)

 

[280] Christians repeat the Lord’s Prayer and ask for the Kingdom of Heaven to come upon the earth so the Lord’s will “be done on earth as it is in heaven”; yet very few do anything about it. President John Taylor said:

I cannot conceive of anything more beautiful and heavenly than a united brotherhood, organized after the pattern laid down in the Doctrine and Covenants; when all act for the benefit of all–when while we love God with all our hearts we love our neighbor as ourselves; where our time, our property, our talents, our mental and bodily powers, are all exerted for the good of all; where no man grabs or takes advantage of another; where there is a common interest, a common purse, a common stock; where as they did on this continent, it is said of them that “they all dealt justly to each other,” and all acted for the general weal, “when every man in every place could meet a brother and a friend,” when all the generous and benevolent influences and sympathies of our nature are carried out, and covetousness, arrogance, hatred and pride and every evil are subdued, and brought. into subjection to the will and Spirit of God. These principles are very beautiful and would be very happifying for a community, a Territory, a State, nation or the world. (J.D. 17:180)

Brigham Young described this people in vision saying that they should be, or could be, united according to a heavenly plan:

 

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I have looked upon the community of the Latter-day Saints in vision and beheld them organized as one great family of heaven, each person performing his several duties in his line of industry, working for the good of the whole more than for individual aggrandizement; and in this I have beheld the most beautiful order that the mind of man can contemplate, and the greatest results for the upbuilding of the kingdom of God and the spread of righteousness upon the earth. Will this people ever come to this order of things? (J.D. 12:153)

 

It was a pertinent question, for it is a major problem getting men to obey the laws of God and become united. Apostle Lorenzo Snow seemed to believe that only a few would achieve what the Lord wanted man to do:

It is true that once in a great while there is a man who can break out from the common track of doing things, and such man will increase in influence, in the knowledge of God, and in the riches eternity. (J.D. 5:66)

And President Brigham Young pleaded for a few to make an attempt to keep God’s laws, and then show the rest how to do it.

I have one little sermon to the Bishops, Bishop Young and all the rest of them, and to the Elders. I want to see a pattern set for this holy older, and I give to each one of them a mission to go and call together five, ten, twenty or fifty families, and organize a [282] complete organization, and show the rest of us how to live. (J.D. 17:160)

The Lord, too, is pleading for a few wise and honorable men to comply with the laws of his Gospel. But in an era of strong delusion, grand deceptions and priestcrafts because men put their trust in the arm of flesh or the councils, of men, there are not many wise nor faithful nor valiant men who will arise and say, “We will obey God, and care not what man can do”.

The future destiny of the Latter-day Saints is not even understood by themselves. There will be a few faithful Elders who will become the world leaders. They will have power with God to introduce greater temporal and spiritual blessings to the world than ever before known. Apostle John Taylor elaborated:

We believe that there will be a temporal kingdom of God organized that will be under the direction and auspices of the Lord of Hosts, and that in all our affairs, whether they relate to things temporal or things spiritual, as we have been in the habit of calling them, we shall be under the direction of the Lord; as the Scriptures say, “It shall come to pass that all the people shall be taught of the Lord.” This is part and parcel of our creed. We believe that we shall rear splendid edifices, magnificent temples and beautiful cities that shall become the pride, praise and glory of the whole earth. We believe that this people will excel in literature, in science and the arts and in manufactures. In fact, there will be a concentration of wisdom, not only of the combined [283] wisdom of the world as it now exists, but men will be inspired in regard to all these matters in a manner and to an extent that they never have been before, and we shall have eventually, when the Lord’s purposes are carried out, the most magnificent buildings, the most pleasant and beautiful gardens, the richest and most costly clothing, and be the most healthy and the most intellectual people that will reside upon the earth. This is part and parcel of our faith; in fact, Zion will become the praise of the whole earth; and as the Queen of Sheba said anciently, touching the glory of Solomon, the half of it had not been told her, so it will be in regard to israel in their dwelling places. In fact, if there is anything great, noble, dignified, exalted, anything pure, or holy, or virtuous, or lovely, anything that is calculated to exalt or ennoble the human mind, to dignify and elevate the people, it will be found among the people of the Saints of the Most High God. This is only a faint outline of some of our views in relation to these things, and hence we talk of returning to Jackson County to build the most magnificent temple that ever was formed on the earth and the most splendid city that was ever erected; yea, cities, if you please. The architectural designs of those splendid edifices, cities, walls, gardens, bowers, streets, etc., will be under the direction of the Lord, who will control and manage all these matters; and the people, from the President down, will all be under the guidance and direction of the Lord in all the pursuits of human life, until eventually they will be [284] enabled to erect cities that will be fit to be caught up–that when Zion descends from above, Zion will also ascend from beneath, and be prepared to associate with those from above. The people will be so perfected and purified, ennobled, exalted, and dignified in their feelings and so truly humble and most worthy, virtuous and intelligent that they will be fit, when caught up, to associate with that Zion that shall come down from God out of heaven. (J.D.10:146-47)

In this dispensation men must learn to live as Enoch lived. By the same principles they must accomplish all that he did–yea, even more. Enoch established the United Order in a city; this people must establish it among all nations. Enoch successfully defended the gospel against the wickedness of neighboring cities; but this people must defend it against the rest of the world. Enoch had opposition from a few nearby countries; but this people must purge unrighteousness out of all the world, making it a suitable place for Enoch and his city to return. Enoch received visitations from the Lord; but this people must prepare the New Jerusalem for Him to dwell for a Millennium. Enoch raised his city into a Terrestrial Order; but this people must translate the whole earth into that glory.

The work of the Lord in the last days is for the–

–gathering of the elect of the Lord out of every nation on earth, and bringing them to the place of the Lord of Hosts, when the city of righteousness shall be built, and where the people shall be of one heart and [285] one mind, when the Savior comes; yea, where the people shall walk with God like Enoch, and be free from sin. (TPJS, p. 93)

In these last days, a few faithful men will prepare themselves to become “a royal priesthood”, and a “holy nation”, where even bells on the horses will be inscribed with “holiness to the Lord”. They will have learned this important lesson–that they must be equal in the bonds of earthly things also, for the obtaining of heavenly things”. (D. & C. 78:5)

In those days men will have learned to consecrate more than dollars and dirt–they will have consecrated their hearts, their time, their talents, their all to the Lord and His kingdom.