[Elder Jedediah M. Grant, second counselor to President Brigham Young, (1854-1856), as early as the first named date foreshadowed some of the conflicts that were to be witnessed in the world in the latter days. . From two of his sermons, delivered February 19 and April 2, 1854, are quoted the prophetic words which follow, and which appear especially timely under conditions at present prevailing in the European nations. The quotations from the sermons were printed last October in Liahona the Elders’ Journal, in which a series of testimonies of the leaders of the Church, past and present, are being featured. — Editors.]
We need not expect the eyes of the inhabitants of the earth to be opened to understand the meaning of the astounding events that are transpiring around them, for one of the marked signs of the last days is the blindness of the people ; we are told they should have eyes and see not, and ears and hear not, and hearts and understand not. If in the days of Jesus this was true of the Jews and surrounding nations, it is doubly so now in relation to the nations with which we are acquainted. Though the fulfilment of the words of the prophets is clear and visible to us as the noon-day sun in its splendor, yet the people of the world are blinded thereto; they do not comprehend nor discern the hand of the Lord.
We can see his hand in all the events of the earth ; we see it in the revolutions of our own continent ; we see it in the scattering and scourging of the house of Israel ; in the fading away of nations, on the right and on the left ; in the present commotion in our own nation ; in the broils and contentions between the South and the North ; we see the hand of the Lord visibly at work in Europe, not only in the spread of the gospel, in the prosperity of the people of God, and in the proclamation of the eternal principles of truth through the agency of the elders of Israel, but in the war cloud gathering black around, dying the ocean with human gore, and drenching the solid earth with blood ; we see it in the preparations of war, and the framing of treaties of peace among strong nations.
The world is in commotion, and the hearts of men fail them for fear of the impending storm that threatens to enshroud all nations in its black mantle. Treaties of peace may be made, and war will stop for a season, but there are certain decrees of the gods, and certain bounds fixed, and laws and edicts passed by the high courts of heaven, beyond which the nations cannot pass ; and when the Almighty decrees the wicked shall slay the wicked, strong nations may interfere, peace conventions may become rife in the world and exert their influence to sheathe the sword of war and make treaties of peace to calm the troubled surface of all Europe, but to no effect ; the war cloud is still booming o’er the heavens, darkening the earth, and threatening the world with desolation.
When we see nation stirred up against nation, and on the other hand see other nations exerting a powerful influence to bring about negotiations of peace, shall we say they can bring it about? Do we expect they can stay the onward course of war? The Prophet of God has spoken it all, and we expect to see the work go on — and see all things fulfilled as the prophets have declared by the spirit of prophecy in them.
Why is it that the Latter-day Saints are perfectly calm and serene among all the convulsions of the earth — the turmoils, strife, war, pestilence, famine and distress of nations? It is because the spirit of prophecy has made known to us that such things would actually transpire upon the earth. We understand it, and view it in its true light. We have learned it by the visions of the Almighty — by that spirit of intelligence that searches out all things, even the deep things of God.
Three days before the Prophet Joseph started for Carthage, I well remember his telling us we should see the fulfilment of the words of Jesus upon the earth, where he says the father shall be against the son, and the son against the father; the mother against the daughter, and the daughter against the mother; the mother-in-law against the daughter-in-law, and the daughterin-law against the mother-in-law ; and when a man’s enemies shall be those of his own household.
The Prophet stood in his own house when he told several of us the night visions of Heaven were opened to him, in which he saw the American continent drenched in blood, and he saw nation rising up against nation. He also saw the father shed the blood of the son and the son the blood of the father ; the mother put to the death the daughter, and the daughter the mother ; and natural affection forsook the hearts of the wicked ; tor he saw that the Spirit of God should be withdrawn from the inhabitants of the earth, in consequence of which there should be blood upon the face of the whole earth except among the people of the Most High. The prophet gazed upon the scene his vision presented, until his heart sickened, and he besought the Lord to close it up again.
Some think we rejoice to see the wicked in their distress, and to behold the calamity that is coming upon the earth. That is not the true cause of our rejoicing; but we rejoice to see the predictions of the prophets coming to pass, the reign of wickedness closing, which is the cause of all the ills to which mortality is heir, the cause of God move on in its majesty, and the great work fast approaching the winding up scene of the dispensations pertaining to earth.
The Prophet Joseph Smith was visited by an holy angel, clad in robes of light, who authorized him to sound the trump of the gospel of peace, and receive the sacred records from the earth, and the Urim and Thummim, and who laid hands upon him and gave him the gift of the Holy Ghost, and authorized him to baptize for the remission of sins, and organize the Kingdom of God on the earth.
The grand secret is told in a few words; the fact is, the Almighty God has spoken from the heavens, sent heavenly messengers, and organized his Church, restored the Holy Priesthood, established his government upon the earth, and exerted his power to extend it, and send forth his word.
Let us rally around the standard of God, and when we are in the circle of truth, then let the devil and the enemies of the Church of God fire their loudest guns, and wage their war, and marshal their strength, yet, armed with the armor of righteousness, clothed with the Priesthood and generalship of the Almighty, we shall successfully resist and triumphantly conquer Satan and all his allied forces of the earth and hell. They will then find out whether Joseph had a right to rule by the power of the Priesthood. They will then find out that the “Mormons” are authorized to preach the Gospel of God, gather Israel, build up Zion, bind Lucifer with a chain, and establish the reign of peace on earth.
The Hand of God in Events on Earth
Elder Jedediah M. Grant
Second Counsellor to President Brigham Young
Jedediah M. Grant, Improvement Era, Vol. XVIII. FEBRUARY, 1915 No. 4.