Prayer by Col. Ezra T. Benson
Fourth of July Festivities, 1855
Great Salt Lake City, Utah
Deseret News, **GET REF; or Journal History, 4 Jul. 1855, pp. 1–2
O thou Great and Eternal God in the name of Jesus Christ we present ourselves before thee this afternoon, may this meeting prove edifying and strengthing to us all. We feel grateful before thee for the many privileges and blessings we enjoy in the vallies of the mountains, and for the privilege we have enjoyed this day in celebrating the Anniversary of American Independence.
We realize this blessing to flow from thy great and bountiful hand, that we can make our demonstrations of joy for the blessings of liberty thou hast bequeathed to us through our fathers, and for the favor of worshiping thee the God of our salvation where none dare molest or make us afraid. Let thy Holy Spirit dwell in our hearts, and enlighten our understandings that we may appreciate our blessings and rejoice this day in the liberty thou hast guaranteed unto us in these peaceful vales. We thank thee for food, for raiment, and for the enjoyment of the society of each other from day to day, and we pray that the blessings of thy Holy Spirit may be extensively poured upon each one of us, that thy people may be blessed and rejoice continually, and continue in the things of thy spirit, and the blessings of thy Holy Gospel delivered to us in these last days.
We ask thee to bless thy servant Brigham whom thou hast appointed to be the President of thy Church, and the Governor of this Territory: may thy peace rest upon him, and his heart be filled with thy Good Spirit, to enlighten his mind, and heal all the infirmities of his body, that his days may be lengthened out, and that he may continue to be a blessing to his brethern, and to thy Church and Kingdom on the earth. Endow his Counselors with the pure spirit of counsel to counsel with him upon the things which pertain to thy Holy Kingdom that it may prosper exceedingly under their administration, that all things may be consummated which have been spoken by the mouths of thy servants the prophets since the world began.
We pray thee to bless their families, their wives, and their children, and all that has been committed to their charge.
Bless thy servants—the Twelve Apostles, with every other Quorum of thy Kingdom, may they be knit together, and move as one man to fulfil thy will, and bring to pass thy purposes.
Remember the institutions of Zion upon all the earth—upon the islands of the sea, and upon the continents; bless all who shall put forth their hands to favor Zion, and bestow upon them favor according to their works, and the amount of good they may do in rolling forth thy Kingdom in every land.
We pray thee to bless the military department in this Territory. We feel grateful for what our eyes have beheld this day, and for the joy, and gladness which our hearts have felt; that we can meet in peace under the banner of liberty which thou hast permitted to be unfurled in our day.
We ask thee to bless all the authorities of this Territory, both military, eclesiastical, and judicial; bless the judges, the General Government has sent to us, that they may act like men of God awarding even-handed justice to all men that they may do us good, and have no power to do us harm.
We ask thee to hear our prayers, O Lord, and do us all the good we need.
Confound the enemies of thy people among all nations that they may have no power to bring anything against them to injure them, and retard the progress of thy work, and the gathering of thy poor Saints from the nations afar off.
Remember the sick, the poor, and the destitute among thy people, and incline our hearts to administer to their wants, that we may be prospered in the land thou hast given unto us. Bless us, O Lord as a people, bless our habitations, our wives and our children, our flocks and our herds, and every thing over which thou hast made us stewards.
We dedicate and devote ourselves unto thee, and all we possess, praying that thy spirit may be with us to keep us as thy servants and hand-maidens from this time henceforth and forever, that we may live unspotted before thee and before each other that we may reap, as our reward, glory, honor, and exaltation in thy Kingdom, which blessings we ask in the name of Jesus Christ our Redeemer. Amen.