Speech by Elder E. T. Benson
Quarterly Conference, Tooele City, Nov. 10, 1855
Deseret News, 5:236, 338; or Journal History, 11 Nov. 1855
I am called upon to make a few remarks. My mind has been edified in listening to the teaching of my brethren. It is well to teach our children the Bible and all good books, and store their minds with useful knowledge. The Lord has sent his servants among us to teach us the things of the kingdom of God, if we will give diligent heed to their counsel. It shows that the Lord is remembering us. I am glad the Lord has sent his servants to labor among us, so that we may not forget our religion.
Where our treasures are, there will be our hearts also. If our hearts are upon our farms and cattle, and this world’s goods, they cannot be in heaven, or upon the things of the kingdom of God. No man can see the kingdom of God, unless he is born of the Spirit. We have all kinds in the kingdom of God now; and we are told that the tares must grow with the wheat until the harvest, lest, by pulling up the tares, we root out the wheat also. But I shall be glad when the separation comes between the righteous and the wicked.
I have no fears of a mob from Carthage, or the United States; but it is the apostates that are in our midst, that have been the cause of most of our troubles, even those that are in our families and cities.
I will say that God will bless all that do their duty. I want you to have confidence in the missionaries, and listen to what they say. All must have their time of trial. Who knows but what God has raised some in this place to try and tempt you, but you should not curse and blaspheme because of it. I laid a large piece of beef and tallow in my cellar a few days since; some one came and stole it all, and did not leave enough for my breakfast. I did not curse or swear, but I knelt down and attended to my morning prayers, as though nothing had happened.
Br. [Zera] Pulsipher said that a part of the first Twelve Apostles that were chosen apostatized, because they did not do the work of God, but ceased to be humble, and turned to merchandizing. How will it be with the present Twelve? will they apostatize? They will not, if they do their duty. Br. Woodruff says, if they perform their duties faithfully, they will never have time to apostatize.
We cannot get our reward, if we do not work and hold out faithful unto the end. If we had not done our duty and kept the commandments of God, we should not be prepared to go into the presence of God. We should begin a heaven on earth; we should begin it in our own houses; we should have peace in our own hearts and habitations.
I want to see a reformation in Tooele city, and throughout this Territory. I have always upheld the people in Tooele city; I want this people to be blessed, and to feel the spirit and power of their calling. Every man that is righteous is a patriarch over his own family and every man should be in the faith and Spirit enough to lay on hands and heal his own family, and bless them when sick; but they must all stop doing wickedly, before they can claim this blessing.
We have all kinds in the church. One man receives the work because he thinks he can do better than in the world; but all should receive the truth for the truth’s sake.
O, how we ought to rejoice before God, that we have as good men to lead us as we have, and to build up the kingdom of God on the earth. The prophets that first laid the foundation of this church and kingdom, lived upon the earth as long as it was necessary, and those that now lead us are governed by the same power, spirit and wisdom that they were; and all that have the Spirit of God can see it; but all that are drunken[*?CHECK] with the cares of this life, or darkened in their minds, they think all others are the same. But I can say, woe unto that man or woman that will not stand by the Presidency of this Church—they will go to destruction.
All should pray and bow their knees before God. There shall no man dwell in any family, but what shall bow the knee in prayer time before the Lord. We should become teachers in the church of God; we are not the First Presidency, but we are sent out by the Presidency to teach the people; and I would say, let the people be one; and I will say that there will not any people prosper, who do not uphold those whom God has set to preside over them. I do not speak against my brethren or their families; if I do see anything that does not exactly suit me, I hold my tongue and leave it in the hands of God, and not speak evil of my neighbors.
Thomas B. Marsh apostatized from half a pint of strippings; and we should all be careful that we do not let so small a thing overthrow us, but we should watch and pray, lest we enter into temptation.
I pray the Lord may give us his Holy Spirit, that we may be led to do his will, and be saved in his kingdom, for Christ’s sake. Amen.