Valedictory of Ezra T. Benson
Journal of Ezra T. Benson, 1857, Historical Department Archives,
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, MS 1531, pp. 116–23; see also
Millennial Star, 7 Nov. 1857, 19:45:714–15. (This was apparently
delivered in writing only.)
(written in a different hand than the rest of the journal)
To the Saints scattered throughout the European Mission greeting:—
Beloved brethren and Sisters—In the mysterious revolutions of God's providence by which all things are moved according to His pleasure and purposes, my labours in these lands have been brought to an abrupt termination. The history of the Church, the signs of the times, and our own individual experiences point distinctly to one great fact—that God is cutting His work short in righteousness, and rolling along His strange designs with increasing velocity. He has risen up in power and put on His strength as in days of old. The nations are being moved to the accomplishment of the purposes of Jehovah. Unwittingly they are verifying the words of the Prophets and fast filling up the destiny of the world. The God of our Fathers is remembering His covenants unto His people Israel. The Spirit of the Lord moves upon their
hearts;—His power invigorates their souls. They trust in Him with great faith, and the "Still, Small Voice" whispers to them that Jacob shall not wax pale, nor the children of Zion be put to Shame. The designs of the wicked as well as the works of the righteous tend to one end—the establishment of the Latter-day kingdom and the development of its glory.
I am about dear Saints to return to my mountain home. But before leaving these lands I have felt moved upon to address to you a few words of comfort and counsel, as well also as to return you my grateful acknowledgments for your many acts of kindness to me, as a servant of the Lord Jesus. Those acts are engraven upon my heart. They will be to my remembrance sweeter than honey, and will be dwelt upon as precious manifestations of the love and faith of the Saints in Europe towards
the cause of God and His servants. You shall not be forgotten by me, and our Father in heaven will also have your works in remembrance. I bless you in the name of the Lord, and you shall be blest, if you continue in well doing.
Be not cast down, dear brethren and sisters, nor let your faith waver. If a cloud gathers for a moment be assured that behind every frown of Providence God hides for you a "smiling face". There is no cloud in your future so thick that will not soon pass away and reveal to you a brighter sun.
Though for the time being the Emigration is closed think not that your deliverance ["tarries" crossed out] is far off nor imagine that God has forgotten the gathering of His Saints. In a moment, peradventure He will open the door again, and lead His people to Zion with an outstreached arm and power, such as heretofore He has not
manifested in their behalf. Perchance it will be found that hardly a break will be made in the great chain of gathering. In any case know that all is well! Fear not; sleep not; but be courageous; and awake O Israel, and behold the salvation of our God!
Let every Branch of the Church keep its organization compact, and its members full of faith. Let all be diligent; cease not your labours nor fall into lethargy. Go on as heretofore and Let your course be unbroken. Increase and not decrease. Multiply your works, add to your faith, gather fresh energy and determination, cement your union, and cultivate a double ["doubble" with second "b" crossed out] portion of wisdom and prudence. When the Lord ["shall" crossed out] again opens the way for your deliverance, ["remember brethren," crossed out] be you prepared. In your connections with the world return not railing for
railing, but seek to conquer by love and kindness. Avoid aggravating the feelings of any. Be not aggressors, but act on the defensive. If you are persecuted let it be for righteousness sake, and not ["be" crossed out] the result of any unwise conduct on your part.
No weapon formed against Zion shall prosper, nor, device against the people of God flourish. I feel to bless all Israel. All who bless them shall be blest, and they who prophesy good concerning the people of God shall have good multiplied unto themselves, and the Spirit of their words shall not fail. But he who predicts evil shall be among false prophets, and they who rise up against the work of our God shall wither, and their influence depart. Those who fight against Zion "shall be as a dream of a night vision". It shall be with them even "as when an hungry man dreameth, and, behold, he
eateth; but he awaketh, and his soul is empty: or as when a thirsty man dreameth, and, behold, he drinketh; but he awaketh, and, behold, he is faint." In the name of the Lord Jesus Christ, I curse, by the authority of the holy Priesthood, every "Anti-Mormon" association movement, member, and leader throughout the world; and let all Israel say Amen.
Before leaving this land I feel once more to bear my testimony, through the medium of the Star, to the British Saints, and to all who shall peruse this communication. I know that God has again established His kingdom on the earth, and that it will never be overcome; but it shall ultimately hold universal dominion, and Jesus shall reign as its King forever. I know that Joseph Smith was called of God to establish that kingdom, and that he accomplished the work given him—even the beginning of the
of the restitution of all things, and that he committed unto the Church the keys and power to continue what he had begun. He was one of the greatest of Prophets, and died a holy martyr of Jesus, sealing his testimony with his blood. I know that Brigham Young is his successor and that he is a man of God, and a Seer and Revelator to the Church of Christ. I know that the general authorities have for their object the glory of God and the salvation of man. Finally, I know that none can be saved in the Celestial Kingdom or escape the condemnation of the Lord, the Judge of all. [the following written above the line: "who receive not this work"] In the Day of Judgment this testimony shall be remembered to the confusion of those who reject it.
I will now close this communication by requesting an interest in your faith and prayers, and invoking the
choicest blessings of heaven to be multiplied unto you:
Your Servant and Brother in Christ
Ezra T. Benson