Obrazy na stronie
PDF
ePub

CREATION AND PROGRESS.

things in nature are subject to nature's unchangeable laws, and as nothing is a mystery to those who understand, so nothing is supernatural to those beings who comprehend all of nature's laws. The workings of electricity as seen in the telegraph, the telephone, etc., are far more miraculous than many occurences called by that name. But it is only the untutored savage that would consider the effects of electricity supernatural, for the simple reason that civilized man knows enough of its manifestations to understand that they are all governed by well ordered laws, many of which he has already discovered and applied, and others he is gradually unfolding.

There is very much false reasoning in the assumptions of those who deny the existence of the Divine Being. They ascribe effects to utterly inadequate causes. The difference between the intelligence and spiritual powers of man. and those of the brute, they ascribe to difference in the size and structure of the brain, and the organs through which it works. Difference of structure is asserted to be the cause of difference of function, and man is simply an improved or more perfect animal than the beasts by which he is surrounded and whom he rules. But there is something more than difference of structure that causes the distinction between man and the brutes. It is difference of origin, difference of parentage and descent. Man was as inherently capable of the high attainments of to-day, had the surrounding circumstances been as favorable, in the earliest ages of this world's history, as he is now. There is no evidence of the gradual development of man as a race from the universal barbarism of the stone age to the enlightenment of the present. The theory of the gradual mental growth of the whole human family through the slow bronze, iron ages, etc., once so popular with those who did not want to believe the Scriptures, is fast falling into disrepute. There is nothing to prove the universal prevalence of any one state of society in any age of the world's history since the creation; whilst some nations were growing, others were retro

311

grading; it is so to day; it has been so ever since the nations divided, and the races of men commenced to work out their individual history. We know, that the Egyptian, the Persian, and the Lamanite are far below the standard of the civilization of their ancient ancestors, while other races are still growing and improving in all the excellencies of humanity.

Modern science is too much given to generalizing. It knows a little, and assumes everything. Let us suppose for a moment that every record relating to the history of Utah could be wiped out of existence, and two thousand years from now, philosophers of that age dig up some of the workmanship of our most skilled artizans, say some complicated machinery; then again, that others dig up some flint arrow heads or other rough work of our friends the Diggers, the Utes, or Shoshones, what could these parties know by deduction about our state of society? Would they not probably, according to the present system of reasoning, conclude that the arrow heads were the work of a people who antedated by many thousand years, the men who constructed the delicate pinions, or massive beams of the machinery, and argue that the one was the gradual development of the other, instead of being two diverse races occupying the same region at the same time. And then let us imagine they find the remains of Kit Carson's boat hewed out of a log, which is now in our Museum, by what process of reasoning, at present in vogue, could they ascribe it to one of the enlightened race. They must know the circumstances that surrounded the building of that boat before they could decide correctly. So is it with many of the relics of earlier ages of the world's history that are to day advertised as stumbling blocks to the revelations of the Bible. They prove but little, and amount to nothing when they are exhibited as evidences of the untrustworthiness of the Divine Record. True, they may disprove some of the theories advanced by uninspired men, which such pretend are based upon the Bible, but

CORRESPONDENCE-HOMESPUN TALK.

312

that is a matter between the scientists | tial; all true science will aid you. Then

and theorizers, but these finds disprove none of God's revealed word, nor demonstrate that there is no creator, nor that the race of man was ever anything radically different to what it is to day, or ever developed or differentiated from one of the lower creations. R.

an understanding of music, sufficient, at least, to enable you to lead a hymn, is advantageous. Don't fail to embrace every opportunity of speaking in public, thus to accustom yourself to stand before an audience. And the young man that will make God his choice, keep the Word of Wisdom, and store his mind as I have advised, will be able, through the aid of the Lord, to stand before all men and not be confounded.

CORRESPONDENCE.

CHIPPEWA FALLS, Iowa. Editor Contributor:

If I can arrange my thoughts, and present my ideas on paper, I would like to tell the young men of Zion what qualifications are necessary to become good missionaries. I am aware that many of our Elders have had but limited education, yet, through the aid of the Spirit of God, have done much good on missions. But this is no excuse for us, who enjoy opportunities which they did not have; "where much is given, much is required," and it is our duty to get knowledge from all good books and all proper sources. Here let me say I consider the knowledge that comes from the Lord, through communion with His Spirit, is to be preferred before all other knowledge. First of all I would therefore recommend, as the greatest qualifier, simple, childlike prayer. Pray in faith. Let no young man think he will obtain and retain communion with the Father, unless he lives a life of virtue, a life of morality, a life of cleanliness and of temperate habits. "For my spirit dwells not in unholy tabernacles, saith the Lord."

These things having been observed, the next thing I would recommend is to become thoroughly conversant with the Bible, not only to repeat the various appropriate passages, but also to tell under what circumstances and conditions they were given. The Book of Mormon and Doctrine and Covenants should likewise be committed. Add to these, histories of the churches, the creeds and doctrines taught by other denominations. Go into your researches deep. Don't be satisfied with a mere glance. The more you have of real knowledge, the more you have to draw from; histories of great men and of nations are good; geography is essen

I write thus on account of the idea some have that it is not necessary to prepare themselves for missions, thinking, no doubt, that they will not be called. The field is large, and all who are qualified will be needed. We are told that whatever intelligence we attain unto in this life will rise with us in the life to come, and we believe no man can obtain a high exaltation in ignorance. That all my young brethren may improve the golden moments as they fly, and make of themselves skilled artizans in the work of God, is the desire of your friend and Thomas J. Steed.

brother.

HOMESPUN TALK.

THOUGHT you'd bring your boy friends with you, did you? That's right my dears. Here are seats. Glad you came in, I have just done my evening chores. Don't I dislike doing chores? Why, yes, of course I do, but I don't grumble about them. I do think if there is any thing on earth that is trying to patience it is for the different members of a family to neglect their chores. You see they are necessary evils. I don't want you to feel offended my dear boys, at what I say, but I am glad of an opportunity of giving you some much needed advice on this subject. I know its disagreeable to work all day and have to come home and milk, and chop wood, and feed stock, etc. But it has to be done, so do it cheerfully, as your mother or sister does hers. Suppose you have to say to your mother about eight or ten times, "I want my supper," "Sew on this button," or "make my bed," and then have to go and throw on the bed-clothes, hunt up something to eat or pin up your shirt collar. It is quite as

REAL AND IDEAL.

trying for mother or wife to ask and ask for wood or water and then toil up the hill after the heavy bucket of water, or haggle off a stick of wood, or worse, pick up tantalizing chips in the hot sun. Do you think its fun for her! The doing of these same chores is the oil which lubricates the intricate machinery of domestic labor. And oh, when the wheels get dry how they do squeak? In fact I have known some to get se clogged that they moved slower and slower and finally stopped. A young man lately married, whose wife was possessed of good common sense, dropped into his old habit of neglecting chores as long as possible. One morning his wife wanted wood but he was engaged talking to some man about fields. The wife called several

REAL AND IDEAL.

At times sweet visions float across my mind, And glimpses of the unknown bright and fair, Where all the objects seem so well-defined

Tasteful in color, and in beauty rare, That I must pause, and think if they be real,. Or only what the poets call ideal.

I well remember when a little child,

I had these same strange, wand'ring fancies; And I was told my thoughts were running wild, That I must not indulge in such romances, Wasting in idle dreams the precious hours, Building air-castles and gazing from the towers. E'en then I seemed to familiar things,

Pertaining to a dim, uncertain past; And to my recollection faintly clings,

A sense of something, which the shadows cast, That showed me what my future life would be, A prophecy, as 'twere, of destiny.

There was an intuition in my heart,

An innate consciousness of right and wrong, That bade me choose a wiser, better part, Which, in rough places, helped to make me strong;

313

times and got the time honored reply, "Yes, my dear, in a minute." After a while the calls ceased, and the husband settled down with a sigh of relief on the top of a fence rail. The hour for breakfast came and in walked the young man. The table was set as usual. They sat down and he was helped to white unboiled potatoes, the plate of raw beefstake was by his side, and the table was crowned with a breadpan full of uncooked dough. We draw the curtain. Men get tired of chores, while a woman's life is made up of them, and like them or not they have to be done. And now, don't forget when you go home to-night to do up what few chores you may have to do cheerfully and well. Good night, come again. Susa Young Gates.

And though my path was oft bereft of beauty, Still urged me on to fulfil ev'ry duty.

O, happy childhood, bright with faith and hope, Enchantment dwells within thy rosy bowers, And rainbow tints gild all within thy scope,

And youth sits lightly on a bed of flowers, His cup of happiness just brimming o'er, Unconscious of what life has yet in store.

What glowing aspirations fill the mind

Of noble work designed for man to do! What purity of purpose here we find

What longings for the beautiful and true; Ere know we of the toil, the grief and woe; Or dream that men and women suffer so. Though all along life's weary, toilsome way,

We meet with disappointments hard to bear, Yet strength is given equal to our day,

And joy is of 'nest mixed with pain and care; But let us not grow weary in well-doing, Still persevere the upward path pursuing. Thus ever struggle on, 'mid doubts and fears, While changing scenes before our gaze unfold, Till, through the vista of long, weary years,

We see heav'n's sunshine, thro' its gates of gold; And feel assured it is an answering token, Aye! though our earthly idols have been broken. Tho' those we've cherish'd most have been untrue,

And fond and faithful ones have gone before, Still let us keep the promises in view,

Of those who're pleading on "the other shore," Whose tender messages are with us yet, The words of love, we never can forget.

And while we muse and ponder, shadows fall, And a sweet spirit whispers, "Peace, be still;** What of the past-'tis now beyond recall;

The future, we with usefulness may fill. Yet sometime, we shall find in regions real Those dreams fulfilled we only term ideal. Emmeline B. Wells.

314

THE CONTRIBUTOR.

A MONTHLY MAGAZINE.

JUNIUS F. WELLS,

EDITOR AND PUBLISHER.

TERMS:

Two Dollars a Year,

EDITORIAL.

[ocr errors]

SALT LAKE CITY,

Single Copy, Twenty Cents.

In Advance.

JULY, 1881.

SECTARIAN SCHOOLS.

THERE has been of late, considerable said in the stand and by the press upon sectarian schools among the Latter-day Saints. In our comments upon this subject, we desire to take the correct view and to weigh the situation fairly and without prejudice.

That there is universal sectarian opposition to our people and institutions none will deny. There is no church, no society, no political party of the world that favors the Saints. A few years ago, all of them that were not actively engaged in the assault, remained at home in indifference, at ease, while our people were being driven from the pale of civilization, their leaders murdered and their homes destroyed. While these atrocities were being committed, and a friendless people ostracised from their native land, none of these good Christians, whose mission is to educate poor children and send missionaries to the heathen, were known to pen a line, deliver a sermon or raise an arm in defense of the helpless Saints,or in opposition to the cruel bigotry and relentless frenzy that actuated the mobs who drove them into the wilderness.

Now, with these historical facts before us, we have to conclude that the solicitude at present manifested by sectarian Christians of the world, in behalf of the youth of the Latter-day Saints, is the result of a change of sentiment in regard to our people, or it is to be viewed in the light of a new invasion, with the same fell purpose that the mobs had in Missouri and Illinois, namely, the destruction of our faith and people.

If we ask the ministers the object of their extreme interest, they commence to generalize. Education is their theme broad, liberal education, that will make refined, intelligent men and women of our children. This, they say, to us, is the first and only consideration they have in view, and they spend their time and devote their strength and talent to its accomplishment for the love of Christ and humanity, being sustained, in the meantime, by the church funds and school perquisites, tuition fees, etc. It is hard for some of us Latter-day Saints to believe that they have no other object or intention; that they do not wish to destroy our children's faith in our religion; and that purely for the love they bear us, they are willing to educate our children without money and without price. We are made more incredulous when we read the dispatches, and find that our anxious educators humiliate themselves, begging money in the east to support them in the glorious cause of education among the Mormons, and that to raise sufficient interest and money they are obliged to waive the matter of truth and greatly exaggerate the extent of their field, and the necessity of its thorough cultivation.

Our faith, in the innocent nature of their calling, and in the purity of their designs upon our children, is further wrecked, when we hear that they tell other stories of their purposes and objects to their patrons abroad. They say that a famous bishop of one of the leading sectarian churches here, told his fellow bishops in Boston, that he could do nothing towards converting the adult Mormons to the popular creeds, for they were rooted and grounded in their delusion, but "in ten years you will see we will make great inroads upon their children." His remarks were applauded. Remarks like this, and their bitter denunciation of our Church leaders and some of the principles of our faith, which they compare to diabolism, animalism, etc., necessarily cause thinking Latter-day Saints to suspect that "there's a nigger in the fence" somewhere.

Now, what is the design and object of

EDITORIAL.

sectarian churches in seeking to educate Latter-day Saints' children? They say, "we do not teach religion in our schools. Your children may or may not be Presbyterians, Episcopalians, or Methodists. It is our business simply to give them a common or high school education; not to interfere with their religion, whatever it may be." But with their ideas of Mormonism, viewing it as evil, abominable, immoral, and not orthodox, what kind of men must they be, and how will they account to their supporters East, if they make no effort to destroy the germ of faith in the breasts of Mormon children, which is sure to develop into a perfect testimony of the truth of Mormonism if left alone?

They are hypocrites and false to their trust if they do not seek to dispel from the minds of children under their care, any theories, or principles not in accord with their traditional ideas of Christianity, morality, and respectability. And any one of them, not believing in Mormonism, who would assume to teach a Mormon child, and not correct in the mind of that child, the principles its parents, as good Latter-day Saints, are bound to impart, is too much of a hypocrite to his own faith, to be trustworthy or fit to teach, guide or control any one, and particularly children of whom great things are expected in the future.

These teachers have some other object in view, and are doing what they consider a nobler work than merely instructing our children in grammar and arithmetic. The arithmetic they take most delight in teaching, and which they expect the greatest results from, is infidelity to Mormonism. Certainly we wont insist on you being Baptists or Congregationalists, or even Catholics, so that you are anything under heaven but a Mormon. The devil is well enough satisfied with the victory, and is willing to let his various sectarian churches clamber among themselves for the spoils.

We consider that Latter-day Saints' children have a claim upon their parents for a fair education. They are the offspring of a system that the world abhors, and they have to contend for a place in

315

the world with their fellow men arrayed, on every hand, against them. To be prepared for the battle of life, to be able to defend their father's faith and to give a reason for the hope within them, they must be educated. They must be able to meet the theologian, the scientist, the philosopher, and confute strange theories and vindicate the truth. For this labor they should be educated. They have a wonderful mission upon the earth, and should be trained from childhood directly and purposely for its fulfillment. Neglect of parents to start them well drilled, armed and in condition to meet the opponents of their life's mission, will be visited upon the parents' heads. If the youth fall by the wayside, skeptics, unvirtuous, infidel, let parents take warning. Where have the little ones been taught? If in the school of the unbeliever, their sin be upon your heads. If in the school of faith, God will visit His judgments upon them and recompense you for the care you have given them.

In most cases where the latter course is pursued, there will be little danger of children going astray. "Train up a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not depart from it" is a true saying. The only difficulty is in knowing how he should go and training him accordingly. If Latter-day Saints. do not know the destiny and expectations of their children, they certainly can not suppose sectarian school teachers to be better informed. We are of the opinion that children, with the work before them that our children have to do, deserve better treatment than to be subjected to the false traditions and infidel influences of bigoted sectarians, before they have learned the whisperings of the Holy Spirit which God gave them in their early childhood, to be their monitor and help, while obtaining their education. And we consider it an insult to those children, if not an offense to God, for parents to place them where the development and employment of that sacred gift is not deemed necessary to educate and qualify them for the duties of life which await them.

« PoprzedniaDalej »