Thursday, February 4, 2021

Orson Pratt on Living in the Last Days

from The Seer, which is a periodical/book written by Orson Pratt.

I wish to ask the saints who still remain scattered abroad, Do you enjoy as great a measure of the Spirit of God as when you were first baptized into this kingdom? Or are your minds barren? Your understandings unfruitful? Your souls in darkness? and your feelings cold and indifferent towards the great work which you have embraced, and which once made you joyful and happy? If this be your condition, it is of the utmost importance that you know the causes of these unhappy changes in your feelings. 

Is it because the Lord has changed and forgotten to be gracious? Is it because the fulness of his gospel does not produce the same effects or happiness now, as it did in ancient times? Is it because the Book of Mormon, or any of the Revelations given through Joseph, the Seer, have failed to accomplish those purposes for which they were sent? Is it because the saints have passed through great tribulation, and have been driven from city to city, from State to State, and finally banished from this great Republic to seek a home in the wild glens of the Rocky Mountains? Is it because God has forsaken his people and will no longer show them mercy?

No, verily, no; none of these causes have conspired to drive away the Comforter from your hearts, or to envelope you in darkness, or to make you cold, and indifferent, and unhappy. But the principal cause of your unpleasant and unhappy state of mind, is your own disobedience to one of the most important commands which God has given to his people in this last dispensation, namely: to flee out of Babylon, and gather themselves together, and stand in holy places, that they may escape the plagues and desolating scourges which the Lord has decreed to pour out upon the nations, because of their great sins and wickedness which continually cry unto the heavens for vengeance. Can any saint neglect so important a command, when it is within their power to keep it, and still be justified, and retain the peaceable Spirit of the Lord? 

No: the Spirit of the Lord is grieved with such, and will, by degrees, withdraw from them, and they will grope in the dark, and be liable to be overcome by temptation, and be led captive by the will of the Devil: such ones, not having the Spirit that leads into all truth, are liable to be deceived by the doctrines of men and Devils; for the Lord will frequently suffer strong delusions to overpower such that their damnation may be the greater, because they profess to know the Lord, and yet will not obey Him. Remember the word of the Lord which came by the mouth of Joseph, the Seer, saying, "Hearken and hear, O ye my people, saith the Lord and your God, ye whom I delight to bless with the greatest blessings, ye that hear me; and ye that hear me not, will I curse, that have professed my name, with the heaviest of all cursings." Have you hearkened to the word of God? Have you exerted yourselves to the utmost to flee from Babylon? If not, no wonder that you are in darkness -- no wonder that the peaceable Spirit has been grieved from your bosom. 

Repent, therefore, speedily, and obey the. voice of the Lord and gather yourselves among his people, lest the destroyer lay hold upon you in an hour you think not, and you perish in disobedience, and your name be cut off from the generations of Zion. If you will awake from the slumber of death which has seized upon you, and use every exertion to obey the voice of 6 the Lord your God, His anger shall be turned away from you, and He will show you mercy, and His Spirit shall be restored unto you again, and His hand shall be stretched out over you to shield and protect you, and to gather you even as a hen gathereth her chickens under her wings to save them from the approaching storms; so shall the Lord your God save you, and comfort your hearts, and make you to sing with joy and gladness, and you shall be His people, and He will be the Lord your God. Awake then, O awake! flee to the mountains for refuge! For a day of trouble is at hand -- a day of fierce battle and warn day of mourning and lamentation for widows and orphans whose husbands and fathers shall fall in battle: it shall be the day of the Lord's controversy for His people -- a day of recompence for the innocent blood of prophets and saints which has been shed among this nation