How is it that the children of man in former days in any age have obtained any knowledge of God? Upon what principle? It has simply been the principle of revelation—revelation from God to man and righteousness in the man and truth and integrity. How did man obtain any knowledge of God in any age [of the] world? They obtained it upon the principle of revelation. Where do we get our Bible? From men [who] had visions and revelations and the ministering of angels, and the heavens were opened to them and the power of God made manifest. And the Bible is simply a history of dealings of God with [the] human family, who in various ages [of the] world have had manifestations from himself concerning their true position. And how was it that those men were enabled to stand the various shakes and difficulties they had to meet with? Because they had confidence in God. . . .
What is it that gives the human family a knowledge of life, immortality, or their design or their relationship to God, to eternity? It is the gospel. Life and immortality are brought to [mortals] by the gospel. . . . Wherever the gospel of Jesus Christ exists there exists revelation, and where there is no revelation there is no gospel. It is this thing, then, that is unfolded unto us, and it is for us to improve on these things and grow in grace and knowledge and love of God, and inasmuch as we do this we shall be blessed. We have within our reach the principles of eternal life, and many of us have embraced it and rejoiced in [it]—it is that we are living for, or ought to be.
Teachings of Jesus Christ
Jesus taught a very good doctrine. To begin with he got up on a mount and taught them good principles. Says he, blessed are the peacemakers for they shall be called the children of God. How much of that is there going on in the world now? [How] many of them do you find? Blessed are the meek for they shall inherit the earth. How much of that do you find? Blessed are the pure in heart for they shall see God. Not much danger of many seeing him these times. And Jesus said, blessed are the pure in heart.
He taught good doctrines and principles, and pure principles and things calculated to bless and do good to the human family. And what else did he come to teach? The gospel, and what was it? The way to save men. And how did he teach them? He told them to repent of what? Of their sins, of their evil, of their iniquity, of their errors and everything that was wrong and unholy and impure and turn to God. He told them also to be baptized, and what else? He told them that if they did this, repented of their sins, turned to God, and worked righteousness and pursued a proper course, they should have the gift of the Holy Ghost and that should lead them unto all truth and bring things to their remembrance, etc., and the Lord should teach them and bless them with the Holy Spirit. . . . And finally if they [are] faithful they should reign with him in his kingdom. He taught men how to be happy, how to overcome the influences of the world, the flesh, and the devil. He taught them how to overcome the lusts of the flesh and the pride of life and every evil with which they were surrounded. He taught them how to prepare themselves for an inheritance in the kingdom of God.
What is it that all philosophy is professing to seek after? The happiness of the human family. . . . What they are aiming at is the science of life and the happiness of the human family. Jesus understood truly the science of life, for he came from God and taught of God and understood the things of God and taught those things to the people, that they might be prepared to live, to die, and inherit eternal life after death. These were the things he taught. These were the main springs of his action and these were the main springs of the action of all good men in the various ages of time, so far as we have any knowledge of them. . . . What did Jesus come to teach? To teach men how to be happy. He came to teach men how to provide for themselves in this world and in the world to come. He taught them the true science of human happiness so [far] as the things in this world were concerned and so far as the things in the next were.
The gospel of Jesus Christ, the principles of salvation, and the science of an eternal life is a matter so great, so wide, and so comprehensive that it is difficult to know where to commence and where to leave off, difficult to find the beginning, the middle, or the end. It is something like the Melchizedek priesthood, without beginning of days or ends of years. It reaches back into eternity and forward into eternity.
But there are some simple principles with which we have to do, . . . namely the principle of baptism as being introductory to the kingdom of God. It is a principle that was taught by our Lord Savior Jesus Christ. It was a principle that he himself submitted to. It was a principle that he administered in. It was a principle that he taught to his disciples to administer in and to teach to all nations, consequently—however small . . . that thing may appear to be to many of us—with the Lord, with his disciples, with John the Baptist, with the Apostles of our Lord, it was considered a matter of very great importance.
Live Your Religion
This is our faith. This is, if we suffer and endure and are prepared to adhere to our principles in life, death, suffering, affliction—under all circumstances that can be heaped on us. And inasmuch as we live our religion we triumph over all opposition and shout victory, victory through the blood of the Lamb.