Milo Andrus was 19 years old when he joined the Church in 1833. When he gave this sermon, he was 39 years old and had been a member of Zion’s Camp; served missions in Ohio, New York, and England; and led a company of two hundred across the plains to Salt Lake.
On Being Called to Speak
To be called before the congregation of the saints in this place to address them on the Sabbath day, not having been accustomed of doing so—it naturally throws a person into a peculiar state of feeling. But my maxim is, in relation [to the] religion of Jesus Christ[,] . . . that any servant of Jesus Christ living under the discharge of his duty is a fit subject at any moment to be called upon—whether from the mechanic shop or from any part of [a] mechanic business or [from] husbandry—to present life and salvation before the children of men. According to circumstances, I shall endeavor to carry this out in practice as well as in theory. . . .
So much I can say by experience: should I be enabled to get humility enough before the Lord and confidence enough in me and abide [in] the gift of salvation. . . . [What] I present through that channel [will] be interesting, because that which is deliver[ed] by the spirit of Jesus Christ, [and] received by those that are in the same spirit, is interesting.
Different Styles, Same Spirit
When we take up the history of [the] prophets and read them as we have them on record, we find a diversity of style in reason [and] of precepts to present the same things before the people. When we take up the history of [the] apostles, we find the same thing. But when[ever] they got to [a] conclusion upon the matter, it is all the same. Hence our Father in Heaven has left us free upon this subject, that every man [may] apply the same reason, adapted to himself. Hence, brethren and sisters, I have a style peculiar to myself [through] the Holy Spirit of inspiration that gave it [to] me.
Consequently, it is sometimes remarked by those that instruct us [that] from time to time[they] take their own course. Today [we] say [they] apply their style of reasoning, adapted to themselves. Yet it is not our own, [but] given of the Lord. Hence it is that [though] a certain number of men possess [the] same keys in priesthood [and] travel in [the] same channel, one [will] captivate one set of people by his argument, another [will reach] another and it will have powers upon their understanding.
Should I anticipate [speaking] today [in the] variety of another? Do I want it?
[No], because if I yet seek to please men, how could I stand before this mighty people and be servant of Jesus Christ? It is impossible.
The man that handles words of life and salvation must only seek one thing: the keys of inspiration, that which is developed by that spirit, and [to] walk in every principle of [the] Most High. This is [a] subject understood by [the] brethren, for they all know [that] unless they get the key to unlock, to get hold of, the Spirit [to] lay before the people, it is all vain and the result will be the same.
The Gospel is Eternal
We assert that the gospel of Jesus Christ [is as] eternal as Jehovah. [His] plan is the same, [his] eternal arm [is] the same. The one difference [is] in relation to presenting that scheme to the human family. [There] is [a] difference of government [and the] condition of human family at large [now]. . . .
[Yet] the plan of salvation was eternally the same. The principles we act upon [were] acted upon by the prophet[s] [and] presented to the world by the Son of God. The Son of God, by the power of his spirit, [has] backed up all we say in relation to these matters and will bear a testimony to those that live that the principles are eternal truth. I scarcely believe that there is a man existing upon the face of earth that has ever heard or read the testimony that has been born by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints but has a fear within himself [that] those individual[s] have the eternal truths of heaven. [And] those [who are] honest [will] honor it.
Testimony like Paul’s
I shall not then, for sake of brevity, pass any further back in history of world than the days of [the] Lord Jesus Christ and [his] apostles and from what they taught the human family, making a few remarks [and] bearing testimony. And if [the] spirit directs me to be lengthy on this subject, lengthy [I shall] be. And if not, [I will] sit down.
The great Apostle of the Gentiles [is] considered so eminent among the Christian portion of [the] community [that they] extol him to the heavens, and they apply that great grace, the name “saint,” to St. Paul. I will call him St. Paul to be in fashion with [the] rest of [the] world. St. Paul seems to have received a principle that caused him to feel, think, and act [a] good deal like a great many Latter-day Saints, with that [same] kind of boldness [of] spirit and power. . . . When he was brought before individuals opposed to him in truth, sentiment, religion, doctrine and in every sense of way, the [only] thing [they could] get out of him in relation to the recantation of religion [was], “I am not ashamed of [the] gospel of Jesus Christ.” Why not? “Because it is the power of God unto salvation.” What else? “Therein is [the] righteousness of God revealed.” It embraces a revelation from heaven, the will of his Father, all the things [that] pertain to life and godliness—and [you] might as [well] put him out of existence as make him ashamed of that.
Mark [the] course of [the] servants of Jesus Christ in [the] day [in which] we live and you [will] find them the same.
Endowed with Power like Peter’s
When this [truth] called the gospel [was] taught to the human family in former ages, [it was] just as it is now: it was foolishness to [the] children of men, but to the individual endowed by the spirit of life, [it was the] power of God unto salvation to all that believe. Just so with [the] principles [that] may be developed today [and] are developed from time to time. . . .
The Apostle Peter [was] presented [with] this subject on one occasion after [he] had been commanded to tarry in [a] certain place until [the] day comes to open the gospel to every nation. After [the] Savior had given them most of their endowment, He told them to tarry [a length] of time [to be] endowed with power. “[You are] not fully prepared to go to [the] nations,” says He. “Tarry in Jerusalem [until you are] sent out. For I will send the Comforter, [the] Spirit of Truth—and when he is come, he shall abide with you forever and he shall bear testimony.” You never see the individual He endowed with that spirit but [they will] bear testimony of that truth.
What length of time this individual tarried [is] not for me to say, but when the time was fully accomplished, [when the] day of Pentecost [was] fully come, [when] the period was about to close and they had consulted together upon [the] principles of light, and [the] truth and [the] revelations of Jesus Christ [had been] given unto them, the Holy Ghost came upon them like a mighty rushing wind. It filled the whole place where [they were] sitting almost in that element, and it brought all the gifts of [the] Son of God and [the] revelations of Jesus Christ that the Apostle Paul afterwards testified concerning.
[As] soon as that spirit came upon them, there was people gathered together concerning the prior strange things [that] had happened by servants of Jesus Christ. When this was noised abroad, they came together out of every nation of Jews [and] out of heathen [nations] to see what strange influence had befallen those men [who] profess[ed] to be followers of Jesus Christ, that made such a high profession [of] being governed by [a] spirit sent from heaven. When they came together, they were astonished [to] hear the delightful works of God in their own tongue by men [who had] never received a college education, by men [who] came from the smacks1 [and] fishing boats [to] hear the delightful works of God.
To show how ignorant that each was about inspiration: they didn’t understand and know [that] the effects there [were] produced of the power of revelation, a revelation of Jesus Christ, [rather] than [being] the effects produced by the juice of grape[s].2 And finally they came to the conclusion [that] these fellows all got drunk, that all this wonderful display of language and power and demonstration of [the] gift of [the] Holy Ghost [had been] produced by [the] juice of grape[s].
The Apostle Peter’s feelings [were] aroused in [the] gifts of inspiration and he told them [how] the things there [had] developed. [He] called upon them, and said unto them, “these men [are] not drunk with new wine.” I suppose he brought up an argument. He supposed [that for] a drunkard [it was] too early in [the] day, and consequently must be. [But] these individuals could be reasonably accused of drunkenness in this age: [men] go up and drink when they please.3
Almost every man led by the spirit of inspiration takes people upon their own ground. [He] takes them upon their own thinking. Consequently, he referred to the prophet[s]: “You Jews profess [to] believe the prophet[s]. You garnish the sepulchers of prophets. But stop—these men [are] not drunk. Your prophets told you something [about] everything you [just] saw before you.” That caused them to give attention. A new feeling came over them. [They were] endowed with honesty and they listened to this strange man. Say[s] he, “Your prophet Joel has declared such a power of development should take place in some future society.” He went to work and quoted the prophet Joel, saying “it shall come to pass in [the] last day, saith God, I will pour out my spirit upon all flesh [and] your sons [and your] daughters [shall] prophesy,” etc.
They [that were] there saw that they had even consented to the crucifying of [the] Lord. “And life and glory now,” says he, “[are in] that same Jesus Christ you have taken with your own hands—directly or indirectly. God has exalted Him to be both Lord and Christ,” etc.
Those not so deeply stained in iniquity and those that hadn’t so far transcended the bands of their redemption listened. . . . Peter went on to represent the facts of His mission: what [He] came on earth for, that He was [the] Lamb slain from the foundation of [the] world.
It produced faith [in them] just as [in] every other individual [responding] to it. . . . Why?
Because the Holy Ghost [looks] upon the human family as [a] brother [and] feels the necessity of salvation and wishes them saved [and] exalted in [the] kingdom of [the] Father and that everything he does upon this subject might be proscriptive of salvation.
The Correct Mode of Baptism
When they said to Peter [and the] rest of [the] apostles, “men and brethren what shall we do?” [He said,] “Repent every one of you and be baptized in [the] name of Jesus Christ.”
“[The] name” signifies nothing more or less than [the] authority of Jesus Christ. They wanted to give them [to] understand [that] no man had [a] right to that name except [he had] those keys of authority. They were the [holders]. [The] patriarchal priesthood they possessed had the power in every age and eternally [as] well. . . .
“Well,” says one, “we have often heard that doctrine before. We have often heard the doctrine of repentance, that men repent of their sins, and some people say they should be baptized for their sins, or answer of [a] good conscience,4 or have exhibition by the Lord, or that if you be distinguished from the world it is no difference how, as regards the mode, whether you go into water [or get] sprinkled or [something else].”
What I want to say to this congregation [is that] what[ever] way the great Jehovah devised for the benefit of human family, that is [significant] and important. [It is] none of my business to inquire why the Lord didn’t [require] something else. [But] not [a] solitary individual—let him [be] ever so righteous—that [has] lived on [the] face of [the] earth [may] be exempt from this command: “Repent and be baptized, every one of you. [For the] promise [is] unto you . . . [and] to the far off.” . . .
Now my friends, you have left the times of [your] fathers [and] journeyed across barren plains [and] removed yourselves so far from [the] haunts of civilization. [Did you] leave for [the] purpose of gathering [the] treasures of [the] earth? Listen ye: the Lord raised [the] scepter of truth in these valleys, and when you take hold of [the] promise of Peter “unto all far off,” the promise is unto you. . . .
Repent from your heart, reform of [your] sins, be baptized in [the] name of Jesus Christ—and [the] promise is you shall receive the gift of [the] Holy Ghost. What [are its] effects? [The] effects upon you [are] as it was in [the] day of Pentecost, inasmuch as you have the same experience. After you have walked in obedience to commandments of God, then the promise is you shall see visions, dream dreams, [and] have revelations of Jesus Christ—[of] which thousands in this congregation [can] rise up and testify.
On the Restoration
Suffice it to say [that] the nations of earth, both Christian and heathen, [were] in darkness, and darkness covered the nations. There [was] none to bear testimony, no prophet in [the] land. The seers, revelators, and prophets [were] all covered up by the wisdom of uninspired men. In this situation, the individual that [was] . . . called upon by the high courts of heaven to present a certainty to [the] human family: do you want to know who he was? I take great pleasure telling of it. . . .
I was a boy, first nineteen years of age, when I heard the testimony of that man, Joseph Smith, that [an] angel came and that glory [shone] and [the] trees seemed to be consumed in [a] blaze and he was there entrusted with this information: that darkness covered the earth, that the great mass of [the] Christian world [was] universally wrong [and] their creeds [were] all upon [an] uncertain foundation. “Now as young as you are,” [he was told], “I call upon you from this obscurity: go forth and build up my kingdom on the earth.”
You see little effects of that testimony when there was but this individual to establish this kingdom out of. Yet quote their prophecy: it should increase “[to] tens [of] thousands”5 upon the earth. Can you suppose for [a] moment [that a] man [could] rise up and have his predictions published and sent forth thus? And [it has] so be[en] the case [that] every minutia of these circumstances have come to pass as time reached around enough to bring them—and what has not, will [yet] as sure as [there is a] God on [the] earth.
He was entrusted with this sacred message of truth, [and] authority to confer that upon others. Did that [man] come in contact with truth? If he hadn’t, I am not a judge between light and darkness. Having been a living witness to the opposition and persecution [which has] been upon [the] Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints: if that testimony that the world [is] in darkness hadn’t come into contact with darkness, I am not [a] judge.
It [was] found that [a] class of [the] community [was] longing for something to take away the fear of death, [longing for] light and truth. When he came in contact [with] truth generally, [its] atmosphere surrounded them. [They were] surrounded [with] the truth. Many times strangers came to hear [and would] fall in love with [the] speaker before he speaks, because [this] atmosphere surrounds them like a [receptacle] to be made from by the truth and [to make] one free from any doubt.
That is that moment when Joseph Smith presented the truth. He had to exhibit a draft to the builders, was it not? The Lord said he [would] build up Zion in [the] last days and consequently raised up Joseph Smith to draw [the] draft. [And the] builders say it is a good one.
Let us help to build up Zion in this testimony that was given to Joseph, to the Prophet.
The Premortal Existence
We come down upon this earth and rejoice. We rejoiced when the ancient cornerstones of [this] earth [were] laid, because we saw we could take a tabernacle of flesh and bones, and through that course be exalted. But we have forgotten it. Some say because [we] forgot it, we didn’t exist. I ask: do you remember [the] first day [you were] born? Then you never existed!
[But] we do exist and shall eternally, and this came through the prophet and all the keys [which] came by the apostles of Jesus Christ. [And] we [are] glad to see all nations rejoice in it, glad to see them baptized in [the] name of Jesus Christ for [the] remission of sins.
I have hastily sketched here some little items of our faith in [an] imperfect manner. You have got it as I have. [It has] been a long time since [I] had anything to do in address[ing the] public. Perhaps [it was more] broken [in] style than it should be, [but] it is the truth of Jesus Christ and I know it. You know it. I know it by reason and complete development of principles of common sense. . . . Everything around us teaches us it is eternal truth. That is enough. [Even] without any further revelation, we all should have the revelation [of] common sense.
If you call for the other thousands [who have] seen the eyes of [the] blind open, [the] tongue of [the] dumb to sound, [the] lame man leap like a hart, call for this testimony. [As for] speaking in tongues and interpreting tongues, the house is full of them—if you have eyes to see and ears to hears, [you can] see and hear both. But the carnal mind naturally is against [the] truth of heaven.
We love the human family. We feel we are common brethren of the great family, and [you are] seeing our exertions to send out skillful laborers to reap the harvest. We are going to harvest the nations of earth and secure them against the day of burning and [famine] and deep disasters of [the] nations. You that reject the testimony of Jesus Christ: [we] long to see the time for men [to] have the keys of introducing you into [the] kingdom.
Now [is a] favorable time to repent and be baptized and receive the gift of [the] Holy Ghost, and [to] do this in [the] way required. May the Lord bless those that are strangers in our midst and desire to know the truth, and may the peace of God rest upon the brethren and sisters forever and ever, amen.