Orson Pratt, June 20, 1852

Transcribed by LaJean Purcell Carruth

Lost Sermons

Excerpts from two sermons delivered by Orson Pratt on June 20, 1852, in the Old Tabernacle in Salt Lake City, recorded by George D. Watt.

The Holy Ghost

And we furthermore believe that [it is] our privilege to receive the gift of [the] Holy Ghost. . . . It will cleanse you from evil desires and affections and corrupt lust. What more [will it] do? Lead you unto all truth. It will take all things further and show them unto you. This will give you new revelation. . . . This is the gift promise[d] to you that have not yet received the gospel. If you will go forth in obedience to the gospel, humble yourselves like little children before and be determined to forsake your sins and sin no more, this gift [will] rest upon you. You shall be filled with knowledge of things to come, knowledge of God, understand the things of further futurity. You shall be able to overcome all things and prevail against the power of darkness and obtain the blessings [the] Lord God of Israel designs to pour upon his saints.

The Sacrament

The ordinance which we partake of from Sabbath to Sabbath is one of the institutions of our Savior under the gospel dispensation which he has instituted for the purpose of showing forth the Lord’s death and of his suffering.

This no doubt we are all aware of. We all understand it to be an ordinance for that purpose. But do we notwithstanding that understand the object for which this was instituted? Do we feel and realize these things as we ought from Sabbath to Sabbath? Do we think of these things? Do we meditate upon them? Do we reflect upon the subject or do we merely come and partake of this ordinance as a kind of secondary consideration, not thinking about the object for which it was instituted and thus pass the time without having benefitted? Do we, when we come to the Lord’s supper, so-called, come with our hearts prepared? Do we examine ourselves, look into the condition and state of feeling in our faithfulness and our diligence and our past conduct? Do we review these things so as to come and partake of this ordinance acceptably as the Lord has instituted so that we shall receive benefit therefrom? These are questions of importance. . . .

Are there not individuals under [the] sound of my voice that come here and partake of this holy ordinance whether they are in transgression or not, whether they have been faithful in [their] duties during [the] week or not, without any repentance/confession before the Lord, without calling upon his holy name for forgiveness after turning away from their transgressions and iniquities to which they are subject? [I have] seen this is the case.

Well this ought not to be. Those persons ought to realize the sacredness of this ordinance, the importance of repenting with all their hearts if sinned. They ought to realize if they do injure the feelings of brethren and sisters and endeavor to make reconciliation to realize the importance of praying in the morning and also at night. They ought [to] realize the importance of praying in secret and maintaining [the] spirit of prayer in [their] hearts. All of these things ought to be realized by those who come and partake of this ordinance. . . .

Now it is an ordinance not calculated to cast us down, [or] cause us to be very sorrowful, to weep and mourn as we have seen among the religious world. When they meet together they weep and mourn frequently when partak[ing] of these symbols. It is a special time of solemnness with them in the outward man, in the manifestations of their feelings one to another. But our Savior has told us in new revelations given, that we should meet together to partake of this ordinance with cheerful [a] countenance [and a] glad heart. This is indicative of [a] pure heart, for that man or woman who has [a] cheerful countenance [and a] glad heart, has [a] pure heart. Hav[ing] pureness of heart, conscience before God will produce cheerfulness, gladness, joy. And sorrow and mourning will flee away.

Being Joyful

[It is] just as much our privilege to have joy [and] consolation in the Holy Ghost and to be filled to overflowing with rejoicing. . . . Let’s then if we are pure in heart rejoice before God. Let nothing hinder our joy. Let not the cares of this life, the troubles there or the perplexities and difficulties we have to encounter prevent us from rejoicing in Jesus, in God our Father, in the great plan of redemption, in the great work of [the] last dispensations that we are living, so near the winding-up scene, when the time is near at hand when wickedness will be banished from this creation we inhabit and righteousness be spread abroad from one end of earth to the other, as waters cover [the] great deep.

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