10 April 1842 (Sunday Morning). Grove

Wilford Woodruff Diary[1]

A pleasant morning A large Congregaton of Saints met at the grove President William Law addressed the asembly for about 1 hour Then Joseph the Seer arose in the power of God reproved & rebuked wickedness before the people in the name of the Lord God He wished to say a few words to suit the condition of the general mass And I shall speak with authority of the prieshood in the name of the Lord God which shall prove a savior of life unto life or of death unto death.

Notwithstanding this congregation profess to be saints yet I stand in the midst of all characters and classes of men If you wish to go whare God is you must be like god or possess the principles which God possesses for if we are not drawing towards God in principle we are going from him & drawing towards the devil, yes I am standing in the midst of all kinds of people Search your hearts & see if you are like god, I have searched mine & feel to repent of all my sins, we have theives among us Adulterers, liars, hypocritts, if God should speak from Heaven he would Command you not to steal, not to commit Adultery, not to covet, nor deceive but be faithful over a few things [2] As far as we degenerate from God we desend to the devil & loose knowledge & without knowledge we cannot be saved & while our hearts are filled with evil & we are studying evil their is no room in our hearts for good or studying good, is not God.0 good, Yes then you be good. if he is faithful then you be faithful Add to your faith virtue to virtue knowledge. [3] & seek for evry good thing the church must be cleansed & I proclaim against all iniquity. A man is saved no faster than he gets knowledge for if he does not get knowledge he will be brought into captivity by some evil power in the other world as evil spirits will have more knowlede & consequently more power than many men who are on the earth. [4] hence it needs Revelation to assist us & give us knowledge of the things of God. What is the reason that the Priest of the day do not get Revelation They ask ownly to consume it upon their lust [5] their hearts are corrupt & they cloke their iniquity by saying that their is no more Revelations But if any Revelations are given of God they are universally opposed by the priest & christendom at large for it reveals their wickedness & abominations many other remarks of interest were made by the speaker I truly felt in my own heart that it was a profitable meeting.

Manuscript History of the Church

I preached in the grove, and pronounced a curse {upon all adulterers and Fornicators, and unvirtuous persons and those who have made use of my name to carry on their iniquitous designs}. [6]

—10 April 1842


[1] See History of the Church, 4:587-88, and Teachings, pp. 215-17. The introductory statement from the Manuscript History of the Church (published below), was taken from the "Book of the Law of the Lord," p. 93. The Wilford Woodruff Diary is the source for the text of the discourse in History of the Church and Teachings.

[2] Matthew 25:21.

[3] 2 Peter 1:5-7.

[4] At this time the subject of detecting evil spirits apparently occupied the Prophet's mind very much. Only a few days before, as managing editor of the Times and Seasons, he had published a lengthy treatise entitled "Try the Spirits" (5 [1 April 1842]: 743-48). Within three weeks, he would twice refer to this subject in public discourse (see 28 April 1842, note 13 ">4). These public teachings reflected his private thought and revelations concerning the endowment ordinances, in which a fuller knowledge of this subject was first communicated on 4 May 1842 (History of the Church, 5:1-2, or Teachings, p. 137). See also 27 June 1839, note 21.

[5] James 4:3.

[6] The words enclosed in braces are from the "Book of the Law of the Lord."