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Parry, John - 26 February 1854 Letter

LETTER FROM UTAH TERRITORY

LETTER FROM UTAH TERRITORY.

 

G. S. L. City, Feb. 26, 1854.

 

MY OLD FRIEND EVAN ROBERTS,—I have thought several times of writing to you, and now I have got it into my mind to actually do so. I am healthy, strong, active and full of happiness through having obeyed the true and eternal Gospel, and not a false one as you and others have obeyed, namely all the sectarians. My dear friend, E. R., permit me to say the truth; there is not in my mind the least tendency to scorn you as men; only love and good will toward you has prompted me to write this epistle to you. I feel sorry for you because of your disbelief and your stubbornness to believe the true gospel, for I know, as the Lord liveth, that your doctrine cannot save as much as one soul, for your baptism, namely, that of the “dear Baptist” and others, is no better than the baptism of infants with respect to its purpose; they baptize for a second birth and for the forgiveness of sins, and for salvation and a second birth. You say that a man needs to obtain forgiveness before being saved, and obtain his second birth before his baptism, what! before obeying the gospel? Yes, says the “dear Baptist!” and that man is justified only through faith!! But why am I mentioning this one more than the other daughters of the old Mother? there have never been on the earth more than two Churches; one of God and one of the devil, and the old Roman Church is the mother of all the sectarians. But please know that the Saints are the Church of the living God, and the only sanctuary under all the heavens; and despite the world and all its sectarian servants, Mormonism will prosper until all the world will be under its leadership, and if otherwise, the Almighty himself will be dethroned; in spite of the martyrdom of the Prophet Joseph, in spite of the persecution and the killing of the Saints, Mormonism will stand like eternal columns, and it would be easier for you to keep the sun from shining than to extinguish Mormonism or to cause it to fall. Whatever you think, so it will be; it shall stand when the elements melt from intense heat, and when the heavens are folded like a book. Jehovah is the Mormonism of this people, their Priesthood, and their power, and everything which belongs to him shall come up in the appointed day, and shall stand before the eternal King, and shall receive the crown of life.

      Also, Jesus said that the signs would follow the believers,—“In my name they shall cast out devils, and on the sick they shall lay hands and they will be made whole,” &c. But the devil says through his servants that these signs shall not follow the believers, that there is no need for them. God says that there are Apostles and Prophets, &c.; but the devil says through his servants that there is no need for apostles or prophets in the Church at the present time, &c. Seriously, my friend, how much better is this doctrine than that old devilish doctrine, Namely, “by dying you will not be dead?” They are one and the same.

      The Church has long been in the wilderness, together with the Priesthood and the keys. What will come from men without the Priesthood, which delivers them? Nay, surely, they will not be delivered, for through the Priesthood men have been delivered in every age and generation, and an organization without the Priesthood is like a damaged reed, and he that relies on it shall fall and shall not rise. Do you not know, my friend, that the Priesthood, the “male child,” was taken away? and it was not sent to the earth again until the Prophet Joseph Smith received it, when God sent an Angel to give to him first the Aaronic Priesthood, and afterwards he sent Peter, James, and John to give to him the Melchizedek Priesthood, and no man has the right to administer in the ordinances of the gospel without the Priesthood. No man has the right to administer in the ordinances of the gospel without the Priesthood, and woe to that man who touches one of the ordinances of God without having the Priesthood. What is the Priesthood? Well, it is the power and authority on the earth to preach and to administer the ordinances of the gospel. Now, you say, you condemn everyone except for yourself. We do, and the word of God condemns every soul who does not obey the gospel of the Saints after having heard it; for the Saints have the true Gospel which can save, and no other sect under heaven has it. For that reason, if you and others wish to be spared, you must obey the Gospel of the Saints posthaste, for there is great haste in the heavens to prepare for the Marriage of the Lamb; and Jesus is, as it were, on his way, and he pleaded for us to hasten greatly to prepare before he comes; consequently, we have no time to lose. Well, you say, what will become of those who died without hearing the gospel? We do not condemn, nor does the word of God condemn, so much as one of those who did not hear the gospel. Damnation has always been based on this principle, namely, “light came into the world and men loved darkness more than light.”

      Good men have been in every sect, those who walked in the light which they had,—God does not require anything further at their hand, and in this sense they are as perfect as the angels; they cannot do anything more. But as for the dead, God has made provisions for them; the gospel is being preached to them now by the Saints who have died, and when the Temple is built the living can be baptized for them. And know this for a surety, that they will not rise again unless others are baptized for them, and you surely know that not one of them will be resurrected unless others are baptized for them by one of the Latter-day Saints; and that is what you shall do—obey the gospel without losing any time; otherwise, as my soul liveth, your condemnation shall not slumber. Therefore, I say unto you, “Awake, thou who sleepest, and rise from the dead;” you have been in sectarian darkness long enough, but now the true light shines so that you are enabled to see, and you will be left without excuse for your sins; therefore, in the name of the Lord Jesus, awake, and hear me in this, and do not disbelieve any longer. Know this, as the Lord liveth, Brigham Young is the only Representative of God on the earth, and God has never had a kingdom on the earth without a Representative.

      Therefore, cease to dream one minute longer about the heavens, for God has no other way to save you. And may I beseech you for the sake of your souls, to be like men, that is, do not throw this letter to the side without examining it and pondering it carefully, for nothing else but the Spirit of God which is in me has prompted me or given me the inclination to write it; and if doubt persists, ask God in prayer; for if you are honest God will bear witness of the truth of this letter to you, and to every honest man, concerning the gifts which I have mentioned, namely, casting out devils, the discerning of spirits, healing the sick, &c. All you said before concerning the gifts is that they were not needed, &c.; what will you do when the spirits which are in America come to you? And they shall surely come, for they follow to every place where the Gospel has been, and they deceive hosts of men, namely, those who refused the Gospel of the Saints,—they are sent by God like a judgment on the people for not receiving the Gospel or the truth. I have no doubt but what they are “mighty opposition” which Paul mentions.

      There are in America thousands of men or children, six or seven years old, who call Mediums or intermediaries, through whom the spirits reveal many things by operating through the hands of the children, or the adults, to write an answer to every question. For example, if one wants to hear from his father or his mother, he shall have an answer directly through these intermediaries as if his father and his mother were right there, and they can imitate the handwriting of the dead perfectly, and sometimes they appear as a lump of fire before a crowd and preach for an hour or more like a man! An answer is given for everything which is asked of them, and very consistently!! What comes from the sectarians in the face of these? No doubt they will deceive everyone of them unless they are filled with the Spirit of God, and hundreds of them are filled with unclean spirits, and who shall cast them out? The Saints will have nothing to do with such things,—they lawfully belong to the devil.

      Well, this is my testimony, that we have the work of God in hand,—that this is the dispensation of the fullness of times,—that we have the Gospel which can save and that no one else has it,—that Joseph Smith is the greatest prophet who has ever been on the earth except for the Son of God himself, and heaven and earth will pass away before this testimony fails.

      The Spirit of God says, enough, if you do not believe this, neither will you believe if one were to rise from the dead.

      I am one who sincerely wishes to see everyone in the Kingdom of Jesus.

                                                                        Your old friend,

JOHN PARRY.

 

[Udgorn Seion (Zion’s Trumpet), vol. 7, no. 38, 16 Dec 1854, p. 600-03. Translated from the original Welsh by Ronald D. Dennis.]

 

Immigrants:

Parry, John

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