ACTS 2:17
And it shall come to pass in the last days, saith God, I will pour out of my Spirit upon all flesh: and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, and your young men shall see visions, and your old men shall dream dreams

Thursday, December 12, 2013

George Q. Cannon expounds more on the metaphor of the "hoops on the barrel"

George Q. Cannon comments..

Now, these deliverances which have been wrought out in the past will be repeated. These trials are necessary. It is just as necessary that we should have these things to contend with as that we live. I do not dread their effects nearly as much as I do something else. Hostile legislation and opposition of this character have but one tendency as a rule, that is, to drive us closer together, to make the cause a common one, to cause us to feel united. You have seen a cooper putting hoops on a barrel; driving them down has the effect of tightening the staves and making the barrel strong. So it is with these measures. The more they are driven the tighter it brings the people together, solidifies them, makes them one, and it gives them a consciousness of strength; because when they emerge from these trials victorious, they feel better able to cope with greater difficulties and greater oppression when they are brought to bear upon them. And they are necessary, as I have said, for our development.          

  (See Vision of SM Farnworth:)

 But let us have ease, let us prosper in wordily things, let the world smile upon us and bid us welcome and treat us as they treat those whom they love; let the world do this, and how long should we be united? Why, the influence would be towards disintegration. Worldly influence would creep in. That is more to be dreaded than persecution. Prosperity is far more to be dreaded under circumstances such as we are placed in--what I mean by prosperity, I mean worldly prosperity, worldly sympathy, worldly favor; these are more to be dreaded than the disfavor of the world and the tyranny that may be brought to bear upon us because of our being obnoxious to them.

Therefore, I look upon these measures and other measures that are proposed as only a part of the programme. Shall we have measures that will be hostile to us? Yes. We may make up our minds for this; but we may also rest assured that that God who has delivered us so frequently in the past will still continue to deliver us, and we shall not fall a prey, if we do our duty, to our enemies. He will preserve us. He will make our feet fast in these mountains. He will throw around us His arm of power, and when the worst comes to the worst He will interpose in our behalf in a miraculous manner to free us and place us upon a sure foundation. In fact, it is all miraculous. The existence of this people is a miracle. The growth of this people is a miracle. The attitude of this people is a miracle. It is all contrary to what are called natural causes, and therefore miraculous, contrary to the laws that pass current among men respecting peoples, communities and individuals, such as we are, and such as all are.

My brethren and sisters: We have every reason to rejoice so long as we are doing right. It is this that we have to console us. If we were vicious the world would not war against us. It is not against vice that the war is being made. Man may say so, but God knows it is not so. Our enemies know that it is not so. They know that it is not vice in us that provokes this warfare. Where is vice to be found in our cities? Nowhere. It finds no favor with us. We cherish virtue, the virtues of humanity, every thing that is God-like, and we frown down everything that is vicious and unholy. If we had our way there would not be an adulterer in these mountains. If we had our way there would not be a seducer in these mountains. Every woman would either be a virtuous maiden or a married woman, or a widow. We would take care of family virtue, preserve it as we would life; for it is more precious than life itself, and should be valued as such, and every man that would do anything to degrade a woman [sic] ought to be and will be damned. If we had our way there would be no drunkenness in all these mountains, no lying in these mountains; the name of God would not be taken in vain, no profane words would be heard. We would suppress these things, and in their place cherish virtue, industry, integrity, honesty and every virtue that men love and that God loves. No, it is not because we are vicious; it is not because we love vice; it is not because we are the most corrupt and depraved of mankind that we have enemies. Why, the drunkard, the gambler, the whoremonger, the villains of various dyes, who fight against us, would welcome us if we were like them. But we are not. We have come out of the world and are determined to serve God according to the dictates of our conscience, and according to the revelations that He has given us.

The warfare will go on as it has done in the past, only with this difference: that in our age and to us God has made promises, that this kingdom, that is, the Holy Priesthood that He has restored to the earth and the authority that He once had among men; the promise is to us that it shall not be taken from the earth again, but that this kingdom shall roll forth, continue to grow and increase, until it will encircle within its pale all the virtuous and honest of the nations of the earth. This is the destiny of this work; not to exclude any one, but to include every one; and as it gains strength, influence and power, it will continue to aggregate to itself all that is good in mankind. The day will come when our own nation will be convulsed with intestine strife. The civil war that is past is not the only war that will take place in this land. It is a matter of regret to think it should be otherwise. But God has spoken. There will be intestine strife in our own nation. Already we can see, as it were, the seeds of this germinating and sprouting in the midst of neighborhoods and of communities and it will break out after a while, and men will flee to Zion. The prediction was made 52 years ago by Joseph Smith, that the time would come when those that would not take up their sword to fight against their neighbor in this blessed land, (the most favored of any land under the heavens, so favored in government, so favored in climate, so favored in every element of wealth, and in all its

surroundings) they would be compelled to come here for protection, for we will be the only people that will be at peace on the continent. That prediction was made 52 years ago. It will be fulfilled just as sure as God has spoken it.

My brethren and sisters, I am happy in this reflection: that notwithstanding the threatening aspect of affairs--I speak now in relation to legislation--there is a spirit of peace, calmness and serenity, prevailing throughout our settlements and throughout our families, so far as I have been able to discern, that has shown we are undisturbed, that we are conscious of the fact that God is with us. Continue to cherish this spirit, let it rest upon you, impart it to your children, extend it as far as you can; and may the blessing of our Father and God rest down abundantly upon you and upon all the honest everywhere throughout the wide earth, is my prayer, in the name of Jesus Christ. Amen.

          (Journal of Discourses: Volume 25 George Q. Cannon 1884/06/22 , 243)

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