Conference reassembled, and listened with profound attention, to an impressive discourse from President Joseph Smith, commemorative of the decease of , Esq., late of this , and an honorable, worthy, useful, and esteemed member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. He spoke of the importance of our understanding the reasons and causes of our exposure to the vicissitudes of life, and of death; and the designs and purposes of God, in our coming into the world, our sufferings here, and our departure hence—that it is but reasonable to suppose that God would reveal something in reference to the matter—the ignorance of the world in reference to their true condition, and relation. Reading the experience of others, or the revelations given to them, can never give us a comprehensive view of our condition and true relation to God. Knowledge of these things, can only be obtained by experience in these things, through the ordinance of God set forth for that purpose. He remarked that the disappointment of hopes and expectations at the resurrection, would be indescribably dreadful. That the organization of the spiritual and heavenly worlds, and of spiritual and heavenly beings, was agreeably to the most perfect order and harmony—that their limits and bounds were fixed irrevocably, and voluntarily subscribed to by themselves—subscribed to upon the earth—hence the importance of embracing and subscribing to principles of eternal truth. He assured the saints that truth in reference to these matters, can, and may be known, through the revelations of God in the way of his ordinances, and in answer to prayer. The Hebrew church “came unto the spirits of just men made perfect, and unto an innumerable company of angels, unto God the Father of all, and to Jesus Christ the Mediator of the New Covenant;” but what they learned, has not been, and could not have been written. What object was gained by this communication with the spirits of the just, &c.? It was the established order of the kingdom of God—the keys of power and knowledge were with them to communicate to the saints—hence the importance of understanding the distinction between the spirits of the just, and angels. Spirits can only be revealed in flaming fire, or glory. Angels have advanced farther—their light and glory being tabernacled, and hence appear in bodily shape.
Concerning brother , he remarked, that it should appear strange that so good and so great a man was hated. The deceased ought never to have had an enemy. But so it was, wherever light shone, it stirred up darkness. Truth and error, good and evil, cannot be reconciled. had been a most intimate friend. He had annointed him to the Patriarchal power—to receive the keys of knowledge, and power, by revelation to himself. He had had revelations concerning his departure, and had gone to a more important work—of opening up a more effectual door for the dead. The spirits of the just are exalted to a greater and more glorious work—hence they are blessed in departing hence. Enveloped in flaming fire, they are not far from us, and know and understand our thoughts, feelings and motions, and are often pained therewith.
President Smith concluded with exhortations to the church to renew their exertions to [p. 331]