Help men to the building of character, which shall enable them to be honest in street and mart, unselfish in home and society, and sympathetic to their fellow pilgrims.
Salvation is gained as a house is built, brick by brick, day after day, not by spasmodic efforts one day in the week, and the destruction of that effort in the remaining six.
And each man must be his own mason, and select and lay his own bricks. All the clergyman can do is to act the part of overseer.
The man who goes to another, and expects his prayers to save him, is like the mason who expects the “boss” to do his work, while he draws the pay. Do no man’s task—physical, mental, or spiritual. That is not friendship or religion. Your work is to stimulate others to do their own work, think their own thoughts, and live their own lives.
The world to-day demands facts to sustain faith.
Spiritual facts are to be obtained.
Find them: for once convinced of the continuation of life beyond the grave, and of the necessity to earn its privileges, by self-conquest and character-building, humanity will rise “from the lowly earth to the vaulted skies,” and will realize that this earth is but the anteroom to larger spheres of usefulness.
Go forth and find—go forth and find, and do not be afraid to strike out of beaten paths and avoid ruts. Cultivate spiritual courage. It is what few clergymen possess, and it will give you individuality at least.
Preach the religion of happy harmonious homes. Make men and women realize that heaven must begin here, in order to continue farther on, and that the angelic qualities, of love, sympathy, goodness, appreciation, must be rehearsed in the body, before they can be successfully enacted in full-dress angel costume with wings.
God will not care for the eternal praises sung about his throne by a man who swears at his wife on earth, or a wife who nags her husband and children. It is no use expecting a role in a continuous performance of happiness in heaven, if you do not learn one line of the part on earth.
Make your congregations think of the necessity to live their religion in earth’s commonplace daily situations.
That is the religion the world needs.
To Mr. Charles Gray
All that you say, regarding the excitement over the
seating of your Salt
Lake Senator, is quite true.
I have visited your city, and have made the acquaintance of many of your people, and I know the private life of the gentleman you sent to represent you in Washington is beyond reproach.
He is a good husband, a good father, a good citizen. He was born of a polygamous father and mother, and his childhood’s home was a happy one. He was educated in the belief that it was wrong for a man to cohabit with any woman not his wife, but right for him to marry many wives.