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Testimony of Hyrum Smith, Patriarch

Second Counselor to President Joseph Smith from November 7, 1837, to January 24, 1841. Presiding Patriarch of the Church from January 24, 1841, to June 27, 1844.

Having given my testimony to the world of the truth of the Book of Mormon, the renewal of the everlasting covenant, and the establishment of the kingdom of heaven, in these last days; and having been brought into great afflictions and distresses for the same, I thought that it might be strengthening to my beloved brethren, to give them a short account of my sufferings, for the truth's sake, and the state of my mind and feelings, while under circumstances of the most trying and afflicting nature. I had been abused, thrust into a dungeon, and confined for months on account of my faith, and the testimony of Jesus Christ. However, I thank God that I felt a determination to die, rather than deny the things which my eyes had seen, which my hands had handled, and which I had borne testimony to (all in plain allusion to his testimony to the existence of the plates from which the Book of Mormon was translated) wherever my lot had been cast; and I can assure my beloved brethren that I was enabled to bear as strong a testimony, when nothing but death presented itself, as ever I did in my life. My confidence in God was likewise unshaken. I knew that He who suffered me, along with my brethren, to be thus tried, that He could and that He would deliver us out of the hands of our enemies; and in His own due time He did so, for which I desire to bless and praise His holy name.Every word of God is of importance, whether it be the word contained in the Bible, in the Book of Mormon, or in the Doctrine and Covenants, for "man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth from the mouth of God." The principles that are taught in the Bible are pure, and ought to be adhered to, and if people adhere to that teaching, it will prove their salvation. The principles that are taught in the Book of Mormon are also pure, and holy and righteous, and will, if followed, lead men to God. And the principles that are taught in the book of Doctrine and Covenants are from God, they are principles of righteousness, they are given for a blessing to the human family, and the salvation, temporal and spiritual, of his saints; and that man who wantonly departs from any of the revelations of Jehovah, and treats lightly the word of God, whether contained in the book of Doctrine and Covenants, the Book of Mormon, or the Bible, is void of understanding; he is not wise concerning the doings of the Lord, the plan of salvation, the past dealings, present designs, or future purposes of the Almighty.The God of the armies of Israel is a wise God, He comprehended the end from the beginning, and adapted his plans, his designs and teachings to the peculiar wants, the local situation, the exigencies of mankind, and the present and future good of the human family; and everything that He has designed to notice by way of instruction to the children of men is given by infinite wisdom—by the intelligence of Jehovah, and if obeyed, when his designs shall be fully unravelled, it will be seen that there was wisdom in it beyond the comprehension of man in his present state.The Lord has in his wise designs revealed to us His will. He has made known to us his future purposes. He has told as did His ancient prophets that the earth shall be redeemed—that the curse shall be removed from it—that the wolf and the lamb shall lie down together—that the lion shall eat straw like an ox;—and that they shall not hurt or destroy—that the knowledge of the Lord shall cover the earth as the waters cover the sea—that man's days shall be as the days of a tree; that he shall live one thousand years on the earth. This is the time of the restoration of all things, and it has got to be brought about by the wisdom and power of God, and the wisdom, obedience and faith of man combined.Everything has become degenerated from what it was in its primitive state. God made man pure, but he has found out many inventions: his vices have become innumerable and his diseases have multiplied. His taste has become vitiated and his judgment impaired. He has fallen—fallen—fallen from the dignified state that he once occupied on the earth, and it needs a restorative that man has not in his possession, wisdom which is beyond the reach of human intellect, the power which human philosophy, talent and ingenuity cannot control. God only is acquainted with the action and the mainsprings of human events. He knows where disease is seated and what is the cause of it. He is also acquainted with the springs of health, the balm of Gilead—of life. He knows what course to pursue to restore man to his pristine excellency and primitive vigor and health. He has appointed the Word of Wisdom as one of the engines to bring about this thing, to remove the beastly appetites, the murderous dispositions, and the vitiated taste of man; to restore his body to health and vigor, and promote peace between him and the brute creation. It is one of the little wheels in God's designs, to help to regulate the great machinery, which shall eventually revolutionize the earth and bring about the restoration of all things, and when they are restored He will plant the tree of life whose leaves shall be for the healing of the nations.Let these things be adhered to; let the saints be wise; let us lay aside our folly and abide by the commandments of God; so shall we be blessed of the great Jehovah in time and in eternity. We shall be healthy, strong and vigorous. We shall be enabled to resist disease, and wisdom will crown our councils;our progeny will become mighty, and will rise up and call us blessed. The daughters of Zion will be beautiful, and her sons the joy of the whole earth. We shall prepare ourselves for the purposes of Jehovah, for the kingdom of God, for the appearance of Jesus in His glory; out of Zion shall come the perfection of beauty. God will shine; Zion will be exalted and become the praise of the whole earth.

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