Friday, November 2, 2012

John Taylor, on ancient men and the light they offered

I have heard some people say—“If God revealed himself to men in other days, why not reveal himself to us?” I say, why not, indeed, to us? Why should not men in this day be put in possession of the same light, truth and intelligence, and the same means of acquiring a knowledge of God as men in other ages and eras have enjoyed? Why should they not? Who can answer the question? Who can solve the problem? Who can tell why these things should not exist today, as much as in any other day? If God is God and men are men, if God has a design in relation to the earth on which we live, and in relation to the eternities that are to come; if men have had a knowledge of God in days past, why not in this day? What good reason is there why it should not be so? Say some—“Oh, we are so enlightened and intelligent now. In former ages, when the people were degraded and in darkness, it was necessary that he should communicate intelligence to the human family; but we live in the blaze of Gospel day, in an age of light and intelligence.” Perhaps we do; I rather doubt it. I have a great many misgivings about the intelligence that men boast so much of in this enlightened day. There were men in those dark ages who could commune with God, and who, by the power of faith, could draw aside the curtain of eternity and gaze upon the invisible world. There were men who could tell the destiny of the human family, and the events which would transpire throughout every subsequent period of time until the final winding-up scene. There were men who could gaze upon the face of God, have the ministering of angels, and unfold the future destinies of the world. If those were dark ages I pray God to give me a little darkness, and deliver me from the light and intelligence that prevail in our day; for as a rational, intelligent, immortal being who has to do with time and eternity, I consider it one of the greatest acquirements for men to become acquainted with their God and with their future destiny. These are my thoughts and reflections in relation to these matters.
Discourse by Elder John Taylor, delivered in the New Tabernacle, Salt Lake City, Sunday

Discourse by Elder John Taylor, delivered in the New Tabernacle, Salt Lake City, Sunday Afternoon, Sept. 7, 1873.
Reported by David W. Evans.