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One of the most important duties devolving upon Latter-day Saints is the culture, care and instruction of their children, the bringing of them up
influences, and the instilling into their minds of the proper spirit, that they may with all their strength, vigor and vitality of mind and body never forget to be humble, as the Lord and Master was humble; and to bear in mind, under the most prosperous circumstances in which they may be placed through the providence of the Lord and his blessings upon their labors, that it is their first duty to remember that the giver of every good and perfect gift is God Almighty, the Maker of the heavens and the earth; that however strong we may feel within ourselves, because of the exuberance of health and vigor, we are most dependent upon him who made all things, and who gives us life and intelligence, who breathes into us the spirit of understanding, and who gives us the power of enjoyment and of comprehension of those things with which we are associated in life.
Our object is to save our young men and young women in this life, as well as in the life to come. We aim to teach the youth of Zion the way to live now, that they may continue to live forever; to help them to live beneath the hallowed influences that come from above, and not to grovel in the low, degraded and benighted customs, habits and appetites that so beset the children of men who are not moved by higher impulses to seek after more glorious and better things by the inspiration of the Holy Spirit. We desire that our children shall grow up without sin unto salvation; that they may be men and women who will be as beacon lights to the world in every good word and work, and who will in time be worthy to bear the responsibilities that will devolve upon them, as sure as the Lord lives. God has set forth his hand for the last time to establish his kingdom in the earth, to build up His Zion, to gather the elect from the four quarters of the earth, to pour out his Spirit in rich abundance upon his sons and daughters, and bring them up and set them at the head, that they may lead the world and not be led, that they may direct in the affairs of men, and not be followers, only of the Lord Jesus Christ. This is the destiny of this people, and we look forward to our young men and young women playing this important part in this great latter day work; for the time will come when these responsibilities will rest upon them. But remember this: It is only those who are valiant, those who are determined in their hearts to do that which is right, who will be chosen of God and will be invested with power and authority from on high, and will be held up by the hand of the Almighty, and be in positions in the world where they can judge men in the spirit of righteousness and by the inspiration of the Lord, and where they can govern and direct by the spirit of love, in obedience to the requirements of heaven and the laws of the Lord.
Let us be valiant in the cause of Zion. Let us be true to our covenants. Let us be true to the cause that we have espoused, true to one another, and true to the Almighty, who is the giver of every blessing that we enjoy. Oh! may we not forget that without the Lord we are as dust and and there is nothing to us. Many times I feel in my heart the power of that forcible expression of St. Paul, “If in this life only we have hope in Christ, we are of all men most miserable;" for
we have a sufficient foretaste of that light and hope that is born of righteousness to make us feel in our hearts, if it is only for this life we are living, then we are indeed most niserable creatures, and life is not worth the living. No; we live for tomorrow, and for the eternities that are to come. We are laying the foundation here, in weakness, to endure forever and ever, and to come forth in the morning of the first resurrection, to be clothed with glory, power and dominion, and to have a continuation of lives forever. We are living for this. Our hopes, our anticipations, our aspirations, go beyond this vale of tears, beyond this world of decay and death. We are living for life everlasting, and we are not here just to eat and drink and die, and that to be the end of us. No; thank God, we have had more light given unto us than this. Therefore, we have an incentive to labor for something that is better, higher, more glorious, and more earnestly to be desired than anything in this world, whether it be riches, or honor, or the renown of men. All things that pertain to this world are only as dross and refuse in comparison with the excellency of the knowledge of God, and the effects of faithfulness before the Lord.
The day will never come when we shall rise above our fountain head, or above our parents. They will stand at our head in time and throughout eternity. Here is the unbroken chain that leads down from generation to generation, and links us together with our fathers and forefathers back to the beginning, and will continue to link us together down to the end of time.
Miss Luella Ferrin sang “Hearts that are weary, hearts that are sore, look to Jesus," following which President Hannah Grover, of the Young Ladies' Associations of Fremont stake, addressed the congregation on “What pioneering has done for young womanhood.” The address was full of splendid ideas, which were presented in a pleasing style.
In the absence of Elder D. H. Morris, who was to have spoken on “What has Mutual Improvement done for the South,” Elder Junius F. Wells addressed the congregation upon what Mutual Improvement has done for some of its members from the South who had labored in the Eastern States mission.
Fred Graham sang, “Just as I am thou wilt receive me.”
Elder Richard R. Lyman followed in an earnest address to the young people upon the need of purity of heart, thought and action. Mrs. Nebeker, of the Nebo stake, reported the condition of the associations in that stake, after which the choir and congregation sang the Doxology. Prayer by Mrs. Susa Y. Gates.
2 P. M.
The meeting in the afternoon was presided over by President Joseph F. Smith. Choir and congregation sang, “Praise to the man
who communed with Jehovah,” and prayer was offered by Apostle Hyrum M. Smith. The choir sang, “Unfold ye portals everlasting.”
President Joseph F. Smith delivered a very earnest address touching upon the evils of profanity, the use of intoxicants, and the evil of infidelity to God and to each other.
Miss Emma Lucy Gates sang “I know that my redeemer liveth.”
Counselor Martha H. Tingey of the general superintendency of the Y. L. M. I. A. addressed the congregation. John Robinson sang "Nazareth."
A synopsis of the reports of both the associations was read by Secretary Thomas Hull. The statistical report of the Young Men's Associations will be published in the ERA later. The general officers of the associations, and the General Boards, were presented and supported by unanimous vote. Following are the general officers of the Y. M. M. I. A.:
Joseph F. Smith, General Superintendent; Heber J. Grant, B. H. Roberts, Assistants; Thomas Hull, Secretary and Treasurer; Evan Stephens, Music Director; Horace S. Ensign, Assistant Music Director; Aids: Francis M. Lyman, John Henry Smith, Matthias F. Cowley, Abraham 0. Woodruff, J. Golden Kimball, Junius F. Wells, Milton H. Hardy, Rodney C. Badger, George H. Brimhall, Edward H. Anderson, Douglas M. Todd, Thomas Hull, Nephi L. Morris, Willard Done, Le Roi C. Snow, Frank Y. Taylor, Rudger Clawson, Rulon S. Wells, Joseph W. McMurrin, Reed Smoot, Bryant S. Hinckley, Moses W. Taylor, B. F. Grant, Henry S. Tanner, Hyrum M. Smith, William B. Dougall.
Professor Henry E. Giles rendered an organ solo entitled “Nephite Melody."
Elder J. Golden Kimball followed with some excellent remarks upon the missionary labor and spirit among the young people, showing the need of it, in order that young people may do their full duty to the cause of God.
Alice Reynolds gave a few closing remarks, after which the ladies of the Tabernacle Choir sang the anthem “The Holy Redeemer." Prayer was offered by Mrs. Ruth M. Fox.
7 P. M. President Smith again presided at the evening session. The choir sang, “Ye simple souls who stray.” Prayer was offered by Apostle Rudger Clawson, and the choir sang “Guide us, oh thou Great Jehovah.”
Miss Josephine Booth, a recently returned missionary from Great Britain, gave a very clear account of the labors of the lady missionaries in that land, relating some of her interesting experiences among the people of Scotland and England.
The quartet Messrs. Whitney, Pyper, Patrick, and Spencer sang “Awake My Soul.”
Apostle Heber J. Grant spoke, giving an interesting account of the introduction of the Gospel into Japan and his labors in connection therewith, bearing in conclusion a strong testimony to the work of God.
The choir sang “Inflamatus,” the solo being sung by Miss Luella Ferrin. The benediction was pronounced by President Anthon H. Lund, and the conference adjourned for one year.
In addition to the following committee report, officers and members. are requested to read instructions in Era No. 11, Vol. 4, page 870, for information on topics to come before the annual conventions. A circular embracing full instructions will be mailed to all stake superintendents: To Stake Superintendents, Assistants, and all Stake Officers of Young
Men's Mutual Improvement Associations:
DEAR BRETHREN:—In conformity with the action of the general M. I. A. conference held in May, this year, this call for a convention in each stake, and letter of instructions, isissued by order of the General Board.
All superintendents are hereby instructed to call a convention in their stakes in accordance with the following schedule of dates:
September 14th-Alberta, Alpine, Beaver, Benson, Bingham, Box Elder, Cassia, Emery, Granite, Juab, Malad, Morgan, San Luis, Teton, Union and Salt Lake.
September 15th-St. George.
September 21st-Bannock, Big Horn, Cache, Fremont, Jordan, Millard, Nebo, North Sanpete, Oneida, and Sevier.
September 28th-Bear Lake, Hyrum, Davis, Pocatello, South Sanpete, Star Valley, Summit, Tooele, Uintah, Utah, Wasatch, Wayne, Weber, Woodruff, and San Juan.
Appointments for Arizona and Mexico will be made later.
You will confer at once with the presidency of your stake, and arrange for holding this convention, and secure their co-operation in making it a success. You will then see that the stake organization, and all ward organizations are complete in your stake, making personal visits for this purpose wherever necessary, before the date of the con
vention. Take special pains to notify, either by letter or personal visits, every officer in your stake to be present without fail. You will see that a suitable hall is secured, in a central settlement and location, where the convention may be held so as not to interfere with the Sabbath school. Where officers of the Y. M. M. I. A. are teachers in the Sabbath school, they should arrange to be excused for that morning. It will be well to make provision for the entertainment of your officers who attend the convention. Three meetings should be arranged for; morning, afternoon and evening. If the work can be completed in two meetings, the evening session may be abandoned, or a general public meeting may be held.
It should be understood that these meetings are especially for Y. M. M. I. A. officers, but it is very desirable that the stake presidency, bishops, and other stake and ward officers, should be invited to attend.
The stake superintendents are expected to conduct these meetings, under the direction of representatives of the General Board, and to be prepared to present the following topics: (These topics are to be treated either by the stake superintendent or by such competent assistants as he may call upon, and the subject matter should be prepared before the day of meeting).
Preparations for the Opening of the Season.
Grading the Associations.-A new manual for the Junior Classes will be issued treating upon the “Acts of the Apostles," and Manual No. 6, continuing the “Principles of the Gospel,” will be used for the Senior Classes.
The Manual.—The new manual is a continuation of Manual No. 5. In the others, the course of study has been the only factor, while in this and No. 5 are introduced preliminary programs for lighter work in the associations. While the courses of study in Nos. 1, 2, 3, and 4, have been adapted to all the members, the course presented in this and No. 5 manual has been prepared more with reference to the senior class. The topics treated in Manual No. 6 are: Universal Application of the Gospel, The Church, Resurrection, and Ethics of the Gospel, subdivided as follows: Successive Dispensations, Vicarious Work for the Dead, The Holy Priesthood, Church Organization, Mission of the Church, Resurrection, Rewards and Punishments, Faith and Works, and Practical Religion.
Missionary Work.-A change in the manner of conducting the local missionary work was decided upon at the last General Conference of M. I. A. Instead of employing the large number of missionaries heretofore: