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You need not throw down this article carelessly. It will do you no harm. It assumes no dictation. It is simply the honest, home-like talk of a walker on life's road, to be read by the young who need friends-by the middle-aged who have none too many -by all who wish to know and appreciate the truth, but who in the bustle of life have not taken time to gather the pearls scattered along life's wayside. You say you do not understand it. Who of us does? There is something so much beyond, as yet unrevealed to human minds, that one has scarcely time to stop and think about it.
Yes, my young friend, we are walking along. The road turns now to the right and then to the left. It is not altogether smooth, yet we can pick our way along, if we heed where we set our feet. There are thorns, thick-set, along the road – their points stand ready to lascerate all who would force their way through, without regard to paths. And there are others on this same road; some are old, some are middle-aged, and some are young with you. There are flowers and beauties along the roadside, but few of us see them. There are hidden beauties which must be sought outthere are countless bowers behind the thorns—there are mossy banks at the foot of many of these old oaks, where friends can sit and be happy. We run from the cradle to the grave, reaching for some hand in the distance-striving to gain a place on some vehicle far ahead, swiftly flying still farther from us. Few of our
earthly hopes are ever realized. How the dreams of our youth recede! The song of love dies out, and there sweep over the soul storms of passion, dark shadows driven by fierce bla ts.
It is then that the unbelief, of which we seemed so proud, shows itself in all its terrible hideousness. Why, I observe, my friend, that the unbelief, of which you boasted the other day, seems now, in the hour of perplexity, to afford you no consolation. What is this that you are reading in the hope of relief from the sorrows that oppress you?
“The Vision of Mirza, as written by Joseph Addison.”
I am glad you find comfort in this kind of reading. For though it may be only the dream of the poet, it shows conclusively that your mind needs that consolation which religion alone can give. It also shows that the author had views on human origin and destiny that so-called Christians seem to have ignored or forgotten. Strange it is that unbelievers, who reject God's word, will accept the same truths when presented under the form of a vision or a dream!
But let us read: “I had often been told that the rock before me was the haunt of genius; and that several had been entertained with that music, who had passed by it, but never heard that the musician had before made himself visible. When he had raised my thoughts by those transporting airs which he played to taste the pleasures of his conversation, as I looked upon him like one astonished, he beckoned to me, and by the waving of his hand directed me to approach to the place where he sat. I drew near with that reverence which is due to a superior nature; and as my heart was entirely subdued by the captivating strains I had heard, I fell down at his feet and wept. The genius smiled upon me with a look of compassion and affability that familiarized him to my imagination, and at once dispelled all the fears and apprehensions with which I approached him. He lifted me from the ground, and taking me by the hand, ‘Mirza,' said he, 'I have heard thee in thy soliloquies: follow me.'
“He then led me to the highest pinnacle of the rock, and placing me on the top of it: 'Cast thy eyes eastward,' said he, 'and tell me what thou seest.' 'I see', said I, 'a huge valley and a prodigious tide of water rolling through it.' "The valley that thou
seest,' said he, 'is the Vale of Misery, and the tide of water that thou seest is part of the great tide of Eternity.' 'What is the reason,' said I, 'that the tide I see rises out of a thick mist at one end, and again loses itself in a thick mist at the other? “What thou seest,' said he, 'is that portion of eternity which is called Time, measured out by the sun, and reaching from the beginning of the world to its consummation. Examine now,' said he, 'this sea that is bounded with darkness at both ends, and tell me what thou discoverest in it.' 'I see a bridge,' said I, 'standing in the midst of the tide.' The bridge thou seest is human life; consider it attentively.'
“Upon a more leisurely survey of it, I found that it consisted of three score and ten entire arches with several broken arches which, added to those that were entire made up the number about an hundred. ‘But tell me further,' said he, 'what thou discoverest on it.' 'I see multitudes of people passing over it,' said I, and a black cloud hanging on each end of it.' As I looked more attentively I saw several of the passengers dropping through the bridge, into the great tide that flowed underneath it; and upon further examination, perceived there were innumerable trap-doors that lay concealed in the bridge, which the passengers no sooner trod upon, but they fell through them into the tide and immediately disappeared.
"I passed some time in the contemplation of this wonderful structure, and the great variety of objects which it presented. My heart was filled with a deep melancholy; to see several dropping unexpectedly in the midst of mirth and jollity, and catching at everything that stood by them to save themselves; some were looking up towards the heavens, some were in a thoughtful posture, and some who were in the midst of a speculation, stumbled and fell out of sight; multitudes were busy in the pursuit of bubbles that glittered in their eyes and danced before them, but often when they thought themselves within the reach of them, their footing failed and down they sank. The genius, being moved with compassion towards me, bid me quit so uncomfortable a prospect. “Cast thine eyes on that thick mist into which the tide bears the several genetations of mortality that fell into it.' I directed my sight as I was ordered, and I saw the valley opening at the farther end, and spreading into an immense ocean, planted with innumerable islands
that were covered with fruits and flowers, and interwoven with a thousand little shining seas that run among them. I could see persons dressed in glorious habits, with garlands upon their heads, passing among the trees, lying down by the side of fountains, or resting on beds of flowers, and could hear a confused harmony of singing birds, falling water, human voices and musical instruments. Gladness grew in me at the discovery of so delightful a scene. wished for the wings of an eagle, that I might fly away to those happy seats; but the genius told me there was no passage to them except through the gates of death that I saw opening every moment upon the bridge."
Well, we have read enough; the above gives hints at pre-existence; man's present state and his glorious destiny. It seems to me, my friend, that you are not so much of an unbeliever as you profess to be. Perhaps we will talk again.
WE ARE NOT HERE TO SIGH.
“We are not here to sigh and moan
And make our kindred sad:-
Toward making others glad.
and do not fret,
You'll have your turn some day.
As cheerful as you can,
Are man's worst gifts to man!"
WORK, AND KEEP YOUR PROMISES.
BY HEBER J. GRANT OF THE QUORUM OF TWELVE APOSTLES.
I desire to impress upon the minds of the young men the fact that there is no telling when or where benefits may accrue to them or their associates, or at some future time even to their posterity, provided they faithfully do their best in the daily battle of life. I will give some personal experiences to verify this.
In 1890-91, earnest efforts were being made to establish the beet-sugar industry in our territory. Because of the financial panic of 1891, many who had subscribed for stock were unable to pay their subscriptions, and I was sent east to secure the funds needed to establish the industry. Having failed in New York and Hartford to obtain all of the money required, I was subsequently sent to San Francisco where one hundred thousand dollars was secured from Mr. Henry Wadsworth, cashier of Wells, Fargo & Co's bank in that city. I am confident that my having been faithful when a boy in his employ, at the time he was agent of Wells Fargo & Co., in Salt Lake City, had some influence in causing him to loan to my associates such a large sum, at a time when there was a great demand for
money. One of the parties who signed bonds with me when I engaged in the insurance business, was Brother Horace S. Eldredge, and as each bond required two signatures, he suggested that I ask Captain William H. Hooper to sign with him. I explained that I knew the Captain only slightly, and feared he would not care to become one of my sureties. Brother Eldredge thought otherwise, so I solicited the Captain's signature, but he proinptly declined. I walked direct to my office and had been there but one or two minutes when a