A New Year’s Exhortation

January 1, 2010 | 7 comments
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A new century dawns upon the world today. The hundred years just completed were the most momentous in the history of man upon this planet. It would be impossible in a hundred days to make even a brief summary of the notable events, the marvelous developments, the grand achievements, and the beneficial inventions and discoveries, which mark the progress of the ten decades now left behind in the ceaseless march of humanity. The very mention of the nineteenth century suggests advancement, improvement, liberty, and light. Happy are we to have lived amidst its wonders and shared in the riches of its treasures of intelligence!

The lessons of the past century should have prepared us for the duties and glories of the opening era. It ought to be the age of peace, of greater progress of the universal adoption of the golden rule. The barbarism of the past should be buried. War with its horrors should be but a memory. The aim of nations should be fraternity and mutual greatness. The welfare of humanity should be studied instead of the enrichment of a race or the extension of an empire.

Awake, ye monarchs of the earth and rulers among nations, and gaze upon the scene wherein the early rays of the rising Millennial day gild the morn of the twentieth century! The power is in your hands to pave the way for the coming King of Kings, whose dominion will be over all the earth. Disband your armies; take the yoke from the necks of the people; arbitrate your disputes; meet in royal congress, and plan for union instead of conquest, for the banishment of poverty, for the uplifting of the masses, and for the health, wealth, enlightenment, and happiness of all tribes and peoples and nations. Then shall the twentieth century be to you the glory of your lives and the lustre of your crowns, and posterity shall sing your praises, while the Eternal One shall place you on high among the mighty.

Ye toiling millions who, in the sweat of your faces earn your daily bread, look up and greet the power from above which shall lift you form bondage! The day of your redemption draweth nigh. Cease to waste your wages in that which helps to keep you in want. Regard not wealth as your enemy and employers as your oppressors. Seek for the union of capital and labor. Be provident when in prosperity. Do not become a prey to designing men who seek to stir up strife for their own selfish ends. Strive for your rights by lawful means, and desist from violence and destruction. Anarchism and lawlessness are your deadly foes. Dissipation and vice are chains that bind you to slavery. Freedom is coming for you, its light approaches as the century dawns.

Men and women of wealth, use your riches to give employment to the laborer! Take the idle from the crowded centres of population and place them on the untilled areas that await the hand of industry. Unlock your vaults, unloose your purses, and embark in enterprises that will give work to the unemployed, and relieve the wretchedness that leads to the vice and crime which curse your great cities, and that poison the moral atmosphere around you. Make others happy, and you will be happy yourselves.

As a servant of God I bear witness to the revelation of His will in the nineteenth century. It came by His own voice from the heavens, by the personal manifestation of His Son and by the ministration of holy angels. He commands all people everywhere to repent, to turn from their evil ways and unrighteous desires, to be baptized for the remission of their sins, that they may receive the Holy Ghost and come into communion with Him. He has commenced the work of redemption spoken of by all the holy prophets, sages, and seers of all the ages and all the races of mankind. He will assuredly accomplish His work, and the twentieth century will mark its advancement towards the great consummation. Every unfoldment of the nineteenth century in science, in art, in mechanism, in music, in literature, in poetic fancy, in philosophical thought, was promised by His Spirit which before long will be poured out upon all flesh that will receive it. He is the Father of us all and He desires to save and exalt us all.

In the eighty-seventh year of my age on earth, I feel full of earnest desire for the benefit of humanity. I wish all a happy new year. I hope and look for grand events to occur in the twentieth century. At its auspicious dawn I lift my hands and invoke the blessing of heaven upon the inhabitants of the earth.

May the sunshine from above smile upon you. May the treasures of the ground and the fruits of the soil be brought forth freely for you good. May the light of truth chase darkness from your souls. May righteousness increase and iniquity diminish as the years of the century roll on. May justice triumph and corruption be stamped out. And may virtue and chastity and honor prevail, until evil shall be overcome and the earth shall be cleansed from wickedness!

Let these sentiments, as the voice of the “Mormons” in the mountains of Utah, go forth to the whole world, and let all people know that our wish and our mission are for the blessing and salvation of the entire human race. May the twentieth century prove the happiest as it will be the grandest of all the ages of time, and may God be glorified in the victory that is coming over sin and sorrow and misery and death. Peace be unto you all.

~ Lorenzo Snow, January 1, 1901.

7 Responses to A New Year’s Exhortation

  1. Dan on January 2, 2010 at 7:18 am

    well the 20th century was indeed the grandest of all the ages of time. What amazes me is how much World War I changed the world. I think Lorenzo Snow’s words would have been different if given after World War I, as that war and its technological improvements vastly changed the way nations and people looked at each other. What I wouldn’t give to go back in time and smack the leaders of Germany, Austria, Britain, France, and Russia, and tell them to get their acts together.

  2. Sterling Fluharty on January 2, 2010 at 8:29 am

    President Snow certainly had a grand vision for the Progressive Era, coming as it did on the heels of the great panic and polygamous raids of the 1890s. As we escape the grasp of our own Gilded Age and recession, it would be wonderful if history could repeat itself and the next decade could be progressive for us as well.

  3. Geoff B on January 2, 2010 at 2:59 pm

    Wow, this is truly inspired. Great words from a prophet. Thanks for sharing this Kaimi.

  4. Nathaniel on January 2, 2010 at 5:45 pm

    http://www.ldschurchnews.com/articles/print/36321/Church-leaders-admonish-strong-work-ethic.html attributes paragraph number 5 to Harold B. Lee. Is that a mistake?

  5. Kaimi on January 2, 2010 at 6:35 pm

    I can check that one, but I suspect that it may be an instance of President Lee quoting President Snow’s earlier words.

  6. John Hamilton on January 5, 2010 at 11:26 am

    “Dissipation and vice are chains that bind you to slavery. Freedom is coming for you, its light approaches as the century dawns.”

    Great lines. Lorenzo Snow certainly had a vision of the realities and the future. Very prophetic. If Woodrow Wilson hadn’t gotten us into WW1, we might have been further along by now.

    It is interesting here that he is not addressing governments in particular but the people in them. He recognizes that righteous action must come from the individual—at both ends of the social spectrum.

    I have to dig up my old “Teaching of the Prophets: Lorenzo Snow” manual and learn some more.

    Great post! Thanks!

  7. Blake Messinger on January 12, 2010 at 8:30 am

    Wow how apropos to our world situation today. It is said that the words of a prophet will ring true in any age, I think this prophet who spoke these words shall endure as prophets’ of the ancients.