|The sun had set, and twilight's shady mood
Spread a brown halo--ting'd the solitude
As days last glimmer flitted down the west;
Life's stirring scenes demurely sank to rest--
Soft silence lent its contemplative charm,
And all conspir'd the mental pulse to warm--
From world to world, imagination wander'd,
While thought, the present, past, and future ponder'd.
As I was musing the desire intense
That some kind guardian angel might dispense
Instruction; lo! a seraph-form appeared--
His look---his voice my anxious spirit cheer'd.
It was the Priesthood-- he who holds the key
T' unlock the portals of Eternity;
And with o'erflowing heart, I took my seat,
An enter'd student at th' Instructors feet.
"What would'st thou me?" The seraph gently said:
"Tell me, and wherefore hast thou sought my aid?"
I then replied: Long, long I've wish'd to know
What is the cause of suff'ring here below--
What the result of human life will be--
Its ultimatum in Eternity.
With deep, attentive mind-- with list'ning ear,
I watch'd and waited ev'ry word to hear;
As thus he said; 'Tis not for you to pry
Into the secrets of the worlds on high--
To seek to know the first, the moving Cause,
Councils, decrees, organizations, laws--
Form'd by the Gods, pertaining to this earth,
Ere your great Father from their courts came forth,
The routine of his ancestors to tread--
Of this new world, to stand the royal head.
The more immediate cause of all the woe
And degradation in your world below,
Is disobedience: Sorrow, toil and pain,
With their associates, follow in its train.
This life's an ordeal, and design'd to prove
Fraternal kindness and parental love.
Earth is your Father's workshop. What is done--
All that's attain'd, and what achievements won,
Is for the Parents: All things are their own--
The children now hold nothing but by loan.
Whatever some may claim in proud pretense;
No one has yet obtain'd inheritance;
E'en Abraham has no possession gain'd
Of what by promise he thro' faith obtained:
And all that greedy hands accumulate,
Is yet the Father's, not the child's estate.
Then shame, O shame, on all the strife you see
Here in the cradle of life's nursery--
The green-ey'd jealousies--the frosty hate
Which carnal, avaricious thoughts create!
How vain that phantom of mortality,
The mimic-form of human dignity!
'Tis soon enough for infant lips to talk
Of pow'r and greatness, when they've strength to walk--
'Tis soon enough for children to be great,
When they can boast a self-possess'd estate.
It will not matter whatsoe'er is gained,
Or what on earth may seem to be obtained;
But 'tis important that each one prepare
To be with Christ, a joint, an equal heir:
Faith, and obedience, and integrity,
Will the grand test of future heirship, be.
If true and faithful to the Father's will,
It matters not what station here you fill;
As you prepare yourself on earth, will be
Your place, your portion in eternity.
As disobedience fill'd the world with pain,
Obedience will restore it back again.
The base perversions of my pow'r produce
All the strong engines satan has in use;
And qualify the sons of men to dwell
With his dark majesty, the prince of hell.
All that obey the pow'rs of darkness go
With those they follow-- to the world below,
Then list to me--my precepts all obey--
The Gods have sent me in this latter-day,
Fully commissioned upward all to lead,
Who will my councils and instructions heed-
Who seek in ev'ry circumstance and place,
To benefit and bless the human race--
Who seek in their Father's interests to enhance--
His glorious cause upon the earth advance--
Whether below, they much or little claim,
If they exalt and magnify his name;
And in his service labor faithfully,
They'll have a fullness in his legacy.
Each faithful saint is an acknowledg'd heir,
And as his diligence, will be his share,
When god a patrimony shall bestow
Upon his sons and daughters here below.
Adam, your God, like you on earth, has been
Subject to sorrow in a world of sin:
Through long gradation he arose to be
Cloth'd with the Godhead's might and majesty.
And what to him in his probative sphere,
Whether a Bishop, Deacon, Priest, or Seer?
Whate'er his offices and callings were,
He magnified them with assiduous care:
By his obedience he obtain'd the place
Of God and Father of this human race.
Obedience will the same bright garland weave,
As it has done for your great Mother, Eve,
For all her daughters on the earth, who will
All my requirements sacredly fulfill.
And what to Eve, though in her mortal life,
She'd been the first, the tenth, or fiftieth wife?
Whether by fools, consider'd small, or great?
'Twas all the same with her--she prov'd her worth--
She's now the Goddess and the Queen of Earth.
Life's ultimatum, unto those those that live
As saints of God, and all my pow'rs receive;
Is still the onward, upward course to tread--
To stand as Adam and as Eve, the head
Of an inheritance, a new-form'd earth,
And to their spirt-race, give mortal birth--
Give them experience in a world like this;
Then lead them forth to everlasting bliss,
Crown'd with salvation and eternal joy
Where full perfection dwells, without alloy.
Thus said the Seraph.--Sacred in my heart
I cherish all his precious words impart;
And humbly pray, I ever may, as now,
With holy def'rence in his presence bow.
The field of thought he open'd to my view,
My wonder rous'd--my admiration too:
I marvel'd at the silly childishness
Of saints, the heirs of everlasting bliss,
The candidates for Godheads and for worlds,
As onward time, eternities unfurls.
I felt my littleness, and thought, henceforth
I'll be myself, the humblest saint on earth;
And all that God shall to my care assign,
I'll recognize and use as His, not mine.
Wherever he appoints to me a place,
That will I seek, with diligence, to grace,
And for my Parents, whatso'er my lot,
To work with all my might, and murmer not,
I'll seek their interest, till they send or come,
And as a faithful daughter take me home.
As thus I mus'd, the lovely queen of night,
'Neath heav'n's blue canopy, diffus'd her light:
Still brighter beams o'er earth's horizon play--
A cheering prelude to approaching day,
When truth's full glory will o'erspread the skies,
And the bright "Sun of Righteousness" arise.
* Eliza R. Snow, one of the wives of Joseph Smith Jr.
The "ULTIMATUM OF HUMAN LIFE" was published in Salt Lake City, printed at the Latter-day Saints' Printing and Publishing Establishment in 1877. in "Poems, Religious, Historical, and Political by Eliza R. Snow. Vol. II, Compiled by the Author" It is found on pages 5-10
The title page gives two quotes:
"And I saw another angel fly in the midst of heaven, having the everlasting Gospel to preach unto them that dwell on the earth, and to every nation, and kindred, and tongue, and people, saying, with a loud voice, Fear God and give glory to Him, for the hour of His judgment is come." JOHN, the Revelator.
*************** "He that judgeth a matter before he heareth it, is unwise." -SOLOMON. *******************
Update 23 July 1999