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being subject to kings, presidents, rulers and magistrates, in obeying, honoring and sustaining the law."
The courts of the Church are entirely ecclesiastical. They adjudicate between Church members in matters of dispute, and in the promotion of Church discipline. Litigation among them is deprecated, and it is deemed wrong for brother to go to law against brother. But no penalty is enforced other than disfellowshipment, or excommunication as the extreme punishment. The courts of law are recognized in their secular capacity, and their decisions are honored and observed.
Sermons, dissertations and arguments, by preachers and writers in the Church, concerning the kingdom of God that is to be, are not to be understood as relating to the present. If they are so presented as to convey the idea that the dominion to come is to be exercised now, the claim is incorrect, no matter by whom set forth, because it is in direct conflict with Divine revelation to the Church. Such opinions do not weigh at all when placed in the scales against the word and command of Almighty God.
The Church and kingdom of God does not use any compulsion over the souls of men. Nor does it claim any right so to do. The priesthood which it bears is Divine authority to administer in behalf of Deity, in the truths and ordinances of salvation. Those who hold it are warned against seeking to exercise unrighteous dominion, and instructed that it can only be maintained "by persuasion, by longsuffering, by gentleness and meekness and by love unfeigned." The presiding authorities therein regulate the affairs of the Church by "common consent," and their jurisdiction is within, and not without, its ecclesiastical limits. Every member of the organization in every place is absolutely free as a citizen, and is not restrained of any liberty enjoyed by non-members.
The attitude of this Church toward other religious societies is thus clearly set forth in the eleventh article of our faith: “We claim the privilege of worshiping Almighty God according to the dictates of our conscience, and allow all men the same privilege, let them worship how, where or what they may." In this spirit, we act toward all the nations and kingdoms of the world. We have no quarrel with any of them. In proclaiming "the kingdom of heaven's at hand," we have the most intense and fervent
convictions of our mission and calling, and intend to stand by them under all circumstances and conditions. But we do not and will not attempt to force them upon others, or to control or dominate any of their affairs, individual or national. We regard all people as the children of the Eternal Father, and therefore as our brothers and sisters. We seek their welfare, we endeavor to enlighten them, we desire their happiness, progress and salvation. We abhor tyranny, we resent oppression, but we do not believe in retaliation for real or supposed injuries. We seek to enjoy and exercise the spirit that inspired the world's Redeemer who, we believe, will eventually be its king. And with that feeling, we proclaim that the motto of this Church and kingdom cf the latter days on this Christmas day in the year of our Lord 1903, is, as of old, "Peace on earth, good will to man!"
JOSEPH F. SMITH,
ANTHON H. LUND,
First Presidency of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
DO IT WELL.
"One of the main maxims that my father impressed upon me in childhood," writes a successful and faithful man, “was this one: 'Whatever is worth doing at all, is worth doing well.'" It is sad to see the half-hearted way in which some boys go about their business; it makes one long to take the tools out of their hands and do the work for them. Then there are others who only think of getting done, without caring how; their work is scamped and unsatisfactory. They forget the Master's words, "He that is faithful in the least, is faithful also in much." Since there is nothing too small to be done to the glory of God, surely we should not think it too much trouble to do our work in such a manner as to gain his approval.
It may be said safely that at no time has there been a man in the Church public works possessing more pronounced business ability, and having more practical capacity, than John Sharp. He was foremost among the leaders in business and public enterprise in Utah for years; and, though he was the first Bishop of the Twentieth ward, Salt Lake City, serving in that office for more than three decades, he will always be remembered more as a practical business leader, than as a guide in ecclesiastical affairs.
John Sharp was born in Devon Iron Works, Scotland, November 8, 1820, and was twenty-eight years of age when he came to Ameriса. In early years, he spent his time in the coal mines of Scotland, being sent into the earth on mining business, at the age of eight years. When "Mormonism" found him, in 1847, he was still engaged in coal mining in Clackmannanshire, the gospel being presented to him by Elder William Gibson, an able disputant and orator, and one of the first Scottish Elders sent out to preach. He converted the three Sharp brothers who thereupon left their native land and came to America, in 1848. Landing in New Orleans, they journeyed up the great river to St. Louis, where they remained until 1850, in the spring of which year they took up their march to Utah, arriving in the valley on August 28.
For this reason, and further because of the business and ecclesiastical sphere which he filled so early and for so many years, John Sharp properly may be classed as one of the founders of our commonwealth. As if the old employment still held charms for him, he went to work in the Church stone quarries immediately upon his arrival in Utah. Here he shaped and dug stone for
the old tabernacle and tithing office. His abilities soon made him superintendent, and it was under his direction that the stone for the massive temple foundation, the great temple wall, and other public works was carved from the hills. With great difficulty, and almost insurmountable obstacles to overcome in transportation, the huge blocks of granite were nevertheless carried by ox teams, eighteen miles from the quarries to the temple block. Aside from the hauling, it was no indifferent task to control and make advantageous use of the labor, since it was mostly unskilled, and was offered as tithing. It required a master spirit, and such a one was John Sharp.
When, in 1864, Superintendent of Public Works Daniel H. Wells was called on a mission to England, Bishop Sharp was appointed assistant superintendent, and became acting superintendent until the former's return. When the Union Pacific railway was built in 1868-9, he became a sub-contractor, under President Brigham Young, in the building of the heavy stone work of the bridge abuttments, and the cutting of the tunnels, on the Weber. They employed five or six hundred men, their contract amounting to about one million dollars. A second contract amounting to $100,000, was also completed by Sharp and Young, contractors. In the settlement of these contracts, President Young, through Bishop Sharp's aid, obtained about $600,000 worth of iron and rolling stock, and it was with this beginning that the Utah Central railroad between Ogden and Salt Lake was constructed. In 1871, Bishop Sharp was made the superintendent of this road, Joseph A. Young and Feramorz Little having held the position before him. He was made both president and superintendent in 1873. When the Utah Southern railway, from Salt Lake City south, was organized, in 1870, he was elected its vice-president, went east as the purchasing agent, and soon became extensively associated with the Union Pacific directors, being finally elected one of them, and holding that office until his death, December 23, 1891.
John Sharp was ordained Bishop in 1854, by President Brigham Young, and was set apart to preside over the Twentieth ward which, up to that time, had been coupled with the Eighteenth ward under Bishop Lorenzo D. Young. He was, therefore, its first Bishop, and its practical founder; his labors gave it the reputation
of being one of the most liberal and intellectual wards in the Church.
The portrait which the ERA prints of Bishop Sharp clearly advertises the power and the push of the man. The story of his life is a lesson in energy, progress, advancement. From a coal pit, in Scotland, to a president and superintendent of railroads, and a director in the Union Pacific of America, is a long, upward step, showing such brilliant progress as could be made only by energetic action and faithful, fearless work. From a mere miner, in a crowd to be governed, to the office of Bishop to supervise and control the people of a great ward, is a step no whit shorter nor less exalted. It teaches the lesson that to succeed one must struggle with circumstance, and overcome by faith and toil; that change, evolution, and action, secure mental and material progress; while, on the contrary, traveling self-satisfied in ruts, seeking sameness, and courting inaction, are conditions to be avoided.
That was the nickname they called him by,-
The earliest flowers in his garden grew;
You wondered what could his secret be,
Trusting but little to chance or guess,