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When the Lord expresses his will, and points out what would please him, it is indeed an ungrateful and unwhorthy servant who will violate the Father's will and counsel, simply because it is not given by direct commandment. The word of the Lord to us is: "It is not meet that I should command in all things, for he that is compelled in all things, the same is a slothful and not a wise servant; wherefore he receiveth no reward" (Doctrine and Covenants 58: 26). Then follows: "Men should be anxiously engaged in a good cause, and do many things of their own free will, and bring to pass much righteousness."
We are, however, reminded that many years ago President Brigham Young, the mouth-piece of the Lord to this people, presented the Word of Wisdom as being now a commandment for our observance. We had been borne with for a long time, and had taken advantage, probably, of God's mercy, and the confidence he had reposed in our love and devotion to our heavenly Father. He has given us to understand, later, through his prophet, that this law must be observed, or be followed by the same divine disapproval and condemnation as is the violation of any other of his statutes.
Much of the tobacco habit, on the part of the young, is due to the bad example set them by their elder brethren. Young men should learn the truth, and be governed by it, no matter what may be the evil example of others, and regardless of who they may be who set the example of wrong-doing. Where young men are engaged in herding sheep, or at other isolated labor where idleness is possible, they should be determined to read good books, to engage in refining conversation, and to entertain pure and elevating thoughts. By this course, by the exercise of faith in the Lord, and by humble prayer, there will be little or no inclination to indulge in those vile habits that enervate the body, deaden the intellect, and drive from our young men the companionship of the Holy Spirit.
TALKS TO YOUNG MEN.
V. "THE SAME IS DAMNED."
Men rise the higher as their task is high,
Something over a year ago, I read in the IMPROVEMENT ERA that the young men of this community had, on the whole, lost the vitality of their fathers, that they could not be trusted to do a bit of work requiring skill and brains, and that their places had to be filled by men who were in every essential particular their inferiors, but who could be depended upon.
I must confess that when I read this, I was sorely tempted to fling the magazine across the room, for printing what I considered to be a foul slander. "It is a falsehood," I said; "and there can be no excuse for publishing it. The writer of it is a crank, a pessimist, an enemy of our young men." From that day on, I determined to find out to what extent it was true. I talked with people about the question; I enquired of employers; I observed the young men whose capacity I had every day the opportunity of measuring. And the upshot of it all was, that I found more truth in the statement than formerly I could possibly have been made to believe.
These strictures applies, of course, only to a certain class of young men among us. But this class is altogether too large, and, for aught I know, is growing. These young men are always on the lookout for "soft snaps." They shun difficulties. They abhor hard work. They swarm our business colleges, studying how to become bookkeepers and stenographers. (Not that I would be understood as implying that all bookkeepers and stenographers are shirkers; for as a class they are honorable enough, when they en
ter their profession from right motives). And they meantime lie about dreaming of great things to come by and by. If they are attending school, they study just enough to pass the examinations by the skin of their teeth. If they are tradesmen, they find out only enough about their trade to get along in it. They are content with the shallowest mediocrity. They never exert themselves to the utmost of their power. They never reach out beyond themselves. They never know the joy of sounding the depths, of trying their strength, of doing things well. They do not look into the
future in search of a gauge of their conduct.
They take liter-
ally the scriptural saying: "Sufficient unto the day."
a mortal dread of responsibility.
"I can't" is ever on their lips
and in their hearts. After a time they get into a rut, as the last paper declared, and run down hill.
But enough of picking flaws.
What can these young men do
to help themselves? The best answer to this question is found in the fifty-eighth section of the Doctrine and Covenants. boys, and get it by heart; it is a marvelous passage:
Verily I say, men should be anxiously engaged in a good cause, and do many things of their own free will, and bring to pass much righteousness; for the power is in them, wherein they are agents unto themselves. And inasmuch as men do good they shall in nowise lose their reward. But he that doeth not anything until he is commanded, and receiveth a commandment with a doubtful heart, and keepeth it with slothfulness, the same is damned.
The lesson here, then, is, court responsibility and independence of character; be earnest and anxious in what you do if it is a good cause. Without responsibility there can be no genuine growth, no development of individual power. Conversely, the greater the individual responsibility, the greater the power. If this needed proving, we would only have to point to our young men who perform foreign missions. Who would be so hazardous as to predict that this youth, who cannot utter five consecutive and intelligible sentences at his farewell party, would in two years, by any process whatever, be able to interest a large audience for an hour or an hour and a half? And yet we see this wonderful transformation on every hand. Why is it? Simply because, humanly
speaking, he has accepted a task that was higher than he thought he could perform, and achieved that task well; that is, exerted his powers to the uttermost. This exertion, repeated, brought
strength. And we see the effect a miracle of power.
But this class of young men want to do something important now; they want to pass over the insignificant steps that lead to greatness. To preside over a small meeting in their ward is too trifling for them; they want to head an army, or to be president of the United States. And what would they do if they were placed in a position of great responsibility? Lose their heads, make themselves ridiculous, and be crushed by its terrible weight. The apprentice at carpentry is not given the highest kind of work to do at first. He must do a multitude of less important things before he can be trusted to do that. The great commander must come up through a variety of "insignificant" degrees before he is fit to lead. Preside over your small meetings first, then the presidency of big audiences may come; perform well your part on the program now, then you may be able after a while to sway immense throngs by your eloquence; keep your small store, and afterwards you may be given charge of larger concerns, by and by. But if you don't do now the little things well, the time will never come when you will be given the chance to do great things.
Always do as you are
Never, then, shirk a responsibility. asked, if you sacrifice not your honor. Never mind the future, if you take real care of the present; the future will find a place for you. If the task is hard, so much the better. Performing it well will insure you strength to some higher task, which, "being well achieved," will in time raise you, till in future what once seemed impossible will be simple. This is the only secret of growth. On the contrary, if you do not improve the opportunity to carry trust and responsibility, you will receive little or no growth. Your powers will remain the same, if they do not actually diminish. For he that is a slothful servant, the same is damned.
Among the public workers of our community during the past half century was the late Elder Joseph Bull, of Salt Lake City, whose death occurred on the 11th of January, 1904. It was in January, 1852, that he began to work for the Church publishing house-the Deseret News-and it was January, 1904, that he performed his last day's work for that same institution, and a few days later went to his rest. There were several intervals during this period of fifty-two years in which he was not engaged at the Church publishing establishment, but most of this time was spent in the mission fields abroad, in which service he labored for more than eight years. Practically his whole life, after his first coming to Utah, was given to public service. This long term of activity entitles him to honorable mention among those whose lives are briefly sketched in these papers.
Joseph Bull was a native of Leicester, England, where he was born January 25, 1832. His parents were Daniel and Elizabeth Burdette Bull. After receiving a common school education, he engaged to learn the printing business, at the age of fourteen. The firm to which he was apprenticed failed before his time expired, but the qualifications he had thus far developed helped him to obtain a situation in a leading printing establisment in Birmingham. He remained at this latter place until the end of the year 1850. In the meantime he had become interested in the teachings of the Latter-day Saints, and in February, 1848, when sixteen years old, united with the Church.
His object in leaving his situation in Birmingham was to gather with the Saints in Utah, and on the 6th of January, 1851,