We trust in God. I reckon He will fight out battles and we will be baptized for and in behalf of the human family during a thousand years; and we will have hundreds of temples and thousands of men and women officiating therein for those who have fallen asleep, without having had the privilege of hearing and obeying the Gospel, that they may be brought forth and have a glorious resurrection, and enjoy the kingdom which God has prepared for them. The devil will fight hard to hinder us, and we shall not take an inch of ground except by obedience to the power of, and faith in, the Gospel of the Son of God. The whole world is opposed to this doctrine. But is there any harm in it? If they could only see it as it is in the Lord, they would rejoice in it, and instead of fighting it, they would praise God for having revealed so glorious a doctrine. Suppose that the notion entertained by some is true, that after the death of our bodies our spirits sleep an eternal sleep, and I am baptized for my father, grandfather, and so on, does it injure them? Answer, all ye intelligences on the face of the earth, above, beneath, or around about the earth! All will admit that no harm would be done in practicing these ordinances. Then let us alone if our practices will do no harm, why oppose us in their observance? The result might possibly affect beneficially our progenitors, and then you who oppose would be found fighting against God. Better let the Gospel have its course.
Isaiah saw our day. He saw the wilderness made to blossom as the rose. He saw the rivers flow in the desert where we have built these great irrigation canals under the inspiration of the Almighty, after our pioneers were led here to these valleys of the mountains, a wasteland, and nothing but their hands with which to labor, far away from transportation or commodities of any kind. He saw the waters flow down from the high places where it had been reservoired in these mountain fastnesses. He saw the daughters of Zion come up and sing in the heights of Zion. Where can you find anything in the history of this whole world to fulfill that like the singing of our Tabernacle Choir, singing now for over forty-two years without a break? Now with the Telstar, it is singing to the entire world. No wonder President Nixon said in his visit here last November that it was the greatest choir in all the world. Isaiah saw the mountain of the Lord’s house established in the top of the mountains in the latter days, and he named the latter days, when they would say: “Come ye, and let us go up to the mountain of the Lord, to the house of the God of Jacob; and he will teach us of his ways, and we will walk in his paths: for out of Zion shall go forth the law, and the word of the Lord from Jerusalem.” How literally that has been fulfilled, in my way of thinking, in this very house of the God of Jacob right here on this block! This temple, more than any other building of which we have any record, has brought people from every land to learn of his ways and walk in his paths.
When they got through the Prophet said, “Brethren I have been very much edified and instructed in your testimonies here tonight, but I want to say to you before the Lord, that you know no more concerning the destinies of this Church and kingdom than a babe upon its mother’s lap. You don’t comprehend it.” I was rather surprised. He said “it is only a little handful of Priesthood you see here tonight, but this Church will fill North and South America—it will fill the world.” Among other things he said, “it will fill the Rocky Mountains. There will be tens of thousands of Latter-day Saints who will be gathered in the Rocky Mountains, and there they will open the door for the establishing of the Gospel among the Lamanites, who will receive the Gospel and their endowments and the blessings of God. This people will go into the Rocky Mountains; they will there build temples to the Most High. They will raise up a posterity there, and the Latter-day Saints who dwell in these mountains will stand in the flesh until the coming of the Son of Man. The Son of Man will come to them while in the Rocky Mountains.” I name these things because I want to bear testimony before God, angels and men that mine eyes behold the day, and have beheld for the last fifty years of my life, the fulfillment of that prophecy. I never expected to see the Rocky Mountains when I listened to that man’s voice, but I have, and do today.
I was touched by their sincerity. I was humbled by their poverty. They had so little. My heart filled with sorrow because they had no patriarch. They had no wards or stakes—just branches. They could not receive temple blessings—neither endowment nor sealing. No official visitor had come from Church headquarters in a long time. The members were forbidden to leave the country. Yet they trusted in the Lord with all their hearts, and they leaned not to their own understanding. In all their ways they acknowledged Him, and He directed their paths. I stood at the pulpit, and with tear-filled eyes and a voice choked with emotion, I made a promise to the people: “If you will remain true and faithful to the commandments of God, every blessing any member of the Church enjoys in any other country will be yours.” That night as I realized what I had promised, I dropped to my knees and prayed, “Heavenly Father, I’m on Thy errand; this is Thy church. I have spoken words that came not from me, but from Thee and Thy Son. Wilt Thou, therefore, fulfill the promise in the lives of this noble people.” There coursed through my mind the words from the psalm, “Be still, and know that I am God.” The heavenly virtue of patience was required. Little by little the promise was fulfilled. First, patriarchs were ordained, then lesson manuals produced. Wards were formed and stakes created. Chapels and stake centers were begun, completed, and dedicated. Then, miracle of miracles, a holy temple of God was permitted, designed, constructed, and dedicated. Finally, after an absence of fifty years, approval was granted for full-time missionaries to enter the nation and for local youth to serve elsewhere in the world. Then, like the wall of Jericho, the Berlin Wall crumbled, and freedom, with its attendant responsibilities, returned.