Intended for members of the church, this chapter is a seminal doctrinal treatise on hypocrisy. The great apostle-the last living voice of the eyewitnesses-gives the church members several keys to know whether they are in the right path. Secondarily, the revelator reveals how hypocrites and seducers may be identified. These early members were to judge righteous judgment about themselves and those who were trying to destroy the church from the inside-out.
"Even now are there many antichrists...These things have I written you concerning them that seduce you" (v. 18, 26). By now, the influence of the Gnostics had distorted the truth by overemphasizing the deep, dark mysteries. Worse yet, were those seemingly faithful members who were members in name only. Wolves in sheep's clothing, John is trying to teach us the difference between real wool and conniving costume.
How do we know if we know Him?
If we keep his commandments (v. 3)
How do we know if our neighbor knows Him?
If our neighbor keeps the commandments (v. 4)
How do we know if we are in Him?
If the love of God is perfected in us by obedience (v. 5)
How do we know if we abide in Him?
If we walk as he walked (v. 6)
How do we know if our neighbor is in darkness?
If he hateth his brother (v. 9)
How do we know if the love of the Father is not with us?
If we love the world (v. 15)
How do we know who is an antichrist?
By their denial of the Father and Son (v. 22)
How do we identify those who have been born of God?
They are those that "doeth righteousness" (v. 29)
"In the decade after A.D. 96, in Asia Minor, the Apostle John wrote his Gospel and letters, addressing the problem of how Christians could be faithful in the midst of worldly evils and major Christian apostasy. These issues are more obvious in John's letters. (See 1 Jn. 2:18-19; 1 Jn. 4:1-3.)... The Apostle stresses what was taught "from the beginning." John repeatedly used this phrase to underline two specific doctrines of Christ's Last Supper discourse. One is the command to love one another, given by Christ at the meal and afterward. (See 1 Jn. 3:11; 2 Jn. 1:5.) The other is the challenge: "If ye love me, keep my commandments." (John 14:15.)" (Richard Lloyd Anderson, "The Restoration of the Sacrament (Part 1: Loss and Christian Reformations)," Ensign, Jan. 1992, 42-43)
1 John 2:2 he is the propitiation for our sins
To propitiate means "to appease and render favorable... to conciliate." (Webster's New English Dictionary, Unabridged, 2nd ed., [Springfield, Mass: G. & C. Merriam Co., 1945]) The concept, taught beautifully in the Book of Mormon, is that God cannot tolerate sin with the least degree of allowance. He demands justice because he is a just God, and "justice exerciseth all his demands." Besides, "the work of justice could not be destroyed; if so, God would cease to be God." (Alma 42:24, 13)
Under such a strict and unbending truth, how can man ever be saved? Are we right to "suppose that mercy can rob justice?" (Alma 42:25) Our sins have brought upon us the wrath of a just God. We have been rendered unfavorable in his sight.
Fortunately, "the atonement satisfieth the demands of justice" upon conditions of repentance (2 Ne. 9:26). "According to justice, the plan of redemption could not be brought about, only on conditions of repentance... except it were for these conditions, mercy could not take effect." (Alma 42:13) But repentance can't do us any good without the Redeemer's "propitiation for our sins." His sacrifice appeases a just God. His suffering satisfies the strict demands of the law of justice, for "the plan of mercy could not be brought about except an atonement should be made; therefore God himself atoneth for the sins of the world, to bring about the plan of mercy, to appease the demands of justice." (Alma 42:15)
David B. Haight
By his paying the debt of sin for each of us, Jesus brings us, if we desire, to his Father. We sing these expressive words, which truly convey our feelings:
I stand all amazed at the love Jesus offers me,
Confused at the grace that so fully he proffers me;
I tremble to know that for me he was crucified,
That for me, a sinner, he suffered, he bled and died.
I marvel that he would descend from his throne divine
To rescue a soul so rebellious and proud as mine;
That he should extend his great love unto such as I,
Sufficient to own, to redeem, and to justify.
I think of his hands pierced and bleeding to pay the debt!
Such mercy, such love, and devotion can I forget?
No, no, I will praise and adore at the mercy seat,
Until at the glorified throne I kneel at his feet.
(Hymns, no. 80.)
("Love All," Ensign, Nov. 1982, 12)
1 John 2:3 hereby we do know that we know him, if we keep his commandments
Jesus asked us to know our Heavenly Father and to know Jesus Christ. He said of this life, "This is life eternal, that they might know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent." (John 17:3.) Remember those words. They were given by a living God, and they are clear and complete and do not need correction or adjustment. To have the full measure of eternal life in a divine way you must know the only true God and Jesus Christ. I repeat, "This is life eternal, that they might know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent." Knowing the only true God and Jesus Christ is the most rewarding and precious of all knowledge. If you were asked these questions-"Do you know God?" "Do you know Jesus Christ?"-what would your answer be? It is important to know that the scriptures contain divine tests to determine the effectiveness of the doctrines and commandments in our lives. I repeat the questions: "Do you know the only true God, and do you know Jesus Christ?" If your answer is "yes," then let's see how you measure up to the test as given by the apostle John. He said, "And hereby we do know that we know him, if we keep his commandments. He that saith, I know him, and keepeth not his commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him." (1 Jn. 2:3-4.) And I don't mind telling you that test has been translated correctly. Be careful not to get carried away with any foolish thoughts that might justify weakness and failure to know and keep God's commandments. Does your knowledge of God impel you to know and keep his commandments? Knowing and keeping the commandments of God are the divine ways to perfection and eternal life in the kingdom of God. ("To Know God and Jesus Christ," Ensign, Feb. 1977, 85)
1 John 2:4-5 He that saith, I know him, and keepeth not his commandments, is a liar
"The scriptures make crystal clear that proper behavior (works) must be part of our life in Christ. The Savior himself taught, 'Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven. . . . Depart from me, ye that work iniquity' (Matthew 7:21, 23; emphasis added). In other words, merely acknowledging Jesus' lordship, merely saying the words or making the confession, while refusing to make him our lord by serving him and conforming our behavior to his will-this will not get us into the kingdom. The confession or the acknowledgment must be accompanied by doing the will of the Father in heaven and by not doing iniquity. Jesus explicitly established the undeniable link between salvation and good works: 'If thou wilt enter into life, keep the commandments' (Matthew 19:17). In John's Gospel (3:20-21) he is quoted as saying: 'Every one that doeth evil hateth the light, neither cometh to the light, lest his deeds should be reproved. But he that doeth truth cometh to the light, that his deeds may be made manifest, that they are wrought in God' (emphasis added). You can't do evil and be in the light-our deeds and our spiritual condition and destiny are interconnected. Moreover, Jesus also makes keeping his commandments-that is, behavior-a part of abiding in his love: 'If ye keep my commandments, ye shall abide in my love; even as I have kept my Father's commandments, and abide in his love' (John 15:10; see also 14:15, 21). The necessary link between proper behavior and being 'in Christ' is further taught by John: 'He that saith, I know him, and keepeth not his commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him. But whoso keepeth his word, in him verily is the love of God perfected: hereby know we that we are in him' (1 John 2:4). Who is truly 'in Christ'? Those who keep the commandments! There are those who profess him but will not work for him, those who claim to be sons and daughters but refuse to do their chores. But these, according to the scripture, are 'liars.'" (Stephen E. Robinson, Following Christ: The Parable of the Divers and More Good News [Salt Lake City: Deseret Book Co., 1995], 77.)
Harold B. Lee
False teachers teach falsehood and their works are evil. True teachers teach and live righteously and will not teach doctrines contradicting the teachings of the Lord given directly by Him, to us, or by revelation through His prophets. False teachers teach falsehood and their works are evil. True teachers teach and live righteously and will not teach doctrines contradicting the teachings of the Lord given directly by Him, to us, or by revelation through His prophets. (Stand Ye in Holy Places [Salt Lake City: Deseret Book Co., 1974], 313.)
1 John 2:6 to walk, even as he walked
Ezra Taft Benson
Christ changes men, and changed men can change the world. Men changed for Christ will be captained by Christ. Like Paul they will be asking, "Lord, what wilt thou have me to do?" (Acts 9:6.) Peter stated they will "follow his steps." (1 Pet. 2:21.) John said they will "walk, even as he walked." (1 Jn. 2:6.)
Finally, men captained by Christ will be consumed in Christ. To paraphrase President Harold B. Lee, they set fire in others because they are on fire. (See Harold B. Lee, Stand Ye in Holy Places, Salt Lake City: Deseret Book Co., 1974, p. 192.)
Their will is swallowed up in his will. (See John 5:30.) They do always those things that please the Lord. (See John 8:29.) Not only would they die for the Lord, but, more important, they want to live for Him.
Enter their homes, and the pictures on their walls, the books on their shelves, the music in the air, their words and acts reveal them as Christians. They stand as witnesses of God at all times, and in all things, and in all places. (See Mosiah 18:9.) They have Christ on their minds, as they look unto Him in every thought. (See D&C 6:36.) They have Christ in their hearts as their affections are placed on Him forever. (See Alma 37:36.) ("Born of God," Ensign, July 1989, 4-5)
1 John 2:7-8 Again, a new commandment I write unto you
"In these verses John the Beloved gives a significant clue concerning the meaning of Jesus' statement in his discussion of the commandment to love as being both 'old' and 'new.' At least as early as the time of Moses it was a matter of scriptural record that 'thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thine heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy might' (Deut. 6:5) and 'thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.' (Lev. 19:18.)
"Certainly the commandment to love was 'old.' But, as John suggested, when Jesus came into the world he was 'the true light,' and the 'new commandment' was 'true in him' and 'now shineth.' (1 Jn. 2:8, 10.) The Lord was 'the true light,' the personal embodiment or personification of that commandment.
"Jesus Christ was and is the divine example of love. With his coming, the commandment to love was given again and thus became 'new.' John's alluding to the commandment to love as being both 'new' and 'old' in his day is analogous in our dispensation to both the gospel and some of its parts being identified as both 'new' and 'everlasting.' (D&C 22:1; D&C 132:4.)
"But the scripture suggests additional meaning in the Lord's statement of 'a new commandment,' for when he said 'I give unto you, That ye love one another,' he gave his disciples a new criterion. Earlier he had taught 'love thy neighbour as thyself,' but now he said, 'love one another; as I have loved you.' No longer was it adequate for man to use his own mortal self as the criterion for loving, but he was to use the divine criterion, namely the Lord himself." (David H. Yarn Jr., "The Night before He Died," Ensign, July 1975, 20-21)
1 John 2:9-11 he that saith he is in the light and hateth his brother is in darkness
Howard W. Hunter
The logic of this is simple, clear, and unequivocal: the proof of love of God is love of one's brother. This becomes the fundamental commandment of Christianity. This was the religion taught by the Master. How happy would society be were these two plain, rational precepts properly observed: Love me, and love thy fellows. (LDS Church News, 1995, 09/23/95)
N. Eldon Tanner
Our feelings toward one another must be those of brotherly love. Religion should cement and strengthen and never weaken this feeling. It is most important that we respect and honor the religious beliefs and feelings of our neighbors.
I believe that Christ was really the Begotten Son of God in the flesh. But the fact that others do not believe the same thing is no cause for ill feelings, hate, or lack of brotherhood. Because I believe as a Mormon, another believes as a Catholic, another as a Protestant, another as a Jew, we should not shun or criticize or have ill feeling, but respect each other's views, realizing that a belief in God makes everyone better, as individuals and as citizens, to the extent that they follow God's teachings-particularly, "Love one another as I have loved you" (John 15:12)...
Sometimes I am almost convinced that it is human nature to magnify the weaknesses in others in order to minimize our own. Let us always remember that men of great character do not belittle others nor magnify their weaknesses. In fact, the thing that makes them great is the showing of love for and interest in the success and welfare of their neighbors. True love does not permit us to hold grudges or ill feelings, to bear tales, or to steal a good name. We should not talk about or criticize one another, but strive to build and strengthen one another.
A friend of mine related the following experience. His father and his father's cousin lived in the same community and were competitors in the construction business. A bitter rivalry, triggered in the beginning by some contract bidding, grew up over the years and was eventually inherited by the immediate families, even after the death of my friend's father. It was difficult for them to be civil to one another, even in their church callings, where my friend was the bishop of one ward and his cousin in another. The situation festered.
Suddenly my friend found himself with a call to serve as a mission president. He and his family were thrilled with the prospect, but he had an uneasy feeling. He kept asking himself if he were really worthy for such an important call. He knew he was living the Word of Wisdom, was a full tithepayer, faithful in his Church activities, was morally clean, and so forth, but the uneasy feeling persisted.
In the midst of his preparations he was returning from his office one afternoon when something said to him, "You must go to your father's cousin and straighten things out. You cannot go out to teach the gospel of love while this feeling exists between you."
So he went to his cousin's home, rang the doorbell, and waited fearfully, but there was no response. He turned away feeling that at least he had tried and that this attempt would conclude the matter. But the uneasy feeling did not go away.
The next day at a funeral service his cousin came in and sat across from him. He asked his cousin if he could see him after the service. I quote from my friend's account:
"When I rang the doorbell he invited me into the living room and congratulated me on my mission call. We talked a few minutes about things in general, and then it happened. I looked at him with a feeling of love which replaced all the old bitterness, and said: 'I have come to ask forgiveness for anything I have ever said or done that has tended to divide us and our families.'
"At this point tears came into our eyes, and for a few minutes neither of us could say a word. This was one time when silence was more powerful than words. In a few minutes he said: 'I wish I had come to you first.' I replied, 'The important thing is that it is done, not who initiated it.'
"At this moment we had a rich spiritual experience which caused us to purge our lives and our souls of those things which had separated us. That experience has resulted in our having proper family relationships. Now I could go on my mission and teach the true meaning of love because for the first time in my life I had experienced its deepest dimension. Now I could honestly say that there wasn't a person in the world that I didn't love and appreciate. Since that day my life has never been the same, for it was then that I learned in a most positive way, as I had never understood before, this injunction of the Master to his disciples: 'A new commandment I give unto you, That ye love one another' (John 13:34)."
As we look back over our lives whether they be short or long, we realize that the thing that gives the greatest joy is doing something for someone else because we love him. Let us express our love to God and to our fellowmen now, while we can, by our every act and word, for we shall not pass again this way. ("The Great Commandments," Ensign, July 1980, 3-4)
1 John 2:12-13 I write unto you, little children, because your sins are forgiven you
Often the apostles referred to their converts as children. However, this verse is speaking of the little children, meaning those who are not yet accountable for their actions.
Interestingly, John acknowledges that the little children "have known the Father," indicating that they have not long been separated from their Father in Heaven.
M. Russell Ballard
Every human being is a spirit child of God and lived with Heavenly Father before coming to earth. He entrusts his spirit children to earthly parents who provide a mortal body for them through the miracle of physical birth... These precious souls come to us in purity and innocence. As parents, we assume an immense responsibility for their care and well-being.
The critical nature of the first tender formative years cannot be overstated. These little ones are like seedlings in a plant nursery. All look much the same in the beginning, but each one will grow to become independent and unique. Parents are to nourish, tend, and teach their children so they will grow to their full stature and potential. ("Teach the Children," Ensign, May 1991, 78)
1 John 2:15 Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world
James A. Cullimore
The members of the Church are constantly being reminded that even though they are "in the world, they should not be of the world."
What do we mean by the "world"? President McKay refers to it as those "... alienated from the Saints of God. They are aliens to the Church, and it is the spirit of this alienation that we should keep ourselves free from." (Conference Report, October 1911, p. 58.) Elder Bruce R. McConkie defines the "world" as "the social conditions created by such of the inhabitants of the earth as live carnal, sensuous, lustful lives, and who have not put off the natural man by obedience to the laws and ordinances of the gospel." (Bruce R. McConkie, Mormon Doctrine, [Salt Lake City: Bookcraft, 1966], p. 847.)
John, in his epistle, describes the "world" as "the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life." (1 Jn. 2:16.) He said: (quotes 1 Jn. 2:15-17.)
It is obvious the "world," as referred to by the Savior, does not mean the sphere on which we live, but an environment created by individuals who live contrary to his teachings.
Just as the Savior prayed that his apostles not be taken out of the world, but kept from the evil of the world, so are members of the Church everywhere praying that by the power of the Holy Ghost and the priesthood they may be strengthened to withstand the "world."
We would not want to be free of our responsibility of being in the world by being taken out of the world, for this life is a probationary state. The "world" is our opportunity to prove ourselves. This is a part of the great plan of the Lord, to be confronted with the things of the "world," that we might overcome them and be strengthened. ("To Be in the World but Not of the World," Ensign, Jan. 1974, 119)
Neal A. Maxwell
Resist the rhetoric of the world, and you will find that, if you stand fast, so will others-some surprisingly...
Since you don't let people come in and walk around in your house with muddy feet, do not let them walk through your minds with muddy feet...
Because our behavioral standards are different... we must come to despise the shame of the world. We must not hold the people of the world in contempt; we must love them. But we must come to have contempt for the shame of the world, because it matters so little in the end...
Remember, those who are in error must not call the cadence for your life, for those who boast of their sexual conquests are only boasting of that which has conquered them-in the same way that people who make nervous jokes about drunkenness are only mocking that which has come to mock them. We may pity behavioral clones, but we do not envy them. ("The Stern but Sweet Seventh Commandment," New Era, June 1979, 41-42)
1 John 2:17 the world passeth away, and the lust thereof
Neal A. Maxwell
The great apostle of love, John, reminded us that this world will pass away and the lust thereof (see 1 Jn. 2:17). This means, quite frankly, that not only can lust ruin this life, but it is pandering to an appetite that will have no existence in the next world!
By denying ourselves some appetites altogether, by ordering other appetites, and by losing ourselves in service-we find ourselves (see Alma 39:9; 3 Ne. 12:30). We simply cannot make a difference in the world if we are just like the lost people of the world. ("The Stern but Sweet Seventh Commandment," New Era, June 1979, 40)
1 John 2:18 even now are there many antichrists
"John's first letter is strangely relevant for today's Latter-day Saints. The end of the first century was a time of crisis of faith and of faithfulness, when John says that many 'went out from us.' (1 Jn. 2:19.) Though he calls these former members 'antichrists' (1 Jn. 2:18), he clearly uses anti in a classical Greek sense of substitution, not merely opposition. The anti-Christs teach that Christ has not 'come in the flesh' (1 Jn. 4:2)-that is, they are Christians who revise the physicalness of the incarnation or resurrection. These seceders from Christ's church claim to be more sophisticated Christians. Are they really closer to God? John warns that they carry the spirit of contention and vindictiveness, inspired by Satan instead of by God. (See 1 Jn. 1:9; 1 Jn. 2:19; 1 Jn. 3:10, 14.)" (Richard Lloyd Anderson, "The First Presidency of the Early Church: Their Lives and Epistles," Ensign, Aug. 1988, 21)
1 John 2:18 whereby we know that it is the last time
One of the great signs of the end of the world is the false teaching of anti-Christs. The Savior had warned John:
Except those days should be shortened, there should no flesh be saved: but for the elect's sake those days shall be shortened.
Then if any man shall say unto you, Lo, here is Christ, or there; believe it not.
For there shall arise false Christs, and false prophets, and shall shew great signs and wonders... (Matt. 24:22-24)
Did John misinterpret the anti-Christs of the early apostasy as a sign that he was living in the last days? We would certainly be wrong to assume that the prophets always know the timetable of the Lord. The Prophet Joseph wondered whether the Second Coming would be in his lifetime (D&C 130:14-17). Importantly, he was never given a full answer. For John to have been wrong about this sign is hard to accept because this epistle is thought to have been written after his revelation on the Second Coming. You would think he understood that he was living in the 5th seal and not the end of the 6th. You would think he understood the meaning of the woman who "fled into the wilderness... a thousand two hundred and threescore days." (Rev. 12:6) The following alternative explanation is offered.
"John expressed to the readers of his first letter the certainty of the fact that they themselves were in "the last time" (eschátê hôra-see 1 Jn. 2:18-19). Clearly John and Jude knew that they were not in the final era of the world, but their words reveal the fact that they knew that they were in the final day of the Christian church, when the night of apostasy was beginning. While many of the signs of apostasy they spoke of apply readily to the "latter days" preceding the second coming of Jesus Christ, it appears that their primary focus was on the apostasy in process in the first century A.D." (Kent P. Jackson, "Early Signs of the Apostasy," Ensign, Dec. 1984, 10)
1 John 2:20 ye have an unction from the Holy One, and ye know all things
An unction is defined as the "act of anointing, as with oil or ointment... as a symbol of consecration." (Webster's New English Dictionary, Unabridged, 2nd ed., [Springfield, Mass: G. & C. Merriam Co., 1945]) If we have received such an anointing, it is symbolic of our becoming like the Master. Christ, literally the anointed One, received "an unction from the Holy One" according to the scripture, "God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Ghost and with power." (Acts 10:38) To receive the such an anointing means we should do as Jesus did, "who went about doing good, and healing all that were oppressed of the devil; for God was with him." (Acts 10:38)
Bruce R. McConkie
Our inspired apostolic author, who had aforetime recorded Jesus' promise that the Comforter would teach them all things and bring all things to their remembrance (John 14:26), and that he would guide them into all truth (John 16:13), now announces the fulfillment of the promise. The glorious gift has in reality come to them. "Ye have an unction from the Holy One," he says, and therefore "ye know all things." (1 John 2:20.) This unction, this holy anointing, is the gift of the Holy Ghost, which gives them access to the infinite wisdom of the Father and the Son so that they may know all things as fast as they are able to bear them. (Doctrinal New Testament Commentary, 3 vols. [Salt Lake City: Bookcraft, 1965-1973], 3: 384.)
How did they receive this anointing? By repenting of their sins, by being baptized by one having the authority of God for the remission of sins, and by having hands laid upon their heads for the reception of the Holy Ghost. They received this spirit precisely in this manner, and hence they had this knowledge for themselves; which knowledge all Latter-day Saints have who are living their religion, walking humbly and obediently before God. Hence, this is a part of what we term the Gospel; it is part of what we call the principles of life, or the laws of life, for it leads to life, it leads to God, it leads to a knowledge of the laws of God, and a knowledge of the principles of truth, and to an acquaintance with those principles which are calculated to exalt and ennoble mankind both in time and through all eternity. (Journal of Discourses, 26 vols. [London: Latter-day Saints' Book Depot, 1854-1886], 19: 154.)
1 John 2:22 He is antichrist, that denieth the Father and the Son
George Albert Smith
The largest portion of mankind today is anti-Christ. There are many who are anti-Christ, they can believe in anything, almost, that you can think of and produce arguments for believing it, and I want to say to you today, that the largest portion of the population of the world that we live in is anti-Christ, not the followers of Christ at all. And among those who claim to believe in Christianity, comparatively few of them really believe in the divine mission of Jesus Christ. (Conference Reports, April 1948, p. 179.)
1 John 2:27 the anointing... abideth in you, and ye need not that any man teach you
The Saints in our days have received this same anointing and they should be in a position to not be dependent upon man to teach and tell them that which is right. They have had a flood of instruction given to them in days that are past. This instruction has covered the entire policy of building up the kingdom of God on the earth. (James R. Clark, comp., Messages of the First Presidency of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, 6 vols. (Salt Lake City: Bookcraft, 1965-75), 3: 161.)
Cultivate the spirit of revelation that you have then, as the Scriptures said formerly, "As many as are led by the Spirit of God are the sons of God." Another passage, in speaking of certain individuals, tells them that they have received an unction from the Holy One, and they know all things, being instructed and taught by the Spirit of eternal truth. This is what the Bible speaks of in former times. "And ye need not," says he, "that any man should teach you, save the Anointing that is within you, which is true and no lie." Let men feel the anointing of the Spirit of the Lord and that Spirit will lead them into all truth, will bring things past to their remembrance and it will show them things to come, as it did in former times.
I remember Joseph Smith speaking to me upwards of thirty years ago. Says he: "Brother Taylor, you have received the Holy Ghost. Now follow its teachings and instructions. Sometimes it may lead you in a manner that may be contrary almost to your judgment; never mind, follow its teachings, and if you do so, by and by it will become in you a principle of revelation, so that you will know all things as they transpire."
How does that agree with the other-"You have received an unction from the Holy One and know all things, and need not that any man should teach you, save the Anointing which is within you, which is true and no lie?"
We have been taught and instructed in many principles that the world know nothing about, and that we know nothing about, and that Brother Young knew nothing about, nor Brother Joseph, nor the Twelve, that nobody knew anything about until God communicated it; and you, under the influence of that Spirit, know of a truth and rejoice in the truth, and the truth has made you free; and when you hear men talking about how bad they feel for you because of your fanaticism, what do you feel like? Say you; "Poor things, you do not know what you are doing. Preserve your pity for yourselves and your children; keep your high, exalted notions, if you have any, for we are satisfied with ourselves and our principles. We know in whom we have believed, and no power can overturn us. We have been baptized into one baptism, we have partaken of the same spirit; we are all built up together in the faith of the everlasting Gospel, and our progress is onward, onward, onward, until the kingdoms of this world shall become the kingdoms of our God and his Christ, and he will reign with universal empire, until error and folly, and vanity and corruption, and wickedness of every kind will fail and dissolve before the rays of eternal truth which God has revealed..." (Journal of Discourses, 26 vols. [London: Latter-day Saints' Book Depot, 1854-1886], 14: 367.)