The Church Historian's Press

29 December 1854

Polysophical Institution; Lorenzo Snow’s Hall, Salt Lake City, Utah Territory

A large white house surrounded by trees

Lorenzo Snow’s home on South Temple Street in Salt Lake City, Utah. Photo taken circa 1920. (Courtesy Church History Library.)

“Address—Before the Polysophical Associations Institution”

Brothers & Sisters, gents and ladies, too,

I’m pleas’d—I'm proud to associate with you:

<Nearly all nations of the world appear

Thro’ representations before me here.>

Of God our Father, may we here be blest.

And may His spirit richly on us rest

Pastime and profit be combin’d for all

Associated in this lovely Hall;

Where beauty, worth and splendor are combin’d,

To charm the eye and to impress the mind

With heav’nly wisdom & with classic lore—

In one sweet glance identifying more

Than might, from lengthen’d speech, be understood:

And since our Creed comprises every good;

With mutual impulse, will amuse & cheer:—

The law of social freedom governs here.

No bills of fare—nor debt nor credit gain’d—

Our entertainers are the entertain’d.

The social circle, proffer’d to bestow

Foretastes of heav’n upon the earth below:

And, constituted on Jehovah’s plan,

A glorious legacy to fallen man.

This pearly boon, like other blessings, giv’n

As comforts here—as guides that lead to heav’n,

Has been perverted, and by folly sold

T’ increase the miser’s glitt’ring heaps of gold;

Or, else, imbued with the rancorous gall, to be

A tool for envy, hate & jealousy,

With words that burn, till red-hot strifes accrue—

Contentions spread, and civil wars ensue.

Or else, divested of its living charms,

Its thrilling pulse, which every member, warms— [n.p.]

Robb’d of its heav’nly, life inspiring lays—

Sincere expressions, and its truthful face—

Spoil’d—dispossess’d of all that is divine,

And, sacrific’d on fashion’s hollow shrine.

But to the saints, God will all things restore,

As pure—as perfect as they were before;

And more endearing thro’ the contrast giv’n

In our estrangement from the laws of heav’n.

Truth to his neighbor, every man shall speak,

And heav’n bred confidence will bless the meek.

In princely grandeur—Godlike majesty,

With all the graces of simplicity,

The social circle, rising, will be raised

O’er all abuses and from all disgrace.

Wisdom will pour her treasures then,

In high toned principles from lip and pen;

With all varieties that please us now—

Love’s earliest smile—tall reason’s sternest brow,

The dance, the song, the comic, grave & gay—

The speech, the music, lecture and the play.

Well blended changes, head and heart inspire—

Protracted <While long continued> scenes fatigue or tire.

We now are strangers—pilgrims here below,

And have forgotten what we us’d to know—

Forgotten all the wherefores and the whys

Of our creation here—the tender ties

Of dear relationship we loved to claim

Where we existed long before we came

To mortal life: and ties of every form

That give to being, interest and charm. [n.p.]

Forgotten friends and parents too? If so,

We have descended most egregious low!

Thus <What> said our Savior? “Glorify thou me,

With that same glory which I had with Thee,

Ere this world was:” which seems to signify

That He, with God, had been exalted high.

And He our “elder brother”?—Can it be

We’re kin by ties of consanguinity?—

That we, with Jesus, heretofore have dwelt—

Perchance with Him, on holy altars knelt?

We were obedient, else we now had not

Obtain’d, in Jacob’s line, our favor’d lot.

But 'tis unlawful, greedily to pry

For hidden things: we therefore will comply

With what the Lord requires from day to day—

Content to walk the straight and narrow way,

Till that diverges gloriously abroad

In the celestial kingdom of our God.

If, on this stepstone to another sphere

We honor our high callings and revere

The holy Priesthood, and in faithfulness

Seek to establish truth and righteousness

Upon the earth—our missions here, fulfil

Subservient to our Heavenly Father’s will;

In nature’s upward course, the time will come

When we, as children, will be welcom’d home,

To heav’n’s grand social circle, where will be

Our royal Father and His family

Yes, all His faithful children—not a few, [n.p.]

Who’ve done His will—both sons and daughters too.

We’ll doff mortality and enter through

The vail which hides mortality from view.

With recollection quicken’d, then we’ll know

What we experience'd ere we dwelt below;

And hail each other from the courts of Time,

As wand’rers rescued from a barb’rous clime.—

Our kindred, heav’n’s nobility, we’ll meet

At home, unmask’d, to crown the social treat.

[. . .] [n.p.]

Source Note

Eliza R. Snow, Journal (1842–1882), n.p., CHL (MS 1439).

See also “Original: Address,” Deseret News 4, no. 44 (11 Jan. 1855): [1].

Cite this page

29 December 1854, Polysophical Institution; Lorenzo Snow’s Hall, Salt Lake City, Utah Territory, The Discourses of Eliza R. Snow, accessed June 13, 2024