inspiration and teachings of the Spirit
I will now say that inasmuch as many of us have received the Gospel and gathered with the Saints of God, it is important that we labour to-day—that we live under the influence of that Spirit, that it may continue to increase and to govern us in our acts among the children of men. Now, when a man has the Holy Spirit and hears the plain, simple truths of salvation, they appear more valuable than all else besides, and he is ready to sacrifice everything of a temporal nature to secure himself salvation; but when people’s minds become darkened, they lose the Holy Spirit and the value of that Gospel, and they do not realize the privilege and the honour of being associated with the Saints of God in these valleys of the mountains, neither do they maintain their allegiance to their Heavenly Father, and honor his name upon the earth, or prize their association with those that bear the holy Priesthood, and therefore they go into darkness. Why has the word reformation ever been named in Zion? It has been because we did not labour to keep within us that holy principle of life, that our minds might be quickened day by day, and receive and prize those truths delivered unto us. Now we marvel and wonder when we are enlightened by the Spirit of God and the revelations which he has given unto us; and when we are aroused to a sense of the importance of these things, we then see the effect and the bearing they will have upon us,—not only the fitting of our minds to go into the world of spirits, but to prepare us to meet with our Father in heaven. Now, we should live in that way and manner that the Holy Spirit will dwell with us, and so that we may be prepared to receive those truths which are daily delivered unto us by Presidents Young, Kimball, Wells, or any other man who rises up here to speak unto us the words of life. We should give attention to what is said. As brother Kimball says, the man who speaks to you from this stand is the centre, and we should give him our attention, prayers, and faith; and if we do this we shall receive out of the abundance of his heart those things which will benefit us. It should be our chief study to treasure up the words of life, that we may grow in grace, and advance in the knowledge of God, and become perfected in Christ Jesus, that we may receive a fullness, and become heirs of God and joint heirs with Jesus Christ.
The revelations of Jesus Christ teach us that the Savior was born in the flesh; and the Father said that He did not give him a fullness at first, but continued from grace to grace until he had received a fullness, and was called the Son of God because he did not receive a fullness at first. We in like manner should seek with all our souls to grow in grace, light, and truth, that in due time we may receive a fullness. The Lord has a great many principles in store for us; and the greatest principles which he has for us are the most simple and plain. The first principles of the Gospel which lead us unto eternal life are the simplest, and yet none are more glorious or important unto us. Men may labour to make a great display of talent, learning, and knowledge, either in printing or preaching. They may try to preach the mysteries and to present something strange, great, and wonderful, and they may labour for this with all their might, in the spirit and strength of man without the aid of the Holy Spirit of God, and yet the people are not edified, and their preaching will not give much satisfaction. It is the plainest and the most simple things that edify us the most, if taught by the Spirit of God; and there is nothing more important or beneficial unto us. If we have that Spirit dwelling with us—if it abides with us continually, enlightening our minds by day and by night, we are in the safe path; and when we have finished the work of the day, we reflect upon it and are satisfied with it, feeling that it is approbated of the Lord. It is our privilege to live in this way, that all our time may be spent so that we have a conscience void of offense towards both God and man. When we reflect on the day that is past and see wherein we have done evil, we should labour to improve and to advance in the things of the kingdom of God. I feel that in order for us to prize the gifts of God, the blessings of the Gospel, the privilege that we have of building tabernacles, and of living here in peace, and kneeling down in our family circles in peace, having in our society the Prophets of God, men filled with wisdom, who are capable of leading us to salvation, and of leading us into the paths of life, who do teach us the principles of truth, which will lead us back to our Father and our God,—I say, when we consider these things we ought to prize our privileges as Saints of the Most High. Brethren, we must invariably have the Spirit of God with us, that we may ever be kept in the line of our duty.
Wilford Woodruff, Journal of Discourse 5:49-51