Discourse, 7 April 1844, as Reported by William Clayton

effectual prayer of righteous man availeth much— will speak  in order to hold out. Before enter fully into the investigation wish  to pave the way— make a few preliminaries— bring the subject  from the beginning to order that you may understand the  subject when I come to it. do not calculate to please your ears  with superlatives of words oratory much learning, but edify  you by the simple truths of heaven— first place wish  to go back to the beginning of creation, then the starting point  in order to fully acquainted with purposes decrees &c of the  great Elohem that sits in the h. for us to take up beginning  at the creation necessary to understand something of God  himself in the beginning. If we start right easy to go right  all the time— start wrong hard matter to get right. for  beings in the world who understand the character of God and  do not comprehend their own character— They cannot  com from the beginning no the end not their own relation  and is but little above the beast. If a man comprehends  nothing more than to eat sleep and and not any more  and what the designs of Jehova what better then the beast  it does the same thing— eats drink, sleep & comprehends  present and knows as much as we unless we are  able to com by the inspiration of A God. Go back to beginning to  lift you minds into a more exalted standing than the  human mind is wont— want to ask this this congregation  every man; woman, &c what kind of a being is God— ask yourselves  I repeat the question what kind of a being is God. Any man or woman that knows  any of you seen him? heard him? communed with him? Here a subject  that will peradventure occupy you attention while you live—  The apostle says this is eternal life! to know &c” that is eternal life  if any man enquire what kind of being is God. cast his mind to  know— if the declaration of the ap[ostle] be true he will realize that  he has not eternal life. There can be eternal life on no other  prinicple— 1st object to find the character of the only wise &  true God [p. [12]]
JS, Discourse, Nauvoo, IL, 7 Apr. 1844; handwriting of William Clayton; eight pages; General Church Minutes, CHL.