Charles D. Evans Vision of The Future
Digitized by Glen W. Chapman Dec. 2000
(Taken from the Book Visions of The Latter Days, 6th printing 1998, Pioneer Press, 3332Ft Union Blvd. Salt Lake City Utah, 84121)
Can be found on Archive.org.
Charles D. Evans was Patriarch to the Church in Springville, Utah and was a school teacher by profession. In 1893 his “vision” was published in Volume 15 of the Contributor magazine- later known as the Improvement Era, page 638.
While I lay pondering in deep solitude on the events of the present, my mind was drawn into a reverie such as I had never felt before- a strong solitude of thought for my imperiled country utterly excluded every other thought, and raised my feelings to a point of intensity which I did not think possible to endure. While in this solemn profound and painful reverie of mind, to my surprise a light appeared in my room which seemed to be soft and silvery as if diffused from a northern star. At the moment of its appearance, the acute feeling I had experienced so intensely, yielded to one of calm tranquility.
Although it may have been at the hour of mid-night, and although the side of the glove on which I was situated was excluded from the sunlight, yet all was light and bright and warm as an Italian landscape at noon, but the heat was softer and more subdued. As I gazed upward I saw descending through my bedroom roof, with a gentle gliding movement, a personage clothed in white apparel, whose countenance was smoothW serene his features regular, and the flashes of his eyes seemed to resemble those reflected from a diamond under an intensely illuminated light, which dazzled but did not bewilder. Those large, deep, inscrutable eyes were presently fixed on mine as he instantly placed his hand on my forehead. His touch produced a serenity and calmness–not of an earthly character, but a touch that was peaceful, delightful and heavenly. My whole being was inbued with a joy unspeakable. All feelings of sorrow instantly vanished; and those lines and shadows which care and sorrow create, instantly vanished and were dispelled as a fog before the blazing sun. In the eyes of my heavenly visitor, for such he appeared to me, there was a sort of lofty pity and tenderness, infinitely stronger than any such feelings I ever saw manifested in ordinary mortals. His very calm appeared like a vast ocean stillness, at once overpowering to every agitated emotion.
By some intuition or instinct, I felt he had something to communicate to me to sooth my sorrow or allay my apprehensions. Thereupon addressing me, he said:
“Son, I perceive that thou hast grave anxieties over the perilous state of thy country, that thy soul has felt deep sorrow for its future. I have, therefore, come to thy relief and to tell thee of the causes that have led to this peril. Hear me attentively! Seventy one years ago [in 1823], after an awful apostasy of centuries, in which all nations were enshrouded in spiritual darkness; when angels had withdrawn themselves, the voice of prophets hushed, and the light of Urim and Thummim shown not, and the vision of the seers closed, while heaven itself shed not a ray of gladness to lighten a dark world; when Babel ruled, Satan laughed, and Church and Priesthood had taken their upward flight, and the voice of nations possessing the books of the Jewish prophets had ruled against the doctrines of the Church of the Apostles and Prophets, thou knowest that then appeared a mighty angel with a solemn announcement of the hour of judgment. The burden of whose instructions pointed to dire calamities, which thou seest, and the end of the wicked hasteneth.”
My vision now became extended in a marvelous manner, and the import of past labors of Elders was made plain to me. I saw multitudes fleeing to our place of safety in our mountain heights, that was established in the wilderness. Simultaneously the nation had reached an unparalleled prosperity. Wealth abounded, new territory was acquired, commerce extended, finance strengthened, confidence was maintained, and people abroad pointed to here as a model nation–the ideal of the past now realized and perfected-the embodiment of the liberty which was sung by poets and sought for by sages.
“But”, continued the messenger, “thou beholdest a change. Confidence is lost, wealth is arrayed against labor, labor against wealth, yet the land abounds in plenty of food and raiment, and silver and gold in abundance. Thou seest also the letters written by a Jew have wrought a great confusion in the finance of the nation; which together with the policy of many wealthy ones, has produced distress and do produce further sorrows.”
Factions now sprang up as if by magic. Capital had entrenched itself against labor, and throughout the land labor was organized in opposition to capital. The voice of the wise sought to tranquilize their powerful factors in vain. Excited multitudes ran wildly about, strikes increased, lawlessness sought a place in the regular government. At this juncture, I saw floating in air a banner whereupon was written, ‘Bankruptcy, famine, floods, cyclones, blood, and plagues.’ Mad with rage, men and women rushed upon each other. Blood flowed down the streets of cities like water. Thousands of bodies lay unentombed in the streets. Men and women fell dead from terror inspired by fear. This was but the precursor of the bloody work of the morrow. Ml around lay the mournfulness of a past in ruins. Monuments erected to perpetuate the names of the noble and brave men, were ruthlessly destroyed by combustibles. A voice now sounded these words: ‘Yet once again I shake not only the earth, but also heaven, and this word once again signifies the removing of things that are shaken, as of thing~ that are made, that those things that cannot be: shaken, may remain.’
Earthquakes rent the earth in vast chasms which engulfed multitudes. Terrible groanings and wailings filled the air. The shrieks of (he suffering were indescribably awful. Waters rushed in from the tumultuous ocean, whose very roaring under the mad rage of fierce cyclones was unendurable to the ear. Cities were carried away in an instant. Missiles were hurled through the atmosphere at a terrible velocity, and people were carried upward only to fall. Islands appeared where ocean waves once tossed the gigantic steamer. In other parts, voluminous flames emanating from. vast fires, rolled with fearful velocity, destroying life and property in their destructive course. The seal of the dread menace of despair was stamped on every human visage. Men fell exhausted, appalled and trembling. Every element of agitated nature seemed a demon of wrathful fury. Dense clouds, blacker than midnight, obscured the sunlight with a thunder that reverberated with intonations which shook the earth. Darkness reigned unrivaled and supreme.
Again the light shone revealing an atmosphere tinged with a leaden hue, which was the precursor of an unparalleled plague, whose first symptoms were recognized by a purple spot which appeared on the cheek or on the back of the hand, and which invariably enlarged until it spread over the entire surface of the body, producing certain death. Mothers, at the sight of it, cast away their children as if they were poisonous reptiles. This plague in grown persons, rotted the eyes from their sockets and consumed the tongue as would a powerful acid or an intense heat. Wicked men, suffering under its writhing agonies, cursed God and died while they yet stood on their feet, and birds of prey feasted on their carcasses.
I saw again in my dream the Messenger appear with a vial in his right hand. He addressed me, saying, ‘Thou knowest somewhat of the chemistry taught in the schools of human learning. Behold now a chemical sufficiently powerful to change the waters of the sea.’
He then poured out his vial upon the sea and it became as the blood of a dead man, and every living thing died. Then other plagues followed which I forbear to record.
A foreign power had inroaded the nation, and from every human indication, it appeared as if it would seize the government and supplant it with monarchy. I stood trembling at the aspect, when a power arose in the west which declared itself in favor of the Constitution in its original form. To this suddenly rising power, every lover of constitutional rights gave hearty support. The struggle was fiercely contested, but the Stars and Stripes floated in the breeze, and bidding liberty to all, waved proudly over the land. Among the many banners, I saw one inscribed thus: ‘The government based on the Constitution now and forever!’ On another there was: ‘Liberty of Conscience’ And there were several others, both religious and political.
The light of the Gospel, which had but dimly shone because of abominations, now burst forth with a luster that filled the earth. Cities appeared in every direction, one of which was in the center of the continent. It was an embodiment of architectural science after the pattern of eternal perfection. Its towers glittered with a radiance emanating from the sparkling of emeralds, rubies, diamonds, and other precious stones set in a canopy of gold, and so elaborately and skillfully arranged as to shed forth a brilliancy which dazzled and enchanted the eye. It excited admiration and developed a taste for the beautiful beyond anything man had ever conceived. Fountains of crystal water shot upwards through transparent jets, which, in the brilliant sunshine, formed ten thousand rainbow tints at once, so delightful to the eye. Gardens, the perfection of whose arrangement confound all our present attempts at such genius, were bedecked with flowers to develop and refine the taste and strengthen man1s love for these–nature’s choicest endowments.
Schools and universities were erected to which all had access. In the latter, Urims were placed for the study of the past, present, and future, and for obtaining a knowledge of heavenly bodies and of the construction of worlds and universes. The inherent properties of matter, its arrangements, laws, and mutual relation, were revealed and taught and made plain as the primer lesson of a child. The conflicting theories of geologists regarding the foundation and age of the earth, were settled forever. All learning was based on eternal certainty. Angels brought forth the treasures of knowledge which had lain in the midst of the dumb and distant past hidden from the world. The appliances for making learning easy surpass all conjecture. Chemistry was rendered extremely simple by the power which Urim conferred on man of looking into the very elements themselves. A stone furnished no more obstruction to human vision than the air itself. Not only were the elements and all their changes and transformations plainly understood, but the construction, operation and laws of spirit elements were also rendered equally plain as those which govern the coarser elements. While looking through the Urim and Thummim, I was amazed at a transformation, which even now is to me marvelous beyond description, clearly showing the manner in which particles composing the inorganic kingdom of nature, are conducted upward to become part of organic forms. Another astonishing revelation was a view clearly shown to me of the entire circulation of the blood, both in men and animals.
After seeing these things and gazing once more upon the beautiful city, the following sounded in my ears: ‘Out of Zion, the perfection of beauty, God hath shined!’ On this I awoke to find it all a dream, whereupon I wrote the foregoing, which is based on true principles.”
Another vision was also received by this Patriarch: C. D. Evans, on December 25, 1882, saw in mighty vision: the “enslaving of one portion of the children of freedom who differed from them in religious belief and practice.” Then he saw “the bands that held society together during the reign of the Republic, were snapped asunder . . . Political strife was everywhere. . . Blood was written on every banner.” The Angel said: “‘Look again.’ I looked and beheld that many who were angry with the rulers of the Republic, for their subversion of the Constitutional Law, and their wholesale plunder of the Public moneys, arose and proclaimed themselves the friends of the Constitution in its original form. . . . A voice was now suddenly heard declaring these words: ‘In the distant mountain tops are to be found the true lovers of freedom and equal rights, . . Go there . . when suddenly appeared on Ensign Peak near Salt Lake City, a beautiful flag standing for “Human Liberty throughout the world, . . . Tyrants were hurled down. . . one unbroken nation whose BANNER waved for all the world.” (Ensign of Nations, p.11)