My children live far from Utah and have only been there on brief visits.
Last year, one of my children took place in an elementary school musical play. He played the part of William Bradford and other children played other figures throughout American history.
One child was Brigham Young, and he stood up and said: "Brigham Young led the Mormons to Utah to preserve our religious liberties. He said, 'I will make the desert blossom like a rose.'"
The line from the play echoes John Morgan's comments given in the Tabernacle on September 16, 1888.
A clip from the report about a meeting held at the Salt Lake Tabernacle on September 16, 1888.
Salt Lake Herald, Tuesday, September 18, 1888
AT THE TABERNACLE.
Elders Kelson and Morgan are the Speakers.
SERVICES ON SUNDAY LAST.
Preaching Without Purse or Scrip—Evil Forces at Work—Etc., Etc.
Divine services were held in the Tabernacle on Sunday. The choir and congregation sang:
Our God, we raise to Thee
Thanks for Thy blessings free
We here enjoy.
Prayer was offered by Elder George F. Gibbs.
The choir then sang:
Oh, God, th' Eternal Father,
Who dwells amid the sky!
The sacrament was administered by the priesthood of the Nineteenth Ward.
ELDER JOHN H. KELSON,
who arose to address the congregation [...his comments, which I will not include here...]
ELDER JOHN MORGAN
also spoke. He asked that he might be enabled to say something that would benefit those present. He desired to add his testimony to that of the previous speaker. He knew that Joseph Smith was a true prophet and that the Kingdom of God was established upon the earth never more to be thrown down.
About half a century ago the Lord revealed His will to a humble youth and it was predicted that his name should be good and evil spoken of throughout the earth. Many of the predictions of Joseph Smith have been literally fulfilled as well as the predictions of the ancient prophets. It was revealed that men's blood would be shed and their lives sacrificed in the promulgation of the truth. These things tended to the accomplishment of the designs of God upon the earth and the bringing about of that liberty which men wish to enjoy. The time will come when men will have truth and liberty throughout the land. Through the sufferings and toils of the Latter-day Saints, shall these results, in the providences of the Almighty, be brought about. The speaker also referred to those who, under an oppressive system of government, are deprived of liberty and who feel the tyranny to which they are subjected. The time, however, will come when the law will protect men in their religious worship, whether they be weak or strong.
The choir sang an anthem, after which Elder Stayner pronounced the benediction.