Journal of Discourses / Journal of Discourses, Volume 14 /
          Brigham Young, July 10, 1870
                            Brigham Young, July 10, 1870
               Delivered in the Tabernacle, Ogden City, July 10, 1870.
                            (Reported by David W. Evans.)
          I am disposed to ask a few questions of this congregation, though
          not expecting them to give audible answers. Judging from what I
          know and understand of the Latter-day Saints, I can answer these
          questions satisfactorily to myself, and probably to the
          satisfaction of most of the people.
          Do we believe in the Scriptures of Divine truth?--those which are
          contained in the Old and New Testaments, in the Book of Mormon,
          the Book of Doctrine and Covenants, and other revelations that
          have been given to this people? I can answer this in the
          affirmative, by saying that we certainly do. This leads my mind
          to the reflection that if we believe the Scriptures and the
          revelations I have referred to, we also believe that Jesus is the
          Christ; and believing the Scriptures and that Jesus is the
          Christ, we must believe other things also. If the Scriptures are
          true, it proves that sin is in the world, and the question
          arises, Is it necessary that sin should be here? What will the
          Latter-day Saints say? Is it necessary that we should know good
          from evil? I can answer this to suit myself by saying it is
          absolutely necessary, for the simple reason that if we had never
          realized darkness we never could have comprehended the light; if
          we never tasted anything bitter, but were to eat sweets, the
          honey and the honeycomb, from the time we come into this world
          until the time we go out of it, what knowledge could we have of
          the bitter? This leads me to the decision that every fact that
          exists in this world is demonstrated by its opposite. If this is
          the fact--and all true philosophy proves it--it leads me to the
          conclusion that the transgression of our first parents was
          absolutely necessary, that we might be brought in contact with
          sin and have the opportunity of knowing good and evil. It may be
          deemed strange and singular by the Christian world that we should
          believe such a thing; but the Scriptures inform us, in Genesis
          iii., 22, that the Lord God said, "Behold, the man has become as
          one of us, to know good and evil." Are we the sons and daughters
          of that God whom we serve? We answer we are. Do we expect to be
          exalted with our Father in heaven? We do. How are we to be
          exalted? We have sinned and transgressed the law of God. The
          Christian world and the world of mankind have not only
          transgressed the laws of God, but they have changed the
          ordinances and broken every covenant that God has given them.
          Then I ask, Is there a debt contracted between the Father and his
          children? There is. Our first parents transgressed the law that
          was given them in the garden; their eyes were opened. This
          created the debt. What is the nature of this debt? It is a divine
          debt. What will pay it? I ask, Is there anything short of a
          divine sacrifice that can pay this debt? No; there is not.
          I say this to gratify myself, and to gratify my brethren and
          sisters. A divine debt has been contracted by the children, and
          the Father demands recompense. He says to his children on this
          earth, who are in sin and transgression, it is impossible for you
          to pay this debt; I have prepared a sacrifice; I will send my
          Only Begotten Son to pay this divine debt. Was it necessary then
          that Jesus should die? Do we understand why he should sacrifice
          his life? The idea that the Son of God, who never committed sin,
          should sacrifice his life, is unquestionably preposterous to the
          minds of many in the Christian world. But the fact exists that
          the Father, the Divine Father, whom we serve, the God of the
          Universe, the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, and the
          Father of our spirits, provided this sacrifice and sent his Son
          to die for us; and it is also a great fact that the Son came to
          do the will of the Father, and that he has paid the debt, in
          fulfilment of the Scripture which says, "He was the Lamb slain
          from the foundation of the world." Is it so on any other earth?
          On every earth. How many earths are there? I observed this
          morning that you may take the particles of matter composing this
          earth, and if they could be enumerated they would only be a
          beginning to the number of the creations of God; and they are
          continually coming into existence, and undergoing changes and
          passing through the same experience that we are passing through.
          Sin is upon every earth that ever was created, and if it was not
          so, I would like some philosophers to let us know how people can
          be exalted to become sons of God, and enjoy a fulness of glory
          with the Redeemer. Consequently every earth has its redeemer, and
          every earth has its tempter; and every earth, and the people
          thereof, in their turn and time, receive all that we receive, and
          pass through all the ordeals that we are passing through.
          Is this easy to understand? It is perfectly easy to me; and my
          advice to those who have queries and doubts on this subject is,
          when they reason and philosophize upon it, not to plant their
          position in falsehood or argue hypothetically, but upon the facts
          as they exist, and they will come to the conclusion that unless
          God provides a Savior to pay this debt it can never be paid. Can
          all the wisdom of the world devise means by which we can be
          redeemed, and return to the presence of our Father and elder
          brother, and dwell with holy angels and celestial beings? No; it
          is beyond the power and wisdom of the inhabitants of the earth
          that now live, or that ever did or ever will live, to prepare or
          create a sacrifice that will pay this divine debt. But God
          provided it, and his Son has paid it, and we, each and every one,
          can now receive the truth and be saved in the kingdom of God. Is
          it clear and plain? It is to me, and if you have the Spirit of
          God, it is as plain to you as anything else in the world. Why are
          you baptized for the remission of sins? Is there virtue in it?
          There is. Why do we lay hands on the sick? Is there virtue in
          doing so? There is, and the wicked world as well as the Saints
          prove this. Since Joseph Smith received revelations from God,
          Spiritualism has taken its rise, and has spread with
          unprecedented rapidity; and they will lay hands on each
          other--one system proving another--spiritualism demonstrating the
          reality of animal magnetism? Is there virtue in one person more
          than another? Power in one more than another? Spirit in one more
          than another? Yes, there is. I will tell you how much I have. You
          may assemble together every spiritualist on the face of the
          earth, and I will defy them to make a table move or get a
          communication from hell or any other place while I am present.
          Yes, there is more spirit in some than in others; and this
          power--called by the world animal magnetism--enables those
          possessing it to put others into the mesmeric sleep. When I lay
          hands on the sick, I expect the healing power and influence of
          God to pass through me to the patient, and the disease to give
          way. I do not say that I heal everybody I lay hands on; but many
          have been healed under my administration. Jesus said, on one
          occasion, "Who has touched me?" A woman had crept up behind him
          in the crowd, and touched the hem of his garment, and he knew it,
          because virtue had gone from him. Do you see the reason and
          propriety of laying hands on each other? When we are prepared,
          when we are holy vessels before the Lord, a stream of power from
          the Almighty can pass through the tabernacle of the administrator
          to the system of the patient, and the sick are made whole; the
          headache, fever or other disease has to give way. My brethren and
          sisters, there is virtue in us if we will do right; if we live
          our religion we are the temples of God wherein he will dwell; if
          we defile ourselves, these temples God will destroy.
          We shall now sing and dismiss the meeting. We do hope and pray
          you Latter-day Saints to live according to your best knowledge;
          and we pray God, our Heavenly Father, in the name of Jesus, to
          give you faith, grace and fortitude to do so; and his Spirit,
          that you may be able to see the glory of his kingdom, and then
          compare it with the kingdoms of this world. What is the glory of
          this world? Just gather it all together, and it is nothing but a
          shadow! All the kings and potentates on the earth, with all their
          power, pomp, greatness and grandeur, will pass into
          oblivion--they will pass completely from the remembrance of the
          children of men; they were, but are not. This is the glory of the
          world; but the glory of the kingdom of God was, is, and for ever
          will be!
          The Lord bless you. Amen.