Journal of Discourses / Journal of Discourses, Volume 13
                               Journal of Discourses,
                                      Volume 13
          Journal of Discourses / Journal of Discourses, Volume 13 /
          Brigham Young, April 7, 1869
                            Brigham Young, April 7, 1869
                          REMARKS BY PRESIDENT BRIGHAM YOUNG
           Delivered in the New Tabernacle, Salt Lake City, April 7, 1869
                            (Reported by David W. Evans.)
          I think I shall not be under the necessity of talking long, as
          there has been a great deal said to the people this afternoon. I
          will commence by saying to the Latter-day Saints and to all the
          inhabitants of the earth that I am responsible for the doctrine I
          teach; but I am not responsible for the obedience of the people
          to that doctrine. My position in the presence of God, before the
          Angels and upon the face of the earth, is that it is easier and
          more delightful to serve God than to serve ourselves and the
          There has been considerable said this afternoon with regard to
          redeeming and building up Zion, the Order of Enoch, &c. I see men
          and women in this congregation--only a few of them--who were
          driven from the central stake of Zion. Ask them if they had any
          sorrow or trouble; then let them look at the beautiful land that
          the Lord would have given them if all had been faithful in
          keeping His commandments, and had walked before Him as they
          should; and then ask them with regard to the blessings they would
          have received. If they tell you the sentiments of their minds,
          they will tell you that the yoke of Jesus would have been easy
          and his burden would have been light, and that it would have been
          a delightful task to have walked in obedience to his commands and
          to have been of one heart and one mind; but through the
          selfishness of some, which is idolatry, through their
          covetousness, which is the same, and the lustful desire of their
          minds, they were cast out and driven from their homes. We have
          been driven many times; but each time, if they who professed to
          be the servants of God had served Him with an undivided heart,
          they would have had the privilege of living in their houses,
          possessing their lands, attending to their meetings, and
          spreading abroad on the right and the left, lengthening the cords
          of Zion, and strengthening her stakes until the land had been
          dedicated to the Gospel of the Son of God. Well, I have been with
          the rest and I expect I have been covetous like them, and
          probably I am now; but if I am, I wish somebody would tell me
          Brother Pratt, in his discourse, had considerable to say with
          regard to the property of the Saints. I would like very much if
          the time was now when the Lord would say, "Lay down your
          substance at the feet of the bishops," and find out who in this
          Church would be willing to give up all. This co-operative
          movement is only a stepping stone to what is called the Order of
          Enoch, but which is in reality the Order of Heaven. It was
          revealed to Enoch when he built up his city and gathered the
          people together and sanctified them, so that they became so holy
          and pure that they could not live among the rest of the people
          and the Lord took them away.
          Ask any Christian in the world if he thinks the Lord rules and
          reigns supreme in heaven, and he will tell you, "Yes." Is it
          right for the Lord to reign? "Certainly it is." Ask him if he
          would delight to live in a place where one character rules and
          reigns supreme, and he will answer, "Yes, if I could go to
          heaven." Why? "Why, the Lord reigns there." Just ask the
          Christian if he knows the Lord, and he will tell you, "No." Did
          you ever see him? "No." Can you tell me anything of His
          character? "No, only He is something without body, parts, and
          passions." One of the apostles says that "God is love, and they
          who dwell in God dwell in love." Ask the Christian world if they
          know anything about God, and they will tell you they do not. Ask
          if He has eyes, and they will say, "No,--yes, He is all eyes."
          Has he a head? "Yes, He is all head." Has he ears? "Yes, He is
          all ears, He is all mouth, He is all body, and all limbs;" and
          still without body, parts, or passions. Why what do they make of
          Him? A monster, if He is anything; that is what they make of Him.
          Would you like to go to heaven? "O, yes," says the Christian,
          "the Lord reigns there." How do you know you would like the place
          and the order when you get there? Do you think you will have your
          farm and your substance by yourself, and live in the
          gratification of your selfish propensities as you now do? "O, no,
          we expect to be made pure and holy." Where will be begin to be
          pure and holy? If you do not begin here, I do not know where you
          will begin. "O," says the Christian, "if we are going to heaven,
          where God and angels dwell, and live where one-man power
          prevails, we should all be satisfied, I expect." We, Latter-day
          Saints, say so, too. We like to see that power manifested by
          those whom God calls to lead the people in righteousness, purity,
          and holiness. This opens up a subject that I am not going to talk
          Brother Orson has spoken on the Word of Wisdom. The people have
          done pretty well in keeping it for the last year or two. But are
          they going to continue, or will they return to their old habits
          like the dog to his vomit, or like the sow that is washed, to her
          wallowing in the mire? The sale of tobacco, tea, and coffee is
          increasing in the midst of this people at the present time. What
          does this prove? It proves that, stealthily or openly, the people
          are eating and drinking that which is not good for them. Hot
          drinks, tobacco, and spirits are not good for them. Will the
          people continue to keep the Word of Wisdom, or will they become
          like the brutes in the parable, or, like fools return to that
          which will injure and destroy them? The elders of Israel have
          talked a great deal to the people upon the principles of life and
          about the course they should pursue to lay a foundation for
          health. Let a mother stimulate her system with tobacco, tea,
          coffee, or liquor, or suffer herself to hanker after such things
          at certain times, and she lays the foundation for the destruction
          of her offspring. Do they realize this? No, and in very many
          instances they care nothing about it. With all the teachings
          given to this people I think they are very much like the rest of
          the world, or like the dumb brute beasts that are made to be
          taken and destroyed. And it almost seems that the last comparison
          is the most appropriate, for intelligence is given us to preserve
          ourselves, to preserve our health and prolong our natural lives,
          preserve our posterity, preserve and beautify the earth and make
          it like the Garden of Eden. But what is the disposition of the
          people? It is true we are in advance of the world, but we are
          only just commencing to learn the things of God. I know that some
          say the revelations upon these points are not given by way of
          commandment. Very well, but we are commanded to observe every
          word that proceeds from the mouth of God.
          I cannot say that my family is clear in this respect. They want a
          little of this and a little of that that is not wise to use, and
          I suppose it is the same in other families. Every man, I expect,
          indulges his wife and children and allows them to take this or
          that when he knows it is not the best for them. But we, in and of
          ourselves, ought to be independent; every son and daughter in
          Israel should say, we will keep the "Word of Wisdom" independent
          of father, mother, or any elder in the church; we know what is
          right and we will do it. By so doing this people will increase
          health in their systems, and the destroying angel, when he comes
          along, will pass them by. Will you take this course? I, as the
          leader and dictator of this people, feel disgraced when I think
          they are becoming slothful and negligent and are returning to
          their former foolish and useless habits; and, refusing to hearken
          to the least counsel, are turning away to the counsel of the Evil
          One and doing that which leads to death.
          I want to say a few words still further to the people with regard
          to their faith in temporal things. If the people called
          Latter-day Saints do not become one in temporal things as they
          are in spiritual things, they will not redeem and build up the
          Zion of God upon the earth. This co-operative movement is a
          stepping stone. We say to the people, take advantage of it, it is
          your privilege. Instead of giving it into the hands of a few
          individuals to make their hundreds and thousands, let the people,
          generally, enjoy the benefit arising from the sale of
          merchandize. I have already told you that this will stop the
          operations of many little traders, but it will make them
          producers as well as consumers. You will find that if the people
          unitedly hearken to the counsel that is given them, it will not
          be long before the hats, caps, bonnets, boots and shoes, pants,
          coats, vests and underclothing of this entire community will all
          be made in our midst. What next? Shall we have to run to London,
          Paris, or New York for the fashions? When I see the disposition
          among the Latter-day Saints to follow the fashions and customs of
          the world, I think, why do you stay here? You had better go back
          again. I am tired of this everlasting ding-dong about fashions.
          If I happen to have a coat on that is not what is called
          fashionable, some of my wives will be sure to say, "Husband, or
          Mr. President, may I give this away;" or, "I wish it was out of
          sight, it is not fashionable." If I were to tell the truth I
          should say, who cares for the fashions of the world? I do not; if
          I get anything that is comfortable and sits well, and suits my
          system, it is all I ask. I do not care who wears a bonnet that is
          six feet above the head behind, twelve feet in front, or that
          sits close to the crown of her head, of whether it is three
          straws thrown over the head with ribbons to them. But to see a
          people who say, "We are the teachers of life and salvation," and
          yet are anxious to follow the nasty, pernicious fashions of the
          day, I say it is too insipid to talk or think about. It is
          beneath the character of the Latter-day Saints that they should
          have no more independence of mind or feeling than to follow after
          the grovelling customs and fashions of a poor, miserable, wicked
          world. All who do not want to sustain co-operations and fall into
          the ranks of improvement, and endeavour to improve themselves by
          every good book and then by every principle that has been
          received from heaven, had better go back to England, Ireland,
          France, Scandinavia, or the Eastern States; we do not care where
          you go, if you will only go.
          I will take up my text again--I am responsible for the doctrine I
          teach. I will say to this people, as I have said ever since I
          commenced to lift up my voice to the inhabitants of the earth, I
          will read to them out of the Book of Life. If they will hear it,
          well; if they will not, I am clear of their blood. I read to the
          Latter-day Saints out of the Book of Life, and I can give them
          lessons that will lead them back to the presence of God in the
          celestial kingdom. But oh, the slothfulness, negligence, and the
          low, groveling feelings in the midst of this people are a
          disgrace to them. Will we improve? Yes, let us try and redeem the
          time and commence anew.
          Yesterday we explained a little with regard to co-operation; we
          can explain just as far as the people wish to hear and know.
          Those who rise up against this or any other measure do it because
          darkness and the spirit of the Evil One reign within them. There
          is not a man and woman in this Church and Kingdom, who is in
          possession of the Holy Ghost, but what will lift up their hands
          to heaven and say, "Blessed be God, there is somebody to lead and
          improve the people," when they contemplate this movement and the
          results it will work out; and they who fight against it and feel
          to murmur are actuated by a spirit from beneath.
          I frequently think of the difference between the power of God and
          the power of the devil. To illustrate, here is a structure in
          which we can be seated comfortably, protected from the heat of
          summer or the cold of winter. Now, it required labour, mechanical
          skill and ingenuity and faithfulness and diligence to erect this
          building, but any poor, miserable fool or devil can set fire to
          it and destroy it. That is just what the devil can do, but he
          never can build anything. The difference between God and the
          devil is that God creates and organizes, while the whole study of
          the devil is to destroy. Every one that follows the evil
          inclinations of his own natural evil heart is going to
          destruction, and sooner or later he will be no more. I pray you
          Latter-day Saints to live your religion. Amen.
          Journal of Discourses / Journal of Discourses, Volume 13 /
          Erastus Snow, February 28, 1869
                           Erastus Snow, February 28, 1869
                            REMARKS BY ELDER ERASTUS SNOW,
           Delivered in the Tabernacle, Salt Lake City, February 28, 1869
                            (Reported by David W. Evans.)
          I am requested to occupy a little time this afternoon prior to my
          departure for my field of labour in the South, and if I can have
          your faith and prayers, I will try to speak upon a few subjects.
          A certain very expressive passage of Scripture, contained in the
          New Testament, has been passing through my mind since I have been
          sitting here. I will repeat it:--
          "Now also the axe is laid unto the root of the trees; therefore
          every tree which bringeth forth not good fruit is hewn down and
          cast into the fire."
          This figure of the fruit tree, though spoken in reference to the
          followers of the Saviour in his day, is equally as applicable to
          us as to those to whom it was addressed. There are many other
          sayings of the Saviour of a similar character, applied to the
          people of God in reference to the diverse doctrines and teachings
          of men; also warning them against false prophets and those who
          might come to them in sheep's clothing, but inwardly were
          ravening wolves. He said to his disciples, "By their fruits shall
          ye know them," for every tree that bears good fruit is a good
          tree; but a corrupt tree did not bring forth good fruit.
          Now this figure of the axe being laid at the root of the tree,
          and every tree that bringeth not forth good fruit shall be hewn
          down and cast into the fire, being equally as applicable to God's
          people in these days as to His people in the days in which it was
          spoken, is very impressive, and should be retained in every mind;
          every heart should reflect upon it, and every one should inquire,
          "Am I a subject for the burning, or am I bearing good fruit?"
          To answer these questions satisfactorily we must be instructed in
          the things of God, so that we many understand our duties and know
          what God requires of us, we must become acquainted with the
          Kingdom of Heaven and the fruits thereof.
          The people of olden times, to whom this saying of the Saviour was
          addressed, were a peculiar people: they and their fathers before
          them for many generations had claimed to be the people of God. To
          their forefathers God had sent His prophets, revealed His word,
          and he had made His covenant with them, and had blessed them with
          many blessings. Yet in the days of the Saviour, as a nation, they
          had apostatized and had fallen from their high position; they had
          become divided into sects and parties, proud, covetous,
          self-righteous and very conceited; and the Saviour pronounced
          many woes upon them. He illustrated their condition in a very
          noted parable concerning a certain vineyard, which the husbandman
          rented or let out, and then took his journey into another
          country. At the proper season the lord of the vineyard sent his
          servant to receive his share of the fruit of the vineyard; but
          instead of the men who had leased the vineyard paying up frankly
          and faithfully what they had stipulated to pay, they refused to
          pay at all, and also cast the servant out of the vineyard. The
          lord of the vineyard then sent other servants to seek his share
          of the fruit of the vineyard, but they were treated in like
          manner, some of them being beaten, whipped, cast out and slain.
          Last of all the lord of the vineyard said, "I will send my son;
          peradventure they will reverence him and have respect to their
          agreement, and render to him the fruits of the vineyard. But,
          when the son came, the husbandmen said among themselves, "This is
          the heir; come, let us kill him, and the inheritance shall be
          ours." And they seized the son, cast him out and slew him. "Now,"
          said the Saviour to the people to whom He addressed this parable,
          "what will be done unto these husbandmen? They answered, "He will
          miserably destroy those wicked husbandmen, and will let out his
          vineyard unto other husbandmen, who shall render him the fruits
          in their seasons." Said the Saviour in effect, "This is a very
          righteous judgment; even so shall it be done unto you. I blessed
          your fathers and established my covenant with them; sent my
          prophets and revealed my word unto you, their children, and have
          called upon you all the day long, but you have not brought forth
          the fruits of the kingdom; you have rejected and slain my
          prophets, and lastly, you have rejected the Son, therefore I say
          unto you, the kingdom shall be rent from your hands, and given to
          another people, who will bring forth the fruits thereof."
          Such was the fate of the Jewish people, because they rejected the
          prophets who were sent unto them, and, last of all, the Saviour.
          The Saviour revealed himself first to that people, and first
          established his church in their midst. He sent his disciples to
          preach, not to the Gentiles, but to "the lost sheep of the house
          of Israel." They were commanded to confine their labours to
          these; but they to whom he first sent his disciples did not, as a
          general thing, listen or obey the message they delivered to them.
          There were a goodly number who believed and were baptized, and
          from their midst the priesthood with the Gospel and its
          ordinances were carried to the Gentiles nations, and the Jews, as
          a nation, were given over to unbelief and hardness of heart,
          their government destroyed, their towns, cities, and provinces
          absorbed by surrounding nations, their devoted capital city laid
          in ruins, and of their beautiful temple not one stone was left on
          another. So complete was the ruin of their chief city that,
          subsequently, the very ground upon which it stood was broken up
          and ploughed like a field.
          The apostles and servants of God who were called to be witnesses
          of Jesus went abroad to the surrounding nations, and everywhere
          baptized and built up churches, grafting the Gentile nations into
          the "tame olive tree." Israel was likened by one of the ancient
          prophets to a tame olive tree and the Gentile nations to a wild
          olive tree. It is said by the Apostle Paul that the branches of
          the tame olive tree were cut off because they were barren and
          unfruitful, and that the branches of the wild olive tree were
          grafted into the mother stock and brought forth good fruit. So it
          was in the preaching of the Gospel; the Gentiles accepted with
          greater freedom and gladness the testimony of the disciples of
          Christ. It is not my purpose to enlarge upon the cause why the
          Jewish race continued to persecute and hedge up the way of the
          disciples and followers of Christ. Through the mercy of God our
          Father, salvation came unto many Gentile nations, because they
          believed the testimony of Jesus proclaimed to them by his
          disciples; and they were baptized into Christ, and became the
          seed of Abraham by adoption, while the lineal descendants of
          Abraham were rejected of God because of their unbelief. They did
          not bring forth the fruits of the kingdom of God, therefore the
          kingdom was taken from them and given to another people according
          as Jesus had predicted.
          Now, why was all this? Was it simply because of the sins of their
          rulers and chief priests, or was it because of the general
          corruption, unbelief, and wickedness of the whole people? I
          answer, it was not only the wickedness of their rulers and the
          corruptions and hypocrisy of their priests, but of the whole
          people, priests and rulers included. In the language of one of
          the prophets, their teachers taught for hire; their judges judged
          for reward; their prophets divined for money, and "my people love
          to have it so, and what shall be the end thereof?" The people had
          lifted themselves up in pride; they loved gold and silver and
          precious things, and set up gods whom they might adore. If they
          did not actually set up graven images and gods of wood and stone,
          they set up teachers and priests like unto themselves. Their
          judges and priests took bribes, and their public servants could
          be brought with money. They sought honour one of another and
          sought not honour which comes from God alone. In short they lived
          for the present life only, and did not know how to enjoy it
          properly, for the fruit of evil doings is always evil, though it
          oft-times appears tempting and alluring to the inexperienced and
          thoughtless, and its fruits may be sweet in the mouth, but in the
          belly they are invariably bitter. The fruits of righteousness are
          joy, peace, and contentment in this life, and life hereafter;
          while the fruits of unrighteousness are misery, grief, sorrow,
          and death. There is nothing more certain than the saying in
          Scripture "that the wages of sin is death." That is as true
          to-day as it was in the day when it was spoken. No man or woman
          can do a wrong thing, whether ignorantly or with the intent to do
          wrong, without sooner or later reaping the bitter fruits of that
          wrong doing. It is true that the mercy and loving kindness of God
          our Father comes to the aid of all who sin ignorantly, and
          lightens their punishment because they sinned ignorantly, and as
          soon as they were enlightened they turned away and repented
          before the Lord in sorrow. It is written that he who knoweth his
          master's will and doeth it not shall be beaten with many stripes;
          but he who sins ignorantly, though he may do things worthy of
          many stripes, shall be beaten with few if he forsakes his evil
          course when he understands it, inasmuch as his spirit is not
          defiled thereby. He who consents to and approves of a wrong in
          his heart, or becomes the aider and abettor of those who do
          wrong, though he may not be the personal doer of that wrong, may
          be more culpable and more deserving of punishment than the one
          who is actually guilty, for the latter, ignorant of the
          consequences, may be influenced by the former, who knows the
          results and effects of the wrong done. In such a case the
          prompter of the evil would be punished far more severely than he
          who actually committed it. It is a consolation to the righteous
          to know that god judges not by the sight of the eye, but by the
          secret thoughts and intents of the heart. The final judgment of
          the human race is deferred to their next estate, that God may
          judge the spirit according to the deeds done in the body, His
          judgment not being passed upon the body, but upon the spirit, the
          body having paid the penalty of its own faults and errors by
          death. The spirit is held responsible for the acts done in the
          body. No spirit can plead, before the bar of Jehovah, the
          weakness of the flesh as a justification of sin; the latter may
          be urged in palliation, but not in justification. Our Father is
          full of mercy, but he cannot look upon sin in any individual with
          the least degree of allowance; but every spirit must be held
          responsible, and will have to answer at the bar of God, and will
          there receive a just and righteous judgment for the deeds done in
          the body.
          But it will be found, in the language of Paul, that some men's
          sins have gone to judgment before-hand; others will follow after.
          In other words, some men will have their accounts balanced and
          settled in time, before the time for the final reckoning arrives,
          and when that time comes they will have enough on the credit side
          of their account to balance the debtor side, and they will stand
          square, free, and accepted; while those whose sins follow them to
          judgment will have a long list of accounts unadjusted and a heavy
          balance against them, with nothing to set off against it.
          What class of beings are they who are so highly favoured as to
          have their sins go to judgment before them? Why, they are they
          who have repented of their sins, and have ever kept the law of
          God, and not been anxious to run in debt again. There are many
          people who, in both spiritual and temporal things, as long as
          they can have an open book account, are ready to run up bills.
          But prudent, wise, and careful men and women like to have short
          reckonings and to know pretty often how they stand and to keep
          their accounts square. They never lay themselves down to rest, or
          rise in the morning, without communing with their God and
          learning the position they occupy in His sight. In our communings
          with our Father it is our privilege to learn this lesson, and it
          is one that every Saint should learn. If we live continually so
          as to enjoy the guidance of the Holy Spirit of God, it will hold
          the mirror before our eyes, and enable us to understand our
          positions before God as plainly as we behold our natural faces in
          the glass; and if we have been heedless or negligent in the
          performance of our duties, it will be presented to our minds, and
          we will learn our faults, and if we sincerely repent, the
          whisperings of the Holy Spirit will prompt us as to the course we
          should take to make things right. If you have slandered, given
          place to envy or jealousy, or have indulged in backbiting, evil
          speaking, fault-finding, criticising, or have used an evil
          influence concerning your brother or sister, the Spirit will say
          to you, "Go and make that right, ask your friends who have
          suffered by your folly to be merciful to you and to let your
          fault be buried." You will thus pour in the oil, and, as far as
          in you lies, heal the would you have inflicted. And when you have
          thus obtained your brother's forgiveness you can look up to your
          Father in Heaven and with confidence ask for His forgiveness.
          No individual can wrong another without that wrong being thrown
          back upon himself. This is just as sure as that your face is
          reflected in a camera when the light shines upon it. You go into
          a photographic gallery to have your likeness taken; you sit down
          opposite the camera, and the effect of the light upon the
          instrument is to make it reflect an exact likeness of yourself.
          It is precisely similar with every evil action--they exemplify
          the truth of the well-known maxim that "curses come home to
          roost." This is universally true. No person can, with impunity,
          put his fingers in the fire; neither can any person violate the
          laws of life and health without suffering pain and sickness in
          consequence. Though the Lord is long-suffering and full of loving
          kindness, the penalties attending the violations of His laws are
          sure to overtake the offender sooner or later, and foolish is the
          man or woman who fosters the delusive hope that it will be
          The foundation and the seeds of dissolution and death are sown in
          our tabernacles. The passions of human nature work, ultimately,
          the overthrow and dissolution of our bodies; and this is no more
          true than that the spirit, in like manner, works out its own
          dissolution, that is, whosoever suffers the second death, which
          is a spiritual death, suffers that death as the legitimate fruit
          of his evil doings as certainly and as naturally as the body
          suffers death through the violation of the laws of its own
          organization. Whether we violate the laws of our organizations
          ignorantly or otherwise, the results are the same. The child who
          runs innocently into the fire, ignorant of its power to injure
          him, is burned just as quick as the grown person who does. You
          overload the stomach of a child who knows not the capacity of his
          system, and he suffers the consequence just the same as if he had
          understood all about it.
          The purpose of the Gospel of Christ is to enlighten the mind upon
          all these subjects, and inasmuch as we are willing to receive
          instruction we, through it, may learn how to prolong our physical
          existence here, and how to secure everlasting life in the world
          to come, or in other words, to enter upon our third estate, which
          will be glorious and immortal; and in which they who are
          privileged to enter upon it will be prepared to exercise the
          highest functions of their existence and to enlarge, increase,
          and extend for ever, until, like Abraham of old, to their
          increase there shall be no end, and when the stars of the
          firmament or the sands of the sea-shore shall be less numerous
          than their creations. Incomprehensible as this may be to our
          finite minds, it is a faint view of the glories of the third
          estate. If we would secure a right to such inestimable blessings,
          it must be by obedience to the laws of life which God has
          revealed to us. If we sin wilfully, after having been enlightened
          as to the consequences of our sin, there remains, says the
          Apostle Paul, no more sacrifice for sin, but "a certain fearful
          looking for of judgment and fiery indignation, which shall devour
          the adversaries." But if we err in ignorance, and, after having
          been instructed, we repent of our sins, there is a door of mercy
          opened for us, and we shall be beaten with few stripes. Such
          persons, when they have wronged a brother or sister in ignorance,
          will, upon being convinced of it, go straightway and rectify that
          wrong. If they have oppressed the hireling in his wages, when
          they become convinced of the fact, they have gone straight way
          and made it right, paying him fourfold if necessary. After
          pursuing such a course the Father forgives them. He says if we do
          not forgive one another, neither will He forgive us. This
          principle is laid down in the Scriptures in that beautiful and
          simple prayer which Jesus taught to his disciples--a specimen of
          honest, childlike brevity and simplicity. In another place the
          Saviour says, "Moreover, if thy brother shall trespass against
          thee, tell him his fault between thee and him alone: if he shall
          hear thee, thou hast gained thy brother." If thy brother is not
          convinced of his wrong doing, do not be discouraged at the
          failure to convince him; but try again. Get some brother, who is
          filled with faith, love, and charity, to go with you to use his
          influence with him, and if you do not succeed in melting the
          icicle from your brother's heart, your friend will, at least, be
          your witness before the Lord that you have fulfilled your part;
          and your unforgiving brother will be held accountable. Our
          account is then settled, inasmuch as we obey the ordinances of
          the House of God--the conditions upon which the children of men
          may find favour with God. If we have wronged our brother, stolen
          his property, swindled him our of it unrighteously, or obtained
          it without having the means to pay him for it, we should repent
          and make restitution, even if we have to become his servant until
          he is satisfied, then our Father, who is the judge between us,
          will "say it is enough." The same principles will hold good with
          regard to any other evil. If we, through covetousness for filthy
          lucre, have oppressed the hireling, or have neglected to relieve
          the wants of the sick and destitute, the Lord's poor will rise up
          in judgment against us. They will say, "I was naked, and ye
          clothed me not; I was sick and in prison, and ye visited me not."
          And Jesus himself will be the accuser of such. He has said that
          he will place such persons at his left hand among the goats, and
          will say unto them, "Depart from me, I know you not." Many of
          them may expostulate and inquire, "Lord, when saw we thee an
          hungered, or athirst, or a stranger, or naked, or sick, or in
          prison, and did not minister unto thee?" But Jesus will answer,
          "Inasmuch as ye did it not to one of the least of these, ye did
          it not unto me."
          There were some anciently who seemed to obtain light enough to
          appreciate these sentiments, and who, in accordance with the
          counsels of the Saviour, forsook their evil ways and sought to
          make friends of the mammon of unrighteousness, and by doing good
          with their ill-gotten gains, they, in some measure repaired the
          wrongs they had done. These good deeds will stand on the credit
          side of their accounts.
          There is in the human breast a constant tendency to the
          allurements of this life. The wants of the present are ever
          forcing themselves upon our attention; while that which is in the
          future we are apt to put off till another day. The cravings of
          the stomach must be looked after to-day; these shivering limbs we
          must clothe to-day before another storm. Says one, "I must erect
          this house over the heads of my wives and children before next
          winter." And thus the wants of the present constantly impel us to
          action, while things pertaining to eternity are neglected,
          forgotten, or laid over till a more convenient opportunity. This
          procrastination--"the thief of time"--we should guard against;
          and whenever we detect ourselves with an inclination to neglect
          our duties to God or each other, and think only of self, we
          should instantly check the uprising of this passion, and should
          never fail, when we have it in our power and the opportunity
          presents itself, to administer to the wants of the poor and
          needy; or, what is still better, devise ways and means which will
          enable them to administer to their own necessities. The latter is
          always preferable. Those who are the Lord's poor always prefer to
          provide for their own necessities than to be dependent upon
          others. They who are able to provide for themselves, but would
          rather have others bear the burdens of life for them, are not the
          Lord's poor, they are the devil's poor. They covet their
          neighbour's property--his food, house, horse and carriage, and
          peradventure his wife. They desire that which he possesses,
          without going to and earning them as he has done. It is not he
          who is most successful in gathering around him the goods of this
          life, who is always the most covetous.
          I refer to these things, which have been so often spoken, by way
          of reminding us of that which is written, and to which the spirit
          of the Lord continually urges attention. Let us then, my brethren
          and sisters, beware of pride, lest we become like the Nephites of
          old. It seems from reading their history that a very few years
          sufficed for them to rise from a state of humility, enjoying the
          favour of God, to one of haughtiness and pride. There is a
          continual tendency to this state of feeling in the human mind. In
          the days of our humility we feel after God; but when prosperity
          comes, too many of us are apt to forget Him, and to feel that all
          our wants are supplied. A sister says, "I have a good husband,
          who prays for me and my children, and provides for our wants; he
          is a guide sufficient for me." She forgets to pray for herself,
          or for husband and children. Is she saved because of her
          believing and faithful husband? It is true that his prayers, good
          works, and the good spirit continually with him, are blessings
          thrown around her to aid her in her onward path to glory and
          exaltation; but unless she herself improves these favourable
          circumstances she, in the end, will sink while he rises. On the
          other hand, a sister who is faithful to her God, her covenants,
          her husband, children, and friends, who ceases not to call upon
          the name of the Lord though her husband may neglect to pray with
          his family, and to magnify his calling as a man of God, the day
          will come when he will sink, while she will rise and be given to
          a faithful man. So with children who, beholding the evil deeds of
          father and mother, follow the good counsels of friends who feel
          after them, and call upon God continually and do His will, while
          father and mother perish out of their sight for ever and ever;
          God will exalt them and may give them to good men and women who,
          perhaps, were never blessed with children.
          Those who plant good seed will surely eat the fruit thereof;
          while those who neglect to cultivate good seed will surely go
          down to perdition; for, in the language of the Scripture I first
          repeated, "Every tree which bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn
          down and cast into the fire."
          May God Almighty bless us, and help us to remember these things,
          and to live them as Saints of God should, is my prayer, in the
          name of Jesus. Amen.
          Journal of Discourses / Journal of Discourses, Volume 13 / John
          Taylor, March 14, 1869
                             John Taylor, March 14, 1869
                           DISCOURSE BY ELDER JOHN TAYLOR,
           Delivered in the Old Tabernacle, Salt Lake City, March 14, 1869
                            (Reported by David W. Evans.)
          We meet together from time to time to hear of things pertaining
          to the Kingdom of God on the earth. We have our own peculiar
          views in relation to many things that occupy the minds of men,
          and we have been in the habit of investigating the principles of
          the Gospel, and our minds are more or less occupied with affairs
          connected with the welfare of humanity, whether associated with
          the present life or that which is to come.
          There is a common tendency in the minds of men generally to take
          very little trouble in relation to religious matters; and men of
          all nations seem more disposed to let others think and act for
          them in such matters than to do so for themselves; hence, those
          who are disposed to prey upon the credulous, have every
          opportunity to accomplish their ends. Another point upon which
          men do not reflect much, is the fact that between this and the
          spirit world there is a veil drawn, which can only be penetrated
          through the medium which the Scriptures unfold. There we are told
          that "no man can understand the things of God but by the Spirit
          of God;" hence, though men may reason upon natural principles,
          and speak logically on most of the common affairs of life, when
          they attempt to investigate the principles of religion, and the
          nature of our relationship to God, they seem to be at a loss; and
          not being willing on the one hand to acknowledge their own
          weakness, ignorance, and imperfection, nor on the other hand, to
          acknowledge the hand of the Almighty, they know not what course
          to pursue. On account of these various feelings in the world a
          great many errors of every kind have crept in and have led the
          human mind astray. The Christian portion of the world are apt to
          look with contempt upon what is called the heathen, and wonder
          how men possessing any degree of intelligence can be led to
          worship stocks and stones and gods of their own making. Yet
          millions, under the influence of priestcraft do this, and they
          think they are right and that they are on the high road to
          Heaven. The Christian world, too, feel that it is all right with
          them in reference to a future life; in fact, they feel, in
          respect to religious matters, about as the Athenians did about
          the goddess Diana--that she had descended from Heaven and that
          all the world knew it. The various sects of the Christian
          world--Methodists, Baptists, Presbyterians, Episcopalians, Church
          of Rome, and others, no matter what their peculiar creeds or
          forms of worship may be--entertain the idea that they are all on
          the highway to Heaven. They build magnificent churches and pay
          thousands of ministers; they are also very zealous in missionary
          labours, and contribute largely for the support of charitable
          institutions. But it is very few of them who reflect upon first
          principles; they do not like to trouble themselves on such
          I have travelled a great deal, and have come in contact with
          professors of every creed; but they almost invariably like to
          assume, without contradiction, that they are right and that their
          fathers before them were. They do not like the idea to be
          entertained for a moment that the principles, doctrine, and
          ordinances they believe in and obey may be wrong, or that there
          is any possibility of the whole so-called Christian church having
          departed from the faith and ordinances as laid down in the Gospel
          by Jesus Christ.
          The Methodists, for instance, could not for a moment suppose that
          John Wesley was not competent to judge all matters pertaining to
          salvation. Wesleyan ministers will hardly permit his doctrines to
          be questioned; they must be swallowed without investigation. In
          fact, I have heard some of them say that he was a man of such
          erudition, talent, and piety that they would not have his
          doctrines questioned in their hearing. The Protestant Germans and
          a great many others are just the same with regard to Luther; yet
          in some of his ideas and principles the great Reformer was as
          foolish as any other man. The Scotch are a good deal so with John
          Knox; they think that he was everything good, praiseworthy, and
          amiable, and, in fact, that he was the pink of perfection. The
          Roman Catholics will not for a moment admit that they are not the
          true church; and they will maintain that they have held the keys
          of the Kingdom of Heaven from the days of Peter until now, and
          that they still have the pure doctrines of the Gospel, and have
          power to bind on earth and in Heaven, and to loose on earth and
          in Heaven. You may ask a great many who have seceded from the
          Church of Rome, and you would find that they have similar ideas
          about their own infallibility, only they are a little better than
          those from whom they seceded; they have made some improvements
          and are a little nearer the celestial kingdom.
          Feelings of this kind obtain not only among religionists, but
          also among philosophers, for some Christian philosophers have
          brought in philosophy to their aid in order to prove the truth of
          the Christian religion. Paley and Dick, very prominent Christian
          philosophers, have examined the works of nature, and have
          endeavoured to prove that the God of nature who controlled all
          these things must be a Being full of love, intelligence, and
          power. In their investigations they have examined the anatomical
          and visceral systems of man, beasts, birds, and insects, and have
          deduced therefrom many arguments which are interesting and
          incontrovertible. But when they apply their reasoning to the
          Christian religion they swallow it at one gulp without
          investigation. Their arguments go to prove the existence of a
          Supreme Being, a God; but they do not prove the truth or falsity
          of the Christian or any other system of religion--they have
          nothing at all to do with them.
          People generally are apt to accept the various religious systems
          of the day without reasoning or investigation. When I was a
          little boy I used to ponder over such things; and I do so still.
          Finding myself an inhabitant of the world, surrounded by ten
          thousand conflicting opinions on religious subjects, I want to
          know "what is truth?" Who has it in his possession? Where shall
          we find it? If I were among the heathen, and had been taught to
          worship an alligator, I should not think it right to worship a
          cat; and if it was right to worship a cat, it would not be to
          worship a bull; and if a bull, it would not be to worship a
          snake; and if a snake, it would not be to worship a monkey; and
          if a monkey, it would not be to worship sun, moon, or stars. Were
          I among the Christians I would think if the Baptists are right
          the Presbyterians are not; if the Presbyterians are right then
          the Baptists are not; if the Church of England is right then the
          others are wrong; if the Roman Catholics are right then others
          are wrong; and if any of the others are right the Roman Catholics
          are wrong. I cannot conceive of two ways to go to Heaven and both
          right. I cannot think of a God of intelligence, who has created
          the whole human family, and who had organized every living thing,
          and adapted them to the varied positions which they occupy, being
          the author of the confusion that exists in the world in relation
          to the forms of worship. But if God is not the author of it, who
          is? Where did it come from? I know that men generally are not
          inclined to investigate these subjects.
          When I was a boy I used to be connected with the Church of
          England. Theirs is a pleasant kind of religion. I liked it very
          well when I was connected with it. They pay the parson for
          preaching and pay the clerk for saying "Amen." No difficulty
          about the matter, everything moved along pleasantly. Nobody
          thought of questioning the parson. They considered the whole
          system correct, and that they were all on the way to Heaven. The
          Roman Catholics feel a good deal the same way, only their
          religion is not quite so easy. They have to do penance sometimes;
          if they do wrong they may get absolution, but they have to pay
          for it.
          In talking with Church of England ministers I have sometimes
          asked them where they got their authority from. That is a kind of
          question they hardly deem admissible, but they would say, "Well,
          if we must confess, we got it from the Roman Catholics." Where
          did they get it from? "From Peter." But, unfortunately, you
          Episcopalians say that the Roman Catholics are in error. "Yes,
          they are in error." Well, if that be the case, how could they
          confer power upon you? Do not the Scriptures say if a tree is bad
          its fruit will be bad? "Oh," say they, "they might retain their
          power even if they had lost their virtue." Oh, indeed; you admit
          that much. Well, if they had power to bind on earth and to bind
          in Heaven, they had power to loose on earth and to loose in
          Heaven; and if they had power to give the priesthood they had
          power to take it away, and if they cut you off you have no
          authority. They do not like to reason upon these things; but I
          do. I like to know the "whys" and "wherefores" in all such
          things, and to understand their foundation, especially in matters
          pertaining to man's eternal welfare. I have generally taken the
          liberty of applying the word of God to principles of religion
          whether taught by the Methodists, Church of England, Roman
          Catholics, or any others; and when "Mormonism" was presented to
          me my first inquiry was, "Is it Scriptural? Is it reasonable and
          philosophical?" This is the principle I would act upon to-day. No
          matter how popular the theories or dogmas preached might be, I
          would not accept them unless they were strictly in accordance
          with the Scriptures, reason, and common sense.
          I used to be told when investigating religious principles that it
          was dangerous to do so, and I had better let them alone; but I
          did not think so. I believe it is good to investigate and prove
          all principles that come before me. Prove all things, hold fast
          that which is good, and reject that which is evil, no matter what
          guise it may come in. I think if we, as "Mormons," hold
          principles that cannot be sustained by the Scriptures and by good
          sound reason and philosophy, the quicker we part with them the
          better, no matter who believes in them or who does not. In every
          principle presented to us, our first inquiry should be, "Is it
          true?" "Does it emanate from God?" If He is its Author it can be
          sustained just as much as any other truth in natural philosophy;
          if false it should be opposed and exposed just as much as any
          other error. Hence upon all such matters we wish to go back to
          first principles.
          If I am a man, where did I come from, and what is the nature of
          my existence and being here? I want information on these points,
          if anybody can give it. If I had an existence before I came here
          I want to know something about it. If there is a God and anybody
          on the earth ever knew anything about Him, I want to know
          something about Him. If there are wise, intelligent, and learned
          men anywhere who can tell me anything about Him, about my own
          existence and future destiny, I want to know it. These desires
          are reasonable; why should they not be gratified? You go to the
          heathen and inquire about God, and they have thousands of them in
          every form. Go to the Christians and they have one God, but he
          has neither body, parts, nor passions; his presence is
          everywhere, but he exists nowhere. They have never heard nor seen
          him, and they do not know anybody who ever did, not even their
          ministers, whom, they claim, are sent of God. They are equally as
          ignorant in relation to their own existence and the ends of their
          creation. They say they are going to Heaven, but all they can
          tell you about it is that it is beyond the bounds of time and
          This kind of doctrine does not suit me. I can read in the
          Scriptures that men used to converse with God, and that angels
          conversed with them; that others had visions and could read the
          purposes of God as they were unfolded before them. But come to
          the present day when, according to their own account, the most
          intelligent people that ever were upon the earth are now in
          existence, and they know nothing about God or His purposes. I
          care nothing about such knowledge and wisdom. In the language of
          the old prophet I say, "My soul, enter not thou into their
          secret." I want something that is intellectual and true, and that
          will bear investigation.
          When I turn to the Gospel as taught by Jesus, I find that he sent
          his disciples into all the world and commanded them to preach the
          Gospel to every creature, saying, "He that believeth and is
          baptized shall be saved, but he that believeth not shall be
          damned." This Gospel was no pliant thing, as in this day, that
          men could receive or refuse as they pleased, or that they could
          tinker to suit their own notions; but when preached, it involved
          the salvation or damnation of those who heard it.
          When the apostles commenced to preach the Gospel, Jesus said it
          was necessary for him to go away, for if he went away he would
          send them the Comforter--the Holy Spirit-- which should call all
          things to their remembrance and show them things to come. This
          was something very important; a religion that would do this was a
          religion fit for immortal men. Why should men, made in the image
          and after the likeness of God, be ignorant of themselves, of
          their pre-existence, and their future destiny? The religion that
          Jesus came to teach instructs men in relation to these subjects
          and puts them in possession of correct information. Well, then, I
          do not want to go to any of the old doctrines of the Roman
          Catholic Church, or to the Episcopalians, Calvinists, or
          Lutherans. I want the doctrines that were promulgated by the
          disciples of Jesus on the day of Pentecost, through obedience to
          which men may gain the power and inspiration that were enjoyed by
          them, in accordance with the promises which Jesus had, made. On
          that day we read that the disciples began to speak with other
          tongues as the Spirit gave them utterance. People from different
          nations heard them preach the Gospel in their own tongues, and
          they marvelled and thought they were drunken with new wine. Peter
          told them that it was not so, "but," said he, "this is that which
          was spoken by the prophet: It shall come to pass in the last days
          that I will pour out my spirit upon all flesh, and your old men
          shall dream dreams, and your young men shall see visions, and
          upon my servants and handmaidens I will pour out my spirit and
          they shall prophesy." It was the pouring out of the Spirit of God
          in fulfilment of this prophecy. It was the revelation of God to
          man; it was the introduction of the Gospel of Jesus Christ; it
          was the power of the Lord God manifested through obedience to the
          When the people saw these wonderful manifestations, they said,
          "Men and brethren, what shall we do?" I have often reflected upon
          this saying. If men were to ask this question now among the
          Methodists they would tell them to come to the mourner's bench
          and be prayed for. Some of the other sects would tell them pretty
          much the same thing. I have seen operations of this kind take
          place. When their preachers get people excited, they get them to
          the mourner's bench and they commence praying, and tell the
          people to believe on the Lord Jesus Christ. The mourner may say,
          "I do believe;" but his only answer will be, "Well, you must
          believe." "I do believe," says the mourner again. "Well, you must
          believe," is the reply again, and that is about all the minister
          or the people know about it. Some will say the believer must be
          baptized; but upon the mode of baptism they are very much divided
          in opinion. Some say they must be sprinkled; others say the water
          must be poured upon the believer; while others say that immersion
          is the correct method. The Methodists are very pliable on this
          point--they give a man a chance to have which method he pleases;
          their ministers do not know which is right, so they give the
          sinner the privilege to take which he likes.
          I have reflected upon these matters a good deal. It was very
          different in former days. When they asked on the day of Pentecost
          what they were to do to be saved, said Peter, "Repent and be
          baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ, for the
          remission of your sins, and you shall receive the Holy Ghost."
          This was the command to all--to the doctors, lawyers, Pharisees,
          and pious people as well as to the harlot, publicans, and
          thieves. This was the doctrine of the Apostolic Church. The
          question with me is, "If this was the true Gospel 1800 years ago,
          is it not the same to-day?" This is a question I have often put
          to priests when I was very young, and they would tell me not to
          trouble myself about such things, they were for the consideration
          of wiser people. But when I investigated further I found that
          these "wiser people" knew nothing about it.
          The Methodists, Presbyterians, and others tell us they have the
          Gospel and the Holy Ghost. I am glad if they have, but if they
          have, they will be able to show the fruits of the Gospel, for it
          will produce the same results now as then. Eighteen hundred years
          ago, if a man sowed wheat it produced the same as to-day; and if
          he sowed barley or corn, he reaped the same, for what a man sows
          that shall he reap. The animal called a horse in those days is
          not a jackass or a mule now, but is a horse still. Two and two
          made four then the same as to-day. The Gospel of Jesus Christ
          produced certain results then, and it will produce the same
          to-day, or it is not the Gospel. This is the way I reason.
          "Well," the inquirer may say, "if the Gospel does not exist
          anywhere but among you Latter-day Saints, where did you get it
          from?" We believe God has spoken. Joseph Smith said an angel came
          and administered to him and revealed the Gospel to him as it
          existed in former days, and Joseph declares further, that he was
          ordained by holy angels, and was commanded to go forth and preach
          the everlasting Gospel. I find in reading the Bible that there is
          a prophecy in relation to this matter. John says in his
          revelation, "I saw another angel flying in the midst of Heaven,
          having the everlasting Gospel to preach to those who dwell on the
          earth, to every nation, kindred, tongue, and people, crying with
          a loud voice, Fear God and give glory to Him, for the hour of His
          judgment is come, and worship Him that made the heavens, earth,
          the seas, and the fountains of water."
          What is meant by the everlasting Gospel? I know that some people
          think there was no Gospel until Jesus came; but it is a great
          mistake. Adam, Noah, Abraham, and Moses had the Gospel; and when
          Jesus came he came to offer himself a sacrifice for the sins of
          the world, and to bring back the Gospel which the people had
          lost. "Well," says one, "do you mean to affirm that the men you
          have just named had the Gospel?" I do, and hence it is called the
          everlasting Gospel. "How do you know?" Why, the Scriptures say
          the Gospel held the keys of the mysteries of the revelation of
          God. Now, Adam was in possession of these things; he was in
          possession of the spirit of prophecy and revelation. he talked
          with God, and it was through the medium of the Gospel he was
          enabled to do it. Enoch also conversed with and had revelations
          from God, and finally he was not, for God took him. Noah
          conversed with God, and God told him to build an ark, and gave
          him revelations about the size of it and the kind of animals he
          was to introduce into it. And wherever the Gospel existed there
          was a knowledge of God. Moses had the Gospel and so had Abraham,
          and they communicated with Him from time to time. And by what
          medium was this done? It was through the medium of the Gospel.
          "Do you mean to affirm," says the objector, "that Moses had the
          Gospel?" Yes; let us take the Bible for it; we all believe in
          that. In that book we read that "unto us was the Gospel preached
          as well as unto them." We are also told that the Gospel was
          preached to them, but that it did not profit them, not being
          mixed with faith in those who heard it, therefore the law was
          added because of transgression. Added to what? Why, to the
          Gospel, which the Scriptures say Moses preached to the children
          of Israel. In the New Testament we read, Gal. 3rd chapter and 8th
          verse, "For the Scripture, foreseeing that God would justify the
          heathen through faith, preached before the Gospel unto Abraham,
          saying, in thee shall all nations be blessed." It was through the
          medium of the Gospel that Abraham obtained these promises. Now,
          some people think the law of Moses, as it is called, was given to
          the children of Israel as a peculiar kind of a blessing; but it
          was a peculiar kind of a curse, added because of transgression.
          It was as Peter said--neither they nor their fathers were able to
          bear it.
          We read also that Jesus came and was a priest for ever after the
          order of Melchizedek. Who was Melchizedek? He was the man who
          blessed Abraham, the father of the faithful, yet Melchizedek was
          greater than Abraham, for verily the lesser is blessed of the
          greater. For wherever and whenever the Gospel has existed there
          has been the opening of the heavens, revelations and visions
          given to men; and wherever the Gospel has not existed there has
          been no vision, no revelation, no communication between the
          heavens and the earth. Hence that which is called the Gospel in
          the Christian world is not the Gospel, but a perversion of it.
          When Jesus came he came to do away with the law and to introduce
          the Gospel that their fathers had lost because of transgression.
          After its restoration by Jesus the same results followed: the
          heavens were opened, the purposes of God unfolded, and His power
          made manifest among the people.
          Joseph Smith's mission was to restore this same Gospel in its
          fulness. He brought back the same Gospel that Jesus taught, the
          same faith and repentance, the same baptism for the remission of
          sins, and the same laying on of hands for the gift of the Holy
          Ghost, and the same Holy Ghost with all its powers and blessings.
          This is the doctrine and these the principles we profess to
          believe in. We do not profess to have received our authority from
          the Church of England or any other sect: it came directly from
          God by the ministration of holy angels. The Gospel that we preach
          is the everlasting Gospel; it reaches back into the eternities
          that are past; it exists in time and it stretches forward into
          the eternities to come, and everything connected with it is
          eternal. Our marriage relations, for instance, are eternal. Go to
          the sects of the day and you will find that time ends their
          marriage covenants; they have no idea of continuing their
          relations hereafter; they do not believe in anything of the kind.
          It is true there is a kind of natural principle in men that leads
          them to hope it may be so; but they know nothing about it. Our
          religion binds men and women for time and all eternity. This is
          the religion that Jesus taught--it had power to bind on earth and
          to bind in Heaven, and it had power to loose on earth and to
          loose in heaven. WE believe in the same principles, and we
          expect, in the resurrection, that we shall associate with our
          wives and have our children sealed to us by the power of the holy
          priesthood, that they may be united with us worlds without end.
          The Gospel we preach is like the Melchizedek priesthood--without
          beginning of days or end of years.
          There is something pleasant in this. I do not want uncertainty
          about my eternal welfare; I do not want to dream away my
          existence and be governed by somebody's ipse dixit in regard to
          the future; I do not want to pay a man a few dollars to take care
          of my soul; I beg the privilege of doing that myself with the
          assistance of my brethren in the priesthood.
          Why, these Christians, so called, cannot trust their God in
          anything. To show the difference in the workings of their systems
          and ours I will refer briefly to my early experience amongst
          them. When young I used to attend their missionary meetings.
          Their preachers would get up and tell about the dreadful state of
          the heathen, and in order that they might be converted, the
          members of the various religious bodies used to subscribe
          thousands and thousands of pounds to send them abroad and support
          them while there. I have known them make mathematical
          calculations about how many souls a missionary might convert, and
          what it would cost to support him during the time he was doing
          it; and then they would say if they could have the amounts
          collected for missionary purposes duplicated, triplicated, or
          increased a thousand times, there might be so many more heathen
          converted. Those men would not go out as the apostles
          did--without purse or scrip. jesus commanded them to go so in
          order to try the world. And when Joseph Smith sent out his
          apostles and disciples he said, Go without purse or scrip. I have
          travelled thousands and hundreds of thousands of miles that way;
          and many of my brethren have done the same thing. Have we lacked
          anything necessary? No, never. The Gospel of Jesus Christ always
          took good care of me, and to-day I would rather trust in God
          under such circumstances than in any of the princes of the earth.
          This is the way our religion has spread, and it has progressed
          because God has been with and blessed the labours of His
          servants; and peace, harmony, and union prevail in our midst.
          Many have got angry with us, but that is nothing new; the wicked
          have always shown anger when the Gospel of Jesus Christ has been
          upon the earth.
          Many have tried to stay the progress of the work of God, but it
          has continued to roll on in spite of all the opposition with
          which it has had to contend. The prophet saw a little stone cut
          out of the mountain without hands, and it continued to roll and
          smote the feet of the image made of clay, brass, silver, gold,
          and iron, and it became as the chaff of the summer threshing
          floor; but the little stone grew and increased until it became a
          great mountain and filled the whole earth.
          It will be so with this stone which God has hewn out in these
          last days; and though men may combine to stay its progress and
          may set themselves in array against the Lord and His anointed,
          yet He will come out of His hiding place and will vex such people
          and nations, and He will overturn and overturn until Truth shall
          prevail the wide world over, and until His kingdom shall reach
          from the rivers to the ends of the earth; until all men shall bow
          to the sceptre of Immanuel; until the wicked shall be rooted from
          the earth, and His kingdom shall be established and given to His
          Saints to possess for ever and ever.
          May God help us to be faithful in the name of Jesus. Amen.
          Journal of Discourses / Journal of Discourses, Volume 13 / George
          Albert Smith, April 6, 1869
                         George Albert Smith, April 6, 1869
                         REMARKS BY PRESIDENT GEORGE A. SMITH
           Delivered in the New Tabernacle, Salt Lake City, April 6, 1869
                            (Reported by David W. Evans)
          I am glad, my brethren and sisters, of meeting with you again in
          General Conference. Our Conferences form a peculiar feature in
          our history, and the people in all parts of the Territory look
          forward to these occasions with far more than ordinary interest,
          and make calculations to participate therein.
          The past six months have been a period of remarkable interest.
          There has been a marked advancement in the progress of the work
          of the Lord and a great increase and improvement in the
          knowledge, sentiments, and feelings of the Saints since our last
          Conference, perhaps more so than in the same space of time at any
          period in the history of the Church since its organization. The
          Saints are becoming more united in their business relations, and
          in all their associations for the purpose of accomplishing the
          work that is before them, and if the old adage, "Union is
          strength," be true, we are certainly growing stronger.
          The teachings during this Conference will, as a matter of course,
          have a tendency to increase this union, to enlarge the
          understandings and judgments of the Saints, and to banish certain
          antiquated ideas which, more or less, have been woven into our
          being, and have formed part of our existence, enable us to free
          ourselves from the shackles of tradition and ignorance and to
          move forward more effectually in the discharge of those duties
          devolving upon us in connection with the great and glorious work
          which God has entrusted to our charge. It will also be necessary
          for us to take into consideration the different points pertaining
          to the progress of that work.
          It was a saying of Joseph Smith, that he taught the people
          correct principles and they governed themselves. A feeling has
          been engendered and sent abroad that the Latter-day Saints are
          subject to bondage; but instead of this being so, they are
          controlled wholly on the principle to which I have just referred,
          as having been enunciated by Joseph--they are taught correct
          principles and then govern themselves. When the elders of Israel
          have succeeded in informing the minds of the Saints in relation
          to any topic pertaining to the work of God in the last days, they
          have accomplished a great work, and that work is followed by a
          feeling of willingness and obedience to carry out that principle
          on the part of the great mass of the Saints.
          Last year we made an effort to bring home the Saints from the Old
          World, and a pretty strong emigration was the result. It will be
          remembered that when the matter was first agitated, it seemed as
          if there was but a small amount of means to be obtained. Many of
          the brethren in the wards felt that they could do but little, but
          they went to work and brought home some five thousand Saints.
          This same work is still before us, and appeals to our sympathy,
          and we still have occasion to call the attention of each other to
          the importance of the work of bringing home to Zion our brethren
          and sisters in foreign lands who are deprived of the privileges
          that we enjoy because of their inability to gather. An appeal is
          to be made from this Conference to the Saints generally
          throughout the Territory, to contribute again of their substance
          to bring home the Saints from foreign lands.
          The facilities for gathering the Saints are far greater than they
          have been heretofore. We wish to say to any of those who are
          already gathered, who may be indebted to those who are left
          behind, that they should remember and discharge their
          obligations. We also advise the Saints to write to their friends
          abroad and inform them how things are progressing here. I am
          aware that when the people land here there are many
          inconveniences with which they have to contend, and they have to
          struggle for a time before they can again make a start in the
          world; but they should not, on that account, forget the brethren
          and sisters they have left behind, and especially those who may
          have advanced means to aid them in emigrating. One of our first
          great duties should be to square our accounts and to stand
          honourably with our fellow-beings.
          Although a great advance has been made within the last two years
          in the observance of the "Word of Wisdom," there is yet room to
          talk on that subject. We find that the tobacco trade is still
          very considerable in this Territory, and we cannot yet lose sight
          of the fact that we are compelled to pay a tribute to the Emperor
          of China for tea, and to the Emperor of Brazil for coffee; and
          there are still men in Israel who do not seem to realize the
          importance of observing the "Word of Wisdom." It is, therefore,
          necessary to preach, teach, and exhort, and to enforce upon the
          Saints the importance of its observance, for it is preparatory to
          great blessings which God has in store for the faithful. The
          elders will instruct us in relation to these matters as the
          Spirit of the Lord may dictate.
          It has been my privilege this last month to visit most of the
          branches in the southern part of the Territory. At a large
          portion of those branches I have attended meetings, and have seen
          many of the brethren and sisters, and I feel to testify that in
          all my travels in Zion, I have not found a better spirit, a more
          united determination, or a warmer feeling with regard to the work
          of the Lord, and to build up His kingdom, than I found on this
          visit. I felt thankful to learn that our brethren in the cotton
          country were filled with the spirit and were zealous for the
          accomplishment of their work, and that they were progressing very
          satisfactorily in the accomplishment of their mission, or at any
          rate that portion of them who have taken hold of it with the zeal
          which becomes men who are honoured with the privilege of
          labouring in any department for the building up of Zion. The
          testimony of the work of the Lord in the hearts of the Saints is
          a living and abiding testimony. While the work is progressing we
          must be alive to the fact, and we must not get behind, we must be
          faithful, live humble before the Lord, observe His counsels and
          laws, not even forgetting the principles contained in the "Word
          of Wisdom." If we take this course the blessings of life and
          peace will continue to abide with us, which may God grant in the
          name of Jesus. Amen.
          Journal of Discourses / Journal of Discourses, Volume 13 / Daniel
          H. Wells, April 7, 1869
                           Daniel H. Wells, April 7, 1869
                          REMARKS BY PRESIDENT D. H. WELLS,
           Delivered in the New Tabernacle, Salt Lake City, April 7, 1869.
                            (Reported by David W. Evans)
                         BUSINESSES--DOING THE LORD'S WILL.
          After our usual custom we have met in a general council of the
          church to receive instruction in those things which are necessary
          for the government and well-being of the people, and to be
          instructed in that which is calculated to promote our best
          interests. At our Conferences a general interchange of thought
          and feeling in the midst of Israel takes place. At these meetings
          we receive great blessings; rich treasures of knowledge and
          understanding are opened up, and made known to the people
          throughout the valleys of the mountains. We come here to be
          instructed; we gather from the nations of the earth that we may
          be taught in the ways of the Lord and that we may learn to walk
          in His paths.
          We can see a glorious future before us; we can dwell upon the
          words of the holy prophets and picture to ourselves great things
          in time to come concerning the beauty and glory of Zion, when she
          shall be built up. We can talk of exaltations in the Kingdom of
          God, of thrones, dominions, principalities, and powers, but how
          are we going to attain to these things? It seems as though, when
          we receive the Gospel and our hearts are lit up with the spirit
          of truth, we expect, without any particular effort on our part,
          at some time in the future, to attain to these great excellencies
          and glories. We are a good deal like children. We tell them of
          reading and writing, but they will never be able to do either,
          unless they take the trouble to learn. We often hear it said that
          if we wish to have a heaven we shall have to create it for
          ourselves. There is considerable truth in this. In the days of
          Joseph could he have accomplished with this people what can now
          be accomplished in the days of Brigham? No; it would have been
          impossible. I remember hearing him talk, and seeing his
          endeavours to establish merchandizing on a similar footing to
          that which has been recently introduced among the Saints; but
          there were difficulties in the way.
          In those days there was a tendency of feeling that each should
          share alike in everything, so much so that it was impossible for
          any man to do business in the mercantile line. A good brother who
          was needy would think it was selfish if he could not go to a
          store and get what he wanted without paying the money for it. It
          was a good deal so when we first came here. Let a brother
          commence the mercantile business, and the first thing he knew his
          whole capital stock was credited out to the brethren. He could
          not refuse to credit a brother. O, no! if he did it was said at
          once that he was selfish and was no friend to the poor. I have
          never seen the time when co-operation could have been established
          in the midst of the people until the present. Some will doubtless
          find fault with it now; but we do not expect to be clear of
          fault-finders. We have to be instructed; and the Lord has been
          merciful and kind. He has sought all the day long to train us in
          the way we should go. We never can learn the principles
          pertaining to the building up of the Kingdom of God while
          scattered abroad; hence, the necessity of gathering together that
          we may be instructed in the ways of the Lord.
          There is a great tendency among the people to go into the
          business of trading, and to shun the more laborious pursuits and
          avocations of life. A great many seem to think that trading or
          merchandizing is more genteel, and that it is more gentlemanly
          not to learn some profitable trade or business. A considerable
          number who have been engaged in mercantile pursuits, owing to
          this change in our system of business, will no doubt be thrown
          out of employment; they will have to seek other avocations. Some
          persons who possess capital will have to seek other avenues in
          which to invest that capital. In a new country like this there is
          a variety of ways open to them for its safe and profitable
          A man may invest hundreds of thousands of dollars in goods and
          put them on his shelves, and in his warehouses, and dispose of
          them again to other parties; but what does such a man produce or
          create with his means that is beneficial to his fellow creatures?
          Nothing; it is merely an interchange. It is useful and necessary
          in its way and place, and it is all well enough; but sufficient
          should be done and no more than sufficient. Trading is overdone;
          there are too many employed in this kind of business; they should
          seek employment in some other way, and find other channels for
          investing their capital that are better calculated to produce
          something from the earth, and bring forth from the elements that
          which is necessary for the comfort and well-being of man and
          beast. Just think how many things could be raised and
          manufactured here, that, if we had them to-day, would fetch very
          remunerative prices. Butter, for instance, that at the present
          time is selling for a dollar and a quarter a pound, in a country
          like this should not bring more than twenty-five cents. Cheese
          the same. These two articles are imported twelve or fifteen
          hundred miles, and then the Territory is not near supplied. Wool
          and flax, too, might be raised profitably; not near enough of
          these is raised; and in these articles our surplus means might be
          safely and profitably invested. There is not near enough grain
          raised in the Territory. Wheat is selling to-day at four dollars
          a bushel, when it should not be more than half that price, and
          even then would well remunerate the producer. It is so with every
          other article of our own consumption and that is required for the
          sustenance of our animals; and the same may be said of the
          animals themselves. Stock raising offers a profitable avenue for
          the investment of means. Here are many avenues in which they, who
          have been overturned in their mercantile pursuits, can invest
          their means, which will pay larger profits, and which are far
          less liable to fluctuation, because mercantile pursuits are often
          subject to great depression through being overdone, or through
          scarcity of money and other causes. If a person has a farm his
          produce will keep until he can obtain remunerative prices, and he
          is more free and independent than the merchant; for the earth
          being his banker, he is not called upon to meet his bills and
          obligations by any particular and specified time, as the merchant
          is. By turning our attention in these directions our capital may
          be safely and profitably invested, and many who are now but
          little better than idlers in Israel might be remuneratively
          I should say let every young man, and woman too, learn some way
          to procure their own subsistence, and to promote their own
          independence; this is incumbent upon all. No person should be
          above learning some useful occupation, trade, or business that is
          calculated to produce something for his own and the general
          benefit. Hundreds and thousands of articles are imported here
          that might just as well be made in our midst, and if they were
          made here it would render us, as a people, a great deal more
          independent and comfortable than we are now. That man only is
          truly rich who knows how to provide for himself and his
          household. I do not care how much means he has in his possession,
          he only is independent who has the means of subsistence within
          himself, who has the capability of going forth, and, by his own
          industry, drawing from the elements those things which are
          necessary for his own subsistence.
          I remember reading an anecdote of Stephen Girard and of a young
          man he had had in his employment a long time, who had received
          some encouragement, and had large expectations from him, that
          when he had attained his majority he would set him up in
          business. When that time arrived, instead of giving the young man
          a draft for a certain amount of money, he told him to go and
          serve an apprenticeship to some useful trade, by which, in case
          of a reverse misfortune, he would be enabled to earn his own
          subsistence. The young man went and bound himself to a cooper and
          learned that trade. In a year's time he went back to his patron
          with a barrel of his own make. The old gentleman examined the
          barrel, and asked the price he could afford them at, and was told
          "a dollar each." Mr. Girard said it was a good article, and worth
          the money, and if he could make as good barrels as that for that
          price, he had insured to himself a living in any event that might
          happen. For his obedience in going and learning a trade as the
          old gentleman had directed him, he was rewarded with a check for
          twenty-five thousand dollars to set him up in business.
          In case of any reverse of fortune this man had something to fall
          back upon. I have always thought this was a very good principle
          to act upon. I would like to see all of our young men learn some
          useful trade or occupation which would produce for them an
          honourable living by their own industry; and if they acquire this
          in early life, habits of industry and order become natural.
          By industry we thrive; industry, in the mechanical and
          agricultural pursuits, is the foundation of our independence, and
          they who obtain a livelihood by habits of industry are far more
          honourable members of society than they who live by their wits.
          I heard recently of a city that the outsiders are endeavouring to
          start, called Corinne, which it is said is to be the great city
          of the interior West. Who are going there to expend their labour?
          Can cities be built without labour? I think not. I have no idea
          that a great city will be built in the location designated,
          unless a different class of people go there than is to be found
          in such places generally. I have no doubt that the soil is rich,
          and that by industry the elements necessary for the building up
          of a great city could be developed. But any person who expects
          that a large city is going to be reared without industry and hard
          labour reckons without his host. There may be a rush there, for a
          short time, of speculators, loafers, and rowdies; but if these
          are the only classes of people who go there--as there is good
          reason to believe--this great city that is to be, like others of
          the same class, will soon die out, and the people be scattered to
          some other places.
          Can men be industrious and follow the various avocations and
          pursuits of life and still be servants of God? Yes, such things
          are conducive to good morals. It is said that an idle brain is
          the workshop of the devil, and it is far more likely to be so
          than the brain of a person who is occupied with some useful
          employment. Can a person work on the railroad, for instance, and
          be associated with the wicked without being contaminated by them?
          O yes, if he is so disposed. An elder of Israel should wrap
          himself as with a mantle, from sin, whether he goes to preach the
          Gospel to a wicked world, or whether he goes to labour among the
          wicked. Such a man will lose nothing, but he will gain the esteem
          even of the wicked themselves, by being faithful and true to his
          calling, keeping the commandments of God, and observing the Word
          of Wisdom; and no matter what society he may be in he will be
          respected, and will be far more likely to be so for the strict
          observance of the principles of the religion he professes than he
          will be if he does not observe them. I do not know that it is any
          excuse for a man to smoke, chew, drink whisky, take the name of
          God in vain, swear, or drink tea or coffee because he mingles
          with those who do such things. Do you think your associates would
          respect you the more for it? No, not a whit; but they would
          respect you more for not doing such things. They would have
          greater confidence in you, and if they had money they wished to
          entrust to the care of any one, they would sooner entrust it to
          the care of a man who was faithful to the principles of his
          religion than to their associates who get drunk, gamble, swear,
          and commit every abomination.
          This people have been awakened to a sense of their duty in
          keeping the Word of Wisdom, yet many of them think it a
          sufficient excuse for them to use hot drinks, if they happen to
          be where others use them; in this way they are falling back to
          the use of tobacco, and are smoking their pipes or cigars, and
          are drinking tea and coffee or a little whisky now and again, and
          are letting those old habits grow on them again. This is wrong;
          they should not do it. I mention this in order to stir up your
          pure minds by way of remembrance. We should not forget that we
          have entered into covenant not to do so. Latter-day Saints should
          remember that there is not a day, hour, or moment in which they
          can afford to lay aside the armour of righteousness; there is no
          time but what the adversary is at their elbows ready to enter in,
          take hold, and lead them into forbidden paths. It is and ever has
          been a struggle with this people to trample the wickedness of the
          world under their feet. It rises before us continually and we are
          never without it. We do not expect to be without it in our midst
          if this is the kingdom of God. I suppose Jesus had as good an
          idea of what constituted the kingdom of God as any of us, and he
          said it was like a net cast into the sea which brought forth all
          kinds both good and bad; therefore let no one say this cannot be
          the kingdom of God because there are some who are not righteous
          in our midst. Because the wicked and unrighteous are in the
          world, must we be partakers of their wickedness? By no means; it
          is not at all necessary that it should be so. Let us endeavour to
          eradicate from our own bosoms all sin. It is not a matter of
          enthusiasm, to last for an hour, a day or a week and then die
          out; it is in this way that people forget God and do wickedly.
          You know that the Scriptures inform us that they who do wickedly,
          and all the nations who forget God, shall be turned into hell.
          The paths of virtue and truth are the paths of peace. The paths
          of union, that the leaders of this people are striving
          incessantly to introduce among us, are calculated to create
          excellence, greatness and power in our midst. By pursuing these
          paths we shall grow in every virtue and excellence until we shall
          attain to those great glories that are for the faithful, about
          which we sing and pray, and the contemplation of which always
          lights up our minds with so much joy and bliss. By faithfully
          observing the counsels given to us we shall actually come into
          possession of these things as naturally as a child, by constant
          instruction, comes to attainments in learning. It will be done by
          gaining item by item, by living our holy religion day by day,
          hour by hour, and all the time.
          Blessed is that person, man and woman, who can retain, from youth
          up, a good, holy and righteous influence; who have never
          committed an overt act, preserving themselves righteously before
          the Lord in all good faith and conscience all the days of their
          lives. I say blessed are such persons. Persons are liable to be
          overtaken in liquor; but in Zion we should be free from these
          practices to a far greater extent than in the world. It is to
          overcome the evils that exist in the world that the Lord is
          gathering His Saints together. Why, if every man and woman who
          gathers to Zion were determined to follow their own ways, the
          state of things that exists in the world would soon be
          established here, and the object of the Lord, in gathering His
          people together, would be frustrated. Yet there are many people
          here who cannot see this; and they feel themselves infringed
          upon. Why, such persons are greater than the Saviour of the world
          in their own estimation! He came here to do his Father's will,
          and in his greatest agony he prayed that the cup might be taken
          from him, if it were possible, "Nevertheless," he said, "not my
          will, but Thine by done." His own will was swallowed up in the
          will of his Father; and yet we, poor, miserable mortals can stick
          up our noses and say, "We will do as we please," if anything is
          brought forth by the inspiration of the Almighty that seems to
          cut our corners. Are we a band of brethren, standing shoulder to
          shoulder under the banner of Emmanuel--him who said, "Let not my
          will, but Thine by done?" If we are, we shall walk in the path
          marked out for us by the Captain of our salvation. "Oh!" says
          one, "I think I understand, comprehend, and know better than any
          one else; I am not going to do as such a one tells me--my Bishop,
          President, or some one else in authority over me; he does not
          know as much as I do." Perhaps not, the sequel will show who know
          If we have a proper conception of the counsels given to us, we
          shall never utter such sentiments, or let them have place in our
          hearts. It is difficult sometimes to get into our ears and hearts
          what is required of us, hence the amount of instruction that has
          to be given to the people. It was years and years before we got
          the people to take hold of the Word of Wisdom. There have been
          such things as reformations in the midst of the people of God, I
          suppose because of the proneness of the people to relapse into
          the ways of the world. Hence, it becomes necessary every once in
          a while to arouse Israel to a sense of their duties, that they
          may sustain the Kingdom of God.
          There are a great many people who cannot see the Kingdom of God,
          although the events, long since foretold, which should transpire
          in connexion with that Kingdom are actually transpiring before
          their eyes. The people of the world are blind, they cannot see
          the Kingdom; and a great many Saints, and pretty good at that,
          who should see the Kingdom of Heaven in the introduction of a new
          principle, oftentimes fail to do so. Is the Word of Wisdom of the
          Kingdom of Heaven? Yes. Is co-operation of the Kingdom of Heaven?
          Yes. Is union in the midst of this people of the Kingdom of
          Heaven? Yes. Is the one-man power, with which the world find so
          much fault, and talk about so much, of the Kingdom of Heaven?
          Yes, if God is our Father and is at the head of it, it is. Then
          why should there be so much dread and fear of the Lord
          establishing His government in the world? Did it ever do anybody
          any harm? O, no. Did it ever do anybody any good, or is it
          calculated in its nature to do anybody any good? Yes, the
          greatest good. Then why so much dread and fear of it? Because the
          people cannot see the Kingdom of God in it. But it is not very
          far from them; God is not very far from them, nor from any of us,
          and His work is established and is transpiring right before our
          face and eyes. The government of God is being established on the
          earth, and the world does not know it; yet it is like a city set
          on a hill for everybody to gaze upon and investigate. Yet they
          treat it as if it were of no moment to them. Time will show that
          it is of the utmost importance to them. Let no person pass it by
          as an idle talk, for time will disclose that it is of the utmost
          importance to every son and daughter of Adam. They had better, at
          least, give it a passing notice and investigate it with honesty
          of purpose. Our hopes for the present and future, our happiness
          and prosperity, and even existence itself, are bound up in the
          Kingdom and government of God. What else is there now upon the
          face of the earth but what has a tendency to destruction? Look at
          the stream of vice and corruption that is flowing on, bearing its
          votaries to the gulf of despair. Who can stem the torrent? People
          can see it, but can they stop it? No, it bears them along on its
          surface, and they are lost for ever. Is it not time that some
          standard should be erected on the earth, around which those who
          are disposed to do right, may rally, where they will be safe from
          this great gulf-stream of destruction? I think it is time,
          because the Lord has thought so, and He has commenced His work;
          He has erected His standard, and is calling to the people and
          pointing the way to safety. Not that He or any one else expects
          this stream to be checked or stopped in its mad career; it will
          bear its onward course until, finally, it finds its depths. But
          we may save one here and another there, and so the Lord may get
          to Himself a people. It is like being snatched as brands from the
          burning. He will bring them to a place where they can be
          instructed. This has been the case with us. The Lord has brought
          us together and He is seeking to instruct us, that we and our
          children after us may escape those great evils which are so
          prevalent in the world. I need not mention them, they are patent
          to the eyes of all. The people have forgotten God; they do not
          know His ways, although there are many well-intentioned people
          who are seeking to do their duty and are living in the hope of a
          blessed reward hereafter. They will obtain it. They are trying to
          stem the torrent of evil as far as it is in their power; but they
          do not know "the only true and wise God and Jesus Christ whom He
          has sent," "whom to know is eternal life;" and another evil is,
          they do not try to know Him, or they would investigate and try to
          find out God and His Kingdom.
          The Lord is not responsible for all the evil of which I have been
          speaking, neither for all the diversities of religion in the
          world. He created man upright, but man has sought out many
          inventions. If the people would seek after the Lord and be
          content to walk in His ways, do you think the diversities in
          regard to religion that now exist would be known? By no means; we
          should all come, then, to a unity of the faith.
          The Latter-day Saints have great cause to rejoice, because they
          are blessed above all other people. They are learning the ways of
          the Lord; and more blessed are they still, if they follow in
          them. They are laying a foundation that will stand for ever.
          There is no principle of virtue, truth, holiness and
          righteousness but what is calculated to exalt man in time and for
          ever and ever. Those who build not on these principles are
          building on sand, and their superstructure will be washed away
          when the tempest comes; while they who build on the rock of truth
          will be able to withstand all opposition, and they will
          eventually obtain that glory and exaltation that the Saints now
          talk about.
          These principles are true and can be depended upon. God is their
          author; He is at the helm. He is our Father and we may come to
          exaltation in His presence if we will live for it; and in this
          earthly probation we can be co-workers with Him in the
          establishment of His kingdom on the earth if we will serve Him
          and keep His commandments. We may come to Him on His own
          platform, on His own terms, but not on our own. That is the
          trouble with Christendom, and the world at large. They are trying
          to make the Lord's ways correspond with theirs. Why, they would
          tear Him to pieces if they could have their wishes carried out;
          they would dethrone Jehovah and overturn His power and kingdom.
          Could He exist if the world could have their own way? A great
          many called Latter-day Saints feel a little the same way; perhaps
          they do not know it, but it amounts to no less. I have known
          people come for counsel when they had their own minds made up
          about the course they intended to pursue. All they wanted was to
          receive counsel that corresponded with their notions. If they
          received that, all right; otherwise it would not do. All the
          world is after is to try to make the Lord come to their terms; He
          cannot do it.
          It would be well for us, sometimes, if we could see a few of our
          own inconsistencies, and what we require of the Lord. The plan of
          salvation is amply sufficient to save to the uttermost. How? In
          our own way? No, in the way that the Lord has devised. If we are
          saved in His Kingdom we shall have to bow to His laws; we cannot
          be saved without. He has a right to dictate; He has done so, and
          it is for us to do His bidding.
          We are blessed in having the living oracles in our midst, and in
          having a standard erected around which we can rally. The Bible is
          good, and we believe in it more than any other people. The Book
          of Mormon and the Book of Doctrine and Covenants are the word of
          God, and they contain many precious gems; every line is full of
          knowledge, intelligence and truth, and is calculated to be a
          benefit to us; but yet, above and far beyond all, we have the
          living oracles in our midst to tell us what to do to-day. A great
          portion of the Scriptures we have was the living oracles to the
          people in the day in which it was given, and it has become
          Scripture because it was given by the inspiration of the
          Almighty. It was applicable to the day in which it was given. We
          have the living oracles in our midst to give us that which is
          applicable to our day. Let us make our ways correspond to the
          Lord's, for we read that "as high as the heavens are above the
          earth so are His ways higher than our ways, and His thoughts than
          our thoughts." We are blessed in having His ways made known to
          us, because He knows best. He has more knowledge and
          understanding and greater ability, and can perform and accomplish
          more than any other power that exists; and that people only may
          be said to be blessed who walk in His ways and do His bidding.
          I feel sometimes as though I had never lived, in reality, until I
          became acquainted with the principles of the Gospel; I feel as
          though my whole existence had been a waste. In one sense it has.
          I did not know how to serve God acceptably in His sight. I did
          not comprehend righteousness, neither did I know how to sanctify
          myself before Him. We are taught that obedience is better than
          sacrifice, therefore let us go to, brethren and sisters, with our
          mights to serve God and keep His commandments, so shall we come,
          finally, to inherit those blessings which are promised to the
          faithful, which I pray we may ultimately attain for Christ's
          sake, Amen.
          Journal of Discourses / Journal of Discourses, Volume 13 /
          Brigham Young, April 8, 1869
                            Brigham Young, April 8, 1869
                         REMARKS BY PRESIDENT BRIGHAM YOUNG,
           Delivered in the New Tabernacle, Salt Lake City, April 8, 1869
                            (Reported by David W. Evans.)
          I understand that many of the brethren and sisters in the old
          country lent money to their friends now here to assist them to
          emigrate; quite a number of letters have been sent, stating that
          those friends covenanted before leaving that they would repay
          that means with the first money they earned after arriving here,
          and that they would also send more than they had borrowed, in
          order to assist those who had previously assisted them. A number
          of our elders who have been from here on missions to England and
          other countries, have been in the habit of borrowing money, or of
          getting it in some way. Some of these elders, when asked to
          refund what they had borrowed, have said, "We did not borrow it,
          it was a gift to us." I wish to say to such elders, return the
          money with interest. If it was a gift, return the gift, that it
          may go back and help many instead of one.
          I do not wish to spend much time on this subject, I wish to give
          instruction, and to tell you my mind with regard to those elders
          who have borrowed money from the Saints in Europe. They may
          pretend to say that it was given to them to excuse themselves for
          not repaying it, but if they do not Refund it, they are unworthy
          of the fellowship of the Saints, and I ask their bishops to cut
          every one of them from the Church, without favour or affection.
          If the bishops do this, they will be doing their duty.
          Disfellowship them, they are not worthy of a standing in the
          Church and Kingdom of God.
          I wish to ask my brethren, the elders of Israel, to give
          liberally to help home our brethren and sisters who are now in
          bondage in the old countries. We have not said anything to the
          people for a long time with regard to donations. A year ago last
          fall we commenced a subscription to bring home the Saints. By the
          following February the amount reached, I think, some nine
          thousand dollars. Our agent left here about the 27th of February,
          and about ten days before he started we gave notice that he was
          going, and between that time and the time he left, the nine
          thousand had swelled to about thirty thousand; and in the course
          of three months from then the amount had increased to seventy-six
          or seventy-seven thousand dollars. With this amount a great many
          were helped here who could only raise part means, some were
          brought all the way. The brethren and sisters continued to give
          through the summer, and if I recollect rightly, we have now over
          thirty thousand dollars in money to help home the poor. Most of
          this has been sent to Liverpool, but we have some in this city.
          Now we wish the charity of the brethren and sisters to be
          extended to bring home the poor Saints, and perhaps it would be
          as well for me to commence the list. I will say to our clerk he
          may put down two thousand dollars for Brother Brigham; also one
          thousand for William H. Hooper, our delegate in Congress, who
          told me before he went away that he would give another thousand.
          Now we are ready to receive your thousands or your hundreds, and
          we will not refuse a five-dollar bill. We got a great many of
          them from the sisters last fall, more than the people would
          imagine; if the list were read of the sisters who put in five
          dollars, ten dollars, and some twenty-five, it would astonish
          you. This is a short sermon on this subject. The brethren here
          from the settlements throughout the Territory can carry it home,
          and it will become generally known.
          I have thought of proposing certain conditions in relation to
          those who are helped here from abroad; but whether it would be
          prudent and consistent to do so, I leave the Latter-day Saints to
          judge. The cogitations of my mind on the subject of bringing home
          the Saints are somewhat strict. I have thought it would be as
          well, before helping the poor to emigrate, to have them covenant
          that after arriving here they would be Saints in every sense of
          the word. Now, to particularize, I will say that we gather a
          family here, consisting of father, mother, four, eight, or twelve
          children, as the case may be. They are Latter-day Saints; they
          wish to gather to Zion and to enjoy all the blessings of Zion;
          they are anxiously waiting for every gift and blessing God has in
          store for the faithful, and to be numbered with the Church of the
          Firstborn; but when they reach here, if we go into their houses,
          we shall very often find, if they have the means to do it, that
          they will perfectly soak their systems with tea and coffee, and
          are perhaps chewing tobacco and doing a little tippling, a little
          swearing, and so on. This is the way with some who were gathered
          last year. Now, whether it is better to leave such people to die
          in the faith in their native lands, or to bring them here to
          apostatize and deny their Lord and Master, is a question. I
          think, if I had the knowledge and the power, I would never gather
          another member of the Church who would apostatize; but I have not
          this knowledge. I cannot say to a man, you stop and let your
          family come to Zion. I cannot say to a woman, you stop where you
          are, you are in the faith now, but if you gather you will
          apostatize; but your husband and family can gather, they will
          stick to the faith. I cannot say this, I have not the power, and
          hence we see many after they arrive here turn away from the holy
          commandments. I do not know but what it would be perfectly
          reasonable to make every man and woman, before leaving their
          native lands, covenant before God to observe the Word of Wisdom,
          let liquor alone, use no language unbecoming a Saint, and, in a
          word, live their religion after arriving here. Whether it would
          be reasonable and consistent to lay such injunctions on the
          people before assisting them to gather I do not know. If we were
          to say to them, before leaving their homes, "Now if we gather you
          home, will you live your religion?" they would jump up, clap
          their hands together, shout "hallelujah," and say, "Yes, we will
          do anything you require if you will only gather us to Zion."
          Do you know see that I am perfectly tied up? and so are all the
          elders of Israel in this respect. We may lay all these
          injunctions on the Saints, and some would break them all. All
          these things are turned over in my mind, and I look at every side
          of the question, sound every principle and behold the people as
          they are. Well, what is to be done? I do not know any better way,
          perhaps, than to gather the Saints and try to sanctify them after
          they are gathered together, for when they are baptized they
          virtually covenant to observe all these rules. When we see the
          course that the Saints, or those professing to be such, have
          taken in feeding, clothing, and making our enemies rich here in
          our midst, it makes me feel that it is time to cease gathering
          those who will not be Saints indeed. I know, as well as I know
          that I am a living being, that there is not one professing to be
          a Latter-day Saint, who has the spirit of his calling, who would
          not cease this course as quick as he would draw his hands out of
          the fire, if he thoroughly knew and understood that it tends to
          the overthrow of the Kingdom of God; and the fact that he helped
          to sustain the enemies of the Kingdom of God must be attributed
          to his ignorance. The people have eyes, but they see not; they
          have hearts, but they do not understand. I will ensure that there
          are scores, and perhaps hundreds, looking at me while I am
          speaking, who think, "Brother Brigham, you are a fool; we have as
          good a right to trade with one man as another; and we will go to
          what store we please, and do what we please with our means, and
          we will trade with those who will do the best by us." Yet there
          are hundreds who, and in fact the most of the people, understand
          the folly of this course, as the experience of the past six
          months has proved. During that period we have done wonders in
          guiding the minds and the movements of the Latter-day Saints.
          Still there are some who seem to have no understanding. I will
          venture to say they are the foolish virgins. I was going to say
          they are like the foolish virgins; but they are the foolish
          virgins, and by and by they will find they have no oil in their
          vessels, and nothing to prepare them to go and meet the
          bridegroom, and they will be found wanting. But so it is, and we
          must cultivate the wheat with the tares; the sheep and the goats
          have to run together. Here I am thinking of exacting a covenant
          from men and women before they are gathered, that they will be
          Saints indeed afterwards; but while I have such feelings the
          question stares me in the face, how do you know whether they will
          be or not? You see men and women here who have been in the Church
          thirty years, and the most trifling, frivolous, foolish little
          circumstance imaginable will throw them off the track, and they
          will go to the devil. It is astonishing, it is marvellous! When I
          think of these things it recalls a saying that I have sometimes
          made, that I do my swearing in the pulpit, for they make me think
          that we have those in our midst who profess to be Latter-day
          Saints, but who are damned fools. You may say that is swearing;
          but they are damned, and the wrath of God is upon them, just as
          much as it was in the days of the old apostles. Men and women
          would take a very different course if they could see and
          understand things as they are. But I will take back the
          expression "if they could see and understand." I say they can see
          and understand, if they have a mind to cast out of their hearts
          the love of the world, the love of riches, and the little
          frivolous traits of character they so often manifest. The love of
          fashion, for instance, which darkens, beclouds, and casts a shade
          over the spirits of our sisters. They cannot have this, and they
          do not like that, and the next thing anger creeps into their
          hearts and they feel revengeful, and "I wish I could do somebody
          an injury; I wish I could come up with my husband; I wish I could
          do something or other to mar his peace, inasmuch as mine is
          marred, because I cannot follow somebody else's fashion." Such
          little, trifling, contemptible, frivolous, things cast a dark
          shade over their feelings, and the first thing they know they
          give way to a revengeful, vindictive, wicked spirit, which leads
          them to destruction.
          Now, I will go back again to my text--whether we should exact the
          injunctions I have named of the Saints before gathering, or
          whether we should not? I leave it to the people, for I do not
          care much about it, for the simple reason that I do not know
          enough to decide, and yet I know as much as anybody else. I might
          pick up this man and that woman, and this family and that family,
          and leave others because I might not think them worthy, when
          those who are left behind would probably stick to the faith,
          while those who are gathered might apostatize. I do not know how
          to do any better than we are doing, unless the Lord reveals it. I
          will say to the brethren and sisters, we are ready to receive
          your donations. Open your hearts and your purse strings. I leave
          this matter now for your action.
          I spoke a little here yesterday and the day before; but I have
          not really said what I wish, and whether I shall be able to
          answer my own feelings with regard to our success in our
          co-operative system of merchandising I do not know. I want to say
          to the Latter-day Saints we have wrought wonders. It was observed
          here by one of the brethren that to guide the minds of the people
          and to govern and control them is a greater miracle than to raise
          the dead. That is very true. The Lord Almighty could resuscitate
          a corpse lying before us a thousand times easier than He could
          control the congregation in this house. He has the material on
          hand, and He knows every process, and He could give life to a
          lifeless being, with ease, by the elements He would operate upon
          and with. This is a great miracle in our estimation; but it would
          be no miracle at all to the Lord, because He knows precisely how
          to do it. There is no miracle to any being in the heavens or on
          the earth, only to the ignorant. To a man who understands the
          philosophy of all the phenomena that transpire, there is no such
          thing as a miracle. A great many think there are results without
          causes; there is no such thing in existence; there is a cause for
          every result that ever was or ever will be, and they are all in
          the providences and in the work of the Lord. It would be no
          particular miracle for the Lord to resuscitate a person whose
          breath had left the body. By bringing the elements to bear on the
          system, He could make that system breathe again and live, but to
          control this people can only be done by persuasion. We have the
          privilege of choosing, refusing, acting, rising up, sitting down,
          doing this or not doing; we are just as independent in our sphere
          as the Gods are in theirs, and our agency is our own, and we can
          do as we please. We can govern and control ourselves, and when we
          do this by the law of truth it produces life within us and leads
          to eternal life; but when we take the opposite course and yield
          to principles that tend downward the result is death and
          destruction. Now I will make the application, that you and I have
          done just as we please. We have traded with whom we please. We
          shall do so as far as we can. We cannot all do just as we please,
          because a great many times we want to and cannot, and that is
          what produces misery, which is called hell. We have done as we
          please with regard to trading. We requested the people last
          Conference in this room to cease trading with their enemies. Do
          you see the effects of this? Yes, they are apparent to every
          inhabitant of this Territory; they are apparent to the passer-by,
          to the transient person and to the world; and the commercial
          world has said, "This is the first thing we have ever seen in the
          character of you Latter-day Saints, that manifested that you knew
          enough to take care of yourselves." It tells also upon our
          enemies. Suppose we had not checked this trading with outsiders,
          and had not turned the stream into another channel, you would
          have seen, perhaps, one hundred merchants in this city now more
          than last year. They would have brought their clerks and friends
          and a great number who would have operated against us. Not but
          what there are many here now, and have been, who have been very
          gentlemanly and kind; but where is their friendship? Is there a
          man who does not belong to this church who would not vote for a
          man out of the church for mayor of the city, and for man who do
          not belong to the church for aldermen and councillors? No, there
          is not one amongst them but what would do this. And what would
          they not do? They would not do right and righteously, that is
          what they would not do. But anything on the face of this earth to
          remove power and influence from the Latter-day Saints, and to
          remove them from their homes, many of them would do. We have been
          able to check this, and it is for our advantage. Many of us have
          suffered the loss of all things several times. I have been broken
          up five times and left a handsome property, and have taken the
          spoiling of my goods just as patiently as I could. I do not want
          to see these things enacted again. I know how to avert them. If
          the people will hearken to the counsel which God gives through
          His servants, they will never experience any such things again;
          but if they will not, they will, perhaps, suffer just as they
          have heretofore--the good with the bad, the righteous through the
          evil deeds of those who profess to be righteous and are not; the
          simple, the honest and the good will have to suffer with the
          hypocrite and the wicked. I am thankful to God that the ears of
          the Latter-day Saints have been open to hear and their hearts
          open to receive and act upon good counsel as far as they have
          The sisters in our Female Relief Societies have done great good.
          Can you tell the amount of good that the mothers and daughters in
          Israel are capable of doing? No, it is impossible. And the good
          they do will follow them to all eternity. If we get the sisters
          on our side with regard to trading in stores, with regard to
          donations, or with regard to improvement, we have gained all that
          we can ask. What do men care about fashion? You will not find one
          man in a thousand that cares anything about it. Men have their
          business before them, and their care and attention is occupied
          with that. You will find that the farmer, the blacksmith, the
          carpenter and even the merchant, were it not that he is compelled
          to appear decently in society, care nothing about fashion. They
          want the dollars and the dimes. The lawyer cares nothing about
          fashion, only to gain the feelings of the people and have
          influence over them, that he can bring them one against another,
          so that he may get their dimes; that is all he cares about
          fashion. The doctor cares nothing about fashion. If he can make
          the people believe that he knows it all, and that they know
          nothing, he would as soon wear a hat with a brim six inches wide,
          and the crown an inch and a half high, as he would wear one with
          the crown six inches high and the brim an inch and a half wide.
          He cares no more for fashion than that, if he can only get the
          purses of the people, that is all he cares for. I speak now in
          general terms, for there are exceptions in every class. It is the
          ladies who care for fashion. They are looking continually to see
          how this and that lady are dressed. But if we can enlist their
          feelings and interests in business matters, then victory is sure.
          The mothers and daughters in Israel have better judgments, and
          they do know more than females in the world. They do understand
          the true principles of comfort, and how to adorn their persons so
          that they may present an attractive appearance to their husbands,
          families, friends and neighbours; and if we can make them believe
          this, I reckon that, by and by, they will begin and make fashions
          to suit themselves, and will not be under the necessity of
          sending to Paris or to the East to find out the fashions or to
          find out whether they shall make their Grecian bends one-half,
          two-thirds or one-third as large as in New York; or whether they
          shall cut a frock so as to show their garters every step or to
          drag yards on the ground behind them. I think that, after a
          while, they will consider that they know a little of something as
          well as other people, and if we can enlist their sympathies and
          judgments, tastes and abilities with regard to trading, fashion,
          etc., the battle is won.
          The sisters have already done much good, and I wish them to
          continue and go ahead. Have a Female Relief Society in every ward
          in the mountains; and have a Co-operative store in every ward,
          and let the people do their own trading. There are some of the
          brethren around who have asked me whether they shall trade at the
          Parent Store or whether they shall send East for their goods.
          They cannot see and understand things; after a while they will.
          You take the Lehi Co-operative Store, for instance: Bishop Evans
          started it there last summer. Suppose he had sent East for his
          goods in July; if he had had the same luck that others have had,
          they would have been landed about this time, and some of them by
          and by, and when they had been operating three months what would
          they have made? Nothing. But they came down here and bought their
          goods and took them home, only a thirty miles' drive, and put
          them on the shelves, and they were soon bought up. They sent to
          Salt Lake City about once a week to replenish their store, and
          when five months had passed away they struck a balance sheet and
          every man that had put in twenty-five dollars--that amount of a
          share--had, in addition to that amount, a little over
          twenty-eight dollars to his credit. Have any of our city
          merchants who have traded from here to New York, made money like
          this? Not one, and yet the people here have paid one-third more
          for their goods than the people had to pay in the Co-operative
          Stores. I understand the brethren in Cache Valley are going to
          send East for their goods. Well, send for them, and you will get
          a little knowledge; but you will buy it; however bought wit is
          pretty good, if you do not pay too dear for it.
          Recollect that in trading there is great advantage in turning
          over your capital often. Suppose the Co-operative Stores were to
          send to New York for their goods, they might turn over their
          capital once a year; then instead of making anything they would
          run under.
          I want to impress one thing on the minds of the people, which
          will be for their advantage if they will hear it. When you start
          a Co-operative Store in a ward, you will find the men of capital
          stepping forward, and one says, "I will put in ten thousand
          dollars;" another says, "I will put in five thousand." But I say
          to you, bishops, do not let these men take five thousand, or one
          thousand, but call on the brethren and sisters who are poor and
          tell them to put in their five dollars or their twenty-five, and
          let those who have capital stand back and give the poor the
          advantage of this quick trading. This is what I am after and have
          been all the time. I have capital, and have offered some to every
          ward in the country when I have had a chance. I would take shares
          in such institutions. I am not at all afraid; but nobody would
          let me take any, except in Provo and in the wholesale store here.
          I will say to Bishop Woolley, in the 13th ward, do not let these
          men with capital take all the shares, but let the poor have them.
          I say the same to the 14th ward and to every ward in the city;
          and you bishops, tell the man who has five thousand or two
          thousand to put in, to stand back, he cannot have it. If your
          capital is doubled every three months, it would make him rich too
          fast, and he cannot have the privilege; we want the poor brethren
          and sisters to have the advantage of it. Do you understand this,
          bishops and people?
          The capitalists may say, "What are we going to do with our
          means?" Go and build factories and have one, two, or three
          thousand spindles going. Send for fifty, a hundred, or a thousand
          sheep and raise wool. Some of you go to raising flax and build a
          factory to manufacture it, and do not take every advantage and
          pocket every dollar that is to be made. You are rich, and I want
          to turn the stream so as to do good to the whole community.
          I am delighted every time I hear a company say, "We do not want
          your capital, we have plenty." I know what to do with mine. I
          have been the means, in the hands of God, of starting every
          woollen and cotton factory there is in the Territory, and almost
          every carding machine. We are going to build a large factory at
          Provo. Some say we have not wool to carry on the business. Yes,
          we have, and we have plenty of capital. Suppose we send to the
          States and buy a hundred thousand or five hundred thousand pounds
          of wool; we are as well able to do it as others; or suppose we
          send to California or Oregon and buy fifty thousand pounds of
          wool, and ship it on the railroad and work it up. Will the people
          wear it? Yes, just as quick as we get the women to tell their
          husbands to wear home-made instead of broadcloth, they will do
          it. I would not even wear out the cloth that has been given to me
          were it not that my wives and daughters want me. If they were to
          say, "Brother Brigham, wear your home-made, we like to see you in
          it," I would give away my broadcloth, but to please the dear
          creatures I wear almost anything. Only let us get the sisters
          into this mind, and home-made clothing will soon become the
          fashion throughout the Territory. I had a present sent me the
          other day of some home-made linen for a coat, and I calculate to
          wear it this summer. I wear my home-made a great deal, but I have
          not got it on to-day; if I could only get my wives to say,
          "Brother Brigham, your home-made is very nice, and we should like
          to see you wear it," I should certainly wear it.
          When the first merchants came here I foresaw all that we have
          passed through. I knew the foundation was laid for the
          destruction of this people if they were fostered here, and I know
          so to-day. We have turned the current, and we are controlling it,
          and the sisters are helping us. Now, sisters, if you will
          continue to help us, and will trade with none but Latter-day
          Saints, just hold up your hands. [The vote was unanimous.] Now, I
          will tell you why we bother you women, though I acknowledge that
          if we did not go to see the women they would come and see us; but
          we are so anxious to see you that we follow you up. But the
          reason why we are so anxious to have you sisters on our side in
          regard to these trading matters, is because we know if you will
          only say whom you will trade with and with whom you will not
          trade, that we shall follow you.
          What I have been saying with regard to these ward co-operative
          stores doubling their capital once in three months, is for the
          encouragement of the poor, and to induce them to invest their
          little means and do something for themselves. Here is the 10th
          and the 5th and 6th wards, which are looked upon as the poorest
          wards in the city, though I believe the bishop of the 3rd ward
          feels that his ward is the poorest in the city; but I will
          venture to say that if these wards will each establish a store
          and concentrate their influence, they will double their capital
          every three months. I know that the 10th ward, which started with
          700 dollars, three weeks afterwards had a thousand dollars worth
          of goods paid for and considerable money in the drawer. Think of
          that, in that poor little ward, though I will give it the praise
          of being one of the best wards in the city. It has one of the
          finest bands of music in the city, and they make one of the best
          turn-outs when they exhibit themselves.
          I have talked long enough. I will turn again to my starting
          point. Let us have your money to bring home the poor Saints. I
          feel also to urge upon my brethren and sisters to observe every
          word that the Lord speaks. Observe the counsel that leads to
          life, peace, glory and happiness, but do not observe that which
          leads to contention, ruin and destruction. Amen.
          Journal of Discourses / Journal of Discourses, Volume 13 / George
          Albert Smith, October 8, 1869
                        George Albert Smith, October 8, 1869
                        REMARKS BY PRESIDENT GEORGE A. SMITH,
          Delivered in the New Tabernacle, Salt Lake City, October 8, 1869
                            (Reported by John Grimshaw.)
          It is a difficult undertaking to address this immense audience.
          If a man commences speaking loud, in a short time his voice gives
          out; whereas, if he commence rather low, he may raise his voice
          by degrees, and be able to sustain himself in speaking some
          length of time. But with children crying, a few persons
          whispering, and some shuffling their feet, it is indeed a
          difficult task to make an audience of ten thousand persons hear.
          I have listened with pleasure to the instructions of our brethren
          from the commencement of our Conference to the present time. I
          have rejoiced in their testimonies. I have felt that the elders
          are improving in wisdom, in knowledge, in power, and in
          understanding; and I rejoice in the privilege, which we have at
          the present day, of sending out to our own country a few hundred
          of the elders who have had experience--who have lived in Israel
          long enough to know, to feel, and to realize the importance of
          the work in which they are engaged--to understand its principles
          and comprehend the way of life. They can bear testimony to a
          generation that has nearly grown from childhood since the death
          of the Prophet, Joseph Smith.
          The Lord said in relation to those who have driven the Saints
          that He would visit "judgment, wrath, and indignation, wailing
          and anguish, and gnashing of teeth upon their heads unto the
          third and fourth generation, so long as they repent not and hate
          me, saith the Lord your God."
          I am a native of Potsdam, St. Lawrence County, New York--a town
          somewhat famous for its literary institutions, its learning and
          the religion and morality of its inhabitants. I left there in my
          youth, with my father's family, because we had received the
          Gospel of Jesus Christ, as revealed through Joseph Smith; and
          followed with the Saints through their drivings and trails unto
          the present day.
          I have never seen the occasion, nor let the opportunity slip,
          from the time when I first came to a knowledge of the truth of
          the work of the Lord in the last days, that I understood it was
          in my power to do good for the advancement of this work, but what
          I have used my utmost endeavours to accomplish that good. I have
          never failed to bear a faithful testimony to the work of God, or
          to carry out to all intents and purposes, the wishes and designs
          of the Prophet, Joseph Smith. I was his kinsman; was familiar
          with him, though several years his junior; knew his views, his
          sentiments, his ways, his designs, and many of the thoughts of
          his heart, and I do know that the servants of God, the Twelve
          Apostles, upon whom he laid the authority to bear off the Kingdom
          of God, and fulfil the work which he had commenced, have done
          according to his designs, in every particular, up to the present
          time, and are continuing to do so. And I know, furthermore, that
          he rejoiced in the fact that the law of redemption and Celestial
          Marriage was revealed unto the Church in such a manner that it
          would be out of the power of earth and hell to destroy it; and
          that he rejoiced in the fact that the servants of God were ready
          prepared, having the keys to bear off the work he had commenced.
          Previous to my leaving Potsdam, there was but one man that I ever
          heard of in that town who did not believe the Bible. He
          proclaimed himself an atheist, and he drowned himself.
          The Latter-day Saints believe the Bible. An agent of the American
          Bible Society called on me the other day and wanted to know if we
          would aid the Society in circulating the Bible in our Territory?
          I replied yes, by all means, for it was the book from which we
          were enabled to set forth our doctrines, and especially the
          doctrine of plural marriage.
          There is an opinion in the breasts of many persons, who suppose
          that they believe the Bible, that Christ, when he came, did away
          with plural marriage, and that he inaugurated what is termed
          monogamy; and there are certain arguments and quotations used to
          maintain this view of the subject, one of which is found in
          Paul's first epistle to Timothy (3 chap. 2 v.), where Paul says:
          "A bishop should be blameless, the husband of one wife." The
          friends of monogamy render it in this way: "A bishop should be
          blameless, the husband of but one wife." That would imply that
          any one but a bishop might have more. But they will say, "We mean
          a bishop should be blameless, the husband of one wife only."
          Well, that would also admit of the construction that other people
          might have more than one. I understand it to mean that a bishop
          must be a married man.
          A short time ago, the Minister from the King of Greece to the
          United States called on President Young. I inquired of him in
          relation to the religion of his country, and asked him if the
          clergy were allowed to marry. It is generally understood that the
          Roman Catholic clergy are not allowed to marry. How is it with
          the Greek clergy? "Well," said he, "all the clergy marry, except
          the bishop." I replied, "You render the saying of Paul
          differently from what we do. We interpret it to mean--a bishop
          should be blameless, the husband of one wife at least," and "we
          construe it," said he, "directly opposite."
          Now this passage does not prove that a man should have but one
          wife. It only proves that a bishop should be a married man. The
          same remark is made of deacons, that they also should have wives.
          Another passage is brought up where the Saviour speaks of
          divorce. He tells us that it is very wrong to divorce, and that
          Moses permitted it because of the hardness of their (the little
          children of Israel's) hearts. A man should leave his father and
          his mother and cleave unto his wife, and they twain should be one
          flesh. That is the principal argument raised that a man should
          have but one wife.
          In the New Testament in various places, certain eminent men are
          referred to as patterns of faith, purity, righteousness and
          piety. For instance, if you read the epistle of Paul to the
          Hebrews, the 11th chapter, you find therein selected those
          persons "who through faith subdued kingdoms, wrought
          righteousness, obtained promises, stopped the mouths of lions,
          quenched the violence of fire, escaped the edge of the sword, out
          of weakness were made strong, waxed valiant in fight, turning to
          flight the armies of the aliens;" and it is said by faith Jacob
          blessed the two sons of Joseph, and that he conferred upon them a
          blessing to the uttermost bounds of the everlasting hills. Who
          was Joseph? Why, Joseph was the son of Rachel. And who was
          Rachel? Rachel was the second wife of Jacob, a polygamist. Jacob
          had four wives, and after he had taken the second (Rachel), she,
          being barren, gave a third wife unto her husband that she might
          bear children unto him for her; and instead of being displeased
          with her for giving her husband to another wife, God heard her
          prayer, blessed her, worked a miracle in her favour by opening
          her womb, and she bore a son, and called his name Joseph,
          rejoicing in God, whom she testified would give her another son.
          The question now arises, were not Rachel and Jacob one flesh?
          Yes. Leah and Jacob were also one flesh. Jacob is selected by the
          Apostle Paul as a pattern of faith for Christians to follow; he
          blessed his twelve sons, whom he had by four wives. The law of
          God, as it existed in those days, and as laid down in this book
          (the Bible) makes a child born of adultery or of fornication a
          bastard; and the same is prohibited from entering into the
          congregation of the Lord unto the tenth generation.
          Now, instead of God's blessing Rachel and Jacob and their
          offspring, as we are told He did, we might have expected
          something entirely different, had it not been that God was
          pleased with and approbated and sustained a plurality of wives.
          While we are considering this subject, we will inquire, did the
          Saviour in any place that we can read of, in the course of his
          mission on the earth, denounce a plurality of wives? He lived in
          a nation of Jews; the law of Moses was in force, plurality of
          wives was the custom, and thousands upon thousands of people,
          from the highest to the lowest in the land, were polygamists. The
          Saviour denounced adultery; he denounced fornication; he
          denounced lust; also divorce; but is there a single sentence
          asserting that plurality of wives is wrong? If so, where is it?
          Who can find it? Why did he not say it was wrong? "Think not,"
          said he, "that I am come to destroy the law or the Prophets. I am
          not come to destroy, but to fulfil. Not one jot or one tittle
          shall pass from the law and the Prophets; but all shall be
          fulfilled." Of what does the Saviour speak when he refers to "the
          law?" Why, of the Ten Commandments, and other rules of life
          commanded by God and adopted by the ancients, and which Brother
          Pratt referred to yesterday, showing you from the sacred book
          that God legislated and made laws for the protection of a
          plurality of wives (Exod. 21. 10), and that He commanded men to
          take a plurality under some circumstances. Brother Pratt further
          showed that the Lord made arrangements to protect to all intents
          and purposes the interests of the first wife; and to shield and
          protect the children of a wife from disinheritance who might be
          unfortunate enough not to have the affections of her husband.
          (Deut. 21. 15.) These things were plainly written in the
          law--that law of which the Saviour says, "Not one jot or one
          tittle shall pass away." Continuing our inquiry, we pass on to
          the epistles of John the Evangelist, which we find in the Book of
          Revelations, written to the seven churches of Asia. In them we
          find the Evangelist denounces adultery, fornication, and all
          manner of iniquities and abominations of which these churches
          were guilty. Anything against a plurality of wives? No, not a
          syllable. Yet those churches were in a country in which plurality
          was the custom. Hundreds of Saints had more wives than one; and
          if it had been wrong, what would have been the result? Why, John
          would have denounced the practice, the same as the children of
          Israel were denounced for marrying heathen wives, had it not been
          that the law of plurality was the commandment of God.
          Again, on this point, we can refer to the Prophets of the Old
          Testament--Isaiah, Jeremiah, Ezekiel, and others. When God called
          those men He warned them that if they did not deliver the message
          to the people which He gave them concerning their sins and
          iniquities that His vengeance should rest upon their heads. These
          are His words to Ezekiel, "Son of man, I have made thee a
          watchman unto the house of Israel, therefore hear the word at my
          mouth and give them warning from me. When I say unto the wicked,
          thou shalt surely die, and thou givest him not warning nor
          speakest to warn the wicked from his wicked way to save his life,
          the same wicked man shall die in his iniquity but his blood will
          I require at thine hand; yet if thou warn the wicked and he turn
          not from his wickedness nor from his wicked way, he shall die in
          his iniquity, but thou hast delivered thy soul." (Ezek. 3:17, 18,
          19.) How do we find these Prophets of the Lord fulfilling the
          commandments of the Almighty? We find them pouring out
          denunciations upon the heads of the people--against adultery,
          fornication, and every species of wickedness. All this, too, in a
          country in which, from the King down to the lowest orders of the
          people, a plurality of wives was practiced. Do they say anything
          against plurality of wives? Not one word. It was only in cases
          where men and women took improper license with each other, in
          violation of the holy law of marriage, that they were guilty of
          If plurality of wives had been a violation of the seventh
          commandment those prophets would have denounced it, otherwise
          their silence on the matter would have been dangerous to
          themselves, inasmuch as the blood of the people would have been
          required at their hands. The opposers of Celestial Marriage
          sometimes quote a passage in the seventh chapter of Romans,
          second and third verses, to show that a plurality of wives is
          wrong; but when we come to read the passage it shows that a
          plurality of husbands is wrong. You can read that passage for
          yourselves. In the forcible parable used by the Saviour in
          relation to the rich man and Lazarus, we find recorded that the
          poor man Lazarus was carried to Abraham's bosom--Abraham the
          father of the faithful. The rich man calls unto Father Abraham to
          send Lazarus, who is afar off. Who was Abraham? He was a man who
          had a plurality of wives. And yet all good Christians, even pious
          church deacons, expect when they die to go to Abraham's bosom. I
          am sorry to say, however, that thousands of them will be
          disappointed, from the fact that they cannot and will not go
          where any one has a plurality of wives; and I am convinced that
          Abraham will not turn out his own wives to receive such
          unbelievers in God's law. One peculiarity of this parable is the
          answer of Abraham to the application of the rich man, to send
          Lazarus to his five brothers "lest they come into this place of
          torment," which was--"they have Moses and the prophets, let them
          hear them; and if they hear not Moses and the prophets neither
          would they be persuaded though one rose from the dead." Moses'
          law provided for a plurality of wives, and the prophets observed
          that law, and Isaiah predicts its observance even down to the
          latter days. Isaiah, in his 4th chap. and 1st and 2nd verses,
          says, "Seven women shall take hold of one man, saying, we will
          eat our own bread and wear our own apparel, only let us be called
          by thy name to take away our reproach. In that day shall the
          branch of the Lord be beautiful and glorious and the fruit of the
          earth shall be excellent."
          A reference to the Scriptures shows that the reproach of women
          was to be barren, Gen. 30 chap. and 23 v.; Luke 1st chap. and 25
          We will now refer to John the Baptist. He came as a fore-runner
          of Christ. He was a lineal descendant of the house of Levi. His
          father was a priest. John the Baptist was a child born by
          miracle, God having revealed to his father that Elizabeth who had
          been many years barren should bear a son. John feared not the
          world, but went forth preaching in the wilderness of Judea,
          declaiming against wickedness and corruption in the boldest
          terms. He preached against extortion; against the cruelty
          exercised by soldiers and tax gatherers. He even was so bold as
          to rebuke the king on his throne, to his face, for adultery. Did
          he say anything against a plurality of wives? No; it cannot be
          found. Yet thousands were believers in and practised this order
          of marriage, under the law of Moses that God had revealed.
          In bringing this subject before you, we cannot help saying that
          God knew what was best for His people. Hence He commanded them as
          He would have them act. The law regulating marriage previous to
          Moses, recognized a plurality of wives. Abraham and Jacob and
          others had a plurality. These are the men who are referred to in
          Scripture as patterns of piety and purity. David had many wives.
          The Scriptures say that David did that which was right in the
          eyes of the Lord and turned not aside from anything that he
          commanded him all the days of his life, save in the matter of
          Uriah the Hittite, 1 Kings 15th chap. 5 v. "I have found David
          the son of Jesse, a man after mine own heart which shall fulfil
          all my will. Of this man's seed hath God, according to His
          promise raised unto Israel a Saviour, Jesus." Acts 13th chap.
          22nd and 23rd verses. Did David sin in taking so many wives? No.
          In what, then, did his sin consist? It was because he took the
          wife of Uriah, the Hittite--that is, violated the law of God in
          taking her. The Lord had given him the wives of Saul and would
          have given him many more; but he had no right to take one who
          belonged to another. When he did so the curse of adultery fell
          upon his head, and his wives were taken from him and given to
          another. We will now inquire in relation to the Saviour himself.
          From whom did he descend? From the house of David a polygamist;
          and if you will trace the names of the families through which he
          descended you will find that numbers of them had a plurality of
          wives. How appropriate it would have been for Jesus, descending
          as he did from a race of polygamists, to have denounced this
          institution of plural marriage and shown its sinfulness, had it
          been a sin! Can we suppose, for one moment, if Patriarchal
          marriage were wrong, that He would, under the circumstances, have
          been silent concerning it or failed to denounce it in the most
          positive manner? Then if plural marriage be adultery and the
          offspring spurious, Christ Jesus is not the Christ; and we must
          look for another.
          All good Christians are flattering themselves with the hope that
          they will finally enter the gates of the New Jerusalem. I presume
          this is the hope of all denominations--Catholics, Protestants,
          Greeks and all who believe in the Bible. Suppose they go there,
          what will they find? They will find at the twelve gates twelve
          angels, and "names written thereon, which are the names of the
          twelve tribes of the children of Israel." The names of the twelve
          sons of Jacob, the polygamist. Can a monogamist enter there? "And
          the walls of the city had twelve foundations, and in them the
          names of the twelve apostles of the Lamb;" and at the gates the
          names of the twelve tribes of Israel--from the twelve sons of the
          four wives of Jacob. Those who denounce Patriarchal Marriage will
          have to stay without and never walk the golden streets. And any
          man or woman that lifts his or her voice to proclaim against a
          plurality of wives, under the Government of God, will have to
          seek an inheritance outside of that city. For "there shall in no
          wise enter into it, anything that defileth, neither whatsoever
          worketh abomination or maketh a lie, for without are sorcerers,
          whoremongers, and whosoever loveth and maketh a lie." Is not the
          man that denounced Celestial Marriage a liar? Does he not work
          abomination? "I Jesus have sent mine Angel to testify unto you
          these things in the churches. I am the root and the offspring of
          (the polygamist) David, the bright and the morning star."
          May God enable us to keep His law, for "blessed are they that do
          His commandments, that they may have right to the tree of life
          and may enter in through the gate into the city." Amen.
          Journal of Discourses / Journal of Discourses, Volume 13 / George
          Q. Cannon, December 5, 1869
                         George Q. Cannon, December 5, 1869
                         DISCOURSE BY ELDER GEORGE Q. CANNON,
           Delivered in the Tabernacle, Salt Lake City, December 5, 1869.
                            (Reported by John Grimshaw.)
          I desire to read, this afternoon, a portion of two revelations,
          which were given to the Prophet, Joseph Smith, in February, 1831.
          The first is paragraph 4 of section XIII:
          "Again I say unto you, that it shall not be given to any one to
          go forth to preach my gospel or to build up my Church, except he
          be ordained by some one who has authority, and it is known to the
          Church that he has authority, and has been regularly ordained by
          the heads of the church."
          Also paragraphs 1 and 2 of section XIV:
          "O, hearken ye elders of My Church, and give an ear to the words
          which I shall speak unto you; for behold, verily, verily, I say
          unto you, that ye have received a commandment for a law unto my
          Church, through him whom I have appointed unto you, to receive
          commandments and revelations from my hand. And this ye shall know
          assuredly that there is none other appointed unto you to receive
          commandments and revelations until he be taken, if he abide in
          "But verily, verily, I say unto you, that none else shall be
          appointed unto this gift except it be through him, for if it be
          taken from him, he shall not have power except to appoint another
          in his stead; and this shall be a law unto you, that ye receive
          not the teachings of any one that shall come before you as
          revelations or commandments; and this I give unto you that you
          may not be deceived, that you may know they are not of me. For
          verily I say unto you, that he that is ordained of me shall come
          in at the gate and be ordained as I have told you before, to
          teach those revelations which you have received, and shall
          receive through him whom I have appointed."
          It is a good thing for us, as a people, to let our minds dwell
          upon the principles which God our Heavenly Father has given unto
          us by revelation in this, as well as in preceding ages. The Lord,
          in His goodness and mercy unto His children, has not left them in
          ignorance concerning the plan of salvation, nor the manner in
          which He intends His Church to be built up. He has revealed unto
          us many principles for our guidance, and they are essentially
          necessary to enable us to grow and increase in the things of His
          kingdom; for in these days, as well as in preceding days, as the
          apostle has said, there are many spirits gone forth into the
          world and there are many influences brought to bear upon the
          minds of the children of men. There are many creeds, doctrines,
          and views propagated industriously by those who entertain them,
          and unless we cling to the truth and pursue the path which our
          Heavenly Father desires His children to walk in, with all our
          claims, and the promises which have been made unto us, we are as
          liable to go astray as any other people. If we treat these things
          as matters of no importance, and are careless and negligent in
          relation to that which we believe, and to those whom we follow,
          we are sure to err.
          There are some principles which have become firmly rooted in the
          minds of the Latter-day Saints. It is a difficult thing to cause
          them to doubt in relation to faith in the Lord Jesus Christ,
          repentance of sin, baptism for the remission of sins and the
          laying on of hands for the gift of the Holy Ghost. These
          principles seem to be clearly understood, and in them the people
          are apparently fully indoctrinated; and though men may deny the
          faith, in one sense, and turn away from the path of
          righteousness, and dissolve their connection with the Church, yet
          they will cling, in most instances, to what we term the first
          principles of the Gospel of Christ; and it is a very rare thing
          to see those who have been members of the Church of Jesus Christ
          of Latter-day Saints turning away and joining what we call
          sectarian churches. If they leave this Church, it is an
          exceedingly difficult thing for them to connect themselves with
          other denominations, because the Scriptures are so familiar to
          them, the principles contained therein are so plain to their
          understanding that, unless there is some speculation, some
          mercenary or other end to be gained by their alliance with people
          of other creeds, they are very apt to stand aloof; that is, where
          they have a thorough understanding of the principles of the
          But there are other principles more advanced with which the
          people are not so familiar, and of this the adversary seeks to
          take advantage; and when men deny the faith, they are apt to deny
          these principles; and when they get into the dark, there is
          probably no point upon which they differ more frequently than
          that which relates to the authority that is exercised in
          presiding. This is a point that the adversary always aims at. I
          suppose it was so in ancient days. We read of false prophets
          then, and also of men turning away; and there is no doubt but
          what the rock upon which they split was the question of the right
          and authority of those presiding over them.
          It seems as though the adversary, in the day in which we live,
          seeks, by every means in his power, to undermine the influence
          and the authority of the man whom God has called to preside over
          His people. If you will observe, you may perceive in what
          direction the shafts of the adversary are aimed. In the days of
          Joseph, he was the man against whom all the enemies of truth
          hurled their malicious shots; his life was sought, his character
          assailed, and his influence was decried. He was the target at
          which every arrow of calumny and hatred was aimed, and the man to
          whom all eyes were directed. He was held up before men as an
          object worthy only of their hatred and derision, to be scoffed
          at, despised and killed.
          Did anybody hear then of others who are now prominent? Yes.
          President Young's name was talked about, but not as at present;
          but Joseph's name occupied every tongue. His deeds, or rather his
          misdeeds, as his enemies were pleased to call them, occupied
          every one's attention. His actions were scrutinized and
          misrepresented, and everything pertaining to him was made the
          subject of comment and reproach. It was the case from the hour
          that he received the plates of the Book of Mormon, until the day
          of his death. All those who were members of the Church during his
          lifetime can bear testimony to this. Other elders were
          comparatively lost sight of; they were merely looked upon as
          satellites. He was the great object of suspicion. His name was
          the watch-word of the foes of the Kingdom of God; and mobs banded
          themselves together in unholy compacts, in order that they might
          bring to pass his overthrow and shed his blood, imagining that,
          if they could only kill him, this work, which men call
          "Mormonism," would crumble to pieces, because there would not be
          cohesiveness enough in the system to hold it together after the
          master-mind had disappeared. But no sooner did he pass away than
          all this hatred, all the derision, animosity, calumny and
          slander, which had been directed to Joseph, was transferred to
          Brigham Young, and he was made the object of vituperation, and
          the target at which every wicked man should shoot. His deeds and
          character were paraded abroad, and everything pertaining to him
          was canvassed and held up, in many instances, to public scorn and
          ridicule. Such has continued to be the case from the days of the
          Prophet Joseph up to the present time.
          There were others during Joseph's day, who professed to have the
          authority which he possessed, or, as they said, which he had once
          possessed. At one time, in the early days of the Church, there
          was a number of elders, among whom were some of the Twelve
          Apostles and one or two of the First Presidency, who banded
          themselves together and declared that Joseph was a fallen
          prophet, that he had taught correct doctrines, that he had been
          the instrument in the hands of God, of revealing the truth and of
          bringing forth the Book of Mormon, restoring the holy Priesthood
          and of organizing the Church; but that he had fallen. The
          doctrines which he had first taught were correct, they said, and
          the position which he first assumed was acceptable in the sight
          of God; but through some cause, he had strayed from the path and
          had become a fallen prophet. Said they, "We now have the right
          and the authority which he once had. We have the right to
          organize the Saints, to build up the Church and carry out the
          work of which Joseph was the founder, but which, through
          transgression, he has forfeited the right to lead."
          There was one peculiarity, however, connected with these
          pretenders, which distinguished their course from that pursued by
          Joseph. Instead of being the subject of all the evil remarks, all
          the calumny, all the hatred, slander, bloodthirstiness and
          denunciations applied to the Prophet Joseph, singular to state,
          when you take into consideration the pretensions of those men,
          the wicked hailed them as brethren, consorted with them, became
          very brotherly, very fraternal, and looked upon them as very
          good, clever fellows. But the hatred towards Joseph did not
          diminish, in fact their conduct only tended to increase it and to
          make his life and his every deed more odious in their estimation,
          and in the estimation of those to whom they published his deeds.
          This was also a peculiarity which attended all who aimed to lead
          the Church without having the authority so to do.
          At Joseph's death a crop of these pretenders sprang up. There was
          Sidney Rigdon, who contended that he had the right to lead the
          people. The Church was fourteen years of age, he said, and it had
          the right to choose a guardian, to lead the people, and conduct
          its affairs as its President, and he would be that guardian.
          James J. Strang also aimed at the same object. He had angels, he
          said, to visit him; I do not know but he told the names of the
          angels; but, if my memory serves me right, he affirmed that
          Joseph appeared to him, blessed him and bestowed upon him the
          keys and the authority. He also showed a letter bearing the
          postmark of Nauvoo, which he pretended had been written by
          Joseph, giving him (Strang) the authority to preside over the
          Church, in the event of anything happening to him. Others stood
          up in a similar manner: John E. Page, Lyman Wight, William Smith,
          and afterwards, Charles Thompson.
          All these men arose, claiming that it was their right and
          privilege, by ordination or by special appointment, to take
          charge of the Church. But the Church then, as on many occasions
          previously and since that time, was able, through the light which
          its members possessed, to discriminate between the voice of the
          true and false shepherd. Still this peculiarity--being hailed as
          brethren by the wicked, characterized them in Nauvoo, as their
          predecessors in New York, Kirtland and Missouri. Instead of being
          hated and calumniated, and men seeking their lives and
          persecuting them, they were hailed with seeming pleasure and
          satisfaction. Men bade them "God speed" and urged them forward to
          claim the rights they called their own. But against Brigham
          Young, our President, the old feeling of animosity, that had been
          entertained against Joseph, existed with as great bitterness and
          intensity in the minds of the enemies of the Kingdom of God as it
          had existed during the lifetime of Joseph against him.
          President Young, according to the statements of the wicked,
          re-enacted all the evil deeds, as they were termed, that had been
          attributed to Joseph, and for which they killed him. Brigham
          became the inheritor of all that animosity and hatred that had
          been manifested towards Joseph during his lifetime; and when
          Joseph slept in a bloody grave, the enemies of the Church turned
          their attention to Brigham Young, his legal successor.
          If the Saints had wanted evidence in relation to who was the
          right man and who had the authority, the very fact that the world
          hated, reviled and persecuted Brigham should have been sufficient
          evidence that he was taking the path which Joseph had trod, and
          that his course was pleasing in the sight of Heaven, and
          consequently hateful in the sight of hell.
          There are rules, my brethren, which were given in the early days
          of the Church, respecting the Presidency of the Church. In the
          revelation which I have just read in your hearing, the Lord
          plainly sets forth to the Church what course He would have it
          take in relation to the keys that had been bestowed by Peter,
          James and John upon Joseph; and that we may not be deceived He
          gives this rule:
          "But verily, verily, I say unto you, that none else shall be
          appointed unto this gift except it be through him, for if it be
          taken from him, he shall not have power except to appoint another
          in his stead; and this shall be a law unto you, that ye receive
          not the teachings of any that shall come before you as
          revelations or commandments; and this I give unto you that you
          may not be deceived, that you may know they are not of me. For
          verily I say unto you, that he that is ordained of me shall come
          in at the gate and be ordained as I have told you before, to
          teach those revelations which you have received, and shall
          receive through him whom I have appointed.
          The Lord here made express provisions as to who should hold the
          keys of the kingdom, and how those keys should be held, and the
          manner in which the authority should be exercised. Men have
          pretended that angels have visited them, and that, in consequence
          they must have authority. This was the pretence made by James J.
          Strang. But he did not understand that the oracles had been given
          through Joseph, according to the revelation given in March, 1833,
          to the Church. Others had also had the keys given unto them to
          enable them to exercise the power and authority which Joseph
          held. Now we may come to this conclusion; that God, having once
          bestowed the keys of the holy Priesthood on man here on the earth
          for the up-building of His Church, will never taken them from the
          man or men who hold them and authorize others to bestow them. If
          you will read the history of the Church from the beginning, you
          will find that Joseph was visited by various angelic beings, but
          not one of them professed to give him the keys until John the
          Baptist came to him. Moroni, who held the keys of the record of
          the stick of Ephraim, visited Joseph; he had doubtless, also,
          visits from Nephi and it may be from Alma and others, but though
          they came and had authority, holding the authority of the
          Priesthood, we have no account of their ordaining him, neither
          did Joseph ever profess, because of the ministration of these
          angels, to have authority to administer in any of the ordinances
          of the Kingdom of God. He never baptized anybody, nor attempted
          to lay on hands for the reception of the Holy Ghost; and, in
          fact, he never attempted, that we have any account of, to
          exercise any of the functions of the holy Priesthood. He was a
          prophet, it is true, but a man may be a prophet and yet not have
          authority to administer in the Priesthood. The prophetic gift, to
          some extent, is distinct from the Priesthood. Joseph had received
          the prophetic gift and he exercised it and he acted as such prior
          to his ordination. But when the time came for him to be baptized,
          then a man who held the keys of that Priesthood came to him and
          laid his hands upon Joseph's head, and upon Oliver Cowdery, and
          set them apart, and gave them authority to officiate in the
          Aaronic Priesthood, which Priesthood held the keys of baptism and
          so forth.
          John had the right to baptize when he was upon the earth; he held
          the keys of that Priesthood. He baptized Jesus by virtue of the
          Priesthood which he held; and those keys had not been taken from
          him. At the time when Joseph Smith was ordained, there was no man
          on the face of the earth that held the keys of the Priesthood and
          the authority to ordain him. If there had been a man in the
          Greek, Roman, Presbyterian, Methodist, Baptist, Episcopal or any
          other church extant upon the face of the earth, who had the keys
          of the Priesthood, Joseph Smith would not have been ordained by
          an angel, because the keys would have been here and been bestowed
          by the man who held them. But you might have searched from pole
          to pole and traversed the wide expanse of the earth from
          continent to continent, and visited all the nations of the earth
          and enquired of them if there was a man in their midst who had
          the keys of the holy Priesthood and who claimed the authority
          which was exercised in olden times by Peter, James and John, and
          the rest of the servants of God; but you would have heard no
          response in the affirmative. None would have stood up and said,
          "I have this authority." Throughout Christendom, throughout the
          entire Mahomedan and Pagan world, you could not have found a man
          who professed to have this authority. No; it had been driven from
          the midst of mankind by the violence of wicked men, who shed the
          blood of those who held those keys and that authority; and it had
          gone back to God who gave it, and dwelt there; for the men who
          held it dwelt in the presence of the Almighty.
          Hence, when Joseph Smith desired baptism, though angels had
          visited him and had ministered unto him, though he had heard the
          voice of God and Jesus Christ, though he had been called to be a
          prophet, he had not the right and the authority to go forth and
          administer the ordinances of baptism, neither had any living
          soul, to do it legitimately. It was necessary that he should be
          ordained; it was necessary that those keys should be restored;
          and hence how proper it was that John, who held the keys and had
          been beheaded by a wicked king, should come and restore them?
          Joseph Smith and Oliver Cowdery testified that John came and laid
          his hands upon their heads and bestowed upon them the power and
          authority to administer in the holy ordinances of the Gospel.
          When they were baptized, and had received the authority to
          administer in that ordinance they did not attempt to lay on hands
          for the reception of the Holy Ghost; that was a separate and
          distinct power from the Aaronic Priesthood. John says, in the 3rd
          chapter of Matthew, 11th verse, "I indeed baptize you with water
          unto repentance; but He that cometh after me is mightier than I,
          whose shoes I am not worthy to bear, He shall baptize you with
          the Holy Ghost and with fire."
          John did not profess to have the authority to lay on hands for
          the reception of the Holy Ghost. We read in no part of the
          Scriptures of his exercising any such authority. He had the
          authority to baptize, the power which pertained unto his
          Priesthood, being a descendant of Aaron, and baptism was one of
          the ordinances which pertained to the Aaronic Priesthood; but he
          had not the right to lay on hands for the reception of the Holy
          Ghost. It was necessary that that authority should be conferred;
          but who held that power in ancient days? Why, Peter, James, and
          John, who had been ordained by Jesus to the Melchizedek
          Priesthood, or the Priesthood after the order of Melchizedek, and
          having exercised that authority while on the earth in the flesh,
          they came bearing the keys of that Melchizedek Priesthood, and
          laid their hands upon Joseph Smith and ordained him to the power
          which he subsequently held, as the president or head of this
          great and last dispensation of the fullness of times. By virtue
          of those keys he was empowered to lay hands on those who were
          baptized in the name of Jesus, by legal authority, and to confirm
          upon their heads--upon the heads of the honest in heart--the
          blessings of the Gospel, and by virtue of these keys they had the
          right to build up the Church of God in all its ancient purity and
          glory, and to preach the Gospel in its fullness, with its gifts
          and blessings, and to send men abroad as ministers of life and
          salvation to the nations of the world, the same as Peter and
          those associated with him. Said Jesus, "Thou art Peter, and upon
          this rock I will build my Church; and the gates of hell shall not
          prevail against it. And I will give unto thee the keys of the
          Kingdom of Heaven, and whatsoever thou shalt bind on earth shall
          be bound in Heaven; and whatsoever thou shalt loose on earth
          shall be loosed in Heaven." Peter therefore held those keys. What
          wonderful consistency on the part of the Lord, that He should
          descend from heaven and confer those keys on men here on the
          There are men who say that Joseph was an unlearned impostor; but
          how strange it is that, if an impostor, he should take the exact
          course, established in the economy of heaven for the salvation of
          mankind; and that he should claim the authority, through the
          administration--first of John the Baptist, and then of Peter,
          James and John, the apostles.
          The keys of this Priesthood were bestowed never more to be taken
          from the earth; hence, in the revelation I have read, provision
          was made by the Lord that Joseph, in case he should fall, should
          ordain another in his stead, and he should have authority only to
          lay hands on and set apart some one to act in his place, in case
          he should prove unworthy. Thus, even from the beginning, the Lord
          seems to have held constantly before him the possibility of his
          falling away. He was a young man, and like every man, he was apt
          to get lifted up in the pride of his heart; therefore, God
          reminded him that he only held the keys as long as he should be
          faithful to the truth. But in a subsequent revelation, the Lord
          informed him that he should hold the keys in this life and in the
          life to come, and they should never be taken from him.
          By virtue of the ordination he received, Joseph had the right and
          the authority to confer this Priesthood upon others. He called
          twelve Apostles, and they were ordained under his authority by
          the direction of the Lord, and those twelve were endowed with the
          keys. Previous to his death, the Prophet Joseph manifested great
          anxiety to see the temple completed, as most of you who were with
          the Church during his day, well know. "Hurry up the work,
          brethren," he used to say, "let us finish the temple; the Lord
          has a great endowment in store for you, and I am anxious that the
          brethren should have their endowments and receive the fullness of
          the Priesthood." He urged the Saints forward continually,
          preaching unto them the importance of completing that building,
          so that therein the ordinances of life and salvation might be
          administered to the whole people, but especially to the quorums
          of the holy Priesthood; "then," said he, "the Kingdom will be
          established, and I do not care what shall become of me."
          These were his expressions oft repeated in the congregations of
          the Saints, telling the brethren and sisters of the Church, and
          the world that he rolled the Kingdom on to the Twelve, and they
          would have to round up their shoulders and bear it off, as he was
          going to rest for awhile, and many other expressions of a like
          nature, the full meaning of which the Saints did not realize at
          the time.
          Prior to the completion of the Temple, he took the Twelve and
          certain other men, who were chosen, and bestowed upon them a holy
          anointing, similar to that which was received on the day of
          Pentecost by the Twelve, who had been told to tarry at Jerusalem.
          This endowment was bestowed upon the chosen few whom Joseph
          anointed and ordained, giving unto them the keys of the holy
          Priesthood, the power and authority which he himself held, to
          build up the Kingdom of God in all the earth and accomplish the
          great purposes of our Heavenly Father; and it was by virtue of
          this authority, on the death of Joseph, that President Young, as
          President of the quorum of the Twelve, presided over the Church.
          The enemies of the work of God had done their worst in murdering
          the Prophet in cold blood, and they supposed that in killing him
          and taking him away their actions would prove a death-knell to
          what they called "Mormonism;" but they little knew or understood
          that God had left the same power on the earth which Joseph
          wielded with such potent effect. The reins had been transferred
          to others, who were prepared to wield that power, and to step
          forward and take the responsibility upon them of carrying forward
          the work of God. Hence, there was no diminution of hatred,
          slander and persecution on the part of mobs and those who wished
          to shed the blood of the Saints.
          After the death of Joseph, while the Twelve were in the East,
          there was seemingly a slight relaxation of bitterness towards the
          Saints, on the part of the enemies of truth; but it was only for
          a few days. When the Twelve returned, and it was found that the
          same power which Joseph had held still existed, persecutions on
          the part of mobs recommenced with renewed vigor and bitterness,
          and they swore out several charges against the brethren of the
          Twelve. So warm did this persecution become, that the houses of
          President Young and his brethren had to be guarded, and each had
          to take care of himself, as his blood, and particularly President
          Young's was sought with just as great eagerness and
          blood-thirstiness as Joseph's had previously been. This ought to
          have been an evidence as to who held the authority.
          When the Saints were driven from Nauvoo and were told that it was
          the will of God that we should forsake the land of our
          inheritance and take our journey across the Mississippi and
          through the then Territory of Iowa into the far distant West,
          every Latter-day Saint in the land, who had the Spirit of God,
          knew the voice of the true shepherd, and those who were in the
          East made preparations, some to go round by sea and some to go by
          land, and join the camp of Israel on its westward march. The land
          to which we were hastening was new and unknown to us. The masses
          of the people did not know whether it would be in the wilds of
          the desert, on the tops of the mountains or in some place that
          would be delightful for man's habitation. These were subjects
          that did not concern the people who were thus called to forsake
          their homes. The Saints sold what they could, which, however, was
          very little indeed, for their enemies took possession of their
          property, and they started westward, following the man whom God
          had chosen, and whom they recognized as God's anointed.
          There were those who went back to Pittsburg with Sidney Rigdon,
          and to Voree, Wisconsin, with Strang; and also those who tarried
          in Nauvoo with Wm. Smith and John E. Page. There were others who
          followed Thompson and other pretenders; but the main body of the
          Saints were not to be deceived by these pretended shepherds. They
          knew the voice of him whom God had chosen, and followed him,
          confident that they would be led aright and brought to a place of
          safety; and though they were in deep poverty, and it seemed as
          though the prince of the power of the air had exerted all his
          malignity to make their travel difficult, the land being deluged
          with water; yet they did not faint by the wayside, for God was
          with them, His angels were round about them, and His Spirit was
          poured out upon them, and they had a testimony which gave them
          the conviction that they were in the right path; and when history
          records that wonderful deliverance and march, it will be a matter
          of the utmost surprise and wonder to posterity that it was ever
          accomplished, and that the people of the world, in seeing it,
          were not smitten with a conviction of the truth of the work, and
          of the divine authority of the Priesthood which led the people in
          a pathway of safety, through the wilderness, at that time. The
          songs of Zion ascended from the camps of Israel and peace brooded
          over the people. Barefooted, and in many instances hungry, they
          travelled on with their faces westward, their faith failing not;
          for, as I have said, the angels of God were round about them and
          His spirit was upon them; and at no period of their history was
          the power of God more exhibited than during that trying time when
          God led His servant to this then wild and forbidding region.
          Since we have been here, He has blessed us as a people. He has
          spread us abroad, and caused us to extend North and South, and
          His peace and blessing have attended the labors and the
          administration of the elders in our midst. The keys of the
          Priesthood have been fully honored, not by man alone, but they
          have been honored by God; and the exercise of that authority
          which God bestowed on Joseph Smith by the ministration of holy
          angels, has been a blessing to many thousands in this land. We
          have had peace, we have had good government, and the songs and
          prayers of the Saints have ascended up from their habitations
          unto the Most High God, and Heaven has been moved in our behalf,
          to bless and preserve us and give us victory and deliverance in
          every time of trouble; and when we have been threatened with any
          difficulty or calamity, God has always overruled and controlled
          it, for our good and for the salvation of His people. Is it any
          wonder, then, that Latter-day Saints should have confidence in
          the man whom God has chosen? Many men wonder and say, "You
          Latter-day Saints are bowed down in tyranny and are groaning
          under despotism. Why are you not free to exercise your liberty?
          Why don't you do as you please? Why do you always do as your
          prophet and leader tells you?" Because we have proved during
          twenty-five long years, that God has blessed him in everything he
          has told us to do, and we have been blessed of God in carrying
          out his counsels. When we have prayed to the Almighty to give us
          wisdom and humility to obey the counsels of His servant, He has
          given unto us His Holy Spirit and witnessed unto our hearts that
          this course was pleasing and acceptable in His sight. Rebel
          against him and his authority! as well might we rebel against
          Jehovah Himself, or against Jesus! Not that President Young is to
          be worshipped, not that Joseph Smith was to be worshipped, not
          that Peter or Moses was to be worshipped. There is a difference
          between obedience and idolatry, or worship. There is a difference
          between submission to the will of God--and obeying God's counsels
          through a man, and idolizing the man himself, and we have
          perceived this difference.
          God chooses men as guardians and shepherds over His people. We
          are all of one great family; we are all the children of God, and
          are all alike before Him. "Yes," says one, "we are all alike, and
          therefore there is no distinction between us." But let me suppose
          a case. Suppose a man who has a large family of sons and
          daughters, were to be called on a mission to go abroad to preach
          the Gospel of Christ, and had to be absent for years; the members
          of the family during his absence would be left to themselves. But
          suppose he had a choice son whom he loved, and who had been
          implicitly obedient to him all the days of his life, and whose
          course had taught him to respect his judgment, his honesty, his
          truthfulness and the integrity and justice of his character, and
          that in the most trying circumstances he had never failed to
          honor himself, God, his family, and to honor his father. Now, as
          he is going away to a far distant land, he takes this son aside
          and says to him, "I will place you in charge of my family, and
          leave you to watch over their interests in my absence, that while
          I am gone they may have some one to look up to who can act the
          part of a father to them." And then turning to the family he
          says, "My sons and daughters, I have chosen this son, your elder
          brother, to act in my place while I am absent. I wish you to obey
          him and respect and honor him as you would your father, and to
          submit yourselves to his dictation in all things." The family
          consent. They say, "We will do as you desire, father. We will
          honor your judgment and choice by honoring and obeying our
          brother whom you have chosen to watch over us during your
          It might be argued that those children, by complying with the
          wish of their father in this matter, would sacrifice their
          agency. Do they not exercise that volition just as much by
          obeying that son as they would by each one taking his or her own
          course, and saying, "I will judge for myself, as to the
          correctness of what you say and will differ from you whenever I
          please." Let me ask you as parents and as children, brethren and
          sisters, do you not think you could exercise your agency just as
          much by obeying the son as by disobeying him? I cannot conceive
          how it can be otherwise. I cannot see why I, for instance, should
          not exercise my agency just as much by obeying him as by
          disobeying him. This is precisely my position to-day.
          Brigham Young, our President, has been chosen by God as His
          representative here on the earth, among His sons and daughters.
          He has been selected for this special calling. The Father is not
          present in person; Jesus is not present in person; but God is
          here through the Holy Ghost and the holy Priesthood, through the
          power which He has bestowed, and in the same position precisely
          as the son in the figure which I have used does the President of
          the Church act for us, his brethren and sisters. We are all alike
          before God; He loves us all alike; we are all the creatures of
          His care; but there must be rule, there must be government; there
          must be order, or this would not be the kingdom of God. The Lord
          chose President Young to rule and dictate in the affairs of His
          Church when His servant Joseph was taken from the earth.
          Look at the singular combination of circumstances which caused
          Brigham Young to be President of the Twelve. Reflect on the
          remarkable combination of events which made him the leader of
          Israel, showing plainly, in my mind, that long before he was
          born, yes, probably before the earth was organized, Joseph Smith
          and Brigham Young were chosen, the same as Jeremiah was. The Lord
          said to Jeremiah: "Before I formed thee in the belly, I knew
          thee; and before thou camest forth out of the womb I sanctified
          thee, and I ordained thee a prophet unto the nations." This is my
          opinion about the leaders of Israel in the latter days. I believe
          they were chosen to act in this capacity; and God, knowing their
          integrity, and afterwards proving them to the uttermost in the
          flesh, has greatly blessed them. See the blessings that have
          followed the administrations of these men in our midst. Who would
          exchange the peace, the joy, and the knowledge we have concerning
          the Gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ of the meagre and vague ideas
          of God and His kingdom that prevailed before the people became
          acquainted with it? God has given unto us those precious
          blessings. He had gathered us together from the nations of the
          earth; He has multiplied upon us abundantly, joys more precious
          than gold or silver, namely, the riches of eternity; He has given
          unto us wisdom and knowledge and peace; He has proved to us most
          effectively that there are riches more precious and far more
          estimable in the sight of God and good and virtuous men than the
          perishable things of this world. He has built up a kingdom in
          which these things will be held at their true value, for He will
          cleanse from the midst of His people those who idolize riches.
          Let me assure you, brethren and sisters, if there is anything in
          our hearts that interferes with our complete love of God and our
          reverence for Him and His work, we shall have to banish it, or
          sooner or later we shall lose our standing in the Church of God;
          for He wants a people who will render implicit obedience to His
          laws and the requirements of His Gospel, and who will love Him
          better than any earthly thing, and place a higher value on the
          gifts of the Spirit than on worldly possessions or even life
          The Lord has proved to us, in the midst of the many trials and
          difficulties with which we have had to contend during our brief
          existence as a Church, when surrounded by mobs, when our lives
          were in danger and the lives of our leaders were threatened, when
          the persecutors of the Saints were howling like a pack of
          ravening wolves for the blood of this people, that there is
          something far more precious and estimable than mere eating and
          drinking and the pleasures and enjoyments of life; although these
          things are very good and necessary in their place. He has given
          us His Gospel and this Gospel is being carried to all the nations
          of the earth, and a kingdom is being established.
          Jesus said that his Gospel should be preached as a witness to all
          nations, and then should the end come. What Gospel? Why, the same
          Gospel Jesus had and to which he referred; the same Gospel that
          his apostles had: a Gospel of power, a Gospel of blessings, whose
          Priesthood had power and authority from God. It is the same
          Gospel that is now being taught, and which has to be preached as
          a witness to all nations, and then shall the end come. God is
          sending forth His messengers to accomplish this object. Our
          Elders have gone to the Eastern States by hundreds to lift up
          their warning voices to the people concerning the things which
          God is doing and is about to do in the midst of the inhabitants
          of the earth. For this purpose they go to Europe, to the West, to
          the Islands of the Pacific, to Asia and Africa, and they will yet
          traverse every country on the face of the whole earth. The
          millions of Asia will yet hear the glad tidings of salvation from
          the Elders of Israel. The yoke of bondage is being broken and the
          nations are being freed from the grasp of despotism and tyranny.
          Japan now opens her ports; China begins to extend her invitation
          to western civilization, and the time is near at hand when the
          sound of this Gospel, proclaimed by the Elders of Israel, will
          re-echo from one end of the earth to the other, for it must be
          preached as a witness unto all nations.
          We may engage in this work with all our hearts in view of the
          glorious reward that is promised unto the faithful; or we may
          fight against it and use our every power to consummate its
          overthrow; it makes no difference. The word of the Lord Almighty
          has gone forth to the people of this generation, and it will not
          remain unfulfilled. It matters not, therefore, who band together
          and plot in secret, who unite and say we will spoil the plan and
          destroy the influence of the work of God. The Lord will expose
          their secret plots and schemes, and He will stand by His servant
          whom He has chosen, so long as He lives, as He did by His servant
          Joseph. He told him that He would save him though he should be
          The Lord permitted the enemies of the Kingdom of God to take away
          the life of His servant Joseph, as He did of His servants in
          ancient days. The blood of the testator was shed, and now the
          testament is in full force. Joseph had lifted up his voice in
          solemn warning to the inhabitants of the earth, and declared that
          God had spoken in these latter days. But his blood and that of
          other holy men and Saints was shed by wicked men, and their
          blood, mingled with that of the martyred Saints of past ages,
          cries unto the Lord for vengeance. The very earth itself groans
          under the weight of wickedness and corruption that abound on its
          surface, and the Lord has declared that it shall be delivered.
          But before the great day of vengeance shall come, when wickedness
          shall be utterly swept from off the face of the earth, it is
          necessary that the Elders should proclaim the Gospel to every
          nation, kindred and tongue on the face of the earth, that the
          honest in heart may be gathered out and that a people may be
          found who shall be prepared to meet the Lord at His coming.
          For this preparation we should give our whole time and labor to
          the purifying of our hearts and households. We should labor to
          purify our cities and settlements, labor to promulgate the
          principles of righteousness and to establish truth on the earth
          and seek to bring to pass the Zion of God in its fulness and
          These are the labors which devolve upon us. Think not, my
          brethren and sisters, because God has chosen earthly vessels to
          hold this power and authority, that therefore you can treat
          lightly the holy Priesthood. I have noticed from my boyhood, and
          it has been a constant lesson to me, that those who speak against
          the authorities and lift their hands against the holy Priesthood
          of this Church invariably deny the faith. I have never seen it
          otherwise. You may trace the history of this people from the
          beginning and you will find that every man who has indulged in
          this spirit has always come out and denied the faith. Such men,
          when Joseph lived, said that he had fallen. Since his death they
          excuse their conduct by saying that Brigham has gone astray.
          But when the Lord spoke to Joseph about falling, he said he would
          have authority to appoint another in his stead, and that no one
          would have the right to act except he was ordained by authority,
          or came in through the gate. You may know by the revelation I
          have read that no man can get the authority elsewhere. It must
          come through the holy Priesthood. Men may say they have heard the
          voice of Jesus, or heard this, that or the other; but you will
          find that the power of God will attend the keys, and His blessing
          will follow the administration of His servants who hold the
          Paul said, "Do ye not know that the Saints shall judge the
          world?" On one occasion Jesus said, "Ye who have followed me in
          the regeneration, when the Son of Man shall sit on the throne of
          his glory, ye also shall sit upon twelve thrones, judging the
          twelve tribes of Israel."
          In a revelation given through Joseph Smith, the Lord says:
          "And again, verily, verily, I say unto you, and it hath gone
          forth in a firm decree, by the will of the Father, that mine
          apostles, the twelve, which were with me in my ministry at
          Jerusalem, shall stand at my right hand at the day of my coming
          in a pillar of fire, being clothed with robes of righteousness,
          with crowns upon their heads, in glory even as I am, to judge the
          whole house of Israel."
          This is the authority which Jesus said they should wield. The
          same authority has been renewed in these days. Says one, "I do
          not like this sort of thing; it is priestly rule and dominion,
          and I object to it. I am too much of a democrat in my feelings to
          submit to it." Yet a man can be a democrat and a lover of freedom
          and liberty and enjoy them to the fullest, and honor the
          Priesthood. There is a difference between priestcraft and
          Priesthood. Priestcraft builds up itself, it is not authorized of
          God. Priestcraft oppresses the people; but the Priesthood of God
          emancipates men and women and makes them free. Jesus says his
          yoke is easy and his burden light.
          We talk of power, and object to the undue exercise of authority.
          But think of the power given in ancient days, and which has been
          restored in these days, that man exercises when he goes forth
          into the water and baptizes a person! Do you ever think of the
          greatness of the power thus exercised? And further, when the
          candidate for baptism emerges from the water and has hands laid
          upon him for the reception of the Holy Ghost, do you think of the
          power that God has entrusted unto men on earth when they exercise
          that holy ordinance? Do you think of the power exercised in
          remitting the sins of men and women through baptism, the
          ordinance which God has set in His Church for the remission of
          sins, and conferring upon them the Holy Ghost? If God sends such
          mighty power, shall we question the bestowal of a higher power
          when God shall choose to give it? Shall we murmur and contend
          against it? God forbid, and forbid that we should ever turn aside
          and fight against Him or His cause in any manner.
          My brethren and sisters, my prayers are that God will bless us as
          a people and sanctify us to walk in all humility and meekness
          before Him, honoring His laws; for when we honor His laws we
          honor the laws of righteousness and the laws of the land in
          equity and truth. We will honor men in their place; we will honor
          the Government and everything that is just and honorable and
          true. That God may sustain us and help us to sustain the
          Priesthood, and to follow its requirements, that eventually we
          may be saved in His kingdom, is my prayer in the name of Jesus,
          Journal of Discourses / Journal of Discourses, Volume 13 /
          Brigham Young, July 18, 1869
           Delivered in the New Tabernacle, Salt Lake City, July 18, 1869
                            (Reported by David W. Evans.)
          I will say to my friends--those who believe in the Lord Jesus
          Christ--"I beseech you in Christ's stead be ye reconciled to
          God." Treasure up every truth that you hear, practice it in your
          lives, for this will lead you to Jesus. The words that we have
          heard this afternoon, with regard to the character of the Son of
          God and the plan of salvation, are true so far as they have gone.
          We, the Latter-day Saints, take the liberty of believing more
          than our Christian brethren: we not only believe part of the
          Bible, but the whole of it, and the whole of the plan of
          salvation that Jesus has given to us. Do we differ from others
          who believe in the Lord Jesus Christ? No, only in believing more;
          we are one with them as far as they believe in him. Do we differ
          with regard to the practice of the Gospel that he has delivered
          to us? No, not as far as they really believe in and practice the
          doctrines taught by him. We believe all that any good man on the
          earth need believe. We believe in God the Father, in Jesus Christ
          His Son, our Savior. We believe all that Moses spoke and wrote of
          him, all that the apostles said of him, and all that Jesus
          himself has said, which was penned by his apostles and servants.
          Our Lord and Savior has been beautifully described and set before
          us, by the gentleman who has addressed us this afternoon, but I
          will take the liberty of saying to every man and woman who wishes
          to obtain salvation through him (the Savior) that looking to him,
          only, is not enough: they must have faith in his name, character
          and atonement; and they must have faith in his father and in the
          plan of salvation devised and wrought out by the Father and the
          Son. What will this faith lead to? It will lead to obedience to
          the requirements of the Gospel; and the few words that I may
          deliver to my brethren and sisters and friends this afternoon
          will be with the direct view of leading them to God.
          How am I to know whether I have passed from death unto life? The
          apostle says by loving the brethren. How shall I know the
          brethren? They are my brethren who have received and obeyed the
          Gospel of the Son of God. This is just as easy to test as it is
          to test a man who says he is a citizen of the United States. A
          man may declare that he is so, but upon inquiry we find that he
          has never taken the oath of allegiance nor even declared his
          intention to becoming a citizen; but his sole claim to be
          considered a citizen rests on the fact that he lives in this
          country and has property, perhaps a farm or a store. This will
          not entitle any foreigner to the rights and privileges enjoyed by
          the humblest citizen. He must first declare his intention, take
          the oath of allegiance to this Government and renounce it to his
          former one, and then receive his papers of citizenship. It is
          just the same in the kingdom of God. However much we may profess
          attachment to God and His cause we are not entitled to the
          blessings and privileges of His kingdom until we become citizens
          therein. How can we do this? By repenting of our sins, and
          obeying the requirements of the Gospel of the Son of God which
          has been delivered to us. Hundreds and thousands of people have
          believed on the Lord Jesus Christ and repented of their sins, and
          have had the Holy Spirit to witness unto them that God is love,
          that they loved Him and that He loved them, and yet they are not
          in His kingdom. They have not complied with the necessary
          requirements, they have not entered in at the door, and Jesus
          says, "Verily, verily, I say unto you, he that entereth not by
          the door into the sheepfold, but climbeth up some other way, the
          same is a thief and a robber." He says also, "I am the door: by
          me if any man enter in he shall be saved." Jesus has taught us
          how we may enter this door and become citizens of his kingdom,
          and there is no excuse for our neglecting to do so. Herein we
          exceed and go further than our former brethren. We read in this
          book (the Bible) of a certain man who came to Jesus by night and
          asked him what he should do to be saved. This man, in his own
          estimation, had been a strict observer of the law, but Jesus said
          to him, "Verily, verily, I say unto thee, except a man be born
          again, he cannot see the kingdom of God." My firm belief is that
          thousands have been born of the Spirit and have seen the kingdom,
          but not having been born of the water they have never been
          permitted to enter that kingdom, for Jesus says, "Except a man be
          born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom
          of God." This is why we say it is necessary to obey, fully, the
          Gospel which Jesus has left on record for us; and to do that we
          must repent of our sins, be baptized for the remission of them,
          and then receive the Holy Ghost by the laying on of hands.
          Do we believe in the Holy Ghost? Yes. Do our former brethren in
          the Christian world? They say they do. They should believe in it,
          they preach and teach it. What will the Holy Ghost do for those
          who possess it? It will bring to their remembrance things past,
          present and to come, and will teach them all things necessary for
          them to understand, in order to secure salvation. Is this the
          office and ministry of the Holy Ghost? Jesus says:
          "But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will
          send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all
          things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you."
          "Howbeit, when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide
          you into all truth: for he shall not speak of himself; but
          whatsoever he shall hear, that he shall speak: and he will shew
          you things to come."
          Then if we receive the Holy Ghost we shall know and understand
          things as they are, we shall be able to read the Scriptures by
          the Spirit, with which they were written, and if we continue
          faithful we shall be led to a knowledge of God and Jesus whom He
          has sent, which the apostle says "is eternal life."
          Some believe or conceive the idea that to know God would lessen
          Him in our estimation; but I can say that for me to understand
          any principle or being, on earth or in Heaven, it does not lessen
          its true value to me, but, on the contrary, it increases it; and
          the more I can know of God, the dearer and more precious He is to
          me, and the more exalted are my feelings towards Him. Therein I
          may be different to some other.
          If we embrace the Gospel of Jesus Christ, rendering obedience
          thereunto as he has directed, it will lead us into the kingdom of
          God here on the earth. We have started to build up this kingdom.
          The Lord has revealed His will from the heavens, and we have
          faith in Him. Is there any proof of this? Certainly, there is
          every proof that is necessary. I recollect reading in the New
          Testament that Jesus gave a mission to his apostles in these
          words, "Go ye into all the world and preach the Gospel to every
          creature, he that believeth and is baptized shall be saved, but
          he that believeth not shall be damned. And these signs shall
          follow them that believe; in my name shall they cast out devils;
          they shall speak with new tongues; they shall take up serpents;
          and if they drink any deadly thing it shall not hurt them; they
          shall lay hands on the sick and they shall recover.
          This Gospel is for all the children of men, and it will save all
          who will believe and obey it. Do this people believe in this
          Gospel? Yes. Is there any proof of this? Yes. Here before me I
          see men who have left their homes and families; women who have
          left their homes and families; parents who have left their
          children, and children their parents; husbands who have left
          their wives, and wives their husbands, and all to gather with the
          Saints of the Most High. Is this any testimony that they believe
          on the Lord Jesus Christ? Yes; and this is not all. They speak
          with new tongues, they lay hands on the sick and they do recover.
          In these particulars we differ from those with whom we formerly
          fellowshipped in the Christian world, who say they tell the
          people how to come to God and be saved. But if they ever have
          done that I have never heard them. In my young days I have been
          called an infidel for talking thus, for there was no man who
          could tell me anything about the plan of salvation; but I never
          saw the day but what I would have walked on my knees across this
          continent to have seen a man who could have told me the first
          thing about God and Heaven. It is true that the feelings and
          attention of the people may be moved and attracted by beautiful
          descriptions of Him and Heaven and with beautiful illustrations
          of His power and goodness, such as we have heard to-day; but
          where is God? Who is He? Who is Jesus Christ? Where do they live?
          What is their power and character, and their connection with the
          people of the earth? In my scanty experience with the divines of
          the day I never yet found the first that could describe the
          character of God, locate His dwelling place, or give the first
          correct idea with regard to the Father and the Son; but to them
          they are hidden in impenetrable mystery, and their cry is, "Great
          is the mystery of godliness, God manifest in the flesh." To us it
          is simple, plain, glorious and divine, and it is worthy the
          attention of every intelligent being that dwells on the face of
          the earth, for it is eternal life to know God and Jesus Christ
          whom He has sent.
          In these respects we differ from our Christian brethren. We are
          the very men and women that have come out from the Mother Church
          and her daughters, Methodists, Calvinists and almost every other
          persuasion on the face of the earth, the Pagans not excepted. We
          never learned from them, however, how to be saved; but we know
          how to save ourselves, for the Lord has revealed to us a plan by
          which we may be saved both here and hereafter. God has done
          everything we could ask, and more than we could ask. The errand
          of Jesus to earth was to bring his brethren and sisters back into
          the presence of the Father; he has done his part of the work, and
          it remains for us to do ours. There is not one thing that the
          Lord could do for the salvation of the human family that He has
          neglected to do; and it remains for the children of men to
          receive the truth or reject it; all that can be accomplished for
          their salvation, independent of them, has been accomplished in
          and by the Savior. It has been justly remarked this afternoon
          that "Jesus paid the debt; he atoned for the original sin; he
          came and suffered and died on the cross." He is now King of kings
          and Lord of lords, and the time will come when every knee will
          bow and every tongue confess, to the glory of God the Father,
          that Jesus is the Christ. That very character that was looked
          upon, not as the Savior, but as an outcast, who was crucified
          between two thieves and treated with scorn and derision, will be
          greeted by all men as the only Being through whom they can obtain
          We differ from our Christian brethren, and have long been
          separated from them; but we are here in these mountains through
          necessity--because we were not permitted to live with them. But
          we were never hated, despised and derided as Christ was; we have
          never been crucified and been such outcasts as Jesus, though our
          prophet and patriarch were slain; but not in such an ignominious
          manner as Jesus. Who will believe our testimony? "If our Gospel
          be hid, it is hid to them that are lost." Who will believe our
          testimony? Who will believe the testimony that has been delivered
          here this afternoon? I believe and know it is true; and that,
          too, by the revelations of that very character who was lifted up
          on the cross. How are we to blame for believing so much? Why, the
          Scriptures say we are to "prove all things and hold fast that
          which is good." I frequently think that the only way for a man to
          prove any fact in the world is by experience. We go, for
          instance, into an orchard and some one says there is a sweet
          apple tree, and he may say the same of other trees, but without
          tasting how shall I know they are sweet? Unless I taste of them I
          cannot know it. I may take the testimony of others who have
          tasted them, as to whether they are sweet, sour or bitter, but
          without tasting it cannot be proved to my senses that they are
          so. Now, as I understand it, it is the same with all facts that
          have come to the knowledge of all beings in Heaven, or on
          earth--all facts are proved and made manifest by their opposite.
          Sin has come into the world, and death by sin. I frequently ask
          myself the question: Was there any necessity for sin to enter the
          world? Most assuredly there was, according to my understanding
          and reasoning powers. Did I not know the evil I could never know
          the good; had I not seen the light I should never be able to
          comprehend what darkness is. Had I never tried to see and behold
          a thing in darkness I could not understand the beauty and glory
          of the light. If I had never tasted the bitter or the sour how
          could I define or describe the sweet? Consequently, I let all
          these things pass, being according to the wisdom of Him who has
          done all things for the benefit and salvation of His children
          here on the earth. And when we contemplate and realise that He is
          our Father and that Jesus is our elder brother, and that we have
          the privilege of overcoming sin and death, by faith in Jesus and
          obedience to His Gospel, and of being exalted into the presence
          of the Father and the Son, the thought should fill our hearts
          with gratitude, praise and humility.
          I extend my religion further than a great many do. I say it is
          far beyond the religions of the day; they consist, mainly, of
          forms and ceremonies, never revealing to their votaries the
          object of their creation and existence, or preparing them to
          fulfil their high calling and destiny; but ours incorporates the
          whole life of man. Our religion incorporates and includes all the
          duties devolving upon us every day of our lives, and enables us,
          if we live according to the spirit of it, to discharge those
          several duties more honorably and efficiently. I do not think
          there is as good a financier on the earth as my Father in Heaven
          is; I do not think there is a being among the whole human family
          who understands the principles of finance as well as He does. And
          I believe the same with regard to any other branch of human
          knowledge, or of anything which affects the peace, happiness,
          comfort, wealth, health and strength of body, and in fact the
          entire welfare, whether political, social or physical of the
          children of men, consequently I would like to have Him dictate my
          affairs. Why? That I might become the possessor of power, wealth,
          and influence, for all the influence the children of men ever
          possessed they have received from the Father. Every kingdom that
          has been set up on the face of the earth has been set up by the
          will of the Father. He sets up a kingdom here and pulls down
          another there at His pleasure. He gives influence and power to
          this one and takes them from another; and so we see nations come
          and go. Some individuals live on the earth rich, noble, powerful
          and influential; while others are in the depths of poverty. All
          this is permitted by the Father, and is according to His decree.
          Every act of the children of men is the result of their own will
          and pleasure, but the results of these acts God overrules.
          Our religion incorporates every act and word of man. No man
          should go to merchandising unless he does it in God; no man
          should go to farming or any other business unless he does it in
          the Lord. No lawyer, no, hold on, I will leave the lawyers out;
          we do not want them, we have no use for them. No man of council
          should sit to judge the people but what should judge in the Lord,
          that he may righteously and impartially discern between right and
          wrong, truth and error, light and darkness, justice and
          injustice. Should any legislature sit without the Lord? If it do,
          sooner or later it will fall to pieces. No nation ever did live
          that counseled and transacted its national affairs without the
          Lord, but what sooner or later went to pieces and came to naught.
          The same is true of all the nations that now live or ever will
          Our work, our every-day labor, our whole lives are within the
          scope of our religion. This is what we believe and what we try to
          practice. Yet the Lord permits a great many things that He never
          commands. I have frequently heard my old brethren in the
          Christian world make remarks about the impropriety of indulging
          in pastimes and amusements. The Lord never commanded me to dance,
          yet I have danced; you all know it, for my life is before the
          world. Yet while the Lord had never commanded me to do it, He has
          permitted it. I do not know that He ever commanded the boys to go
          and play at ball, yet He permits it. I am not aware that He ever
          commanded us to build a theatre, but He has permitted it, and I
          can give the reason why. Recreation and diversion are as
          necessary to our well-being as the more serious pursuits of life.
          There is not a man in the world but what, if kept at any one
          branch of business or study, will become like a machine. Our
          pursuits should be so diversified as to develop every trait of
          character and diversity of talent. If you would develop every
          power and faculty possessed by your children, they must have the
          privilege of engaging in and enjoying a diversity of amusements
          and studies; to attain great excellence, however, they cannot all
          be kept to any one individual branch of study. I recollect once
          while in England, in the district of country called the
          "Potteries," seeing a man pass along the street, his head,
          perhaps, within sixteen or eighteen inches of the ground. I
          inquired what occupation he had followed for a living, and
          learned that he had never done anything in his life but turned a
          tea cup, and he was then seventy-four years of age. How do we
          know, but what, if he had had the privilege, he would have made a
          statesman or a fine physician, an excellent mechanic or a good
          judge? We cannot tell. This shows the necessity of the mind being
          kept active and having the opportunity of indulging in every
          exercise it can enjoy in order to attain to a full development of
          its powers.
          We wish, in our Sunday and day schools, that they who are
          inclined to any particular branch of study may have the privilege
          to study it. As I have often told my sisters in the Female Relief
          societies, we have sisters here who, if they had the privilege of
          studying, would make just as good mathematicians or accountants
          as any man; and we think they ought to have the privilege to
          study these branches of knowledge that they may develop the
          powers with which they are endowed. We believe that women are
          useful, not only to sweep houses, wash dishes, make beds, and
          raise babies, but that they should stand behind the counter,
          study law or physic, or become good book-keepers and be able to
          do the business in any counting house, and all this to enlarge
          their sphere of usefulness for the benefit of society at large.
          In following these things they but answer the design of their
          creation. These, and many more things of equal utility are
          incorporated in our religion, and we believe in and try to
          practice them.
          I will say, now, to the Latter day Saints, sometimes you know, if
          a word be dropped unguardedly, we are threatened with an army; if
          we speak a word out of the wrong side of the mouth we are
          threatened with a legalized mob just as we were in the States.
          Hence, we must be careful of what we say, for our enemies are
          ready to "make a man an offender for a word, and to lay a snare
          for him that reproveth in the gate." I will say, however, that if
          you, Latter-day Saints, will live your religion there will be no
          necessity whatever to fear all the powers of earth and hell, for
          God will sustain you. Jesus is king of this earth and he will
          sustain those who walk humbly before him, loving and serving him
          and keeping his commandments. I pray the Latter-day Saints to be
          faithful; love and serve the Lord, keep His commandments, refrain
          from evil and walk humbly before him. When we were in the
          Christian world, and were without the Priesthood, we believed in
          every good word and work, in every moral principle, in everything
          that tended to promote peace, happiness, morality and virtue, in
          fact in every good principle that man could teach. Let us live as
          consistently now as we did then; let us live so that God will
          bless us and enable us to overcome and be saved in His kingdom,
          which may He grant for Christ's sake. Amen.
          Journal of Discourses / Journal of Discourses, Volume 13 / Orson
          Pratt, December 19, 1869
                           Orson Pratt, December 19, 1869
                           DISCOURSE BY ELDER ORSON PRATT,
           Delivered in the Tabernacle, Salt Lake City, December 19, 1869.
                            (Reported by David W. Evans.)
          There is a passage which will be found in one of the epistles of
          John, the substance of which I will repeat: "Every spirit that
          confesses not that Jesus is the Christ is not of God." I may not
          have given you this passage word for word, as it is recorded, but
          I have given you the substance of it as laid down in the
          Scriptures. It is well known by all readers of the Scriptures,
          that in every age of our world mankind have had to contend
          against a power which is in opposition to the Almighty. It seems
          that our world is infested with those spirits of darkness which
          were, in the beginning, cast down from the Almighty, in
          consequence of their rebellion against Him; and in every age of
          the world these wicked spirits have manifested themselves, and
          especially when the Priesthood has been upon the earth and a
          dispensation has been committed from Heaven to man; then all hell
          has seemed to be in an uproar, and the power of all the fallen
          angels made manifest. Hence, it is written, somewhere in the New
          Testament, that "we wrestle not against flesh and blood merely,
          but against spiritual wickedness in high places." We not only
          have to meet with wicked men, and the power of the devil
          manifested in them, but the Saints of God have always had to meet
          with manifestations of power from beneath--powers not ordained of
          God, and which are calculated, if possible, to deceive the very
          No there are in existence two great powers: one is of God,
          including all the heavenly host--the angels and celestial beings
          who dwell in the presence of God and partake of His glory,
          holding power and authority from Him to go forth and minister
          according to His command. The other power is an enemy to God; it
          is the power of that being who rebelled against Him in Heaven,
          and sought to takes possession of the throne of the Almighty.
          According to the history that is given of this event, a general
          council was held in Heaven about the time of the creation of this
          earth. In that council there was a personage called an angel, who
          stood in authority in the presence of God; and when the question
          was asked, "Who shall go forth and redeem mankind?" Lucifer, the
          Son of the Morning, this angel who stood in the presence of God,
          answered and said, "Here am I, send me; I will go forth and
          redeem all mankind, that not one soul shall be lost." But the
          only begotten Son of the Father, who was with the Father from the
          beginning, replied and said, "Father, Thy will be done, and the
          glory be Thine for ever." And here a rebellion rose up between
          Satan, the Son of the Morning, and the Son of the living God, as
          to the redemption of mankind. One sought to destroy the plan of
          God and the agency that the Lord intended to give to intelligent
          beings, and to redeem them whether they would be redeemed or not;
          and because he considered that his plan was so good before the
          heavens, and so much superior to the plan that God had devised,
          said he, "Surely I will do it; wherefore give me thine honor,
          which is the power of God." That is, he sought to obtain the
          throne of the Almighty, and to carry out his own purposes in
          preference to yielding to the purposes and power of the Almighty.
          This rebellion became so great, and the influence of it spread so
          rapidly among the heavenly host, that one-third part of the
          heavenly throne, I mean the spirits, rebelled against God and
          followed the evil design and purpose of this angel. No doubt some
          of them thought that they could accomplish their design; for they
          had not a knowledge of the future designs and purposes of God,
          only in a small degree, and consequently they supposed that their
          plan was better than that of the Almighty; and in this great
          rebellion the Lord caused Satan, or Lucifer, the Son of the
          Morning, and those who followed him, to be cast out of Heaven.
          We may form some little calculation of the vast numbers thus
          thrown out of Heaven, when we consider that they were one-third
          of all the spirits that were born, intended for this creation.
          Only two-thirds kept their first estate, and they have the great
          privilege of coming here to this creation and taking bodies of
          flesh and bones, tabernacles wherein their spirits may dwell, to
          prepare themselves for a more glorious state of existence
          hereafter. If, then, only two-thirds of the hosts of Heaven are
          to come to our earth to tabernacle in the flesh, we may form some
          idea of the vast number who fell. Already our earth has teemed
          for six thousand years with numberless millions of human beings
          whose spirits existed before the foundation of the world. Those
          who now exist probably number one thousand or twelve hundred
          millions. Twelve hundred millions of spirits now dwelling in
          mortal flesh! Think of the immense numbers who must have preceded
          us and the myriads who are to come! These are the two-thirds who
          kept their first estate. Their numbers, probably, cannot be less
          than two hundred thousand millions, leaving, as an approximate
          estimate, one hundred thousand millions of rebellious spirits or
          devils who were cast out from Heaven and banished to this
          creation, having no privilege of fleshly tabernacles.
          It was in the Garden of Eden that the devil, or one of those foul
          spirits, entered into a certain animal or beast, called a
          serpent, and came before our first parents and beguiled them, and
          they suffered themselves to partake of the forbidden fruit. If,
          then, they were in the earth as early as the Garden of Eden, no
          doubt, they have been here from that day to this, and that the
          earth is the place of their habitation. They wander to and fro in
          the earth seeking whom they may devour! Only think of a hundred
          devils to every being that now exists on the earth.
          Though these spirits had not the full knowledge of the Almighty;
          though they had not that superior knowledge that reigns in the
          bosom of the Son of God, and of many that stood in His presence,
          yet they had great information before their fall. They had stood
          in the presence of God, and had, no doubt, learned many things
          from His own mouth. How long they had been in His presence it is
          not for us to say, God has not revealed it. But they had great
          experience. I am speaking of the knowledge and the cunning that
          these enemies of God possessed when they were cast down here to
          the earth. They have cunning beyond what you have ever seen
          manifested by the children of men. They can, at times,
          apparently, be perfect gentlemen when they enter the tabernacles
          of the children of men. They can become, apparently, very pious,
          and, if you could not discern spirits, you would think, from the
          manifestations of devils, when in the tabernacles of many
          individuals, that they were perfect angels on earth.
          The devil operates in every conceivable form, and this is what
          the apostle meant when he said, "We do not merely wrestle against
          flesh and blood, but also against principalities and powers." We
          have enemies far more powerful than men to contend against. The
          devil has not the power to take full possession of the
          tabernacles of human creatures, unless they give way to him and
          his influence to that degree that he gets power over them. But we
          have not time now to trace the history of the powers of darkness
          in early ages; but will briefly state, that they did show forth
          their power in ancient times.
          Moses was called of God and ordained to the holy Priesthood after
          the order of Melchizedek, by the hands of his father-in-law,
          Jethro, and sent forth with power and authority into Egypt to
          seek after the welfare of the seed of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob,
          in bondage there. Just as soon as the Almighty began to manifest
          Himself through the power of the legal Priesthood, so soon these
          opposite powers began to work whenever they could find a chance;
          and the individuals through whom they worked were the principal
          men of Egypt, the most popular men they had in their midst--the
          priests, magicians, and astrologers were the ones through whom
          Satan manifested this opposite power. His design, no doubt, was
          to frustrate or destroy the influence of the miracles, signs and
          wonders that were made manifest by Moses among the people of God
          for their redemption. Hence when Moses came before Pharaoh he
          cast down his staff and it was turned into a serpent, or into
          something having the appearance of a serpent, and was full of
          life and animation. That was a great miracle that the Lord saw
          proper, on that occasion, to manifest before this wicked king,
          that he might have what he had desired, for he had asked for a
          sign, and the Lord granted it. But immediately others were called
          by the king--the magicians, soothsayers and those whom Satan had
          gained power and influence over--and they were commanded to show
          what they could do. They cast down their rods and they likewise
          became serpents.
          Now, here was a manifestation of similar power--Moses' rod became
          a serpent and the rods of the magicians also became serpents; but
          by and by Moses' rod swallowed up the rods of the magicians. What
          did that prove? In the estimation of wicked men like the King of
          Egypt and his subjects, it was nothing more than the extending of
          this power had in possession by the magicians. They did not look
          upon it as a distinct and separate power, because they had not
          the spirit to discern, the Spirit of the Lord was not with them,
          and they could not discern the difference. But there were
          manifested on that occasion two distinct and separate powers, so
          similar in their effects, that none but those who lived near unto
          God and understood the workings of the Holy Spirit, could detect
          the difference between them.
          A succession of wonderful manifestations of the power of God was
          made through Moses, and in all, save two or three instances, the
          magicians did likewise. What would naturally be the conclusion at
          which wicked men would arrive under such circumstances? They
          would naturally say, "Here is Moses, who has been brought up in
          all the learning of the Egyptians and he is more advanced than
          our magicians; he has learned lessons that they have not yet
          acquired," consequently men of that stamp would decide that it
          was all by the same spirit, and they would not acknowledge the
          finger of God in it.
          That may be a sample to all people in future generations in the
          manifestations of these powers. The wicked cannot discern and
          comprehend the difference between these two powers. If we believe
          that there is a God and a heavenly host standing in His presence,
          ready to do His behests, we must believe in the manifestations of
          divine power; and if we believe that there are fallen spirits who
          have been cast down to this earth, we must also believe that they
          will manifest their power just as far as they are suffered or
          permitted. But we do not wish to dwell too long upon the history
          of past ages, we want to come down more immediately to our own
          I now appeal to the aged and to the middle-aged in this assembly,
          and I will ask them this one question, "What was the condition of
          the world forty years ago in regard to miraculous manifestations
          of power, and to new revelation?" I am now speaking of the
          Christian world at large. Did they believe that God would perform
          any miracles in our day? The old and the middle-aged know that
          the whole world had come to the conclusion that there was no such
          thing as supernatural power to be made manifest in our times.
          That was the almost universal belief among the children of men.
          When you talked to them about new revelation, they considered the
          very idea of such a thing a folly. Tradition had taught them and
          their fathers for many generations, that the book called the Old
          and New Testaments contained all that God ever did reveal or ever
          would reveal to the human family. This notion was not peculiar to
          some few classes of Christian society, but it was almost
          universal throughout Christendom. Such a thing as new revelation
          was discarded by them, all over the world. Said they, "The canon
          of Scripture is full, it is complete, and it is the very height
          of blasphemy to suppose that God would give any more!"
          This was the condition of mankind before this Church arose, forty
          years ago. By and by an obscure individual, a young man, rose up,
          and, in the midst of all Christendom, proclaimed the startling
          news that God had sent an angel to him; that through his faith,
          prayers, and sincere repentance he had beheld a supernatural
          vision, that he had seen a pillar of fire descend from Heaven,
          and saw two glorious personages clothed upon with this pillar of
          fire, whose countenance shone like the sun at noonday; that he
          heard one of these personages say, pointing to the other, "This
          is my beloved Son, hear ye him." This occurred before this young
          man was fifteen years of age; and it was a startling announcement
          to make in the midst of a generation so completely given up to
          the traditions of their fathers; and when this was proclaimed by
          this young, unlettered boy to the priests and the religious
          societies in the State of New York, they laughed him to scorn.
          "What!" said they, "visions and revelations in our day! God
          speaking to men in our day!" They looked upon him as deluded;
          they pointed the finger of scorn at him and warned their
          congregations against him. "The canon of Scripture is closed up;
          no more communications are to be expected from Heaven. The
          ancients saw heavenly visions and personages; they heard the
          voice of the Lord; they were inspired by the Holy Ghost to
          receive revelations, but behold no such thing is to be given to
          man in our day, neither has there been for many generations
          past." This was the style of the remarks made by religionists
          forty years ago.
          This young man, some four years afterwards, was visited again by
          a holy angel. It was not merely something speaking in the dark;
          it was not something wrapped up in mystery, with no glory
          attending it, but a glorious angel whose countenance shone like a
          vivid flash of lightning, and who was arrayed in a white robe,
          and stood before him. This young man saw the countenance of the
          angel; he saw his person and his glory and rejoiced therein. This
          angel revealed to him some great realities; not mysterious or
          dark sayings, covered up without any particular information,
          light or knowledge, but certain realities were made manifest to
          him concerning the ancient inhabitants of this land. This angel
          told him that they were a branch of the House of Israel; that
          they kept sacred and holy records; that those records were kept
          by prophets and inspired men; that they were deposited, some
          fourteen centuries ago, after the nation had fallen into
          wickedness, by one of their last prophets, and that the time was
          at hand for this record to be brought forth by the gift and power
          of God.
          Here, then, was a reality--something great and glorious, and
          after having received from time to time, visits from these
          glorious personages, and talking with them, as one man would talk
          with another, face to face, beholding their glory, he was
          permitted to go and take these plates from the place of their
          deposit--plates of gold--records, some of which were made nearly
          six hundred years before Christ. And then, to show still further
          a reality, something tangible, the Urim and Thummim, a glorious
          instrument, used by ancient seers, was also obtained with the
          record, through which, by the gift and power of the Holy Ghost
          and by the commandment of Almighty God, he translated that record
          into our language, and the book was published in the fore part of
          the year 1830.
          During the translation, before the book was published, when the
          prophet came towards the latter part of the record, he discovered
          that the ancient inhabitants of this continent were baptized in a
          certain way, by those having authority from Almighty God. He felt
          anxious to know how he, in connection with his scribe, Oliver
          Cowdery, might participate in the blessings of this holy
          ordinance. They very well knew, from what God had revealed to
          them, and from what they had understood by translating the main
          portion of the record, that there was no man in all Christendom
          that had authority to baptize them. They were anxious to know how
          they might be baptized, and how the authority might be restored.
          They went out into a grove, and joined in secret prayer, and the
          Lord sent a holy angel to them, a man who once dwelt on the
          earth, and held the Priesthood of his fathers, according to the
          promise of God to the lineage of Aaron. John the Baptist, the
          fore-runner of Christ, who was beheaded by Herod--John who
          preached repentance and baptism for the remission of sins, came
          to Joseph and Oliver Cowdery, as a ministering angel.
          Perhaps you may inquire here: Was John without a tabernacle? Was
          he a spirit or was he a personage of tabernacle, of flesh and
          bones? We all know that he was beheaded before the crucifixion of
          Christ: and if you wish to know the condition of John when he
          came to Joseph and Oliver, read the appendix to the Book of
          Doctrine and Covenants, and you will find that Abraham, Isaac,
          Jacob, and Joseph and many others, who are named there, among
          whom was John the Baptist, were with Christ in his resurrection;
          that is, they came forth in the first resurrection, at the time
          that Jesus received his body. About that period the graves of the
          Saints were opened and many of them came forth. John was amongst
          them; and he held, legally, the power, keys and Priesthood,
          bestowed upon the lineage of his father, Aaron.
          What did John do, when he appeared to brothers Joseph Smith and
          Oliver Cowdery? He did not go forth into the water to baptize
          them, as he did anciently in the Jordan; but he gave the
          authority to them to baptize--he laid his hands upon their heads
          and ordained them. Thus the hands of an immortal being--a man
          sent from heaven--were laid upon their heads! They were ordained
          to that same Priesthood that John himself held, with the promise
          and prediction that the Priesthood should not be taken from the
          earth while the earth should stand.
          They were commanded to be baptized, and having received the
          authority to administer the ordinance, they went forth and
          baptized each other, on the 15th of May, 1829, nearly one year
          before the rise of this Church, which took place on the 6th of
          April, 1830. Prior to the last mentioned date the Lord bestowed
          authority upon His servants to officiate in still higher
          ordinances than those pertaining to the Aaronic Priesthood. That
          Priesthood could administer baptism for the remission of sins,
          but it had no power or authority to administer the Spirit. But
          there was a Priesthood that had that power and authority. John
          speaks of another Priesthood greater than that which he held.
          Said he, "There is one coming after me mightier than I. He holds
          a Priesthood greater than that which has been bestowed upon me,
          namely, the Priesthood of Melchizedek. He shall baptize you with
          fire and the Holy Ghost. I can only administer in the outward
          ordinance; I have not the right to administer to you this higher
          ordinance." It was so with Joseph Smith and Oliver Cowdery: they
          could only baptize with water until they received a Priesthood
          greater than that which John the Baptist held. And when the Lord
          was about to organize His Church, He prepared them by sending men
          who had once been here on the earth--namely, Peter, James and
          John, to bestow upon them this higher Priesthood.
          How did these celestial personages come? Did they come
          manifesting themselves by a mere voice, or behind some screen as
          it were? No, they came personally, in their glory. They not only
          manifested their persons and their glory, but they also spoke and
          gave them the Melchizedek Priesthood, and the holy apostleship,
          which is equivalent to that Priesthood, and commanded them to
          organize and build up the Church of God on the earth, and to
          administer by the laying on of hands to those who were sincerely
          baptized in water, that they might be baptized with the greater
          baptism--of fire and the Holy Ghost.
          Here, then, was a succession of manifestations of power from the
          celestial abode. God did not suffer, in those days, Satan to make
          manifestations of his power in a very great degree. No such
          things as spirit rappings in those days! No such thing as
          planche'te--a little heart-shaped wooden thing that the devil
          makes use of in giving revelations, in those days. No such thing
          as tables dancing about the room by the power of Satan in those
          days! No such thing as a power seizing upon the hands of a man
          and using them independent of his control to write out what were
          termed revelations, in those days! By why didn't the devil
          manifest these powers long before that time? Because God would
          not suffer him: the devil is under the control of the Almighty in
          some respects. He has fallen, and the Lord will not suffer him to
          go any further than He permits; and when the people have not the
          Gospel and Priesthood in their midst, and light and knowledge
          from the heavens, He will not suffer the devil to show forth his
          power to deceive and lead them astray; therefore He determined
          that the preliminary manifestations should come form the
          celestial world, and that the Priesthood with its power and
          authority should be given from on high, before He would suffer
          the devil to come and manifest his strong delusions!
          Suffice it to say, the Church was organized, individuals were
          baptized by water and with the Holy Ghost, and when they were
          filled with the Holy Ghost they were oftentimes, in those early
          stages of the Church, covered with a pillar of fire. They were
          immersed in and clothed upon with fire, and the Holy Ghost
          entered their hearts and they were filled with the spirit of
          prophecy, and with the gift of tongues, and in process of time
          with the gift of visions, and had power to heal the sick and cast
          out devils in the name of Jesus Christ, to build up the kingdom
          of God and establish righteousness upon the face of the earth, so
          far as they could gain influence over the hearts of the children
          of men. But wherever these servants of the Most High went
          persecution followed them. There was a howl from the pulpit from
          Maine to Texas and from one extremity of the Union to the other,
          crying out against new revelation. All the papers and periodicals
          of the day, far and near, published articles against the idea of
          receiving new revelation; there seemed to be a perfect flood
          coming from all quarters of the land testifying to the supposed
          absurdity of receiving new communication from the Almighty. By
          and by persecution became so great that scores and scores of the
          Saints were put to death in Missouri; and this was followed up
          until the Prophet and Patriarch of the Church were martyred and
          the people driven from their homes, their property destroyed, and
          every means in the power of the enemy used to uproot and destroy
          the fullness of the Gospel and the Priesthood out of the earth.
          What was the matter in those days, and why were they so
          embittered against this people? "You have," said they, "brought
          us something so strange! You pretend to visions! You pretend to
          new revelations! You pretend that God has spoken! You pretend
          that angels have come! You pretend that God has revealed another
          record, another Bible! You pretend that you have received the
          Priesthood and the apostleship, and for these things you are not
          worthy to dwell in our midst! You must be persecuted from city to
          city, you must be driven from your houses and lands, your
          property must be confiscated and destroyed, and there is no power
          in this country of ours that can protect you in those views which
          you have so strangely advanced in the midst of this Christian
          Was there any polygamy in those days among the Latter-day Saints?
          No; God had not revealed and established this practice among them
          in those days; they were not persecuted for any such thing, it
          was not named; but we were persecuted because we believed in the
          same principles that the ancient apostles and Christians believed
          in. But by and by, after having shed the blood of the prophets,
          and the Saints had been driven from their lands and from one city
          to another, and their property destroyed, when the wicked had
          ripened themselves in iniquity, and prepared themselves in a
          great degree for the overwhelming judgments of the Almighty, and
          when they found that the people were not to be put down by
          persecution, and that we would continue publishing these new
          tidings, far and wide, the devil took another turn. What was it?
          Said he, "I see they cannot be put down with persecution, they go
          forth and the people will believe them more or less; we cannot
          destroy them, and if we destroy their property and drive them
          from place to place it makes no difference, so I will show them
          that the world can have revelation enough," and he commenced. But
          instead of calling upon men and beginning something great and
          good, in a godlike manner, he called upon certain females,
          residing not far from where the plates of the Book of Mormon were
          found, where the people had been warned, perhaps, longer than in
          any other portion of the United States. These ladies, Misses Fox
          by name, began bringing forth supernatural manifestations. Others
          did the same in a short time, and they have continued until the
          present day and have spread over the whole United States and many
          other parts of the world. If you go forth and make inquiries in
          regard to these manifestations, you will find that there are
          several missions of people in this country that believe in them.
          What a change between now and forty years ago! Then you could
          scarcely find one in the whole Christian world that would admit
          the probability of new revelation or supernatural manifestations;
          now there are millions in the United States alone!
          Do these manifestations affect, for good, those who believe in
          them? Do they cause them to repent of their sins? No; they who
          blaspheme the name of God almost with every breath, and that will
          cheat and take every advantage possible of their brethren; they
          who will lie and steal and do every species of wickedness and
          abominations are the very ones that the devil works through;
          still the whole Christian world, apparently, are now willing to
          admit new revelation. Oh, yes! They have forgotten how they
          persecuted the Latter-day Saints because they believed in new
          revelation, and they can now believe in revelation by wholesale!
          They will not believe in records given through the medium of the
          prophets; but they are ready enough to believe if a wicked man
          who will blaspheme the name of Jesus is the medium and is made a
          participant in this great power. Such characters do not need any
          organization from God, they do not need any baptism, ordinances
          or Priesthood.
          The devil has invented various names for his manifestations in
          order to get the people to swallow them down; the same as the
          doctors. When they wish to administer some nauseous kind of
          medicine, they sweeten it up a little. So the devil has sweetened
          up these things in such a way that he has got almost all these
          manifestations under the name of science. If you want to see a
          species of devilism made manifest, it comes out under a
          scientific phraseology, under the specious name of
          electro-biology, animal-magnetism, or some such popular
          name--names that have been given to real sciences, which have
          their laws, founded in nature, are now given to these
          supernatural manifestations. Why does Satan use their artifices?
          Because the people at the present day have become naturally
          scientific, or a great many of them have; and the devil thinks if
          he can only invent a real, nice, beautiful name, with some
          resemblance to a scientific name, a great many of these persons
          will swallow it down, and think it all right.
          Several years ago, about the time of the commencement of the war,
          Brother Erastus Snow and myself were down in New York City.
          Spiritualism, at that time, was all the order of the day. Almost
          all those old members of the Church that had been in Nauvoo and
          Kirtland and had apostatized, had fled into New York,
          Philadelphia, St. Louis, and throughout the Eastern cities; and
          in going through any of these cities, if you heard anything about
          these apostates, you would hear about them being great mediums:
          there was scarcely a case but what they were spiritual mediums.
          Some of the worst kind of apostates--apostates who had turned
          away from everything good, from every principle of righteousness,
          had become great mediums. Some of them were writing mediums; some
          of them would work with a table; some would have manifestations
          in one way and some in another.
          While brother Snow and I were in New York, a very learned judge,
          a man very noted for his great attainments, and who had been a
          judge in the City of New York, I think his name was Edmunds, gave
          us an interview. We promised to meet him early in the evening. I
          think we stayed until nearly twelve at night and talked with that
          man. He had written a great many works in relation to
          spiritualism, and had lectured at New York and other places to
          very large assemblies in regard to its truth. We were very glad
          to have an opportunity of hearing from his own mouth something
          about these supernatural manifestations. We did not expect to
          gain any particular light, any further than this--while
          travelling on a mission abroad we wished to know how to detect
          the devil on his own ground, in relation to those things we had
          continually to meet with. Mr. Edmunds told us about the mediums
          speaking in Greek and in Latin; about persons who had never
          learned to write and had never written a word in their lives,
          whose arms had been taken possession of, and their writing a
          great variety of writing; also about bells being carried about
          the room and rung. He also informed us that many persons had not
          only seen and heard these manifestations, but they had actually
          seen the personages, by whom they were made, especially their
          faces, arms and hands.
          We inquired of him, if they believed in any Priesthood? Oh, no.
          "Do they generally believe that Jesus Christ is the Savior of the
          world?" "Oh no, he was a very good man, no doubt, and write a
          good many good precepts; he was not much better than other good
          men, only he happened to have some precepts beyond the age in
          which he lived. But this age is far superior to that, and
          consequently all those things that Jesus and his apostles
          revealed are thrown in the shade. They belonged to a
          semi-barbarous age, but we have a system and dispensation far
          superior to that." This was the tenor of this gentleman's
          conversation in regard to these things. He also told about
          different spheres of glory, and different orders of angels, the
          latter, we were told, being personages from different spheres.
          They required no Priesthood, no authority, no ordinances, no such
          thing as baptism or organization.
          When we heard these things we saw, truly, that as the devil did
          manifest his power in ancient times among the Egyptians, because
          they had persecuted the people of God, put to death their young
          infants, and shed innocent blood, even so, directly in the midst
          of our nation, his evil power was again manifested in strong
          delusion. Having persecuted the Saints of God, and having shed
          the blood of His prophets and Saints and driven them from place
          to place, and banished them beyond the Rocky Mountains, thinking
          that they had certainly got rid of them, and that they would
          perish there. Having become so exceedingly wicked, we saw that
          the devil was showing forth his power on the right hand and on
          the left, for their delusion and destruction.
          Now let us again speak of the apostates. Apostates seem to be the
          greatest mediums in Spiritualism, where they have neither order,
          church, nor Priesthood. These apostates, generally, had fallen
          into the idea that Jesus, and the apostles and prophets of
          ancient times, were living in barbarous ages, far behind the
          civilization of our day, but that they were called upon to open
          up a wonderful dispensation, and to reveal light far superior to
          that which had ever been revealed by any prophet who ever lived
          on the earth. This seems to have been the general idea of those
          apostates called mediums. I do not know but I am taking up too
          much time, but I must now come a little nearer home.
          You have no doubt heard and reflected upon what is termed a very
          great and wonderful "movement"--something that is going to build
          up Zion in purity, taking place in our midst. The "movement" was
          commenced by a few individuals who had been cut off by the
          highest authority of the church and kingdom of God, and expelled
          because of teaching and publishing things contrary to the order
          of this Church. Now what do you suppose is the real foundation on
          which these few individuals are working? I will tell you, and
          what I tell you, I will tell you as a person that has heard from
          their own mouths; I would much rather have it from their own
          mouths than from a second-hand source. I have seen Messrs. W. S.
          Bodge and E. L. T. Harrison once since they were cut off from the
          Church. I went to see Mr. Godbe, but he was not at home. I was
          invited to take a seat in the presence of Mr. E. L. T. Harrison,
          and heard him, for an hour or two, relate his spiritual
          manifestations. Mr. Godbe, hearing that I had been to see him,
          sent me a letter requesting me to meet again with them. I met
          with him in a private room, separate from any of the rest, and I
          had a long conversation with him. My object in meeting with these
          gentlemen was to see if it were possible to point out to them
          their foolishness and the foolishness of their conduct and the
          course they were taking, what it would lead to and how much
          misery it would make them in time to come if they did not repent.
          I did not know, before going to see them, that they were so fully
          wrapt up in Spiritualism, or what I term Spiritualism, for it is
          a good species of this same kind of Spiritualism of which I have
          been speaking. They both, separately, one on one evening, the
          other on another, related to me their supernatural
          manifestations, commencing some fifteen months before. They told
          me they had had interviews, by hearing a voice without seeing any
          person, with Heber C. Kimball, who taught them a great many
          things which, according to my ideas, conflicted with the
          instructions contained in the Doctrine and Covenants, such as
          sending men on missions, etc. The tenor of the instructions he
          received on this subject was that no person, when called on a
          mission, need go unless he got the light of the Spirit thereon in
          his own heart, to tell him whether it was right that he should
          go; in other words they need not go because of being appointed by
          the voice of the Priesthood or the general Conference of the
          Latter-day Saints. Now, who does not know, except those who are
          infatuated and overcome by false spirits, that that is directly
          in opposition to the Book of Doctrine and Covenants? The Lord
          says there, "Whomsoever you shall lay your hands upon and ordain
          and send forth will be with them and bless them; I will go before
          their faces and will be on their rearward, and my Spirit shall be
          in their hearts." It is not, therefore, for every man, when he is
          commanded by the voice of the Priesthood, to think he is to be
          his own judge whether he is to go forth on that calling or not
          and still remain in fellowship. That is not the way of Heaven,
          for the Lord says in the same book that "all things"--remember
          this is very broad in its nature--"all things shall be done by
          the voice of my servants whom I have appointed, pertaining to the
          calling and missions of the Priesthood;" and all things
          pertaining to the building up of the kingdom of God are to be
          done in this way. Now these spirits have taught them directly to
          the contrary of this. They named over to me other individuals who
          came to them. They said that Joseph Smith came to them; that
          Peter, James and John came to them; they also said that Jesus,
          himself, came to them, and that Solomon came to them, and he was
          rather against the idea, recorded in the Book of Mormon, about
          his concubines; he said he never had any concubines, but that all
          his women, so far as he understood the subject, were wives. This
          repudiates not only the Book of Mormon but the Scriptures also,
          for in the latter we are told that he had seven hundred wives and
          three hundred concubines. The Book of Mormon does not number the
          concubines and wives that he had; but the record, contained
          there, seemed to touch the feelings of the old gentleman, and he
          desired to get out of it and to explain the matter. He said the
          things contained in the Book of Mormon and Scriptures were not to
          be received just as they were spoken, and that he felt himself
          justified in contradicting that saying of Jacob in the Book of
          Mormon. So much for Solomon's visit.
          They also said that James, in connection with Peter and John,
          gave them many instructions, which Mr. Godbe read to me; he also
          read to me many instructions purporting to have come from Heber
          C. Kimball and Joseph Smith, and he told me there was great deal
          more that they did not let me see. Probably I was not strong
          enough in the faith to see it. These statements were made to me
          in the most perfect plainness. I told them, "I do not believe in
          the truthfulness of your manifestations. I believe you have had
          manifestations, just as you say, but I do not believe that Peter,
          James, John, Solomon, Joseph Smith, Heber Kimball or Jesus has
          been to you. I do not believe one of them has been to you, it is
          the devil, just the same as he has manifested himself in the
          world." "Oh," said they, "here is the difference between us and
          them: we believe in the Priesthood; we believe in plurality of
          wives; we believe in the order of the Church," and so on. Said I,
          "Don't you know that the devil would be very foolish, if he
          wished to lead astray men who had been in this Church, who had
          been taught for years to believe the principles you believe in,
          if he should undertake to lead them astray by telling them there
          was no truth in all these things? The devil can adapt himself to
          the belief of any person. If you believed in plurality he would
          make you think it was all right. If he could get you to swallow
          down one or two great lies that would effect your destruction,
          and which you would preach and destroy many others, he would not
          mind how many truths you might believe. He would be willing that
          you should believe a great many things absolutely true if he
          could only deceive you and lead you astray and get you to reject
          some of the fundamental principles of your salvation, and the
          salvation of the people." "But O," said they, "how happy we feel!
          We do not feel any animosity to anyone; no anger in our bosoms.
          We love the President and his council; we love the Twelve and the
          whole Church."
          "Now," said I, "supposing, for argument's sake, that you really
          believe these manifestations were from God, but that the
          personages calling themselves Peter, James, John, Joseph, Jesus,
          Heber C. Kimball were not those personages at all, so long as
          your faith was fixed that they were what they represented
          themselves to be, what would be your feelings about it? You would
          die for it, just the same as the Pagans will do for their idol
          worship; just the same as thousands have done among the false
          sects of Christendom in ages past. They were sincere, they had
          joy in their works, but by and by, as the Book of Mormon says,
          'the end comes and they are hewn down and cast into the fire.'"
          So those men have joy in their works; they are as happy as happy
          can be, apparently, because they believe in these simple,
          foolish, vain, false spirits that have taken advantage of them to
          lead them astray. Said I, "The true reason that I do not believe
          in any of your manifestations is, that your 'manifesto,' that you
          have published and sent forth among the people, contains things
          so absolutely in opposition to the Book of Doctrine and Covenants
          that I know no good angel or spirit ever revealed them to you."
          Mr. Godbe wanted to know in what respects. I pointed out a number
          of things where they come out in opposition to that book. In
          order to get around this he told me that the spirits had
          manifested that it (the Book of doctrine and Covenants) was not
          to be relied upon in the fullest sense of the word, in our
          present state of light and knowledge; that those revelations and
          commandments were given in our weakness; but that God had greater
          light to give us now, hence we must not take them exactly as they
          I referred to the Book of Doctrine and Covenants, in opposition
          to their "manifesto," to show how the Lord and His Priesthood
          were to govern and control in temporal as well as in spiritual
          things; "but," said I, "your spirits teach that they must only
          teach the spiritual things, and have no business to assume
          control in temporal concerns, but let every man follow the bent
          of his own mind." "This," said I, "proves to me that your spirits
          never came from God." I was very gentle with them; did not
          express myself harshly, but in a plain and pointed manner.
          I have taken up this subject, of false and true spiritual
          manifestations, and laid it before this congregation on the spur
          of the moment. I inquired of brother Brigham, as I came on the
          stand, on what subject I should speak, and he said, "Every spirit
          that confesses that Jesus is the Christ is of God, and every
          spirit that does not confess this is not of God." The nature of
          these spirits, in their manifestations, is to lessen the power
          and authority of the great Redeemer, as our God and the Lord of
          this creation. You go among the Spiritualists abroad and you can
          scarcely find one individual that will acknowledge the power,
          glory and greatness of our Redeemer. So it is with those who
          manifest themselves here. They dare not come out all at once;
          but, as I told them, "You are so infatuated, so led astray by
          these false manifestations, and you believe them so firmly, I see
          no possible hope for your recovery, until, perhaps, at some
          future time the revelations that you will get may be so absurd as
          to stagger your own faith; then you may go into infidelity."
          I expect this. I find that this is the case with these
          manifestations abroad. The mediums will work at them for a
          season, but they find so many absurdities and contradictions,
          that they finally relinquish them, and turn to infidelity, and
          say, "There is no truth in anything."
          Pardon me for speaking so plain. I did not pledge myself when
          Messrs. Harrison and Godbe spoke to me about their manifestations
          that I would hold my peace. I told them I had spoken very
          pointedly against their principles, and I intended to do so in
          the future, believing, with all my heart, and know that they were
          not from Heaven.
          Did they see any of these personages? Both of them say they saw
          none of them; it was merely a voice that they heard. They
          pretended to have seen a light when Jesus came; after he had
          talked a little while they say they saw a little light, but no
          How very different were the manifestations I have laid before
          you, when Jesus ministered to Joseph Smith, and when the angels
          came to him! He not only heard their voices but saw their persons
          and their glory, and how they were dressed; and he was inspired
          to build up the kingdom of God and bring forth the records of the
          Book of Mormon. How very different from this is this covering
          themselves up in the dark to deceive! The whole spirit world in
          the lower orders is full of deception, and unless you have
          something to detect and understand the true from the false you
          are liable to be led astray and destroyed.
          I do not know that I need say anything further about these two
          powers, only that all evil powers will go to their own place;
          and, unless these men repent, the same being that has power over
          them here in the flesh will hold them in captivity in the next
          world; unless they repent, the same being who gives them
          revelation here will hold the mastery over them there, and will
          control them; and if they do not find a dictating and controling
          power in the Priesthood, they will find it among those beings to
          whom they have yielded themselves subject to obey; and so will
          every other person that yields to false influences: they will be
          overcome and Satan will destroy them, unless they repent. Amen.
          Journal of Discourses / Journal of Discourses, Volume 13 /
          Brigham Young, December 10th, 1868
                         Brigham Young, December 10th, 1868
          At the Funeral of the late President Daniel Spencer, on Thursday,
                December 10th, 1868, at the 13th Ward Assembly Rooms,
                                Great Salt Lake City.
          "Blessed are the dead that die in the Lord: yea, saith the
          spirit, henceforth they rest from their labors;" or, in other
          words, blessed are those who have received the Priesthood of the
          Son of God, and have honored it in their lives. Those who have
          honored their calling and Priesthood to the end die in the Lord,
          and their words do follow them. Our brother has lived faithful
          during his life, and has gone to his rest. We do not mourn as
          others do. We can truly say that we have a hope--a knowledge. The
          way of life and salvation has been revealed to us, giving us
          knowledge of the present and future. We rejoice. Shall we rejoice
          that we have the opportunity of paying the last respects due to
          this lifeless clay, which a few days ago was alive and active,
          full of spirit, attending the High Council, giving decisions full
          of knowledge? Yes, we will rejoice. It is a matter of rejoicing
          more than the day of his birth. It is true it is grievous to part
          with our friends. We are creatures of passion, of sympathy, of
          love, and it is painful for us to part with our friends. We would
          keep them in the mortal house, though they should suffer pain.
          Are we not selfish in this? Should we not rather rejoice at the
          departure of those whose lives have been devoted to doing good,
          to a good old age? Brother Spencer has lived beyond what is
          counted to be the common age of man some four or five years; his
          judgment was as active as it was twenty-five years ago. He has
          been faithful in this holy war. He instructed all with whom he
          met in the way of life. He never gave counsel but what marked the
          way to life everlasting.
          I say to the wives and children and relations, we have more
          reason to rejoice for Daniel Spencer to-day, than on any day of
          his mortal life. He lives--he has gone on a mission. We are
          taking steps to the very place he has gone to. That which was
          made subject to sin through the fall, has fled to its eternal
          place. This is only a mystery to those who do not understand. But
          we have joy in the dissolution of the body. While the spirit
          remains in the body, it is liable to sin and overthrow. We are
          only preserved by the grace of God and our own faithfulness.
          Brother Spencer was, while in the body, subject to temptations
          and the vanities that are in the world. So with us. That silent
          clay is consigned to rest, and the spirit is free--gone to God
          who gave it. How far had he to go to get to the Lord? According
          to the ancients, he is dwelling there. David says, "If I were to
          flee to the uttermost parts of the earth, thou art there." God is
          everywhere by His Spirit, and his spirit is free--it can see the
          Lord as well in this room as to travel millions of miles away. If
          he is watching us now, he has not the privilege of speaking to
          us. God has placed the spirits of the departed subject to bounds,
          and they are controlled by certain laws. They have not the
          privilege of joining with us in our mental exercises; yet brother
          Spencer is in the presence of the Lord. Shall we be in the
          presence of God, as brother Spencer is? Yes, if we are faithful,
          for we have the privilege of being crowned with immortality and
          eternal lives. All people have their guardian angels. Whether our
          departed dead guard us is not for me to say. I can say we have
          our guardian angels.
          I say to the family of brother Spencer, there is no cause to
          mourn. This body is sown in mortality. This tabernacle is from
          the elements of the earth. We are of the earth, earthy, yet this
          tabernacle, through faithfulness whilst here in the flesh, has
          the promise of a glorious resurrection. If the spirit brought
          into subjection the whole man, bringing every portion of the
          flesh subject to the law of God, it has the promise of a
          resurrection. All the component parts of this body, which now
          lies before us, will be resurrected, and be prepared to enter
          into the presence of the Father and the Son. Some have supposed
          that it matters not what particles we receive again. In this they
          are mistaken. The parts which have been honored by the
          faithfulness of the spirit in this life will be joined in the
          life to come.
          It has been the idea of many that the spirit goes directly to God
          who gave it. Does it remain there? Go on the great battle-field
          of the past, and if they could be seen the spirits of the slain
          are hovering around their dust. They stay about this earth until
          there is another call for them. The kingdom and place where
          brother Spencer is called to dwell, he will be in. Every departed
          spirit is subject to the laws that govern the spirit world. What
          do we gain by being faithful to the Gospel of the Son of God? We
          gain life and salvation. Salvation in this world and the world to
          come. When they leave the body those spirits are free from the
          power of the enemy. There are wicked men in the spirit world.
          Millions of them will have the privilege of receiving the Gospel
          in the spirit, that they may be judged according to men in the
          flesh, and no doubt but many will reject the Gospel there. Jesus
          went to preach to the spirits in prison. The faithful Elders who
          leave this world will preach to the spirits in the spirit world.
          In that world there are millions and millions to every Elder who
          leaves here, and yet every spirit will be preached to that has
          had a tabernacle on the earth and become accountable.
          This is the plan of salvation. Jesus will never cease his work
          until all are brought up to the enjoyment of a kingdom in the
          mansions of his Father, where there are many kingdoms and many
          glories, to suit the works and faithfulness of all men that have
          lived on the earth. Some will obey the celestial law and receive
          of its glory, some will abide the terrestrial and some the
          telestial, and others will receive a glory. Our brother is living
          to-day, and is bright with intelligence to preach the Gospel in
          the spirit world. We know where his remains are. They are here.
          But where is his spirit? He is in the line of his duty, and
          prepared to do more good than if he were upon the earth. As
          quickly as the spirit is unlocked from this house of clay, it is
          free to travel with lightning speed to any planet, or fixed star,
          or to the uttermost part of the earth, or to the depths of the
          sea, according to the will of Him who dictates. Every faithful
          man's labor will continue as long as the labor of Jesus, until
          all things are redeemed that can be redeemed, and presented to
          the Father. There is a great work before us. We plant the seed in
          the ground and it comes forth, being warmed by the sun and
          nourished by the earth. By the same great laws of God the earth
          and its fullness have been produced, giving various degrees of
          intelligence. The Lord is raising a crop, and He will continue to
          labor until the work is finished.
          May we all be faithful as brother Spencer was. I say to his
          family, God bless you. You have cause to rejoice. In 1840 he was
          ready to go into the grave with consumption, but he embraced the
          Gospel, health was restored to him, and he has lived to a good
          old age and has done a good work. May God bless you. Amen.
          Journal of Discourses / Journal of Discourses, Volume 13 / George
          Albert Smith, June 20, 1869
                         George Albert Smith, June 20, 1869
           Delivered in the New Tabernacle, Salt Lake City, June 20, 1869
                            (Reported by David W. Evans.)
          When Joseph Smith was about 15 years old there was, in the
          western part of the State of New York, a considerable excitement
          upon the subject of religion. The various denominations in that
          part of the country were stirred up with a spirit of revival.
          They held protracted meetings and many were converted. At the end
          of this excitement a scramble ensued as to which of the
          denominations should have the proselytes. Of the family of Joseph
          Smith, his mother, his brothers Hyrum and Samuel, and sister
          Sophronia, became members of the Presbyterian Church. Joseph
          reflected much upon the subject of religion, and was astonished
          at the ill-feeling that seemed to have grown out of the division
          of the spoils, if we may so use the term, at the close of the
          reformation. He spent much time in prayer and reflection and in
          seeking the Lord. He was led to pray upon the subject in
          consequence of the declaration of the Apostle James: "If any of
          you lack wisdom, let him ask of God that giveth to all men
          liberally and upbraideth not." [James, 1st chap., 5th verse.] He
          sought the Lord by day and by night, and was enlightened by the
          vision of an holy angel. When this personage appeared to him, one
          of his first inquiries was, "Which of the denominations of
          Christians in the vicinity was right?" He was told they had all
          gone astray, they had wandered into darkness, and that God was
          about to restore the Gospel in its simplicity and purity to the
          earth; he was, consequently, directed not to join any one of
          them, but to be humble and seek the Lord with all his heart, and
          that from time to time he should be taught and instructed in
          relation to the right way to serve the Lord.
          These visions continued from time to time, and in 1830 he
          published to the world the translation of the book now known as
          the "Book of Mormon," and on the 6th of April of that year,
          having received the authority by special revelation, organized
          the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, which was
          composed of six members--namely, Joseph Smith, Oliver Cowdery,
          Hyrum Smith, Peter Whitmer, jun., Samuel H. Smith and David
          The family of Joseph Smith were in moderate circumstances. They
          were very industrious, and had held a respectable position in
          society; but on this occasion the tongue of slander was pointed
          at them, and very soon after the organization of the Church,
          vexatious lawsuits were commenced, and Joseph was arrested and
          taken before a magistrate and dismissed. He was again arrested
          and taken to an adjoining county and treated contemptuously, spit
          upon and insulted in various other ways. His case was
          investigated and he was again dismissed. This time the mob
          resolved to treat him to a coat of tar and feathers, from which,
          however, he was shielded by the officers in whose custody he had
          been held. It was looked upon, by many in those days, as a
          species of fun to treat Joseph Smith or the Elders of the Church,
          wherever they went, in a contemptuous manner. The pulpit and the
          press almost invariably joined in the outcry against the new
          Church, and the predictions were that in a few days it would be
          After a few months a Conference was organized and missionaries
          started towards the West, Joseph having been commanded, by
          revelation from the Lord, to establish a gathering place near the
          western boundary of Missouri. He accordingly sent missionaries in
          that direction, among whom were Oliver Cowdery and Parley P.
          Pratt. On their way across the State of Ohio they visited a
          society known as the Campbellites, led by Sidney Rigdon. They
          preached to them and baptized Rigdon and about a hundred members
          of his church, many of whom, and their children, are citizens of
          this Territory to-day. After this they continued their journey
          westward to Independence, in the vicinity of Jackson county. Soon
          after this the Saints who were scattered in various parts of
          Western New York removed, part to Missouri and part to Kirtland,
          in Geauga, now Lake, county, Ohio, where they founded a city and
          built a Temple. In Jackson county, Missouri, they purchased land,
          built mills, established a printing office, the first one that
          was established in the western part of the State of Missouri, and
          opened an extensive mercantile house. They introduced the culture
          of wheat and many other kinds of grain, for the inhabitants of
          that locality were principally new settlers, and they cultivated
          chiefly Indian corn. The Saints also commenced the culture of
          fruit, and although they came there with little means, the heads
          of families were generally able to buy from forty acres to a
          section of land, and in a few months, by their untiring industry,
          they began to prosper and flourish in a manner almost
          In about two years, however, they met with opposition; a mob
          assembled and tore down their printing office, broke open their
          mercantile house, scattered their goods to the four winds. They
          also seized their Bishop and presiding Elders, and inflicted upon
          them personal abuse, such as whipping, and daubing them with tar
          and feathers, while others were mutilated and killed, which
          finally resulted, in the month of November, 1833, in the
          expulsion from the county of Jackson of about fifteen hundred
          people; about three hundred of their houses were burned to ashes.
          During the period of the residence of the Saints in this county
          there had never been a lawsuit of any description instituted
          against any of them; if there had been any violation of law
          amongst them, there were ample means to have had the law
          enforced, because the officers, both civil and military, were not
          of their faith. But the real facts of the case were, the Saints
          were regarded as fanatics; and one of the main points in a
          declaration published against them was, that they "blasphemously
          professed to heal the sick with holy oil." In accordance with the
          instructions of St. James, contained in his epistle, 5th chap.
          and 14th verse, it has ever been a practice in the Church of
          Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints from its organization, when any
          are sick among them, to send for the Elders of the Church to
          anoint such with oil and pray for them, believing the Apostle
          James, "that the prayer of faith will save the sick." This item
          of faith is still practiced in all the branches of the Church,
          and thousands and tens of thousands bear testimony at the present
          time of the miraculous healings that have been effected by the
          power of God through these administrations. Yet at that period it
          was made a crime, and was one of the principal charges on which
          the Latter-day Saints were expelled from Jackson county.
          From this county the Saints were driven to Clay county, and most
          of them remained there about three years, during which time they
          performed a great amount of labor for the people of Clay county,
          for the inhabitants were mostly new settlers who possessed
          nothing seemingly in the way of property save Indian corn, hogs
          and cattle. They hired the Saints to labor, who made brick, built
          fine houses, and enlarged their farms, erected mills, and, in
          fact, acquired considerable property by industry in laboring for
          the people in Clay county. The mob of Jackson county endeavored
          to stir up the people of Clay against the Saints, which
          culminated in a request on the part of the people of Clay that
          the Latter-day Saints would leave. They accordingly hunted out a
          new county without inhabitants and almost without timber, called
          Caldwell county, and moved into it, purchasing land and occupying
          it, of which they were the sole inhabitants. They also spread out
          into the adjoining new counties, on to the unoccupied land, and
          purchased and improved it.
          From the best of my recollection the Latter-day Saints paid the
          United States Government some $318,000 for land in the State of
          Missouri, but yet, in the winter and early spring of 1839, they
          were expelled from that State, with the entire loss of their
          lands and improvements and most of their personal property, under
          an exterminating order from Lilburn W. Boggs, Governor of that
          State, requiring them to leave under pain of extermination. But
          they were told that any of them who would renounce their religion
          would be permitted to stay. The result was that about fifteen
          thousand persons were expelled from Missouri and their property,
          to most of which they still hold the titles; and when the day
          arrives that the Constitution of the United States becomes
          absolutely the supreme law of the land, so that all men can be
          protected in their civil and religious rights, they and their
          children will go back and enjoy their cherished homes in the
          State of Missouri.
          After leaving Missouri they located themselves in the State of
          Illinois. There was a town known as Commerce--noted for being
          unhealthy. The location was very beautiful, but the place was
          surrounded with swamp lands to a considerable extent. Attempts
          had been made to settle it, but there were a great many graves in
          the burying ground, and but very few living people in the
          vicinity. The Saints went there and purchased property. They
          drained the swamps and cleaned them out, and converted the whole
          vicinity into gardens, and continued to improve and enlarge the
          place until February, 1846. The commencement of the settlement in
          Commerce, Hancock county, Illinois, was in the summer of 1839.
          June 27, 1844, Joseph and Hyrum Smith, the Prophet and Patriarch
          of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, were murdered
          in Carthage jail, in Hancock county, Illinois, while under the
          pledge of the Governor, Thos. Ford, who had plighted the faith of
          the State, at the time of their arrest, that they should be
          protected from mob violence, and have a fair trial in the
          lawfully constituted courts of the State. They were confined in
          jail on a trumped up charge of treason upon the affidavit of a
          drunken vagabond. They were murdered by about 150 persons with
          blackened faces, some of them persons of high position in
          society. I will here say that in all these transactions--I refer
          to the outrages committed by the mobs on the Latter-day
          Saints--there never was a single instance of the guilty parties
          being brought to justice under the laws of the State where the
          occurrence transpired.
          The city of Nauvoo and vicinity had probably about 20,000
          inhabitants. They were remarkable for their industry, and the
          city was conspicuous for peace, quietness and good order, and for
          the rapid manner in which improvements had been made. They
          continued to build up the city though they were constantly
          harassed by mob violence, and warned from time to time that they
          should be driven away. They finished the Temple, which was one of
          the most beautiful structures in the Western States, and
          dedicated it unto the Lord. They were progressing with other
          large buildings, establishing factories and making many
          improvements, when the efforts of mobocracy culminated in their
          expulsion from their beautiful city and Temple.
          That they might not act hastily nor unadvisedly, a committee of
          Latter-day Saints prepared a petition and sent it to the Governor
          of every State in the Union, except the Governor of Missouri, and
          also to the President of the United States, asking them for an
          asylum, and to afford them that protection which was extended to
          other religious bodies. All the States, except one, treated their
          application with silence. Governor Drew, of Arkansas, wrote them
          a respectful letter, in which he advised them to seek a home in
          Previous to the death of Joseph Smith, he had selected
          twenty-five men--most of whom now reside here--to explore the
          Rocky Mountains, with the view of finding a place where they
          could make a location that would be out of the range and beyond
          the influence of mobs, where they could enjoy the rights
          guaranteed to them by the Constitution of our common country. The
          premature death of Joseph and Hyrum Smith, however, prevented
          their departure; the result was that, during the year 1845, it
          devolved upon the Twelve to carry out this design. But in the
          course of that year the mob broke upon them with more than their
          usual fury. They commenced by burning the farm-houses in the
          vicinity of Lima; they burned 175 houses without the least
          resistance on the part of the inhabitants. The sheriff of Hancock
          county issued orders for the "citizens who were not Mormons" to
          turn out and stop the burning; but none obeyed his order. He then
          issued a proclamation calling upon all, irrespective of sect or
          party, to turn out and stop the burning. The burning was
          accordingly stopped, but there was a general outcry against the
          "Mormons," and immediately nine counties assembled in convention
          and passed a decree that the "Mormons" should leave the State.
          Governor Ford said it was impossible to protect the people of
          Nauvoo. The Hon. Stephen A. Douglas, Gen. John J. Hardin and
          several other gentlemen repaired thither and made a kind of a
          treaty with them, in which it was agreed that mob violence and
          vexatious lawsuits were to cease on condition that the people of
          Nauvoo would leave the State, and that they would assist the
          Saints in the disposal of their property. It was also agreed that
          if a majority would leave, the remainder should be permitted to
          remain until they, by the sale of their property, were able to
          get away. The Saints then organized themselves into companies of
          a hundred families each, and established wagon shops for every
          fifty. They took the green timber out of the woods and boiled it
          in brine and made it into wagons. Their supply of iron was very
          limited, but with what little means they could control they
          purchased iron, and exhausted the supply of all the towns on the
          upper Mississippi, and made up the deficiency with raw hide and
          hickory withes.
          On the 6th of February, 1846, the Saints commenced crossing the
          river. They crossed first on flat boats; but in a few days the
          river closed up and something like a thousand wagons crossed over
          on the ice, moving out west into the sparsely settled district on
          the eastern borders of Iowa; the settlements extending back from
          fifty to seventy miles. From that point it was a wilderness
          without roads, bridges, or improvements of any kind. They moved
          off, however, into this wilderness country in winter, and
          continued through the spring amid the most terrific storms and
          suffering from cold and exposure. In their progress to Council
          Bluffs they bridged thirty or forty streams, among which were the
          Locust and Medicine rivers, the three forks of the Grand River,
          the Little Platte, the One Hundred-and-Two, the Nodaway, Big
          Tarkeo, and the Nishnabatona. Bridging these streams,
          constructing roads, and breaking and enclosing three large farms
          required immense labor, which was done for the benefit and
          sustenance of those who would follow. In consequence of this and
          the inclemency of the weather they did not arrive at Council
          Bluffs on the Missouri river until late in June. The wagons and
          tents were numbered by thousands. The camps were spread out on
          the prairie for three hundred miles, moving in companies of tens,
          fifties, and hundreds.
          While the advance companies were crossing the Missouri, they, on
          the 1st of July, were called upon by Captain James Allen, of the
          United States army, who was the bearer of an order for the
          enrollment of five hundred volunteers. They could ill be spared
          in their condition, but the number was made up in a few days and
          they proceeded on their journey to Fort Leavenworth and thence by
          way of Santa Fe to California, where they, among a number of our
          countrymen, were instrumental in adding this large domain to the
          United States.
          The families of the volunteers who formed the battalion, being
          thus left without protectors, entailed much additional
          responsibility and labor upon those left behind, and rendered it
          impossible for the companies to proceed to the Rocky Mountains
          that season. They encamped at Winter Quarters, the place now
          called Florence, in the Omaha country, where they built 700 log
          cabins and 150 caves or dug-outs, in which a great number of the
          people resided through the winter. Some two thousand wagons were
          scattered about in the Pottawattamie country, on the east side of
          the Missouri--a country then uninhabited except by
          Indians--which, by a treaty of purchase, came into the possession
          of the United States the ensuing spring.
          The winter of 1846-7 was one of great suffering among the people.
          They had been deprived of vegetable food; their diet, to a great
          extent, had consisted of corn meal and pork, which they had
          purchased from the Missourians, in exchange for clothing, beds,
          jewellery, or any other property that would sell. Yet they had
          sold comparatively none of their real estate and valuable
          property; in fact, most of the land remains unsold to this day.
          Under these circumstances the people suffered a great deal from
          scurvy; the exposure they had undergone also brought on fever and
          ague, hence their stay in Winter Quarters and the region round
          about is a memorable period in their history, from the
          sufferings, difficulties, and privations with which they had to
          contend. However, they made the necessary preparations for their
          departure, and in the spring of 1847--early in April, 143
          pioneers, led by Brigham Young, started to explore and make a
          road to the Great Salt Lake Basin.
          There was not a spear of grass that their animals could obtain
          for the first two hundred miles of the journey, and they had to
          feed them on the cotton-woods that grew on the banks of the
          Platte river and other small streams. In this manner the pioneers
          worked their way, making the road as they went along. They
          travelled on the north side of the Platte, where no road had been
          before until they reached Laramie; they then crossed the North
          Fork and took the old trappers' trail and travelled on it over
          three hundred miles building ferry boats on North Platte and
          Green rivers, and then constructed a road over the mountains to
          this place.
          During this journey they looked out a route where they were
          satisfied a railroad could be built, and were just as zealous in
          their feelings that a railroad would follow their track as we are
          They arrived here on the 24th of July, 1847. They had some
          potatoes which they had brought from Missouri; they planted them
          not far from where the City Hall now stands. In a few days after
          their arrival the Mississippi Company, which had wintered on the
          Arkansas river, a few of the sick and some families left by the
          Mormon Battalion, being unable to proceed with them to the
          Pacific--numbering altogether about 150--arrived here. They then
          began to feel that they were quite a populous settlement, as they
          counted in the neighborhood of some four hundred persons. They
          laid out this Temple Block, and dedicated it to the Lord. It
          really was one of the most barren spots they ever saw. However,
          they asked the Lord to bless the land and make it fruitful. They
          built a dam and made irrigation ditches. Some of their number
          lacked faith under those trying circumstances, and subsequently
          turned away and went to other parts of the world.
          That fall--the fall of 1847--there came in here 680 wagons loaded
          with families. They built the fort commenced by the pioneers on
          the land, a portion of which is now occupied by A. O. Smoot in
          the 6th Ward of this city, the whole only covering about thirty
          acres. They dwelt in this contracted space that no temptation
          should be presented to the Indians to commit depredations.
          During the winter they prepared a systematic plan for the
          irrigation of the land, for they knew nothing about it
          previously. They were compelled to ration out their food in small
          allowances, for they had no way to get more until it grew, and it
          required a great deal of faith on the part of the people to
          remain here and run the risk of procuring supplies from the
          earth. In the winter one or two hundred of the brethren from the
          West arrived almost without provisions, having been discharged
          from the Mormon Battalion without rations or transportation to
          the place of their enlistment. They explored a new route from
          California. Some of them passed on to their families in Winter
          Quarters, suffering much for the want of provisions by the way.
          Many of them remained here, using as food everything that
          possibly could be used. The Saints divided with the battalion
          their scanty allowance of food. During the next spring many
          hundred acres of land were planted. There was, however, a pest
          here that they had never seen anywhere else. After the nursery of
          twenty thousand fruit trees had come up and the fields were green
          and there was a good prospect of grain being raised, there came
          down from the mountains myriads of large black crickets, and they
          were awfully hungry. The nurseryman went home to dinner, and when
          he returned he found only three trees left; the crickets had
          devoured them. The brethren contended with them until they were
          utterly tired out, then calling on the Lord for help were ready
          to give up the contest, when just at that time there came over
          from the Salt Lake large flocks of gulls, which destroyed the
          crickets. They would eat them until they were perfectly gorged,
          and would then disgorge, vomiting them up, and again go to and
          eat, and so they continued until the crickets had entirely
          disappeared, and thus by the blessing of God the colony was
          saved. I believe the crickets have never been a pest in this
          vicinity to any serious extent since. This we regard as a special
          providence of the Almighty.
          The early settlers did not know how to irrigate the crops
          properly and the result was that their wheat, the first year, was
          most of it very short, so short that it had to be pulled up by
          the roots; but singularly enough there was considerable grain in
          the ear, and they raised enough to encourage them to persevere in
          their experiments, for their labors were only experiments at that
          early day and also enabled them to diffuse information on the
          subject, which proved of general benefit. This location is so
          high in the mountains, the latitude about 41 and the altitude so
          great that nearly every one thought it was impossible to raise
          fruit, but some continued to plant. In the second year of their
          arrival here their settlement was increased by nearly a thousand
          wagons from the East and a few from the West. The third year the
          immigration continued. In 1849 a handsome sum of money was
          contributed as a foundation for the Perpetual Emigration Fund,
          and Bishop Edward Hunter went East to aid those to emigrate who
          could not do so by their own means. While the Saints were
          surrounded by their enemies on every hand in Illinois, they
          entered into a solemn covenant within the walls of the Temple at
          Nauvoo that they would exert themselves to the extent of their
          influence and property to aid every Latter-day Saint that desired
          to gather to the mountains. This covenant they did not forget,
          and the very moment they began to gather a little surplus they
          commenced to use it to aid their brethren and sisters left
          behind. At first they purchased, in the East, cattle and wagons
          necessary to bring the emigrants here; but in a few years they
          raised cattle here, and sent their teams to the Missouri river
          year after year, sometimes two hundred and sometimes three
          hundred, and they have sent as many as five hundred teams, for
          several successive seasons--a team being four yoke of oxen (or
          their equivalent in horses and mules), a wagon, a teamster, also
          the necessary officers and night guard for each company of fifty
          wagons. In this way they continued to bring their brethren not
          only from every part of the United States, but also from Europe,
          Asia, Africa, and Australasia. This system of emigration is
          continued up to the present time, and has resulted in bringing
          many of the Saints together, and has materially increased the
          population of Utah.
          In the early settlement of the Territory, the Latter-day Saints
          had other obstacles to contend with besides those already
          referred to. In 1849, and for several years after, a considerable
          number of men passed through here on their way to the gold mines
          in California. Numbers of them would have perished had it not
          been for the provisions and supplies unexpectedly obtained here.
          They knew not how to outfit themselves for such a journey, and
          were unwilling to abide the restraints of organization necessary
          for their own preservation on the Plains. Hence they wore out
          their teams and quarreled with each other, and arrived here in
          ever conceivable stage of destitution. Upon their arrival here
          they were treated as friends, employed, and furnished with the
          necessary outfit as far it could be obtained. I may say that tens
          of thousands received the assistance necessary to enable them to
          proceed to California to realize, if possible, their visions of
          gold. While the Latter-day Saints were pursuing this course, they
          too were tempted with a spirit of going to the gold mines. The
          counsel given to the brethren by President Young was to stay at
          home, make their farms, cultivate the earth, build houses, and
          plant gardens and orchards. But many preferred to go to the
          mines, and they went; but I believe that in every instance those
          who went returned, not having made as much as if they had
          followed the counsel given. There was this difference: the men
          who went to California could dig a hole and take a little gold
          out of it; but after a time the supply of gold would be
          exhausted, and then, after paying their expenses, the most of
          them had nothing left but a hole in the ground; but the men who
          went to work here on their five or ten acre lots, or even on
          their city lots of an acre and a quarter, in the course of a year
          or two had a snug little home. The result was that those who
          remained at home and diligently attended to agricultural pursuits
          were the most successful.
          But among the strangers travelling through the Territory to the
          mines were many men of desperate character, and they would cause
          trouble by killing Indians near the settlements. One difficulty
          occurred here in the north--a band of men from Missouri shot some
          squaws who were riding on horseback, and took their horses; in
          revenge for this the Indians made an attack on our northern
          settlements. Similar occurrences took place in the south. The
          results was we were troubled with expensive Indian wars, caused
          by the acts of men who would rather entail trouble upon us than
          not. In consequence of outrages inflicted on the Indians, we were
          under the necessity of keeping ourselves armed and having in our
          midst a vigilant militia. In the year 1853 the inhabitants found
          it necessary to encircle this city with a wall of earth, at a
          cost of $34,000, which they did for the purpose of preventing the
          Indians stealing their horses, and to enable the small police
          force to protect the city from their depredations. From that
          period the Indians have made very little inroad on the property
          inside this city. There is, among the Indians in these mountains,
          an innate principle to steal anything and everything that lies
          unguarded in their way. When the number of horses, sheep, and
          cattle, that the people throughout the Territory have raised, is
          considered, the number stolen by the Indians is surprisingly
          small. Yet some of the outside counties have suffered severely
          and are suffering to-day from thieving bands from neighboring
          Territories. In their intercourse with the Indians they have
          acted on the principle that it is cheaper to feed them than to
          fight them. In all cases they have treated them with the
          strictest justice as far as possible, and have maintained their
          relations with them in a manner truly astonishing.
          We look around to-day and behold our city clothed with verdure
          and beautified with trees and flowers, with streams of water
          running in almost every direction, and the question is frequently
          asked, "How did you ever find this place?" I answer, we were led
          to it by the inspiration of God. After the death of Joseph Smith,
          when it seemed as if every trouble and calamity had come upon the
          Saints, Brigham Young, who was President of the Twelve, then the
          presiding Quorum of the Church, sought the Lord to know what they
          should do, and where they should lead the people for safety, and
          while they were fasting and praying daily on this subject,
          President Young had a vision of Joseph Smith, who showed him the
          mountain that we now call Ensign Peak, immediately north of Salt
          Lake City, and there was an ensign fell upon that peak, and
          Joseph said, "Build under the point where the colors fall and you
          will prosper and have peace." The Pioneers had no pilot or guide,
          none among then had every been in the country or knew anything
          about it. However, they travelled under the direction of
          President Young until they reached this valley. When they entered
          it President Young pointed to that peak, and said he, "I want to
          go there." He went up to the point and said, "This is Ensign
          Peak. Now, brethren, organize your exploring parties, so as to be
          safe from Indians; go and explore where you will, and you will
          come back every time and say this is the best place." They
          accordingly started out exploring companies and visited what we
          now call Cache, Malad, Tooele, and Utah valleys, and other parts
          of the country in various directions, but all came back and
          declared this was the best spot.
          I have travelled somewhat extensively in the Territory, and I
          bear my testimony this day, that this is the spot, and I feel
          confident that the God of Heaven by His inspiration led our
          Prophet right here. And it is the blessing of God upon the
          untiring energy and industry of the people that has made this
          once barren and sterile spot what it is to-day.
          We have struggled with all our power and might to maintain that
          morality and uprightness which pertain to the kingdom of God, and
          to place all men and all women in that high position which God
          designs them to occupy, and to prevent them being led astray by
          the immoral tendencies which are abroad in the world; but while
          doing so we have had to contend with obstacles of every kind. The
          Latter-day Saints have built commodious school-houses in every
          ward of the various cities and through all the settlements of the
          Territory. They have done all they could to promote education,
          but they have received no assistance from any source on earth.
          Almost every newly settled country has received certain donations
          in land and money to aid them in support of their schools, but in
          this Territory we have never received a cent. The money that has
          been expended for the furtherance of education in this Territory
          has been by the voluntary will of the parents. Oregon received
          donations in land to encourage its settlement, and persons who
          made the earlier settlements were permitted to occupy 640 acres
          of land, others who settled later 320, and subsequently 160, and
          liberal donations of land were made available to promote the
          cause of education. Utah has had no such encouragement. But it is
          my opinion to-day that had Congress been as liberal with us as
          with Oregon, and had given 640 or 320 acres of land to each, it
          might have hindered our progress under the circumstances. Most of
          our farmers cultivate from five to thirty acres of land, very few
          of them cultivating forty; and it requires tolerably good Saints
          not to quarrel about the water while irrigating in a dry time
          even on small tracts of land close together; but how would it
          have been if our agriculturists had each possessed 640 acres, or
          even half or quarter of that, if they were compelled by law to
          live upon and cultivate the same or forfeit it? Most of the water
          would have been wasted by evaporation and soakage because of the
          lengthy ditches which extensive cultivation would have rendered
          necessary. I verily believe that if "Gentiles" lived here they
          would fight and kill each other with their hoes in a dry time
          over the water ditches.
          The brethren will pardon me for devoting my time on the present
          occasion to this brief sketch of the history of the Church and of
          the Territory with which they are so well acquainted. In
          consequence of there being so many friends and strangers present,
          I felt inspired to give a little detail of the circumstances that
          led us here, and of some of the incidents since our arrival in
          this Territory.
          I feel to bless God for the many privileges that we enjoy, and
          among others that we are now permitted to buy our lands and
          obtain a title to them. I feel thankful to the rulers of our
          nation for showing a disposition to extend to us the privileges
          which are enjoyed in this respect by our fellow-citizens in the
          other territories.
          As early as 1852 our Legislative Assembly memorialized Congress
          for a national railway, which was subsequently endorsed by
          immense mass meetings in this and other counties. We have done
          all in our power to hurry it on. Many looked on it at the time,
          and since, as if it were work for a hundred years; but the work
          is completed, and men can come from the States in a few hours.
          When I came here with my family, in 1849, I was one hundred and
          five days driving oxen from the Missouri river across the Plains
          to this place. Now a man can come with his family in a few days.
          This is a great progress, thank the Lord for it.
          We are still at work with all our power developing in the new
          Territory everything that is useful for the sustenance of its
          inhabitants, for the establishment of manufactures, the promotion
          of agriculture, and everything that will tend to build up,
          strengthen, and benefit mankind. I fully believe that there is no
          one hundred thousand people in the United States who have done
          more actual service for their country than we have; for what
          benefits a nation is to take its worthless desert domain and
          endow it with beauty and wealth, by the strong hands of a loyal
          May God help us to fill out our days with honor is my prayer, in
          the name of Jesus. Amen.
          Journal of Discourses / Journal of Discourses, Volume 13 /
          Brigham Young, January 2, 1870
                           Brigham Young, January 2, 1870
                         REMARKS BY PRESIDENT BRIGHAM YOUNG,
            Delivered in the Tabernacle, Salt Lake City, January 2, 1870
                            (Reported by John Grimshaw.)
                          GOSPEL--BUILDING UP THE KINGDOM.
          After contemplating what you have been hearing, I want to say,
          for the consolation of these my sisters before me, I give you my
          word for it, if your children were counted and their number
          compared with that of the children born in the healthy city of
          Boston, that you do not lose three where they lose five; and I
          think the ratio would not vary much from three to six. I want to
          say this for the consolation of those sisters who live in Utah
          and bear children.
          As for what has been said here of our children and their state of
          health and general appearance, and how they present themselves to
          strangers and to friends, I am perfectly willing to compare ours
          with any in the world; and if the result is not favorable to us,
          I would be willing to part with them; but if the contrary be the
          case, let us have theirs.
          This revelation about our children came through Anna Dickinson.
          When she came here I was not at home. She stayed here one day and
          one night; I understood she was riding a good part of the night
          with a stranger, for the benefit of her health I suppose. These
          great statements about the children of Utah have come through the
          great wisdom and experience of Anna Dickinson. How much does she
          know about family affairs here? She stayed here at the Townsend
          House, I suppose, nearly twelve hours. Did sister Townsend make
          the statement which Anna Dickinson gives to the world? Anna may
          say so, but I do not believe it. I will give you one specimen of
          her knowledge with regard to the ladies of this city. In one of
          her statements she says that Brigham Young will look after the
          young ladies, and on becoming acquainted with them will find some
          of them are his own daughters. Her researches in this community
          were immense. But let me tell you she is hired by some lackeys to
          lecture against "Mormonism" and the "Mormons." I say go ahead,
          lecture away until you get into ----; and then continue your
          lectures, and afterwards hire men to say this, that and the other
          about this people; I do not know that it makes the least
          difference to you and me. It matters not to us what the press
          says, or what that judge or this officer, or what Congress says.
          We are here in these mountains; the Lord has called and led us
          here and sustained us and given us strength.
          I know more about the rising generation than most of the people
          who live in this city. I travel a great deal, and as I go into a
          small town and see the children strung out a quarter of a mile, I
          often say: "Have you borrowed these children? Where did you
          borrow them from?" I am answered: "I guess we own them here." I
          go to the next settlement and see another group, stretching
          perhaps half a mile in length, ready to receive us with their
          banners and flags and their merry greetings. I go to another and
          see them by hundreds and thousands. Go through this Territory and
          what do you see? That which you cannot find elsewhere on the face
          of the earth with regard to children; not only in numbers, but in
          intelligence, strength, power of mind and general scholastic
          ability. Suppose some one says it is not so; does that make any
          difference to us? No; not the least.
          I have never feared but one thing in regard to the Latter-day
          Saints in the persecutions they have received or that are in
          prospect: and that is, that we shall come short of doing our
          duty. It is only when we live short of our privileges, when we
          neglect to serve our God and to do as we should do, and as the
          Lord our God requires of us, that I have any apprehensions for
          this people, and I have certainly seen just about as much with
          regard to persecutions as any other man that lives in this
          Church. Still, I never had but this one fear: Are the people
          doing their duty? Are they neglecting their privileges or are
          they living so as to have the Spirit of the Lord constantly in
          their hearts? If we are right before the Lord, it is no matter
          how we appear before the wicked. We are just as obnoxious now as
          we can be. Why are we so? Is it because we have drunkenness in
          our midst? No. Is it because we have houses of ill-fame? No. Is
          it because we are a gambling people? No. Do we horse-race, bet,
          drink, quarrel and go to law with one another from Monday morning
          to Saturday night? No; nothing of this kind is claimed against
          us. Then what is the matter with the Latter-day Saints? Our
          enemies cry out, "Polygamy." It is a false idea. Very many of
          them believe in polygamy down yonder East; I won't even except
          the leaders of our country, only they believe it on the sly,
          while we have our wives and acknowledge them. Anything that is
          unlawful is swallowed by them. Anything that is in opposition to
          the law of God goes down with them. Anything that tramples under
          foot the ordinances of God is all right with them.
          But we love our God, we honor His laws, we obey His precepts, and
          we honor our father Abraham and perform his works. We should live
          to the best of our ability in accordance with the revelations God
          has given to us.
          But why need the wisdom of the nation trouble itself about the
          "Mormons?" The whole cry, according to the newspapers, is about
          this people. Religious teachers, scribblers, public speakers and
          everybody join in this murmur against the Latter-day Saints. Let
          us keep the law of God and the laws of our country and preserve
          ourselves in these mountains without much quarreling and
          contention, and where is the great fault that can be found with
          the Latter-day Saints? We observe the law of God and it makes us
          one. It is the Priesthood they are opposed to. The wickedness of
          the whole world is opposed to the Priesthood of the Son of God.
          It was opposed to Jesus when he was here on the earth in the
          flesh. It appears that the whole world of mankind was opposed to
          the Gospel in the days of Noah. Who believe the sayings of Noah?
          His family. Who else. Nobody. What was the result? Why, Noah kept
          crying to the people for a hundred years that the Lord certainly
          would avenge Himself upon the nations unless they repented. Who
          believed the Gospel in the days of Enoch? A few, who gathered
          together and built a city to the Lord. Who believes in the Gospel
          now? Just a few. This Gospel is the Gospel of order and rule; it
          is the law of God brought forth to the children of men, by which
          they can save themselves by hearkening to its counsels. Who love
          it? The righteous. Who hate it? The wicked.
          We have been hearing about the Latter-day Saints preaching. I
          think if our Elders were to go without purse or scrip and had
          nothing to fall back upon, and could not write here for means,
          but were obliged to take their valise in their hands and preach
          the Gospel as we used to do, they would be much more successful
          than they are and would find many more who would be willing to
          listen to their testimonies. I used to travel without purse or
          scrip, and many times I have walked till my feet were sore and
          the blood would run in my shoes and out of them, and fill my
          appointments--go into houses, ask for something to eat, sing and
          talk to them, and when they would commence questioning, answer
          them. Converse with them until they have given you what you want,
          bless them, and, if they wish, pray with them, and then leave,
          unless they wish you to stay longer. If you have an appointment,
          and are obliged to go here and there on your mission, go like
          Saints--humble before the Lord, full of faith and the power of
          God, and you will find the honest in heart, for the Lord is going
          to save a great many.
          It is near twenty-five years since we left the confines of the
          United States. Go back there and you will find hundreds, and
          perhaps thousands, who are ready to receive the Gospel. Only
          carry it to them as they are prepared to receive it. But while we
          go and ride in our silver carriages, many never inquire into our
          principles; they are looking for something else. The meek and
          lowly Jesus sent his disciples without purse or scrip; and when
          the honest in heart see our Elders go in the same manner that
          Jesus' disciples did, with the doctrine that he delivered to his
          disciples, and preach without purse or scrip, our Elders will
          find plenty of honest-hearted persons who will receive their
          testimony. But when the Elders go into the great cities, hire
          large halls and hire carriages to ride to their pulpit in, the
          people say it is a speculation, and such Elders do not have much
          of the Spirit of the Lord to preach to the people.
          Our Elders who are in the States will do us good; there is no
          question about it. But they will do themselves and the people
          good if they will go without purse or scrip. If they travel
          without purse or scrip, when they land in the midst of a
          community, or wherever they want to preach, and go into the
          peoples' houses and talk with them, pray with them and sing with
          them, teaching them the way of life and salvation, they will find
          there are plenty who are willing to receive them. Many of the
          Latter-day Saints go and say, "I am a 'Mormon' Elder, will you
          take me in and give me shelter and feed me?" "No," says the owner
          of the house, "get out of my house, I do not want any 'Mormons'
          here." If you go and say, "I am a servant of God and want to
          tarry over night," and sing and pray, you will find many honest
          in heart ready and willing to receive you.
          But here is the place to sanctify the people. They come here as
          ignorant as babes; they do not know their first lesson. They
          believed the sound of the Gospel. They have been baptized for the
          remission of sins and have had hands laid upon them for the gift
          of the Holy Ghost. But what do they know about the kingdom of
          God? They are mere babes; they know nothing, and they come up
          here to be instructed and to be taught how to live and walk
          before the Lord and each other. When they come here they need
          this teaching, and we are here to teach them; and the people are
          Let any of you sisters get out into the world, where you used to
          live, and what you used to see there will have quite another
          aspect to you. It will appear quite different to your minds and
          feelings. Learn how they feel towards His people; learn what is
          the state of the world; and then look back upon the people of God
          in these mountains, and you will see them lifted up and perceive
          that they are pure in heart in comparison with the world, and are
          striving with all their might and main to build up the kingdom of
          God on the earth. You who are here do not understand it and
          cannot see it, because all things are proved by their opposites.
          Were it not for darkness, could you give any description of
          light? Ask the individual who never saw light, and see if he can
          give you any description of it. He cannot do so from actual
          Those who come here find a pretty good people, but in their
          estimation we should be just as holy as angels. We are pretty
          good, and we are trying to be better; trying to devote ourselves
          more and more to the building up of the kingdom of God; trying to
          overcome our passions, subdue our tempers within us; trying to
          sanctify ourselves, our children, our friends and families, and
          seeking to become Saints in deed. The people are pretty good, and
          if they were gathered together so that we could see the
          difference between those who have been here for years and those
          who have just come, you would understand the comparison brother
          Kimball used to make of the clay that is thrown into the mill and
          has been grinding for years and prepared to make vessels of honor
          of; but in comes a batch of new clay, and you must grind again;
          and when it is taken out of the mill it is cut to pieces to see
          if there is anything in it that should not be. The impurities
          that are in the clay may destroy the vessel. You will therefore
          gather all out that should not be in it and throw it away. So it
          is with the Saints. Some keep leaving and this renders the clay
          purer and purer.
          We talk a good deal about building up the kingdom of God upon the
          earth, according to the knowledge and understanding we have in
          regard to the kingdom of God; it requires several things to
          constitute a kingdom. If there is a kingdom, there needs a king,
          ruler or dictator; some one to govern and control the kingdom.
          What else does it signify? It says, in language that cannot be
          misunderstood, you must have subjects; if there is a kingdom
          there must be a king and subjects; and there must be territory
          for the subjects to live upon. Well, now, if we are in a kingdom,
          do you think we are in a kingdom without law? No; the strictest
          law ever given to mankind is the law of God. If we transgress the
          law of God, we cannot be sent to the penitentiary, to stay a few
          years in there; it is before the Lord, and He will judge
          according to our works, and judge righteous judgment. We cannot
          pay a fine of one dollar, five or five hundred and then be
          forgiven; if persons neglect to obey the law of God and to walk
          humbly before Him, darkness will come into their minds and they
          will be left to believe that which is false and erroneous; their
          minds will become dim, their eyes will be beclouded and they will
          be unable to see things as they are. Why? Because they know not
          the laws of God. There are a thousand ways by which persons can
          lose the Spirit of God. They neglect their duties, fall away into
          temptation and are overcome by Satan, the wicked one.
          Among the sayings of Jesus there is a parable about a man who
          went out to sow. He had good seed to sow in the field. Some of
          it, however, fell upon stony ground and some among thorns. That
          which was sown on stony ground came up very quickly, but it was
          so tender that the rays of the sun were too powerful for it and
          it dwindled away and died. It was so with this people; they are
          not prepared for all that comes to them. In some instances the
          word of God seems to be like seed cast upon stony ground. Some of
          the seed was sown among thorns; but the cares of the world choked
          it; and some was sown upon good ground where it took root firmly
          and brought forth fruit, yielding "some thirty, some sixty, and
          some a hundred fold." These are the ideas which Jesus brought
          forth to show the people wherein they might fail, and the danger
          of receiving the word unless they did so into good and honest
          hearts. Look upon the inhabitants of the earth. Whenever any of
          you go and preach the Gospel to them, they must acknowledge that
          every iota of it is true. Truth, reason, judgment, teach them so.
          The revelations the Lord has given teach it. Do they believe it?
          Some will say they believe it. They receive the truth, but do
          they receive the love of the truth? If persons receive the love
          of truth and are faithful to the laws God gives to them, they
          will make themselves the elect through their faithfulness; and
          they will be the elect of God.
          It was observed here this morning, in relation to the building up
          of the kingdom of God, that many think they have the privilege of
          doing just as they please. We have only the privilege to do
          right. There is not an iota in the revelations, from Adam down to
          the present day, but what requires strict obedience. They who
          cannot abide a celestial law--the law that God has revealed for
          the sanctification of His people to prepare them to enter into
          the presence of the Father and the Son, should try and abide a
          lesser law, but they must expect a lower glory, a secondary
          glory. If they cannot abide the celestial law, and can abide a
          lesser law, then they will receive the blessings of that law, and
          whatever law they abide they will receive the blessings thereof.
          The Lord has been pleased to reveal unto the people His law by
          which they can be sanctified and return into His presence.
          Latter-day Saints observe this law. What shall we say to them?
          Teach them the law of God. How easy it is? Is it easy to be
          understood! Yes, very easy; it can be summed up in these words:
          Do right, love God and keep His commandments. Take the moral code
          that the Lord has revealed and let it be strictly followed out;
          and what man or woman would ever infringe upon the rights of his
          or her neighbor? They would never do it; they would do good to
          their neighbor all the day long. If we would observe the moral
          law which God has given us, we would be honest with our neighbors
          and ourselves; and every man and woman belonging to the kingdom
          of God would speak truly and honestly. Would they be honest with
          regard to their dealings? Yes. If we give our word, it should be
          just as good as a bond that can be ensured and be made strong and
          powerful by securities. Our word should be just as good as all
          the words that can be spoken, or all the names that can be
          written. If we write what we say, we will keep that word. Will we
          oppress the widow and the fatherless? No. The hireling in his
          wages? No; we will give them all that they can do or earn and
          then a little more; and if any one comes to us that is poor, in
          distress and in want, turn him not away empty handed. "Give to
          him that asketh, and from him that would borrow turn thou not
          This people do this pretty well. There is not much complaint on
          this score. I do not think there is a house in these mountains
          where a Latter-day Saint lives, that a person can go to and ask
          for a meal of victuals, where he would not get it if the people
          living in the house had it in their possession. I do not think he
          or she could ask to stay over-night and be refused the privilege.
          That is saying a good deal for a community. Would we be honest in
          returning that which we have found to the owner? We would. Would
          we ever take that which is not our own? We would not. Would we be
          honest in our labor? We would. Would we be honest in our
          merchandizing? We would. Would we be honest in every respect? We
          would. Would we take usury? I hope to see the day when there will
          be no such thing as one man taking usury from another. But it is
          not so now; people do not come to this; we do not expect them to
          do so while they follow the spirit of the world. But these are
          things they have to learn when they gather together. Will there
          be any extortion, any selling our goods for a hundred to five
          hundred per cent in advance of cost? No. The time will come when
          this co-operative system which we have now partially adopted in
          merchandizing will be carried out by the whole people, and it
          will be said, "Here are the Saints." The time will come when we
          can give all into the store house of the Lord and have our
          inheritances given out by those who will be appointed; and when
          we have had sufficient for the support of our families, the
          surplus will be given into he store house of the Lord. Will there
          be any rich or poor then? No. How was it in the time of Enoch?
          Had they some rich and some poor? Did some ride in their silver
          carriages, as I do? No. If I had my way, we would foot or ride
          together, and we shall see the day when we shall do it. Do you
          think we will relinquish our claims pertaining to oneness in
          action? No. I do not calculate, as far as I am concerned, to
          yield one particle. I have asked the Latter-day Saints to go to
          and become one in all things; the Lord requires this, but until
          they do, I do not expect to yield, not the least. Let us hold on
          to all that we can. The enemy of all righteousness is determined
          to own and possess this world and govern and control it as far as
          he possibly can; and he will do it until Jesus and his Saints
          drive him out.
          Whatever the Latter-day Saints have gained has been obtained by
          sheer wrestling and unconquerable resolution. We would never have
          been permitted to own a foot of land on this earth if the devil
          had had his own way. But we have the land and can build our
          temples and endowment houses and then sanctify our inheritances,
          sanctify ourselves, our families, and sanctify the Lord our God
          in our hearts, that we may be prepared to build up His kingdom.
          I wonder what the Latter-day Saints would say, to-day, in this
          matter. Do you think we had better hold on the ground we have
          already gained from the enemy? We have gained a little in this
          co-operative system. We feel for each other and try to assist
          each other. But let me tell you what I am going to do. I do not
          expect to merchandize with our enemies to any great extent, but
          to cut it off just as fast as we can. I expect us to raise our
          own silk here. I would have had plenty for hundreds of silk
          dresses this year if I could have been blessed with some person
          who would have taken care of my silk worms and done justly by me.
          Raise your own silk, I will raise mine. Raise your own wool, work
          it and then wear it, and stop going anywhere to purchase goods.
          Let us sustain ourselves, for by and by Babylon will fall. What
          will be the result? The merchants will stand and look at one
          another worse than they do in this city. No man will buy their
          merchandize; and they will look here and there for a customer;
          but there will be no one to buy their merchandize, and the cry
          will be, "Babylon is fallen, is fallen!" Is this day coming? Yes;
          just as sure as we are now living. We are hastening it with all
          possible speed, as fast as time and circumstances will admit,
          when it will be said, "Babylon is fallen, is fallen!"
          Are you going to prepare for it? We say we are the people of God
          and are building up the kingdom of God. We say we are gathered
          out of the nations to establish Zion. Let us prove it by our
          works, and we will then manufacture that which we wear. Do we
          make clothing enough for me and you to wear? Yes; plenty.
          Let us live so that we can say we are the Saints of God; and when
          the finger of scorn is pointed at us and we are held in derision
          and the nations talk about us, let us show an example before them
          that is worthy of imitation, that they cannot but blush before
          all sensible and intelligent persons when they say, "There is a
          people that sin; there is a people that are corrupt;" and with
          shame-facedness they will look upon each other and condemn
          themselves. Let them howl and bark against us as much as they
          please, but let us live so that they will have no reason to say a
          word. Some people say, "Why don't you contradict this and that? I
          have been proclaiming the Gospel almost forty years, and a few
          have come forth and received and obeyed it. What do you think the
          leading men among our Christian neighbors said about us? They
          lied about us until we thought they ought to be satisfied and we
          were tired of hearing them and we found it was no use
          contradicting them. Yet these professed to be good, pious
          Methodists and Baptists. There is a world of liars. It is said
          that a lie will pass out of the key-hole and travel a thousand
          miles before truth can get out of doors. The whole tribe of
          scribblers and everybody else, almost, are ready to contradict
          every truth and make a lie of it; ready to ridicule every just
          and holy truth; and the individuals that say children born in
          polygamy are feeble, have no knowledge of the human race or else
          they belie themselves. Let them study physiology and human
          nature. Let them study their own bodies. What do you see among
          them? You see children that are born into the world sickly, weak
          and unable to walk for years; they are poor, emaciated little
          things, almost without flesh on their bones. It is from such that
          the cry comes about the "Mormon" children. Why, one of our
          children at three months old has much more flesh on its bones
          than theirs have at ten; and, on the average, they have more
          marrow in their bones and energy in them than theirs do. They do
          not know anything about human nature or the organization of human
          beings, nor of the beasts. To make any such declarations proves
          they are ignorant, or they belie themselves. These are harsh
          expressions; I need not have used such harsh words; I might have
          said they tell that which is not true, they slightly diverge from
          the truth. How soft it would be! But I say they will be
          destroyed; and all the nations that follow their corrupt
          practices will go down to hell; and we will go onward and upward.
          All we have to do is to perform our duty and keep the law of God,
          and our course is onward and upward. God overrules the acts of
          the wicked and the righteous.
          I recollect when the army of '57 was coming here, a young man
          named Thomas Williams wrote to his father, saying, "God favors
          great guns and great armies!" What did those great guns and great
          armies do? They took two "Mormon" elders into their camp--brother
          McDonald, at Provo, and brother Kearns, who now lives at
          Gunnison. What a howl they raised! the whole camp howled to think
          they had two "Mormon" elders. But there was too much faith; the
          Saints were praying for those elders and they came out unscathed,
          unhurt and all right. What power there was! What a magnanimous
          camp it was! "the flower of the army," sent to destroy the
          "Mormons!" When they blow out the sun and stop the moon from
          shining and the earth from revolving on its axis, they may talk
          about "wiping out" the "Mormons" or the Gospel, but not until
          then. This is the way I feel. I am as unconcerned and just as
          happy as a man can be. It is no matter if the whole world is
          against us, God is for us. Could not they kill you? Yes, if it be
          the Lord's will. If it be the will of the Lord for the people to
          live, they will live. If it had been the will of the Lord that
          Joseph and Hyrum should have lived, they would have lived. It was
          necessary for Joseph to seal his testimony with his blood. Had he
          been destined to live he would have lived. The Lord suffered his
          death to bring justice on the nation. The debt is contracted and
          they have it to pay. The nations of the earth are in the Lord's
          hands; and if we serve Him we shall reap the reward of so doing.
          If we neglect to obey His laws and ordinances, we shall have to
          suffer the consequences.
          Well, brethren and sisters, try and be Saints. I will try; I have
          tried many years to live according to the law which the Lord
          reveals unto me. I know just as well what to teach this people
          and just what to say to them and what to do in order to bring
          them into the celestial kingdom, as I know the road to my office.
          It is just as plain and easy. The Lord is in our midst. He
          teaches the people continually. I have never yet preached a
          sermon and sent it out to the children of men, that they may not
          call Scripture. Let me have the privilege of correcting a sermon,
          and it is as good Scripture as they deserve. The people have the
          oracles of God continually. In the days of Joseph, revelation was
          given and written, and the people were driven from city to city
          and place to place, until we were led into these mountains. Let
          this go to the people with "Thus saith the Lord," and if they do
          not obey it, you will see the chastening hand of the Lord upon
          them. But if they are plead with, and led along like children, we
          may come to understand the will of the Lord and He may preserve
          us as we desire.
          Let us, then, you and me and all who profess to be Latter-day
          Saints, try to be Saints indeed. God bless you, Amen.
          Journal of Discourses / Journal of Discourses, Volume 13 / George
          Q. Cannon, April 6, 1869
                           George Q. Cannon, April 6, 1869
                        DISCOURSE BY ELDER GEORGE Q. CANNON,
           Delivered in the New Tabernacle, Salt Lake City, April 6, 1869.
                            (Reported by David W. Evans.)
          I look upon this Conference as one of the most important, in many
          respects, that we have ever had the privilege of participating
          in, for, to my view, there are more interesting and important
          events connected with the work of God at the present time than
          have ever been developed before in our history. We are undergoing
          a great change, a great revolution is in progress in our midst--a
          revolution foreshadowed by the predictions of both the ancient
          and modern prophets, but which we, as yet, have scarcely been
          prepared for.
          Nearly 37 years ago the Prophet Joseph, or rather the Lord,
          through him, gave revelations upon the Order of Enoch. Those
          revelations were taught to the people in plainness so far as they
          went. They were simple and easily understood; but they embodied
          within themselves what might have been termed new principles, and
          indicated a new course of action and a new organization of
          society. I saw new, because they were new so far as this
          generation is concerned. The principles taught by those
          revelations were as old as eternity; and the Order sought to be
          introduced by their means was called the "Order of Enoch," in
          consequence of it having been revealed to and practised by Enoch;
          and through its practice he and his people were prepared for
          translation and, as we read in the Scriptures, were taken from
          the earth.
          The Lord inspired the Prophet Joseph Smith to once more
          communicate these principles unto the children of men; but, as I
          have remarked, the people were not prepared to carry them out.
          They, to some extent, could see and understand their beauty and
          consistency but in the practical part they were deficient. As a
          people the Latter-day Saints are like their fellows in many
          respects. We are very progressive in theory, but our theories are
          far ahead of our practice. The teachings of the elders are of
          that character that years of practice on the part of the people
          is required before they come up to them in their every-day life.
          It is so with mankind generally. They can comprehend the theory
          and realize the importance of practically observing certain
          principles long before they are sufficiently advanced to carry
          them out in every-day life. But we may say, without boasting,
          that as a people we excel the world in carrying out in our lives
          the principles that we teach.
          Those principles to which I have been referring were received and
          admired by the people, but it required faith, knowledge and
          experience to enable them to carry them out. For years they have
          remained in the Book of Doctrine and Covenants to be read by the
          curious or by those who had a desire to search after the
          principles of life and salvation; but, not being a part of our
          practice in our lives, they have been practically a dead letter.
          I speak, now, generally; of course, there have been exceptions in
          regard to this, as there have been with regard to the "Word of
          Wisdom." There have been men and women who have endeavored to
          carry out the latter strictly and truthfully so far as their
          knowledge extended. And so with the principles contained in the
          revelations touching the "Order of Enoch"--there have, doubtless,
          been men in the Church who have lived in accordance with them so
          far as it was practicable under the circumstances; but the entire
          people have not carried them out. But though thirty-six or
          thirty-seven years have elapsed since these principles were first
          revealed, they have never been lost sight of by the President and
          those associated with him. It has been their aim from the day
          they were given until to-day, the 6th of April, 1869, to bring
          the Latter-day Saints to such a condition of union, faith and
          knowledge that they would receive these principles and carry them
          out in their lives.
          The labors of the elders to accomplish this have been incessant;
          they have ever felt to impress them upon the minds of the Saints,
          but more particularly within the last four or five years. It is
          essentially necessary that we should receive them now, for upon
          the reception and proper carrying out of this Order hinges the
          prosperity, development and triumph of the kingdom of God on the
          earth; and unless we as a people arrive at such a standard of
          faith and perfection as to practically carry them out, we are
          assured, on the best of authority, that we cannot be permitted to
          go back and build up the Centre Stake and fully accomplish the
          redemption of Zion. The consequences involved in not being able
          to accomplish that are familiar to the minds of those who are
          members of the Church of Jesus Christ, especially if they are old
          members. One of the greatest calamities that could be thought of
          by us as a congregation, or a Church, to-day, would be to learn
          from the Lord through His servants that we should not be
          permitted to go back to build up the Centre Stake of Zion. The
          edict pronounced by the prophet Moses, when he told Israel that
          not one who had arrived at the age of twenty-one years should
          ever enter the "Promised Land," had not a greater effect upon
          Israel than the prohibition I have just referred to would have
          upon the Latter-day Saints. We can realize, then, the importance
          of adopting and carrying out the principles that will prepare us
          for that great work.
          It is not to be expected that we shall attain to perfection in
          the carrying out of such principles at once. That is not the way
          we have progressed in the past; our progress has been gradual. It
          has been from principle to principle, from knowledge to
          knowledge, one step after another until we have reached the point
          for which we have aimed. And so it will be with the principles
          pertaining to the "Order of Enoch"--we shall take step after
          step, progressing from one point to another until we have reached
          the point that God, our Heavenly Father, has designed us to
          attain to.
          When we look abroad among the nations of the earth we see a great
          many evils in existence--evils that have existed for many
          centuries; in fact, they have existed from the earliest ages of
          which we have any account until the present time, in every nation
          and among all people. Our own nation is a case in point. When the
          foundations of the Government were laid, and liberty proclaimed
          throughout the length and breadth of the land, it was anticipated
          that this nation would grow to a pitch of glory and attain to a
          greatness and power that no other nation on the face of the earth
          had ever attained. Everything was favorable to this: a free
          Government had been established; a continent of almost
          illimitable extent spread itself before the people, and all that
          was necessary to develop its boundless resources was population,
          and industry on the part of that population. But little over
          ninety years have elapsed since the foundations of our Government
          were laid, and in that time we have grown to be a great people;
          but that which has been enacted in other nations has been
          re-enacted here. The evils that have flourished so long in what
          is called the Old World have been transplanted to this land. If
          Western men travel through the Eastern States they are struck
          with the great distinction of classes that exist there. There is
          an aristocracy of wealth fast growing up there; and at the same
          time there is another class in degradation and poverty, utterly
          unable to obtain the blessings and comforts of life. This is
          owing to various causes, the chief of which is the incorrect
          organization of society. It is so in Europe and in Asia, and, in
          fact, wherever wealth abounds.
          Many men have risen from time to time, who have seen and deplored
          these evils, and they have sought with all the wisdom and
          knowledge they possessed to correct them. Doubtless many of the
          Latter-day Saints recollect an instance of this kind at Nauvoo.
          After the Saints evacuated that place, a community of Socialists,
          called Icarians, whose leader was Mr. Cabet, came to Nauvoo and
          settled there. There were the houses, gardens, farms and orchards
          of the Latter-day Saints; the country was a healthy one when
          compared with what it was when first settled by the Saints. Many
          philanthropic men in France were interested in this experiment,
          and were anxious to have it succeed. They forwarded their means
          with considerable liberality to sustain the settlement; but
          despite their efforts and exertions, it fell to pieces. Yet the
          object they had in view was a good one, and the means they used
          were effective, so far as they went. But there was a lack of
          cohesive power in the system; there was a lack of union, and a
          lack of wisdom in the management of the affair. They sought to
          ameliorate the condition of mankind and to diffuse the blessings
          of life equally among the people, so that hunger, poverty and
          wretchedness and the dreadful consequences which follow in their
          train might be removed from the midst of mankind and a better
          order of things established. But with all the advantages of which
          I have spoken, their attempt was a signal failure: the society
          was broken up and to-day has no existence.
          This is a case in point with which many of you are familiar.
          Similar experiments, having the same ends in view, have been
          tried at other places at various times, but like results have
          attended them.
          It has been seen by thinking men that there is something
          radically wrong in the organization of society in this respect,
          but they have not known how to remedy the evils. It is so in the
          religious world. Religionists have to mourn and deplore the
          divisions that exist among the so-called followers of Christ; and
          reformers have risen one after another endeavoring to bring about
          greater union and to develop a greater amount of love, but with
          what success let the history of the various sects of Christendom
          answer. They are split up into innumerable parties, and the
          effort of every reformer has only resulted in the increase of
          religious sects. He has been unable, and his inability has been
          confessed by himself, to unite the Christian world and bring
          about the oneness which characterized the followers of Christ in
          the early days of Christianity. It required the Lord our God to
          stretch forth His arm to bring this to pass. It required the
          revelation of the Gospel in its purity from the heavens; it
          required the restoration of the holy Priesthood to the earth in
          the plentitude of its power to bring it about; and as soon as the
          Priesthood was restored, as soon as the Gospel was given again in
          purity to man, and the Church of Christ was again organized, then
          the object for which these reformers labored in vain began to be
          accomplished--oneness began to prevail, union began to manifest
          itself, love was diffused, the Holy Ghost was bestowed, its gifts
          were enjoyed, and men and women from various nations and from the
          midst of various churches were gathered together in one as we are
          here to-day. It required the wisdom, power and Spirit of the
          Almighty to restore this condition of things for which many men
          had so long labored in vain.
          And so it is in relation to the social organization of society.
          It requires the wisdom of Almighty God to correct the evils under
          which mankind groan. Men may labor and devise schemes, expend
          means and do all that is possible for human beings, not directed
          by the Spirit and power of God, to do, and after they have done
          it all they are compelled to confess that they are weak and
          fallible, and incapable of accomplishing that which they have
          aimed at. But with God to aid them, with His wisdom to guide and
          His Spirit to direct, and His blessings to smile upon them they
          can accomplish all that is necessary to redeem and save the human
          family, both in a physical and spiritual point of view. God has
          chosen His people, the Latter-day Saints, to solve these knotty
          problems that have troubled the brains and affected the children
          of men for so many centuries.
          The Lord has said that "if ye are not equal in earthly things, ye
          cannot be in obtaining heavenly things." He has revealed a plan
          by which this equality can be brought about. Yet, He does not
          design to make us of equal height; He does not design that we
          should all have the same colored hair or eyes, or that we should
          dress exactly alike. This is not the meaning of the word
          "equality," as it is used in the revelation; but it means to have
          an equal claim on the blessings of our Heavenly Father--on the
          properties of the Lord's treasury, and the influences and gifts
          of His Holy Spirit. This is the equality meant in the
          revelations, and until we attain to this equality we cannot be
          equal in spiritual things, and the blessings of God cannot be
          bestowed upon us until we attain to this as they otherwise would.
          As a people we are expecting the day to come when Jesus will
          descend in the clouds of Heaven; but before this day comes we
          must be prepared to receive him. The organization of society that
          exists in the heavens must exist on the earth; the same condition
          of society, so far as it is applicable to mortal beings, must
          exist here. And for this purpose God has revealed this Order; for
          this purpose He is bringing us into our present condition.
          A great many of the Latter-day Saints scarcely understand the
          persistency with which the Presidency of the Church has labored
          to bring about the oneness of the people in temporal things; and
          this co-operative movement is an important step in this direction
          and is designed to prepare them for the ushering in of this Order
          to which I have been alluding. It has already produced greater
          union, and it will produce still greater union than anything that
          has been witnessed among us; and if we carry it out in the spirit
          in which it has been taught to us it will produce immense
          results. The Lord will bless us; He will increase our means and
          pour into the laps of this people everything necessary for their
          greatness in the earth. For be it known unto you and to all
          people that God designs to make of the Latter-day Saints the
          head; He intends to place in their hands and keeping the wealth
          of the world. But before blessings of this description can be
          poured upon us we must be prepared to receive and use them
          aright. Suppose these things were to be poured upon us in our
          present condition, what would be the result? Every one can answer
          this question for himself. Each one knows his or her own heart,
          and the feelings by which it is animated. We know that if the
          whole people were to be made rich it would be an exceedingly
          difficult matter to control them; even with the little means we
          have to-day it is one of the most difficult things to control the
          people in regard to the disposition and correct use of that
          In a revelation given on this subject in the year 1834 the Lord
          "I, the Lord, stretched out the heavens and built the earth as a
          very handy work, and all things therein are mine, and it is my
          purpose to provide for my Saints, for all things are mine; but it
          must needs be done in mine own way, and behold, this is the way
          that I, the Lord, have decreed to provide for my Saints, that the
          poor shall be exalted in that the rich are made low; for the
          earth is full and there is enough and to spare. Yea, I prepared
          all things and have given unto the children of men to be agents
          unto themselves; therefore if any man shall take of the abundance
          which I have made and impart not his portion, according to the
          law of my Gospel, unto the poor and the needy, he shall with the
          wicked lift up his eyes in hell, being in torment."
          In another revelation on the same subject given in 1832, the Lord
          "For Zion must increase in beauty and holiness; her borders must
          be enlarged; her stakes must be strengthened; yea, verily, I say
          unto you, Zion must arise and put on her beautiful garments:
          therefore I give unto you this commandment that ye bind
          yourselves by this covenant, and it shall be done according to
          the laws of the Lord. Behold, here is wisdom also in me for your
          good. And you are to be equal, or in other words you are to have
          equal claims on the properties for the benefit of managing the
          concerns of your stewardships, every man according to his wants
          and his needs, inasmuch as his wants are just, and all this for
          the benefit of the Church of the living God, that every man may
          improve upon his talent, and every man may gain other talents,
          yea, even an hundredfold, to be cast into the Lord's storehouse,
          to become the common property of the whole Church, every man
          seeking the interest of his neighbor, and doing all things with
          an eye single to the glory of God.
          "This order I have appointed to be an everlasting order unto you,
          and unto your successors, inasmuch as you sin not; and the soul
          that sins against this covenant, and hardeneth his heart against
          it, shall be dealt with according to the laws of my Church, and
          shall be delivered over to the buffetings of Satan until the day
          of redemption."
          While I am reading I will read another extract, that you may get
          the idea more fully in your mind. After speaking of the Treasury
          that shall be appointed, in which shall be preserved the sacred
          things in the Treasury for sacred and holy purposes, which shall
          be called the Treasury of the Lord, the Lord continues--
          "And again, there shall be another Treasury prepared and a
          treasurer appointed to keep the Treasury, and a seal shall be
          placed upon it; and all monies that you receive in your
          stewardships, by improving upon the properties which I have
          appointed unto you, in houses, or in lands, or in cattle, or in
          all things, save it be the holy and sacred writings, which I have
          reserved unto myself for holy and sacred purposes, shall be cast
          into the Treasury as fast as you receive the moneys, by hundreds,
          or by fifties, or by twenties, or by tens, or by fives; or in
          other words, if any man among you obtain five talents, let him
          cast them into the Treasury; or if he obtain ten, or twenty, or
          fifty or an hundred, let him do likewise, and let not any man
          among you say that it is his own, for it shall not be called his,
          nor any part of it, and there shall not any part of it be used or
          taken out of the Treasury, only by the voice and common consent
          of the Order. And this shall be the voice and common consent of
          the Order--that any man among you say unto the treasurer, I have
          need of this to help me in my stewardship; if it be five talents,
          or if it be ten talents, or twenty, or fifty, or an hundred, the
          treasurer shall give unto him the sum which he requires, to help
          him in his stewardship, until he be found a transgressor, and it
          is manifest before the Council of the Order plainly, that he is
          an unfaithful and an unwise steward; but so long as he is in full
          fellowship, and is faithful, and wise in his stewardship, this
          shall be his token unto the treasurer, that the treasurer shall
          not withhold."
          From these extracts which I have read in your hearing you can
          form an idea of the Order which God, our Heavenly Father, intends
          to establish among us as soon as we are willing to enter upon it.
          It is not the design of God that we should fall a prey to the
          evils that have existed and that have worked out such misery and
          ruin among other people. It is God's design to save and redeem us
          from the evils that others have endured. It has been frequently
          remarked to me by men out of our faith, when conversing upon our
          principles and the success which has attended their proclamation:
          "Mr. Cannon, as long as the Latter-day Saints are poor you will
          do very well; as long as you are persecuted you will stand; but
          you will be like other people when wealth increases in your
          midst--when you grow up into classes and some are wealthy and
          some are poor, and your Church becomes popular, you will be very
          likely to fall into the same evils and errors that have
          characterized other churches." If God did not preside over this
          Church, such expectations and predictions would doubtless be
          fulfilled. But God presides; it is His Church, and He has
          provided remedies for every one of these evils, by which the
          Church can be preserved, and by which wealth can be increased in
          the midst of the Latter-day Saints and yet not work out the
          injurious results that we see elsewhere where it abounds. God has
          provided a way to prevent this, and that way is to be found in
          the revelations that were given unto us upwards of thirty-six
          years ago, and we can read and understand them.
          "Well," says one, "if such an Order as this you speak of be
          established, will not the careless and indolent enjoy a share in
          the blessings of those who are industrious? and will it not
          weaken the hands of the energetic?" Not in the least. The man who
          is energetic and faithful will receive the reward of his
          faithfulness. If he has a large surplus of means he has more to
          put into the Treasury to help to forward that kingdom he loves,
          and he is credited with it. In the day of the Lord Jesus we are
          told He will say to him, "Thou hast been faithful over a few
          things, I will make thee ruler over many," and such individuals
          will receive a reward in proportion to their faithfulness. But if
          they hide up their talent in a napkin and bury it in the ground,
          that which was given to them will be taken from them. They who
          use their talents righteously and faithfully will have them
          increased, but the unfaithful will be deprived of that which he
          seems to have.
          This Order will not have the effect that some anticipate, but it
          will be a blessing to all who are engaged in it. There will not
          be any temptation to seek for wealth for the sake of aggrandizing
          one's self or to place one's heart upon riches, as there is now.
          This temptation will be removed. I shall be able to love my
          neighbor. Why? Because if I make off him in a trade I know that
          whatever I make goes into the treasury and becomes the property
          of the whole Church, therefore what inducement would there be to
          soil my soul and bring a blot on my character by taking advantage
          of my neighbor when it is not going to specially benefit me?
          I look upon this principle as one of the greatest principles to
          save people from avaricious and sordid feelings that God has ever
          revealed. It will have a tendency to check dishonesty and remove
          want. It will have a tendency to stop stealing and to cure the
          evils under which mankind have groaned from the beginning until
          now. In the Gospel of Jesus Christ there is a remedy for every
          evil that exists among men. Here is the "social problem," that
          troubles the minds of all nations to-day. The cities of
          Christendom are crowded with prostitutes; their young men are
          destroyed in the dawn of their days by the terrible crime of
          prostitution. How shall these fearful evils be cured? Has there
          been sufficient wisdom found among men to do it? No; they have
          confessed their utter inability to cope with it. It is
          overwhelming them and sweeping them off like a flood throughout
          the length and breadth of the land, until physicians say that
          half the diseases that prevail among mankind in Christendom are
          directly traceable to this devouring evil. What is to correct it?
          I answer, the Lord, through His people--the Latter-day Saints--is
          revealing the remedy. You travel throughout the Territory of
          Utah, from Bear Lake in the north to St. George in the south, and
          what do you see? You see a people free from secret diseases, you
          see a people free from the dreadful curse of prostitution. Our
          young men and maidens grow up in all the vigor of health and
          there is nothing to sap that vigor and lead them to a premature
          grave. Then what is to correct these evils in the world? The plan
          which God has revealed. It will bring about a pure condition of
          things. If it were universally adopted the "social evil" would be
          removed, and prostitution would soon cease to exist on the face
          of the earth.
          Will this plan--this glorious Order which God has
          revealed--correct the other evils with which the world is
          afflicted? Yes, when that Order is universally established there
          will no longer be any temptation to steal, defraud one's neighbor
          or to commit any wrongs of this kind, for it is said, and truly,
          that the love of money is the root of all evil. The Order of
          which I speak will correct these evils because there will be a
          treasury in the midst of the people, from which those who are
          worthy can get that which they need to sustain them in their
          stewardship, and into which all who have a surplus will pour
          their wealth until it will become the common property of the
          church; and the church under this organization which God has
          revealed will become a great and mighty power in the midst of the
          We have great power now, though not numerically strong; we are
          not a very great people so far as numbers are concerned, but we
          are strong because we are united. The more wealth we have the
          greater is our power, because the President of this Church can
          control this people, therefore the people have power, and when
          our wealth shall be controlled by the President of this Church,
          we shall have greater power in the earth than we have to-day. But
          will that power be used for hurtful purposes? No; it will be used
          for beneficial ends, for the amelioration of the condition of the
          human family, for the practical inauguration of these great and
          glorious principles which God has revealed; and it is to bring
          you to this condition that the elders are laboring as they are;
          it is to bring you to this oneness that they labor as they do
          continually--that they travel and preach to and exhort the Saints
          all the day long to listen to the counsels of God.
          Although it has been deferred a good while it will yet be
          accomplished and fulfilled and the people brought to a condition
          that is desired.
          Much more might be said on this subject; but I am intruding on
          your time. May God bless you, my brethren and sisters, and
          prepare us, as a people, to receive the revelations of His will,
          which are true and perfect and intended to elevate and exalt us,
          and to bring us back into His presence, there to be crowned with
          glory and immortality: which I pray may be the case with us all
          in the name of Jesus Christ. Amen.
          Journal of Discourses / Journal of Discourses, Volume 13 / George
          Albert Smith, October 8 & 9, 1868
                      George Albert Smith, October 8 & 9, 1868
              Delivered in the New Tabernacle, Salt Lake City, October
                                 8th and 9th, 1868.
                            (Reported by David W. Evans.)
          The circumstances by which we are surrounded are such as to cause
          feeling of no ordinary character. In all the Conferences held
          hitherto, in this city and in Nauvoo, we have enjoyed the society
          of our late lamented President, Heber C. Kimball; and his being
          called away from a useful field in which he had long labored,
          should remind us that each of us, at any moment, may be called to
          close our career here for time, and to await our reward in the
          resurrection. We can but rejoice that our brother, in his long
          life and labors in the Church, was a pattern of humility, faith
          and diligence, and was instrumental in the hands of God in
          bringing many thousands to a knowledge of the truth. The blow
          which has fallen upon us in being deprived of his company,
          counsel and instruction, should remind us of the necessity of
          diligence in the discharge of all our duties, that, like him, we
          may be prepared to inherit celestial glory, and to associate with
          Joseph and Hyrum Smith and David Patten, and the martyrs who have
          gone before.
          The incidents that have been brought to our notice by our
          brethren who have spoken during the Conference, give rise to a
          series of reflections in relation to our early history as a
          people, which, I presume, it would be well for us all to review.
          There are some in this Territory who have been in the Church
          thirty-six, thirty-seven, or thirty-eight years, but a great many
          of the people have been in only a few years. A very large portion
          of our population have been reared here, and consequently a brief
          sketch of the early incidents of our history may not be
          unprofitable to any.
          When Joseph Smith took the plates of Mormon from the hill
          Cumorah, he was immediately surrounded by enemies, and though he
          was a young man of unexceptional character, he was compelled to
          go from place to place, while translating the work, to avoid
          persecution. The press and the pulpit denounced him as an
          impostor and his followers as dupes. As soon as he preached the
          doctrine of baptism for the remission of sins, and organized a
          Church with six members, he was arrested and brought before a
          magistrate, honorably discharged by him, and immediately arrested
          again and hurried into an adjoining county, where he was
          insulted, spit upon, and kept without food during the day, and
          then given crusts of bread and water. The next day he was taken
          before magistrates who, after a rigid examination, found no fault
          in him. A mob resolved to "tar and feather" him, but through the
          instrumentality of the constable, who previously treated him
          roughly, but who now became his friend, he made his escape in
          safety. All these proceedings were instigated by clergymen and
          professors of religion in high standing. A similar spirit of
          persecution was manifested in a greater or less degree in every
          place where the Gospel was proclaimed, not only against Joseph
          Smith, but also against other Elders who preached the word.
          This system of persecution continued, especially in the shape of
          vexatious law suits, numbering some fifty in all, up to the day
          of his death, and in all of which a most vicious and vindictive
          spirit was manifested outside of judicial questions. In every
          case he was honorably acquitted, and upon the charge of treason
          upon which he was detained in Carthage jail, when murdered, he
          had not even been lawfully examined before a magistrate. In all
          these trials except one he had been before persons religiously
          opposed to him--his enemies were his judges--and all this while
          every act of his life was prompted by a firm desire to do good to
          his fellow men--to preach the Gospel of peace, to magnify the
          high and holy calling he had received from the Lord, and thereby
          lead back to the ancient faith of Jesus Christ his fellow beings
          who had fallen into darkness.
          Vexatious law suits not accomplishing the work to the
          satisfaction of the persecutors of the Saints, mob violence was
          resorted to, as being more effective. On the 25th day of March,
          1832, in Hyrum, Portage Co., Ohio, Joseph Smith was dragged from
          his bed and carried to the woods, daubed with tar and feathers,
          and otherwise ill-treated. The following is his account of the
          "On the 25th of March, the twins before mentioned, which had been
          sick for some time with the measles, caused us to be broke of our
          rest in taking care of them, especially my wife. In the evening I
          told her she had better retire to rest with one of the children,
          and I would watch with the sickest child. In the night she told
          me I had better lie down on the trundle bed, and I did so, and
          was soon after awoke by her screaming 'murder!' when I found
          myself going out of the door, in the hands of about a dozen men,
          some of whose hands were in my hair, and some had hold of my
          shirt, drawers, and limbs. The foot of the trundle bed was
          towards the door, leaving only room enough for the door to swing.
          My wife heard a gentle tapping on the windows, which she then
          took no particular notice of (but which was unquestionably
          designed for ascertaining whether we were all asleep), and soon
          after the mob burst open the door and surrounded the bed in an
          instant, and, as I said, the first I knew, I was going out of the
          door in the hands of an infuriated mob. I made a desperate
          struggle, as I was forced out, to extricate myself, but only
          cleared one leg, with which I made a pass at one man, and he fell
          on the door steps. I was immediately confined again; and they
          swore by God they would kill me if I did not be still, which
          quieted me. As they passed around the house with me, the fellow
          that I kicked came to me and thrust his hand into my face, all
          covered with blood (for I hit him on the nose), and with an
          exulting horse laugh, muttered, 'Gee, Gee, God damn ye, I'll fix
          "They then seized me by the throat, and held on till I lost my
          breath. After I came to, as they passed along with me, about
          thirty rods from the house, I saw Elder Rigdon stretched out on
          the ground, whither they had dragged him by the heels. I supposed
          he was dead. I began to plead with them, saying, 'You will have
          mercy and spare my life, I hope,' to which they replied, 'God
          damn ye, call on your God for help, we'll show ye no mercy;' and
          the people began to show themselves in every direction; one
          coming from the orchard had a plank, and I expected they would
          kill me, and carry me off on the plank. They then turned to the
          right and went on about thirty rods further, about sixty rods
          from the house and thirty from where I saw Elder Rigdon, into the
          meadow, where they stopped, and one said, "Simonds, Simonds,'
          (meaning, I suppose, Simonds Rider,) 'pull up his drawers, pull
          up his drawers, he will take cold.' Another replied, "Ain't ye
          going to kill 'im, ain't ye going to kill 'im?' when a group of
          mobbers collected a little way off and said, 'Simonds, Simonds,
          come here;' and Simonds charged those who had hold of me to keep
          me from touching the ground (as they had all the time done), lest
          I should get a spring upon them. They went and held a council,
          and, as I could occasionally overhear a word, I supposed it was
          to know whether it was best to kill me. They returned after a
          while when I learned they had concluded not to kill me, but pound
          and scratch me well, tear off my shirt and drawers, and leave me
          naked. One cried, 'Simonds, where's the tar bucket?' 'I don't
          know,' answered one, 'where 'tis, Eli's left it.' They ran back
          and fetched the bucket of tar, when one exclaimed, 'God damn it,
          let us tar up his mouth;' and they tried to force the tar-paddle
          into my mouth; I twisted my head around, so that they could not,
          and they cried out, 'God damn ye, hold up your head and let us
          give ye some tar.' They then tried to force a vial into my mouth,
          and broke it in my teeth. All my clothes were torn off me except
          my shirt collar, and one man fell on me and scratched my body
          with his nails like a mad cat, and then muttered out, 'God damn
          ye, that's the way the Holy Ghost falls on folks.'
          "They then left me, and I attempted to rise, but fell again. I
          pulled the tar away from my lips, so that I could breathe more
          freely, and raised myself up, when I saw two lights. I made my
          way towards one of them, and found it was Father Johnson's. When
          I had come to the door, I was naked, and the tar made me look as
          though I had been covered with blood; and when my wife saw me she
          thought I was mashed all to pieces, and fainted. During the
          affray abroad, the sisters of the neighborhood had collected at
          my room. I called for a blanket, they threw me one, and shut the
          door. I wrapped it around me and went in." History of Joseph
          Smith, Mill. Star, vol. 14, page 148.
          I will add that the exposure of the child above referred to, to
          the night air, caused its death. This murdered child was
          doubtless the first martyr of the last dispensation.
          In a revelation given Sept, 1831, the Lord said, "It is my will
          that the Saints retain a strong hold in the land of Kirtland for
          the space of five years."
          The Saints owned several farms in Kirtland. Mr. Lyman, a
          Presbyterian, also owned a grist mill there, and many of us got
          our grinding done at his mill, although our brethren owned mills
          two or three miles distant. We had commenced building the
          Kirtland Temple. A portion of the city site had been surveyed,
          and many of the Saints who had recently come in were building
          houses on the lots. Mr. Lyman associated himself with a
          combination to starve us out. The authorities proceeded to warn
          all the Latter-day Saints out of the township, and formed a
          compact not to employ us or sell us grain, which was scarce at
          the time. Mr. Lyman had 3000 bushels of wheat, but refused to let
          us have it at any reasonable price, and it was believed we were
          so destitute of money that we would have to scatter abroad. The
          warning out of town was designed to prevent our becoming a
          township charge, the law of Ohio being that if a person, who had
          been warned out of town, applied for assistance, he was to be
          carried to the next town and so on till he was taken out of the
          State or to the town from which he formerly came.
          We were obliged to send fifty miles for grain, which cost us one
          dollar and six cents per bushel delivered in Kirtland. Mr.
          Lyman's grain remained unsold and his effort to starve us taught
          us better than to longer patronize his mill, although it cost us
          the trouble of going two or three miles to mills belonging to our
          brethren. We built a magnificent temple and a large city. W paid
          our quota of taxes and we were as noted and remarkable for our
          industry, temperance, thrift, and morality there, as our people
          are at the present day. We also patronized a Mr. Lyon, who was a
          gentlemanly outside merchant, but the moment he got an
          opportunity he united with our enemies to oppress us.
          We sent our children to school to Mr. Bates, a Presbyterian
          minister, who soon after went into court and bore false witness
          against the Elders, and further testified on oath that every
          "Mormon" was intellectually insane. This lesson did admonish us
          not to longer intrust the education of our youth to canting
          For several years we had used the paper of Geauga Bank at
          Painesville, as money. A loan of a few hundred dollars was asked
          for by Joseph Smith, with ample security, but was refused, and
          Elder Reynolds Cahoon was told they would not accommodate the
          "Mormon Prophet," although they acknowledged the endorsers were
          above question, simply because it would encourage "Mormonism." So
          much of their specie was drawn by Joseph Smith during the three
          succeeding days, as greatly improved their tempers, and they said
          to Elder Cahoon, "Tell Mr. Smith he must stop this, and any favor
          he wants we are ready to accord him."
          Subsequently application was made to the Legislature of the State
          for a bank charter, the notes to be redeemed with specie and
          their redemption secured by real estate. The charter was denied
          us on the grounds that we were "Mormons," and soon a combination
          of apostates and outsiders caused us to leave Kirtland, the most
          of our property unsold; and our beautiful Temple yet remains a
          lasting monument of our perseverance and industry. The loss
          sustained through this persecution was probably not less than one
          million dollars.
          On the 20th day of July, 1831, at Independence, Jackson county,
          Joseph Smith set apart and dedicated a lot as the site of the
          Temple of the centre stake of Zion, ground having been purchased
          for this purpose, and it still is known as the "Temple lot." The
          Saints entered lands in different parts of the county, built
          houses, opened farms, constructed mills, established a printing
          office (owned by W. W. Phelps and Co., and the first in Western
          Missouri), and opened a mercantile establishment, the largest in
          the county, owned by Messrs. Gilbert and Whitney.
          In July, 1833, a mob was organized by signing a circular, which
          set forth that the civil law did not afford them a sufficient
          guarantee against the "Mormons," whom they accused of
          "blasphemously pretending to heal the sick by the administration
          of holy oil," and consequently they must be either "fanatics" or
          "knaves." Under the influence of Methodist, Baptist and
          Presbyterian ministers, they tore down the printing office of the
          Evening and Morning Star, which cost some $6000. They stripped
          and tarred and feathered Bishop Partridge and Elder Charles
          Allen, and seized several other Elders and cast them into prison,
          compelled Gilbert and Whitney to close their store, and soon
          after broke it open and scattered their goods to the four winds.
          They tore down twenty houses over the heads of the inmates, and
          whipped and terribly lacerated with hickory withes many of the
          Elders, killed Andrew Barber, and severely wounded many others;
          robbed the houses of their property, and finally expelled fifteen
          hundred people from the county. They also destroyed some two
          hundred and sixteen dwellings, and much of the land, being
          valuable timber land, became public plunder. The Saints were
          robbed of most of their horses, cattle, implements of husbandry,
          etc. The total loss in these transactions is estimated at half a
          million dollars.
          "Horrible to relate, several women thus driven from their homes
          gave birth to children in the woods and on the prairies,
          destitute of beds or clothing, having escaped in fright. It is
          stated on the authority of Solomon Hancock, an eye witness, that
          he, with the assistance of two or three others, protected one
          hundred and twenty women and children for the space of ten days,
          who were obliged to keep themselves hid from their pursuers,
          while they were hourly expecting to be massacred, and who finally
          escaped into Clay county, by finding a circuitous route to the
          They could be traced by the blood from their feet on the burnt
          prairie. This occurred in the month of November, and is a
          specimen of the kindness that law-abiding Latter-day Saints
          received at the hands of those who had power over them. The
          Saints were so law-abiding that not a single process had been
          issued against any member of the Church in Jackson county up to
          the organization of the mob, although all the offices, civil and
          military, were in the hands of their enemies.
          Prominent in these cruelties as actors and apologists were the
          Revds. Isaac McCoy and D. Pixley, the former a Baptist and the
          latter a Presbyterian missionary to the Indians.
                                    CLAY COUNTY.
          The arrival of the Saints in Clay county was a blessing to the
          inhabitants, who had just opened small prairie farms and planted
          them with Indian corn, much of which was unharvested. They had
          cattle on the bottoms and hogs in the woods. The majority of the
          people received the Saints with gladness and gave them
          employment, and paid them in corn, pork and beef. The wages were
          low, but sufficient to supply the more pressing wants of the
          people. From time to time Joseph Smith forwarded money from
          Kirtland to Bishop Partridge to supply the most needy. The mob in
          Jackson county sent committees to stir up the feelings of the
          people of Clay against the Saints. For some time their
          oft-repeated efforts to do so were unsuccessful. Parties of the
          mob would come over from Jackson and seize our brethren and
          inflict violence upon them. The industry of our people soon
          enabled them to make some purchases of land, and then their
          numbers were increased by arrivals from the east. The mob of
          Jackson county continued their endeavors to stir up
          dissatisfaction among the people of Clay county against the
          Saints. At length the citizens of Clay county held a public
          meeting and requested the "Mormons" to seek another home, when
          the Saints located in the new county of Caldwell, which contained
          only seven families, who were bee hunters. As the county was
          mostly prairie, their business was not very profitable, and they
          gladly embraced the opportunity of selling their claims.
          Caldwell county, being nearly destitute of timber, was regarded
          by the people of upper Missouri as worthless. Every Saint that
          could raise fifty dollars entered forty acres of land, and there
          were few but what could do that much, while many entered large
          tracts. The Saints migrated from the east and settled Caldwell in
          great numbers.
          In three years they had built mills, shops, school, meeting and
          dwelling houses, and opened and fenced hundreds of farms. Our
          industry and temperance rendered our settlements the most
          prosperous of any in Missouri, while they embraced all of
          Caldwell, most of Davis, and large portions of Clinton, Ray,
          Carrol and Livingston counties, when the storm of mobocracy was
          again aroused and aided by the Governor of the State, Lilburn W.
          Boggs, who issued the order expelling all the Latter-day Saints
          from the State under penalty of extermination. This caused the
          loss of hundreds of lives through violence and suffering. Houses
          were plundered, women were violated, men were whipped, and a
          great variety of cruelties inflicted, and a loss of property
          amounting to millions was sustained, while any one that would
          renounce his religion was permitted to remain.
          Joseph and Hyrum Smith, Alexander McRae, Lyman Wight and others
          were for several months thrust into prison, and in one instance,
          while there, were fed on human flesh and tantalized with the
          inquiry, "How they liked Mormon beef"--it being the flesh of some
          of their murdered brethren.
          The Lord softened the hearts of the people of Quincy, Illinois,
          and while the hundreds of Saints were fleeing over the snow-clad
          prairies of Missouri, not knowing where to go, the people of
          Quincy were holding public meetings, raising subscriptions and
          adopting measures to give the fugitives employment and succor,
          for which our hearts overflow with gratitude.
          As soon as the Saints were all expelled from Missouri, Joseph
          Smith went to Washington and laid the grievances of the people
          before the President and Congress of the United States. Mr. Van
          Buren said, "Your cause is just, but we can do nothing for you."
          Mr. Clay, when appealed to, said we "had better go to Oregon."
          Mr. Calhoun informed Mr. Smith it would involve the question of
          State rights, and was a dangerous question, and it would not do
          to agitate it. Mr. Cass, as chairman of the Senate committee, to
          which the petition was referred, reported that Congress had no
          business with it.
          Elder John P. Green went east, and published an appeal in behalf
          of the Saints, holding public meetings in Cincinnati and New
          York, and received some small contributions for the assistance of
          the most needy.
          As soon as Joseph Smith escaped from Missouri to Illinois, he
          purchased lands at a place known as Commerce, in Hancock county,
          and commenced the survey of a city which he called Nauvoo, the
          word being derived from the Hebrew, meaning beauty and rest.
          Although the situation was handsome, it was famed for being
          unhealthy. There were but few inhabitants in the vicinity, but
          many graves in the burying ground, and much of the subsequent
          sickness was the result of exposure and the want of suitable
          means of nursing the sick. The swamps in the vicinity of Nauvoo
          were soon drained, and the lands around put under cultivation.
          Numerous dwellings and several mills were erected, and thrift and
          prosperity, the invariable results of industry and sobriety, were
          Demands were made from Missouri for the persons of Joseph and
          Hyrum Smith. Joseph was arrested and tried at Monmouth, before
          Judge Stephen A. Douglas, and honorably discharged. His principal
          attorney in this case was the Hon. O. H. Browning, now U.S.
          Secretary of the Interior. This suit cost him upwards of three
          thousand dollars. He was soon again arrested on a demand from
          Missouri, and discharged by Judge Pope, of the U.S. District
          Court. This time it cost him twelve thousand dollars. Not long
          after this second acquittal he was again arrested in Lee County,
          Illinois, and an attempt made, in the face of the State
          authorities, to kidnap him into Missouri. Nauvoo sent out three
          hundred men and rescued him. He was afterwards discharged by the
          municipal court of that place, and Thomas Ford, Governor of
          Illinois, sanctioned his discharged.
          In 1844 Joseph and Hyrum were arrested on a charge of treason,
          under pledge of the executive that they should have a fair trial,
          but they were murdered by one hundred and fifty men with
          blackened faces; merchants and men that we had sustained in
          business, and apostates, took a leading part in bringing this
                                  OF JOSEPH SMITH.
          Joseph Smith, the Prophet, was subjected, during his short
          ministerial career of fifteen years, to about fifty vexatious law
          suits. The principal expense was incurred in liquidating lawyers'
          bills, and the brethren's time and expenditure in attending
          courts to defend the Prophet from mob violence.
          Magistrates' court expenses were generally one hundred dollars.
          The Prophet paid Generals Doniphan and Atchison for legal
          services at Richmond, Mo., in 1838-9, sixteen thousand dollars;
          but this amount was fruitlessly expended, as the benefits of the
          law were not accorded to him, because of the predominance and
          overruling power of a mob.
          At the Prophet's trial at Monmouth, Ill., in 1841, before Judge
          Douglas, the lawyers' fees and expenses amounted to three
          thousand dollars.
          His next trial was before Judge Pope, U.S. District Court, in
          1842-3, the expenses of which may be reasonably estimated at
          twelve thousand dollars.
          Cyrus Walker charged ten thousand dollars for defending Joseph in
          his political arrest, or the attempt at kidnapping him at Dixon,
          Ill., in 1843. There were four other lawyers employed for the
          defence besides Walker. The expenses of the defence in this trial
          were enormous, involving the amounts incurred by the horse
          companies who went in pursuit to aid Joseph, and the trip of the
          steamer Maid of Iowa, from Nauvoo to Otawa, and may be fairly
          estimated at one hundred thousand dollars.
          When the mantle of Joseph Smith fell upon Brigham Young, the
          enemies of God and His kingdom sought to inaugurate a similar
          career for President Young; but he took his revolver from his
          pocket at the public stand in Nauvoo, and declared that upon the
          first attempt of an officer to read a writ to him in a State that
          had violated its plighted faith in the murder of the Prophet and
          Patriarch while under arrest, he should serve the contents of
          this writ (holding his loaded revolver in his hand) first; to
          this the vast congregation assembled said, Amen. He was never
          In 1845, the storm of mobocracy raging around us, we sent an
          appeal to the President of the United States, and to the Governor
          of every State in the Union, except Missouri, of which the
          following, addressed to Governor Drew, of Arkansas, is a copy to
          the Governor, he being the only one from whom an answer was
          "To His Excellency Thomas S. Drew, Governor of Arkansas.
                "Nauvoo, Ill., May 1, 1845.
          "Honorable Sir,--Suffer us, sir, in behalf of a disfranchised and
          long afflicted people, to prefer a few suggestions for your
          serious consideration, in hope of a friendly and unequivocal
          response, at as early a period as may suit your convenience, and
          the extreme urgency of the case seems to demand.
          "It is not our present design to detail the multiplied and
          aggravated wrongs that we have received in the midst of a nation
          that gave us birth. Some of us have long been loyal citizens of
          the State over which you have the honor to preside, while others
          claim citizenship in each of the States of this great
          confederacy. We say we are a disfranchised people. We are
          privately told by the highest authorities of this State, that it
          is neither prudent nor safe for us to vote at the polls; still we
          have continued to maintain our right to vote, until the blood of
          our best men has been shed, both in Missouri and the State of
          Illinois, with impunity.
          "You are doubtless somewhat familiar with the history of our
          extermination from the State of Missouri, wherein scores of our
          brethren were massacred, hundreds died through want and sickness,
          occasioned by their unparalleled sufferings, some millions of our
          property were confiscated or destroyed, and some fifteen thousand
          souls fled for their lives to the then hospitable and peaceful
          shores of Illinois; and that the State of Illinois granted to us
          a liberal charter, for the term of perpetual succession, and
          under its provisions private rights have become invested, and the
          largest city in the State has grown up, numbering about twenty
          thousand inhabitants.
          "But, sir, the startling attitude recently assumed by the State
          of Illinois forbids us to think that her designs are any less
          vindictive than those of Missouri. She has already used the
          military of the State, with the Executive at their head, to
          coerce and surrender up our best men to unparalleled murder, and
          that, too, under the most sacred pledges of protection and
          safety. As a salve for such unearthly perfidy and guilt, she told
          us, through her highest Executive officer, that the laws should
          be magnified, and the murderers brought to justice; but the blood
          of her innocent victims had not been wholly wiped from the floor
          of the awful arena, where the citizens of a sovereign State
          pounced upon two defenceless servants of God, our Prophet and our
          Patriarch, before the Senate of that State rescued one of the
          indicted actors in that mournful tragedy from the sheriff of
          Hancock county, and gave him an honorable seat in her halls of
          legislation. And all others who were indicted by the grand jury
          of Hancock county for the murders of Generals Joseph and Hyrum
          Smith, are suffered to roam at large, watching for further prey.
          "To crown the climax of those bloody deeds, the State has
          repealed all those chartered rights by which we might have
          defended ourselves against aggressors. If we defend ourselves
          hereafter against violence, whether it comes under the shadow of
          law or otherwise (for we have reason to expect it both ways), we
          shall then be charged with treason, and suffer the penalty; and
          if we continue passive and non-resistant, we must certainly
          expect to perish, for our enemies have sworn it.
          "And here, sir, permit us to state that General Joseph Smith,
          during this short life, was arraigned at the bar of his country
          about fifty times, charged with criminal offences, but was
          acquitted every time by his country, or rather his religious
          opponents almost invariably being his judges. And we further
          testify, that as a people we are law-abiding, peaceable, and
          without crimes; and we challenge the world to prove the contrary.
          And while other less cities in Illinois have had special courts
          instituted to try their criminals, we have been stript of every
          source of arraigning marauders and murderers who are prowling
          around to destroy us, except the common magistracy.
          "With these facts before you, sir, will you write to us without
          delay, as a father and friend, and advise us what to do? We are,
          many of us, citizens of your State, and all members of the same
          great confederacy. Our fathers, nay, some of us, have fought and
          bled for our country, and we love her dearly.
          "In the name of Israel's God, and by virtue of multiplied ties of
          country and kindred, we ask your friendly interposition in our
          favor. Will it be too much to ask you to convene a special
          session of your State Legislature, and furnish us an asylum where
          we can enjoy our rights of conscience and religion unmolested? Or
          will you in a special message to that body, when convened,
          recommend a remonstrance against such unhallowed acts of
          oppression and expatriation, as this people have continued to
          receive from the States of Missouri and Illinois? Or will you
          favor us by your personal influence, and by your official rank?
          Or will you express your views concerning what is called the
          Great Western Measure, of colonizing the Latter-day Saints in
          Oregon, the north-western Territory or some location, remote from
          the States, where the hand of oppression shall not crush every
          noble principle, and extinguish every patriotic feeling?
          "And now, honored sir, having reached out our imploring hands to
          you with deep solemnity, we would importune with you as a father,
          a friend, a patriot and statesman; by the constitution of
          American liberty; by the blood of our fathers, who have fought
          for the independence of this Republic; by the blood of the
          martyrs which has been shed in our midst; by the wailings of the
          widows and orphans; by our murdered fathers and mothers, brothers
          and sisters, wives and children; by the dread of immediate
          destruction from secret combinations now forming for our
          overthrow; and by every endearing tie that binds men to men, and
          renders life bearable, and that, too, for aught we know, for the
          last time, that you will lend your immediate aid to quell the
          violence of mobocracy, and exert your influence to establish us
          as a people in our civil and religious rights, where we now are,
          or in some part of the United States, or at some place remote
          therefrom, where we may colonize in peace and safety as soon as
          circumstances will permit.
          "We sincerely hope that your future prompt measures towards us
          will be dictated by the best feelings that dwell in the bosom of
          humanity; and the blessings of a grateful people, and of many
          ready to perish, shall come upon you.
                 "We are, sir, with great respect,
                 "Your obedient servants,
               "Brigham Young, Chairman.
               "W. Richards,
               "Orson Spencer,
               "Orson Pratt, } Committee
                 "W. W. Phelps,
                 "A. W. Babbit,
                 "Jno. M. Bernhisel,
          "In behalf of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, at
          Nauvoo, Ill.
          "P. S.--As many of our communications postmarked at Nauvoo, have
          failed of their destination, and the mails around us have been
          intercepted by our enemies, we shall send this to some distant
          office by the hand of a special messenger."
          The following reply was received from Governor Drew:--
                "Executive Office, Little Rock,
                 Ark., May 27, 1845.
          "Hon. Brigham Young, President of the Committee of Twelve of
          Christ's Church of Latter-day Saints at Nauvoo, Ill.
          "Sir,--Your letter of the 1st inst. has been received, and claims
          my earnest attention. I must acknowledge my inability to serve
          your people by calling an extra Session of the General Assembly
          of this State for the object contemplated. And although I do not
          know that prejudice against your tenets in Arkansas would weigh
          aught against the action of that body, in refusing to furnish
          within our borders an asylum from the oppression of which you so
          sorely complain; yet I am sure that representatives of the people
          would long hesitate to extend to any class of citizens exclusive
          privileges, however innocent their motives, aims, objects or
          actions might appear, when the prospects of collision, from
          causes of which in your case I know nothing, appear so evident
          from the two very recent manifestations presented in the States
          of Missouri and Illinois. I have no doubt Illinois, prompted by
          the kindest of sympathies for your people in the late struggle
          and overthrow they encountered in Missouri, extended a liberal
          helping hand, but to repent her supposed folly. Could Arkansas,
          after witnessing the same scene reenacted in Illinois, calculate
          on anything short of a like catastrophe?
          "I am not sufficiently informed of the course taken against you
          by the authorities of the State of Illinois, in the difficulties
          detailed in your communication, to justify a recommendation from
          me to the Legislature to remonstrate against the acts of
          Illinois--the detailed statement of facts afforded me by your
          communication being of an ex parte character. But were I
          regularly informed of all the facts from both parties, and felt
          able to form a correct opinion as to the justice of the course
          pursued by the State of Illinois, yet I am of opinion that this
          State would not have, nor would I have as its chief Executive
          officer, the right to interfere in the least with the internal
          concerns or police of the State of Illinois, or of any other
          neighboring State, where its operations do not distract or in any
          way affect the good order of the citizens of the State of
          Arkansas. There are instances, but they are rare, where the
          interposition of one State to arrest the progress of violence in
          another, would be at all admissible. Such, for instance, as where
          the public authorities of the State affected are palpably
          incompetent to quell an insurrection within her limits, and the
          violence is likely to extend its ravages and bad influence to
          such neighboring State, or where a proper call has been made for
          "Nor can I afford to exercise my official rank as chief Executive
          of this State, in behalf of a faction in a neighboring State; and
          I humbly conceive that my personal influence would add nothing to
          your cause, unless it should prove to be a just one, in which
          event public opinion will afford you support of a character more
          lasting in the eye of an enlightened public, than wiser and
          greater men than your humble servant--than official rank, or
          force backed by power. It is true that while prejudice may have
          the ascendency over the minds of the neighboring community, your
          people may be exposed more or less to loss of life and
          destruction of property; I therefore heartily agree with you in
          the proposed plan of emigration to the Oregon Territory--or to
          California--the north of Texas, or to Nebraska; thereby placing
          your community beyond the reach of contention, until, at least,
          you shall have had time and opportunity to test the
          practicability of your system, and to develop its contemplated
          superior advantages in ameliorating the condition of the human
          race, and adding to the blessings of civil and religious liberty.
          That such a community, constituted as yours, with the mass of
          prejudice which surrounds and obstructs its progress at this
          time, cannot prosper in that or any of the neighboring States,
          appears very evident from the signal failures upon two occasions
          under auspices at least as favorable as you could reasonably
          expect from any of the States.
          "My personal sympathies are strong for the oppressed, though my
          official station can know nothing but what is sanctioned by the
          strictest justice, and that circumscribed to the limited
          jurisdiction of my own State; and while I deplore, as a man and a
          philanthropist, your distressed situation, I would refer you to
          the emphatic and patriarchal proposition of Abraham to Lot; and
          whilst I allude to the eloquent paraphrase of one of Virginia's
          most gifted sons, wherein he circumscribed the bounds of our
          domain within to the great valley of the Mississippi, I would
          only add that the way is now open to the Pacific without let or
          hindrance. Should the Latter-day Saints migrate to Oregon, they
          will carry with them the good will of philanthropists, and the
          blessing of every friend of humanity. If they are wrong, their
          wrongs will be abated with many degrees of allowance, and if
          right, migration will afford an opportunity to make it manifest
          in due season to the whole civilized world.
          "With my hearty desires for your peace and prosperity, I
          subscribe myself respectfully yours,
                 "Thomas S. Drew."
          This correspondence shows us the necessity of our being united in
          sustaining the Latter-day Saints, that we may not build up, by
          our own acts, a power to renew persecution again in our midst.
                              EXPULSION FROM ILLINOIS.
          In September, 1845, the mob commenced burning the houses of the
          Saints in the southern part of the county of Hancock, and
          continued until stopped by the sheriff, who summoned a posse
          comitatus, while few but Latter-day Saints would serve under him.
          The Governor sent troops and disbanded the posse. The murderers
          of Joseph and Hyrum had a sham trial and were acquitted. A
          convention of nine counties notified us that we must leave the
          State. The Governor informed us through General John J. Harding
          and Hon. Stephen A. Douglas, that we could not be protected in
          Illinois. We commenced our emigration west on the 6th of
          February, 1846. During that month some twelve hundred wagons
          crossed the Mississippi, many of them on the ice. Everybody that
          was able to leave continued to do so until late in the summer,
          and the outfits with which they left were insufficient, while the
          winter and spring weather was inclement, which caused a great
          deal of suffering.
          While the strength of Israel had gone westward, the Illinois mob
          commenced their hostilities with redoubled fury. They whipped,
          plundered and murdered men, abused women and children, and drove
          all the scattering ones into Nauvoo, then laid siege to the place
          and bombarded it for three days, killing several persons and
          wounding others, and peremptorily expelled the remainder across
          the river into Iowa, after robbing them of the remainder of the
          property they possessed, and leaving them on the shore to perish.
          Their encampment was probably one of the most miserable and
          distressed that ever existed. All who were able, by any possible
          means, had got away; those left were the poor and the helpless.
          Great numbers were sick, and they were without tents or
          conveniences of any kind to make them comfortable. Encamped on
          the foggy bottoms of the Mississippi river, they were scorched
          with fevers, without medicine or proper food.
          In this helpless condition a merciful Providence smiled on them
          by sending quails, so tame that many caught them with their
          hands; yet many perished within sight of hundreds of houses
          belonging to them and their friends, which were under the
          dominion of the Rev. Thomas S. Brockman and his mob legions, who
          viciously trampled the constitution and laws of Illinois, and the
          laws of humanity, under their feet.
          The victims continued to suffer until the camps in the west sent
          them relief. For a more full description of these scenes, I read
          from the historical address of Col. (now General) Thomas L. Kane,
          who was an eye witness.
               "A few years ago," said Colonel Kane, "ascending the Upper
          Mississippi, in the autumn, when its waters were low, I was
          compelled to travel by land past the region of the Rapids. My
          road lay through the Half-breed Tract, a fine section of Iowa,
          which the unsettled state of its land-titles had appropriated as
          a sanctuary for coiners, horse thieves, and other outlaws. I had
          left my steamer at Keokuk, at the foot of the Lower Fall, to hire
          a carriage, and to contend for some fragments of a dirty meal
          with the swarming flies, the only scavengers of the locality.
          "From this place to where the deep water of the river returns, my
          eye wearied to see everywhere sordid, vagabond, and idle
          settlers, and a country marred, without being improved, by their
          careless hands. I was descending the last hill-side upon my
          journey, when a landscape in delightful contrast broke upon my
          view. Half encircled by a bend of the river, a beautiful city lay
          glittering in the fresh morning sun; its bright new dwellings,
          set in cool green gardens, ranging up around a stately
          dome-shaped hill, which was crowned by a noble edifice, whose
          high tapering spire was radiant with white and gold. The city
          appeared to cover several miles, and beyond it, in the
          background, there rolled off a fair country, chequered by the
          careful lines of fruitful husbandry. The unmistakable marks of
          industry, enterprise, and educated wealth everywhere, made the
          scene one of singular and most striking beauty. It was a natural
          impulse to visit this inviting region. I procured a skiff, and
          rowing across the river, landed at the chief wharf of the city.
          No one met me there. I looked, and saw no one. I could hear no
          one move, though the quiet everywhere was such that I heard the
          flies buzz, and the water-ripples break against the shallow of
          the beach. I walked through the solitary street. The town lay as
          in a dream, under some deadening spell of loneliness, from which
          I almost feared to wake it, for plainly it had not slept long.
          There was no grass growing up in the paved ways; rains had not
          entirely washed away the prints of dusty footsteps.
          "Yet I went about unchecked. I went into empty workshops,
          ropewalks and smithies. The spinner's wheel was idle; the
          carpenter had gone from his work-bench and shavings, his
          unfinished sash and casing. Fresh bark was in the tanner's vat,
          and the fresh-chopped lightwood stood piled against the baker's
          oven. The blacksmith's shop was cold; but his coal heap and
          lading pool, and crooked water horn were all there, as if he had
          just gone off for a holiday. No work-people anywhere looked to
          know my errand.
          "If I went into the gardens, clinking the wicket-latch loudly
          after me, to pull the marigolds, heartsease, and lady-slippers,
          and draw a drink with the water-sodden well-bucket and its noisy
          chain; or, knocking off with my stick the tall, heavy-headed
          dahlias and sunflowers, hunted over the beds for cucumbers and
          love-apples--no one called out to me from any opened window, or
          dog sprang forward to bark an alarm.
          "I could have supposed the people hidden in the houses, but the
          doors were unfastened; and when at last I timidly entered them, I
          found dead ashes white upon the hearths, and had to tread a
          tip-toe, as if walking down the aisle of a country church, to
          avoid rousing irreverent echoes from the naked floors. On the
          outskirts of the town was the city graveyard; but there was no
          record of plague there, nor did it in anywise differ much from
          other Protestant American cemeteries. Some of the mounds were not
          long sodded; some of the stones were newly set, their dates
          recent, and their black inscriptions glossy in the mason's hardly
          dried lettering ink. Beyond the graveyard, out in the fields, I
          saw, in one spot hard by where the fruited boughs of a young
          orchard had been roughly torn down, the still smouldering remains
          of a barbecue fire, that had been constructed of rails from the
          fencing around it. It was the latest sign of life there. Fields
          upon fields of heavy-headed yellow grain lay rotting ungathered
          upon the ground. No one was there to take in their rich harvest.
          "As far as the eye could reach they stretched away--they
          sleeping, too, in the hazy air of autumn. Only two portions of
          the city seemed to suggest the import of this mysterious
          solitude. On the southern suburb, the houses looking out upon the
          country showed, by their splintered wood-work and walls battered
          to the foundation, that they had lately been the mark of a
          destructive cannonade. And in and around the splendid Temple,
          which had been the chief object of my admiration, armed men were
          barracked, surrounded by their stacks of musketry and pieces of
          heavy ordnance. These challenged me to render an account of
          myself, and why I had had the temerity to cross the water without
          written permit from a leader of their band.
          "Though these men were generally more or less under the influence
          of ardent spirits, after I had explained myself as a passing
          stranger, they seemed anxious to gain my good opinion. They told
          the story of the Dead City; that it had been a notable
          manufacturing and commercial mart, sheltering over twenty
          thousand persons; that they had waged war with its inhabitants
          for several years, and had been finally successful only a few
          days before my visit, in an action fought in front of the ruined
          suburb; after which they had driven them forth at the point of
          the sword. The defence, they said, had been obstinate, but gave
          way on the third day's bombardment. They boasted greatly of their
          prowess, especially in this battle, as they called it; but I
          discovered they were not of one mind as to certain of the
          exploits that had distinguished it, one of which, as I remember,
          was, that they had slain a father and his son, a boy of fifteen,
          not long residents of the fated city, whom they admitted to have
          borne a character without reproach.
          "They also conducted me inside the massive sculptured walls of
          the curious Temple, in which they said the banished inhabitants
          were accustomed to celebrate the mystic rites of an unhallowed
          worship. They particularly pointed out to me certain features of
          the building which, having been the peculiar objects of a former
          superstitious regard, they had, as a matter of duty, sedulously
          defiled and defaced. The reputed sites of certain shrines they
          had thus particularly noticed; and various sheltered chambers, in
          one of which was a deep well, constructed, they believed, with a
          dreadful design. Beside these, they led me to see a large and
          deep chiselled marble vase or basin, supported upon twelve oxen,
          also of marble, and of the size of life, or which they told some
          romantic stories. They said the deluded persons, most of whom
          were emigrants from a great distance, believed their Deity
          countenanced their reception here of a baptism of regeneration,
          as proxies for whomsoever they held in warm affection in the
          countries from which they had come. That here parents 'went into
          the water' for their lost children, children for their parents,
          widows for their spouses, and young persons for their lovers;
          that thus the Great Vase came to be for them associated with all
          dear and distant memories, and was therefore the object, of all
          others in the building, to which they attached the greatest
          degree of idolatrous affection. On this account, the victors had
          so diligently desecrated it, as to render the apartment in which
          it was contained too noisome to abide in.
          "They permitted me also to ascend into the steeple, to see where
          it had been lightning-struck the Sabbath before; and to look out,
          east and south, on wasted farms like those I had seen near the
          city, extending till they were lost in the distance. Here, in the
          face of the pure day, close to the scar of the divine wrath left
          by the thunderbolt, were fragments of food, cruises of liquor,
          and broken drinking vessels, with a bass drum and a steam boat
          signal bell, of which I afterwards learned the use with pain.
          "It was after nightfall when I was ready to cross the river on my
          return. The wind had freshened since the sunset, and the water
          beating roughly into my little boat, I edged higher up the stream
          than the point I had left in the morning, and landed where a
          faint glimmering light invited me to steer.
          "Here, among the dock and rushes, sheltered only by the darkness,
          without roof between them and the sky, I came upon a crowd of
          several hundred human beings, whom my movements roused from
          uneasy slumber on the ground.
          "Passing these on my way to the light, I found it came from a
          tallow candle in a paper funnel shade, such as is used by street
          vendors of apples and peanuts, and which, flaming and guttering
          away in the bleak air off the water, shone flickeringly on the
          emaciated features of a man in the last stage of a billious
          remittent fever. They had done their best for him. Over his head
          was something like a tent, made of a sheet or two, and he rested
          on a partially ripped open old straw mattress, with a hair sofa
          cushion under his head for a pillow. His gaping jaw and glazing
          eye told how short a time he would monopolize these luxuries;
          though a seemingly bewildered and excited person, who might have
          been his wife, seemed to find hope in occasionally forcing him to
          swallow, awkwardly, sips of the tepid river water, from a burned
          and battered bitter-smelling tin coffee-pot. Those who knew
          better had furnished the apothecary he needed; a toothless old
          bald-head, whose manner had the repulsive dullness of a man
          familiar with death scenes. He, so long as I remained, mumbled in
          his patient's ear a monotonous and melancholy prayer, between the
          pauses of which I heard the hiccup and sobbing of two little
          girls, who were sitting upon a piece of drift wood outside.
          "Dreadful, indeed, was the suffering of these forsaken beings;
          bowed and cramped with cold and sunburn, alternating as each
          weary day and night dragged on, they were almost all of them, the
          crippled victims of disease. They were there because they had no
          homes, nor hospital, nor poor-house, nor friends to offer them
          any. They could not satisfy the feeble cravings of their sick;
          they had not bread to quiet the fractious hunger-cries of their
          children. Mothers and babes, daughters and grand-parents, all of
          them alike, were bivouacked in tatters, wanting even covering to
          comfort those whom the sick shiver of fever was searching to the
          "These were Mormons, in Lee county, Iowa, in the fourth week of
          the month of September, in the year of our Lord 1846. The
          city--it was Nauvoo, Ill. The Mormons were the owners of that
          city, and the smiling country around. And those who had stopped
          their ploughs, who had silenced their hammers, their axes, their
          shuttles, and their workshop wheels; those who had put out their
          fires, who had eaten their food, spoiled their orchards, and
          trampled under foot their thousands of acres of unharvested
          bread; these were the keepers of their dwellings, the carouses in
          their Temple, whose drunken riot insulted the ears of the dying.
          "I think it was as I turned from the wretched night-watch of
          which I have spoken, that I first listened to the sounds of revel
          of a party of the guard within the city. Above the distant hum of
          the voices of many, occasionally rose distinct the loud
          oath-tainted exclamation, and the falsely intonated scrap of
          vulgar song; but lest this requiem should go unheeded, every now
          and then, when their boisterous orgies strove to attain a sort of
          ecstatic climax, a cruel spirit of insulting frolic carried some
          of them up into the high belfry of the Temple steeple, and there,
          with the wicked childishness of inebriates, they whooped, and
          shrieked, and beat the drum that I had seen, and rang in
          charivaric unison their loud-tongued steam-boat bell.
          "They were, all told, not more than six hundred and forty persons
          who were thus lying on the river flats. But the Mormons in Nauvoo
          and its dependencies had been numbered the year before at over
          twenty thousand. Where were they? They had last been seen
          carrying in mournful train their sick and wounded, halt and
          blind, to disappear behind the western horizon, pursuing the
          phantom of another home. Hardly anything else was known of them;
          and people asked with curiosity, 'What had been their fate--what
          their fortunes?'"
          Journal of Discourses / Journal of Discourses, Volume 13 / George
          Albert Smith, October 9, 1868
                        George Albert Smith, October 9, 1868
                                    OCTOBER 9TH.
          The rear of the camp of the Saints that were driven out of
          Nauvoo, as we left them last evening lying on the banks of the
          Mississippi--a very uncomfortable and distressing situation--were
          frequently annoyed by the firing of cannon from the opposite side
          of the river, many of the shot landing in the river, but
          occasionally some would pass over into the camp. One of them,
          picked up in the camp, was sent as a present to the Governor of
          The Rev. Thomas S. Brockman, leader of the mob who expelled the
          Saints from Nauvoo, said when he entered the city, that he
          considered he had gained a tremendous triumph; but there is no
          language sufficient to describe the ignominy and disgrace that
          must attach, in all time to come, to him and his associates, in
          the accomplishment of so brutal a work on an innocent and
          unoffending people on account of their religious opinions.
          The settlements of Iowa on the west side of the Mississippi river
          were scattering, extending back about seventy miles. We passed
          through these settlements on our journey westward, that is,
          President Young and the party that left Nauvoo in the winter. We
          diverged a little from the regular route in order to be in the
          vicinity of the settlements of Missouri. Our brethren scattered
          wherever there was an opportunity to take jobs from the people,
          making rails, building log houses, and doing a variety of work,
          by which they obtained grain for their animals and breadstuff for
          themselves. We were enabled to do this while moving slowly. In
          fact, the spring rains soon rendered the ground so muddy that it
          was impossible to travel but a very short distance at a time.
          Soon after, when the grass grew, this divergence from the road
          southerly was discontinued, by pursuing a direction further
          north, until we reached a point on the east fork of Grand River,
          where the President's company commenced a settlement called
          Garden Grove, then another called Pisgah was commenced on the
          west fork of the same river. These streams and a number of others
          had to be bridged at a heavy expense, which was done by the
          advanced parties. Our travel west of the settlements, before we
          reached the Missouri river, was about 300 miles. The country was
          in the possession of Potawattamie Indians. They, however, had
          sold their lands to the United States, and were to give
          possession the following year. We were delayed building ferry
          boats and crossing the Missouri river. A large portion of our
          people crossed at a point now known as Omaha city; some crossed a
          little below, at Bellevue, or what we sometimes termed Whisky
          Point, there being some missionaries and Indian traders there,
          who occupied their time in selling whisky to and swindling the
          We were met there by Captain James Allen, of United States
          dragoons, with an order from the War Department to enroll five
          hundred volunteers for the war in Mexico. The volunteers were
          enrolled in a very few days. A portion of our wagons had crossed
          the Missouri at this time, and the residue of our people, from
          whom the volunteers were drawn, were scattered on the way two
          hundred miles towards Nauvoo. The men, however, volunteered,
          leaving their families and teams on the prairies without
          protectors, and very materially weakened the camp, because they
          were the flower of the people. They marched direct for
          Leavenworth, and there received the arms of infantry, and then
          marched for California by way of Santa Fe. Their commander,
          Lieutenant-Colonel Allen, died at Leavenworth, and they were
          subsequently placed under the command of Lieutenant-Colonel P.
          Saint George Cooke. They made a march of 2050 miles, to San
          Diego. History may be searched in vain for a parallel to this
          march of infantry. During a portion of this route they were on
          three-quarter rations of bread, their only meat being such
          draught animals as they were unable to proceed further. They
          were, at one time, temporarily relieved from this pressure
          through an encounter with a herd of wild bulls. These men were
          discharged on the coast of California; but the Government,
          finding it necessary to maintain some show of force in the
          southern part of California, requested a company of them to
          re-enlist, which they did, and served for a term of six months.
          The departure of all these men from our party, left a great
          burden on the shoulders of those who remained. President Young
          gathered them together to a place now called Florence, which we
          denominated Winter Quarters. While there we built seven hundred
          log houses, one water-power and several horse mills for grinding
          grain, and some hundred and fifty dug-outs, being a kind of cave
          dug in the earth, or houses half underground.
          We gathered up the families of the battalion the best we could,
          but a great many were sick. Our exposures through the season,
          being deprived of vegetable food, and the overwork through so
          much bridge and road making, brought on sickness; and all who
          were in Winter Quarters remember it as being a place where a
          great many persons were afflicted, and many died.
          Our brethren who were on the other side of the river established
          camps in various localities. There were probably two thousand
          wagons scattered about on the east side of the river in different
          parts of the Potawattamie country, each grove or camping ground
          taking the name of its leader. Many of those names are still
          retained, the various camping grounds being known as Cutler's,
          Perkins', Miller's, &c.
          Elders Orson Hyde, P. P. Pratt and John Taylor, left the camp and
          went on a mission to England. Brother Benson, accompanied by
          other brethren, went to the east to solicit donations from our
          eastern friends. I am not aware of the exact amount that was
          donated, but it was only a trifle. There were a few old clothes
          also contributed, which I believe were scarcely worth the
          freight. Christian sympathy was not very strong for the
          Latter-day Saints. But we feel very thankful to those who did
          contribute, and shall ever remember with kindness their
          generosity towards the Saints.
          We were here visited by Col. Thos. L. Kane, of Philadelphia, an
          extract from whose historical address was read yesterday. He
          visited our camp and saw our condition, and was the only man, I
          believe, who by words and deeds manifested that he felt to
          sympathise with the outraged and plundered people called
          Latter-day Saints. It may be that he was not the only man, but he
          was the only man who made himself conspicuous by his sympathy
          towards us. It is true that we have had men come here, as
          merchants and officers, who have expressed to us that they did
          have great sympathy with us at that time. It does us a great deal
          of good now to hear them say so, we did not know anything about
          it then.
          In the spring of 1847, President Young, with one hundred and
          forty-three pioneers, started in search of a place of settlement.
          We started early, before there was a particle of grass in the
          Platte valley. We carried our food with us, and fed our animals
          on the cottonwood bark, until the grass grew, and managed to get
          along, making the road for six hundred and fifty miles, and
          followed the trappers' trail about four hundred miles more until
          we arrived in this valley. The whole company arrived here on the
          24th of July, 1847. There were a few bushes along the streams of
          City Creek, and other creeks south. The land was barren; it was
          covered with large black crickets, which seemed to be devouring
          everything that had outlived the drouth and desolation. Here we
          commenced our work by making an irrigation ditch, and planting
          potatoes, which we have brought from the States; and late as it
          was in the season, with all the disadvantages with which we had
          to contend, we raised enough to preserve the seed, though very
          few were as large as chestnuts. For the next three years we were
          reduced to considerable straits for food. Fast-meetings were
          held, and contributions constantly made for those who had no
          provisions. Every head of a family issued rations to those
          dependent upon him, for fear his supply of provisions should fall
          short. Rawhides, wolves, rabbits, thistle roots, segos, and
          everything that could be thought of that would preserve life,
          were resorted to; there were a few deaths by eating poisonous
          roots. A great deal of the grain planted here the first year grew
          only a few inches high; it was so short it could not be cut. The
          people had to pull it. A great many got discouraged and wanted to
          leave the country; some did leave. The discovery of gold mines in
          California by the brethren of the battalion, caused many of the
          discontented to go to that paradise of gold.
          During all these trials President Young was firm and decided; he
          put on a smile when among the people, and said this was the place
          God had pointed out for the gathering place of the Saints, and it
          would be blessed and become one of the most productive places in
          the world. In this way he encouraged the people, and he was
          sustained by men who felt that God had inspired him to lead us
          President Young went back to Winter Quarters the first season,
          and in 1848 returned with his family. John Smith, my honored
          father, who was subsequently patriarch of the whole Church, and
          who had been President of the Stake in Nauvoo, presided during
          the absence of President Young. I think that, for a man of his
          position to be place din, for all the murmuring, complaining,
          fault-finding, distress, hunger, annoyances, fears and doubts of
          the whole people were poured into his ear. But God inspired him,
          although a feeble man, to keep up their spirits, and to sustain
          the work that was entrusted to him until the arrival of the
          President next season.
          In three years--1850, the idea of a man issuing rations to his
          family to keep them from starving had passed away; but the
          grasshopper war of 1856 inflicted upon us so great a scarcity,
          that issuing rations had to be resorted to again. Through all
          these circumstances no one was permitted to suffer, though all
          had to be pinched. I shall not attempt to give a detailed account
          of all the circumstances connected with our position in those
          trying times. But when our brethren arrive here by railroad and
          see a country smiling with plenty, I think they can hardly
          appreciate how it looked when we came.
          When I first sat down on this ground, in 1847, I was dressed in
          buckskin, having torn most of my clothes to pieces. I had rawhide
          soles on my feet, and had a piece of hard bread and a piece of
          dried antelope meat to eat. I lay down, took my pistol in my
          hand, and held on to my horse by a lariat while eating my meat
          and biscuit, for fear the Indians might take a notion to my hair,
          of which I was always very choice. I took that meal near where
          our City Hall now stands. There has been quite an improvement
          since then.
          The first year of our settlement here the crops were greatly
          injured by crickets, and many of the people gave up all hope, and
          it seemed as if actual starvation was inevitable for the whole
          colony. God sent gulls from the Lake, and they came all devoured
          the crickets. It seemed as if they were heavenly messengers sent
          to stay the famine. They would eat until they were filled, and
          would then disgorge; and so they continued eating and vomiting
          until the fields were cleared, and the colony saved: Praise the
          Lord! During the time of scarcity, when there was a short
          allowance of bread, the people were remarkably healthy, more so
          than they were afterwards when food became more plentiful.
          In 1847 it was the counsel for every person leaving the Missouri
          river to be provided with three hundred and sixty-five pounds of
          bread stuff; many, however, came with less. The next season they
          were to bring three hundred pounds, the season after two hundred
          and fifty pounds; but in 1850 the people came with just enough to
          serve them during their journey across the Plains. In 1849,
          President Young founded the P. E. Fund. We had covenanted while
          in Conference in the Temple at Nauvoo, that we would never quit
          our exertions to the extent of our influence and property, until
          every man, woman and child of the Latter-day Saints who wanted to
          come to the mountains had been gathered. In 1849, notwithstanding
          all our poverty, a large sum in gold was contributed by the
          brethren for emigration purposes, and Bishop Edward Hunter went
          back and commenced the work. We also recommenced the work of
          missions, which for a short time had been partially suspended.
          Missionaries were sent to Denmark, Sweden, Norway, France, Italy,
          Switzerland, Germany, and the islands of the Pacific.
          The first commercial house established here by strangers was
          Livingston and Kinkead's. Mr. Livingston had about eight thousand
          dollars, which was all the money the firm had to invest. Kinkead
          was taken in as a partner, and they obtained credit in the east
          for twenty thousand dollars' worth of goods, freighted them here
          and opened their store. They reported to their creditors that on
          the first day of opening they received ten thousand dollars in
          gold. They remained here until they made themselves fortunes, and
          carried gold from this Territory, perhaps to the amount of
          millions, and established themselves elsewhere. They were an
          honorable business house, but I have often reflected upon the bad
          policy that we, as servants of God, adopted at that time in
          sustaining strangers. If the ten thousand dollars which were paid
          into that house the first day, had been handled by some of our
          experienced merchants in a co-operative institution, it would
          have been just as easy to have furnished our own merchandize as
          to have bought their's. Bishop N. K. Whitney, who was then
          living, or Bishop Woolley, and numbers of others were well
          acquainted with mercantile business; but they had been robbed of
          all they had, and had no capital. It only wanted unity and
          willingness on the part of the people to sustain their brethren
          in their business relations, to have laid the foundation to
          supply all that was ever supplied by Livingston and Kinkead.
          I would like every one to inquire for himself--What would have
          been the result if, instead of sustaining Livingston and Kinkead
          and other merchants, our people had sustained Latter-day Saints?
          The result would have been, that large sums of money would have
          remained here and been used for building up the country; and when
          a dark cloud had lowered over us, our brethren with this means in
          their possession would have been on hand to aid the Saints in
          defending and preserving their lives and liberties; while, as it
          was, the influence of the men we had enriched was turned against
          us, they believing they could make more money out of the
          Government, and get rich quicker through war, than they could by
          continuing their honest, legitimate business with the people
          here. This firm is but one; several other firms might be
          mentioned who pursued a similar course.
          As soon as it was known in Christendom that the Latter-day Saints
          were not dead, but that they were alive and flourishing, and were
          gathering their people to the mountains at the rate of from two
          to five thousand a year, and that they had succeeded in
          reclaiming the desert, and in making grain and grass grow where
          nothing would grow before, it seemed as though all hell was
          aroused again. Federal officers were sent here, and they thought
          it policy to join in the general hue and cry, or at least some of
          them; there were a few honorable exceptions. But the majority of
          them raised a hue and cry against us, and it was thought so much
          of, that one of the rotten planks in the platform of the great
          rising party which contested the elevation of James Buchanan to
          the Presidency, was the destruction of polygamy. This brought to
          our country immense armies, more men being concerned in the
          matter than in some of the principal battles of the revolution,
          or even in the war of 1812. Some six thousand regulars were
          marched in this direction, while teamsters and hangers on
          increased this number to about seventeen thousand. There were
          also several thousand freight wagons, and everything on the face
          of the earth, seemingly, that could be done to hurl into this
          country destruction and vengeance, was done. But God overruled
          it. When they got here they found that they really had been
          deceived. They went and established themselves at Camp Floyd, and
          spent their time in destroying arms and ammunition, and breaking
          up the property of the United States, until forty million
          dollars, the reported cost of the expedition, had been wasted.
          The armies then scattered to the four winds of the heaven. This
          expenditure of the Government money laid the foundation of these
          outside mercantile establishments which have been nursed by us to
          so great an extent from that time to this.
          It has been believed that great benefit, financially, accrued to
          the Saints through this expedition; but I think that as a whole
          it has been a hindrance to our real progress. Very little of the
          money came into the hands of the Saints, but some merchandize at
          high prices, which might have been a temporary convenience. But
          it caused our people to relax their energies in producing from
          the elements what they needed, such as flax, cotton and wool; and
          also turned their attention from the manufacture of iron. The
          burning of wagons, the bursting of shell, and the destruction of
          arms, furnished much of the latter at comparatively nominal
          prices; hence a present benefit worked a permanent injury. The
          speculators who made vast fortunes at the expense of the nation
          soon squandered them, and part of this army, and even its
          commander, and many of the officers, were soon found arrayed
          against the flag of our country, and taking an active part in the
          terrible war between the North and South, the results of which
          are being so severely felt at the present time.
          Scandalous sheets have been issued here for years, and, as far as
          possible, sent to all parts of the world, filled with lies,
          defamation and abuse, and everything that would tend to rouse the
          indignation of the Christian world against us, and to get up an
          excuse for our annihilation. These sheets have been sustained by
          men in the mercantile business whom we have sustained by our
          trade, and consequently have been supported indirectly by our
          money. I have been horrified at such a use of our means, and have
          felt that it was our duty, as Saints, to stop supporting these
          slanders, lest, peradventure, should they continue until they
          produced the designed effect, our blood should be upon our own
          What did we cross the Plains for? To get where we could enjoy
          peace and religious liberty. Why did we drag hand-carts across
          the Plains? That we might have the privilege of dwelling and
          associating with Saints, and not build up a hostile influence in
          our midst, and place wealth in the hands of our enemies, who use
          it to spread aborad defamation and falsehood, and to light a
          flame that will again have the direct result, unless overruled by
          the almighty power of God, of bringing upon the Latter-day Saints
          here the same sorrow, distress and desolation that have followed
          them elsewhere. For my part I do not fellowship Latter-day Saints
          who thus use their money. I advise the Saints to form
          co-operative societies and associations all over the Territory,
          and to import everything they need that they cannot manufacture,
          and not to pay their money to men who use it to buy bayonets to
          slay them with, and to stir up the indignation of our fellow-men
          against us. Our outside friends should feel contented with the
          privilege of paying us the money for the products of our labor,
          and we should exact it at their hands, as a due reward for our
          exertions in producing the necessaries of life in this desert.
          Some may say, "We are afraid the brethren are making money too
          fast," or, "We do not like to trade with them, they charge us too
          high." Suppose they do, you need not buy of them; but do not go
          and buy of men who would use that money to cut your throats, or
          to publish lies about you, and endeavor to induce all men to come
          here and dispossess you of your homes. Do not be so mad as that.
          "Well," says one, "I really want some little article that I
          cannot buy elsewhere." Man's wants are very numerous, but his
          necessities are really very few, and we should abridge our wants,
          and go to work and manufacture everything we can within
          ourselves; and what we cannot manufacture we can import, and save
          ourselves the 40, 120, 400, or 1000 per cent that we are now
          paying for our merchandize, and so stop building up those who are
          laying a foundation, openly and above board, for our destruction.
          And furthermore, cease to fellowship every man that will not
          build up Zion. Amen.
          Journal of Discourses / Journal of Discourses, Volume 13 / Orson
          Pratt, April 10, 1870
                             Orson Pratt, April 10, 1870
                           DISCOURSE BY ELDER ORSON PRATT,
             Delivered in the Tabernacle, Salt Lake City, April 10, 1870
                            (Reported by David W. Evans)
                             MORMON--EXTERNAL TESTIMONY.
          It has fallen to my lot to speak to the congregation this
          afternoon, and I humbly hope and trust that, through your faith
          and prayers, I may be assisted by the Comforter, the Holy Ghost,
          in speaking to your edification; and I ask my Heavenly Father, in
          the name of Jesus Christ, that He will pour out upon me that
          Spirit which giveth utterance and enlighteneth the understanding,
          that I may be able to edify all who hear me.
          Forty years have passed away since the Church was organized. We
          held Conference here on Wednesday last, in commemoration of that
          eventful period in the history of our race, for it is a period
          that we consider very eventful in our history and in the history
          of the world; and we have no doubt in our own minds that the Lord
          looks upon it in the same light, for He is interested more than
          any other person possibly can be in the salvation of the human
          family. And as He has set times in His own mind for the
          performance of His own purposes, He no doubt chose the 6th day of
          April, 1830, as the set time for the organization, or the
          beginning of an organization or kingdom that should have no end.
          All the governments which have hitherto had a place on our earth,
          excepting those now in existence, have had an end. Human
          governments have been very changeable in their nature. The Lord
          has raised up a nation here and a nation there, a kingdom here
          and a kingdom there, and He has suffered them to live and
          flourish for a few centuries, and some, perhaps, even for one or
          two thousand years; then He has caused them to pass away. But He
          spoke to His ancient servant, who is called Daniel, whose
          prophecy is written in this book (the Bible), and said that in
          the latter days He would set up a government or kingdom which
          should have no end. This government will differ from all
          preceding governments set up from the Creation down to the period
          of its establishment. Daniel says it shall become universal and
          shall cover the whole earth. He calls the citizens of that
          government Saints. He beheld that the stone cut out of the
          mountain without hands should roll forth and become a great
          mountain and fill the whole earth, and that all earthly
          governments, kingdoms and empires should become like the chaff of
          the summer threshing floor, and no place should be found for
          them; while the stone that was cut out of the mountains should
          have dominion over the whole earth, and the Saints of the Most
          High should have dominion under the whole heaven.
          Now there will have to be a beginning to that work. The Lord will
          not make such a wonderful revolution as the one I have named, all
          in one day, or in one year. Jesus made his appearance on the
          earth in the meridian of time, and he established his kingdom on
          the earth. But to fulfill ancient prophecies the Lord suffered
          that kingdom to be uprooted; in other words, the kingdoms of this
          world made war against the kingdom of God, established eighteen
          centuries ago, and they prevailed against it, and the kingdom
          ceased to exist. The great beast that John saw made war with it
          and prevailed against it, and human institutions, without
          prophets or inspired men, usurped the place of the ancient
          kingdom of God. But God has promised that the latter-day kingdom
          shall stand for ever. Though the heavens and earth be wrapped
          together as a scroll and pass away, yet the kingdom that was to
          be set up in the latter days will have no end, but will prevail
          among all people under the heavens and will have dominion for one
          thousand years. After that, when the earth passes away, the
          kingdom will be caught up; it will not perish, be annihilated or
          overcome, but be caught up into the heavens while the earth is
          undergoing its last change; and when the Lord shall resurrect the
          earth, the same as He will our bodies, and make it a new earth,
          wherein shall dwell righteousness, He will then bring down out of
          Heaven to the new earth this latter-day kingdom, with all the
          former kingdoms that He has built up in other dispensations, and
          they will stand for ever, for the new earth will never pass away.
          The destiny of all governments established by human wisdom is to
          pass away. The great nation of the United States, one of the best
          governments ever organized by human authority on the earth, so
          far as our knowledge goes, must pass away in many of its
          features. The only way for safety to the people of the government
          of the United States is to repent of their sins, turn away from
          all their iniquities, receive the Gospel of the Son of God and
          become citizens of that kingdom which is to endure for ever; then
          all the great and glorious principles incorporated in this great
          republic will be incorporated in the kingdom of God and be
          preserved. I mean the principles of civil and religious liberty,
          especially, and all other good principles that are contained in
          that great instrument framed by our forefathers will be
          incorporated in the kingdom of God; and only in this manner can
          all that is good in this and in foreign governments be preserved.
          The time will shortly come when thrones will be cast down and
          empires will fall; and all republics and empires will eventually
          fall and become like the dream of a night vision--they will
          vanish away; but the kingdom of God will grow, flourish, spread
          abroad and become stronger and more powerful, until its King
          shall come in the clouds of Heaven, crowned in all the glory and
          power of his Father, bringing the celestial hosts with him, to
          sit upon his throne in Jerusalem and also in Zion, to reign over
          his people here on the earth for the space of a thousand years,
          before the destruction of the earth.
          This is what we believe; and it is the sincere belief and faith
          of the Latter-day Saints that we are in that kingdom. It is true
          that our King is now absent: he is in the heavens. But we expect
          him again; we look for him and he will come in his own due time.
          The day when he will come he has not revealed to any of the
          inhabitants of the earth, neither will he do so, for the Lord has
          told us in a certain revelation, recorded in the Doctrine and
          Covenants, that no one should have it revealed to them; but this
          much God has revealed--that this kingdom which He has organized
          on the earth has been organized preparatory to the day of the
          coming of our Lord from the heavens. Hence in organizing this
          kingdom He has restored all the essential characteristics of His
          kingdom in its embryo, or its beginning: such as inspired men,
          inspired prophets, inspired leaders, called by revelation to act
          in different positions.
          Now there is something very peculiar indeed in setting up the
          kingdom of God in regard to the time. I told you in the
          commencement of my remarks that the Lord generally had set times
          to accomplish His purposes. It can be reasonably inferred,
          according to the revelations that we have in the Book of Mormon,
          that God organized His kingdom, precisely to a day, 1800 years
          after the crucifixion. Of course we do not learn this directly
          from the Book of Mormon; but we learn enough there of data on
          which to found a calculation. We learn not only from this book,
          but also from the antiquities of the Jews, from the New
          Testament, from historians and from some of the Mosaic rites that
          Jesus was crucified about the time of the Passover, and that
          happened some time after the vernal equinox; and that 1833 years
          had passed from the time of the birth of our Savior before the
          organization of this latter-day kingdom.
          The way we come at this is by the account given in the Book of
          Mormon. We find that the ancient Israelites on this continent had
          a sign given of the exact time of the crucifixion and a
          revelation of the exact time of the Savior's birth, and according
          to their reckoning, they made him thirty-three years and a little
          over three days old from the time of his birth to the time that
          he hung upon the cross. There is no doubt that the year of the
          ancient Israelites, who inhabited this continent, differed a
          little in length from our years; for they probably reckoned
          their's somewhat after the manner of the Jews, at Jerusalem, and
          the Jews had formed their reckoning from the Egyptians, among
          whom they dwelt some four hundred years. The Egyptians reckoned
          three hundred and sixty-five days to the year; but the ancient
          Israelites on this continent, according to the records of the
          early Spanish historians, did not consider that three hundred and
          sixty-five days made up a full year, and hence at the end of
          every fifty-two years they added thirteen days, which is
          equivalent to adding one day every four years, the same as we do.
          If such were the reckoning of the ancient Nephites, then
          thirty-three years and three days of their time had passed away
          between the time of the Savior's birth and crucifixion. Now these
          thirty-three years and three days would, according to our
          reckoning, lack five days of the thirty-three years. When we come
          to trace back all these authorities, we find that this very day,
          on which I am speaking, would be the close of the year, and that
          to-morrow, the 11th day of April, would be the anniversary of the
          very day on which Jesus was born; and the 6th day of April the
          very day on which he was crucified precisely eighteen hundred
          years prior to the organization of this Church.
          I have made mention of this, not bringing all the evidences and
          proofs that might be advanced, but merely to show, in a very
          brief manner, that God has a set time to perform and accomplish
          His work, and that the commencement of the organization of His
          kingdom took place eighteen centuries after the time that the
          Savior groaned and suffered on the cross.
          There are a great many, of course, in the world, who disbelieve
          this record which is received as divine by the Latter-day Saints.
          A great many do not believe that the Book of Mormon is true, and
          the reason they do not believe it is because they never have
          examined the evidences. I consider that there are some evidences,
          that never have been sufficiently put forth before the public, to
          prove the divine authenticity of the Book of Mormon, quite as
          strong as those which have been adduced. We have often referred
          to the Old Testament to prove that a work of this nature was to
          come forth in the latter days. The ancient prophets have spoken
          of it in many places, sometimes under the term of a book.
          Speaking of the manner in which it should be translated, you will
          find it referred to in the twenty-ninth chapter of Isaiah. It is
          referred to in other places as sticks, written upon, one for
          Judah and one for Joseph, that should be united together by the
          power of the Lord in the latter days preparatory to His coming.
          In other places it is referred to as truth which, in the latter
          days, should come out of the ground, and that, at the same time,
          righteousness should come down out of Heaven, and that this
          should be a preparatory work for the salvation of Israel and for
          the coming of the Lord.
          But we will pass over all these Scriptural evidences, and name
          one which, perhaps, our Elders themselves have not dwelt upon to
          any very great extent to prove the divine authenticity of the
          Book of Mormon.
          This book, the Book of Mormon, informs us that the time of day at
          which Jesus was crucified, I mean the time of day here in
          America, was in the morning; the New Testament tells us that
          Jesus was crucified in Asia in the afternoon, between the sixth
          and ninth hour according to the Jews' reckoning. They commenced
          their reckoning at six o'clock in the morning, and consequently
          the sixth hour would be twelve o'clock at noon, and the ninth
          hour three o'clock in the afternoon. Jesus, from the sixth to the
          ninth hour, in other words, from twelve o'clock to three, was
          hanging on the cross. Now the Book of Mormon, or the historians
          whose records it contains, when relating the incidents that
          transpired at the time of the crucifixion--the darkness that was
          spread over the face of the land, the earthquakes, the rending of
          rocks, the sinking of cities and the whirlwinds--say these events
          occurred in the morning; they also say that darkness was spread
          over the face of the land for the space of three days. In
          Jerusalem it was only three hours. But the Lord gave them a
          special sign in this country, and the darkness lasted three days,
          and at the expiration of three days and three nights of darkness,
          it cleared off, and it was in the morning. That shows that,
          according to the time in this country, the crucifixion must have
          taken place in the morning.
          Says one, "Is not this a contradiction between the Book of Mormon
          and the New Testament?" To an unlearned person it would really be
          a contradiction, for the four Evangelists place it from twelve to
          three in the afternoon, while the Book of Mormon says in the
          morning. An unlearned person, seeing this discrepancy, would say,
          of course, that both books cannot be true. If the Book of Mormon
          be true the Bible cannot be; and if the Bible be true the Book of
          Mormon cannot be.
          I do not know that anybody ever brought up this objection, for I
          do not think they ever thought of it. I do not think that the
          Prophet Joseph, who translated the book, ever thought of this
          apparent discrepancy. "But," says one, "how do you account for it
          being in the morning in America and in the afternoon in
          Jerusalem?" Simply by the difference in longitude. This would
          make a difference of time of several hours; for when it would be
          twelve at noon in Jerusalem it would only be half-past four in
          the morning in the north-west party of South America, where the
          Book of Mormon was then being written. Seven and a half hours
          difference in longitude would account for this apparent
          discrepancy; and if the Book of Mormon had said the crucifixion
          took place in the afternoon we should have known at once that it
          could not be true. This is incidental proof to learned or
          scientific men that they cannot very well reason away, and
          especially when the instrument who brought forth the Book of
          Mormon is considered. It must be remembered that he was but a
          youth, and unlearned; and, when he translated this work, I
          presume that he was unaware that there was any difference in the
          time of day, according to the longitude, in different parts of
          the earth. I do not suppose that Joseph ever thought about it to
          the day of his death. I never heard him or any other person bring
          forth this as confirmatory evidence of the divine authenticity of
          the Book of Mormon; I never thought of it myself until years
          after Joseph's death; but when I did reflect upon it, I could see
          the reason why the Lord, through His servants, has said in the
          Book of Mormon, that the crucifixion took place in the morning.
          But we will pass over this and will say a few words in regard to
          the object of this great work. The Lord has brought forth the
          Book of Mormon in order that all the nations, kindreds, tongues
          and peoples on the face of the earth may be warned of the great
          events which are about to take place. This book contains
          prophecies which affect every nation under Heaven, prophecies
          that will be fulfilled on their heads. Can we read the future of
          this great American nation--our great republic? Yes, we can learn
          a great many features within its pages concerning this nation and
          government that we never should have learned without its aid or
          the spirit of revelation. From it we learn that two great and
          powerful nations formerly dwelt on this continent. One nation, or
          rather the colony which founded it, came from the Tower of Babel
          soon after the days of the Flood. They colonized what we call
          North America, landing on the western coast, a little south of
          the Gulf of California, in the south-western part of this north
          wing of our continent. They flourished some sixteen hundred
          years. When they first colonized this continent from the Tower of
          Babel, the Lord told them if they would not serve Him faithfully,
          but became ripe in iniquity, they should be cut off from the face
          of the land. That was fulfilled about six hundred years before
          Christ, when they were entirely swept off, and in their stead the
          Lord brought a remnant of Israel, a few families, not the ten
          tribes, but a small portion of the tribe of Joseph. He brought
          them from Jerusalem first down to the Red Sea. They travelled
          along the eastern borders of the Red Sea for many days, and then
          bore off in an eastern direction which brought them to the
          Arabian Gulf. There they were commanded of the Lord to build a
          vessel. They went aboard of this vessel and were brought by the
          special providence of God across the great Indian and Pacific
          Oceans, and landed on the western coast of South America. This
          was about five hundred and eighty years before the coming of
          Christ. Eleven years after the Lord brought this first colony of
          Israelites from Jerusalem, He brought another small colony,
          headed by one of the sons of Zedekiah, a descendant of King
          David. They left Jerusalem the same year that the Jews were
          carried away captive into Babylon, were brought forth to this
          continent and landed somewhere north of the Isthmus. They wended
          their way into the northern part of South America. About four
          hundred years after this the two colonies amalgamated in the
          northern part of South America and they became one nation.
          The first colony brought with them the Jewish Scriptures, on
          plates of brass, containing an account of the Creation and the
          history of their nation down to eleven years before the
          Captivity, or six hundred years before Christ. These brass plates
          were kept among them during the period of their righteousness,
          and were preserved by the hand of the Lord. The second colony
          that came from Jerusalem came without the Scriptures, and having
          no copy of the sacred writings they soon fell into wickedness. In
          four hundred years time they disbelieved in the being of a God,
          but uniting with the other branch of Israelites they were
          converted. Their language had become much corrupted, but through
          their conversion their language was restored in a partial measure
          by means of the records which were possessed by the other colony.
               About forty-five years before Christ a very large colony of
          five thousand four hundred men, with wives and children, united
          themselves together in the northern part of South America, and
          came forth by land into North America, and travelled an
          exceedingly great distance until they came to large bodies of
          water and many rivers, very probably in the great Mississippi
          Valley. In the next ten years numerous other colonies came forth
          and spread themselves on the northern portion of the continent
          and became exceedingly numerous.
          You may inquire, "Did all these different colonies have the
          Scriptures?" Yes. "How did they get them?" They had a great many
          scribes in their midst. The Book of Mormon informs us that they
          had not only the Scriptures which they brought from Jerusalem,
          but those given by the living prophets among them; and that a
          great many copies were written and sent forth into all of these
          colonies, so that the people in all their colonies were well
          acquainted with the law of Moses and with the prophecies of her
          prophets in relation to the first coming of our Savior Jesus
          "But," some may inquire, "have you any external evidence to prove
          what you are now saying?" I think we have. Thirty years after the
          Book of Mormon was put in print, giving the history of the
          settlement of this country, one of the great mounds south of the
          great lakes near Newark, in Ohio, was opened. What was found in
          it? A great many curiosities, among which were some copper
          pieces, supposed to be money. After digging down many feet, and
          carrying off many thousand loads of stone, they at length found a
          coffin in the midst of a hard kind of fire clay. Underneath this
          they found a large stone that appeared to be hollow; something
          seemed to rattle inside of it. The stone was cemented together in
          the middle, but with some little exertion they broke it open,
          when another stone was found inside of it, of a different nature
          entirely from its covering. On the stone taken from the inside
          was carved the figure of a man with a priestly robe flowing from
          his shoulders; and over the head of this man were the Hebrew
          characters for Moshe, the ancient name of Moses; while on each
          side of this likeness, and on different sides of the stone,
          above, beneath, and around about were the Ten Commandments that
          were received on Mount Sinai, written in the ancient Hebrew
          characters. Now recollect that the Book of Mormon had been in
          print thirty years before this discovery. And what does this
          discovery prove? It proves that the builders of these mounds,
          south of the great lakes in the great Mississippi Valley in Ohio,
          Indiana, Illinois, New York, etc., must have understood the
          Hebrew characters; and not only that, but they must also have
          understood the law of Moses. Otherwise how happened it that they
          should write on this stone the Ten Commandments almost verbatim
          as they are now contained in King James' translation of the
          Bible. It proves that the builders of these mounds were
          Israelites, and that their illustrious dead, buried in these
          mounds, had these commandments buried with them, in accordance
          with the custom of many of the ancient nations, especially the
          Egyptians, who were in the habit of consigning their written
          sacred papyrus to their great tombs. In Egypt many of these
          ancient manuscripts have been exhumed and, in many instances,
          pretended to be translated. So the Israelites followed the
          customs of these Eastern nations, and buried that which they
          considered most sacred, namely, the Ten Commandments, thundered
          by the voice of the Almighty in the midst of flaming fire on
          Mount Sinai in the ears of all the congregation of Israel.
          I have seen that sacred stone. It is not a hatched up story. I
          heard tell of it as being in the Antiquarian Society, or rather,
          as it is now called, the Ethnological Society, in the City of New
          York. I went to the Secretary of that Society, and he kindly
          showed me this stone, of which I have been speaking, and being
          acquainted with modern Hebrew, I could form some kind of an
          estimate of the ancient Hebrew, for some of the modern Hebrew
          characters do not vary much in form from the ancient Hebrew. At
          any rate we have enough of ancient Hebrew, that has been dug up
          in Palestine and taken from among the ruins of the Israelites
          east of the Mediterranean Sea, to form some kind of an estimate
          of the characters that were in use among them; and having these
          characters and comparing them, I could see and understand the
          nature of the writing upon these records. They were also taken to
          the most learned men of our country, who, as soon as they looked
          at them, were able to pronounce them to be not only ancient
          Hebrew, but they were also able to translate them and pronounced
          them to be the Ten Commandments. This, then, is external proof,
          independent of the Scriptural proofs to which I have alluded, in
          testimony of the divine authenticity of the Book of Mormon.
          Now, our modern Hebrew has many points; it has also many
          additional characters not found in the ancient Hebrew. These
          additional characters have been made since these colonies left
          Jerusalem. Do you find on these ancient writings any of these
          modern characteristics that have been introduced during the last
          two thousand four hundred years? Not one. Do you find any Hebrew
          points representing vowels? Not one; and all the new consonants
          that have been introduced during the last two thousand four
          hundred years were not found upon this stone to which I have
          referred, showing plainly that it must have been of very ancient
          Five years after the discovery of this remarkable memento of the
          ancient Israelites on the American continent, and thirty-five
          years after the Book of Mormon was in print, several other mounds
          in the same vicinity of Newark were opened, in several of which
          Hebrew characters were found. Among them was this beautiful
          expression, buried with one of their ancient dead, "May the Lord
          have mercy on me a Nephite." It was translated a little
          different--"Nephel." Now we well know that Nephi, who came out of
          Jerusalem six hundred years before Christ, was the leader of the
          first Jewish colony across to this land, and the people, ever
          afterwards, were called "Nephites," after their inspired prophet
          and leader. The Nephites were a righteous people and had many
          prophets among them; and when they were burying one of their
          brethren in these ancient mounds, they introduced the Hebrew
          characters signifying "May the Lord have mercy on me a Nephite."
          This is another direct evidence of the divine authenticity of the
          Book of Mormon, which was brought forth and translated by
          inspiration some thirty-five years before this inscription was
          But I said I would tell you some of the objects that the Lord had
          in view in bringing forth this sacred record. It is in order to
          prepare the people for the day of His coming, in order to
          establish the true Church and kingdom of God upon the earth, with
          all its ordinances, gifts, powers and blessings, that the people
          might have the old, ancient religion, even the fulness of the
          blessings of that Gospel that was preached eighteen hundred years
          Another object that the Lord had in view was to gather His people
          out from all nations before the coming of the great and terrible
          judgments which are pronounced in this ancient record of the
          Nephites. God has said, concerning the nation which should
          inherit this land in the latter days, when this work should be
          brought forth, if they would not repent of their sins and hearken
          to the servants of God who should be sent forth among them, if
          they would reject this divine record which He should bring forth
          by His power, if they would fight against His Church and His
          Zion, that when they were fully ripened in iniquity they should
          be cut off from the face of this land. And for this reason He
          would gather out from their midst His people and assemble them in
          This is all predicted in the Book of Mormon. And remember this
          was in print before the organization of the Church took place.
          The Church was organized on the 6th of April, 1830, and consisted
          of six members only; but the Book of Mormon was in print before
          that. How did Joseph Smith, if an impostor, as he is represented
          to be by a great many of the world, foretell events that have
          been taking place during the past forty years? How could he know
          that this book would be received beyond his own neighborhood, or
          ever extend beyond the limits of the State of New York? How did
          he know it would go beyond the limits of this continent and
          across the ocean and spread forth among many nations? "Well,"
          says one, "he might have guessed it." Yes, but guesses are very
          uncertain indeed. Many people may conjecture, and think that such
          and such things will be the case; but when it comes to
          enumerating particulars in regard to the future, if a man is not
          inspired of God, how liable he is to fall into ten thousand
          Now this book predicted, not only the spread of this work among
          this people or nation, but also that it would go forth to all
          people, nations and tongues under the whole heavens. Forty years
          only have passed away, and how much of this has been fulfilled
          already! This book has been translated into eight different
          languages and spread forth upon the islands of the sea--the
          Sandwich Islands, the Society Islands, Australia, New Zealand,
          Hindostan, and has gone forth to the nations of Europe and has
          penetrated to almost every nation under heaven in the course,
          only, of forty years.
          Has there been any gathering, according to the predictions of
          this book? for it not only predicts the organization and rising
          up of the kingdom of God in the latter days when it should go
          forth, but it also speaks of the great gathering together of His
          people. Has this been fulfilled? What do I now see before me?
          Several thousand people listening to me in the midst of one of
          the most frightful deserts of the North American continent; that
          is, it was frightful, so much so that Fremont and others could
          not traverse it, with any degree of safety, unless a large
          company was with them; and even, with all the means he had at his
          command, Fremont could not travel through these deserts without
          losing a great many of his men. It was a parched up, dry and
          sterile country, and it looked as though an agricultural people
          never could possess it with any degree of advantage. This was the
          description given by those who explored a small portion of this
          country before the Latter-day Saints settled it. But what do I
          now see? Not only this large congregation now before me, but as I
          travel to and fro in the Territory I see four hundred miles of
          desert reclaimed, and over one hundred towns, cities and villages
          incorporated and organized, cultivating the earth, and numerous
          flocks and herds being raised by peaceable settlers. Who are
          these settlers? Those who believe in the divine authenticity of
          the Book of Mormon; those who believe that Joseph Smith was a
          true prophet, and thus have fulfilled his predictions. Is it not
          another testimony in favor of the divine authenticity of this
          record when we see things transpiring that, to all natural
          appearance, never could have transpired? What did our enemies say
          when this book was first printed? "O, it is only destined for a
          year or two; two years at longest will see the end of
          'Mormonism.'" By and by, when two years had passed away, and they
          began to see that their prophecies were failing, they concluded
          to extend the time for the extinction of "Mormonism," and they
          would say, "Watch five years more, and 'Mormonism' will have an
          end." Why it was so inconsistent in their opinion that God should
          again speak from the heavens, and have inspired men on the earth;
          that He should restore all the gifts of the ancient Gospel; that
          He should send an angel with the everlasting Gospel in
          fulfillment of the predictions of John the Revelator and the
          testimony of many of the ancient prophets. It was so foreign to
          their minds that any such prophecies should be fulfilled in their
          day, that they predicted that this work would have an end in five
          years. That was the way the natural man viewed the matter.
          But God, who can foresee all events among the children of men,
          had His eye fixed on the gathering of His children before the
          Church was organized, and He predicted that they should come out
          of every nation under Heaven. Not only from the settled portions
          of the Gentile nation, but they should be brought forth out of
          the midst of that Gentile nation, just as we have been.
          If you want to learn particularly concerning that prophecy, read
          the saying of our Lord Jesus Christ in the Book of Mormon, when
          he descended in the northern part of South America, soon after
          his resurrection, and ascension to heaven. He descended in the
          sight of a large congregation of two thousand five hundred men,
          women and children, a little south of the Isthmus, at a place
          where they had built a temple. After making his appearance in
          their midst, he taught them many things, and showed them the
          wounds in his hands, in his feet and in his side. In his
          instructions on that occasion he commanded them to do away with
          the law of Moses, so far as the ordinances, sacrifices and burnt
          offerings were concerned, and he commanded them to receive the
          Gospel which he taught them. After he had done all this, he
          commenced to prophecy to them, and his prophecies are in this
          record; and one of them has been fulfilled during the last forty
          years. He said he would bring forth their gold plates, which they
          then had in their midst. He declared that the Father should bring
          them forth unto the Gentiles in the latter days. The prophecy
          says, "If the Gentiles will not receive the fulness of my Gospel
          which shall be contained in that book, behold, saith the Father,
          I will bring the fulness of my Gospel from among them." These are
          the words of Jesus, as recorded in this book.
               Has this prophecy been fulfilled? How could the Lord have
          brought the Saints from among the inhabitants of the great nation
          of Gentiles, called the United States, any more effectually than
          He did twenty-three years ago when He located us in these
          mountains? Was there any other part of this continent on which
          this prophecy could have been so effectually fulfilled? Nowhere.
          We did not come here altogether of our own accord, that is, all
          of us did not; some few did, because they understood the mind and
          will of the Lord in regard to the gathering of the Saints from
          among the Gentiles; but a great many were so attached to their
          farms and homes in the East that they had to be driven away
          before they would come. It was not indeed a pleasurable thing to
          any of us, only to those who understood the mind and will of God
          in relation to the matter. The Lord brought us some twelve
          hundred miles from the settled portions of the United States, and
          planted us in one of the most wild and isolated regions on the
          face of the whole continent.
          How completely were the words of Jesus fulfilled! "If the
          Gentiles in that day do not receive the fulness of my Gospel,
          which shall be translated from the Record, behold, saith the
          Father, I will bring my people, my Priesthood, my Gospel, and my
          Saints from their midst." Twenty-three years that prophecy has
          been fulfilling, and I think it has been accomplished to the very
          What next has the Lord predicted? He has predicted that if the
          Gentiles do not repent in that day, "Behold, saith the Father, I
          will sweep them from the face of the land, as I did the nation
          that I brought from the Tower of Babel. So shall they be swept
          off from the face of the land, when they are fully ripened in
          I do not know when this will be fulfilled; but we are all the
          time in expectation. The Lord does not generally do things in a
          hurry. He gives the people plenty of time to ripen themselves in
          iniquity, if they will not repent. It does not take some people a
          very great time to ripen, for you know this is a fast age, and
          things are done in a great hurry now-a-days, and when they get on
          the downward course, into all manner of wickedness, they seem to
          rush with lightning speed into all the corruption that can be
          named. What a difference between our fathers, who lived forty
          years ago, and the present generation! Every one can see it. The
          rising generation are proud, haughty, high-minded, lovers of
          pleasure more than lovers of God; fighting against His people;
          given to whoredom and prostitution and all manner of iniquity and
          abominations; guilty of all the abominations named by the apostle
          that should characterize the false churches of the latter days,
          having a form of godliness but denying the power thereof. That
          is, denying the gifts of healing, miracles, prophecy, revelation,
          the ministering and discerning of spirits. All these things were
          denied when the Book of Mormon came forth. Of course the devil
          saw that it was not policy, with all the Scriptures staring them
          in the face, and all the Latter-day Saint Elders quoting these
          Scriptures to show the necessity of the gifts, to keep them
          denying these gifts; hence he introduced them under the name of
          Spiritualism. As soon as the Book of Mormon came forth, the
          counterfeit then spread like the counterfeit gifts exercised by
          the old magicians of Egypt. When Moses went down with the power
          and authority of Heaven, the counterfeit sprang up in order to
          delude the Egyptians, and make them think the power of Moses was
          the same in character as that exercised by the magicians. When
          Moses threw down his rod it became a serpent; the rods of the
          magicians did the same. When Moses brought up frogs on the land,
          they did the same; when he turned the rivers of water into blood,
          they did the same; and thus they deluded the Egyptian nation, and
          made them believe that if the power of Moses was superior to
          theirs, it was only because he had learned the magic art more
          thoroughly than they had.
          Well, it seems as if the Lord our God is giving the nation a
          pretty thorough warning. He told this nation by revelation,
          twenty-eight years before it commenced, of the great American
          war. He told all about how the Southern States should be divided
          against the Northern States, and that in the course of the war
          many souls should be cut off. This has been fulfilled.
          I went forth before my beard was gray, before my hair began to
          turn white, when I was a youth of nineteen, now I am fifty-eight,
          and from that time on I published these tidings among the
          inhabitants of the earth. I carried forth the written revelation,
          foretelling this great contest, some twenty-eight years before
          the war commenced. This prophecy has been printed and circulated
          extensively in this and other nations and languages. It pointed
          out the place where it should commence in South Carolina. That
          which I declared over the New England States, New York,
          Pennsylvania, Ohio, and many other parts in the East, when but a
          boy, came to pass twenty-eight years after the revelation was
          When they were talking about a war commencing down here in
          Kansas, I told them that was not the place; I also told them that
          the revelation had designated South Carolina, "and," said I, "you
          have no need to think that the Kansas war is going to be the war
          that is to be so terribly destructive in its character and
          nature. No, it must commence at the place the Lord has designated
          by revelation."
          What did they have to say to me? They thought it was a Mormon
          humbug, and laughed me to scorn, and they looked upon that
          revelation as they do upon all others that God has given in these
          latter days--as without divine authority. But behold and lo! in
          the process of time it came to pass, again establishing the
          divinity of this work, and giving another proof that God is in
          this work, and is performing that which He spoke by the mouths of
          the ancient prophets, as recorded in the Book of Mormon before
          any Church of Latter-day Saints was in existence.
          This same book says, "In that day the blood of the Saints shall
          cry from the ground for vengeance on the heads of the wicked."
          What! in a free and enlightened nation and government like the
          United States, which holds forth, in the first amendment to the
          Constitution, liberty, and freedom of conscience! A Constitution
          that protects religious societies in their belief! A Constitution
          that guarantees liberty of the press, and liberty to all to serve
          God according to the dictates of their own consciences! Can it be
          that such a prophecy will be fulfilled in the midst of such an
          enlightened nation? The Book of Mormon declared it, and that,
          too, before the existence of the Latter-day Saints' Church. It
          has been printed and sent to all the world, that in that day,
          when that book should come forth, the blood of the Saints should
          cry to the Lord from the ground of these United States for
          vengeance upon the heads of their persecutors and murderers. Has
          this been fulfilled? In the history of this people and Church
          during the last forty years I read concerning our drivings from
          Jackson county, Missouri; from Kirtland, Ohio; of our drivings
          from Clay county, Missouri, and from Caldwell county to Ray, and
          out of many counties in the western part of Missouri into
          The word concerning the driving of the people from Illinois,
          westward to the Rocky Mountains, in the article of the treaty got
          up by the mobocrats, was that "we must not stop short of the
          Rocky Mountains, but that we must go beyond them." Were any lives
          lost in those terrible persecutions, or was it merely property
          taken away from the Saints, without paying them a cent, in the
          shape of thousands of acres of land which they had paid the
          Government for, and comfortable houses? If it had been only our
          houses and lands it would have been bad enough; but lives were
          taken--innocent men, women and children were shot down. I might
          go on and relate some of the circumstances, but I dislike to
          dwell on the subject; it is apt to kindle up old nature in one's
          heart, therefore I will leave that topic. Suffice it to say that
          the blood of hundreds, and I might almost say thousands, will be
          required at the hands of this nation unless the people repent.
          Where is our prophet who translated this book, that noble youth
          whom God raised up when only between fourteen and fifteen years
          of age? Where is that noble boy to whom God sent His angel, and
          to whom He gave the Urim and Thummim, and to whom He entrusted
          the original golden plates from which this book was translated?
          He fell a martyr to his religion under this free Government of
          the United States. Where is the Patriarch of our Church, the
          brother of our Prophet? He, too, was shot down at the same time.
          By whom? By people who were painted black for the occasion, and
          who boasted of their bloody deeds in Hancock county, Illinois.
          Some of them are still alive in that county, and to this day
          boast of their bloody deeds in persecuting the Latter-day Saints.
          Many scores of our people were wasted away, and their blood soaks
          the soil of this great government, crying aloud to the heavens
          for vengeance on those who shed the blood of the martyrs, and who
          persecuted God's people and sent them forth, as they supposed, to
          perish in the heart of the Great American Desert.
          No only will they who committed these deeds be brought to
          judgment, but those also who stood back behind the screen and
          said, "How glad I am, Joe Smith is now dead, the Mormon Patriarch
          Hyrum Smith is shot down, and we have killed many of their
          followers, men, women and children. They have been driven five
          times from their locations and settlements and been robbed of
          millions of dollars' worth of property and we are enjoying it,
          and it is all right. Joe Smith ought to have been killed before,
          long ago."
          This seemed to be the feeling of a great many people in the
          American nation. They sanctioned the shedding of innocent blood,
          if they did not actually shed it themselves and God will require
          it at their hands. Will He require anything at the hands of our
          nation, in a national capacity, in regard to this matter? Was it
          not within their power to protect us on the lands which we
          purchased from the General Government? We did not purchase, to
          any extent, land from the Missourians, but we took up land that
          belonged to the General Government. We paid our money into that
          Government Land Office. Did they protect us in the possession of
          that land which they guaranteed by their deeds to us and our seed
          or heirs for ever? They did not. Did they protect us in our
          citizenship? No, they did not. Did we appeal to them for
          protection? Yes, we laid our case before them. What was their
          reply? Martin Van Buren, who sat at the head of the Government at
          that time, said, "Gentlemen, your cause is just, but I can do
          nothing for you." He saw the testimony; there was no getting away
          from it. His reply indicated that he thought we had been
          persecuted so many years that they had the right to persecute us;
          and when we asked, "Can you protect us according to the
          Constitution, in our just right? can you not restore us our
          property--our houses and lands?" the reply was, "No, we can do
          nothing for you."
          Then, according to our ideas of the justice that dwells in the
          bosom of the Almighty, who is the Judge of all the earth, we must
          suppose that He will not only hold the actual murderers of the
          Saints responsible, but all who sanctioned the deed, and the
          nation for not punishing those murderers and for not protecting
          us in our rights, and suffering us to be exiled unjustly to a
          foreign territory, for Utah then belonged to Mexico. When we
          could not find safety in the United States we fled to Mexico for
          protection; but we ultimately assisted in redeeming the land we
          now occupy from the Mexican Government and securing it to the
          United States Government. After sending five hundred of our men
          to redeem this country, the United States formed a treaty with
          Mexico, and this became United States territory.
          By and by, after having secured this soil to our Government by
          the Mormon Battalion, and having redeemed it from its sterility,
          and built upwards of a hundred towns and settlements, it was sold
          to us. Did we find fault at having to pay for it? No. When the
          land office was opened in this Territory two or three years ago,
          we considered it all right and we were willing to pay our money
          for it. But what now? A bill is before Congress the object of
          which is to deprive us of the lands which we have paid for. The
          Government has got our money in its Treasury for lands we have
          bought and paid for, and for which it bargained to give us a deed
          and entered into a compact that we and our children after us
          should possess this land for ever, and now Congress has got up a
          law to deprive every man in this Territory, whose religious faith
          happens to differ from Congress, of these lands. Because we
          happen to differ on certain religious points with the General
          Government, we are to be deprived of our homestead rights,
          guaranteed to us and to the people of all the Territories of the
          United States, by the laws of Congress.
          Does this look like justice? Is this even-handed justice? It does
          not seem to agree with my ideas of justice any more than the
          proceedings of the mobocrats in Missouri, Ohio or Illinois. When,
          therefore, the American nation, as a nation, by the voice of her
          Representatives, Senators and President, sanctions a law to
          deprive American citizens of their citizenship, to rob them of
          their houses and lands, and then deprive them of their liberty,
          because of a difference of religious belief and practice, I think
          the nation is pretty well ripened, and that it will not take much
          more to prepare them for the fulfilment of the prophecies which I
          have been repeating. I do not know how long-suffering the Lord
          is. It is a good thing that He has wisdom, knowledge and
          understanding, that He is not a human being, or He would get
          wrathy and swallow up the people in a moment. It is a good thing
          that you and I do not have people to deal with according to our
          feelings. God is a long-suffering being. He has fulfilled a great
          many things pertaining to this people during forty years past.
          There are a great many more to be fulfilled in relation to us,
          and in relation to the nation which is persecuting us; but
          whatever the final result may be, whether the American Congress
          pass laws to persecute us or not; whether they rob us of our
          houses and lands or not; whether they imprison us and send us for
          five years to a Penitentiary or a military camp or not, there is
          one thing sure--as sure as the sun shines forth in yonder
          heavens, so sure will the Lord fulfil one thing with regard to
          this people. What is that? He will return them to Jackson county,
          and in the western part of the State of Missouri they will build
          up a city which shall be called Zion, which will be the
          head-quarters of this Latter-day Saint Church; and that will be
          the place where the prophets, apostles and inspired men of God
          will have their head-quarters. It will be the place where the
          Lord God will manifest Himself to His people, as He has promised
          in the Scriptures, as well as in modern revelation.
          "Do you believe that?" says one. Just as much as we believed,
          long before it came to pass, what has taken place. The world can
          believe what has taken place, because it has been fulfilled. The
          Latter-day Saints believe in prophecies before they take place.
          We have just as much confidence in returning to Jackson county
          and the building of a great central city that will remain there a
          thousand years before the earth passes away, as the Jews have in
          returning to Jerusalem and re-building the waste places of
          Palestine. In fact we have more faith than they have; for they
          have been so many generations cast out of their land that their
          descendants have almost lost their faith in returning. But the
          Latter-day Saints are fresh, as it were. There are many of the
          old stock, who passed through all those tribulations I have
          named, still living, whose faith in returning to Jackson county,
          and the things that are coming, is as firm and fixed as the
          throne of the Almighty. We know the future destiny of this
          kingdom as well as we know its past history, that is concerning
          the general events which are to transpire.
          I am taking up too much of your time. May the Lord bless us as a
          people; bless us with wisdom, with understanding, with power and
          with the heavens, with union, with peace among ourselves; bless
          us with righteousness, and joy in the Holy Ghost; bless us with
          the spiritual gifts of His kingdom, multiply His favors upon us
          and upon our generations after us, forever and ever, is my prayer
          in the name of Jesus Christ. Amen.
          Journal of Discourses / Journal of Discourses, Volume 13 /
          Brigham Young, July 11, 1869
                            Brigham Young, July 11, 1869
           Delivered in the New Tabernacle, Salt Lake City, July 11, 1869
                            (Reported by David W. Evans)
          I need the attention of the congregation and the faith of those
          who have faith; I need the wisdom of God and His Spirit to be in
          my heart to enable me to speak to the edification of the people.
          Although I have been a public speaker for thirty-seven years, it
          is seldom that I rise before a congregation without feeling a
          child-like timidity; if I live to the age of Methusaleh I do not
          know that I shall outgrow it. There are reasons for this which I
          understand. When I look upon the faces of intelligent beings I
          look upon the image of the God I serve. There are none but what
          have a certain portion of divinity within them; and though we are
          clothed with bodies which are in the image of our God, yet this
          mortality shrinks before that portion of divinity which we
          inherit from our Father. This is the cause of my timidity, and of
          all others who feel this embarrassment when they address their
          fellow beings.
          While we are administering the sacrament I will read the 16th
          verse of the 10th chapter of Corinthians, where Paul, speaking of
          the administration of this ordinance, says, "The cup of blessings
          which we bless, is it not the communion of the blood of Christ?
          The bread which we break, is it not the communion of the body of
          There are many passages of Scripture which refer to the
          administering of the sacrament. A saying, direct from the lips of
          Jesus, has not been understood by all those who have believed in
          his name. When he was about to take his departure from this world
          he called his disciples into an upper room and he took bread and
          brake it and blessed it and gave it to his disciples, and said,
          "Take, eat; this is my body." He then took the cup and blessed it
          and gave to his disciples, saying, "Drink ye all of it." If we
          were to stop here, I think it would be more difficult to
          understand than if we were to read the rest of his sayings on
          this subject. This is my body which is given for you; this is my
          blood of the New Testament. This do in remembrance of me; I will
          not drink henceforth of this fruit of the vine, until that day
          when I drink it new with you in my Father's kingdom.
          We do this in remembrance of the death of our Savior; it is
          required of his disciples until he comes again, no matter how
          long that may be. No matter how many generations come and go,
          believers in him are required to eat bread and drink wine in
          remembrance of his death and sufferings until he comes again. Why
          are they required to do this? To witness unto the Father, to
          Jesus and to the angels that they are believers in and desire to
          follow him in the regeneration, keep his commandments, build up
          his kingdom, revere his name and serve him with an undivided
          heart, that they may be worthy to eat and drink with him in his
          Father's kingdom. This is why the Latter-day Saints partake of
          the ordinance of the Lord's Supper.
          I know that in the Christian world sermon after sermon is
          preached on this subject; yet people there differ in their belief
          concerning these emblems. The Mother Church of the Christian
          world believes that the bread becomes the actual flesh of Jesus,
          and that the wine becomes his blood; this is preposterous to me.
          It is bread, and it is wine; but both are blessed to the souls of
          those who partake thereof. But to be followers of the Lord Jesus
          more is required than merely to partake of the bread and
          wine--the emblems of his death and suffering--it is necessary
          that strict obedience be rendered to his requirements.
          On one occasion when the Savior was speaking to his disciples he
          gave them a mission, saying, "Go ye into all the world, and
          preach the Gospel to every creature. He that believeth and is
          baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be
          damned. And these signs shall follow them that believe: In my
          name they shall cast out devils; they shall speak with new
          tongues; they shall take up serpents, and if they drink any
          deadly thing it shall not hurt them; they shall lay hands on the
          sick, and they shall recover." These are the words spoken by
          Jesus when he sent his disciples forth to preach the Gospel.
          In the search after truth, those who are unconverted might say
          with propriety that where the signs follow believers there is the
          Gospel. Yet, in the Christian world, it is generally conceded
          that signs are no longer necessary, and that miracles are not
          needed now, and were given in the days of Jesus merely to
          establish the validity of the Gospel he preached and the
          authenticity of his mission from heaven to earth. I do not so
          understand it. I think if I had lived in the days of Jesus my
          mind would have been led very much as it is now. I do not want to
          see a miracle to confirm the truth of any doctrine or saying that
          is revealed to me. If I can see that it is calculated to purify
          the hearts of the people and to sanctify their affections, and to
          reconcile them to God and to His law and government, it satisfies
          me; and so far as this goes I might say that I am like the
          Christian world, in the belief that miracles are no longer
          needed. But I believe that miracles are as absolutely necessary
          now as they ever were. Yet I will say with regard to miracles,
          there is no such thing save to the ignorant--that is, there never
          was a result wrought out by God or by any of His creatures
          without there being a cause for it. There may be results, the
          causes of which we do not see or understand, and what we call
          miracles are no more than this--they are the results or effects
          of causes hidden from our understandings.
          This, in my own mind, is argued out perfectly, upon natural
          principles. It is natural for me to believe that, if I plough the
          ground and sow wheat, in the proper season I shall reap a crop of
          wheat; this is the natural result. It was precisely so with the
          miracles that Jesus wrought upon the earth? At the wedding in
          Cana of Galilee, when they had drunk all the wine they went to
          the Savior and asked him what they should do. He ordered them to
          fill up their pots with water, and after having done so they drew
          forth of that water and found that it was wine. I believe that
          was real wine; I do not believe that it was done on the
          principles that such things are done in these days by wicked men,
          who, by means of what they term psychology, electro-biology,
          mesmerism, &c., influence men and make them believe that water is
          wine, and other things of a similar character. The Savior
          converted the water into wine. He knew how to call the necessary
          elements together in order to fill the water with the properties
          of wine. The elements are all around us; we eat, drink and
          breathe them, and Jesus, understanding the process of calling
          them together, performed no miracle except to those who were
          ignorant of that process. It was the same with the woman who was
          healed by touching the hem of his garment; she was healed by
          faith, but it was no miracle to Jesus. He understood the process,
          and although he was pressed by the crowd, behind and before, and
          on each side, so that he could scarcely make his way through it,
          the moment she touched him he felt virtue leave him and enquired
          who touched him. This was no miracle to him. He had the issues of
          life and death in his power; he had power to lay down his life
          and power to take it up again. This is what he says, and we must
          believe this if we believe the history of the Savior and the
          sayings of the apostles recorded in the New Testament. Jesus had
          this power in and of himself; the Father bequeathed it to him; it
          was his legacy, and he had the power to lay down his life and
          take it again. He had the streams and issues of life within him
          and when he said "LIVE" to individuals, they lived. The diseases
          that are and ever have been prevalent among the human family are
          from beneath, and are entailed upon them through the
          fall--through disobedience of our first parents; but Jesus,
          having the issues of life at his command, could counteract those
          diseases at his pleasure. The case of the Centurion's servant is
          a striking instance of this. The Centurion sent and besought
          Jesus to heal his servant. "Say in a word," said he, "and my
          servant shall be healed." Jesus, seeing the man's earnestness and
          solicitude, said, "I have not found so great faith, no, not in
          Israel." And it is said that they who were sent, returned to the
          Centurion's house and found the servant healed. Jesus
          counteracted the disease preying upon the system of this man, but
          to himself, knowing the principle by which the disease was
          rebuked, it was no miracle.
          But these miracles or manifestations of the power of God, though
          not believed in by the Christian world, are necessary for you and
          me and for all who wish to be blessed by their means. Some may
          say, "How are we to obtain them?" I answer by obedience to all
          the commandments of God in the Gospel of life and salvation.
          After obedience to these requirements an individual is entitled
          to and may enjoy the blessing of miracles just as well as Jesus
          did. To the same degree? Perhaps not. Very few on the earth have
          ever had power to raise the dead. We read that Peter did. But it
          was a common thing for Jesus to raise the dead, heal the sick,
          make the deaf to hear, the blind to see and the lame to walk; and
          every person is entitled to those things according to the
          obedience and faithfulness inherent in him. When do we need them?
          I will tell you when I need them--when my family is sick, and
          they need something to counteract the principle of death working
          in their systems. Under such circumstances some might want to
          administer an emetic to the sick, which might be very well if
          they lacked faith; but if we have faith to feel that the issues
          of life and death are in our power, we can say to disease, "Be ye
          rebuked in the name of Jesus, and let life and health come into
          the system of this individual, from God, to counteract this
          disease;" and our faith will bring this by the laying on of hands
          by administering the ordinances of the holy Gospel.
          I am happy to say I have never been under the necessity of
          calling a doctor to my family for forty years. I have had them in
          my family, but not from necessity. I like them when they are
          gentlemen; when they are wise and full of intelligence I am very
          fond of them; but I do not ask them to doctor my family in any
          case; and there are no circumstances under which I think them
          necessary except in case of a broken bone, or where skilful
          mechanical or surgical aid is necessary. But to call a doctor to
          my family to administer physic to them, I am not under the
          necessity of doing it. Is this so? Yes, it is; and if the
          experiment could be tried, independent of the Gospel and of
          faith, in any community, I care not where, nor for what length of
          time, of having any number of persons, with regularly qualified
          physicians to attend them; and the same number without such
          physicians, but who will doctor themselves according to nature
          and their own judgments, among that portion without doctors,
          there would be less sickness and fewer deaths than among those
          who had their doctors. The experience of the Latter-day Saints in
          Utah confirms this. When we first came here we had no sickness,
          and we had no sickness until we had doctors. When they began to
          obey the Gospel they did not want to dig in the field, hoe
          potatoes, go to the kanyon for lumber or wood, to secure for
          themselves and families the necessaries of life; but they wanted
          to live by doctoring the people, and from that time on, as we got
          richer and built warm houses, and have lived more richly,
          indulging in sweet cake, plum pudding, roast beef and so on, we
          have had more or less disease among us. Perhaps I have said
          enough about doctors.
          I say, again, however, that it is absolutely necessary that we
          all possess the gift God has seen fit to bestow upon His children
          to counteract the power of death. How long? To live for ever? O
          no, men must die; it is the decree of the Almighty that all men
          shall die within the thousand years. Said He, "In the day that
          thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die." This body must sleep
          in the bosom of mother earth; this is the decree of the Almighty,
          hence it is necessary that all must die of disease or old age,
          but for all that, to my certain knowledge, the sick in hundreds
          of instances are healed by the power of God through administering
          the ordinances of His Gospel.
          The first principle of the Gospel is faith in God--faith in a
          Supreme Being. This is a point that meets the infidel, and is one
          upon which I have reflected and talked a great deal, and I have
          come to this conclusion--that good, solid, sound sense teaches me
          never to judge a matter until I understand it, and infidels
          should never pass their opinion with regard to the character of a
          Supreme Being until they know whether there is one or not. If
          this principle were an article in the creed of the infidel world,
          I think they would not be quite so sceptical as they are; I think
          we should not meet with any person who would deny the existence
          of a Deity. The infidel looks abroad and sees the works of
          nature, in all their diversity--the mountain piercing the clouds
          with its snowy peaks, the mighty river, fertilizing, in its
          course to the sea, the valleys and plains in every direction, the
          sun in his glory at mid-day, the moon in her silvery splendor,
          and the myriad organizations from man to the minutest form of
          insect life, all giving the most irrefutable evidence of a
          designer and creator of infinite wisdom, skill and power, and yet
          he says there is no Deity, no Supreme Ruler, but all is the
          result of blind chance. How preposterous! Now, here is a book
          called the Bible. It is enclosed in what we call the cover,
          consisting of boards, paper and leather. Within the covers we see
          a vast amount of writing--syllables, words and sentences; now if
          we say there never was a person to compose, write, print or bind
          this book, but that it is here wholly as the result of chance, we
          shall only give expression to the faith, if faith it can be
          called, of those who are termed infidels; in fact this is
          infidelity. I do not want to say much about it, it is too vain!
          In my travels and labors I have met a great many persons who have
          desired to contend about the principles I taught, though I am
          happy to say I have passed through the world thus far without a
          discussion. My grounds have always been, when out preaching, "If
          you have a truth and I have errors, I will give you ten errors
          for one truth just as long as we have any to exchange; and if in
          setting my views before the people you say that any portion of
          the principles I preach is untrue, you must prove it or be for
          ever silent; and if I affirm that anything you have to deliver to
          the people is false, I must prove it or for ever hold my peace."
          On these grounds I have been free from discussions. So much for
          infidelity and debating.
          The Gospel that we preach is the power of God unto salvation; and
          the first principle of that Gospel is, as I have already said,
          faith in God, and faith in Jesus Christ His Son our Savior. We
          must believe that he is the character he is represented to be in
          the holy Scriptures. Believe that he told the truth when he said
          to his disciples, "Go ye forth and preach the Gospel to every
          creature; he that believeth and is baptized shall be saved, but
          he that believeth not shall be damned." We must believe that this
          same Jesus was crucified for the sins of the world, that is for
          the original sin, not the actual individual transgressions of the
          people; not but that the blood of Christ will cleanse from all
          sin, all who are disposed to act their part by repentance, and
          faith in his name. But the original sin was atoned for by the
          death of Christ, although its effects we still see in the
          diseases, tempers and every species of wickedness with which the
          human family is afflicted. Again, if our Gospel be hid, it is hid
          to them that are lost. There is not a spiritually minded man in
          the world who reads the Bible but will acknowledge that the
          Elders of Israel, the Latter-day Saints, proclaim the Gospel,
          precisely, as Jesus and his apostles proclaimed it. Is this
          heresy? I pause and ask the question of the Christian world, is
          this heresy? Do not my brethren believe in the Bible? Do not all
          the Christian world say that they believe in the Bible? They do.
          Then if we preach Jesus and him crucified as the apostles did,
          and as they have left it on record, what more can be said? Is
          there any harm or sin in this? No; for this pertains to the
          Gospel of life and salvation. Jesus set in his Church, so say his
          apostles, firstly, apostles. Now I will ask the religious and
          philosophical world if they have ever obtained any information or
          revelation about Christ having taken them out again? No, they
          have not; and if there are no apostles, there is no Church. Jesus
          set in his Church, according to Paul's words to the Corinthians,
          firstly apostles, secondarily prophets, thirdly teachers, after
          that miracles, then gifts of healings, helps, governments,
          diversities of tongues. Again I will ask the question: has there
          been any revelation from heaven that God has taken these gifts
          out of His Church; and if so through whom and when? Many persons
          think if they see a prophet they see one possessing all the keys
          of the kingdom of God on the earth. This is not so; many persons
          have prophecied without having any Priesthood on them at all. It
          is no particular revelation or gift for a person to prophecy. You
          take a good statesman, for instance, he will tell you what will
          become of a nation by their actions. He foresees this and that,
          and knows the results; this is what makes a statesman, and no man
          is a good statesman unless he can foresee the results of any line
          of policy that may be pursued. To be a prophet is simply to be a
          foreteller of future events; but an apostle of the Lord Jesus
          Christ has the keys of the holy Priesthood, and the power thereof
          is sealed upon his head, and by this he is authorized to proclaim
          the truth to the people, and if they receive it, well; if not,
          the sin be upon their own heads.
          I have already said that Christ set in his Church apostles and
          prophets; he also set in his Church evangelists, pastors and
          teachers; also the gifts of the Spirit, such as diverse tongues,
          healing the sick, discernment of spirits, and various other
          gifts. Now, I would ask the whole world, who has received
          revelation that the Lord has discontinued these offices and gifts
          in his Church? I have not. I have had revelation that they should
          be in the Church, and that there is no Church without them. I
          have had many revelations proving to me that the Old and New
          Testaments are true. Their doctrines are comprized in the Gospel
          that we preach, which is the power of God unto salvation to all
          who believe. What are the fruits of this Gospel when it is
          received into the heart of an individual? It will make a bad man
          good, and a good man better; it increases their light, knowledge,
          and intelligence, and enables them to grow in grace and in the
          knowledge of the truth, as the Savior did, until they understand
          men and things, the world and its doctrines, whether Christian,
          heathen or Pagan, and will ultimately lead them to a knowledge of
          things in heaven, on the earth or under the earth. I will say one
          thing more about the Gospel as taught by the Latter-day Saints,
          and I will quote the words of Jesus--this Gospel will eventually
          lead all who faithfully observe its precepts to a knowledge of
          the "only wise and true God, and Jesus Christ whom He has sent,
          whom to know is life eternal."
          Now I would ask the Christian world a question, and in doing so I
          do not mean to reflect upon, or cast an insinuation in the least
          derogatory to, all Christians, or to any who believe in God; but
          I would ask them, what do you know of God? Take all the divines
          on the face of the earth and place them in this stand, and beyond
          the attributes of God they know nothing of Him; they are entirely
          ignorant of His person. There is the difference between the
          various religious sects of the Christian world and the Latter-day
          Saints. We do know God, and we know Jesus Christ. We understand
          why Jesus came to the earth; we know the design of the Father in
          sending him. We also understand the earth, and the nature of the
          earth, and why God permitted Mother Eve to partake of the
          forbidden fruit. We should not have been here to-day if she had
          not; we could never have possessed wisdom and intelligence if she
          had not done it. It was all in the economy of heaven, and we need
          not talk about it; it is all right. We should never blame Mother
          Eve, not the least. I am thankful to God that I know good from
          evil, the bitter from the sweet, the things of God from the
          things not of God. When I look at the economy of heaven my heart
          leaps for joy, and if I had the tongue of an angel, or the
          tongues of the whole human family combined, I would praise God in
          the highest for His great wisdom and condescension in suffering
          the children of men to fall into the very sin into which they
          have fallen, for He did it that they, like Jesus, might descend
          below all things and then press forward and rise above all. Our
          spirits once dwelt in the heavens and were as pure and holy as
          the angels; but angels have tabernacles and spirits have none,
          and they are anxious to take tabernacles and they come to the
          meanest, lowest and humblest of the human race to obtain one
          rather than run any risk of not doing so. I have heard that the
          celebrated Mr. Beecher, of Brooklyn, once said that the greatest
          misfortune that could ever happen to man was to be born; but I
          say that the greatest good fortune that ever happened or can
          happen to human beings is to be born on this earth, for then life
          and salvation are before them; then they have the privilege of
          overcoming death, and of walking sin and iniquity under their
          feet, of incorporating into their daily lives every principle of
          life and salvation and of dwelling eternally with the Gods. I
          would hardly dare say this, but Jesus said, "Is it not written in
          your law, I said, Ye are Gods? If He called them Gods, unto whom
          the word of God came, and the Scripture cannot be broken; say ye
          of him whom the Father hath sanctified, and sent into the world,
          thou blasphemest, because I said I am the Son of God?" "And if
          children then heirs, heirs of God and joint heirs with Christ."
          And all who are faithful to the precepts of the Gospel will see
          Jesus and be as he is.
          I recollect once, not long after we came to the Valley, I think
          it was in 1851, a Baptist preacher came here; he put up at my
          house; I kept him while he stayed in the city. He was a
          gentleman, very kind and very good. I preached one day on the
          character of the Deity, and when I reached a certain point, a
          point where he could learn nothing further, I left it. When we
          reached home he said to me, "Brother Young, why did you not
          proceed with your discourse? I would have given anything in the
          world if you have, for I should then have learned your belief
          with regard to our heavenly Father." I said to him, "Do you
          believe the Bible?" "O yes," he replied. I then quoted to him the
          26th and 27th verses of the 1st chapter of Genesis, in which we
          find the following words: "And God said let us make man in our
          image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the
          fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the
          cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing
          that creepeth upon the earth. So God created man in His own
          image, in the image of God created He him; male and female
          created He them."
          I also referred to the visit of the Lord to Abraham in which
          Abraham said, "My Lord, if now I have found favor in thy sight,
          pass not away, I pray thee, from thy servant. Let a little water,
          I pray you, be fetched and wash your feet, and rest yourselves
          under the tree. And I will fetch a morsel of bread and comfort ye
          your hearts; after that ye shall pass on." I also referred to
          where the Lord, talking to Moses, says, "Behold there is a place
          by me, and thou shalt stand upon a rock. And it shall come to
          pass, while my glory passeth by, that I will put thee in a cleft
          of the rock, and will cover thee with my hand while I pass by:
          and I will take away mine hand, and thou shalt see my back parts,
          but my face shall not be seen."
          All of these passages, said I, to the reverend gentleman, go to
          prove, if they prove anything at all, that man is made in the
          image of his Maker, and that he is His exact image, having eye
          for eye, forehead for forehead, eyebrows for eyebrows, nose for
          nose, cheekbones for cheekbones, mouth for mouth, chin for chin,
          ears for ears, precisely like our Father in heaven." "Well," said
          he, "I have been for twenty-nine years a preacher of the truth,
          and never thought that man was created in the exact image of his
          Father; I always had the idea that God was a being without body,
          parts or passions." He admitted, however, that he had never
          gained that idea from the Bible. And notwithstanding the
          Scriptures dwell upon this point with such force and clearness,
          the idea entertained by this gentleman is that entertained by the
          Christian world in general. We are told that Jesus was "the
          express image of his Father's person." Think of it! Was Jesus a
          man? Yes. Clothed upon as we are? Yes. Did he pass for a man the
          same as others? He did. When he did not wish to be known he could
          pass through a crowd, and from house to house, neighborhood to
          neighborhood, town to town, without the people knowing who he
          was. He had this power; and yet he was like other men, having
          eyes, forehead, nose, eyebrows, mouth, cheekbones, and chin like
          we have, and the Apostle tells us that he was the express image
          of his Father's person; and if the saying is true, that to know
          the only true and wise God and Jesus Christ whom He has sent is
          eternal life, we have eternal life, for we know them.
          I have talked a great deal about what we believe as far as
          spiritual things are concerned; but the result of our faith I
          have not done with. The faith of the Latter-day Saints, so far as
          moral excellence is concerned, leads them to adopt in their
          lives, the practice of every moral principle believed in by the
          Christian world. It leads them to do good to each other and to
          all their fellow beings, and to injure none. It leads us to honor
          our beings upon the earth as sons and daughters of the Almighty;
          to honor Him that created us, to observe every true principle,
          everything that produces peace and happiness, for everything that
          has this tendency is of God. The Gospel of Jesus Christ teaches
          him that has stolen to steal no more; it teaches the swearer to
          swear no more; him that has borne false witness to do it no more;
          him that has dishonored his being to do it no more; and, in fact,
          there is no height, depth, length or breadth in moral conduct
          believed in and practised by the Christian world but what we are
          one with them; and we go so far beyond them in the things of God
          that they are lost, and yet they think we are lost. I have smiled
          thousands of times within myself to hear them talk; they are
          ignorant, but they think we are. Besides being far ahead of the
          Christian world in the things of God, I will say that in their
          morals and their recreations the Latter-day Saints will compare
          favorably with any of them. The question arises sometimes in me,
          Is there anything immoral in recreation? If I see my sons and
          daughters enjoying themselves, chatting, visiting, riding, going
          to a party or a dance, is there anything immoral in that? I watch
          very closely, and if I hear a word, see a look, or a sneer at
          divine things or anything derogatory to a good moral character, I
          feel it in a moment, and I say, "If you follow that it will not
          lead to good, it is evil; it will not lead to the fountain of
          life and intelligence; follow, only, the path that leads to life
          everlasting." Where is it? God has it.
          Not only does the religion of Jesus Christ make the people
          acquainted with the things of God, and develop within them moral
          excellence and purity, but it holds out every encouragement and
          inducement possible, for them to increase in knowledge and
          intelligence, in every branch of mechanism, or in the arts and
          sciences, for all wisdom, and all the arts and sciences in the
          world are from God, and are designed for the good of His people.
          If I had only seen in my young days an interest manifested by
          those who had wealth, power and influence to reach down a hand to
          take the suffering, ignorant poor and elevate them to the
          standard they occupied, and to place them in possession of every
          comfort, it would have been a matter of great joy to me. But it
          was not so then, neither is it now. Men generally use their
          wealth for selfish purposes, and do not seek to devote it to God
          and to the glory of His name. In the kingdom of God only will the
          poor and the ignorant of the children of men be purified and
          elevated and prepared to hold the positions God has designed for
          His children.
          I have heard a great many tell about what they have suffered for
          Christ's sake. I am happy to say I never had occasion to. I have
          enjoyed a great deal; but so far as suffering goes I have
          compared it a great many times, in my feelings and before
          congregations, to a man wearing an old, worn-out, tattered and
          dirty coat, and somebody comes along and gives him one that is
          new, whole and beautiful. This is the comparison I draw when I
          think of what I have suffered for the Gospel's sake--I have
          thrown away an old coat and have put on a new one. No man or
          woman ever heard me tell about suffering. "Did you not leave a
          handsome property in Ohio, Missouri, and Illinois?" Yes. "And
          have you not suffered through that?" No, I have been growing
          better and better all the time, and so have this people. And you
          may take the history of the world from the days of Adam down, and
          I am at the defiance of any historian to prove that the Saints
          have ever suffered as much as the sinners. This is my belief
          about the religion of Jesus Christ. Some may say, "Did not the
          children of Israel suffer?" Yes. "Why?" Because of their
          iniquity. They transgressed the laws God has given them; they
          changed the ordinances and broke the everlasting covenant, and
          for their sin and disobedience they were led into captivity. If
          they had been obedient, I reckon they would have been led direct
          to the Holy Land and stayed there. Some may say, "Now, Mr.
          Speaker, you have been driven from your home, was it for
          righteousness?" No, I expect not. I expect it was to chasten me
          and make me better. I never attributed the driving of the Saints
          from Jackson county to anything but that it was necessary to
          chasten them and prepare them to build up Zion. They were driven
          from Ohio to Missouri, from Missouri to Illinois, and from
          Illinois here, only for the advancement of Zion and the work of
          God on the earth. I do not complain of persecution. I have left a
          great deal of property in different States, considerable in Ohio,
          Missouri, and Illinois. Do I care anything about it? No, we have
          more land here than we can occupy. God led us from a sickly to a
          healthy country, and I thank him for it. Were the Latter-day
          Saints driven time after time on account of their sins? One of
          the first revelations that God gave to Joseph Smith was for the
          gathering of Israel, and when the people came to Jackson county,
          Missouri, they were as far from believing and obeying that
          revelation as the east is from the west, and a great deal
          further, for the east joins the west; but the people were so far
          from obeying that revelation that they scarcely complied with it
          in one instance. They were ignorant and had neither eyes to see,
          ears to hear, nor hearts to understand, and God suffered their
          enemies to drive them. What were we driven for? Was it because of
          polygamy? No, for that was not known generally until after our
          arrival in these valleys, although we received the revelation
          years before. The accusation brought against the Latter-day
          Saints was that they tampered with the slaves in Missouri, with
          the design of setting them free, and because of this the people
          were driven, and the Lord suffered it. But I ask did the
          Latter-day Saints ever suffer in Missouri as the Missourians did
          in the late struggle? No, not a drop in a bucket compared with
          it. The Missourians have been driven from their houses and hung
          up, their property confiscated, their women and children
          murdered, and every conceivable evil has been heaped upon them.
          Did we ever suffer like that? In very few instances; and it is a
          shame for the Latter-day Saints ever to talk about suffering.
          What are we doing here, for the people that we are gathering from
          the nations? The majority of those that we gather are from the
          poorest that can be found; we gather a few scientific and learned
          men, but the great majority are the poor and the ignorant. We
          take them and we calculate to make them rich; we have taken the
          foolish and we calculate to make them wise; we take the weak and
          we calculate to make them strong. We calculate to build up this
          people until they know as much as any other people on the face of
          the earth, in mechanics, in the arts and sciences, and in every
          true principle of philosophy. All true wisdom that mankind have
          they have received from God, whether they know it or not. There
          is no ingenious mind that has ever invented anything beneficial
          to the human family but what he obtained it from that One Source,
          whether he knows or believes it or not. There is only one source
          from whence men obtain wisdom, and that is God, the fountain of
          all wisdom; and though men may claim to make their discoveries by
          their own wisdom, by meditation and reflection, they are indebted
          to our Father in heaven for all.
          We calculate to make this people just as wise and prudent as they
          will be made and just as humble as they will be made. When I look
          at the world of mankind and see their pomp, splendor,
          covetousness and worldly-mindedness, I think what a shame! What
          have you got to be so proud of? They have gold, silver, houses,
          lands and possessions, and they feel, "O, we are kings,
          potentates, or men of great influence, because of our wealth."
          But where did they get their wealth? They will say they have been
          fortunate and have gathered it together; or it was bequeathed to
          them by their father or grandfather. But none of them have aught
          but what came from Him who lives and reigns in the heavens--the
          God whom we serve, who alone bestows blessings upon His children,
          the sons and daughters of Adam.
          I have heard a great many sermons, prayers and exhortations for
          people to go and get religion and have their names written in the
          "Lamb's Book of Life." I want to inform the whole world, all the
          sons and daughters of Adam, that their names are written there,
          and there they will remain to all eternity unless they by their
          evil acts blot them out. I want to inform everybody of this fact.
          I want now to say a few words on political matters. First, I will
          say we are a very religious people; the world knows that; and it
          was our religion that influenced our minds to leave our homes and
          parents, and in many instances our companions and children. Are
          we a political people? Yes, very political indeed. But what party
          do you belong to or would you vote for? I will tell you whom we
          will vote for: we will vote for the man who will sustain the
          principles of civil and religious liberty, the man who knows the
          most and who has the best heart and brain for a statesman; and we
          do not care a farthing whether he is a whig, a democrat, a
          barnburner, a republican, a new light or anything else. These are
          our politics. If we could have got men to control the affairs of
          the nation who had sufficient foresight and forethought to know
          the results of their own actions, it would have been better for
          the nation than it is at present. But we are just as we are; no
          matter what brought about the present condition of things. I
          leave the people to judge whether it is righteousness or sin that
          has brought upon the nation the evils it has been called to
          endure. Of one thing I am sure: God never instituted war; God is
          not the author of confusion or of war; they are the results of
          the acts of the children of men. Confusion and war necessarily
          come as the results of the foolish acts and policy of men; but
          they do not come because God desires they should come. If the
          people, generally, would turn to the Lord, there would never be
          any war. Let men turn from their iniquities and sins, and,
          instead of being covetous and wicked, turn to God and seek to
          promote peace and happiness throughout the land, and wars would
          cease. We expect to see the day when swords shall be turned into
          ploughshares, spears into pruning hooks, and when men shall learn
          war no more. This is what we want. We are for peace, plenty and
          happiness to all the human family.
          A great deal could be said about our peculiar faith, and our
          peculiar internal institutions, as the world terms them. I do not
          want to say anything about them; I act them out. I have got a
          family, and a pretty large one. I am willing to compare them with
          any family on the face of the earth when the privileges they have
          enjoyed are considered. I think that so far as I myself am
          concerned, when it is remembered that I never went to school but
          eleven days in my life, and that until I commenced to preach the
          Gospel I had to work hard every day for my bread, I have made
          some improvement. I think this people are improving; and I think
          we shall continue our work until the whole human family will give
          up all notion of going to war with each other. I expect to see
          the time when this people will possess every good thing. All
          knowledge and wisdom and every good that the heart of man can
          desire is within the circuit and circle of the faith we have
          embraced. The day will come when the Gospel will be presented to
          the kings and queens and great ones of the earth; but it will be
          presented with a different influence from that with which it has
          been presented to the poor, but it will be the same Gospel. We
          shall not present any other Gospel; it is the same from
          everlasting to everlasting. No man will be saved and come into
          the presence of the Father only through the Gospel of Jesus
          Christ--the same for one as the other. The Lord has His cause,
          His ways, His work; He will finish it up. Jesus is laboring with
          his might to bring back his brethren and sisters into the
          presence of the Father. We are laboring with him for the
          purification of the whole human family, that we and they may be
          prepared to dwell with God in His kingdom.
          God bless you. Amen.
          Journal of Discourses / Journal of Discourses, Volume 13 /
          Brigham Young, November 14, 1869
                          Brigham Young, November 14, 1869
           Delivered in the Tabernacle, Salt Lake City, November 14, 1869.
                            (Reported by John Grimshaw.)
          If the brethren and sisters will give their attention, I will try
          to talk a few minutes. I preach a great deal to the people; but
          the exertion of addressing such large congregations as assemble
          here in the city bears a little too much on my stomach and lungs,
          especially when laboring under a severe cold as I am at present.
          A few of us have recently been on a visit South. We visited
          twenty settlements, and, in eleven days, held twenty-seven
          meetings; and universally there was a good turn-out, the largest
          meeting houses being always filled to overflowing. It is a
          tolerably easy matter to speak to the people in a small house,
          much more so than to address a congregation like this.
          We found the people very much engaged in their religion, and
          striving, apparently, to put in practice the faith that they
          profess. Still, it is a difficult matter to establish the
          principles of the kingdom of God in the hearts of the people.
          This is for the want of understanding. Our traditions are strong
          upon us. We have been taught that, if we will believe in the Lord
          Jesus Christ, repent of our sins and exercise faith in his name,
          all will be well with us and we shall be brought into the
          presence of our Father and God. This was our former tradition.
          But there are Latter-day Saints who have almost come to the
          conclusion that if they believe in the Lord Jesus Christ, repent
          of their sins, and are baptized for the remission of them and
          have hands laid upon them for the reception of the Holy Ghost,
          and partake of the Sacrament or Lord's Supper, they have
          accomplished just about all that is required of them in order to
          establish the kingdom of God on the earth. Herein lies the
          difficulty which the servants of God have to encounter. The
          people come short of understanding precisely the order of the
          establishment of the kingdom of heaven; consequently it is a
          labor that needs a great deal of attention, and one that requires
          the influence of the Priesthood over the minds of the people to
          get them to draw night unto God and His cause.
          As we have just heard remarked, in relation to the love of the
          world, a great many Latter-day Saints, after receiving the
          Gospel, seem to run well for a time and then turn again to the
          love of the world in its awful, fallen state, lusting after the
          things that are perishable. Still, if they could but understand
          true doctrine and correct principles, they would find that there
          is nothing pertaining to the elements of this earth, but what, in
          and of itself, is good and of God. Some may exclaim, "Sin
          excepted." To this I would say that God permits sin, or it could
          not be here. All the creations are His work, and they are for His
          glory and for the benefit of the children of men; and all things
          are put into the possession of man for his comfort, improvement
          and consolation, and for his health, wealth, beauty and
          We should also understand what to do with the things which God
          has placed in our possession. We should also desire to understand
          and should seek to know the object for which the earth was
          framed; and then we wish to comprehend His object and design in
          placing His children on it. We should also desire to understand
          how our Heavenly Father wishes us to act now we are here; how we
          should devote our time and talents, our daily labor and whatever
          means He puts into our hands, for the building up of His kingdom
          on the earth. We want to get the Saints to think of these things.
          If we could only get to the affections of the people and could
          plant within them the principles of the kingdom of heaven, it
          would be an easy matter to bring their hands to join in the
          establishment of the Zion of God upon the earth. But herein lies
          our labor. The weakness and short-sightedness of man are such,
          and he is so prone to wander and give himself up to the
          grovelling things of the world, having had so little knowledge
          with regard to God and godliness for hundreds of years, that it
          is literally a breaking up of the fallow ground of his heart to
          prepare him to see the holy city that the Lord will establish.
          The Latter-day Saints gather together for the express purpose,
          they say, to establish Zion. Where is Zion? On the American
          continent. Where is the gathering place? For the present, in the
          mountains. What are you going there for? To help to build up
          We find a great many trying to be Saints and endeavoring to
          understand how they may be of the most benefit in building up the
          kingdom of God on the earth. My brother Joseph says it is an easy
          matter to be a Saint. So I say. And taking another view of it,
          again, it is a hard matter. This is true. It is not an easy thing
          to serve God and mammon. If the Saints comprehend what they have
          to do in order to establish Zion, and go to work with ready hands
          and willing hearts to accomplish the labor, they will find it a
          comparatively easy matter; but unless there is a unity of action
          on the part of those who are engaged in the work it is not very
          easily performed. When there is a great work to be accomplished,
          and there are but few hands to perform it, the burden weighs very
          heavily on those who are engaged in it. If we have a farm of six
          hundred acres to fence, and there is only one man engaged in
          getting the poles and lumber from the kanyon, we find it a slow
          and tardy work; but if we have a hundred men engaged it is much
          easier and pleasanter; if a thousand, still more so. So it is in
          regard to establishing the kingdom of God in the hearts of the
          children of men. It is not a very hard matter to prevail on a
          person to put his treasure where his heart is. Our difficulty is
          in not understanding the principles of the kingdom of heaven
          sufficiently to enter into it with our whole hearts.
          Many of our brethren who have come here when in their own land
          worked under ground, and probably seldom saw the light of day,
          but spent year after year of their lives digging out coal. If you
          chanced to ask them, "Are you ever going to America?" the answer
          would invariably be, "Yes, I am going to Zion." If you asked the
          wife and children would they like to go to Zion, the reply would
          be, "Yes, with all our hearts. We would do anything to get there;
          if necessary we would be the slaves of those of our brethren who
          have gone there if we could only go." Yet these same persons when
          they reach here are not satisfied. If you ask them if this is
          Zion, they will say, "I do not see much that looks like Zion."
          When they received the work perhaps their minds were open to see
          Zion in its beauty and glory; but when they come here and call
          this Zion they feel disappointed. They have not the least idea in
          relation to establishing this kingdom. They thought they were
          going to a Zion whose towers would reach the clouds, with streets
          paved with gold and the Tree of Life growing on every block. They
          say, "I do not like this place; I am not exactly suited with it."
          What do you want? "I do not know exactly what I want; I want
          something else; I do not like this place." The disposition of
          some of these murmurers reminds me of the children of some
          families I have seen while travelling in the world. It is
          something like this: "Darling, will have you a piece of bread and
          butter?" "No, ma'am, I don't want it." "But, my dear, shall I put
          some honey upon it?" "No, I don't like it." "Well, then, will you
          have a little mince pie, love?" "No, I can't eat it." This is
          about how the matter stands.
          The Saints are full to overflowing with the words of eternal
          life, yet they do not know what to do with them; and when we come
          to preach, it seems as though the people were surfeited with much
          doctrine, persuasion and counsel, and they do not like it very
          well. This was evident by the many vacant seats this morning.
          There ought to be ten thousand persons at these meetings, both in
          the morning and afternoon. But how many do you see? The
          tabernacle is not half filled. Why not come to meeting and fill
          all the seats. I do not like to see this lack of interest in
          attending meetings. Those professing to be Latter-day Saints have
          the words of life and do not know it; the brethren read from the
          Book of Life and they do not know it, and the words of God are
          given them in great abundance and they trifle with them. Is this
          the fact? It is. If the people would live their religion, there
          would be no apostacy and we would hear no complaining or
          fault-finding. If the people were hungry for the words of eternal
          life, and their whole souls even centred on the building up of
          the kingdom of God, every heart and hand would be ready and
          willing and the work would move forward mightily and we would
          advance as we should do.
          It is frequently remarked that there is too much of a sameness in
          this community. True, we do not have the variety they do in the
          world, drinking, carousing, quarreling, litigation, etc. But if
          you want a change of this kind, you can get up a dog fight. I
          think that would be about the extent of the quarreling you want
          to see. It would be as much as I would desire to witness. I have
          seen enough of the world, without even desiring to behold another
          drunken man. I never wish to see another lawsuit. I feel
          perfectly satisfied without it.
          If the people would like something by way of a change, I will
          propose something to them, as I did to sister Horne, the
          President of the Female Relief Society in the 14th Ward, who was
          at Gunnison, about one hundred and thirty miles south of this
          place, when we were there. I invited her, when she returned, to
          call the sisters of the Relief Society together, and ask them to
          begin a reform in eating and housekeeping. I told her I wished to
          get up a society whose members would agree to have a light, nice
          breakfast in the morning, for themselves and children, without
          cooking something less than forty different kinds of food, making
          slaves of themselves and requiring three or four hired girls to
          wash dishes. Prepare our breakfast something like they do in
          England, bread and butter, a light cheese, a few eggs, food that
          is light and nutritious, and which does not require so much labor
          in cooking; and instead of tea, if you cannot drink cold water,
          make a bowl of water gruel or meal porridge and you will save
          dirtying three or four dishes, knives and forks, or spoons, to
          each individual that sits at the table.
          This would be something to change your feelings and the fashions
          of society. Will you do it? If you want something new, try this;
          and when dinner time comes, don't pile the table full of roast
          meat, boiled meat and baked meat, fat mutton, beef and pork; and
          in addition to this two or three kinds of pies and cakes; neither
          urge the children, the father and every one at the table to eat
          and gorge themselves till they are so full that when night comes
          they will want a doctor. This will do for a change.
          When we go on a trip to the settlements and stop at the
          brethren's houses, it is, "Brother Brigham, let us manifest our
          feelings towards you and your company. I tell them to do so, but
          give me a piece of johnnycake; I would rather have it than their
          pies and tarts and sweetmeats. Let me have something that will
          sustain nature and leave my stomach and whole system clear to
          receive the Spirit of the Lord and be free from headache and
          pains of every kind. If I can experience this, it will suit me.
          What do you say to it, sisters? Do you want a revolution? They
          want one in France; but you need not go to France to have a
          revolution of this kind. Yet in that country there are about
          twenty-four millions who never eat any flesh meat at all.
          The Americans, as a nation, are killing themselves with their
          vices and high living. As much as a man ought to eat in half an
          hour they swallow in three minutes, gulping down their food like
          the canine quadruped under the table, which, when a chunk of meat
          is thrown down to it, swallows it before you can say "twice." If
          you want a reform, carry out the advice I have just given you.
          Dispense with your multitudinous dishes, and, depend upon it, you
          will do much towards preserving your families from sickness,
          disease and death.
          If this method were adopted in this community, I will venture to
          say that it would add ten years to the lives of our children.
          That is worth a great deal.
          If you want a little of something more--if you want another
          revolution, let us go to and say we will wear nothing but what we
          make; and that which we do not make we will not have.
          If the people are inclined to complain about co-operation, let
          them do so. I have a constitutional right to eat sweetmeats if I
          choose, so long as I raise them and they belong to no one else;
          or a piece of johnnycake or wheat bread. This is my legal right
          and yours also. I have a right to wear a hat that my wife or
          daughters or my sister has made, and I need not be called in
          question for doing so. I have a legal and constitutional right,
          and so have my sisters, to set their table out in a morning with
          a little plain food on it if they choose so to do. Let the people
          eat as I used to eat when I was a child. If meat were cooked at
          all, it was on one plate; and if I had any it was off that plate.
          I can go to thousands of houses that are making the knives and
          forks and clothing for you and me that will not have a knife on
          their table at meal time. Have you ever seen any such thing? Yes,
          plenty of you have!
          I have frequently related a circumstance that transpired while I
          was in England. After I recovered from the sickness which
          distressed me during the voyage across the ocean, my appetite
          became unusually good. I was invited to what is known in that
          country as a tea-party. Fourteen of us sat down at the table,
          which was about two and a half feet across; but not a knife,
          fork, plate or spoon could be seen, with the exception of the
          plate in the middle of the table, with some beautiful ham upon
          it, swimming in the gravy. I said to myself, "I would like a
          piece of that ham if I had any way to eat it; but I have no plate
          nor knife and fork." By and by a native elder set down his cup on
          one knee, his bread and butter on the other; and putting his hand
          in his pocket, pulled out his knife, opened it, and reaching over
          his bread and butter, took a piece of ham and slipped it on to
          his bread. I said to myself, "I can do that as well as you;" but
          I took out my knife before I put down my cup, reached over to the
          plate and took a fine piece of ham; although I was afraid I would
          get a little gravy on my clothes in doing so. If I had had a
          plate it would certainly have been much better; but I got along
          very well without even greasing my clothes. "Now," said I, "that
          is worth money to me; I have learned something." In about five
          minutes after the tea table was deserted by the guests,
          everything was cleared away and the sister was ready to visit
          with us. It did not take her two hours to fuss around to wash
          plates and see that the servants did not break them, fixing
          furniture and so forth as we do here.
          If you want a revolution go to work to improve yourselves and
          give your minds something to act upon instead of looking at the
          faults of others. We are a poor, feeble set and have hardly eyes
          to see; and many of those who have eyes see not, but are
          constantly watching the weaknesses and follies of each other.
          Endeavor with all your mind and strength to improve yourselves
          and ask your sisters and brethren to improve their lives. I am
          preaching to you practical religion. Learn to take proper care of
          your children. If any of them are sick the cry now, instead of
          "Go and fetch the Elders to lay hands on my child!" is, "Run for
          a doctor." Why do you not live so as to rebuke disease? It is
          your privilege to do so without sending for the Elders. You
          should go to work to study and see what you can do for the
          recovery of your children. If a child is taken sick with fever
          give it something to stay that fever or relieve the stomach and
          bowels, so that mortification may not set in. Treat the child
          with prudence and care, with faith and patience, and be careful
          in not overcharging it with medicine. If you take too much
          medicine into the system, it is worse than too much food. But you
          will always find that an ounce of preventive is worth a pound of
          cure. Study and learn something for yourselves. It is the
          privilege of a mother to have faith and to administer to her
          child; this she can do herself, as well as sending for the Elders
          to have the benefit of their faith.
          We have come here to build up Zion. How shall we do it? I could
          tell you how if I had time. I have told you a great many times.
          There is one thing I will say in regard to it. We have got to be
          united in our efforts. We should go to work with a united faith
          like the heart of one man; and whatever we do should be performed
          in the name of the Lord, and we will then be blessed and
          prospered in all we do. We have a work on hand whose magnitude
          can hardly be told. We have now to go to and save ourselves
          according to the plan provided for our salvation, the Savior
          having done for us all that he can, except to impart unto us
          grace to aid us in our lives, and to save our families, friends,
          ancestors, and the nations that have lived before us and those
          that may come after us, that all may be brought unto God and be
          saved, except the sons of perdition. This is the labor we have
          before us.
          Brother Joseph was speaking about prayer. I will say a word with
          regard to prayer. It matters not whether you or I feel like
          praying, when the time comes to pray, pray. If we do not feel
          like it, we should pray till we do. And if there is a heavy storm
          coming on and our hay is likely to be wet, let it come. You will
          find that those who wait till the Spirit bids them pray will
          never pray much on this earth; for they always find a little
          something else to do, and become like some who wait for the
          Spirit to bid them pray, consequently they never pray. Such
          people would come to meeting and look at each other and then,
          when they had stayed as long as they felt inclined, address their
          brethren with--"Good bye, I am going home," and then leave. But
          when the time comes to have prayers, let them be made, and there
          will be no danger.
          Let us be humble, fervent, submissive, yielding ourselves to the
          will of the Lord, and there is no danger but that we shall have
          His Spirit to guide us. If we will open our lips and call upon
          our Heavenly Father, in the name of Jesus, we will have the
          spirit of prayer. I have proved this to be the best way. If we do
          everything in the season thereof, attending to our prayers and
          daily labors in their proper order and all at the right time, all
          will go well.
          In regard to the things of this world, we should learn what they
          are for, and then use them wisely. To be proud and lifted up is
          the height of folly. It is beneath the intelligence and
          understanding of the man of God ever to be filled with foolish
          and vain desires. If we wish to exult, let us exult in our God;
          if we desire to be proud, let our pride be in our Heavenly
          Father; if we desire happiness, let us be humble and faithful in
          obeying the commandments of the Almighty and He will dispense
          every blessing to us. This is my constant prayer. I desire to
          live so that His Spirit may be with me continually; and I ask you
          to do so in the name of Jesus, and he will bless you. Amen.
          Journal of Discourses / Journal of Discourses, Volume 13 /
          Wilford Woodruff, December 12, 1869
                         Wilford Woodruff, December 12, 1869
           Delivered in the Tabernacle, Salt Lake City, December 12, 1869.
                            (Reported by David W. Evans.)
                            OF GOD--PATRIARCHAL MARRIAGE.
          The few of us who met here this forenoon had the privilege of
          listening to a very interesting discourse from brother Penrose,
          on the first principles of the Gospel. I say the "few" who were
          here, for there were few, and there are every Sabbath in the fore
          part of the day. I think if the Latter-day Saints prized their
          privileges as they ought to do, there would be more attend
          meeting on a Sunday morning, there would be more of us faithful
          to the Lord our God and to the covenants we have made if we did
          but realize the rewards that, in the future, will be awarded for
          the deeds done here in the flesh.
          There was one principle referred to by brother Penrose this
          morning, upon which I wish to make a few remarks, for the benefit
          of the Elders of Israel. It is a very common saying with us, as
          Elders, in our remarks concerning the gifts of the Gospel to
          speak of confirming the gifts of the Holy Ghost by the laying on
          of hands. There is no difference with regard to our faith,
          opinions or views, as a Church, pertaining to this principle; it
          is only in the manner in which we use our language. There is a
          difference between the gifts of the Holy Ghost and the Holy Ghost
          itself. As brother Penrose said this morning, we repent of our
          sins, are baptized for the remission of them, and we receive the
          laying on of hands for the reception of the Holy Ghost; but the
          Elders, when speaking on this principle, instead of saying so,
          not unfrequently say "for the reception of the gifts of the Holy
          Ghost." Now we have no right, power nor authority to seal the
          gifts of the Holy Ghost upon anybody, they are the property of
          the Holy Ghost itself. To explain this I will say, for instance,
          President Young may go and preach in every ward in this city; yet
          it is President Young in each ward. When in the 14th Ward he may
          give a man an apple; in the 13th Ward he may give another person
          a loaf of bread; in the 10th Ward he may give a man a dollar in
          money; in the 1st Ward he may give a man a horse and carriage.
          Now they are all different gifts, but he is one and the same man
          who bestows them. I merely bring up this figure by way of
          We lay hands upon the heads of those who embrace the Gospel and
          we say unto them, "In the name of the Lord Jesus Christ receive
          ye the Holy Ghost." We seal this blessing upon the heads of the
          children of men, just as Jesus and his apostles and the servants
          of God have done in every age when preaching the Gospel of
          Christ. But the gifts of the Holy Ghost are his property to
          bestow as he sees fit. To one is given the spirit of prophecy, to
          another a tongue, to another the interpretation of tongues and to
          another the gift of healing. All these gifts are by the same
          Spirit, but all are the gifts of the Holy Ghost, to bestow as he
          sees fit, as the messenger of the Father and the Son to the
          children of men.
          The Holy Ghost, as was justly presented this morning, is
          different from the common Spirit of God, which we are told
          lighteth every man that cometh into the world. The Holy Ghost is
          only given to men through their obedience to the Gospel of
          Christ; and every man who receives that Spirit has a comforter
          within--a leader to dictate and guide him. This Spirit reveals,
          day by day, to every man who has faith, those things which are
          for his benefit. As Job said, "There is a spirit in man and the
          inspiration of the Almighty giveth it understanding." It is this
          inspiration of God to His children in every age of the world that
          is one of the necessary gifts to sustain man and enable him to
          walk by faith, and to go forth and obey all the dictations and
          commandments and revelations which God gives to His children to
          guide and direct them in life.
          We have a long list given to us in the New Testament Scriptures
          of those who, in ancient days, lived, labored and performed their
          duties by faith. Among them was Noah, who, being warned of God,
          went forth and prepared an ark for the salvation of himself and
          family. Abraham, also, offered up his son Isaac by faith, because
          he was called and commanded of God, believing in the promises God
          had made unto him.
          This gift and principle of faith is necessary for the Saints in
          every age of the world to enable them to build up the kingdom of
          God and perform the work required of them. All that the ancients
          did was by faith. Jesus and his apostles often quoted the
          prophecies of the ancient prophets and showed that they were
          fulfilling them. Even the labors of Jesus, from the manger to the
          cross, through his whole life of pain, sorrow, affliction,
          suffering, persecution and derision, were all by faith. It was by
          the power of the Father, whose work he had come to perform, that
          he was sustained. He fully believed that he would be able to
          accomplish all that he had been sent to perform. It was on this
          principle that he fulfilled every requirement and obeyed every
          law, even that of baptism, when he was immersed in the Jordan by
          John, who held the Aaronic Priesthood and the keys of baptism for
          the remission of sins. Baptism was a righteous law; in fact, it
          was the law of God to save the children of men, and Jesus was the
          door, and he, although free from sin and guile, complied with it
          as an ensample to his disciples and the rest of the children of
          The Apostles, in their labors, had to work on the same principle
          that the Saints in both former and latter days have had to work
          upon--namely the principle of faith. Joseph Smith had to work by
          faith. It is true that he had a knowledge of a great many things,
          as the Saints in former days had, but in many things he had to
          exercise faith. He believed he was fulfilling the prophecies of
          the ancient prophets. He knew that God had called him, but in the
          establishment of His kingdom he had to work continually by faith.
          The Church was organized on the 6th of April, 1830, with six
          members, but Joseph had faith that the kingdom thus commenced,
          like a grain of mustard seed, would become a great Church and
          kingdom upon the earth; and from that day until the day on which
          he sealed his testimony with his blood, his whole life was as if
          wading through the deep waters of persecution and oppression,
          received from the hands of his fellowmen. He had all this to
          endure through faith, and he was true, faithful and valiant in
          the testimony of Jesus to the day of his death.
          All the labors that we have performed from that day until the
          present have been by faith, and we, as Latter-day Saints, should
          seek to cherish and grow in this principle, that we may have
          faith in every revelation and promise and in every word of the
          Lord, that has been given in the Bible, Book of Mormon and
          Doctrine and Covenants, for they will surely come to pass as the
          Lord God lives, for the unbelief of this generation will not make
          the truths of God without effect.
          When the members of Zion's Camp were called, many of us had never
          beheld each others' faces; we were strangers to each other and
          many had never seen the prophet. We had been scattered abroad,
          like corn sifted in a sieve, throughout the nation. We were young
          men, and were called upon in that early day to go up and redeem
          Zion, and what we had to do we had to do by faith. We assembled
          together from the various States at Kirtland and went up to
          redeem Zion, in fulfilment of the commandment of God unto us. God
          accepted our works as He did the works of Abraham. We
          accomplished a great deal, though apostates and unbelievers many
          times asked the question, "What have you done?" We gained an
          experience that we never could have gained in any other way. We
          had the privilege of beholding the face of the prophet, and we
          had the privilege of travelling a thousand miles with him, and
          seeing the workings of the Spirit of God with him, and the
          revelations of Jesus Christ unto him and the fulfilment of those
          revelations. And he gathered some two hundred Elders from
          throughout the nation in that early day and sent us broadcast
          into the world to preach the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Had I not
          gone up with Zion's Camp I should not have been here to-day, and
          I presume that would have been the case with many others in this
          Territory. By going there we were thrust into the vineyard to
          preach the Gospel, and the Lord accepted our labors. And in all
          our labors and persecutions, with lives often at stake, we have
          had to work and live by faith.
          The Twelve Apostles were called by revelation to go to Far West,
          Caldwell county, to lay the foundation of the corner stone of the
          Temple. When that revelation was given this Church was in peace
          in Missouri. It is the only revelation that has ever been given
          since the organization of the Church, that I know anything about,
          that had day and date given with it. The Lord called the Twelve
          Apostles, while in this state of prosperity, on the 26th day of
          April, 1838, to go to Far West to lay the corner stone of the
          Temple; and from there to take their departure to England to
          preach the Gospel. Previous to the arrival of that period the
          whole Church was driven out of the State of Missouri, and it was
          as much as a man's life was worth to be found in the State if it
          was known that he was a Latter-day Saint; and especially was this
          the case with the Twelve. When the time came for the corner stone
          of the Temple to be laid, as directed in the revelation, the
          Church was in Illinois, having been expelled from Missouri by an
          edict from the Governor. Joseph and Hyrum Smith and Parley P.
          Pratt were in chains in Missouri for the testimony of Jesus. As
          the time drew nigh for the accomplishment of this work, the
          question arose, "What is to be done?" Here is a revelation
          commanding the Twelve to be in Far West on the 26th day of April,
          to lay the corner stone of the Temple there; it had to be
          fulfilled. The Missourians had sworn by all the gods of eternity
          that if every other revelation given through Joseph Smith were
          fulfilled, that should not be, for the day and date being given
          they declared that it should fail. The general feeling in the
          Church, so far as I know, was that, under the circumstances, it
          was impossible to accomplish the work; and the Lord would accept
          the will for the deed. This was the feeling of Father Smith, the
          father of the Prophet. Joseph was not with us, he was in chains
          in Missouri, for his religion. When President Young asked the
          question of the Twelve, "Brethren, what will you do about this?"
          the reply was, "The Lord has spoken and it is for us to obey." We
          felt that the Lord God had given the commandment and we had faith
          to go forward and accomplish it, feeling that it was His business
          whether we lived or died in its accomplishment. We started for
          Missouri. There were two wagons. I had one and took brother Pratt
          and President Young in mine; brother Cutler, one of the building
          committee, had the other. We reached Far West and laid the corner
          stone according to the revelation that had been given to us. We
          cut off apostates and those who had sworn away the lives of the
          brethren. We ordained Darwin Chase and Norman Shearer into the
          Seventies. Brother George A. Smith and myself were ordained into
          the quorum of the Twelve on the corner stone of the Temple; we
          had been called before, but not ordained. We then returned,
          nobody having molested or made us afraid. We performed that work
          by faith, and the Lord blessed us in doing it. The devil,
          however, tried to kill us, for before we started for England
          everyone of the Twelve was taken sick, and it was about as much
          as we could do to move or stir. I had travelled in Tennessee,
          Mississippi, Kentucky and Arkansas for two or three years, and
          that, too, during the sickly season, where they were not well
          enough to take care of the sick, and I had never had the ague.
          But upon this occasion I was taken with the ague, the first time
          in my life. All the Twelve had something the matter with them.
          But we had to travel sick; we had to travel by faith in order to
          fulfil the mission to which we had been called by revelation. But
          the Lord sustained us; He did not forsake us.
          We went to England, and we baptized, in the year 1840, something
          like seven thousand people, and established churches in almost
          all the principal cities in the kingdom. Brother Pratt
          established a branch in Edinburgh, Scotland. Brother Kimball,
          George A. and myself built up a branch in London, and several
          branches in the south of England. We baptized eighteen hundred
          persons in the south of England in seven months; out of that
          number two hundred were preachers belonging to different
          denominations of that land. We opened an emigration office,
          published the Book of Mormon and gathered many to Zion. God was
          with us, and I may say that He has been in all the labors of this
          Church and kingdom.
          In the pioneer journey, coming here, we had to come by faith; we
          knew nothing about this country, but we intended to come to the
          mountains. Joseph had organized a company to come here, before
          his death. He had these things before him, and understood them
          perfectly. God had revealed to him the future of this Church and
          kingdom, and had told him, from time to time, that the work of
          which he was laying the foundation would become an everlasting
          kingdom--would remain for ever. President Young led the pioneers
          to this country. He had faith to believe that the Lord would
          sustain us. All who travelled hither at that time had this faith.
          The Spirit of God was with us, the Holy Ghost was with us, and
          the angels of the Lord were with us and we were blessed. All, and
          more than we anticipated, in coming here, has been realized, as
          far as time would permit.
          When the Mormon Battalion was called for by the United States, we
          were in our exile, having been driven from our homes, our country
          and graves of our fathers, from lands we had bought of the United
          States Government, for our religion, into the wilderness. The
          Government made a demand upon us for five hundred men to go to
          the Mexican war. I do not suppose that they expected we would
          furnish them, but we did, and we did it by faith. Five hundred
          men, the strength of Israel, were sent to fight the battles of
          their country, leaving their wives, children and teams on the
          prairie. They had to exercise faith, and so had we who remained,
          believing it would turn out for the best, and it has proved so.
          Every member of that battalion who has remained faithful has
          always rejoiced, from that day to this, that he was a member
          thereof. It has proved a blessing to him, and it proved salvation
          to Zion.
          I have referred to these things to show that hitherto, in our
          labors to build up the Church and kingdom of God upon the earth,
          we have had to labor by faith. It is still requisite. God has
          called upon us to warn this generation. He has set His hand to
          establish Zion--the great Zion of God--about which the prophets
          have said so much. No prophet has spoken more pointedly on this
          subject than Isaiah. Our drivings from Missouri, our
          persecutions, our travels along the Platte River, the manner of
          our coming to the mountains of Israel, our return again to the
          land of Zion and the building of the Temple in Jackson county
          have all been spoken of by Isaiah as well as by all the prophets
          who have spoken concerning the Zion of the latter days.
          We have exercised faith in the carrying out of these promises and
          in the fulfilling of those revelations of God unto us. We have
          walked and lived by faith, precisely the same as the Apostles,
          prophets and Saints have done in every dispensation and age of
          the world; for there is one remarkable feature with regard to the
          work of God, and that is, it has always been unpopular in every
          inhabitants of the earth but what it has been despised, in a
          great measure, by most of them. As it was in the days of Noah and
          Lot, so shall it be in the days of the coming of the Son of Man.
          In the days of Noah there were eight souls saved, after one
          hundred and twenty years' labor in preaching and building the
          Ark. In the days of Lot but very few left the city of Sodom. Lot
          and his family left, and we are told that his wife was turned
          into a pillar of salt; and what the angels had told Lot
          concerning Sodom and Gomorrah came to pass--fire and brimstone
          were sent down from heaven upon them and they were destroyed.
          The work of God and the Gospel of Christ had always been
          unpopular. Take the life of the Savior himself. There is a fair
          example. Trace him from the day he was born until his death, and
          who were his friends? A few illiterate fishermen. Jesus Christ
          came to the house of Judah and they rejected him; and Jerusalem,
          Judea, and the inhabitants of all the region round about rose up
          against him with the exception of a few poor men and women. Still
          he was the Savior of the world, the great Shiloh of Israel, the
          great King of the Jews. That is a fair ensample of the way in
          which the work of God has been received in every age and
          dispensation. All that Jesus said concerning the Jews has come to
          pass to the very letter; not one jot or tittle has fallen
          unfulfilled. Their history for the last eighteen hundred years,
          until the present day, has been a remarkable ensign to the
          nations of the earth of the truth of the Bible and of the truth
          of the testimony of Jesus Christ, and of him being the Savior of
          the world. All that he said concerning them and all that Moses
          predicted concerning their dispersion and about their being
          driven, as corn is sifted through a sieve, among the nations;
          about the manner in which their women did evil to the children of
          their own bosoms when Jerusalem was surrounded by the Roman army,
          when it was taken and over two millions of its inhabitants were
          destroyed by sword, pestilence and famine, has been fulfilled.
          All these things have been in strict fulfilment of the sayings of
          Moses and Jesus concerning them. When the Savior was sentenced to
          death they cried, "Let his blood be upon us and upon our
          children;" and they have been trampled under foot by the whole
          Gentile world for the last eighteen hundred years. In their
          affliction and persecutions they have had to suffer almost beyond
          the endurance of man, and until the last few years have scarcely
          had the right of citizenship in any nation under heaven--except
          in the United States. All that has been spoken concerning them
          has had its fulfilment as fast as time would admit.
          It is so with regard to the Gospel of Jesus Christ in the latter
          days. If they called the master of the house Beelzebub, will they
          not say the same of his household? They said that he cast out
          devils by Beelzebub, the prince of devils, they said he was a
          pestilent fellow and a stirrer-up of sedition and strife, still
          he was the Savior of the world.
          This principle of unbelief has existed in every age; it exists
          to-day. The Elders of Israel have had to contend with this power
          of darkness, with persecution, oppression, ridicule and
          opposition from those who should have received their message--a
          message which was for the good and salvation of those who
          rejected it. The Jews should have received the testimony of
          Christ, but as a nation they rejected it. Our experience has been
          very similar to that of Jesus and his Apostles. We have had to
          exercise faith in the revelations that have been given to us in
          the Book of Doctrine and Covenants and Book of Mormon, as well as
          in the Bible. These revelations portray what lies before us as a
          people. The fate of this nation and the nations of the earth has
          been portrayed by the ancient prophets in the Book of Mormon and
          Bible. Isaiah has told us what will come to pass in the latter
          days concerning those who fight against Mount Zion and against
          the children of Zion. Every weapon will be broken, every nation
          that will not serve Zion shall be utterly wasted away, saith the
          Lord; for the Lord will fight in defence of the land of Zion. He
          will establish the kingdom that Daniel saw, in fact that kingdom
          has been established; the Zion of God has been set up, the Church
          of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has been established by
          revelation from Jesus Christ in our day and generation; and we
          are called to build it up, we are called to perform its work. As
          I have often remarked, the Gods, the angels, the whole heavens,
          all the good men, all the spirits of the just that dwell in the
          eternal world are watching with vast interest the labors of this
          They are not perfect without us, we are not perfect without them.
          There is no period in the whole history of the world, no
          dispensation of God to man, that is fraught with such interest as
          the dispensation in which we live; there never has been. No
          prophets, no apostles or inspired men in any age of the world
          ever had the privilege of laying the foundation of the Zion of
          God to remain on the earth to be thrown down no more for ever. In
          every other dispensation of the world the people have risen up
          against God and His Christ, against the kingdom and against the
          Priesthood, and have overthrown the messengers of heaven, and put
          to death every man who has borne the kingdom of God, and the
          kingdom has been taken from the earth. This is true of every age,
          except that of Enoch. He built up a kingdom and gathered together
          the people after laboring and preaching three hundred and
          sixty-five years. He perfected a city, which was called the city
          of the Zion of God. But behold and lo, the nations of the earth
          awoke and found that Zion had fled! The Lord took it to Himself;
          took it away from the earth. The people were righteous; they had
          become sanctified and the Lord took them away out of the power of
          the wicked. Zion could not remain on the earth; there was not
          power sufficient to withstand the assaults of the wicked; or if
          there was, the time had not come when the Lord would make use of
          the children of men; or there were not enough of the children of
          men willing to take hold and manifest those principles in their
          lives so that they could remain on the earth. But in the latter
          days he will do so. He has sworn it by Himself, because there is
          none greater to swear by. He has declared it through the mouth of
          every prophet that has ever lived on the earth, whose writing we
          possess, both in the Bible and Book of Mormon, as well as in
          those glorious revelations in the Book of Doctrine and Covenants
          given through the mouth of Joseph Smith the prophet. These saying
          are true. We as a people should exercise faith in them, no matter
          what may be transpiring in the outside world. We have had the
          powers of wicked men and devils to contend with. We may say that
          the devil is mad; he is stirred up against Zion; he knows that
          his reign will last but a little season longer.
          This arch enemy of God and man, called the devil, the "Son of the
          Morning," who dwells here on the earth, is a personage of great
          power; he has great influence and knowledge. He understands that
          if this kingdom, which he rebelled against in heaven, prevails on
          the earth, there will be no dominion here for him. He has great
          influence over the children of men; he labors continually to
          destroy them. He labored to destroy them in heaven; he labored to
          destroy the works of God in heaven, and he had to be cast out. He
          is here, mighty among the children of men. There is a vast number
          of fallen spirits, cast out with him, here on the earth. They do
          not die and disappear; they have not bodies only as they enter
          the tabernacles of men. They have not organized bodies, and are
          not to be seen with the sight of the eye. But there are many evil
          spirits amongst us, and they labor to overthrow the Church and
          kingdom of God. There never was a prophet in any age of the world
          but what the devil was continually at his elbow. This was the
          case with Jesus himself. The devil followed him continually
          trying to draw him from his purposes and to prevent him carrying
          out the great work of God. You see this manifested when he took
          Jesus on to the loftiest pinnacle of the temple and showed him
          all the glory of the world, telling him that he would give him
          all this if he would fall down and worship him. The poor devil
          did not own a foot of land nor anything else! The earth was made
          by and belonged to the Lord and was His footstool. Yet the devil
          offered that to Jesus which was not his own. Jesus said unto him,
          "Get thee behind me, Satan."
          This same character was with the disciples as well as with their
          master. He is with the Latter-day Saints; and he or his
          emissaries are with all men trying to lead them astray. He rules
          in the hearts of the inhabitants of the earth. They are governed
          and guided by him far more than by the power of God. This is
          strange, still it is true. See the wickedness in the world. See
          the abominations with which the earth is deluged, causing it to
          groan under the burden. Where does this evil come from? From the
          works of the devil. Everything that leads to good is from God,
          while everything that leads to evil is from the devil. Here are
          the two powers. How many on the earth are honoring God,
          acknowledging His hand in all things and keeping His
          commandments? Very few. Just the same to-day as in the days of
          Noah. We read that one of a family and two of a city will be
          gathered to Zion in the last days. Out of twelve hundred
          millions, that dwell on the face of the earth, we, after forty
          years' labor, have succeeded in gathering a few thousands
          together to the valleys of the mountains. The numbers are very
          few; but this few should be faithful.
          Last Sabbath, those who were here listened to a discourse from
          brother George Q. Cannon, in which he delivered his testimony
          concerning Joseph Smith and President Young. I thought to myself,
          it seemed a kind of a queer idea that, at this late date, one of
          the Apostles should be called upon to stand up in the sacred desk
          and defend the characters of these men as prophets and Apostles.
          Yet so it was, and these things are necessary.
          Joseph Smith was what he professed to be, a prophet of God, a
          seer and revelator. He laid the foundation of this Church and
          kingdom, and lived long enough to deliver the keys of the kingdom
          to the Elders of Israel, unto the Twelve Apostles. He spent the
          last winter of his life, some three or four months, with the
          Quorum of the Twelve, teaching them. It was not merely a few
          hours ministering to them the ordinances of the Gospel; but he
          spent day after day, week after week and month after month,
          teaching them and a few others the things of the kingdom of God.
          Said he, during that period, "I now rejoice. I have lived until I
          have seen this burden, which has rested on my shoulders, rolled
          on to the shoulders of other men; now the keys of the kingdom are
          planted on the earth to be taken away no more for ever." But
          until he had done this, they remained with him; and had he been
          taken away they would have had to be restored by messengers out
          of heaven. But he lived until every key, power and principle of
          the holy Priesthood was sealed on the Twelve and on President
          Young, as their President. He told us that he was going away to
          leave us, going away to rest. Said he, "You have to round up your
          shoulders to bear up the kingdom. No matter what becomes of me. I
          have desired to see that Temple built, but I shall not live to
          see it. You will; you are called upon to bear off this kingdom."
          This language was plain enough, but we did not understand it any
          more than the disciples of Jesus when he told them he was going
          away, and that if he went not the Comforter would not come. It
          was just so with Joseph. He said this time after time to the
          Twelve and to the Female Relief Societies and in his public
          discourses; but none of us seemed to understand that he was going
          to seal his testimony with his blood, but so it was. What he said
          to us and the Church we have had to perform. Joseph Smith was a
          good man, a prophet of God. His works are before the world; they
          are before the eyes of the nation; they are before the heavens
          and the earth. The foundation that he laid we have built upon
          until the present day; and that foundation no power on earth or
          in hell will ever be able to remove. That Church and kingdom of
          God that is planted here in these valleys of the mountains will
          remain on the earth until the little stone Daniel saw will become
          a mountain and fill the earth--until the reign of Jesus is
          supreme and universal.
          It startles men when they hear the Elders of Israel tell about
          the kingdoms of this world becoming the kingdom of our God and
          His Christ. They say it is treason for men to teach that the
          kingdom Daniel saw is going to be set up, and bear rule over the
          whole earth. Is it treason for God Almighty to govern the earth?
          Who made it? God, did He not? Who made you? God, if you have any
          eternal Father. Well, whose right is it to rule and reign over
          you and the earth? It does not belong to the devil, nor to men.
          It has never been given to men yet; it has never been given to
          the nations. It belongs solely to God and He is coming to rule
          and reign over it. When will that be? It may not be perfected
          until Christ comes in the clouds of heaven with power and great
          glory to reward every man according to the deeds done in the
          body. That kingdom, the germ of which is planted here, will
          continue to grow and will never be overthrown. As I said before,
          no matter what takes place outside of this Territory--we as
          Latter-day Saints should exercise faith in God, for just as sure
          as God was true to Daniel, Moses, Noah, Enoch and to the prophets
          and Apostles, so will He be true to us; so will He be true to His
          word in these latter days and will fulfill all He has said.
          This is the work we have to perform. It is a good work, a great
          work, a glorious work, and one in which the Latter-day Saints
          should rejoice, for it confers upon them the privilege of being
          instruments in the hands of God of helping to build up His
          kingdom on the earth. This should give us joy, and the promises
          made to us in connection with this work ought to sustain us and
          give us hope, joy and consolation.
          I have been happy since I formed the acquaintance of the Gospel
          of Jesus Christ: I was never satisfied until I found the
          Latter-day Saints. In my boyhood I could read in the Bible and
          New Testament of a people who had power with God, who had the
          gifts and graces, who could command the elements and they obeyed
          them; who had power to heal the sick, and had the gifts of the
          Holy Ghost imparted unto them by God himself. That was the kind
          of religion I always desired to live to see. I desired to live to
          see a prophet and an Apostle, or some man who was inspired of God
          who could teach me the way to be saved. I have lived to see that
          day. I rejoice in it for I know it is true. I know this work is
          true. I know it is the kingdom of God, as you do, and as all men
          do who have received the testimony of the Holy Spirit and have
          been faithful for themselves.
          As to President Young his labors have been with us. It has been
          remarked sometimes, by certain individuals, that President Young
          has said in public that he was not a prophet nor the son of a
          prophet. I have travelled with him since 1833 or the spring of
          1834; I have travelled a good many thousand miles with him and
          have heard him preach a great many thousand sermons; but I have
          never heard him make that remark in my life. He is a prophet, I
          am a prophet, you are, and anybody is a prophet who has the
          testimony of Jesus Christ, for that is the spirit of prophecy.
          The Elders of Israel are prophets. A prophet is not so great as
          an Apostle. Christ has set in his Church, first, Apostles; they
          hold the keys of the kingdom of God. Any man who has travelled
          with President Young knows he is a prophet of God. He has
          foretold a great many things that have come to pass. All the
          Saints who are well acquainted with him know that he is governed
          and controlled by the power of God and the revelations of Jesus
          Christ. His works are before the world; they are before the
          heavens; before the earth; before the wicked as well as the
          righteous; and it is the influence of President Young that the
          world is opposed to. This Priesthood, these keys of the kingdom
          of God that have been sealed upon him, the world is at war
          against; let them say what they may, these things are what they
          are at enmity with. Their present objection to the Latter-day
          Saints, they say, is plurality of wives. It is this principle
          they are trying to raise a persecution against now. But how was
          it in Missouri, Kirtland, Jackson county, Far West, Caldwell
          county, in all our drivings and afflictions, before this
          principle was revealed to the Church? Certainly it was not
          polygamy then. No, it was prophets, it was revelation, it was the
          organization of an institution founded by revelation from God.
          They did not believe in that, and that was the objection in those
          days. If we were to do away with polygamy, it would only be one
          feather in the bird, one ordinance in the Church and kingdom. Do
          away with that, then we must do away with prophets and Apostles,
          with revelation and the gifts and graces of the Gospel, and
          finally give up our religion altogether and turn sectarians and
          do as the world does, then all would be right. We just can't do
          that, for God has commanded us to build up His kingdom and to
          bear our testimony to the nations of the earth, and we are going
          to do it, come life or come death. He has told us to do thus, and
          we shall obey Him in days to come as we have in days past.
          Brethren and sisters, let us exercise faith; the ancient prophets
          lived by faith; it is as necessary for us as for them. I believe
          what God has said will be fulfilled. I believe the Book of Mormon
          and the Book of Doctrine and Covenants will be fulfilled, and all
          the promises and prophecies made by the faithful servants of God.
          When any man speaks as he is moved upon by the Holy Ghost, that
          is the word of God to the people; and though the heavens and the
          earth pass away, not one jot or tittle of the word of God will
          fall unfulfilled. I care not whether it be by His own voice out
          of the heavens; by the ministration of angels; by the voice of a
          prophet, or by the inspiration of the Holy Ghost through His
          servants, it is the word of God to the people, it is truth and it
          will have its effect and fulfilment. Everything that has been
          communicated to us by revelation I believe to be true; many of
          them I know. I have faith and knowledge, both in a degree. I want
          more; I wish for more, and all I ask is that the Lord will enable
          me to be faithful. I wish eternal life. I want salvation. This is
          the object of my life; for this I embraced "Mormonism." This is
          the principle that has sustained me from the time I entered this
          Church and kingdom. This hope sustained me when I shouldered my
          knapsack and went forth to travel and preach without purse or
          scrip, thousands of miles through the United States. This
          principle of inspiration has sustained the Elders of Israel in
          every age of the world. It is that which sustained Joseph Smith
          from the day he commenced his career as a servant of God until
          the time that he sealed his testimony with his blood. Somebody
          has got to pay the bill for the shedding of that innocent blood.
          Shedding innocent blood has cost the Jews eighteen hundred years
          of suffering, mourning, woe and destruction; it has cost this
          nation already four years of war, with two millions of men laid
          in the dust, and four thousand million dollars in money; and woe
          be to that nation, tongue or people that sheds the blood of the
          Saints of God, or undertakes to oppose the work of God in this or
          any other generation. They will have to reap what they sow; for
          what you sow you will reap, and the reward you mete will be
          rewarded to you again, whether you are Saints or sinners, in all
          nations, kindreds, tongues and people under the whole heavens.
          This is the position that we occupy. This warfare is not between
          man and man but between God and the world. If the Lord does not
          defend the Latter-day Saints we cannot defend ourselves. We can
          do what is required of us, but God Himself has to defend us. He
          has done it and He will continue to do it until the coming of the
          Lord Jesus Christ, or until his kingdom triumphs on the earth.
          This is my faith; and I would rather, to- day, lay down my life,
          honoring the faith once delivered to the Saints, than turn around
          and fear men, who have power only to kill the body, instead of
          fearing Him who has power to cast both soul and body into hell.
          Salvation is of more consequence to me and to this people, and to
          all the inhabitants of the earth, than anything else. What is the
          world with its honors, gold, silver, thrones, principalities and
          powers compared with salvation? They all end at death, they are
          of no force after, and are of no moment when compared with
          eternal salvation. Oh, what glorious principles have been
          revealed to the Latter-day Saints! Where did you get them? How
          did you obtain them? Through the voice of Joseph Smith and
          Brigham Young by revelation from God. That is the way we obtained
          them. The principles of the Gospel of Jesus Christ have power and
          efficacy after death; they will bring together men and their
          wives and children in the family organization and will re-unite
          them worlds without end. The power of those who sit upon thrones
          in this life will end at their death; they will have no extra
          power in the world to come because they have occupied thrones in
          this. The Czar of Russia, the Emperor of France, the Queen of
          England, or any other sovereign, will not have any additional
          power in the world to come because of their present glory. It
          will all end with their death. These are the kingdoms of men,
          they are not ordained of God. True, they will be held accountable
          for the exercise of their power here; God will hold them
          responsible for that, but so far as salvation and glory hereafter
          are concerned, their exalted positions here will not avail them
          anything. There is not a man who has lived since the Church went
          into the wilderness and the kingdom of God was taken from the
          earth, until Moroni rent the vail and gave to Joseph Smith the
          records of the Book of Mormon, and until Peter, James and John
          sealed upon him the keys of the holy Priesthood, who can claim a
          wife in the resurrection. Not one of them has been married for
          eternity, but only until death. But unto the Latter-day Saints
          the sealing ordinances have been revealed, and they will have
          effect after death, and, as I have said, will re-unite men and
          women eternally in the family organization. Herein is why these
          principles are a part of our religion, and by them husbands and
          wives, parents and children will be re-united back to Father
          Adam. We could not obtain a fullness of celestial glory without
          this sealing ordinance or the institution called the patriarchal
          order of marriage, which is one of the most glorious principles
          of our religion. I would just as life the United States
          Government would pass a law against my being baptized for the
          remission of my sins, or against my receiving the Holy Ghost, as
          against my practising the patriarchal order of marriage. I would
          just as lief they would take away any other principle of the
          Gospel as this. The opinion of men generally, in relation to this
          subject, is that the Latter-day Saints practise it for the
          gratification of their carnal desires; but such ideas are wholly
          untrue. The world seek after this; but the Saints of God practise
          this principle that they may partake of eternal lives, that they
          may have wives and posterity in the world to come and throughout
          the endless ages of eternity.
          God promised to Abraham that his seed should be as numerous as
          the stars in the heaven or as the sands on the sea-shore. We all
          know, from reading the history of Abraham, that this promise has
          not been fulfilled, for you may take one square yard of sand on
          the sea-shore, and the grains it would contain would be more
          numerous than all the inhabitants that ever lived on the earth;
          hence this promise of the Lord could not be fulfilled if, as the
          Christian would imagine, the marriage relation ceases with the
          termination of this life, and that after the resurrection there
          is no increase. But in the resurrection there will be no end to
          the increase of Abraham, it will continue through all eternity.
          These are some of the principles of the Gospel God has revealed
          to us. Are they not worth living for and having faith in? They
          are. Then do not fear because of the wicked. We have everything
          to encourage us. The Latter-day Saints should be faithful. We
          should live our religion and be true and faithful to our
          covenants. We should magnify our callings as Apostles, Elders and
          Saints, before God, angels and men. We have but little time to
          work, and we should work while it is called to-day; by and by
          night comes when no man can work. When the vision of my mind is
          opened and I gaze abroad upon this generation, I many times feel
          to mourn in my spirit to see the darkness and unbelief and the
          carelessness of man with regard to his future and eternal state.
          Instead of seeking with all their powers to secure to themselves
          eternal life they seem to be doing their utmost to turn the last
          key to seal their condemnation and to make themselves the sons of
          perdition. They will labor to shed innocent blood and to destroy
          the Church and kingdom of God on the earth. This is one of the
          promptings of the evil one.
          There are two things which have always followed apostates in
          every age of the world, and especially in our day. In the early
          days of the Church, in Kirtland, as soon as men apostatized from
          the Church and kingdom of God, they immediately began to fear
          their fellow men, and to fancy their lives were in danger.
          Another peculiarity common to apostates was that they desired to
          kill those who had been their benefactors. This was the case with
          the Higbees, Laws and others with regard to the Prophet Joseph,
          when they turned against him, they sought with all their powers
          to take away his life. Not only were they afraid of their own
          lives, but they sought to take his, and they eventually
          succeeded, and woe is their doom. What would they not give in
          exchange for their souls? But no matter, they cannot redeem them.
          This spirit always accompanies the apostates. What are they
          afraid of? There is something they do not understand or
          comprehend; they walk in the dark, and by and by they will unite
          with the wicked and try to overthrow the very work they have been
          trying to build up.
          This spirit has always been with the enemies of righteousness.
          The devil seeks to overthrow the kingdom of God and the Saints,
          and he always will do it as long as he has any power on the
          earth; therefore we should be united. We should be faithful and
          labor hard to do what we have to do, and not put off anything for
          the building up of the kingdom of God. We should obey all the
          ordinances we can for ourselves and our children; for the living
          and the dead. We should attend to these things as we go along,
          and when we get through with our work and into the spirit world,
          we may look back and be satisfied with our labors. There is a
          great deal for the Latter-day Saints to do. We have done a good
          deal, but the work is only just commenced. Zion is not what she
          must be; Zion is growing. She has grown since we came to the
          valleys of the mountains. We have done something for the living;
          we have warned the nations; the garments of many of us are clear
          of the blood of this generation. It cannot rise in judgment
          against Joseph Smith, Brigham Young or the Twelve Apostles, nor
          against thousands of the Elders of this Church and kingdom. We
          have lifted up our voices day and night; we have preached to
          millions of our fellow men and have travelled hundreds of
          thousands of miles to offer this Gospel to the nations of the
          earth. Still they have turned against us, and a great many of
          them have sought our overthrow. They will receive their reward
          and we shall receive ours.
          What joy, consolation and satisfaction it will be to the
          Apostles, Elders and Saints of God, of this day, who remain true
          and faithful to the end, having become members of the Church of
          the Firstborn, and been valiant in the testimony of Jesus, when
          they meet Father Adam, Enoch, Jacob, Isaiah, Jeremiah, Jesus and
          the Apostles, how great their joy will be! They labored in their
          day for the work of God, and their toils are over; we are having
          our day and our labor. By and by we shall meet and mingle in the
          eternal world. How fast we pass away! Where is brother Heber,
          whom we used to see so often in our midst here and in the
          Endowment House? In the spirit world. Brother Willard, Joseph,
          Hyrum, David Patten, Jedediah, Parley Pratt, and brother Benson
          among the rest, have gone. We shall all go pretty soon, we shall
          not remain a great while. Our labors in this life are short, and
          we shall soon pass to the other side of the vail. Our children,
          the rising generation, will possess the kingdom; on them the
          labor of rolling on the work of God will rest, until the kingdom
          and the greatness of the kingdom under the whole heaven will be
          given to the Saints of the Most High and they will possess it for
          ever and ever, and the meek will inherit the earth. Let us be
          diligent, let us be faithful; let us labor while it is called
          to-day, that we may be counted worthy to receive a reward that
          will satisfy us in the end.
          I pray that God will bless us, that He will pour out His Spirit
          upon us and give us the testimony of Jesus Christ; that we may
          guard our welfare and watch ourselves that our feet may not slip.
          It is an awful thing for a man, in any generation, to receive
          this Gospel, to taste the good word of God and the powers of the
          world to come, and then turn away and lose the testimony of Jesus
          and turn against God; such a man's condition is worse than his
          who never heard the Gospel of Christ. He will lament and mourn,
          and that, too, without ever receiving redemption. Such
          individuals cannot be redeemed and restored to that which they
          have forfeited. It is far better to receive the Gospel and be
          faithful in the midst of all opposition. If we continue so, when
          we meet with the fathers we can rejoice with them and partake of
          the same kingdom and the same glory, quickened by the same
          spirit, having kept the same law and been preserved thereby.
          May God bless us all and help us to overcome the world, the flesh
          and the devil, for Jesus sake. Amen.
          Journal of Discourses / Journal of Discourses, Volume 13 /
          Brigham Young, May 29, 1870
                             Brigham Young, May 29, 1870
           Delivered in the New Tabernacle, Salt Lake City, May 29, 1870.
                            (Reported by David W. Evans.)
                          THE SOURCE OF INTELLIGENCE, ETC.
          If I can have your attention I will talk to you a few minutes.
          Speaking as much as I have in public makes me feel most forcibly
          that I have both stomach and lungs, hence I would like to have
          stillness in the house. I see some sisters withdrawing in
          consequence of their children not being quiet; I am very much
          obliged to them, and trust that others will do likewise if they
          cannot keep their children still.
          I am not in the habit of making many apologies nor very many
          preliminaries when I speak to a congregation. Sometimes I feel to
          say a few words that might be called apologetic in rising to
          address a congregation, having that timidity which most men feel
          on such occasions. I have seen few public speakers in my life who
          were capable of rising and speaking directly upon a subject,
          unless it had been studied or perhaps written beforehand. To
          speak extempore, on the impulse of the moment, without
          reflection, requires considerable steadiness of the nerve. This
          is a matter that I have reflected upon a good deal, for in my
          experience I have learned that there is a modest timidity in the
          feelings of almost all persons I ever saw when called upon to
          speak to their fellow-beings. This is frequently the case in
          private circles as well as before the public. I think I
          understand the reason of it; it is a matter which I have studied.
          I find myself here on this earth, in the midst of intelligence. I
          ask myself and Wisdom, where has this intelligence come from? Who
          has produced and brought into existence, I will say, this
          intelligent congregation assembled here this afternoon? We are
          here, but whence have we come? Where did we belong before coming
          here? Have we dropped accidentally from some of the planets on to
          this earth without order, law or rule? Perhaps some, in their
          reflections, have come to this conclusion, and think that is all
          that is known in relation to this matter. I inquire where is this
          intelligence from which I see, more or less, in every being, and
          before which I shrink when attempting to address a congregation?
          I ask the question of my friends, my brethren and of every man
          that lives: Suppose that you, through duty, are called to speak
          to a private family, to a small congregation, or even to children
          in a Sunday school, do you not feel this same timidity? Where is
          the man who can rise to address children without feeling this
          same modesty? I have seen a very few in my life who could rise
          before a congregation, in a prayer meeting, or go on the stage of
          a theatre, or anywhere else, and speak with perfect ease and
          confidence. I think they have great reason to be thankful for
          their self-confidence; but where they obtained it or whether it
          is inherent, whether they are destitute of real refinement or
          have a surplus of it, it is not for me to say. I know that I do
          not possess this faculty. When I speak to a congregation I know
          that I am speaking to the intelligence that is from above. This
          intelligence which is within you and me is from heaven. In gazing
          upon the intelligence reflected in the countenances of my
          fellow-beings, I gaze upon the image of Him whom I worship--the
          God I serve. I see His image and a certain amount of His
          intelligence there. I feel it within myself. My nature shrinks at
          the divinity we see in others. This is the cause of that timidity
          to which I have referred, which I experience when rising to
          address a congregation.
          I rise with pleasure this afternoon to speak to my friends,
          brethren and sisters, and to the strangers who are here; and I
          will take the liberty of looking at my people--my brethren and
          sisters, as they are, and we will look at each other as we are. I
          look at others as they are, and we will look at each other as we
          are. We will chat a little together, and I will give both Saints
          and strangers a few of my views. First to the Saints, I will say
          that you and I have professed to believe in God who reigns in the
          heavens, who formed the earth and the planets. No matter whether
          He rules the celestial, terrestrial or telestial, you and I have
          professed to believe in that Supreme Being who has set this
          machine in motion. He governs by law. He has reduced His
          offspring, His legitimate offspring, to all the sin, darkness,
          death and misery that we find on this earth; He has also provided
          means and, in connection with the attributes He has implanted
          within us, has instituted ordinances which, if we will receive
          and improve upon, will enable us to return back into His
          presence. I say to the Latter-day Saints, live your religion!
          Live so that the Spirit of the Lord will dwell within you, that
          you may know for a surety and certainty that God lives. For me to
          tell you that there is a God in heaven, that Jesus Christ is the
          Savior of the world; for me to tell you that Jesus will give his
          holy Spirit to them that believe on him and obey his Gospel,
          would be fruitless to you unless you obey his requirements. I
          know that the Latter-day Saints are looked upon by the world as
          dupes--as a low, degraded, imbecile race, and that we are so
          unwise and short-sighted, so vain and foolish, that through the
          great amount of enthusiasm within us, we have embraced an error,
          and have been duped by Joseph Smith. You who have obeyed the
          principles he preached know whether you are deceived or not. I
          know for myself and you know for yourselves.
          Now let me ask you, if you trust to my faith, to my word and
          teachings, counsel and advice, and do not seek after the Lord to
          have His Spirit to guide and direct you, can I not deceive you,
          can I not lead you into error? Look at this and see to what
          mischief it would lead, and what an amount of evil could be done
          to a people if they did not live so that the Spirit of the Lord
          would dwell with them that they might know these things for
          themselves. It is my request, my prayer, exhortation, faith, wish
          and earnest desire that the Latter-day Saints will live their
          religion, and that they will teach their children all things
          pertaining to God and godliness, that they may grow up into
          Christ, their living head.
          I would ask of my friends or foes, no matter which--I mean those
          who do not believe as I do--those who look upon us as a set of
          fanatics, I would ask a few questions of the world of mankind, of
          the greatest philosophers, of the greatest geniuses, and of the
          men of the most profound knowledge on the face of the earth, Can
          you tell me where you get your knowledge? Say some, "The
          schoolmaster taught me thus and so; my mother taught me thus and
          so; or I have learned it from books." Can you tell me the origin
          of this knowledge? Can you direct me where I can go and get the
          same knowledge? Was this inherent in you? Was it developed
          without any nourishment, or instruction--without the life and
          intelligence which came from the vision of the mind? Ask the
          mechanic--Who influenced you to bring forth this and that
          improvement in mechanism? Who influenced Professor Morse to
          believe that he could stretch a wire round this building or any
          other, and then, by applying a battery at one end of the wire,
          that he could receive an answer at the other? Who taught Robert
          Fulton that he could apply steam so as to propel a vessel? Did
          his mother, his schoolmaster or his preacher tell him this? No,
          he would have spurned the idea.
          Now, all this is in my remembrance. I lived near by those who
          assisted Mr. Fulton in building his steamboat. He could not be
          dissuaded, by any means, to desist from his operations. I ask
          what was it that influenced the mind of Fulton in this direction?
          It was that invisible influence or intelligence that comes from
          our Creator, day by day, and night by night, in dreams and
          visions of the mind. "I see it, I know it," said he. I recollect
          him telling some of our neighbors who assisted him in building
          the first steam vessel that ever was built, "I know that I can
          apply steam so as to propel this vessel from here to New York. I
          know it just as well as I live." I recollect a Mr. Curtis, a
          carriage maker, who lived in the State of New York; said he, "I
          have a little property, and I will spend all I have to assist Mr.
          Fulton to put his project into successful operation, for I have
          faith in it."
          This is a question which I would like the scientific and
          philosophic world to answer, Where do you get your knowledge
          from? I can answer the question; they get it from that Supreme
          Being, a portion of whose intelligence is in each and every one.
          They have it not independently; it was not there until put there.
          They have the foundation, and they can improve and add knowledge
          to knowledge, wisdom to wisdom, light to light, and intelligence
          to intelligence. This power to increase in wisdom and
          intelligence so that we can know things for ourselves is within
          every one of us.
          Now, I ask the wise, where did you get your wisdom? Was it taught
          you? Yes, I say it was taught you. By your professors in college?
          No, it was taught you by the influence of the spirit that is in
          man, and the inspiration of the Spirit of God giveth it
          understanding; and every creature can thus add intelligence to
          intelligence. We all know that if we learn one page of a book
          to-day, we can learn another to-morrow, and yet retain that which
          we learned previously; and so we can go on step by step, from day
          to day, improving the faculties with which God has endowed us,
          until we are filled with the knowledge of God.
          The "Mormons" believe all this. I ask strangers and the
          philosophers of the world, Is there any harm in it? Is it any
          harm for you and me to exercise faith in God? We have faith, we
          live by faith; we came to these mountains by faith. We came here,
          I often say, though to the ears of some the expression may sound
          rather rude, naked and barefoot, and comparatively this is true.
          Is that a fact? It is. Shall I explain this? I will in part, and
          I will commence by satisfying the curiosity of almost everybody
          that comes here, or with whom our Elders converse when away. A
          great many men and women have an irrepressible curiosity to know
          how many wives Brigham Young has. I am now going to gratify that
          curiosity by saying, ladies and gentlemen, I have sixteen wives.
          If I have any more hereafter it will be my good luck and the
          blessing of God. "How many children have you, President Young?" I
          have forty-nine living children, and I hope to have a great many
          more. Now put that down. I impart this information to gratify the
          curiosity of the curious.
          "President Young, did you come here naked and barefoot?" I will
          say, very nearly so. "How many of your wives had shoes to their
          feet, after leaving every thing you had in the State of
          Illinois?" I do not think that more than one or two of my wives
          had shoes to their feet when we came here. We bought buckskins of
          the Indians and made moccasins of them. How many of these Elders
          had whole pantaloons when they reached here? I do not believe a
          dozen of them had. They had worked in the dead of winter ferrying
          the people across the river until they had nothing, and they came
          here naked and barefoot, that is, comparatively.
          We had to have faith to come here. When we met Mr. Bridger on the
          Big Sandy River, said he, "Mr. Young, I would give a thousand
          dollars if I knew an ear of corn could be ripened in the Great
          Basin." Said I, "Wait eighteen months and I will show you many of
          them." Did I say this from knowledge? No, it was my faith; but we
          had not the least encouragement--from natural reasoning and all
          that we could learn of this country--of its sterility, its cold
          and frost, to believe that we could ever raise anything. But we
          travelled on, breaking the road through the mountains and
          building bridges until we arrived here, and then we did
          everything we could to sustain ourselves. We had faith that we
          could raise grain; was there any harm in this? Not at all. If we
          had not had faith, what would have become of us? We would have
          gone down in unbelief, have closed up every resource for our
          sustenance and should never have raised anything. I ask the whole
          world, is there any harm in having faith in God? Have you faith?
          Ask Mr. Pullman if he had faith that he could build a car more
          convenient than any the travelling community enjoyed before, and
          he will say that he had faith that he could build cars in which
          ladies and gentlemen might travel though the country with all the
          ease and comfort they could desire; and he showed his faith by
          his works, as we read of the ancient worthies doing. You know
          James says, "Show me your faith without works, and I will show
          you my faith by my works." Mr. Pullman and others can show their
          faith by their works. We show our faith by our works. Is there
          any harm in this? I ask the whole Christian world, is there any
          harm in believing in God, in a supreme power and influence?
          The Christian world believe in God, but they say He has no body.
          Christianity does not teach any such thing. "God has no parts and
          He is without passions," say the Christian world. I do not read
          the Scriptures aright if this is the fact. I read that God loves,
          that God hates. I read that His eyes are over the works of His
          hands; that His arm is stretched out to save His people; that His
          footsteps are seen among the nations of the earth. If He has no
          feet, He certainly can make no impression; if He has no hands or
          arms he cannot reach down to save His people. I read that the
          Lord's ears are open to the petitions of His people; but if He
          have no ears how can He hear. This is the way that I read the
          Bible, and I ask, is there any harm in reading and understanding
          it thus? There are a great many infidels now, who were formerly
          among our Christian friends and brethren, who are ignoring the
          Bible in their public schools. I do not. Is there anything in the
          Bible that should not be read by the scholars in schools? If
          there be, leave out such parts, or rather replace the language
          there used, with phraseology more in accordance with modern
          usage, so that the principles contained in the Bible may be
          taught in your catechisms or other books. I know that there is
          some plain talk in the Bible, plainer than I heard this morning;
          but that plain talk was the custom of the ancients. The mere
          phraseology there used is not of much consequence, it is the true
          principle which that book teaches which renders it so valuable.
          If any of you, ladies and gentlemen, were to step on a steamboat
          and cross over to Liverpool, you would hear language and see
          customs that you never heard or saw in Yankee land. It is the
          same with regard to the Bible, the phraseology is that which was
          customary centuries ago; but no matter what the language is, that
          is merely custom. But I will say that the doctrines taught in the
          Old and New Testaments concerning the will of God towards His
          children here on the earth; the history of what He has done for
          their salvation; the ordinances which He has instituted for their
          redemption; the gift of His Son and his atonement--all these are
          true, and we, the Latter-day Saints, believe in them.
          Some, in their curiosity, will say, "But you Mormons have another
          Bible! Do you believe in the Old and New Testaments?" I answer we
          do believe in the Old and New Testaments, and we have also
          another book, called the Book of Mormon. What are the doctrines
          of the Book of Mormon? The same as those of the Bible. "What is
          the utility of this book--the Book of Mormon? Has it been of any
          use whatever to the people anywhere?" O, yes. "Where and when?" I
          will refer to one of the sayings of Jesus recorded in the New
          Testament. Just before his crucifixion he said to his disciples,
          "Other sheep I have which are not of this fold; them also I must
          bring, and they shall hear my voice; and there shall be one fold
          and one shepherd." After his crucifixion he came to this
          continent, chose Twelve Apostles from among the people and sent
          them forth to preach his Gospel. He also did many mighty
          miracles. He was seen to come from heaven down into the midst of
          the people. He organized his Church amongst them, healed the
          sick, and left his Church and Gospel in their midst. I am sorry
          to say that we see the descendants of this very people now in a
          very low and degraded state. I refer to the aborigines or native
          Indians of this continent. But this is in consequence of their
          apostacy and turning from God. The aborigines of this country are
          the descendants of this very people whom Jesus visited, to whom
          he delivered his Gospel, and among whom he organized his Church.
          They were obedient for over three hundred years, and served God
          with an undivided heart, after which they began to apostatize.
          For three hundred years the people on the continent of North and
          South America were benefitted by the work of the Savior in
          organizing his Church and revealing every principle and ordinance
          calculated to assist them back into the presence of God. Is not
          that good?
          "What good does it do you, Latter-day Saints?" It proves that the
          Bible is true. What do the infidel world say about the Bible?
          They say that the Bible is nothing better than last year's
          almanac; it is nothing but a fable and priestcraft, and it is
          good for nothing. The Book of Mormon, however, declares that the
          Bible is true, and it proves it; and the two prove each other
          true. The Old and New Testaments are the stick of Judah. You
          recollect that the tribe of Judah tarried in Jerusalem and the
          Lord blessed Judah, and the result was the writings of the Old
          and New Testaments. But where is the stick of Joseph? Can you
          tell where it is? Yes. It was the children of Joseph who came
          across the waters to this continent, and this land was filled
          with people, and the Book of Mormon or the stick of Joseph
          contains their writings, and they are in the hands of Ephraim.
          Where are the Ephraimites? They are mixed through all the nations
          of the earth. God is calling upon them to gather out, and He is
          uniting them, and they are giving the Gospel to the whole world.
          Is there any harm or any false doctrine in that? A great many say
          there is. If there is, it is all in the Bible.
          When I first commenced to preach to the people, nearly forty
          years ago, to believe the Bible was the great requisite. I have
          heard some make the broad assertion that every word within the
          lids of the Bible was the word of God. I have said to them, "You
          have never read the Bible, have you?" "O, yes, and I believe
          every word in it is the word of God." Well, I believe that the
          Bible contains the word of God, and the words of good men and the
          words of bad men; the words of good angels and the words of bad
          angels and words of the devil; and also the words uttered by the
          ass when he rebuked the prophet in his madness. I believe the
          words of the Bible are just what they are; but aside from that I
          believe the doctrines concerning salvation contained in that book
          are true, and that their observance will elevate any people,
          nation or family that dwells on the face of the earth. The
          doctrines contained in the Bible will lift to a superior
          condition all who observe them; they will impart to them
          knowledge, wisdom, charity, fill them with compassion and cause
          them to feel after the wants of those who are in distress, or in
          painful or degraded circumstances. They who observe the precepts
          contained in the Scriptures will be just and true, and virtuous
          and peaceable at home and abroad. Follow out the doctrines of the
          Bible and men will make splendid husbands, women excellent wives,
          and children will be obedient; they will make families happy and
          the nations wealthy and happy and lifted up above the things of
          this life. Can any see any harm in all this? "Oh, but you Mormons
          are such a strange people. It is true that we have found things
          in Utah different from what we expected, but still you people are
          so strange!" Why, what did you expect? Did you expect to see men
          and women with fins like fishes? We are right from your
          country--from England, France, Germany, Massachusetts, Maine, New
          Hampshire, Vermont, New York, from the South, from every State in
          the Union; what did you expect to see? We lived with you, went to
          school and to meeting with you; but still the saying is, "Oh, the
          Mormons are a strange people." It is true that we are; but in
          what does our peculiarity consist? We do not believe in
          litigation, quarreling, or in having contention with each other.
          We take the low and degraded and lift them up. If it would be any
          satisfaction to any man in the world to know what advantages
          President Young has had, I will say that I used to have the
          privilege of cutting down the hemlock, beech and maple trees with
          my father and my brothers: and then rolling them together,
          burning the logs, splitting the rails, and fencing the little
          fields. I wonder if any of you ever did this? You who came from
          England, or from the rich prairies of Illinois or Missouri never
          did. Well, this was my education. "Did you not go to school?"
          Yes; I went eleven days, that was the extent of my schooling.
          Now, if we can take the low and degraded and elevate them in
          their feelings, language and manners; if we can impart to them
          the sciences that are in the world, teach them all that books
          contain, and in addition to all this, teach them principles that
          are eternal, and calculated to make them a beautiful community,
          lovely in their appearance, intelligent in every sense of the
          word, would you not say that our system is praiseworthy and
          possesses great merit? Well, this is all in that book called the
          Bible, and the faithful observance of the principles taught in
          that book will do this for any family or nation on the earth.
          We are not anxious to obtain gold; if we can obtain it by raising
          potatoes and wheat, all right. "Can't you make yourselves rich by
          speculating?" We do not wish to. "Can't you make yourselves rich
          by going to the gold mines?" We are right in the midst of them.
          "Why don't you dig the gold from the earth?" Because it
          demoralizes any community or nation on the earth to give them
          gold and silver to their hearts' content; it will ruin any
          nation. But give them iron and coal, good hard work, plenty to
          eat, good schools and good doctrine, and it will make them a
          healthy, wealthy and happy people.
          This is the great mystery with regard to the Latter-day Saints.
          We have got a code of laws that the Lord Almighty has left on
          record in the book called the Old and New Testaments. This same
          code is contained in the Book of Mormon, also in another book we
          have, called the Book of Doctrine and Covenants. These doctrines
          are taught in all these books, and taught alike.
          Now then, does the voice of the Lord, as heard from the heavens,
          ever teach men and women to do wrong? Never. You see a man or
          woman, in any community, no matter where they are or who they
          are, that is inclined to do a wrong act to themselves or anybody
          else, and they profess to do that under a religious influence,
          and you may know that their ideas of religion are false. Ladies
          and gentlemen, write that down. His religion is false who does
          not have love to God and to his fellow-creatures; who does not
          cherish holiness of heart, purity of life, and sanctification,
          that he may be prepared to enter again into the presence of the
          Father and the Son.
          The question was asked a great many times of Joseph Smith, by
          gentlemen who came to see him and his people, "How is it that you
          can control your people so easily? It appears that they do
          nothing but what you say; how is it that you can govern them so
          easily?" Said he, "I do not govern them at all. The Lord has
          revealed certain principles from the heavens by which we are to
          live in these latter days. The time is drawing near when the Lord
          is going to gather out His people from the wicked, and He is
          going to cut short His work in righteousness, and the principles
          which He has revealed I have taught to the people and they are
          trying to live according to them, and they control themselves."
          Gentlemen, this is the great secret now in controlling this
          people. It is thought that I control them, but it is not so. It
          is as much as I can do to control myself and to keep myself
          straight and teach the people the principles by which they should
          live. Do all do it? No, and the consequence is we see wickedness
          in the land. Men do very wrong. Who is guilty? The Lord? No. The
          religion we have embraced? No. The counsel we have given? No. I
          have had the question asked me, in the days of Joseph, "Mr.
          Young, I suppose that you would obey Joseph Smith, let him tell
          you to do what he might?" "Well, I think I would." "Suppose that
          he should tell you to kill your neighbor or to steal, or to do
          this, that or the other, that is wrong, would you do it?" I would
          reply, "Wait till I am told. I have never yet been told from
          heaven, by Joseph Smith, the Old or New Testament, the Book of
          Mormon or the Book of Doctrine and Covenants, to do a wrong
          thing; and I will wait until I am, before I say what I would do;
          that is time enough."
          "Well, have you not committed wrong?" I may have committed a
          great many wrongs for want of judgment or wisdom--a little here
          and a little there. "But have you not done great wrongs?" I have
          not. I know what is in the hearts of almost every person who
          comes to this city. It is hurled throughout the length and
          breadth of our country like lightning that Brigham Young and the
          "Mormons" are guilty of doing this, that and the other, I need
          not reiterate; and it is often asked, "Have not you Mormons been
          guilty of this or that crime or evil?" I answer, no, ladies and
          gentlemen, we have not. It is the wicked who do these crimes; it
          is men who will go to hell; and then they try to palm them off on
          the just and righteous. You can imagine what you please of the
          stories you have read about the people of Utah from the pens of
          every lying scribbler who has been here. Imagine what you please,
          but write this down, publish it in your little paper (the
          Trans-Continental), that a Saint will never do wrong if he knows
          it. If a man will do a wrong thing wilfully, he is not a Saint.
          When you hear of Brigham Young, and of his brethren who are in
          the faith of the holy Gospel, doing this wrong and that wrong,
          wait until you find out the truth before you publish it to the
          We have been asked a good many times, "Why do you not publish the
          truth in regard to these lies which are circulated about you?" We
          might do this if we owned all the papers published in
          Christendom. Who will publish a letter from me or my brethren?
          Who will publish the truth from us? If it gets into one paper, it
          is slipped under the counter or somewhere else; but it never gets
          into a second. They will send forth lies concerning us very
          readily. The old adage is that a lie will creep through the
          keyhole and go a thousand miles while truth is getting out of
          doors; and our experience has proved this. We have not the
          influence and power necessary to refute the falsehoods circulated
          about us. We depend on God, who sits in the heavens. Our trust is
          in Him who created the heavens, who formed the earth, and who has
          brought forth His children on the earth, and who has given the
          intelligence which they possess. He has given them the privilege
          of choosing for themselves, whether it be good or evil; but the
          result of our choice is still in His hand. All His children have
          the right of making a path for themselves, of walking to the
          right or to the left, of telling the truth or that which is not
          true. This right God has given to all people who dwell on the
          earth, and they can legislate and act as they please; but God
          holds them in His hands, and He will bring forth the results to
          His glory, and for the benefit of those who love and serve Him,
          and He will make the wrath of men to praise Him. All of us are in
          the hands of that God. We are all His children. We are His sons
          and daughters naturally, and by the principles of eternal life.
          We are brethren and sisters. What is it that makes the
          distinctions we see in the classes of the children of men? We see
          the low and the degraded, like the aborigines of our country;
          what is the cause of their being in their present condition? It
          is because of the rejection by their fathers of the Gospel of the
          Son of God. The Gospel brings intelligence, happiness, and glory
          to all who obey it and live according to its precepts. It will
          give them intelligence that comes from God. Their minds will be
          open so as to understand things as they are; they will rejoice in
          being blessed themselves and in blessing their fellow beings, and
          in being prepared to re-enter the presence of the Father and the
          Son. This will be their delight. Is this so? It is.
          I was very much gratified a day or two ago with a little
          circumstance that transpired while a company of ladies and
          gentlemen were visiting me. We were talking over some
          circumstances relating to our coming to the valleys, and our
          hardships after we got here. I said it was faith in the Lord
          Jesus Christ that enabled us to endure. A lady present said,
          "That is right, I believe in exercising faith in him. Have faith
          in God, for God will bless all who have faith in Him, no matter
          who they are nor by whom called; if you have faith in God, and
          live according to the light you have, God will lead you to
          I delight to hear a person give an intimation of their having
          faith in God; to hear it said, "I believe in Jesus Christ. I
          believe in his crucifixion and atonement, and in his ordinances."
          These ordinances we are trying to live, that we may glorify God,
          and prepare ourselves to build up His Zion on the earth, that the
          world may be filled with peace, knowledge and joy.
          God help us to do so!
          Journal of Discourses / Journal of Discourses, Volume 13 / Orson
          Hyde, October 6, 1869
                             rson Hyde, October 6, 1869
                             REMARKS BY ELDER ORSON HYDE,
          Delivered in the New Tabernacle, Salt Lake City, October 6, 1869.
                            (Reported by John Grimshaw.)
                         THE RIGHT TO LEAD THE CHURCH, ETC.
          Being requested to make a few remarks to the Saints at the
          present time, I have risen with cheerfulness to add my testimony
          to what has been said, and to speak a few words more in relation
          to the Church and kingdom of God, and the Gospel of Jesus Christ
          His Son. I rejoice in the opportunity of meeting with the Saints
          and seeing their friendly faces, which beam as though their
          hearts felt glad to associate together--to commune one with
          another, and to hear what the Lord may say through His servants
          who may be called upon to address you. Brethren and sisters, the
          feelings of my heart are--The Lord bless you, and pour His Spirit
          upon you and upon all His Saints everywhere.
          I have listened with interest to the remarks that have been made.
          I rejoice in anything that goes to advance the cause of Zion; and
          I know of no one thing more potent to that effect than our living
          by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God. And I
          apprehend that, if the Saints will listen to the words of counsel
          and unto the commandments of God, no very serious inroads will
          ever be made upon us, either by contestants for the supremacy in
          this kingdom, or by Congress itself. These are my feelings.
          I became connected with the Church of God on the 31st day of
          October, 1831. I do not know how many there are now living that
          can date their connection with the Church to an earlier period
          than this. There is one, and perhaps there are two, that I know
          of, I know of no more; still, I cannot say in relation to this.
          Now, if I had only improved upon the time that has been allotted
          to me, and gained the experience I might have gained, perhaps I
          would have been further in advance than I am at the present time.
          But I am not discouraged; I have no feeling to linger or flag,
          but feel to persevere and to do all I can for the building up of
          the Zion of our God.
          I apprehend, brethren and sisters, that there are faithful
          witnesses in this Church who have lived with the Prophet--who
          have travelled with him, who have eaten with him, who have slept
          with him, who have preached and prayed with him, and have been as
          familiar with him as a child ever was with his father. There are,
          I say, witnesses that lived contemporary with him, who will
          continue to live and be able to bear a faithful testimony to the
          truth, until the kingdom can take care of itself, or God will
          take care of it. I tell you that light will come upon you pretty
          soon--the glorious light of heaven. Be patient, enduring--the sun
          will rise and darkness will flee away. By and by, true to the
          word of promise, the sun does rise, and darkness flees away; and
          the sun ascends to the meridian, and his rays illuminate the
          whole face of nature. You can then see, you can then appreciate
          the word of promise. Would it be any satisfaction to you if I
          were to continue and tell you that the sun does shine? It shines
          in the face of you all. You have no need of my testimony, you
          have no need of my assurance. It displays its light to all the
          world, and you behold it, and no one could convince you that the
          sun does not shine.
          So let me say here, that there are faithful witnesses, who will
          testify to the truth, that lived contemporary with Joseph, the
          martyred prophet; and they will continue to live and testify till
          this kingdom can take care of itself. What do you mean by the
          kingdom taking care of itself? I mean that the veil which is now
          cast over the world will be rent asunder, and every eye will see
          and every heart feel. Then the kingdom can take care of itself,
          and have no need of witnesses to prove that the sun shines. Well,
          then, if the veil of the covering which has caused so great
          darkness is rent in twain, and the whole people, as it were, see
          as they are seen and know as they are known, have they any
          particular use for the testimony of a feeble mortal, that the
          power of God, in streams of light from on high, is being poured
          down upon the children of God on earth? Why it is a character of
          evidence beyond the feeble voice of mortals.
          I apprehend that, so long as these witnesses remain, it will be a
          pretty hard matter for Congress or for apostates to make many
          inroads upon the truth, while the servants of the Most High,
          inspired by the Spirit of God, stand like a flaming sword to
          guard the way of the Tree of Life.
          I will tell you, brethren and sisters, the Apostleship is of some
          importance to the Saints of God; but I will say, furthermore,
          that it is very satisfactory to me when I call to mind the
          remarks of the Prophet Joseph Smith. I will give you my
          testimony. In one particular place, in the presence of about
          sixty men, he said, "My work is about done; I am going to step
          aside awhile. I am going to rest from my labors; for I have borne
          the burthen and heat of the day, and now I am going to step aside
          and rest a little. And I roll the burthen off my shoulders on the
          shoulders of the Twelve Apostles. Now," said he, "round up your
          shoulders and bear off this kingdom." Has he ever said this to
          any one else? I do not know; I do not care. It is enough for me
          to know that he said it to the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles. And
          since that time we have endeavored to do our duty and perform the
          work that was given us to do.
          We did not consider, at the time he bore this testimony, that he
          was going to die or be taken from us; but we considered that as
          he had been borne down with excessive labors, by day and night,
          he was going to retire to rest and regain his health, and we
          should act under his direction and bear the responsibility of the
          work. But when the fatal news came to us, in the Eastern States,
          that he, with his brother Hyrum, had been massacred in Carthage
          jail, I will tell you it brought his words home to our minds, and
          we could then realize that he had spoken in sober earnest; and
          the twelve men upon whom he had conferred this power, then
          stepped forth and took their position. When the Twelve, united
          heart and soul, stepped forth, everything yielded before them.
          Well, now, I will give it as the feelings of my heart--and if I
          am wrong, I can be corrected right here--that no one need be
          curious or anxious as to who is going to lead and guide this
          people. I will tell you that as long as God has a Church on the
          earth, He will govern it. Now I will tell you a little of my
          feelings in relation to it. I know that when President Young
          returned with the Twelve to Nauvoo, he gathered them around him,
          and said he, "I want you to disperse among the congregation and
          feel the pulse of the people, while I go upon the stand and
          We went among the congregation and President Young went on the
          stand. Well, he spoke, and his words went through me like
          electricity. "Am I mistaken?" said I, "or is it really the voice
          of Joseph Smith?" This is my testimony; it was not only the voice
          of Joseph, but there were the features, the gestures and even the
          stature of Joseph before us in the person of Brigham. And though
          it may be said that President Young is a complete mimic, and can
          mimic anybody, I would like to see the man who can mimic another
          in stature who was about four or five inches higher than himself.
          Every one in the congregation--every one who was inspired by the
          Spirit of the Lord--felt it. They knew it. They realized it.
          I sat myself down in the midst of the congregation, with my two
          wives, whom Joseph had given and sealed to me. When President
          Young began to speak, one of them said, "It is the voice of
          Joseph! It is Joseph Smith!" The exclamation of the other was, "I
          do not see him, where is he?" Well, the thought occurred to my
          mind respecting the Scripture which President Young has just
          quoted--"My sheep know my voice and follow me." Where is the one
          that recognized the voice of Joseph in President Young? Where is
          she? She is in the line of her duty. But where is the other? Gone
          where I wish she were not. The sheep of the good shepherd will
          follow the voice they know, but they will not follow the voice of
          a stranger.
          Now this was a manifestation of the power of the Almighty--it was
          the power of God resting on an individual in the eyes of all the
          people, not only in feature and voice, but actually in stature.
          This is my testimony. I might go on and add many more
          testimonies. I recollect reading that when our Savior was
          baptized by John in the Jordan, the Spirit of the Lord descended
          and rested upon him in the form of a dove, and a voice from
          heaven was heard, saying, "This is my beloved Son, in whom I am
          well pleased. Hear ye him."
          Well, now, it did not depend upon argument, it did not depend
          upon reason. The voice of the Almighty--the form of a dove
          descending and resting upon him, were sufficient evidence to
          prove he was the Son of God. Argument was out of the question.
          Did it require argument to prove that brother Brigham Young held
          the position of Joseph, the martyred Prophet? Did it require
          proof that Joseph was there in the person of Brigham, speaking
          with an angel's voice? It required no argument; with those who
          feared God and loved truth, it required none.
          Well, now, we have the consolation to know that, whatever changes
          may take place in the government of the Church and kingdom of
          God, we shall not be left in the dark nor will our destiny be
          suspended on the frailty of argument; but I believe that whatever
          changes take place will be brought about by a power that every
          child of God will recognize.
          These are the feelings of my heart; and consequently I dismiss
          every anxiety in relation to it. It is for me to live my religion
          and honor my God, and to let Him steady His own ark. Let me do my
          duty and all will work for the best. This is how I feel,
          brethren. When I began to speak, I had quite an argument fixed up
          in my mind, but I cannot touch it now, and it is useless to try.
          I will say, however, that it is all summed up in the excellent
          quotation made by our President--"My sheep know my voice and will
          follow me; but a stranger they will not follow, for they know not
          the voice of strangers."
          We must learn, brethren and sisters, to be wise. We must learn to
          let the world alone. The Lord has brought us out from the
          nations. Said He, "Come out of her, my people, that ye be not
          partakers of her sins and receive not of her plagues." Now, why
          should we ever have any lingering desire for any connection with
          the world again? Will we invite them here and scatter our means
          among them, and put a weapon in their hands to destroy us?
          An illustrious visitor, the only one second in office in the
          United States, expressed a desire that we should see the
          necessity of inviting men of capital to our midst, to aid in
          developing the resources of the country, thereby making our
          Territory a great commercial centre. The Lord knows His own
          business best, and He will conduct it in a manner and way that
          will please Him. I apprehend He will take care of His people. And
          if we will do His will and keep His commandments, He will provide
          for us; and we may yet learn, in the midst of all our reasoning
          and argument, that God has never yet desired us to live after the
          manner of the world. It is for us to keep His commandments and He
          will provide for His children. He will provide for His servants.
          Brethren and sisters, you will see the servants of God will have
          joy at heart; but the enemies of righteousness will have sorrow.
          It is well for us to adhere to the principle of co-operation and
          everything else that is calculated to advance our interests as a
          people. It is well for us to adhere to the teachings that we
          receive, and let our enemies and outsiders alone. Is there
          anything wrong in our concentrating our time and means in a
          certain channel? Can we not trade where and with whom we will?
          Are we doing any one any injustice in this? No. Have we the
          Constitutional right to invest our capital wherever we like? Yes,
          we have the Constitutional right. Is it my Constitutional right
          to get all the power and influence that I can? Yes, it is. Is
          there anything unlawful in it? Nothing at all. I will venture to
          say that the Hon. Vice President would not object, to-day, to
          have influence over all the citizens of the United States. He
          would not object to it at all; neither would any other
          We say there is nothing unlawful in Brigham Young getting all the
          influence that he can; but they want him out of the way. They are
          not willing--they cannot be willing, to see a man who has earned
          the position he occupies, use his influence for the welfare,
          elevation and advancement of the people. They want to occupy it
          themselves, and they are jealous.
          I do not feel to detain you a great while, brethren and sisters,
          but there are two or three things in my mind that I wish to make
          known. Congress, it is said, is going to give the people "their
          rights!" I wonder why they never thought of giving us our rights?
          That is another thing; it is a horse of another color. But our
          rights are safe. Our rights are in the hands of God; and we will
          trust in Him for them; and when He does give them to us, He will
          give them on a large scale.
               Brother George A. Smith was computing the interest and
          indebtedness of Missouri to us; but I tell you when the Lord pays
          us up, it will be a "big" reward. Be patient, live your religion,
          and when the Almighty does reward, it will be on a large scale.
          And now let me give you my feelings in relation to the
          interference of the Government of the United States. What do they
          want to interfere with us for? Whom have we injured? Have we
          injured any one? Have we done wrong to any one, Jew or Gentile?
          Have we done wrong to the Indians? Have we done wrong in
          cultivating the soil, and in making this barren and waste desert
          fertile? What wrong have we done, that it is necessary for
          Congress to interfere? They say, "We are afraid you intend to do
          wrong." Well, then you punish us in advance for the wrong we have
          not done. They say, "You are guilty of practising polygamy."
          Well, now, this is only one feather in the bird; only one single
          feather. I will tell you, everything is wrong about us in their
          estimation. It is wrong of us to get such an influence on the
          earth, both at home and abroad. And the reason why so much is
          said about polygamy, is because it is the only handle that they
          think they can get hold of; but they will discover that even this
          is so doubtful, in the eye of Constitutional law, that it can
          give them no assurance of success against us; and they will find
          it the very principle that will break in pieces the power that
          would set it aside.
          I would not say that I am speaking now as a representative of the
          minds of the Latter-day Saints as a body; I wish merely to
          express my own sentiments and feelings, and if I say anything
          that is wrong, let me be corrected for it right here. I will tell
          you that, just in proportion as any power, whether the United
          States or any other nation, seeks to hinder or oppose the
          progress of the Latter-day Saints, or lay any stumbling block in
          their way, the Lord will lay two stumbling blocks in their way,
          to their laying one in ours.
          We have something more potent than our own arm to defend us--we
          have the arm of Jehovah pledged for our protection. He will make
          bare His arm in the eyes of the nations, and they will feel it.
          It is getting too late in the day. The battle is too far
          Then let us, as Latter-day Saints, be filled with reverence for
          the kingdom of God--for His laws and institutions; remembering
          our prayers, being faithful, doing our duty in all things, and
          the Lord will bear off His kingdom. God bless you. Amen.
          Journal of Discourses / Journal of Discourses, Volume 13 / Orson
          Pratt, October 7, 1869
                            Orson Pratt, October 7, 1869
                           DISCOURSE BY ELDER ORSON PRATT,
          Delivered in the New Tabernacle, Salt Lake City, October 7, 1869.
                            (Reported by David W. Evans.)
                                 CELESTIAL MARRIAGE.
          It was announced at the close of the forenoon meeting that I
          would address the congregation this afternoon upon the subject of
          Celestial Marriage; I do so with the greatest pleasure.
          In the first place, let us inquire whether it is lawful and
          right, according to the Constitution of our country, to examine
          and practice this Bible doctrine? Our fathers, who framed the
          Constitution of our country devised it so as to give freedom of
          religious worship of the Almighty God; so that all people under
          our Government should have the inalienable right--a right by
          virtue of the Constitution--to believe in any Bible principle
          which the Almighty has revealed in any age of the world to the
          human family. I do not think, however, that our forefathers, in
          framing that instrument, intended to embrace all the religions of
          the world. I mean the idolatrous and Pagan religions. They say
          nothing about those religions in the Constitution; but they give
          the express privilege in that instrument to all people dwelling
          under this Government and under the institutions of our country,
          to believe in all things which the Almighty has revealed to the
          human family. There is no restriction nor limitation so far as
          Bible religion is concerned, or any principle or form of religion
          believed to have emanated from the Almighty; yet they would not
          admit idolatrous nations to come here and practice their
          religion, because it is not included in the Bible; it is not the
          religion of the Almighty. Those people worship idols, the work of
          their own hands, they have instituted rights and ceremonies
          pertaining to those idols, in the observance of which they, no
          doubt, suppose they are worshipping correctly and sincerely, yet
          some of them are of the most revolting and barbarous character.
          Such, for instance, as the offering up of a widow on a funeral
          pile, as a burnt sacrifice, in order to follow her husband into
          the eternal worlds. That is no part of the religion mentioned in
          the Constitution of our country, it is no part of the religion of
          the Almighty God.
          But confining ourselves within the limits of the Constitution,
          and coming back to the religion of the Bible, we have the
          privilege to believe in the Patriarchal, in the Mosaic, or in the
          Christian order of things; for the God of the patriarchs, and the
          God of Moses is also the Christians' God.
          It is true that many laws were given under the Patriarchal or
          Mosaic dispensations, against certain crimes, the penalties for
          violating which, religious bodies, under our Constitution, have
          not the right to inflict. The Government has reserved, in its own
          hands, the power, so far as affixing the penalties of certain
          crimes is concerned.
          In ancient times there was a law strictly enforcing the
          observance of the Sabbath day, and the man or woman who violated
          that law was subjected to the punishment of death. Ecclesiastical
          bodies have the right, under our Government and Constitution, to
          observe the Sabbath day or to disregard it, but they have not the
          right to inflict corporeal punishment for its non-observance.
          The subject proposed to be investigated this afternoon is that of
          Celestial Marriage, as believed in by the Latter-day Saints, and
          which they claim is strictly a Bible doctrine and part of the
          revealed religion of the Almighty. It is well known by all the
          Latter-day Saints that we have not derived all our knowledge
          concerning God, heaven, angels, this life and the life to come
          entirely from the books of the Bible; yet we believe that all of
          our religious principles and notions are in accordance with and
          are sustained by the Bible; consequently, though we believe in
          new revelation, and believe that God has revealed many things
          pertaining to our religion, we also believe that He has revealed
          none that are inconsistent with the worship of Almighty God, a
          sacred right guaranteed to all religious denominations by the
          Constitution of our country.
          God created man, male and female. He is the Author of our
          existence. He placed us on this creation. He ordained laws to
          govern us. He gave to man, whom He created, a helpmeet--a woman,
          a wife to be one with him, to be a joy and a comfort to him; and
          also for another very great and wise purpose--namely, that the
          human species might be propagated on this creation, that the
          earth might teem with population according to the decree of God
          before the foundation of the world, that the intelligent spirits
          whom He had formed and created, before this world was rolled into
          existence, might have their probation, might have an existence in
          fleshly bodies on this planet, and be governed by laws emanating
          from their great Creator. In the breast of male and female He
          established certain qualities and attributes that never will be
          eradicated--namely, love towards each other. Love comes from God.
          The love which man possesses for the opposite sex came from God.
          The same God who created the two sexes implanted in the hearts of
          each love towards the other. What was the object of placing this
          passion or affection within the hearts of male and female? It was
          in order to carry out, so far as this world was concerned, His
          great and eternal purposes pertaining to the future. But He not
          only did establish this principle in the heart of man and woman,
          but gave divine laws to regulate them in relation to this passion
          or affection, that they might be limited and prescribed in the
          exercise of it towards each other. He therefore ordained the
          Marriage Institution. The marriage that was instituted in the
          first place was between two immortal beings, hence it was
          marriage for eternity in the very first case which we have
          recorded for an example. Marriage for eternity was the order God
          instituted on our globe; as early as the Garden of Eden; as early
          as the day when our first parents were placed in the garden to
          keep it and till it, they, as two immortal beings, were united in
          the bonds of the new and everlasting covenant. This was before
          man fell, before the forbidden fruit was eaten, and before the
          penalty of death was pronounced upon the heads of our first
          parents and all their posterity, hence, when God gave to Adam his
          wife Eve, He gave her to him as an immortal wife, and there was
          no end contemplated of the relation they held to each other as
          husband and wife.
          By and by, after this marriage had taken place, they transgressed
          the law of God, and by reason of that transgression the penalty
          of death came not only upon them, but also upon all their
          posterity. Death, in its operations, tore asunder, as it were,
          these two beings who had hitherto been immortal, and if God had
          not, before the foundation of the world, provided a plan for
          redemption, they would, perhaps, have been torn asunder for ever;
          but inasmuch as a plan of redemption had been provided, by which
          man could be rescued from the effects of the fall, Adam and Eve
          were restored to that condition of union, in respect to
          immortality, from which they had been separated for a short
          season of time by death. The Atonement reached after them and
          brought forth their bodies from the dust, and restored them as
          husband and wife, to all the privileges that were pronounced upon
          them before the Fall.
               That was eternal marriage; that was lawful marriage ordained
          by God. That was the divine institution which was revealed and
          practiced in the early period of our globe. How has it been since
          that day? Mankind have strayed from that order of things, or, at
          least, they have done so in latter times. We hear nothing among
          the religious societies of the world which profess to believe in
          the Bible about this marriage for eternity. It is among the
          things that are obsolete. Now all marriages are consummated until
          death only; they do not believe in that great pattern and
          prototype established in the beginning; hence we never hear of
          their official characters, whether civil or religious, uniting
          men and women in the capacity of husband and wife as immortal
          beings. No, they marry as mortal beings only, and until death
          does them part.
          What is to become of them after death? What will take place among
          all those nations who have been marrying for centuries for time
          only? Do both men and women receive a resurrection? Do they come
          forth with all the various affections, attributes and passions
          that God gave them in the beginning? Does the male come forth
          from the grave with all the attributes of a man? Does the female
          come forth from her grave with all the attributes of a woman? If
          so, what is their future destiny? Is there no object or purpose
          in this new creation, save to give them life, a state of
          existence? or is there a more important object in view, in the
          mind of God, in thus creating them anew? Will that principle of
          love which exists now, and which has existed from the beginning,
          exist after the resurrection? I mean this sexual love. If that
          existed before the Fall, and if it has existed since then, will
          it exist in the eternal worlds after the resurrection? This is a
          very important question to be decided.
          We read in the revelations of God that there are various classes
          of beings in the eternal worlds. There are some who are kings,
          priests, and Gods, others that are angels; and also among them
          are the orders denominated celestial, terrestrial, and telestial.
          God, however, according to the faith of the Latter-day Saints,
          has ordained that the highest order and class of beings that
          should exist in the eternal worlds should exist in the capacity
          of husbands and wives, and that they alone should have the
          privilege of propagating their species--intelligent immortal
          beings. Now it is wise, no doubt, in the Great Creator to thus
          limit this great and heavenly principle to those who have arrived
          or come to the highest state of exaltation, excellency, wisdom,
          knowledge, power, glory, and faithfulness, to dwell in His
          presence, that they by this means shall be prepared to bring up
          their spirit offspring in all pure and holy principles in the
          eternal worlds, in order that they may be made happy.
          Consequently, He does not entrust this privilege of multiplying
          spirits with the terrestrial or telestial, or the lower order of
          beings there, nor with angels. But why not? Because they have not
          proved themselves worthy of this great privilege. We might
          reason, of the eternal worlds, as some of the enemies of polygamy
          may reason of this state of existence, and say that there are
          just as many males as females there, some celestial, some
          terrestrial, and some telestial; and why not have all these
          paired off, two by two? Because God administers His gifts and His
          blessings to those who are most faithful, giving them more
          bountifully to the faithful, and taking away from the unfaithful
          that with which they had been entrusted, and which they had not
          improved upon. That is the order of God in the eternal worlds,
          and if such an order exists there, it may in a degree exist here.
          When the sons and daughters of the Most High God come forth in
          the morning of the resurrection, this principle of love will
          exist in their bosoms just as it exists here, only intensified
          according to the increased knowledge and understanding which they
          possess; hence they will be capacitated to enjoy the
          relationships of husband and wife, of parents and children, in a
          hundred fold degree greater than they could in mortality. We are
          not capable, while surrounded with the weaknesses of our flesh,
          to enjoy these eternal principles in the same degree that will
          then exist. Shall these principles of conjugal and parental love
          and affection be thwarted in the eternal worlds? Shall they be
          rooted out and overcome? No, most decidedly not. According to the
          religious notions of the world these principles will not exist
          after the resurrection; but our religion teaches the fallacy of
          such notions. It is true that we read in the New Testament that
          in the resurrection they neither marry nor are given in marriage,
          but are as the angels in heaven. These are the words of our
          Savior when he was addressing himself to a very wicked class of
          people, the Sadducees, a portion of the Jewish nation, who
          rejected Jesus, and the counsel of God against their own souls.
          They had not attained to the blessings and privileges of their
          fathers, but had apostatized; and Jesus, in speaking to them,
          says that in the resurrection they neither marry nor are given in
          marriage, but are as the angels of God.
          Now, how are the angels of God after the resurrection? According
          to the revelations which God has given, there are different
          classes of angels. Some angels are Gods, and still possess the
          lower office called angels. Adam is called an Archangel, yet he
          is a God. Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, no doubt, have the right to
          officiate in the capacity of angels if they choose, but still
          they have ascended to their exaltation, to a higher state than
          that of angels--namely, to thrones, kingdoms, principalities and
          powers, to reign over kingdoms and to hold the everlasting
          Priesthood. Then there is another order of angels who never have
          ascended to these powers and dignities, to this greatness and
          exaltation in the presence of God. Who are they? Those who never
          received the everlasting covenant of marriage for eternity; those
          who have not continued in nor received that law with all their
          hearts, or who, perhaps have fought against it. They become
          angels. They have no power to increase and extend forth to
          kingdoms. They have no wives, no husbands, and they are servants
          to those that sit upon thrones and rule over kingdoms, and are
          counted worthy of a far more exceeding and eternal weight of
          glory. These, no doubt, were the kind of angels Jesus had
          reference to when speaking to those ungodly classes of beings
          called Sadducees and Pharisees, one of which denied the doctrine
          of the resurrection altogether.
          There is a difference between the classes of angels called
          celestial, terrestrial and telestial. The celestial angels have
          not attained to all of the power and greatness and exaltation of
          kings and priests in the presence of God; they are blessed with
          glory, happiness, peace and joy; but they are not blessed with
          the privilege of increasing their posterity to all ages of
          eternity, neither have they thrones and kingdoms, but they are
          servants to those of the highest order. The angels of the
          terrestrial and telestial orders, while possessing a degree of
          happiness and glory, are lower than those of the celestial order.
          We might inquire, have angels not also these affections which
          belong to the higher class of beings, inasmuch as they are
          resurrected beings? Yes, but herein they have lost, through
          disobedience, the privilege of attaining to the higher glory and
          exaltation. They have affections and desires that never can be
          gratified, and in this respect their glory is not full.
          I am talking, to-day, to Latter-day Saints; I am not reasoning
          with unbelievers. If I were, I should appeal more fully to the
          Old Testament Scriptures to bring in arguments and testimonies to
          prove the divine authenticity of polygamic marriages. Perhaps I
          may touch upon this for a few moments, for the benefit of
          strangers, should there be any in our midst. Let me say, then,
          that God's people, under every dispensation since the creation of
          the world, have, generally, been polygamists. I say this for the
          benefit of strangers. According to the good old book called the
          Bible, when God saw proper to call out Abraham from all the
          heathen nations, and made him a great man in the world, He saw
          proper, also, to make him a polygamist, and approbated him in
          taking unto himself more wives than one. Was it wrong in Abraham
          to do this thing? If it were, when did God reprove him for so
          doing? When did He ever reproach Jacob for doing the same thing?
          Who can find the record in the lids of the Bible of God reproving
          Abraham, as being a sinner, and having committed a crime, in
          taking to himself two living wives? No such thing is recorded. He
          was just as much blessed after doing this thing as before, and
          more so, for God promised blessings upon the issue of Abraham by
          his second wife the same as that of the first wife, providing he
          was equally faithful. This was a proviso in every case.
          When we come down to Jacob, the Lord permitted him to take four
          wives. They are so called in Holy Writ. They are not denominated
          prostitutes, neither are they called concubines, but they are
          called wives, legal wives; and to show that God approved of the
          course of Jacob in taking these wives, He blessed them
          abundantly, and hearkened to the prayer of the second wife just
          the same as the first. Rachel was the second wife of Jacob, and
          our great mother; for you know that many of the Latter-day Saints
          by revelation know themselves to be the descendants of Joseph,
          and he was the son of Rachel, the second wife of Jacob. God in a
          peculiar manner blessed the posterity of this second wife.
          Instead of condemning the old patriarch, He ordained that Joseph,
          the first-born of this second wife, should be considered the
          first-born of all the twelve tribes, and into his hands was given
          the double birthright, according to the laws of the ancients. And
          yet he was the offspring of plurality--of the second wife of
          Jacob. Of course, if Reuben, who was indeed the first-born unto
          Jacob, had conducted himself properly, he might have retained the
          birthright and the greater inheritance; but he lost that through
          his transgression, and it was given to a polygamic child, who had
          the privilege of inheriting the blessing to the utmost bounds of
          the everlasting hills--the great continent of North and South
          America was conferred upon him. Another proof that God did not
          disapprove of a man having more wives than one, is to be found in
          the fact that Rachel, after she had been a long time barren,
          prayed to the Lord to give her seed. The Lord hearkened to her
          cry and granted her prayer; and when she received seed from the
          Lord by her polygamic husband, she exclaimed, "The Lord hath
          hearkened unto me and hath answered my prayer." Now do you think
          the Lord would have done this if he had considered polygamy a
          crime? Would He have hearkened to the prayer of this woman if
          Jacob had been living with her in adultery? and he certainly was
          doing so if the ideas of this generation are correct.
          Again, what says the Lord in the days of Moses, under another
          dispensation? We have seen that in the days of Abraham, Isaac and
          Jacob, He approved of polygamy and blessed His servants who
          practised it, and also their wives and children. Now, let us come
          down to the days of Moses. We read that, on a certain occasion
          the sister of Moses, Miriam, and certain others in the great
          congregation of Israel, got very jealous. What were they jealous
          about? About the Ethiopian woman that Moses had taken to wife, in
          addition to the daughter of Jethro, whom he had taken before in
          the land of Midian. How dare the great law-giver, after having
          committed, according to the ideas of the present generation, a
          great crime, show his face on Mount Sinai when it was clothed
          with the glory of the God of Israel? But what did the Lord do in
          the case of Miriam, for finding fault with her brother Moses?
          Instead of saying, "You are right, Miriam, he has committed a
          great crime, and no matter how much you speak against him," He
          smote her with a leprosy the very moment she began to complain,
          and she was considered unclean for a certain number of days. Here
          the Lord manifested by the display of a signal judgment, that He
          disapproved of any one speaking against His servants for taking
          more wives than one, because it may not happen to suit their
          notions of things.
          I make these remarks and wish to apply them to fault-finders
          against plural marriages in our day. Are there any Miriams in our
          congregation to-day, any of those who, professing to belong to
          the Israel of the latter days, sometimes find fault with the man
          of God standing at their head, because he not only believes in
          but practices this divine institution of the ancients? If there
          be such in our midst, I say, remember Miriam the very next time
          you begin to talk with your neighboring women, or anybody else
          against this holy principle. Remember the awful curse and
          judgment that fell on the sister of Moses when she did the same
          thing, and then fear and tremble before God, lest He, in His
          wrath, may swear that you shall not enjoy the blessings ordained
          for those who inherit the highest degree of glory.
          Let us pass along to another instance under the dispensation of
          Moses. The Lord says, on a certain occasion, if a man have
          married two wives, and he should happen to hate one and love the
          other, is he to be punished--cast out and stoned to death as an
          adulterer? No; instead of the Lord denouncing him as an adulterer
          because of having two wives, He gave a commandment regulating the
          matter, so that this principle of hate in the mind of the man
          towards one of his wives should not control him in the important
          question of the division of his inheritance among his children,
          compelling him to give just as much to the son of the hated wife
          as to the son of the one beloved; and, if the son of the hated
          woman happened to be the first-born, he should actually inherit
          the double portion.
          Consequently, the Lord approved, not only the two wives, but
          their posterity also. Now, if the women had not been considered
          wives by the Lord, their children would have been bastards, and
          you know that He has said that bastards shall not enter into the
          congregation of the Lord, until the tenth generation, hence you
          see there is a great distinction between those whom the Lord
          calls legitimate or legal, and those who were bastards--begotten
          in adultery and whoredom. The latter, with their posterity, were
          shut out of the congregation of the Lord until the tenth
          generation, while the former were exalted to all the privileges
          of legitimate birthright.
          Again, under that same law and dispensation, we find that the law
          provided for another contingency among the hosts of Israel. In
          order that the inheritances of the families of Israel might not
          run into the hands of strangers, the Lord, in the book of
          Deuteronomy, gives a command that if a man die, leaving a wife,
          but no issue, his brother shall marry his widow and take
          possession of the inheritance; and to prevent this inheritance
          going out of the family a strict command was given that the widow
          should marry the brother or nearest living kinsman of her
          deceased husband. The law was in full force at the time of the
          introduction of Christianity--a great many centuries after it was
          given. The reasoning of the Sadducees on one occasion when
          conversing with Jesus proves that the law was then observed. Said
          they, "There were seven brethren who took a certain woman, each
          one taking her in succession after the death of the other," and
          they inquired of Jesus which of the seven would have her for a
          wife in the resurrection. The Sadducees, no doubt, used this
          figure to prove, as they thought, the fallacy of the doctrine of
          the resurrection, but it also proves that this law, given by the
          Creator while Israel walked acceptably before Him, was
          acknowledged by their wicked descendants in the days of the
          Savior. I merely quote the passage to show that the law was not
          considered obsolete at that time. A case like this, when six of
          the brethren had died, leaving the widow without issue, the
          seventh, whether married or unmarried, must fulfill this law and
          take the widow to wife, or lay himself liable to a severe
          penalty. What was that penalty? According to the testimony of the
          law of Moses he would be cursed, for Moses says, "Cursed be he
          that doth not all things according as it is written in this book
          of the law, and let all the people say Amen." There can be no
          doubt that many men in those days were compelled to be
          polygamists in the fulfilment of this law, for any man who would
          not take the childless wife of a deceased brother and marry her,
          would come under the tremendous curse recorded in the book of
          Deuteronomy, and all the people would be obliged to sanction the
          curse, because he would not obey the law of God and become a
          polygamist. They were not all Congressmen in those days, nor
          Presidents, nor Presbyterians, nor Methodists, nor Roman
          Catholics; but they were the people of God, governed by divine
          law, and were commanded to be polygamists; not merely suffered to
          be so, but actually commanded to be.
          There are some Latter-day Saints who, perhaps, have not searched
          these things as they ought, hence we occasionally find some who
          will say that God suffered these things to be. I will go further,
          and say that He commanded them, and He pronounced a curse, to
          which all the people had to say amen, if they did not fulfil the
          Coming down to the days of the prophets we find that they were
          polygamists; also to the days of the kings of Israel, whom God
          appointed Himself, and approbated and blessed. This was
          especially the case with one of them, named David, who, the Lord
          said, was a man after His own heart. David was called when yet a
          youth to reign over the whole twelve tribes of Israel; but Saul,
          the reigning king of Israel, persecuted him, and sought to take
          away his life. David fled from city to city throughout all the
          coasts of Judea in order to get beyond the reach of the
          relentless persecutions of Saul. While thus fleeing, the Lord was
          with him, hearing his prayers, answering his petitions, giving
          him line upon line, precept upon precept; permitting him to look
          into the Urim and Thummim and receive revelations, which enabled
          him to escape from his enemies.
          In addition to all these blessings that God bestowed upon him in
          his youth, before he was exalted to the throne, the Lord gave him
          eight wives; and after exalting him to the throne, instead of
          denouncing him for having many wives, and pronouncing him worthy
          of fourteen or twenty-one years of imprisonment, the Lord was
          with His servant David, and, thinking he had not wives enough He
          gave to him all the wives of his master Saul, in addition to the
          eight he had previously given him. Was the Lord to be considered
          a criminal, and worthy of being tried in a court of justice and
          sent to prison for thus increasing the polygamic relations of
          David? No, certainly not; it was in accordance with His own
          righteous laws, and He was with His servant, David the King, and
          blessed him. By and by, when David transgressed, not in taking
          other wives, but in taking the wife of another man, the anger of
          the Lord was kindled against him and He chastened him and took
          away all the blessings He had given him. All the wives David had
          received from the hand of God were taken from him. Why? Because
          he had committed adultery. Here then is a great distinction
          between adultery and plurality of wives. One brings honor and
          blessing to those who engage in it, the other degradation and
          After David had repented with all his heart of his crime with the
          wife of Uriah, he, notwithstanding the number of wives he had
          previously taken, took Bathsheba legally, and by that legal
          marriage Solomon was born; the child born of her unto David,
          begotten illegally, being a bastard, displeased the Lord and He
          struck it with death; but with Solomon, a legal issue from the
          same woman, the Lord was so pleased that He ordained Solomon and
          set him on the throne of his father David. This shows the
          difference between the two classes of posterity, the one begotten
          illegally, the other in the order of marriage. If Solomon had
          been a bastard, as this pious generation would have us suppose,
          instead of being blessed of the Lord and raised to the throne of
          his father, he would have been banished from the congregation of
          Israel and his seed after him for ten generations. But,
          notwithstanding that he was so highly blessed and honored of the
          Lord, there was room for him to transgress and fall, and in the
          end he did so. For a long time the Lord blessed Solomon, but
          eventually he violated that law which the Lord had given
          forbidding Israel to take wives from the idolatrous nations, and
          some of those wives succeeded in turning his heart from the Lord,
          and induced him to worship the heathen gods, and the Lord was
          angry with him and, as it is recorded in the Book of Mormon,
          considered the acts of Solomon an abomination in His sight.
          Let us now come to the record in the Book of Mormon, when the
          Lord led forth Lehi and Nephi, and Ishmael and his two sons and
          five daughters out of the land of Jerusalem to the land of
          America, the males and females were about equal in number. There
          was Nephi, Sam, Laman and Lemuel, the four sons of Lehi, and
          Zoram, brought out of Jerusalem. How many daughters of Ishmael
          were unmarried? Just five. Would it have been just under these
          circumstances to ordain plurality among them? No. Why? Because
          the males and females were equal in number and they were all
          under the guidance of the Almighty, hence it would have been
          unjust, and the Lord gave a revelation--the only one on record I
          believe--in which a command was ever given to any branch of
          Israel to be confined to the monogamic system. In this case the
          Lord through His servant Lehi, gave a command that they should
          have but one wife. The Lord had a perfect right to vary His
          commands in this respect according to circumstances as He did in
          others, as recorded in the Bible. There we find that the domestic
          relations were governed according to the mind and will of God,
          and were varied according to circumstances, as he thought proper.
          By and by, after the death of Lehi, some of his posterity began
          to disregard the strict law that God had given to their father,
          and took more wives than one, and the Lord put them in mind,
          through His servant Jacob, one of the sons of Lehi, of this law,
          and told them that they were transgressing it, and then referred
          to David and Solomon, as having committed abomination in His
          sight. The Bible also tells us that they sinned in the sight of
          God; not in taking wives legally, but only in those they took
          illegally, in doing which they brought wrath and condemnation
          upon their heads.
          But because the Lord dealt thus with the small branch of the
          House of Israel that came to America, under their peculiar
          circumstances, there are those at the present day who will appeal
          to this passage in the Book of Mormon as something universally
          applicable in regard to man's domestic relations. The same God
          that commanded one branch of the House of Israel in America, to
          take but one wife when the numbers of the two sexes were about
          equal, gave a different command to the hosts of Israel in
          Palestine. But let us see the qualifying clause given in the Book
          of Mormon on this subject. After having reminded the people of
          the commandment delivered by Lehi in regard to monogamy, the Lord
          says, "For if I will raise up seed unto me I will command my
          people, otherwise they shall hearken unto these things;" that is,
          if I will raise up seed among my people of the House of Israel,
          according to the law that exists among the tribes of Israel I
          will give them a commandment on the subject, but if I do not give
          this commandment they shall hearken to the law which I give unto
          their father Lehi. That is the meaning of the passage, and this
          very passage goes to prove that plurality was a principle God did
          approve under circumstances when it was authorized by Him.
          In the early rise of this Church, February, 1831, God gave a
          commandment to its members, recorded in the Book of Covenants,
          wherein He says, "Thou shalt love thy wife with all thy heart,
          and shalt cleave unto her and to none else;" and then He gives a
          strict law against adultery. This you have, no doubt, all read;
          but let me ask whether the Lord had the privilege and the right
          to vary from this law. It was given in 1831, when the one-wife
          system alone prevailed among this people. I will tell you what
          the Prophet Joseph said in relation to this matter in 1831, also
          in 1832, the year in which the law commanding the members of this
          Church to cleave to one wife only was given. Joseph was then
          living in Portage county, in the town of Hiram, at the house of
          Father John Johnson. Joseph was very intimate with that family,
          and they were good people at that time, and enjoyed much of the
          Spirit of the Lord. In the fore part of the year 1832, Joseph
          told individuals, then in the Church, that he had inquired of the
          Lord concerning the principle of plurality of wives, and he
          received for answer that the principle of taking more wives than
          one is a true principle, but the time had not yet come for it to
          be practised. That was before the Church was two years old. The
          Lord has His own time to do all things pertaining to His purposes
          in the last dispensation; His own time for restoring all things
          that have been predicted by the ancient prophets. If they have
          predicted that the day would come when seven women would take
          hold of one man, saying, "We will eat our own bread and wear our
          own apparel, only let us be called by thy name to take away our
          reproach;" and that, in that day the branch of the Lord should be
          beautiful and glorious and the fruits of the earth should be
          excellent and comely, the Lord has the right to say when that
          time shall be.
          Now supposing the members of this Church had undertaken to vary
          from that law given in 1831, to love their one wife with all
          their hearts and to cleave to none other, they would have come
          under the curse and condemnation of God's holy law. Some twelve
          years after that time the revelation on Celestial Marriage was
          revealed. This is just republished at the Deseret News office, in
          a pamphlet entitled, "Answers to Questions," by President George
          A. Smith, and heretofore has been published in pamphlet form and
          in the Millennial Star, and sent throughout the length and
          breadth of our country, being included in our works and published
          in the works of our enemies. Then came the Lord's time for this
          holy and ennobling principle to be practised again among His
          We have not time to read the revelation this afternoon; suffice
          it to say that God revealed the principle through His servant
          Joseph in 1843. It was known by many individuals while the Church
          was yet in Illinois; and though it was not then printed, it was a
          familiar thing through all the streets of Nauvoo, and indeed
          throughout all Hancock county. Did I hear about it? I verily did.
          Did my brethren of the Twelve know about it? They certainly did.
          Were there any females who knew about it? There certainly were,
          for some received the revelation and entered into the practice of
          the principle. Some may say, "Why was it not printed, and made
          known to the people generally, if it was of such importance?" I
          reply by asking another question. Why did not the revelations in
          the Book of Doctrine and Covenants come to us in print years
          before they did? Why were they shut up in Joseph's cupboard years
          and years without being suffered to be printed and sent broadcast
          throughout the land? Because the Lord had His own time again to
          accomplish His purposes, and He suffered the revelations to be
          printed just when He saw proper. He did not suffer the revelation
          on the great American war to be published until some time after
          it was given. So in regard to the revelation on plurality; it was
          only a short time after Joseph's death that we published it,
          having a copy thereof. But what became of the original? An
          apostate destroyed it; you have heard her name. That same woman,
          in destroying the original, thought she had destroyed the
          revelation from the face of the earth. She was embittered against
          Joseph, her husband, and at times fought against him with all her
          heart; and then again she would break down in her feelings, and
          humble herself before God and call upon His holy name, and would
          then lead forth ladies and place their hands in the hands of
          Joseph, and they were married to him according to the law of God.
          That same woman has brought up her children to believe that no
          such thing as plurality of wives existed in the days of Joseph,
          and has instilled the bitterest principles of apostacy into their
          minds, to fight against the Church that has come to these
          mountains according to the predictions of Joseph.
          In the year 1844, before his death, a large company was organized
          to come and search out a location, west of the Rocky Mountains.
          We have been fulfilling and carrying out his predictions in
          coming here and since our arrival. The course pursued by this
          woman shows what apostates can do, and how wicked they can become
          in their hearts. When they apostatize from the truth they can
          come out and swear before God and the heavens that such and such
          things never existed, when they know, as well as they know they
          exist themselves, that they are swearing falsely. Why do they do
          this? Because they have no fear of God before their eyes; because
          they have apostatized from the truth; because they have taken it
          upon themselves to destroy the revelations of the Most High, and
          to banish them from the face of the earth, and the Spirit of God
          withdraws from them. We have come here to these mountains, and
          have continued to practice the principle of Celestial Marriage
          from the day the revelation was given until the present time; and
          we are a polygamic people, and a great people, comparatively
          speaking, considering the difficult circumstances under which we
          came to this land.
          Let us speak for a few moments upon another point connected with
          this subject--that is, the reason why God has established
          polygamy under the present circumstances among this people. If
          all the inhabitants of the earth, at the present time, were
          righteous before God, and both males and females were faithful in
          keeping His commandments, and the numbers of the sexes of a
          marriageable age were exactly equal, there would be no necessity
          for any such institution. Every righteous man could have his wife
          and there would be no overplus of females. But what are the facts
          in relation to this matter? Since old Pagan Rome and
          Greece--worshippers of idols--passed a law confining man to one
          wife, there has been a great surplus of females who have had no
          possible chance of getting married. You may think this a strange
          statement, but it is a fact that those nations were the founders
          of what is termed monogamy. All other nations, with few
          exceptions, had followed the Scriptural plan of having more wives
          than one. These nations, however, were very powerful and when
          Christianity came to them, especially the Roman nation, it had to
          bow to their mandates and customs, hence the Christians gradually
          adopted the monogamic system. The consequence was that a great
          many marriageable ladies of those days, and of all generations
          from that time to the present, have not had the privilege of
          husbands, as the one-wife system has been established by law
          among the nations descended from the great Roman empire--namely,
          the nations of modern Europe and the American States. This law of
          monogamy, or the monogamic system, laid the foundation for
          prostitution and the evils and diseases of the most revolting
          nature and character under which modern Christendom groans, for
          as God has implanted, for a wise purpose, certain feelings in the
          breasts of females as well as the males, the gratification of
          which is necessary to health and happiness, and which can only be
          accomplished legitimately in the married state, myriads of those
          who have been deprived of the privilege of entering that state,
          rather than be deprived of the gratification of those feelings
          altogether, have, in despair, given way to wickedness and
          licentiousness; hence the whoredoms and prostitution among the
          nations of the earth, where the "Mother of Harlots" has her seat.
          When the religious Reformers came out, some two or three
          centuries ago, they neglected to reform the marriage system--a
          subject demanding their urgent attention. But leaving these
          Reformers and their doings. let us come down to our own times and
          see whether, as has been often said by many, the numbers of the
          sexes are equal; and let us take as a basis for our
          investigations on this part of our subject the censuses taken by
          several of the States in the American Union.
          Many will tell us that the number of males and the number of
          females born are just about equal, and because they are so it is
          not reasonable to suppose that God ever intended the nations to
          practice plurality of wives. Let me say a few words on that.
          Supposing we should admit, for the sake of argument, that the
          sexes are born in equal numbers, does that prove that the same
          equality exists when they come to a marriageable age? By no
          means. There may be about equal numbers born, but what do the
          statistics of our country show in regard to the deaths? Do as
          many females as males die during the first year of their
          existence? If you go to the published statistics you will find,
          almost without exception, that in every State a greater number of
          males die the first year of their existence than females. The
          same holds good from one year to five years, from five years to
          ten, from ten to fifteen, and from fifteen to twenty. This shows
          that the number of females is greatly in excess of the males when
          they come to a marriageable age. Let us elucidate still further,
          in proof of the position here assumed. Let us take, for instance,
          the census of the State of Pennsylvania in the year 1860, and we
          shall find that there were 17,588 more females than males between
          the ages of twenty and thirty years, which may strictly be termed
          a marriageable age. Says one, "Probably the great war made that
          difference." No, this was before the war. Now let us go to the
          statistics of the State of New York, before the war, and we find
          according to the official tables of the census taken in 1860,
          that there were 45,104 more females than males in that one State,
          between the ages of twenty and thirty years--a marriageable age,
          recollect! Now let us go to the State of Massachusetts, and look
          at the statistics there. In the year 1865, there were 33,452 more
          females than males between the age of twenty and thirty. We might
          go on from State to State and then to the census taken by the
          United States, and a vast surplus would be shown of females over
          males of a marriageable age. What is to be done with them? I will
          tell you what Pennsylvania, Massachusetts, and New York say. They
          say, virtually, "We will pass a law so strict, that if these
          females undertake to marry a man who has another wife, both they
          and then men they marry shall be subject to a term of
          imprisonment in the penitentiary." Indeed! Then what are you
          going to do with these hundreds of thousands of females of a
          marriageable age? "We are going to make them either old maids or
          prostitutes, and we would a little rather have them prostitutes,
          then we men would have no need to marry." That is the conclusion
          many of these marriageable males, between twenty and thirty years
          of age, have come to. They will not marry because the laws of the
          land have a tendency to make prostitutes, and they can purchase
          all the animal gratification they desire without being bound to
          any woman; hence many of them have mistresses, by whom they raise
          children, and, when they get tired of them, turn both mother and
          children into the street, with nothing to support them, the law
          allowing them to do so, because the women are not wives. Thus the
          poor creatures are plunged into the depths of misery,
          wretchedness and degradation, because at all risks they have
          followed the instincts implanted within them by their Creator,
          and not having the opportunity to do so legally have done so
          unlawfully. There are hundreds and thousands of [unmarried]
          females in this boasted land of liberty, through the narrow,
          contracted, bigoted State laws, preventing them from ever getting
          husbands. That is what the Lord is fighting against; we, also,
          are fighting against it, and for the re-establishment of the
          Bible religion and the celestial or patriarchal order of
          It is no matter according to the Constitution whether we believe
          in the patriarchal part of the Bible, in the Mosaic or in the
          Christian part; whether we believe in one-half, two-thirds, or in
          the whole of it; that is nobody's business. The Constitution
          never granted power to Congress to prescribe what part of the
          Bible any people should believe in or reject; it never intended
          any such thing.
          Much more might be said, but the congregation is large, and a
          speaker, of course, will weary. Though my voice is tolerably
          good, I feel weary in attempting to make a congregation of from
          eight to ten thousand people hear me. I have tried to do so. May
          God bless you, and may He pour out His Spirit upon the rising
          generation among us, and upon the missionaries who are about to
          be sent to the United States and elsewhere, that the great
          principles, political, religious and domestic, that God has
          ordained and established, may be made known to all people.
          In this land of liberty in religious worship, let us boldly
          proclaim our rights to believe in and practice any Bible precept,
          command or doctrine, whether in the Old or New Testament, whether
          relating to ceremonies, ordinances, domestic relations, or
          anything else, not incompatible with the rights of others, and
          the great revelations of Almighty God manifested in ancient and
          modern times. Amen.
          Journal of Discourses / Journal of Discourses, Volume 13 / George
          Q. Cannon, October 9, 1869
                          George Q. Cannon, October 9, 1869
                         DISCOURSE BY ELDER GEORGE Q. CANNON,
          Delivered in the New Tabernacle, Salt Lake City, October 9, 1869.
                            (Reported by David W. Evans.)
                                 CELESTIAL MARRIAGE.
          I will repeat a few verses in the tenth chapter of Mark,
          commencing at the twenty-eighth verse.
          "Then Peter began to say unto him, Lo, we have left all, and have
          followed thee.
          "And Jesus answered and said, Verily I say unto you, there is no
          man that hath left house, or brethren, or sisters, or father, or
          mother, or wife, or children, or lands, for my sake, and the
          "But he shall receive an hundred-fold now in this time, houses,
          and brethren, and sisters, and mothers, and children, and lands,
          with persecutions; and in the world to come eternal life."
          In rising to address you this morning, my brethren and sisters, I
          rely upon your faith and prayers and the blessing of God. We have
          heard, during Conference, a great many precious instructions, and
          in none have I been more interested than in those which have been
          given to the Saints concerning that much mooted doctrine called
          Patriarchal or Celestial Marriage. I am interested in this
          doctrine, because I see salvation, temporal and spiritual,
          embodied therein. I know, pretty well, what the popular feelings
          concerning this doctrine are; I am familiar with the opinions of
          the world, having travelled and mingled with the people
          sufficiently to be conversant with their ideas in relation to
          this subject. I am also familiar with the feelings of the
          Latter-day Saints upon this point. I know the sacrifice of
          feeling which it has caused for them to adopt this principle in
          their faith and lives. It has required the revelation of God, our
          heavenly Father, to enable His people to receive this principle
          and carry it out. I wish, here, to make one remark in connection
          with this subject--that while there is abundant proof to be found
          in the Scriptures and elsewhere in support of this doctrine,
          still it is not because it was practiced four thousand years ago
          by the servants and people of God, or because it has been
          practiced by any people or nation in any period of the world's
          history, that the Latter-day Saints have adopted it and made it
          part of their practice, but it is because God, our heavenly
          Father, has revealed it unto us. If there were no record of its
          practice to be found, and if the Bible, Book of Mormon and Book
          of Doctrine and Covenants were totally silent in respect to this
          doctrine, it would nevertheless be binding upon us as a people,
          God Himself having given a revelation for us to practice it at
          the present time. This should be understood by us as a people. It
          is gratifying to know, however, that we are not the first of
          God's people unto whom this principle has been revealed; it is
          gratifying to know that we are only following in the footsteps of
          those who have preceded us in the work of God, and that we,
          to-day, are only carrying out the principle which God's people
          observed, in obedience to revelation from Him, thousands of years
          ago. It is gratifying to know that we are suffering persecution,
          that we are threatened with fines and imprisonment for the
          practice of precisely the same principle which Abraham, the
          "Friend of God," practiced in his life and taught to his children
          after him.
          The discourses of brother Orson Pratt and of President George A.
          Smith have left but very little to be said in relation to the
          Scriptural arguments in favor of this doctrine. I know that the
          general opinion among men is that the Old Testament, to some
          extent, sustains it; but that the New Testament--Jesus and the
          Apostles, were silent concerning it. It was clearly proved in our
          hearing yesterday, and the afternoon of the day previous, that
          the New Testament, though not so explicit in reference to the
          doctrine, is still decidedly in favor of it and sustains it.
          Jesus very plainly told the Jews, when boasting of being the seed
          of Abraham, that if they were, they would do the works of
          Abraham. He and the Apostles, in various places, clearly set
          forth that Abraham was the great exemplar of faith for them to
          follow, and that they must follow him, if they ever expected to
          participate in the glory and exaltation enjoyed by Abraham and
          his faithful seed. Throughout the New Testament Abraham is held
          up to the converts to the doctrines which Jesus taught, as an
          example worthy of imitation, and in no place is there a word of
          condemnation uttered concerning him. The Apostle Paul, in
          speaking of him says:
          "Know ye, therefore, that they which are of the faith, the same
          are the children of Abraham. . . . So then they which be of the
          faith are blessed with faithful Abraham."
          He also says that the Gentiles, through adoption, became
          Abraham's seed; that the blessing of Abraham, says he, might come
          upon the Gentiles through Jesus Christ, showing plainly that
          Jesus and all the Apostles who alluded to the subject, held the
          deeds of Abraham to be, in every respect, worthy of imitation.
          Who was this Abraham? I have heard the saying frequently
          advanced, that in early life, being an idolater, it was an
          idolatrous, heathenish principle which he adopted in taking to
          himself a second wife, while Sarah still lived. Those who make
          this assertion in reference to the great patriarch, seem to be
          ignorant of the fact that he was well advanced in life and had
          served God faithfully many years, prior to making any addition to
          his family. He did not have a plurality of wives until years
          after the Lord had revealed Himself to him, commanding him to
          leave Ur, of the Chaldees, and go forth to a land which He would
          give to him and his posterity for an everlasting possession. He
          went forth and lived in that land many long years before the
          promise of God was fulfilled unto him--namely, that in his seed
          should all the nations of the earth be blessed; and Abraham was
          still without any heir, except Eliezer, of Damascus, the steward
          of his house. At length, after living thus for ten years, God
          commanded him to take to himself another wife, who was given to
          him by his wife Sarah. When the offspring of this marriage was
          born, Abraham was eighty-six years old.
          We read of no word of condemnation from the Lord for this
          act--something which we might naturally expect if, as this
          unbelieving and licentious generation affirm, the act of taking
          more wives than one be such a vile crime, and so abominable in
          the sight of God; for if it be evil in the sight of the Lord
          to-day, it was then, for the Scriptures inform us that He changes
          not, He is the same yesterday, to-day, and for ever, and is
          without variableness or the shadow of turning. But instead of
          condemnation, God revealed Himself continually to His friend
          Abraham, teaching His will unto him, revealing all things
          concerning the future it was necessary for him to understand, and
          promising him that, though he had been blessed with a son,
          Ishmael, yet in Isaac, a child of promise, not yet born, should
          his seed be called. Abraham was to have yet another son. Sarah,
          in her old age, because of her faithfulness, because of her
          willingness to comply with the requirements and revelations of
          God, was to have a son given unto her. Such an event was so
          unheard of among women at her time of life that, though the Lord
          promised it, she could not help laughing at the idea. But God
          fulfilled His promise, and in due time Isaac was born, and was
          greatly blessed of the Lord.
          Determined to try His faithful servant Abraham to the uttermost,
          the Lord, some years after the birth of this son, in whom He had
          promised that Abraham's seed should be called, required him to
          offer up this boy as a burnt offering to Him; and Abraham,
          nothing doubting, but full of faith and integrity, and of
          devotion to his God, proved himself worthy of the honored title
          that had been conferred upon him, namely, "the Friend of God," by
          taking his sons Isaac, in whom most of his hopes for the future
          centred, up the mountain, and there, having built the altar, he
          bound the victim, and with knife uplifted, was about to strike
          the fatal blow, when the angel of the Lord cried out of heaven
          commanding him not to slay his son. The Lord was satisfied,
          having tried him to the uttermost, and found him willing even to
          shed the blood of his well-beloved son.
          The Lord was so pleased with the faithfulness of Abraham, that He
          gave unto him the greatest promise He could give to any human
          being on the face of the earth. What do you think was the nature
          of that promise? Did He promise to Abraham a crown of eternal
          glory? Did He promise to him that he should be in the presence of
          the Lamb, that he should tune his harp and sing praises to God
          and the Lamb throughout the endless ages of eternity? Let me
          quote it to you, and it would be well if all the inhabitants of
          the earth would reflect upon it. Said the Lord:
          "In blessing I will bless thee, and in multiplying I will
          multiply thy seed as the stars of heaven, and as the sand which
          is upon the sea-shore; and thy seed shall possess the gate of his
          This was the promise which God gave to Abraham, in that hour of
          his triumph, in that hour when there was joy in heaven over the
          faithfulness of one of God's noblest and most devoted sons. Think
          of the greatness of this blessing! Can you count the stars of
          heaven, or even the grains of a handful of sand? No, it is beyond
          the power of earth's most gifted sons to do either, and yet God
          promised to Abraham that his seed should be as innumerable as the
          stars of heaven or as the sand on the sea-shore.
          How similar was this promise of God to Abraham to that made by
          Jesus as a reward for faithfulness to those who followed him!
          Said Jesus, he that forsakes brothers or sisters, houses or
          lands, father or mother, wives or children, shall receive a
          hundred-fold in this life with persecution, and eternal life in
          the world to come.
          A very similar blessing to that which God, long before, had made
          to Abraham, and couched in very similar terms.
          It is pertinent for us to inquire, on the present occasion, how
          the promises made by Jesus and his Father, in ages of the world
          separated by a long interval the one from the other, could be
          realized under the system which prevails throughout Christendom
          at the present day? In the monogamic system, under which the
          possession of more than one living wife is regarded as such a
          crime, and as being so fearfully immoral, how could the promise
          of the Savior to his faithful followers, that they should have a
          hundred-fold of wives and children in this present life, ever be
          realized? There is a way which God has provided in a revelation
          given to this Church, in which He says:
          "Strait is the gate and narrow the way that leadeth unto the
          exaltation and continuation of the lives, and few there be that
          find it, because ye receive me not in the world, neither do ye
          know me."
          God revealed that strait and narrow way to Abraham, and taught
          him how he could enter therein. He taught him the principle of
          plurality of wives; Abraham practiced it and bequeathed it to his
          children as a principle which they were to practice. Under such a
          system it was a comparatively easy matter for men to have a
          hundred-fold of wives, children, fathers, mothers, brothers,
          sisters and everything else in proportion; and in no other way
          could the promises of Jesus be realized by his followers, than in
          the way God has provided, and which He has revealed to His Church
          and people in these latter days.
          I have felt led to dwell upon these few passages from the sayings
          of Jesus to show you that there are abundance of Scriptural
          proofs in favor of this principle and the position this Church
          has assumed, in addition to those previously referred to.
          It is a blessed thing to know that, in this as every other
          doctrine and principle taught by us as a Church, we are sustained
          by the revelations God gave to His people anciently. One of the
          strongest supports the Elders of this Church have had, in their
          labors among the nations, was the knowledge that the Bible and
          New Testament sustained every principle they advanced to the
          people. When they preached faith, repentance, baptism for the
          remission of sins, the laying on of hands for the reception of
          the Holy Ghost, the gathering of the people from the nations, the
          rebuilding of Jerusalem, the second coming of Christ, and every
          other principle ever touched upon by them, it was gratifying to
          know that they were sustained by the Scriptures, and that they
          could turn to chapter and verse among the sayings of Jesus and
          his Apostles, or among those of the ancient prophets, in
          confirmation of every doctrine they ever attempted to bring to
          the attention of those to whom they ministered. There is nothing
          with which the Latter-day Saints can, with more confidence, refer
          to the Scriptures for confirmation and support, than the doctrine
          of plural marriage, which at the present time, among one of the
          most wicked, adulterous and corrupt generations the world has
          ever seen, is so much hated, and for which mankind generally are
          so anxious to cast out and persecute the Latter-day Saints.
          If we look abroad and peruse the records of every day life
          throughout the whole of Christendom, we find that crimes of every
          hue, and of the most appalling and revolting character are
          constantly committed, exciting neither surprise nor comment.
          Murder, robbery, adultery, seduction and every species of
          villainy known in the voluminous catalogue of crime in modern
          times, are regarded as mere matters of ordinary occurrence, and
          yet there is hue and cry raised, almost as wide as Christendom,
          for the persecution, by fine, imprisonment, proscription,
          outlawry or extermination of the people of Utah because, knowing
          that God, the Eternal Father, has spoken in these days and
          revealed His mind and will to them, they dare to carry out His
          behests. For years they have meekly submitted to this persecution
          and contumely, but they appeal now, as ever, to all rational,
          reflecting men, and invite comparison between the state of
          society here and in any portion of this or any other country,
          knowing that the verdict will be unanimous and overwhelming in
          their favor. In every civilized country on the face of the earth
          the seducer plies his arts to envelop his victim within his
          meshes, in order to accomplish her ruin most completely; and it
          is well known that men holding positions of trust and
          responsibility, looked upon as honorable and highly respectable
          members of society, violate their marriage vows by carrying on
          their secret amours and supporting mistresses, yet against the
          people of Utah, where such things are totally unknown, there is
          an eternal and rabid outcry because they practice the
          heaven-revealed system of a plurality of wives. It is a most
          astonishing thing, and no greater evidence could be given that
          Satan reigns in the hearts of the children of men, and that he is
          determined, if possible, to destroy the work of God from the face
          of the earth.
          The Bible, the only work accepted by the nations of Christendom,
          as a divine revelation, sustains this doctrine, from beginning to
          end. The only revelation on record that can be quoted against it,
          came through the Prophet Joseph Smith, and is contained in the
          Book of Mormon; and strange to say, here in Salt Lake City, a day
          or two since, one of the leading men of the nation, in his eager
          desire and determination to cast discredit on this doctrine,
          unable to do so by reference to the Bible, which he, no doubt, in
          common with all Christians, acknowledges as divine, was compelled
          to have recourse to the Book of Mormon, a work which on any other
          point he would most unquestionably have scouted and ridiculed as
          an emanation from the brain of an impostor. What consistency! A
          strange revolution this, that men should have recourse to our own
          works, whose authenticity they most emphatically deny, to prove
          us in the wrong. Yet, this attempt, whenever made, cannot be
          sustained, for brother Pratt clearly showed to you, in his
          remarks the other day, that instead of the Book of Mormon being
          opposed to this principle, it contains an express provision for
          the revelation of the principle to us as a people at some future
          time--namely, that when the Lord should desire to raise up unto
          Himself a righteous seed, He would command His people to that
          effect, plainly setting forth that a time would come when He
          would command His people to do so.
          It is necessary that this principle should be practiced under the
          auspices and control of the Priesthood. God has placed that
          Priesthood in the Church to govern and control all the affairs
          thereof, and this is a principle which, if not practiced in the
          greatest holiness and purity, might lead men into great sin,
          therefore the Priesthood is the more necessary to guide and
          control men in the practice of this principle. There might be
          circumstances and situations in which it would not be wisdom in
          the mind of God for His people to practice this principle, but so
          long as a people are guided by the Priesthood and revelations of
          God, there is no danger of evil arising therefrom. If we, as a
          people, had attempted to practice this principle without
          revelation, it is likely that we should have been led into
          grievous sins, and the condemnation of God would have rested upon
          us; but the Church waited until the proper time came, and then
          the people practiced it according to the mind and will of God,
          making a sacrifice of their own feelings in so doing. But the
          history of the world goes to prove that the practice of this
          principle, even by nations ignorant of the Gospel, has resulted
          in greater good to them than the practice of monogamy or the
          one-wife system in the so-called Christian nations. To-day,
          Christendom holds itself and its institutions aloft as a pattern
          for all men to follow. If you travel throughout the United States
          and through the nations of Europe in which Christianity prevails,
          and talk with the people about their institutions, they will
          boast of them as being the most permanent, indestructive and
          progressive of any institutions existing upon the earth; yet it
          is a fact well known to historians, that the Christian nations of
          Europe are the youngest nations on the globe. Where are the
          nations that have existed from time immemorial? They are not to
          be found in Christian monogamic Europe, but in Asia, among the
          polygamic races--China, Japan, Hindostan and the various races of
          that vast continent. Those nations, from the most remote times,
          practiced plural marriage handed down to them by their
          forefathers. Although they are looked upon by the nations of
          Europe as semi-civilized, you will not find among them woman
          prostituted, debased and degraded as she is through Christendom.
          She may be treated coldly and degraded, but among them, except
          where the Christian element prevails to a large extent, she is
          not debased and polluted, as she is among the so-called Christian
          nations. It is a fact worthy of note that the shortest-lived
          nations of which we have record have been monogamic. Rome, with
          her arts, sciences and warlike instincts, was once the mistress
          of the world; but her glory faded. She was a monogamic nation,
          and the numerous evils attending that system early laid the
          foundation for that ruin which eventually overtook her. The
          strongest sayings of Jesus recorded in the New Testament were
          levelled against the dreadful corruptions practiced in Rome and
          wherever the Romans held sway. The leaven of their institutions
          had worked its way into the Jewish nation, Jewry or Palestine
          being then a Roman province, and governed by Roman officers, who
          brought with them their wicked institutions, and Jesus denounced
          the practices which prevailed there.
          A few years before the birth of the Savior, Julius Caesar was the
          First Consul at Rome; he aimed at and obtained imperial power. He
          had four wives during his life, and committed numerous
          adulteries. His first wife he married early; but, becoming
          ambitious, the alliance did not suit him, and, as the Roman law
          did not permit him to retain her and to marry another, he put her
          away. He then married the daughter of a consul, thinking to
          advance his interests thereby. She died, and a third was married.
          The third was divorced, and he married a fourth, with whom he was
          living at the time he was murdered. His grandnephew, the Emperor
          Augustus Caesar, reigned at the time of the birth of Christ. He
          is alluded to in history as one of the greatest of the Caesars;
          he also had four wives. He divorced one after another, except the
          last, who outlived him. These men were not singular in this
          practice; it was common in Rome; the Romans did not believe in
          plurality of wives, but in divorcing them; in taking wives for
          convenience and putting them away when they got tired of them. In
          our country divorces are increasing, yet Roman like, men expect
          purity and chastity from their wives they do not practice
          themselves. You recollect, doubtless, the famous answer of Caesar
          when his wife was accused of an intrigue with an infamous man.
          Some one asked Caesar why he had put away his wife. Said he, "The
          wife of Caesar must not only be incorrupt, but unsuspected." He
          could not bear to have the virtue of his wife even suspected, yet
          his own life was infamous in the extreme. He was a seducer,
          adulterer, and is reported to have practiced even a worse crime,
          yet he expected his wife to possess a virtue which, in his
          highest and holiest moments, was utterly beyond his conception in
          his own life.
          This leaven was spreading itself over every country where the
          Roman Empire had jurisdiction. It had reached Palestine in the
          days of the Savior, hence by understanding the practices
          prevalent in those times amongst that people, you will be better
          able to appreciate the strong language used by Jesus against
          putting away, or divorcing wives. Rome continued to practice
          corruption until she fell beneath the weight of it, and was
          overwhelmed, not by another monogamic race, but by the vigorous
          polygamic hordes from the north, who swept away Roman
          imperialism, establishing in the place thereof institutions of
          their own. But they speedily fell into the same habit of having
          one wife and multitudes of courtesans, and soon, like Rome, fell
          beneath their own corruptions.
          When courtesans were taught every accomplishment and honored with
          the society of the leading men of the nation, and wives were
          deprived of these privileges, is it any wonder that Rome should
          fall? or that the more pure, or barbarous nations, as they were
          called, overwhelmed and destroyed her?
          I have had it quoted to me many times that no great nations ever
          practiced plural marriage. They who make such an assertion are
          utterly ignorant of history. What nations have left the deepest
          impress on the history of our race? Those which have practiced
          plurality of marriage. They have prevented the dreadful crime of
          prostitution by allowing men to have more wives than one. I know
          we are dazzled by the glory of Christendom; we are dazzled with
          the glory of our own age. Like every generation that has preceded
          it, the present generation thinks it is the wisest and best, and
          nearer to God than any which has preceded it. This is natural; it
          is a weakness of human nature. This is the case with nations as
          well as generations. China, to-day, calls all western nations
          "outside barbarians." Japan, Hindostan and all other polygamic
          nations do the same, and in very many respects they have as much
          right to say that of the monogamic nations, as the latter have to
          say it of them.
          I heard a traveller remark a few days ago, while in conversation
          with him, "I have travelled through Asia Minor and Turkey, and I
          have blushed many times while contrasting the practices and
          institutions of those people with those of my own country," the
          United States. He was a gentleman with whom I had a discussion
          some years ago on the principle of plural marriage. He has
          travelled a good deal since then, and he remarked to me, "Travel
          enlarges a man's head and his heart. I have learned a great many
          things since we had a discussion together, and I have modified my
          views and opinions very materially with regard to the excellence
          of the institutions, habits and morals which prevail in
          Christendom." This gentleman told me that among those nations,
          which we call semi-civilized, there are no drinking saloons, no
          brothels, nor drunkenness, and an entire absence of many other
          evils which exist in our own nation. I think this testimony,
          coming from a man who, previously, had such strong prejudices,
          was very valuable. He is not the only one who has borne this
          testimony, but all reliable travellers, who have lived in
          Oriental nations, vouch for the absence of those monstrous evils
          which flourish in and fatten and fester upon the vitals of all
          civilized or Christian nations.
          In speaking of Utah and this peculiar practice amongst its
          people, it is frequently said, "Look at the Turks and other
          Oriental nations and see how women are degraded and debased among
          them, and deprived of many privileges which they enjoy among us!"
          But if it be true that woman does not occupy her true position
          among those nations, is this not more attributable to their
          rejection of the Gospel than to their practice of having a
          plurality of wives? Whatever her condition may be there, however,
          I do not therefore accept, as a necessary conclusion, that she
          must be degraded among us. We have received the Gospel of the
          Lord Jesus, the principles of which elevate all who honor them,
          and will impart to our sisters every blessing necessary to make
          them noble and good in the presence of God and man.
          Look at the efforts which are being made to elevate the sex among
          the Latter-day Saints! See the privileges that are given to them,
          and listen to the teachings imparted to them day by day, week by
          week, and year by year, to encourage them to press forward in the
          march of improvement! The elevation of the sex must follow as a
          result of these instructions. The practice in the world is to
          select a few of the sex and to elevate them. There is no country
          in the world, probably, where women are idolized to the extent
          they are in the United States. But is the entire sex in the
          United States thus honored and respected? No, it is not. Any
          person who will travel, and observe while he is travelling, will
          find that thousands of women are degraded and treated as
          something very vile, and are terribly debased in consequence of
          the practices of men towards them. But the Gospel of Jesus and
          the revelations which God has given unto us concerning
          Patriarchal Marriage have a tendency to elevate the entire sex,
          and give all the privilege of being honored matrons and respected
          wives. There are no refuse among us--no class to be cast out,
          scorned and condemned; but every woman who chooses can be an
          honored wife and move in society in the enjoyment of every right
          which woman should enjoy to make her the equal of man as far as
          she can be his equal.
          This is the result of the revelations of the Gospel unto us, and
          the effect of the preaching and practice of this principle in our
          midst. I know, however, that there are those who shrink from
          this, who feel their hearts rebel against the principle, because
          of the equality which it bestows on the sex. They would like to
          be the honored few--the aristocrats of society, as it were, while
          their sisters might perish on every hand around them. They would
          not, if they could, extend their hands to save their sisters from
          a life of degradation. This is wrong and a thing which God is
          displeased at. He has revealed this principle and commanded His
          servants to take wives. What for? That they may obey His great
          command--a command by which Eternity is peopled, a command by
          which Abraham's seed shall become as the stars of heaven for
          multitude, and as the sand on the sea-shore, that cannot be
          counted. He has given to us this command, and shall we, the
          sterner sex, submit to all the difficulties and trials entailed
          in carrying it out? Shall we submit to all the afflictions and
          labor incident to this life to save our sisters, while many of
          you who are of the same sex, whose hearts ought to beat for their
          salvation as strongly as ours do, will not help us? I leave you
          all to answer. There is a day of reckoning coming when you will
          be held accountable as well as we. Every woman in this Church
          should join heart and hand in this great work, which has for its
          result the redemption of the sexes, both male and female. No
          woman should slacken her hand or withhold her influence, but
          every one should seek by prayer and faith unto God for the
          strength and grace necessary to enable her to do so. "But," says
          one, "is not this a trial, and does it not inflict upon us
          unnecessary trials?" There are afflictions and trials connected
          with this principle. It is necessary there should be. Is there
          any law that God reveals unattended with a trial of some kind?
          Think of the time, you who are adults, and were born in the
          nations, when you joined the Church! Think of the trials
          connected with your espousal of the Gospel. Did it not try you to
          go forth and be baptized? Did it not try you, when called upon to
          gather, to leave your homes and nearest and dearest friends, as
          many of you have done? Did it not try you to do a great many
          things you have been required to do in the Gospel? Every law of
          the Gospel has a trial connected with it, and the higher the law
          the greater the trial; and as we ascend nearer and nearer to the
          Lord our God we shall have greater trials to contend with in
          purifying ourselves before Him. He has helped us thus far. He has
          helped us to conquer our selfish feelings, and when our sisters
          seek unto Him He helps them to overcome their feelings; He gives
          them strength to overcome their selfishness and jealousy. There
          is not a woman under the sound of my voice to-day, but can bear
          witness of this, if she has tried it. You, sisters, whose
          husbands have taken other wives, can you not bear testimony that
          the principle has purified your hearts, made you less selfish,
          brought you nearer to God and given you power you never had
          before? There are hundreds within the sound of my voice to-day,
          both men and women, who can testify that this has been the effect
          that the practice of this principle has had upon them.
          I am speaking now of what are called the spiritual benefits
          arising from the righteous practice of this principle. I am sure
          that, through the practice of this principle, we shall have a
          purer community, a community more experienced, less selfish and
          with a higher knowledge of human nature than any other on the
          face of the earth. It has already had this effect to a great
          extent, and its effects in these directions will increase as the
          practice of the principle becomes more general.
          A lady visitor remarked to me not long ago in speaking upon this
          subject, "Were I man, I would feel differently probably to what I
          do; to your sex the institution cannot be so objectionable." This
          may be the case to some extent, but the practice of this
          principle is by no means without its trials for the males. The
          difficulties and perplexities connected with the care of a
          numerous family, to a man who has any ambition, are so great that
          nothing short of the revelations of God or the command of Jesus
          Christ would tempt men to enter this order; the mere increase of
          facilities to gratify the lower passions of our natures would be
          no inducement to assume such an increase of grave
          responsibilities. These desires have been implanted in both male
          and female for a wise purpose, but their immoderate and illegal
          gratification is a source of evil equal to that system of
          repression prevalent in the world, to which thousands must submit
          or criminate themselves. Just think, in the single State of
          Massachusetts, at the last census, there were 63,011 females more
          than males. Brother Pratt, in his remarks on this subject, truly
          remarked that the law of Massachusetts makes these 63,011 females
          either old maids or prostitutes, for that law says they shall not
          marry a man who has a wife. Think of this! And the same is true
          to a greater or less degree throughout all the older States, for
          the females preponderate in every one.
          Thus far I have referred only to the necessity and benefit of
          this principle being practiced in a moral point of view. I have
          said nothing about the physiological side of the question. This
          is one, if not the strongest, source of argument in its favor;
          but I do not propose to enter into that branch of the subject to
          any great extent on the present occasion. We are all, both men
          and women, physiologists enough to know that the procreative
          powers of man endure much longer than those of woman. Granting,
          as some assert, that an equal number of the sexes exist, what
          would this lead to? Man must practice that which is vile and low
          or submit to a system of repression; because if he be married to
          a woman who is physically incapable, he must either do himself
          violence or what is far worse, he must have recourse to the
          dreadful and damning practice of having illegal connection with
          women, or become altogether like the beasts. Do you not see that
          if these things were introduced among our society they would be
          pregnant with the worst results? The greatest conceivable evils
          would result therefrom! How dreadful are the consequences of this
          system of which I am now speaking, as witnessed at the present
          time throughout all the nations of Christendom! You may see them
          on every hand. Yet the attempt is being continually made to bring
          us to the same standard, and to compel us to hare the same evils.
          When the principle of plurality of wives was revealed I was but a
          boy. While reflecting on the subject of the sealing power which
          was then being taught, the case of Jacob, who had four wives,
          occurred to me, and I immediately concluded that the time would
          come when light connected with this practice would be revealed to
          us as a people. I was therefore prepared for the principle when
          it was revealed, and I know it is true on the principle that I
          know that baptism, the laying on of hands, the gathering, and
          everything connected with the Gospel is true. If there were no
          books in existence, if the revelation itself were blotted out,
          and there was nothing written in its favor, extant among men,
          still I could bear testimony for myself that I know this is a
          principle which, if practiced in purity and virtue, as it should
          be, will result in the exaltation and benefit of the human
          family; and that it will exalt woman until she is redeemed from
          the effects of the Fall, and from that curse pronounced upon her
          in the beginning. I believe the correct practice of this
          principle will redeem woman from the effects of that
          curse--namely, "Thy desire shall be to thy husband, and he shall
          rule over thee." All the evils connected with jealousy have their
          origin in this. It is natural for woman to cleave to man; it was
          pronounced upon her in the beginning, seemingly as a punishment.
          I believe the time will come when, by the practice of the
          virtuous principles which God has revealed, woman will be
          emancipated from that punishment and that feeling. Will she cease
          to love man? No, it is not necessary for her to cease to love.
          How is it among the nations of the earth? Why, women, in their
          yearning after the other sex and in their desire for maternity,
          will do anything to gratify that instinct of their nature and
          yield to anything and be dishonored even rather than not gratify
          it; and in consequence of that which has been pronounced upon
          them, they are not held accountable to the same extent as men
          are. Man is strong, he is the head of woman, and God will hold
          him responsible for the use of the influence he exercises over
          the opposite sex. Hence we were told by brother Pratt that there
          are degrees of glory, and that the faithful man may receive the
          power of God--the greatest He has ever bestowed upon man--namely,
          the power of procreation. It is a godlike power, but how it is
          abused! How men debase themselves and the other sex by its
          unlawful and improper exercise! We were told there is a glory to
          which alone that power will be accorded in the life to come.
          Still there will be millions of women saved in the kingdom of
          God, while men, through the abuse of this precious gift, will not
          be counted worthy of such a privilege. And this very punishment
          will, in the end, be woman's salvation, because she is not held
          accountable to the same degree that men are.
          This is a subject that we would all do well to reflect upon.
          There are many points connected with the question,
          physiologically, that might be dwelt upon with great advantage. I
          have heard it said, and seen it printed, that the children born
          here under this system are not so smart as others; that their
          eyes lack lustre and that they are dull in intellect; and many
          strangers, especially ladies, when arriving here, are anxious to
          see the children, having read accounts which have led them to
          expect that most of the children born here are deficient. But the
          testimony of Professor Park, the principal of the University of
          Deseret, and of other leading teachers of the young here, is that
          they never saw children with greater aptitude for the acquisition
          of knowledge than the children raised in this Territory. There
          are no brighter children to be found in the world than those born
          in this Territory. Under the system of Patriarchal Marriage, the
          offspring, besides being equally as bright and brighter
          intellectually, are much more healthy and strong. Need I go into
          particulars to prove this? To you who are married there is no
          necessity of doing so; you know what I mean. You all know that
          many women are sent to the grave prematurely through the evils
          they have to endure from their husbands during pregnancy and
          lactation, and that their children often sustain irremediable
          Another good effect of the institution here is that you may
          travel throughout our entire Territory, and virtue prevails. Our
          young live virtuously until they marry. But how is it under the
          monogamic system? Temptations are numerous on every hand and
          young men fall a prey to vice. An eminent medical professor in
          New York, recently declared, while delivering a lecture to his
          class in one of the colleges there, that if he wanted a man
          twenty-five years of age, free from a certain disease, he would
          not know where to find him. What a terrible statement to make! In
          this community no such thing exists. Our boys grow up in purity,
          honoring and respecting virtue; our girls do the same, and the
          great mass of them are pure. There may be impurities. We are
          human, and it would not be consistent with our knowledge of human
          nature to say that we are entirely pure, but we are the most pure
          of any people within the confines of the Republic. We have fewer
          unvirtuous boys and girls in our midst than any other community
          within the range of my knowledge. Both sexes grow up in vigor,
          health and purity.
          These, my brethren and sisters, are some of the results which I
          wanted to allude to in connection with this subject. Much more
          might be said. There is not a man or woman who has listened to me
          to-day, but he and she have thoughts, reasons and arguments to
          sustain this principle passing though their minds which I have
          not touched upon, or if touched upon at all, in a very hasty
          The question arises, What is going to be done with this
          institution? Will it be overcome? The conclusion arrived at long
          ago is that it is God and the people for it. God has revealed it,
          He must sustain it, we cannot; we cannot bear it off, He must. I
          know that Napoleon said Providence was on the side of the
          heaviest artillery, and many men think that God is on the side of
          the strongest party. The Midianites probably thought so when
          Gideon fell upon them with three hundred men. Sennacherib and the
          Assyrians thought so when they came down in their might to blot
          out Israel. But God is mighty; God will prevail; God will sustain
          that which He has revealed, and He will uphold and strengthen His
          servants and bear off His people. We need not be afflicted by a
          doubt; a shadow of doubt need not cross our minds as to the
          result. We know that God can sustain us; He has borne off His
          people in triumph thus far and will continue to do so.
          I did intend, when I got up, to say something in relation to the
          effects of the Priesthood; but as the time is so far gone, I feel
          that if I say anything it must be very brief. But in connection
          with the subject of plural marriage, the Priesthood is intimately
          interwoven. It is the Priesthood which produces the peace,
          harmony, good order, and everything which make us as a people
          peculiar, and for which our Territory has become remarkable. It
          is that principle--the Priesthood, which governs the heavenly
          hosts. God and Jesus rule through this power, and through it we
          are made, so far as we have received it and rendered obedience to
          its mandates, like our heavenly Father and God. He is our Father
          and our God; He is the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ; He is the
          Father of all the inhabitants of the earth, and we inherit His
          divinity, if we choose to seek for and cultivate it. We inherit
          His attributes; we can, by taking the proper course, inherit the
          Priesthood by which He exercises control; by which the heavenly
          orbs in the immensity of space are governed, and by which the
          earth revolves in its seasons. It is the holy Priesthood that
          controls all the creations of the Gods, and though men fight
          against it, and, if they could, would blot it out of existence,
          it will prevail and go on increasing in power and strength until
          the sceptre of Jesus is acknowledged by all, and the earth is
          redeemed and sanctified.
          That this may be brought about speedily, is my prayer in the name
          of Jesus, Amen.
          Journal of Discourses / Journal of Discourses, Volume 13 /
          Brigham Young, July 17, 1870
                            Brigham Young, July 17, 1870
             Delivered in the Tabernacle, Salt Lake City, July 17, 1870.
                            (Reported by David W. Evans.)
          I realize that it is quite a trial for young men, who have just
          started in the life of the Gospel, to speak to an audience,
          either large or small. In my observation and experience I have
          noticed that most speakers are timid at the sound of their own
          voices. If it were prudent and wisdom we would not ask our young
          brethren to speak when they return home, but would let them pass
          along and gratify their own feelings, without speaking to the
          congregations of the Saints. This timidity, experienced on rising
          to address their fellow creatures, is in all, with very few
          exceptions. I think I have seen a few men in my life that I
          suppose never were troubled or felt that trembling, fearfulness,
          timidity, bashfulness or any hesitancy whatever to get up and say
          what they had a mind to; but such persons are very rare. I do not
          know whether I ever saw a female of this character or not, but I
          think I have seen a few men. As far as I am concerned, although I
          have addressed congregations so many times, I have scarcely ever
          felt free from this timidity when rising for that purpose. When I
          view the faces of my fellow creatures I behold an embodiment of
          intelligence before which my nature, according to this life,
          shrinks; and this is the case with most speakers. Still, in my
          experience, when it has been my duty to declare the Gospel of the
          Son of God to the children of men, I have found that the Lord has
          strengthened me; He has given me His Holy Spirit, and when
          enjoying it while talking to the people fear or timidity soon
          disappeared. This is the experience of my younger days; and this
          is the case with our young Elders. When they rise they feel this
          timidity of which I have been speaking, but if they enjoy the
          Spirit of the Lord, their humanity or the weakness of human
          nature is soon forgotten. I know how to feel for and sympathize
          with them; I have realized all that they have realized, for my
          experience in my early career as a preacher of the Gospel was
          similar to theirs. I was ignorant of letters to a great degree,
          yet I had been a Bible student from my youth; but when the Spirit
          of the Lord was upon me it was no matter to me who heard my voice
          when declaring the principles of the Gospel, or who felt disposed
          to dispute, criticise, or spiritualize or do away with the
          Scriptures of divine truth. To me it was nothing; they were like
          children, and their efforts were no more than the efforts of
          babes. I do not think I have ever seen or been acquainted with a
          "Mormon" Elder who has enjoyed the spirit of his mission but who
          was able to stand before the learned and wise and before the
          divines of the day and preach the Gospel fearlessly, for the
          simple reason that they have not the Gospel. They may have a
          gospel; I do not dispute that; and they have also their creeds
          and forms of worship; but when they take this book (the Bible)
          for their guide, in their religion, faith and works, they are one
          with us; then we have no disputations, no contentions, no room
          for arguments; but when they do away with the Scriptures and turn
          the truth of God into a falsehood, and manifest the same spirit
          as that manifested by the children of Israel, namely, to
          transgress every law, to change every ordinance and to break the
          covenants delivered to them, why the Elder of Israel has God to
          back him up; he has the word of the Almighty to sustain him; he
          has the Bible in his hand to prove that his position is correct,
          and that theirs is false.
          We have labored, toiled and travelled, without purse or scrip, to
          preach the Gospel to all nations and people wherever they would
          hearken. Wherever they would permit us to enter their cities,
          towns and villages, their meeting-houses, school-houses or
          dwelling houses, we have been ready to preach to them the words
          of life and salvation. It is our delight to hear the young
          brethren, who have returned from missions, say the past three or
          five years, as the case may be, "have been the happiest of my
          whole life." Where is the man or woman now living, or that ever
          did live, that was not happy when in possession of the Spirit of
          God? It makes its possessors happier than all the pleasures of
          life. Can wealth and worldly honor give that complete joy and
          satisfaction which the Spirit of God affords to the humble Saint?
          No. The possession of everything that we can desire--that our
          eyes could see, our ears hear, or our hearts conceive, would fall
          at our feet worthless, so far as their capability of conferring
          real, genuine joy, satisfaction and pleasure is concerned, when
          compared with the Spirit of God when it enlightens the mind,
          enriches the soul and lifts up an individual to behold the things
          of eternity, the work of God and His designs concerning this
          earth and the children of men. I say that all earthly things fall
          at the feet of an individual who possesses the Spirit of God; for
          his life, hopes, desires, thoughts, anticipations and will are
          far above the things of this life, and earth sinks beneath him.
          This Spirit animates our young brethren when faithfully attending
          to their duties while on missions, and it is this which enables
          them to say that the time so spent has been the happiest of their
          lives. This enables our Elders, many of whom are to a great
          degree destitute of education, to stand before the learned, wise
          and noble, and the divines of the day, and declare the principles
          of the Gospel of Jesus. Who could do this under such
          circumstances without the Spirit of the Lord? I do not know the
          individual; and if there be those who could they are such as I
          referred to at the commencement of my remarks who, destitute of a
          knowledge of their own weakness, can stand up anywhere and speak
          with boldness, and exhibit themselves, whether it be wisdom or
          folly to do so. None but those who enjoy the Spirit of the Lord,
          who are filled with the Holy Ghost, can stand before emperors,
          kings and wise men of the earth and speak the words of truth with
          all that simplicity and pleasure that children converse together
          This is my experience. When contemplating what we have passed
          through in travelling and preaching, it gives joy to many. The
          contemplation of my own experience, when I have time to do so, is
          a source of the greatest pleasure; perhaps this is not quite
          correct, but it is a source of great pleasure to take a
          retrospective view of the scenes I have passed through, for I can
          see where God has favored and blessed me. For instance, I
          recollect the Sunday morning on which I was baptized, in my own
          little mill stream; I was ordained to the office of an Elder
          before my clothes were dry upon me. I passed the day in meeting,
          and one week from that day I had the pleasure of meeting with and
          preaching to a large congregation. I think there were present on
          that occasion four experienced Elders, formerly of the Methodist
          and Baptist persuasions, who had received the Gospel and had been
          numbered with us. I expected to hear them address the people on
          the principles that we had just received through the servants of
          the Lord. They said that the Spirit of the Lord was not upon them
          to speak to the people, yet they had been preachers for years. I
          was but a child, so far as public speaking and a knowledge of the
          world was concerned; but the Spirit of the Lord was upon me, and
          I felt as though my bones would consume within me unless I spoke
          to the people and told them what I had seen, heard and
          learned--what I had experienced and rejoiced in; and the first
          discourse I ever delivered I occupied over an hour. I opened my
          mouth and the Lord filled it; and from that time, wherever we
          travelled and preached, the people heard, received and rejoiced
          in the Gospel, and we baptized our thousands upon thousands.
          I recollect when I left, to go to England, I was unable to walk
          twenty rods without assistance. I was helped to the edge of the
          river Mississippi and carried across. When brother Kimball and I
          started on our journey there was a struggle between us and the
          powers of earth and hell whether or not we should accomplish our
          mission. We were in the depths of poverty, caused by being driven
          from Missouri, where we had left all. I recollect that one of my
          own sisters pitied my condition and situation; she was sorry for
          me, and said, "Brother Brigham, what necessity is there for you
          to go to England while you are sick? Why not tarry here until you
          are well?" I said to her, as I started off one morning, "Sister
          Fanny, I never felt better in my life." She was a very eccentric
          woman and, looking at me, with tears in her eyes, she said, "You
          lie." I said nothing, but I was determined to go to England or to
          die trying. My firm resolve was that I would do what I was
          required to do in the Gospel of life and salvation, or I would
          die trying to do it. I am so to-day.
          We landed upon the shores of England, and then I felt that the
          chains were broken, and the bands that were upon me were burst
          asunder. Twelve months and sixteen days a few of the Twelve and
          Seventies tarried in England. In these twelve months and sixteen
          days, under my supervision, between eight and nine thousand
          persons were baptized (though some apostatized) before we left,
          the Churches were organized, the emigration prepared, ships were
          chartered and companies sailed out. When I landed in Liverpool I
          had six bits, with which I purchased a hat. In twelve months and
          sixteen days one of the finest vessels in the harbor tied up
          eight days to carry myself and brethren across the water. The
          agents of the vessel said such a thing had never been done
          before, but they were urgent and anxious to oblige us, for we had
          chartered and fitted out several vessels, and as our emigration
          promised to be a large business they wanted to carry us home. In
          that twelve months we hand printed five thousand copies of the
          Book of Mormon, three thousand hymn books, and commenced the
          Millennial Star; over sixty thousand tracts had been printed and
          sent by the hands of the Elders to many of the houses in the
          towns they visited or distributed in their meetings; and in this
          way the word was distributed and the work carried on for one
          short twelve months. Our labor was successful, God blessed us,
          and when we returned our Book of Mormon was paid for. The
          gentleman who bound the first Book of Mormon in England binds
          them to-day when they have to be bound. We have not owed the
          first farthing to those who have done this work for us, but have
          paid promptly, according to promise, for every particle of our
          printing. Besides doing what I have already mentioned in that
          twelve months I sustained several families while there, and
          preserved them from starvation and death. All this was through
          the blessing of the Lord being upon us. We were strangers and
          unknown in a strange land, but the work prospered under the hands
          of the servants of God, and the means to do the work that was
          done, was procured through our industry and prudence. I have
          before taken the liberty, in a public capacity like this, to tell
          my brethren and sisters, that I do not recollect of spending more
          than one penny, needlessly, while in England, and that was for a
          bunch of grapes while passing through Smithfield market,
          Manchester. When I took them in my hand I saw women passing
          through the market who, I knew, were suffering through hunger,
          and who probably perished and died. I felt that I ought to have
          given that penny to the poor. Whenever I went from my office, if
          I neglected to take my pocket full of coppers to give to the poor
          mendicants which are everywhere to be met with, I would return to
          the office and take a handful of coppers from the drawer, and as
          I walked along would give something to such objects of pity and
          distress as I met, and pass on without being hindered by them. We
          organized the Church, we ordained two patriarchs, and from that
          time we have been gathering the poor.
          This is the experience of many of my brethren as well as myself.
          We have toiled and labored together, gathering the people,
          preaching the Gospel to the nations, hunting for the pure in
          heart, those who love the Lord our God, those who believe the
          Bible. Where is the minister, the deacon, where are the people
          who believe in God the Father? In our Lord Jesus Christ? Who
          believe the New Testament? Who will accept of the salvation that
          is proffered to the human family through the labors of Jesus and
          his Apostles? We are after them. Is there an individual on the
          face of the earth that will receive the truth? We want to find
          him. Who will receive the truth? They who will give all for
          Christ. Not the proud, not the haughty; not those who set stakes
          and say the Lord must come to them or they will not have
          salvation, but they who say, "Let the Lord draw the line and mark
          the path and we will walk to it." This must be the conclusion of
          every person who expects to be saved in the kingdom of God.
          We preach faith in the Lord Jesus Christ. The Christian world say
          they have faith. Have they? If they have they will bow down and
          receive the ordinances of the New and Everlasting Covenant, and
          thank God that they have the privilege of receiving them. Can
          they who reject the New Testament and the Son of God, who refuse
          to receive the ordinances of the New Testament that were placed
          in the Church and kingdom of God on the earth in the days of
          Jesus and his Apostles, be saved in the celestial kingdom? I
          answer they can not. The Scriptures make this answer; it is the
          declaration of Jesus and the Apostles; it is the word of the
          Almighty, consequently we must concur and say the same. Unless we
          believe the Gospel of Christ and obey its ordinances we have no
          promise of the life to come. If we ever attain to that it will be
          only by complying with the terms that Jesus has laid down. We
          cannot build and plan for ourselves; if we do we shall be like
          the Jews of old, who, as the prophet says, "have hewn out
          cisterns that will hold no water." We must submit to the
          ordinances of the house of God.
          Who is there that can say baptism is not necessary for the
          remission of sins? Jesus and the Apostles said it was necessary.
          Can I say it is not? I cannot, and it is a fact that all who
          receive eternal life and salvation will receive it on no other
          conditions than believing in the Son of God and obeying the
          principles that he has laid down. Can we devise any other means
          and plan of salvation? We cannot. Will we do away with the Bible?
          We will not; though the Christian world are actually coming to
          the point that they will dismiss the Bible from their schools;
          and by and by they will dismiss it from their pulpits and get one
          to suit themselves; they will hew out for themselves cisterns
          that will hold no water. They cannot abide the doctrine contained
          in the Old and New Testament, "and," say they, "we must alter and
          change it; it does not suit our condition. It was not written for
          us; it was written for people in days of old; but we live under
          different circumstances and the Bible should be altered, and we
          will assemble our synods and have the Scriptures revised to suit
          our condition." Have they commenced this? Yes, and not very
          recently either. Can you find a copy of the first printed edition
          of the Bible? We have Bibles between two and three hundred years
          old, but where can the first Bibles that were printed be
          obtained? While I was travelling in England there was one sold
          for five hundred pounds. It had belonged to one of our
          brethren--had descended to him from his ancestors; and he, not
          knowing its value, sold it for fifteen shillings. Afterwards, if
          my memory serves me correctly, it was sold for the sum I have
          named. We cannot find books of that edition; some that have been
          altered and changed are plentiful. I mean King James'
          translation, and that is good enough for me; it will answer my
          purpose. But how is it with the Christian world? Will it answer
          theirs? If it will, why do they not abide by it? Why do they not
          say, "This shall be our rule of faith, and our lives and works
          shall correspond with its principles and precepts?" They would do
          so if they were honest and their belief was sincere. And it will
          have to be so with them if ever they gain admittance into the
          kingdom of God, for in the Bible are the words of life and
          salvation. I ask again, who can say that baptism is not necessary
          for the remission of sins? The question has been asked, "What
          virtue is there in the water?" If there is no virtue in it don't
          drink it; it is not good for the system if there is no virtue in
          it. But there is virtue in it. If there is not, we should never
          apply it to our clothing or to the surfaces of our bodies for
          cleansing purposes; we should never use any more for cooking; we
          should never again apply it to the soil for the purpose of
          irrigation. How inconsistent it is to suppose that water should
          be used for so many and important purposes in life if there is no
          virtue in it! But there is virtue in it, and there is virtue in
          being buried beneath the wave in the likeness of Christ, and
          coming forth to a newness of life. There is virtue in being born
          again, whether in the font or in the river, it makes no
          difference, for Jesus has said that "except a man be born of the
          water and of the spirit he cannot enter the kingdom of God." When
          a person is buried beneath the water he comes forth from one
          element to another, and is literally born again. Who, then, after
          the declaration of Jesus on this subject, can say that baptism is
          not necessary or that there is no virtue in the water? I cannot.
          Who can say that the laying on of hands is not necessary for the
          reception of the Holy Ghost? It is true that the house of
          Cornelius received the Holy Ghost before the Gospel was preached
          unto them. But the Lord had a special purpose in view in its
          bestowal in their case, namely, the removal of the prejudice of
          Peter and his brethren, who, being Jews, and full of the
          traditions of their fathers, thought that the Gentiles--among
          whom Cornelius and his house were classed--were not privileged to
          receive the Gospel. But the vision which Peter had on this
          subject, and the message sent to him by Cornelius in obedience to
          the command of the Lord in connection with the fact of the
          bestowal of the Holy Ghost on Cornelius and his family was so
          convincing to Peter and his brethren that the former was
          constrained to exclaim, "Can any man forbid water that these
          should not be baptized, which have received the Holy Ghost as
          well as we?" Some may say, "What was the necessity of sending for
          Peter, one of the Apostles, when they had already received the
          Holy Ghost?" The simple fact is this: there was nobody to baptize
          Cornelius and his household, nobody to bury them with Christ in
          the water; no one had authority to baptize them for the remission
          of their sins; and consequently, although they had received the
          Holy Ghost, an Apostle had to be sent for to administer that
          ordinance. And we read further in relation to this case, that
          Peter "commanded them to be baptized in the name of the Lord."
          Did any others receive the Holy Ghost before baptism? None that
          we have any record of; but there is no doubt that many who were
          worthy received it in a measure; but, whether in the days of the
          Apostles or in our day, when the doctrine of baptism for the
          remission of sins is preached by a servant of the Lord to persons
          who have received the Holy Ghost, if they reject that doctrine
          the Holy Ghost will withdraw from them for ever. Is it necessary
          that believers should obey all the doctrines and ordinances
          taught and established by the Savior? There is no ordinance that
          God has delivered, by His own voice, through His Son Jesus Christ
          or by the mouths of any of His prophets, Apostles or evangelists,
          that is useless. Every ordinance, every commandment and
          requirement is necessary for the salvation of the human family.
          What are we required to do? To receive the Gospel, the ordinances
          of the house of God, and then to go on to perfection. We have
          been baptized for the remission of sins and have received the
          laying on of hands for the Holy Ghost. We have Apostles,
          prophets, evangelists, pastors, teachers, and so on. Are we not
          perfect? According to the testimony of the Apostle we are not.
          Says he, Hebrews 6th chapter and 1st verse, "Therefore not
          leaving the principle of the doctrine of Christ, let us go on
          unto perfection."
          How will perfection be obtained? By all persons in the kingdom of
          God living so as to be revelators from the heavens for themselves
          and for all they preside over, that everything they have to
          perform in this life--every worldly care and duty, and all their
          walk and conversation before each other and before the Lord, may
          be marked out by the spirit of revelation. Is this the way to
          perfection? It is. This is the Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ;
          this is the Gospel of life and salvation. Who can dispute it? We
          must destroy the Bible before we can dispute it with any hope of
          success. But we may do away with the Bible and say it is no use
          to us, it has lost its virtue; it was written for the people six
          thousand, four thousand, two thousand, or eighteen hundred years
          ago, and it is not for us now. We have plenty upon the earth who
          can tell the will of God to the children of men and lead the
          people back into the presence of God; and if the Bible were
          destroyed by accident, it can be re-written, and all the words of
          the Lord that are necessary for their salvation can be given to
          the people. We are thankful for this.
          Are we, the Latter-day Saints, loved for entertaining these views
          and for declaring these truths? "Oh, well," says the stranger, "
          you should not be hated." If we are hated for anything it is for
          preaching the Gospel of life and salvation. If we are hated for
          anything it is for good works instead of evil works, no matter
          who hears, tells or writes to the contrary. Truth is truth and
          will prevail. Are we in fault for believing in Jesus Christ? We
          ask the whole Christian world, Can you give us the words of life
          and salvation, or tell us how to be saved? Could you do this when
          we belonged to your societies, Presbyterians, Baptists or any of
          you Protestants? Not the first individual amongst you could point
          out the path, for one short rod, to the kingdom of God. Do I know
          this? Certainly I do by experience. I have searched for the
          truth, though in my youth I was called an infidel, and I was an
          infidel. What to? This Bible? No, to false creeds, and to
          professing without possessing, as I am to-day.
          Where is the man who can point out the way of life and salvation?
          Who can tell us of God the Father and of our Lord Jesus Christ,
          and give us their characters? Who can tell about heaven and
          heavenly things? Who can introduce heaven to earth or earth to
          heaven and bring man to his Father again, and re-establish
          familiarity and association between them, which is so much
          desired by intelligent beings? The prophet of God, Joseph Smith,
          commenced it in this generation, no matter how odious his name
          may be to the inhabitants of the earth. I will defy any nation to
          hate a man more than the Jews hated the name of Jesus
          Christ--when he lived in the flesh. I honor and revere the name
          of Joseph Smith. I delight to hear it; I love it. I love his
          doctrine. Why? Because it is true, and truth will abide when
          error passes away. Life will remain when they who have rejected
          the words of eternal life are swallowed up in death. I like the
          truth because it is true, because it is lovely and delightful,
          because it is so glorious in its nature, and so worthy the
          admiration, faith and consideration of all intelligent beings in
          heaven or on the earth. Should I be hated and my name cast out as
          evil because I love the truth? Yes, or the words of Jesus could
          not be fulfilled, for he said, "Ye shall be hated of all men for
          my name's sake." He told his disciples to rejoice evermore and to
          pray without ceasing when they were held in derision by their
          enemies, and to lift up their heads and rejoice when all men
          spoke evil of them, for "behold your redemption draweth nigh."
          Is there any harm in believing in the Lord Jesus Christ? I
          frequently ask the question for my own satisfaction. Is there a
          doctrine taught in this book (the Bible), that would ruin or
          injure man, woman or child on the face of the earth? Not one. Is
          there a doctrine taught by Jesus and his disciples that would not
          do good to the people morally, physically, socially, religiously
          or politically? Not one. Did Joseph Smith ever teach a doctrine
          that would not elevate the soul, feelings, heart and affections
          of every individual who would embrace it? Not one. Did he ever
          teach a doctrine that would lead those who embraced it down to
          wretchedness, woe and misery, that would give them pain for ease,
          darkness for light, error for truth? No; but just the reverse. He
          proffered life and salvation--light for darkness and truth for
          error. He proffered all that was in the Gospel of the Son of God,
          and proclaimed that very Gospel that John saw the angel flying
          through the midst of heaven to restore. That angel delivered the
          keys of this apostleship and ministry to Joseph Smith and his
          brethren, and commanded them to blow the Gospel trump through all
          the nations of the earth, and to cry to all who love and wait
          patiently for the appearing of our Lord Jesus Christ, "Come out
          of her, my people, that ye may not be partakers of her sins and
          that ye receive not of her plagues." This was the doctrine of
          Jesus; this was the cry of John when on the Isle of Patmos. That
          angel has flown through the midst of heaven having the
          everlasting Gospel to preach to those who dwell on earth, and his
          cry was and is, "Come out from Babylon, from pride, from the
          foolish fashions of the world; come out from the spirit of the
          world, from the spirit of hatred, anger, malice, wrath,
          selfishness and every feeling but that that is honorable and
          justified of the heavens. Gather yourselves together! Sanctify
          the Lord God in your heart." This was the cry, and it is the cry
          to-day, and it will be until the pure in heart are gathered
          Should the Latter-day Saints be hated for this? "Oh, they have
          done so many evils!" What have they done? You can see for
          yourselves what we have done. Mark our settlements for six
          hundred miles in these mountains, and then mark the path that we
          made coming here, building the bridges and making the roads
          across the prairies, mountains and kanyons! We came here
          penniless in old wagons, our friends back telling us to "take all
          the provisions you can, for you can get no more! Take all the
          furniture you can, for you can get no more! Take all the seed
          grain you can, for you can get none there! Take all the farming
          implements you can, for you can get none there!" We did this, and
          in addition to all this we have gathered all the poor we could,
          and the Lord has planted us in these valleys, promising that He
          would hide us up for a little season until His wrath and
          indignation passed over the nations. Will we trust in the Lord?
          What have we been doing here? You can see for yourselves that we
          have been laboring with our hands. We have had no time to find
          fault with our neighbors or to do them injury, or to do anything
          else only to make ourselves comfortable, and to prepare as fast
          as possible for the coming of the Lord Jesus Christ. See the
          settlements that have been built up by the penniless, those who
          had not clothing to last them three months when they came, and
          some of whom did not bring a month's provision with them, and did
          not know that they could raise a thing, only by faith. Yet we
          came and we have lived and prospered, and here we are. What fault
          should be found with us? "Oh, you have done so many evil things!"
          What evils have we done? I am at the defiance of earth and hell
          to put a finger on the place or time that a false doctrine was
          taught to any one, a wrong taught to any one, or when evil was
          justified in any one, all the liars and all the lies on earth and
          in hell to the contrary notwithstanding.
          We believe the Gospel and in Jesus; is there crime in it? No,
          there is not; and if the inhabitants of the earth are not dispose
          to receive the Gospel, they have the liberty to reject it. If men
          come into this Church and are disposed to apostatize, they have
          the privilege to do so. Every intelligent being has the right to
          choose for himself whether he will have the man Christ Jesus or
          Satan to rule over him. He will certainly have one or the other!
          Just as sure as he is a living being, the Lord Almighty will be
          his leader, dictator, director and counselor, or the devil will.
          We cannot live without them. We were brought here; we did not
          bring ourselves. We were created, formed, fashioned and made
          independent of ourselves. We are under this law and we cannot get
          from under it. But the Lord has given us intelligence, and He has
          set before us life and death, and has said, "Choose ye this day
          whom ye will serve." Which shall we take? I will take the Lord
          Jesus every time. Why? Because his doctrine is so pure and holy.
          I love it, because in it there is life; because it will endure;
          while all error, falsehood, lies and liars will be cast into
          hell; and when they shall be utterly destroyed and wasted away,
          truth will live and it will endure for ever. I think I will hold
          to it. Had not we better all do so? Do you not think that the
          Latter-day Saints had better keep their religion and hold on to
          the faith of the holy Gospel? I say to the Latter-day Saints, it
          is far better for you to retain your characters as Saints than to
          let them go. I do not care where you go, if it be among the most
          wicked band of men on earth, they will respect you more if you
          retain your characters as Saints than they would if they could
          say to you, "You have been preaching this doctrine that we call
          false for thirty, thirty-five, or forty years, and bearing your
          testimony to its truth, and now you turn round and say it is
          false. You have just learned that you have been a hypocrite, and
          that those whom you formerly hailed as brethren and friends are a
          set of hypocrites." Such individuals will be branded wherever
          they go, and they will not be trusted either for good or evil;
          and if they go to hell they will be despised by the damned. That
          is the condition of apostates. Why? Because they are traitors,
          and having lied about one thing they will lie about another;
          having lied once they will lie again. Is it not so? Yes,
          everybody will admit that. Well, do you not think that good men
          and good women had better hold on to their goodness? I think so.
          When a man by his course in life has acquired a character that is
          spotless, it is a priceless jewel, and nothing should induce him
          to barter it away. If the wicked try to bring a blemish or cast a
          stain upon it their efforts will not be successful. They may
          throw their mud, but it will not stain the garments of the pure
          and holy. Had we not better preserve the good characters which
          God has helped us to maintain? I think we had.
          Now, what do we believe in? In anything that will do us harm? Not
          the least in the world. Our belief will bring peace to all men
          and good will to all the inhabitants of the earth. It will induce
          all who sincerely follow its dictates to cultivate righteousness
          and peace; to live peaceably in their families; to praise the
          Lord morning and evening; to pray with their families, and will
          so fill them with the spirit of peace that they will never
          condemn or chasten any one unless it is well deserved. They who
          live in the enjoyment of the spirit and influence of our holy
          religion will never feel "cross." That is the common word.
          Yankees will understand it, for I have seen lots of them
          cross--out of humor, out of temper. They will never feel like
          this. They will rise in the morning with their spirits as smooth
          and serene as the sun that is rising and giving life and heat to
          the world; just as calm and as smooth as the breezes on a summer
          evening. No anger, no wrath, no malice, contention or strife. If
          a wrong arises, the party wronged will go to his neighbor and
          quietly investigate whether wrong was designed; and if the
          seeming transgressor is living according to the spirit of his
          religion, it will be found that he had designed no wrong, and
          that he will make ample amends, forgiveness will be accorded, and
          the trouble will end. This is the spirit and teaching of the
          Gospel. Peace prevails. There are no lawsuits or contentions; no
          work for a poor miserable lawyer, who is seeking to breed
          disturbance in a community. I do think very low of that class of
          men! If I had no better business than stirring up strife in a
          community, I would pray for my end on this earth, that I might go
          where I belonged. The teachings of Jesus and his Apostles
          inculcated peace and prevented contention, discord, strife,
          quarrelling and lawsuits; and the Gospel, to-day, has the same
          effects as then. Here a great many of us have to water from one
          ditch from year end to year end. But there is no quarrelling over
          it. Says one, "I am content to have my share at midnight; you can
          have yours to-morrow at eleven o'clock." No contention or strife!
          We meet together and ask God to bless us and to help us to live
          in the observance of all His laws, and to promote every principle
          of peace and morality, and so help to make ourselves and our
          neighbors happy. Is there harm in this? No, there is not. We like
          it, because it brings us comfort, peace and joy. We may look at
          the world and we observe a very different state of affairs. What
          is the condition of the kings of the earth? Can they pass around
          among their subjects anywhere and everywhere with peace and
          safety? No, they must have their life-guards to protect them;
          they are afraid of being destroyed from the earth. We may go to
          our political men and ask, "Have you got friends?" "Yes, such a
          man is my friend, he is a nice, good friend; but take care of
          that one, he is my enemy." "What has he done?" "Nothing, only he
          is trying to break my calculations and plans in my election, and
          I don't like him or his party."
          Saints have no such parties and feelings; they have no choice but
          to get the best there is, and be satisfied; and hence, in their
          political affairs they have no contention. This is one objection
          which outsiders have to the Latter-day Saints: they all go and
          vote one way. Is it not right to do so? Let us think about it.
          Suppose that we do all actually vote one way, or for one man for
          our delegate to Congress, and have no opposing candidate, and get
          the best there is, is that not better than having opposition?
          What does opposition bring? It certainly brings anger and strife;
          and of what use are they? They serve no good purpose. Then let us
          all vote one way, and think and act one way, and keep the
          commandments of God and build up His kingdom on the earth in
          peace and righteousness. I certainly think that this is the best
          idea. We have plenty of competition in our midst, but what will
          it accomplish? Not much, if anything. They who favor it may
          contend until they are tired, and then they will drop silently
          out of the way, and that will be the end of them. Contention does
          not profit a people.
          Have you truth? Let us have it if you have. If people have said
          to me, in my preachings, "That is error," I have said, "perhaps
          so, but this book (the Bible) is the standard I believe." I have
          read out of that book many times to men, and they have said, "Oh,
          that is the Book of Mormon." "It is good doctrine, is it not?"
          and they would not know whether it was the Bible or the Book of
          Mormon, and yet they would profess to be Bible readers and
          believers. Sometimes they would listen until tired, and then say,
          "I will not have any more of that, it is the Book of Mormon," and
          some have even gone so far as to say, "It is blasphemous." I have
          said, "Will you please look at the title page," and when they
          would see that it was the Bible they would say, "Well, I really
          did not know that such things were in the Bible."
          I say to any and to all, "If you have any truth, let us have it."
          If I have errors, I will swap then of them for one truth. But I
          have the words of life for you, what have you for me? I ask the
          infidel world what they can give in exchange for the faith I have
          in Jesus Christ and the religion I believe in and practice. If I
          am wrong, mistaken, over-zealous, enthusiastic and bewildered in
          my imagination, what can you give me? "Nothing, we have nothing;
          we do not believe in anything." Then I do not see any necessity
          of trading, for all I have cannot hurt or wrong anybody on the
          earth. I do not believe or practice anything that will do harm. I
          have embraced nothing in my faith, neither do I teach any
          doctrine that will hurt any person; hence, there is no necessity
          of trading if you have nothing to give me for my priceless jewel.
          I am for life everlasting. I have a being and a life here; and
          this life is very valuable; it is a most excellent life! I have a
          future! I am living for another existence that is far above this
          sinful world, wherein I will be free from this darkness, sin,
          error, ignorance and unbelief. I am looking forward to a world
          filled with light and intelligence, where men and women will live
          in the knowledge and light of God. Have you anything to give for
          this? Not the least in the world. Then I guess we will not trade.
          I have something for you if you will accept of it. If you will
          hearken to my counsel you will not only have joy in this life,
          peace in the Holy Ghost here, but life everlasting hereafter. I
          have embraced the Gospel for life and salvation; I have embraced
          it for time; I have embraced it for eternity. I calculate to go
          back and see my Father. Say the Christian world, "Who are you
          going to see?" A personage very much like myself; my Father, He
          who begot my spirit; my Father who set in perfect order the
          machine to produce this tabernacle in which my spirit dwells.
          "Oh," say the Christian world, "We don't believe in such a God as
          this." We know you don't. You don't believe in a God at all--only
          a phantom of the brain. Still they mean better; but they are like
          those who, in olden times, worshipped an unknown God. The
          inscription on their temple was, "To the unknown God." This is
          not our inscription; ours is, "To the known God," our Father, the
          Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, our elder brother according to
          the spirit. I am going to see Him one of these days if I live so
          as to be worthy; and when I see Him I shall fall upon His neck
          and He upon mine, and we shall kiss each other, shouting
          "Alleluia" that I have returned. Do not you think it will be a
          time of rejoicing? Yes.
          This is the God that we serve and that we know and understand. Is
          there any harm in all this? Not the least in the world. Peace on
          earth and good will to men. Christ has died for all; but we can
          receive the benefit of his atonement on his conditions only, not
          on our own. We must repent of our sins and be baptized for the
          remission of them, and have the laying on of hands for the
          reception of the Holy Ghost so that the spirit of the Gospel will
          live within us. Then we can shout Alleluia in praising Him whom
          we serve.
          God bless you, Amen.
          Journal of Discourses / Journal of Discourses, Volume 13 / John
          Taylor, May 6, 1870
                              John Taylor, May 6, 1870
                           DISCOURSE BY ELDER JOHN TAYLOR,
            Delivered in the New Tabernacle, Salt Lake City, May 6, 1870.
                            (Reported by David W. Evans.)
                           HOW TO KNOW THE THINGS OF GOD.
          The Scriptures inform us "that no man knows the things of God,
          but by the Spirit of God;" and then no man can speak the things
          of God unless aided by the Spirit of the Lord; and no people can
          comprehend the things spoken unless inspired and guided by the
          same Spirit. We need this Spirit continually and so do all
          mankind, to guide us, to enable us to comprehend the laws of
          life, to regulate and concentrate our thoughts, to elevate and
          ennoble our feelings, to give force and vitality to our actions,
          and to place us in a position before God, before men, and before
          the holy angels, that will be right, acceptable and proper to all
          true intelligence, to the angelic host, and to our heavenly
          Father. It matters very little what we are engaged in, it is
          impossible for us to do right without the guidance of the
          Almighty; but aided and directed by the Spirit of the Lord, we
          can act in consonance with the dignity of our high position as
          immortal beings possessing the holy Priesthood, and participating
          in the new and everlasting covenant; by the aid of that unerring
          Spirit we can fulfil the measure of our creation and prepare
          ourselves for an inheritance in the celestial kingdom of our God.
          We are told "that the world by wisdom knows not God;" yet they do
          comprehend a great many things, and because of the spread of
          general intelligence and the great progress of science,
          literature and the arts, they believe they can find out God. Like
          the framers of Babel's Tower, they seek to penetrate the heavens
          on natural principles. Like them they are mistaken, as all men
          have been who sought to solve the problem of life through the
          influence of human wisdom. No man ever did understand God on this
          principle; neither can they by mortal agency alone understand the
          principles of life and salvation. No man in the present
          generation comprehends them on this principle; neither will human
          wisdom enable any man who ever will live to understand them. It
          is true that mankind, within a short time, have made great
          advances in the arts and sciences. During the last half century
          scientific research has made many wonderful developments; and
          many things which, before that time, were unknown to the human
          family, are now quite familiar. There was very little known of
          the application of the power of steam half a century ago. I
          remember, very well, the first steam-boat and locomotive that
          were propelled by steam, and riding on the first railway. Before
          that, locomotion had to depend upon the winds and tides and horse
          power and a few other agencies. These are now supplanted by what
          all will acknowledge as a very superior agent--namely, the power
          of steam.
               Electricity, or rather its application, so as to subserve
          the wants of man, was unknown until a comparatively recent
          period. I refer now more particularly to the electric telegraph.
          That has been a means of greatly facilitating the transmission of
          thought and the spread of intelligence among the human family,
          and has been a great advantage to the world at large. When we
          came to this valley, for instance, even so late as that, we had
          to depend upon ox teams to bring our mails and to convey
          intelligence from the East, and I have known it to be four, five,
          and sometimes as long as six months before we knew what President
          was elected. Now we can have it in fewer minutes; this exhibits a
          great improvement in such matters.
          I can remember the time when we had to plod along at night,
          nearly in the dark, in our largest cities, the streets being
          lighted only by dim oil lamps. Now we have gas and various
          luminous oils, which we have made the earth teem forth by
          millions of gallons, that are almost equivalent to gas.
          Daguerreotyping, or as it is more generally called photography,
          is another great achievement of the human mind, conferring the
          power to take likenesses, landscapes and views in a moment, which
          formerly required days or months, even by the most eminent
          In machinery and chemistry, manufactures, and many other
          scientific developments connected with human life, wonderful
          advances have been made, and the world seems to have been
          progressing with great rapidity in the arts and sciences, in
          regard to manufactures. Some years ago every texture had to be
          spun by a single thread, now, by the aid of steam and machinery,
          it is done by thousands and hundreds of thousands. We might go on
          enumerating many other improvements which have taken place within
          the past few years; from which it is very evident that the
          progress of the present generation has far eclipsed that of any
          preceding it, of which we have any knowledge. Because of these
          things it has been supposed by many that the human intellect is
          capable of grasping everything in this world and the world to
          come--even eternal things, and many men have got puffed up and
          vain in their imaginations because of the discoveries they have
          made and the advancement in science, literature and the arts.
          They forget "that every good and perfect gift proceeds from God,
          the Father of light, in whom there is no variableness nor the
          shadow of a turning." They forget that every particle of wisdom
          that any man possesses comes from God, and that without Him they
          would still continue to grope in the dark. They forget that, with
          all the increase of wisdom and intelligence and the expansion of
          the human mind, they are in the dark in regard to God, and that
          no man by wisdom can find Him out. The mystery which enshrouds
          Him is as high as heaven, as deep as hell and as wide as the
          universe; and it is unfathomable and incomprehensible by human
          intelligence, unaided by the inspiration of the Almighty.
          There are men, it is true, who profess from the little knowledge
          they have of earthly things, by a series of deductions, to be
          able to find out heavenly things, but there is a very material
          difference between the two. There is a philosophy of the earth
          and a philosophy of the heavens; the latter can unravel all
          mysteries pertaining to earth; but the philosophy of the earth
          cannot enter into the mysteries of the kingdom of God, or the
          purposes of the Most High. But because of the advancement to
          which I have alluded, men set themselves up as teachers of things
          pertaining to spiritual matters, of which they know nothing. But
          the moment they do that, they exhibit their folly, vanity,
          imbecility and shortsightedness, for, as I have stated, they
          never did comprehend the things of God without the Spirit of God,
          and they never will. What folly it is, for men with the breath in
          their nostrils, who are but worms of the earth, existing as it
          were for a day, and to-morrow are cut down like the grass; or
          like the moth or butterfly, which flutters around for a brief
          space and then passes away into everlasting oblivion; I say what
          folly it is for beings so circumstanced, so weak, imbecile,
          circumscribed and controlled to set themselves forward, unaided
          by the Spirit of the Almighty, to fathom the designs of God, to
          unravel the principles of eternal life, to comprehend the
          relationship that subsists between God and man and to draw aside
          the curtain of futurity. Who is there who has seen God or can
          comprehend Him, His designs and purposes? No man is capable of
          fathoming these mysteries. Man, indeed, can comprehend some of
          the principles which are developed in nature, and only a few of
          these. But who can grasp the intelligence that dwells in the
          bosom of Jehovah? Who can unravel His designs and penetrate the
          unfathomable abyss of the future? Who can tell upon what
          principle this world was organized or anything about the denizens
          of those worlds that we see moving around us? It is true that by
          the science of astronomy nice calculation in regard to the
          heavenly bodies can be made; but none can tell who put those
          bodies in motion, how they are controled, or by what class of
          people they are inhabited. As the Scriptures say, "What man, by
          his wisdom, can find God out?" No one can comprehend Him. We can
          find ourselves to be a remarkable enigma, both in regard to body
          and mind--each individual man, woman and child; but who can draw
          aside the veil and tell how or why we came here, and what awaits
          us when we lay aside this mortal coil? None can do this, unless
          God reveals it. There never was a man, neither is there a man
          now, nor ever will be, that can comprehend these things upon the
          principle of natural or human philosophy, and nothing short of
          the philosophy of heaven--the intelligence that flows from God,
          can unravel these mysteries.
          Some men will stultify themselves with the idea that in ages gone
          and past the human race was in a semi-civilized or barbarous
          condition, and that any kind of a religion would do for the
          people in those days; but with the progress of intelligence, the
          march of intellect, the development of the arts and sciences and
          the expansion of the human mind, it is necessary that we should
          have something more elevated, refined and intellectual than that
          which existed then. To me such notions are perfect foolishness.
          If I read my Bible aright and believe in it, known unto God were
          all things from before the foundation of the world, and I do not
          think that the intelligence of the nineteenth century can
          enlighten His mind in relation to these matters. He that framed
          the body, shall He not know its structure? He that organized the
          mind, shall not He understand it? Before this world rolled into
          existence or the morning stars sang together for joy, the great
          Eloheim comprehended all things pertaining to the world that He
          organized and the people who should inhabit it; the position that
          they would occupy and the intelligence that they would possess;
          their future destiny and the destiny of the world that He then
          made. It is vanity, puerility and weakness for men to attempt to
          gainsay the designs of God, or to boast of their own
          intelligence. What do they know? Why, they discovered awhile ago
          that there is such a thing as electricity. Who made that
          electricity? Did man? Did he originate and place it among the
          nature's forces? Did it proceed from the acumen of man's
          intelligence and his expansive mind? No, it always existed, and
          the man who discovered it--a little smarter than his
          fellows--only found out one of the laws of nature that emanated
          from and originated with God. It is just so with steam--the
          properties which render it so useful in subserving man's purposes
          always existed, but man discovered them; if there had been no God
          to make these properties, no one could have found them out. It is
          so with the various gases and their properties, with
          minerals--their attractions and repulsions--they originated with
          God; man is incompetent to form anything of the kind. So we might
          go on through all man's boasted achievements; they amount to no
          more than the discovery of some of the active or latent laws of
          nature, not comprehended by men generally, but discovered by some
          who consider themselves, and they no doubt are, smarter than
          their fellows. Where, then, is the boasted intelligence of man?
          Science reveals the beauty and harmony of the world material; it
          unveils to us ten thousand mysteries in the kingdom of nature,
          and shows that all forms of life through fire and analogous decay
          are returned again to its bosom. It unfolds to us the mysteries
          of cloud and rains, dew and frost, growth and decay, and reveals
          the operation of those silent irresistible forces which give
          vitality to the world. It reveals to us the more wonderful
          operations of distant orbs and their relations to the forces of
          nature. It also reveals another grand principle, that the laws of
          nature are immutable and unchangeable as are all the works of
          God. Those principles and powers and forces have undergone no
          change since they were first organized, or, if changed, they have
          returned again to the original elements from which they were
          derived. All of the properties of nature were as perfect at the
          creation as now; all the elements of nature possessed the same
          specific properties, affinities and capacity of combination that
          they do at present. Trees, shrubs, plants, flowers, birds,
          beasts, fishes and man were as perfect then as now. God's works
          are all perfect and governed by eternal laws. It reminds me of an
          infant; I can compare it to nothing else. The new-born child is
          perfectly oblivious to anything and everything around it,
          although marvellous in its organization and perfect in its
          structure. By and by it holds up its hand and discovers for the
          first time that it has a hand. It had it before, but a new light
          bursts upon the brain of the child, and it discovers it has a
          hand, and no doubt thinks it is wonderful wise in finding it out,
          just as some of our philosophers do when they discover the
          properties of matter. But God made the child's hand, and it was
          in existence before its brain was capable of comprehending it.
          And so were all these things, about the discovery of which men
          boast so much. God made them and made them perfect. Yet men will
          boast that they know things independent of God, whereas unless
          they had been aided by the Spirit of the Lord, and unless the
          principles had existed they never could have been found out, for
          no man could have originated them himself. All that man has ever
          done, with all his boasted intelligence, has been simply to
          develop or find out a few of the common principles of nature that
          always have existed, and always will exist, for these things and
          every principle of nature are eternal. The Gospel is also
          eternal. But where is there a man who understands heavenly
          things? Who can unravel them? Who has been behind the vail and
          talked with the Gods? Who among the wise men, philosophers,
          divines, philanthropists, kings, rulers or authorities of the
          earth can comprehend God or His designs. If we can understand so
          imperfectly the laws of nature with which we are surrounded, with
          the privileges of seeing, feeling, comparing and analyzing, what
          do we know of things beyond our vision, hearing, or
          comprehension? We can read, in the history of the past, of the
          rise and fall of nations, of the downfall of thrones and of the
          destruction of kingdoms; we can read of wars and rumors of wars.
          History points out what has transpired in relation to the nations
          of the earth and to men who have lived upon it, but who can
          penetrate into the future? Man is an immortal being: he is
          destined to live in time and throughout all eternity. He
          possesses not only a body, but a soul that will exist while "life
          or thought or being lasts, or immortality endures." Who can tell
          in relation to this future? Who can tell things pertaining to our
          heavenly existence, or the object God had in view for creating
          this and other worlds, and the destiny of the human family? No
          man, except God reveals it to him. What has been and still is the
          position of the world in relation to these things? It has been
          governed by every kind of dogma and theory of religion. "Isms" of
          every kind have prevailed in turn--polytheism, infidelity,
          Christianity in its ten thousand forms, and every kind of theory
          and dogma that the human imagination could invent. Such
          contrarieties show definitely and positively that men, by wisdom,
          cannot find out God. And Christianity, at the present time, is no
          more enlightened than other systems have been. What does the
          Christian world know about God? Nothing; yet these very men
          assume the right and power to tell others what they shall and
          what they shall not believe in. Why, so far as the things of God
          are concerned, they are the veriest fools; they know neither God
          nor the things of God. Our Government is engaged just now in an
          act of this kind. Our legislators would tell me what I shall and
          shall not believe in, what shall be the course of my morals, as
          if they were immaculate and had been made perfect; as though they
          had inspiration from on high, and had found out the truth in all
          its richness, power and glory; as though they had conversed with
          the heavens and were acquainted with God. Oh, fools! What do they
          know about the truth? No more than a child about its hand. They
          are imbecile and ignorant and in the dark, and the greatest
          difficulty in the matter is--they are fools and don't know it.
          We consider, and always have since this Church was organized,
          that the part of Scripture that I quoted before is true--namely,
          "No man knows the things of God but by the Spirit of God." We, as
          Latter-day Saints, understood no correct principle until it was
          revealed to us. I did not, nor have I ever met with anybody that
          did, and I have travelled very extensively over the world that we
          live in, and have met with all classes and grades of men in
          different nations. We, as Latter-day Saints, are indebted to the
          revelations of God, given unto Joseph Smith, for the knowledge of
          the very first principles of the doctrine of Christ, and he could
          not have known it unless it had been revealed to him. One thing I
          did know of myself before I came into this Church, and that is
          more than a great many know of themselves--namely, that I was a
          fool, and did not know anything unless God revealed it. It takes
          a great deal of hammering to get that into some men's minds. The
          main questions in my mind, when this Gospel came, were, "Is this
          true?" "Is this from God, or is it not?" "Has God, indeed, spoken
          as this man says He has?" If He has not, it is all a fiction, a
          farce and delusion, like the other "isms" that exist in the
          world; if He has, it is for me to obey, no matter what the
          consequences may be.
          There is one thing that has always been satisfactory to my mind
          in relation to this Gospel--there has never been one principle
          revealed, at any time, but what has been instructive and in
          accordance with the Scriptures, which we consider to be of divine
          origin. Never one principle but what could be substantiated by
          the word of God, although we did not know it before, and the
          world does not know it now. And I may also say that there has
          never been a principle revealed but what has been strictly
          philosophical and is in accordance with good, sound common sense;
          and, furthermore, I will go on beyond that and say that no
          principle ever will be revealed but what will be in accordance
          with philosophy, if we can comprehend it. As there is a
          philosophy of the earth and a philosophy of the heavens, it needs
          heavenly instruction to comprehend the heavenly things. But, as I
          said before, "no man knows the things of God, but by the Spirit
          of God." The Scriptures show unto us how we may obtain that
          Spirit, which will give us a knowledge for ourselves.
          When this Gospel was revealed, it was declared unto us that it
          was an everlasting gospel, that there was a Priesthood associated
          with it, and that that Priesthood was everlasting; so we were
          presented with an everlasting Priesthood, and with an everlasting
          Gospel. There was also an everlasting covenant associated with
          it. We were told how we might obtain a knowledge of this Gospel
          for ourselves--the promise being that if we would repent of our
          sins and be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the
          remission of them, by one having authority, we should receive the
          Holy Ghost. We were also told that that Holy Ghost would place us
          in communication with God; that it would take of the things of
          God and show them unto us, and that we should know for a
          certainty, each of us for ourselves, of the truths that had been
          proclaimed unto us.
          This was the position that we were placed in. We went forward and
          obeyed it, for we were told that God had revealed Himself from
          the heavens, that He had restored the Gospel by the means of a
          holy angel, as referred to by John the Revelator, and that He had
          restored, by authority direct from heaven, communication between
          Himself, the heavenly world and His creatures here. We were told
          that by obedience to that Gospel we should be made the recipients
          of a Spirit which would bring things past to our remembrance,
          that would lead us into all truth and show us things to come.
          Believing in this message, this vast crowd of people before me
          to-day, went forth and bowed in obedience, and they received that
          Spirit, and they knew and do know that the Gospel they had
          preached unto them came not in word only, but in power and in the
          demonstration of the Spirit, and that the Holy Ghost accompanied
          it. You know, and I know, that when you obeyed this Gospel and
          had hands laid upon you for the reception of the Holy Ghost, you
          received it. Who else knows anything about it? Nobody. Do any of
          these strangers around? No. Jesus said to Nicodemus, "Except a
          man is born again, he can not see the kingdom of God." Then what
          do they know about it? You talk to a blind man about colors, and
          ask him to tell the difference between red and white, black and
          blue, and he would tell you perhaps that one was long and the
          other short, that one was light and the other heavy. He could not
          describe, nor his sense comprehend it. Jesus said a man could not
          see the kingdom of God unless he was born of the Spirit. Did he
          speak the truth? I think he did. And when you were born again of
          the water and of the Spirit, you saw and you entered into the
          kingdom of God, and things that you were ignorant of before, you
          then comprehended. Many of you felt a good deal like the blind
          man spoken of in the Scriptures, after he had been healed by our
          Savior. The Scribes and Pharisees, a learned and very holy body
          of men--spoke to his father, saying, "Give God the glory, for we
          know that this man is a sinner." They knew that Jesus was an
          imposter, a deceiver, a false prophet, a blasphemer, and that he
          cast out devils through Beelzebub, the prince of devils, and that
          he was one of the wickedest, meanest curses in existence. "Give
          God the glory," said they, "for we know this man is a sinner."
          The father of him who had been healed of his blindness said,
          "Whether he is a sinner, I know not; but this I do know, that
          whereas this my son was once blind and now he sees." Now a great
          many of you here are very much deluded in the estimation of the
          philosophers, wise men and priests of the world; but if you do
          not comprehend the philosophy of the whole matter, one thing you
          all know--that once you were blind, but now you see. You
          understood that years ago and you understand it to-day, and no
          man can deprive you of that knowledge, or strip you of that
          information. No man can rob you of that light: it is the gift of
          God, it emanates from Jehovah, and no man can take it away, or
          reason or legislate it away; it is an eternal principle,
          emanating from God, and that is something the worldly-wise and
          great know nothing about. You who are here to-day, who have
          obeyed this Gospel, are witnesses of the truth of which I speak;
          I am a witness and I bear witness to it.
          We are told that Jesus said on a certain occasion to his
          disciples, "It is necessary that I go away, for if I go not away
          the Comforter will not come. If I go away I will send you a
          Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost." What will it do for you? It
          will lead you into all truth, so that you will see eye to eye and
          comprehend the purposes of God; you will march in line; you will
          be under one instructor; you will have one Lord, one faith, one
          baptism; one God who is in all and through all, will inspire and
          guide and dictate you; you will not be split up and divided as
          the sectarians are--every man taking his own course, every man
          for himself and the devil for the whole; it will not be setting
          up human intellect above the intelligence and inspiration of the
          Almighty. Instead of this, all will bow to the dictates of
          Jehovah; the aspiration of every heart will be, "O, God, thou
          that rulest in the heavens; O thou Supreme Governor of the
          universe, that created all things and controls all things, impart
          to me a small moiety of Thy wisdom! Inspire me with a little of
          that intelligence that dwells in Thy bosom! Give me a little of
          Thy Holy Spirit, that I may comprehend Thee and Thy laws, and
          walk in obedience to Thy commands!" This will be the feeling of
          that individual. "O God, teach me the paths of life and then give
          power to walk in them!"
          Jesus told them they should have the Holy Ghost, the Comforter;
          the Spirit should bring things past to their remembrance, it
          should enable them to comprehend something about the world and
          why it was organized and by whom; why man was placed upon it;
          what the position of the human family is in relation to the
          present, past and future; find out what God's dealings had been
          with the human family in ages gone and past, and His designs in
          relation to the world. Then it should unfold things to come, it
          should draw back the curtain of futurity and by the inspiration
          and intelligence of that Spirit which proceeds from God, it
          should grasp the future. It should comprehend the destiny of the
          human family, and by the revelations which God should
          communicate, make known the life to come in the eternal worlds.
          This is the kind of thing that the everlasting Gospel
          communicates, and it is the revelation of God to man. But the
          world, as I said before, know not the things of God, and they
          cannot comprehend them.
          I have had it asked my by philosophers, "Is this the only way you
          propose to ameliorate the condition of the human family--faith in
          the Lord Jesus Christ, baptism for the remission of sins and the
          laying on of hands for the reception of the Holy Ghost?" Yes,
          that is God's way of doing it; that is the way He has pointed
          out. I remember, on one occasion, being in the city of Paris, and
          a gentleman came to me to inquire concerning the Gospel. He was
          associated with a system of socialism, very common in France,
          called Icarianism. A company of them went to Nauvoo after we
          left. This gentleman was a philosopher, and the society was
          trying to carry out its philosophy in France, and they aimed to
          bring about the Millennium. They never prayed to God, they were
          going to do it by human intelligence. This gentleman, whose name
          was Krolikrosky, called upon me, when after a lengthy
          conversation on the principles of our faith, said he, referring
          to faith, repentance, baptism and the laying on of hands for the
          reception of the Holy Ghost, the first principles of our Gospel:
          "Is this all you propose to ameliorate the condition of the
          world?" "Yes." He answered, "I hope you will succeed, but I am
          afraid you will not." "Permit me," I said, "to draw your
          attention to one or two things. I am a religionist." "Yes." "I
          profess to have had revelation from God; you do not." "That is
          so," said he. "You have sent out to Nauvoo a number of your most
          intellectual men, well provided with means of every kind and with
          talent of the first order. Now what is the result? They have gone
          to a place that we have deserted; they found houses built,
          gardens and farms enclosed, nothing to do but to take possession
          of them?" "Yes. They found buildings of all kinds, public and
          private, in which they could live and congregate." Yes. Was there
          ever a people better situated in regard to testing your natural
          philosophy? You could not have hit upon a better place. It is a
          fertile country, on the banks of the most magnificent stream in
          the United States--the Mississippi. Houses built, gardens made,
          fields enclosed and cultivated. You have wise men among you--the
          wisest, the creme de la creme of your society, yet with all this
          and the favorable circumstances under which your people commenced
          there, what have you done? Every time that I take up a paper of
          yours the cry from there is, 'Send us means;' 'we want means;'
          'we are in difficulty;' 'we want more money.' This is their
          eternal cry, is it not?" "Yes." "Now," said I, "on the other
          hand, we left our farms, houses, gardens, fields, orchards, and
          everything we had, except what we took along in the shape of
          food, seeds, farming utensils, wagons, carts, and we wandered for
          from ten to fifteen hundred miles, with hand-carts, ox teams and
          any way we could, and settled, finally, among the red savages of
          the forest. We had no fields to go to and no houses built; when
          we went there it was a desert--a howling wilderness, and the
          natives with which we were surrounded were as savage as the
          country itself. Now then, what is the result? We have only been
          there a few years, but what are we doing? We are sending money to
          bring in our emigration; we are sending hundreds of thousands of
          dollars, and have expended half a million a year in teams to
          bring in our poor from the nations. But what of you wise men who
          know not God, and think you know better than He does, what are
          you doing--you philosophers, intelligent men and philanthropists,
          crying out eternally, 'Send us help?" Which is the best?" Said
          he, "Mr. Taylor, I have nothing to say."
          We care nothing about the opinions of men, let them look upon us
          as they may. We can say as the old Apostle said, "we are living
          epistles, known and read of all men." Judge us by our works. Do
          thieves, renegades, blacklegs and corrupt men accomplish the work
          done here? Where are your Gentile associations? Here we have a
          magnificent city called Corinne, instituted by you gentlemen
          Gentiles here. What a magnificent place it is! It looks as if
          Tophet has been spewed out to people it with honorable American
          citizens! Yet these men will prate to us about morality, the poor
          miserable curses! O, shame, if thou hadst any blood in thy body,
          thou wouldst blush for very shame at the transactions of this
          world in which we live.
          But we believe in God, and you Latter-day Saints, your religion
          is as true as it was ten, twenty, thirty, or eighteen hundred or
          six thousand years ago. It has not changed, and I do not think
          that it will. It is everlasting; it is eternal in its nature and
          its consequences, and, whether other men know what they are doing
          or not, we do. If others do not attend to eternity, we do; if
          others know nothing about God, we do, and we know where we are
          going and how we are going. God has pointed out to us the path,
          and we intend to walk in it, in spite of all the powers of earth
          and hell.
          God has taught us the relationship that should exist between us
          and the eternal worlds. That is a thing that is very much found
          fault with. He has unveiled the future to us and told us that man
          is not made for here alone, and then to die and rot and be
          forgotten, or to sing himself away somewhere beyond the bounds of
          time and space where nobody ever was nor ever will be. We have
          been taught something different from that. We are aiming at
          eternal exaltation, at thrones, principalities and powers in the
          eternal worlds. Being made in the image of God, male and female,
          and having had developed to us the laws of this life and the laws
          of the life to come, we take the privilege of walking according
          to these laws, despite the ideas and notions of men.
          Who is there among the men of the world who know anything about
          the future? I know how it was with me, and how it was with you,
          Jew, Gentile, Mormon, everybody. What was it! If you applied to
          the priesthood of the day to be married, the priest told you he
          joined you in the holy bonds of matrimony until death. And what
          then? You had to find out the rest by your own ingenuity. No
          matter about the future. Is that all man was made for--to live,
          marry and die--and nothing pertaining to the future? Is man made
          in the image of God? Is God our Father? Is there a heaven above?
          Is there an eternity before us, and are we to prepare ourselves
          for it or not? We take the liberty of following the counsel of
          Jehovah, revealed to us in relation to it.
          What man has a claim upon his wife in eternity? It is true that
          some of the writers of the yellow-backed literature have a
          philosophy a little in advance of the priests of the day. Some of
          them do tell us about eternal unions. They expect to be married
          here and hereafter. They know nothing about it, still they are in
          advance of the clergy. They follow the instincts of nature, and
          nature unperverted looks forwards to a reunion. We are not
          governed by opinion in these matters. God has revealed the
          principle, and our wives are sealed to us for time and eternity.
          When we get through with this life we expect to be associated in
          the next, and therefore we pursue the course that we do, and no
          power this side of hell, nor there either, can stop it.
          Our course is onward. The Lord has revealed to us the pearl of
          great price. We have sacrificed everything that the world calls
          good to purchase it; we are in possession and we will not part
          with it for worlds. We "fear not men, who can kill the body," as
          Jesus said; and after that there is no more that they can do. We
          fear God who is able to cast both soul and body into hell. Yea,
          we fear Him.
          We make our covenants, then, for eternity, because the Gospel is
          an everlasting Gospel. Every truth that ever did exist is
          everlasting. Man is an eternal being; his body is eternal. It may
          die and slumber, but it will burst the barriers of the tomb and
          come forth in the resurrection of the just. I know that some of
          our wise men, even some among us, profess to think that these
          things are only folly. However, I look at them differently. I
          believe the Bible; I believe in the revelations of God and in the
          manifestations of the Spirit of God. I would rather possess the
          feeling that Job had when he was afflicted, cast out, oppressed
          and despoiled, when he lay scraping himself with a potsherd,
          wallowing in ashes, than the proud and lofty folly that dwells in
          the heart of the unbeliever and scorner. Said Job, "I know that
          my Redeemer lives, and that He shall stand in the latter days
          upon the earth; and though after my skin worms destroy this body,
          yet in my flesh shall I see God; whom I shall see for myself and
          mine eyes shall behold, not for another; and though worms destroy
          this body, yet in my flesh shall I see God." Those were his
          feelings. This transpired in the "dark ages," when men did not
          know so much about electricity, locomotives and a few other
          scientific discoveries, as they do in this enlightened age. I
          also read in the sayings of the prophets, given under the
          inspiration of the Almighty, that "the dead, small and great,
          shall rise, and that bone shall be joined to its bone, sinew to
          sinew, and they became a living army before God." I knew a man,
          whom many of you knew, who built a tomb for himself in the city
          of Nauvoo. His name was Joseph Smith, and many of you heard him
          say what I shall now relate. Said he, "I expect when the time of
          the resurrection comes to rise up in my tomb there, and strike
          hands with my brethren, with my father and with my mother, and
          hail the day when we shall burst from the barriers of the tomb
          and awake to immortal life." Have you never heard him talk thus?
          I have. Shall we reject from our belief the glorious principles
          of eternity--the resurrection of the just? Says John, when wrapt
          in prophetic vision, and clothed upon with the Spirit and power
          of God and the revelations of Jehovah, "I saw the dead, small and
          great, stand before God; and the sea gave up the dead which were
          in it; and death and hell delivered up the dead which were in
          them, and all nations stood before God."
          I want a part in the resurrection. The angel said, "Blessed and
          holy is he who has part in the first resurrection." I want to
          have part in the first resurrection. It is that which leads me to
          hope. It is that hope which buoys me up under difficulties and
          sustains me while passing through tribulation, for I know as well
          as Job knew that my "redeemer lives, and that He shall stand in
          the latter days upon the earth," and I know that I shall stand
          upon it with him. I therefore bear this testimony.
          Allow me to quote a little Scripture. You know that there is a
          saying, by one of the Apostles, that Jesus was a priest for ever
          after the order of Melchizedek; and speaking further of this
          Melchizedek, the Apostle says he was "without father, without
          mother, without descent, having neither beginning of days nor end
          of years." A very singular sort of man, was he not? Did you ever
          see a man like that? We are told that Jesus was a priest for ever
          after the order of Melchizedek. Now, there never was a man
          without father or mother, but this refers to his Priesthood, that
          was without beginning of days or end of years, and Jesus had the
          same kind of Priesthood that Melchizedek had.
          Now we talk about the everlasting Gospel, and we will go back to
          some of these dark ages referred to. The Melchizedek Priesthood
          holds the mysteries of the revelations of God. Wherever that
          Priesthood exists, there also exists a knowledge of the laws of
          God; and wherever the Gospel has existed, there has always been
          revelation; and where there has been no revelation, there never
          has been the true Gospel. Let us go back to those times. We find
          that the Gospel was preached unto Abraham, and that Melchizedek
          was the man to whom Abraham paid tithes, and that Melchizedek
          blessed him. Paul tells us, "Verily the less is blessed of the
          better." Now Abraham had the Gospel, and Melchizedek had it, and
          the law was added because of transgression; and by and by, when
          Jesus came, He was a priest for ever after the order of
          Melchizedek, and he restored the Gospel, and consequently
          revelations, the opening of the heavens and the manifestation of
          the power of God; and whenever the Gospel has existed, in any age
          of the world, these same manifestations have existed with it; and
          whenever these have not been upon the earth, there has been no
          Gospel. The Gospel is the power of God unto salvation to every
          one that believes, for therein is the righteousness of God
          revealed from faith to faith."
          In addition to Melchizedek, the Bible also mentions a man called
          Moses, and he had the Gospel, for Paul tells us "that he preached
          it to the children of Israel in the wilderness, but that it
          profited them nothing, not being mixed with faith." There was
          another man called Elijah, that we read of in the Bible. He was
          one of those fanatics who believe in revelation, and he had the
          Gospel. We come down to the time that Jesus was here on the
          earth; and on one occasion we read that he was on the mount with
          three of his disciples, Peter, James and John, and Jesus was
          transfigured before them. And Peter said, "Master, it is good for
          us to be here, let us make three tabernacles, one for thee, one
          for Moses and one for Elias." What? Was Moses, that old fellow
          who led the children of Israel from Egypt, there? That shows that
          he had the everlasting Gospel and Priesthood; and having got rid
          of the affairs of this world, he returned to minister to Jesus
          when he was on the earth. Was Elias there too? So Peter said.
          What was he doing there? He died long before, but having held the
          everlasting Priesthood he lived again, and lives for evermore. We
          will go to another man. There are curious things in the Bible, if
          the people only believed them; but they do not, and that is the
          trouble. I refer to John, the beloved disciple. We are told that
          he was banished because he was a fanatic--I was going to say a
          Mormon--as John did not agree with the enlightenment, philosophy
          and intelligence that existed then. What did they do with him?
          They banished him and sent him to the Isle of Patmos; and
          compelled him to labor among the slaves in the lead mines; he was
          not fit for civilized society, but they could not deprive him of
          fellowship. While there with the Almighty, he was carried away in
          the Spirit, and that Spirit manifested to him things past, for
          generations gone; things present--the condition of the churches
          that then existed; and also things to come--the world with all
          its myriads of inhabitants down to the winding-up scene. He saw
          the dead, small and great, stand before God, and the books were
          opened; and another book was opened, called the Book of Life; and
          he saw a hundred and forty-four thousand, and a number that no
          man can number, who sang a new song, and the glories of eternity,
          and the past, present and future were unveiled before his vision.
          He saw the new Jerusalem descend from above, and the Zion from
          above meeting the Zion from below, and they were married and
          became one. He saw the end of the nations, and of the world.
          "Cloud-capped towers and gorgeous palaces were dissolved," and
          everything passed away. He gazed upon the whole; and a mighty
          angel stood before him, and he was about to bow down before him
          and to worship him; but the angel said, "Stop, do not worship
          me!" "Why? Who are you? You are a glorious personage; you are
          filled with greatness, and surrounded by majesty, glory and
          power, and the visions of eternity seem to be at your command,
          for you have unfolded them to me. Will you not let me worship
          you?" "No." "Who are you?" "I am one of thy fellow-servants, the
          prophets, who kept the testimony of Jesus, and the word of God,
          while here upon the earth, and feared God and kept His
          commandments. Do not worship me, worship God." Said he, "I am one
          of those old fellows who were buffeted, persecuted and
          misrepresented just as you are; despised as you are by fools who
          knew nothing about God or eternity."
          Well, now, we believe these things. We believe in a religion that
          will reach into eternity, that will bring us into connection with
          God. We believe that God has set up His kingdom on the earth; we
          believe and know that it will roll forth and spread and extend,
          that Zion will be built up, that the glory of God will rest upon
          it; that the arm of Jehovah will be made bare in its defence;
          that the power of God will be exerted in behalf of His people;
          that Zion will rise and shine, and that the glory of God will be
          manifested among His Saints. We know that this kingdom will grow
          and increase until the kingdoms of this world will become the
          kingdoms of our God and His Christ, and that He shall rule and
          reign for ever and ever. And we expect to join in the universal
          anthem, "Hosanna, hosanna, for the Lord God omnipotent reigneth,"
          and will reign until all enemies are under His feet.
          God bless Israel. God bless all His Saints, and let the wrath of
          God be upon the enemies of Zion from this time henceforth and for
          ever, in the name of Jesus. Amen.
          Journal of Discourses / Journal of Discourses, Volume 13 /
          Brigham Young, February 20, 1870
                          Brigham Young, February 20, 1870
           Delivered in the Tabernacle, Salt Lake City, February 20, 1870.
                            (Reported by David W. Evans.)
          It is some time since I have spoken to the people in this
          capacity, and I have a few words to say to Saints and sinners.
          That is a common expression, but as we are all sinners, I might
          say a few words to sinners exclusively.
          The Gospel of the Son of God that has been revealed is a plan or
          system of laws and ordinances, by strict obedience to which the
          people who inhabit this earth are assured that they may return
          again into the presence of the Father and the Son.
          I frequently contemplate the condition of this so-called strange
          people the Latter-day Saints. "A strange people" is a peculiar
          expression, as though we were different from others! I know that
          we are so considered, but in my opinion we are the most rational,
          common sense people that live on the face of the earth. We are
          trying to become natural in our habits, and are striving to
          fulfil the end and design of our creation. When we read of and
          contemplate the manners, morals and customs that prevail in the
          world and compare them with those of the Latter-day Saints, we
          may justly come to the conclusion that we are "a strange people,"
          for, in these respects, we are very different to the rest of the
          world. How strange it is that we should do differently from the
          rest of mankind! How strange it is that we should believe
          differently from our neighbors! It is very strange indeed that we
          cannot embrace the so-called Christian religion and be satisfied
          therewith. If we were to ask the infidel world some few
          questions, they might talk, philosophize and bring up their
          sophistry, but they could not prove a truth to be an untruth. The
          whole infidel world cannot prove that we are not here on this
          earth, that the sun does not shine, that we do not speak and
          hear, that we do not see with our eyes and handle with our hands,
          that we have not the power of tasting and smelling and have not
          the use of our natural senses. You all know that I have got eyes,
          for you can see them; you know I can speak, for you can hear my
          voice; you know that you are here in a building, rude as it may
          be, and you know that you walk on the ground; you know that you
          breathe the air, and you also know that when you are thirsty you
          desire water to drink, and that when you are hungry you want
          something palatable to eat. We all know these things by the
          exercise of our natural senses, but there are many things of
          which we are ignorant. We may look at ourselves and the people
          generally, and the earth upon which we walk, and without the
          revelations of God we know not who we are, whence we came, nor
          who formed the earth on which we live, move and have our being.
          Did I bring the particles of matter together and form the earth?
          No. Did you, Mr. Philosopher? Did you, Mr. Infidel, or you, Mr.
          Christian, Pagan, or Jew? No, not any of us. We know that we are
          here, but who brought us here or how we came are questions the
          solution of which depends upon a power superior to ours. The
          ideas of the inhabitants of the earth with regard to their own
          creation and destiny, and with regard to the destiny of the
          earth, are very crude and vague. But we must all acknowledge that
          some individual, being, power or influence superior to ourselves
          produced us and the earth and brought us forth and holds us in
          existence, and causes the revolutions of the earth and of the
          planetary system. These are facts that neither we nor all mankind
          can controvert; the whole Christian and even the heathen world
          will acknowledge all this; but what do they know about it? Who
          understands the modus operandi by which all this was brought
          about and continued? Who is able to leap forth into the immensity
          of thought, space, contemplation and research, and search out the
          principles by which we are here and by which we are sustained?
          The strangest phenomenon to the inhabitants of the earth to-day
          is that God, the maker and preserver of the earth and all it
          contains, should speak from heaven to His creatures, the works of
          His hands here. What would there be strange in the mechanician,
          after constructing the most beautiful and ingenious piece of
          mechanism it is possible to conceive of, speaking to it and
          admiring the beauty, regularity and order of its motions? Nothing
          whatever. Well, to me it is not at all strange that He who framed
          and fashioned this beautiful world and all the myriads and
          varieties of organizations it contains, should come and visit
          them; to me this is perfectly natural, and when we remember and
          compare the belief of this people with that of the rest of the
          world we need not be surprized at being considered "a strange
               Brother George A. Smith has been relating to us something
          about the history and belief of some of his forefathers, and
          others; one believed one thing and another another. It was with
          them, as it was in the days of the Apostles--some were for Paul,
          some for Apollos, some for Cephas and some for Christ. To me it
          is more rational for an intelligent being to embrace truth, than
          it is to mix up a little truth with a great deal of error, or to
          embrace all error and undertake to follow a phantom. Have you
          embraced truth, Latter-day Saints? Have you anything different
          from other Christians? Yes. What have you got? You have got a
          Father in heaven, a system of religion, a plan of salvation, with
          doctrines and ordinances. What are they? We read them in the
          Bible, and the same things again in the Book of Mormon, both of
          which are precisely the same as the principles contained in the
          Book of Doctrine and Covenants, each one corroborating the other.
          It is written that out of the mouths of two or three witnesses
          every word shall be established, and here, in the New Testament,
          we have the words of the evangelists; in the Old Testament the
          words of the prophets and patriarchs; and again, the testimony of
          others in the Book of Mormon; and last of all, given in our own
          day, the testimony of Joseph Smith in the Book of Doctrine and
          Covenants; all coinciding, and the two latter corroborating, the
          fact that the Bible, as far as it is correctly translated, is the
          word of God. The Bible contains the word of God, the word of
          Jesus, of angels, of good men, of those tolerably good, of wicked
          men, and the words of the devil, the enemy of all righteousness,
          the enemy of Jesus, and the enemy of this world, who is
          determined that he will possess the earth and its inhabitants;
          and in the main it is true; and every item of doctrine taught by
          the Latter-day Saints is to be found in this book. Then, why
          should the Latter-day Saints appear so obnoxious and disagreeable
          to the world--fairly a hiss and a by-word? What is the reason of
          this? Is it because we can swear more and better than others? No.
          Because we can lie more and better than others? Well, can you
          steal better than others? No; I will defy you to do that. Are you
          better gamblers? No. Do you intrude more on your neighbors'
          rights than others? No. Do you bear false witness more than
          others? No. Can you revile the name of the Savior more than
          others? No. Well then, why are we considered so strange a people?
          Simply because we believe in the reality of the principles
          contained in the word of God, and maintain that man, in this day,
          needs and obtains direct revelation from his Creator for
          Let us look now for a moment at what is termed the "moral code,"
          the ten commandments revealed by the Lord to the Jews, the House
          of Israel, for a law to control their everyday walk and conduct.
          Do the Latter-day Saints keep this? Yes. Does that make them so
          very strange? Why should it? Does that fact make them a speckled
          bird in the communities of the world? It should not. Then why is
          it that we are so considered? We have a Father; He is in heaven;
          He has told us to call Him Father; He says that we are His
          children. Now, excuse me everybody that does not believe in the
          Bible, or who is inclined not to believe in it, we are so unwise,
          so shortsighted, so foolish in our imagination that we believe
          the Bible, we actually believe that God the Father is our
          heavenly Father, that we are His children; and we believe that
          Jesus Christ is our elder brother--that he is actually the Son of
          our Father and that he is the Savior of the world, and was
          appointed to this before the foundations of this earth were laid.
          We are just so foolish and short-sighted as to believe all this.
          We know that this age, by the outside world, is considered a fast
          age; we think it is very fast, so far as unbelief goes. The
          people now-a-days profess to be very enlightened and they say,
          "Don't be so superstitious as to believe the Bible;" and the idea
          of Jesus being sacrificed for the sins of the world is ridiculed
          by many. They say, "Oh, don't have any such ideas, be more
          liberal, be as we are;" and I heard of one man who said he would
          not believe in, worship, nor acknowledge a God who would command
          a man to sacrifice his only son, as Abraham was called to
          sacrifice Isaac. We Latter-day Saints are just so unwise and
          foolish as to believe that the Lord Almighty required this at the
          hands of Abraham; and He did not tell Abraham that he would have
          that ram ready in the bushes. He said, "Have you confidence in
          me, my son Abraham?" "Yes," said Abraham. "Well, I will prove
          you. Bring up your son Isaac to Mount Moriah, build an altar
          there, place the wood on the altar and bind your son and place
          him on the altar and sacrifice him to me, and this will prove
          whether you have faith in me or not." The sacrifice was offered
          and accepted, and the Lord provided a way whereby Isaac could
          live. We are just so foolish, unwise and short-sighted, and so
          wanting in philosophy that we actually believe God told Abraham
          to do this very thing.
          Who is that God? He is my Father, He is your Father; we are His
          offspring. He has planted within each of us the germ of the same
          intelligence, power, glory and exaltation that He enjoys Himself.
          This proves that we are a peculiar race. We belong to the highest
          order of intelligence; and though we, as yet, are very ignorant,
          we have the privilege of increasing in intelligence, growing,
          expanding, spreading abroad, gathering in, enlarging and gaining,
          and the more we learn to-day, the better for us, for it does not
          destroy the knowledge we had yesterday; and when we learn more
          to-morrow it does not destroy the knowledge of to-day. We are
          creatures susceptible of continual education and improvement. And
          we take this book, the Bible, which I expect to see voted out of
          the so-called Christian world very soon, they are coming to it as
          fast as possible, I say we take this book for our guide, for our
          rule of action; we take it as the foundation of our faith. It
          points the way to salvation like a fingerboard pointing to a
          city, or a map which designates the locality of mountains,
          rivers, or the latitude and longitude of any place on the surface
          of the earth that we desire to find, and we have no better sense
          than to believe it; hence, I say that the Latter-day Saints have
          the most natural faith and belief of any people on the face of
          the earth.
          We believe in God the Father, in Jesus the Mediator; we believe
          in the ordinances that He has placed in His house, we believe in
          keeping the laws that He has left on record by which His Saints
          are required to square their lives, and to direct their steps. We
          do all this and we keep the moral code. Others do this, and when
          we reflect upon the righteous course of many of those who have
          lived before us, who have observed this moral code, we can see
          that great good has been done. But why should we be considered so
          strange by those who profess to believe in the Lord Jesus Christ?
          One says, "You believe in baptism by immersion, and we do not
          believe in it; you Latter-day Saints believe that a person should
          come to the years of accountability before he is baptized, but we
          believe in taking our infants and dipping our fingers, or in the
          priest dipping his fingers in the water and touching the
          children's foreheads and that they then become members of the
          living church and heirs of salvation." But where do you find this
          in the Bible?
          The method of administering the ordinance of baptism is a much
          disputed point among the different sects of the religious world,
          the Baptists alone maintaining that immersion is absolutely
          necessary. Some are so liberal in their views on this subject
          that they will either sprinkle or immerse at the option of the
          candidate. None, however, regard it as necessary or efficacious
          for the remission of sins, but simply as a profession of faith.
          We, the Latter-day Saints, believe in being baptized by immersion
          for the remission of sins, according to the testimony of the
          disciples of Jesus and the revelations of the Lord given in these
          last days. Infants are pure, they have neither sorrow of heart,
          nor sins to repent of and forsake, and consequently are incapable
          of being baptized for the remission of sin. If we have sinned, we
          must know good from evil; an infant does not know this, it cannot
          know it; it has not grown into the idea of contemplation of good
          and evil; it has not the capacity to listen to the parent or
          teacher or to the priest when they tell what is right or wrong or
          what is injurious; and until these things are understood a person
          cannot be held accountable and consequently cannot be baptized
          for the remission of sin.
          "Well," says the Christian, "If you really believe in being
          baptized by immersion, I expect it is correct for you, and it
          will answer every purpose; but we think sprinkling will answer
          for us." If, however, sprinkling infants be the correct method of
          administering the ordinance of baptism, we are safe even on
          Christian grounds, for all Christians will acknowledge that
          immersion is as good. If, on the other hand, immersion, or being
          buried with Christ by baptism, be the only correct method of
          administering the ordinance, and it is, according to the
          testimony of more than one of his disciples, our system will not
          avail those who have been sprinkled. But we are safe anyhow.
          Again, with regard to faith in Jesus. Along comes a man and says,
          "It is all folly to have faith in the name of Jesus. It is true
          that Christ died for all, but it is folly for you to fret
          yourselves about keeping his commandments and observing the
          ordinances left on record in the Scriptures. Jesus will save all.
          He did not come to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance,
          and if he came to save sinners do you not think he will
          accomplish the task?"
          We, the Latter-day Saints, certainly believe that Christ will
          accomplish all that he undertook to do, but he never yet said he
          would save a sinner in his sins, but that he would save him from
          his sins. He has instituted laws and ordinances whereby this can
          be effected. But this gentleman says, "Christ will save all." The
          Mormon Elders says that he will save all who come to him, all who
          hearken to his word and keep his commandments, and Jesus has
          said, "If ye love me, keep my commandments." Now this character
          to which I have referred says he loves Jesus, but it is nonsense
          to keep his commandments; but the "Mormon" says, "I love Jesus,
          and in proof of it I keep his commandments." Now, suppose the
          former is correct and Christ will save all, whether they do or do
          not keep his commandments, in that case the "Mormons" are right
          again, for they will all be saved; but suppose that Jesus
          requires strict obedience to his laws and ordinances and
          commandments, those who merely believe without rendering
          obedience to his laws are slightly incorrect, and, in the end,
          the disadvantage will again be with them.
          Now the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints believes
          every word of truth believed in by the holy Catholic Church--the
          mother church of the Christian world; and then every truth
          believed in by every Protestant reformer and revivalist that has
          ever come out from the mother church or from any of her children;
          and having all this, we wish to frame, fashion and build after
          the pattern that God has revealed; and in doing so we take all
          the laws, rules, ordinances and regulations contained in the
          Scriptures and practice them as far as possible, and then keep
          learning and improving until we can live by every word that
          proceeds out of the mouth of God.
          You may take the mother church of the Christian world, the
          reformers, universalists, deists, atheists, spiritualists and
          everybody else, and if any or all of them are right, we are sure
          that we are, for every particle of truth believed in by any one
          of them, and all the truth possessed by the whole of them
          combined is believed in by the Latter-day Saints; but if we are
          right, they will fail. Now, who is on the safe ground? Who is
          most likely to be deluded and to be found wanting? Let the people
          There is not a word in these three books, Bible, Book of Mormon
          and the Book of Doctrine and Covenants, that I have ever found
          yet, that has been delivered by the Lord to His servants, but
          what, if it is lived up to, or practiced in the life of an
          individual, it makes him or her better in every sense of the
          word. There is no code ever got up by the children of men that
          would direct them so purely in their lives as that contained in
          these three books, and if the people of the Christian world, or
          any portion of them, were to throw away or set aside faith in God
          and in Jesus Christ, and the various ordinances of the Gospel as
          contained in the Scriptures, and were to observe only the moral
          code, and observe it strictly, it would make them a better people
          than any who now live on the face of the earth, the Latter-day
          Saints excepted.
          But what is the use of forsaking any portion of the law of the
          Lord? It is true that some portions of it, through disuse or
          neglect, are now looked upon as obsolete, just as it is with some
          laws still remaining on the statute books of the nations of the
          earth; but a law possesses neither more nor less intrinsic merit
          on this account. The law once passed in England inflicting a
          penalty upon all who ate bread until it was three days old,
          possesses no less merit or virtue now that it is obsolete than in
          the day when it was enacted. It was gotten up many years ago
          because fresh bread was considered injurious to the stomach; but,
          although it is not enforced now, I believe it has never been
          repealed. Did my English brethren and sisters observe this law
          while they lived in England? I think not; perhaps they did not
          know anything about it. If, however, that law was good when it
          was made, it is good now, and there is no person in that country
          who uses bread under that age but is liable to be prosecuted. So
          it is with regard to many laws under our own and other
          governments. They are found to be inapplicable to the situation
          and condition of the people, and hence they become obsolete. We
          may take the laws contained in the Old and New Testaments, and if
          they were good in the days of the Apostles, Prophets and
          Patriarchs, why are they not good to-day? It is not because they
          are not good that they are passed over, but in some respects they
          are not as applicable to the feelings of the Christian world now
          as when they were given, because of the traditions of the
          I know that the outside world say, "Oh, you Mormons, what a poor
          degraded people you are!" You know, one public lecturer says
          there is not a public school in all Utah. I can say that if there
          are no public schools there are plenty of private schools, and
          there are no people on the face of the earth that support as many
          children in private schools as the people of Utah, according to
          their numbers. Still, the world declare that we are degraded,
          miserable and ignorant; and, "Oh, that horrid principle! Oh dear,
          it makes me blush!" Yes, it makes one think of a little
          circumstance that transpired with one of our Elders who went
          after machinery to Massachusetts. He went to inquire about
          machinery for a cotton factory, and the gentleman to whom he
          applied said, "Where are you from?" "Utah." "O, you are out among
          the Mormons?" "Yes." "Are you a Mormon?" "Yes." "Well, I
          believe," said the interrogator, "you, out there, believe in
          having more wives than one?" "Yes, that is true," said the Elder.
          "Well," said the gentleman, "I want you to come up and see my
          partner." So our brother was invited up to see the partner of the
          gentleman who had questioned him so closely, in order to talk a
          little about the number of people here, and the improvements,
          etc. The first thing, on meeting the partner, was to pitch into
          the "Mormon" about how many wives he had, and he replied that "he
          had just enough to enable him to keep from troubling his
          neighbors' wives." The gentleman that took our Elder to this
          place had a family, but the gentleman whom they visited had not,
          and he was considered a great libertine; and the one who had a
          family was delighted with the answer made by the Elder, and said
          he to his partner, "I guess you are satisfied now, I wish you
          could say as much." This is the way with the world--"How many
          wives have you got?" and, "Oh, it is so wicked, it is so
          Well, I need not talk about this; but I will say that the
          principle of patriarchal marriage is one of the highest and
          purest ever revealed to the children of men. I do not say that it
          will not injure a great many. I heard brother Joseph Smith say a
          number of times, "There is no question but it will be the means
          of damning many of the Elders of Israel; it is nevertheless true
          and must be revealed; and the Lord designs that it shall be
          revealed and go forth, and that this people must receive the
          oracles of truth, and they must receive this holy ordinance, and
          that that pertains to the celestial world; and they will
          retrograde if they do not embrace more of the celestial law than
          they have yet."
          I say, with regard to this principle, if it was good in the days
          of Abraham and of the Patriarchs and Prophets, or at any other
          period of the world's history, and the fact that the Lord
          commanded His servants anciently to observe it, is conclusive
          proof that it was so considered by Him, why is it not good now?
          It certainly does not go as far as some of our lecturers in the
          East, who advocate the abolition of the marriage ceremony by
          Government. We do not go quite as far as this; we can't receive
          all that they do or would receive. We can't believe a great many
          things the so-called Christian world believe, because they are
          neither Scriptural nor true.
          Now, with regard to this moral code, of which I have been
          speaking, I will leave it to the greatest infidel, or to the
          smallest infidel on the earth, or to the wickedest and most
          riotous person that can be found, and I am satisfied that he will
          say that lives squared according to its precepts, whether of
          individuals or communities, are the very best that can be led. I
          say to the world, do not blame us for believing it. Do not blame
          the Latter-day Saints for believing the Bible. "We will not,"
          says the Christian world, "if you will not practice it." Aye,
          there's the rub! Now, I ask the question, who manifest true
          wisdom, they who possess the principles of truth and practice
          them, or they who possess and profess to believe them and yet
          refuse to practice them? I leave it to the world to say which is
          the wiser course. I think that if I did not believe in baptism
          enough to be baptized for the remission of my sins, I would say I
          do not believe and consequently I will not be baptized. And if I
          did not believe in the Lord's Supper, I would say so, and would
          set that aside in my practice. If I did not believe in the
          atonement of the Son of God, or in the virtue and efficacy of his
          blood, I would say I do not believe enough to practice what he
          has told me, I think I would be honest enough to say so, and I
          would live as fast and as close as my feeble capacity would
          permit me to what I did believe in.
          When I look at universalism, deism, atheism, and at the various
          sects of the day, I feel that if we fail they are ready to catch
          us; but if we are right, they are wrong, and we must officiate
          for them and bring them up or they are for ever lost. Who is
          right and who is wrong, who are on sure ground and who are not?
          This is an important question. It brings to mind a little
          anecdote that I have heard my brother Joseph tell. A certain king
          came along by a house where there resided a poor family of
          children, little girls, who were out at play. He stopped his
          carriage and spoke to them, saying, "Children, I am going a
          little further; I shall be back presently. I wish you to wash
          yourselves and get on your best clothing, for I want to take you
          home with me to a feast." The children, all but one, kept on
          playing and paid no attention; this one stepped into the house
          and washed herself. When asked what she was doing, she said she
          was washing and was going to put on her best clothing, for the
          king had promised to take her in his carriage if she would do so.
          She was laughed at for believing that he would do any such thing,
          and told to go on with her play. But she washed and dressed and
          sat until the king's carriage returned; and she being the only
          one ready, the king took her up, carried her home, gave her
          presents and blessed her; but the rest of the children, not
          having heeded the words of the king, received no blessing at his
          hands. So it is with the whole world of mankind. They say it is
          folly in the extreme to believe as we Latter-day Saints believe;
          it is all nonsense. They say, "Jesus will never call us to
          judgment; he will never come to receive his own; he will never
          come to reign on the earth;" but they will find their mistake out
          when the king comes along; and I am thankful that I am looking at
          some who, like the little girl, are preparing for his coming.
          Let me ask again, who is on safe ground? Is the apostate on safe
          ground? What has he got? If he has found truth, it is here. We
          have embraced all truth in the heavens, on the earth, under the
          earth, on other planets, and in every kingdom there is in all the
          eternities. Every truth in every kingdom that exists is embraced
          in our faith, and the Lord reveals a little here and a little
          there, line upon line, and He will continue to do so until we can
          reach into eternity and embrace a fullness of His glory,
          excellency and power. Who are on safe ground, then? These poor
          despised "Mormons" are the only people who live on the face of
          the earth that we know anything of who are on safe ground.
          Whether the Bible is true or not, no matter.
          Now then, for a few words on the opposite side. Leaving the
          difference between the good and the evil, between light and
          darkness, and between right and wrong, truth and error, as marked
          out by the dividing line, let us glance at the effects of the two
          principles. Light, intelligence, good, that which is of God,
          creates, fashions, forms, builds up, brings into existence,
          beautifies, makes excellent, glories, extends and increases;
          while on the other hand that which is not of God burns, destroys,
          cuts down, ruins and produces darkness and unbelief in the minds
          of the people. Light and intelligence lead people to the fountain
          of truth; while the opposite principle says, "Don't believe a
          word, don't do a thing; burn up and destroy." Well now, when you
          leave the truth you have nothing but unbelief. And this latter is
          precisely the condition of the ungodly world, and, as fast as the
          wheels of time can roll they are going downward, downward to
          confusion, distress, anarchy and ruin. Their much boasted liberal
          feelings and extended views will not bring peace or truth to
          them; but they are bringing contention and darkness, hatred and
          malice. That system that brings present security and peace is the
          best to live by, and the best to die by; it is the best for doing
          business; it is the best for making farms, for building cities
          and temples, and that system is the law of God. But it requires
          strict obedience. The rule of right and the line which God has
          drawn for the people to walk by insures peace, comfort, and
          happiness now and eternal glory and exaltation; but nothing short
          of strict obedience to God's law will do this.
          Brethren and sisters, I can bear my testimony that the Gospel is
          true. But what will this do for a person who has no eyes to see
          it and its beauties, no mind or heart to understand the
          excellency of this code of laws and ordinances that God has
          revealed? I say the Gospel is true, but what does this amount to,
          to such a person? Nothing. What does? Draw the contract between
          the rule of heaven and the rule of wickedness that now prevails
          on the earth, and see which will make the people the most happy
          and place them in the best circumstances; show which will give
          them the most peace, the greatest enjoyment, the greatest amount
          of intelligence, light and happiness. That which leads to the
          fountain of life and happiness will produce the most. Let the
          people judge between the two by the contrast. All live so as to
          produce intelligence, light and happiness, or misery, confusion
          and destruction. A person before he can understand the law and
          government of God, must see and understand the propriety of it
          and see its beauties. So it is with the whole system of
          salvation. Not that I would say we are machines, for we have our
          agency; but God has placed us here, and He exacts strict
          obedience to His laws before we can derive the benefit and
          blessings their observance will yield. You may take a beautiful
          machine of any kind you please, and when the machinist has
          finished his work and set it in perfect order, how could it be
          expected to operate satisfactorily if a hook here or a journal
          yonder were to say, I am not going to stay here, or I am going to
          jump out of this place and am going somewhere else; and then
          another piece of the machinery would jump out of its place into
          another part of the machine? What would be the state of such a
          machine? Confusion and disorganization would soon result and the
          machinist might very properly say, what a pity that I bestowed so
          much labor on such unruly members of my machine.
          The Priesthood of the Son of God, which we have in our midst, is
          a perfect order and system of government, and this alone can
          deliver the human family from all the evils which now afflict its
          members, and insure them happiness and felicity hereafter.
          Brethren and sisters, God bless you. Amen.
          Journal of Discourses / Journal of Discourses, Volume 13 /
          Brigham Young, September 25, 1870
                          Brigham Young, September 25, 1870
           Delivered in the New Tabernacle, Salt Lake City, September 25,
                            (Reported by David W. Evans.)
          A few words to the Latter-day Saints. First, I feel very thankful
          for the privilege of returning to my home and my friends that
          dwell here in this city. I am thankful that I am able to stand
          before you to bear my humble testimony to the truth. Truth, in
          the end, will prevail.
          You have been hearing a description of our travels, of the route
          we passed over, and the ministrations to our comfort from our
          friends in the South. I feel wearied, having been broken of my
          rest a good deal, not being able, while travelling, to obtain the
          quantity of rest that I require. I feel almost unable to stand
          here before you, still I look flush and hale and hearty, and
          think that I have probably gained from six to ten pounds of flesh
          since I have been gone. We have only travelled a little over nine
          hundred miles in 28 days. How many times we have preached I do
          not know. I have not kept count. Whenever we came to a
          settlement, either in the daytime or evening, while stopping to
          feed, the brethren would say, "Can't we have a meeting? We want a
          meeting! Brethren, will you hold meeting? Frequently we would
          say, "Yes," and while our animals were refreshing themselves, we
          would assemble with the people and talk with them.
          It made no difference how arduous our labors had been; if we had
          travelled and preached a month without sleep, I don't know that
          the brethren would have supposed that we needed rest. I asked one
          brother, a presiding Elder, who wanted to have a meeting, how old
          his father was. "Why," said he, "he is sixty-seven." I suppose
          that man does not do as much labor in a month as I do in a day,
          take it year in and year out. Still I may be mistaken in this.
          Said I, "Brother, if your father had endured what I have endured
          for three or four weeks past, and was asked to go to meeting and
          there spend an hour or two, talking to the people, you would feel
          insulted, and would consider it an imposition for your father to
          be required to labor without cessation." Said he, "I did not
          think of that." Said I, "I am considerably older than he is, yet
          look at my labors!" So we passed on and did not have a meeting.
          But it was meeting, meeting, meeting, from the time we left this
          city until our return.
          In our communications to the Saints I have taken the liberty to
          speak of our traditions. The world of mankind have no idea of the
          force of tradition upon them, it does not come into their hearts,
          they do not contemplate it; if they did they would correct many
          of their errors, and cease a great many of their practices, and
          adopt others more in accordance with the principles of life and
          truth. We wish the Latter-day Saints instructed in such a way
          that the traditions they communicate to their children will be
          correct. If we did but understand truth from error, light from
          darkness, and knew the will of God perfectly and were disposed to
          do it, it would be just as easy to give our children an education
          to profit themselves and others, to enable them to be profitable
          to the human family, and to show forth that wisdom which God has
          given us, as to take a course to fill their lives with error and
          wrong. Many, very many, people regret much of their lives,
          because, through circumstances over which they have had no
          control, they have been deprived of the knowledge that some few
          possess. It makes no difference how children are brought up so
          far as the permanence of the impressions and habits of childhood
          are concerned. Whether surrounded with error or truth, the web
          woven around them in childhood's days lasts, and seldom wears
          threadbare; but in many instances it grows brighter and brighter
          and stronger and stronger until its possessor goes down to the
          You have heard it declared here, within the few minutes just
          passed, that we have the truth, the Priesthood of the Son of God;
          that we are endowed with that understanding and wisdom by the
          revelations of the Lord Jesus Christ, so that we do know the way
          of life and salvation, and know, better than any other people,
          the course to pursue here on this earth to prepare us for glory,
          immortality and endless lives which are to come. If this is the
          fact, we should manifest and show it forth to God and man by our
          teachings, practice and every act of our lives.
          I may say that the infidel world has grown up in consequence of
          false religions; it has been strengthened by false theories. For
          any individual in the world to teach what he does not practice is
          a stumbling block to all beholders; then if the Latter-day Saints
          know the truth and do it not, certainly, great will be their
          condemnation. Hence it stands us in need to be on the watch
          continually. I do not know of a more absolute monarch that ever
          reigned on earth than the one who has perfect control over his
          passions. Do you know of a more absolute monarch than such a
          person? If you do, I do not. We should all learn to govern and
          control ourselves! The question may be asked, "Can we govern our
          own thoughts?" Yes, we can by steady application in gathering to
          ourselves reflections, thoughts and meditations which are
          according to truth and righteousness and justified of God and of
          all the good on the face of the earth, we can avoid evil
          thoughts, communications, reflections and enticements, and can
          bring the whole man into subjection to the law of Christ. Is this
          the fact? It is. If we are filled with good thoughts, ideas and
          feelings formed upon precepts which God has taught for the
          salvation of the human family, our communications will be
          beneficial to our fellow beings. This is to the Latter-day
          When I look over the character of the few who have been gathered
          together--a pretty fair representation of almost all nations, it
          is astonishing to see the various ideas of right and wrong
          entertained by them in consequence of their traditions, and the
          teachings they have received from their fathers, mothers,
          schoolmasters and school madames; the priest in the pulpit and
          the deacon under the pulpit. I say it is astonishing to see this
          variety--all springing from tradition. Not but what there should
          be a great variety; we see a variety of countenances in the human
          family, and we may also expect a variety of dispositions; but all
          these dispositions can be governed and controlled by the
          principles of right and righteousness.
          Our traditions, then, should be correct! We should know how to
          teach our children correct principles from their youth up. The
          first thing that is taught by the mother to the child should be
          true; we should never allow ourselves to teach our children one
          thing and practice another. I have sometimes said to my sisters,
          "Do not teach your children to lie." This is the course pursued
          by many, without designing to do so. The very first lessons that
          are given to the infant mind capable of receiving impressions is
          to falsify or tell that which is untrue. "Well," says a mother,
          "if I do so, I do not know it." It may be quite true that you do
          not know it. But what did you promise your little girl if she
          would do so and so? Did you promise her a present for well doing?
          "Yes." Have you recollected it? "No, it has gone from my mind,"
          says the mother. If she does ill have you promised her a
          chastisement? "Yes." Did you keep your word? You have not, and
          the child forms the conclusion in its own mind directly that the
          mother tells that which is not true--she says she will do this or
          that, and she does not do it. It is an easy lesson for mothers to
          learn to pass their time with their children and never give them
          a false impression. Think before you speak; promise your children
          nothing. If you wish to make them presents, do so; if you promise
          a chastisement, keep your word, but be cautious! Never give a
          promise for good or for evil, but let the reward come in
          consequence of well doing, and chastisement in consequence of
          doing ill. Silence is a thousand times better than words,
          especially if those words are not in wisdom. But so great is the
          love of the mother for her offspring, so tender the feeling with
          which she regards it, that many cannot see wrong in the acts of
          their children; and if they do, they will pass it without
          chastisement, even if chastisement has been promised. These are
          our traditions, and so great is their power that we are governed
          and controlled by them continually.
          I sometimes bring up circumstances to illustrate the traditions
          of the fathers. We in this country are acquainted with a great
          many different classes of people, different sects and beliefs in
          religion, and with a great variety of beliefs in regard to
          morality. If a mother, for instance, permit her child to bring
          eggs into the house, when she does not own a fowl, she knows they
          come from some other source. If her child pick up a knife that
          does not belong to her and bring it to the house, she cultivates
          dishonestly in the child; and from such little circumstances,
          thousands of which occur, the principles of dishonesty grow and
          strengthen with the strength of the individuals until they become
          natural thieves. Perhaps this term is too harsh, and should not
          be so applied; it might be better to say that, through habit,
          such individuals become accustomed to appropriate the property of
          others to their own use.
          I will tell a little circumstance that I was acquainted with; I
          was not an eye-witness of it, but had it from one of my
          neighbors. A Methodist preacher, in company with a friend, was
          returning from a preaching tour, and while passing a plow lying
          by the side of a man's farm the companion of the priest had
          considerable difficulty to prevent him putting the plow into the
          wagon. Said the priest, "It will be lost, it ought to be taken
          care of;" and he would have taken care of it by taking it home,
          making use of it and wearing it out, without advertising it, and
          the owner of the plow would have had to buy another. That is
          appropriating other people's property to our own use. In this
          case, the partner of the priest forbid it. Said he, "Take that
          and lay it by the fence; it belongs there; do not put it in the
          wagon," and the priest did so. You may ask, "Was he a good man?"
          Yes, as good as he knew how to be according to his traditions.
          So many circumstances flood upon my mind with regard to these
          traditions, that I hardly dare commence saying anything about
          them, that that I have seen and learned. One man brings up his
          child to strictly observe the letter of the law. The spirit and
          essence of his teaching to his child is, "You must not break the
          law, if you do you will be chastened by the law; but at the same
          time," says the father, and he may be a deacon or a priest, "if
          you can take advantage of the poor in their daily labor, in
          purchasing your neighbor's property"--for instance, perhaps he
          owns a small farm by the side of him, who, through necessity, is
          obliged to sell, and if he can purchase it for one-half or
          one-third its value in cash he will do it, because the law will
          not condemn such an act. This is tradition or the influence of
          it; but in the eyes of God he who thus takes advantage of his
          neighbor's necessities is as guilty as if he had robbed him.
          Do we know of any here who have been brought up to work on the
          first day of the week, and who would like to do so now? Yes, we
          have them. Can they refrain from doing something or other that is
          like labor on the Sabbath day? It is almost impossible; they must
          work on the Sabbath. There is a certain class of our Christians
          by whom the first day of the week must be devoted to labor, just
          to show to their fellow-Christians that they are not sectarian in
          their feelings. Say they, "One day to us is as good as another.
          God is the author of all days; all days are His, and to show to
          the Christian world that we are free from their narrow, illiberal
          views, we labor on the first day of the week."
          Another class of the religious world, equally conscientious with
          that to which I have just referred, is as stringent in
          prohibiting all kinds of labor on that day. Towards evening on
          the seventh day of the week the father cries to the children,
          "Your chores must be done by sunset;" and as soon as the rays of
          the glorious orb of day have disappeared, parents and children
          assemble, and chapter after chapter of the Bible is read, and
          comments are made thereon; and there the children sit until
          bedtime, and on the first day of the week they repair to the
          Sunday school, or to the house of worship, and so spend the
          Sabbath, believing that it is wrong to walk out, to play, or even
          to laugh; but when sunset comes again, away go the children to
          work, and the hurry of the world again begins. Do we see any such
          traditions as these? Yes. The traditions of another have been of
          such a nature, perhaps, that all labor must cease at twelve
          o'clock on Saturday night sure, and as soon as twelve o'clock on
          Sunday night comes we are at liberty to work again; and so we
          might go through the thousand traditions, the effects of which we
          see manifested by our fellow creatures around us.
          I was traditionated to believe in God the Father, God the Son,
          and God the Holy Ghost, and I believe it is a Bible doctrine. I
          do not think I am mistaken in my religious faith. My priest would
          pray, "Father of all mercies, God of all grace, make thou one in
          our midst! Send thou the Holy Ghost upon us, upon our minds, that
          we may see! Reveal thyself unto us as thou dost not unto the
          world! Give unto us thy mind and thy will! Give unto us the
          revelations of thy Son, and bestow upon us thy power and the
          influence thereof;" and after making such a prayer the sermon
          that would be preached would deny every word of it. Ask the
          ministers of the Christian world if the Holy Ghost is given in
          this day, and they will tell you "no." I have heard it preached
          hundreds and perhaps thousands of times. Ask them if God
          manifests Himself to the human family in this our day, and you
          will be informed that "He does not; that the Scriptures of the
          Old and New Testament contain the word of God, the plan of
          salvation, and all that is necessary to save the human family.
          God does not reveal Himself; He does not come down to dwell with
          the children of men; the Son of God does not come to visit his
          people; the Holy Ghost is not given as in ancient times." Ask
          them if the gift of healing is with them, and the reply is, "No,
          it is done away." "Have you the gift of prophecy?" "No, it is
          done away." "Have you the gift of seeing spirits?" "No, it is
          done away; all these gifts are done away and we want you to
          understand that we do not believe them." All this is in
          accordance with their traditions, and it is taught to the
          children, and they are confused in their understandings. Well,
          the Latter-day Saints know better than to teach their children
          one thing at one time and another at another time; they also know
          better than to teach their children principles and doctrines in
          theory which they deny in practice. The Latter-day Saints are not
          at liberty to do this; we are not so called; we have not so
          received the Gospel; but having received the truth in our hearts,
          we should practice it in our lives, and on this basis-- the truth
          as it is in Jesus--should the traditions which we instil into the
          minds of our children be built.
          With regard to the faith that the Lord has revealed for the
          salvation of the human family, teach them principles that are
          correct. Do not say, "Do not do this or that, child, the Lord
          sees you!" "Well, ma," says the child, "I heard the minister say
          to-day that the Lord has no eye, how can he see me? How is this,
          ma? I want to know; is this true, or is it not true? You say that
          the Lord looks upon my acts, and knows everything I do, and will
          judge me according to my acts; yet I heard the minister say
          to-day that the Lord has no body and no parts, that He has no
          ears, that He has no head, that He has no arms, that He has no
          feet, and so on. How is this, ma?" And the child is confused in
          its mind and does not know what to believe; it is lost in its
          thought. The same is true of grown people. The children know very
          little more than their parents, but they would if they were let
          alone. I will illustrate this by a simple fact, if I do not prove
          it. You go to the heathen nations, the aborigines of our country,
          for instance. They believe nothing in religion as we suppose, yet
          their ideas of God and heaven are far above those entertained by
          professed Christians. They believe in a God who has body, parts
          and passions, possessed of principle and power; who can see,
          handle, walk, talk and communicate. This is their faith; whether
          it is through tradition I cannot say. If they have no traditions
          on these points they have certainly imbibed these ideas from some
          source, and whether natural or by tradition it is immaterial to
          me. They are a people who know nothing of the Bible or of the
          Christian religion, and still their ideas are more correct than
          many of ours. This will illustrate what I wished, to my own
          I say, with regard to traditioning children falsely, especially
          in religious matters, rather let them alone; give a good common
          education, and no teachings whatever with regard to the Bible,
          and their own philosophy will teach them there is a Supreme
          Being, better than many who, though identified with Christian
          nations, have repudiated their religious notions. I mean the
          infidel world, and its members are very numerous. The philosophy
          of the child, if untrammeled by false tradition, will teach him,
          by what he sees every day, that there is a Supreme Being--a
          supreme principle and power somewhere. It cannot think of
          anything but what is brought into existence in some way or other.
          Nothing is self-made or self-existent. This is the natural
          philosophy of the thinking child. As it grows up, the idea
          naturally suggests itself to its own mind, "I did not bring
          myself here; I have parents. I understand this; this is on
          natural principles. I can, to some extent, understand the
          creations which are before and around me." Says the child, "I can
          understand very readily that if we cast wheat into the ground
          when it is properly prepared, it produces wheat; if we cast corn
          into properly prepared ground it will produce corn. So of rye,
          the various grass seeds, shrubs, plants and flowers--they all
          yield according to their kind." This, the child naturally
          understands, "but," he says, "where is the origin of myself? I
          know not; yet it must be somewhere. The origin of life whether
          human or inferior, must be lodged in some character whom I have
          not seen! Follow it back, no matter whether it be for six
          thousand years, six millions, six million millions, or billions
          of years, the figures and numbers are immaterial, I must have
          come from some source, my natural philosophy teaches me this."
          But, leaving the natural philosophy of the child free from false
          tradition, let us inquire. What does the philosophy of the
          Christian sects, or many of them, not all, teach? "God made the
          word in six days, out of nothing!" This is very wrong; no child
          should be taught any such dogma. God never did make a world out
          of nothing; He never will, He never can! There is no such
          principle in existence. Worlds are made of crude element which
          floats, without bounds in the eternities--in the immensity of
          space; an eternity of matter--no limits to it, in its natural
          crude state, and the power of the Almighty has this influence and
          wisdom--when He speaks He is obeyed, and matter comes together
          and is organized. We take the rock, and the lime from the
          mountains and burn it and make mortar with lime and sand and lay
          the foundation of houses, and rear the superstructure with
          bricks, stones, adobies or lumber. We bring these elements
          together and organize them according to our pleasure. We should
          teach our children that God has so organized the earth from the
          rude, rough native element. It is true that some believe that it
          never was created! Well, all right then! It is here anyhow; they
          cannot dispute the fact that the earth is here, no matter how
          long it has stood!
          This calls to my mind some circumstances of our trip. We had
          Major Powell with us on some portions of our journey South. He is
          now preparing to explore more of the Colorado. He was engaged in
          this undertaking last year; then he went on his own
          responsibility. This year he has received a little aid from
          Congress. One evening while sitting by the camp fire, said I,
          "Major, how long will it take light to come from the nearest
          fixed star to the earth? Some of our astronomers say thirty
          thousand years." Said he, "O dear! thirty thousand years will not
          do it, it will take as many millions of year." Well, that opened
          up conversation, and I do not know but I might have indulged in a
          little of my boyism. In our journeyings we came to some petrified
          trees lying on the ground; they were broken to pieces. Some had
          very fine quartz between the bark and wood, very finely formed,
          beautifully crystallized, perfect diamond shape. Said I, "Major,
          how came these here?" Well, he did not know when they were
          brought, or how they had become petrified; they had certainly,
          according to his opinion, come from some other country, for no
          such trees grow here now. In our travels we came to one place
          where there had been a slide of rocks, and there was a perfect
          bed of oyster shells in the rock--perfect rock. Said I, "Major,
          how long has it taken for these shells to become petrified?" He
          philosophised a little upon it, when I said, "Look here, you and
          I both know that there are springs of water that will petrify
          things of this kind in a short time, and that petrified human
          bodies have been exhumed which, it was known, had not been buried
          very many years, and how do you know that it has required a
          hundred and fifty million of years to bring about what we now
          behold? It may only have required eighteen years!" I recollect a
          circumstance bearing on this question, which occurred in the
          State of New York, which I will relate. A certain lady had been
          laboring under disease, pain and sorrow for eighteen years, her
          sufferings and the nature and character of her affliction
          baffling the skill of the best physicians; after suffering for
          the space of time I have mentioned she died, and, for the cause
          of science, was opened by the surgeons, when a petrified child
          was taken from her. That was near Utica, in the State of New
          York. How long did it take to bring about this petrifaction?
          Certainly not millions of years as some of the philosophers talk
          about. All that can be said of such things is that they are
          phenomena, or freaks of nature, for which the knowledge and
          science of man cannot account.
          Since I parted company with Major Powell I have heard another
          story, which will furnish another problem for the geologists to
          solve. A short time since a piece of petrified bacon was found on
          the trail of Colonel Fremont, and there is no question but it was
          left where found by his party when exploring in the Rocky
          Mountains. It is petrified, having become perfect rock. We all
          know that it is not half a million years since Colonel Fremont
          and his party went through this region of country. It is
          impossible for man to tell the cause of certain freaks of nature
          unless it is revealed to him by divine wisdom, unless his eyes
          are open to understand the invisible things of God; for the ways
          of God and His dealings are very different from the ways and
          dealings of the children of men. Yet there is nothing done only
          on the science of true philosophy if we did but understand the
          facts. If we cannot define the power by which these things are
          done it is not our prerogative to dispute the effects, for they
          are before us. These and kindred topics give rise to much
          speculation on the part of the scientific; but it is for me to
          wait until their causes are made known from the proper source. It
          is very sure that there is no such thing in existence as a piece
          of wood being turned to stone without the action of elements upon
          it; and though we do not understand the combination, nature, and
          action of those elements, we can see their results.
          A few words more with regard to our traditions. We want the
          Latter-day Saints to believe and practice every correct principle
          with regard to their religion, also with regard to their moral
          lives. We know there are a great many who depend upon a moral
          life for future happiness and joy, believing that will prove
          satisfactory. I can tell you that I would rather have the
          practice of a good moral religion without any faith at all in a
          Supreme Being, than to have faith in a Supreme Being without any
          moral good action, and a life filled with vice, sin and iniquity.
          That is my choice. I will say that sin or evil is simply doing
          that which injures some thing or being. This is sin; but that
          that promotes life, happiness, peace, joy and the well-being of
          intelligence--no matter what the degree is--that that promotes
          happiness, builds up, refines and makes better, is as good
          religion as we can ask for. This is the doctrine of the Son of
          God; but there are thousands of these little intricate questions
          or ideas connected with salvation which are mysteries to the
          human family, which it would take a lifetime to teach them unless
          the revelations of God were given to open up their minds at once,
          that they might see things as they do exist.
          Let us train our minds, first to think aright, believe aright,
          that the meditations of our hearts may be correct, for our
          actions will naturally correspond with that that is in the heart.
          This, my brethren and sisters, is our duty. Train ourselves with
          regard to our faith. Believe the Scriptures as they are. I have
          met with a great many gentlemen who refer to the dead languages
          for the proper interpretation of the Scriptures, which, to my
          mind, is folly, and absurd in the extreme. If I were a divine,
          and had all the learning which could be bestowed upon a moral
          being, and considered that the Bible is translated incorrectly, I
          should hold myself accountable and responsible to give a correct
          translation as quickly as time and opportunity would permit, that
          all people might know the truth. So I hold every divine, and
          especially those who preach for hire and divine for money, for
          they have nothing else to do. I have to raise my own potatoes;
          but yet I would find time to do this. I say it is an absurdity in
          the very nature of good sound argument and reason to refer to the
          dead language for the true interpretation of the Scriptures. Take
          the Bible, then, as it is. If it is not translated correctly,
          wait until it is. It will do for us as it is, consequently we
          teach the principles it contains to each other and to our
          children, and endeavor to avoid giving them false ideas with
          regard to the faith of the Gospel that we believe in.
          We believe in our Father, and do not apply this term to a
          nonentity--to a fancied something that never existed; the
          application would not be correct. We do not so use language. We
          use this term to a being, and we claim this title as children. He
          is our Father; He is our God, the Father of our spirits; He is
          the framer of our bodies, and set the machine in successful
          operation to bring forth these tabernacles that I now look upon
          in this building, and all that ever did or ever will live on the
          face of the whole earth.
          This is the doctrine taught by the ancients, taught by the
          prophets, taught by Jesus, taught by his Apostles, taught by
          Joseph Smith, taught by those who believe the same doctrine that
          Joseph Smith believed in--the revelations that God has given in
          modern times, who believe in that Being after whose image and in
          whose likeness man was formed, framed and made, precisely like
          Him that made him. This is the doctrine. To believe that He
          lives; He is a Being of place, of habitation. He dwells at home;
          His influence fills immensity to us; His eye is upon all His
          works, and He sends forth His ministers to administer here and
          there according to His will and pleasure. He has given His son,
          according to His good pleasure, to redeem the earth, and all
          intelligent beings thereon, and all inanimate matter, if there is
          any such thing; to redeem the whole earth and all pertaining to
          it, and it is His good pleasure to do it. The reasons why He did
          it are plain and obvious, though we may not say anything about
          them to-day; yet there are reasons for all this, and that that we
          may call eternal philosophy, God's philosophy, the philosophy of
          angels--natural philosophy, reasonable philosophy, that that
          commends itself to the human mind, to the intelligence that man
          possesses, will explain it. If men understood the religion that
          we believe in they would receive it; it naturally commends itself
          to the conscience of every just and righteous person, and one
          such would refuse it if they understood it.
          Well, then, we ought, in the first place, to train ourselves to
          believe correctly, to think correctly, and to practice correctly,
          and instil correct principles into the minds of the rising
          generation, so that when they are old they will not depart from
          them. This is the idea, and not bring up the children as we bring
          them up. You recollect the wise man said, "Train up a child in
          the way he should go, and when he is old he will not depart from
          it." That is, teach them correct principles. If we do that, they
          will understand the principles by which God lives and acts, and
          has brought forth the earth and the intelligence it contains; the
          intelligence he has entrusted to man in giving him eyes to see
          and ears to hear--properties that are worthy the attention of a
          God--that will enable Him to contrast and know, from reason and
          from self experience, the good from the evil. I say if we train
          our children so as to place them in possession of these
          principles we shall train them in the way they should go, and the
          saying of the wise man will be verified--they will not depart
          from it.
          In teaching false doctrine there always will be more or less of
          truth mixed with it; there always has been where anything of
          importance has been taught. The enemy, the serpent, who beguiled
          our first mother, told some truth. Said he, "If you take this and
          eat thereof, your eyes will be opened and you will see as the
          Gods see." This was true, but when he told her that she would not
          suffer death as the consequence of so doing, he lied--told that
          that was not true. He mixed some truth with the error he taught;
          her eyes were opened, or how could she have seen?
          If I were to preach to this congregation, who have been brought
          up in countries where there is no fruit raised, and I was to
          teach them that there is such fruit as oranges, if you have not
          seen or tasted them how could you know whether I told the truth
          or not? If I were to say to this congregation there is such a
          fruit as a sweet apple, but you had never seen nor tasted nor had
          any knowledge of it, how could you tell whether I told the truth
          or not? But having tasted the bitter and the sweet; having
          enjoyed ease and suffered pain; having seen the light and endured
          the darkness, you know that which is good and that which is evil.
          Without this experience how could we know it? Consequently God
          has committed to the children of men this knowledge, and He has
          made it plain and reasonable before them, that they should know
          as well as the Gods, that they might choose the good and refuse
          the evil. So it is, and so we should be taught.
          And then, with regard to the religion of God, of His Son Jesus
          Christ, of the holy angels and of the prophets and Apostles, from
          first to last, it can never injure any soul who will receive it.
          If men would observe that, they would never go to war with each
          other, they would never destroy a good work that others have
          performed. It is an evil principle which introduces destruction,
          wickedness and confusion into any community whatsoever. A good
          principle--that which is of God, ornaments, builds up, gathers
          the elements, beautifies the earth and makes it like the garden
          of Eden; it improves the hearts of the people, teaches children
          right doctrine, correct principle, to which they will adhere
          through life. Through imbibing false ideas, principles and
          teachings, children become as the old Indian said. The missionary
          had been trying to instruct him in the saying, "Bring up a child
          in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not depart
          from it;" but the old Indian gave it a little different
          interpretation. Said he, "Bring up a child and away he goes." So
          it is now--we bring up children and away they go. Look at our
          young, middle aged and old men! Look at the community that we
          have in our country and in other countries! You take the sons of
          those flaming divines! If you want to find the most polished,
          complete and perfect outlaws that can be found, you hunt up the
          son of some priest who has received a liberal education; after
          having been taught the highest branches of education, away he
          goes. At least the son of such a man is just as apt to do so as
          the son of the lawyer, farmer, mechanic, judge or statesman. This
          is for the lack of correct tradition, and this shows the force of
          early training and of the traditions imbibed in childhood. The
          power of it upon myself is perfectly astonishing to me; with all
          that I have learned from the Scriptures and from the revelations
          of the Lord Jesus Christ, the traditions of my earliest
          recollection are so forcible upon me that it seems impossible for
          me to get rid of them. And so it is with others; hence the
          necessity of correct training in childhood.
          Teach your children honesty and uprightness, and teach them also
          never to injure others. As I say to my sisters sometimes, "Look
          here, my dear sister, if your child quarrels with your neighbor's
          child, do not chasten your neighbor's child. Go and make peace,
          be a peace-maker. Teach your child never to do a wrong; and if
          your neighbor's child has injured you or yours, or taken anything
          from you, never mind. You stop until you find out. Perhaps the
          child has meant no wrong. You should learn the facts in the case,
          and go with a meek, humble, quiet spirit, and peace will result."
          How many neighbors become enemies to each other in consequence of
          contention with children! Woman will contend with woman, "Your
          child injured my child," and so on. Why if you understood and
          would practice the true doctrine, you would not mind this; you
          would say, "It is the act of a child and not of a matured mind;
          it is only the work of children." Perhaps it may have done some
          mischief; and if so, reason with it, and teach it never to do
          anything wrong among its play-fellows, but to promote good
          feelings continually. You will see occasionally a child that is
          ready to give up everything rather than have contention, and why
          not have it so with all. It might be so, just as easy as it is
          otherwise. Let mothers be possessed of a meek, humble, quiet
          spirit in child-bearing, and when their children come forth into
          the world and commence on this stage of action, teach them
          correct principles, and by imbibing them they will be enabled to
          lead lives of purity, joy, peace and tranquility that surpasses
          all understanding. So let our traditions be, and never do or say
          a wrong thing. Never do or say that which we shall regret. Watch
          yourselves day by day, hour by hour and minute by minute. Keep a
          guard over yourselves so that you will never do or say anything
          that you will regret hereafter, and your lives will be filled
          with usefulness, and you will increase your own peace and promote
          it among your neighbors, and this will insure a great degree of
          salvation here, and prepare for a higher degree hereafter. The
          principles of life and salvation are the greatest blessings which
          can be bestowed upon us here on this earth. The greatest gift God
          can give to His children is eternal possession. We know how to
          teach and to live them, and how to practice them so as to enjoy
          their benefits. This is what gives peace and joy to the heart.
          Who else that live on the earth could endure as the Latter-day
          Saints have endured, if they did not enjoy the Spirit of the
          Lord? If they had not the spirit of peace and union and of love
          to God and to one another and the whole human family? Let our
          traditions and practices be such that we can say, to the whole
          world, in the words of the Apostle, "Follow us, as we follow
               This is the doctrine. In our scanty, hasty reflections to
          the Latter-day Saints we say, live your religion! If you do, you
          will do no evil to any person on the face of the earth. I
          sometimes ask myself the question, "Do people understand what we
          teach, believe and practice?" They cannot see and understand as
          we see and understand; they cannot believe as we believe, if they
          did they would never do as they do--that is our enemies.
          I have occupied all the time I should this morning. This is only
          a little. God bless you. Peace be with you. Do right. Love God
          and keep His commandments, and, in the words of the Scripture,
          "Eschew evil!" Have nothing to do with it. Let us seek
          continually to do good to ourselves and each other, that when we
          sleep in our mother dust, when these tabernacles take that happy
          nap in the bosom of our mother earth, our spirits may be prepared
          for higher society than we enjoy here. This is my desire and
          prayer for the good all the day long. God bless you. Amen.
          Journal of Discourses / Journal of Discourses, Volume 13 /
          Lorenzo Snow, October 9, 1869
                            Lorenzo Snow, October 9, 1869
                           REMARKS BY ELDER LORENZO SNOW,
          Delivered in the New Tabernacle, Salt Lake City, October 9, 1869.
                            (Reported by John Grimshaw.)
                           ACTING IN THE NAME OF THE LORD.
          I am very much pleased in having an opportunity to make a few
          remarks to this Conference. The subjects that have been presented
          to our consideration are fraught with many very interesting
          reflections. Every privilege that is afforded us of meeting
          together in the capacity of a Conference, and taking a
          retrospective view of the past, gives us a chance to behold the
          great and marvellous success that has hitherto attended our
          labors, as the servants of God, in this great and glorious work
          of the redemption of Israel and the gathering of the Latter-day
          Saints from the four quarters of the world, to establish the
          kingdom of God on the earth in the last days.
          There are many peculiarities that distinguish the order of things
          pertaining to the work of God in which we are engaged, from the
          different systems of religion that are to be met with in
          Christendom and throughout the various parts of the world. What
          we do we perform in the name of the Lord God of Israel, and are
          willing to acknowledge the hand of the Almighty in everything we
          do. When Moses stood forth as the deliverer of the children of
          Israel from their Egyptian bondage, he did not present himself in
          the manner of a common deliverer, but he went in the name of the
          Lord God of Israel, having been commanded to accomplish their
          redemption by the power and authority which he received from God.
          And from the moment that he appeared before them in this
          capacity, until he had accomplished his work, he acted in and
          through the name of the Lord, and not by his own wisdom or
          ingenuity, nor because he possessed superior intelligence to the
          rest of mankind. The Lord appeared to him in the burning bush,
          and commanded him to go forth and accomplish a certain work,
          which concerned the peace, happiness and salvation of a great
          people; and its success and prosperity depended upon the carrying
          out of the order of things revealed to him by the God of heaven.
          His success and prosperity were made perfectly sure from the fact
          that the work to which he was assigned was not a thing of his own
          invention, but it emanated from Jehovah.
          A great deal of speculation might have been entertained by some
          in reference to his mode of procedure. There might have been some
          things in the working of the system he introduced that were very
          disagreeable to certain parties whom they concerned--to the
          government of Egypt and King Pharaoh, for instance; but that was
          a matter of very small consideration with him and with the people
          whom he had occasion to deliver from bondage.
          It is so in reference to ourselves. The great work now being
          accomplished--the gathering of the people from the nations of the
          earth, had not its origin in the mind of any man or any set of
          men, but it emanated from the Lord Almighty. Joseph Smith
          received a revelation and commandment from the Lord, to go forth
          and preach the Gospel of salvation to the nations of the earth,
          with power and authority to baptize those who would repent of
          their sins and be immersed in water for the remission of them; he
          was also commanded to preach the gathering to them, that a people
          might be drawn together who would be willing to hearken to the
          voice of the Lord and keep His laws, that a righteous seed might
          thereby be preserved when the great day of His wrath should come.
          This Gospel was preached, and thousands of Saints have been
          gathered from almost all parts of the globe, who are now
          scattered throughout the length and breadth of this Territory,
          making farms, building houses, planting orchards and reclaiming
          the soil; creating villages, towns and cities where nothing but
          wild beasts and savages used to roam, and causing the desert to
          blossom as the rose. Yet all this has not been accomplished by
          human wisdom, although the enemies of the Saints would try to
          make the world believe so; it has been done by the wisdom and
          power of Almighty God, whose outstretched arm has been over His
          Saints, preserving them from evil of every kind.
          Jesus, while travelling here on earth, fulfilling his mission,
          told the people he did not perform the miracles he wrought in
          their midst by his own power, nor by his own wisdom; but he was
          there in order to accomplish the will of his Father. He came not
          to seek the glory of men, and the honor of men; but to seek the
          honor and glory of his Father that sent him. Said he, "I am come
          in my Father's name, and ye receive me not, if another shall come
          in his own name, him ye will receive."
          Now, the peculiarity of his mission, and that which distinguished
          it from other missions, was this: he came not to seek the glory
          and honor of men, but to seek the honor and glory of his Father,
          and to accomplish the work of his Father who sent him. Herein lay
          the secret of his prosperity; and herein lies the secret of the
          prosperity of every individual who works upon the same principle.
               There are many things that are admirable in what is called
          by our neighbors "Mormonism." Great men admire the effects that
          are produced by its operations, or the work of preaching the
          Gospel, gathering the people from the nations of the earth and
          settling them in this Territory, in establishing towns, villages
          and settlements, in gathering the poor from their indigent
          circumstances, from their conditions of poverty and distress, and
          placing them in a position where they can sustain themselves and
          have an opportunity of educating their children and gathering
          around them the necessaries, comforts and conveniences of life.
          People admire the prosperity of the Latter-day Saints, they
          admire the wisdom that is manifest in the perfect organization
          observable in their cities, towns, and settlements, and the unity
          existing amongst them. They are struck with the peace and good
          order that reign in our midst, which are not found, to the same
          extent, in any of the cities of the United States or Europe. One
          hundred and fifty thousand people, who have been gathered from
          the poorest classes of persons and brought from the various
          nations and established in prosperous and happy circumstances,
          are admired by every one. But all this is being done in the name
          of the Lord, and professedly through the commandments of the
          Almighty; and herein lies the difficulty. Our acknowledgement of
          the hand of God in what we do is something they do not approve
          of. If we gathered the people from the various nations, built
          cities, towns and villages in our own name, and in our own
          strength and wisdom, and gave ourselves the honor and glory, we
          should be a very admirable people indeed, and everybody would
          admire the "Mormons," and would be pleased with our operations;
          and as far as the influence of politicians and members of
          Congress is concerned, it would be employed in obtaining our
          admission into the Union as a State.
          It may be considered by some as unfortunate that we have a
          principle in the operations of "Mormonism" so disagreeable and
          annoying; but we cannot help it. This work is not one of our own
          getting up, and we have not the responsibility of its success
          resting upon us. Jesus says himself that he would have been
          received by the people if he had sought the honor of men. If he
          had not come in the name of his Father, but simply in his own,
          the people would have received him, honored him and made him King
          of the Jews; and all would have been agreeable, pleased and
          It was said by the Prophet that Israel should be scattered, that
          they should be sifted among the nations, and in the latter days
          they should be gathered out, two from a city and one from a
          family, and there should be a time when the people would be
          gathered from the nations when it should be said to them, "Come
          out of her, my people, that ye be not partakers of her sins, and
          that ye receive not of her plagues."
          Joseph Smith received a commandment of the Almighty similar to
          that which Moses received to deliver the children of Israel from
          Egyptian bondage. The command to the Prophet Joseph was to go
          forth and declare the Gospel to the children of men, to gather
          them from the nations of the earth and place them in a land of
          peace and plenty, where they could plant and reap the fruit
          thereof. In many instances the people who received this Gospel
          were in a far worse condition than the children of Israel, when
          found by Moses in their bondage.
               There are hundreds of Elders here who have travelled through
          England, Scotland, Wales, Germany, Switzerland, Norway and
          elsewhere, who know very well that the people were found in most
          of those lands in circumstances of slavery--bondage far worse
          than the "blacks" in the South previous to their liberation.
          There was nothing before the people but the prospect of
          starvation; and they were subject to the will and caprice of
          their masters, and dependent upon them for their labor and daily
          bread; and when work was dull, they had before them nothing but
          the prospect of being turned from their employment and to have
          their only source of obtaining food for themselves and families
          entirely cut off. They did not own a foot of land, a plough, an
          ox, a wagon, a cow, a mule, a horse, in fact, nothing they saw
          around them could they call their own. They were, in short,
          entirely dependent upon the will and disposition of their
          employers for what they wanted, and had to look to them for their
          only means of gaining a living. Thousands upon thousands of these
          people are now located in various parts of this Territory, in a
          far more prosperous and independent condition than that in which
          they lived while abroad among the nations. Many of them are
          comparatively rich in this world's goods. The command of the
          Almighty to this people is to come out of Babylon to a land where
          his Saints may gather around them such things as are necessary to
          the well-being of his children. This is a greater work than that
          performed by Moses, of redeeming the children of Israel from
          Egyptian bondage; yet it is done on the same principle. The voice
          of God to Moses was to deliver His people from their bondage and
          he would be with him and assist him. The command is now for the
          people to be delivered from their bondage, poverty and distress,
          and come to these valleys of the mountains, where they can
          sustain themselves.
          There are many philanthropists who admire the works that have
          been accomplished in this respect. They say, "The 'Mormons' have
          done a great deal more than any religious society ever did or
          even expected to do. They have increased the population of the
          nation and have extended their cities to the east, to the west,
          to the north and to the south." But it has been done by the
          command of the Almighty, and that is where the trouble lies. As
          for polygamy, our enemies would not be so wrath about our
          practising it, so long as we did not do so in the name of the
          Lord. But as these things are done in His name, they are
          obnoxious in the eyes of the world. The same state of feeling
          existed in the days of Moses, the same in the days when Jesus
          appeared among the Jews. Had Moses presented himself in the same
          way as Washington or William Tell, the deliverer of the people of
          Switzerland from the yoke of bondage under which they labored, or
          as Wallace, the hero of Scotland--had he, I say, appeared in his
          own name, and presented himself before the people as a person of
          superior powers and ability, and [not] claimed power greater than
          that he possessed as a man, all would have been well. But when he
          went before them in the name of the Lord Almighty, he experienced
          some difficulty in performing the work which had been assigned
          We know well we differ very much in our religious concerns from
          the various denominations existing in the world. An Elder goes in
          the name of the Lord; he crosses the ocean, calls into an
          individual's house and says, "I am a missionary; I have come from
          America to preach the Gospel." It is not a very unusual thing for
          persons to cross the ocean as missionaries and go to Europe. This
          is all very natural; but when an Elder goes and says he comes in
          the name of the Lord to deliver them from their circumstances of
          poverty and distress, and to call upon them to repent of their
          sins and be immersed in water for the remission of them,
          promising them the Gift of the Holy Ghost, he creates a
          distinction between his mission and that of the various systems
          introduced by the different sects of the day. Says he, "I come to
          tell you that the time for the fulfilment of the predictions of
          the Prophets has arrived. The Lord wants His people gathered from
          Babylon unto the place where there shall be deliverance." There
          is deliverance. There is something that can be realized and
          experienced, that can be seen and felt and known. There is the
          promise that, if any man will do the will of God, he shall know
          for himself that the doctrine we teach is true. There is no
          chance of imposition. There is an opportunity to know whether the
          message of this Elder is true or false.
          If a sectarian minister had gone to the children of Israel and
          discovered them in the same condition in which Moses found them,
          his message would have been entirely different from that of
          Moses, as would also his conversation and address. Moses said to
          them, "In the name of the Almighty, having received authority
          from God, I come to deliver you from bondage and to give you a
          national existence; to take you to a land that the Lord God has
          commanded you to go to, and which He has promised you shall
          receive." Had a sectarian minister gone under similar
          circumstances, his ideas and manner would have been entirely
          different. Says he, "I have come to beseech you who are now
          subject to your masters' will and have to recline upon straw, to
          be patient and long-suffering. Servants, be obedient to your
          masters and wait upon the providence of the Lord. Bear up, and be
          kind," and so on. Anything in regard to delivering them from
          their bondage under which they are suffering? No, nothing of the
          It is the same when a sectarian minister goes to England. He
          knocks at a man's door and says, "I am a missionary from
          America." Well, the man on whom he calls is in distress. Says he,
          "I am sorry I cannot take you in; but I am in distress. It is
          meal-time, but my family has nothing to eat. I am out of
          employment and have nothing to live upon. I wish I could relieve
          your wants, but I have nothing with which to assist you." Oh,
          says the minister, you must wait upon Providence, you must have a
          great deal of patience and long-suffering. I am come to preach to
          you the Gospel, and you must pray and keep praying until you
          think you have got a pardon of your sins; but still remain where
          you are. No redemption!
          Well, now, that is different from the "Mormon" Elder's manner. He
          presented himself in something like this way: "I have come in the
          name of the Almighty, in obedience to a call from God, to deliver
          you from your present circumstances. Repent of your sins and be
          baptized, and the Holy Ghost shall rest upon you, and you shall
          know that I have the authority to administer the ordinances of
          the Gospel by the power of the Almighty and the revelations of
          God. Gather out from this nation, for it is ripening in iniquity,
          there is no salvation here. Flee to a place of safety." And as
          the messenger who went to Sodom said to the family whom he found
          there, so says the Elder of Israel, telling them, as Moses did
          the children of Israel, to go to the land that the Lord God has
          appointed for the gathering of His people.
          There is a great difference between the operations of the
          Latter-day Saints and those of the Christian world. With us there
          is no deception; nor indeed is there any chance for any. People
          gather here in thousands on the principle that the Lord God has
          revealed, and they have an opportunity of knowing that the
          Almighty has spoken from the heavens. They are not left to the
          mere statement of any one.
          Jesus says that if any man will do the will of God, he shall know
          His doctrine. If he will repent of his sins and be immersed in
          water, by the laying on of the hands of those having authority,
          the gift of the Holy Ghost shall be given to him, and he shall
          receive knowledge from God in regard to the divine authenticity
          of these ordinances. People are not left in the dark, they have a
          chance to know for themselves. They get this intelligence and
          know what they are doing.
          Will we do these things in the name of the Lord God that sent us?
          This work is the Almighty's, and it is His business to sustain
          and support it. If, in keeping the laws of God, we do things that
          are not quite so pleasant to the people around us or the
          Government under which we dwell, we cannot help it. We cannot act
          save we do so in the name of the Lord. When Nebuchadnezzar
          established a certain edict, and that edict was contrary to the
          revelations of the Almighty, it was disagreeable to many persons
          whom it concerned. There were three men, Shadrach, Meshach and
          Abednego, who received a command from the Almighty that they
          should not worship any other God than the Lord God of Israel,
          that they should worship no images. But King Nebuchadnezzar set
          up an image and commanded that every nation, kindred and tongue,
          over whom he reigned, should bow down and worship it, when they
          heard the sound of the cornet, flute, harp, sackbut, psaltery,
          dulcimer, and all kinds of music.
          It so happened that the King's edict concerned, among others, the
          three men who had received the revelation from the Lord that they
          should not worship any image. They were in a rather awkward fix.
          Either they must set aside the command of Jehovah to worship no
          God but Him, or, on the other hand, disobey the mandate of the
          King. They knew if they refused to comply with the wishes of so
          mighty a man as Nebuchadnezzar, their lives would not be of much
          value, unless they were preserved by the hand of the God of
          Israel. But they feared not the King and trusted in the arm of
          Jehovah to shield them from evil. Accordingly, when the signal
          was given for the people to fall down and worship the image,
          these three men refused to do so; and being observed, they were
          taken before the King, who was greatly enraged at the idea that
          there could be found any one in all his dominions so fearless as
          to refuse to comply with his wishes. When they appeared before
          him he looked at them in a fierce and savage manner and said, "Is
          it true, O Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, do not ye serve my
          gods, nor worship the golden image which I have set up? Now if ye
          be ready that at what time ye hear the sound of the cornet,
          flute, harp, sackbut, psaltery and dulcimer, and all kinds of
          music, ye fall down and worship the image which I have made,
          well; but if ye worship not, ye shall be cast the same hour into
          the midst of a burning fiery furnace; and who is that God that
          shall deliver you out of my hands?"
          I often admire the answer of those men, placed as they were in
          such a perplexing position. A person might be brought before the
          Emperor of France or Russia and get along very well; but it was
          something awful to come in collision with a man like
          Nebuchadnezzar, whose will was as the word of the Almighty, and
          had never been disobeyed. When the King had done speaking, they
          answered, "O Nebuchadnezzar, we are not careful to answer thee in
          this matter. If it be so, our God whom we serve is able to
          deliver us from the burning fiery furnace, and He will deliver us
          out of thine hand, O King. But if not, be it known unto thee, O
          King, that we will not serve thy gods, nor worship the golden
          image which thou hast set up." Upon hearing this, the King was
          extremely angry, and caused the furnace to be heated seven times
          hotter than usual, at the same time commanding the most mighty
          men of his army to bind them and thrust them into the furnace.
          After a while, however, he discovered he had made a grand
          mistake. He had been deceived, and hastily calling his counselors
          together, he demanded of them whether only three men were cast
          into the furnace. They answered, yes. "Well," said he, "I see
          four there; and one of them is like the Son of God." He then sent
          forth another edict, that all those who refused to worship the
          God of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, should be cut in pieces
          and their houses should be made into dunghills.
          Now, Nebuchadnezzar was honest, but through ignorance he was led
          to act in this way.
          It would be very agreeable and pleasant when we carry the words
          of life and salvation to the various nations, if every part and
          operation of the work of God should be in perfect harmony with
          the feelings of the people to whom it is preached; if it is not
          so, we cannot help it. We know this, that the Almighty has given
          us power and authority to go forth and gather the people from the
          nations of the earth and establish them in the land of Zion. But
          strip from this operation the supernatural part, and the people
          of the world, members of Congress included, would be pleased; and
          the Vice-President would be proud of us. They would say we were
          very patriotic. But they do not like our doing these things in
          the name of the Lord our God. They are afraid that in getting
          power and influence, and uniting our interests as one great
          people, we will do something by and by.
          Let us continue, brethren and sisters, to work in the name of the
          Lord our God; gathering wisdom and intelligence day by day, that
          every circumstance which transpires may minister to our good and
          increase our faith and intelligence. If we continue to work
          righteousness, being faithful to each other and to God, no power
          will be able to overthrow us, and as brother Hyde remarked, for
          every stumbling block that our enemies place in our way, to
          hinder and prevent the work of God from moving forward, two will
          be placed in the paths of those who put one in ours. If we are
          faithful and keep the commandments of God, His works will
          continue to prosper until the prophecies are fulfilled, and we
          become a great, a glorious and a mighty people. God bless you.
          Journal of Discourses / Journal of Discourses, Volume 13 /
          Brigham Young, October 6, 1870
                           Brigham Young, October 6, 1870
                         REMARKS BY PRESIDENT BRIGHAM YOUNG,
          Delivered in the New Tabernacle, Salt Lake City, October 6, 1870.
                            (Reported by David W. Evans.)
                               MEETING IN CONFERENCE.
          As we have met in the capacity of a General Conference, we shall
          expect to hear instructions from the Elders pertaining to the
          building up of the kingdom of God on the earth. This is our
          calling, this is the labor devolving upon us, and it should
          occupy our attention day by day from morning until evening and
          from week to week; in fact, we have no other calling or business,
          and if we are humble and faithful, God will strengthen us and
          increase our ability and give us power sufficient to accomplish
          the tasks devolving upon us in the performance of His work.
          The oracles of truth are delivered; men have been called and
          ordained; the gifts and graces of the Gospel are restored; the
          kingdom is organized; it is committed to the servants of the
          Lord, and if we are faithful we shall bear it off; we will
          establish it and make it firm in the earth, no more to be
          interrupted or removed, and the teachings that we shall hear will
          be pertaining to our spiritual and temporal labors in this
          kingdom. With God, and also with those who understand the
          principles of life and salvation, the Priesthood, the oracles of
          truth and the gifts and callings of God to the children of men,
          there is no difference in spiritual and temporal labors--all are
          one. If I am in the line of my duty, I am doing the will of God,
          whether I am preaching, praying, laboring with my hands for an
          honorable support; whether I am in the field, mechanic's shop, or
          following mercantile business, or wherever duty calls, I am
          serving God as much in one place as another; and so it is with
          all, each in his place, turn and time. Consequently our teachings
          during Conference will be to instruct the people how to live and
          order their lives before the Lord and each other; how to
          accomplish the work devolving upon them in building up Zion on
          the earth. To accomplish this will require steady faith and firm
          determination, and we come together in this capacity that our
          faith and determination may be increased and strengthened. When
          we have spent three, four or five days together in giving
          instruction, we shall only just have commenced to instruct the
          people; and when we have spent a lifetime in learning and
          dispensing what we do learn to our fellow beings, we have only
          commenced in the career of intelligence. Our faith and prayers,
          the ordinances that we attend to, our assembling ourselves
          together, our dispersing after attending to the business of life,
          in our schools, all our educational pursuits are in the service
          of God, for all these labors are to establish truth on the earth,
          and that we may increase in knowledge, wisdom, understanding in
          the power of faith and in the wisdom of God, that we may become
          fit subjects to dwell in a higher state of existence and
          intelligence than we now enjoy. We can attain to this only by
          adding faith to faith, knowledge to knowledge, temperance to
          temperance, patience to patience, and godliness to godliness, and
          so increasing in the principles of happiness and salvation.
          We shall call upon the Elders to speak to the congregation as
          they assemble here from day to day, and I hope and trust that the
          brethren and sisters will treasure up in their hearts the
          instructions that they receive, and that they will carry them out
          in their lives. This Sunday religion that a great many of our
          Christian brethren believe in and practice, when their every-day
          life is spent in selfishness and for self-aggrandizement, will
          not do for the Latter-day Saints; with us Monday, Tuesday,
          Wednesday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday must be spent to the
          glory of God, as much as Sunday, or we shall come short of the
          object of our pursuit. Consequently we must pay attention to the
          things that we hear, and to the principles of the religion that
          we have embraced in our faith, and seek diligently to break up
          the prejudices and prepossessed notions and feelings that have
          woven themselves around us through the traditions of the fathers,
          and endeavor to know and understand as God knows, that we may do
          His will. Our traditions are so firmly fixed in our feelings that
          it is almost impossible to rise above, over-ride, or get rid of
          them; they cling to us like the affections of tender friends. But
          we must learn to know the will of God and do it, and let our
          traditions go, then we shall be blessed.
          There are many things that we should understand with regard to
          ourselves and our children; and when the mind opens upon the
          vision of life by the spirit of revelation, there is not a person
          but what can see the eternity of teaching yet to be imparted to
          the Saints.
          I trust that we shall be edified and rejoice together, and shall
          return from this place strengthened and confirmed in our faith
          and hopes, feeling that steadiness of nerve, by the spirit of
          revelation, that we shall not be wafted to and fro, imagining a
          thousand things incorrect, and pass by those doctrines and truths
          that are calculated to exalt the human family.
                         REMARKS BY PRESIDENT BRIGHAM YOUNG,
            Delivered in the Tabernacle, Salt Lake City, October 6, 1870.
                            (Reported by David W. Evans.)
                             TEXTS FOR PREACHING UPON AT
                       OF RICHES--ONE-MAN POWER--SPIRITUALISM.
          I have a request to make of the door-keepers and of those
          brethren who seat the congregation, as also of our sisters, some
          of whom, I see, are occupying a few of the seats that we usually
          reserve for strangers. We should be very much pleased if the
          sisters would fill up other parts of the house first, and we
          would like the brethren who seat the congregation, to see that
          the seats generally occupied by strangers are held in reserve
          to-day until the meeting commences; then, if those for whom they
          are reserved do not come to fill them, they may be used by the
          sisters. I hope this will be recollected and observed.
          As our brethren of the Twelve will address us during the
          Conference, I feel like giving them a few texts to preach upon if
          they choose to do so. I should have no objection to hear them
          discourse upon union of action, or concentration of faith and
          action, or, as some call it, co-operation. That is one item. I
          would also like to hear them give instruction with regard to our
          traditions; instruction on this subject is necessary all the
          time. We must overcome them and adopt the rules laid down in
          revelation for the guidance of man's life here on the earth. If
          any of our brethren feel to speak upon this subject we should be
          very pleased to hear them; if they are not disposed to preach to
          the text, they may preach from it, as most ministers do. I have
          heard very few ministers preach to their texts, they generally
          preach from them.
          The education of our children is worthy of our attention, and the
          instruction of the Elders from this stand. It is a subject that
          should be thoroughly impressed upon the minds of parents and the
          rising generation; and those who wish to preach from this text
          may do so. And if they do not feel to preach to the text, they
          may preach from it.
          The subject of the building of the Temple is a very good one for
          occupying a portion of the time. The ordinances of the House of
          God are for the salvation of the human family. We are the only
          ones on the earth at the present time, that we have any knowledge
          of, who hold the keys of salvation committed to the children of
          men from the heavens by the Lord Almighty; and inasmuch as there
          are those who hold these keys, it is important that they should
          be acted upon for the salvation of the human family. The building
          of Temples, places in which the ordinances of salvation are
          administered, is necessary to carry out the plan of redemption,
          and it is a glorious subject upon which to address the Saints.
          The gathering of the House of Israel is another text upon which
          the brethren might address the Saints with profit. We are in the
          midst of Israel; they are also scattered among the nations of the
          earth. They are mixed with all nations, especially the tribe of
          Ephraim. These are to be gathered out. We have Israel in our
          midst; we live upon their land; we have communion with them and
          we are under the necessity of feeding and clothing them to a
          certain extent, and to preserve peace with them at present, until
          they come to a knowledge of the truth. I mean the Lamanites, the
          aborigines of our country. They are of the House of Israel.
          Not least nor last, but one subject that I would as soon hear
          treated upon in this house as in any other place, is the union of
          the sexes. We cannot go into any town or little village in the
          Territory but we find quite a large number of young people who
          have arrived at a marriageable age and still they remain single.
          But this can be accounted for to some extent. The young man says,
          "I dare not marry a wife, the fashions and customs of the world
          prevail among the ladies here to such a degree that I should need
          a fortune to maintain one." The young lady says, "I don't wish to
          marry unless I can find a husband who can take care of me and
          support me according to my idle wishes." By their acts only can
          people be judged, and from observing them we must conclude that
          the ideas of the young men are too true, they are founded in
          fact. This should be done away. Such feelings, views and
          influences should be dispelled from and broken up in the midst of
          the people. Our young men and women should consider their
          obligations to each other, to God, the earth, their parents, and
          to future generations for their salvation and exaltation among
          the Gods and for the glory of Him whom we serve. These are not
          idle tales, they are not fictions, but facts; and for a
          community, believing as we do, to live like the Gentile nations
          in these things is very incorrect. It is not according to our
          faith; we should put out faith into practice, and be willing to
          sustain ourselves, each and every one of us. Our young folks who
          have arrived at years of maturity should think and act for
          themselves. They are citizens of the earth; they have a share
          here, and have a part to bear--a character to form and frame and
          present to the world, or they will sink into oblivion and
          forgetfulness. These things are of importance to us at least, and
          especially in this nation, where many of the people are wasting
          away their lives, bartering away their very existence, and will
          hardly receive in return therefore a mess of pottage.
          The education of youth is an important text for the brethren to
          preach from. A very high value should be placed upon it by the
          Saints. We have the privilege of enjoying the spirit of
          revelation and the knowledge which comes from above, and in
          addition to this, every branch of education known in the world
          should be taught among and acquired by us. All the arts and
          sciences, and every branch of mechanism known and understood by
          man should be understood by this people. But no matter how much
          knowledge we may acquire in a worldly point of view, by study,
          unless the revelations of the Lord Jesus are dispensed to each
          and every individual, they cannot use or apply their acquirements
          to the best advantage. A man may know facts without revelation.
          The mathematician, for instance, may acquire a great amount of
          knowledge without any special revelation by the Spirit of the
          Lord to enlighten his mind; but still he will not know and
          understand what he might if he had applied his heart unto wisdom.
          So it is with all the sciences.
          These principles should be considered by this people. This is the
          place, brethren, to teach them. But I will give a caution to my
          brethren, the Elders--never undertake to teach a thing that you
          do not understand. Such things will come into your minds; but
          without launching out on such subjects, questions may be asked
          and answered, and we gain knowledge from each other. There is
          plenty within the scope of our own brains that, by the assistance
          of the Spirit of the Lord, will enable us to tell many
          things--more than the world or even more than the Saints can
          Suppose a man should come here and tell you the very nature of
          our Father Adam--tell precisely how he was organized, his height,
          his proportions, the extent of his knowledge, tell you the