Journal of Discourses / Journal of Discourses, Volume 14
                               Journal of Discourses,
                                      Volume 14
          Journal of Discourses / Journal of Discourses, Volume 14 /
          Wilford Woodruff, January 1, 1871
                          Wilford Woodruff, January 1, 1871
                            REMARKS BY ELDER W. WOODRUFF,
            Delivered in the Tabernacle, Salt Lake City, January 1, 1871.
                            (Reported by David W. Evans.)
                                   EVENTFUL TIMES.
          I wish you all a happy new year, and I hope that we may live to
          see a good many, and that we may keep the commandments of God,
          obey his laws, and have his approbation and blessing upon us as a
          people. We have assembled here on this, the first day of the
          week, and the first day of the year 1871; and this leads my mind
          to reflect upon the age and generation in which we live, and the
          great events of the latter days--events which involve the
          interests and destiny of all the inhabitants of the earth--both
          Zion and Babylon, Jew and Gentile, Jerusalem, America, and the
          whole world. All nations are interested in the events which are
          approaching us, and which await this generation; for, whether the
          world believe it or not, they are of vast interest to them all.
          There have been certain times looked forward to in the world's
          history, in which it was believed that something remarkable would
          occur, and there have been several of these periods during the
          last fifty years. I do not know that anything was predicted at an
          early day with regard to 1830; but I recollect, when a boy at
          school, of reading a certain verse about a great eclipse of the
                 In eighteen hundred and thirty-one
                 Will be a great eclipse upon the sun.
          I heard about this fifteen years before it took place, it having
          been foretold by the astronomers, by the principles and laws of
          the science of astronomy. On that day I was passing through a
          forest of pinewood, at Farmington, Connecticut, going to see my
          father, whom I had not seen for some time. It was nearly as dark
          as night, and when I got through, into the open fields, there was
          what is termed a poor house, the only house erected within
          several miles in that region of country. A poor man had died
          there and they were drawing his body on an ox sled and were going
          to bury him. I noticed this as I passed along, and thought of
          what I had read; but nothing of any particular interest occurred
          that year except the eclipse of the sun. But in 1830 something
          occurred of great interest to all the inhabitants of the earth:
          that was the establishment of the Church of Jesus Christ of
          Latter-day Saints.
          Many persons have looked forward to the year 1860 with great
          interest; and this has been the case with many of the Latter-day
          Saints. What took place in that year? The dissolution of the
          American Union; for in that year the South took a stand against
          the North, and the North against the South, in fulfilment of a
          certain revelation given by Joseph Smith thirty years before it
          took place. Joseph Smith predicted that there would be a great
          rebellion in the United States--the South and the North warring
          against each other, and that this rebellion would commence in
          South Carolina, and would end in the death and misery of many
          souls; and that in process of time--after many days, the slaves
          would rise against their masters, and that one nation would call
          for aid upon another, for war would be poured upon the whole
          earth. I wrote this revelation twenty-five years before the
          rebellion took place; others also wrote it, and it was published
          to the world before there was any prospect of the fearful events
          it predicted coming to pass.
          Joseph Smith once said in a speech at Nauvoo, to a company, that
          whosoever lived to see the two sixes come together in '66 would
          see the American continent deluged in blood. That was many years
          before there was any prospect of a rebellion. The history of '60
          and of '66 is before the world, and I do not wish to spend time
          in referring to it.
          We have got by '30, '60, '66, and '70, and we are now living at a
          period when every year is big with events of interest to the
          inhabitants of the earth; and they will continue from this time
          until the coming of the Lord Jesus Christ. Many men have set
          times for the coming of the Lord Jesus Christ, among whom, living
          in our own day, we may mention Mr. Miller. He set times and days
          for the appearing of the Messiah, and has said that he would
          surely come on such a day. Now if Mr. Miller had been acquainted
          with the prophecies contained in the Bible, and with the Spirit
          by which the Scriptures were written, he would have known very
          clearly that Christ would not come until certain events had taken
          place. He would have been aware that the Messiah would not make
          his appearance until an angel of God had delivered the
          everlasting Gospel from the heavens to be preached to the nations
          of the earth; until the honest and meek of the earth are gathered
          out from every sect, party and denomination under the whole
          heavens; until the Zion of God had gone up into the mountains of
          Israel and there established Zion, and lifted up a standard to
          the people. Mr. Miller and all who have believed like him, had
          they understood the Scriptures and possessed the Spirit of truth,
          would have known that Christ would not come until the Jews had
          returned to their own land and had rebuilt the City of Jerusalem
          and the temple there; they would have known that all these and
          many other prophecies must have been fulfilled as a preparatory
          work for the coming of the Messiah.
          These things are before us; we are here in these valleys of the
          mountains, as the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints,
          established by the hand of God--by revelation from heaven. This
          Church has been established by raising up prophets, unto whom
          have been given the keys of the kingdom of God--the keys of the
          holy Priesthood and Apostleship of the Son of God, with power to
          organize the Church and kingdom of God on the earth, with all its
          gifts, graces, ordinances, and orders, as proclaimed by all the
          Apostles and prophets who have lived since the world began. It is
          because of this that we are here to-day. In fulfilment of
          prophecy and revelation we have established a kingdom, as it
          were, a state, a nation, a people here in the deserts of North
          America. We have planted six hundred miles of cities, towns,
          villages, gardens, orchards, tabernacles and temples by the
          command of God, for the hand of God is in all these things, and
          they are in fulfilment of revelations given in the Bible, Book of
          Mormon and Doctrine and Covenants, in our day and in ancient
          days. This is the work of the Lord, and all the Scriptures, from
          the beginning of Genesis to the end of Revelations point to this
          day as one of great interest to all the human family; although as
          one said of old, "As it was in the days of Noah and of Lot, so
          shall it be in the days of the coming of the Son of Man." In
          those days they were marrying and giving in marriage, and when
          Noah went into the Ark, and when Lot fled out of Sodom, the
          inhabitants of the earth through their unbelief were ignorant of
          the destruction awaiting them.
          At the present day darkness covers the earth and gross darkness
          the minds of the people; nevertheless they are living in an age
          of the world more fraught with interest to the human family than
          any preceding age or generation since the creation. There is no
          hundred years, no thousand years, no two thousand years since God
          made this world and placed Adam in the Garden of Eden when there
          was as much prophecy, revelation, vision, and word of the Lord
          and promises of God to be fulfilled as there is in the generation
          in which you and I live. This is the great dispensation of all
          dispensations. This is the time to which all the prophets of God
          have pointed, and in which they have declared the great
          latter-day work of God should be established. And I will here say
          that, many times, while a boy, when reading the testimony of
          John, given on the isle of Patmos, whither he had been banished
          for the testimony of Jesus Christ and for the word of God; while
          reading the account he gives of the pouring out of plagues and
          judgments on the inhabitants of the earth, I have marvelled that
          the Lord should do such a work. But I do not wonder at it to-day:
          the scenes have changed. When I was a boy, fifty years ago, the
          kingdom of God had not been established among men; the angels of
          God had not visited the earth; the Lord Almighty had not clothed
          his servants with the Priesthood and commanded them to go and
          warn the nations of the earth of the judgments which awaited
          them. There was not the wickedness then that there is to-day. The
          wickedness committed to-day in the Christian world in twenty-four
          hours is greater than would have been committed in a hundred
          years at the ratio of fifty years ago. And the spirit of
          wickedness is increasing, so that I no longer wonder that God
          Almighty will turn rivers into blood; I do not wonder that he
          will open the seals and pour out the plagues and sink great
          Babylon, as the angel saw, like a millstone cast into the sea, to
          rise no more for ever. I can see that it requires just such
          plagues and judgments to cleanse the earth, that it may cease to
          groan under the wickedness and abomination in which the Christian
          world welters to-day. I can see the necessity for the Lord
          stretching forth his hand, establishing his kingdom, warning the
          nations, and gathering out the honest and meek of the earth from
          among all nations, kindreds, tongues and people, sects and
          parties under the whole heaven, and preparing them to stand as
          the bride, the Lamb's wife, as the Church of Jesus Christ, as the
          kingdom of God, adorned with goodly apparel, adorned with the
          light of Zion, with the principles of eternal life, with the
          Gospel of Jesus Christ, preserving within themselves the virtues
          and attributes which have made God what he is, established him on
          his throne, and given him the power which he now possesses. I can
          say this--the Lord will never come to visit an earth like this;
          he will never come to visit a generation of the inhabitants of
          the earth until they are prepared for his coming and are willing
          to receive him.
          This is the foundation of Mormonism; this is the foundation of
          the Church and kingdom of God, which was laid in 1830. The Church
          was established on the 6th of April in that year. Its history and
          the history of this people are before the world. We ourselves
          have learned it by shoe-leather. Many of the Elders of Israel
          have travelled a hundred thousand miles to preach the Gospel
          during the last forty years without purse or scrip; we have
          labored day and night, and travelled as no other generation of
          men since the world was made have travelled. Our garments are
          clear of the blood of this generation, at least many of us, and I
          hope many more will be. We have been true and faithful in our
          testimony to the inhabitants of the earth; and as the world
          generally has rejected our testimony the Lord has withdrawn his
          spirit from the people in a great measure, and the religion they
          once enjoyed is as nothing to many of them. Infidelity prevails
          throughout the world; very few, either priests or people, believe
          in a literal fulfilment of the Bible. They have a theory, but as
          to believing in a real fulfilment of prophecy, or that the Lord
          meant what he said and said what he meant, that is out of the
          question--very few believe it.
          I want to ask a question--Will the unbelief of this generation
          make the truth of God without effect in our day any more than it
          has in any other age of the world? I tell you nay, and think not,
          as Paul says, that I am your enemy because I tell you the truth.
          These things are true before God; this is the Zion of God, and
          these are the people of God; and we, as Latter-day Saints, should
          live our religion better than we do; and as we are now entering
          on another year I hope we shall try to live our religion through
          this year, and do our duty and keep the commandments of God and
          walk uprightly before him, that we may become united as the heart
          of one man.
          There are great events, as I have already said, before us. The
          fact is, the Lord has laid down a great many promises concerning
          the latter days, and they are going to be fulfilled; for though
          the heavens and the earth pass away not one jot or tittle of the
          word of the Lord will fall unfulfilled; and when our nation and
          the nations of the earth have filled their cup and are ripened in
          iniquity the Lord will cut them off. The greater the battle the
          sooner it will end; the greater the warfare the greater the
          victory, if the Saints do their duty. These things are before my
          mind, in the vision of it, and the Lord will not fail in anything
          he has promised concerning the work of the latter days. Whatever
          opposition this Church and kingdom may have, it is the work of
          God. The Lord has planted and sustained it. Jesus compares the
          kingdom of heaven to a mustard seed, the least of all seeds, but
          by and by when it grows it becomes a large tree, so the fowls of
          the air can lodge in its branches. So it has been with the
          kingdom of God; but we are told that the little one will become a
          thousand, and the small one a strong nation, and the Lord will
          hasten it in his own time. The Lord says, "I will break every
          weapon formed against Zion; and every nation, kindred, tongue and
          people that will not serve Zion shall be utterly wasted away."
          When I see the world making warfare against the Zion and people
          of God because they have borne record and testimony of his work
          on the earth I can tell pretty well what the end will be; I can
          see it. We are living in a time when the work of God is going to
          increase in interest every day until it is wound up. No man knows
          the day or the hour when Christ will come, yet the generation has
          been pointed out by Jesus himself. He told his disciples when
          they passed by the temple as they walked out of Jerusalem that
          that generation should not pass away before not one stone of that
          magnificent temple should be left standing upon another and the
          Jews should be scattered among the nations; and history tells how
          remarkably that prediction was fulfilled. Moses and the prophets
          also prophesied of this as well as Jesus. The Savior, when
          speaking to his disciples of his second coming and the
          establishment of his kingdom on the earth, said the Jews should
          be scattered and trodden under foot until the times of the
          Gentiles were fulfilled. But, said he, when you see light
          breaking forth among the Gentiles, referring to the preaching of
          his Gospel amongst them; when you see salvation offered to the
          Gentiles, and the Jews--the seed of Israel--passed by, the last
          first and the first last; when you see this you may know that the
          time of my second coming is at hand as surely as you know that
          summer is nigh when the fig tree puts forth its leaves; and when
          these things commence that generation shall not pass away until
          all are fulfilled.
          We are living in the dispensation and generation to which Jesus
          referred--the time appointed by God for the last six thousand
          years, through the mouths of all the prophets and inspired men
          who have lived and left their sayings on record, in which his
          Zion should be built up and continue upon the earth. These
          prophecies will have their fulfilment before the world; and all
          who will not repent will be engulfed in the destructions which
          are in store for the wicked. If men do not cease from their
          murders, whoredoms, and all the wickedness and abominations which
          fill the black catalogue of the crimes of the world, judgment
          will overtake them; and whether we are believed or not, these
          sayings are true, and I bear my testimony as a servant of God and
          as an Elder in Israel to the truth of the events which are going
          to follow very fast on each other.
          The Lord is going to make a short work in the earth; he is going
          to cut it short in righteousness, or no flesh would be saved.
          What Brother Rich has said to-day is true. These principles will
          sustain us. Virtuous and godly principles--the principles of the
          Gospel will, in the end, come off triumphant; and they will
          sustain and preserve any people who practice them, whether they
          are popular or not in the estimation of the world. All who
          embrace the principles of the Gospel of Christ will be saved by
          them. He that abides a law will be preserved by it. Any man who
          abides the law of the Gospel will be saved and receive exaltation
          and glory by it. Let us remember these things, for all that has
          been spoken concerning this Zion of God in the mountains will
          come to pass. It is the work of God, and his eyes are over it;
          the heavens behold it. Every prophet and Apostle who ever bore
          testimony to this work is watching us with the deepest interest;
          they watch our labors and faithfulness, and are anxious about the
          course we pursue. Many of them desired to live in our day, but
          had not the privilege. We have been permitted to see and live in
          this great and eventful age of the world. The God of heaven has
          put into our hands the Gospel, the Priesthood, the keys of his
          kingdom, and the power to redeem the earth from the dominion of
          sin and wickedness under which it has groaned for centuries, and
          under which it groans to-day. Let us lay these things to heart,
          and try to live our religion; so that when we get through we may
          look back on our lives, and feel that we have done what was
          required of us, individually and collectively. The Lord requires
          much at our hands--more than he has ever required of any
          generation that has preceded us; for no generation that has ever
          lived on the earth was called upon to establish the kingdom of
          God on the earth, knowing that it should be thrown down no more
          for ever. Daniel saw this; the Prophet Isaiah had spoken of it;
          in fact three-fourths of all his predictions relate to the
          establishment of the kingdom of God in the latter days; to our
          persecutions, to our travels to these valleys of the mountains,
          to the lifting up of the standard to the people on the mountains
          of Israel; to the casting up of the great highway--this national
          railroad, which the ransomed of the Lord should walk over, and on
          which the Gentiles should come to the light of Zion, and kings to
          the brightness of her rising.
          These things are to come to pass in our day, and the beginning
          has commenced, and the end will come by the power of God and in
          fulfilment of his promises; and it is at our hands the work is
          required. Therefore I feel to bear my testimony to-day that this
          is the work of God, that Joseph Smith was a prophet of God, and
          that Brigham Young is a prophet of God, and is inspired, led,
          dictated and directed of the Lord, and has been very profitable
          to the Latter-day Saints, and is doing all he can for the
          salvation of the world. So did Joseph Smith, while he lived. He
          came in fulfilment of prophecy, accomplished what was required of
          him, laid the foundation of the work, received the keys of the
          Priesthood and Apostleship, and every gift and grace in the
          organization of the Church necessary to carry it on. We are
          called to build on the foundation he laid, until Zion shall arise
          and put on her beautiful garments and the people of God become
          united as the heart of one man; until the little stone, cut out
          of the mountain without hands, becomes a mountain and fills the
          whole earth, and accomplishes all God has spoken concerning it.
          Brethren and sisters, let us unite together and be faithful, and
          live our religion every day, and do our duty in 1871 as in any of
          the years that are past and gone since we have been acquainted
          with the Gospel of Christ. If we do this we shall come off
          triumphant. The God of heaven is our friend, and blessed is that
          people whose God is the Lord. Blessed is that people who do not
          turn to any other God but the living and true God.
          May God bless you, bless this assembly, bless us as a people, and
          the honest and meek of the earth everywhere, and prepare us for
          the great events which await this generation, for Jesus' sake.
          Journal of Discourses / Journal of Discourses, Volume 14 / Orson
          Pratt, February 19, 1871
                           Orson Pratt, February 19, 1871
                           DISCOURSE BY ELDER ORSON PRATT,
           Delivered in the Tabernacle, Salt Lake City, February 19, 1871.
                            (Reported by John Q. Cannon.)
          I will call the attention of the congregation to a portion of the
          word of the Lord contained in the 3rd chapter of Deuteronomy,
          commencing at the 13th verse. What I am about to read is the word
          of the Lord through Moses. "And of Joseph he said, Blessed of the
          Lord be his land, for the precious things of heaven, for the dew,
          and for the deep that coucheth beneath, and for the precious
          fruits brought forth by the sun, and for the precious things put
          forth by the moon, and for the chief things of the ancient
          mountains, and for the precious things of the everlasting hills,
          and for the precious things of the earth and the fullness
          thereof, and for the good will of him that dwelt in the bush; let
          the blessing come upon the head of Joseph, and upon the top of
          the head of him that was separated from his brethren. His glory
          is like the firstling of his bullock, and his horns are like the
          horns of unicorns; with them he shall push the people together to
          the ends of the earth; and they are the ten thousands of Ephraim,
          and they are the thousands of Manasseh."
          These words occurred to me after rising to my feet, as the
          blessing of Moses upon one of the tribes of Israel. The
          Latter-day Saints are aware that in ancient times men of God were
          led by the spirit of inspiration to bless with prophetic
          blessings. Such was the case in the days of Noah, such was the
          case in the days of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, and such was the
          case in the days of Moses. Being prophets, the Lord inspired them
          to know and understand the future, to know what he intended to
          perform and accomplish on the earth. They understood by the
          spirit of prophecy the blessings that would come upon the
          righteous and the curses that would come upon the wicked. They
          understood that the Lord would bestow blessings bountifully upon
          those who would serve him and keep his commandments. Hence they
          predicted blessings upon them, not only of a spiritual nature but
          of a temporal nature, among which farms were given to them,
          kingdoms, thrones, and a great variety of blessings of a temporal
          nature were oftentimes conferred by the spirit of prophecy upon
          the descendants of those whom the Lord delighted in. Many
          prophecies are recorded in the Book of Deuteronomy, pertaining to
          the twelve tribes, among which were certain cursings if they did
          not keep the commandments of the Lord, and certain blessings
          inasmuch as they would keep his commandments. Indeed, six of the
          tribes of Israel, or men out of six tribes, representing six of
          the tribes, were commanded to go upon a certain mountain, and
          representatives out of the other six tribes were commanded to get
          upon another mountain. The representatives on one of these
          mountains were to pronounce blessings on conditions, while the
          others were to pronounce curses also on conditions. Israel were
          to be blessed in their basket and in their store; in their goings
          out and in their comings in; blessed with all the blessings of
          the earth in the land of Palestine; blessed with the comforts and
          consolations of the Spirit; with revelations, with prophets, with
          all the blessings that had been enjoyed by their forefathers in
          the days of their righteousness; but if they would not do this,
          the others upon the other hill were to curse them; they were to
          be cursed in their basket and in their store; in the increase of
          their fields and in their flocks; cursed with all the plagues of
          Egypt. Their enemies, though few in number, should come against
          them, and they, though many, should flee before them. They should
          be dispersed until the latter days. In the latter days the Lord
          would again stretch forth his hand and would bring them from all
          the nations of the earth, where they have been scattered, to
          their own land of Canaan.
          Almost the last thing that Moses did among the children of Israel
          was to pronounce separate blessings upon each tribe, commencing
          with the first-born, Reuben, taking them according to their ages,
          pronouncing a variety of blessings, spiritual and temporal, upon
          the twelve tribes, until he comes down to Joseph. The words which
          I have read were the blessings upon that tribe: "Blessed of the
          Lord be his land." It was a temporal blessing then; it did not
          particularly have reference to those spiritual blessings that
          pertain to eternity, but it was a temporal blessing. "Blessed of
          the Lord be his land, for the precious things of the earth, the
          precious things of heaven, for the dew and for the deep that
          coucheth beneath. For the precious fruits brought forth by the
          sun, and for the precious things put forth by the moon; and the
          chief things of the ancient mountains, and for the precious
          things of the everlasting hills, and for the precious things of
          the earth and the fullness thereof, and for the good will of him
          that dwelt in the bush; let the blessing come upon the head of
          Joseph and upon the top of the head of him that was separated
          from his brethren." You perceive, then, that this blessing was of
          a temporal nature.
          Now when Joseph entered the land of Palestine he received an
          inheritance with the rest of the tribes. Both Ephraim and
          Manasseh received their inheritances; one of them received an
          inheritance on the east side of Jordan; the other, Ephraim,
          received an inheritance on the west of Jordan in connection with
          the rest of the tribes. "Blessed of the Lord be his land;" and
          among the precious things that were to be given were the precious
          things of the earth and the fullness thereof. What are we to
          understand by the fullness of the earth? I understand it to mean
          the products of all climates. Palestine is in the temperate zone,
          and therefore produces fruits that are adapted to a temperate
          climate. Let me refer you to the blessing of Jacob, the father of
          Joseph, upon Ephraim and Manasseh. In the 48th chapter of Genesis
          we read that Joseph brought up his two sons to Jacob to receive
          his last blessing. Jacob was blind, and when Ephraim and Manasseh
          were brought before him, Manasseh being the oldest was brought
          before the old Patriarch in such a way that the old man would
          place his right hand upon the first-born, and his left hand upon
          the younger, that the first-born might receive the prophetic
          blessing. Being guided by the spirit of inspiration, the old
          Patriarch crossed his hands and laid his right hand upon the head
          of the younger and his left hand upon the head of Manasseh and
          pronounced his blessing. He said that these two sons of Joseph
          should become a great people and a multitude of nations in the
          midst of the earth. Now it would be very difficult for us to find
          the descendants of Joseph--a multitude of nations--anywhere on
          the eastern continent. If we go among the nations of Asia, the
          Chinese, the Hindoos, &c., we can trace back their history to
          early ages, and there is no evidence that they are the
          descendants of Joseph. If we go into the norther portions of
          Europe, to Russia and other countries, we find no evidence that
          they are his descendants. If we go among the various eastern
          nations, we have no evidence that they are the descendants of
          him. I don't know any portion of the eastern continent, in
          Europe, Asia, Africa, or Australia, where we can find a multitude
          of nations. When we come to America, we have a large country,
          with every variety of climate, temperate, torrid and arctic, and
          every variety of temperature. Jacob not only predicted that his
          tribe should become a great people--a multitude of nations--but
          that they should be blest in a variety of ways.
          The great Prophet Jacob also pronounced these remarkable words
          uttered by inspiration: "Joseph is a fruitful bough, even a
          fruitful bough by a well, for his branches shall run over the
          wall." What a great prediction about the tribe of Joseph!
          There are several things to be understood in the prophecy. First,
          he should become a multitude of nations. We understand what this
          means. In the second place, his branches should run over the
          wall. Now what does this mean? The Lord in ancient times had a
          meaning for everything. It means that his tribe should become so
          numerous that they would take up more room than one small
          inheritance in Canaan, that they would spread out and go to some
          land at a great distance. You recollect that the Lord told
          Abraham to get upon a hill and look forth to the east and then to
          the west, then to the north and to the south. For, saith the
          Lord, "All the land thou seest I will give to thee and thy seed
          for an inheritance, for an everlasting possession." That was the
          blessing conferred upon one of Jacob's progenitors. Isaac had
          also the same blessing. Here Jacob wrestled with God or the angel
          near to the brook Jabbok. It will be recollected how Jacob sent
          his wives over the brook and stayed behind to wrestle with the
          angel, and they wrestled all night just as two men would wrestle.
          The angel not being able to overpower him by physical strength
          alone, but by miracle, touched the hollow of Jacob's thigh and it
          was withered, and in this way he was able to overpower him. The
          Lord pronounced great blessings upon his head, greater than those
          of his progenitors. This is the time that some say that Jacob
          received his conversion; but he did not repent of having more
          wives than one. What! was he a holy man of God and had more wives
          than one? Yes; and instead of turning them off, he arranged them
          to go and meet his brother Esau; the first wife and her children,
          then the second with hers, and so on, and when Esau saw them, he
          inquired who they were? Jacob replied, "These are they whom God
          hath graciously given to thy servant." We have deviated a little
          from our subject, but we will return to it.
          Joseph's peculiar blessing, which I have just read to you, was
          that he should enjoy possessions above Jacob's progenitors to the
          utmost bounds of the everlasting hills. This would seem to
          indicate a very distant land, from Palestine. The old patriarch
          said, "I bestow this blessing upon the head of him that was
          separated from his brethren." Of course such a land must be large
          to contain a multitude of nations. It was to be adapted to the
          fruits, vegetables and grains of all climates; the precious
          things of the earth and the fullness thereof. We may learn then,
          from these facts, that the land was at a great distance from the
          land of Palestine. Where can we find a people who fulfil the
          terms of this prophecy as well as the American Indians? Here are
          a great number of nations. Go into the arctic regions and you
          find nations; in British America you find them scattered over a
          vast area of country; in the United States there is a multitude
          of nations, being driven west by the white men. Go farther south
          into the provinces of Mexico; go through the isthmus into South
          America and you will find still numerous nations of Indians. They
          have different languages, but the roots of each language indicate
          that they have all sprung from the same origin. How do you know
          that they have sprung from one race of people, or are of the same
          origin? Because learned men have studied into the antiquities of
          our country. Societies have been formed, among which is the
          Antiquarian Society, afterwards called the Etymological Society,
          which discovered that the roots of all the different languages
          have a very close resemblance to the Hebrew. But there is another
          thing that will prove still further their origin. When our
          fathers first settled the New England States and penetrated into
          the country they discovered that the Indians had certain rites
          and ceremonies which they observed, such as the new moon
          sacrifices, &c. From these proofs we conclude that they must have
          been descendants of the Israelitish nation. Lord Kingsbury, a man
          who was once very wealthy, expended about 80,000 sterling in
          getting up nine large volumes giving accounts of these
          antiquities. He had agents searching in all the large libraries
          of Europe. Imagine the immense amount of manuscript writing, so
          voluminous as to fill nine large volumes! In these volumes he
          brought forth all the testimony in his power to prove that the
          American Indians were Israelites. But there was one thing that he
          could not understand; he found that the ancient Indians
          understood something about the Lord Jesus Christ. If he had
          consulted the Book of Mormon, he would have known why they knew
          about Jesus.
          Let me here observe that the Book of Mormon, which has been
          published for forty-one years, gives an account of the first
          settlement of this country by these inhabitants, showing that
          they are not the ten tribes, but they are the descendants of one
          tribe, and they came to this country about six hundred years
          before Christ. The people when they first landed consisted of
          only two or three families; and instead of landing on the
          north-west coast of North America, they landed on the south-west
          coast of South America. A history of the escape of these few
          families from Jerusalem is contained in the Book of Mormon. How
          they traveled on the eastern borders of the Red Sea, and how they
          built a vessel or ship to cross the Indian and Pacific oceans;
          they were instructed how to build this vessel, and when they had
          embarked on it, they were brought by the special direction of the
          Lord to this land. He guided their vessel, or instructed them how
          to guide it, until they landed on the west coast of South
          America. One portion had become wicked and had apostatized from
          the religion of their fathers and sought the destruction of the
          righteous portion. The righteous portion of these families left
          the first settlement and traveled several hundred miles to the
          north, and formed settlements, and became a powerful nation. The
          others--the wicked portion--became a powerful nation. About fifty
          years before Christ the Nephites, as the righteous portion was
          called, sent forth numerous colonies into North America. Among
          these colonies there was one that came and settled on the
          southern borders of our great lakes. Both nations became very
          wicked, notwithstanding their prophets foretold great destruction
          if they would not repent. They predicted that at the time of the
          crucifixion darkness, earthquakes and great destruction of cities
          should transpire. While they were standing near their temple,
          conversing about this sign which had been given them of the
          crucifixion, they heard a voice in the heavens, and they looked
          up and beheld their Messiah descending. He came down and stood in
          their midst, and showed them the scars in his hands and feet, and
          in his side; and after visiting them for several days
          successively, he told them that he was going to the ten tribes of
          Israel. He also chose twelve disciples to administer his Gospel
          on this land and for the ministration of the Holy Ghost. The
          twelve disciples went forth and preached the Gospel, commencing
          in South America, and then went into North America, until all the
          people both in North and South America were converted, receiving
          the principles of the Gospel--namely, baptism, and the laying on
          of hands, and all the other principles as preached in our day.
          About two centuries after this, the Nephites fell into
          wickedness: the Lamanites, who dwelt in the southern portion of
          South America, also apostatized; and they began to wage war with
          the Nephites, who were their enemies; and being exceedingly
          strong they drove all the Nephites out of South America and
          followed them with their armies up into the north country, and
          finally overpowered them. They were gathered together south of
          the great lakes in the country which we term New York. The Lord
          ordered that the plates on which the records were kept should be
          hid, and one of the prophets knowing that it was the last
          struggle of his nation, hid them in the hill Cumorah, in Ontario
          county, in the State of New York, with the exception of those
          which his son Moroni, who was also a prophet, had. The last
          account that we have is furnished to us by Moroni, who states
          that, after keeping himself hid for several years, and being
          commanded of the Lord, he hid away the records, about 420 years
          after Christ. Thus, I have given you a very brief history of the
          settlement of our country.
          In the year 1827 Joseph Smith, then a young man, took these
          records from their place of concealment, and, by the aid of the
          Urim and Thummim, translated them. In the presence of three
          witnesses, the angel took the plates and turned them over, leaf
          after leaf, showing them the characters thereon, and told them
          that they had been translated correctly. They were also seen by
          eight other men, making twelve men in all, including himself.
          Joseph Smith being inspired from on high, was commanded to
          organize a Church, which he did on the 6th day of April, 1830. It
          was composed at first of six members. Witnesses and preachers
          went forth into the States of this Union to preach the Gospel,
          and many were led to join the Church. It has steadily progressed
          since the time of its first organization until the present. The
          Saints were driven from State to State until they finally crossed
          the Missouri river and came to these valleys. Thus I have
          endeavored to give you a very brief sketch of the organization of
          this Church, and it has been very brief indeed.
          I see the time is up; much more might be said from the holy Bible
          in relation to this great Latter-day work, but time will not
          permit. Amen.
          Journal of Discourses / Journal of Discourses, Volume 14 / George
          Albert Smith, May 6, 1870
                          George Albert Smith, May 6, 1870
                        REMARKS BY PRESIDENT GEORGE A. SMITH,
            Delivered in the New Tabernacle, Salt Lake City, May 6, 1870.
                            (Reported by David W. Evans.)
          In February, 1831, just after the organization of the Church, we
          received a revelation through Joseph Smith, commanding the
          members of the Church to let the beauty of their garments be the
          workmanship of their own hands. It reads as follows: "And again,
          thou shalt not be proud in thy heart; let all thy garments be
          plain, and their beauty the beauty of the work of thine own
          hands; and let all things be done in cleanliness before me. Thou
          shalt not be idle; for he that is idle shall not eat the bread
          nor wear the garments of the laborer." This revelation was given
          almost forty years ago, but slowly, very slowly, have we advanced
          in fulfilling it; and it really seems that some of the first
          commandments given to the Church are amongst the last obeyed. I
          realize the reason of this, when reflecting upon the great work
          to be done in moulding the children of God, gathered from the
          various nations and denominations, with all their prejudices,
          traditions, and varied habits of living. They come here filled
          with ideas averse to those of God and differing from each other;
          and under these circumstances it is difficult for them to arrive
          at a oneness in their associations--to use an expression common
          amongst us at the present--it is difficult for them to co-operate
          to build up Zion in the last days. Enoch, the seventh from Adam,
          was three hundred and sixty-five years preparing the people,
          before the saying went forth: "Zion has fled." "Enoch was 25
          years old when he was ordained under the hand of Adam, and he was
          65 and Adam blessed him, and he saw the Lord, and he walked with
          him, and was before his face continually; and he walked with God
          365 years, making him 430 years old when he was translated." Doc.
          and Cov., sec. 3, par. 24. Three hundred and sixty-five years
          teaching and instructing the people, and setting examples before
          them, and forming a city that should be a model city of Zion. It
          was in an age when men lived longer, and when, peradventure, they
          had not become so full of tradition as at the present day; yet
          when we consider the time that it took Enoch to accomplish this
          work, we have every reason to rejoice at the progress of Zion at
          the present time. Most of the efforts we have made to advance the
          cause of Zion we have been able to carry through successfully.
          For instance, when in the temple of the Lord at Nauvoo, we
          entered into a covenant that we would, to the extent of our
          influence and property, do all in our power to help our poor
          brethren and sisters in emancipating themselves from tyranny and
          oppression, that they might come to the mountains, where they
          could enjoy religious liberty. Just as soon as food was raised in
          this Valley this work continued, and every effort and energy was
          used to fulfil this covenant. It required unity of effort, but it
          has been a success. Roads had to be constructed, bridges built,
          ways sought out, mountains, as it were, torn down, deserts turned
          into fruitful fields, and savages more wild than the mountain
          gorges they inhabit conciliated and controlled, and all this to
          effect a purpose. But it has been done by unity of effort, and
          hundreds and thousands of Latter-day Saints rejoice in the fact.
          We extended our work of gathering the Saints across the mighty
          deep, and aided the poor brethren in Europe, continuing our
          donations in money, and, in addition to this, we went with our
          hundred, two hundred, three hundred or five hundred teams
          annually across the great desert plains, to bring home to Zion
          those who desired to be gathered. This was done by co-operation,
          by unity and a determined purpose.
          It appears that we have gathered many to Zion who do not fully
          appreciate the great work of these days--namely, to place the
          people of God in a condition that they can sustain themselves,
          against the time that Babylon the Great shall fall. Some will say
          that it is ridiculous to suppose that Babylon, the "Mother of
          Harlots," is going to fall. Ridiculous as it may seem, the time
          will come when no man will buy her merchandise, and when the
          Latter-day Saints will be under the necessity of providing for
          themselves, or going without. "This may be a wild idea," but it
          is no more wild or wonderful than what has already transpired,
          and that before our eyes. When we are counseled to "provide for
          your wants within yourselves," we are only told to prepare for
          that day. When we are told, "Unite your interests and establish
          every variety of business that may be necessary to supply your
          wants," we are only told to lay a plan to enjoy liberty, peace
          and plenty.
          Many years ago efforts were made on the part of the Presidency to
          extend the settlements into the warm valleys south of the rim of
          the Basin. The country was very forbidding and sterile. Many were
          invited and called upon to go and settle there. Numbers went, but
          many of them returned disheartened; but the mass of those who
          went, confident that the blessings of God would be upon their
          labors, pushed forth their exertions and built up towns, cities
          and villages; they established cotton fields and erected
          factories, and supplied many wants which could not be supplied
          within the rim of the Basin.
          It has been my lot to visit these regions recently, and I have
          felt to rejoice to see the kind spirit, genial dispositions and
          warm hearts that were manifested in all those settlements, where
          men and women had taken hold with all their hearts to obey the
          commandments of God, and to lay a foundation for Zion to become
          self-sustaining. I feel that those who have turned away from that
          country and swerved from the mission assigned them there have
          lost a great and glorious blessing, which it will be exceedingly
          difficult for them ever to regain. I am exceedingly gratified at
          the progress which has been made in that country, and I realize
          that our brethren, from year to year, are becoming more and more
          Some tell us that we want capital, and that we should send abroad
          and get men to come here with money to build factories. This is
          not what we need. If the cotton lord and the millionaire come
          here and hire you to build factories and pay you their money for
          their work, when the factory is erected they own it, and they set
          their price upon your labor and your wool or cotton--they have
          dominion over you. But if, by your own efforts and exertions, you
          co-operate together and build a factory it is your own. You are
          the lords of the land, and if fortunes are made the means is
          yours and it is used to oppress no one. The profits are divided
          among those whose labor produced it, and will be used to build up
          the country. Hence it is not capital, that is, it is not so much
          money that is needed. It is unity of effort on the part of the
          bone, sinew, skill and ingenuity which we have in our midst, and
          which, in whatever enterprise has been attempted hitherto, under
          the direction of the servants of the Lord, with whole-souled
          unity on the part of the people, has proved successful. Let us be
          diligent in these things. Why send abroad for our cloth when we
          have the necessary means and skill to manufacture it for
          ourselves? Why not let these mountains produce the fine wool? and
          why not let the low valleys produce the silk, flax, and all other
          articles that are necessary which it is possible to produce
          within the range of our climate, and thus secure to ourselves
          independence? I am very well aware that this has looked, and to
          many still looks, a wild undertaking; but that which has been
          accomplished gives abundant evidence of what may be. If we
          continue to import our hats, bonnets, boots, shoes and clothing,
          and send away all the gold, silver and currency that we can
          command to pay for them, we shall ever remain dependent upon the
          labor of others for many of the actual necessaries of life. If,
          on the other hand, we devise means to produce them from the
          elements by our own labor we keep our money at home, and it can
          be used for other and more noble purposes, and we become
          Some may say, "We are willing that you should preach faith and
          repentance, and baptism for the remission of sins, but we do not
          want you to have anything to say about business matters." No idea
          could be more delusive; this oversight in temporal matters being
          indispensable necessary; for the Latter-day Saints have been
          gathered from the old settled nations of the earth and are
          unacquainted with the manner of life in new and sparsely settled
          countries. An intelligent citizen of Provo, on his arrival in
          this country, came to my garden to work; he undertook to set out
          some vegetables--onions, carrots, and parsnips, and he set every
          one of them wrongside up. My wife went out, and, seeing what he
          was doing, she said, "You are foolish." "Why so?" said he, "I
          thought I was pretty smart." "Why you have planted these things
          all wrong end up." "Have I, I did not know any better. I never
          saw such things planted before." That man became a wealthy
          farmer. But he had to learn; he had never seen a carrot planted
          to produce seed in his life, and did not realize which end up to
          put it in the ground. We have tens of thousands of men, women and
          children who have had to learn how to get a living in this
          country, who perhaps had spent their days in painting a tea cup,
          turning a bowl, weaving a ribbon or spinning a thread, and knew
          nothing else. Here they have had to work at several kinds of work
          at once, and had to learn how, and it required all the power,
          energy and influence of the Elders of Israel to instruct them and
          tell them how to live. I have been astonished at the patience,
          perseverance, determination and incessant labor of President
          Young in giving these instructions--telling men how to build
          mills and houses, so that they would not fall over their own
          heads; telling them how to yoke cattle, harness horses, how to
          make fences, and, in fact, how to do almost every kind of
          There are very few in our midst now who know how to make good
          bread. I advise the ladies' relief societies to teach all the
          sisters to make first-class bread. Many of them do not know how;
          and let every sister in Israel be thankful for instruction in
          relation to cooking or any other useful information that can be
          imparted unto her. Do not let pride and independence make you
          feel that you know how to do everything. There are a great many
          things that the smartest among us do not know how to do; then we
          should be anxious and willing to be taught, and go to work and
          Much of the sickness which is amongst our children is the result
          of improperly prepared food. We raise choice wheat; our millers
          make good flour, yet in many instances bread is so prepared that
          it is heavy and unpalatable, causing disease of the stomach and
          bowels, with which many of our little ones are afflicted, and
          find rest in premature graves. Give the children good light bread
          that they may be healthy.
          Brethren and sisters, may the blessings of Israel's God be upon
          you and may you continue to improve in everything useful and
          good. Seek after the Lord with all your hearts. Co-operate in
          building factories, importing merchandise and machinery, taking
          care of your cattle, and in every kind of business. Remember
          that, "United we stand, divided we fall."
          May God bless you for ever. Amen.
          Journal of Discourses / Journal of Discourses, Volume 14 /
          Brigham Young, May 6, 1870
                             Brigham Young, May 6, 1870
                         REMARKS BY PRESIDENT BRIGHAM YOUNG,
            Delivered in the New Tabernacle, Salt Lake City, May 6, 1870.
                            (Reported by David W. Evans.)
          If I can have the ears and attention of the people, I want to
          preach to them a short sermon on our present condition and on
          some particulars with regard to our customs. We, the Latter-day
          Saints, as a people, received a command many years ago to gather
          out from the wicked world and to gather ourselves together to
          stand in holy places, preparatory to the coming of the Son of
          Man. We have been gathered together promiscuously from the
          nations of the earth, and in many respects we are like the rest
          of the world. But I wish to make a few remarks on some points
          wherein we differ. We differ from the infidel world in our
          belief, and from the vulgar world in regard to the language we
          use. It is not common for the Latter-day Saints to take the name
          of the Deity in vain, while it is common and quite fashionable to
          do so in Christendom. Herein we disagree with the outside world,
          or we may call it the vulgar world, for no matter how high or how
          low their position may be, or how poor or how wealthy, when
          people use language which is unbecoming they descend to a very
          low level, and in this respect I am happy to say that the
          Latter-day Saints differ from the wicked or vulgar world. I will
          also put in the political world. It is a very common practice
          throughout the fashionable, political world to gamble; we differ
          also in this respect, for the Latter-day Saints are not in the
          habit of gambling at any game whatever; neither are they in the
          habit of drinking intoxicating liquors, which, throughout the
          world at large, and especially the Christian world, is such a
          prolific source of wretchedness and misery. In a great degree, I
          may also say that, as a people, we are not in the habit of lying
          and deceiving; but there is one thing that we are too much guilty
          of, and that is, evil speaking of our neighbors--bearing false
          witness against them. As a people we are too lavish in our
          conversation in this respect, our words come too easy and cheap,
          and we use them too freely in many instances. This is one thing
          in which we do not differ so much from the world as I should
          wish. There is another point on which the same remark is true,
          and that is fashion in dress. Look over this congregation and we
          see this demonstrated before us, and on this particular item I
          wish to lay my views before the minds of the people.
          To me a desire to follow the ever-varying fashions of the world
          manifests a great weakness of mind in either gentleman or lady.
          We are too apt to follow the foolish fashions of the world; and
          if means were plentiful, I do not think that there are many
          families among the Latter-day Saints but what would be up to the
          highest and latest fashions of the day. Perhaps there are a great
          many that would not follow these fashions had they ever so much
          means. But too many of this people follow after the foolish,
          giddy, vain fashions of the world. If any persons want proof of
          this they need only look over this congregation, and view the
          bonnets, hats or headdresses of our fashionable ladies. Do they
          wear bonnets that will screen their faces from the sun, or
          shelter their heads from the rain? Oh, no, it is not fashionable.
          Well what do they wear? Just such as the wicked would wear.
          My discourse will have to be brief, and I am going to ask my
          sisters in particular to stop following these foolish fashions,
          and to introduce fashions of their own. This is the place, and
          this the time to make known the word of the Lord to the people.
          It is vain and foolish, it does not evince godliness, and is
          inconsistent with the spirit of a saint to follow after the
          fashions of the world. I wish to impress these remarks especially
          on the minds of my young sisters--the daughters of the Elders of
          Israel. Not but what our wives as well as daughters follow many
          fashions that are uncomely, foolish and vain. What do you say?
          "Shall we introduce a fashion of our own, and what shall it be?"
          Do you want us to answer and tell you how to make your bonnets?
          Let me say to you that, in the works of God, you see an eternal
          variety, consequently we do not ask the people to become Quakers,
          and all the men wear wide-brimmed hats, and the ladies wear drab
          or cream-colored silk bonnets projecting in the front, perhaps
          six or seven inches, rounded on the corners, with a cape behind.
          This is Quakerism, that is, so far as headdresses are concerned
          for ladies and gentlemen. But while we do not ask this, we do ask
          the sisters to make their bonnets so as to shelter themselves
          from the storm and from the rays of the sun. I have heard a
          saying that three straws and a ribbon would make a headdress for
          a fashionable lady. This was a year or two ago; and the same
          varying, fantastic, foolish notions prevail with regard to other
          portions of a lady's habiliments as much as with her headdress. A
          few years ago it took about sixteen yards of common-width cloth
          to make a dress for a lady, for she wanted two or three yards to
          drag in the streets, to be smeared by every nuisance she walked
          over. Now I suppose they make their dresses out of five yards and
          a half, and then have abundance left for an apron. They put me
          now strongly in mind of the ladies I used to see in Canada some
          years ago, who made their dresses out of two breadths of tow and
          linen, and when they were in meeting they were all the time busy
          pulling them down, for they would draw up. The young ladies look
          now as if they needed somebody to walk after them to keep pulling
          down their dresses.
          How foolish and unwise this is, and how contrary to the spirit of
          the Gospel that we have embraced! This Gospel is full of good
          sense, judgment, discretion and intelligence. Does this look
          intelligent? Suppose the ladies continue the fashion of
          shortening their dresses how long will it be before
          three-quarters of a yard will be enough for them? You may say
          that such extravagant comparisons are ridiculous. I say, no more
          than your dresses and many of your habits and fashions now, only
          they may be a little exaggerated, that is all. Anything is
          ridiculous, more or less, that is not comely. I do beseech my
          sisters to stop their foolishness and to go to work and make
          their own headdresses. If they will they will be blessed. Do you
          say, "How shall we be blessed?"--I will tell you--by introducing
          a spirit of industry into your families, and a spirit of
          contentment into your hearts, which will give you an interest in
          your domestic cares and affairs that you have not hitherto
          enjoyed. Doctor Young says that:
                "Life's cares are comforts,"
          and they who take an interest in and try to promote their
          individual welfare, that of their neighbors or of the human
          family, will find a pleasure such as is derived from few other
          sources. They derive delight and pleasure from it, and are filled
          with peace. But when the eyes of people are like the fool's
          eyes--wandering to the ends of the earth, continually wishing,
          longing for and desiring that which they have not got, they are
          never happy. If we will take the course I have indicated, we
          shall be benefited in our spirits, and shall have more of the
          Spirit of the Lord.
          I wish to say to you, and you may read it in the Bible if you
          wish, that he who has the love of the world within him hath not
          the love of the Father. They who love the things of this world
          are destitute of the love of the Gospel of the Son of God. This
          is my Scripture: They who long and lust after the fashions of the
          world are destitute of the Spirit of God. Every person of
          experience will testify that this is the truth. Now, my sisters,
          let me urge you to make your own headdresses. You have the
          material here, and if you wish to make your hat with a brim six,
          twelve, twenty, or three inches wide, we will not quarrel with
          you; but make your own headdresses, and do not hunt after the
          fashions of the wicked world. If you wish to make a cottage, or a
          corn-fan bonnet, or a hat, make it to suit yourselves, but do not
          run after the fashions of the world. I expect, by and by, if this
          taste for fashion be not checked, to see this house alive, more
          or less, with what are termed "shoo fly" hats, bonnets and
          headdresses; and what else you'll get I do not know. But no
          matter what the name nor what the fashion if we do not lust after
          the wicked world. And when you buy yourselves dresses do not
          purchase one for six or eight dollars, and then want about twenty
          more for trimmings. What is the use of it? I asked some of my
          wives the other evening, "What is the use of all this velvet
          ribbon--perhaps ten, fifteen, twenty, or thirty yards, on a
          linsey dress?" Said I, "What is the use of it? Does it do any
          good?" I was asked, very spiritedly and promptly, in return,
          "What good do those buttons do on the back of your coat?" Said I,
          "How many have I got?" and turning round I showed that there were
          none there.
          This reform in fashion and extravagance in dress is needed. God
          has a purpose in it, and so have his servants. What is it? If the
          Lord has given me means and I spend it needlessly, in rings for
          my fingers, and jewelry for adornment, I deprive the Priesthood
          of that which they ought to have to gather the poor, to preach
          the Gospel, to build temples and to feed the hungry in our midst.
          I deprive a people, who will by and by inherit the earth, of so
          many blessings. Every yard of ribbon that I buy that is needless,
          every flounce, and every gewgaw that is purchased for my family
          needlessly, robs the Church of God of just so much. But it seems
          as though the people do not think of these things; they do not
          lay them to heart. Our wives and daughters seem to forget that
          they have responsibilities resting upon them in these respects.
          The conduct of a great many of them indicates a care for nothing
          but, "How much can I get? Can I get everything I want? I wish I
          could see something new, I want to pattern after it!" This
          manifests the spirit of the world, and a foolish, vain
          disposition. Not but that I am guilty myself, perhaps, of using
          means for my individual person that is not necessary; but if I
          do, will some of you kindly tell me? I recollect once, when
          preaching in England, that I passed through Smithfield Market, in
          Manchester, and I saw some very fine grapes just arrived from
          France. I spent a penny for some of them, but I had not taken
          half a dozen steps from the stand where I purchased them, before
          I say an old lady passing along who, I could tell by her
          appearance, was starving to death. Said I, "I have done wrong in
          spending that penny, I should have given it to that old lady." I
          made it a practice, before leaving my office, of going to a
          drawer, taking out a handful of pence, in order to give to the
          numerous beggars which everywhere meet the eye in walking the
          streets in the large towns in that country, and in this instance
          I felt guilty at having spent a penny in grapes, and I thought of
          it many times after. What else did I spend needlessly? Not much.
          "Well," but say some, "Brother Brigham do not you have good
          horses?" Yes, I do. Do you know where I got them? But some of
          them were given to me, and I thank God and those who bestowed
          them, and I use them prudently. But I would as lief my poor
          brethren and sisters would ride in my carriage as to ride in it
          myself. Yet in many things I may be to blame, and do wrong, but
          in many things I know that we as a people do wrong.
          "Well, Brother Brigham, what shall we do?" I say make your own
          headdresses; here is abundance of material to do it with, and it
          is not right for me to pay out hundreds and perhaps thousands of
          dollars annually for needless articles of dress for my family.
          The same is true of my brethren. If that means were to go to
          gather the poor this season, it would bring many from the old
          countries. About this, however, I will say that it is rather
          discouraging to bring people here and to put them in situations
          to live and accumulate, and then they, as soon as they make a
          little means, lift their heel against God and his anointed.
          Nevertheless it is our duty to feed nine persons who are unworthy
          rather than to turn away the tenth, if he be worthy. It is better
          to bring ninety-nine persons here who are unworthy than to leave
          one that is worthy to perish there, consequently we say we will
          do all we can. They, whom we bring here, are agents for
          themselves before God, and they act for themselves.
          But now, brethren and sisters, let us stop and again consider and
          think. Can we not sustain ourselves more than we do? I do not ask
          my sisters to make themselves sunbonnets and wear them and
          nothing else. I do not say, all of you adopt some particular
          fashion and stick to that alone. This is not the question; the
          question is, will we stop wearing that that is so useless and
          needless? If we will, we can have scores of thousands annually to
          bestow upon the poor, to rear temples, to build tabernacles and
          schoolhouses, to endow schools, to educate our children, and to
          aid every charitable institution and every other purpose that
          will advance the kingdom of God on the earth.
          This would be wisdom in us. What do we think about it? What do
          you say, young ladies--I mean all of you this side of a hundred
          years old--will you stop following the foolish fashions of the
          world, and begin to act like people possessing moral courage and
          good natural sense? If this is your mind, brethren and sisters, I
          ask you, young and old, to make it manifest, as I do, by raising
          your right hand. (A sea of hands was immediately raised.) Some,
          no doubt, feel ready to say, "Why, Brother Brigham, do not you
          know that your family is the most fashionable in the city?" No, I
          do not; but I am sure that my wives and children, in their
          fashions and gewgaws, cannot beat some of my neighbors. I will
          tell you what I have said to my wives and children; shall I?
          Shall I expose what I say to them on these points? Yes, I will. I
          have said to my wives, "If you will not stop these foolish
          fashions and customs I will give you a bill if you want it." That
          is what I have said, and that is what I think. "Well, but you
          would not part with your wives?" Yes, indeed I would. I am not
          bound to wife or child, to house or farm, or anything else on the
          face of the earth, but the Gospel of the Son of God. I have
          enlisted all in this cause, and in it is my heart, and here is my
          treasure. Some may say, "Why, really, Brother Brigham, you almost
          worship your family; you think a great deal of your wives." Yes,
          I do, but, from my youth up, I never had but one object in taking
          a wife, and that was to do her good. The first one I had was the
          poorest girl I could find in the town; and my object with the
          second, and third, and so on to the last one was to save them.
          You say, "Do I humor them?" Yes I do, and perhaps too much.
          Now, my brethren and sisters, a few words more. We have been
          striving for some time to get the people to observe the Word of
          Wisdom. But why do they not observe it? Why will they cling to
          those habits that are inimical to life and health? "Well," says a
          sister, "I cannot leave off my tea, I must have a cup of tea
          every morning, I feel so sick." I say then, go to bed, and there
          lie until you are better. "Oh, but it will kill me if I quit it."
          Then die, and die in the faith, instead of living and breaking
          the requests of Heaven. That is my mind about the sisters dying
          for the want of tea. With regard to drinking liquor, I am happy
          to say that we are improving. But there are some of our Elders
          who still drink a little liquor occasionally, I think, and use a
          little tobacco. They feel as though they would die without it,
          but I say they will die with it, and they will die transgressing
          the revelations and commands of Heaven, and the wishes of our
          heavenly Father, who has said hot drinks are not good.
          Now let us observe the Word of Wisdom. Shall I take a vote on it?
          Everybody would vote, but who would observe it? A good many, but
          not all. I can say that a good many do observe their covenants in
          this thing. But who is it that understands wisdom before God? In
          some respects we have to define it for ourselves--each for
          himself--according to our own views, judgment and faith, and the
          observance of the Word of Wisdom, or the interpretation of God's
          requirements on this subject, must be left, partially, with the
          people. We cannot make laws like the Medes and Persians. We
          cannot say you shall never drink a cup of tea, or you shall never
          taste of this, or you shall never taste of that; but we can say
          that Wisdom is justified of her children. Brethren and sisters,
          hearken to these things. I do not know that we shall have much
          time to talk about them; but take the little counsel given, and
          observe it. This is the place to give counsel to the people. Go
          home, Bishops and Elders, when the Conference is over, and
          observe what has been told you here. If we commence making our
          own bonnets, we shall find that we shall increase in other
          directions besides making leather for our boots and shoes, and
          cloth for coats and pantaloons.
          It is very pleasant in passing through the Territory to have
          brethren in the various settlements say, "Bro. Brigham, Brother
          Geo. A., or Brother Daniel, come and see our store, or our shop;
          here are boots and shoes made from leather of our own
          manufacture;" and some are as fine looking as you can see
          anywhere. They are doing a good deal in this city, and also in
          other places. Some are making straw hats and bonnets, and others
          are endeavoring to promote other branches of home manufacture.
          This is very pleasant, but we want to see it more general in this
          great community. If it were so this season in the one branch of
          straw hat and bonnet manufacture we should not see the scores and
          hundreds of five-dollar hats brought here and sold, that are good
          for nothing in the world. They have no strength about them. The
          manufacturers of these hats pick up old cloth that is rotten and
          good for nothing, and make hats of it, and the result is that the
          hats brought here have very little wear in them. They may look
          decent to being with, but after being worn a few times they are
          shapeless and worthless. Let us go to work and make them for
          ourselves and save this expense. If we do this, we are wise; if
          we do it not, we are foolish.
          We heard Brother Taylor's exposition of what is called Socialism
          this morning. What can they do? Live on each other and beg. It is
          a poor, unwise and very imbecile people who cannot take care of
          themselves. Well, we, in the providences of God, are forced to do
          a great many things that are very advantageous to us. Let us
          observe the Word of Wisdom, and also begin and manufacture our
          clothing. We are doing a good deal now, but let us do more. I
          have learned one fact that is very gratifying: A few years ago
          when we commenced our little factories here we could obtain no
          wool--the sheep were not taken care of. As soon as we commenced
          to manufacture cloth and to distribute it among the people,
          taking their wool in exchange, we found that the wool increased;
          and this season, if we had had the factory, in course of
          construction at Provo, finished, the supply of wool would have
          been so great that the factory would have been overstocked. Some
          idea may be formed of the great increase in the supply of wool
          when I state that the Provo factory, when running, will be
          capable of making perhaps ten or twelve hundred yards of cloth
          per day. This is pleasing. Let us get factories built. I find
          they are building South, and they are preparing to build North;
          and pretty soon you will see the brethren, as a general thing,
          dressed in home-made.
          Some here are thinking, probably: "Brigham, why don't you dress
          in homemade?" I do. "Well, have you got it on today?" No, but I
          want to wear out, if I can, what I have on hand. I give away a
          suit every little while, and I would like to give some more away
          if I could find anybody my clothes would fit. I travel in
          homemade and wear it at home. As for fashion, it does not trouble
          me, my fashion is convenience and comfort. The most comfortable
          coat that a man can wear in my opinion is what the old Yankees
          and Eastern and Southern people call a "warmus." Some of the
          people here know what I mean; it is something between an
          overshirt and a blouse, buttons round the neck and wrists. I have
          worked in one many a day. If I introduce the fashion of wearing
          them here who will follow it? I expect a good many would. I
          recollect that I wore one when Colonel Kane was here. Said he, "I
          am gratified to see that you do not ask any odds about the
          fashions, you have one of your own." My feelings then, as now,
          were, whatever, in Brother Brigham's judgment, is comfortable and
          comely is the fashion with him, and he cares nothing about the
          fashions of the world. There is a style of pantaloons very
          generally worn, about which I would say something if there were
          no ladies here. When I first saw them I gave them a name. I never
          wore them; I consider them uncomely and indecent. But why is it
          that they are worn so generally by others? Because they are
          fashionable. If it were the fashion to go with them unbuttoned I
          expect you would see plenty of our Elders wearing them
          unbuttoned. This shows the power that fashion exerts over the
          majority of minds. You may see it in the theatre; if you had
          attended ours recently you might have seen that that was not
          comely; you might have seen Mazeppa ride, with but a very small
          amount of clothing on. In New York I am told it is much worse. I
          heard a gentleman say that a full dress for Mazeppa there was one
          Government stamp. I do not know whether it is so or not. Fashion
          has great influence everywhere, Salt Lake not excepted. No matter
          how ridiculous, the fashions must be followed. If it be for the
          ladies to have their dresses to drag along the streets, or so
          short that they show their garters, we see it here; the same is
          true if they are sixteen or twenty-four feet round, or so tight
          that they can hardly walk. A great many seem to regard and follow
          fashion, with all its follies and vagaries, far more fervently
          than duty. How foolish is such a course. I have talked long
          enough. God bless you.
          Journal of Discourses / Journal of Discourses, Volume 14 / George
          Q. Cannon, January 8, 1871
                          George Q. Cannon, January 8, 1871
                        DISCOURSE BY ELDER GEORGE Q. CANNON,
            Delivered in the Tabernacle, Salt Lake City, January 8, 1871.
                            (Reported by David W. Evans.)
                        STIRRING TIMES--THE LATTER-DAY WORK.
          In rising to address you this afternoon, brethren and sisters, I
          crave an interest in your faith and prayers, that I may be led to
          speak upon those subjects and to advance those ideas that shall
          be instructive to you and adapted to your circumstances and
          I have acted in the ministry since my boyhood, but whenever I am
          called upon to speak I do so with great diffidence and fear. I do
          not know that the feeling can ever be conquered entirely, in
          fact, I do not know that I wish that it could; for if a man could
          arise and feel perfectly capable, in and of himself, to speak to
          the edification of the people, judging by my own experience in
          the matter, I imagine that he would have but very little aid from
          the Lord. But if he rise depending upon the Lord, and not upon
          his own strength, the Lord has promised to render that aid unto
          his servants that is necessary to enable them to testify to the
          truth, and to cleanse their garments of the blood of this
          There is no lack of topics or subject matter in dwelling upon the
          work we are engaged in; the range is an extensive one; but it
          needs the Spirit of God to select, out of the variety of subjects
          which it presents, those points, doctrines, and counsels that
          should be touched upon to edify the people in the circumstances
          which surround them. The older I grow, the more convinced I am
          that we as a people and as individuals need practical
          instructions in what may be termed our every-day duties. It is
          delightful to reflect and speak upon, and to sit and have held up
          before our minds the course pursued by those who were our
          predecessors in the Gospel. It is also equally delightful, when
          inspired by the Spirit of God, to contemplate the future with its
          great events, which the prophets foresaw, and concerning which
          they have written so much.
          As a generation, we live in a busy, stirring time--a time that is
          full of important events, one treading upon the heels of another
          so rapidly that we have scarcely time to contemplate the
          past--even the past of our own history; and we have but little
          time to look forward to the future, only as it is necessary to
          comfort and to cheer us. The work of God is rushing forward with
          extraordinary speed, and the Lord is operating in a most signal
          manner to bring to pass his great and marvellous designs and
          purposes; and to no eyes are these things clearer than to those
          of the Latter-day Saints, especially those whose minds are
          enlightened by the Spirit of God, and who seek for the
          inspiration thereof to guide them in their every-day affairs.
          It has been frequently remarked that we as a people are entirely
          too egotistical; that we imagine that God, in his operations and
          dealings with the children of men, has selected us and made us
          the peculiar recipients of his blessings to the exclusion of the
          rest of the human family. I have heard it very frequently
          remarked, when conversing with persons respecting our views and
          doctrines, that we confine our attention entirely too much to
          ourselves and the little work with which we are identified,
          forgetting that we are but a small handful of the great human
          family. I have also heard it remarked that it was entirely too
          much to expect that a people, so insignificant as we are
          numerically, should anticipate the great results that we speak
          about very frequently, and which, from the writings of ancient
          prophets and of those who have lived contemporaneously with us,
          we are led to anticipate will be fulfilled in our case. Men say,
          in speaking of us: "Do you Latter-day Saints, who in Utah and the
          adjoining Territories number probably one hundred and fifty or
          two hundred thousand, and it may be a few hundred thousand
          elsewhere, recollect; or do you ever consider, that the nation of
          which you form an integral part, numbers forty millions, and that
          there are hundreds of millions of human beings scattered over the
          face of the earth who are not of your creed? Do you recollect
          that you are very contemptible in point of numbers, influence and
          wealth and everything that constitutes greatness in the earth?"
          If we were disposed to forget these things there are those around
          us with whom we are brought into frequent contact, who take great
          and especial pains to remind us of our insignificance, so that I
          think there is no real danger of our entirely forgetting it. But
          though we are few in numbers, we declare that the oracles of God
          are with us, and that he has chosen the Latter-day Saints to be
          his peculiar people and has placed upon them his name, or the
          name of his Son Jesus Christ, and has called us to be ministers
          of life and salvation, to be the founders of a new order of
          things on the earth, and to be the means in his hands, as we
          firmly believe and testify, of effecting a wonderful revolution
          in affairs. Yet, while believing this, the Latter-day Saints are
          not so uncharitable as to imagine that they are the only ones
          with whom God is dealing, or that they are the only people over
          and towards whom his providences are being exercised. Such a
          thought has never entered into the hearts of those who are
          intelligent and reflecting in the Church of Jesus Christ of
          Latter-day Saints. It is true that we believe and testify that we
          have been called to proclaim the everlasting Gospel in its
          ancient purity and simplicity, with the plenitude of its gifts
          and graces as enjoyed in ancient days; and that we have been
          called to lay the foundation of that work which is destined to
          grow, increase and spread until it fills the whole earth from
          north to south, from east to west. Yet we do not on this account
          arrogate to ourselves all the kindness, mercy, care, and goodness
          which God dispenses to his creatures on the earth; but we firmly
          believe that in every nation, and among every kindred, tongue and
          people, and, in fact, in every creed on the face of the wide
          earth of ours there are those over whom God watches with peculiar
          care and to whom his blessings are extended; and we believe that
          his providences are over all the works of his hands, and that
          none are so remote, friendless and isolated that they are not the
          objects of his care, mercy and kindness. This is our belief; and
          when we see the events which are taking place at the present time
          in Europe, when we hear of revolutions and wars, of nation rising
          against nation, of the various judgments and calamities as well
          as the various kindnesses and mercies that are bestowed upon and
          extended to the inhabitants of the earth, and to the various
          nationalities into which they are divided, we see in all these
          things the hand of our kind and beneficent Creator; we see his
          providences, we behold his going forth, and we acknowledge his
          goodness; and we also think that we can discern his overruling
          care and providence for the bringing to pass the great events of
          which he has spoken, which will eventually result in the
          emancipation of our race from the thraldom of evil under which it
          It is true, as I have already remarked, that God has called us
          out of the nations to be his peculiar people; but we are not the
          only ones who will be so called. The message which came to us and
          which we received and were made glad thereby, is sent to every
          kindred, tongue and people on the face of the whole earth. It has
          gathered us out to be the pioneers in this great work; but the
          call is not ended nor the period arrived when it shall no longer
          be proclaimed by our being gathered together. It is still in
          force, and has to be carried throughout earth's wide domain,
          until the reverberation thereof shall be heard in every land, and
          men of every nationality, tongue and creed shall have heard and
          had a chance to receive or reject the glad tidings of salvation
          which have been committed unto us.
          The dealings of God with our own nation, the singular events
          which are transpiring at the present time on the continent of
          Europe, the revolutions that are taking place in Asia, and the
          wars and commotions that seem to convulse most of the nations of
          the earth, have all for their object, as we believe, the
          preparation of the way by which this great message can be carried
          more freely, and its principles declared more thoroughly to all
          the inhabitants of the earth. The Prophets looked down to the
          days of the future and they saw in vision that God would perform
          a great and mighty work in the midst of the inhabitants of the
          earth. They wrote about it, and some of the finest writing in the
          Bible contains glorious allusions to the last days, when God
          should stretch forth his arm in mighty power in the midst of his
          people and accomplish a great and marvellous work--a work that
          should be a wonder in the eyes of all people. The religious sects
          of Christendom, for hundreds of years, have looked forward to the
          accomplishment of these predictions, and the hope of this has
          cheered them in their operations, labors, expenditures, and in
          every effort they have made for the redemption of the race and
          its enlightenment in the principles of Christianity. To
          accomplish the fulfilment of the predictions contained in the
          Bible they have used every means in their power; but they have
          not met with the success which they desired. Still, so firm has
          been their faith in these predictions, that they have persevered,
          although the result of their labors, take it as a rule, has not
          been of a cheering character. Tract societies, Bible societies,
          missionary societies, and societies of almost every kind and
          description have been organized with the best of motives, and
          with vast expenditures of means, for the purpose of fulfilling
          the predictions of the prophets concerning the inhabitants of the
          earth. But there has been a power lacking, there has been an
          influence wanting; there has not been that union, blessing of
          heaven and that providential combination of circumstances
          necessary to bring to pass the results desired. Man may toil,
          labor and expend his means and forces, and may bring to his aid
          all the wisdom of which he is the possessor to bring about divine
          results; but unless God give the increase, as the Scriptures say,
          his labors will be fruitless. This has been signally fulfilled in
          the results which we see around us at the present time in
          Christendom, for their efforts have not been crowned with
          success. Travel through the most Christian nations to-day, and
          there is no disguising the fact that they are the most deeply
          steeped in wretchedness and wickedness. It is true that men live
          in the midst of these things until they become so accustomed to
          them as to accept them as a necessary condition of affairs. They
          may say it has been so from the beginning and will be so to the
          end, and to attempt to change this and to introduce a state of
          society without evil is utopian, it never can be effected. They
          accept the wretchedness, degradation, poverty, prostitution, and
          all the numerous evils that abound in the nations of which they
          are members, as something that cannot be removed--as the
          necessary consequence of our existence here on the earth. But the
          prophets have predicted that a time shall come when our race
          shall be emancipated from these evils, and when there shall be
          nothing to hurt or destroy in all the holy mountain of the Lord;
          when swords shall be beaten into ploughshares and spears into
          pruning hooks; when nation shall no longer rise against nation,
          and war shall be learned no more. The prophets have predicted
          that the time shall come when the knowledge of God shall cover
          the earth as the waters cover the mighty deep; and when man need
          no longer say to his neighbor, "Know ye the Lord," but when all
          shall know him, from the least unto the greatest. There is no
          doubt that, if anything in the Scriptures is true, these
          predictions are, and that they will be verified to the letter.
          But man, in his efforts to bring about this time, has labored
          without the concurrence of heaven, without the divine blessing
          resting upon his labors. He has run before he was sent; in his
          zeal he has undertaken measures for which he had no warrant.
          What, then, shall cure or bring the means of cure to our race?
          What shall ameliorate the condition of the human family? What
          scheme shall be adopted to bring to the earth the blessings which
          we are told it is our privilege to enjoy, at some period or
          other? Shall man seek to bring this about without divine aid?
          Shall he undertake to effect these great changes and bring to
          pass this great deliverance without seeking the aid of the
          Supreme Being, who created the earth and the inhabitants thereof?
          Or shall he in humility bow himself in the dust, and await the
          dispensation of truth from heaven, await the bestowal of the
          light and knowledge necessary to enable him to accomplish these
          mighty works; and then, in faith, plant and water and wait upon
          God to give the increase?
          I think that the course that we as a people have taken, is the
          course which all should take; I think it is the only proper and
          legitimate course for any individual and people to take. Men may
          say that we are deluded and that we deceive ourselves; they may
          say that our system is one of imposture. Whether this be so or
          not matters but little to the point in question; the course that
          we have taken, whether our system be divine or not, is the course
          which all should take. What we have done we have claimed to do
          under the inspiration and direct guidance of heaven. Every move
          that we have taken since our Church was organized, on the 6th of
          April, 1830, we claim has been by inspiration and under the
          guidance of the Almighty. On the day I have named our Church was
          organized by revelation. On that day the Church was organized and
          ministers chosen; Elders were endowed with, or ordained to, the
          Priesthood. They were sent forth by revelation, and commanded to
          go to this place and the other place, to this and to that land by
          revelation from the Lord. A message was given unto them, not from
          the Bible, or Book of Mormon,; not from any written record, not a
          copy or transcript of some message carried by some previous
          generation of men; but an original message, direct to them, to be
          conveyed by them to their fellow creatures; a perfectly original
          message, so far as this generation was concerned, delivered to
          them by the Almighty; and they were sent forth to proclaim it to
          the inhabitants of the earth.
          They were commanded by revelation to gather together. A place was
          designated as a place of gathering. Circumstances favored the
          procuring of that place; but they were not allowed to remain in
          it. They were driven forth, and again they were guided by
          revelation to another place, and again they were driven forth and
          compelled to abandon their homes; and again another place was
          designated to which they should go; again they were driven forth,
          and again they were directed what to do, and they came to this
          land, guided by revelation, inspired by the Almighty, not knowing
          where they were going. Thousands started out on the plains
          without having the least idea where they would stop; they
          launched forth on the trackless prairies without any location
          ahead of which they knew anything; and when they reached here
          they settled by revelation; and since then, in our movements, in
          our settlements of various localities, in all our labors at home,
          going to the nations of the earth or returning therefrom; in our
          migrations, in sending out colonies, and in every variety of
          labor which we have performed we claim to have been guided by the
          spirit of revelation; and mark, my brethren and sister, the
          wonderful results.
          Have we had wealth? Have we had societies organized to aid us?
          Have we had popularity with or popular support from the nation?
          No, we have had nothing of the kind. We have stood alone, with
          none to aid, sustain, or comfort but God. Instead of aid from our
          fellow- creatures we have had persecution; instead of comfort we
          have had reviling; instead of words of encouragement, we have, as
          it were, had deep damnation poured out upon our heads. We have
          had adverse circumstances to contend with, but we have also had
          that which is better than all the world can bestow--the aid of
          heaven, divine concurrence; we have had a combination of
          circumstances to aid us in accomplishing the objects for which we
          started out. The result is, we are in these valleys to-day--a
          people of varied nationality, of varied creeds and modes of
          education, and a people as utterly diverse in their original
          traditions and habits as men and women of our color could be. And
          yet, what do we see? Why, throughout all this range of valleys a
          people homogeneous, dwelling together in peace, love and union,
          and enjoying all the blessings promised to the people of God in
          the last days. I say all the blessings, but not in their
          fullness. We are but imperfect yet; we are not prepared for these
          blessings in their fullness; but so far as we are progressed and
          are prepared, they have been bestowed upon us; and to-day we
          present to the eyes of the world one of the most remarkable
          spectacles that can be seen.
          Men may say, "Pooh, pooh, you Latter-day Saints are nothing! you
          are too contemptible for notice!" But our acts show that there is
          a power and an influence with us that the inhabitants of the
          earth elsewhere do not possess. We are looked upon as a social
          phenomenon in the earth; we are diverse from every other people;
          and our community is the object of attention and I may say of
          respect that its numbers do not entitle it to. Men from afar
          cannot cross the continent without coming to visit the Latter-day
          Saints. Why is this? It is because there is a feeling throughout
          the earth that there is something remarkable connected with us,
          that we are not as other people are. What is it that
          distinguishes us from our fellows? What is it that distinguishes
          us from the average American, Englishman, Scandinavian, German,
          Swiss, Italian, or Frenchman, or from the average Asiatic? There
          is something; they feel it and we feel it; and that distinction
          is, we believe in revelation, we profess to be guided by
          revelation. We are peculiar when compared with the rest of the
          world, because all our movements are under divine guidance. We
          claim this, and we act upon it; we seek for it, and God bestows
          it upon us. It is our testimony, at least, that he bestows it
          upon us, for we see the results. We see what is not witnessed
          anywhere else on the earth.
          As I have already said, tract, Bible and missionary societies
          have been formed, and the wealth of the nations has been poured
          into the hands of religious people, and spent lavishly and
          without stint, for the salvation of the human family; but where
          on the face of the earth can you find the fruits to be witnessed
          before me to-day, and that can be seen throughout the Territory
          of Utah. Why is this? Because, as I have said, they have labored
          without the concurrence of heaven; they have run before they were
          sent. But unto us, scattered, isolated individuals, this message
          from God came, and there being a spark of divinity within us, we
          received it and embraced it, and have endeavoured to live up to
          it, and God has blessed us and our labors. But after all, what we
          have done is very little.
          I have told you what has been remarked here, time and time again,
          probably you have heard it, respecting our insignificance. I feel
          most sensibly that, so far as numbers are concerned, we are a
          very insignificant people. But I will tell you a remark, which I
          believe is credited alike to the late Mr. Stephen Girard and to
          Commodore Vanderbilt, both great financiers, that the hardest
          money they ever earned was the first five hundred dollars they
          saved. Now the hardest thing in building up a people is to gain a
          foothold. We have gained this; we have gained and organized the
          first hundred thousand people. We have achieved a position that
          will render our future progress more rapid than in years past and
          gone. I fully expect to see the progress of this work in the
          future much more rapid than it has been in the past. I see the
          providence of God laboring to bring this about. Not to build up a
          people distinct from all the rest of the earth; not to build up
          some little, narrow sect or denomination; but this work and
          Gospel is to embrace within its fold all Earth's children, every
          son and daughter of God on the earth. That is its mission, and it
          will accomplish it. But it will spread with increased rapidity
          from this time forth. The foundation and corner-stones have been
          laid in tears, blood, and in much sorrow, but they are laid
          firmly, cemented by the sufferings, toils, faith and endurance of
          this people for the past forty years; and I trust that they are
          laid so deep that they will never be torn up, shaken or
          disturbed; and that upon them will a superstructure be reared of
          such strength, beauty and symmetry that it will be the joy and
          pride of the whole earth.
          The labors of the Elders of this Church have not been confined to
          this land, but they have extended to England, Scandinavia, some
          little in France, a very little in Prussia, some in Switzerland;
          but vast fields yet lie before us that we have not touched, and
          to which this message must go. The throes of revolution which
          Europe is now undergoing I look upon as the premonitory signs of
          that freedom that shall soon dawn on that continent. Then the
          Elders of this Church will go through Germany, France, Italy and
          Spain, and through every land in Europe; for the "sick man" will
          yet open his doors to hear the Elders of Israel, and Russia will
          unfold her gates and give them free entrance, and they will go
          forth declaring the glad tidings which God has given unto us to
          the oppressed of all nations, proclaiming unto them that God has
          established a government which will be the means of restoring to
          the earth the blessings for which mankind have sighed, panted and
          labored for ages in vain.
          When the mind, inspired by the Spirit of God, contemplates the
          future, and sees the immense field which is widening before the
          Elders of this Church, I, for one, feel that it ought to stir up
          every one of us to the most energetic and resolute preparation
          for the great labor that is fast devolving upon us, and that we
          live to discharge. Our own land will yet be convulsed with
          revolution, for it contains within itself the seeds of dire
          misfortunes, which will yet come upon the unhappy Republic. We
          may deplore, mourn over and regret that such things do exist; but
          they do nevertheless, and we should be blind indeed did we shut
          our eyes to the fact, and fail to prepare ourselves for their
          accomplishment. There is before this people, connected with our
          own country, a destiny that is so glorious when we contemplate it
          in the future, that it is enough to dazzle and oppress the mind
          of man at the immensity of the labor that lies before us.
          It may be said that this is all very foolish to think of or to
          talk about; but it is no more foolish than it would have been,
          when driven, peeled and scattered, we were coming out of
          Illinois, to have said we should yet lay the foundation of a
          great State, such as we now behold in these mountains. I tell
          you, my brethren and sisters, that God has given to this people
          qualities which, in the contest of races, must tell. There are
          qualities connected with the Latter-day Saints, and principles
          connected with their system that, persecute and crush them out as
          you may, as long as the men live who bear the authority, and so
          long as the principles have a believer and practicer in the
          world, must live, survive, and have influence in the midst of the
          earth and upon the populations thereof. There is no disguising
          this fact! Little plotters, such, for instance, as the "ring" in
          this city, may fix snares and nets, and arrange toils, and think
          they are going to stop the work of God, ensnare the feet of the
          servants of God, and do wonderful things! Puny drivellers! they
          would raise their impious hands and tear down the throne of
          Jehovah, and attempt to impede the progress of his work; but,
          like others who have preceded them, they will be covered with
          shame and confusion and go down to dishonored graves, while the
          people whom they seek to oppress will continue to rise and
          increase in strength and power by the practice of those qualities
          which God has given unto us through revelation, until their
          influence will be felt, not only in Utah Territory, but from sea
          to sea, and give them time enough, and it will be felt throughout
          the length and breadth of the earth, and thus will the sayings of
          the prophets be fulfilled.
          How else could they be fulfilled? Can you imagine any better plan
          than this that you begin to see unfold before us? Can you think
          of any other way by which these predictions will be fulfilled? I
          can not. It is simple, natural and scriptural, and perfectly
          Godlike in my sight, and according to my limited ideas.
          But as a people, we should endeavor, in the midst of all our
          troubles, difficulties, trials and temptations, to remember that
          we are God's people; that he has called us to be his, and we
          should put our firm faith and trust in him and leave him to work
          out the results. And, my brethren and sisters, if we are faithful
          to the truth which he has revealed to us, he will bring to us
          greater salvation than we ever conceived of, and will work out
          ways of deliverance of which we have never dreamed; for his word,
          which cannot be recalled, has gone forth through his ancient
          servants; and he is pledged to his servants in the days in which
          we live; and he is pledged to us, to sustain this work and to
          give it power and influence, and a foothold in the earth. And
          there never was a people who prayed with greater unanimity for
          any one thing, than do the Latter-day Saints that God will
          deliver his people from the hands of their enemies and give them
          the victory. These prayers will be heard and answered upon our
          heads, and, as I have said, we will see deliverance and salvation
          such as we never dreamed of.
          I recollect very well the feelings that were manifested here, I
          think it was last summer but one, by a scientific gentleman, who
          came into our city, and for the first time was brought into
          contact with us. He had known us when he was a boy in Illinois;
          now himself a professor in one of the Illinois colleges, and a
          man of some note in the scientific world. He had seen or heard
          something of our persecutions, and while in conversation with me
          he remarked, "Mr. Cannon, when I looked upon this beautiful
          valley and saw these pleasant homes, and your people dwelling in
          contentment and peace, my heart was filled with inexpressible
          sadness; I could not repress my emotions, my eyes suffused with
          tears, and I wished from the bottom of my heart that you were
          somewhere else rather than within the confines of the United
          States, somewhere where you would not be subject to persecution;
          for I know the intense bigotry and hatred of feeling that are
          entertained towards you, and I know that it only awaits a fitting
          opportunity to re-enact the scenes that you have endured in the
          past." I appreciated the kindness of feeling which prompted the
          remarks, but told him that I viewed things differently from him.
          I was fully aware of the feeling of which he spoke, and knew that
          it existed in certain quarters; but I was also aware of one
          thing, which he (being an infidel) probably did not understand,
          and that was--there was a God in heaven who ruled, over-ruled and
          controlled all circumstances for the accomplishment of his own
          designs. I further remarked, "Suppose we were away from here,
          outside the confines of the United States, do you think we could
          live in any spot on the earth without attracting attention? Do
          you think that a people such as we are could go to any land, or
          into the greatest desert on the earth, and live there any length
          of time without attracting the attention of the world as much as
          we do now? Why, the thing is impossible. When we came to this
          region it was as much out of the way as any place on the earth
          could be. But after coming here we demonstrated that the soil of
          these valleys, by being watered artificially, would produce
          crops; and the result of our experiment, for experiment it may be
          called, is that all this interior basin, formerly looked upon as
          an irreclaimable desert, is a choice land. The world once
          convinced of this, and population came to us, and the railroad
          came across the continent, and we find ourselves right in the
          centre of the great transcontinental highway. If we were to go
          into any other land it would be the same--we should attract
          population and wealth, and the eyes of mankind would be directed
          towards us; and were we to leave here we could not find a place
          where we should be more secluded than we have been here; but,"
          said I, "we don't calculate to leave here; we think we have got
          to the right spot, and we calculate to remain, and the Lord will
          deal with those who seek to deal with us." He felt that there
          might be some destiny about it, but, being an unbeliever in God,
          he did not know anything about it, and did not allow himself to
          have any faith concerning it. Still he saw that we were a
          remarkable people, and said there might be a great future in
          store for us, some destiny, of which he and others, who merely
          looked on, might be very ignorant.
          It is a truth, my brethren and sisters, there is a great destiny
          in store for the Latter-day Saints. Men may fight this work and
          persecute the people who sustain it; they killed Joseph, and
          thought they had destroyed the corner stones, as it were, of the
          fabric; and like the men mentioned in the parable, having killed
          the heir, they thought they could possess the vineyard, but they
          soon found out their mistake; and so it will be with every move
          that is made against the work of God--those with whom they
          originate will find they have made a great mistake. They will be
          disappointed in the results of their labors and operations, for
          God has spoken and his word will be fulfilled and this work will
          increase and progress. And the day will come, though, as I have
          said, we may regret and deplore it, yet the day will come, and I
          would like the thought to be fastened, if possible, so deeply in
          every heart that when persecution and annoyance come upon us, you
          will not forget it--when the Latter-day Saints will be the only
          well-governed people on this continent, and in their midst will
          be found the only place where constitutional government will be
          preserved in its old purity and integrity. I know that this
          sounds strange, because the idea is that the "Mormons" are the
          most despotically governed people on the face of the land. But I
          know that there is not another people to-day under the light of
          the sun, from the Atlantic to the Pacific, or from the Gulf of
          Mexico to the Canadas, who are so free in every sense of the
          word, men and women, as the Latter-day Saints, and who have
          greater liberty to do that which is right in their own eyes.
          I see the clock, and I am reminded that it is time to quit. May
          God bless you, my brethren and sisters, and let his peace and
          preserving care be over you, in the name of Jesus. Amen.
          Journal of Discourses / Journal of Discourses, Volume 14 /
          Wilford Woodruff, May 6, 1870
                            Wilford Woodruff, May 6, 1870
            Delivered in the New Tabernacle, Salt Lake City, May 6, 1870.
                            (Reported by David W. Evans.)
                              THE COMMANDMENTS OF GOD.
          I believe this is the largest assembly of Saints or sinners, Jew
          or Gentile, that ever I saw together under one roof. There are
          very few of us capable of making such an assembly hear, unless it
          is very still; and when persons have come from twenty to two
          hundred and fifty miles to attend Conference, it certainly is
          important that we give them a chance to hear what is said.
          It is true that God has set his hand in these latter days to
          bring to pass his act, his strange act, and to accomplish his
          work, his strange work--that truth should spring out of the
          earth, and righteousness look down from heaven; and it certainly
          would be strange if these things were not performed. The Supreme
          Ruler would not be like a God who had created a world like this
          and peopled it if he let it go at random, without any purpose or
          plan for the benefit and salvation of the children of men.
          I want to say a few words on this subject. I consider that the
          work we now see taking place in these mountains, and which has
          been going on from the time this Church was organized, is but
          carrying out the great plan of our Father in heaven--that plan
          which was ordained from before the foundation of the world. In
          fact there is no dispensation that has been looked upon with as
          much interest by all the prophets of God and inspired men, from
          the day of Joseph Smith, as that in which we live, in which the
          Zion of God is being built up, and the earth is being prepared
          for the coming of the Son of Man.
          Isaiah, in looking by prophetic vision to this day, makes use of
          very strong language in endeavoring to express his feelings in
          relation to it. In one instance he says, "Sing, O heavens, and
          rejoice, O earth! Break forth into singing, O ye mountains, for
          the Lord has comforted his people, and will have mercy on his
          afflicted yet." Zion says, "The Lord has forsaken me, my God has
          forgotten me." "Can a woman forget her sucking child, that she
          should not have compassion on the son of her womb?" "Yea," the
          Lord says, "a woman may do that," but he will not forget Zion.
          Says he, "Zion is engraven on the palms of my hands, her walls
          are continually before me."
          Now this Zion of God has been before his face from before the
          foundation of the world, and it is no more going to fail in the
          latter days than any of the purposes of God are going to fail,
          hence I look upon this work as the work of God, and it makes no
          difference to the Lord Almighty, nor to his Saints, what the
          world may think or do about it, or what course they may pursue
          with regard to it; they cannot stop its progress, because it is
          the work of God. If it were the work of man it would not exist as
          it does to-day. If God had no hand in this work, we should not
          have seen this assembly here to-day in this Tabernacle, nor this
          Territory filled with cities and towns. But being the work of
          God, he asks no odds of any nation, kindred, tongue or people
          under the whole heavens, any further than they are willing to
          keep his commandments and do his will; for as the Lord God
          Almighty lives, so true will the work, the foundation of which
          has been laid in these latter days, increase and continue until
          its consummation is effected, and the great Zion of God is
          established in beauty, power and glory, and the dominion of the
          kingdom of our God extends over the whole earth.
          Joseph Smith laid the foundation of this work; he was chosen by
          the Lord for that purpose, and was ordained by prophets and
          inspired men who formerly held the keys of the kingdom of God
          upon the earth. They laid their hands upon his head and ordained
          him to the Priesthood, and gave him power to unlock the heavens
          and to administer the ordinances of the house of God upon the
          earth. This work he performed in the face of difficulty,
          persecution, opposition and oppression; but the hand of God
          sustained him. He knew what few men or people on the whole face
          of the earth know--that God lives, and he also knew that the work
          whose foundations he laid was the work of God.
          This is what has sustained President Young through all his
          labors. Many men have looked upon him, and, in consequence of
          outside pressure, have expected him to say this, that, and the
          other; but all the time he has taken a straightforward course,
          walking in the path pointed out by the God of heaven; and that
          same hand has sustained him and you and me and every good and
          virtuous man and woman on the face of the earth who has listened
          to the commandments of God.
          Isaiah and other prophets saw in vision much concerning the
          building up and establishment of the latter-day Zion of God upon
          the earth. They saw the people gathering from the nations of the
          earth to the mountains of Israel; they speak of a great company
          coming up to Zion, the women with child and her that travailed
          with child together; and a great many other things in relation to
          the internal workings of the inhabitants of Zion in building up
          the kingdom of God they do not mention, whether they ever saw
          them or not. Isaiah has not written concerning many of these
          things, neither has anybody yet that we know of. Perhaps when the
          remainder of the plates, which were delivered to the Prophet
          Joseph, and which he was commanded not to translate, come forth,
          we may learn many more things pertaining to our labor on the
          earth which we do not know now. But be this as it may, all this
          internal work is left for the Holy Ghost to reveal to the living
          oracles, as they guide, lead, dictate and direct the people day
          by day. This is one thing I want to say to my friends and to the
          Saints of God, that without the Holy Ghost, without direct
          revelation and the inspiration of God continually, Brigham Young
          could not lead this people twenty-four hours. He could not lead
          them at all. Joseph could not have done it, neither could any
          man. This power is in the bosom of Almighty God, and he imparts
          it to his servants the prophets as they stand in need of it day
          by day to build up Zion.
          I want to say to my brethren and sisters that President Young is
          our leader; he is our lawgiver in the Church and kingdom of God.
          He is called to this office; it is his prerogative to tell this
          people what to do, and it is our duty to obey the counsel that he
          has given to-day to the sisters and the brethren. We, as a
          people, should not treat lightly this counsel, for I will tell
          you in the name of the Lord--and I have watched it from the time
          I became a member of this Church--there is no man who undertakes
          to run counter to the counsel of the legally authorized leader of
          this people that ever prospers, and no such man ever will
          prosper. Many things I might name, if it were wisdom to do so, to
          prove the truth of this statement, but you may watch for
          yourselves, and you will find that all persons who take a stand
          against this counsel will never prosper.
          A great deal has been said with regard to guiding this people in
          temporal matters. I ask you in the name of the Lord, who is
          called to guide the temporal affairs of this Church and kingdom,
          for its advantage, redemption and exaltation, as pure as a bride
          adorned for her husband, if it be not that man who is placed as
          the lawgiver and leader of Israel? There is no man on the
          footstool of God who has this authority but him who stands at the
          head; and his Counsellors and the Apostles, Bishops and Elders
          ought to be co-workers with him, and they should work together in
          carrying out his counsel. And when counsel comes we should not
          treat it lightly, no matter to what subject it pertains, for if
          we do it will work evil unto us. Co-operation, it is well known
          to every Saint who has his eyes and ears open, has brought much
          good to Israel, yet from the very commencement of it there has
          been more or less discontent and dissatisfaction felt and
          manifested towards it; but there is not an individual who has
          attempted to work against it but who has lost the Spirit of God
          unless he has repented. It is so in all things, as every one of
          us who has had experience in this kingdom has seen over and over
          again. No man has ever prospered by this course, but if he has
          continued it he, by and by, has gone downward instead of upward;
          no such man ever received and gained to himself honor by taking
          such a course, and no man ever will. They may try it as often as
          they wish; no matter whether they are insiders or outsiders,
          every man who undertakes to fight against this work and people
          will, in God's own time, receive chastisement at his hand. Many
          who have done so, have been cut off, and others will follow. This
          is true, whether it is in regard to following counsel or not. We
          cannot treat lightly the counsel of God without incurring his
          Does any man or woman wonder that President Young leads out, and
          calls upon us to follow, in directing temporal affairs? What
          would become of us and Zion if there were no one to give counsel
          in temporal matters? We could not advance if such were the case;
          but we have been guided so far by the servants of God and the
          Spirit of God. We have been dull scholars perhaps in a great many
          things, but I thank God that it is as well as it is with us
          to-day. The organization of this Church took place forty years
          ago with six members, and here is a congregation that would make
          two thousand branches of the Church as large as the first branch
          that was established, and this is only one congregation, while we
          have 600 miles of towns, villages and settlements in this
          Territory. It is progress all the time. Why? Because it is the
          work of God. No one can stand in the way of the work of God in
          safety. The Lord is not dependant upon any man on his footstool;
          if one man will not do his bidding, another will. He gives his
          law to all men, and inasmuch as they reject it they are under
          I fear not the world. We are the only people under heaven who are
          one, and we are not half as much one as we ought to be; we have
          to improve. We are the only people in the whole Christian world
          who make any pretensions to oneness in building up the Zion of
          God on the earth. We profess to be one in the Gospel, and we have
          to become so in temporal matters. We have to become of one heart
          and mind in giving attention and obedience to the counsel of God
          in all things, both spiritual and temporal. Zion has got to
          advance; she has got to rise and shine and put on her beautiful
          garments. She is advancing and has been from the time of the
          organization of this Church, and she will continue to do so until
          the winding up scene.
          When I look at the blessing of the Gospel of Christ, and at the
          blessings which we as a people enjoy; when I look at the glorious
          principles which God has revealed for the exaltation and glory of
          man, I rejoice in them, and ask who will obey them? I feel that
          we ought to be thankful to God day and night; we should be humble
          and always ready to listen to counsel. Let us go to and carry out
          these principles. "If ye love me, keep my commandments," says the
          Lord Jesus. President Young preached on that subject a few
          Sabbaths ago, showing that however great our professions as
          Saints may be, they are vain unless we keep the commandments and
          counsels of the Lord given unto us. What are they? We have the
          moral law and we have the Gospel in the Scriptures; but there are
          commandments and ordinances, and there is counsel which we have
          to observe which are not contained in the Bible, in the Book of
          Mormon, or in the Book of Doctrine and Covenants. In fact there
          is very little there in regard to our work and labors here as a
          The Lord has put into our hands the power to build up this great
          Zion, which all the ancient prophets rejoiced in and prophecied
          about. What manner of people ought we to be who are called to
          carry out this work? We ought to be the Saints and children of
          God in very deed. Our hearts ought to be open and prepared to
          receive instruction, light and truth, and to carry out all
          principles which may be communicated unto us by the servants of
          the Lord. The counsels we have had to-day are of great value to
          the Latter-day Saints. By and by Babylon will fall; in a little
          while "no man will buy her merchandise," and the sooner we are
          prepared for the changes which are about to take place in our
          nation and in the nations of the earth the better for us. We are
          all interested in the welfare of Zion. Our wives, daughters and
          sons are interested in the welfare of the husbands and fathers,
          and the children in that of the parents; and we all should be
          interested in each other's temporal and spiritual labors, and
          there should not be a selfish feeling on the part of any portion
          of a family--"I do not care what becomes of this, that or the
          other, if I can only get what I want myself." This is
          selfishness, it produces disunion and is inconsistent with the
          profession of a Saint of God. We should labor, each and every one
          of us to put such feelings from our hearts, and then we, in our
          family organizations, should strive to promote the general
          interest of the members thereof; but the interest of Zion and the
          kingdom of God should be first with us all the time, for we are
          all members of that kingdom and its welfare is ours.
          I consider that we are in a position in which we have every
          chance to do a great deal of good in our day and generation, we
          have every chance to work with the Lord, every chance to fulfil
          our mission and calling here on the earth. We have every chance
          to build up the Zion of God. I rejoice in the faith that has been
          manifested by those who have charge of the affairs of the kingdom
          of God, in the revelations of God. By their works they have
          manifested their determination continually to carry out the
          commands of God. "Who am I," saith the Lord, "that I command and
          am not obeyed?" "Who am I," saith the Lord, "that I promise and
          do not fulfil?" The Lord has never made a promise to the children
          of men but what he has fulfilled it; and all the promises that
          the Lord has made and all the revelations that have been given by
          the inspiration of the Holy Ghost, will have their fulfilment,
          and we have nothing to fear. As President Young said a few
          Sabbaths ago, the only thing we need fear is that we shall not
          keep the commandments of the Lord. Let us keep the commandments
          of God and then we shall have power with him; the word of the
          Lord will sustain us and he will fight our battles. "Vengeance is
          mine, I will repay," saith the Lord. We need have no fears with
          regard to the future. The Zion of God is before his face
          continually. He has laid a foundation and he will build upon it,
          and his Saints will build upon it; and thousands and tens of
          thousands of the meek of the earth will yet take hold and become
          co-workers in the great work of God. I feel, myself, as though we
          should lay these counsels that we receive to heart; we should not
          treat them lightly. We have been called upon by the Lord and his
          servants to keep the Word of Wisdom; it is time we did it.
          Wherein we have failed in these things in the past we should try
          to improve.
          I rejoice in this work, I rejoice in the Gospel of Christ. I
          rejoice that we live in a day when we have inspiration, when we
          have prophets, Apostles and inspired men to lead us, and when we
          are made partakers of the blessings of the kingdom of God upon
          the earth. It is safe for us to pursue that course wherein we can
          walk in the light, and we need not find fault with the principles
          of the Gospel because any brother does that which we cannot
          endorse. It is for us, each of us, individually, to see to our
          own conduct, and never follow the errors of others. It is not
          difficult to find them in our own conduct. We should all bring
          this home to ourselves.
          I do hope that the sisters, generally, and the Female Relief
          Societies in particular, will listen to the counsel that has been
          given to-day, and that they will go to and establish braiding
          schools in all their societies, where the young ladies may be
          taught to braid straw. President Young has called upon them to do
          it from time to time. It is true that he has not always commanded
          them, in the name of the Lord, to do thus and so, and this has
          been a great blessing to Israel. We have been governed by counsel
          instead of commandment in many things, which has been a blessing
          to the Saints, for "he that is commanded in all things" and
          obeyeth it with slothfulness and not a willing mind, is not
          qualified before the Lord as that man is who, having the power
          within him, bringeth to pass much righteousness without being
          commanded in all that he does.
          I feel thankful for the blessings that we enjoy. The Prophet
          Joseph was called an idler and a gold digger. We have been called
          a great many things--such as lazy, indolent, and many other
          things discreditable. Why, every man possessing reason and
          judgment, who knows anything about the Territory of Utah, will at
          once pronounce such assertions nonsensical, for this city and
          every portion of the Territory bear witness to the untiring labor
          and industry of the Latter-day Saints, and the people, as a
          general thing outside, are beginning to give up the idea that we
          are an idle people. They formerly found a great deal of fault
          with Joseph Smith, because they said he was a gold digger; but
          since then nearly all the Christian world have turned gold
          diggers. Hundreds of thousands of them have run into this western
          country to dig gold; and, while they formerly found fault with us
          for digging gold they have latterly found fault because we do not
          dig it. I hope and trust that all the accusations of wrong
          brought against us in the future will be as groundless as those
          of the past. Let us show our faith by our works, let us show to
          the Lord our God that we have faith and confidence in his word
          and works.
          We have to become united as a people in all our labors--in our
          agriculture, manufactures, and every branch of our temporal
          labors. It is of great importance to the Latter-day Saints that
          they should unite together on the principle of co-operation.
          Where this is not done we still ought to try individually to
          manufacture all we can. I was pleased, a few days ago, while
          paying a visit to Jenning's shoe factory, to see the large number
          of home-made boots and shoes, many of which were made with
          machinery which had been imported for the purpose. This should be
          done wherever it is possible; the people should co-operate and
          import labor-saving machinery, so as to be able to compete with
          foreign manufacturers of goods of all kinds. President Young has
          set an example in introducing carding machines and in
          establishing factories here. He has done all he could in this
          direction, and we should follow in the wake as far as we can. I
          know that God will bless the people by doing this.
               I do not wish to occupy any more time. I feel to say God
          bless you. Lay these things to heart. Let us lay hold and build
          up Zion. Let us realize that we are the children of God, that he
          is at work with us and that we are at work with him. It has been
          said that the Lord and a good man are a great majority. He has
          got a great many good men on the earth, and he is gathering them
          together to build up Zion, to carry out his work and to do his
          will. He will also control the course of human events so as to
          forward his purposes. He holds the destinies of the nations in
          his hands. He holds Zion in his hands and he will carry out his
          work and do all he has promised. Those who fight against Zion
          fight against God, and he will break every weapon formed against
          his kingdom, and will bring his people triumphant over every
          obstacle, and finally give them eternal life, which is the
          greatest of all the gifts of God. May God grant that it may be
          bestowed upon us by our faith, works, and labors, through his
          mercy and goodness, for Jesus' sake. Amen.
          Journal of Discourses / Journal of Discourses, Volume 14 /
          Brigham Young, May 8, 1870
                             Brigham Young, May 8, 1870
            Delivered in the New Tabernacle, Salt Lake City, May 8, 1870.
                            (Reported by David W. Evans.)
                           ATONEMENT--CELESTIAL MARRIAGE.
          We have now been together in a Conference capacity for four days.
          It seems a very short time; we would like to stay a little
          longer, if it were prudent. This is the place to give general
          instruction to the Latter-day Saints. It is good when the Saints
          meet together to look at each other, to hear the brethren bear
          testimony of the truth and to feel the fellowship of the Holy
          Ghost. This makes our hearts joyful and glad. It will be prudent
          for us now to bring our Conference to a close, and, after I have
          spent a few minutes in speaking, we shall adjourn until the 6th
          of next October, at ten o'clock in the morning, at this place.
          There are many things which we would like to talk about; I would
          like to do a great deal of talking if I had the opportunity and
          were able to do so. There are many little items pertaining to
          what are called temporal matters, which it would be well for the
          people to understand in order to promote their happiness here on
          the earth and to aid them in securing eternal salvation. It is
          not those who are hearers of the word only who are blessed and
          who secure to themselves the blessings of eternal life; they who
          secure eternal life are doers of the word as well as hearers. If
          we hear the word and do not perform the labors indicated by it,
          it will profit us nothing. To hear the word, as the Latter-day
          Saints do, and then to perform the labor devolving upon them,
          requires a great deal of wisdom; and to bring the people up to
          this standard much labor and instruction from the Elders is
          If we can remember what we have heard at this Conference, and
          carry it out in our lives, it will profit us. I hope and trust
          that we may. Let us apply our hearts to the wisdom that has been
          exhibited before the Conference, and observe the little duties of
          every-day life, that we may be prepared to receive more. It is
          not possible for a person to learn all the will of God in an
          hour, a day, or a week; it requires much time and attention to do
          this. The Lord gives a little here and a little there, a precept
          now and a precept again, and by close observance of these things
          in our lives we grow in grace and in a knowledge of the truth.
          We are thankful for the privilege of talking a little. We ought
          all to be very thankful that we have the privilege of the Gospel
          and of the ordinances of the house of God, for by applying them
          to the duties of life we can increase in knowledge, wisdom and
          understanding. We are thankful to see the increase that there is
          in the midst of the people.
          You very well know that it is said by many of those who wish to
          traduce the character of the Latter-day Saints that we are a
          poor, miserable, ignorant people. If we are, there is a great
          chance for improvement. We will acknowledge that we are very
          ignorant, and that the Lord has taken the weak things of the
          world to confound the wisdom of the wise. He has picked up the
          poor of the earth and brought them together, because they seek
          after him; while the hearts of the rich and the proud, the high
          and the noble, are lifted up, and they cannot hearken to the
          principles of the Gospel and receive them and obey them. They
          feel themselves too good; they know too much; while the poor and
          needy, those who suffer from hunger and nakedness, and from hard
          labor and taskmasters, are the ones who naturally seek after the
          Lord. The Lord is just as willing to bless and to pour out his
          Spirit upon the king on the throne as upon the beggar in the
          street; but the king has sufficient--he does not feel after the
          Lord; but the beggar cries unto the Lord for his daily bread.
          Hence the Lord gathers the poor. When we are gathered together,
          if we will improve ourselves, by and by we will be filled with
          When we look at the Latter-day Saints and remember that they have
          been taken from the coal pits, from the ironworks, from the
          streets, from the kitchens and from the barns and factories and
          from hard service in the countries where they formerly lived, we
          cannot wonder at their ignorance. But when they are brought
          together they soon become scholars. Many of them become farmers
          and merchants, and they soon learn to procure a sustenance for
          themselves and families, and gather around them the necessaries
          and comforts of life. They also learn the object of their being,
          of the creation of the earth, and how to organize the elements so
          as to subserve their own wants and necessities. This is a
          blessing, and we are proud to see the industry of the Latter-day
          Saints, and also their improvements and faithfulness. If we are
          ignorant, let us become wise; if we are poor, let us gather
          around us the comforts of life. I look around among my brethren
          and I see scholars. The world say we are ignorant; we acknowledge
          it, but we are not as ignorant as they are, although they have
          had opportunities of education perhaps that many of our brethren
          have not had. We study from the great book of nature. We are
          driven to this of necessity. Where is there another people who
          have done what this people have done in these mountains, by way
          of making improvements in their own midst--upon the soil and in
          their cities and towns. They are not to be found on the face of
          the earth. If this is not intelligence--if this is not good,
          hard, sound sense, I wish somebody would come and teach us a
          little. If we are taken from the poor, ignorant, low and
          degraded, and make ourselves wise and happy, it is a credit to
          There are causes for this which some may not have thought about.
          I often think of them. You take, for instance, a father, who has,
          say, four, ten or twelve sons. He may have abundance to dispose
          of to each and every one; but he dislikes some particular one,
          and perhaps feeds and clothes eleven, but the twelfth, whom he
          hates and despises, he turns out of doors to provide for himself.
          This one son goes forth weeping, and says, "I am forsaken of my
          father and his house; now I have to look after myself. I have the
          earth before me; I have to live; I do not want to kill myself,
          and as I have life before me I certainly must make my own future.
          I will go to work and accumulate a little of something, so that I
          can purchase me a piece of land. When it is purchased I will put
          improvements upon it. I will build me a house; I will fence my
          farm; I will set off my orchard and plant out my garden; and I
          will gather around me my horses, my cattle, my wagons and
          carriages, and I will get me a family." Pretty soon here is a boy
          who knows how to live as well as his father does. How is it with
          the rest of the family? They are fed and clothed by their father;
          they know not where it comes from nor how it is obtained, and
          they scarcely know their right hand from their left with regard
          to the things of the world.
          This illustrates the history of this people. We have been under
          the necessity of learning every art--to cultivate the soil and
          how to provide for our own wants under the most adverse
          circumstances. We have been compelled to do this or go without,
          for none would do it for us. We have been forced to study
          mechanism, all kinds of machinery, how to build, and how to
          provide and take care of ourselves in every respect. I thank the
          parent and the boys for turning us out of doors. Why? Because it
          has thrown us on our own resources, and taught us to provide for
          ourselves. We have a future before us, and God will take care of
          us. In my meditations I say, "Shall I complain of father? No. I
          will not complain at all, he has done the best he could for me,
          though he knew it not. If he had made my house, opened my farm,
          planted my orchard, seen to my planting and ploughing as well as
          the gathering; and then had brought my food to my chamber and
          appointed a servant to feed me, what should I have known about
          getting my living? How could I have known anything about raising
          fruit or anything else? I could not have known. I might read
          books until Doomsday, and unless I apply the knowledge thus
          obtained I should know but little." Without the application of
          knowledge acquired by reading, it makes mere machines of us; we
          can tell what others have done, but we know nothing ourselves.
          Then speak evil of no man, and acknowledge that it has been a
          blessing to us to be cast aside and compelled to take care of
          When we left our homes in the East and started for the Rocky
          Mountains the feeling in regard to us was, "There is starvation
          before you Mormons; but if you do not die of starvation the
          Indians will kill you." We knew that they would do no such thing;
          we knew that we could live when we got here, and we also knew
          that we could travel twelve or fourteen hundred miles with our
          cows, calves, colts, lame cattle, our seed grain and provisions
          and farming utensils on wagons, carts and handcarts, without an
          ounce of iron on some of them. It was said that we could raise
          nothing when we got here; but I said, "We will wait and see; we
          know that God has led us out here, and we will wait and see what
          he will do for us." You can see what he has done, and thank his
          name and be humble. Shall we speak evil of others? No. Why?
          Because the result of their treatment towards us has made us
          better and greater than we could have been otherwise. It has
          brought us closer together than we could possibly have come
          without a great deal more revelation than we have had. Our
          enemies have pushed us together; and it is excellent to be
          surrounded by circumstances that will bring us close together. We
          learn then whether we have fellowship one for another. Let us
          thank God, and speak evil of none; and instead of finding fault
          with father, let us thank him for turning us out of doors, for we
          have learned a great many useful lessons in life that we could
          not have learned without. We can read just as much as the
          inhabitants of the earth, and after reading we can practice a
          thousand times more than many of them.
          I wish now to say a few words in relation to a subject which is
          attracting the attention of thousands of people in the world. I
          refer to what is termed infidelity. We are very well aware that a
          statement made in reference to this matter in this Conference is
          true--namely, that the inhabitants of the earth are drifting, as
          fast as time can roll, to infidelity. I do not profess to know a
          great deal; but some things I do know. Shall I take the liberty
          of telling you the story of the boy who went to the mill? He was
          looking at the miller's hogs, which were very fat, clean and
          fine. The miller came out, and, seeing the boy attentively
          observing the pigs, said to him, "What are you thinking about?"
          Said the boy, "I was thinking that millers have fat hogs." "Were
          you thinking of anything else?" said the miller. "Yes." "What was
          it?" "I do not know whose grain they are fed on," said the boy. I
          take the liberty of telling this story for illustration. Some
          things I do know and some I do not know; if I do not know whose
          grain the pigs eat, I do know that there are some fat hogs.
          What shall I say with regard to infidelity? I do not know a great
          deal, but I say that a man has not good common sense who denies
          his Maker; such a man is not endowed with reasoning powers. I
          hold this book in my hand, and I say that for its production from
          the crude element it required a type founder, paper maker,
          printer and a book binder, and by their united exertions the book
          was made. But the infidel bases his argument on the principle
          that the book is here without a producer--that no type founder,
          paper maker, printer, nor bookbinder was necessary. Is not a man
          who argues on this principle a fool? If he is not he comes pretty
          near it.
          There are a great many who say that there is no embodiment of the
          Deity. Our Christian brethren almost deny the existence of a God;
          but it is in word only; they do not feel it in their hearts, they
          do not mean any such thing. They are like the people of whom Paul
          speaks, who had temples reared to the unknown God. The Christians
          do not know anything about God, neither does the infidel. The
          Christian world say, "We believe in a God who has no body." You
          do not believe in anything of the sort, Christian world! You
          think you believe it, but it is only tradition with you. Your
          fathers told you that God has no body; the priests told them; the
          schoolmasters have joined in the endorsement of the same
          ridiculous idea; it is also written in your church creeds; but,
          when you let common sense have place in your hearts, you do not
          believe in any such nonentity or nondescript as a God without
          body, parts or passions.
          But foolish and absurd as is such an idea, it is not so
          ridiculous as that of the infidel. The Christian world, while
          virtually declaring that God is nothing, also declare that the
          world was created by him; but the infidel says the world had no
          creator, it is the result of chance. Now I defy any infidel, or
          any other person on the face of the earth, to prove that anything
          can be made or exist without a maker. The world and all its
          various grades of organized denizens, from the lowest forms of
          vegetable or animal life, up to man, the lord of creation, were
          framed and made, or they would not have been here.
          I just want to say with regard to infidelity, it means nothing
          more nor less than to disbelieve anything we have a mind to. If
          we disbelieve in the existence of the Eternal, as an embodiment
          or personage, we are infidel on that point. If we disbelieve in
          the efficacy of the blood of the Savior and his atonement, we are
          infidels on that subject. I wish to say, however, to the
          Christian world, that the moment the atonement of the Savior is
          done away, that moment, at one sweep, the hopes of salvation
          entertained by the Christian world are destroyed, the foundation
          of their faith is taken away, and there is nothing left for them
          to stand upon. When this is gone all the revelations God ever
          gave to the Jewish nation, to the Gentiles and to us are rendered
          valueless, and all hope is taken from us at one sweep.
          What proof have you, Infidels, that Jesus is not the Christ? What
          proof have you of the negative of the existence of God the
          Father, or of Jesus as the Mediator, or of the Holy Ghost as
          God's minister, or of the gifts and graces that God has bestowed
          upon his people? None at all, not the least thing in the world.
          Is there anybody living on the earth that has the proof of the
          affirmative? Yes; we have. We have proof that God lives and that
          he has a body; that he has eyes, and ears to hear; that he has
          arms, hands and feet; that he can walk and does walk. He has
          declared himself to be a man of war--Jehovah, the great I Am, the
          Lord Almighty, and many other titles of a like import are used in
          reference to him in the Scriptures. But take away the atonement
          of the Son of God and the Scriptures fall useless to the ground.
          How is it, Infidel, have you any proof that Jesus did not die for
          the sins of the world? No; not the least, any more than you have
          proof that there was no need to go to the mountains to cut the
          timber used in building this house, or to quarry the rock of
          which the pillars of this house are composed. How is it, Mr.
          Infidel, have you any proof of the non-existence of Him who rules
          and reigns in heaven, and who controls the destinies of the
          earth? No; not the least. But you say, "I do not believe it."
          That is your affair only, nobody cares about that.
          Infidelity extends to other subjects besides the existence of God
          and the atonement of the Savior. Some are infidel on one point
          and some on another. I want to say that so far as a God without a
          body, parts and passions is concerned, I am a complete infidel.
          The God whom I serve has got eyes, ears, nose and mouth. He has
          hands to handle; his footsteps are seen in the midst of his
          people, and his goings forth among the nations; and he who has
          the Spirit of the Almighty can see the providences of God and
          behold his ways. I ask the infidel if he has any proof that I do
          not enjoy that Spirit? I have proof that I do. What is that
          proof. The peace, light and intelligence that I enjoy, which I
          have not obtained from the infidel, from reading books, from
          going to school, nor from studying the wisdom of any man that
          ever lived on the face of the earth. "Where did you obtain it?"
          says the infidel. From heaven, from the fountain of light and
          intelligence. "Where is your wisdom?" again says the infidel.
          Here, right before me, teaching the people how to be saved, how
          to live, and to live with each other; how to improve their minds;
          how to govern and control themselves. It was so with Joseph
          Smith, in his day. So it is to-day; how else could it be done?
          Who can gather the people from the nations in their poverty and
          ignorance and fill them with light and intelligence, teach them
          how to live, what the earth is and what it is for, make them
          understand that God is our father, Jesus the Mediator, and that
          we belong to the highest intelligence that there is in existence,
          and that we are the natural offspring of God the Father? God only
          can do this. Yet the infidel will say there is no God, that we
          are creatures of to-day, that we had no existence before this,
          and that when this is over there is nothing after. And following
          down the chain of his reasoning, he will say there was a time
          when there was no earth, no stars, no worlds, no anything. Well,
          I know there never was such a time. That is faith against faith,
          declaration against declaration. What a pitiful condition it
          would be for all space to contain nothing! To suppose that
          element, worlds, men, the grass of the fields, or the trees of
          the forest were created, is all folly! They are from eternity. It
          is equally vain to imagine space empty! There is no space without
          a kingdom, neither is there any kingdom without space, and they
          are from everlasting to everlasting. "How do you know it?" asks
          the unbeliever. By the revelations of God, by the revelations of
          the Lord Jesus Christ. "How do you know how to teach the people
          to control themselves and make them of one heart and one mind?"
          By the revelations of the Lord. Well, then, I guess we will sing
          and pray and serve our God and keep his commandments; and I
          rather think that Zion will prosper. That is my opinion.
          While the chapter from the prophecies of Daniel was being read,
          showing the plans and schemes of those who sought to entrap
          Daniel, and their miserable end, I was thinking how wise (!) men
          were in those days. How wise were those great captains,
          counselors and presidents! Could they not foresee that they could
          not overthrow Daniel? No, they could see no further than to
          believe that if the King would sign the decree that no petition
          should be presented to any potentate, on, above, or around about
          the earth, but to himself, for the space of thirty days, they
          would entrap and destroy Daniel. What was the result? Just as
          quick as they commenced their special legislation against Daniel
          the Lord commenced special legislation for him and against those
          who got him into the lion's den. The final result was that Daniel
          lodged with the lions over night and came out unscathed, not
          injured in the least; the lions lay there peaceable when the
          stone was rolled away, and those who had caused him to be thrust
          there were condemned to take the place he left, and the lions
          devoured them. They could not foresee what Daniel could; he could
          have foretold their destiny, and that the legislation of the Lord
          Almighty would be a little above the special legislation of which
          they were the authors against him.
          Brethren and sisters, will you keep the Word of Wisdom, say your
          prayers, observe the Sabbath, speak evil of no man, and strive to
          be humble and faithful in all things? If you will, we shall be
          one by and by; we are not yet. We must overcome the love of the
          world. He that hath the love of the world hath not the love of
          the Father. He that loves the things of the world loves not the
          kingdom of heaven on the earth. Whosoever serves mammon cannot
          serve God. We must let these things go out of our affections,
          then lay hold of the principles of eternal life and sustain the
          kingdom of God on the earth, or else we shall go by the board. If
          we jump over, we shall certainly sink, and if we stay aboard
          Zion's ship, we can do no more than sink, and it will be just as
          well if Zion's ship sink to be aboard as to jump overboard and
          sink. We had better stay aboard, she may go into harbor; and I
          can promise you in the name of Israel's God that she will go
          there safe and carry every one of her passengers. Will we be
          humble and faithful? I trust we will. I hope--I pray you,
          brethren and sisters, let us be humble, be faithful to our God,
          our religion, and each other.
          I will say a few words on a subject which has been mentioned
          here--that is, celestial marriage. God has given a revelation to
          seal for time and for eternity, just as he did in days of old. In
          our own days he has commanded his people to receive the New and
          Everlasting Covenant, and he has said, "If ye abide not that
          covenant, then are ye damned." We have received it. What is the
          result of it? I look at the world, or that small portion of it
          which believes in monogamy. It is only a small portion of the
          human family who do believe in it, for from nine to ten of the
          twelve hundred millions that live on the earth believe in and
          practice polygamy. Well, what is the result? Right in our land
          the doctrine and practice of plurality of wives tend to the
          preservation of life. Do you know it? Do you see it? What is our
          duty? To preserve life or destroy it? Can any of you answer? Why
          yes, it is to perpetuate and preserve life. But what principle do
          we see prevailing in our own land? What is that of which, in the
          East, West, North and South, ministers in their pulpits complain,
          and against which both gentlemen and ladies lecture? It is
          against taking life. They say, "Cease the destruction of
          pre-natal life!" Our doctrine and practice make and preserve
          life; theirs destroy it. Which is the best, saying nothing about
          revelation, which is the best in a moral point of view, to
          preserve or to destroy the life which God designs to bring upon
          the earth. Just look at it and decide for yourselves.
          This house is very large, but as a general thing the people have
          been very attentive, and they have tried to keep as still as
          possible. Still, I believe they can improve a little. I think
          that many of our sisters who have children can stay nearer the
          doors, and then, if they cannot prevent their children crying,
          they can step out. I do believe they can stop their whispering.
          When there is anything said from this Stand that pleases or
          displeases you, you turn to your neighbor and whisper, and the
          next one does the same, and directly there are a few thousand
          whispering, creating a noise like the rushing of many waters.
          Then you scrape your feet a little, and the many little noises
          are like the dust that composes the mountains and the whole
          earth. Every person should be silent when we meet here to worship
          God. Remember and try to keep perfectly quiet, and do not
          whisper, talk, nor scrape your feet; and do not let your children
          cry if you can help it. Twenty years ago I used to tell you that
          you might pinch your children to make them cry as loud as they
          could if you wished, and I could preach louder than they could
          cry. I could do it then, but now I want all to keep still.
          I trust we shall long have the privilege of enjoying this shade
          which we have built; it is a cover from the burning sun in
          summer; and when the storm of rain comes this umbrella will
          shelter us. I perceive that, in the gallery, there is a little
          more heat now than before; we shall open the ventilators and put
          in some skylights, then I think it will be as cool as in the
          Brethren and sisters, I feel to bless you. I ask my Father in
          heaven to bless the Saints, to bless every quorum and
          organization of his kingdom, from the First Presidency down to
          the last organization to promote good in the midst of his people.
          I pray continually for the Bishops, presiding Elders, High
          Councillors, and the Female Relief Societies. I will bless you,
          my sisters, if you will hearken to the counsel which has been
          given you with regard to these fashions. Then, to my brethren, I
          say, I will bless you, if you will seek a little closer to
          sustain yourselves, by preserving and wisely using that which the
          Lord gives you, and not suffer your cattle and sheep to die on
          the prairies, but preserve them, that we may have the wherewithal
          to supply ourselves with the necessaries of life, by raising
          sheep, building factories, raising flax, the mulberry and silk
          and other things useful. I do not care how beautifully you are
          adorned, ladies, if you will only raise the silk and adorn
          yourselves with your own hands. That is the requirement of
          heaven. It was so almost forty years ago. The word of the Lord to
          his Saints then was, "Let the beauty of your apparel be the
          beauty of the work of your own hands." If you will observe this,
          adorn yourselves as much as you please. Make your hats and
          bonnets, and also make hats for your brothers and sons. It is
          your duty to do it. Preserve that that the Lord has given you,
          and waste nothing. I can say to the Latter-day Saints that there
          is no man nor woman, person or persons, but what I would rather
          feed, clothe, and sustain than to see a particle wasted in the
          midst of my family or this people. God does not like it, his
          Spirit is grieved with it. Idleness and wastefulness are not
          according to the rules of heaven. Preserve all you can, that you
          may have abundance to bless your friends and your enemies, as we
          did in '49, '50 and '61. In those years we fed thousands and
          thousands of poor, starving emigrants, who had gold so big in
          their eyes that, when they started for the Plains, they did not
          know whether they had anything to eat or not. By our
          instrumentality they were fed and sent on their way rejoicing. If
          we take the counsel now given we shall have abundance to bless
          our enemies if it be necessary. Shall we say that we have any?
          Yes, there are those who would delight to be our enemies if they
          knew how; but they do not know how. I do not suppose that there
          was a greater enemy to the Savior, when he was on the earth, than
          the devil. How he did plead with the Savior to worship him! Said
          he, "I will give you all you can see, if you will fall down and
          worship me." But Jesus rebuked him. Yet the devil hunted and
          followed up Jews and Gentiles, that is, the Romans, until they
          betrayed the Redeemer into the hands of his enemies, who
          crucified him, and in doing that they consummated the great act
          for the salvation of the human family, which will cheat the devil
          out of pretty much all of them, one way or the other. If he had
          had any good sense about him--but he was as short of that as the
          infidels in our day--he would have said, "I am with you, I will
          go with you, pay your taxes, and will make you welcome to my
          house." But no, the devil and his followers did not know enough
          to do this, neither do our enemies, and thank God for it!
          Again I say, I feel to bless my brethren and sisters--every
          quorum, every authority; our brethren and sisters who have sung
          for us, or played on the organ. I thank you, doorkeepers, and you
          who have waited on the congregation, and I say God bless you, and
          in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ I bless the whole house of
          Israel. I pray for the redemption of the centre stake of Zion,
          and the upbuilding thereof. It is before us continually in our
          faith, and I hope that we shall live to see it. Amen.
          Journal of Discourses / Journal of Discourses, Volume 14 / George
          Q. Cannon, August 15, 1869
                          George Q. Cannon, August 15, 1869
                        DISCOURSE BY ELDER GEORGE Q. CANNON,
            Delivered in the Tabernacle, Salt Lake City, August 15, 1869.
                            (Reported by David W. Evans.)
                             SAINTS--CELESTIAL MARRIAGE.
          "I therefore, the prisoner of the Lord, beseech you that ye walk
          worthy of the vocation wherewith ye are called.
          "With all lowliness and meekness, with long-suffering, forbearing
          one another in love;
          "Endeavoring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of
          "There is one body and one Spirit, even as ye are called in one
          hope of your calling;
          "One Lord, one faith, one baptism,
          "One God and Father of all, who is above all, and through all,
          and in you all.
               "But unto every one of us is given grace according to the
          measure of the gift of Christ.
          "Wherefore he saith, When he ascended up on high, he led
          captivity captive, and gave gifts unto men.
          "Now that he ascended, what is it but that he also descended
          first into the lower parts of the earth?
          "He that descended is the same also that ascended far above all
          heavens, that he might fill all things.
          "And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some,
          evangelists; and, some, pastors and teachers;
          "For the perfecting of the Saints, for the work of the ministry,
          for the edifying of the body of Christ:
          "Till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge
          of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the
          stature of the fulness of Christ:
          "That we henceforth be no more children, tossed to and fro, and
          carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men,
          and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive:"
          These words are found in the 4th chapter of the Epistle of Paul
          to the Ephesians.
          Probably at no time in the history of the Church of Jesus Christ
          of Latter-day Saints has there been more interest felt in
          relation to the doctrines in which we believe and the nature of
          the organization with which we are connected and the bonds by
          which we are united together than at the present time. The
          completion of the railroad has brought us immediately in contact
          with the outside world, and it has also brought us prominently
          before the nations--not only our own nation, but other nations;
          and many people who have heretofore felt little or no interest in
          regard to the people called Latter-day Saints are now, through
          travel, being brought in contact with them, and are disposed to
          investigate and to inquire concerning their faith and the nature
          of their organization.
          It is very agreeable to us to have our principles investigated,
          for the first Elders of the Church have endeavored for nearly
          forty years to disseminate a knowledge of them among all people
          unto whom they could get access. They have traveled throughout
          the length and breadth of the nation, having visited every State
          and nearly every township in the Union. They have also traveled
          in Canada, and have proclaimed the Gospel in Europe and Asia, and
          some have even gone to Africa and to the islands of the sea. What
          we have done we have endeavored to do openly, and have striven to
          make plain the principles we have advocated. The greatest
          difficulty we have had to contend with has been the indisposition
          of the people to listen. The idea that has seemed to possess the
          minds of many was that they understood our principles perfectly
          well, and that it was unnecessary to say another word about them.
          Probably there is no people in the world concerning whom so much
          has been said, and there is probably no people on the face of the
          earth who are so little understood and concerning whom there are
          so many misrepresentations in circulation. The prevalent idea
          concerning us in a great many circles is that we have thrown
          aside the Bible and have substituted in its stead a book of our
          own, the Book of Mormon, and other works, of modern origin, or
          works which they consider of modern origin. It is only a few
          weeks since that a gentleman from the Eastern States was invited
          to preach in the New Tabernacle. He did so, and preached a very
          eloquent discourse. He was followed by President Young, and after
          the latter had finished and the meeting was dismissed this
          clergyman said he had not the least idea that we had so large a
          Christian element in our faith until he heard that discourse from
          President Young. He had supposed that we had set aside the Bible
          and had taken the Book of Mormon and the doctrines and
          revelations contained in that and in the book of Doctrine and
          Covenants as our rule of faith.
          He was not singular in that idea; it is the general belief in
          many circles, and among people who, on other subjects, are well
          informed. They have an idea that we are a very peculiar people,
          and that our peculiarities have their origin in those books. Of
          course among people who have read the Book of Mormon and the Book
          of Doctrine and Covenants these ideas do not prevail, because
          such persons are aware that those books corroborate the Bible,
          and are witness of the truth of the great principles contained in
          the Old and New Testaments, and teach precisely the same.
          The peculiarities, if such they may be called, which distinguish
          us from other people, have their origin in our implicit faith in
          the Scriptures. There is no principle nor doctrine of our faith
          that we are not willing to have tested by the revelations and
          teachings contained in King James's translation of the Bible; and
          our Elders have gone forth taking that as their text-book,
          preaching from it the principles which those now called
          Latter-day Saints have embraced, and which caused them to gather
          together from the nations of the earth, to the State of Ohio,
          then to Missouri, then to Illinois, and then to these valleys.
          This statement may sound strangely to the ears of many. I have
          heard people express considerable surprise upon hearing it. I
          recollect in my early experience as an Elder meeting and having
          considerable conversation upon our principles with a clergyman. I
          left with him the work called "The Voice of Warning;" and when I
          called upon him again after a lapse of a few days, he expressed
          his surprise at there being any diversity between the Latter-day
          Saints and the orthodox sects, "for," said he, "I see that you
          base your faith upon and draw your arguments from the New
          Testament." I admitted that it was strange, but remarked to him
          that it was because we received the New Testament literally, and
          believed that the teachings contained in that book were intended
          to be understood as they were written, and that when God made a
          declaration, or his authorized servants preached the Gospel, or
          made certain plain and positive promises, the design was that the
          children of men should rely upon those promises and believe the
          principles of that Gospel with the most unwavering faith and
          expect their fulfilment to the very letter, if they would only
          comply with the conditions connected therewith.
          This is the great difficulty to-day; this is the cause of the
          diversity of beliefs in the Christian world. Instead of taking
          the word of the Lord as it is, they wish to place their own
          construction on that word so as to suit their own peculiar ideas
          and views; and having thus interpreted it, they frame their
          belief in accordance with that interpretation. But it is very
          plain, from words contained in the New Testament, that the Lord
          expected his children to believe the Gospel and to carry it out
          in their practice, as it was delivered anciently. For instance:
          Paul, on one occasion, when writing to the Galatians, said--
          "Though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other Gospel unto
          you than that which we have preached unto you, let him be
          And, as if to make this so positive that it could not be
          misunderstood, he repeated the language. Here an anathema is
          pronounced upon the head of any individual who should attempt to
          preach any other Gospel than that which the Apostle Paul and the
          other Apostles had declared; even if an angel from heaven were to
          declare anything opposed to or differing from it he was to be
          It is highly important that mankind should understand what was
          the nature of that Gospel, and whether the creeds to which they
          have rendered obedience in these days agree with the principles
          preached by the Apostles; if they do not, they who preach them
          are exposed to the anathema pronounced by Paul, or his words are
          not to be relied upon. It is a very easy matter to find out what
          the Apostles did preach; there need be no difficulty about this
          if people will receive the teachings contained in the New
          Testament, for there we have a record of their labors and an
          epitome of the doctrines they taught and administered to the
          If we refer to the first discourse that was preached after the
          ascension of Jesus into heaven we shall find what the Apostles
          taught on that occasion, when inspired by the Holy Ghost, to the
          inhabitants of Jerusalem. The people were excited over the
          strange event that had taken place in their midst; for men of
          various nations had gathered together to the Holy City and the
          Apostles stood up in the power and demonstration of the Holy
          Ghost and declared to the people there assembled the startling
          intelligence that Jesus, whom they had so recently crucified as
          an impostor, was indeed the Lord of life and glory and was the
          veritable Son of God, the Messiah, of which the prophets had
          spoken, and for whose coming they had so long and anxiously
          looked. This was unexpected intelligence to them; but the
          arguments of the Apostles on this matter were so convincing and
          the power of God so apparent--each man hearing the Gospel in his
          own tongue, that they were pricked to the heart and were
          convinced that Jesus was the Son of God and the Savior of the
          world, and they cried out, "Men and brethren, what shall we do?"
          It is very reasonable to suppose that when the Apostles answered
          this question, made under such extraordinary circumstances, they
          would declare the doctrines and requirements which would be
          binding on all the inhabitants of the earth under similar
          circumstances. To imagine anything else would be to suppose that
          which would be contrary to reason and common sense. To think that
          they would tell something that was not necessary and essential to
          salvation on such an important occasion, when so many were
          pricked to their hearts, is to suppose something that is not
          consistent with the character of the Apostles and the nature of
          their mission to the children of men. Peter said unto them,
          "Repent, and be baptized, every one of you, in the name of Jesus
          Christ, for the remission of your sins, and ye shall receive the
          gift of the Holy Ghost. For the promise is unto you, and to your
          children, and to all that are afar off, even as many as the Lord
          our God shall call." Thus, he set before them in simplicity and
          in the greatest plainness, the requirements with which they must
          comply in order to receive that which they desired.
          It was not necessary for him to say unto them, Believe in the
          Lord Jesus Christ, for they did already believe, having been
          convinced through the testimony of the Apostles. Peter,
          therefore, said unto them, "Repent"-- that being the next
          principle they had to obey--"repent, and be baptized in the name
          of Jesus Christ, for the remission of your sins, and ye shall
          receive the Holy Ghost." He did not say unto them "Here is an
          'anxious bench,'" or, "Come and throw yourselves at the foot of
          the cross, and seek with prayer before the Lord until he remits
          your sins." He did not tell them to do any such thing, but he
          told them to repent of their sins, that is, to forsake them, and
          to be baptized for the remission of them, promising them that
          they should receive the Holy Ghost, "For," said he, "the promise
          is unto you and to your children and to all that are afar off,
          even as many as the Lord our God shall call."
          How many did the Lord call? Why he has called all. He commanded
          the Apostles to go and preach the Gospel to every creature,
          therefore every human being on the face of the earth was called
          by the Lord; and the promise was unto the multitude there
          assembled and to all afar off; hence, it is quite clear that all
          the inhabitants of the earth had a claim on this promise on
          complying with the conditions prescribed--namely, faith in Jesus
          Christ, repentance of their sins, being baptized for their
          remission, and having hands laid upon them for the reception of
          the Holy Ghost.
          This was the Gospel which Peter preached unto the people on the
          day of Pentecost, and several thousands of them went forth and
          were baptized on that occasion. We find, by examining the "Acts
          of the Apostles," that this was the nature of their teaching on
          every occasion when preaching to the people, and we also find
          that when the people did comply with these requirements the Holy
          Ghost did rest upon them.
          A great many have had the idea that the Holy Ghost was only
          bestowed upon those who were called to act as officers in the
          churches; but an investigation of the labors of the Apostles will
          prove that this was not the case, and will establish the fact
          that every individual, whether male or female, who was baptized
          by the servants of God for the remission of sins, received the
          laying on of hands, and also the Holy Ghost. You recollect,
          doubtless, the record contained in the 8th chapter of Acts, which
          contains an account of Philip preaching the Gospel in Samaria and
          baptizing some believers. Philip, it seems, had only the
          authority that John the Baptist had, holding the same Priesthood
          as he did. It is written of John that he said, "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 never
          presumed to lay on hands for the reception of the Holy Ghost: he
          had not the authority. He was a priest after the order of Aaron;
          he held the Aaronic Priesthood, to which Priesthood belongs not
          the authority to lay on hands for the reception of the Holy
          Ghost. To do this it requires a priest after the Order of
          Melchizedek, which Jesus and his Apostles held. Philip, after
          leaving Samaria, baptized the Eunuch, but we do not read that he
          laid his hands upon him, evidently proving that he held only the
          Priesthood of Aaron. When the Apostles which were at Jerusalem
          heard that Samaria had received the Word of God, through Philip,
          they sent unto them Peter and John, two of the Apostles, who,
          when they came unto them, prayed for them that they might receive
          the Holy Ghost, and they laid their hands upon them, and they
          received the Holy Ghost. It did not rest upon them previous to
          this ordinance being attended to; for the Testament says the Holy
          Ghost had not as yet fallen upon any of them, although they had
          been baptized. This shows that, not only is it necessary for men
          to believe in Jesus Christ, repent of their sins, and be baptized
          for the remission of them, but that they must receive the laying
          on of hands of those who have authority, or they could neither
          claim nor enjoy the Holy Ghost; but when they did have hands laid
          upon them, wonderful to relate in this age of unbelief, the Holy
          Ghost rested down upon them and they were filled therewith, and
          they were bound and united together, and they knew the things of
          God and enjoyed the gifts of the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
          On one occasion Paul met with a number of disciples at Ephesus
          and he inquired of them if they had received the Holy Ghost since
          they believed. They told him they had not so much as heard
          whether there be any Holy Ghost. He then inquired unto what then
          were they baptized. They replied they were baptized unto John's
          baptism. Paul baptized them anew, and laid hands upon them, and,
          we are told, they received the Holy Ghost and spake with tongues
          and prophecied. Paul had authority; he held the Melchizedek
          Priesthood, in which was included the authority to lay on hands
          for the reception of the Holy Ghost.
          This is the manner in which the Apostles preached the Gospel;
          there is no record of their doing it in any other way. We do not
          read of their teaching the people the plan of salvation in any
          other way.
          A great many, to prove that baptism and laying on of hands are
          not necessary, have cited the case of Cornelius, who, though he
          was not baptized, received the Holy Ghost. The case of Cornelius
          is the only case of the kind on record, and there were strong
          reasons why it should be as it was with him. The Gospel and its
          ordinances were administered only to the Jews; Cornelius was a
          Gentile, and between the two races strong prejudices existed, the
          Jews looking upon the Gentiles as far inferior to them. Cornelius
          and his household were the first Gentiles to whom the Gospel was
          preached, they received it, and the Lord, to show to the Apostles
          that the Gentiles were entitled to the ordinances of salvation as
          well as the Jews, if they were willing to comply with the
          requirements of the Gospel, conferred the Holy Ghost upon
          Cornelius and his family. When Peter saw this family he said, "Of
          a truth I perceive that God is no respecter of persons, but in
          every nation he that feareth him and worketh righteousness is
          accepted with him." And when afterwards, he heard them speak with
          tongues and magnify God, he said, "Can any man forbid water that
          these should not be baptized which have received the Holy Ghost
          as well as we? And he commanded them to be baptized in the name
          of the Lord." Peter did not say, Cornelius, you have received the
          Holy Ghost as well as we have, and there is no necessity for you
          to obey any further ordinances, which, under the circumstances,
          if he had considered baptism or the laying on of hands
          non-essential, he would have been very likely to do; but instead
          of that he commanded them to be baptized. Peter took this, as the
          Lord intended it, as an evidence that the Gentiles as well as the
          House of Israel were entitled to the Gospel. And he had them
          baptized, and without doubt laid his hands upon them to confirm
          upon them the gift they had received. Had Cornelius, at that
          hour, stood upon his dignity and said, There is no necessity for
          me to be baptized for the remission of my sins, God having given
          me the Holy Ghost without obeying that ordinance, and having
          already received the Holy Ghost, I have no need to have hands
          laid upon me, there is not a doubt in my mind but what that
          precious and inestimable gift would have been withdrawn from him,
          and he would not have enjoyed it after. It could only be
          continued to him on condition of his obeying the ordinances which
          God had placed in his Church and which he required all the
          inhabitants of the earth to submit to without hesitation; and
          without doubt, Cornelius wisely went forward and obeyed those
          This was the manner in which the Apostles preached the Gospel to
          the inhabitants of the earth in those days. They did not say to
          the people, "You must seek the Holy Ghost and probably the Lord
          will give it to you if you will only exercise faith enough;" but
          they told the people plainly and positively, without the least
          hesitation, that if they would comply with certain requirements
          they should receive the Holy Ghost. The only condition was their
          sincerity and faithfulness in obeying the requirements.
          What were the fruits of this preaching? Wherever the Apostles
          went and the people received their testimony the Spirit of God
          rested upon them and their hearts were united, and they enjoyed
          the gifts of prophecy, healing, tongues, interpretation of
          tongues, discerning of spirits, wisdom, knowledge and all the
          varied gifts of the Gospel necessary for their growth and
          development in the things of God. This was not the case at
          Jerusalem alone, but in far off Ephesus and in the various cities
          of Asia Minor where Paul preached; and throughout the length and
          breadth of the earth wherever the Apostles traveled these
          peculiar gifts and manifestations were enjoyed.
          Paul, who had been separated from the rest of the Apostles for a
          number of years, found when he came to Jerusalem and was united
          with them, that he had precisely the same knowledge concerning
          the Gospel of Christ that they had; the Holy Ghost had taught it
          to him the same as it had to Peter, James, John, Andrew and the
          rest of the Apostles. And had they been permitted to continue
          their labors the inhabitants of the earth, if they had received
          the Gospel, would have been united together as one in the things
          of God.
          Does anybody wonder that there is division now in Christendom?
          Does anybody wonder that, instead of there being "One Lord, one
          faith and one baptism," as recorded in the words I have read in
          your hearing, there are, it may be said, many lords, many faiths
          and many baptisms? Does anybody wonder at this? I cannot when I
          see how men have strayed from the path that Jesus marked out;
          when I hear men say that baptism is non-essential. What a wide
          difference between such persons and the Lord Jesus Christ! You
          will remember that when John came baptizing in the wilderness
          Jesus applied to him for baptism, and, in answer to the
          remonstrance of John, who seemed to think that he had more need
          to be baptized by the Savior than for the Savior to be baptized
          by him, Jesus said, "Suffer it to be so now; for thus it becometh
          us to fulfil all righteousness." The wonder is that there is a
          remnant of faith in Jesus left in the world when we see how
          widely men have diverged from the paths in which the Apostles
          walked, and from the doctrines which they taught.
          We must always bear in mind that which Paul said--"Though we, or
          an angel from heaven, preach any other Gospel unto you than that
          which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed." We must
          bear this in mind when we investigate the nature of the Apostles'
          teachings and the ordinances and doctrines which they
          administered and taught. If they who profess to be preachers of
          the Gospel diverge in the least from the doctrines and principles
          taught by the Apostles they place themselves in a position to
          receive the condemnation which Paul invoked.
          I have endeavored in these remarks to bring your minds to the
          faith the Saints once enjoyed, and to the teachings which the
          Apostles, in their day, laid before the people, and called upon
          them in all earnestness to obey. I have done this in order that
          you may be prepared for that which we teach, for we teach
          precisely the same principles that they did. Men wonder and say,
          "How is it that you Latter-day Saints can live together as you
          do? How is it that you are so united?" The secret lies in the
          fact that we have the same principles to teach to the people that
          were taught by the ancient Apostles, and the same results follow
          in our case as in theirs.
          It has been frequently remarked to the Elders, when abroad, "What
          necessity was there for an angel to come from heaven to earth to
          bring, as you say he did, the everlasting Gospel when we have the
          Bible and Christian organizations and Christian churches all
          through the land?" This is a very important question, and one to
          which I will try and give a satisfactory answer. There would have
          been no necessity of any such thing if the churches, at the time
          Joseph Smith sought for knowledge, had taught the same principles
          the Apostles declared, and if believers in these days had enjoyed
          the same gifts and blessings that they did in theirs. But if
          there was such a church at that time history has failed to record
          the fact. There was no man on the face of the earth, of whom we
          have heard, who declared to the people that if they would believe
          in Jesus and repent of their sins and be baptized for the
          remission of them, they should receive the Holy Ghost. On the
          contrary, the bestowal of the Holy Ghost, as anciently, with its
          gifts and powers, was denied by the whole Christian world. They
          declared that these gifts were not for this generation, but were
          bestowed upon the primitive church for the whole and sole purpose
          of establishing the Gospel of Jesus Christ, and that when that
          was accomplished there was no longer any need for them. That was
          the belief in Christendom then, and that is the belief there now;
          you may hear it expressed on every hand when conversing on these
          subjects. They will declare that there is no necessity for these
          gifts in this age, as if the Holy Ghost could be enjoyed by man
          and these gifts not manifested! Such a thing is impossible! There
          would have been no necessity for the restoration of the Gospel to
          the earth by an angel if the keys and priesthood by which the
          ancient Apostles officiated had not been taken from the earth. It
          is true that the Catholic Church claims direct succession from
          the Apostles; other churches claim the same; and all, claiming
          any authority whatever, endeavor to trace it back to them. They
          all base their claims to authority on the fact that the Apostles
          received it. The Catholic Church, especially, claim uninterrupted
          descent from Peter and the last of the Apostles. But, while so
          doing, they ignore the fact that as long as there was a man on
          the earth who laid claim to authority direct from God the
          inhabitants warred against him, until they had succeeded in
          killing him, as they had all others. This fact, though as
          familiar as any fact to the student of history, is lost sight of
          by the Catholic Church. So long as the Apostles lived, and so
          long as any man lived who had been associated with them in their
          labors, there was an incessant persecution carried on against
          them. And it is recorded that every one of them, except John,
          died a violent death. They tried to kill John; they immersed him
          in a cauldron of boiling oil and sent him to the Isle of Patmos
          to work in the lead mines, and persecuted him in various ways;
          but, owing to the promise of God, they could not kill him. Peter
          was crucified at Rome with his head downwards, not considering
          himself worthy to be crucified as his Lord had been. Paul was
          beheaded in Rome; the other Apostles were killed in various ways,
          every one of them suffering an ignominious death because of their
          belief in Jesus; because they believed God was a God of
          revelation, and because they laid claim to authority from Jesus
          to administer the ordinances of his church. This was the course
          pursued by the inhabitants of the earth until the Apostles and
          every man having authority had been killed, and the gifts and
          blessings had entirely disappeared from the earth. After this men
          took to themselves doctrines to accommodate themselves, the rites
          and many of the doctrines of Paganism and portions of existing
          institutions were incorporated into the Christian Church, until
          almost every vestige of the pure doctrines had disappeared, and
          nothing was left but mere forms.
          Is it any wonder that the Latter-day Saints claim that it was
          necessary for an angel to fly through the midst of heaven, having
          the everlasting Gospel to preach to the nations of the earth? If
          authority to administer in the ordinances of the Gospel had
          existed among men there would have been no such necessity; but
          that authority had been taken back to God who gave it, and it had
          to be restored by him or it could not be exercised on the earth
          Where were Apostles to be found? Why they were unpopular; every
          man that had held the Apostleship had been killed, yet in the
          words which I have read in your hearing it is said--
          "He gave to some Apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, and
          some pastors and teachers."
          And yet men tell us to-day that Apostles are not necessary! Is it
          surprising that the results which we see have followed such
          unbelief in Apostles? It was very dangerous to be called
          Apostles! It sounded better to be called Bishops or some other
          title; it suited the popular ear better and did not excite the
          persecution which the name of Apostle did. Yet in the words of
          Paul we are told that Apostles, prophets, evangelists, pastors
          and teachers were placed in the Church, for the perfecting of the
          Saints, for the work of the ministry, the edifying of the body of
          Christ. If there is any man on the earth who can prove from the
          Scriptures that Apostles are not necessary in the Church of
          Christ, then he can prove that the words of Paul and the rest of
          the Apostles are not trustworthy, for Paul tells us that they
          were placed in the Church for the work of the ministry, the
          perfecting of the Saints, and they were to continue there.
          "Till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge
          of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the
          stature of the fullness of Christ: that we henceforth be no more
          children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of
          doctrine, by the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness, whereby
          they lie in wait to deceive."
          Is there room for wonder that men are carried about by every wind
          of doctrine, and that they are deceived by the cunning craft of
          men, when they no longer believe in Apostles and prophets, and
          have taken in their stead self-constituted ministers, men who
          never received authority to administer in the things of God? Can
          any be surprised that Christendom is split up as it is to-day,
          and that men are so confused in relation to the doctrines of
          Christ? or that infidelity rears its head so defiantly in the
          midst of Christendom? No, it cannot be wondered at, when men have
          so widely departed from and so flagrantly disobeyed the plain
          teachings of Scripture as we find them recorded in the New
          Testament. The condition of Christendom alone is, of itself,
          sufficient to prove to every reasoning mind that if there is a
          God in heaven, as we know there is; that if there is such a
          principle as divine revelation, which we declare to be true; if
          there are such beings surrounding the throne of God as angels, of
          which we bear testimony, there never was a greater necessity for
          angels to be sent to earth, or for revelation to be given to man,
          than in the day in which we live. Some may say that we have the
          Bible and its divine teachings to peruse at our leisure; but it
          has frequently been remarked by those who scoff at it that it is
          like a fiddle, every kind of a tune can be played upon it. It
          requires something more than the Bible to guide man to eternal
          life. It requires divine inspiration, it requires the Holy Ghost,
          it requires the Priesthood, as it existed in ancient days, to be
          restored; and I thank God with all my heart, this morning, that I
          do know it has been restored. I thank God from the bottom of my
          heart that I have this knowledge.
          Before me, in this Territory, I see the fruits of this
          restoration--precisely the same fruits that followed the
          Priesthood anciently. I see, here, people gathered from various
          nations, of various creeds, speaking various languages, and
          having been reared and educated in a very dissimilar manner, from
          limited monarchies, from despotic monarchies and from republics,
          and yet they dwell together in unity, worship God alike, live
          lives of good order, truth and holiness, and love one another,
          which is an evidence, as the Apostle says, that they have passed
          from death unto life. This unity is one of the greatest evidences
          that can be given that we are the disciples of Christ, for he has
          "If ye are not one, ye are not mine."
          And it is also one of the strongest evidences that can be given
          that Jesus is the Christ, for, on one occasion, when praying to
          the Father that his disciples might be one, he said--
          "Neither pray I for these alone; but for them also which shall
          believe on me through their word; that they all may be one; as
          thou, Father, art in me and I in thee, that they also may be one
          in us; that the world may believe that thou hast sent me."
          As a people the unity of the Latter-day Saints is proverbial, and
          furnishes a powerful testimony that we have walked with Christ,
          and have received the blessings following the bestowal of the
          Holy Ghost.
          These are some of the doctrines that the Latter-day Saints
          believe in; time would fail to tell all. We believe that God is
          the same yesterday, to-day and for ever; that he is a God of
          revelation, and that the reason he has not revealed himself for
          centuries is because the people so cruelly persecuted his
          anointed ones when he sent them into their midst. Their blood has
          cried for vengeance on the inhabitants of the earth, and he has
          closed the heavens, as it were, for centuries, our forefathers
          having been left only with such light as they could obtain
          without the Priesthood. But has he not bestowed his Holy Spirit
          upon men? Yes, millions of people have received the Holy Spirit
          to a certain extent, although not in its fulness. Luther had it,
          when he was inspired to war against the iniquities that existed
          in the Romish Church. He was raised up especially to prepare the
          way for the manifestation of the work of God in the last days.
          Calvin and Melancthon had a portion of the Holy Spirit, and so
          had all the Reformers who followed them; and though they had not
          the authority to build up the Church of God in its ancient
          purity, they still had a work to do and they have come in their
          days and generations and have labored zealously, indefatigably
          and fearlessly, regardless of death, inspired of God to do the
          work which they performed in the various lands in which they
          labored--Germany, France, England, Scotland, and various parts of
          Europe, and also in our own land--America. John Wesley, also, was
          raised up and inspired of God to do a work, and he did it.
          Not only have these religious reformers been inspired to do a
          work in preparing for the advent of the kingdom of God upon the
          earth; but others have been raised for the same purpose. Columbus
          was inspired to penetrate the ocean and discover this Western
          continent, for the set time for its discovery had come; and the
          consequences which God desired to follow its discovery have taken
          place--a free government has been established on it. The men who
          established that Government were inspired of God--George
          Washington, Thomas Jefferson, John Adams, Benjamin Franklin, and
          all the fathers of the Republic were inspired to do the work
          which they did. We believe it was a preparatory work for the
          establishment of the kingdom of God. This Church and kingdom
          could not have been established on the earth if their work had
          not been performed, or a work of a similar character. The kingdom
          of God could not have been established in Asia amid the
          despotisms there; nor in Africa, amid the darkness there; it
          could not have been built up in Europe amid the monarchies which
          crowd every inch of its surface. It had to be built up on this
          land, hence this land had to be discovered. It was not discovered
          too soon; if it had been it would have been overrun by the
          nations of the earth, and no place would have been found, even
          here, for the kingdom of God. It was discovered at the right time
          and by the right man, inspired of God not to waver or shrink;
          but, undaunted by the difficulties with which he was surrounded,
          and contending with a mutinous crew, he persevered, and continued
          his journey westward until he discovered this land, the existence
          of which God had inspired him to demonstrate.
          It was necessary that George Washington should be raised up, that
          the battles of the Republic should be fought, that the Colonies
          should be emancipated from the fetters of the mother country, and
          declared free and independent States. Why? Because God had in
          view the restoration of the everlasting Gospel to the earth
          again, and in addition to this the set time had come for him to
          build up his kingdom and to accomplish the fulfilment of his long
          deferred purposes.
          Jesus said unto Jerusalem, "How often would I have gathered thy
          children together, even as a hen gathereth her chickens under her
          wings, and ye would not!" But the prophets tell us that in the
          last days the people of God shall be gathered together from the
          different parts of the earth and be united together in one
          people. It was necessary, therefore, that a land should be
          prepared and a form of government be established within its
          borders without conflicting with it. Therefore, religious liberty
          and toleration have been proclaimed throughout the length and
          breadth of this land. Men fought, bled and died in vindication of
          these principles, and they were incorporated into the
          Constitution, and we, to-day, are reaping the blessed results of
          their labors. Shall they not have glory in the sight of God for
          those labors? Yes, glory and honor and blessings and immortality
          will rest upon men who have been instruments in the hands of God
          in bringing to pass his great and marvellous purposes. We have
          the greatest charity for them; we know that God will save and
          bless them. We know, further, that their sins were sins of
          ignorance. Where there is no law, it is said, there is no
          transgression. They had not the fulness of the Gospel declared
          unto them; but the generation in which we live hear the law and
          the testimony, and they will be held accountable for this
          knowledge. God will hold you, my brethren, sisters and friends,
          strictly accountable for that which you hear. You live in a day
          and age when the purposes of God are transpiring before your
          eyes, and when you see the mighty going forth of his great work.
          Men, generally, however, will not look at it, and yet they are
          ready to declare that if they knew the work of God was
          progressing they would be willing to help it forward. They are
          the same as the Jews were with the Lord Jesus Christ. When he was
          with them he was despised and put to death; now men think they
          honor him, but if he lived upon the earth to-day do you think he
          would be honored? He would be treated to-day as he was then. God
          sent his only Son, the Prince of life and glory; he came to the
          earth in humble mien, in the garb of poverty, speaking
          ungrammatically, yet he was heaven's Prince, the Lord of all
          things. He was born in a stable and cradled in a manger. But
          God's noble sons are not always born to thrones; some of the
          noblest men who have lived on earth have not been found in the
          courts of kings. Where shall we look for them? Frequently among
          the humble and lowly. I thank God it is so. I have found among
          the humble and lowly, men with minds which were like rich jewels;
          men who loved the truth, and who have been willing to die for
          principle. I have also found many of the rich and noble who have:
          "Crooked the pregnant hinges of the knee,
                 That thrift might follow fawning."
          And who have been willing to do anything to curry favor, who
          worshipped popularity, and were ready to bow at its shrine in
          humble, abject reverence. While among the poor, the meek, and the
          lowly, I have known men, and we all doubtless have, who would die
          rather than step aside from principle. Among such God has placed
          his nobles in this generation, in order to be pioneers in this
          work and lay its foundations. They could sacrifice, and endure
          poverty for the sake of truth, and they have done so, and have
          risked all, braving the world fearlessly, establishing principle
          after principle, and declaring truth, in all its simplicity and
          purity, to the nations of the earth. Thus far God has vindicated
          their course and upheld them and has borne them off triumphantly,
          and he will continue to do so until the victory is achieved and
          the desired consummation of his purposes is reached.
          This work will stand and spread abroad, because it is the work of
          God. After awhile it will gather within its fold men who, at the
          present time, consider it beneath their notice. It will
          accomplish the destiny that has been assigned to it. It will
          gather every honest man and woman on the face of the earth; all
          who will acknowledge truth will receive and rejoice in this work.
          I thank God that it is restored to the earth. It is more precious
          than the good will of men to know God. To have the spirit of
          truth, and the union and fellowship which exist among the
          Latter-day Saints, is worth more than the riches of California,
          more than all the mines of the earth, or all the jewels in the
          crown of every monarch on the earth, or their entire treasures,
          because they will fade away, but these will endure for ever. And
          the man who obeys the Gospel of Jesus need not feel that he is
          bound or enslaved, or deprived of the exercise of any of the
          faculties, as many suppose. He is emancipated from thraldom; he
          can rejoice in the light of truth, and go forward and embrace
          every principle of truth. Not religious truth alone; it is a
          wrong idea that people who are religious must confine themselves
          to what are termed religious truths only. The Gospel of Jesus
          Christ embraces within its scope every truth known to man; every
          truth pertaining to astronomy, geology and every other science
          belongs to and is incorporated in that Gospel.
          I have spoken thus far and have not said a single word about that
          much-mooted doctrine--plurality of wives. I expect there are
          gentlemen and ladies here who would rather hear that spoken of
          than all that could be said besides; who would rather hear an
          Elder tell how many wives and children he has got than all that
          could be said about Jesus, his Apostles, the Holy Ghost or its
          gifts. There is a prurient curiosity on the part of a great many
          people in relation to this subject, and were it not transcending
          the bounds of politeness, about the first question they would ask
          after being introduced to an Elder would be, "How many wives and
          children have you got?" That is about the extent of their
          desires. Here is a great phenomenon before their eyes in this
          Territory, of intense interest and of immense importance, yet
          their souls cannot rise high enough to comprehend the first
          feature of it, and no higher than to ask about the number of a
          man's wives! When I hear such inquiries I pity the person who
          makes them. I think if a person cannot allow his or her mind to
          rise any higher than that, he or she is in a most deplorable
          I am satisfied that there is an immense amount of
          misunderstanding among the people of the world with respect to
          the Latter-day Saints and their belief in this peculiar doctrine.
          It is generally believed that we have embraced it for sensual
          purposes, and that we are a sensual people. We see these ideas
          frequently advanced in newspapers, and it is stated by them that
          we gather the people from the nations because of this doctrine.
          What a silly idea! Why, any man with a grain of common sense
          might know better if he would give a little reflection to the
          matter! How much easier it would be, if we were licentious, to
          practice licentiousness according to the popular method! Why go
          to the trouble and expense and incur the odium of sustaining
          wives and children merely to gratify licentiousness, when we
          could do it to the fullest extent, on the popular plan, without
          incurring odium or assuming responsibility and care? Read the
          records of New York, Washington, Chicago, and the records of all
          the cities east and west on our continent, and then go to the old
          world, and you may find that men can gratify their lustful desire
          without incurring odium. They can even destroy females by the
          thousands in the gratification of their sensual appetites, but
          because the Latter-day Saints choose to marry them, to make women
          and their children respected and honorable, all hell is moved
          against them. The devil does not like it. I will tell you a rule,
          brethren, sisters and friends, that I have observed through my
          intercourse with men, in my travels, and that is, that they who
          have opposed this principle most bitterly when they understood
          it, have been the most corrupt men, the very men who have
          practiced adultery and whoredom in secret; while openly, to hear
          them speak of our system of patriarchial marriage, one might
          think them immaculate; but I never found pure-minded men or
          women, honest and true to their God, and to their partners if
          they had them, but what, when they heard it explained as the
          Saints in this Territory understand, preach and practice it, let
          them believe what they might on other points, they would
          acknowledge that there was something godlike in that doctrine, if
          we carried it out as we believed it. That has been my experience.
          We are solving the problem that is before the world to-day, over
          which they are pretending to rack their brains. I mean the
          "Social Problem." We close the door on one side, and say that
          whoredoms, seductions and adulteries must not be committed
          amongst us, and we say to those who are determined to carry on
          such things we will kill you; at the same time we open the door
          in the other direction and make plural marriage honorable. What
          is the result? Why, a healthy, pure and virtuous community, a
          community which, in these respects, has no equal on the earth.
          I say these few words by way of explanation; they are very
          inadequate to convey the ideas that we entertain, and that I
          would like to convey to my hearers, in relation to celestial
          marriage. That God may bless and sustain you in the practice of
          truth, is my prayer, in the name of Jesus. Amen.
          Journal of Discourses / Journal of Discourses, Volume 14 / Orson
          Pratt, March 26, 1871
                             Orson Pratt, March 26, 1871
                           DISCOURSE BY ELDER ORSON PRATT,
            Delivered in the Tabernacle, Salt Lake City, March 26, 1871.
          Journal of Discourses / Journal of Discourses, Volume 14 / Orson
          Pratt, March 26, 1871
                           DISCOURSE BY ELDER ORSON PRATT,
            Delivered in the Tabernacle, Salt Lake City, March 26, 1871.
                            (Reported by David W. Evans.)
                        KINGDOM OF GOD--GATHERING OF ISRAEL.
          I will call the attention of this congregation to a portion of
          the word of the Lord contained in the first five verses of the
          fourth chapter of the prophecies of Isaiah--
          "Comfort ye, comfort ye my people, saith your God.
          "Speak ye comfortably to Jerusalem, and cry unto her, that her
          warfare is accomplished, that her iniquity is pardoned; for she
          hath received of the Lord's hand double for all her sins.
          "The voice of him that crieth in the wilderness, prepare ye the
          way of the Lord, make straight in the desert a high way for our
          "Every valley shall be exalted, and every mountain and hill shall
          be made low; and the crooked shall be made straight, and the
          rough places plain:
          "And the glory of the Lord shall be revealed, and all flesh shall
          see it together: for the mouth of the Lord hath spoken it."
          These are the words of the inspired Prophet Isaiah, most of which
          remain to be fulfilled. The first two verses contain a prediction
          not yet fulfilled: "Comfort ye my people, saith your God; speak
          comfortably to Jerusalem, cry unto her that her warfare is
          accomplished, that her iniquity is pardoned, for she hath
          received of the Lord's hand double for all her sins."
          Every person who is acquainted with the history of the
          inhabitants of Jerusalem very well knows that this prediction has
          never received a fulfillment. In consequence of the wickedness of
          that people, and the great transgressions that they committed in
          the sight of heaven in rejecting the Lord, their true Messiah,
          great and severe calamities and judgments came upon them, and
          have continued upon them and their posterity until this age of
          the world. In other words, all those curses which are pronounced
          in the Book of Deuteronomy upon the head of Israel have literally
          been fulfilled during the past eighteen hundred years. I have no
          need to enter into particulars with regard to that devoted race;
          but I will state, very briefly, some of the judgments that they
          have endured.
          After the Prophet Isaiah had delivered this prophecy they
          suffered severely at the hands of the Babylonians, who, about six
          centuries before Christ, came against the Jews and Jerusalem and
          destroyed many of their nation, and carried the remnant of them
          into captivity to Babylon, where they remained some seventy
          years. They then returned and rebuilt their city and temple, and
          were chastened at various times from that period until their
          Messiah came, in fulfilment of the prophecies and predictions of
          Isaiah concerning the first advent of the Redeemer. He came, as
          he, himself, expressed it, to his own, but his own received him
          not. They looked upon him as a base impostor, as a
          Sabbath-breaker, a gluttonous man and a wine-bibber. Instead of
          being a moral character, in their estimation, he was a friend of
          publicans and sinners, and associated with them instead of with
          those who professed to be religious. They persecuted, hated and
          reviled him; and finally succeeded, in fulfilment of prophecy, in
          crucifying him.
          Jesus, before he was crucified, said unto the Jews, "I say unto
          you that the kingdom of God shall be taken from you, and shall be
          given to a people who shall bring forth the fruits thereof." As
          much as to say, "You once enjoyed the fruits of the kingdom; you
          once had in your midst inspired men, prophets, great and holy men
          who spoke as they were moved upon by the Holy Ghost; you once
          enjoyed all the blessings and gifts of the kingdom of God; in the
          days of your righteousness you enjoyed these fruits in abundance.
          But, alas! you have departed from the laws of that kingdom; you
          have forsaken the religion of your fathers; you have turned your
          hearts away, you have apostatized from the truth, and the fruits
          that were enjoyed by your fathers no longer exist among you. Your
          fathers were in possession of all the miraculous fruits and
          blessings and gifts of the kingdom. They could prophecy and see
          visions; they could hear the voice of the Lord speaking to them;
          they could enjoy the power and gift of the Holy Spirit; work
          miracles in the name of the Lord; heal the sick; cast out devils
          and perform all these miracles that are recorded in the Old
          Testament; and these were the fruits of that kingdom which you,
          the Jewish nation, once enjoyed; but because you have rejected
          your Messiah, rejected the testimony of the prophets concerning
          him; rejected the testimony given in the law of Moses, and those
          great types pointing to the Messiah, you, in turn, shall be
          rejected, the kingdom shall be taken from you, and it shall be
          given to a nation who shall bring forth the fruits thereof."
          Again, Jesus says, before he was crucified, when looking upon
          Jerusalem, the capital city of the Jews, "O, Jerusalem,
          Jerusalem, thou that killest the prophets, and stonest them that
          are sent unto thee, how often would I have gathered you together
          as a hen gathers her chickens under her wings, but ye would not."
          Again, after enumerating their wickednesses, pointing out their
          apostacy, and pronouncing a great variety of woes upon them, he
          finally delivers a prediction of this nature upon the heads of
          this devoted people, "There shall be great distress in the land,
          and wrath upon this people; they shall be destroyed by the edge
          of the sword; they shall be carried away captive into all
          nations, and Jerusalem shall be trodden down by the Gentiles
          until the times of the Gentiles are fulfilled."
          This was literally fulfilled upon their heads. Titus, the Roman
          general, laid siege to that city and overcame the Jews, eleven
          hundred thousand of whom were killed, and ninety-seven thousand
          taken into captivity, many of the latter being afterwards
          persecuted and killed by their enemies; thus a poor, miserable
          remnant were scattered abroad among all the various nations and
          kingdoms of the earth. Jerusalem, their beloved city, where their
          temple was built, where the name of the Lord was placed, and from
          which they had been warned by the mouth of the prophets, where
          the voice of inspiration had been heard; where Jesus himself, who
          spake as never man spake, ministered for many months. That city
          was delivered up to the Gentiles, and overcome by them; the
          stones of their beautiful temple were torn down to the very
          foundation, and the city passed into the hands of the Gentiles,
          and has remained in their possession from that day until the
          present time, which, I think, is now precisely 18 centuries since
          that people were scattered and became a hiss and a byeword among
          all nations. It was said this morning that they invoked the curse
          of the Almighty on their heads when they said, at the crucifixion
          of the Savior, "Let his blood be upon us and upon our children."
          The Lord took them at their word, and his blood has been answered
          upon their heads, and upon the heads of their children, and their
          children's children, until eighteen long centuries have rolled
          When will the time come for this great curse to be removed from
          the Jewish nation? When shall it be said that "her iniquity is
          pardoned, she has received at the Lord's hand double for all her
          sins?" When shall the message go forth, in the words of our text,
          "Comfort ye, comfort ye my people, saith your God? Speak ye
          comfortably to Jerusalem, cry unto her that her warfare is
          accomplished, that her iniquity is pardoned, for she has received
          at the Lord's hand double for her sins." I ask the question;
          where shall we get the reply? In what way will this comforting
          message be delivered to the inhabitants of the earth? When shall
          this glorious cry go forth concerning this persecuted,
          down-trodden people? When shall Jerusalem be rebuilt in all its
          beauty and glory by the hand of the people who have been so long
          scattered among the nations? When shall that beautiful and holy
          temple be again reared upon its former foundations, and the glory
          of the Lord be manifested in it? There is such a proclamation to
          be made manifest, such a message to go forth by Divine authority
          and power, and to be delivered to the children of men, comforting
          the inhabitants of Jerusalem and declaring that her warfare is
          Before this great message for the redemption and salvation of the
          Jewish nation can ever go forth, there is a certain work to be
          performed on the earth, certain purposes to be fulfilled, and
          until that is fulfilled and accomplished, Jerusalem can never be
          rebuilt, and the Jews can never return as a nation. A decree has
          gone forth by the mouth of the Son of God himself, that that city
          should be in the possession of the Gentiles, and that it should
          be trodden down by them, and that the Jews should be scattered
          among the nations until the times of the Gentiles are fulfilled.
          Who, among all the inhabitants of the earth, can tell us how the
          Lord will bring about the fulfilment of this prediction in regard
          to the Gentiles? Who is able to declare when the times of the
          Gentiles will be fulfilled? Who knows anything about it, unless
          it be revealed from heaven? We might pore over the pages of the
          Bible, understand many of the prophecies that have been
          fulfilled, and be able to treasure up in our hearts and commit to
          memory all the predictions of the prophets, and yet, without new
          revelation, no person would be able to decide when the times of
          the Gentiles are fulfilled. We might, of course, by carefully
          searching the prophecies, judge of the particular period of age
          of the world in which that would take place; but to come to the
          exact year is out of the power of human wisdom, it cannot
          comprehend it; nothing but new revelation can put us in
          possession of this important knowledge. In vain may attempts be
          made, by the organization of societies, for the amelioration of
          the condition of the Jews; in vain will societies be organized
          for their restoration to their own land and the rebuilding of
          Jerusalem, until the Lord's time arrive.
          It may not be amiss to declare, in a very few words, the belief
          of the Latter-day Saints, in regard to the fulfilling of the
          times of the Gentiles; that is, what we understand by the
          fulfilling of their times. We believe, as was said this morning,
          that before the times of the Gentiles can possibly be fulfilled,
          a proclamation must come from heaven and be sounded in their
          ears--namely, that an angel must come from heaven and bring the
          everlasting Gospel, not for the Jews, the descendants of Israel,
          alone, but for every nation, kindred, tongue and people. Gentiles
          and Jews, all must hear it, for the prediction is that when the
          angel comes forth with that message from heaven, it is to be
          preached to all nations, kindreds, tongues and people. This, of
          course, includes Gentiles as well as Jews. We cannot, therefore,
          suppose that the times of the Gentiles will be fulfilled until
          after that event takes place. When the angel comes, when the
          servants of God are sent forth by Divine authority with a
          proclamation, and have fulfilled that prediction by declaring the
          everlasting Gospel to all the nations and kingdoms of the
          Gentiles, then their times will be fulfilled, and not before.
          What would be the use of sending the Gospel to the Gentiles if
          their times were fulfilled and there was no hope or chance for
          them to receive salvation? The very declaration--that an angel
          shall come forth with the Gospel in the latter days before the
          destruction of the wicked, and that that Gospel is to be preached
          to Gentiles as well as Jews, is proof and evidence to every
          reflecting mind that believes the Bible that the Gentiles will
          have an opportunity, until that message is delivered and the
          prediction concerning it fulfilled. When that is done the law is
          bound, the testimony is sealed, so far as they are concerned.
          When the Almighty, in the present century, sent forth an angel
          from heaven, as we heard this forenoon, and restored the Gospel
          and the authority and power to preach it and administer its
          ordinances, and organized this Church on the earth, and sent
          forth his servants to all nations so far as they would open their
          doors to receive them, they were fulfilling the commands of the
          Most High given by the angel. We have been forty years, since the
          angel came, fulfilling that prediction; how many more years the
          Lord may bear with the nations and kingdoms of the Gentiles
          before they are cut off I do not know. How many more years will
          pass over our heads that we will have the privilege of declaring
          the fullness of the everlasting Gospel among nations of the
          Gentiles is not revealed. All that we know on the subject is what
          the Lord told us some forty years ago, that the times of the
          Gentiles would be fulfilled in the generation in which he
          established his Church, that is, that before the generation
          living forty years ago have all passed away the times of the
          Gentiles will be fulfilled. And what then? The prediction of
          Isaiah, in another place, will be literally fulfilled--the "law
          will be bound up and the testimony sealed" so far as sending the
          Gospel to the Gentile nations is concerned.
          What will be the next work to be performed? The Jews will then
          come in remembrance before the Lord. That is, the set time for
          their deliverance and restoration will have come, the period
          predicted by the mouth of the ancient prophet in which the Gospel
          shall be proclaimed to them. In testimony of this let me refer
          you to the eleventh chapter of Romans, in which the Apostle Paul
          has touched upon this subject very plainly. We will read a few
          passages, commencing at the 13th verse:
          "For I speak to you Gentiles, inasmuch as I am the Apostle of the
          Gentiles, I magnify mine office.
          "If by any means I may provoke to emulation them which are my
          flesh, and might save some of them."
          Again he says, speaking of Israel--
          "And if some of the branches be broken off, and thou, being a
          wild olive tree, wert grafted in among them, and with them
          partakest of the root and fatness of the olive tree;
          "Boast not against the branches. But if thou boast, thou bearest
          not the root, but the root thee.
          "Thou wilt say then, the branches were broken off that I might be
          grafted in."
          Thus the kingdom was taken from Israel and given to them (the
          Gentiles) and they brought forth the fruits of it.
          Says Paul again--
          "Well, because of unbelief they were broken off, and thou
          standest by faith. Be not high minded, but fear;
          "For if God spared not the natural branches, take heed lest he
          also spare not thee--"
          A great warning to the Gentiles--the house of Israel--the
          branches of the tame olive tree were broken off because they
          ceased to bring forth the fruits of the kingdom of God. As much
          as to say, Because they ceased to bring forth the fruit that
          pertains to the tame olive tree, they were broken off through
          unbelief, therefore you Gentiles, who are now grafted in, being
          branches of the wild olive tree, take heed and beware lest you
          fall after the same example of unbelief. If thou standest by
          faith, boast not against the branches, etc.
          Paul says--
          "Behold therefore the goodness and severity of God; on them which
          fell, severity; but toward thee, goodness, if thou continue in
          his goodness--otherwise thou shalt be cut off."
          Now, here is a definite prediction: if ye continue in his
          goodness, the goodness of God will be extended to you, though you
          are Gentiles, though you are grafted, contrary to nature, into
          the tame olive tree, but if you do not continue in his goodness,
          if you lose your faith, as the house of Israel lost it; if you
          cease to bring forth the fruits of the kingdom, as they have
          done, you also shall be cut off. And they also; that is, the
          Jews, if they abide not in unbelief, shall be grafted in, for God
          is able to graft them in again; but if they were cut out of an
          olive tree, wild by nature, and were grafted, contrary to nature,
          into a good olive tree, how much more shall those which be the
          natural branches (meaning the scattered Jews), be grafted into
          their own olive tree? For I would not, brethren, that you should
          be ignorant of this mystery, lest ye be wise in your own
          conceits, that blindness in part has happened to Israel until the
          fullness of the Gentiles be come in--
          "And so all Israel shall be saved; as it is written, There shall
          come out of Zion a Deliverer, and shall turn away ungodliness
          from Jacob."
          You see, the Lord has a blessing in store for Jacob--the literal
          seed of Israel; but we cannot go to them until the Gentile
          fullness has come in, until their times are fulfilled, then all
          Israel will be saved, by a Deliverer sent out of Zion; in other
          words, there will be a Zion again on the earth. The earth has
          been destitute of a Zion for about sixteen centuries. No Church
          of God, no prophets, no inspired Apostles, no voice of God from
          the heavens, no ministration of angels; none of the ancient
          powers and gifts, all the fruits of the kingdom of God that
          existed in the first century of the Christian era banished from
          among the Gentile nations, and the cry among them all is, "That
          the power of godliness, as manifested in the first century of the
          Christian era, is no longer necessary." They have a form of
          godliness without the power thereof. The power then manifested,
          say they, is not to be enjoyed by the people of our day and age.
          Having, then, lost their faith and ceased to bring forth the
          fruits of the kingdom, the prediction has gone forth that they
          also shall be cut off. But when? Not until the Lord sends that
          angel from heaven with the everlasting Gospel, and sends forth
          his servants by Divine authority to preach the Gospel to all the
          nations and kingdoms of the Gentiles. When that has been done it
          brings condemnation wherever the sound of it goes and the people
          reject it. But a few will receive it; a few will gather together
          and they will build up Zion, and out of that Zion will come a
          Deliverer who will turn away ungodliness from Jacob.
          Who will be that Deliverer? Certainly Jesus, when he came
          eighteen centuries ago, did not turn away ungodliness from Jacob,
          for they then were filling up their cup with iniquity. They have
          remained in unbelief from that day to this; hence, there did not
          come a Deliverer out of Zion eighteen centuries ago. But the Zion
          of the last days, that Zion that is so frequently and so fully
          spoken of by the ancient prophets, especially by Isaiah, is the
          Church and kingdom of God; and out of that Church or kingdom or
          Zion is to come a Deliverer, who will turn away ungodliness from
          Jacob after the times of the Gentiles are fulfilled.
          Paul further says--
          "As concerning the Gospel, they are enemies for your sakes; but
          as touching the election, they are beloved for the father's
          Again he says, in the 30th verse--
          "For as ye, in times past, believed not God, yet have now
          obtained mercy through their unbelief; even so have these,"
          meaning Israel, "also now not believed, that through your mercy
          they also may obtain mercy."
          This shows that the proclamation which goes to Israel must come
          through the Gentile nations; that is, through those whom God may
          select among the Gentiles, that through the mercy and kindness of
          the Gentiles, or those who receive the message in the latter
          days, the house of Israel may be saved.
          This is what the Lord has in store for his servants. You young
          men who sit here on these seats will live to see the times of the
          Gentiles fulfilled; you will live to see the time when the Lord
          will give you a direct command from on high to no more go into
          the cities of the Gentiles to preach unto them, the law having
          been bound, the testimony sealed; and the mission which you will
          receive, young men, will be to go to the scattered remnants of
          the house of Israel among all the nations and kingdoms of the
          Gentiles. To search them out and proclaim to them the message
          restored by the angel, that it may be preached to Israel as well
          as to the Gentiles. That is your destiny; that, young men, is
          what the Lord will require at your hands. We have labored, in the
          midst of persecution, for forty years past in trying to establish
          Zion among the Gentiles.
          Will the Gentiles be entirely cut off? Oh no, there will be a
          great many, even when Israel are gathering, who will come along
          and say, "Let us be numbered with Israel, and be made partakers
          of the same blessings with them; let us enter into the same
          covenant and be gathered with them and with the people of God."
          Though the testimony is bound, and though the law is sealed up,
          yet there will be an opening for you to come in. But you will
          have to come of your own accord, there will be no message sent to
          you, no ministration of the servants of God expressly directed to
          you. When the times of the Gentiles are filled, through the mercy
          of the believing Gentiles, the house of Israel must obtain mercy;
          that is, through the messengers that will then go forth and
          fulfill the first verses of my text--"Comfort ye, comfort ye, my
          people, saith your God."
          Individuals are now sitting in this Tabernacle who will carry
          this message. The young among us will go forth to the ends of the
          earth and declare to the scattered remnants of Israel, wherever
          found, the comforting words that, "The times of the Gentiles are
          fulfilled, that the day is come for the covenant which God made
          with the ancient fathers of Israel to be fulfilled;" and you will
          have the pleasure of gathering them up by thousands, tens of
          thousands, and hundreds of thousands, from the islands of the sea
          and from all quarters of the earth; for that will be a day of
          power far more than it is while the Gospel continues among the
          "But," inquires one, "have you any testimony from the Scriptures
          to prove that that day will be a day of power?" Hear what the
          Lord says by the mouth of the Psalmist David, "Thy people shall
          be willing in the day of thy power." They are not willing now and
          have not been willing for eighteen centuries past. But when the
          day of his power comes they will be willing to hearken, they will
          gather up to their promised land, for it will be the day of the
          Lord's power. In what respect will there be power manifested
          then? As power was manifested when the Lord brought Israel from
          the Egyptian nation into the wilderness of Sinai and spoke to
          them by his own voice, so will the power of Almighty God be made
          manifest among all the nations of the earth when he brings about
          the redemption and restoration of his people Israel; or, in other
          words, the former display of power will be eclipsed, for that
          which was done in one land, among the Israelites and Egyptians in
          the wilderness, will be performed among all nations. So says the
          prophet. Let us quote prophecy to show what the day of the Lord's
          power means, when the people of Israel will be willing. The first
          to which I will call your attention will be found recorded in the
          20th chapter of Ezekiel, commencing at the 33rd verse--
          "As I live, saith the Lord God, surely with a mighty hand, and
          with a stretched out arm, and with fury poured out, will I rule
          over you:
          "And I will bring you out from the people, and will gather you
          out of the countries wherein ye are scattered, with a mighty
          hand, and with a stretched out arm, and with fury poured out.
          "And I will bring you into the wilderness of the people, and
          there will I plead with you face to face.
          "Like as I pleaded with your fathers in the wilderness of the
          land of Egypt, so will I plead with you, saith the Lord God."
          This will be when the times of the Gentiles are fulfilled, and
          you Elders of Zion are sent to the house of Israel. You will go
          in the Lord's power, and so great will be that power that you
          will have influence over them. You will tell them that their
          warfare is accomplished, that their iniquity is pardoned, and
          that they have received at the Lord's hand double for all their
          sin; and the Lord will bear witness of this by his mighty power,
          with a mighty hand and an outstretched arm will the Lord do this,
          and with fury poured out. Poured out upon whom? Upon all the
          nations and kingdoms of the Gentiles who will not receive the
          truth, their times being fulfilled. It will be expressly the day
          of the Lord's judgment, or, in other words, the hour of the
          Lord's judgment, that is spoken of in the 14th chapter of
          Revelations, when the angel brings the Gospel.
          It is not only a Gospel to be preached to all the nations of the
          earth, but in connection with it you will have to make
          proclamation connected with it, to all people, to fear God and
          give glory to him, for the hour of his judgment is come. And as
          these judgments come, kingdoms and thrones will be cast down and
          overturned. Empire will war with empire, kingdom with kingdom,
          and city with city, and there will be one general revolution
          throughout the earth, the Jews fleeing to their own country,
          desolation coming upon the wicked, with the swiftness of
          whirlwinds and fury poured out, recollect, as it was poured out
          on the Egyptians.
          Let us read the 35th verse--
          "And I will bring you into the wilderness of the people, and
          there will I plead with you face to face."
          "No more miracles," say this Christian generation; "no more power
          to be made manifest; we have a form of godliness, but we don't
          need this display of power." This is their cry, with all these
          prophecies staring them in the face.
          "I will bring you into the wilderness."
          Bring whom? The house of Israel which are gathered from all these
          various nations. "I will bring you into the wilderness, and there
          I will plead with you face to face as I plead with your fathers
          in the wilderness, in the land of Egypt." How did he plead with
          them there? He plead with them by his power, by splendid
          miracles, by his own voice he caused Mount Sinai to tremble under
          the sound and power of his voice, while lightnings and thunders
          were made manifest before all the congregation of Israel. He
          spoke to them by the voice of a trumpet which, when the
          twenty-five hundred thousand of the hosts of Israel heard, they
          fled, and stood afar off--they were afraid and fearful, because
          the Lord had descended upon Mount Sinai. So will he plead with
          Israel in the latter days, and show forth his mighty hand and
          power, when he gathers them from the nations; and he will give
          revelation as he did to their fathers in the wilderness of the
          land of Egypt.
          But as a still further testimony of the power that will be made
          manifest in the restitution of Israel, let me refer you to
          another passage, which is contained in the 11th chapter of
          Isaiah, "He shall set up an ensign for the nations, and shall
          assemble the outcasts of Israel, and gather together the
          dispersed of Judah from the four corners of the earth." Here is a
          declaration that the two great kingdoms of Israel--its
          "outcasts," the ten tribes, scattered seven hundred and twenty
          years before Christ, and the "dispersed of Judah," dispersed
          among all nations, shall be gathered. But before he gathers them
          he will set up an ensign--an ensign is to be raised in the
          latter-days especially for the gathering of Israel.
          Again, says the Prophet, "And the Lord shall utterly destroy the
          tongue of the Egyptian sea." How? "With his mighty power shall he
          shake his hand over the river and shall smite it in the seven
          streams and make men go over dryshod. And there shall be an
          highway for the remnant of his people which shall be left from
          Assyria like as it was to Israel in the day that he came up out
          of the land of Egypt." The same thing, not a spiritual, but a
          literal transaction, as the Lord smote the tongue of the Egyptian
          sea in ancient days, and caused his people to go through on a
          highway in the midst of those mighty waters which stood like
          walls on each side of the assembly of Israel. So in the latter
          days he will not only cut off the tongue of the Egyptian sea, but
          the river in its seven streams will also be divided and men will
          go through dryshod. This is the testimony of the prophets
          concerning the events that are to take place when the times of
          the Gentiles are fulfilled.
          But in regard to this ensign, the Lord has never said that he
          will lift it up before the time comes to gather Israel. And now
          let us inquire where will it be lifted up; in what part of the
          earth will he commence the great work? He must begin it among the
          Gentiles, as I have already said, and as Isaiah tells us in the
          49th chapter--a standard or ensign, to which the people will
          gather, will be reared among the Gentiles. Recollect this is
          something to be commenced among the Gentiles, not among the
          Jewish nation, not away yonder in Palestine or Jerusalem. "Thus
          saith the Lord God, behold I will lift up mine hand to the
          Gentiles and set up my standard to the people"--the same ensign
          that Isaiah speaks of in the eleventh chapter--for a standard and
          an ensign are synonymous terms.
          Now, notice what follows, as soon as this standard is raised
          among the Gentiles, "They shall bring thy sons in their arms, and
          thy daughters shall be carried on their shoulders;" that is,
          those who receive that standard, or who embrace the work and
          gather to the standard, "shall bring thy sons in their arms and
          thy daughters on their shoulders." Will the kings of the earth
          help on this work? Yes, for the prophet says, "And kings shall be
          their nursing fathers and their queens thy nursing mothers." What
          more about the Gentiles? "And they shall bow down to thee with
          their face toward the earth, and lick up the dust of thy feet."
          Israel is to be honored: the Lord will require even the kings of
          the Gentiles--their great men, lords, nobles and rulers to bow
          down and lick up the dust of their feet, for he intends to make
          Israel the head and not the tail.
          To show still more fully the place where this ensign or standard
          is to be raised, let me refer you to the 18th chapter of Isaiah,
          wherein you will find these words, "Woe to the land shadowing
          with wings, which is beyond the rivers of Ethiopia." In the 3rd
          verse of that chapter, after uttering the prediction concerning
          the judgment to come upon that land beyond the rivers of Ethiopia
          from Palestine--a land that has the appearance of shadowing with
          wings, like North and South America, the prophet says, "All ye
          inhabitants of the world and dwellers on the earth, see ye, when
          he lifteth up an ensign on the mountains, and when he bloweth
          with a trumpet, hear ye"--something that the Lord considered
          worthy of the attention of all the people of the earth. It was
          not to be sounded to one nation alone, not a work like that of
          ancient days--to be done among the Egyptian nation alone, but
          "all ye inhabitants of the world and dwellers on the earth, see
          ye, when he lifts up an ensign on the mountains, and when he
          bloweth a trumpet, hear ye."
          Now Webster and other lexicographers in their definitions of the
          word "standard" say it is something to which the people rally and
          around which they gather, as you Latter-day Saints have rallied
          to these mountains from all the various nations and kingdoms of
          Europe; from Australia, Southern Africa, Hindostan and other
          parts of the earth. Here the "standard" has been lifted up, the
          "ensign" has been raised; the angel has come, the voice of
          inspiration is again heard; the Church of the living God is again
          reared; Zion is rising in the earth; the times of the Gentiles
          will soon be fulfilled, and when that epoch arrives all the
          inhabitants of the earth will be required to see, understand and
          listen to that which God is doing in the midst of the mountains.
          He is raising up a people there that are called his Church, his
          kingdom, that never is to be destroyed, but is to continue for
          This agrees with the testimony of the Prophet Daniel. In his
          second chapter we are informed that Nebuchadnezzar, the king, had
          a dream in which it was revealed to him concerning the kingdoms
          of this world, down to the latter days. Daniel came forth before
          the king, related the dream and gave the interpretation thereof.
          Said he--
          "Thou, O king, sawest, and beheld a great image. This great
          image, whose brightness was excellent, stood before thee; and the
          form thereof was terrible.
          "This image's head was of fine gold, his breast and his arms of
          silver, his belly and his thighs of brass.
          "His legs of iron, his feet part of iron and part of clay.
          "Thou sawest till that a stone was cut out without hands, which
          smote the image upon his feet that were of iron and clay and
          brake them to pieces.
          "Then was the iron, the clay, the brass, the silver, and the gold
          broken to pieces together, and became like the chaff of the
          summer threshing-floors; and the wind carried them away, that no
          place was found for them; and the stone that smote the image
          became a great mountain, and filled the whole earth."
          The mountain referred to by Daniel is the place where the
          standard is to be raised and the ensign is to be reared; the same
          place whence the proclamation was to go to all the dwellers on
          the face of the earth requiring them to listen to the same, and
          to see the stone that was cut out of the mountains that was
          eventually to fill the whole earth; while the great image
          representing all human governments was to become like the chaff
          of the summer threshing floor.
          Are there any statesmen in this congregation, among the strangers
          who are visiting in our midst, who are desirous to know the
          future destiny of the nations, kingdoms and governments of our
          globe? Read the prophecies; there you will find portrayed the
          destiny of all governments organized by human wisdom; they are to
          become like the chaff of the summer threshing floor--the wind is
          to carry them away, and no place is to be found for them, from
          the head of gold to the feet and toes of iron and clay, all are
          to be broken to pieces together. And what is to remain in their
          stead? A stone cut out of the mountains without hands--little in
          its beginning, insignificant in the estimation of the great and
          powerful kingdoms of the world; but it is to roll forth, become a
          great mountain and fill the whole earth and to continue for ever.
          Hear what the prophet has said--
          "And in the days of these kings shall the God of heaven set up a
          kingdom, which shall never be destroyed; and the kingdom shall
          not be left to other people, but it shall break in pieces and
          consume all these kingdoms, and it shall stand for ever."
          The kingdom that was set up eighteen hundred years ago by our
          Savior and his Apostles was destroyed out of the earth in
          fulfillment of the prophecies of Daniel and John the Revelator.
          They said that the powers of the world would make war with that
          kingdom and overcome it. That has been fulfilled to the very
          letter. The kingdom of God, with its inspired prophets and
          Apostles, was rooted out of the earth, also the Priesthood with
          all its powers; and instead thereof churches, creeds and
          governments have been reared and built up by human wisdom; but
          the kingdom of God that is to be established in these last days,
          instead of being overcome and destroyed out of the earth, is to
          stand for ever; it was not to be delivered to another people,
          that is, it is never to change hands, but once established, once
          organized on the earth, it is to continue from that time
          henceforth and for ever, while the kingdoms of this world will
          vanish away like the dream of a night vision.
          Now we begin to understand the latter part of our text. Not only
          is Israel to be saved; but "prepare ye the way of the Lord, make
          straight in the desert an highway for our God." What do we want
          with an highway in the desert? We have already read about the
          highway through the Red Sea, and through the seven streams of the
          river of Egypt that is to be cast up like it was in ancient days;
          but what need have we for a highway in the desert? It is for the
          ransomed of the Lord to pass over. What ransomed of the Lord?
          Those who are ransomed from among the nations, by the
          proclamation of the everlasting Gospel, those who listen to the
          angelic message that comes from heaven; they who have toiled with
          ox teams, mule teams and hand carts and wheelbarrows to get
          themselves here, to lay a foundation of the work of God in the
          midst of this desert. They need a highway here, that the balance
          who are to come hereafter, and they will come by hundreds of
          thousands, may come swiftly, and more speedily than by handcart
          conveyances. And this puts me in mind of another passage in
          regard to the highway connected with the proclamation of the
          Gospel to all the world.
          Isaiah says, "Cast up, cast up an highway, gather out the stones,
          lift up a standard for the people, prepare ye the way of the
          people, for behold the Lord hath proclaimed unto the ends of the
          world, say ye to the daughter of Zion, behold thy salvation
          cometh; behold his reward is with him and his work is before him.
          They shall call them a holy people, the redeemed of the Lord; and
          they shall be called, sought out, city not forsaken." What a
          curious work to take place in the latter days! A highway to be
          made, and the stones to be gathered out! When these men, sitting
          here on these seats, were working out in these rugged mountains
          for some two or three hundred miles fulfilling these prophecies,
          did you blast out the rocks and gather out the stones?
          Another thing connected with the prophecy says, "Go through, go
          through the gates; cast up an highway," etc. I have no doubt that
          the prophet saw the construction of this highway in vision, in
          fact he must have seen it or he could not have predicted it to
          such a nicety. He must also have seen these trains crossing this
          great continent, "dodging" into what seemed to be holes in the
          mountains, and after watching a little while see them come out at
          the opposite side. He did not call them tunnels in those days,
          but said, "Go through the gates," etc.
          In order to show how swiftly the people would come on this
          highway in the latter days let me refer you to the 5th chapter of
          Isaiah and the 26th verse, "He will lift up his ensign to the
          nations from afar, and will hiss unto them from the ends of the
          earth; and behold they shall come with speed swiftly." Not with
          handcarts and ox teams as we did for many years; but they are to
          come from the ends of the earth swiftly. But he tells us that an
          ensign is to be lifted up. All these predictions centre in one:
          The standard, the ensign, the proclamation, the casting up of the
          highway, and the coming with speed swiftly, all concentrate, as
          it were, into one, to fulfil the great purposes of Jehovah in the
          latter days.
          "Lift up an ensign to the nations from afar!" Where was Isaiah
          when he delivered this prophecy? In Palestine. Do you think you
          could get much further from Palestine and have an ensign raised
          up from afar? It is not an ensign that is to be raised up in the
          land of Palestine, right where the prophet predicted it; but he
          saw from afar, from a great distance, the great work God would
          perform in the latter day. "Lift up an ensign for the nations;"
          not for one nation, not for a few people; but it was a work that
          was general in its nature--an ensign or standard the raising of
          which was to affect all the inhabitants of the earth. And when
          this is accomplished an highway was to be built and be made
          straight in the desert--an highway for our God. Why? Because,
          says our text, the glory of the Lord was to be revealed and all
          flesh was to see it together. This does not refer to the first
          coming of the Messiah, but to that great advent spoken of by all
          the prophets when he shall come in his glory and power, when the
          mountains and hills that are on the east, west, north and south
          of this valley will be leveled; when the crooked places shall be
          made straight, and the rough places plain; and when the glory of
          the Lord will be revealed; and, instead of a few seeing it, as
          they did in ancient times, "all flesh will see it together;" for
          every eye shall see him when he comes in his glory and power to
          reign as King of kings and Lord of lords. Amen.
          Journal of Discourses / Journal of Discourses, Volume 14 /
          Brigham Young, July 10, 1870
                            Brigham Young, July 10, 1870
               Delivered in the Tabernacle, Ogden City, July 10, 1870.
                            (Reported by David W. Evans.)
          I am disposed to ask a few questions of this congregation, though
          not expecting them to give audible answers. Judging from what I
          know and understand of the Latter-day Saints, I can answer these
          questions satisfactorily to myself, and probably to the
          satisfaction of most of the people.
          Do we believe in the Scriptures of Divine truth?--those which are
          contained in the Old and New Testaments, in the Book of Mormon,
          the Book of Doctrine and Covenants, and other revelations that
          have been given to this people? I can answer this in the
          affirmative, by saying that we certainly do. This leads my mind
          to the reflection that if we believe the Scriptures and the
          revelations I have referred to, we also believe that Jesus is the
          Christ; and believing the Scriptures and that Jesus is the
          Christ, we must believe other things also. If the Scriptures are
          true, it proves that sin is in the world, and the question
          arises, Is it necessary that sin should be here? What will the
          Latter-day Saints say? Is it necessary that we should know good
          from evil? I can answer this to suit myself by saying it is
          absolutely necessary, for the simple reason that if we had never
          realized darkness we never could have comprehended the light; if
          we never tasted anything bitter, but were to eat sweets, the
          honey and the honeycomb, from the time we come into this world
          until the time we go out of it, what knowledge could we have of
          the bitter? This leads me to the decision that every fact that
          exists in this world is demonstrated by its opposite. If this is
          the fact--and all true philosophy proves it--it leads me to the
          conclusion that the transgression of our first parents was
          absolutely necessary, that we might be brought in contact with
          sin and have the opportunity of knowing good and evil. It may be
          deemed strange and singular by the Christian world that we should
          believe such a thing; but the Scriptures inform us, in Genesis
          iii., 22, that the Lord God said, "Behold, the man has become as
          one of us, to know good and evil." Are we the sons and daughters
          of that God whom we serve? We answer we are. Do we expect to be
          exalted with our Father in heaven? We do. How are we to be
          exalted? We have sinned and transgressed the law of God. The
          Christian world and the world of mankind have not only
          transgressed the laws of God, but they have changed the
          ordinances and broken every covenant that God has given them.
          Then I ask, Is there a debt contracted between the Father and his
          children? There is. Our first parents transgressed the law that
          was given them in the garden; their eyes were opened. This
          created the debt. What is the nature of this debt? It is a divine
          debt. What will pay it? I ask, Is there anything short of a
          divine sacrifice that can pay this debt? No; there is not.
          I say this to gratify myself, and to gratify my brethren and
          sisters. A divine debt has been contracted by the children, and
          the Father demands recompense. He says to his children on this
          earth, who are in sin and transgression, it is impossible for you
          to pay this debt; I have prepared a sacrifice; I will send my
          Only Begotten Son to pay this divine debt. Was it necessary then
          that Jesus should die? Do we understand why he should sacrifice
          his life? The idea that the Son of God, who never committed sin,
          should sacrifice his life, is unquestionably preposterous to the
          minds of many in the Christian world. But the fact exists that
          the Father, the Divine Father, whom we serve, the God of the
          Universe, the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, and the
          Father of our spirits, provided this sacrifice and sent his Son
          to die for us; and it is also a great fact that the Son came to
          do the will of the Father, and that he has paid the debt, in
          fulfilment of the Scripture which says, "He was the Lamb slain
          from the foundation of the world." Is it so on any other earth?
          On every earth. How many earths are there? I observed this
          morning that you may take the particles of matter composing this
          earth, and if they could be enumerated they would only be a
          beginning to the number of the creations of God; and they are
          continually coming into existence, and undergoing changes and
          passing through the same experience that we are passing through.
          Sin is upon every earth that ever was created, and if it was not
          so, I would like some philosophers to let us know how people can
          be exalted to become sons of God, and enjoy a fulness of glory
          with the Redeemer. Consequently every earth has its redeemer, and
          every earth has its tempter; and every earth, and the people
          thereof, in their turn and time, receive all that we receive, and
          pass through all the ordeals that we are passing through.
          Is this easy to understand? It is perfectly easy to me; and my
          advice to those who have queries and doubts on this subject is,
          when they reason and philosophize upon it, not to plant their
          position in falsehood or argue hypothetically, but upon the facts
          as they exist, and they will come to the conclusion that unless
          God provides a Savior to pay this debt it can never be paid. Can
          all the wisdom of the world devise means by which we can be
          redeemed, and return to the presence of our Father and elder
          brother, and dwell with holy angels and celestial beings? No; it
          is beyond the power and wisdom of the inhabitants of the earth
          that now live, or that ever did or ever will live, to prepare or
          create a sacrifice that will pay this divine debt. But God
          provided it, and his Son has paid it, and we, each and every one,
          can now receive the truth and be saved in the kingdom of God. Is
          it clear and plain? It is to me, and if you have the Spirit of
          God, it is as plain to you as anything else in the world. Why are
          you baptized for the remission of sins? Is there virtue in it?
          There is. Why do we lay hands on the sick? Is there virtue in
          doing so? There is, and the wicked world as well as the Saints
          prove this. Since Joseph Smith received revelations from God,
          Spiritualism has taken its rise, and has spread with
          unprecedented rapidity; and they will lay hands on each
          other--one system proving another--spiritualism demonstrating the
          reality of animal magnetism? Is there virtue in one person more
          than another? Power in one more than another? Spirit in one more
          than another? Yes, there is. I will tell you how much I have. You
          may assemble together every spiritualist on the face of the
          earth, and I will defy them to make a table move or get a
          communication from hell or any other place while I am present.
          Yes, there is more spirit in some than in others; and this
          power--called by the world animal magnetism--enables those
          possessing it to put others into the mesmeric sleep. When I lay
          hands on the sick, I expect the healing power and influence of
          God to pass through me to the patient, and the disease to give
          way. I do not say that I heal everybody I lay hands on; but many
          have been healed under my administration. Jesus said, on one
          occasion, "Who has touched me?" A woman had crept up behind him
          in the crowd, and touched the hem of his garment, and he knew it,
          because virtue had gone from him. Do you see the reason and
          propriety of laying hands on each other? When we are prepared,
          when we are holy vessels before the Lord, a stream of power from
          the Almighty can pass through the tabernacle of the administrator
          to the system of the patient, and the sick are made whole; the
          headache, fever or other disease has to give way. My brethren and
          sisters, there is virtue in us if we will do right; if we live
          our religion we are the temples of God wherein he will dwell; if
          we defile ourselves, these temples God will destroy.
          We shall now sing and dismiss the meeting. We do hope and pray
          you Latter-day Saints to live according to your best knowledge;
          and we pray God, our Heavenly Father, in the name of Jesus, to
          give you faith, grace and fortitude to do so; and his Spirit,
          that you may be able to see the glory of his kingdom, and then
          compare it with the kingdoms of this world. What is the glory of
          this world? Just gather it all together, and it is nothing but a
          shadow! All the kings and potentates on the earth, with all their
          power, pomp, greatness and grandeur, will pass into
          oblivion--they will pass completely from the remembrance of the
          children of men; they were, but are not. This is the glory of the
          world; but the glory of the kingdom of God was, is, and for ever
          will be!
          The Lord bless you. Amen.
          Journal of Discourses / Journal of Discourses, Volume 14 /
          Brigham Young, August 7, 1870
                            Brigham Young, August 7, 1870
                         REMARKS BY PRESIDENT BRIGHAM YOUNG,
            Delivered in the Tabernacle, Salt Lake City, August 7, 1870.
                            (Reported by David W. Evans.)
          It may appear strange to Jew and Gentile, to Saint and sinner, to
          high and low, to bond and free, but with all our weaknesses and
          imperfections we, the Latter-day Saints, are the hope of the
          whole world. Our brother who has just spoken says there is
          something to be done, and I say that God has commenced to do it
          upon this continent. The Lord has revealed his will from the
          heavens; he has bestowed his Priesthood on the children of men;
          he has sent forth his holy angels with the Gospel to proclaim,
          and this Gospel has been proclaimed to the children of men, and a
          few have received it; and strange as it may sound to the ears,
          and inconsistent as it may be to the hearts, sympathies,
          judgments or feelings of the Christian or of the heathen world,
          without us they cannot be saved; with all our weaknesses and
          imperfections, and as far short as we may come of the perfection
          that we understand and which is necessary to possess before we
          can enjoy the celestial kingdom of God, this is verily true.
          The few observations that we have heard this morning are rich,
          and many of them full of divine matter, and especially with
          regard to the Christian world. This book, that we call the Bible,
          the Christian world profess to believe in. Let me tell them that
          they must either acknowledge, openly and frankly, that the
          Latter-day Saints have the Gospel taught by Christ and his
          Apostles or they will go to the wall as infidels; it cannot be
          otherwise. There are but two parties on the earth, one for God
          and the other for the world or the evil one. No matter how many
          names the Christian or heathen world bear, or how many sects and
          creeds may exist, there are but two parties, one for heaven and
          God, and the other will go to some other kingdom than the
          celestial kingdom of God.
          Our brethren go forth in weakness; and our Elders have traversed
          the earth, and have offered the Gospel unto every nation that
          would open its doors to receive it. A few from various nations
          have obeyed it and have gathered themselves together; but of this
          number few live strictly according to the words revealed for the
          guidance of the Saints. The Gospel of the Son of God is the only
          thing that will do the people good. It is all happiness,
          submission, kindness and love; it is glory to God in the highest,
          and good will to man on the earth. But even if we had not the
          Holy Ghost within us, look at the morals that are taught in this
          Book, say nothing about the divinity of the doctrine of the Son
          of God; take it morally, is it not the best code for people to
          live by ever portrayed or placed on paper? We say it is; and we
          may look at it in any light we please.
          When the Elders of Israel go forth to preach the Gospel to the
          inhabitants of the earth, though it may be done in weakness and
          with a stammering tongue, the Spirit of the Lord attends the
          preached word and bears witness to the honest in heart, and
          teaches them that this is the truth. No matter how many priests,
          or who contend against the Gospel and say, "We do not acknowledge
          that Jesus is the Son of God, we believe he was a philanthropist,
          or a divine man in human shape, so far as nature can make him so,
          but to acknowledge that he was the Son of God we cannot;" it is
          no matter how many talk like this, they must eventually either
          acknowledge that he is the Son of God and that his Gospel is the
          only Gospel or they must take infidelity. Is this the fact? It
          is. Sooner or later the sects, one after another, will deny the
          Savior and every one of the ordinances of his Gospel, until they
          are all enveloped in infidelity, or they must accept the whole.
          Strange as it may appear, they are now following shadows,
          phantoms of the brain, and mischievous manifestations.
          When the Elders of Israel first commenced to preach the Gospel
          there was no such thing known on the earth as a belief in
          spiritual manifestations, which are now so general. I promised
          them years and years ago, when I commenced my career in the
          ministry, that, if they did not accept the revelations which God
          had delivered to the children of men, he would suffer the enemy
          of all righteousness to give them revelations to their hearts'
          content, and they would receive and believe them. What is the
          condition of the Christian world to-day? They are seeking after
          mischievous muttering spirits; they are seeking to know something
          that is not true, and to establish that which no true philosophy
          on earth will establish. The only true philosophy ever revealed
          to the children of men, whether pertaining to religion, science,
          art, mechanism, or to any and every department of human
          knowledge, was revealed by God. It is true that many who do not
          believe in Jesus possess more or less of this true philosophy
          which comes from God, whether they acknowledge it or not.
          One of my brethren who has been speaking to you says it is a
          mystery to him to see the people led as they are; to see them
          submit to manpower, and to false creeds and governments as they
          do. It is not strange to me. They must be servants to some being
          or principle. There is not a being on the face of the earth that
          is free and independent of God and his Spirit, or of that
          mischievous influence and power that goes through the earth,
          seeking whom it may devour and to lead captive at its will. Every
          son and daughter of Adam is subject to one of these powers; there
          are none but what have within them the operations of a spirit of
          good or evil.
          When we read over the history of the ancients we can learn that
          many of them acted very foolishly; their conduct was unbecoming
          in many instances. Even Moses, great as he was, and as much of
          divinity, light and intelligence as he enjoyed from the Almighty,
          lifted himself up above the Power that conferred upon him his
          greatness and influence, and said to the people, "Shall I do this
          or that for you?" instead of saying, "The Lord will do this or
          that for you," or, "Shall the Lord do thus and so for you?"
          Through his pride and selfishness he was deprived of the
          privilege of going into the land of Canaan. It is also true that
          David, in many things, was very unwise. We are told that he was a
          man after God's own heart, yet he did many things which he knew
          to be wrong in the sight of God. Where was he left? In darkness.
          Then Solomon, borne to David by Bathsheba, was also left in the
          dark, with all his greatness and wisdom! After being blessed of
          the Lord to a most wonderful degree, he turned from the Lord,
          followed after strange women and sacrificed to idols. Many of the
          ancients acted unwisely, and I hope and trust that many of the
          Elders of Israel will do better than some of them. But if we can
          do as well as some of them, we are safe for honor, glory,
          immortality, eternal lives and exaltation in the kingdom that God
          has prepared for the righteous.
          When Brother Spencer was speaking he said, "I believe in one-man
          power." What can we do without it? If God does not rule in the
          midst of the nations of the earth, sooner or later those nations
          will go down. If the Lord Almighty does not rule in the hearts of
          individuals, families, neighborhoods, towns, cities, states, and
          countries, sooner or later they will fall. I cannot do without
          the Lord Jesus! He is the man for me. That God who holds the keys
          of life and death, and who has suffered and died for the children
          of men, is he who must rule in the hearts of the children of
          obedience, and his kingdom will stand for ever. The laws which
          God has revealed to the children of men are as pure and as much
          calculated to endure forever to-day as they ever were. Why?
          Because they are pure and holy, and anything that is impure must,
          sooner or later, perish; no matter whether it is in the faith and
          practice of an individual, town, nation or government. That
          kingdom, principality, power or person that is not controlled by
          principles that are pure and holy must eventually pass away and
          Our brother who last addressed you said he did not know much
          about Scripture. He had a father who read the Scriptures in his
          family, and who taught his children the way of life and salvation
          contained therein. Professor Orson Spencer was as good a
          scriptorian as could be found on this continent. He lived
          faithful to it, and taught his children to have faith in the name
          of the Lord Jesus. He was a rare gentleman. Very few of the
          learned or of those who are high and lifted up in the estimation
          of the people receive the Gospel; but Professor Spencer received
          it. Though poor, yet he was in high life and high standing, and
          he received and obeyed the Gospel and submitted to the government
          God had established.
          What is it that enables our Elders to go forth and preach the
          Gospel? The Spirit of the Lord. This is their experience and
          testimony. What do they testify when they go forth? That the
          Gospel, as set forth in the Old and New Testaments, is true; that
          the plan of salvation, revealed by God through his prophets in
          ancient times, and in modern times through Joseph Smith, is true;
          and as they are enlightened and aided by the Spirit of the Lord,
          error must fall before them. I often think what a task the Elders
          of Israel would have to perform if they had to go to the world
          and establish a false religion! They would have to read and study
          for years! They would be compelled to start at the common school,
          and go from there to the academy, and thence to the college and
          seminary; they must know what every divine, historian and
          commentator has said about every Scripture; they must also have
          language at their tongues' ends to swamp the common people with
          their fine words, and drown them in the mist of fog and error.
          But it is not so with the Elders of Israel; they go forth with
          the plain, simple truth which God has revealed, and which
          commends itself to the conscience and understanding of every
          honest and virtuous individual who hears it. No matter how simple
          the declaration of a servant of God; no matter how imperfect his
          language or how few his words, the Spirit of God will bear
          witness of its truth to the spirits of those who are ready and
          willing to receive it. How easy it is to live by the truth! Did
          you ever think of it, my friends? Did you ever think of it, my
          brethren and sisters? In every circumstance of life, no matter
          whether among the humble or lofty, truth is always the surest
          guide and the easiest to square our lives by. When the sisters,
          for instance, meet together at a quilting or for a visit, if
          every one speaks, believes and loves the truth, and there is
          nothing in them that is deceptive, how easy it is to converse and
          pass the time! We all delight in the truth; and if a wrong, or
          that which is false, is manifested it must be corrected or
          banished, and truth be adopted in the place thereof. It is the
          easiest life to lead on the face of the earth. How do I know it?
          By experience; I never tried the opposite much.
          How easy it is to sustain truth! How easy it is to sustain the
          doctrines of the Savior! If I were to undertake to prove that
          baptism is not necessary for the remission of sins, what a labour
          it would impose upon me! How I would have to study, and use
          language so as to throw a mist over the minds of the people!
          Jesus told his disciples to go to all the world and preach the
          Gospel to every creature, saying, "He that believeth and is
          baptized shall be saved;" but suppose I were to come along and
          say it is not necessary, and Jesus did not mean what he said,
          what a labour it would impose upon me to deceive the people, by
          endeavoring to prove the truth to be false! Jesus calculated that
          every individual should be baptized for the remission of his
          sins. How easy it is to preach that! If persons believe and be
          baptized, Jesus says lay hands upon them for the reception of the
          Holy Ghost; but if I were to say contrary to this, a labor would
          devolve upon me which I should not have to bear if I preached
          only that which is true. What a labor it imposes upon the
          priests, divines, lawyers and statesmen, and others who hold
          leading positions in society, when they argue from false premises
          and undertake to enforce their false theories! But simple truth,
          simplicity, honesty, uprightness, justice, mercy, love, kindness,
          do good to all and evil to none, how easy it is to live by such
          principles! A thousand times easier than to practice deception!
          How I have looked at the meandering paths of politicians! See one
          man spend a thousand dollars to get a small office. Another ten
          thousand, another a hundred thousand. Intriguing and planning
          here and there. What for? To deceive somebody or other! Why not
          tell the truth right out? Would it not be easier? It would.
          Politicians would not be under the necessity of using so many
          arguments to make their hearers and constituents believe that
          they are the very men wanted, and that their opponents are the
          very men not wanted. I was diverted at a gentleman in this
          Territory, fifteen or sixteen years ago, who put himself up as a
          candidate for the legislature. He went on a tour of what is
          called "stump speaking," telling the people "I am the man you
          want; this other is the man you do not want; you may think you
          want him but you do not, I am the man you should send to the
          legislature, and the one you should vote for." They could not see
          the point and did not vote for him. His opponent kept quietly
          attending to his business, all he said being, "I am not at all
          anxious for office, and if the people want me, they may vote for
          How many times have I heard men labor an hour or two to prove
          that baptism is not necessary; when a close-communion Baptist,
          with a Bible in his hand, would come along and in five minutes
          prove that it was necessary. Some Christians will argue that the
          taking of the sacrament of the Lord's Supper is necessary; while
          others will argue for hours that it is unnecessary. But the one
          who argues in the affirmative has the Bible--the words of Jesus
          to sustain him, and his opponent, however strenuously he may
          labor, cannot substantiate his position, because his premises are
          false, consequently his whole argument must fall to the ground.
          I used to be amused in my youth at the friend Quakers; if they
          had done nothing for a whole week, from Monday morning till
          Saturday night, they would surely rise from their beds, if sick,
          for the sake of working on the first day of the week--the
          Sabbath--to show to mankind that they were above superstition.
          They would declare that the observance of the Sabbath as a day of
          rest was all superstition, all the work of the Elders, and was
          When our Elders go forth to preach the Gospel, in the power and
          demonstration of the Spirit of God, it commends itself to every
          heart; and, if the people admit the truth of the Scriptures, it
          is by no means difficult to convince them of the truth of the
          doctrines that we preach; but it requires a great deal of the
          power of God to induce some to receive it enough to carry it out
          practically in their lives, and to live by every word that
          proceeds out of the mouth of God. Very few do this. Many will
          acknowledge that faith, baptism, the laying on of hands and the
          Lord's Supper are according to the law and the testimony; but
          pride, the love of the world, the love of money, and the love of
          a good name prevent many from obeying. A good name! Bless me!
          what is a name? It may shine like the noon-day sun in the
          estimation of friends and neighbors to-day, and to-morrow be
          eclipsed in midnight darkness, to rise no more!
          The glory of the world passes away, but the glory that the Saints
          are after is that which is to come in the eternal world; the
          intelligence, honor and brightness that come from the Supreme
          Being, by which the inhabitants of celestial spheres live without
          sorrow and pain.
          Journal of Discourses / Journal of Discourses, Volume 14 /
          Brigham Young, April 9, 1871
                            Brigham Young, April 9, 1871
               Joy, comfort, consolation, glory, happiness, perfection and
          eternal lives are before us, with the eternity of God to spend in
          the fruition of the glory of him that sits on the throne, the
          Lamb that was slain for us. Glory, honor, might, dominion, and
          the kingdom for ever and ever. If we submit in all things to him,
          whose right it is to reign king of nations as he does king of
          Saints, we shall attain to this. I do desire that we may be
          numbered with this happy company, and I pray that the Lord will
          help us to be so. Amen.
           Delivered in the New Tabernacle, Salt Lake City, April 9, 1871.
                            (Reported by David W. Evans.)
                              INDIANS--PAYING TITHING.
          I have a few sermons to preach, and as the time is short I do not
          know that I shall be able to deliver as many as I wish to. I want
          your attention, and you will have to be quiet. I find that my
          voice is a little broken, and it will be pretty hard for me to
          speak so that you can hear me. I shall not try to talk down the
          crying of children, the whispering of the congregation, or the
          shuffling of feet, as I have often done. I want your attention to
          the various subjects I wish to lay before you; for I shall have
          but a few minutes to speak on each one.
          In the first place, I want to say to the Elders who go forth to
          preach the Gospel--no matter who may apply to you for baptism,
          even if you have good reason to believe they are unworthy, if
          they require it forbid them not, but perform that duty and
          administer the ordinance for them; it clears the skirts of your
          garments, and the responsibility is upon them.
          A few words now with regard to gathering. I will say that if
          unworthy people are gathered in the future, it is nothing new or
          strange, nothing more than we expect. If this net does not gather
          the good and the bad we should have no idea that it is the net
          that Jesus spoke about when he said that it should gather of all
          kinds. Furthermore, there are a great many who come into the
          Church because they know the work is true. Their judgment, and
          every reasoning faculty and power of their minds tells them it is
          true; consequently they embrace the truth. But do they receive
          the love of it? That is the question. I will tell you that very
          few of those who receive the love of the truth, but many of those
          who fall away, though they know the Gospel is true, do not
          possess the love of the truth, and they will not apostatize while
          scattered. We try to get them to do so in the old country, but
          they will not. Bring them over to New York and they will not
          apostatize. They will labor there year after year, and struggle
          and toil until they can get to the gathering place, they must
          come to headquarters, then they can apostatize, forsake the
          faith, and turn away from the holy commandments of the Lord
          Jesus. This is not our business. Our duty is to preach the Gospel
          and to receive all that wish to have the ordinances administered
          to them, and leave the result in the hands of God. This is his
          work, not ours. He has called us to be co-laborers with him.
          I want to say for the consolation of the Elders of Israel and
          those who go forth to preside, you need have no trouble with
          regard to the building up of this kingdom, only do your duty in
          the sphere to which you are assigned. I think there is more
          responsibility on myself than any other one man on this earth
          pertaining to the salvation of the human family; yet my path is a
          pleasant path to walk in, my labors are very agreeable, for I
          take no thought what I shall say; I trouble not myself with
          regard to my duties. All I have to do is to live, as I have often
          made the comparison, and keep my spirit, feelings and conscience
          like a sheet of blank paper, and let the Spirit and power of God
          write upon it what he pleases. When he writes I will read; but if
          I read before he writes, I am very likely to be wrong. If you
          will take the same course you will not have the least trouble.
          Brother Carrington was telling us about the way in which money
          turned up to clear the ship after sending off more Saints than he
          had means to pay for. Was this a miracle any more than many other
          things in our lives and in the work of God? No, the providences
          of God are all a miracle to the human family until they
          understand them. There are no miracles only to those who are
          ignorant. A miracle is supposed to be a result without a cause,
          but there is no such thing. There is a cause for every result we
          see; and if we see a result without understanding the cause we
          call it a miracle. This is what we have been taught; but there is
          no miracle to those who understand.
          While Brother Carrington was speaking about getting twenty
          pounds, I thought of a few circumstances which have transpired
          here. I will refer to one that came along in 1856. In that year
          our agents in England loaded up the Saints, brought them over the
          ocean, up the rivers and railroads, and fitted them out with ox
          teams, wagons, and provisions, and then sent on their drafts to
          me, and within thirty days I had piled upon me $78,000 that I had
          to pay. I never was apprized of any draft being drawn upon me, or
          one word sent from the Liverpool office, until I saw the drafts
          as they commenced to come in for five, ten, or fifteen thousand
          dollars. I did not know where I was going to get the first
          dollar; but I did just as I always do--my duty and trusted in
          God. I had not a draft protested, and I do not think that any man
          went without his pay. But let me have done the business, I should
          have done it differently. When I have the privilege of acting, I
          act a little more by works than altogether by faith. I dare not
          trust my faith quite so far, but others dare, and they have not
          swamped me yet; they have not fettered my feet so that I cannot
          walk, nor tied my hands so that I cannot handle, nor my tongue so
          that I cannot speak; and the Lord has delivered me every time
          with the help of my brethren.
          We do not care anything about these things, they are but trifles.
          We could stand here and talk until to-morrow morning, telling
          remarkable instances of the providences of God towards his
          servants and people, and then only have just commenced. Who put
          flour into the barrels here when we were destitute and had
          nothing to eat? The women would go and scrape the precious barrel
          and take out the last half ounce of meal and make up a little
          cake to divide among the children; and perhaps the next time they
          would go to the barrel they would find it half full of flour. Who
          put it in? Their neighbors? No, they had none to put in. Was it
          from the States? If it was, they who brought it must have flown
          through the air, for they could not have brought it with ox teams
          quite so quickly. But without stopping to inquire further about
          how this replenishing of the flour barrels was effected, I know
          now, and knew then, that these elements that we live in are full
          of all that we produce from the earth, air, and water. I told the
          people when we settled here that we had all the facilities here
          that we could ask for, all we had to do was to go to work and
          organize the elements. How far Jesus went to get the wine that
          was put into the pots which we read about in the account of the
          marriage at Cana of Galilee I do not know; but I know that he had
          power to call the elements that enter into the grape into those
          pots of water, unperceived by anybody in the room. He had power
          to pass through a congregation unseen by them; he had power to
          step through a wall and no person be able to see him; he had
          power to walk on the water, and none of those with whom he
          associated could tell how; he had power to call the elements
          together and they were made into bread, but it was done by
          invisible hands.
          Well, I will change the subject a little, and I say to the
          brethren, do not be discouraged; bring on all who wish to obey
          the Gospel, that they may apostatize. We want them to apostatize
          as quickly as possible. How long will the people continue to
          apostatize? Until the Master comes. When he comes the word will
          go forth, "Gather my wheat into my garner, and bind the tares in
          bundles, that they may be burned." The wheat and the tares will
          grow together until harvest, and we cannot help it, and we need
          not worry about it neither.
          We want the brethren and sisters to feel around and see if they
          can find a sixpence, a dollar or five dollars to help out the
          poor. Talk about the people over yonder being hungry, why I have
          known them eat not more than a third of a meal for a whole week
          in order to save enough to feed two or three of us Elders. I was
          always ashamed to take it; and I will tell you what else I am
          ashamed of. I am ashamed that any man calling himself an Elder of
          Israel should go to any country to preach the Gospel and then
          commence begging. Such a course is disgraceful. I have no
          fellowship for those who do it; and those who will borrow and not
          repay ought to be cut off the Church. I will give you a little of
          my experience when on my English mission. When I landed in
          Liverpool I had six bits, and with that I bought me a hat. I had
          worn, on my journey to England, a little cap that my wife had
          made me out of a pair of pantaloons that I could not wear any
          longer. We stayed in Liverpool one year and sixteen days, and
          during that time we baptized between eight and nine thousand
          persons, printed five thousand Books of Mormon, three thousand
          hymn books, over sixty thousand tracts that we gave to the
          people, and the Millennial Star; established a mission in London,
          Edinburgh, and I do not know but in a hundred other places, and
          we sustained ourselves. Who was there on that mission, I mean
          among the missionaries, that had a coat or cloak that I didn't
          pay for? I transacted the business myself, and we paid every
          dime. We got money from the brethren and sisters and paid them
          up. Besides doing this, we fed family after family; and I never
          allowed myself to go down to the printing office without putting
          my hand in the drawer and taking out as many coppers as I could
          hold, so that I might throw them to beggars without being stopped
          by them on the road. Did we borrow that which we did not pay? No.
          Did we beg? No. The brethren and sisters, and especially the
          sisters, would urge us to come and eat with them. I would try to
          beg off; but that would not do, it would hurt their feelings, we
          must go and eat their food, while they would starve to procure
          it. I was always ashamed of this; but I invariably had a sixpence
          to give them. How much had I given to me? One sister, who now
          lives in Payson, gave me a sovereign and a pair of stockings; and
          when I came away a hatter, by the name of Miller, sent two hats
          by me to my little boys. The sisters, when I first went to
          Liverpool, made a little contribution and got me a pair of
          pantaloons. I was not in the habit of begging, but I said to
          them, "When my trousers are a little ridiculous, I guess you will
          know it, won't you?" and they gave me a pair of pantaloons,
          otherwise I do not think I received one farthing. I might have
          received a shilling or two from others, but I do not recollect.
          When we left we sent over a shipload of the brethren and sisters,
          a good many of whose fares we paid. When I went into Liverpool I
          do not think I could have got trusted a sixpence if I had gone
          into every store and shop in the place. When we came away a
          certain Captain wanted to bring us over, and said he, "Are you
          ready?" "No." "How long must I wait for you?" "Eight days;" and
          they tied up one of the finest vessels in the harbor of Liverpool
          in order to bring us over. I thought this was a miracle, don't
          you? I am sure there are some sisters now here who came with us
          in that vessel. I received that as a miracle. It was the hand of
          God. Was it our ability? No. Is it our ability that has
          accomplished what we see here in building up a colony in the
          wilderness? Is it the doings of man? No. To be sure we assist in
          it, and we do as we are directed. But God is our Captain; he is
          our master. He is the "ONE MAN" that we serve. In him is our
          light, in him is our life; in him is our hope, and we serve him
          with an undivided heart, or we should do so.
          What do you suppose I think when I hear people say, "O, see what
          the Mormons have done in the mountains. It is Brigham Young. What
          a head he has got! What power he has got! How well he controls
          the people!" The people are ignorant of our true character. It is
          the Lord that has done this. It is not any one man or set of men;
          only as we are led and guided by the spirit of truth. It is the
          oneness, wisdom, power, knowledge and providences of God; and all
          that we can say is, we are his servants and handmaids, and let us
          serve him with an undivided heart.
          Let us gather the poor. Look up your sixpences, dimes, and
          dollars. Just think what your feelings would be, if your children
          had to go to bed to-night crying for bread and you had none to
          give them! Think of it, families, you who profess to be Saints!
          Fathers, think of getting up in the morning and not a mouthful to
          feed your families with. I have seen them totter along, although
          it was good times when I was there to what it is now, so they
          say; but I have seen them totter along the streets when they
          could hardly stand up, for want. But I never failed to give such
          persons sixpence, a shilling, or a penny, when I realized that
          such was their position before they passed me. The Lord gave it
          to me and I dealt it out freely, and am doing so still, and I
          calculate to do so.
          Now, let us help the poor, bring them here, place them in good,
          comfortable circumstances, so that they can strut up and say, "I
          guess I am somebody, and I ask no odds of the Lord." O, fools!
          When I hear such expressions, or see such a disposition
          manifested, I think, "O, foolish Galatians, who hath bewitched
          you? Who has turned your brain and made you believe that you are
          independent of that Being who brought you and all the human
          family on the earth? Who has instructed you to believe that God
          has nothing to do with us, that everything that is is by the
          providence of chance, or no providence at all, and that man is
          all there is?" Who has taught the people this? Not the wise, not
          the true philosopher. Find a true philosopher and you find one
          who has the true principles of Christianity. He delights in them;
          and sees and understands the hand of Providence guiding and
          directing in all the affairs of this life. Though men are severed
          far from God, and though they have hewn out to themselves
          cisterns, broken cisterns that will hold no water, the true
          philosopher recognizes the hand of the Supreme, guiding and
          controlling the affairs of the children of men.
          I have a short discourse to preach now to my friends who may be
          here to-day, who are engaged in, or who may contemplate
          commencing operations in, the mining business. It is the general
          belief now, that there is a great deal of mineral wealth in these
          mountains. The reports that have gone abroad concerning this are
          causing great excitement; and I will preach a short discourse now
          to miners, merchants, lawyers, doctors, priests, people,
          everybody. I want to talk to you a little and give you some
          counsel; and I want the Saints to take this counsel. But they
          take it all the time, and I expect they will continue to do so.
          This counsel is with regard to lawing with one another. I want to
          say to you miners: Do not go to law at all; it does you no good,
          and only wastes your substance. It causes idleness, waste,
          wickedness, vice, and immorality. Do not go to law. You cannot
          find a court room without a great number of spectators in it;
          what are they doing? Idling away their time to no profit
          whatever. As for lawyers, if they will put their brains to work
          and learn how to raise potatoes, wheat, cattle, build factories,
          be merchants or tradesmen, it will be a great deal better for
          them than trying to take the property of others from them through
          We have got to a state in our nation when there is quite a
          portion of the young and middle-aged men who calculate to live,
          as the saying is, by their wits. I would like to have a man look
          philosophically into his own heart, by the spirit of truth, and
          examine himself, and see what he is, what he was made for, and
          what use he is on the earth if he never did a thing to produce a
          morsel of bread. Such a man eats the bread of the laborer, he
          wears the clothing of the laborer; every time he lies down on his
          bed he lies on that which the labor of another produced; he never
          took the pains to raise a goose, duck, lamb, or sheep. He never
          sheared a sheep or tried to make cloth of the wool; he never took
          the pains to plough the ground and sow a little wheat, to plant a
          few potatoes, to raise a calf, a pig, or a chicken. No, he never
          did anything useful; but still he eats, drinks, and wears, and
          lives in luxury. In the name of common sense what use is such a
          man on this earth? The question may arise, "Must we not have
          law?" We have plenty of it, and sometimes we have a little too
          much. Legislators make too many laws; they make so many that the
          people do not know anything about them. Wise legislators will
          never make more laws than the people can understand. But by
          reason of the wealth of our country, young men are sent to
          schools and colleges, and after receiving their education they
          calculate to live by it. Will education feed and clothe you, keep
          you warm on a cold day, or enable you to build a house? Not at
          all. Should we cry down education on this account? No. What is it
          for? The improvement of the mind; to instruct us in all arts and
          sciences, in the history of the world, in the laws of nations; to
          enable us to understand the laws and principles of life, and how
          to be useful while we live. But the idler is of no use to himself
          or to the world in which he dwells.
          In all nations, or at least in all civilized nations, there are
          distinctions among the people created by rank, titles, and
          property. How does God look upon these distinctions? How do
          Truth, Justice, and Mercy look upon them? They are all alike in
          their eyes. The king upon the throne and the beggar in the street
          are the same before the Heavens--the same in the eyes of Truth,
          Justice, Love, and Mercy. Find a true philosopher and he will
          look at the children of men as they are. I do not care whether he
          says so or not, he regards the poorest of the poor as human
          beings--men and women, and the kings and great ones, no matter
          how they are clothed, if they wear crowns, diadems, and diamonds,
          and ride in gilded coaches, are but human beings.
          Our education should be such as to improve our minds and fit us
          for increased usefulness; to make us of greater service to the
          human family; to enable us to stop our rude methods of living,
          speaking, and thinking. But you take those who bear the sway
          among men, those who hold the affairs of the nations in their
          hands, catch them in the dark, and they are the lowest of the
          creations of God. Many of them descend to the lowest gutters they
          can find, and there, in darkness and in private, wallow in filth
          and wickedness. This is a waste of their lives, a prostitution of
          their knowledge and of the blessings Providence has bestowed upon
          them. Many of them will sit and gamble all night, to see who
          shall have the pile; and such men are called gentlemen! And in
          the day time they seem the most perfect gentlemen imaginable.
          They are accomplished to the highest degree; they understand
          languages, and amongst them are to be found lawyers, doctors,
          statesmen and members of the highest classes of society. I heard
          of one in New York. A young man went there from Boston, and a
          gentleman wished to show him around, and initiate him into the
          mysteries of high life in New York. He took him to one of the
          finest houses on Fifth Avenue, I think it was. The young man
          supposed it was the residence of a private family. He was led
          into a long hall, so richly adorned and ornamented that his eyes
          were dazzled. There was table after table, table after table,
          surrounded by gentlemen who were gambling, and the furniture and
          the room throughout were gorgeous in the extreme. Here was hall
          after hall, side rooms, refreshment rooms, etc., and the young
          man found out that he was in a fashionable gambling hall. He had
          not believed in such things before; but he sat there all night
          watching, for he wanted to find out something pertaining to
          fashionable life in the metropolis. About 3 or 4 o'clock in the
          morning there was a gentleman sat back from one of the tables. He
          had played, played, played at one of the tables until he had
          played himself perfectly out, his money and estate all gone. He
          entered the place the night before a wealthy man, and by 3 or 4
          o'clock in the morning he was not worth a penny in the world. He
          threw himself back from the table, and saying, "Gentlemen, I am
          played out," he took a derringer pistol from his pocket, put it
          to his ear, and put a ball through his brains. He was one of the
          wisest of that class of men I ever heard of. If each and every
          one of them would do like this one, before commencing to game,
          and leave their substance to men and women who would labor, they
          would prove themselves wise, for their wealth would benefit the
          earth. "O," say they, "we have plenty." If you have, go and build
          up another city or town; go into the wilderness, take the poor
          with you, teach them how to farm, how to raise cattle, how to
          gather around them the comforts of life, and prove yourselves
          worthy of an existence. If you have money to gamble with, you
          have money to buy a farm and set the poor to work. In doing this,
          you are helping to elevate the human family; but in gambling and
          otherwise abusing the blessings, power and influence you possess,
          you do no good to anybody, and work out your own destruction.
          When you have bought a farm and set the poor to work, get a
          school on your farm, and begin and teach those who never had the
          privilege of going to school. There are hundreds and thousands in
          the City of New York who never went to school a day in their
          lives; they are wallowing in the gutter, ragged, dirty, and
          filthy. They learn sharpness, it is true; but where do they
          sleep? By the wayside, or crawl into some old building--girls and
          boys, and live there by the thousand. They have not a shelter to
          place their heads under, but when night comes their only refuge
          is old buildings, hovels, and corners of streets forsaken by the
          police, and there they must spend the night. Why not take such
          characters and bring them out to this country, or take them to
          California, Oregon, or to the plains of Illinois, Wisconsin, &c.,
          and make a town, settle up the country, and make these poor,
          miserable creatures, better off? You would prove yourselves
          worthy of existence on the earth if you would. But no, "We will
          gamble." Now gamblers, stop your gambling here and go to work;
          that is my advice. "Well but," say some, "we are not going to be
          instructed by Brigham Young." Who cares for that? If you will not
          receive my instructions, instruct yourselves. I want you to see,
          in and of yourselves, that your life is a poor miserable life of
          waste, a disgrace to the human family. Go to work, improve the
          country, build towns and cities, set out shade trees, build
          school houses and meeting houses and worship what you please, we
          do not care what. Be civil, honest in your deal, be upright, do
          not take that which belongs to your neighbor; and miners do not
          go to law, and lawyers go to work. If you have difficulties that
          you cannot settle among yourselves, have recourse to arbitration.
          Select your men, three, five, seven, nine, eleven, thirteen, or
          what number you please, men without prejudice for this or that
          side, place them in possession of the facts of the case; and when
          they say, "Mr. James Munroe, you do so much;" or, "Mr. John
          Jones, you do so and so, this is our decision," abide by it. This
          course will cost you nothing, you go about your business, the
          country is quiet, and the community is not running after these
          infernal courts. Excuse me for the expression; but the whole
          nation think we must have courts, and the courts adjudicate; and
          some courts take the liberty of legislating as well as
          adjudicating, when, the fact is, if all difficulties now taken
          into courts were submitted to men's honor, honesty, brains, and
          hearts, they could be adjudicated without the least trouble in
          the world. What would we do with our judges in such a state of
          society? Let them go to farming, get a factory, or go into
          business and improve the country.
          I cannot say that this counsel is especially for the Latter-day
          Saints. Why? For this simple reason--you take out of these
          mountains the whole of the community except the Latter-day
          Saints, and I might include a good many who do not belong to the
          Church, and we would not have a lawsuit in our midst from one
          year's end to another for five hundred miles square. And if the
          counsel I have just given be adopted we shall have the most
          stable mining districts through our settlements that have ever
          been found in the western country. You will never see the
          excitement that you have seen in other mining localities. Of
          course there may be some who will crawl up into the mountains,
          build up little towns, and have their games and a little
          rowdyism, but not much; you will see a steadfast community.
          We say to the Latter-day Saints, work for these capitalists, and
          work honestly and faithfully, and they will pay you faithfully. I
          am acquainted with a good many of them, and as far as I know
          them, I do not know but every one is an honorable man. They are
          capitalists, they want to make money, and they want to make it
          honestly and according to the principles of honest dealing. If
          they have means and are determined to risk it in opening mines
          you work for them by the day. Haul their ores, build their
          furnaces, and take your pay for it, and enter your lands, build
          houses, improve your farms, buy your stock, and make yourselves
          better off; but no lawing in the case. I have had an experience
          in this. I never lawed it much in my life; but from my youth my
          study has been to avoid law, and to take a course that no man
          could get the advantage of me.
          The esteem in which I hold law prompts me to keep out of it. You
          recollect the story of the lawyer and the two farmers. The
          farmers had quarreled about a cow, and they went to law, and the
          result was the farmers held the cow and the lawyer milked her. I
          never see law going on much without the lawyer getting the milk
          and the cream, while those who go to law hold the cow for him to
          milk. I know you think my esteem is not very high for lawyers. I
          will say it is not for their evil practices; but as men and
          gentlemen I have known many who never dabbled in dishonesty. I
          have marveled many times at the oath that is required of a lawyer
          with regard to his client; it gives him license to make white
          black, and black white. If I were to fix up an oath for a lawyer
          to take when he entered upon business, I would make him swear to
          tell the truth, and to show the right of the case, for or
          against, every time, that is what I would do. But they are
          licensed from the very oath they take to justify their client,
          let him be ever so wrong; this, however, does not compel them to
          be dishonest. Now, I do beseech you, I pray you, for your own
          sakes, you capitalists, to have no law. I have heard it said that
          a mine is good for nothing until there has been two or three
          lawsuits over it, but I say that will make your claims no better
          I will say still further with regard to our rich country here.
          Suppose there was no railroad across this continent, could you do
          anything with these mines? Not the least in the world. All this
          galena would not bear transportation were it not for that; and,
          take the mines from first to last, there is not enough silver and
          gold in the galena ore to pay for shipping were it not for the
          railroad. And then, were it not for this little railroad from
          Ogden to this city these Cottonwood mines would not pay, for you
          could not cart the ore. Well, they want a little more help, and
          we want to build them a railroad direct to Cottonwood, so that
          they can make money. We want them to do it and to do it on
          business principles, so that they can keep it, and when you get
          it, make good use of it and we will help you. There is enough for
          all. We do not want any quarreling or contention; and I believe
          that, if dishonest capitalists were to come here and commence a
          dishonest course with our citizens in hiring them, there are men
          of honor sufficient to say, "You had better get out of this
          place; we are an honest and industrious community, and we wish to
          deal on honest principles and make this community substantial. We
          will furnish you with all your supplies that we can produce here,
          and take our pay for it; you take your capital and add to it, and
          then when you leave you will feel well about us and yourselves."
          I do not want you to think that I have ever counseled this. Do
          it, in and of yourselves, for you know it would be ridiculous in
          the eyes of some to take counsel of Brigham Young; it would be
          preposterous to suppose he can give good counsel. I leave that,
          however, to every man or woman to decide whether or not it is
          good counsel. There has been but little of this contention and
          lawing here, and I do hope and pray there will be less; it only
          creates bad feelings and distress in any society in the world.
          We are here as a human family. Bless your hearts, there is not
          one of us but what is a son or daughter of Adam and Eve, not any
          but what are just as much brothers and sisters as we should be if
          born of the same parents, right in the same family, with only ten
          children in the family. It is the same blood precisely. I do not
          care where we come from, we are all of this family, and the blood
          has not been changed. It is true that a curse came upon certain
          portions of the human family--those who turned away from the holy
          commandments of the Lord our God. What did they do? In ancient
          days old Israel was the chosen people in whom the Lord delighted,
          and whom he blessed and did so much for. Yet they transgressed
          every law that he gave them, changed every ordinance that he
          delivered to them, broke every covenant made with the fathers,
          and turned away entirely from his holy commandments, and the Lord
          cursed them. Cain was cursed for this, with this black skin that
          there is so much said about. Do you think that we could make laws
          to change the color of the skin of Cain's descendants? If we can,
          we can change the leopard's spots; but we cannot do this, neither
          can we change their blood.
          There is a curse on these aborigines of our country who roam the
          plains, and are so wild that you cannot tame them. They are of
          the house of Israel; they once had the Gospel delivered to them,
          they had the oracles of truth; Jesus came and administered to
          them after his resurrection, and they received and delighted in
          the Gospel until the fourth generation, when they turned away and
          became so wicked that God cursed them with this dark and
          benighted and loathsome condition; and they want to sit on the
          ground in the dirt, and to live by hunting, and they cannot be
          civilized. And right upon this, I will say to our government if
          they could hear me, "You need never fight the Indians, but if you
          want to get rid of them try to civilize them." How many were here
          when we came? At the Warm Springs, at this little grove where
          they would pitch their tents, we found perhaps three hundred
          Indians; but I do not suppose that there are three of that band
          left alive now. There was another band a little south, another
          north, another further east; but I do not suppose there is one in
          ten, perhaps not one in a hundred, now alive of those who were
          here when we came. Did we kill them? No, we fed them. They would
          say, "We want just as fine flour as you have." To Walker, the
          chief, whom all California and New Mexico dreaded, I said, "It
          will just as sure kill as the world, if you live as we live."
          Said he, "I want as good as Brigham, I want to eat as he does."
          Said I, "Eat then, but it will kill you." I told the same to
          Arapeen, Walker's brother; but they must eat and drink as the
          whites did, and I do not suppose that one in a hundred of those
          bands are alive. We brought their children into our families, and
          nursed and did everything for them it was possible to do for
          human beings, but die they would. Do not fight them, but treat
          them kindly. There will then be no stain on the Government, and
          it will get rid of them much quicker than by fighting them. They
          have got to be civilized, and there will be a remnant of them
          saved. I have said enough on this subject.
          I want to say a little now with regard to tithing. Some of this
          people think they pay their tithing. I expect they do; but I can
          make the same comparison that Jesus did when in Jerusalem. Here
          came the Scribes, Pharisees, Sadducees, &c., and put their
          substance in the Lord's storehouse; and there came along a poor
          widow with nothing, to all appearance. She had not clothing to
          make her comfortable, but she had two mites, which she had saved
          probably by her labor, and she placed them in the storehouse of
          the Lord. Jesus lifted himself up, and, seeing what they were
          doing, said, "Of a truth I say unto you that this poor widow hath
          cast in more than they all; for all these have of their abundance
          cast in unto the offerings of God; but she of her penury hath
          cast in all her living that she had." Now, there are a few of
          just this same kind of characters here who do pay their tithing.
          But do we rich men pay ours? Not by considerable. I can inform
          the Elders of Israel and everybody else that since we have been
          raising grain in these valleys the deposits paid in on tithing
          have not amounted to one-hundredth part of all that has been
          raised, whereas one-tenth was due the storehouse of the Lord. You
          may say, "Brother Brigham, have you paid in yours?" No, I have
          not. There is a number of the brethren who have paid in
          considerable, but I expect I have paid more tithing than any
          other man in this Church. I expect I have done more for the poor
          than any other man in the Church; yet I have hardly commenced to
          pay my tithing. How is it with you? I know how it is. There are a
          few poor who pay their tithing, and who are pretty strict; but
          take the masses of the people, and they have not paid
          one-twentieth of their tithing. Do you believe it? I know it. If
          I were to reason over this and attempt to show the Latter-day
          Saints the inconsistency of their course in the matter, I would
          plant my feet on this ground: We are not our own, we are bought
          with a price, we are the Lord's; our time, our talents, our gold
          and silver, our wheat and fine flour, our wine and our oil, our
          cattle, and all there is on this earth that we have in our
          possession is the Lord's and he requires one-tenth of this for
          the building up of his kingdom. Whether we have much or little,
          one-tenth should be paid in for tithing. What for? I can tell you
          what for in a hundred instances, but I will only tell you just a
          few, and will commence with the poor. You count me out fifty, a
          hundred, five hundred, or a thousand of the poorest men and women
          you can find in this community; with the means that I have in my
          possession, I will take these ten, fifty, hundred, five hundred,
          or a thousand people, and put them to labor; but only enough to
          benefit their health and to make their food and sleep sweet unto
          them, and in ten years I will make that community wealthy. In ten
          years I will put six, a hundred, or a thousand individuals, whom
          we have to support now by donations, in a position not only to
          support themselves, but they shall be wealthy, shall ride in
          their carriages, have fine houses to live in, orchards to go to,
          flocks and herds and everything to make them comfortable. But it
          is not every man that can do this. The Bishops cannot do it; not
          that I would speak lightly of the wisdom of our Bishops, but we
          have hardly a Bishop in the Church who knows A with regard to the
          duties of his office. Still we have good men, but our hearts are
          somewhere else, and we are not studying the kingdom, the welfare
          of the human family, nor what our office calls upon us to
          perform. We do not seek after the poor and have every man and
          woman put to usury. This ought to be, for our time is the Lord's.
          All we want is to direct this time and use it profitably. There
          is abundance of labor before us. We have the earth to subdue, and
          to make it like the Garden of Eden. Do you believe it? I know it.
          But how do we live? Very much like the rest of the world. We are
          ready to run over all creation. Just as I have said to some of
          the brethren, and to some that I have known in the world; they
          get their eye on a dime; they see it roll away and they go after
          it. By and by they stub their toe against an eagle; soon they
          come to another one, a doubloon or a slug, and they will stub
          their toe against it, and down they go; but they are up again,
          for their eye is on that dime, and, in their eagerness to obtain
          it, they stumble over the eagles they might pick up if they had
          wisdom to do it. Is this so? O yes, they who have eyes to see can
          see. Take things calm and easy, pick up everything, let nothing
          go to waste.
          You, sisters, know I have sometimes told you what my office is.
          Does it make you ashamed of me when you hear some of the brethren
          say, "Well, I do not believe that Brother Brigham has anything to
          do with my farm or household matters, or with temporal things; I
          do not think the First Presidency has anything to do with my
          temporal affairs." O, yes, we have; and to come right down to the
          point, it is my privilege, if I were capable, to teach every
          woman in this Church and kingdom how to keep house, and how to
          sweep house, cook meat, wash dishes, make bread without any
          waste, &c. I may go to a house and what do I see? Perhaps the
          bottom or top of the bread is burnt to a coal. Why did you not do
          different? "O, these are accidents." Yes, because we never think
          of the business on our hands. Mother gets up and it is: "O,
          Sally, where is the dish cloth, I want it in a minute?" "Susan,
          where in the world have you put that broom?" or, "Where is the
          iron holder?" and Susan knows nothing about either dish cloth or
          broom, and says, "We have no iron holder except some waste
          paper." If I had nothing but a piece of an old newspaper folded
          for a holder I would have it where I could put my hand on it in a
          moment, in the dark if I wanted it. And so with the dishcloth,
          the broom, the chairs, tables, sofas, and everything about the
          house, so that if you had to get up in the night you could lay
          your hand on whatever you wanted instantly. Have a place for
          everything and everything in its place.
          If I only had time I would teach you how to knit stockings, for
          there are very few women now-a-days who know how many stitches to
          set on to knit stockings for their husbands or for themselves; or
          what size yarn or needles they require; and when their stockings
          are finished they are like some of these knitted by machinery--a
          leg six inches long while the foot is a foot or a foot and a half
          long; or the leg only big enough for a boy ten years old, while
          the foot is big enough for any miner in the country. You know
          this is extravagant, but it is a fact that the art of knitting
          stockings is not near so generally understood among the ladies as
          it should be. I could tell you how it should be done had I time
          and knew how myself.
          I will ask the whole human family is there any harm in teaching
          people how to be mechanics and artists, and what their life is
          for? Is there any harm in teaching them the laws of life and how
          to live, so that when they go down to the grave they can say,
          "There is my life, and it has been one of honor; look at it and
          do as much better than I have as God will give you ability to
          do." This is the duty of the human family, instead of wasting
          their lives and the lives of their fellow-beings, and the
          precious time God has given us to improve our minds and bodies by
          observing the laws of life, so that the longevity of the human
          family may begin to return. By and by, according to the
          Scriptures, the days of a man shall be like the days of a tree.
          But in those days people will not eat and drink as they do now;
          if they do their days will not be like a tree, unless it be a
          very short-lived tree. This is our business.
          Then pay your tithing, just because you like to, not unless you
          want to. They say we cut people off the Church for not paying
          tithing; we never have yet, but they ought to be. God does not
          fellowship them. The law of tithing is an eternal law. The Lord
          Almighty never had his kingdom on the earth without the law of
          tithing being in the midst of his people, and he never will. It
          is an eternal law that God has instituted for the benefit of the
          human family, for their salvation and exaltation. This law is in
          the Priesthood, but we do not want any to observe it unless they
          are willing to do so. If I ask my brethren, "Are you willing to
          pay tithing?" Many of them would say, "Yes, we are not only
          willing to pay tithing, but all that we have, for we are the
          Lord's, and all that he has given us is his." That would be the
          reply of thousands here to-day. If the law of the land would
          permit us we would show whether we are willing to deed our
          property to the kingdom of God or not. Mine has been deeded; and
          now I will tell you that the insurance company that I have taken
          stock in is up yonder, and the Lord of Hosts is President of that
          company. I do not want to insure my life in any other; and if we
          want to insure property, let us insure each others' and our own.
          I say, my brethren and sisters, that if we had the privilege, we
          would show to the world whether we would deed everything to the
          kingdom of God or not. But can we do it here? The Government has
          passed a law to the effect:
          "That it shall not be lawful for any corporation or association
          for religious or charitable purposes to acquire or hold real
          estate in any Territory of the United States during the existence
          of the territorial government of a greater value than fifty
          thousand dollars; and all real estate acquired or held by any
          such corporation or association contrary to the provisions of
          this act shall be forfeited and escheat to the United States:
          Provided, that existing vested rights in real estate shall not be
          impaired by the provisions of this section."
          That is how the Government binds us up. Never mind, we can build
          temples, pay our tithing and our freewill offerings; we can raise
          our bread, hire our school teachers and teach our children
          without help. We came here stripped of everything, and men in
          high places sat and laughed at us, and said we should perish; but
          we have not perished. Many of them have gone down to their graves
          and their spirits have gone into the spirit world, where they
          will not have the comforting influences of the angels of God as
          the Saints will. Hades, the grave and the world of spirits are
          called hell in the original language. Now I don't expect them to
          go down, down, down to the bottom of the bottomless pit, where
          they will be pitched over with pitchforks. I do not have
          reference to anything of this kind when I speak of hell, or the
          world of spirits. I do not wish to frighten people to the anxious
          seat, and then say, "O, my beloved sister, how did you feel when
          your dear little infant died?" and, "O, my beloved brother, did
          not your heart bleed for your dear companion when you laid her in
          the silent bourne from whence no traveler returns." This is not
          our religion; our religion does not consist of sensation or
          animal magnetism, as that of the sectarian world does. I have
          seen it from my youth up, working on the passions of the people,
          making them crazy. About what? Nothing at all. I have seen them
          lie, when under their religious excitement, from ten minutes to
          probably an hour without the least sign of life in their systems;
          not a pulse about them, and lay the slightest feather in the
          world to their nose and not the least sign of breathing could be
          discerned there, any more than anywhere else. After lying awhile
          they would get up all right. "What have you seen, sister or
          brother? What have you learned more than before you had this
          fit?" I do not know what kind of a fit it would be, whether a
          falling sickness or fainting fit, or a fit of animal magnetism.
          "What do you know, sister?" "Nothing." "What have you seen,
          brother?" "Nothing nor nobody." "What have you to tell us that
          you have learned while in this vision?" "Nothing at all." It
          always wound up like the old song, "All about nothing at all."
          That is not the faith of the Latter-day Saints. Their religion
          consists of the knowledge that comes from God; a knowledge of the
          law of heaven, the power of the eternal Priesthood of the Son of
          God; and by obeying this law and these ordinances we, in a
          business manner, philosophically, in a manner that can be
          demonstrated as clearly as a mathematical problem, gain the right
          to eternal life; and though we do not see the Lord in the flesh
          we can see him in vision, and we have a right to visions,
          administration of angels, the power of the eternal Priesthood
          with the keys and blessings thereof. And by and through the
          labors of his faithful servants the Lord offers salvation to the
          human family; and though they will not save themselves we
          calculate to do all we can for them.
          God bless you. Amen.
          Journal of Discourses / Journal of Discourses, Volume 14 /
          Brigham Young, April 8, 1871
                            Brigham Young, April 8, 1871
           Delivered in the New Tabernacle, Salt Lake City, April 8, 1871.
                            (Reported by David W. Evans.)
          I have a few words to say to the congregation and I wish perfect
          silence. This is a very large room, and for any person to fill
          the space within these walls with his voice, he needs strength of
          lungs and stomach and the attention of the congregation.
          We have been witnessing, this afternoon, the world's great
          objection to "Mormonism," for we have had the privilege of
          beholding the unanimous vote of the people when the names of the
          officers of the Church were presented for election or rejection.
          We have seen the same oneness and unanimity this afternoon which
          characterize the Latter-day Saints on all occasions, and this is
          objectionable to the world. They say it is anti-democratic,
          though we think not. I looked over the congregation pretty
          diligently to discover a contrary vote; but I could not see such
          a thing. When the vote was called all hands were up. I thought,
          while witnessing this spectacle, "What harm is there in a people
          being of one heart and one mind?" but, to use a common phrase, I
          could not see the point. I cannot discover any iniquity in a
          people's being one. If they are disposed to choose evil instead
          of good, sin instead of righteousness, darkness instead of light,
          falsehood instead of truth, where is the utility in being divided
          and quarrelling about it? And if they have embraced, believe in
          and love the truth; or if they desire and are seeking for it, I
          ask, where can be the harm in being one in this? This is the
          "one-man power" that there is so much said about.
          Now, ask yourselves, and let me ask you, who has been to you,
          individually, and told you to vote just as you have voted here
          to-day? Has any man visited your habitations to tell you that
          when you came to this house you must all vote precisely alike? I
          will pause right here and will request that, if any person
          present has been so instructed, he or she will let us know it. I
          do not see any person rise, and I need not look for any one to do
          so, from the simple fact that not a word on this subject has been
          said to the Latter-day Saints. Our doctrine is true and we like
          it; our faith is one and we are one in it, our object is one and
          we unitedly pursue the straight and narrow path that leads to it.
          This is for those who have only one ear, half an ear, or no ear
          at all for the truth; or for those who wish to leave the truth.
          Though I do not suppose there are any here this afternoon that
          wish to leave the truth for error, that wish to forsake
          righteousness, holiness and truth for unrighteousness,
          corruption, disorder, confusion and death. People do, however,
          leave this Church, but they leave it because they get into
          darkness, and the very day they conclude that there should be a
          democratic vote, or in other words, that we should have two
          candidates for the presiding Priesthood in the midst of the
          Latter-day Saints, they conclude to be apostates. There is no
          such thing as confusion, division, strife, animosity, hatred,
          malice, or two sides to the question in the house of God; there
          is but one side to the question there.
          You ask the kingdoms of the world if they have such an
          organization as the kingdom of God, and they will tell you they
          have not. They have no organization amongst them so perfect and
          complete. Well, is it right for the people of the world to elect
          their presidents and rulers? Yes, if they wish to. For four
          years? Yes, or for one year, or for six months, or one month, if
          they wish to; but when the Lord appoints presidents, he does not
          change them every month or year, or every four years. Should they
          be changed? No, they should not. Should they be changed in human
          governments? No, they should not; and the nation that would
          delight in a good government, the best possible for its
          preservation and strength, should pattern, in its organization,
          after the kingdom of God on the earth. Here are our tribunals and
          courts; and our courts are courts of error, to judge every matter
          and cause according to its merits and demerits.
          Well, where is the harm in this? I wish the world, or any
          scientific men in it, would detail the error in a people being
          one; and I will go still further, and say, being one in the Lord,
          as we are commanded and recommended to be. Even in the wicked
          world, where there is so much confusion, where is the good that
          arises from contention and opposition? I have not seen it, and,
          as I have said, I cannot see the point. But here in Utah that
          "one-man power" is such a terrible thing. I would ask: Who is
          that man, and where is the power, and what is the power? It is
          the power of him who brought us into existence, and he is the MAN
          who wields it, and he is the Father of us all, and the God and
          Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. He is the Maker and Possessor of
          this earth that we inhabit, and is the Producer of all things
          upon it. Is he one? Yes. Is his trinity one? Yes. Is his
          organization one? Are the heavens one? Yes. Although we have a
          short account, in what are called the Scriptures of truth, that
          on a certain occasion there was a little confusion in heaven. The
          Lord has revealed something of this in these latter days. What
          was the result? One-third part of the hosts of heaven walked out.
          I do not think the election lasted a great while, if they had two
          candidates, and it appears they had; and I do not think they
          stopped very long at the polls, or were very long counting the
          votes to find out who would be president or who would not, for
          they turned them out. Was there any reason for this? Would it be
          democratic to get up an election in heaven and have opposition?
          Why, yes, according to the feelings and understandings of the
          political world it would be very democratic; but I would say to
          the political world, if they were before me, that the opposition
          they are so anxious to promote contains the seeds of the
          destruction of the government that we live in. This is the plant
          or tree from which schism springs; and every government lays the
          foundation of its own downfall when it permits what are called
          democratic elections. If a party spirit is developed, the
          formation of one party will be speedily followed by another; and
          furthermore, the very moment that we admit this, we admit the
          existence of error and corruption somewhere. Where is it? Right
          points out its hiding place, and says that truth, and truth only,
          will endure, and that falsehood and corruption and error of every
          description are from beneath--are of the enemy; and the Lord
          Almighty suffered this schism in heaven to see what his subjects
          would do preparatory to their coming to this earth, which we need
          not talk about to-day. But the division did not take place in
          those who were redeemed from the earth and exalted and brought up
          into the presence of the Father and the Son, to live in their
          presence and in their glory, and be partakers of their power. But
          it was among another class, and we are now in the midst of them.
          There is but one thread that can be followed that can endure for
          ever, but one path that we can walk in that is eternal--and that
          path is the path of perfection, purity and holiness. By this, and
          this only, have the Gods been exalted, the angels live and the
          heavenly hosts bask in purity. We are trying to prepare for it.
          Can error live? No, it is the very plant of destruction, it
          destroys itself; it withers, it fades, it falls and decays and
          returns to its native element. Every untruth, all error,
          everything that is unholy, unlike God, will, in its time, perish.
          Every government not ordained of God, as we have just been
          hearing, will, in its time, crumble to the dust and be lost in
          the fog of forgetfulness, and will leave no history of its
          doings. Why, with all the knowledge and learning now in the world
          we have the history of only a very scanty portion of those who
          have peopled our earth from the days of Adam until now. And we,
          in our turn, should go into the land of forgetfulness were it not
          for our organization and the oneness which prevail in our midst.
          Says Jesus, "Unless ye are one, ye are not mine." The counsel
          contained in this saying is the best that could be given. Who
          could have given better advice to his friends than Jesus gave to
          his disciples? Be one, for union is strength, is it not? Yes. Go
          into the political world, and you will find that union is
          strength; it is the same in the mechanical world; and if we take
          every art and science, and all the pursuits of the human family,
          in oneness there is strength. Said Jesus, "Be ye one, as I and my
          Father are one, he in me and I in him; I in you," &c. Now, I
          finish this by saying if there is a person on the face of this
          earth that can give a true and philosophical reason why we should
          not be one, I wish he would bring it forth, for the Latter-day
          Saints want to have the best organization that can be formed, and
          they want the best of everything that can be got. We want the
          truth, and the whole truth; and we look forward with gladness to
          the time when we can say we have nothing but the truth. We cannot
          say that now; we have an immense amount of error, and we are very
          far from being perfect; but we hope to see the time that we can
          say that we have truth only, the whole truth and nothing but the
          I want to say a few words for the benefit of my brethren the
          Elders, and of all the Latter-day Saints, male and female, old
          and young; and then for the benefit of strangers, Christians and
          ministers of the different religious sects, if they could all
          hear me to-day. I can tell you the difference in one grand
          principle, between your religion and ours. It is this: we would
          not make everybody bow down to our religion, if we had the power;
          for this would not be Godlike; but other religionists would. It
          is not discovered by the world, and it is not perceived enough by
          the Elders of Israel. The reasons why we do not prosper and
          travel faster and further than we do, we have not time to talk
          about, perhaps, to-day; but I will say this: our religion, the
          religion of heaven, differs very much from man's religion. It has
          just been told us that the divines are in the habit of taking a
          text from the Scriptures, but when they do so they almost
          invariably preach from it. I hardly ever heard a man in my life,
          when in the Christian world, preach to his text, but directly
          from it. This makes confusion.
          Now, suppose that we were to issue our edicts to the whole world
          of mankind for them to obey the Gospel we preach, and had the
          power to compel them to obey, could we do it according to the
          dictates of our religion? We could not. We could invite them, and
          could tell them how, but we could not say, and maintain the faith
          that we have embraced, you must bow down and profess our religion
          and submit to the ordinances of the kingdom of God. I will give
          you a reason for this. If this were our duty, and it were
          legitimate, if we had the power, for us to make every person on
          the earth submit to the code of laws and ordinances that we have
          submitted to, it would prove that God is in fault in not making
          them do so. But if we become Godlike we will be just as full of
          charity as he is. We would let pagans worship as they please, and
          to the Christians and Mahommedans, and all sects and parties in
          the world we would say, "Do just as you please, for your volition
          is free, and you must act upon it for yourselves before the
          heavens." Our religion will not permit us to command or force any
          man or woman to obey the Gospel we have embraced. And we are
          under no obligation to do this, for every creature has as good a
          right, according to his organization, to choose for himself as
          the Gods. To use a comparison, all have a right to eat bread or
          let it alone; they may make and eat unleavened cakes as the
          people did anciently, if they choose; and no person has a right
          to say to another, "Why do you eat wheat bread, corn bread, or no
          bread at all? why do you eat potatoes, or why do you not eat
          them? why do you walk, or why do you sit down? why do you read
          this or that book? or why do you go to the right or the left?"
          for every one has a right to do as he likes in these respects,
          all being independent in their capacity and choice. Here is life
          for you, here is salvation for you, choose ye this day whom ye
          will serve. If the Lord be God, serve him, or you may serve Baal,
          just at your pleasure. If the Elders of Israel could understand
          this a little better, we would like it, for the simple reason
          that if they had power given them now they manifest the same
          weaknesses in the exercise thereof as any other people. They have
          not an eye to discern between the spirit, power, and principles
          by which the Gods live, and those which govern and control the
          children of men; and yet between the two there is an infinite
          Can you find a Christian denomination which would not make us bow
          down to their creeds if they had the power? Not one. We have
          plenty of evidence to prove this. We have history enough to prove
          that when they have the power their motto is, "You shall." But
          there is no such thing in the economy of heaven. Life is before
          us, death is before us, we can choose for ourselves; and this is
          one of the differences between the religion of heaven and the
          religions of men. Do we profess to say that the various religious
          systems of the world are the religions of men? If they are not,
          what are they? If the sects and parties have not been formed by
          man and the wisdom of man, what power did form them?
          I will now say a few words with regard to our faith. Our
          religion, in common with everything of which God is the Author,
          is a system of law and order. The earth on which we live hangs
          and floats in its own element, rotates upon its axis and moves at
          an immense velocity without our perceiving it either asleep or
          awake, it performs its revolutions, the atmosphere moving with
          it, so as not to injure, disturb, or molest any being on its
          face. But how long would it retain its position and move
          unwaveringly in the orbit assigned it without law? Can you tell
          us, you astronomers? How long would the moon and the members of
          our planetary system retain their positions, were it not for
          strict law? Who gave that law? He who had the right. The world do
          not know him, but he will call around one of these days and let
          them know that he is in being. I will say to Saint and sinner,
          that if we do not know him, he will call by and by, and let us
          know that he lives, and will bring us to judgment. If we do know
          him, happy are we if we obey his laws. He is not a phantom; he
          does not exist without law, order, rule, and strict regulation.
          And the laws by which he is governed are the laws of purity. He
          has instituted laws and ordinances for the government and benefit
          of the children of men, to see if they would obey them and prove
          themselves worthy of eternal life by the law of the celestial
          worlds; and it is of these laws that our religion is composed.
          This holy Priesthood that we talk about is a perfect system of
          government. The best way I can think of to express my idea of
          Priesthood of the Son of God is to call it a perfect system of
          laws and government. By obedience to these laws we expect to
          enter the celestial kingdom and be exalted.
          We have had a few words with regard to temples. We are going to
          build temples. This law is given to the children of men. I will
          carry this a little further, and say to my brethren and sisters
          and all present, that the law of the celestial kingdom that is
          introduced here upon the earth in our day is for the salvation
          and exaltation of the human family. Previous to the coming forth
          of this Priesthood and code of laws, there was no law on the
          earth that we have any knowledge of whereby a man or woman could
          be sanctified and prepared to enter the presence of the Father
          and the Son. This may sound in the ears of many like strange
          doctrine. But pause a moment; do not let any of your hearts
          flutter, not for a moment. If you and the world generally knew
          all that we know, I do not believe that there is a wicked man on
          the earth, unless he be past the day of grace, but would say,
          "Thank you, Latter-day Saints, God bless you! I will help you to
          carry on your work, for you have the keys of life and salvation
          committed to you for this last dispensation." We could enumerate
          a few of the laws that we have embraced in our faith pertaining
          to the building up of the kingdom of God on the earth. How is it
          with regard to the authority to proclaim the words of salvation
          to the children of men? According to the Scriptures of divine
          truth, and the revelations that God has given, "no man taketh
          this honor unto himself, except he be called of God, as was
          Aaron." These are the words of the Apostle. Did Joseph Smith ever
          arrogate to himself this right? Never, never, never; and if God
          had not sent a messenger to ordain him to the Aaronic Priesthood
          and then other messengers to ordain him to the Apostleship, and
          told him to build up his kingdom on the earth, it would have
          remained in chaos to this day. There is no objection to people
          having the spirit of their calling, and having it even before
          they are called; but if they have the spirit of wisdom given to
          them they wait until a servant of God says, "My brother John,"
          or, "My brother William, the Lord Almighty has called thee to be
          a minister of salvation to the inhabitants of the earth, and I
          ordain thee to this office." This is the law of heaven. Is it
          observed in the Christian world? No, it is not; there man's
          authority and notions prevail entirely, and this is the cause of
          their confusion and variety in their methods of expounding the
          Gospel as contained in the Scriptures; but when a man who is
          called and ordained of God goes forth he preaches the ordinances,
          faith in Christ and obedience to him as our Savior. He declares
          that the first step to be taken, after believing in the Father
          and the Son, is to go down into the waters of baptism and there
          be immersed in the water, and come up out of the water as Jesus
          did. Some may inquire why the Latter-day Saints are so strenuous
          on this point? We do it for the remission of sins; Jesus did this
          to fulfill all righteousness. John said to him, when he went and
          demanded baptism at his hands, "I have need to be baptised of
          thee, and comest thou to me!" Jesus answered: I do this to
          fulfill all righteousness; I do this to set a pattern for my
          brethren, and for all who come after me and believe on my name;
          and this is why the Latter-day Saints are so strenuous with
          regard to baptism by immersion. What was the result of obedience
          to the ordinance of baptism in the case of the Savior? The Holy
          Ghost, in the form of a dove, it is said, rested upon him. This
          is not exactly the fact, though a natural dove descended and
          rested on the head of the Lord Jesus, in witness that God had
          accepted the offering of his Son. But the dove was not the Holy
          Ghost, but the sign that the Holy Ghost was given to him. And
          after that, Jesus went forth and was tempted, as you read.
          Obedience to the ordinance of baptism is required that people may
          receive the remission of their sins. After that, hands are laid
          upon them for the reception of the Holy Ghost; and this Holy
          Ghost teaches you and me to vote exactly alike; it teaches us to
          believe alike and to receive the ordinances of the house of God.
          No man or woman ever received the faith of this Gospel but what
          desired to be baptized by immersion for the remission of sins and
          to have hands laid upon them for the Holy Ghost. Then come the
          blessings of healing, faith, prophecy, tongues, and so forth.
          I recollect when brothers Kimball and Hyde went to England the
          first man they baptized was George D. Watt. In the second or
          third meeting after his baptism, Brother Watt got up and said: "I
          have the spirit of prophecy upon me;" and said he, "We are all
          going to leave England, and are going to America, for America is
          the land of Zion." Not a word had been said to Brother Watt about
          the gathering. Is not this so, Brother Hyde? (Brother O. Hyde:
          Yes, sir.) I wanted to say these few words on this subject.
          And now, my brethren, the Elders of Israel, have compassion on
          all the inhabitants of the earth, for we shall never have the
          keys of authority committed to us to be rulers until we will rule
          just as God would rule if he were here himself. We have been
          persecuted, driven, smitten, cast out, robbed and hated; and I
          may say it was for our coldness and neglect of duty; and if we
          did not exactly deserve it, there have been times when we did
          deserve it. If we did not deserve it at the time, it was good for
          and gave us an experience, though I must say that one of the
          hardest lessons for me to learn on earth is to love a man who
          hates me and would put me to death if he had the power. I do not
          think I have got this lesson by heart, and I do not know how long
          I shall have to live to learn it. I am trying. I believe that if
          the reins of power were in my hands to-day, I never would ask a
          man to be a Saint if he did not want to be; and I do not think I
          would persecute him if he worshiped a white dog, the sun, moon,
          or a graven image. But let us alone; let the kingdom of God
          alone, that is all we want. If the principles of eternal life are
          not sufficient to win the hearts of the children of men, just
          take your course--the downward road. I will say if there be any
          here who were once Latter-day Saints, but have apostatized, do
          not persecute us; do not try to hinder the work we are engaged
          in. We are trying to save the living and the dead. The living can
          have their choice, the dead have not. Millions of them died
          without the Gospel, without the Priesthood, without the
          opportunities that we enjoy. We shall go forth in the name of
          Israel's God and attend to the ordinances for them. And through
          the Millennium, the thousand years that the people will love and
          serve God, we will build temples and officiate therein for those
          who have slept for hundreds and thousands of years--those who
          would have received the truth if they had had the opportunity;
          and we will bring them up, and form the chain entire, back to
          I will say that there is not a man on the face of the earth but,
          if he knew the objects the Saints have in view, and the work they
          are engaged in, would rather say, "I have a sixpence to help
          you," sooner than he would persecute and slander this Priesthood
          or people. No, he would say, "I have a sixpence or thousands to
          help on this good work." We will bring up all the inhabitants of
          the earth, except those who have sinned against the Holy Ghost,
          and save them in some kingdom where they will receive more glory
          and honor than ever the Methodist contemplated. This should be a
          comfort and a consolation to all the inhabitants of the earth.
          They will not save themselves, millions have not had a chance,
          and millions now living, through the strength of their
          traditions, will not do it; their consciences and feelings are
          bound up in their systems and creeds, whereas, if they felt as
          independent as they should feel, they would break loose and
          receive the truth; but they will live and die in bondage, and we
          calculate to officiate for them. Many a man I know of, who has
          fallen asleep, we have been baptized for since the Church was
          organized--good, honest, honorable men, charitable to all, living
          good, virtuous lives. We will not let them go down to hell; God
          will not. The plan of salvation is ample to bring them all up and
          to place them where they may enjoy all they could anticipate. Is
          there any harm in this? No. God bless you. Amen.
          Journal of Discourses / Journal of Discourses, Volume 14 /
          Brigham Young, August 8, 1869
                            Brigham Young, August 8, 1869
            Delivered in the Tabernacle, Salt Lake City, August 8, 1869.
                            (Reported by David W. Evans.)
          This is a very singular world that we live in; yet were it not
          for the spirit of error and confusion that everywhere prevails I
          think we should call it a very fine, excellent world. The
          annoyances, difficulties, errors, perplexities, sorrows, and
          troubles of this life, from first to last, are in consequence of
          sin being in the world. For me to say it is not right for sin to
          be in the world, or if we, as intelligent beings, come to the
          conclusion that sin entered the world by chance, through some
          mistake, and it was contrary to the design of him who created us,
          we should err.
          This people called Latter-day Saints are looked upon as a very
          singular people; in fact, we are regarded as an anomaly in the
          world. Why is this so? Are we different to others who are born
          into the world? Are we not of the same blood as the people of the
          other nations and tongues of the earth? We certainly are, for we
          are gathered from among them. Like them, we have eyes to see
          with, ears to hear with; we have lips and organs of speech, and
          we use them as others do; we eat, drink, sleep, plant, sow, reap,
          mow, build houses and inhabit them, just as they do. Then what is
          the difference between us and them, and why are we looked upon by
          the world as though we are entirely different from them, and why
          have we from the beginning met with vituperation and abuse from
          the hands of many, and been deprived of our civil and religious
          rights and treated as outlaws? If we search the Old and New
          Testaments, and then the corroborative evidence contained in the
          Book of Mormon, and find therein how the kingdom of God was
          organized, and compare our present organization with it, we shall
          find that one is a perfect facsimile of the other. This
          constitutes the difference between us and the world, and this is
          why we have been treated as we have been, and why we are looked
          upon as we are. We believe the Bible and practice it, as far as
          our weaknesses will permit. Not that we do it perfectly; as it
          has been stated this morning, we have darkness, unbelief,
          ignorance, superstition, and our traditions to contend with and
          overcome; and they cling to us to that degree that we can hardly
          overcome them.
          The traditions that we have imbibed in the several countries in
          which we have been born, and under the various circumstances
          under which we have been raised, offer a wide field for
          reflection, and in passing judgment upon each other's acts a
          great deal of charity is necessary. The people of one nation will
          do a thousand things, and, according to their traditions, feel
          themselves perfectly justified, which those of another nation,
          with their traditions, would not consider it right to do. How
          would it look here in the United States of America to enter a
          large meeting house like this, move out the benches, and then for
          a congregation to enter the house, kneel down and say a few words
          of prayer, get up and begin to waltz around to the music of the
          organ? This would be considered a very strange proceeding among
          the people of America; yet in other countries it is done and is
          considered most sacred; and it is in accordance with their
          traditions. People's notions of honesty as well as of worship
          differ very widely, and this difference of opinion is the result
          of the traditions they have imbibed; and for any persons to say
          we will bring a motley mass together from various countries, and
          we will judge all of them by our standard, would be diverging
          somewhat from the path of truth and justice. Still,
          notwithstanding the various traditions we have severally imbibed,
          we are all capable of coming to a perfect understanding of truth
          and justice, and of what we should do to be perfectly right
          before God. This is a subject I have reflected upon a great deal,
          and I have come to the conclusion that we shall be judged
          according to the deeds done in the body and according to the
          thoughts and intents of the heart.
          In viewing the traditions of the Christian world, so far as I
          have been acquainted with them, before I knew anything of the
          Gospel, and before it was revealed from heaven, I have seen men
          who thought they were as full of grace, faith, and sanctity as
          possible, in fact, full of self-righteousness, which they
          considered the righteousness of God; and yet what would they do?
          I have known such men, in time of harvest, or when they had a
          press of work, say to the poor man who was hardly able to procure
          the bread necessary for his wife and children, "I will give you
          fifty cents a day if you will come and help me harvest, and pay
          you in Indian meal." Such men feel justified, for to oppress the
          poor is in accordance with their traditions.
          A similar course is pursued with the female sex. A young woman,
          compelled to labor for her daily bread, applies for work to some
          lady in comfortable circumstances. The lady perhaps says, "What
          wages do you want?" "I do not know. What will you give me?" The
          reply is, probably, "Well, I will give you fifty cents a week and
          your board, but I shall want you to do my washing, ironing,
          milking, scrubbing and cooking," the whole of it, most likely,
          keeping the poor girl at work from five o'clock in the morning
          until ten at night. Yet her poverty leaves her no choice, and she
          is compelled to become a slave in order to procure, day by day,
          her breakfast, dinner, and supper. It is probable that if her
          father be alive he is too poor to help her; and if she has a
          mother she may be a widow and unable to rescue her from a life of
          toil and slavery. A lady, whom I knew in my youth, the wife of a
          minister, where I used to attend meeting, said once to some of
          her sisters in the church, "Do you suppose that we shall be under
          the necessity of eating with our hired help when we get into
          heaven? We do not do it here, and I have an idea that there will
          be two tables in heaven." Yet she was a lady of refinement and
          education, still the traditions that had been woven into her very
          being proved the folly she possessed to ask such a question.
          Do these and similar traditions exist in the world? Yes; I know
          of countries in which if a poor person--or perhaps I should say
          any person, and not confine it to the poor--where if any person,
          man or woman, were passing along the street, and were to pick up
          a pocket book containing one, ten, a hundred, or a thousand
          pounds, he or she would feel to thank God for the blessing, and
          would never think of trying to find the owners of this property,
          or of letting them know anything about it, even if they were
          known. Such parties would feel justified in the act, and would
          rejoice because they were able to make themselves comfortable.
          Are any of you acquainted with such traditions? Yes, many of you
          have been brought up in the midst of them.
          What would you do, who have lived in England, if you had rented a
          place, and in that place you had found some old secret cupboard
          or hole in the wall containing a fortune in treasure which had
          belonged to some one who had formerly resided in those premises,
          and whose children or relatives might be living in the
          neighborhood even then? Would you divulge such a circumstance,
          and do your best to discover those to whom it rightfully
          belonged, in order to restore it to them? No; you would put it in
          your pocket, considering it a godsend, and never say a word about
          I see these and numberless other traits of character among the
          people here, all of which are the results of their traditions.
          Now, what can we expect of them? We expect to treat them as
          children until we can teach them to become men and women. Seeing,
          then, that these differences in sentiment exist among the people,
          and knowing that they are the natural result of the traditions
          and circumstances by which they have been surrounded, it will not
          do to judge according to the outward appearance, but according to
          the sincerity and honesty of the heart.
          I look at the Latter-day Saints, and I sometimes take the liberty
          to preach to them; and this principle, of being judged according
          to our works, is as applicable to communities as individuals. I,
          therefore, wish to apply it to those amongst us who are not as
          diligent as they might be in the duties of every day life, as
          they present themselves before them, whether they be of a
          spiritual or temporal nature. Whatever you do, you have been
          taught sufficient to know that all our duties are in the Lord and
          are circumscribed in the faith and practice of the kingdom of
          God. "The earth is the Lord's, and the fulness thereof." The gold
          and the silver the earth contains are his; the wheat and fine
          flour, the wine and the oil are his; the cattle that roam over
          the plains and mountains belong to him we serve, and whom we
          acknowledge as the God of the universe. And whether we are
          raising cattle, planting, gathering, building or inhabiting, we
          are in the Lord, and all we do is within the pale of his kingdom
          upon the earth, consequently it is all spiritual and all
          temporal, no matter what we are laboring to accomplish.
          We frequently call the brethren to go on missions to preach the
          Gospel, and they will go and labor as faithfully as men can do,
          fervent in spirit, in prayer, in laying on hands, in preaching to
          and teaching the people how to be saved. In a few years they come
          home, and throwing off their coats and hats, they will say,
          "Religion, stand aside, I am going to work now to get something
          for myself and my family." This is folly in the extreme! When a
          man returns from a mission where he has been preaching the Gospel
          he ought to be just as ready to come to this pulpit to preach as
          if he were in England, France, Germany, or on the islands of the
          sea. And when he has been at home a week, a month, a year, or ten
          years, the spirit of preaching and the spirit of the Gospel ought
          to be within him like a river flowing forth to the people in good
          words, teachings, precepts, and examples. If this is not the case
          he does not fill his mission.
          Men may think, and some of them do, that we have a right to work
          for ourselves; but I say we have no time to do that in the
          narrow, selfish sense generally entertained when speaking about
          working for self. We have no time allotted to us here on the
          earth to work for ourselves in that sense; and yet when laboring
          in the most disinterested and fervent manner for the cause and
          kingdom of God, it is all for ourselves. When I say we do not
          labor for ourselves, I reflect in a moment that I do nothing but
          what is for myself and then for my friends. It is equally true
          with all of us; and though our time be entirely occupied in
          laboring for the advancement of the kingdom of God on the earth
          we are in reality laboring most effectually for self, for all our
          interest and welfare both in time and eternity are circumscribed
          and bound up in that kingdom.
          How often, when I was engaged in traveling and preaching the
          Gospel, have the people said to me, "O, this must be all a
          speculation! You differ so much from other people that we cannot
          believe all you teach." "We have heard a great deal about Mr.
          Smith, or 'Joe Smith,'" they would often say, and he must be a
          speculator, and these doctrines you preach were gotten up by him
          expressly for a speculation." I have acknowledged a great many
          times, and I am as free to acknowledge it to-day, that it is the
          greatest speculation ever entered into by God, men, or angels,
          for it is a speculation involving eternal lives in the celestial
          kingdom of God. It is the grandest investment on the face of the
          earth, and one in which you may invest all and everything you
          possess for the present and eternal benefit of yourself, your
          wives, your children, parents, relatives and friends; and all who
          are wise will enter into it, for they can make more by it, and be
          exalted higher by its means than by any other speculation ever
          introduced among the children of men. When I labor in the kingdom
          of God, I labor for my own dear self, I have self continually
          before me; the object of my pursuit is to benefit my individual
          person; and this is the case with every person who ever was or
          ever will be exalted. Happiness and glory are the pursuit of
          every person that lives on the face of the earth, who is
          thoroughly endowed with wisdom and the spirit of enterprise,
          whether immorality is brought in or not. Such are after honor,
          ease, comfort; such want to wield power, and would like to have
          influence and dominion. Now, if they will enter this great
          speculation--the kingdom of God on the earth, the plan of
          redemption and exaltation devised before the foundation of the
          world was laid, it will lead to greater happiness, power,
          influence, and dominion than ever man possessed or thought of.
               I believe it is generally allowed that "self-preservation is
          the first law of nature." If it is, let us save ourselves and
          enter into covenant with God, who holds the issues of life and
          death, and who can give and no one can dispute his right; who can
          withhold and no one can hinder it. Let us enter into covenant
          with him by enlisting in this great, good cause, and thus take
          ourselves back into his presence. We can do this through his
          grace and Gospel, through the atonement of his Son, by faith in
          the Father and the Son and by our obedience to their

          Now, if we are to be judged according to our works I want to
          proceed a little further. You will permit me to be plain in
          making my remarks; in so doing, however, I may interfere with
          individual ears and feelings. I have a word to say to my sisters.
          When I reflect upon the duties and responsibilities devolving
          upon our mothers and sisters, and the influence they wield, I
          look upon them as the mainspring and soul of our being here. It
          is true that man is first. Father Adam was placed here as king of
          the earth, to bring it into subjection. But when Mother Eve came
          she had a splendid influence over him. A great many have thought
          it was not very good; I think it was excellent. After she had
          partaken of the fruit she carried it to her husband, saying,
          "Husband, a certain character came to me and said if you will eat
          of this fruit you will find it excellent, and it will make you as
          Gods, knowing good from evil; and I have tasted it, and I assure
          you it is excellent." Her influence was so great with Adam that
          he also partook of it, and his eyes were opened. You know the
          result--they were both driven from the garden. Before this,
          however, they were commanded to multiply and replenish the earth
          and thus fill the measure of their creation.
          Now, I say the women have great influence. Look at the nations of
          the earth. Any nation you like, no matter which, and you enlist
          the sympathies of the female portion of it and what is there you
          cannot perform? If the government wants soldiers, they are on
          hand; if means, it is forthcoming. If you want influence and
          power, and have the ladies on your side, they will give it you.
          You take a nation that is going to war, whether our nation or any
          other; in the late struggle, for instance, between the Northern
          and Southern States, suppose all the mothers, sisters and
          daughters of the Republic had set their will and determination
          that no soldiers should go to the field, how many do you suppose
          would have been obtained? A few Irishmen and Germans might have
          been hired, but that is all. This is the influence the ladies
          hold in the nations of the earth. It is true that they are not
          allowed to go to the ballot-box, but let the females in any
          district be united and say that such a man shall not go to
          Congress, and I reckon he cannot go. He may make up his mind to
          stay at home and make shingles, raise potatoes, or do something
          else. If he is a lawyer, he may try to get a living by pleading
          law, but he cannot go to Congress. And when the ladies say send
          such a man, he is pretty sure to go if they are united and
          determined that it shall be so. The ladies may not know that they
          wield so much influence as this, and they would probably want
          some outward sign before they could be convinced, but it is
          nevertheless true that their influence is as powerful as I have
          Now, a few words directly to my sisters here in the kingdom of
          God. We want your influence and power in helping to build up that
          kingdom, and what I wish to say to you is simply this, if you
          will govern and control yourselves in all things in accordance
          with good, sound, common sense and the principles of truth and
          righteousness, there is not the least fear but what father,
          uncle, grandfather, brothers, and sons will follow in the wake.
          It is the ladies who introduce the fashions here. I will take the
          liberty of speaking with regard to some of them. If you take up
          some of the fashion magazines sent here you will find the ladies
          very beautifully portrayed with those "Grecian bends." They are
          being introduced here, but they are of very moderate dimensions
          yet. By and by, in about another year perhaps, they will be as
          large again as they are now; and in two years from the present
          time they will be three or four times as large, and if this
          ridiculous fashion should continue they may keep on increasing in
          size until on a hazy day, or in the dusk of the evening, you will
          not be able, for the life of you, to tell a lady, at a distance,
          from a camel. Now, the ladies can do just as they please about
          adopting or changing this fashion. If it is adopted there is one
          thing I am afraid of. In the world, you know, it is no uncommon
          thing to see children born deformed; every such instance might
          have been avoided with proper care, for all such deformities are
          the result of natural causes. I hope we shall never see such
          things in Zion, but if our ladies continue the fashion of the
          "Grecian bend" I am afraid some of their children will be born
          with humps on their backs.
          There is another item in relation to fashions to which I wish to
          call the attention of the sisters, being satisfied that ladies,
          of naturally good taste, need only to have their attention
          directed to anything showing a want of it, to discontinue it. I
          refer now to the trails or trains that it is fashionable for
          ladies to wear at the bottom of their dresses. You know it is the
          custom of some here to have a long trail of cloth dragging after
          them through the dirt; others, again, will have their dresses so
          short that one must shut his eyes, or he cannot help seeing their
          garters. Excuse me for the expression; but this is true, and it
          is not right. The ladies of Israel should consider these things,
          and as they will be judged according to their works just as much
          as the men, they should seek to have good works, and be governed
          by good sense instead of foolish fashions in their modes of
          adorning and dressing themselves.
          It is true that we have not the etiquette here, as a general
          thing, that is in the world; and this is not at all strange when
          the circumstances in which most of the people have been reared
          are considered. When I meet ladies and gentlemen of high rank, as
          I sometimes do, they must not expect from me the same formal
          ceremony and etiquette that are observed among the great in the
          courts of kings. In my youthful days, instead of going to school,
          I had to chop logs, to sow and plant, to plow in the midst of
          roots barefooted, and if I had on a pair of pants that would
          cover me I did pretty well. Seeing that this was the way I was
          brought up they cannot expect from me the same etiquette and
          ceremony as if I had been brought up at the feet of Gamaliel. The
          most of the people called Latter-day Saints have been taken from
          the rural and manufacturing districts of this and the old
          countries, and they belonged to the poorest of the poor. Many of
          them, I may say the great majority, never had anything around
          them to make life very desirable; they have been acquainted with
          poverty and wretchedness, hence it cannot be expected that they
          should manifest that refinement and culture prevalent among the
          rich. Many and many a man here, who is now able to ride in his
          wagon and perhaps in his carriage, for years and years before he
          started for Zion never saw daylight. His days were spent in the
          coal mines, and his daily toil would commence before light in the
          morning and continue until after dark at night. Now what can be
          expected from a community so many of whose members have been
          brought up like this, or if not just like this, still under
          circumstances of poverty and privation? Certainly not what we
          might expect from those reared under more favorable
          circumstances. But I will tell you what we have in our mind's eye
          with regard to these very people, and what we are trying to make
          of them. We take the poorest we can find on earth who will
          receive the truth, and we are trying to make ladies and gentlemen
          of them. We are trying to educate them, to school their children,
          and to so train them that they may be able to gather around them
          the comforts of life, that they may pass their lives as the human
          family should do--that their days, weeks, and months may be
          pleasant to them. We prove that this is our design, for the
          result, to some extent, is already before us.
          I will now return to the influence of the female portion of our
          community. The ladies have power and influence to suppress the
          "Grecian bend" and other fashionable follies, if they will. I
          want them to consider well their standing, condition, and
          influence. Suppose that our wives and daughters should say to us,
          "Husband," or "Father, will you wear a straw hat of our make?"
          or, "We had some flax got out last season and we have made some
          tow or linen cloth, and we have some that would make a nice coat,
          will you wear it if we make it up for you?" What do you suppose
          we should say? The reply would be, "Wives," or "Daughters, yes,
          and we thank you; we see your good works and we will wear the hat
          or the coat you may make for us." And we should do this without
          ever having a thought about anybody else being pleased with them
          or not; if we looked well in the eyes of our wives and daughters,
          we should care very little for others. Then suppose, after they
          had made these garments for us, they go to the boys and say,
          "Here, boys, will you wear what father wears?" There would be no
          fear but the boys would say, "Yes, if it is good enough for
          father it is good enough for us." We sometimes see a few home
          made hats in our congregations, and without a close examination
          they might be taken for foreign goods, they are so excellent and
          possess such a delicacy of appearance and finish, which is
          What is there in these respects that the members of the Female
          Relief Societies cannot accomplish. They can abolish the "Grecian
          bend," if they wish to do so, and so far as my taste is concerned
          I would much rather see a "Mormon bend" than a "Grecian bend;"
          and besides this, they can control the fashions, and if they are
          so disposed, make home-manufactured articles of all kinds the
          fashion throughout the Territory. Is there any necessity for
          this? Certainly there is. Just for want of a few hundred thousand
          dollars, owing to this people by the railway companies, almost
          every business man in our community is oppressed. Suppose the
          amount due were paid, in a few months it would be spent and the
          people would be in about the same condition they are in to-day.
          Where then could you procure money to buy foreign goods? Our
          merchants are complaining of dull times and no sales. Ask them
          what are their dividends, and they will tell you "a mere
          nothing." Why not relieve this portion of the community, and keep
          them from the necessity of straining their brains until they
          become insane to know how to pay their debts? Say to them, "Pay
          your debts, we will help you to do so, but do not run into debt
          any more. We are going to make our own bonnets and hats." Will
          you make the ribbons? No; you are not prepared to do so now, but
          you soon will be. If any of you want to do so now I have silk I
          can furnish you, and we have plenty of silk weavers amongst us.
          But if you are not prepared for this just say, "We will do
          without ribbons," or "We will do with as few as possible," and
          make the ornaments you wear on your heads of the straw that grows
          in our fields.
          Ladies, can you do this? You can, and we require you to do it. If
          you are the means of plunging this whole people into debt so as
          to distress them, will there be anything required of you? I think
          there will, for you will be judged according to your works. Are
          not the men as extravagant as the women? Yes, certainly they are,
          and just as foolish. I could point out instances by the score and
          by the hundred of men who are just as unwise, shortsighted, and
          foolish as the women can be; but a condemnation of the male
          portion of the community will not justify the female portion of
          There is a great deal said in these days with regard to woman's
          rights. I wish our women understood their rights, and would then
          assume them. They have a great many rights they are not aware of.
          As I pass around from house to house, occasionally, I sometimes
          think, "I wish the lady who lives here understood her rights; if
          she did I think her house and children would look a little
          different." It is your right, wives, to ask your husbands to set
          out beautiful shade and fruit trees, and to get you some vine and
          flowers with which to adorn the outside of your dwellings; and if
          your husbands have not time, get them yourselves and plant them
          out. Some, perhaps, will say, "O, I have nothing but a log house,
          and it is not worth that." Yes; it is worth it. Whitewash and
          plaster it up, and get vines to run over the door, so that
          everybody who passes will say, "What a lovely little cottage!"
          This is your privilege and I wish you to exercise yourselves in
          your own rights.
          It is your right and privilege, too, to stop all folly in your
          conversation, and how necessary this is! I have often thought and
          said, "How necessary it is for mothers, who are the first
          teachers of their children and who make the first impressions on
          their young minds, to be strict." How careful they should be
          never to impress a false idea on the mind of a child! They should
          never teach them anything unless they know it is correct in every
          respect. They should never say a word, especially in the hearing
          of a child, that is improper. How natural it is for women to talk
          babytalk to their children; and it seems just as natural for the
          men to do so. It is just as natural for me as to draw my breath
          to talk nonsense to a child on my lap, and yet I have been trying
          to break myself of it ever since I began to have a family.
          These duties and responsibilities devolve upon mothers far more
          than upon fathers, for you know the latter are often in the field
          or canon, and are frequently away from home, sometimes for
          several days together, attending to labors which compel them to
          be absent from home. But the mother is at home with the children
          continually; and if they are taught lessons of usefulness it
          depends upon her. How foolish it is--and some mothers do it, to
          dress a child in the most gaudy apparel you can get hold of, when
          you know that, unless under your own eye, that very child, in
          five minutes after being dressed, will be playing in the mud! Why
          not rather dress the child in something useful and appropriate,
          for play, sunshine, and fresh air are as necessary to children as
          food. Do I see any of this nonsensical short-sightedness on the
          part of mothers? Yes, but it is for the want of thought and
          through mistaken kindness that they do this and many other
          foolish things to their children.
          One thing is very true and we believe it, and that is that a
          woman is the glory of the man; but she was not made to be
          worshipped by him. As the Scriptures say, Man is not without the
          woman, neither is woman without the man in the Lord. Yet woman
          was not made to be worshipped any more than man was. A man is not
          made to be worshipped by his family; but he is to be their head,
          and to be good and upright before them, and to be respected by
          them. It is his privilege to walk erect, to converse the same as
          God, in fact he is made in the express image of his Heavenly
          Father, and he should honor this position. Yet he is not made to
          be worshipped, but to be the head and superior, and to be obeyed
          in all love and kindness, and the woman is to be his helpmeet.
          Woman has her influence, and she should use that in training her
          children in the way they should go; if she fails to do this she
          assumes fearful responsibilities.
          We have instances in this Church of mothers full of faith and
          good works, and if you mark their children you cannot find one
          that is froward in his ways; I do not remember an instance among
          the children of such mothers but what believed in and delighted
          in the Gospel. We have also here the children of mothers of an
          opposite character--mothers who have been careless and
          indifferent about the Gospel or the kingdom of God, and, if you
          mark their children, they are the same, and they stray away from
          the kingdom of God and from the ordinances of life and salvation.
          This is the result of the influence of the mother; I am an
          eyewitness of it.
          If our sisters comprehended the power they bear and the influence
          they wield in the midst of the people it does appear to me that
          they would consider their condition a little more than they do.
          It is true that I sometimes chasten them pretty severely and talk
          to them harshly, and tell them precisely how they look and act,
          and the path they are walking in and point out the dangers to
          which they are exposed; and sometimes it hurts their feelings,
          but I cannot help this. I take the liberty of doing this and I do
          it for their good, for it is seldom that a man will say anything
          to his wife or daughters about their every day labor and conduct.
          It is true that there is occasionally a man who will find fault
          with everything, and a woman who will do the same; and there is a
          certain few on this earth who are never happy unless they are
          miserable, and who are never easy until they are in pain; but
          such people are not commonly to be met with. Let the husband
          train himself to be submissive to the Lord and his requirements
          in every respect, and teach his wife or wives and children the
          doctrine of life and salvation and set before them an example
          worthy of imitation, and there are few families but what will
          follow such a husband and father. Occasionally you may meet with
          a family who will be rebellious under such circumstances, and you
          may once in a while find a man who will be rebellious when his
          wife and children are full of faith and good works. But such
          individuals are of Gentile blood, which is the rebellious blood,
          and will show it out.
          Now, sisters, hearken! Look to yourselves in your capacity as
          Relief Societies in this city and throughout the mountains. Look
          at your condition. Consider it for yourselves, and decide whether
          you will go to and learn the influence which you possess, and
          then wield that influence for doing good and to relieve the poor
          among the people. When I have been out in the nations I have
          frequently been pained to see the scenes of distress there to be
          met with. I recollect one circumstance, while in England. I have
          related it often, but will do so now. When standing in Smithfield
          Market, in the City of Manchester, once, I spent a penny for a
          bunch of grapes that had just come from France. Immediately after
          I felt as guilty as I could feel, for I saw a woman passing by
          who, I knew by her appearance, was starving to death. She dare
          not steal nor beg, for if she had done either she would have been
          instantly arrested and taken to prison or the workhouse. I say I
          felt guilty for spending that in luxury which, if it had been
          given to that woman, might have procured her a morsel of bread,
          and so have helped to relieve her misery.
          Sisters, do you see any children around your neighborhoods poorly
          clad and without shoes? If you do, I say to you Female Relief
          Societies pick up these children and relieve their necessities,
          and send them to school. And if you see any young, middle-aged or
          old ladies in need find them something to do that will enable
          them to sustain themselves; but don't relieve the idle, for
          relieving those who are able but unwilling to work is ruinous to
          any community. The time we spend here is our life, our substance,
          our capital, our fortune, and that time should be used
          profitably. Take these old ladies, there are a great many of them
          around rather poor, and give them something to do; that is their
          delight. You will hardly find an old lady in the community who
          has not been brought up to work; and they would rather knit
          stockings or do some other useful labor than eat the bread of
          charity. Relieve the wants of every individual in need in your
          neighborhoods. This is in the capacity and in the power of the
          Female Relief Societies when it is not in the power of the
          Bishops. Do you know it? I do, whether you do or not; and you are
          learning it. Find out what your influence is and how far it
          extends, and use it to do good; and live every day so that when
          you lie down at night you can look back on the day and say, in
          all honesty before God, "I do not know that I have done a wrong
          action, said an improper word, indulged in a bad thought, or
          neglected to perform any duty that I ought to have attended to
          this day, and I can lie down in peace, and submit myself to the
          Lord, and if I never wake again in this world, all right, I am
          just as ready to go now as I ever shall be. This is the way we
          all should live, but I know we come short of it, and then plead
          ignorance as an excuse, as has been stated here to-day.
          We are here in these mountains. How often do I think of it? Bro.
          George A. says we are here because we are obliged to go
          somewhere. This is true, we are absolutely under the necessity of
          going somewhere or of fighting the whole world. The Lord did not
          desire this. It was necessary for the people to be scourged, it
          was necessary for us to learn whether we loved our property
          better than the truth. Five times I have left a good handsome
          property; but no matter, the earth is the Lord's, and he can give
          and take away what he pleases. Every time I have been driven I
          have improved in my circumstances. Every time this work has been
          removed it has become taller, wider, and longer; and if in the
          reign of King James Buchanan, they had succeeded in removing us
          we should have been still better off, because the Lord would have
          prepared everything for the people to have been better off; but
          this was not his mind. Here is our home, right here in these
          mountains. What you have heard to-day from the previous speaker I
          acknowledge may grate on the ears of some; nevertheless it is
          true. I acknowledge another thing--truth should not at all times
          be spoken. But we are here, and the statement you have heard with
          regard to the President of this people saying, "If they let us
          alone ten years we would ask no odds of them," is true; and the
          only thing in which we have never failed in obtaining
          satisfaction has been to ask no odds of them, for the most of
          things that we have asked for have been denied us. In that we can
          have satisfaction; we cannot help it. We would not have things as
          they are if we could help it. We should not have left the States
          if we could have stayed there. If we could have all the people
          believe the truth we would not have them unbelievers. There is
          hardly a civilized nation on earth to which we have not carried
          the Gospel without purse and scrip. He who had money left it at
          home. We have offered life and salvation to the inhabitants of
          the earth without money and without price, so you see we do not
          believe in a hireling priesthood. We preach here without pay. Do
          our Bishops labor for pay? No, if they are not capable of getting
          a living and sustaining themselves and families, and of filling
          the office of Bishop without pay, they are hardly worthy of the
          Bishopric. If a High Priest is called to be a president or to
          travel and preach the Gospel to the nations of the earth, he must
          do it without pay; and we think that any man who is not able to
          keep himself and family and travel and preach one-half or
          two-thirds of his time without being paid, is not so good a
          financier as he ought to be, still we find many who do not
          possess this qualification. When we have all learned this we
          shall find that we can have all we can ask for or desire;
          everything to make us happy and comfortable, no matter whether we
          are called to go abroad and preach or whether we stay and labor
          at home.
          Brethren and sisters, and especially the sisters, I hope you will
          listen to what has been said this morning. I have been preaching
          to the sisters of the Church this morning, not to outsiders. If I
          had preached to outsiders I should have told them what the Gospel
          is; how they can come to God, not to an "anxious bench." I should
          have told them to repent of their sins, and to be baptized for
          the remission of them, and to have hands laid upon them for the
          reception of the Holy Ghost, which would bring to their
          remembrance things past, present, and to come; that would make
          prophets and prophetesses of them; give to them those gifts that
          God has set in his Church--the gift of healing, the gift of
          discerning of spirits, of tongues, of the interpretation of
          tongues, of prophecy, etc., etc. Are they here? Yes, right here
          in abundance, to overflowing. If the Saints would be faithful in
          cultivating these gifts every doctor might be removed from our
          midst. Let the mothers, say nothing about the Elders in Israel,
          exercise the faith that it is their right to exercise, and I am
          satisfied that nine out of every ten children that now die might
          be saved. Doctors and their medicines I regard as a deadly bane
          to any community. Give your children, when sick, a little simple
          herb drink; and if they have eaten too much let them go without
          food until their stomachs are cleansed and purified, and have
          faith in the name of Jesus and in the ordinances of his Church,
          and they will live. That is my faith with regard to this thing. I
          am not very partial to doctors and lawyers, I can see no use for
          them unless it is to raise grain or go to mechanical work. But I
          need not go into this subject at the present.
          We say forgive us of our errors, accept the truth and love and
          serve God that you may be saved in his kingdom, which I ask in
          the name of Jesus. Amen.
          Journal of Discourses / Journal of Discourses, Volume 14 /
          Brigham Young, May 7, 1871
                             Brigham Young, May 7, 1871
                         REMARKS BY PRESIDENT BRIGHAM YOUNG,
            Delivered in the New Tabernacle, Salt Lake City, May 7, 1871.
                            (Reported by David W. Evans.)
          I have a few words to offer to my brethren and sisters, and all
          who hear me, concerning the experience of the minds of the
          children of men, especially in their transit from evil to good.
          We vary very materially in our dispositions, reflections, in the
          impulses of our minds, and in our perceptive faculties. There is
          a great variety of operations upon the minds of the inhabitants
          of the earth, and the people are unacquainted with them, for they
          do not lay them to heart, contemplate and realize them,
          consequently they cannot look upon them as they are. These
          remarks of mine are the result of reflections upon the sayings of
          our brother who has been speaking to us, and telling his
          experience when he received the Gospel. He told us that, though
          his perceptive faculties were so quickened that he could read the
          Bible understandingly, this did not satisfy him; he must have a
          storm. I make use of this term to express my idea of what he
          desired and so earnestly sought for. He must have an experience
          like a rushing, mighty wind, or he could not be satisfied. In
          reading the sayings of the ancients, we find that they looked
          sometimes for the Lord to come in a storm. Sometimes you will see
          the storm pass, and the Lord is not there. The winds blow
          terribly, but the Lord is not there. A terrible tempest comes
          along, in which the lightnings flash and the thunders bellow
          almost enough to shake the mountains down. Is the Lord there? No,
          he is not there. But by and by you hear a small, still voice
          saying, "Peace, peace." The Lord is there, and this is his voice.
          It will satisfy some, but others, like our brother, want a
          testimony like a rushing, mighty wind.
          I will give you a little of my experience, not merely at the time
          that I concluded to forsake sin and embrace peace and
          righteousness, but since then. My experience in this kingdom as a
          man, as an intelligent being, concerning the philosophy of this
          world and mankind, and all things pertaining to the earth,
          teaches me a great many little items that are passed over
          unnoticed by most of the people. My conclusion with regard to a
          sound religious experience is simply this: If I am convicted of
          sin I am made sensible of wrong. If this wrong exists within me,
          my good judgment teaches me that I should take that and put it
          away from me; turn it out of doors; it would teach me to say, "I
          do not want you, you are not good for me; you produce sorrow,
          mourning affliction, and all manner of grief and pain. Go out of
          doors, I do not want you, you are evil. I will adopt truth and
          correct principles and plant them within me instead of that which
          will destroy me." Being convinced of all this, what course shall
          I pursue, if I desire to procure a sound experience--one that is
          genuine and will endure, and prove to God and all the heavenly
          host, also to my family and neighbors, that I am sorry for sin? I
          will forsake it, and will not let it dwell within me, but will do
          all I can to banish it from me. Would this be a proof? Yes. Then
          let my actions correspond with the confession of my mouth; and if
          I have discovered this fountain of evil within me, I must lay a
          foundation to be free from it. Do I wish to wait until the Lord
          speaks from heaven to me? No, the Lord has planted within me
          knowledge and wisdom to distinguish between right and wrong, and
          if I wait until his voice comes from heaven to tell me that I am
          a sinner, or until he gives me some particular manifestation of
          approval on my attempting to forsake evil, I may wait a great
          while. I do not know how much he thinks of me, nor whether, if I
          sought such a manifestation, he would come the first night I
          knelt down to pray, or the second, third, or fourth, or whether I
          should have to continue a week, two weeks, or for months. I do
          not know anything about this; but my judgment having convinced me
          that I am wrong, I do not want the Lord to speak from the
          heavens. I will ask any intelligent being that dwells on the face
          of the earth if it is necessary to wait until the Lord comes like
          a rushing, mighty wind, or like an earthquake or tornado? I do
          not see any necessity for it. If I find an evil in me to-day I
          must try and get rid of it; and if I find another to-morrow I
          must get rid of it; and how long must I continue to do so? Just
          as long as God gives me intelligence; not for a day, week, or
          year, but for my whole life; and if I exist for ninety-nine
          years, or for nine hundred and ninety-nine, I do not expect there
          will be an hour in which I will not be under the necessity of
          endeavoring to put evil from me if I find it within me, and to
          grow and increase in the principles of truth and righteousness.
          By taking this course I know, in and of myself, that I am
          forsaking my sins, and do not want the Lord to manifest it unto
          me. I know that if the plants of sin and death are permitted to
          grow within me they will prove my utter destruction, unless I
          tear them up root and branch, and throw them away. The Lord has
          bestowed upon me and upon every intelligent being on the earth,
          wisdom sufficient to comprehend this, and I do not want the Lord
          to come in the storm, the thunder, lightning, or whirlwind to
          tell it to me. I know that I must uproot the plants of evil that
          are within me, and in their place engraft plants of truth and
          virtue, and these will grow up within me to eternal life. Is not
          this reasonable? Is this not a true principle? Yes, and the whole
          of man's experience, science, and wisdom proves it. I may take,
          for instance, the beautiful machinery of my watch, and neglect to
          clean it or wind it up; I may take out the mainspring, the
          hairspring or the main cog-wheel, and then say, "Keep time for
          me," and it would be no more inconsistent than to say, "I have
          naturally within me, through the fall, the principles of death,
          and they reign within me, and I seek not to put those principles
          away from me, but wait for the Lord to manifest to me that I am
          born of him and he is delighted with me." I do not care if I live
          my whole lifetime without a testimony from the Lord; not that he
          leaves his children thus; he has never been so hard-hearted, so
          austere a master as to leave one of his children with full
          purpose of heart to serve him and do his will without a witness
          of his approval. But, suppose he were disposed to do so, I am
          under obligations, on the principles of right and wrong, to
          forsake evil, and to plant within me every principle of purity
          and holiness, whether or not the Lord manifest unto me that I am
          his son and that he is pleased with me. I am not pleased with
          myself if I imbibe and cherish death and destruction; but let me
          cherish life and salvation, that that promotes the happiness of
          mankind, and life, peace, and tranquility within myself and all
          around me, and I shall have my own approval and the approval and
          blessing of the Lord whether he tells me so, in so many words, or
          I am under obligation to take a course which will sustain life
          within myself and others, on rational principles, without any
          special manifestation from God. You can all see this; but some
          think if they do not receive some special manifestation from God
          that he has accepted them, they are rejected of him. Do you not
          all know that you are the sons and daughters of the Almighty? If
          you do not I will inform you this morning that there is not a man
          or woman on the earth that is not a son or daughter of Adam and
          Eve. We all belong to the races which have sprung from father
          Adam and mother Eve; and every son and daughter of Adam and Eve
          is a son and daughter of that God we serve, who organized this
          earth and millions of others, and who holds them in existence by
          law. Now suppose he does not tell us that he particularly loves
          us and thinks so much of us; or that he delights in Brother James
          or William, or in Sister Susan or Nancy more than in any other
          being on the earth, what of it? I do not know that I shall
          inquire of the Lord whether he loves me or not. I do not know
          that I have ever taken pains to ask him. I have professed
          religion somewhere near fifty years, and I do not know that I
          ever asked the Lord whether he loved me or not. I want to take a
          course that I can love purity and holiness. If I do this, then I
          love the Lord and keep his commandments, and that is enough for
          me. If he is not disposed to like me as well as he did John, "the
          beloved disciple," who leaned upon his breast on a certain
          occasion, and tells me to sit yonder instead of here, it is all
          right, I am as satisfied to sit there as here. I want to preserve
          my identity and to increase in intelligence, and if I can do this
          I do not know that I care, particularly, with regard to how much,
          in weight or measure, the Lord loves me or does not love me.
          There is one fact that I do know, he will love me all he should.
          If I take a course to love him and keep his commandments I am for
          life and duration, I am for eternity, for I take that course
          which will preserve myself.
          Many men and women who have obeyed the Gospel, and have not
          received from the Lord these striking testimonies, will say,
          "Well, I really do not know that I can tell whether the Gospel is
          true or not." To all such I say, then you are no philosopher at
          all, for upon the rational principles of common philosophy you
          can tell whether it is true or not. Does it contain the seeds of
          life? Does it promote the plants and yield the fruits of life, or
          does it produce the plants and yield the fruits of death? You can
          ask these questions and readily answer them for yourselves. Not
          that I wish to make a mere historical convert, or a people who
          believe historically, mathematically, or philosophically; but I
          know and understand that the Lord never leaves his children
          without a witness. Now I will tell you a witness which would be
          enough for me--I read the Bible, diligently and faithfully, and
          if I could have found a church and people organized according to
          the pattern contained in its pages I should have been satisfied
          that that was God's Church and people, and that would have been
          witness enough for me. But I will give you a little of my
          experience in my early days with regard to the religious sects.
          From my youth up their cry was, "Lo here is Christ, lo there is
          Christ;" no, "Yonder is Christ;" "Christ is not there, he is
          here," and so on, each claiming that it had the Savior, and that
          others were wrong. I used to think to myself, "Some one of you
          may be right, but hold on, wait awhile! when I reach the years of
          judgment and discretion I can judge for myself; and in the
          meanwhile take no course either with one party or the other."
          When I would make known my views and feelings with regard to
          their confused state they would call me an infidel. I would say
          to them, "All right, I am an infidel in a great many things." I
          read the Bible, and especially the New Testament, which was given
          as a pattern for the life of Christians, whether as a church or
          individuals, and this was my inward inquiry, "Is there a church
          on the earth organized according to the pattern Jesus left?" No.
          Is there an Apostle left on the earth? Not one. Is there a
          prophet, which the Scriptures inform us were placed in the Church
          for its edification? Not one. Is there an evangelist? No. Is
          there the gift of healing? We cannot find any such thing, with
          all their cries of "Lo here, lo there, and lo yonder." "Are there
          any who speak with tongues?" No. Any that prophecy? No, we do not
          believe in prophecy. Any one who has received the Holy Ghost, and
          speaks and preaches by its influence? "Why the Holy Ghost is not
          given in these days," say all those who say, "Lo, here is
          Christ," and "Lo, there is Christ!" Well, I used to say, I am an
          infidel, for I do not believe anything of this; when you bring me
          a people built up and believing according to the New Testament I
          will believe that they are right. When you find such a people you
          will find the people and Church of God, with all the gifts and
          graces of the Gospel in their midst; and you will find the
          kingdom of God on the earth." They labored with me, but finally
          declared that I was an infidel, for I could not believe in their
          doctrines and principles. Yet I have been at many of their
          meetings and seen their modes of conversion. As I have said to my
          friends here, in speaking about Spiritualism, I have seen the
          effects of animal magnetism, or some anomalous sleep, or whatever
          it may be called, many a time in my youth. I have seen persons
          lie on the benches, on the floor of the meeting house, or on the
          ground at their camp meetings, for ten, twenty, and thirty
          minutes, and I do not know but an hour, and not a particle of
          pulse about them. That was the effect of what I call animal
          magnetism; they called it the power of God, but no matter what it
          was. I used to think that I should like to ask such persons what
          they had seen in their trance or vision; and when I got old
          enough and dared ask them, I did so. I have said to such persons:
          "Brother, what have you experienced?" "Nothing." "What do you
          know more than before you had this; what do you call it--trance,
          sleep or dream? Do you know any more now than before you fell to
          the earth?" "Nothing more." "Have you seen any person?" "No."
          "Then what is the use or utility of your falling down here in the
          dirt?" I could not see it, and consequently I was an infidel to
          this. But I said then as I say now--"Show me a church that God
          has organized, and you will find Apostles to rule, govern,
          control, dictate, and give counsel. You will find prophets,
          evangelists, pastors, teachers, governments, helps, and
          diversities of tongues. When the Church and kingdom of God is
          upon the earth you will find all these things and you will also
          hear prophesying therein.
          I will now return again to our experience here. In Christendom
          the people are taught by the priest, by father, by mother, by
          president, prince and king, that the Bible is true and that Jesus
          is the Christ; and they inherit this belief, and if it is a true
          principle to believe in Jesus, they inherit it without the use of
          their judgment and reasoning faculties. And when you find a
          church organized according to the New Testament pattern it does
          not require any particular manifestation to prove its truth, for
          we are taught from our youth up to acknowledge the New Testament
          and we cannot help it. It is interwoven into our very natures; I
          do not know but it is the warp and the filling, both. In
          consequence of this we have a holy reverence for and a belief in
          the Bible, though we may not believe in the actions of all those
          who profess to believe in it. As it was observed by my brother,
          "He loved religion;" and for myself I can say that I have always
          had a holy reverence for the truth. I have had a divine reverence
          for it from my youth, but not for the conduct of all those who
          profess to be Christians.
          Well, how can you know when you have passed from death unto life?
          You had the witness right here from our brother, according to the
          testimony of the Apostles, "By this ye shall know ye have passed
          from death unto life, if ye love the brethren." Our brother said
          he loved that poor Elder who preached the Gospel to him, although
          he could not gain admittance into a decent house. Nobody would
          receive an Elder of Israel, nobody would receive a messenger
          bearing the words and keys of eternal life and salvation to the
          nations, but a poor widow on a back street where our brother was
          ashamed to go. It put me in mind of the harlot Rahab. She alone
          would receive the spies sent out by Joshua, the servant of God.
          Do you not think she was blessed? I think so; and I think the
          poor widow who received and gave an asylum to the Elder referred
          to by our brother was blessed also, for his words were life,
          light, and peace; and he said that he loved him, and by this he
          might have known that he had passed from death unto life.
          Now, to our experience again. Suppose you obey the ordinances of
          the Gospel, and do not speak in tongues to-day, never mind that.
          Suppose you do not have the spirit of prophecy, no matter.
          Suppose you do not receive any particular gift attended by the
          rushing of a mighty wind, as on the day of Pentecost, there is no
          particular necessity that you should. On the Day of Pentecost
          there was special need for it, it was a peculiarly trying time.
          Who believed on Jesus? Look at his poor disciples! When Jesus was
          on trial, Peter, the chief of the Apostles, dare not own him, and
          denied him through fear. There was not a man or woman to stand up
          and say, "This is the Christ; don't you crucify him. He is
          Christ, the Savior of the world; be cautious how you handle that
          man." There was not one to say anything of this kind. It was a
          very peculiar time, and some special and powerful manifestation
          of the power of the Almighty was necessary to open the eyes of
          the people and let them know that Jesus had paid the debt, and
          that they had actually crucified him who, by his death, had
          become the Savior of the world. It required this at that time to
          convince the people; but when the doctrines of Christianity
          became popular it was no longer necessary. I do not need this; do
          you? No. Do you believe the truth? If you do, embrace it in your
          lives. What next? Prove to the Lord, to all the heavenly host,
          and to the inhabitants of the earth, that you live according to
          the law of the holy Gospel that God has revealed for the
          salvation of the children of men. This will show that you are
          honest and sincere, and that you are worthy of life eternal in
          the celestial kingdom of God.
          God bless you. Amen.
          Journal of Discourses / Journal of Discourses, Volume 14 /
          Brigham Young, May 14, 1871
                             Brigham Young, May 14, 1871
             Delivered in the Tabernacle, Salt Lake City, May 14, 1871.
                            (Reported by David W. Evans.)
          I sometimes ask the Saints a question with regard to our
          meetings, but I have not done so lately. We come here on Sabbath
          mornings to this large hall, which will contain a great many
          people, but only a few, in proportion to the number there is in
          the city who should be here, attend; and I ask myself and have
          heretofore asked the people why they do not attend? Do they love
          their meetings, do they love their religion, and do they love to
          hear the servants of the Lord bear testimony to the truth? How is
          it? Perhaps many of the brethren and sisters think we are not as
          interesting in our conversation as we should be. I will say to
          such, we will give the ground to you at any time you will take
          the stand, and we will sit and hear. But when we talk to you we
          give you such ideas as we have, and we clothe them in the best
          language that is in our possession, according to the ability and
          the gift and grace that we possess. Whether they are interesting
          to you or not is not for me to say. It is true the Saints may ask
          me why I do not attend meetings more strictly than I do. I will
          say that, in my life, I have been very strict in attending
          meetings, and when I attend now I feel that the Saints require me
          to speak to them; that is their desire and their faith; but I
          have met with and talked to them and the inhabitants of the earth
          so much that I very frequently feel that my talk is almost
          finished, it is pretty much gone out of me; not the subjects to
          talk upon or the ideas, but the strength of my human existence,
          and in consequence of this during the winter just passed I have
          stayed at home. I have not asked the Saints to excuse me on this
          account, for I think that I know my own duty and what I should or
          should not do better than anybody else; but as I am feeling much
          better with regard to my stomach and lungs, though I have no
          complaint to make of my lungs as to the wind chest--I have plenty
          of strength there; but the organs of speech in this tabernacle
          are actually worn; but as I am feeling better I expect to meet
          with you more frequently.
          It is my highest delight and pleasure to serve God and keep his
          commandments; there is great delight in the law of the Lord to
          me, for the simple reason--it is pure, holy, just, and true; and
          those principles which the Lord has revealed are the only correct
          principles that man possesses on the earth. We may imagine to
          ourselves that we possess a great deal of human wisdom
          independent of the Lord, but this is a mistake, for every truth
          that is in the possession of the children of men upon the earth
          came from God. The sciences understood by man came from God, and
          when we demonstrate a truth, we demonstrate a portion of the
          faith, law, or power by which all intelligent beings exist,
          whether in heaven or on earth, consequently when we have truth in
          our possession we have so much of the knowledge of God. I delight
          in this, because truth is calculated to sustain itself; it is
          based upon eternal facts and will endure, while all else will
          sooner or later perish.
          It was observed here just now that we differ from the Christian
          world in our religious faith and belief; and so we do very
          materially. I am not astonished that infidelity prevails to a
          great extent among the inhabitants of the earth, for the
          religious teachers of the people advance many ideas and notions
          for truth which are in opposition to and contradict facts
          demonstrated by science, and which are generally understood. Says
          the scientific man, "I do not see your religion to be true; I do
          not understand the law, light, rules, religion, or whatever you
          call it, which you say God has revealed; it is confusion to me,
          and if I submit to and embrace your views and theories I must
          reject the facts which science demonstrates to me." This is the
          position, and the line of demarcation has been plainly drawn, by
          those who profess Christianity, between the sciences and revealed
          religion. You take, for instance, our geologists, and they tell
          us that this earth has been in existence for thousands and
          millions of years. They think, and they have good reason for
          their faith, that their researches and investigations enable them
          to demonstrate that this earth has been in existence as long as
          they assert it has; and they say, "If the Lord, as religionists
          declare, made the earth out of nothing in six days, six thousand
          years ago, our studies are all vain; but by what we can learn
          from nature and the immutable laws of the Creator as revealed
          therein, we know that your theories are incorrect and
          consequently we must reject your religions as false and vain; we
          must be what you call infidels, with the demonstrated truths of
          science in our possession; or, rejecting those truths, become
          enthusiasts in, what you call, Christianity."
          In these respects we differ from the Christian world, for our
          religion will not clash with or contradict the facts of science
          in any particular. You may take geology, for instance, and it is
          a true science; not that I would say for a moment that all the
          conclusions and deductions of its professors are true, but its
          leading principles are; they are facts--they are eternal; and to
          assert that the Lord made this earth out of nothing is
          preposterous and impossible. God never made something out of
          nothing; it is not in the economy or law by which the worlds
          were, are, or will exist. There is an eternity before us, and it
          is full of matter; and if we but understand enough of the Lord
          and his ways, we would say that he took of this matter and
          organized this earth from it. How long it has been organized it
          is not for me to say, and I do not care anything about it. As for
          the Bible account of the creation we may say that the Lord gave
          it to Moses, or rather Moses obtained the history and traditions
          of the fathers, and from these picked out what he considered
          necessary, and that account has been handed down from age to age,
          and we have got it, no matter whether it is correct or not, and
          whether the Lord found the earth empty and void, whether he made
          it out of nothing or out of the rude elements; or whether he made
          it in six days or in as many millions of years, is and will
          remain a matter of speculation in the minds of men unless he give
          revelation on the subject. If we understood the process of
          creation there would be no mystery about it, it would be all
          reasonable and plain, for there is no mystery except to the
          ignorant. This we know by what we have learned naturally since we
          have had a being on the earth. We can now take a hymn book and
          read its contents; but if we had never learned our letters and
          knew nothing about type or paper or their uses, and should take
          up a book and look at it, it would be a great mystery; and still
          more so would it be to see a person read line after line, and
          give expression therefrom to the sentiments of himself or others.
          But this is no mystery to us now, because we have learned our
          letters, and then learned to place those letters into syllables,
          the syllables into words, and the words into sentences.
          Fifty or a hundred years ago, if any one had told the people of
          the East Indies that water could be congealed, and form ice so
          thick and hard that you could walk on and drive teams over it,
          they would probably have said, "We do not believe a word of it."
          Why? Because they did not know anything about it. A proper reply
          for all mankind to make under similar circumstances would be, "We
          do not know anything about what you say, and do not know whether
          we should have faith in it or not. Perhaps we should, but we have
          no evidence at present on which to found such a belief." You go
          down south here among some of our native Indian tribes, where
          some of the very best of blankets are made, and you will find
          them twisting their yarn with their fingers and little sticks,
          and their loom attached to the limbs of trees for weaving
          purposes. Show them a loom such as white people use, and it would
          be a perfect mystery to them. Sixty or seventy years ago a loom
          worked by water power would have been a mystery to an American,
          but there is no mystery in that to-day, because the process is
          understood. So it is with the East Indians and ice, for the
          chemist now, by a chemical process, will congeal the water and
          make ice of it before their eyes, and it is in this way, by
          testimony, evidence, and demonstration that ignorance and
          prejudice are removed, faith implanted and knowledge acquired. It
          is so with regard to all the facts in existence that we do not
          We differ very much with Christendom in regard to the sciences of
          religion. Our religion embraces all truth and every fact in
          existence, no matter whether in heaven, earth, or hell. A fact is
          a fact, all truth issues forth from the Fountain of truth, and
          the sciences are facts as far as men have proved them. In talking
          to a gentleman not long ago, I said, "The Lord is one of the most
          scientific men that ever lived; you have no idea of the knowledge
          that he has with regard to the sciences. If you did but know it,
          every truth that you and all men have acquired a knowledge of
          through study and research, has come from him--he is the fountain
          whence all truth and wisdom flow; he is the fountain of all
          knowledge, and of every true principle that exists in heaven or
          on earth." The gentleman said that such ideas conflicted with his
          traditions; but said he, "I like to hear such talk and such
          principles taught, for we do know, from scientific research and
          investigation, that certain facts exist in nature which those
          called Christians discard or throw away; they do not want
          anything to do with them; they say this has nothing to do with
          religion; but you talk very different to this."
          Yes, we do differ in these respects from the Christian world;
          with them it is "glory, hallelujah," shouting "Praise the Lord,"
          singing, praying and preaching; and when they are out of meeting
          they are too apt to enter into the spirit of the world. The
          religion that we have embraced must last a man from Monday
          morning until Monday morning, and from Saturday night until
          Saturday night, and from one new year until another; it must be
          in all our thoughts and words, in all our ways and dealings. We
          come here to tell the people how to be saved; we know how,
          consequently we can tell others. Suppose our calling, to-morrow,
          is to conduct a railroad, to go into some philosophical business,
          or no matter what, our minds, our faith or religion, our God and
          his Spirit are with us; and if we should happen to be found in a
          room dedicated for purposes of amusement and an accident should
          occur, and an Elder engaged in the dance is called upon to go and
          lay hands on the sick, if he is not prepared to exercise his
          calling and his faith in God as much there as at any other time
          and in any other place, he never should be found there, for none
          have a legal right to the amusements which the Lord has ordained
          for his children except those who acknowledge his hand in all
          things and keep his commandments. You see from this that our
          religion differs very much from others.
          A gentleman said to me not long since, "You 'Mormons' don't seem
          to be very religious; I do not make any pretensions to be
          religious; and I like you very well." I replied, "That is a
          mistake, we are the most religious people on the face of the
          earth. We do not allow ourselves to go into a field to plough
          without taking our religion with us; we do not go into an office,
          behind the counter to deal out goods, into a counting house with
          the books, or anywhere to attend to or transact any business
          without taking our religion with us. If we are railroading or on
          a pleasure trip our God and our religion must be with us. We are
          the most religious people in the world; but we are not so
          enthusiastic as some are. We have seen plenty of enthusiasm, but
          we do not care about it." Said I, "This shouting and singing
          one's self away to everlasting bliss, may be all very well in its
          place; but this alone is folly to me; my religion is to know the
          will of God and do it."
          I will say a few words to the Saints now. Shall I come right out
          plain to you? I think I will. Suppose I were to get up a party
          here and say, "You are welcome, I will find music and a good
          dinner," do you not think this room would be crowded? Yes, to
          overflowing, it would not be large enough; but when it is opened
          for the worship of God how different! O, Saints, all the fear
          that I have with regard to us as a people, is that we may neglect
          our God and our religion! We have passed through the narrows, and
          have run the gauntlet for forty years now and have come out
          unscathed, and what do you say? Will we serve God.
          Latter-day Saints, have your children come to meeting. Sisters,
          let your little girls go to Sunday school or come to meeting!
          Brethren, let your children go to Sunday school, or to meeting,
          and advise your neighbors to do the same, and let this hall be
          crowded; and when more want to gain admittance than it will
          accommodate we will resort to the New Tabernacle, as we intend to
          do this afternoon. Some of the sisters say it is so warm in here;
          but let me ask them whether they would go without breakfast
          rather than cook it because the stove is hot. If there were a
          breakfast or dinner here, I expect you would come notwithstanding
          the warmth. I do not fear the scoffs of the world; but as I have
          already said, if I fear anything with regard to this people, it
          is that they will neglect God and their religion.
          We have heard something about Joseph Smith this morning. Brother
          Woodruff has been talking about the Prophet. I can say that if
          the whole world of mankind had known Joseph Smith and this people
          as well as we know them, the biggest infidel in the world, or the
          wickedest man living, if he had not passed the day of redemption
          and grace, so that the Spirit of the Lord had ceased to operate
          on his mind, that man would thank God for the Latter-day Saints,
          for we are for the salvation of all who can be saved, and we
          calculate to continue until the work is done. Jesus is our
          captain and leader; Jesus, the Savior of the world--the Christ
          that we believe in, is the "one-man power" so much talked about;
          and we calculate to do his will as far as we know it. May God
          help us to do it! Amen.
          Journal of Discourses / Journal of Discourses, Volume 14 /
          Brigham Young, May 21, 1871
                             Brigham Young, May 21, 1871
                         REMARKS BY PRESIDENT BRIGHAM YOUNG,
           Delivered in the New Tabernacle, Salt Lake City, May 21, 1871.
                            (Reported by David W. Evans.)
          If my friends will have patience with me I will say a few words.
          To the Latter-day Saints I say, I do pray you to prove the words
          of Brother Cannon true with regard to being obedient to your
          President in all things, and doing as he tells you. I pray you to
          hearken to this counsel; if you do, contention and sin will
          cease, and we shall not see men going to the canon or riding out
          for pleasure on the Sabbath day, instead of coming here to
          meeting; we shall hear no more of their taking advantage of each
          other, stirring up strife, going to law, bearing false witness,
          or pilfering a little the one from the other. I pray you to take
          this counsel, and cease your wickedness, Latter-day Saints, and
          do as your President tells you. I feel to say this; and if you
          will be patient with me I will say a little more.
          There are strangers here, and to them I will say we have traveled
          the earth over, and where we could not go we have sent by Elders
          and by proclamation. We have asked the inhabitants of the earth
          to become acquainted with our doctrine. Would they read it? No.
          Would they go to hear an Elder preach? No, as a general thing
          they would not. If we had been let alone while with the
          Christians we would have been there now proclaiming the Gospel.
          But I wish to say to strangers that we were not persecuted
          because we believed in having many wives, for that principle was
          not known to our persecutors until we came to these mountains,
          although the revelation was received by Joseph Smith and written
          a year before his death. Since this doctrine has been proclaimed
          we have lived in peace.
          The inquiry among many, and especially among our political
          friends, is, "What are you going to do? Are you going to observe
          the law against plurality of wives, or are you going to obey the
          revelation?" We have obeyed the revelation thus far, and still
          live; that I can say, and perhaps that is enough. What do we say
          about the lawmakers? Go to, ye legislators, and make a law that
          every man in this government shall have one wife. You have just
          as good a right to do that as to say that we shall not have two.
          Let every man have his wife, raise his family, live virtuously
          and keep his vows, and our difficulty is at an end. We say to
          Congressmen and Presidents, have your wife; and we also say to
          every political and financial man the world over, marry the women
          and take care of them and save us the trouble. If you do not, we
          will gather them up, just as sure as the world. Many destroy
          life; we save it; and as we have said, years and years ago, we
          say now to all, the day that you will be virtuous and cease your
          unlawful connections with the sex, and every man have his wife,
          and all the inhabitants of this government observe this rule, we
          shall have then but one wife apiece; but we shall save all we can
          save. The men are the lords of the earth, and they are more
          inclined to reject the Gospel than the women. The women are a
          great deal more inclined to believe the truth than the men; they
          comprehend it more quickly, and they are submissive and easy to
          teach, and if we cannot save the men, let us save the women for
          God's sake, and do not find fault with us.
          Again, a gentleman said to me, the other day, "What are you going
          to do with the anti-polygamy law?" I replied, "Nothing at all, we
          mind our own business, and I hope everybody else will. We have
          not meddled with it, and do not expect to; but we expect to
          I want to say a word with regard to what are called our former
          persecutions; though I, for one, will acknowledge that I have
          never been persecuted. As for what people do with my name, I do
          not know nor care; they use it for good or for evil, just as they
          please. The Lord gave a revelation through his servant to me,
          that my name should be had for good and for evil before the
          nations of the earth, and if that is the way they use it, all
          right--either one or both, no matter. Hands off is all I ask, and
          let us have the privilege of living in peace. But will you
          hearken to the truth? Will you listen to the words of eternal
          life? We have traveled the earth over, and have read to the
          people out of the book of life; but as a general thing they have
          refused to receive it. It is true that a few have received it in
          the past, and I hope that many will in the future. We shall
          gather and save all we can. The rise and cause of our
          persecutions have been just the same as it has ever been in the
          experience of the Saints of God. Who were the leaders and
          foremost in the ranks of the Savior's persecutors? The Scribes
          and the Pharisees. Who were foremost in the ranks in persecuting
          Joseph Smith, even when he had the pledge of the governor of the
          State of Illinois that he should be preserved, and when not one
          scratch or law could be found against him? Who led the blackened
          crew who said that if the law could not reach him, powder and
          ball should? The priests; they have always led the van, and
          always will. It is Baal against Christ now, as it always was.
          When we were in Missouri the order was issued, "You 'Mormons'
          must leave the State," and thirty-five hundred men were paraded
          for battle against about three hundred of the Elders of Israel,
          but they did not happen to kill us all. They took Joseph, or
          rather they sent for him and Hyrum, and they went down to their
          camp, and General Clark called the brethren together, and, said
          he, "Give up your arms and every weapon you have;" and the
          brethren gave them up. I stood there and heard the General
          declare, "Gentlemen, you are the best and most peaceable
          community there is in this State; but," said he, "as for your
          prophets, bishops, high councils, &c., we shall not permit you to
          have them any longer. Forsake your religion and abandon your
          Prophet! We have him, and you will never see him again; forsake
          this banding together and being one, and live with us and become
          as we are. You are the very mechanics and farmers we want. You
          have shown us how to build mills, set out orchards, raise wheat,
          rear comfortable habitations, school the children, build meeting
          houses, and, in short, you have done more to make the country in
          three years than we have in fifteen. You are good citizens, but
          you must not clan together, you must disperse among the people;
          if you do not, remember the militia will be upon you." We bid
          them good bye and left our property; we would not forsake our
          prophets then, and we are of the same mind yet.
          Here we are, though we did not come here because we chose to get
          out of the way of the Christians. We wanted to stay with our
          former brethren, to induce them if possible to receive the truth;
          but they would not hear it. The world of mankind is sunk in
          ignorance and darkness; but the Lord Almighty has revealed his
          will from heaven, and we shall declare it to the people, and give
          them a chance to receive or reject it. The Lord invites all to
          come, and partake of the benefits of his Gospel, which, we are
          told in the Scriptures, is the power of God unto salvation; and
          our experience has proved that it is so, whether taken in a
          moral, social, political, or financial point of view. We have
          gathered the poorest class of men to be found on the continent of
          America, and I was one of them; and we have gathered the same
          class from Europe, for very few indeed of those who have obeyed
          the Gospel have ever been the possessors of any wealth. We have
          taken the poor and the ignorant from the dens and caves of the
          earth and brought them here, and we have labored day and night,
          week after week, and year after year, to make ourselves
          comfortable, and to obtain all the knowledge there is in the
          world, and the knowledge that comes from God, and we shall
          continue to do so. We shall take the weak and the feeble and
          bring them up to the standard that God requires. The Gospel of
          life and salvation does not reduce those who obey it to beggary;
          but it takes the poor and the ignorant, makes them wise and
          happy, and surrounds them with the comforts of life and
          everything desirable, and teaches them to serve God with all
          their hearts.
          This, gentlemen, is our doctrine, faith, and practice; and we
          wish strangers to understand that we did not come here out of
          choice, but because we were obliged to go somewhere, and this was
          the best place we could find. It was impossible for any person to
          live here unless he labored hard and battled and fought against
          the elements, but it was a first-rate place to raise Latter-day
          Saints, and we shall be blessed in living here, and shall yet
          make it like the Garden of Eden; and the Lord Almighty will hedge
          about his Saints and will defend and preserve them if they will
          do his will. The only fear I have is that we will not do right;
          if we do we will be like a city set on a hill, our light will not
          be hid. I trust that the time will soon come when, in all things,
          our conduct will be such that all the world might pattern after
          us with advantage. I can say that at the present time we are far
          from that. It is sometimes said by strangers, "We suppose you
          Latter-day Saints consider yourselves perfect, don't you?" I
          answer, not by any means; we are as imperfect as a people ought
          to be, and a little more so.
          I wish that what Brother George Q. said of you was true--that you
          were all obedient to your President. If you all will be, you will
          cease sinning, tattling, lying, backbiting, and strife, all will
          be industrious, prudent, faithful and full of wisdom and good
          works, and the power of God will be upon us more and more, and we
          will be able to do more good to the inhabitants of the earth. We
          have no quarrel with anybody. We exchange ideas, but we will not
          contend. As I used to say to the ministers, when travelling and
          preaching, "I will not dispute. If you want the truth I will give
          it you; and if you have a truth that I have not, I want all you
          have; but contention is not my calling; it is no part of the
          Gospel of Christ; that is peace, life, light, and salvation. The
          Lord has given that to me and you, and you are welcome to it."
          I wanted to say these few words to you. I thank you for your
          patience. God bless you. Amen.
          Journal of Discourses / Journal of Discourses, Volume 14 / George
          Q. Cannon, April 8, 1871
                           George Q. Cannon, April 8, 1871
                        DISCOURSE BY ELDER GEORGE Q. CANNON,
           Delivered in the New Tabernacle, Salt Lake City, April 8, 1871.
                            (Reported by David W. Evans.)
          I will read a portion of Scripture which is found in the 17th
          chapter of the First Book of Chronicles, commencing at the 3rd
          "And it came to pass the same night that the word of God came to
          Nathan, saying,
          "Go and tell David my servant, Thus saith the Lord, Thou shalt
          not build me an house to dwell in:
          "For I have not dwelt in an house since the day that I brought up
          Israel until this day; but have gone from tent to tent, and from
          one tabernacle to another.
          "Wheresoever I have walked with all Israel, spake I a word to any
          of the judges of Israel, whom I commanded to feed my people,
          saying, Why have ye not built me an house of cedars?
          "Now therefore thus shalt thou say unto my servant David, Thus
          saith the Lord of hosts, I took thee from the sheepcote, even
          from following the sheep, that thou shouldest be ruler over my
          people Israel:
          "And I have been with thee whithersoever thou hast walked, and
          have cut off all thine enemies from before thee, and have made
          thee a name like the name of the great men that are in the earth.
          "Also, I will ordain a place for my people Israel, and will plant
          them, and they shall dwell in their place, and shall be moved no
          more; neither shall the children of wickedness waste them any
          more, as at the beginning.
          "And since the time that I commanded judges to be over my people
          Israel. Moreover, I will subdue all thine enemies. Furthermore, I
          tell thee that the Lord will build thee a house.
          "And it shall come to pass, when thy days be expired that thou
          must go to to be with thy fathers, that I will raise up thy seed
          after thee, which shall be of thy sons; and I will establish his
          "He shall build me an house, and I will establish his throne for
          "I will be his father, and he shall be my son; and I will not
          take my mercy away from him, as I took it from him that was
          before thee:
          "But I will settle him in mine house and in my kingdom for ever;
          and his throne shall be established for evermore.
          "According to all these words, and according to all this vision,
          so did Nathan speak unto David."
          There is one point, brethren and sisters, in the passages I have
          just read in your hearing, to which I wish to call your
          attention--namely, the pleasure that was evinced by the Lord at
          the disposition which David manifested--a disposition which none
          of his predecessors, apparently, had exhibited, to build unto the
          Lord of hosts a house, a temple, a place upon and within which
          his glory could rest. So pleased appeared the Lord to be with
          this disposition of David that he promised him that he would
          establish his dynasty, that his son should reign after him, and
          that this son should be the instrument in his hands of building a
          glorious temple unto his name. The reasons are given in other
          portions of Scripture why the Lord did not accept this offering
          on the part of David. The Lord, in one place, alludes to his
          life, saying that he had been a man of war and blood; that he had
          gone forth and fought his enemies, and because of this the Lord
          was not disposed to accept his offer, but he promised David that
          he would raise up a son after him who should be a man of peace--a
          man free from war and blood, and that during his lifetime his
          temple should be reared; and, according to the prediction of the
          Lord God, through Nathan the Prophet, Solomon was raised up and
          did accomplish the work which his father David had desired to do,
          and he did rear a temple unto the name of the Lord upon and
          within which his glory rested and was manifested; and the
          blessing of God rested upon Solomon so long as he continued to
          serve with a perfect heart the Lord God of his fathers. Israel
          was also greatly blessed and prospered in rearing that house; and
          though Solomon, in his prayer, when dedicating it, said how was
          it possible that God could take up his residence upon earth, when
          the heavens, and the heaven of heavens could not contain him,
          still God did condescend to manifest his glory in that house to
          such an extent that the priests could not endure it; and the
          blessings of God rested visibly, in the presence of the people,
          upon that house, and they knew that he had accepted their labors
          and the dedication of their means for the erection of a house to
          his name.
          This labor appeals to us in a very peculiar manner. There is no
          people or community on the face of the earth to-day, except the
          Latter-day Saints, who think of rearing unto the Lord of Hosts a
          temple upon the same principle and for the same objects and ends
          that the temple was reared in Jerusalem. Already we have
          completed two temples, and laid the foundation of five. The
          Saints are all familiar with the history of the building of the
          temple of Kirtland, whether they were there personally or not;
          they are also familiar with the blessed results which followed
          its erection. They know that God did manifest himself to his
          servants and people in a very peculiar manner, and poured out
          upon them great and precious blessings; many ordinances which had
          been lost to man, or of which he scarcely knew anything, and for
          the administration of which there had been no authority upon the
          earth for generations, were restored, and men and women received
          ordinances, promises and blessings which comforted their hearts
          and encouraged them in the work of God. And not only were these
          ordinances administered, but additional authority was bestowed
          upon the prophet of God who stood at the head of this
          dispensation. And so also the completion of the temple at Nauvoo
          brought many blessings; that is, so far as it was completed, for
          the enemies of God's kingdom did not permit us to complete it
          entirely; but so far as it was completed God accepted the labor
          of the hands of his servants and people, and great and precious
          blessings were bestowed upon the Church of Jesus Christ of
          Latter-day Saints for the faithfulness and diligence of its
          members in rearing that house.
          I have often thought of the shortness of the period, after the
          death of Joseph, which was continued in building that house. He
          died, as you well know, or was murdered, on the 27th of June,
          1844. Before 1845 had passed away the Saints were receiving their
          endowments in that house. The walls were completed, it was
          roofed, the spire finished, and the upper story so far completed
          that the Elders could go in and administer in the ordinances of
          God's house--the sealings, washings and anointings, and in the
          performance of those ceremonies and ordinances which were
          necessary for our growth, increase and perfection as a people;
          and when it is recollected that all this was done in a very short
          period over one year, it bears testimony to the zeal of the
          Saints and the mighty exertions they made to fulfil the word of
          God and the requirements he made of us as a people, that we and
          our dead might not be rejected. But we were not permitted to
          enjoy that house, we were not permitted to continue receiving
          blessings there; the enemies of God's kingdom were upon us, and
          we were compelled to abandon it and our homes, and it fell a
          sacrifice to the wickedness of the wicked and it was burned with
          fire--probably a better fate than to have it stand and be defiled
          by the wicked.
          We have now to commence again the erection of another temple. For
          many years the foundation of one on this block has been laid, and
          the Saints have labored upon it to some extent; but it has not
          been pushed forward with very great rapidity. There have been
          reasons for this--good and weighty reasons. It is desirable when
          we build another temple that it should not fall into the hands of
          the wicked, as those we have already built have done; but that it
          should stand as an enduring monument of the faith, zeal and
          perseverance of the Latter-day Saints, in which the ordinances of
          God's house and kingdom may be administered through all coming
          time. There seems to be a spirit now resting upon the servants of
          God to push this house forward to its completion; and I doubt not
          that this spirit will be received and cherished by the Saints
          throughout Utah Territory, and throughout the world. Judging by
          my own feelings on this subject and by the expressions of those
          who have alluded to it, I confidently believe that a spirit is
          resting upon the people to receive the counsel that is given
          concerning it, and to carry forward the work to a speedy
          There are many reasons why we should do it. It is true that God,
          in his mercy, has permitted us to build another house, which we
          call the Endowment House, and in which we have received many
          ordinances and blessings; but there are several which cannot be
          attended to in the Endowment House; they must be postponed until
          a temple is completed, in which the Elders and men of God who
          bear the Holy Priesthood, can go and administer the things of
          God, and have them accepted by him. This, of itself, is
          sufficient to stir us up, as a people, to exceeding great
          diligence in pushing forward this work.
          When David announced his intention to prepare the means for the
          building of the house that should be erected by his son Solomon,
          he accumulated everything that could be prepared beforehand, so
          that when Solomon should come to the throne after his decease, he
          might be fullhanded and have abundance wherewith to commence the
          labor of building. To accomplish this, David called upon Israel
          to come forward and exert themselves, and they did so, so we are
          told, and had exceeding great joy in contributing of their means
          for the erection of that building. Of course there is no
          objection to the Latter-day Saints doing the same; still, that
          requirement is not made of us at the present time. All that we
          are required to do is to obey the law that God has given unto us,
          that is, to pay our tithing. It has been said, and I do not doubt
          the correctness of the statement, in fact, I may say I am fully
          aware and conscious of it, that if this people would pay
          one-tenth of their tithing this temple could be pushed forward to
          completion very speedily. As a people we have been very negligent
          in paying our tithing; there are doubtless many exceptions, but
          as a rule we have not complied with that law with the strictness
          which we should have done. Now, however, there is an opportunity
          for us to compensate for our shortcomings in the past, and to go
          to with zeal and energy to rear this house, so that there may be
          a temple of God in our midst in which ordinances can be
          administered for the living and for the dead. I fully believe
          that when that temple is once finished there will be a power and
          manifestations of the goodness of God unto this people such as
          they have never before experienced. Every work of this kind that
          we have accomplished has been attended with increased and
          wonderful results unto us as a people--an increase of power and
          of God's blessings upon us. It was so in Kirtland and at Nauvoo;
          at both places the Elders had an increase of power, and the
          Saints, since the completion of, and the administration of
          ordinances in, those buildings have had a power they never
          possessed previously.
          If any proof of this is needed let us reflect upon the wonderful
          deliverances that God has wrought out for us since we left
          Illinois. Up to that period or up to the time that the temple was
          partly finished and the blessings of God bestowed within its
          walls, our enemies to a very great extent had triumphed over us.
          We had been driven from place to place; compelled to flee from
          one town, county and State to another; but how great the change
          since then! We started out a poor, friendless people, with
          nothing but God's blessing upon us, his power overshadowing us
          and his guidance to lead us in the wilderness; and from the day
          that we crossed the Mississippi river until this day--the 8th of
          April, 1871--we have had continued success and triumphs. God has
          signally delivered us from the hands of our enemies, and when it
          has seemed as though we would be overwhelmed, as though no
          earthly power could succor or deliver us from the hands of those
          who sought our overthrow, God has done for us as he did for his
          ancient covenant people, when he caused the waters of the Red Sea
          to separate, that they might pass through and escape the
          destruction their enemies threatened. So have we been in as
          remarkable a manner delivered from, apparently, overwhelming
          difficulty and danger.
          Whence, I ask, my brethren and sisters, has this power come?
          Whence has it been derived? I attribute it to the blessings and
          the power and the authority and the keys which God gave unto his
          Saints, and which he commenced to give in the Temple at Nauvoo.
          The Elders of Israel there received keys, endowments and
          authority which they have not failed to exercise in times of
          extremity and danger; and clouds have been scattered and storms
          blown over, and peace and guidance, and all the blessings which
          have been desired have been bestowed upon the people, according
          to the faith that has been exercised. Others may attribute these
          things to other causes; but I attribute them to this, and I feel
          to give God the glory; and I trace these deliverances to the
          power that the Elders received in that temple and previously. I
          fully believe also, as I have said, that when this and other
          temples are completed, there will be an increase of power
          bestowed upon the people of God, and that they will, thereby, be
          better fitted to go forth and cope with the powers of darkness
          and with the evils that exist in the world and to establish the
          Zion of God never more to be thrown down.
          I know that there is a feeling in the breasts of many people that
          this sort of thing is fanaticism. This is characteristic of the
          generation, is removed far from them. He dwells at an illimitable
          distance from man, and is not supposed to interfere with his
          affairs. Man, they think, is left to work out deliverance and
          salvation according to his own wisdom; and there are a great many
          people, and it may be said, a great many nations, who do not
          believe that God interferes at all with matters on the earth.
          They think of and speak about him; but it is mere form and
          tradition with them; very few believe that he interferes directly
          with the affairs of men. Of course when such a belief is
          prevalent, or rather when such unbelief prevails, the idea of
          building a temple or temples to the Most High God, in which
          ordinances shall be performed for the living and the dead,
          strikes the people as something strange and fanatical. But, let
          me ask, what was the object of building a temple in the days of
          Solomon? What was the object of rebuilding it after its
          destruction by Nebuchadnezzar? Why was it that Ezra and the Jews
          who were him in Babylonish captivity were strengthened to go
          forth to rebuild the temple of God at Jerusalem? We read in the
          Scriptures that God's blessing rested upon them. Their enemies,
          it is true, harassed them and did all in their power to check
          their labors, but nevertheless they were exceedingly blessed, and
          God accepted their work and bestowed choice and peculiar
          blessings upon them.
          When Jesus came the temple still stood in Jerusalem, but it had
          become defiled. He was so angered on one occasion on this account
          that he took a scourge of cords and beat out the money changers
          and others who had defiled it, and upset their tables, and in
          this visible manner showed his anger at the defilement of his
          Father's house.
          We read in the revelations that the time will come when the
          tabernacle of God will be with men on the earth. How shall we, as
          men and women, prepare for this? One of the prophets says, "And
          the Lord whom ye seek shall suddenly come to his Temple," showing
          that there will be, at some period or other, a temple or temples
          built on the earth to which God will come.
          I have often thought, in reflecting on this subject, how careless
          mankind are in relation to the future. We are born on the earth,
          where family relationships that are most desirable are formed.
          Parents have their children whom they love beyond expression.
          These children grow up and form associations in life and raise
          families, and these relationships are the most tender known to
          the human heart. There is nothing so much calculated to make life
          desirable as the relation of parents to children and children to
          parents, husbands to wives and wives to husbands; and many a man
          when he loses his partner, loses all the hope that he has; his
          heart sinks within him, and he feels as if life was undesirable;
          and instances are not rare of men, through grief on this account,
          having their lives shortened. And so with the other sex;
          sometimes through the loss of a husband a woman's heart will
          break and she goes down to an early grave. And yet, in the midst
          of the world where all these tender ties and emotions exist there
          is no preparation for their perpetuation. The people do not
          believe that they exist beyond the grave. Imagine, if you can, a
          state of things where all these relationships are utterly
          destroyed and all mingle in one common herd! This is the kind of
          heaven that many people believe they are going to. I have heard
          ministers say, "O, I will not know any relationship between
          myself and my wife hereafter; she, then, will be no nearer to me
          than any other woman, nor I to her than any other man; our
          children will be no nearer to us than any other children, and we
          will live in this condition throughout the endless ages of
          eternity." This is a dreary prospect for any human being who has
          the affection of a husband, wife, parent or child--a dreary
          prospect for that endless eternity to which we are all hastening.
          But God, in ancient days, gave certain authority unto one of his
          Apostles--namely, Peter. He gave to him authority to bind on
          earth, and it should be bound in heaven; to loose on earth and it
          should be loosed in heaven. Where is this authority now? Shall we
          go to the Roman Catholic Church to find it? If it be there it is
          not exercised. Shall we go to the Episcopal Church to find it? If
          it be there they fail to proclaim it. Where shall we go to find a
          man who has authority to bind on earth and it is bound in heaven,
          as Jesus told Peter? Where shall we find a man whose acts will be
          thus recognized of God, and whose performances or solemnizations
          are confirmed by the heavens themselves? You travel throughout
          all the earth and mingle with the various sects who claim to be
          the descendants of the Apostles, and you will look in vain for
          any claims to such authority. But come among the Latter-day
          Saints, who claim to be the original Church restored to the earth
          again, who claim to have the authority of the Apostleship--the
          same Apostleship that was exercised by Peter, James, John and the
          other Apostles, and you will find the authority to bind and loose
          on earth and it will be bound or loosed in heaven, claimed and
          exercised in their midst. It is claimed by the Church of Jesus
          Christ of Latter-day Saints that God has restored the keys of the
          Apostleship; that he has restored the authority by which the
          ordinances shall be performed on the earth that will bind man to
          woman, woman to man, children to parents and parents to children,
          so that these relationships which are so acceptable in the sight
          of God may not only exist for time, but may be perpetuated
          throughout the endless ages of eternity.
          This is the claim the Latter-day Saints make, and it is the
          authority they exercise. To claim the Apostleship and authority
          without claiming and exercising its functions would be altogether
          contrary to the spirit and power of that office and authority
          when it was upon the earth in ancient days; therefore we wish to
          rear temples and administer ordinances, looking, as we do, upon
          this life as a state of probation in which we may gain experience
          and prepare ourselves for higher exaltation and a greater degree
          of felicity in the world to come.
          We build temples and we administer and submit to ordinances and
          perform those things within them which will prepare us to dwell
          eternally with our God, with Jesus and the Apostles in the
          heavens. There each man will have his family and kingdom. It is
          said that God is Lord of lords and King of kings; but how can he
          be King of kings unless there be kings under him to give him
          homage and pay respect unto him and acknowledge him as their Lord
          and their King? When God led forth Abraham and told him that as
          the stars of the firmament were innumerable so should his seed
          be, he proclaimed to him the greatness of his kingdom in
          eternity. He told Abraham that he should be a king over this
          innumerable host; for if Abraham were not to be king over them,
          of what use or glory would his posterity be to him? When God
          pointed Abraham to the sand on the sea shore and told him that as
          it was countless so should his seed be, he told him in accents
          that could not be mistaken of the future glory of his eternal
          kingdom. And if all mankind attained to the same promises as
          Abraham, they also would have an innumerable posterity to reign
          over. As the prophet says concerning our Lord and Savior Jesus
          Christ, "To the increase of his kingdom there shall be no end."
          It shall go on increasing with every cycle of eternity, as long
          as time endures. There shall be no end to the increase of his
          kingdom. His glory consisted of this; and the glory of God
          consists in the number of his posterity; and as generation
          succeeds generation, until the earth is filled and glorified,
          other worlds will be rolled into existence, upon which the
          posterity of God, our heavenly Father, shall increase throughout
          the endless ages of eternity.
          As it was said to Abraham and Jesus, so it will be said to the
          faithful sons and daughters of God; hence the Latter-day Saints
          believe in the eternal nature of the marriage relation. When we
          marry there is a power here to bind on earth and it is bound in
          heaven. Men and women are married to each other for time and for
          all eternity; not as it is in the world, "until death shall them
          part;" but that tie shall be as enduring as eternity itself, and
          there shall never be a time when it shall be dissolved; and to
          their increase there shall be no end, for this is the glory of
          God, and this is the blessing of God upon his faithful children.
          The godlike power has been given us here on the earth to bear and
          perpetuate our own species; and shall this power, which brings so
          much joy, peace and happiness, be confined and limited to this
          short life? It is folly to talk about such a thing; common sense
          teaches us better. It teaches that we have been organized, not
          for time alone; that we have been endowed as we are, in the image
          of God, not for thirty, forty, fifty, seventy or a hundred years,
          but as eternal beings, exercising our endowments and functions
          for all eternity, if we live faithful or take a course that God
          approves. Therefore there is great sense, beauty and godliness in
          the idea that God taught Abraham with respect to his posterity
          becoming as numerous as the stars of the firmament.
          The Latter-day Saints live for this. We look upon this life as a
          very short period of time. We have suffered and are likely to
          suffer as the Saints of God did anciently; and this life is a
          state of probation--a short period filled with sorrow.
          Difficulties, thorns, briars, brambles, and obstacles of various
          kinds beset our pathway; but, as was said yesterday, we look
          forward to a heavenly city, whose builder and maker is God. We
          look forward to the time when this earth will be redeemed from
          corruption and cleansed by fire; when there shall be a new heaven
          and a new earth, and when the Saints shall possess their native
          inheritance purified from sin, redeemed from corruption, with the
          power of Satan curtailed, and when we shall be able to increase
          and multiply and fill this earth, go to other earths and carry on
          the work of emigration through the endless ages of eternity.
          This is a little of the heaven that the Latter-day Saints look
          forward to. It is not a heaven where all distinctions are
          abolished--where parents and children are mingled with the common
          mass, where wives and husbands are undistinguishable; but where
          all these ties exist and are preserved and perpetuated, and man
          goes forward on that heavenly career which God, his Heavenly
          Father, has assigned to him, and which he designs that all his
          faithful children shall walk in. These are some of the reasons
          why we want a temple built. There are innumerable reasons why we
          should go to with our might and rush forward this work. Let us
          push it to its completion as speedily as may be required, and God
          will bless us; he will make our feet fast in these valleys; he
          will give us increase and make of us a mighty nation. Already he
          has set his seal upon us; already he has given us the glorious
          privilege of bearing his name. Let us rear a house upon which his
          glory shall rest, and that shall be called by his name. This is
          required at our hands; and that God may help us to accomplish it,
          and keep us faithful to the end, is my prayer in the name of
          Jesus. Amen.
          Journal of Discourses / Journal of Discourses, Volume 14 /
          Brigham Young, May 21, 1871
                             Brigham Young, May 21, 1871
                         REMARKS BY PRESIDENT BRIGHAM YOUNG,
                    Delivered in the Tabernacle, Salt Lake City,
                            Sunday Morning, May 21, 1871.
                            (Reported by David W. Evans.)
                          PRIESTHOOD--THE UNPARDONABLE SIN.
          I feel to bear my testimony to the truth as far as we have heard
          it to-day, and to all truth. We have been hearing of the Gospel
          of life and salvation, a subject which should interest the whole
          human family as soon as they can become acquainted with it. The
          subject of salvation should occupy the thoughts and reflections
          of every intelligent being. The salvation and redemption wrought
          out by the Savior is for us--it was purchased for us. The
          character we have been hearing of is our Savior and Redeemer--the
          Savior of the whole world of mankind, and of all creatures
          pertaining to the earth, and the earth itself, for all will be
          redeemed by the blood of the Son of God. We should have a part in
          this, and we can say truly that we have a part in it. Whether it
          will benefit us as it might, depends upon our own thoughts,
          reflections and actions--upon our obedience to the requirements
          of our Father in heaven to secure to us life everlasting. The
          Father has done all he can do on his part: He has given his only
          begotten Son; he has sent light into the world; he bestows his
          Spirit upon the children of men; he lights up the understanding
          of every person that lives, that ever did or ever will live upon
          the earth. Christ is the light that lights every man that comes
          into the world. We have this light, will we improve on it?
          In my reflections on the Gospel of life and salvation and the
          theories of the children of men I have contrasted the various
          beliefs, faiths, ordinances and operations of the people who
          profess to worship a Supreme Being. Not only the Christians; for
          I do not know of any nation on the earth but what has some object
          which it worships as supreme, and to which it renders adoration.
          This is the case even with the heathen, although they worship
          gods which their own hands make. No matter about this, they are
          ignorant; but that spirit that dwells in the children of men
          prompts them to worship, adore, to seek after that which will
          better their condition and make themselves happy. This is the
          condition of all the inhabitants of the earth, whether Christian
          or Pagan; although the innate disposition to render homage to
          some invisible power as the Supreme Rule is modified and
          diversified according to their varied traditions. The effects of
          tradition are as visible among Christians as among heathens; and
          these traditions, as well as our own superior intelligence, lead
          us to regard the worship of the heathen as nonsensical, and we
          may say ridiculous. We can have no faith in this; we see no
          propriety in bowing down to gods made with our own hands, whether
          they be gods of gold, silver, wood or stone. This would be folly
          in the extreme to persons who believe in the New Testament; we
          say we will worship the Being who has redeemed us, him who
          created us and all things and who rules and governs all things
          according to his good pleasure, whether in heaven or on earth.
          But will we worship according to the directions that He has
          given? Will we believe the doctrine that Jesus has left on record
          in the New Testament, or will we believe in something that varies
          from this?
          We see that Christendom is full of religion; in fact the world is
          full of it, no matter where we go. I have been brought up to
          believe on the Lord Jesus Christ; I am taught to believe in him.
          Perhaps if I, my parents before me, and the nation in which I was
          born and brought up had never heard of his name, I would treat it
          with as much indifference as the heathen do when they hear of it;
          and yet if men did but understand the light of Christ that is
          within them it would prompt them, universally, to adore and
          admire, we will say, the God of nature--him who has created and
          formed the earth and all things it contains, including us, who,
          in the image of our Creator, dwell upon and inhabit it. I say
          that, did we all understand this light of Christ, possessed by
          every human being when born into the world, it would prompt us to
          worship the God of nature; and did we heed it as we ought we
          would not be likely to come to the conclusion that there is no
          personal God.
          Among the remarks made here this morning was one worthy the
          notice of every intelligent being, and that was that if we do not
          understand the mysteries of the being of our Creator, shall we
          deny it? Shall we deny the existence of that which we do not
          understand? If we do, we would want to keep an iron bedstead to
          measure every person according to our own measurement and
          dimensions; and if persons were too long we would cut them off,
          and if too short draw them out. But we should discard this
          principle, and our motto should be, we will let every one believe
          as he pleases and follow out the convictions of his own mind, for
          all are free to choose or refuse; they are free to serve God or
          to deny him. We have the Scriptures of divine truth, and we are
          free to believe or deny them. But we shall be brought to judgment
          before God for all these things, and shall have to give an
          account to him who has the right to call us to an account for the
          deeds done in the body.
          What shall we believe, then, when we reflect upon and consider
          all these things? Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ. Who can
          object to him? When his character is set forth in its true light
          what fault can be found with him? I have no question, as an
          individual, but that the Jews believed they saw a great many
          defects in the Savior. I would just as soon believe that the
          ignorant wicked can see no defects in the character of a modern
          prophet as to believe that the Jews could see none in the Savior.
          I have had the privilege, in my lifetime, of reading some of the
          writings which have been preserved and handed down by the Jews,
          which contained their description of the Savior's character, and
          certainly, nothing could be more ridiculous; and I remember that,
          on one occasion, when talking to the Prophet Joseph about these
          things, I said to him, "No matter what they say about you, I will
          defy mortal man to say worse about a modern prophet than the Jews
          have said about the Savior;" and that the character of the
          Redeemer presented no defects whatever to the eyes of those among
          whom he lived, is what I would not say. I may say, however, that
          men who did not believe in him looked through prejudiced eyes,
          and hence they were unable to view him in his true light; and no
          man who has ever lived on the earth was more ridiculed and
          traduced than he was. But when we, that is, the Christian world,
          read an account of his character and doings, not the least
          blemish or defect is seen; it might be different, however, if he
          were here in our midst. Suppose that he or his Apostles were to
          walk through Christendom, preaching the Gospel without purse or
          scrip, do you think that if they tried to gain admission to the
          pulpits in the churches or places of worship which have been
          erected in their honor, and called the churches of the Savior, or
          of St. Matthew, John, Paul, Peter, Bartholomew and so on, that
          they could gain admittance? Let reason, guided and enlightened by
          the conduct of the people, answer, and it will give the negative
          at once to every building of this kind erected in Christendom; so
          far as my knowledge extends, this would be the result except
          among the Latter-day Saints. Perhaps some may say that I have too
          much faith in the prophecies of God, in the latter-day work, and
          in the administration of individuals that now live and have lived
          on the earth in our day. Be it so, no matter to me. I am here to
          testify in the name of the God of Israel that for many years past
          there have been men travelling through the length and breadth of
          the earth who possess the same power and authority as that with
          which Jesus endowed his Apostles when he told them to go into all
          the world and "preach the Gospel to every creature, and 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, heal the sick,
          speak with new tongues," &c.
          I am a witness here, to-day, that these sayings and promises have
          been fulfilled in these latter days as much as they were in the
          days of the Savior. Have the dead been brought to life? Yes, or
          those who, to all appearance, were dead, and this is so to my
          certain knowledge. But were they dead? No, they were not. What
          did Jesus say to his disciples and those who followed him to the
          grave of Lazarus, when they were mourning and bewailing, and
          beseeching him to say the word only and it should be done? Jesus
          said, "He is not dead, but sleepeth." So it has been in these
          latter days. To all appearance life and breath had departed, but
          they yet lived, and some who, under such circumstances, were
          restored by the power of God, are still living. The eyes of the
          blind have been opened and the ears of the deaf unstopped; the
          lame have been made to leap, and foul spirits have been cast out.
          Has this been the case in every instance? Not by any means,
          neither was it in the days of the Savior. They who have faith
          receive these blessings if they live according to the spirit of
          the holy Gospel.
          Is there any harm in preaching and believing in such doctrines,
          and realizing the blessings? I often ask myself this question,
          but I fail to see harm or impropriety therein. I know that some
          say we can be saved without a Savior. If parties like to believe
          this, all right; but if we can be saved without, we certainly can
          with. Some will say we can be saved without believing in baptism;
          very well, we surely can be then if we do believe in it. Some say
          we can be saved just as well without having hands laid on for the
          reception of the Holy Ghost as with; if we can be saved without
          we certainly can be with. If an Elder of Israel lay his hands
          upon us and say, "Receive ye the Holy Ghost," there is not the
          least harm in it; it is conferring a blessing. "I desire to bless
          you," says the Elder, "and if I had power I would bless you; and
          according to the faith in me I do dispense the Holy Spirit to
          you." It is a blessing pure as the angels in heaven. If I say to
          the sick, "Be healed and blessed," or bid foul spirits, pain,
          fever or any disease whatever, "Depart," it is a blessing to the
          patient, and there is not the least harm in it in the world. And
          now, suppose the Elders of this Church have power to say,
          "Receive ye the Holy Ghost," and the Holy Ghost is given, is
          there any harm in it? Not the least in the world; and if we can
          be saved without these things we certainly can with, so we are on
          sure ground. Suppose that we can be saved without doing precisely
          as the Savior has told us, we most certainly shall be by
          observing what he has left on record for our salvation. But he
          has said that not one jot or tittle of his word or of the law
          shall pass without being fulfilled; and it is no matter whether
          he speaks by his own voice, by the voice of an angel, or through
          his faithful servants here on the earth, all the words of the
          Lord Almighty will certainly be fulfilled; then if we believe on
          the Lord Jesus Christ and comply with all the requirements of his
          Gospel we are on safe ground.
          If it is acceptable in the sight of Heaven for a minister to dip
          his finger in water contained in a gold, silver or marble vase,
          and then wet the forehead of the child or the adult, and call
          this baptism, where can be the harm in going down into the waters
          of baptism as Jesus did, and as the eunuch did? I say where is
          the harm in being buried with Christ in baptism? I cannot see the
          least harm in it. Then if we are safe without baptism for the
          remission of sins, we are certainly safe with it. If we are safe
          without having hands laid upon us for the reception of the Holy
          Ghost, we are certainly safe with it; if we are saved without
          having the gift of faith to heal the sick or cast out devils, we
          are assuredly saved with. Then where is the danger of those who
          believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and keep his commandments?
          The cry of the Christian world is "The Bible, the Bible," but who
          will believe it? who will believe that Jesus is the Christ, that
          he is the Son of God and the express image of his Father? But a
          few will believe these things, and yet the salvation that Jesus
          has purchased will reach the whole human family and save, in a
          kingdom or in some place where they will enjoy to the extent of
          their capacity, those who reject not the Gospel and despise not
          the Savior. Those who set at naught the counsels of God are the
          only ones the Gospel will not reach and save in a kingdom. But
          who will go into the celestial kingdom? Those who obey the Gospel
          of the Son of God, and then walk in all humility before the Lord
          and keep his commandments in all things. They are the ones who
          will enter in at the strait gate. Jesus said, "Strait is the gate
          and narrow is the way that leads to life"--that is our
          translation; the original is, "that leads to the lives"--"and few
          there be that find it; while broad is the gate and wide is the
          way that leads to destruction, and many there be that go in
          thereat." Many will there be who will miss receiving the
          blessings and being caught up with Christ in the air, and being
          saved in the presence of the Father and the Son, that now
          anticipate enjoying the glory, excellency and exaltation which
          God has prepared for the faithful.
          The inquiry arises with a great many, "What are you going to do
          with all the rest of the human family, are you going to send them
          to hell?" I will answer the question as Joseph once did when a
          person asked him, "Will everybody be damned except the Latter-day
          Saints?" "Yes," said Joseph, "and many of them, unless they take
          a different course from what they are now taking." Who will be
          saved in the celestial kingdom, and go into the presence of the
          Father and Son? Those only who observe the whole law, who keep
          the commandments of God--those who walk in newness of life,
          observe all his precepts and do his will. Are we going to send
          all the rest to hell? Not the sectarian hell, pardon the
          expression. The wicked, we are told, will be turned into hell,
          with all the nations that forget God, and that is very true. But
          where is hell? Read for yourselves. What is hell? Read for
          yourselves. You may call it hell, hades, or the world of spirits.
          It is where Jesus went and preached to the spirits in prison. All
          who have not received the Gospel, who have not had the advantages
          resulting from strict obedience to the ordinances, are there
          subject to the evil power, to the principle of death. There they
          will reside who have denied the Lord Jesus Christ; but they will
          be resurrected and will receive their bodies again; but blessed
          and holy is he on whom the second death hath no power. On many it
          will have power; but what proportion of the whole human family
          from the days of Adam to the last born on the earth will become
          angels of the devil and will reap the wrath of God and endure it
          for ever and ever, it is not for me to say; but none will, save
          those who have sinned against the Holy Ghost. Who is able to do
          this? that is the question. I will tell you of one man who could
          have committed this sin.
          We read in the days of the Apostles of a certain man named
          Cornelius, a devout man and one who worshipped the Lord according
          to the light he possessed. As he was once praying in his house,
          the Holy Ghost fell upon him, and he and his household rejoiced
          exceedingly. What was the word of the Lord to Cornelius under
          these circumstances? Was it "You are saved, you are just right,
          you can build up churches, you can show the people that they can
          be saved, and can receive the Holy Ghost without the laying on of
          hands?" No, the word of the Lord to Cornelius was, "Send men to
          Joppa, and call for one Simon, whose surname is Peter; he lodgeth
          with one Simon a tanner, whose house is by the seaside; he shall
          tell thee what thou oughtest to do." Cornelius sent to Joppa, and
          just before his messengers reached the house at which Simon
          lodged, he had had a vision in which a sheet descended from
          heaven, in which were all manner of beasts and creeping things of
          the earth; and a voice said, "Rise, Peter, kill and eat." But
          Peter said, "Not so, Lord, for I have never eaten anything common
          or unclean." And the voice said unto him, "What God hath
          cleansed, that call not thou common." At that time the Gospel had
          been given to the Jews only, and Peter and his brethren had the
          idea that it was not for the Gentiles; but this vision was as
          much as to say, "I want to open your eyes and show you that the
          Gentiles as well as the Jews are to receive and participate in
          the blessings of the Gospel." Just as Peter awoke from his vision
          there came a rap at the door and the messengers of Cornelius
          inquired for him, and made known to him their errand, and he and
          some of his brethren went down and conversed with Cornelius, and
          while doing so the Spirit of God rested on them so powerfully
          that they glorified God. The Jews who were with Peter commenced,
          "Take care, Peter, we do not like this; we do not understand that
          the Gentiles are to have the Gospel. The Savior is the Savior of
          the Jews; Jesus was the king of the Jews only and not the king of
          the Gentiles." Peter commanded them to be still. Said he, "Do you
          not see the pouring out of the Spirit just as on the Day of
          Pentecost, these people speaking with new tongues and
          prophecying;" and said he, seeing that this is the case, "Can any
          man forbid water that these should not be baptized, which have
          received the Holy Ghost as well as we." Cornelius, if he had
          rejected the testimony of Peter, would have been led to reject
          the Holy Ghost, which had fallen upon him, and been lost.
          This was an instance in which the Holy Ghost was given before
          baptism; there may be other cases in these days, but if parties
          are thus favored of the Lord, the outpouring of his Spirit
          prompts them to send for an Elder of Israel that they may be
          baptized for the remission of their sins. I do not know that it
          is recorded that Cornelius received a remission of sins before
          baptism. The quotation has been read here from the Scriptures
          that except a man be born again he cannot see the kingdom of God;
          and unless he be born of the water and of the Spirit he cannot
          enter it; that is, no man can see and understand the kingdom of
          God unless the Spirit reveal it to him. When a person receives
          the Holy Ghost he begins to read the Bible understandingly. It is
          a new book to him. Is this fortunate or unfortunate for him? I
          will say it is fortunate for those who receive the Gospel as
          preached by the Latter-day Saints, when the Spirit of the Lord
          rests upon them. Such an individual will say, "The Bible is a new
          book to me, bless me; I never read the principles understandingly
          in my life before; I could not understand them. I never read the
          New Testament, nor comprehended the character of the Savior and
          his teachings to his disciples as now; although I have read the
          Scriptures hundreds of times they never were plain before." The
          Spirit may rest upon many and reveal to them the wonderful things
          of God; but when it does it will prompt them to obey the commands
          of the Lord Jesus. Is this the fact? It is. Well, we will say it
          is very fortunate for those who receive this Gospel and the
          spirit of it in their hearts, for it awakes within them a desire
          to know and understand the things of God more than they ever did
          before in their lives, and they begin to inquire, read and
          search, and when they go to the Father in the name of Jesus he
          will not leave them without a witness.
          When we go to the nations we say, "Receive ye the Gospel,
          treasure it up in your hearts; the Spirit is ready to testify to
          you at any moment; are you ready to receive the Spirit?" No
          person need wait; whenever the spirit within him yields obedience
          to the still small voice that whispers, "This is the way, walk ye
          in it," that Spirit is ready in a moment to teach, guide and
          direct him in the way of life and salvation. If there is
          darkness, it is the result of our own organization and
          intelligence being beclouded and far from the things of God. We
          listen to the continual promptings of the Man of Sin, when he
          says, "Do not you submit to the Lord, do not inquire of the Lord;
          do not ask for the Spirit of the Lord; do not go to the Father in
          the name of Jesus, or if you do go, be very careful how you go.
          Let reason take the stand with you, let the words of your
          petitions be dictated by the reason that is within you, then you
          will be very sure not to ask in the spirit of meekness! No, you
          should not yield your manhood to any spirit to ask for things you
          need, or that you may be led, guided and preserved in the way of
          These are the promptings of the devil; but when the spirit in man
          yields obedience and brings the flesh into subjection the Spirit
          of the Lord is then ready to whisper to the individual, "This is
          the way, walk ye in it;" and such individuals can go on their way
          rejoicing, regardless of those who cry, "Lo! here is Christ," or
          "Lo! there is Christ;" for the Spirit will teach them that Jesus
          is the Christ and that the Bible is true. It may not all have
          been translated aright, and many precious things may have been
          rejected in the compilation and translation of the Bible; but we
          understand, from the writings of one of the Apostles, that if all
          the sayings and doings of the Savior had been written, the world
          could not contain them. I will say that the world could not
          understand them. They do not understand what we have on record,
          nor the character of the Savior, as delineated in the Scriptures;
          and yet it is one of the simplest things in the world, and the
          Bible, when it is understood, is one of the simplest books in the
          world, for, as far as it is translated correctly, it is nothing
          but truth, and in truth there is no mystery save to the ignorant.
          The revelations of the Lord to his creatures are adapted to the
          lowest capacity, and they bring life and salvation to all who are
          willing to receive them. They are so simple that the highminded
          and those lifted up in their own estimation will say, "I cannot
          get down so low as that." If they pray, they dare not ask for the
          things they want. I have known a great many individuals who dare
          not ask God the Father in the name of Jesus Christ if the
          doctrine we preach is true. They have a conviction within them
          that it is true, and they say, "If we ask we shall receive the
          witness we ask for, and then we shall have no excuse whatever for
          not obeying it." I have had it said to me, "I am sorry I have
          learned so much, sorry I have had so much revealed. I wish I was
          as ignorant as I was a few years ago." What will be the condition
          of such individuals? Ignorance will be their portion. Let him
          that is ignorant remain ignorant still. The Gospel will do them
          no good; but they who are honest before the Lord, and ask in the
          name of Jesus, will receive a testimony, and know that Jesus is
          the Christ. Flesh and blood will not reveal this to them, neither
          will the sciences of the day; it can only be known by the spirit
          of revelation. The kingdom of God and its mysteries are and can
          be known only to him to whom God reveals them, and I hope and
          pray that we are or may be among that number. It is very
          customary to pray to the Lord, but in my petitions I pray a great
          deal to the Latter-day Saints, or those who profess to be. When
          traveling and preaching I frequently pray the people, in Christ's
          stead, be ye reconciled to God. I pray you, my hearers, to ask
          the Father, in the name of Jesus, whether these things be true or
          not. I cannot pray the Father that he will compel you to know; it
          would be no use for the Father to compel you to know the truth.
          All must be willing to ask for and receive it. The fountain is
          open, truth is ready, its streams are waiting and desirous to
          come and testify to every individual on the earth who is willing
          to be taught that Jesus is the Christ, the Gospel is true, God is
          true, life and salvation are true. We are here upon this
          earth--upon this little dark, opaque body; if we were in some of
          the celestial kingdoms and were to look at this earth it would
          not appear larger, probably, than just a little speck, a black
          marble! Who can notice such an insignificant affair? God notices
          this world. He organized it, and brought forth the inhabitants
          upon it. We are his children, literally, spiritually, naturally,
          and in every respect. We are the children of our Father; Jesus is
          our elder brother, ready to save all who will come to him. By and
          by the Lord will purify the earth, and it will become pure and
          holy, like a sea of glass; then it will take its place in the
          rank of the celestial ones, and be recognized as celestial; but
          at the present time it is a dark, little speck in space.
          I pray the people and all who hear me, be ye reconciled to God,
          and ask for the things that you want. If you want life and
          salvation, ask for it in faith, humility and meekness. Be willing
          to receive the truth let it come from whom it may; no difference,
          not a particle. Just as soon receive the Gospel from Joseph Smith
          as from Peter, who lived in the days of Jesus. Receive it from
          one man as soon as another. If God has called an individual and
          sent him to preach the Gospel that is enough for me to know; it
          is no matter who it is, all I want is to know the truth. This
          should be the feelings and the heartbeatings of every individual
          that lives on the earth. If we are endowed with intelligence we
          can know and understand things for ourselves.
          You have received the truth, Latter-day Saints; live it. You know
          it perfectly well. When a Latter-day Saint says, I have sinned,
          will you forgive me? Did you sin knowingly? Tell the truth and
          say "Yes," you sinned, with your eyes wide open. When you commit
          a wrong, after having been enlightened, you violate your own
          judgment, and the convictions of the spirit that is within you.
          Why not live as we should? We should be the best people on the
          earth; we have more knowledge of the things of God and of his
          purposes than the rest of the inhabitants of the earth that we
          have any knowledge of. Then what manner of persons should we be?
          I do pray you to live your religion, and pray God to bless you.
          Journal of Discourses / Journal of Discourses, Volume 14 / Orson
          Pratt, March 19, 1871
                             Orson Pratt, March 19, 1871
                           DISCOURSE BY ELDER ORSON PRATT,
            Delivered in the Tabernacle, Salt Lake City, March 19, 1871.
                             (Reported by Julia Young.)
                           THE CHURCH--THE BOOK OF MORMON.
          I will read a portion of the word of God contained in the 85th
          "Lord thou hast been favorable unto thy land; thou hast brought
          back the captivity of Jacob.
          "Thou hast forgiven the iniquity of thy people; thou hast covered
          all their sin. Selah.
          "Thou hast taken away all thy wrath; thou hast turned thyself
          from the fierceness of thine anger.
          "Turn us, O God of our salvation, and cause thine anger towards
          us to cease.
          "Wilt thou be angry with us forever? will thou draw out thine
          anger to all generations?
          "Wilt thou not revive us again, that thy people may rejoice in
          "Shew us thy mercy, O Lord, and grant us thy salvation.
          "I will hear what God the Lord will speak; for he will speak
          peace unto his people and to his Saints; but let them not turn
          again to folly.
          "Surely his salvation is nigh them that fear him; that glory may
          dwell in our land.
          "Mercy and truth are met together; righteousness and peace have
          kissed each other.
          "Truth shall spring out of the earth; and righteousness shall
          look down from heaven.
          "Yea, the Lord shall give that which is good; and our land shall
          yield her increase.
          "Righteousness shall go before him; and shall set us in the way
          of his steps."
          This was a prayer and prophecy uttered by the ancient Psalmist in
          relation to the house of Israel. These psalms were written by the
          inspiration of the Holy Ghost, and most of them were prophetic in
          their nature. David was a man especially inspired of the Lord,
          not only to reign as king over the house of Israel, but to utter
          forth many predictions in the form of psalms to be sung in the
          congregations of Israel. He clearly spoke concerning the coming
          of the Messiah; his death, and the afflictions that should come
          upon him as the Redeemer of the world, and of many events in
          connection with his coming, all of which were fulfilled. He also
          spoke in many psalms in regard to the preaching of the servants
          of God in all nations, declaring the wonderful works of God. He
          also spoke concerning the second coming of this Messiah, the
          great glory that would be revealed on that grand occasion; he
          also spoke by the spirit of prophecy concerning the downfall of
          the twelve tribes of Israel and the great affliction that would
          come upon them; also, that the Lord would remember them in the
          latter times, and bring them to a knowledge of the truth.
          This psalm which I have just read contains a prayer, uttered by
          this inspired man, for the redemption of the covenant people of
          the Lord. That he would not be angry with them forever, that his
          anger might not be drawn out towards them to all generations;
          that he would turn himself from the fierceness of his wrath and
          show mercy unto his people again.
          The Lord saw proper, in answer to that prayer, to inspire the
          Psalmist to utter these words--"Mercy and truth are met together,
          righteousness and peace have kissed each other. Truth shall
          spring out of the earth and righteousness shall look down from
          heaven. Yea, the Lord shall give that which is good and our land
          shall yield her increase. Righteousness shall go before him and
          shall set us in the way of his steps."
          The Lord did not leave David in uncertainty about the blessings
          that should come upon his covenant people; he was informed, in
          the words which I have repeated, that the Lord intended again to
          bestow his blessings after he had sufficiently punished Israel;
          that he intended to bring them back to their own land; that he
          intended to bless that land which was given to them as an
          inheritance, and, that that land should again yield its increase
          to his people. But before he would do this he promised that truth
          should spring out of the earth, and that at the same time
          righteousness should look down from heaven; that truth should go
          before his face and set his people in the way of his steps.
          We live, Latter-day Saints, in the age when this prophecy is
          being fulfilled. We have lived to behold the glorious period dawn
          upon this creation when God has condescended to bring forth truth
          out of the earth, and at the same time has manifested his
          righteousness from heaven--that is his law. I need not tell the
          Latter-day Saints that are now before me how this prophecy was
          fulfilled, for they already understand it. There may be
          strangers, however, in our midst who do not understand these
          things, as we understand them; and it may be well to briefly
          notice the fulfillment of this prophecy as manifested in the rise
          and progress of this Church. This Church has an existence this
          day in consequence of the fulfillment of their words. There never
          would have been any such people as the Church of Jesus Christ of
          Latter-day Saints, unless God had again manifested himself in
          fulfillment of this prophecy. He has seen proper after so many
          generations have passed, to again reveal himself to the children
          of men, although it was contrary to their opinions and ideas that
          God would ever again speak to the inhabitants of the earth. They
          concluded that all communication from the eternal worlds was shut
          off, that, although there was a God and plenty of angels and
          messengers in his presence, he would never send them again to the
          inhabitants of our globe to reveal anything new.
          These have been the ideas of our fathers for many generations
          that are past.
          The whole Christian world were deluded with these ideas for some
          seventeen or eighteen centuries.
          The idea took its rise in the apostate church that sprang up in
          the days of the Apostles; a church which denied the spirit of
          revelation and had the wickedness and audacity to proclaim in the
          face and eyes of the Bible that it needed no new revelation; that
          it had sufficient. The councils that were called towards the
          close of the third and fourth centuries of the Christian era
          concluded to introduce laws and rules among the church. The Greek
          and Catholic churches excommunicated all persons that would
          believe in the God of revelation.
          They collected together various manuscripts which they had picked
          up in various parts of the earth, which they called the fullness
          of the canon of Scripture; then they passed a decree that if any
          person should be found believing anything except that which was
          contained in their canon, that he should not be permitted full
          fellowship in the church; that he should be disfellowshipped and
          anathematized. This wicked and abominable doctrine was handed
          down for a great many generations in the Greek and Roman Catholic
          churches, and will be found throughout all their writings--the
          writings of their most noted archbishops. They declare that they
          neither received nor believed in any new revelation; that their
          rule of faith and practice was ancient Scripture; that the church
          must be guided by those ancient laws, and by the traditions of
          their fathers--traditions handed down from the days of the
          Apostles to their day. Thus you see all communication from the
          heavens was cut off by their own decree; they were worse than the
          heathen. Nebuchadnezzar, a great heathen king accustomed to
          worship idols all his days, had not apostatized from the true God
          as those professed Christians had, for he believed in the God
          that gave revelation. We have an account in the Book of Daniel
          how the Lord did reveal himself to that heathen king in a dream.
          But he forgot the dream and sent a proclamation to all the wise
          men of Babylon to see if he could find out an interpreter. He, at
          length, found one in the person of Daniel the Prophet, who gave
          the king the dream that the God of heaven had given him, also the
          interpretation, and we have many instances on record where
          ancient heathen kings had not so far strayed from the God of
          heaven but what they could believe in new revelation; but we have
          the example before us for many generations where people who have
          assumed the name of Christ disbelieved in new revelation, and
          persecuted those who believe in receiving any new communication.
          Some two or three centuries ago there was a great reformation in
          Europe--a protestation against this wicked, corrupt and
          abominable power that had held sway under the name of Christian.
          They did reform from many of their corrupt practices, and they
          had power given to them, although perhaps they did not understand
          it fully, and the God of heaven did give power to these reformers
          to bring about more liberal principles; but they had to do it
          through great persecution. They succeeded, however, in building
          up denominations which they called Christian, that had forsaken,
          in some measure the corruption of the mother church. These
          reformers followed the mother church in regard to limiting their
          faith to ancient Scripture; they would tell the people that there
          was to be no more revelation. John Calvin and Martin Luther held
          the view, that there was to be no more revelation from heaven;
          that the canon of Scripture was full. They received this false
          dogma from the mother church; they could not find it in the New
          Testament; but it was a tradition handed down by the mother
          church that such was the fact.
          Now, the devil did not particularly care how many good principles
          people retained, so long as they should deny one of the most
          important principles of heaven. Cut off communication from the
          Lord, shut up the heavens, keep angels out of the question
          concerning any more new communication to be given to the children
          of men, and the devil has accomplished his object. These
          falsehoods were handed down, after the reformers came out, in all
          the various denominations until the present day, until the time
          when the Lord, by the mouth of his holy angels, called Joseph
          Smith and gave unto him a knowledge by vision of the place where
          the ancient records of a portion of the Israelitish nation were
          deposited. At that period of time there was scarcely a people on
          the face of the whole earth but what were more or less under the
          delusion of this apostate doctrine. Mr. Smith, however, was
          uncontaminated by these traditions, as he was not a member of any
          church; this is manifest in the prayer offered by this young man
          at the time when the Lord first revealed himself to him.
          He went out to pray, being then a little over fourteen years of
          age, in a little grove not far from his father's house. The great
          object which he had in praying was to learn some few principles,
          which he saw were absolutely necessary to know, according to his
          understanding, in order to serve the true and living God. He
          desired to know which, among all the denominations with which he
          was surrounded, was the true church.
          It is not often that boys of this age would be so exercised, but
          this was the fact in regard to Joseph Smith. He was uneducated;
          he had not been to college; he was not trained in the vices of
          all large cities; but merely a country boy accustomed to hard
          work with his father. Probably one reason why his mind was thus
          exercised was in consequence of the religious excitement existing
          in that neighborhood at the time; some of his own relatives had
          joined the Presbyterian Church, and he was earnestly sought after
          to join himself with some church, and his mind being somewhat
          wrought upon, seeing many of his young acquaintances turn to the
          Lord, he greatly desired to know which was the true church. It
          was a great question; he knew not how to satisfy his mind, for he
          had not read the Bible much. He heard a great many different
          doctrines advocated by ministers respecting the different
          denominations, which caused him to read the Bible. He happened to
          fall upon a certain passage contained in the Book of James, "If
          any man lack wisdom let him ask of God, who giveth liberally and
          upbraideth not." This passage, when he read it, seemed to sink
          with great weight upon his mind. He thought it was his privilege
          to go to the Lord and ask him respecting the desired information.
          As I told you before, he had not been trained up in any of the
          creeds of the existing denominations, and therefore he was
          confiding enough to believe what was here written, "If any man
          lack wisdom," &c. He thought to himself that he did lack wisdom,
          for he did desire to know which was the true church. He went into
          the grove with a determination to claim this promise. When he was
          thus praying he saw a light which appeared to be approaching him
          from the heavens. As it came nearer it seemed to grow brighter
          until it settled upon the tops of the trees. He thought it would
          consume the leaves of the trees; but it gradually descended and
          rested upon him. His mind was immediately caught away. He saw in
          this light two glorious personages, one of whom spoke to him,
          pointing to the other, saying, "This is my beloved Son, hear ye
          him." This was a glorious vision given to this boy. When these
          persons interrogated him to know what he desired, he answered and
          said, "Lord show me which is the true church." He was then
          informed by one of these personages that there was no true church
          upon the face of the whole earth; that the whole Christian world,
          for many generations, had been in apostacy; that they had denied
          communication and revelation from heaven; denied the
          administration of angels; denied the power that was in the
          ancient church that comes through the gift of the Holy Ghost, and
          gave him much instruction upon this point, but did not see proper
          upon that occasion to give him a full knowledge of the Gospel,
          and what was necessary to constitute a true church, and gave him
          some few commandments to govern him in future time, with a
          promise that if he would abide the same and call upon his name,
          that the day would come when the Lord would reveal to him still
          further, making manifest what was necessary to the constitution
          of the true church. The vision withdrew; the personages attending
          and the light withdrew. He returned to his father's house, and
          told the vision, not only to his parents and neighbors, but to
          some of the preachers of the religious denominations in that
          place. He was expressly commanded in the vision to unite himself
          to none of these churches. When he related that which he had
          received in this vision, the ministers immediately made light of
          it, and said to him, "God does not reveal anything in our days;
          he revealed all that was necessary in ancient times; he has not
          spoken for 1800 years to any one." From that time forth he was
          persecuted, not only by ministers, but all denominations in that
          region persecuted him. "There goes that visionary boy." This
          seemed to be the feeling manifested, not only by professors, but
          by all; but yet he knew that God had manifested himself to him;
          he could not be persuaded to the contrary, any more than Paul
          could when he heard Jesus in his first vision.
          When about four years had elapsed, he retired to his bed one
          Sunday evening, reflecting upon the former vision, praying to the
          Lord that he might receive a fulfillment of the promise--namely,
          that if he was faithful, the true order of the Church of the Son
          of God should be revealed to him. While he lay thus praying, all
          at once the chamber was lighted up; this light continued to grow
          brighter and brighter until he saw a glorious personage, and this
          personage revealed to him the condition of the world, the
          apostacy of the Christian nations, and the darkness that reigned;
          also revealed to him what the Lord intended to accomplish upon
          the face of the whole earth preparatory to his coming. He
          informed him that this continent had once been occupied by a
          religious people, who understood the law of Moses and the Gospel;
          that they kept sacred records among them, and wrote them upon
          plates of gold, which were deposited in a certain hill about
          three miles from his father's house. At the same time this angel
          was telling him about these plates, the vision of his mind was
          opened so that he could see the place of their deposit. After the
          angel had given many instructions he withdrew. Joseph Smith
          continued to pray; the angel came a second time, related the same
          things over again, and gave him the same view of the plates, and
          still further information concerning the work of the last days,
          and then withdrew a second time. He continued to pray; the angel
          came the third time, gave him some further knowledge and
          information, opening still further the prophecies concerning the
          grand events that must be fulfilled in the latter days. When the
          angel withdrew from him the third time, instead of going to
          sleep, he arose and it was daybreak. He had been conversing with
          this angel nearly the whole night.
          He went out in the morning, as usual, with his father to labor in
          the field, and his father, observing that he looked pale, asked
          him if he was ill. He replied that he did not feel very well. His
          father advised him to go to the house. He started to go home, and
          after going a certain distance from his father, and before he
          reached the house, the angel again appeared to him--this was in
          daylight--and told him to turn back and tell his father what he
          had seen. He did so; he was also commanded by the angel in this
          fourth vision that he should go to the place where these plates
          were deposited. After relating to his father what he had seen,
          his father declared that it was a heavenly vision, and told him
          to be faithful to what had been revealed to him. He, therefore,
          on the morning of the 22nd of September, 1823, repaired to, and
          saw the place where these plates were deposited, just as he had
          seen in the night vision. They were deposited in a stone box not
          far from the summit of the hill Cumorah. The crowning stone that
          covered the box was oval; by taking away the turf from its edges
          he succeeded, by the use of a lever, in raising it from the box.
          When he saw the plates, he also saw an instrument that was called
          by the ancient prophets a Urim and Thummim. While he was thus
          gazing upon the plates, the angel came again to him, and as he
          was about to put forth his hand to take them, forbade him, saying
          that he needed further experience; that they could not be
          entrusted with any one only with those having an eye single to
          the glory of God; that they were sacred records, and that no
          person could have them for speculative purposes; and gave him
          certain commandments to keep, and told him to visit that place
          again one year from that time when he would again meet with him.
          He did so at the expiration of the year, and did so until four
          years had passed away; and on the morning of the 22nd of
          September, 1827, the angel permitted him to take the plates, and
          also the Urim and Thummim.
               Thus I have shown you how Truth sprang out of the earth;
          according to the words of our text. Mr. Smith being uneducated,
          except in the elementary branches as taught in our common schools
          in the East, therefore felt himself incapable, by his own
          learning, to perform so great a work. He was commanded of the
          Lord to draw off some of these characters from the plates and
          send them to the learned, which he did; they were sent to the
          city of New York by the hands of Martin Harris, the old gentleman
          whom you saw here last Conference. That old gentleman being then
          a middle-aged man, went to New York to see if he could find any
          person among the learned that could translate the characters. He
          went to Professors Mitchell and Anthon, and they were exhibited
          to them; and Mr. Harris received a certificate, stating that to
          them the translation of Joseph Smith seemed to be very correct.
          Martin Harris had not told Mr. Anthon how Mr. Smith came in
          possession of these characters. The Professor asked Mr. Harris
          how Mr. Smith obtained the plates from which the characters were
          taken; he said that he obtained them by the administration of an
          holy angel by obedience to the commandments of God. Mr. Anthon
          requested him to let him see the certificate, he did so; and
          without any further consultation tore it up before his eyes, and
          then said, if he would bring the plates to him he thought he
          could assist him in the translation. We all know that some of the
          characters and hieroglyphics that have been discovered in some
          parts of America cannot be deciphered by the most learned men of
          our day. The Professor wrote an article some time afterwards
          against the Latter-day Saints, in which he corroborates that
          which I have just told you concerning a plain countryman coming
          to him with characters.
          Thus we have the testimony of Professor Anthon that such a
          circumstance did transpire, and that such characters were handed
          to him. After Martin Harris returned to Joseph Smith and told him
          the conversation that had taken place, how that Professor Anthon
          could not decipher the records, Joseph inquired of the Lord, and
          the Lord commanded him that he should translate the records, and
          that he should do it through the medium of the Urim and Thummim.
          He commenced translating, but being a poor scribe, he employed
          Martin Harris to write some for him; he also employed other
          scribes to write from his mouth, and at intervals continued to
          work upon the farm. Being persecuted, however, he had to leave
          his father's house and went down to Pennsylvania, where he was
          also persecuted. He continued the work of translation until it
          was completed, and this is the book (Book of Mormon) which is the
          translation from these plates, a book which contains some five or
          six hundred closely written pages. After Mr. Smith had almost
          completed the translation, he found that there was a prediction
          contained in the book that the Lord would show to three
          witnesses, by his power from heaven, the truth of the divinity of
          this work. The query immediately arose who these three should be.
          Martin Harris, Oliver Cowdery and David Whitmer were very anxious
          that they might be the favored individuals. They were told to
          humble themselves before the Lord and pray unto him, and that if
          they would do this the same should be shown to them. They did so.
          Mr. Smith went with them; this was in Fayette, Seneca Co., New
          York, in the year 1829. While they were praying the angel
          descended from the heavens in the presence of these four men, and
          took the plates and exhibited the pages and engravings of that
          portion that was unsealed--for the whole of them were not
          permitted to be translated; and thus the engravings were shown to
          three other witnesses. The angel at the same time placed his
          hands upon the head of David Whitmer and said, "Blessed be the
          Lord and they that keep his commandments." At the time that the
          angel was showing the records, they heard a voice out of the
          heavens saying, that the records had been translated correctly by
          the gift and power of God, and they were commanded to bear
          witness of the same to all people to whom the work should be
          sent. They have therefore given their solemn testimony in this
          book in connection with Joseph Smith, concerning the appearing of
          the angel, and the exhibition of the plates; their testimony has
          gone forth wherever this book has been published. Mr. Smith was
          also permitted to show the plates to eight other witnesses whose
          names are also given in testimony of these things, that they saw
          the plates and handled them.
          Thus you have the testimony of twelve men, eleven witnesses
          besides the one who found the plates, three of whom saw the angel
          of God; and all this before there was any latter-day church in
          existence. There was a circumstance, however, that took place,
          before the organization of this Church, on the 15th day of May,
          1829. Two men, Joseph Smith and Oliver Cowdery, being exercised
          before the Lord in regard to the ordinance of baptism; how and in
          what way they should receive this ordinance acceptably before him
          they did not know. They understood the mode of baptism, for in
          the translation of this record they found that the ancient
          inhabitants of Israel baptized by immersion, and that the words
          used in connection with it were also given. The question arose,
          Who could baptize them. The Lord had already told them that there
          was no true church on the earth, and that there was no authorized
          minister to administer baptism; and, of course, this was a
          question that would arise in the mind of any individuals under
          similar circumstances; they would naturally want to know how they
          could be baptized, so as to have their baptism recognized in the
          heavens. They understood that they might just as well jump into
          the water themselves, as to be baptized by a man having no
          authority on him. They did not understand how it could be done,
          and they therefore were troubled in their minds with regard to
          it, and went and humbled themselves before the Lord, who, on the
          15th day of May, 1829, sent an angel to them. This angel informed
          them that he was John the Baptist, who was beheaded, and who
          baptized their Savior, and that he held the priesthood of his
          fathers, the priesthood of Levi. He laid his hands upon their
          heads and ordained them unto the priesthood that he himself had,
          which priesthood had authority to baptize for the remission of
          sins, but had no authority to lay hands upon the people for the
          gift of the Holy Ghost. John, who baptized our Savior, himself
          I can baptize you with water, and that is the extent of my
          authority, but there cometh one after me who is mightier than I,
          he has greater authority, he can baptize you with fire and with
          the Holy Ghost; but I have the right to baptize you with water.
          This was in substance what John said to the Jews in his day. He
          conferred this same priesthood upon these two men, and commanded
          them to baptize one another, giving them a promise that that
          priesthood should never be taken from the earth, but should
          remain for ever; consequently the priesthood conferred by the
          angel is never again to be banished from the earth, as it has
          been throughout the dark ages.
          They went and baptized each other, for the Lord did not permit
          them to organize the Church until the fullness of time had
          arrived. He appointed the day by new revelation, the very day on
          which they should commence the organization of the
          Church--namely, the 6th of April, 1830; also gave a commandment
          on the day of its organization, how the Church should be
          organized, with what offices, or those necessary to constitute a
          true Church of God here on the earth. Previous, however, to this
          organization of the Church they received higher authority than
          that which John the Baptist gave them.
          For when they found they only had authority to baptize by water,
          but could not minister the Holy Ghost by the laying on of hands,
          the question arose immediately: How shall we obtain that
          authority? They again prayed; they again called upon the name of
          the Lord, and the Lord sent messengers from heaven with a higher
          priesthood than that which John the Baptist held, whose names
          were Peter, James and John, three ancient Apostles, and they
          conferred upon them the priesthood and Apostleship that they
          themselves had, which gave them authority not only to baptize,
          but to administer in the ordinance of the Holy Ghost by the
          laying on of hands in the name of Jesus, precisely the same as
          the Apostles did when on the earth.
          Thus they received, not only the lesser priesthood, but also the
          Apostleship, and having authority granted unto them from heaven
          they were fully qualified to organize the Church; but still they
          could not do it by their own wisdom. There was nothing to be done
          in this Church by the wisdom of man. The Lord, as I heretofore
          stated, had already told them what the necessary offices were,
          and what the duties of these several offices should be in the
          The Church was organized, and we might give you a relation of its
          history from that day down to the present, but I see that the
          time allotted for our forenoon meeting has already passed.
          I wish before I close to cite one or two testimonies from the
          prophecies in relation to this great work of the latter days. If
          you will turn to the 29th chapter of Isaiah and read the
          prediction contained therein you will find that nearly the whole
          chapter pertains to the events of the latter days, one of the
          predictions is the destruction of the nations of the wicked,
          which has never been fulfilled. It reads thus:--That all nations
          that fight against Mount Zion shall become as a dream of a night
          vision, etc., etc.
          The Lord intends, in the last days, to build up a people called
          Zion, or, in other words, his Church. It matters not how numerous
          the people of the nations may be, this is their destiny; they
          will become as the dream of a night vision; or as the Prophet
          Daniel expresses it--all kingdoms and governments organized by
          human authority shall become like the chaff of the summer
          threshing floor; the winds of heaven shall blow them away, and no
          place shall be left for them; and that the stone out of the
          mountain should become a great mountain and fill the whole earth;
          and the kingdom and the greatness of the kingdom should be given
          into the hands of the Saints of the Most High--this is what
          Daniel has predicted. Isaiah has predicted the same; but, before
          this destruction of the wicked, certain events are to happen;
          among which he speaks of a book. He says, "And the vision of all
          is become unto you as the words of a book that is sealed, which
          men deliver to one that is learned, saying, Read this I pray
          thee, and he saith, I cannot, for it is sealed. And the book is
          delivered to him that is not learned, saying, Read this, I pray
          thee. And he saith, I am not learned. Wherefore the Lord said,
          For as much as this people draw near me with their mouths, and
          with their lips do honor me, and their fear toward me is taught
          by precepts of men: Therefore behold, I will proceed to do a
          marvellous work among this people, even a marvellous work and a
          wonder, for the wisdom of their wise men shall perish, and the
          understanding of their prudent men shall be hid." "In that day
          shall the deaf hear the words of the book, and the eyes of the
          blind shall see out of obscurity and darkness."
          These words of the Prophet Isaiah were fulfilled so far as the
          coming forth of this book was concerned. It was not the book
          itself that was to be sent to the learned; if that had been the
          case the prophecy would not have been fulfilled; but it "was the
          words of the book," and not the book itself. "And the book was
          given to him that is not learned, saying, read this I pray thee.
          He says I am not learned." Then comes in the declaration of the
          Lord:--Because of the wickedness of the people, etc., that he
          would "proceed to do a marvellous work and a wonder," and in that
          event he would cause the wisdom of the wise men to perish, etc.,
          all of which has been fulfilled. "And in that day shall the deaf
          hear the words of the book, and the eyes of the blind shall see
          out of obscurity, and out of darkness." Now, I would ask, are
          there not many in this congregation of Latter-day Saints who can
          testify that they have seen this literally fulfilled? Have you
          not seen those who have been literally deaf, in the enjoyment of
          their hearing, and this by the power of God in this dispensation?
          Yes, there are scores of witnesses that can testify that this has
          been literally fulfilled. Have you not seen those who have been
          afflicted with blindness restored immediately to their sight?
          Yes, and all this in fulfillment of this prophecy. "The meek
          shall increase their joy in the Lord, and the poor among men
          shall rejoice in the Holy One of Israel." Who, I would ask again,
          is the most benefited by this prophecy? In ancient days, while
          the learned and the chief priests rejected the Gospel of the Son
          of God, was it not the poor among men that were benefited by the
          Gospel preached to them? Yes, and so it has been in these days.
          How many scores of thousands have been taken from the oppressions
          of the old world, and brought some six or seven thousand miles
          here, into the interior of this glorious land of America, a land
          of promise? Although we have come into a very poor portion of it,
          yet you have been benefited; you now own houses and lands,
          cattle, horses and property that you never would have possessed
          had you not participated in the literal fulfillment of this
          prophecy. The poor among men are literally, as well as
          spiritually, blessed. Then comes in another prediction concerning
          the destruction of the nations of the wicked. "For the terrible
          one is brought to nought, and the scorner is consumed, and all
          that watch for iniquity are cut off, and all nations that fight
          against Mount Zion, will perish and vanish away." When this
          marvellous work and a wonder is commenced, and its truths
          preached and fully declared to the nations, and they reject them,
          the desolation and destruction that were brought upon the ancient
          Jews for the rejection of the Gospel will, according to this
          prophecy, be visited upon the wicked of this generation. How
          about Israel? According to the words of our text, "Truth shall
          spring out of the earth, and righteousness shall look down from
          heaven, yea, the Lord shall give that which is good, and our land
          shall yield her increase; righteousness shall go before him, and
          shall set us in the way of his steps." Thus you see, in that day,
          when the wicked will be so sorely afflicted the God of heaven
          will signally favor Israel. These things will transpire when we
          get through with the Gentiles, because the direct commandment of
          the Lord is, first to the Gentiles, and then to the house of
          Israel. And when the times of the Gentiles are fulfilled, then
          the Lord will restore the blessings he promised to Israel; he
          will then fulfill literally that which was uttered by the
          Psalmist David, "Turn us again, O God of our salvation; how long
          will thou be angry with us? how long shall we have to suffer in
          consequence of our wickedness and the wickedness of our fathers?"
          Until truth shall spring out of the earth; until then your
          captivity must remain; until then your sufferings and great
          afflictions must continue. But when the Lord brings truth out of
          the earth and sends righteousness down from heaven he will again
          remember Israel; then the Gentile nations will be punished, and
          Israel be saved.
          Journal of Discourses / Journal of Discourses, Volume 14 /
          Brigham Young, June 25, 1871
                            Brigham Young, June 25, 1871
                  Delivered in the New Tabernacle, Salt Lake City,
                               Sunday, June 25, 1871.
                            (Reported by David W. Evans.)
          As Brother Smith and myself, with others, will take our leave of
          this place to-morrow morning for a preaching tour through the
          northern settlements, we wish to say a few words. My remarks will
          be for all, both Saint and sinner; those who are Saints, those
          who wish to be, and those who wish not to be. I will read the
          fifth paragraph of the seventh section of the Book of Doctrine
          and Covenants. On referring to that place you will find the
          following words:
          "And they who are not sanctified through the law which I have
          given unto you, even the law of Christ, must inherit another
          kingdom, even that of a terrestrial kingdom, or that of a
          telestial kingdom. For he who is not able to abide the law of a
          celestial kingdom, cannot abide a celestial glory; and he who
          cannot abide the law of a terrestrial kingdom cannot abide a
          terrestrial glory; he who cannot abide the law of a telestial
          kingdom, cannot abide a telestial glory; therefore he is not meet
          for a kingdom of glory. Therefore he must abide a kingdom which
          is not a kingdom of glory."
          These words set forth the fact to which Jesus referred when he
          said, "In my Father's house are many mansions." How many I am not
          prepared to say; but here are three distinctly spoken of; the
          celestial, the highest; the terrestrial, the next below it; and
          the telestial, the third. If we were to take the pains to read
          what the Lord has said to his people in the latter days, we
          should find that he has made provision for all the inhabitants of
          the earth; every creature who desires, and who strives in the
          least, to overcome evil and subdue iniquity within himself or
          herself, and to live worthy of a glory, will possess one. But,
          "In my Father's house are many mansions," says the Savior; he has
          prepared places for his children; but the Saints, we who have
          received the fullness of the Gospel of the Son of God, or the
          kingdom of heaven that has come to earth, are in possession of
          those laws, ordinances, commandments and revelations that will
          prepare us, by strict obedience, to inherit the celestial
          kingdom, to go into the presence of the Father and the Son. While
          Jesus was here on the earth his followers inquired about his
          future dwelling place, for they all wanted to be with him. Said
          they, in effect, "Where thou goest, we want to go; where thou
          dwellest, we want to dwell;" and they said, "Where shall you live
          hereafter, and what will be your state and condition?" Said
          Jesus, in reply, "I am of the Father; I was with him before the
          foundations of the world were laid; I and my Father are one, we
          shall live together;" and he said also, "Strait is the gate and
          narrow is the way that leads to the lives," (it reads in our
          Bible "Leadeth unto life," but if it were translated correctly it
          would be, "Leadeth to the lives,") "and few there be that find
          Jesus travelled and preached, worked miracles, and labored
          diligently by day and by night, and when he had finished how many
          were there to stand by him? How many were there to believe and
          confess him before the scribes and pharisees? After travelling
          with him and seeing him feed the multitudes with a few loaves and
          fishes, heal the sick and open the eyes of the blind, how many
          friends had he when he came to the cross? How many of his
          disciples were there to say, We are the disciples of this man
          whom you are about to crucify? They stepped out of the way. Well
          might Jesus say, "Strait is the gate and narrow is the way that
          leadeth to the lives, and few there be that find it." We may say,
          and justly too, that the conduct of his disciples was very
          remarkable; for, as much as they thought of their Master, and as
          long as they had followed him, there was not a man to stand by
          him in his trying hour. It was but a few hours before that they
          had eaten supper with him, when, we are told, "Jesus took the
          bread, blessed and brake and gave to his disciples, and said,
          'Take and eat ye all of this;' and he took the cup, saying, 'Take
          this and drink ye all of it, this is my body in the New Testament
          and this is my blood in the New Testament.'" All this was a few
          hours before his crucifixion; and when his death drew near every
          single man, to a man, forsook him. During his trial, probably you
          all, even to the children, have read the story a great many
          times, when Peter was accused of being one of his disciples by a
          damsel who sat or stood by, he denied it, saying, "It is not so,
          I am not one of his disciples;" and when a second time he was
          accused of being one of his disciples, he said, "No, it is not
          so, I firmly deny it, I am not one of his disciples." And when a
          third time the same accusation was made he cursed and swore about
          Now I make an application of this right here. As much as we think
          of that ancient name and character--the Savior, which age and
          antiquity have rendered so sacred to the Christian world that
          they profess to revere them, compare the course his immediate
          followers took, with the course taken by the followers of Joseph
          Smith, the Prophet of the latter days, as much as he is despised
          and his name ridiculed. There is scarcely any, no matter how high
          socially, who can speak of him with sufficient respect to call
          him "Mr." or "Joseph" Smith, but they generally refer to him as
          "Joe" Smith; yet, much as he is scorned and despised, he had
          hundreds and thousands who would have gone to the death with him
          when he went to death, but Jesus found not a man. Joseph Smith,
          though he spent only fourteen years in presiding over this
          people, organizing the Church, proclaiming the Gospel and
          receiving revelations, yet had hundreds and thousands of men and
          women who were ready to go to the death with him.
          I wish now to look at my subject a little more, and will refer to
          the present condition and future prospects of the inhabitants of
          the earth. If we had time to read we could show to you,
          Latter-day Saints, that the Lord is more merciful to the people
          than we are. He has compassion on the works of his hands, while
          we, through the fall, have a disposition, in common with all
          mankind, that is revengeful, and apt to give way to passion,
          wrath, malice, anger, bickering, contentions, hateful feelings
          and unbecoming words. All men are subject to this; but the
          Latter-day Saints should be above it; and I wish to caution them,
          and to inform them that if they expect to enter the celestial
          kingdom they must overcome this weakness and the wicked
          dispositions they have inherited through the fall; they must
          subdue, and become masters of them in the name of Jesus, and
          become compassionate to all. I have travelled a great deal in the
          world; and though, through the evil that is within me, it is
          natural for me to contend, and if I am opposed to oppose in
          return, and if a sharp word is spoken to me to give a sharp word
          back, I have done so but rarely. It is wrong, and we must subdue
          the inclination.
          It has been mentioned here about the Saints leaving their homes
          and being persecuted. They may be again for aught I know; and if
          in the providence of God it is permitted to chasten us for our
          wickedness and for yielding to sin, I hope we shall be able to
          bear it patiently; but if the Latter-day Saints will live their
          religion and exercise faith in the name of Jesus, they will be
          able to overcome every besetting sin within themselves; and then
          we shall be able to overcome every foe without, and we will live
          and outlive all the slander, falsehood and prejudice now heaped
          mountain high against and around us by many individuals in the
          nations. We will live it down, live it into oblivion. But shall
          we turn away from the holy commandments of the Lord and join
          hands with the wicked and ungodly to make our faith popular? No,
          God forbid. I am happy in believing, in knowing and in
          proclaiming, that the Lord Almighty has so organized his kingdom
          on the earth and he so rules it that no man will have the
          privilege of coming into and abiding in it, and receiving a
          fullness of its blessings through covetousness, selfishness or
          any spirit of idolatry. In the contemplation of this I rejoice,
          and I am exceedingly glad that the Lord has so ordered it that no
          man can be saved in his sins and in his iniquity. All will have
          to come to the Lord and be sanctified through the grace of Christ
          by faith in his name; without this, I am happy to say, that none
          can be purified, sanctified and prepared to inherit eternal
          Well, Latter-day Saints, will you live your religion? Sometimes I
          do not know about this. I see and realize so much with regard to
          the power of Satan on the earth, the evil propensities of mankind
          and the weakness of human nature, that I do not know whether the
          Latter-day Saints are going to abide all that will come upon
          them. Whip them and they will acknowledge the Lord, abuse them
          and they will be Saints. Have we any ensamples? We have. You take
          plenty of these who are around here, who have been in this
          Tabernacle, and some probably who are here to-day, and when they
          were in their own country, poor, distressed, with not enough to
          eat, scanty clothing, no house of their own to live in, not any
          property, not worth a chicken, and the finger of scorn pointed at
          them from Monday morning until Saturday night, and they would go
          weeping through the streets bearing precious seed, and declare
          that "the Gospel is true, Jesus has spoken from the heavens, the
          angel has flown through the midst of heaven and delivered the
          Gospel to the children of men, the kingdom of God is set up, the
          word of the Lord is within me and I am ready to declare it to the
          people;" and they would go weeping week after week, month after
          month, and year after year, in their poverty and wretchedness;
          but bring them here and put them in a condition to gather around
          them a few hundreds or thousands, and they will lift their heel
          against the Almighty; and when I think of this I do not know how
          many of the Latter-day Saints will apostatize. Let us be in a
          condition now, if we could step forward directly into a position
          in which we should be equal with our neighbors, equal with the
          corruptions of this world, equal with the wicked, and we should
          have praise and popularity. I am glad it is not so. If we could
          have the favor of the wicked world, and have the blessings heaped
          upon us and be fostered as other people, communities and
          territories are, probably it would lead away a great many. It is
          all right now. If we will bear all these things and be patient,
          and live our religion whether we have enough to eat or half
          enough; whether we have a good house to dwell in, or we live in
          tents, wagons, or in dens and caves, and love the Lord and
          delight to do his will and walk humbly before him, and overcome
          every passion and evil propensity, and subdue the old man within
          us that Christ may live within us--the new man to his glory, we
          will inherit celestial glory. But no person will be sanctified
          without the law--the law which the Lord has given, will be
          observed by few comparatively, when we take into account the vast
          numbers who have lived on the face of the earth. There is no
          prospect whatever of multitudes of them being sanctified by the
          law of Christ. What we shall do for them in the Millennium it is
          not for me to say altogether. We shall do a great deal, there is
          no question about it. It is a matter of great rejoicing, and
          should bring forth gratitude from the hearts of the whole world
          of mankind, that the Lord has promised a day of rest. The day
          will come when Jesus will rule King of nations, as he now does
          King of Saints, and this glorious rest that the Saints have been
          looking for for thousands and thousands of years, from the days
          of Adam until now, will arrive. They have been looking for the
          absent body, just as John the Revelator says, He saw the souls
          under the altar crying, "How long, O Lord?" We are waiting for
          the absent body, how long shall we look for it? It will come
          again by and by, and the spirit and the body will be reunited;
          but how many will be prepared to enter the celestial kingdom
          unless they are officiated for it is not for me to say. But if we
          preserve ourselves in the truth and live so that we shall be
          worthy of the celestial kingdom, by and by we can officiate for
          those who have died without law--the honest, honorable, good,
          truthful, virtuous and pure. By and by it will be said unto us,
          "Go ye forth and be baptized for them, and receive the ordinances
          for them;" and the hearts of the children will be turned to the
          fathers who have slept in their graves, and they will secure to
          them eternal life. This must be, lest the Lord come and smite the
          earth with a curse. The children will go forth and revive this
          law for those who have slept for thousands of years who died
          without the law. Jesus will prepare a way to bring them up into
          his presence. But were it not for the few who will be prepared
          here on the earth to officiate when the Lord shall come to reign
          King of nations, what would be the condition of the world? They
          would sleep and sleep on; but the way is prepared for their
          Now, those who cannot abide the law of the celestial kingdom
          cannot abide the glory of a celestial kingdom. All Christians are
          looking for celestial glory, but can they abide it? They cannot;
          it would consume them, for "our God is a consuming fire." They
          think they could abide a celestial kingdom; but they could not.
          They will have to abide another kingdom and another glory,
          according to the lives they lead and the knowledge they possess
          here. When we look at it, we should have compassion and we should
          be charitable. I want to say: a great many priests have been here
          and I have spoken before them; if there be any here to-day I say
          to them and to every priest on the face of the earth, I do not
          care whether they be Christian, Pagan or Mahommedan, you should
          live according to the best light you have; and if you do you will
          receive all the glory you ever anticipated. We should not be
          prejudiced against you in the least; even if you are against us
          and declare falsehoods about us we should not retaliate. But how
          prone we are to rebuke if we are rebuked, or if we receive a
          sharp word to return one. The Latter-day Saints have to overcome
          this; and the world may cry out and say all manner of evil
          against us, but, my brethren and sisters, let us so live that it
          will be said falsely. If we do this, happy are we; but if
          truthful, woe be to the Latter-day Saints! Let all evil spoken of
          the people called Latter-day Saints be falsely spoken, as some
          that I heard a week to-night. Shall I mention it? How quickly
          "old Adam" rose within me, when the gentleman speaking pointed
          his finger, and said, "You murderers!" And I thought, "Will you
          not prove it?" I did not say a word; I thought about it a minute,
          and concluded that it was not worth noticing. He did not say you
          "Latter-day Saints," but his congregation was mainly composed of
          Latter-day Saints, and said he, "You murderers!" Could he prove
          this? No, no, he could not. Could any man prove it? Not that man
          that lives on the face of the earth; it cannot be proved. Why?
          Because the Saints are free and clear from the crime, that is the
          reason. Let the evil they speak of us be just as false as that
          was when they were going to bring us all to judgment!
          I believe I will venture to say a little further. The gentleman
          said all would be brought to judgment, and said he, "You who have
          two wives will be there?" I thought to myself, "Glory, alleluia,
          we shall be along with you father Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, and
          with Moses and the prophets." I do not wish to say one word to
          cast a reflection whatever; but pity, pity! Open the Bible and
          read from Genesis to Revelations, and the whole amount of the
          Christian religion, and all that they can teach and tell is,
          "Come to Christ, come to Christ!" Why, certainly, that is right.
          Come to Christ, and with it forsake our sins, and when we do
          this, keep the commandments of Christ and fulfill the law just as
          he did. Said he, "I come not to destroy the law but to fulfill
          it;" and he declared that every jot and tittle thereof should be
          fulfilled. Now pardon me, but if I am a Saint my heart would be
          filled with pity, oh, how pitiful, and yet I could say, and with
          justice and truth, though it might sound harshly to the ears of
          some, "O, fools and slow of heart to believe" all that is written
          of Jesus and the prophets, of the latter-day work, of the
          Millennium, of the coming forth of the kingdom of God upon the
          earth, of the cleansing and revolutionizing of the inhabitants of
          the earth, and preparing them for the coming of the Son of Man! I
          could say to the whole Christian world, justly, "O fools and slow
          of heart to believe what is written in the Bible and other books
          concerning these things."
          I say "other books," for we believe in other books as well as the
          Bible; but do we on that account believe in an untruth? No. I
          heard something this morning about our religion being vulgarly
          called "Mormonism." I say not vulgarly called so. Mormon was a
          good man, and he is in heaven, or in a good place at any rate;
          and the Book of Mormon is named after him, and we believe it.
          What does the word mormon mean? In the strict sense, and as it
          was translated by the ancients, it means more good. Mormon, more
          good; and "Mormonism" embraces all the truth that there is in
          heaven and on the earth; and if there is any in hell it belongs
          to us. Every truth in the sciences and in the arts, and all the
          knowledge that God has given to man in mechanism, and in fact on
          the earth, which is but a small speck among the creations of God,
          and the whole universe, all is incorporated in and constitutes
          what the world call "Mormonism." If we have errors, and seeing
          that we are just like other people, it is natural to suppose that
          we are not free from them, they should be overcome. There is no
          other people on the face of the earth that have the law of God as
          the Latter-day Saints have it. They believe in the ordinances of
          the house of God, they believe in the laws that the Lord has
          revealed for the salvation of the children of men. All these holy
          ordinances are embraced in our faith. We try to live according to
          them, and that too strictly; and when aught is said against us I
          only ask my brethren and sisters to live so that it will be said
          falsely--live so as to be guiltless--be innocent, full of faith,
          good works, charity, love, long-suffering, patience, godliness
          and brotherly kindness. If we fill up our lives with these good
          works, happy are we, no matter where other people go or what they
          say or do; or whether they ever give us our rights according to
          their estimation or according to ours. If we do this God will
          give us our rights. We live in peace and prosper, and live in
          hope; and if we do our duty we shall live down every obstacle,
          every opposing foe, every opposite spirit and influence that is
          raised against us as a nation or as nations; and live, as I hope
          will be our constant aim, so as to glorify God. Not to gain the
          flatteries and fellowship of the world, for I would not give a
          snap of my finger for them; for as the world is I want not their
          fellowship. I should have their good feelings! Why? Because I do
          nothing only to do them good. There is not a professed Christian
          on the face of the earth but what, if he knew what we know, would
          pray for the Latter-day Saints. Why? Because we have the keys of
          salvation to the children of men, which have been restored to the
          earth by the Almighty in these latter days, and we are doing
          everything we possibly can for their salvation.
          Talk about persecution, why that only comes from those who hate
          the truth. When falsehood is spoken against this people, no
          matter by whom, whether priest or people, it comes from a foul,
          wicked heart. Some say we are all wicked. Yes, we are all wicked;
          but we should not allow our tongues to utter forth many things
          that are uttered. We are not pure enough yet; we are not holy, we
          are not sanctified; no, the Latter-day Saints are not sanctified,
          and if any person thinks that we, as a people, are a pattern for
          the human family, we would just refer him and all mankind to the
          commandments and revelations which the Lord has given for the
          salvation of his creatures; they are perfect, but we are
          imperfect. We are trying to be perfect, and trying to sanctify
          the Lord God in our hearts, and to honor his name, character and
          laws, and to spread them as far as we possibly can to the east,
          west, north and south, and to gather up all that will be gathered
          into the celestial kingdom; but to shake hands with the world and
          fellowship them, no, no! In the first place they will not
          fellowship us, and in the next place we cannot fellowship them.
          We will fellowship every good word and every good thought and
          every good deed; but we cannot fellowship them in rebelling
          against the truth.
          Speaking of persecutions, neglects, slights and insults, was it
          an insult for the President of the United States, after calling
          upon our men to redeem this land from a foreign government, which
          we did, so far as the whole of Upper California is concerned, for
          it was acquired by the Latter-day Saints from the Mexican
          Government; and over it we hoisted the American flag, and have
          maintained it ever since; and then for our Chief Magistrate to
          make war upon the people who had actually added so much to the
          public domain and placed it under the banner and flag of their
          Government, to send an army to waste us away and destroy us, was
          it generous? Did it evince brotherly kindness? Was it according
          to Christian light? Was it according to the New Testament, the
          sayings of the Savior, or the acts of the wise and the good? We
          leave everybody to judge. Still they did not do it, no, nor they
          will not do it either.
          What did we do when we came here? A few words upon this. Did we
          manifest to the world that we knew how to take care of ourselves?
          What did we bring with us? Five times have I been broken up and
          left a fine property behind. I never looked after it, for I knew
          that the earth was the Lord's and the fullness thereof, and that
          he could give me what he pleased, hence I never looked behind,
          but marched forward, right ahead five times. What did we bring
          here? Nothing; we came here comparatively, as the old saying is,
          naked and barefoot. We have lived here twenty-four years, and now
          we are told that if we can convince the people of the United
          States that we can actually govern, control and sustain
          ourselves, why, we can have a State Government, so as to get us a
          little land to school our children and help ourselves a little. I
          suppose from this that they wish to imply that up to this time we
          have not proved that we can sustain and govern ourselves. What is
          necessary, judging by the standard of civilization, to prove
          this? What does it take to constitute a people capable of
          governing and controlling themselves? Now, mark, in the
          estimation of civilization it requires a settlement, territory
          and subjects for this territory; and then it requires certain
          ingredients within this community, to constitute civilization.
          Where shall we begin? We will build a grogshop, that will be the
          first thing, and have a few groceries; and we will bring on the
          liquor. The description of an outfit to the mines in early days
          will answer to illustrate and fill up the picture. The first
          thing was a barrel of whisky, then ten pounds of dried beef, and
          a box of crackers; what next? A ten gallon keg of whisky and four
          pounds of cheese, ten of butter, then another barrel of whisky,
          next ten pounds of dried beef, two sacks of flour, and so on.
          Now, after we get a parcel of grogshops and can see, every
          Saturday, men drinking in the streets, hurrahing, running their
          horses, having children run over, and perhaps get to fighting and
          somebody's head broken, or some one shot down, and have some
          gambling saloons, then we are ready for a meeting house, and here
          comes the priest through the streets mourning over the sins of
          the people, crying, and "Oh what a wretched place this is." That
          is civilization. You will excuse me, this is no overdrawn
          picture, but is a representation of what is misnamed
          civilization. But is it so in the eyes of Heaven? No, it is
          civilization in the eyes of filth and corruption, that is what it
          To call this civilization is like saying to a kind, judicious and
          loving mother, "You are not capable of taking care of your
          children, we will put them out." What is the matter, mother? And
          the mother says, "Why, my children obey me. I make no request of
          them but what they comply with; and they are willing and
          obedient. I teach them morning and evening to pray; I teach them
          to read the Bible, to be good, not to tell falsehoods, but to be
          truthful and honest, and not to take a pin's worth from their
          neighbors; not to contend with each other about their toys." And
          this mother is kind, loving and agreeable, and her children love
          her, and in the morning run with open arms and salute her with,
          "Mamma, how glad I am to see you, are you well?" And at night
          when going to bed the mother says, "Good night, my darlings, come
          and let me give you a kiss." But this mother is not worthy of her
          children, and they must be taken from her and put out; she is too
          kind to them, and has perfect control over them. That is what
          they are afraid of. And the father, when he comes from his work,
          his store or mechanics' shop, is met with smiling faces, and
          "good evening, father, or papa," and he has a kiss for each of
          them, and has a kind good night for all, and perfect love and
          peace reign in their midst. But that mother and father are
          unworthy of those children; the way they have trained them is not
          civilization. Whip them, teach them to quarrel, fight, knock each
          other down, and finally kick them out of doors! That is
          civilization according to the notion of the world. This is a
          comparison and it may be a strong one; but lay it in the balance
          and see how it will weigh. Will they among whom such manners and
          principles prevail be prepared for the celestial kingdom, or for
          a terrestrial or telestial kingdom, no matter who they are? I
          think not. They will have to abide a kingdom where there is no
          Well now, why not take this family and let papa and mamma train
          up their children in the nurture and admonition of the Lord, and
          teach them every good moral principle, and faith in the name of
          Jesus? To my certain knowledge children in our community, when
          mamma has been sick, have said, "Mamma, are you not better?" "Why
          do you ask my little dear?" "Why," says the little girl, "I have
          prayed for you; are you better?" "Yes, my dear." I have witnessed
          many and many a time children praying for the father or for the
          mother, and that mother or father would be healed through the
          faith of the child. But this is not civilization. No; hence you
          Latter-day Saints must not have any lands to make use of to
          school your children. You must be tied up, you must be ruled
          over; you are not capable of governing and controlling
          yourselves. And yet thousands and thousands of them who say this
          will admit that we have the best organization and are the best
          governed community they have ever seen. But what is the matter
          when they get away? Why papa and mamma kiss the children, and the
          children kiss papa and mamma, and this will not do, it is not
          civilization. Kick, cuff and scold from morning to night must be
          the story, "then we are ready to receive you?" Shame on such
          conduct! Shame on such statesmanship!
          "Well, I don't like your peculiar institutions!" We have never
          been driven yet for our peculiar institutions which they talk
          about, and if we can beat them in peculiar conduct I am mistaken!
          I have seen men come here, who moved in the highest society on
          the American continent, and "Who have you got with you?" "My
          wife," he says, and by and by you find out it is not his wife,
          but a woman he has hired to come here. In one instance a judge
          came here with a woman who had been turned off by a Congressman,
          and she sat on the judgment seat with him and claimed him for
          husband; but when he had got through with her, "You can go now, I
          do not want you any more." Will a "Mormon" do this? No, never, if
          he does he will be damned; and any man who does will go to hell,
          now mark my word for it. And this is civilization!
          Can they inherit these glories? No, the Lord has revealed the
          fact that the people must be sanctified; and if they cannot abide
          and be sanctified by a celestial law, they can not inherit this
          glory; and they must abide and be sanctified by a terrestrial law
          and inherit a terrestrial glory. But we will pick every man and
          every woman on the face of the earth that we can possibly save
          and give them life and salvation through obedience to the
          requirements of Heaven. That is the way it is given, obtained and
          enjoyed. The spirit of the Gospel comes by obedience to the
          I want to say a few things to the Latter-day Saints, for I have
          not half freed my mind. Will you live so as to make your calling
          and election sure? You have a work to do, and it requires a holy
          life to prepare you to do it. Now I charge you again, and I
          charge myself not to get angry. Never let anger arise in your
          hearts. No, Brigham, never let anger arise in your heart, never,
          never! Although you may be called upon to chastise and to speak
          to the people sharply, do not let anger arise in you, no, never!
          Let us sanctify the Lord God in our hearts and live to his honor
          and glory and all is right with us; and by and by we shall see
          what comes to those who say to us, "You can't have your rights."
          I will just say to the nation in which I live, and which gave me
          birth: The Lord God Almighty has a controversy with you and he
          will bring you to judgment, and no power can hinder it. It is the
          decree of the Almighty in the heavens, and will be so. Let us
          prepare for it, Saint and sinner. This life is but a moment, and
          is only preparatory to a higher state of glory. We are in
          darkness and ignorance here; but it is to give us an experience
          that we can step into a higher state of knowledge, understanding,
          light and intelligence. That we may come up higher and higher,
          and not be reduced when we enter the next state of existence, I
          say to the inhabitants of the earth, for God's sake and for your
          own sakes, do take that course that when you step into another
          room, or lay down this mortal tabernacle, you will be prepared
          for a higher state of glory. It will not be present civilization
          that will prepare you for that; but strict obedience to the
          requirements of heaven in all honesty, sincerity, purity,
          lowliness of heart and faithfulness to our God. May he help us to
          do it. Amen!
          Journal of Discourses / Journal of Discourses, Volume 14 /
          Brigham Young, June 4, 1871
                             Brigham Young, June 4, 1871
               Delivered in the Tabernacle, Ogden City, June 4, 1871.
                            (Reported by David W. Evans.)
          It is a great work to instruct ourselves and each other; and to
          bring ourselves into perfect subjection and to an understanding
          of principle. We know what it is to meet with obstructions,
          difficulties and contradictions of various kinds; and this people
          know pretty well what it is to have to contend with the
          influences of the wicked world; but we have reason to rejoice and
          be exceeding glad that we are not in the same circumstances now
          that we have been heretofore. We have peace here in these
          mountains, and since we arrived in these valleys we have been
          free from those obstructions with which our pathway was
          constantly strewn before. It is frequently asked me why we left
          the States and the society of our Christian brethren. My reply
          has invariably been, "We stayed with you just as long as you
          would let us, and when you would let us stay no longer we had to
          hunt up some other place, and we came to the valleys not out of
          choice but out of necessity." It is true that we have had some
          little things to contend with here, but it amounts to no more
          than a war of words. Our religion will bear investigation, and we
          invite the Christian world to investigate and to exchange ideas
          concerning faith and principles.
          Brother Wells has been telling you about some of the influences
          that we had to contend with in Illinois. This gentleman was not a
          "Mormon" when we went from Missouri to Illinois, neither was he
          when we left that State, and he was in a position to know what
          the feelings of the people were; his neighbors composed the band
          that slew Joseph and Hyrum in the jail at Carthage. He is
          acquainted with the circumstances. He says he has put them from
          his mind as much as possible, and does not think of them. I am
          happy to hear it. I wish we may never be under the necessity of
          again referring to what we have passed through; but we shall be,
          there is no question; and if we have to meet with influences of
          another character now, all that we have to do is to be prepared
          for them; and if the Lord brings us into circumstances in which
          we shall be as willing to live our religion and pray as some are
          to fight, it will be much better for us. We have many Elders in
          Israel who would much rather fight for their religion than pray.
          As for a person being saved in the celestial kingdom of God
          without being prepared to dwell in a pure and holy place, it is
          all nonsense and ridiculous; and if there be any who think they
          can gain the presence of the Father and the Son by fighting for
          instead of living their religion, they will be mistaken,
          consequently the quicker we make up our minds to live our
          religion the better it will be for us. If we live so as to enjoy
          the spirit of the faith that we have embraced there is no danger
          of our being deceived.
          To those of our Christian brethren who have come here, not to
          join a mob to kill or persecute the Saints, but to see how many
          of those who have obeyed the Gospel they can induce to forsake
          the holy commandments of the Lord Jesus and to follow after
          phantoms, I say the quicker this war of words commences and the
          fiercer it is carried on the better it will be for the Saints. So
          we say come, brethren, come with your big tents, your meeting
          houses, your arguments and all the philosophy you are in
          possession of, for we have a religion that we would like the
          inhabitants of the earth to understand. We have nothing in the
          dark, nothing but what is good for man; and we would say to all
          try our religion. We have tried and we understand the religions
          of the world; and in some remarks I made yesterday I ventured to
          say that our youth know more of heavenly things than old men do
          in the Christian world. If any doubt this, just take our children
          and question them, and if they have the courage and boldness, see
          how quickly they will lead members of the sectarian world into
          waters so deep that they cannot see the shore. But if a war of
          argument is desired or intended, I do not mean contention, but an
          exchange of ideas, we are willing to give to all who want them
          the principles of the Gospel of life and salvation, and they can
          give to us all they know of the Gospel as they have embraced it,
          which is no more nor less than a system of morals or ethics, and
          is excellent as far as it goes. But the Gospel that we have
          embraced includes every principle of morality and virtue that is
          taught by any person on the earth, whether he does or does not
          know or profess to know Christ.
          If we are brought into circumstances where we have the privilege
          of telling strangers what we believe in we are very willing to do
          so; but the first thing with them is, "Oh, your strange doctrine,
          your peculiar doctrine!" How often this is said to me in my
          office. I say to them, "What peculiar doctrine? Will you please
          to name it?" The reply is, "Well, you know you have a peculiar
          doctrine;" and the ladies stand anxiously waiting for somebody or
          other to give it a name. I sometimes say, "Is it plurality of
          wives you mean?" "Yes, yes, that is the doctrine." If I were to
          answer my own feelings to such parties, I would answer them and
          say, "That is nothing; so far as a plurality of women goes, you
          men, if you will allow me this vulgar expression, 'knock the hind
          sights off the Mormons.'" But that is vulgar, and so let it pass.
          "But," say they, "what of your peculiar doctrine? What did you
          come to the mountains for? What did you leave us for? We suppose
          it was on account of your peculiar doctrine." I reply, "Pause!
          Wait a moment! When we left the confines of what is called
          civilization the doctrine of plurality of wives was not known by
          the world, and was not taught by us, and was known only to a very
          few member of our Church; but since we have declared this
          revelation we have dwelt in peace and safety, so we were not
          persecuted for that, sure. We did not leave Ohio, Missouri,
          Illinois, or any other State or neighborhood within the confines
          of civilization for believing in the doctrine of a plurality of
          wives." I say this to all who hear me. I want our young folks to
          understand this, or they may perhaps grow up with the idea that
          we were driven from our homes in consequence of our belief in
          celestial marriage. I want all our young, and all who believe the
          Gospel and all who do not believe it, to know that we were driven
          for believing in the Old and New Testament; not for believing in
          the Book of Mormon, but in the Bible, and then practising it in
          our lives. This, and this only, is what we were driven for. It is
          now called the "one-man power;" then it was "the 'Mormons' clan
          together;" and this was the rock of offence or seemingly so; but
          in reality it was the same then as now and now as then--we as a
          people believe in the Scriptures of divine truth, and we are
          united in endeavoring to live according to the precepts thereof.
          When Brother Wells was speaking he said the Christian religion
          had failed. I will say just what he meant to say--namely, that
          professing the Christian religion has failed to bring the world
          into subjection to moral laws. I would not say that Christianity
          has failed; the religion of Christ has not failed, but those
          professing this religion have failed to bring the world into
          subjection to good and wholesome laws. You may take up politics,
          for instance, and in our own country there are a great many
          parties who differ in their views and opinions with regard to
          governing a nation, and on every hand they are contending against
          each other. This division exists even among the professing
          Christians. The Catholics and Quakers are probably less divided
          than others, but they are far from being one in politics; and the
          same is true to a greater extent of the Episcopalians,
          Presbyterians, Congregationalists, Baptists, Methodists, and so
          on. When we see a religion, and one which is claimed to be the
          religion of Christ, and it will not govern men in their politics,
          it is a very poor religion, it is very feeble, very faint in its
          effects, hardly perceptible in the life of a person. The religion
          that the Lord has revealed from heaven unites the hearts of the
          people, and when they gather together, no matter where they are
          from, they are of one heart and one mind. Those who have no idea
          of the effects of the Gospel attribute the oneness it produces to
          the influence of individuals now living on the earth, instead of
          giving God the glory, praise and honor.
          The religion of heaven unites the hearts of the people and makes
          them one. You may gather a people together, and no matter how
          widely they differ in politics, the Gospel of Jesus Christ will
          make them one, even if among them were found members of all the
          political parties in the country. I do not know how many
          different political parties now exist in the country. There used
          to be only Federals and Democrats, then Whigs, Republicans,
          Locofocos, Barn-burners, and Free-soilers. Then the "Know
          Nothings" sprang into existence. I believe the Ku-Klux is a new
          political organization; and I have heard that, in the City of
          Washington, the Anti-Ku-Klux, another political party, has
          recently been organized. If members of all these various
          organizations were to obey the Gospel and gather together, the
          religion of heaven would clear their hearts of all political
          rubbish and make them one in voting for principles and measures,
          instead of men, and I think that any religion that will not do
          this is very feeble in its effects. The Christian religion, or
          what is called so, has failed to subdue the world; but what will
          the Gospel of Jesus Christ do? If the Gospel that we preach, and
          which we are trying to set before priest and people--for we want
          all to know and understand it--if it does not have the effect of
          convincing men and women of the truth sufficiently to induce them
          to yield obedience to its ordinances and to embrace the doctrine
          of life and salvation, and accept the overtures of mercy, learn
          Christ and obey him, it will drive them to the wall of
          infidelity. Do we believe this? It must be so. Do others believe
          it? No, they do not. The Christian world do not know that they
          are infidels in their belief in regard to the character of the
          Father and the Son, and the Holy Priesthood and its laws and
          requirements. If a man does not believe that he ought to be
          baptized for the remission of his sins, he is an infidel to
          baptism. My definition of the term infidel is that if any
          principle or doctrine is set before me, and I say I disbelieve
          it, I am neither more nor less than an infidel to that principle
          or doctrine. Are the sectarian world infidels according to this
          definition? Yes, and if we had time we would take some passages
          of Scripture and prove it. Take, for instance, the character of
          the Savior, and the sectarian world are infidel on this point.
          What do they believe about it? I do not know what they believe,
          and they do not know themselves. Many of them do not know that
          they believe anything. They would be glad to believe if they knew
          what to believe. But not knowing what to believe, they say, "We
          do not know, we do not understand, we cannot tell. We understand
          some things by reading the Scriptures; but the ministers tell us
          they have a spiritual meaning." Now what does this favorite
          saying of the ministers--"a spiritual meaning"--convey to the
          mind? Something or other that you and I do not understand, that
          is all. Well, then, partially, I will say, to a certain degree,
          it leaves us in infidelity. This is the situation of the
          sectarian world to-day--they do not know what to believe, and
          consequently they are full of unbelief and doubt, and we say that
          our children ought to know enough to teach the whole world with
          regard to these things. The divines of the day, when they have
          graduated from the schools, seminaries and colleges, so far as
          their knowledge of heavenly things goes, are a bundle of trash
          and ignorance. I meet with some occasionally, however, who are
          very religious. I met with a gentleman in my office last Friday
          evening, who was very tenacious on some points touching morality.
          He put me in mind of a great many I have met in my
          travels--strong, staunch Christians. What did the religion of
          that individual consist of? I told you yesterday--ignorance and
          impudence--that is about the amount of it. Such men would be
          Christians if they knew how, they would like to be. But will they
          receive the truth? Our doctrine and practice is, and I have made
          it mine through life--to receive truth no matter where it comes
          from. Is there truth in heaven? Yes, it dwells there, it is the
          foundation of the heavens. Is there truth on earth and beneath
          the earth? There is. Is there truth in the words of a good man?
          Yes. In the words of a wicked man? Yes, sometimes; and there is
          truth in the words of an angel, and in the words of the devil,
          and when the devil speaks the truth I should have the spirit to
          discriminate between the truth and the error, and should receive
          the former and reject the latter. For example, you read in
          Genesis about the formation of the earth and the creation of Adam
          and Eve in the Garden. By and by the devil comes along and tempts
          Eve, by offering her the fruit of a certain tree, assuring her at
          the same time that the very day she ate of it her eyes would be
          open and she would see like the Gods. Did the devil tell the
          truth? He did. Did he tell a lie? Yes, and how many of them he
          told to one truth I have not taken pains to examine. You take a
          wicked person, an opposer of the truth, one of our apostates, for
          instance, and he will tell you a little truth and mix it up with
          a great deal of error; but we should know enough to understand
          and receive the truth; that will do us good, and if we reject the
          error it will do us no harm.
          This is our position, and we say to all Christians come and
          investigate our religion. Do we understand Methodism,
          Presbyterianism, Quakerism, Shakerism and the various other isms
          of the Christian world? Yes. I learned these, as far as their
          creeds go, many years ago. That which they could not tell and did
          not understand, I never did learn. My objection to their creeds
          and systems was that they talked about things they did not
          understand and could not tell a word about; consequently I was
          called an infidel. We say, give us the truth; but when strangers
          come to see me their first reflection is, "I would like to ask
          him a question if I dare." What is it? It is all about wives. My
          conscience! what a generation of gentlemen and ladies we have!
          Their thoughts and reflections are continually about wives and
          husbands. Why the mind of a pure Saint and Christian is above
          such things. If it is necessary to take a wife, take one; if it
          is necessary to have a husband, have one. If it is necessary to
          have two wives, take them. If it is right, reasonable and proper
          and the Lord permits a man to take half a dozen wives, take them;
          but if the Lord says let them alone, let them alone. How long?
          Until we go down to the grave, if the Lord demand it. If he
          require an Elder or Elders to take their valise and travel and
          preach the Gospel until the day of their death, they should do
          it; and if they are not happy in so doing, it would prove that
          they do not possess the spirit of their religion.
          This gentleman to whom I was speaking on Friday was tenacious
          with regard to the Sabbath; that was his whole theme. He
          commenced about our running cars here on the Sabbath Day. I told
          him in as few words as I could, that my feelings were not to do
          it, and if I had the management of railroads I would stop it.
          Why? Because the Lord has said that it is not good for us to work
          the seven days; it is good to work six and rest the seventh. Our
          system requires rest after six days' labor, and consequently he
          has set the seventh apart for that purpose. But I told him I
          could not control that matter; the people want to run from Salt
          Lake to Ogden and back again to Salt Lake on Sundays, and
          consequently, as it is a matter of necessity, we run the cars on
          the Sabbath. Said he, "How can you reconcile this?" Said I, "It
          ought to be done, that is how I reconcile it." Know whether you
          ought to do a thing or not, and if you ought to do it, do it; and
          if you ought not, let it alone. That is the way to live. You can
          not read anything in the Bible about a railroad from Salt Lake
          City to Ogden, nor from the Atlantic to the Pacific; you cannot
          read anything about telegraph wires, nor whether they should work
          on a Sunday or lie still; nor anything about running a railroad,
          or a stage, or about the labor of the people who live now. By
          reading the Bible we can learn something about the way the
          ancients regulated their labors as far as the Lord told them what
          to do. It is one of the most simple things in the world for
          people to understand what course they should take; what a pity
          they do not all understand it! If men would live and humble
          themselves like children God could dwell within them and could
          dictate every heart. But to enjoy this we must live before the
          Lord, so that our minds would be like a sheet of white paper such
          as our reporters here are writing on, then the Lord could and
          would dictate all our movements. Live with a conscience void of
          offence towards God and man and the spirit of inspiration would
          indite matter on every such well regulated conscience. But our
          consciences are made by our parents and teachers; and just as we
          are taught by others are our consciences dictated. But we should
          all live so that the spirit of revelation could dictate and write
          on the heart and tell us what we should do, instead of the
          traditions of our parents and teachers. But to do this we must
          become like little children; and Jesus says if we do not we
          cannot enter the kingdom of heaven. How simple it is! Live free
          from envy, malice, wrath, strife, bitter feelings, and evil
          speaking in our families and about our neighbors and friends, and
          all the inhabitants of the earth, wherever we meet them. Live so
          that our consciences are free, clean and clear. This is as simple
          as anything can be, and yet it is one of the hardest things to
          get people to understand, or rather to practice; for you may get
          them to understand it, but the great difficulty is to get them to
          practice it. If we, both priest and people, will practice this,
          the Spirit of the Lord can dictate and tell us our duty, and when
          that is presented before us we will go and do it.
          But, instead of such principles as these occupying people's minds
          now-a-days, it is, "How many wives have you, Mr. Young? Oh, I do
          want to ask Mr. Young how many wives he has." Ladies who come
          into my office very frequently say, "I wonder if it would hurt
          his feelings if I were to ask him how many wives he has?" Let me
          say to all creation that I would as lief they should ask me that
          question as any other; but I would rather see them anxious to
          learn about the Gospel. Having wives is a secondary
          consideration; it is within the pale of duty, and consequently,
          it is all right. But to preach the Gospel, save the children of
          men, build up the kingdom of God, produce righteousness in the
          midst of the people; govern and control ourselves and our
          families and all we have influence over; make us of one heart and
          one mind; to clear the world from wickedness--this fighting and
          slaying, this mischievous spirit now so general, and to subdue
          and drive it from the face of the earth, and to usher in and
          establish the reign of universal peace, is our business, no
          matter how many wives a man has got, that makes no difference
          here or there. I want to say, and I wish you to publish it, that
          I would as soon be asked how many wives I have got as any other
          question, just as soon; but I would rather see something else in
          their minds, instead of all the time thinking "How many wives
          have you; or I wonder whom he slept with last night." I can tell
          those who are curious on this point. I slept with all that slept,
          and we slept on one universal bed--the bosom of our mother earth,
          and we slept together. "Did you have anybody in bed with you?"
          "Yes." "Who was it?" It was my wife, it was not your wife, nor
          your daughter nor sister, unless she was my wife, and that too
          legally. I can say that to all creation, and every honest man can
          say the same; but it is not all who are professed Christians who
          can say it, and I will say, and I am sorry to say it, not all
          professed "Mormons" can say this. Live so that your heart is pure
          and holy, and if the Lord Almighty gives you a wife take good
          care of her, and do not be like many of our brethren. I heard a
          contention this morning between an old man and his family, I am
          ashamed to say it; as I said to the brethren, "It is bad enough
          to see young fools, but worse to see old fools." You only meet
          with a man occasionally who knows enough about human nature to
          govern his own family. Men, as a general thing, do not know the
          dispositions of their wives and children, nor how to govern and
          control them; and it is certainly a pretty close, intricate
          point. I have had some people ask me how I manage and control the
          people. I do it by telling them the truth and letting them do
          just as they have a mind to. I control my wives by telling them
          the truth and letting them do as they like. Will I quarrel with
          them? No, I will not. Some of them may have felt a little
          discouraged at this. I do not know, however, that they had a
          disposition to quarrel; if they have had, they are sick of it,
          for they have found out that they cannot raise the breeze.
          Devils, pigs, dogs and the brute creation quarrel. Do intelligent
          men quarrel? Yes, and men and women will quarrel, and sometimes
          they quarrel with their neighbors. I meet with some occasionally
          who need chastening, but as for quarrelling I do not think that I
          am guilty of it.
          With these few remarks it is about time to close. We shall meet
          again, this afternoon. To satisfy my feelings I should have to
          say a good deal. I say to you who want to govern your wives, set
          them an example, continually, that is good. Let them say, "There
          is my husband, does he do anything that he should not do? No, he
          does not. He prays, he is faithful, humble, meek, full of
          kindness and of good words and works, I see nothing wrong in
          him." If a man lives like this his wife will say, "I should be
          ashamed to get up a quarrel, I think I had better do as he says,
          I think he knows better than I do, I will yield my spirit to
          his." If a man pursue this straightforward, manly, god-like
          course he will find woman in her place by his side following him.
          He is leading her, she is not leading him. When we find an Elder
          of Israel do this we find plenty of women who will go along with
          him. And this is the principle on which to govern a neighborhood
          or nation as well as a wife or children. When a king, ruler,
          president, governor or legislative assembly take this course, the
          people know they are looking after the welfare of the governed
          instead of their own aggrandizement, and they will always be glad
          to have them in office, and they will not wish for a change. When
          the righteous rule, the people rejoice; when the wicked rule, the
          people mourn. This is the secret of it; if we govern ourselves we
          can govern others.
          May the Lord bless us. Amen.
          Journal of Discourses / Journal of Discourses, Volume 14 / George
          Q. Cannon, June 11, 1871
                           George Q. Cannon, June 11, 1871
                        DISCOURSE BY ELDER GEORGE Q. CANNON,
                  Delivered in the New Tabernacle, Salt Lake City,
                               Sunday, June 11, 1871.
                            (Reported by David W. Evans.)
          The circumstances which surround us at the present time are of a
          very peculiar character; probably at no period of our history has
          the work of the Last Days attracted the attention and the
          curiosity of the people generally to the extent that it does
          to-day. There are several reasons for this, but that which, more
          than anything else at this time, has directed the minds of the
          world to Utah is the discoveries of mineral in our Territory.
          This has undoubtedly added greatly to the interest which has ever
          been felt in this strange land, and in the strange people who
          inhabit it. The best method of disposing of us and our system has
          given rise to much controversy and discussion in years past. That
          we ought to be disposed of in some manner has been a very general
          opinion and feeling in certain quarters; there has seemed to be a
          disposition manifested by some persons to do something so as to
          effectually dispose of the system called "Mormonism." They have
          apparently felt that it was in the way and ought to be removed,
          or that something should be done to retard its growth and
          progress, and the influence which it is exercising in the world.
          Did we not know through our own bitter experience in the past
          that this feeling is entertained by a great many people, it would
          be difficult for us to imagine that such is the case, for an
          examination of our principles, and an understanding of their
          bearing, operation and effects would certainly not lead to
          conclusions of this character. So far as I myself am concerned,
          if this matter were submitted to me without my knowledge and past
          experience in relation to it, I should say that the principles
          and doctrines believed in and practiced by the Latter-day Saints,
          and the results which have been wrought out by their operation
          would not have had the effect of creating animosity or ill will,
          or any feeling other than kind, brotherly and affectionate.
          What is there about this system called "Mormonism" that should
          evoke the terrible amount of animosity and hatred which have been
          displayed at various times? The Latter-day Saints believe in
          Jesus Christ, they believe that he is the Savior of the world;
          that he died for man's redemption; that, through his death, we
          may, by obedience, be brought into the presence of the Father,
          and made heirs of eternal glory. The Latter-day Saints believe
          that mankind should repent of and forsake all sins, and be
          baptized in the name of Jesus for their remission; the Latter-day
          Saints believe that they should not only be baptized for the
          remission of their sins, but that baptism should be administered
          by those only who have authority. Not vague or ill-defined
          authority, based upon a commission given to others centuries ago;
          but an authority proceeding from God that will be recognized on
          earth and in heaven. The Latter-day Saints believe that, having
          repented of sin and been baptized for the remission of it, they
          who have complied thus far with the Gospel requirements, should
          have hands laid upon them for the reception of the Holy Ghost;
          and that they who thus lay on hands should have authority from
          God to officiate in this ordinance.
          Is there anything about or connected with this faith that should
          excite opposition, create ill-feeling and arouse hatred?
          Certainly, when we look at this dispassionately, we must admit
          that there is not.
          Is there anything connected with this faith, or the principles to
          which I have referred, that does not harmonize with the
          Scriptures? Peter, who preached the first sermon of which we have
          any account after the resurrection of Jesus, declared precisely
          the same principles which I have alluded to as being part of our
          belief. The other Apostles taught the same principles, and
          enforced them upon the people to the extent of their ability and
          power. I know that there are difficulties and contentions in the
          religious world as to the mode and efficacy of baptism; some
          assert that immersion is not the true mode; but we are willing to
          stand by the Scriptures and to abide by their decision, feeling
          assured that, if they be taken literally, those who read them
          will have a perfect conviction that immersion is the only true
          mode. But even should there be a difference of opinion on this
          point, it is not of such a character as to stir men up in deadly
          hostility towards us.
          There may also be a difference of opinion in relation to the
          laying on of hands. Some may say this is only necessary where men
          are ordained, and that it is not right or proper for all the
          members of the Church of Christ to receive the imposition of
          hands. But as I have said in reference to baptism so I say of
          this ordinance: it is clearly revealed in the Scriptures and can
          readily be substantiated from them that the members of the Church
          of Christ in ancient days had hands laid upon them for the
          reception of the Holy Ghost, and that it was the ordinance and
          the only ordinance instituted in God's economy for the bestowal
          and the reception of that gift.
          Well, is this all the Latter-day Saints believe in? No. I do not
          expect to be able to tell all we believe in, or to allude to
          every principle this afternoon; but these are the first
          principles which we have proclaimed to the world. In addition to
          these there is another--namely, the gathering together of the
          people of God. Wherever the Elders of this Church have gone they
          have said, and testified to the people, that the time in which we
          live is the gathering dispensation alluded to by the ancient
          prophets, when God's people should be gathered from the various
          nations of the earth to one place, according to the predictions
          of John the Revelator, David the psalmist, Isaiah, Jeremiah,
          Ezekiel, and all other prophets whose writings we have in this
          book. They, in simplicity, have called upon the people everywhere
          to repent, and to gather together; and these, in substance, are
          the principles which the Elders of this Church have declared unto
          the people wherever they have travelled; and it is because of
          these principles and their proclamation that so much persecution
          has been stirred up.
          I know very well the feelings of the world, and perhaps of some
          who are listening to-day to this brief enunciation of our
          principles and the causes of our persecutions. Say they, "If
          these were the only principles taught by the Latter-day Saints we
          cannot think they would have been persecuted, there must be
          something behind this. It cannot be possible that, in this
          enlightened age, men and women should be persecuted and reviled
          and their names cast out as evil for believing these doctrines?"
          A prevalent idea has been that this prejudice against us owes its
          origin and continuation to our belief in a plurality of wives;
          but when it is recollected that the mobbings, drivings and
          expulsion from cities, counties and states which we have endured,
          and our exodus to these mountains all took place before the
          revelation of that doctrine was publicly known, it will be seen
          at once that our belief in it has not been the cause of
          persecution. I have an idea on this point in relation to this
          much-talked-of and much-abused doctrine, and it is this: I
          believe that from the day it was taught to the Church of Jesus
          Christ of Latter-day Saints and embraced in the faith and lives
          of its members we have risen in power and grown in influence; we
          have gained favor with and enjoyed the protection of the Heavens
          such as we never possessed before. All the prosperity, seemingly,
          that we enjoy to-day has been bestowed upon us since the
          proclamation of that principle and its adoption by us into our
          faith and practice. There has been an almighty power hedging us
          round about and encircling us from that day until the present
          time; and though men have plotted and schemed and have devised
          mischief, and formed machinations and combinations against the
          Latter-day Saints, their schemes have fallen to the ground; their
          combinations have proved unavailing, and we have been delivered
          time and time again since we came to these valleys.
          There is good reason why this is so. If this principle be from
          God, as we solemnly testify it is, surely God would stretch forth
          his arm to defend and deliver a people who would be so valiant
          and trustful as to go forth in the face of so-called civilization
          and popular prejudice in the nineteenth century, and embrace and
          practice that doctrine, and assume all the consequences which its
          practice involves! Surely God, who would reveal such a principle
          to his people and call upon them to obey it, would defend those
          who had the courage to sacrifice themselves if it were necessary
          to carry out what they believed to be God's behest! He would
          stretch forth his arm, exert his power and fulfill his promises
          to deliver those who would thus go forth in humility and meekness
          and carry out a principle that he had revealed unto them!
          This is the view which I take of this matter. Instead of our
          being left to the power of our persecutors to a greater extent
          since its revelation and practice, we have had greater freedom
          and security, and have been blessed as we never were before. It
          was not on account of our belief in this that we have been hated.
          Joseph and Hyrum Smith were slain in Carthage jail, and hundreds
          of persons were persecuted to the death previous to the Church
          having any knowledge of this doctrine. What then was the cause of
          the persecutions of the people, and why should they have been
          singled out and made so remarkable above other people, many of
          whom believe in several of the principles that they believed in.
          There is not a religious denomination in Christendom which does
          not believe in Jesus Christ; I do not know of one that does not
          believe in repenting of sin and also in some form of baptism.
          They may differ in opinion as to the mode, efficacy and necessity
          of the ordinance; some may and do call it essential, while others
          regard it as non-essential, but it is generally believed in; and
          there are also denominations which believe in the laying on of
          hands. I do not know of one that believes in the gathering of the
          people together, still there are people or communities who do
          gather together, besides the Latter-day Saints. What is it then
          that makes us so marked? I will explain it in a few words, as I
          understand it. It is because the Latter-day Saints believe that
          God has restored from the heavens the everlasting
          Priesthood--that eternal authority by which man acts upon the
          earth as the ambassador of God. It is because we have testified
          that God has restored this once more to earth and we have
          received it, and that by virtue of it we act as Apostles, members
          of the seventies, high priests, elders, bishops, priests,
          teachers and deacons, and in the several offices God has placed
          in his Church. This is the secret, my brethren and sisters and
          friends, of the opposition that is and has been waged against the
          Church of God. We might go forth and preach belief in the Lord
          Jesus Christ, repentance of sin, and baptism for the remission of
          sins, as Alexander Campbell did; we might say, as some of the
          sects do, that it is necessary to lay on hands; we might gather
          the people together, and do any or all of these things, but if we
          did not have the right to exercise heaven-bestowed authority
          there would be no particular opposition to us. Of course, the
          nearer a man draws to God, and the more he lives according to the
          plan which God has prescribed, the more opposition he meets with.
          Satan will stir up strife, animosity and hatred against him. On
          this account Luther, Calvin, John Wesley and other reformers have
          been persecuted. The nearer they came to the truth, and the more
          zealous they were in proclaiming it, the more opposition they met
          with. Men, in reasoning upon this subject, say that every sect,
          at the commencement of its career, is persecuted because men are
          not familiar with its doctrines; but, when they become known,
          opposition and persecution cease. They predict this about the
          Latter-day Saints; but the truth of the matter is this: if every
          new sect is persecuted, it is because it fearlessly denounces the
          sins, follies and vices of the age, and so long as they continue
          this, so long are they persecuted; but the moment they assimilate
          to the world, gloss over its follies and go with the stream and
          float with the popular current, opposition ceases. This has been
          the case, more or less, with every sect; but when men predict
          this of the Latter-day Saints they do not understand the nature
          of the work in which we are engaged; they do not comprehend the
          nature of the claims that we make; they have no understanding of
          the authority that we exercise. The distinction, to which I have
          referred, between us and others is that we claim to have the Holy
          "But," says one, "has not this authority always been on the
          earth? Why, ministers have gone forth and preached now for
          centuries, authorized by the divine commission of the
          Apostles--'Go ye into all the world and preach the Gospel to
          every creature, he that believeth and is baptized shall be saved,
          and he that believeth not shall be damned.' On the strength of
          this commission they have gone forth for centuries, and why do
          you Latter-day Saints claim additional authority? Has the
          authority not existed ever since the days of the Apostles?"
          If it has, where are its fruits, where are its powers, and where
          is the proper exercise thereof exhibited? Shall we go to the
          Church of Rome and inquire of it? It claims to have uninterrupted
          Apostolic descent from Peter, down through the ages until we
          reach our own day. Say the Episcopalians, Lutherans, Calvinists,
          and all Protestant sects, "No, she is the mother of harlots, she
          has defiled herself; that church is false, and God has taken from
          her the authority she once had. If we go back to the middle ages
          you will find that her popes have been corrupt, and there have
          been times when there were more than one pope, and if history can
          be relied on a woman once occupied the papal chair; therefore we
          Protestants abhor her and call her the mother of harlots; we have
          come out of her and have renounced her and her wickedness.
          Neither she nor her priests have any authority."
          But the Catholic, on the other hand, maintains that his church
          and his alone has the authority, which Protestant Christendom
          declares she has lost. And here a question arises in my mind, for
          as the Protestant churches say that the Catholic Church is the
          mother of harlots, I turn to the mother and ask who and where are
          her daughters. Is Lutheranism a daughter of hers? Is Calvinism a
          daughter of hers? Is the Church of England, founded by Henry
          VIII., a daughter of hers? If they are not, where are her
          daughters? Where shall we look for them, if not in the midst of
          the Protestant churches? If I go to the Episcopalians and ask
          them for their authority, what reply do they give me? "We
          exercise that which has come down to us from the Catholic Church.
          We came out of that church because of her impurity, but we
          brought with us authority to build another church, and ours is
          the Church of God.
          But, says the Catholic Church, "We have severed you from us;" and
          I, as a Latter-day Saint, say to the Episcopalians: If the
          Catholic Church had authority to give you the priesthood, and you
          derived it by imposition of hands from the Catholic clergy, then
          it had power to deprive you of that authority; if it had power to
          bestow authority it had power to withdraw that authority; and the
          Catholic Church did excommunicate Henry VIII., Latimer, Cranmer,
          and all who took part in that defection, and branded them as
          apostates, and, if they had any authority, deprived them of all
          they possessed. The same is true of the Lutheran and Calvinist
          churches, and all others who descended from her.
          But there is another view to be taken of this matter. Jesus said
          to his Apostles: "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," &c.
          Now, my Protestant brethren, if you take one part of this
          commission, why not take the whole of it? You say that by virtue
          of this authority which Jesus gave unto his Apostles, you go
          forth and preach the Gospel; but if you take this part of the
          commission, why not take the whole, and have the signs following
          them that believe your teachings, and have devils cast out, the
          sick healed, &c.
          In asking these questions I do not wish to be harsh or to reflect
          on any sect, but only, in honesty, to place the truth before you
          from my standpoint. Say the so-called Christians, in answer to
          the above questions: "We do not believe in these things; this
          power has been withheld, it was only bestowed in the Apostolic
          age, and was necessary then for the establishment of the Gospel."
          If that is so, where do you find authority for making the
          assertion? If you take part of this commission given by Christ to
          his Apostles, what right have you to reject the remainder? Why
          not reject the whole? I say that, by a parity of reasoning, if
          you take a part you ought to take the whole. You cannot
          consistently take one portion of Scripture and say, "This applies
          to me, or is mine, and I have a right to act by the authority it
          confers;" and then to say of the other, "I dismiss it, and want
          nothing to do with it." That is mutilating the word of God, and
          wherever you find men who have authority from God to act in his
          name, you will find these gifts and blessings attending their
          administrations, just as in ancient days.
          Suppose a descendant of John Adams, the first minister of this
          government to the Court of St. James, should find an old document
          that had been given to him by the Continental Congress
          authorizing him to go and act as its minister. He reads this
          document in which his ancestor's name is mentioned and in which
          he is duly empowered to act as ambassador for the United States,
          and he says, "Here is a document, I have it, the original that
          was given to my great ancestor. I do not see why I should not go
          and act as ambassador. This document was not given to me, it is
          true, but I want to act in this capacity." He goes across the
          water, travels to London, goes to Court, and presents his
          document and says, "I am empowered to act. I am sent over by the
          United States as ambassador to the Court of Great Britain."
          "Where is your commission?" "Here." "Why, this is an old
          document, it was given to John Adams. Is that your name, and are
          you the man?" "Oh no, I am not the man, but I am a descendant of
          his." This would be just as consistent as for a minister of
          religion in this day to claim authority because he has a record
          of the commission which Jesus gave to his disciples. If one case
          is consistent, so is the other; if one is not, then the other is
          My brethren, sisters and friends, you now, probably, begin to see
          the reasons why the Latter-day Saints claim that God has restored
          the authority and the everlasting priesthood; you now, probably,
          begin to see some reasons why God should send his holy angels
          from heaven to earth again.
          "But," says one, "I thought there were going to be no more
          angels, prophecies or revelations. I have been taught that the
          canon of Scripture was full, and that it was not necessary for
          God to speak again to man on the earth."
          Oh, this delusive idea! This damnable doctrine which has been
          preached until Christendom is completely filled with unbelief, so
          that the man who believes in revelation and that there is a
          necessity for it is set down as one who is unworthy the society
          of his fellows! Oh, the dreadful effects which have followed the
          proclamation of this fallacy for so long a period! What are the
          effects, resulting from it, that we see to-day? Christendom rent
          asunder, divided into sects and parties, the name of Jesus
          derided and sneered at, and the pure Gospel lost because of the
          propagation, for centuries, by so-called Christian ministers, of
          the soul-destroying and damnable heresy that God cannot or will
          not speak to man again from the heavens; that God will not reveal
          his will, send his angels, or exercise his power in the affairs
          of earth as much as he did in ancient days. Look at the effects
          of this! Travel in all our cities of the Atlantic and Pacific,
          and what do you see? Men and women professing to be followers of
          Jesus Christ, and yet all divided and split asunder, and
          quarrelling and contending--even members of the same church
          divided asunder. The Methodist Church North, and the Methodist
          Church South; the Presbyterian Church North, and the Presbyterian
          Church South; the Baptist Church North, and the Baptist Church
          South, and thus the religious world is divided and split asunder,
          and there is no authority to say what is truth or who shall
          proclaim it; there are none to say in the midst of the people,
          "Thus saith the Lord," or "Here is the path, walk ye in it;" and
          if a man comes forward claiming that he has this authority he is
          met with the accusations:
          "You are deluded, you are an impostor, you preach false doctrine,
          we will have none of your teaching. Men who believe in prophesy
          and revelation are liable to be deceived, and we are afraid of
          you, we do not know but you will deceive us. Jesus said there
          should be false prophets, we believe you are one of them."
          And thus they fortify and encase themselves in their unbelief and
          reject the word of God, and if Paul or Peter were to rise from
          the dead, and go amongst them and proclaim the principles they
          taught anciently, they would close their churches and chapels,
          and would say, "We will have none of you, you will deceive us,
          you are one of the false prophets spoken of," forgetting that, if
          there are false prophets there will, in all probability, also be
          true ones; and that it would be inconsistent to talk about false
          prophets if there were no true ones. There never is a
          counterfeit, bogus or imitation without a true one to copy after!
          Can you wonder, brethren and sisters, that the world is in the
          condition that it is, when unbelief has been handed down for
          generations, until it permeates the minds of all, both priest and
          people, even the children learn it in the Sunday schools, until
          every fibre of their minds becomes indoctrinated with the idea?
          The present condition of the Christian world is not to be
          wondered at, the wonder is that belief and faith exist to the
          extent they do. There are a few things more I would like to say
          in connection with this subject while I am upon it. One is that a
          perusal of the Scriptures will clear up one point in our minds
          respecting the principle of revelation and communication between
          God and man. There is not a servant of God of whom we have any
          account, from Genesis to Revelations, who did not receive
          revelation. Can any person point out a man who was one of God's
          servants, of whom we have any account in the Scriptures, that did
          not receive revelation? Not one. It may be said, and is argued,
          "Why is it, if it be God's will that man should have revelation
          from him, that the world has been so long without it?" This is
          very easily explained. You recollect that Jesus, on one occasion,
          went into a certain place, and it is said concerning him that he
          could not do many mighty works there because of the people's
          unbelief. Unbelief, therefore, has a tendency to prevent the
          communication of God's will to man by closing the channel of
          communication. And another very good reason is that when men were
          on the earth who did have these communications they were not
          allowed to live. Every such man was hunted and persecuted, and
          his life was sought after until there was not one left who had
          the power, authority and great gift and blessing to say to the
          people, "Thus saith the Lord;" and revelation and the spirit of
          revelation were withdrawn from man, and the whole earth fell into
          unbelief and darkness, and gross darkness prevailed over the
          hearts of the people. It is a very excellent reason why
          revelation should cease when the earth was drenched with the
          blood of Heaven's messengers, and that blood was crying for
          vengeance on those who had slain them.
          But there was a time predicted by the Prophets--John saw it, and
          has said in his revelations, "I saw another angel fly in the
          midst of heaven, having the everlasting Gospel to preach unto
          them that dwell on the earth, and to every nation, and kindred,
          and tongue, and people, saying with a loud voice, 'Fear God and
          give glory to him, for the hour of his judgment is come.'" Now
          the testimony of the Latter-day Saints is that God has sent this
          angel, and has actually restored the Holy Priesthood--that
          authority which was held by the Apostles and Jesus in ancient
          days, and by Joseph Smith, an humble, unlearned, but God-fearing
          boy, in our day. Joseph sought the Lord diligently and earnestly
          to know which was the right way; his mind was distracted by the
          various claims set forth by one sect and another, and he was
          determined to seek unto the Lord for wisdom, for he had read in
          the Epistle of James, that if any lacked wisdom and would ask of
          God, he would give liberally and upbraid not. He did so, and the
          Lord communicated to him that in his own time he would establish
          his Church on the earth. He also told him not to join any of the
          churches then in existence, for all had departed from the right
          way. Eventually he was ordained; but in the first place, anxious
          to be baptized, he sought the Lord to know in what way he should
          obtain the ordinance of baptism, and the Lord sent an angel--John
          the Baptist, him who held this authority in ancient days and who
          baptized Jesus, and he laid his hands on the head of Joseph Smith
          and Oliver Cowdery, and ordained them to this authority. "Well,"
          says one, "I cannot believe this; if they could have got it from
          Peter Waldo, from the Catholic Church or the Baptist Church, I
          might have believed it; but to think that an angel came, shocks
          me, and it is more than I can believe. It is fanatical, and none
          but fanatics believe angels come to earth; there is deception in
          the idea."
          Oh, foolish generation! How could the power of God be restored
          from heaven, how could the world be united again, how could men
          be brought into one fold, and how could these dissensions and
          divisions be healed and removed unless God exerted his power?
          When the Lord does exercise power it is in his own way. If he
          chooses to send an angel, he will do so, and will not ask you or
          me whether we will accept and are suited with it or not. He sent
          an angel on this occasion to restore to earth the authority to
          baptize for the remission of sins, and that messenger laid his
          hands on the heads of Joseph and Oliver and gave them that
          authority, and they commenced to baptize.
          But there was the authority to baptize with the Holy Ghost, or
          laying on of the hands for the reception of the Holy Ghost, yet
          remaining to be restored. All of you who are familiar with the
          experience of Philip who baptized the eunuch, and who went to
          Samaria and preached the Gospel, know that we have no account of
          him laying on hands for the Holy Ghost. When the Apostles at
          Jerusalem heard that the Samaritans had been baptized by Philip,
          they sent two of their number to lay on hands for the reception
          of the Holy Ghost. These two had authority to baptize, and they
          also had authority to lay on hands; and when they came to Samaria
          they laid hands on the baptized believers, and they received the
          Holy Ghost, and they spake with tongues and prophecied. Philip
          had the same authority as John had--namely, the authority to
          baptize; but it appears from the record that he had not authority
          to lay on hands. This was the position of Joseph Smith and Oliver
          Cowdery after having been ordained to this priesthood. They had
          authority to baptize, but there was something still lacking. They
          were men who would not run before they were sent; they would not
          claim authority that had not been bestowed upon them. They waited
          the good pleasure of the Lord and he sent to them Peter, James
          and John. You recollect that Jesus, on one occasion, asked Peter
          whom men said he, the Son of Man, was. They said some said one
          thing and some another. Then said Jesus to them, "But whom say ye
          that I am?" and Peter said, "Thou art the Christ, the Son of the
          living God." Jesus replied, "Flesh and blood hath not revealed it
          unto thee, but my Father which is in heaven." That is, he had not
          received that knowledge from man, but from God; and said Jesus,
          "Thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my Church." What
          rock? "Oh," says the Catholic, "upon Peter, he was a rock, and
          the Church was built upon him." "No," say the Protestants, "not
          upon Peter, but upon Jesus." "Now," says Jesus, "upon this rock."
          What rock? The rock of revelation--the principle upon which he
          was talking. He had spoken to Peter and told him that flesh and
          blood had not imparted to him certain knowledge which he
          possessed, but "my Father which is in heaven; and upon this rock
          will I build my Church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail
          against it." They never can prevail against a Church built on the
          rock of revelation. "Upon this rock will I build my Church, and I
          will give unto thee, Peter, 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
               Now this Peter, who held this authority when it was
          withdrawn from the earth, still held it as an angel in the
          presence of God. What messengers better adapted to the exigencies
          of the case than Peter, with his two associates, James and John,
          to come and lay hands upon Joseph Smith and ordain him to the
          authority to preach the Gospel and to lay on hands for the
          reception of the Holy Ghost?" It is the exercise of this
          authority, thus bestowed, which has gained the thousands from the
          various nations of the earth that people these mountain valleys!
          It is this authority which has enabled the Elders of this Church
          to traverse remote continents and islands of the sea without
          purse or scrip, and, in the name of Jesus Christ, proclaim his
          Gospel in its ancient simplicity, God confirming the word by
          signs following--the very same work and the very same results
          that followed the preaching of it in the days of Peter and his
          fellow Apostles.
          How very singular, is it not, that Joseph Smith should have
          claimed to receive the authority from John the Baptist! How very
          singular that he should claim authority from the ordination of
          Peter, James and John--that is, if it were not true! How very
          singular! And then, to add to the singularity of the whole case
          and to the remarkable features of it, to think that the Elders of
          this Church have accomplished a work precisely similar in many
          respects to that which the ancient Apostles accomplished!
          Wherever they went and the people received their testimony they
          were of one heart and mind. And has it not been so in our day? We
          find in this Territory men representing nearly every country.
          They have come here by thousands from remote continents and isles
          of the sea, and they are united, not so much as they should be,
          or as they will be; but still there is amongst them a remarkable
          amount of union, peace, love, and goodwill, and an absence of
          litigation, drunkenness, theft, and the evils and vices that
          prevail in the world. The people are united, and from every
          hamlet, and every habitation over all this extended country, from
          north to south, their united prayers ascend morning, noon and
          night to God, to bless his servants and to bear off the Holy
          Priesthood and Apostleship. Yes, in all this land, and throughout
          the earth wherever the servants of God have gone, these same
          principles prevail and are observed by those who have received
          their testimony. The Saints are united; they sustain the
          authority which God has restored; for be it known there is an
          authority now on the earth by which men can declare to the
          people, "Thus saith the Lord," just as we might suppose a servant
          of God would do anciently.
          Do I believe that Joseph Smith was a prophet because it was told
          to me in my childhood? Do I believe that Brigham Young is an
          Apostle and prophet because it has been told to me? Partly, but
          more from the fact that God has borne testimony to me by the
          revelations of the Holy Spirit; and I have grown in the belief
          and knowledge, and I know that Joseph was a prophet; I know that
          he was ordained of God; I know that he had the authority which he
          professed to have, and that it is in the Church; and I know, too,
          that the same signs follow the believers as did anciently, and
          the Church will grow and increase and spread abroad. It is on
          this account, my brethren and sisters and friends, that we are so
          hated, for the adversary knows it, and hence this persecution
          which seems so causeless.
          May God bless us, help us to keep his commandments, to discern
          the truth, and to cleave to it all our days, in the name of
          Jesus. Amen.
          Journal of Discourses / Journal of Discourses, Volume 14 / Orson
          Pratt, June 18, 1871
                             Orson Pratt, June 18, 1871
                           DISCOURSE BY ELDER ORSON PRATT,
           Delivered in the New Tabernacle, Salt Lake City, June 18, 1871.
                            (Reported by David W. Evans.)
          Journal of Discourses / Journal of Discourses, Volume 14 / Orson
          Pratt, June 18, 1871
                           DISCOURSE BY ELDER ORSON PRATT,
           Delivered in the New Tabernacle, Salt Lake City, June 18, 1871.
                            (Reported by David W. Evans.)
          Let me call the attention of this congregation to a portion of
          the Word of God contained in the 46th and 47th verses of the last
          chapter of the Gospel according to St. Luke--
          "And said unto them, Thus it is written, and thus it behooved
          Christ to suffer, and to rise from the dead the third day.
          "And that repentance and remission of sins should be preached in
          his name among all nations, beginning at Jerusalem."
          These are the words of our Savior to his disciples after his
          resurrection, and just before he was received up into heaven. The
          Apostles who heard these words had gone forth among the Jewish
          nation and preached in their numerous cities, towns and villages
          the Gospel of the kingdom, declaring that the kingdom of heaven
          was at hand. They had gone forth crying repentance in the midst
          of the people, and had pointed them to Jesus as the Messiah, and
          now, after the resurrection, when Christ, in fulfillment of the
          prophets, had been sacrificed for the sins of the world, a new
          commission seems to have been given them. Jesus said unto them,
          "Go ye into all the world and preach the Gospel to every
          creature;" and in another place--the last chapter of Matthew, the
          commission reads: "Go ye, therefore, and teach all nations,
          baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of
          the Holy Ghost, teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I
          have commanded you, and lo I am with you always, even unto the
          end of the world."
          These Apostles received a divine commission to preach the Gospel
          of the Son of God to every people under the whole heavens, first
          to the inhabitants of Judea and Jerusalem. They were to commence
          there to fulfill this great commission; they were not permitted
          to go forth and begin the great proclamation, to open the door of
          the kingdom in all its fullness and glory, until qualified; but
          were commanded to tarry, as it is recorded by one of the
          evangelists, at Jerusalem until they were endowed with power from
          on high. Then they were to go forth to all the world and proclaim
          repentance and remission of sins, the Gospel of the Lord Jesus in
          its fullness, Jerusalem was to be the tarrying point, until then.
          We accordingly find, as is recorded in the first and second
          chapters of the Acts of the Apostles, that they did tarry in that
          city, waiting for the power that was needful to enable them to
          carry out the commission which had been given to them. They could
          not fulfill the duties of that great mission without power from
          the heavens; they needed something more than human power; they
          needed that Spirit from on high which was promised them just
          before the crucifixion of Christ. Said he, "It is expedient for
          me that I go to the Father for your sakes, for if I go not to the
          Father the Comforter will not come; but if I go to the Father I
          will send him unto you." Without this Comforter it was impossible
          for them to accomplish the duties of that great and solemn
          commission that was given them by our Lord himself. They needed
          the Comforter for various purposes. Jesus had told them that it
          should take the things of the Father and show them unto them; and
          that it should lead them into all truth and show them things to
          come. That is, it should make prophets and revelators of them,
          and inspire them to deliver the word of God to the inhabitants of
          the earth. Without this they could not magnify and honor the
          office of the Apostleship, which was the ministry to which they
          had been ordained. They needed the spirit of revelation, they
          needed power to commune with the heavenly hosts, with God the
          Father and with his Son Jesus Christ, that they might be able to
          impart their will to the inhabitants of the earth, according to
          the heed and diligence which mankind might be disposed to give
          unto them.
          On the Day of Pentecost, a great feast which had been observed by
          the Jewish nation for many generations, there were gathered at
          Jerusalem, not only the Twelve Apostles, but also all the
          disciples of Jesus who had not apostatized, to the number of
          about a hundred and twenty souls--those of the ministry, the
          Seventies as well as the Twelve. They were gathered together in
          one place, in an upper room of the Temple; and they were engaged
          in fervent prayer and supplication before the Lord. What for? For
          the endowments and qualifications necessary to assist them in the
          work of the ministry. While they were thus assembled, praying and
          exercising faith with one accord, in the Lord and in his
          promises, they heard a sound as of a rushing mighty wind, and it
          filled all the house where they were sitting, and there appeared
          to them cloven tongues like as of fire, and it sat upon each of
          them--that is, upon the hundred and twenty souls that were
          present, and they were filled with the Spirit of God, baptized
          with the Comforter, with the Holy Ghost and with fire; they were
          immersed in it, really baptized by immersion.
          After having received the Holy Ghost or Comforter it immediately
          began to make manifest a supernatural power upon those men of
          God. They were unlearned men, most of them, or most of the
          principal ones, at any rate, were unlearned; they had been
          engaged, as we heard this forenoon, at the business of fishing,
          and no doubt had lacked the opportunities for the acquisition of
          learning which many of the scribes, pharisees, high priests and
          religious people of that day enjoyed. The Apostles and disciples
          of the Lord Jesus were not doctors of law and divinity, they had
          not been educated and qualified for the ministry in any
          theological school, seminary or university, but they received the
          Spirit of God, which manifested unto them the will of Heaven, and
          though they understood only their mother tongue, the power of the
          Spirit bestowed upon them enabled them to speak in the various
          languages and tongues of the earth, and to declare the things of
          God therein on that occasion.
          There was then assembled a very great company of Jews, also
          proselytes, who had come from the surrounding nations to
          Jerusalem to keep the feast of Pentecost, according to their
          usual custom, and they heard of the marvellous work that was
          transpiring in the midst of this little company, and they heard
          unlearned men declaring, in the several tongues in which they
          were born, the wonderful works of God. This was marvellous; it
          was not the result of human power, but it was by the operation of
          the Holy Ghost. However, in that large congregation there were
          some who were disposed to accuse the disciples of folly. The
          followers of Jesus did not belong to the popular orders of the
          day. They were not high priests; they did not belong to the
          learned scribes or pharisees, but it was known that, as a general
          thing, they were illiterate men, and when the people saw this
          extraordinary manifestation of the power of God through them many
          ascribed it to the effects of new wine; said they, "It cannot be
          anything else," and they accused them of being actuated on that
          occasion with the spirit of intoxication or drunkenness. But
          Peter, with the Eleven, stood up in the midst of the thousands
          there assembled, and opened the proclamation of the Gospel at
          Jerusalem according to the commission they had received, and what
          we wish to understand this afternoon is how, or in what manner,
          did he preach on that occasion? In other words, what was the plan
          of salvation he declared to the thousands of the children of men
          then gathered together? If we can find this out, we can ascertain
          what the Gospel is.
          When they were accused of being under the influence of new wine,
          Peter, holding the keys of the kingdom, stood up and said, "This
          is not the effect of new wine, as ye suppose;" and as an argument
          to prove that they were not intoxicated he informed them that it
          was only the third hour of the day. In those days, probably,
          people did not get drunk at all hours, as they do in these, and
          according to the custom then, the third hour was too soon. Well,
          if the effects now made manifest to the people are not the
          results of drinking new wine, to what do you ascribe them? Said
          Peter, "This is that which was spoken of by the Prophet Joel, who
          says, 'And it shall come to pass in the last days, saith God,
          that I will pour out my Spirit on all flesh; your sons and your
          daughters shall prophecy; your old men shall dream dreams, your
          young men shall see visions, and upon my servants and handmaidens
          will I pour out of my Spirit, in those days, and they shall
          prophecy; and I will show wonders in the heavens above, and signs
          in the earth beneath, blood and fire and vapor of smoke; the sun
          shall be darkened and the moon shall be turned into blood, before
          the great and notable day of the Lord shall come.'" Here, then,
          was a prophecy repeated by the Apostle Peter to prove what was
          the cause of the effects manifested on that occasion.
          There is one thing in relation to this quotation from the
          prophecies of Joel to which I wish to call your special
          attention. Peter did not say, this is the fulfillment of Joel's
          prophecy, for we all know that it was not then fulfilled. The
          Spirit was not poured out upon all flesh; all men and women were
          not made prophets on that occasion, consequently the prophecy was
          not fulfilled. Peter said, "These cloven tongues of fire, and
          this Spirit that has been poured out upon these hundred and
          twenty individuals is the same Spirit which Joel said should be
          poured out in the last days upon all flesh." That promise, down
          to the nineteenth century, has never been fulfilled; the Spirit
          has never yet been poured out upon all flesh, making all men and
          women living, prophets, seers, revelators, &c. The work was begun
          on the day of Pentecost; but the sun was not darkened on that
          occasion, nor the moon turned into blood; the signs that were to
          precede the second coming of the Son of God were not then shown
          forth, and consequently the prophecy was not fulfilled. It yet
          remains to be fulfilled. I would like to ask what are we going to
          do with the whole Christian world, which declare that there are
          to be no more prophets, revelators or inspired men, when the word
          of the Lord through Joel says all flesh are to become
          prophets--that is, all who are spared on the earth, for there
          will be a tremendous destruction before that is fulfilled? The
          wicked will be swept from the earth, and all who remain will
          become revelators, prophets and inspired men, getting visions and
          revelations and foretelling the future. What shall we do with the
          sayings that have gone forth and been inculcated and promulgated
          by numerous sects and parties, that the day of visions,
          revelations and prophecies has passed? But we will pass on.
          After having quoted this prophecy, to show that the Spirit that
          man should receive under the Gospel dispensation was to give them
          revelation and prophecy, and to show that the Spirit then being
          poured out was that spoken of by Joel, the Apostle refers to what
          David the psalmist said about Jesus, and about his sufferings,
          death and resurrection; and having quoted what the
          prophets--witnesses that were dead, had to say about the Holy
          One, they, as living persons, the oracles of God then in the
          midst of the people, bore witness that Jesus was the very Christ,
          and that the Jews had put to death the Holy One; these combined
          testimonies convinced many that Jesus was indeed the Messiah.
          This was not a popular doctrine in those days, as it is now.
          There are millions at the present day with whom it is popular to
          believe in Christ; they do so traditionally, and because it is
          customary in the nations where they were born; they believe it
          because they have had millions of copies of the word of God
          published in their midst, and spread broadcast over the nations
          of Christendom. But in those days very few believed it, the very
          great majority of the people believed him to be a wicked
          impostor, and regarded him as the offscouring of all things, the
          friend of publicans and sinners; and they said that he cast out
          devils by the power of Beelzebub; they called him a
          Sabbath-breaker, a wicked man, and so on; and the most religious
          people of those days were his greatest persecutors, and as they
          had influence over the rest it was very unpopular indeed to
          believe that he was the true Messiah. But the arguments brought
          forth in the first Christian sermon after the resurrection of
          Christ were sufficient to send conviction into the hearts of many
          thousands of people. They believed or professed to believe in
          their ancient prophets, and when they were quoted in relation to
          Jesus, and the testimony of living witnesses was borne they cried
          out, in the anguish of their hearts, "Men and brethren, what
          shall we do?" As much as to say, we see that our nation has
          crucified Jesus, the Christ; we thought he was an impostor and
          that he ought to die, but now we are convinced that he is the
          Holy One, and that he has indeed risen from the dead; and is
          there any salvation for our nation, seeing that it has put Jesus
          to death? These were the feelings of sincere, sin-convicted
          persons on that occasion, and they cried, "Men and brethren, what
          shall we do?"
          I sometimes think that if they had lived in our day they would
          have had so many ways pointed out to obtain the forgiveness of
          their sins that they would not have known which way to turn, and
          perhaps would not have had much confidence in what was said to
          them on the subject. But these men, being under the influence of
          the Comforter, the Holy Ghost, knew precisely what these
          convicted sinners should do in order to obtain the pardon of
          their sins. Now mark the answer, and see if it agree with the
          ways taught by the Christian sects. Peter said unto these
          inquiring souls, who believed and were pricked in their hearts,
          for belief comes before repentance, for a person who did not
          believe would not repent. Peter said, "Repent." What more? Come
          to the "mourner's bench?" Oh no, that is not written there. Come
          here to the "mercy seat, and be prayed for?" Oh no, nothing of
          that kind was said. Then what else were they to do besides
          repent? 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." What do you mean, Peter, by the
          Holy Ghost? Do you mean that same Holy Spirit--the Comforter that
          you have just received, and that has rested upon the hundred and
          twenty individuals who are followers of Christ? Yes, for he had
          just told them that it was the effects of the Holy Spirit which
          they had been witnessing, and they, no doubt, felt anxious to
          receive the same, for the Holy Spirit was that which would enable
          them to prophecy, see visions, dream dreams, and guide them into
          all truth, reveal unto them the things of the Father, and show
          them things to come, hence it was a Spirit greatly to be desired,
          and they wished to know how they might obtain it; and here was
          the path. It is very plain and very simple. Can it be wondered
          at, then, that so few in Salt Lake City wanted to go to the
          "Mourner's bench," at the Methodist camp meeting, after having
          heard and obeyed these principles? No. They have heard these
          principles for years and years, and having tested them, the
          fables of sectarianism possess no charms for them.
          Seeing then that the pardon of sins is what the penitent soul
          desires, how is he to obtain it? By being baptized. What? Do you
          mean to say that sinners can obtain pardon by being baptized in
          water? "What effect," inquires one, "has water in washing away
          sins?" It would have no effect whatever if God had instituted
          some other way; but, seeing that he has not, but has commanded
          sinners, first to believe that Jesus is the Christ; second, to
          repent of their sins; and third, to be baptized for the remission
          of their sins in his name, that is the right way; and though the
          water, independent of the blood and atonement of Christ and the
          commandment of God, has no efficacy whatever to wash away sins,
          yet it has great power because of these things, for the man that
          complies with this ordinance witnesses to God that he believes in
          Jesus and his Gospel and is willing to comply with its
          requirements. But if men should say, "There is no efficacy in
          water, and we will take some other way to obtain the pardon of
          our sins; the water is only to answer a good conscience towards
          God, and is not particularly essential," do you think they would
          obtain the pardon of their sins, after hearing the Gospel
          preached in its purity and fullness by a man having authority
          from God? They might pray until they were as old as Methusaleh,
          "Lord pardon, forgive and blot out our sins," but do you think
          the Lord would hear them? Not at all. Why not? "Is it not
          written," says a person of this class, "that the Lord is more
          willing to give his Holy Spirit to them that ask him than earthly
          parents are to give good gifts to their children?" Yes, but it
          must be remembered that this is written of those who have
          believed, repented, and obeyed the Gospel; it was not written
          concerning unbelievers and the disobedient. When they have once
          believed in Jesus Christ and have been baptized for the remission
          of their sins, they can call upon God in all confidence and he is
          more willing to give his Holy Spirit unto them than earthly
          parents are to give good gifts unto their children, and you know
          how willing they are to do that, for they like to see their
          children joyful and happy. So it is with our Heavenly Father. He
          likes to see his children who have repented and obeyed his Gospel
          joyful and happy, and he is willing to give good gifts unto them;
          but he never can to those who do not keep his commandments. They
          may pray until they are grey-headed and they are about to fall
          into their graves and their sins would not be pardoned.
          But again. Peter informs the inquiring believers on the Day of
          Pentecost that if they would repent and be baptized they should
          not only receive the remission of their sins, but they should
          also receive the Holy Ghost. Was this promise only to the people
          then present? No, for if we read the next verse we find that "the
          promise is to you and to your children, and to all that are afar
          off, even to as many as the Lord our God shall call." Is not that
          promise universal--to every people, nation, kindred and tongue,
          Jew and Gentile, bond and free? Yes, the promise is to all the
          Lord our God shall call; not only to the three thousand baptized
          on that occasion, but to all afar off. Does not that scope in all
          languages, nations, kindred and tongues? Yes. What! shall they
          all receive the Holy Ghost? Yes, if they will comply with these
          conditions. Shall they all be pardoned if they will repent and be
          baptized in the name of Jesus for the remission of their sins?
          Yes. Now, what effect would that vast multitude expect to follow
          the reception of the Holy Ghost by them? Supposing this
          congregation had been present eighteen centuries ago at Jerusalem
          at the first Gospel sermon preached after the ascension of
          Christ, and that, in the anguish of your hearts you had inquired
          what you must do to receive the pardon of your sins and how you
          could obtain the Holy Ghost, and what effects that Holy Ghost
          would have had upon you, would you not have expected to receive
          something precisely similar to what the hundred and twenty had
          received upon whom it was poured out? Could you have expected
          anything else? No. But it is very different with the Christian
          sects to-day; they think the Holy Ghost will perform everything
          ascribed to it except the supernatural powers and effects; but
          when it comes to revelation, prophecy, dreaming dreams,
          foretelling future events, casting out devils, healing the sick,
          discerning of spirits, speaking in and interpreting other
          languages and tongues, they boldly declare, as I heard in my
          boyhood, and again during the past week, that these wonderful and
          miraculous gifts were only intended for that day and age of the
          world. All the other effects are to continue, but they are to
          cease. The Spirit is to purify, sanctify, justify, to give love,
          joy, peace, long-suffering, patience, hope, and all these great
          and glorious effects that are promised in the word of God; but
          when it comes to these other effects, they are all to be done
          away. By whom? By Christendom, by those professing to be the
          teachers and leaders of the people. By what authority do they do
          these things away? Can they find within the lids of this Holy
          Bible, from beginning to end, that a period should ever arrive,
          so long as there was one soul on the earth to be saved or
          pardoned of its sins, that these miraculous effects should cease.
          No, they have taken this responsibility upon themselves, and it
          is a very fearful responsibility indeed to say that they are done
          away. I would not dare to do it, I should be afraid of fulfilling
          that prophecy delivered by Paul, when he says that, "In the last
          days perilous times shall come; men shall be lovers of their own
          selves, proud, boasters, blasphemers, disobedient to parents,
          unthankful, unholy, without natural affection, truce-breakers,
          incontinent, despisers of those that are good, traitors, heady,
          high-minded, having a form of godliness, but denying the power
          thereof." I do not want to come under the declaration of Paul; I
          do not want to be numbered with those who fulfil this prediction
          that he uttered about the people of the latter days. He was not
          speaking altogether of the wicked world that made no profession
          of religion. He was not referring to atheists and deists, and
          those who did not profess Christianity; but of professed
          religionists, people who profess to believe in the Bible and in
          Jesus, having the form of godliness, but denying the power
          If you can tell me any way by which the power of godliness can be
          more effectually denied than to do away the effects of the Holy
          Spirit as they were manifested on the Day of Pentecost and in all
          the Christian churches so long as there were any on the earth; I
          say if there is any more effectual way of denying the power of
          godliness than to do away with this power and say it is not
          necessary, I do not comprehend it. I, myself, should not know how
          to deny the power of godliness any more effectually than to say
          these things were done away. And yet when I was a youth, before I
          was nineteen years of age, I used to attend Methodist meetings
          mostly, though I never joined any society; and I heard these
          ideas advanced from their pulpits; there was to be no such thing
          as healing the sick in the name of Jesus; no such thing as
          foretelling future events; no such thing as obtaining new
          revelation, for the canon of Scripture was closed; no such thing
          as receiving the gift of discerning of spirits, or beholding
          angels and ministering spirits; no such thing as speaking in
          other tongues or languages by the Spirit of God. I heard all
          these things preached then, and I heard them again last week at
          the Methodist camp meeting here in this city. I did not know but
          spiritualism, so-called, had made a change in the world during
          the last forty-one years; but I find that the same old story
          still exists as in the days of my youth. They still cry, "All
          these things are done away, they are not necessary in this age of
          the Christian world."
          Who told you they were not necessary? Has God spoken anew and
          told you that revelation had ceased to exist? Why, no, that would
          be a contradiction in terms, that would be a new revelation, if
          he had spoken anew. How did you find out, then, that they were
          not necessary? I cannot find it in the Scriptures, indeed I find
          directly to the contrary--that they are necessary; and here let
          me quote a passage that was quoted this forenoon, in the 4th
          chapter of Ephesians. Speaking of the gifts that Jesus gave, the
          Apostle says when he ascended up on high he led captivity captive
          and gave gifts unto men. I have already repeated the gifts he did
          give through the inspiration and power of the Holy Ghost, that
          was made manifest upon those who obeyed the Gospel. He gave, says
          the Apostle in this fourth chapter, some apostles, some prophets,
          some evangelists, pastors and teachers, besides all these other
          miraculous gifts I have named.
          Now let us see if we can ascertain from the following verses how
          long these gifts were to continue in the Christian Church. That
          will settle the question. They were given, said he, for the
          perfecting of the Saints. Before we proceed to the other reasons
          for which they were given, let us examine this first for a
          moment: "They were given for the perfecting of the Saints." I
          have heard Christian ministers, that ought to know better,
          misleading the world and their congregations, by declaring that
          these gifts were given to convince the world of mankind who were
          unbelievers in ancient days, and to establish Christianity in the
          earth, and the latter once done on a firm foundation, they were
          no longer needed.
          We will now see what Paul says. "They were given for the
          perfecting of the Saints." Indeed! are there Saints in these days
          in New York, in the New England States, in the Southern and in
          the Northern States, in Great Britain and in the nations of
          Europe, and among all the nations of what is termed modern
          Christendom? "Oh, yes," says one, "we have over two hundred
          millions of Christians among all these nations." Indeed, then you
          have these gifts, I suppose; for remember they were given for the
          perfecting of the Saints. Do you mean to tell me that there are
          Saints, and they have all become perfect? "Oh, no," says one, "we
          do not pretend to say that the Roman Catholic, the Greek Church,
          and all the various denominations of the Protestant Churches have
          become perfect yet." Very well, these gifts were given for the
          perfecting of the Saints, and if you are Saints where are your
          gifts? for does it not follow that if you have no gifts you are
          either perfect Saints or not Saints at all? for if you are not
          perfect Saints these gifts must be among you. Do you know any way
          to perfect Saints independent of these gifts? I do not. If the
          Bible has taught any other way I have never happened to find it.
          I know of no way in which Saints can be perfected without
          inspired Apostles and prophets and the gifts here named. But see
          the inconsistency I am now about to point out! Here are five
          gifts named that Jesus gave when he ascended up on high. The
          first one is an Apostle, the second is a prophet; then come
          evangelists, pastors and teachers; and we might go on and
          enumerate eight or ten more gifts that were given. Now, why split
          these verses in two? I ask all Christendom why do they separate
          these verses in two, and say, "We will believe that pastors and
          teachers and evangelists are necessary in all ages of Christendom
          to perfect the Saints, but when it comes to the other two
          gifts--Apostles and prophets, they are not necessary?" Why?
          Because it involves a miraculous power. An Apostle must have
          revelation and the power of inspiration to get more Scripture;
          and if this were allowed it would overturn their creeds, and the
          power of godliness would again be upon the earth, and the
          Christian sects cannot bear the idea that there should be any
          such thing as the power of revelation or vision, or the power to
          understand the future; no, that is all done away. Has Jesus told
          you to make this separation in the gifts, to retain some of them
          and say the others are done away? Is there any more right, in the
          nineteenth century, than of a preceding period, for the head, in
          the human body, to say to the hand, "I have no need of thee?" No,
          the hand is just as necessary now as in the first century of the
          Christian era; hence evangelists, pastors and teachers, which are
          still believed in as being necessary to perfect the Saints, have
          no right to say to the Apostle or the prophet, "We have no need
          of thee in the Church."
          But the gifts of the Spirit were not only given for the
          perfecting of the Saints; there was another object in view--they
          were for the work of the ministry. Now I presume that the two
          hundred millions of Christians will not pretend to deny that the
          work of the ministry is needed; and if the work of the ministry
          is needed then are inspired Apostles and prophets needed, for
          they were given for the work of the ministry as well as to
          perfect the Saints; so long, therefore, as the work of the
          ministry is needed there should be inspired prophets and Apostles
          on the earth.
          A third object for which they were given was the edifying of the
          body of Christ. Now I really believe that the body of Christ, if
          it can be found on the earth, needs edifying, unless its members
          have come to that perfect day that is spoken of in the 13th
          chapter of Paul's first epistle to the Corinthians. Let me refer
          to that chapter, for it furnishes an additional proof that these
          gifts were to continue in the true Church; not, of course, among
          apostate Christendom, among those who have no authority. Speaking
          of charity, the Apostle says--
          "Charity never faileth; but whether there be prophecies, they
          shall fail; whether there be tongues, they shall cease; whether
          there be knowledge, it shall vanish away.
          "For we know in part, and we prophesy in part.
          "But when that which is perfect is come, then that which is in
          part shall be done away.
          "When I was a child, I spake as a child, I understood as a child,
          I thought as a child; but when I became a man, I put away
          childish things.
          "For now we see through a glass darkly, but then face to face;
          now I know in part, but then shall I know even as also I am
          Now, here is proof positive; this shows how long these spiritual
          gifts would be needed. Now we know in part and prophecy in part,
          but when that which is perfect is come that which is in part
          shall be done away. As much as to say that while the Church
          remains in this mortal state we are but children in Christ Jesus.
          Here we only know in part and prophecy in part; we speak in
          tongues, and so on; but when that which is perfect is come that
          which is in part shall be done away. Now can any one tell me
          whether that day of perfection has come for the Church or not? If
          it has, these gifts should be done away; but if not, they should
          still remain. Can we find any clue in the words I have quoted to
          the nature of the period when the Saints shall come to
          perfection! Yes. Here in this life, we only know in part, we
          prophecy in part, but when that which is perfect is come then
          that which is in part shall be done away. Now we see through a
          glass darkly, that is while the Church is in this mortal state;
          but when that which is perfect is come we shall see face to face.
          This shows that we shall be in our immortal state before these
          gifts are done away--I mean in the true Church, of course they
          will not be in false churches; but in the true Church they will
          always exist, until we know even as we are known; when we come
          into the presence of the Almighty, when the veil is rent asunder,
          and we look upon the face of God the Father and his Son Jesus
          Christ. We shall not know in part in that day, nor prophecy in
          part; neither shall we heal the sick there; there will be no gift
          of healing needed, for there will be no one to be healed. Neither
          shall we speak in tongues then; tongues will cease; for the Lord
          will turn unto his people a pure language. They will have the
          language of angels, the language of God the Father, and will all
          understand one another and will have no need of the gift of
          Here, then, are evidences that the Christian world cannot get rid
          of; here are testimonies that condemn the whole of them; not only
          those of this generation, but all who have lived during seventeen
          centuries that are passed who have had the wickedness in their
          hearts to say, "The power of godliness is not needed in our day,"
          and that the canon of Scripture is closed, and there must be no
          more prophets to receive new Scripture.
          The gifts which I have been describing are the effects of the
          Holy Ghost. Now we hear almost every society praying the Lord to
          send the Holy Ghost. Their cry is, "Let the Holy Ghost come down
          upon us now; let it be with us this very moment; let us have its
          influence and enjoy its operations now." But they know nothing
          about it; they have never received the Holy Ghost, neither can
          they until they comply with the Gospel ordinances--repent of
          their sins and be baptized for their remission. "But," says one,
          "do not you remember good old Cornelius? was he baptized?" No, he
          received the Holy Ghost before baptism. But had he any promise of
          it before? No. The Lord, on that occasion, had a special object
          in view, which is named in the history of the transaction.
          Cornelius seems to have been the first Gentile, whom the Apostle
          Peter, in opening the door of the Gospel to the Gentiles, was
          commanded to visit. The Jewish nation was exceedingly prejudiced
          against the Gentiles. Peter happened to have six proselytes from
          the Jewish nation with him on that occasion. Oh, how bitter they
          were against the Gentiles! They thought the Gentiles had no part
          or lot in the matter; and notwithstanding the commission that the
          Lord had given to the Apostles he had to work a miracle to
          convince Peter, so strong were the prejudices of the Jews that
          the Holy Ghost and the Gospel blessings were not for the
          Gentiles. You recollect Peter's vision, in which the Lord let
          down a sheet by the four corners, full of all manner of beasts,
          clean and unclean, and Peter being commanded to arise, slay and
          eat; and his not being willing to do it because it was contrary
          to the law of Moses. But he was told that the Lord had cleansed
          the contents of the sheet, and he was forbidden on that account
          to call it common or unclean. You recollect that the Lord sent an
          angel, as he always does when he has a Church on the earth, to a
          certain man called Cornelius. This man had been praying, he
          wanted to know how to be saved. The Lord had heard his prayers,
          and had sent an angel to him, and the angel said to him,
          "Cornelius, thy prayers are heard, and have come up before the
          Lord as a memorial. Now send to Joppa for one Simon, whose
          surname is Peter, and he will tell you words whereby you and your
          house will be saved." What! Cornelius not in a state of
          salvation, and he a praying man? No doubt he was in a state of
          salvation, so far as he understood; but he was ignorant and did
          not understand how to get into the celestial kingdom. He knew
          nothing about the birth of the water and of the Spirit, that we
          heard about this forenoon, without which no man can enter into
          the kingdom of God. Yet he had given much alms, and his prayers
          had come up as a memorial before God, and the Lord had pity on
          his ignorance and sent an angel to him. But the angel did not see
          proper to tell him what to do to get into a more full state of
          conversion; he simply told him to send for Peter--a man of God,
          promising him that he would tell him how to be saved. Peter,
          being warned beforehand, by the vision, went down to the house of
          Cornelius, nothing doubting, taking these six Jewish converts
          with him, full of all their Jewish prejudices. When Cornelius had
          given an account of the visit of the angel to him, Peter began to
          preach Christ and him crucified, and while he was speaking the
          Holy Ghost fell on Cornelius and his household, and they spake
          with tongues and magnified God.
          Do you suppose that the Holy Spirit could have been retained by
          Cornelius supposing he had refused to obey the ordinances of the
          Gospel? No, it was only given as a witness and testimony to
          convince the Jewish brethren, who were with Peter, that the
          Gentiles might have salvation as well as the Jews; for when they
          began to speak in tongues, under the influence of the Holy Ghost,
          Peter turned to his Jewish brethren, and said, "Who can forbid
          water that these should not be baptized?" and he commanded them,
          in the name of the Lord Jesus, to be baptized. What, a command?
          Yes. Had Peter the right to give that command? Yes; for the angel
          of the Lord had said to Cornelius, "He shall tell you words
          whereby you and your house shall be saved," and his command to
          them to be baptized was some of his words unto them.
          Supposing that Cornelius had said, "Oh, baptism is not essential,
          it is not among the fundamental principles of salvation; it is
          one of the non-essential, outward ordinances, etc., and is of no
          consequence, I have received the Holy Ghost, I am a Christian, I
          believe in your words; I have offered my alms to the poor, and
          they have come up before the Lord; I am good enough, there is no
          need for me to be baptized," how long would the Holy Ghost have
          remained with him? Just the moment that he had refused to obey
          this commandment the Holy Ghost would have fled from him and his
          house. The only way for him to retain the gift that comes through
          obedience was to be baptized, though on that occasion it was
          given without promise, and without baptism. Baptism, recollect,
          is for the remission of sins, and the Holy Ghost comes
          afterwards; but on this occasion it was given before it; but he
          could not have retained it, it would have left him, and he would
          have been in seven-fold greater darkness than before had he
          refused to obey the words of this inspired messenger. The Jewish
          brethren could not forbid water after the manifestation of the
          power of God on that occasion; their prejudices were done away by
          a miracle.
          Now, because the Lord varied on that one occasion and gave the
          Holy Ghost before baptism, how many there are who want to do away
          with baptism, and to seek some other way for those who are
          convicted and laboring under a feeling of sorrow and mourning for
          their sins; but there is an ordinance connected with the
          receiving of the Holy Ghost. If there is an ordinance connected
          with the baptism of water, so there is in relation to the higher
          baptism; and the Lord made his servants, the Apostles, ministers
          not only of the word, but also of the Spirit. They were able
          ministers of the Spirit; that is, they had authority to
          administer the Spirit. They could not do it of themselves; but
          when God calls a man and gives him authority by revelation and
          sends him to preach his Gospel, and people listen to that Gospel
          and are willing to be baptized, that man has the right to baptize
          them; and if he is ordained to the Apostleship or to those
          offices that have the power to administer the higher ordinance of
          the laying on of hands, and he lays hands on, God will
          acknowledge that ordinance. He will acknowledge baptism by giving
          remission of sins; and he will acknowledge the laying on of hands
          by sending from heaven the gift of the Holy Ghost. Indeed, in
          ancient days, when Paul went to Ephesus he found certain persons
          there who had been baptized. They thought, no doubt, they were
          very pious, and perhaps concluded that they were in a state of
          salvation. They had heard of and received what was called John's
          baptism, but when Paul asked them if they had received the Holy
          Ghost since believing they said they had not so much as heard
          whether there be any Holy Ghost. Then Paul perceived that they
          had been taught by some impostor--some person who had no
          authority, who pretended to be preaching John's doctrine, who had
          told them nothing about the Holy Ghost. John, when he baptized
          the people, told them there was one coming after him mightier
          than he who baptized with the Holy Ghost and with fire; but these
          Ephesians had been taught by some person who had no authority,
          and who had left out a part of the doctrine of salvation, as
          preached by John, just as the Christian sects do at the present
          day. Paul saw that their baptism was illegal, and he preached
          unto them Jesus Christ, and when they had heard this they were
          baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus, and when Paul laid his
          hands upon them the Holy Ghost fell upon them and they spoke with
          tongues and prophecied.
          Again, when Philip went to the city of Samaria and preached
          Christ to the people, he had no right to administer the higher
          ordinances of the laying on of hands; he had not been ordained to
          the power. He had the right to baptize them in water and he
          baptized a large number of men and women among them; and when the
          Apostles who were at Jerusalem heard that Samaria had received
          the word of God they sent unto them Peter and John, who, when
          they came down, prayed for them, that they might receive the Holy
          Ghost, for as yet he was fallen on none of them; and they laid
          their hands upon them, and they received the Holy Ghost.
          Do you not see that this higher blessing of the baptism of fire
          and of the Holy Ghost comes through the laying on of hands, which
          is an ordinance just as much as baptism by water, both of which
          have to be administered by a man called of God, or the Lord will
          have nothing to do with it.
          We have thus pointed out to sinners, this day, how they may be
          converted. How do you like it? Is it according to Scripture? If
          it is not reject it; but it is the same doctrine that we have
          taught for forty-one years in this Church. It is the same
          doctrine that has been published by the Latter-day Saints
          throughout the length and breadth of our Union; it is the same
          doctrine that we have carried to the nations afar off; it is the
          same doctrine that the Lord sent an holy angel to deliver to
          Joseph Smith--a youth, and commanded him to preach, and ordained
          him to the Apostleship, commanding him, by revelation, to ordain
          others; it is the same doctrine that tens of thousands have
          received. Do they receive the promises? Is the Holy Ghost given?
          If it is, all these gifts are given; and if the Latter-day Saints
          are not in possession of these gifts, they are not in possession
          of the Gospel, and are no better off than the Baptists,
          Methodists or Presbyterians, and we all know they have not the
          Gospel; we all know they have not the power of God among them.
          They do not believe in it, they say it is done away. We all
          understand this. Well, Latter-day Saints, you are no better if
          you have not these gifts. But you have had forty-one years'
          experience, and I think you know whether you have them or not. If
          you have, blessed are ye; but if you have them not, it is time
          you waked up and began to hunt around for the Gospel if it can be
          found on the earth. If you have not these gifts, then the angel
          has not come with the Gospel according to promise; but if you
          have, the angel of God has flown through the midst of heaven and
          committed the everlasting Gospel to the children of men, and you
          have been the receivers of it. Amen.
          Journal of Discourses / Journal of Discourses, Volume 14 / John
          Taylor, March 20, 1870
                             John Taylor, March 20, 1870
                           DISCOURSE BY ELDER JOHN TAYLOR,
            Delivered in the Tabernacle, Salt Lake City, March 20, 1870.
                            (Reported by David W. Evans.)
                                LABORS OF THE ELDERS.
          When we meet together on an occasion like the present our
          thoughts and reflections vary as much as our countenances. We
          meet for the avowed purpose of worshipping the Lord and we expect
          to receive instructions from those who address us. I always
          consider it a very great privilege to assemble with the Saints of
          God. We have met to partake of the Sacrament of the Lord's
          Supper, and we should endeavor to draw away our feelings and
          affections from things of time and sense; for in partaking of the
          Sacrament we not only commemorate the death and sufferings of our
          Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, but we also shadow forth the time
          when he will come again and when we shall meet and eat bread with
          him in the kingdom of God. When we are thus assembled together we
          may expect to receive guidance and blessings from God, from whom,
          the Scriptures inform us, "every good and perfect gift proceeds;"
          and in him, we are also informed, "there is no variableness nor
          shadow of turning." In our assemblies they who speak and they who
          hear ought to be under the guidance and direction of the Lord,
          the Fountain of Light. Of all people under the heavens we,
          Latter-day Saints, do continually realize the necessity of
          leaning upon God; for I look upon it that, no matter what
          intelligence may be communicated, no matter how brilliant the
          speech and edifying the ideas communicated may be, they will not
          benefit those who hear unless they are under the guidance and
          inspiration of the Spirit of God, for the Scriptures say, "The
          light shineth in the darkness, but the darkness comprehendeth it
          not." This is precisely the case in our preaching in the world.
          We go among the wicked, but they do not understand us; they
          understand not the truth, the light of revelation, nor the power
          of God. The Elders now going forth into the world are pretty much
          in the same position as those who went forth in former times on
          the same mission. It is said of Jesus that "He came to his own,
          but his own received him not; but as many as did receive him to
          them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to as many as
          believed on his name, which were born not of the flesh, nor of
          the word of man, nor of man, but of God;" born of the Spirit of
          God, and hence they became new creatures in Christ Jesus. Having
          partaken of the Holy Spirit and received the forgiveness of their
          sins, they were brought into relationship with him, they became
          the offspring of Heaven and members of the family of God. This
          was the position that the Saints of God enjoyed in former times;
          and this is the position that we occupy to-day. The Apostle says
          the Saints were heirs of God and joint heirs with Jesus Christ;
          and he says further, that if we suffer with him we shall also
          reign with him that both may be glorified together.
          It is very difficult for men of the world to understand these
          principles, and only by the light of revelation can they be
          comprehended. We are told that a portion of the Spirit of God is
          given to every man to profit withal; and if men improve upon
          that, and are honest and full of integrity, when they hear the
          truth they realize and understand it; it is to them life and
          health and salvation. Hence Jesus said, "My sheep hear my voice
          and know me and follow me; but a stranger will they not follow,
          because they know not the voice of a stranger."
          It is very pleasant for those who comprehend it to reflect upon
          the relationship they sustain to God and his kingdom and to each
          other; but these things have no charms for men of the world,
          whose minds are not enlightened by the Spirit of truth, and who,
          consequently, do not comprehend the Gospel or the power of God.
          The principles of the Gospel, to the unbeliever, have neither
          worth nor efficacy; but with us, who believe them, they
          comprehend everything pertaining to the well-being of man in time
          and eternity; with us the Gospel is the Alpha and Omega, the
          beginning and the end; it is interwoven with all our interests,
          happiness and enjoyment, whether in this life or that which is to
          come. We consider that, when we enter into this Church and
          embrace the new and everlasting covenant, it is a life-long
          service and affects us in all the relationships of time and
          eternity; and as we progress, these ideas which, at first, were a
          little dim and obscure, become more vivid, real, life-like,
          tangible and clear to our comprehensions, and we realize that we
          stand upon the earth as the sons and daughters of God, the
          representatives of heaven. We feel that God has revealed to us an
          everlasting Gospel, and that associated with that are everlasting
          covenants and relationships. The Gospel, in the incipient stages
          of its operations, begins, as the Prophet said it should, to
          "turn the hearts of the fathers to the children and the hearts of
          the children to the fathers." We no longer have to ask, as in
          former times, "Who am I?" "Where did I come from?" "What am I
          doing here?" or "What is the object of my existence?" for we have
          a certainty in relation to these things. It is made plain to us
          by the fruits of the Gospel--by the truths which God has revealed
          through the medium of revelation by the inspiration of the
          Almighty, that we are "saviors on Mount Zion and that the kingdom
          is the Lord's." We know that this is not merely a nominal matter,
          but that it is what the French sometimes call an Actuaite--a
          thing that positively exists. We know that God our Father lives,
          we know that Jesus Christ our Savior lives, and that he is our
          Great High Priest; and that, "though dead, he ever lives to make
          intercession for us." We know that God has revealed unto us the
          everlasting Gospel in all its fullness, richness, glory and
          power. We know something about the world we live in, and the
          relation that we sustain to it, and it to us. We know something
          about our progenitors, and God has taught us how to be saviors
          for them by being baptized for them in the flesh, that they may
          live according to God in the spirit. We know that when our wives
          are sealed to us for eternity we shall have a claim upon them.
          This is no phantom, but a reality; it is not only a principle of
          our faith, but it is a principle of knowledge, and we expect to
          renew our associations in the eternal worlds, just as much as we
          expect, when we lay ourselves down to rest at night, to rise in
          the morning refreshed and invigorated. We know that while we are
          mortal beings, and subject to decay, we are also immortal beings
          and shall live for ever. We know that the priesthood with which
          we are associated in this world is also an everlasting priesthood
          and will administer in this world and the world to come--in time
          and in eternity. As rational beings we are seeking to act, in all
          our operations in life, with reference not only to time but to
          eternity; and we know, as others have known, that after the
          "earthly house of this tabernacle is dissolved we have a building
          of God, a house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens;
          which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will give to us, and not to
          us only, but to all who love the appearing of our Lord and Savior
          Jesus Christ." It is the knowledge of these things and of many
          more of a similar nature that leads us to pursue the course that
          we do. It is this which prevents us from bowing to the notions,
          caprices, ideas and follies of men. Having been enlightened by
          the spirit of eternal truth, having partaken of the Holy Ghost,
          and our hope having entered within the vail, whither Christ, our
          forerunner, has gone, and knowing that we are the children of God
          and that we are acting in all things with reference to eternity,
          we pursue the even tenour of our way independent of the smiles
          and careless of the frowns of men. There is nothing associated
          with our religion that we can barter away, no principle that we
          have to dispose of--there is nothing in this world that can
          purchase it; its price is above rubies, it is more valuable than
          fine gold. It contains principles that lay hold of eternal life;
          and being in this position, we, as rational, intelligent beings,
          fear God and know no other fear. There is nothing in this world
          that can be brought into competition with the principles of
          eternal truth, and he who barters away the least particle of that
          truth is a fool, though he may not comprehend it.
          We stand, then, really in an important position before God and
          before the world. God has called us from the world. He has told
          us that we are not of the world. We have all been baptized into
          one baptism, and have all partaken of the same Spirit, even the
          Spirit communicated through the ordinances of the Gospel. We have
          been called from the world for the express purpose of being the
          representatives of heaven, that the Lord might have a people to
          whom he could communicate his will, purposes and designs, and
          through whom he might spread forth the principles that dwell in
          his bosom; that we might partake of the same Spirit that dwells
          in Christ and among the angelic throng; that it might permeate
          our bodies and be exhibited in our acts and lives before our
          families and the world, that the spirit and mind that dwell in
          Christ should grow, spread and expand until all that come under
          its influence might be leavened with the same leaven until they
          become one lump of righteousness, virtue, truth and intelligence.
          In entering this sacred relationship with God we have assumed the
          duty of carrying out in our midst the order of things that exists
          in heaven, that when we shall be transplanted from the earth to
          the heavens we may be prepared for the associations that we shall
          meet in the celestial kingdom of our God. We have entered into
          eternal covenants with God that we will be his people and that he
          shall be our God, and that, for us and ours, we will serve the
          Lord; that as a people, as a Territory, as a Church, we will
          yield obedience to the laws of God, bow to his sceptre,
          acknowledge his authority, and do the things which he requires at
          our hands, so that, as God exists eternal in the heavens, the
          same principles of eternal life may dwell in us, that we may
          become gods, even the sons and daughters of God.
          These are some of the ideas that we have in reference to God and
          our relationship to him. God is our Father, we his children, and
          we all ought to be brethren; we ought to feel and act like
          brethren, and while we are striving to serve the Lord our God
          with all our hearts, minds, souls and strength, we ought, at the
          same time, to seek to love our neighbor as ourselves; we ought to
          feel interested in his welfare, happiness and prosperity, and in
          anything and everything that will tend to promote his temporal
          and eternal good. Our feelings towards the world of mankind,
          generally, ought to be the same as Jesus manifested to them. He
          sought to promote their welfare, and our motto ought ever to be
          the same as his was--"Peace on earth and good will to men;" no
          matter who they are or what they are, we should seek to promote
          the happiness and welfare of all Adam's race.
          Perhaps there has never been a greater exemplification of this
          feeling, however little it may have been understood, than by the
          works of our Elders. They have not been governed by sordid
          feelings in any of their operations or ministrations. Believing
          in God, they have put their trust in him. They have trusted him
          for their food and for their raiment in travelling to the ends of
          the earth without purse or scrip, to proclaim to a fallen world
          the great principles that have been revealed from heaven for the
          salvation of the human family. There is not, to-day, on this wide
          world, an example of disinterestedness and self-abnegation equal
          to that which has been exhibited by the Elders of this Church for
          the last thirty-five years, and not only by the Elders, but by
          their wives. I see men around me in every direction who have
          travelled thousands and thousands of miles without purse or
          scrip, to preach the Gospel to the nations of the earth. They
          have traversed plains, mountains, deserts, seas, oceans and
          rivers; they have gone forth trusting in the living God, bearing
          the precious seed of eternal life. It is true they have not been
          comprehended or understood by the nations, but that does not
          alter the fact. Many who went forth in their weakness have
          returned rejoicing, bringing their sheaves with them, as trophies
          of the victory of the principles of eternal life that they
          themselves had communicated. I say there is not another instance
          on record to-day of like disinterested, affectionate regard for
          the welfare of the human family as has been manifested by the
          Elders of this Church. I have travelled thousands and hundreds of
          thousands of miles to preach the Gospel among the nations of the
          earth, and my brethren around me have done the same thing. Did we
          ever lack anything necessary to eat, drink and wear? I never did.
          God went with his Elders, and they have gathered together his
          people as they are here to-day. They have been seeking to carry
          out the desire of the Lord and the wish of the Almighty in regard
          to the human family. They were told to go trusting in the name of
          the Lord, and he would take care of them and go before them, and
          that his Spirit should go with them and his angels accompany
          them. This is all true; and these Elders have preached to you, in
          your various homes and tongues, those principles which God
          revealed from heaven, and you were influenced by dreams and
          visions and by the Spirit of the Lord to give heed to their
          words, for, like the words of the Apostle of old, they came to
          you, "not in word only, but in power, in rich assurance and in
          demonstration of the Spirit of the Lord," and you realized it and
          rejoiced in it, and you were led to cry, "Hallelujah! for the
          Lord God omnipotent reigns. Thanks be to the God of Israel who
          has counted us worthy to receive the principles of truth." These
          were the feelings you had and enjoyed in your far distant homes.
          And your obedience to those principles tore you from your homes,
          firesides and associations and brought you here, for you felt
          like one of old, when she said, "Whither thou goest I will go;
          thy God shall be my God, thy people shall be my people, and where
          thou diest there will I be buried." And you have gathered to Zion
          that you might be taught and instructed in the laws of life and
          listen to the words which emanate from God, become one people and
          one nation, partake of one spirit, and prepare yourselves, your
          progenitors and posterity for an everlasting inheritance in the
          celestial kingdom of God.
          It is no dream or phantom that has brought us here; we have had
          to do with realities all the way through. And then you who have
          been brought in have partaken of the spirit of Zion and have
          helped to teach others the way of life and to lead them in the
          paths of righteousness; and now we are not only trying to teach
          the world, but our children, our youth, our young men and women
          in the same principles, that when we leave this stage of action
          they, inspired by the Spirit of revelation which flows from God,
          may bear off his kingdom triumphant.
          This is the feeling that permeates this people. With all our
          weaknesses, and we are weak; with all our follies, and we are
          very foolish; with all our infirmities, and we are very infirm,
          we are trying to do the will of God, and to prepare ourselves for
          an inheritance in his kingdom, to save our progenitors and to
          pour blessings on our posterity. These are the feelings by which
          we are actuated; and it is not only in one, but it is in all,
          more or less, according to the proportion of the Holy Spirit they
          enjoy. Witness now the First Presidency of this Church. Who could
          labor more arduously than they? Where is there a man in existence
          to-day, of the years of President Young, that takes upon himself
          the amount of care, anxiety, and travel that he does? There are
          very few of our young men who would have liked to undertake such
          a trip as he is now engaged in. Right in the worst possible
          season of the year, with bad roads and bad weather and all kinds
          of unfavorable circumstances, to travel a journey of five or six
          hundred miles and back! What for? To look after the welfare of
          Zion, to promote the interests of Israel, to help to build up and
          establish the Church and kingdom of God on the earth, to fulfill
          the behests of his Lord and Master, and try to carry out the
          things which God requires at his hands. He feels the importance
          of those things that Jesus spoke to Peter about after Peter had
          denied his Lord. Said Jesus--
          "Simon, son of Jonas, lovest thou me more than these? He saith
          unto him, Yea, Lord, thou knowest that I love thee. He said unto
          him, Feed my lambs. He saith unto him again, the second time,
          Simon, son of Jonas, lovest thou me? He saith unto him, Yea,
          Lord, thou knowest that I love thee. He saith unto him, Feed my
          sheep. He said unto him the third time, Simon, son of Jonas,
          lovest thou me? Peter was grieved because he said unto him the
          third time, lovest thou me, and he said unto him, Lord, thou
          knowest all things; thou knowest that I love thee. Jesus saith
          unto him, Feed my sheep."
          Well, we have a shepherd who, together with his associates, is
          feeding the sheep of God, and they, unitedly, are watching after
          their interests, wellbeing and happiness, and trying to carry out
          the will of our Heavenly Father; and while God is operating in
          the heavens, the Holy Priesthood is operating here to build up
          and establish his kingdom and introduce righteousness upon the
          As I said before, the Elders are engaged in the same thing, and
          have been all the time. How many have been to the United States
          this last season visiting among their friends, associations and
          acquaintances, and preaching the Gospel wherever they had an
          opening? How are they looked upon? Hear their statements when
          they return. They are looked upon, by the people generally, as
          impostors or deceivers. The people do not seem, any more than the
          Jews in former times, to understand the day of their visitation,
          nor to comprehend the laws of life nor the relation that they
          sustain to God; and if ten thousand Elders were sent throughout
          the United States and Europe, the people would treat them and the
          principles they bear with contempt and utter carelessness; they
          do not understand the rich gems of eternal truth when they are
          laid before them, and they call our good evil, and their evil
          good. They do not know the difference, neither do they understand
          the day of their visitation. They possess not the Spirit of God;
          they are wallowing in the mire of sin and groping in the darkness
          of unbelief and death.
          Is this speaking harshly. Some perhaps will say it is. I cannot
          help that, it is true. Are there men among them who seek to do
          good? Many. Are there philanthropists among them? Yes, scores and
          hundreds of them. Are there high-minded, honorable, intelligent
          men in their midst? Yes, thousands of them. But do they know the
          truth? No, they do not, and there are very few of them that have
          the hardihood to stand up for what they consider to be right, for
          they fear that by so doing they would be compromised in some
          worldly point of view; it would not be popular, so they say,
          "Better let it alone." Do we understand their position? Yes. Do
          we hate them? No, we wish to do them good, and would teach them
          every good principle that we possess; we would lead them in the
          path of life and show them the way to God; we would introduce
          them into the kingdom of God, but they cannot see it, and unless
          a man is born again, the Scriptures tell us that he cannot see
          the kingdom of God. Sometimes I hear people talk and see them
          write about the kingdom of God; but all they talk and all they
          write proves to me that they are not born again, and consequently
          they cannot see the kingdom of God any more than a blind man
          could see the faces before me if he were standing where I am.
          Jesus told Nicodemus that "except a man be born of water he
          cannot see the kingdom of God; and except he be born of the water
          and of the Spirit he cannot enter the kingdom of God." People
          unenlightened by the spirit of truth can see the kingdoms of the
          world, and they can reason upon their organization, their power
          and weakness, and upon the justice or injustice of the policy
          they pursue; but when it comes to the kingdom of God there is a
          current associated with that which they are not acquainted with,
          and principles which they cannot comprehend; they see depths
          which they cannot fathom, and they grope in the dark and are
          entirely ignorant concerning the purposes of Jehovah.
          Well, we who comprehend these things, look at them in another
          light; we are acquainted with their philosophy; we are acquainted
          with their status and position. We know ours, they know theirs,
          but they cannot comprehend us, for we are told, emphatically, in
          the Scriptures, that the world by its wisdom knows not God. And
          as it was in former times, so it is to-day, and the world by its
          understanding cannot find out God. Man, by philosophy and the
          exercise of his natural intelligence, may gain an understanding,
          to some extent, of the laws of Nature; but to comprehend God
          heavenly wisdom and intelligence are necessary. Earthly and
          heavenly philosophy are two different things, and it is folly for
          men to base their arguments upon earthly philosophy in trying to
          unravel the mysteries of the kingdom of God.
          Standing, then, in the position that we do, it is for us to try
          to obtain a closer connection and union with our Heavenly Father
          and with the Holy Priesthood, and to comprehend more and more the
          laws of life and the things pertaining to the work of God. We are
          here to save ourselves, to learn the laws of heaven, and to save
          our progenitors, that they may participate with us in the rich
          blessings of the Gospel. If we answer the ends of our creation in
          these respects we shall not live and die as the fool lives and
          dies; but, while the world is overwhelmed with crime, wickedness
          and malign influences, we may help to introduce and establish
          principles which God will approve, which all the good and
          virtuous will love and admire and which will be approbated by the
          holy angels; and may organize ourselves so that we may be
          prepared to associate with the intelligences around the throne of
          God. Let us, then, keep the commandments of God, live our
          religion, be humble and faithful, cleave to the Lord our God,
          cultivate his Holy Spirit, that it may dwell and abound within
          us, that it may be as a well of water springing up to eternal
          life; and that its refreshing, invigorating streams may spread
          around us wherever we go, that we may be prepared for glory,
          salvation and an eternal inheritance in the celestial kingdom.
          May God help us to attain to this, in the name of Jesus. Amen.
          Journal of Discourses / Journal of Discourses, Volume 14 /
          Brigham Young, June 3, 1871
                             Brigham Young, June 3, 1871
               Delivered in the Tabernacle, Ogden City, June 3, 1871.
                            (Reported by David W. Evans.)
                              THE TRAINING OF CHILDREN.
          I am aware that Brother Franklin D. Richards' request to the
          children to come to meeting this afternoon has produced a little
          excitement; but we are very happy to see the people together. My
          remarks will be to parents as well as to children. I will
          commence by saying that if each and every one of us who are
          parents will reflect upon the responsibilities devolving upon us
          we shall come to the conclusion that we should never permit
          ourselves to do anything that we are not willing to see our
          children do. We should set them an example that we wish them to
          imitate. Do we realize this? How often we see parents demand
          obedience, good behavior, kind words, pleasant looks, a sweet
          voice and a bright eye from a child or children when they
          themselves are full of bitterness and scolding! How inconsistent
          and unreasonable this is! If we wish our children to look
          pleasant we should look pleasant at them; and if we wish them to
          speak kind words to each other, let us speak kind words to them.
          We need not go into detail, but we should carry out this
          principle from year to year in our whole lives, and do as we wish
          our children to do. I say this with regard to our morals and our
          faith in our religion.
          Now let me call the attention of parents to another subject
          worthy of their notice--that is, the use of proper language. Take
          us as a people and we are not overstocked with language; there
          are very few highly educated men in the Church to which we
          belong. We have a few learned men and a few good scholars among
          the women, but they are scarce. Now, parents, and I wish you to
          remember this, should never permit themselves to speak improperly
          before a child, or to use language that would not be commendable
          in an orator. If you have not such language at your command, then
          use the best you have. It is true that to use that which we are
          in possession of to advantage is a peculiar gift. We see some who
          can use language, apparently, to their entire satisfaction, and
          yet they have no great store of language at their command; but
          still they have the happy faculty of conveying their ideas with
          greater propriety than others who are literary in their tastes
          and have been highly educated. There is considerable in making
          choice of words. For instance, if we were to address a man who
          had been disobedient and needed chastisement we would use very
          different language from that which would be used if addressing a
          child or a lady. If you wish to impress on the minds of
          individuals or an audience anything that you desire them to
          remember, you will have to use language accordingly. I have heard
          it observed that language should be used according to the merits
          or demerits of the case under consideration; this will do under
          some circumstances. I wish to impress upon myself, as well as
          upon my brethren and sisters, the propriety of never using
          language to a child that we should dislike to hear them use in
          refined society. If we have a choice set of words at our command
          we should always use them when speaking to our children, even
          from the time they commence to talk. If we do this, the effect
          will be very pleasing in after years, for when our children enter
          into polite and refined society, instead of being mortified and
          having to call them to one side to correct their unrefined
          language, the elegance and propriety of their mode of expression
          will be a source of gratification and pleasure. If a child has to
          be corrected for the use of improper or inelegant language, it
          might reply, "Mother, or father, I am using words that you taught
          Carry out this principle, not only in language, but in all the
          affairs of life; and let us always set an example before our
          children that is worthy of their imitation and highest
          admiration. If we do this, we shall have occasion to rejoice and
          be exceeding glad, for we shall have influence over them and they
          will not forsake us.
          There is a passage in this good book (the Bible) said to have
          been written by a very wise man, which says--
          "Train up a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he
          will not depart from it."
          To make a community thoroughly understand these words a great
          deal of explanation would be necessary. To illustrate, I ask
          myself, am I capable of bringing up a child in the way that he
          should go? The answer is right here--I am not. Why not? Because I
          have not that light and intelligence in my possession and that
          command over myself to give to a child a suitable impression
          under every circumstance and in every place, when I address him
          or require anything of him. I would not speak discouragingly of
          myself or of my brethren and sisters. We know a great deal, but
          when we compare our knowledge with the fountain of knowledge it
          is very small; when our light is compared with the fountain of
          light it is very small, and consequently I can say that I am not
          prepared to bring up a child in the way he should go; and yet I
          probably come as near to it as any person that lives. How is it
          with my brethren and sisters? They are capable of bringing up
          their children a great deal better than they do, that is certain.
          If we do as well as we know how--use all the faith and
          intelligence in our possession, and seek to gain more, we will be
          able to bring up our children in such a way that very few of them
          will ever depart from the right path. I want you to remember
          this. If we will do just as well as we know how, never missing an
          opportunity of giving a word, a look or a principle that will do
          good to the rising generation, never permitting ourselves to be
          overtaken in fault, but preserving ourselves in the integrity and
          patience of our souls, there are very few of the rising
          generation with us that will depart from the words of life. As
          for those who are old amongst us, their traditions and
          prepossessed notions, imbibed in childhood, cling to them like a
          garment, or like something glued to them; and they govern them to
          a great extent, and it is almost an impossibility for old people
          to get rid of their traditions; but it will be very different
          with our children if we train them according to the will of God
          that has been revealed to us as a people. We have the Old and New
          Testaments; the Book of Mormon, giving an account of the
          aborigines of our country, the visit of the Savior to and the
          organization of his Church on this continent, the same as to his
          brethren on the land of Palestine. Then we have the Book of
          Doctrine and Covenants; in addition to these three books, we have
          the history, discourses and sayings of the Prophet Joseph, and
          the history, sayings and discourses of the Elders of Israel, and
          also the experience we have gained in this Church. Combine these,
          and I think we cannot come to the conclusion that we are ignorant
          and do not know anything; although I say that, in comparison with
          the fountain of all knowledge, our knowledge is small and
          trifling. But if we will do as well as we know how, we will be
          able to teach our children sufficient doctrine, truth and
          principle, that they will actually grow up into Christ, our
          living head.
          Now let us say a few words with regard to human nature and its
          proneness to wander into evil. You go, for instance, to the river
          and commence to throw sticks and shavings into the water, and
          they will go down stream; and a great effort or a very powerful
          wind will be required to make a small boat, vessel, bark, or even
          a board that the children play with, go up stream. The same is
          true of small streams. Cast anything into them, and it goes down
          stream. We are taught in these books that, through the Fall, we
          have partaken so much of the nature of the enemy--he has so much
          influence in the flesh of every person, that we have to enter
          into a warfare, and we have to summon all our force and to use
          every effort to propel our bark up stream, or to put down
          iniquity in our own hearts and inclinations. I will pause right
          here, and refer to what brother George Q. Cannon was saying this
          morning to the children. Said he, "My boys, do not chew tobacco
          because you see others do it; do not smoke a cigar because you
          see others do it; my little girls, do not drink tea because you
          see mamma do it." Now let me give you a comparison. Ask these
          little boys, if they saw two parties, one on the right hand
          praying to the Father in the name of Jesus, and the other on the
          left with a cigar in his mouth, puffing away as vigorously as
          possible, which they would be most inclined to imitate, and you
          will find they will instantly choose that which is evil. They are
          not inclined to pray; there seems to be a kind of a dread or
          terror about it, and they say, "We do not know how to ask the
          Father for blessings, and we do not think we could pray, but give
          us a cigar and we can puff as well as anybody." This is only a
          comparison, but it furnishes a correct illustration of the
          facility with which evil habits are acquired, and how quick
          children as well as parents are to go astray, how quick their
          feet are to run into by and forbidden paths. But if parents will
          continually set before their children examples worthy of their
          imitation and the approval of our Father in heaven, they will
          turn the current, and the tide of feelings of their children, and
          they, eventually, will desire righteousness more than evil. This
          disposition will not be acquired in one day, week or year; but
          let parents spend their lives in teaching good, in good words and
          good looks and in the continual exercise of their faith in God,
          and their children will finally feel that they would rather be
          Christians than sinners.
          Have we any proof of this? Yes. We have brethren here who have
          traveled a good deal, and who have been in the Church a good many
          years. If they could only think of them they could count over
          people by the hundred and the thousand who have left this Church;
          but you now see many of their children coming to Zion; and get
          into conversation with them and you will hear them say, "I have
          come to see what you, Latter-day Saints, are doing. My father was
          formerly a member of your Church; but he left and died in
          Vermont, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, Maine,
          England, Scotland, Ireland, Wales, or somewhere else. My parents
          taught me to believe the Gospel, and, although they were cut off
          from the Church, it has never left me. When I read the Bible I
          find that they taught me the truth. If I go to meeting among the
          sectarians, I gain neither light nor knowledge; but what my
          parents taught me has had an influence upon me through my life
          from my childhood up, and now I have come to see what you,
          Latter-day Saints, are doing." And the children and grandchildren
          of those who apostatized years and years ago, will come up to
          Zion by hundreds and thousands, impelled by what their parents
          taught them in childhood.
          This is another comparison. We are not quite all going to
          apostatize; a great many have died in the faith, and a great many
          have apostatized, but their posterity will come to Zion and
          believe the truth. Our children will have the love of the truth,
          if we but live our religion. Parents should take that course that
          their children can say, "I never knew my father to deceive or
          take advantage of a neighbor; I never knew my father take to
          himself that which did not belong to him, never, never! No, but
          he said, 'Son, or daughter, be honest, true, virtuous, kind,
          industrious, prudent, and full of good works.'" Such teachings
          from parents to their children will abide with them for ever,
          unless they sin against the Holy Ghost, and some few, perhaps,
          will do this.
          If you should have visits here from those professing to be
          Christians, and they intimate a desire to preach to you, by all
          means invite them to do so. Accord to every reputable person who
          may visit you, and who may wish to occupy the stands of your
          meeting houses to preach to you, the privilege of doing so, no
          matter whether he be a Catholic, Presbyterian, Congregationalist,
          Baptist, Free-will Baptist, Methodist, or whatever he may be; and
          if he wishes to speak to your children let him do so. Of course
          you have the power to correct whatever false teachings or
          impressions, if any, your children may hear or receive. I say to
          parents, place your children, as far as you have an opportunity
          to do so, in a position or situation to learn everything in the
          world that is worth learning. You will probably have what is
          called a Christian Church here; they will not admit that we are
          Christians, but they cannot think us further from the plan of
          salvation as revealed from heaven than we know them to be, so we
          are even on that ground, as far as it goes. But, as I was saying,
          you may have professing Christians come here to take up their
          residences in your midst; and I want to say to parents and
          children, that, so far as the Christian nations are concerned, I
          will take America, for instance, and on the score of
          morals--honesty, integrity, truthfulness and virtue, you will
          find people by hundreds of thousands just as good as any
          Latter-day Saints, as far as they know. They are the ones we are
          after. The Lord told us to go and preach the Gospel without purse
          and scrip. What for? To hunt up the honest ones who are now mixed
          up with all the nations of the earth and gather them together;
          and we have done so, as far as we have had the opportunity and
          privilege. And after we are gathered we are none too honest, any
          more than the inhabitants of the world generally are, and they
          hardly know the meaning of the term. Still, according to the
          light they possess, I mean the Christian world, thousands and
          millions of them are honest, virtuous and true, and I fellowship
          them as far as they do right. Is this strange? No, it is not. I
          wish that all the Latter-day Saints were as good, according to
          the knowledge they possess, as thousands and millions of the
          sectarian world are; and I will not skip even the heathen world,
          for many of them are as good and honest, according to the light
          they possess, as men and women know how to be.
          Now, then, if our brethren of the Presbyterians, Methodists or
          any others visit here and want to preach to you, certainly let
          them preach, and have your children hear them. They will tell you
          to keep the Sabbath and to love your father and mother; they will
          tell you to be true, honest, industrious, to be faithful to your
          studies, to read the Bible and all good books, to study the
          sciences, &c., which is all good, and as far as such teaching
          goes just as good as it can be. If they want to come and teach
          your children in the Sunday school, I say let them do so, most
          certainly. We have scores of thousands of their books distributed
          among the Sunday schools throughout our Territory. Some
          Latter-day Saints think they are not exactly what they ought to
          be; but we are using them in our schools Sundays, Mondays,
          Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays, from one
          year's end to another.
          I say, parents, do not be afraid of having your children learn
          everything that is worth learning. I can pick hundreds and
          thousands of children in this Church whom I could teach with
          greater ease, and so could a man from college, than their parents
          could be taught. I can get at their senses better; they are quick
          and apprehensive and can learn sooner. And if any of our
          Christian brethren want to go into our Sabbath schools to teach
          our children, let them do so. They will not teach them anything
          immoral in the presence of those who are in charge of the
          schools; they wait until they get behind the door in the dark
          before they commit immoral acts, and very few of them will, even
          then. But in their Sunday schools they teach as good morals as
          you and I can teach.
          I want to say that we are for the truth, the whole truth and
          nothing but the truth; we are pursuing the path of truth, and by
          and by we expect to possess a great deal more than we do now; but
          to say that we shall ever possess all truth, I pause, I do not
          know when. We receive light and truth from the fountain of light
          and truth, but I am not at liberty to say and do not know that we
          shall ever see the time when we shall possess all truth. But we
          will receive truth from any source, wherever we can obtain it.
          Next week the great camp meeting that has been so long
          contemplated is to commence in the city of Salt Lake, where, I
          have heard it whispered, there are so many of the "Mormons" to be
          converted. I am going to permit every one of my children to go
          and hear what they have to say. When we come to the sciences of
          the day the knowledge of the sectarian world is very extensive;
          the same is true of their morality; but when we come to read out
          of the Book of Life the words of the Almighty to the people, and
          compare them with the knowledge of the sectarian world, I am
          reminded of the words of Geo. Francis Train concerning a certain
          gentleman. Said he, "I want you to sit down and tell me all you
          know in five minutes." They can tell all they know about God,
          godliness, heaven, earth, and the exaltation of man to the
          Godhead in five minutes, for they do not know anything. Our
          children can see this, and I want them to see it. If there is any
          man among them that does know anything about the plan of the
          Almighty for the redemption and exaltation of man, I hope and
          pray that I may have the privilege of seeing him. I recollect
          when I was young going to hear Lorenzo Dow preach. He was
          esteemed a very great man by the religious folks. I, although
          young in years and lacking experience, had thought a great many
          times that I would like to hear some man who could tell me
          something, when he opened the Bible, about the Son of God, the
          will of God, what the ancients did and received, saw and heard
          and knew pertaining to God and heaven. So I went to hear Lorenzo
          Dow. He stood up some of the time, and he sat down some of the
          time; he was in this position and in that position, and talked
          two or three hours, and when he got through I asked myself, "What
          have you learned from Lorenzo Dow?" and my answer was, "Nothing,
          nothing but morals." He could tell the people they should not
          work on the Sabbath day; they should not lie, swear, steal,
          commit adultery, &c., but when he came to teaching the things of
          God he was as dark as midnight. And so I lived until, finally, I
          made a profession of religion. I thought to myself I would try to
          break off my sins and lead a better life and be as moral as I
          possibly could; for I was pretty sure that I should not stay here
          always. Where I was going to I did not know, but I would like to
          be as good as I know how while here, rather than run the risk of
          being full of evil. I had heard a good deal about religion, and
          what a good nice place heaven was, and how good the Lord was, and
          I thought I would try to live a pretty good life. But when I
          reached the years of, I will say, courage, I think that is the
          best term, I would ask questions. I would say, "Elder, or
          Minister, I read so and so in the Bible, how do you understand
          it?" Then I would go and hear them preach on the divinity of the
          Son, and the character of the Father and the Holy Ghost and their
          divinity, and, I will say, the divinity of the soul of man; what
          we are here for, and various kindred topics. But after asking
          questions and going to hear them preach year after year, What did
          I learn? Nothing. I would as lief go into a swamp at midnight to
          learn how to paint a picture and then define its colors when
          there is neither moon nor stars visible and profound darkness
          prevails, as to go to the religious world to learn about God,
          heaven, hell or the faith of a Christian. But they can explain
          our duty as rational, moral beings, and that is good, excellent
          as far as it goes.
          This has been my experience in the Christian world, and I want
          our children to go and hear all there is to hear, for the whole
          sum of it will be wound up as I once heard one of the finest
          speakers America has ever produced say, when speaking on the soul
          of man. After laboring long on the subject, he straightened
          himself up--he was a fine looking man--and said he, "My brethren
          and sisters, I must come to the conclusion that the soul of man
          is an immaterial substance." Said I, "Bah!" There was no more
          sense in his discourse than in the bleating of a sheep or the
          grunting of a pig. I palliated the facts partially, however, so
          far as he was concerned, by attributing my lack of comprehension
          to my own ignorance. This reminds me that I once heard Mr.
          Lansing preach a most elaborate discourse. It was in the morning,
          and when the meeting was dismissed and the people had come out,
          Deacon Brown says to Deacon Taylor, "What a sermon we have had!"
          Deacon Taylor says, "Yes, yes!" Deacon Brown says, "That is one
          of the most profound discourses I ever heard Mr. Lansing
          deliver;" and so they continued talking until one of them said at
          last, "I did not understand a word of it." The other Deacon
          replied, "Neither did I." Their verdict was a just one, for the
          discourse consisted of fine, beautiful words and nothing else. I
          saw and heard nothing to give me the least clue to anything
          pertaining to God, heaven, or the designs of the Creator with
          regard to the earth and its inhabitants. But as I did not
          understand a word of it, I supposed that was on account of my
          ignorance, until I heard the Deacons say that they did not, and
          then I concluded that I knew as much as they did. For this reason
          I say, go and learn all they know. Their catechisms are good; but
          if you come to the things of God I will be bound that we have
          children who, if they dare open their mouths and converse, would
          place them in water they could not fathom. Yet I say, go and see
          and hear them and learn what they know, then you can discriminate
          and discern, and will be able to understand why the Lord called
          upon Joseph Smith to come out and declare his will, and why he
          bestowed upon Joseph the Priesthood and its keys and powers. You
          will then learn, my little boys and girls, that the world of
          mankind scarcely know anything about the Bible. Ask them
          concerning the character of the Savior and they will expatiate
          and expound hour after hour, but they will tell absolutely
          nothing. I presume that there are sisters here who have asked
          ministers what a certain Scripture meant, and in reply they have
          talked, talked, talked, and wound up by saying, "Great is the
          mystery of godliness, God manifest in the flesh. Sister, I cannot
          tell you." Have you ever heard sisters and children ask questions
          of this kind? Yes, and so have I many times, but they have failed
          to obtain one particle of knowledge from their religious
          teachers. Why? Because they did not possess it. They did not know
          that Jesus was the express image of his Father, although they had
          read it in the Bible; they did not know that man was made in the
          image of his God, although they have read it hundreds of times in
          the book they profess to reverence and believe in so much. They
          cannot realize it. When and how will they realize it? When they
          submit themselves to the Lord, and ask the Father in the name of
          Jesus to give them revelation by the Holy Ghost. No man can call
          Jesus the Christ except it be revealed from heaven to him.
          I will say to my young friends, my little brothers and sisters,
          go and learn everything you can. I say to parents, do not be
          afraid one particle! These children will learn something that we
          as parents know and understand already, and it is very grievous
          for us to realize that it is the truth. Joseph, our Prophet, was
          hunted and driven, arrested and persecuted, and although no law
          was ever made in these United States that would bear against him,
          for he never broke a law, yet to my certain knowledge he was
          defendant in forty-six lawsuits, and every time Mr. Priest was at
          the head of and led the band or mob who hunted and persecuted
          him. And when Joseph and Hyrum were slain in Carthage jail the
          mob, painted like Indians, was led by a preacher. And now they
          follow us up and want us to learn of them, when, so far as the
          characters of God and Jesus are concerned and the errand of Jesus
          into the world, our youth know better than the whole sectarian
          world. In coming to Utah to teach the "Mormons" the way of life,
          the Christians are but carrying coals to Newcastle. What is the
          use of going to "Mormon" settlements to teach the people
          temperance and sobriety, or to teach them the Bible? No more use
          than in going to Newcastle to sell coal. There is no other people
          in the world that believe in and practice the Bible as strictly
          as the Latter-day Saints. None but the Latter-day Saints properly
          believe in the Lord Jesus Christ; no other people acknowledge him
          and keep his commandments; and yet they follow us up, their
          object, professedly, being to convert us to Christianity, but in
          reality it is to induce us to apostatize until they get the upper
          hand, that the Priesthood may again be destroyed from the earth.
          But never mind, let them go ahead, we shall see whether Christ or
          Baal will be king of the earth, and whether Baal will reign
          several thousand years longer. We shall find it out by and by.
          I am saying this to parents, to those who have been in the midst
          of Christendom and have seen its workings; to women who have sat
          up night after night, for hundreds of nights, to watch their
          houses and keep the mob, led by priests, from slaughtering their
          husbands and families and destroying their property. Perhaps I
          ought to keep silent rather than say these things, but that would
          not be justice. Facts are facts and we cannot help it. I hope
          they will prove a little different in time to come. But with the
          exception of the infidel portion of it, the sectarian world has
          hewn out to itself broken cisterns that will hold no water; the
          priests have got their creeds, systems, and organizations, they
          live on the people, and they are afraid that, if truth be
          proclaimed, their craft will fall. Go to the infidel portion of
          the world and we are all right; for if they refuse to receive our
          doctrines they will talk and reason like men of intelligence. But
          with many of those professing to be Christian teachers it is very
          different, and in my secret estimate of the characters and
          attainments of many of them I have come to the conclusion that
          their forte is ignorance and impudence.
          I will take another turn in my remarks, and will say if we were
          known by the world as we are, truly and honestly, I will not
          except the Christians nor their priests; if we were known by them
          as we know them, there is not a priest but would pray for the
          Latter-day Saints. The infidel world would also pray for us, and
          so would the political and moral world. But they do not know what
          the Lord is doing through us; they are ignorant, and in their
          ignorance they lift themselves up against God and his Anointed,
          for they have no eyes to see, ears to hear, nor hearts to
          understand. But some are becoming acquainted with us, and this
          has its influence. What is the object of the Lord Almighty in
          calling this people as he has done? This question may be answered
          in a very few words--it is nothing short of restoring to the
          midst of the children of men every truth, every good, all
          knowledge and everything lovely and beautiful for time and
          eternity, saving all that will or can be saved and exalting his
          children to thrones, and to crown them with crowns of glory,
          immorality and eternal lives. Do you see what is going to be the
          result of the course the Lord is pursuing with this people and
          with the world? You see some who formerly obeyed the Gospel
          leaving us occasionally. Where are they going? Is there anything
          else that will satisfy them? Not on this earth; they either
          remain faithful to the Gospel or go to infidelity. This is the
          fact. When men go from this Church they become infidels. They can
          say they believe in this that or the other; they may turn to
          Spiritualism;; bogusism, Emmaism or anything else; no matter
          what, but they must be infidels or else acknowledge the Lord
          Jesus Christ.
          The doctrine that we preach is the doctrine of the Bible, it is
          the doctrine the Lord has revealed for the salvation of the
          children of God, and when men, who have once obeyed it, deny it,
          they deny it with their eyes wide open, and knowing that they
          deny the truth and set at naught the counsels of the Almighty.
          I have spoken quite awhile to you, my brethren and sisters. I
          have been teaching parents some things with regard to their
          children; now I wish to say to the children, obey your parents,
          be good, never suffer yourselves to do that which will mortify
          you through life, and that will cause you to look back with
          regret. While you are pure and spotless preserve yourselves in
          the integrity of your souls. Although you are young you know good
          from evil, and live so that you can look back on your lives and
          thank the Lord that he has preserved you, or has enabled you to
          preserve yourselves, so that you have no misconduct to regret or
          mourn over. Take this course and you will secure to yourselves an
          honorable name on earth among the good and the pure; you will
          maintain your integrity before heaven, and prove yourselves
          worthy of a high state of glory when you get through with this
          God bless you. Amen.
          Journal of Discourses / Journal of Discourses, Volume 14 /
          Brigham Young, August 13, 1871
                           Brigham Young, August 13, 1871
                  Delivered in the New Tabernacle, Salt Lake City,
                              Sunday, August 13, 1871.
                            (Reported by David W. Evans.)
          I feel like bearing my testimony to the Gospel of the Son of God,
          and I have it upon my mind to impress on the Latter-day Saints
          one particular item of our faith, and that is to take a course to
          possess the Spirit of the Lord. According to your experience and
          mine you cannot understand the things of God but by the Spirit of
          God. If we were to examine the character of the Jews in the days
          of the Savior we would learn this one fact--that the people at
          that time were about as destitute of the Spirit of the Lord as
          any nation ever need be. In our day it seems that the Spirit will
          actually prompt people to liberal thinking, to liberal actions
          and to liberal government, and not to be as suppressive as they
          were in the days of the Jewish nation and other nations that then
          bore rule; although in Christendom there have been times when
          governments have been very oppressive, and when the people were
          obliged to think as they were told, and when the doctrines they
          believed in must be according to the precepts and teachings of
          priests; but the present age is more liberal. The time has come
          when the Lord is commencing to pour out his Spirit upon the
          people. According to the words of the Prophet the time is to come
          when the Spirit of the Lord shall be poured out upon all flesh.
          He says, "Your sons and your daughters shall prophecy, your old
          men shall dream dreams, your young men shall see visions, and
          also upon the servants and upon the handmaids in those days will
          I pour out my Spirit." This appears to be the commencement, and I
          am very thankful for it. Still, according to the experience of
          those who examine themselves, and the operations of the different
          spirits upon themselves, we learn that the power of evil is very
          great, and we are more given to it than to possess the Spirit of
          Christ. Yet the Spirit of the Lord enlightens every man that
          comes into the world. There is no one that lives upon the earth
          but what is, more or less, enlightened by the Spirit of the Lord
          Jesus. It is said of him, that he is the light of the world. He
          lighteth every man that comes into the world, and every person,
          at times, has the light of the Spirit of truth upon him.
          When we look at the conduct of the Jews and of the Romans in
          Jerusalem, and other nations around, among whom Jesus traveled,
          we find that it was very little influenced by those mighty
          miracles that we think, talk and preach so much about. I mean the
          Christian world. They cry to their hearers, "Look at the Savior,
          look at his acts, behold his doings! What miracles he wrought!
          How he suffered for us," and so on. What did the Jews or Romans
          care about all this? Did they believe in him? It appears not, or
          but very few of them. And, as we have just been hearing, it was
          the same among the multitudes who followed him; although he fed
          them, and they saw his miracles, yet they understood nothing of
          the power by which his mighty works were accomplished. It was
          just so with the young man who was born blind, whom the Savior
          healed. "Who opened your eyes," said the Scribes and Pharisees.
          "Why, this man who is going about preaching, who says he is the
          Savior, the Son of God--the king of the Jews." The priests
          replied: "That is nonsense; you do not pretend to say that this
          man opened your eyes!" "Well, all I know about it is, that he
          spat on the ground and made a little mortar from the clay and
          anointed my eyes, and before that I was blind, but now I see."
          "Well, do not believe on him, he is an impostor, he is deceiving
          the people;" and when we examine and understand the facts in
          relation to this personage whom we call the Savior of the world,
          there were not, strange to say, as many persons believed on him
          as have believed on Joseph Smith in the latter days. Not that
          Joseph was the Savior, but he was a prophet. As he said once,
          when some one asked him, "Are you the Savior?" "No, but I can
          tell you what I am--I am his brother." So we can say. But Joseph
          was a prophet; and so we testify, declaring that we know it. But
          how, in the world, do you know it? Because somebody has made clay
          and anointed your eyes? No. The young man did not know the real
          character of the personage by whom his eyes were opened, nor he
          never would know unless the Holy Ghost--the Spirit of revelation,
          rested upon him to such a degree as to manifest to him that Jesus
          was the Christ.
          This is a matter that we should well consider. Jesus fed the
          multitudes miraculously; he walked on the water, healed the sick,
          gave sight to the blind, hearing to the deaf, and raised the dead
          to life, but what of all this? Did it prove that he was the
          Christ? I recollect once, when on my travels, hearing some
          divines try to prove that everybody ought to believe on the Lord
          Jesus Christ because of the miracles he wrought. When they had
          argued some time I took the liberty of saying, "Gentlemen, who
          were they who testified of these great miracles that you speak
          of?" It was an Elder in Israel who was arguing with them, and
          trying to prove to their minds that Joseph was called of God to
          open up this last dispensation. They spurned every argument and
          ignored every Scripture that was brought forward; but yet, they
          said, we ought to believe on the Lord Jesus because of his great
          miracles. "Who were they," said I, "who testified of these
          miracles? I will return you your own words. You say that this
          gentleman is one of Joseph Smith's disciples, and a party
          concerned and has an interest in establishing the fact that he
          was a prophet and was called of God. If he is a party concerned,
          were not Peter, Paul and Jude parties concerned? and when you get
          the names of all who have written in the New Testament--eight in
          number--you find they were all interested in establishing the
          divinity of the Savior; they were all parties concerned and had
          an object in view in endeavoring to establish the fact that he
          was the Savior. This gentleman has told you that there are twelve
          men who testify that they saw the plates from which the Book of
          Mormon was written; they saw and handled these plates, and they
          witness to the world that the Book of Mormon is true. Here are
          twelve living men, who can be spoken to, against eight men who
          have been dead for about seventeen hundred years." Well, but
          these great miracles, these wonderful miracles!
          I do not wish to speak the least derogatory to the character of
          him, or whoever performed these miracles in the name of the Lord;
          but I mention this to show how men's minds are wrought upon and
          how they look at things. In my conversation I asked those
          gentlemen if they believed the Bible? Yes, and they were very
          fervent in bringing forth the great miracles of Moses, who was
          called to lead the children of Israel. "Well, what did Moses do?"
          "Why, so and so." "And you say that Jesus raised the dead?"
          "Yes." "If you will turn to the Old Testament, you will find that
          a certain woman, called the witch of Endor, raised up Samuel the
          Prophet. Did Jesus ever raise up a prophet?" They had to
          acknowledge that he did not. "What greater work did Jesus do than
          a witch, that our fathers in Massachusetts used to hang up by the
          neck and burn, or make them swim across the bay, and if they went
          across, that was proof they were witches or wizards; and if they
          could not get quite across, but sank, they might possibly be
          innocent, but they were at the bottom of the sea. What proof have
          you that Jesus wrought any greater miracle than the witch of
          Endor--a wicked woman, who, to please wicked Saul, brought the
          Prophet Samuel from his grave?"
          Well, now, examine the character of the Savior, and examine the
          characters of those who have written the Old and New Testaments;
          and then compare them with the character of Joseph Smith, the
          founder of this work--the man whom God called and to whom he gave
          the keys of Priesthood, and through whom he has established his
          Church and kingdom for the last time, and you will find that his
          character stands as fair as that of any man's mentioned in the
          Bible. We can find no person who presents a better character to
          the world when the facts are known than Joseph Smith, jun., the
          prophet, and his brother, Hyrum Smith, who was murdered with him.
          I will come now to my text again, and will ask the Latter-day
          Saints, Do you know that Joseph Smith was a prophet? Yes. How do
          you know it? Why, father and mother says it is so; Elder
          such-a-one says it is so, and I believe it. They prove their
          doctrine by the Bible, and I am forced to believe the Bible
          through the traditions of the fathers; and these Elders establish
          the truth of their doctrines beyond all controversy from
          Scripture, and I cannot deny it, hence I believe Mormonism, or
          the Gospel.
          Now, the question is, how much good will it do me to believe the
          Gospel on the evidence of others, without possessing the spirit
          of the Gospel? This is a question that I can answer very readily.
          There is no man or woman on the earth that will live according to
          the laws of God, but will possess the Spirit of God. This answers
          the question. But suppose we believe and we do not quite live
          this law. We embrace the Gospel, we gather up with the Saints,
          and yet we live in the neglect of our duty and beneath our
          privileges; we do not call upon the Father in the name of Jesus
          with that sincerity and earnestness necessary to bring down the
          revelations of the Lord upon us, and we live in this manner for
          days and years together; by and by something or other comes along
          that we do not like, we cannot understand it, we have not the
          spirit to understand it, and consequently we reject this and
          reject that; and if the Church is just right and its leaders are
          just right, why the individual is not right, and he turns away
          from the holy commandments of the Lord Jesus, and goes back to
          the beggarly elements of the world, like the dog to his vomit, or
          the sow to her wallowing in the mire.
          Now, let me ask the Latter-day Saints, you who are here in this
          house this day, how do you know that your humble servant is
          really, honestly, guiding and counseling you aright, and
          directing the affairs of the kingdom aright? Let you be ever so
          true and faithful to your friends and never forsake them, never
          turn traitor to the Gospel which you have espoused, but live on
          in neglect of your duty, how do you know but I am teaching false
          doctrine? How do you know that I am not counseling you wrong? How
          do you know but I will lead you to destruction? And this is what
          I wish to urge upon you--live so that you can discern between the
          truth and error, between light and darkness, between the things
          of God and those not of God, for by the revelations of the Lord,
          and these alone, can you and I understand the things of God. When
          Jesus preached to the people they were destitute of the Spirit of
          truth, and if they believed his teachings for the moment, as soon
          as they went away the Spirit left them and they were again in the
          dark, and they did not become the disciples of Jesus. So it is
          now. For instance, a great many strangers come here; they see our
          work, they give us praise, they acknowledge our faithfulness,
          industry, prudence, economy and so forth. How do they know that
          we are preaching the Gospel? "Oh," say they, "we do not know
          anything about that; we do not come here to be Mormons." But
          suppose they were perfectly honest before God and sought unto him
          until they got the Spirit of revelation, they would be convinced
          that we told them the truth, or else that we did not preach that
          which we profess to teach, one of the two. We know all about it,
          but they do not. Did the people in the days of the Savior? No,
          they saw his miracles, but they enjoyed no more of the Spirit of
          truth than some of the strangers who visit us. One thing is very
          remarkable, and should be noticed by strangers who come here, and
          that is, the change that takes place in their own feelings. Let
          me say this to strangers, I mean those who have any regard for
          truth and holiness; when you are here in this house or city, and
          you commune with the Latter-day Saints, there is a spirit of
          peace, a holy reverence for truth, righteousness, goodness, mercy
          and virtue rests upon you; in fact, you are influenced by that
          spirit and influence which hover over this people; but what do
          many of you say when you go away? No longer ago than yesterday a
          reporter said to me, "While in California, judging by what I
          heard, I supposed you had no improvements here, you lived in
          dugouts, you had no schools, and that the people did not look as
          the people do anywhere else--quite another kind of
          people--neither industry, judgment nor discretion amongst them;
          but I am perfectly disappointed, my whole mind is revolutionized,
          and I see things so different to what I expected to see them,
          that I am really another person here." What will he write about
          us? If he does as others have done, we may expect to see a batch
          of misrepresentations from him just as quick as he gets away and
          the spirit of the enemy takes possession of him. Such men cater
          to the world and to the ungodly priests that the world is afraid
          of. But I will confine this wholly to the political world. "Yes,"
          says the senator, or the man who wishes to be a senator,
          representative, governor or any officer, "if I do not cater to
          these priests I shall lose my election." But I would see them
          further in heaven than they will get in ten thousand years before
          I would cater to them. Truth, honesty and uprightness in
          everything, and if that will not stand upon its own basis,
          falsehood, deception, lying to and deceiving each other certainly
          will not, either here or hereafter. It is the honest and
          honorable, or, in other words, it is truth and righteousness,
          that will stand the day of God Almighty. When the Lord Almighty
          thunders from the heavens to try the souls of the children of men
          they will want truth and righteousness.
          But to return to my question to the Saints, "How are you going to
          know about the will and commands of heaven?" By the Spirit of
          revelation; that is the only way you can know. How do I know but
          what I am doing wrong? How do I know but what we will take a
          course for our utter ruin? I sometimes say to my brethren, "I
          have been your dictator for twenty-seven years--over a quarter of
          a century I have dictated this people; that ought to be some
          evidence that my course is onward and upward. But how do you know
          that I may not yet do wrong? How do you know but I will bring in
          false doctrine and teach the people lies that they may be damned?
          Sisters can you tell the difference? I can say this for the
          Latter-day Saints, and I will say it to their praise and my
          satisfaction, if I were to preach false doctrine here, it would
          not be an hour after the people got out, before it would begin to
          fly from one to another, and they would remark, "I do not quite
          like that! It does not look exactly right! What did Brother
          Brigham mean? That did not sound quite right, it was not exactly
          the thing!" All these observations would be made by the people,
          yes, even by the sisters. It would not sit well on the stomach,
          that is, on the spiritual stomach, if you think you have one. It
          would not sit well on the mind, for you are seeking after the
          things of God; you have started out for life and salvation, and
          with all their ignorance, wickedness and failings, the majority
          of this people are doing just as well as they know how; and I
          will defy any man to preach false doctrine without being
          detected; and we need not go to the Elders of Israel, the
          children who have been born in these mountains possess enough of
          the Spirit to detect it. But be careful that you do not lose it!
          Live so that you will know the moment the Spirit of the Almighty
          is grieved within you. Do you ever see such times? I do. I watch
          you. I see, for instance, a company of young people go and
          mingle, perhaps, with old people, and hear them laughing, joking,
          and talking nonsense and folly. By and by darkness
          comes--leanness of the soul; and one says, "My head don't feel
          right; my heart is not right; my nerves are not right; I do not
          know what is the matter, but I do not enjoy myself here this
          evening." Do you know what is the matter? You ought to live so
          that the very moment the Spirit of the Lord is grieved, stop that
          instantly, and turn the attention of every individual to
          something else that will retain the good Spirit of the Lord and
          give you an increase of it. This is the way to live.
          Have you this experience, sisters? Yes, many of you have. We need
          not go to the Elders of Israel to ask them. Do you see people
          apostatize? Yes. Will more go? Yes, many more. It is a day of
          trial--a day wherein the Lord will try the hearts of the children
          of men; and he is taking a course now with individuals and with
          nations, to make them exhibit the very centre of their hearts, as
          governments, as nations, as cities, as heads of families and as
          individuals, that he may reveal the secrets thereof, that they
          may be known to each other. Consequently you can see the
          necessity of every person living so as to have the Spirit of
          Brother George A. Smith has been speaking about our little trials
          in Missouri. I do not wish to cast reflections on any person, but
          I do not acknowledge that I ever received persecution; my path
          has been so kind from the Lord I do not consider that I have
          suffered enough even to mention it. But when the words of
          Governor Lillburn W. Boggs were read by General Clark, with
          regard to our leaving the State or renouncing our religion, I sat
          close by him, although I was the very particular one they wanted
          to get and were inquiring for; but as kind Providence would have
          it they could not tell whether it was Brigham Young they were
          looking at or somebody else. No matter how this was done, they
          could not tell. But, standing close by General Clark, I heard him
          say, "You are the best and most orderly people in this State, and
          have done more to improve it in three years than we have in
          fifteen. You have showed us how to improve, how to raise fruit
          and wheat, how to make gardens, orchards and so on; and on these
          accounts we want you; but we have this to say to you, No more
          bishops, no more high councils, and as for your prophet," and he
          pointed down to where Joseph lay, right in the midst of the camp,
          "you will never see him again." Said I to myself, "May be so and
          may be not; but I do not believe a word of it." "And," continued
          he, "disperse, and become as we are." Do you want I should tell
          you what I thought? I do not think I will. I thought a kind of a
          bad thought, that is, it would be considered so by a very
          religious person, and especially if he was well stocked with
          self-righteousness; but I would as soon as not tell what I
          thought to those who have not much of this and are not very
          pious, and it was, "I will see you in hell first." Renounce my
          religion? "No, sir," said I, "it is my all, all I have on this
          earth. What is this world worth as it is now? Nothing. It is like
          a morning shadow; it is like the dew before the sun, like the
          grass before the scythe, or the flower before the pinching frosts
          of autumn. No, sir, I do not renounce my religion. I am looking
          beyond; my hope is beyond this vale of tears, and beyond the
          present life. I have another life to live, and it is eternal. The
          organization and intelligence God has given me are not to perish
          in nonentity; I have to live, and I calculate to take such a
          course that my life hereafter will be in a higher state of
          existence than the present." Said he, "Forsake your religion, and
          become as we are!" I had been round the country enough to know
          the practice of both priest and people. On Saturday they would
          get together and run horses, throw up coppers to see who would
          treat, get pretty drunk, and perhaps get up a good sound quarrel,
          and then the priest would step in half drunk, and with long face
          and sanctimonious drawl preach on the evils of intemperance and
          so on. "Become as you are? God forbid," said I. You are as low
          and degraded as possible, living here without schools, orchards
          or mills, like the brutes almost, in your little cabins! Bacon
          and hominy! Bacon and Indian bread, honey and milk, and they were
          perfectly satisfied. As I heard one of these great nobles say, on
          a certain occasion when at his house; we were holding a two-days'
          meeting; he did not belong to the Church, but his family did.
          Said he, "Mr. Young, I have a great deal of property and some
          money, and I do not know what to do with it, I think I will go up
          to your place and buy." He had a log house, all in one room, with
          six beds in it. Not a light of glass to light the room; and just
          to instruct my sisters how to cook, I will tell them something
          about the first meal we had there. A twelve-quart tin milk pan
          was set on the table, filled with beef, stacked as you see cannon
          balls, up to the peak or roof, in arsenals. I think there was
          about two ounces of butter on the table, white as cheese curd.
          This was in the month of August, when the fat beeves were
          standing around, and I do not know how many cows, sheep, oxen,
          horses, geese, turkeys and fowls were running round his yard; and
          I do not think that his pile of beef in the milk pan had a half
          or a quarter of an ounce of fat on it. Said they to us, "Help
          yourselves, lay hold and help yourselves;" and we did, to a piece
          of dry bread, dry beef and a little "clean" butter--we always
          called such butter "clean," because it looked so white. I
          recollect on Sunday morning, you will excuse me for telling this
          anecdote, after we had sat down and had eaten a little, the lady
          of the house said, "Brother Young, take a piece of pie! Brother
          Kimball, take a piece of pie." They had a large peach orchard,
          with hundreds of bushels of ripe peaches, probably not all worked
          up into brandy, but still they could not afford a ripe peach for
          a pie. The lady put a piece of pie on the plate, and I cut a
          little off and turned it over and looked at it, and said I, "Yes,
          I will taste your pie, for I never saw the like before in my
          life; did you, Brother Kimball?" "No, S-i-r, I n-e-v-e-r did."
          There were peaches that had fallen from the trees before they
          were ripe, cut in two and the pits taken out, put on a piece of
          dough, not even the fuzz wiped off, and then another cake put
          over the top, nothing else inside but this, and then baked in a
          bake pan, or "Dutch oven," as we used to call it. "It is peach
          pie, Brother Brigham; Brother Kimball, will you take a bit of
          pie, it is peach pie." I never saw the like before, and there the
          man sat, as happy and contented as could be. And this is like
          Missouri, all over, as it used to be. "I do not know what to do
          with my means," and yet he had not a light of glass in the place,
          and had to open the door to see to eat; and six beds in one room.
          We slept there with the family, not with the wife, but with the
          whole family--men, women and children. Said the owner of the
          place, "I declare, I think I will go and purchase some land." I
          said to him, "How would it do to have this floor fixed and made
          comfortable?" It was made of oak boards sawed out and dried up,
          and you might have shoved your hand down between each one; and it
          was just so with the chamber, and when a person walked on it, it
          went "clatter," "clatter," "clatter." Said I, "how would it be to
          have this floor planed, matched and nailed down, so that when the
          children walk over it it will not make so much noise? And how
          would it be to have a window? When the weather gets cold, it will
          be pretty uncomfortable to have to open the door to see to eat,
          knit, sew and so on?" "Well," said he, "I declare I never thought
          of that;" and I do not suppose he ever had in his life. I dare
          not say much, so I abridged my remarks, and wound up as quickly
          as possible. The gentleman, I believe, continued to live there,
          and for anything I know, he is there still; at any rate he did
          not come up to the gathering place and buy property. This was the
          style of living there, and they wanted us to adopt it, and become
          as they were. "No, sir," said I, "I am for improvement." I guess
          General Clark lived in just about such a house, and I think the
          others did. We printed the first papers, except about two, set
          out the first orchards, raised the first wheat, kept almost the
          first schools, and made the first improvements in our pioneering,
          in a great measure, from the Mississippi river to the Pacific
          Ocean; and here we got at last, so as to be out of the way of
          everybody, if possible. We thought we would get as far as we
          could from the face of man; we wanted to get to a strange land,
          like Abraham, that we might be where we should not be continually
          wrong with somebody or other, and have them crying, "Oh, you
          Mormons!" and have the priests preaching, the press printing, the
          drunkard swearing, and all, high and low, rich and poor, wishing
          these poor "Mormons" were out of the way. We got out of the way
          as far as we could; and if we can get out of the way any further
          and do any good, we are ready to get out of the way; but I think
          we are as far out of the way as we need to be; and we have got on
          the highway which has been cast up, and I think we had better
          stay here.
          As far as our doctrines are concerned, come on my brother from
          the "Mother Church," down to the last one that has come out with
          something new. Come on, you revivalists, what have you got? If
          you have anything better than we have, come up here and let us
          have it. Our belief and doctrine with regard to the human family
          is that if we know more than you, we will give our knowledge to
          you, then you will know as much as we; and by the time you have
          acquired it we will know a little more, and be ahead every time
          we impart knowledge. Like the teacher in the school, no matter
          whether he is teaching a, b, c, a-b ab, or in the higher
          branches, while teaching others, he or she is also increasing.
          While those who, in the providence of God, are the possessors of
          knowledge and wisdom, are dispensing them to others, they are
          increasing their own store. That is our principle of action. Take
          the poor, do not go down to the poor and the ignorant, lift them
          up, and give them all we have, and we go ahead and get more, and
          impart to the inhabitants of the earth until they are filled with
          wisdom, knowledge and understanding.
          To my text again--
          How do we know that Jesus is the Christ? By the revelations of
          the Spirit of God. How do we know that the Bible is true? We know
          that a great deal of it is true, and that in many instances the
          translation is incorrect. But I cannot say what a minister once
          said to me. I asked him if he believed the Bible, and he replied,
          "Yes, every word of it." "You do not believe it all to be the
          word of God?" "Most assuredly I do." Well, said I, you can beat
          me at believing, that's certain. As I read the Bible it contains
          the words of the Father and Son, angels, good and bad, Lucifer,
          the devil, of wicked men and of good men, and some are lying and
          some--the good--are telling the truth; and if you believe it all
          to be the word of God you can go beyond me. I cannot believe it
          all to be the word of God, but I believe it as it is.
               How do we know it is true? By revelation. How do we know
          that prophets wrote the word of the Lord? By revelation. How do
          we know that Joseph Smith was called of God to establish his
          kingdom upon the earth? By revelation. How do we know that the
          leaders of this people teach the truth? By revelation. How do we
          know the doctrine of baptism for the remission of sins to be
          true? It is written in the Bible; but the Christian world deny
          it, because it is not manifested to them by the revelations of
          the Lord Jesus. They have not the keys of revelation, although
          some believe baptism by immersion, but they do not believe it is
          for the remission of sins, except one society, which came out
          from the Close Communion Baptists, founded by Alexander Campbell.
          He baptized for the remission of sins. At this time I was a
          Methodist. Said I, "Why not lay on hands for the reception of the
          Holy Ghost?" "O," said they, "we have no authority to do that, it
          is done away." "How do you know that baptism for the remission of
          sins is not done away? Your arguments confuse themselves, and
          these self-confounding arguments are all chaos to me. If you have
          the right to baptize for the remission of sins, you have the
          right to lay on hands for the reception of the Holy Ghost; and if
          you have this power and authority, of course you have prophets,
          and possess the various gifts and graces recorded in the New
          Testament. Do you lay hands on the sick?" "Oh, no." "Do you
          prophecy?" "We do not believe in it." Most Christians disbelieve
          in these things, but "believe on the Lord Jesus Christ," is their
          great point; and, so far as it goes, it is good. But unless we
          obey his Gospel, where God and Christ are we cannot live
          hereafter, but shall have to take another kingdom, live in
          another place and be administered to by those who are higher.
          What do you say, is that correct? I will just read a word or two
          and then stop. Here is the doctrine. I am not going to say
          anything about it, but will just read it. "For, for this cause
          was the Gospel preached also to them that are dead, that they
          might be judged according to men in the flesh, but live according
          to God in the Spirit." First Peter, 4th chapter, 6th verse.
          What does that mean? Not only in the world, but out of the world,
          they who expect to receive any salvation at all must hearken to
          the requirements of heaven, thus far, to entitle them to the
          Spirit of the Lord Jesus, that they may live by the revelations
          thereof, and walk no more in darkness, but in the light of life.
          I do wish that each and every one of us would do that. Are we
          able to do it? Certainly; it is the simplest thing in the world.
          Well, then, just believe on the Lord Jesus Christ. "Oh," say the
          Christians, "we do believe." Well, then, come forward, and be
          baptized for the remission of your sins, and receive the laying
          on of hands for the reception of the Holy Ghost, then you shall
          receive the witness, and you shall be the possessor of the Spirit
          of revelation according to the gifts and graces of God as he
          dispenses them to you--speaking in tongues, interpreting the
          same, prophecying, dreaming dreams, and so forth, for all these
          are by the selfsame Spirit, which is the Spirit of Christ.
          If we will live so that Christ can make us one through our
          obedience, where are wars and contentions? All will cease. Where
          is the spirit of bickering? There will be no more of it. How much
          pleasanter it would look, and how much better it would be for the
          world if these things were to cease! "Well," say the world, "you
          Mormons, forsake this obnoxious doctrine and practice of having
          more wives than one." For heaven's sake, then, cease killing the
          men, and let them live and take the women, or you will oblige us
          to take more than we know what to do with. Believe on the Lord
          Jesus Christ, obey his doctrine, cease your warring and
          contention, beat your swords into ploughshares and your spears
          into pruning hooks; make railroads, build colleges, teach the
          children, give them the learning of the world and the things of
          God; elevate their minds, that they may not only understand the
          earth we walk upon, but the air we breathe, the water we drink,
          and all the elements pertaining to the earth; and then search
          other worlds, and become acquainted with the planetary system,
          the dwellings of the angels and the heavenly beings, that they
          may ultimately be prepared for a higher state of being, and
          finally be associated with them. I wish we would do it; I pray
          the Lord to do it, but he will not, unless we help him.
          Journal of Discourses / Journal of Discourses, Volume 14 / George
          Albert Smith, August 13, 1871
                        George Albert Smith, August 13, 1871
                  Delivered in the New Tabernacle, Salt Lake City,
                              Sunday, August 13, 1871.
                            (Reported by David W. Evans.)
          In the providence of our Heavenly Father we are permitted once
          more to assemble for the purpose of partaking of the Sacrament of
          our Lord and Savior. It appears that on the night previous to his
          arrest, he gave to his disciples this ordinance. It was in a
          manner instituting anew the ordinance that Israel had observed
          from the time of leaving Egypt--namely, the feast of the
          Passover. When we assemble for the purpose of partaking of this
          ordinance it is very important for us to realize and appreciate
          the position which we take, for we witness to our Father who is
          in heaven, by the partaking of the bread and of the water, that
          we do remember him; and while we take the bread from the same
          plate we should not hold within our hearts feelings or sentiments
          other than what are right. To use the expression of the Savior,
          in the ever memorable sermon on the Mount, "When thou bringest
          thy gift to the altar, consider whether thy brother hath aught
          against thee." Every man who receives the principles of the
          Gospel of peace and obeys the ordinances of initiation into the
          Church is under obligations to lead a straightforward, moral and
          upright life, to deal justly, to love mercy and to walk humbly in
          observance of the principles which he has received. To neglect
          these things, to suffer ourselves to stray from them, to become
          forgetful of the principles and ordinances of the Gospel, under
          all circumstances, should be avoided. If we love each other, as
          we should do, we should never be found speaking evil of each
          other. In almost all communities, so far as my knowledge of
          history extends, one of the great banes of society is a
          disposition to tattle, to speak evil one of another; and I have
          noticed that this habit has not always been forsaken by those who
          are called Latter-day Saints; but at times there seems to be a
          feeling of willingness to retail scandal. When we come to partake
          of the sacrament if we have injured our brother, sister or
          neighbor, it is our duty to make these things right, and to come
          wisely, prudently and conscientiously. If we harbor evil
          thoughts, or are the slaves of evil passions, when we stretch
          forth our hand to partake of the sacrament, we may be guilty,
          peradventure, of fulfilling that dreadful position referred to by
          the Apostle--"He that eateth and drinketh unworthily, eateth and
          drinketh damnation to his own soul."
          There are certain principles which God has revealed, by the
          observance of which we are entitled to his Holy Spirit; but when
          Latter-day Saints neglect their duties and fail to observe these
          principles and defile their bodies they cease to become fit
          temples for the Holy Spirit to dwell in, and the light that is in
          them becomes darkness. It seems that at the last supper Peter was
          so sanguine, so fully determined and set in his faith that he
          declared to the Savior, though he should die with him yet would
          he not deny him; and yet in a very few hours after, when he saw
          his Master seized rudely by the high priests and soldiery, and
          dragged away, and a crown of thorns placed upon his head, he
          denied him. When his Master was first taken Peter was ready to
          fight for him. He was like a great many Latter-day Saints I have
          seen--they would much rather fight for their religion than try to
          live it. It was so at that time with Peter. He drew his sword and
          was ready to cut and slay, but his Master said to him, "Put up
          thy sword," and he healed the wounded servant. Peter did not
          understand that; it did not look like the temporal dominion he
          expected to see Jesus possess; and when he was accused of being
          one of his disciples, he answered, "I know not what thou sayest,"
          denying him, to whom, but a few hours before, he had expressed
          such strong attachment. When Peter went out the cock crew, and
          then he remembered the words of Jesus, and he wept bitterly. It
          is said of this Apostle that when he came to the end of his
          earthly career, which was crucifixion by the hands of his
          enemies, he requested that he might be crucified with his feet
          upwards; because he had denied his Master he was unwilling to be
          put on the cross in the same position.
          This weakness exists in the breasts of all human beings, more or
          less; all have their times of trial, and their days of temptation
          and suffering. We remember, in the days of our Prophet Joseph
          Smith, whom God sent us in these last days with the dispensation
          of the fullness of times, and the restoration of the Gospel and
          priesthood, that many, who stood by him and professed to be his
          most warm and ardent friends, not only turned away at his death,
          but in many instances became bitter enemies. This weakness
          exists, and there are reasons why it exists in the human heart.
          For instance, God requires his children to pray; but through
          labor, business and care they frequently fail to fulfill the
          requirement either in their families or in secret, and in a
          little while their minds become darkened; and in consequence of
          this neglect the Spirit of the Lord withdraws from them, and they
          forget what they once knew. You let a man among the Saints
          indulge in any habit prohibited in the Gospel, and the same
          result will follow if continued. If he allow himself to take the
          name of the Lord in vain, and continue in it, the Spirit of the
          Lord will withdraw from him. If he allow himself to be guilty of
          dishonesty, corruption, licentiousness or anything that is
          prohibited in the Gospel of peace, peradventure, his mind becomes
          darkened. He, to-day, might bear testimony that he knew this to
          be the work of God; and he might, by neglect of duty, in time
          become so darkened that he would conclude he hardly did know it,
          and finally that he did not know it. These are the results of
          losing the light of the Holy Spirit, hence the exhortation that
          every man who partakes of the sacrament should be careful, and
          make it a time of reckoning--bringing our minds up to the
          standard and knowing that we are right.
          I notice in the observance of the Word of Wisdom, a manifestation
          of the Holy Spirit connected with it. Whenever a person has
          failed to observe it, and becomes a slave to his appetite in
          these simple things, he gradually grows cold in his religion;
          hence I constantly feel to exhort my brethren and sisters, both
          by precept and example, to observe the Word of Wisdom. We should
          not be thoughtless, careless nor neglectful in the observance of
          its precepts. "Why, it cannot do any hurt," says one, "to take a
          glass of ale!" I recollect seeing a man once in England, who said
          to me, "Mr. Smith, how can it be possible that it can injure a
          man to drink the matter of half a pint of ale?" He had had so
          much that he could not stand without leaning against a fence, and
          yet he could not see how it could injure a man to take a half
          pint; but if he had not taken the first half pint he could have
          stood as well as anybody. It may as well be said, and no doubt
          often is, How can it hurt a man to chew tobacco or to drink tea?
          It injures, because it creates a disturbance in the human
          organization, and that disturbance, if continued, creates an
          appetite to which its possessor becomes a slave, and it shortens
          his days; and while living his condition is such that he cannot
          as efficiently perform the duties devolving upon him as he
          otherwise could.
          We have every reason to be thankful that God has preserved us
          from the wrath of our enemies. He has led us by the inspired hand
          of his servant Brigham into the valleys beyond the Rocky
          Mountains, in the Great Basin; and he has blessed the desert
          land, that with the labor and toil of twenty or twenty-four
          years, has become manifest in stretching forth the curtain of the
          habitations of Zion. We have every reason to be thankful for
          these blessings, for previous to that time we are all well aware
          that we did not taste of but very little of what might be called
          religious liberty; for the very moment that the Church of Jesus
          Christ of Latter-day Saints was organized by Joseph Smith, with
          six members, the hand of persecution and oppression was raised to
          destroy it. It not only extended to scandal and abuse, but to
          personal violence and to a long-continued succession of vexatious
          lawsuits; to the tearing down of houses, daubing men with tar and
          feathers, and driving from place to place. I have heard the
          scandal brought up occasionally that the Mormons were driven from
          Jackson County, Missouri, for stealing horses. Now the facts of
          the case are that there is not, nor can be found on record in the
          county of Jackson, a solitary syllable in any docket or record of
          any court the account of any crime or charge of crime against any
          individual belonging to the Church of the Latter-day Saints. From
          the time they settled there until the expulsion, amongst them it
          was one straightforward scene of good behavior. The charges on
          which they were driven were specified, published and signed by a
          large number of distinguished individuals, and these were that
          they (the Mormons) "differ from us in religion;" and that they
          also "anoint the sick with holy oil," and "They openly blaspheme
          the most high God, and cast contempt on his holy religion by
          pretending to receive revelations direct from heaven, by
          pretending to speak unknown tongues, by direct inspiration, and
          by diverse pretences derogatory of God and religion and to the
          utter subversion of human reason;" "that the 'Mormons' tampered
          with the slaves," &c. It is very true that the Mormons in Jackson
          County, Missouri, were not slaveholders; but the laws of the
          State on that subject were so very rigid that it required no mob
          power to enforce them; and as every office in the State, both
          civil and military, was held by men not "Mormons," and especially
          in the county of Jackson, it is not likely that there would have
          been any difficulty to enforce the law. The declaration on which
          the mob was organized, and which was signed by clergymen and
          other gentlemen, was "The civil law does not afford us a
          guarantee against this people," which was as much as to say, they
          were a law-abiding people. Well, but did you practice plurality
          of wives? Not at all, the principle was unknown in the Church; it
          had not been revealed, and every man and woman in the Church was
          rigidly, to all intents and purposes, strict monogamists. In
          1838-9 these Latter-day Saints were expelled from the State of
          Missouri, and no charge of practicing polygamy existed against
          them; but when they were gathered together and received their
          grand sentence under the exterminating order of the governor of
          the State, they were told that if they "assembled together again
          and organized with bishops and presidents they should be utterly
          destroyed;" but they were required to leave the State and that in
          a very short time, which they did, leaving all their property. It
          is very well known that some three hundred and eighteen thousand
          dollars were paid by Latter-day Saints for land in the State of
          Missouri, and that very few if any of them, ever got a dollar for
          that land, and it belongs to them to this day; and when the great
          and glorious day shall come that the Constitution of the United
          States shall become absolutely the supreme law of the land,
          guaranteeing to all men the right of life, liberty and property,
          the Saints can inherit this land and live and enjoy their faith
          there as well as anywhere else. All these things had occurred,
          and the hand of persecution did not stay until, in 1844, it had
          slain the prophets, and, in 1845-6, had driven the people, and
          robbed and peeled them of the property they had accumulated in
          Illinois, and in 1847 the pioneers' advanced guard, led by
          President Young, succeeded in making a road, and founding a
          colony in this valley.
          In 1843 the law on celestial marriage was written, but not
          published, and was known only to perhaps one or two hundred
          persons. It was written from the dictation of Joseph Smith, by
          Elder William Clayton, his private secretary, who is now in this
          city. This revelation was published in 1852, read to a general
          conference, and accepted as a portion of the faith of the Church.
          Elder Orson Pratt went to Washington and there published a work
          called the "Seer," in which this revelation was printed, and a
          series of articles showing forth the law of God in relation to
          marriage. From that time to the present the power of the enemies
          of the Latter-day Saints to persecute them seems to have been
          broken; for since then we have never been compelled to forsake
          our inheritances. The press and the pulpit have, of course, been
          called into requisition more or less, and a great amount of lies
          and scandal has been published, and politicians have endeavored
          to make capital and money out of exterminating the "Mormons," and
          fortunes out of "Mormon" blood, and more or less difficulty has
          occurred; but during that period the Saints have been able to
          proceed along with their work. They have laid out a hundred and
          fifty towns and cities, and have built them up to a greater or
          less extent, extending their settlements five hundred miles
          through this great desert. They have also been able to hold in
          check the savage tribes of Indians and to gain influence over
          them; and with a few interruptions, arising from the reckless
          character and conduct of transients, have been enabled to
          maintain towards them a peace hitherto unknown in any State or
          Territory in the midst of an Indian population.
          It required faith and energy to settle in such a country. For the
          first three years after the settlement commenced hardly any
          person dared to eat as much food as his appetite craved; so
          scarce were provisions that it was necessary to economize and eke
          out every little supply to its greatest possible extent. A great
          many became discouraged and disheartened, having the idea that
          the country could never be reclaimed; many went away, but
          generally returned after awhile, quite surprised at the progress
          made during their absence. Our visitors look at our city and say,
          "What a beautiful place! how did you find so lovely a place?" I
          can answer. When we reached here it was a naked sage plain,
          bearing very little sage, the land being too poor; but industry
          and a wise and careful application of the water to the soil has
          produced the vegetation here to be seen. For awhile after we came
          here we could occasionally hear of rejoicing from pulpit and
          press that "Joseph Smith, the arch-impostor," as they called him,
          was dead, and that the "Mormons" were driven into the wilderness,
          where they would all perish, and they should never hear anything
          more about them. Yet it only took a few years for them to
          discover that this people were yet alive, and that they were
          living in the exercise of their faith, and making themselves
          felt, known, realized and understood in the world. Now, inasmuch
          as God has thus blessed us and extended to us so many great
          privileges, it is very important that we should abide in the
          faith wherein Christ has made us free, and live in the exercise
          of that religion, and not by any means suffer ourselves to fall
          into snares, temptation, wickedness or evil. We have every reason
          to be thankful to our Heavenly Father for his many blessings.
          Our organization as a church differs widely from almost every
          other. For instance, almost every denomination has, in its
          organization, a plan for the support of a minister--a salaried
          gentleman. When we commenced to preach the Gospel to the world
          without purse or scrip, without money or price, these ministers
          were generally the first to raise the hue and cry, to tar and
          feather, and throw rotten eggs at us; to drive us from our homes
          and tear down our habitations; and in every mob, from the
          commencement to the close of the persecutions, were to be found
          men professing to be ministers of the Gospel; and although the
          denominations to which they belonged might not be disposed to
          persecute, yet they disgraced them by taking part in such
          proceedings. It is said that the men who slew the Savior believed
          they did God service, and it is probable that the ministers,
          professors of religion and others, who, with blackened faces,
          surrounded Carthage jail and murdered, in cold blood, the Prophet
          and Patriarch of the Church, Joseph and Hyrum Smith, thought they
          also were doing God service, although they were guilty of the
          most brutal and disgraceful murders ever perpetrated on the
          There is one thing very peculiar in relation to us. I have
          noticed it from the fact that I have been a student, to some
          extent, of the history of the Puritan fathers who settled in New
          England. It is very well known that they escaped from tyranny in
          their mother country; they were oppressed there in their
          religious faith. Their views were of a different kind to those of
          the established church; and it was in consequence of oppression
          of this kind that they sought a home in the wilds of America; and
          in almost every instance, as soon as they had established a home,
          they commenced making rules and proscribing everybody who
          differed in opinion with themselves. You will notice this,
          especially if you read the early history of Massachusetts. The
          colonists of that State were very stringent in particular items
          of faith and practice. I have always felt a little proud of the
          noble heart of my fourth great-grandfather Zaccheus Gould,
          because he actually had the courage to keep the Quakers at his
          farm the very night after they had been proscribed by the
          colonial government and expelled from Salem, and for this and
          supplying them with the common necessaries of life and then
          allowing them to proceed on their way in the morning, he was
          fined and compelled to stand up in the church, and hear his
          confession read. But I am proud of the feelings and sentiments of
          the man that, although a Puritan, he had so much humanity in him.
          I notice, in looking over the history of New England, that our
          Puritan fathers lacked an understanding of the power of
          principle. If a man preached a sermon that did not please them he
          must leave the colony; he could not retire to his farm, lot or
          inheritance, and there attend to his own business; no, they would
          frequently tear down his house, put him aboard a ship and send
          him away. Numbers of instances of this kind are on record; and
          the sect most noted for its principle of non-resistance to all
          men--the Quakers, were whipped and tarred and feathered, and some
          of them put to death; and numbers of them were expelled from the
          colony, and that, too, by men who, we cannot doubt, believed in
          their own hearts, that they acted from good motives. They did
          these things from a determination that they would cleanse the
          people. Still, after awhile, this feeling wore away.
          I notice, from the very commencement of our settlement of these
          valleys that there never has been a law enacted or regulation
          made but what would affect the interests of all societies and
          denominations alike. There have been no special acts on this
          account. As a matter of course, persons have been cut off the
          Church, but their civil rights, and their privileges under the
          laws have not been in any way abridged. Had our fathers, in New
          England, simply disfellowshipped Mr. Williams as a member of
          their church, and allowed him to baptize people by immersion if
          he choose, it would have been an entirely different thing from
          compelling him to leave the colony.
          This spirit of intolerance is yielding to the march of
          enlightenment, in our own age and day, but still we as a people
          have suffered severely from its effects, for that alone compelled
          us to seek a home in these deserts. But it is gratifying to
          reflect that we have not nourished that spirit of persecution in
          our hearts, for from the time that emigrants commenced passing
          this way up to the present, ministers of every denomination, men
          of repute among their own people, have been called upon and
          invited, and, whenever they have desired it, have had the
          privilege of preaching to our congregations, and have held
          meetings and organized churches in our cities without
          interruption. These facts are before the world. There are scores
          of ministers who have spoken in this stand, many of whom have
          declared to the public that they never spoke to so large an
          audience and never expected to speak in so large a house in their
          lives; but when a Latter-day Saint Elder has called upon them and
          asked for the privilege of preaching, their answer has been in
          effect, "Why, no; I have a right to preach in a heathen temple,
          but I cannot open my temple to a heathen!" Such men dare not
          trust their congregations to hear the truth, or peradventure, to
          hear error. We have had here some of the most eloquent preachers,
          I believe, of the present age; and we were delighted that they
          should display their eloquence in our midst. And if they have
          anything better than we have we want it; and we think it is quite
          right for the younger portions of our community, who have not had
          the privilege of hearing the religions of the day preached in the
          world, to hear them here; and the more of it the better, if they
          desire it. But the elder portion of those who profess our faith
          have generally belonged to or been associated with different
          religious denominations; for as our Elders have preached abroad
          they have gathered from every bundle and of every kind; and that
          portion of our people are as thoroughly acquainted with all the
          religions and the religious tenets taught at the present day as
          any people can be. But it is not so with the younger members of
          our Church, hence when we had a Methodist camp meeting here,
          President Young and the Elders gave an invitation to all the
          people, and especially to the young, to go and hear the teachings
          there given. That was the reason they had such immense
          congregations. The camp meeting did not attract the miners; they
          cared nothing about it; they had seen and known and learned all
          they wished about them long ago. They did not come here to hunt
          Methodism, but silver and gold. But our people turned out,
          especially in the evenings, by thousands, and heard them speak
          and formed their own opinions. I have been at camp meetings in my
          boyhood, and I did not think the one held here a fair
          specimen--not what a camp meeting used to be thirty-five years
          If a faith will not bear to be investigated; if its preachers and
          professors are afraid to have it examined, their foundation must
          be very weak. Those who come into the Church of Latter-day
          Saints, if they are faithful, learn in a short time, and know for
          themselves. The Holy Spirit and the light of eternal truth rest
          down upon them, and you will hear them, here and there, testify
          that they know of the doctrine, that they are acquainted with and
          understand it for themselves.
          There has been a great howl from the pulpit and the press calling
          upon the government of the United States to exert its power to
          suppress a practice in the faith of the Latter-day Saints. Now
          the fact of the case is, it is out of the power of any government
          or nation to regulate religion at the present age; it is a matter
          that must regulate itself. You may drive men from their homes,
          rob them of their possessions, murder their leaders, deprive them
          of their civil and religious rights, but you cannot change their
          opinions by such arguments; and when men have recourse to them it
          only signifies that the foundation upon which their system is
          based is very weak, and that their only hope of enforcing their
          own and suppressing the views of others is by force. Shame on the
          low degraded feelings which prompt such measures. In every land
          freedom of thought and opinion and the liberty to preach and
          practice whatever religion you wish should be guaranteed and the
          only method of manifesting disapproval of the course of others in
          these respects should be to disfellowship them from their
          churches. All should have this privilege. It feels good for a man
          to believe as he pleases; and if you undertake to check this, do
          not put to death, daub with tar and feathers, or tear down the
          dwellings of those who differ from you. Where is the liberty,
          justice and uprightness of such a course? I have been through the
          mill a little, and understand how it feels.
          For my own part, however, I believe that mankind generally are
          getting wiser on this subject. Our Puritan fathers never
          succeeded in forcing their peculiar views on others, and in time,
          even among themselves, everybody could say about what he pleased;
          or at any rate the particular points upon which there was the
          greatest trouble were taken away. So it will be in the present
          It is very well understood that, by many of the people, the law
          of marriage is regarded as something instituted by God; and that
          men, in their laws and regulations on the subject, have
          undertaken to govern their fellows too much. Our fathers Abraham
          and Jacob and many of the prophets took steps in this matter,
          which are now denounced by a large portion of Christendom as very
          wrong; and yet these very persons, in their prayers and
          preachings, claim that they are going to "Abraham's bosom." I can
          tell any man that wishes to murder, rob and plunder, and deprive
          of liberty a Latter-day Saint because he believes and practices
          plurality of wives, that he need never expect to dwell in
          "Abraham's bosom," for Father Abraham will not cast his wives out
          to receive such narrow-minded men. I can further tell them that,
          if ever they come to the gates of the New Jerusalem, they will
          there find the names of the twelve sons of Jacob; and if they
          believe with all their hearts that Jacob and his sons, most of
          whom were polygamists, were wicked men, and most of the sons
          bastards, they had better stay outside; in fact they will not be
          permitted to enter. Unless they can acknowledge these twelve sons
          as lawful and legitimate sons, in accordance with the law of God,
          they will have to stay outside, and "without are dogs, sorcerers,
          whoremongers, idolators," and everybody that loves and makes a
          May God enable us, one and all, to be truly prepared to enter
          through the gates into the city, is my prayer in the name of
          Jesus. Amen.
          Journal of Discourses / Journal of Discourses, Volume 14 /
          Brigham Young, July 23, 1871
                            Brigham Young, July 23, 1871
                          REMARKS BY PRESIDENT BRIGHAM YOUNG
                          At Logan, Sunday, July 23, 1871.
                           (Reported by Miss Julia Young.)
                               AN INCIDENT OF NAUVOO.
          While brother George A. Smith was referring to the circumstance
          of William Miller going to Carthage, it brought to my mind
          reflections of the past. Perhaps to relate the circumstance as it
          occurred would be interesting.
          I do not profess to be much of a joker, but I do think this to be
          one of the best jokes ever perpetrated. By the time we were at
          work in the Nauvoo Temple, officiating in the ordinances, the mob
          had learned that "Mormonism" was not dead, as they had supposed.
          We had completed the walls of the Temple, and the attic story
          from about half way up of the first windows, in about fifteen
          months. It went up like magic, and we commenced officiating in
          the ordinances. Then the mob commenced to hunt for other victims;
          they had already killed the Prophets Joseph and Hyrum in Carthage
          jail, while under the pledge of the State for their safety, and
          now they wanted Brigham, the President of the Twelve Apostles,
          who were then acting as the Presidency of the Church.
          I was in my room in the Temple; it was in the south-east corner
          of the upper story. I learned that a posse was lurking around the
          Temple, and that the United States Marshal was waiting for me to
          come down, whereupon I knelt down and asked my Father in heaven,
          in the name of Jesus, to guide and protect me that I might live
          to prove advantageous to the Saints. Just as I arose from my
          knees and sat down in my chair, there came a rap at my door. I
          said, "Come in," and brother George D. Grant, who was then
          engaged driving my carriage and doing chores for me, entered the
          room. Said he, "Brother Young, do you know that a posse and the
          United States Marshal are here?" I told him I had heard so. On
          entering the room brother Grant left the door open. Nothing came
          into my mind what to do, until looking directly across the hall I
          saw brother William Miller leaning against the wall. As I stepped
          towards the door I beckoned to him; he came. Said I to him,
          "Brother William, the Marshal is here for me; will you go and do
          just as I tell you? If you will, I will serve them a trick." I
          knew that brother Miller was an excellent man, perfectly reliable
          and capable of carrying out my project. Said I, "Here, take my
          cloak;" but it happened to be brother Heber C. Kimball's; our
          cloaks were alike in color, fashion and size. I threw it around
          his shoulders, and told him to wear my hat and accompany brother
          George D. Grant. He did so. I said to brother Grant, "George, you
          step into the carriage and look towards brother Miller, and say
          to him, as though you were addressing me, 'Are you ready to
          ride?' You can do this, and they will suppose brother Miller to
          be me, and proceed accordingly," which they did.
          Just as brother Miller was entering the carriage, the Marshal
          stepped up to him, and, placing his hand upon his shoulder, said,
          "You are my prisoner." Brother William entered the carriage and
          said to the Marshal, "I am going to the Mansion House, won't you
          ride with me?" They both went to the Mansion House. There were my
          sons Joseph A., Brigham, jun., and brother Heber C. Kimball's
          boys, and others who were looking on, and all seemed at once to
          understand and partake of the joke. They followed the carriage to
          the Mansion House and gathered around brother Miller, with tears
          in their eyes, saying, "Father, or President Young, where are you
          going?" Brother Miller looked at them kindly, but made no reply;
          and the Marshal really thought he had got "Brother Brigham."
          Lawyer Edmonds, who was then staying at the Mansion House,
          appreciating the joke, volunteered to brother Miller to go to
          Carthage with him and see him safe through. When they arrived
          within two or three miles of Carthage, the Marshal with his posse
          stopped. They arose in their carriages, buggies and waggons, and,
          like a tribe of Indians going into battle, or as if they were a
          pack of demons, yelling and shouting, they exclaimed, "We've got
          him! we've got him! we've got him!" When they reached Carthage
          the Marshal took the supposed Brigham into an upper room of the
          hotel, and placed a guard over him, at the same time telling
          those around that he had got him. Brother Miller remained in the
          room until they bid him come to supper. While there, parties came
          in, one after the other, and asked for Brigham. Brother Miller
          was pointed out to them. So it continued, until an apostate
          Mormon, by the name of Thatcher, who had lived in Nauvoo, came
          in, sat down and asked the landlord where Brigham Young was. The
          landlord, pointing across the table to brother Miller, said,
          "That is Mr. Young." Thatcher replied, "Where? I can't see any
          one that looks like Brigham." The landlord told him it was that
          fat, fleshy man eating. "Oh, hell!" exclaimed Thatcher, "that's
          not Brigham; that is William Miller, one of my old neighbors."
          Upon hearing this the landlord went, and, tapping the Sheriff on
          the shoulder, took him a few steps to one side, and said, "You
          have made a mistake, that is not Brigham Young; it is William
          Miller, of Nauvoo." The Marshal, very much astonished, exclaimed,
          "Good heavens! and he passed for Brigham." He then took brother
          Miller into a room, and, turning to him, said, "What in hell is
          the reason you did not tell me your name?" Brother Miller
          replied, "You have not asked me my name." "Well," said the
          Sheriff, with another oath, "What is your name?" "My name," he
          replied, "is William Miller." Said the Marshal, "I thought your
          name was Brigham Young. Do you say this for a fact?" "Certainly I
          do," said brother Miller. "Then," said the Marshal, "why did you
          not tell me this before?" "I was under no obligations to tell
          you," replied brother Miller, "as you did not ask me." Then the
          Marshal, in a rage, walked out of the room, followed by brother
          Miller, who walked off in company with Lawyer Edmonds, Sheriff
          Backenstos, and others, who took him across lots to a place of
          safety; and this is the real pith of the story of "Bogus"
          Brigham, as far as I can recollect.
          Journal of Discourses / Journal of Discourses, Volume 14 /
          Brigham Young, August 27, 1871
                           Brigham Young, August 27, 1871
                         REMARKS BY PRESIDENT BRIGHAM YOUNG,
                  Delivered in the New Tabernacle, Salt Lake City,
                          Sunday Morning, August 27, 1871.
                            (Reported by David W. Evans.)
          I have a few words of counsel for the returned missionaries, and
          all the Elders of Israel may heed them if they feel disposed to.
          You hear the Elders, when they return and get up in the stand,
          tell what happy days they have experienced on their missions; how
          they have enjoyed themselves, the Spirit of the Lord has rested
          upon them, how they have spoken to their own astonishment, words
          have been given them that never entered their hearts before, and
          when they have lifted up their voices in the name of the Lord to
          testify of the Gospel of the Son of God they have astonished
          themselves, and so on; you know what they say! Now, I wish to
          make this request: that the Elders who return from missions
          consider themselves just as much on a mission here as in England
          or in any other part of the world. There is no people need
          preaching to more than those who live in this Territory and in
          these mountains. The Latter-day Saints, or those who profess to
          be, need talking to just as much as a child who begins to prattle
          and run around the house. It gets into mischief continually and
          its mother has to keep talking to it to keep it from meddling
          with things that it should not. It does not know how to guide
          itself, and wants guiding and correcting all the time; but not
          more than the Latter-day Saints who gather together. Now, Elders
          of Israel, if you have the harness on, keep it on and lift up
          your voices to the people here and teach them the way of life and
          salvation; and teach obedience to the Priesthood, that they may
          receive the blessings which are promised to them who believe and
          obey the Gospel as it is revealed in the latter days. Will you
          hearken to this counsel, my brethren? I have not the least
          objection to the sisters considering themselves on missions to
          teach their children the way of life and salvation.
          I feel like saying a few words about seeing so many empty benches
          here; but there is some excuse for this, for if you were to take
          this congregation, small as it seems, and try to put it into the
          common halls where our brethren have preached, you would find a
          portion of it out of doors; and very few meeting houses in the
          eastern country would hold the people who are here this morning.
          Still there could be a great many more here. It is true that many
          attend Sunday school with the children in the morning, but if
          children who do not attend school were to receive proper teaching
          from their mothers, they would be at meeting on Sunday morning.
          Mothers, will you be missionaries? We will appoint you a mission
          to teach your children their duty; and instead of ruffles and
          fine dresses to adorn the body, teach them that which will adorn
          their minds. Let what you have to clothe them with be neat and
          clean and nice. Teach them cleanness and purity of body and the
          principles of salvation, and they will delight to come to these
          meetings. I attribute the wandering of our young people to the
          teachings of their mothers. You see young ladies here wandering
          after the fashions of the world; I attribute it to their mothers,
          and the mothers know but little more than their daughters. If you
          will take this counsel, and begin and teach your children as you
          should, we will have more here of a morning than we have
          generally. There are a great many people in this city who should
          attend meeting on a Sunday morning--enough to fill this house,
          besides those who go to Sunday school. When they were in the
          lands where they were hated and the finger of scorn was pointed
          at them, they delighted only in the society of their brethren;
          and when they had an opportunity to escape from their arduous
          labors, they would travel day or night to meet with the Saints.
          But here everything is so free, so easy and delightful, that they
          are here, there and everywhere but where they should be. A few
          Latter-day Saints, however--and I think the majority of them, are
          doing the best they know how. But our brethren, when they return
          from their missions, complain at what they see, and I do not
          wonder. Will you, Brother Dewey, set the example and come to
          meeting every Sunday? or shall I, in a few Sundays, hear that you
          are gone on a pleasure excursion, that you are riding out here or
          there? How will it be with Brother Shipp and others who have been
          speaking? How long will it be before we hear that you have gone
          on the railroad to Wasatch or somewhere else on a pleasure
          excursion, or to your farm or to visit your brethren? There is
          one thing that we have to meet with here. In our community we
          have a few from the Society of Friends; we commonly call them
          Quakers. As far as I have known them, and I have known them as
          long as I can remember, if they do not work or visit on the
          Sabbath, they will mourn the whole week. They are so free and
          independent that they want to show the whole human family that
          they have no more regard for one day than another, and especially
          the Sabbath day. We have to meet with this influence here as well
          as other things; and unless our Quaker friends who come into the
          Church are continually led they will never come to meeting; they
          are sure to be fishing, going after hay or hunting their cattle;
          and these practices have their influence on others.
          I wish to say to the Elders and mothers in Israel: teach your
          children as they should be taught and you will find they will
          never stray from the path of rectitude. There is more depending
          upon mothers than is generally supposed. You may take any nation
          in the world, and just let the mothers say there should not be a
          soldier in the army, and kings might call for soldiers, but they
          would be disappointed if they expected to obtain any. Mothers
          bear more influence in the nations of the earth than they are
          aware of. Take my counsel, and teach your children how to live,
          teach them to pray, to come to meeting; teach them to love the
          Lord and to believe and read the Bible, and when they grow up
          they will delight in doing right.
          As for the so-called Christian world, all I wish to say about it
          I can say in a few words. Yesterday, when talking about the
          priests, I discovered there was considerable humor in our beloved
          brother who has been speaking to us this morning, and I joked
          him; and I will joke him again a little more severely, by telling
          a little anecdote of Sir Francis Train; you have all heard of
          George Francis Train, I call him "Sir" Francis. He says, in
          speaking of a certain dignitary, "Just sit down and tell me all
          you know in five minutes!" I make that application to all the
          so-called Christian divines--sit down and tell all you know about
          God, heaven and hell in five minutes; you can do it, it does not
          require any more time, for you know nothing. They say they
          believe the Bible; but if, when they open and read it, any one of
          them can discriminate, and tell what part to believe and what to
          reject, let that man come forth, speak by the power of God and
          draw the line that we may know the truth; but if they have no
          revelation on the subject, let them lay their hands on their
          mouths, and them in the dust, and cry, "unclean!" So much for the
          so-called Christian world. As I said to our brother yesterday, I
          have been routed from a good home and plenty of means five times;
          but I never was routed from home and possessions without priests
          led the mob, never! And yet among the priests of the day there
          are a great many good, honest men. But in most of the communities
          in the world, those who are unruly, boisterous and wicked, can
          commit acts of wickedness, and those who are just will stand and
          look on until the evil is performed and wonder what is going on.
          There are thousands and thousands of people in the United States
          who deprecated the injuries that we received from the hands of
          mobs; but what did they do? Stood and looked on until all was
          over, and then said, "I pity them." How much did they pity us? We
          had to pity and take care of ourselves, and we have learned to do
          it; but we do not say that all people are mobbers, or that all
          will persecute, for they will not; and I meet with a great many
          ministers who are gentlemen, who have hearts within them, and I
          bid them God speed! Do what good you can.
          How often I have talked about the missionary system of
          Christendom! It is true that we do not believe in it exactly as
          they do, for we believe in sending out men without purse or
          scrip, that they may prove the people and see who will or will
          not feed a servant of God; and in this manner our Elders have
          traversed almost every nation on the face of the globe. But these
          Christian Missionary Societies have done an immense amount of
          good, and they will have the credit for it. God has got their
          credit marks, and he will justify them as far as they go; but
          when light comes into the world that they have not conceived of,
          and they reject it, what will be their condemnation? Let the Lord
          Now, you Elders of Israel, I turn to you again--you missionaries.
          I see a few of you here who have just returned home, but a good
          many are wanting. There are places here for all, but they are not
          here. They have been home a few weeks and what are they doing?
          Visiting with their families, or perhaps gone to the kanyon after
          wood; and those who have just come home complain of the coldness
          of the people and that many are turning away from the
          commandments of the Lord. I say to those who complain of these
          things--see that you do not do likewise! Come to meeting and be
          ready to talk here. Our religion, our Gospel, is not to train a
          few men in all the sophistry that learning can impart, and enable
          them to address a congregation and nothing else; but our
          ministers or preachers work all the week in the store, at the
          mechanic's bench, on the farm, in the kanyon, or at whatever is
          wanted to be done, and when Sunday morning comes they get up here
          and preach a sermon; and if they cannot do that, we consider they
          do not possess the spirit of their mission. It is not so with the
          world. Our Elders must support themselves with their hands, as
          Paul did. I do not care whether they are tent makers or boat
          makers, let them earn their own living. I have. For my part, I
          consider that the honor God bestowed upon me in calling me to the
          holy ministry was enough for me to think it was my duty to
          support myself in this ministry and do honor to the cause,
          without asking any people for help. I have done so. I did, I
          believe, have a few shillings given to me when in England. When I
          landed there I had five shillings left. I stayed there a year and
          sixteen days, and when we left one of the best ships in Liverpool
          docks tied up eight days for the sake of bringing us home; and
          merchants and banking houses were at our service. I did business
          there in printing and dealing, and so on; but it did not tarnish
          my hands, nor stain my spirit, not in the least, and it would not
          to-day. We must live, and we must sustain ourselves, and come to
          meeting, and be ready also to attend ward meetings. Do not come
          and ask me if you may go to preach, pray or lay hands on the
          sick. Ask God to give you faith to perform your duties, to walk
          humbly before him, and to build up his kingdom on the earth. That
          is your duty. Yes, preach every night, we need a reformation
          here. Attend meetings in the various wards. Take your turns
          around from one ward to another. Preach to the people until they
          get the spirit of their mission and calling. We all have a
          mission as much at home as in a foreign land, and may God help us
          to improve upon and magnify it!
                         REMARKS BY PRESIDENT BRIGHAM YOUNG,
                  Delivered in the New Tabernacle, Salt Lake City,
                         Sunday Afternoon, August 27, 1871.
                            (Reported by David W. Evans.)
          First of all, I will inform this congregation and the world of
          mankind at large with regard to the life and character of Joseph
          Smith. As a prophet it only requires age to make his character as
          sacred as that of any man that ever lived on the face of the
          earth. I want to say a few words with regard to temperance. We
          are a temperate people; this is what we have set out to be. We
          have lived in this city a good many years, and, until recently,
          when a stranger arrived here and wanted to purchase liquor, he
          had to inquire, "Where can I find a place where they sell
          liquor?" It was not to be found; and I will say that such places
          would not be found to-day among this people or in these mountains
          were it not for the urgent request of outsiders. We have to bow
          down to the wishes and customs of our fellow-men. There are a
          great many men here now in the mining interests, and they want to
          put up where they can purchase liquor, for many of them drink. As
          for the temperance societies which we have been hearing about, I
          can say that with all the stringency in getting laws passed to
          prevent the sale or use of liquor in the Eastern States, when
          those who were determined to obtain it could do so in no other
          way, they would get what appeared to be a beautifully bound book,
          with "Pilgrim's Progress" on the outside, but in the inside it
          would be full of whiskey. As for our saying that the inhabitants
          of the earth shall stop using ardent spirits, we may say it, but
          they will not mind us. As far as the Latter-day Saints are
          concerned, we have rights, others have rights--all have rights;
          and I would to God that what our enemies say, with regard to the
          word of Brigham Young being law to the Latter-day Saints, was
          true; but it is not.
          General Riley has been talking to us about temperance societies;
          the principles he advocates are excellent, first-rate. More than
          fifty-five years ago, in the same county where he lived, I was
          asked to sign a pledge. This was when I was a boy. He is about
          five years my senior. We are acquainted with the same people,
          towns, counties, neighborhoods and districts, and we have
          traveled the roads, and built up the towns and were acquainted in
          the country, and we know and understand its character at the
          present time.
          Some people here take the liberty to sell and dispose of their
          liquor without license from the city. We have a city here--an
          organized city; we have our municipal laws; we have officers for
          this city appointed by the legislative power and enactments of
          this Territory; and we have somebody or other here, who say, "You
          have no law here only what we give you, and you shall know that
          we are the law to this people!" And are not our city officers
          under bonds of some sixty thousand dollars in the aggregate for
          spoiling a nasty place carried on contrary to law? Yes, they are,
          and held to bail by government officers. Well, what do we care
          about it? Nothing. That goes to a higher court, with a great many
          other matters. They will go to a court, I hope, of justice.
          But we keep liquor here; we are obliged to do it to accommodate
          our neighbors who come here; and some Latter-day Saints take the
          liberty of drinking. As far as these are concerned they have a
          right to get drunk; but we have rights, and have a right to
          disfellowship them, or cut them off from the Church, and we
          calculate to do it whenever it ought to be done. We have been
          found fault with because we cut people off from the Church! What
          do you suppose the so-called Christian world care about our
          Church? Nothing on the face of the earth only to annihilate it.
          That is all they care for us, poor sinners, in the mountains.
          What do they care about our selling liquor? Nothing, if it will
          only lead our young men to destruction. That is what they want.
          Men are sent here, ostensibly, to guard the rights of the people,
          but in reality to destroy the people. What was the counsel and
          advice of Mr. Cass when the army of King James came here in 1857?
          Said he, "Send an army of young men to Utah to decoy and destroy
          the young women there, and that will break up 'Mormonism.'" There
          are men here now who seem to think that it is their imperative
          duty to sustain, at all hazards, everybody in all acts which are
          opposed to the Gospel.
          General Riley has been preaching temperance to the Latter-day
          Saints. I do wish they would observe it. And I will go a little
          further and say, I would like to see them leave off, not only all
          intoxicating drinks, but those narcotic drinks--tea and coffee,
          and the men their tobacco. Our lecturer, I believe, observes all
          these things. Look at him; if it was not for his grey head you
          would not suppose him to be over thirty-five years old; and I
          expect he could run a pretty good foot race. What has done this?
          Temperance. What has preserved me? Temperance. I was a young man
          in the same county with him, and young men would say to me, "Take
          a glass." "No, thank you, it is not good for me!" "Why, yes, it
          is good for you." "Thank you, I think I know myself better than
          you know me." Even then I said, "I do not need to sign the
          temperance pledge." I recollect my father urged me. "No, sir,"
          said I, "if I sign the temperance pledge I feel that I am bound,
          and I wish to do just right, without being bound to do it; I want
          my liberty;" and I have conceived from my youth up that I could
          have my liberty and independence just as much in doing right as I
          could in doing wrong. What do you say? Is this correct? Am I not
          a free man, have not I the power to choose, is not my volition as
          free as the air I breathe? Certainly it is, just as much in doing
          right as in doing wrong; consequently I wish to act upon my own
          volition, and do what I ought to do. I have lived a temperate
          life; I feel as though I could run through a troop and leap over
          a wall.
          Shall we preach to the Latter-day Saints? Yes. I thank the
          gentleman for his good counsel to you, Latter-day Saints. Observe
          it; and I say to strangers, I do wish you would observe it. I
          wish you would say to us, "Down with the grogshops!" If the
          strangers who come here to hunt minerals; those who are working
          them; those who are poor and those who are rich, and all classes,
          if they would say, "Down with the grogshops," the thing would be
          soon done. Talking, I understand from the General, has an
          influence among the people, in helping to form public opinion.
          This is true; and if by talking we can turn the tide of the
          feelings of those who visit us, so that they will be in favor of
          the City Council passing an ordinance for closing drinking holes,
          they would soon be closed. We can say that we are not bowing down
          to the wishes of any person in the world any further than it is
          true policy to let every person have his rights. We can stop this
          drinking and shut up these grogshops here. I do not go down the
          streets to see them, and never have from the time the filth came
          into the streets. I did when the Latter-day Saints traded one
          with another in their stores, and there was no liquor, no
          swearing or low conduct, but every person meeting with and
          hailing his neighbor like a friend and brother; but for twelve
          years not a man or woman in this room has seen me walk down
          through what I call "Whiskystreet." My eyes do not wish to see
          it. I never wish to hear another oath, or to see another evil
          action performed, for it is just as much as the people can do to
          revolutionize their own feelings and to overcome the evil within
          themselves without having to come in contact with the evils of
          I will say with regard to the so-called Christian world, and the
          moral reform of which they talk so much, that they are an utter
          failure, so far as stemming the tide of evil among men is
          concerned; and if this Gospel that Jesus has revealed in the
          latter days does not do it, it will not be done. But we say it
          will be done. We shall continue our course, praying the Father in
          heaven to assist us in preaching the principles of righteousness,
          and we shall drive the wedge a little further and a little
          further, and by and by the world will be overturned according to
          the words of the prophet, and we will see the reign of
          righteousness enter in, and sin and iniquity will have to walk
          off. But the power and principles of evil, if they can be called
          principles, will never yield one particle to the righteous march
          of the Savior, only as they are beaten back inch by inch, and we
          have got to take the ground by force. Yes, by the mental force of
          faith, and by good works, the march forth of the Gospel will
          increase, spread, grow and prosper, until the nations of the
          earth will feel that Jesus has the right to rule King of nations
          as he does King of Saints. We are in this work, and we calculate
          to pursue it too; and we are not the least afraid. As I have told
          my brethren and sisters a thousand times, I have but one fear,
          and that is that the Latter-day Saints will not do just right.
          There is no fear in the life of the man or woman who will serve
          God with all his heart, keep His commandments, love mercy, eschew
          evil and promote the principles of right and righteousness upon
          the earth. Is this so? Yes, and I bear testimony to it.
          I will turn again to the Latter-day Saints and to the world, and
          will say I would to God that the Latter-day Saints would take the
          word of Brigham Young to be law! I will defy the inhabitants of
          the whole earth to tell one word that he ever counseled that was
          wrong; or to point out a path that he ever advised man or woman
          to walk in but would lead to light, life, glory, immortality, and
          to all that is good or desirable by the intelligence that dwells
          upon the earth. What do you say, is that boasting? If any person
          has a mind to call it boasting, do so. It is righteousness that
          we want, it is purity and holiness that we are after. We are
          preaching to the people far and near; our Elders are traveling
          through the earth; strangers are coming here, and we are
          declaring to them that the Gospel of the Son of God is true.
          Whether they believe or not, it is no matter. That book (the
          Bible) contains the words of the Almighty, and I will repeat a
          few of them. Jesus says, "If ye love me, keep my commandments."
          What do you say, hearers, is that correct? I look at the
          Christian world, and I say that the Lord Almighty must set up His
          kingdom, just as Daniel has said; and all the ordinances of that
          kingdom must be observed by its inhabitants, or it cannot go
          forth, be established and bring in the reign of Christ on the
          earth. The few words of Jesus which I have repeated, you can read
          for yourselves. We had some read this afternoon; and we can turn
          over the pages of the Bible and read for ourselves; but do not
          take one passage and say, "That is mine, but I will abandon all
          the rest, it is out of date." No, sir, take the Bible just as it
          reads; and if it be translated incorrectly, and there is a
          scholar on the earth who professes to be a Christian, and he can
          translate it any better than King James's translators did it, he
          is under obligation to do so, or the curse is upon him. If I
          understood Greek and Hebrew as some may profess to do, and I knew
          the Bible was not correctly translated, I should feel myself
          bound by the law of justice to the inhabitants of the earth to
          translate that which is incorrect and give it just as it was
          spoken anciently. Is that proper? Yes, I would be under
          obligation to do it. But I think it is translated just as
          correctly as the scholars could get it, although it is not
          correct in a great many instances. But it is no matter about
          that. Read it and observe it and it will not hurt any person in
          the world. If we are not to believe the whole of the Bible, let
          the man, whoever he may be, among the professed Christians, who
          thinks he knows, draw the line between the true and the false, so
          that the whole sectarian world may be able to take the right and
          leave the wrong. But the man Christ Jesus, who has revealed
          himself in the latter days, says the Bible is true and the people
          must believe it. Let us believe it, and then obey it; for Jesus
          says, "If ye love me, keep my commandments." I do not know
          anything about loving God and not keeping His commandments. I do
          not know anything about coming to Jesus only by the law he has
          instituted. I do know about that. I know of the bright promises
          which he gave to his disciples anciently. I live in the
          possession of them, and glory in them and in the cross of Christ,
          and in the beauty and holiness that he has revealed for the
          salvation and exaltation of the children of men. I do wish we
          would live to them, and may the Lord help us.
          Journal of Discourses / Journal of Discourses, Volume 14 /
          Brigham Young, Sept 16, 1871
                            Brigham Young, Sept 16, 1871
                         REMARKS BY PRESIDENT BRIGHAM YOUNG,
                  At the Funeral Services of Miss Aurelia Spencer,
                in the 13th Ward Assembly Rooms, September 16, 1871.
                            (Reported by David W. Evans.)
                         OUR PRESENT LIFE--THE SPIRIT WORLD.
          There has been considerable said, and well said, with regard to
          our existence, and I will say this: As for the Gospel of the Son
          of God, it is here; as for the Priesthood, it is here; as for the
          keys of Priesthood, they are here and are enjoyed by this people
          called Latter-day Saints. A few words to my friends. To preach or
          talk to the dead I have never undertaken to; I talk to the living
          on such occasions as this. We are assembled this morning to pay
          our last respects to the remains of a beloved sister, and we meet
          here with cheerfulness. It is not quite three years since we met
          in this room to pay our respects to the remains of this young
          lady's father. She has now gone to try the realities of another
          existence--to another department of the life and the lives that
          God has bestowed upon His children. This life is preparatory to a
          more exalted state of existence. We have a certain amount of
          intelligence here, but in the life to come we shall have more. We
          see the life and growth of the human family, and to those
          ignorant of the object of our creation, the process presents a
          very strange phenomenon; but to those who do understand, it is
          rational, plain and easy to be understood, and in fact they see
          it is necessary that it should be just as it is. You step into a
          room and you perhaps see a mother attending a sick child of a few
          weeks or months old; and helpless and totally dependent upon
          others as the infant is, it is no more so than we all have been,
          for every member of the human family passes through the same
          process that we behold day after day in our own houses and in the
          houses of our neighbors. An infant, if sick, cannot tell what
          ails it, cannot make any signs whatever to tell what is the
          matter or what remedy is necessary in its case. But it grows, and
          as it does so it increases in intelligence; it learns to talk and
          can say, "My head aches," "My eye pains me," "I have hurt my hand
          and it pains me," "I want a drink of water," or "I want something
          to eat," and it goes on step by step, and thus we see the growth
          and development of the whole human family illustrated through its
          various stages from infancy to youth, manhood and old age, until
          we finally drop back again to mother earth, from whence we came.
          Is it not remarkable? We have all travelled the same road to get
          here, and we shall all travel the same road to leave this
          department to get into another one.
          What are we here for? To learn to enjoy more, and to increase in
          knowledge and in experience. We behold the starry heavens, but we
          know nothing of them comparatively. We behold space, but cannot
          comprehend it. We have an existence here on the earth, but the
          generality of mankind do not comprehend the nature or object of
          it. We, the Latter-day Saints, however, have a little smattering
          of knowledge respecting the design of our Creator in placing us
          here. It has been observed that we are in ignorance, and so we
          are with regard to many things, and especially about the future.
          It is not wisdom for us to understand the future, unless upon
          certain principles. Those principles are divine, and when we
          understand the future and eternity upon divine and holy
          principles, we are satisfied with our own existence, for we
          understand the object of it. But take the human family, the great
          mass of human beings who swarm in creation, and convince them
          that their state would be better when they step from this to the
          next world, and let them have no knowledge beyond this and the
          crime of self-destruction, which has been mentioned here to-day,
          would be far more prevalent than it is now, especially among the
          wicked. How many there are who say, "I wish I was better off, for
          I am in a sad condition!" Is this the case with most of the human
          family? It is, and the majority say in their hearts, if not with
          their tongues, "I wish I was in different circumstances; I am
          poor, I am afflicted, I am sorrowful, I am without friends and
          home, and am here on the earth like a lost one and know not what
          to do;" and make them understand that their condition would be so
          much better when they pass the veil and many of them would be
          guilty of self-destruction. The Lord has, therefore, wisely
          hidden the future from our view.
          The Latter-day Saints have some knowledge respecting their future
          lives and destiny; the Lord has revealed this knowledge. We know
          the design of our Father in heaven in creating the earth and in
          peopling it, and bringing forth the myriads of organizations
          which dwell upon it. We know that all this is for His glory--to
          swell the eternities that are before Him with intelligent beings
          who are capable of enjoying the height of glory. But, before we
          can come in possession of this, we need large experience, and its
          acquisition is a slow process. Our lives here are for the purpose
          of acquiring this, and the longer we live the greater it should
          be. For instance, the experience of a person like our deceased
          sister here, of twenty or twenty-one years of age, although she
          knew a good deal, is not equal to that of a person of fifty,
          sixty, seventy or eighty years of age; but now she has stepped
          through the door--the partition separating this from the next
          state of existence, she will continue to labor just as much as
          she has done the last year or the last five years. Nothing
          remains here for us but to pay our last respects to that which
          came from mother earth. It was formed and fashioned and the
          spirit was put into it, and it has grown and become what it is,
          and the spirit having departed, the body lies ready to return to
          the bosom of its mother, there to rest until the morning of the
          resurrection. But the life and intelligence which once dwelt in
          that body still live, and Sister Aurelia moves, talks, walks,
          enjoys and beholds that which we cannot enjoy and behold while we
          are in these tabernacles of clay. She is in glory; she has passed
          the ordeals and has reached a position in which the power of
          Satan has no influence upon her. The advantage of this Priesthood
          that Brother George A. Smith has been talking about is that when
          persons yield obedience to it, they secure to themselves the
          sanction of Him who is its author, and who has bestowed it upon
          the children of men. His power is around them and defends them;
          and when they pass into the spirit world they are out of the
          reach of the power of Satan, and they are not liable to be
          tempted, hunted, and chased as the wicked are, although the
          wicked may rest and enjoy far more there than here; but a person
          who obeys the Priesthood of the Son of God is entirely free from
          this. Where the pure in heart are the wicked cannot come. This is
          the state of the spirit world.
          I will say to Sister Spencer and the relatives and friends of the
          deceased--Do not wish her back again. I do not suppose you do;
          and I will say, further, that if you could talk with her, and she
          with you, as you could a short time since, you could not prevail
          upon her to come back, if she had the power to do so. You might
          say to her, "You have not finished your work, you might do a
          great deal for your dead relatives," but her reply would be to
          this effect: "There are plenty on the earth, if they will
          believe, to perform all the ordinances necessary." "Well, but you
          have not entered upon your womanhood, and have not become a
          mother in Israel." "No matter, I see, understand, and know what
          is before me, and the time will come when, inasmuch as I was
          faithful to the Priesthood, I shall possess and enjoy all that I
          now seem to have been deprived of by my death." This is a
          consolation, is it not?
          I have asked the people of the world sometimes what will become
          of the infants who die. Take the masses of the human family, and
          I do not think that any rational person amongst them will, for a
          moment, admit that they will go to a place of punishment. But
          whatever opinions may prevail on this subject, the fact is they
          return to the Father, as Jesus says, "Suffer little children to
          come unto me, and forbid them not, for of such is the Kingdom of
          Heaven." Yes, the children must return to the Father: they came
          from and were nursed and cherished by Him and the heavenly host,
          and when they are called to pass the ordeal of death, they go
          right back into His presence. But what of the ungodly parents of
          the tabernacles of these children, will they have the privilege
          of going there? No, where God and Christ are they cannot come.
          Perhaps some of them may have had an offer of the Gospel and
          rejected it, then what will become of the children? They swarm in
          the Courts of Heaven; there are myriads and myriads of them there
          already, and more are going continually. What are you going to do
          with them? Perhaps I might say somebody will have the privilege
          of saying to our young sisters who have died in the faith, "I
          design so many of these children for you, and so many for you,
          and they are given you by the law of adoption, and they are yours
          just as much as though you had borne them on the earth, and your
          seed shall continue through them for ever and ever." It may be
          thought by some that when young persons die they will be cut
          short of the privileges and blessings God designs for His
          children; but this is not so. The faithful will never miss a
          blessing through being cut off while here. And let me say to my
          brethren and sisters, that it is not the design of the Father
          that the earthly career of any should terminate until they have
          lived out their days; and the reason that so few do live out
          their days, is because of the force of sin in the world and the
          power of death over the human family. To these causes, and not to
          the design of the Creator, may be attributed the fact that
          disease stalks abroad, laying low the aged, middle-aged, youth,
          and infants, and the human family generally by millions. Some
          think that not one-half of those born live to the age of twelve
          years; others think that one-half die before reaching fifteen or
          seventeen years; but, be that as it may, it is not the design of
          our Father in heaven that it should be so. However, here we are,
          and we have to meet with these obstacles, and if we are not able
          to overcome them we have to yield, and this is why we lose our
          children, our young men and women, and those near and dear to us.
          We do not know what to do for the sick, and if we send for a
          doctor he does not know any more than anybody else. No person
          knows what to do for the sick without revelation. Doctors, by
          their study of the science of anatomy, and by their experience,
          by feeling the pulse, and from other circumstances may be able to
          judge of many things, but they do not know the exact state of the
          stomach. And again, the operations of disease are alike on no two
          persons on the face of the earth, any more than the operations of
          the spirit of God are alike on any two persons. There is as much
          variation in these respects as there is in the physiognomy of the
          human family; hence, when disease seizes our systems, we do not
          know what to do, and death often overcomes us, and we bury our
          friends. This is hard for us, but what of it? We will follow
          them, they will not come back to us. The time will come when they
          will come back, but that will be when Jesus comes. We shall be
          with them then; but we shall perhaps sleep in the dust long
          before that time, that is, many of us. Perhaps some in this house
          will live until Jesus and the Saints come, but I expect to sleep.
          I have no promise of living until then. I can say with regard to
          parting with our friends, and going ourselves, that I have been
          near enough to understand eternity so that I have had to exercise
          a great deal more faith to desire to live than I ever exercised
          in my whole life to live. The brightness and glory of the next
          apartment is inexpressible. It is not encumbered with this clog
          of dirt we are carrying around here so that when we advance in
          years we have to be stubbing along and to be careful lest we fall
          down. We see our youth, even, frequently stubbing their toes and
          falling down. But yonder, how different! They move with ease and
          like lightning. If we want to visit Jerusalem, or this, that, or
          the other place--and I presume we will be permitted if we
          desire--there we are, looking at its streets. If we want to
          behold Jerusalem as it was in the days of the Savior; or if we
          want to see the Garden of Eden as it was when created, there we
          are, and we see it as it existed spiritually, for it was created
          first spiritually and then temporally, and spiritually it still
          remains. And when there we may behold the earth as at the dawn of
          creation, or we may visit any city we please that exists upon its
          surface. If we wish to understand how they are living here on
          these western islands, or in China, we are there; in fact, we are
          like the light of the morning, or, I will not say the electric
          fluid, but its operations on the wires. God has revealed some
          little things with regard to His movements and power, and the
          operation and motion of the lightning furnish a fine illustration
          of the ability and power of the Almighty. If you could stretch a
          wire from this room around the world until the two ends nearly
          met here again, and were to apply a battery to one end, if the
          electrical conditions were perfect, the effect of the touch would
          pass with such inconceivable velocity that it would be felt at
          the other end of the wire at the same moment. This is what the
          faithful Saints are coming to; they will possess this power, and
          if they wish to visit different planets, they will be there. If
          the Lord wish to visit His children here, He is here; if He wish
          to send one of His angels to the earth to speak to some of His
          children, he is here.
          When we pass into the spirit world we shall possess a measure of
          this power; not to that degree that we will when resurrected and
          brought forth in the fullness of glory to inherit the kingdoms
          prepared for us. The power the faithful will possess then will
          far exceed that of the spirit world; but that enjoyed in the
          spirit world is so far beyond this life as to be inconceivable
          without the Spirit of revelation. Here, we are continually
          troubled with ills and ailments of various kinds, and our ears
          are saluted with the expressions, "My head aches," "My shoulders
          ache," "My back aches," "I am hungry, dry, or tired;" but in the
          spirit world we are free from all this and enjoy life, glory, and
          intelligence; and we have the Father to speak to us, Jesus to
          speak to us, and angels to speak to us, and we shall enjoy the
          society of the just and the pure who are in the spirit world
          until the resurrection.
          I will say to Sister Spencer and to the relatives and friends of
          the deceased, Dry up your tears, live your religion; we have
          nothing to sorrow for here without it is for sinful conduct. I
          say also to my young brothers and sisters, live your religion,
          and try to fill up the measure of your creation in usefulness;
          you have a work to do to prepare for a more exalted sphere than
          this. Outsiders have a great deal to say about the trials of our
          females. Are the trials of our females to compare with the
          sorrows that the wicked world have to pass through? Not by any
          means. Their sorrow and grief are unto death. Our trials are to
          make us perfect and to prepare us for the reward of the just. Is
          there a female here that has had a glimpse of even the glories of
          the next world. If there is, she rejoices in the labor of love in
          this world to do good and prepare for her exaltation.
          She does not know but she may be there to-morrow morning. We have
          no lease to our lives. Who knows but some one of us will meet
          with an accident going from this house and will be in eternity in
          half an hour from this time? This life is given to prepare for
          the next. You will not drop off there as here: you will stay
          there, except those who are destroyed by the second death. Well,
          then, what is this world? I am sorry to see any one so enveloped
          in ignorance as to see nothing else but the enjoyment of this
          world, or to hear them say, "Oh this is all that I can ask for, I
          want my riches and finery that I may enjoy the society of the
          rich and gay, and I want to lavish upon myself and family all
          that heart can wish." The whole wicked world is in this condition
          of mind, no matter who they are, from kings, queens, and emperors
          on their thrones down to the laborer in his humble cot; but true
          happiness is unknown amongst them. They do not enjoy themselves,
          and all their pleasures leave a pang or sting behind. The rich
          and great may pass a few hours in visiting their friends, or they
          may glut themselves with the luxury of the earth, but all this
          leaves a sting behind. The humble, faithful Saints care not for
          this. They know this earth is not their permanent abiding place,
          and when they look forward to eternity, the prospect is bright
          and glorious. "Yes, there is my home, there is my family, there
          are my friends, there is my heaven, there is my Father, and I am
          going to dwell with Him to all eternity." These are the hopes and
          aspirations of every heart, and the expressions of every faithful
          Saint; and they will learn more and more and be exalted from one
          degree of glory to another until they become Gods, even the sons
          of God. Then what is this earth in its present condition? Nothing
          but a place in which we may learn the first lesson towards
          exaltation, and that is obedience to the Gospel of the Son of
          God bless you, my friends.
          Journal of Discourses / Journal of Discourses, Volume 14 / Orson
          Pratt, August 20, 1871
                            Orson Pratt, August 20, 1871
                           DISCOURSE BY ELDER ORSON PRATT,
                  Delivered in the New Tabernacle, Salt Lake City,
                              Sunday, August 20, 1871.
                            (Reported by David W. Evans.)
          I will read a few sayings of our Savior, recorded in the second
          and third verses of the 14th chapter of the Gospel according to
          St. John:
          "In my Father's house are many mansions; if it were not so, I
          would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you."
          "And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and
          receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also."
          It is not very customary for the Latter-day Saints to select a
          text and to confine their remarks to the subject matter thereof;
          yet I do not know that there is any particular harm in doing so,
          provided we do not limit the operations of the Spirit of God upon
          ourselves. It is my most earnest desire, when addressing a public
          assembly, to understand the mind and will of God in relation to
          what should be said to them. No man, by his own wisdom,
          understands the wants of his fellow-creatures in all respects,
          but the Spirit of the Most High understands the circumstances of
          all the people, and that spirit, having all power and wisdom, is
          capable of moving upon the hearts of His servants to speak in the
          very moment what is most adapted to the condition of the people.
          I listened with great interest this forenoon to the many subjects
          which were briefly touched upon by Elders Woodruff and Smith, one
          of which, in a particular manner, seemed to rest with
          considerable bearing upon my mind: that was the condition of
          mankind in a future state, and the principalities, powers,
          glories, dominions, and exaltations that will be enjoyed by the
          true Saints. This is a subject of special interest to the
          Latter-day Saints, and we should look forward with feelings of
          great joy in anticipation of the future, and we should understand
          what is necessary for us to do in this short life, to secure the
          great blessings promised to the faithful hereafter. Jesus, in the
          passage I have read, has informed the world that there are many
          mansions in his Father's house. This, however, was not spoken
          especially to the world, but to the Apostles and Disciples who
          were gathered around him. The Father's house! There is a great
          deal comprehended in these words. Where is it, and what kind of a
          house may we conclude it to be? Are we to understand by the term
          house, used in this passage, small buildings such as are erected
          for our residence, here on earth, and if not, what are we to
          understand? I understand that God is a Being who, as the
          Scriptures declare, inhabits eternity. Eternity is His dwelling
          place, and in this eternity are vast numbers of worlds--creations
          formed by His mighty hands; consequently when we speak of the
          Father's house we are to understand it in the Scriptural sense,
          in the idea that is conveyed by many of the inspired writers. It
          is declared in many places that eternity is His habitation. He is
          not the God of one little world like ours; He is not a Being who
          presides over a few isolated worlds in one part of eternity, and
          all the rest left to go at random; He is not confined to the
          worlds that are made, comparatively speaking, to-day; but all
          worlds, past, present, and future, from eternity to eternity, may
          be considered His dominions, and His places of residence, and He
          is omnipresent. Not personally; this would be impossible, for a
          person can only be in one place at the same instant, whether he
          be an immortal or a mortal personage; whether he be high,
          exalted, and filled with all power, wisdom, glory, and greatness,
          or poor, ignorant, and humble. So far as the materials are
          concerned, a personage can only occupy one place at the same
          moment. That is a self-evident truth, one that cannot be
          controverted. When we speak, therefore, of God being omnipresent
          we do not mean that His person is omnipresent, we mean that His
          wisdom, power, glory, greatness, goodness, and all the
          characteristics of His eternal attributes are manifested and
          spread abroad throughout all the creations that He has made. He
          is there by His influence--by His power and wisdom--by His
          outstretched arm; He, by His authority, occupies the immensity of
          space. But when we come to His glorious personage, that has a
          dwelling place--a particular location; but where this location
          is, is not revealed. Suffice it to say that God is not confined
          in His personal character to one location. He goes and comes; He
          visits the various departments of His dominions, gives them
          counsel and instruction, and presides over them according to His
          own will and pleasure.
          But if eternity is His house, habitation, or residence, what are
          the mansions referred to by our Savior, mentioned in the text? I
          understand them to be places that the Creator has constructed
          like this present world of ours; for this world, in its future
          history and progress, will no doubt become one of the mansions of
          the Father, wherein His glory will be made manifest as it is in
          many other redeemed worlds. I consider that this idea of mansions
          has reference more especially to celestial mansions, or worlds
          that have been redeemed and made celestial. God has formed more
          worlds than can possibly be enumerated or numbered by man. If it
          were possible for man to count the particles of this little earth
          of ours; if he were able to enumerate the figures that would
          express these particles, it would scarcely be a beginning to the
          number of the mansions which God has made in the eternal ages
          that have passed--mansions that were made, first temporal and
          afterwards redeemed and made eternal. Mansions, no doubt,
          constructed somewhat similar to the one we now inhabit; and in
          the eternal progression of worlds they rise upwards and still
          upwards until they are glorified and are crowned with the
          presence of Him who made them, and become eternal in their
          duration, the same as our earth will eventually become. We know,
          according to the declaration of the Scriptures, that our earth
          was made some few thousands years ago. How long the progress of
          formation lasted we do not know. It is called in the Scriptures
          six days; but we do not know the meaning of the scriptural term
          day. It evidently does not mean such days as we are now
          acquainted with--days governed by the rotation of the earth on
          its axis, and by the shining of the great central luminary of our
          solar system. A day of twenty-four hours is not the kind of day
          referred to in the scriptural account of the creation; the word
          days, in the Scriptures, seems oftentimes to refer to some
          indefinite period of time. The Lord, in speaking to Adam in the
          garden, says, "In the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt
          surely die;" yet he did not die within twenty-four hours after he
          had eaten the forbidden fruit, but he lived to be almost a
          thousand years old, from which we learn that the word day, in
          this passage, had no reference to days of the same duration as
          ours. Again, it is written, in the second chapter of Genesis, "In
          the day that He created the heavens and the earth;" not six days,
          but, "in the day" that he did it, incorporating all the six days
          into one, and calling that period "the day" that He created the
          heavens and the earth.
          When this world was formed, no doubt, it was a very beautiful
          creation, for God is not the author of anything imperfect. If we
          have imperfections in our world God has had nothing to do with
          their introduction or origin, man has brought them upon himself
          and upon the earth he inhabits. But however long or short may
          have been the period of the construction of this earth, we find
          that some six thousand years ago it seems to have been formed,
          something after the fashion and in the manner in which it now
          exists, with the exception of the imperfections, evils, and
          curses that exist on the face of it. Six thousand years,
          according to the best idea that we have of chronology, are now
          about completed; we are living almost on the eve of the last of
          the six millenniums--a thousand years are called a
          millennium--and to-morrow, we may say, will be the seventh; that
          is the seventh period, the seventh age or seventh time; or we can
          call it a day--the seventh day, the great day of rest wherein our
          globe will rest from all wickedness, when there will be no sin or
          transgression upon the whole face of it, the curses that have
          been brought upon it being removed, and all things being restored
          as they were before the Fall. The earth will then become
          beautified, not fully glorified, not fully redeemed, but it will
          be sanctified, and purified, and prepared for the reign of our
          Savior, whose death and sufferings we have this afternoon
          commemorated. He will come and personally reign upon it, as one
          of the mansions of his Father; and after the thousand years have
          passed away, and wickedness is permitted again, for a short
          season, to corrupt the face of the earth, then will come the
          final change which our earth, or this mansion of our Father, will
          undergo. A change which will be wrought, not by a flood of
          waters, or baptism, as in the days of Noah, cleansing it then
          from all its sins; but by a baptism of fire and of the Holy
          Ghost, which will sanctify and purify the very elements
          themselves. After the seventh millennium has passed away the
          elements will be cleansed, or in other words, they will be
          resolved into their original condition--as they were before they
          were brought together in the formation of this globe. Hence John
          says, in the 20th chapter of Revelation: "I saw a great white
          throne and Him that sat thereon, from before whose face the
          heavens and the earth fled away, and there was no place found for
          Now, this fleeing away of the literal heavens, and of the earth
          on which we dwell with all it contains, will be similar to the
          destruction or death of our natural bodies. We might say, with
          great propriety, when a man is martyred or burned at the stake,
          his body has fled away, its present organization is dissolved,
          and its elements are resolved into their original condition, and
          perhaps united with and dispersed among many other elements of
          our globe; but in the resurrection these elements are brought
          together again and the body reorganized, not into a temporal or
          mortal tabernacle, but into an eternal house or abiding place for
          the spirit of man. So the earth will pass away, and its elements
          be dispersed in space; but, by the power of that Almighty Creator
          who organized it in the beginning, it will be renewed, and those
          elements which now enter into the composition of our globe, will
          again enter into the composition of the new heavens and the new
          earth, for, says the Prophet John, "I saw a new heaven and a new
          earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had fled away."
          He then beheld two cities, as is recorded in the 21st chapter of
          Revelation, descending from God out of heaven. The first one is
          called the New Jerusalem. The description of this city is not
          given in this chapter; we have no information regarding its size,
          or the number of its gates, and the height of the walls; all that
          we know is that John saw it descend out of heaven. Afterwards he
          was taken off into a high mountain and saw a second city descend
          out of heaven. A description of this, called the "Holy City," is
          given. The number of the gates, the height of the walls, the
          nature of the houses, the streets, and the glory of the city are
          plainly given in the revelation. But when the first city, called
          the New Jerusalem, descended, he heard a voice say, "Behold the
          tabernacle of God is with men, henceforth there shall be no more
          death, neither sorrow nor crying, for the former things have
          passed away and all things are made new." This will be the final
          transformation of this earth, and when that is effected it will
          become one of the mansions of our Father. It will be redeemed,
          or, we might say resurrected after it passes away. That renewed
          state will be eternal, it will never be changed; and it will be
          the eternal residence of those disciples to whom Jesus was
          addressing the words of the text.
          Where will Jesus be? What is the particular creation assigned to
          him? I answer that our globe will become the abiding place of all
          the Saints from the days of Father Adam until the time that it
          passes away and is renewed again and becomes glorified, after
          which the tabernacle of God will be with men, and he will wipe
          away all tears from their eyes, and this creation from that time
          henceforth and for ever will be free from sorrow; and from that
          period to all the ages of eternity there will be no more death,
          for death will be swallowed up in victory. The curse that came by
          the Fall will be entirely removed, and God, Himself, will light
          up the world with His glory, making of it a body more brilliant
          than the sun that shines in yonder heavens.
          Some may inquire, "Do you think the sun is a glorified world?"
          Yes, in one sense. It is not yet fully glorified, redeemed,
          clothed with celestial power, and crowned with the presence of
          the Father in all the fullness and beauty of a celestial mansion,
          because it is still subject to change more or less. If it were
          fully glorified; if it had passed through its temporal existence
          and had been redeemed, glorified, and made celestial, and had
          become the eternal abiding place of celestial and glorified
          beings, it would be far more glorious than our eyes could behold,
          the eyes of mortality could not endure the light thereof. We can
          endure and rejoice in its present light and glory. It gives light
          and heat to the surrounding worlds, and thus renders them fit
          habitations for intelligent human beings. But were it glorified,
          as it will be hereafter, and as our earth will be, men such as we
          are, clothed with mortality, would be overpowered, we could not
          stand in the presence of its glory without being consumed. This
          earth, therefore, is destined to become one of the heavenly
          And now, with regard to its being the place of the habitation of
          the Saints for ever and ever, let me quote some proofs in
          relation to it from the Scriptures. Jesus, in his great and
          beautiful sermon on the mount, has told us of the blessings that
          should rest on his people, among which he says, "Blessed are the
          meek, for they shall inherit the earth." This certainly could not
          have had reference to this temporal existence, for look at the
          meek who lived on the earth in the first ages of Christianity.
          Did they inherit the earth? No. What was their destiny? To wander
          about in sheep skins and goat skins, dwelling in the dens and
          caves of the earth, not being counted worthy by the wicked to
          receive an inheritance with them, yet Jesus said, "They shall
          inherit the earth." When? If they do not inherit it before death
          they must after the resurrection. In proof that they will inherit
          it after the resurrection, let me refer you to the testimony of
          John, recorded in the fifth chapter of Revelation. John saw a
          great company of Saints in the presence of God the Father, and
          except those who were resurrected at the time of the resurrection
          of Christ they were the spirits of men. They were singing a
          beautiful song, the purport of which was emigration. They had it
          in view to emigrate from their present home or location in the
          celestial paradise to some other place, and their song reads
          something like this: "Thou art worthy to take the book and to
          open the seals thereof, for thou wast slain, and by thy blood
          hast redeemed us from all nations and kindreds and peoples and
          tongues, and hast made us unto our God kings and priests, and we
          shall reign on the earth." This is the place of their future
          residence, and they rejoiced much in the anticipation of
          returning to their mother earth, the place of their nativity;
          they rejoiced exceedingly at the prospect of getting back again
          to their old homestead. They were absent a little season because
          of the wickedness that covered the earth, they were absent a
          little season because death overpowered their mortal tabernacles.
          The Fall had brought them down to the grave, but they rejoiced
          that the grave would no longer hold its captives. These spirits
          from all nations, kindreds, tongues, and peoples were rejoicing
          in the great day when they should receive their resurrected
          bodies and return again to their old homestead--the earth, to
          receive their kingdoms, thrones, and dominions. "We shall reign
          on the earth!" Not come to be persecuted and driven about as the
          meek always have been when the wicked have had power; not come to
          be scattered, peeled, and driven, as the ancient Saints were; not
          to be sawn asunder, beheaded, persecuted, and buffeted, as the
          servants and Saints of God have always been; but they will come
          here to reign: "Thou hast made us kings and priests unto God, and
          we shall reign on the earth." The period during which they were
          to reign, as mentioned in the 20th chapter of Revelation, was one
          thousand years, and this was the introduction to their eternal
          reign. "Blessed and holy is he who hath part in the first
          resurrection," for on such the second death can have no power,
          and all such shall be priests to God and to Christ, and they
          shall reign with Him a thousand years. In their song they did not
          stretch forth to that eternal reign on the earth which will
          commence after the one thousand years have ended and the earth
          has passed away and been renewed. That was too glorious a theme
          to be recorded by John and for the inhabitants of the earth in
          their corrupt and fallen state to become acquainted with. If they
          rejoiced with such exceeding great joy in the prospect of
          returning to reign only for a thousand years, before the earth
          was fully redeemed, glorified, and made new, how much greater
          would be their joy, and how much more glorious would be the song,
          if they could see themselves made kings and priests to God, and
          knew they were about to commence a reign on the earth which would
          endure throughout the countless ages of eternity.
          To prove that mankind, when they come out of their graves, will
          come into possession of the earth, let me quote a very familiar
          passage from the 37th chapter of Ezekiel. Ezekiel lived in the
          midst of a people who had apostatized in a great measure from the
          religion of their fathers, and who began to think that their hope
          was lost, and that they were cut off from inheriting the promises
          made to their fathers, because they saw that their fathers for
          many generations were dead and gone, and neither they nor their
          seed had come into possession of the Promised Land, according to
          the prediction made in the days of Abraham and Jacob. You
          recollect that the Lord promised Abraham and Jacob that they
          should have the land of Palestine for an everlasting possession.
          Not only their seed, but they themselves, Abraham and Jacob, were
          to inherit it everlastingly. Well might the Jews, when
          considering these promises, and looking upon the bones of Jacob
          and their old forefathers, who were righteous men, bleaching, as
          it were, in their sepulchers, be ready to find fault and say:
          "Our bones are dried, our hope is lost, the promise is not
          fulfilled, and we are cut off from our portion--that is the
          promised land given to us for an everlasting inheritance." The
          Lord, to do away with such wicked and erroneous notions which
          were prevalent among the apostates of Israel, carried Ezekiel
          into the midst of a valley full of bones, and then told him to
          prophesy unto those bones and to say unto them: "O ye dry bones,
          hear the word of the Lord. Thus saith the Lord unto these bones:
          Behold I will bring up flesh and sinews upon you and will cover
          you with skin," etc. And Ezekiel prophesied as he was commanded,
          and as he prophesied there was a great noise and a shaking and
          the bones came together, bone to its bone. And while he was
          examining these numerous skeletons, without either flesh, sinews,
          or skin, "Lo, the sinews and flesh came upon them and the skin
          covered them above, but there was no breath in them." Then the
          Lord said unto the Prophet: "Prophesy unto the wind, son of man,
          and say to the wind, thus saith the Lord God, come from the four
          winds, O breath, and breathe upon these slain that they may live.
          So I prophesied as He commanded me, and the breath came into them
          and they lived and stood upon their feet, an exceeding great
          Now, if we were to go to uninspired men and ask them the meaning
          of this, they would say it was the conversion of sinners to
          newness of life; but the Lord had another interpretation, which
          you will find in the following verse: "Son of man, these bones
          are the whole house of Israel," including the old patriarchs,
          including their forefathers for many generations. The people in
          Ezekiel's day said, "Our bones and the bones of our fathers are
          dry, and our hope is lost, for we are not brought into the
          inheritance of the land of Palestine, etc.," but the Lord, by
          this parable of the valley of dry bones, wished to do away with
          this lack of faith among Israel, and His interpretation of it was
          this: "Behold, I will open your graves and I will bring you up
          out of your graves, and will bring you into the land of Israel."
          Notice now, the Lord did not say He would take them off to some
          unknown region in the immensity of space, according to the
          notions of some of our modern poets, who look forward to a
          heavenly place beyond the bounds of time and space. When a boy I
          used frequently to attend the Methodist meetings, though I never
          joined any religious society; but I recollect a very beautiful
          hymn they used to sing about being wafted away to a heaven of
          some kind. I will repeat two or three lines of the hymn:
          "Beyond the bounds of time and space,
                Look forward to that heavenly place,
                The Saints' secure abode."
          I did not, at that early period of my life, see the inconsistency
          of this, and being very much charmed with the beautiful tune, I
          thought, of course, that the words were all right, until I, in
          after years, reflected upon the subject, and began to understand
          about the future residence of the Saints. I then could not
          understand the description of the heaven they sang about, I could
          not comprehend how any place could be located outside the bounds
          of space, which is illimitable, and has no bounds, consequently I
          concluded that it was merely the poet's flight, and that it was
          not a scriptural doctrine, for when I came to the Scriptures I
          found that the heavenly place spoken of by the ancient prophets
          that we are to look forward to is in our land, if we can find
          where that is. There are a great many people, though, who will
          not have any land, for the Lord never gave them any. A great many
          generations have lived without securing any land except by human
          laws, that the Lord never had anything particular to do with, and
          only permitted for the good order of society. But all human laws
          must perish when the Lord comes, for then the world will be
          governed by divine laws, and blessed are the people who have
          secured their landed estates from the Great Creator, who owns the
          earth, having created it by His own power, and who can give it to
          whomsover He will. He gave to the righteous among the house of
          Israel the land of Palestine and the regions round about, and He
          says: "Behold I will open your graves and bring you into your own
          land, and you shall know that I am the Lord." When the Lord has
          brought them out of their graves and has placed them in the land
          which He gave to their fathers they will fully comprehend that He
          will fulfil His promise. I would like to dwell on this subject
          further, and in doing so to refer you to the 37th Psalm, and to
          many sayings of the Lord to Moses about inheriting the earth for
          ever, and so on; but we will pass by that to some other things
          that are on my mind.
          We heard this forenoon that, when the Saints come into the
          possession of their everlasting inheritance and are exalted as
          glorified and eternal beings, to the increase of their posterity
          there would be no end. "No end!" What does that mean? It means
          that it will be eternal,--that there never will be a period
          throughout all the future ages of eternity, but what they will be
          increasing and multiplying, until their seed are more numerous
          than the dust of the earth or the stars of heaven. They will
          multiply throughout all the ages of eternity, and the earth will
          be their head-quarters. There is another principle connected with
          this. "What is it," inquires one? They will not only people
          worlds, but they will create them. There is room enough to
          accomplish this when we consider that space is boundless. There
          is no end to the worlds that might be formed, for the materials
          existing in space from which to form them are infinite in
          quantity, and consequently can never be exhausted; for that which
          is infinite can, by no process whatever, be exhausted, no matter
          how many millions or myriads of creations may be formed out of
          it; and, consequently, though millions and millions, through
          their observance of the higher law that pertains to exaltation
          and glory, should be counted worthy to receive this earth as
          their everlasting inheritance; and should these millions and
          millions multiply their seed until they are as the sands on the
          sea shore for multitude, yet there is room in boundless space for
          new creations and materials enough for the creation of new
          worlds, and for this innumerable offspring to spread forth and
          people them. Certainly they could not all dwell here: the earth
          would be overrun by them after awhile, but this would be one of
          the heavenly mansions, and their head-quarters. And here comes in
          another doctrine. This forenoon you heard many of the principles
          and doctrines touched upon wherein this people differ from the
          outside world. I will now briefly call your attention to one.
          We believe that we are the children of our parents in heaven. I
          do not mean our tabernacles, but our spirits. That being that
          dwells in my tabernacle, and those beings that dwell in yours;
          the beings who are intelligent and possess, in embryo, all the
          attributes of our Father in heaven; the beings that reside in
          these earthly houses, they are the children of our Father who is
          in heaven. He begat us before the foundations of this earth were
          laid and before the morning stars sang together or the sons of
          God shouted for joy when the corner stones of the earth were
          laid, as is written in the sayings of the patriarch Job. In the
          midst of all the patriarch's trials the question was put to him:
          "Job, where wast thou when I laid the corner stones of the earth,
          when the morning stars sang together for joy?" Job did not
          pretend to answer the question, but left it for the Lord. But the
          question was highly suggestive of a pre-existence, and of the
          fact that Job existed before Adam was placed in the Garden of
          Eden. Not his body, but the living being who inhabits the body,
          who thinks and reasons, and moves the body by his will, and that
          lives when the body is mouldering in the dust; that being or
          those beings who shouted together when the corner stones of the
          earth were laid. Why did they rejoice and shout together for joy
          when the corner stones, or rather, when the nucleus was formed
          around which the materials of this globe were gathered together?
          Because, being intelligent, and knowing the path that led to
          immortality and exaltation, they saw a prospect before them of
          walking therein. But the point to which I wish to direct your
          attention now is a fact of a pre-existence,--a principle believed
          in by this people, and which is new to them and the world
          generally; but it is not new, for it was taught in ancient times,
          and is a scriptural doctrine. Solomon says when the body is laid
          down the spirit will return to God who gave it. Now would there
          be any sense in that doctrine if we had never been there before?
          Could I say I will return to China, when I have never been to
          China. No, the word "return" would not correctly express the
          idea. If the spirit returns to God, it has been there before, and
          we are only strangers here, having been sent forth from our
          Father's house to one of His mansions in its imperfect state.
          What for? To try us and give us experience, to place us in a
          school in which we may learn some things that we never could have
          learned if we had stayed at home, where we were at the time this
          earth was formed. By and by we will return home again. There is
          something comforting in the anticipation of returning home when
          we have been away for a long time; but if we never had been in
          heaven, in our Father's house; if we never had associated with
          the heavenly throng and had never beheld our Father's face we
          could not realize the feelings we now realize when we reflect
          that we are going back to where we once dwelt. Happy thought, to
          think that the memory, now clogged so that we cannot pierce the
          veil and discern what took place in our first estate, will by and
          by be quickened again and that we will wake up to the realities
          of our past existence. When a man goes to sleep at night he
          forgets the doings of the day. Sometimes a partial glimpse of
          them will disturb his slumbers; but sleep as a general thing, and
          especially sound sleep, throws out of the memory everything
          pertaining to the past; but when we awake in the morning, with
          that wakefulness returns a vivid recollection of our past history
          and doings. So it will be when we come up into the presence of
          our Father and God in the mansion whence we emigrated to this
          world. When we get there we will behold the face of our Father,
          the face of our mother, for we were begotten there the same as we
          are begotten by our fathers and mothers here, and hence our
          spirits are the children of God, legally and lawfully, in the
          same sense that we are the children of our parents here in this
          world. We are so called in the scriptures. It is written in the
          epistle of James: "Shall we not much rather be in subjection to
          the father of our spirits?" Again, we read that Jesus was with
          the Father from before the foundation of the world; and in his
          last prayer he prayed that he might be restored to that glory
          which he had with the Father before the world was.
          Now, who is Jesus? He is only our brother, but happens to be the
          firstborn. What, the firstborn in the flesh? O no, there were
          millions and millions born in the flesh before he was. Then how
          is he the firstborn? Because he is the eldest--the first one born
          of the whole family of spirits and therefore he is our elder
          brother. But why these spirits came to inherit mortal tabernacles
          is a question worthy of consideration. This world is full of sin,
          sorrow, affliction, and death, and mankind see nothing, as it
          were, but mourning and sorrow, from their birth until they go
          down to the grave; then why send these heavenly spirits to dwell
          in mortal tabernacles, corrupt, fallen, and degraded as we are in
          this world? It is to learn, as I have already said, certain
          lessons that we never could learn up in yonder mansions. Learn to
          understand by experience many things pertaining to the flesh that
          we never could learn there, that when we should be redeemed by
          the blood and atonement of our elder brother, the firstborn of
          every creature, and brought back into the mansions whence we
          emigrated we might appreciate that redemption, and understand and
          comprehend it by experience and not by precept alone. We might
          bring up many arguments with regard to experimental knowledge.
          Who that is born blind can know by experience, or in any other
          way, the nature of light? No one. You might tell the blind man,
          who never saw the first glimmer of light about its beauties, you
          might speak of its various hues and colors, and of the benefit of
          being able to see, but what could you make him understand? He
          would not know light from anything else, and when you had talked
          to him for a hundred years about the beauty of light, he would
          not have a comprehension of it. Why? For the want of experience;
          he must experience the sense of sight or he cannot understand its
          worth. When his eyes are opened and the light beams forth upon
          the optic nerve it creates a new experience, by calling into play
          a new sense, and he learns something he did not before
          comprehend. He could not learn it by being taught. So in regard
          to coming from yonder heavenly creations to this world. We learn
          by our experience many lessons we never could have learned except
          we were tabernacled in the flesh.
          But another and still greater object the Lord had in view in
          sending us down from yonder world to this is, that we might be
          redeemed in due time, by keeping the celestial law, and have our
          tabernacles restored to us in all the beauty of immortality. Then
          we will be able to multiply and extend forth our posterity and
          the increase of our dominion without end. Can spirits do this?
          No, they remain single. There are no marriages among spirits, no
          coupling together of the males and females among them; but when
          they rise from the grave, after being tabernacled in mortal
          bodies, they have all the functions that are necessary to people
          worlds. As our Father and God begat us, sons and daughters, so
          will we rise immortal, males and females, and beget children,
          and, in our turn, form and create worlds, and send forth our
          spirit children to inherit those worlds, the same as we were sent
          here, and thus will the works of God continue, and not only God
          himself, and His Son Jesus Christ have the power of endless
          lives, but all of His redeemed offspring. They grow up like the
          parents; that is a law of nature so far as this world is
          concerned. Every kind of being begets its own like, and when
          fully matured and grown up the offspring become like the parent.
          So the offspring of the Almighty, who begot us, will grow up and
          become literally Gods, or the sons of God. Here is another
          doctrine wherein we differ from the world, perhaps not so much
          differ either, for they do sometimes believe in that passage of
          scripture which speaks of Gods. "If they call them Gods unto whom
          the word of God comes," says Jesus, or words to that effect, "why
          then do you find fault with me because I make myself the Son of
          God?" If those prophets and inspired men, such as Abraham, Isaac,
          Jacob, Moses, Samuel, and others to whom the word of God came
          were Gods in embryo why do you find fault with the only begotten
          of the Father, so far as the flesh is concerned, because he makes
          himself the Son of God? We, then, shall become Gods, or the sons
          of God.
          This puts me in mind of a certain vision that John the Revelator
          had on the Isle of Patmos. On that occasion he saw one hundred
          and forty-four thousand standing upon Mount Zion, singing a new
          and glorious song; the singers seemed to be among the most happy
          and glorious of those who were shown to John. They, the one
          hundred and forty-four thousand, had a peculiar inscription in
          their foreheads. What was it? It was the Father's name. What is
          the Father's name? It is God--the being we worship. If, then, the
          one hundred and forty-four thousand are to have the name of God
          inscribed on their foreheads, will it be simply a plaything, a
          something that has no meaning? or will it mean that which the
          inscriptions specify?--that they are indeed Gods--one with the
          Father and one with the Son; as the Father and Son are one, and
          both of them called Gods, so will all His children be one with
          the Father and the Son, and they will be one so far as carrying
          out the great purposes of Jehovah is concerned. No divisions will
          be there but a complete oneness; not a oneness in person but a
          perfect oneness in action in the creation, redemption, and
          glorification of worlds.
          I thought I would make a few remarks on these subjects, inasmuch
          as they were broached this morning. You begin to understand,
          strangers, what the Latter-day Saints' views are in regard to the
          multiplication of the human species to all ages of eternity. You
          begin to understand what is meant by that passage in the New
          Testament in the writings of Paul, that the man is not without
          the woman in the Lord, neither is the woman without the man. You
          will find it in the eleventh verse of the eleventh chapter of
          Paul's First Epistle to the Corinthians. Here is a mystery which
          the whole religious world perhaps have not understood. They
          suppose that old maids and bachelors are just as honorable in the
          sight of God as though they were married. It is not so according
          to the words of Paul. If a man be in the Lord he must not be
          without the woman and the woman must not be without the man. Why?
          Because there is an eternal union to exist in the marriage
          covenant between the male and female to carry out and fulfil
          those great purposes of which I have been speaking--namely, the
          peopling of the mansions of our Father in the future. And those
          mansions will multiply to all eternity; there will be no end to
          the increase of worlds, and no end to the inhabitants of those
          worlds; and the father of the spirits who go forth, take
          tabernacles, and are redeemed, will be king over his own sons and
          daughters in the eternal worlds, through all the ages of
          eternity. He will not go and rob his neighbor of his children to
          set up a kingdom of his own. He must have a woman in the Lord,
          and the woman must have a man in the Lord if they ever carry out
          the great and eternal purposes of which I have been speaking.
          Much might be said in this connection with regard to the doctrine
          of plurality of wives. There is a difference between the male and
          the female so far as posterity is concerned. The female is so
          capacitated that she can only be the mother of a very limited
          number of children. Is man thus capacitated? Was not Jacob the
          patriarch of old capable of raising posterity by all his wives?
          He certainly was; and were not many of the ancient prophets and
          inspired men capable of raising twenty, forty, fifty, or a
          hundred children, while the females could only raise a very
          limited number on an average. In the resurrection, when the four
          wives of Jacob come out of their graves, will he divorce three of
          them and only keep one? or will they all multiply and spread
          forth their dominions under the old patriarch while eternal ages
          shall last? and would a monogamist have power to fill a world
          with spirits sooner than a polygamist? Which would accomplish the
          peopling of a world quickest, provided that we admit this eternal
          increase, and the eternal relationship of husband and wife--after
          the resurrection as well as in this world? In that state they do
          not marry nor give in marriage. Why? Because marriage is an
          ordinance that has to be attended to here, and unless it is
          secured in this life for eternity it cannot be secured in the
          resurrection, for they neither marry nor are given in marriage
          there. They do not baptize after the resurrection, they do not
          confirm and administer the ordinances pertaining to this life
          after the resurrection. All these things have to be attended to
          here, then we have a claim to the blessings here and hereafter.
          If a man would obtain an eternal increase and eternal kingdoms
          without number for his posterity to inhabit, under the direction
          and control of Him who is King of kings and Lord of lords, he
          must secure the right to these blessings in this life. When Adam
          and Eve were married they were married for eternity, from the
          very fact that they were united together before they fell, before
          death entered into the world. Death was not considered in the
          marriage covenant. The first example of marriage on record was
          between two immortal beings--two beings who would have lived
          until now if they had not sinned, and the end of that marriage
          covenant would never have come; but notwithstanding this,
          throughout the whole Christian world, when the marriage ceremony
          is performed the minister stands up and says: "I pronounce you
          husband and wife until death does you separate;" when death
          separates you the marriage covenant is at an end. Can they live
          together after the resurrection by virtue of these covenants made
          by uninspired men? No. Why? Because they were only married for a
          certain definite period, and that was until death, when that
          comes the time is run out. The covenant is no longer binding. It
          is not legal in the sight of heaven for eternity. But when a man
          is united to a woman by virtue of that priesthood which has power
          to seal on the earth and it is sealed in heaven, their marriage
          covenant is not dissolved, but it will stand and be good and
          lawful as long as eternity endures, just like the covenant
          entered into by our first parents. Perhaps you may think that
          Brother Pratt is rather enthusiastic and fanatical in his ideas
          to suppose that immortal beings can multiply; but I would ask any
          person who has read the first and second chapters of Genesis if
          the command which was first given to multiply was not given to
          two immortal beings who had not yet fallen? If, therefore, two
          immortal beings, were then commanded to multiply, why should it
          be thought incredible that immortal beings who are raised from
          the grave and restored to all that which Adam and his wife
          possessed before the Fall, should have the power to do the same?
          Then again, it oftentimes happens that a monogamist, or the man
          with but one wife, loses that wife; and by the Scriptures he is
          permitted to marry again. If he loses a second wife it is lawful
          for him to marry a third wife, and so on. Now if we admit the
          eternal covenant of marriage between the first pair--two immortal
          beings, and that they were commanded to multiply, then, if the
          same order of marriage is to be continued, and we become
          immortal, and all the man's three wives who have died in
          succession come up out of the grave, must he divorce all but one,
          or will he have them all? And if he must divorce any, which must
          he divorce, and which must he claim? Does not everything that is
          consistent and reasonable, and everything that agrees with the
          Bible show that plurality of wives must exist after the
          resurrection? It does, or else there will be a breaking up of the
          marriage covenant.
          I do not know but I ought to apologize for detaining you so long;
          but the subject is interesting to my own mind and I trust it has
          been interesting to the hearers.
          Journal of Discourses / Journal of Discourses, Volume 14 / John
          Taylor, October 8, 1871
                            John Taylor, October 8, 1871
                           DISCOURSE BY ELDER JOHN TAYLOR,
                  Delivered in the New Tabernacle, Salt Lake City,
                              Sunday, October 8, 1871.
                            (Reported by David W. Evans.)
          We are met here in a conference capacity, and have assembled
          ostensibly, and in reality, to confer together about the general
          interests of the church and kingdom of God upon the earth. The
          authorities from the distant settlements are here to represent
          themselves and their people, and a great many are here from the
          surrounding settlements to listen to the teachings that may be
          given, to the business that may be transacted, to the doctrines
          that may be promulgated, and in general to make themselves
          acquainted with the spirit of the times, with the obligations
          that devolve upon them; and the various responsibilities that
          rest upon all parties.
          We meet, then, as I have said, to consult on the general
          interests of the church and kingdom of God upon the earth, and
          not upon our own peculiar ideas and notions, to carry out any
          particular favorite theme or to establish any special dogma of
          our own devising; nor do we meet here to combine against men; but
          to seek, by all reasonable and proper means, through the
          interposition and guidance of the Almighty, and under the
          influence of His Holy Spirit, to adopt such means and to carry
          out such measures as will most conduce to our individual
          happiness; the happiness of the community with which we are
          associated; to the establishment of correct principles; to the
          building up of our faith, and strengthening us in the principles
          of eternal truth; to our advancement and progress in the ways of
          life and salvation, and to devise such measures and carry out
          such plans as will best accord with the position and relationship
          we occupy to God, to the world we live in, and to each other.
          So far as the principles of truth are concerned they are like the
          Author of truth--"the same yesterday, to-day, and for ever." No
          change has taken place in the programme of the Almighty in regard
          to His relationship with men, the duties and responsibilities
          that devolve upon men in general, or upon us, as the elders of
          Israel and representatives of God upon the earth. Years ago, when
          we listened to the glad tidings which had been again revealed to
          man, by the opening of the heavens and by the revelations of God,
          we rejoiced in the great principles of truth that were then
          divulged. The gospel that we then obeyed brought peace to our
          bosoms; for it enlightened the eyes of our understandings and
          gave us a knowledge of our standing with and relation to the
          Almighty; made us acquainted with the position we occupy in
          relation to the living and the dead; opened up a way whereby we
          might pour blessings on the latter, and, as ancient patriarchs
          and servants of God did, by which we could confer blessings on
          unborn generations. That gospel unfolded unto us some of those
          glorious principles associated with the present position and
          future destiny of man. The work in which we are engaged is like
          the Great Jehovah--eternal and unchangeable. It emanated from
          God, and was imparted to man by revelation. By obedience to that
          gospel we received the Holy Ghost, which partook of the things of
          God and showed them unto us. That spirit imparted light, truth,
          and intelligence, which have continued to be manifested to the
          church of the living God and to all who are faithful in that
          church up to the present time.
          Men have their ideas and theories and notions, their views of
          morality, politics, science, and philosophy; we have our ideas in
          relation to God, to angels, to eternity and to our responsibility
          to God and to the world; and acting upon that faith we go forth
          in the name of Israel's God to accomplish that destiny which God
          has placed in our hands. God has decreed certain things with
          regard to the earth and the people who live on it. He has
          revealed unto His servants, the prophets, certain things that
          should transpire in connection with the world and its
          inhabitants, and we are left no longer to the wild chaos of
          fleeting thought that exists everywhere in the world; for God has
          placed us under His inspiration, given unto us a knowledge of His
          law, revealed unto us His purposes, drawn back the curtain that
          intervenes between man and his heavenly Father, and divulged unto
          us His will, designs, and purposes concerning us. We know for
          ourselves of the truth of those principles that God has revealed,
          and if in former days Paul could say, "Ye are our witnesses, as
          also is the Holy Ghost who bears witness unto us," it can be said
          more emphatically of this day. This assembly now before me have
          received the gospel of Jesus Christ, the Holy Ghost accompanying
          that gospel; and every man and woman present who has lived the
          religion of Jesus Christ has the witness of the truth of the work
          they have obeyed, and they are ready with one acclaim to
          pronounce: "We are His witnesses, as is also the Holy Ghost which
          bears witness unto us." You, my brethren and sisters, know of the
          truths of that gospel which you have received, and you are not
          indebted for that knowledge to any organization that exists under
          the face of the heavens, other than the one you are now
          associated with. No philosophy, no religious combination, no
          school, no doctors of divinity, no priesthood of any order
          revealed unto you the principles which you are in possession of.
          The gospel that you received, you received "not of man nor by
          man, but through the influence of the Spirit of God and the power
          of the holy priesthood that administered it." This you know now,
          and this you then knew. It is no wild phantom, no idle theory, no
          notion propagated by man; but it is the word of eternal life, the
          revelations of God, the gospel of Jesus Christ, the principles of
          eternal truth, which you have received, from the God of truth,
          through the medium of that priesthood which He has organized on
          the earth; and this you know, realize, and understand for
          yourselves. You understood it years ago, and you understand it
          to-day. It is the same gospel, the same priesthood, the same
          principles of truth; it imparts the same hope, fills the bosom
          with the same joy, disperses that uncertainty and doubt that
          dwell in the bosoms of unbelievers, and opens to the view of the
          believer visions of "glory, honor, immortality and eternal
          lives." And there is nothing in this world that can change these
          feelings--no vain philosophy, no political influence, no
          combinations of any kind that can root out of the mind these
          principles of eternal truth which are inspired and implanted
          there by the spirit of the living God. They are written on the
          tablets of the heart in characters of living fire, and they will
          burn and extend while time exists or eternity endures. So far
          then we feel comforted and blessed. If others are satisfied with
          their views, all right. If a man wants to be a Methodist,
          Presbyterian, Roman Catholic, Shaker, or Quaker, all right, he
          can be what he pleases; but let me have my religion. Let me have
          principles that will draw aside the curtain of futurity and
          introduce me to those scenes that exist behind the veil. Let me,
          as an immortal being, know my destiny pertaining to time and
          eternity, and the destiny of my brethren and friends, and of the
          earth that I live upon; let me have a religion that will lead me
          to God, and others may take what they please, it is immaterial to
          me. I have no quarrel with them. They can have their own ideas
          and carry out their own views, so far as I am concerned,
          untrammelled, if they will let me have mine. Let me be surrounded
          with the panoply of truth, let me have the favor of Jehovah, let
          me associate with angels and the heavens, and eternity be opened
          to my view, and be placed in such a relationship with God that He
          can communicate His will to me, and I ask no more of this world.
          I have no complaint to make about anybody, I don't even complain
          of the devil. I know that he was sent here for a certain
          purpose--to carry out the purposes of God, and God did not even
          banish him His presence when the sons of God met together, for
          the devil was also among them, and we need not be surprised at
          anything of that kind now. When the Lord asked him where he came
          from, said he, "I came from wandering to and fro in the earth."
          What did he do in the earth? Not much good, and, I presume, all
          the evil he could. And I presume it was absolutely necessary that
          there should be devils, or there would not have been any.
          Years and years ago, I preached abroad among the nations of the
          earth, and I see around me here many of my brethren, the elders,
          whose heads are now as grey as mine, who did the same. We
          preached to many of you who are here, and told you that the world
          would wax worse and worse, deceiving and being deceived. Did we
          not preach this doctrine? I think we did, ten, twenty, thirty,
          and forty years ago. We told you then that in consequence of the
          wickedness that would exist upon the earth, thrones would be cast
          down, empires be demoralised, and that wars and bloodshed would
          exist upon the face of the earth, and that God would arise and
          vex the nations and bring them to judgment, because of their
          iniquities. Is it anything astonishing that these words should be
          fulfilled? Why, they are the words of truth! They were spoken by
          the spirit of revelation, and were in accordance with the
          revelations given to ancient men of God, who spoke as they were
          moved upon by the Holy Ghost, and who, while rapt in prophetic
          vision, saw and foretold what should transpire on the earth. God
          revealed the same things to us that He did to them.
          And what other doctrines did you hear the elders proclaim, my
          friends? You heard them proclaim, "Come out of her, my people."
          Why? "That you partake not of her sins and receive not of her
          plagues." Didn't you hear that? I think you did. Did you hear
          that her sins had reached up to heaven, and that God would
          remember her iniquities? Yes, you did. Do you believe it to-day?
          Yes: you believe just the same principles now that you believed
          then. Your ideas and views, feelings and theories in these
          respects have not advanced, as people tell us sometimes, with the
          intelligence of the age. God save me from such intelligence, the
          Lord deliver me from their infidelity, corruption, and iniquity,
          social, moral, political, and of every kind you can mention; and
          the Lord God deliver this people from it. I don't want it. I want
          to know God and the principles of truth. I want, as an immortal
          being to understand something of my relationship with the other
          world. I want to know how to save the living and to redeem the
          dead, and to stand as a savior on Mount Zion, and to bring to
          pass the purposes of Jehovah in relation to this people and the
          earth whereon we live. That is what I want to know; that is the
          kind of intelligence I am after. Then, if there is anything else
          that we have not got, that is good, virtuous, holy, pure, or
          intellectual, give it to us, and we will embrace it; but we don't
          want your corruptions, debaucheries, and crimes, which everywhere
          prevail, and which are a stench in the nostrils of God, angels,
          and all good men; and I would make a prayer here which I used to
          hear very often when I was an Episcopalian: "From all such
          things, good Lord deliver us." We want truth, purity, integrity,
          and honesty; we want men who live so that they dare face any man,
          or, even God himself; and to reach this standard is what we are
          after, and it is our constant aim and desire. I was very much
          pleased with a song I heard sung yesterday. I don't know that I
          can remember it, but it was something like this:
          "Hurrah, hurrah, for the mountain brave, No trembling serf is he;
          Nor earth, nor hell can him enslave--
          The Gods have set him free."
          There is nothing faltering in the knees of a man of God, you
          can't make him quail. God is his friend, and angels and all good
          men are his friends. He is living for time and eternity, and all
          is right with him, living or dying.
          Well, but don't you think some folks are very bad? I always
          thought so; my mind is not changed about that a particle. Well,
          but don't you think the folks don't treat us very well sometimes?
          I never knew the time they did; I never expect to be well treated
          by them. I never knew nor read of any men of God that were well
          treated by the people of the world, and if we were I should not
          think we were men of God at all. Why men who feared God anciently
          were generally the most unpopular of men, they were considered a
          kind of fools, or half crazy, or something the matter with them.
          The enlightened pagans of former days did not like either the
          religion or the God of the Hebrews. They thought them a shame and
          a disgrace, and that Baal and their gods were much better. Men of
          God, in old times, we are told, had to wander about in sheepskins
          and goatskins, and to dwell in deserts and in dens and caves of
          the earth. "They must have been very wicked people in those
          days," say you; and they were, and so they are to-day. There is
          not much difference, only I think we are a little better
          situated, for we have our good houses and farms and an extensive
          territory. We live under our own vine and figtree, and none can
          make us afraid. They think they can, but they make a mistake;
          there is no trembling of the knees here. Fear does not dwell
          here, and if it did a little more of the principles of that
          gospel you have received would dispel it. I remember a kind of
          shaky-kneed fellow in old times, and they were in rather a
          critical position. There was some Gentiles holding court there.
          Oh no, it was not that, I forgot; it was another affair, an army
          was surrounding them. Excuse me for making the mistake! There was
          an old prophet there, rather a rough sort of a fellow, and very
          unpopular. His servant was a rather shaky-kneed sort of chap, was
          in a tremble, and wanted to know what was going to be done.
          "Why," says the prophet, "They are more who are for us than those
          who can be against us." The servant didn't understand this
          exactly, and the prophet prayed that he might get a little more
          religion. Said he, "O God, open the young man's eyes," and the
          Lord did so, and as soon as his eyes were opened he saw thousands
          of the heavenly hosts surrounding him, and said he, "The chariots
          of Israel and the horsemen thereof." That inspired him with
          confidence, and did away with that trembling in the knees. Now if
          any of you should have had a little trembling of that kind, go to
          your God, seek for the spirit of revelation that flows from Him;
          get hold of the light and intelligence which the Holy Ghost
          imparts, and you will cry, "Hosanna, hosanna, hosanna to the God
          of Israel, for He rules and will rule until He has put all
          enemies under His feet," you will cry out, "Zion shall arise and
          shine, and the glory of God shall rest upon her!" You will cry
          aloud, "The principles of eternal truth will triumph, not all the
          powers of earth and hell can stay their progress, for Zion is
          onward, onward, onward, until the kingdoms of this world shall
          become the kingdoms of our God and His Christ, and He will rule
          for ever and ever!"
          If there is anything the matter with any of you, I don't think
          there is much; but if there is, get a little more religion; live
          your religion, seek for the spirit of revelation, which has led
          you on to the present time. If you cling to that it will lead you
          to the portals of eternal life. Talk about the Saints of God
          quailing, pshaw! The work of God is onward, the kingdom of God is
          forward, and all that I have to say is, get out of the way, for
          the chariots of Israel are advancing, the purposes of God are
          being unfolded, the work of God will roll forth, and woe to that
          man who lifts his puny arm against it.
          But I am not strong in body, rather feeble in health, and I do
          not feel that my bodily strength is sufficient to talk much
          longer to this large assembly. I have heard men say they know
          this is the truth; so do I. I know that God has spoken. If nobody
          else knows on the earth besides, I know that the truths of God
          have been revealed; I know that the gospel has been restored; I
          know that this people will continue to cleave to the truth, that
          the kingdom of God will progress, and that by and by we will
          shout victory! victory! victory! now and for ever, worlds without
          end. May God bless Israel and all who bless Israel, and let the
          curse of God rest upon her enemies, in the name of Jesus. Amen.
          Journal of Discourses / Journal of Discourses, Volume 14 / John
          Taylor, October 22, 1871
                            John Taylor, October 22, 1871
                            REMARKS BY ELDER JOHN TAYLOR,
                  Delivered in the New Tabernacle, Salt Lake City,
                              Sunday October 22, 1871.
                            (Reported by David W. Evans.)
          It is very pleasant for the Saints of God to reflect upon the
          principles of eternal truth, that have been developed unto them.
          If there is anything connected with happiness and humanity, if
          their is anything calculated to expand the views and feelings of
          the human family, to raise our hopes and aspirations, and to give
          peace, joy, and confidence; it is the thought that God has
          revealed unto us the precepts of eternal truth; that He has
          planted them within our bosoms and given unto us a certainty in
          regard to those things we profess to believe in, and assuredly do
          Standing, as we do, before our Heavenly Father, in possession of
          the principles of eternal life; having had a knowledge of them
          unfolded unto us by the revelations of the Lord Jesus Christ, and
          as mortal and immortal beings, knowing for a certainty the things
          which God has revealed, for the salvation of the human family, we
          feel confident, joyous, happy, and contented, and our souls
          rejoice in the fullness of the blessings of that gospel, of which
          the world, generally, at the present time are so ignorant. Men
          generally, although very particular about financial matters, and
          things pertaining to time; although very careful about the
          acquisition of wealth and desirous of knowing which is the best
          way to invest it after they have obtained it; although desirous
          to obtain honor and fame and wealth; yet in regard to religious
          matters it seems that they are perfectly willing that anybody
          should think for them and act for them, and be their dictators
          and guides; and hence they have a hireling priesthood whom they
          pay to take care of their souls, just as they pay physicians to
          take care of their bodies, and lawyers to take care of their
          property. Religion is not a thing, according to the estimation of
          a great many, that everybody ought to be dabbling with: it
          belongs to the priests, teachers, etc., who are paid for teaching
          their dogmas, theories, creeds, and opinions. I was brought up a
          member of the Church of England, the same as my friend, the
          speaker who preceded me. It is customary among the Episcopalians
          to prepare men for the ministry just the same as they prepare men
          for doctors, lawyers, or the military profession. In examining
          their boys to find for what they are the best capacitated, if one
          is pretty shrewd, he must be a lawyer; if one is full of fire and
          energy, they try to make a military officer of him; but those who
          are dull, dumpish, and ignorant are generally made parsons of.
          These are they who are teachers of religion, and who the great
          mass of men are ready to follow; and as the scriptures say, when
          "the blind lead the blind they both fall into the ditch."
          I speak of these things to show the position of the world
          generally in regard to religion--that which affects their
          interests for eternity. Men are sometimes a little careful in the
          organization of governments, and in the passage of laws for the
          protection of their rights; statesmen, scientists, philosophers,
          and men of intelligence are brought into requisition, to expand
          the general judgment about matters wherein individual rights or
          the rights of a community are concerned; and in fact, in relation
          to affairs of a temporal or worldly nature, men are generally
          careful; but on religious matters it is very different.
          What are we to think of the religious standard or statutes of the
          Christian world to-day? Professing to believe in the Bible, who
          really believes in or cares for the principles which it
          advocates? Who has the hardihood to be governed by the laws which
          it promulgates? Why, I could refer you to judges to-day, and
          Christian judges at that, professing to believe the Bible, who
          would make men guilty and arraign them before their bars for
          believing the principles contained in that very book. This is the
          height of intelligence, the summit of all excellence, and the
          glory of our judiciary to-day! And look at our religionists--they
          are fools, and don't know what they are doing, the position they
          are placing themselves in, or the ruin they are hurling upon the
          nation with which they are associated. They do not know that by
          the introduction of false principles, those principles will
          spread, and permeate, and will roll back again on their own
          heads, producing misery, confusion, and bloodshed wherever they
          go. They do not know this, they have not sense enough to see
          it--they are poor, miserable, blind fools.
          And what do they know about God and eternity? Nothing. They deny
          the very principles that would bring men into communication with
          the Almighty. Christian ministers, for ages past, have repudiated
          all idea of revelation or communication from God. Shut up that
          principle from me, deprive me of the privilege, shut me out from
          God, let the heavens be brass so that I could not approach Him,
          and life has no object. As an immortal being, connected with this
          world and the next, if I can not have a knowledge of God, I do
          not want to exist. I want nothing to do with this world; God
          knows there is not enough in it to captivate the mind of any
          intelligent being who is capable of reflecting on the destinies
          of an immortal soul. Strip us of that, and what have we left?
          Nothing, simply nothing. I look upon man as the handwork of God
          and as an immortal being. I look upon the world we live in as
          having emanated from Him, and man created and placed here by the
          wisdom, intelligence, power, and generosity of the All Wise, the
          Great Eternal I Am; that was, and is, and is to come. I look upon
          it that men, combining the mortal and immortal, and possessing
          such intelligence as they possess, ought to be able to approach
          the fountain of all intelligence in the way which the gospel
          unfolds; and if the religion that I possess will not bring me to
          an acquaintance with my Heavenly Father, to a relationship with
          Him, to a certainty pertaining to the future, as well as the
          present, I want nothing to do with it. I would not give the ashes
          of a rye straw for all the religion in the world that would not
          lead a man to God. I want knowledge, certainty, intelligence; I
          want principles that have emanated from God; and I want freedom
          and liberty as an American citizen, and as a citizen of the
          kingdom of God, as a man who is capable of breathing free air,
          and living, and enjoying the gifts of God. These things I want,
          and these, so help me God, I will have so long as God gives
          breath (congregation said "Amen"), and no man, no set of men
          shall deprive me of them. They may deprive me of life, but I
          shall live and soar among the free in the eternal worlds, and
          rejoice among the Gods, under these blessings and privileges that
          God has revealed to us here on the earth. These are my feelings
          in short, and I feel calm, comfortable, pleasant, joyous, and
          happy in the possession of those principles which God has
          revealed for the salvation of the human family.
          I think we read somewhere that "happy is that people whose God is
          the Lord;" and I say happy is that people who believe in a living
          God, a God that can hear and see, and who can speak and reveal
          His will to man. I feel happy at being associated with such a
          people, and to-day there is not a king, emperor, potentate, or
          power on earth with whom I would exchange places. God is my God,
          my Heavenly Father is my protector, and He is the protector, and
          friend, and God of Israel, and He will stand by and sustain them
          in the midst of all events and under all circumstances which may
          transpire, consequently I feel easy, comfortable and pleasant.
          "Well but," says one, "perhaps you would not feel so if you had a
          process resting on your head, as some have." I do not know, but I
          think I should. I have known some little of these things before
          to-day. I have been mobbed before to-day for my religion, I have
          been shot at and hit before to-day for my religion; and my
          religion is just the same to-day as ever. It produces the same
          joy, confidence, hope, and reliance as in any other day; and
          these are not only my feelings, but they are also those of my
          brethren. There is no faltering, no trembling of the knees, no
          shaking in the feelings with us. God is our God; we are his
          people. This is the Zion of God; this is the kingdom of God,
          which our judges tell us the United States is making war against.
          I wonder if they tell the truth? No matter, I am a member of and
          an elder in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, and
          I dare acknowledge it before any power there is under the
          heavens. I belong to that Church; and I thank God, my Heavenly
          Father, for the privilege of being associated with these brethren
          and these sisters who are before and around me; and my feelings
          are to-day, and ever have been, like one of old, when she said:
          "This people shall be my people, their God shall be my God; where
          they live I will live also, where they die there I want to be
          buried;" and when they rise from and burst the barriers of the
          tomb and ascend into the presence of Jehovah, I expect to be with
          them, and to be one with them in time and one in eternity. These
          are my hopes and my feelings, and I say Hallelujah, Hallelujah,
          for the Lord God omnipotent reigneth, and He will reign until He
          has put all His enemies under His feet." (Congregation said
          "Amen"), and this kingdom will go forth and roll onwards, and woe
          to the man who attempts to stay the progress of Jehovah. He shall
          wither like grass before the breath of the Lord of Hosts
          (Congregation said "Amen"), and the principles of eternal truth
          will be onward, onward, onward, until the kingdoms of this world
          shall become the kingdoms of our God and His Christ, and He shall
          rule for ever and ever.
          Men may try to forge chains for us, but we will snap them asunder
          as Samson did, by the power of God. God being our helper, we will
          maintain the principles of eternal truth; we will maintain and
          cherish the principles of freedom and liberty of all kinds, for
          all men, for every son and daughter of Adam; and we will never
          rest until the world shall be revolutionized with these
          principles, until all men everywhere shall proclaim themselves
          free. It will not be only like the bell they sounded when they
          proclaimed the Declaration of Independence, and liberty
          throughout the land; but we will proclaim liberty to the world,
          salvation to the human family, freedom of thought and freedom of
          action, with power to worship God as they please, when they
          please, and where they please, all over the face of the wide
          earth. We will never rest until the shackles are knocked off from
          all men, and all men everywhere are free and equal. These are the
          designs of God, and God will consummate them, and no power can
          stop His hand.
          I am not strong in body, and cannot talk long; but I feel in my
          bosom the spirit of God burning like a living fire. I thank my
          Father for His protecting care and grace over this people; and I
          feel like exhorting my brethren to live their religion, to keep
          the commandments of God, and preserve themselves pure. If they do
          they need ask nothing from these rotten, miserable, stinking
          wretches with which they are surrounded here at the present time.
          Preserve yourselves pure, be virtuous, holy, and honorable, and
          God will bless you and stand by you, and Israel shall be
          victorious from this time henceforth and forever, in the name of
          Jesus. Amen.
          Journal of Discourses / Journal of Discourses, Volume 14 / Orson
          Pratt, December 10, 1871
                           Orson Pratt, December 10, 1871
                           DISCOURSE BY ELDER ORSON PRATT,
           Delivered in the Tabernacle, Salt Lake City, December 10, 1871.
                            (Reported by David W. Evans.)
          There is a large assembly of people now seated in this
          Tabernacle, and it will require a good deal of attention and
          stillness on the part of so large a congregation in order to hear
          distinctly and to understand what may be advanced. I have been in
          the habit for a few months past of selecting a text from the
          Scriptures. I do not do so this afternoon, for the reason that no
          particular text has presented itself to my mind; nevertheless I
          shall endeavor by the assistance of the Spirit of the Lord to
          speak upon subjects as they may be presented to me at the very
          moment. What they will be I know not. It is my earnest desire,
          however, that I may be favored with the faith and prayers of all
          good people who may be present, that peradventure the Lord may be
          merciful to us and shed forth a great abundance of His Holy
          Spirit to assist us on this occasion.
          It is a strange thing to the greater part of the civilized world
          to see, or rather to contemplate, so many scores of thousands of
          people gathering together in the interior portions of North
          America, in the Rocky Mountains or vicinity, all of one religious
          faith. It is a marvel, and produces a great deal of wonderment
          among the people, to understand what is the cause of this great
          assembling or gathering together, what it means, what the object
          is, what purpose is to be accomplished, what the designs of the
          people are and so forth. It is attracting the attention not only
          of our own nation but of many other nations--this fleeing out,
          this gathering together of a people from so many parts of the
          world and coming together in the interior of this new world, in a
          country which, to all human appearance, was one of the most
          difficult countries in the known world to be settled. They wonder
          how it is that an influence can be exercised over the minds of so
          many people, among so many nations, to get them to leave the
          homes of their fathers, their native countries, their associates
          and friends, and go forth for thousands of miles upon railroad
          conveyance, and cross the ocean, and then pursue their journey
          for thousands of miles still further into the heart of a desert.
          This is a curious thing when we reflect upon it. I will here
          observe, however, that it is not the influence of man that has
          brought this great event about; man is not the origin of this
          great gathering which you see in the Territory of Utah. If you do
          not believe what I say, let any other society, I don't care how
          much talent they may have, how much human wisdom they may
          possess; let them attempt to accomplish a similar thing and see
          whether they can succeed. Take all the learning that is in the
          world, combine it together, send forth the most learned and
          talented orators among the nations, exercise all the human power
          and influence that God has given you, and attempt to accomplish a
          work similar to the one which is now before your eyes, and see if
          you can succeed. It can't be done; it never has been done, to my
          knowledge, since the days of our Savior. We have no account in
          history of any religious society gathering out from so many
          nations into one region of country since the days of the Savior.
          Do you wish to know the secret of this great gathering? Do you
          wish to know why it is that this influence has been exercised
          over the minds of the people? I will tell you: it is because God,
          who is in yonder heavens, has spoken in our day, this is the
          secret. It is because he has sent forth angels, messengers from
          heaven, who have appeared to men here on the earth, and have
          conversed with them. It is because God, by angels, and by his own
          voice, has sent forth messengers again unto the human family with
          an important message, a message more important, in one sense of
          the word, than any which has before been delivered to man--a
          message to prepare the way before the face and coming of his Son
          from the heavens.
          Strangers may inquire, what has this great gathering to do with
          preparing the way before the coming of his Son? Could you not all
          remain scattered abroad among the nations and be prepared just as
          well? I answer, that if God had commanded us to remain among the
          nations in our scattered condition, that would have been right,
          and acceptable before him; but on the other hand, if God has
          spoken, as we declare that he has, and his voice has been heard,
          and messengers have been called and sent forth by divine command,
          and revelation has been given, not only for the people to obey
          the gospel but also to gather out and assemble themselves in one,
          then we could not be prepared for his coming without obeying the
          divine command. It all rests, therefore, on this point: has God
          spoken concerning this matter? Has he really instituted this
          thing? Has he given divine revelation in the 19th century? Has he
          sent forth his angels? If he has, then the work that is before
          you is the preparatory work for the coming of the Son of God. If
          he has not spoken, as we declare that he has, then a similar work
          will have to be performed in the future by some other people; for
          the very work which you now perceive--the gathering together of
          so many thousands, is clearly predicted by the ancient prophets;
          and if we are not the people fulfilling these predictions, then
          another people must rise hereafter under similar circumstances to
          fulfil them, before the Son of God will come from the heavens, to
          reign here as King of kings and Lord of lords.
          Much has been said about the coming of our Lord to reign here on
          the earth for a thousand years. We have now in the United States
          and in Great Britain, and other parts of the world, those who
          call themselves Second Adventists, who say they are going forth
          in order to prepare the way before the coming of the Lord. But
          are they fulfilling the predictions of the ancient prophets
          contained in this Bible? By no means. The first prediction to
          which I will refer you, upon this subject, that now occurs to my
          mind, is one that has been often repeated, for some forty-one
          years, by this people; but it is of so much importance and
          interests this generation to that degree, that I never feel tired
          of repeating it. It will be found in that prophecy that was
          delivered to John on the Island of Patmos. He saw in vision, as
          represented in the 14th chapter of his prophecy, the Son of Man
          sitting on a cloud with a sharp sickle in his hands, clothed in
          glory and in power, and he saw angels at the same time, and one
          of them cried unto him that had the sharp sickle in his hands,
          that he should go forth and reap down the earth; for the harvest
          of the earth is ripe. Here was a view of the coming of the Son of
          Man. But before this, there was a preparatory work to perform,
          the nature of which is explained in the same chapter. This
          preparatory work is what I wish to call your special attention to
          on this occasion.
          It was no less than a messenger that was to fly through the midst
          of heaven--an holy angel, not something to be spiritualized, or
          that we can interpret according to our own views, not some great
          and renowned man that was to be raised up here on the earth, but
          an angel. "I saw another angel," says John, before the coming of
          Christ, before he saw that personage sitting on the cloud. "I saw
          another angel flying through the midst of heaven." Not a person
          raised up to go and preach here, and fly among the inhabitants of
          the earth, but flying through the midst of heaven. What
          particular message had this angel to convey, and to whom was he
          to convey it? John says, that this angel whom he saw flying
          through the midst of heaven had the everlasting gospel to preach
          unto them that dwell on the earth. To show how extensively it was
          to be preached, mark the next sentence: "To be preached unto them
          that dwell on the earth, unto every nation, kindred, tongue and
          people." Does not this include all? Does not the prediction take
          within its scope all mankind in the four quarters of the earth?
          It verily does. What was connected with this everlasting gospel
          that the angel should have to be thus extensively preached among
          the inhabitants of the earth? What other prediction was uttered
          on that occasion? The angel proclaimed that the hour of God's
          judgment had come. He had the gospel to restore, however, before
          that judgment would fall on the nations. They must first hear it,
          they must first be warned, they must first receive the
          opportunity and privilege of receiving the message, after which,
          if they do not receive it, the angel said that the hour of God's
          judgment has come. Consequently we learn from these predictions
          some three or four very important things. First: that when the
          gospel is again committed to the inhabitants of the earth it is
          to be by an angel. Second: that when it is thus committed, it
          must be preached to all people under the whole heavens, without
          any exception of tongues or languages or races. Third: we learn
          that the hour of God's judgment was immediately to follow this
          preaching of the everlasting gospel.
          Now mark what is predicted in the next verse. This was the first
          message; but John says, "I saw another angel follow him." There
          were two angels then, the first one with a message of the gospel
          of peace, proclaiming peace to the inhabitants of the earth, and
          then judgment immediately to follow. The second angel had no
          message of peace, but this was his proclamation; "Behold, Babylon
          the great is fallen, is fallen, because she made all nations
          drink of the wine of the wrath of her fornication." We learn that
          a certain power, under the name of Great Babylon, is to meet with
          a total downfall after the gospel had been preached, that was to
          be brought by an angel. A third angel followed, and declared that
          all who would not receive the message of truth should be cast
          down, and should be punished, and the smoke of their torment
          should rise up for ever and for ever. After having predicted the
          coming of these three angels he then proclaims the coming of the
          Son of God sitting on a cloud, of which I have spoken.
          Now we have this important message to testify, and we testify it
          in all boldness, we testify it before the heavens, we testify it
          before the earth, we testify it in the name of the Lord God who
          has sent us, in the name of Jesus Christ who has redeemed us,
          that that angel has already come, that the 19th century is the
          favored century in which God has fulfilled this ancient
          prediction, uttered by the mouth of his ancient servant. God has
          indeed sent that angel, and when he came he revealed the
          everlasting gospel.
          But I know what now rises in your hearts, I know what the
          strangers who are before me will say in their hearts, what they
          now think. Some of you now say in your hearts, we have the
          everlasting gospel contained here in this book, the new
          Testament, and we have had it for some eighteen centuries or
          more, and consequently what was the use of another angel having
          the same everlasting gospel to commit to the children of men when
          we already had it? Now was not that in your hearts? I will
          venture to say that there were some in this congregation who were
          thinking of something very similar to this. Let me say in answer
          to this query that God has revealed the everlasting gospel anew.
          But what reason or purpose had he in so doing, say some, have we
          not sufficient written on the subject in the Bible? Have we not
          the Gospel in great plainness, and why should he reveal it anew?
          I will tell you why. What is written in the New Testament in
          relation to the everlasting Gospel is not as it was when it was
          first revealed; and as a testimony that it is not very plain, let
          me refer you to some five or six hundred different religious
          views, all founded on this same book, which you say contains the
          everlasting Gospel. Why all these views, why all this distraction
          of faith? Why, for instance, does one sect believe in sprinkling,
          another in pouring, another in immersion, another rejecting
          baptism entirely, another baptizing those who profess to have
          obtained forgiveness of sins? Another class baptizing expressly
          for the remission of sins? Why is it that all these sentiments
          and religious notions prevail? Do not all these classes profess
          to found their faith on the New Testament, which they say
          contains the everlasting Gospel? O yes. It shows clearly and
          plainly that there is something lacking. There are just as many
          sincere people, no doubt, who believe that sprinkling infants is
          the correct mode of baptism, as there are who believe in
          baptizing adults by immersion. One class is just as sincere as
          the other; one professes to believe and have confidence in the
          New Testament as well as the other. Now there must be something
          that is not quite so clear in the New Testament, or there would
          not be so great a diversity of opinion and sentiment.
          We again refer to the everlasting Gospel that the angel should
          bring! What might we expect when the angel comes? Could we not
          reasonably expect that when God sends an angel from heaven with
          the everlasting Gospel he will make it so plain that there can be
          no misunderstanding in regard to any ordinance or any principle
          that is connected with it? That is what I should expect. The
          causes why these things are not so plain now in the New
          Testament, are these: the New Testament has been handed down, or
          its manuscripts, for a great many centuries, transcribed by the
          scribes of different generations. No doubt many of these were
          sincere and good men; but they have made, in the course of so
          many centuries, many great perversions in the text, in the
          original word I mean, in the Greek text, and also in the Hebrew
          so far as the Old Testament is concerned. I am not referring to
          the English manuscripts, but to the text written in what is
          termed the original Greek or Hebrew. These Greek and Hebrew
          manuscripts being transmitted from generation to generation, and
          transcribed and altered more or less, have fallen at length into
          the hands of the people of latter times in a state wherein they
          very much contradict each other. It is declared by the most
          learned archbishops and bishops, and men of great learning who
          have gathered together thousands of these ancient manuscripts and
          compared them one with another, that there are thirty thousand
          different readings of the original text. Not merely a different
          reading in one or two phrases, but of the original text, taking
          the Old and New Testament as a whole. When King James, in his
          day, set a great number of learned men apart to translate the
          Bible into the English language, they gathered together such
          manuscripts as they could get hold of. By examining them they of
          course did not know which was correct. They found them differing
          one with another in thousands of instances. Which were the most
          correct they, without inspiration, never could learn; but they
          did the very best they knew how. They are not to blame for those
          errors. They were men of integrity; they collected, according to
          the best of their understanding and knowledge, the manuscripts in
          existence and translated them according to the best information
          they had concerning the original languages. Hence originated this
          present English Bible, King James's translation. I am astonished
          when I look at this Bible, to find it so correct; I am
          astonished, and it has been a mystery to me that it can be so
          correct with such an abundance of contradictions in the original
          manuscripts. As a general thing the meaning has not been altered
          much, but it has been altered sufficiently to produce all the
          confusion at present existing throughout Christendom. All these
          different denominations have arisen, founded on the same Bible
          and on the same text. What may we expect then when God sends an
          angel? Must we expect that he will give us a confused mass of
          something that we cannot understand? Or may we not rather expect
          that he will impart to us the plainness and simplicity of his
          word, and call that the gospel, and call upon the nations of the
          earth to receive it? I answer that so far as reason is concerned,
          and good sound judgment, that is, so far as I can judge
          concerning reason, reason would say that the God of truth would
          communicate a message in perfect plainness, that could not be
          misunderstood by those who desired to know the right way.
          Well, such was the fact. I hold in my hand a record containing
          more writing than the New Testament; and this book, from the
          beginning to the end, was written by divine revelation,
          comprising history, prophecies and the Gospel. It was written by
          an ancient people, a portion of the house of Israel, who dwelt in
          ancient America. Prophets and inspired men wrote this record on
          plates of gold. They inform us that Jesus administered on this
          American continent in person, as well as on the little land of
          Palestine. They inform us that after his resurrection and
          ascension from the land of Jerusalem to his Father, he descended
          on this American continent, that he taught them here at different
          times, appearing to them often, delivering to them his
          everlasting Gospel in plainness and simplicity. He commanded them
          to write that Gospel upon the plates that they kept their records
          on at that time, and which had been already handed down among
          them for about six hundred years. This book also informs us
          concerning the preaching of the Gospel among the ancient
          Americans--the ancient inhabitants of this country; that twelve
          men were called, not apostles, or rather that they were not
          called apostles, but disciples. Twelve disciples were chosen in
          ancient America and preached the Gospel that the Son of God
          revealed to them in person. They proclaimed that Gospel in the
          four quarters of this Western hemisphere, in other words, on what
          we call South and North America; they built up the Church and
          Kingdom of God in this land, and millions of the people received
          the Gospel. They kept a record of this fact three hundred and
          eighty-four years after the coming of Christ. Mormon, who had
          charge of the records, after making an abridgment on other
          plates, in consequence of the apostacy of his portion of the
          nation, delivered the abridgment or the plates that contained it,
          into the hands of his son Moroni, a faithful prophet and servant
          of God, but the other plates he hid up in a hill in what we now
          call the State of New York. Moroni beheld the downfall of his
          nation, their destruction by the hands of another branch of the
          house of Israel, a powerful nation on this continent. The nation
          that kept these records was destroyed. Moroni, who was the last
          prophet entrusted with the plates, had to flee from place to
          place and hide up in dens and caves in order to preserve his own
          life. These records, four hundred and twenty years after the
          birth of Christ, were hidden up, at least that was the last date
          given on them. With them was deposited a sacred instrument that
          was possessed by the people on this continent, called the Urim
          and Thummim. Many predictions were uttered, not only by Moroni,
          but by many previous prophets, that these records in the last
          days, should be brought to light by the ministration of holy
          messengers; that God would bring them forth in order to prepare
          the way before the coming of his Son from the heavens. This,
          therefore, is the book that that angel whom John saw flying
          through the midst of heaven has revealed to the inhabitants of
          the earth. This is the sacred book that contains the everlasting
          Gospel revealed by the angel. This is the sacred book which God
          has commanded his servants to publish to the four quarters of the
          globe as a witness unto all nations before the Son of Man comes.
          This is the sacred book that contains the words of our Lord and
          Savior Jesus Christ when he appeared on this American continent.
          This is the sacred book that will go forth, warning all people,
          nations and tongues before the Son of Man appears in his glory.
          If they receive it they will be blest, if they receive it not
          then will be fulfilled that which was spoken by the mouth of John
          the Revelator concerning the hour of God's judgment coming upon
          Does this book do away with those differences that exist in
          regard to many points of the doctrine of Jesus? Does it make it
          plain so that there is no chance of building up two different
          denominations from the doctrines it contains? I answer yes, there
          can not be established two different denominations founding their
          ideas on the doctrines of this book. Why? Because the doctrine is
          so plain in every point that it is impossible for any person with
          common sense not to understand it just as it is delivered and
          revealed. Hence you perceive that, that which we would naturally
          expect and reasonably hope for when the angel came is realized,
          namely, a doctrine so plain that all the learning and wisdom of
          man could not wrest and twist and turn it and make it appear two
          different things. For instance, let us take the simple ordinance
          of baptism, what does the Book of Mormon say in regard to that
          one ordinance? Jesus, when he came to the American continent,
          they not having seen the true order of baptism in the same light
          that the Jews had in Palestine, condescended to point out to them
          how they should be baptized. He says, first, you must believe in
          me and repent of your sins and become as a little child and go
          forth and be baptized for the remission of your sins and you
          shall receive the Holy Ghost; and then, to show how this
          ordinance was to be performed, he says that inasmuch as any one
          shall come forth desiring the ordinance of baptism, having
          repented of his sins, having believed in me, even Jesus Christ,
          you shall go down into the water and you shall baptize him in my
          name; you shall immerse him in the water, and come forth out of
          the water, and then he shall receive the Holy Ghost. Showing the
          ordinance also through which and by which the Holy Ghost should
          be given, namely, the laying on of hands. Now I ask, is there any
          possibility, with words penned as plain as these words are
          recorded, to build up two different denominations in regard to
          the mode of baptism? No, they could not do it; there could not be
          one sprinkling, another pouring and another baptizing by
          immersion; neither could there be those who would require
          individuals to first experience religion and then be baptized;
          but "be baptized in my name for the remission of their sins, and
          then they shall receive the Holy Ghost."
          Perhaps the strangers will say, that is plain enough, we admit
          your argument that, if that be a revelation from God, there could
          not be two different denominations built up on that. I will say
          further that in regard to a great many other points of doctrine
          this book is just as plain and just as simple. Supposing you
          could grant all this, supposing you should say, strangers, we
          will admit that it is very plain in the Book of Mormon; but the
          great question with us is, is the Book of Mormon a divine
          revelation? that is the question that we want answered. The
          plainness we don't dispute, we know that it is so plain that a
          wayfaring man though a fool need not err therein; all that we
          want to know in regard to the matter is, has God given that book,
          or is it an invention of man? What evidence have you to offer,
          inquires the stranger, to prove the divine authenticity of your
          book? You have the testimony of Joseph Smith. He says that an
          angel came and revealed to him the Book of Mormon, and that he
          was commanded by the Lord Almighty to go and get the plates,
          according to the vision that was shown to him at the time the
          angel came and conversed with him, that he obtained the plates,
          and he says he translated them by the Urim and Thummim. This all
          rests, perhaps you may think, upon his testimony alone. Well,
          supposing it did, has God ever condemned the world for not
          obeying one servant when he only had one witness? I answer yes,
          in some instances. He was going to condemn the great city of
          Nineveh on a certain occasion through the testimony of one man
          called Jonah. "In forty days this great city shall be destroyed,"
          says Jonah. Jonah finding that the Lord sent but one witness with
          such an important message felt almost discouraged, and when he
          was on his way to deliver it to a great people and city, he felt
          that he would almost rather die than go as a single and solitary
          witness with a message of so much importance, and be besought the
          people to throw him overboard. They did so, the Lord having
          produced a furious wind, frightened the people, and they,
          according to their old traditions, thought somebody was on board
          that ought not to be there. Jonah told them that he had rejected
          the commandment of the Lord, and if they would throw him
          overboard the winds would cease. They did so, and the wind did
          cease. A fish was prepared and it swallowed up Jonah, and the
          fish was commanded of the Lord to go and vomit up Jonah on the
          land, which he did. Very obedient, much more so than many people
          are now-a-days, or have been in former times. This fish was
          obedient to the command of the Lord and went and did what the
          Lord commanded, and Jonah was thrown up. The word of the Lord
          came to him to go and fulfil his mission. He went and preached to
          the great city of Nineveh, and told the people what the Lord
          intended to do, and the people repented in sackcloth and ashes,
          from the king on his throne down to the least of them; they all
          turned and repented of their sins, and the Lord had compassion
          and did not execute the judgment on them because of their
          repentance. Now, what would have been the consequence if they had
          rejected this one man's testimony? The consequence would have
          been their overthrow. Jonah might have told them that God had
          sent him, and he might have preached to them that he had been
          swallowed up by a whale, and that God had given commandment to
          the fish to vomit him up on dry ground! What would they care
          about that? They would have said, "Jonah is crazy, insane, he
          must be insane," and they might have rejected his testimony, and
          brought death and destruction on the whole city, consequently God
          may send but one witness.
          But he sometimes condescends to give more. We have four witnesses
          who have written and whose writings have descended to our day,
          concerning the resurrection of Jesus Christ--one of the most
          important events that has ever happened in our world. Four men
          who saw Jesus after his resurrection have testified in the New
          Testament to his resurrection. "Oh, but," says one, "we have more
          than four men." I think not, I can't find but four who have
          written. No women have written, for we have not any women's
          epistles or writings in the New Testament. "But," says one, "do
          you mean to say that the twelve apostles have not handed down
          their testimony?" I do say so. I have no doubt but what they did
          testify of his resurrection, but they have given us no account.
          Four of the eight writers of the New Testament saw Jesus after
          his resurrection, and all the Christian world at the present day
          believe that Jesus rose from the dead because those four men
          testified that he did so. But does not Paul say that he was seen
          by him, and afterwards on a certain occasion after his
          resurrection by five hundred of his brethren? Yes, we suppose
          that he said so, because the writer of the Acts of the Apostles
          says that Paul said so; but it all rests on the writer of those
          Acts, whose name is supposed to be Luke. Luke says that Paul saw
          Jesus; Luke says that he was seen by five hundred, or at least he
          says that Paul says that he was seen by five hundred. Well now,
          such a great and important fact as the resurrection of the Son of
          God rests upon the testimony of four witnesses, and they are
          dead. You cannot cross-question them, you can't ask them if their
          testimony is true, you can't go to them and enquire about the
          particulars in relation to it; but you have to take the testimony
          of four witnesses who are dead and have been for eighteen hundred
          years; yet you believe the great fact, I do, and so do the
          Latter-day Saints, on their testimony.
          Again, we find that it is written in the New Testament, the words
          of Jesus on the same subject, that in the mouths of two or three
          witnesses shall every word be established. Indeed, is that so?
          Are two or three witnesses sufficient to condemn the whole world
          of mankind, and to leave them without excuse? Jesus says so:
          every word shall be established in the mouths of two or three
          witnesses. This is in accordance with what took place in the days
          of the flood. Noah, Shem, Ham and Japheth were the only witnesses
          that went forth to warn that generation of a terrible judgment
          that was to come on all flesh if they did not repent. They did
          not receive the testimony of those four men and consequently they
          were overthrown by the flood. God does therefore condemn the
          children of men by the number of witnesses that seems to him good
          to communicate, or through whom to communicate, a message to
          Now then, let us come back again. Here was Joseph Smith, a boy,
          his very youth ought to testify in his favor, for when the Lord
          first revealed himself to that little boy, he was only between
          fourteen and fifteen years of age. Now, can we imagine or suppose
          that a great impostor could be made out of a youth of that age,
          and one that could reveal the doctrine of Christ as he has
          revealed it to this generation? Would he stand forth and bear
          testimony that he had seen with his own eyes a messenger of light
          and glory, and that he heard the words of his mouth as they
          dropped from his lips and had received a message from the Most
          High, at that early age? And then, after having declared it, to
          have the finger of scorn pointed at him, with exclamations,
          "There goes the visionary boy! No visions in our day, no angels
          come in our day, no more revelation to be given in our day! Why
          he is deluded, he is a fanatic;" and to have this scorn and
          derision and still continue to testify, in the face and eyes of
          all this, while hated and derided by his neighbors, that God had
          sent his angel from heaven. Can you imagine that a youth would do
          this? Select out some of our little boys here, fourteen years of
          age, can you imagine it to be possible for them to be impostors
          of this description? I think not. The very youth, then, of this
          first witness that I have named, testifies in his favor! Did God
          send forth servants to publish this Book of Mormon, containing
          the everlasting Gospel, to all the nations and kingdoms of the
          earth without giving more witnesses than this one I have named?
          No, he was more merciful to this generation than he was to the
          city of Nineveh; he sent more than one. He would not even permit
          this book to go forth as a divine revelation to this generation
          until he had raised up three other men--Martin Harris, David
          Whitmer and Oliver Cowdery, besides Joseph Smith. "But," says
          one, "perhaps they were deceived, while Joseph Smith was the
          imposter, they might have been sincere men!" Let us see whether
          they could be deceived men, and yet their testimony be given as
          it is here recorded. They have testified to all nations, kindred,
          tongues and people unto whom this work shall come, that, "we,
          through the grace of God the Father and our Lord Jesus Christ,
          have seen the plates which contain this record, and we testify
          with words of soberness that God sent forth an holy angel from
          heaven, and he showed unto us the plates from which this record
          was taken, and he commanded us to bear record of the same and to
          be obedient unto the commandment of God. We bear testimony of