Organization—Destruction of Zion’s Enemies—Oneness of Spirit in the Priesthood, Etc.

A Discourse by President Heber C. Kimball, Delivered in the Bowery, Great Salt Lake City, August 2, 1857.

I have appreciated brother Elias Smith’s remarks. He has stated things as they are, according to my knowledge. I have been acquainted with him some twenty-three or twenty-four years. He is our Judge in this county, and I can say to his praise that he is one of the best Judges we have in the Territory; and my prayer and wish to God is that we may not have a swore Judge from this time henceforth and forever, and that we may never have any Judges in this Territory but men of our own choice, and that we may never have any person to preside over us in the capacity of a Governor of this Territory but the man of our own choice. [Voices: “Amen.”] And I can say further, we never will. [Voices: “Amen.”] I have my reasons for this.

This people here are the people of God. Here, in the Territory of Deseret, is the kingdom of God, and here are all the officers pertaining to that kingdom; and here is an organization that is organized after the order of God, and it is organized after the order of the Church of the Firstborn.

Let me explain what the Church of the Firstborn is. It is the first Church that ever was raised up upon this earth; that is, the first born Church. That is what I mean; and when God our Father organized that Church, He organized it just as His Father organized the Church on the earth where He dwelt; and that same order is organized here in the City of Great Salt Lake; and it is that order that Joseph Smith the Prophet of God organized in the beginning in Kirtland, Ohio. Brother Brigham Young, myself, and others were present when that was done; and when those officers received their endowments, they were together in one place. They were organized, and received their endowments and blessings, and those keys were placed upon them, and that kingdom will stand forever.

Now mark it—that kingdom will never be overthrown; although they may kill, that is, if they can, brother Brigham and me, and brother Daniel H. Wells, and they may kill the Apostles, if they can, and so they may keep on from this time to all eternity, and they never can obliterate this work. I know it. They may kill, and destroy, and waste a great many limbs that are upon this Church; but let me tell you, they never can kill the tree nor destroy the root from whence we have sprung; for our Father and our God is that root, and Jesus Christ, the Son of God, is the tree or vine, and we spring out of that vine; and if we keep His commandments and receive the Spirit of God, the Holy Ghost, it is that nourishment that comes down directly from the Father, from Jesus Christ, the true vine.

And as President Buchanan, the President of the United States of America, holds the keys of the government of this whole nation, so Brigham Young holds the keys pertaining to this Church and people.

Well, do I suppose, when I reflect, that troops are being sent here without President Buchanan’s permission? No, not for a moment: he has permitted it. We are a poor, isolated people, driven over one thousand miles from our native land, and many of us have been driven and broken up five times; and he and his coadjutors have acknowledged it and have said pointedly there could nothing be done for us as a community: and here we are, after sending forth our men, the Elders of Israel, and redeeming this land from Mexico. They are now designing to come with troops to break us up and to kill our Prophets, and our Apostles, and our Elders.

Brethren, I will tell you one thing, and you may be sure of it, as the Lord God lives, and as my soul lives, that nations that raise the weapons of war against this people shall perish by those weapons. [Voices: “Amen.”] Every nation, every tongue, and every people shall perish, and every man and woman that gives consent to it. [Voices: “Amen.”] You may “Amen” to the whole of it, for it is true. Go and read the Book of Mor mon, the Prophets, and the revelations given to Joseph the Prophet; and you will learn that God has said that every nation and every people on this earth that will not serve Him shall be destroyed.

This is the kingdom of God. When they fight us, they fight God, and Jesus Christ, and the Holy Ghost, and they fight all the Prophets that have been from the creation down to the present time. Why? Because Joseph was the last Prophet; God spoke to him, placed the keys upon him, by Peter, James, and John. Do you suppose they did it without having authority from Jesus? No; Jesus told them when to do it, and told them who the man was; and Joseph, the Prophet of the living God, placed those keys on brother Brigham.

The Father told Jesus when to go and again commit these keys to men on the earth; Jesus told the Twelve when to do it; Joseph told Brigham when to do it. Now, look at it naturally, and you will see that every man and woman that raise their hands against this people will be destroyed, and that without remedy.

Set your heart at rest, then: you need not be troubled, nor frightened at all; for as the Lord liveth, and we live, we will prosper, and we will come off victorious. [Voices: “Amen.”] You know we have to stick in an if—if you live your religion, and will do as you are told, and become like the clay in the hands of the potter.

Who are you to be subject to? You say you are willing to be subject to God—to Jesus Christ. You are willing, if Peter came along, to listen to him. Well, Peter is here, John is here, Elias is here, Elijah is here, Jesus is here, and the Father is here. What! In person? If not in person, their authority is here, with all the power that ever was or ever will be to seal men and women up to everlasting life—seal them on earth and in heaven, by the power of Elijah, which is upon brother Brigham; and it is on every man he authorizes.

Joseph had those keys and powers directly from those men, and we received them from Joseph; so you see we are legal heirs to the kingdom of heaven. You have got to be subject to these powers that be; for there is no power only that which is ordained of God. You have to listen to that.

Can we be Saints by having our own will, our own way? Brother Elias has been talking about that this morning, how he has felt that will that was in him. Gentlemen, he has not been easy to handle and place upon the wheel; if he had been, he would have been filled with almighty power, even the power that was upon Joseph and Brigham, and upon every other good man in this Church; but he is going to walk up henceforth; he ain’t going to stand back any more. He is akin to brother Joseph, and Joseph is ashamed of his own kindred that will not step forth and be valiant, and God is ashamed of them.

Be passive in the hands of God, in the hands of His servants, as clay in the hands of the potter. How is that? How can the servants of God mold you, fashion you, and prepare you to become molded and fashioned after the likeness of God, unless you are passive?

If you go into the adobe yard, you may see men engaged in the business of adobe making, and you can see them molding adobes out of the elements. Suppose that clay would not be passive, but would have its own will, and not be subject to the molder of the adobes, he could not mold them, because the adobe would not let him mold it.

When I carried on the pottery business, I used to take a good deal of pains to get good clay, and hauled it a long distance, and then I always immersed it before I put it into the mill to grind it. Why? To make it passive; and I mold, grind, and grind it again, until it becomes passive; then I took it out of the mill, and carried it into the shop, where it was kneaded as you would a cake, and then put on to the wheel and turned into a vessel unto honor. Did I ever design to turn a vessel unto dishonor? No. If I did, I did not get any reward for it: I only got reward for those I molded and fashioned according to the dictation of my master; and I presented them to him that he might receive them, as Jesus says—“Father, I have lost none of those thou gavest me, except the son of perdition.”

Go into the blacksmith’s shop, on this block, and you will find brother Jonathan Pugmire, the foreman. I go to him and say, “Brother Jonathan, make me an axe.” He goes to work with a piece of iron that, the moment he tries to shape it, flies into a thousand pieces. “I can do nothing with that,” says he; “I must get a piece of iron that will be passive, and then I will make you an axe that will be as keen as a razor.” He gets another piece, and that begins to fly. It is not the fault of the blacksmith. “But,” says the iron, “don’t you handle me in this manner.” He throws that aside: that has got to go back to the furnace again, to be melted and made into a loop, and that turned out into iron again, because it was not passive; and then it becomes passive by getting the snappish stuff out of it: it runs out with the dross. The dross, you know, is very brittle and snappish.

When you find a man or woman snappish and fretful, and not willing to be subject, you may know there is a good deal of dross in that character, because dross is brittle. That dross has got to come out.

Talking about trials, brother Elias says he did not come here with the pioneers. It was pretty hard and laborious, I admit; but it was one of the pleasantest journeys I ever performed. Still there was a great deal of care and anxiety, especially on brother Brigham and those that helped him. Did we persevere? We did. We came here to the Valleys of the Mountains, and you have followed us.

Let me tell you, gentlemen, you have got to learn to be passive and be like clay in the hands of the potter, or be like a tallowed rag or wick before a hot fire: it becomes limber and passive, and you can tie it into a thousand knots, and it will not break.

Are you of that nature that you will not break and fly as though there were a hundred convulsions in you? You have got to come to that standard, as true as you ever become the true subjects and heirs of the kingdom of God. And let brother Brigham take a hundred men of that character, and I would give more for them than ten thousand people who are stiff in their own way; and he would take that hundred men and go into the mountains and whip out the world.

We read that one shall chase a thousand, and two shall put ten thousand to flight. We read that in the Bible. You have always heard it from the days of your youth to the present time. Do you appreciate it?

We will refer to Gideon, the Prophet of God, when his host was so numerous that he went and made a selection of three hundred men to put all his enemies to flight. That is in the Bible. For heaven’s sake, believe that, if you won’t believe me.

There was Daniel, a servant of God, one who kept His commandments; he was valiant, and his friends said to him, “Daniel, put down the window, or they will see you praying.” “I will pray with it open,” he replied; and he opened his window and prayed, and told them all that he asked no odds of them. “I will pray to my Father and God, who can preserve me in a den of lions, or in boiling hot oil, or in anything else, and He will sustain me while He will send you to hell, you poor devils.” He had such confidence in his God.

Should not you have as much confidence in God as brother Brigham, Heber, or the Twelve Apostles have?—as much confidence in this vine as any branch that pertains to it? You should.

To gratify some who cry, “Oh, don’t say anything, brother Heber—don’t say anything, brother Brigham, to bring down the United States upon us,” we have at times omitted printing some of the remarks that might offend the weak-stomached world, and we have made buttermilk and catnip tea to accommodate the tastes of our enemies; but the poor devils are not pleased after all. Would they come any quicker if we told them that they were poor, miserable, priest-ridden curses, who want a President in the chair that dare not speak for fear those hellhounds be on him?

God knew that Zachary Taylor would strike against us, and He sent him to hell. President Fillmore was the next man who came on the platform, and he did us good. God bless him! Then came President Pierce, and he did not strive to injure us. We hoped that the next after him would do us justice; but he has issued orders to send troops to kill brother Brigham and me, and to take the young women to the States.

The woman will be damned that will go: she shall dry up in the fountain of life, and be as though she never was. But there ain’t any agoing—[Voices: “There are none that want to go!”]—unless they are whores. If the soldiers come here, those creatures will have the privilege of showing themselves and of becoming debauched.

I tell you there is not a purer set of women on God’s earth than there is here; and they shall live and bear the souls of men, and bear tabernacles for those righteous spirits that are kept back for the last time, for the winding-up scenery.

Will the President that sits in the chair of state be tipped from his seat? Yes, he will die an untimely death, and God Almighty will curse him; and He will also curse his successor, if he takes the same stand; and he will curse all those that are his coadjutors, and all who sustain him. What for? For coming here to destroy the kingdom of God, and the Prophets, and Apostles, and inspired men and women; and God Almighty will curse them, and I curse them in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ, according to my calling; and if there is any virtue in my calling, they shall be cursed, every man that lifts his heel against us from this day forth. [Voices: “Amen.”]

Am I afraid? No; but I am afraid to do wrong. I feel joy in my heart to be valiant and tell you the truth; and I pray that God my Father and his Son Jesus Christ may bring the evil upon them that they desire for this people.

Our enemies are crying out that we are confused, that we have rebelled, and that the Devil is to pay. I pray that God Almighty may bring that thing upon them that they have imagined upon us. But we are at peace and in harmony; we are worshipping and serving God. Will they overcome us? Never; no, never; no, never, while the earth stands, if we will stand up and be valiant.

I know that you never heard brother Brigham rebuke me for being valiant before this people. He says, “Let her go, Heber; let her slide.” You never saw any other spirit in him in your life; and every other good man there is will say so and has said so; and they are the elect of God, and they will be saved.

But be wise, be wise, be still, as I told a man this morning. Said I, You are always talking, you talk to everybody, and think everybody our friends; but they are not. I have lots and scores of friends here, and so has brother Brigham, who, by their ignorance would destroy us from the earth.

You have received your endowments. What is it for? To learn you to hold your tongues, and keep what you get, and increase upon it. If you do not keep the word of life you receive—that which proceeds from God, your minds never will expand, and you will always be barren, like unto a barren woman.

Now, receive the seed, as Jesus says; and if that seed takes root, it will grow, and swell, and sprout, and bring forth. What will it bring forth? Something like the character that produced the seed. If you plant corn in the field, and that corn is rooted out of the ground, it perishes, and don’t produce anything. Receive the word and treasure it up in your hearts, and then you shall continue to receive the word of life, here a little and there a little; and you shall grow, and increase, and multiply, and no good thing shall be withheld from you.

Learn, above all things, brethren and sisters, to have a passive spirit, and be subject where you should be subject. I hear a great many say, “I am willing to be subject to brother Brigham, but I don’t want to be subject to this one and to that one.” Let me tell you, gentlemen and ladies, if you won’t be subject to my words, and listen to them, and receive them, you will not be subject to and receive brother Brigham’s words. How can it be possible for you to receive his words and reject mine?

Now, we will say brother Brigham is the head of this vine that has sprung out in the latter days—that is, the head of the vine that is upon the earth, that you naturally see; but Joseph was the head of the vine when he was here, and he is now, only you cannot see him: then I am connected to that vine, as one of brother Brigham’s Counselors; and then the Twelve, the Seventies, High Priests, and other officers. Now, just look at it. Why should you not listen to one man as much as to another connected to that vine; in case he produces the fruit of that vine? And they should know whether that branch is connected to the vine: they should know whether the fruit is the same as that produced by the head of the vine.

When I speak the truth, is it not the same as though brother Brigham spoke it? When I tell it as it is in the Lord Jesus Christ, what is the difference? I can go into my garden and show you apple trees there with perhaps a hundred limbs which have apples on them. You may taste an apple from the first or head limb, then of the second, and the third, and the hundredth; and the fruit tastes just alike, because it all came from one tree, and the tree came from the root, and it is all one thing.

This is the principle; we should be connected one with the other, every Quorum in its place, and keep organized, and keep in our places, according to the order of the Church of the Firstborn.

Are we going to be preserved? Bless your souls! I have no more fears, if this people will live their religion, and learn to be passive like clay in the hands of the potter, than as though I was in heaven; for if I was there and rebelled, as Lucifer did, I should expect to be chastised and cast out with all those connected with me.

A great many suppose that when they get there they will be perfectly safe. You will, if you keep the com mandments of God; but if you cannot learn to keep the commandments of God in Great Salt Lake City, how can you learn to keep them when you have to flee to the mountains? And if you cannot keep them here, how do you expect to keep them in Jackson County?—for we are as sure to go back there as we exist.

This Church and kingdom will reign triumphant; and when the United States take a course to bring us into collision, they will strive to take away everything from us that they have given us. What of it? We will make them the aggressors: they shall be the first men that shall rebel against God and against this people; and if we are not the aggressors, and we stand on the defensive, and they come upon us, and they fall into our hands, the Lord says, if they repent and we forgive them, our blessings shall be doubled unto us; so also for the second time: but if he comes upon you the third time, thine enemy is in thine hands; thou mayest do with him as seemeth thee good: but if he repent, and you forgive him the third time, then I will reward unto you a hundredfold. But don’t you forgive, unless brother Brigham does. If he says, Give them justice and righteousness, then it will be right.

Now, you need not sit here as judges, and judge brother Brigham. Good heaven! How does anyone without any priesthood look when judging him and his brethren? He is capable of judging all things pertaining to this kingdom; for he has the keys of light and revelation, and God is with him. I cannot comprehend him, only in proportion to the measure of the Spirit bestowed upon me. Can brother Wells comprehend me? No, he cannot, nor never can, only as he has the same measure of the Spirit; and no man can comprehend his file leader, except he has the same measure of the Spirit.

But let me walk in my place, and the sap that is in brother Brigham is in me; and the sap that is in me is in him: but can I measure any further than my capacity? No. Then what do you judge me for? God will lead brother Brigham; don’t you be scared. He will give him revelation upon revelation; and when he says, Do this or that, God will sanction it, and he will bless all men and women that walk up to it, and curse every one that backs out.

Suppose I am partaking of the same spirit and nourishment that brother Brigham partakes of, and he is resting himself while brother Heber speaks, don’t you see he speaks the mind of brother Brigham? You may see it has been so all the time, and it will be so forever.

You have come to me, and I have given you counsel, and then you have gone to brother Brigham, and he has given you the same counsel; and when you have asked counsel of him, and then come to me, you say, “That is just as brother Brigham said to me.” Do you suppose I could give any counsel contrary to his mind?

Well, then, let that Spirit and power be in our families, and I want to know what difference there will be? Brother Hyde, don’t you never give counsel from this time henceforth but what would be the counsel of brother Brigham. Just so with the Seventies.

There is brother Pratt, in England, and the brethren that preside there: let those men do as the Spirit of God dictates them, without being carried off by some other spirit, and they will never go astray—no, never, although they are nine thousand miles from here. By taking this course, would you ever see a wife trying to pervert the way of her husband? I am talking about good men and good women. Would she do it? No: she would be one with him, even as I am one with brother Brigham.

Listen to the counsel of God and those men that are placed here; and if you will do that, I can promise you, in the name of Israel’s God, and by virtue of my calling, that you never shall be swerved aside, and our enemies shall be overcome every time before they cross that Big Mountain, if we have to do it ourselves.

If I did not say that, you would be calculating that we were going to make a perfect servant and drudge of our God, just as a great many of you wish to make of us. If you want a pound of coffee, or tea, or a pair of shoes, it is, “Come, brother Heber, go quick, and get me what I want; if you don’t, I will go and tell brother Brigham.” Go, and be damned.

I wish that all such characters were in hell, where they belong. [Voice: “They are there.”] I know it; and it is that which makes them wiggle so—the poor, miserable devils. They would make our Father and God a drudge—make him do the dirty work, kill those poor devils, and every poor, rotten-hearted curse in our midst. With them it is, “O Lord, kill them, kill them, damn them, kill them, Lord.” It is just like that, and their course has just as much nonsense in it. We intend to kill the poor curses ourselves, before they get to the Big Mountain. And we are going to dig a cache, or take some natural one, and put all the whining men and women into it, and let them whine. We want to be released from such poor hellions, and we will be; we won’t have a murmurer or complainer in the House of Israel. If we go out to war, let them stay here, and let the Devil handle them.

How long is it, brother Brigham, since we first went to Kirtland? [Brother Brigham: Twenty-four years, this fall.] In September, 1833, we went to Kirtland and gathered with Joseph and the Saints. We had to go and buy guns, and stand in his defense, in that early day; and we did it for months and months, to keep the hellions from him in Kirtland, twenty-four years ago; and so it continued from that day to the day of his death; and it is just so now. They are trying to take the lives of brother Brigham and your leaders. It is their design, and the design of the President of the United States, with his cabinet, and of Congress; and all the priests there are in the world back them up. That is the truth.

Get the Spirit of the Lord, and stop your whining, every one of you. “Oh,” says one, “I will leave you, if you don’t wait on me as you have hitherto, and get me all the things I ask for.” I wish you would: you could not please me better. Does that show such whiners have got integrity in them? A man or woman that has got integrity should have it, if there is nothing but a potato to eat. And if you have not a stocking to your feet, nor a gown, nor a petticoat, nor a short gown, you should be as true as the sun to the servants of the living God; and if you are not so under such circumstances, you would not be if you were loaded down with treasures.

It is true, I will tell you, the day of your being petted is past; and you have got to come to the crisis when the gate will be shut down between us and the United States, and that very soon, ladies and gentlemen; and if you don’t get your test, you may say I am false. [President Young, in a crying tone, said, “There are no more ribbons coming here: what shall I do?”]

O dear, I want to know if we ain’t going to have any more ribbons? A great many of your hearts are on nothing else but ribbons, and fine dresses, and bustles, and fineries: you don’t think of anything else. What is your religion good for, or your integrity? Did brother Brigham and Heber turn away from Joseph, because the Kirtland Bank broke, and the stores all run out, until there was nothing but an old dried-up johnnycake?

Did we forsake him? No, never; and we never had anything except we worked for it and go it by the hardest licks; and our wives would think that they were very extravagant to get a piece of calico of six yards for a dress pattern; and they thought that there were too many puckers then: and now you have got to have six or eight breadths puckered up. Why don’t you take some of those breadths out and make aprons, and not call on your husbands for new calico, &c., every week.

No man on the earth loves women better than I do. I love a good woman, one that has a good spirit; I love that woman that will strive to make me happy, and I love that son that seeks to please his father and mother; for he will make a good husband. I love that daughter that seeks to please her father and mother, because she will make a good wife.

You cannot help yourselves; the gate will be shut down directly, ladies. I am talking to you because it is customary in the States to address the ladies first; so, if you get it first, you must not be jealous of me. I respect our ladies; and there should not be a lady in the house of Israel but what should be like an angel to administer to her husband, and to pray for him, and to nourish him by night and by day, and watch his house and his pillow, and see that he is preserved in the last days.

We have got to go to work and manufacture our own clothing, our shoes, our stockings, our bonnets, our dresses, and everything we need.

I will refer you to brother Brigham’s words. How many times has he said to you, Ladies, make your own bonnets at home, out of the elements that grow in the valley of Great Salt Lake and in the regions round about. Why do you not do it? Tell about listening to brother Brigham! You look today as though you were listening to his counsel.

Many of the sisters presume to judge us. Say they, There is brother Kimball; his women have all got store bonnets, and ribbons, and laces, and this, that, and the other thing, brooches, jewelry, and feather beds sowed under their arms. Ain’t we just as good as they? Yes, if you do as well as they do.

I won’t say anything about anybody else’s family, only my own. Are you listening to brother Brigham’s counsel? Some of you say, I am willing to listen to him. Well, listen to him, and listen to him forever. I am under the necessity of laying out of my substance, and every dime I have got, and that I can get, that I would lay up for a little sugar, a little of this, and a little of that, that we actually need, a little butter and lard, that we grow in our midst; but instead of that, I have to pay every dime I can get for morocco shoes, for my women to wear to meeting; and they will wear out a pair while once going to meeting. [Voice: “Don’t you wish they earned them themselves?”] Yes, I pray that you may have to earn them with your own fingers, or go without them. I pray that prayer, and I know it will come to pass.

I am defending brother Brigham here, and that by the Holy Ghost and the dictation of the counsel he received from the Father, and the Son, and the old Patriarchs, and Prophets. You may go home, and say, Brother Kimball is hard. Go and say it as quick as you please. I ask no odds of any such people. I am independent of you; I know his feelings, I will preach his word, and the word of God that came through him; and that is all that will save you.

Do you want such things to cease? I just know it ain’t right. We ought to make our own leather, and we can make as good as can be made in the States: but no, we must have some States leather. We can make as good things here as can be made by any other people; but you want foreign fixings.

We have our Spanish fixings—a pair of spurs that will weigh seven pounds, ringing and gingling as though all hell was coming. Why don’t you put them away? I want you to make an ox goad with a spike in the end of it, and ram that into your horse, and get this instead of spurs, and destroy a horse at once. I cannot keep a decent horse, neither can brother Brigham, or any other man; for the boys will kill them. Let them rest: they are as good as we are in their sphere of action; they honor their calling, and we do not, when we abuse them: they have the same life in them that you have, and we should not hurt them. It hurts them to whip them, as bad as it does you; and when they are drawing as though their daylights would fly out of them, you must whip, whip, whip. Is there religion in that? No; it is an abuse of God’s creation that he has created for us.

I do not think that many ever suppose that animals are going to be resurrected. When God touched Elijah’s eyes, and he looked on the mountain, he saw chariots and horses, and men by thousands and millions. Where did they come from? There is nothing on this earth but what came from heaven, and it grew and was created before it grew on this earth: the Bible says so.

We grow peaches here, and they are created, and we send them to Sanpete. Don’t they grow before they are sent? Yes, and everything that is upon this earth grew before it came here; it was transported from heaven to earth.

Let as us be merciful to the brute creation.

God bless you, brethren and sisters, and multiply you. Peace be with you, and upon this people, and upon your children, and upon every being on the Lord’s footstool that wishes peace to Israel. [Voices: “Amen.”]

The world is going to seek to destroy us from the earth. [Voice: “They will destroy themselves.”] They will destroy themselves, as the Lord liveth, and the day of their destruction has come. [Voices: “Amen.”]The Lord God will bring mildew on the nation that has afflicted us; for that nation shall take it first, and thence it shall go forth to every nation, kingdom, government, and state, and upon every town that shall lift their heels against God and this people. Amen.