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The Lord’s Supper—a Word to Mothers—The Sacrament in Sabbath Schools—History of Some Things—Young Men to Preside—Home Manufactures

Discourse by President Brigham Young, delivered at a Special Conference Held in Brigham City, Box Elder County, for the Purpose of Organizing a Stake of Zion in Said County, on Sunday Afternoon, August 19, 1877.

Previous to attending to the business to be presented to the congregation this afternoon, I feel to exhort the Latter-day Saints before me to try to realize the sacredness of the ordinance that is now being administered to them, which was introduced by our Savior, that his disciples might witness to the Father that they were truly his followers. On the last time that our Lord met with his disciples, previous to his being betrayed, he administered to them the sacrament. Instead of eating as at other times, he took the bread and blessed and brake it and gave to his disciples, saying to them that he should require of them to meet together to break bread in remembrance of his body, that would suffer for them and for the sins of the world. So when he had blessed and broken the bread, he administered the same to them, saying, “take, eat; this is my body.” When his disciples had eaten, he then took the cup of wine and gave thanks, and gave it to them, saying, “Drink ye all of it; for this is my blood of the New Testament, which is shed for many for the remission of sins.” He came here to redeem fallen man, he being the heir of the family that receive bodies on this earth, that they, through obedience to his requirements and commandments and the ordinances of his house; may be sanctified and prepared to return unto the presence of the Father and there sit down with Jesus, where he will administer to them again in fulfillment of his saying to them, “I will not drink, henceforth of this fruit of the vine, until the day when I drink it anew, with you, in my Father’s kingdom.”

I would exhort my brethren and sisters to receive this ordinance every Sabbath, when they meet together, as is our practice; not following the customs of others, for with some denominations this is administered once a month, with others once in three months, with others never, they not believing in outward ordinances. This is the way with the Christian sects; they teach that portion of the Bible which seemeth right unto them and add such doctrines, views and opinions as suit their own creeds.

We are in the habit of partaking of the contents of the cup each Sabbath when we meet together, and I do pray you my brethren and sisters to contemplate this ordinance thoroughly, and seek unto the Lord with all your hearts that you may obtain the promised blessings by obedience to it. Teach its observance to your children; impress upon them its necessity. Its observance is as necessary to our salvation as any other of the ordinances and commandments that have been instituted in order that the people may be sanctified, that Jesus may bless them and give unto them his spirit, and guide and direct them that they may secure unto themselves life eternal. Impress the sacredness of this important ordinance upon the minds of your children. Many of you who are aged, have witnessed the strength and power of tradition, whether it be correct or false. The power of tradition upon the minds of the inhabitants of the earth is most potent, I might say it is almost almighty. We know the way of life, we have the keys of life in our possession; and if we do not take the pains to train our children, to teach and instruct them concerning these revealed truths, the condemnation will be upon us, as parents, or at least in a great measure. We do not want this sin to rest upon us; we want the people, each and every one to understand their duty and then discharge that duty fearlessly, without favor or hope of earthly reward, having in view the doing of the Father’s will alone and the receiving of the heavenly reward.

Let me here call the special attention of the mothers to what I am going to say: If you mothers will live your religion, then in the love and fear of God teach your children constantly and thoroughly in the way of life and salvation, training them up in the way they should go, when they are old they will not depart from it. I promise you this, it is as true as the shining sun, it is an eternal truth. In this duty we fail; we do not bring up our children in the way they should go, or there would be no turning away, wandering here and there from the society of the Saints. We let our children do too much as they have a mind to; if they want this or that their wishes must be gratified; if they want to go here or there, the mother, in very many instances, is too ready to urge upon the father directly or indirectly, the necessity of accommodating the young mind to the path of folly.

By some it is very well understood that in the days of ancient Israel while in the land of Palestine they were not blessed so profusely as we are with the crystal streams from the mountains. They were in the habit of drinking a great deal of wine, and among the few who have continued to inhabit that land, this habit I believe has been kept up to the present time. It is a wine country. But the Lord has said to us it mattereth not what we partake of when we administer the cup to the people, inasmuch as we do it with an eye single to the glory of God; it is then acceptable to him. Consequently we use water as though it were wine; for we are commanded to drink not of wine for this sacred purpose except it be made by our own hands.

In some of our wards and settlements the administering of the sacrament has been introduced in the Sunday schools. It is very pleasing and gratifying to the spirit that I possess, for the parents to see that their children attend Sunday school and receive the proper instruction with regard to their faith. After the Sunday school is over, let the parents take the pains to bring their children to meeting. This would be very pleasing to me. An idea seems to have gone abroad among the parents, and consequently descends to the children, that when the little ones have been to Sunday school, the remainder of the day is for them to enjoy themselves the best way they can. No more duties, no more obligations to attend meeting. They have been to the Sunday school and the mothers and probably the fathers think this is sufficient. But if we do our duty, each and every one of us, and as communities, and perform the duties required of us, we will see that our children attended all the preaching meetings and meetings for instruction, which it is proper for them to attend, where they, as well as the parents can be taught pertaining to God and to his religion on the earth, for the salvation of the human family. If my brethren and sisters will accept of this exhortation and try to carry it out in their lives, my heart will say to them, “God bless you, peace be with you, love be multiplied upon you.”

We will now attend to the business before us pertaining to the organization of this Stake of Zion in this county of Box Elder. When the people are fully organized we shall expect them strictly to attend to the duties devolving upon them. Brother Franklin D. Richards, in his remarks has drawn out the thread of the organization of the Priesthood and the duties devolving upon the Bishops and upon the Priests, Teachers and Deacons in advancing the faith of the Gospel and seeing that there is no iniquity among the people. We expect this will be carried out. There are many things wherein the people will need instructing, they will receive these instructions from time to time, adding instruction to instruction with regard to the faith, ordinances and commandments of the house of God; our faith in the religion we possess or hope to possess, and in the faith we should possess in the name of our Savior and through him in the Father. And we expect to see an exhibition thereof that will be brighter, that will be more beautiful, more permanent and lasting throughout all the organizations of the Stakes of Zion, than we have heretofore seen. We have a multitude of traditions to overcome, and when this people called Latter-day Saints will be free from these traditions, so that they can take hold of the Gospel and build up the kingdom according to the pattern, I am not able to say; but I hope the time will soon come. I can say I am encouraged, I think there is an improvement, I can perceive a growth in the knowledge of God among the Latter-day Saints. And yet I see many old members of the Church, fathers in the Church and kingdom of God, of long standing, who have been teachers and have been taught, and have exercised themselves in the different duties of the Priesthood, and also in municipal affairs among this people, to direct, to counsel; and yet they seem to have no brightness within them concerning the Priesthood; no knowledge with regard to the dealings of God with his children. We see this; but still on the whole there is an increase of faith, of knowledge, of wisdom, of understanding. When we get to understand all knowledge, all wisdom, that it is necessary for us to understand in the flesh, we will be like clay in the hands of the potter, willing to be molded and fashioned according to the will of him who has called us to this great and glorious work, of purifying ourselves and our fellow beings, and of preparing the nations of the earth for the glory that awaits them through obedience. Here is mystery, here are the hidden mysteries that God has reserved for the latter times, and they are coming forth; the work we have upon us is an immense one, it is great, powerful and divine; it is an almighty work. And with regard to the conduct of this people—if an angel should come here and speak his feelings as plainly as I do, I think he would say, “O, Latter-day Saints! Why don’t you see, why don’t you open your eyes and behold the great work resting upon you and that you have entered into? You are blind, you are stupid, you are in the dark, in the mist and fog, wandering to and fro like the boat upon the water without sail, rudder or oar; and you know not whither you are going.” But we run first this way, and then that way, turning here and turning there, strewing our ways to strangers and doing that which we should not do. I will refer to a little incident.

I used to travel this road running through here several times during the season. I recollect, not many years ago, there was a little gold found in Montana. The inhabitants of Utah, called Latter-day Saints, took everything that the Lord caused the earth to bring forth that they could pack in their wagons, and carried it away to those who would not even speak a good word for them. Brother Staines referred to and related facts to us yesterday. He told us that there were a great many people in these mountains, and a great many had been here, who had become acquainted with this people, whom they acknowledged to be an industrious and honest people; that some had said to him they would rather trust themselves with the people of Utah than any other community, feeling safer with them. But when the hue and cry was raised that the “Mormons” were rising against the law, and against the rules and regulations and all that is good pertaining to the society of this great republic and were in open rebellion, where could be found the man to open his mouth or to write a word saying, “This is false, it is not true.” Did you find or hear of any such men? But very few, and they will be blessed for so doing. Are we at all astonished at the silence of the great majority under such circumstances? No. It has always been so; it is so now, and will continue to be so; for there is no union, no affiliation, no fellowship between Christ and Baal. Baal will fight the Savior, the enemy will fight against the law of God, and he will never give up the contest until he is taken and bound and cast into “the bottomless pit.” And these honorable men, these good men who with their families have received the blessings from the hands of this people; those to whom we have given our substance, our flour and breadstuffs, our money and whatever we had, were there any of them who opened their mouths in justification of the innocent, the pure and good, and denounced the falsehoods and the slanders of those that raised the cry against us? If there were any I do not know it. But they say to the liars, “Lie on about those ‘Mormons,’ we like to hear it.” Whilst on the other hand these Latter-day Saints are giving everything that the Lord bestows upon them just as fast as they receive it; not resting satisfied until they hand everything over to the laps and hands of our enemies. A great many will say, “But we are not your enemies.” Why then do you not speak out and tell the truth about us?

Regarding the brethren carrying their substance north to Montana, I will say I knew a man who undertook to head off all this, by trying to organize the Elders of Israel into a society to raise an influence by which they might control the northern market; but no, they rebelled against it. But what I was going to mention, go into the northern settlements, and you would see the wagons by hundreds and thousands hauling off the provisions to those who would never speak a word in our favor. Yes, we are generous enough to feed them, and clothe them, and give them money. And then, when the enemy would raise persecution against the Latter-day Saints, they can sit and laugh at it. All the merchants among us we have made rich. Do you know of any that brought money here? If you do, you know more than I do, and I think I am as well acquainted with them as anyone. Who brought capital here and spent that capital? They came here poor, and made their capital, but they never lifted their voice in behalf of anyone; but they laugh and sheer around the corner and in their sleeve when they see the storm of trouble coming upon the Latter-day Saints. I will not tell their doom, they will find it out quick enough; a good many have found it already. Our persecutors too who die, and they keep dying, their end is sorrow, both priests and people.

There is a good deal of money spent. I know of one man who spent many thousands of dollars trying to organize the Elders in such a manner that they could hold the control of the market. But no. Wild as the deer upon the mountains, running by day and by night, ofttimes under the shades of night, to get away from this and other towns, lugging off the blessings that God had poured into their laps. We have counseled the people to save their grain. Supposing we had a few million bushels of grain on hand, would it do us any hurt? To say the least, we certainly might as well have kept it, for we got nothing for it; we did not even pay for the transportation of our substance.

Will famine come? Yes! Will plagues come? Yes! Will distress come upon the nations? Yes, and upon this nation, and that, too, before a great while. When they made war upon us some eighteen years ago, how it pleased and tickled the masses who thought that now destruction was to overtake the Latter-day Saints. I told many, and sent word to Congress saying, that it would prove the opening wedge for the struggle of war between the North and South. But some gentlemen took the liberty of saying, time after time, “No, no, that cannot be.” Said I, “It will be so, and I tell it to you in the name of Israel’s God.” And when the press delight in publishing such falsehoods about the Latter-day Saints as they have done, and the people delight to read them, you will see real trouble crop out in and among themselves. Is there power enough in the Federal Government to put down mobocracy. No! And it is a truth that they whom the Lord makes weak are weak indeed; and those whom the Lord makes strong are strong indeed. Strength was given to the North in the last struggle, and the South suffered extremely. But the time will come when the North will be weaker than the South was, and they will have no power to muster their forces against the tide of folly that will come upon them, that they bring upon themselves, and they themselves must receive the results.

But say the Latter-day Saints, “How are we living?” If you were to hear an angel talk to you, and tell just what he sees and understands, you would say, that is as sharp preaching as brother Brigham’s; his words are sharper than brother Brigham’s. And they would be. And still we are improving a little; but oh! what improvement we have yet to make in order to acquire such victory over ourselves as to bring ourselves into perfect subjection to the law of Christ. Let us take heed, and teach our children by precept and example to love and serve the Lord. What a glorious sight was presented to us yesterday on our arrival at your depot, to witness the hosts of children that lined the sidewalks. You have here in this little city the buds, the beginning of a nation. Be careful my brethren and my sisters how you conduct yourselves. See that you bring yourselves in subjection to the law of Christ, and then teach your children in the spirit of love and affection the way of life, so that they will not stray away from you, becoming heady and high-minded, wandering after the foolish fashions of the world, the pleasures of the world; but let them make their delight in that which is virtuous and true, for this is more pleasurable than all the vanities of the world. Real wisdom is real pleasure; real wisdom, prudence, and understanding, is real comfort.

(The Presidency of the Stake were then unanimously elected—namely, Oliver G. Snow as President, and Elijah A. Box and Isaac Smith as his counselors, who also received their ordinations. Elder William Box was ordained a Patriarch. The names of the members of the High Council were presented, and that of the President of the High Priests’ Quorum, together with the names of the Bishops of the several Wards, all of which were unanimously sustained. The President then continued:)

I have a few words to say to the Latter-day Saints concerning these young men we have called to preside over the people of this Stake of Zion. They are young—they have not the experience that older men have; but if they do not possess more wisdom than a good many of our old experienced men, I am sorry. There are a good many that do not profit by the experience they have got, they do not know how to do so. I want to tell you the reason why we have made the selection of brother Oliver G. Snow to preside here. He is the son of brother Lorenzo Snow, who has hitherto presided here. By appointing brother Oliver to this position, I think he will be under his father’s care, and where he can get the wisdom his father possesses. And I will say to the credit of the people here, they have done well. And brother Lorenzo Snow, who has had charge of you, has set the best example for the literal building up of the kingdom of God of any of our presiding Elders. There is one man in the South who I think will come up to this standard, and continue on. But brother Snow has led the people and guided them and counseled them in the way that they should go, apparently without their knowing anything about it, until he got them into the harness; and I like this very much.

Our motive is to make every man and woman to know just as much as we do; this is the plan of the Gospel, and this is what I would like to do. I would like all the Latter-day Saints to come up to this standard, and know as much as I do, and then just as much more as they can learn, and if they can get ahead of me, all right. I can then have the privilege of following after them. If they keep up close to me, so that they will understand as I do the workings of the Spirit, they will do a good deal better than they do now. But the beauty and excellency of the wisdom that God has revealed to us is to fill everybody with wisdom, bringing them up to the highest standard of knowledge and wisdom, purifying us and preparing us to enter into the highest state of glory, knowledge and power, that we may become fit associates of the Gods and be prepared to dwell with them. This I say is the beauty and glory of the great knowledge that God has revealed unto the Latter-day Saints. You may ask in what particular? In every particular. For the knowledge men possess of every science, every art, every study there is, and every branch of mechanism known to men, they are indebted to the Lord. True men may have been taught it by his fellow man and he may have discovered much himself; but all originated with God our Heavenly Father, through his agents to the children of men. The faith and philosophy of our religion comprehends all things, believes all things, hopes all things, and I wish I was able to say a little better than I am, endures all things. But we must endure all things that we cannot help, enduring patiently until we are counted worthy to be free.

I want to say this with regard to brother Oliver G. Snow; virtually we leave brother Lorenzo to overlook you. Can you understand this? If you cannot you cannot see as I do. Brother Snow has exhibited splendid talent in what he has done towards making this people self-sustaining. Shall I give you my ideas in brief with regard to business and business transactions. Here for instance is a businessman, a merchant, comes to our neighborhood, with a stock of goods; he sells them at from two to ten hundred percent above what they cost. As a matter of course he soon becomes wealthy, and after a time he will be called a millionaire, when perhaps he was not worth a dollar when he commenced to trade. You will hear many say of such a person, what a nice man he is, and what a great financier he is! My feeling of such a man is he is a great cheat, a deceiver, a liar! He imposes on the people, he takes that which does not belong to him, and is a living monument of falsehood. Such a man is not a financier! The financier is he that brings the lumber from the Canyons and shapes it for the use of his fellow man, employing mechanics and laborers to produce from the elements and the crude material everything necessary for the sustenance and comfort of man; one who builds tanneries to work up the hides instead of letting them rot and waste or be sent out of the country to be made into leather and then brought back in the shape of boots and shoes; and that can take the wool, the furs and straw and convert the same into cloth, into hats and bonnets, and that will plant out mulberry trees and raise the silk, and thus give employment to men, women and children, as you have commenced to do here, bringing the elements into successful use for the benefit of man, and reclaiming a barren wilderness, converting it into a fruitful field, making it to blossom as the rose; such a man I would call a financier, a benefactor of his fellow man. But the great majority of men who have amassed great wealth have done it at the expense of their fellows, on the principle that the doctors, the lawyers and the merchants acquire theirs. Such men are impositions on the community, and they ought to be taken and put to some honorable labor such as raising potatoes, raising grain, cattle and sheep, and performing other useful and necessary labors for the good of mankind. Amen.




Items of History—The Pioneers—Talking to the Children—Peace in Utah—God a Personage of Tabernacle—The Foolish Fashions

Address by President Brigham Young, delivered to the Sunday School Children, in the New Tabernacle, Salt Lake City, July 24, 1877.

If I can have quiet and the strict attention of the congregation I think all can hear me. The children, as well as those of older growth and manhood, will please cease their talking one to another, cease the rubbing of feet on the floor, cease to make noise. I have a few words for the children. The larger portion of this congregation have been born in this Territory; they know nothing of the outside world; they know but little in comparison as to the cause of their birth and education within the valleys of these mountains. A short recital of the reasons, why these children before me were born here instead of being born in the States, I can give to you, and will endeavor to do so in a few words.

In 1830, forty-seven years ago last March, the Book of Mormon was printed and bound. Joseph Smith had received revelation, and plates on which were engraved characters from which the book was translated. Before the book was printed, before Joseph had the privilege of testifying to the truth of the latter-day work, persecution was raised against him. On the 6th day of April of the same year the Church of Jesus Christ was organized. Persecution increased and continued to increase. He left the State of New York and went to the State of Ohio. The Gospel was preached there and many received it. A settlement was formed, but Joseph had not the privilege of staying there long before they hunted him so deter minedly that he was forced to leave Kirtland and the State of Ohio. He then went to Missouri. In the year 1838, in the month of March, in company with a number of brethren, myself included, Joseph arrived at Far West, Caldwell County, Missouri. We had not the privilege of staying there more than for a few months before the cry was raised against Joseph Smith, that he was guilty of high treason. This aroused the people and the government of the State; and in October, thirty-five hundred of the militia of the State of Missouri were marched against a few of us in Far West. They succeeded in taking Joseph and Hyrum and sixty-five others and putting them in prison. When Joseph had his trial, the great accusation against him was that he believed in the fulfillment of prophecy—the prophecies that had been made by Prophets of old and contained in Holy Writ. When Judge King asked Joseph if he believed the predictions of Daniel the Prophet, that in the latter days the God of heaven would set up a kingdom which should succeed and finally rule and hold dominion over all other kingdoms, Joseph replied that he did believe this scripture as well as the rest. This was considered treason! Joseph’s lawyer turned to Judge King and said, “Judge, I think you had better write it down that the Bible is high treason,” and this was all they found against him. But the mob continued until they drove the Latter-day Saints out of the State of Missouri. We were told if we remained there the people would be upon us. What we were guilty of we did not know, only that we believed in the Bible and the fulfillment of prophecy, or, in other words, in the literal reading of the word of God. They succeeded, after killing many of the Latter-day Saints—men, women, and children, cruelly mas sacring them, in driving us out of the State to the State of Illinois, where the people received us with open arms, especially the inhabitants of the city of Quincy; for which kindness the hearts of our people who passed through these scenes have ever been lifted to God, petitioning for blessings upon them. And they have been blessed. We lived in the State of Illinois a few years; and here, as elsewhere, persecution overtook us. It came from Missouri, centering itself upon Joseph, and fastened itself upon others. We lived in Illinois from 1839 to 1845, by which time they again succeeded in kindling the spirit of persecution against Joseph and the Latter-day Saints. Treason! Treason! Treason! they cried, calling us murderers, thieves, liars, adulterers, and the worst people on the earth. And this was done by the priests, those pious dispensers of the Christian religion whose charity was supposed to be extended to all men, Christian and heathen; they were joined by drunkards, gamblers, thieves, liars, in crying against the Latter-day Saints. They took Joseph and Hyrum, and as a guarantee for their safety, Governor Thomas Ford pledged the faith of the State of Illinois. They were imprisoned, on the pretense of safe keeping, because the mob was so enraged and violent. The Governor left them in the hands of the mob, who entered the prison and shot them dead. John Taylor, who is present with us to day, was in the prison too, and was also shot, and was confined to his bed for several months afterwards. After the mob had committed these murders they came upon us and burned our houses and our grain. When the brethren would go out to put out the fire, the mob would lie concealed under fences, and in the darkness of the night, they would shoot them. At last they succeeded in driving us from the State of Illinois.

Three congressmen came in the Fall of 1845, and had a Conference with the Twelve and others; they were desirous that we should leave the United States. We told them we would do so, we had stayed long enough with them; we agreed to leave the State of Illinois in consequence of that religious prejudice against us that we could not stay in peace any longer. These men said the people were prejudiced against us. Stephen A. Douglas, one of the three, had been acquainted with us. He said, “I know you, I knew Joseph Smith; he was a good man,” and this people was a good people; but the prejudices of the priests and the ungodly are such that, said he, “Gentlemen, you cannot stay here and live in peace.” We agreed to leave. We completed our Temple far enough to give endowments to many. We left Nauvoo in February, 1846. There remained behind a few of the very poor, the sick and the aged, who suffered again from the violence of the mob: they were whipped and beaten, and had their houses burned. We traveled west, stopping in places, building settlements, where we left the poor who could not travel any further with the company. Exactly thirty years today, myself, with others, came out of what we named Emigration Canyon; we crossed the Big and Little mountains, and came down the valley about three quarters of a mile south of this. We located, and we looked about, and finally we came and camped between the two forks of City Creek, one of which ran southwest and the other west. Here we planted our standard on this Temple block and the one above it; here we pitched our camps and determined that here we would settle and stop. Still our brethren who tarried by the way were toiling through poverty and distress. At one time, I was told, they would have perished from starvation, had not the Lord sent quails among them. These birds flew against their wagons, and they either killed or stunned themselves, and the brethren and sisters gathered them up, which furnished them with food for days, until they made their way in the wilderness.

Children, we are the pioneers of this country, with one exception, west of the Mississippi River; we established the first printing press in every State from here to the Pacific Ocean, and we were the first to establish libraries, and the first to establish good schools; we were the first to plant out orchards and to improve the desert country, making it like the garden of Eden.

I will not prolong this recital; but will ask the children if they can now understand why they were born here in this far off land? You might just as well have been born in Missouri or Illinois, if your parents had been treated as they should have been. If let alone to enjoy the rights and liberties in common with our fellow men, we would have beautified the land, made it an Eden and adorned it with everything desirable. But we were not allowed to stay there to possess the homes we had made; and consequently we are here and this has been your birthplace. And now that we are here, we are followed by a set of men who are ready to reenact the scenes that we have already passed through. But we are now where we can keep and preserve ourselves in the possession of our homes and property. They drove us to the fastnesses of the Rocky Mountains, and it will be a hard matter to dispossess us again; it will prove a job, if undertaken, that they would be glad to let out before they get fairly into it. But still they are after us; and when you hear of this and that with regard to myself, being guilty of this and that wrong; I would have you look at those who make these accusations, look at certain characters we have and have had in our midst who are called ministers of justice, ministers of the law; they are bosom companions of thieves, liars and murderers; but the honorable and upright they hate because their deeds are evil; and they believe they have a mission, but it is a hard one to accomplish.

You can now understand, my children, why you were born in Utah, and not in either Missouri or Illinois. If they had let us alone we would have made those lands an Eden, and we would have molested or hurt no one. For there are no people that preserve the laws of our government as well as the Latter-day Saints.

Now, permit me to cast one reflection before closing this part of my address. You have been reading of the great and alarming “uprising of the Mormons!” What a terrible time they are experiencing in Utah! etc.

Wonderful! Wonderful! You have seen your fathers, who are farmers, go to their farms, and those who are mechanics, to their workshops, and our merchants to their place of business, without molesting any person, and what a terrible state of affairs this is. You have read, too, in our late papers about the uprising of the railroad strikers, which has really taken place; does it not seem singular to you why these characters, who are so afraid of trouble, do not go east and lend their aid and moral influence to quell the riot? You can understand that if we had been let alone we would have done justice and preserved the laws. Who pay their taxes as well as do the Latter-day Saints? No people. Who honor so well the laws of our govern ment? No other people. This is the speech that brother George Q. Cannon was expected to have made. He wanted me to make it and I have to make the two speeches in one.

Now, a few words of counsel to the children. Do you feel, children, that you can remain patient and endure my talk a little longer? I think you can. A few words of counsel to you, to you that understand what I am saying, I hope you will observe what I say and remember it, and carry it out in your lives. The first is to love the Lord your God with all your hearts. And the next is to honor your parents, that your days may be long in the land which the Lord your God has given us. Observe, children, and hearken. You are taught to worship the Lord, so are the children of the Christian world. They have their Sunday schools, and churches and meetinghouses, and their ministers and teachers who instruct the children. You go to them and ask them if they know anything about that Holy Being whom they worship, and whom they call God. Not that the comprehension of children is equal to that of the aged philosopher, but still you have some understanding. Children, when you ask the ministers of Christendom whom they worship, they will tell you, “Oh, we worship God!” Who is that God? Can you tell us where he lives? The answer is, “No.” Can you tell us anything about his character? He is a personage without any body at all; he has neither body nor parts, he has no head, he has no ears, he has no eyes to see, he has no nose to smell, no mouth to speak, no arms to handle anything, nor a body to which these arms can be attached; he has no legs, he therefore cannot walk; and finally they say, to sum him up to our entire satisfaction, he is a personage without body, parts or passions.

Now, little children, can you conceive what kind of a being this is? You say, “It’s nothing at all.” That is just what it is; it is a myth; it is nothing to look at, nothing to adore, nothing to worship, nothing to admire, nothing to appeal to for help. He has no arms to either handle us or our enemies; he has no legs, he can neither walk to them nor to us; he has no eyes to behold their follies or ours. And this is the god that the Christian world worship, and teach their children to worship.

Now, children, remember this. We teach you that our Father in heaven is a personage of tabernacle, just as much as I am who stand before you today, and he has all the parts and passions of a perfect man, and his body is composed of flesh and bones, but not of blood. He, therefore, has eyes to see, and his eyes are upon all the works of his hands; he has ears, which are open to hear the prayers of little children, and he loves you, and knows you, for you are all his offspring; and his knowledge of you is so minute that, to use the language of the ancients, not a hair of your head falls to the ground unnoticed. This is the kind of God we worship. Children, call upon him in your childhood and youth, for from such as you he has said he will not turn away. Ask the Father to protect you; always ask him, in the name of Jesus, for his spirit. The youth, the child, those who are partially grown, as well as the aged, cease not to call upon God with all your hearts. Remember this. Obey your parents, honor them and seek to do them good. And parents, seek to honor your children; bring them up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord. Teach them truth and not error; teach them to love and serve God; teach them to believe in Jesus Christ the Son of God and the Savior of the world, who is a personage of tabernacle. He was to all appearance like other men, and he was the express image of the Father. If he were here, today, as he appeared at Jerusalem, he would pass through this Congregation, and no one would suppose but what he was an ordinary stranger visiting us. Children, believe in this character, he is the Savior of the world, and the Father has appointed him to act in his exalted position. It is not my business nor yours to question the Father why he appointed this Jesus to be the Savior of the world. If you do not now fully comprehend this, the time will come when you will. Remember, too, the great principle of improvement. Learn! Learn! Learn! Continue to learn, to study by observation and from good books! Listen to the instruction of your parents, and of your brethren who hold the holy Priesthood, and they will teach you the ways of happiness and of life eternal. If any of you are so unfortunate as to have parents who wander into by and forbidden paths, and who do things that are wrong, follow not after them, but honor them and be kind to them, and teach them by example the better way. Study the Bible, the Book of Mormon, the Doctrine and Covenants, read the sermons that are published in the Deseret News, as well as all the standard works of the Church. Such reading will afford you instruction and improvement; but novels allure the mind and are without profit.

Little girls, permit me to ask you, Won’t you be so kind and so good as to take those pins or the india-rubber cords out of the back of the skirts of your dresses, so that you will look comely. They make you look uncomely, to see your dresses drawn around you, showing your form. Mothers ought to be ashamed of teaching their children such things. Dress your children and yourselves in that comely, angelic manner that, were an angel to visit you, you would not feel ashamed. I am very pleased to say that there are some of our girls, and numbered among them are some of my own, whom you could not get to adopt these follies. Ask your mothers, then, to make your clothes suitable and becoming; and keep your hair smooth and nice. The hair is given to the female for adornment; and therefore let the ladies, young and old, adorn their heads with their hair. Mothers should study and children should study to preserve the skin of the children from being ruined by dirt, and the heat of a scorching sun, and to keep themselves clean and pure; but children, now remember, study those books that teach you the way of life and salvation.

You see that the infant and the children die. How many of you witness the infant lying in its little coffin, and here lie the child and the youth; they pass away in death. And again, here are the middle-aged, many of them pass away into eternity; the old people must die. And the world is but a span.

Are we going to cease to exist? No, this world is only a preparatory place to gain a knowledge of God, that we may be prepared to enter into a higher state of existence and glory, and grow up unto Christ our living head. Learn the ways of the Lord in your youth, and continue therein all the days of your life, that you may be prepared for that higher state of glory that awaits the faithful children of our God.

I have said enough to answer my own feelings, for this occasion, and perhaps to satisfy you. I say to all, God bless you, my children, my little ones. I love you, I am a great lover of children and innocence and purity, and I am a hater of iniquity, just as much so as the Lord, and perhaps more than I should be. I do not know this. I think very frequently, in looking upon the actions of men, that I do not have compassion enough; but when I see the wolf among the lambs I am after them, to see that they do not destroy the lambs. And when you are told that you do not know anything about “Mormonism,” you may know it is wrong; you know something of it every day. I would have given worlds if I could have known the truth in my childhood, as I now hear it. I had a great desire to know it, and the priests were after me from the time I was eight years of age. I was infidel to their creeds, but not to the Bible, not to God, not to holiness, but to the creeds of the children of men I was infidel, and am to this day. I say, God bless you, my children. I give all of you an invitation to attend the meetings on the Sabbath day, to hear the preaching and to worship God, and to spend the Sabbath day prudently in the love and fear of God. Try to adopt in your whole lives that code of morals which our religion teaches, and which we urge upon the people. God bless you. Amen.




Relief Societies—Talk to Mothers—Improvement Societies—Domestic Matters—Training Children—Home Production—Silk Interests

Discourse by President Brigham Young, delivered in the Tabernacle, Ogden, at a Meeting of the Relief Societies of Weber County, July 19, 1877.

[The following discourse was delivered by President Brigham Young; it was not revised by our respected President, but is presented as reported by brother James Taylor, of Ogden.]

I expected to attend a meeting of the Relief Societies of this Stake of Zion to hear reports, and comments from the Presidency, the Secretaries, and from those that they would call upon to speak. I learn from the President that the calculation was to invite the brethren to come here and talk to them, instead of their talking to us, and to give them instructions, point out their duties, and direct them with regard to their future course of life. This we are willing to do, on conditions. Were I to ask you if you are willing to comply with those conditions, I have no doubt but what you would at once answer me in the affirmative, and believe that you would carry out the declaration of your own voices, for this would be your mind. The question is, will you carry out our instructions? We leave each and everyone to determine that by their future lives. We hope that the people will hearken and by their acts respond to our requests.

The people called Latter-day Saints say that they wish to know and understand how to order their lives before Him whom we serve and acknowledge as our Father and our God. If I were to give you my own feelings with regard to instructions, many of you would perhaps consider it egotism; still, I take the liberty of saying to these my sisters, if the counsel and instruction that your unworthy servant has given to the inhabitants of the earth had been obeyed and carried out, I have taught them enough to have saved the nations of the earth, and to have made every one of them to be Latter-day Saints.

We are professedly Saints. What is the difference between a Saint of God and an angel of God? One is clothed upon with mortality, the other has passed through mortality and has received the celestial glory of our heavenly Father, and is free from the contaminating influences of sin that we have to contend with. This is the difference. We ask the question, can mortal beings live so that they are worthy of the society of angels? I can answer the question for myself—I believe that they can; I am sure that they can. But in doing this, they must subdue the sin that is within themselves, correct every influence that arises within their own hearts that is opposed to the sanctifying influences of the grace of God, and purify themselves by their faith and by their conduct, so that they are worthy. Then they are prepared for the society of angels. To be Saints indeed, requires every wrong influence that is within them, as individuals, to be subdued, until every evil desire is eradicated, and every feeling of their hearts is brought into entire subjection to the will of Christ. Now you all believe this just as much as I do.

The first thing I am going to introduce to my sisters is the condition of this community. Since I have come into this place I understand that you have a great deal of sickness here. “It is very warm weather,” one says. “A great deal of sickness,” says another. I want to say to you that warm weather is very healthy weather. And I can say still further, with regard to our climate, a dry climate is a healthy climate, much more so than where a damp miasma arises from swamps and decayed materials, which is so frequently the case in low lands, especially in the Mississippi Valley, but not so on this western slope. Now I want you to understand what I am talking to you—this weather is beautiful weather to enjoy health.

Now I will talk to you mothers. If I were invited to your houses to take supper, or breakfast tomorrow morning, if you have it within your reach you will have a platter of meat cooked, and will put this before your children. They are hungry, and require something to satisfy the demands of nature. You place this before them, and, if they choose, in our country, they may gorge themselves to overflowing. You do not stop to ask them if they have eaten sufficient, and ask them now to desist, and eat moderately. You will let your children eat green apples and berries of any kind; sit down and eat fat meat, if they choose it and like it; and fill their systems with swine’s flesh which is more susceptible of diseases than any other flesh that we eat. It is not like fish or fowl. It is susceptible of disease of every kind, and will impregnate the system with disease far quicker than any other food that we eat. Now, mothers, it is well for you to think of these things. I will tell you how you can enjoy health. You let your children have a little milk in the morning. I would prefer putting it over the fire and boiling it, and put one-third water in it, with a little flour and a particle of salt to make it palatable. Give them a little bread with it—not soft bread, teach your children to eat crust—hard baked bread, that the Americans would call stale, but the English would not. Teach them to eat this, and to eat sparingly. Instead of drinking unhealthy water, boil such water, and let it stand until it is cool. If the children are in the least troubled with summer complaint, and are weak in their bowels, make a weak composition tea, sweeten it with loaf sugar, and put a little nice cream in it; and let the children make a practice of drinking composition instead of cold water. Mothers, keep the children from eating meat; and let them eat vegetables that are fully matured, not unripe, and bread that is well baked, not soft. Do not put your loaf into the oven with a fire hot enough to burn it before it is baked through, but with a slow heat, and let it remain until it is perfectly baked; and I would prefer, for my own eating, each and every loaf to be no thicker than my two hands—you tell how thick they are—and I would want the crust as thick as my hand.

Now for experience. You see I am creeping up into years; and I have been from my boyhood a person of observation. I have many and many a time said to children when they begged for the soft bread, that was not baked thoroughly, “Look here; you will not live very long; you will probably come to a premature grave.” I have noticed invariably the child that selects the soft bread to be a short-lived person. The children that hunt around after the crust and eat it, I have noticed endure, live, and continue to live on. Have you ever noticed this? I have quite aged sisters here; and I am talking to many that have children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren, like myself. Have you ever observed this? If you have not I wish you would commence to reflect upon it.

You say you are improving. These societies are for the improvement of our manners, our dress, our habits, and our methods of living. Now, sisters, will you take notice, and instruct those who are not here today, to adopt this rule—stop your children from eating meat, and especially fat meat; let them have composition to drink, instead of unhealthy water; let them eat a little milk porridge; let them eat sparingly and not oppress the stomach so as to create a fever. No matter whether it is a child or a middle-aged person, whenever the stomach is overloaded and charged with more than is required it creates a fever; this fever creates sickness, until death relieves the sufferer. Now the people do not think of this. You ought to have thought of it. I have taught this for years and years to the people. When we commence to shape our lives according to the judgment that is given to us, and we exercise a proper portion of thought, and study the laws of life, to know what to give, and how to guide and direct our children and ourselves, we shall find that the longevity of this people will increase. Although it is a fact that the longevity of this people is as great perhaps as that of any other people at the present time; yet we shall find if we will hearken to the wisdom our Heavenly Father has given us, this will increase; and we shall learn at once that we are enjoying better health, we shall have a greater amount of vitality, and a stronger development of ability, and by temperance and moderation lay the foundation for the development of the mind. Now, here let me throw in a side remark. I do not mean to go without food and go to fasting. This is the other extreme. A sufficient amount of food that will agree with the stomach is healthy, and should be partaken of. Aged or middle aged, youth or children, never should go without food until their stomachs are faint, demanding something to sustain their systems, and continue to undergo this; for this lays the foundation of weakness, and this weakness will tempt disease. But keep the stomach in a perfectly healthy condition. Now I do not mean fasting, but eating moderately; and if my sisters will go home and commence to adopt this rule, you will find that you begin to get better, your children and neighbors will get better. We do not expect all to be free from sickness. I have had a great deal of sickness in my life. I do not expect to be free from the ills, the weakness, debility and disease that prey upon the human family, but we can amend our ways, and amend our life by being prudent; and I wish the sisters to understand this, and to adopt these instructions; and if you do not learn before the month of July is gone that your sickness has departed, I shall be very much disappointed. So much for the health of the people. Will you listen?

Here are mothers. Who give the key to the nations of the earth with regard to their feelings, pride, prejudices; their religion, habits and customs, and, I may say, who, in a great degree, govern, that lay the foundation for the ability that is exhibited among the nations of men? It is the mothers. Who have laid the foundations in the hearts of children to prepare them to be great and good men? It is not the fathers—it is the mothers. It is like the saying of the Savior with regard to the poor. Speaking to his disciples, he says: “For the poor always ye have with you, but me ye have not always.” Now the children are always with the mother, and the mother is always with the children, but the father they have not. He is in the field, at his work; and the mother is all the time making impressions upon the minds of the children. Permit me here to say, mothers, and my sisters, you who are young, it will do you good if you will only observe it. You see, hear and witness a good deal of contention among children—some of you do, if not all—and I will give you a few words with regard to your future lives, that you may have children that are not contentious, not quarrelsome. Always be good-na tured yourselves is the first step. Never allow yourselves to become out of temper and get fretful. Why, mother says, “this is a very mischievous little boy or little girl.” What do you see? That amount of vitality in those little children that they cannot be still. If they cannot do anything else they will tip over the chair, cut up and pull away at anything to raise a row. They are so full of life that they cannot contain themselves; and they are something like ourselves—boys. They have so much vitality in them that their bones fairly ache with strength. They have such an amount of vitality—life, strength and activity, that they must dispose of them; and the young ones will contend with each other. Do not be out of temper yourselves. Always sympathize with them and soothe them. Be mild and pleasant. If you see a child with knives and forks, playing with them, it might put out its eyes. It will not do to give it a hammer and a looking glass. What will you do? I am a person of experience, and know to deal with children. If the child has in its hand that which it should not have, let the mother or the father, or whoever has charge of the child or has the right, take such things from it, and put them away where they belong. Now, mother, listen to this—never ask a child to give up that which it should not have. Step up kindly and put the article where it belongs. The child will not say anything. A little circumstance took place in Salt Lake City. I had business in a house where I had understood there had been considerable trouble occasionally; and the mother would not let the father speak to the children, to chastise them. I went into the house and talked to the man. The lady came in and sat down. I pretty soon saw a little girl, about two years old, with a tip thimble in her mouth, sucking it. I went up to the girl, took the thimble from her and put it on the mantle shelf. Says I to the mother—“you must not allow the child to have this thing; if it should go into the stomach it will decay.” The man looked at me as if he would faint away. He was a large man, but I suppose he never attempted to say such a thing to his wife in his life. I said it; and the mother was so confounded that she did not say a word; and it would not have done her any good it she had. Now, if you will mind this—You bring up your children correctly, and teach them those principles and habits that are correct, and you will find that you will improve very materially in your families. If you find that the children are cruel, do not contend with them, soothe them, and invite those who through accident have injured a little sister to pity her. “You have accidentally hurt your little sister, go and kiss her.” By taking this course you will have good children, and they will not contend with each other. I am talking to you of that which I know. I have had an experience in these matters.

I will relate a little incident that occurred in my own family. A little boy about three and a half years old was very ill. His mother would feed him bread and milk, or whatever he wished. As soon as he could stand by her, every day he wanted his bread and milk. Just as soon as he had got what he wanted, he would throw up his hand, and away went the basin to the floor. His mother did not know what to do. Said I, “If you will do just as I tell you, I will tell you what to do. The next time you sit down to feed this little boy, when he has got through he will knock the dish out of your hand.” Said I, “lean him against the chair, do not say one word to him, go to your work, pay no attention to him whatever.” She did so. The little fellow stood there, looked at her, watched her; then he would look at the basin and the spoon, watch his mother, and look at the basin and spoon again. By and by he got down and crept along the floor and climbed up to the chair, and then set the basin on the table, and crept until he got the spoon and put it on the table. He never tried to knock that dish out of her hand again. Now she might have whipped him and injured him, as a great many others would have done; but if they know what to do, they can correct the child without violence.

One of the nicest things in the world is to let an enemy alone entirely, and it mortifies him to death. If your neighbors talk about you, and you think that they do wrong in speaking evil of you, do not let them know that you ever heard a word, and conduct yourselves as if they always did right, and it will mortify them, and they will say, “We’ll not try this game any longer.” I have seen men, and women also, that are never happy until they are miserable, and never easy until they are in pain.

These are little things; but is not the world made up of little things? The whole earth is composed of these small atoms of sand. Our lives are made up of little, simple circumstances that amount to a great deal when they are brought together, and sum up the whole life of the man or woman; and yet in our passing from one to another our little acts and incidents seem to be very minute or simple, but we find that they amount to a great deal.

Now, sisters, will you learn these things. I want to see the children of this people grow as they should; and I want to go a little farther with regard to our children. Commence, mothers, just as quick as the child is old enough to understand, which is quite young. They observe the acts and doings of the mother, and whoever is present. From these acts they imbibe their first impressions. Now, mothers, do you want your children to be Saints, when they are grown up? Do you want your sons and daughters to be good and great, and their lives filled up with usefulness? “Certainly, with all my heart.” Then lay that foundation for their future life by teaching each little child what it should do. Teach that child honesty, uprightness and truthfulness. Never permit a falsehood to be told, nor the color of a falsehood without correction. Train that child by your own acts and words, from its infancy, so it may imbibe the principle in its own heart to be perfectly honest. Teach that child to believe in God our Heavenly Father. Teach it to believe, to have confidence in Him.

“Why, he is the author of your lives. Here are your father and mother with regard to your natural body.” As soon as they can understand anything at all, teach them—“Yes, my little child, but you have a spirit within you. Were it not for this spirit, you would not have life in you. Here are the father and mother of your tabernacle; but you have a spirit in you, and the father of that spirit is our Heavenly Father, whom we serve as our God. You must have implicit confidence in this Being. You must depend upon Him always. If you are in danger in the least, you must believe in God, and ask Him to rescue you, to preserve you; and your faith must be in the name of Him that He has given, whom He calls His only begotten son, to die a ransom for our sins.” And as soon as they can understand, teach them with regard to the original sin. Teach them to have implicit confidence in the Father through our Lord Jesus Christ; and every time they need wisdom, to ask for wisdom, and ask for understanding; and every time they are in trouble, ask our Heavenly Father to give them comfort, and they will feel joyous instead of grievous, and will feel a buoyant feeling, instead of being cast down. Teach the children to pray, that when they are large enough to go into the field with their father, they may have faith that if they are in danger they will be protected. Teach them that those good angels that are ministering spirits, and their angels, to guard and defend the just and pure watch over them continually. And teach them—I am sorry to say there are not many mothers who do teach it—that they may grow up with this understanding, that our Heavenly Father takes cognizance of all our acts and doings, and of us, as individuals, and that His eye is over us, and there is not so much as a hair of our heads falls to the ground without the notice of our Heavenly Father. Teach them these things and they will grow up into this habit. You may call it tradition, but it is an excellent one. You can sow the seeds of infidelity and they will grow there. Teach the children so that when they go out from the presence of their father and mother, God is in all their thoughts. Can you come to this understanding, mothers? If I were talking to the brethren, I should say no man in this Church has the privilege or right to enter into business, or go at anything without having God in his thoughts, and asking for guidance and direction in all his ways. And I will say to the mothers and sisters, now give your children this correct tradition in their youth. As I was talking to one of my wives, she said, “Who is there that teaches her children these things?” I turned to one and said, “There is one of my wives; she has children full of faith, because she made it her business to teach them the tradition to believe in God the Father, to call upon Him continually; and God was in their thoughts from morning until evening, all the time they were awake. Says I, “There is the woman; she has taught her children.” Now I know that mothers can teach their children; and they ought to teach them, and this is my duty to tell you what to do in this case. Remember to traditionate your children in the nurture and admonition of the Lord. Teach them as they ought to be taught, that they will have faith from their youth up, and the Spirit of the Lord to direct them, that they may never lose sight of this faith in Christ, and our Heavenly Father; and when they are old they will not depart from the good path. I am firm in the faith, and verily believe, that if mothers will bring up their children aright, and give them that early training that they should have, their children will grow up and never depart from the path of rectitude and truth.

The mothers are the moving instruments in the hands of Providence to guide the destinies of nations. Let the mothers of any nation teach their children not to make war, the children would grow up and never enter into it. Let the mothers teach their children, “War, war upon your enemies, yes, war to the hilt!” and they will be filled with this spirit. Consequently you see at once what I wish to impress upon your mind is, that the mothers are the machinery that give zest to the whole man, and guide the destinies and lives of men upon the earth. Now, then, I want to talk upon other matters. You can do just as you please; you can rule this Stake of Zion. Why, here are brother Peery and his two Counselors, they cannot move one step unless you say so. You do not understand this, do you? Why, all the men in this Stake of Zion can go to some other country, but when the ladies say thus and so, all the men have to come to the standard. “But, we have an independence, you know; and I would not like to pin my destiny to any woman’s apron string.” But you see the force of this education, which is forced upon them by the teachings received in early childhood.

Now I want you to guide and direct to our benefit. I want these my sisters to take into consideration what we can do with regard to sustaining ourselves. Say you, “Let us go to work and lay the foundation of it.” In a great many places there is a foundation of it laid out, which is very good. Now, I want you to go to work and say, we will make all our headdresses, we will make all the hats that the men need to wear; we have plenty of straw and materials, we will do this. “Now you have an object, brother Brigham.” Yes, I have, more than one object; and the great object is to show to our heavenly Father that we have come out from Babylon, and are capable of taking care of ourselves. When we come to finances, I want the people to be rich, instead of poor. The course we are now taking is beggaring the people—running into debt for this folly and that folly, and everything that they can see. Why, let the merchant come and bring the follies of Babylon, we want them immediately. “Why, yes, we can make all the straw hats, if you will take them.” I will tell you what else I want, I want the sisters to say to themselves, and then to their daughters, sisters and friends, “We will wear that which we will make, or we will wear nothing; we will make what we wear on our heads; we will make our own hats and bonnets.” Now men, will you patronize this? “Yes.” Then get your husbands to say, “we will not buy one of the hats from these stores, if they bring them by the carload.” Well, there will be a great deal saved to this Stake of Zion; probably more than twenty thousand dollars. Then say to your husband, “now, go and build a tannery, that the hides that come off our beef cattle, can be made into leather.” And then, say to your husband, “I want you to understand that I am perfectly, absolutely opposed to your course of life, unless you make some leather.” Then, sisters, go to work and make up this leather. The labor is in the shade, and a great deal of this work can be done by machinery; but it can be done by hand. We have one sister in Salt Lake City, who started twenty-three years ago boot and shoe making; she has made herself a little fortune; she has plenty to live on; she has worked with her own hands until she has accumulated property enough to sustain her. My young sisters, instead of sitting continually at the piano and getting the consumption, take hold and build up Zion. The first thing is to do something for yourselves, and learn to labor; and when one thing is done, take up another item, and continue until we manufacture everything that we need here.

I will say to those who are raising sheep, do not send your wool away. Why, it will be said, “a fool and his money are soon parted.” Save your wool, and send it to the factory. If we want a little cotton cloth we can raise it in the southern country; and we could raise some here as well as in some other places. We can raise about two gatherings. In the best of the States they will gather from three to four. We can raise our cotton in the south, and save our wool here. Go to and save your wheat. Tell the people of this Stake of Zion not to sell their grain. “We are in debt,” says one. What brought you in debt? “Oh, I wanted a thresher and a mowing machine.” Where do you live? How much grass have you to cut? “One hundred and fifty acres.” How many mowing machines have you got? “Only eight.” Buy another, and another machine, and clothing from the stores that is nothing in the world but shoddy, with but enough of wool to hold it together—buy these, and buy more than you can pay for. Go into debt, and pauperize the whole community, instead of building up Zion. I want you to stop. When we are in a position to build up ourselves, we are building up Zion. Let us sustain ourselves.

Well, I may say there are a hundred and one things we have to talk about; and as the sisters will give no reports, we will tell them what they should do. Now, recollect what I have said to you. Go to, from one thing to another to make for ourselves what we need. Stop this buying, so that we can have something on hand.

Another item. I will say to the Presidency of this Stake of Zion, if you could take one-fourth the time of the men who are idle here and put it on the Temple, and take the other three-fourths and go to the Railroad Companies and say, “Gentlemen, we will turn you out a hundred hands who will work for one dollar a day,” we would have the railroads in our hands, and have every dollar that they spend for five hundred miles. We might bring every dollar in here, and live within fifty cents on the dollar, and save the other fifty cents. How long would it take the men to go down to the bedrock, where we were brought up? I can see women who, when they were twenty years old, six yards of calico was all they asked for for a gown, and that was good enough to wear to meeting or to a party; good enough anywhere. If my mother and her grandmother got one silk dress, and they lived to a hundred years old, it was all that they wanted. I think my grandmother’s silk dress came down to her children. She put her silk dress on when I went to see her. It was, I think, her wedding dress, and she had been married some seventy years.

Some of the ladies wear a silk dress and say, “Husband, I want another silk dress, I have had this four years.” Learn to be prudent. It is no skill to get money; but, it is a skill to know how to preserve it and make it increase, and bring to you an abundance to build up Zion, and purchase what we want.

I wish to say a few words to my sisters in regard to raising silk. I would like to talk just enough to have you do something in this direction. This is a matter that I have talked upon for a great many years. Soon after I first came to the valley, I sat on a load of hay in Salt Lake City, and said, “this atmosphere is full of silk and all good things; and we will prove it to be one of the best places for raising silk.” We have proven that we can raise it. There are sisters here who can reel it and make it into cloth. There is a sister before me with a silk dress on; she raised the silk, and made it herself; and I warrant it will wear four times as long as any you can buy in the stores. (By invitation the sister arose that the congregation might see the dress.) I want to encourage you in this industry. If you want a little change, you can very easily get it by raising silk. Silk that we raise here, when it is reeled, is worth from $8 to $14 a pound. It is always a cash article, and finds a ready market. There is no day in the week or month in the year but what you can find a market for silk, and get the money for it. I wish the sisters would think of this. A few pounds of silk gives you a little money. It is easily raised; where there is a little care taken you can preserve the eggs so that you can raise two crops of cocoons in a year. There is no trouble to preserve them in our ice-houses, until the first are disposed of, and so you can keep the crops growing along. You can raise more money than the farmers, and beat them in the production of wealth. Take a woman with her children, and they will make twice the amount of money by raising silk that the man can make with the farm. If you will try it you will say it is true.

If you have not the mulberry trees—I have proffered for years to give the trees and if you want a thousand you are welcome to them, or a million, I am ready to give them to you. Some twenty years ago I sent for mulberry seed. I have raised thousands and tens of thousands of trees, and they are in this Territory. I have a large cocoonery that I built twelve or fourteen years ago. I have given the use of that—a building about 20 x 110 feet, and I have given the use of the mulberry trees, and the fruit is good. A great many people are fond of the fruit; it is healthy for children.

When you feel disposed to make a little money, go into the raising of silk, which is one of the easiest branches of business that was ever followed. There is no other work the women can do that will yield the same amount of profit. This is a matter that I wish you to hearken to. Will you bless yourselves, and do good to yourselves? We have plenty of weavers who can take the silk and know how to manufacture it; and they will give you all you could reasonably ask for it.

Now let the beauty of your adorning be the work of your hands. Will you not, Presidents, ask your Societies to enter into this agreement, and go to work and make what you want to wear. Then we will appeal to the brethren and say, “Come, let us wear the headdresses that our wives and our sisters can make; and it would be very healthy for the men if they would wear straw hats winter and summer. We would not see so many bald heads as we now see around here. Straw hats are perfectly healthy to wear. I have worn them through winter; and the only objection I have to them is that they are a little too tight and close. Let the sisters go to work and make these things.

Now, sisters, I plead with you to stop these fashions. They are nonsense. Brother Carrington has given you a fine detail of them. They are miserable looking. I dare not tell you how they look to me, and how the vanity looks that is in the minds of the people. How long is it since my family said to me of hoops, “They are so nice and comely; how would we look if we were to take those hoops off? Why we should look like the town pump. Would you not be ashamed of us?” I am ashamed. I am ashamed to see the tight clothes—to see the shape of the ladies. How long is it since the sleeves were so loose that you go into a store, and the gentleman says, “Are you not going to buy a pair of sleeves?” “O, if I buy a pair of sleeves I shall have to have a new dress.” “O, I will give you a dress.” Eighteen yards in the sleeves, and three yards in the dress! These foolish fashions, what good do they do? I have asked my sisters what they would think if a lady who lives in heaven should pay them a visit. Would she come with these large sleeves on—a mutton leg sleeve, with dress pulled right out in front of her? Now, it is pinned back here. It is very unwise. It is nonsense and uncomely. It is the best looking of anything in the world when brother Carrington sees his wife in her new calico dress. “You look just as you did when I courted you.” Now there is another fashion. You see a girl with her hair clipped off in the front of her head, she looks as though she had just come out of a lunatic asylum. The hair is for an ornament. You can love a woman with a comely dress on of her own make, just as well as though she had on a dress that cost five thousand pounds.

We do not seem to realize that we have to give an account of the days we spend in folly, and that we will be found wanting if we spend our time foolishly. When you come to the wheat and the fine flour, to the gold and the silver and the precious stones, the Lord owns them. But what have we? Our time. Spend it as you will. Time is given to you; and when this is spent to the best possible advantage for promoting truth upon the earth, it is placed to your account, and blessed are you; but when we spend our time in idleness and folly it will be placed against us. Here is the difference.

Now, sisters, take hold; do this that we ask you to do. It is for your own benefit, and health, and life, and for the comfort of the people, and the building up of Zion. And let us go to, and establish the Zion of God upon the earth, that we may be prepared to enjoy it, which I most earnestly pray for every day, in the name of Jesus, Amen.




Trying to Be Saints—Treasures of the Everlasting Hills—The Hill Cumorah—Obedience to True Principle the Key to Knowledge—All Enjoyment Comes From God—Organization—Duties of Officers—Final Results

Discourse by President Brigham Young, delivered at a Special Conference Held at Farmington, for the Purpose of Organizing a Stake of Zion for the County of Davis, on Sunday Afternoon, June 17, 1877.

I esteem it a privilege to meet with the Latter-day Saints. I have visited Farmington many times, and I can say that, as a general thing in attending your meetings, I have felt much of the peace and blessings that flow from heaven to this people.

I have no doubt that the majority of the people called Latter-day Saints desire really to be Saints; were it not for this I might feel partially discouraged. The people who are honest, who are seeking to know and to understand the truth, they are the ones who, so far as their faith and good works, and their influence and ability are concerned, sustain the kingdom that God has commenced to establish on the earth. When we consider the condition of the Latter-day Saints, and see how many there are who seem to have their eyes fixed upon the things of this world, things that are not lasting, but that perish in the handling, and how anxious they are to obtain them, how do you think I feel about it? We see many of the Elders of Israel desirous of becoming wealthy, and they adopt any course that they think will bring them riches, which to me is as unwise as anything can be—to see men of wisdom, men that seem to have an understanding of the world and of the things of God, searching after minerals throughout these mountains; they traverse the hills, and they dig here and there, and keep digging and picking, and rolling the rocks from morning till night. This chain of mountains has been followed from the north to the south, and its various spurs have been prospected, and what do they find? Just enough to allure them, and to finally lead them from the faith, and at last to make them miserable and poor. Ask the brethren why they do this, and the ready reply will be, “Is it not my privilege to find a gold mine, or a silver mine, as well as others?” As far as I am concerned I would say, “Yes, certainly it is your privilege, if you can find one.” But do you know how to find such a mine? No, you do not. These treasures that are in the earth are carefully watched, they can be removed from place to place according to the good pleasure of Him who made them and owns them. He has his messengers at his service, and it is just as easy for an angel to remove the minerals from any part of one of these mountains to another, as it is for you and me to walk up and down this hall. This, however, is not understood by the Christian world, nor by us as a people. There are certain circumstances that a number of my brethren and sisters have heard me relate, that will demonstrate this so positively, that none need doubt the truth of what I say.

I presume there are some present who have heard me narrate a circumstance with regard to the discovery of a gold mine in Little Cottonwood Canyon, and I will here say that the specimens taken from it, which I have in my possession today, are as fine specimens of gold as ever were found on this continent. A man whom some of you will well know, brought to me a most beautiful nugget. I told him to let the mine alone.

When General Conner came here, he did considerable prospecting; and in hunting through the Cottonwoods, he had an inkling that there was gold there. Porter, as we generally call him, came to me one day, saying, “They have struck within four inches of my lode, what shall I do?” He was carried away with the idea that he must do something. I therefore told him to go with the other brethren interested, and make his claim. When he got through talking, I said to him, “Porter, you ought to know better; you have seen and heard things which I have not, and are a man of long experience in this Church. I want to tell you one thing; they may strike within four inches of that lode as many times as they have a mind to, and they will not find it.” They hunted and hunted, hundreds of them did; and I had the pleasure of laughing at him a little, for when he went there again, he could not find it himself. (Laughter.)

Sometimes I take the liberty of talking a little further with regard to such things. Orin P. Rockwell is an eyewitness to some powers of removing the treasures of the earth. He was with certain parties that lived nearby where the plates were found that contain the records of the Book of Mormon. There were a great many treasures hid up by the Nephites. Porter was with them one night where there were treasures, and they could find them easy enough, but they could not obtain them.

I will tell you a story which will be marvelous to most of you. It was told me by Porter, whom I would believe just as quickly as any man that lives. When he tells a thing he understands, he will tell it just as he knows it; he is a man that does not lie. He said that on this night, when they were engaged hunting for this old treasure, they dug around the end of a chest for some twenty inches. The chest was about three feet square. One man who was determined to have the contents of that chest, took his pick and struck into the lid of it, and split through into the chest. The blow took off a piece of the lid, which a certain lady kept in her possession until she died. That chest of money went into the bank. Porter describes it so [making a rumbling sound]; he says this is just as true as the heavens are. I have heard others tell the same story. I relate this because it is marvelous to you. But to those who understand these things, it is not marvelous.

You hear a great deal said about finding money. There is no difficulty at all in finding money, but there are a great many people who do not know what to do with it when they do find it. This is the great defect with the human family. I could relate many very singular circumstances. I lived right in the country where the plates were found from which the Book of Mormon was translated, and I know a great many things pertaining to that country. I believe I will take the liberty to tell you of another circumstance that will be as marvelous as anything can be. This is an incident in the life of Oliver Cowdery, but he did not take the liberty of telling such things in meeting as I take. I tell these things to you, and I have a motive for doing so. I want to carry them to the ears of my brethren and sisters, and to the children also, that they may grow to an understanding of some things that seem to be entirely hidden from the human family. Oliver Cowdery went with the Prophet Joseph when he deposited these plates. Joseph did not translate all of the plates; there was a portion of them sealed, which you can learn from the Book of Doctrine and Covenants. When Joseph got the plates, the angel instructed him to carry them back to the hill Cumorah, which he did. Oliver says that when Joseph and Oliver went there, the hill opened, and they walked into a cave, in which there was a large and spacious room. He says he did not think, at the time, whether they had the light of the sun or artificial light; but that it was just as light as day. They laid the plates on a table; it was a large table that stood in the room. Under this table there was a pile of plates as much as two feet high, and there were altogether in this room more plates than probably many wagon loads; they were piled up in the corners and along the walls. The first time they went there the sword of Laban hung upon the wall; but when they went again it had been taken down and laid upon the table across the gold plates; it was unsheathed, and on it was written these words: “This sword will never be sheathed again until the kingdoms of this world become the kingdom of our God and his Christ.” I tell you this as coming not only from Oliver Cowdery, but others who were familiar with it, and who understood it just as well as we understand coming to this meeting, enjoying the day, and by and by we separate and go away, forgetting most of what is said, but remembering some things. So is it with other circumstances in life. I relate this to you, and I want you to understand it. I take this liberty of referring to those things so that they will not be forgotten and lost. Carlos Smith was a young man of as much veracity as any young man we had, and he was a witness to these things. Samuel Smith saw some things, Hyrum saw a good many things, but Joseph was the leader.

Now, you may think I am unwise in publicly telling these things, thinking perhaps I should preserve them in my own breast; but such is not my mind. I would like the people called Latter-day Saints to understand some little things with regard to the workings and dealings of the Lord with his people here upon the earth. I could relate to you a great many more, all of which are familiar to many of our brethren and sisters.

Now, should you go prospecting for gold or silver, you will find just enough to allure you and to destroy you. But it might be said, “Are not the earth and the treasures the property of the Lord who created them, and will he not, according to the promise, give them to his faithful disciples?” O yes, this is strictly correct; but you mark this—the man who is faithful to his calling and to this holy Priesthood, never goes hunting for gold or silver unless he is sent. Such men are found following their legitimate pursuits, working in their fields, in their workshops and gardens, making beautiful their habitations; in other words, engaged building up and assisting to establish the Zion of God on the earth, with their minds centered on the true riches and not upon the things of this world. People do not know it, but I know there is a seal set upon the treasures of earth; men are allowed to go so far and no farther. I have known places where there were treasures in abundance; but could men get them? No. You can read in the Book of Mormon of the ancient Nephites holding their treasures, and of their becoming slippery; so that after they had privately hid their money, on going to the place again, lo and behold it was not there, but was somewhere else, but they knew not where. The people do not understand this; I wish they did, for they would then do as I do, pay attention to the legitimate business that God has given them to perform. Do I run after mines or digging holes in the ground? No, not at all. It is like the will-o’-the wisp, a jack-o’-lantern. You ask our businessmen, or go to California, and inquire there whether it pays to hunt for gold. I will venture to say there never was a dollar taken from the mountains of California, neither from these mountains west, nor from out of this Territory, but what cost from ten to one hundred dollars. Do you believe that? It is said a great deal of money has been made here and there. Who has made it? Considerable lead has been taken from here, and a little silver; but when you count the time that has been spent, and after putting a fair valuation upon it, you will find what I say to be a fact, to say nothing of the lives and property that are lost. A little town directly west of here, some fifteen months ago, contained a certain number of men, who followed mining. We calculated their time at the rate of what was paid for common labor; and then we ascertained the amount realized from the treasure taken out of the earth, which was well known; and it was shown that they spent in the neighborhood of seven hundred dollars a day, and got in return about thirty. What they did get was just sufficient to allure them.

The Lord has permitted our enemies to come among us, who would destroy us if they could. They are only allowed to allure the minds of the foolish and those who lack judgment and who know not the things of God. But when we, as individuals and as a people, learn things as they are, we will find this fact—all truth is worthy and worth possessing, while all untruth is not worthy nor worth running after, nor working for, nor spending our lives for. The Gospel of life and salvation which God has revealed to us, incorporates all the systems there are. Every true principle and every true science, and every truth there is, are incorporated within the faith of the Latter-day Saints. This is something worth possessing, this is worth spending our time for; but the religions of the day, independent of their moral worth, are nothing but a myth, a shadow; there is no reality in them. But when you come to the philosophy of the religion of heaven, you have facts in your possession that are worth having, they are worthy the admiration of the wise, the prudent, the noble, the great and those that seek after the wisdom that comes from God, and the Latter-day Saints are in possession of this treasure! What are we doing? If we were the people of God, as we profess to be, there would not be a dissenting voice in all Israel in obeying the Priesthood. It was observed this morning by brother Cannon with regard to yielding obedience, that we were called upon to yield obedience because it was a command of God, and our faith demands obedience. To what? Why? Wherefore? Obedience to every principle of truth. What for? So that we may become possessors of all truth. Why should we do it? Because it gives us health, it gives us wealth, it gives us knowledge, it gives us power, it gives us beauty, it gives us excellency, it gives us treasures on the earth and treasures in heaven, it gives us a knowledge of God and of the love of God, it gives us fellowship with the Saints that are sanctified and glorified, and it gives us all things that will promote happiness and peace. These are the reasons why we do it. Should you take the other road, what do you get? Nothing. When persons turn away from the Gospel of the Son of God, what do they turn to? Nothing. And what do they turn from hereafter? All things worth possessing, everything that men and the Gods can possess in time and in eternity. Take the other road, and you get a shadow for the time being, and you may think you have the substance, but sooner or later you are left as a feather floating in the air, or worse than a ship upon the ocean, without compass or rudder, deprived of the light of the sun, the moon and the stars, tossed hither and thither until it sinks to rise no more. In order to yield obedience to the truth, you must love the truth and have the fear of God in your hearts. All who feel the true spirit of this latter-day work delight in the truth, they delight to hear the truth, and they delight to obey the truth; it is their delight to know the mind and will of God, that they may render obedience to it. This is the experience of every faithful man and woman in this Church. But take the experience of the apostates, and the experience of those who have risen up in opposition to the Prophet Joseph Smith and the Gospel brought forth and contained in the Book of Doctrine and Covenants and in the Book of Mormon, and the revelations that he was the honored instrument in the hands of God of revealing to the people; those that rise up in opposition to this, who are they and what is their end? You will hear one fact from them—“Brother——, have you enjoyed yourself since resigning ‘Mormonism?’ Now speak the truth. Come, tell us just as it is. Have you experienced joy and happiness since leaving the kingdom of God? Come, now, don’t lie!” Brother——answers, “I have not enjoyed one day’s peace since I left the Church.” This is the declaration of the apostates today, when they tell the truth about it. Look at their countenances—is there happiness depicted there? No, it is sorrow; they choose error instead of truth, they love darkness rather than light, and the end thereof, to use Scripture language, is death. The sorrow thereof they feel every day, for man’s spirit is operated upon continually. We are as independent in our organization as the Gods are, but still we are creatures of circumstances, influenced by the spirits and by the powers of eternity that are here and round about us. We are here and are operated upon by them in our organizations. This is the place where every man commences to acquire the germ of the independence that is enjoyed in the heavens. These influences, in comparison, are like the cooling breezes from the mountains that are so grateful to us, that revive and refresh us, that give us life. But on the other hand, here comes the miasma from the swamp, bringing disease and death, and without knowing we inhale the poisonous air, we become conscious of weakness, we feel that we are taking fever, that we are getting sick—we become a prey to the enemy, and death ensues. That is the difference between the two influences that operate continually on mankind. It is either enjoyment or suffering. All are subject to these elements in which we live. Here is the good operating, all the time telling men and women, before passing the ordeals of redemption, that they must repent, that then the light of Christ will be upon them from time to time, to operate upon their minds, teaching them—you are doing wrong, you are saying that which is not right, you have renounced the Book of Mormon, you have renounced the Doctrine and Covenants, you have re nounced Joseph, your endowments, or Celestial Law. When they reveal the truth of their hearts, they will say, as Lyman E. Johnson said, at one of our Quorum meetings, after he had apostatized and tried to put Joseph out of the way. Lyman told the truth. He said, “Brethren—I will call you brethren—I will tell you the truth. If I could believe ‘Mormonism’—it is no matter whether it is true or not—but if I could believe ‘Mormonism’ as I did when I traveled with you and preached, if I possessed the world I would give it. I would give anything, I would suffer my right hand to be cut off, if I could believe it again. Then I was full of joy and gladness. My dreams were pleasant. When I awoke in the morning my spirit was cheerful. I was happy by day and by night, full of peace and joy and thanksgiving. But now it is darkness, pain, sorrow, misery in the extreme. I have never since seen a happy moment.”

Lyman E. Johnson belonged to the Quorum of the Twelve; he was the first man called when the Twelve were called; his name was first, Brigham Young’s second, and Heber C. Kimball’s third. The testimony that he gave of his bitter experience is the testimony that every apostate would give if they would tell the truth. But will they acknowledge it? No, because they do not want to tell the truth.

There is no enjoyment, no happiness, no comfort, there is no light to my path, for me there is no real pleasure or delight only in the observance of truth as it comes from God, obeying it in every sense of the word, and marching forward as a good faithful soldier in the discharge of every duty. The man or the woman—perhaps you may think it presumptuous in me, but I will pro mise you that what I am going to say is the truth—who has embraced what is called “Mormonism,” but which is nothing more or less than the Everlasting Gospel of the Son of God, who when counseled by men of God holding the eternal Priesthood to do thus and so, and who will indulge in a spirit that will prompt him to say, “O yes, I think I will use my own judgment. I think I have discretion as well as you, and I will take my own course. I can attend to my own business as well and perhaps a little better than anyone else, and therefore I don’t need anyone to advise me.” I say the man or the woman that will do so, thereby taking to himself or to herself strength and wisdom to counsel themselves, unless they repent, turn round and do better, they will go into darkness, and sooner or later each person or persons will apostatize and go to destruction. Do you believe it? It is just as true as the sun that shines. Is it hard to believe? No, it is the easiest thing in the world to believe the truth. It is a great deal easier to believe truth than error. It is easier to defend the truth than to defend error. It is necessary that the religions and creeds of the Christian world be defended by the most able and learned students, in order to make them popular and to appear as true. But after these Christian students have been through academies and colleges; and the most famed seminaries in the world, and after they have studied and studied, spending a lifetime in the acquisition of a theological education, it takes but one of our boys, with the aid of the Bible and the little Catechism, to wind them up as you would an old clock. This has been the experience of many of our boys, and when they started out from their homes to preach the Gospel, they did not know that they could say anything at all about its principles; but when they have come in contact with those who have professed much and who have undertaken to disprove the Gospel as taught by the Latter-day Saints, their minds have become enlightened and passages of Scripture have come to them and they have discomfited their opponents, so that they have had nothing to say. I have done so many times myself, and that too with a few words; and the conversation would be turned to something else. With all their study and learning, and with all the philosophy and science there is brought to the aid of false theories, how easy it is to believe the truth! It is much easier than to disbelieve it. Truth commends itself to every honest person, it matters not how simply it is told, and when it is received it seems as though we had been acquainted with it all our lives. It is the testimony of the majority of the Latter-day Saints that when they first heard the Gospel preached, as contained in the Bible and Doctrine and Covenants, although entirely new to them, it seemed as though they already understood it, and that they must have been “Mormons” from the beginning.

Well, before I sit down I will present to the congregation the names of three of our brethren whom I shall recommend to form the presidency of this Stake of Zion, which will comprise Davis County, and the name of which will probably be Farmington Stake of Zion. (Here Pres. Young proposed the names of Wm. R. Smith of Centerville as President, and Christopher Layton of Kaysville as his first and Anson Call of Bountiful as his second Counselors). I know some of you wish it otherwise, or that someone else was chosen for President; but as we cannot suit everybody’s desire in a matter of this kind, we have to center on one, and I have felt to suggest the name of brother Smith. (Each name was put separately, and each vote was unanimous).

Before presenting the names of brethren to compose the High Council, which would be in order to do, I propose for President of the High Priests’ Quorum the name of Thomas S. Smith, who was once Bishop of this place. (Brother Smith was unanimously sustained; and brothers Thomas Steele and Job Welling were elected as his Counselors, without a single dissenting vote. The names of the brethren to act as members of the High Council were also presented and sustained in a similar manner).

The Wards will be organized hereafter; Bishops will be placed over them, with their two Counselors, all of whom will be ordained High Priests, if not already so ordained, and then be set apart to act in their several offices. They then will form a court; and then all the other quorums of Priesthood will be set in order. For what? Paul says, “For the perfecting of the Saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ.” But whether this will be the result here I do not know. All I know is that it should be so, and if everyone does his duty and lives his religion, it will be so. (The brethren chosen and elected to fill the several offices herein named, were then set apart to act therein. The President then continued—)

Just a few words to the Presidency of this Stake of Zion. It is now their duty to see that the officers within their jurisdiction perform their several duties, it is sufficient work for them too if they will attend to it. The High Council I hope will not have much business to do. I am told that there have only been three cases during the last twenty-three years, that have gone for trial before the High Council from Farmington. That is doing very well. To the now acting Bishops, who will be ordained Bishops, as well as to brother Hess, who I believe is the only ordained Bishop in the county, I will say that you will now be required to look after your several Wards more assiduously than heretofore; see that Teachers are diligent in the performance of their duties, and that all difficulties that may arise among the brethren of the Ward be settled, if possible, by the Teachers; and also see that all who claim membership in this Church observe the moral law of our religion. We shall not expect to hear of people breaking the Sabbath, and a hundred other things all of which are inconsistent with our holy callings, and opposed to the accomplishment of the work that the Father has given us to do. You are called upon now to make yourselves familiar with the revelations and commandments that have been given us of the Lord for our perfection, for our sanctification preparatory to our exaltation, and so live that our acts and conversations may conform to the same. We expect to see a radical change, a reformation, in the midst of this people, so that, when the proper authorities shall call upon you to do thus and so, everyone may be found willing and ready to respond, placing himself, with all he commands, for the upbuilding of the kingdom of God. This is in accordance with a revelation given to this Church before the law of Tithing was revealed; but in consequence of unbelief and imperfection on the part of the people it was not observed, and hence a law more adapted to their condition was given, namely, that of Tithing. You are called upon now to improve your ways, to seek with all earnestness for an increase of faith that you may live according to the higher laws, which is your privilege to do, and which is so necessary for our peace and comfort and for the good order of society and for the salvation of the Latter-day Saints. We shall look for this change, and I do not think we shall be disappointed; if at all, I believe it will prove a happy disappointment to all Israel, because of the great reformation that will be effected among the Latter-day Saints.

Brethren and sisters, we feel to bless you, we are blessing you all the time, and God is blessing you. See how he has tempered the elements; how he has held our enemies in check, and delivered us out of their grasp and power; how he has prospered us when we have confined our attention to our legitimate business; and I can say with all propriety that, if we had strictly followed the counsels that have been given from the commencement until today, instead of being in such poverty, as we are in one sense, we would be a self-sustaining, independent people, commanding millions just as easy as we now command thousands. But how unwise, how foolish some of our brethren are! I am ashamed of them, and their condition is deplorable. Instead of beautifying their homes and improving their farms, and helping to reclaim the community and build up the Zion of the latter days, they have done—what? Dug holes in the ground? and, I do not know how it is with you, but go to Salt Lake City, and you will find men whose experience and judgment should have taught them better reaping the results of their folly—their houses and lots mortgaged, their farm, also many are in this condition, and most of them will lose their property. They wanted a little more money, they allowed themselves to be allured and they lose all. I myself was the means of making several brethren by employing them, letting them have business to attend to until they became wealthy; and now they are in poverty. Whereas, if they had taken my counsel they could have added to their wealth and been in good comfortable circumstances today, success and prosperity would have attended them, peace and blessing would have been their portion, and they in turn would have been in a position to bless others of their brethren. This I say, with all confidence and assurance; but no, selfishness and covetousness blinded them, they wanted more and they coveted that which was not their own; and if they have not already sensed it, I can tell them that weeping, mourning and lamentation will overtake them, and this they bring upon themselves.

Let us take the course pointed out and we will avoid trouble; if we pay attention to our calling we will be blessed abundantly, both temporally and spiritually; and when it shall be said to the people, Let us do this or that, it will be done. We require nothing more of the people than the Lord requires of us. And what is that? It is this, “Son, give me thine heart.” Let us truly and in reality be servants of God, holding ourselves with all we have subject to the will of God, to be used, if necessary, for the building up of his kingdom on the earth. This is what the Lord requires, this is what the Priesthood require, and is the course I endeavor to pursue.

I say God bless you; I bless you. I say peace be with you. Brethren, one and all, be faithful, be diligent. We have all plenty to do; it remains for us to live so that by the light of the Holy Spirit, we can see the work before us. Do not let our minds run after gold and silver, nor upon houses and lands; what the Lord gives us take the very best care of, putting the same to a wise and proper use, or our hearts cannot be for the kingdom.

Never have I seen to so great an extent that willingness to labor for the cause of righteousness, as was witnessed in the Temple, at St. George, last winter. The Spirit of God pervaded the hearts of the brethren and sisters, and how willing they were to labor! This work will continue, and the brethren and sisters will go into the Temples of the Lord, to officiate for those who have died without the Gospel from the days of Father Adam to the winding-up scene, until every one is officiated for; who can or will receive the Gospel so that all may have the opportunity and privileges of life and salvation.

Don’t you think we have a work to perform? Yes, and it will take a thousand years to accomplish it. In the Temple last winter the brethren and sisters enjoyed themselves the best that they ever did in their lives. So they said. And our children, just old enough to work, how happy they were! They would exclaim, “I never knew anything about ‘Mormonism’ before!” If you were in the Temples of God working for the living and the dead, your eyes and hearts would not be after the fashions of the world, nor the wealth of the world. Yet the whole of this world’s wealth belongs to the Lord, and he can give to whomsoever he pleases. Amen.




The Work of the Priesthood the Improvement of the Human Family—The Gospel More Than Morality, It Includes Redemption—Differences Between the Ideas of the Saints and the World—The Prophets in Regard to the Increase of Mineral Wealth—Teach the Children

Discourse by President Brigham Young, delivered in the Tabernacle, Ogden, Sunday Morning, May 27, 1877.

I can offer a few of the reflections of my own mind with regard to the discourse of brother Geo. Q. Cannon. I will take his text: “We have a great work to perform.” Not that I have time to take up item by item, and explain and give you correct views, so that you can understand all things pertaining to this great work; but I will give a few words, hoping that you are prepared to receive them in good and honest hearts, and digest them by the spirit of revelation, and understand what I have in my own heart.

The improvement that we are undertaking is not a small labor. It is not the work of a day, or a week, or a month, but the work of a lifetime; and when we end our career here, we hope to leave those behind us on the earth of our own posterity, who are better calculated to go on with this work, and who will do so until it is completed. What is this work? The improvement of the condition of the human family. This work must continue until the people who live on this earth are prepared to receive our coming Lord, and dwell with the sanctified, and to associate with angels and with our Savior, preparatory to entering into the presence of our heavenly Father.

Now this is the work; and how are we to perform this work is the question which I hope you will be able to understand. I wish you had the spirit of revelation. I would delight in the Latter-day Saints living so that the Spirit of God would be within them, so that they could see and understand and judge all these things for themselves.

I will commence by drawing attention to the philosophy of man here upon the earth. We see ourselves here today. Here are old, greyheaded men, aged ladies, infants in their mother’s arms, and persons in the different conditions and stages of life, with varied looks, feelings, sympathies and passions. We see this variety before us today. But we all commenced at the foot of the hill. We see the infant in its mother’s arms. What is this infant here for? What is the design in the creation of this little infant child? It lies here in its mother’s arms; it would not resist, in the least, if it were dropped into a cauldron of boiling oil; if it were thrown into fire it would not know it until it felt the flames; it might be laid down here, and the wolf might come and lick its face, and it would not know but that its mother was soothing it. You see this foundation, the starting point, the germ of intelligence embodied in this infant, calculated to grow and expand into manhood, then to the capacity of an angel, and so onward to eternal exaltation. But here is the foundation. Sent to school, the child learns to read, and continues to improve as long as it lives. Is this the end of the knowledge of man? No. It is only the beginning. It is the first stage of all the intelligence that the philosopher in his reflections, taking the starry world before him, and looking into the immensity of the creations of God, can imagine. Here is the first place where we learn, this is the foot of the hill.

Now the object is to improve the minds of the inhabitants of the earth, until we learn what we are here for, and become one before the Lord, that we may rejoice together and be equal. Not to make all poor. No. The whole world is before us. The earth is here, and the fullness thereof is here. It was made for man; and one man was not made to trample his fellow man under his feet, and enjoy all his heart desires, while the thousands suffer. We will take a moral view, a political view, and we see the inequality that exists in the human family. We take the inhabitants of the civilized world, and how many laboring men are there in proportion to the inhabitants? About one to every five that are producers, and the supposition is that ten hours work by the one to three persons in the twenty-four hours will support the five. It is an unequal condition of mankind. We see servants that labor early and late, and that have not the opportunity of measuring their hours ten in twenty-four. They cannot go to school, nor hardly get clothing to go to meeting in on the Sabbath. I have seen many cases of this kind in Europe, when the young lady would have to take her clothing on a Saturday night and wash it, in order that she might go to meeting on the Sunday with a clean dress on. Who is she laboring for? For those who, many of them, are living in luxury. And, to serve the classes that are living on them, the poor, laboring men and women are toiling, working their lives out to earn that which will keep a little life within them. Is this equality? No! What is going to be done? The Latter-day Saints will never accomplish their mission until this inequality shall cease on the earth.

We say but very little about politics. If we have laws, we should have good laws, and we should get good men to adjudicate those laws. And if we are at variance with our neighbor, and are in want of better judgment than we have to settle our difficulties, let us call three or twelve men, and leave it to them to decide between us. Adopt this course, and it would save an immense amount of time, and set the lawyer to raising his own potatoes and wheat, instead of gulling the people. The nonproducer must live on the products of those who labor. There is no other way. If we all labor a few hours a day, we could then spend the remainder of our time in rest and the improvement of our minds. This would give an opportunity to the children to be educated in the learning of the day, and to possess all the wisdom of man.

But we are to revolutionize the world. Do you think these Latter-day Saints can do it? I do not know. It is the work of the Almighty; and if he sends forth his Spirit to teach the people true principles, we have a right, a moral right, a religious right, to tell the truth to the people without interruption; and men have no business to raise their anger against this people, when we are merely telling the truth to the inhabitants of the earth, and instructing them how they can better their condition.

But we have something more than morality alone to teach the people. What is it? It is how to redeem the human family. In Adam—that is, if we believe this book (the Bible), and believe the history that Moses gave of our first parents, and of the inhabitants of the earth, which indeed we have to depend upon, for we are not in possession of any other history of our first parents, and are consequently obliged to refer to this history—if we believe this, I can say that as in Adam all die, even so in Christ all are made alive. If we can believe Moses and the Apostles, we die in consequence of sin in the conduct of our first parents, in eating that which they were forbidden to eat; that we are shut out and cannot see and understand heavenly beings. We cannot see their faces. We cannot hear their voices. We cannot behold their glory. We are shut out from this. The veil of mortality being dropped between us and the Creator, something has to be done so that we may return and behold those that are exalted.

There is a difference between the Latter-day Saints and the professed Christian world. Shall I remark on this difference? We teach our children that we are serving a God who has an ear to hear, an eye to see. He has a mouth to speak, a hand to handle. He has a body. He has the component parts of man. He moves in his own sphere. He dwells at his own dwelling place. His presence and his power fill immensity. He has filled the heavens and the earth with his works, and placed man here upon the earth, and brought forth in the latter days his greatest work. It is the greatest work for the salvation of the human family that has been revealed to man since the fall of Adam. I hope you teach this in the Sunday school, that we are serving a God who has a body, parts and passions, and who has feelings, and a fellow feeling. Well, you startle at this. You have a fellow feeling. If the Christian world were to hear me declare that our Father in heaven could know and sympathize with this mortality by experience, and has a fellow feeling, and deals kindly and sympathetically and mercifully with those who are froward, they would be startled. Yet this is our Father. We believe in him. Yes. Ask the Christian world, Do you believe in such a God? No, they say. What kind of a being do you believe in? Such as was described in the inscription which Paul saw written on the altar at Athens, “To the unknown God.” “We worship that unknown God.” But the God that the Latter-day Saints are worshiping, and that we teach our children to worship, is the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ and the Father of our spirits, the author of the existence of our bodies, He who placed them here upon the earth. He gave existence to us all. He gave breath and being to all. And yet man has his agency; this truth we must never lose sight of. We must teach our children that Christ came in the meridian of time; that he suffered and died for the original sin Adam committed in the Garden of Eden, and tasted death for every man. He suffered for every man upon the earth.

This is the character of him whom we receive as our Savior.

We want you to believe in Him, my son, my daughter. Believe in His Father, and that they have compassion upon us, and we should hearken to His counsel. What is required of us as soon as we come to the years of accountability? It is required of us, for it is an institution of heaven, the origin of which you and I cannot tell, for the simple reason that it has no beginning, it is from eternity to eternity—it is required of us to go down into the waters of baptism. Here is a fountain or element typical of the purity of the eternities. Go down into the waters, and there be baptized for the remission of sins, and then have hands laid upon us to confirm us members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Then receive the Spirit of truth, or the Holy Ghost. Then live according to every word that proceeds out of the mouth of God, through those men whom he has appointed here upon the earth, until we are perfect.

If we go and preach the Gospel, men and women of age, youths and children believe our testimony, come forward and desire to receive a remission of their sins by obeying the ordinances of the house of God, that are placed in that house for the express purpose of remitting sins. Then they commence to live moral lives, as becometh those who have embraced the truth, and continue to live by the truth until they are prepared to enter into an exaltation. How long will they live here? No matter if they live as long as Methuselah lived, if they commence that moral reform required in their lives. Those who have been in the habit of swearing, swear no more. Never use the name of the Deity without his authority. If we are in the habit of telling that which is not true, learn to speak the truth. If we speak evil of our neighbors, cease to speak evil. Covet not that which is not our own. Keep the Ten Commandments, and then go on until we are perfect, loving our neighbor more than we love ourselves, imparting to all that kind fellow feeling, that we can take those who are in this poor and stricken condition of life, and raise them, that they may come up and possess the fruits of the earth, and enjoy all that we can enjoy in raiment, food and possessions. Raise our own horses, our own food, and let everyone be a producer, and then we can with a good grace, be consumers. Infringe upon no one. Instead of making any poorer, make all wealthy.

A few words upon the minerals found in our mountains. We have had a great many men examining among the mountains, and through the plateaus and ranges in the south. The whole scientific world, a few years ago, would have pledged their reputation that there was not any mineral in the sandstone range along the Rio Virgin River. Now they are finding it in many places. A great many have told me that there was no mineral there, but it is now found in various parts of the southern portion of this Territory. What can I say about it? The Lord, in Isaiah, says, “For brass I will bring gold, and for iron I will bring silver, and for wood brass and for stones iron.“ I can attribute it to no other agency than the power of God diffusing it in these mountains. I will refer it to the scientific world. You may as well take a piece of wood and say that it shall become a piece of sandstone, as to say that you will find silver in sandstone. Did you ever know sandstone to become a petrifaction. It is hard to say where it will not be found, now that it is found in the barks of petrified trees. It is no matter, the Lord is managing all this, and he does just as he pleases with regard to the treasures of the earth, and we may look for them, but if we are not to find them, they will be hid. When God says to his agents, remove this gold, this silver, this copper, it will be done. You do not understand this philosophy, but I do. And my philosophy outreaches the philosophy of men that study books. I have said enough with regard to the minerals of the earth.

I see a man grow up from the infant stage to be a scholar, and by and by he has an empire, and can give laws to the people, that can equalize them, and bring them to a state of happiness and excellency, and give them all the advantages that man can possess upon the earth, and make every man happy and comfortable. This is the work that we have upon our hands. Teach the people the faith of the Gospel. Teach them what God is, and what His work is, and that there never was a time such as many of our philosophers speak of, who drift back and back, and come to this theory and that theory, and go back, and back to the time when we were all reptiles. When was there a time when there was not a God? But, say they, there must have been a time. Then you declare to me, do you, that there was a time when there was no time. And this is the philosophy of a great many of the scientific in this day. They see the heavens stretched out but they comprehend them not. And why do they not say, if there was a time when there was no time there will be a time again when there will be no time. What a condition for man to be in! Can we look onward and upward through the immensity of space, and behold the worlds on worlds that we call stars, and imagine that they will be blotted out forever? What an idea! What a philosophy! Why, it ought to be laughed at by the ignorant, and those who are children in their reflections. A time when there was no God, no eternity! It cannot be possible, and the philosopher who tries to establish such a doctrine cannot possess any correct ideas of his own being. Will there ever be such a time? No. But forever onward and upward. So it is with the religion we have embraced.

Teach the Sunday School children with regard to the heavens, with regard to their faith, with regard to their mortal lives, and reach out to that higher life, far above this, that we may, if we will, enjoy upon the earth. This is the condition of man. This is the road for men to walk in, to be obedient to the principles of eternal truth, those immortal principles that God has revealed to us.

With regard to the ordinances of God, we may remark that we yield obedience to them because He requires it; and every iota of His requirements has a rational philosophy with it. We do not get up things on a hypothesis. That philosophy reaches to all eternity, and is the philosophy that the Latter-day Saints believe in. Every particle of truth that every person has received is a gift of God. We receive these truths, and go on from glory to glory, from eternal lives to eternal lives, gaining a knowledge of all things, and becoming Gods, even Sons of God. These are the celestial ones. These are they whom the Lord has chosen through their obedience. They have not spurned the truth, when they have heard it. These are they that have not spurned the Gospel, but have acknowledged Jesus and God in their true character; that have acknowledged the angels in their true character. These are they that work for the salvation of the human family.

I say to the Latter-day Saints, all we have to do is to learn of God. Let the liars lie on, and let the swearers swear on, and they will go to perdition. All we have to do is to go onward and upward, and keep the commandments of our Father and God; and He will confound our enemies. It is for you and me to improve our children, and teach them to bring forth the elements here, until we possess all things that are on the earth, and then prepare to possess the things that are in Heaven, and go on from glory to glory, until we are crowned with God the Father.

May the Lord bless you, Amen.




Remarks Made at the Close of the Foregoing Dedicatory Prayer

Remarks by President Brigham Young, delivered on the Occasion of Dedicating the Temple Site at Logan, Cache County, Utah, on Friday, at 12 M. O’Clock, May 18, 1877.

Brethren, if you will give me your attention, I will say a few words to you. We have dedicated this spot of ground upon which we expect to erect a Temple, in which to administer the ordinances of the House of God. Into this house, when it is completed, we expect to enter to enjoy the blessings of the priesthood, and receive our washings, our anointings, our endowments, and our sealings; and the brethren will be sealed to brethren to connect the links and make perfect the chain from ourselves to Father Adam. This is the object of the Temple which we are about to commence building at this place. We require the brethren and the sisters to go to with their might and erect this Temple; and from the architect to the boy that carries the drinking water to the men that work on the building, we wish them to understand that wages are entirely out of the question. We are going to build this House for ourselves, and we shall expect the brethren and sisters, neighborhood after neighborhood, ward after ward, to turn out their proportion of men to come here and labor as they shall be notified by the proper authorities.

This may be called a temporal work, but it pertains to the salvation of ourselves as well as our friends who have passed behind the veil, and also to the generations that are to come after us. We can carry this Temple forward with our labor, without any burden to ourselves if our hearts are in the work, and we will be blessed abundantly in doing so. We will be better off in our temporal affairs when it is completed than when we commenced, or than we would be if we did not build it.

The time we enjoy is the Lord’s, but we have the permission to dictate its use according to our own good pleasure. When the brethren come to work on this Temple they may expect to be blessed of the Lord, in proportion to their faith. We feel to ask the brethren to go to as they may be called upon by those who shall be placed to take charge of the work, and complete the building in three years from next fall—I think it can be done within that time— that we may come up and commence to give endowments. This work can be done with all ease in that time if we are disposed to.

We pray for you continually, that you may be blessed. I feel to bless you according to the power and keys of the holy priesthood bestowed upon me, and my brethren with me, heart and hand, and all the Saints feel to say “Amen,” feel to bless each other, feel to do the work of the Lord, and dismiss the narrow, contracted, covetous feelings that are so interwoven with the feelings of our natures. It seems hard to get rid of them, but we must overcome them and unite ourselves together in the holy order of God, that we may be Saints of the Most High, with our interests, our faith and labors, that our hopes and the results of our labors may be concentrated in the salvation of the human family.

Brethren and Sisters, try to realize these things. Awake and lay these things to heart. Seek to the Lord to know his mind and will, and when you ascertain it also to have the will to do it.

God bless you, Amen.




The Lord Rules—The Hand of God in Persecution—The Gospel Embraces All Truth—No Need of Worry, the Lord Will Deal Out Justice—Joseph Slain for the Gospel—The Dissatisfied Will Be Satisfied—Full of Blessing

Discourse by President Brigham Young, delivered in the New Tabernacle, Salt Lake City, Sunday Afternoon, May 6, 1877, after Addresses by Elders Orson Pratt and Geo. Q. Cannon.

I take the liberty of saying a few words on this occasion to both Saints and sinners. That expression brings to my mind at once—Where are the Saints? And who are they? And who are the sinners? We are all sinners; but there is quite a portion of the congregation who are trying to be Saints. For those who profess to be Saints I have a few texts of Scripture. With regard to those who believe the truth and desire to do it; to all who wish to live and preserve yourselves in the truth, in the love of God, I wish to say, they whom God loves he chastens. This is so, whether we believe it or not. If we have not received chastisement, we receive not that witness, that assurance, to testify to us that we love him. Another text of Scripture: The wicked are a rod in the hand of God to chasten his people. If the Lord loves us and we love him, we may expect to be chastened; and it is not joyous at the time of receiving the chastisement; it is grievous; but if we are exercised by grace and the spirit of truth, it will yield the peaceable fruits of righteousness.

I wish to whisper in the ears of the Latter-day Saints, I mean those who profess to be Saints, Know ye that the Lord reigns, and that the hearts of all living are in his hands. He turns the hearts of the children of men as the rivers of waters are turned. He rules in the armies of heaven, and does his pleasure upon the earth. When he wills, no man can hinder it; when he is disposed to open the door, it is not in the power of man to shut it; and when he closes the door it is not in the power of man to open it. Remember this, Latter-day Saints, and all the Christian world, the Pagan, Infidel and Jewish world, and everybody in the world; and hearken, O ye nations of the earth, and know ye that God lives, that he has spoken from the heavens, and has sent forth his everlasting Gospel to the children of men, that through obedience to the same they may be saved; and if they reject this message they will be damned. We cannot help it, it is not our business, it is not our doctrine, it is the doctrine of him whom we serve, of him whom we obey, of him who holds us in existence, who gives us breath and being, and we have a right to believe in Him, to love and serve him and to build up and establish his kingdom; and we are doing it.

If I were to tell you one half of the things that I know in many particulars it would astonish the halfhearted who have but little or no faith, and who do not understand the workings of the providences of God among the children of men. But as to the persecution, it is nothing at all, neither one way nor another, only to purify the Saints and prepare the nations for the good or evil, for the Lord Almighty to send forth his judgments to cleanse the earth, to sanctify it, and to justify the righteous and condemn the guilty, and to prepare the way for the coming of the Son of Man. I wish to say to you, to those who are in the truth, as well as to those who are out of the truth, if we did not have to bear the iron hand of persecution, the principles we believe in, which attract the attention of the good and the evil upon the earth and which occupy so many tongues and circumscribe their philosophy, would be embraced by thousands who are now indifferent to them. The evildoer would crowd upon our borders; and we have plenty of them now without receiving any more. They would crowd into this Church. And this is the reason why brother George Q. Cannon says, he is pleased and rejoiced because of this persecution. We should be satisfied with it, we should acknowledge the hand of God in it, and say: The will of the Lord be done and not ours. By closely watching the Latter-day Saints, and seeing that they are kept in the line of their duty by using this kind of a rod, it prevents others from coming that would affect us more than they can who are outside of this Church. There is not one man in this city nor in the Territory who hates the truth and the Latter-day Saints, whose influence I dread, no, not even the hundredth part, as I do a smooth, slick hypocrite who professes to be a Latter-day Saint. The former cannot sow the seeds of infidelity and unbelief in the hearts of the people; but the latter can.

I wish to say to all the people, The principles of the Gospel that God has revealed from the heavens to the children of men upon the earth are worthy the acceptation of the wise, the pure and the just. There is no true philosophy in existence which is not embraced in the Gospel, it belongs to the Gospel, it is a part of the Gospel. The philosophy of the heavens and the earth, of the worlds that are, that were, and that are yet to come into existence, is all in the Gospel that we have embraced. Every true philosopher, so far as he understands the principles of truth, has so much of the Gospel, and so far he is a Latter-day Saint, whether he knows it or not. Our Father, the great God, is the author of the sciences, he is the great mechanic, he is the systematizer of all things, he plans and devises all things, and every particle of knowledge which man has in his possession is the gift of God, whether they consider it divine, or whether it is the wisdom of man; it belongs to God, and he has bestowed it upon us, his children dwelling here upon the earth.

We take up the principles or ordinances of the house of God, and when we set them before the people, who would like to believe them? Ask the world of mankind, the heathen world, if there is one doctrine or principle in all these which is not good for man to receive. If we could find such a place as an angelic world, we might ask its inhabitants if we had embraced in our faith a single principle not good for them. Even they would not find an idea, a doctrine or a principle but what every person would say, respecting it: “It is just as good as we could ask for.” For the principles of the Gospel are calculated to purify the heart, the hands, the mouth, the brain, and every act of the children of men, and to prepare them to live with perfect and holy beings. These are principles worth seeking for, they are worth living for, they are worth dying for. As to the struggle that is going on between the Latter-day Saints and the world, have we any struggle with them? No. Have we any contention? No, not in the least. Have we any battle to fight? No, none at all. Are we to marshal our armies to contend against them? No. Here are the words of truth; we go forth and declare them to the ends of the earth; it is our mission and all we have to do. They may war against us, they may marshal their forces and their armies. God rules, I fear them not. If I preserve myself in the truth, I am all right. With the principles that these Latter-day Saints believe in, if we had our own way, and were not followed up by these blessed scoundrels, would we have any grog shops? No! Would we permit men to take the name of the Lord in vain? No. If we could use that moral influence we would stop all drinking, swearing, stealing, and Sabbath breaking, and speaking evil one of another; and we would have no dishonest men; we would have all men do that which is right before the Lord. But no, we must be followed up. That is all right, perfectly right. Every step we take and every move we make must be scanned by the devil to see if it is right. You will excuse the expression. He is watching closely to see if we live our religion. And he says: “Now, Latter-day Saints, are you not ashamed whenever you do anything that is naughty?” and tries to discourage them, that they may turn away from the truth. What should this do for us? Should it not cause us to refrain from all wrong, and teach us to do better, even this the chastisement of the devil?

We need not worry about this, that or the other, not in the least; it is for us to serve the Lord, and see that we do his will. And so far as persecution and the killing of the Prophets are concerned, whether of ancient or of modern times, even Joseph and Hyrum Smith, and others of the Saints, men, women and children, as they have done, we do not expect that the perpetrators of these deeds will be brought to justice; not in the least, until the Lord sits upon the case and deals out justice to them. The cry has been against the Prophets of every age, against the Apostles and against Jesus himself, and against all those who have ever preached the truth, and why? Because the systems of the world are errors; while the Gospel is true, it stands alone, it is as firm as the everlasting mountains; the storms may beat upon it, and it is there. But how is it with those who are jealous of us and who oppose us? We hear some of them who profess Christianity crying, “Come to Jesus,” “Come to Jesus,” etc. What is there of it? It is so much nonsense. If Jesus were in their midst today, they would kick him out; for they did so to his servants. Suppose the Apostle Paul, or Peter, in fact any of the Apostles were to get into their chapels, and were to preach from their pulpits their doctrine which they preached when upon the earth, what do you think they would do to them? They would take them and lead them out of doors, saying, “We will not have any such hypocrites and false Prophets as you are in our midst.”

There is once in a while a good honest man who professes to preach the truth, and when he does preach, it amounts to this: “My brethren, we think we are Christians, we are believers in the word of God; but I tell you if the Apostles were here today we would not receive them.” That is what these good, honest preachers would say, and a few do say it to their congregations.

A false principle, a false theory, whether in mechanism or philosophy, requires much argument and superior talent to sustain it, but when the truth is presented it commends itself to the understanding of the people so readily that it requires no great amount of learning to substantiate it, nor much skill to declare it to the honest who want truth, and it remains firm and sound.

Forty-five years ago they were determined to kill the Prophet Joseph. I have lain upon the floor scores and scores of nights ready to receive the mob who sought his life. This persecution commenced with a little neighborhood, then a town, then a county, then a State, and then the people of the United States; and by and by other nations will be just as bitter towards us, and the doctrines we preach as many of the people of our own nation now are. They will struggle and strive, and plan and devise, saying, Let us take this course, and that course; and they will struggle until they will come to a stop as though they were against a mountain of solid rock. They will do all they can to break us up, and even destroy us; this has been the case now for the last forty-five years. Joseph Smith had forty-seven law suits, and I was with him through the most of them, and never was the first thing proved against him; he was never guilty of the first violation of the law or of good order. And when Governor Ford asked him to go to prison, as the mob were so enraged that he could not insure his life, that he might be safe until he returned from Nauvoo, he said: “I will pledge you the faith of the State of Illinois for your safety.” But as soon as he was gone, the mob murdered both Joseph and his brother Hyrum, in the jail. That was to be so. I heard Joseph say many a time, “I should not live until I am forty years of age.” The spring before he was killed—his death occurred the 27th of June, 1844—he hurried off the first Elders of the Church. All right, I thought then, and I think so now. It is all in the hands of God. They killed Joseph, and what for? For the Gospel’s sake. It was for no evil, for I was well acquainted with him. He testified to the truth, he sealed his testimony with his blood. Whether we believe in blood atonement or not, the Lord so ordered it, that Joseph, as well as others of the Prophets, sealed their testimony with their blood.

I said here last Sabbath, that, if the people of this government are not satisfied with what they have already passed through this side of twenty years past, “Wait a little longer, and they will be perfectly satisfied with blood.” They shed the blood of the innocent; if they are not satisfied with the blood they have shed of each other, wait a little while and they will shed each other’s blood to their full satisfaction. The Lord has spoken it, and we have nothing to do with it. If we could, we would hide ourselves away from the scenes that will take place; but this we cannot do. But wait a little longer, and the people of this nation, as well as others, will have blood till they are satisfied with shedding the blood of each other. This is the prediction of the ancient Prophets, and has been confirmed unto us through his servant Joseph. The people are in the hands of God, he will rule all things and deal justly with all mankind; but he will not suffer this wickedness to dwell on the earth; it must be cleansed. All that we need to concern ourselves about is to serve the Lord, to trust in him, so that we may be ready to receive his dealings upon the just and the unjust, in all his chastisements. Let us live up to the principles of the just, and God will continue to bless us and deliver us with the just.

If I had power, I certainly would bless the people with everything their hearts could wish if they would not sin. I would do, as I heard the mothers of some of my children say, that went with me to St. George this winter, that I indulged them in everything they wanted. Why? Because they never manifested a desire for anything wrong. And if it were in my power I would bless all the inhabitants of the earth, with everything in which they could glorify God, and purify their own hearts.

May God bless you. Amen.




Enjoyment in the South—the Blessings of a Temple—Need of Chastisement—the Redemption of the Earth—the Christian World Concerned in Regard to the Priesthood—Those Who Persecute Will Be Visited—the Ten Virgins—the Wise Will Understand

Discourse by President Brigham Young, delivered in the New Tabernacle, Salt Lake City, Sunday Afternoon, April 29, 1877.

I am thankful to my Heavenly Father for the privilege of meeting with you again and am happy to say that I am as well satisfied with my labors during the last six months as any of the labors of my life. Here let me ask, are you, my brethren and sisters, satisfied with the labors you have performed during the same length of time? This is a question you will have to answer for yourselves to your own consciences. If you have done well you will be blessed, and you will feel satisfied; if you have suffered yourselves to do that which is wrong towards yourselves or towards any other person on the earth, or to the providences of God, or to our Heavenly Father, your consciences will judge you.

I am aware that you wish to hear something of our labors in the South. I will say that we have had a blessed time, such a time as no other people on the earth have en joyed for many centuries, that we have any knowledge of. We have been permitted to enjoy privileges for the possession of which we have been striving and laboring for many years. For almost half a century we have been exerting ourselves that we might have the privilege of entering into a Temple of God, there to officiate and receive the ordinances of his holy house, both for ourselves and for our friends that have slept without the Gospel. This privilege and blessing we have not enjoyed until within a very few months past. The feeling experienced by those who have participated in the blessings administered in the Temple is something which cannot be described to your understanding. Those only who have shared with us in the Temple ordinances know for themselves the satisfaction there is in realizing that we are indeed co-workers with our Lord and Savior; that we bear a humble part in the great work of sal vation; that we have the privilege of receiving and obeying the truth, and of securing to ourselves that happiness which the Gospel alone affords; and not only of performing these ordinances for ourselves, but of doing the necessary work for our parents and forefathers who have slept without the Gospel, that they may partake also of the waters of life, and be judged according to men in the flesh. This is a privilege, a blessing, which no one can sense unless he is in possession of it. We are happy to know by our faith and feelings through the spirit of revelation within us that our labors have been accepted of the Lord. We have enjoyed ourselves exceedingly in the society of each other; the aged, the middle-aged and the youth have rejoiced and been made glad in this glorious work.

When I look upon the youth, our young brethren and sisters, who are more or less unacquainted with the great principles of life and salvation, I wish that they could enjoy what a few of our young people did this past winter, their minds would be detached from the trifles and follies of this weak world, and they would be placed upon more sacred things, upon the principles that are calculated to exalt them and ennoble every feeling and desire of the heart.

The Latter-day Saints present a strange spectacle to those that enjoy the spirit of revelation. To see them following after the spirit of this world and gratifying the lust of the eye and of the mind, like the rest of mankind who have never enjoyed the spirit of the Gospel of life and salvation; and yet not so very strange when we realize the power of the enemy and the thousands of snares which he lays for the feet of the unwary, to draw the people astray from the things of God. Still, when we view the great object of our life, our being here upon the earth, being brought here expressly to receive that experience by which we can discover between right and wrong, between good and evil, between light and darkness, and obtain that experience that angels have, that the gods have, and that all exalted beings have, and remember that we are put in possession of those principles that make us wise unto salvation, that we should stoop to the sinful deeds and sinful reflections that many do, is marvelous and strange. When I think of these things I am impressed with the great importance of this life and of exercising ourselves in the privileges that God has granted to us to prepare our hearts through obedience to the Gospel of the Son of God, for a high station, for a high exaltation in worlds to come, such as we cannot receive whilst clothed in this mortal tabernacle. But still, in this life we can receive little by little, and more and more, growing in grace and in the knowledge of the truth, until our minds are able to comprehend many of the great things of eternity; and thus prepare our hearts, by overcoming sin and the weaknesses of humanity, for that exaltation already awaiting the righteous.

Sometimes I am so exercised that I chastise the people very severely; but I will say to the Latter-day Saints that I have no chastisement for any unless they deserve it, and if I myself am found guilty of the same wrongs, I receive to myself a portion of the rebuke which I give to others. But my feelings are very acute; what I see and hear ofttimes causes me sorrow and wonder, and I feel to exclaim, “O Lord, have mercy upon us, thy people!” How easy it is for us to forget the Lord who atoned for us, and to depart from his ways, giving way to the false influences that are continually prompting our minds to lust after the things of this world in their corrupt condition. All this is strange to the mind opened to see and understand the things of God and the things of eternity as they are. If we possessed that power, that influence over ourselves, a proper portion of that stability that belongs to the heavens, when we once embraced the truth there would be no necessity for our being chastened, no necessity for our being called upon to refrain from this or that wrong; but the weakness of the flesh is so great that we need continually the influence of our Father through our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, to hold us to the truth, in order that we may not fall away therefrom and finally wander into the darkness of the world, forsaking God and the faith we have embraced.

It is astonishing that men should do so when we consider things as they are, and witness the continued love and kindness of our Heavenly Father, in again speaking from the heavens, revealing himself and his everlasting Gospel to the children of men, as well as the ordinances, laws, rules and regulations of his House which affect the salvation of both the living and the dead.

How is it with my brethren and sisters here? Are they awake to the things of God? If they are we shall have no need of calling upon them from day to day, from week to week. Brethren, will you put forth your hands and rear these Temples, these buildings wherein we can enter and officiate for ourselves and our progenitors, preparatory to the coming of the Son of Man, which coming draws near? Will we build up the Zion of God before entering into the millennium of rest, when wickedness will be taken away from the earth? Then the Latter-day Saints will be able to go forth without being persecuted by their enemies, and opposed on every hand by the alluring spirits that are constantly tempting them away from the things of God to follow after the things of a fallen world. Then the Saints will enjoy the privilege of building their Temples unmolested, redeem their friends, and make ready for the time when the nations shall come up to the presence of God the Father, to be judged according to the deeds done in the flesh. There are a few of the brethren and sisters who understand things as they are, and who are ready and willing to devote their time and their means for the salvation of the human family. If there are any hearts or spirits in this city, or elsewhere, that are fearfully wondering whether or not we are going to be destroyed, or whether this Church will endure and become the mighty power in the earth, according to the predictions of the servants of God, I will say to all such trembling souls, You need entertain no such fears. You need have only one fear, and that is with regard to yourselves, lest you should leave the light that the Lord has imparted to you and wander into darkness, returning to the beggarly elements of the world, lusting again after the things of the world in their sinful state. The earth is the Lord’s and the fullness thereof; even the very things which we are so tempted to covet, through lustful desires, in and of themselves are pure and holy, for they are the Lord’s; but we wish to possess them unrighteously and not according to the will of God. This is the sin which is upon man. Everything which we see and which pertains to this little earth, belongs to the Lord, and the whole of it will be given to his Saints and they will enjoy it forever and ever. But at present the earth is groaning under sin in consequence of the wickedness of the children of men, and it is longing to be delivered, as are the Saints that have slept, whom the Apostle John saw and heard, when he was an exile on the Isle of Patmos. When will the earth be redeemed, when will Jesus come to receive the Church as a bride, when will he come to reign King of nations as he now reigns King of Saints, when will he banish wickedness from the earth, and when will the Saints have power to overcome sin? When we learn to sanctify the Lord God in our hearts. As fast as we learn to conform our individual wills to his will, overcoming sin within ourselves, will we have power to subdue sin in those that surround us, and in this way the whole earth will be redeemed from wickedness. The curse which has been brought upon the earth through the Fall will be removed through the faith and virtues of the Saints. When we become sanctified in the truth, and our faith, through the Gospel of the Son of God, becomes sufficiently powerful we will be able to remove the thorns and thistles and obnoxious weeds that grow immediately around us, and to bless and sanctify our gardens and farms, so that they will bring forth spontaneously the fruits and flowers, the cereals and vegetables that sustain life; and upon this principle as righteousness extends will the whole earth eventually be redeemed and sanctified, when all things will be as they were in the beginning, when the Lord finished the earth and pronounced everything to be “very good.” This is the nature of the great latter-day work in which we are engaged, and were it not for the confident assurance that we have of successfully accomplishing it, I would tremble, and fear might enter my heart.

Why is the whole Christian world concerned about your humble servant? They say Brigham Young is not fit to live, that he ought not to be allowed to remain upon the earth. Would they remove him if they had the power to? Yes, many who call themselves Christians would join in the act, and many others would consent to his death! Not the highminded and honorable of the earth, and those who serve God and his Christ; but the bigot, the hypocrite, the wicked and the ungodly would. Why? Simply because they represent their master, the devil, who is carrying on a warfare with the heavens, and their hearts are opposed to God and to all that represent him. This conflict always has been, and will be until the winding up scene. If I had to depend upon my own wisdom and power, in connection with that of my fellow laborers, I might well tremble and fear. But I depend not upon human wisdom or human power. I occupy the position that God our Heavenly Father has placed me in, and while I exercise myself in the duties that he has committed to me, seeking to build up his kingdom and establish righteousness upon the earth, holding the dominion for him and for the family of Christ, I tremble not, I fear not, neither do I care for the insults of the world, for the Lord is my bulwark, my shield and my deliverer. But have not some of the wicked succeeded in removing others from the earth? Yes, they killed Joseph and Hyrum Smith, while under the pledged faith of the State of Illinois; and at Haun’s Mill, Missouri, they massacred about eighteen of our brethren and sisters, innocent men, women and children, without the first cause or provocation; and furthermore, the perpetrators of these and other murders were never brought to justice; in fact, the press of the nation advocated the destruction of “Mormonism,” and on the death of the leaders of our Church, all the consolation that public opinion afforded their bereaved families, as well as the members of the Church, over which they presided, was that that would put an end to “Mormonism.” But will the Lord overlook and forget such crimes? No, for the blood of the innocent is continually crying unto him for vengeance, which he will administer in his own due time. He has already vexed this nation and given the people time to pause and consider their conduct; and if they repent not by turning from their corruptions and wickedness, he has only to say to the innocent, and to the Latter-day Saints, “Wait a little, wait a little, and their cup will be full to overflowing.” I have said to my brethren and sisters, and I say it now, Go to Jackson County, and to Caldwell County, where the lives of Latter-day Saints have been taken and from where they have been driven; go to the region of Haun’s Mill, where so many were massacred because they had come up to the western part of Missouri, and it was said they were “Mormons,” and you will find that we, in all our persecutions, have not suffered so much as the characters who executed judgment upon the innocent. If I were asked today if we as a people had suffered persecution, I would say, “No, nothing worth mentioning.” This has ever been the case with the righteous, and it ever will be. For when their lives are taken for the Gospel’s sake, they go to the Father, to the paradise of rest, where they are free from the influence and power of sinful and wicked men. But how different with the wicked and ungodly! When they die their sufferings which cannot be described, only commence. But have we received enough to understand that the wicked are a rod in the hands of God to chasten his children? If you do not, it is time that you had learned it, for it is even so; and if we are chastened, it is for a purpose, probably to bring us to a sense of our duty, that we may know the hand-dealing of the Lord towards us. But were we ever destroyed? No, neither will God permit us to be, so long as we are desirous of being his servants, and of doing the work given us to do. Although it was necessary that Jesus should suffer on the cross for the sins of the world, still it might be said of those who took an active part in the deed, as well as those who consented to it in their hearts, “Woe unto them by whom this offense came.” Many of the Prophets have sealed their testimony with their blood, that their testament might go forth with force and not return void. As in ancient days, so in modern days. When Joseph Smith sealed his testimony with his blood, his testament, from that moment was in force to all the world; and woe to those who fight against it. What will we do to them? Nothing at all, but preach the Gospel. They may lie about us as they please. If we will faithfully mind our own concerns, live our religion, do good to all men, preach the Gospel to the nations of the earth, gather up the honest in heart, build up and establish Zion in the earth, send the Gospel to the House of Israel, and live and serve God in all things, all will be well with us, we have no cause for fear in the least. When the Lord deems it necessary that his servants should seal their testimony with their blood, in order that his word may be strengthened and of greater force in the earth, so let it be; they are received into the arms of Jehovah, they rejoice in the society of those who are waiting patiently until the trump shall sound, when the sleeping nations shall awake and their bodies come forth to be reunited with their spirits, and the faithful enter into a fullness of his glory. With them all is well, all is right.

But do we live our religion? The only fear I have is that we are not as faithful as we should be. We give way to passion, we yield to temptation; whereas, we ought to live so that the Lord can strengthen the position of his people and multiply the righteous, how fast and to what degree is not for me to say. But if the Latter-day Saints were as righteous and as holy as we are capable of being by reducing to practice the doctrine we have received, I am sure that the Lord could hasten his work, and he would cut it short in righteousness, it would be consummated much quicker than he can in our present condition. The acts and condition of the people here on the earth must be considered, the same is held in remembrance before the throne of God, for he requires of his people to act with him in all things pertaining to the building up of his kingdom upon the earth. But his grace is always ready, his Spirit is always waiting, and the light that Jesus brought into the world is always with the people, teaching them the right from the wrong. He is the light of the world that lighteth every man that cometh into the world, and if the whisperings of his Spirit and its dictates were hearkened to and obeyed, all men everywhere would grow in the truth, much faster than we Latter-day Saints are doing. It is a source of mortification to know that men and women who have been in this Church from twenty to forty years should still be so prone to the weaknesses of the flesh. What do I see? If I do not witness it with my own eyes, I hear of it through those who do—men, ofttimes of long standing in the Church, drink a little, they swear a little, smoke or chew a little, and indulge their appetites in those things which the Lord has warned us against, and which he has said are not good for man. They, too, can spend their time wandering about these mountains hunting for gold and silver, they can mingle and associate with those whose lives are records of vice and immorality, and who are ready to oppose God and traduce the character of his servants. Can Saints of God, Elders in Israel, who are exercised by the power and spirit of their holy calling, who have within them the gift of eternal life, can they be guilty of such things and stand approved before God? No, they cannot; and I say, shame upon such men, they are a disgrace to themselves, and their actions are a disgrace to the name of Saint. It is a disgrace, too, to the sisters, as well as the brethren, who thirst after the vain fashions and foolish practices of the world. Cease to pattern after those who know not God. How would such conduct compare with the conversation and deportment of the angels whom we expect to meet? Would they want to adopt the practices and fashions of the wicked world? No, they have higher aims and holier aspirations, they live above vanity; so should the Latter-day Saints. Our hearts should be pure, entertaining such things only as are comely, chaste and praiseworthy before him. This is the course of life that he expects of us.

I have a great many reflections, especially when alone, I converse with myself upon these eternal things, things which the frivolous, the vain, and those who are engaged only with the things of this world, never think of. With regard to the society of heaven, their conversation and deportment, consider the magnitude and greatness of the character of holy beings, contemplate the expanse of eternity and the life that is before us, and then how insignificant appears this world as it now is! Still, in our humanity, in our fallen condition, that divine influence is more or less with us, and if we would preserve ourselves to dwell with the holy ones of heaven and have joy in our being, we must faithfully adhere to and practice the principles of eternal life; and in doing so, he will add for our comfort and enjoyment all things necessary pertaining to this life.

Fear not with regard to the success of this Church and kingdom. Rather fear you should not be counted worthy to be numbered among the sanctified when Jesus comes to make up his jewels; rather fear lest you should be found in the condition of the five foolish virgins whose lamps had gone out and who were unprepared to meet the bridegroom because they had no oil. Remember, Latter-day Saints, there were five wise and five foolish, an equal division, and yet they were all virgins. The application is a just one and has a direct bearing on us, as Latter-day Saints. The wise among us will take heed, will hearken to the instructions and counsels of the servants of God, will pattern after Christ, and thirst after the things of God, and our lamps will be trimmed and burning, and we will be prepared to meet the bridegroom when he comes, and they that are ready will enter in with him to the marriage; and whether or not the door be shut upon those not so well prepared is a matter that belongs solely to him, and he can do just as he pleases about it. I want to have oil in my vessel, so that in case I should, in consequence of the weakness of the flesh, slumber a little, on arising my lamp would be trimmed ready to burn. This is doubtless your desire. Then live for it; mingle not your voices with the wicked, seek not after the delusive things of this world in their present state. But is not the Lord going to give the earth and the riches thereof to his Saints? Yes, that is the promise, and he has spoken it by the mouth of many of his Prophets. But when will this inheritance pass into the hands of his people? When we shall have sanctified the Lord in our hearts, sanctified our bodies and spirits in the truth, and we become pure and holy, free from selfishness and from every sin; and until we shall have reached this state of perfection, we never need expect these things committed to our care, for he will not do it. When the judgment is given to the Saints, it will be because of their righteousness, because they will judge even as the angels and as the Gods, and not as the wicked do at the present time, who care not for God nor for justice, who care not for truth nor mercy, love nor kindness, who judge according to the wickedness of their hearts. I am very thankful that it is not our province, in our present condition, to judge the world; if it were, we would ruin everything. We have not sufficient wisdom, our minds are not filled with the knowledge and power of God; the spirit needs to contend with the flesh a little more until it shall be successful in subduing its passions, until the whole soul is brought into perfect harmony with the mind and will of God. And we must also acquire the discretion that God exercises in being able to look into futurity, and to ascertain and know the results of our acts away in the future, even in eternity, before we will be capable of judging.

Let us live so that we shall be ready for any dispensation of providence. It is said He will come as a thief in the night. We had better be on the watchtower, waiting in readiness for him, than to be putting off the time, for peradventure we might put it off until it is too late.

I have something to say to the Latter-day Saints about their temporal affairs, how we should live temporally, taking proper care of that which is committed to our charge, and using it for the benefit of ourselves and others, which I will tell you on some future occasion.

On the second Saturday and Sunday in May, the 12th and 13th, we will hold a two days’ meeting here, or, if you choose to call it so, a District Conference of this Stake of Zion, to which you, and as many as can make it, convenient to attend, are invited. If you will come with clean hands and pure hearts, full of faith, so that the Lord can pour out his spirit upon us, we will have a time of rejoicing. God bless you. Amen.




Living According to the Light—Temple Work—Good Counsel—What Say the High Priests and Seventies

Discourse by President Brigham Young, delivered at Richfield, Sevier County, Utah, on Sunday Afternoon, April 22, 1877.

I am very much gratified in the opportunity of appearing in this house again. I am disposed to say a few words to you. I have not time to instruct you in all things, nor to say all I wish to say. Do just as well as you know how in all things, never permitting yourself to commit an act unless the Spirit of God within you justifies you in doing it. And if you live every day of your lives according to the best light and understanding you possess, glorifying God, our Heavenly Father, just as far as your knowledge extends, I will promise you eternal life in the kingdom of God. This is saying a great deal, it is a very important discourse embodied in a few words. The grand difficulty with the people is they do not do quite as well as they know how; it is that which hinders us from accomplishing the work given us to do.

Now let me say to you, my brethren and sisters, if you live according to the light within you, you will be of one heart and one mind; your interests and labors will be one, and you will take hold with all the power God has given you to consummate this great and glorious work com mitted to our charge. When we become one we shall have a heaven here upon the earth. Do you think that in the family of heaven dwelling in the presence of God there is any jarring, bickerings, contentions, faultfinding, or distrust in the Priesthood? No. It is true we are in a world of darkness, and we have a great many weaknesses, temptations and annoyances all tending to lead us astray. But if we do as well as we know how, we shall accomplish the work.

I have been spending the winter in St. George. Our Temple there is finished, which is the first completed Temple built to the name of the Most High, in which the ordinances for the living and the dead can be performed, since the one built by Solomon in the land of Jerusalem, that we have any knowledge of. The Nephites may have built Temples, and in all probability they did, but we have no account of them. We enjoy privileges that no other people enjoy, or have enjoyed. In the days of Solomon, in the Temple that he built in the land of Jerusalem, there was confusion and bickering and strife, even to murder, and the very man that they looked to to give them the keys of life and salvation, they killed because be refused to administer the ordinances to them when they requested it; and whether they got any of them or not, this history does not say anything about.

We enjoy the privilege of entering into a Temple, built to the name of God, and receiving the ordinances of his House, with all the keys and blessings preparatory of entering into the “lives;” we also enjoy the privilege of administering for our fathers and mothers, our grandfathers and grandmothers, for those who have slept without the Gospel.

You can understand why it is that the press of our nation is so ready to cry out against the “Mormons;” why it is that these poor Latter-day Saints are not considered fit to live, why they ought not to enjoy the common blessings of citizenship, and why the wicked would, if they could, deprive this whole people of their rights and privileges, and destroy their leaders from off the earth? It is evidence to all Latter-day Saints, if they have hearts to understand, that God is with this people, and that the Evil One is using the same means now, as he always has done, to oppose Him. We ought to be thankful that we are worthy to receive these persecutions. And I can promise you, that if we exercise patience and faith, and attend faithfully and diligently to the work given us to do of the Father, that they will work out for us a more excellent degree of glory and exaltation. Consequently it becomes us to be patient, trusting in God and the promises he has made unto us.

I was about to say to you, that our labors during the time I have spent in St. George, are perfectly satisfactory to me; and I believe we have all the evidence we can ask for, that the Lord is satisfied. And now that we have succeeded so well in building one Temple, we feel encouraged to continue our labors in the same direction until we shall have built and finished others. We want to commence another one in your region of country, at Manti; and we intend to lay out the ground when we reach there on our way to the city. We have, traveling with us, in our company, Elder Parry, the man who had charge of the rockwork of the St. George Temple; he is on his way to Manti, to work on the Temple to be built at that place. We expect to say to the Latter-day Saints, Rear these walls forthwith, and complete this building, that you may enjoy the blessings therein promised.

Brethren and sisters, live your holy religion that the spirit of truth, of virtue and of holiness may burn within you, that your only desire may be to do the will of the Father in the literal building up of this his kingdom on the earth. Say your prayers, and increase your faith in the Lord and in his promises made to the faithful. Bring up your children in the love and fear of the Lord; study their dispositions and their temperaments, and deal with them accordingly, never allowing yourself to correct them in the heat of passion; teach them to love you rather than to fear you, and let it be your constant care that the children that God has so kindly given you are taught in their early youth the importance of the oracles of God, and the beauty of the principles of our holy religion, that when they grow to the years of man and womanhood they may always cherish a tender regard for them and never forsake the truth. I do not wish you to lay the stress and importance upon outward ceremonies that many do. There are those belonging to what is called the Mother Church who say give them the care and training of children at from three to seven years old, and they could so ground them in their faith, that they forever afterwards, would remain good Catholics. The secret of their great success is no doubt in their strict observance of outward ordinances and ceremonies. But while they go to one extreme in the observance of ceremony, making bigots of their children, (for one of the earliest recollections of the child, who is reared in Catholicism, is the use of the sign of the cross) many of the Latter-day Saints go to the other, failing entirely to impress the minds of their children with that degree of reverence and sacredness that belongs to the ordinances of our Church. Parents, teach your children by precept and example, the importance of addressing the throne of grace; teach them how to live, how to draw from the elements the necessaries of life, and teach them the laws of life that they may know how to preserve themselves in health and be able to minister to others. And when instructing them in the principles of the Gospel, teach them that they are true, truth sent down from heaven for our salvation, and that the Gospel incorporates every truth whether in heaven, in earth, or in hell; and teach them too that we hold the keys of eternal life, and that they must obey and observe the ordinances and laws pertaining to this holy Priesthood, which God has revealed and restored for the exaltation of the children of men.

If I were to ask the High Priests of this district, Do you pray in your families before going to work, or before you sit around the breakfast table? Do you kneel down in humility and meekness, with the faith that the Father requires at your hands to ask him in the name of Jesus, to bless and preserve and give you grace according to your day; and do you do this before retiring to bed? Seventies, do you call upon the Lord morning and evening? The Lord says, I will be sought unto by my people for the blessings that they need. And instead of our classing prayer among the duties devolving upon us as Latter-day Saints, we should live so as to deem it one of the greatest privileges accorded to us; for were it not for the efficacy of prayer what would have become of us both as a people and as individuals?

I do not feel disposed to preach a lengthy sermon to you, but we feel in our hearts to say, God bless you, peace be to you. I do not expect to come to see you as often as I have done, my health will not permit of it. My voice is good, I feel as though I could make myself heard a mile off, but my system is almost worn out; yet I expect to work right in the harness until I am called for to go hence. I am so thankful we have completed our Temple, it is the greatest blessing that could be bestowed upon us, I know of nothing that could equal it. But we are not satisfied with this one, we must hurry the building of another one, and thus another one and so on, and perform the great work therein that is required at our hands. Let us live so that we may be worthy to be owned of the Lord, and to be received into the fulness with him. Amen.




The United Order—The Duty of the Priesthood—The Gospel not Communism—Teaching the People How to Live—Independence of Babylon—The Saints Will Continue to Spread—Unity of Purpose and Action, Will Bring Again Zion—Free Schools Criticized—Educational Status of Our Children

Discourse by President Brigham Young, delivered at the Semi-Annual Conference, Held in the Temple, at St. George, Friday Morning, April 6, 1877.

I would like to say a great deal during this Conference to the Latter-day Saints, but I shall be able to talk but little, and therefore when I do speak I wish you to listen, and this I believe all of you will do.

I think that, as a people, we are nearer alike in the sentiments and feelings of our hearts, than in our words. From the most excellent discourse which we have heard this morning from brother Cannon, I believe that the people might gather the idea that we shall be expected to divide our property equally one with another, and that this will constitute the United Order. I will give you my view, in as few words as possible with regard to this subject, which I will promise you are correct.

The Lord wishes and requires us to develop the ability within us, and to utilize the ability of these men, women and children called Latter-day Saints.

The most of the inhabitants of the earth are incapable of dictating and devising for themselves. In many instances there is reason for this, for they are opposed to that degree that for the lack of opportunity they are not able to develop the talents and ability that are within them. This is the condition of the people of most of the nations of the earth. All those who come out from the world, espousing the Gospel of Jesus, place themselves in a condition to be taught of him, but instead of teaching them personally, he has raised up his authorized teachers to do this work, and what does he expect of us to do? He requires, absolutely requires, of us to take these people who have named his name through baptism, and teach them how to live, and how to become healthy, wealthy and wise. This is our duty.

Supposing that the property of the whole community were divided today equally amongst all, what might we expect? Why a year from today we should need another division, for some would waste and squander it away, while others would add to their portion. The skill of building up and establishing the Zion of our God on the earth is to take the people and teach them how to take care of themselves and that which the Lord has entrusted to their care, and to use all that we command to glorify his holy name. This is the work of regenerating, of elevating mankind to the higher plane of the Gospel; in other words, of simply teaching them their duty.

With regard to our property, as I have told you many times, the pro perty which we inherit from our Heavenly Father is our time, and the power to choose in the disposition of the same. This is the real capital that is bequeathed unto us by our Heavenly Father; all the rest is what he may be pleased to add unto us. To direct, to counsel and to advise in the disposition of our time, pertains to our calling as God’s servants, according to the wisdom which he has given and will continue to give unto us as we seek it

Now, if we could take this people, in their present condition, and teach them how to sustain and maintain themselves and a little more, we would add to that which we already have; but to take what we have and divide amongst or give to people, without teaching them how to earn and produce, would be no more nor less than to introduce the means of reducing them to a state of poverty.

I do not wish for one moment to recognize the idea that in order to establish the United Order our property has to be divided equally among the people, to let them do what they please with it. But the idea is to get the people into the same state of unity in all things temporal, that we find ourselves in with regard to things spiritual. Then let those who possess the ability and wisdom direct the labors of those not so endowed, until they too develop the talents within them and in time acquire the same degree of ability.

What do you say to this doctrine? Is it right or wrong? [The congregation answered, “It is right.“]

We want to get at a correct understanding respecting all these matters which so materially concern us. What would be the first lesson necessary to teach the people, were we to commence to direct their labors to the great end of becoming of one heart and one mind in the Lord, of establishing Zion and being filled with the power of God? It would be to stop expending and lavishing upon our dear selves all needless adornments and to stop purchasing the importations of Babylon. We can ourselves produce everything necessary for our consumption, our wear, our convenience and comfort, right here at home. We can produce and manufacture the material necessary to beautify our lands, gardens and orchards; to beautify and furnish our houses, and to adorn the beautiful bodies which we inhabit without sending our means to France, to England and other countries for things which can a little better be made at home among ourselves. The material of which these cushions were made, which adorn the pulpits, were produced here. After it was taken from the sheep, it was manufactured at our Provo factory into the cloth you now see; and the material of which the silk trimmings were made, was raised, spun, and made up by some of our sisters in this Territory. We might exhibit to you handkerchiefs, dress patterns, and shawls, all of silk, made by our sisters out of the raw material produced here through the enterprise and industry of a few. These are only simple specimens of what can be done. Suppose I were to say, “Ladies, how do you like them?” Do you not think they would say, “Pretty well?” We can improve on what has been done, and we want you to do so. Plant out the mulberry tree, and raise the silk, and let your dresses, your shawls, your bonnets and your ribbons, and everything you use to clothe and adorn your bodies, be the workmanship of your own hands. Let the brethren take hold and carry out in every department the same principle of home manufacture until we shall be able to produce the materials, and make up every article necessary to clothe and adorn the body, from the crown of the head to the soles of the feet. Then we shall become a self-sustaining and growing people, and we shall have to do it. All this is in the elements in which we live, and we need the skill to utilize the elements to our growth and wealth, and this is true financiering.

We can now see the growth of the Latter-day Saints, and it is marvelous to us to see the multitude of little towns springing up here and there, and we are under the necessity of saying, Give us more room, for the older settlements are thickening up, and the people are spreading out and filling up new valleys continually. You can see the shoots putting forth and taking root; still the old stock is good, is alive and rapidly increasing.

It has been asked if we intend to settle more valleys. Why certainly we expect to fill the next valley and then the next, and the next, and so on. It has been the cry of late, through the columns of the newspapers, that the “Mormons” are going into Mexico! That is quite right, we calculate to go there. Are we going back to Jackson County? Yes. When? As soon as the way opens up. Are we all going? O no! Of course not. The country is not large enough to hold our present numbers. When we do return there, will there be any less remaining in these mountains than we number today? No, there may be a hundred then for every single one that there is now. It is folly in men to suppose that we are going to break up these our hard earned homes to make others in a new country. We intend to hold our own here, and also penetrate the north and the south, the east and the west, there to make others and to raise the ensign of truth. This is the work of God, that marvelous work and a wonder referred to by ancient men of God, who saw it in its incipiency, as a stone cut out of the mountains without hands, but which rolled and gathered strength and magnitude until it filled the whole earth. We will continue to grow, to increase and spread abroad, and the powers of earth and hell combined cannot hinder it. All who are found opposing God and his people will be swept away and their names be forgotten in the earth. As the Prophets Joseph and Hyrum were murdered, and as they massacred our brethren and sisters in Missouri, so they would have served us years and years ago, if they had had the power to do so. But the Lord Almighty has said, Thus far thou shalt go and no farther, and hence we are spared to carry on his work. We are in his hands, the nations of the earth are in his hands; he rules in the midst of the armies of heaven and executes his pleasure on the earth. The hearts of all living are in his hands and he turns them as the rivers of water are turned.

We have no business here other than to build up and establish the Zion of God. It must be done according to the will and law of God after that pattern and order by which Enoch built up and perfected the former-day Zion, which was taken away to heaven, hence the saying went abroad that Zion had fled. By and by it will come back again, and as Enoch prepared his people to be worthy of translation, so we through our faithfulness must prepare ourselves to meet Zion from above when it shall return to earth, and to abide the brightness and glory of its coming.

My brethren and sisters, I do really delight in hearing our brethren speak on this holy order of heaven. Unity of purpose and action, in carrying out the will of our Father, has been my theme all the day long; but I have continually plead with the Saints not to waste their substance upon the lust of the eye and the flesh, for that is contrary to the will and commandments of God. I wish to say that whoever have faith enough to inherit the celestial kingdom will find that their inheritances will be upon this earth. This earth is our home; by and by it will be sanctified and glorified, and become a fit dwelling place for the sanctified, and they will dwell upon it forever and ever. I will further say I labor for the earth, I never mean to be satisfied until the whole earth is yielded to Christ and his people. When brother George Q. tells us we should not labor for the earth and the things of this world, he means we should not labor with sinful motives, and to gratify the lusts of the flesh. But if we possessed the treasure of the Gentile world, could we not send our Elders to the ends of the earth, bearing the precious Gospel to all living? Could we not sustain their families during their absence? Could we not build Temple after Temple and otherwise hasten on the work of redemption? Yes. But keep the people in poverty and how are we to accomplish this great work? I say, let us gather and accumulate the things of the earth in the manner indicated by the Lord, and then devote it to God and the building up of his kingdom. What do you say to this doctrine, is it right or wrong? [The congregation said, “It is right.“] What little property I have I wish it to be devoted to the building up of Zion, and I suppose I have as much as any other man in the Church. I am always ready to receive and take care of the blessings that God showers upon me, and am always ready and willing to devote the same to the building up of his kingdom.

Many of you may have heard what certain journalists have had to say about Brigham Young being opposed to free schools. I am opposed to free education as much as I am opposed to taking away property from one man and giving it to another who knows not how to take care of it. But when you come to the fact, I will venture to say that I school ten children to every one that those do who complain so much of me. I now pay the school fees of a number of children who are either orphans or sons and daughters of poor people. But in aiding and blessing the poor I do not believe in allowing my charities to go through the hands of a set of robbers who pocket nine-tenths themselves, and give one-tenth to the poor. Therein is the difference between us; I am for the real act of doing and not saying. Would I encourage free schools by taxation? No! That is not in keeping with the nature of our work; we should be as one family, our hearts and hands united in the bonds of the everlasting covenant; our interests alike, our children receiving equal opportunities in the schoolroom and the college.

We have today, more children between the ages of 5 and 20 years, who can read and write, than any State or Territory of the Union of a corresponding number of inhabitants. This is not exactly sustained by the statistics published of a few of the States, but from what we know of them we believe it to be the fact.

On the whole we have as good schoolhouses as can be found, and it is our right to have better ones, and to excel in everything that is good.

As to my health I feel many times that I could not live an hour longer, but I mean to live just as long as I can. I know not how soon the messenger will call for me, but I calculate to die in the harness. Amen.