Building the Temple and a New Tabernacle—Labor Tithing—Call for Faithful Laborers

Remarks by President Daniel H. Wells, made in the Bowery, Great Salt Lake City, April 6, 1863.

Right here we want to build a Tabernacle, to accommodate the Saints at our General Conferences and religious worship, that will comfortably seat some ten thousand people; and over there we want to build a Temple. These two items I wish to call your attention to today.

We have organized the different districts throughout the Territory so that fifty teams can be at work for the Temple, hauling granite rock from Big and Little Cottonwoods. There has been some hauling done, but I wish to suggest a little amendment on our present operations and plans touching this part of the work. We shall want the same number of teams this season. We have never had as many as was designed in the first place, which was fifty, at any one time. If we could have even twenty-five or thirty teams constantly at work, they would keep the stonecutters employed. There was a difficulty last season about feed for the animals engaged on this work, but we are prepared to feed hay this year, but grain must be furnished by the Wards.

I wish to say a word in regard to the teamsters. Send men to drive the teams and not boys; men who will have some interest in the work they are sent to do; men who will not sell the grain sent to feed the teams to buy whiskey with; men who will not take their teams to haul wood with instead of rock for the Temple. Let the teamsters be fitted out with at least one spare shirt, that they may not be placed under the necessity of wearing one shirt five or six weeks, and then leave the work to go home if they are not supplied with more; this same remark will apply to shoes also. Either send men that do not use tobacco, or send them with a supply, that they may not come to me and tell me they will have to leave the work if they are not supplied with tobacco. Some of the Bishops sent word if I would find the men from the Wards tobacco they would pay for it, which they have not done, and you may expect that in the future we shall not find them in this article. We expect these things to be found them and men sent who will take care of their teams and wagons. It is a heavy tax upon us to repair unavoidable breakages; this we expect to do. We have a pretty good road to the rock, and if men will be careful in the management of their teams they need not break wagons as much as they have.

On the heel of the teams going down to the States for the poor, we want the teams ready for the hauling of rock. I will make a suggestion here, that the city be divided into ten working Wards, each Ward to pay its tithing labor punctually every tenth day, that we may have all the common labor we need on labor tithing and not be placed under the necessity of hiring labor with available means. This tithing labor can be done by the people in this city; but, you say, the hauling of rock and sending teams to the States takes up all the tithing labor we owe. If this be so, you may call the hauling of the rock and teams going to the States a freewill offering if you please. I care not how you fix it. I know there is a great portion of the community who care not much which way it applies. Those who have teams are the ones who supply both the hauling of rock for the Temple and going to the States. A great mass of the people do not do any labor of this kind. Let the Bishops in each Ward look to it and find out who in their Wards do not pay labor tithing in sending teams to the States. We want the common labor on the block, this season, to excavate, to attend masons and do a variety of work that is necessary to be accomplished for the building of our contemplated Tabernacle. Let there be an organization of the people in order to bring a portion of that labor on this block.

The labor tithing of mechanics cannot be settled by sending a person to work at a dollar-and-a-half a day if the Bishop understands his business. All our tradesmen make more than a dollar-and-a-half a day; they should pay what their tenth day’s labor is worth. The shoemakers can furnish boots and shoes, which can be used to a good advantage. If there is an objection raised to paying the material on labor tithing, it can be credited on their property tithing. We would not wish our tradesmen to leave their shops to work out their labor tithing in common labor with the shovel, the pick, &c., for they would not earn as much as a common laborer would who daily follows this kind of labor. We want them to pay their tithing in the kind of labor they are constantly employed at, and the products of this we can place to an excellent use. Common labor is more plentiful than mechanical labor.

I have been particular in noticing this matter. Great abuses are springing up among us for want of proper attention to the business of tithing labor upon the public works.

Sometimes men are found fault with because they spoil the work; they do not, for instance, cut the stone to line and do not improve in their work as much as they should. If anything is said to those persons they feel gouty and as though they did not care whether they continued to work or not on the public works; “For,” say they, “my work is as good as the pay.” Perhaps you do not know what kind of pay you get. What does the Tithing Office pay to the hands on the public works? It pays money, it pays clothing, it pays good flour and plenty of it, all that the hands need; it pays vegetables of every kind that is raised in these mountains, it pays molasses, chickens, eggs, butter, beef and pork, some hay and wood. I wish to ask if this is not good pay, and especially when you consider that the public hands get all their wages and more too; for in many instances they are behind on the books. They get all they earn and more, unless they are more diligent than some generally are, because we pay high wages. These are facts that cannot be truthfully denied. Men who work on the public works should be satisfied and contented, and give their best services, and try to improve and do the best they can; a good many do this. There is no place in the Territory that pays better pay and better wages than is paid to the hands that work on the public works, upon an average. If they can better themselves, why do they not do it? Some would quickly leave the public works in the best season of the year for a few dollars in money, and in the winter, when employment is scarce elsewhere, return to the public works; this is not righteous before God; men who do this do not do their duty as Saints. If any person can do better than to be a Latter-day Saint and abide the counsels given to them, why do they not do it? If there is more peace and comfort and salvation in the world than among the Saints, why did they not stay in the world? And if, after they come here, they think they can enjoy themselves better somewhere else, why do they not go there instead of staying here as grumblers in the kingdom of God? The kingdom of God is as independent of all such men as the Lord himself and it will be built up whether they assist in the Work or not.

I speak thus plainly that you may know how we feel about such things, and that you may realize that you are equally interested in the building up of the kingdom of God as I am or as anybody else is. It is as much your duty to come here and spend your time as it is mine, whether you get anything for it or not. I am no more interested in building up the Temple than any other Latter-day Saint is. I am no more interested in building a new tabernacle than you are; it is no more the business of the First Presidency or Twelve Apostles than it is yours. This, however, may need qualification; some feel a slothful interest in it that we do not have. It is as much your duty as ours, and I expect we can do as well without it as you can. We, however, expect to accomplish this work whether you aid us or not; but we call upon the people in this sense, it is your privilege to aid us if you feel willing to do so. We expect you to do as you shall be directed and abide the law you have enlisted to obey; this is your privilege. We expect you will guide your labors according to the rule laid down for you to follow. We wish to proceed with this labor immediately upon the close of this Conference. Let the men who seek labor, seek it not so particularly for individual aggrandizement as for the interest of the kingdom of God. This work will be an equal benefit to all, if we will be diligent and contented. There is no job men can be engaged in that will pay half as well. Those who will cling to the faith and work on faithfully, diligently, and humbly, will be the best off in the end. I do not care what inducement is offered to them, there is no enterprise so remunerative as the great enterprise in which we are engaged, or half so profitable, though we may not realize all things we desire or need at the present moment as fully as we would like. Look at the faithful laborer who is putting forth his hand in building up the kingdom of God, even if it is connected with the bringing of rocks from the quarry, lumber and timber from the mountains, &c.; that soul has peace and quiet within, though in temporal matters comparatively destitute. But in this country no person need suffer for the common necessaries of life. It is not so in distant nations where many of us came from. Remember the appeals that are made to us for assistance, for starvation has entered their dwellings; it is not, so here. Do we realize the blessings we enjoy in contrast with those of our brethren in distant countries? While we are doing all we can to aid them, let us remember not to slacken our hands in endeavoring to build up the kingdom of God, in answering to the calls made upon us here.

No person can release us from the duties that devolve upon us as individuals. We each of us should shoulder our responsibilities and rejoice to embrace the privilege of performing the duties devolving upon us to do good in the Church and kingdom of God in the last days. This is an inestimable privilege which, once neglected, may never again return. No person should lose the opportunity of doing good, if they do they will be sorry afterwards. Look back upon your own history and experience in the Church and kingdom of God, and point out a single duty that has been manfully and righteously performed that does not to this day bring to you a feeling of great satisfaction and gratitude to the Almighty that you were called upon to perform that duty, and you are glad that you did perform it faithfully before your God and your brethren. I do not believe there is a single individual who has ever performed a single duty in the Church and kingdom of God, but what is grateful to the Almighty that they had strength and power and ability to perform that duty. Then so let it be in the future; whenever we are called upon to perform a duty let us hasten to perform it with a free and glad heart and with a ready hand, doing it as it should be done with all the wisdom, ability and power that we can bring to bear on it, feeling grateful to the Almighty for the privilege, and we shall have joy and rejoicing before the heavens. This is the true light in which we ought to look at this matter. There is a great labor before this people, it is a lifetime work, and then it will be taken up by those who will follow after us, who will continue to develop the things which the Almighty is trying to establish upon the earth—the work of the salvation of our dead and the great millennium. The work we are now doing is preparatory to that work, and that work is preparatory to another that shall follow after.

We will build a new Tabernacle of sufficient dimensions to accommodate the people much better than they can be at present, and the time probably is not far distant when we may commence to administer for our dead. But the duties of today and all the work and labor we are called upon to perform is preparatory to something else; if we perform this work faithfully it will tell in its place in the due season and time of the Lord. Then let us be faithful and never neglect the opportunity of doing good when presented to us, be it ever so small in our estimation. There is nothing so small but what is necessary, when we are told to do it by those who preside over us. Small things reach to great things. We cannot baptize for the dead without a font, and we cannot get a stone to build it of without going to the stone quarries to get it. It looks a small thing to quarry rock and to pick up the pebbles and cobble rock or to take the spade and go and labor a single day’s work, but those small matters form together a grand whole in bringing to pass the great purposes we are anticipating will come to pass in the Lord’s due time. Then let us listen to and respond to the calls made upon us by our Bishops, by our Presidents, by those who are appointed to direct and govern and control and shape our labor. It is the business of this people to build up this kingdom in any channel and direction in which they are called to labor. Let us abide these teachings and calls, for in this we can attain an exaltation in the presence of our Father in heaven. Let us seek to be exalted therein and enjoy eternal lives in the mansions of the blessed. This is my sermon for today.

May God help us to do these things is my prayer in the name of Jesus: Amen.

The Great Blessings Enjoyed By the People in Deseret—The Gathering of the Saints—Proper Training of Children

Remarks by President Daniel H. Wells, made in the Tabernacle, Great Salt Lake City, March 29, 1863.

I feel thankful for a part and lot in the great Work of the last days. It is a calling that ought to engage all our interests and welfare, being inculcated in the maintenance of those principles which alone can bring salvation to the human family. My soul delights in them. They must be sustained, though all the world should rise in opposition.

We live in that age of the world which the ancient Prophets have foreseen, when the wicked would “make a man an offender for a word, and lay a snare for him that reproveth in the gate, and turn aside the just for a thing of nought.” I have often thought that the world does not know what righteousness towards God con sists in; they place great stress upon this, that and the other doctrine or principle as being necessary to salvation, which has not been thought of by any person who has been sent of God to lay before the children of men the true way. They have made laws and rules of faith, and set up church governments that cannot be drawn from anything to be found in the holy Scriptures or in any revelation I know anything about.

Obedience towards God is righteousness towards God. “Jesus answered and said unto them, If a man love me, he will keep my words: and my Father will love him,” &c. In order to become a holy and righteous people, it is necessary to listen to and obey every word that proceeds from the mouth of God through his servants whom he has placed to guide his kingdom, on the earth. This is righteousness towards God. It is said we can do nothing for the Lord, that if he was an hungered, he would not ask us for bread, &c.; but we can perform the duties we owe to him by the performance of the duties we owe to each other; in this way we can show ourselves approved before our Father who is in heaven. “And the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me.” Who has a greater opportunity of doing good to the brethren than the Latter-day Saints? Who has a finer chance of showing their faith by their works?

The gathering of Israel I will mention as one of the many opportunities that this people have of showing their good works to their brethren in distant nations, who are now suffering for want of the common necessaries of life; who are pleading day by day with their brethren and with the Lord continually for temporal deliverance. In these Valleys the people are well provided for, are wealthy and exceedingly prosperous, and can well afford to prove their loyalty to the heavens in expending a portion of their means to gather Israel. A great many are doing what they think they can do, but I think we might do more, as a people, in aiding to gather Israel, which is one portion of the great Work of the last days. This is a part of our religion, to do all the good we can in aiding and assisting our brethren in distress who are of the household of faith, and in placing them in a condition like unto ourselves in these quiet vales of the mountains, where they can be freed from the thralldom of sin and oppression in which they have lived to the present time. We have so far effected our deliverance, and in this the Lord has been extremely kind to us, in planting our feet in these goodly valleys where we have been blessed and prospered. No person here need go without the common necessaries of life. How much will we devote to the deliverance of our brethren, who are as anxious as we are to identify their interests with the kingdom of God at headquarters, where they, like us, can be benefited in the instructions we receive here from time to time? I have often thought that we do not fairly comprehend the great mercies and blessings the Almighty has conferred upon us; if we did, we should show our appreciation of them by our actions in aiding those who are so anxious to be delivered from Babylon to be planted in these valleys and participate in the blessings we enjoy.

As I said in the beginning, the world is opposed to us, but we have nothing to do with them in one sense, but to do our duty and sustain righteous principles with an eye single to the glory of God; in this he will sustain us and bring us off victorious at last. We have great reason to be thankful this morning for the great peace and prosperity which attends us as a people; we have great cause to rejoice before the Lord of Hosts, who has been a kind Father unto us from our early infancy to this time. What has he not done for us? Do we not live in an age of the world in which he has revealed his holy Gospel and sent his messengers with the light of the Gospel, and have we not become the happy participants of this knowledge? Are not our feet planted upon the rock of salvation? Has he not delivered us from the power of wicked, ungodly and designing men, and given us an inheritance far from their power, where we can worship him, none daring to make us afraid? Has he not blessed this land in a miraculous manner to bring forth for the sustenance of his people? He has shielded us from the savage foe, and given us influence over them, whereby we can travel to and fro among them and from place to place in comparative safety. How can we render unto him sufficient homage, thanksgiving and praise to prove unto him that we do appreciate his great and manifold mercies? I know of no better way than to be obedient to the calls made upon us from time to time, to respond to them in that free way that shall prove to God that all we have and all we can do is held and devoted to the promotion of the cause we have espoused, regardless of the consequences.

We should not hesitate when anything is proposed to be done for the promotion of the cause of God on the earth, but should say, Make way, prejudices; go by the board, whatever traditions would rise up. When the Lord speaks, let everything else give way; as the masses of the people would fall back on the approach of the king, so let our own ideas and prepossessed notions give place to the word of the Lord and to the wisdom that emanates from him; let everything else become subservient to those principles, doctrines and truths. This is the way I have always felt since I became acquainted with this Gospel and with this people.

This Work is not done in a corner, but it has been sent to the whole world, and all men have the privilege of adopting the same principles of truth which we have embraced, if they shall choose to do so; but because they do not choose to do so, it should not become a rock of offense and a stumbling block to them nor to us. We have undertaken to sustain these holy principles which have been revealed in the last days. Shall we now falter? Or shall we, because others point the finger of scorn at us, be ashamed of this holy cause and back out from it? Does it make any difference as to what other people think of it? No. It is for us to cling together and go onward continually in the path we have chosen to walk in.

There are few, probably, in this Church and kingdom but what have in their possession some kind of a testimony which proves to their satisfaction that this is the Work of Heaven; it has touched their hearts. Thousands who do not belong to the Church have evidence of its truth, but will not admit it. The mind is bound to receive and to believe the truth according to the amount of testimony given and the evidence produced, but through pride the majority of the human family will not admit the truth openly, although they may do so secretly and believe in the same doctrines we do. Let them do as they please, that is no reason why we should falter, change our course in the least, or alter our views; but let us press onward continually and prove to the Lord that we are true and faithful to him.

We live in a land of liberty, where the power and the control rests with the people, or should do so; to a great extent it does so. We have great liberty, we have great freedom, notwithstanding the efforts of some to abridge our liberties and our freedom; still the Lord is not unmindful of us, for he directs and governs the affairs of the children of men, more especially now since he has commenced his Work in the last days: I think I might qualify this a little, by saying more especially to our understanding. I have no doubt but what he has always done so; but the heavens, in a manner, have been shut up to the vision and view of mankind for a long time, but now his dealings with them have become more manifest than in ages gone by; we can now see his footprints more clearly and can realize more sensibly the Work in which he is moving, bringing to pass his purposes for the redemption of the world, for the overthrow of sin and iniquity and for the establishment of his kingdom, which Prophets, long ages past and gone, have seen would be set up in the last days. We have undertaken to do our part towards establishing his kingdom, which will eventually reign over the whole earth, where all nations, kingdoms, tongues, and people will acknowledge Emanuel’s sway and the earth be lit up with the glory of God and be prepared for his kingdom and coming.

In these valleys of the mountains a nucleus is finally formed of a people who have been gathered out from all the nations of the earth, for the express purpose of sustaining holy and righteous principles which the Almighty has revealed from the heavens and to form a community that shall be self-sustaining. Latter-day Saints associate together in a community to prove to the Lord and to the world that they can sustain themselves; that the doctrines and principles God has revealed to them are self-sustaining in their nature—so much so, that a whole community may be sustained by practicing and living faithfully up to them. Hence it is that the shafts of the enemy are directed against us for the overthrow and destruction of those holy principles.

We know of a verity that the Work in which we are engaged is of God; we know we have the knowledge of God our Father and of his Son Jesus Christ, whom to know is life everlasting; we know in whom we have put our trust; we know the principles which we have espoused are based upon a solid and sure foundation; we know they are true, and truth is eternal and will lead to ex altation in the kingdom of God if we are true to each other and to the principles which have been revealed. We are not guessing at these things, nor groping our way in the dark in relation to them. Should not our course be to turn aside every shaft of the enemy aimed at our brother as well as at ourselves? When we see danger, should we not warn our brother against it and use every exertion to assist each other to walk faithfully in the right way, shielding each other from the power of the enemy and endeavoring to pick up those who are wandering into bye and forbidden paths, pointing out to them the right way and exhorting them to walk in it? We should guide the footsteps of the young and ignorant, and teach them the principles which have a tendency to bring them into the path of life and glory. We should try to overcome all weaknesses and eradicate from our bosoms every unholy desire and remove from our footsteps every evil way. We too often see carelessness and indifference in the midst of this people with regard to these small matters; I call them small, because they are so often passed by and neglected.

We ought to instil into our children a nice sense of honor and truthfulness in their words, that when they come to act in real life they may receive and reverence principles of holiness that will lead them ultimately to the possession of eternal life and salvation. People often speak jestingly of the holy things which we hold, or should hold sacred. I have heard people do it, and always tell them they would satisfy my feelings much better if they would not make a jest of things I hold sacred. I remember a man in Nauvoo, who was conspicuous in this Church, once at a party saying to the fiddler, “Let me lay hands on that old fiddle, and then perhaps you will not have so much trouble with the strings.” I was then a Gentile, as they called them, and he, no doubt, thought that such jesting with holy things would please me, but I always despised him afterwards for making use of such an expression and making light of one of the holy ordinances of God which he professed to believe in. Jesting on sacred matters grates on my ears. I do not suppose people mean any harm when they do it, but it has a deleterious influence upon our children, whom we ought to teach to reverence sacred things. I would like their sense of honor to be such that they will do right because they love to do right, and not refrain from doing wrong merely because they are afraid somebody will see them do wrong. Let the love of right be bred in them, that feeling of honest consciousness of doing right, and not evil, that shall preserve them in the hour of temptation. Let the love of right be instilled in their young and tender minds, that it may grow with their growth and strengthen with their strength, learning to love the truth for its beauty and the things of God because they are worthy of being loved. Often people are deterred from doing right because of what the world will say and for fear of the pointing of the finger of scorn. That is not what we should care about; we should care to please God and do the things that are right before him, and then let the world wag as it will. This ought to be our motto, and we ought constantly to seek to instil this feeling into the bosoms of our children, that they may act upon the principles of right because they love them and prefer them because they are good before the Lord, and eschewing evil because it is hateful to them. The child is naturally inclined to this way. It is their associations with the wickedness that is in the world that teaches them hypocrisy and evil of every descrip tion, and the fear of the world’s scorn, their laugh and ribald jest have their influence upon the mind of the child. Hence it becomes necessary that more pains should be taken in instructing them and showing them the propriety of truthfulness and honest uprightness of conduct to strengthen and protect them in the hour of temptation.

This great work in regard to training our children should not be neglected, because it is while they are young that we can have the greatest and most lasting influence over them. It is the privilege of the Latter-day Saints in these valleys of the mountains more especially to attend to this sacred duty, because when we mingled with the outside world we could not there enjoy the rights, the liberty and the freedom we enjoy in these mountains. No child is laughed and scoffed at here because his father and mother are Mormons. Then let us attend to these matters and govern ourselves by the holy principles that have been revealed to our understandings, live our holy religion faithfully and bring forth the blessings of peace, the blessings of the Almighty which are ready to drop from the heavens upon us as fast as we are able to receive and use them profitably to ourselves and to the Work in which we are engaged. The child needs first to ripen in judgment and good understanding before the father can commit any great trust to his charge. So it is in the dealings of our Heavenly Father with his people; he knows better than we do when to bestow great blessings upon us and what is for our best good. We should improve upon the blessings he has already given us to the fullest extent of the light and information we can get, and not trouble ourselves as to what is in the future, because that is just beyond our reach. If we travel in the path I have been trying to mark out, we shall attain everything we can ask for in due time. By improving upon what we have, by keeping ourselves unspotted from this untoward generation, by walking in faith and obedience before our God, we can attain to more than we have now any knowledge of. “Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, nor hath it entered into the heart of man, to conceive the things that are in store for the faithful,” when they shall attain to that stature in Christ that will entitle them to receive them.

I do not, however, wish to throw the mind of the community upon something great in the future to the neglect of present blessings and present duties. Let us count over the blessings we this day enjoy; let us look into the past and mark the constant flow of blessings with which the history of this people has been attended from the beginning. Neither do I wish us to stop here and say that we have all we need; but while we are desiring blessings that are still future to us, let us not neglect the things which are now within our reach day by day, but live constantly our holy religion, being faithful and diligent in all things that are for us today, cleaving closely to the Lord, knowing that we are in his hands and that we are his children, having all confidence in him and in his constituted authorities on the earth, then will our knowledge and intelligence increase and our blessings will continue in a steady flow. This is all the business we have on hand to attend to, to serve our God and make ourselves comfortable and happy, securing from the elements everything we need for our sustenance and support, building houses, making roads, opening farms, planting orchards and vineyards, bringing from the mountains timber and lumber and all things else we need. All this labor is necessary to sustain us, and that the Lord may have a people who are zealous of good works and who will do his bidding, and through whom his kingdom may be established upon the earth and become a self-sustaining community, being governed and controlled in every particular by the revelations of the Most High, and by the principles which he has revealed. We are now the best governed people in the world, and for the best of all reasons—we have the best Government and the best Governor; our Heavenly Father is at the helm, from whom emanates all wisdom, truth and righteousness. No matter what the difficulties are which we are called upon to overcome, still we have everything to encourage us; we can go to the great fountain of all good; nothing can compare with this. Should we not feel encouraged and rejoice, and give praise and thanksgiving to God, who is so good a Father to us, who has watched over us to this day, to say nothing of the glorious future which is opening up before us continually.

This people have a future which the world little dreams of. They will see the time when those who seek to destroy them from under heaven will come bowing and scraping to them obsequiously and sycophantic enough, no doubt. That, however, does not affect us one way or the other; it is for us to do right and please our God with full purpose of heart, that his will may be done on the earth as it is done in heaven. The Lord will not slacken his hand nor look backward, but will progress onward with his people who will abide faithful and true to him. Righteousness must predominate in the midst of this people, and iniquity will have no part or lot with them, but if any among them wish to work iniquity and do not delight in holy principles, this is not the place for them; they had better go where there are influences more congenial, where they will not be abridged of their desires to do evil. No man has liberty to do evil, though he may have the power, nor has he any right to do evil. There is no law against doing right, but the law is against doing wrong. Man has power to do right or wrong as he pleases, but he is held responsible for that power and the exercise of it.

May God bless us and help us to do right, to keep his laws and commandments and statutes holy, and be obedient to him in all things, is my prayer in the name of Jesus: Amen.

Enjoyment of Liberty Under the Kingdom of God

Remarks by President Daniel H. Wells, made in the Bowery, Great Salt Lake City, October 26, 1862.

The Gospel of salvation is interesting to me, to you, and should be to all the world, for by it we are to be judged. This test will be put to all. The principles of life and salvation the Gospel offers to us, which if we neglect will be brought up against us in a day to come. The light of truth has been revealed by the Savior, and through the mercy of the Lord he has sent forth his servants to proclaim this Gospel to all nations. What for? To injure them? No; but to bless them. The time has come in this age of the world when God has set himself to take the rule and the power of the earth into his own hands. He has sent forth Joseph, and Hyrum, and Brigham, and Heber, and Jedediah, and Willard, and Daniel, and the Twelve Apostles and the other authorities of the Holy Priesthood which is established upon the earth. The communication has been opened up between the heavens and the earth. He has sent forth a message to all nations, saying, “Fear God and give glory to him, for the hour of his judgment has come.” It has been proclaimed to the world by faithful men for many years—it has been sounded in the by-ways and highways, in city and hamlet, and in the nooks and corners of the earth; and, in a coming day the people will be judged by it, because it has been sent forth by the direct counsel of Heaven.

It is our duty to sustain the principles of truth, virtue, and integrity, and every principle that has been revealed from the Almighty to his children on the earth. If it is the duty of one man to do this, it is the duty of every man to do the same; and every man will be found wanting unless he obeys this Heavenly message. How shall we do it when we are compassed about by all the powers of earth and hell to overcome, overthrow and destroy us? By cleaving to the Lord of hosts, who is mighty to save, and by cleaving to those holy principles of life and power which he has revealed. The more the floods of iniquity surge up against us, the closer let us cling to those principles, for they will bear us off victoriously to exaltation and glory in this world and in the worlds to come. The same principles have exalted our Father and our God to his present state of glory and power, and they will exalt you and me and all who will abide them in the scale of human existence and eternal progression. They are the same principles which have been revealed in the latter days for the salvation of mankind, and for their exaltation to the presence of God the Father in heaven. They have always existed, and always will continue to exist. They will abide after the refuge of lies has been swept away. It is not now as it has been in days and years gone by. The kingdom is now established; it is upon the earth never again to be prevailed against or to be overcome by sin and iniquity.

All men have their volition, and are responsible to God alone for it. As the kingdom of God grows and becomes mighty upon the earth, laws will be given suited to the condition of the children of men, in their respective governments and nationalities, according to their views and principles. The supreme law of the world will be the law of God, and all people will choose to obey or disobey as they list. All will be governed according to their circumstances and the principles which will be revealed from time to time for their best good. This is not the work of a day, but of eternity—it is without beginning of days or end of years.

I feel gratified that I live in this day and age of the world; I am thankful for this privilege. “Would you not have preferred to live in the days of Jesus?” says one. No, nor in the days of Moses, nor in the days of Noah. Had I lived in Noah’s days I might have been drowned in the great flood. I prefer to live now—today—in the days of Brigham and Heber, and in the days of the great Prophet Joseph and Hyrum, although they did not stay long with us. They are not far away from us, neither is the Lord. Brigham is here, Heber and Daniel are here, and the Twelve Apostles of our Lord Jesus Christ are here, and the organization of the Church and kingdom of God is here, with the Holy Priesthood which is after the order of the Son of God; and this is the great chain which opens up a communication between the heavens and the earth, and in it there is safety; and through it truth will prevail over the face of the whole earth, and by its power the kingdom of God will be established upon the earth no more to be prevailed against. What matters it to us who speaks in anger against it? The truth is all the same, no matter who walks it under their feet. The eternal principles of salvation and exaltation are the same, no matter who does despite to them.

In trying to injure the truth, and impede it in its progress, they only injure themselves, and will bring upon themselves swift destruction and a righteous judgment according as it shall be ordered by our Father in heaven. God is merciful and forbearing. Can we forbear as well as he can? We can, although we are far from being as good as he is. If he can forbear many years with a man who will not say grace over his meat, or bend his knee to his God in acknowledgment of his mercy, we surely can bear a little with the infirmities of our brethren, and the ignorance of the ungodly world.

As a people and community we have borne much; and all we have ever asked of any people or government has been our rights in common with the rest of mankind; but these they seek to withhold from us, which they have no right to do, hence they are under condemnation, and we shall go free. We believe and worship as we choose, and live under a Government that guarantees unto us that right. Inasmuch as they do not give us those rights, they violate one of the holiest and most sacred provisions of the Constitution of our country, and destruction will be the consequence. The fathers of the revolution fought and bled to secure this holy right to their children so long as the world should last or the Government continue. We are therefore bold in declaring our principles, and in defending our rights. There are countries in the world where imprisonment would be the penalty of the free expression of principles and rights; but they do not live under and enjoy the blessings of the Constitution which we live under. Yet even in this free country some have sought to deprive us of the free enjoyment of the privileges granted unto us in the Consti tution of our country, and they will have to pay the penalty for so doing, for they trample under foot the Constitution that grants to them their own liberties, and thus subvert their own liberties, which it becomes them as well as us to preserve inviolate. It becomes us to cleave to God and our holy religion, trusting in him because in him there is power—in him there is strength; and if we remain faithful, we shall come off victorious, and walk under our feet every principle that is calculated to destroy, and rear the standard of truth and righteousness in the world in spite of hell and all the hosts thereof. Let us be encouraged, and go steadily on in the performance of our duties, cultivating the earth, and bringing from the elements all we need for our sustenance that we may be free and independent, so far as we can, by depending on our own resources with which the Lord has abundantly blessed us. We are greatly blessed in that the Lord has planted our feet in these quiet valleys from those who sought our destruction; while he has brought an overwhelming destruction on them, he has brought safety to us. We can see his wisdom, and his mighty hand manifested in this. Let us henceforth put our trust in that arm which has been so prominently made bare in saving the righteous. May God add his blessing. Amen.

Eternal Salvation—Continued Improvement Brings Exaltation

Remarks by President Daniel H. Wells, made in the Bowery, Great Salt Lake City, September 14, 1862.

The subject of eternal salvation is or ought to be interesting to all people. All the forms of religion which have been invented by the different sects of the day could never make one single line of Scripture. They have shut up the door of immediate revelation between God and man, and it does not seem to occur to them that this is the only means upon which the world can ever attain to the knowledge of God. All their religion and piety for many generations past have not produced one word of Scripture for the guidance of mankind to salvation in this and in the next existence. While they hold up the Bible as the all-sufficient guide to the possession of life eternal, they at the same time inculcate a principle which would never have given them a Bible. They fasten their faith and hope for salvation upon revelations given to another people, in another age and under other circumstances.

When God has a people upon the earth he gives them living oracles, and communicates his mind and will to them for their present and future exaltation, as well in one age as in another. The Old and New Testaments, yea, all Scriptures are made by this process. Prophets and Apostles are the mediums through which the Almighty communicates his will to the children of men. Revelations given from God to us are more binding upon us than revelations given to another people, because they are in accordance with our wants and circumstances, and fit our case more perfectly than revelations given to another people many generations back. This generation is responsible for the revelations of God given to them; if they receive them, blessed are they; if they reject them, woe is their doom. The words of God sent to this age by Joseph Smith, the Prophet of the Lord, and by his Apostles, is a dispensation of good will to all men now living, and they are responsible to God as to the manner in which they receive or reject it. These words are for their salvation, if they see proper to accede to them.

We talk a great deal about exaltation. We look for exaltation in the heavens—in the eternities which are before us. We expect the Gospel of salvation to exalt us. Where and when is this exaltation to commence? Some do not expect exaltation until after death. This is a mistake. Our exaltation commences in this world. That individual who has received the light of truth in his own bosom, has the base or foundation of his exaltation formed within him, and if he progresses in the knowledge of God—in the things which pertain to eternal life, he is in the road to exaltation, otherwise he is not. That brother who redeems himself from the habit of drunkenness, or from any other vicious practice, and suffers the holy principles of the Gospel to work in him for his redemption, is exalting himself in the kingdom of God.

The work of exaltation is the work of this probation, and has to do with every duty that pertains to it. That sister who seeks diligently to order her own conduct and her household; who seeks to bring forth from the elements for her own support, commences in the right way to obtain exaltation; she exalts herself in the sight of her husband and in the sight of all good men. She can be economical with that which she handles for the use of her household, whereas, before she has perhaps been wasteful and prodigal of the rich blessings of God bestowed upon her. In making this reformation she has taken an important step in the way of exaltation in this world for exaltation in the world to come. That man who improves in the cultivation of his farm, in the cultivation of fruit, who plants a single fruit tree if he does no more, and cultivates it, and cause it to bring forth more fruit, he has done something torwards his exaltation—has made one step towards redeeming the earth from sin and iniquity, and from the curse pronounced against it. It was said to Adam, “Cursed is the ground for thy sake; in sorrow shalt thou eat of it all the days of thy life; Thorns also and thistles shall it bring forth to thee; and thou shalt eat the herb of the field.”

That man who commences to keep himself clean, whereas he has been brought up in filthiness and dirt, is engaged in the good work of exaltation upon his own person. That housekeeper who has been slatternly, slothful, and filthy in her habits, and begins to be thrifty, industrious, and cleanly in her household pursuits, commences the work of exaltation in that household. Those who ornament their houses and their gardens, making nice tidy fences, who ornament their fields, making everything pleasant and agreeable around them, commence the work of exaltation, and make a heaven at home for their wives and children; a home to which their children in afteryears will look back with pleasant reminiscences, regarding the home of their childhood, the pleasantest place they ever saw. A pleasant and happy home has its influence in creating in the young mind a love of order—a love of all that is beautiful, cleanly, virtuous, and true.

We can commence our exaltation upon this earth by trying to redeem it and ourselves from the effects of the fall, and continuing to progress in every good word and work. If we build a house and wish to build another, we have the experience of the one we have built to improve upon in building another. If we have raised one crop of grain, or one tree, we can improve upon that experience in raising more. Thus we progress and become exalted more and more. This same principle will hold good in any pursuit of life—rural, mechanical, scientific, or philosophical; whatever efforts we make to inform our minds, we have it in our power to do better still, gaining more knowledge and intelligence as we progress in life.

If by the enlightening aid of the Holy Ghost, that leadeth into all truth, we strive constantly to improve in all things we shall set ourselves about, we can improve faster than those who are not blessed with its influence, because our actions are based upon a principle of heavenly light and intelligence, giving us power to excel in all things we set our hands to do in righteousness.

Truth will prevail, while all man-made systems, on which the whole world stands convicted before High Heaven, will be swept away, as this people and this work progresses, because truth must and will prevail.

Let those who have not yet commenced to make improvements begin the good work at once; and let us all be constantly satisfied that we are doing something for good day by day. Inasmuch as we have been wicked, let us no longer be wicked. We have a standard of righteousness in our own bosoms; let us be actuated by it in all that we do. Let us be righteous, holy, truthful; walking wickedness under our feet, exalting righteousness in all our ways, that it may rule in us until sin and its consequences shall be subdued, and we gain a victory even over death and the grave, and life eternal shall reign supreme upon the face of the whole earth. I ask God to add his blessing in the name of Jesus Christ. Amen.

Influence of Parents in Training Their Children—Power Which Accompanies the Elders When Having the Faith and Prayers of the People

Remarks by President Daniel H. Wells, made in the Tabernacle, Great Salt Lake City, May 25, 1862.

I certainly feel it a privilege to listen to such instructions as we have had this morning. I feel that we are a favored people; and that we can have instructions continually poured out upon us day by day, and Sabbath by Sabbath, that are calculated in their nature to reform, to elevate and instruct the mind. The principles of our religion exercise an influence over the minds of the people which is calculated to lead them in the paths of virtue, truth, and sobriety, and in that way which will best conduce to their happiness here and hereafter. Many reflections pass through my mind when I look abroad throughout the length and breadth of this Territory, and view the position of the Latter-day Saints who are gathered in these valleys of the mountains; and when I consider the object and purpose that have brought them here and that are keeping them together, view the vastness of their desires before high Heaven, their wishes in regard to themselves and posterity, their strong faith and unison of purpose which have caused them to take the course they are now pursuing, I consider it is a sublime spectacle to behold. Think of a community of thousands and tens of thousands actuated by one and the same purpose, and that the most noble in its nature, and that they are using their exertions for the establishment of peace and righteousness upon the earth, continu ally seeking to produce a oneness in all their manifestations towards each other, in their public instructions and in their daily walk and conversation, using their life to do those things that will exalt the human family and striving to walk sin and iniquity under their feet. The consideration of this subject causes very strange and yet good reflections to pass through my mind. When I look upon this people and consider the subject of their present and future progress, when I view the matter in this light, I conclude that the feeling and desire with the great majority is to have righteousness prevail; and I know that this feeling exists to a greater extent here than it does anywhere else upon the surface of this globe. As was remarked last Sunday, by brother Taylor, if sin and iniquity bear sway, although the people may have here and there good principle, something among them that is calculated to do good, here and there an item of essential doctrine, and occasionally a few good men who seek to sustain good principles to exalt virtue and truth, yet these are overbalanced by the wicked and ungodly, and hence that people cannot enjoy pure and unalloyed happiness.

There is no power but that of the Almighty that can sustain these Heavenly principles, and it can only be accomplished by drawing the people out from the nations and placing them where they can overbalance all wicked influences and have the predominance over the evil. This is our situation, and how does it become us to act as the repositories of these favors? Should we sink into sin and iniquity, or should we continue to improve in the knowledge of God and to increase in those principles which lead to exaltation? We should endeavor to eradicate evil from our midst. What is our prayer? Is it not that those who work wickedness may be rooted out, and that those who work righteousness may be left to inherit the land? But how often do we see in our own experience little departures from these principles of right? Men swayed this way and the other by the influence of evil, just as brother Cummings said, though it may be ever so slight, yet it gives the Enemy the advantage; it leads men astray, takes them into darkness and error. We can see the individual who is thus swayed as he becomes completely darkened in his mind, and finally we see him stray from the fold of Christ.

This is the way with some of our young men who have been brought up by good, pious and righteous parents; and it is also to be regretted that we sometimes see those fathers who have been long in the Church lead their children to do evil by their improper examples, and not, perhaps, designing to use that kind of influence which will lead their offspring to the commission of crime. But, I apprehend that when a child comes to maturity he will have to stand and act upon his own volition; when he comes to this state he has both the knowledge and the power to act for himself, and in that case the responsibility attaches to the child and not to the parents. How often do we see children following in the path of their parents? If the parents are industrious we naturally expect that the children will follow in that path, but if parents learn their children to do that which is not right, they are apt to grow up in sin. I believe that the child is naturally honest, but when this feeling to do wrong first penetrates the mind of the child it causes it to look and wonder in astonishment, and it can scarcely comprehend what the parents mean. I have thought frequently upon this subject, and I have seen circumstances where the child could not comprehend the evil or the cheat that was intended, when it would appear to be bereft of its senses and to be completely astonished when it comprehended what was intended by its parents. Now the child has the utmost confidence in its parents, and when it comes to maturity that confidence will be retained, provided the parents do not forfeit it. I believe that the child is astonished when it discovers any departure from truth on the part of its parents; I consider, therefore, that the responsibility, to a great extent, is with the Elders and those who are over the people in the community. If confidence be impaired in the parents, then all the children have to look to for instruction and guidance are those who hold authority among the people. I know there are people here who are lawless and who do not consider the rights of their neighbors, and it is as it was said anciently, “My people do not consider.” Parents do not consider that the eyes of their children are upon them, reading in their looks, acts, and words that which will be incorporated in their own nature and manifested in their future career. Children are continually watching, and they imitate everything they see, and, in fact, generally speaking, they are very great at imitation. Then, how circumspect and how careful should parents be to instill righteousness and holy principles into the young and tender minds of their children; remember to teach them principles of honor, teach them to avoid everything that has the appearance of evil, and let them be taught to look down with disdain upon those little peccadilloes and little nasty tricks that are sometimes indulged in. Some have been taught that certain little mean tricks are according to the way of the world, and, therefore, they have indulged in them. I despise such performances, and I like to see a man above that which will lead to dishonesty. Here are my brethren and sisters who have come from different parts of the world, and who have been traditionated to do a great many things that are contrary to the spirit of the Gospel, but we have had instructions in this kingdom to put away far from us all those practices that are contrary to the spirit and genius of our own religion. Who will act in this way when they can see very clearly that these little things will lead them on to still greater? It has been quite a common practice with some to steal the soap and the clothes of those for whom they were washing. Such practices are as common as anything that occurs in their lives; they have been trained up to such things all their days, and their fathers before them from generation to generation. Well, shall they carry on these little petty stealings in this generation, or shall they quit them and teach their children to do so too? Has not the Gospel placed them upon a platform where they can live without continuing in these evil practices? They doubtless have their apologies for these things in the old country where they are oppressed, and, as it were, trodden under foot of men, but here it is not so, for the Gospel will redeem them, exalt them, and bring them up to where they can live better without these practices than with them, and where they can leave these things off and have the confidence of their brethren and friends, so long as they do not attempt to drag these evil practices with them into the kingdom of God. I tell you the kingdom of God will do you but little good, unless you forsake all your evil ways and turn unto the Lord our God with full purpose of heart.

Let us not have such things hanging around us, nor permit ourselves to transmit any of them to our children, but let us purify our own hearts, and then let us set before them pure and holy examples. I speak of these things with a view to have the same remarks apply to all the evil influences with which the Devil has afflicted the world. I am aware that there are those both around us and amongst us that would be glad to see these kind of practices triumph just as they do in the world, and then the Enemy of all righteousness would have the people in his own hands just as he has in the world. But we have the privilege of overcoming those things, and have been placed in a position where we can combine our energies for the accomplishment of those which are required of us, ever seeking to do good, having had our hearts touched with those principles which have come from heaven. In this way we can rid ourselves of those evils which prevail within the rest of the world.

Let that father who sends his child to feed his horse in his neighbor’s pasture overnight and to bring him home before morning, consider what influence it will have upon his son in after life. Would it not make a thief of him? It would; and it would frame his mind for trespassing upon his neighbor whenever he might have the opportunity.

Man is the most independent being upon God’s footstool, for he has his free volition to do right or wrong; he has the power to reject the evil and choose the good if he chooses, and if he wants to consign himself to oblivion and go back to native element let him follow in the path of the ungodly; but, if, on the other hand, he wants to endure and dwell with God and holy angels, to have knowledge and power to understand all intelligence and finally become one of the Gods of eternity, let him take a course to produce that effect, and let him use his influence to bring to pass that which is calculated to exalt and bring him up finally upon the platform of the Gods of eternity.

We are here upon God’s footstool and we have all the privilege and the power to take either course—to take which road we please. Here through the goodness of God in these last days mankind have a privilege which they have not had for many generations that are past and gone. Here a man can live and pursue the path of righteousness, truth, and virtue and none dare forcibly drive him from the path of right, but, if, on the other hand, a man is not honest he can join with the wicked and ungodly. A man who has a disposition to do right can here prove his integrity in all the relations of life, in all the intercourse he has with men on the earth, he can increase his power to do good, and none will attempt to hinder him. This is a great privilege, and one that does not belong to all the people upon the face of the earth, but it accrues to the people of these Valleys because they have been gathered out from the nations and brought under the influences which prevail here. And where these principles are cherished and taught by the servants of God, where they are urged continually upon the attention of the people, where the people practice them and shun the evil and live for happiness and glory there is present peace; but if they take another course and neglect those principles of light and intelligence they will be led to ruin and be sub jected to all kinds of disasters. We can see clearly that those who are supposed to be righteous can be so in the nations of the earth, though not so easily as they can here, for it is very easily to be seen that the influence of the good Spirit and the principles of eternal life cannot be used to the same extent there as in these valleys and mountains.

When Joseph was in Egypt he could preserve his integrity before Potipher and Pharaoh, and so it is with our Elders who go out from here to perform duties that may be assigned them among the nations of the earth; they can preserve their integrity, and by cleaving to those principles which they have learned while here they will have power over the Tempter, and they will return when they have accomplished their missions in peace and safety, for the Lord will preserve them from those evils which are calculated to lead them into disgrace. This is the advantage of those who go forth from the midst of this people; they have the faith and prayers of all Israel to shield them from the powers of darkness and from those influences which would otherwise lead them to commit sin; by these means are the Elders of this Church preserved when in the midst of wickedness. This is a great power that is upon the earth, and it is here because holy and righteous principles exist and are practiced among this people. These are some of the benefits derived from obedience to the fulness of the Gospel, and it becomes us as Saints of the Most High to strive to preserve ourselves pure and holy before him, to take hold of good and righteous principles like men and women of God, to labor to sustain our present existence, to sustain ourselves by drawing from the elements all those good things which he has placed within our reach, and thus become a really independent people, to be no longer dependent upon those who would gladly sell us for the cloth we have to wear. It becomes an experiment for us to sustain ourselves, though not exactly one that is liable to fail, but it is to see whether a righteous and holy people, coming out from the world, can draw from the elements that have been previously scattered around them for their own immediate sustenance and support, or whether they will forever be dependent upon those who would destroy them.

We have made good progress in these valleys of the mountains, and it is truly encouraging to look around and see what has been accomplished within fifteen years. Still there is a great deal more to be done. When ancient Israel went out of Egypt, a vast host of them, the Lord administered to their immediate necessities, and ordained that their clothing should not wear out, and in this way they were freed from labor while traveling in the wilderness; the Lord himself combined the elements for the benefit and support of that people. Now, we have been brought a far greater distance than they were, but the manna from heaven has not been showered out upon us as it was upon them. We have had to exert our intellect, to delve in the earth, and to a great extent we have succeeded in bringing from the elements our food and clothing. I think this is a far greater work than that which Moses brought about, and we are doing it without that mighty interposition which seemed to be necessary in the days of Moses, though the Lord has truly been prolific in blessing the earth since his people came to this country. What have the servants of God done since they came here? The first thing was to dedicate the earth, the air, the water, and the mountains, and this blessing has been poured out upon them and upon the people, and through the blessing of High Heaven, the earth has brought forth to the sustenance of his people. Is there not a dignity in this labor which we are performing? In endeavoring to bring from the elements things necessary for our support? I say there is, and there is an honor that accrues to the Latter-day Saint for their indefatigable exertions in this respect; it shows that they are alive to the work of the last days, that they are exerting themselves to build up a city and a kingdom wherein shall dwell righteousness, to the defiance of the Devil and his hosts. What a glorious sight it would be to see the united hosts of Israel present one mighty and unbroken phalanx against the wickedness of the world. If this were the case could the Devil or wicked men break such a band of united brethren? No; they would say come on, let the surges of opposition roll up against us, and still we will stand steadfast being of one heart and one mind. What is there that this people could not accomplish if they would preserve inviolate this integrity, and stand shoulder to shoulder in all the acts of their lives, to sustain one another and those that are placed to guide and dictate in the kingdom of God? There is nothing but what could be done by a union of this kind, for it is your privilege, and it is also the privilege of all the Latter-day Saints to be united in doing that which is good, and I am happy to say that this is the case to a great extent, but still the people might do more towards concentrating their energies for the welfare of Israel. There are a great many mean little acts manifest themselves yet, at this advanced day; these we should all seek to reject and begin anew with ourselves, and see that none of these things are traced to our bosom.

Brother Cummings does not pretend to train up his children to walk in these bye and forbidden paths of which I have been speaking, neither do I nor brother Brigham nor many others, still there are others that turn out vile and do those things that are wrong. But the time must come that righteousness must prevail, or else we have no privilege, no promise of the future, and in fact without it we have nothing that is any better than that which is possessed by anybody else, and we had better have stayed in the world and served the Devil at the places where we came from than to have come here for such a purpose. All those who feel like continuing in this way had a great deal better be somewhere else striving to introduce such evil practices as they have brought from the old world. A Gospel of salvation would reform every son and daughter of Adam, if they would let it, and it would bring them upon the platform of redemption, for the Gospel is redeeming in its qualities; it is ennobling in its nature, and it leads on to great and glorious results, and if we wish to be the recipients of its benefits it is for us to turn from the path which leads to destruction, and walk continually in the path of life. I truly feel an interest in this people, because they are of the class who are striving to do right; I feel proud to be associated with such a people as this, with all the follies which I cannot fellowship and which, in connection with others, I shall try to overcome, and to redeem this people from all evil. I say that we are a good people, and far the best people that live upon the earth, and let us try to get rid of things that are contrary to the spirit of the Gospel as fast as we can, and try to induce the people by whom we are surrounded to increase in the love of God, to hate that which is evil, and by the love which they have for the principles of holiness, cause them to hate iniquity and love righteousness. The presentation of these things to the minds of the people will do good, it will be a means of imparting to them the influences and principles by which we are inspired. In this way, perhaps, we may redeem some of them and bring them back to where they can have the honor, the glory and the peace which are the reward of the righteous, even of all who eschew evil and do good.

Let each and every one exercise their influence in this way, to promote holy and righteous principles upon the earth. Religion is glorious where it brings peace to the soul and contentment to the mind. Let us abide in those things and keep ourselves within the scope of those holy influences that do predominate and prevail in the midst of this people, and do not let us run here and there after things which do not concern us. If we want to be blest by those predominating principles and influences which the Lord has placed here, far from the power of the wicked, let us not by any act of our own throw ourselves outside of those influences. The moment we do it of our own volition we tread upon slippery places. Men may go away from here when they are sent by proper authority, when they are wanted to accomplish a certain purpose, and they can retain the Spirit of the Almighty, but when they go without being sent, of their own volition, then they have no assurance that their feet will not slip; they have not the faith of the people to help them; the angels have no charge to preserve them, and particularly those that leave and go into sin and iniquity, and are finally captivated by Satan. And, supposing they only go to Salmon River or California and return, perhaps having a little of the leaven of life, they return with the spirit of the world upon them. Have we any examples of this kind? If we have let us look at them, and from the lessons of the past let us look at the results of the future. I have seen them come back with a little gold, and it has almost invariably ruined them, nine cases out of ten this has been the result, and if they have not succeeded as well as they thought they ought to have done in the midst of the Saints, they are found with curses upon their lips, such as the inhabitants where they have been are accustomed to indulge in: they do not respect the Sabbath, they do not meet in the Tabernacle with the brethren to learn the word of the Lord, neither do they meet anywhere else for any good purpose, but they may be seen in the streets racing their horses, or cutting up some kind of useless folly, wasting their time till their money is gone, and then they have nothing to do but to go back and get more. They go, and perhaps get a less sum than they did the first time, but no matter whether they do or not they are never contented. This has been my experience, and this is the best, the fairest and the smoothest light in which I can view such cases and speak of them. This course of life, so far as it has an influence, disqualifies the young man from making a good, humble, faithful follower of Jesus; it disqualifies him from becoming a Saint of the Most High. This is my experience; you can look at the subject with your own eyes.

There are quite a number, and some good men among them, that want to know if it is counsel to go out on the road to trade. I tell them that I have no counsel of that kind to give, neither have I heard the President give such counsel to anyone. If I want to go out on the road to trade, taking butter and eggs and such like things, and my Bishop and President want me to go, then I should feel that I could be preserved. I should doubtless feel it to be a great burden, and as for seeking for such an opportunity it would be far from me, for I certainly would not wish to go unless I was wanted.

I mention this matter because many have asked me about it, and I have universally told them that I have no such counsel to give. It is a blessing to live in such a community as this, and I feel that it is not safe for anyone to use his own volition to go outside of this influence. This feeling is what has led my mind in this way, and I pray God to help us to stand upon this platform where we can be preserved from the influences of the wicked, and keep ourselves so that we cannot be led astray, nor be swayed to and fro by every wind of doctrine or example that comes along, but that we may seek for wisdom and knowledge, that our minds may be prepared to receive the teachings we hear from day to day.

May God help us to do right, and cause truth and good examples to sink deep into our hearts, that we may cultivate every virtuous and holy principle, is my prayer, in the name of Jesus. Amen.

Responsibilities Resting Upon the Saints—Increase of Power and Influence

Remarks by President Daniel H. Wells, made in the Tabernacle, Great Salt Lake City, May 4, 1862.

I feel gratified, brethren and sisters, at the testimony which we have heard this morning from our brethren, who have been called to go upon Missions. I realize for one that it is an inestimable privilege which the Saints enjoy, to meet together under such favorable circumstances as we do here, to strengthen each other, to give our testimony to the truth of what we know.

These brethren have been called to go upon foreign missions, and it is a high and honorable calling to go forth as ambassadors of salvation; and they will be blessed in this calling, if they will keep themselves pure and spotless before the Lord, they will go in peace and return in safety. This blessing is for those who go and have to mingle among the wicked nations of the earth. While absent from home they are encircled with the prayers of the faithful Saints, and they are enshrouded with a mantle, so long as they preserve themselves pure and holy. We seal these blessings upon them whenever they go forth upon this great Mission. I say I feel to rejoice that we have the ability, the power and authority to send forth these messengers of salvation to those that sit in darkness and in the shadow of death, and I hope and trust and know that these brethren will be the means of accomplishing a good work upon the earth, and of establishing those principles which lead to life and salvation in the kingdom of God. They will gather the people together in these Valleys, for the Saints have no desire for the fellowship of the world. Some gather up here, it is true, for other objects than the worship of God, but they are not the right kind. There are those brethren and sisters who come here for the love of righteousness and they are the majority, and will doubtless remain in the majority, for this kingdom will never be thrown down nor given to another people. There are those who come here filled with the leaven of unrighteousness, having given way to the tempter until they got it planted in their own bosoms; they do not feel satisfied when they get here, for they have not purged out sufficient of this leaven of unrighteousness; they soon seem to prefer another kind of society; they feel uneasy unless they can be where wickedness abounds, where in secret, they can wallow in the wickedness of the world. I am glad, for one, that they have to go somewhere else to gratify their unhallowed, selfish propensities. They want to go to the eastern nations where they can wallow in the filth of the wicked. I am glad and rejoice that they have to go away, if they cannot be satisfied with the pure principles of the Gospel, and enjoy themselves in the fresh air of these mountains. Here we have peace and enjoy happiness and so can all the right-minded. We have contentment, and take pleasing and solid comfort in real enjoyment for we are placed upon a platform where we shall go forth conquering and to conquer; and here we can hoist the banner of righteousness and all can be shielded and protected beneath its folds; we can labor to redeem the earth, and cause it to bring forth from its elements and draw therefrom those things needful for our own comfort, and we can thus be delivered from the power of the oppressor.

Our brethren and sisters have been shamefully oppressed in their native countries; they have lived where their fathers before them lived, and so long as they continue in this way they are not and will not be able to gain one iota, nor to advance in the scale of intelligence; they have not taken one step to improve themselves or their children temporally or spiritually; they are bound as it were hand and foot, in those old countries. But when the Gospel goes forth and they receive it in good and honest hearts, these fetters are broken off, and they are then placed upon a platform upon which they can improve, in fact there is then nothing to prevent them improving and exalting themselves and gaining for themselves an influence in the midst of this people. They can gather up to Zion where they can gain a temporal support, and in due time become independent and happy, following the pursuits of truth and virtue. This is one great blessing which the Gospel brings to many poor persons in foreign countries as well as in our own land.

Well, brethren, we have great cause to rejoice in these things, and in all the blessings which flow from the Gospel of salvation. We have a pleasant, agreeable country, we enjoy freedom, we have communication with the heavens, and through that medium intelligence flows to the minds of the children of men. We have the authority of the Holy Priesthood which has been conferred upon the children of men from our Father and God. How it becomes us then to appreciate these blessings. We have no time for carelessness, but every hour and moment should be occupied to promote the interest of our Father’s kingdom upon the earth; to preserve the keys and power, which the Almighty has conferred upon us, pure and holy before him; to preserve ourselves and our influence before high Heaven, and then all will be well with us.

It is a new era in which we are living; and it is a new light that has dawned upon this people; and power and influence is increasing and will continue to increase among the people of God continually, for this is their destiny; and although they may not understand the growing influence and power of this mighty work in which we are engaged, still they are flowing in a steady stream unto this people. What is there for this people to accomplish and perform? It is their business to preserve this Priesthood untarnished, that wisdom may flow unto them through its holy influence, that they may know how to wield the power thereof for the best good of the kingdom of God. It becomes us well to understand this, that we may not unwisely wield the power that is and that will ere long be put into our hands. This is what the wicked nations have done with their power, but it will not do for us. No, for if we were to use it in this way, all the authority and power ever given would be taken away from us, as it is now being taken from them. But, if we are faithful, power and influence will continue to flow unto us until the kingdoms of this world shall become the kingdoms of our God and of his Christ. Then let us step forth to do good, and whenever we have the opportunity let us assist in the great work which lies before us; and let us labor to preserve this power upon the earth, that there may be an ensign to the nations, and an emblem of righteousness to all people.

It is the inestimable privilege of this people, if they will receive and honor it, to establish the principles of righteousness and truth, and to establish that kingdom which shall stand forever and ever. It is our privilege to become pillars in that kingdom, to bring it forth, to honor and sustain it. It is a temporal work; everything is requisite for the kingdom of God that is needed for any other kingdom, except wickedness. We want to build up cities, and to cultivate and beautify the earth, and make the place of the Lord’s feet glorious. Every excellence, power, and blessing belongs to the Saints of the Most High God, if they will prove themselves worthy to receive them. We have means to perform foreign missions, to save the people; we have also means at home to bring forth the grain, to build up cities and temples, and to go forth upon the right and upon the left to protect the right, and to develop the resources of the land into which the Lord has brought us; to shield ourselves from the wicked and ungodly, and thwart them in all things. All these things have to be done. We have all missions to perform, some one kind and some another.

We have now before us a temporal work in building the Temple; and in order to do this, we have to make the State road passable for teams; and to do this, it is necessary to raise it in all the low places, to open the ditches and allow the water to run off. This is a temporal work that must be attended to, day by day, until it is completed. The stonecutters are lying idle for want of stone. We do not want the road lost now, after so much labor has been bestowed upon it.

There are a great many rumors afloat about the expeditions that have gone out from here, and I want to say that they are not worthy of your credit. And I want to say that it is all right with regard to those expeditions going forth, and will result for the benefit of this people. The people of this kingdom are minutemen, or should be, and they should be prepared to go as circumstances shall direct, and in this way we prove ourselves before God, that we are ready to do his will, and to do his bidding. The requisition was made by the proper authority at Washington, and was readily responded to, as has always been the case when a call has been made through the proper channel, and the compliance with this call will result in good. Our brethren will perform their duties and do honor to their country. It is our country; we are citizens of the American Government, and we have a right to act for the preservation of its institutions, and we have always done it whenever called upon, and we have shown ourselves ready to respond to our duty as good citizens, no matter for what usage we have received in return. This proves a weapon in the hands of this people for their defense. Let us feel contented to respond to every call that comes from the proper source, let us do it with full faith and confidence believing that it is right.

If there are those among us who want to go to the world, let them go till they get their fill, and we would rather they would do this than stay here and contaminate the Saints of the Most High.

Let our brethren who are going on missions keep themselves pure and unspotted from the world. We know that we can perform a mission in the world and mingle with them as far as shall be necessary, without partaking of their wickedness. Our Missionaries are obliged to mingle with them more or less; and, in fact, we are all in the world, but it does not prove that the Saints are obliged to mingle with the wicked and carry the wicked in their bosoms, but they can keep themselves upon the plat form of virtue and cleave close unto the Lord.

Our brother, who was speaking, in his remarks conveyed the idea that he had a greater degree of the gifts of the Spirit and happiness therein before he came here than he has now. This is a mistake, in my opinion, for the power of God is manifest more strongly by contrast in the world, even as light shines in darkness. Here are the ordinances of the Church administered continually; and the healing power is not noticed here as much as in the world; if there is one case of healing in the world, it is a marvel, whereas, here it is so common an occurrence that a case of healing is less noticed or thought about. The Spirit of light penetrates into the world, where the darkness is such that it may be felt, but here it is swallowed up in the greater light.

This people are gaining influence and power with the Heavens, and they are enjoying more of the blessings of the Heavens than are enjoyed anywhere else upon the earth. I know when clouds spread over the wicked nations, this people feel it, even as the telegraphic wire is affected by approaching storms. When a cloud looms up over the people in the Valleys, it is felt to the utmost extremity of the earth. The Elders have borne this testimony time and again. They have frequently, when any great movement has been about to be made against us, known the designs of the enemies of this people; a knowledge of what they purposed doing has come as by a shock of electricity, and thus by the inspiration of the good Spirit they have known the intentions of those that concoct in secret against the welfare of the people of God; and, by the same Spirit of revelation have the Elders abroad known of any great and important movement at home. Through this same influence at home, here in Zion, has the President seen and known, even as he has understood a book that was open before him, what were the intentions of our enemies, and he has often told us their most secret combinations and devices; and the very extent of their hearts has been revealed to him, and, at the same time, their power of accomplishing what they have designed has been shown to him, and to what extent they could carry out their plans. He has always seemed to be forewarned, to enable him, I suppose, to take measures to thwart their unholy plans and wicked devices; and have they not been thwarted? You, yourselves, are witnesses of these things, and as this people improve and learn to preserve themselves pure before the Heavens, so will the gifts and graces of the kingdom be multiplied unto them, and as they get wisdom to operate for the benefit of the kingdom and for their own benefit so fast will they obtain the power to carry out their righteous intentions. We should not seek to have power any faster than we can use it for good.

Well, brethren, I bear my testimony, in addition to the testimony which has been borne here today, of Joseph Smith and of Brigham Young, that I know them to be good men, chosen of the Lord to perform a great work in the last days. I also bear my testimony to the truth of the Gospel which we have embraced; I know it is of God, and it will lead those that are faithful into his presence; and that they will ultimately triumph over all enemies and reign upon the earth; I know it will exalt all who are humble and faithful unto the end of their probation. I pray God to preserve you and me, and help us to be useful in our day and generation, and that we may make it our business to seek to build up his kingdom, and maintain that power which the Almighty is establishing upon the earth; let us labor to lift aloft the banner of peace and truth, and walk worthily before the Lord that we may receive the blessings which our religion will bring unto us, if faithful.

May God help us to do these things, is my prayer in the name of Jesus. Amen.

Instructions on Priesthood—Necessity for Diligence Among the Saints

Remarks by President Daniel H. Wells, made in the Tabernacle, Great Salt Lake City, April 7, 1862.

I hope to have the power and ability to speak loud enough for all to hear what I have to say.

I have been very much instructed during this Conference. I have been enlightened to a certain extent with regard to the authority of certain persons holding office in this kingdom. I have reflected much upon the Holy Priesthood and its various offices, but I feel that I have become more fully educated in the knowledge of the rights of men holding the Priesthood during this Conference. I rejoice in being where we can receive a correct education in regard to the things of the kingdom of God. I might truly say that I am astonished at some developments which are made before the people at different times. Brother Joseph Young remarked that there was no law against doing good.

There were remarks made last evening in regard to the mass Quorums of Seventies that are organized in the different settlements, and also in reference to the High Priests, of which there are Branch Quorums in the various settlements. It has been found that where there has been a President and Bishop in a Branch, it has been a cause of difficulty, and it was considered by Elder Hyde and others that this practice ought to be abolished. I have asked myself the question whether when we have received such blessings as have been conferred by the Priesthood of the Most High, we should come down from our exalted position, or whether we should not have the spirit of forbearance, the enlightenment of the Holy Ghost in our midst to expand our minds, to enable us to understand our duties, or shall we take a course to deprive ourselves of the blessings of the Melchizedek Priesthood, as did ancient Israel? This is what you are virtually doing in your neighborhoods where you exclude the Presidents of Branches. We are a people who expect to expand in our minds, to establish on the earth the kingdom of the Great God, and we are a people that never expect to retrograde, but to have all the keys of the Priesthood; to go forward conquering and to conquer until the whole of the inhabitants of the earth shall be redeemed and brought into subjection to the will of God. It is very natural that the Presidents of the Seventies should feel after the condition of their members. These Quorums are divided up and scattered through the different settlements; one man belonging to one Quorum—another to another; therefore, we find various Quorums represented in the different branches of the Church throughout this Territory, and it is right and proper that the Presidency of these Quorums should have some organization by which they can feel after their members and know their standing, that they may be reported up to headquarters from time to time. There is no law about this; it is by permission, and it is right. Now is it not possible that these organizations can be kept up without causing friction or difficulty between the brethren? If we are guided by the right spirit, I think they can.

Is it impossible to have a President and a Bishop in the same Branch without there being strife and contention among the people? There has been too much of this, but with the instructions that we are receiving we can improve.

I would not bring this before the public, if it had not been brought there already, for I am ashamed of such things, and I dislike to see them exhibited before the public, only as it becomes necessary for their correction. It appears to be the opinion of some that these things must be so, but I contend that it need not be so, and it is only the ignorance of the people that gives rise to this spirit of contention in certain places. And I feel now that after attending a Conference of this kind and receiving correct instructions upon all these points, there need be no more contention. It has been necessary to bring this before the Conference that we might receive instruction in reference thereto.

Well, brethren, it is evident to me that we have not progressed as far as I thought we had in the knowledge of the Priesthood, its officers and their respective duties. We have many blessings bestowed upon us by our Father in Heaven, and he is willing to bestow more, if the people were willing and capable of receiving them. I feel the same as brother Heber said that there is a great majority that are willing to do right, and that the predominating influence is for God. I feel it is so, and I bear my testimony to it. Then let us step forward and take hold, prove to God and angels that we will strive to overcome this spirit of contention that is in the world, and each and all magnify our callings, get together and consult for the interests of the kingdom and for each other’s welfare, that we may act in unison in all things that there may be union throughout the house of Israel, and in all the branches and settlements of Zion.

This kingdom is a school to all of us; we are learning our duties, and we should strive to improve and progress in everything that is good, and I think the great majority are improving, and it should be our determination to reduce those things to practice that are for our benefit and salvation.

When we came here we resolved to do this, and let us now carry it into practice in our daily lives. Let us consult the general welfare, and do what we do for the benefit of the kingdom of God. We can shut out the blessings of the Almighty by our own acts, by our strife for power and influence. But this is no way to gain permanent influence, and as we have seen today, and during this Conference, by the instruction that has been given, we are the individuals who shut out the influence of the Holy Ghost and the blessings which we might otherwise enjoy.

My advice is to have no contentions about who holds the most authority, for if you contend about your Bishops and Presidents, the first thing you know is that you have no President at all, and instead of going ahead (it is as brother George A. Smith said) you have to come down to a wheelbarrow arrangement. I do not like that kind of doctrine; it is contracting instead of expanding. I want to see Israel expand and become capable of receiving those blessings which are in store for the faithful.

We have to commence this work in our own bosoms, for this spiritual warfare is like the temporal, which was so beautifully illustrated by brother Hyde yesterday. The first fruit he tasted in the orchard he thought to be the best, but it got better and better as he tried the pipping and greening, and these principles are like the fruit trees in the orchard, they require digging about and cultivating, in order that those principles may dwell in our bosoms continually for our social welfare. Let us labor to eradicate the tares, the chaff, and the miserable traditions which control our nature and acts to a great degree, and let us see if we cannot get a little of the Holy Ghost to dwell in our minds, to enable us to live according to the principles of our holy religion; let us strive to expand and go ahead in doing those things that are necessary to enable us to progress in the way of intelligence, to gain that knowledge of the truth which is in readiness to be poured out upon us from the Almighty.

Shall we spend our time like the world, or shall we live and labor to build up the kingdom of our God? Now all you that freight for the Gentiles, that go out on the road in the employ of the Gentiles driving stage, or trading and working at the beck of the Devil, to promote the Devil’s kingdom; let me exhort you to turn about and not continue to mingle with the wicked. You had better never see a dime in the world. Need I say anything else when there is the pride of Israel, of those who have enlisted in the cause of King Emanuel engaged in trading and doing the works of the Devil, and thereby encouraging and aiding in the building up of his kingdom? Need I say a word against our brethren going and engaging themselves to do this when they so well understand that it is not the Mission of the Latter-day Saints to labor for anything but the upbuilding of the Church and kingdom of God? Here is the Mission of the Saints to go and aid in the gathering of the poor, to labor here for the building of the Temple wherein we can officiate for the dead and prepare to redeem Zion and to build up the waste places thereof, and to establish the principles of righteousness and truth upon the earth. Let our enemies learn their true position; let them herd their own cattle, delve in the earth for themselves, gather their own straw, make their own mortar, build up their own cities, but let us raise our own cotton, indigo, tobacco, build up our own cities—even the cities of Zion for the honor and glory of God; if all our labor be in the right place we shall become independent of our enemies, make the desert become fruitful and blossom as the rose. Here is work enough for the Saints without working for the Devil or his agents or imps. The Lord has commenced his work and has planted the standard of Zion and there is plenty of business to do suppose that all Israel should go into it. If it were correct for men to go and devote their time, talents, and strength in working to build up Gentile cities where would be the interests of the kingdom? If it is good for you to do this it is good for others, and if it is good for you to sell whiskey it is good for me. The truth is that we can exercise a better influence without having anything to do with these things. I have no desire or wish to do any such thing. But some will put the cup to their neighbor’s lip, ruin their neighbor’s children by such practices. It is not in the economy of Heaven made necessary for anyone to take such a course. There is plenty to do to occupy all the talent, ability, and intelligence of all Israel without taking any such course as this, and of that nature too, which instead of promoting evil will tend to virtue and righteousness and finally to exaltation, things which will tend to the enlightenment of the mind and to the advancement and spreading abroad of the principles of salvation and eternal lives. It is for us to be engaged preparing ourselves for those ordinances which we look forward to with such earnest anticipation, and anxious desire to administer and officiate for our dead, that they may come forth in the first resurrection, and enjoy the blessings purchased by the Redeemer of the world.

I do not know but we are now building up a Temple in which may be revealed the keys of the resurrection of the dead. We are building up a Temple to the name of the Most High, and there is plenty of business for every individual who lists to do his part. Do not let us pander to the Devil, nor strew our ways to strangers, but let us take that course that will be best calculated to establish the principles of righteousness upon the earth, to establish the reign of the kingdom of God.

The scepter of this Church and kingdom has been wielded by the Almighty power of God, and it will so continue, for the time has come when the Lord has commenced to get a foothold in the earth, and we have been called from the midst of the Gentiles to establish a nucleus of power for the benefit of the pure in heart. What better are we if we go on in wickedness encouraging the power of the Devil, than those who know not God? We might as well have stayed in the world. Then let us understand our high and holy calling, and also strive to understand the calling of the servants of God, and keep ourselves unspotted from the world and its wickedness, and keep in our possession the Spirit of the living God. We see the judgments of the Almighty spreading through the land, and what assurance have we that we shall not be afflicted unless we live so as to be without condemnation? Do we think that we shall be shielded from the judgments of the Almighty if we lay ourselves liable by the same acts as the world? If we do we are mistaken, for if we are guilty of the same crimes and wickedness the results will be the same with us as with the world, with the exception perhaps that the judgments will overtake us a little quicker, for they will commence with us. For it would thwart the purposes of the Almighty to let the wicked get a foothold and predominate in the midst of Israel, where he intends to prepare his people for the building up of Zion and the New Jerusalem.

Brethren and sisters let us be energetic in the discharge of our duties which now devolve upon us in our various locations. Let us be industrious and useful in our day and generation, and not lend our means or talents to build up interests opposed to the kingdom of God, but let everything that we can command be devoted to the upbuilding of that kingdom, and in this we will meet with the approbation of our Father in Heaven, and then will be found place for the power, the knowledge and intelligence which the Lord will take from the world and bestow upon us if we are worthy to receive them. The times are pregnant with great events, and the Lord has no desire to take back this knowledge from the world, if he can find a place to bestow it. Then, let us be wise and faithful that this knowledge may not be taken back, but see that we do those things that are good, not wasting our time with the vain philosophy of the world. Let us prepare to enjoy all those things that have been conferred upon man from the beginning of time, that we may secure the truth that has been revealed, that this intelligence may find place in the midst of the Saints of the Most High God, and that we may improve and advance from one point to another until we shall combine all the knowledge and intelligence which have been revealed, and receive that which the Almighty is ready to bestow upon us, that we may thus perfect our own being and progress in the knowledge of God and in the things pertaining to our existence here and hereafter.

The Apostle said, “If in this life only we have hope we are of all men the most miserable.” That might be true then, but I hardly subscribe to it now, but I contend that the course which the Lord has marked out tends to happiness and exaltation here, saying nothing of the life which is to come. The Gospel is calculated to make good men of bad men, it introduces good instead of evil, happiness instead of misery generally, and it is also calculated to draw out the capacities of men to the fullest extent for the benefit of man. Let us participate in those enjoyments that we may prepare for the life to come, is my prayer, in the name of Jesus. Amen.

Encouragement of Home Manufactures—Righteous and Unrighteous Ambition

Remarks by President Daniel H. Wells, made in the Tabernacle, Great Salt Lake City, March 16, 1862.

I feel thankful at the improved appearance of our Tabernacle this morning. The President said, “Let there be light: and there was light.” Brother Taylor said if he was going to preach he should take that for a text, but I am not in the habit of taking texts. I shall, therefore, make such remarks as may come into my mind.

Behold, light has come into the world, and the Saints are the evidence of it, because their minds have been enlightened by the truth which they have received, through the influence of which they have been gathered out from the midst of the nations of the earth, that they might build up the kingdom of God, a kingdom of righteousness where they are not in danger of being overwhelmed with the darkness and corruptions of the world from whence they came. We have come out from Babylon into these mountain valleys for this purpose. We have been brought together by the favor of the Almighty, that we might form a nucleus of strength and power on the earth to aid and assist one another, to strengthen the cause and build up the kingdom of God, to establish righteousness so that this kingdom cannot be swallowed up by the wicked and ungodly. Here, also, we can have a clearer vision and view, more light and understanding than we could in the countries that we came from. The vision is less obscured by surrounding objects.

While brother Woolley was praying that we might have light, I felt to add one sentence, which was, that we, the Latter-day Saints, might do as well as we know how, that we might be able to accomplish the work assigned us. A person may have it in his heart to do so, but he may not have if in his ability to do as well as he knows because of the controlling circumstances which surround him at the time. This doubtless, is frequently owing to the ignorance of those associated with him, and if the people cannot do as well as they would at first, let them not be discouraged, but try again, and continue their efforts, perhaps they may bring greater influences to bear and combine more power as they proceed, until, finally they will be successful. When the prayer was being offered, I felt to say, “O Lord, enable thy people to do as well as they know how,” and I doubt not but this is the feeling in the hearts of all the sincere and faithful. And they ask, what can I do? How can I best serve my Master’s cause? With the large majority of those that profess to be Saints, to know how to be the most useful in the midst of the Saints of the Most High God is the ever-prevailing desire; it is a constant thought. We have instructions from time to time, line upon line, precept upon precept given to us by our president, informing us how to eradicate evil from our bosoms, to form a union of effort, of strength, of power, of faith to combine the elements together for the advancement of the kingdom and cause we have espoused, and those instructions of late have been, in a measure, upon points of a temporal character for the temporal salvation of the people. We should depend upon ourselves and upon our own resources and exertions for the things that are necessary for our temporal sustenance.

If we wish to do anything that will be a credit to ourselves, let us now in the days of peace and prosperity, show our faith by our works, and labor to bring about for ourselves and the kingdom, those things that are necessary for our own support and existence, to manufacture our own clothing, to begin to lay aside those things that are unnecessary while they are within our reach, provided that we do it of our own voluntary act for the sake of holy and righteous principles, for the sake of doing right, then we may be entitled to a small mead of praise; but that individual who only reforms when he is obliged, is not entitled to praise. When there is an abundance of luxuries here, and we show that we can abstain from them and lay them aside to depend upon our own exertions, we thus gain strength and power, instead of waiting till the things are entirely shut out from us.

We desire to prove our integrity to ourselves and to our God. This perhaps is in the bosoms of all the Saints; they would like to show that they are willing to abide the teachings that come from the President to them, and to lay the foundation for bringing those things from the elements which they require. Let us endeavor to make a little calculation, exercise our intellects, be active and energetic, and combine together the ability which we find in our midst; let us also combine our efforts and means as well as our faith. We are frequently in difficulty to establish some mechanical branch of business. We have thus far been frustrated in our attempts to manufacture iron, not so much for want of the mechanical skill, as in consequence of a certain unrighteous ambition which some have had to be the first to bring out good iron.

The Adversary is opposed to our progress, and he will strive to subvert every enterprise, but how does it become the Saints to let the evil influence and the power of the Adversary control them to that extent that if one brother cannot accomplish what is wanted, he feels in his heart that no one else shall? How does it look when a man cannot produce iron, for him to feel in his heart to operate for the purpose of thwarting every other man, and for this purpose get up a division and a contention among the brethren? This is the spirit that has been in Iron County; it is a kind of rivalry that is engendered in hell. To let the power of the Devil enter in and produce such feelings among Saints that ought to know better, and that ought to do better, is a disgrace to a people calling themselves the people of God.

I speak of iron to illustrate this subject, because it is a case with which you are all familiar, and because it is an article of which we stand so much in need. There are other things, though perhaps of less moment, in which this kind of strife does exist. There is such a thing as a commendable rivalry, a desire to excel, and which tends to build up, but this of which I speak is a design to thwart the operations and to keep in men’s own bosoms the knowledge which would do others good; yet they appear to delight in keeping looked up in their own bosoms that knowledge which would be of service to the community. Such persons fall far short of doing as well as they know how, or of doing all they can for the building up of the kingdom of God; all such will most likely become darkened in their counsel and lose the knowledge which they possess, for the Lord has not bestowed that light and intelligence for such a purpose. If I understand the subject, we are here to use our best ability to aid with our might and power to bring about the purposes of the Almighty in the last days. Hence, when we see men continue to be actuated by such unworthy influences which we find to be both disagreeable and disgraceful, we should strive to help them in overcoming them. Perhaps we do not all think of it in this light. If we do not, let us search out and see where we do give the Evil One power over us, and how he takes the advantage and causes us to do things which hedge up not only our own way, but the way of others. I do not suppose there is any person, even the most feeble, but could do some things for the advancement and benefit of this people, if they could and would do as well as they know how. With all the intelligence which the President possesses, I have no doubt but he could at many times do a great deal better for the benefit of Israel if the people around him pos sessed more of the disposition to exercise and bring into use the knowledge and power to do good with which the Almighty has endowed them, but owing to their lack of diligence, and command over themselves they let the Adversary get power over them, and that thwarts him in his purposes which he would otherwise accomplish. The Lord himself cannot accomplish as much with a people who are slow to comprehend, who do not resist the powers of darkness and who do not overcome the power of the Evil One, but permit Satan to rule predominant in their bosoms and throw obstacles in their way, as he could and would with a people who not only being willing and obedient but who exhibit a disposition to govern and control their evil propensities, subdue and eradicate them from their bosoms, and give free scope and power to the intelligence, light, and knowledge with which they are so graciously endowed.

Well, then, we see that here is a labor that we can perform ourselves, if we will be careful and look into our own bosoms and eradicate therefrom the evil influences which we permit to come in there and darken our own counsel and minds, and be a clog in the way of the kingdom instead of helping it along.

In all measures which need our help, we should strive to see the utility of them, if possible as soon as those that have set about to do the work, and let our faith be to go about the labor required of us; let us go about it unitedly, with one heart and one voice. Then, cannot we ac complish things as the Lord wants? Yes, we can, and then we shall soon see the kingdoms of this world tremble and fall to pieces. There are some portions of this community, I am aware, that feel right about the temporal progress of this kingdom.

I am speaking of these matters that you, my brethren and sisters, may lend a helping hand and let the kingdom increase, that we may all see the work of our God roll forth and increase with greater power and magnitude. Our President desires it, and so does the Almighty, and he will bestow his blessings upon his people and cause them to prosper exceedingly.

I presume there is no person living, who, if it had been possible twelve years ago to have looked forward to this time, and seen the vast increase of this mighty work and its magnitude, but would have considered it the most glorious scenery that could be exhibited to their view. No person could have imagined it, unless the Lord had shown it to him by opening the vision of his mind to see it.

We have truly attained to great blessings, still greater are before us, and we can rejoice more abundantly in the faith as we witness the development and progress of the great work in which we are engaged. We see great and important events before us, and duties to perform that are of great importance. Let us take hold with a will and with our whole heart, that we may progress more abundantly than we have hitherto done, which is my prayer and exhortation in the name of Jesus. Amen.

Agency of Man to Practice Good or Evil Principles

Remarks by President Daniel H. Wells, made in the Tabernacle, Great Salt Lake City, March 6, 1862.

I feel thankful to be with you today, to sit and listen to the teachings we have heard, to be associated with the Saints of the Most High. Like our brother who has just spoken, I do feel thankful that I am here and have a part and lot in this great world in which we are all engaged; it is a work capable of filling the utmost desire and capability of the human mind, or wish or thought of that individual whose mind has been ripened into an understanding of the principles which lead to eternal life and exaltation in the kingdom of God. Man, in this kingdom, is placed upon a basis, upon a foundation by which he can cultivate himself with the graces and the attributes of a God. It is a work of progression. We are caught in the world by the Gospel net in the condition in which people of all other communities are found.

We are found in the world in sin, ignorance, and degeneracy, surrounded by all the influences of evil, having our traditions in common with the rest of mankind, and from all this the Gospel is capable of reclaiming us; from all that is hateful, such as strife, discord, dissension, and every species of sin and iniquity, our religion is calculated and designed to save and redeem us, if we will let it, by availing ourselves of its power.

This is the work which lies before each and every one of us as Saints of the Most High God. We have this privilege within ourselves if we choose to cultivate it.

It has been said by some, and I suppose it to be true doctrine, that God is truth, but that does not prove that truth is God; for truth like love, wisdom, and goodness, is an attribute and not a person. All these attributes of Deity lie in our pathway, and they are strewn around us to be laid hold of, and are calculated in their tendency to improve and exalt us as well as the Gods, and we have the privilege of assuming a position in which we can clothe ourselves with the blessings which lead to life everlasting, or we can disgrace ourselves with the excesses and deformities of the wicked, and all those things that lead to destruction, and which do not continue. The principles of eternal life are laid before us, both good and evil are present with us; we have the power of rejecting those good and wholesome principles, or, on the other hand, we have the privilege and the power of controlling our volition and directing it in that channel which will clothe the mind with the graces and beauties of the Gospel, which are calculated to bring us up into that position where we shall have a right to these blessings which emanate from heaven, and which will make the society where we dwell beautiful and glorious, and ultimately lead on to exaltation in the eternities to come. Eternal life is here my friends, my brethren and sisters; we are in a part of that existence which is eternal. True, we are passing through that portion which is called time, but is not this a part of eternity?

We have nothing in our possession but what is lent or given to us to improve upon for eternity, no, not even our present lives. We do not pay sufficient attention to the life that we at present enjoy, or we should understand that it is as much eternal life as any that we shall ever attain to, for surely at the present time we have no existence in all of the eternities but in this. We may not have to pass through changes in the life which is to come as we do here, but it is for us, while here, to comprehend and appreciate the beauty and glory which lie in our pathway. We may have to labor and dig and delve in the earth, but, if so, we should remember that there is a dignity in labor when that is directed by the intellectual power, with which, in all the creation of God, only man is endowed, for the development and combination of the elements with which he is surrounded for the use and the benefit of the world in which he lives.

It is true that evil is strewn in our pathway, but we should labor to get all evil thoughts from our minds, and strive to cultivate those graces which come through faith, and which are calculated to eradicate from our being those things which lead downward, instead of leading us in the path which is unto eternal lives and eternal progression while here as well as in the world to come.

To live here and perform the duties of today is the present business of the Latter-day Saints, and to lay a foundation that will carry us safely through this and prepare us for that life which is to come, and it is also our duty to obey those principles which are revealed through obedience to the fulness of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. If we will continue to be faithful and seek after those principles that will tend to exalt us here, then we will be exalted hereafter; but it is of no use thinking of being exalted in the eternal worlds unless we apply those principles in our conduct here.

If we suppose that we can go through this life straight into the kingdom of God, and attain to exaltation by being clothed with hypocrisy and falsehood, we are simply mistaken; such a course of life is not calculated to lead to that end. If we are exalted, it must be by putting in practice those principles which are exalting in their tendency, and which are given us through the inspiration of the Almighty. Thus will be formed a character in this life that will endure in that which is to come.

I can endorse the sentiment expressed by brother Bayliss, who was speaking before me, that it is our duty to do all we can for the spread of truth, and to ornament our minds with the truths of the Gospel, that we may combine those principles to form that character and connection with the heavens which we have the opportunity of doing more abundantly here, in these sequestered vales than in the scattered condition of the Saints in the midst of the nations of the earth.

Witness the power that we can wield in the earth, by gradually spreading abroad those principles which we have received, until finally righteousness shall spread over and cover the whole earth, put an end to the power of the wicked, bind Satan and cast him from the earth, as has been spoken by the inspired writers.

I suppose it will be accomplished this way, by filling up the measure of our creation in union, truth, and oneness, and by officiating in those ordinances of the Priesthood which shall seem good unto the Almighty. It is for us to prepare to walk in that way which shall be marked out, and to go and perform every act as we shall be dictated through the instrumentality of the servants of God, whom he has appointed to dictate and guide in order that his purpose may be accomplished at least in the valleys of the mountains, where he has provided an asylum for his people.

This kingdom is established to the extent of the power that is now wielded, and there is no other place upon the face of the earth to which good men who desire to promote virtue and establish justice can rally except to this, and it is accomplished through the instrumentality of the Gospel we have embraced. Others have their institutions, some of which are very good, but there is more than an overbalancing amount of corruption, from which those who would do good, have not the power to disenthrall themselves.

There is such unlimited power to do evil, which the wicked use for the oppression of the feeble, to oppress the poor, the honest in heart, whom they rule by priestcraft, kingcraft, and every other wicked craft that mankind in their degeneracy can devise, so that it would seem almost impossible even for the Almighty to establish his kingdom and save his people, without withdrawing them from the wicked nations.

People come here and have full liberty to do or not to do; to live their holy religion or not to live it; to be honest, faithful, and true, or to reject those principles and clothe themselves with that which is evil; they have the freest volition to exercise their right of will. We expect, however, that those who come here are those who have elected and chosen for themselves to do the will of God, and to follow the counsel of him whom he has chosen to rule in his Church and kingdom. We have reason to believe this, but then when we reflect upon the past, we are satisfied that others must have come with a different motive. Some of us are apt to forget that we should furnish and adorn our own minds, with a comprehensive knowledge of the Gospel; that we should furnish the material rather than expect that some greater and more powerful influence will do it for us. We sometimes find that people are careless in regard to their duties in this respect, and Satan is always ready to step in and take the advantage of such an opportunity. Now we should not be indifferent and lay down the armor of the Gospel, and say this is no advantage to me. No, my dear brethren, it will be an advantage and a blessing to all of us, if we honor the kingdom of God and live its principles, and if we do not, it will still roll on, whether we go with it or not.

We have no right to be indifferent to any principles revealed in this kingdom, but we should feel an interest in everything that is laid before us, that we may be of some use and benefit to the Church, fill up our days in usefulness in any department of the kingdom of God in which we may be called to act. I pray God to help us to do this; to help us by giving us of his Spirit to strengthen our minds that we may overcome the evil; that we may seek to do everything that is good; that we may secure that aid and assistance that will enable us to bring our spirits back pure and holy, into the presence of him who gave them unto us, that we may not give Satan the power over us, not strengthen those chains which he has, through the agency of the fall, obtained over the human family, but that we may overcome that evil as far as possible, even to the obtaining that knowledge and intelligence which was said to have been obtained by the brother of Jared, whose faith was so great that the Lord could not prevent him from looking within the veil. Why? Because he had clothed him self with those principles which lead to exaltation, so that he could see beyond the vision of human ken, and the Lord could not keep him from penetrating behind the veil.

If we are going to have anything excellent it is for us to look after it, and not let the Devil rule over us, but ornament our minds by our own virtuous acts and our bodies with the workmanship of our own hands. If we take this course the Lord will help us by placing the elements that are for the welfare and comfort of mankind within our reach. During the travels of the children of Israel, he showered down provisions upon them that they might not have to labor in the wilderness, and ordained that their clothing should not wear out, but otherwise than that, and a few other such instances, I do not know that he ever helped a human being except by placing within his reach the elements for him to combine therefrom for his support. He has put into our hands the power to combine the elements and to provide ourselves with those things that we need, and as I said in the commencement of my remarks, there is a dignity in labor, in drawing from those elements things necessary for our own benefit and advancement as intelligent beings. Let us therefore endeavor to improve the earth upon which we live, and make it pleasant to the sight of God and man.

May God help us to comprehend and obtain those great blessings which he has in store for his faithful Saints, is my prayer in the name of Jesus. Amen.

Political Economy

Remarks by President Daniel H. Wells, made in the Bowery, Great Salt Lake City, September 29, 1861.

It will be remembered by the brethren that, about a year ago, there was a Missionary fund started in this city, which was very liberally subscribed to. This fund was commenced for the purpose of sustaining the families of the Missionaries who have gone on Missions. The calls upon the secretary of that fund are now very numerous. The subscriptions are not all paid, but many of them have been partially paid. It is now proposed to replenish this fund; and as this is a good time for getting wood, it is a good time to bring some in for this object. Those who feel to subscribe and donate, can report to brother John T. Caine at the President’s office. This invitation has also been extended to others who have not contributed; and we now wish to give an opportunity to those who live in the adjoining settlements. We wish to give all an opportunity and a privilege of assisting the families of those who are appointed to go on Missions. Brethren, let us pay up and continue our subscriptions to the fund, that the poor may be provided for, and the hearts of the Saints made glad.

The instructions given seem to turn upon political economy, and the pecuniary and temporal circumstances of this community. It is the burden of the instructions from time to time, and it seems not so much by way of gaining political advancement or influence, but those who have labored, and still are laboring to lay the foundation for a great and mighty nation, are looking and striving for the improvement of this people, to teach them how to be self-sustaining. It is the wish and desire of those who stand at the head of this people, to pursue that course which will be the most profitable to the kingdom of God, for that will be for their benefit, and that is the burden of the instructions day by day. We are counseled and taught by our brethren to prepare ourselves for self-existence, to look after those things which are calculated to make us free and independent. It appears by the great commotion in the world that we are liable to be cut off at any time from foreign trade, for we are so situated in these distant valleys, that we may be cut off at any time from all distant markets; and it seems to be in the economy of Heaven that this should be so in order that we may become free, and also that we may develop the resources of this our mountain home. By our united efforts we can produce from the elements those things that will be for our best good, and for the general interests of the kingdom of God. The burden of the instructions given by the servants of God from day to day, is for us to labor to draw from the elements for our support. Here are the richest elements that are to be found upon the face of the globe. There is no grain, no vegetables, neither anything that grows upon the face of the earth, that contains that sweetness or nourishment in a greater degree than it does here in this mountain country. The fruit, the vegetables, and all we grow, are of the sweetest and richest kind, and the most nourishing in quality. The fabrics made here will likewise be of the most refined and durable kind. If we labor for it, the finest flax, hemp, and wool, can be produced in this Territory. It is our duty to strive to raise everything we need for our own consumption. The tea, the coffee, the tobacco, and the whiskey (if we must have such articles), can all be produced and manufactured here. I am willing to make a bargain with this people to leave off all those things that I have mentioned, if all the people will agree to do likewise. These are things that we can do without; in fact, we are better without them than with them; we are better in our bodies as well as in our purses. The sugar that is needed, and other sweetening, grow here in these valleys of the mountains, and it only needs a little skill and labor to bring it into a more refined state than we have yet been able to produce. Hundreds of wagons and teams would not be able to bring the amount of sweetening from the States that will be raised and manufactured here this season, and the quantity and quality can be increased and improved every year.

It is a measure of political economy for us to strive to promote the general interest, and to study to do the most good for the community we live in. If we cannot abide the appeal to our consciences, let us abide the appeal to our pockets. (Voice: You have caught us now.) We must not suit our ways to strangers, but we must look to the welfare of Israel.

Brethren, there is a glorious work before us, and great and glorious blessings will be poured out upon us. Peace and plenty surround us, and we are far from the power and corruptions which are now disturbing the enemies of God’s people. The Almighty has wisely placed barriers in the way of his enemies, and by them they are now kept back, otherwise they would endeavor to swallow us up in their anger and rage.

We are now in a position that we can do those things of which I have been speaking. We can provide for our future necessities. We can raise up a great and mighty people, who will be led and governed by the principles of righteousness, and we have now an opportunity of doing it in these valleys. The nucleus is formed, the people are here, and we can do everything that is required if we have the disposition to labor for its accomplishment. Let us take hold like men and women of God, like those who are filled with his Holy Spirit, in order that we may accomplish the important work required at our hands. It is a work that should engage our most earnest attention. It is not a thing of a moment, and then to pass away; but it is the kingdom of God that shall remain forever and forever. This is what we are striving to build up; and let us take hold of it in such a manner as we can carry it on, and at the same time sustain ourselves. To do this, we must produce those things that are necessary for our temporal existence; and let us be careful not to destroy what the Lord has given us before we produce another supply from the elements around us. It is our business, and duty, too, to take care of all that the Lord has put into our hands, and not because a word has been said about tea, to go and burn it up or throw it away; but we should put all we are made stewards over to the best possible use.

Now, I have no objection to our keeping things in our possession that are necessary for sickness, but let the whiskey and the tobacco be put to their legitimate uses, then all will be right. Where coffee is produced, the people do not use it, but they raise it for the barbarians. In the East Indies and wherever coffee is grown, the inhabitants consider it poison and wonder that it does not poison the outside barbarians, as they term all those whom we consider the civilized and enlightened nations. Some of our physicians will, however, say and contend that it is perfectly harmless, when the facts before us show the effect of coffee, tea, opium, tobacco and other stimulants, and various other foolish and expensive indulgences to be the cause of reducing the average of human life, so that not one half of those born into the world live to attain the age of seventeen years. Apart from this, it would be a great saving to this people, for they have to bring these things from abroad. Everything that we cannot produce within ourselves, it would be best for us to do generally without, then we would have means to aid us in producing those things that are necessary to more fully develop the resources of the mountains and valleys of Utah. I mean that we could then use our means to bring the machinery here that we cannot so well manu facture, but which, by bringing in a little, we will be able to manufacture after a while.

While we are professing to be righteous, let us take a course to prove to God, angels, and men that we are in earnest, and will live and produce those things that are needed for our own sustenance, and build up cities and make Zion the joy of the whole earth. It is not a mere theory that we have to do with, but it is the building up of the kingdom of God, and it is for those who have the principles of the kingdom in their hearts to seek to permanently establish the Zion of God upon the earth, whether they will be able to maintain the kingdom or not is the Lord’s business. We know that the Devil seeks to thwart and overthrow the kingdom, and in all the enterprises that this people engage in, they may expect his opposition.

We often see that people are frustrated and afflicted; and we frequently suffer in our health, and in things which we seek to accomplish, we meet with such opposition that we have to give them up, but still we should try again and strive to bring stronger influences to bear and thus succeed in the accomplishment of the object we have in view. There is a contention here among the influences we have around us which is—whether the Latter-day Saints will maintain themselves independent of the Devil and his co-adjutors, or whether they will forever be dependent upon their enemies.

I firmly believe that, with the blessings of the Almighty, we can produce in a short time everything we need, if we will use the proper exertions. The thing now is to commence and go ahead with an earnestness, and not allow ourselves to be easily thwarted or frustrated. If we fail at one time, let us try again, and bring greater influences and more union, strength, and power to bear, that we may succeed the next time. We have the Devil, as well as every natural obstacle to contend with, but we will finally triumph, which is my prayer in the name of Jesus Christ. Amen.