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Forbearance to Each Other—Necessity of Reading the Bible and Book of Mormon—Counsel to the Young Brethren

Remarks by President Heber C. Kimball, delivered in the Tabernacle, Bountiful, Sunday, April 12, 1868.

I have not the least disposition to talk to you if you do not wish me to, and if you say you do not want me, I will say good morning and go home. It is no pleasure to talk to a people who will not receive what you say. You know me, and then again you do not know me. You do not know who Heber C. Kimball is, or you would do better. You do not know yourselves, do you? Then how can you expect to know me? A man came to me this morning desiring to have some talk with me. I asked him if he was an honest, upright, truthful man? He replied that he thought he had no right to answer that question; but finally, he said he was an honest man. After he said that, it was revealed to me what sort of a man he was, but not before. I wish the people here today to behave themselves, as this is the Sabbath. Do you know what is the gospel? The gospel is the power of God unto all that obey, not unto all that believe, for the devils believe. Suppose now, for instance, I had here three rules, one a twelve inch, one a six inch and one a three inch. Would the three inch rule measure as far as the twelve inch? No; nor can the three inch or the six inch man measure as far as the twelve inch man, yet both may be good men and just as good as the man that can circumscribe thirteen inches. Therefore, if a man in this respect should be a little behind, we should not whip him up as we would a horse, but we should be lenient towards him.

What brother Stevenson has said this morning is all good, and you would know it if you read the Bible and the Book of Mormon. There is not one quarter of you that read those books as much as I do; if you did, you would know they coincide the one with the other. This book, the Book of Mormon, is a pure record, and I know it, although it treats of wars and contentions. I have lived nearly all my life where it came forth and I understand all about it.

I have been to the altar where Adam offered sacrifices and blessed his sons and then left them and went to heaven. Now I want you to read the Bible and the Book of Mormon, for we have to build a city, we who are righteous and keep the celestial law, we have to build a city that will compare with the one that has gone to heaven. Consider these things and then see how you are progressing.

You sit in judgment on your neighbors, when you are guilty of more tricks than they are, and when there is more evil in you than in them. Jesus said, “thou shalt not speak evil of thy neighbor,” and the commandments say, “thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbor,” and the commandments are binding upon us. Jesus said also, “thou shalt not commit adultery.” Now some persons look upon adultery as an awful thing, which it is; but they pay no attention to the other command, which is equally binding, forbidding them to speak evil of their neighbor. It is said thou shalt not speak against the anointed; yet you do speak against them, and justify yourselves in doing evil. It is difficult for many here even to hold my name sacred; and when I have heard of what some men here would do, I have asked myself what manner of men they were. In doing the things that I have been speaking of you commit sin and violate your covenants. Do you doubt that I am one of the Lord’s anointed? Do you not know that I am? This then will affect you unless you make restitution. Shall I tell you how? I wish I could refer you to the revelation. I have had men lie to me, and I have known this by the spirit of revelation, yet I could not prove it. Now these are not men of God. Some of you would like me to present the truth clothed in a fine dress and with hoops rather than that I should present it stark naked; but I speak this for your good, and why then do you wish to run away from or injure your friends?

The Twelve Apostles, when first anointed, went into almost every part of the States, from Ohio to Nova Scotia, and organized Conferences and called on the whole Church to make donation of their means to purchase that land that God said had to be purchased either with money or with blood; and the whole Church, save the leaders, came under condemnation because they did not comply with the revelation. The revelation that gave us the authority and which says, “Let my servants go, &c.,” is in this Book of Covenants. At another time Zion’s Camp was called, before I became an Apostle, and Joseph gathered up the Lord’s warriors, His young men, the male members of the Church, and it took nearly every male member from Nova Scotia to Missouri to reinstate the Lord’s people in the land of Zion. Those young men did their duty, and the Lord accepted their offering. They were the actors then, and are the leading men of the School of the Prophets today. Will this School of the Prophets stop? No, it was commenced in the days of Joseph, and it will not stop. Unless, however, there is a reformation right here, there is not one in twenty that will go and possess that land. Are you practical spinners? Can you adorn yourselves with the work of your own hands? Can you beautify and adorn the earth? I tell you that in general you are not going there unless a reformation takes place. Some of you will not be honest, some of you will not pray unless you are where someone can see you; and if some of you were going to my mill here, and should fine a chain, you would look around to see if any person saw you, and if not, you would hide the chain at once; and such men call themselves Saints. I am telling you the truth, and I tell you that if you will put on Christ and live in Him you will see a great deal better than I can with my glasses. You cannot lead a person astray unless that person is willing to be led astray; a man could not be persuaded to lie unless he was inclined to lie; and if we tell a lie to deceive, we have to pay that debt before that sin is atoned for. It is said, “Thine own words will condemn thee;” and it will be so when we go to judgment, and we cannot help it. I am an apostle, and Brigham Young is an apostle, and the voice of the Spirit called Brigham Young and myself in Kirtland, and Joseph Smith was told to place the priesthood upon us, and have we ever flinched? No. Now, when you are brought to judgment and you know that Jesus is there, that Joseph is there, that Brigham is there, that Willard and myself are there, and you are asked what have you been guilty of, you will have to give in your own testimony, and you cannot get around it. The axe is laid at the root of the tree, and the acts of men and women will condemn them. There are hundreds and thousands of men in this Church today who have a plurality of wives which will be taken from them and they cannot help themselves, because they do not keep the celestial law.

The office of an apostle is to tell the truth, to tell what he knows. Has the Lord spoken to me? He has. I have heard His voice and so have you; and when you hear my voice, and it is dictated by the Holy Ghost, you hear the voice of God through me, but you do not believe it. Great is the condemnation that will come because of lying. Now, let me say to you, be honest, and you, sisters, stop you slanders, and if you wish your characters exalted, exalt that of your neighbor. It is time for us to arise and wake up. I am telling you these things for your good, but you do not know it. There are many here today who, unless they repent, will never see my face again after my eyes are closed in death. I tell you that the man who justifies another in the shedding of blood is a murderer, and the man who justifies another in tantalizing his fellow creature or in speaking against another is as bad as the man who does these things. I have not one word of reflection to make against you, yet you are living at a poor dying rate. Do you doubt it? I want you to be faithful, and I do not want a man or a woman of you to be lost.

I wish now to talk to the little boys, my young brethren, and I want them all to hear me. What I have been saying today, my little boys, will apply to you as much as it will to your fathers. I wish you to be obedient to your fathers and to you mothers; but if your mothers tell you not to do that which your fathers tell you to do, you go right away and do as your father has told you, for he is the head. And, brethren, come to meeting instead of running about on the Sabbath day, and cease to tell lies. Let us, brethren, try and bind up everything and take hold together. I feel as the Savior did, I do not wish to leave you alone, I wish you to improve. I think as much of the people in this ward as I do of the people in any other ward in the Territory. I prayed last night and this morning that your minds might be prepared to receive my words. What would you give for a plow that had no point to it, or for a pair of glasses that you could not see through? And again, what account would you be if no dependence could be placed in you?

I will now refer you to a little of my history. I was born in Vermont, and brought up very poor, and when nine years old I laid in my bed and in a vision saw those things that I have since passed through. Soon after I was baptized, brother Orson Pratt came to my house. I was standing in the door yard when he came, and at the time I felt much of the holy Spirit upon me. I was then a potter at my wheel. While brother Pratt was talking with me a voice spake to him and said “Orson, my son, that man will one day become one of my apostles.” I did not know this till afterwards. A voice also spoke to me and told me my lineage, and I told my wife Vilate that she was of the same lineage, and she believed it. I told her also that we would never be separated. I could tell you a thousand things that happened in that early day. I have been, as I have already told you, to where Adam offered sacrifices and blessed his sons, and I felt as though there were hundreds of angels there, and there were angels there like unto the three Nephites. I have also been over the hill Cumorah, and I understand all about it. I remember the time when I was baptized into the church, and how after I was baptized, Alpheus Gifford said he felt impressed to ordain me an elder. I was on my knees and jumped up and told him to hold on that I was not a learned man, and I thought that my ordination would injure the work. But presently the Holy Ghost came upon me till I thought that I should be burnt up. I could speak in tongues and prophesy, and I understood the scriptures. And now let me tell you that I was never made to die, that is spiritually; but that I am an inhabitant of this earth and will never destroy my right to it. It is my Father’s and I know it, and His angels administer to men. This you can read in the Book of Mormon. Cleave now to the truth, and remember that a limb separated from a tree is not much, and so we are not much when separated from the truth. Therefore honor God and honor those you know; for if you do not honor those you know you will not honor God. If my children will not subject themselves to me they will not subject themselves to God; and so with our wives, they cannot honor God unless they honor us.

Jesus said, “suffer little children to come unto me, for of such is the Kingdom of Heaven.” They are heirs to the kingdom of heaven, and when they die they go to heaven. They are with Jesus. Our children are heirs to our rights and privileges, and when an earth is organized for us we will take our children there as God our Father brought His children here when He came.

Let us be faithful and humble and keep the commandments; and if we will eat meat, let us eat that which is mild. I am inclined to think that pig meat is not good, and that fine flour is not good, and the finer the flour we eat the shorter will be our lives. It would be better for us to eat coarse bread, such as the Graham bread. I now feel to say peace be with you, peace rest upon you and I say my peace shall rest upon you. Amen.




Blessings Secured By Faithfulness

Remarks by President Heber C. Kimball, in the Tabernacle, Great Salt Lake City, April 4, 1866.

Self-preservation is the first great law of nature. It is true, whether it be applied to temporal or spiritual salvation. If a man does not try to save himself through the means which are provided in the Gospel, he cannot be saved. If people will not stop committing sin and learn to do better, my doing so will not benefit them. It would be just as reasonable to argue that I can eat, drink, breathe, and reflect for them.

When a minister of the truth arises to address a congregation it aids him much when the people give their undivided attention to him; but when their attention is drawn off by some trifling interference that may occur in the house, their minds are closed to the effects of truth, and the spirit of the preacher is grieved, and so is the Spirit of the Lord. Paul says, “Let the prophets speak two or three, and let the other judge. If anything be revealed to another that sitteth by, let the first hold his peace. For ye may all prophesy one by one, that all may learn, and all may be comforted.” “For God is not the author of confusion, but of peace, as in all the churches of the saints.”

No one man knoweth everything, “But the manifestation of the Spirit is given to every man to profit withal;” “Now there are diversities of gifts, but the same Spirit,” “dividing to every man severally as he will.” If we exercise upon the gifts we possess in simplicity as little children, striving to do good to one another, and to build up the kingdom of God upon the earth, then we shall be entitled to greater gifts and greater blessings. Let no man lay a snare for his neighbor because of the simplicity of his words, and because he reproves in the gate. If the truth, simply told, is unwelcome to people, it is because they are themselves guilty of sin unrepented of; and by this ye may know that ye need repentance.

The faithful love the truth, though it may be told in the most simple manner; it is sweeter to them than honey or the honeycomb; they are no more afraid of it than they would be afraid of eating a piece of good honey. And to the same extent that they love the truth plainly and simply told, do they hate a lie, and the more so when it is dressed up in the garb of truth to deceive the unwary. Truth is the sanctifier of those who love it and are guided by it, and will exalt them to the presence of God; while falsehood corrupts and destroys, or, to use a common scriptural figure, it lays the axe at the root of the tree. As the axe cuts down and destroys the fruitless trees that cumber the ground, so do wicked acts destroy and overthrow all who persist in them.

Truth is an attribute of the nature of God. By it he is sanctified and glorified. Jesus Christ proceeded from his Father. He is called “His only begotten Son,” and inherited germs of his Father’s perfections and the attributes of his Father’s nature, so that he sinned not. So with us; if the attributes of our nature become refined and regenerated by the truth, our offspring must inherit those perfections, more or less. Then, how essential it is that parents should, by living their religion, improve themselves for the improvement of their race. We, too, are the children of God, but we are the offspring in the flesh of fallen and degenerate parents, and we are prone to sin as the sparks fly upward; but by observing the truth, and by following the direction of the Holy Priesthood which has been restored in our day, we may overcome the evil that is within us and that is in the world, begin to improve and perfect the attributes of our nature, which are like the attributes of the nature of God, and lay the foundation of goodness and truth in our offspring.

The devil was a liar from the beginning. Truth has no place in him; but it being a principle of power associated with all goodness, he hates it, and so do all his faithful followers. It is written, “And now, verily I say unto you, I was in the beginning with the Father, and am the Firstborn; And all those who are begotten through me are partakers of the glory of the same, and are the church of the First born.” “Truth is a knowledge of things as they are, and as they were, and as they are to come; And whatsoever is more or less than this is the spirit of that wicked one who was a liar from the beginning.” “He that keepeth the commandments of God receiveth truth and light until he is glorified in truth and knoweth all things.” “Truth” is a principle of power, and “is independent in that sphere in which God has placed it, to act for itself, as well as intelligence also; otherwise there is no existence.”

Under President Young I have presided over the giving of endowments for the last fifteen years. Last Saturday there were over twenty persons in the house to receive their endowments. They came well recommended by their bishops as being worthy, good, and faithful members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. I had previously had an impression that many of the people were becoming lukewarm, and even cold, in the performance of some of their duties. After the company had gone through I gave them a lecture, and it came to me by the Spirit of God to try if my impression was correct or not. After instructing them that they must not lie, steal, nor bear false witness, etc., I asked them how many of them prayed in their families, and it transpired that there were many who neglected their duties in this respect; yet they were all recommended by their bishops as good, faithful members of the Church of Christ. It made me think of the parable of the ten virgins, five foolish and five wise. Shall we thus cease to perform our duties, while the wicked are striving with all their power to introduce their wickedness in our community and into our families; while they are seeking to influence our wives and children to be disobedient to us and to God? Should we not rather be more faithful in the performance of every known duty, that God may hear us when we pray to him for strength to aid us to resist the encroachment of evil?

The revelations which Joseph Smith has given to this people were given to him by Jesus Christ, the Savior of the world; and this people cannot be blessed if they lightly esteem any of them, but they will lose the Spirit, and sorrow and vexation will come into their families. The Lord designs that we shall be separate and distinct from every other people, and wishes to make us His peculiar people, and to raise up for himself a pure seed who will keep His law and walk in His statutes. For this purpose did He give the revelation on plurality of wives, as sacred a revelation as was ever given to any people, and fraught with greater blessings to us than we can possibly conceive of, if we do not abuse our privileges and commit sin. This doctrine is a holy and pure principle, in which the power of God for the regeneration of mankind is made manifest; but while it offers immense blessings, and is a source of immense power to God’s people, it will bring sure and certain damnation to those who seek through its means to defile themselves with the daughters of Eve. All those who take wives from any other motive than to subserve the great purpose which God had in view in commanding his servants to take unto themselves many wives, will not be able to retain them. Wives are sealed to men by an everlasting covenant that cannot be broken, if the parties live faithfully before God, and perform with a single eye to his glory the duties of that sacred contract. Jesus Christ said to the Pharisees, when they tempted him upon the subject of a man putting away his wife, “For the hardness of your heart Moses allowed you to give a bill of divorcement, but from the beginning of the creation it was not so.” “What, therefore, God hath joined together let no man put asunder.”

I speak of plurality of wives as one of the most holy principles that God ever revealed to man, and all those who exercise an influence against it, unto whom it is taught, man or woman, will be damned, and they, and all who will be influenced by them, will suffer the buffetings of Satan in the flesh; for the curse of God will be upon them, and poverty, and distress, and vexation of spirit will be their portion; while those who honor this and every sacred institution of heaven will shine forth as the stars in the firmament of heaven, and of the increase of their kingdom and glory there shall be no end. This will equally apply to Jew, Gentile, and Mormon, male and female, old and young.

The words of the Lord to the Church, through Joseph the Prophet, in Sep., 1832, will apply very well to many now—“And your minds in times past have been darkened because of unbelief, and because you have treated lightly the things you have received—Which vanity and unbelief hath brought the whole church under condemnation. And this condemnation resteth upon the children of Zion, even all. And they shall remain under this condemnation until they repent and remember the new covenant, even the Book of Mormon and the former commandments which I have given them, not only to say, but to do according to that which I have written—That they may bring forth fruit meet for their Father’s kingdom; otherwise there remaineth a scourge and a judgment to be poured out upon the children of Zion. For shall the children of the kingdom pollute my holy land?” Unless we keep our families in order, and instruct our children to be faithful in keeping the commandments of God, not suffering our wives and children to speak lightly of the Priesthood of the Almighty, and of the holy order of marriage which He has revealed for a great purpose—I say, unless we do this, God will visit our families with a scourge, and if they continue in their disobedience they will be removed out of their place, and their names will not be found on the record of the faithful. But, on the contrary, if we are righteous and keep faithfully all the commandments of God, we, with all that portion of our wives and children who also have been faithful, will go into the celestial inheritance prepared for us in the presence of our God. Will the unfaithful, disobedient, and unbelieving of our families enter with us into the celestial kingdom? They will not. The Lord said to Ezekiel, “Son of man, the house of Israel to me has become dross.” So with the unbelieving and disobedient of our families, and of this people; they will be separated from the pure silver, to occupy a place in the mansions of our Father according to their worth.

If our wives would remember and keep faithfully the covenant they have made, they would observe the laws of their husbands, and teach their children to honor every law of God, and to love, honor, and obey their earthly father. If I keep my covenants, I shall be saved in the presence of God; if I violate them, I shall be damned; and so it will be with my family; and what applies to me in this respect will apply to all.

Let us carry out the great purposes of God, and be separate from the ungodly. “Wo unto him that has the law given, yea, that has all the commandments of God, like unto us, and that transgresseth them, and that wasteth the days of his probation, for awful is his state!” “And wo unto the deaf that will not hear; for they shall perish. Wo unto the blind that will not see; for they shall perish also. Wo unto the liar, for he shall be thrust down to hell. Wo unto the murderer who deliberately killeth, for he shall die. Wo unto them who commit whoredoms, for they shall be thrust down to hell. And wo unto them who die in their sins; for they shall go to their place, and suffer the wrath of God.”

May God bless the righteous; but the men or women who raise their voices or use their influence against that holy order of plural marriage will be cursed, and they will wither away, for they have undertaken to fight against God. “For, behold, the day cometh, that shall burn as an oven; and all the proud, yea, and all that do wickedly, shall be stubble: and the day that cometh shall burn them up, saith the Lord of hosts, and it shall leave them neither root nor branch.”




Others’ Sins No Justification of Ours

Remarks by President Heber C. Kimball, delivered in the Bowery, Great Salt Lake City, Oct. 6, 1865.

Brethren and sisters, may the very peace of our God be upon you, upon all Israel, and upon all those who love our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ in all the world.

The more we grow in the Spirit of the Lord Jesus, the more are we inclined to extend the blessings of our God to all men, women and children who love Him. We are called to a very exceeding high calling, namely, to be messengers of life and salvation, holding the Priesthood of the Son of God for the redemption of the world. What manner of men ought we to be? Of all men upon the earth our morality should be the best, and our light should not be hid under a bushel but should be on the top of a bushel to be seen of all, that our good works may be known, and that by our good example we may influence others to do good and to trust in and serve God. Every man can exercise an influence for good or for evil in his sphere, and in the circle wherein he moves.

How often people justify themselves in doing wrong because Mr. or Mrs. So-and-So did so; or in conducting themselves like foolish persons in imitation of somebody’s foolish example! People generally are disinclined to acknowledge their faults and forsake them, but this we ought to do, purely because we love the right, doing it independently, and in defiance of the evil customs and examples with which we are surrounded. Every man ought to receive the truth wherever he finds it. Some would rather receive the truth only from the First Presidency and the Twelve; but we should acknow ledge it, let it come from what source it may. Every person should learn to govern himself and live in this world so as to secure life everlasting; and to do this, we must identify ourselves with our Father and our God, being grafted into Him by the ordinances of the Gospel, and through faithfulness being conformed to His image, partaking of His heavenly nature, as the graft which is put into the roots of a tree partakes of the sap and nature of the tree, bringing forth the fruits of righteousness, drawing nourishment, life, and strength forever from the great source of all life and good. There is no other way for us to identify ourselves with God. Being baptized into Christ we put him on and become one with Him, as he was baptized into His Father and became one with His Father; and thus we are all one in Christ Jesus. We are made one with the Father and the Son by observing His word, His law and His ordinances.

If I were to commit an impropriety, another person would not be justified in doing the same thing. If I violate the law of God I shall be condemned and will not escape upon the plea that somebody else did the same. Every man must answer for his own sin. It is true we have our weaknesses. How? I am afflicted with rheumatic pains, or the infirmities of old age, or I am naturally consumptive, etc. These are weaknesses of the flesh; but may it be termed a weakness when men willfully violate a plain, well-known law of God? The Lord requires nothing of His creatures which they cannot perform. We are subject to the weaknesses of human nature, but they are not crimes, neither should they stand in the way of our doing all the good in our power while we live in the flesh, and as little harm as possible. It is a sin to break any of the commandments of God. When a person bears false witness, it is a sin; or when a person steals, it is a sin; and these sins must be accounted for, either in time or in eternity, by the person who commits them.

We have come to this Conference from all parts of the Territory to be reminded of our duties, and to obtain strength in the worship of the Lord, and we are a good-looking people, and greatly blessed of the Lord. Our happiness consists not in the possession of earthly wealth so much as in the possession of that Spirit which it is our right to obtain and cherish.

The short sentence, “Do right,” embraces a great deal, and extends over the period of man’s life, embracing all his daily duties. It is right for us to build that Tabernacle; it is a work which all the people of the Saints in these mountains are engaged in; and the more faithful we are in paying our tithing, these public works will progress the more vigorously. We all know what the word of the Lord is on the subject of paying tithing, and the use to be made of the means thus collected, namely—to build temples and tabernacles, and to establish the kingdom of God generally. The Israelites built a tabernacle in the wilderness wherein they deposited their holy things, which were afterwards removed into the temple at Jerusalem. When our temple is completed, it will be used for the administering of the holy ordinances of God; it will be for the use of the Priesthood to give endowments to the people. It is just as requisite that that temple should be built as it is that we build houses for our wives and children to dwell in, because the service of our God is not so acceptable to Him in a temporary place of worship when His people can make a permanent one after the pattern which is pleasing to Him. Let us pay our tithing faithfully, and when we do that there will be no trouble in making any public improvement we desire to make; we can bring out the rivers and large streams of these valleys into canals for the purposes of transportation and irrigation, and become enriched by the facilities which these mountain streams offer unto us.

This is the headquarters of Zion, and the law shall go forth from Zion and the word of the Lord from Jerusalem. The Lord gave the law through Joseph when he was here, and now he gives it through President Brigham Young. The law shall go forth from Zion unto all nations, and the word of the Lord is, “Look unto me, and be ye saved, all the ends of the earth: for I am God, and there is none else.” All who will not comply with this call will be damned. The Elders who have faithfully fulfilled their missions, warning all men who came within the sound of their voices, have identified themselves with the Savior, and with the Father, and with the Holy Ghost; and the Holy Ghost will abide with all such if they continue faithful; and herein consists the authority and power of every faithful servant of God in this and in all ages of the world.

When a man revolts against the work of God and against the counsels of his servants, and will not be subject to the Holy Ghost which dwells in him, he commits treason against God, and against his authority on the earth, and neither the Father, nor the Son, nor the Holy Ghost will take up their abode with such a man, and he may bid farewell to the guidance of good angels.

We should so live that we can have the spirit of truth sufficiently to judge between truth and error, between him that serveth God and him that serveth Him not. It is every man’s right so to live, for a people that are informed and intelli gent are much easier led and directed in the truth than a people that are untaught and ignorant. It is for the purpose of instructing the Saints that we need the Temple and Tabernacle erected; and thanks be to God that he acknowledges our labors in the small house we are now using for the purpose of giving endowments; and those who keep their covenants made in that house will reap the blessings promised to them; while those who look upon their endowments as a light thing, and trifle with the things of God, will meet with desolation which they cannot avoid; but in doing so they are deceiving themselves and will bring upon themselves sorrow and wretchedness, and finally destruction.

To be a Saint is an individual work, and it is out of the power of God, angels, or men to make a Saint of a man who is determined to be a sinner. If a man will revolt against God and his authority on the earth, he has a right to do so, as much so as Lucifer had a right to turn away from his Father and God. Men are damned or saved by acting upon their agency, in receiving or rejecting the revealed truths of heaven. The majority of the members of this Church are the very elect of our God. There are some that are not so good, who care not for God, for His servant Brigham, for Heber, nor for the Twelve Apostles. But the day will come when the Lord will choose a people out of this people, upon whom he will bestow his choicest blessings. Think of the great numbers who were baptized into this Church when the Work first commenced in England, and how few there are who have stood to this day—“many are called, but few are chosen.”

Notwithstanding this sifting out of the unfaithful, the Lord has got a chosen people in these valleys of Utah, and He desires them to become self-sustaining, and fully able to control the trade and traffic of these mountains for their own profit and advancement. In view of this we wish our brethren to import their own merchandise, establish stores in their towns and cities, and trade with one another, and thus keep the wealth which we create among ourselves, making every effort in our power to bring about the redemption of Israel, and the great Work of our Father and God. This may be the means of destroying some through the deceitfulness of riches; but Jesus Christ will save all whom the Father hath put in his power to save, and great efforts will be made by the wicked one to destroy, if it were possible, the very elect; but as Jesus Christ hath said, “My sheep hear my voice, and will follow me, and a stranger they will not follow.”

All who profess to be Latter-day Saints will not be saved in the celestial world, for they cannot abide the celestial law, but all will attain to the glory which they can abide. Every righteous thing that we do in this mortality is a rudimental lesson in the celestial law of our God. Let us go to with our might, mind, and strength to abide the celestial law, as it shall be revealed to us from time to time, until we can abide its fulness, that we may ultimately be introduced into the presence of our heavenly Father to dwell with him for evermore. Whatever the Prophet and President of the Church tells us to do that we should do, for he is directed by the unerring Spirit of the Almighty to counsel this people. We are connected with him in the Lord, and we talk and pray together upon all subjects concerning the progress of this people; and it is for him to decide, and give the law to Israel; and all who do not abide it must suffer the consequence of their disobedience; and all those who obey it will obtain the blessings which are promised to faithfulness and obedience.

I desire to do right and to bring about that which is good. I have no other desire in my heart than to make all the acts of my life praise God. When I go into a ballroom I can there contemplate upon the things of God and praise Him in the dance. Virtue cleaveth to virtue, and light to light, and if we receive them they will have a place in us. I shall, the Lord being my helper, try to be a Saint and live my religion. I have come to this Conference with a determination to hear the word of God and be a Saint. We are blessed of the Lord now more than all the people upon the face of the earth, and we ought to be faithful to His commandments every moment of our lives, for we owe all we have and are to His beneficent bounty, and all should be devoted to His interest, or in other words, to our own interests by devoting all to the building up of His kingdom.

No man has a right to commit sin, nor to intrude upon the rights of his neighbor. It is our privilege to do right, to serve God and keep his commandments, and follow faithfully the counsels of President Brigham Young in all things. The world is mad at what they call the one-man power, but they need not find fault with the “Mormons” for this, when the same thing is so faithfully upheld almost everywhere. For instance, the General Government sends a Governor to the Territory of Utah; the Territorial legislature can make laws and this one man can veto every one of them, making them of none effect. Brigham Young will always exercise an influence over this people for good, and I am going to help him, and the Twelve Apostles will help him, and so will all the faithful Saints of God in all the world. We shall prosper, and God will bless all this people for the righteous’ sake that dwell among them, for there is just as good a people here as ever did live in any part of the earth, according to their blessings and privileges. God has his elect here, and he is gathering them from the four quarters of the earth; and like a net that is cast into the sea, he gathers good and bad, that out of the multitude which he brings over the sea in ships he may gather His chosen people.

Thirty years ago the whole Church was under condemnation because they had neglected the new and everlasting covenant, even the Book of Mormon and other revelations God had given to them, and they were driven by their enemies, for they were under condemnation at that early day of our history. How is it with us now? There are scores of this people who never look at those books. The Book of Mormon is the ensign which God has lifted up to the nations in the last days, and we are not justified when we in our feelings neglect or forsake it. I take much comfort in reading those books which the Lord has given us through Joseph Smith. The Book of Mormon was written by the Spirit and power of God; the man that will read it faithfully will be filled with light and with truth. We should hold everything in reverence that God has revealed in the latter-day and in former days; but that which is revealed for us more nearly concerns us.

This Church and kingdom will prevail; it is the kingdom of God, and he will bear it off, and there is no power on earth nor in hell can stay it in its progress from this time henceforth and forever. Amen.




Men Ought to Practice What They Teach—Necessity of Faithfulness on the Part of the Saints—the Young Ought to Live Their Religion—Blessings Received Through the Exercise of Faith

Remarks made by President Heber C. Kimball, at Centerville, Sunday, Feb. 19, 1865.

I desire most humbly to talk very simply to my brethren and sisters. It is as much my duty as it is the duty of any other member of this Church to learn how to be a Saint. I have got to learn how to be a truthful man, an honest man, an upright man, and I have got to make myself competent, through faithfulness to God and my brethren, to teach others with propriety. It is a common saying, “Do as I say but not as I do;” but I want to do just as I teach you to do without any deviation. There is not anything in my calling that will justify me in doing wrong. It would be nonsense for me to undertake to preach righteousness, virtue, truthfulness, and justice, and not be a righteous, virtuous, and just man myself. You hold a portion of that same holy Priest hood which I hold; it is no matter what office you hold in that Priesthood, and it has all emanated out of the holy Apostleship, making these different offices and callings branches of the Apostleship. We all have a Priesthood to honor, which it is impossible for us to do unless we honor ourselves; and all who hold the Priesthood and honor themselves, are worthy of honor; and it is impossible to honor the Priesthood in that man and not honor the vessel that holds it.

We can command the respect of all men as a people by making ourselves self-sustaining, by acquiring a knowledge of all kinds of mechanical business; and our sisters can make themselves honorable by learning to knit, weave, and spin; how to make a harness for a loom, and how to warp the yarn, after they have spun and colored it. Every young woman who calculates to be a wife and a mother, should make herself acquainted with these matters. Is there any female in our society too good to learn and work at this home industry? I think not. If there are any who consider themselves so, they are also too good to wear homemade clothing. The Priesthood is also with the woman, because she is connected with the man, and the man is connected with his God. Being so connected, we must all be honorable if we are good.

The earth is enlightened by the same light which enlightens our eyes, which is the light of Christ, which enlighteneth every son and daughter of Adam and Eve who cometh into the world, and it is the same light by which I see you this morning. And we have, in addition to this, a holy Priesthood, and have been commanded to go forth and preach the Gospel, and teach the ways of life to all men, and not to be taught by unbelievers. We are also instructed to lead all meetings as we are dictated by the Holy Ghost. The spirit of truth is the spirit of revelation, which we may all possess, for it is the privilege of all Latter-day Saints so to live and honor God as to receive of his attributes and nature in greater perfection, and become more like Him. We are the sons and daughters of God; we have proceeded from him through the laws of generation, the same as my children have proceeded from me. God is the great father of our race, and as a man is not perfect without the woman, neither is the woman without the man in the Lord; they depend upon each other, and are necessary to each other for the propagation of our species.

I enjoyed myself very much at your party last night. Such social gatherings are always good in their effects, so long as we keep within the purview of the religion of Jesus Christ in all such exercises. It is my privilege and duty to live so as to become a good man, as much so as any man in this Church and kingdom. Being an Apostle does not excuse me in the least from the performance of every duty which the religion of Jesus makes binding upon me; and, as far as I am concerned, I live as faithfully as possible, considering the failings of mortality which I have in common with all men. There is not a day passes over my head that I do not bow before the Lord once, twice, or thrice; that is the way I have got to live, in order to be a good man, and retain the light of the Holy Spirit to guide me into all truth; and the same faithfulness is required of you, because you are members of the same body and of the same Priesthood. We should all be alive in the performance of our duties. We cannot live the religion of Jesus and not pray. I have had an experience in this Church of some thirty-two years. I commenced to pray before I heard of the Work of the last days, and I have prayed every day from that day until the present time. I have never been in a circumstance or place wherein I could not pray, if I was disposed to do so. As faith without works is dead, being alone, so our religion is of no benefit to us without prayer. I cannot live and be prospered in the kingdom of God only by a faithful attendance to every duty. When Jesus Christ came to the world as the messenger of life and salvation, he called upon all the ends of the earth to come unto him and be saved, for besides him there is no Savior. He also said, I am the true vine and my Father is the husbandman, that is, he proceeded from the Father; and he further says to the twelve, “And ye are the branches;” and he exhorted them to abide in him even as he abideth in the Father. In doing this they partake of the same spirit. If we abide not in Him, we become like a limb that is dead and ready to be burned.

My being one of the First Presidency of the Church does not excuse me from living my religion; but I should, on that account, be more faithful, and show an example to the flock of Christ, and constantly be alive to know how things are progressing in the Church, and be dictated by the Holy Ghost in every act of my life, that I may have power to discern the spirits of men, and be able to give unto them the very counsel that my Father in heaven would give them if he were here himself. I endeavor to take this course, and when I give counsel, I do not run against Brother Brigham, because I am led by the same spirit. You call these things little things, but they are as big things as I know of; these things lie at the root of the matter, and from them spring the fruits of righteousness. The main roots of a tree are fed by the little fibers, and from them spring the trunk, and the branches, and the fruit. Let us cultivate those principles which lie at the root of all righteousness, that our professions and works may accord with each other, instead of being contented with a mere form of godliness, without power or foundation. This Church is founded upon eternal truth; its roots run into eternity, and all the power of the devil and wicked men may seek its overthrow in vain, for it will triumph over death, hell, and the grave. I know this. I know it by revelation—by the Spirit of God, for in this way my Heavenly Father communes with me, and maketh known unto me his mind and will. I have never seen him in person, but when I see my brethren I see his image, and I discover the attributes of God in them. Then let us honor our bodies and spirits, which are made in the likeness of him who has created all things and upholds them by his power.

I have never seen a time since I entered this Church when there was greater necessity for this people living faithfully than now. It is a very prosperous time, and we are gaining property fast; and many, I fear, are losing sight of everything else but the riches of this world; and, were you to warn them of it, they are so blinded by the deceitfulness of riches, that they would not believe a word you say. The more people stray away from God the harder it is to make them sensible of their danger; and the more light that men and women possess, the easier it is to correct them when they go astray; because they are more like the clay that is in the hands of the potter, and they can be molded and fashioned according to the will and pleasure of the master potter. We have got to walk very faithfully before our Father in heaven, and strive with all our might to honor the covenants we have made with him in his house.

I do not say but that you are just as good men and women in this place as in any other place in the mountains; yea, I admit that the people are better in the country towns than in Great Salt Lake City, for the froth and scum of hell seem to concentrate there, and those who live in the City have to come in contact with it; and with persons who mingle with robbers, and liars, and thieves, and with whores and whoremasters, etc. Such wicked men will also introduce themselves into Davis County, and among all the settlements throughout these mountains; but where the people are truly righteous and just, wicked men can do them no harm; were the people all righteous who profess to be Latter-day Saints, they would constantly be on their watch against the encroachment of a wicked power. The wicked and corrupt who have settled in our community are taking a course to lead away those who are willing to be led away from the truth—those who have turned away from God; and it will be for our good, as a community, if such persons will leave and never again return to our Territory, unless they can do so with a determination to serve God and keep his commandments. I love those who love God; they are more precious to me than gold, and silver, or possessions.

Do we live our religion as faithfully as we might? Are we not in the habit of telling lies now and then? Oh, yes, we tell occasionally a white lie, or a little catnip lie, once in a while. We should be perfectly truthful and honest in all our sayings and dealings with all men, especially with those who serve the same God that we do, and are in the bonds of the same religion. How to do this is one of the great mysteries of the kingdom of heaven. By telling these little fibs we lose the spirit of the Lord and get into darkness, then the simplest truth becomes a mystery to us; but when our minds are enlightened by the spirit of truth, everything is plain and clear to the understanding. People get an idea that there is no sin in little lies, or catnip lies. You read in the Book of Mormon, where it is said that the devil goeth about deceiving the children of men, and tells them to lie a little, and steal a little, and take the advantage of your neighbor a little, and speak against thy neighbors a little, and do wrong a little here and a little there, and thus he leadeth them with silken cords, as it were, down to destruction. It is just as much a crime to steal a penny or a cent as it is to steal a quarter of a dollar—the quarter of a dollar is more in value than the cent, but what difference is there in the crime? These little things we are apt to pass over unnoticed, but they will operate materially against your obtaining that glory which you design to inherit in the next existence. If little wrongs are not checked, they will lead on to greater ones, until we are cheated out of our salvation. By checking these little wrongs, as they are called, we become more grounded and rooted in the faith of Christ, as a tree is rooted and grounded in the earth.

We ought not to take a course to injure each other. A man holding the Priesthood of the Son of God, a High Priest for instance, will try to destroy the influence of a better man, causing him to walk in sorrow, that he, the High Priest, may step over him and get to some particular distinction; but as the Lord lives, and as the sun shines, such men will be deceived in their designs, and will receive in full the measure they have tried to measure out to others. In our deal with each other, it is better to give a man a dollar than to take a cent from him; by wronging a man of a dollar or a few cents, you may thereby cause a division between yourself and one of your best friends. What for? For a poor, miserable dollar. I have been, and am now, subject to many weaknesses that I would guard you against, but I am trying to fortify myself and overcome every evil that is in me.

I will relate a little incident in my own experience to illustrate the selfishness of the human heart, and how by perseverance it can be overcome. I have lately been at work putting down some carpets in the endowment rooms. I had a piece of good carpet myself, and a spirit came upon me which whispered, “Brother Heber, you may just as well put that carpet into the endowment house as let it lie on one of your floors.” Before I got it out of doors to move it to the endowment house, my generous feeling puckered up and a thought came to me, that the Church was fully able to carpet its own rooms. I took the carpet and put it away again. In a day or two afterwards a thought came to me like this, “Heber, you had better take that carpet and use it in the Lord’s house, for before the spring it may be eat up with moths.” I looked at the carpet again, after bringing it from its hiding place, and said to myself, “That is really a pretty carpet; it is almost too good to put down in that house,” and I put it away again. The thought came to me again, “You had better put it in the endowment house and beautify the Lord’s house with it, for the Lord may notice it, and he will, no doubt, see you dressing up and adorning his house.” I seized the carpet again and dragged it out of doors at once, and placed myself between it and the door, saying to the carpet, “You do not go back again into that room any more.” I presume that nearly all of you have had just such feelings and just such fightings against the power of evil in yourselves, and against carrying into effect your good and generous intentions.

The other day my wife was sick; she came to me and requested me to pray to the Lord that she might be healed. The matter passed from my mind. The day following this I remarked to her that I had not seen her looking so well for some time previous. She replied, “I am perfectly sound.” I had forgotten about her request that I should pray for her, and had not done so; but she was healed through her honesty, faith, and integrity towards the holy Priesthood. She reverenced and honored it; the Holy Spirit saw it, and the angels of God saw it, and she was healed by the power of God, without the laying on of hands. It was with that circumstance as it was anciently. “The centurion answered and said, Lord, I am not worthy that thou shouldst come under my roof: but speak the word only, and my servant shall be healed.”

We who hold the Priesthood do not honor each other as we ought in our intercourse with each other; if we do not honor each other, how can we expect to be honored by God and by his Holy Spirit, who seeth us and is cognizant of all we do. We must try to overcome all unpleasant and unkind language towards each other, and strive to have our intercourse such as angels will applaud. It is written, “Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.” Some people do not believe that there are any devils. There are thousands of evil spirits that are just as ugly as evil can make them. The wicked die, and their spirits remain not far from where their tabernacles are. When I was in England, twenty-eight years ago next June, I saw more devils than there are persons here today; they came upon me with an intention to destroy me; they are the spirits of wicked men who, while in the flesh, were opposed to God and his purposes. I saw them with what we call the spiritual eyes, but what is in reality the natural eye. The atmosphere of many parts of these mountains is doubtless the abode of the spirits of Gadianton robbers, whose spirits are as wicked as hell, and who would kill Jesus Christ and every Apostle and righteous person that ever lived if they had the power. It is by the influence of such wicked spirits that men and women are all the time tempted to tell little lies, to steal a little, to take advantage of their neighbor a little, and they tell us there is no harm in it. It is by the influence and power of evil spirits that the minds of men are prejudiced against each other, until they are led to do each other an injury, and sometimes to kill each other.

We are the sons and daughters of God if we are faithful and honor our calling, and he has respect unto one as much as unto another. In a revelation given to Joseph Smith, it is written, “And again I say unto you, let every man esteem his brother as himself. For what man among you having twelve sons, and is no respecter of them, and they serve him obediently, and he saith unto the one: Be thou clothed in robes and sit thou here; and to the other: Be thou clothed in rags and sit thou there—and looketh upon his sons and saith I am just?” In this way the Lord looks upon this people, and I feel to say, God bless this people with all the power I have got, and with all the good feeling, and with all the Priesthood of the Son of God I bless you in the name of Jesus Christ, and I pray for you and for all this people. Oh, how I desire for us all to be one; for if we are not one, we must see sorrow. Brother Brigham says, If we live our religion and keep the commandments of God, we shall never be moved. That is true. If we are ever disturbed again by our enemies, it will be because we are unfaithful. The first Presidency of this Church and others may be just as righteous and holy as our Father in heaven, and yet a portion of this people can, by their wrongdoing, bring sorrow and suffering upon us. The first Presidency, and thousands of others in this Church, are not guilty of crime; we have done right all the time, and we have to suffer for those who are punished for their sins. When one or two among a family are wayward and break the laws of the land, see what sorrow, and tears, and disgrace it brings upon the whole family. It is just so with us. But oh! my desires are for you to do right, and honor your calling, and work faithfully under the dictation of President Young and others who are co-workers with him in the great Work of the last days.

I feel that I would be willing to work day and night to do my brethren and sisters good. I want the rising generation to come forth and secure their blessings in the house of the Lord, that they may be saved from the evil into which they might otherwise fall. If our sons could fully and clearly see the propriety of living their religion, they would from this day cease to mingle with wicked persons; and our daughters, too, if they understood the consequences, would never be found giving themselves in marriage to wicked men. As parents and teachers, we should try with all of our ability to impress upon the minds of our young people, by precept and example, principles of truth, that they may not remain uncontrolled and exposed to all the allurements of sin. We should tie them to us by the saving principles of the Gospel. I want to see this people established in peace, and in a way that they can sway the scepter of King Emmanuel over the whole earth before I lay my body down to sleep a short time in the grave.

Let us remember that the liberal man deviseth liberal things, and by his liberality he shall live. I can tell you a hundred instances where I have been poor and penniless, and did not know what course to take, and the evil one would tempt me and seek to make me bow down in sorrow, but I would rise up in the name of the Lord, shake off my cares, exclaiming, I know that my Father in heaven lives and has respect for me; then I have been blessed, and my way has been opened before me. “Seek and you shall find; knock and it shall be opened unto you. Draw near to God, and he will draw nigh unto you.” Oh! what a great comfort it is to know that you live in the favor of your Father in heaven. If I am faithful, I know it is not in the power of any man upon earth to throw an obstruction between me and Him.

Truth has sprung from the earth, and righteousness has looked down from heaven, and they have met and have kissed each other—they are one. It should be just so with those who possess the holy Priesthood of the Son of God; it never will lead one man to contend against another, and the angels of God never will cause any person to contend about any of the follies of this world, for all the glory of this world is perfectly worthless without God. The life of man is but a few days, and these few days well spent will be spent to secure a place in the haven of eternal rest. Seeing that we have only a few days allotted us to secure so great a blessing, why can we not be faithful every day and every hour of our lives; and why do we yield the point to wicked influences and spend our precious moments in that which yieldeth no profit?

We shall soon pass away and return again with renewed and immortal bodies that will not be subject to sickness and death; then shall we have plenty of time and opportunity to adorn the earth and make it glorious, as we should be doing now, in order to gain an experience by which we may be profited hereafter. We came here into this world to gain an experience and to serve God and keep his commandments. May peace be with you, and comfort and consolation be multiplied upon you and all the Saints in these valleys and in all the world. I do not fear the wicked, they can do nothing against the truth; let us be troubled about doing right ourselves, and I am willing to risk all the rest. Amen.




The Young Missionaries—Increasing Unbelief of the People of the World—Teachings of Jesus and His Disciples, Etc.

Discourse by President Heber C. Kimball, delivered in the Bowery, Great Salt Lake City, July 19, 1863.

I have no doubt that the people in general suppose it is a very easy thing for me to arise and speak to them, but I realize my weakness as well as other men, and probably I feel as diffident as most other men. When I first went forth to preach to the world I suffered a great deal in my feelings, probably as much as any man that ever attempted to preach. When I reflected upon my own inexperience I felt like a child, and I do today. For this reason I think much about those young men who have gone forth to preach the Gospel of Jesus Christ. They will feel the need of being assisted by the Almighty when they are traveling through the European countries. Part of them are under twenty years of age, and they will realize their dependence upon God more than ever they have done before. I was over thirty years old when I commenced preaching the Gospel, but they are all young and well adapted for learning, hence they have many advantages. In those early times we did not know one hundredth part of the principles of the Gospel that we now know; in fact, there was but very little revealed, and we had not learned to understand the Scriptures except to a very limited extent. We had a little understanding of what was already revealed and written in the revelations given through Joseph the Prophet. I look over these things when I am thinking of those boys, and that is not all, I pray for them continually. I never bow before God without asking him in the name of his Son to remember those young men, and I know he will bless them with the power of his Spirit to guide them in the way of life. They do not know scarcely at present whether they understand much about the principles of the Gospel or not, and they will not really know until they have had some experience more than they had here at home. They are brought into a position where they will feel the necessity of calling upon God, and when they get home again they will find that they have had quite an experience, such an experience, too, as will be of lasting benefit to them. I used to think that anybody knew as much as I did, for I had very little confidence in myself, but I had confidence in God or I could not have preached at all. They will have just such feelings, and if they have any confidence at all it will be in God. Well, this is the case with most of us, and it is right; our confidence should be in him and not in ourselves, for without his assistance we are nothing and can do nothing towards the salvation of the human family. To be sure, the world are as ignorant as we were in relation to the Gospel of Christ, but we are the chosen of the Lord and he will support us in all our under takings in righteousness. In those early times we were made to realize the truth of the Scriptures which Paul addressed to the Corinthians—

“For ye see your calling, brethren, how that not many wise men after the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble are called: But God hath chosen the foolish things of the world to confound the wise; and God hath chosen the weak things of the world to confound the things which are mighty; And base things of the world, and things which are despised, hath God chosen, yea, and things which are not, to bring to nought things that are: That no flesh should glory in his presence.”—1 Corinthians, i chap., 26-29 verses.

The world are in the same or a more ignorant condition than we were before the Gospel found us. We live in a very peculiar time; it is a day of warning and not of many words. The Elders now have to labor a great deal harder to bring people into the Church than they did in the first rise of it. There is not now one man brought to the knowledge of the truth by receiving the Gospel to where there was a hundred thirty years ago. It seems as though the people are blinder now than they were thirty years ago, and ignorance prevails to a greater extent than it did at that time. Jesus says, “Come unto me, all ye that labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest to your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.”—Matt. xi., 28-30.

Now, brethren and sisters, reflect upon these things, and remember that those who have embraced the Gospel and do not make it their study to promote the interests of the kingdom of God, neglect their duty to that kingdom of which they are sub jects. It is the duty of every one to labor day by day to promote each other’s happiness, and also to study the well-being of mankind. When we take a course opposite to this, we become uneasy, unhappy and discontented; we are not satisfied with anything that is around us; our food, our raiment, our habitations, and all that we possess becomes an annoyance to us; now what is the cause of this? It certainly does not originate with the Spirit of God, for that will never render anyone unhappy. You all understand, when you are in the right, that it is the spirit of the world, or that spirit which controls the world, which causes people to feel in this way; and unless they drive it far from them it will lead them down to sorrow, misery, and death. It is a spirit that inclines to kill and destroy, and that inclines the wicked to waste away everything there is upon the earth. The Saints should be particularly careful to avoid the influence of this spirit of destruction, for it is not of God, and we can all see now it leads mankind to destroy each other.

Jesus says, “Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.” It is very easy to understand that a man can see very little of a kingdom unless he goes into it, and a man to see and understand the kingdom of God must first become a member of the Church of Christ, and then he progresses until he has an opportunity of looking into the kingdom, of becoming acquainted with its officers and laws, and hence it is that Jesus says, “Verily, verily, I say unto thee, except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God.” When the kingdom of God is organized upon the earth, it is done to protect the Church of Christ in its rights and privileges, so that you see the Church makes a government to protect itself, but who knows what that government is? All those to whom it has been revealed, and no others. Let the Saints reflect upon these matters which I am laying before them. Think of your holy endowments and what you have been anointed to become, and reflect upon the blessings which have been placed upon you, for they are the same in part that were placed upon Jesus; he was the one that inducted his Apostles into these ordinances; it was he who set up the kingdom of which we are subjects. This is the kingdom of which all the Prophets spake, and to which Daniel alluded when he said, “And in the days of these kings shall the God of heaven set up a kingdom, which shall never be destroyed: and the kingdom shall not be left to other people, but it shall break in pieces and consume all these kingdoms, and it shall stand forever.” It is a blessing to have the privilege of entering into the kingdom of God and partaking of the privileges and blessings that are bestowed upon its members.

The testimony has gone forth that whosoever will repent and be baptized for the remission of sins shall receive the Holy Ghost. This is the only way whereby mankind can be saved. Still mankind will devise systems of their own, in preference to walking in the way which God has marked out: and it appears that every man has his own way and wishes to walk in the path which he himself marks out, and it is a good deal with mankind as the writer of the Proverbs describes it, “There is a way which seemeth right unto man, but the end thereof are the ways of death.”

When people embrace the Gospel they are then called upon to do all things which Jesus has commanded them, to live by the instructions of the Apostles and Elders of the Church. If they have been guilty of stealing, they must steal no more; for if they are found guilty they will be cast out as the law of God prescribes. They must not bear false witness, nor do anything that is forbidden in the ten commandments, which you know we were all taught to reverence when we went to the Sunday school in our childhood. Is that all that is required of us? No, those ten commandments do not constitute one hundredth part of the commandments that God gave to Adam in the beginning. Just let us look at these commandments, and then compare them with some of those given in our own day. In the 20th chap. of Exodus we find the Lord introducing the subject by reassuring the Israelites that he was the Lord their God; who had brought them out of the land of Egypt and out of the house of bondage, and then he proceeds to speak and to command them what to do and what not to do; and in these commandments, which I will read to you, the Almighty shows that he is very jealous of his honor, and that he requires the undivided service and worship of his people. It will not do us any harm to look over those commandments, but it may do some of us a great deal of good, and, therefore, I will call your attention to them. We find them written in the following language—

“Thou shalt have no other gods before me.

“Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image, or any likeness of anything that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth:

“Thou shalt not bow down thyself to them, nor serve them: for I the Lord thy God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth generation of them that hate me;

“And shewing mercy unto thousands of them that love me, and keep my commandments.

“Thou shalt not take the name of the Lord thy God in vain; for the Lord will not hold him guiltless that taketh his name in vain.

“Remember the sabbath day, to keep it holy.

“Six days shalt thou labor, and do all thy work:

“But the seventh day is the sabbath of the Lord thy God: in it thou shalt not do any work, thou, nor thy son, nor thy daughter, thy manservant, nor thy maidservant, nor thy cattle, nor thy stranger that is within thy gates:

“For in six days the Lord made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that in them is, and rested the seventh day: wherefore the Lord blessed the sabbath day, and hallowed it.

“Honor thy father and thy mother: that thy days may be long upon the land which the Lord thy God giveth thee.

“Thou shalt not kill.

“Thou shalt not commit adultery.

“Thou shalt not steal.

“Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbor.

“Thou shalt not covet thy neighbor’s house, thou shalt not covet thy neighbor’s wife, nor his manservant, nor his maidservant, nor his ox, nor his ass, nor anything that is thy neighbor’s.”—Exodus, 20 chap., 3-17.

These items contained in the above commandments are things that we ought all to consider and have a more lively interest in. We should read them occasionally, as well as other parts of the word of God, and we should endeavor to cultivate that which we see to be good.

We have the Priesthood of the living God in our midst, that Priesthood which is after the order of Mel chizedek; it is the authority which God instituted in the beginning, and there is no salvation nor exaltation without it. If the present generation wish an exaltation in the kingdom of God, and desire the benefits and blessings of the Priesthood of the Most High, they must bow in obedience to the mandates of Heaven. Through this Priesthood the law of God has been revealed to man in this generation, to let mankind know that he still lives, and that he still has a care for his children and watches over them with paternal affection. Among the revelations which we find in the Book of Doctrine and Covenants there is one which was given in Feb., 1831, in which is contained the general outlines of the law which is to govern the Latter-day Saints. You may read the whole of that revelation when you have time; I will only call your attention now to the 6th and 7th paragraphs, which read as follows—

“And now, behold, I speak unto the church. Thou shalt not kill; and he that kills shall not have forgiveness in this world, nor in the world to come.

“And again, I say, thou shalt not kill; but he that killeth shall die. Thou shalt not steal; and he that stealeth and will not repent shall be cast out. Thou shalt not lie; he that lieth and will not repent shall be cast out. Thou shalt love thy wife with all thy heart, and shall cleave unto her and none else. And he that looketh upon a woman to lust after her shall deny the faith, and shall not have the Spirit; and if he repents not he shall be cast out. Thou shalt not commit adultery; and he that committeth adultery, and repenteth not, shall be cast out. But he that has committed adultery and repents with all his heart, and forsaketh it, and doeth it no more, thou shalt forgive; But if he doeth it again, he shall not be forgiven, but shall be cast out. Thou shalt not speak evil of thy neighbor, nor do him any harm. Thou knowest my laws concerning these things are given in my scriptures; he that sinneth and repenteth not shall be cast out.”

Thus you see that the Lord was very particular in giving commandments through Joseph Smith at the commencement of this Church, and these commandments apply to all who embrace the Gospel, and without obedience to these, in connection with the rest of the revelations and commandments that have been given to this Church, there is no promise of salvation in the celestial kingdom. It is true there are many moralists and men who in many respects are very good, who do not embrace the Gospel; all such will be rewarded according to their works. If their works are good, good will be restored unto them; and if their works are evil they will be punished for their sins. And remember, the Lord says that those who lie shall be cast out of the Church, and this applies to every man and woman, and they can read it for themselves in the Book of Covenants. We are also commanded there not to speak evil of our neighbors, for if we do and do not immediately repent, the penalty is that we shall be cast out of the Church. Now, how important it is that we should observe these commandments and do them, especially as the Bible says, “For whosoever shall keep the whole law, and yet offend in one point, he is guilty of all.”—James 2, 10. You know if a man lies he offends in that particular and breaks one of the commandments, and he that said, Thou shalt not bear false witness, said also, Thou shalt not kill, therefore, by breaking one part of the law of God a man becomes a transgressor, and the law given to us in our day says that all such shall be cast out of the Church if they do not repent.

Now I touch upon these little things, knowing that if you do not hear and obey these, you will not pay any attention to the greater things. If I disregard any of the little things that pertain to my duty, I am guilty in the sight of God, and it is just so in regard to the law of the land. It is precisely so here with our laws in Utah; they are good, and well adapted to our circumstances and condition; but yet there are some persons who are not willing to observe them.

I feel that I am a weak, frail mortal; I realize that we are all frail beings, but those that suppose we cannot observe the laws to which I have referred, are mistaken. I know that I can refrain from evil, and I also know that any other person can who tries. It is quite a common thing with the world to commit sins, and then to argue that they cannot do any better, but this is a misunderstanding; any person who tries can refrain from evil.

What effect does this gospel produce among the inhabitants of the earth? Does it unite them together in one, and make them all of one heart and one mind? No, but it would produce this effect if the people would receive it, and universally adopt it as their rule of action, instead of which a great majority of mankind reject it, and hence it produces the effect which Jesus said his mission would. He remarked: “Think not that I am come to send peace on earth: I came not to send peace, but a sword. For I am come to set a man at variance against his father, and the daughter against her mother, and the daughter in law against her mother in law. And a man’s foes shall be they of his own household.”—Matt. 10:34-36. This has truly been one of the results of the preaching of the gospel. The Elders have converted one here and another there; they have fulfilled the scripture which says: “I will take two of a family, and one of a city, and bring them to Zion.”

We now see a similar condition of things politically, to what has long existed religiously. Our own country is now suffering in consequence of this spirit of opposition, and it is causing many hearts to mourn because of losing their friends, and when the trouble will be at an end, is not for me to say. Now the Presbyterians of the North are preaching and praying against their Presbyterian brethren in the South; and this is precisely the condition of the Baptists, Methodists, Quakers and Shakers, and I am really sorry that such is the case. There are many honorable and peaceable citizens who are moving West in consequence of the lamentable state of our once happy and peaceful country.

When I think of these things I always reflect upon the travels of this Church; I call to mind our trials and privations in leaving Kirtland, Ohio. I call to mind our blessings and our troubles in the State of Missouri; I think of what we passed through and endured in the State of Illinois, and I shall not soon forget our wearisome and toilsome journey from Nauvoo to Winter Quarters, and then from the Frontiers of Iowa to these peaceful valleys. I rejoice many times in my reflections when I consider the goodness of the Almighty unto us, in bringing us to this goodly land. Here we can enjoy ourselves in the liberty of the gospel; we can make ourselves comfortable, and surround ourselves with the comforts and blessings of this life. In this respect we are privileged and blessed above many of our fellow creatures, and our blessings ought to cause us to look with compassion upon, and have charity for those who sit in darkness and the shadow of death. It is our duty to consider what we were before we heard the gospel; we were quite as ignorant of God, Angels and heaven as the children of disobedience now are, but through the medium of Joseph Smith we were brought to an understanding of the principles of eternal life, and many of us have since been to the nations to teach them repentance and baptism for the remission of sins. Jesus set the example, and although he was without sin he submitted to the ordinance that he might fulfil all righteousness. John objected to perform the ordinance, but after Jesus had informed him it was requisite that he should honor the law of heaven, John then consented to officiate. As a proof that that was acceptable, the heavens were opened, and a voice heard to say—“This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.”

Now this conduct of our Savior was an example to all mankind, and every person who desires salvation must pass through this ordeal. By being baptized and keeping all the commandments, we become the beloved sons and daughters of God, the Holy Ghost descends upon us, and we are continually enlightened by its benign influences. After becoming members of this Church it becomes our duty to set a good example before all men, to pursue a course that will be acceptable in the sight of God and worthy of imitation, and let me encourage everyone to be faithful to their covenants, and live pure and holy lives before God.

The members of this Church are all blessed with the privilege we enjoy this day, of partaking of the emblems of the broken body and shed blood of Jesus Christ. When Christ instituted this supper he enjoined its continuance upon his disciples, and we have been instructed to observe it in this generation. Jesus remarked at his last supper: “With desire I have desired to eat this passover with you before I suffer: For I say unto you, I will not any more eat thereof, until it be fulfilled in the kingdom of God. And he took the cup, and gave thanks, and said, Take this, and divide it among yourselves: For I say unto you, I will not drink of the fruit of the vine, until the kingdom of God shall come. And he took bread, and gave thanks, and break it, and gave unto them, saying, This is my body which is given for you: this do in remembrance of me. Likewise also the cup after supper, saying, This cup is the new testament in my blood, which is shed for you.”—Luke 22. 15, 20.

To some it may be a curiosity that we partake of water instead of wine. [President B. Young: Tell them that the Lord told Joseph that he would accept of water]. Yes, the Lord has warned us against taking impure wine, and in a revelation given to Joseph Smith as early as September, 1830, he revealed his will on this subject in the following language—“Listen to the voice of Jesus Christ, your Lord, your God, and your Redeemer, whose word is quick and powerful. For, behold, I say unto you, that it mattereth not what ye shall eat or what ye shall drink when ye partake of the sacrament, if it so be that ye do it with an eye single to my glory—remembering unto the Father my body which was laid down for you, and my blood which was shed for the remission of your sins. Wherefore, a commandment I give unto you, that you shall not purchase wine neither strong drink of your enemies; Wherefore, you shall partake of none except it is made new among you; yea, in this my Father’s kingdom which shall be built up on the earth. Behold, this is wisdom in me; wherefore, marvel not, for the hour cometh that I will drink of the fruit of the vine with you on the earth.”—Doc. Cov., Sec. L., Par. 1 & 2. This is what we are doing this afternoon, and, brethren and sisters, let us be faithful and remember in partaking of this ordinance, we renew our covenants, and we have a promise that we shall receive a renewal of the Holy Spirit, to enable us to be humble and to perform the duties that are enjoined upon us as Saints.

Whatever transpires, if we are faithful in this kingdom, will all tend to the happiness, pleasure, and exaltation of this people. We ought to be the happiest people on the face of the earth, for we are blessed with a knowledge of the gospel, with an understanding of the ordinances which pertain to eternal life, and we are blessed with peace while our neighbors are afflicted with a desolating war.

Brethren and sisters, I exhort you above all things to hold fast to your integrity, seek for righteousness and cleave unto it, and if you see anything that is contrary to these holy principles among this people, you may know that it is not good. There is no person in this Church who can increase in the knowledge of God, in the spirit of revelation, in the gift of prophecy, in visions or in dreams, unless they cleave unto God with full purpose of heart, but by being faithful these gifts will be multiplied unto the Saints.

Now when I went to England the first time I did not say anything about the gathering. About ten days after I had baptized brother George D. Watt, he came to me, his face shining like that of an angel, and, said he, just as sure as the Lord lives the Saints will gather to America. I told him to prophesy on, for I knew it was of God. I name this circumstance to show that the Spirit makes manifest to individuals many things of which they have never before heard. Now what is there to prevent the Latter-day Saints enjoying those gifts and graces of the gospel which they used to enjoy when they first joined the Church? What can prevent us from obtaining a knowledge of things past and things to come? There is nothing to prevent even our little boys and little girls having these gifts and blessings, except it be a slackness on our part in our duties towards God. I know there is a slackness with many of this people; there is a spirit of division, of contention and strife creeping in among the Latter-day Saints, but still I am happy to know that with the majority there is a great improvement. I know also that those brethren that are engaged in assisting to gather the poor, their blessings will be great indeed; they will have a reward in the present and in the future. On the other hand it is a matter of regret that there are others who do not feel interested enough to make up their butter and carry a tenth of it into the Tithing Office. Some of them think it is too small a matter, others are indifferent and don’t care anything about it, and thus a great many of the people neglect their tithes, and do not put them into the Lord’s storehouse; hence the poor, the laborer upon the public works, and the families of our missionaries lack many of the comforts of life, which the people who are laboring exclusively for themselves constantly enjoy. I presume you all remember what Christ said in regard to the poor widow who gave her small donation at the treasury of the synagogue, but lest some of you should have forgotten it, I will remind you of it: “And Jesus sat over against the treasury, and beheld how the people cast money into the treasury: and many that were rich cast in much. And there came a certain poor widow, and she threw in two mites, which make a farthing. And he called unto him his disciples, and saith unto them, Verily I say unto you, That this poor widow hath cast more in, than all they which have cast into the treasury: For all they did cast in of their abundance; but she of her want did cast in all that she had, even all her living.”—Mark 12. 41, 44.

Let me now say to the Latter-day Saints, if you will cast in your tithes and your offerings you will be blessed with greater abundance; the Lord will open the windows of heaven and bestow upon you a greater blessing. It will be with you as the Lord spoke through Malachi to the Israel of his day; after rebuking them the Lord promised them a great blessing. “Will a man rob God? Yet ye have robbed me. But ye say, Wherein have we robbed thee? In tithes and offerings. Ye are cursed with a curse: for ye have robbed me, even this whole nation. Bring ye all the tithes into the storehouse, that there may be meat in mine house, and prove me now herewith, saith the Lord of hosts, if I will not open you the windows of heaven, and pour you out a blessing, that there shall not be room enough to receive it. And I will rebuke the devourer for your sakes, and he shall not destroy the fruits of your ground; neither shall your vine cast her fruit before the time in the field, saith the Lord of hosts. And all nations shall call you blessed: for ye shall be a delightsome land, saith the Lord of hosts.—Malachi 3. 8, 12.

This will be our blessing if we are faithful; then let us awake to righteousness and we shall be abundantly blest. Let us all volunteer to help President Young in every endeavor that he makes to push forward this great work, and then we shall never again want for bread, for the Lord will shed forth rain upon the earth to water our crops, and we shall raise all the bread we need, and have some to spare for our friends. I have seen the time when our brethren have had to eat beef-hides, wolves, dogs and skunks. You may smile, but I can tell you that it was no laughing matter at that time, for there were many who could not get even dogs to eat. Many of the brethren in those trying times were clothed in skins of wild animals. I felt impressed to prophesy to them, and I said, “Never mind, boys, in less than one year there will be plenty of clothes and everything that we shall want sold at less than St. Louis prices;” and I thought when I came to reflect upon it that it was a very improbable thing, and brother Rich told me that he thought I had done up the job at prophesying that time, but the sequel showed the prediction to be of the Lord. In less than six months, the emigration to California came through here laden down with good clothing, bacon, flour, groceries, and everything we wanted. The opening of the gold mines had caused them to rush for the scene of excitement; they came with their trunks full of the best of clothing, and they opened them and turned out a great deal of the clothing, and the brethren and sisters bought good coats, vests, shawls, and dresses at a mere nominal price, and in this way the Lord supplied our wants, and he will do so again if the circumstances ever require it. This is the God that I believe in, and in him I put my trust. I know also that he will fight our battles from this time henceforth if we will only do right. He will turn our enemies aside and cause all things to work together for our good. Therefore, let us trust in him, and he will send his angels to watch over us, and he will preserve us as in the hollow of his hand.

May the Lord multiply his blessings upon you, brethren and sisters, and upon all the faithful ministers and Saints throughout the world, and may He bless all those who do good, who love righteousness and desire the welfare and building up of Zion; I ask this in the name of Jesus Christ. Amen.




Advancement of the Saints—Unity of the Temporal and Spiritual Interests of the People—Faith and Works Inseparably Connected, Etc.

Discourse by President Heber C. Kimball, delivered in Provo City, June 27, 1863.

I discover that we shall have to speak very loud in this Bowery in order to make this large congregation hear. I perceived this when I came into the meeting; at the further end I could scarcely hear the singing.

This is quite a large congregation, and I am happy to see it. It is very gratifying to see the inhabitants of this county come together to a Conference, and I suppose it is pleasing to you; it gives you a good opportunity of seeing each other and renewing your acquaintance. I think I am safe in saying that this is the largest gathering there has been in Provo since our move south in 1858. Here is an audience of from four to five thousand Latter-day Saints, come together for the purpose of being instructed in the principles of eternal life, and I sincerely hope you are all of one heart and one mind to do good and build up the kingdom of God.

I do not feel very well in body this morning; probably this is because of traveling yesterday. I left home at half-past ten o’clock in the morning and came through in good season last evening. I got a good place to rest over night, but as the people here appear to be very diligent, more so than those in Salt Lake City, I had to get up at six this morning to get my breakfast. I feel well in spirit but feeble in body. I feel very anxious in relation to the welfare of this people, not only in Provo but throughout these mountains, yes, I feel interested in every man, woman, and child that belongs to this Church. I wish to see them prosper in all that is good and holy.

During the short time that I may address you, I wish you to be as still as possible; do not let your minds and eyes go out after the vain things of this world, but concentrate them upon the things of God; be still, calm, composed and full of faith, prayer, and good desires, then, if such a spirit prevails, I am perfectly satisfied that before this Conference closes you will feel yourselves very much blessed of the Lord. I will also remark that I am sensible that no man can speak to a congregation of people upon any subject, only according to the intelligence that is in the people. There are quite a number of this congregation who knew Joseph Smith the Prophet, and he used to say in Nauvoo that when he came before the people he felt as though he were enclosed in an iron case, his mind was closed by the influences that were thrown around him; he was curtailed in his wishes and desires to do good; there was no room for him to expand, hence he could not make use of the revelations of God as he would have done; there was no room in the hearts of the people to receive the glorious truths of the Gospel that God revealed to him. I refer to these things to show that this feeling has been experienced by others as well as myself, and if as great and good a man as the Prophet Joseph felt like this, no wonder that I should be effected and be wrought upon by surrounding influences. But, notwithstanding all this, I rejoice in the blessings of peace and truth that flow through obedience to the Gospel to every honest soul.

When I look back to the days of Joseph and then compare the people now to what they were in those early times, I discover that we have made a very great advancement, and I rejoice in it. We all can see this and are willing to admit of it, but does this tell the whole of the story? No; I say that if we look at the opportunities the Saints have had since the days of Joseph, the long season of peace and freedom from mobs, we are compelled to say that the Latter-day Saints have not advanced more than half as rapidly as they might have done.

Perhaps you will not agree with me in what I am now going to state, but be this as it may, I am satisfied that it is true. This people will never improve in their minds or advance in spiritual intelligence until they improve and advance their temporal interests. Public and individual improvements always advance and help forward the intellectual. Now, property here in Provo is not worth any more today than it was ten years ago; the reason of this is, that everything is at a stand, very few improvements are being made; there is no spirit of enterprise except of a private character. I speak particularly of Provo at this time, because of our being here and because it was the second settlement made in these valleys. This city and Ogden were the next places established after Great Salt Lake City, and you may now look around you and see if the improvements made are, and have been, according to the facilities afforded. Are your habitations, your gardens, your fields and vineyards in that state of cultivation that you have had the opportunity and power of putting them?

In conversing with a man last night upon the subject of property in this city, and its present value, he wanted to know what I considered such a field worth, pointing to a certain place nearby. I replied that it ought to be worth about a thousand dollars, but of course it is not worth that amount now, because there is no improvement about it or in the neighborhood. Now, I can tell you all candidly that unless you advance in these temporal improvements you never will increase in spiritual knowledge; the one cannot thrive without the other. You may think it strange that you cannot enjoy religion and the Spirit of God in a little, miserable log cabin, but you must remember that the temporal and spiritual go hand in hand, they are inseparably connected, and you may rest assured that the one cannot advance far along the path of progression without the other. This has been one of my principles ever since I came to a knowledge of the truth.

Public improvements always have a tendency to make a town or a city flourish. To the people of Provo I will say, in the first place build, or rather complete your meetinghouse, and then go forward with such other public improvements as will rouse up your spirits, elevate your minds to action and make you energetic in the Work of God, and the blessings of the Almighty will rest upon you and you will increase in the knowledge of the principles of eternal life. This I know by experience and by practice.

Some may ask why I talk so much about these temporal matters. I do this because I feel it to be my duty to do it, and not particularly on account of any desire that I have to speak of them. Our immediate and daily connection with temporal things renders it important that we should be reminded of our duties in relation to these matters.

We have been taught that our Father and God, from whom we sprang, called and appointed his servants to go and organize an earth, and, among the rest, he said to Adam, “You go along also and help all you can; you are going to inhabit it when it is organized, therefore go and assist in the good work.” It reads in the Scriptures that the Lord did it, but the true rendering is, that the Almighty sent Jehovah and Michael to do the work. They were also instructed to plant every kind of vegetable, likewise the forest and the fruit trees, and they actually brought from heaven every variety of fruit, of the seeds of vegetables, the seeds of flowers, and planted them in this earth on which we dwell. And I will say more, the spot chosen for the garden of Eden was Jackson County, in the State of Missouri, where Independence now stands; it was occupied in the morn of creation by Adam and his associates who came with him for the express purpose of peopling this earth.

Father Adam was instructed to multiply and replenish the earth, to make it beautiful and glorious, to make it, in short, like unto the garden from which the seeds were brought to plant the garden of Eden. I might say much more upon this subject, but I will ask, has it not been imitated before you in your holy endowments so that you might understand how things were in the beginning of creation and cultivation of this earth? God the Father made Adam the Lord of this creation in the beginning, and if we are the Lords of this creation under Adam, ought we not to take a course to imitate our Father in heaven? Is not all this exhibited to us in our endowments? The earth made glorious and beautiful to look upon, representing everything which the Lord caused to be prepared and placed to adorn the earth. The Prophet Joseph frequently spoke of these things in the revelations which he gave, but the people generally did not understand them, but to those who did they were cheering, they had a tendency to gladden the heart and enlighten the mind. By faith and works we shall subdue the earth and make it glorious. We can plant vineyards and eat the fruit thereof; we possess this power within ourselves. I would not give a fig for faith without works, for it is dead, even as the body without the spirit is dead. If you wish salvation, go to work with your might and strength to do what the Lord requires at your hands through his servants whom he has appointed. You need not expect him to come to you, especially as you are not prepared to see him. As members of the body of Christ we are called upon to labor and to do our part towards building up his kingdom, and should all have equal interest in that kingdom. We manifest our attachment to the principles of progress and improvement, both of which are intimately connected with the building up of Zion, when we plant orchards and vineyards, and when we make good gardens, good farms, and when we build good houses; in doing all of which we get a liberal reward as we go along. Then let us stretch forth our hands and build up the towns and cities of Zion.

Supposing we had the facilities for water power in Salt Lake City that you have here, it would have been much farther advanced than it is; we should have occupied every eligible site with machinery before this time. Look at brother Taylor’s mill race that crosses the main thoroughfare below here; why, there is more water running down there than runs in President Young’s mill race and any other three streams that we have in the neighborhood of Salt Lake City. You might have factories here, spinning and weaving by machinery, and in fact every kind of machinery that you need. We can make many kinds of machinery right here. We are certainly blessed above all other people on the earth, although there are but a few that realize it as they ought to; but such as have been driven from their homes and stripped of all they possessed from two to six times, as I have, they can appreciate the blessings of peace and prosperity that attend the Saints in these valleys. I have seen the Latter-day Saints scattered by the ruthless hand of mobocracy to the four winds; driven from Missouri and from Illinois by their enemies in the dead of winter and exposed to the severity of the season. For what? All because they believed in God and acknowledged Joseph Smith to be his Prophet.

The Scriptures say, “For with what judgment ye judge, ye shall be judged: and with what measure ye mete, it shall be measured to you again;” and again the injunction is given in another place, “Judge not, and ye shall not be judged: condemn not, and ye shall not be condemned: forgive, and ye shall be forgiven: Give, and it shall be given unto you; good measure, pressed down, and shaken together, and running over, shall men give into your bosom. For with the same measure that ye mete withal it shall be measured to you again.” What is now taking place with our enemies? They are suffering far more than we did, right in those very places from which we were expelled by mob force. Brother Henry Lawrence was telling me that quite a number of those counties and places formerly occupied by the Saints, are now left destitute; and in some of the settlements the people are left in a state of comparative nudity. These are the effects of this horrible war, and what kind of a condition do you think we shall be in if we continue to depend upon the world for supplies? At present we are dependent upon them for our cloth, and we buy large quantities of prints that when brought here are very little better than rags. I can tell you that if you depend upon our enemies you will be sadly mistaken, for they will not long be able to supply themselves.

I am told that St. Louis is now one of the worst places to live in in America, and the inhabitants profess to be loyal to the Government, but I presume the truth is, that half of them are traitors. They are constantly hearing of riots and troubles of one kind or another. By-and-by it will be just as bad in Ohio, New York, and Massachusetts. To secure ourselves against these troublesome times, we must make the articles of clothing that we need to wear and we must produce the food that we need and require to sustain these our decaying bodies. Then we should remember that the articles we make from the cotton we raise down in our cotton country will last four times as long as those we purchase in the stores of Salt Lake City, especially if the ladies won’t try to wash them to pieces. And we can take the flax and spin it into tablecloths and we shall see it become whiter and whiter every time it is washed, until we shall be delighted with our home-manufactured articles; besides, it will be almost impossible to scrub such cloth to pieces.

Some of you may ask if I am doing any of these things. Yes, I am doing all I possibly can, realizing, as I most assuredly do, that hard times are coming upon this nation. I calculate to have my garments of fine wool next fall. I am aware that some of you have got it into your heads that wool won’t do to make into garments. Will those of you who entertain that idea have the kindness to look at the condition the Savior was in at the time of his crucifixion. We read that when they had crucified him “They parted his garments, casting lots upon them, what every man should take.” The Savior’s under garment was knitted, and Joseph Smith always wore that kind, and therefore I think we have no occasion to be ashamed of homemade garments. Wool is designed especially for winter use. In regard to the cotton goods, I will here say, you can go into the cotton district of our Territory and take your wheat and flour and exchange any quantity with the brethren who reside there. They have gone into cotton raising there on an extensive scale, and I can truly say that of all the good feelings and influences I ever felt that I never felt better than I did while visiting the Saints in Washington county. It is a country where the Devil cannot get a foothold. He delights in robbing, killing and destroying the righteous man and all who will not submit to the influence that comes from the lower regions. Why do we take a course to leave our wives and children comparatively destitute of the comforts of life? We have the privilege of becoming an independent people, and there is no necessity of living poor.

If the Latter-day Saints in the city of Provo and in all other cities and towns of this Territory would put up good, substantial fences around their gardens and fields, then our sisters could go into the gardens and supply their tables with fruit of every desirable kind and all in the season thereof, and this would be a blessing to all. But as it is now, the trees are planted and eaten down year after year by the cattle, and thus the men’s labor is lost and the trees destroyed. In Salt Lake City there are a few who have been waked up to diligence, and the result is that they have got a nice variety of apricots, peaches, plums, apples, strawberries, currants, gooseberries, and some have got cherries and pears. Now I want to see you do these things here that you may make yourselves happy and comfortable, and also that you may place yourselves in a situation that our Father and God can send his angels to visit and to bless you. Don’t you think that angels would like to see a garden around your houses if they were to come and visit you? Who are angels? They are sanctified men who once lived upon this earth and held the Priesthood just as we do now, and who are co-workers with us. Were there angels along with us on our southern trip? Yes, and I felt as if every hair of my head was filled and quickened with the lifegiving power of God. That power was upon brother Brigham, and we were filled with it.

Whenever this people are improving in good works, then is the time that we feel the goodly and heavenly influence. I never felt it more in my life than when I was on that journey; I never before experienced that freedom of speech that accompanied me on that mission. Every man, in fact, who went with us on that southern trip felt to praise God for the blessings that rested upon us all.

We traveled eight hundred and fifty miles in thirty days, and President Young and myself preached fifty times each. When we would get through a day’s journey it seemed that we were so tired that we could not preach, but the lifegiving power of God was upon us, and by that we were enabled to endure the labors and fatigues of that journey. It seemed that we had one eternal blessing for the people; we were full of the blessings of the Priesthood, and, in fact, we could not speak without blessing the inhabitants of that county, for the faith of the people drew the blessings from us. We also felt to bless the earth that it might bring forth abundantly everything that is placed therein by the industrious hands of the Saints of God; we blessed the cattle, the fruit trees, the waters, and, in fact, everything that is for the use and benefit of man.

I have now expressed some of my feelings upon a number of subjects, and I feel well in doing this, for I know that the Saints of God ought to be wide awake to their duties. You all believe in “Mormonism,” I have no doubt; you have been baptized into the Church for the remission of sins, had hands laid upon your heads by those having authority, and you doubtless know that “Mormonism” is true, but yet you are not fully converted to the necessity of having the power of God with you always. I know that that power does not dwell with us as it ought. I put myself in, for I am here with you and I am one of your brethren. We who preside over you have to stick to you, although there are a great many dead limbs among you, but we shall stick to you until you learn to live your religion. We want to see you bow before the throne of grace in humility and let your faith and works go hand in hand. Paul said to the Church at Corinth, “Awake to righteousness, and sin not; for some have not the knowledge of God. I speak this to your shame.” Then apply this to yourselves and awake to a full sense of your duties to God and to each other. “Draw nigh unto me, and I will draw nigh unto you,” says the Lord through his Prophet, and this declaration you will find to be as true in our day as it was in the day that it was spoken. I will tell you what I am afraid of, brethren, if you do not wake up to a sense of your true position, the Lord will send a flood and wash you out of those bottoms, and thus make you come on to this bench and build up a respectable city.

My feeling and my faith is all the time, God bless this people, and may he accept of the labors and offerings of the righteous, is my prayer in the name of Jesus Christ: Amen.




Building the Temple—Endowments—Counsel to Missionaries, Etc.

Remarks by President Heber C. Kimball, made in the Bowery, Great Salt Lake City, April 6, 1863.

Brethren and sisters, I perceive that the wind is blowing so very strong that it will be very difficult for the loudest speakers to make you all hear, and, therefore, I shall have to depend upon the stillness of the congregation. Then, again, I must have faith and we must all have faith together, and, therefore, let that faith come up before the Lord our God as the faith of one man, and if that faith is concentrated we shall obtain what we desire. Jesus says, “Ask what ye will and it shall be given unto you.” My prayer is that the winds may cease for a little while that I may be able to speak so that you can all hear.

I remember, when I was crossing the ocean in company with President Young, it seemed as if all creation had combined to bring together the most boisterous elements, for the wind blew most furiously and brother Parley actually thought the ship was going down before we got out of the Irish Channel. The wind drove us away from our proper course towards the north of Ireland, and we were really afraid that the bulwarks would be blown and beaten off.

Brother Wells has been laying before you, in much plainness (and you know I delight in plainness), the practical items of business which are necessary to be attended to. When a man speaks plainly of his views and sentiments and the items of business that he has to lay before this people, it pleases me. Brother Wells is the Superintendent of Public Works, and I can truly say that what he has laid before the congregation is true. I see these things of which he has been speaking; I understand them, and am sorry a great many times because of the things I see and hear. I am aware that a great many of this people do not realize their responsibilities; many of them do not seem to know that they have anything to do, any further than to take care of themselves, and in many instances that is done very poorly. The people are too careless, and, consequently, never think that there is anything for them to do; but it is just as much the duty of each one of you, whether Elders or members, to put forth your hands, to use your means and your influence for the building up of the kingdom of God, as it is mine or President Young’s, or any other member there is in the Church.

In your prayers, you say, “O God the Eternal Father, bless President Young, bless his Counselors and the Twelve Apostles; give them power to bear off this kingdom in triumph over all its enemies.” This is the nature, if not the precise form of the prayers that most of you offer up to our Heavenly Father. But, notwithstanding this, there are those who act as if they thought the First Presidency could do all the work and bear all the responsibility; but this is not the fact, for we can all do something towards the accomplishment of so great a work. How far can the Presidency of this Church bear off this kingdom? Why, they can only do that which devolves upon them; they can only do their share the same as any other persons.

If you will reflect for a moment, brethren and sisters, you will see it is one of the easiest things in the world for us to build that Temple. Here are the men who understand quarrying and cutting the rock, and laying them up; then, what do we want else? Why, says one, we want the means; what will the Temple cost? Never mind what the entire cost will be; what is required of us now, is to lay up the walls, and we can do this by our own labor. Men are wanted to go and quarry the rock; others to haul it to the Temple block; then others to cut the stone according to order; then it is the duty of others to raise the grain, the beef, the pork, to make the clothing, and, in fact, supply everything that is necessary to sustain those men that are called to work upon the Temple.

I have sometimes taken the liberty of speaking about men that work on the Public Works, and I have said that they did not earn more than about one-half of what was paid to them. They say, in reply, if we do not do right, why not call us up before the Bishops of our Wards? We have known and now know men that have been grumbling ever since they were upon the Public Works, and with them there never is anything right, and it would be but little use to bring such men before their Bishops. We have a Presiding Bishop, and President Young and myself are his Counselors, and in due time he will deal with such men as I am speaking of. It is not right for a man to neglect his duty, whether that duty consists in mechanical work or common labor, for it is the business of every man and woman to do all they can to advance this great Work. It is for the advantage of the people individually as well as collectively. Then let us go to work and build up this kingdom to the utmost of our ability; let us build a Temple wherein to receive our further blessings.

There are but few here who received the endowment that was given in the Temple at Kirtland; many of those who did receive it are dead, quite a number are turned away, for the apostasy was very great in those days considering the number of the people, hence there are but few now with us who partook of that endowment. There are still other endowments that were given to a very few in Nauvoo, and which we do not give here at present, but which will be given to the faithful when that Temple is finished, if not before.

How do you think we went to work when we were building the Temple in Kirtland? I could enter into the particulars, but let it suffice for me to say that the Lord gave a revelation, calling upon all the strength of his house to go up to Missouri to redeem Zion and reinstate our brethren upon their own lands. To use a plain expression, we raked the United States from one end to the other wherever there was a man that belonged to the Church, and we gathered up all the strength of the Lord’s house, and every one of us went, except perhaps a dozen old gentlemen who were not able to travel, and there were a few went up that were over sixty, and I do not know but a few that were over seventy. [President B. Young: I think there was one or two of the brethren seventy years of age.] While we were absent on that Mission, the sisters went to work and made stock ings, pantaloons, and jackets, and when we came back they put in those various articles of clothing for the benefit of the men that went to work on the Temple, and this was a universal thing with the sisters. Now, what have you done that you should be released from care and from putting forth your dollars, your pairs of socks, your shirts, or any other kinds of wearing apparel or bedding that are required for those men who are called to work upon the Temple? Are you excused from these things, ladies and gentlemen? No, you are not; we went forth and did our duty, both male and female, and the same is required of you.

We went and performed that journey, traveled two thousand miles in a little over three months. We walked forty miles per day when we were not hindered, we walked the entire journey there and back. Such as were designated by the Lord were permitted to return home to their families, but the single men were told by the Prophet to go and preach the Gospel in the country round about. When we arrived in Kirtland, Joseph said, “Come, brethren, let us go into the stone quarry and work for the Lord.” And the Prophet went himself, in his tow frock and tow breeches, and worked at quarrying stone like the rest of us. Then, every Saturday we brought out every team to draw stone to the Temple, and so we continued until that house was finished; and our wives were all the time knitting, spinning, and sewing, and, in fact, I may say doing all kinds of work; they were just as busy as any of us, and I say that those women have borne the heat and burden of those early and trying days and God will bless them for evermore. And besides all this, they have stepped forward and done the works of Sarah, and the first men of this Church have done the works of Abraham, and they will inherit the earth with them when it is redeemed and cleansed from sin. I feel to bless all such men and women, and pray my Heavenly Father to bless them in all things that will be for their good and for the honor and glory of his holy name.

I feel that the Spirit of the Lord is here and that we shall have a good Conference and a happy and joyous time together.

Brethren, do not forget to come on with your teams to haul the rock for the Temple as well as your teams to gather the poor.

Then, in regard to this new Tabernacle that we contemplate building, if you will take hold with us we design that you shall have the privilege of meeting in it next winter. According to the plan which is already designed, it will be larger than this concern which is polled over our heads here, and when completed it will have the advantage of both comfort and convenience for a large congregation, neither of which are afforded by this Bowery in stormy weather. Then let us step forward and do our duty as men of God. And if a sister says, “Can I do anything to help to roll on the Work of God,” I say, yes you can assist if you choose; you can pull off your jewels, take your ornaments out of your hair, your earrings; you can knit some stockings and get some cotton and make some shirts or anything of the kind. Will such works as these advance the kingdom? Yes, they will help considerably. To another sister who asks if she can assist in the good work, I will say, yes, take some of the children of those that labor on the Temple and teach them how to read and write and how to sew. Then let another sister say, “I will wash for the men on the Temple.”

I make these remarks to rouse up your minds in relation to the Temple. Have you not had your endowments, sisters, and been sealed to your husbands? Yes, many of you have, and now let me ask if there is anything more than what you have received, any further ordinances to be received? Yes, lots of them. There were but a hundred and thirty who received a part in advance of the ordinances of endowment that were revealed by the Prophet Joseph. Bless you, it will be one endowment after another till we pass through the veil into the other world, and until we have passed all the ordeals requisite to prepare us to enter into celestial glory and exaltation.

If the Lord should come to visit his people, where has he got a place to stay and rest himself while he communicates his will to his sons and daughters? That man that has engaged and is working for the accomplishment of such a great design as this is, to prepare a place that will be fit and suitable for the Almighty to dwell in for a short time when he comes to visit his servants, ought to feel highly honored and favored of the Almighty.

When remarking upon the building of the Temple, brother Wells said they who had worked upon the Temple had received their pay, and I can say more than this, I know of quite a number that are in debt and they are the ones, generally, that find so much fault. The brethren should think of these things, and for the future strive to be Saints in very deed. Let us all honor our calling, keep sacred and holy our covenants before the Lord.

To refer again to what I know, what I have seen and experienced in my travels and my associations with the Prophet of the living God, I will remark that you have here with you a few of us that have traveled with him from the beginning, and we know his trials and sufferings, and we know that the greatest torment he had and the greatest mental suffering was because this people would not live up to their privileges. There were many things he desired to reveal that we have not learned yet, but he could not do it. He said sometimes that he felt pressed upon and as though he were pent up in an acorn shell, and all because the people did not and would not prepare themselves to receive the rich treasures of wisdom and knowledge that he had to impart. He could have revealed a great many things to us if we had been ready; but he said there were many things that we could not receive because we lacked that diligence and faithfulness that were necessary to entitle us to those choice things of the kingdom. He revealed the doctrine of celestial marriage, and the abuse of this holy principle caused many to stumble and fall away from the Church of the living God, but that was their own fault and they have nobody else to blame.

Now, I will turn my remarks to the brethren whose names will be called to go on missions. We want them to get ready as quick as possible, and to go direct to their missions as fast as the teams, railroad cars and steamships will take them, so that they can do some good. And we want brethren who remain here to hand over your “greenbacks” to help the Missionary Fund, and we have no objection to taking those merchants’ “shinplasters,” I suppose they are worth fifty cents on the dollar, and we will also take your gold and silver if we can get any. I do not want of your money, but the Missionaries do and the families of those that are already on missions need help from that fund, and we want to clothe them decently and make them feel happy during the absence of their husbands and fathers. We are going to call upon young men that have no families this time, and we want them to go and preach by the power of God. We want them to learn to be men, to put away their boyish actions and trust in the living God whom we serve. They will not do this while they stay here to that extent that they will if we send them abroad. We want to send them out into the world among strangers—to place them, as it were, in the midst of a strange ocean where there is no bottom, and you all know there is little danger of a ship that is out at sea when it gets beyond the rocks, but when in the channels and near to the shore there is great danger, and so it is with our sons; and, therefore, in order to depend upon the Lord and upon the guidance of his Spirit, we send them into the world to preach the Gospel. Is it not better for your sons to be placed in circumstances where they will have to call upon the Almighty, than it is to allow them to remain here where they are under the droppings of the sanctuary and are continually receiving the counsel of their earthly fathers? You could not confer a greater blessing upon them than to send them into the vineyard of the Lord. It would delight my soul to see my sons and the sons of my brethren following in the footsteps of their fathers. I will also say that it is the greatest blessing that can be conferred upon the mothers in Israel to have their daughters connected to men of this kind. Such mothers will bring forth sons and daughters that will be a crown of glory to their parents forever. Some of you would ask, “Would you go, brother Heber?” Just try it. Remember I have been there twenty-six years ago, and then I went again a second time, and I can truly say that those were the happiest days of my life. Here are hundreds in this Territory who have seen me in England as happy as an angel, preaching and baptizing for the remission of sins all those who believed and repented before God, and they saw me laying hands on the people for the reception of the Holy Ghost, and every good man will bear me witness that the Spirit of the Lord was with me. Let me say to those young men and to all Israel, live so as to respect yourselves just as your leaders have done, and then you are just as sure of salvation as we are that we are here today.

My remarks upon this subject are intended for the Elders. Brethren, do not yield to temptation, but live pure and holy before the Lord. Now, all the Elders who are in favor of carrying out the counsel that is given, let them say yes. (Loud response of “Yes.“)

We want to feed the wives and children of those that are gone on missions, as well as to assist those that are now going. We want pork, beef, eggs, and butter and all kinds of clothing, and do not forget to bring on your wood and everything that is necessary to make families comfortable. Now, do you not see, by complying with this instruction, you are helping to preach the Gospel as well as those that go abroad for that express purpose? And how blessed are the women that step forth to help to build the Temple of our God! I can see women in this congregation today that would have sold all they had to help to build the Temple in Kirtland, and for this they are and will be blest, for the Lord loves a willing heart and an obedient spirit.

Brethren and sisters, do you know this to be the Church of Jesus Christ? Do you know this positively for yourselves? If you do, remember your duties, be faithful before God and your brethren, and prosperity and peace will attend you.

We want the families of those who are on missions to be supplied with the necessaries and comforts of life, and we do not want the Elders to beg from the poor that are scattered among the nations. We who first went did not have this done for us, but the circumstances are different now. We went to preach without purse or scrip, and there were men around who were ever ready to strip our families of what little they did possess; some of them are now dead. We went forth almost sick unto death to preach the Gospel, and when we called on the brethren in Kirtland they would not give us a cent, because we were sick and looked pale and they said it was because the curse of God was upon us. They will have to reap the reward of that some day, while those who were kind to us will be rewarded of the Lord and be blessed with an exaltation in the kingdom of our God if they continue faithful. It was designed once in Nauvoo to raise a subscription for us, but Joseph said, “You shall not have a cent of it; you must go and make your own way;” but now the time is come when the Gospel is to be preached to all nations, and that, too, more quickly than it has ever been before, and it is the word of the Lord that we shall sustain the ministry at home.

We went and preached the Gospel in London—that is, President Young and myself; we established the Work there, and we never asked the people for a penny. We paid off debts amounting to some two hundred pounds and we emigrated hundreds of people out of our own funds, circulating the Book of Mormon among the people and did many other things that were necessary for the advancement of the kingdom of God.

We traveled with the Prophet Joseph when we were poor and penniless many times, and when we were sick, and we wept like children; but we called upon our Father and our God to strengthen us, and he did so by the power of his Spirit. Some men laid down and died on the way, and brother Taylor almost died once or twice in the ordeals through which he had to pass. I might also refer to the trials consequent upon the introduction of the doctrine of plurality of wives, but the time is about expired, and, therefore, I will defer it till some other time. When we have passed through trials and privations of this life, we shall be exalted to enjoy that happiness which is promised to the people of God; and when that time comes many of you that have had such easy times will be sorry that you have not passed through more.

Brethren, I want to tell you that my blessing and the blessing of the God of Israel are upon this land, and these blessings shall continue unto this people forever. This land shall prove a blessing unto them but a curse unto the wicked, and the evildoers shall not have pleasure here at all but the curse of God shall be upon them. And I will further say, in regard to the man that was sent here to rule over us, let the curse of God be upon him from this day forth and forever, unless he repents.

Now, brethren, be prepared when the call is made to hand over your money, your shoes and whatever is called for that will be useful to put into the hands of those women and children whose husbands and fathers are preaching the Gospel to a dark and benighted world. Let us subscribe and put into this fund all that is necessary and we shall all be blessed together.

I feel to bless all Israel, wherever they may be in the remotest parts of the earth, and I say, let us continue to increase in everything that is good and heavenly from this time henceforth and forever. This is my prayer, in the name of Jesus: Amen.




Our Duties to God Paramount to All Other Obligations—Danger of Speculation

Remarks by President Heber C. Kimball, made in the Bowery, Great Salt Lake City, Oct. 6, 1862.

I wonder if there is a person in this vast congregation today but what feels that all those instructions given apply to himself. I feel disposed for one to take what has been said to myself, and I do not think there is a man here who is so righteous that he cannot apply the greater portion of what brother Brigham has said to himself. I know it is very common for us to make observations like this when any of the brethren have been chastised: Well, I guess some of the brethren have received a pretty good chastisement today, but it don’t touch me. Don’t you know that this is very common? That jacket does not suit me, says one. Why did it not suit you? Because you did not put it on. If you had put it on, it would have been like a piece of raw hide or a piece of India-rubber, then it would have pinched when it became dry. Now I do not believe that there is a person here who might not be benefited by these lessons of correction and instructions, for we can all make improvement in ourselves, in our daily walk and conversation. I know that I can cultivate myself and improve in many ways, and I feel that I am improving and advancing in the things of God.

Some will say, are you not too old to learn? I say no, for I consider if I am too old to improve, I am too old to live. When a man has done learning, he had better leave and go hence.

I think I understand correctly what President Young has been talking about, and he wishes every one of us to accept of it and put it in practice.

In regard to those independent companies alluded to, I really do not know whether I would lead them or not. I know that the first company that I was gathered with, of which President Young has spoken today, and which embraced nearly all the male members there were in the Church, brother Joseph said, come brethren, bring your money with you and bring all you have. We gathered brethren from Nova Scotia and from all the States where we had any, and then we traveled forty miles in an independent condition, that is, every man had his money in his pocket and was calculating to have, but when we got to Portage, Joseph called upon that independent company and organized it with captains of hundreds, of fifties, and tens, with officers to lead and control them. Then he nominated and we accepted a paymaster and treasurer, and every officer necessary to a permanent organization. Then he said, Brethren, I want you to come together, and bring your money with you. I do not want any donations, but I want everyone to bring every cent he has got. Some had not any, some had a hundred dollars; some had a shilling, and the brethren handed over what they had to the paymaster. We were then taught that we should be subject to the law and government of God.

It is an important thing for a man to lead the people of God, and unless they will subject themselves to him and to the officers of the Church a Prophet cannot lead them; it is an impossibility. This course of obedience is the one we have to take. Talk about building up the kingdom of God on the earth, how can you do it except you go to work with your might to practice as well as preach, and labor and toil with all your might by day and by night, and by this means every man in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints will become independent. I was reflecting upon these things when brother Joseph brought things to terms. Then if we are ready to do as we are told, to follow the counsel of the servants of God, won’t our offerings be accepted? I say they will.

When we went on that journey, Joseph told us there was an endowment laid up for us; for what? Because we had done just as we were told; and I can bear testimony that we received that endowment. Have we got through with our endowments? No, we have not; we have only just commenced, merely received the initiative ordinances, and we are only children in these things yet, but if we are faithful, we shall receive all that our hearts can desire, for the Almighty will withhold no good thing from them that love him and keep his commandments.

You will doubtless recollect reading of a certain woman in the Scriptures who was rather ambitious, and therefore wished to have her sons occupy a conspicuous place about the Savior’s person. The account of the circumstance is related by St. Matthew in the following language—“Then came to him the mother of Zebedee’s children with her sons, worshiping him, and desiring a certain thing of him. And he said unto her, What wilt thou? She saith unto him, Grant these my two sons may sit, the one on thy right hand, and the other on thy left, in thy kingdom. But Jesus answered and said, Ye know not what ye ask. Are ye able to drink of the cup that I shall drink of, and to be baptized with the baptism that I am baptized with? But to sit on my right hand, and on my left, is not mine to give, but it shall be given to them for whom it is prepared of my Father.”—Matt. xx. 20—23.

Here we find set forth by the Savior the doctrine that it belongs to the Father to give each one his place in that kingdom, hereafter to be inherited by the faithful Saints. Now let me ask, can we walk with Jesus in the regeneration that is spoken of? But before I proceed further, let me ask, what is the regeneration? I should call it an improvement, or an advancement in the things of God. By some it is said to be the change and renovation of the soul by the Spirit and grace of God. Then again, it is called the new birth. Titus is somewhat more explicit upon the subject. He says, “But after that the kindness and love of God our Savior toward man appeared, Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and the renewing of the Holy Ghost; Which he shed on us abundantly through Jesus Christ our Savior; That being justified by his grace, we should be made heirs according to the hope of eternal life.” And our Savior speaking to Nicodemus, says, “Verily I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.” In another place Jesus says—“Verily I say unto you, That ye which followed me, in the regeneration when the Son of Man shall sit on the throne of his glory, ye also shall sit upon twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel.”—Matt. xix. 28.

Many other passages might be quoted to show how the doctrine of regeneration was taught by Christ and his Apostles, but these will be sufficient for my purpose at the present. I know that we, the Elders of Israel, are walking with Jesus in the regeneration, and we are becoming regenerated in Christ Jesus, and the blessings of the kingdom are being multiplied unto us day by day, and we shall continue to be enriched forever and forever. What! In property? Yes, and in everything that is good. If it were not so, how could you possess all things, which are certainly promised through progression and faithfulness.

I suppose I felt as the Apostles did anciently, when I went with the Elders into the State of Ohio, and through the New England States to the State of Maine. We called the people together and organized them into Conferences, and we went to work and selected wise men to receive and take the moneys of the brethren and purchase lands in Missouri. We performed our duties and were faithful unto the Lord, and if all the people had been as faithful as we were we should have gained an advantage; but as it is, I know that the day will come when we shall possess that land, and I can tell you that I expect to have and possess all that I merit, in the own due time of the Lord. When the kingdom triumphs, every man will be rewarded according to his works, and will receive that which is designed for him, and in all things be blessed according to his merits. By merit I mean that which a man earns, and you will see the day when you will get nothing but what you earn by your works and your integrity to God and your brethren.

I recollect when we returned from our mission to Missouri, Joseph said, “Now, brethren, it is a good time to get property; now is the time for you to get rich.” Well, it was one of the most trying times the Church ever saw. Most of the Twelve went into speculation, and half of them turned away. I went to Joseph and asked what I had best do, and he replied that it was a good time to get an education, or, said he, you may go a preaching, just as you please, and God will bless you in either. I went out preaching, and also some others and some went to speculating, and we have never seen them since, excepting one or two of them. It was so with the ancient Apostles. When Jesus was crucified his disciples said, “Come, brethren, let us go a fishing,” and off they went fishing. But they did not make much till Jesus came along by the seaside, made a fire and broiled some fish, and when he asked them if they had any meat, they answered him, No. Then he said unto them, cast the net on the right side of the ship, and ye shall find.

In regard to this work, I know that it will roll on, and the kingdom will be built up, the elect gathered, and the chosen ones go back to the Center Stake of Zion. There are a great many that are remaining in the States till we go back, but I can tell them they will have to come here, for this is the only way there is for the true Saints to get to Jackson County, and they will find it out to be so in due time. Let us serve God, brethren and sisters, with all our hearts, minds, might, souls, and strength, and all will go well and we shall triumph. As it was anciently, so it is in this age, the Saints must come to the mountains, the depot of the kingdom of God to get their blessings and prepare them for the future glory of Zion.

Let us take that course which will make us independent of all other people upon the earth; I know that this is the course for us to take all the time. Then we should put our minds together, and our mites also, to build up the kingdom of God; and if we will do this, being of one spirit, we shall prosper in all things. I know of no other way for us to become of one heart and one mind in regard to the things of the kingdom of God. By pursuing this course we shall increase in the knowledge of the truth, and ere long the angels will come to visit us, and Father will talk to us in relation to his purposes and the introduction of his government. Let us endeavor to attain these blessings, for they are ours through faithfulness and diligence in welldoing.

No good man wishes to force anybody into heaven, but it is for every one of us to strive and labor in righteousness to secure an interest there for ourselves. The righteous have no reason to fear, though all the combined powers of the wicked, visible and invisible, be arrayed against them; faithfulness will preserve them.

Brethren and sisters, we should all be like clay in the hands of the potter, and I want the people to learn that we shall all be rewarded according to the amount of our works, just as the potter is paid for his labors, in proportion to what he does.

God bless this people forever. Amen.




Obedience to the Commandments and Revelations of God

Discourse by President Heber C. Kimball, made in the Tabernacle, Great Salt Lake City, June 19, 1862.

Brethren and sisters, you have all heard what has been said by President Young and others. I can say that I agree with them in all those things of which they have spoken. I have been very much annoyed, ever since I came into these mountains, by those thieves that have been prowling around and stealing our property. I cannot think what fathers are doing to allow their children to mingle with those who are known to be thieves, thereby creating a propensity to interfere with other men’s property. My father was not a religious man, but he always taught his children good morals and strict honesty: he also paid due respect to the religions of the day. He instructed them against lying, stealing, and every species of vice; and I presume that there are not many who have been more strictly educated in the principles of morality than I have.

When people sent their children to school in those days, they were taught, among other things, the Ten Commandments. The principles inculcated in those commandments were impressed upon their young and tender minds, such as, “Thou shalt not steal. Thou shalt not covet any of thy neighbor’s property. Thou shalt not bear false witness.” These and many other good principles were strongly enforced upon the children’s minds, and this prevented them from being led astray. In the Book of Doctrine and Covenants we have these things set forth in great plainness. Read the 5, 6, 7, and 8 paragraphs of a revelation, given February, 1831, which is as follows—

“And again, the elders, priests and teachers of this church shall teach the principles of my gospel, which are in the Bible and the Book of Mormon, in the which is the fulness of the gospel. And they shall observe the covenants and church articles to do them, and these shall be their teachings, as they shall be directed by the Spirit. And the Spirit shall be given unto you by the power of faith; and if ye receive not the Spirit ye shall not teach. And all this ye shall observe to do as I have commanded concerning your teaching, until the fulness of my scriptures is given. And as ye shall lift up your voices by the Comforter, ye shall speak and prophesy as seemeth me good; For, behold, the Comforter knoweth all things, and beareth record of the Father and of the Son.

And now, behold, I speak unto the church. Thou shalt not kill; and he that kills shall not have forgiveness in this world, nor in the world to come.

And again, I say, thou shalt not kill; but he that killeth shall die. Thou shalt not steal; and he that stealeth and will not repent shall be cast out. Thou shalt not lie; he that lieth and will not repent shall be cast out. Thou shalt love thy wife with all thy heart, and shalt cleave unto her and none else. And he that looketh upon a woman to lust after her shall deny the faith, and shall not have the Spirit; and if he repents not he shall be cast out. Thou shalt not commit adultery; and he that committeth adultery, and repenteth not, shall be cast out. But he that has committed adultery and repents with all his heart, and forsaketh it, and doeth it no more, thou shalt forgive; But if he doeth it again, he shall not be forgiven, but shall be cast out. Thou shalt not speak evil of thy neighbor, nor do him any harm. Thou knowest my laws concerning these things are given in my scriptures; he that sinneth and repenteth not shall be cast out.

If thou lovest me thou shalt serve me and keep all my commandments. And behold, thou wilt remember the poor, and consecrate of thy properties for their support that which thou hast to impart unto them, with a covenant and a deed which cannot be broken. And inasmuch as ye impart of your substance unto the poor, ye will do it unto me; and they shall be laid before the bishop of my church and his counselors, two of the elders, or high priests, such as he shall appoint or has appointed and set apart for that purpose.”

In these days people act with their children as if they thought those wholesome doctrines were done away, and they are very ready in their ignorance to refer to Paul’s saying about leaving certain principles and going on to perfection; but the true doctrine is not to leave those principles which we first learned, but to bear them in mind, day by day, to do unto our neighbor as we would wish him to do unto us, and thus go on to perfection. This is the law and the prophets. These principles are in force upon us as much as they are upon others.

You may go and read the revela tions which God gave through Joseph Smith, and you will there find repeated in each of them some of those good old principles. From the first organization of this Church until today, virtue, honesty, and the strictest morality have been taught in all the revelations given through Joseph Smith and his successor. Then, for men to introduce those hateful practices of lying, stealing, drunkenness, and other vices into our midst, at the same time professing to be Saints, I cannot but feel to despise their conduct, if I do not hate them. It is taking a course to defile this community. The tabernacles of men become corrupted by these wicked acts which they perform while under the control of the evil spirits which dictate them, and that tabernacle that is defiled I will destroy, saith the Lord God.

These are my feelings upon the subjects treated upon by President Young and Bishop Woolley. As was remarked, I may also ask, Do we fear our enemies in the world? I answer, No. I have more fear about those corrupt individuals who dwell in our midst.

Let us endeavor to live up to our privileges; then the world have nothing more to do with us than they have with the angel of God whom they never saw. Know ye not, brethren and sisters, that you are angels to the present generation as well as those behind the veil? You can read in the Scriptures that the Lord promised to make Peter and James ministers to his servant John, whom the Lord appointed to tarry on the earth until Jesus should come again. If Michael the archangel were to come, he would appear as did Peter, James, and John when they appeared to Joseph Smith. If we are the elect of God, we should be among that number who will assist to gather the Saints in the last days. It won’t be done again by angels that are said to have wings, but it will be accomplished by those that have hands and feet, and who travel about upon this earth. It is for us who are chosen to administer in the flesh, and men behind the veil minister to us.

I feel really glad in regard to what has taken place of late—that those characters that have been prowling around, annoying their neighbors and stealing from their best friends, have been removed out of our midst, and placed where they can no longer afflict the righteous. This people know enough to be righteous, honest, pure, and virtuous; and those who will not practice that which they know to be good will become habituated to folly and vice, just in the same way that men become habituated to using tobacco, to stealing, drinking, and lying.

Some have tried to hide their iniquities by saying they only stole from the Gentiles; but I contend that a man who will steal from a Gentile will steal from me, if he ever gets an opportunity. When the time comes that the Lord says, “Arise, and to your tents, O Israel;” then men must be pure inside and out; they must be for God, or they will have no part in the blessings conferred upon the righteous. We sometimes talk about cutting men off from the Church. Now, I want to know what is the use of retaining dead limbs upon a tree. If such limbs are allowed to continue, they impart death to the branches. Brother Brigham illustrated this subject very clearly.

We are all connected with the one tree; and if one member suffers, the others are affected. When we get intelligence, it is through the Father having revealed himself to Jesus, and Jesus to his chosen ones upon the earth.

In the beginning of this Church, Jesus sent Peter, James, and John, who committed the power unto Joseph; and then he engrafted it into us. But suppose the graft die, like many which we put into trees, then we have to cut out the graft and put in a new one, that the tree may thrive and prosper.

When I see dishonesty among this people, I feel sorrowful. If I find men out once, I will have nothing to do with them afterward; and there is no law in heaven or on the earth that requires me to mingle with them; but I am required to cleave to every honest, virtuous, and truthful man. This is the nature of the religion of Jesus Christ, which is the power of God unto salvation.

Brethren, if any of us have erred in the past, let us do better in the future. Let those who have done wrong do wrong no more. Let us cast out all hatred, malice, and bad feelings from our hearts. We are very subject to be charged with falsehood—to get wrong impressions concerning our brethren. Although we may be men of God, judges in Israel, and have a right to the power which will enable us to judge between truth and error, the man that tells the truth and him that striveth to deceive, still we are apt and liable to be mistaken and to receive false impressions. For instance, we think a great deal of our children and of our wives, and we are apt to believe them in preference to men of God; and in this way we become charged with false impressions concerning our brethren. We should be very careful how we receive the report of one person concerning another, especially if that report be unfavorable. Brethren and sisters, it is our duty to tell the truth and to let falsehood and misrepresentation alone. These are my sentiments and feelings; and if ever I have gone contrary to this, I have gone wrong.

This is a doctrine you all believe in, as well as I. You came here with the feeling in your hearts, “If I can see a people living thus and so, all will be right.” But I want to know what it is to you or me whether another person does right or wrong. It is for us to do right, and never to suffer ourselves to be caught in a snare, or walking in the path of the ungodly. It matters not what another does, we should honor the Priesthood and work righteousness all the day long. This is the duty of every man in the Priesthood and every member in this kingdom; then all will go well with Israel, and our enemies will have no power over us. The world may combine against us, but the unalterable decree of the Almighty has gone forth—“I will fight your battles.” Have we not proven this? Yes, we have; and we shall prove it again and again.

God bless the upright, the humble, the pure, the poor, and the meek of his people; and may the time soon come when his kingdom shall triumph, and Jesus reign as King of kings and Lord of lords. Amen.




Proclamation of the Gospel to the Dead—Exhortation to Improvements

Remarks by President Heber C. Kimball, made in the Tabernacle, Great Salt Lake City, June 7, 1862.

The teaching today has been excellent, and very profitable to us all. When Jesus Christ commenced his ministry, he taught a short time, wrought miracles, called twelve men and ordained them Apostles, and gave them power from on high to establish the principles of the Gospel of the Son of Man in all the world. When he had thus commenced the work of his Father, and eaten his last supper with his disciples, which we commemorate in the sacrament on the Sabbath day, they spilled his blood. On the third day he rose again from the dead, showed himself to his faithful followers, gave them further instructions, promised them another Comforter, and then went to preach to the spirits in prison, opening the door of the proclamation of the Gospel to the dead as well as to the living, that men in the spirit might be judged according to men in the flesh.

The present American war, which brother George A. Smith has dwelt upon this afternoon, has disembodied thousands of spirits, who are gone into the spirit world to mingle with those spirits who are unprepared to enter the presence of God. Now we who hold the same Priesthood that Christ and his Apostles held, who follow him in the regeneration, will also become the saviors of men on earth and in the spirit world; therefore, the thousands slain in the present war are not without hope. It is our calling to preach life and salvation to them even in another existence; and it is our duty so to live that we honor our high calling in this world to be prepared to labor for the souls of men in the next. We should forsake the world and its pernicious ways, and serve the Lord our God with our might, soul, and strength.

The word of the Lord to all the world, and to all Israel, is repent and turn to the Lord your God with all your hearts. The Lord does not require that of us which we cannot do. We can forsake every unrighteous principle and cleave to principles of truth, wherein is the power of God. No man can have the power of God who dishonors the truth. Jesus took Peter, James, and John into a high mountain, and there gave them their endowment, and placed upon them authority to lead the Church of God in all the world, to ordain men to the Priesthood, to set in order the Church and send forth the Elders of Israel to preach to a perishing world. For the same purpose has the Lord called us up into these high mountains, that we may become endowed with power from on high in the Church and kingdom of God, and become kings and priests unto God, which we never can be lawfully until we are ordained and sealed to that power, for the kingdom of God is a kingdom of kings and priests, and will rise in mighty power in the last days.

Some people are taken captive by the adversary, and are seduced to bring themselves under obligations never to raise the standard of King Emanuel again. We have not enlisted in the cause of truth for a limited time, but for time and all eternity; we are not to be taken prisoners, or ever lay down our arms to submit in the least degree to the enemy of all righteousness, and the Lord helping us, we never will; the world, with all their combinations of earthly power, and earthly cunning and wisdom will never bring us into subjection. That time is past, if we keep the covenants and vows we have made in the house of God. I know that as well as I know that this is the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, that Joseph Smith was sent of God to organize it, and that the men who now lead it on earth are his authorized ministers. If we follow them as they follow Christ, God will give us the victory. But we must act as one man; and as the natural body is dictated by the conclusions of one mind, so must we as a Church and people act under the dictation of one head; yet, “the eye cannot say to the hand, I have no need of thee: nor again the head to the feet, I have no need of you.”

The righteous have no cause for fear. If I fear anything, it is that this people are becoming wealthy, becoming fanciful, and full of love for the vain fashions of the ungodly, which, if indulged in, will bring them trouble and sorrow.

The majority of this people are a righteous people, and God will defend the righteous, and for the righteous’ sake preserve a great many for the time being that are not righteous; for he has great respect for his friends—for his anointed—for the elect whose lives have been hid with Christ in God, and none of these will be lost because Jesus Christ saves all whom the Father has put in his power. Then let us be comforted and full of good cheer; and let us, with a good will as a people, work the work of righteousness. Let every person be filled with a desire to excel in every good word and work, and strive to become foremost in making good improvements, laying aside everything that is unnecessary, and cleaving to that which is useful and necessary to give us power and independence among the nations of the world, and favor with God and angels who will bear us off victoriously.

Brother George A. has been talking about our driving. In this I have an extensive experience during thirty years past that I have been in the Church; and this is an experience that no man can obtain only by passing through the same circumstances; but all the Saints will have enough of trials if they are faithful to their God and themselves, they will have all they can possibly bear in one way or another.

Let us improve our homes, our city and our country, and do all in our power to become a self-sustaining people by making at home everything we need. One of the speakers today referred to the ignorance of gardeners; it made me think of a gardener I had. When the corn was in the silk, he husked it, and brought it into my family to eat; he said he thought the cob was the part to eat. He pulled the watermelons before they were ripe, and divided them among my family. Our English gardeners are unacquainted with many of the productions of this country, and hence they make some little mistakes; but who is so ignorant that they cannot learn and improve?

We spend a great deal of ready money in the east and west for material for clothing which we can make at home, if we will try. We can make lace and silk, and different kinds of cloth, both cotton and woolen. We have as good weavers as can be found in any country, but it is almost impossible to get any of them into a loom; they seem to love rural pursuits better. When they were in England, it was the daily business of many to work with the flying shuttle, which could be heard all over the land.

All sane persons, old and young, can improve. Some say they are too old to improve, but there is no person too old to be damned for their sins. A man of sixty years of age, if he has improved himself, is brighter than he was at twenty; he is filled with more power, energy, and life; he is like a ripe ear of corn that is filled with the elements of life more than a green ear: the old man will come up quicker than a young one. There is brightness in old men and in old women who live and honor God and their own existence.

What brother Brigham has said in relation to the carelessness of hired men is strictly true. I have had a man in my employ that would light his pipe or cigarette and smoke in the hay mow, which was paying him twenty-five dollars a month, besides boarding and washing, which altogether would amount to fifty dollars a month and over; and then would wear out two or three pairs of thin boots in the course of three months, for which he would pay from eight to ten dollars a pair, and then complain he had not wages enough. There are but few men that honestly earn their wages. Brother Brigham and myself used to work hard, side by side, for fifty cents a day and board ourselves; we had seventy-five cents a day when we worked in the hayfield; we would work from sunrise to sunset, and until nine o’clock at night if there was sign of rain. We would rake and bind after a cradler for a bushel of wheat a day, and chop wood, with snow to our waist for eighteen cents a cord, and take our pay in corn at seventy-five cents a bushel.

There is an impression in laborers that they should not earn their employer anything above their wages. What man would keep an animal—say a cow—that never made any increase? Such an animal you would fat and eat. These are a few things which we suffer from one another, and if such dishonesty is permitted to increase, it will be the ruination of those who practice it.

May the Lord bless you. Amen.