Hypocrisy Reproved—Family Government, Etc.

A Discourse by President J. M. Grant, Delivered in the Tabernacle, Great Salt Lake City, November 9, 1856.

I believe, with brother Kimball, that many of this people partake of the sacrament unworthily. Some will steal their neighbor’s spade, or his crowbar, or wood from his pile, or cabbages and potatoes from his garden, or hay from his stack, or go into his yard and milk his cows, and commit numerous other sins, and the next day come here and partake of the sacrament.

When I see persons very religious outwardly, I always look for them to commence stealing the first opportunity they have, and on the next day expect to hear them speak in tongues in some class meeting, or ward meeting, and give the interpretation of tongues, or relate some remarkable dream or vision. I noticed another thing in this Tabernacle. When it was first completed, brother Brigham wanted a certain number of seats reserved for his family. Now, would you believe that some of the most pious old ladies and sisters in the Church would be at the four doors of this Tabernacle by seven o’clock in the morning, that they might crowd into seats reserved for the President’s family and crowd them out. Those are professedly the most pious among us; bless you, they are professedly just as full of religion as they can be.

I wish to see people come to meeting right and in order; to do so they must be right at home, they must be right all the while.

I seriously question, when some people are baptized, whether they do not come out of the water the same poor miserable devils as they went in.

There must be a foundation in the people, the right standard in the breast, and that must be inherent in the people more or less, or else our professions are in vain. I, therefore, want every person to leave the bread in the salvers, and the water in the cups, and not partake of the sacrament, unless they are right. I want every thief, and every unrighteous person to let the bread alone.

If I could have one prayer effectually answered forthwith, it would put a stop to a great many evils in Israel, to say the least of it. But as the work of reformation increases among the people, our President says, and it is so, that we may look for the workings of an opposite power. The solution he gave last night, in the High Priest’s Quorum, is the best explanation that I have heard concerning the fogs that we have felt for some time past. The principle was this, that as we advance in the light and in the truth, the arch adversary and his associates will make a corresponding effort to darken our minds and becloud our atmosphere, and thereby throw us into the fog.

I am aware that we have only a few among us but what feel determined to reform; the great majority wish to live their religion, and I am glad of it. I believe that the majority of this congregation that are here today actually intend to do right. Now do not let the devil cheat you; and if the devil marshals his forces against you and beclouds your minds, tell him that you are serving the God of Israel. If you are in the dark and cannot get light, keep a firm hold on the foundation of truth, and be determined not to be jostled off it.

Brother Kimball frequently alludes to discords in families. I was listening, as I came along the street, to a Bishop who spoke of discord in a certain family in his Ward. The person he alluded to has but one wife and is said to be a fine man, and his wife is said to be a fine woman, and of good parentage. They have some five promising children, but that woman wants to forsake her husband and go to her father.

You may sum up the difficulties in families throughout the country, and you will find ten to one more jars in families where there is but one wife, than in families where there are a number.

I believe there has been a disposition, on the part of some men and women to break the strong tie that ought to bind families together, but I do not believe they will accomplish much. I look for our relations to be permanent and the institutions of the Church to be eternal, because they are perfectly right; I now refer more particularly to our family organizations. But there is more or less discord in families, I would like it to cease altogether; and I would actually like the day to come in Israel, when the people will not only love the doctrines and revelations of the Lord Jesus Christ, but rejoice that they live in the day when the Prophet Joseph has brought them forth.

To the man I have just now been alluding to, say to that wife, “Go to your darling people then.” If she wished to leave me, and the Almighty had blessed me with the means, I would bless her and bestow upon her everything I could. I would give her all my cattle, horses, and other property, and say, “God bless you, go and prosper, if you can.” If necessary, I would rise at midnight and write her out the neatest bill she ever saw, and I would figure it all over with flowers and doves, and bedeck it with red ribbons.

I make these remarks, not that I have had any difficulty with my own family, but because there is a principle I wish to speak upon. I believe that men should lead their families, and not drive them. Some people do not understand the difference between leading and driving a flock of sheep. Brother Willes has seen the shepherds and their flocks in the Eastern countries, and can tell you the difference in the management of flocks in those countries and America. In America the sheep are driven; in the East the shepherds lead their flocks. The American and English spirit, and also the spirit of some other nations, places the sheep in front and the shepherd must follow.

If there is any difficult place, a stream to ford, or a slippery log to walk on, the American’s spirit is to try his wife first on the log, to drive his wife and children across first; he must drive. I do not like that, though some men are almost compelled to do so, because the women are determined to lead.

I have traveled with brother He ber, and I never saw a milder man in my life, when everything is right and people keep out of his track. But when they get in his path he is obliged to tread on their heels, for they cannot walk so fast as he can. He is not to blame for that; they are to blame.

In the early ages of the world there was a youth imprisoned by the ruler of the people. His parents went to the ruler and pled with him to release their son, but they could not prevail at first. They then wept and tore their reverend locks from their heads to move the ruler to pity, and when they had done this he released their son from prison. The historian remarks that it was not so much the weakness existing in the youth’s parents that caused them to tear their hair, as it was the obstinacy in the ruler; they were obliged to take that course, resort to such means, to effect their purpose.

Am I to blame for scolding the people? Not at all. Is brother Heber? Not at all. Is he to blame for chastising an unruly wife? No. If she gets in his path and he steps on her heels, is he to blame? No, and if she is hurt thereby, it is the result of her own acts.

What will be the result of the chastisements given to this people? I answer, if they heed them, they will bring them into the true path. It is the situation of the people that prompts the teachings they now receive from God’s servants. If all the people did right, they would not be chastised at all. If a man’s family conduct themselves right, do you suppose that a consistent, reasonable man will find fault with them? No. If all the people in a Ward do right, will the Bishop chastise them? No; but if they do not do right, the Bishop is placed under the necessity of coming forth, clothed in the armor and power of the Almighty, to put them right, and of calling upon the teachers to assist him in this work. And when the people repent and are found to be on the right track, the Bishop lays the rod on the shelf.

This is the case with brother Brigham. Does he chastise this, that, and the other man, because he likes the job? No. You know that he is mild, and is a father to this people; and were I to take any exception to his course, it would be on account of his being so merciful. Why? Because he is more merciful than I am. When he extends mercy to the people, he deals it out more lavishly than I would, unless the Lord should lead me as he does him. I have not so much mercy, so much of God and eternal life in me as brother Brigham has in him; it does not belong to me to have so much, for he stands at the fountain of life; he descends below all things and ascends above all things to this dispensation.

I hear men undertake to laugh and joke in their familiar chat with each other, and say that they heard brother Brigham say this or that, and that they saw brother Brigham do this, that, or the other, and strive to justify themselves on that account. But brother Brigham commands an influence that you do not command, and cannot be thrown off the line of propriety and truth, as easily as you and I. When men do not know the power that constrains them, they ought to be cautious how they speak and how they act.

Brother Brigham is a father to the Quorums of this Church; and when the people are right, has he a disposition to chastise them? No, he has a fatherly feeling to bless them, and so has brother Heber. I do not know whether I have as much of that feeling as either of them, with regard to the Church, but I do not suppose that there is a man on the earth that is fonder of children than I am. If I do not like old people so well as some do, I like children well enough to balance the deficiency.

I would be glad to see more peace, mercy, truth, equity, justice, and righteousness made manifest in the midst of this people. We want the hay, the straw, the wood, the stubble, the dross, and every impure principle burnt up. When a man is wrong and will turn round and do right, I love him better than I did before. We do not feel like casting you off, like casting you into the mire, and saying “God Almighty damn you.” “Get out of the mud and may the Lord God of Israel bless you” is what we say. I had rather bless ten men than curse one. I am not led to curse, but I am led to chastise iniquity, to bring out the alloy, expose sins and bring to light that which is wrong among the people; but I do not want to curse them.

I tell you that the devil is working against us, and Lucifer is in the land. Did you know that he had come to this country? Let me tell you the news today, if you have not heard it; he has come to this country and has been seen, the real old fellow himself, the same Lucifer that was cast down from heaven.

Another thing; did you know that all hell is let out for noon? The master is in the schoolhouse, therefore. When we talk of hell we mean uncle Jim, uncle Bill, uncle Sam, and all our uncles and cousins over the wide world. We mean old Babylon, the confusion that is over the wide world.

But thanks be to our God, and to high heaven, the light of God is here and the truth of God is here, and we have waged a war with Lucifer, under the banner of the Lord Jesus Christ. May we be able to stand in the contest and overcome. We bring no railing accusation against our common enemy, but we tell him and his host that they must surrender. We say to the sinners in Zion, be afraid, you must surrender to the Lord Jesus Christ. We say to you, Saints, rub up your armor, gird on the sword of the Almighty and walk forth to battle, and never yield the ground.

Some men say that they feel sick and faint, and weary, when they see so much darkness among the people. I feel as though I could say to the mountains and to all hell, get out of my way, or I will kick you out; I am not going to surrender. I want no poor pussyism around me; hang not your sickle on the tree to rust, but make it still sharper, and cut more grain in one day than you have ever done; and tell the devil that you are ahead of him. You old men, that let your sickles rust, take them down and sharpen them up, and walk into the fields and reap down the grain, that there may be wheat in the house of our God, for the harvest is great and the reapers are few.

I am not of that class that believes in shrinking; if there is a fight on hand, give me a share of it. I am naturally good natured, but when the indignation of the Almighty is in me I say to all hell, stand aside and let the Lord Jesus Christ come in here; He shall be heir of the earth; the truth shall triumph, the Priesthood and Christ shall reign.

I had rather fight the devils that are out of tabernacles, than those that are embodied. The grand difficulty we have to encounter is from devils that enter into you; they take possession of your houses, and then we have to fight devils in tabernacles. We want the devils cast out of you, and the power of God and the light of the Almighty to shine in you as a lamp.

The result of the teachings we are receiving, if practiced, will reform the whole community. When you are right we will cease to chastise, we will cease to rebuke; we will cease throwing the arrows of the Almighty through you, we will cease telling you to surrender, to repent of all your sins. But until you do this, we will continue to throw the arrows of God through you, to hurl the darts of heaven upon you and the power of God in your midst; and we will storm the bulwarks of hell, and we will march against you in the strength of the God of Israel. And by the power of the Priesthood restored by the Prophet Joseph, by the light of heaven shed forth by brother Brigham and his associates, we expect to triumph; and in the name of Jesus Christ, we do not mean to surrender to evil.

Companies on the Plains—Practicability of Handcarts—The Time for Starting From Missouri River—Reformation, Etc.

A Discourse by President Jedediah M. Grant, Delivered in the Tabernacle, Great Salt Lake City, November 2, 1856.

I always regret that circumstances should occur to call from our President remarks like some of those he was moved upon to make this forenoon; but such circumstances do occur, hence similar remarks must be made.

As an individual I have been and am very anxious in relation to the immigration now upon the Plains. Their situation is very distressing, and several have died in brother Willie’s company. Some had died before the brethren could reach them, and a few more died during the first five days after they met them. The company had encountered cold and storms, and one very stormy day which caused nearly one-third of the deaths that had happened.

They had no serious or contagious diseases, but the storms came and the air was very cold, as a matter of course some who were fatigued with the toil and anxiety of the journey sank under the inclemency of the weather; they were furnished by those that returned to them, with shoes, clothing, and food. They were not entirely destitute of provisions when the return teams met them; their rations at the outfitting were more than those of the companies in advance of them. When met they had nearly four hundred pounds of sea bread, but their last rations of flour had been dealt out on the evening previous.

Brother Willie’s company was met with on the upper crossing of Sweet Water, but the whereabouts of the ox-trains and the handcart company in rear of brother Willie are yet unknown to us.

We have now some two hundred teams out to meet them, and some were only prepared with seven days forage for animals. It will be necessary for more teams to go to their relief, with grain and hay to sustain the animals already sent out, or they will die.

The weather had been cold enough to freeze over the Sweet Water; I mention this that you may know how the thermometer stood in that region; and some animals had been frozen to death. It is winter where they are, and they are actually in the cold and snow which was near one foot deep, and as they went east it appeared to grow deeper.

The observations made this morn ing, as a matter of course, would only be treasured up by those who had in them the spirit of life. We have persons that have so much death in them that they do not know the counsels that are given to the immigrating Saints, that do not know the tenor of advice contained in the general epistles of the Presidency of the Church. But I do not suppose that the thinking part of the community anticipated any censures being placed upon the First Presidency of this Church, in consequence of the sufferings of the people now upon the Plains. Still there is a certain class of people whose brains never reach above the calves of their legs, and they never will know anything about the general policy of the Church, about what is written, what is desired, counseled, or asked for.

In relation to handcart companies, I have said, and I say it again, that they should start by the first of May, and then they can travel leisurely according to their strength and feelings; they can then have May, June, July, and August for the accomplishment of their journey. They could not travel so leisurely this year, from the fact that there were no grain depots on the route, consequently they had to hurry through, lest their rations should fail. Were grain deposited at convenient points on the route, the trip is, in every sense of the word, a feasible one for handcarts, for without that advantage, the present year has proved the feasibility of the undertaking.

The grand difficulty with a portion of our immigration this year has been in starting in the forepart of September instead of the first of May, but even then it is worse with ox teams than with handcarts, for if the cattle fail the people have no facilities for transporting their tents, bedding, clothing, and provisions. Unless I have different feelings to what I now have, I should never wish to see a train leave the Missouri River after the middle of June, or after the first day of July at the latest, until we can establish grain depots on the route, for I do not consider any train safe in starting late.

Brother Brigham has invariably advised early starts, and he gave his reasons for so doing this morning, and I do not wish to reiterate them.

I wish to see those who are directly engaged in carrying out the operations of gathering the Saints, to correctly understand the advice given and the system adopted for the gathering, and when they understand that and carry it out, as planned and given by brother Brigham, our immigration will be free from the sad results of mismanagement. But for persons, who are ignorant of the special causes and agents in any unpleasant transaction, to at once blame the head is the height of nonsense, though people in all ages have been prone to censure their leader, in times of special distress. When crickets and grasshoppers devour, when famine wastes, and when snows, storms, and accidents occur, it is natural, in that portion of the community that lack the gift of the Holy Ghost, to murmur against the leader of the people.

With Saints, what is the practical result of that murmuring? It shuts down the gate between you and heaven, between you and the Almighty, and you cannot get the Spirit of God. The murmurings and rebellions of ancient Israel prevented Moses from leading them to the land of Canaan. So soon as they had to endure hardship they began to murmur against Moses, and the result was the Lord would not give them His Spirit; the same has been the result in this dispensation.

In the days of Joseph, if a woman happened to put on her stocking wrong side out she would blame the Prophet; and if a man happened to tie his shoestring in a hard instead of a bow knot, he was angry with the Prophet for not having inspiration enough to have prevented so dire an event. The brains of that class of people never reach above the calves of their legs. I like to see the people have a little hard sense, like the mule; I like to see them understand the principles of the Son of God.

With regard to this people, I know that they are the best people on the earth, but there is more or less alloy among them which we hate. The Savior said that the Kingdom of Heaven is like unto a net that gathereth all kinds of fish; and I believe that parable holds good in our day, with regard to the gathering of the people that are caught by the Gospel of the Son of God, through the practical preaching of the Elders. I believe this, from observing the unwise sayings and doings of some who profess to be Saints.

I am aware that the world, because we are not all strictly living our religion, will imagine, as a matter of course, that we are bursting to pieces up here, and will say, “That is what we like; we told you that if you would let the ‘Mormons’ alone they would all burst to pieces.” We can, by taking an unrighteous course, burst ourselves to pieces, but they cannot burst us to pieces, if we do right, that is certain, for they tried it when there were but eight or ten in the Church, and when there were a few hundred, and when there were a few thousand, and they were unable to burst the Church. Now they flatter themselves that we shall burst under the weight of our own conduct, but I will tell you that we are after the evildoers.

If the Bishops and Teachers will go to work, together with every officer in the Church, we can soon find out those who are not disposed to do right; and let their names be written down, and let the offense and place of residence be written against the name, that we may know who are living in sin, where they live and what their offenses are.

I know that a great many people are full of sympathy, and yet they talk of the celestial law that they are going to keep and abide; but let me tell you that if you violate that law, you must meet the penalty. How many have we got here that would sympathize with those who are guilty of breaking their covenants, and thereby virtually partake of their crimes? I believe it to be a correct doctrine that the sympathizer is more or less implicated. The President enjoined it on the High Priests to expose those they knew to have committed or to be committing evil, and if they did not, hereafter the sin would be upon their heads.

Let the whole people take warning; and let every man and woman in Israel understand that the indignation of the Almighty rests upon that person who fails to expose iniquity. And let the wrath of God be upon any officer of the Church that knows of abomination, unless he comes out and makes known that abomination. I believe this ought to be, for we want the evil deeds of every person exposed.

We want to feel after the people and hunt them up; and we want the wrath of Brigham, and the wrath of Heber, and the wrath of all the men and woman on earth that are right, and the wrath of Joseph, and the wrath of Michael, and the wrath of Raphael, and the wrath of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the wrath of Almighty God and of all the Gods in eternity to burn against those that will sin. And we want the indignation and fire of the Almighty to sweep through the land like the locusts of Egypt, until every nauseous weed that grows among the Saints of God is destroyed.

Words are said to be light and windy, but I tell you that talking these things foreshadows what will be literally and really. I would be glad, when I speak to the people, that the Lord would let His Holy Spirit accompany my words, for I do not want my words to go alone. We have to speak to this people often, and when we talk to them like a man reading off a sermon that is written, it takes but little effect. When words go to the people alone, they are not profited by them.

Instead of all the people being desirous and anxious, as they should, to serve their God and practice what they know to be right, many are all the time longing for some fantastical doctrine, for something to gratify their vain imaginations. If you wish to feast on the word of God and feel its realities, you must practice the revelations of Jesus Christ. You must advance and do the will of God, and then you will be blest.

I am aware, as the President said this morning, that it is of no use talking about the Holy Ghost, the power of God, the gift of God, or the light of the Almighty resting on this people, until they become morally reformed. Some people laugh at and deride sectarian religion. I never was a sectarian; I have been in this Church from my boyhood; but in the region where I was raised, sectarian morality exceeds, in some respects, the morality of many who call themselves Latter-day Saints.

Some here keep their children too dirty for admission into a district school where I was raised; and in some houses the towels look as though they had passed Noah’s ark, or had been used by some of the inhabitants of Sodom and Gomorrah, and the knives and forks have the appearance of having been rusting ever since Adam was driven from the garden of Eden.

I want to see the people wake up and reform, forsake all their evil habits and everything that is dark, loathsome and impure. I want to see them eschew all dirt, and filth, and degradation, and cease profaning the Sabbath, and the name of the Lord God of Israel; I want to see them become at least as moral and temperate as any people in the Gentile world, as we call it. I tell you that the Gentiles would be shocked at the filth and dirt of some of the sons and daughters of Israel, and feel offended to associate with them; I mean that portion of the Gentiles that are pure in their moral habits.

I want to see the people repent, as the President said this morning, and make a reformation in their lives, in their doings, and in keeping their houses, farms, and everything they have, clean and tidy.

We talk about our boys being smarter than their fathers. How many of our boys are learning trades, are learning to be farmers, or to understand any useful occupation? How many boys have we that are trustworthy; and as good as their fathers were at the same age? I know that our boys are bright and active, full of energy, life, and power, but many of the parents do not teach their children as they ought. They expect the schoolmaster to teach them, but what can the schoolmaster teach them, when the parents teach them nothing at home, and take no interest in what they are learning at school?

We talk about daughters rivaling their mothers. How many daughters have we that know how to spin, make butter, keep hairs and flies’ wings and legs on one plate, and the butter on the other, make good cheese, knit their own stockings, and make good hasty pudding or mush? How many of them can make their own bonnets and dresses? How many know how to use fine needles and coarse needles, and every kind of needles?

Many parents need to reform. Let the fathers teach their sons how to work, the art of chopping and hauling wood, of breaking up the ground, and of raising grain, cattle, sheep, hogs, &c.; and let the mothers set their daughters to work; and let every man, woman, and child, that is old enough, learn the arts of industry.

We want every Bishop to teach these reforms in Israel, we want every man in Israel to teach them; and when all reform in such matters, the Lord our God, will shower His blessings upon the people of this city and upon the people in the valleys of these mountains.

You may talk of reform, you may preach upon a virtuous life, upon cleanliness, upon God and the Holy Ghost, but while there is filth around the house, filth in the yard, and in every part of the city, your preaching will not amount to much. Some people are never contented unless the cow yard is under their noses, the hen coop in the parlor, and the privy in the kitchen, that is if they have any privy.

I want the people to wake up to a sense of their duty, and begin to serve God and repent of their sins, repent of every improper habit.

I sometimes confess men’s sins for them, and they will get up and parry off. I confessed a man’s sins here lately, and he supposed that I did not know what I was talking about. If he had corrected me a little further, I would have told all his sins; I would have told the things that were in his very heart; and if he parries again, I will come out more pointedly than I did then.

In some of the wards men will rise up and confess their sins, and after a week’s reflection, they will go to meeting and commence parrying, and make themselves as good as an angel. Again, some people, when they get the Spirit of God, when they actually pray fervently, are deemed by their neighbors to have sectarian religion. If God Almighty moves upon a man to pray with a loud voice and in earnest, some are ready to exclaim that he is a sectarian, and are so anxious to put away sectarianism, that they bundle the religion of Jesus Christ out of doors. In their zeal against sectarianism and doctrines they do not like, they leave God and the Lord Jesus Christ out of the question, and prayer, and keeping the Sabbath, and moral honesty, and virtue, and purity and everything that is good.

Every portion of sectarian religion that is good is my religion. If they have a precious gem it belongs to my religion; if it is purity, virtue, integrity, the gift of the Holy Ghost, fervency, and prayer, it is my religion. Some people talk of wildfire; I would rather have wildfire than no fire at all. I would like you to come up to the light of the Almighty, and if you want to pray to God, if you want to shout and make heaven and earth ring—drive the devil out of doors, chase darkness from your houses, and from your families, and raise the banner of the Lord Jesus Christ in your households, and the flag of God in your city, and say, in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ, I will do right, and root up everything that is wrong.

This makes me think of a circumstance that occurred when we went to Kaysville to preach the reformation, under the direction of brother Brigham. There was a dark and dull spirit there which was not very congenial to our natures, and brother Joseph Young felt life in him, he was full of the Spirit. After staying a couple of days, he said to me, “Brother Grant, they feel cold, and I guess we had better go to Farmington, preach there, and go home.” After a while I said to him, “Do you know how I feel about it? In the name of the Lord Jesus Christ, I will never leave this land, until this people surrender. I will hang the flag of the Lord Jesus Christ on their doors, and there shall be a siege of forty days. Then let every man storm the castle, and rule against the bulwarks of hell, and let every Elder throw the arrows of God Almighty through the sinner, and pierce their loins, and penetrate their vitals, until the banner of Christ shall wave triumphantly over Israel. Shall we give up, and let the wicked and ungodly overcome us? No, in the name and by the power of God we will overcome them. We will cleanse the inside of the platter and have Israel saved, through the name of Jesus Christ, and by the power of his word.”

Those who will not repent by the preaching of the Gospel, we will bring to the standard of the Lord Jesus Christ in the right and proper way, for we are determined to save you all, if possible. In former days the Lord cut off rebellious Israel by thousands, to save them; He had no other way for saving them. He had tried every other means; He had opened the sea for them to pass over dryshod, and overthrew their enemies, the horse and his rider, in the flood; He made the mountains skip like rams, and the little hills like lambs; He spoke to the angels, saying, throw down your food to them, and the bright clouds shed down manna to sustain them; He spake to them in thunders, in lightnings, in earthquakes, and tried every means to save them, that a God could try in the plentitude of His mercy, and when He had exhausted the arrows of His wrath in chastisement, and the wells of His mercy in blessings and entreaty, He cut them off by thousands.

O Israel, hear, while the voice of entreaty is in the land, hear the voice of brother Brigham, and awake from your slumbers; forsake your sins and abominations and turn unto your God, that repentance may reach you, and remission of sins, and the gifts and blessings of God come upon you. May God bless you in the name of Jesus Christ. Amen.

Those Who Are in Darkness Cannot Discern the Light—Exhortations to Male and Female to Seek After the Light of the Holy Ghost—Women Who Leave Their Husbands, Etc.

A Discourse by J. M. Grant, Delivered in the Tabernacle, Great Salt Lake City, Utah Territory, October 26, 1856.

While the sacrament is passing, I will occupy a short time, for I wish to bear my testimony to the truth of what we heard in the forepart of the day. It is not for want of truths or testimonies that the people are care less, but it is for the lack, on their part, of living up to the truths and testimonies they hear.

We have, in the revelations of God and in the teachings of the servants of God, a great variety of truths, but those truths are not specially in force and brought to bear upon our minds, and to be carried out in our practice, until we are fully impressed by that gift of the Lord God, which we call the Holy Ghost.

When the Spirit of the Lord rests upon a community, they naturally are inclined to feel after the Lord their God, and they are inclined unto righteousness, and they like the influence of that Spirit which leads into all truth; it is sweet and very delicious to them. But when darkness beclouds the people in consequence of their transgressions, they have but little relish for the things of God; they relish everything else but the things which pertain to the kingdom of God on the earth, and the kingdom of God hereafter. They cannot enjoy the Gospel as do those who are not in the dark, for those who are in the light can appreciate the light they are in the enjoyment of.

But while people are in the dark, they do not see the light; their deeds are not made manifest, for it is the light that maketh manifest. If a room be dark, the objects in that room are not discernible, but when light breaks into the room, the objects therein can be plainly seen.

We may say the same of the people of God; when they are in the dark, no difference how much light they may have had, if they pass from the light into the dark, they may remember that they once saw the light, they do not enjoy the light because they have passed from light into darkness, and they do not discern the objects in themselves. They gradually are sliding from the law of God, or from the Church of God, and do not discover where they are going or what from, from the fact that they are in the dark, they cannot see.

But when the light comes they discover that they are about falling from a precipice, about plunging into ruin, about going to destruction; the light makes this manifest, and they see their situation.

I have no idea that chastisement from this stand will increase the darkness, or aggravate the transgressions of the people; but if light breaks forth from any source and reflects upon the people, they then see the motes, the beams, and the dross in themselves. While the light makes manifest, the Spirit of God reveals the secrets of the heart, and makes manifest those dark spots that exist among the Saints of God.

Some suppose that they can pass by the Priesthood of God on the earth, and very lightly esteem the men who hold it. They think it is not material about offending the Bishops or the presiding Elders, or the councils that preside over them, and no difference, specially, about brother Brigham, “he is only brother Brigham, no difference about giving offense to him, or in associating with him.”

“We are conscious,” says one, “that we have offended him and many of the Councils of the Church, but notwithstanding this, we will go to God and ask Him, in the name of Jesus Christ, to forgive us, and we will make it all right between us and our God; and if we can only keep the stream pure between us and our God, no difference whether the water is dark and turbid between us and His servants, or not. We can get the Spirit of God for ourselves, and the blessings we want we will ask God for, no difference about offending His Servants.”

A great many people actually suppose that they can treat with impunity the authority of God, and the light of God, the chain that the Almighty has let down from heaven to earth, which we call the Priesthood; that they can break and insult that chain and trifle therewith, as much as they please, and when they please, that they can abuse Jehovah in His power and attri butes. I reason in a different circle, or upon a different principle; I have practiced a different principle. When I offend one of God’s servants, I consider it my duty to atone, to make reconciliation for my offense, no matter whether he be above or below in this Church, as the term is used; no matter whether it be President Brigham Young or my teacher, I have erred in either case.

A great many say, “If I can only keep the stream clear between me and the heads of the Church, that is all I want or care for.”

A High Priest in the road the other day, a talented man, an important man, said, “If he could only keep the stream clear between himself and the heads of the Church, that he would consider that he was all right.” I said to him, if you act upon that principle, in the same sense you have thrown it out to me, it will send you across lots to hell. The spirit of the principle to me was, that it did not matter about offending persons below him, or injuring different individuals in the Church, such as Elders, Priests, Teachers, Deacons, and Members, if he could only keep the stream pure between him and the First Presidency.

This idea a great many people entertain; they can offend their Bishops, or the Bishop’s Counselors, and the Teachers, and they can offend the President of a Branch of the Church, the President over the High Priests’ Quorum, and the President over the High Council, and they can offend all the Church, so they can only have the good graces of brother Brigham and his Council, that is enough for them.

That is actually the idea of some people. Such doctrine as that, with me, is the height of nonsense. You have not their good graces, only as you treat every person right. If you are dishonest with one of those poor benighted Indians, you foul the water between me and you, and God Al mighty will not give me power to bless you, until you rectify that wrong with that poor Indian, or with the least person on the footstool of God. And you should not pass by your Bishop and insult him, if you do, you will forfeit your claim to the throne of God in heaven, until you make reconciliation to that Bishop, or to any other person you have injured; and then it is time enough for you to bring your offerings, and they will be accepted in the sight of God, and in the sight of His servants.

We exist here in an organized Branch of the Church, we have several councils, quorums, and organizations. We were called upon during the last Conference, to elect a President of this Stake of Zion; Daniel Spencer and his two Counselors, Elders Fullmer and Rhodes, preside over this Stake. Now suppose they know that the Bishop of some ward, or one of his Counselors, is teaching an erroneous doctrine, it is the duty of Daniel Spencer to send for that Bishop, or that Counselor, or instruct some one in that ward to rectify that people.

The Presidency of this Branch of the Church should go to work and learn whether every quorum in this Branch is doing its duty. The First Presidency, by their sanction, have ceded the local Branch of this Church in Great Salt Lake City, to Daniel Spencer and his Council, and he should understand whether the first, second, third, fourth, fifth, sixth, seventh, eighth, ninth, tenth, eleventh, twelfth, thirteenth, fourteenth, fifteenth, sixteenth, seventeenth, eighteenth, nineteenth, and twentieth wards are in order; and if his jurisdiction extends beyond the city, he should ascertain whether every man is doing right within the bounds of that jurisdiction. And he ought to come up to the First President of the Church, and consider himself one of his Council, and report the situation of the different wards; and he ought to have a book containing full and correct reports from every Bishop of the different wards, that when the First President of the Church shall say, brother Spencer, in what condition is this or that Branch of the Church, he may be able at once to give a truthful report. He ought to know all about the High Priests, their number, and the number of the Seventies; where they meet, and what they are about. His eye ought to be through the city like the eye of God, to search the people over whom he is made President; and he ought to know that his Counselors are alive and active in the discharge of their duty. I do not know whether he can report so now or not, but I very much doubt whether he can.

Brother Spencer should come to the First President of the Church, and not consider that he is intruding, for he is rightly connected with him. Can a man be intruding when he does those things he has a right to do, and which pertain to his duty? No. Neither can he be intruding by reporting to the First President of the Church.

The presiding Bishop belongs to the First Presidency of this Church, and he ought to know about the situation of each ward, and not merely talk about the people’s paying their tithing, for there has been too much mere talking about it already. I would ask, have the people in this city paid their tithing? I sincerely doubt whether one fourth or even one eighth, have paid it. It is the duty of the Bishop not only to sound his trump outside this city, but in this city, and learn what persons are deficient in this point, and not cease with merely talking about it. Talking so much and not doing is one of the grand evils; it is not for the Bishop to merely talk about the people’s paying their tithing, and say that they are good fellows, &c., but we want him to know that the people pay their tithing, and that they are right; and then come to the First President of the Church and tell him those facts, reporting faithfully the situation of all the Bishops in the Church, and how they stand in their accounts with the General Tithing Office; and let him gather all the pile together.

If Bishop Hunter waits until the roads are muddy, he may expect to meet with drawbacks and losses, the bins are now as full as they will be. Strike while the iron is hot, is the old adage; but my adage is, strike while the roads are good, and while there is grain.

If you wait until after cold weather comes, after the mud comes, and after the people come in hungry, the bins where the wheat is now may be like they were with brother Browning; he had several hundred bushels of tithing wheat, and when we sent for it, there were somewhere about forty or fifty bushels; it had wasted; the cats, the goats, the ducks, the rats, the mice, the geese, and the ganders all were at work in those bins.

I want the Bishop to understand that we want the tithing brought to the storehouse of God, while it can be brought without delay; not merely to talk about it, but we want the work performed. I tell you that the people in this city do not walk up to their duty on the subject of tithing.

Members of the quorum of the Twelve, when at home, ought to be right about the First President of the Church with the power of God that is in them, and communicate some of that light to brother Brigham to comfort him. Do you expect brother Brigham to put fire into the whole of this people, and no man on earth put fire in him and bless him, and give him instruction and information? Must he impart and teach, and teach, and no man tell him anything?

We have missionaries who go out to different parts of this Territory, and over the earth, gaining experience and information, but can we get them up here to tell us one single thing they know? No, unless you take them by the back of the neck, and the seat of their pantaloons and haul them in sight, making them squeal like a “possum cat,” before you can get anything out of them.

We want you to impart what you know, if you have the light of God, or any information about heaven, earth, or hell. We want you to furnish your share to the fund of information, and not cry, all the day long, give, give, give, without imparting anything to the giver. We want the Twelve, when they are full of the Holy Ghost, to come up and bless us. And if any of you know how to make a good goose yoke, a hog yoke, a good jackknife, or anything else that is valuable, do not put your hands on your mouths and cry mum.

If you know how to raise wheat, potatoes, or anything else, impart your knowledge, that the light in you may not be hid under a bushel. It is so with almost every person in the Church; if they have light they keep it under a bed, or under a bushel; they keep it locked up within their bosoms, and we cannot get it out.

If a man knows anything valuable, we want him to impart his knowledge. We want the President of the Seventies, brother Joseph Young, about us; we do not want him to go on the hill where Lorenzo lived, but we want him to live in the city near brother Brigham, because, if he does not, he will die. Some of brother Joseph’s Council want to wander off, saying that brother Brigham says they may go. Why? Because they want to. If the light of God was in them, and the gift of the Holy Ghost, they would know that their place is at headquarters. We want such men to come and be one with the Prophet, and believe and understand for themselves.

If you offend your brother, you have to make reconciliation. You might as well baptize a dog, as baptize a man or woman who will not make reconciliation for the offenses they have committed. Some women will say, “What is the difference, suppose I offend my husband, if I can only lie to brother Brigham, and tell him a first-rate tale, and make out that my husband is a poor curse? I will get as many blessings as I want from brother Brigham, and from others that I can make believe that I am a good woman.”

I may not have used their words exactly, but those words portray their practices. That woman who offends her husband, if he has on him the power of the Priesthood and does right, I would not give a groat for all the blessings she will get from the Holy Ghost. You may as well baptize a dog, or a skunk, as such a woman, until she makes reconciliation with that man of God whom she has offended.

I sometimes talk about the old stereotyped edition of “Mormons.” Is it that I do not love our old fathers in Israel? No, for I know their labors, toils, and anxiety, and I love them; but many of them feel that they have done enough. Men have to be rewarded according to their works; if a man ceases to work, there is no more blessings for him. He is lariatted out, as Orson Pratt lariatted out the Gods in his theory; his circle is as far as the string extends. My God is not lariatted out.

I do not want the old men to grow dull. Was father Adam dull in his old age, when he blessed his children, and predicted what would befall them down to the latest generation? Will a man, fired up by the fire of the Almighty, be dull? No. I do not want the old men to think that they have done enough, but to exert themselves to the last, and not to believe in a God that is lariatted out, nor be lariatted out themselves, and say, “I have worked ten, fifteen, or twenty-five years, and I do not want to work anymore, my rope is long enough now.”

Do not imbibe that principle, but keep advancing and advancing in the knowledge of the truth, in the light of the Almighty which brightens up your intellects, enlightens your minds, and makes you feel the fire and power of God Almighty in your earthly tabernacles. We want our fathers in Israel to wake up and bless their children, to bless the young men and the Church of God, and let the fire of the Almighty be in them. We want the presiding Patriarch to freely call upon the Prophet, brother Brigham; and we want the heads of the different departments of the kingdom of God to come up and strengthen the hands of the Prophet.

The old men, those men who have been in the Church twenty years and more, are ready to run from the man of God that holds the keys of the kingdom of heaven. If you was full of the Holy Ghost you would not do this, but you would be round about us, instead of being all the time with your wives. It is the greatest piece of nonsense that was ever planted in a Gentile breast, for a man to tie himself down to be at home day and night with his women. Where would this kingdom go, if brother Brigham and his Council were to do so? It would go to hell, across lots, in double quick time. Do not let your wives bind you up with green withes and strong cords as Delilah did Sampson, and make you powerless. Break asunder the cords, the ropes and cables that bind you, and come forth, ye old men, out of your shells, and break your lariats and your stakes, and begin to drink of the fountain of life, with God and His servants.

I might say to the young men wake up from your sleep, that you may have the blessings of God poured out upon you. And if the women want to know what I think of many of them, let them read the 32nd chapter of Isaiah; I had better read part of it for you. “Rise up, ye women that are at ease; hear my voice, ye careless daughters; give ear unto my speech. Many days and years shall ye be troubled, ye careless women: for the vintage shall fail, the gathering shall not come. Tremble, ye women that are at ease; be troubled, ye careless ones: strip you, and make you bare, and gird sackcloth upon your loins.”

I want to say to many of our old women, and to hundreds and thousands of our young women, that the life of God Almighty is not in you; you are at ease, and careless, and dull, and blind, and you do not understand the rights that God Almighty wishes you to enjoy. I want such women to humble themselves in sackcloth and ashes, until they get the Holy Ghost. I want every mother and daughter in Israel to serve their God, have the light of God in them, instead of pride, foolery, nonsense, and everything that is light and vain. Rise up, ye careless women that are asleep in Zion, and betake yourselves to mourning and lamenting before God, until the light of heaven shall shine upon you, until the light of God shall chase away your pride, and your abomination, and your sins, and be round about you, and until the eye of heaven smiles upon you and blesses you forever. I want you to be blest and saved, that your children may rise up and be blest. I want the women to understand that there is something in Zion for them to do, instead of going to sleep. There is a work upon you; you have made covenants and sacred obligations, as well as the men, and we want you not to falsify those obligations, but to keep the law of your husbands, and listen to them, and know that they are your head.

A man is a president to his family. If the Church has a head, which is Christ, then is the man the head of his family. Some men are not the heads of their families, but their wives walk on them, their daughters walk on them, and their sons walk on them, and they are as the soles of their shoes.

Talk of some men’s being the heads of their families. It makes me think of the old deacon, that went to teach a man and his wife who were quarrelsome; said he, “Do you not know that you and your husband are one flesh?” “You don’t say that, do you, deacon?” “Yes, the Lord has made you one.” “Lord God,” said she, “if you were to pass by here when me and my old man are quarreling, you would think there were fifty of us.” This is often the case in Israel; instead of the men being the heads of their families, they are as sole leather under their feet.

I want the women to understand, when they have a good husband, one that does his duty, that he is president over them and that they have made covenants to abide the law of that husband. Talk about women leaving their husbands! I would be far from taking a woman that would leave a GOOD man. A woman that wants to climb up to Jesus Christ, and pass by the authorities between her and him is a stink in my nostrils. I have large nostrils, and I often talk about smelling, for my olfactory nerves are very sensitive. I want women to know their places and do their duty; but there is a low, stinking pride in a woman, that wants to leave a good husband to go to another. What does it matter where you are, if you do your duty? Being in one man’s family or the other man’s family is not going to save you, but doing your duty before your God is what will save you.

Because I am one of the Council of the First President, will that save me? No, but if I am saved, I shall be saved because I do my duty as a man of God. Shall a man be saved because of some particular Quorum to which he belongs, or a woman be saved because she is in some particular family? No, that is foolery. Men and women are saved because they do right. It is nonsense for a woman to suppose, that because she is sealed to some particular man she will be saved, and at the same time kick up hell’s delight, play the whore, and indulge in other evil acts and abominations.

Even some mothers in Israel actually suppose that if their daughters are sealed to a certain man they will be saved, no matter what they do afterwards. That is damned foolery; and I want men and women to understand that salvation is based on a better foundation, that it is made up of righteousness, joy, and peace in the Holy Ghost.

We want you to understand that the power of the Holy Ghost should be in you. We want fathers, mothers, sons, daughters, and the whole Church renovated and made one. Do you suppose that I can be saved by standing alone, or that brother Heber can, or by attempting to use our Apostleship independent of brother Brigham? We have sense enough to know that we have no power, only as we are one with him. Or can the Twelve, or anyone else, have any power, only as they are one with brother Brigham? No. In the same way no woman can be right, only that woman who is one in spirit with her husband. We should then be one in understanding, in power, in the gifts of God and in the light of the Gospel, and do right all the time. May God Almighty wake up the fathers, the mothers, the sons and the daughters, and bless you all and keep you in the path of your duty, and save you in the name of Jesus Christ. Amen.

Overcome the Powers of Darkness By Prayer—Spiritual Things First in Importance—Cleanliness

Remarks by President J. M. Grant, Delivered in the Bowery, Great Salt Lake City, October 12, 1856.

I am glad this morning to hear from brother Daniel Spencer, and to learn that he feels that the Lord has blest the people in this land, as well as in the land where he has been sojourning for a time.

I do not and have not felt that I need a mission to a foreign land for the purpose of causing me to understand myself, or to fill me with the Holy Ghost, or to prepare me to be useful in this land; neither have I felt I needed to go to the United States or any other part of the world to put on the Gospel armor. I feel it to be necessary that I should wear that armor here, and if I ever have had it on, I feel that I have had it on in this land; and I do not deem it necessary for many men to cross the ocean to get the Holy Ghost, or to enjoy the power of God. If they will do the will of God in this land, they will see their situation and be filled with His power from the crown of their heads to the soles of their feet; I believe that if the Saints were to have more religion in their own homes they would be better off.

Were I thirsty and could go to a spring or lake whose water was pure and clear as crystal, even the best that could be found, I should have no occasion for going to another and more distant place to procure water. And if I should find ice there, should I say it was too much trouble to break it? No, but I should labor to break that ice; and the thicker the ice, the more persevering I should labor, until I got some of the water of the crystal fountain.

While paying attention to the prayers of some persons in their family devotions, I sometimes notice that they often stop praying without breaking through the darkness and obtaining the Holy Spirit. If I found that it was necessary to pray three hours I would keep praying for that length of time, or until I got the Spirit, unless I remembered that I had neglected a special duty, when I would go and attend to that duty; after which I should want to return and pray until I got the Holy Ghost; I would keep praying until I broke the ice and obtained the Holy Ghost.

Some think that they have already labored enough to obtain heaven. Such persons put me in mind of Sidney Rigdon, who said that he had suffered enough to obtain salvation. He said that the sufferings of Jesus Christ were light in comparison with what he had endured, and he would be damned to hell if he would suffer any more.

I notice that some who gather here think they have already suffered enough, and feel like saying, “I will be damned to hell if I will suffer any more.”

Many of those who have come with handcarts think that they have done wonders, therefore they want every hat hoisted in deference to them, and every meal bag gratuitously opened; and they want everybody to feed, clothe, and lodge them, and find them everything they need, because they have dragged a handcart across the Plains.

You deserve credit for what you have done, but I make this observation that you may know that you have not yet got into the harbor of eternal life; and that you may not think that you have not anything to do now that you have come here, for unless you keep on the armor, you will be overcome.

We want people that have come here with their Gospel armor on to keep it on, that they may shed abroad the light of God, and the gift of the Holy Ghost. We have given the same instructions to Elders that have returned, and we want every class of men and women in this Church to keep on the Gospel armor.

I want to say to every institution in our midst, whether the talent they have is under the supervision of eight, ten, or twelve men, we wish you to manifest that you have the Holy Ghost for your guidance, and then to go to work and convert Great Salt Lake City. I want you to try your skill and the power of God upon this city, and exert yourselves through your Wards, under the direction of the Bishops, that you may be the means of filling the people with the Holy Ghost, and in order that you may have power and discretion to act wisely, see that you have the light of heaven in your own hearts.

Many talk of their visions, revelations, and mighty works; but we have to have minds and men that think, and have wisdom in all their ways. It is for us to occupy our minds and direct our labors in the proper channel, and to use our talents and intellects as the head shall direct.

There is a drought and has been; the people have felt too much like putting their temporal affairs first, and then attending to the spiritual at their leisure.

So much do many act upon this principle that their intellectual faculties become dark, they do not get into the light of the Lord Jesus Christ and of the gift of the Holy Ghost, of the light of eternity; but their temporal matters are first and foremost. If they have a gewgaw, they take great pleasure in going round to exhibit it, and they will borrow beads, rings, watches, and all kinds of gewgaws to gratify the pride of their hearts. Such hearts are not right before God, and such conduct must be done away from among the Latter-day Saints.

I will now mention another thing; some will ask you three dollars a day for common labor, and others will not lift a pick, shovel, or ax, short of two dollars a day; and they have left the best situations in the Territory and have gone to Provo and other places, because they could get but $1.50 a day. They are our handcart men who are acting so. This proves that they came here for the loaves and fishes. They will tell you that they have learned to draw the handcarts, and now they expect the highest wages.

I want to notify all Saints, whether they came with handcarts, horses, mules, or oxen, wagons, carriages, or wheelbarrows, that in this land we wish you to keep the commandments of God, and when you have food, raiment, and shelter, be satisfied and don’t be greedy. Do not expect to get as many comforts around you the first year, as men have got in many years by hard labor and toil. Remember that some of us came here in 1847, with scarcely anything, and we have had to toil assiduously to accumulate what we have. Do not you the first year, month, or week, covet everything that you see; do not covet every man’s house and business, but seek the blessings of the Lord God of Israel, and bring up your temporal matters in their place and season.

I will explain what I mean by place and season. Go to different parts of the Territory and advance the people in their religion, make them humble and faithful so that the Spirit of the Lord shall govern them, till all shall be sweetened in their minds and be united as one, till they shall see eye to eye, and hear ear to ear, and if they do not keep up their temporal affairs, they will fall right back. A man that advances in spiritual and in temporal matters at the same time, minding to keep the spiritual first, will not let the temporal lead him; he will not place his heart upon his farm, his horses, or any possession that he has. He will place his desires in heaven, and will anchor his hope in that eternal soil; and his temporal affairs will come up as he advances in the knowledge of God.

The temporal will keep pace as the spiritual advances. I do not believe that a man who is full of the Holy Ghost is going to live contentedly in a hogpen, in filth and in dirt, when it is in his power to prevent it. Go through our city and you will find some who are living in dirt and degradation; some who like dirt, who like to have their cow in the house and their chickens in the buttery; who like to have their pigs and children near enough for them to feed together; and their children are as naughty and filthy as they can be. And yet such persons think they have the Spirit and power of God! This is one reason why so many people die, while journeying to this place; it is because the Holy Ghost is sick of them.

If you want the Holy Ghost, keep yourselves clean. I know that some think, when they get here, “O, we are in Zion, everything is right; there is no use in washing our children or combing their hair.” I want you to understand that we wish you to be clean outside as well as inside; we want you to be clean and pure; to be good-natured and possessed of every qualification requisite in a Saint of God; to have everything that can bring the light and gift of God among you.

I want the people to be pure in their words, in their deeds, in their spirits, and to be diligent in their prayers. I want men that come in from Europe, and from different parts of the United States, to purify themselves and go to with their might to work righteousness. I want the returned missionaries to know that if they have been out preaching the Gospel, we also want them to go to work now they have come home.

I want everyone to understand that we have plenty of grunters, plenty of those who are made up of whining. Yes, we have more of those instruments to play upon than we have any use for.

We want you all to keep the light of our God. And we want to see the spirit of reformation in the people; we wish them to have it in practice in their houses; not only to talk about it, but to practice upon it.

The difficulty is that we cannot get the people to practice; they will listen as to a fine sermon, and we can get them to work in the canyons and in the fields, and to do many other things; but there are too many who like intoxicating drinks, tobacco, filth, dirt, and meanness. Some like to break the Sabbath, to brand another’s ox, which they find on the range, and to occasionally steal a little; there are some here who will steal, when they have an opportunity.

I wish to inform the newcomers that if they want to find the finest and best men in the world, they are here; and if they want to find the meanest, most pusillanimous curses that the world can produce, we have them here. We have here some of the most miserable curses that ever the Almighty frowned upon, for it takes an apostate “Mormon” to be a mean devil. We want you to have eyes to see; we do not want you to see merely what is in the books you have read, in your mathematics and your philosophy, but want you to have in you the Holy Ghost, to be full of the spirit of the Lord Jesus.

We have Elders who are fine speakers, fine orators, and who wish to talk very properly after the manner of the world. They did so in Europe, and they want to do so here; they want to preach those old sermons over, those that they have been accustomed to preach in the old world. But we want Elders to get up and preach as the Holy Ghost shall dictate; we do not want any of your long, prosy sermons; we prefer the word of life by the power of the Spirit.

I desire to see men reform in their acts, and not say “let our neighbors be converted,” but let them say, in the name of Israel’s God, “the reformation shall be carried into our houses, to our children, and we will take it home with us, and will gird on our armor, and go ahead in the cause of God,” for this is what we are sent here for.

May God grant that you may all strive to work righteousness, in the name of Jesus. Amen.

Exhortation to Cleanliness—Many of the Saints Spiritually Dead

Remarks by President J. M. Grant, Delivered in the 17th Ward Schoolhouse, Great Salt Lake City, October 2, 1856.

You are not acquainted with the spirit that prevails with this work, neither with the fact that many of the people who come to this place think that the Presidency will save them, regardless of their own individual conduct.

We gather all kinds of people in this kingdom; some of them are as corrupt as men can be, and they are scattered all over the Territory, and I think you have a few of them in your Ward.

Elders while abroad in the vineyard feel to have the Holy Ghost, but many of them, when they get home, act like the devil. They will do well until they get their companies here in the Valley and turn them over to the Presidency of the Church; then they will say, “I will not have them in my charge anymore, let the consequences be what they may.” They will not render the Presidency any encouragement or assistance about their companies after they arrive here.

Now we have all kinds of people in this Church, and you have some of the different kinds. Some cannot pray night or day, nor ask a blessing, lest they should spend some time which they wish to use for something else. Some think the reason why we do not progress more rapidly is because we are continually adding new clay, but I would rather have new clay than to undertake to make a vessel of honor out of a good deal of our old clay, for much of it has stuck to the tempering vessel until it stinks.

If there is a place on the earth where we should be faithful, it is in this city; or if there is a place where we should watch our children, it is here. Go to all the quorums in this city, and you will find some of their Presidents and Officers as corrupt as the devil. We have men that can beat the Gentiles in any mean tricks they are a mind to start up, but those who intend to serve God should do right.

I want to see the Bishops of the Wards right, then I want to see the Teachers right; I want to see them all filled with the Holy Ghost, then they can do something. Did I ever cry peace and safety to this people, that they were ALL doing well, and that their warfare was over? No, I never did. When I know that sudden destruction awaits a people, if they do not awake to their situation, I cannot cry peace.

This people are asleep; and I will vouch that there are many of them who do not pray, or if they do, three such prayers “would freeze hell over,” as a Methodist minister once said. I want you to pray with the Holy Ghost upon you.

It is your duty to keep clean. I have given the Teachers a new set of questions to ask the people. I say to them, ask the people whether they keep clean. Do you wash your bodies once in each week, when circumstances will permit? Do you keep your dwellings, outhouses, and dooryards clean? The first work of the reformation with some, should be to clean away the filth about their pre mises. How would some like to have President Young visit them and go through their buildings, examine their rooms, bedding, &c.?

Many houses stink so bad, that a clean man could not live in them, nor hardly breathe in them. Some men were raised in stink, and so were their fathers before them. I would not attempt to bless anybody in such places. You may inquire why I talk so. Can you talk in a better style about dirt, nastiness, and filth? If you can, I cannot, and at the same time make people feel enough upon the subject to put away their filth and be clean. If you want me to speak smoother, do better and keep cleaner. Were I to talk about God, heaven, angels, or anything good, I could talk in a more refined style, but I have to talk about things as they do exist among us.

Some people wish to have me shut my mouth, and to have President Young talk. But, thank God, they cannot shut my mouth until I get through, for I never had a gag in my mouth.

I now want to tell you of another fault there is among some of the people; they want to hear a new man preach and teach, and do not wish to hear the Bishop of their own Ward. I understand that tonight, while we have a meeting here, there must be a party got up in this same Ward. I would see them in Tophet before I would allow it.

There are many of the Seventies who are spiritually dead and damned, and so are many of the Elders. Many of the Presidents of Quorums are like pipe which needs to be burnt out, before it is fit to be used. It is the same with many of the High Priests and others. I pray God that this people may rise up and get the Holy Ghost, and wake up and live their religion, which I ask in the name of Jesus Christ. Amen.

Rebuking Iniquity

Remarks by President J. M. Grant, Delivered in the Bowery, Great Salt Lake City, September 21, 1856.

I feel that the remarks which we have heard this morning are true, and they apply directly to you who are now present, and to the inhabitants of this city and of the Territory generally, and we do not excuse any of you.

If the arrows of the Almighty ought to be thrown at you we want to do it, and to make you feel and realize that we mean you. And although we talk of the old clay’s being ground in the mill, we do not mean it to apply to some other place, for we have enough here who have been dried ever since their baptism, and many of them are cracked and spoiling.

Some have received the Priesthood and a knowledge of the things of God, and still they dishonor the cause of truth, commit adultery, and every other abomination beneath the heavens, and then meet you here or in the street, and deny it.

These are the abominable characters that we have in our midst, and they will seek unto wizards that peep, and to stargazers and soothsayers, because they have no faith in the holy Priesthood, and then when they meet us, they want to be called Saints.

The same characters will get drunk and wallow in the mire and filth, and yet they call themselves Saints, and seem to glory in their conduct, and they pride themselves in their greatness and in their abominations.

They are the old hardened sinners, and are almost—if not altogether—past improvement, and are full of hell, and my prayer is that God’s indignation may rest upon them, and that He will curse them from the crown of their heads to the soles of their feet.

I say, that there are men and women that I would advise to go to the President immediately, and ask him to appoint a committee to attend to their case; and then let a place be selected, and let that committee shed their blood.

We have those amongst us that are full of all manner of abominations, those who need to have their blood shed, for water will not do, their sins are of too deep a dye.

You may think that I am not teaching you Bible doctrine, but what says the apostle Paul? I would ask how many covenant breakers there are in this city and in this kingdom. I believe that there are a great many; and if they are covenant breakers we need a place designated, where we can shed their blood.

Talk about old clay; I would rather have clay from a new bank than some that we have had clogging the wheels for the last nineteen years. They are a perfect nuisance, and I want them cut off, and the sooner it is done the better.

We have men who are incessantly finding fault, who get up a little party spirit, and criticize the conduct of men of God. They will find fault with this, that, and the other, and nothing is right for them, because they are full of all kinds of filth and wickedness.

And we have women here who like anything but the celestial law of God; and if they could break asunder the cable of the Church of Christ, there is scarcely a mother in Israel but would do it this day. And they talk it to their husbands, to their daughters, and to their neighbors, and say they have not seen a week’s happiness since they became acquainted with that law, or since their husbands took a second wife. They want to break up the Church of God, and to break it from their husbands and from their family connections.

Then, again, there are men that are used as tools by their wives, and they are just a little better in appearance and in their habits than a little black boy. They live in filth and nastiness, they eat it and drink it, and they are filthy all over.

We have Elders and High Priests that are precisely in this predicament, and yet they are wishing for more of the Holy Ghost, they wish to have it in larger doses. They want more revelation, but I tell you that you now have more than you live up to, more than you practice and make use of.

If I hurt your feelings let them be hurt. And if any of you ask, do I mean you? I answer, yes. If any woman asks, do I mean her? I answer, yes. And I want you to understand that I am throwing the arrows of God Almighty among Israel; I do not excuse any.

I am speaking to you in the name of Israel’s God, and you need to be baptized and washed clean from your sins, from your backslidings, from your apostasies, from your filthiness, from your lying, from your swearing, from your lusts, and from everything that is evil before the God of Israel.

We have been trying long enough with this people, and I go in for letting the sword of the Almighty be unsheathed, not only in word, but in deed.

I go in for letting the wrath of the Almighty burn up the dross and the filth; and if the people will not glorify the Lord by sanctifying themselves, let the wrath of the Almighty God burn against them, and the wrath of Joseph and of Brigham, and of Heber, and of high heaven.

There is nothing to prevent you from being humble and doing right, but your own little, foolish, and wicked acts and doings. I will just tell you that if an angel of God were to pass Great Salt Lake City, while you are in your present state, he would not consider you worthy of his company.

You have got to cleanse yourselves from corruption, before you are fit for the society of those beings. You may hear of people in other cities being baptized and renewing their covenants, but they are not sinners above all others; and except the inhabitants of Great Salt Lake City repent, and do their first works, they shall all likewise perish, and the wrath of God will be upon them and round about them.

You can scarcely find a place in this city that is not full of filth and abominations; and if you would search them out, they would easily be weighed in the balances, and you would then find that they do not serve their God, and purify their bodies.

But the course they are taking leads them to corrupt themselves, the soil, the waters, and the mountains, and they defile everything around them.

Brethren and sisters, we want you to repent and forsake your sins. And you who have committed sins that cannot be forgiven through baptism, let your blood be shed, and let the smoke ascend, that the incense thereof may come up before God as an atonement for your sins, and that the sinners in Zion may be afraid.

These are my feelings, and may God fulfil them. And my wishes are that He will grant the desires of my brethren, that Zion may be purified, and the wicked purged out of her, until God shall say I will bless the rest; until He shall say I will bless your flocks, your herds, your little ones, your houses, your lands, and all that you possess; and you shall be my people, and I will come and take up my abode with you, and I will bless all those that do right; which may He grant, in the name of Jesus. Amen.

Why the Saints Rejoice—The Spirit Received Through Laying on of Hands—Cleanliness

A Discourse by President Jedediah M. Grant, Delivered in the Bowery, Great Salt Lake City, August 3, 1856.

Having the privilege of speaking to you this morning, I particularly need the aid and assistance of the Spirit of the Lord, for I have been laboring under indisposition for several weeks, and do not possess that physical force which is natural to me, therefore I need more of the divine influence of the Holy Spirit.

We have professedly gathered ourselves to this land to serve our God; we feel that we have found the pearl of great price. It matters but little in relation to the land that we dwell upon, or the special comforts of life that we may have found and now enjoy in this land, so we but have within us that eternal treasure that warrants us in believing that we please our God, and that He approbates our course.

I am aware that the Christians would think inasmuch as they have circulated the Bible among the nations of the earth, that they have thereby done much towards spreading the Gospel and establishing the kingdom of God on the earth. But you, as reasonable men, would consider that I reasoned very badly, were I to say that the United States by circulating the Constitution among the various governments on the earth, had thereby established so many republics.

In order for the kingdom of God to have an existence upon the earth, we naturally need the radiant light of heaven, we need the divine sanction of the Almighty, and He will set a man to properly organize His people, and execute those things which He designs to have carried out. Some may ask, why the Latter-day Saints rejoice? I answer, we rejoice not alone in that we have a claim superior to the claims of others; not alone in that we have houses and lands, and power and authority, and the comforts of this city, but in the privileges given us by the Almighty, through faith and obedience, for being more happy than other people. We have not the facilities that the people of many other cities and parts of the earth possess; indeed, we are deprived of many of the comforts and luxuries which many enjoy in other climes. But suppose we are, did we come here for them? Were they the grand object of our leaving our native soil? Was this the view we had when we left Europe, the United States, or any other part of the earth, or the islands of the sea? Did we come here to obtain a better farm, to obtain the luxuries of life? If this was the object of our pursuit, we have certainly been mistaken.

It is possible that some may have been tempted, as they were in the days of Jesus, by the loaves and fishes; but those who understood the truth, and comprehended and loved virtue, had no such idea. They understood that the Gospel of the Son of God, proclaimed and taught by the proper officers, had been brought unto them, and that the scepter of life had been held out to them. And may we not, as Saints of God, rejoice that we have found and received the truth, that we have tasted of its sweetness, and that it has made us happy.

It matters not whether you dwell in Great Salt Lake City, or in the different settlements of this territory, or whether you are associated with those that are following some special branch of mechanism, if you have the principles of eternal life, the gift of the Holy Ghost, the will of the Lord, the power of God within you, for then you will be contented. On the other hand, if you have not the principles that come from Heaven, though you may have rich soil to cultivate, and splendid houses to dwell in, though you may be connected with wealthy and influential families, and possess choice localities in a powerful state, you are not happy, you are not contented, for there is a vacuum where the principles of life should be, and gold and silver will not fill it and satisfy the cravings within.

Some people act as if they looked for this city to be like the various other cities of the earth, and if they do not prosper as well as they think they ought, they turn round upon us as though this world’s goods were the primary object of their coming here. I admit that Heaven has seen fit to give us many of the comforts of life, but the primary object of our coming here was not to obtain more desirable temporal blessings, or to obtain more gold or silver. This was not our view, but we came here to do the will of our Father; and we built houses, laid out farms and went to work as we would elsewhere, but these things did not induce us to come here. When we enlisted in the covenant of the everlasting Gospel of Jesus Christ, our object was to attain eternal life; the object of our coming here was to please our God.

We did not merely have the Bible circulated among us; Joseph Smith did not merely tell us that he was a missionary sent to proclaim that which was proclaimed and believed in the Garden of Eden, or the testimony that was given to Noah before the flood; or that he was sent simply to bring the books of Moses with the writings of the ancient Apostles and Prophets; or alone to inform us of the works of Jesus Christ when upon the earth. This was not alone the work of the Prophet, but it was that he had received a commission from the Almighty, that he had been ordained by Peter, James and John, who were sent unto him as messengers or ministers from the heavens with proper authority, and had given him the legal authority of God—for what? To build up the kingdom of God upon the earth, to organize it and set it in order, and to ordain proper officers to execute the law. This Apostle of Jesus Christ told the people that if they would obey the Gospel, if they would repent of their sins, if they would be baptized for the remission of their sins, they should receive the gift of the Holy Ghost, by the laying on of hands, which he was authorized to administer.

Many complied with the teachings of the Prophet, and what was the result? Much the same as we read of in the Bible and the Book of Mormon. The Prophet translated the Book of Mormon, and therein found the subject of salvation set forth as it is in the Bible, only more plainly and fully. The Book of Mormon and the Prophet Joseph taught repentance the same as the Bible, therefore they agreed; and the Prophet never limited that instruction, neither did he limit any of the teachings of the ancients.

If Joseph had merely sold the people the Bible and Book of Mormon, would they have received the gift of the Holy Ghost? It was, and I presume still is, a favorite theme with Mr. Alexander Campbell, of the United States, that “the word is the Spirit and the Spirit is the word,” in short that there is no Spirit to be received separate from the word of God. His logic amounts virtually to this—“Simply preach the Bible, the word of God and salvation as printed in the Bible; and all who purchase the Bible thereby purchase eternal life.”

Who that is rational and possessed of a disposition to scan the subject can believe such a doctrine? Doubtless Moses heard the thunder of the Almighty on Mount Sinai, and saw the lightnings, but would you say that I was reasoning correctly, if I were to say that I heard that thunder and saw those lightnings simply through reading the history thereof in the Bible? Again, would I be reasoning correctly to say, because I have read the account of what transpired on the day of Pentecost, when the Spirit was poured out upon the people and Peter spoke as he was moved upon by the Holy Ghost, that I, therefore, have seen the day of Pentecost? That because I have read the history of some of the operations of the Holy Ghost, therefore I have the Holy Ghost? Or that I heard them speak in tongues, because I have read the history of persons speaking in tongues? Certainly not.

I am aware that hundreds and thousands of different denominations disagree with Mr. Campbell, and also declare that they receive the Spirit of the Lord, what they call the new birth, a change of the heart, put off the old man and put on the new man, and at the same time the operations of their minds, their course of life and all their doings and sayings, prove that they are equally as far behind as Mr. Campbell, and that they have only the history of the light itself.

Should you light a room with gas, and should an artist take a sketch of the light, and some author write a history of the affair, and at a subsequent date some other man writes history, and should the two accounts be placed together, describing the beauty thereof and benefit thereof, would the history of the light and the benefit that had been derived therefrom, and the abundance of that light that was said to have existed, light up a hall? If it would, do not buy any more candles, but read the history of candles, and stick that history in your candlesticks; read the history of oil and wick, and stick that in your lamp, and see how much light you will get.

You may read the Book of Mormon and the Book of Doctrine and Covenants, and the word of God in its various written and printed forms, and after you have read them all, have you, by so doing, gained any right to say that you have the light of Moses, Isaiah, Daniel, and other ancient and modern men of God? Have you any reason to say that you possess the same light, the same joy, the same spirit, as they did, in consequence of your possessing the same written word of God that they possessed? Yes, if Mr. Campbell’s doctrine be correct. No doubt the followers of Mr. Campbell consider the doctrine true, and his logic and reasoning correct.

Some, in the so-called Christian world, contend that the spirit is the word, and that word, they argue, will save the people.

Now suppose that some missionary or Bible society should send a few missionaries to the Latter-day Saints, in these valleys, upon hearing that we were short of bread and other kinds of food, and suppose that those missionaries should tell us about the various kinds of food necessary to sustain life; and then suppose that this benevolent institution should publish 15 or 20,000 tracts to teach us what an advantage it is to live in New York, London, Paris, or New Orleans, and what they live upon in the various regions of the habitable portions of the earth, what good would all that do us? I answer, not any.

After you have read in this book (holding up the Bible) concerning the commission which Jesus gave to certain of his disciples, can you get up and say that you are Peter, James, John, or any of the ancient Apostles, or Prophets? Or by so doing, that you had the Holy Ghost, the same as they had?

Could you reason that when you had read the account of the Psalmist, where he says, “The mountains skipped like rams, and the little hills like lambs,” that you had seen the glory of God in this way, because the Psalmist records that he saw it?

Could you, when you have read that Paul knew a man who was caught up to the third heavens, testify that you knew the man who was caught up, simply from having read that account?

When you read of the gifts that were bestowed upon and circulated among the people of God, you certainly would not wish others to suppose that mere reading about them puts you in possession of the same blessings.

But many in the world would suppose that when they preach and circulate the Bible, they actually put in the possession of the people that power and life and those gifts, that the ancient Apostles and Prophets and Saints of God enjoyed.

Brethren and sisters, we understand the difference between enjoying and reading of enjoyment, between the history of a feast and the feast itself; also between the history of the law of God and the law itself.

When the Prophet Joseph came among the people he did not tell them that he would sell them the word of God, but after he had established the truth in their minds and they were baptized, he then laid his hands upon them that they might receive the gift of the Holy Ghost, for he had promised this, and they received the Holy Comforter and the same light, the same Spirit, the same power of God, and the same principles of eternal life; that very gift which is the greatest gift of God, and it gave them the same joy, and the same great blessings, and this Spirit taught them the will of God.

Herein is the difference between this Church and the people of the world. They rejoice in thinking that their forefathers had such rich blessings, and that they were so happy and rejoiced so much that they saw God, His Son Jesus Christ, and Peter, James, and John; and that their forefathers received the Holy Ghost.

We rejoice that we have seen and that our Prophets have received the like blessing, and not that we read of their enjoyment. We rejoice that our God lives, that Jesus Christ His Son lives, and that the gifts and blessings are bestowed upon us.

It is generally admitted that it is natural for parents to love their young children as well as the older ones, and if there be any difference, they will love the youngest ones a little the most, for they sometimes have to be more severe with the older ones.

But the world reverse this doctrine with regard to the Almighty, for they make God love Adam, Abraham, and the ancients, but when it comes down to the present time their wonderful, peacemaking religion makes them rejoice that their older brethren and sisters had rich dinners and suppers, and that they had feasted on the good things of heaven, but that our father is so unmerciful in our day that we have to eat husks.

According to the doctrine of our religious friends, we have to rejoice that the ancients enjoyed the rich blessings of our Father, and that He will not give us anything but the history thereof. (President B. Young: And the chaff.)

Such a course is not as consistent as that of the devil, for he treats his first children in a certain way, and then he treats all the others in much the same way; he treats everybody about alike.

Have we not a right to receive those blessings that were enjoyed by our elder brethren? If the devil tempts and tries everybody, and if the young children have to be tried, why not the young be blest like the old children?

I am aware that the Latter-day Saints require a great deal of preaching, and some of that, too, on subjects very easy of comprehension; I will tell you what I said to one of our home missionaries a few days ago, and I said the same to one of the brethren from Grantsville, when speaking to him about the petty wrangling there.

They wanted a new local President and a new local Bishop, they wanted this, that, and the other, and wished to know what we had to say. I remarked, if you wish to know what I have to say, I will tell you.

Said I, if an angel of God should come to that village, he would say to its inhabitants, “Repent and wash your bodies, repent and clean up your dooryards, repent and cleanse your outhouses,” all of which I seriously think that they have very much need to do.

After they have actually cleansed themselves and commenced doing right, and have cleansed their locality, I presume that then an angel, or a man of God, might tell them what further to do.

I actually suppose that in the instructions which an angel of God would give, the very first lesson would be to teach cleanliness to the filthy, and then instruct them to keep themselves cleanly all the time. This is what our President is frequently teaching you; and yet you may go into some parts of this city, and you would actually think that Provo River affords no more water than would suffice for cleansing them.

I like a place constantly kept clean, and that must be so to satisfy me, I not only want the history of a people’s being clean, and of their having cleansed up their dooryards, outbuildings, and grounds, but I want them to do it.

We have preached cleanliness at Fillmore, last winter; and when I went there lately I was pleased to see that they had made some little improvement.

But there is still by far too much carelessness in this matter, and some people seem to love to live amidst filth, and to snuff its nauseous and unhealthy odors, when it would be far better to apply it to enriching your soil.

You have been taught true doctrines, and the Lord God has given you the Holy Ghost which has purified your hearts, and now purify all that pertains to you.

The time will come when you will be tried in this respect; and the days of power will come, when the power of God will be more abundantly poured out upon those who are prepared for it. And you who have the truth and do not live up to it, who do not live up to that light and intelli gence which is given you, who do not purify your bodies, your clothing, your buildings, your dooryards, gardens, and fields, may look for the wrath of God to burn against you.

It is your duty to be clean and neat, and it is the duty of all the settlements throughout the Territory.

You have the history of the light, and you have received the virtue and power which are in the Gospel of Jesus Christ, and it is for you to obey your leaders and the intelligence which is in you, which may the Lord grant, in the name of Jesus. Amen.

A Prayer

By President Jedediah M. Grant, at the celebration of the 24th of July, 1856, in Big Cottonwood Canyon, Utah.

Our Father and our God, in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ, we bow before thee, and thank thee that we have the privilege of coming to the tops of these mountains to worship thee our God, and to celebrate the liberty of thy people, and their entrance into these peaceful valleys and mountains.

We thank thee for these mountains, for the fountains of waters that flow from them, for the timber that grows upon them, and for all the blessings that thou hast vouchsafed to thy people in this land.

We thank thee that thou hast preserved this land from the eye of the wicked, that they have not desired it, that they have not coveted it, that thou hast kept it for thy people and hast brought them hither, through the instrumentality of thy servant Brigham, whom thou hast inspired by the Holy Ghost.

We thank thee that we here rest secure from our enemies, that we and our families enjoy peace and rest from the persecutions of those who hate thy chosen people.

We thank thee for this goodly inheritance which thou hast vouchsafed to thy people, and for the privilege of raising our banners and ensigns on these mountain tops. May our enemies never have power over us, and may we be blessed by doing right and keeping thy commandments, by living pure, and by being watchful and careful to do no evil, that we may multiply in our families, in our flocks, and in our herds, in our fields and habitations.

We pray thee, in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ, that thou wouldst bless this valley and all the adjacent valleys; and bless the streams of water that flow from the mountains. As we are at the head of Big Cottonwood Canyon, we pray thee that thou wilt bless it, and the water that flows to the mills, and to the land we cultivate. And may the timber and grass, and vegetation of every description, growing in this little valley in the tops of these mountains, be blessed; and we consecrate and dedicate it to thee for the benefit of thy people, for their happiness, that they may rest here and be safe. Bless all the elements that are here; may the rocks and the mountains be blessed, and everything that has life.

We pray thee, in the name of the Lord Jesus, that thou wouldst bless thy servant Brigham, and those associated with him, who have taken pains to prepare the way, and kindly invite us to these regions. May we feel that we are blest, and that the Lord, through the dispensation of His providence, has granted to us these fa vors. We ask thy choicest blessings on thy servants Brigham, Heber, and the Twelve, and upon all thy faithful people in every kingdom and nation. Bless our friends, and all who speak comforting words to thy people, and defend them, and may the enemies of truth and righteousness be confounded, and not have power to injure the people of God. Bless thy servant George A. Smith, and thy servant John Taylor, and thy servant John M. Bernhisel, and bless all thy servants in every land and clime. Bless those who write and defend thy people through the press, may our prayers come up before thee in their behalf, for thou knowest we have not sinned against thee in these groves—in this canyon. We do not visit groves, as did Israel of old, to commit adultery, nor to depart from the Lord our God. But we desire to appear before thee with clean hands and hearts, to call upon thee for thy blessing and do thy will, that our inheritance may be blest and all we have, and that all the efforts we make to build up Zion and rear temples to thy name may be blest, that the people of God may flock to the mountains by tens of thousands; may the wicked be cut off, may they be taken in the snares they have spread for thy people, and fall into the pits they have dug for thy Saints, and may they not prosper on the earth.

We desire that thou wouldst fulfil the covenants made with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, with Lehi and Nephi, and with all the Prophets that have lived on this land, that Zion may come down from above, and Zion come up from beneath; that every band may be broken, and all Israel be saved. O Lord, we ask thee to bless us in our efforts on the earth; may righteousness and peace spread as the light of the morning, may we rejoice in the natural fortresses of this land, and may we be the pioneers of truth, men who will break the crust of nations, gather Israel, and send the truth to every clime. May we accomplish the great work thou didst commence through thy servant Joseph, that truth may reign on the earth, and righteousness predominate among all people. May we have power over the wicked nations, that Zion may be the seat of government for the universe, the law of God be extended, and the scepter of righteousness swayed over this wide world; and eventually, with the redeemed, may we be brought to celebrate thy praise, in thy kingdom and presence. These favors, and all we need to prepare us to live here, to dwell with thee and the sanctified hereafter, we humbly crave, in the name of Jesus Christ, Amen.

Exposing Wickedness Among the Saints—Corrupt Men Threatening the Saints With United States’ Troops—The Laws of Utah Set Aside in the Courts

A Discourse by President J. M. Grant, Delivered in the Tabernacle, Great Salt Lake City, March 2, 1856.

By Elder Kimball’s request, I will occupy a short time.

I have meditated considerably upon the spirit manifested through our President last Sabbath and today, and also upon that manifested by brother Kimball, his first Counselor.

I do not know what effect their views and sayings have had upon your minds, but I am under the impression that there is more blindness and stupidity, more fog and darkness in Israel than I had anticipated, previous to their remarks.

I am aware that persons, not members of our society, listening to the teachings from this stand, might infer that we certainly were in a very bad state. But when they take into consideration that we do not allow any evil, or any kind of wickedness, to grow and flourish in the midst of this community, without revealing and opposing it, they can then understand the subject more clearly.

In the United States, generally, and perhaps in most of Europe, it would not be safe to speak so plainly from the pulpit concerning the wickedness existing in those regions, or to expose it so freely and fully as we expose, from this stand, the evils striving to creep into our midst, for the spirit which reigns abroad upon the face of the earth is different from the spirit that reigns here. If we know a wicked man we feel free to present him before the public, and frequently call him by name, and expose him publicly.

This course would not always be safe, in that portion of the southern States where I have traveled; you would be apt to be involved in a duel, or in a fight of some kind.

When the Latter-day Saints know of wickedness, they are determined to expose it and bring it to the light, and that which should be made public, they proclaim publicly, even though it may have been learned secretly. I am satisfied of the blindness that exists in many of those whom we call upon to officiate, in different capacities in the Church.

The High Council have been referred to today as among the number who are in the fog. The reason why I verily believe that they are in the fog, is because the light of the Holy Ghost which is in our President tells us the fact, and faith comes by hearing the word of God.

The reason why I especially and particularly believe that our Bishops are in the dark, is from the fact that the manifestations of the Almighty through the President of the Church reveals that fact to the people, and he gives us that revelation without making any special reserve therein, hence my faith.

If I had no other evidence, his testimony would be sufficient for me to predicate my faith upon.

The President’s remarks gave a very special rebuke to certain councils, and, more or less, to those who speak from this stand. He is not fond of the smoothness that some are delighted with. I am aware that the Saints come here to listen, and that many of them are fond of smooth sayings and nicely turned periods, being pleased therewith as with a beautiful song; their ears are tickled and their fancies excited, but they go away without being vitally benefited.

We have to deal with the people of God, and we care but little about the ebbing and flowing of nations, when their ebbings and flowings do not particularly affect the Saints of the Most High. We expect to see abominations and commotions abroad on the earth, but I do hope that the time has actually come when filth will be cleansed from the midst of Israel.

As a people, we are right in principle, in doctrine, and in precepts. But are we all perfectly right in practice? This is a question which we should well examine and understand.

Do all the people practice righteousness? Do they all live their religion, and the principles that they have received? In other words, do all the people act according to what they understand? Do they do the best they know how? If they were all doing the best they know how, there would be no fault found with them; but I am satisfied that they are not, for if they were, the President would not stand up here and rebuke you. You are rebuked because you suffer yourselves to be led by the enemy into the fog, because the Spirit of God and the light of the Holy Ghost are not at all times upon you.

Last Sunday, the President chastised some of the Apostles and Bishops who were on the grand jury. Did he fully succeed in clearing away the fog which surrounded them, and in removing blindness from their eyes? No, for they could go to their room and again disagree, though, to their credit, it must be admitted that a brief explanation made them unanimous in their action.

Not long ago I heard that, in a certain case, the traverse jury were eleven against one, and what is more singular, the one alone was right in his views of the case.

Several had got into the fog to suck and eat the filth of a Gentile law court, ostensibly a court of Utah, though I call it a Gentile court. Why? Because it does not magnify the laws of Utah, as provided for in the “Organic Act,” by which “Act” and laws it alone exists as a court.

A brief examination will soon convince a person, of only ordinary observation, that the laws of Utah are not administered in our courts, and that the judges must know that fact, and that they have been seeking from the first, with but few exceptions, to overrule them.

Whether that course is prompted from the City of Washington, I know not. Our laws have been set at naught and walked under foot, and in lieu thereof a constant effort has been made to rule in common law, English law, and law after law totally inapplicable.

Do you suppose I respect persons who so conduct themselves? No, I do not. We have some Gentiles here whom I respect. We had a Shaver whom I respected; he was a man, and a true Virginian, well represented the chivalric spirit of the South, and sought the good of his country.

But when we have a set of politicians here, who can blow hot or cold to suit their own convenience, they can officiate as constables, jurors, marshals, judges, and legislators; they can turn the law, create the law, and execute the law to suite themselves. Do I respect them? No, and I am in hopes that some of their friends present will tell them so. (Voice, I do not know that they have any.)

They act as though they took it for granted that we were a set of ignoramuses, unacquainted with the usages of courts, and unaware that they were setting aside our laws. They have sought to overthrow our laws, when there is not a law in force in Utah that will sanction their rulings, and you cannot bring an upright lawyer, one who actually understands his profession, but what will say that I am right. Every man who is conversant with the laws of the United States and of Utah, will say so.

We do not find fault with the laws of our country, they are good, but we deprecate the acts of men who strive to trample upon them; men who are filled with the Gentile leaven, and we dislike that leaven and the fog which accompanies it.

We have a few whoremasters here. Do you wish to know who they are? I can tell the first letters of their name, and I can tell where they have been practicing their abominations in this City. And even some who profess to be “Mormons”are guilty of enticing and leading girls to prostitution, saying, “If you want a new dress you can get it very easily.”

I have a gun and dirks in good order, and powder and lead, and am ready and able to make holes through such miserable, corrupting rascals. These characters take “Mormon” girls and debauch them, telling them that the United States will send their troops here, and that this people will be broken up and driven.

We are a part of the United States ourselves; most of us were raised in America, and we are all cradled in liberty, and if the United States desires to drench the earth with our blood, we are on hand.

Who is afraid to die? None but the wicked. If they want to send troops here let them come to those who have imported filth and whores, though we can attend to that class without so much expense to the General Government; we can wipe them out cheaply and quickly, for they are only a few in number.

They will threaten us with the U.S. troops! Why your impudence and ignorance would bring a blush to the cheeks of the veriest camp follower among them. We ask no odds of you, you rotten carcasses, and I am not going to bow one hair’s breadth to your influence. I would rather be cut into inch pieces than succumb one particle to such filthiness.

I want the Gentiles to understand that we know all about their whore doms and other abominations here. If we have not invariably killed such corrupt scoundrels, those who will seek to corrupt and pollute our community, I swear to you that we mean to, and to accomplish more in a few hours, towards clearing the atmosphere, than all your grand and traverse juries can in a year.

There are a few professed “Mormons” who, for a few dimes, wink at their iniquities, and keep the poor, mean, lazy scamps in their houses, saying, “O, they are honorable men.” I admit that there are a few honorable men here who are not in the Church, some of whom I respect much.

This eternal threatening of us with the armies of the United States! I wonder what men think we are made of, when they threaten us! As if they expected that we were going to succumb to whoredom! If we were to establish a whorehouse on every corner of our streets, as in nearly all other cities outside of Utah, either by law or otherwise, we should doubtless then be considered good fellows.

If we were to allow gambling, drunkenness, and every species of wickedness, the “Mormons” would then be all right, they would not then threaten us with the armies of the United States. O no.

What is it that maddens the devils? Simply that we are determined to do right, and to set at defiance wickedness and wicked men, and to send them to hell across lots, as quick as we can.

I do not ask any odds of them myself, I never have. If they behave themselves as white men ought to behave, we will treat them as such.

The armies of our nation will have plenty to do without attending to us; they will need us to help them. Yes, instead of bringing their armies to fight the people in Utah, they will need Utah’s armies to help them. They are threatening war in Kansas on the slavery question, and the General Government has already been called upon to send troops there. Well, all I have to say on that matter is, “Success to both parties.”

And in relation to the election of a Speaker in the House of Representatives at Washington, the North and South, the East and West have each other by the ears; “Success to all parties,” say I.

To send men here as spies to watch us! Curse the spies and those who send them, and all who sustain the system of whorehouses and the debauchery of the innocent and unsuspecting, and all who threaten that the United States are going to drive and kill the “Mormons.”

Did you ever hear such a man as Judge Shaver threaten us with the United States? Did you ever hear Judge Reed do such a thing? No. Or Millard Fillmore, or Andrew Jackson? No, such men would scorn to threaten an innocent people with the armies of the nation.

Have we been disloyal to our country? Have we, in one instance, violated her laws? No. Have we rejected her institutions? No. We are lawful and loyal citizens of the government of the United States, and a few poor, miserable, pusillanimous, rotten, stinking rebels, come here and threaten us with the armies of the United States. We wish all such characters to understand that, if the generals and armies and those who wish to send them, are as corrupt as those who threaten us, and as vile as most of those heretofore sent here, we defy them, and the sooner we come in contact with them, the better. These are my feelings every time, on that point.

As for you miserable, sleepy “Mormons,” who say to those wretches, “Give us your dimes, and you shall have our wheat, and our daughters, only give us your dimes and you shall have this, that, and the other,” I not only wish but pray, in the name of Israel’s God, that the time was come in which to unsheathe the sword, like Moroni of old, and to cleanse the inside of the platter, and we would not wait for the decision of grand or traverse juries, but we would walk into you and completely use up every curse who will not do right.

We are speaking against none who are good, they have our protection; but against those who are evil. We have many good friends who are not members of our Church, but when men come and threaten us with the armies of the United States, and under that color seek to practice every kind of debauchery, telling a young girl that “we are going to be destroyed, and for that reason she had better forsake the Mormon Church and make merchandise of her body,” to serve their vile purposes, poor, miserable devils, what ought you to expect?

I wish the Saints to see and under stand men and things as they are, if they have any judgment and eyesight. I could give you a list of the practices I have been speaking of, and of the names of the men engaged in them. If we love salvation and liberty, and must fight for them, let us fight, and they will find that the “Mormons” are on hand to die, those who are right, and what would be the use of living, if we cannot have our rights? If we are to be driven, as we have hitherto been, the sooner we die the better; and the sooner we kill a poor set of miserable devils the better for those who remain.

I wish all the Saints to do right, and as for those who do not, my prayer is, “That they may all go hellwards, the way Ward’s ducks went.”

May God bless those who do right, and enable them to break in pieces wickedness and put it down, that we may be saved; I ask it in the name of Jesus Christ. Amen.

The Present Scarcity of Food—Exhortation to the Bishops to Take Care of the Poor—The Failure of the Crops Will Prove a Blessing to the Saints

Remarks by President J. M. Grant, Delivered in the Tabernacle, Great Salt Lake City, January 27, 1856.

I have been instructed while listening to the brethren, and am pleased with the practical observations that our President has given. They pertain to the business of every day, and will greatly benefit the Saints. We have had a great variety from this stand, and the scenes of life, as we pass through, are varied in their nature.

I am pleased with brother Kimball’s feelings, testimony, and views, in relation to our visit to the capital of the Territory of Utah.

I am aware that the general labor of the Legislature, perhaps, has been as great as that of any other legislature in the different Territories, in the same length of time.

Our laws, proceedings, grants, &c., are necessarily different from the usual routine of other legislative bodies, but our committees were doubtless as diligent as the committees in any other legislative body.

And when we were in session, we were in order, and in a situation to act as correctly, and with as much precision and consistency, as any other legislative body that can be found upon the face of the earth. Though we may not tie ourselves to all of those strict rules that others tie themselves to, yet we understand legislating, we understand the science as far as legislative science is understood by the present age, which is only in a measure.

I wish, therefore, under all the feelings and circumstances we may be placed in, that we may each act with an eye single to the welfare of the people, as much so as the Legislature has during the present session.

I hope the Saints will treasure up the remarks they have heard today, and profit by them. I am satisfied that we should bear with each other’s weaknesses, for we are ourselves subject to the same infirmities as our brethren; we are subject to the same temptations as those who are similar in their nature; we should, therefore, be willing to look with the same complacency on the weaknesses of others, as we would wish them to look upon ours.

I am aware of the feelings that exist in the community through darkness and unbelief; many neglect their duty as Saints, and they grow dark in their minds.

I have doubts of that man who neglects his prayers, and I have also doubts of some who attend to their prayers. I have great doubts of those who profess to be Saints, have all the privileges of Saints, and participate in the enjoyments of Saints, yet do not consider that the duty of prayer is obligatory on them.

They think they can have around them, their wives, and children, and friends, and engage in the duties of life and take great responsibility upon them, and yet slide along and lay aside their duty as a Saint of God in regard to praying.

If a person is in trouble, or in want, he should seek unto the Lord by prayer, and obtain from Him aid, assistance, and light, and by that Divine Spirit he may overcome his weakness, break through the cloud of darkness, and walk in the light of the Lord.

There are instructions in the Gospel, in the words of the men of God, though the language which they use may not, peradventure, be as beautiful as words can be arranged, or as that which others can use, but there is an influence attending the words of a man who speaks by the Spirit of God.

I relish greatly the instructions which you have received this morning; to me they are sweet, very wholesome, and good. I like them, they suit my disposition, they agree with my palate, and I am thankful for such instructions. I am thankful that we live in a day when the Almighty so blesses us.

We are gathered out from the land that gave us birth, and from former associations in life; we are blessed here with peace; the hand of the oppressor is not upon us, and the arm of the tyrant has ceased to afflict and fall upon our neck.

We are enjoying happiness, we can worship our God and keep His commandments, and listen to the voice of His servants without molestation, without being afraid or annoyed, without expecting a mob on the right hand and on the left. For these things I am very thankful.

I am also fully apprised of the truth of our President’s remarks, in reference to that lavish spirit which has existed in the minds of the Saints in relation to their grain. I am aware that all do not husband and take care of their grain as they should; they have counted it of little worth, as dross, as a thing of naught, and have been anxious to sell their wheat, corn, and such staple articles of food as might have been secured in granaries, and laid up for a hard time, or against a day of famine.

In regard to those who have been improvident and not careful, I am with the President, I cannot pity them if they have to suffer. I have seen the time, in this beautiful valley, when we first came here, when we had to bring enough of grain from the States to last eighteen months, that we were under the necessity of boiling and eating the hides of our cattle, and of going to the lowlands to dig thistle roots to subsist upon, that we might not die, but live on the earth.

We did not all have to do this; some of us were comfortable, and had as much to live upon as we have now, for we took care to save what we brought with us. Many of those, who are now destitute of grain, are among those who were lavish with the food that the Almighty caused the earth to produce.

I will here remark that I hope the Bishops in the different wards of the city will see that the poor do not go hungry, that they will keep themselves posted up as to the situation of the poor in their wards, and send round the Teachers and assistants to ascertain the condition of the people. I know that there is not grain enough to feed the people; some will have to suffer for the want of that article of food.

Take the city of Fillmore; they have old grain enough for that place; they have not raised grain the present season, yet there is one man in that city who has eleven hundred bushels of wheat. The price there is two dollars a bushel, and they are selling flour to each other at six dollars a hundred.

In Sanpete they have wheat, corn, and potatoes, sufficient to last them until harvest. The main suffering in the Territory of Utah, this season, will be in Great Salt Lake County. The masses of the people are here, and the grain is consumed where the masses are; consequently, you may look for more suffering in Great Salt Lake County than in any other.

It will necessarily be here that the Bishops and their assistants will look for the poor. Some will not go very hungry before they beg, but there are some who will actually suffer very much before they make their wants known; that class ought to be seen to and felt after, and ought to be administered to. We should feel for each other, and seek to relieve, as far as we can, the needy and distressed.

I do not look for much trouble myself; I do not look for the people to suffer as they did the first winter we came here. The winter is cold and the cattle are dying, but ere long the weather will break, the people will get employment, and feel better.

Do not be discouraged in a hard time, be patient until spring comes, when you will feel pleasant and happy, and then is the time to deny the faith, if you are inclined to do so; never deny the faith in a dark day.

I for one am glad that our crops failed. Why? Because it teaches the people a lesson, it keeps the corrupt at bay, for they know that they would have to starve, or import their rations, should they come to injure us in the Territory of Utah.

With the practical lessons we have learned, and their effects upon our enemies I am glad, and I consider it one of the greatest Godsends that ever happened to the people of the Saints, since their immigration to this land. I consider the grasshopper war one of the greatest blessings to those who see it in the light of the Lord, and who discern the hand of the Lord in it.

We found our brethren southward in a pretty good spirit, generally speaking; they needed a little com forting and instruction on this point. We have some men among us who hold high and important offices which we respect, and we would be very glad to respect the men, and will actually respect them, if they will respect the people of the Territory, and the laws of the Territory. But when a man comes among us and will not respect us, nor our laws, will not respect our Governor nor our Legislature, he need not expect us to respect him.

Our brethren southward, I think, through the time of the Legislature, had the privilege of learning this practical lesson, to respect those who respect our laws, and not to respect men when they trample upon the laws of the country, and set at defiance the enactments of the Legislature.

I believe, on the whole, that the capital of this Territory will not be injured by the visit of the Members from the various counties. I believe that the people were benefited, and I believe that the community at large will be profited through the labors of the Legislature.

I hope then to see the Saints united more and more, and notwithstanding we have to be mixed with new clay, and ground over and over again, I say, come on you new recruits, I am not hide-bound in my feelings, I reach out my hands to the south, to the north, and to the universe, and say, come on, we want the new recruits here.

I want to see the Territory filled up in the north and in the south, in the east and in the west, and to see the valleys flourish and blossom as a rose. I like to see the hardy men come forth from the other side of the ocean; I like to see them pouring in by tens of thousands. The new recruits, as a general thing, have stood well.

Take the Yankees in Kirtland, have they all stood the test? No. One half, at least, of the Yankee members of this Church have apostatized. Take the first quorum of the Twelve, how many of them stood by the Prophet of the living God, and kept the faith? Six only.

Then we may expect that some of our new recruits back out, depart and deny the faith, and this has been the case from the commencement. I like to see the new recruits come on, they will get ground up with the old clay and be just as good. You are only in the morning of “Mormonism,” just in the commencement of it. We have no old recruits, in one sense, but we are all new recruits, enlisted under the same banner, worshipping the same God, and united under the same brotherhood of Latter-day Saints which always pertains to the Priesthood of God.

Then I like to see the English, the Scotch, Welsh, French, Danes, and men from every nation, kindred, tongue, and people, come forth and unite under the standard of truth, obey God and be one.

We had no difficulty, while at Fillmore, among the “Mormons,” they kept themselves right side up with care, and with them all was harmonious and satisfactory.

May the peace of God be with you; may the light of the Holy Ghost illuminate you; may the words of the Prophet be unto you as a sweet morsel; and may the leaven of the Gospel work in you; and may the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ bless you forever, which may He grant, in the Redeemer’s name. Amen.