Turning Out the Water of the Weber—the Sufferings of the Saints—the Desires of the Servants of God to Bless the People—the Blessings of the Lord to Israel—Endowments, Etc.

Remarks by President Brigham Young, made during his visit to Davis and Weber counties, June 10-13, 1864.


Before dismissing our meeting I want to return you our thanks for your kindness to us. When on a visit to the northern settlements, this is our stopping place. There is great credit due the people here—this ward is improving in many respects.

In behalf of the people that live here, and of more that would like to come here, had you more water, I will state that I am fully satisfied that a portion of Weber River can be brought above this place, and thousands of acres of good land rendered susceptible of cultivation.

Davis County is the best county I know of for fruits and grain. Perhaps some who live in Salt Lake County may think differently, but in my opinion this is one of the best counties in the Territory for raising grain, and I would like to see the brethren bringing out the waters of Weber River. It will require a good deal of labor, but it does not require money. And if you do not get the water around the sand ridge the first year, you need not be discouraged, but continue the labor as you may be able, until the ditch is made wide enough and long enough, and sufficiently tight by a deposit of sediment or by puddling, to convey all the water that may be required, I think it can be brought around the sand ridge without a great deal of extra labor or expense.

You have the finest climate there is anywhere in these mountains, therefore be encouraged, and take the advice so often given, to prepare for the day of want. If we will be faithful to our covenants, we may be sure that the Lord will give us seed time and harvest; and we will not suffer famine, unless we forsake the Priesthood of the Lord our God.

Remarks are frequently made in regard to the sufferings of the Saints; we do not suffer so much as do the world. They are constantly in torment. It is very unwise to turn away from the Lord, to get rid of sorrow, for such persons cannot so fully enjoy the blessings of life; they will have many bickerings, which do not bring happiness or peace. We want to enjoy the fruits of life, and we are organized capable of enjoying them. Let us be faithful to our God, to our religion and to each other; and let us see to our prayers, walking humbly before the Lord, then we shall have joy. The spirit of the world is mourning, it is darkness; it has no hope, no intelligence to compare with the intelligence which the Lord bestows upon His people. It is wisdom in us to live our religion then, when we retire to our beds and when we arise in the morning, the Spirit of the Lord will be present with us week by week and year by year, and we shall enjoy the light of that Spirit continually. Let us live so as to enjoy life, and prepare for the things that await us in this generation.

My brethren of the Presidency and the Twelve are with me in my desires to benefit and bless the people gathered into these valleys in the mountains. We want to lead the people to obtain and enjoy all the blessings that earth can afford, and to serve the Lord with all their hearts. If we will stick to the old ship Zion, it is sure to land us in the promised haven of rest, and to crown us with crowns of glory, immortality and eternal life. If we are faithful to our religion, we have nothing to discourage us.

God bless you, my brethren and sisters, and receive our thanks for your kindness to us.

OGDEN CITY. Tabernacle, a.m. of June 11.

I think we are happy this morning in the privilege of meeting with you brethren and sisters; I am, for one. As we have now began visiting the settlements, this being the first of a number of appointments of the Twelve to visit with the Saints and speak to them, to cheer and comfort them, I trust that our coming together, seeing, hearing and associating one with the other will be profitable to us all.

This meeting was given out for the Twelve, and I expect that they will take charge of it and conduct it. Brother Kimball and myself have come here; and expect to go to other places with the Twelve, to speak the things that are in our hearts. First of all it is the kingdom of God in our hearts; it is the kingdom of God or nothing. The Almighty has com menced His work of sending forth His angels from the heavens, and revealing his will. He gave us Joseph and others, and bestowed the Holy Priesthood upon his servants. We are sharers in the gifts and graces that God has bestowed upon His people. This is a day of days, and a time of times; this is the fulness of times, in which all things that are in Christ are to be gathered in one. This is a momentous period, and we feel an earnestness to lead the minds of those who profess to believe in Jesus, in Joseph, and in the Latter-day Work, to comprehend the great duties of life by the Spirit of the Lord, that they may be one in heart, one in sentiment, and thereby be made one in action, that we may behold the glory of God, which is my desire, and the desire of my brethren.

At the Priesthood meeting in the evening, after hearing the reports from the several districts of Weber County, the President said—

I can say that I am glad that I am here, for this meeting gives me a little understanding of the organization of this county. I am satisfied with this method of doing business; as far as the Bishopric is concerned it relieves us from a great deal of business at the General Tithing Office. We have adopted the same plan in other places, in Cache Valley, for instance, and shall probably do so in some others. In this county the brethren who preside over the various districts report to brother West, and he transacts business for this county with the General Tithing Office.

I think the report given in this evening, relating to the present situation of the people here is a very good one, and that the people as a general thing are doing very well. I should feel still more gratified, if we were further advanced. I feel that the people should keep up with the spirit of the times, so that the Lord will not pass by them. I desire that we may be faithful, and be prepared for the things that are coming upon the earth; I desire that we be prepared for the blessings which the Lord has to bestow upon us. He is blessing His people, and we shall all soon see Zion redeemed, and Israel gathered from among all nations. I would like the Latter-day Saints to be ready; and to make themselves ready, they must live their religion, that they may enjoy the spirit of the Holy One of Israel.

Our experience teaches us that some don’t take this course, they will follow some person or something apart from the true and living God. Their minds become so dark that they cannot see the true riches.

If any of you feel that there is no life in your meetings, as I occasionally hear some of the brethren say, then it becomes your duty to go and instil life into that meeting, and do your part to produce an increase of the Spirit and power of God in the meetings in your locality. If there is a fast meeting, or prayer meeting, why not somebody in that district go filled with the spirit and power of God, and assist to encourage, instruct, comfort, and edify the Saints? I have been an Elder in this Church for years, and I have been accustomed to teach every man and woman the duties enjoined upon them by the law of Christ; and when there was not a good spirit in a meeting, I have endeavored to instil one, and did not ask for any permission to do so. I want the Elders to be filled with the spirit of teaching, and I want each and every one of us to so live as to obtain our share of it, and to have the influence of the Spirit of the Lord to dictate to us. If these my brethren will live and act according to the Priesthood that is upon them, the Lord will be satisfied, and so will his servants.

Most of you, my brethren, are Elders, Seventies, or High Priests: perhaps there is not a Priest or Teacher present. The reason of this is that when we give the brethren their endowments, we are obliged to confer upon them the Melchizedek Priesthood; but I expect to see the day when we shall be so situated that we can say to a company of brethren you can go and receive the ordinances pertaining to the Aaronic order of Priesthood, and then you can go into the world and preach the Gospel, or do something that will prove whether you will honor that Priesthood before you receive more. Now we pass them through the ordinances of both Priesthoods in one day, but this is not as it should be and would if we had a Temple wherein to administer these ordinances. But this is all right at present; we should not be satisfied in any other way, and consequently we do according to the circumstances we are placed in. The brethren receive their endowments, and you know there are some persons who will not apostatize till they arrive at a certain point. Some apostatize at the Missouri River, and although they may be ever so angry, they will come here to get prepared to leave us; and others will live here a score of years, and then apostatize, and it does appear as if some men were determined to prove that they are fools.

We have had trouble with men who refused to pay their Tithing, but the time has now come when a man that will not pay his Tithing is not fit to be in the Church. The time has come when those who profess to he Saints must live according to the laws of the Holy Priesthood, or they cannot enjoy its benefits.

May the Lord bless you all, and help you to be faithful is my prayer. Amen.

On Sunday afternoon the President instructed the congregation as follows—

I cannot talk as loud now as I have been accustomed to speak without it hurting me. A great many of the Saints know that I have preached long and loud for over thirty-two years, and that I have labored incessantly to spread the truth, and have urged mankind to receive the principles of eternal life which we have embraced, and to obey them in their lives. In the early part of my ministry my preaching was loud; quite a portion of my labors have seemed to require me to speak with a loud voice. I have had large congregations before me most of the time since I began to preach, and I have labored in this way until my lungs and stomach will not endure it. I could preach myself sick, but the question is had I better do it? I think I would rather tarry in the midst of the Saints, to minister to and teach them, and strive to tarry here just as long as I can, in preference to lying down to rest from my labors. I am self-determined (I suppose many would call it self-willed and perhaps this is correct), but will say my disposition is to tarry here; dark as this world is and wicked as the inhabitants of the earth are, my disposition is never to cease fighting until the Devil is bound, and there is a complete end of wickedness on this earth; until the Saints can worship God without interruption, and therefore I would rather stay in the flesh.

We have had good instructions during this meeting, from all who have addressed us. Brother Kimball was full of life and blessings for the Saints; and this afternoon brother Taylor has given you an excellent discourse, full of wisdom and intelligence, and I hope that all will profit by what has been said to them. Brother Kimball and myself are traveling with the Twelve; we are holding two days’ meetings in the different counties, north and south, and we expect to be absent from Great Salt Lake City every other Sunday for the next eight or ten weeks.

I can tell you the spirit of the Twelve, which will be a consolation to you, and also to the Twelve. If I could see every one of the Elders with their wives and children as obedient to every requirement made of them—the children to the parents, the wives to the husbands, and the husbands to the Priesthood—as the Twelve are—my soul would be happy. I will say further; those of the Twelve that travel the most and serve God, are the most obedient. Some of the Elders get up and tell you that you must be obedient to the counsel that is given you, which is all right, but I wish the people could know my feelings in regard to this. I have never asked but one thing of the Latter-day Saints, and that is for them to serve the Lord our God with an undivided heart. One says, “I knew brother Joseph, but I do not know much about brother Brigham.” I do not care for this; the question with me is this, do you know Jesus and the Holy Spirit? I do not care if you never hear any more about brother Brigham, so far as my personal feelings are concerned, if you will only live under the influence of that Spirit which comes from God. When the brethren are traveling and preaching they have the spirit of obedience and while we are here preaching to you the Spirit of the Lord broods over the congregation, your countenances are lit up with heavenly intelligence, your hearts are one, and you are ready to observe every word of counsel that is given to you, and each and every one feels to say, “It is my delight to do the will of God.”

When we were children in this Church—had just received the spirit of the holy Gospel—how did we feel? We felt and we were as submissive as little children, ready to do the will and bidding of the Elders, just as fast as we learned it. We were as obedient to those who were set to counsel us as the child is to its mother; we had no disposition to rebel, but our feeling was, “Let me know the will of God, and I will do it.” Was money in the way? No. The Latter-day Saints have pretty well proven that money and property do not stand in their way, neither parents, houses, or lands, husbands, wives, or children; and I presume that I could find a number of sisters here today who have left their husbands and children for the Gospel’s sake, and I could select men who have left wife, children and all for the Gospel’s sake. The people called Latter-day Saints are, generally speaking, obedient; and if they continue to strive to live their religion they will become of one heart and one mind. We have the kingdom of God here spiritually, and by and by we will be prepared to receive it temporally; the Lord designs that we shall have that; we do not want it now, for we are not prepared; we could not bear it, but in the Lord’s own time we shall have these things.

We are exhorted to gather around us the comforts of life, to build good houses, make good gardens, and strive to attain to every comfort there is on the earth, but at present we are poor, and destitute of many of the comforts of life. If we were to become suddenly wealthy, we should be apt to rise up in our pride and say, “This is mine.” We want to increase in all that is good, and to receive the blessings the Lord has in store for us. There is no way for us to live, but to live to glorify our Father in heaven. We must honor our Priesthood and be obedient to the counsel that is given to us, or we cannot obtain that glory which is promised to the faithful Saints.

The Latter-day Saints understand that we must be taught, and many of them are anxious to receive and obey the teachings given. No man was to be found who could teach repentance and baptism for the remission of sins, with authority to administer in the ordinances, until God commissioned Joseph Smith, and sent him forth with this commandment to the people. Previous to that time, I searched everything pertaining to the churches; I searched high and low to find whether there was any such thing as pure religion upon the earth; I searched for a man that could tell me something of God, of heaven, of angels, and of eternal life. I believed in God the Father, and in Jesus Christ, but I could not believe that the Church of Christ was upon the earth. The question was frequently asked, “Is the Methodist Church, the Quakers, or the mother Church right?” No, I would reply, there is not a Bible church upon the earth. I might have continued to study the Bible and all the books that have been written, and without revelation from God I would have been like the sounding brass or tinkling cymbal, having no knowledge of God, of true religion, of the redemption of the living or of the dead; I would have lived and died in ignorance; and this was the condition of all the inhabitants of the earth.

We say we are willing to take counsel, and so we are, in a great measure, and with this knowledge I do not feel to forsake the Latter-day Saints, but I feel like pleading with them to live for God and His kingdom. Let us all continue steadfast and remember that we must obey the counsel of our Father and God.

The Lord instructs us in a revelation, to let our clothing be plain: “Let all thy garments be plain, and their beauty the beauty of the work of thine own hands.” He never said to us, “do not make a silk or satin ribbon, or fine broadcloth,” but He has said to us, “make the articles of clothing that you wear;” if we do not, we shall find by and by that we shall not be able to get them. I would say to the brethren set out some mulberry trees, procure silkworms, and produce silk, and strive to be self-sustaining in everything that is useful or desirable.

Some may regret that our first parents sinned. This is nonsense. If we had been there, and they had not sinned, we should have sinned. I will not blame Adam or Eve, why? Because it was necessary that sin should enter into the world; no man could ever understand the principle of exaltation without its opposite; no one could ever receive an exaltation without being acquainted with its opposite. How did Adam and Eve sin? Did they come out in direct opposition to God and to His government? No. But they transgressed a command of the Lord, and through that transgression sin came into the world. The Lord knew they would do this, and He had designed that they should. Then came the curse upon the fruit, upon the vegetables, and upon our mother earth; and it came upon the creeping things, upon the grain in the field, the fish in the sea, and upon all things pertaining to this earth, through man’s transgression. This was not through an angel. Now then what have we to do? We have to labor to remove the curse from the earth, from the vegetation, from every creeping thing, and from ourselves, by the help of God our Father and our Lord Jesus Christ.

Is not this a great work? Yes, and it is something we have to take an active part in. If it had been left for us, we should have brought sin into the world just as mother Eve did; and inasmuch as this is done, we have to go to work, by the power of God, and restore all things according to the revelations that have been given in former and in modern times. We have to remove the curse; but remember, we shall never be able to save ourselves without help, but with that help which the Almighty has promised we can accomplish all things. We cannot receive the things of God, except through the order that he has ordained.

When the Twelve come here full of wisdom and full of the power of God, I want you to receive their counsel in your hearts, for they will not teach you anything that will injure you; they will never counsel you to transgress the law of God, to live in the dirt and in the ashes; neither will they counsel you to live in these old bedbug caves, but they will counsel you to be industrious, to be cleanly in your persons and in your habitations; they will counsel you to set out fruit trees, to gather around you the comforts and blessings of life. Then, as soon as you have gathered sufficient for yourselves, lay up for the stranger. And you may get rich, have your carriages and horses, but in all things you must remember the Lord our God, and never suffer yourselves to live one day, one hour, nor a minute without having a prayer upon your tongue or in your heart that God will preserve you from sin.

Brethren and sisters, there are a great many good counsels for us to receive, but especially let us receive and practice what we have heard at this meeting, and treasure up all these good things in our hearts.

I want to hear, by and by, that every family has a bin of good wheat laid up for a time of scarcity. Now do not any of you contract to sell your wheat before it is ready to cut in the field. You can get freighting enough to buy your little articles from the store, though, if you will manufacture your wool, you will find that you have not much need to go to the stores. We shall see a current of trade open up by and by so that we shall begin to trade with the Indies. We can do much now towards manufacturing our own clothing, and if we want to dress a little better, let us make our cloth better.

Serve the Lord with all your hearts, and may His blessings attend you. Amen.

IN FARMINGTON. p.m. of the 13th.

Brethren and sisters, we enjoy music, singing, good society, the ordinances of the House of God, and everything that the earth produces; and all the blessings that God has given we can enjoy, and not sin. The world do not know how to do this. Were they to meet together to dance and have a social party, they would sin. I have heard many a minister say that there were no fiddles in heaven. At that time I did not understand as I do now, for I now know that there are no fiddles in hell. There may be many fiddlers there, but no fiddles; they are all burned that go there.

In regard to your situation here, I can say there is no other people upon this earth that is favored as we are; there is no other people that enjoy the freedom that we do; there is not a spot in the United States—our once happy country—that now has the freedom and peace that we have in these valleys. And let me say to you, when your Bishop calls upon you, or advises you to do anything that will be for your good, do not call that oppression. All the instruction he gives will be calculated to do you good, to raise you in that scale of intelligence that will make of you wise men and wise women. When we are recommended to do that which will lead to good, that cannot very well be construed into oppression. We want to prepare the streets for easy traveling, so that you will not break your wagons when you go home at night; and you are called upon to build your garden and field fences, but some are so shortsighted as to call this oppression. I say that the desire of the authorities here is to teach you to preserve your gardens, to save your vegetables and your grain. When you are told to do anything that is for your own good, never think that you are imposed upon, but rather thank your friends for teaching you that which will make you happy in time and in eternity.

Brother George A. Smith has said, very truly, that we are not told in the revelations that we shall not wear good and handsome clothes; no, we are not; we are authorized to make them as beautiful as we please, and also to make the earth as beautiful as the Garden of Eden, to gather around us every variety of the comforts of life, to endeavor to produce joy, peace, life, and health, and to strive to make everything around us, if possible, as glorious as the paradise of our first parents.

Brother Kimball has remarked that a prayer once, twice, or even thrice a day does not satisfy him. I do not know any other way for the Latter-day Saints than for every breath to be virtually a prayer for God to guide and direct his people, and that he will never suffer us to possess anything that will be an injury to us. I am satisfied that this should be the feeling of every Latter-day Saint in the world. If you are making a bargain, if you are talking in the house, visiting in the social party, going forth in the dance, every breath should virtually be a prayer that God will preserve us from sin and from the effects of sin.

I know that in the world we have tribulation, sorrow and mourning, but in Christ we have joy; and when we have the Spirit of Christ we feel to pray without ceasing, and in everything to give thanks to God our heavenly Father. I am so thankful that tongue cannot express what I feel, that I have the privilege of associating with the Saints, and of being a member in the kingdom of God, and that I have friends in the Church of the living God. I have no desire to see the laws or the name of God blasphemed; I have no desire to see or hear a quarrel between men and women, or with any souls upon the face of the earth.

Every time we put forth an idea, or make an effort, let it be that which will tend to joy, happiness, and exaltation; and may God help us to so live. Amen.

The Earth the Home of Man—the Work to Be Accomplished By Man Towards Redeeming the World—the Restoration of the Gospel, and the Acknowledgment By God of His Servants, Etc.

Remarks by President Brigham Young, made in the Tabernacle, Great Salt Lake City, June 4, 1864.

“And he lifted up his eyes on his disciples, and said, Blessed be ye poor: for yours is the kingdom of heaven.” Again, “Hearken, my beloved brethren, Hath not God chosen the poor of this world rich in faith, and heirs of the kingdom which he hath promised to them that love him?” Again, “Blessed are the poor in spirit: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.” A few words upon the subject in these texts will answer any purpose and feelings. Jesus had no other meaning than simply, blessed are they who have the light of revelation to understand the providences of God, and to know Him and themselves.

The rich that he and other writers have referred to, and that we often refer to, are those who trust in the riches of this world, and forget their God. I do not know how rich the children of Israel were when they forsook the Lord, but I suppose it was with them as it is with mankind at the present day, there were rich and poor; and they did forget their God who brought them from the land of Egypt and out of the house of bondage with a strong and mighty and outstretched arm; they forgot Him so far that they transgressed all the laws He had delivered unto them; they considered those laws but of trifling importance, and esteemed their own laws and their own ways to be far better than the laws the Lord had instituted, and they broke the covenant they had made with the Lord their God; they deemed his laws nonessential to salvation, and instituted laws and ordinances of their own, which the Lord did not recognize, and forsook his instructions and His ordinances; they became wicked, and would not seek after God; God was not in all their thoughts. Whether they were rich or poor as to the things of this world made but little difference with regard to their faithfulness, and their life and practice in the ordinances of the house of God, and the knowledge of His providences.

I have not learned that the possession of goods and chattels, tenements, houses, lands, gold, silver, wheat, or fine flour, wine or oil, makes any difference with the faithful servant of God. The Lord loves those who trust in Him, who feel their dependence upon Him, and feel and understand their own weakness and inability, who are thankful for their organization, and have full confidence in the providences of the Lord, trusting in His mercy and goodness to bring them off conquerors, whether they be rich or poor. The Lord loves all those who love Him and keep His commandments.

We say to the brethren, at this time, seek not after gold, nor after silver, nor after any of the precious metals that are hid up in the earth, for as yet they would do you no good if you possessed them. But suppose we had a few thousand millions of gold and silver, would it follow that we should be destroyed, because we possessed this wealth? Not in the least; if we are destroyed through the possession of wealth, it will be because we destroy ourselves. If we possessed hundreds of millions of coin, and devoted that means to building up the kingdom of God and doing good to His creatures, with an eye single to His glory, we would be as much blessed and as much entitled to salvation as the poor beggar that begs from door to door; the faithful rich man is as much entitled to the revelations of Jesus Christ as is the faithful poor man.

Whether we are poor or rich, if we neglect our prayers and our sacrament meetings, we neglect the spirit of the Lord, and a spirit of darkness comes over us. If we lust for gold, for the riches of the world, and spare no pains to obtain and retain them, and feel “these are mine,” then the spirit of anti-Christ comes upon us. This is the danger the Latter-day Saints are in, consequently it is better for us to live in the absence of what is called the riches of this world, than to possess them and with them inherit the spirit of anti-Christ and be lost.

We had better labor to produce and treasure up the golden wheat, the fine flour, the pure wine, the oil of the olive, and every product for food and clothing that is adapted to our climate.

I anticipate the day when we can have the privilege of using, at our sacraments pure wine, produced within our borders. I do not know that it would injure us to drink wine of our own make, although we would be better without it than to drink it to excess. And it would be better for us to do without gold and silver, than to ruin ourselves with them. If we had plenty of gold and silver we could neither eat nor wear them, as we do food and clothing. We could not with any comfort wear shoes or slippers made of the precious metals, and hats, bonnets, caps, &c., made of them would be equally uncomfortable and unprofitable. The whole world seems to be intoxicated in the lust of their hearts after gold, silver, and precious stones—they seem to be frantic to obtain them. To me this is as vain and nonsensical as the changing fashions in swelling and diminishing the proportions of their clothing. When death overtakes the votaries of the god of this world they will be willing to give all they possess of earthly wealth for knowledge and power to rebuke death and be restored to life. “And Satan answered the Lord, and said, Skin for skin, yea, all that a man hath will he give for his life.” Then, shall we obtain riches for the sake of being rich? No.

The human family are formed after the image of our Father and God. After the earth was organized the Lord placed His children upon it, gave them possession of it, and told them that it was their home—the place of their habitation from henceforth; He told them to till the ground and subdue it; He gave it to them for their inheritance, and to do their will upon it. Then Satan steps in and overcomes them through the weakness there was in the children of the Father when they were sent to the earth, and sin was brought in, and thus we are subjected to sin. The earth is pure in and of itself, having kept the law of its creation; and mankind have actually brought on themselves all the sin, all the distress, all the anguish, pain, sickness, and death that are upon the earth.

Since man has brought this upon himself, who but man can effect a restoration from sin to purity? From death to life? If I injure my neighbor in any way, I am the only person that can make restitution and obtain the forgiveness of my injured friend, neighbor, or brother. When a child revolts from under a good parent’s control, it is the place of that child to return to his father, like the prodigal of old, and reinstate himself in the friendship and good feelings of his injured parent.

Mankind have forfeited the right they once possessed to the friendship of their Heavenly Father, and through sin have exposed themselves to misery and wretchedness. Who is to bring back to the sin-stained millions of earth that which they have lost through disobedience? Who is to plant smiling peace and plenty where war and desolation reign? Who is to remove the curse and its consequences from earth—the homestead of mankind? Who shall say to the raging and contending elements, “Peace, be still?” And extract the poison from the reptile’s tooth, and the savage and destructive nature from beast and creeping thing?

Who placed the dark stain of sin upon this fair creation? Man. Who but man shall remove the foul blot, and restore all things to their primeval purity and innocence? But can he do this independent of heavenly aid? He cannot. To aid him in this work heavenly grace is here; heavenly wisdom, power, and help are here, and God’s laws and ordinances are here; the angels and spirits of just men made perfect are here; Jesus Christ our Great High Priest, with Prophets, Apostles, and Saints, ancient and modern, are here to help man in the great work of sanctifying himself and the earth for final glorification in its paradisiacal state. All this will be accomplished through the law of the Holy Priesthood.

If we bring back all things through the help of our Heavenly Father, then shall we possess all things—the earth and its fulness, and all things pertaining to time and eternity, even all things that man was made lord over. Then blessed are the poor, or, in other words, blessed are they who know for themselves that every blessing which they receive, whether spiritual or temporal, is the gift of God. Blessed are they who are poor in spirit, or blessed are they who feel their own weakness, and know their own inability and the power of God, and enjoy the Holy Ghost. Blessed are they who trust in the Lord Jesus Christ, and who know that he is their Savior, and that in him they can find mercy, and grace to help in time of need. These are the blessed ones, no matter if they possess all the riches of this world; what has that to do with the humble and faithful heart? Such a person is not affected in faith, as a follower of the Lord Jesus, by riches or by poverty.

If we ever attain to faith enough to obtain the kingdom of God, as we anticipate, we shall obtain all the wealth there is for this kingdom in time and eternity. We shall not rob other kingdoms, but we shall possess the eternity of matter that lies in the path of the onward progress of this kingdom, and still eternity and its fulness will continue to stretch out before us. The great powers of eternal wisdom will be exercised to enhance the wealth, beauty, excellency and glory of this kingdom, previous to its being introduced into the presence of the Father and the Son. This work we have to help perform.

A great many think that the kingdom of God is going to bless them and exalt them, without any efforts on their part. This is not so. Every man and woman is expected to aid the work with all the ability God has given them. Each person belonging to the human family has a portion of labor to perform in removing the curse from the earth and from every living thing upon it. When this work is performed, then will they possess all things.

President Kimball remarked that he had been told that some did not believe all that he said, or all that I say. I care not one groat whether they believe all that I say or not, or whether they love me or not; I have no concern about that. If I can see the people serving God with all their hearts, building up His kingdom on the earth, and bringing forth righteousness, I do not care whether they ever think of brother Brigham, or of brother Heber C. Kimball, or whether they believe what we say or not; if they believe what the Almighty says, that will content me; then will they realize what the power of faith will do for a people.

Will the Latter-day Saints observe the law of the Lord? If they will, it is all I ask of them. You can read the law of the Lord for yourselves in the Old and New Testaments, in the Book of Mormon, and in the Book of Revelations given for this Church through Joseph the Prophet. If this people will believe the testimony contained in these four books concerning the kingdom of God upon the earth, and the hand dealing of the providence of God to his children, and do His will, I promise them eternal life, for such a belief and such a practice will lead them to the fountain where they can know for themselves, as Moses, the Prophets, Jesus, the Apostles and Ancient Saints, Joseph Smith and others of modern times knew; where like them we can receive the Spirit of eternal life through our Lord Jesus Christ, by which we may know the voice of the Good Shepherd, whenever and wherever we hear it. And as we know the voice of the Good Shepherd, so shall we learn to distinguish it from the voice of a stranger—the voice of the evil one. We can then clearly understand the things that are of God, and the things that are not of Him, and be able to see and judge all things as they are, for, “He that is spiritual judgeth all things, yet he himself is judged of no man.” “But the anointing which ye have received of him abideth in you, and you need not that any man teach you: but as the same anointing teacheth you of all things, and is truth, and is no lie, and even as it hath taught you, ye shall abide in him.” This will lead us to the glory and the excellency of the knowledge of God, which will be given unto us by the manifestations of His Spirit, and by the living oracles of the Lord, which are always in the midst of His people.

Brother Kimball said there are more than ten commandments. Yes, there are commandments sufficient to direct every person upon the earth, and in every place and at every time, wherever they may be, all through life, and that would incorporate the whole life of man. Shall we neglect the law of the Lord, which is perfect, converting the soul, and turn away from the testimony of the Lord, which is sure, making wise the simple? “The statutes of the Lord are right, rejoicing the heart: the commandment of the Lord is pure, enlightening the eyes. The fear of the Lord is clean, enduring forever: the judgments of the Lord are true and righteous altogether. More to be desired are they than gold, yea, than much fine gold: sweeter also than honey and the honeycomb.”

Mankind have departed from the commandments of the Lord, and the fear of the Lord is not before their eyes. We have been trying, for many years, to show them the difference between the laws of the Lord and the laws of men; between the ordinances of the churches of men, and the ordinances of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Let me inform all the Latter-day Saints and all the inhabitants of the earth, that the Lord will not be trifled with. We have often been told that, when the Lord set up his kingdom on this earth, and sent forth his servants to administer in it, He would defend that kingdom himself, and exert the powers of heaven to bear it off.

You remember reading in the parable of the wicked husbandmen, to whom the Lord let out his vineyard, that when He sent servants to receive fruits of his vineyard, they stoned them and cast them out. But last of all He sent unto them His Son, saying, “They will reverence my son;” but they said among themselves, “This is the heir; come, let us kill him, and let us seize on his inheritance.” They slew Him. “When the Lord therefore of the vineyard cometh, what will he do unto these husbandmen? They say unto him, He will miserably destroy those wicked men, and will let out his vineyard unto other husbandmen, which will render Him the fruits in their seasons.” Were not the Jews destroyed—scattered and broken up as a nation? They were, because they made war against God, and against His servants whom He had called and sent to them with a message of salvation. Had a pretender arisen and professed to prophesy in the name of the Lord, when the Lord did not speak through him, and they had slain him as they did Jesus and His Apostles, would the Lord have noticed it? I think not.

The Puritans supposed they were sent of God, and hated the Quakers and persecuted them even unto death. Did the Lord notice that conduct in any signal manner? No. But suppose the Quakers had been the Saints of the Lord, and that He had said to William Penn and others, “You are my authorized agents to build up my kingdom on the earth,” would the Lord have held the Puritans guiltless for the persecution of his chosen people? He would not, but would in a signal manner have called their persecutors to an account. But the Puritans were not sent of the Lord, neither were the Quakers.

The Lord had not spoken to the inhabitants of this earth for a long time, until He spoke to Joseph Smith, committed to him the plates on which the Book of Mormon was engraved, and gave him a Urim and Thummim to translate a portion of them, and told him to print the Book of Mormon, which he did, and sent it to the world, according to the word of the Lord. The Lord said to him, “revive my statutes and bring forth my law which has been set aside by those who professed to be my Saints, and establish the ordinances that were once in my house, and tell the people they must observe them. Now go and see if anybody will believe your testimony.” He went and preached to his father’s house, and to his neighbors, and it was four or five years before he got the six members that composed the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints when it was first organized on the 6th of April, 1830. This was a slow business, but at last he organized the Church, for the Lord had revealed to him the Aaronic priesthood upon which the Church was first organized; after that he received the Melchizedek priesthood, when the Church was more fully organized, and a few more believed, and then a few more and a few more. Now and then a person would believe and feel inclined to go and tell his friends what the Lord had revealed to him. The Lord sent them out and promised to take care of them, and thus the knowledge of this work has extended throughout the world, from so small a beginning.

I have often thought of the foolishness of the devil, notwithstanding all his cunning; yet he is much of a gentleman, when compared with many that serve him. He did not manifest much wisdom in seeking to accomplish the death of the Savior. In that he undertook to destroy the kingdom Jesus had come to establish; but through the mode he took to destroy it, he only succeeded in establishing it. So in the case of Joseph Smith. The devil and his emissaries thought, if they could only destroy Joseph Smith, that the system he had laid the foundation to build upon would crumble and fall to rise no more; but it is evident to all, that since the death of Joseph, the system has flourished with greater vigor than before, for where there is a testament in full force, there must also of necessity be the death of the testator, for a testament is of force after men are dead.

At last a man did come who was actually sent of God. Will He defend the doctrine which He has sent into the world by that prophet? Is he not defending it now? He is. The sayings of Joseph Smith are being literally fulfilled, and also the sayings of the Prophets and Apostles who lived previous to this generation. Joseph Smith told the nations of the earth what would be their doom, unless they stopped rebelling against the kingdom of God, and forsook their own systems, or, in, other words, the cisterns they had hewn out for themselves, which hold no water, and began to trust in the Lord. We see that the kingdom of God is established, will the Lord defend it?

Suppose the nation of the United States should send delegates into Mexico, to negotiate and transact business with that government, and the authorities there should look upon them as impostors, and scourge them and cast them out, what course would the government of the United States take? They would declare war against Mexico, to vindicate the honor of the nation. Do you not think the Lord will chasten the nation which has killed his prophets, set at naught his message, and scourged and cast out his servants? Is He now chastening them? He is, and will continue to chasten them until He is satisfied, and they cease to rebel against him and against his government on the earth.

Shall we treat His laws as a thing of naught? We had better observe all the laws, precepts, commandments and ordinances of the house of the Lord. We had better so live that no fault can be found with us. This is my advice to the Latter-day Saints.

Much can be said upon what our duty is, but we can comprise the whole in saying, live so that the spirit of revelation will be in every man and woman, and it will lead them to truth and holiness. Then there would be no bickering, no contention, no lawsuits against each other, and there would be less business in the High Councils than there is now. Those who live for truth and holiness have a right to enjoy the revelations of Jesus Christ. We know the oracles of God which He has placed in the midst of this people, and we know that we should observe the counsel which is given to us.

It has been observed that we have made covenants to do thus and so, and that we ought not to speak against the Lord and his anointed. Do we observe this? We do, in a great measure, I say, with all their foibles and weaknesses, there is no people on the earth like this people. Is there a king or any ruler on the earth that could, by his mental power, gather a people from almost every nation under heaven, and bind them together by one spirit and one religion—to be of one heart and of one mind—in as great a degree as are this people? This is proof sufficient that we are the people of God—the chosen ones. And who are the Saints? All those who believe in Jesus Christ and keep His commandments. And who may be Saints? All the inhabitants of the earth, for Jesus said, “Come unto me, all ye ends of the earth, and be ye saved.”

Those who have embraced the religion of the Lord Jesus Christ as it is portrayed in the New Testament and Book of Mormon, who believe in the mission of Joseph the Prophet, and have received the spirit of this latter-day work, feel like saying “good bye to former associations, and I do not wish to keep any back accounts or notes against my brethren in the same Church, for we are all Saints.” But they soon learn that there are still weaknesses and foibles among those who are called Saints. Men and women are tried, and get out of patience and speak evil one against another; but as a general thing they are sorry for their sins.

What earthly power can gather a people as this people have been gathered, and hold them together as this people have been held together? It was not Joseph, it is not Brigham, nor Heber, nor any of the rest of the Twelve, nor any of the Seventies and High Priests that does this, but it is the Lord God Almighty that holds this people together, and no other power.

Once in a while a man will go to hunt for gold and silver, and run off here and there. Of all such I can say that, if you will canvas their private characters and lives, you will invariably find that they neglected their prayers, neglected to go to meeting, to pay their Tithing, etc., until they forsook the commandments of the Lord, until God was not in all their thoughts night or day, and they went away from us. When they forsake the spirit of this people they then want to leave the community. This proves that they are not of us, and that they have lost the spirit which holds this people together, which is the spirit of the Gospel. The Lord so manages that there are always influences in our vicinity to draw away such persons, and I am glad of it. I have a man employed to carry to my hogs the scraps that fall from my table; he is as necessary in his place as anybody else, and so are those who carry off the scum and filth from our society, and I do not wish to restrict them in the performance of their duties, not in the least. While these swill carriers are removing the slops from the kitchen, shall we allow them to come into the parlor and gather the food from the table to put into the swill tub? When the Lord has done with the trash, then he will suffer it to be carded off by the Devil or his servants, but they cannot enter the dining room; we will turn out the offal of the table, when it is ready, and then the Devil and his servants are welcome to it. This is all in the providence of God. So long as a man observes the law of God, he never need fear that he will be culpable.

Those who follow modern Christianity say that we have revived the customs of ancient heathenism—the practices of dark ages. Our Christian friends are mistaken, for those were enlightened ages. Abraham lived in one of the most enlightened ages of the world, and so did Noah, and Enoch the seventh from Adam. We are following the customs of Enoch and the holy fathers, and for this we are looked upon as not being fit for society. We are not adapted to the society of the wicked, and do not wish to mingle with them.

A gentleman said to me “I would like to establish a billiard table and a drinking saloon in your city; you must have such places here by and by, anyhow.” May be we will, and may be we will not; we shall see whether God Almighty will reign among this people, or whether the Devil will. I shall keep such Christian institutions out of this city as long as I can.

Some want to destroy “the twin relics—slavery and polygamy”—and establish monogamy, with a brothel on every corner of each block in this city. This reminds me of what I was told the President of the United States said to a gentleman who is a preacher and a member of Congress. He took our President to task for not destroying both “the twins” together, that is, polygamy as well as slavery. After he had laid the whole matter before the President in an elaborate manner, showing him the necessity of destroying this people who believed in polygamy, the President said, “It makes me think of a little circumstance that happened with me in my younger days. I was ploughing a piece of newly cleared land, by and by I came to a big log; I could not plow over it, for it was too high, and it was so heavy I could not move it out of the way, and so wet I could not burn it; I stood and looked at it and studied it, and finally concluded to plow around it.” It looks as if they were trying to plow around Mormonism. They and the Lord for it.

I wish the Latter-day Saints understood, as fully as I do, the things of God; then we should soon see the kingdom in its glory and power; and every influence and power that is opposed to it would stand aside and give way before its onward march; and the Lord would send His angels here to bless you, and would soon come to reign among his people. Amen.

The Intended Trip North—The Causes of the Scarcity of Breadstuff—The Sufferings of the Ungodly in the United States—The Popularity of the Gospel Undesirable

Remarks by President Brigham Young, made in the Tabernacle, Great Salt Lake City, May 15, 1864.

I will say to you, and wish you to inform your neighbors, that on the morrow I expect to start with some of my brethren on a short trip north. I do this lest some might suppose that we are going to leave you. If we would live according to our acknowledgments in the holy Gospel, according to the faith we have embraced, and according to the teachings we receive from time to time, we never would be in the dark with regard to any matters we should understand.

Much is taught the Saints by the Elders of Israel concerning their religion, the way we should live, how we should deal with each other, how we should live before God, what our feelings should be and the spirit we should possess. If we live according to our covenants we will always enjoy the light of truth, and if we live faithful enough we shall enjoy the blessing of the Holy Ghost to be our constant companion. In such case no person would turn either to the right hand or the left, in consequence of the motives, the sayings, or the doings of this one or that one; but they would march straightforward in the path that leads to eternal life; and if others stepped out of the way, they would walk straight along. Without the power of the Holy Ghost a person is liable to go to the right or the left from the straight path of duty; they are liable to do things they are sorry for; they are liable to make mistakes; and when they try to do their best, behold they do that which they dislike.

I mention my intended trip because I do not want to hear, when I return, that brother Brigham, or brother Heber, or somebody else, “has slipped away”—that “there is something the matter”—“something that is not right”—somebody saying, “there is an evil of some kind, and we want to know it;” “why don’t you come right out with it?” “If you do not come back so and so, we will leave.”

It was said here today, that very few have embraced the truth, considering the great number of the inhabitants of the earth. It can hardly be discovered where those few are. It is astonishing to relate facts as they are. The Elders go forth and preach the Gospel to the nations; they baptize the people—hunt them up from place to place, yet if you take the names of those who have been baptized, have the one-fourth ever been gathered? No. Is not this strange? Do they keep the faith, and stay in the midst of the wicked? No, they do not. The kingdom of God is living and full of spirit; it is on the move; it is not like what we call sectarianism, religion today, and the world tomorrow; next Sabbath a little more religion, and then the world again; “and as we were so we are, and as we are so we shall be, evermore, amen.” It is not so with our religion. Ours is a religion of improvement; it is not contracted and confined, but is calculated to expand the minds of the children of men and lead them up into that state of intelligence that will be an honor to our being.

Look at the people who are here—the few that have gathered—and then look back at the Branches you came from. How many have gathered? Where are the rest of those who composed those Branches? It is true that occasionally one will remain and keep the faith for many years, but circumstances are such in the world that they eventually fall away from it, if they remain there.

It was truly said here today that the spirit we have embraced is one, and that we will flow together as surely as drops of water flow together. One drop will unite with another drop, others will unite with them until, drop added to drop, they form a pond, a sea, or a mighty ocean. So with those who receive the Gospel. There never was a person who embraced the Gospel but desired to gather with the Saints, yet not one-fourth ever have gathered; and we expect that a good many of those who have gathered will go the downward road that leads to destruction. It seems hardly possible to believe that people, after receiving the truth and the love of it, will turn away from it, but they do.

Now, brethren and sisters, proclaim that brothers Heber and Brigham and some others will be gone for a few days; though I do not promise to preach to you when I come back; I do not intend to preach while I am away, but I expect to attend meeting when I return, so that you can see that I am with you in readiness to meet the requirements of my calling. This should satisfy you about my being absent for a few days.

I expect to be absent, some time from now, for quite a while. I do not say I will be absent, but I expect to be. I expect to take the back track from here. When we came back from the south I told the brethren this. When we shall go is not for me to say. If the people neglect their duty, turn away from the holy commandments which God has given us, seek their own individual wealth, and neglect the interests of the Kingdom of God, we may expect to be here quite a time—perhaps a period that will be far longer than we anticipate. Perhaps some do not understand these remarks. You are like me, and I am like you. I cannot see that which is out of sight; you cannot see that which is out of sight. If you bring objects within the range of vision—within the power of sight—you can see them. These sayings may be somewhat mysterious to some.

Some may ask why we did not tarry at the Center Stake of Zion, when the Lord planted our feet there? We had eyes, but we did not see; we had ears, but we did not hear; we had hearts that were devoid of what the Lord required of his people; consequently we could not abide what the Lord revealed to us. We had to go from there to gain an experience. Can you understand this? I think there are some here who can. If we could have received the words of life and lived according to them, when we were first gathered to the Center Stake of Zion, we never would have been removed from that place. But we did not abide the law the Lord gave to us. We are here to gain an experience, and we cannot increase in that any faster than our capacities will admit. Our capacities are limited, though sometimes we could receive more than we do, but we will not. Preach the riches of eternal life to a congregation, and when the eyes and affections of that congregation are like the fool’s eyes, to the ends of the earth, it is like throwing pearls before swine. If I can actually reach your understandings, you will know just what I know, and see just what I see in regard to what I may say.

Take the history of this Church from the commencement, and we have proven that we cannot receive all the Lord has for us. We have proven to the heavens and to one another that we are not yet capacitated to receive all the Lord has for us, and that we have not yet a disposition to receive all He has for us. Can you understand that there is a time you can receive, and there is a time you cannot receive, a time when there is no place in the heart to receive? The heart of man will be closed up, the will will be set against this and that, that we have opportunity to receive. There is an abundance the Lord has for the people, if they would receive it.

I will now lead your minds directly to our own situation here, leaving the first organization of the people, their gathering, etc., and come to our being now here. Some have been here six months, some one year, some two, some five, some six, some ten, and some seventeen years this summer. Now I will take the liberty of bringing up some circumstances and sayings to connect with the ideas I wish to present in regard to our wills, dispositions, opportunities, etc.

It was said here today, by brother William Carmichael, that he had proved a great many of the sayings and prophecies of Joseph to be true, and also the prophecies of Heber and others. Now you, my brethren and sisters, who have been in the habit of coming here for the last ten, twelve, or fifteen years, have you not been told all the time, at least as often as once a month, that the time would come when you would see the necessity of taking counsel and laying up grain? It has been said that brother Brigham has prophesied that there would be a famine here. I would like to have anyone show me the man or woman who heard brother Brigham make that statement. I have not made that statement, but I have said you will see the time that we will need grain—that we will need bread. We have seen that time. Brother Heber said the same thing. But you never heard me saying the Lord would withdraw his blessings from this land while we live here, unless we forfeit our rights to the Priesthood; then we might expect that the earth would not bring forth.

We have had a cricket war, a grasshopper war, and a dry season, and now we have a time of need. Many of the inhabitants of this very city, I presume, have not breadstuffs enough to last them two days; and I would not be surprised if there are not seven-eighths of the inhabitants who have not breadstuffs sufficient to last them two weeks. Has the Lord stayed the heavens? No. Has He withdrawn His hand? No, He is full of mercy and compassion; He has provided for the Saints. No matter what scarcity there is at present, he gave them bread. If they go without bread, they cannot say the Lord has withheld His hand, for He has been abundantly rich in bestowing the good things of the earth upon this people. Then why are we destitute of the staff of life? Comparing the people with their substance, we might say we have sold ourselves for nought. We have peddled off the grain which God has given us so freely, until we have made ourselves destitute. Has this been told us before? Yes, year after year.

How will it be? Listen, all who are in this house, is this the last season we are going to have a scarcity? I will say I hope it is, but I cannot say that it is, if the people are not wise. Some sow their wheat, and after the Lord has given one hundredfold of an increase, they sell that at one-fourth of its value, and leave themselves wanting. The last time I spoke upon this subject I tried to stir up the minds of the people regarding it; I want them to reflect upon it.

At our Semiannual Conference last fall the Bishops were instructed to go to each house and see what breadstuffs were on hand. Why? “Because the time is coming when they will want breadstuffs.” It comes to my ears every day that this one and that one is in want. “Such a one has had no bread for three days.”

What was told you last harvest? “Sister, you had better get a chest, or a little box, for there is plenty of wheat to be had—it is not worth a dollar a bushel—and you had better fill your box with it.” “Oh, there is plenty of it; there is no necessity for my emptying the paper rags out of my box, or my clothes out of the large chest where I have them packed away; my husband can go and get what he wants at the Tithing Store.” They would not get the wheat and the flour that was then easy to be obtained, and now they are destitute. Why could they not believe what they were told? They ought to have believed, for it is true; and in all these matters the truth has been timely told to the people. And here let me say to you that instead of our having plenty here, with nobody to come to buy our substance—to purchase our surplus grain—the demand for what we can raise here will increase year by year.

Are we going to live our religion—to be the servants and handmaids of the Almighty? Are we going to continue in the faith, and try to grow in grace and in the knowledge of the truth? If we are, the prophecies will be fulfilled on us. We shall have the privilege of seeing the blest, and will be blest.

I look at things as a man looking philosophically; I look at things before us in the future as a politician, as a statesman, as a thinking person. What is going to be the condition of this people and their surrounding neighbors? Do we not see the storm gathering? It will come from the northeast and the southeast, from the east and from the west, and from the northwest. The clouds are gathering; the distant thunders can be heard; the grumblings and mutterings in the distance are audible, and tell of destruction, want and famine. But mark it well, if we live according to the Holy Priesthood bestowed upon us, while God bears rule in the midst of these mountains, I promise you, in the name of Israel’s God, that he will give us seedtime and harvest. We must forfeit our right to the Priesthood, before the blessings of the Heavens cease to come upon us. Let us live our religion, and hearken to the counsel given to us.

And here let me say to you, buy what flour you need, and do not let it be hauled away. Have you a horse, or an ox, or a wagon, or anything else, if it takes the coat off your back, or the shoes off your feet, and you have to wear moccasins, sell them and go to the merchants who have it to sell and buy the flour before it is hauled away. Why did you not buy it when it was cheap? There is a saying that wit dearly bought is remembered. Now buy your wit, buy your wisdom, buy your counsel and judgment, buy them dearly, so that you will remember. You were last fall counseled to supply yourselves with breadstuffs, when flour could have been bought for whistling a tune, and the seller would have whistled one half of it to induce you to buy. Why have the children of this world been wiser in this day than the children of light? Have not there been Saints enough before us for us to learn by their experience, and revelations enough given for the Saints now not to be in the back ground? It is mortifying that the children of this world should know more about these things than the children of light. We know more about the kingdom of God. Take these young men, sixteen or eighteen years old, or these old men, or some who have just come into the Church, and let them go into the world, and, with regard to the kingdom of God, they can teach kings and queens, statesmen and philosophers, for they are ignorant of these things, but in things pertaining to this life the lack of knowledge manifested by us as a people is disgraceful. Your knowledge should be as much more than that of the children of the world, with regard to the things of the world, as it is with regard to the things of the kingdom of God.

Take your money or your property, brethren and sisters, and buy flour; or shall I hear tomorrow morning, “I am out of bread?” Why not go down street and sell your bonnets, and your shawls, sisters, and not wait? “Why, some good brother will feed us.” But that good brother has not got the flour. “I am not going to buy any; I will trust in the Lord; He will send the ravens to feed me.” Perhaps the faith of some people is such that they think the Lord will send down an angel with a loaf of bread under one arm and a leg of bacon under the other—that an angel will be sent from some other world with bread ready buttered for them to eat, or that it will be as was said of the pigs in Ohio when it was first settled; it was said the soil was so rich that if you hung up one pound of the earth two pounds of fat would run out of it; and that pigs were running through the woods ready roasted, with knives and forks in their backs. My faith is not like that.

A brother told me, when speaking of the rotation of the planets, that he could never believe that the earth did rotate. Said I, do you believe that the sun which shone today shone yesterday? “Yes.” He had not faith to believe that the earth turns round, but he believed that the sun moved round the earth. Now, said I, take your measuring instruments. If the earth rotates upon its axis each given point upon it moves 24,000 miles in twenty-four hours, while if the sun goes round the earth it must travel over a circle, in the same time, of which 95,000,000 is about the semidiameter. He had not faith to believe that the earth could turn on its axis in twenty-four hours, but I showed him that he had to have millions and millions more faith than I had, when he believed the sun went round the earth.

My faith does not lead me to think the Lord will provide us with roast pigs, bread already buttered, &c. He will give us the ability to raise the grain, to obtain the fruits of the earth, to make habitations, to procure a few boards to make a box, and when harvest comes, giving us the grain, it is for us to preserve it—to save the wheat until we have one, two, five, or seven years’ provisions on hand, until there is enough of the staff of life saved by the people to bread themselves and those who will come here seeking for safety.

Will you do this? “Aye, maybe I will,” says one, and “maybe I won’t,” says another; “the kingdom that cannot support me I don’t think of much account; the Lord has said it is His business to provide for His Saints, and I guess He will do it.” I have no doubt but He will provide for His Saints, but, if you do not take this counsel and be industrious and prudent, you will not long continue to be one of His Saints; then continue to do right that ye may be His Saints; sow, plant, buy half a bushel of wheat here, and a bushel there, and store it up till you get your five or seven years’ provisions on hand.

The war now raging in our nation is in the providence of God, and was told us years and years ago by the Prophet Joseph; and what we are now coming to was foreseen by him, and no power can hinder. Can the inhabitants of our once beautiful, delightful and happy country avert the horrors and evils that are now upon them? Only by turning from their wickedness, and calling upon the Lord. If they will turn unto the Lord and seek after Him, they will avert this terrible calamity, otherwise it cannot be averted. There is no power on the earth, nor under it, but the power of God, that can avert the evils that are now upon and are coming upon the nation.

What is the prospect? What does the statesman declare to us? What does he point us to? Peace and prosperity? Brotherly kindness and love? Union and happiness? No! No! Calamity upon calamity; misery upon misery.

Do you see any necessity, Latter-day Saints, for providing for the thousands coming here? Suppose some of your brothers, uncles, children, grandchildren, or your old neighbors, fleeing here from the bloodshed and misery in the world, were to come to you. “Well, I am glad to see you, come to my house; come uncle, come grandson, come aunt, I must take you home.” But what have you to give them? Not a morsel! “The country was full of food; I could have obtained it for sewing, for knitting, for almost every kind of work; I could have procured it a year ago, but it grated on my feelings to have it offered me for my work. I am sorry to say I have nothing in the house, but I think I can borrow it,” when you ought to have your bins full, to feed your friends when they come here.

It is not our open enemies who will come here. I told the people last year that the flood and tide of emigration were conservative people, who wished in peace to raise the necessaries of life, to trade, etc.—peaceful citizens. What do they come here for? To live in peace. Were they those who robbed us in Missouri and Illinois? No.

The time is coming when your friends are going to write to you about coming here, for this is the only place where there will be peace. There will be war, famine, pestilence, and misery through the nations of the earth, and there will be no safety in any place but Zion, as has been foretold by the Prophets of the Lord, both anciently and in our day.

This is the place of peace and safety. We would see how it would be if the wicked had power here, but they have not the power, and they never will have, if we live as the Lord requires us to. (Amen, by the congregation.)

Buy flour, you who can; and you, sisters, and children too, when harvest comes, glean the wheat fields. I would as soon see my wives and children gleaning wheat, as anybody’s. And then, when the people come here by thousands, you will be able to feed them. What will be your feelings, when the women and children begin to cry in your ears, with not a man to protect them? You can believe it or not, but the time is coming when a good man will be more precious than fine gold.

It is distressing to see the condition our nation is in, but I cannot help it. Who can? The people en masse, by turning to God, and ceasing to do wickedly, ceasing to persecute the honest and the truth-lover. If they had done that thirty years ago, it would have been better for them today. When we appealed to the government of our nation for justice, the answer was—“Your cause is just, but we have no power.” Did not Joseph Smith tell them in Washington and Philadelphia, that the time would come when their State rights would be trampled upon?

Joseph said, many and many a time, to us—“Never be anxious for the Lord to pour out his judgments upon the nation; many of you will see the distress and evils poured out upon this nation till you will weep like children.” Many of us have felt to do so already, and it seems to be coming upon us more and more; it seems as though the fangs of destruction were piercing the very vitals of the nation.

We inquire of our friends who come here, the emigration, how it is back where they came from. They say you can ride all day in some places but recently inhabited, and not see any inhabitants, any plowing, any sowing, any planting; you may ride through large districts of country, and see one vast desolation. A gentlemen said here, the other day, that one hundred families were burned alive in their own houses, in the county of Jackson, Missouri; whether this is true is not for me to say, but the thought of it is painful. Have you, Latter-day Saints, ever experienced anything like that? No! You were driven out of your houses, I forget the number, but you were not burned in them. I have said it to the Saints, and would proclaim it to the latest of Adam’s generation, that the wicked suffer more than the righteous.

Why do people apostatize? You know we are on the “Old Ship Zion.” We are in the midst of the ocean. A storm comes on, and, as sailors say, she labors very hard. “I am not going to stay here,” says one; “I don’t believe this is the ‘Ship Zion.’” “But we are in the midst of the ocean.” “I don’t care, I am not going to stay here.” Off goes the coat, and he jumps overboard. Will he not be drowned? Yes. So with those who leave this Church. It is the “Old Ship Zion,” let us stay in it. Is there any wisdom in all doing as we are all told? Yes.

While brother Woodruff was talking about the notable text given by brother Hardy to a gentleman in England, when speaking of the Mormon creed, I thought I could incorporate a very large discourse in the application of that creed. “To mind your own business” incorporates the whole duty of man. What is the duty of a Latter-day Saint? To do all the good he can upon the earth, living in the discharge of every duty obligatory upon him. If you see anybody angry, tell them never to be angry again. If you see anybody chewing tobacco, ask them to stop it, and spend the money for something to eat. Will you stop drinking whiskey? Let me plead with you to do so. And if the sisters would not think it oppressive, I would ask them to not drink quite so much strong tea. And if I make an application of these remarks in my own person, it is my business to point out these things and to ask you to refrain from them. It is the business of a Latter-day Saint, in passing through the street, if he sees a fence pole down, to put it up; if he sees an animal in the mud, to stop and help get it out. I make such acts my business. When I am traveling, I stop my whole train and say—“Boys, let us drive those cattle out of that grain, and put up the fence.” If I can do any good in administering among the people, in trying to have them comprehend what is right and do it, that is my business, and it is also your business.

Let us preach righteousness, and practice it. I do not wish to preach what I do not practice. If I wish to preach to others wholesome doctrine, let me practice it myself—show that example to others I wish them to imitate. If we do this, we will be preserved in the truth. We wish to increase; we do not wish to become aliens in the kingdom of God.

When people’s eyes are opened, and they see and understand how heinous it is to turn away from the truth, were they to reflect, and ask, “Shall I ever leave the faith? Ever turn away from the kingdom of God?” It would make them shudder; there would be chill over them from their heads to their feet; they would feel to say, “No, God forbid!”

It was said here this morning that no person ever apostatized, without actual transgression. Omission of duty leads to commission. We want to live so as to have the Spirit every day, every hour of the day, every minute of the day; and every Latter-day Saint is entitled to the Spirit of God, to the power of the Holy Ghost, to lead him in his individual duties. Is nobody else entitled to it? No. But this wants explanation.

Here, perhaps, is a good Presbyterian brother, a good Baptist brother, or, perhaps, a good Catholic one. Are they entitled to that degree of the Spirit of God that we are? No, but they are entitled to light. And there is one saying I heard here today, that I will repeat; whenever anyone lifts his voice or hand to persecute this people, there is a chill passes through him, unless he is lost to truth and the Spirit of God has entirely left him. He feels it day and night; he feels the Spirit working with him. And the Spirit of the Lord will strive, and strive, and strive with the people, till they have sinned away the day of grace. Until then, all are entitled to the light of Christ, for he is the light that lighteth every man who cometh into the world. But they are not entitled to receive the Holy Ghost. Why not, as well as Cornelius? That bestowal of the Holy Ghost was to convince the superstitious Jews that the Lord designed to send the Gospel to the Gentiles. Peter said, well, now, brethren, can you forbid water to baptize these, seeing the Lord has been so merciful to them as to give them the Holy Ghost? And he baptized them; and that was the opening of the door of the Gospel to the Gentiles.

I pray to the Lord for you; I pray for you to get wisdom—worldly wisdom; not to love the things of the world, but to take care of what you raise. Try to raise a little silk here; you know we are raising cotton. Try to raise some flax, and take care of it. Try and make a little sugar here next fall; I understand that article is now fifty cents a pound in New York. As war is wasting the productive strength of the nation, do you not think it becomes us to raise sugar, corn, wheat, sheep, &c., for the consumption of the old, the blind, the lame, and the helpless who will be left, that we may be able to feed and clothe them when they come here? We will feed and care for them, for there are thousands of them who are good people, who have lived according to the best light and truth they knew. And by and by the prejudices that exist against us will be wiped away, so that the honest can embrace the truth.

I do not want “Mormonism” to become popular; I would not, if I could, make it as popular as the Roman Catholic Church is in Italy, or as the Church of England is in England, because the wicked and ungodly would crowd into it in their sins. There are enough of such characters in it now. There are quite a number here who will apostatize. It needs this and that to occur to make some leave. If “Mormonism” were to become popular, it would be much as it was in the days of the early Christians, when no one could get a good position unless he was baptized for the remission of sins; he could not get an office, without he was baptized into the church.

Suppose this Church were so popular that a man could not be elected President of the United States, unless he was a Latter-day Saint, we would be overrun by the wicked. I would rather pass through all the misery and sorrow, the troubles and trials of the Saints, than to have the religion of Christ become popular with the world. It would in such case go as the ancient Church went. I care not what the world thinks, nor what it says, so they leave us unmolested in the exercise of our inherent rights. Take a straightforward course, and meet the jeers and frowns of the wicked.

Unpopular. “Oh dear, how they are despised and hated, those ‘Mormons!’” Did not Jesus say that His disciples should be hated and despised? Said he, “They hate me, and they will hate you also.” Has it ever been otherwise? He said, emphatically, “In the world ye shall have persecution, but in me ye shall have peace.”

What is proved by people’s leaving us, before the heavens, before the angels, and all the Prophets and holy men who ever lived upon the earth? You will see every man and woman, when they once consent to leave here, I don’t care what name they are known by, whether Morrisites, Gladden Bishopites, Josephites, or any other ite, they make friends with the wicked—with those who blaspheme the holy name we have been commemorating here this afternoon, and they are full of malice and evil. Whenever any person wants to leave here, the thread is broken that bound him to the truth, and he seeks the society of the wicked; and it proves to everybody who has the light of truth within them, that this is the kingdom of God, and that those who leave are of Anti-Christ.

Be steadfast, always abiding in the truth. Never encourage malice or hatred in your hearts; that does not belong to a Saint. I can say in truth, that with all the abuse I have ever met, driven from my home, robbed of my substance, I do not know that a spirit of malice has ever rested in my heart. I have asked the Lord to mete out justice to those who have oppressed us, and the Lord will take his own time and way for doing this. It is in His hands, and not in mine, and I am glad of it, for I could not deal with the wicked as they should be dealt with.

My name is had for good and evil upon the whole earth, as promised to me. Thirty years ago brother Joseph, in a lecture to the Twelve, said to me, “your name shall be known for good and evil throughout the world,” and it is so. The good love me, weak and humble as I am, and the wicked hate me; but there is no individual on the earth but what I would lead to salvation, if he would let me; I would take him by the hand, like a child, and lead him like a father in the way that would bring him to salvation.

Would we not rather live as we are living, than to become one with the spirit of the world? Yes. Do not be anxious to have this people become rich, and possess the affection of the world. I have been fearful lest we come to fellowship the world. Whatever you have, it is the Lord’s. You own nothing, I own nothing. I seem to have a great abundance around me, but I own nothing. The Lord has placed what I have in my hands, to see what I will do with it, and I am perfectly willing for Him to dispose of it otherwise whenever he pleases. I have neither wife nor child, no wives and children; they are only committed to me, to see how I will treat them. If I am faithful, the time will come when they will be given to me.

The Lord has placed it in our power to obtain the greatest gift He can bestow—the gift of eternal life; He has bestowed upon us gifts to be developed and used throughout all eternity—the gifts of seeing, of hearing, of speech, &c.—and we are endowed with every gift and qualification, though in weakness, that are the angels; and the germ of the attributes that are developed in Him who controls is in us to develop. We can see each other, hear each other, converse with each other, and, if we keep the faith, all things will be ours. The Saints do not own anything now. The world do not own anything. They are hunting for gold—it is the Lord’s. If my safe had millions of gold in it, it would be the Lord’s, to be used as he dictates. The time will come when those who are now dissatisfied will not be satisfied with anything, but the Saints who live their religion are and will be satisfied with everything. They know the Lord controls, and that He will control and save the righteous.

May the Lord help us to be righteous and to live our religion, that we may live forever. Amen.

Paying Tithing—Fasting and Prayer—Keeping the Sabbath Holy—Selling Grain—The Judgments of God, Etc.

Remarks by President Brigham Young, made in the Tabernacle, Great Salt Lake City, November 6, 1863.

I am a Josephite, or, in other words, I am a full believer in the mission and calling of Joseph Smith, Jun., as a Prophet of God to this world in this generation, and I wish the people everywhere to distinctly understand this fact.

In the early existence of this Church, the people frequently questioned Joseph the Prophet, relative to the law of Tithing, wishing to know the meaning of it as it was taught in the Bible and the revelations. Joseph enquired of the Lord and, in answer, received the revelation which you can find on the 324th page of the Book of Doctrine and Covenants, European edition. The Lord has thus revealed his will upon that subject, and it ought to satisfy his people in all time to come.

I have always told the people to do just as they pleased about paying Tithing, and to do as they please about calling upon the name of the Lord in prayer, and to do just as they please about being baptized, or about believing in the Lord Jesus Christ; there is no compulsion whatever in these matters. The Lord does not compel any person to embrace the Gospel, and I do not think He will compel them to live it after they have embraced it; but all who do not keep their covenants and the commandments of the Lord our Father are then fit to be cut off from the Church.

We are in the habit of holding in full fellowship men that pay no Tithing, also persons who take the name of God in vain; we permit liars, thieves, etc., to retain a standing in the Church. Does not this hurt the body of Christ? It does, and the whole body is more or less sick and faint through our extreme kindness, which some call charity; it pleads for those unrighteous persons, and we spare them. Should we do this to the extent we do? I think we have lived long enough and have passed through enough experience to teach us to know and do the will of Heaven, and to disfellowship those who refuse to do it.

We have said to the brethren, pay your Tithing, and with those who refuse to do this it will be made a matter of fellowship. Now, brethren and sisters, the next time you write to your friends, in England, Scotland, Wales, France, or any other country, do not write that we have directed the Presidents in foreign lands to cut off members who do not pay their Tithing, when this becomes necessary we will attend to it. It is right for us here to pay our Tithing. Not paying Tithing has once been made a matter of fellowship in the British Islands, and some have been cut off from the Church there for not paying their Tithing; that was not by our directions.

In regard to Tithing, I am now speaking to the Latter-day Saints in this land, who have health to labor, who can surround themselves with an abundance of the comforts and blessings of life, who can build houses and open up farms at their pleasure. Shall we pay Tithing or shall we not? We have said pay your Tithing. And we have said to the Bishops that if any man refuses to pay his Tithing, try him for his fellowship; and if he still refuses, cut him off from the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, and so we say now. We have not required this of the people, but the Lord has required it, and that is enough for us and for all the Latter-day Saints upon the earth. If we live our religion we will be willing to pay Tithing.

We feel sometimes as though the people did not live as near to the Lord as they should, and we have a right to feel so. And then again we say that this is a good people, that they are a very excellent people, that they are the best people that we have any knowledge of, but they are so far from being what they have got to be that we see there is a great improvement to be made by us. We talk about heaven, about the Lord, about angels, about celestial glory, and about enjoying the celestial kingdom of our God, while at the same time we do not believe for one moment that we could live in heaven one day or one hour, and live in disobedience to the laws and commandments of heaven.

We have believed in the Lord Jesus Christ, we have had faith enough to go and be baptized for the remission of sins, and to receive the laying on of hands for the reception of the Holy Ghost, and to gather ourselves together, and still we try to shirk an ordinance of the House of God, and to make ourselves believe that it is not necessary to strictly obey all the injunctions laid upon us as followers of the Lord Jesus Christ. It is written—“Wherefore, I give unto them a commandment, saying thus: Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, with all thy might, mind, and strength; and in the name of Jesus Christ thou shalt serve him. Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself. Thou shalt not steal; neither commit adultery, nor kill, nor do anything like unto it. Thou shalt thank the Lord thy God in all things. Thou shalt offer a sacrifice unto the Lord thy God in righteousness, even that of a broken heart and a contrite spirit. And that thou mayest more fully keep thyself unspotted from the world, thou shalt go to the house of prayer and offer up sacraments upon my holy day; For verily this is a day appointed unto you to rest from your labors, and to pay thy devotions unto the Most High; Nevertheless thy vows shall be offered up in righteousness on all days and at all times; But remember that on this, the Lord’s day, thou shalt offer thine oblations and thy sacraments unto the Most High, confessing thy sins unto thy brethren, and before the Lord. And on this day thou shalt do none other thing, only let thy food be prepared with singleness of heart that thy fasting may be perfect, or, in other words, that thy joy may be full. Verily, this is fasting and prayer, or in other words, rejoicing and prayer.” [Book of Doc. and Cov., page 149, par’s. 2 and 3.

Here we are commanded to assemble ourselves together on the first day of the week, as the ancient disciples did and to offer up our sacraments before the Lord, confessing our faults one to another. How many of the inhabitants of this city do you sup pose are in the canyons today, or off hunting ducks, or geese, or rabbits, or cattle, instead of observing this the word of the Lord? Are they doing as they should do? They are not. Persons professing to be Saints should assemble themselves together on the Lord’s day, except those who may be necessarily detained at home to keep the house, take care of the children, or to perform some work of necessity and mercy; the rest should assemble in the place appointed for worship and the offering up of our sacraments.

Could we now see the canyons of these mountains all over the Territory, we should see teams by the score returning with wood. They went out yesterday to come home today. Is this keeping the Sabbath holy? It is written—“And the inhabitants of Zion shall also observe the Sabbath day to keep it holy.” There is not one requirement of the Lord that is nonessential; every requirement that He has made of us is essential to our perfection and sanctification, to prepare us to enjoy celestial glory.

You may ask me if I always keep the Sabbath holy. When I am out traveling and happen to be where there is not a convenient place to observe the Sabbath, I sometimes travel on that day, and content myself with making a Sabbath of the second, third, fourth, fifth or sixth day of the week. But generally, when I am traveling, it is all the time Sabbath to me, for it is a constant succession of meetings. But do I send my teams to the canyons on the Sabbath day? No, that is if I have the control over that which should be under my control. I keep the Sabbath, and I wish to keep all the laws of God, and there are a great many of this people that do so; but many of them go astray in failing to observe these things—in not paying their Tithing faithfully, in not keeping the Sabbath day holy, in not saying their prayers constantly, in not feeding the poor and clothing the naked, and in not administering to the Priesthood. As a people we do as well as we can do, but some do not do as well as they might do.

Thrifty and intelligent gardeners are very particular in trimming off dead limbs from their fruit trees and covering the wounds to preserve the trees in health and soundness. When we hold unrighteous, ungodly persons in fellowship, it injures the whole body of Christ; but we do it because we have compassion for them. Brethren and sisters I exhort you to keep your covenants, to serve the Lord with all your hearts, and to endeavor to observe every requirement the Lord makes of you. You know that this is your duty.

His Church and kingdom is complete, it has a living head “from which all the body by joints and bands having nourishment ministered, and knit together, increaseth with the increase of God.” “For by one Spirit are we all baptized into one body, whether we be Jews or Gentiles, whether we be bond or free; and have been all made to drink into one Spirit.” “Now are ye the body of Christ, and members in particular.” The head possesses all the qualifications necessary to fill its functions in the body; it has eyes to see, ears to hear, a palate to taste, organs of speech to speak, etc., etc. Every qualification that is natural to the body of a man has its counterpart incorporated in the body of Christ upon the earth.

On reading carefully the Old and New Testaments we can discover that the majority of the revelations given to mankind anciently were in regard to their daily duties; we follow in the same path. The revelations contained in the Bible and the Book of Mormon are ensamples to us, and the Book of Doctrine and Covenants contains direct revelation to this Church; they are a guide to us, and we do not wish to do them away; we do not wish them to become obsolete and to set them aside. We wish to continue in the revelations of the Lord Jesus Christ day by day, and to have His Spirit with us continually. If we can do this, we shall no more walk in darkness, but we shall walk in the light of life.

We have, through the mercy of our heavenly Father, been gathered together, and we now have the privilege of purifying ourselves and preparing for the coming of the Son of Man. Shall we do this? Or shall we be found wanting when he makes his appearance?

In regard to the Law of Tithing, the Lord has given the revelation I have already referred to, and made it a law unto us, and let all who have gathered here and refuse to obey it, be disfellowshipped; and if a man will persist in breaking the Sabbath day, let him be severed from the Church; and the man that will persist in swearing, cut him off from the Church, with the thief, the liar, the adulterer, and every other person who will not live according to the law of Christ, that we may not have the tree encumbered with rotten limbs, to spread decay and rottenness through the whole tree.

We have had good talk from the brethren this afternoon; I have heard nothing but what is strictly correct. I can say of this people that, as a people, they are a very good people, but we do fellowship a few in our midst that we should not fellowship.

Brother Samuel W. Richards had a good deal to say, this afternoon, about grain. We have talked about it for a long time, and we have tried to get the people to build store houses to save it. When grain could not be sold for money the Tithing Office was full of it; but now we have none to hand out to the poor who depend upon us for bread, only as we send out and gather in a little, though, probably the brethren will soon be at leisure to haul in their Tithing. We have but little to deal out to the families of our brethren who are preaching, and to our workmen. Our granaries are empty, and scarcely grain enough in the Territory to bread our own population until another harvest, yet some will sell their grain to go out of the country. What a lamentable fact. Suppose the Lord should suffer a drought to come over the land next year and blast our corn, wheat, rye, barley, oats, potatoes, etc., with mildew, what would be the situation of this people? Yet a few are selling grain all the time.

I will mention a circumstance that occurred lately, to illustrate the character of some whom we fellowship. One of our newcomers wanted to buy some wheat and went down to the public square where our friends from the East were preparing to prosecute their journey to California. This newcomer bought a load of wheat at four or five bits a bushel; he bought at that price all he wanted. After the bargain was closed, the man who sold the wheat found out that the purchaser was a “Mormon,” and said to him, “Had I known you was one of the brethren I would have made you paid a higher price for that wheat.” What a depraved disposition! He would have sold it to the passing stranger for fifty cents a bushel, and very likely would have made his brother “Mormon” pay a dollar and a half. How can men love God when they hate their brethren.

A certain sister went to one of the stores with butter to sell, “What do you ask a pound for your butter?” “My Bishop says I must ask so much. I would sell it for less, but I must mind my Bishop. I would sell it for thirty cents, but my Bishop says I must have thirty-five for it.” That woman would see the whole house of Israel massacred—their blood spilled—and smile at it. I attribute all this to ignorance and pass it along without notice, as much as possible, and I hope our Father in heaven does. He is merciful and we should be.

If the people were all truly Latter-day Saints, we should see a state of society different from what we now see. A man who professes to be a a good Latter-day Saint has a son who is a thief; says the father, “I think he will be a good boy yet, and preach the Gospel to the nations and do much good.” “Whose horse is this, my boy?” “O, no matter about that dad; here is a friend of mine, wants to stay all night.” They are lodged and fed, and away they go next morning after some more stolen horses. “Brother, did you not know that that was a stolen horse?” “O, I suppose it was.” “Then why did you keep such a man about you?” “Why, I could not turn my son and his friends out of doors.” There are pretty good men and good families who are harborers of thieves and do it all the time, in some of their connections.

I remember that a lot of colts were once driven into my yard, and they were stolen property. How came this about? Why somebody heard aunt Sarah say that cousin Bill told aunt Peggy that he had heard Sister Nancy say that her cousin Betty had worked in the President’s kitchen, and so the connection was formed, and of course all her friends and connections must make themselves at home in the President’s houses, his barns, stables, yards, and provisions for man and animals. I suspicioned them, and had them turned out forthwith.

If we are not sanctified, if we do not sanctify the Lord in our hearts and purify ourselves in our lives and in all our dealings before God and man, we shall fail of attaining to an inheritance in the celestial kingdom, and shall be found in some other kingdom. When the holy Priesthood is upon the earth, and the fulness of the kingdom of God has come to the people, it requires a strict obedience to every point of law and doctrine and to every ordinance which the Lord reveals: in short, it requires a strict observance of every requirement of Heaven, to fully prepare a people for the possession and enjoyment of the celestial kingdom.

Where the Priesthood is not, the people are expected to live according to the best knowledge they have; but even then they cannot with impunity commit many heinous faults. The Lord more readily overlooks them in consequence of their unenlightened condition, and there is a kingdom prepared for them, while the celestial kingdom will be inhabited only by those who are specially prepared to inherit it. It will be inherited by those who live faithfully the religion of Jesus Christ, and are worthy of being ranked upon among the pure in heart.

Tomorrow morning I expect to start on a short tour South, and I say to my brethren and sisters keep your armor bright, and be on the watchtower all the time, for the enemy feels as much opposition today, and I may safely say more than he ever did towards the kingdom of God that is now established upon the earth; and just in proportion to its strength and increase, so will the power of Satan be exerted to overcome it. Christ and Baal are not yet friends. An Elder of Israel who can drink with the drunkard and swear with the swearer, is not a friend of Christ and his kingdom.

The wicked still wish to destroy every vestige of truth and righteousness on the earth; and they will still go on fighting against God and right, and who can help it? And they will continue to go on in this course, until the wicked are destroyed and the earth is cleansed from the rule of sin and Satan.

Read the Book of Mormon and learn what it says in regard to the ancient Nephites. The whole nation of the Nephites were slain, because they departed from the Lord their God and did wickedly. In the last great and tremendous battle between the Nephites and the Lamanites, over two millions of the Nephites were slain and the residue were hunted and slain until not a single person, except Moroni was left of a high and mighty nation. Mormon says, after this great battle, “And my soul was rent with anguish, because of the slain of my people, and I cried: O ye fair ones, how could ye have departed from the ways of the Lord! O ye fair ones, how could you have rejected that Jesus, who stood with open arms to receive you! Behold, if ye had not done this, ye would not have fallen. But behold, ye are fallen, and I mourn your loss. O ye fair sons and daughters, ye fathers and mothers, ye husbands and wives, ye fair ones, how is it that ye could have fallen! But behold, ye are gone, and my sorrows cannot bring your return.” “O that ye had repented before this great destruction had come upon you. But behold, ye are gone, and the Father, yea, the Eternal Father of heaven, knoweth your state; and he doeth with you according to his justice and mercy.” Blood answered to blood until the land was cleansed, and few men were left. And so will it be with this nation who have slain the Prophets and have sought continually to destroy the people of God.

If we live our religion we may escape; and if we are required to give our lives for our religion, we are still in the hands of God. But we cannot find in any history that the people of God have ever suffered more keenly than have the wicked. Certain ones have “had trial of cruel mockings and scourgings, yea, moreover of bonds and imprisonment: They were stoned, they were sawn asunder, were tempted, were slain with the sword: they wandered about in sheepskins and goatskins; being destitute, afflicted, tormented;” etc. But look at the hundreds of thousands of wicked men who have met destruction through such unutterable anguish and suffering as the faithful followers of the Lord Jesus have never felt. When Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego were cast in the fiery furnace, the fire had no power upon their bodies, nor was a hair of their head singed, neither were their coats changed, nor had the smell of fire passed upon them.

The Saints in all ages have been protected, sustained, and upheld by an Almighty Power, in their sufferings, and the power of the religion of Jesus Christ has ever sustained them. The Jews anciently said let His blood be upon us and upon our children, and God took them at their word.

This nation, by their works said, “Let the blood of Joseph the Prophet and of his brethren be upon us and our children,” and it will be so. If they had known Joseph Smith in his true character, and acknowledged him, he would have led this nation long before now, and this dreadful war would not have prevailed throughout the land; but now it will be death upon death, and blood upon blood until the land is cleansed. I pray God to save the innocent, the righteous, and the honest poor, and to let those who desire to shed the blood of each other fall first in this deadly strife.

We have become heirs to all things, through the Gospel which we have obeyed, but if we neglect that Gospel and our duties to God and to one another and become servants to sin, we may expect to suffer the penalty of sin, which is death and damnation, and to be deprived of the right of ruling over a single person, and possess no territory, not even six feet by three. Those who violate their claims to the blessings of the Gospel never will have the privilege of ruling over their families; they will not have a dollar of money. They may get all the gold there is in the mountains now, but when they die and go to their own place they will not find gold, nor bread to eat, nor water to drink, nor the sweet strains of music to cheer their hearts; but they will be made servants to drudge out their weary existence as long as the Lord shall please to let them. This is a little of what the wicked will suffer in their place in the next existence.

Instead of the righteous being bound tighter and tighter, they will continue to have more and more liberty, as we are more and more faithful, and obtain more power with the heavens and more of the power of God upon us. Let us seek diligently unto the Lord, until we obtain the faith of Jesus in its fullness, for those who possess this are free indeed.

When it is necessary that we should possess gold in great abundance, the Lord will show it to us in vision, and we shall not have to prospect and dig to find it, as the wicked have to do. The liberty of the Saints is to possess power with God to open gold mines, when we want gold; to plant and reap in abundance; to heal the sick of our families, and to heal our animals that serve us; to elude every snare of the enemy; to save our boys from danger when they are in the canyons, or when they are following any other pursuit where there is danger of their losing their lives, or of being hurt in any way. This the wicked call tyranny and despotism. We call upon the people to so live that their sick may be healed by the virtue and power of their holy religion, and this is called oppression. The “Mormons” all listen to the advice of one man, and this is called despotism. We teach our females to be virtuous and industrious, and this is called bondage. A young woman went to a neighboring camp, stayed there three or four days, and came home and died; this is the liberty some would give to us, “such protection as vultures give to lambs.”

It is the privilege of this people to have faith to command the elements, that we may have plentiful crops from year to year; and to enjoy the wealth of health, joy and peace instead of sorrow, turmoil, war, and bloodshed. Here are the two extremes; may the Lord help us to choose the good and refuse the evil. Amen.

Temporal and Spiritual Affairs—God the Source of All Intelligence—the Governments of the Earth—The Hand of God to Be Acknowledged in All Things, Etc.

Discourse by Elder John Taylor, delivered in the Tabernacle, Great Salt Lake City, Oct. 25, 1863.

The remarks of brother Groo this morning have really been interesting. They have clearly exemplified some of those things that pertain to our temporal interests and associations with each other, and to the every day duties, etc., which devolve upon us. It is generally the case, as he has remarked, that we love to reflect upon the glories and exaltation of the Saints in a world to come, upon things that are spiritual, as we term them, to the frequent neglect of those things which are of a temporal nature and with which we are more intimately acquainted.

It is customary for men in the world from which we have gathered out, to talk on Sunday about spiritual things, when they are dressed in their Sunday coats and at meeting, and then on Monday to pack up their religion with their Sunday clothes in their trunks, to have nothing more to do with it until next Sunday. This practice prevails more or less in the religious world, where men are classified into different orders; where a lawyer must be a lawyer and nothing else; a doctor must attend to that business exclusively, and the lawyer and the doctor must not meddle with the duties of the minister of religion; for it is considered to be the exclusive privilege of the minister of religion to teach religion, and his functions are generally performed on the Sabbath day in the pulpit where he talks about things which he supposes exist somewhere beyond the bounds of time and space about which the people he is trying to instruct are as ignorant as himself. It is not supposed that a politician should necessarily know anything about God or religion; it would be rather a drawback upon the influence of a Senator of the United States, a member of the House of Commons, or of the House of Lords in England, or a member of the Chamber of Deputies in France to be a praying, religious man. For it is supposed that religion has nothing to do with the regulations of national affairs, but that they are regulated by the intelligence that men possess of a temporal nature, by their knowledge of the position of the nation with which they are associated, and their acquaintance with other nations, and their policy.

It is good for men to be taught in the history and laws of nations, to become acquainted with the principles of justice and equity, with the nature of disease and the medical properties of plants, etc., but there is no need of their being without the knowledge of God, for in fact every branch of true knowledge known to man has originated in God, and men have come in possessions of it from His word or from His works. O, the folly of men in not acknowledging God in all things, in laying aside God and His religion, and trusting in their own judgment and intelligence. All the intelligence which men possess on the earth, whether religious, scientific, or political—proceeds from God—every good and perfect gift proceeds from Him, the fountain of light and truth, wherein there is no variableness nor shadow of turning. The knowledge of the human system has proceeded from the human system itself, which God has organized. Again. If you trace the old English laws and the laws of ancient nations it will be seen that the principles of justice, which are the foundation of them, are gathered from the Bible, the revealed will of God to the children of Israel, for their government and guidancy, to a certain extent, in some of the principles of law, justice, and equity. Did knowledge of any kind that is in the world originate in man? No. Franklin possessed great information relating to natural laws, he drew the lightning from the clouds, but he could not have done that, if there had not been lightning in the clouds. He merely discovered a certain principle, and developed the action of a certain law that existed co-equal with the earth. Then how foolish it is for men under these circumstances, to lay aside God, and think that they can progress, and be smart and intelligent without Him.

This feeling savors much of the feelings manifested by the old Babylonish king. He had built a beautiful city, and had organized a very powerful kingdom. In looking at the city which he had built he began to think that he had done it by his own power, intelligence, wisdom, talent, and capability, and forgot God, and exclaimed, “Is not this great Babylon, which I have built.” He felt himself a great man, and believed that the city and empire over which he reigned owed their existence to this power of his mind, to his intelligence, to the soundness of his judgment, and to the action of his intellectual facilities. But the Lord gave him to see that he was like other men, for He started him off to feed among the beasts of the field, and he ate grass like an ox, and his reason and judgment, and intelligence and boasting were brought down. This great king learned that there was a God in heaven who could reveal secrets, and unravel to his servant Daniel hidden mysteries, and develop his great purposes. This was the kind of religion Daniel had, this is the kind we ought to have; it is the religion which enters into all nature; and is mixed up with all the affairs of life; it is connected with all the welfare and happiness of us as individuals, of our children and of the world, if they could comprehend it. For the nearer we can approach to our Heavenly Father, the more we can obtain of that intelligence which dwells in His bosom, and the more we are like our God the more we shall succeed in accomplishing our own well-being and happiness in relation to this world, and also in relation to that world which is to come.

The divines, as they are called, of this world are ignorant of this kind of religion. They go to their academies and learn theology, or the science of divinity. What does it teach them? Does it teach them anything in relation to God simply than what is revealed in this old book the Bible? Nothing more. They will not even accept the Book of Mormon, or any other revelation that God has communicated for the last eighteen hundred years. Then what do they know in regard to God? They know nothing about him; and hence the discord, contention, strife and divisions that continually exist. One man learns one thing from the Bible, another man another thing, and there is confusion, strife, animosity, bickering, secession, and polemical essay upon polemical essay, and every kind of dissatisfaction and disunion that can exist in the world among those that are termed the followers of the meek and lowly Jesus. What is the matter? Why, they are not in the possession of the spirit of truth, but like the politician, doctor, lawyer, indeed like all other men who are unwilling that Jesus Christ shall reign, they are seeking to get to heaven without God. It is very singular, yet it is a fact. The lawyer pleads law without God, the doctor administers medicine without God, and the parson wants to lead the people to heaven without God. They are all sailing in the same boat, and they are all groping in darkness and confusion, they are all ignorant of the great laws of life, of the principles which govern the Gods in the eternal worlds, and of the principles that are calculated to benefit and exalt the human family in time or in eternity, one is ignorant just the same as another in relation to these things. I would just as soon take the views of the infidel for my guidance to heaven as I would those of the divine, for one is as near the truth as the other. In fact, the cause of the great amount of infidelity that is in the world is the folly and nonsense of the so-called Christians. The Christian minister tells the people to get prepared for death. Who that understands himself cares for death? He who is in possession of the principles of life, who has in him the word of life, the spirit of life, the spirit of intelligence that flows from God; the Spirit of God has commenced to live forever, he is not groping in the dark, he is not preparing to lay his body down but to take it up again, he is not preparing to lay in the silent tomb, but to live among the Gods, and to obtain an exaltation in the celestial kingdom of God. He is seeking to be put in possession of eternal life, and he knows when He who is our life shall appear, we shall appear like unto Him in glory; he can say, “O death, where is thy sting, O grave, where is thy victory. The sting of death is sin; and the strength of sin is the law. But thanks be to God, who giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.” He feels as Job did. “For I know that my redeemer liveth, and that he shall stand at the latter day upon the earth: And though after my skin worms destroy this body, yet in my flesh shall I see God: Whom I shall see for myself, and mine eyes shall behold, and not another; though my reins be consumed within me.” We might say much more on this strain but we will pass on.

The political world have organized their governments without God, and those wise men of which we have spoken, have been making laws without God to regulate the affairs of the human family, and they have sown the seeds of death, and the principles of dissolution, in their body politic; hence God has said by the mouths of His holy Prophets, long ago, that their nations should be destroyed, that their thrones should be cast down, that empires should be overthrown, and that the powers of earth should be shaken. Why so? Because there is a worm gnawing at the vitals of this great human structure of law and government, and the great political tree, whose branches overshadow the earth will fall, and great will be the fall of it. As the religious ministers are trying to lead the people to heaven without God, so kings, governors, presidents and rulers, are making laws and governing the people without God, or without the spirit of wisdom and intelligence that flows from Him, and hence they are preparing themselves for their own destruction and overthrow. Some people are astonished that the difficulties that are now transpiring in the United States, and that are threatening other nations should exist. It is not astonishing to those who understand the wickedness and corruption, misrule, tyranny, oppression, and departure from right that exist, and who knows there is a just God in heaven that governs, and controls and manages the affairs of all nations; they understand that there are certain prin ciples of law, of justice, of equity, truth, righteousness, and retribution in relation to those events that must transpire. What difficulty would there be in these United States, supposing the Lord should rule and dictate—supposing His words should be listened to, all He would have to do would be to whisper a few words into the ears of some of the leading men North and South, and they would at once beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruning hooks, etc., and would say why should we kill, massacre, and lay waste? Why should we desecrate and desolate so fair a country as this is? Why should we make so many widows and orphans? Why should there be so many groans and tears, and misery and desolation? Now let us take another course, let us retrace our steps, and mete out justice, and humble ourselves before God and ask for His blessing, guidance, and direction; if they would do this would there be much more trouble? I think not.

I think the Lord manages such things in every age just about as He did in the days of Nineveh. We think they were a barbarous people at that time, yet they repented at the warning of the Prophet Jonah. The Lord sent Jonah to tell them in thirty days Niniveh should be destroyed. Jonah thought they would not believe him and he wanted not to go with the warning, but finally he did warn them, and they repented in sack cloth and ashes, and the Lord turned away from them the fierceness of his anger and preserved the nation and the people for a long time after that in consequence of their repentance, an acknowledgment of God and of His word.

The fact of the matter is the people universally, almost, have departed from God, have violated His law, have trampled upon His precepts, and have turned away from the pure principles of righteousness, and consequently they have incurred the wrath of God and He is beginning to pour out the vials of His wrath upon them, and they feel it keenly, but they do not know that it comes from Him; when they lose a battle they blame the General commanding and remove him to put in another General, and so one after another is removed because they cannot conquer their enemies, and because their armies are driven before them. They do not know that God is behind the scene governing, and regulating, controlling and managing the affairs of the nation according to the counsel of His will; they do not know that they themselves and the nation with which they are associated is steeped in iniquity, that they have departed from the living God; have forsaken Him the fountain of living waters; and have hewn out cisterns that hold no water. They do not know that the judgments of God are passing through the land, and that nothing but the hand of God can stay them. “And it shall be, as with the people so with the priest; as with the servant, so with his master; as with the maid, so with her mistress; as with the buyer, so with the seller; as with the lender, so with the borrower; as with the taker of usury, so with the giver of usury to him. The land shall be utterly emptied, and utterly spoiled: for the Lord hath spoken this word.” This applies to all nations. Why? Because they are managing and controlling and conducting all things without God.

These things ought to be a warning to us. We comfort our souls some times on the fulfillment of the prophesies of God. We say “Mormonism” must be true because Joseph Smith prophesied thus and so concerning a division of this nation, and that the calamities which are now causing it to mourn should commence in South Carolina. That is true, he did prophesy that, and did foretell the events that have since transpired, and did tell where the commencement of those difficulties should originate. Well, if this is true, are not other things true? If it is true that the Lord has revealed a certain amount of truth in relation to these matters, is it not as true that He has revealed other truths in which we are as individuals interested; and if it is true that God has commenced to deal with other nations as He is doing with this until war and desolation shall spread through the earth, it is just as true that we ought to be very careful what we are doing to secure the favor of God and to fulfill our destiny upon the earth in a manner which will meet his designs. The Lord has commenced to accomplish His purposes, and to build up His kingdom, and He will do it, for His designs cannot be thwarted; will perform His great decrees whether all of us, or part of us, or none of us engage in the work—or are faithful in it or not; that to Him is a matter of very little consequence; He has a certain work to accomplish, and that work will be accomplished.

A great amount of the work the Lord is going to accomplish is what is generally called temporal because it belongs to the earth; that is, the government, laws, and general direction of affairs among the nations that are not now fallen under the control of the Almighty, will have to be so changed and altered as to come under His entire control, government and dictation in every respect. He has shown to his Prophets and people long ago, to a certain extent, what kind of a rule and government He would have in the last days. He showed them that a time would come when every knee should bow, and every tongue should confess unto the Lord, no matter whether they were priests or people, rulers or ruled, lawyers or doctors, no matter what position they held in the world, to Him every knee shall bow, and every tongue shall confess that He is the Lord of all to the glory of God the Father. Then he spoke of certain events that should transpire before that—when I say He, I mean the Lord speaking through all His Prophets that have prophesied in relation to these events. What do they say? “Behold, the Lord maketh the earth empty, and maketh it waste, and turneth it upside down, and scattereth abroad the inhabitants thereof.” “And out of his mouth goeth a sharp sword, that with it he should smite the nations: and he shall rule them with a rod of iron: and he treadeth the wine press of the fierceness and wrath of Almighty God. And he hath on his vesture and on his thigh a name written, KING OF KINGS, AND LORD OF LORDS.” It is so said of him that overcometh, “And he shall rule them with a rod of iron; as the vessels of a potter shall they be broken to shivers: even as I received of my father.” All this must take place previous to those events we speak of that will glorify, happify, and exalt, when the Lord shall rule, and his dominions shall be from the rivers to the ends of the earth.

It seems to be very difficult for us to acknowledge the Lord in all things, and yet we are the only people who profess to do this; I do not know of any other community that has begun to acknowledge God in their every day affairs or in the management of governments and nations; for the world generally do not admit of the interposition of the Almighty, but consider themselves perfectly competent to regulate their own affairs by their own wisdom and intel ligence. We are the only people that make any approach to this: and yet how feeble that approach is, how difficult it is for us to bring our minds to yield obedience to the Lord our God, we can hardly think of it. We like to talk about the glory and the exaltation, and the happiness and the blessings that shall result from a certain course, but we do not like to pursue that course, we like our own way, and we like to gratify our own feelings and desires. And then we are in possession of a great amount of ignorance and folly; it seems difficult for the best of us to contemplate God and his designs, and the majesty of his law and government, and the principles by which we ought to be governed in all our earthly affairs in consequence of this ignorance. If in religious matters it is the best way to build up a good house for those who are living in a bad one, and invite them out of the bad house to take possession of the better one, how much more is this course necessary in relation to temporal things, that we do not consider to belong to religion; I speak after the manner of men, and according to their phraseology with regard to temporal things. We talk of establishing a government, a kingdom, a rule, and law, that will be according to the principle of justice, equity, and righteousness and then we calculate in some sort of having a government that shall be self-sustaining, that shall move pleasantly and harmoniously along, like the stars that move in the firmament without clashing or conflict, confusion, or disorder. We talk of having among ourselves, through the inspiration of the Almighty, principles of law, justice, and equity that will govern and regulate and manage and control all affairs according to the wisdom and dictation of the spirit that is in the bosom of God, and according to the light and the intelligence that governs all creation.

We are looking for something of this kind, yet we make but slow progress towards accomplishing it. We can only obtain correct knowledge in relation to any of these things from the Almighty. We cannot know how to govern ourselves only by a portion of the wisdom that dwells in the bosom of God; if we do not possess that wisdom we may despair of ever accomplishing anything in relation to building up his kingdom. I feel as Moses did when the Lord said, “for I will not go up in the midst of thee; for thou art a stiffnecked people: lest I consume thee in the way.” “And he (Moses) said unto him, If thy presence go not with me, carry us not up hence.” So say I, if the Lord does not dictate us we can do nothing of ourselves, we cannot accomplish the purposes of God or build up his kingdom on the earth. These are important items, and there are many other small matters associated with them that we are trying to aim at, and one is to become self-sustaining. We need in the first place to begin to know some of the common and most essential affairs of human life. We need to know how to raise cattle, horses, sheep, hogs, etc. And then when we have raised them we need to know how to take care of them in the best possible manner; and then again we want to raise families, and need to know how to teach our children in the laws of life that they may truly be the representatives of God on earth, and be enabled to take an active part in the formation and organization of his kingdom. Before we can do this we have got to learn the lesson ourselves and try to understand some of the commonest affairs of life. We need to know how to raise wheat, and corn, and potatoes, and other vegetables that are necessary and convenient, and fruits of various kinds, and we need to know how to take care of them when we have produced them, and not squander them, and when difficulties are gathering thick and dark around the nations we need to know how to deliver ourselves from impending dangers; we need to know how to come to God who is over all, and whose eye penetrates into the deepest recesses of the hearts of men, whose Spirit is going too and fro in the earth and penetrates all things; then we need to have faith to ask of Him the things we need to sustain us as his people, and to build up his kingdom, and to deliver us from the power of the Adversary and lead us on in the paths of life. If the kings and princes of the earth have got to come and gaze upon the glory of Zion we must have some of that principle in ourselves that will attract the attention and admiration of surrounding nations. If we do not put ourselves in a way to get in possession of these principles how can we ever arrive at them? It is impossible.

Speaking of Tithing, we as a people acknowledge that the Law of Tithing emanates from the Lord, then how is it that we need talking to so much in relation to it. If we are not honest with ourselves, and honest with our God, of what good to us are all our professions of being representatives of God, of being Elders in Israel, of being clothed with the Holy Priesthood, of being Teachers of the ways of life. The ancient Jews, the old Pharisees with all their wickedness and corruption could boast of paying tithes of all they possessed. We profess to be better than the old Pharisees, and yet it seems that it is very difficult for men among us to be honest with themselves and with their God in relation to so simple a principle as this is. What is the matter? We have been dug out of the mire, been born in sin and shapen in iniquity, as it were, we have been clothed in corruption and mixed up in the abominations of the world, we have come out from a people that did not acknowledge God, and are dishonest in their acts, and it seems almost impossible for us to lay aside our dishonesty and wickedness. If we cannot attend to these little things how is it possible that we can rise in the political horizon and be as a beacon for all nations to gaze upon. The Lord does not care a straw whether we pay our Tithing or not, it does not make Him one particle richer or poorer, the gold and silver are his and the cattle upon a thousand hills, the world and all its fulness belong to him for he organized and framed it; but as it is of what benefit is it to him. He wants in the first place to get men to acknowledge God, I was going to say in one little carnal principle, one little earthly principle, he wants to get them to acknowledge him, by giving him a certain little part, or one-tenth of what he gives to them to see whether they will be honest in this trifle, to see whether they will act as honorable high-minded men or not, or whether they will try to cheat him out of it. If we do this honestly and conscientiously until we have fulfilled our duty, we are then prepared for anything else. It is the principle and not the Tithing we pay that is esteemed of the Lord, he cares not for our Tithing but he cares about our doing right. If we cannot be faithful in a few things, we cannot expect to be made rulers over many things.

There seems to be a prospect that some will suffer before next harvest for bread, for all men are not competent to provide and manage for themselves, hence it is made necessary that a certain kind of counsel should be given to us, that we should manage these matters according to a certain law and provide and retain enough food for ourselves. And if gold digging goes on anywhere in our vicinity and the mails have to be carried, etc., let them do the best way they can, for that is their business and not ours; our business is to provide for ourselves, and thereby show that we are wise stewards and capable of managing the things that are put under our control. These are a part of the duties that devolve upon us to perform, and these simple little temporal affairs we call our duties towards God, ourselves and our families.

I pray God that he may enable us to do right, and pursue that course that will procure to us the approbation of heaven, that we may be saved in his kingdom, in the name of Jesus Christ. Amen.

The Confidence of the Saints in the Ultimate Triumph of the Kingdom of God—the Condition of the Nations

Discourse by Elder John Taylor, delivered in the Tabernacle, Great Salt Lake City, Oct. 10, 1863.

One thing has been made very obvious to my mind during this Conference and that is the assurance and confidence expressed by every speaker, in God and his work, which nothing of an earthly nature could impart; although simple to the believer, this may be a mystery to those who do not comprehend the Gospel of Jesus. A certain truth in Scripture has been fully exemplified in the experience and teachings of those who have addressed us, namely: “If we receive the witness of men, the witness of God is greater: for this is the witness of God which he hath testified of his Son. He that believeth on the Son of God hath the witness in himself: he that believeth not God hath made him a liar; because he believeth not the record that God gave of his Son.” This is as true today as it was eighteen hundred years ago. Hence our young men, who have embraced and have gone forth to preach the principles of eternal truth contained in the Gospel, seek unto the Lord their God for wisdom, guidance and instruction, as you have heard them relate during this Conference; and the spirit of revelation has rested upon them so that they not only understood their own position and relationship to God and the holy Priesthood as Elders in Israel, but they understood also, to a certain degree, the position of the people of the world among whom they traveled, the po sition of the Church and Kingdom of God which they represented, their own relationship to it, and the fulfilment of all the promises of God relating to his people. This unbounded, fearless confidence is not created in men by what are called natural causes, for the confidence which exists and is common among men ebbs and flows, as prosperity or adversity affects their varied interests.

Here are comparatively a few people in the valleys of Utah who are talking of seeing a kingdom set up, not only in these mountains but which shall rule over the whole earth, that like a little stone hewn out of the mountains without hands, shall become a great nation and fill the whole earth. They look for this with an unwavering, unshaken confidence. They had confidence in this when they were driven from Kirtland, in Ohio; when they were driven from Jackson County, in Missouri; and from Nauvoo, in Illinois and they had as much confidence in it when they were struggling here for a very existence, and did not know where the next mouthful of bread should come from. Their confidence did not fail them when armies came up against them to destroy them, and the power and influence of the United States were arrayed against them. There is a certain unchanging, fixed principle in the bosoms of the Elders of Israel that God is at the helm, and that no power, no reverses, no influence that can be brought to bear against the kingdom of God will withstand its onward progress, but its course is onward until the kingdoms of this world shall become the kingdoms of our God and his Christ, and he shall reign with universal empire, and the kingdoms, and the greatness of the kingdoms under the whole heavens will be given to the Saints of the Most High God. It is impossible to make the Saints swerve in the least from this feeling. It is in them a principle of life, vitality and revelation. The Hon Ben. McCullough, one of the Peace Commissioners, on being told by President Young “that we were in the hands of the Lord and he would take care of us,” replied, “that he believed in powder and ball more than in the interference of God.” President Young informed him “that there was a God in Israel, who would take care of this His people,” and said, “we ask no odds of your power, your powder and ball, or your armies.” What has become of the men that composed that army? The majority of them have gone to their own place, and those that have not are on their way there.

How different it is among the nations; look at the position of Poland and Russia, and then notice the critical state of the political affairs of other nations—France, England, Austria, Prussia, to say nothing of the smaller European nations, of Japan and China, or of the United States, of Mexico and of the various powers of North and South America. The whole world seems to be in throes, and either actually at war or involved in complicated difficulties that threaten their disruption or overthrow. What is the matter? Politicians, rulers and statesmen, are afraid that some calamity is going to overspread their respective nations; and kings and emperors do not know how soon their thrones will be toppled over, how soon their kingdoms will be shaken to their very foundations, they do not know how soon they will be denationalized—how soon universal terror, war, bloodshed, and devastation will spread their appalling consequences among them. The light of the Spirit of God is withdrawn from them and they cannot see their way. They are tremulous because of the present political complications; they know not God, but “their hearts fear because of those things that are coming on the earth.” Without revelation they can only look upon things upon natural principles and dread the result. We know what will be the final ultimatum of the work in which we are engaged, and also what will be the fate of those who make war against it, and of the nations who reject the Gospel when it is sent to them.

God is managing the affairs of all nations, and He has made known his will and pleasure to his servants the Prophets; He has given unto them the Everlasting Gospel, which they have received by the principle of revelation, and can by that means draw aside the curtain of futurity, and contemplate events as they are rolling forth, and understand the designs of Jehovah in relation to them; and these men have been sent forth to tell the people of all nations the things that are coming on them.

The Elders of this Church, my brethren here all around me, have been bearing testimony of these things for over thirty years; we have visited the people in their houses, in their villages and cities, have preached to them in their halls, in their streets and market places, and combated their various notions and traditions which were not of God, presenting unto them the principles of eternal truth which God has imparted unto us by revelation. We have also told them that their kingdoms would be overthrown, and their nations would be destroyed, and that God would speedily arise and shake terribly the earth. This has been proclaimed to the people throughout the length and breadth of the United States, Great Britain and her dependencies, to France, Germany, Scandinavia and the Islands of the Sea; the world has had to listen to it, and the nations have looked upon it as an idle song. Now when these things which we have predicted are beginning to come to pass among the nations their knees wax feeble; they are troubled and dismayed because of the complexities and difficulties which are everywhere closing in around them.

Who would have thought a little while ago, that these United States—one of the best Governments under the heavens if properly administered—could have been reduced to their present critical position; who would have thought a little while ago that all the ingenuity, skill, talent, power and wealth that exist in the North and South would be brought to bear against each other for their mutual destruction? Yet it is so. We hear statement after statement, testimony after testimony, of their sanguinary contests; of rapine, murders, burnings, desolation, bloodshed, starvation, weeping, mourning, and lamentation, until the recital has become sickening to hear, as the Prophet said, “It should become a vexation to hear the report.” All this is confirmatory to us of that spirit of revelation which the Lord has planted in our bosoms; and we now begin to understand why we feel as we do. We are selected out from among the nations that the Lord may place his name among us. He has called upon us and we have listened to his voice and obeyed the testimony of his servants. Jesus says: “But he that entereth in by the door is the shepherd of the sheep. To him the porter openeth; and the sheep hear his voice: and he calleth his own sheep by name, and leadeth them out. And when he putteth forth his own sheep, he goeth before them, and the sheep follow him: for they know his voice. And a stranger will they not follow, but will flee from him: for they know not the voice of strangers.”

Like some of old a few of us had been waiting to see the salvation of Israel, and our eyes have seen the salvation of the Lord. It is true we are but a handful compared with the great mass of mankind, for we have been gathered out from among the nations, “One of a city, and two of a family.” A few of those who have obeyed the voice of the servants of God have remained faithful and many have not. “When the net is thrown into the sea, it gathers in of every kind,” good and bad; and hence we find a continual hewing and scoring, and admonition from the servants of God, who are striving with all their might to lead the people in the paths of righteousness, that they may learn to fear the Lord always. When we are under the operation and influence of the Spirit of God we feel good and happy and joyous, and desirous to do right; but when that Spirit is withdrawn from us and we are left to ourselves, then we are apt to waver, and quiver, and fear lest all is not right, that is a few do this, but the great majority of this people have the word of life abiding in them, and it is daily growing in them, and spreading and increasing like a well of water springing up to everlasting life, and their souls are like a well-tuned harp, when they are touched by the spirit of inspiration there is a kindred chord in their bosoms, they vibrate to the touch, and they are filled with sacred melody. And then there are some among us who do not care a great deal about the things of God; like some of the ancient Israelites they have learned the language of strangers, and have become blinded by the God of this world, and go to the mines to worship a golden calf, and sell themselves to the devil. We are told that the children of this world are wiser in their generation than the children of light. I think that is true, the children of light act very foolishly in some things. Although we can seemingly grasp eternity, and revel in divine things, yet it appears that we cannot understand how to take care of some of the first and plainest interests of life, rendering it necessary for the President to place guardians over us in the persons of Bishops to take care that we do not throw our bread away and have to starve a great part of the year, to watch us lest we wantonly trample under foot the common necessaries of life when we have them around us, and destroy them the same as the beasts of the field would. The Latter-day Saints ought to be able to take care of themselves; men that are talking of possessing thrones, principalities, and powers, of becoming kings and priests unto God ought to know how to take care of enough wheat to supply the wants of themselves and their families.

While we are trying to sustain ourselves let us do right to everybody else, and as you have been told, treat the stranger with kindness and liberality, and let us not make fools of ourselves, and rob ourselves and families, but let us take a proper, wise, and judicious course, for this kingdom will be built up temporally as well as spiritually. We talk of becoming like God. What does he do? He governs this and other worlds, regulates all the systems and gives them their nations and revolutions; He preserves them in their various orbits, and governs them by unerring, unchangeable laws, as they traverse the immensity of space. In our world he gives day and night, summer and winter, seedtime and harvest. He adapts man, the beasts of the field, the fowls of the air and the fishes of the sea, to their various climates and elements. He takes care of and provides for, not only the hundreds of millions of the human family, but the myriads of beasts, fowls and fishes. He feeds and provides for them day by day, giving them their breakfast, dinner and supper. He takes care of the reptiles and other creeping things, and feeds the myriads of animalculae, which crowd earth, air, and water. His hand is over all and His providence sustains all. “The hairs of our head are numbered, and a sparrow cannot fall to the ground without our heavenly Father’s notice; He clothes the lilies of the valleys and feeds the ravens when they cry.”

“His wisdom’s vast and knows no bound, A deep where all our thoughts are drowned.”

We would be like him! Be kings and priests unto God and rule with him, and yet we are obliged to have guardians placed over us to teach us how to take care of a bushel of wheat. We are far behind, but we have time for improvement; and I think we shall have to make some important changes for the better in our proceedings, before we become like our Father who dwells in the heavens.

There has been something said about men turning away from the Church of Christ. If a man has not the witness in himself, he is not governed by the principles of eternal truth, and the sooner such people leave this Church the better.

There is one thing I pray for as much as anything else, perhaps I do not do it understandingly, that is, that those who will not be subject to the law of God and observe his commandments, but will rebel against God and against his truth and Priesthood may be removed from our midst and have no place with us. For such persons can never build up the Kingdom of God, nor aid in accomplishing his purposes upon the earth, and the sooner we are rid of them the better; and it matters little what draws them away. If we have drank of that water which the Savior spoke of to the woman of Samaria; if we have laid hold of the rod of iron, and con tinue to cling to it; if we adhere to the principles of righteousness, and pray unto God and keep his commandments continually, we shall have His Spirit at all times to discern between good and evil, and we shall always know the voice of the good shepherd, and cleave to the principles of righteousness.

May God help us to keep his commandments, in the name of Jesus Christ. Amen.

The Wisdom of God Through His Servants—Missionaries’ Families to Be Sustained—How to Be Prospered

Remarks by Elder Orson Hyde, made in the Bowery, Great Salt Lake City, Oct. 8, 1863.

I have listened with peculiar interest to the remarks made by our missionaries. Their remarks are truly cheering, and are a faithful index to the feelings and spirit which have influenced them during their absence from us.

I was more particularly struck with the remarks of some who said that they hardly knew what doctrines to preach when they first arrived at the fields of their labor, and others hardly knew that baptism was necessary for the remission of sins. These young men were untaught, untutored, yet the spirit of the Gospel dwelt in them; it was born in them, and they have been reared under its influence to a greater or less degree, yet apparently they knew it not. How unlike the missionaries of other churches is this? They must be educated classically and theologically, and then they go forth to preach to a credulous world systematically a mass of inconsistent and contradictory doctrines—which they call the Gospel.

These missionaries of ours felt very much as I did on one occasion when I first landed in Germany. I was dropped from the coach on the side walk; I could not tell them where I wanted to stop, for I did not know myself, and, thought I, I may as well stop in one place as another. I could not tell anybody what I wanted for I did not know what I wanted. I did not remain in that situation long until I found a way to get to an hotel, where I was soon forced, by the pressure of circumstances around me and the cravings of my appetite, to make known my wants, designs and purposes in the language of the people among whom I was cast. In like manner our young men go out to preach the Gospel; and although they have lived under the influence of the Spirit of the Gospel all their days, yet they find themselves unable at first to delineate only the principles and laws of salvation; but the spirit that is in them soon bursts asunder the fetters that seem to bind them, and they launch forth into a field of intelligence hitherto unexplored by them, and are enabled, in a short time, not only to be filled with a flood of light and truth, but to attain unto a power of utterance that astonishes themselves and their friends. God is in all this; He laid the foundation of this Church and He dwells in the hearts of his servants, and He, by the power of his spirit, originates and gives power to utter the thoughts He wishes to communicate to mankind through His servants. When we trust in Him every obstacle is removed from our path.

When listening to these young brethren, my heart has burned within me with gratitude and joy; I was reminded forcibly of the days of my youth, when I went forth with others to proclaim the same Gospel and was brought into many narrow and tight places. The Lord will always open our way if we are faithful, and allow us a field of operation that will be adequate to all our wants, conditions and circumstances.

Those missionaries who go abroad to labor for the building up of Zion leave their families behind them, and they were particularly charged not to beg of the poor on their missions means to send home to feed their families, and that whatever they might gain by the voluntary contributions of the people among whom they might labor, over and above that which would be necessary for their immediate wants, should be dedicated to the immigration of the poor—to bring home the sheaves they had been enabled to reap. Their families are here, and have not harvested in abundance of the temporal comforts of the earth, but they have managed to live along from hand to mouth. There were contributions and subscriptions made last year to aid the families of our absent missionaries, but how many of them have been faithfully and frankly paid in and how many remain yet unpaid, I am not prepared to say, but, it has been suggested to me that there are still many delinquents who did really feel liberal, but have not since found a convenient time to honor that liberal feeling by paying in what they have subscribed.

It is not too late yet, and the wants of the families of our missionaries have not abated. If we subscribe and promise to pay a certain amount to the Missionary Fund, we are under the strongest obligations to pay that amount, as much so as if we had contracted a debt with the merchants and had promised to pay it at a certain time. When we put our names to a document to sustain the servants of God and promise a certain amount to this end, I consider that we are under a greater obligation than we would be by any common business of life, because here is a promise made to the servants of God and virtually to heaven that we will do so and so to sustain heaven’s cause. I would not thank anybody for a loaf of bread after I am dead and gone; I want it while I am living to sustain me and brace me up that I may have strength to do good. Benefits and favors that are deferred amount to little more than a vexation—they can hardly be said to be a blessing; then do not turn your intended benefits into a vexation to vex those whose hearts and whole time are employed in traveling abroad to preach the Gospel, and to gather the poor Saints up to Zion.

I will not confine my remarks to delinquents, but I will say the door is open still, for we have men in the field in foreign countries, who are pouring out their souls in testimony, and they are engaged day and night in this Work, while their families are dependent upon the bounties of the Latter-day Saints at home. Every man and woman who is disposed to contribute with a heart willing to build up the Kingdom of God, there will be an opportunity for you to do so before this Conference shall come to a close; and let us remember that inasmuch as we do it to one of the least of God’s people we do it unto our Father who is in heaven. From the Scriptures it appears that the Lord is disposed to receive any favor shown to His servants as though it had been done to himself, and he will so acknowledge it in a future day when the faithful ones would seem to have forgotten all about it, for they will say, “When saw we thee an hungered,” etc., and He will answer them, saying, “Inasmuch as ye did it unto one of the least of these my servants, ye did it unto me. Ye have sustained my cause yet it is your own cause, for all things are yours,” etc.

Now some persons may begin to narrow up their feelings, and to cherish in their hearts murmurings because God in his providence and in his mercy and kindness, may begin to pour upon this man and upon that man blessings by which he accumulates wealth, and by which he is made comfortable and happy; they are en vious and jealous; now, if all things are ours, is there not a time when some of God’s people will begin to inherit some of them? Yes. There must be a beginning to inherit all things. If we envy those that are really beginning to participate a little in the inheritance of all things, is not this a strong presumptive evidence within ourselves that we are not heirs to all things, neither are we willing that our brethren should be.

When a man of God is blessed from on high and shall begin to gather around him means sufficient to place him beyond the reach of immediate want, God hath done it—God hath blessed that person—and every Saint will feel thankful to see his brethren so prospered and blessed of the Lord, feeling encouraged that his time will come sometime if he continues faithful. Instead of being jealous of the prosperity of those whom the Lord delights to bless and murmur in our hearts against our brethren and against the Lord, let us learn to be contented with that which is assigned to us, and wait patiently until the Lord shall in his mercy and kindness bless us more abundantly. I do not know any better way to hasten on our day of great blessings than to be liberal in our feelings and labor with all our might to lift up and encourage those who are bowed down, and to sustain the Priesthood of God.

The Lord sees us all and knows what our feelings are—the very thoughts and intents of our hearts are laid bare before Him, and when He sees that we are prepared to endure great earthly blessings, do you think that any trifling circumstance will cause him to delay and wait and put us off and make us wait for his blessings, the same as we make some of the missionaries wait, until their families suffer before we hand out to them what we have promised to give? God knows the time when to bless and the individual to bless; and when the time comes for His blessings to descend copiously upon this or that individual, they will come. Do you want your day to come when you can be comfortable and have about all you can desire, just hand out to this Missionary Fund liberally, and consider that one evidence more that your time is drawing nigh when you also shall be greatly blessed.

I will not occupy a great deal of time. I bear my testimony, brethren and sisters, that this is the Kingdom of God, and I have labored according to what little ability the Lord has given me to sustain it and to regulate and keep in order, as far as my wisdom, knowledge and understanding would allow me, the things pertaining to this kingdom and to the Saints of God where I have been called to labor. I love this Cause, I love my brethren and fellow laborers in it; I love to speak upon the principles of the Gospel—in short, I love everything that is connected with the welfare of the Saints. Brethren and sisters you have my best wishes, and my prayers by day and night are that God may shield his chosen ones as the apple of his eye.

If there is any confidence to be placed in dreams, I do not know, but I will tell one. [Voice in the stand: “Is there any fun in it?“] There is a little fun in it. I thought I saw a mighty car coming down from the mountains in the East, and it appeared as big as this Tabernacle. I thought it was going to run over and crush everything to pieces; it appeared to be coming in contact with a house up there, and it appeared as though it would roll right over it and grind it into powder, but it just happened to miss it, and it came on towards the City, and by the time it reached the City it had dwindled down to a common-sized wagon; when I examined it more closely, I discovered that it was nothing but a load of firewood coming into the City.

May God bless his people. Amen.

Tithing—Building Temples—Gold, Its Production and Uses—Govermental Policy Towards Utah—Providing Bread for the Poor

Remarks by President Brigham Young, made in the Bowery, Great Salt Lake City, October 6, 1863.

I have in my mind a few texts which I wish to introduce and speak from, to, or upon.

I have only to say in relation to what brother John Taylor, in his remarks, has referred to, that I wish the honest-in-heart to continue to be honest—to say their prayers, and especially to keep the law of God; and I would like you to observe the law of Tithing, if you wish to do so, and if you do not, proclaim that you do not wish to observe it, that we may shape our course accordingly, for no person is compelled to pay Tithing, but it is entirely a voluntary act of our own. If we pay it freely it is well; if we are not willing to pay it freely and feel a pleasure in doing so, let us say so and be consistent with ourselves.

We talk a great deal about our religion. It is not now my intention to deliver a discourse on this subject, enumerating facts and producing evidences in my possession which are unanswerable, but I will merely give a text, or make a declaration, that our religion is simply the truth. It is all said in this one expression—it embraces all truth, wherever found, in all the works of God and man that are visible or invisible to mortal eye. It is the only system of religion known in heaven or on earth that can exalt a man to the Godhead, and this it will do to all those who embrace its laws and faithfully observe its precepts. This thought gives joy and delight to the reflecting mind, for, as has been observed, man possesses the germ of all the attributes and power that are possessed by God his heavenly Father.

I wish you to understand that sin is not an attribute in the nature of man, but it is an inversion of the attributes God has placed in him. Righteousness tends to an eternal duration of organized intelligence, while sin bringeth to pass their dissolution. Were it our purpose, at this time, we might produce extensive, instructive and interesting arguments of a Scriptural and philosophical character, in support of these views. I will merely say that God possesses in perfection all the attributes of his physical and mental nature, while as yet we only possess them in our weakness and imperfection, tainted by sin and all the consequences of the fall. God has perfect control over sin and over death; we are subject to both, which have passed upon all things that pertain to this earth. God has control over all these things; he is exalted and lives in obedience to the laws of truth. He controls the acts of all men, setting up a nation here and overthrowing a nation there, at his pleasure, to subserve his great purposes.

We see man suddenly raised to power and influence, clothed in all the paraphernalia of royalty, endowed with prestige and equipage, and as quickly stripped of all his pomp and show, and laid prostrate in the dust of death.

This is God’s work, and the result of a power that is not possessed by us mortals, though we are seeking for it. When we talk of building a temple, let us not forget that we can add nothing to Him. “But Solomon built him an house. Howbeit, the most High dwelleth not in temples made with hands; as saith the prophet, Heaven is my throne, and earth is my footstool: what house will ye build me? saith the Lord: or what is the place of my rest? Hath not my hand made all these?” “If I were hungry, I would not tell thee: for the world is mine, and the fulness thereof.” He does not ask us for bread and fruit, for he has better fruit than we can raise, and His bread is of a much finer quality than ours; He does not want our bread and meat and clothing, but he has organized all these substances for an exaltation.

The earth, the Lord says, abides its creation; it has been baptized with water, and will, in the future, be baptized with fire and the Holy Ghost, to be prepared to go back into the celestial presence of God, with all things that dwell upon it which have, like the earth, abided the law of their creation. Taking this view of the matter, it may be asked why we build temples. We build temples because there is not a house on the face of the whole earth that has been reared to God’s name, which will in anywise compare with his character, and that he can consistently call his house. There are places on the earth where the Lord can come and dwell, if he pleases. They may be found on the tops of high mountains, or in some cavern or places where sinful man has never marked the soil with his polluted feet.

He requires his servants to build Him a house that He can come to, and where He can make known His will. This opens to my mind a field that I shall not undertake to survey today. I will just say, when I see men at work on that Temple who nurse cursings in their hearts, I wish they would walk out of the Temple block, and never again enter within its walls, until their hearts are sanctified to God and his Work. This will also apply to men who are dishonest. But we have to put up and bear patiently with many things that we cannot help under present circumstances, and in our present imperfect state. We would like to build a substantial house, suitably arranged and embellished—a permanent house—that shall be renowned for its beauty and excellency, to present to the Lord our God, and then lock and bar it up, unless he shall say, “Enter ye into this my house, and there officiate in the ordinances of my Holy Priesthood, as I shall direct.” We have already built two Temples: one in Kirtland, Ohio, and one in Nauvoo, Illinois. We commenced the foundation of one in Far West, Missouri. You know the history of the one we built in Nauvoo. It was burnt, all the materials that would burn, and the walls have since been almost entirely demolished and used for building private dwellings, &c. I would rather it should thus be destroyed than remain in the hands of the wicked. If the Saints cannot so live as to inherit a Temple when it is built, I would rather never see a Temple built. God commanded us to build the Nauvoo Temple, and we built it, and performed our duty pretty well. There are Elders here today who labored on that house with not a shoe to their feet, or pantaloons that would cover their limbs, or a shirt to cover their arms.

We performed the work, and performed it within the time which the Lord gave us to do it in. Apostates said that we never could perform that work; but, through the blessing of God, it was completed and accepted of him. Apostates never build Temples unto God, but the Saints are called to do this work.

Do we want to build this Temple, or do we not? It shall be as we please. I am just as ready to dismiss every workman that is now laboring on the Public Works, as you are. I know the people would say, Build the Temple. Should I ask all the workmen whether they are willing to labor on that work, their reply would be, “Yes, the Lord wants our labor, and we are willing that he should have it, although we could get better pay for our labor elsewhere—pay that we cannot get on the Public Works.”

Do you require me as Trustee-in-Trust, to pay you better pay than is paid into my hands by the people to sustain the Public Works? Are you just in your requirements, or are you unjust? Look at it in whatever light you please, no person can justly require more of me than I receive. Whether it is right to do so, judge ye.

Has the Lord required of us to pay Tithing? He has—namely, one-tenth of our increase. Now, if we withhold our Tithing, and the Temple, nevertheless, is completed and ready for the ordinances of the Holy Priesthood to be performed therein, can those who have withheld their Tithing enter that Temple to pass through the ordinances of salvation for their dead, and be just before God? If they can, I must confess that I do not understand the nature of God’s requirements, nor his justice, nor his truth, nor his mercy.

That Temple is to be built; but God forbid that it should ever be built for the hypocrite, the ungodly, the apostate, or any other miserably corrupted creature that bears the image of our Creator, to enter into it to pollute it; I would rather never see it built than this should transpire. We intend to build and finish it.

If the Lord permits gold-mines to be opened here, he will overrule it for the good of his Saints and the building-up of his kingdom. We have a great many friends who are out of this Church—who have not embraced the Gospel. We have a great many political friends, moral friends and financial friends; there are thousands of men who are our friends for advantage’s sake, for the sake of peace, for the enjoyment of life, for silver and gold, goods and chattels, houses and lands, and other possessions on the earth, for they love to live on the earth and enjoy its blessings. There are thousands who see that this people inculcate and live by wholesome moral principles—principles that will sustain their natural lives, to say nothing about principles that take hold of God and eternity. There are multitudes who desire to live out their days without coming to their end by violence—without being murdered or kidnapped by marauding mobs; they think that the earth is a pretty good place, and they would like to live upon it in peace as long as they can, with their friends and connections. We have a great many friends, and if the Lord suffers gold to be discovered here, I shall be satisfied that it is for the purpose of embellishing and adorning this Temple which we contemplate building, and we may use some of it as a circulating medium.

The Lord will not dwell in our hearts unless they are pure and holy, neither will he enter into a Temple that we may build to his name, unless it is sanctified and prepared for his presence. If we could overlay the aisles of the Temple with pure gold, for the Lord to walk upon, it would please me, and not suffer them ever to be corrupted by mortal feet. Gold is one of the purest of elements, and will not be so much changed as some others, though every element that we are acquainted with will pass through a change. Gold is a pure and precious metal, and the wicked love it through selfishness or an unholy lust, while God and his true people love to pave the streets of Zion with it, to overlay altars and pulpits of Temples with it, and to make utensils of it for the use of the Priests of the Lord in offering sacrifice to him, and also for household purposes.

There are some of the sealing ordinances that cannot be administered in the house that we are now using; we can only administer in it some of the first ordinances of the Priesthood pertaining to the endowment. There are more advanced ordinances that cannot be administered there; we would, therefore, like a Temple, but I am willing to wait a few years for it. I want to see the Temple built in a manner that it will endure through the Millennium. This is not the only Temple we shall build. There will be hundreds of them built and dedicated to the Lord. This Temple will be known as the first Temple built in the mountains by the Latter-day Saints. And when the Millennium is over, and all the sons and daughters of Adam and Eve, down to the last of their posterity, who come within the reach of the clemency of the Gospel, have been redeemed in hundreds of Temples through the administration of their children as proxies for them, I want that Temple still to stand as a proud monument of the faith, perseverance and industry of the Saints of God in the mountains, in the nineteenth century.

I told you thirteen years ago, that every time we took up our tools to progress with that Temple, we should see opposition. Our enemies do not love to see it progress, because we are building it for God, and they do not love him. If it is necessary I am willing to drop the work on the Temple; but if you require at our hands that the Temple be built, you should be as willing to pay your Tithing as you are to have us build the Temple. Some of us are not dependent on the Temple for our endowment blessings, for we have received them under the hands of Joseph the Prophet, and know where to go to bestow the same on others. You may ask me whether the leaders of this Church have received all their endowment blessings. I think that we have got all that you can get in your probation, if you live to be the age of Methuselah; and we can give what we possess to others who are worthy. We want to build that temple as it should be built, that when we present it to the Lord we may not have to cover our faces in shame.

I now wish to present a few questions to the congregation, for I think there is no harm in asking questions to elicit information. Do the Government officials in Utah, civil and military, give aid and comfort to and foster persons whose design is to interrupt and disturb the peace of this people? And are they protected and encouraged in this ruinous design by the strong arm of military power, to do what they will, if they will only annoy and try to break up the “Mormon” community? Does the general Government, or does it not, sustain this wicked plan? Is there in existence a corruption-fund, out of which Government jobbers live and pay their traveling expenses while they are engaged in trying to get men and women to apostatize from the truth, to swell their ranks for damnation? Is this so, or is it not so? Those who understand the political trickeries and the political windings of the nation, can see at once that these are political questions. Who feeds and clothes and defrays the expenses of hundreds of men who are engaged patrolling the mountains and canyons all around us in search of gold? Who finds supplies for those who are sent here to protect the two great interests—the mail and telegraph lines across the continent—while they are employed ranging over these mountains in search of gold? And who has paid for the multitude of picks, shovels, spades and other mining tools that they have brought with them? Were they really sent here to protect the mail and telegraph lines, or to discover, if possible, rich diggings in our immediate vicinity, with a view to flood the country with just such a population as they desire, to destroy, if possible, the identity of the “Mormon” community, and every truth and virtue that remains? Who is it that calls us apostates from our Government, deserters, traitors, rebels, secessionists? And who have expressed themselves as being unwilling that the “Mormons” should have in their possession a little powder and lead? I am merely presenting a few plain questions to the Latter-day Saints, which they or anybody else may answer, or not, just as they please. Who have said that “Mormons” should not be permitted to hold in their possession firearms and ammunition? Did a Government officer say this, one who was sent here to watch over and protect the interest of the community, without meddling or interfering with the domestic affairs of the people? I can tell you what they have in their hearts, and I know what passes in their secret councils. Blood and murder are in their hearts, and they wish to extend the work of destruction over the whole face of the land, until there cannot be found a single spot where the Angel of peace can repose.

The waste of life in the ruinous war now raging is truly lamentable. Joseph the Prophet said that the report of it would sicken the heart; and what is all this for? It is a visitation from heaven, because they have killed the Prophet of God, Joseph Smith, Jun. Has not the nation consented to his death, and to the utter destruction of the Latter-day Saints, if it could be accomplished? But they found that they could not accomplish that.

Before we left Nauvoo, members of Congress made a treaty with the Latter-day Saints, and we agreed to leave the United States entirely. We did so, and came to these mountains, which were then Mexican territory. When we were ready to start on our pilgrimage west, a certain gentleman, who signed himself “Backwoodsman,” wished to know on what conditions we would overcome and settle California. He gave us to understand that he had his authority from headquarters, to treat with us on this matter. I thought that President Polk was our friend at that time; we have thought so since, and we think so now. We agreed to survey and settle California—we drawing the odd numbers, and the Government the even numbers; but I think the President was precipitated into the Mexican War, and our prospective calculations fell through, otherwise we should have gone into California and settled it. Many of you were not aware of this.

Joseph said that if they succeeded in taking his life, which they did, war and confusion would come upon the nation, and they would destroy each other, and there would be mob upon mob from one end of the country to the other. Have they got through? No, they have only just commenced the work of wasting life and property. They will burn up every steamboat, every village, every town, every house of their enemies that comes within their reach; they will waste and destroy food and clothing that should feed and comfort women and children and leave them destitute and beggars, without homes and without protectors, to perish upon the face of all the land, and all to satiate their unhallowed and hellish appetite for blood; and this awful tornado of suffering, destruction, woe and lamentation, they would hurl upon us, if they could, but they cannot, and I say, in the name of Israel’s God, they never shall do it. We will have peace if we have to fight for it. They have not power to destroy Israel, neither will they have. The time will come when he who will not take up his sword against his neighbor must flee to Zion.

We have been preached to a great deal during this Conference, and how do we appear before God, as Latter-day Saints, when there are among us confusion, covetousness, bickering, slothfulness, unthankfulness? May God help us to search our own hearts, to find out whether we are obedient or disobedient, and whether we love the things of God better than any earthly consideration. Will we, from this time henceforth, listen to and pay attention to the whisperings of the good Spirit, and devote every hour of our time to the welfare of the kingdom of God upon the earth, and let the enemies of this kingdom do what they please? For God will overrule all things for the special benefit of his people. May the Lord help us to be Saints.

I will now make a requirement at the hands of the Bishops, both those who are here, and those who are not here and which every individual must see is necessary and just; and that is, for them to see that there is sufficient breadstuff in their respective Wards to last the members of their Wards until another harvest; and if you have not sufficient on hand, we shall require you to secure it and hold it in such a way that the poor can obtain it by paying for it. There are persons who would part with every mouthful of breadstuff they have for that which does not profit them, and bring starvation upon the community. I wish the Bishops to have an eye to this, and to devise employment, that the newcomers and strangers that may be among us may have a chance to earn their bread. Let sufficient wheat be held in reserve by those who have it, or are able to buy it, for this purpose, that none may suffer.

Again I request of the Bishops to be certain that the members of their Wards have their supply of breadstuffs in reserve to last them until another harvest, and we will trust in God for the coming year. Be not so unwise as to sell the bread that you and your children need. Preserve enough to sustain your own lives, and we are willing you should sell all the rest of it as you please; and remember that you cannot buy any from me, unless you pay a fair price for it. Last week a man wanted to buy some flour of me and I partly consented to let him have some at six dollars a hundred in gold dust; he thought he could buy it cheaper, and went away. I was very willing not to sell it him, for when women and children are suffering for bread, I do not want it said that I sold flour. I shall feel much better, and I even say in truth, that I have not sold flour when a prospect of scarcity could be seen in the future. I am willing to pay flour to my workmen, and am willing to hire more workmen, and I will sell them flour for six dollars a hundred; but I am not willing to sell it to go out of the country, and to strangers, if it is needed to sustain those who make their homes with us.

I will conclude my remarks and pray God to bless his people everywhere. Amen.

Our Relationship and Duty to God and His Kingdom—the True Source of the Prosperity and Wealth of Individuals and Nations, and How to Obtain Them—Counsel to the Saints

Remarks by President Brigham Young, made in the Bowery, Great Salt Lake City, October 6, 1863.

We have duties which will occupy all of our time while we live upon the earth, if they are properly performed, and they consist in duties which we owe to ourselves, to our fellow beings, and to our God. We acknowledge that we owe duties to God, and we feel that we are under certain obligations to him; indeed we owe our very existence to him, for we are his offspring, and without him we can do nothing; we cannot even make “one hair white or black” without our Father. We cannot, independent of God, make a single blade of grass to grow, nor produce one kernel of wheat or any other grain; in short we cannot perform anything to profit ourselves or our fellow creatures, without the Spirit of our Father and God, and without his smile and blessing. “When he giveth quietness, who then can make trouble? and when he hideth his face, who then can behold him? whether it be done against a nation, or against a man only.” We possess no ability only that which is given us of God. He has endowed us with glorious faculties, with Godlike attributes like those which are incorporated in his own nature, and he has placed us upon this earth to honor them, and to sanctify ourselves and the earth preparatory to enjoying it in its celestial state. We are not, in anything, independent of God. We inherit what we possess from Him, and he inherits his faculties, attributes and powers from his Father. Yet it is so ordained, in the fathomless wisdom of God, that we should be agents to ourselves to choose the good or the evil, and thereby save and exalt our existence, or lose it.

It appears to be very hard for us to learn the attributes and powers which are incorporated in our own existence, and the principles and powers which are in universal nature around us; we seem slow of heart to believe, and are sluggish in our understandings. The religion of God embraces every fact that exists in all the wide arena of nature, while the religions of men consist of theory devoid of fact, or of any true principle of guidance; hence the professing Christian world are like a ship upon a boisterous ocean without rudder, compass, or pilot, and are tossed hither and thither by every wind of doctrine. Those who have embraced the doctrine of salvation have the witness within themselves of its truth. “Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him. But God hath revealed them unto us by his Spirit: for the Spirit searcheth all things, yea, the deep things of God.” But we often find persons among us who have borne testimony of the truth of their religion by the gift and power of the Holy Ghost, who again fall backwards into darkness by beginning to express doubts whether their religion be true or false; they begin to exchange the substance for the shadow—the reality for a phantom. “Are ye so foolish? having begun in the Spirit, are ye now made perfect by the flesh?”

We understand but a very few of the simplest and most self-evident truths and principles which govern and sustain us in existence as human beings, and all the rest which we have to learn is as great a mystery to us as the most intricate and delicate piece of mechanism is to the infant child. We need constant instruction, and our great heavenly Teacher requires of us to be diligent pupils in His school, that we may in time reach His glorified presence. If we will not lay to heart the rules of education which our Teacher gives us to study, and continue to advance from one branch of learning to another, we never can be scholars of the first class and become endowed with the science, power, excellency, brightness, and glory of the heavenly hosts; and unless we are educated as they are, we cannot associate with them.

Brethren and sisters, are we preparing for the highest seat of knowledge and literature known to men on earth, and then to go on in advance of them by the means of that Spirit bestowed upon us in the ordinances of our holy religion, which reveals all things, and thus become ourselves teachers and expounders of the mysteries of the kingdom of God on earth and in heaven? Would not this be much better than to remain fixed with a very limited amount of knowledge, and, like a door upon its hinges, move to and fro from one year to another without any visible advancement or improvement, lusting after the groveling things of this life which perish with the handling? Let each one of us bring these matters home to ourselves.

It was said this morning that if we will do our duty God will make us rich. How? By opening gold mines? No. If he makes us rich, he will make us rich in the same way that he became rich, by faithful labor, ceaseless perseverance, and constant exertion and industry. He labored faithfully for all he possesses, and he is willing that we should inherit all things with him, if we will pursue the same course to obtain them that he pursued.

Our lexicographers define riches to be opulence, the possession of landed estates, of gold and silver, etc., and the man that possesses the most of this kind of wealth is rich in comparison with his neighbor. The riches of a kingdom or nation does not consist so much in the fulness of its treasury as in the fertility of its soil and the industry of its people. The common definition may be termed the riches of this world, but are they the true riches? I say they are not, and you will probably agree with me in this. I need not advance reasons to show you the worthlessness of such kinds of riches in the absence of the common necessaries and comforts of life—of those substances which satisfy the cravings of nature and prolong our existence here. Unless earthly riches are held for God and used to advance righteousness, they are held only by a slender tenure.

Brother John Taylor in his remarks referred to Nebuchadnezzar. It is said of him, “And the king spake, and said, Is not this great Babylon, that I have built for the house of the kingdom by the might of my power, and for the honor of my majesty? While the word was in the king’s mouth, there fell a voice from heaven, saying, O king Nebuchadnezzar, to thee it is spoken; The kingdom is departed from thee.” “The same hour was the thing fulfilled upon Nebuchadnezzar: and he was driven from men, and did eat grass as oxen, and his body was wet with the dew of heaven, till his hairs were grown like eagle’s feathers, and his nails like bird’s claws.” And there the great king of Babylon remained until he learned that, “all the inhabitants of the earth are reputed as nothing: and he doeth according to his will in the army of heaven, and among the inhabitants of the earth: and none can stay his hand, or say unto him, What doest thou?” This great king became satisfied that he could not possess power, wealth, majesty and earthly glory only as the King of kings gave it to him.

When God bestows upon us power to command the elements—to speak, and the soil is formed and filled with fertility—to speak, and the rain descends upon it to moisten and germinate the seed that we have planted and to nourish it until it ripens its golden fruit, then shall we possess true riches, and not until then. When we possess this power by the irrevocable decree of heaven, we possess wealth that cannot take the wings of the morning and leave us poor indeed. Can we live to learn some of these things?

We have in our mortal state the trial of our faith, and we are gathered together from the nations expressly to learn the character of our religion and its worth. We have come here to learn God and ourselves. Man is made in the image of God, but what do we know of him or of ourselves, when we suffer ourselves to love and worship the god of this world—riches? Suppose all the people in these mountains in possession of all the riches they want, would it not becloud their minds and unfit them for usefulness in the great work of restitution in the last days? I heard a man say not long since, while preaching, that if he knew where he could get a hatful of gold, he thought he would try a hatful, and did not expect it would hurt him in the least. Let him get one hatful and he would want another, and another, and another, until he would become so attached to it, and it would occupy so large a portion of his affections that he would prefer it to all he has ever learned of the kingdom of God. I would keep it from him and from any other man, and I do not want it myself, though I think I know where I could go and get a hatful, and have known this ever since I have been in these valleys.

I want neither gold nor silver, but I want to build the Temple and finish the new Tabernacle, send the Gospel to the nations, and gather home the poor. “Do we not need gold for this?” Yes. “Then would it not benefit us to dig some out of the ground for this purpose?” The world is full of gold, and we would do better to get some of that in a lawful way, which is already made into coin, for it is easier handled than the gold dust, and better cleansed from particles of sand and other foreign substances. If we possessed true knowledge and power with God, we should know how to get gold in great abundance. The world is full of it, and they do not need but a little of it. We want riches but we do not want them in the shape of gold. Many of us know exactly what we do want, and a great many do not know. I want to build that Temple; I want to supply the wants of the poor, and I try my best according to what judgment and influence I possess, to put every poor person in a way to make their own living.

We all wish to possess true riches; how shall we possess them? God has given to us our present existence, and endowed us with vast variety of tastes, sensations and passions for pleasure and for pain, according to the manner in which we use and apply them; he also gives us houses and lands, gold and silver, and an abundance of the comforts and necessaries of life. Are we seeking to honor God with all these precious gifts, or are we trying to establish interests separate and apart from God and His Kingdom, and thus waste the ability and substance the Lord has given us with riotous living and wanton prodigality? But few rich men have come into this Church who have not sought diligently to put their means into the hands of the devil. There are persons with us now who might have given their scores of thousands of pounds to this Church to spread the Gospel, build the Temple, and gather the poor Saints, but no, they have sought and do and will seek diligently to place their means into the hands of the wicked, or situate it so that they may get it. I wish you to understand, however, that a man giving his means to build up the kingdom of God is no proof to me that he is true in heart. I have long since learned, that a person may give a gift with an impure design.

The Lord gives us possessions, and he requires of us one-tenth of the increase which we make by the putting to good use the means He has placed in our hands. I am sorry to see a disposition manifested in some to go to distant parts to trade and build up themselves and make money, while the ability which God has given them is not concentrated in building up His kingdom, in gathering the house of Israel, in redeeming and building up Zion, in renovating the earth to make it like the garden of Eden, in overcoming sin in themselves, and in spreading righteousness throughout the land. We find what we have always found and shall continue to find, until the Lord Almighty separates the sheep from the goats, and when that will be I do not know.

As far as I am concerned I would like to see the people possess great wealth in this present state—what is now called riches—gold and silver, houses and lands, etc. I would like to see men, women, and children live only to do good. Shall we now seek to make ourselves wealthy in gold and silver and the possessions which the wicked love and worship, or shall we, with all of our might, mind, and strength, seek diligently first to build up the Kingdom of God? Let us decide on this, and do one thing or the other.

I have talked much, on previous occasions, on the law of Tithing. I do not wish to say much about it now, and I would rather not say anything, but I will give you a few facts. It is true that we are continually gathering in new materials—men and women with no experience; these are mixed with those who have been with us for years, and many of them have, apparently, little or no capacity for improvement or advancement; they seem incapable of understanding things as they are; they are as they were, and I fear will remain so. They are first-rate Methodists, and you know they are always the biggest when they are first born. In all their after experience they refer to the time of their religious birth as the happiest moment they ever saw, and are constantly afterwards, as long as they live, praying for and seeking with groans and tears their first love. Instead of this, if they were truly born of God, their path would shine brighter and brighter unto the perfect day. We do not expect our newly arrived brethren and sisters to understand the ways of God and of his faithful people in Zion, equally with those who have been here for years, until they have had a sufficient opportunity to practically learn what there is to be learned religiously, morally, politically, and every other way.

I think it was yesterday I saw a man from Weber who said a merchant came into that region and wanted to buy up all the grain at his own price. When he found he could not buy it at his own price, he became disgusted, and said the people were a set of damned Brighamites. I took particular pains to give him to understand that it was one of the greatest wishes of my heart that the people throughout the Territory would be Brighamites enough to know how to keep a little bread to feed themselves and their children.

We have been in these valleys fifteen years. Some thirteen years ago we built a Tithing Store and the adjoining buildings; from that day until this, with few exceptions, the grain bins in that Tithing Office have been full of wheat, and we could feed the poor; when the immigration came in, in the fall of the year, we could supply them with bread, and we had something to supply the families of the Elders that are abroad preaching, until now. I have more than once told the people publicly that if they ever saw the time when wheat would bring money in this Territory, the Tithing Office would be found empty; but you never heard me say that God was going to shut up the heavens and bring a famine upon us, though it has been reported that I said so. There will be a famine, and one that will pinch us harder than we have ever been pinched yet, if we do not do right and try to avert it. The Tithing Office is empty, and my office is thronged with hungry people asking for bread, and we have it not to give them. Where is it? It has been grown; God has given it to us; it is in the hands of the professed people of God throughout this Territory, but it brings money, and there seems to exist an unwillingness to pay the Lord his due.

Hear it, O ye people of God, the Lord’s house is empty, and the Lord’s poor are pining for bread; and when their cries come up before Him he will come out of his hiding place with a just rebuke and a sharp chastisement, to be poured out upon the heads of the slothful and unfaithful of his people. If you bring in your Tithes and your offerings to the Storehouse of the Lord, he will preserve you from being overrun and afflicted by your enemies; but if you refuse to do this, prepare for a gloomy and a dark day. We want something to feed the women and children whose husbands and fathers are in the silent grave. If we hold in fellowship persons who will not render up that which belongs to the poor, we must receive the chastenings of the Almighty with them; they must either be cast out as salt that has lost its savor, or they must render up to God that which belongs to him, and aid in sustaining the Priesthood of God upon the earth. In a “Revelation” given at Far West, Missouri, July 8, 1838, in answer to the question, O Lord, show unto thy servants how much thou requirest of the properties of thy people for a Tithing?

“Verily, thus saith the Lord, I require all their surplus property to be put into the hands of the Bishop of my Church of Zion, For the building of mine house, and for the laying the foundation of Zion and for the priesthood, and for the debts of the Presidency of my Church. And this shall be the beginning of the tithing of my people. And after that, those who have thus been tithed shall pay one-tenth of all their interest annually; and this shall be a standing law unto them forever, for my holy priesthood, saith the Lord.”

Again, “Therefore, if any man shall take of the abundance which I have made, and impart not his portion, according to the law of my gospel, unto the poor and the needy, he shall, with the wicked, lift up his eyes in hell, being in torment.”

It may be supposed by some that the Tithing is used to sustain and feed the First Presidency and the Twelve; this is a false impression. I can say, without boasting, that there is not another man in this kingdom has done more in dollars and cents to build it up than I have, and yet I have not done a farthing’s worth of myself, for the means I have handled God has given me; it is not mine, and if it ever is mine it will be when I have overcome and gained my exaltation and received it from Him who rightfully owns all things. If we have men in the First Presidency who are not capable of supporting themselves and their families, we shall help them to do so out of the Tithing Office. If any of the Twelve are not capable of supporting themselves, we shall help them; and it is our duty to do so, and it is the duty of the people to have it on hand to be applied in this and in every other way suggested in the law of God for the building up of Zion in the last days.

Men laboring as missionaries, as teachers and preachers of the Gospel, in gathering the poor Saints, or in any other way to benefit the general good of the Saints upon the face of the earth and to do good to mankind, must be sustained, and we wish the Saints everywhere to impart of their substance, that the Priesthood may be sustained in fulfilling the law of the Lord, which reads as follows—“The word of the Lord, in addition to the law which has been given, making known the duty of the bishop which has been ordained unto the church in this part of the vineyard, which is verily this—To keep the Lord’s storehouse; to receive the funds of the church in this part of the vineyard; To take an account of the elders as before has been commanded; and to administer to their wants, who shall pay for that which they receive, inasmuch as they have wherewith to pay; That this also may he consecrated to the good of the church, to the poor and needy. And he who hath not wherewith to pay, an account shall be taken and handed over to the bishop of Zion, who shall pay the debt out of that which the Lord shall put into his hands. And the labors of the faithful who labor in spiritual things, in administering the gospel and things of the kingdom unto the church, and unto the world, shall answer the debt unto the bishop of Zion;” etc.

I am anxious for the people to understand these things, and act faithfully in their callings. We cannot excuse ourselves from our duty, which is to build up the kingdom of God, for all of our time, all of our ability and all of our means belong to Him. It is not the privilege of any person to spend his time in a way that does no good to himself nor to his neighbors. Let mechanics and every man who has capital create business and give employment and means into the hands of laborers; build good and commodious houses, magnificent Temples, spacious Tabernacles, lofty Halls, and every other kind of structure that will give character and grandeur to our cities and create respect for our people. Let us make mechanics of our boys, and educate them in every useful branch of science and in the history and laws of kingdoms and nations, that they may be fitted to fill any station in life, from a ploughman to a philosopher. Is the general mind of this people bent upon supplying themselves with what they need in life, and thus become self-sustaining, or are they satisfied to be supplied from a distant market, and contented to spend their strength and their means in buying ribbons and gewgaws which satisfy for the moment, but in the end bring poverty and pinching want?

It is a fearful deception which all the world labors under, and many of this people too, who profess to be not of the world, that gold is wealth. On the bare report that gold was discovered over in these West Mountains, men left their thrashing machines, and their horses at large to eat up and trample down and destroy the precious bounties of the earth. They at once sacrificed all at the glittering shrine of this popular idol, declaring they were now going to be rich, and would raise wheat no more. Should this feeling become universal on the discovery of gold mines in our immediate vicinity, nakedness, starvation, utter destitution and annihilation would be the inevitable lot of this people. Instead of its bringing to us wealth and independence, it would weld upon our necks chains of slavery, groveling dependence and utter overthrow.

Can you not see that gold and silver rank among the things that we are the least in want of? We want an abundance of wheat and fine flour, of wine and oil, and of every choice fruit that will grow in our climate; we want silk, wool, cotton, flax, and other textile substances of which cloth can be made; we want vegetables of various kinds to suit our constitutions and tastes, and the products of flocks and herds; we want the coal and the iron that are concealed in these ancient mountains, the lumber from our saw mills, and the rock from our quarries; these are some of the great staples to which kingdoms owe their existence, continuance, wealth, magnificence, splendor, glory and power, in which gold and silver serve as mere tinsel to give the finishing touch to all this greatness. The colossal wealth of the world is founded upon and sustained by the common staples of life. We are the founders of one of the mightiest kingdoms that ever existed upon this earth, and what we do now should be done with reference to the future, and to those who shall follow after us.

In China the father lays up clay to be worked into pottery-ware by his grandchildren. Who of us are planting out choice trees that will serve for wagon and carriage timber and furniture for our childen’s children?

If we had all the gold in these mountains run into ingots and piled up in one huge heap, what good would it do us now? None, and we cannot form any calculation as to the amount of harm it would do us.

It behooves us, brethren and sisters, to live near to God and honor our profession, rather than to become insane after gold and paper money; and to obtain faith to stop the ravages of the epidemic that is carrying our children off by scores. You may, perhaps, think I ought to rebuke it. If I can keep it out of my own house altogether, or partially so, I shall thank God and give Him the glory. Behold the heavy hand of the Lord is upon us in this thing; let us repent, that the plague may be stayed in its desolating progress.

We sustain the Priesthood in one very important way, inasmuch as we feed the widows and the fatherless—for by aiding this or that poor widow to raise her sons to manhood, they may, very likely, go out into the ministry and bring home their tens of thousands to Zion.

Let us reflect and ascertain, if we can, in what channel our thoughts are directed, and what effect our doings produces for the advancement of the latter-day work. Last April Conference I gave some of the brethren a privilege to furnish teams to work on this Temple; how this privilege has been appropriated by them they know best; this I will say, however, we have advanced the work pretty well with the help we have had, which has been rather meager.

The people have acted magnanimously in the way they have sent for the poor this season, and the Lord is not ignorant of their generous endeavors, which will meet with a rich reward, where they have been made willingly and with a good heart. But where money, teams, labor or any other kind of means is supplied grudgingly, it will meet with no reward.

Our hearts should constantly be engaged in the work of God, and our greatest treasures should be our interest in His kingdom. After you have obtained a sufficiency of bread, etc., to sustain your own lives, then may you with propriety let the rest go to your neighbors; I care not what their pretensions are, let them have it, and let them pay a fair price for it.

The Lord has blessed the people with bread, and many of them, instead of giving back to him a portion of it to be dealt out to the laboring poor and others who depend upon it for their subsistence, are selling it to make themselves rich as they suppose. “Wo unto you rich men, that will not give of your substance to the poor, for your riches will canker your souls; and this shall be your lamentation in the day of visitation, and of judgment, and of indignation: The harvest is past, the summer is ended, and my soul is not saved! Wo unto you poor men, whose hearts are not broken, whose spirits are not contrite, and whose bellies are not satisfied, and whose hands are not stayed from laying hold upon other men’s goods, whose eyes are full of greediness, who will not labor with your own hands! But blessed are the poor who are pure in heart, whose hearts are broken, and whose spirits are contrite, for they shall see the kingdom of God coming in power and great glory unto their deliverance; for the fatness of the earth shall be theirs.”

There live but few men who care for our Father and his kingdom on earth or in heaven, in preference to earthly riches—For example, I heard that a man did say, not long since, while he was examining a small piece of rock richly filled with gold, after a conversation relating to the present war, “If I had one rod square of such rock as this, the North and South might all go to hell for aught I would care.” This single case illustrates the feeling that is almost universal. I care for the North and the South and if I had sufficient power with the Lord, I would save every innocent man, woman and child from being slaughtered in this unnatural and almost universal destruction of life and property. I pray that the Lord Almighty will so order it that all those who thirst for the blood of their fellow men may be found in the front ranks that they may be cut off speedily and the war come to an end, that the innocent may escape. I care for the North and the South more than I do for gold, and I would do a great deal, if I had the power, to ameliorate the condition of suffering thousands. I care enough for them to pray that righteous men may hold the reins of government, and that wicked, tyrannical despotism may be wiped away from the land; that the Lord would raise up men to rule who have hearts in them, who care for the comfort and happiness of mankind, and let there be a reign of righteousness. I pray for the Latter-day Saints, for the prosperity of the Holy Priesthood in the land, and I pray that the minds of the people may be opened to see and understand things as they are; that we may be able to discern truth and righteousness from the vain and delusive troubles of this world.

Now, if flour should rise to twenty dollars a hundred, which it is very likely to do before next harvest, do not run crazy with speculation, but first quietly see that you have enough to feed your wives and children until you can raise more. Do not sell it for money, but take care of it for those who depend upon you for bread. Should any of us retire to rest with an empty stomach, with no prospect of bread on the morrow, and a cord of United States’ notes piled up in our room our sleep would not be very sweet to us; we would be willing to give every one of those notes for one barrel of flour, for a few potatoes, a little meat, or a cow to give us a little milk morning and evening and that we might have a little butter on the table; then under such circumstances of plenty, we can retire to bed in peace, and our sleep will be sweet to us, and we can hail the morning light with a joyful heart and buoyant spirits, ready to prosecute the duties of the new day with a willing and ready heart.

If we will follow the advice we have heard this afternoon, we have heard enough to last us sometime.

I will conclude my remarks by inquiring of the people whether they want to build a Temple, to feed the poor, to send for the poor Saints that are among the nations, and to send the Gospel into all the world. If we to we shall do right, we shall love and serve the Lord with all our hearts; and let us not forget that all we hold of this world’s goods is the Lord’s, and should be used to promote the cause of righteousness and those principles which will exalt the people to thrones, kingdoms, principalities, and powers in the world to come, with power to control and govern the elements and every wicked influence.

Which do we choose, the vain and transitory things of this life, or eternal life? Let us maintain confidence in one another, and seek with all our might to increase it. Confidence is one of the most precious jewels man or woman can possess. Should a person have unbounded confidence in me, gold and silver and precious jewels are not to be compared with it; and have I a right to do anything in thought, word, or deed to destroy that confidence, or shake it in the least? The heavens, the Gods, and all the heavenly hosts require me to live so as to preserve the confidence my brethren have reposed in me. Let us endeavor to restore the confidence that has been lost.

I am willing that we should be forgiving. I do not know that I have one single feeling against any man or woman upon earth; I do not love wickedness, and I mean to hate it in myself and in everybody else, and wherever I see it, from this time henceforth and forever. When we see the time that we can willingly strike hands and have full fellowship with those who despise the Kingdom of God, know ye then that the Priesthood of the Son of God is out of your possession. Let us be careful how we make friends with and fellowship unrighteousness, lest the curse of God descends heavily upon us. I do not say that I see anything of this kind, and I do not want to; and I hope there is no such disposition in any person professing to be a Saint, for as sure as the Lord lives they will be brought into circumstances that will show them in their true colors, and reveal the goats that are among the sheep.

Our Heavenly Father will preserve his own, and build up his kingdom, and it will go forth from this time until the earth shall be covered with the knowledge of the Lord.

That we may be found faithful and worthy to enjoy the fulness of the glory of his celestial kingdom is my prayer. Amen.

Necessity for Watchfulness—the Proper Course to Pursue Towards Strangers—Selling Flour and Grain—the War and Its Effects Upon Slavery

Discourse by President Brigham Young, delivered in the Bowery, Great Salt Lake City, October 6, 1863.

I do not expect you will hear much from me during this Conference. If I had faith, or you had faith for me, sufficient to heal me up and make me strong, so that I could speak as I would like to speak, and as often and whenever the Spirit of God would delight to speak through me, I should still talk a great deal to the people.

I have always been satisfied, and am still, that they need a great deal of teaching, for everything is to learn, and everything is to be obtained. We can receive only a little at a time, and it is only the faithful that can receive anything pertaining to the revealed will of God, and they can only receive it “line upon line and precept upon precept, here a little and there a little,” and blessed is the man or woman that treasures up the words of life. Much has yet to be taught the Latter-day Saints to perfect them and prepare them for the coming of the Son of Man.

We have heard a good deal today, and we shall hear a good deal more tomorrow and next day, or so long as our Conference shall last; how long it will continue is not now for me to say.

In the remarks that have been made today, a great many things have been suggested to my mind. One thing I will take time to mention, and that is in regard to the stranger that passes through our country in search for gold, or in search for safety, as the case may be. I wish the Latter-day Saints, who live in these mountains, to understand that we are here through necessity, and that hundreds and thousands of Latter-day Saints are coming here now, and hundreds and thousands who are not Latter-day Saints are also passing through from the east to the regions north and west of us, or to other regions where they may hope to make their homes, and all through necessity; they are fleeing from trouble and sorrow. I wish you to realize this. Multitudes of good and honorable men become enrolled in the contending armies of the present American war, some to gratify a martial pride, and others through a conscientious love of their country; indeed, various are the motives and inducements that impel men to expose themselves upon the field of battle; but a portion of those who are peaceably disposed, and wish not to witness the shedding of the blood of their countrymen, make good their escape from the vicinity of trouble. It is chiefly this class of men who are now passing through this Territory to other parts, and I think they are probably as good a class of men as has ever passed through this country; they are persons who wish to live in peace, and to be far removed from contending factions. As far as I am concerned I have no fault to find with them.

But I will say to the Latter-day Saints, when they come to you with well-filled sacks of gold dust to buy your produce, do not be afraid to ask six dollars a hundred for your flour, or more if it is worth it. The love of mankind is an exalted sentiment, and patriotism for home and country is worthy of a place in the bosoms of the greatest and best of mankind, but I cannot see that we do homage to these holy principles by selling our produce to the passing stranger for less than its actual cost to us; and he is as well satisfied to pay a reasonable and fair price for what he buys from us, as to receive it, at half its value. Every intelligent farmer must be aware that flour costs him all of six dollars a hundred. If I oppress you when I teach you to take care of yourselves, then shall I continue to oppress you. Have I ever taught you, by example or precept, to oppress the hireling in his wages? Never. Can you justly accuse me of depriving the poor, or the stranger that is cast among us, of the means of obtaining the necessary comforts of life? You cannot. But I may be justly accused of making men, as far as possible, earn their living; of teaching them to supply their own wants, and to accumulate and gather around them wealth and independence by a persevering industry and a constant frugality and care of the temporal blessings God bestows upon them.

Some would tell you that you are deprived of the free exercise of your rights by “Mormon” interference, while, every day you live, you live in the enjoyment of the rights and privileges of freemen, and staunch upholders of the priceless boon bequeathed to us by our fathers in the Constitution of our suffering country. They would tell you that it is the right of every man and woman to suffer themselves to be prostituted and defiled by the filth and scum that floats among the surging masses of mankind, that are at present lashed into rage and madness by the demon of war. This is not, in strictness, a right which belongs to any human being, but on the contrary, it is the right of every person and of every community to resist pollution and to contend for the privilege of living a virtuous, holy, upright, and godly life, so as to be justified before the heavens and before all the good that dwell upon the earth. They consider that they are curtailed in the free exercise of their rights, because they cannot enter into our houses and pollute our wives and daughters, and because they cannot change our domestic and social system to the lowest standard of this depraved age. It is their right to attend to their own business, and we feel quite capable of attending to ours.

I mean to watch them with a sleepless eye. Understand it, ye Elders of Israel. Whether you do as you are told or not, I shall tell every man to take care that he is ready for every emergency—to sleep with one eye open, and, if he has a mind to, with his boots on and one leg out of bed. I shall not be found off my watch; and if they commence intruding, woe unto them, for they will then know who are the old settlers.

Treat the passing strangers with kindness and respect; treat all kindly and respectfully who respect you and your rights as American citizens. “Peace on earth and good will towards men,” is the design and spirit of the Gospel of Jesus Christ; but when men are harnessed up by hundreds of thousands, and driven to the slaughter, it bespeaks a departure from God and from the popular institutions of freedom; and if Angels can weep, they weep over this human ignorance, blindness, depravity, and cruelty.

What is the cause of all this waste of life and treasure? To tell it in a plain, truthful way, one portion of the country wish to raise their negroes or black slaves and the other portion wish to free them, and, apparently, to almost worship them. Well, raise and worship them, who cares? I should never fight one moment about it, for the cause of human improvement is not in the least advanced by the dreadful war which now convulses our unhappy country.

Ham will continue to be the servant of servants, as the Lord has decreed, until the curse is removed. Will the present struggle free the slave? No; but they are now wasting away the black race by thousands. Many of the blacks are treated worse than we treat our dumb brutes; and men will be called to judgment for the way they have treated the negro, and they will receive the condemnation of a guilty conscience, by the just Judge whose attributes are justice and truth.

Treat the slaves kindly and let them live, for Ham must be the servant of servants until the curse is removed. Can you destroy the decrees of the Almighty? You cannot. Yet our Christian brethren think that they are going to overthrow the sentence of the Almighty upon the seed of Ham. They cannot do that, though they may kill them by thousands and tens of thousands.

According to accounts, in all probability not less than one million men, from twenty to forty years of age, have gone to the silent grave in this useless war, in a little over two years, and all to gratify the caprice of a few—I do not think I have a suitable name for them, shall we call them abolitionists, slaveholders, religious bigots, or political aspirants? Call them what you will, they are wasting away each other, and it seems as though they will not be satisfied until they have brought universal destruction and desolation upon the whole country. It appears as though they would destroy every person; perhaps they will, but I think they will not.

God rules. Do you know it? It is the kingdom of God or nothing for the Latter-day Saints.

Do you know that it is the eleventh hour of the reign of Satan on the earth? Jesus is coming to reign, and all you who fear and tremble because of your enemies, cease to fear them, and learn to fear to offend God, fear to transgress his laws, fear to do any evil to your brother, or to any being upon the earth, and do not fear Satan and his power, nor those who have only power to slay the body, for God will preserve his people.

We are constantly gathering new clay into the mill. How many of the newcomers I have heard say, “Oh that I had been with you when you had your trials.” We have promised them all the trials that are necessary, if they would be patient.

Are you going to be patient and trust in God, and receive every trial with thanksgiving, acknowledging the hand of the Lord in it? You will have all the trial you can bear. The least thing tries some people. Brother Heber and myself going to the island in Great Salt Lake, a week ago last Friday, created numerous surmisings and misgivings with some. I have thought that it might, perhaps, be well to notify you regularly, through the Deseret News, of my outgoings and incomings; and I may as well now notify you that it is my intention to visit Sanpete, and, perhaps, our southern settlements this fall. If I should do so, I hope that my brethren and sisters will feel satisfied, for I shall go, come, stay, and act as I feel dictated by the Spirit of God, God being my helper, asking no odds of any person. Amen.