Opposition to the Gospel

An Address by Elder George A. Smith, Delivered in the Bowery, Great Salt Lake City, August 5, 1855.

I have listened, brethren and sisters, to the remarks of Elder Seth M. Blair with a good deal of interest, and I can appreciate to a considerable extent the sensation that a man feels when he leaves the division, corruption, and savage dispositions that are prevalent among the nations of mankind, and comes among the Saints. Where there is unity and the blessings of the Spirit of the Lord dwelling in the hearts of the people, peace and prosperity will attend their exertions, temporal as well as spiritual, for they will act in unity, and their exertions for each other’s welfare being unanimous and simultaneous, success is bound to be their reward.

I am very happy to enjoy the privilege of seeing the faces, and listening to the voices and testimonies, of our Elders when they return from their missions, and I do know that the greatest school to which any man in this Church can be sent, is through the world to preach the Gospel. I used to say when I was a young man and was traveling to preach the Gospel, I would forgive the worst enemy I had if he would only travel among the Presbyterians, Seceders, and Covenanters in Pennsylvania, and preach the fulness of the everlasting Gospel faithfully, without purse or scrip. I would forgive him from the fact that if he lived three months among them in that way, he would have been literally starved into a full atonement for any injury that he could have inflicted on me.

There was, from the beginning, fixed hatred in the minds of the world at large against this people. It is not here as it is in the Christian world generally, for there the Baptists, Methodists, Presbyterians, and Universalists, although bitterly opposed to each other, can all unite to persecute the poor “Mormons,” they are all in error together, but they can unite whenever the truth comes along, and use all their combined influences to put it down. They differ on a kind of complimentary principles, but when they speak of the Saints of God, there is in the hearts of the whole of them, a deep-seated, deadly hatred, and they will do all in their power to put them down. I do not know how the people generally feel about it, but it must seem strange to individuals having the Spirit of the Lord, that these different sects and parties despise and hate each other, and differ so materially, and yet the very moment that an Elder comes into a city, town, or village, they all unite to mob him out of the place. He may perhaps allude to some of their doctrines, and perhaps not, but they will all join together to put down the “Mormons.” The only difficulty is that the Baptists, Universalists, Presbyterians, and Methodists, and the others have all got different meetinghouses, or else we might conclude that their opposition to the Saints would unite them into one, for some of them believe that they will all be saved, notwithstanding their difference of opinion, but the very moment that a “Mormon” comes and preaches the first principles of the Gospel, you will see the utmost confusion among them, their preachers all put their heads together to form plans by which to overthrow “Mormonism,” and even if there is an infidel that they consider or think is a little smarter than they are, they will sustain him if they can persuade him to unite with them to put down “Mormonism,” and if arguments are likely to fail, they start a fresh or more sure method by raising a mob, and exciting the public feeling, and driving out the “Mormons,” believing that to allow the “Mormons” to obtain any influence would be hurtful; they are fearful that it would really injure their cause.

And what is the reason that such fear and alarm should seize them when the Elders go among them? Why, it is plain and simple: the man of God who goes forth without purse and scrip, he has the truth, and he has the Spirit of the Almighty God, and he has the truth as it was anciently and as it is modernly revealed, and he lays the axe at the root of the tree, and annihilates error wherever he finds it.

All the systems of Christendom have got so mixed up with the world, and so mixed and interwoven with the corruptions thereof, that the adversary has perfect dominion over them all, and hence the very moment that a man having the Priesthood comes along and pours in a flood of light upon the world, the adversary tells them like this, “Why we should put that down, or it will cause us trouble,” and the very spirit that is in them is the spirit of the adversary, and they go to work with all their might, and try to put down all who dare to advocate such strange doctrines, and thereby trammel everything under their control. And nothing is more sure than that when the Spirit of the Lord is withdrawn from a people who have previously received the light of the Gospel, or who have had the opportunity of receiving it, they become violent persecutors, and hence it is that the editors of the newspapers in the United States breathe forth their most bitter anathemas against this innocent and law-abiding people, because that spirit of darkness which rules them is afraid of the truth.

It was cowardly fear that caused the Allies to banish Napoleon the First to St. Helena, and there watch him as they would a wild beast to the day of his death. It is a similar fear that causes the enemies of this people to attempt our utter destruction, and that prompts the great writers and statesmen of the age to cry out, “Annihilate the ‘Mormons,’ or Christianity is down,” and thereby seek to raise the ruthless hand of military power to annihilate and destroy innocent, unoffending, law-abiding citizens of a rapidly improving Territory. Every honest man that comes into our Territory, after a short existence in the midst of the Saints, reasonably concludes we have greater respect for the Constitution of the United States, than any other people, notwithstanding all that may have been said by howling priests about the tyranny in the midst of these mountains.

Circumstances have proven, beyond all successful contradiction, that the Elders and authorities of this Church do respect the great principles of the Constitution, and the Latter-day Saints in and of every nation do respect the constitution and laws of their country; the principles of their faith make this obligatory upon them.

We have been driven from our comfortable homes in the United States, into these mountains, and it is only under the kind hand and protecting care of the Almighty that we are kept here; He gave us the privilege of sheltering and of staying here for the time being.

We are the children of the Most High, and we have been called upon by Him to make sacrifices for the building up of His kingdom, and it behooves us to be awake to our duties as sons and daughters of God. And I tell you it is for us to depend upon Him, the giver of all good, and if we do not so live as to be partakers of the blessings of the fulness of the Gospel, and of His watchful care, we may anticipate that more destruction will come upon our heads, for the Lord will purify us.

We are blessed indeed to be in a position which is of the utmost importance to the fulfillment of the purposes of God and the accomplishment of the Latter-day work, which we shall be the means of bringing about if we dedicate ourselves to the interests of His work.

We are perfectly aware of the bloody hatred that exists towards us throughout the world, and we are perfectly aware of the hot persecution that we have to endure because of our religion; we know the people of God always were persecuted, and we expect they always will be, until the power of the devil is subdued and the kingdom and the greatness thereof shall be given to the Saints of the Most High, to possess forever and forever. Although we have met with opposition from all quarters, yet thousands and thousands of exertions have been made by this people for the express purpose of causing the inhabitants of the world to abandon their corruptions, forsake their wicked practices, leave off and repent of their foolish doings; and our constant exertions have been rebutted with constant abuse from those we were trying to benefit.

The blood of our Prophet and Patriarch, and hundreds of innocent men, women, and children, and the destruction of millions and millions of dollars’ worth of property, the long list of abuses to which we have been subjected, and the patience, forbear ance, and fortitude with which these abuses have been borne, only prove in the first place the intense hatred with which the world hate us, and in the second the sterling integrity of the people called Latter-day Saints, and their determination to abide the laws of their country.

Then I say, let us be united, and let our voices ascend to Him as the voice of one man, and let every foolish notion depart from our midst, that we may have power with Him, for I tell you we depend alone upon the Almighty for protection, and if we depend upon His arm and upon His power, we can work in faith, believing that He will help us. I do know that if this people were united, and would exercise faith, and listen to the counsel of the Presidency as they ought, and be united as one man, all the powers of earth and hell could not prevail against them; and if no power could prevail, of course there would be but little danger. But if feuds, discord, selfishness, and contentions are permitted to break up our unity, we shall then become like others, weak in consequence of our division.

I have listened with pleasure to the remarks of our brother, and I can appreciate his feelings while he preached the everlasting Gospel on the soil of Texas, for the liberties of which, he had in the days of his youth periled his life on many a bloody battlefield.

I realize the sensation of endearment of native country that flows in the breast of a man who has been driven from his rights and privileges, a feeling of a peculiar nature, for when a man is abused by those around him, it is rather humiliating to have to quietly submit to be deprived of his rights; but we have to seek those rights we cannot get at the hands of our fellow men, at the hands of the Almighty; for wicked men will not extend them to us, and therefore we must depend upon Him who is the source of all good, and from whom protection must be derived, for as the Lord lives, peace is taken from the earth, and every man’s hand is against that of his neighbor, and death and destruction and all the powers of earth and hell seem to be manifest to bring about the consumption determined for the last days.

There is considerable anxiety among the Elders to go and preach the Gospel to distant nations, to those who profess to be enlightened, but brethren and sisters, let us preach the Gospel at home, in our houses, to those natives in the mountains who are sunk in misery and distress.

Let us open good schools for the Indians, and use the influence that we have got, for their redemption, and let us endeavor to bring them back to the light, bring them back from their long lost and degraded condition, bringing them back to the Gospel enjoyed by their fathers, for they prophesied that their children should wander in darkness for many generations, and then the Lord would commence His work amongst them again; and let us do it, and do it with faithfulness and tenderness, with kindness and generosity, and act as fathers would act towards their children; and let us spend our means and labor, let us toil, and even spend our all for their redemption and preservation. And let us not take hold of it as a light matter, as a matter that we will never let come near our hearts, but with willingness, long-suffering, and continued endeavors to do them good, and when we are foiled in our endeavors to benefit those people, let us recollect that we are not to be discouraged, but let us remember that we are to keep trying, and pray God to give you wisdom to act aright. Put away from your hearts all desires to shed their blood, and put far from you the disposition that causes you to think they are troublesome, and we should like to get rid of them. Let us consider that they have rights here, that they are the original settlers. They have natural rights, and all our kindness and generosity and all our faith exercised to benefit them will be acknowledged.

I know the feelings of some; they think the best and only method to deal with them would be to kill off and exterminate their race.

But the Lord has placed us here to try us, and if we have suffering He will bless us for our labors among that people.

Do not let us be weary, but let the hearts of young and old throb with emotions to be missionaries, throb with desires to teach them the arts of civilization.

Let these be our feelings and desires, and may God bless us in our faith and works, that we may bring them back to the knowledge of their fathers and the blessings of the Gospel according to the promises. Amen.

The Kingdom of God

A Discourse by President Brigham Young, Delivered in the Tabernacle, Great Salt Lake City, July 8, 1855.

I will make a few remarks upon the same subject that was presented this forenoon, although there were many leading items in those remarks that would require a considerable length of time for me to give my views upon them, and to explain fully what I understand in relation to them. My brethren, who rise here to speak to the people, are also aware that it is impossible to fully explain to the congregation all the points that may be alluded to in a discourse.

Hence I design to speak a few words concerning the Kingdom of God. Not that I would disagree in the least from the remarks made by brothers Grant and Pratt, or that we differ in our views upon this subject. It is an extensive one, and the usual time never permits a person, in one short discourse, to fully explain such subjects as were presented for our edification this morning. I noticed throughout the remarks of both of the brethren that they did not make sufficient distinction, nor make it plain to the minds of the people, that the Kingdom of God would be different, in a certain sense, from all other kingdoms and empires upon the earth: this was for the want of time. In public speaking a man’s mind is often led from one idea to another, branching to the right and to the left upon matters and points that need explanation, and I presume this is more particularly the case upon the subject of the Kingdom than any other.

If you and I could live in the flesh until that Kingdom is fully established, and actually spread abroad to rule in a temporal point of view, we should find that it will sustain and uphold every individual in what they deem their individual rights, so far as they do not infringe upon the rights of their fellow creatures. For instance, if the Kingdom of God was now established upon the continent of North and South America, and actually held rule and dominion over what we call the United States, the Methodist would be protected just as much as the Latter-day Saints; the Friend Quakers, the Shaking Quakers, and the members of every religious denomination would be sustained in what they considered to be their rights, so far as their notions were not incompatible with the laws of the Kingdom.

The Calvinist would be equally preserved in his rights, whether he believed, wished to believe, or said he believed and did not believe, that God has foreordained whatsoever comes to pass, and has dictated from all eternity the acts of the children of men down to the end of time, embracing every sin and every transgression of the law that has ever been committed upon the earth, from the first creation of man upon it; the Kingdom of God will protect him in that belief, and extend to him the privilege and the liberty of believing that, as fully as we should have the liberty of believing the opposite.

Again, men would come and say, “We believe in the Christian religion, but we firmly believe that the God we wish to serve has no eyes, no ears, no mouth, no head, and no body, that he is not composed of elements, that he has no parts nor passions, that his center is everywhere, his circumference nowhere; we firmly believe in serving such a God.” That people would be preserved in their rights just as much as the people who believe that God lives, exists, and has the power of seeing, hearing, knowing, and understanding, and that we are organized and fashioned after, or, in other words, made like unto Him.

This is what the Kingdom of God will do for the inhabitants of the earth. If a sect should arise and say, “We do not believe in a God at all, and only in that which we can see, hear, taste, and handle, that which we can understand, or in gods our own hands have made, which we have carved out of wood or stone, or cast from metal, we believe in serving only such god; we have many gods, we have a god for every element that has come within the range of our understanding, one for the air, the water, the sun, the moon, the different planets, and the stars; we have a god of war and a god of peace, which we carve out of wood and stone, or make them of silver, gold, iron, or copper, and put them in our temples. These are the gods we worship, and do not believe in any other god or gods”—even they would be preserved in their individual rights and belief, as much so as the Latter-day Saints.

When the Kingdom of God is fully set up and established on the face of the earth, and takes the pre-eminence over all other nations and kingdoms, it will protect the people in the enjoyment of all their rights, no matter what they believe, what they profess, or what they worship. If they wish to worship a god of their own workmanship, instead of the true and living God, all right, if they will mind their own business and let other people alone.

As was observed by brother Pratt, that Kingdom is actually organized, and the inhabitants of the earth do not know it. If this people know anything about it, all right; it is organized preparatory to taking effect in the due time of the Lord, and in the manner that shall please Him. As observed by one of the speakers this morning, that Kingdom grows out of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, but it is not the Church, for a man may be a legislator in that body which will issue laws to sustain the inhabitants of the earth in their individual rights, and still not belong to the Church of Jesus Christ at all.

And further, though a man may not even believe in any religion, it would be perfectly right, when necessary, to give him the privilege of holding a seat among that body which will make laws to govern all the nations of the earth and control those who make no profession of religion at all; for that body would be governed, controlled, and dictated to acknowledge others in those rights which they wish to enjoy themselves. Then the Latter-day Saints would be protected, if a Kingdom of this kind was on the earth, the same as all other people.

It was observed this morning that the government of the United States was the best or most wholesome one on the earth, and the best adapted to our condition. That is very true. And if the Constitution of the United States, and the laws of the United States, and of the several States, were honored by the officers, by those who sit in judgment and dispense the laws to the people, yes, had even the letter of the law been honored, to say nothing of the spirit of it, of the spirit of right, it would have hung Governors, Judges, Generals, Magistrates, &c., for they violated the laws of their own States.

Such has been the case with our ene mies in every instance that this people have been persecuted. If a person belonging to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints was guilty of stealing while living in the States, or if any of that Church were found guilty of murder, or any other transgression of the civil law, they ought to have been tried by the law, and have received the punishment affixed to the crime. Did any of the Latter-day Saints object to that? No, not one. Joseph the Prophet never objected to it, but on the contrary he urged it, prayed for it, and wished the Church to be delivered from all transgressors.

While we were in Illinois, if every transgressor of the law of that State, in our community, had been taken up and tried and punished, every Saint would have said, “Amen, we are better without than with them.” So we say here, we are far better off without wicked men than with them. I would rather be in the midst of these mountains with one thousand, or even five hundred, men who are Latter-day Saints, than with five hundred thousand wicked men, in case all the forces of the earth were to come against us to battle, for God would fight the battles of the Saints, but He has not agreed to fight the battles of wicked men.

I say again that the Constitution, and laws of the United States, and the laws of the different States, as a general thing, are just as good as we want, provided they were honored. But we find Judges who do not honor the laws, yes, officers of the law dishonor the law. Legislators and lawmakers are frequently the first violators of the laws they make. “When the wicked rule the people mourn,” and when the corruption of a people bears down the scale in favor of wickedness, that people is nigh unto destruction.

We have the proof on hand, that instead of the laws being honored, they have been violated in every instance of persecution against this people; instead of the laws being made honorable, they have been trampled under the feet of lawyers, judges, sheriffs, governors, legislators, and nearly all the officers of the government; such persons are the most guilty of breaking the laws.

To diverge a little, in regard to those who have persecuted this people and driven them to the mountains, I intend to meet them on their own grounds. It was asked this morning how we could obtain redress for our wrongs; I will tell you how it could be done, we could take the same law they have taken, viz., mobocracy, and if any miserable scoundrels come here, cut their throats. (All the people said, Amen.)

This would be meting out that treatment to wicked men, which they had measured to innocent persons. We could meet them on their own ground, when they will not honor the law, but will kill the Prophets and destroy the innocent. They could drive the innocent from their homes, take their houses and farms, cattle and goods, and destroy men, women, and children, walking over the laws of the United States, trampling them under their feet, and not honoring a single law.

Suppose I should follow the example they have shown us, and say, “Latter-day Saints, do ye likewise, and bid defiance to the whole clan of such men!” Some who are timid might say, “O! Our property will be destroyed, and we shall be killed.” If any man here is a coward, there are fine mountain retreats for those who feel their hearts beating, at every little hue and cry of the wicked, as though they would break their ribs.

After this year we shall very likely again have fruitful seasons. Now, you cowards, if there are any, hunt in these mountains until you find some cavern where no person can find you, and go there and store up grain enough to last you and your families seven years; then when the mob comes, take your wives and your children, and creep into your den, and there remain until the war is over.

Do not apostatize to save your lives, for if you do, you are sure to lose them. You may do some good by laying up a little more grain than you want, and by handing out a biscuit to a brave hearted soldier passing by, hungry and fatigued. I could hide myself in these mountains, and defy five hundred thousand men to find me. That is not all, I could hide this whole people, and fifty times more, in the midst of these mountains, and our enemies might hunt until they died with old age, and they could not find us. You who are cowards, lay up your crops another year and hide them away.

You know that almost every time that Gentiles address us in public, they are very mindful to caution the Latter-day Saints “not to fight, now don’t fight.” Have we ever wanted to fight them? No, but we have wanted to preach to them the Gospel of peace.

Again, they say, “We are afraid that you, Latter-day Saints, are becoming aliens to the United States; we are afraid your hearts are weaned from the brotherhood down yonder.” Don’t talk about weaning now, for we were weaned long ago, that is, we are or should be weaned from all wickedness and wicked men. I am so perfectly weaned that when I embraced “Mormonism,” I could have left father, mother, wife, children, and every relation I had, and am weaned from everybody that will turn a deaf ear to the voice of revelation. We are already weaned, but remember, we are not weaned from the Constitution of the United States, but only from wickedness, or at least we should be. Let every man and woman rise up in the strength of their God, and in their hearts ask no favors of the wicked; that is the way to live, and then let the wicked persecute, if they choose.

Are we going to fight? No, unless they come upon us and compel us either to fight or be slain.

Last fall we were visited by some of the brotherhood from the east, and I said, “Come in, my brother, come into my house; this is Mrs. Young, this is my daughter, and this is sister so and so. Wilford, Joseph, and William, open your houses and let these eastern brethren stay with us in comfortable quarters this winter.” Wilford turns his family out of a fine house into a log cabin, to let the brotherhood in. Not a person, with but one exception, opened his house for their accommodation, without first asking my counsel. I said, “Yes, open your houses, turn out your wives and children, and let the brotherhood come in, and prove to the old stock, that we are their friends if they will do anything like what is decent;” and we furnished them comfortable winter quarters.

Directly the brotherhood began to pass around, and, as brother Grant said today, with a glove halfway on their fingers, apparently so virtuous in the daylight that they durst not touch a female’s hand with theirs, unless gloved, but under the shadows of night they would go whisking around, here and there, saying, “Won’t you take a sleigh ride with me this evening? Step into my carriage, and take a ride.”

These proceedings were directly in the face and eyes of this people. What did they do when I introduced them to a wife, a daughter, or a sister, with all the grace, politeness, and kindness that could be expected from any man? As quick as my back was turned, it would be, “Miss, or Madam, I want to get into bed with you. Look here, you come to my office, won’t you? I have a good bed there.”

I will cut the matter short, and ask, once for all, did they return the compliment, and without exception reciprocate the kindness and courtesy with which they were invariably met? No, they did not, at least not all of them, for several returned evil for good, and introduced wickedness and corruption into our midst, and the Lord knows that we already had enough of that to contend with.

Past experience has taught the brethren that in future it will probably be the best policy to let soldiery quarter by themselves, and I am perfectly willing.

If persons come here and behave like gentlemen, they shall enjoy their rights, and we will enjoy ours or fight to the death. Let the laws of the United States be honored, and the laws of the individual States, and we will do as the Kingdom of God will do—protect everybody in their rights.

The experience of the last winter has taught us a good lesson, and we hope it has taught the people generally a lesson. I am troubled all the time with, “Brother Brigham,” and “President Young, I do love you, President Young,” when at the same time some, who use such expressions, will have one arm round my neck, loving me dearly, and the other around the neck of a scoundrel, trying to get Christ and Belial together; this I cannot endure.

If a man will keep a grog shop and permit wickedness to fester around him, or do anything else that is contrary to the Christian religion taught in the New Testament, I say to all such, either stop it, or take your property and leave, for our laws do not tolerate it, and we will put them in force against you. As to again suffering the wickedness and misrule of foul spirits that come into our midst, and are treated by us as gentlemen, I will not.

I will say to such official gentlemen as tell and boast “what the General Government is going to do,” or “what they themselves will do,” or “what they want to do,” thinking to terrify the Latter-day Saints, that you may as well undertake to terrify the Almighty on His throne, as to terrify a Latter-day Saint of the true stripe—one who has the true blood in him.

True, there are many timid persons: timidity or fear is a weakness of the flesh; but to that person who has so far obtained the victory over the flesh as to know how God is dealing with the people, there is no terror, for he is just as ready to die as to live, just as the Lord pleases; his object is to do right, and he fears not.

The kingdom of heaven is at hand. Jesus taught his disciples to pray that the kingdom of heaven might come upon the earth, and when it does come, you will find that it will be very different from what many people are imagining or expecting it will be. Its spirit will be to preserve their individual rights sacred to the inhabitants of the earth.

What is the foundation of the rights of man? The Lord Almighty has organized man for the express purpose of becoming an independent being like unto Himself, and has given him his individual agency. Man is made in the likeness of his Creator, the great archetype of the human species, who bestowed upon him the principles of eternity, planting immortality within him, and leaving him at liberty to act in the way that seemeth good unto him, to choose or refuse for himself; to be a Latter-day Saint or a Wesleyan Methodist, to belong to the Church of England, the oldest daughter of the Mother Church, to the old Mother herself, to her sister the Greek Church, or to be an infidel and belong to no church.

As I have just stated, the Lord Almighty has organized every human creature for the express purpose of becoming independent, and has designed that they should be capable of receiving the principles of eternity to a fulness; and when they have received them unto a fulness, they are made perfect, like unto the Son of Man, and become Gods, even the Sons of God.

I am so far from believing that any government upon this earth has constitutions and laws that are perfect, that I do not even believe that there is a single revelation, among the many God has given to the Church, that is perfect in its fulness. The revelations of God contain correct doctrine and principle, so far as they go; but it is impossible for the poor, weak, low, groveling, sinful inhabitants of the earth to receive a revelation from the Almighty in all its perfections. He has to speak to us in a manner to meet the extent of our capacities, as we have to do with these benighted Lamanites; it would be of no benefit to talk to them as I am now speaking to you. Before you can enter into conversation with them and give them your ideas, you are under the necessity of condescending to their low estate, so far as communication is concerned, in order to exalt them.

You have to use the words they use, and address them in a manner to meet their capacities, in order to give them the knowledge you have to bestow. If an angel should come into this congregation, or visit any individual of it, and use the language he uses in heaven, what would we be benefited? Not any, because we could not understand a word he said. When angels come to visit mortals, they have to condescend to and assume, more or less, the condition of mortals, they have to descend to our capacities in order to communicate with us. I make these remarks to show you that the kingdom of heaven is not yet complete upon the earth. Why? Because the people are not prepared to receive it in its completeness, for they are not complete or perfect themselves.

The laws that the Lord has given are not fully perfect, because the people could not receive them in their perfect fulness; but they can receive a little here and a little there, a little today and a little tomorrow, a little more next week, and a little more in advance of that next year, if they make a wise improvement upon every little they receive; if they do not, they are left in the shade, and the light which the Lord reveals will appear darkness to them, and the kingdom of heaven will travel on and leave them groping. Hence, if we wish to act upon the fulness of the knowledge that the Lord designs to reveal, little by little, to the inhabitants of the earth, we must improve upon every little as it is revealed.

When He tells you how to purify your hearts, purify them. He says to the nations, “I send unto you my servants, I raise up unto you a Prophet, and call upon you, O inhabitants of the earth, through him, to repent of your sins.” Do the people believe it is right to repent of their sins? Yes. How shall they repent of them? By forsaking them. If they will do this, the Lord will teach them how to become Saints. In what manner? By calling upon them through His servants to be baptized for the remission of sins, if they want to have their sins remitted, if they wish to be washed and made clean.

But before they go into the waters of baptism, they must forsake all their wicked practices, and covenant before the Lord to leave them forever behind them, saying, “Now we will go and serve the Lord our Maker.” Has the Lord called upon the inhabitants of the earth in this way? Has He not taught you and me to become Latter-day Saints in this way? He has. Are we Saints still? When we first received the spirit of the Gospel, what was the world to us, with its grandeur, its riches, its elegance, its finery, its gaudy show, its glittering array of paltry honors, its empty titles, and everything pertaining to it? Nothing but a shadow, when the Lord opened our minds and by the visions of His Spirit revealed to us a few of the things He had in reserve for the faithful, which were only, as it were, a drop in the bucket, compared to the ocean yet to be revealed. Yet that little made our hearts leap for joy, and we felt that we could forsake everything for the knowledge of Jesus Christ and the perfections that we saw in his character.

Are you Saints still? If you are not, repent of your sins and do your first works. Has the Lord taught you how to consecrate yourselves to His service, build up His kingdom, and send forth the Gospel to the uttermost parts of the earth, that others may rejoice in the same Spirit that you have received, and enjoy the same things you enjoy? Yes, He has; and what more? A great deal more. He has taught you how to purify yourselves, and become holy, and be prepared to enter into His kingdom, how you can advance from one degree to another, and grow in grace and in the knowledge of the truth, until you are prepared to enter the celestial kingdom; how to pass every sentinel, watchman, and gatekeeper.

Then go on and build the Temples of the Lord, that you may receive the endowments in store for you, and possess the keys of the eternal Priesthood, that you may receive every word, sign, and token, and be made acquainted with the laws of angels, and of the kingdom of our Father and our God, and know how to pass from one degree to another, and enter fully into the joy of your Lord. Latter-day Saints, do you live to this, do you seek after it with all your heart? You are aware that the Lord is able to reveal all this in one day, but you could not understand it. The Elders who have preached abroad, and the Sisters who have taught their neighbors at home, know by experience that this is true.

When your minds have been lighted up with the candle of the Lord, and you have been able to speak forth the great things of God, things that were beyond the capacities of the people to receive, you have felt your ideas apparently rebound or return to you again. So it is with the Lord; He would be glad to send angels to communicate further to this people, but there is no room to receive it, consequently, He cannot come and dwell with you. There is a further reason—we are not capacitated to throw off in one day all our traditions, and our prepossessed feelings and notions, but have to do it little by little. It is a gradual process, advancing from one step to another; and as we lay off our false traditions and foolish notions, we receive more and more light, and thus we grow in grace; and if we continue so to grow we shall be prepared eventually to receive the Son of Man, and that is what we are after.

I wish to proceed a little further with regard to the Kingdom of God. The principles, doctrine, germ, and, I may say, marrow of that Kingdom are actually planted on the earth, but does it grow to perfection at once? No. When wheat is planted and germinates, you first see the blade, and by and by the head forming in the boot, from which in due time it bursts forth and makes its appearance. When this Kingdom is set up on the earth, and spreads, its condition is happily set forth in the toast that was given here on the fourth, viz.—“May the wings of the American Eagle spread over the nations, and its down fall on America.” Suppose the Kingdom of God is compared to the American Eagle; when it spreads over the na tions, what will it do? Will it destroy every other bird that now flies, or that will fly? No, but they will exist the same as they do now. When the Kingdom of Heaven spreads over the whole earth, do you expect that all the people composing the different nations will become Latter-day Saints? If you do, you will be much mistaken.

Do you expect that every person will be destroyed from the face of the earth, but the Latter-day Saints? If you do, you will be mistaken. Many of our Elders labor under these erroneous expectations when reading over the sayings of the Apostles and Prophets in regard to the coming of the Son of Man. In one verse the Prophet will be describing the second Coming previous to the commencement of the Millennium, and perhaps in the same verse he will describe a scene that will take place after the Millennium, and when the earth will be cleansed from all wickedness, after Satan has been let loose a little season, and had another tour upon it, and after it is renovated and becomes sanctified, and is like a sea of glass, as John describes it. Will this be in the Millennium? No. But the order of society will be as it is when Christ comes to reign a thousand years; there will be every sort of sect and party, and every individual following what he supposes to be the best in religion, and in everything else, similar to what it is now.

Will there be wickedness then as now? No. How will you make this appear? When Jesus comes to rule and reign King of Nations as he now does King of Saints, the veil of the covering will be taken from all nations, that all flesh may see his glory together, but that will not make them all Saints. Seeing the Lord does not make a man a Saint, seeing an Angel does not make a man a Saint by any means. A man may see the finger of the Lord, and not thereby become a Saint; the veil of the covering may be taken from before the nations, and all flesh see His glory together, and at the same time declare they will not serve Him. They may, perhaps, feel something as a woman in Missouri did, who had been driven four times, and when she was about to be driven again she said, “I will be damned if I will stand it any longer; if God wants me to go through such a routine of things, He may take me where He pleases, and do with me as He pleases; I won’t stand it any longer.”

When the nations shall see the glory of God together, the spirit of their feelings may be couched in these words, “I will be damned if I will serve You.” In those days, the Methodists and Presbyterians, headed by their priests, will not be allowed to form into a mob to drive, kill, and rob the Latter-day Saints; neither will the Latter-day Saints be allowed to rise up and say, “We will kill you Methodists, Presbyterians, &c.,” neither will any of the different sects of Christendom be allowed to persecute each other.

What will they do? They will hear of the wisdom of Zion, and the kings and potentates of the nations will come up to Zion to inquire after the ways of the Lord, and to seek out the great knowledge, wisdom, and understanding manifested through the Saints of the Most High. They will inform the people of God that they belong to such and such a Church, and do not wish to change their religion.

They will be drawn to Zion by the great wisdom displayed there, and will attribute it to the cunning and craftiness of men. It will be asked, “What do you want to do, ye strangers from afar.” “We want to live our own religion.” “Will you bow the knee before God with us?” “O yes, we would as soon do it as not;” and at that time every knee shall bow, and every tongue acknowledge that God who is the framer and maker of all things, the governor and controller of the universe. They will have to bow the knee and confess that He is God, and that Jesus Christ, who suffered for the sins of the world, is actually its Redeemer; that by the shedding of his blood he has redeemed men, women, children, beasts, birds, fish, the earth itself, and everything that John saw and heard praising in heaven.

They will ask, “If I bow the knee and confess that he is that Savior, the Christ, to the glory of the Father, will you let me go home and be a Presbyterian?” “Yes.” “And not persecute me?” “Never.” “Won’t you let me go home and belong to the Greek Church?” “Yes.” “Will you allow me to be a Friend Quaker, or a Shaking Quaker?” “O yes, anything you wish to be, but remember that you must not persecute your neighbors, but must mind your own business, and let your neighbors alone, and let them worship the sun, moon, a white dog, or anything else they please, being mindful that every knee has got to bow and every tongue confess. When you have paid this tribute to the Most High, who created you and preserves you, you may then go and worship what you please, or do what you please, if you do not infringe upon your neighbors.”

The brethren who spoke this morning had not time to explain these points, and I have only just touched upon the subject.

The Church of Jesus Christ will produce this government, and cause it to grow and spread, and it will be a shield round about the Church. And under the influence and power of the Kingdom of God, the Church of God will rest secure and dwell in safety, without taking the trouble of governing and controlling the whole earth. The Kingdom of God will do this, it will control the kingdoms of the world.

When the day comes in which the Kingdom of God will bear rule, the flag of the United States will proudly flutter unsullied on the flag staff of liberty and equal rights, without a spot to sully its fair surface; the glorious flag our fathers have bequeathed to us will then be unfurled to the breeze by those who have power to hoist it aloft and defend its sanctity.

Up to this time we have carried the world on our backs. Joseph did it in his day, besides carrying this whole people, and now all this is upon my back, with my family to provide for at the same time, and we will carry it all, and bear off the Kingdom of God. And you may pile on state after state, and kingdom after kingdom, and all hell on top, and we will roll on the Kingdom of our God, gather out the seed of Abraham, build the cities and temples of Zion, and establish the Kingdom of God to bear rule over all the earth, and let the oppressed of all nations go free.

I have never yet talked as rough in these mountains as I did in the United States when they killed Joseph. I there said boldly and aloud, “If ever a man should lay his hands on me and say, on account of my religion, ‘Thou art my prisoner,’ the Lord Almighty helping me, I would send that man to hell across lots.” I feel so now. Let mobbers keep their hands off from me, or I will send them where they belong; I am always prepared for such an emergency.

I have occupied time enough; may God bless you. Amen.

Funeral Address

By Elder Orson Pratt, Delivered in the Council House, Great Salt Lake City, June 30, 1855, over the Mortal Remains of the Honorable Leonidas Shaver, Associate Justice of the Supreme, and Judge of the First Judicial District Courts of the United States, in and for the Territory of Utah.

Friends and Brethren, we have assembled ourselves together on this solemn occasion to commemorate one of our departed friends, who has suddenly been taken from our midst.

It is customary among most of the nations of the earth, on an occasion of this kind, to deliver what is termed a funeral sermon. I have been called upon quite unexpectedly this forenoon to perform this office. I do not expect to be lengthy in my remarks, but shall endeavor to say something in relation to the present condition of man, and his future state.

We have been placed upon this earth for a wise purpose, in a state and condition of being to prepare ourselves for a higher state and order of things. These are the objects for which man exists here. Generations have come and gone. Millions and hundreds of millions of human beings have peopled this globe, and have departed hence, and we must all follow in the footsteps of the generations that are past.

It is a decree of Jehovah who governs and controls the destinies of worlds, who controls all intelligent beings, that man should die. No one can escape this decree! No one can prevail with the grim monster death, and overcome him, but we must all sooner or later meet that enemy of mankind, and be laid prostrate in the tomb.

Why is it that so great and good a Being, a Being who is full of benevolence and love, a Being who is filled with mercy and compassion, should suffer such a dire calamity to befall the human race? Why is it? Is it because He delights in the sufferings of mankind? Is it because he delights to see them writhe in pain and distress? No: it is because man has sinned; it is because he has offended his Maker—because he has transgressed sacred and holy laws, because he has subjected himself to the monster death, to the miseries, wretchedness, and vanities of this life. It is not, however, because we ourselves have sinned that death comes upon us; but it is because of the original sin; for all will admit that infants that are incapable of sinning against God, who are unacquainted with His revealed will, who discern not between good and evil, fall victims to the destroyer, as well as others. If, then, this curse seizes upon the innocent and upon those who have not transgressed the laws of heaven, it must be in consequence of the original sin that so great a calamity is in the world.

“By man came death,” says the Apostle Paul. Again the same Apostle says, “As by the offence of one judgment came upon all men to condemnation; even so by the righteousness of one the free gift came upon all men unto justification of life.” (Rom. v, 18.) What free gift? The free gift of salvation from the grave, the salvation of our bodies, or in other words, of our corporeal systems. The redemption of our bodies from the grave is brought about through the atonement of Jesus Christ; hence we have had no agency in bringing death into our world, and we have no agency in the redemption of our world. One man brought death into the world, and one man brought redemption from death.

This redemption is just as extensive as the curse, so far as the body is concerned. The curse affected all, and the bodies of all will be redeemed. When I speak of this redemption, I wish to be distinctly understood, that I mean the redemption of the body from the grave. If the fall lays all mankind low in the dust, the redemption will bring them forth from the dust. If the fall shut them out from His face and presence, the redemption will bring them back into His presence to behold His face.

Jesus was lifted up by sinful men upon the cross; what for? That all mankind might be lifted up from the grave to be judged before God; not for Adam’s sins, but for their own personal sins; hence there is no person dwelling upon the face of the earth that is free from the original curse that came in consequence of the transgression of Adam.

If we had no sins of our own, we should ever remain, after this univer sal redemption of our bodies, in the presence of God, but if we individually have committed sins, we shall be again cast out from the presence of God, unless we have complied with the great plan of salvation revealed by our Savior.

The great question raised by many with regard to the extent of the atonement, is, “Will all mankind be saved eternally in the presence of God, in the celestial kingdom, who have personally sinned?” No; they will not. There is a certain class of mankind that will be saved in the fulness of celestial glory, and partake of all the blessings held forth by the plan of redemption. But this applies only to those who are faithful and obedient.

There are others who will partake of a portion of this redemption; but they will differ from the first, as much as the moon differs from that bright luminary of heaven—the sun. Hence Paul, in speaking of the redemption of man, says, there are bodies celestial, and bodies terrestrial, and the glory of the celestial is one and that of the terrestrial another, and by the glory of the stars he represents a third class of beings. And again, in order to show the difference existing in this third class, he says, as one star differeth from another star in glory, so also is the resurrection of the dead.

Here, then, are three distinct classes of beings in the eternal world, all of whom partake of happiness, each to be rewarded according to their works: one is represented by the sun, another by the moon, and a third by the glory of the stars, that is, by the apparent glory of the stars, or as they appear to us, and not as they would appear to individuals who are in their immediate vicinity.

This third class, it appears, differ in glory while the others are alike. In this third class there is a difference according to their works. Some will shine forth like the brightest stars in the firmament; while others, whose works have not been so honorable, will be like some of those stars that appear to the naked eye in the heavens much inferior.

Who are those individuals who will enter into the higher state of glory? I answer; they are the individuals who keep the law of God, who believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, who repent and forsake their sins, who receive the ordinances of the Gospel, who are baptized in the likeness of Christ’s death, who arise from the liquid element in the likeness of his resurrection, who receive the laying on of hands for the gift of the Holy Ghost, who walk steadfastly in all the principles revealed for the salvation of man, and who continue faithful to the end.

These are the righteous who will be admitted into the highest glory. Their glory will be full; it will be like the glory of the Son of God; as the Apostle John has said, “Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is.” Their bodies will come forth from the grave fashioned like unto His glorious body, and in every respect they will inherit the same glory that the Son inherits, and hence they are one as the Father and Son are one.

Now many religious societies are so uncharitable in their feelings, that they suppose that all who die, not having received the plan of salvation, will sink down into a night of endless darkness. I speak of a certain class of Christians; they suppose there will be only two places—heaven and hell; and that all those who do not enter into heaven will sink to hell, where they must remain eternally.

But these are not the views of the Latter-day or former-day Saints. They believe that all will be judged according to their works. If they do not receive the fulness of the plan of salvation, yet, if they are among the honorable men of the earth, having dealt uprightly and honorably one with another, and have lived up to the light which they are in possession of, they will in due time be redeemed, and partake of a degree of glory; such will be exalted to all the happiness and greatness, wisdom and knowledge, light and intelligence which they are prepared for, or capable of receiving. It is true, they may have to associate in the intermediate state with beings, and powers, and principles that will not be pleasant; for the spirit world is, in some respects, like the world we live in.

Beings that enter the spirit world find there classes and distinctions, and every variety of sentiment and feeling; there is just as much variety in the spirit world as in this; consequently, they have to grapple with those powers and influences that surround them. Spirits have their agency between death and the resurrection, just as much as we have here. They are just as liable to be deceived in the spirit world as we are here. Those who are deceived may assist in deceiving others, for they have their classes, their theories, and their opinions. Almost everything that we see here is the same in the spirit world. They are mixed up with every variety, and are as liable to be deluded there as here.

Although the righteous enter into a state of rest and peace, and enjoy happiness in a great degree, yet their happiness is not complete, they are not perfected in glory. It is only their spirits that are there, and they will have to mingle more or less with inferior minds, and different dispositions; but still they will enjoy a great degree of happiness, for their own consciousness of having done right imparts pleasure, consequently it is a state of rest, of peace, free from the imperfections of mortality; but to say that they will be free from all association with beings that are sinful and inferior to themselves, we do not believe. It is true, they will go back to where Jesus is; they will have communion with him, and behold his face, but they will not always remain in one particular place or position; they will have their works to perform, as we have in this life.

If they are clothed with power and authority in this life, they do not leave their Priesthood when they leave this body, hence John heard them sing, “Thou art worthy to take the book, and open the seals thereof: for thou wast slain, and hast redeemed us to God by thy blood out of every nation, kindred, tongue, and people; And hast made us kings and priests unto God, and we shall reign on the earth.” We perceive that the Priesthood does not die with their bodies, the kingly authority does not cease with the mortal bodies: it is an office that continues forever, that continues in the spirit world, as well as after the resurrection. Those that receive their authority from heaven, will have to magnify it, and set a good example; and every person receiving an office in this Priesthood, and afterwards dying, will have to perform all the duties and exercise the functions thereof, in order that they may be useful to those spirits in an inferior state. If they hold the Priesthood before the resurrection, do we suppose that they will sit down and have nothing to do? No: there will be other individuals that will not hold the Priesthood, and that have not had the Gospel, and they will be sent to them, to enlighten their minds, and enable them, who will, to rise in the great scale of moral and intellectual excellence.

They will naturally have to mingle with all, as we do in this life; and this will be calculated to make it rather unpleasant; but they are wil ling to do this for the salvation of those who have died without the Gospel. Jesus himself set the example and pattern for others. While his body lay in the silent tomb, his noble spirit was not idle; hence, Peter says, that Jesus, being put to death in the flesh, was quickened by the spirit, by which also he went and preached to the spirits in prison that were sometime disobedient in the days of Noah, &c. Jesus entered the prison house of those persons who were destroyed in the mighty flood, and preached to them. Those antediluvian spirits had suffered in the prison some two thousand years, and upwards; they needed some information, and Jesus went to enlighten them.

Why were they shut up in prison? It was because they rejected some light in the days of Noah. It is true, that Noah and his three sons could not preach to all the world, but they had rejected some light, and they had to go to prison to atone for that sin.

It is not as some have supposed, that such characters have to go into a lake of fire and to welter there forever and ever. These persons were destroyed by the flood; they were shut up in prison and confined there; and after a long period, light broke in upon them, and the prison doors were thrown open. Jesus came for that purpose, not only to benefit the living, but also the dead—to open the prison doors, and break the chains of darkness. Jesus went and preached to the antediluvian spirits. What did he preach? Did he preach, “You must remain here to endless ages without hope of redemption?” If this were the proclamation, what was the use of going to proclaim it? What would be the use of telling those beings that they were to remain in misery, and that there was no chance of escape? No use of proclaiming such news in the ears of anyone. Peter tells us why he preached to them: he said, “For for this cause was the gospel preached also to them that are dead, that they might be judged according to men in the flesh, and live according to God in the spirit.”

This was the object, then, that they might have the same Gospel that men have in the flesh. If we acknowledge they had not the opportunity of receiving it in the flesh, they must have it in the spirit world; for in the great judgment day all men are to be judged by the same Gospel, and consequently, in order to judge them, it was necessary that they should hear the same Gospel that was preached upon the earth, that they might have the privilege of entering into the presence of the Lord their God, or, if they rejected it, be justly condemned.

Jesus has set us the pattern, he held the Priesthood which was conferred by his Father, to redeem those spirits, that they might come forth in the morning of the first resurrection and receive eternal life, and partake a portion of that glory of which I have spoken. If Jesus did this, may not his servants do it also, being blessed in this life with the same authority from heaven, and holding that authority after death? May not they be engaged in the same benevolent purposes? Yes, they may.

These are our views, the views of the Latter-day Saints. And we believe that the spirits of the just will be sent on missions of mercy to those in prison, who had not in this life the opportunity of obeying those principles that I have referred to.

Much might be said with regard to the future state of man between death and the resurrection. We might go on and contrast the difference between man in the flesh, and man in the spirit world. There are many points of contrast, as well as of agreement, in these two states of existence. But we have not time to take up and contrast the difference between disembodied spirits, and those that are in an embodied state.

By way of conclusion, we will say, that all men will come forth and take bodies, some celestial, some terrestrial, and telestial, to occupy degrees of glory and be rewarded according to their works, unless they have sinned against the Holy Ghost. There are certain sins that cannot be forgiven in this world nor in that which is to come; to say that such shall be forgiven, we are not authorized, but all others, after suffering for their evil deeds, will come forth from the grave to receive for their good works, those that have done evil having suffered according to their evil deeds; and thus the justice and mercy of God will be displayed. All will partake of them according to the degree of light that has shone forth in their day.

We are called upon on this solemn occasion as a Territory to mourn the loss of one who has occupied a distinguished position among us, one whose course has been an exemplary one to all mankind, that is, so far as we are acquainted with him. He has now left us, but we expect to meet with him again and see his face. And it is not long before all now present will again meet with this distinguished individual.

May God bless us and enable us to be prepared to meet with each other in the eternal worlds, and to receive according to the justice and mercy of God. Amen.

Arguments of Modern Christian Sects Against the Latter-Day Saints

A Sermon by Elder George A. Smith, Delivered in the Tabernacle, Great Salt Lake City, June 24, 1855.

I must say, brethren and sisters, that it is with a degree of pleasure that I enjoy the privilege, this morning, of rising for the purpose of addressing you. However probable it may be that there are those present who might do so more to your satisfaction; yet, if the spirit of prayer and faith is exercised in the assembly, I may be able to present to your consideration some items which may not be altogether uninteresting.

I have taken a good deal of pleasure in preaching in the different settlements of this territory, wherever I have had the opportunity of meeting with the Saints; but it is seldom I arise in this stand for that purpose, for it requires a voice rather, if any thing, beyond the strength of my lungs, to speak in this large congregation, any length of time, and consequently I do not appear in this stand as often as I otherwise would.

There are many subjects which I take pleasure in discussing in the presence of the Saints. I have felt, ever since I received my ordination, a great desire to preach upon the first princi ples of the Gospel of Jesus Christ to the world; and to spend my time in proclaiming to the Saints those doctrines of obedience, faith, and charity which are so generally understood, and which by a great many persons are neglected, to their own injury. There is not a person of common intelligence among the Saints, who has resided in this valley for the past three years, who has not heard enough of the principles of salvation to know perfectly what to do to be saved, if they had given that attention to the subject which they ought to have done, if such persons desire to carry out the views and sentiments which have been from time to time proclaimed from this stand.

To be sure we frequently hear inferences drawn, which do not comport altogether with our former sentiments, sentiments and opinions which we have formed by tradition, or which have been the result of circumstances by which we have been surrounded.

I suppose no person will take exceptions if I should in the continuation of my remarks take a text, which will be found recorded in the 4th chapter of the Gospel according to St. Mark. “And he said, So is the kingdom of God, as if a man should cast seed into the ground; And should sleep, and rise night and day, and the seed should spring and grow up, he knoweth not how. For the earth bringeth forth fruit of herself; first the blade, then the ear, after that the full corn in the ear. But when the fruit is brought forth, immediately he putteth in the sickle, because the harvest is come.” If such a passage as this does not occur in the 4th chapter of Mark, then I will acknowledge myself mistaken. But whether there is or not, the subject that presents itself to my mind is illustrated by the words of this text.

I remember twenty-four years ago, when the doctrines of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints were first being proclaimed to the inhabitants of the earth, we were told that we were to participate in the same blessings, and would be subject to the same kind of persecutions, as was the common lot of all former-day Saints; that the same gifts that were enjoyed in the days of our Savior and his Apostles were and should be in the last days; and that if these things did not follow, it was for want of obedience to the will of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. It was this spirit of revelation that pointed out the only way; and because the different churches did not have in their midst the same offices, gifts, and blessings, and the same privileges, the reason assigned was plainly and simply that they had not been faithful in their obedience to the principles which had been revealed, and had thereby lost the spirit of revelation, had slid from the original platform, and had fallen back to principles of folly, teaching for doctrine the precepts of men. The Christian world, as we shall denominate it, being then composed of several hun dred different denominations, who all professed to form portions of the Church of Christ, and separately professed to have the only true Church, and the only true doctrines that were upon the earth, each one of them claimed to have the only true plan of salvation that was upon God’s footstool, and to disclaim all others as being heretical, erroneous, and corrupt; and yet each and all were differing on some principles. This division of principle had unquestionably, for many centuries, been the cause of bloody war, and millions of people had been slain in consequence; the quantity of blood spilt, and amount of human suffering produced, were immense. These same Christian divisions, which had been so thirsty for human blood, so tenacious to their peculiar doctrines, and that had been so fruitful in producing creeds and systems which they maintained by the edge of the sword, almost invariably, as they would use every means that came within their power to build up themselves, and the more they had of subdivisions the more new schisms; new, because a new division had been made—the whole may be considered a practical illustration of the sentiment of the Irish Poet—

“Who can believe it? the cause is rather odd— They hate one another for the love of God.”

The Lord sent His servant Joseph Smith to proclaim to the world the original principles of the Gospel; and the very moment they heard him calling upon them to come back to the original principles, and partake of the blessings of the Gospel of Jesus Christ, as they were originally preached by those whom Jesus himself sent to preach, all those different sects and denominations began to call for authority! On being told that it was revealed from heaven, and that the foundation was revelation from our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, authori ty given by him, and that He had commanded the reestablishment of his Church, or of laying the foundation of his Church upon its primitive or original foundation, they all exclaimed, “There is to be no more revelation, there is to be no more prophesying, no more visions, no more ministering of angels.” Hard as it is to believe, and strange as it may appear, these religionists who had read and professed to believe the New Testament, and knew that John did declare, more than sixty years after Christ, that he saw another angel fly in the midst of heaven, having the everlasting Gospel to preach to them that dwell on the earth, to every nation, kindred, tongue, and people, see Rev. xiv. 6—these same men would rise up and declare that such a thing never was to take place; and although John plainly declares that what he saw was to come to pass hereafter, yet they believed it not, and said all such manifestations had an end when the Apostles, or fathers, fell asleep.

Thus they commenced a persecution, an untiring crusade, against the Latter-day Saints, and by every means in their power endeavored to stop the progress of the work.

“Why,” said they, “we have authority direct from Jesus Christ.” I remember a circumstance of a certain learned Baptist preacher, rising in a congregation where I had been preaching, and stating that the Baptists had all the authority of the Gospel Priesthood that was required in the Baptist church, and that it had come to them from the Apostles, pure and unadulterated, by way of the Waldenses, and that he was prepared to prove the channel through which it had come. I do not know but his congregation believed what he said; but at any rate, the gentlemen declined to produce his evidence when I called upon him to do so, and all the evidence that he could have adduced was, that about the year 1160, in Lyons, a man named Peter Waldo, hired a catholic priest to translate the gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John; and they formed a church, which took the name of its mercantile founder. And this is as far as the authority can be traced by the Baptists; this method of tracing authority is of no use, unless they adopt the authority of the pope; and if the Catholic church be taken as authority, then when the Catholic church brings out the edict of expulsion, it certainly deprives those whom it expels of all their authority, for it is impossible for a stream to rise higher than its fountain.

If the pope and his church be corrupt, the authority of no other church can be of any value that has descended from it, and is built upon the validity of its Priesthood.

The Presbyterians consider that they can trace the matter a little further back. They consider that their authority originated somewhere else, but after spending their time and toil they can only get back to the Catholic church, for they renounced its principles and came out from it, set up a new set of doctrines, part of them borrowed and part of their own manufacture. They denied the spirit of revelation, and consequently had no knowledge from the eternal world, and with the exception of those doctrines which they had picked up, they had no priesthood but that which they had borrowed from the mother church; and the mother church having pronounced an edict of expulsion against them, which must have been valid if she had possessed any authority to confer.

Perhaps a Wesleyan might tell us that in their church they had authority from God. Then we ask, where did it come from? “From Mr. John Wesley,” they will reply. And where did he get it ? “Why he was a minister of the Church of England.” And where did the Church of England get the authority from? From Henry the Eighth, who is designated among English kings as the wife killer. And where did he get it? Why, when the Romish church refused to sanction the divorce of his lawful wife, without any just cause, and refused to grant him his wishes, he put away his wife, rebelled against the church, which he had acknowledged, and from which he had received the title of Defender of the Faith, from the Roman pontiff; but yet he came out, excommunicated the pope, and declared the Catholic church to be heretical and abominable and declared himself to be the head of the church. He enforced his title by military power, seized the revenues of all religious establishments, used them for his own aggrandizement, created new ones upon his own authority, and established the Church of England priesthood. And this is as far as the matter can be traced, and there is the extent of their authority, the idol of their hearts, and the head of the Church of England excommunicated from the Church of Rome for his own corruption. This is a pretty seat of authority! Some persons will tell us that God has never intended to give any more revelations, notwithstanding they read that God set in His Church Apostles and Prophets, Pastors and Teachers, and that they had gifts, prophecies, and revelations and that they were placed in the Church for the express purpose of the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ, and that they might be no more children tossed to and fro by every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, and the cunning craftiness whereby they lie in wait to deceive.

This is plainly and clearly illustrated before any persons who believe the New Testament, and yet the principles and doctrines, when set forth in boldness and simplicity, have been rejected by them.

When the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints was first founded, you could see persons rise up and ask, “What sign will you show us that we may be made to believe?” I recollect a Campbellite preacher who came to Joseph Smith, I think his name was Hayden. He came in and made himself known to Joseph, and said that he had come a considerable distance to be convinced of the truth. “Why,” said he, “Mr. Smith, I want to know the truth, and when I am convinced, I will spend all my talents and time in defending and spreading the doctrines of your religion, and I will give you to understand that to convince me is equivalent to convincing all my society, amounting to several hundreds.” Well, Joseph commenced laying before him the coming forth of the work, and the first principles of the Gospel, when Mr. Hayden exclaimed, “O this is not the evidence I want, the evidence that I wish to have is a notable miracle; I want to see some powerful manifestation of the power of God, I want to see a notable miracle performed; and if you perform such a one, then I will believe with all my heart and soul, and will exert all my power and all my extensive influence to convince others; and if you will not perform a miracle of this kind, then I am your worst and bitterest enemy.” “Well,” said Joseph, “what will you have done? Will you be struck blind, or dumb? Will you be paralyzed, or will you have one hand withered? Take your choice, choose which you please, and in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ it shall be done.” “That is not the kind of miracle I want,” said the preacher. “Then, sir,” replied Joseph, “I can perform none, I am not going to bring any trouble upon anybody else, sir, to convince you. I will tell you what you make me think of—the very first person who asked a sign of the Savior, for it is written, in the New Testament, that Satan came to the Savior in the desert, when he was hungry with forty days’ fasting,” and said, “If you be the Son of God, command these stones to be made bread.” “And now,” said Joseph, “the children of the devil and his servants have been asking for signs ever since; and when the people in that day continued asking him for signs to prove the truth of the Gospel which he preached, the Savior replied, “It is a wicked and an adulterous generation that seeketh a sign,” &c.

But the poor preacher had so much faith in the power of the Prophet that he daren’t risk being struck blind, lame, dumb, or having one hand withered, or anything of the kind. We have frequently heard men calling for signs without knowing actually what they did want. Could he not have tested the principles, and thus have ascertained the truth? But this is not the disposition of men of the religious world. To be sure, I have seen those whom would get up and reason that Christ built his Church upon the rock—for say such men, “Jesus promised and said, ‘Upon this rock will I build my Church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.’” From this declaration they claim that the Church being built upon a rock would always remain upon the earth in its purity, and the Priesthood and authority be preserved, and this argument would be produced with a degree of triumph. How say they? “If ‘Mormonism’ be true, and the pure Priesthood had been lost, and the true Church had therefore become extinct upon the earth, the gates of hell would have prevailed against it, or the Savior’s words failed.” If this conclusion be correct, what was the cause of Mr. Wesley beginning a reformation in his day? The church had got into darkness, and the devil had got such power that it was necessary that a reform should be got up.

Where was the necessity of Waldo beginning a new church in his day? The power of the devil, the great adversary, had entirely overcome the church; and, hence, it was necessary to begin anew. Now suppose we were to read the passage, and see what it was that the Savior did say upon the subject. The Savior said, on a certain occasion, addressing his Apostles, “Whom do men say that I the Son of man am?” His disciples say, “They have different opinions about you—some say thou art John the Baptist, some Elias, and others Jeremias, or one of the old Prophets has risen from the dead.” “But,” says the Savior, “whom do ye say that I am?” “Why,” says Peter, “thou art Christ, the Son of the living God.” The Savior replied, “Blessed art thou, Simon Barjona: for flesh and blood hath not revealed this unto thee, but my Father who is in heaven. I say unto thee, Thou art Peter, and upon this rock will I build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.”

This argument would be introduced by those who believe that Christ built his Church upon St. Peter, and you then come to read the passage, and what do you learn by it? You simply learn that Peter had made the discovery, by revelation, that Jesus was the Son of the living God, and that upon the rock (revelation) he (Christ) would build his Church, and upon nothing else, and that the gates of hell should not prevail against it. Not being a linguist, like my brother behind me, I shall say that the common accepted meaning of the word “hell,” is a place of miserable departed spirits, and hence the Savior told Peter that the gates of departed miserable spirits should never prevail against his Church. This is the principle here illustrated, and consequently whenever a reformation becomes necessary in the Church of God, it must be founded upon the rock—revelation; and whenever the Church left the principles of revelation they ceased to be the Church of God; and nothing could bring them back again, or reestablish them, but being replaced upon the same foundation, and by the same authority.

I have heard arguments brought against this Church, by men endeavoring to prove that there was to be no more revelation. For instance, learned men have quoted the epistle of Paul to Timothy, to prove that all revelations ceased in the time of the Apostles, for at the time Paul wrote to Timothy he made a declaration to him, which the learned have endeavored to use to some advantage. Paul says, “From a child thou hast known the holy scriptures, which are able to make thee wise unto salvation.”

Now I have heard and seen learned priests rise up against this Church, and say, “There, Paul says that the holy Scriptures were able to make Timothy wise unto salvation, and the ‘holy Scriptures’ means the Bible, and that is all the Scripture that is necessary now, for it is only necessary to be made wise unto salvation; and if Timothy had enough to make him wise unto salvation, why all Christians have enough, who are believers.” Let me here ask a question—are we sure that we have got all the Scriptures that Timothy had known from his childhood? He tells Timothy that from a child he had known the holy Scriptures. Now if Timothy was a man of very mature years, he might have been a child before our Savior’s crucifixion; as Paul’s epistle was written 30 years after that event, therefore he must have been a child before the writing of the four Gospels, for one of them was not written until years after. Then those Scriptures which he was acquainted with, were those which were written previous to the New Testament, and if we can believe the testimony of the Old Testament, it is found that a great many books were acknowledged as Scriptures and as revelation, which were not by King James’ translators considered to be such, and are not at the present day, as they are not incorporated in this Bible. For instance, we learn of the “Book of Enoch;” we read a reference made by Moses to “the Book of the Wars of the Lord.” Now what kind of a book, or what kind of Scriptures those books might have been, we cannot tell; but it is probable that they were in Timothy’s knowledge, for he had known the holy Scriptures from a child.

This was the great knockdown argument brought by the Campbellites against the Latter-day Saints—“That from a child thou hast known the holy scriptures.” What Scriptures? To be sure John’s Gospel was not written at that time, neither were his three epistles, or his revelations, and several other books were not written at that time, although King James’ translators considered those books necessary, and inserted them in our Bible. But suppose we read the passage a little further: 2 Tim. iii. 15-17. “From a child thou hast known the holy scriptures, which are able to make thee wise unto salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus. All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: That the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works.”

Then you discover that those Scriptures which were given were only sufficient to make even Timothy wise unto salvation, through faith in our Lord Jesus Christ, and that all Scripture given by inspiration was profitable and actually necessary to make the man of God perfect, and thoroughly furnished unto all good works.

Now, my friends, get into heaven without revelation if you can; for all Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and the man of God cannot be thoroughly furnished with all good works without getting a knowledge of the Scriptures. It matters not through whom, this is the principle upon which the true Church is founded, and the gates of hell will never prevail against it; but when they reject revelation they adopt another religion, that is built upon another and sandy foundation, and that has another head, different from the true Gospel; the clouds will come, and the winds blow and beat upon their fabric, and the fabric that has become old and venerated will be thrown down, and great will be the fall thereof; and it will be more tolerable for the heathen than for such churches.

Well, this is the very state and position of Christendom when Joseph Smith introduced the fulness of the everlasting Gospel into the world.

I have narrated the facts relative to the quarrels they had with each other in the several denominations; and yet they united to destroy the little illiterate boy, as he was called. If education were necessary to proclaim the revelations which Jesus Christ had revealed unto him (the boy) then we may conclude the Lord did not select the proper person. They persecuted him (not for being wicked), burnt his houses, stole his property, tarred and feathered, scourged and imprisoned him; and his friends also shared a similar fate—they were whipped and driven from place to place; and finally when he was placed under the pledge of protection from the executive of the State in which he lived, he was treacherously murdered, almost the whole Christian world said, “It is too barbarous to kill him in that way, but then it is a good thing that he is dead.”

“But,” say some, “how is it that all the power, and all the miracles, and all the manifestations and blessings of the Priesthood have not been manifested in the Church, that were manifested in the Church of God formerly by the Prophets of old?”

I do not believe that the history of the world records as great a miracle as Deseret now is. The history of the sacred volume does not contain a record of as great and wonderful a miracle as the fleeing of this people into the wilderness, robbed of every earthly thing that could make life desirable, driven before the muskets of the Christian mob, exposed to the vicissitudes of new climates, and exploring into the mountains in a new and desert country, and contending with every difficulty that the devil could introduce, and with all the clamor and calumny that could be invented to harden the hearts of men and women against them. In the midst of all this, they rejoiced, and after locating themselves in the wilderness, a thousand miles from settlements, in a place that was pronounced by all scientific travelers to be uninhabitable, and there producing the bounties of life in great abundance, and to see how it has risen in splendor, in every respect, I say it is a wonder and a marvel far beyond any other recorded upon this earth. The fact of it was, before we were driven from the United States, we petitioned the Governor of every State in the Union for an asylum where we might be permitted to enjoy the blessings of our religion unmolested; and all our petitions were treated with cruel neglect. When our enemies drove us into the wilderness, a great share of the Christian world felt like saying, “They will starve to death, the Indians will destroy them, and we shall have done with Mormonism;” and they concluded that, in the eyes of posterity, they would give us such a bad name as to justify their cruel actions towards us, and as we should be sure to perish, there would nobody live who would tell the truth for us, and that would be the end of the matter.

We were quite willing to go, for the best of all reasons, we could not stay. There was no chance under the heavens for us to stay, and be protected, in any State in the Union; and I suppose some of them felt as the pious old Quaker did when he was on board a vessel which was attacked by pirates—he was too pious to fight, it was against his conscience, but when one of the pirates started to climb a rope and get upon the vessel, the old Quaker picked up a hatchet and said, “Friend, if thee wants that piece of rope, thee can have it and welcome,” and immediately cut the rope and let him drop into the sea, where he was drowned. So our enemies thought they would let us go into the heart of the Great American Desert and starve, as they compelled us to leave everything that would make life desirable.

It was even counseled in high places to disarm the “Mormons” after they started, that is, to take from them the few old fusees and cheap arms which they had been able to scrape together, after they had been disarmed the third time by executive authority, and they had subsequently picked up some old fusees to kill game with; and it was gravely discussed to disarm them, so that they would not be able to kill game, or defend themselves against the Indians; but through the providence of God, and our prayers, we were enabled to pack off the few old guns, and started for the mountains. But instead of starting to kill the Indians, as our puritan fathers did, we began endeavoring to teach them to work and be industrious; and had it not been for the interference of other spirits, we would have got along very smoothly; and this has been the result of the united efforts of those who have been willing to listen to the counsel and instruction given to this people. Those who have been unwilling to listen to the counsel and instructions of President Young, have caused us more trouble than everything else we have had to contend with among the Indians.

For instance, in the year 1849, a company of Missourians passing through the country to California, shot a number of squaws, for the sake of stealing their horses, and pursued their journey. This produced enmity among the Indians towards the white men.

A few such circumstances have caused some of our brethren to lose their lives; but not a thousandth part of troubles have occurred here, that was brought upon those colonies established upon the coast, with the single exception of Pennsylvania.

No man that has had to do with the Indians, has ever been able to do the good to them that Governor Young has done; and some of the statesmen have acknowledged it.

And the discovery has actually been made, that the “Mormons” did not starve to death, and that the Almighty did sustain them in the midst of every difficulty which possibly could be brought upon their heads.

I have seen men, even in this Church, who have become discouraged at a few trials. I can tell you, brethren and sisters, if all such men will trace their conduct to its source, they will find that they have fostered an evil spirit, evil principles, and lived in open rebellion to the religion which they have professed; and consequently darkness has come over their minds, and they soon felt as a very self-righteous man did some years ago. He was in the Church, and he said he had proved the revelations of Joseph Smith to be untrue. “How did you prove them so?” “Why,” said he, “one of Joseph Smith’s revelations says, that if a man shall commit adul tery, he shall lose the Spirit of the Lord, and deny the faith, and shall be cast out. Now,” says he, “I have been guilty of that crime, and I have not apostatized, and consequently that revelation is not true, and that proves Joseph Smith is not a true Prophet.” This was the darkness which his corruptions had brought upon him, and this is the kind of darkness which transgression will bring upon all men in this Church.

This people are different from any other people that live upon the face of the earth; they have the Holy Priesthood, and there is no man in all the house of Israel that fulfills the duties of his calling as a Saint, but receives a portion of the holy Priesthood, and every person has his duties to fulfil.

Every man that would believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, that would receive the doctrines he taught, and those taught by his Apostles, that would listen to his counsel, and obey his precepts, were promised, and did receive, the gift of the Holy Ghost, and that Spirit did lead, and guide, and teach him or her that received it, into all truth, unless the receiver afterwards defiled his temple by wickedness and corruptions. And he (the Spirit) would lead into all truth, and that truth when revealed would become a matter of knowledge in the breast of every Saint. And no man can rise up, that has lived in obedience to those principles, and say that he has not realized the very thing promised.

The very first thing that Joseph told the brethren, when they were going out to preach, was, that their salary would be tar and feathers, abuse and persecution—“You will be driven from house to house, and from country to country, and be hated of all men because of your religion;” and this has been fulfilled, and that too by the people in free America. Thousands of people have been driven over and over again by people living under the free institutions of the United States. Who could have thought that their teachers and leaders would have been murdered while under the protection of the Governor of a State? And who could have believed that this could have been done in free America, without a single murderer being brought to justice?

When Joseph proclaimed these things to the world beforehand, all men said, “Let him alone, he will prove himself a liar in that;” but even that was proved true; the vengeance of the wicked fell upon him, and they took his life, and not a single individual was ever brought to justice for it!

Now in the days of early Christians, when Pagan Rome persecuted the Apostles, it was a different case altogether; for the Pagan religion was the acknowledged creed of the land, therefore the Pagan religion being established by law, made the innovation by the early Christians a violation of their laws; but it has not been so in this land, where freedom of opinion upon all subjects is guaranteed to all, by both State and Federal constitutions. And every murder, every house that has been robbed or burnt, and every act of cruelty and oppression which has been committed upon the “Mormons,” has been in violation of both laws and Constitution, and these things have been known to the officers of state, and yet, remarkable to tell, not one has ever been punished; still the evidence was in their possession, which would have brought the perpetrators of those crimes to justice. They were sworn to support the Constitution and to faithfully execute the laws, the neglect of which was perjury; and they had the laws of their country and of their Senate to back them.

Not so with the Romans. When the Romans carried on their persecution of the Apostles, the laws of their country and senate supported them, for the proclamation of the disciples of Christ was defaming the gods that the laws of their country commanded to be worshipped; but in this instance it was entirely another thing, for freedom of thought, freedom of speech, and freedom of conscience in religious matters is guaranteed to all people who might choose to come there; and in the face and eyes of all this, not only were their privileges taken away as citizens, but the laws and Constitution of their very country, the country in which many of their fathers fought and bled, were treated with utter contempt. And religious prejudices, and Christian stupidity, that defy a comparison or parallel in the history of nations, produced this identical effect.

This, however, is not all the work which is presented to us as an illustration of the fulfillment of the prophecies of the Prophet, that has been accomplished. It is only the commencement of the mighty purposes which have been predicted, for when the Prophet first made his appearance he proclaimed the distresses that were to come upon the nations of the earth; and what has been the result? Why at the present time the nations are filled with madness; they are dashing against each other with perfect madness, slaying their thousands daily. It appears as if all the rulers and great men of the earth had lost their reason, and as if the feelings of the human race were bent perfectly like butchering and destroying each other. Millions of lives during the past year have been sacrificed, either in the battlefield or in sickness, or accident by sea, or the sickness which is the result of the war, and yet greater preparations are being made to contest the point; and what point is it? Why, whether a certain tract of land, which neither of the great parties ever saw, or probably ever will see, shall be governed by a man called Sultan, or by a man called Czar. But the real thing is, the spirit of peace is taken from the earth, and the spirit of war and bloodshed runs through the earth, and that to an extent hitherto unknown.

We sometimes see men make their appearance among us, and after a short stay they will say, “Why I believe I will go off to some place and wait till ancient Mormonism comes round again, for this is not ancient Mormonism; these are not the original doctrines that were preached.” Well, there were similar persons in the days of the apostle Paul. He in writing to the Hebrews, v. ch., 12 ver., says, “For when for the time ye ought to be teachers,” that is, when you have been long enough in the Church to become teachers, “ye have need that one teach you again which be the first principles of the oracles of God; and are become such as have need of milk, and not of strong meat.” “You,” says he, “have need that one teach you again which be the first principles of the oracles of God; and you belong to that class who have need of milk.” Now when I hear a “Mormon” talk of going back to “Ancient Mormonism,” it forcibly reminds me of this passage of Scripture which I have just cited.

To be sure, when the work first commenced, men would rise up and say, “Show us the wonderful power and miracles which were performed by Moses.”

The text shows the kingdom of heaven is likened unto seed cast into the ground; it is compared to corn; it springs up, first the blade, then the ear, and then the full corn in the ear.

You are all aware that it has never been in any one period of the world’s history that corn or any other grain has come to maturity at once, and you are also aware that a kingdom or country or nation, of any kind or con dition, is not the work of a moment. But the kingdom of heaven was likened by our Savior to seed sown in the ground; it springs up, first the blade, and afterwards the full corn in the ear, and when harvest comes, the sickle is thrust in and the harvest is gathered, and thus the work is progressive. And the Prophets, in speaking of the work of the last days, have said that the Lord will give line upon line, precept upon precept, here a little and there a little, and that a little one shall become a thousand, and a small one a great nation; I the Lord will hasten in its time: so is the kingdom of God.

This people have nothing to expect but persecution, for just as long as they adhere to the principles of revelation, just so long as they are governed by the original principles of the Gospel of Jesus Christ, will every priest upon the face of this earth, that is an hireling, raise his influence to destroy the kingdom and those who bear the Holy Priesthood.

The fulfillment of the predictions of the Apostle is in our own day, viz., that men would after their own ungodly lusts heap to themselves teachers having itching ears, and turn their ears from truth unto fables! Not wait till God sent men among them, they would not listen to men whom heaven might send with new revelation, but they would go to work to educate them themselves, heap to themselves teachers of their own manufacture, get up their own factories, and manufacture their own teachers or preachers, who should turn the hearts of the people from the truth, and turn them unto fables, and teach for doctrines the precepts of men.

These will act as the Apostle Peter tells us, for says he, “There shall come false preachers and false teachers in the last days, who shall turn the hearts of the people from the truth, and shall say unto them, Where is the promise of his coming? for since the fathers fell asleep, all things remain as they were from the beginning, and the great day is passed, and we are under the necessity of rejecting anything and everything that professes to be revealed from God.”

And unless this people so live before God as to have the light of revelation constantly before their eyes, the powers of darkness will prevail over them, for that very day spoken of by the Savior is near at hand, when nation is lifting up sword against nation, and when it is necessary that we should see and understand the signs for ourselves, for it is nearly the time when the sign of the Son of Man shall be again seen.

The signs of the times thicken in the heavens, and the earth shows forth her wonders. And as this is frequently denominated the fast age, I will say that it is fast ripening for the burning, for ere long the Savior will make his appearance among his people, when they are sufficiently united, when they become sufficiently agreed that they can all work with one feeling, one mind, one soul, and with one spirit; the heavens then can be revealed, the curtains unrolled, and the Savior appear in the midst of his Saints.

Some feelings have been created in the world because the Saints are so firmly united. Now they need not be afraid, for it is the work of God, and although they scatter us a hundred times to the four winds of heaven, although they murder thousands of us, and burn and destroy our property, it is the work of the Almighty, and they cannot prevail against it. Whatever may be done will only serve to roll it forth, and hurry forward the work of the Almighty.

The fact is, the time is near at hand when the consummation of the wicked will take place; the day of the Lord is near; the harvest is not far ahead. The wicked are slaying the wicked, and times are growing worse and worse; all the world feel it; and we should watch for the coming of the Son of Man.

This puts me in mind of a little anecdote that I have heard our Irish brother tell of a son of the Green Isle, who was placed in prison with a Yorkshireman. The Yorkshireman had stolen a cow, and Patrick had been stealing a watch. While they were there, Yorkshire concluded that he would joke his companion about stealing the watch, so says he to Patrick, “What time is it ?” “About milking time,” said Pat. And I say that it is about harvest time, and it will not be long before the story of the Kilkenny cats will be acted out in earnest; the nations will devour and destroy each other, for peace is taken from the earth.

I shall close, praying the blessings of heaven to rest upon you continually in the name of Jesus Christ. Amen.

Utah Delegate to Washington—U. S. Government and Officers

An Address by President Brigham Young, Delivered in the Tabernacle, Great Salt Lake City, June 17, 1855.

Perhaps it is expected that I will make a few remarks, after hearing the statements made by our Delegate, the Hon. J. M. Bernhisel.

I presume that but few of this congregation, and I may say that but few of the people of this Territory, have a thorough knowledge, or even a general understanding, of the business transactions and responsibilities of our Delegate in Congress. It is a matter this people have not immediately before them, it does not directly concern them—hence they do not inquire into it.

Brother Bernhisel has given you a very brief sketch of the doings of Congress, necessarily omitting most of them. Doubtless the people of this Territory were perfectly satisfied with the labors of their Delegate during the last session of Congress; or, in other words, it would be hard to find an individual who is the least dissatisfied with him, though it is true that the greater part of the people do not understand what should constitute a proper cause for approbation or disapprobation. They are not dissatisfied with him, and I am not dissatisfied with him, neither have I ever been. He has been in Washington during the past six years, most of which time he has spent there for this people. The general government paid him for the services of four years, the appropriation for the services of the first two years another received.

I can say freely that I am perfectly satisfied with the labors of Dr. Bernhisel in Washington; and I will fur ther say, for the satisfaction of the parties concerned, that I very much doubt whether we could find another man, belonging to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, who could go to Washington and do as much for this people, in the capacity of a representative, as the one we have sent for years past. Why do I doubt this? In the first place, he is a man of sterling integrity, firm to his faith, punctual, industrious, fervent, and always on hand to do everything that can be done. Another reason is, but few of the talented men who belong to this Church could go to the seat of Government and endure the slang and misrepresentations which the Doctor has endured.

The Doctor is different from that class in this respect, he can endure their insults and abuses. It is true they have to be offered, if at all, behind his back, for you cannot easily find a man who will abuse him to his face, as he is so kind in his manner, so gentlemanly in his appearance, and so easy in his deportment, treating everybody with due courtesy and respect. When a deadly foe to his operations and to the interests of his constituents is in the field, that is the first man the Doctor visits, and he labors to make him our friend.

Having before us these reasons, with many others equally weighty, that might be given, I doubt whether there is another man in the Territory, or belonging to the Church, in or out of the Territory, who could have accomplished what brother Bernhisel has done in Washington for this people. I am confident that I should not stay there long, for there is too much fight in me.

You have seen some persons who, when mad, would fight a whole crowd as readily as they would a single person. I am somewhat of that temperament; if I should get mad in Washington, I would as soon fight the whole crowd as one individual, and they would use me up. There are but few spirited men who would endure the abuse and lies heaped upon this people.

There is one statement which I have already made in this stand twice or thrice, but I will now make it again before our Delegate, for it has caused him much trouble. It has been reported in the United States that Brigham should have said that the President of the United States could not remove him from his office. I will repeat what I did say, as nearly as my memory will serve me. Exhorting the brethren and sisters, I said, “Do not be alarmed, neither let your hearts sink within you, or be worried in the least with regard to a new Governor’s coming to this Territory, for the Lord Almighty will preserve your present Governor unto you as long as He pleases, and no power can hinder. And if it is His will to remove the present Governor, know ye that it will be for the best.”

That is the spirit of what I said, if not the exact words; and I say so now. President Pierce has been in power long enough to try the experiment, and there have been many to influence him to remove the Governor of this Territory from office. Is it done? It is not; though we nearly thought it was, when Colonel Steptoe received the appointment; but the Lord operated upon the Colonel to continue his march to California. He received his commission, but he would not be qualified. There were many applicants for the office, but they have not yet got it, and the Lord can baffle them as long as He pleases. He turns the hearts of men when they know it not, and the mysterious workings of His providence among the people they do not understand. He rules in their midst, and controls the nations of the earth according to His will and pleasure; so He does in this case, and will continue to do, just as long as seemeth Him good. When He wishes another Governor here, the proper person will be on hand; until then, there is no power beneath the heavens that can simply remove the present Governor of Utah, much less the loyal people who inhabit these mountains.

The people abroad are at enmity with us; we expect this, for they have been our enemies ever since we were Saints, or professed to be. Are they opposed to us in consequence of the doctrine which has been alluded to by brother Bernhisel, I mean polygamy? No. Let the Methodists, Church of England, Presbyterians, or any other popular church, adopt that principle, and it would be applauded to the skies. They are not opposed to us in consequence of the doctrine of polygamy.

Has the wrath of the enemy become any more enraged since that doctrine has been published than it was before? No, not one particle. Christ and Belial cannot be made friends; the devil is at war with the Kingdom of God on the earth, and always has been, and will continue to be, until he is bound. They do not personally hate you, nor me, any more than they did Joseph Smith, whom they have slain; they do not hate the Latter-day Saints any more now than they did twenty years ago. The same deadly hatred was then in the heart of everyone who had the privilege of hearing the doctrines of this Church and refused to embrace them, that we see exhibited at this day. If they had had the power twenty or twenty-five years ago, they would have slain the Prophet Joseph as readily and with as much rejoicing as they did when they massacred him in Carthage Jail, in the State of Illinois. It is not any particular doctrine or men and women that they are opposed to, but they are opposed to Christ and to the Kingdom of God on the earth. I observed here last Sabbath, “Let the wicked rage and the people mock on, for now is their day, and it will soon be over.” Let them do all they can, and if they have power to destroy any more of this people, Amen to it; what will it do? It will only augment the cause of Zion, spread the Gospel of Salvation, and increase the Kingdom of God on the earth. Their persecutions will never destroy this people, or the everlasting Gospel. Every time they have killed any of this people and opposed the Gospel, both have increased tenfold, and the work has spread still the more; yes, more than it would have done had they let it alone, and not have come against the Saints to drive them from their possessions. If it is wisdom that the Saints should be driven again, it would be the greatest blessing that could come to this people, for it would give greater permanency to the Kingdom of God on the earth.

As I said when I commenced preaching twenty-three years ago, and saw the same spirit of persecution exhibited then as subsequently, “Let us alone, persecutors, we do not wish to fight you, for we have not come to destroy men’s lives, or to take peace from the earth, but we have come to preach the Gospel, and to make known to you the things of the Kingdom of God. If your doctrine is better than ours, let us know it, for we are searching after the true riches, we wish the light of heaven to accompany us, we are searching after salvation, and if you have anything better than this, let us have it, and if we have anything better than you, you are welcome to it. But just let us alone, for we are determined, in the name of Israel’s God, not to rest until we have revolutionized the world with truth; and if you persecute us, we will do it the quicker.”

I say the same now. Let us alone, and we will send Elders to the uttermost parts of the earth, and gather out Israel, wherever they are; and if you persecute us, we will do it the quicker, because we are naturally dull when let alone, and are disposed to take a little sleep, a little slumber, and a little rest. If you let us alone, we will do it a little more leisurely; but if you persecute us, we will sit up nights to preach the Gospel.

To return to our Delegate. It is not my intention at this meeting to mention whom I think we had better send to Washington, as I did two years ago this summer, when brother Bernhisel arose to speak here, at which time we nominated him for our next Delegate. Before he is again elected I wish to learn whether he is willing to return. The office is a toilsome one, and is a mission which is not desirable to any Elder in this Kingdom; but if I can learn that he will accept the mission, I have no question but that he will have to round up his shoulders and go again. If he declines accepting, and wishes to be excused, we will pick up somebody else. Who? Why the man who will do the least hurt of any man we can find; as for doing much there, in the way of getting our just share of the appropriations, we care not whether he can do it or not, for we care not whether they make them or not.

True, the members of the Utah Legislature get their per diem, and some money has been appropriated to this Territory, but is it paid to the Territory? No, only a small portion of it, and it has leaked out that they have determined in Washington, never to pay another dollar to Utah, until they can have all the federal offices in this Territory filled by persons of their own choice.

A few of the brethren have received some money for the labor they have done on the military road, but I think I can take men on to that route, for which $25,000 were appropriated and said to have been expended, and do more good work with $6,000 or $8,000 than has been done with the $25,000.

They wish political gamblers to have the money, in order to work corruption, and make the influence of money affect the ballot box, as in the United States, and thus use the appropriations for this Territory to subserve party purposes and pander to corrupt favoritism. They had better keep the money out of the Territory, than bring it here with such objects in view.

If the government of the United States never pay another dime to this Territory, I will insure that in ten years we shall be ten times better off than if we received a hundred thousand dollars a year from them, and that too upon natural principles.

I will use a familiar comparison to illustrate this. Suppose that a father has a number of sons, and one of them wishes to set up for himself; whereupon the old man furnishes him a farm, buys him a team, builds him a house, and puts bread into the house for his family; buys his seed corn, a plow and harrow; shows him how to plow, and perhaps sends one of his hired men to plow for him. In a great majority of such instances, the son will remain inactive upon his plantation, leaning upon his father for support until he becomes indolent, and says, “If I want wheat I can go and get it from my father; or if I want a team, a barn, a house, or anything else, the old man will supply them; I have nothing to do but call upon my father.”

Now what is that boy good for? He is not worth a red cent; turn him out into the world alone, and he will starve to death. But first learn him to go and earn his farm, his teams, and his breadstuff; to understand the value of everything by knowing how to earn it; and he will become independent like the father, and know how to take care of himself.

So it is with States and Territories. Let them be unduly fostered and sustained by the General Government, and it will lead them into idleness, inactivity, and corruption; they will not be as spirited and active as when they are made to rely upon their own resources.

What does it do still further? You distribute money here, and what would you see, should men come in here this fall willing to pay a high price in money for the little grain that will be raised here this season? I tell you, these poor men and women would have to suffer for the want of it, as those who have it, at least many of them, will sell the last mouthful for money, as has been done. Men have taken their grain from their wives and children, and made them live on wolf flesh, in order to get money. The love of money raises trouble among a people and sends them to the devil.

We want none of their money, and if they are not disposed to send it here, I care nothing about their money’s coming; and this proves to me, and should to you, that I do not care about a man’s getting one dime appropriated to this Territory. But we will send a Delegate who will do no hurt; and if it were not that the hue and cry of “Treason against the General Government” would be made, we would not send a Delegate at all; or were it not that they would say, “Now you have proof sufficient that the Mormons mean to secede from the Union, as they have sent no Delegate;” and thus hatch up a pre text for commencing fresh hostilities against us.

It has been observed that the people where Judge Douglass resides say to him, “What are you going to do with Utah? We hope you will do something to put down this odious doctrine, for they will have more women than one, and they will acknowledge them openly.” I am now talking in accordance with their practice. “We want to hire our women in the dark, and pay them a few dimes or dollars, use them as long as we wish, and then kick them out of doors. But the Mormons will own them, give them their name, acknowledge their children and educate them.”

That is one great difference between the “Mormons” and the Gentiles, and, upon natural principles, that is, to outward appearance, in reality all the difference there is, though we are laying a foundation for another state of being. Are they men of virtuous character who talk so about the “Mormons” having more wives than one? How odious it was last winter, in the sight of certain men who were here, to think that we had more lawful wives than one; yet they would creep into your houses, and try to coax your wives and daughters away from you. What for? Was it to make them more honorable, to give them a better character in the midst of the inhabitants of the earth, sustain them better, and make them more comfortable, and acknowledge them? No—they wanted to prostitute them, to ruin them, and send them to the grave, or to the devil, when they had done with them.

I do not know what I shall say next winter, if such men make their appearance here, as were some last winter. I know what I think I shall say, if they play the same game again, let the women be ever so bad, so help me God, we will slay them.

If any wish to go to California to whore it, we will send a company of them off; that is my mind, and perhaps some few ought to go, for they are indeed bad enough.

There are some things I learned, when I was in the south country lately, which I do not wish to mention, because of the friends of those girls who are gone; but when they passed through the southern settlements they were weeping all the time, and they are perhaps now in their graves. The men who coaxed them away did not intend to take them to California. If any offer to do the same things again, in these mountains, “judgment shall be laid to the line, and righteousness to the plummet;” and they say that Brigham does not lie.

If they want women to go to California with them, we will send a company of the same stripe, if they can be found, and then both parties will be suited to and for each other. I would rather follow her to the grave, and send her home pure, than suffer my daughter to be prostituted. I will not suffer any female member of my family to be polluted through the corruptions of wicked men.

Write this to the States, if you please. If there are any Gentiles or hickory “Mormons” here, and so disposed, write it down and send it to Washington, that if they send their officers and soldiers here, to conduct themselves as they did last winter, they shall meet upon the spot the due reward of their crimes.

Though I may not be Governor here, my power will not be diminished. No man they can send here will have much influence with this community, unless he be the man of their choice. Let them send whom they will, and it does not diminish my influence one particle. As I said, the first time I spoke on this stand, my Governorship and every other ship under my con trol, are aided and derive direct advantages from my position in the Priesthood.

The office of Governor is not necessarily in the least degree incompatible with the upright course of any person clothed with the Priesthood; but, on the contrary, such a person should be far better qualified to wisely and righteously administer in any civil office, and in this manner the channel of true intelligence would be opened, and light and truth flow freely into every avenue of social life.

There are more things I might talk about, but no matter now, as the meeting has been held long enough. I say, God bless you. Amen.


A Discourse by President Brigham Young, Delivered in the Tabernacle, Great Salt Lake City, June 3, 1855.

The blessings bestowed upon the Saints are in many instances considered sacrifices, and for this reason I have concluded to say a few words upon the law of consecration, surplus property, and tithing.

The law of consecration was revealed previous to the brethren’s going to Jackson County, or about the time they went; after they left Jackson County and went to Caldwell, inasmuch as the people did not under stand why they should be called upon to consecrate; for if a man possessed more than he needed, the Lord was welcome to it anyhow, but if a man did not possess more than he really thought he needed, they concluded there should be no such law as the law of consecration, or the law of tithing; and in consequence of many questions being asked upon the subject, a revelation was given after the Prophet had cried unto the Lord, saying, O Lord, show unto thy servants how much of the property of thy people thou dost require for tithing.

This revelation was given in February, 1831, and I will read a part of it, commencing at the 8th paragraph—“If thou lovest me thou shalt serve me and keep all my commandments. And behold, thou wilt remember the poor, and consecrate of thy properties for their support that which thou hast to impart unto them, with a covenant and a deed which cannot be broken. And inasmuch as ye impart of your substance unto the poor, ye will do it unto me; and they shall be laid before the bishop of my church and his counselors, two of the elders, or high priests, such as he shall appoint or has appointed and set apart for that purpose. 9. And it shall come to pass, that after they are laid before the bishop of my church, and after that he has received these testimonies concerning the consecration of the properties of my church, that they cannot be taken from the church, agreeable to my commandments, every man shall be made accountable unto me, a steward over his own property, or that which he has received by consecration, as much as is sufficient for himself and family.”

It is hardly worthwhile for me to say anything about the disposition of the people; still, when a person can realize that men do not know themselves, we consider it proper to tell them who they are, what they are, and how they feel. It would not be worthwhile for me or for any other person to talk about their dispositions, the nature of their intentions, their attachments to the world, their sympathies, passions, or anything of the kind, were it not that people are often blinded in their minds, and do not know themselves: hence it is proper enough to make a few remarks about themselves.

I will read another revelation given in April, 1832—“Verily, thus saith the Lord, in addition to the laws of the church concerning women and children, those who belong to the church, who have lost their husbands or fathers: Women have claim on their husbands for their maintenance, until their husbands are taken; and if they are not found transgressors they shall have fellowship in the church. And if they are not faithful they shall not have fellowship in the church; yet they may remain upon their inheritances according to the laws of the land.”

Paragraph 2. “All children have claim upon their parents for their maintenance until they are of age. And after that, they have claim upon the church, or in other words upon the Lord’s storehouse, if their parents have not wherewith to give them inheritances. And the storehouse shall be kept by the consecrations of the church; and widows and orphans shall be provided for, as also the poor. Amen.”

There is another revelation still prior to this time, stating that it is the duty of all people who go to Zion to consecrate all their property to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. This revelation was referred to at the April Conference in 1854. It was one of the first commandments or revelations given to this people after they had the privilege of organizing themselves as a Church, as a body, as the kingdom of God on the earth. I observed then, and I now think, that it will be one of the last revelations which the people will receive into their hearts and understandings, of their own free will and choice, and esteem it as a pleasure, a privilege, and a blessing unto them to observe and keep most holy.

It is time the privilege of consecrating their property was given to the people, it is the will of the Lord they should enjoy this blessing and privi lege, those who choose to hand over their property; to whom? To Him who has given them everything they possess: He owns all they possess, and they have no property, more or less, only that which actually belongs to the Lord, and He deals it out and bestows it where it seemeth Him good.

It is not for me to rise up and say that I can give to the Lord, for in reality I have nothing to give. I seem to have something, why? Because the Lord has seen fit to bring me forth, and has blessed my efforts in gathering things which are desirable, and which are termed property. He has instituted a plan and order, has organized this planet, and peopled it by His wisdom and power. He has given me my being upon this earth which is His, for “the earth is the Lord’s,” and all that pertaineth to it, all the elements, no matter how they are organized, no matter what element it is, it is the element the Lord has brought together to compose the earth. Was it His in the beginning? It was. Did He cause the atoms of elements to come together to organize the earth? He did. He did bring forth the earth, and formed and organized it as it was in the beginning, and made it perfect, pure, and holy.

To whom do these elements belong now? To the same Being who owned them in the beginning. The earth is still His, and its fulness, and that includes each one of us, and also includes all that we seem to possess. It includes all the elements, in whatever shape, form, or condition, and wherever they are situated, whether in the native state, or in a state of organization for the comfort and benefit of man.

The ability which we have to bring them together we have received of the Lord, by His free gift, and He has made us capable of performing many things for His glory, for His wisdom, and for the exaltation of those creatures He has brought forth and made. Has He not endowed mankind with intelligence? He has created them but a little lower than the angels. They have received wisdom, knowledge, and understanding, and are organized to receive power, glory, and honor. If they are industrious, prudent, and filled with understanding to know from where these favors emanate, of course they will attribute all the power and goodness to the honor and glory of the Being who bestowed them.

As I have already observed, the people are ignorant; they do not know themselves, do not understand their own organization, or from whence they are; if they did, there would be no necessity of talking to the people upon these points. We are here on the earth, we live, and find ourselves endowed with wonderful powers, and it seems as though we, as individuals, were perfectly independent of every creature or being throughout the immensity of space. We cannot see our superiors, and we do not fully realize from whence we have received anything we now have in our possession. This is in consequence of our shortsightedness, of our want of understanding, and of our lack of the knowledge of eternal beings. Herein is where mankind fail, lacking that which we might have in our possession, viz.—the light of the revelations of Jesus Christ, the light of the Holy Spirit, the light of heaven. This is the privilege of the Latter-day Saints, but they do not enjoy it as much as they might; consequently it is right to talk about these matters, and to instruct the people.

If we could perceive and fully understand that all the ability and knowledge we have, every good we possess, every bright idea, every pure affection, and every good vision of mind from our infancy to the present time, are all the free gift of the Lord, and that we of ourselves have nothing original, we should be much better prepared and far more ready to act faithfully and wisely under all circumstances. Every good thing is in His hands, is subject to His power, belongs to Him, and is only handed over to us, for the time being, to see what use we will make of it.

If we will improve, be faithful and diligent in all the blessings bestowed upon us, we then have the principle of increase, and this is the great blessing given to man, and was the promise which Abraham received at the hands of the Lord. Abraham was fearful he would not increase and multiply his posterity on the earth, though he might increase in power, wisdom, and knowledge himself; and reflected, “I have no children, or even prospect of them, to rise up and bless me, or to honor and revere my name in coming generations.” The Lord, however, gave him this promise, “You have been faithful, and gained wisdom and knowledge in every blessing I have bestowed upon you; and now I will give you a promise that you shall yet have a posterity, and it shall multiply upon the face of the earth, and finally, the end of the number thereof no man can tell, for your seed shall be as numerous as the sands upon the seashore, or the stars in the firmament, and to their increase there shall be no end.” The same blessing was promised to the Lord Jesus Christ. It was the privilege of Abraham to receive knowledge, wisdom, and understanding, but this did not satisfy him, he wanted to see his children multiply. When Abraham has passed a certain ordeal and proved himself faithful, he will receive honor, power, glory, and exaltation, which he is made as capable of attaining in the future as those were who acted previous to his day. Were not this the case, the intelligence, the power of the mind, the spirit that is placed in the body, and all that pertain to life in this stage of action, or prior to our coming into the world, are not made honorable; and if they are not honored by the creature, by the principle that is placed in him, that organization is liable to decompose. Can you understand this? For instance, let a man or woman who has received much of the power of God, visions and revelations, turn away from the holy commandments of the Lord, and it seems that their senses are taken from them, their understanding and judgment in righteousness are taken away, they go into darkness, and become like a blind person who gropes by the wall. Many of you witness this almost daily. Such will continue to go on the retrograde path until they are decomposed; while those who are faithful will continue to increase, and this is the great blessing the Lord has given to, or placed within the reach of, the children of man, even to be capable of receiving eternal lives.

To have such a promise so sealed upon our heads, which no power on earth, in heaven, or beneath the earth can take from us, to be sealed up to the day of redemption and have the promise of eternal lives, is the greatest gift of all. The people do not fully understand these things and have them not in full vision before their minds, if they did I will tell you, plainly and in honesty, that there is not a trial which the Saints are called to pass through that they would not realize and acknowledge to be their greatest blessing.

I will give you my reasons for this; if Adam had not sinned, and if his posterity had continued upon the earth, they could not have known sin, or the bitter from the sweet, neither would they have known righteousness, for the plain and simple reason that every effect can only be fully manifested by its opposite. If the Saints could realize things as they are when they are called to pass though trials, and to suffer what they call sacrifices, they would acknowledge them to be the greatest blessings that could be bestowed upon them. But put them in possession of true principles and true enjoyments, without the opposite, and they could not know enjoyment, they could not realize happiness. They could not tell light from darkness, because they have no knowledge of darkness and consequently are destitute of a realizing sense of light. If they should not taste the bitter, how could they realize the sweet? They could not. They would be like a machine, and could not approximate to the standard of the present enjoyment of the brute, and probably not even to that of the vegetable kingdom. To know the bitter they must taste it; they must be made acquainted with the evil there is in existence, or they cannot realize the good. If the people could see and understand things as they are, instead of saying, “I have sacrificed a great deal for this kingdom,” they would understand that they had made no sacrifices at all. They have received the blessing of the knowledge of God, to know and understand things as they are, that they may contrast between the evil and the good, between the light and the darkness, between that which is of God, and that which is not of God, between that which is calculated to exalt and glorify the people, and that which is calculated to carry them down to destruction, and waste them away until they would be no more.

It is a curious idea, but one in favor of which there is much testimony, that when people take the downward road, one that is calculated to destroy them, they will actually in every sense of the word be destroyed. Will they be what is termed annihilated? No, there is no such thing as annihilation, for you cannot destroy the elements of which things are made. But Jesus will take the kingdom, and reign until he has destroyed death, and him that hath the power of death, which is the devil. The people think that many of the revelations of the Lord are hard, and say, “The Lord has given this revelation to try me, to try the strength of my faith.” It is the Lord’s design that His people should have an experience; hence I will not dispute for one moment but what it was the will of the Lord that we should be made acquainted with darkness, and subjected to vanity.

In my fullest belief, it was the design of the Lord that Adam should partake of the forbidden fruit, and I believe that Adam knew all about it before he came to this earth. I believe there was no other way leading to thrones and dominions only for him to transgress, or take that position which transgression alone could place man in, to descend below all things, that they might ascend to thrones, principalities, and powers; for they could not ascend to that eminence without first descending, nor upon any other principle.

I do not dispute but what you and I, naturally, should love the world; this I verily believe. I believe the Lord has designed, from ages immemorial, that we should be in darkness and ignorance, and at the same time I believe it is His will that we should receive light and intelligence in order that we may understand true principle, and the true position which the Saints should take to contrast continually between the evil and the good. I believe all this, just as much as I believe anything else pertaining to mankind. It is then the design of the Lord that mankind should be placed in this dark, ignorant, and selfish state, that we should naturally cling to the earth; for, as it was said here last Sabbath, the earth is very good in and of itself, and has abided a celes tial law, consequently we should not despise it, nor desire to leave it, but rather desire and strive to obey the same law that the earth abides, and abide it as honorably as does the earth.

If we do abide this law thus faithfully, we are sure to get our resurrection and exaltation, for then we can see and understand things as they are. Then instead of concluding that the Lord has drawn us into difficulties, and compelled us to do that which is unpleasant to our feelings, and to suffer sacrifice upon sacrifice to no purpose, we shall understand that He has designed all this to prepare us to dwell in His presence, to possess His Spirit, which is right and intelligent, for nothing but purity and holiness can dwell where He is. He has so ordained it, that by the natural mind we cannot see and understand the things of God, therefore we must then seek unto the Lord, and get His Spirit and the light thereof, to understand His will. And when He is calling us to pass through that which we call afflictions, trials, temptations, and difficulties, did we possess the light of the Spirit, we would consider this the greatest blessing that could be bestowed upon us.

When the Lord gave the revelation instructing us in our duty as to consecrating what we have, if the people then could have understood things precisely as they are, and had obeyed that revelation, it would have been neither more nor less than yielding up that which is not their own, to Him to whom it belongs. And so it is now. But what vain and foolish principles and ideas have crept into the world, and have occupied the minds of the people! They are far from the true principles of salvation and godliness; and the world has sunk so far in wickedness, wretchedness, misunderstanding, and every kind of ignorance, and every species of wickedness which can be devised and introduced by the devil and the people combined, that even some of the Saints are almost persuaded to think that the Lord has called upon them to consecrate, to give up something which they consider their own, but in reality is not, to somebody that never did own it. Some of the people feel thus, and it is in consequence of the wickedness that is on the earth. The Lord has not called for one farthing’s worth which is not His own. The people could not own it, and if they did, have they power to preserve it? No. Can they preserve their buildings from the raging elements of fire? No. Have they power over their grain to keep it from mold, to preserve it from blight, and from the ravages from insects? No. Have they power to preserve their animals in life? No. Can they do these things independent of the power of the Lord Almighty? No. It is a vain and foolish thought for men to think they own anything of themselves, for they do not. It is here in our possession, but how came it so? They do not know. Life is here, but do they know the power that gave it, or the mode of its coming? Vegetation and animals, in great variety, teem upon the face of the earth, but are mankind familiar with the secret springs of their growth and existence? Men ought, in the first place, to find out how these things came, and who produced them. They will acknowledge at once that there never was a house which was not built, and understand the principles of human art, but do not fully understand the operations of nature, though they proceed upon simple and natural principles.

Hence they see the mountains and do not know how they are made, the grass, but do not know upon what principle it grows; the cattle come and go, but they do not know their first origin. Mankind spread abroad upon the earth, but do not know how they came here, and are not familiar with the workings of the power that sustains them. This the people ought to find out in the first place, and then they will know that the earth is the Lord’s, and the fulness thereof, and that there is an eternity of matter yet to be organized. When the Saints find out the truth as it is, they will learn that they have nothing to consecrate in reality, that they have nothing to give to the Lord, because they hold nothing but what already belongs to Him. We seem to possess much, and if we are faithful and endure to the end will be crowned, and then the Lord will say, “It is enough, you have proved yourselves faithful.” Comparatively speaking, He will talk with them as a father does with his children. To one son he says, “Go and improve that farm, though I do not deed it to you;” to another he says, “Take that farm;” and to a third, “Take this;” and all upon the same conditions, “and I will see what you will do with these my farms.” They think the farms are already theirs, but they are mistaken, for the father did not deed the farms to them. The eldest son fences, plows, and improves it, builds a house and a good barn upon it, plants an orchard, raises cattle, and makes the possession much more valuable than when the father put it into his hands. “Now, John,” says the father, “you have proved yourself a wise and faithful steward, I will now give you a deed of this property which I have owned so long, that it may be your property.” He says to William, “How is it with your farm?” “Well, father, it is much the same as when you gave it to me to improve; I have not done much; I raised a little wheat and corn.” “Where is your house, William?” “O, I was not sure that the land was mine, and I did not build one.” “Why did you not build a barn?” “Well, I did not know that I was going to possess it, so I did not put myself to that trouble; as for an orchard, I was not going to set one out for you to give to some other of the boys.” “You are an unfaithful steward, and you can go now and get you a farm, and I will take this that you might have improved, and possessed for an everlasting inheritance, and give it to John, for he has been faithful.” The parable delivered by Jesus Christ is a fit illustration of this principle, wherein he likens the kingdom of heaven to a man traveling into a far country, who called his own servants, and delivered unto them his goods; “and unto one he gave five talents, to another two, and to another one,” &c. The one who received the one talent hid it up; he was unfaithful and unprofitable, and so his master took away from him, the one talent, and gave to him that had ten. So it is with the Lord in all things. If men are faithful, the time will come when they will possess the power and the knowledge to obtain, organize, bring into existence, and own. “What, of themselves, independent of their Creator?” No. But they and their Creator will always be one, they will always be of one heart and of one mind, working and operating together; for whatsoever the Father doeth so doeth the son, and so they continue throughout all their operations to all eternity. John will be counted worthy to receive his inheritance, but William will be disinherited, and that which he seemed to have will be taken from him, and given to the faithful steward. What have we that is really our own to consecrate? Nothing at all. What is our duty? It is our duty to improve upon every blessing the Lord gives to us. If He gives us land, improve it; if He gives us the privilege of building houses, improve it; if He gives us wives and children, try and teach them the ways of the Lord, and exalt them above the dark, degraded, and sunken state of mankind, &c.; if He gives us the privilege of gathering together, let us sanctify ourselves. In His providence He has called the Latter-day Saints from the world, has gathered them from other nations, and given them a place upon the earth. Is this a blessing? Yes, one of the greatest the people can enjoy, to be free from the wickedness of the wicked, from the calamities and clamor of the world. By this blessing we can show to our Father in Heaven that we are faithful stewards; and more, it is a blessing to have the privilege of handing back to Him that which He has put in our possession, and not say it is ours, until He shall say it from the heavens. Then it is plain that what I seem to have I do not in reality own, and I will hand it back to the Lord when He calls for it; it belongs to Him and it is His all the time. I do not own it, I never did. He has called upon the people to consecrate their property, to see whether they could understand so simple a thing as this. When they bow down to worship the Lord, they acknowledge that the earth is His, and the cattle upon a thousand hills; and tell the Lord there is no sacrifice they are not willing to make for the sake of the religion of Jesus Christ. The people were crying this continually among the churches when the Book of Mormon came forth, and the Lord spoke through Joseph, revealing the law of consecration, to see whether they were willing to do as they said in their prayers. In their weekly meetings they have told how the Lord has blessed them and forgiven their sins, what glorious visions they have had, and have declared that the Lord was present, and that they had angels to visit them, and they felt so good that they would give all for Christ. Said the Lord to Joseph, “See if they will give their farms to me.” What was the result? They would not do it, though it was one of the plainest things in the world. No revelation that was ever given is more easy of comprehension than that on the law of consecration, which the Christians had acknowledged all their days, and we are all Christians by birth, and all believed that we owned nothing, but that all belonged to the Giver of all good. We believe in God the Father, and in His Son Jesus Christ, the Savior of the world, and we believe that he was actually going to possess the earth, and reign with his people on the earth; that all is his, and forever will be. Yet, when the Lord spoke to Joseph, instructing him to counsel the people to consecrate their possessions, and deed them over to the Church in a covenant that cannot be broken, would the people listen to it? No, but they began to find out that they were mistaken, and had only acknowledged with their mouths that the things which they possessed were the Lord’s. When the Latter-day Saints arise to speak, or bear testimony in their meetings, they tell us about the Lord’s owning the earth, and being the maker of it, and I have thought, sometimes, that we could pick up a class that would acknowledge this principle, both out of doors and in. Not like a man who spoke to me last summer, as I was riding in my carriage; he shook hands with me, and kept a firm hold of the carriage with his other hand, and said, “Brother Brigham, how do you do? I am going to consecrate all my property, could you not buy me a farm?” I got my hand out of his, and the other off from the wheel, and he went reeling with drunkenness, and I told him I did not want anything to do with such men.

Another says, “Brother Brigham, I want to consecrate all I have, but you must build me a house for it, or get me my wood.” This class will acknowledge that all is the Lord’s, both outdoor and in. I wish to see the people acknowledge the principle of consecration in their works, as well as in their prayers. Do I, as an individual, want to see the people deed all they have to the Church? It does not concern me individually; I would not give the ashes of a rye straw for a personal deed of all the Latter-day Saints possess. Yet they are trying to acknowledge that all is the Lord’s, and will say, “Let brother Brigham come and get what he wants, but I do not believe in giving up this property, it is mine, and I may want to trade this, that, or the other article.” I do not want one red cent from you, but the Lord would be glad to see the people practice out of doors what they hypocritically profess before Him indoors. They say they are the Lord’s, and when their children are taken sick, or their wives, fathers, mothers, or husbands are taken sick, O, how humble they then are, and they will send for the Elders to pray for them, and acknowledge that all is the Lord’s, and say, “We give ourselves and all we have to thee.” The Lord makes them well by His power, through the ordinances of His house, but will they consecrate? No. They say, “It is mine, and I will have it myself.” There is the treasure, and the heart is with it, and what will be the end thereof? That which they seem to have will be given to those who are faithful, and they will receive nothing at all. They will not get an inheritance upon the earth, and cannot be crowned as kings and rulers in the kingdom of God; but if they are saved at all it will be as servants, to do the drudgery of those who are faithful, and who live the religion outdoors which they say they have in their hearts. If the people knew themselves, if they understood their own feelings and reasonings, and the spirits that operate upon them, and of what spirit they are, there would be no need of thus talking to them.

When the revelation which I have read was given in 1838, I was present, and recollect the feelings of the brethren. A number of revelations were given on the same day. The brethren wished me to go among the Churches, and find out what surplus property the people had with which to forward the building of the Temple we were commencing at Far West. I accordingly went from place to place through the country. Before I started, I asked brother Joseph, “Who shall be the judge of what is surplus property?” Said he, “Let them be the judges themselves, for I care not if they do not give a single dime. So far as I am concerned, I do not want anything they have.”

Then I replied, “I will go and ask them for their surplus property;” and I did so; I found the people said they were willing to do about as they were counseled, but, upon asking them about their surplus property, most of the men who owned land and cattle would say, “I have got so many hundred acres of land, and I have got so many boys, and I want each one of them to have eighty acres, therefore this is not surplus property.” Again, “I have got so many girls, and I do not believe I shall be able to give them more than forty acres each.” “Well, you have got two or three hundred acres left.” “Yes, but I have a brother-in-law coming on, and he will depend on me for a living; my wife’s nephew is also coming on, he is poor, and I shall have to furnish him a farm after he arrives here.” I would go on to the next one, and he would have more land and cattle than he could make use of to advantage. It is a laughable idea, but is nevertheless true, men would tell me they were young and beginning the world, and would say, “We have no children, but our prospects are good, and we think we shall have a family of children, and if we do, we want to give them eighty acres of land each; we have no surplus property.” “How many cattle have you?” “So many.” “How many horses, &c?” “So many, but I have made provisions for all these, and I have use for everything I have got.”

Some were disposed to do right with their surplus property, and once in a while you would find a man who had a cow which he considered surplus, but generally she was of the class that would kick a person’s hat off, or eyes out, or the wolves had eaten off her teats. You would once in a while find a man who had a horse that he considered surplus, but at the same time he had the ringbone, was broken-winded, spavined in both legs, had the poll evil at one end of the neck and a fistula at the other, and both knees sprung.

This is the description of surplus property that some would offer to the Lord. Such have been the feelings of a great many men. They would come to me and say, “Brother Brigham, I want to pay my tithing; please come outside here, I wish to show you a horse I have got. I want to raise fifty dollars on this horse, and the balance I am willing to turn in on tithing. If you will pay me twenty dollars in money, ten in store pay, and so much on another man’s tithing, and so much on my own, you shall have the horse for eighty dollars;” when I could get as good a one for forty. I make no such trades. Some of our brethren would actually take a horse worth no more than forty dollars, pay fifty and give credit on tithing for thirty.

I mention these things to illustrate the feelings of many of the people, for they do not understand the spirit they are of. When a man wishes to give anything, let him give the best he has got. The Lord has given to me all I possess; I have nothing in reality, not a single dime of it is mine. You may ask, “Do you feel as you say?” Yes, I actually do. The coat I have on my back is not mine, and never was; the Lord put it in my possession honorably, and I wear it; but if He wishes for it, and all there is under it, He is welcome to the whole. I do not own a house, or a single foot of land, a horse, mule, carriage, or wagon, nor wife, nor child, but what the Lord gave me, and if He wants them, He can take them at His pleasure, whether He speaks for them, or takes them without speaking. Should this be the feeling to animate every bosom? It should. What have you to consecrate that is actually your own? Nothing. The time will come when the people will look back on their first experience, and they will realize that that which they now consider hardship was their greatest blessing. They are called to leave their homes, their parents, their families, and their native country. They are called away by the providence of God to what they now consider to be sorrow; but it is not so, it is only an experience put into the possession of the Saints, that they may know the blessings of eternity. There is no being in eternity about whom we have ever read or heard, but what has suffered in like manner as we have, for it was by suffering they had to gain their exaltation, as you and I will have to do.

When was there a beginning? There never was one; if there was, there will be an end; but there never was a beginning, and hence there will never be an end; that looks like eternity. When we talk about the beginning of eternity, it is rather simple conversation, and goes far beyond the capacity of man. All beings will go into a future state, and what do you suppose those think who are there now? Do you suppose that Joseph the Prophet thinks he has sacrificed anything on this earth? No. But the Lord led him in a way that he might understand glory, exaltation, and power—that he might compre hend the blessings the Lord gave to him. Suppose you had a diamond of the finest water, as large as my fist, and worth millions of pounds sterling, and you gave it to one who did not know its value, he would put it in the mud, as quick as he would a potato; and a very ignorant person would know no difference between a piece of gold and a piece of bright copper. He has to learn the distinction by those principles of knowledge which the Lord places in the hearts of the human family to enable them to contrast the one with the other, and to know everything by its opposite. Take a little girl who has no more knowledge than to think that piece of white paper is just as good to make a frock of as a piece of good lawn, and she has to wait until she grows up to that knowledge. All the Prophets have had to learn in a similar manner; Joseph learned in that way, and so must we.

How long have we got to live before we find out that we have nothing to consecrate to the Lord—that all belongs to the Father in heaven; that these mountains are His; the valleys, the timber, the water, the soil; in fine, the earth and its fulness?

You now see one of His armies passing through here, sweeping everything before them. Has He nothing to do with these grasshoppers that are destroying our crops? Yes, as He has with everything else on the earth. Has He anything to do with the locusts in Egypt? Yes; but they are not satisfied with eating the vegetation, but will eat a man’s shoes off from his feet, and the beard from his face, for when a man lies down to sleep, he is in danger of losing his mustachio. These are some of the armies of the Lord; He made them and He made man, the one as well as the other. He made man but a little lower than the angels, and next to man the brute creation, and filled the earth with all varieties of seeds and insects; He made the earth and all connected with it, organized it, and brought it forth, and now He intends to see what the people will do with it; whether they are disposed to do anything more than to say, “This is mine, and that is thine.”

Observe the men who have come into this Church rich in property, and where can you find one who has said, “I brought fifty, forty, or twenty thousand dollars into this Church,” but what they have either come begging to the Church at last, or apostatized? If you cling to the world, and say it is hard for you to do this or that, recollect that the love of the Father is not in you. Let me love the world as He loves it, to make it beautiful, and glorify the name of my Father in heaven. It does not matter whether I or anybody else owns it, if we only work to beautify it and make it glorious, it is all right. Let me do what I am called to do, and be contented with my lot, and not worry about this, that, or the other. I have spoken long enough. May God bless you. Amen.

Dependence on the Lord—Coal and Iron Works—Family Excursions

An Address by President Brigham Young, Delivered in the Tabernacle, Great Salt Lake City, May 27, 1855.

I am happy in the privilege of meeting with you this afternoon. You will recollect that I told you, before I left this place a few week’s since, that I should go and come in safety. We have had a prosperous and pleasant journey, have met with the Saints, and their hearts were cheered, and their feelings made glad with comfort and consolation. Quite a number of the brethren proposed going with us, as we passed through the settlements, for the grasshoppers had taken all their crops, and as they had no farming to see to, they wished to go with us and take a ride. Those who went, returned perfectly satisfied with their excursion.

I believe all the settlements we have passed through are satisfied with regard to the Lord’s dealing with this people; and I wish to add, to what has already been said, that it becomes our duty to use all possible diligence and every proper means to sustain ourselves. We have yet ample time for planting and sowing; let us improve it, and use that ability which God has given us to provide sustenance, and then let the result rest in His hands, and feel perfectly satisfied.

This people have to learn that the Lord is God, that He rules among the armies of heaven, and does His pleasure among the inhabitants of the earth. They have to be brought to the test, as much so as were the children of Israel when the Egyptians were in their rear, when mountains were on either side, and the Red Sea was before them, with no human prospect for avoiding destruction, yet the Lord brought them salvation. This people have got to trust in Him, and learn that He will be with His people, and provide for His Saints, and defend them against their enemies, and watch over them as a mother watches over her tender infant. We have got to learn the ways of the Lord. If it is necessary for the Lord to rain down manna from heaven, He has the same power to do it, the same power to feed His people, in the latter days, that He had in former days. It is far easier for Him to feed the Saints from heaven, than it is for them to raise grain in the common way. Still it is our duty to be active and diligent in doing everything we can to sustain ourselves, to build up His kingdom, to defend ourselves against our enemies, to lay our plans wisely, and to prosecute every method that can be devised to establish the kingdom of God on the earth, and to sanctify and prepare ourselves to dwell in His presence. Yet, after all this, if the Lord should not help—if He should not lend His aid to our endeavors, all our labors will prove in vain. This the great majority of mankind do not understand. He has made it obligatory upon them to act, to do their part; yet if He was to neglect His part, or withhold His assistance, our labors would prove abortive. We must learn that it is God who gives the increase, or rather, it is His mercy over the people, whether Saints or sinners, that sustains them in life. All Latter-day Saints have got to learn these facts, and it matters but little how we learn them.

If the people are anxious to learn the ways of the Lord, if they wish to see the hand of God made manifest, if they wish to have the visions and revelations of Jesus Christ given in profusion, perhaps the Lord is now using the very means to bring them to that point where they will be obliged to seek Him for themselves. They have been besought by day and by night, and from year to year, to humble themselves before the Lord, to live their religion, and to walk in the light of eternity. They have been pled with to live so that they can know the mind and will of the Lord for themselves, and for that which they preside over; at the same time, not to be too anxious for the Lord to give revelation, and make Himself known, but rather to be very anxious and very tenacious to improve upon what He has already given—this is our duty.

Now I may say to the Saints, you need not be discouraged, we have yet plenty of time to raise good crops. If it is the Lord’s will that we raise crops to sustain ourselves, it will be all right, and if it is His will that the devourer eat up the products of our labor, it is all right, and it will deliver and preserve us from greater evil. For one, if weeping would have done any good, I have seen months and months, in this city, when I could have wept like a whipt child to see the awful stupidity of the people in not realizing the blessings bestowed upon them in grain; I could have wept to see this people trample on the mercies of their benefactor in bestowing the fruits of the earth upon them in such plenty. If the Lord is now disposed to learn us a lesson, and make us thereby wise men and wise women, and prudent in all our ways, all I have to say is, amen, it is all right. When chastisements come, let them be what they may, let us always be willing and ready to kiss the rod, and reverence the hand that administers it, acknowledging the hand of God in all things.

As I have already observed, it is our duty to do all we can to sustain ourselves, trusting in God to give the increase, and then be satisfied. So far as I am concerned, I intend to plant and sow, not only in the month of May, but in the month of June, and in the month of July, and I will continue my labors to raise what is necessary to sustain life, as long as the season lasts; and if I raise nothing, I shall be just as well satisfied as though I raised an abundance, at least I ought to be. If the people will take this course, it will reconcile them to the providences of the Almighty.

I am happy and thankful to be able to say, as far as I have received information in the midst of this people called Latter-day Saints, that there is certainly an improvement in their understanding, and an advancement in their knowledge of the things of God. A good spirit prevails, and contentment, peace, and joy seem to pervade the bosoms of those who walk humbly before God. Yet, whenever we go to meet with the Saints, we can say, as it was said in olden times, Satan is there also. We find the works and power of the enemy, we find that in the midst of the kingdom of God, or, in other words, in the net that was cast forth to gather the people, there are good and bad. So it will be, until the time comes to gather the good and throw away the bad, which is not now. But in regard to those who desire to be Saints, and who try to be Saints, I can say there is an increase in their knowledge, in their faith, and in their understanding. And now I wish more particularly to see an increase of resignation to the will of God, of doing everything that is possible to build up this kingdom, and of submitting themselves and all their affairs into His hand; and I wish to see this done cheerfully, and a patient waiting for the result of His providences.

There are two subjects which I now wish to speak upon. The coal beds which we visited in San Pete, I think can be made available for fuel, even in this place, at perhaps half or two-thirds of the expense of our present method of procuring fuel, for our home fires, for the public works, smith shops, &c. I will say to the brethren here, that I expect the brethren in San Pete will soon send the terms upon which they will deliver coal in this city, and when they do so I shall wish to know whether any person in this city will encourage the business. If we turn our attention to coal for fuel, we can easily store away a winter’s stock in our cellars, and turn the key upon it, and this will actually make some men practically honest, whereas, if your woodpile is out of doors, they may continue to be dishonest. I speak now of the practice of dishonest people, not of their intent. If we can get men to practice honesty, virtue, and holiness, I am fully of the faith that they will become righteous in their intentions—that the time will come when the Lord will bless them, and make them in reality righteous men and women.

Shall we encourage the coal trade or not? Shall we encourage the opening of a mine, and have coal brought to this market? It would no doubt be disagreeable at first to the Americans, or to the majority of them, but people who have lived from their youth by a coal fire admire it. Its use is accompanied with some dust, but I will offset that inconvenience with one to which we are subject when burning wood; then our houses are often infested with spiders, bugs, ants, and other insects, which has always been a great annoyance to me. I have often almost dreaded to bring an armful of wood into the house, lest such insects should drop from it. True, these are small items, but I will tell you one thing with regard to life, it is the small inconveniences which are interwoven with our existence that mar the peace of mankind, more than the greater afflictions, disappointments, and perplexities men meet with as they pass along in this probation. But enough on this topic for the present.

We have visited the Iron works in Cedar City, Iron County, and as far as I am capable of judging, I will say, that the brethren have done as well as men could possibly do, considering their impoverished circumstances, and the inconveniences they have had to labor under. They have probably progressed better than any other peo ple would upon the face of the earth. They are without sufficient capital to rapidly accomplish so great a work, and many are without suitable clothing, and almost destitute of bedding, and other things necessary to supply the common comforts of life for themselves and families. Although they have been thus destitute, yet in the midst of all that, they have progressed almost equal to men of capital in the older states.

I am not familiarly acquainted with the fluxing or separating the metal from the ore, but those who understand building furnaces and their operations, are aware that it is very injurious for a large and expensive furnace to blow out, as they call it, hence policy requires the blast to be continued as long as possible. I have learned, of late, from men of experience in these matters, why it is desirable to continue the heat—it is because no furnace can be heated up for two or three weeks, and then blow out, or stop, without risk of spoiling the furnace, or destroying its lining; and it frequently so injures the furnace, that it has to be rebuilt, or at least a portion of it. Hence, when it costs from one to five thousand dollars to prepare a furnace to bear a long blast, it is a great loss to any company to have it blow out in a short time.

Our brethren who have been operating in Iron County, have a very fine furnace, but they are so weak handed as not to be able to continue the blast over fourteen days, and I have learned that they want help. This is the main object of my speaking upon this subject, and my mind inclines in favor of their having it, and I want to see whether the brethren will turn out with their teams and help them. The Church has done much for them, and we are still intending to aid. Our last winter’s operations have helped them; the Territory took two shares, and the Trustee-in-Trust, two; still they are not able to carry on the business profitably. Iron we need, and iron we must have. We cannot well do without it, and have it we must, if we have to send to England for it. We have an abundance of the best quality of iron ore. A trial furnace was made, and kept hot for sixteen days, and produced as good pig metal as can be found in the world; this they puddled, and brought forth excellent iron. I believe the castings made from the pigs will be superior to any in the world. I repeat that iron we must have, and we are right on the threshold of obtaining it; we have our feet on the step, and our hand holds the latch of the door that leads to the possession of this invaluable material.

From the time I first went to Iron County until now, I had thought that perhaps the brethren were dilatory—my feelings were tried; I would not say, however, that I had suspicions pertaining to the doings of the Iron Company there; but let that be as it may, it is all right with me now, the iron we must have. From the time I went to San Pete, and saw that beautiful coal bed, averaging eight feet thick, with its stony strata of nine, five, and three inches, which probably will give out, and learned that iron ore was close by the coal bed, I took into consideration the distance from Cedar City to this place, and the distance from here to San Pete. When I had weighed all the circumstances, my mind balanced in favor of the works at Cedar City for the present; and if I can get brethren to join me, I will send one or two teams myself, with teamsters. We want fifteen good teams, with men with them who are willing to take hold and quarry out the ore and the coal, and get wood, and lime, or anything else that is wanted. Twenty or twenty-five men, besides these teamsters, are wanted, and we wish to send them now, in the forepart of the season. If we will do this, and we can if we have a mind to, I suppose that in two or three weeks after they arrive there, the blast furnace can be kept running for several months, or until they are obliged to stop in consequence of the deficiency of water. There is a large stream of water there, but it is a singular stream, sometimes it will sweep across the flat, carrying down rocks that would weigh perhaps twenty or thirty tons, and appear as though it would sweep everything before it; and when the cold weather comes, and you would naturally think that you were going to have water to turn a mill wheel, or to create the blast for the furnace, and every use for which it might be needed, in one freezing night it will perfectly close up, insomuch that there will not be enough to water a horse.

That is a singular feature, but it is the way it operates. The brethren are now making an engine, so that they can continue their blast through the winter. If any are disposed to forward this work, I call upon them to lend their aid, to send the men and teams, and we can have the iron.

The distance from here to the iron works is about 290 miles. This should not deter us from bringing iron from there, though it could be quicker come at if iron works were established at San Pete, which is not much over 100 miles from here. I have this to say, if any of the brethren feel disposed (as the grasshoppers have taken their crops, and they have not much to do) to go there, I think it would be a good course to pursue. There is plenty of grain there; I could have bought wheat, I do not know but thousands of bushels, at a dollar per bushel; but as sure as you send men there, it will be raised to three dollars; that is incorrect policy, and, as Jesus said, the children of this world are wiser than the children of light.

I have asked this people not to sell their grain, but to preserve it to a day of need, but sell it they would. I have then said, “Will you sell it for a dollar and a quarter per bushel, and let that be the standing price?” “No, we will have two dollars per bushel for it.” I then said, “Well, brethren, will you keep it at two dollars, and not sell it to Gentiles cheaper than that?” “No, I will not, but I will have no more than a dollar and a quarter of a Gentile.” This is a great mistake in the dealings of the people one with another.

I will bring my remarks to a close on this subject. I have had a very pleasant ride through the southern settlements, and in a much shorter time than usual; this was due to the good weather, and the improvements in the roads. We had very pleasant weather, and a very good time. We started from Parowan, which is two hundred and fifty-one miles from here, on the morning of the 22nd, traveled thirty-seven miles and turned out our animals. They, however, would not graze, but went to playing, and the brethren said, “Let us drive further next day.” We drove fifty miles next day, and on the day following sixty; yesterday I took supper in Springville, and took breakfast today in Great Salt Lake City, distance sixty miles from Springville. We camped out as much as possible, which was good for our health.

If the people should conclude to take short excursions with their families, except the smallest children, it would be much to their comfort, and would cheer them up, and I really have some idea of adopting the plan. Though you know what they say about me in the east; should I take my ninety wives and their children, with carriages and wagons enough to convey them, it would make such a vacuum here, and so many others would wish to go, that there would be no Salt Lake City. I think I will take a few of them, but I dare not take the whole, for if I did they would then know how many wives I have got, and that would not do.

I have visited the different settlements many times, and have invited everybody to go. I now give a standing invitation again; I wish everybody to go that can go without interfering with their business at home. I invite everybody. I am soon going north to explore in the mountains, and I invite you to go. Take your wives, but not your babies, unless you take a cradle along to keep them quiet.

The outdoor air is what the people need for health, it is good for them to camp out. Close houses are injurious to the health; if our houses were every one of them leveled to the ground, and we were obliged to live in our wagons and tents, the people would be healthier, from year to year, than they are now. Good houses are comfortable and very convenient, and please our feelings, and are tolerably healthful when properly ventilated. Let us do as Brother Kimball recommends, that is, if we cannot raise grain, raise houses, and build the best houses we can think of. If you are going to do a good deed, do as good a one as you can think of. If you wish to build a house, build as good a one as you can imagine. Some men have not faith to do this. As to means, they have it in their own arm, in their bones and sinews. A great many think and say that they cannot do it: you know cannot never did accomplish much in this world. I never require five dollars to begin to build a house worth five thousand. I do not know that I ever had that much to begin to build with, and I have built a great many houses, both for myself and for others. I have never built two houses alike, and I do not expect to in time or eternity, but I mean to improve every time I begin. Build the best houses you can imagine; and above all things else let this people be faithful to their God and their religion, keep their vows and covenants, and walk humbly before Him, that we may receive the blessings we anticipate, which may God grant, for Christ’s sake. Amen.

Ordaining Young Men to Office—The Word of Wisdom—Union

A Discourse by Elder George A. Smith, Delivered in the Bowery, Great Salt Lake City, April 8, 1855.

As I arise I am cautioned by President Kimball to be careful that my hair does not blow off; I shall exercise as much care and caution as possible on the subject; but if it should actually come off, I have very few friends here today in this numerous audience but what know very well how my head looks perfectly bare, and consequently I should not feel as though I was subject to any particular disgrace, while I can enjoy the comfort of sitting in the congregation without having my head tied up in a handkerchief, or suffering with a cold.

I feel a little sorry this morning that our meetinghouse is so small; really it seems too bad that we have not a little more room, but it fulfills very clearly the early predictions of the first President of the Church (Joseph Smith), that we may build as many houses as we would, and we should never get one big enough to hold the Saints; and I presume, before this immense Bowery is absolutely enclosed, and comfortably seated, that we shall find it too small to accommodate those who wish to attend here on the Sabbath day, or on any important occasion.

In rising to speak to so vast an assembly, I am reminded of the old rupture of my lungs, which was made while preaching in the streets of London to scattered assemblies, to persons in the courts, in the squares, in the windows of buildings four and five stories high, and on different sides of the streets, in the midst of a foggy, smoky, damp atmosphere. It is a rupture which caused my lungs to bleed, and which has been a constant caution and effectual check to my course in life, requiring me to keep within a certain limit, with, however, this condition, that, live or die, or whatsoever might be in the road, the Gospel of Jesus Christ I would preach, and the testimony of the fulness of the Gospel of the Lord to the Saints in the last days I would bear, wherever and whenever I had the opportunity, backed with a faith in me that I would have power and health to do this; at the same time any kind of exercise, that would heat my blood for one half hour, would produce considerable bleeding from the lungs, and yet by the aid of your faith I undertake to address this immense audience, with full confidence that I shall succeed so that a great portion will hear me, and by the stillness of the balance I may be enabled to make them all hear me, though it requires a great effort for even a man with sound lungs to make ten thousand persons hear him speak distinctly.

I have been a member of this Church from my childhood: I commenced to advocate the Book of Mormon when only thirteen years of age. The second day after I got hold of it I read it nearly through. News flew round the neighborhood that the “golden bible” had come, and a large company of neighbors came in to see the book; they commenced to examine and find fault with it, and I to ans wer their objections, as I thought they looked so unreasonable; although I had not made my mind up on the subject, yet I tried to remove their objections; the result was, the whole company went away confounded, leaving me surprised that they could not raise any stronger objections against it; and from that day to this I have not let any proper occasion slip that presented to me an opportunity of defending the mission of Joseph Smith, and the Book of Mormon, to the very best of my ability. It may be said of me that I never knew anything else but “Mormonism,” yet I have found that some of the traditions of my early education (as I was piously educated at the Sunday school in the doctrine and principles of Presbyterianism)—some of these principles which I received in my youth have clung to me so closely that I have had to stop at times and reflect whether I had learned that from the proper source, or whether it was part of my old catechism, which I must confess I have forgotten.

I introduce these remarks as a preface to my discourse, because I have been pleased by the remarks of the First Presidency, especially by those of President Brigham Young, on the subject of the appointment of Bishops; he wishes to appoint those who have grown up in the Church, who have not lived a great portion of their days under the influence of sectarian traditions of their fathers, and been subject to the slavish notions of cast-iron creeds, that when they entered into this Church, they were so bound in them, they never could be unbound, and that even now in performing the duties of their callings they do not learn enough of the things of God to in every instance discriminate between the two. I had discovered in a number of instances that appointments of this kind to different offices did not work well; and that when men who are not very old when they come into the Church, all they have learned is the truth, and are not under the necessity of unlearning what they might have learned in twenty, forty, or fifty years, of old tenets, creeds, doctrines, and nonsense, but have taken a start from the right foundation, and what they did learn have learned it right.

I thought I would take the liberty of addressing the younger brethren, as a great portion of this congregation are what might be termed in the States, Young America, if you please, or among us, “Young Mormons,” those who have been raised in the midst of persecutions, and the instructions the Saints have enjoyed. President Young, in the course of his remarks, introduces the subject of the divisions that exist in New York politics; for instance, it is customary in the political circles of New York, and has extended from that capital throughout the Union, to denominate men that have become somewhat superannuated in their veins, or have got the old-fashioned slow motion about them, “old fogies.” For instance, there are but few of us but what can remember when railroads were first introduced into the United States. It is not difficult for old men to remember when the first steamboat was built, or when the first telegraph wire was put in operation; and it is properly denominated the “fast age.” Men who have got the old principles of locomotion—that cannot accommodate their feelings to the great improvements of the fast age—that have got their education on the slow track, and are determined to follow it, it would be better for them to stand aside, and clear the track for the telegraph speed of the present generation just rising up on their heels.

I was pleased with the resolution, as far as it was necessary to apply it; but there are a great many men of the most mature age, who were at a mature age when they received this Gospel, that never had imbibed scarcely any sectarian prejudices; and those that they had got, when they discovered they were of little use, they have cast them behind the lighthouse, and let them go with the waves. There are others who have stood in the stream of light until every single particle of the old imperfections and old prejudices that could possibly have adhered to them, have been carried away; the light of the Spirit has showered upon them so brilliantly that all of us who were younger when we entered the work, were instructed, taught, and made acquainted with the things of God, through the wisdom and light which God has given them.

Mankind is capable of a great many extravagances; we very well remember the time when a very zealous man named Hawley, arraigned Joseph Smith before Bishop’s counsel in Kirtland, and charged him with having forfeited his office as a Prophet of God, because he had not prohibited the aged sisters from wearing caps. I attended the Council, which was held very late, and the man there advocated that he was cut off from the Church, for God had cut him off from the Church, as well as from his Apostleship, because he had suffered the men to wear little cushions on the shoulders of their coat sleeves. It being then fashionable to wear a little cotton on the shoulders, and in consequence of some of the brethren wearing such coats, the Prophet of God was cut off from the Church by this man, and persecuted as an impostor, and another was placed in his stead.

That man was possessed of such wisdom as man could reasonably manifest, yet he was so perfectly full of folly and of his own traditions and notions he had fancied over in his own head, that seemingly it was im possible for him to understand anything better; he was blinded, and lifted his hand against the Prophet of God. Instances of this kind have been continually accumulating, and it is one of the most perfect illustrations of the sayings of the Prophet, that He would sift His people as with a sieve. It has been a constant sifting from the time we entered the Church up to the present; some would compel it, while in others none of the old prejudices have predominated; and so it has continued until twenty-five years have passed away, and until a great number of persons have risen up who have not the prejudices of their fathers to contend with, and if they will humble themselves with all their might, knowledge, and intelligence, power will grow in them, and they will approximate nearer to the things of God, to get more light, more knowledge, more intelligence, more faith, and more power to spread forth the work of God, and to roll forth the kingdom their fathers have been able to obtain.

It is an old proverb, that as the old birds crow the young ones learn. There are a great many habits, a great many customs which our fathers have imbibed, and which their children have been induced more or less to practice, which are decidedly in opposition to the true principles of life and prosperity; now for us who are young, we are full of life and vigor, to think, because our fathers or mothers indulged in a good cup of tea, or cup of coffee, and a hundred other different luxuries which are at variance with the Word of Wisdom, that we must follow the same track, pursue the same course, and not only ourselves become slaves to the same habits, but transmit them to our posterity, and continue them, that we may preserve the old Gentile customs which have been established under a system of tactics that have been introduced by medical men, to injure the health of the community and to make for themselves a growing business! I do not believe in the constant use of tobacco and hot drinks, although they have been for a long time steadily recommended by men in the medical profession as beneficial to health; I believe that learned doctors do know, when they are doing so, they are introducing a system of things to make men sick throughout their lives, weaken the human race, and make business for medical practitioners. If men wish to grow up in these mountains, free from disease, and from the power of the destroyer, and become strong and powerful like tigers—like giants in Israel, let them observe the principles laid down in the words of wisdom, let them observe them when they are children, let them grow up breathing a pure atmosphere, drinking pure water, and partaking of the wholesome vegetation, observing the words of wisdom, and they will grow up mighty men; one of them will be worth five dozen of those who are steeped and boiled by hot drinks, and tanned in tobacco juice.

While I address you, brethren, upon this subject, I speak more from observation of the conduct of others than from my own experience; I have observed considerable upon this matter; I know that indulging in habits of this kind, however simple they may seem, they lead in the end to great evil, and I know from experience that our tastes are in a great measure artificial. Now when a “Mormon” Elder comes up to me, and wants to get a little counsel, and his breath smells as though he had swallowed a stillhouse, it is all I can possibly do to remain near enough to him to hear his story; he necessarily wishes to come up close to me, as such men are sure to have a secret they wish to whisper, and their breath is so offensive, I am forced to retire. When I am called upon to give counsel to a man who is indulging in these intemperate practices, I feel at a loss to know whether my counsel is going to do him good or harm, or whether he will pay any attention to it after he gets it.

I know that many men have persisted in the use of these stimulating articles until they cannot do without them, or they think they cannot. Perhaps sometimes when they have been reduced by sickness or fatigue, they have then been under the necessity of taking some of these things as a medicine to revive sinking nature, and this was probably when they first began to practice the use of them, and laid the foundation for a short life. They now wish me to prolong their days, like the old toper who had undermined his constitution, and who was about to die in consequence of drinking a quart of brandy a day; he sent for the doctor; he, being anxious to preserve the life of his patient, dared not stop the use of brandy entirely, nor yet suffer the inebriate to persist in his usual course, ordered his patient three glasses of French brandy with loaf sugar per day, upon which the old toper shrugged his shoulders and said, “Doctor, aint it bad to take?” In introducing the use of things injurious to our health, when we commence it, it is not so pleasant; perhaps in a fit of sickness, prostrated by the ague, cut down by disease, we will indulge in these kinds of habits, until by and by a taste is formed for them, and we feel that we really must have our tea or our coffee; a glass of liquor does us good occasionally. How often does “occasionally” come? “O, once in a while.” How often is that? “Why, every now and then.” And it gets so, by and by, if a man has addicted himself to it and don’t have it, he feels quite lonely, he feels lost, as though there was something wrong about him, and he be comes such a perfect slave to it, he cannot exercise his talents or his ingenuity. I have seen distinguished members of the bar with whom it was absolutely necessary they should take a drink of spirits in the middle of a plea, to brighten their ideas; the result is, it will bring a man to a premature grave.

I say to Young America, brethren and sisters, if we have imbibed such habits, let us lay them off; let us suffer our fathers and mothers to drink the tea and the coffee, and chew all the tobacco they want, and as long as we can get it for them, because they have imbibed this practice years ago, and now to deprive them of these things altogether might endanger their lives; but when it comes to us, who have not been believers in the doctrine, let us take these things as we would calomel, opium, arsenic, lobelia, corrosive sublimate, or any other drugs which are so much valued among physicians. Now if a man really felt as if he were dying, and was anxious to hurry himself away, a dose of strychnine might assist him. Now anything that a man takes that stimulates his nerves above their proper mode of action when he is in health, his system will fall in the same proportion below a healthy action, and it will require a little more the next time to stimulate it to the same height, and so on, until the system refuses to be stimulated, and the person will suddenly fall into the grave. So much, then, will answer for my remarks upon this subject.

I believe, brethren, many of us have accustomed ourselves to using articles prohibited in the Word of Wisdom, which prohibition is desired for the benefit of the Saints in Zion, and in all the world; we frequently use them merely out of compliment. For instance, I call in a brother’s house, the lady of the house knows I am an Apostle, and she wishes to treat me with marked respect, and she supposes I am entirely unmindful of the precepts contained in the Word of Wisdom, makes me a cup of tea or coffee; well, I think it is a pity to throw it away, after it has spoiled half a gallon of the best American creek water, and I drink it to save it. This is not only the case with me, but with other young men also (for I can call myself a young man with a perfect grace now, for I have as fine a head of hair as any of you); a great many of us take these stimulating drinks for the sake of fashion. If I should happen to come across those who know how to use “the good crater,” they will invite me to partake with them; if I refuse, they will then begin to urge; but the best policy to be observed in cases of this kind is to do as we have a mind to; if we do not want “the intoxicating drink,” let them take it all; and if we do, we will take it without urging, and bear the responsibility ourselves. This is the best policy I would wish to be governed by, though I have had to say, once or twice in my life, “Gentlemen, I do not wish to be urged.” If a man refuses to drink with those who indulge in the use of strong drinks, it is customary to consider it a want of friendship. Let us be our own masters, and not believe we must be chained down to these foolish and hurtful traditions.

It has happened to be my lot to visit a good many of the Branches; a great portion of the time that I have been in this Church, I have spent in traveling. Last year, in performing the duties of historian, when I found that constant application to these duties became severe on my health, I would go out in the neighboring settlements and preach to the people, and stir them up to diligence and obedience; in this way I have had a good opportunity to observe the feelings and sentiments of the people, which operate upon the hearts of the Saints in the different settlements of these valleys.

The view that I wish to take on this subject is, that there is in many of the settlements a want of union. For instance, they will get together in a meeting, and conclude that they will have a certain man for a President, or for a Bishop, they will all agree to it, then some few individuals will go back into a corner and say, “Well, brother, don’t you think that such a man would have made a great deal the best President?” And whenever the President steps forward to introduce a measure, the next thing he would come across would be, two or three of the brethren will kindly say to one another, “I, for one, don’t like that measure.” You understand the simple lever power, the most simple of all mechanical principles; you know that I can take a lever, and by getting a first-rate good purchase, I can hold as much as twenty men can roll; the result is, if I cannot have it my way, I might by that means prevent the President from having it his way. I am more intimate with the City of Provo; its population I do not now exactly recollect, but it is probably about three thousand five hundred; its locality is one of the best in the mountains, from the fact that the position is in the midst of a heavy amount of water power, which can be easily applied to machinery to the best possible advantage; it is also surrounded with the best farming land, with an abundant means of irrigation by the application of a very little labor, and the facilities for timber are a great deal more convenient than in other places, referring especially to this Territory. Provo is also the County Seat of Utah County, gathering to its center a great amount of county business, at any rate such a portion of it as pertains to keeping of records, which makes it a kind of general place of resort for men from every part of the county, who wish to do business of this kind.

I give you this description to show you that they have every facility to make it one of the handsomest and most wealthy cities, according to the number of its inhabitants; they have a rich soil as well as an abundance of water and mill privileges; and yet, for want of union in the feelings of that community, the place has been a great portion of the time at a kind of drag, the progress of the place has been slow; for when any measure would be presented, a few individuals would use their influence to check the wheel. The fact is, if they were not disposed to roll the load over, they could clog the wheels and hinder in a great measure its progress.

That has been the difficulty which has existed in that place, and in other places, and it has had the effect of retarding the progress of the place in wealth, in prosperity, in public buildings, schools, roads, bridges, and other improvements, in private interests, and in farming facilities. To any man who has an idea of what men can accomplish, this arrangement is positively obnoxious; it seems as a clear illustration of the necessity of Saints being united. There is a city in Utah County, by the name of Springville; in consequence of a little division which has arisen there occasionally, they have been prevented, for several years, from building anything like a reasonable amount of schoolhouses, compared with the number of its inhabitants; there are individuals there who have been all the time blocking the wheels, and by that means they hinder the onward progress of the whole community in their labor of public improvements.

Now, brethren, almost all the difficulties that have been brought on the Saints from the beginning, were in the first place in consequence of this kind of division. There is nothing we ought to guard against so much, on the face of the earth, as against division of this kind, or any other kind. It is an old adage that “union is strength,” and a very true one. An old Scythian king, who had many sons, on his death bed called them around him, and some of them suggested to him the propriety of his dividing his dominions among all his sons. He took a bundle of arrows, and gave them to his sons, saying, “Break that bundle of arrows.” They passed the arrows round and all tried to break them, as the old man lay upon his death bed, and they could not. He then said, “Now untie them, and then break them;” which was easily done. He then said to his sons, “If you are all united as one man, you can never be overpowered or destroyed, but if you divide you will be easily conquered.” We can now behold the result in the Russian Empire. This principle applies to the Saints, and to every principle of division that sticks out in any Branch of the Church; hang together, and love, and faithfully carry out the measures of those who preside, for they know the best what measures to adopt.

The principle of division aims directly at the foundation of the Church. “But,” say some, “I am nobody, and if I stick out I cannot do much hurt anyhow.” You can do a little, you can do all the hurt you are able to do; and the little influence you have, if it counts in any way, it should count in favor of the common cause, and not against it; if it counts in its favor, it counts twice. My exertions would count for what they are worth; not only this, but if I was operating against the cause, it would take one of equal capacity of myself to balance against me.

The time is coming when one shall chase a thousand, and two shall put ten thousand to flight. When will that be? When Israel is united. If all this people were absolutely united with all their hearts to pull upon one grand thread, upon one grand cord, they would have power and dominion over the whole earth; all the men and devils in hell, on the earth, or anywhere else could not make a successful opposition against us. The chief point we have got to maintain is the point of union; that is all that is necessary to be done to secure all we anticipate. That is what we have been schooled for in the schoolhouse of trouble and affliction.

It is hard to make the Saints united, and we have to be sifted and sifted until we are perfectly united, that every man in the kingdom will be united as one man, and then no power can break our ranks. Talk about the power of men, only let the Saints be united, and their power vanishes away; it becomes weakness. But how is it? How is it in families? How many men are there that can take their families, and gather round the family altar, and all of them bow before the Lord without a jar of feeling, with one perfect unity, every one willing to submit with the most perfect submission to the will of the Lord, as clay in the hands of the potter? How many families, I say, are there in Israel where this union exists in this style, in all its purity and power? How many men would be permitted to rear a family altar of this kind even in his own house? How many wards can we find in all Israel that could unite so that they would not find a single word of fault with each other, or grumble at the Bishop? The only way we can ever obtain this point is to look at our own faults and not at our neighbors’, and listen to the counsel of those men whom God sets to counsel us; correct the errors in ourselves, and dwell on our own faults.

I recollect once in Iron County one of the brethren got irritated at me, and threatened to report my conduct to the First President; I wanted to know what I had done, and he went on and gave a whole list of my sins for six months past, he seemed to be as well acquainted with them as though he had counted them over every day after his prayers, as the Catholic counts his beads. One sin was, I had threatened to beat a teamster if he did not stop abusing his oxen, and a great many more such like. After he had read all my sins over at once, the list rather shocked me, but I suspected, instead of counting his own faults, and keeping a record of them, he had been at work to keep a record of mine; instead of living to correct his own faults, he was trying to correct my errors.

When he got through, I said if he reported me to the Presidency, they would correct my faults, and that would do me good. I was ready to make all due acknowledgment, and was prepared to receive reproof with a thankful heart, whenever it was necessary, for all my faults; at the same time I really did feel as though he had dwelt more upon my faults than his own; he subsequently acknowledged that was the fact, and I consequently escaped being brought before the Presidency. I always did feel, when I saw a man abusing his oxen, who could not defend themselves, to lay the whip about his back, and I have once or twice come very near trying the operation. I believe every man in Israel is responsible as to how he uses his cattle; I can speak with perfect safety on this subject, for I am not possessed of cattle so as to have any person criticize me; a great proportion of animals that are used among men on the California and Oregon roads are abused in a shameful manner, and thousands have been killed with the Missouri whip; I never believed it was right, and when I had the control of moving a camp, I used a little extra exertion to prevent it.

Now, brethren, I want every one of you to let these principles sink deep in your hearts, that we may cultivate a principle of union, and look first at ourselves, reckon first with ourselves, and dwell upon our own faults, instead of dwelling upon the faults of others. We have to know for ourselves, and every wrong another person may do, it is no excuse for me: and I tell you that every man who raises his hand in the Branches, among the wards, or wherever he may be, to injure and destroy the counsel and instructions given to them, and operate in opposition to those instructions, will fall into a snare; and I do absolutely know, that if the Saints in the settlements, especially in the South, had listened to the counsel of the Presidency in the foundation of those settlements, instead of the Church property ranging at a value of seven or eight hundred thousand dollars, it might have increased to as many millions just as well, if the brethren had listened with one spirit to the counsels and instructions given them from the head which God has appointed to lead and direct us.

But no, some of us thought they had a better plan, and there were as many plans as men, and never found out their mistake till the Indian war set in. We have got along, by the mercy of God, and by His blessings, as well as we have, learning by the things which we suffer, and we all ought to continually thank Him for it, and not our own wisdom. With these remarks I will close by bearing my testimony that this is the work of God, and these men are His servants, and God has placed in His Church a Prophet, Priest, and President, who is just as good and as wise a man as we are capable of keeping in our society; if he was any better than he is, God would have to take him, or we would have to improve with the rapidity of lightning to keep up with him. Joseph Smith was a true Prophet, and that which he has conferred upon this peo ple is a true Priesthood, and if you listen to the instructions and be led by the keys of this kingdom, you are in the path to an eternal exaltation, and we shall overcome every power that would seek to prevail against us. Let us be as one, and we can never be broken. May God preserve us in the light and law of Christ, that we may be redeemed. Amen.

Preaching and Testimony—Gathering Israel—The Blood of Israel and the Gentiles—The Science of Life

A Discourse by President Brigham Young, Delivered in the Tabernacle, Great Salt Lake City, April 8, 1855.

It is nearly time to draw our meeting to a close, and I think we had better adjourn our Conference to the sixth of next October, as the business now necessary to be done is accomplished; and I find that we are very much crowded in this Tabernacle, and on this account the congregation is rather uncomfortable.

There has been much said, though for one I can say that we have not preached to the assembled thousands one fourth part as much as we could have wished. But we have been privileged to meet from distant points, and see each other, and hear, learn, and receive spiritual strength.

A few of the brethren have spoken, but there has not been a lengthy discourse delivered since we have been together; and if we were to continue in Conference a whole week, we could give opportunity to but comparatively few of the Elders who would like to speak, even though we allotted only fifteen, twenty, thirty, forty, or forty-five minutes to each speaker.

I realize that the hearts of many are full, and they would like to rise up and testify, and say that they believe the Book of Mormon, and that Joseph Smith was a Prophet, just as well as the few who have spoken. You are aware that you have this privilege in your several Wards, and any of the Elders of Israel who wish to bear their testimony to the truth of the Gospel, and have not had the privilege in this Conference, can go to the Ward meetings and rise up and bear testimony of the truth, and exhort the brethren. And if you have a word of counsel, or a word of doctrine, give it to the people, and do not be backward, but improve every opportunity that is presented for you to expand your minds.

A man who wishes to receive light and knowledge, to increase in the faith of the Holy Gospel, and to grow in the knowledge of the truth as it is in Jesus Christ, will find that when he imparts knowledge to others he will also grow and increase. Be not miserly in your feelings, but get knowledge and understanding by freely imparting it to others, and be not like a man who selfishly hoards his gold; for that man will not thus increase upon the amount, but will become contracted in his views and feelings. So the man who will not impart freely of the knowledge he has received, will become so contracted in his mind that he cannot receive truth when it is presented to him. Wherever you see an opportunity to do good, do it, for that is the way to increase and grow in the knowledge of the truth.

I expect the brethren who have been selected to go and preach the Gospel will meet this evening in the Seventies’ Hall, and the Twelve will meet with them, and the missionaries will there receive some instructions. I will give them one item of instruction now. I wish each man, who does not feel willing to seek unto the Lord his God, with all his heart, for preparation to magnify his mission and calling, but declines in his feelings to walk up to his duty in spirit, and is not anxious to cleave to righteousness and forsake iniquity, to keep away from the Hall this evening; or, if such a one comes there, let him ask us at once to be excused, and we will excuse him. We do not wish a man to enter on a mission, unless his soul is in it. Some of the brethren will say—“I do not know whether my feelings are upon my mission, or not, but I will do the best I can.” That is all we ask of you. I have known some of the Elders, when they thought they would be called out to preach, keep away from meeting lest they should be called upon, for they feel their littleness, their nothingness, their inability to rise up and preach to the people. They do not feel that they are anybody, and why should they expose their weaknesses? I have noticed one thing in regard to this—quite as many of these men become giants in the cause of truth, as there is of any other class; for when they get away they begin to lean on the Lord, and to seek unto Him, and feeling their weaknesses, they ask Him to give them wisdom to speak to the people as occasion may require. Others can rise up here and preach a flaming discourse, insomuch that you would think they were going to tear down the nations; but when they go out into the world they often accomplish but little.

You used to hear brother Joseph tell about this people being crowded into the little end of the horn, and if they kept straight ahead they were sure to come out at the big end. It is so with some Elders who go on missions; while many who go into the big end of the horn, and are so full of fancied intelligence, preaching, counsel, knowledge, and power, when they go out into the world, either have to turn around and come back, or be crowded out at the little end of the horn.

On the other hand I do not wish any of the brethren to be discouraged, for if you feel that you cannot say a single word, no matter, if you will only be faithful to your God and to your religion, and be humble, and cleave unto righteousness, and forsake iniquity and sin, the Lord will guide you and give you words in due season.

Recollect that we are now calling upon the Elders to go and gather up Israel; this is the mission that is given to us. It was the first mission given to the Elders in the days of Joseph. The set time is come for God to gather Israel, and for His work to commence upon the face of the whole earth, and the Elders who have arisen in this Church and Kingdom are actually of Israel. Take the Elders who are now in this house, and you can scarcely find one out of a hundred but what is of the house of Israel. It has been remarked that the Gentiles have been cut off, and I doubt whether another Gentile ever comes into this Church.

Will we go to the Gentile nations to preach the Gospel? Yes, and gather out the Israelites, wherever they are mixed among the nations of the earth. What part or portion of them? The same part or portion that redeemed the house of Jacob, and saved them from perishing with famine in Egypt. When Jacob blessed the two sons of Joseph, “guiding his hands wittingly,” he placed his right hand upon Ephraim, “and he blessed Joseph, and said, God, before whom my fathers Abraham and Isaac did walk, the God which fed me all my life long unto this day. The Angel which redeemed me from all evil, bless the lads,” etc. Joseph was about to remove the old man’s hands, and bringing his right hand upon the head of the oldest boy, saying—“Not so, my father: for this is the firstborn; put thy right hand upon his head. And his father refused, and said, I know it, my son, I know it: he also shall become a people, and he also shall be great: but truly his younger brother shall be greater than he, and his seed shall become a multitude of nations.” Ephraim has become mixed with all the nations of the earth, and it is Ephraim that is gathering together.

It is Ephraim that I have been searching for all the days of my preaching, and that is the blood which ran in my veins when I embraced the Gospel. If there are any of the other tribes of Israel mixed with the Gentiles we are also searching for them. Though the Gentiles are cut off, do not suppose that we are not going to preach the Gospel among the Gentile nations, for they are mingled with the house of Israel, and when we send to the nations we do not seek for the Gentiles, because they are disobedient and rebellious. We want the blood of Jacob, and that of his father Isaac and Abraham, which runs in the veins of the people. There is a particle of it here, and another there, blessing the nations as predicted.

Take a family of ten children, for instance, and you may find nine of them purely of the Gentile stock, and one son or one daughter in that family who is purely of the blood of Ephraim. It was in the veins of the father or mother, and was reproduced in the son or daughter, while all the rest of the family are Gentiles. You may think that is singular, but it is true. It is the house of Israel we are after, and we care not whether they come from the east, the west, the north, or the south; from China, Russia, England, California, North or South America, or some other locality; and it is the very lad on whom father Jacob laid his hands, that will save the house of Israel. The Book of Mormon came to Ephraim, for Joseph Smith was a pure Ephraimite, and the Book of Mormon was revealed to him, and while he lived he made it his business to search for those who believed the Gospel.

Again, if a pure Gentile firmly believes the Gospel of Jesus Christ, and yields obedience to it, in such a case I will give you the words of the Prophet Joseph—“When the Lord pours out the Holy Ghost upon that individual he will have spasms, and you would think that he was going into fits.”

Joseph said that the Gentile blood was actually cleansed out of their veins, and the blood of Jacob made to circulate in them; and the revolution and change in the system were so great that it caused the beholder to think they were going into fits.

If any of the Gentiles will believe, we will lay our hands upon them that they may receive the Holy Ghost, and the Lord will make them of the house of Israel. They will be broken off from the wild olive tree, and be grafted into the good and tame olive tree, and will partake of its sap and fatness. If you take a bud and inoculate it into another tree it ceases to receive nourishment from its original stock; it must, however, receive nourishment, or it will die. Where must it receive its nourishment from? From the tree into which it has been introduced; it is supported by it, and becomes incorporated with it.

It is so with the House of Israel and the Gentile nations; if the Gentiles are grafted into the good olive tree they will partake of its root and fatness.

You understand who we are; we are of the House of Israel, of the royal seed, of the royal blood.

There are many subjects upon which I wish to speak, but there is not time now, though in regard to teachings pertaining to our temporal organization, I will take the liberty of saying a few words. Do not some of you have to send for doctors to draw your teeth, and lie night after night with a bag of hot ashes, or hot salt, on your faces, and say, “O dear, what a toothache I have got?” When your children wake up in the night, crying on account of a pain in their heads, do not some of you go to the doctors, to see what they can do for the little sufferers? Some of your children are afflicted with humors in the head, and blotches upon the body, and other ailments; and some of you have pains in various parts of your bodies.

The fathers and mothers have laid the foundation for many of these diseases, from generation to generation, until the people are reduced to their present condition. True, some live to from fifty to ninety years of age, but it is an unusual circumstance to see a man an hundred years old, or a woman ninety. The people have laid the foundation of short life through their diet, their rest, their labor, and their doing this, that, and the other in a wrong manner, with improper motives, and at improper times. I would be glad to instruct the people on these points, if they would hearken to me. I would be glad to tell mothers how to lay the foundation of health in their children, that they may be delivered from the diseases with which I am afflicted, and have been from my youth up.

Suppose I happen to say “Come, wife, let us have a good dinner today;” what does she get? Pork and beef boiled, stewed, roasted, and fried, potatoes, onions, cabbage, and turnips, custard, eggs, pies of all kinds, cheese, and sweetmeats. Now grant that I and my wife sit down and overload our stomachs, until we feel the deleterious effects of it from the crowns of our heads to the soles of our feet, the whole system is disturbed in its operations, and is ready to receive and impart disease. A child begotten under such a condition of the systems of its parents, is liable to be born with a tabernacle subject to a life of pain and distress.

Will all the women hearken to this plain statement? No, you might as well talk to the wild geese that fly over us.

Again, a little hot tea, coffee, or sling, is generally given to a babe as soon as it comes into the world, to quiet the nerves, and make it sleep better; and I have seen my own wives almost whip their little ones to make them drink liquor. When I happen to see them, I say, “Stop that, that is something you may very well dispense with; do not put a drop of liquor into that child’s mouth.”

Some mothers, when bearing children, long for tea and coffee, or for brandy and other strong drinks, and if they give way to that influence the next time they will want more, and the next still more, and thus lay the foundation for drunkenness in their offspring. An appetite is engendered, bred, and born in the child, and it is a miracle if it does not grow up a confirmed drunkard.

Now will you, my sisters who are before me, hearken to good, sound common sense and reason? Will you commence now, and lay the foundation for a healthy posterity? Will you say, “I am determined not to desire this thing, or that, which will be injurious, but I will pray, and ask my Father in heaven for grace according to my day, that I may not desire that which will lay the foundation of ruin to my offspring, and to my posterity for generations?” Or will you say, “Cannot I have a little tea, or a little whiskey?”

The satisfying of these desires lays the foundation of sickness, disease, and short life. But if anyone really desires a particular kind of food, or drink, and feels as though she could not do without it, let it be obtained, if possible; though it is far better to have faith to overcome such desires.

It is for us to stop the tide of physical degeneracy—to lay the foundation for a return to the position from which the human family has fallen. We have that privilege, by keeping ourselves pure. If we take the right course, our children will live longer than we shall, and their children will surpass their fathers, and have longer life, and so on, till they obtain to the age of those who lived in the early period of the world. The Prophet, speaking of the Saints in the last days, said, “For as the days of a tree are the days of my people, and mine elect shall long enjoy the work of their hands.” Still, in the present short period of life some say that “this is a miserable world, I do not care how soon I get through.” Well go and destroy yourselves, if you choose, you have all the opportunity that you can desire; there is plenty of arsenic, calomel, and other means, within your reach. But I would not give a cent for such persons; I do not delight in such characters, and I do not believe that the Lord delights in people who wish to die before they have accomplished the work that He designed for them to do. For a person to be willing to die is but a small part of the duties pertaining to the Gospel of salvation and the Gift of eternal life. We ought to prepare ourselves to live in the flesh, and overcome every sin, to live to the glory of God, to build up His kingdom, and to bring forth righteousness, salvation, and deliverance to the house of Israel, until the devil and his associates are driven from the earth, and he and his clan are bound and thrust down to hell, and a seal put upon them. Latter-day Saints who live merely to get ready to die are not worth much; rather get ready to live, and be prepared to live to the glory of your Father in heaven, and to do the work He has given you to do. That is our duty, and then we shall be ready to receive our blessings.

I do not wish to occupy any more time now, but if we had the time, as we shall have, and a house to hold all who wish to assemble, I am ready to come here every day, for I have nothing to do but to do good. At this time some may say, “My wheat is not all sown.” That does not affect my feelings. I will tell you an item of my experience with regard to raising grain. The last year we stayed in Nauvoo, I planted from ten to twelve acres of corn, and I never saw one day, from the time it was planted until it was harvested, in which to spend an hour amongst it. My teams were wanted at the Temple, and, said I, “Let the corn go.” If they had the teams ready to attend to the corn, the word was, “Go to the Temple,” and I do not suppose there was a greater crop of corn raised in all Hancock County. I said to the brethren who plowed and planted the land, “Paul plants and Apollos waters, and if God does not give the increase I can do without it.”

I have given the sisters a few words of advice, and wish the brethren to pay particular attention to what brother George A. Smith said this forenoon. If the “old fogies” take a little tobacco, a little whiskey, or a little tea and coffee, we wish you boys to let it alone, and let those have it who have long been accustomed to its use. It is far better for these my brethren, who are young and healthy, to avoid every injurious habit. There are a great many boys here who are in the habit of chewing tobacco, they should stop it, and take no more, they are better without it. Some may turn round and say, “Father, do you think so?” Yes, let the old folks have it, but you young, smart gentlemen, let it alone.

I bless you all, and feel to pray for you, and desire you to pray for me; and I believe that you do, as fervently as I could ask.

We have had a good Conference, though it has been a short one to me, and perhaps we may have a long meeting some of these days, and enjoy ourselves to the full extent of our understandings and patience.

The Word of Wisdom

An Address by Elder Ezra T. Benson, Delivered in the Bowery, Great Salt Lake City, April 8, 1855.

I feel to rejoice this morning in the remarks that I have heard, and I feel to bear testimony to the same, and also to all the instructions given during this Conference.

I feel that it is good to be here, and I can say that I have tried to appreciate the blessings we enjoy in common with my brethren. It is indeed a privilege to rise before an assembly of Saints in the Valleys of the Mountains, before those that are now so comfortably and favorably located in this place; and while brother George A. Smith was speaking upon the “Word of Wisdom,” there was a dream occurred to my mind that I heard related by one of the brethren a short time ago. He said there was a proclamation issued by the President of the Church of Jesus Christ, for the Elders of Israel to collect those together who had kept the commandments of God, for there was a work that the Lord had for them to perform. The people came together very slowly and reluctantly; once in a while a few would come along, but a leader oft was wanted, and perhaps an Elder would be seen coming up, but it seemed to be slow work collecting the people together. After a while there was another proclamation issued for the people to come together in masses, those that were true, and that were known to be trying to keep the commandments of God, and they then came up by thousands, by tens of thousands, and by hundreds of thousands. I felt that it was so this morning, that those that had been speaking had touched the right subject, and it was very good; and I felt that there would be very few in this vast congregation (if they were called out), who had kept the “Word of Wisdom;” if all such were called for, I am persuaded that there would be very few that would come forth, but if the word were, “Come forth, all ye Latter-day Saints that are trying to keep the Word of Wisdom,” I feel that there would be many that would come forth, and I believe I would be among that number that would be found trying to keep the Word of Wisdom.

When we first heard the revelation upon the Word of Wisdom many of us thought it consisted merely in our drinking tea and coffee, but it is not only using tea and coffee and our tobacco and whiskey, but it is every other evil which is calculated to contaminate this people. The Word of Wisdom implies to cease from adultery, to cease from all manner of excesses, and from all kinds of wickedness and abomination that are common amongst this generation—it is, strictly speaking, keeping the commandments of God, and living by every word that proceedeth from His mouth.

This is the way that I understand the Word of Wisdom, consequently we have to keep all the commandments, if I understand the matter correctly, in connection with this Word of Wisdom, in order to obtain the blessings, for unless we do keep the commandments of God, and not offend in any one point, we have not a full claim upon the blessings promised in connection with this portion of the word of the Lord.

The Lord says, in reference to these things mentioned in the Word of Wisdom, that they are not good for the body! I know that my brethren and sisters feel as I do, they have a desire to keep the Word of Wisdom, and know it is the wish of the Presidency that the Elders of Israel should preach upon the Word of Wisdom, and establish it in the minds of the people, and suffer not themselves from desire to be overcome by the habits of those among whom they travel to preach the Gospel, but be an example in all things.

I can say one thing which I am very thankful for, I never partook of an evil in my life because my brethren did, but I have always tried to act and live upon my own agency. If I have sinned, it has been through my own ignorance; if I go astray, it is because my mind and my nature are human.

I have ever felt determined to take a course to enjoy the Spirit of the Lord, and when He has left me to myself, and I have been tempted, I have always trusted in the Lord and endeavored to obey Him, and not to give way to the tempter; and I want this feeling to sink deep into the hearts of every man and woman calling themselves Latter-day Saints. And when I hear a word dropped by anyone that will tend to thwart the design of God’s holy word, why then I feel most indignant.

I wish to see men observe and teach the Word of Wisdom in their families, for to see men throw a bad influence upon the word of the Lord, I was going to say such a spirit is a stink in the nostrils of all righteous men.

Many of the Saints excuse themselves for chewing tobacco because others use it, but let us examine ourselves this morning, and see if such a course will be justifiable before our heavenly Father.

Where is the man that excuses himself on this account? I ask him—is it righteousness for him to excuse himself in order to free himself from blame? If it is not, let him repent, cease his excusations, and turn unto the Lord his God, and work righteousness all the days of his life, that he may be saved in the kingdom of heaven.

You know it as an old Methodist doctrine, that every tub has to stand upon its own bottom, and we will find that it is so before we get through; yet we will find, brethren and sisters, that it is for every man and woman to take a course to save themselves individually, obey counsel, observe all the revelations of Jesus Christ that shall be given to us as a people in this present age, whether by the dreams of the night, the visions of the day, or the revelations of God’s Holy Spirit, and to follow after righteousness, pursue the course marked out for the people of God, and then all will be well with us in this life, and also in that which is to come.

I feel to rejoice, and I thank my heavenly Father that we have escaped thus far the contaminating influences of the Gentiles, and I always do rejoice that our lives are prolonged upon the earth. I never attended a Conference in my life but I felt thankful to God that I had fellowship and a standing in the midst of this mighty people, and that I had some confidence before them and also the God whom we serve.

We are indeed a blessed people, prosperity attends us as a community, the wicked and even the very devils are prophesying the prosperity of this people, to say nothing about the predictions of the Latter-day Saints themselves. The great and influential amongst the nations are all the time speaking of the success and prosperity that attend this people, and their telling this is what stirs up the devil.

We are going to build a temple, we are now laying the foundation, and when it is completed we expect to receive our blessings, and do you think the devil knows this? Yes, he knows all about it, and he stirs up the wicked, and why does he do this? To hinder the people of God from obtaining the blessings they desire. (It then began to rain, and brother Benson remarked), Well, I can stand the rain if you can. Brethren and sisters, we are neither sugar nor salt, although we are a little of both. Give us your attention for a few moments, and we will dismiss till two o’clock.

May the Lord bless you, that your hearts may be comforted, and that you may listen to all the instructions that you have heard during this Conference; this is my determination. May God bless you through Christ our Redeemer. Amen.