Religious Worship a Natural and Universal Principle—Sincerity No Test of Truth—Priestly Authority, Etc.

A Discourse by Elder George A. Smith, Delivered in the Tabernacle, Great Salt Lake City, November 1, 1857.

Our Father who is in heaven has placed us in this world in the present generation, and has placed before us laws and principles by which we may obtain exaltation and celestial glory.

In the acquisition of any department of science, the laws thereof must be ascertained and the application properly made, or it is not in our power to become acquainted with its branches, so as to master it and realize the benefit of its effects. So, also, in entering into the kingdom of the Most High God, we enter by a door preparatory; and, to all those who have been traditioned in the false religions of the present age, this door seems to be but little understood.

I have watched the movements of persons coming into the Church of Christ from sectarian churches for many years, and I discover that they are almost entirely enveloped in a kind of cast-iron shell; and it is with the greatest of difficulty that they divest themselves of it—of their prejudices and traditions. It is the work of years; and although many come into this Church while young, without an extensive knowledge of sectarian principles, yet such is the force of tradition, even in them, that they have to stop, consider, and question whether principles are really true and received from a proper source, or whether they are false.

There is a feeling in the human breast to reverence something. We find it among the untutored savages; we find it among what are denominated the heathen nations—among those who are considered pagans, bowing down to worship images, the workmanship of their own hands.

I had the pleasure, while in the States, of being subject to the Sabbath-keeping rules of the railroad company. I wished very devoutly to have the privilege of spending my time with the Saints in Saint Louis: but, to avoid traveling on the Sabbath, the railroad decree had gone forth that we should not leave Chicago; so, on the Sabbath, I went to Saint Mary’s Cathedral for the purpose of hearing a Catholic discourse.

I was there gratified by hearing a very eloquent gentleman explain the reason why the paintings, crucifixion, and emblems of this kind are used in the Catholic churches. He said that it was not understood with them that a person bowing before a likeness or a picture of a saint did so with the intention of worshipping that saint or picture; but that the design was to inspire in the heart of the worshipper a disposition to emulate the virtuous deeds and good actions of that saint. Hence, said the orator, a portrait of the Virgin Mary, placed in a proper position where females, especially the young, can come before it and offer their adorations, inspires in their minds chaste and virtuous ideas, holy thoughts, pure principles, and ardent desires to live as perfectly, to be as humble, and to observe the laws of righteousness as fully as did the virgin whose picture they stand before.

I bring this up simply to illustrate the principle upon which the Catholics answer the objections raised by the Protestant world against the use of images, &c., in their churches, thus accusing them of idolatry.

There are reasons well known to every reader of history why pictures were introduced into the Catholic churches. Although they assign for this the reasons given by the eloquent gentleman in St. Mary’s Cathedral, Chicago; yet they were not originally used in the Catholic churches nor in any of the Christian churches previous to their becoming mixed with Romanism.

When it took its origin, the empire of Rome was both a religious and a political institution: its emperors and senators had attached to them sacred authority; and their religion embodied within it the power, perfection, and consolidated union of the pagan institutions of that age, which consisted in a series of systems of idolatry.

Hence, by order of the government, temples were dedicated particularly to their god of peace, to be opened in the time of peace and to be shut in the time of war; temples were also dedicated to the god of war, to be opened in time of war and closed in time of peace; for at certain times the gods of peace and plenty were to be invoked; at other times the god of war was to be courted.

The Christian religion silently advanced until it became a power to be courted by men who thirsted for dominion. When Constantine got possession of the throne, the empire had become to a considerable extent Christianized, and it became necessary to do something to consolidate the feelings of the whole. To destroy idols entirely would be taken with a bad grace by the higher order of the Roman people. In order to meet this difficulty, Constantine substituted pictures instead of idols. Instead of the statue of Minerva, he had the picture of the Virgin; instead of a temple dedicated to Jupiter, a church dedicated to St. Peter; instead of a statue of Apollo, a likeness of some of the Apostles, or of some saint or personage, imaginary or real; thus completely co-mingling the Christian religion with idolatry. Then men started up to assign reasons for this, and these reasons were presented in the eloquent style of the address I heard in St. Mary’s Cathedral.

Heathen and pagan idols are built for the same purpose. You ask the priest of a heathen temple if the real intent is to worship that stone or that image of gold, silver, brass, or iron, and he would tell you that it was only a representative of something—that you could not see the real god, and the image was introduced as a substitute.

Among the early inhabitants of the world who rejected the true religion, many began to pay their adoration to the sun, moon, stars, &c. These soon adopted personages that they considered would represent the objects of the adoration. Hence, we find Jupiter is represented as the king of gods, or as the god of thunder, more particularly—the thunder, representing his weapon, being the most powerful agent they had any idea of; and his image or statue was worshipped by the early inhabitants of the earth as the representative of that power. There was generally attached to these deities an idea of terror.

In studying the principles of mythology held by the Greeks, who are considered the most classical people of early ages, we discover that to almost everything they associated the idea of terror; hence, when a man passed from this world to the next, they considered it necessary to place a little change in his coffin to pay his passage across the river Styx. They had a personage named Charon, who, in their mythology, operated as ferryman; and the very moment the spirit of the dead crossed the river, it came in contact with a dog, Cerberus, with three heads, and, instead of hair, covered with snakes: that dog answered as watchman to keep the departed spirit from returning to the abodes of men.

The human imagination was tortured to bring up the most hideous pictures. In following these imaginations, they had a variety of detail; and in these we find that scarcely any two writers agree. The Greeks were about as united in the worship of their gods as the Christians are who profess to worship Jesus. They went in, however, for worshipping all the deities, and some of them to a great extreme.

For instance, go to Athens, in the day of its glory, as did the Apostle Paul, and you might see the statues of all the gods of the ancients; and, among the rest, an altar to the “unknown God.” There was a God they did not know; but they were determined to hit every case and be prepared to worship everybody, like the man in a storm at sea—it was good Lord and good Devil with him, for he knew not in whose hands he should fall: therefore, to be sure that they worshipped all, they set up an altar to the unknown God, that, if they should fall into his hands, they could claim that they had worshipped him; and that is about the sum and substance of the so-called Christian worship of the present age.

You may go into any society of people, almost, and ask them what they worship, and they would as soon tell you they worship the unknown God as not. You may take up their creeds, and they give it out that they worship a God that has neither body, parts, nor passions, and yet has three persons. Their ideas are so perfectly confused, and their knowledge so supremely ridiculous on this subject, as to make it clear to those enlightened by the Holy Ghost that they are entirely ignorant and totally in the dark on this matter. They must have made their creeds without thinking whether the words composing them had meaning or not.

When I was 18 years of age, I was sent on a mission preaching the Gospel. I called one Sabbath to see a friend of the Baptist persuasion. The old gentleman wanted I should go to the Baptist meeting with him. As I had no appointment until evening, I went with him. I had not been there a great while before he made an effort to have them let me preach. They, however, did not feel disposed. Their minister was gone, and one of the deacons got up and read an old-fashioned, close-communion, dry chip-and-porridge sermon; and besides the deacon being a miserable, poor reader, I was not very much interested.

When the meeting was dismissed, the deacon came up to me, and asked me where I lived. I told him; and I in return enquired of him what church that was. He said it was the Church of Christ. Said I, “What Apostle built it?”

“The Apostle Paul,” he replied.

I said I was not aware that Paul had been in this country preaching and building up churches.

“Well,” said he, “it was built up upon his doctrine.”

“Indeed,” said I: “what Apostle presides over it?”

“We don’t have any in these days.”

“Then it is not the Church of God.”

“Yes, it is,” said he; “Apostles and Prophets are done away.”

“Not so,” said I; and I drew out the New Testament and read, “God hath set in his church first Apostles,” &c. “Now,” said I, “the very fact of there not being Apostles and Prophets in your Church proves that it is not the Church of God; and I don’t want anything to do with it.”

Says he, “You are a strange fellow: I never thought of that before.”

I told him to read the Scriptures, and said, “You may forever read such sermons as you have been reading today, and they will keep you blind. Unless there is a principle in the organization of the Church inspired from the Almighty—unless there is an authority that is governed by the power of God and his Spirit, men might just as well worship dumb idols, the fancy gods of the ancient heathen, or the pictures of the Catholics, as to go to meeting or perform any other kind of worship. If you undertake to go to any place, you have got to take the right road: you must start right. If you start wrong, you are sure to come out wrong; and the further you go in a wrong direction, the further you are off the starting point.”

I have heard it said, in the course of my travels, that if persons think they are right, they are right—that if persons are only sincere, all will come out well. That may answer for people to talk about who know they are wrong, and are trying to carry themselves into the idea that it is just as well to be wrong as right. But if we wish to enter the kingdom of heaven, we have to enter by the door; for, says the Savior, “I am the door: by me, if any man enter in, he shall have life.”

But suppose you enter through somebody else; where has the idea originated that there is the least possible prospect of coming out right from starting wrong? Suppose a man should start to the States, but instead of that he makes his way into the Western desert, saying, “It don’t make any difference which way I go;” what would be the result? He would wander in the desert and perish. Suppose a man, in attempting to serve the Lord, by mistake should serve the Devil; is the Lord going to reward him for serving the Devil? Not at all.

When Joseph Smith commenced to proclaim to the world the truth, the way of life and salvation, in the manner he was inspired of the Lord to do, every religious denomination, Protestant, idolater, or what not, the moment they heard of it, commenced a dismal howl of, “False prophet! False teacher! Imposture! Deception!” &c. Why? Because there was a light directly from the Almighty; a man had come forth that taught in the name of the Lord; a personage bore testimony of the plan of salvation, that would actually overthrow, dissolve, use up, annihilate, and destroy everything that did not come from God.

“Well,” says the old priest, “if this goes abroad, what will be the result? The people will see the light, the true doctrine, and they will quit coming to my meeting and paying me for preaching; and I cannot grunt and groan over them and play the hypocrite with them any longer; and I shall have to go and get an honest living: I will therefore stir up the people to kill and destroy the man.”

This was the spirit and design of every one over whom the spirit of the Devil had dominion. The very instant the first message of truth began to be proclaimed to the children of men, all the devils in hell and all the devils on earth and the spirits of demons were stirred up, and went to work at once to frustrate, destroy, and overthrow this work.

“Where did you get your authority?” say they.

By the inspiration of the Almighty the holy Priesthood was conferred, and we were ordained to the Apostleship and Priesthood to go forth and preach to you the plan of salvation. Where did you get your authority?

“It came down from the ancient Apostles, through the Church of Rome, and by the way of the Waldenses,” says the Baptist, or by the way of the Reformers.

But were not those reformers expelled by the Church of Rome?


If they, then, had their authority from the Church of Rome, that Church must have had the power also to divest them of that authority. If we admit that the Romish Church had this power and authority, we must go back there to find it; and if we take that testimony, it proves that all the reformers have no authority.

The Baptists attempt to show that their authority came through Waldo. Who was this Waldo? He was a merchant, and hired a man to translate for him the four books of the Gospel. He went to preaching without any inspiration, revelation, or light from heaven: he had only the light which he could discern from the translation made by an excommunicated monk. He was zealous and doubtless honest in his intentions, but without the inspiration of the Holy Ghost, Priesthood, or authority from God.

Now, as I said before, if you start wrong, you will be wrong all the way. Without a messenger from God, without the revelation of the Most High, it is all folly and useless to attempt to follow the Savior. It is written, “If any man lack wisdom, let him ask of God, who giveth liberally and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him.”

The Savior said, “If any man will be my disciple, let him take up his cross, and follow me.” You may follow all the men and devils in the world; but, unless you follow Christ, you cannot be his disciple; and the more men and devils you follow, the worse you are off.

When we talk about following Christ, we hear it said that we should believe in him with all our hearts, repent of our sins, and be baptized for the remission of them. Before the Savior commenced his mission on the earth, he went to Jordan to be baptized, that he might set an example for us to follow. Take any other track, and you go wrong. The right track is the only plan, the only design, and the only intention that can bring us to the enjoyment of salvation; and it is not only in starting right that salvation depends, but when we start it is necessary to continue to the end.

Now, it is plain and reasonable to me why it is that the nations of the earth seek to destroy the Saints. They pretend that the Bible is their platform, and it condemns them on every page, both their doctrines and practices. In order to maintain their false systems, they have created a kind of aristocracy, called Priesthood, who are hired to explain away the sayings of the sacred book. By this means, having itching ears, they have heaped to themselves teachers to turn away their ears from the truth unto fables.

These false teachers have a strong hold on the minds of the people; the rulers bear rule by their means, and most of the people love to have it so. If anybody comes to change this order of things, almost every man is up in arms against him. They are so perfectly organized that it takes but a few devils to keep them in subjection.

This makes me think of an old Chinese fable. A man traveling through the country came to a large city, very rich and splendid; he looked at it and said to his guide, “This must be a very righteous people, for I can only see but one little devil in this great city.”

The guide replied, “You do not understand, sir. This city is so perfectly given up to wickedness, corruption, degradation, and abomination of every kind, that it requires but one devil to keep them all in subjection.”

Traveling on a little further, he came to a rugged path and saw an old man trying to get up the hillside, surrounded by seven great, big, coarse-looking devils.

“Why,” says the traveler, “this must be a tremendously wicked old man! Only see how many devils there are around him!”

“This,” replied the guide, “is the only righteous man in the country; and there are seven of the biggest devils trying to turn him out of his path, and they all cannot do it.”

The Devil has these Christian Priests and the whole world with them so perfectly at his disposal, that it only takes a very few devils to keep them all in subjection; and the whole legion of devils have nothing to do but look after the “Mormons” and stir up the hearts of the children of men to destroy them—to put them out of existence.

If you will examine the public prints of the United States for the last two years, you will find in them the most bloodthirsty articles, cruel declamations, and awful imprecations, originating from the pens of religious priests and their dupes. Say they, “If we talk with the Mormons on principles of religion, the Bible, of course, sustains them; if we talk with them on human rights, those principles sustain them; if we talk with them on the Constitution and laws of our country, these sustain them; if we talk with them on the dealings of God with man, they get the better of us; and our only way is to try and destroy them from the earth.”

This is the spirit that is being stirred up in the hearts of the children of men. There have never been in reality but two kingdoms on this earth—the kingdom of God and that of the Devil; or, I will say, those who are willing to observe the prin ciples of truth and those who are not. The latter array themselves against the Saints.

A gentleman, with whom I came in contact while at Washington, made this objection against “Mormonism.” Talking about the institution of plurality of wives, said he, “It never will answer; it will break up all the whorehouses in the country; for women would not abide in such establishments and sustain them, if they could only have respectable and comfortable houses. This polygamy system will smash up that (Christian) institution altogether.”

The spirit of opposition to “Mormonism” takes hold of the king on his throne, the president in his chair, and all those would-be sacred priests—those holy hypocrites who stir up the hearts of the people to seek to overthrow the work of God. High and low, great and small are united in one grand union for the destruction of the Saints of God, though they be deadly foes on all other questions.

To endure this hatred—to be cursed, despised by his friends, jeered at by his neighbors and all who ever knew him, and to be set down as a poor, cursed, worthless, good-for-nothing “Mormon” fool, requires a courage in any man or woman who will step forward to receive the pure principles of this Gospel, that is a stranger in the heart of the greatest warrior that ever faced an enemy on the battlefield.

It is the animosity of the Adversary that fills the hearts of the children of men to overflowing, so that they desire to destroy the Saints—so that they are filled with anger, violent wrath, and indignation. But they know not the reason of these things.

Go and ask a Christian priest why he wants to put down “Mormonism;” and if he would honestly acknowledge the truth, he would say, “It will upset our trade, and,” as the gentleman said in Washington, “it will destroy our peculiar institutions.” The politicians say, “If the Mormons adopt the principle that honest men are to come into power, and they succeed with that principle, we shall be rooted up and our means of gain be taken from us.”

You understand that a petition was sent from the Legislature of this Territory, begging of the President of the United States to send no more damned scoundrels here, but to send good men. Then, it went on to tell him, if he did not send good men, we were not going to have them. It was considered by Congress and the great men of this Government as one of the greatest outrages, and equivalent to treason, because we said we would not receive the cursedest scoundrels that could be scraped from the very scum of the earth, and bow down to them and lick the dust of their feet.

We are right in this matter, whether we act as Saints of the Most High God or as citizens of the Republic of the United States. There could not be a greater outrage committed on any community than to place over them, contrary to their choice, corrupt demagogues to rule their destiny. The idea of forcing these corrupt dogs on a community to rule it is what I call dogmatism.

I am not very familiar with the dictionary, but I will tell a story that will illustrate my meaning. A fine fellow, who considered himself smart, had married a learned lady, and he felt very proud of her learning and education; and in order to be on a par with her, he used many very pretty words, and, now-and-then, one he did not understand the meaning of himself. On one occasion he used the word dogmatism improperly. Says she, “My dear, what is the meaning of that word?”

He drew down a hard face and said, “Dogmatism, dogmatism, my dear—why, it is full-grown puppyism.”

I do consider that to undertake this kind of measure is full-grown puppyism, whether it is to exterminate men for their religion or to annihilate them from the earth for political motives.

Every human being has rights; and it is a true principle, in all governments upon the earth, that governors should rule by the consent of the governed. But there is not a people on the face of the earth that I know anything about, except the Latter-day Saints, that are actually governed in this way. In our government, all our movements are by the unanimous consent of the governed; and we are the only people on the earth that observe this constitutional principle. Other people may try to do it to some limited extent.

When men are placed as rulers and governors to control the destinies of any people, they must do it by the consent of that people, or it is unlawful, unconstitutional, unjust, unholy. God himself does not rule the children of men upon any other principle. “You can serve me, live under my dominion, observe my laws, if you choose,” says the Lord: “if not, you may serve the Devil and reap the reward that follows.”

I forgot, however, that I was preaching a religious sermon when I ran off into politics; but I have had my head a little charged with politics of late; and consequently, when I undertake to preach, it is natural for me to shoot off in that direction.

We, as a people, have to depend, to a great extent, upon the policy we adopt. We have got to respect ourselves, at least, if the world will not respect us. It will not be many years until the world will understand that when they speak of us we are to be respected. They will realize, feel, and understand this more and more.

To be sure, we have submitted to them, suffered our houses to be burned, and ourselves to be driven from our homes; we suffered our friends to be murdered, and we have fled into the wilderness: for 20 years we have fled before our enemies. But it is a long road that never has a turn. The day will come when our enemies will flee before us. There must be a change. Although they may despise us, let them remember—an old adage has it—that despised enemies are dangerous.

The time will shortly come when it will be considered better policy for men to stay at home and mind their business than to be marching a thousand miles to murder the “Mormons.” The day will come when it will be considered more for the health and happiness of the human family to let the “Mormons” alone.

Brother Hyde, in addressing us this morning, spoke very strongly about cutting out an ulcer. When any man goes to cutting off a member of his body, he mars it. If he only chops off his big toe, he cannot hop quite so good as he could before. So, when the Government of the United States—our dear uncle, whom I have always been so afraid of, chops off one member of the great confederacy, the work of dismembering begins.

Peace has been taken from the earth, and there is little or no confidence among the children of men; and while all the devils in hell and all the priests upon the earth are at work to unite for the extinction of the kingdom, it is in the mountains, pursuing the even tenor of its way, every man minding his own business. But, confusion will increase in the midst of the wicked—those who are our enemies, and, as says the revelation, “the wicked will slay the wicked.”

The Lord says it is his business to take care of his Saints. The safest place on the earth is in Zion. If you were in the city of New York, San Francisco, St. Louis, or in any of those great cities, and had 10 dollars in your pocket, a valuable penknife, or a gold watch, and should happen to be walking in the streets at night, you would be under the necessity of keeping a constant guard, peradventure your life should be taken for the property in your pocket. Policemen are not of much use. If you place two policemen in a street, there will be four robberies; if you place four, there will be eight robberies: they nearly all colleague together, and no man that is decently dressed can lie down or walk the streets in safety or quiet in any of those cities without risking his life almost as much as he would in facing an enemy on the battlefield.

These are solemn truths: they are what I have seen. Somebody is after a stranger every moment he is in the streets, to rob him. Is it so here? No. This is the safest place on this earth; and as we learn more righteousness, divest ourselves more and more of selfishness, and become more and more instructed in the intrinsic value of earthly substance, compared with eternal riches, the principle of safety will increase and the Millennium will actually commence with this people.

There is yet in the hearts of our people, although the reformation has done a great work, a spirit of selfishness. We have got to divest ourselves of this principle; we have got to become so perfectly stripped of it that we will love the Lord our God with all our hearts and our neighbors as ourselves, that our hearts will not be set upon our own property or upon the property of others, so as to covet the things that pertain to this world, and that, with our whole soul, mind, and strength, we will desire to serve the Lord our God—that we would just as soon set fire to our own dwellings, sacrifice our property, and flee into the mountains, to dwell there in dens, caves, and holes, as did the ancients, as dwell in palaces and enjoy the soft raiment of kings.

Every man and woman should cultivate in their hearts a desire to love the Lord, keep his commandments, and appreciate the spirit and the freedom of the Gospel and the privilege and blessing of the fulness of the holy Priesthood more than all the treasures upon the face of the earth.

Do you recollect that when the children of Israel were invading the land of Canaan, to drive out the Canaanites and inherit the land, in some instances they coveted the property of their enemies? In one instance, an individual stole a wedge of gold and a Babylonish garment. Because of this, God was offended and suffered Israel to be driven before their enemies. Let us not be caught in this snare, but cast out from our hearts every principle of covetousness, and let our desires be to serve the Lord.

If our enemies will let us alone, we are rich enough, and can enjoy all the comforts of life that we need to make us healthy and happy, and we will spring forth a mighty people. If they do not let us alone, God will preserve us and reward us for all the sacrifices we have to make. Covet not anything that is theirs; let not our spirits desire it, but in all things do as we are counseled, and pray God for wisdom, knowledge, and intelligence to live righteously, soberly, and be devoid of idolatry, to be prepared to dwell as Gods and reign and have dominion in our time and season.

Had it not been for the faith and works, the union and exertions of the Saints, we might this day have had our streets paraded with the martial forces of our enemies. But God has blessed us for our faith and exertions—for our willingness to listen to the counsel of him whom he has appointed to direct us, to be our father and counselor in Israel. Because they have to spend their time in the mountains, some men may feel as though it is a waste of both time and labor to no good. Others say, “We have been robbed so many times of our homes, and so many of our friends murdered, we would now like to draw the sword and slay our enemies.” If it had not been for this principle in the breasts of many, I do not believe our enemies would ever have crossed the South Pass.

I believe, if we, as a people, were of one heart and mind, and would place ourselves in the right position before the Lord, and ask him for what we need, that we never would have any serious annoyance from our enemies. But it is a great labor to place the whole people in this position.

I believe, for the time the work has been progressing, that the people of Enoch’s city were not more united than are the inhabitants of these valleys. I believe the greatest work has been performed towards bringing the children of men back into the presence of God, since Joseph Smith commenced to preach the Gospel to this generation, than ever was since the creation. It requires all our faith and watchfulness to continue the work and roll it on fast enough to keep out of the way of our enemies.

If there are any among us who have not obeyed the Gospel, now is a good time for them to repent of their sins: or, if there are any who have not renewed their covenants, now is a good time for you to repent of your sins and be rebaptized for the remission of them; and let it be our whole intent and only desire to serve the Lord our God all the days of our lives. May the blessings of Israel’s God rest upon us, is my prayer, in the name of Jesus Christ. Amen.

Privileges of the Saints—Trials, Etc.

A Discourse by Elder Orson Hyde, Delivered in the Tabernacle, Great Salt Lake City, Sunday Afternoon, October 25, 1857.

I arise to make a few remarks to you, and I do it with a great deal of pleasure and satisfaction.

I feel, in the first place, to express my gratitude to God for the privileges that we enjoy, that we are permitted to meet together and hear instructions from time to time, by which our minds may be fortified against evil, that we may receive strength to resist the powers of darkness and every evil principle that may suggest itself to our minds. I trust that our hearts have become so softened by the power of truth and so opened by its blessed influence, that we are prepared to receive any impression which the truth may be calculated to make upon us, that it may affect us to the glory of our Heavenly Father.

I feel thankful that we are blessed with gifts and qualifications in our midst that can set right and give a proper tone to all things that go forth from us, so that we are not left to spell out our own course by the limited light and intelligence that we possess. We have not only the Spirit of God in our own hearts to guide us in the path of duty, of principle, and of doctrine, if we live our religion; but we have the Spirit of God also in our President to set us right when wrong. I feel thankful that we are looked after with such an anxious and watchful eye—with an eye to our happiness and well-being and to our future exaltation.

I hope that we shall appreciate these gifts while we have them—that we shall profit by them, and do all in our power to preserve them unimpaired in our midst, that we may long derive benefit from such sources. To be sure, it is a day of trial to the Saints; and yet it is a matter of gratification to see that the Saints, as a general thing, take their trials so calmly, and to see that they are willing to pass through the fiery ordeal; for we know that the final issue will be glorious, and we shall see the desire of our souls and be satisfied.

This proves that we are satisfied with our lot and that we are living our religion in a goodly degree; and I hope and trust that the good Spirit that seems to prevail in our midst will be cultivated and its dictates carried out, that we may do nothing to grieve it away from us, but be ready to follow its suggestions—to fulfil its requirements and the requirements of those that preside over us. It is a day of trial to us; but our trials are light, and the test that we are subjected to is but light, compared with the final test to which we shall be subjected when the Son of Man shall be revealed from heaven, taking vengeance upon them that know not God and obey not the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

I have mentioned once or twice concerning the trials that await the Saints at that time. We look forward to the day when the Son of Man shall come in his glory as the greatest event and most sublime display of power and glory that were ever beheld by mortal eye; and it is requisite that we should be prepared for that scene. We shall be prepared, if we listen to the Spirit of the Lord as it is manifesting itself, and so continue to do during our probation here; for the Son of Man shall be revealed in flaming fire, taking vengeance on them that know not God and obey not the Gospel. The Prophet asks the question, “Who can dwell with devouring fire or with everlasting burnings?” He answers and says, He that has clean hands and a pure heart; he can dwell with devouring fire.

We are to be operated upon by the Holy Ghost, and undergo such a material change by its power that we can abide the day of burning in which the Son of God will be revealed with the same comfort that Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego did in the fiery furnace. They were cast into that devouring element and moved as pleasantly and as agreeably as the fish moves in the sea, its native element. When that day comes, it will be made to appear who is pure; for it will bear upon every individual; and those who are not right and pure will be devoured and destroyed. If we are faithful, we can abide that day and feel that we are wrapped in nothing more than in a blaze of glory, because we shall be prepared for it. But if we do not live our religion, we shall be consumed in that day; and it will be a day that no creature can dodge. Hypocrisy and deceit will then be no shield. Pure and unadulterated goodness alone will enable us to stand in that day. We shall then know who possesses the qualifications of Saints, and who does not; and we shall have to be tested, and that strongly, compared with that to which we are now subjected. The two will be so different, so widely apart from each other, that we cannot now imagine the difference.

But I do not know that it is profitable to go on so far ahead and picture out the tests or trials that we may be subjected to; yet still it may be necessary to show what we shall have to possess and guard against, that we may be ready for the day of exaltation.

At that time, we are informed that the wicked will call for the rocks to fall on them and hide them from the presence of him that sitteth upon the throne and from the wrath of the Lamb. Why will they do this? If the flaming fire has the same effect as we may suppose it will have, it will be very natural for them to call upon the rocks to hide them from the face of the Lord. They will prefer this to standing the test. This will be the cry, “Fall upon us, ye rocks, and hide us from this terrible test.” But the rocks and mountains hear them not! The ungodly must be consumed by the devouring fire. There are steppingstones to this test; and when we get to that point, that will be no greater trial than the present is now. It will not be any greater stumblingblock to us; it will be no more terrible than our present trial, if we live our religion; for we shall be prepared.

Brethren and sisters, we not only have the evidence that I spoke of this forenoon, but we have more. I desired, in my remarks this morning, to point out to the sinner and to the ungodly, if you please, or to those that do not belong to the Church; I wanted to show that they possess evidence in themselves—that they have it in their own hearts and in their own feelings, that this is the work of God; I wished to convince them that God had given them a testimony, that they might know for themselves. He has so ordered things that hypocrites and false-hearted individuals might know for themselves that this is the work of God and that he would accomplish it in his own way. For this reason he said that “sinners in Zion should be afraid, and fearfulness surprise the hypocrite,” and that they should go away; they should leave because they are afraid for their own persons; they are afraid for their property; they are afraid because the atmosphere that surrounds the servants of God is not congenial with their unhallowed natures, and they are fearful. This evidence is in their own hearts, and when they go, they carry the lighted candle of evidence with them.

There are some who have been acquainted with the Church from place to place and from time to time. There are some that have followed all the time, and they can neither take hold of it nor throw it away. Have they not had testimony that this is the work of God—that this is the truth of heaven? Has not the Holy Spirit raised convictions in their minds that this is the truth of God? Have they not been convicted of its truth? I will venture to say that they have been pungently convicted, and they have had all the lies that the Devil could put them in possession of and help them to, in order to resist the force of truth. Why have they not yielded obedience to the laws of the kingdom of God and taken upon them the yoke of Christ? It does seem to me that persons holding that position are ready to turn to the enemy or to any other quarter as may best suit their interests and circumstances. They are on the top of the fence, and rather leaning over to our enemies’ side. “He that is not for us is against us.”

It does sometimes appear that unwise persons not guided by the Spirit of God should take a course, with some such hangers-on, to make them take sides, one way or the other—to compel them to take to their own convictions before God, or else go away.

We find that God will overrule all actions that are performed, even injudiciously, to the best good and to the perfection of his people who trust in him, and to the best good of those also who would hang on, yet neither enter themselves nor let anybody else enter. Now, there are individuals that will not come into the Church themselves; and if they can lay a stumblingblock in the way of their friends, they will do it. They will say to a Gentile, or to a person who may be favorably impressed with the truth, “We have never joined the Church, and there is no particular need of it. We may appear friendly to the society, but not join it. Then we are under no rules or restrictions, and may do as we please.”

We read a man’s character and feelings by his actions. You have been acquainted so long, and the truth has made so small an impression that it shows there is no real love there for it. Such individuals are even ready to talk to those who come in here and to bias their minds, and then they come to the conclusion that this is not the work of God; for they conclude that those persons who have talked to them, having had such opportunities, must know.

If such individuals should have a jog that would knock their sensibilities into them, I do not know but God would work it for their good. I believe it is said that all things shall work together for good to those that love God and keep his commandments. We have convictions of those things; we are confident that all shall work for our good, not only in our hearts, but when we can see wisdom manifested that is evidently manifested by the hand of a superior being; but we cannot but acknowledge the hand of God. We have the testimony in our hearts of the truth, and what we feel and see all the time should stimulate us to cling to the Lord with all our hearts, might, mind, and strength.

The Saints in former days had a great deal to overcome; they had not only their weaknesses, but they had armies to overcome; and we find they put to flight the armies of the aliens. They had many trials. They were clad in sheepskins, and goatskins. Inasmuch as we believe that the cattle upon a thousand hills belong to the Lord, I do not know but that their very hides may be dressed, and we wear them instead of broadcloth. Well, now, those skins properly dressed, as I have seen some specimens in this town, may be our clothing when we get into the hills, and they will last some time to go through the mountains. Necessity, we say, is the mother of invention. The sisters may ask what they shall do for petticoats? I can tell you. (Voice: Let the women wear pantaloons.) Necessity being the mother of invention, we will seek them out something suitable; we have got common sense, and a good deal more too, if we will live our religion. Our father went to work and made coats of skins; and I suppose that mother Eve had a coat of skins as well as father Adam. But whether hers was a petticoat, we are not told.

We have been talking about the ancient order being restored; and if we live to return to that order, we shall live to be dressed in the skins of animals. I do not know how these things may be, but yet we judge, if we are driven to such necessity, we may have to adopt that style.

Let us prepare our minds for all things and to live where and when others may perish and die. We have got to learn that when the day of burning comes to be ready to live upon the barren rocks, where others would starve to death. If we get wisdom to live where they would perish, then we shall be the more completely independent. Thank God, we are beyond their reach. The Almighty God in his wisdom and kindness has given us understanding, and I have every reason to believe that he will deliver us and provide for us, if we live our religion and cleave unto him; for I tell you that some of the most simple things will be for our deliverance, and at the same time for the destruction of our enemies; and we can do all that is required, by his hand helping us. We are nothing of ourselves; but when we are inspired by the Almighty and take such a course as will give us confidence in God, we cannot perish. Then we have reason to rejoice and be glad.

Here is the evidence that this is the work of God. I remarked to brother Hardy, today, that last winter we preached some strong things in his ward (12th ward). Myself, brother Hardy, the Bishop, and brother Joseph A. Young doubled teams; and I then said, Where will these things lead us? I did not stop long to reflect; but, said I, we have the Spirit of God, and it will be all right; and I feel more satisfied now that his arm will bear us off triumphant. At that time fearfulness began to take hold upon the hypocrite, and we saw that sinners began to tremble and fearfulness to surprise the hypocrite. I tell you, perfect love casteth out all fear, if fear has no place in us; for our love for the truth casteth out all fear.

“Fear not, little flock,” says Jesus, “for it is your Father’s good pleasure to give you the kingdom.” I believe it is said in one revelation, “Unto you the kingdom has been given, and power to overcome all things that are not ordained of God.” I believe it is said so, in so many words, that you shall have power to overcome all that has not been ordained of God. What more can we ask for? Power has been given us, that that power may be in us, that it may be as a flaming fire; and I tell you the Almighty will be in us by his Spirit; he will go before us and clear the track. He does not require us to do anything without his first clearing the track, preparing the way for us to accomplish it.

That Zion is free is a satisfaction to the sons of light and causes joy in their hearts. In fact, we have lived so long under the Priesthood, that I, for one, do not want to live under any other government. If it is necessary, however, to take some other along, as the man did who made the stone soup, by putting in everything necessary to make the soup rich, palatable, and nutritious, before he put in the stone, concluding that the stone might give a favorite name to the soup, without imparting to it any injurious flavor or quality, I shall not object.

However, I will tell you that the government of God is the only legitimate government upon the earth; and when he reckons with nations, rulers, and privates, he will pronounce all guilty of “high treason” who have opposed his kingdom, fought against his Saints, or in any manner interrupted them in the execution of his mandates. Then let us contend for the rights of our Sovereign, the God of heaven and earth, and for the rights of his kingdom. And may God in his mercy shield us by his all-powerful arm, and may we live so that his angels won’t be far off; but that we may have their aid and their cooperation!

Brethren and sisters, may God bless you! And I feel in my soul to bless you and to bless all that bless Zion. But let the wrath of God be upon the Mother of Harlots, and upon all that wish evil to Zion; and may the Lord God be round about his Saints, and his wisdom be manifested conspicuously in all their movements, is my prayer. Amen.

Extent of the Latter-Day Work—The Freedom of the Saints Dependent on Their Doing Right—Satan’s Revelations, Etc.

Remarks by President Brigham Young, Delivered in the Tabernacle, Great Salt Lake City, October 25, 1857.

We have heard considerable preaching this morning; and to me, what we have heard is full of pith and marrow.

This people are to the world an object of derision and hatred; to God, of care and pity. There are but few of us, when we compare ourselves with the rest of the inhabitants of the earth. We now have a day of trial. It has been observed that the Saints feel well: they never felt better.

Some present may not know that my oldest and my youngest brothers have been preaching today. There are but three boys between those two, and we are all here on hand.

As has been observed by brother John, my eldest brother, this is the first time that we have ever had the privilege of doing anything, only submitting to our enemies. Now, for the first time since this Church was organized, we are in a position for defending those rights common to all American citizens; and our true and lawful course to abide by the Constitution of the United States in the defense of those rights will probably give the wicked a pretext for complaint; so that in measuring out oppression to us, our enemies will have a new set of pretexts, instead of feasting on infernal lies so much as they have hitherto done.

Colonel Alexander accuses us of what he terms a very uncivilized method of warfare. If we are to do as they do, we shall have to get drunk, to swear, to quarrel, to lie, and believe in lies, and indulge in many other like traits of civilization, in order to be prepared to act as they do. I do not know anything about those men that are now in the mountains, only in the capacity of a mob. I have no business to know them as anything else, neither shall I, until I have been officially notified that the Government of the United States wishes to send troops here and build stations.

I suppose that the boys have annoyed them a good deal; but at the same time, I would much rather clothe them and feed them, if they would agree to go back in the spring and leave us in peace, as they found us. We are obliged to maintain our rights; for every blackleg, horse thief, counterfeiter, and abominable character are united with the hireling priests and lying editors and wicked leaders of our Government to falsely accuse the “Mormons,” with a view to our destruction. Can they now truly accuse them of anything? Yes—of burning up a little grass, as brother Attwood told them, when they asked him why we burnt the grass—“That we may have a better crop next year,” which you are aware is customary in prairie regions. We have done that; therefore our enemies can now concentrate their power to shoot at the target they have compelled us to raise in self-defense, whereas heretofore they have shot without an object to fire at.

There is one thing in particular with regard to this people—they prove their faith by their work; and there is no other way for us to prove it. While brother John was speaking of the labor of this people to preach and send the Gospel to the nations of the earth, I thought that, take us as a people in this day, in the situation we have been in, and then look over the history of the Church of the living God on the earth from the days of Adam until now, and I will ensure that you cannot find the equal to the excessive labor of the Elders of Israel in our day in spreading the truth through the world to save mankind. I have no idea that it was done in the days of Enoch; for the human family had then spread over the earth but little, and the Elders did not have to travel scores of thousands of miles without purse or scrip among the wicked. So also in the days of Noah: they had but a short distance to travel. In the days of the Israelites, of the Prophets, of Jesus Christ, and the Apostles, what was their labor in the extent of its field, compared with that of this people? Very small. You may trace the course of their travel, and you will find that it was far less than that of the Elders of Israel in our day.

We have labored diligently, and suffered everything but death to preach the Gospel to our fellow beings; and thousands of our fathers, mothers, brothers, sisters, children, and connections have gone into their graves through their sufferings, from being robbed of everything we had, and scattered, to find shelter where we best could. Are we going to suffer it anymore? No, God being our helper. We are perfectly free, on condition that we do right; and upon that condition we never will be in bondage again.

You will recollect that this is the first time that this Church can say, “We are free.” Do we wish to be free from the United States Consti tution? No. There is not a word in it but what we can subscribe to with all our hearts. Do we wish to be free from the laws of the United States? No. They are as good laws as we can ask for. Neither do we wish for any better laws than are the most of those enacted in Missouri and Illinois. What, then, was the difficulty with this people? Magistrates, sheriffs, constables, military officers, &c., walked those laws under their feet, and trampled upon them as a thing of naught, in order to get at this people and drive them from their hard-earned homes. I have said, and say it again, if those laws had been executed, they would have hung Governor Boggs and Governor Ford, with many others, between the heavens and the earth, or shot them as traitors to the Government. It is not the laws and the Constitution of our country that we wish to be free from, but it is from the power of those who profess to be lawmakers and law-executors, but who trample every wholesome law under their feet.

We are now as free from them as is the mountain air we breathe; and we could wipe the few enemies now in our borders out of existence in a very short time, if I would give the word to do so. But they will judge themselves out of their own mouths and receive their just reward at the hands of him whom they have listed to obey. I believe the Lord has wisdom enough to make them destroy themselves—though, if it were left to me solely, under the guidance of the spirit pertaining to man, probably I should have had them in eternity before now. But the Lord dictates, governs, and controls: I do not, neither do I wish to.

It is said that if we do right we shall overcome. I will tell you one mark you have got to come to, in order to do right. If you can bring yourselves, in your affections, your feelings, your passions, your desires, and all that you have in your organization, to submit to the hand of the Lord, to his providences, and acknowledge his hand in all things, and always be willing that he should dictate, though it should take your houses, your property, your wives and children, your parents, your lives, or anything else you have upon the earth, then you will be exactly right; and until you come to that point, you cannot be entirely right. That is what we have to come to; we have to learn to submit ourselves to the Lord with all our hearts, with all our affections, wishes, desires, passions, and let him reign and rule over us and within us, the God of every motion: then he will lead us to victory and glory; otherwise he will not.

Brother John referred to some persons receiving revelations. I say to such persons, Go ahead, and get all the revelations you can. If brother Joseph visits you every night, go ahead, and tell him to bring brother Hyrum, father Smith, Don Carlos Smith, St. Paul, Peter, James, and John, and Jesus Christ, if you can induce him to do so. But I could almost lay my hand on that Bible and swear that the man or woman who gets such revelations has been guilty of adultery, or of theft, or has been rebellious and apostatized in feelings, but has come back again, and now professes to have such revelations. Hell is full of such revelations; and I could almost testify that a man or woman who receives them has been guilty of some outrageous crime. I have had men come to me and tell the wonderful great dreams and visions which they have, when those very persons have apostatized heretofore, have denied their God and their religion; and I knew it. Many come to me and tell me what wonderful visions they have—that their minds are open to eternal things—that they can see visions of eternity open before them and understand all about this kingdom—many of whom have at some time been guilty of betraying their brethren, or committing some atrocious crime. I never notice them much. I sit and hear them talk about their wonderful knowledge, but it passes in and out of my ears like the sound of the wind. It is for me to see to this kingdom, that it is built up, and to preserve the Saints from the grasp of the enemy. The visions of the class I have mentioned are nothing to me. They may exhibit their great knowledge before me; but when they have done, it is all gone from me.

Some are very anxious that I should have visions. I have all that the Lord gives to me; and all that he keeps back he may; for that is no concern of mine. We are on the old ship Zion; and if God is not at the helm, the old ship will wreck and go to the Devil. As for my taking charge of the kingdom of God on the earth, exclusively and independently of direction from heaven, I shall not do any such thing. If the Lord does not direct the old ship and act as captain and pilot, it will go to destruction, and I care not how quick.

He is at the helm, and will stay there. If you and I will bring our feelings to the point I have just spoken of, he will continue to guide the welfare of Zion and all its rights.

All is right. Sing hallelujah; for the Lord is here. He dictates, guides, and directs. If the people will have implicit confidence in their God, never forsake their covenants nor their God, he will guide us right, and we are free as the air of these mountains. The yoke of the wicked is off, and I am determined it shall stay off.

If any man or woman in Utah wants to leave this community, come to me, and I will treat you kindly, as I always have, and will assist you to leave; but after you have left our settlements, you must not then depend upon me any longer, nor upon the God I serve; you must meet the doom you have labored for. If any wish to go away, come to me and I will assist you to go in peace and safety to the army or anywhere else; but if you come again with bitter feelings to this Territory, we shall meet you as we would a mob.

After this season, when this ignorant army has passed off, I shall never again say to a man, “Stay your rifle ball,” when our enemies assail us; but shall say, “Slay them where you find them.” But the army that are now upon our borders are in ignorance, and know not what they are doing, nor the spirit that prompts them, or they would ere now have been visited with swift destruction. On account of their ignorance and their being sent by rotten demagogues and corrupt speculators, I feel like letting them alone, unless they turn to come here; which if they do, sleep will depart from their eyes and slumber from their eyelids until they sleep the sleep of death or beg quarters at our hands—God being our helper.

I do not altogether know why I should not feel it right to slay them where they are. But I do not; consequently, I withhold; and if that course should be right, I believe it will be manifested to me; and if it is not so manifested to me, and anybody else can know of a surety and will take the responsibility, go ahead.

I have joy and comfort in seeing this people trying to live up to the spirit of their religion—to the spirit of the Gospel; and I should be glad to see the spirit of reformation continue among them. I would be pleased to have it within myself, and do better than I now do, or do more, or do something I do not do. But unless the Lord will reveal to me something more than he has, I cannot do any better than I am doing; for I do not know how. I have done as well as I could since I have been in this kingdom. I can hardly refer to the time when I have not done the best I knew how, and I can hardly refer to the time when I put my hand to do a thing unless I knew it to be right.

I am not a visionary character nor subject to excitement in my feelings. My life, you know, is an even continuation; and I hope it will be until I lay down this tabernacle. If we take this course and trust in the Lord, he may send armies here or not, call upon us to fight, or let us raise grain, build houses, &c., or send us to the nations; it matters not. If we bring our feelings to this, we shall never be brought into bondage to the wicked again; but we will be free.

Do you not know, brethren, that the day will come of which the Lord says, “For brass I will bring gold, and for iron I will bring silver, and for wood brass, and for stones iron;” and yet if those things were now delivered into our hands, there would be selfishness. I have seen that spirit manifested, and I am afraid of it. I am more afraid of covetousness in our Elders than I am of the hordes of hell. Have we men out now of that class? I believe so. I am afraid of such spirits; for they are more powerful and injurious to this people than all hell outside of our borders. All our enemies in the United States or in the world, and all hell with them marshaled against us, could not do us the injury that covetousness in the hearts of this people could do us; for it is idolatry.

As brother John observed, one devil can keep all Babylon in confusion continually, because they are already so wicked; but it takes armies of devils to take care of the Saints, lest they overcome the kingdoms of darkness. The Devil’s forces are particularly marshaled against us. If I can contend against the powers of darkness and get this people to control themselves so as to have no principle or feeling about them only to do the will of our Father in heaven, I do not fear all hell. Were all the United States arrayed against us in these mountains, I would rather have ten men who are Saints, and will do more with them to overcome all our out side enemies than this whole people, with their affections not sanctified to the Lord. Do you understand that, ye Saints? Or is it to you like some visions that are told to me—going in at one ear and out at the other? We, as a people, will be chastened until we can wholly submit ourselves to the Lord and be Saints indeed. May God bless you! Amen.

The Present Crisis—The Prospects of Zion and the Fall of Babylon

A Discourse by Patriarch John Young, Delivered in the Tabernacle, Great Salt Lake City, Sunday Morning, October 25, 1857.

I am glad to be here and to bear my testimony of the truth. I shall speak such things as may be presented to my mind by the Holy Ghost. I know that I have the prayers of the Saints and of the faithful servants of the Lord. I realize that their prayers are always in behalf of those that are mouthpieces for the Lord.

I realize for myself that this is a time when it is necessary that every man and every woman should enjoy the Spirit of the Lord. The time has been when men and women in this Church and kingdom could pass along without a great deal of the Spirit of the heavens to rest upon them; but I want to observe to my brethren and sisters, that that time has gone by; and no man or woman that professes to be a Saint of the Most High can stand any longer in this Church and kingdom unless they have faith in the Son of God.

Our Prophets and Apostles have long been teaching to the people that the time was near at hand when everything that could be shaken should be shaken—that that which could not be shaken should remain. You have often heard it proclaimed from the stand that the time was near at hand when the line would be drawn. The time has come that was spoken of by the Prophet Micah, when we should discern betwixt him that serveth God and him that serveth him not.

I realize, my brethren and sisters, that this is the day when we need to have communion with the heavens—the day when we want the Holy Comforter to abide with us continually; for I know it is a trying time with the Saints; it is a turning point; and I know that none but the pure in heart can stand.

There never was a time since the Church was organized, that I have any knowledge of, when there was more necessity for the people being united than there is at this time; for we are told that “union is strength;” and this is what we want at this time. We all very well know and understand that we have no friends abroad in the world out of this Church.

When I consider this, I am glad that I can say today and bear testimony that there is now more union among the Saints than ever there was before, since I have been in the Church.

Can I speak good concerning Israel today? I can. I have no misgivings in my feelings; for I tell you, my brethren and sisters, the Lord God Almighty is on our side. He is for us; and who can be against us? I know there are persons who are against us in their feelings. A few such are now before me who have their misgivings: their faith is not concentrated. Sometimes they look on one side of the picture, and sometimes on the other; and sometimes, perhaps, the devils make them believe that we are all going to be blown to the four winds by our enemies.

I can tell you the Devil does not sleep in these times; and I do not believe that he has slept any for a long time; but he works powerfully with the children of disobedience: therefore I exhort you to be obedient.

“Well,” says one, “I thought we were obedient.” It is true there is a very large majority that are; but this does not prove that they are all so; and I know they are not.

I am thankful that things are as well with us as they are. I am thankful that we have got Prophets and Apostles; and I know that the Spirit of the Gods has rested upon them, and it is resting upon them; and as long as the people will be obedient and do as they are told, they have nothing to fear; for nothing can harm them. But I can tell you what the Devil is doing. It is as the Apostle said—“We are not altogether ignorant of the devices of Satan.”

Now, Satan is hard at work, and the Lord is at work, the angels of heaven are at work, the fallen angels of heaven are at work; and I tell you, in the name of the Lord, there is a mighty war. “Well,” says one, “who will conquer and overcome?” The Lord Almighty will overcome; his Saints and his servants will overcome.

I believe that the Scripture would apply very well to this people which Jesus used to his disciples—“Fear not, little flock; for it is your Father’s good pleasure to give you the kingdom.”

You perceive that they were small in numbers, for he called them little. I can say to my brethren and sisters, “Fear not, for it is your Father’s good pleasure to give you the kingdom.” Zion is free, and I rejoice in it. Talk about revelation; if there has not been some of the greatest revelations given within one year to the Saints of God, then I know nothing about it. Says one, “I wish you would tell of one of them.” Well, I will; for nothing short of the Spirit of the living God, right from the Gods of eternity, could have brought our military into the organization that they are in now. I want to know how the Prophets of God could have done that without revelation? They could not have done it. Was there ever such an organization before? No, never since the days of Moses. Then they had their captains of hundreds, of fifties, and of tens; and no Prophets have gone into the organization since that time; and I contend that this is by revelation; and it was by the revelations of Jesus Christ that these things were made manifest.

I feel thankful that we are where we are at the present time. We have been driven; and sometimes I look at the present prospects of the Church and compare it with the days of its infancy, and I am perfectly astonished at the marvelous strides the work has taken. We have been driven from one place to another and afflicted, until, last of all, we have been driven into the mountains, to fulfil the words of the Prophets; for it could not have been done in any other way. The language of the poet will apply very well here—

“God moves in a mysterious way, His wonders to perform.”

I thank my heavenly Father today that there is so goodly a number of the Saints in the valleys of the mountains; and I know that God will work all things together for our good. Our enemies gave the kingdom one more jog than they intended to have done. Before this we had always been in a place where they could pick up a rock and throw it, and it would fall on to us; but now they have to pick it up a good many times before it will reach us.

[Voice: “And it will fall on to them.“]

The time has come when this Church and kingdom can no more be amalgamated with any other kingdom. What was the reason that the Lord could not destroy Sodom? It was because Lot was there, and the Lord told him to go out; and when he had gone out, the city and people of Sodom were destroyed. The Lord has destroyed wicked nations at various times; and he has declared that he would destroy the nations of the earth, and that Babylon should fall; but that cannot be the case so long as this Church is amalgamated, in any sense of the word, with it; therefore the Lord has designed to cut the thread, and our independence was declared the 24th of last July; and I was glad of it, and I feel glad of it today. There is a good deal for us to do; and we are required to straighten up and live our religion, so that we may be enabled to sustain ourselves through the mighty struggle that is to come.

I realize that it is time for the Saints to look about themselves; and every man and every woman should be on the watchtower, wide awake, and have almighty faith in the Son of God, and call mightily upon his name. Although brother Brigham said here at Conference that there was not time to pray much, he meant that we should not spend too much of our time in praying; I suppose the war was uppermost in his mind, as it is in everybody else’s; but, in speaking to some brethren about it, I told them that it was all “Mormonism.”

You know there are some who neglect to pray, and there are others who pray too much—or, in other words, they do nothing else. But I think some of our sisters might be a little more diligent in their faith, prayers, and good works, while the brethren are in the mountains to stand in the defense of Zion.

I understand that some of the sisters have a great many things to attend to. I have understood that, since our brethren have gone, the sisters have undertaken to set things in order in the family. But I think they had better let that alone. I know the Devil will try every stratagem; and if he cannot make an inroad in one place, he will in another; if he cannot get into the brethren, he will try to get into their families, and he will work there and set them at variance with each other.

I tell you it is time for us to cease quarrelling with each other. We should be united in our families, in our neighborhoods, and in the kingdom of God. If we are united, we shall stand and overcome: there is no mistake about that at all. And if there should one-half of the people apostatize and go away, the other half are pretty sure to stand. I heard brother Brigham say that, if there are not more than fifty that keep the faith and are united, the kingdom will be sure to stand.

It is a great thing for the brethren and sisters to be united in the cause of truth. I have traveled a great deal among the brethren, especially in the southern settlements, and I never saw half the union, the strength, the faith that is in the people at this time; and as long as you will continue humble and faithful to the Gospel, and keep the power of God in you, then our enemies cannot have any power over us.

In every place where I have been and heard the Saints pray, they have prayed for the Lord to confuse our enemies, to clothe them with darkness, and to cause fear to come upon them; Has the Lord heard our prayers? Yes, he has; for I have noticed dark clouds to be traveling along the eastern mountains, and they move up and down as the troops move; and my prayer is, that they may be clothed with snow. That has been my prayer for some time; and I still continue to pray for darkness to cover them.

Says one, “You are a hardhearted man.” I cannot help that. I love to pray for my enemies; and in doing so I have fulfilled the word of the Lord in that thing. I do not pray so much for our enemies that are out here; but it is for the whole world. You know all mankind—every class and society of mankind have got their artillery pointed against this people.

The Devil and his emissaries are out against us. They want to destroy our Prophet and to glut themselves with the blood of innocence. There is not a spot where the Lord can tarry overnight outside of these valleys of the mountains; the rest of the world is Babylon, in the strictest sense of the word.

Oh, how the Devil does labor to diffuse the spirit of Babylon among the people. To do this he has sent his emissaries across the Plains a thousand miles to bring destruction upon the Saints of God; but the Lord Almighty has defeated them in their plans. The angel of the Lord has stood in the way as much so as in the days of the Prophets; and if our asses have not spoken, our boys have, and the way of our enemies is hedged up so that they cannot get here; and they never will, so long as the people will do as they are told. This is a comfort to my heart. How I have longed to see this day when the kingdom of God should be free—when the Saints should enjoy their rights and privileges as Saints of the Lord. This is what we have been laboring for. It is what Joseph and all the Apostles have labored for day and night, unwaveringly.

When I look back upon the exertions which have been made to spread the truth among the nations, to gather up Israel, I see that it is beyond all that can be imagined. I am not master of language enough to tell the thing as I see it; but suffice it to say that this is the Zion of the Lord—this is the only place where the Lord has a people. He has no place only with the Latter-day Saints, because the Lord will not dwell in unholy temples. He loves the pure in heart, and he dwells with them.

Brethren and sisters, let us be encouraged; for the day is ours, the kingdom is ours, all is ours; for the Lord is on our side, and we have nothing to be afraid of from our enemies. We have more to be afraid of from ourselves than anything else; and as long as men and women will do as they are told and keep it in their hearts to do good continually, they are safe.

There is no need to fear about anything. Some of the brethren and sisters feel fearful; sometimes they are weak: they do not feel to do wrong—they have no wish to violate any law, but they are subject to temptations and weaknesses.

There are some who know what it is to be driven from their homes, and that in the dead of winter, cold and barefooted; and many of those persons are here, and have survived and come up to this place with the Church. There may be trials equally as severe as those already past; but if we do right, all will be well with us. There never was a truer thing said, than that if this people have to leave here, it will be for our good, for our salvation, temporal and spiritual, and they will be better off than ever. But still, if the people will keep humble and do as they are told, they will stay here as long as they have a mind to, and then go back and build the Temple in the Center Stake of Zion.

Perhaps I do not feel right, but this is my feeling all the time—that the Lord Almighty will deliver us, and we shall find everything to work together for our salvation, for our good and welfare, and for the welfare of Zion. I never heard nor read of any people under heaven, when they were obedient to the Prophets of God—to those that led them—I say I never heard of such a people being given into the hands of their enemies.

When the Nephites were given up to their enemies, it was when they became wicked and disobedient, and made derision of the Prophets and Apostles that were sent unto them; but when they were obedient to their Apostles and Prophets and to the servants of God, then their enemies had no power over them. So it is and will be with this people.

I can speak good of Zion, for I know the people are obedient. I have really thought in some places that the people would be willing to sacrifice everything, if called upon to do it, and also to lay down their lives for the cause of God and to carry out the counsel of the servants of the Lord.

Every man and every woman seem determined to put forth their hands to sustain the servants of God in the cause in which we are engaged. It is generally said that actions speak louder than words, and with us it is as brother Grant used to say, “Yankee doodle, do it;” and as long as this people do this, all will prosper with Israel.

The Saints who are filled with the Spirit of the living God like to go and hear the servants of the Lord proclaim the words of life and salvation.

I feel thankful, my brethren, that things are as well as they are with us; and I feel thankful every day and every moment of my life, and I see and realize a great deal more than I can express; but I can truly say that I am not discouraged in the holy warfare. I have always believed, from the first moment that I heard this Gospel, that it is the work of God, and that it will stand when all other kingdoms will go to ruin and sink into oblivion.

We know that the kingdoms of Babylon must fall, and that this kingdom must rise; for we know it is the kingdom of God; and I have always known it ever since I embraced the work. I have had no doubts in relation to its authenticity and truthfulness; but all the ground I have gained and all the advancement I have made has been at the point of the sword. To be sure I have been slow, but the matter seems to be rooted and grounded in me; and my prayer is that the Lord Almighty will preserve me in the faith, and that he will keep me as in the hollow of his hand.

Everything goes to prove that this is the kingdom of God. I remember that in the rise of this Church I used to argue with the priests; and when they would contend that this was the kingdom of the Devil, I would remark that it must fall; for a kingdom divided against itself must fall to pieces.

This is the kingdom which Daniel spoke of, and I know it; and I know that there are hundreds and thousands in these valleys of the mountains that would lay down their lives before they would deny one word of the principles of the Gospel to please anybody. There are many who would suffer themselves to be massacred sooner than deny the word of the Lord; but under all circumstances they will testify to the truth.

I want my brethren and sisters to do right—to live by faith, that they may be strong and powerful, and have mighty faith in the Son of God, and power over our enemies, and strength to overcome them; and we shall, ere long, become strong and terrible in the sight of our enemies, when the children of Zion shall return to the land that the Lord has designed for the building up of a temple in the last days.

I do not wish to take up a great deal of time; but I do wish to let the people know that I feel everything is right with us as a people. I do not say it is so with every individual; but I know that there are a very large majority who are right, and they show their faith by their works. This pleases me, and it pleases all the servants of God. I rejoice in these things continually; and, brethren, let us be faithful, and we shall be immoveable; for they that trust in the Lord are to be as Mount Zion, that cannot be moved.

When I am abroad, I try to do what I can to strengthen the Saints, to build them up in the most holy faith, and to bless them, that they may prosper and become a sanctified people, that we may all be prepared for the kingdom of the Lord Jesus Christ; for he has declared that he would come to those that look for his coming without sin unto salvation.

I believe that the time is not far distant when the servants of God will commune more visibly with the heavens than they now do: the time will come when they will commune with the angels; and I believe there is a right place for it to begin.

I have understood, of late, that some of our brethren and sisters have got a little ahead in this respect; but they had better let such things alone, and be humble and faithful, and remember that we cannot get higher than the head; for the fountain is as high as we can go. If there are any who have a disposition to go ahead of their leaders, I think they will find themselves in difficulty. Brother Brigham says, “Tell them to go ahead.” But I can tell you they will go till their heads go against the dunce block, and that will bring them up all standing.

I do not like to see men and women that want to be a little ahead of anybody else—a little ahead of Prophets of God. The Spirit of the Lord is liberally enjoyed by the Saints generally; and if they continue, they will hold converse with the servants of God who are behind the veil. But that time is not yet.

Some of the brethren and sisters tell of their receiving visits from Joseph, Hyrum, brother Grant, and others. Such persons must look out for their ship; for, if they do not watch, just as sure as you are born, they will run under and be overcome. When a man or woman comes and tells me that he or she is visited by the Prophets and Apostles that are gone beyond the veil, and that they have these communications day and night, and all the time—that they have the opportunity of conversing with the spirits of just men made perfect—I will just say that the Devil is in them, and not the Lord. I wonder if the Lord loves them so much better than the Prophets that he would send to them all the heavenly hosts?

I do not know that it is my business to say anything about this; but brother Kimball told me I might say what I pleased. I can tell you the Devil has left the great chair in hell; for his emissaries could not accomplish what he desired they should; therefore he has come to see to it himself. Why, bless you, Lucifer has nothing to do in the world; for one of his imps can keep all Babylon going and keep them in eternal night. But let a man go through the world, having the principles of salvation in him, and I tell you the Devil and his hosts will growl. But here, in the Territory of Utah, it is different: we can stand forth and boldly declare our views and religious opinions.

Still, brethren, you need not think that you have yet got rid of them; for the devils will be after the Saints of God: therefore be careful and keep them out of your tabernacles.

“What shall I do?” says one. Why, keep your mouth shut when you have no need to open it, and the devils won’t get in at your ears. James, the Apostle, said that the tongue was an unruly member, and that it set all the rest on fire; and there is considerable truth in the saying. If you cannot keep your tongue still, put it between your teeth and hold it there until you can control it; and I will promise that, if you will do that, the Devil cannot do much with you; but I can assure you that he will play upon the tongue. And you know when he gets the women going, their tongues are as limber as a bird’s wing.

I am not in the habit of saying much about the women. But they are said to be the weaker vessel; but I tell you some of them carry mighty heavy sail. I advise you, sisters, to take in your extra sail. Talk of being the weaker vessel, and carrying such a superabundance of sail! Sisters, live in peace with each other, and do not allow yourselves to be faultfinding, but peaceable and happy together.

Some may enquire, “Do you not mean your own family?” Yes, I do exactly; for I expect they need it as much as any other.

I saw the Devil’s looking-glass once. In it the faults of others are written in capital letters, but our own are all kept in the dark. When the Devil presents his magnifying-glass, do not allow him to overcome you. I have told you to shut your mouths; and now, when the Devil’s looking-glass is brought before you, I tell you to shut your eyes. You have no occasion to read; for if you do, you will read the faults of every creature but your own, especially of those that you are most intimately associated with.

The Devil does not care how he cheats a man or a woman out of their souls, so that he is able to accomplish that. He desires to torture us all that he can. Let us get the Spirit of the Lord, and retain it; for the work of our common adversary is to overcome the kingdom of our Father, and he works in various ways and tries every stratagem in his power whereby he can afflict the Saints of God.

One of the Apostles has told us that if we would resist the Devil, being steadfast in the faith, he would leave us; and I know that he won’t have any power over us if we are faithful. I desire to be delivered from his grasp and power; for I know he is a powerful foe. He has spread his veil of darkness over the whole world, and he is acknowledged to be the prince and power of the air: in a greater or less degree he controls the elements, and endeavors to do it to the destruction of the Saints; but the Lord Almighty controls him and listens to the voice of his servants who trust in him, and he holds them as in the hollow of his hand and under the pavilion of his wings.

The reason that the people are now so much united is because they are living better than ever they were before; and the time is near at hand when there will be a highway cast up for the people of God, and their deliverance will be wrought out. The principles of salvation are portrayed from this stand; and if we deviate from that way, Satan will have power over us.

Many of you who are acquainted with the works of John Bunyan will doubtless recollect the place where he talks about the trials of Christian, and his description of the lions and the tigers in the way, so placed and stationed on each side of Christian that, if he should deviate from the narrow path, he is in the power of the lions and tigers; but if he keeps in that path, he is safe.

Now, the Almighty has laws by which he works, and he has pointed out the path, which is so plain that it has been said that a fool may see to walk therein.

Let us be careful and do our duty, for we have got the game to play. Let us be faithful and honorable and keep the Spirit of God. Let us so conduct ourselves and so order our lives before our heavenly Father, that we will feel the approbation of heaven, so that we shall have the testimony of Jesus, the Spirit of the Lord, in us day after day.

When we have this spirit in us we can say, All is well. Then, when I meet a man or a woman and ask them how they are, I can feel well, for I can see the Spirit of truth in them. I have met a number of the Saints of late, and enquired, “How is it with you?” “Oh, all is right; the truth triumphs.” There never was a time, since the kingdom was organized in the last days, when the Saints felt so well as they do now. It is so in every place. The Saints feel this same Spirit on the other side of the planet and upon the remotest island of the seas. They feel better, and why? Because ZION IS FREE! The Saints know this, feel it, and bear testimony of it.

We hear of wars and rumors of wars; and these are some of the signs which Jesus spoke of when he said, “And this gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in all the world for a witness unto all nations; and then shall the end come.” (Matt. xxiv. 14.)

The messengers of salvation have been sent from this place—scores and hundreds of them: they have traveled thousands of miles over deserts and mountains to go to hell, if you please, to bear testimony of the truth. I have a testimony in my heart that the servants of God who have been out for the few years past have been faithful, and they have been to almost every nation upon earth.

What will come next? Why, they will be warned by thunderings, by lightnings, by pestilence, and by fearful sights—men’s hearts failing them for fear of those things that are coming upon the earth. After their testimony, these things will come; and I know that the time is near at hand when Babylon will fall.

Let us be a sanctified people, and keep out everything that is calculated to drive us asunder; for “union is strength;” and the Lord has said that except we are one we are not his. I desire to see this people united in one.

The Lord saw that it was necessary that there should be a reformation; and he inspired his servants to call upon the people and to wake them up out of their sleep; and if this had not been done, how would it have been? How good the Lord was to wake us up by his servants who stand upon the watchtower of Zion! They have called upon the people to wake up, and the people have complied; and I thank my heavenly Father for it. There is now a good feeling throughout the Territory where I have been; there is union among the people; but still there are some things that I could wish were otherwise.

If you will be humble and faithful to the counsel of the servants of God, not a hair of your heads shall fall. I have felt to say to the brethren whom I have blessed, “If you will trust in the Lord, there is no weapon formed against you that shall prosper.” I see now the reason that I was so led; and I feel to assure them that the Lord is able to preserve them by the Priesthood, and I do not think nor feel that the brethren will have any fighting this season, but am rather of the opinion that the Lord intends to fight the battles himself, and to send them down to hell.

I am not a man of blood; but I want to see the cause of Zion flourish. I know the feelings of my brethren who have been driven by the poor, miserable devils from Kirtland to Missouri, and from there to Illinois, then across to Mississippi, and over the Plains to the valleys of the mountains; and yet the poor curses cannot let us alone.

I can tell you that the time is near when He will reign whose right it is to reign; and when the Son of Man comes again, we intend that he shall have a place where to lay his head, and not be as he was when he came before. We are but few, but we are able to do mighty things in the strength of Israel’s God. Our enemies have got the arm of Jehovah to fight against, and he will work for the salvation of Zion; for the cause of the Lord hangs upon his arm; and inasmuch as we do right, he will make this a sifting machine, and the hypocrites will be found out, Satan’s kingdom will be overthrown, the Saints of God will possess the land, and it will not be a great while before the Church will go back and take possession of their inheritances.

I can say, for the benefit of our brethren that are out in the mountains, that there are hosts of angels with them all the time. I have prayed that the Lord would be a strong tower, a hiding place, a buckler, and a shield to his people; and I know he will be.

I see that the Saints are going to be free: they are no more going to be bound with the cursed yoke of the Gentiles. You will never feel it from this time henceforth and forever. We have worn it long enough, as long as he wants us to wear it.

The servants of God want the chaff and bran to be sifted out. There is no danger of the pure wheat being hurt; for it will stand through all the processes. The pure gold will endure the burnings, and troubles, and drivings.

Jesus had enemies when he was upon the earth. He has them now, and always will have until he subdues the kingdom of Satan and reigns as King of kings and Lord of lords. And that this time may be hastened is my constant prayer.

May the Lord bless us all. Amen.

Divine Communications to the People Through Their Leaders—Peace the Result of Obedience—Prosperity of The Saints

Remarks by President Heber C. Kimball, Delivered in the Tabernacle, Great Salt Lake City, Sunday Morning, October 18, 1857.

I feel first-rate. I can say one thing for a surety, and that is, that God is on our side, and that he does hear prayers. He hears mine; that is, I suppose I pray for the thing that others pray for, and it comes to pass; and I think he hears my prayers, and it is just as well as any other way, if it is answered.

I just as well know that what brother Brigham has said to you today is ours and will be ours forever, just as well as you know that I am in this stand today before you.

I will tell you how I pray. I ask my Father and my God, in the name of his Son Jesus Christ, Father, will you speak to brother Brigham—will you speak to our leader—will you speak to my President—will you dictate him just as you would dictate matters if you were here in the flesh? That is my prayer, and that should be the prayer of this whole people; and I just know, from this time henceforth, if he lives a hundred years, he never will be led to do a thing except the very thing God would do himself, if he was here. I just know it, brethren. You all understand, naturally, that the food that you partake of goes into the head first, and then passes through to the extremity of every limb to every fiber and to every member of that body, does it not? Well, then, do you not see that everything must first be received by the head, and that there is where God will communicate? And when he communicates to the head, if you are all members of that body and connected with that head, like the limbs of a tree, how can you help partaking of that same Spirit, the same knowledge with the head? You cannot help it. He cannot be a person of much sense that cannot believe this.

These are my feelings. I want to point your minds to it; and when our President—our leader wants a man to do anything, God will go with that man, even as he is with brother Daniel H. Wells; he will attend to the business that pertains to the mountains, and he is almighty in the place in which he is authorized and appointed to act, and so is every other man. If he will go there and honor that calling, God will honor him, and he will honor every man who will honor him. God never will honor you except you honor the Priesthood and pay due respect to it and to every commanding officer in the Church and the kingdom of God.

If this people will do as they are told from this day, I will eat peaches, apples, plums, and the products of these valleys in Great Salt Lake City till we go to Jackson County, and I know it. [President Young, “I believe it.”] Brethren, I am telling the truth, and I am telling it as it is in the bosom of our God and of our leaders. It is the first time we ever eat peaches—that is, of our own raising, since we came into this Church; and it is the first time we ever eat apples; and it is the first time we ever were a free people.

Now we are living under the blessings the Prophets foretold. They said the time would come when we would sit under our own vine and fig trees, and our own peach trees and apple trees, and would eat; and that we should build, and another should not inhabit.

Brethren, our enemies never will inhabit these valleys if we do just as we are told from this time forth; and we will inhabit these valleys and will have power and victory over our enemies from this time henceforth and forever. Good heavens! I cannot live your religion: I can only live for myself. Every man, every woman, and every child must live the religion of Jesus Christ, and the religion you are taught by your leaders, according as you are dictated. Do you not see it? You have got to do it.

Can I live the religion for my wife and my children? I cannot. But if they will take my counsel, I will lead them just as brother Brigham leads me, and as God leads him; and we will go right into heaven, just like taking the head of a vine and drawing it right into our Father’s kingdom: every branch goes with it that sticks to the vine, with the fruit thereof that cleaves to the branches.

Do I feel well? I never felt better in my life. I felt pretty well in Nauvoo, at the time brother Brigham was speaking of; though I did regret—perhaps I did wrong—but I did regret that peace was proclaimed so quick; for I tell you there were about one or two score of men I wanted to see under the sod; then I was willing to make peace: but I had to, as it was. We have made peace a great many times, and the United States have taken a course to make us do as they wished us; but let me tell you that day is past and gone, and we will now proclaim the course they will have to take; and they will have to make peace with us, and we never shall make peace with them again. Brother Brigham will designate the course they have got to take; and if they come here, they have got to give up their arms: they cannot come in here with a gun on their shoulders, or a pistol in their belts.

War has commenced, and the Devil will never cease his operations upon us; but if we live the religion of Jesus Christ, we are just as free today as we ever shall be; and when it comes tomorrow, we are free tomorrow; and we are free this year, and will be free next year, and will be just as free twenty years from now as we are now, only a little more so: we increase and advance as we live.

Well, we shall prosper, and we shall not burn up our houses; we shall not cut down our orchards, nor throw down our walls, nor our barns; and I am not going to stop building, because I just want to secure my fruit; I want to secure it and take good care of it.

Am I discouraged? If this people do right, you will live forever and prosper and aggrandize these valleys. Well, now, will you stop increasing? When you stop increasing, that is the end of you; when you stop multiplying, that is the end of you; when you stop improving, that is the end of your improvements. Many persons, if they had a peach pit or an apple seed, would not put them in now. I am going to put in more now than I ever did, and raise them; and I will give them to those that will take them and be choice of them and live their religion. Those that will live the religion of Christ will have orchards.

Well, these are my feelings. God is with us and with brother Brigham, and he will lead him right from this time henceforth and forever.

God bless you! God bless the boys in the mountains, for they shall live to let live; and the angel of life will be with them and with all those that do the will of God and the will of those that lead. Amen.

The Saints’ Blessings—Divine Protection, Etc.

A Discourse by Elder Amasa M. Lyman, Delivered in the Tabernacle, Great Salt Lake City, October 18, 1857.

I have been highly gratified today and edified in what I have heard and in what has been expressed, not only here by the Presidency who addressed us this morning; but the greatest or highest source of gratification in all this matter to myself is that I feel as they feel and as they have expressed themselves; I feel the spirit that is in them, and I feel that it imparts to me the same blessing that it imparts to them. If it is in them a source of light, eternal life, it is the same to me; if it is a source of comfort to them, it is to me. I feel this in relation to our position at the present time and the circumstances that at present surround us, which are different from those that have surrounded us in days that have gone by.

As was remarked by President Young this morning, in his correspondence with our enemies outside, the time has been when we were at the mercy of those that were around us—those that wished us no good—that never have done us aught but evil. But our circumstances have so changed, and the work in which we are engaged has so far progressed, that it has brought us to the circumstances in which we are placed even now. It has not only brought us to know the truth, but we have the privilege, the ability, and the capacity, through the blessings of heaven, to take care of and defend ourselves.

What are the honest convictions that are within us? They are that we can defend ourselves; for we are where we dare speak in favor of the truth; and I thank God that we are today so far removed from the seat and power of our enemies, that they are unable to reach us in the summary way in which they have done heretofore. This to me is a gratification and a comfort: it enables me to look upon those things around me with feelings different from those in which I have been in the habit of contemplating them.

In times that are past we have been forced by the surrounding influence to look upon things around us as though they were only to be enjoyed for a short time—that though we had something one day, there was but little assurance that we would have them the next. If blessed with home, with our firesides, and habitations, and those things that rendered us happy, we had but little assurance that tomorrow would not sweep them all away. But here, in this place in which we are at present located, we have our homes, through the blessing of God, we have our associations, and we have all that we have in our possession to happify our situation and cause hope to live within us for that which is still better; and we are so far removed from the land of our enemies, that we can hope consistently that they may be continued unto us for many days.

As has been remarked today, look at it naturally, as men not connected with the work of God in which we are engaged, and we are blessed; we are in a place that is blessed, and the very place of which we have almost, at times, been inclined to complain and to feel that we were sharing in a hard lot—that we were forced to live and to dwell in such a place as we now occupy. But the things that we have thus regarded as hardships are blessings to us.

If you never had been able to appreciate them at all in their truthful character until now, just now open your eyes, and do not keep your eyes closed against the truth; but open them and look upon our situation—the circumstances that surround us, and you will feel, if you feel as I do, to thank God—for what? For the rugged mountains that are around us—for the barren and desert country that lies between us and the land of our enemies. You will feel, in the spirit of the persecuted of other days and other climes and dispensations, to bless God for the strength of the hills, and that the Plains that lie between us and our enemies are sterile and barren; for in these things are our protection.

“But,” says one, “would not God protect us?” Certainly; and how has God protected us? He has protected us by bringing us to the land where we now dwell—a land where, if there had been great labor bestowed upon it, it could not have been better prepared to constitute a home for the naked, the driven, the afflicted, and the despised people of God. It is every way calculated to give security to the people of God. For this reason I feel well.

If I have ever seen the hand of God—if I have ever seen or known his dealings with his people, or have ever seen a manifestation of his wisdom, it is more than ever manifest in his bringing us to this land, where the distance is so great from the land of our enemies. The character of the country intervening between us and them is better to us than millions of millions of armed men to protect us: it affords us a protection that cannot be found in the armies of the earth, were they all marshaled in our behalf.

Well, then, I feel to thank God that we are here; I feel to bless him for every foot of desert country that intervenes between this and our enemies. There is not a foot of barren soil between us and them but for it I feel to thank God. I regard it as a bulwark of strength to protect the infant kingdom of God while it should gather to itself strength, that it might exist in the midst of the nations of the earth.

For all these things I feel well today; I feel happy, and I would that all the Saints could feel happy. “Well,” says one, “I would feel happy, if I could.” What is the reason you cannot be happy? Where is the evidence of the truth that the people are not happy in this country? Where are those who are not satisfied in this country? I do not believe that there is a dissatisfied soul in the whole length and breadth of the land where the Saints dwell that enjoys the Spirit of God. Why? Because here is the only place that man can live and enjoy the Spirit of God without restraint: here is the place where the peace, the bliss, the prospect of happiness can be cherished in the mind of man, free from restraint.

Well, then, this is the place in which to be happy. But shall we be protected? Shall we be preserved? Shall we be upheld? Shall we be sustained? I say, shall we continue to enjoy these blessings? This is a question that we may answer for ourselves.

“But,” says one, “has not President Kimball said that we should be victorious?” Yes, he has said it again and again, that we should, if we would but do right. This is why I say it is a question for us to answer for our selves. Now, will we do right? What do we say within ourselves? What is the feeling that lives within us in relation to this matter? Will we do right? I have no doubt but what we may all think that we will do right.

If we conclude that we will all do right, let us make up our minds for the struggle; for it will require all our power. We are not going to do right without an effort; we will not attain to that which is right without an effort; neither will we retain the blessings when we have them without an effort, and one that is constant and unremitting—as constant as the life that we seek and the blessings that we calculate to secure to ourselves.

When we engage in this struggle, it should not be with half a purpose, nor with our affections divided; a part of our regards running out to the things that are around us, and that are but of little moment, without regard for God and his work and the consummation and perfection of our own salvation; but we should commence this struggle with all the energies of our souls concentrated upon this one point —that we will do right, and as fast as we learn the right, do it.

We have been told what it is to do right, and that is to learn the will of God and do it. We knew the will of God in relation to a great many things, and you would think you were abused and underrated in relation to your knowledge, if you were told that you did not know how to do better than you sometimes do.

We know the will of God in relation to a great many things, because it has been sounded in our ears ever since we commenced in the work of God: it has been told us from day to day and from time to time.

You know that it is peace that we want. Our President has told us that he has sought for peace with our enemies. We have all desired peace with our enemies outside; but we shall not have peace in the complete sense of the term till we make it at home.

Have we made peace within ourselves and in our homes? Have we made peace in that territory over which we preside? Is the same unanimity of feeling, the same union, the same singleness of purpose developed within us, as individuals and families, that marks the action and the conduct of this great people when the public safety and the interests of the people require effort? When labor is to be performed or sacrifice to be made, and it is called for, is it made? Yes; the experience of the past few weeks shows this is the case. If you ask for men, they are on hand; if you ask for means, they are rendered without a grudge; they come freely, and then more than you have asked for.

What does this prove? Why, it proves that the feelings of unanimity exist in the body of this people. If this feeling exists to this extent in the mass of the people, one would suppose that it certainly would exist to a corresponding extent in individuals. Is this the case? Are we as ready to turn out, to make exertion, to lose sleep, to watch by night and by day, to weary ourselves again and again, that we may live acceptably before God—that we may bring ourselves into perfect subjection to the spirit of the Gospel that we have embraced—are we, I say, as ready to do these things as we would be to respond to the call to shoulder our guns and go into the mountains, as our brethren are doing and have done?

Are we willing, with the same hearty good feeling, with the same perseverance, to subject ourselves to the spirit of the Gospel and cultivate it within us with just as much industry, with as much indefatigable zeal as that with which we go into the mountains and labor by day, sleep out at night, and endure the weather, fair or foul, without grumbling, without faultfinding; so that our whole soul and our whole affections are in the cause? If we leave our homes for the love of God, and if we live our religion at home and honor the Gospel that we have embraced, what would it secure to us? It would secure to us a reward for all the difficulties, for all the losses that we have sustained. Would it save us from burning our dwellings and leaving the land covered with piles of smoking ruins? Yes; for this is the condition upon which we are promised these things.

I want to see the people go to work, as his servants have said, individually, throughout the length and breadth of this nation and kingdom of Israel, here in the valleys of the mountains. I want every man and every woman to say, “As for me and my house, we will serve the Lord,” and when we learn his will, then go to work and do it. I want you to commence a war of extermination on the evils that are between you and your God in claiming this promise.

I do not in my heart desire to see men, women, and children flee into the mountains. But we should be willing to go, remain here, or do whatever is required, and feel that in so doing we were doing the will of God.

How do you feel, brethren and sisters? Do you feel as though we would do right and keep the commandments of God, and claim the promises that have been made us today, that, if we would do as we have been counseled, we should come and go, confront our enemies, and conquer them, and not many fall in the struggle.

[Blessed the sacramental cup.]

I presume that there is not a soul that belongs to the Church of the Saints, here or elsewhere, that feels a living interest in the prosperity of Zion, but what would wish that they might be enabled to pursue a course of life that would secure to them this blessing—that our brethren, a part of ourselves, those that are united to us by the ties of the Gospel, are called to go abroad to face our enemies, to be exposed as they may be to the chances of death, can secure this blessing and get the blessing and protection of our Heavenly Father.

Be perfect in your sphere; be constant, and you shall be preserved while in dangers that are around you, until you shall accomplish the object of your mission, return to us unscathed and unharmed, and rejoice in the blessings accruing from the victory gained.

Do you want this, mothers? Fathers, do you want this blessing? If you do, do as I have exhorted you this afternoon—put away everything from you that is evil, and cultivate the Spirit of truth within you, that your prayers may ascend up before God, and that they may be acceptable. Call down his protection upon the absent ones, as well as upon yourselves. Do not be careless—do not settle down in thoughtless indifference, thinking that because the servants of God have promised victory, that it must come, independently of your exertions. It is only upon this condition that safety is secured to you and to me, and that is, that we DO RIGHT.

It is only as the conditions are complied with, that the blessing is obtained; it is only as we live for them; it is only as we render ourselves worthy to receive, by the course of conduct that we pursue. This is the nature of the blessing that will come home to us; this is the blessing that our Father will bestow; and beyond this will we receive blessings? No. Well, then, have we not every reason to be faithful? Yes; and why? Because everything depends upon it.

Then, brethren and sisters, let us remember this brief lesson, and let us take it home with us when we go. “Well, then,” says one, “if we take it home with us, and do a requisite amount of praying, it will be right, will it not?” It will depend upon the way you pray. I want you to go home and pray acceptably; and, lest your prayers be hindered, be careful not to allow any spirit to live around you or in you that would not be pleasing in the sight of God.

Do not quarrel at home, because it will not do you any good. Now, that is reason enough. Do not cherish any bad feelings. “Why?” says one. Because they will not do you any good; and that should be reason enough. Do not allow yourself to do any wrong.

I want you to go home and do all the right that is required of you. You are only required to do right as far as you know what is right. You are not required to do right in the President’s place, nor for anybody but yourself. And the wrongs done by individuals, should they all be piled up until they made a pile that would reach the gates of the celestial city, would not justify you in a single wrong.

Then let us go home and turn aside this other calamity and this other chastisement that will come upon us if we do not do right. If we do not do right, the result will be that we shall have to suffer that which we are told: but we shall not suffer, if we will do right. If we do suffer, it will be because we have not done right; and we shall know in a few years whether we have done right or whether we have not.

If I could live for all the Saints or for anybody else besides myself—if I had any time that did not need to be occupied for myself, I would not mind doing right for others; but I cannot, for I have only time enough to do the good that I am required to do myself, in order to do my share in this work: therefore I want you to do your share.

You, each one, do your piece of work; carry it to your firesides, to your fields; keep it with you, so that it may be in you all the time. Keep your face Zionward every day and every night and all the time that shall be allotted to you; and when you will all do this, what will be done? Why, we shall secure an insurance against the destruction of the comforts that are around us and desolating our country. If we are not forced to desolate our country, there is one thing that is certain—our enemies will not occupy it; they will not dwell in it, and it will not be cursed by their running over it.

If these are not inducements for us to live our religion, I do not know what are. It appears to me that they should be sufficient to secure the interest and the affections of every man and woman that has a knowledge of the truth.

This is a point that I feel particularly and specially interested about: I care but little about big things or mysterious things. If we can only, as a people, take hold of these small matters that affect us at our home, which, if not attended to, will roll obstacles between us and our God, and then ask God our Heavenly Father to do for us as we would do for each other—to bless us as we want to be blessed—to be charitable to us as we are charitable to each other—merciful to us as we are merciful to one another, what will be the result? If we always do these things, there will never be anything in the way of our prayers.

But if we withhold our hand, and do not bless our brethren and sisters as we should, will God hear us when we pray to him? I tell you he will not. We might pray until we were so hoarse that we could not speak; we might pray in thundertones, till our prayers could be heard from one end of the continent to the other, and still he would not listen to us.

He has told us what spirit we should pray in and how we should act towards those around us. Then let us go and cultivate these things in our homes, in our family circles; for this is the most effectual way to carry out these principles.

If all the men in the Territory or three-fourths of them are called away, do they quarrel? No. Some of them write home to me and say they have been for ten days assembled together in a motley crowd of four or five hundred men, in circumstances not near so comfortable as those by which we are surrounded here at home; and there has not been a sign of difference or of contention or quarrelling in their midst.

Well, is this a sign that everything is all right in Zion? I do not know. I wish that the same feeling pervaded the circle of every family in the mountains that pervades those brethren in the mountains. Well, sisters, cannot you help to make it so? You can. You have been told how to make it so. Be charitable to one another’s faults, just as you would be charitable to your children, or as you would wish God to be charitable to you. When you pray, ask God to do as you would have others do. And, as you think it would be good for God and angels to do, and as you would have others do, even so do yourself.

If you go home and do that way, whether it is in the domestic circle, or whether it is in the more extended circles of your associations in life, there will be a peaceable, happifying influence around and within you, and that influence will extend from you to others.

You come to the Tabernacle and enjoy the Spirit of peace and of truth that is here—the Spirit of God. Well, now, you ought to enjoy that Spirit, the Spirit of peace, just as much at home as anywhere else: you should have it there all the time. There is a fruitful field for the cultivation of practical purity and virtue, that is as imperishable as truth itself, that will render you secure in that victory that is anticipated in the conquest before us. Let us not be found delinquent in the duties that are enjoined upon us.

That you and I may be enabled to attend faithfully to our duties is my prayer, in the name of Jesus. Amen.

Present and Former Persecutions of the Saints, Etc.

Remarks by President Brigham Young, Delivered in the Tabernacle, Great Salt Lake City, Sunday Morning, October 18, 1857.

I purpose to have read to you this morning some of the communications that have passed between our enemies and ourselves, for the people are anxious to know the feeling of the two parties; they are very anxious to learn the news. I am perfectly willing that they should know all, for my feelings and yours are very different from those of the world. You are aware that among the nations the soldiers are never permitted to know anything about the plans of the officers: statesmen withhold from their constituents every policy they possibly can, and the statement of one of them is verily true pertaining to their use of the English language—that is, to secrete ideas instead of revealing them. Men study to talk a great deal, when at the same time they know but very little, and often even strive to conceal the little they do know. Among its other capabilities, the English language is better adapted than any other in existence to the using of thousands of words without conveying an idea.

If the Government of the United States have sent soldiers to this Territory, I do not know it; for I have had no official notice of such a circumstance, and you will perceive that I treat them accordingly. If they are sent by Government, they are sent expressly to destroy this people; and if they are not sent by the Government, they have come expressly to destroy this people; therefore I shall treat them, as I have informed the officer in command, the same as though they were an avowed mob—not as I would those who have heretofore mobbed us, but as parties who have come to mob us now.

I have informed Colonel Alexander that had his command been the men who have heretofore mobbed us, and the lying scribblers and the wicked rabble, who have all the day long been trying to incite mobs against us, they never would have seen the South Pass.

You will perceive from the communications which brother John T. Caine will read, the feelings of the two parties—myself representing the Latter-day Saints, and Colonel Alexander representing the officers of what he states to be a portion of the United States army. Whether it is or not, I have no business to know, and shall not know, until I am officially notified.

Brother Caine will now read the principal letters in the order best adapted to your comprehending their purport.

[Brother Caine read an unofficial letter from President Brigham Young to Colonel Alexander, dated Oct. 14; one from Lieut. General Wells to President Young, dated Oct. 15; one from Colonel Alexander to Governor Young, dated Oct. 12; and one from Governor Young to Colonel Alexander, dated Oct. 16.]

There are a good many here who have not witnessed the scenes of persecution that some of us have. I was asking father Morley, this morning, whether he thought the enemy could now ride into our cornfields and through our gardens and shoot down our cattle, and plunder and burn our houses, as they did in Missouri.

When the mob in Missouri commenced burning our habitations, we frequently sent to the Governor, petitioning him to stop mobbings; but, instead of doing that, he rendered them assistance, by ordering about 3,500 men to go and lay waste the city of Far West, and destroy men, women, and children. Those orders General Clark had, though at their close the Governor said to him, “I shall leave it discretionary with you whether you kill all the Mormons or not.” We saw them coming, and some thought they were sent to disperse the mob, in answer to our petition; but the mob were expecting them and seemed to understand the movement.

The first act that I saw General Clark’s army perform was to throw down about half a mile of fence that opened into a six hundred acre field of corn. The mob mingled with the army, and they rode and drove their animals into and through that cornfield. At night, they took the rails and burned them for firewood, and let their horses run loose in the field. That I saw and knew; hence I was just asking father Morley whether he thought our enemies could now ride into the cornfields of the “Mormons.” He said that he thought they could not. This blessing makes me say, Hallelujah to God.

It is pretty hard for us to come here with nothing; and we have come as near coming here with nothing as the Lord did to creating the heavens and the earth out of nothing; and I have frequently thought a little higher. I do not think that he was under the necessity of borrowing; but I was. I believe that the Lord has material enough to build all he wants; but I had almost nothing. Some of us worked in the Temple in Nauvoo until about five days before we left, which gave us but little opportunity for outfitting, though many were crossing the river before that time.

If I remembered rightly, I then owned one span of horses and a buggy that brother Daniel Spencer gave me. I traded for wagons, other things that I needed, and for an old horse. I then had three horses and three wagons. I bought, and borrowed, and traded, and got the brethren to help me out; and a good many others borrowed on my credit. Suffice it to say, we left our houses and lands and thousands and thousands of bushels of grain.

This year has made me think of the season that we were obliged to leave Nauvoo. That was one of the most productive seasons ever known in the State of Illinois. It has been asked me by some of the brethren, “Do you think we shall have to leave our fine crops? The earth seems to be loaded as well as it was in Nauvoo.” We have not got to leave; we shall not be obliged to leave our crops and our houses to our enemies: we can sustain ourselves. It makes me rejoice that we are now in a situation that, if this people will live as they should live, they will no more have to be driven as we have been hitherto. Should we ever be obliged to leave our houses, the decree of my heart is that there shall naught be left for our enemies but the ashes of all that will burn. [The congregation responded, “Amen.“] They shall not have my house nor my furniture, as they have had hitherto.

That privilege gives me joy and comfort; and I will now say to those who are not acquainted with such scenes (for many of you are not), that if you see the time that you are obliged to lay waste and leave your homes, you will say, right in the time, and afterwards, that you never felt so well in your lives; for the Spirit and power of God will rest upon you in proportion to the necessity of the case. I know that those who have been in our past troubles—those who have been in the midst of death and destitution can bear testimony that they never enjoyed so much of the Spirit of the Lord at any other time in their lives. I do not know that anybody complained in Nauvoo, except brother Kimball; and he was only sorry that the war closed so soon, for we had our eyes upon a good many of those infernal scoundrels, and we wanted to sod them.

We have sought for peace all the day long; and I have sought for peace with the army now on our borders, and have warned them that we all most firmly believe that they are sent here solely with a view to destroy this people, though they may be ignorant of that fact. And though we may believe that they are sent by the Government of the United States, yet I, as Governor of this Territory, have no business to know any such thing until I am notified by proper authority at Washington. I have a right to treat them as a mob, just as though they had been raised and officered in Missouri and sent here expressly to destroy this people. We have been very merciful and very lenient to them. As I informed them in my unofficial letter, had they been those mobocrats who mobbed us in Missouri, they never would have seen the South Pass. We had plenty of boys on hand, and the mode of warfare they would have met with they are not acquainted with.

I would just as soon tell them as to tell you my mode of warfare. As the Lord God lives, we will waste our enemies by millions, if they send them here to destroy us, and not a man of us be hurt. That is the method I intend to pursue. Do you want to know what is going to be done with the enemies now on our borders? If they come here, I will tell you what will be done. As soon as they start to come into our settlements, let sleep depart from their eyes and slumber from their eyelids until they sleep in death, for they have been warned and forewarned that we will not tamely submit to being destroyed. Men shall be secreted here and there and shall waste away our enemies, in the name of Israel’s God.

I have thought that perhaps the Lord designs to furnish us a little clothing and ammunition; and if he does, he will permit our enemies to try to come in here; but if he sees that that would be an injury to us, he will turn them another way.

I intend to publish the communications between the army and myself; for I wish the whole United States to understand it.

Colonel Alexander complains of our mode of warfare. They have two or more field batteries of artillery with them, and they want us to form a line of battle in an open plain and give them a fair chance to shoot us. I did not tell the Colonel what I thought; but if he had a spark of sense, he must be a fool to think that we will ever do any such thing. I am going to observe the old maxim—

“He that fights and runs away Lives to fight another day.”

Should our enemies venture upon violent measures, I design to so manage affairs that none of our boys will be killed; and in my answer to the Colonel, I have told him pretty plainly what we shall do under certain contingencies.

Did he not granny it off admirably about the prisoners, when he wrote, “I need not assure you that not a hair of their heads will be hurt?” He dare not hurt them, neither has he the first particle of reason for hurting them. He has released and sent in the younger brother with an express, under the alleged consideration of his having a wife and three children entirely dependent upon him. I wonder that the Colonel had not a young officer to send with him.

The boys report their order of march to be the 10th Infantry in front, the baggage in the center, the 5th Infantry in the rear, and several flanking companies traveling through the brush as best they can. Don’t you think they would look well coming from the United States in that way? That is the way in which they were traveling at our last advices, and it was said that their picket guard declared they would not watch.

If the soldiers knew the facts in the case as do their officers, they would probably nearly all leave the army; but the officers keep the soldiers in the dark. The last report is that the officers had been telling the men that I had written a very favorable letter to Colonel Alexander, and that they were intending to come in.

When I think, Are they in your houses? Are they in your fields? I can answer, No: they are in the mountains; they are in the cold and snow; and if they continue, as those officers appear to intend to, upon the side of despotism and mobocracy, they justly ought to be served as we would serve all mobocrats. But we are here and we are free, as brother Kimball has said—just as free, in one sense, as we ever shall be. We need not think that we are always going to be unmolested by the efforts of mobs, until wickedness is swept from this earth. If we live, we shall see the nations of the earth arrayed against this people; for that time must come, in fulfillment of prophecy. Tell about war commencing! Bitter and relentless war was waged against Joseph Smith before he had received the plates of the Book of Mormon; and from that time till now the wicked have only fallen back at times to gain strength and learn how to attack the kingdom of God.

Colonel Alexander preached to me a little, stating in his letter, “I warn you that the bloodshed in this contest will be upon your head.” But that warning gave me no thought. But if the blood of those soldiers is shed, it will be upon the heads of their officers.

What they will do I neither know nor care; for it will be just as the Lord God wills it. If he sees that we need their substance, he will turn things to that end; and if he designs them to be wiped out, he will either cause them to undertake to come here or will overrule some other plan to accomplish that end.

Another year I am going to prepare for the worst, and I want you to prepare to cache our grain and lay waste this Territory; for I am determined, if driven to that extremity, that our enemies shall find nothing but heaps of ashes and ruins. We will be so prepared that in a few days all can be consumed. I shall request the Bishops to see that the people in their wards are provided with two or three years’ provisions. There is already enough raised in many places this season to supply the people from two to three years, and I wish them to take care of it; though I expect that in all probability we will raise a great many crops before our enemies again attempt to come here to disturb us; and I expect that we are fully able to defend ourselves, and that our enemies will not be able to come within a hundred miles of us. I know that ten men, such as I could name and select, could stop them before they got to Laramie. And if we had seen fit to have sent such men this season, they alone could very easily have so stopped our enemies that they never would have got through the Black Hills. I count five such men equal to twenty-five thousand, and believe that two of them could put ten thousand to flight. I believe we are now where that could be done. I will take five or ten such as I can name; and if two can put ten thousand to flight, I am sure that ten are perfectly able to do it.

Who has sought for war? Have we? No. We have preached the Gospel to Saints and strangers, when strangers would come and tarry long enough to hear it. We do not want to stand here and talk about war. There is nothing so repugnant to my feelings as to injure or destroy. But what is upon us? Nothing, only another manifestation of the opposition of the Devil to the kingdom of God. War has been declared against the Saints over twenty-seven years, and our enemies have only fallen back so as to gain strength and pretexts for making another attack. Will that spirit increase? If it does, and we love our religion, let me tell you that we will increase faster than our enemies will. This Territory and people are perfectly able to defend themselves, with the help of our God. They are perfectly able to set apart men of the right stripe and maintain a standing army that can keep off the armies of our enemies. And if the world combine against us, so we are but one, then all will go on well and work together for our good.

Our enemies, in the last treaty they made with us, should have stipulated that we should have gone only a short distance, so that we would not be out of their reach. They had better have made that stipulation; but they did not have wisdom, or they would have stopped us from going so far away. They drove us away from their society and allowed us to travel so far over the sage plains, that it is impossible for an army to bring provisions enough to last them here.

I have been told that the first artillery company, upon its arrival at La ramie, loaded up all the grain they could haul to feed their mule teams; and when they reached the Devil’s Gate they sent forward after their grain from their freight trains, and then they had not enough to last them to Ham’s Fork. It is impossible for them to load up teams with sufficient forage to last them to Green River; and the more men they send the more there are to eat up what the mule and ox-trains haul; and the consequence is that the more men they send the worse it is all the time.

If they undertake to send fifty thousand men to Utah, I will venture to say that they cannot raise so large a company in the United States but what would cut each other’s throats before they traveled a thousand miles across the Plains, to say nothing about any other persons molesting them. They would be cursing, damning, and howling all the way. I know that the comparatively few scattered here and there over the country and in the mountains can spoil their march before they could get here.

If the Lord sees that we need to be afflicted, he can apply the rod. I do not say this to urge you to your duty; for if you will not live your religion for the blessings that God bestows upon it, you will not live it anyhow; and the man who will not live his religion ought to be damned. Never serve God because you are afraid of hell; but live your religion, because it is calculated to give you eternal life. It points to that existence that never ends, while the other course leads to destruction, to dissolution, where they will be destroyed from the earth and from the eternities, and return back to the native elements.

What blessing can be bestowed upon man equal to that of eternal life? The greatest blessing that can be bestowed is that of eternal existence—to place mortal beings where they can endure forever—where they are free from sorrow and pain, and possessed of keys, thrones, and dominions—where they can be perfectly swallowed up in happiness and bliss. What greater gift can be bestowed upon beings? None. Therefore, if we will not live up to our religion, according to our ability, we ought to be damned.

We have the privilege of honoring the stations we are in; we have the privilege, in the Lord’s hands, of preparing for exaltation. We are compared to the making of pottery upon the wheel; but the Lord never intended to show in that comparison that we were helpless beings and had no agency. Clay has so little intelligence that it is often so full of lumps that it will mar; but it is not to blame for that: but the Lord says, “You, intelligent Israel, are to blame, if you do not obey my voice; and if you are disobedient, I will serve you as the potter serves the clay that has very little intelligence. You, Israel, are capable of choosing, you are capable of refusing, you are capable of performing, you are capable of hearing counsel from my mouth and of carrying out those principles that I tell you; but the clay upon the wheel has no such intelligence; and if you do not obey my voice, it will prove that you are not worthy of intelligence, any more than the clay upon the potter’s wheel: consequently, the intelligence that you are endowed with will be taken from you, and you will have to go into the mill and be ground over again.”

I wish the people to hasten and gather together and secure all that they have raised in the fields; and when this little skirmish is over, I am going to instruct the people to begin to prepare for going into the mountains, also to raise their grain another year, and to secure that which we now have by putting it where our enemies cannot find it.

You want to know where you can go. I know of places enough where I can hide this people and a thousand times more, and our enemies may hunt till doomsday and not be able to find us.

I do not know but we shall call upon the sisters to go into the fields and raise potatoes while their husbands go out to war; and if they can do that, then perhaps we will see whether they can go into the fields and raise wheat while their husbands are defending Zion. In such an operation we shall call for volunteers; we shall have no compulsion about it. So soon as I learn that a woman would sooner go to the enemy’s camp, just so soon I will send her; and you may mark it. I shall not warrant such a one safe, only until she reaches the enemy’s camp. I told a man yesterday—one that I understood wanted to go away, “If that is your feeling and faith, I want you immediately conveyed to those troops.” I want to forthwith send to our enemies every man and every woman that does not wish to do right, but wishes to join them in their crusade against this people. You may enquire why I take that course. I answer, So as to send them to hell as quickly as possible.

That reminds me of a circumstance that transpired here some years ago. A man from Boston, on his way to the gold diggings, stopped a few days in this city and heard me preach. Soon afterwards I met him in the street, and he asked me if I knew where hell was. I told him I thought that he was on the road to that very place; and when he crossed over the Sierra Nevada mountains into the gold diggings in California, if he discovered that he had not found hell, to come back and let me know. As I have not since heard from him, I presume he found it, which I now think a person will who goes East as well as West.

The President of the United States, his Cabinet, the Senate, the House of Representatives, the priests of the various religious sects and their followers have joined in a crusade to waste away the last vestige of truth and righteousness from this earth, and especially from this part of it. Yes, they have joined together; and we have to maintain truth and righteousness, virtue and holiness, or they will be driven from the earth. With us, it is the kingdom of God, or nothing; and we will maintain it, or die in trying—though we shall not die in trying. It is comforting to many to be assured that we shall not die in trying, but we shall live in trying. We will maintain the kingdom of God, living; and if we do not maintain it, we shall be found dying not only a temporal, but also an eternal death. Then take a course to live.

Read the history of the world from the time that Cain killed Abel to this day, and see whether you can find an instance when, in a mountain country, fifty resolute, united men have been overcome by five hundred. If brother Joseph Smith had taken a company and come to this country, as he intended to do, he could have been living here now, in spite of earth and hell. Yes, he could have done this, if he could have brought only fifty men with him; for, with them, he could have defied the whole world; and you know that he would have had thousands of the upright gathered with him before now; though, if he had been here with only fifty good men, he could have bid defiance to all his enemies.

Did their enemies ever overcome the small band of Waldenses in the mountains in Piedmont? No. They slaughtered army after army sent against them and maintained their position, notwithstanding to reach them was only like sending an army here from San Pete, or from here to San Pete. They were within easy reach of their enemies.

Would Scotland ever have been so far overcome by England as to unite with that power, if her chiefs had not indulged in petty feuds with each other? No, it never would. But the chiefs were like our Indians: some were in favor of this one, and others of that one being crowned chief; and by contending with each other they lost the advantage of their position, or to this day Scotland might have been an independent nation, even though surrounded by water on all sides except the one joining England.

I instance those examples to show you that, if you will give me the right kind of men, I will take a few hundred of them and be at the defiance of the armies of the world; and that, too, upon natural principles. If God is for us, that of course makes us still stronger; but if he is against us, let us not strive to do anything in opposition to his will: let righteousness triumph. But I know that we are right.

When I used to be preaching in the world, priests would come to me and enquire about my doctrine. I would tell them my principles—every principle that I could get plainly before them that would be for their good; and after giving them my doctrine, I would ask, What do you Methodists believe? They would tell me. I would reply, I know all about that. Next would come the Baptists, and I knew all about them. Then came along the Presbyterians, and I would say, I know all about your doctrine. And I would have the Quakers and the Shakers; and when I talked to them, I knew all they believed. I understood the whole concern, and my religion embraced all the truth they all had and a great deal more. I could put on paper all the knowledge of salvation that all the religious sects possess, and put that paper into a snuff box, and never miss the room it occupied. I would say, I know how much truth you have embraced; you have bounds to your religion, but I have no bounds to mine: the faith I have embraced is broad as eternity.

I would say, Brother Methodist, have you a truth? If you have, let us hear it: that is the Bible; that is my doctrine: I believe it. “I read in the Bible that the Savior was crucified,” say the Methodists. I reply, I have embraced that in my faith: that is true; and every particle of truth that you believe I have incorporated in my faith; therefore you perceive that you must take the stand that you will defend error and falsehood, or there is no chance for a discussion or contention; for I believe all the truth that you believe. Now, all the truth I have I want you to embrace, and then go ahead; and then there is no chance for an argument.

We wish for all the truth and all the righteousness we can get hold of; and every heart that loves this religion, called “Mormonism,” exclaims, from the center and circumference of his soul and feelings, “Let the Lord be God.” Without that, all will be worthless; with that is everything. Without that we are nothing; we cannot endure; and all our prospects are blasted and scattered to the four winds. In reality, we are nothing, only what the Lord makes us. In a short time, if the Lord is for us, all will be right.

Take things upon natural principles, and I will organize this community so as to be prepared for any and every emergency. And the truth compels me to say, about our enemies, that all hell are crying to come here; and I must either say, Come in here and practice your principles of death and destruction, or I must say, I will contend against you, though I have prayed most fervently for the Lord to keep that event off. But the Lord says, “Will you be for me, or will you take upon you their cause?” I will say, “We will be for the Lord; for he is the God we serve.”

We are free. There is no yoke upon us now, and we will never put it on again. [The congregation responded, “Amen.“] That is the way for every man and woman to feel. When it is necessary, and the Lord calls me to do so, I would just as soon preach about war as anything else, or go and fight a battle as to do anything else.

You hear a great many people talk about a virtuous life. If you could know what an honorable, manly, upright, virtuous life is, you might reduce it to this—Learn the will of the Lord and do it; for he has the keys of life and death, and his mandates should be obeyed, and that is eternal life.

I pray God to bless you all the time; and I bless you in the name of Jesus Christ! Let us be of one heart and mind; and do you not see that the Lord is going to make us of one heart and mind, or we will be suffered to be scourged?

In Missouri most of the brethren signed what they called “a deed of trust.” The brethren were forced to sign away their houses, lands, and property; for they were going to make us bear the expense of the war. When the brethren had done this, they would kick up their heels; and old Judge Camron saw it, and swore, and ripped out an oath and said, “They are whipped, but they are not conquered.” One fellow said, “I will swear we can make them consecrate: old Joe has been trying, but he could not do it.” I suppose a few have urged it upon the brethren to consecrate. But do you not see that we are coming to where the Lord will make us consecrate?

God bless you! Amen.

The Blessings and Privileges of the Saints—Obedience to Counsel

A Discourse by Elder Lorenzo Snow, Delivered in the Tabernacle, Great Salt Lake City, Sunday Afternoon, October 11, 1857.

I presume, brethren and sisters, that we all feel measurably thankful and grateful that we have had the privilege of receiving the fulness of the Gospel—that we have been counted worthy to be gathered out from among the nations, to meet in these valleys of the mountains for the purpose of receiving instruction, learning the mind and will of our Heavenly Father, and of preparing ourselves for those things that are coming upon the earth.

But, at the same time, I presume to say that we do not all of us fully comprehend the blessings and privileges that are prepared in the Gospel for us to receive. We do not fully comprehend and we do not have before our view the things which await us in the eternal worlds, nor, indeed, the things which await us in this life and that are calculated to promote our peace and happiness and to answer the desires of our hearts.

The Lord has established certain constitutional desires and feelings in our bosoms; and it is so with all mankind—with the whole human family. There are implanted and interwoven in their constitutions certain desires and capacities for enjoyment—desires for certain things that are in their nature calculated to promote our peace and well-being, that answer their feeling and promote their happiness. But how to obtain the gratification of those capacities and desires, the world do not know nor understand. But the Lord has seen fit to put us in the channel and in the way of understanding those things by being faithful and walking in the light of the Holy Spirit, and receiving truth, and eventually coming in possession of everything that our hearts desire in righteousness, to promote our peace and happiness and the highest things that pertain to glory and exaltation in the eternal worlds.

We frequently, in the multitude of cares around us, get forgetful, and these things are not before us; then we do not comprehend that the Gospel is designed and calculated in its nature to bestow upon us those things that will bring glory, honor, and exaltation—that will bring peace and glory. We are apt to forget these things in the midst of the cares and vexations of life; and we do not fully understand that it is our privilege, and that the Lord has placed it in our reach to pursue that Gospel whereby we may have peace within us continually.

All this trouble and vexation of mind is but a matter of the present; and if we keep the light of the Spirit within us, we can so walk in the Gospel that we can measurably enjoy peace and happiness in this world; and while we are traveling onward, striving for peace and happiness that lie in our path, in the distance, we shall have a peace of mind that none can enjoy but those who are filled with the Holy Spirit.

Now, let a worldly man once conceive that it is in his power, after a succession of years of trial and difficulty, to come in possession of worldly riches and wealth, and of all things that his heart can desire, what is he not willing to do? Why, he is willing to labor and toil; and although dressed in poverty and in rags, and with but little of the comforts of this life, yet, so long as he has a sure testimony that eventually he is coming in possession of all the desires of his heart, he urges forward undaunted and full of courage. He has within him a secret desire and hope that the people around him do not comprehend. When the people think there is nothing like peace and happiness about him, he is full of peace; and he has a secret and strong assurance that he is coming in possession of that which he has wished for and that his heart is seeking for.

In the Gospel we have received, by the light thereof and by the power thereof, we see that by-and-by we are coming into possession of those things that we have so long desired and labored for. Those who are not in possession of this Spirit do not understand that the Lord God of our fathers has revealed himself unto us; and although many of them have had a like opportunity, yet they have not made use of it to acquire that knowledge.

Through a continual course of progression, our heavenly Father has received exaltation and glory, and he points us out the same path; and inasmuch as he is clothed with power, authority, and glory, he says, “Walk ye up and come in possession of the same glory and happiness that I possess.”

In the Gospel those things have been made manifest unto us, and we are perfectly assured that, inasmuch as we are faithful, we shall eventually come in possession of everything that the mind of man can conceive of—everything that heart can desire.

Well, then, in the midst of poverty and deprivations, or in the midst of comforts and conveniences, still these hopes are the secret springs of our joys. We see that our heavenly Father does provide us with everything we need; we see that we are in the sure path to come in possession of those richer blessings that are promised; and nothing in this world can, or ever will, place an impediment in our way to prevent us from receiving those blessings.

Is not our liberty, our comfort in the everlasting Gospel, the assurance that we shall receive all the reward that is made sure to the faithful children of God? Then where is the man that is not willing to set fire to his substance—that is not willing to yield everything for the salvation of himself and the people, if that be the principle upon which salvation is to be obtained?

Let a man have the visions of the Almighty unfolded to his view, and see in yonder heavens the government of the eternal worlds—let him see the liberty and joy that are to be participated in, and let him see that the Gospel gives all to this man, and he is willing in his heart and in his feelings to yield everything to the will of God, that he may come in possession of those things. Will such a man pursue a course that will eventually throw him out of the kingdom? Will he give up those blessings and those prospects for a little comfort, or for a little of this world’s goods, or to enjoy the comforts of this life for a season?

Where is there cause to mourn? Where is there cause for the Saints to wear long faces? Where is there cause for weeping or repining ? There is none; but it is life or death that is set before us. Principalities and powers are ours, if we continue faithful; sorrow and banishment, if we disregard the Gospel.

What can we wish for more than is comprehended in our religion? If we will stand firm upon the rock, and will follow the Spirit that has been placed in our bosoms, we shall act right in the way of our duties—we shall act right to those who are placed over us—we shall act right, whether in the light or in the dark.

Where is the man that will turn aside and throw away those prospects that are embraced in the Gospel which we have received? In it there is satisfaction, there is joy, there is stability, there is something upon which to rest our feet, there is a sure foundation to build upon, and upon which to yield that which is required of us.

When the enemy is near, and when the stormy clouds arise, and the war clouds approach, even then we can feel free and quiet, and be satisfied that all is right in Israel. It is only for us to be ready to do our duty, to serve our President with all our heart, with all our might, with all our feelings, with all our property and energies, and with all things that the Lord has put into our hands.

Let the power that God has put into our hands be used; for herein lies a continued advancement in dominion, in power, and in knowledge. We should be ready at all times to exer cise all the power, means, and influence we possess in the service of our God, and resignedly follow out the directions of our President and those that are appointed over us.

Let us be like little children, ready and willing to do as we are commanded by the powers that we should obey. Let us be obedient to the voice of truth, and ever be found in the path of duty; and there let us continue. Let a man do this, and he continues to advance; he will grow in the knowledge of God, and in influence, and in everything that is good. We may well be said to be a people of one mind, for we are the Saints of the living God. The Saints who are brought from the nations of the earth—those who have been gathered together in one, are the ones who hold the birthright to reign on the earth.

It is a good thing, brethren, to be a Saint. We are as children; we have to pass through the state of infancy, of childhood, and of youth, before we can arrive at manhood; and we have to learn by degrees.

There are some who do not learn and who do not improve as fast as they might, because their eyes and their hearts are not upon God. They do not reflect, neither do they have that knowledge which they might have: they miss a good deal which they might receive. We have got to obtain knowledge before we obtain permanent happiness; we have got to be wide awake to the things of God.

Though we may now neglect to improve our time, to brighten up our intellectual faculties, we shall be obliged to improve them sometime. We have got so much ground to walk over; and if we fail to travel today, we shall have so much more to travel tomorrow. We should try to learn and understand how we may best perform our daily duties, and learn what enjoyment it is our privilege to receive.

Wives and children fail in a great many instances to enjoy that which they might enjoy, because of tradition—because of not employing their minds in reflection. Take an individual family in Zion, for instance, and you will see that there is not that amount of enjoyment that there might be, provided they would act up to their privileges; for then they would receive the blessings in store for them.

The husband has to learn to give proper counsel and direction; he has to learn how to manage his wives and his children, and it takes him some time to learn how to manage wisely and to bestow comfort upon each member of his family.

Our children, if we are diligent in cultivating in ourselves the pure principles of life and salvation, will grow up in the knowledge of these things, and be able with greater facility than ourselves to promote the orders of heaven and establish happiness and peace around them. But our traditions are so interwoven with our nature that it requires more time and effort on our part for us to learn.

It does not trouble some women to follow out the counsel of their husbands: they will serve them in faithfulness—they will honor and respect the power of the Priesthood that is upon their husbands. In this respect they do well and enjoy themselves in doing so, as every woman will; but in the relationship that exists between them and other wives of that man, you are very apt to see a little discord.

And some men will at once fall into the channel of obedience, while it takes other men quite a length of time to learn that principle and carry it out. While a man is full of the Spirit and power of the Almighty, he perceives the line of duty in a moment.

There are men who will follow the counsel of President Young in every particular; but set such a man to preside over men who have not that fulness of light that he has, and he will find difficulty in governing those men: they have to think about it and study about it.

It requires more energy and more strength of purpose in a man to follow out the counsel of one who is just above him than it is to follow a man that is a long way ahead of him. So it is in regard to the women; they can follow the counsel of their husband and do as he wishes much better than they can regard one another. But we should do our duty, if it not so pleasing to ourselves.

We are all imperfect and full of weaknesses; we have not become perfect in the things of God; and hence we have to suffer for one another. Now, in my dealings with the brethren, I have more difficulty in getting along with the man that is ignorant than with him who can see his duty. I perceive that the ignorant man is weak—that he is blind; and inasmuch as I have to suffer from his wrong, because he has not learned to control his passions, it becomes a greater virtue in me to be patient with him; for there is more required of me.

Well, so it may be with some women. You very seldom find that husbands and wives are perfect; but perhaps it is very well that the husband is not perfect, because, if he was, he would be placed at a great distance from his wives. It requires a great exertion on the parts of wives to keep pace with their husbands.

You all perceive more imperfections in those around you than you do in yourselves. It is much more difficult for wives to learn than it is for husbands, because women have not the degree of light and knowledge that their husbands have; they have not the power over their passions that their husbands have: therefore, they have to suffer one for another until they get power over themselves like unto those that have advanced more fully in the knowledge of our God.

There is a struggle all the time, and it requires exertion on our part to know how to manage, how to move, and how to come in possession of the greatest amount of happiness. Let wives pursue an even course with regard to their husband; let them bear with his faults; let them be united and live in peace, and they will increase in light and intelligence. Let the one that has got the most light learn to be the most forbearing, for the sake of her husband and for the sake of the principles of truth. If the Lord has made one woman more perfect than another, and given her more intelligence than her sisters, let her show more mercy and patience in overlooking their faults. By this means a wife will gain influence and favor with her husband, with her sisters, and with her heavenly Father. She thus advances herself and puts herself in a position to enjoy all that is for the righteous. The whole is summed up in this—DO RIGHT.

The man that has the most influence will enjoy the most, and the most is required of him. It is so with you women. If any of you have more knowledge and influence than the others, more is required of you; you have the more to endure.

Let families put themselves in possession of all the good they can—be in a position to do right, and be continually in the path to exaltation and glory. We should all think of these things and practice them. If you want to know how to be great, good, and happy, and how to advance faster in the principles of exaltation and perfection, why, then, set yourselves to work to find out how you can do the most good. You, women, do this, and learn how you can best serve your husbands. You, men, learn how you can best serve President Brigham Young.

Well, it may be more glory for you, sisters, to serve your husbands, than to serve each other; but you have got to learn to do both, and you will get all the honor and glory that you are capable of receiving. But some do not conceive of this: they think that it matters not whether they love their husbands or not, so long as they do not let them know it. But if they do not put themselves in the way of acting properly, they bring darkness and trouble upon themselves.

For instance, if one of my fingers is injured, I feel that injury all over my body. So also if a man has several wives, and one of them gets injured, he feels the injury that is put upon that wife. Some women think, if they can do all that is required by their husbands, that is all that is required. That is very good; but it is a wild, fanciful notion to think that this is all that is called for. But if you will set to with all your energy to bless your husband in serving him and those around him, and endeavoring to make them all happy, because they desire exaltation and happiness, then you are in the line of your duty. This requires an exertion; it requires faith, prayer, and the Spirit of the Lord to enable you to carry out this operation.

But you, sisters, have made rapid advances in consideration of where you stood a few years ago. Well, still continue in the good work and attend faithfully to those things that pertain to your duties and to the stewardship appointed you. See that the little, trifling misunderstandings in domestic concerns do not poison your happiness.

And you, brethren, attend to those duties that pertain to your calling and Priesthood, and know that the Lord has called us to receive the fulness of the Gospel.

We are his Saints, his sons, and his daughters, and all things are open to us; the treasures of time and of eternity are ours—everything is ours, if we will serve our God in faithfulness, even to the sacrifice of all we possess. There lies the preparation for happiness hereafter.

Brethren and sisters, may the Lord bless you! I ask it in the name of Jesus. Amen.

Benefit of Experience—Patience Under Sufferings—Recognition of the Hand of God in the Vicissitudes of His Saints, Etc.

A Sermon by Elder Amasa M. Lyman, Delivered in the Tabernacle, Great Salt Lake City, Sunday Morning, October 11, 1857.

The circumstances of our meeting this morning has brought me to this place to occupy a portion of the time allotted for the worship of today. I cannot say, as I have heard men say at times, that I have thought of nothing to say; for it has been my study and my labor, since my connection with the work of God in the last days, to learn what to say, in order that I might have something whereof to speak, in case that I should be required to say anything; and I would always wish to be able, through the blessing of God and the manifestation of his Holy Spirit, to say, at any time when it might be my duty to speak, something that will be calculated to benefit those to whom I may speak. I know of no other blessing, or glory, or wealth accruing from our living and our labors in the world, but that which we learn of the truth, that will bless us and make us free from the dominion and influence of error.

We talk about experience, and we have had a great deal of experience, and we are constantly in the school of experience. But I am inclined to think that it may be the case with us in that school as in other schools. We sometimes improve by what we experience, adding to our store of knowledge; and then, again, we may experience very considerable from which we derive no particular benefit, like the scholar that attends school, but from inattention, a failure to apply himself properly to his lessons and to the acquirement of the knowledge that is imparted, he fails to comprehend the truth to the extent that he might otherwise have done; and hence he is not benefited to the extent that he might have been, although he has been in the school.

Well, as Saints and as children of God, we are in the school; and if there is any higher purpose connected with our being in the school—connected with living in the world, and connected with all our labors in the world, and what we are supposed to be here for—if there is any higher object than the attainment of the knowledge that will save us, I do not know it. I never have heard of anything greater or more glorious, or more to be esteemed, than our being saved. It is simply for this that we are being taught and that we are learning: it is for this that we are required to be obedient: it is for this that we are obedient.

When we have been obedient to every requirement—made every possible attainment that can be made, what is our condition? We are saved from the bondage of sin and darkness, the consequences of ignorance. Well, then, it will be profitable for us to think of what we experienced—to think of the experience through which we have passed. Has it been a varied scenery, embracing an almost count less variety of changes and of circumstances, involving a good deal of comfort, pleasure, and happiness, with a corresponding amount of sorrow, affliction, and wretchedness?

Have we profited from it all? When we have supposed that the hand of chastisement was upon us, and we have been afflicted, has that affliction been to us a source of knowledge to benefit and to perfect us in our sphere of action? We were passing through this as a necessary school of experience. And when we have passed through it, has it left with us an increase to the store of our knowledge? Has it profited us to an extent that we have comprehended more of the truth that influences our Father in the heavens? And have we learned more of the principles which constitute our happiness and that will be the bliss and the glory of the saved and the sanctified? Has this been the case with us, or have we done as many others have—passed blindly through the school of experience, passed through the sufferings, endured the sorrow, and experienced the joy, the pleasure, and the happiness, and still are unenlightened—still are ignorant?

I believe we may, with profit to ourselves, look over our experience; and why? So long as we have been connected with the Church, if we have not been following, as Saints, in the path of our own making, in yielding obedience to the requirements of the work of God—if we have been obedient to the counsel that has been given—if we have acted up to the calls that have been made—if we have done these things, we have done them for this purpose, for our salvation, our deliverance, and for our improvement, that it might tend to increase our happiness and our comfort.

Under this view of the matter, should we today really conclude that we have really been made sufferers, and that we have in reality been afflicted, and that we have really been made to participate in some wretchedness and misery, we cannot conclude that we have passed through these things for any other purpose than that we should have been brought to a comprehension of the truth by them.

If it was not our misery that prompted our Father in his dealings towards us—that gave character to his operations with us, then he had an object in view. He commenced with us to accomplish his own purposes, to bring about an increase of his own glory in our salvation. Well, when that increase shall be accomplished, we shall know that it was not our sorrow or our affliction that he sought: it was because he wished our salvation, that we were made to partake of the cup of suffering, that we should partake of sorrow before we could reach happiness and bliss as a reward for it.

Well, then, in what way should we look at what we have endured and at what we have suffered? Why, simply as lessons—as admonitions imparted to us for our benefit, for our profit, and for our learning, and that we might increase in knowledge, and this might produce an increase of the legitimate principles of happiness: and it was simply a conscientiousness that we were free from sin that led us to persevere in the pursuit of further happiness, by endeavoring to obtain a more extensive knowledge of the truth. It is for this, then, that we have endured all that we have endured. Have we regarded this in this light, while we have been passing through those scenes that have marked our history from the commencement of the work of God to the present moment?

It was said of the Saints anciently, that they took joyfully the spoiling of their goods; and no doubt they did. It has probably been the case in this dispensation, that the Saints have taken joyfully the spoiling of their goods. But to how great an extent have we taken patiently the spoiling of our goods as trials that were calculated by our Father in heaven only for our good?

We have been in the habit, in consequence of the feelings that pervaded our minds, of looking at the doings of our Father in a limited light; and we have been in the habit of looking at his operations in this way, and whatever was required of us today we regarded as being the fulness of his purposes and of his operations with us; and if we should comply perfectly or readily today with the requirements made of us, we have thought that we had attained all that was to be obtained.

Well, is this so? No. He has been making requirements of us continually: requirement after requirement has been made of us. He has required us to accomplish a work today, and something else the next day; and each succeeding day, from the beginning to the present time, has brought some change in his requirements. He has required us to travel in one direction, for instance, today; and then the accomplishment of the same work which he has to do requires us to take a directly opposite course to what we were pursuing. Well, then, if taking up one course today and another tomorrow seems to be undoing the work of yesterday and to be diametrically opposed to the work of yesterday, can we recognize the hand of God in it? If we have recognized his hand in these things, we have had a profitable experience by them.

“But,” says one, “how can it be that God should require one thing today, and then something else tomorrow? We thought he was a straightforward dealing individual—that there was no variableness, nor shadow of turning in him.” Well, this is the character of him; but, perhaps we have been in difficulty, and could not recognize the hand of God, and could not recognize the blessing in the present apparent suffering. We could not recognize the hand of God as on yesterday, when we thought we were in better circumstances than we are today. Where is the difficulty? It is simply that we have not recognized the hand of God so clearly as in the day that we have considered to be more rich with blessings and prosperity; and what is the reason? “Why,” says one, “we could not see the design of these things.” Well, if we could not see their ultimate design, there must have been a reason why we could not see; and we will consider that there was a purpose in this, as well as in the Lord sending the Gospel which has reached our ears.

Suppose that we should have known that it was his purpose to bring us to this place; why, we never could have believed that we were following his counsel when we were traveling to every other place; for in our journeyings we traveled towards almost every other place before we came here; and, in fact, every other place that we have visited we visited before we came here; and still we were following the purposes of God every time and in all those windings. Well, if we could not know it then, it will be good to know it now—to discover it and to look at it in a way and to an extent that will profit us. It will be well to look at the true position we have been in, now that we understand that all the scenes that we have passed through have been for the accomplishment of his purposes.

If we did not understand his purpose at the beginning, we must at some time comprehend it, or we never can see his hand in it—we never can be blessed with that freedom from ignorance, from error, and from darkness; but the chains that have hitherto held us in error and in bondage will continue to hold us until we reach that point. Then to see and to comprehend, by the light that dwells within us, that God is with us, and that he is round about us, and that he is fulfilling his purposes all the time, however varied our circumstances may be—however they may change from time to time, if we can but know that God is in it, what will be the result? Why, contentment that will be unbroken; it will be a feast to our souls; it will be the banquet of happiness for our minds to feast upon; and then, however difficult our circumstances may be considered, we shall have an inward joy, a peace, a satisfaction, and resignation to the will of our Father, that we could not have while we were bound down by the chains of ignorance and error.

Well, is there anything that we should know? Yes, if we would be happy, we should know that if the clouds of adversity lour around us—if there are indications of a storm continually threatening us, then, if we have not assurance and a knowledge of the truth that will enable us to look through the clouds that have thickened around us to the triumph of the cause that we are engaged in, the scenery will become discouraging to us; and consequently, we shall become unhappy. The consequence will be that we shall be fearful; and it will be that fear that produces unpleasant feelings and which is the result of ignorance. It is required of us not so much to read and comprehend the future which is not revealed, but like the schoolboy that is rapidly passing over lessons given by his preceptor, and who glances over them without seeing their importance, but simply commits the words to memory and passes rapidly along to something else. We should read and learn these lessons in our experience; and let us in all these windings see that there is an importance attached to every lesson of experience through which we are called to pass.

Then, if we can see the hand of God in all these changes and trials, and if we can see to the extent that the relationship is perfect in our comprehension, between the purpose of God and its accomplishment, then we are settled upon a basis from which we cannot be moved, and we are then standing upon a rock which cannot be shaken; and while the Spirit of God is upon us, we will not become wretched; but so long as that Spirit can find a place in us, we cannot become alienated from the things of God.

It was said in old times that when the Lord commenced his work in the latter times, he will actually accomplish it. Well, now, we have actually come upon the stage of action to take our part when that work is about to be done, and we are to constitute a portion of his agents to accomplish that work. And when we have done that which is needful for the accomplishment of his work, then we shall see the consistency of God’s hand dealing with us.

For the last twenty-five years, and especially when the kingdom of God was first established, it became necessary with our Father, as with any other workman, to have the requisite material for the building, and then in the next place to have that material in a suitable condition to accomplish the work with. The same as when the Presidency of the Church designed to build a Temple—a holy place to the name of the Most High, what is requisite? In the first place, it is requisite to prepare for a foundation; and then, in the next place, the material to lay that foundation is required, and the Temple commences to be built; and as the material is prepared, the work of the building goes on, and the material is adjusted in the foundation of that Temple according to the plan of the architect. Well, so with our Father, to accomplish his work in the last days; his first move was to find men that would engage in it, and then to send men forth to attract the attention of others—of those who would give heed to it.

This called forth the preaching of the Gospel as it was first sounded in our ears. Did we understand anything of the work of God in the last days? I speak from my own experience, and answer, No. We believed the truth as it was first announced to us, but not in all its extent nor what it really amounted to; but what developments it would show we were ignorant of. But still being attracted by the sound that brought with it the Holy Spirit, we followed it; and what has been the result? We are here today; we have passed through all the varied scenes that have filled up the history of this people; we have been associated with all the changes and vicissitudes that fill up the work of God for the last twenty-five years, and we are here today, and our experience is what we have passed through in that length of time.

And how have we profited by it? Is the great superstructure of the kingdom of God built up? Is the organization of the Saints complete? Are they perfect? No. Then what has been doing? Why, the people have been receiving instruction; they have been taught from year to year; lesson after lesson has been given; one field of experience has followed upon the track of another; we have been practicing upon those things revealed through the Priesthood upon the earth; and, by following this Priesthood, it has brought us to these times and to this place. Well, it has done how much of the work of God? How much of the foundation is laid? How much of the Temple is built ?

Why, you can go out here and see the Temple that is being built on this ground, and you can see how much. Just as much has been built as there has been material brought on to the ground and adjusted in its place according to the design of the architect. Is this all that has been done towards the building of the Temple? No. Here has been a canal built, and there has been rock quarried and laid on the way in almost every place from here to Big Cottonwood Canyon. But is the Temple built? No: but just so much as is adjusted there today tells us that so far the Temple is built. Will it be any different when the top-stone is laid? Will it make any difference with the parts that are already adjusted? No: they will still maintain the position that was assigned them; but that was not given them until they were every whit prepared, according to the plan of the architect, to take their place in the building.

Well, look at our place as Saints of the Most High God, and what is there developed in relation to the building of it? The Gospel has been preached, perhaps, to every nation under heaven, or they have heard the sound borne by our own report, either in Zion or in the nations abroad. But what has been done? Why, the people of the Saints have been wandering from State to State, from country to country, unsettled, having no abiding place, no permanent home.

Was it necessary for us to wade through all these scenes? Yes; it was necessary that we should move and remove, until we gained the place we now occupy. It is necessary, before the kingdom of God can be built up in strength and in power, to stand forever, that there should be developed in the people a sufficiency of the knowledge of salvation to hold them to the truth just as firmly and as steadfastly as these rocks are held to their place in the foundation of the Temple, so that there will be no disposition to apostatize. And the people must be possessed of capacity, like the rock in the building; they must be possessed of strength to bear the weight upon them in the superstructure.

This is the work that has been going on, and we have to learn, experience, and appreciate this; and until we do, we only learn as the brute beasts, who may experience, but know no reason.

The Lord has been leading us for our profit and for our learning; he has been leading us in a course of experience, and we shall be continually subject to changes and vicissitudes until our experience becomes sufficiently fruitful in knowledge that we shall be bound to the work of God. “How?” says one. Why, by a knowledge of the truth; and when we know the truth in relation to the work of God, shall we cherish a desire to depart from it? Does a man ever apostatize when he knows the work is true and that God is working for his own glory, and when he all the time sees this? No, never. You never see a man apostatize that in the days of his apostasy ever knew this or appreciated it. Why, if he knew this, he would not apostatize.

Apostates are found as we pass through the country, and they will say, “I knew the work to be true, twenty years ago, when you, brother Lyman, or somebody else, came through our section of country and preached the Gospel; I knew that it was true then.”

Then, why did you apostatize and leave the Church? Have you found out that it was false?

“Well, I do not know that I have, but it was that ‘Mormonism’ that was preached twenty years ago that I knew.”

Well, if you knew that which was preached twenty years ago, you would have recognized it today, because this is the first fruit of that which you were acquainted with; and if you had known it, you would not have departed from it. You did not know the Gospel; you did not understand it: you might have known or felt conscious that what some man told you was true. But what is the spirit of the Gospel to that man that comprehends it? It is that which comprehends all truth and all good; and there is no truth, neither is there any good outside of it; and there is, consequently, no chance for the individual that views the Gospel of Jesus Christ in this light to adopt those kinds of conclusions that lead men away from the truth and that cause them to apostatize.

If we realize this, then we are secure, and we are prepared for any contingency that may arise; and if God does not build up his kingdom with us and with the people that are gathered together to the place that he has appointed, there is but one reason why he does not do it, and that is, they do not understand enough of the principles of salvation; therefore, his kingdom cannot be built up entirely and completely.

Now, the fact of a man’s being gathered with the Church and with the Saints does not constitute his salvation in the kingdom when the kingdom shall triumph; for men will apostatize and go away from the Church, until they know that it is worth everything else, that it is everything that is good, and that it is all that can bestow permanent happiness upon man. Until they understand this, they are in danger, because there are agencies in the world, throughout the world, and a train of corrupt influences that are in lively exercise among men and that have gained power in consequence of the ignorance of mankind; so that until there is as much of the knowledge of the truth within the people that constitute the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints as will sustain them till there is no disposition to look after anything else, until they consider nothing outside the kingdom of any value, they will be in danger of stepping aside and doing wrong. What is it that will save us? Why, simply knowing that the truth is so broad that it fills the infinitude of space and embraces all true happiness, glory, immortality, and eternal life—all that man will possess when he is associated with the redeemed and sanctified.

When we have this understanding and these views of the subject, will we ever go away from the truth? I say, No, we will not. What will we go away for? There is no money to be made; there is no blessing to be obtained; there is no power or riches that can be gained or acquired, or that can be hoped for; there is nothing outside of the truth.

Does a man get away from the truth by apostasy? No; he simply revels in the darkness, with truth all around him: the truth pervades the whole country where he may dwell and where he may travel; he cannot get outside of it. Then what has he done? He has closed his eyes and said, “I will not see;” and by doing so, what has he effected? He has only run around the circle of truth, until he is worn out and comes back and finds that the truth is still there. When he opens his eyes, there is the truth; God is there, his influences are there, his Spirit is there, his work is there; and he finds that he has not gone away from God, neither has he gone away from the truth; but he has simply closed his eyes and refused to see that light and truth which were presented to him.

What has he got to do? He has got to take up the truth where he thought he had left it, be obedient to its requirements, live to it, and put it on like a garment; he has got to shake off the shackles of darkness, and emerge into the light and liberty that the Gospel brings.

“Well,” says one, “Where?” Why, in that very place where a long time ago you closed your eyes against the light and the truth. You may apostatize, go away, and stay as long as you please; but you must get a good deal of money, or you will not have enough to get through with. I have never seen an individual that could get enough that would last him through.

Men may go round the world, and they cannot get away from the truth. It is simply because we do not understand the Gospel as a system of truth that we are subject to doubts and fears. If we did understand it in that light, we would not be carried away, for the best of all reasons, that we would not have any inclination to go away from the truth. If we love it, do you think we will apostatize, or become alienated from it? No, never.

Do you see what is requisite to learn, to prepare for those dangers to which we are liable? Why, it is simply to comprehend the truth; and when we do this, what shall we see? We shall see that God has a hand in all things—that he designs to build up his work and to establish it with us, but not until there is a sufficiency of the light and manifestations of the Spirit of truth in us that we could not be separated from it.

All this scenery that we have been passing through has been preparing us, just as the laborer, in taking the rock from the mountain, has been preparing it for its proper place in the House of God.

Well, what is necessary next? Why, you know, the stonemason, when he commenced on the rough ashlar that was in the quarry, commenced with heavy tools; and when he had knocked off some of the rough corners and smoothed down the exterior appearance of the stone, he then used lighter tools and continued to use lighter still, until the piece under his hand was prepared and polished and fit for its place.

Well, what will we have to be when we are as smooth as some of the nicely polished pieces of stone that will be in the house of God? We will have to do a great deal more in “Mormonism” than to join the Church and make a journey of some ten thousand miles. Men have been journeying all the time, but very few have journeyed so as to be saved in the kingdom of God; and what is the reason? Why, in their traveling there has been something that has been neglected. Well, if nothing has been neglected with us, and we are to be removed no more, but to become abiding fixtures in the kingdom of God, why, then we can see that it has been necessary that every evil should be drawn out, and that the Spirit of truth in every part of our organization should become a living pulse that should vibrate and reach every individual action and that should purify every individual thought, and that the fountain of life and thought within us might become well purified by its sacred and lifegiving influence, that it might purge out from us all that unhallowed leaven within us and round about us, and in which we find ourselves involved as we pass through the journey of life.

We get angry, we get out of humor, “out of sorts,” as the printers term it; hence we do not have that equanimity of thought which it is desirable that we should possess. Our passions rule us, and we do not rule them; the passions, the feelings that may be within us, overcome us, and we say we did not think anything about it. We do not think that we are to con trol ourselves, that this is our business upon the earth, that we came here to learn our Father and the principles which influence him—to learn how he has put on power, and how he has surrounded himself with glory and strength, come off victorious, and never become subject to evil.

Well, are we learning it when our passions are running away with us like a wild, untrained team with the carriages that they are attached to? “Why,” says one, “we shall do as the Spirit dictates us.” There is a saying that I have read somewhere, that says the spirit of the prophet should be subject to the prophet; hence I infer that I should not always prophesy because the spirit of prophecy is in me; for the testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy, which we should have all the time. But although we should have the spirit all the time, we should only use it when it would be prudent and profitable to do so. It is so with all our conduct in life; it is so with all those duties that fill up our time and that occupy our attention in the domestic circle; for there is where we should begin to build up the kingdom of God—first in ourselves, then with our wives, next with our children, and then all build up the kingdom of God together.

Well, but we have been told that this was our sectarian traditions, to think of building up the kingdom of God in our hearts. But I want to tell you, not because you have not heard it before, but because it is a thing that you have been told again and again; and what is that? To live your religion; and to live your religion is to have every principle pertaining to the building up of the kingdom of God, to its perpetuity and perfection, developed in you; and what will be the result? Why, then, when you are adjusted in the Temple of God and assigned your position, you will not run away, but you will remain and become as a pillar here. What is a pillar? It is a fixture. You know they are put in a building to remain there while the building stands. If the building is designed to be an eternal place—a dwelling place for God, then they are to remain there forever.

You want to live so that your minds will be filled with his Spirit; and to do this, you need not take a mission to the sun, to the moon, or to the stars, to find out their distances or how much they weigh? But are you acquainted with your homes? You answer, “Yes.” Well, then, do right at home, do not do wrong, do not quarrel at home, do not stir up disunion, do not, in a word, do anything to bring about a pandemonium instead of a paradise; but do that which brings peace—that which produces the spirit of peace and of heaven.

But where division of sentiment, diversity of feeling, and discord exist, the principles of heaven are not there; the principles of peace are not there. Study these principles, and for what purpose? Why, that it may stir up the spirit of peace within you, that the spirit of peace may be, not a casual visitor, but a constant attendant, that he may take up his abode with you; and when an individual takes up his abode with you, then you do not consider him a transient visitor, but there is his home—there is where he lodges, where he stays, where he imparts blessings—if he is a minister of blessings, where he imparts good, if he has any good to impart. And if you open a door that this Spirit will take up his abode with you, then that fountain which will be opened up will become very plenteous in its supplies; it will become so to you because you welcome the Holy Spirit there, and you study to cultivate within you such a feeling that the Spirit will love to tarry with you day by day; and its book of instructions will be opened to you, so that each succeeding day will give you an increase of knowledge, and you will find yourselves able to comprehend one degree of light and knowledge after another, until your whole soul will be swallowed up in your love for the truth; your affections will be bound up in the truth, for which you will be willing to sacrifice all; and you will throw away all the old fogyism that was around you; and if you have acted as if you thought the world was yours, then you will think that it is your Father’s, and that he only lent it. You will acknowledge his ownership to it, and you will give yourself to him and to his cause continually.

What will this prepare you for? For any contingency that may arise; and you will be contented in the storm and confident of what the result will be. If the storm clouds lour around you, you will be comforted by the sunshine of the Spirit of God; and however dark the clouds that may lour around, you will find that Spirit to be your companion; you will see the sunshine that opens to you the prospect of happiness, of glory, and of eternal life when the clouds shall pass away.

Why will this be the case? Because you have prepared yourselves that the Spirit might be in you, having cultivated it all through your lives. Then you have a devotion to the truth, and the Spirit of truth will tarry with you, and by-and-by you will become fully devoted to the truth; your affections will become pure and holy; and then when you are purified and made holy, you will not depart from the truth, nor go into darkness and apostasy, because the sunlight of truth is within you.

This is what I want you to learn; and why? Because the days, the times that are around us require that we should be firm in our purpose, and not only that we should put up our hands or raise our voices to high heaven to sustain the kingdom, but that we should be prepared with every feeling that is within us to devote ourselves to the truth, knowing that it is all in all, and that there is nothing outside of it that is worth possessing.

Knowing this, then, let us be devoted to the truth, not blindly, but because the affections that are within us are chained by a knowledge of its excellency above everything that can be possessed—above every good that can be attained, and then we shall be secure.

Brethren and sisters, if we will cultivate this principle and seek to subject ourselves to the truth, all things are right around us. There can be nothing wrong to the man who is swallowed up in the truth—whose whole affections are swallowed up in the beauty and excellency of that truth which he has learned. There is no feeling in him to apostatize—there is no room for such a feeling, and consequently he will not apostatize.

Such a man would not apostatize at seeing the little plans our enemies are forming for our destruction. But when we have endured all the sufferings that our enemies can bring upon us, let us so live that we may come from the battlefield unscathed, unharmed, and be victorious; then we shall find that the least of the foes over which we have triumphed will be the enemies outside.

If we can triumph over our feelings, our affections, so that our whole souls can become subject to the principles of heaven, then we shall easily conquer the other foes. These are the things to be conquered; and when these are conquered, the others are at our feet.

What is continually declared to us through the mouth of the Presidency of the Church? All will be right, if we do right. Well, now, how can you neglect these things and do right? You cannot. But if we do right, what does it do? It saves our backs from the rod—it secures to us the protection of our Father; and if we fail to do right, he will do with us as he has been doing. He has led us through all the meanderings of our course; his hand has been over us all the time; and what has been his design? It has been his design to develop a people to do his own work—to move them until they should find the place where his kingdom should be built up in strength and in power.

Well, cannot we see it is idle for us to gather around us hopes that we can be saved and redeemed, or that God will redeem and save us any further than the principles of truth are developed within us? If we do see it, it leaves hope to us and an inducement to live better; and if there are lesser sins that find place and that still exist in the more narrow circles of our life, let the work of purification go on until there shall not be a faultfinding wife nor a husband that shall exact anything that is not right in the circle of his home.

When this is the case, where will wickedness find a place to be nestled and nourished? Where there is no evil in the heart, there is no evil committed. Let us strive for this with all our energies, and let us take the word with us to our homes; for the way is for us to take this home to ourselves. Let this be the case in every home, and the work is begun.

Brethren and sisters, may God bless you with wisdom, faith, prudence, humility, and every grace that is necessary to strengthen you, that you may take hold of this work and carry it home with you! The most of it is to be done at home, where you wash dishes and attend to the duties of domestic life: this is the sanctuary that is to be made pure and holy.

And that everything may go on right, that God may help you to purify yourselves and to reach this point—this consummation, is my prayer. Amen.

Sufficiency of the Gospel—Obedience to Truth—Union—Good Spirit Among the Saints—The Lord Will Deliver His People

Remarks by Elder Charles C. Rich, Delivered at the Bowery, Great Salt Lake City, Wednesday Afternoon, October 7, 1857.

Brethren and sisters, I can truly say, as others have said, that I have been edified during the Conference and greatly benefited by the spirit that has been made manifest and the testimony that has been borne by the brethren. It has cheered my heart, and I have not had a better time for years.

We have great reason to rejoice, notwithstanding some people might think that we have reason to mourn. But I do not think so, neither do I think that you feel so. I think there is but one feeling, and that is peace and joy. Notwithstanding all the appearances that are around us, we have abundant reason to rejoice; for we have something to rejoice about and in, if we comprehend our position, which I have no doubt the great majority do.

We have had the privilege of embracing the Gospel of salvation; and inasmuch as we have embraced it with honest hearts, it has been salvation to us: and what is there besides this that we should rejoice in, or that should make us rejoice? For my part, I feel, as has been expressed by some of the brethren who have spoken from this stand, that this Gospel contains all that I desire; consequently, I have no feelings nor desires to go outside of it, simply because it bestows upon you and me everything that will do us good and that will save us. All that is outside of it will damn us in time and in eternity; consequently, we have no need of that which is outside of this kingdom.

If we understand the principles of truth as we should, we shall have no desires to go after anything but what is right, simply because it would do us an injury; therefore, it will be well for us to examine ourselves, and know whether the principles that are in our bosoms are of God. If they are, they will bless us in time and exalt us in all eternity. If they are not, they will be an evil to us in time, and as long as we have them in our bosoms; consequently, it would be well for us to know something about ourselves, and what we have in our bosoms, and the principles that we practice from day to day continually.

We profess to be Saints—to have received the Gospel of salvation; and if we have embraced it with pure motives, it is salvation to us—and that, too, at the present time. When we look at the world we find them talking about being saved; but all the salvation they are looking for is a long way from this, which I think will be the case. But we receive the Gospel for the purpose of being saved. It proposes salvation to us on the onset, at the commencement, and from that day to all eternity.

If we do not embrace the principles of life and live by them, we do not partake of the principles of salvation at the time we receive them; but if we live by them, they continue to save us from that time onward.

For instance, when we heard the sound of the Gospel, it proposed to us that we should have the same Spirit that was poured out upon the ancient Saints—upon Christ’s disciples. This was the doctrine that his servants declared to us. When we received their testimony, we went forward and were baptized for the remission of sins; and what followed? I will tell you what followed: we were enabled to bear testimony that we had received the truth, and we obtained thereby a knowledge that our Father in heaven lived—that his son Jesus Christ had been crucified for the sins of the world.

But did we not discover that we were saved—saved from ignorance that had beclouded our minds? We had received something that we did not before know. We could then rejoice in the truth when the whole world were in darkness on this subject; and what further? Why, there was one truth after another made manifest to us—one truth after another revealed. Well, if we have embraced those truths that have been made manifest, we have received the blessings that are given from time to time—yes, from the time that we embraced them up to the present; and they have saved us.

The Gospel requires to be honest to our God, to ourselves, to our brethren. We should not steal, we should not commit adultery, and there are a great many things that we should not do and that the principles of eternal truth would forbid. If we had not among us any who commit any of these sins, those evils would not be in our midst. If the principles that dwell in the bosom of our God are in us, we will do nothing under any circumstances that we know to be wrong.

When some men’s evil deeds are discovered, they will say that they did not do the evil with which they are charged. They will deny it. This is a mark of the greatest degradation and infamy.

Evils are of two classes; and what are they? First, people do wrong because they do not know how to do right: second, they do wrong because they are disposed to do wrong: and do you not see that in either case they are wrongs? We are not half as well saved as we should be; consequently, to be saved, we want to learn to know what right is. If we are dishonest and want to do wrong, we are wicked. Nevertheless, it is wrong both ways; and we are not saved by pursuing such a course.

You know it is said that in the last days the knowledge of God shall cover the earth as the waters cover the great deep. We can bear testimony that the Spirit of God is poured out upon his Saints. We see it day by day and from time to time, and we are increasing in the knowledge of the truth.

Inasmuch as we are trying to be saved, we are all the time increasing in the principles of truth; we are continually treasuring them up, and we can use them for our benefit.

We may easily discover that a person cannot use that which he has not got. He must first learn a principle before he can act upon it. Well, if we do not know the truth, the best way is to get somebody that does know to lead us; and perhaps, by diligence, we may arrive at the knowledge thereof. This has been a course of safety pointed out to the Saints from the beginning, and it is the same now.

When we have learned one truth, we are prepared to learn another; for every truth seems to unfold some other truth. When a matter is presented to a person who has a knowledge of a great many truths, let him compare it with the many truths that he knows, and they will agree; for all truth will agree. If it is not truth, it will come in contact; therefore, the more truths we are in possession of, the more keys we have to test other truths by; and the longer we live in this way, the more we know of our Father and the principles that pertain to his kingdom, and the less disposition we will have to do wrong: we will be more inclined to do right, and to carry out the principles of his government. We will do this because it is the safest and best course to pursue: hence, if we have a disposition to be blest and saved, we shall be disposed to take this course.

I feel rejoiced in one principle that I see manifest among the Saints in these days, and that is, the principle of union. Of course we have, as a community, always been more united than any other people; but we still come short of that fulness of union which should exist among us. But I consider that we have done first-rate.

It is an easy matter to do right, if we only pursue the right course: at least I have always found it so. I never had any difficulty to be agreed with those I was associated with. The way that I am united with my brethren is simply this: I calculate to adopt the same policy that the Lord manifests through his servants that have a right to dictate me. I do not calculate to have anything in my heart that is not right; then you see there will be no difficulty, if I pursue this course, to be united with my brethren that preside over me.

I have been a member of the Church over twenty-five years, and I have been preaching all the time: at least, I have been a preacher, whether I have been preaching all the time or not. I have never seen the time but I have always found those who were leading me to be right; and I have never seen the time but I could bear testimony that they were right; for I knew it by the Spirit of God that was in me. I knew it was the privilege of every Saint to have this knowledge.

When we are agreed and live our religion, we are prepared to receive the blessings that are poured out upon us. We cannot claim the blessings that are in store for us, except we pursue a course that will put away all our sins and iniquities far from us.

I do not say that I am perfect, but I can say this—that I never intended to do a wrong thing. I have done the best I could. To be sure I have been away from this place most of the time among the wicked: at least I term them wicked. They say they seek after God and everything that pertains to godliness. But if ever I was glad to get home among the Saints it was this summer.

I have thought that the spirit that is among this people and the quiet feeling that seems to prevail when difficulties are approaching was most heavenly; and I have sometimes felt and queried as to whether I did not feel too well. But when the brethren have been pouring out their feelings from this stand, I have felt to rejoice. I feel that we have got further along than I thought we had before I came back here.

I have been looking for the time of deliverance, but I did not expect it so soon. But I know it cannot come too soon to meet with a hearty welcome. I have been through some of the difficulties, as some others have said, and can tell you, in all that I have passed through from the beginning, I have felt paid as I have gone along. I have always felt that the course to do right was the best, and that there would be the most joy and happiness in doing right.

So far as our enemies are con cerned, I feel about them precisely as our brethren have expressed themselves. I do not fear them; but I feel that the Lord will take care of his Saints and of his kingdom. All we have to do is to do as we are directed, and all will be well.

A great number of the Elders have been on missions, and we have been bearing testimony to the world of mankind that this is the kingdom of God—that God has set his hand to recover the house of Israel. We have been bearing testimony of this, and we still continue to bear it, and the Spirit of God flows into our hearts when we testify to this. Have we any fears that the Lord is not able to deliver his Saints? We ought not to have any.

I will tell you how I feel. It is best for us to do right; and there will be more salvation flowing to us through doing right than pursuing any other course. This is the course of salvation. Whatever our heavenly Father dictates, that is the thing for us to do, whether it is to fight or let it alone. I have been in difficulties where there actually was fighting, where the Saints had to defend themselves against their enemies; but the time had not come for us to take the stand that we have now taken. But the Lord directed matters then, and he is directing matters now. We have seen difficulties from the beginning, from the time that the Lord established his kingdom upon the earth until the present time.

Every person that has a portion of the Spirit of God can see the manifestations of the power of God, from the time that the kingdom was established until the present. We have no need to fear for the kingdom; but it is for us to do our duty, and then all will be well with us.

I do not wish to occupy time that should be occupied by my brethren. I say that I feel well: I never felt better, and never had less fears of our enemies than I have at the present time.

That we may live so as to be sanctified through the truth—that we may secure salvation in this world, and in that which is to come, is my prayer in the name of Jesus. Amen.