Opposition of State Governments to the Saints, Etc.

Remarks by Elder Erastus Snow, Delivered in the Tabernacle, Great Salt Lake City, November 29, 1857.

I am satisfied that that portion of the citizens of Utah who first sought out this mountain retreat have seen and experienced enough of the actions of State Governments and of our National Government—have suffered enough at the hands of officers of State, and by the treatment they have received from mobs organized to operate against them, independent of all law, or nominally under the color of law, to discern clearly the tendency of that spirit which pervades this people and the spirit of opposition which pervades our enemies.

The unbelieving world, which have rejected the Gospel revealed unto us, and a large portion of this people—those who have immigrated to this Territory within a few years past, have not had the benefit of the experience which the minor portion of this people have had; consequently, they have not had forced upon them that series of reflections so well calculated to mature their minds and enable them to contemplate with great precision the final result of all efforts brought to bear against us by our enemies for the overthrow of the work of God in the last days. I presume there is not one of the early members of the Church but what fully anticipated the crisis which has now come upon us. The spirit of prophecy and revelation has been in the midst of this people from the beginning, and has continually foretold this event; and one who was no more than the son of a Prophet, with the benefit of past experience and an observation of the spirit of this people and that of our enemies, could not fail to see that such must be the result, sooner or later.

At every step this kingdom has advanced, the opposition of the ungodly has also advanced. Their hate of the truth has never been laid by. It has seemed to slumber at times, only to wake up with renewed vigor and fresh determination and strength to operate against the truth; while on the other hand the Lord has given this people seasons of rest, that they might take breath and have an opportunity of sending their missionaries to preach the Gospel, that the honest in heart might be gathered out from among the wicked, who are struggling to crush out of existence the last vestige of truth and righteousness upon the earth.

That portion of the citizens of this Territory who were personally acquainted with the history of this Church and with the Prophet Joseph Smith in his last years are now able to view, in the present movement of the United States troops, in the measures of the General Government and Governmental officials, and in the spirit of the people at large, an attempt to carry out, if possible, the same policy that was enacted in the last days of Joseph, which resulted in the expulsion of this people from Illinois.

There is, however, some little difference. Since that period this people have grown a little more numerous; and, instead of being within two hours’ ride of Carthage and Warsaw, they are a thousand miles from the frontier settlements of their enemies. Instead of a military encampment in a cornfield just on the outside of the city of Nauvoo, it is now on the other side of the mountains, about 115 miles from the City of Great Salt Lake.

The pretended designs of our enemies towards us remind me of the speech of Rolla in the play of “Pizarro.” Descanting upon the promises of the bloody and treacherous Spanish conquerors of his countrymen, he says, “They offer us protection. Yes, such protection as vultures give to lambs, covering and devouring them.”

To their unsought and uncalled for protection, our answer should be—“When the State of Missouri, in obedience to her own laws, shall have hung up by the neck ex-Governor Boggs, Austin A. King, old Generals Lucas, Clark, and Wilson, and about twenty-five hundred of her citizens, who were engaged in murdering the Saints, plundering them and driving them from their homes—when they have repudiated the acts of their corrupt Legislature and returned fourfold to all whom they have robbed, with the lawful interest thereon until the time of payment, reinstating those who have been driven from their homes and possessions, making good, as far as money and means can do it, their losses—when Illinois shall have done the same, and the General Government shall take action to maintain the citizens of this Territory in the rightful possession of all the land they have purchased of them, from which they have been driven by the force of mobs, and then admit this people, without a groan or complaint, but with brotherly love, kindness, and fatherly care, to the free and undisturbed enjoyment of life, liberty, and all those political rights that belong to American citizens in common, of which the chief is the right of being governed by men of their own choice and of worshipping God according to the dictates of their own consciences, the principle thing for which our fathers fought—when our Government shall do all this and cease their threats and menaces to intimidate free men, call home their “dogs of war,” and set them to administering justice on the scoundrels at home, and keep away their mean, dirty sycophants, whom they wish to force on this people for their rulers at the point of the bayonet—then we may begin to think of having a little confidence in their high pretensions; then they may talk to us about their boasted protection and their regard for the rights of mankind.”

Until they have done all these things and are willing to pay this Territory some portion of the few hundred thousand dollars which it has expended to preserve peace with the savages around us, we shall have no reason to think that they are honest or sincere in their intentions. Otherwise, we shall be compelled to regard them and their armies as we now look upon Governors Ford of Illinois and Boggs of Missouri, and their murderous clan of mob forces, even as whited sepulchres, fair without, but within full of dead men’s bones, rottenness, and all uncleanness. Until then, we shall have no guarantee for trusting one particle to them or their promises.

When we have trusted in the Lord our God, kept his commandments and revered his laws, he has not betrayed us nor forsaken us in trouble; but he has ever stood by us and led us forth out of affliction, and has given unto us Governors and Judges and Counselors after his own heart, to feed this people with knowledge and understanding—to lead them forth in the paths of peace, unity, and love.

We are satisfied with our present rulers. When we have trusted in our God and his servants, we have been happy and blessed; but when we have trusted to the enemies of our God, we have been pierced with many sorrows.

If any of the citizens of this Territory have not as yet experienced enough of the tender mercies of this generation and the promises of corrupt officials of the United States Government, and they wish still to trust in them a little further, they have the privilege. The way has been kept open for them to leave. Although martial law has been declared in this Territory, and persons are not allowed to pass through, into, or out of it, without a permit from the proper officer, yet it has been declared by our Governor, published abroad, and has been repeatedly acted upon, that all persons feeling dissatisfied, unwilling to remain in their present position, and wishing to go to our enemies, and place themselves under their protection, and accept of their proffers, shall forthwith be furnished with a passport and escort. If they wish to leave for other climates, and will pay their honest debts, and not steal their outfit, they can have the privilege. Two or three small parties have started this fall, embracing the few remains of our Gentile traders who remained in our midst for purposes of speculation; and I have heard that one or two small families who once counted themselves Saints went with them. The road is still open for others to follow who wish to do so.

My own feelings, and I believe the feelings of all the authorities of this people, are, that we want no disaffected or indifferent ones to remain among us. We will not lay a straw in their way, if they will depart in peace, if they do not wish to remain with the people of God and share with them in their joys and sorrows.

The principles of our holy religion claim from us the exercise of our own judgment, and inculcate the largest degree of freedom of soul, and will extend to every soul of man like privileges. The union which exists in the midst of this people, and of which our enemies have ever complained so much, has never been the result of coercion. It has not been created by iron bands placed around the outside of this people, only so far as the Lord has made use of the wicked to persecute and drive them together. That union has been the legitimate result of the principles of truth revealed unto us from heaven and adopted as the guide of their conduct by the people.

Although many of those who have left this people and returned, like the dog to his vomit, and like the sow that was washed to her wallowing in the mire, and who have gone down again to the filth and degradation of Babylon, have reported that they narrowly escaped with their lives—that efforts had been made to prevent their departure; yet all this people do verily know that they were of their father the Devil, who was a liar from the beginning, and that their tales were base and wicked falsehoods, as an excuse for their own mean and traitorous course. The only tyranny and oppression that ever existed among this people (if, indeed, any virtuous person would call it so), has been the sharpness of the word of God reproving the wickedness of the people, holding the vile and wicked from riding over and trampling under foot the weak and innocent, saying to the people, “If you wish to do wickedly—to oppress each other—to bite and devour each other—if it is your nature to gouge out your neighbor’s eyes, to purloin his property, seduce his wife and daughters—in fine, if you wish to practice wickedness and abomination after the order of the Gentile world from which you have been gathered, retire from the midst of the Saints, return to the hole from whence you have been dug, and wallow again in the filthiness from whence you have been taken, and not attempt to carry on your wickedness in the midst of this people, who love righteousness and desire to put away all unholiness from them.” This is the only oppression which any individual has been able to complain of, in truth and justice, in the midst of this community.

“Mormonism” does not coerce, but all the time persuades, teaches, enlightens, instructs, and invites by the beauty, excellence, and virtue of those holy principles which God has revealed to us, gradually drawing the people together, cementing their feelings, and bringing them, by common consent, to act upon the principles of truth and righteousness.

There is but one alternative for this people: it is our religion, our God, our liberty, or slavery, the Devil, and death. There is no drawing back. The wedge has been entered. Our God has led us forth and directed our course from the beginning to the present hour. “Shall I cause to come to the birth,” saith the Lord, “and not bring forth?” No. Although the woman in travail and in pain to be delivered suffers anxiety, mingled with fear, yet soon her sorrow is forgotten, for joy that a man child is born into the world. So it will be with this people, and our enemies cannot hinder it. The Devil and all the hosts of hell cannot prevent the consummation of the desired object that God has in view.

The kingdom of God is established, no more to be thrown down; and in it we shall live and reign, and every righteous man and woman who love God and his truth more than their own lives and the treasures of this world shall be exalted in the kingdom of God: they shall see the triumph of truth and righteousness, and the kingdom of God shining on the earth as the sun in the firmament. But the time will come when the fainthearted and the wicked, whose knees tremble and who cannot endure the contradiction of the ungodly world, and choose rather to hide their heads and retire, making lies their refuge, will lift up their eyes in hell, being in torment: they will look back, and they will try to repent as it were in sackcloth and ashes: they will seek repentance carefully with tears, but will not find it, because there will be no chance left for them to regain what they have lost. If the Lord has compassion upon them and hears their cries, their weeping, and their bitter lamentation in the day of their degradation and misery, it will be to give them the privilege of becoming, in a future day, the servants of those who maintained their integrity.

The state of my lungs is such that I shall be under the necessity of closing. I pray to God to bless all Israel and help us to keep our covenants to the end. Amen.

Knowledge Obtained From History

A Discourse by Elder George A. Smith, Delivered in the Tabernacle, Great Salt Lake City, November 29, 1857.

It is, as usual, with a degree of satisfaction that I arise before you this morning for the purpose of offering a few reflections, hoping that my brethren and sisters will exercise faith to that degree that I may be able to speak freely and communicate such sentiments as may be pleasing in the sight of our heavenly Father and a benefit to ourselves.

From my childhood, history has been a favorite theme. I have loved to read historical works; and for the little time I have been enabled to devote to reading in my younger days I acquired some general knowledge of what is termed “profane history,” but only a limited knowledge of what is termed “ecclesiastical history.” It did not please me to read the quarrels of the Popes and the cruelties that were inflicted by the dominant powers upon the weak. Those matters never pleased me so much as to read the movements of nations for the purpose of establishing dominion and extending empire; consequently, I am not prepared to speak as readily of the history of the religious world as I would upon that portion of history that is generally denominated profane—of the political conditions of different nations at different ages of the world.

A revelation given in the early history of this Church requires the Elders to acquire a knowledge of countries, of things present, of things to come, of things that have been, and so forth. In perusing the histories of Persia, Arabia, India, China, and the nations of modern Europe, I have felt myself more or less actuated in accordance with the instructions given in that revelation.

At the time I could not conceive why it was that the Lord required his servants to acquire a knowledge of those nations and of political subjects; but experience has taught me that he had in it a design of no little importance; for, from the time that the Gospel was first preached, baptism administered, and ordination first conferred the Priesthood upon the heads of men, we have been constantly and continually upon new ground. The officers of the country in which we have lived could never find a law to fit our case; they could never discover any law that would answer their purpose in relation to us.

There was one principle laid down by them, however, that was simple; and that was, that we had to be used up.

The most honorable of all the mobs that have ever been raised against us was that of Jackson County, Missouri; for they came right straight out and plainly acknowledged that the civil law did not afford them a guarantee against the “Mormons;” therefore they would drive them from their county—peaceably if they could—forcibly if they must.

From that day to this, our persecutors have been pretending to act under color of law so far as to hold men while they could be murdered. They would employ a few troops or a mob, under the pretence of legal authority, and hold men still while the assassin could do his work. This has been the course pursued by our enemies all the time up to the present hour.

Inasmuch as we observed the laws of God, we had no occasion to violate the laws of our country; and, as a matter of course, pretexts were sought in vain from the beginning to the end, and the hue-and-cry of treason has been raised from one end of the country to the other. Hence we see the importance of our Elders understanding the national force of laws of kingdoms, the laws of empires, the rules of nations, the relationship of institutions one to another, and the relationship of subjects to their rulers.

An old principle, laid down from the earliest ages of British jurisprudence, from which we received our national institutions, is that allegiance is that ligament or thread which binds the subject to the sovereign, and that, for this allegiance, the sovereign, by an implied contract, owes, in turn, protection to the subject; and the very moment that the Government withholds its protection, that very moment allegiance ceases.

This is as old as the British Constitution, and it is recognized as natural and eternal both in America and Great Britain; and you may trace this principle back through history to the earliest ages of man. The very moment a government ceases to protect its subjects, that moment they are at liberty to protect themselves.

Whenever national powers were exerted to crush the rights of their own subjects, then the right was founded in nature that they should stand up in their own defense; and the principle of self-preservation is in a greater or less degree binding, and it has been acknowledged from the earliest ages that all governments derive their just powers from the consent of the governed.

For something like a hundred years the kings of Great Britain, as you will see in King James’ translation of the Bible, claimed the title of Kings of Great Britain, France, and Ireland—a power which they could not exercise and maintain, so far as the kingdom of France was concerned; and finally, in the reign of George III, they saw fit to disclaim it.

The assumption of this right was a mere burlesque. Could they control the organization of France and regulate its internal policy? No—they could not. The only thing was to go to war, and then France could resist and sometimes menace the very existence of the British Empire, and yet the kings of England could claim to be kings of France. But were they kings of France? Not unless the people of France said so; for the people choose their kings to reign over them.

This system of claiming authority from some distant claim has been practiced, and is at the present time; and there is now an individual who claims to be king of France, who assumes that title—an individual who does not live in France: he is expelled, but yet he claims to be the sovereign of France. At the same time the people have, by their unanimous voice, placed Louis Napoleon upon the throne, and they carry out his decrees, while a fugitive claims to be king of France, but without the consent of the people, and has not power enough to pull an old setting hen off her nest.

Circumstances might change so as to throw Napoleon from his rather uncertain seat, and might place some other individual there; but no Government can exist there only by the consent of the people, or such a portion of them as is sufficient to awe the rest and preserve peace, union, and harmony.

Tyrants have attempted to resist this principle, and hence almost every man that has got into power has immediately gone to work to lay plans to conciliate the great and mighty sovereign people, and to perpetuate that authority in their families.

History shows us that some of the Roman Consuls attained power and wealth by their military exploits, and then assumed the title of Emperors and rulers over the commonwealth. We find that they assumed that title by the consent of the military power, and that they enlarged themselves by the aid of the military, till they finally gained the supreme power over the people.

All officers and authorities that depend upon the bayonet are very uncertain; hence very few of the Roman Emperors ever came to a natural death. They who hold millions in subjection by the sword are slain as tyrants whenever opportunity affords. These characters have not all the peace and happiness that might be wished for.

Rulers have assumed to control the people by the power of the bayonet, and many who have attempted to do so have fallen in the attempt, and many have fallen into political disgrace and been destroyed because they attempted to crush down the feelings of a free people. It was in consequence of this that the American revolution was brought to pass.

The American revolution was simply the result of attempting to coerce, by the point of the bayonet, measures that the people of the colonies were unwilling to consent to. The Parlia ment wished to impose, without their consent, rulers, taxes, and laws which they themselves had no voice in making; and this brought about a revolution, which ended in establishing the present Government of the United States.

The Constitution of the United States was only a little enlargement of the freedom guaranteed under the British Constitution, our revolutionary fathers not thinking any other position or principle as safe or as good; and they made it to surround them with a degree of security, as their fathers did in the British Constitution, forming it somewhat after its model and style. Instead, however, of an hereditary King, they elected a President to hold office for four years; and instead of a House of Lords, they elected a Senate, composed of members or representatives elected by the several State Legislatures; and instead of a House of Commons, they elected the House of Representatives by an apportionment of the people; and in fact, the organization is very similar to that of the mother country. The President represents the hereditary Sovereign, the members of the Senate representing the States, and the House of Representatives the people of the United States, instead of having the members of the House of Commons who represent the property of the realm.

In tracing these things down, and examining and well considering them, they show us, as it were in a glass, our real position.

Now, I do not suppose that there was a man scarcely in the whole assembly who anxiously desired in his heart to move a thousand miles into the middle of a desert with his family, to live in this barren, desolate, cold country. I do not suppose there was an individual but would have preferred to inhabit the vacant prairies of Illinois, Iowa, or Missouri, than to have been under the necessity of wandering into a desert, surrounded by mountains, in the midst of sage plains, where nothing could be raised except by artificial irrigation.

We were willing to come here, simply because we were forced to go somewhere where we could enjoy our religion, which we could not do where we were. This is the principle that brought us here. This is the reason that we were willing to forego the ten thousand comforts that could surround us in the world, and come and turn the wilderness into a fruitful field. Of necessity, I say, we came here willingly, because we were forced to. There was no place else for the Apostles and Prophets to go to.

We petitioned the several States and also the United States for an asylum where we could enjoy ourselves; and all our petitions were answered with coldness and indifference, and there was not a place in the United States where a man that professed to be a Latter-day Saint could have peace. There was nothing but to be mobbed, driven, his houses burned, wherever he might be; and no governor, no legislature, no authority would extend any better prospect than the repetition of the murder, robberies, and persecution we had suffered in Missouri, and that we were then enduring in Illinois.

Under these circumstances we came here, and silently and quietly continued coming away from every part of the Union, and our friends from other nations flocked here from various parts, until we had conquered the desert, and turned the mountain streams, and caused vegetation to grow, and produced grain of considerable variety and of excellent quality. We had begun to make ourselves comfortable, and we had the prospect of peace, as there was nobody upon the face of the earth that would have inhabited this sterile country—a thousand miles from civilized society, where there were no inhabitants but a few naked, savage Indians, whom we cared for and befriended.

The gold fever broke out, and thousands of the gold miners from all nations passed through our settlements. We fed them, for they came here naked and destitute, and we enabled them to proceed on their way, or they would have starved to death in the desert. But although we did this, scarcely an individual desired to stay in this barren country. They could look around and then say, “You are a pack of damned fools to stay in this barren desert;” and they would ask, “Why do you stay here in such a barren country?” It was for something more precious than gold: it was for the privilege of worshipping God under our own vine; and it was with the greatest difficulty that we could raise a vine to worship under, and there was scarcely a tree grew in the valleys. Here we could worship, and here we remain, and what is the result? The moment that our settlements had extended far to the south and to the north—the moment that we were placed in a position that starvation did not stare us in the face, and that a man dare eat as much as his appetite craved, without thinking that he would have to go without tomorrow, that moment the great nation, of which we are a part, rich in gold and silver, powerful in numbers, wealth, and learning, place themselves in a position to annihilate us, to drive us from our homes in the fastnesses of the mountains.

Now, my brethren and sisters, we remember that all good governments are by the consent of the governed; we remember the old principle that allegiance is the thread which ties the subject to the governor; we remember the thread which ties the subject to the Government, and for which the Government owes the subject protection. I ask, Did the Government of the United States ever extend its protection to us? Did it protect us in Missouri? Did it protect us in Illinois? Did it protect us in Iowa? Did it protect us in Nebraska? No, never. We had to protect ourselves or perish and share the fate that lambs share in the paws of wolves. This is the principle as it is presented to us. Have they ever protected us in these mountains? No: we protect ourselves. We made the roads, we explored the country, and we have protected them whenever they passed here; and we have fed, clothed, and aided them on their journeying, and extended every kindness; but have they protected us? No; but they have stirred up the savages of the desert to destroy our weak settlements. This has been the result, and yet we have not been ten years upon this soil. We have not been scarcely able to acquire the comforts of life. A man has scarcely dared to eat as much as would satisfy his appetite. We had scarcely done this, I say, until they sent their armies by thousands to dragoon this people into subjection, with the avowed aim and object, as published in every paper that comes from the States, to deprive us of our religious rights, and to establish and inflict rights or practices which we abhor, and which we have moved a thousand miles to avoid. I ask them, Shall freedom depart? And, in the language of a Roman, I ask which you prefer—slavery or death? Shall they be left to trample upon the rights of free men? Who will not consider which is to be preferred—FREEDOM or SLAVERY? Shall this people be left to the mercy of men who come here with armies to enforce principles that are as degrading to us as degradation can be?

I presume, brethren and sisters, that there is but one feeling upon that subject. I presume that we are willing to dispense with our tea, with our coffee, our tobacco, our finery, and a hundred other comforts that we might have had, had we remained in the States as others have done, rather than be subject to this degradation and cursed dominion.

May God enable us to hold up our heads, and with all our might, mind, and strength, and our reliance in the Most High, live our religion and be prepared to inherit his glory, is my prayer. Amen.

Faith and Works—Submission to Authority—The Lord’s Provision for His Saints, Etc.

A Sermon by President Heber C. Kimball, Delivered in the Tabernacle, Great Salt Lake City, Sunday Morning, November 22, 1857.

I can say for one, that that is a beautiful hymn which brother Dunbar has just sung: [”DESERET, dedicated to Governor Young by W. W. Phelps.“] And what has been said today by brothers Albert Carrington and George D. Grant is good, and their words, as far as I have heard, are salvation to all who hear and practice, because they are true.

You all the time hear me talking about truth. Truth is light, and light is life. If these principles are cultivated by us, with our families, what is there to hinder us from walking into the presence of God, or into the presence of those who stand between us and him? I do not believe that we can emerge right into the presence of God, although we may see him, not in the flesh, but we can in the Spirit, if he touches the eyes of our understanding; but we cannot see him with these bodies of flesh. Joseph always told us that we would have to pass by sentinels that are placed between us and our Father and God. Then, of course, we are conducted along from this probation to other probations, or from one dispensation to another, by those who conducted those dispensations.

If we are, as some are, guilty of doing wrong, and treasuring up and practicing principles that lead to death, we cannot attain to principles of exaltation. It is for me to do right and to do as I am told. Still, when brother Brigham tells me to do a thing, I may have that in me that would equivocate and say, “Will not such and such a thing do better?” I know he is interrupted in that way continually. Supposing I say, “Yes, that is true,” when he speaks, and every man in Israel says the same, what has the Devil to do with us then? As brother Brigham says, “The Devil can do no more than stand and grin at us.” For a man or woman to try to frustrate his purposes is not true philosophy, but it is the Devil in our camp. He says the enemies on our borders cannot come in here, and I say the same.

Good works produce good faith, and faith without works is dead. Do not tell me about your faith, when you have not a particle of works with it: it is all of no account. Our works must be good: they must be confined to truth and the knowledge of God; and how can you get that knowledge without good works? Such doctrine as this is according to the words which God has given to his servants, ancient and modern.

When the Lord spoke through Joseph Smith, it was “the word of the Lord to my servant Orson, to my servant W. W. Phelps, or to my servant Oliver: Go and do thus and so, and you shall see my glory.” If they do not go, they do not see his glory, nor obtain his favor, do they? Because their works did not correspond with the word of God.

You never will see glory and happiness, angels, nor anything else, except the angels from beneath, if your works do not correspond with your faith and with what you are told to do. No man will ever enjoy the presence of Angels, Prophets, Apostles, Patriarchs, Jesus, and the Father, and the sanctified who have passed beyond the veil, that does not live up to these principles.

It is well enough for me to throw out what light and knowledge I have upon any matter, and brother Brigham can judge as to its correctness or incorrectness; but it is not for me to equivocate, when he has given the word of decision. That is the course I have tried to learn; and if I am not right in this matter, I stand here ready to be corrected by any person who knows better. If we all were to take that course, our enemies never—no, never would have power over us.

It is the head that governs the body, the same as the helm guides the ship; and if the captain does not manage the helm in person, he puts a man there that will run the course that he dictates. Says he, “It is blowing a heavy gale: make calculations to steer to such a point of the compass, that you may have a little leeway.” The captain of the ship does not take the helm, but he directs the one who has hold of the helm the course to steer.

“And verily I say unto you, the rest of my servants, go ye forth as your circumstances shall permit, in your several callings, unto the great and notable cities and villages, reproving the world in righteousness of all their unrighteous and ungodly deeds, setting forth clearly and understandingly the desolation of abomination in the last days. For, with you saith the Lord Almighty, I will rend their kingdoms; I will not only shake the earth, but the starry heavens shall tremble. For I, the Lord, have put forth my hand to exert the powers of heaven; ye cannot see it now, yet a little while and ye shall see it, and know that I am, and that I will come and reign with my people. I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end. Amen.” (Doc. and Cov., sec. iv., par. 24.)

With you, mine Elders, my servants, I will rend the kingdoms of this world, and with you I will provide for my Saints in the last days.

That may be a new idea to many of you. Is he going to take the world and by them provide for his Saints? No; but he will take his Elders. The righteous have got to provide for the righteous in the latter days, as Joseph in Egypt provided for his father’s house and those that believed on him, like a good father providing for a good family, for good wives, and good children.

When I have provided for my wives and children, that is my business, is it not, although I dictate them to do the work? I bring this up as a comparison. Says the Lord, “That is my business. When you have done all things according to my word, you need not further trouble yourselves.”

Now, the Elders of this Church have been forth and exhorted, invited, and persuaded the world to embrace the Gospel. I have traveled myself hundreds of thousands of miles, and others have traveled more than I have, and some of you have not traveled any, only from your native land to this, which is but a trifling journey. We are now a thousand miles away from our enemies in the United States, and the President of the United States is over three thousand from us, and at the same time he has his myrmidons over the mountains there. What are they sent here for? To destroy us—to kill your leaders—to kill the Prophets, Apostles, and Patriarchs, with every man and woman that will sustain those men.

I have seen the day when it was as much as our lives were worth to sustain Joseph Smith—the apostates were so thick around us, and persecution was so great. The day was when brother Brigham was the only Apostle on the earth, with the exception of Joseph, and Sidney, and Hyrum, that could say to brother Heber, Go, and you shall be blessed. I am reckoning brother Hyde with us, for he went with me on that mission to England. In connection with brother Joseph, brother Hyrum, and brother Sidney, brother Brigham said, “Go, brother Heber, and in the name of Israel’s God you shall be blessed, and it shall prove the salvation of thousands.”

John Boynton, one of the Twelve, came to me and said, “If you are such a damned fool as to listen to Joseph Smith, the fallen Prophet, and go to England under these perilous circumstances, if I knew you were shipwrecked on Van Dieman’s Land I would not assist you to get you from that land.”

I will speak to Lyman Johnson’s credit: I will give every man credit for the good he does. Lyman Johnson steps up and says, “Brother Heber, I do not feel so. I am sorry you are going, and consider you are foolish; but if you are determined to go, I will help you all that is in my power;” and he took from his shoulders a good, nice camlet cloak and put it onto mine; and that was the first cloak I ever had. This was in the month of June, 1837. [Voice: “He shall be blessed for that.”]

I was then destitute of the comforts of life, and that cloak I wore three times across the sea, and Parley P. Pratt wore it four times; and in all it crossed the sea seven times. It seemed as though it would never wear out.

Those circumstances were the most trying circumstances that ever I was brought into. Joseph had to flee from that land to save his body from being slain, and so had brother Brigham and every other man who would sustain the Prophet, the apostasy was so great; and they were most hellish in their wickedness.

I went and performed the mission according to the words of the Prophet of the living God, and was gone eleven months and two days from Kirtland, being on that land eight months and two days, in which time there were about two thousand souls added to the Church and kingdom of God, with the help of Elders Willard Richards, Orson Hyde, and Joseph Fielding.

When I came back from England there were but a few left in Kirtland. There was one little society of men that pretended to take the lead and oversight of the people, and they were guided by a peep stone.

God had blessed and prospered me exceedingly, and the words of Joseph, Hyrum, Sidney, and Brigham were all fulfilled to the letter, which you all know. I was poor and weak, and did not know but a little in regard to this work in the latter days. My knowledge was in proportion to my experience. At the same time, I knew enough, by the help of the Holy Ghost, to confound the wise and to bring to naught the foolish things of this world. God has taken just such weak instruments as myself to bring to pass his great purposes. And you need not find fault with them: if you do, you find fault with God, who sent them.

Now, I will tell you what I am going to do. I have heard my leader express himself, and I am going to do as near like him as possible. I am going to do what is right, whether you like it or not; for I would rather have the favor of my leader, and Joseph, and Peter, and Jesus, &c., than of all the world besides. I am going to flour up my wheat, put it into boxes and cache it, right straight, whether you do it or not. Now, you need not go to brother Brigham and ask him where he is going to put his, nor where I am going to put mine; for we shall not tell you.

There are tens of thousands in these valleys that would not touch or meddle with those things, if they knew where they were; and then again, there are others that would. There is now and then an individual that is dishonest. They made a practice of stealing in the Old and New World, where they came from, and they think it is no harm. If they go to work for a man and do a little job on his house, and he has fifty nails or screws, and there are twenty left, he will put them into his pocket and take them home, and kneel down and thank the Lord that he has got a few nails or screws, and thinks it is the providence of God that has thrown them in his way and that there were a few left. Such practices bring evil and destruction upon us. I was telling you what I should do—that I should flour my wheat and cache it, and perhaps I shall lay some of it by in the wheat; but I shall flour it chiefly; for if it comes a tight time, I shall cache some portions of my mill, and then I shall not have a mill to grind any. I will have it made into flour and put it where it will keep seven years. And I am also going to cultivate the earth more thoroughly and efficiently this present year to come than I ever did in my life, and so will every other man that does right. I told you I am going to do as brother Brigham did. Those who think it is not good philosophy, try the opposite. You will never get me to contend against him while I have my senses. I will cultivate my trees—my apple trees and plum trees, and set out currant and rose bushes, though I would rather put in a plum tree or some kind of tree that will yield something for the sustenance of the body. I will also repair and re-repair, and take care of what I have got. I mean to take my sons, from the oldest to those who are old enough, and I will qualify them to cultivate the soil, and will fit them out and put them into the mountains to watch for, and, if necessary, to fight for the interests of the house of Israel from this day forth, until the Lord God Almighty upsets their kingdoms. I never will put them to the plough again when they are required to stand against our foes. I will say, “Boys, take that team and plough, and that hoe, and put in the grain to provide for you while you are there;” and then, if they come home relieved by the manager, they can help to harvest it and take care of it. I will support my sons in the mountains to sustain this people, and in the vineyard, while I live, if it is necessary, as fast as they come to maturity, or to mechanism, cultivating the earth, &c., so as to know and understand all branches of business and be qualified to teach their children; and so will every other good man and woman who live their religion. For, says the Lord, with you, mine Elders, I will rend their kingdoms; with you I will provide for my Saints in the last days.

We have invited the nations to receive the truth, but they will not, nor let us go to them; and now God is going to compel them to come in by famine, war, and every kind of desolation; and they will come faster than we can provide for them. Then let us awake, and not lie down and sleep, and go home and act as though we had not heard anything.

I am telling what I am going to do: I have heard our leader talk so. Then I will do as he says. I would not give a dime for a man that would not. Get out of my way, you poor stinking curses that would pursue a course contrary to the word of the living God! I am at war with such spirits. I want to know how we can be one, unless we are one with the head? When the head speaks, let every man and woman listen and obey.

I do not care so much about the women obeying as I do the men. I am not talking about them, but you, Elders of Israel, that have the Priesthood. Women have not a particle of Priesthood, only what they hold in connection with their husbands; neither have the men, except that which they hold in connection with those who hold the keys of the kingdom at headquarters. Do not step out on one side and say you have Priesthood independent. You have not a particle in that way. I was ordained to be an Apostle under the hands of Oliver, and David, and Martin; and then it was confirmed by Joseph of the First Presidency. Now, I want to know what authority of Priesthood I have, only as I act in concert with those who gave it to me? They are God’s agents and had power to ordain me.

Brother Brigham is my head; therefore that power is all in him. I act in oneness with him in all things, and sanction his purposes; and in so doing I sanction the purposes of God, of angels, and all heavenly beings. But, let me turn away and be independent of him, and where is my Priesthood, or where is my authority?

What power has one of my wives to act independently of me? She has not a particle of power. She must act in connection with me, as I do with my head, or the limb acts in connection with the tree from which it springs. You see dead limbs on trees. Will they ever come to life again, after they are dead? No. They must be cut off and thrown back into the earth, to return back to their mother ele ment, and become again quickened by the law they were ordained to keep; and if they are not quickened by that power, they will never be restored again to that tree. No more will you. You have got to keep that law pertaining to that tree, limb, or government, or you will never be restored again—never, no never, while the earth stands.

Will any man ever be redeemed upon any other principle than what we are redeemed upon? No. Men must abide the same law, or God Almighty will never redeem them. If they violate that law, they bring damnation upon themselves, and must suffer the consequences of it. Still, I believe the greater part of the inhabitants of the earth will be redeemed; yea, all will be finally redeemed, except those who have sinned against the Holy Ghost or shed innocent blood; and they never can be redeemed until that debt is paid. And I do not know any way for them to pay it, unless they are brought back again to a mortal existence, and pay the debt where they contracted it.

God will make every man pay off the debt he contracts; for a restoration must take place, which has been spoken of by the mouth of all the holy Prophets since the world began.

When a man breaks a law of God, he must pay that debt, unless God forgives him; and he has a right to do that, the same as I have. Still, my forgiving him does not pay the debt; for if he has stolen ten dollars from me, and he comes to me and asks my pardon for stealing the ten dollars, I forgive him. But does that restore the ten dollars of stolen money?

How does it look for a man holding the Priesthood to be dishonest? When a man is employed by me, he has no business to meddle with a thing, unless I tell him to. Still, he may do many good things I do not tell him to do. God says he is not pleased with a man that has to be commanded in all things.

I have had men work for me, who, if there was the least thing left after the job was done, would take it to themselves. This is done in the public works by some few individuals. I do not like such things. Brother Brigham has lost, from time to time, thousands of dollars’ worth of property in this valley. I have chastised men for taking things from him myself, when I have seen them do it—men old enough to be my father, and men of middle age, and those sweet delicate females. How do I look upon you? You rob me of the most precious gem when you rob me of the confidence I have in you. And I am that kind of a being, it seems, that it is very hard to have that confidence restored again.

Let me do a dishonest act towards brother Brigham, and it is a hard case for him to overlook that, or to regain the same confidence in me he formerly had. I am not a man that goes to him to prejudice his mind against any person; no, I never do such a thing. Still there are a great many things I could lay before him that would hurt his mind against some. I do not do it. No: I make you appear well before him. Others take the opposite course. Do I like it? No: I have no friendship for such; for, say I, “You would injure me, if you could, as well as any other man.”

I remember the teaching Joseph gave me. My policy is to be honest and virtuous; and the wives and children and property of the Elders of Israel are held as sacred in my bosom as I would wish them to hold mine; and that man who is not of that character is not a friend to the kingdom of God, and they cannot enter there; for the liar, hypocrite, whoremonger, and those that love to make lies, the sorcerer, and dishonest person are without the gate, according to the word of God. Such things have got to be done away.

I wish I could live the remaining portion of my life among a people where everything I had would be as safe as in my own possession; and when my wife goes into a neighbor’s house to visit, she may not come home with seven devils more than she took away with her. That gives the Devil and his emissaries power over us. You will see sorrow, if you do not stop this chin-music, and tattling, and speaking evil one of another. Here are troops over here: they want to come in; but it has been said from the beginning that they will not come in. And they will not, for we will not let them. We have sent our boys out there, and they are going to keep them back; and they will do it from this time forth, if you will do right. Now, supposing you go to cache your wheat, corn, flour, serviceberries, dried fruit, &c., and a little sugar made from the cane of our own raising, some may say this time is all lost, if our enemies are not coming in. Well, is it not all the better to spend our time digging holes and caching our stuff than to spend it in being in the mountains?

Brother Brigham says he does not intend to burn up the houses, and cut down our fruit trees, and push over our walls, and this thing and that, until we come to the last pinch; and then you will see a flame, such a one as you never saw in Salt Lake. I will burn up my houses, my barns, and granaries, should the Lord require it. You have heard me say, many a time, I would have more joy to see my family in the mountains—to see them in rags, in sheepskins, and goatskins, than to see them enjoying all the pleasure God ever gave to man and serving the Devil withal; and I would rather do it, if it is to be next year, than ever to succumb to the acts of such an ungodly, pusillanimous President, with his coadjutors, as those that govern our nation.

These are some of my views: you are welcome to them, and I charge you nothing for them. I received them from God, and they cost me nothing. And, as far as they are correct, receive them in your hearts, and they shall be unto you as a well of water springing up into everlasting life; and every man, woman, and child will grow and increase by observing them.

If you do not do these things, you will see sorrow. My heart says, “O Lord God, have mercy on this people, and help them to do thy will, and keep them in thy truth.” I pray and weep, lest the unrighteous among us lead away the righteous. Is it better for them to die? Yes; it is better for you to die according to your covenants a thousand times than to turn to wickedness and then lead away the righteous. But I doubt very much if you can lead away a people that are inclined to righteousness. You cannot lead away the elect; “For they will hear my voice, and strangers they will not follow.”

There will always be a majority of this people that will stand while all hell boils over, and they will overcome; and I bless them, in the name of Israel’s God, with the blessings of life and with the blessings of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob forever; and I bless all those that bless and protect Israel. Amen.

Unity, Etc.

A Discourse by Elder Amasa M. Lyman, Delivered in the Tabernacle, Great Salt Lake City, Sunday Afternoon, Nov. 22, 1857.

I can say, my brethren and sisters, in truth to my own feelings, that I have been gratified today in what I have heard. I have been edified; and, what is more, I feel that there is only one great reason why we do not realize more fully the blessings that would accrue to us, if we were sufficiently faithful, or as faithful as we might be to the principles inculcated in the remarks that have been made; and that reason is, we do not, to the extent that we might, “live our religion.”

We are not as perfectly united as we might be. I think that this is true. It is as certainly true as it is true that, if we could keep the law of God perfectly, we should realize a corresponding degree of happiness, peace, and affection in everything that should be made the subject of conversation or of thought, or that should become a matter of principle with the people. It is for us to cultivate that principle within us that should unite us together—that should cause our affections to be one, our feelings to be one, our interests to be one; for in this is our strength.

It may be truly said of us, as it is in the world, that we are united; and they say all the time that, whatever our leaders say or propose, we all go to work and sustain them therein. I would to God that it was true to a greater extent even than that to which our enemies may consider it to be true.

When we are compared with other communities in the world, it might be said of us that we are a united and happy people, for we enjoy a degree of union and the blessings resulting from that union that other communities do not enjoy. But this does not show that we do not fall far short of the perfect union that should cement the Saints of the Most High together.

If we could discover and be made sensible of any means by which we could become more perfectly united—more perfectly one, that would be a matter of importance to us. It would be of value to us, as it would lay a foundation with us for an increase of our intelligence; it would increase our chances of success—our chances of victory in the great struggle with the enemies of our God—with our foes within and our foes without. If we could but cultivate these principles with all our hearts, with all our faith, with all our souls, then our struggles would be barely begun when we should be able to rejoice in the enjoyment of victory.

“Well,” says one, “If we are influenced by the same Spirit—if we all do as the Spirit dictates, shall we not be one?” If all the people—the individuals that compose this community, were individually to be operated upon by the Spirit of God—were all enlightened by that Spirit that reveals the will of God, that makes known his purposes, and that imparts to the benighted soul an understanding of the purposes of the Almighty, so that we could appreciate them, there is no doubt in my mind but that the people would all see alike, and consequently act alike. But is this the case? With all our advantages—with all the instructions that have been given—with Heaven’s kindness in the continued, unremitting stream of revelation that has been poured out upon us for a score of years and more, have we become so enlightened—got understanding so that we all see alike, that we all understand alike? We have but to look and contemplate what we see exhibited around us to become satisfied at once that this is not the case with us as a people. If it were so, such admonitions as are called out from the Presidency of the Church would be uncalled for; they would be unnecessary; the people would not be admonished to be more united, to be more diligent and strict in remembering the principles and in practicing the instructions that are from time to time imparted unto them.

Now, while we cannot sufficiently comprehend the things of God by the Spirit of God to save us from error, and from mistakes, and from disunion, what shall we do? Why, let us humbly adopt the advice, or similar advice to that which is given by the ancient Apostle to his brethren in addressing them. He says, “We have also a more sure word of prophecy; whereunto ye do well that ye take heed, as unto a light that shineth in a dark place, until the day dawn, and the day star arise in your hearts.”

Now, I do not quote that Scripture to direct you to be overanxious to learn all that the ancient Apostles may have said that might be adapted to the Saints in that time and under those circumstances; but I want you to act in this as they were admonished to act in that time; and if you cannot judge perfectly by the portion of the Spirit of God that you possess, remember that you have a more sure word of prophecy that is imparted unto you from day to day, from Sabbath to Sabbath, from month to month, and from year to year, unto which you do well that you give heed. And the sequel will be, if you give heed unto it, that by-and-by the day will dawn, and the day star of experience, of heaven, and of truth, and of God, will arise in your own hearts, and the fountain of light and life will become established within you.

Well, then, until this is the case, adopt the maxim inculcated in the song of one of our poets, who writes—

“We’ll mind what Brigham says.”

Pay attention to the inspiration of the Almighty from those in whom it lives and dwells—in whom it is a living fountain, as it must be in you, individually, before you will be saved from sin. Let us remember, if we cannot comprehend, by the Spirit that is living within us, all the truth in relation to what we should do and how we should act as we travel along, that we should attend to their instructions, and do what they say. If they instruct us to pray, let us pray; and if they instruct us what to pray for, let us pray for that; and when the fountain of inspiration is opened within us and becomes a living part and parcel of ourselves, then we will know for ourselves and comprehend for ourselves, and the President of the Church will not have to say from day to day and from time to time, “Wake up from your slumber.” He will not have need to tell us of our diversity of sentiment and feelings. There should exist among us a perfect unanimity of feeling.

If we wait for the Spirit of God to do everything, what are we doing the while? We are idling away our time; we are neglecting to use the means placed within our reach for our benefit and improvement. God has raised up in his Church Apostles, Prophets, and Teachers—for what purpose? Simply that you might be instructed—simply that you might be taught and brought to the knowledge of the truth. What truth? Why, the same truth the Apostles and Prophets understand—the same truths that the Seventies, High Priests, Elders, and the servants of God comprehend. It is to bring you to the same inspiration—to the knowledge of God, which is eternal life.

This is all the purpose that is to be accomplished in all this labor. It is the object of these ordinances, the institutions of heaven, to bring us from our ignorance, our want of knowledge, our lack of understanding, to a comprehension of the truth; and when we are brought to that point and place, no matter if we are counted by thousands and tens of thousands, the blessings of the Gospel are ours, if we are united; for we all occupy the same ground, we understand the same truth, and we are all in the same relationship with truth and with God, which make us one. It causes us to feel alike, to think alike, and to act alike.

If this is the case when we pour out our supplications to the heavens, what will be the character of those supplications? They will all be marked with the same consistency: the same understanding of the truth will dictate them. Our will will simply be the will of our President. Well, then, what will we pray for? We will pray for nothing but what will subserve the cause of righteous ness; we will ask for nothing but what is consistent with the principles of truth and our own advancement in the comprehension of those principles. Would we ask for anything that the heavens would deny? No, we would not. Would our prayers ascend up without hindrance? Yes, they would. For what reason? Because they were marked with union, with truth, with consistency, and righteousness; consequently, they must be acceptable unto our heavenly Father.

What is the reason our prayers are not all answered? The reason is simply because we ask for things that our Father in his wisdom knows would do us no good. They are not answered, because we should cause our Father to defeat himself, if he were obliged to answer all our petitions, all our prayers and supplications. To have our prayers acceptable, they must be consistent; we must ask for nothing but what is pleasing in his sight, in order that our Father may hear and answer our prayers; and in this way we receive that for which we ask.

Now, to gain this point, it is desirable, because of the advantages that we shall secure when it is once gained.

It is possible that it may be the case that some may think there are other matters of greater importance to us and that should possess a higher interest to us than for us simply to become united through the truth. But if there is anything of greater importance, it is something that I do not know—that I have not learned. Victory has been promised unto us, upon the condition that we do right.

If there are any things connected with our present circumstances that are, to some, more than usually alarming or exciting, I do not know any good reason why they should be so; for if the work with which we are connected is the work of God, as we feel, and as most of us are often saying that we understand it, why should we be more excited this year than we were last year? Why should we feel any more uneasy when there are a few United States’ troops in the hills than if there were not? This is no less the work of God for their being there. Our Father is as near to us—his care and his protection is as much over us and round about us as it was before; and it is no more so, unless we get a little closer by observing more perfectly his requirements.

I fear that if the clouds were now all dissipated and driven away, and if the sunshine of prosperity should begin to shine upon us, some would forget God and the duties they owe to him and to one another: I fear that we should forget the sacred obligations which we are under.

I have never seen any time since I have been connected with the Church when I felt as much freedom, as much liberty, or as much of the Spirit of truth—the blessings of freedom and peace that it inspires, as I have since I have known that our enemies have been in our borders. The reason why I feel this way I suppose to be because of the great blessings that are pending at the present time; and I suppose that which would be a reason for my feeling so well should be a reason for the same good feelings with all Saints, if they only possessed the same Spirit.

“Well,” says one, “Do you think that you are more holy than the rest of the people?” I do not know whether I am or not; but I am fortunate, at any rate, if it is any piece of good fortune to feel at ease and free from trouble and perplexity. Are you not troubled? No. Are you not miserable? No. I am not troubled nor miserable. Why? Because I am happy.

If the people all felt so, they would not be very much troubled about any thing. I do not say that I feel to pray with any more interest, with any more earnestness, with any more zeal, than I did before we heard the news that this army was on its way to Utah. I am no more disquieted in my feeling; and why? Because it is a settled conviction with me that this is the work of God, and I have no idea that there will be any failure, only that which is on the part of the people. The only anxiety that I have is that I may keep myself firmly bound to “Mormonism”—to the car of the kingdom of God and the work of God; and if God rolls on his work, as we have been told he would, during the last few weeks, we shall soon see his kingdom spread and extend to an amazing degree.

As the Lord has said it is his business to provide for his Saints, I have the promise of being provided for, if I only so conduct myself as to merit the title of a Saint. As to the way and the means how it is to be accomplished, that is none of my business. Whatever the Lord wants of me, he will let me know, because, if I keep myself right and straight, I shall always be on hand to respond to the directions of those that lead me and dictate me, and who should direct my movements.

Well, then, I am happy; I am as easy in my feelings as I well could be, unless I knew something more to feel well about; and I expect, when I know and understand more, that my happiness will be increased; for I expect that I shall understand many things that are now no source of joy and pleasure to me, simply because I know nothing about them. But so far as I have a knowledge of truth, that truth makes me happy and contented; and if I can be contented, I feel as though I would like to see all the people contented. If you cannot feel contented by the spirit that dwells within you all the time, adopt the old Apostle’s maxim—“We have also a more sure word of prophecy; whereunto ye do well that ye take heed, as unto a light that shineth in a dark place, until the day dawn and the day star arise in your hearts.” (2nd Peter, chap. i. 19.)

Listen to and carry out the instructions of brother Brigham, of brother Heber, and of all that speak the words of life and salvation unto you. If they tell you to go home and cultivate peace in your family, go and do it; and if they tell you to go home and cease your stealing, go home and be honest, and quit your stealing.

This is the way to be united; and if you will be honest and united, you will get the Spirit of God; and the more you have of the Spirit of God, the better you feel and the better you will act. Talk about people feeling well that act as mean as the Devil! It is nonsense. Does a man or woman feel well that will steal, that will traduce a friend, speak evil of a neighbor, and seek to stir up strife? No; they cannot. Does an individual feel well that will lie and cherish opposition to the advice, the counsel, and instruction that is given us from the Prophets that God has placed in his Church to rule and dictate us? If I were to judge others as I feel myself, I would judge that they could not feel well. Why? Because I feel well in acting with them—in saying amen to what they say. I feel and find the happiness that I enjoy by doing this, and no man or woman can find happiness in pursuing an opposite course; and if you are unbelieving, it is because you do not comprehend the truth with all your hearts—you do not understand it.

Well, how are you going to get better? Why, commence to do better. If you have indulged in lying, you know it is a sin; therefore, cease your lying. If you have stolen, quit it, and die unto sin. The reason you do not dwell in the life of righteousness is because you are not yet dead unto sin: the reason you do not live is because you are not dead; you are neither living nor dead.

You are instructed to pursue one course, and you will take another: you are instructed to subject yourselves to the will of Heaven, and you are all the time imagining and thinking, and something is in your minds that unsettles your faith and divides your affections. Hence, you do not enjoy the Spirit of truth to the extent that you would, if you would subject yourselves to the will of Heaven. Do as the men do who instruct you and lead you, and do it with your whole hearts. As the President said in reference to praying, do not hunt up any sentiments in your own souls; do not hunt up something to pray for when another is praying; but listen to the man who is mouth, and pray as he prays, and let your whole soul go out in the energy of his expression. Then what will be the result? You will become imbued with the same energy that he has; and if he feels well and is right, you will feel well.

Take this course, and the fountain of knowledge and eternal life will by-and-by be established within you. This is what we are seeking for. It is the rich boon of heaven that we are striving for; and why is it that we do not get it? It is here; it is all around us. We can look—we can travel to the place where it is. Why do we not enjoy it? Simply because you will not enjoy it. This is all the reason. How much do you enjoy? Why, all that you are willing and capable of enjoying—all that you prepare yourselves to enjoy—just all that you render yourselves worthy of in the sight of God; and if you would enjoy more, live better—apply your minds closer and closer to the principles of the Gospel.

If you live your religion in going to meeting on Sunday, live it also on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, and every day and every night, until everything adverse to the truth is expelled from your household—until your family circle becomes a sanctuary where the Spirit of God abides—where it imparts its lifegiving influence to all that come within that circle.

If this were the case, it would constitute the Zion of our God. We should have Zion within, whether we were at home or abroad, or in whatever circumstances we might be placed.

“Why,” says one, “I suppose that I must do some great thing.” Let me tell you to try to do some small thing; and if you attend to the little things, when you become men and women in understanding and in the knowledge of the truth, it will be time enough for you to undertake the work of men and women in Christ.

How much can we do? If we were to be judged by our conduct and the course that we take, it would appear that our capacity is not very great; and if we do not know enough to attend to the simple instructions that are given to us here—if we cannot attend to things that are thus simple, how could we get along with greater questions, should they come before us? We have now as much as we know how to get along with and manage properly, without grasping after things beyond our present comprehension.

Brethren and sisters, I hope, and I not only hope, but am certain that, as a people, we shall adopt the principles that have been taught us, and practice them to so great an extent that our Father will accept of us—that he will not forsake us—that he will not turn his hand against us, but that it may be over us in mercy continually, and that victory, through his goodness, may perch upon the banner of Zion from this time forth and forever.

I want that we should be good enough—sufficiently meek and faithful before our Father and his servants, that we shall find acceptance with him continually. That we may be so wise as to pursue this course in our lives, is my prayer in the name of Jesus. Amen.

Neglect of Sunday Meetings—The Saints Gathered From the Common Classes of Society—Dishonesty, Etc.

A Discourse by President Brigham Young, Delivered in the Tabernacle, Great Salt Lake City, November 22, 1857.

Much has been said here today with regard to that class who are unruly and forward—who are subject to do evil. I presume the great majority of this congregation have concluded to place all those remarks upon those who do not come to meeting. Doubtless the few—yes, the very few characters that have been referred to by the brethren today are at home studying mischief. It is very seldom that you will find a thief in this house—a person that plunders his neighbors. But if you will go into the streets, you will find certain persons in the different Wards who have an excuse for not attending meeting. Some are so very industrious that they cannot attend meeting. I would not doubt much but what we could now go to several houses and find women at work; they are so very industrious. And it is often the case that some men are so industrious that they cannot find time to get a load of wood without going for it or returning with it on Sunday. That is really the case with those who do not love “Mormonism:” they have embraced it because they know it is true and think it will shield them in their iniquity. It is seldom that such persons come to meeting. I conclude that the remarks which have been made today are designed for those persons who are disposed to do evil; but there is probably only a very few or none of that class present, and we shall have to depend upon you to tell them what has been said about them. I am thankful that it is my honest conviction that there are but a very few of that class in our community.

There are a great many people who do wrong because they have not the standard of right and wrong within them, but permit themselves to be governed by the prejudices and education they have received among the different nations and neighborhoods where they have been trained. You may find some persons who have within them the standard of right and wrong: they can tell when they do right—what is right, and judge themselves as easily as they can others; but of this class there are but a very few. And were I to say that there are none who are entirely free from the prejudices and prepossessed ideas gathered in their youthful days from their parents, teachers, and friends, I should say what is strictly true. Still, we are studying and trying to learn how to discern between the evil and the good, the right and the wrong—between that which is of God and that which is not of him.

This people are mostly gathered from what are termed the laboring and middle classes. We have not gathered into this Church men that are by the world esteemed profound in their principles, ideas, and judgment. We have none in this Church that are called by them expert statesmen. How frequently it is cast at the Elders, when they are abroad preaching, that Joseph Smith, the founder of their Church and religion, was only a poor illiterate boy. That used to be advanced as one of the strongest arguments that could be produced against the doctrine of salvation by the wise and learned of this world, though it is no argument at all. The Lord should have revealed himself to some of the learned priests or talented men of the age, say they, who could have done some good and borne off the Gospel by their influence and learning, and not to a poor, ignorant, unlettered youth. Not many wise, not many mighty, not many noble, speaking after the manner of men, are called; but God hath chosen the foolish things of the world to confound the wise, the weak things of the world to confound the things that are mighty; and base things of the world—things which are despised by the world; hath God in his wisdom chosen; yea, and things which are not to bring to naught things that are, that no flesh should glory in his presence.

Men were too wise in the days of the Savior to receive the Gospel, and we see the same disposition exhibited in our day. The world spurn the idea of receiving truth from a person they look upon as inferior to them in the talent, learning, and cunning of the present generation. Perhaps they might bow to the requirements of Heaven were an angel to personally visit them individually, and exalt them to high places, and give them the influence, power, and glory that are of this world. We have none of those men here: we are all of the laboring and middle classes. There are but few in this Church who are not of the laboring class, and they have not had an opportunity to cultivate their minds, to search into the history of the nations of the earth, to learn the prejudices that are upon the people, their education, feelings, and customs. We have mostly come from the plough and the furrow, from the mechanic shops and the loom, from the spinning jenny, the kitchen, and washroom. This people have not been educated in the deviltry and craft of the learned classes of mankind, and consequently possessed honesty enough to embrace the truth. That is the character of the class of people before me today.

Who is capable of judging? We do not look for that talent and great judgment from the common people that we would naturally expect from those who are called the refined and educated. There must be an opportunity given them for improvement before we can expect the same refinement and classical attainments which the higher classes, so called, boast of. The higher classes have nothing to do only to study the nature of man, their own dispositions, and those of their fellow beings. We can look upon them as they really are, and truly we are compelled to conclude that the deviltry, mischief, dishonesty, craft, corruption, &c., that are taught and practiced among the higher classes, have prevented them from receiving the Gospel. But the poor, half-starved laborers, those who feel as though they want a friend, who look around for some source of happiness, for some arm to lean on, for some eye to pity them, are the ones who have honesty enough to receive the truth.

What should we expect from such a class of people? I have my reasons for justifying and my reasons for condemning; I have my reasons for liking this people and my reasons for disliking the conduct of some; and I believe that I look upon them very much as the Lord does. He pities the human family; they are objects of his mercy and commiseration. There are men in this community who, through the force of the education they have received from their parents and friends, would cheat a poor widow out of her last cow, and then go down upon their knees and thank God for the good fortune he had sent them and for his kind providences that enabled them to obtain a cow without becoming amenable to any law of the land, though the poor widow had been actually cheated. We see that trait of character in mankind. Are such persons capable in all things of rightly discerning between truth and error? No. But they, through their traditions, can judge every person but themselves: they can weigh every person in their scale of justice; but they never think of trying themselves. That proceeds from the force of education and false tradition upon their minds, and some still remain ignorant of many of the true principles of right and wrong, although they have embraced the Gospel.

Brother Kimball told the truth this morning with regard to many of our mechanics. I have not built a house since I have been in this place but what I have furnished many more pounds of nails than I would have to do for the same piece of work in the States. I knew that some of the workmen took them, and I told them so. They need not undertake to deceive me, for I know precisely what they do. Since the days of reformation, I have had many a one come to me—honest men to all appearance—men that you would almost have sworn were as holy as an angel, and confess that they had stolen nails from me, or a wagon, &c. But they have not yet become honest enough to bring the stolen articles back. In what condition are they, after such a confession, without making restitution, compensation, or some kind of satisfaction? Just as they were before. To me, taking and keeping another’s property, without leave, is stealing; but to many, they consider it a godsend to have another’s nails to carry home in their pockets. That often is the consequence of tradition, rather than an innate disposition to steal. I will relate a circumstance to corroborate that statement. I once knew a man in this Church who told me that, when he was in the old country, he would, if possible, spoil his work, in order to be employed to do it again. He was a plumber and glazier. As soon as he had finished a fine window or a large sash for a hothouse in a gentleman’s garden, he would place it in a situation where it would be sure to be broken to pieces, that he might thereby secure employment; and when he received the second job, he would thank God for his kind providences toward him. To him, in his tradition, and amid the oppression of the laboring classes, that was just as honest as anything could be. But here they are not so oppressed.

To this day, if you employ masons to do a valuable piece of work, many will so do it that the wall or building will last only a few years, and then believe that to be honesty, whereas I believe it to be dishonesty. And joiners, with few exceptions, will so hang doors, put up mantelpieces, put on roofs, and lay floors, that in a short time all their work is out of repair or good for nothing. Very many, through the power of erroneous education, do not know what honesty and dishonesty are, and are not capable of judging. Observe the artisans in any branch of mechanism, and you will learn that what I have stated is true. Then you may take the class called merchants, also the doctors, the priests in the various sects, the lawyers, and every person engaged in any branch of business throughout the world, and, as a general thing, they are all taught from their childhood to be more or less dishonest.

Those who have their eyes opened to see and understand where honesty and uprightness are, what righteousness is, and to discern between that which is right and that which is wrong, often rise here and talk about it. I do so myself; and when I speak of dishonesty among the people, I look at them as they are, whether I tell it or not. This is the most honest people on the earth. There is more honesty in this community than in any other community on the earth—that is, that we have any knowledge of. The great majority of this community are as honest as they know how to be. I have stated that I had not found a man honest enough to bring back what he had taken from me; but those persons are poor and can make a reasonable excuse. One of the best men I ever hired to labor for me—one whom I paid well for all he did for me, took some of my tools; that is to say, he borrowed them and never brought them back. Well, he is poor. Will I forgive him? Yes. They may steal from me as much as they please, and I will forgive them as far as they ought to be forgiven. They may say, “You have plenty, brother Brigham.” That is true; and, so far as I can remember, I have never stolen a pin’s worth in any way, shape, or manner, except the taking a few melons or a little fruit, once in a while, when I was a boy. Have I cheated any of you, or wronged any of you in any way? If I have, I would be glad to have you tell me wherein. Have I oppressed the laborer in his wages? If I have, let the man come and tell me of it.

Some think that I am very close and economical. I am; and I will tell you wherein. When a man comes to labor for me—one who will only leisurely do two or three hours’ work in a day, and wants as much pay as a man who will do six times as much, I am not willing to pay him for idling away his time. If I have a man labor for me who can do six days’ work in one, did I ever refuse to pay him for the amount of labor he performed? Ask Isaac Hunter if I ever refused to pay him wages to the full amount of labor he could perform in a day. In this valley we have esti mated laying rock in a wall to be worth one dollar a perch. Ask any mason, when he laid ten perches in a day, if I ever refused to pay him ten dollars. But if a man wanted three dollars and a half for laying one perch, I am not willing to pay him at that rate. I will suppress dishonesty, but I never oppress honesty.

I have tried to suppress dishonesty in individuals, and have tried thereby to make them honest. If I hire a carpenter and pay him three dollars a day, and he is three days in making a six-panel door that a good workman can make in one, or even a door and a half, I do not want to pay him three dollars a day for that labor. Yet some who are here have no more judgment, discretion, or idea of right or wrong, than to want to be paid for labor they do not perform; and that they consider to be honesty: but it is just as dishonest as anything in the world.

I am willing to pay men for what they do. I am anxious that all should have that which belongs to them, and wish them to let that which belongs to me alone. If I furnish nails to build a house, the workmen have no right to carry them off. When using nails, the mechanic often has more or less in his pocket. At quitting time he forgets to take them out, and carries them home. He goes out to chop a little wood and says, “Dear me, these nails”—some twenty or thirty, or perhaps more—“are quite a burden to me,” and he puts them out of his way. By-and-by he wants to build a pigpen, or to build a little addition to his house, and feels quite thankful that he has the nails to do it with, and will praise the name of the Lord for the manner in which he has blessed him. I do not want blessings on such grounds, and I never expect them in that way, because I have the natural sense to know better. Others also will have it, if they will continue to try to find out how to judge between right and wrong in themselves as they do in another individual.

You may go to High Councils, though we do not have many in these days, and to Bishops’ Courts, and hear a trial between parties that have quarreled with each other, and you will readily perceive that if those individuals could judge themselves as they judge each other, there would have been no difficulty between them; they would have settled their affairs between themselves, and the best of feelings would have been established for each other. But people cannot judge themselves as they can others, nor look upon their own conduct as they do upon the conduct of others. We must learn to look at ourselves, to judge ourselves, and know how to deal with ourselves, and that will enable us to bring ourselves into perfect subjection to the law of Christ.

Are the people striving to do right? Yes, they are. It has been observed that we are pretty clear from those unruly spirits that have been in our midst. So we are; but you need not flatter yourselves for a moment that the Devil has left us. You will find that he marshals his forces more particularly against this people; and if we are now clear from those unhallowed spirits and the tabernacles they occupied, you may expect that he will, if possible, find somebody here in whom he can have a resting place. You will learn that the wicked disembodied spirits have not left this people, though the most of those wicked persons who sought to destroy the Saints have left us. There are myriads of disembodied evil spirits—those who have long ago laid down their bodies here and in the regions round about, among and around us; and they are trying to make us and our children sick, and are trying to destroy us and to tempt us to evil. They will try every possible means they are masters of to draw us aside from the path of righteousness.

Do you not think that we need to watch and pray continually—that we need all the time to keep a guard over ourselves, that we may preserve ourselves in the love of the truth? We do. It should be our constant study to guard ourselves on every side against every attack of the enemy of all righteousness.

Cease looking at others. Cease to judge each other. Go into a family where there are two women belonging to one man, and from that to as many as you can find, and you will soon learn that almost every woman can judge all the family but herself; and that she thinks that whatever she does is just right: she would not do a wrong for the world. Then go to the next woman that was said to be so out of the way, and with her it is, “I am exactly right, and the other is wrong.” They do not rightly look at their own failings, views, and passions. If they were all capable of straightening themselves, they would not come in collision with each other, but would all conclude to walk together in the straight and narrow path, whereas now they are at times almost diametrically opposed to each other. Is that the case? Judge ye for yourselves. That is not the case with every family, to my certain knowledge; but it is so with too many. It is just so with the brethren. You find more or less of the same difficulty everywhere you go. It is, “I am right, and you are wrong.”

You have been taught the standard of right. Now subdue your rebellious passions, dismiss everything that you know or consider to be wrong, and embrace that which is better. Get wisdom and all the light you possibly can, and never live another twenty-four hours without the Holy Spirit of the Lord, and that will give you joy, peace, comfort, light, and intelligence, by which you can grow in grace and in the knowledge of the Lord Jesus Christ. I cannot reach these attainments, neither can you, only by the light and intelligence which flow from heaven. You may say, “Brother Brigham, you are like the rest of us: we see our faults, but we do not like to acknowledge them; we like to have them covered up and kept out of the sight of our neighbors.” If you find a secret fault, dismiss it secretly. Let your faults go behind you; turn them overboard, and forever disown them. If no person but yourselves has seen your faults, you are blessed. You may then get rid of them without their being made manifest to others.

If men and women, and more especially women, for they love chit-chat, when they feel in any way bad, or a little cross, or feel as though somebody is out of the way, and feel like finding fault with their neighbor and exposing this one’s fault and the other one’s fault, would only be as secret on the faults of others as they are on their own, it would be beneficial to their welfare and that of their neighbors. When a person opens his mouth, no matter what he talks about, to a person of quick discernment, he will disclose more or less of his true sentiments. You cannot hide the heart, when the mouth is open. If you want to keep your heart secret, keep your mouth shut.

Some say, “I feel as though I must boil over, and I must talk to relieve myself.” All hell is boiling over; but does that make it any better? No. If you let your tongue run, and it scatters the poison that is in you, it sets the whole being on fire. The Apostle James says, “And the tongue is a fire, a world of iniquity: so is the tongue among our members, that it defileth the whole body, and setteth on fire the course of nature; and it is set on fire of hell.” And again, “But the tongue can no man tame; it is an unruly evil, full of deadly poison.” Are you aware of this, sisters and brethren? If you keep silent, you can master your feelings, can subdue your passions, and ultimately become masters of them and banish them from you. If you give way to your unbridled tongues, you increase anger within you, and the first you know your blood is boiling with wrath. That is what the Apostle meant when he wrote, “It setteth on fire the whole course of nature; and it is set on fire of hell.” It is hell that sets it agoing. If you find that you cannot keep your tongue still, get some India-rubber and chew it with all your might. Do as brother Joseph Sharp did when he assisted in conveying Mrs. Mogo to the soldier’s camp. He considered that the soldiers rather imposed upon him and his brother Adam, and he was for fight; but Adam, who is not so impetuous, coaxed him into the wagon, where he laid down on his face, and in two hours chewed up almost a whole plug of tobacco. In such cases a good piece of India-rubber is better, cheaper, and will last longer; though it would be better for you to chew up a whole plug of tobacco than to have a real quarrel with your tongues. You would not in a long time get over the effects of a quarrel: it would be like a cankerworm to your souls.

There is not a person on the earth, that has sense enough to know what experience is, but what, if they would bridle their tongues and subdue their passions, could say, “I have not injured anybody—no, not even myself.” It is no matter how you are tempted, if you do not give way to temptation; but if you give way to temptation, it carries you to destruction. If you give way to your angry feelings, it sets on fire the whole course of nature, and is set on fire of hell; and you are then apt to set those on fire who are contending with you. When you feel as though you would burst, tell the old boiler to burst, and just laugh at the temptation to speak evil. If you will continue to do that, you will soon be so masters of yourselves as to be able, if not to tame, to control your tongues—able to speak when you ought, and to be silent when you ought.

Let the mechanics and all others try to improve as you have. There has a great improvement taken place in the midst of this people, and we will still continue to improve. Let us seek unto the Lord for wisdom, until we can rightly judge all matters that come before us—until we can judge ourselves and our neighbors with equal justice, and so continue to improve, until we come up to the standard of truth in all our acts and words; so that when I employ a mason to lay me up a wall, he will do it honestly, and so on with every other workman. Then if a man does not earn his wages, he will not ask them or take them. Now it is—“I want all I can get.” Honesty never comes into the hearts of such persons; their rule is to keep what they have got, and to get all they can, whether honestly or not, and pray for more.

When the eyes of your understandings are opened to deal righteously with each other, then my axes, shovels, &c., will all be safe, if they are left in the barn. But it has been so that my harness was taken, my picks and shovels, my wagon, wheels, and tire, and everything else that could be was carried off. When we have attained the improvement I anticipate, I can lie down in peace at night and enquire, “Wife, have you brought in those clothes that were hung out?” “No.” “All right—no person, will meddle with them.” I would rather persons who are destitute would come to me and say, “We need a pair of pantaloons, a hat,” &c., and give me a chance to assist them. But when they steal, I cannot trust them.

I would rather give a woman a dollar than have her come to my house saying, “Do you want to buy a pound of butter?” “Yes. What do you want for it?” “Twenty-five or thirty cents,” as the case may be, and then stop with my family and eat a great deal more butter than she sold to me. If they would come to me and say, “Brother Brigham, I want to sell this butter, for I have no way of living only by my labor,” it would be another thing. If a poor woman should come to me and say, “I want fifty cents to purchase dyestuffs,” here it is; you are welcome to the money, but do not undertake to sponge on me.

Let my nails, tools, and other property remain where they belong. Work honestly and deal honestly one with another. Evil practices in a great degree spring from the traditions of the people; they are so educated. They have been taught, in different parts of the world, that if they found a thing, though not many yards from the door of the owner, it belonged to them. “This belongs to me now, for I have found it.” Did you earn it? “No; I found it.” That and a thousand other traits of human life tend to lead the people astray. They seldom stop to think whether they are right or wrong.

We need to learn, practice, study, know, and understand how angels live with each other. When this community comes to the point to be perfectly honest and upright, you will never find a poor person: none will lack; all will have sufficient. Every man, woman, and child will have all they need just as soon as they all become honest. When the majority of a community are dishonest, it maketh the honest portion poor, for the dishonest serve and enrich themselves at their expense. You know that I think that this people are the best people that there are; yet we need to train ourselves, to study ourselves, and study the principles of truth and righteousness, until we can discern that which is right from that which is wrong in the least particular within ourselves; and you will find that to answer every purpose, without judging our neighbors as much as many do.

As to this people being a good people, I say, God bless you all the the time! Who else will do as this people do? Nobody else. All you have is on the altar, ready to be offered up for the kingdom of God. You could hardly find a man or woman in this congregation but what would take the clothing from their backs to promote this kingdom.

We are telling you all the time to do as you are told; but do you do it to that extent which you will in a few years to come? No. Why? Because you do not know how. I know that this people are doing a great deal better than they did years ago. Could Joseph do with this people as I and my brethren now can? No. Were this people in the situation they now are when Joseph was alive? No. Joseph was running the gauntlet among his wicked enemies all the time. He hardly knew a man in the kingdom that he could put confidence enough in to call for a dollar to help him out of a difficulty. He did not know how many would stand by him when a mob gathered against him. He had a few faithful, tried friends; but he had many around him who would betray him into the hands of his enemies.

I am not afflicted with such persons in the midst of this people; but there is confidence and a concentration of faith; and we will so improve, that, when a man rises here to pray, there will not be a desire from the heart of a man or woman but what is uttered by the one who is mouth. When we come to understanding, there will not be as many desires and prayers as there are people, while one is officiating as mouth for the whole; but when he who is mouth prays, every heart will wait until he utters a sentence, and that embodies what they also desire. When the sisters meet together and appoint one of their number to pray, they will never let a desire escape from the heart until they know what the mouth is praying for. Then they all will desire the same and pray for the same. This people are hastening to that degree of perfection.

I thank the Lord all the time, and I bless the name of Israel’s God that I live in this day and age of the world, and that I am associated with such a people. Is there any misery, sorrow, and affliction here? I do not know what trouble or sorrow is. Do I feel for others? Yes, all I ought to feel.

I know what the sorrow of the world is. It works death, and I have long ago bid goodbye to it. If I am sorry for anything, I try to have a godly sorrow to benefit me. My heart is cheerful; I am happy and thankful all the day long; and I believe that I am in the light. I have not asked for a lantern, only from the Almighty; and I know that the whole people are daily progressing, ascending, and increasing in good works and in faith and knowledge, even the knowledge of God; and we are doing the works he desires at our hands.

It would do you good to look out yonder in the mountains and see our brethren warmly clad and well provided for. The brethren and sisters here and in the neighborhoods round about have liberally answered to our calls, and every time have supplied more than was called for. Will they part with everything, if it is called for? Yes. I have heard but of one man, since the brethren went out to watch the enemy—a man up north, who really wished the brethren to spare his ox; but they butchered him before his eyes. I said amen to it. If his god can be slain as easily as that, it is an excellent thing for him. If any of you have gods in horses, or in oxen, make an offering of them forthwith, and tell the boys who are going out that they are welcome to them. They are welcome to all mine. If you don’t believe it, try it.

We are a blessed people, and we shall be preserved from our enemies, if we will continue to do right, and the Lord will sustain us. And I can tell you that this people will do right and God will sustain us. Ere long Zion will triumph and the glory and knowledge of God will cover the earth, and we will still be in the old ship Zion and ride all wicked opposition down to destruction. May God help us so to do. Amen.

Opposition to the Gospel and the Work of God—Honesty, Etc.

A Sermon by Elder Orson Hyde, Delivered in the Tabernacle, Great Salt Lake City, November 15, 1857.

A question arises in the minds of some few, and perhaps in the minds of a great many—“How will our present difficulties terminate? I would like to know the sequel. We have been kept in suspense for a length of time, and I would like to know the final issue.”

In my opinion, there is no person that can know the final result of the present movements until it is seen. We have faith in relation to it, and the assurance of the Almighty that all will be well; but the exact how and manner in which it will be brought about we cannot tell; for it is by faith that we move, and not by sight. But in the course of some remarks which I may make, you may, perhaps, be led to a satisfactory conclusion as to what the final issue may be, and not only the final issue, for we are already satisfied about that, but with regard to the progressive stages leading to it.

It is said in the good Book that “Not many wise, not many mighty, not many learned are called; but God hath chosen the poor of this world and rich in faith to be the heirs of his kingdom.” We are furthermore told that he has “chosen the weak things of this world, and things that are not, to bring to naught the things that are, that no flesh should glory in his presence.” Now I will quote from a modern writer— “Say first of God above, then man below, How can we reason but from what we know?”

I will go back to the days of the commencement of this Church, when a young man of no particular literary qualifications was called upon to bring to light truths that have been hid for ages—truths in themselves grand and sublime; yet, when brought forth, they were clothed in language not so eloquent as might please the ears of many of the learned. They were not dressed up in the style of modern oratory; and because of this, they were rejected by the fashionable and religious world. The religious world had been taught and completely molded after the fashion and learning of this world, so that a man could not be considered a qualified orthodox preacher, unless he had been through college and acquired the learning of the age.

Here, then, an illiterate youth rises up with a system of true religion, that lays the axe at the root of every other system in Christendom. Look at the odds that were apparently against this young man, even Joseph Smith, the martyr, the Prophet of the Most High—without learning—without resources or friends to back him up—with the whole tide of popular sentiment arrayed against him, backed up by all the learning of the world. If we look at him through a worldly eye, the odds were materially against him.

You are acquainted with the history of the Church, and well know how matters went on. You know the many trials to which Joseph the Prophet and his friends were subjected, and the difficulties with which they had to contend. But was there ever an instance when the enemy gained an advantage over the truth of heaven or thwarted the purposes of this illiterate young man? No. Did they not call to their aid all the learning and craftiness of the world in proportion as the cause he advocated increased? And did they succeed any better? When the cause became more extensive among men, did opposition succeed any better than at the commencement? Not at all.

In process of time, the Elders went forth preaching this Gospel; and remember, there were not many learned—not many mighty that were called, and I may say, none at all. With the limited abilities they possessed, they went forth to proclaim a system of truth that laid the axe at the root of the false religions and false philosophy of the world; while the learning, popularity, and resources of the world were arrayed against us, which we had to meet; poor and limited in abilities, in learning, and worldly qualifications, we were despised and regarded as a set of outcasts.

With all the powerful odds against us, the truth greatly gained ground. Let me appeal to the experience of all present, while I ask you if you have ever known an instance where a faithful Elder, who has kept his garments clean and unspotted from the world, has ever been confounded while administering the word of life as proclaimed through that illiterate young man, Joseph Smith? To be sure, a few who may have got the “big head,” or been puffed up in their own imaginations, have been foiled, or those who have been in transgression. God despises a victory gained by such characters. He will not acknowledge or own a victory gained in this cause by a corrupt and wicked member of his Church. I do not know positively how that is, however, and I will not stop to investigate it. Suffice it to say, it is the pure in heart that God delights to work with. Just like any good mechanic, when he wishes to make a nice piece of work, he wants tools that are sharp and clean to do it with. He will not work with dull and rusty tools to execute a nice job of work.

So it is with our heavenly Father: although he may use seemingly awkward instruments, yet they are polished after his mind and will; and he, being the master builder, knows what pleases him best.

Has the greatest champion against “Mormonism” ever been confident enough in his own success and triumph in any debate with the Elders of this Church to publish his own arguments with those of his opponent? I do not know but there have been such instances, but not one now occurs to my mind; while, on the other hand, our faithful Elders have not been afraid or ashamed to publish both sides of the question for all eyes to look upon.

Often we have seen pieces in public journals, and also books published against us in burning zeal, and flaming with vengeance against us, and seemingly calculated to overthrow us, exposing what they called the wickedness of the “Mormons,” beguiling and duping their hearers with cunningly devised falsehoods. Very many cases of this kind we have seen, and have also seen their end. The Almighty has put his hand over them, and they have sunk so low that the strongest prejudiced hand against us will not now reach down to bring them up. Their power has become weakness, and their influence is blasted forever by the breath of the Almighty.

Does the everlasting Gospel lose its influence with the good and pure of mankind? Upon those who are not disposed to work righteousness alone is its influence lost—upon those who shout, “Great is Diana of the Ephesians;” but with the honest, simple-hearted sons of men it is just as sweet now as ever it was; and to them its charms increase, notwithstanding all the trials and difficulties they endure for its sake.

“This Gospel of the kingdom shall be preached for a witness unto all nations, and then shall the end come.” Was it the Gospel of the kingdom that was preached in ancient days—in the days of the Apostles, that went into all the earth, and their words unto the ends of the world? It was the Gospel, but I conclude that it was not the Gospel of the kingdom; for that was to be revealed at the time when the kingdom of God should be established on the earth, to stand forever. “And this Gospel of the kingdom shall be preached as a witness unto all nations, and then shall the end come.”

Where has this Gospel been preached? Through the United States of America, in Europe, Asia, and Africa. I do not say that it has been sounded distinctly in the ears of everybody living; but I do say that the sound has gone into all the earth, and their words to the ends of the world.

I recollect a certain saying in a revelation that was given to the Saints in the early days of this Church. The Lord said, through Joseph Smith, that it became every man, after being warned, to warn his neighbor, that all may be without excuse. If all the people who have heard the word had been as faithful in warning their neighbors as the few Elders who are now under the sound of my voice have been in warning those with whom they have been associated, and to whom they have been sent, and among whom they have labored, would not the whole world have been fully warned at this time? Yes.

In another revelation to the first Elders of this Church, who had been forth preaching in their weakness (being called in at Kirtland, Ohio), the Lord told them to wash their feet in testimony that they were clean from the blood of this generation, and goes on to say, “Let those who are not of the first Elders of my Church remain in the vineyard, for their garments are not yet clean.” Those first Elders had labored but a short time in the vineyard—perhaps one or two years, when it was said, “Your garments are clean.”

There are Elders who have labored from sea to sea, from island to island, from country to country, and have spent the vigor and strength of their days in the work of proclaiming the Gospel. May we not say, upon the same principle, that their garments are clean from the blood of this generation? If so, what does it imply? That we shall not be held under condemnation if we never preach to them again. And there is another thing implied in this: If this generation shall rise against you to slay you for your religion, and because you are righteous, your garments being clear of their blood, and you slay them, their blood is upon their own heads. This is what I understand by being clear from the blood of this generation. It is an important saying. In my opinion, it means more than a casual observer would attach to it. It is a deep saying. If you have warned them—have called upon them to repent—offered them the blessing of eternal life through the Gospel, and they thrust it from them, let what will happen to them, your garments are clean from their blood.

Now we see that the Gospel has gone into all nations, countries, and kingdoms; for the man that has been warned should have warned his neighbor, and the nation that has been warned should have warned its neighboring nation, &c.; so they are without excuse before God, whatever excuse they may plead before man.

We can see the unabating success of the Gospel from the time Joseph got the plates until now, and the defeat and downfall of every opponent that has risen up to oppose its progress. If there had been any purpose in God that this work should be overthrown, would he not have suffered it to be done before this? For all means that could possibly be invented by the powers of earth and hell have been brought to bear against it, and every man who has risen up against it has gone down, and his published works have become a stink in the nostrils of even this wicked generation, to say nothing of the Saints. The wicked themselves are even ashamed of their sayings and of their writings against the cause of truth. Their expositions of “Mormonism,” as they call them, are hardly cold from the press until they are dead, their influence killed, and there is no sale for their books. The words of the Apocalypse very appropriately apply to their case—“No man buyeth their merchandise any more.”

I will venture to say that no publication has ever been issued against this work, only for the purpose of getting gain. Men have not been inspired to oppose it for the sake of the souls of men, but to save their craft, their salary, their party, their honor, and their credit in the sight of men.

The system of truth revealed through Joseph Smith is not clothed in language so eloquent as this literary generation would desire. As a general thing, you know, a real polished scoundrel wears the finest cloth—the most fashionable garb, that he may be looked upon as an honest man by those who judge from outward appear ances and not righteous judgment. The truth is not always clothed in the nicest style, or according to the ideas of this world; but the Lord sends it forth in the shape of a stone of stumbling and rock of offense. He is not pleased to conform to the views of this generation. They have got to take salvation just as he offers it to them, or else take damnation: they can have their choice. It is not for them to serve up the dish they shall eat; but it is for the Almighty to dress it as suits himself; and if the sinner take it, it will heal him.

The patient does not prescribe nor tell the doctor what he wants of him—that is, supposing the doctor to be what he ought to be. He examines the patient, knows the nature of the disease, and prescribes accordingly. The patient takes the medicine, and asks no questions for conscience sake.

So it is with our heavenly Father. The world is diseased, and he has prepared a remedy, and served it up as suits himself, not consulting the vitiated appetites of this consumptive generation to whom he administers it. It is like a root out of dry ground: it is without form or comeliness, without beauty, that men should not desire it. Awkward and unclothed as it is with worldly wisdom, behold, the illiterate Elders of Israel are sent with it, and they have marched through the colleges and literary institutions of the learned world, and have defeated those who dared to come out to oppose and put them to flight; and all their learning, iniquity, cunning, and worldly wisdom were turned into foolishness.

A little boy, filled with the Spirit of the living God throws out an idea that completely knocks in “pie” all their calculations. A simple sentence from the mouth of an uneducated youth often dissipates their profound wisdom into folly and nonsense. They know not what to do. They attempt to grasp a thing without form or comeliness. They know not where to get hold of it; and when they think they have hold of it, it slips through their hands. Such has been the great success of the preaching of the word.

Now, then, if they resort to force of arms or to brute force to overpower us, may we not safely calculate that the results will be similar to those in the mental contest? “Say first of God above, then man below, How can we reason but from what we know?”

So far, we do actually know and understand. It is demonstrated by our experience, and we are prepared to say that it is truly so. Behold, the wicked are unwilling to be converted by the gentle means the Lord God of Israel has introduced. They are satisfied that they cannot prevail against us by argument; and even polygamy, in all the glaring forms they may please to give it, offers obstacles too formidable for them to encounter by argument, Scripture, philosophy, or truth. But “overcome it must be,” say the enemy; and “we will not rest until we have resorted to the last extremity. We will try the force of arms!” “Very well, if that is your mode of warfare,” says the Almighty, “I do not desire it; but I will show you that I am not only a man of reason, Scripture, and truth, but a man of war too. If force of arms is your plan and mode of attack, you will find me ready to meet you in that and in every method you may adopt.”

Behold, they rise up in war against the Saints. The Saints heretofore, when attacked on moral and Scripture principles, have stood up to oppose the enemy. If they had not done this, the enemy would have overpowered us. We have always met him with the truth and the simple arguments which God has furnished us with, and have always been successful; and perhaps, had we stood up to oppose him with force of arms, we might have been equally successful: but I cannot say how that is. The time, probably, had not come for us to take that position; and consequently, when it came to force of arms, the enemy must needs be made the aggressor. He was permitted to prevail against us for the time being; and whether that was not the very means of putting us in a position whereby we could successfully oppose him in that way, when the time did come, we can easily judge. I guess it is all right and has worked for our good; and herein we can discern that our heavenly Father has exemplified a glorious truth to us, that all things shall work together for good to them that love God and are the called according to his purpose.

If we had taken this position in Missouri or in Nauvoo, before breakfast they could have ordered their affairs and come upon us, and it would have required a standing army of the angels of God to defend us. But the time had not yet come; therefore the Lord suffered them to prevail until he should get us where he wanted us: “And then shall the prophecies of my servants be fulfilled in the scenes that shall transpire with you.” It never could have been said, “The mountain of the Lord’s house shall be established in the tops of the mountains,” if we had remained in the valley of the Mississippi.

The Lord considered it necessary that we should be removed into the chambers of the Almighty, or to some place prepared to receive us, where he might display his power, and get for himself a name and honor that shall never be forgotten. Sometimes a defeat is equal to a victory. I recollect of reading an account, the saying of a celebrated General, after he had gained a victory and lost a great portion of his men. One of his officers congratulated him on his victory. “Ah!” said he, “Another such victory would entirely ruin me.”

Sometimes victory is worse than defeat. I consider that the defeat the Saints have suffered is tantamount to victory, and better than victory, because we have come to a place which the Lord wanted us to occupy.

We say, against all the learning, science, skill, talent, &c., of this world, which were arrayed against us, making the odds almost enough to discourage any people but the Latter-day Saints, We have prevailed; and when they come to force of arms, this must also be overcome. They will use the force of arms; for, say they, “The ‘Mormons’ must be overcome, or they will take away our place and nation, and we shall be overthrown, and there will be no stopping these people, if we let them go on any further.” And some think it has gone so far now that they cannot stop it. I endorse the sentiment. They have let it go too long for their purpose.

I believe, when the Almighty conceives a work to do, he will carry it through in some way or shape. Behold, we are here, a little people collected together in the mountains, and are short of the munitions of war, while on the other hand the whole world is full of them. We are short of clothing, but tolerably plenty of food. And then look at the terrible odds that is arrayed against us. See their thousands of well-trained troops and the millions of money at their command. They can bring any sized army into the field, all armed and equipped with a splendid outfit. This is a powerful odds against us.

The science of war has been studied by them from the beginning. They have kept a school at West Point, in which they have trained and qualified their officers to take command, and they are schooled in all the tactics of modern warfare, except ours.

At the call of the President of the United States, there are thousands who will enroll as volunteers, and will be all armed and equipped, with money in their pockets and grub in their sacks, and no end to it either.

Are all these any worse for us to overcome, in our present condition, than it was to overcome the learning, strength, and moral influence and power that were arrayed against us when we were but a handful, and called to go and preach the welcome message of the Gospel? Is the odds any greater? I say not. The God who taught and sustained us in proclaiming this Gospel in its simplicity will also sustain us in whatever opposition may arise against us, provided we have the Spirit of God in our hearts. When we went to preach the Gospel, and had the Spirit of God in our hearts, and were not in transgression, we could handle them without mittens, because the Lord was with us.

Just so sure as we as a people are pure and undefiled before God our heavenly Father, there is no power that can prevail against us. I do not care if they have all the paraphernalia of war the world can produce, the Almighty has got weapons of warfare they never thought of, and means of defense for his people, and he delights to throw his shield over those who serve him and keep his commandments. The odds may appear against us in the eyes of the world; but when we contemplate that God is for us, and that all the holy angels in heaven are enlisted in our behalf, and we have purity, and sincerity, and truth in our hearts, these are bulwarks which they cannot scale. God grant that we may be shielded with this kind of armor!

I want now to speak in relation to a few things that pertain more particularly to individuals. You know, to be honest, when there is no temptation to be otherwise, is no particular credit to us. For me to have a chance to put forth my hand and steal my neighbor’s food, when I have plenty, and I do not do it, is no particular credit to me for being honest. Suppose I am clad with all the clothing I desire, and my family also is well provided for in this article, for me to go and steal clothing would be outrageous in the extreme, and there would be no credit due to me for refraining from such an act. The time to test our real merit and integrity is when we are pinched with hunger and thinly clad: then is the time to test us. I do not say that a person going to steal under those circumstances would be any more justified. For a person to be forced to steal food, to save his life, is a circumstance that very rarely occurs with a just and righteous man. Should a good man, however, be reduced to such extremes, there is generally, among the Saints, provision made against such emergencies, rendering stealing unnecessary under any circumstances. We have heard of some instances where garments have been washed and hung out, and have been taken by some person in the daytime, and shirts and other articles not necessary to mention.

Brethren and sisters, I wish merely to say, Let our hands be clean, and try to the utmost of our power to get what we really need, and get it in an honorable and lawful way. We do not want to spoil the victory that lies right before us by dabbling in things that are not our own, neither convenient. If I were to apologize for such acts upon the principle of scarcity and want, it would be a license for everybody to “pitch in” that had a disposition to do so, and nobody would be safe. Let us be on the watch—watch ourselves, and suffer not any unlawful act of ours to tarnish the glorious victory that awaits us. Let us hold on and do the best we can, and let our neighbor’s things alone, unless we can persuade him to sell them to us, or give them to us. Do not let us weaken our own confidence before God. But we need to march, shoulder to shoulder, upon the principles of purity and integrity; and as we have stood shoulder to shoulder heretofore, and carried this Gospel to the nations of the earth, and been pure in heart before God, have we ever failed in accomplishing the purposes of Heaven? No. And I tell you, inasmuch as our hearts are pure as a people, full of integrity and the Holy Ghost, no power shall ever prevail against us from this time henceforth and forever. I feel in my soul and pray God to bless the pure in heart, who seek to do his will, live their religion, and honor their God; and we shall yet see the desire of our souls and be satisfied.

The priests of Christendom now say, “We cannot stand before this man,” and they warn their flocks to keep away from the Latter-day Saints. “Are you reading that ‘Voice of Warning?’ Lay it out of your hands and put it out of your houses, for it is a dangerous book. Put away from you their tracts and books, for they are dangerous; and keep away, keep away from those dangerous men that are turning the world upside down.” That is the cry throughout the world. What will be the cry when they come up against us and try the force of arms? It will be—“Let us not go up against Zion, for the people thereof are terrible: keep away, keep away.” The one cry follows in the wake of the other. What makes the people of Zion terrible? Answer: Strict honesty and integrity before God. That is what will bring the cloud by day and the shining of a flame of fire by night; and upon all the glory there shall be a defense. God will surround the people of Zion as it were with a wall of fire, and he will make bare his arm in the eyes of the nation that wars against her, and she will be like a beacon light to seafaring men; and men will come and bring their clothing and their treasures, and we shall have an abundant supply of such things. Let us take care of what we have, keep it clean and patch it up, take care of our sheep and raise all the flax and wool we can, and the Lord will make up the balance; and if we do right we shall find that we have an overflowing treasury of every good thing; which may God grant, for Christ’s sake. Amen.

Source of True Happiness—Prayer, Etc.

A Sermon by President Brigham Young, Delivered in the Tabernacle, Great Salt Lake City, November 15, 1857.

I am happy for the privilege of standing before the Saints. It is a great pleasure to me to associate with those whose feelings are concentrated in the establishment of peace and righteousness upon the earth.

Before I heard the Gospel as again revealed in its purity through Joseph the Prophet, I was tolerably well acquainted with the spirit, disposition, tact, and talents possessed by the children of men; and though I was then but about thirty years of age, I had seen and heard enough to make me well acquainted with the people in their acts and dealings one towards another, the result of which was to make me sick, tired, and disgusted with the world; and had it been possible, I would have withdrawn from all people, except a few, who, like myself, would leave the vain, foolish, wicked, and unsatisfying customs and practices of the world. Sorrow, wretchedness, death, misery, disappointment, anguish, pain of heart, and crushed spirits prevail over the earth; and apparently, the whole of the intelligence of mankind is directed in a way to produce cruel and unnatural results.

Since I have been in this Church and kingdom, I have endeavored to learn and treasure up wisdom and good understanding, and then not to forget them. I have endeavored to gather to myself every principle that would promote righteousness in me and those who would hearken to my counsel.

Read the history of any kingdom or nation, and trace through all the channels from the history of nations and kingdoms to that of families and individuals who have not known God nor observed his commandments, and you will find that sorrow and disappointment have been intimately mingled in all the gaiety, luxuries, and pretended enjoyments of their mortal lives. They have found a bitter sting in their happiest moments and a deadly poison in their cups. There is no man or woman on the earth who can enjoy solid satisfaction—unalloyed peace and comfort, but in the holy spirit of our religion—in the Gospel of salvation: that is the only source of true happiness. Read the history of those who can command the wealth of the world to minister to their happiness, and they find it not in authority, station, nor wealth. From the monarch upon his throne to the most degraded beggar upon the streets, all who enjoy not the Gospel are destitute of the source of true happiness. It is not to be found among them.

When the portals of heaven are opened and the Priesthood of God is given he so blesses the people that they can truly understand the principles that tend to peace, to glory, immortality, and eternal lives. That and that alone can give true satisfaction to our spirits, which are organ ized to receive and continue to increase in principles of light, intelligence, power, and glory—organized to be preserved to eternally associate together—to have the privilege of beholding each other’s faces—of enjoying each other’s society and the society of holy beings who have been tried as we have and have to be, and to enjoy, love, converse with, and look upon the faces of those beings who have been glorified throughout all ages that are countless to us. Their identity has been preserved, and they enjoy the smiles of their friends and associate with their companions who have in a mortal state passed through the same ordeals they endured while in this existence. Fathers and mothers associate with their children, children with their parents, brothers with sisters, and sisters with their brothers—all in their family circles dwelling in the midst of the glorified. What else can satisfy a truly intelligent human being—the immortal spirit that is tabernacled in a mortal tenement? Nothing.

What would induce an intelligent individual to suffer his eyes to be put out and to live without seeing objects around him—the faces of his family, friends, and connections? Would money? What would hire an intelligent person to be deprived of the sense of hearing? Could money buy his hearing? What would hire you to suffer the destruction of the organ of speech, or to be deprived of any of the more important members of your organization? The things of this world could not induce you to suffer the destruction of any of the vital powers of your organization; yet the world are seeking after the paltry, perishable things of time and sense. They are their glory—their pretended comfort—their god, and their daily study and pursuit. But the members which God has placed in our tabernacles are worth all the world to us. We have the power of seeing, hearing, tasting, smelling, and feeling, enabling us to converse and associate with each other; and money cannot buy these blessings from us.

Stop then, and consider what use you will make of these powers. Will you go wild after the things of this world, as do the majority of the inhabitants of the earth, with whose ways you are well acquainted? How long will they endure? Their breath is in their nostrils: today they are—tomorrow they are not. What prospects have they for futurity? Have they any promise? Yes. What is it? Death. Have they the promise of life eternal? They have, upon certain conditions; but they care no more about those conditions than did certain characters that Paul wrote about: they are even like the dumb beasts that are entirely ignorant of futurity. Fatten an ox and lead him to the slaughter, and he knows nothing of what awaits him. So it is with the great majority of the inhabitants of the earth: they have no knowledge of their future condition; they merely know that death will terminate their present career. We are blessed with the words of eternal life, with the everlasting Priesthood, and the keys thereof, with principles that, if rightly acted upon, will secure to us those blessings we now enjoy, and which you hear the brethren often speak about.

I am happy; I am full of joy, comfort, and peace: all within me is light, for I desire nothing but to do the will of my Father in heaven. I delight not in unrighteousness, but in righteousness and truth. I seek to promote the good and happiness of myself and those with whom I am associated. We have the privilege of securing to ourselves that eternal bliss that can never fade away, and of preserving our identity, that, when millions of ages have rolled away, we can then behold each other as we do today, and can converse together. One thousand years hence, probably many of this congregation will talk over difficulties we are now passing through.

You hear some of the brethren surmise that we are going to have trouble. You need not expect any trouble, except you take a course to bring it upon you. You need never expect to see sorrow, unless your own conduct, conversation, and acts bring it to your hearts. Do you not know that sorrow to you can exist only in your own hearts? Though men or women were in the mountains perishing—though they be in overwhelming depths of snow, freezing to death, or be on a desolate island starving to death for want of food—though they perish by the sword or in any other way, yet, if the heart is cheerful, all is light and glory within: there is no sorrow within them. You never saw a true Saint in the world that had sorrow, neither can you find one. If persons are destitute of the fountain of living water, or the principles of eternal life, then they are sorrowful. If the words of life dwell within us, and we have the hope of eternal life and glory, and let that spark within us kindle to a flame, to the consuming of the least and last remains of selfishness, we never can walk in darkness and are strangers to doubt and fear. Yet we see people among us who are still selfish, and that principle we must abandon: we must strip off selfishness, and put covetousness far from us. We must become of one heart and mind, in order to fully enjoy the blessings we anticipate.

Brother Phineas correctly observed, in his remarks, that if ten men are united in these mountains, they are not to be overcome by their enemies. Are this whole people perfectly united? I fear not. When I undertake to present before this people the true principles of the Priesthood, I almost shudder, because so many do not yet understand them and cannot receive them. I go into my room where we have our prayer circle, and among twelve men there will perhaps be twelve different prayers offered up—one praying for one thing and another for another thing. You may reduce the number to three, and let them be clothed for secret prayer; and while one is praying aloud, each of the others will be praying for that which the one that is mouth is not praying for, unless they are better taught in regard to prayer than is the Christian world. Ask the people if they understand the principle of prayer, and many reply, “We do not know: we pray with all our might;” and at the same time it is a scene of confusion and distraction of mind.

We are in a land of liberty; and our fathers have taught us—especially those born in America, that every man and woman and every child old enough to speak, argue, read, reflect, &c., must have minds of their own, and not listen to anybody else. They are taught to shape their own opinions, and not depend upon others to direct their thoughts, words, or actions. That system of teaching reminds me of the old saying, “Every man for himself, and the Devil for them all.” Such views, though entertained by the human family at large, must be checked in this people. Yet when I undertake to strip off the garb of erroneous tradition, and to teach the people true principles of faith, prayer, and obedience, there are many who cannot receive those principles in their understanding and hearts. I have told you, and will now tell you again, that you have to bring your minds right to the authority of the Gospel—to the true Gospel line. Let an Elder pray here, and then ask a brother in the congregation what has been prayed for, and he cannot tell you. Ask a sister what has been prayed for, and she cannot tell you. She may say, “I was so fervent in prayer myself that I did not hear what was prayed for.” And so it is with hundreds of people who congregate here. And I think that I may venture to say that you will scarcely find an individual in the whole congregation that can tell what the person who prays has prayed for. Do you not know that to be a fact? I will appeal to your own minds.

When a man opens or closes a meeting with prayer, every man, woman, and child in the congregation who professes to be a Saint should have no desire or words in their hearts and mouths but what are being offered by the man who is mouth for all the congregation. If all would follow out that principle, where would it lead the people? They would act with one heart and mind in all their acts through life, and promote the kingdom of God on the earth.

How many times I have attended prayer meetings among the Methodists, in my youthful days, when perhaps one hundred men and women would all be praying aloud at once? I did not then know but that it was all right. I neither said nor cared anything about it. It often used to be father Joseph Smith’s custom, when he took the lead of a fast meeting, to request all present to pray aloud at the same time, and there would be as many different prayers as there were persons. Where was the concentration on a single and united thread of faith? It is like the cable that holds the ship. Unwind a cable, and you will find several hundred small cords; unwind the small cords, and you will find fourteen strands in each cord; unwind each strand, and there are thousands of fibers; and you have parted the cable of a ship fastened to a sure anchor, and the ship is free and wafting unmanageable before the furious tempest. So it is with prayer. You say you want to be united and want the blessings of heaven.

How many times have I said here, within the last three months, I pray that God would so lead us and our enemies that there will be no blood shed? And how many have come to meeting and prayed in their hearts that “our enemies would come on, for we want to slay them, for we have been mobbed and hunted enough;” and another would pray the same prayer, with a disposition to desire the spoil. One of the brethren prayed in camp that the snow might fall 40 feet deep on our enemies. I am satisfied if it falls only four or five feet deep.

I will tell you my faith in regard to the brethren now in the mountains. General Wells takes the charge; and when I write to him, I counsel him to do as the Holy Ghost shall dictate him, and inform him that whatever he may order and perform, he has my faith and influence to sustain him.

I pray God to turn away our enemies, to put hooks in their jaws and turn them wherever he will, with their gold, their horses, and all they possess. They do not know the “Mormons;” they are strangers to this people, and are full of wrath and malice towards us; but they know not why. They know not that they are stirred to anger against us by the enemy of all righteousness. Should those who instigated the sending of this army undertake to come here, there will be another scenery, for they are more or less acquainted with us and know that we are the most upright people on the earth; and they will not be able to shield themselves in the garb of ignorance. I will not talk about them, for you know their history, and you know and have seen much of the squalid wretchedness of the wicked inhabitants of the earth. Is there honor or virtue among them? Where is the man or woman among them that is to be trusted? If there is here and there any semblance of goodness or virtue, it is at once overcome by every fiendish art in their power. Women are overcome by sycophants, by those who rule the nation, and those who have power and influence in the various States, parties, and religious sects. Man is overcome by man; they cuddle, and wink, and gamble, and run to and fro in abominations of every grade, and lift their voices for and against each other, as did the Paddy in his petition to the king for an office, wherein he stated that he would vote for or against him, fight for him or fight him, just as he wished it.

Colonel Alexander—probably one of the best men in the army now near Bridger ruins, told one of our messengers, when replying to a piece of advice I had given him to resign his commission rather than be found operating against an innocent people, that he was compelled to remain in the army; for, if he resigned, he knew not how to manage to sustain his family. He said, “I have no other means of support: I cannot throw up my commission, for then I should have no means to support my wife and children.” As an American, shame and confusion would overwhelm me, were I to even think of trying to sustain my family by siding with tyranny and oppression. That is the only circumstance I wish to name. They are sent ostensibly to civilize this people. But I do not wish to talk much about such nonsense. The whole world are wrapt up in the garment of corruption, confusion, and destruction; and they are fast making their way down to hell, while we have the words of eternal life.

How ought we to live? Look at yourselves and see whether your faith is concentrated with those who are appointed of the Lord to lead you and have rule over you. See whether all your desires are one with theirs. If not, it must come to that point. Let every Saint, when he prays, ask God for the things he needs to enable him to promote righteousness on the earth. If you do not know what to ask for, let me tell you how to pray. When you pray in secret or with your families, if you do not know anything to ask for, submit yourselves to your Father in heaven and beseech him to guide you by the inspiration of the Holy Ghost, and to guide this people, and dictate the affairs of his kingdom on the earth, and there leave it. Ask him to put you just where he wants you, and to tell you what he wants you to do, and feel that you are on hand to do it. These are a few of my reflections upon that point, and only a very few of them.

Let this people be brought to the straightforward thread of the Gospel; and what more have we than what has been taught us from the beginning of this work? Nothing. And the only difficulty there has been is, that we were not prepared to receive it. Do you know how to direct your own minds? Where is there an honest man or woman on the face of this earth—one who has any knowledge of the Supreme Being, any feeling of the operation of an invisible agency, but what pleads with that God, whether they know him or not, to dictate their minds, affections, and conduct? Where is there an honest man or woman on the earth, but what that is their desire?

Many do not know what to pray for. They need someone to dictate them. Will the Lord come and personally dictate them? You know that he will not. Will he send his holy angels to talk with you? You could not endure their presence: you are in a sinful world. What do you need? That invisible agency, called the Spirit, to dictate your minds.

The whole world are sadly in want of what they call a master-spirit. That is what the Government of the United States are deprived of. There is not one to be found among them, neither in the Cabinet of the President nor in the Senate of the United States. They are all gone, and there is no one in their midst competent to lead and dictate in the affairs of our General Government; but, as they say, it is with them a period of mediocrity. It has been acknowledged by Great Britain that the master-spirits are fled: there are none in the British Parliament, and they know not what to do. Let this people come to that condition, and say that they have no person capable of dictating and leading them, and you will be in the whirlpool of delusion. It will be every man for himself, and you would not know what to do: you would not know how to dictate your own affairs. It is this which overwhelms the world in confusion and makes it Babylon, while the Priesthood elevates mankind and dictates the husband, the wife, and the children, and all they have.

A feeling exists in the minds of many of this people that they would be glad to submit to their presiding Elder or Bishop, but they do not think that he has knowledge sufficient to lead them. Says a wife, “I would be glad to submit to my husband; but I wish I had a husband that I could look upon as my superior—that I could look up to and receive his words and counsel: that would be my highest delight. O that I had a husband capable of dictating me; but, alas! I have not.” Go among some of the children, and they say, “I would be glad to mind my parents in all things, but I believe that I know more than they do.”

Go into one of our cities, and you find somebody on the whiz, whiz, like the wind passing through a broken window in December; and so it goes throughout the settlement. Somebody has imagined that the President does not understand his duty and is not capable of dictating, and that is all the Devil wants to begin with. If he succeeds in getting one toe into the stocking, he will work until he gets his whole foot in, and confusion and discord will reign predominant. How many times have you observed such instances? You have not lived in the Church one year without seeing them.

In such cases a presiding Elder may not always know but what he has done something wrong, and may be suspicious that this or that is not right. My maxim is, and it is a rule I have established in the Legislature of this Territory, never to oppose anything unless the one making the objection can present something better. Do not oppose when you cannot improve. If you are not capable of dictating your brethren, do not say that you will dictate them until you have found out a better path than the one in which they are walking. Before you oppose your Bishop as a man unworthy of your best feelings, first point out a better path to him; and then you shall have the right of going to the higher authorities to show that you know more than your Bishop.

Is there a fault in some of the presiding Elders? Yes. What is it? Some of them are subject to a feminine, pusillanimous feeling. A man rises up and says, “I will dictate and oppose my Bishop,” and some of the Bishops will dodge, and say, “I do not know but that I am wrong: wife, am I right or wrong?”—and say to every brother they meet, “What do you think about it?” and run round and get the opinion of everybody, to know whether they will sustain him or not. When men learn their duty and calling, and walk up to the best light they have, then, if they do not know precisely how to guide to the best advantage, they are right, if they do the best they can, and can tell all who find fault, “I ask no odds of you: I have done as I have, and have done the will of God, according to the best of my knowledge.” And let every man treat his wives and children in the same way; and when a wife says, “O no, my dear, I think I understand this matter as well as you do, and perhaps a little better; I am conversant with all the whys and the wherefores, and am acquainted with this little circumstance better than you are, and I think in this case, my dear, that I know better than you;” reply, “Get out of my path, for I am going yonder, and you may whistle at my coattail until you are tired of it.” That is the way I would talk to my wives and children, if they intermeddled with my duties. And I say to them, If you cannot reverence me, tell me where the man is you can reverence, and I would speedily make a beeline with my carriage and servants and place you under his care.

I told the people in Nauvoo, before they wished me to stand as their President, that if there were any Latter-day Saints that did not wish to take the counsel of the Twelve, they could go to hell their own road: we asked no odds of them, for the Twelve were capable of building up the kingdom of God on the earth. You know whether I here ask much odds or not. I also told them that if they were not Saints at that critical juncture, they ought to repent of their sins, and get the Holy Ghost, and not live another twenty-four hours without the spirit of revelation within themselves, for who knows but what you are the elect; and you know that false prophets were to arise in the last days, and, if possible, deceive the very elect, and that many false shepherds would come and pretend to be the true shepherds. Now, be sure to get the spirit of revelation, so that you can tell when you hear the true Shepherd’s voice, and know him from a false one; for if you are the elect, it would be a great pity to have you led astray to destruction. But if you are not the elect of God through the sanctification of the Spirit of truth upon your hearts, then you can go as quickly as you please, for we do not want you.

We feel just the same now. Every man and woman that will not strive to sanctify themselves before the Lord God, and to possess within themselves the spirit of revelation to know the voice of the true Shepherd from a false one, the quicker they go out of the Territory the better it will be. Take ten men whose hearts, when they pray, are upon one sentence and upon one idea at a time, when they ask God for anything, or to bring this or that to pass, do you think that the powers of hell can hinder what they ask for? No. It is as true as the heavens—as firm as the mountains that rest upon these valleys—as sure as eternity, that nothing can fail which they agree upon; for God will grant it.

What is our difficulty? When I go to my prayer room, among men who have been with me for years, there is too great a diversity of feeling and desires to be in accordance with the Gospel. There is too much of Babylon in that. When that is the case, and when I am praying for one thing and others for another, our faith comes in contact and we do not receive what we ask for. How many times have I said that I would rather have one hundred true Saints in the mountains than five millions that are not Saints, if I had to contend against the whole world? What, with the sword? Yes. Let me have the Gideonites that can kneel down and lap the water, and one will chase a thousand, and two put ten thousand to flight. Whether the Lord will require this people to use the sword, or not, I do not know, neither do I care; but I believe that if the faith of this people were united, all hell cannot get armies in here to disturb our settlements.

How gladly I would tell the people what to pray for. But if I tell them, in ten minutes afterwards they pray for something else. It is too much so in the Quorum of the Twelve and among my Counselors. Go into meetings, and you may hear thirty different prayers, if there are so many offered up, for everything but what I tell them to pray for. You may think I undervalue you. I do not. I tell you that if we strive with all our powers, by-and-by the time will come that we will be Saints indeed. I have not said that we are Saints. We are trying to be, and we profess to have the keys that will lead us in the path of eternal life. When we become so advanced that we are no more in darkness and doubt, nor in any way under the power of the Devil, then we have a certain victory over ourselves and over every foul spirit; the Lord God is sanctified in our hearts, and we are his servants and handmaids—his children, that can never be destroyed.

Take the congregation now before me, and they pray a thousand different prayers. Tonight, mothers, wives, and little children, observe how the head of the family prays, and see if he does not pray for nearly everything but what he should pray for. Perhaps I am wrong, but I think that he will be sure not to pray for the things he ought to. He will pray that himself and family may have plenty to eat and live in peace, and probably stop at that. His prayer will be something like a certain old man’s blessing at his meals: “O Lord, bless me and my wife, my son John and his wife—us four, and no more: Amen.” You will hear the brethren pray, “O Lord, bless me, and my wife, and children; but the rest I care nothing about.” When you pray, pray for the things that the kingdom needs, and be not so very careful about yourselves. Your selfish notions ought to be out of sight. Pray God to promote his kingdom and preserve you in it, and not as I have known a tolerably good man to pray. He was so ignorant that he would cheat a widow woman out of her last cow, and then go down on his knees and thank God for his peculiar blessings to him! Do not be so abominably ignorant. Instead of thanking God that you have been able to wrong one man out of a horse, another out of a yoke of cattle, &c., pray that he will give you the disposition to make the most righteous use of the property he has entrusted to your care. Pray that this people may be preserved—that the kingdom of God may roll on—that our Elders on the islands in the Pacific, in the United States, and in foreign lands may be so blessed as to come safely home. Pray for the honest in heart, and that the ungodly may be so filled with fear and trembling that they may leave us, that we may live here as Saints, and build up the kingdom of our God, and prepare for the return of this people to the Center Stake of Zion, where we can lay the foundations for a New Jerusalem. Pray for the promotion of this cause and kingdom, instead of praying that you may be able to wrong somebody out of something.

All eternity is before you, and everything you can ask for will be given to you in due time; for the heavens and the earth are the Lord’s, and the fulness thereof. If I have horses, oxen, and possessions, they are the Lord’s and not mine; and all I ask is for him to tell me what to do with them. A great many say that the Lord takes, and gives as he pleases, and I think that if I act as the Lord does I shall do pretty well. Again, some say that the Lord is going to fight our battles, and enquire, “What is the use of our brethren being out in the mountains?” He will use his people as he pleases; and in the sequel you will find that God fought the battle, and not we.

It has also been observed that God will provide for you. Still many want to shade a little, rather than to work hard for an honest living. Such practices must be put away, and this people must become sanctified in their affections to God, and learn to deal honestly, truly, and uprightly with one another in every respect, with all the integrity that fills the heart of an angel. They must learn to feel that they can trust all they possess with their brethren and sisters, saying, “All I have I entrust to you: keep it until I call for it.” The world have no confidence in each other; but that principle must prevail in the midst of this people: you must preserve your integrity to each other.

Live your religion. How much you are exhorted—how much have we pleaded with you to live your religion—to live in the light of God’s countenance—to live with the Holy Spirit so reigning in you as never to be led astray, that you may know how to promote the kingdom of God on the earth. Let selfishness be out of sight, and ask the Lord to preserve you in the truth, and do with you as he pleases, and dispose of you to his glory.

May God bless you. Amen.

Shedding Blood—God’s Provision for His Saints

Remarks by President Heber C. Kimball, Delivered in the Tabernacle, Great Salt Lake City, November 15, 1857.

If this people will live up to their profession—that is, every Elder, High Priest, Teacher, Apostle, and every person in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, they never will be troubled; that is, we shall never be under the necessity of shedding much of the blood of our enemies. You have heard me say often that I do not believe God designs that we should delight in shedding blood.

In a revelation which God gave to Joseph Smith, he says, “It is not pleasing in my sight for man to shed blood of beasts, or of fowls, except in times of excess of hunger and famine.” Go and read it for yourselves. If he is not well pleased with us when we shed the blood of beasts when we have no need of it, would it not be much more displeasing to him were we to shed the blood of man unnecessarily? It is not the Spirit of God that leads a man or woman to shed blood—to desire to kill and slay. When the time comes that we have need to shed blood, then it will be necessary we should do it, and it will be just as innocent as to go and kill an ox when we are hungry or in the time of famine.

Brother George A. referred to one revelation where the Lord says, “It is my business to provide for my Saints.” Some people rest assured that God is going to open the heavens and rain down manna, or send the nations of the Gentiles in here and let us take the spoil, because he has said he will provide for his Saints in the last days.

Many have not even planted a peach tree, an apple tree, a plum tree, nor a currant bush in their gardens. There are many gardens, within half-a-mile of this Tabernacle, destitute of fruit trees of any kind. And again, you may see many city lots that are not cultivated nor planted with corn, wheat, potatoes, or any other vegetable; but the people who own them expect that God is going to provide for them without their cooperation.

I will ask you a question, you that have not raised even a kernel of grain on your gardens. What is the reason of this? Is it not because you have not planted it? You have not had a peach nor an apple. Why? Because you have not planted the trees; and do you ever expect to? No, not while the earth stands, water runs, and grass grows. Such people never will be provided with these necessaries, except some other man provides them.

Here is the earth, the air, the water, and you have been exhorted to cultivate these valleys and raise grain, and provide for yourselves individually and collectively. But, say you, God said to Joseph, “It is my business to provide for my Saints in the last days.”

“Behold, it is said in my laws, or forbidden, to get in debt to thine enemies; But behold, it is not said at any time that the Lord should not take when he please, and pay as seemeth him good. Wherefore, as ye are agents, and ye are on the Lord’s errand; and whatever ye do according to the will of the Lord is the Lord’s business. And he hath set you to provide for his saints in these last days, that they may obtain an inheritance in the land of Zion. And behold, I, the Lord, declare unto you, and my words are sure and shall not fail, that they shall obtain it. But all things must come to pass in their time. Wherefore, be not weary in well-doing, for ye are laying the foundation of a great work. And out of small things proceedeth that which is great.”—Doc. & Cov., sec. xxi. par. 6.

We have been driven from our native land and birthplace, many of us, and God has brought us into these rich valleys, and says he, “Go to and cultivate, and raise grain, and provide for yourselves seven years’ provisions.” That is the way he is going to provide for you—to tell you, like a good father tells his sons, how to provide for yourselves. “Here I will provide land for you, and seed,” &c. Now, go to and cultivate the soil, increase the seed, and provide for your wants. Now, that is good logic—good reasoning: it is not vain philosophy.

In this congregation there are hundreds of men who have not a mouthful to eat, only as they get it from their neighbors from day to day, or from week to week; and if others had not gone to and raised provisions, they would have perished, every one of them, for a temporal subsistence. Is God going to rain down manna? He will not do it until we are brought into circumstances to require it. Will he remove a mountain? No—not until the house of Israel are brought into such straitened circumstances that there is no way for their escape, except God removes a mountain for their deliverance.

The Lord says, “In the last days it is my business to fight the battles of my Saints.” If it is his business, he will take his children to do it; and we are his children. You may think that comes right in contact with the revelations of Jesus Christ; but it is not so. Why does our President, our Governor, order out three thousand men to be in the mountains? To fulfil your prayers. What do you pray for? “O Lord,” say you, “I ask thee, in the name of Jesus Christ, to hedge up the way of our enemies, that they may never come here.” We had to send some three thousand men to fulfil your prayers. Who is going to fight the battles of the Lord, if not his people? They have got to stand in defense of this kingdom and Church of God in the last days.

If our enemies are prevented from coming here, they are prevented because of the Saints of God. Would they have been prevented from coming here if our brethren had not gone out there and hedged up their way? God will take his few valiant servants in the last days, and with them use up the world and bring every kingdom and dominion into subjection to the kingdom of God.

Do you suppose you are going to sit here on your seats and in your habitations, and never step forth to the help of the Lord? Nearly one year ago, the last who came in with handcarts were brought in out of the mountains. Would they have been in our cities and congregation today, had we not gone out and brought them in? Through our faith and works they were saved from death; and many of them have brought forth sons and daughters unto God in the valleys of the mountains. Would they have done this if we had not stepped forth and manifested our faith by our works in delivering them from death?

I think there is a Scripture somewhere that says, “By your works you are justified;” and again, “Obedience is better than sacrifice.” It is the works that God expects. I may have faith as much as I please, and sit in my house and keep my boys at home, and exhort this people to stay at home; but will that hedge off the way of our enemies? No.

Will our enemies come here? No, except we let them. God gives us that privilege. We have the right to let them in here or keep them out; and we choose to keep them out, and we shall do it by the help of God, and we shall prevail over every nation, tongue, and people; and every president, king, governor, judge, and every Latter-day Saint that lift their hands against this Church and kingdom shall be confounded and frustrated in their attempts. What! A Saint do this? Yes, a Saint that turns back unto the Devil takes into his tabernacle the worst spirits, which make him many times worse than he was at the first.

When pigs are washed in soapsuds, they look clean, and you would think them almost nice enough to live in the house; but no sooner have you washed them than they will go into the nastiest mudhole they can find and muddy themselves all over from head to foot. Now, do they not look worse than before they were washed? It is just so with you, when you turn from your righteousness: you are worse than before you entered into the Church of Christ.

Make your preparations this present season to go to and cultivate the soil, and raise everything you can, and then we shall have plenty. We have done the best we can; and if our enemies come upon us, God will throw them into our power, and they will become subject to us. “Now,” says the Lord, “Take that spoil and consecrate it unto my people.” The Lord will provide for his Saints when necessary, and in his own way.

Are these things interesting to you, brethren? They are what you have to do, every man of you that belongs to the house of Israel. Are there goats in our midst? Bless your souls, if there were not, there would be more diseases than there now are. It is said that goats, because of their strong smell, have power over diseases. Take a little assafoetida and put it on a child’s stomach, and certain contagious diseases will not come unto it, probably because the assafoetida stinks so much worse than anything else.

I do not say there are many goats now. There is, however, one goat—I do not know whether it is in the congregation or not. His face is longer than Lorenzo Dow’s; and when you see such a man as that, you may know who I mean. Amen.

Opposition to “Mormonism,” Etc.

Remarks by Elder George A. Smith, Made in the Tabernacle, Great Salt Lake City, Sunday Morning, November 15, 1857.

We have been very much interested, brethren and sisters, by the address of Elder Hyde; and no doubt the value of the sentiments advanced have been duly appreciated. As a people having a knowledge of the first principles of the Gospel of salvation, we are qualified above all others to appreciate the value of the truths of heaven when they are revealed to us. It is of the utmost importance that we divest ourselves of every corrupt and selfish principle and of every species of “covetousness, which is idolatry.” To live before the Lord with honesty is a matter of so much importance that it cannot fail to be duly appreciated by the Saints of the Most High.

Whenever these principles are presented before them, the contrast between the situation that we have hitherto been placed in and our present condition is also very striking, as has been shown us by the contrast drawn by Elder Hyde.

When we had to face the science, the learning, the eloquence, the skill, and the intellect of the entire world—a single handful of us against the whole world—God bore us off victorious. His hand has preserved us. His Spirit inspired us, so that the mighty were confounded, the eloquent were put to silence, and the learned were constrained to say to their fellow men, “Do not listen to it; do not read their books; do not hear them, nor go where they are. You may be deceived.”

In almost every instance, what has been by all philosophers and wise men considered the worst argument that ever was used has been resorted to—that is, brute force. You convince a man by brute force, and he is of the same opinion that he was before. You force a man to accede to your laws and rules, and his mind is only enslaved; and then, when it breaks loose, it is ten thousand times worse than if no brute force had been used. Notwithstanding this, the world cry, “Extermination and destruction.”

In looking over the papers that have been brought from the States, we find that a great proportion of them have been speculating on the cost of exterminating the “Mormons;” and there is one very uncomfortable speculation about it. One of them, in estimating the cost of a war of extermination against the “Mormons,” said, “We shall have to expend from fifty to a hundred millions, and then we shall have nothing to show for our pay but naked, barren rocks.” This is the condition of affairs; but it is a war of principle, and “Mormonism” must be exterminated, though it is not at all a profitable business.

Now, there never was a man, from the time that this work commenced, that ever made himself popular by opposing it; and in future, whatever may be their attempts, it will be the ruin of every man that undertakes it; and this has been the case with every man that has attempted to make such a speculation. It never did and never will pay political expenses.

The God of heaven has raised up this people. He has carried them, as it were, in his arms. He has cradled them in adversity and has brought them into these mountains; and here he wishes to nourish and preserve them. I never lift my heart to the heavens without praying to the Almighty to gather out of the midst of his people all those who do offend and work iniquity, and to gather out of the midst of Zion every corrupt heart—every man that will not turn from his sins, forsake his wickedness, and love the Lord his God with all his heart and his neighbor as himself.

Such a people will have the blessings of God: such a people can be protected by the Almighty: such a people cannot be overthrown by all earth and hell combined. Then let us be such a people; and if corruption exists in our hearts, let us cut it out; for I can tell you we shall be sifted as with a sieve; and while our enemies are endeavoring to destroy us and desiring to murder us, to exterminate us, to deprive us of our existence, to wipe us from the earth, to blot out the name of the kingdom of God, they are only suffered to crowd upon us that we may be tried and purified.

We should not desire the shedding of blood; but we are required by every law of nature, by every principle of righteousness, and by every constitutional principle upon the face of the earth, whether civil, political, or military, to defend ourselves and prevent our being broken up by others. This is a naturally inherited right, and God requires us to defend ourselves. And inasmuch as we have to defend our sacred rights, we should do it in the name of the Lord, with all humility, with a desire to sustain his kingdom; and, let what will come, trust in God for the result and be satisfied with it.

Elder Hyde, in drawing the comparison in reference to the millions of our enemies—to the great wealth that they possess, showed their advantages in numbers and wealth. But let me ask this question, Have they got a thing that the Lord did not give them? Have they got a solitary farthing that the Lord did not bestow upon them? If they use that which he has given them for evil, they will have to give a minute account of that stewardship.

The boasted national surplus funds are directly calculated to produce extravagant and unprincipled legislation, and will have a tendency in the end to strip them of funds and leave them in poverty, while the straitened circumstances of the Saints will only be the means of purifying, driving away, and scattering from their midst those who do offend and work iniquity.

I feel to rest satisfied that the Almighty will control all those things for the good of this people. The Lord has said it is his business to take care of his Saints. If you are taking care of a child and are rearing it up to manhood, you have to look after its education, correct its morals, regulate its conduct, and inflict punishment when necessary, that the child may realize the difference between good and evil—between doing right and doing wrong. Peradventure the Lord wishes to have a tried people, and he has determined to try the Saints sufficiently, and he will protect them in his own way. The Lord will apply the rod. Sometimes he has scourged the people of Israel in one way, and sometimes in another. Sometimes he has scourged them with pestilence, with wasting, and destruction, and sometimes with famine, or by delivering them into the hands of their enemies; and in all these ways he has scourged his people that they might know and realize that God is over them, and that he controls all things.

There was a sheriff that came to an old lady and said to her, “Well, old woman, I have taken your son Jim, and I have locked him up in jail, where he never will do any more mischief.” “Oh,” says she, “is it possible that Jim has gone to jail?” “Yes,” the sheriff replied; “I have put the little whelp where he never will do any more mischief; and I thought I would come and tell you what had become of him.” The old lady felt sorrowful and mortified at the bitter way in which the sheriff told it. “Well, Mr. Sheriff,” said the old lady, “I hope, when the Lord has punished poor Jim all that he deserves, that he will burn the rod!”

This is the sentiment that I have with regard to the means made use of for the purpose of punishing and sifting us, or turning those who are corrupt and causing them to flee away, or of waking us up to our duty. When the Lord gets through with them, like the old woman, I would be obliged to him if he would burn the rod. Doubtless he will look after this matter, if we do our duty. It is only for us to look to the right—to live our religion, and all will be well.

I know that this is the work of God, and that he will sustain his servants; and if we will love truth, though few, compared with our enemies, we shall have light, life, power, and dominion, while our enemies will lift up their eyes in hell, where there is no water. May God prepare us for all that we have to encounter, is my prayer, in the name of Jesus Christ. Amen.

Truth, Life, and Light—God Acts Through Agents—Obedience Produces Knowledge, Which Supersedes Faith—The Spirit of Man—Revelation and Obedience Thereto, Etc.

A Discourse by President Heber C. Kimball, Delivered in the Tabernacle, Great Salt Lake City, Sunday Morning, November 8, 1857.

I have almost a good mind to talk a little—that is, if you want I should; but I certainly do not want to, without you want I should. And then again, if I felt really like it, I should talk, whether you wanted I should, or not. The reason I make that expression is because I am called to an holy calling, with our President, or brother Brigham. He is my leader, and I am his brother and servant. I am his fellowservant—that is, I am one with him; and my calling actually requires me to talk, and to teach, and to instruct, and to exhort, and to invite all men to embrace the Gospel and plan of life and salvation.

Jesus, in the 1st chap. of John, 4th verse, says, “In him was life; and the life was the light of men.”

Also, in the 8th chap. and 12th verse, “Then spake Jesus again unto them, saying, I am the light of the world: he that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life.”

And in the 14th chap. and 6th verse, “Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.”

Well, you have heard me express, several times, that truth is life, and life is light. Well, it is true, because Jesus says, “I am the life and the light of the world; and no man that is born upon the face of this earth can obtain eternal life except they go by me. They must come by me or through me to obtain eternal life.”

Brethren, I want you to understand, if you will treasure up principles of truth as you would treasure up gold and silver and precious stones—if you will treasure up truth, every truth that you treasure up, that truth is life, and that life is light. Do you not see that if you treasure up the principles of truth in you, and you have your treasury full of them, then, of course, your treasury is savior of all? Why? Because life is light, and light is life. Do you not see, if you have got the true principles dwelling in you, if you treasure up truth, you are bound to have life; and then, if you have life, you are bound to have light; and if those true principles dwell in you, and they abound, do you not see you cannot be unfruitful? You are bound to be fruitful in the knowledge of God and in the accomplishment of his purposes.

If you do not take a course to treasure up truth, you never will be prophets and prophetesses; for it is in treasuring up truth, and life, and light. If these principles be in you, and they abound, you will be like a well of water springing up into everlasting life. It will be everlasting, do you not see, if it springs up; and that will bring us back to the fountain of life, from whence springs life and light. Do you not see it springs from God. It emanates from him; and if it is in us and abounds, it will be in us as a well of water springing up into everlasting life, from whence it sprang.

Well, here are a few ideas before you—something I had not thought of before I got up. Well, I am called and ordained to be a teacher and to instruct; but if you do not receive my instructions and the principles of truth that emanate from me, then you are not profited; for the Lord says, “If a man offers you a gift, and you do not receive that gift with gladness and joy, then, of course, the man that offers the gift is not blessed; but if the receiver receives it with joy, then the man that gives the gift has joy in giving it.” Do you not see it? Well, upon the same principle, if God confers gifts, and blessings, and promises, and glories, and immortality, and eternal lives, and you receive them and treasure them up, then our Father and our God has joy in that man. Do you understand me? I do not know whether you get my idea or not; but, to save my head, I cannot talk any plainer. You know I am called simple. Well, I wish I was simpler and could convey things with greater simplicity than I do. Why? Because I have not a spirit within me to wish to talk one word to you except good sense, and light, and information, and instruction to the child that sits before me today. Do you not see God is not pleased with any man except those that receive the gifts, and treasure them up, and practice upon those gifts? And he gives those gifts, and confers them upon you, and will have us to practice upon them. Now, these principles to me are plain and simple.

Do you suppose that God in person called upon Joseph Smith, our Prophet? God called upon him; but God did not come himself and call, but he sent Peter to do it. Do you not see? He sent Peter and sent Moroni to Joseph, and told him that he had got the plates. Did God come himself? No: he sent Moroni and told him there was a record, and says he, “That record is matter that pertains to the Lamanites, and it tells when their fathers came out of Jerusalem, and how they came, and all about it;” and, says he, “If you will do as I tell you, I will confer a gift upon you.” Well, he conferred it upon him, because Joseph said he would do as he told him. “I want you to go to work and take the Urim and Thummim, and translate this book, and have it published, that this nation may read it.” Do you not see, by Joseph receiving the gift that was conferred upon him, you and I have that record?

Well, when this took place, Peter came along to him and gave power and authority, and, says he, “You go and baptize Oliver Cowdery, and then ordain him a Priest.” He did it, and do you not see his works were in exercise? Then Oliver, having authority, baptized Joseph and ordained him a Priest. Do you not see the works, how they manifest themselves?

Well, then Peter comes along. Why did not God come? He sent Peter, do you not see? Why did he not come along? Because he has agents to attend to his business, and he sits upon his throne and is established at headquarters, and tells this man, “Go and do this;” and it is behind the veil just as it is here. You have got to learn that.

Peter comes along with James and John and ordains Joseph to be an Apostle, and then Joseph ordains Oliver, and David Whitmer, and Martin Harris; and then they were ordered to select twelve more and ordain them. It was done. Do you not see works were manifest? They received the truth, and thus you and I are here today; and if it had not been for the practice, you and I would not have been here, would we?

Well, practice makes perfect: it makes perfect men and perfect Apostles, and Prophets, and Elders, and Teachers, and Deacons; and how can you be perfect without it? It is by our practice and living up to our profession that we increase and grow in grace and in the knowledge of the truth.

There are a great many things, probably, that are taught you from this stand—that is, from individuals. They are taught to you; and you, probably, have not got faith and confidence in them. Well, now, I do not care whether you have or not: if you will go and do as you are told, you shall have a knowledge, although you had not a particle of faith when you began. That is curious religion; but there is no knowledge on any other principle, only by obedience.

Some time ago I brought up a figure. Say I, John, Timothy, Jack, Peter—I do not care who they are—you go up above the arsenal and dig a well, and dig ten or twelve feet, and you shall find a good spring of water. “Well,” says brother John, “I have no confidence in that, that there can be water got there, neither have I any confidence in you as an Apostle.” Say I, I do not care whether you have or not: go and do as I tell you, and you shall be paid for it. You go and dig a well, and dig twelve feet, and find a good spring of water. Now, do you not get the knowledge of that water without a particle of faith or confidence? It is in the works.

Some say, “What is the use of my doing this, or that, or the other thing? I have no faith in it.” I do not care a dime for your faith. They produce the knowledge; and then, do you not see, knowledge swallows up faith before you ever had it?

Did you ever know anything to swallow a thing when it was not? Yes, the Methodist’s God has neither body, parts, nor passions; and yet they have swallowed him.

Well, now, this is a kind of curious doctrine, but it is true doctrine; for I never knew much faith in exercise in a man, except that man had good works, by going and doing as the servants of God say, to produce faith and knowledge.

Now, I will ask you a question—a scriptural question. I do not know where it is. It is in the Bible. I cannot refer to chapter and verse. I want to refer you to the case of Naaman, the Assyrian, who was smitten with leprosy. How much faith had he? He had not a particle; but his servant, who had faith, prevailed upon him to go down to Jordan. When the Prophet spoke to him and told him to go and dip himself seven times, and he should become whole, he had not a particle of confidence in it. He went down with his riches to buy health, but he could not buy it: he had to do as the Prophet told him. He went down and dipped himself seven times and was healed. Do you not believe, then, he knew things? Said he, “I know now they are the men of God. I know now that God lives, and their words are true; for I did as they told me, but I had not any confidence in them, and I was healed.”

Does not that agree with me? I merely bring that up that you may not find fault with my doctrine. Do you not see that is the principle that we must be actuated by? I care not whether you have any faith or not: you go and do as you are told to do, and that produces knowledge; and how long will it be before we shall be presented into the presence of Jesus Christ, the Son of God? It will not be but a little while. Now, there are a great many people, even to this day, with all the reformation that has been in our midst, who make a practice of telling lies. It is impossible for them to tell a story, except they put into the interstices of that story lies of their own manufacturing. Do you not see that destroys? They make a practice of it. They cannot transact business except they must lie a little. How long, do you suppose, it will take that man to get to heaven and to enter into celestial glory, where lies or anything that is impure cannot exist? It will take him as many millions of years as there will be millions of years to come.

Perhaps some people may think that if we do lie and are dishonest, and so forth and so on, when we die, the death that comes upon us and the change that comes upon us will change and take away those lies, and we shall find ourselves basking in truth. No such thing. I may tell a lie to you—I may be dishonest to my neighbors and ungodly, then I may get up and go out of doors; and I want to know what better am I when I go through that door than I was this side of it? Has it changed my nature? No—not one particle.

I will refer to brother Morley’s words. He says, “The mind makes the man.” That is true. What is the mind? It is that character that was made and fashioned after the image of God before these bodies were made—that is, our spirits. What is the mind? It is the spirit that was made before this body. Do you know it? Well, now let me tell you, it is that spirit that makes the man. I care not how humble he is—if his nose is three feet long and all his body was disfigured—I will tell you, if there is a good spirit in that man, and that spirit cultivates wholesome doctrine and lives to God, you love him. It is the spirit that is in the man that makes the man, which is the mind that you were speaking of, father Morley. You meant so, did you not, father Morley? [“Yes.”] Well, you did.

Well, our change from this state of existence does not change our character. The character must be made and formed before it goes through the veil, if he is going to continue with the servants of God, the Prophets.

Now, brethren, you have got a spirit in you, and that spirit was created and organized—was born and begotten by our Father and our God before we ever took these bodies; and these bodies were formed by him, and through him, and of him, just as much as the spirit was; for I will tell you, he commenced and brought forth spirits; and then, when he completed that work, he commenced and brought forth tabernacles for those spirits to dwell in. I came through him, both spirit and body. God made the elements that they are made of, just as much as he made anything. Tell me the first thing that is made on earth that God did not organize and place here in this world. Not a thing.

Well, it is the mind or spirit that is in the man that makes the man. Was that spirit a wicked spirit when it was organized and brought into existence? No—no more than our little children are sinners. But we have been led—that is, perverted, or rather led away from these true principles—led into evil principles by others. Well, then, of course, we are not exactly as we were when we were organized. No; we have taken other men’s books and reasonings, and fell into other principles—led away from nature—some say, “nature’s darkness.” I do not know anything about such a thing as nature’s darkness. If we were as we were in our first creation, we should be as innocent as little children, every one of us. Perhaps you do not see these things as I do; but I have not any notion of my own to communicate unto you.

You see I am the simplest fellow there is. I wish to God I was more simple than I am: I should be nearer to what I was in nature. I do not know how to use what they call big words. I never studied them. I have no taste particularly for them; and if I had, I should not know where to put them, and should be very apt to stick the head to the feet, and the feet to the head. I do not know where to apply them. Well, what are they? You may ask brother Taylor, and he will tell you they are conflabberation of all languages. Conflabberation! Well, that’s a good word, is it not? That is, they are French, English, Irish, Dutch, Hebrew, and Latin, and they are all kinds of words; and there are not many of them that have good sense. Well, they are a mixture: every language is a mixture. I have not studied them.

Do you want to blame me? Cannot you understand me in my simple way of communicating to you? After all my simplicity and simple words, and trying to simplify my words to the capacity of the people, there are lots of you who do not understand the words I use—the words I was taught from my youth in my simplicity.

Well now, brethren, I tell you I have said what I have said; and may God grant that it may inspire your hearts—that it may exalt your minds—that you may treasure up these truths, as far as they are truths; and I know nothing to the contrary but what they are truths; and if you do, or anybody else, I would be pleased to be corrected—that is, to have the real thing presented instead of them. Is it to my injury, because I did not happen to get it, and somebody steps forward and puts it there? Does it injure me? No: it communicates to me that I had not got—that is, a truth; and truth is life, and life is light. Do you not see what I get by it?

In regard to our situation and circumstances in these valleys, brethren, WAKE UP! WAKE UP, YE ELDERS OF ISRAEL, AND LIVE TO GOD and none else; and learn to do as you are told, both old and young: learn to do as you are told for the future. And when you are taking a position, if you do not know that you are right, do not take it—I mean independently. But if you are told by your leader to do a thing, do it. None of your business whether it is right or wrong. You will get water, if you dig away. That is rather presumptuous doctrine with some people; but with me it is not.

I have heard men teach in this stand that I was under no obligation to do anything, except I had a revelation. I do not believe the doctrine at all. I don’t care who preached it. I am not the leader—I am not the Prophet, nor the chief Apostle. I do not hold the keys independently. I have no keys, only what I hold in brother Brigham; and then brother Brigham has the word of God: he must do thus and so. He comes to me and says, “Brother Heber, I want you to do thus and so.” Wait till I go home, get into my private room, and ask God that I may get a revelation! Ain’t that pretty, brother Taylor? Well, I will not talk just as I think. If I did, I would knock this pulpit head over heels, when I think of such folly. Go and get a revelation, when God has spoken through my head! And then the tail goes off, and gets down on his knees to get a revelation, when the head has got one !

Now, I have heard that doctrine preached here, that they must have a revelation before they are bound to receive that word and go and practice it, just as it would have been with those men I employed to go and dig that well by the arsenal. “Wait, sir.” I will not wait a minute. Go along, or I will employ men that will do it. “I am going to get a revelation to know if there is water there.” They do not know that by believing on any man’s testimony they increase in knowledge, wisdom, and the power of God. They forget that. Do you not see that I can learn more to be led than I can to lead, if I have the right man to lead me? Brother Brigham is my leader: he is my Prophet, my Seer, and my Revelator; and whatever he says, that is for me to do; and it is not for me to question him one word, nor to question God a minute. Do you not see?

I will tell you what it is right for me to do. If there is time (and if there is not, it is not necessary), go along and bow down before the Lord God. Say I, “Father, help me to be faithful and do the words of brother Brigham, my leader, that I may see glory in it, and that I may see immortality and eternal lives in it.”

I am teaching you, Elders. Now, if I am not right, I am wrong. I leave it to you to judge whether I am right or wrong. It is curious for me to talk, but it is not for me to question his words any more than it was Naaman, the Assyrian. Said he, “What better are the waters of Jordan? Why are not the rivers of Damascus and the water round Jerusalem just as good? Why is there not as much virtue in them as there is in Jordan?” Why, there is; but the virtue is in the man of God telling him what to do. There was virtue in doing what the servant of God told him to do. If he had told him to have gone and got into a mud hole, it would have had the same effect as that water. It is in the words of the man of God, and God lets his angels go along wherever he goes, and the angel of God goes along and touches the man with the touch of his finger, and says, “Be thou made whole!” Why? “Because the servant of God says so, and I have come here to help to fulfil it.” Either side of the veil they are active to see that your words are fulfilled. If they are not, they are not with us, nor we with them.

What difference does the veil make? None at all. To us there is a veil, but to them there is no veil. They can see through the side of a house as well as through the air. I know that by experience. “Well, now,” someone says, “What good does it do for two or three thousand men to be in the mountains?” Why, I don’t know that it is any of our business. It says, “Uncle Sam cannot come. We are ready; we are on the spot.” Well, what else? It gives those men an experience that they cannot have on any other principle. They are getting an experience—for what? To cultivate them for something greater, which will come next year; and if it does not come then, it will come sometime. I do not say it will come next year. You never heard me say it would; but you and I want to live our religion and do as we are told, not questioning a word for a moment. You have got to stop that. It is enough for others to do that, without our meddling with those things. I am speaking to the Elders of Israel.

Well, these things are all right. You learn to do as you are told; and those that have not been baptized into the Church, I say, Go and be baptized, and put on Christ by baptism, that you may receive the Holy Ghost and be one with us: that is all I have got to say to you.

Bless your souls, I pray my Father to bless brother Brigham, with his Counselors, that they may be one; to bless the Twelve, that they may be one with us; to bless the Seventies, that they may be one with the Twelve, and the High Priests one with the Seventies, and the Elders one with the High Priests, and the Priests one with the Elders, &c.; that we may all be one and partake of the same Spirit, and same power, and same Holy Ghost, and same religion. That is my exhortation to you: I cannot preach any other.

If that takes place, I want to know what any power has to do with us? As we relax our power and live our religion—do you not see, as we relax, that the Devil will gain power upon us? Suppose, now, I was to take a rough-and-tumble with a man and wrestle with him: I wrestle a spell pretty valiantly, and almost gain power over my antagonist; I have almost gained power over him, and I begin to slack up to get a little breath: do you not see that that antagonist is bound to put me down if I slack up? Well, if you slack up your religion, living faithfully, praying, exhorting, and living to God, do you not see our antagonist is gaining power over us? But let me tell you, gentlemen, we will take it just as God dictates; and if he says rough-and-tumble, let us take it rough-and-tumble, and pitch them headlong where they belong.

Well, now, if you will do just as you are told, you will increase in knowledge ten thousand times faster than you will to pray six hours; and if you follow that course, you will not advance in your religion one-hundredth part so much as that man that will do just as he is told, no matter what.

If you are told to watch, watch. Can you pray when you are watching? I do: I pray all the time. Well, live your religion—that is, not your religion, but the religion of Jesus Christ, and serve your God. Cease all your contentions. Are there not contentions enough in the world? Are there not contentions enough with that army and with the devils in hell, without there being any with us? These things should subside: they should take an avalanche, like the snow. You know the snow will take a slide down the sides of the mountains. They call that an avalanche. I should call it a hell of a full of a fuss—that is, it is a convulsion. Well, excuse me for that language.

Well, there are those troops over yonder. They are not here, are they? Well, some of you thought they were coming here, and several ran away, supposing they were coming. Well, I am glad of that, and I wish every other one that feels so would put off. We will help them. Brother Brigham has fulfilled his word: he said if he could find any man or woman that wanted to go, he would send them to that happy place. Well, he has sent Mrs. Mogo. No doubt she will die a happy death.

This great Mr. Johnson, the Commander of those troops has come, I suppose. Brother Grossbeck has come in with his company from the States. God gave him wisdom, and he is here, and he escaped those troops. Mr. Johnson says he is going to obey the President’s orders, and says he will come in; but by the time he goes up and down Ham’s Fork a few times, it will take away his strength. If you do not believe it, try some other Ham’s Fork. I had as lieve sit on a bayonet as a fork. He has had a fever all the way, and will have a chill when he has lost his strength. He will have an all-killing chill. He will not come here. We have told you all the time they will not come. But he may attempt to come, and then he may not. That is just as God has a mind to.

I feel the Lord designs the thing should move along and no blood be shed, because I do not consider God is so anxious that we should be bloodthirsty men as some may be. God designs we should be pure men, holding the oracles of God in holy and pure vessels; but when it is necessary that blood should be shed, we should be as ready to do that as to eat an apple. That is my religion, and I feel that our platter is pretty near clean of some things, and we calculate to keep it clean from this time henceforth and forever, and, as the Scripture reads, “Lay judgment to the line, and righteousness to the plummet.” We shall do that thing, and we shall commence in the mountains. We shall clean the platter of all such scoundrels; and if men and women will not live their religion, but take a course to pervert the hearts of the righteous, we will “lay judgment to the line, and righteousness to the plummet,” and we will let you know that the earth can swallow you up, as it did Korah with his host; and as brother Taylor says, you may dig your graves, and we will slay you, and you may crawl into them.

I do not mean you, if you are not here. I mean those corrupt scoundrels. Well, this is just as brother Brigham has said here hundreds of times.

If those troops could have come in here, let me tell you, all the finest and smartest devils would have entered into the smartest bodies and come here to overturn us. You will not catch a mean, low, inferior, stupid devil in a smart man. I will tell you the Devil has his smart men. Says he, “You get into a smart body.” Smart spirits do not get into inferior bodies. Would you? No. Well, then, do you suppose they would do what we would not do under the same circumstances?

Was not Lucifer a pretty smart lad? Just look at it—son of the morning—when all heaven wept when he fell. He was a smart man. It takes a smart man—that is, one who thinks he is, to act the devil. Well, I merely speak of these things.

Well, they would come from Dan to Beersheba, and from California to France—that is, wicked and abominable spirits would have come into this valley when those troops came, do you not see? The blacklegs, and highway robbers, and whoremongers, and whores would have gathered into this place, if those troops could have come into this place to have slain our leaders. Let me die an honorable man living my religion rather than to bow down to their cursed yoke again, as the Lord God liveth. They have made us stiffen our upper lip, and now we have got to keep it stiff—I mean the upper lip; and if you grow as you ought, five years will not pass away before your lips will be five times as thick as they are now. Joseph had a high lip, and he was a beautiful man—one of the most lovely men I ever saw, especially when the Spirit of God was in him; and his countenance was as white as the whitest thing you ever saw.

Let all these domestic broils and family difficulties cease, ye Elders of Israel; and if you have got things that will not sleep and will not rest, live your religion, and I would take my johnnycake and go into the mountains and spend my days defending the house of Israel, before I would stay at home and quarrel one moment. Is it not better for you? Well, now stop these little broils at home in your families: that is the end of all trouble with us; and God will bless us and will bless the earth, and the air, and the elements, and we shall be blessed with fruits and grain, and with every other thing that our hearts can desire.

Is there anything that we ever saw or thought of but what is in the elements, the air we breathe, and the earth we walk on? And blessing be to God that I live on an earth that lives. Well, that is a curious idea. I heard a Methodist preacher preach that once at Miller’s Corners, in Bloomfield, Ontario County, New York, and thought it was a curious idea. Well, it is truth.

Now, I will prove this to you, if any of you doubt it, by true philosophy—by natural philosophy. Do you believe that a dead woman can conceive from a live man and bring forth a live child? Do you believe it, any of you mothers? Do you believe it, any of you fathers? No, you know better. Well, if a woman will not produce when she is dead, then the earth cannot produce living things if it was dead.

Does the earth conceive? It does, and it brings forth. If it did not, why do you go and put your wheat into the ground? Does it not conceive it? But it does not conceive except you put it there. It conceives and brings forth, and you and I live, both for food and for clothing, silks and satins. What! Satin grow? Yes. What produces it? The silkworm produces it. Does the silkworm produce except it conceives? No, it eats of the mulberry tree. Where does the mulberry tree come from? It comes from the earth. Where did the earth come from? From its parent earths.

Well, some of you may call that foolish philosophy. But if it is, I will throw out foolish things, that you may gather up wise things. The earth is alive. If it was not, it could not produce. If you find a piece of earth that is dead, you cannot produce anything from it, except you resurrect it and restore it to life. If that is not true philosophy, it is nothing that I have produced. It is what every man knows, if he can only reflect. But I thought it was curious doctrine when that Methodist spoke of it.

How could my head produce hair, if it was dead? Neither can the earth produce grain, if it is dead. Now, brethren, do you not see the propriety of our blessing the earth—the earth that we inhabit and cultivate? If you do not see the propriety of it, for heaven’s sake do not bless the sacrament again. Do not take a bottle of oil to the prayer circle to be blessed, when you do not believe the earth can be blessed.

If you have got half-an-acre, you can bless it, and dedicate it, and consecrate it to God, and ask him to fill it with life. Well, then, if you can bless half-an-acre, why can you not bless a whole acre? And if you can bless an acre, why can you not bless all this Territory? Just reflect for a moment. If you can bless a gill of oil, then you can bless a pint. When you bless a pint, you can bless a quart, and so on until you can bless a bottle of oil as big as this valley.

Bless God! Yes, I bless my Father and my God pertaining to this earth; I bless his Son; I bless everything in heaven and on earth. Now, you may call that improper, when you do it, all of you, indirectly. Bless my Father! Suppose I had an earthly father here, and he had received the Gospel and was a Patriarch, I would bless him and put all the blessings on him that I had power and strength; that is, I would put all I had onto him; then I could get it back; then I could bless his father, and he could bless his father, and his father his father, and the blessings I would put on my father would go clear back until it came to the Father and God from whence it came, and then it comes down to us again, just as the sap and nourishment in the tree: if it does not go into the root, it never would go into the top; and every limb and branch pertaining to that tree has to give up a portion of the nourishment they receive, and then we are all impregnated with the roots.

Well, I am talking these things as plain as I can. Perhaps some of you do treasure them up. But we live on an earth that lives: if we do not, we cannot produce nor get produced from it. You never will get peaches if you do not plant and let the earth conceive; but if the earth conceives, and you nourish it, you are bound to have peaches, and apples, and currants, and plums. If you cultivate and partake of the elements that God has made, you will have houses, and barns, and granaries, and everything else. God has made it. All we have to do is to take it from the earth. But you say it is all dead, do you? Oh folly! There is nothing that is dead that lives, nor shall we ever die temporally nor spiritually; for that tabernacle that I live in is life; and when it goes back to the earth, it goes back into a living creature. For what purpose? To become analyzed, and cleansed, and purified, that I may receive it again, more glorious than this body. How can I obtain it? On no other principle only to do just as I am told. You have got to learn that lesson. I have got to learn it; and if I have got to learn it, I can prove that you have got to do as I do.

You are very exact in military tactics. Here is Squire Wells, and he is under the direction of our Governor; and then every other officer in his turn must be dictated and governed as he is dictated. Does Squire Wells run to every man? No: he gives his order to the officer next to him, and so on till it goes down to the fourth corporal. See how accurate you have to be in that discipline. Should not you be more so in the kingdom of your God? And if you do not, you are not making progress.

Why are you not wide awake? Cultivate, make, take, and increase, and bring forth those things that you need. You do not believe the gate is going to be shut down, do you? Mr. Johnson says there shall not an article or a train come in, except the Governor lets him come in. The Governor will not, except he grounds arms; and if he will ground arms, he will ground arms; and if he no ground arms, then he no ground arms, and he cannot come here. Gentlemen, your leaders all say he cannot come here. Why, if he wants to come here himself, with a few of his council—if they really want to come to see the Governor, they have the privilege; but they would have to ground arms. I am not going to take that word back. They have got to ground arms from this time henceforth. But we have shouldered arms, and it is present arms; and do you not see that the next thing is to take aim?

Joseph, when he was in Nauvoo, on the house top, drew his sword from the sheath and said it never should be sheathed again. Brother Brigham has said the same, and brother Heber will back him in it, and so will every officer in the kingdom of God. What say you, brethren, will we go it? If so, raise your right hands and say Aye.

[One loud “AYE” rang through the congregation.]

We are not going to bow down to the wicked any more. I had rather die as I am and fight my way than ever to go into their hands again. They probably, if they had only sense enough, might have caused us to bow down our heads and got the bow on Old Bright’s neck. They will not pay the debts contracted by their own officers. They send the most damnable and contemptible scoundrels that they could to rule over us, and they abused us all the time, and God wanted they should. If they had not, perhaps we should have bowed down and got the yoke on our neck. Now, perhaps, they will try to draw back and say, “Let us give them a State Government and a few hundred thousand dollars, and see if we cannot pet them.” When you see a thing of that sort, look out for the Devil: he will be behind that curtain. When I see anything of that kind, I am suspicious.

We shall prescribe a course for the United States to take after this. Well, you do not believe that, do you? Do as you are told, and see if it does not come to pass. You cannot tell whether I am a true man, unless you listen to me.

Well, these are my feelings. God bless you, brethren; God bless you, sisters; God bless this earth, and these valleys, and every honest person that comes into these valleys! If their soldiers desert and come in here, may the Lord God bless them, that they may have the Spirit of God on them while they stay here! We live to let live, and we will treat them with kindness and gentility, if they stay here and behave themselves. But they cannot whore it here; for, gentlemen, if there is anything of that kind, we will slay both men and women. We will do it, as the Lord liveth—we will slay such characters. Now, which would be the most worthy to be slain—the woman that had had her endowments and made certain covenants before God, or the man that knew nothing about it? The woman, of course. She must be guilty according to her knowledge. These little officers that were brought up as pets at West Point boasted all the way what they were going to do with our leaders: they were going to take our Governor and hang him, and take his wives and use them at their leisure; and they were going to serve Heber in the same way, and all others that lifted their tongues against our enemies. They have not yet done it, have they?

Well, these are my feelings. They are out there: they have been sitting on Ham’s Fork so long, it has begun to ulcerate, as that nasty fop, Douglas, uses the term—that little nasty snot-nose: you cannot call him anything half so mean as he is—the nastiest of all nasties that God could suffer on the earth. We have been a friend to him and everybody else, and we have not done any harm. We mind our own business. We came to this land because we were just obliged to do so; and I have been broken up and driven five times; but, as the Lord God liveth, I do not go again, nor any other man or woman that will live their religion. Let us do right, as a people, and we never will go from this place until we please and God pleases to have us.

We were brought here for a purpose to secure us, and for us to stand to our rights and privileges as citizens of the United States, and claim protection. What are they coming up here for? To kill your leaders; and when they kill us they will kill every man and woman that will sustain those men. Well, they are not here—God be praised! Hallelujah! Glory to God in the highest, peace on earth, and goodwill to all good men! My soul says Hallelujah! Praise the Lord, my soul, and give glory to him, and let all Israel say Amen!

[The assembly responded, “Amen.”]

Am I not happy? These are the people of God. They shall live and they shall prosper, and everything that is attached to the righteous shall be righteous and grow righteous. Yea, I bless the earth and everything that is on this earth; but I feel, in the name and by the authority of Jesus Christ and my calling, to curse that man that lifts his heel against my God and his cause and kingdom; and the curse of God shall be upon him: the angels of God shall chase him, and he shall have no peace. The President of the United States and his coadjutors that have caused this thing shall never rest again, for they shall go to hell.

Brother Morley says he has no right to teach. I am blessing them with the power that is on your head. Why do you not do it? That is the blessing of a Patriarch, to bless the house of Israel. I bless you as a people—not only this people here today, but I bless all that are in the east, west, north, or south. God bless our head and every member that is attached to it! Bless the house of Israel, with the head of the vine, and with every vine and every branch that pertains to it, with every particle of fruit, that it may be choice in the house of God in these mountains! Amen.