Trials, Etc.

A Discourse by Elder John Taylor, Delivered in the Tabernacle, Great Salt Lake City, November 13, 1859.

In rising before a congregation of Saints, I generally feel as though I want to say something that will be for the benefit of my brethren and sisters. Something that will be of some real practical use is, in my opinion, what we want; but to talk about abstract theories, idealities, and things that have not much substance or reality in them, I do not think is of much use to anybody. In regard to the Gospel of Jesus Christ, it is so great, so extensive, so comprehensive, so deep, so high, and so various, that it is almost impossible for a person to present anything that is wrong. A man can never speak upon anything that is wrong, so long as he confines himself to the limits of truth.

In relation to our present position, the things with which we are surrounded, the prospects that lie before us, and our hopes, cares, and anxieties, these are things that operate upon our minds, or that ought to have some influence with us. For instance, I am an Elder in Israel; so are many of you; and we all profess to be Saints, nearly the whole of this congregation. Now, the question is, What is it to be a Saint? And how far am I, and how far are you fulfilling the obligations that devolve upon us as Saints of God—as Elders in Israel—as fathers of families and mothers of families? Let us ask ourselves these questions—Are we performing our various duties in building up the kingdom of God, in rolling forth his work upon the earth? And what are we doing to bring about the latter-day glory? Which of our acts tends to this? Do any of them? Or do all of them? And what is really our position? These are things that it is well for us to weigh, consider, and find out the real responsibilities that are resting upon us.

Why did I become a “Mormon?” And why did we all become “Mormons?” We should say, Because we believed “Mormonism” to be true. What is truth? And what part of it did we believe? In this case we should say, All of it. What did we embrace “Mormonism” for? It cer tainly was not to profess religion, in order that we might have the honor of men; for there was nothing of that associated with it. We had to endure considerable reproach, and have our names cast out as evil, and to associate with a people that were universally despised. And so they are now. But we have got along with it, so that we now care nothing about it. Now, there is or ought to be a reality about it. So far as I am personally concerned, if anyone wants to know why I became a “Mormon,” I will answer, Because I considered that I was an intelligent, rational being—that I had to do with eternity as well as time; and having to do with both, I wanted to act in that way I could secure the approbation of my Father in heaven, that I might be prepared to enter into a better, purer, and more exalted state of being in the eternal world. These were some of the first thoughts and sentiments that governed my mind.

In the next place, I was called upon to be an Elder. What was my object then? It was to obey the truth and teach others, that they might have the same blessings that I possessed. I presume you felt so too, and rejoiced that you knew something of the life to come—that your hope bloomed with immortality and eternal life; and when you were ordained you tried to magnify that calling and Priesthood. You were mobbed, persecuted, and afflicted, and passed through scenes of difficulty, privation, and trial, which you endured patiently and joyfully, knowing it was from the Lord and intended for your good; and you were trying to obtain salvation in the eternal worlds.

Many of you have passed through affliction of various kinds. If it was an affliction to be robbed of your property—if it was a trial to be robbed of your good name, you have endured that and passed through it. What did you do it for? And why did you endure it? Just for the same reason that the ancient Saints did. I never read in the Bible, nor anywhere else, of the Saints having any other kind of treatment than that which you have received.

When I embraced the Gospel, I expected to have my name cast out as evil. I expected to be persecuted and to be mobbed, and, if necessary, to lay down my life; and I have come pretty near it a number of times. But this was nothing particularly new; for I had learned before I was a “Mormon” that there was an antagonism between truth and error, purity and iniquity—that the righteous always were persecuted, and that many of the ministers of Jesus had been called to lay their lives down for their religion; and I never expect to see anything different; and my feelings and ideas are precisely the same on this subject as they were twenty years ago. There is still that same spirit of antagonism existing between truth and error that there was then. Let a man join this Church—I don’t care how honorable he is—the moment he does it, that man will be despised, as sure as Jesus was. Has he injured anybody? No. He was probably a good man, and esteemed by his neighbors, and continued so; but when he became a servant of God, the powers of darkness were let loose upon him; men began to persecute him and speak evil of him, and his name was cast out as evil. This is the lot of every man that receives the truth—I don’t care where he comes from. In the United States, England, Ireland, Scotland, Wales, France, Switzerland, Germany, or any part of the world, you will find the same spirit existing; and if you were to ask our persecutors, they could not tell you the cause of their doing it. But although they cannot explain the cause, yet it is “God damn the Mormons!” Ask them, Have they injured you? No, they have not. Have they taken anything from you, or robbed you of your liberty? No, they have not. But still it is, “God damn the Mormons!” And the simple reason why they cannot tell the cause is because they do not know by what spirit they are governed and controlled. If they knew by what spirit they were governed, they would know why they are constantly using their influence against the workers of righteousness. You may go back to the Apostolic dispensation. Take Peter, James, and John, and inquire who interfered with them before they became Christians, while they were fishermen? And supposing they had a knock down about the separation and division of the fish, no matter: they were all one; they were of the world, all pulling in the same net, one with the world. After awhile they became Christians, and then they were persecuted from city to city, from state to state, and their names were cast out as evil. Take Jesus for example: what harm did he do? He healed the sick, opened the eyes of the blind, and unstopped the ears of the deaf. He found some rascals in the Temple, it is true, and took a whip and drove them out, and said, “It is written, my house shall be a house of prayer, and you have made it a den of thieves.” This, of course, made a disturbance. Jesus amazed them by teaching them good principles, by telling them of their evils, exposing their iniquities, and telling them that they were whited walls and painted sepulchres. But it was the truth. They did not wish to hear it: they loved darkness rather than light. That was the kind of feeling and state of things then, and it is the same now. Truth has precisely the same effect now that it had then, and I presume it always will have. And if they will have done these things in the green tree, what will they do in the dry?

A good man is willing to have his deeds brought to light. He don’t care how big a light it is. He is willing to say, “If there is any wickedness in me, search me and let it be seen.” But not so with many of the religious professors and hypocrites of the present day. Like the ancient Pharisees, these modern sepulchres, the moment you open them, are discovered to be filled with nothing but rottenness and dead men’s bones. And these whited walls are the same: there is the same hypocrisy; and whenever you examine them, there is nothing but rottenness and corruption. They might as well complain of the sun shining as to complain of the establishment and spread of truth. The workers of iniquity love darkness rather than light, because their deeds are evil. If the evil did not exist, the light could not make it manifest. All the harm we have ever done the world is to tell them the truth as God has revealed it, and seek to make them happy. For doing this we have been persecuted, and expect it.

Peter, in speaking of this subject, said—“Beloved, think it not strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened unto you: But rejoice, inasmuch as ye are partakers of Christ’s sufferings; that, when his glory shall be revealed, ye may be glad also with exceeding joy.” (1 Peter iv. 12, 13.) He might just as well have told them that it would be so, so long as there was a God in heaven and a Devil in hell; and it is absolutely necessary that it should be so. Concerning these matters, I do not have any trouble. What if we have to suffer affliction! We came here for that purpose: we came in order that we might be purified; and this is intended to give us a knowledge of God, of our weakness and strength, of our corruptions, and to develop the evils that are within us—to give us a knowledge of eternal life, that we may be enabled to overcome all evil and be exalted to thrones of power and glory. Hence, when people talk to me about being severely tried, I have to inform them that I do not know much about it. I feel, however, to sympathize with others. It is very natural for a man to say, Why am I placed in such a position? Why have I to grapple with these things—with these afflictions?

So far as I am personally concerned, I am here as a candidate for eternity—for heaven and for happiness. I want to secure by my acts a peace in another world that will impart that happiness and bliss for which I am seeking. If I am driven with my brethren as I have been, I ask myself what is the meaning of it? If I have to pass through afflictions, I wish them to be sanctified to my good. If I had nothing to do, and you had nothing to do, but to sit and sing ourselves away to everlasting bliss, as the Methodists and others do, it would be very easy. Why, the Lord could easily remove these afflictions; but he has not a mind to do it.

We read about the patience of Job; but I do not think he was a very patient man. Probably he was, sometimes, in some things; and in some things he was not. He cursed the day he was born, and wished the light had never shone upon him. He was a good man according to his own account. It was said by some that his afflictions came because of his iniquities; but nobody was found to say and show what they were. It appears that the Gods had a council or conference together, and the Devil appeared amongst them. “And the Lord said unto Satan, Whence comest thou? Then Satan answered the Lord, and said, From going to and fro in the earth, and walking up and down in it. And the Lord said unto Satan, Hast thou considered my ser vant Job, that there is none like him in the earth, a perfect and an upright man, one that feareth God and escheweth evil?” (Job i. 7, 8.)

It appears from this that he was a man such as we ought to be—one that feared God and acted for eternity, and that he eschewed all evil. We are told still further that the Devil complained that the Lord had set a hedge round about him, so that it was next to impossible to touch him; but promised, if he would take that away and let him have a rap at him, that his faith in God would be shaken. From this same chapter we learn that the Lord said he could have a chance—that he might try Job, and see how he would act. I have no doubt but the Devil chuckled over Job, and determined to destroy him and his family; and he went to work and gathered together the lightning, knocked down the house where the children of Job were assembled, and killed them all. Then be stirred up the Sabeans, who stole his oxen and asses, and the Chaldeans, who stole his camels and slew his servants. And the servants of Job came in, one after another, and told him the news; and each messenger said, “And I only escaped alone to tell thee.”

What was the reason? The hedge was taken away, and Satan was allowed to do with him just what he saw proper, only to spare his life. What did Job say? He is reported to have said a great deal; but he was probably more patient than many of us would have been; for he said, after the report of all his misfortunes, “The Lord gave, and the Lord hath taken away; blessed be the name of the Lord.” He did not say it was the “damned Gentiles” and Sabeans or Philistines that had done these things.

If I had cattle, houses, and possessions, the Lord gave them to me, and he has the right to take them away. If I have any of the blessings of this life, I received them from the Lord. It was the Almighty that gave them to me; and if they are taken away, I ought to say with Job, “The Lord gave, and the Lord taketh away; blessed be the name of the Lord.” Was not that a good feeling that Job possessed? And do you not think we should have similar feelings? I don’t think that these “damned Gentiles,” as some of you term them, have so much to do with it as you suppose. They are servants to whom they yield themselves servants to obey; and therefore I do not think you ought to blame so much as you do, for they are under an influence that they cannot resist, and are merely doing the will of their father. They calumniate you and they lie, as you say, like the Devil. But, bless you, they cannot help it, and the Lord permits it to be so. They cannot do any more than they are permitted to do. It is just as the Scriptures say—“The wrath of man shall praise me, and the remainder of wrath I will restrain, and I will put in order and accomplish my purpose upon the earth.” Now, if it was not the Sabeans, the Philistines, and the lightning that did all this to Job, I do not think it is the Missourians, but it is their father, who is—Where? [Laughter.] We ought not to complain of our position, I think. I do not want to complain. I never have felt a spirit of faultfinding or complaining.

From what I have quoted from the Book of Job, you discover that the Devil was accustomed in those days to appear before the Lord, as he has done in these last days; and I can assure you that he has been above once. In regard to Job he said, “I have tried him, and only let me touch his body: skin for skin, all that a man hath will he give for his life.” “Well,” says the Lord, “he is in your hands, only you shall spare his life.” The Devil then smote him with boils, and Job began to curse things around him, and it appears that the Devil was pretty near right about it.

But Job would not deny his God. He was firm in his integrity, and he possessed the spirit of revelation, had a right kind of belief in God—in futurity, and was submissive to the will of the Almighty. It is said that he got mad: and who would not be? I do not know that the Lord would be displeased with a man for getting mad when the Devil was let loose upon him. At any rate, we are informed that, “In all this Job sinned not.”

I remember hearing a woman say in Missouri, “I’ll be damned if I will stand it any longer; for this is the fifth house the mob have burned down for me in less than two years.” Job did not feel so. He was indeed severely tried; but when he came down to sober reflection, he said in his heart, “The Sabeans may take my asses, and the Chaldeans may fall upon my servants, and kill them and steal my sheep, and my house be thrown down with the storm, and I may lie in the ashes, and men that I would not associate with the dogs of my flocks may wear away my life, and my body may go to dust; yet, though worms prey upon it, in my flesh shall I see God. Naked I came into the world, and naked I shall go out: blessed be the name of the Lord.” Was not this a good feeling to manifest? Let us try to imitate it and acknowledge the chastening rod of the Almighty.

Now, I will consider the character of Jesus for a short time. I will take him for an example, and ask why he was persecuted and afflicted? Why was he put to death? We are told by the Apostle that it was necessary for him, of whom are all things, to make the captain of our salvation perfect through suffering. It was absolutely necessary that he should pass through this state, and be subject to all the weaknesses of the flesh—that he should also be subjected to the buffetings of Satan the same as we are, and pass through all the trials incident to humanity, and thereby comprehend the weakness and the true character of human nature, with all its faults and foibles, that we might have a faithful High Priest that would know how to deliver those that are tempted; and hence one of the Apostles, in speaking of him, says, “For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feelings of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin.” (Heb. iv. 15.)

Here, then, we find the reason why he was tempted and afflicted. He stood at the head of that dispensation, and came to atone for the transgressions of men—to stand at the head as the Savior of men.

It was necessary that he should have a body like ours, and be made subject to all the weaknesses of the flesh—that the Devil should be let loose upon him, and that he should be tried like other men. Then, again, in Gethsemane, he was left alone; and so great was the struggle, that we are told he sweat, as it were, great drops of blood. In the great day when he was about to sacrifice his life, he said, “My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?” He has passed through all this, and when he sees you passing through these trials and afflictions, he knows how to feel towards you—how to sympathize with you. It was necessary that he should pass this fiery ordeal; for such is the position of things, and such the decrees of the Allwise Creator.

In regard to any circumstances that have taken place with regard to this people, my feelings are and have been for over twenty years, that I am aiming at eternal life, and am independent of the derision of fools. If a man has a mind to determine upon pursuing another course, I have nothing to do with it. I believe in God, in Jesus Christ, and in the exaltation of the human family, and consequently have acted and do act in accordance with that belief. If others choose to do otherwise, that is their business. But, says one, Don’t you want to send them all to hell? No, I don’t; but I would be glad to get them out of it; and if I could do them any good, I would do it with pleasure. I do not believe in this wrath and dread; but if a man acts meanly, I will tell him that he is a poor, mean curse. Then, if I find him hungry, I would feed him; or if I found him naked, I would clothe him; for the Gospel teaches me to do good and benefit mankind as far as lies in my power.

I believe that everything is permitted of God, although I am far from believing that he sanctions everything. By this, some will consider that I am a fatalist. So far as this goes, I am; but not in the way that the term is generally understood. These things are permitted for our good and perfection.

Suppose that you are wealthy and abound in the things of this world, and have everything good, and have the honor of the world, what would it amount to? Let me know that I have the approbation of God, that I am to my word, that I do not do wrong, that I treat everybody right, and withal possess the favor of the Almighty, then I am satisfied. I do not trouble as to these minor things. If I can only have the blessing and smiles of my heavenly Father, whether that comes in the shape of wealth or poverty, in the shape of affliction or peace, it is a matter of very little consequence to me; but if prosperity, wealth, and peace come along with it, all is right. And I consider things of this kind, for I know that all we have is in the hands of God.

Now, suppose that the President of the United States should issue a manifesto ordering the “Mormons” to leave or be destroyed, who would care? If I were to express my feelings, I should say it was exceedingly mean. Suppose he should send another army here, who would care about it? We are in the hands of God, and he can say as he said to the Devil in regard to Job. Do you think anybody can injure or take the lives of God’s people, unless he permits it? No; there is no power this side of heaven that can do it. God controls his people and his people’s affairs, and there is no power can interfere farther than he lets them. Now, who is hurt? Why a lot of the folks were tremendously scared when those soldiers were sent out! (Laughter.) Were you not very much afraid? I will admit that some few felt afraid; but was there anything the matter? No, there was nothing the matter in particular. If the Lord wanted to have me killed, I would just as soon be killed as not. I do not believe in a religion that has not got all my affections; but I believe in a religion that I can live for or die for. I am not talking about things that I do not understand. I have wrestled with death, and had the Devil aiming at me, and I cared nothing for it. Let me be deprived of this hope, and my religion is vain. I would just join in upon the principle that the Gentiles do—viz., “Let us eat, drink, and be merry, for tomorrow we die.” It is for us to act upon the principle that we started upon—to trust and have faith in God—to let this influence us in our acts one towards another.

Let us now turn and examine ourselves. Why did you become a “Mormon?” Simply because you wanted to be saved, and to work righteousness by keeping your spirits and bodies pure. Did you not in times past hope that you would be come pure by obedience to the Gospel and helping to build up the kingdom of God? How do you expect to bring this about now? Do you expect to do it by riotousness and indulging in rowdyism? Has the Gospel changed? Or how is it?

I observed that there are some very good scholars among us who can learn some things very quickly. There are some men who call themselves Elders that are trying if they cannot swear better than the Gentiles. Now, let such men go before God with their mouths full of foulness, or get their families together to ask God to bless them, and see what liberty they have. Such acts are the result of ignorance, blindness, and corruption. Are such going to be saviors upon Mount Zion? Some of these are Elders who are going to teach the people the ways of salvation!

This reminds me of a man that went from Liverpool to introduce me into Ireland. He told the people what a glorious Gospel we had got, and what blessings were in reserve for the faithful, and he was drunk three parts of his time. He was a pretty messenger of life!

I consider that all such persons ought to be ashamed of themselves. I would like to see these things stopped; and if you won’t stop them, I will tell you one thing that will stop—you will cease to have the Spirit of God upon you to give you light and intelligence, and you will cease to be Saints of the Most High God. You will go back into darkness and folly, like the sow that was washed and again returns to her wallowing in the mire. I would like to see all the Saints do better than the Gentiles, for they do not pretend to be religious. I would like to see the Gentiles also do better; and if there are any of them here, I hope they will pay attention to this. It is too mean to utter such low-lived expressions: it is humiliating and unmanly to go and get his brain muddled, and all the faculties of his mind darkened with his intemperate habits. It is a disgrace for men of education and intelligence to be unable to utter five words without an oath. Every child ought to point the finger of scorn at any man that will come down to such a mean standard; and you Elders in Israel and Saints, do not let people laugh at you for getting drunk and rowdying in the streets of Zion. Before I would be so mean, I would go and stick my head into a barrel, and crawl out of sight, and would not be seen for twelve months.

Let us fear God with our hearts—not with our lips, store up the truth in our minds, work righteousness, do good one to another, and do right to everybody: then your peace will flow as a river; then we can bow before the Lord our God, and ask his blessings upon us and our families; then there will be no wrangling in our bosoms, nor any bad or unpleasant feelings towards our fellow creatures.

If it was right for us to commence on these principles, it is right for us to fear God in our hearts. Brethren and sisters, fear God in your lives and conduct; speak nothing but what you know to be true; keep a guard over your actions; keep the Spirit of God within you, and the Lord will be with you all the day long.

I pray God to keep us in the way of truth, in the name of Jesus. Amen.

Devotedness to “Mormonism”—Responsibility

Remarks by President D. H. Wells, Delivered in the Tabernacle, Great Salt Lake City, October 16, 1859.

Brethren and Sisters—I arise before you this afternoon without having any particular subject on my mind upon which to speak, hoping and believing that the Lord will help me, that I may say what I shall say to your edification and comfort.

“Mormonism” presents themes sufficient for our consideration at all times and upon all occasions. We never need be at a loss for a subject, for there is no part of it that we can contemplate that is not fitting and suitable to almost any occasion that may arise.

I feel that the principles of the holy Gospel are all-absorbing. In them are concentrated all my hopes of happiness—my life, my business, all my interests, both temporal and spiritual, in time and eternity, and I trust will ever be. There is nothing else that I esteem worthy to engage my attention in comparison, and I have no hopes outside my interest in this kingdom, neither do I wish to have.

When I embraced “Mormonism,” I let go everything else; and since then I have had no wish or desire but to attend to those things required at my hands. I take peculiar pleasure and delight in doing anything that is for the advancement of this kingdom.

I feel an ardent anxiety to see Israel rise triumphant over every opposing object that may lie in their onward course. With me it is “Hosanna!” and “Glory to God!” when Israel obtain a single victory. It is “Israel forever!” all the time.

These are a part of my feelings with regard to this work.

I expect one of the distinguishing features between the Latter-day Saints and the sectarian world is, that they feel so devoted to the cause they have espoused, that they are willing to pass through any amount of suffering, even to the loss of their lives, to subserve its interests.

The outsiders look on the devotedness of the Latter-day Saints to this cause and kingdom with great astonishment. There is a reason for this devotedness they know nothing about. They cannot conceive how men should let their religion occupy their whole affections.

How is it in the United States? They have no confidence in their religious leaders. Have they any in their God? I do not wish to be severe in my strictures on them. They virtually say to their religious leaders, Stand there, and do not dare to interfere with our temporal affairs, or interfere with us in any way except in religious matters. They look upon them as their spiritual leaders only.

The world generally have an idea, and it is too true with many of the Latter-day Saints, that they know better about their everyday affairs than the Lord. They even go so far as to exclude religious teachers from holding offices in their political circles. They do not elevate their religious ministers to the civil offices of the country.

Would not we, as a people, be willing to let the Lord dictate our affairs temporally and spiritually? This is a distinguishing feature, I say, between the Latter-day Saints and the rest of the world: they are not willing that the Lord should dictate their temporal affairs, and we profess to be willing that he should.

If ever we are prospered exceed ingly, we shall have to submit ourselves to his dictation temporally, because he is building up a temporal kingdom on the earth, as well as a spiritual kingdom, in the last days. He is gathering the people together from the four quarters of the earth, that he may concentrate a power to bring forth his purposes in the last days—that he may magnify his name in the earth—that he may have a people who will do as he wishes them, that he may exalt and bless them.

The Lord takes us through many channels, through a chequered path, to bring us to the position to be capable and worthy to receive the blessings he is desirous of dispensing to the children of men who will acknowledge him as having a right to rule on a portion of the earth, at least, if not on the whole of it.

Has he not a right to rule on this earth? Who has done so much for it as our Lord and Savior? The Prophets have intimated that all his enemies should be laid beneath his feet, that he should triumph over every opposing foe, and that the kingdoms of this world should be broken in pieces, and become the kingdoms of our Lord and his Christ.

This is what we are expecting in this our day and generation. The work has commenced, and we have become participants in it—citizens of the kingdom of God, if you please. This thought carries with it joy and satisfaction to the soul of every true Saint, and to every person who is desirous of seeing righteousness obtain a foothold on the earth, and wickedness walked underfoot.

This is what makes the people of God so enthusiastic in regard to their religion. Great blessings are held out to them in having the Lord to reign over them, in being submissive to his will in all things, and thereby doing the work he has allotted them to do in the last days.

It is very encouraging to the Saints to know and realize that this duty and privilege rests on their shoulders. The Lord in his kindness has enlightened their minds to see the ripening of the work he has commenced and will perform.

The world cannot understand the work in which we are engaged. They look upon this Church as another sect or persuasion of people. In one sense we are. Our forms of worship are similar to theirs; but this abiding faith they do not have. We have something to cling to about which they know nothing—which their doctrines do not teach. The blessings we enjoy they think of as being a great way off—something to be hoped for, but not expected. We understand things they do not; therefore we have great cause to rejoice and offer thanksgiving and praise to our God. We have great cause to be industrious and active in the discharge and full performance of our duties, and to concentrate our interests in this kingdom and in its advancement.

Let that be our daily work. Let us have no other business—nothing that shall come between us and our duty in regard to this. Let not the Evil One place any barrier between us and our daily righteous walk.

It is the duty of each and every one of the Saints to feel that share of responsibility that belongs to them. Upon our shoulders the kingdom rests, and the Lord is perfectly willing to roll it forth so fast as he shall have a people that are willing and capable to bear it off. Let us not be impatient if things do not come about as fast as we wish to see them; for, let me assure you, if the Lord were to answer our desires with respect to this, we should not be able to bear up under it. So fast as he can get a people who will be able to bear the kingdom off, he will roll it onward.

The people of God must strengthen their knees, gird up their loins, endeavor to have their faith increased by living nearer to the Lord, and by shaking off the Evil One.

There are too many among us who shake hands with the Devil; and while this is so the Lord cannot bless this people as he wants to bless them. Were he to pour out the multiplicity of blessings he has in store upon them now, it would send many of them to destruction; otherwise his great blessings will save them when they understand them. It is necessary we should live near to the Lord.

I am not obliged to mingle with evil because it surrounds me. An Elder whose duty calls him into the Gentile world can keep himself as pure and as holy as he was in the midst of the Saints. He may enwrap himself as in a cloak against every evil that would surround his footsteps.

It is in the power of every man to resist the Devil, and he will flee from him. He will not take possession of any man’s heart unless he makes him a welcome inhabitant and invites him to share in his affections.

It is in the power of every man and every woman not to give way to evil thoughts and speak evil against their neighbors. If they do this, the first thing they know they are overcome. They will think evil in the first place; and if they encourage the evil thoughts, they will finally give utterance to them; and when they do this, they are still further from the true path than before. And so they go on, until they are overtaken by apostasy, which they did not think of when they commenced this course.

Everyone has his own peculiar feelings, and it is well enough for people to be courteous one to another: but suppose a thing is done that comes across our natural feelings and judgment a little—why should we set our judgment to be above that of our brethren? Why should one man suppose he knows better than anybody else? Why not yield at once to the superior judgment of another? And if another man’s view is not as good as your own, what of it? Let us lay aside our judgment, and let our neighbor have his way in regard to matters that do not particularly concern us. Why not, rather than contend?

If we encourage a spirit of contention, we shall fall into darkness. Why not take a course to live in the light? The result will show which is the best.

Let us all be for the kingdom. Another man’s policy for the kingdom may be just as good as mine. If you are called upon to act in a particular place, act in it until you shall be displaced, and act in it according to the best light and judgment you have, though another might go about the same thing differently. Let us, however, sustain that man who is appointed to act, and act with him, so long as he is honest and sincere within. If all the people in this city and in other settlements could see this, there would be less contention.

I have seen good men get at variance, in the outside settlements, because their Bishops did not do as they thought they ought; and I have seen Bishops removed, and others put in their places, and they would do exactly the same things in their own way.

I feel like being generous. I feel like letting men go about a thing in their own way, to benefit the people and the kingdom. Let us look a little beyond the surface, and see a benefit in another man’s policy as well as our own, and think that another man has got a little common sense as well as ourselves.

In this way, I think, there would be a great deal less to find fault with; and then we can see and appreciate the policy of our brother that is as desirous of doing well, even as we are. Then we should get rid of a certain thing called envy, which very frequently besets some people.

I would like to see my brethren learn wisdom. I would like to have more myself. I would like to have them increase in the knowledge of God—in things pertaining to eternal life, as well as in things pertaining to our everyday life and business; and thus let us learn to save ourselves daily, that we may be saved with a full salvation at last.

It is not the great things of the kingdom that cause men to fall away and go to destruction. It is the small things of life—matters of traffic and deal, upon which people stumble. Large mountains are magnified from small molehills, and they loom out greater and greater the longer persons travel in that path.

If I do not want one of my wives or children to go to the Devil—if I do not wish them to be overcome by evil, I consider it my duty to keep them out of the way of evil, and not suffer them to visit places and company that would be likely to lead them astray.

Suppose I place myself and family under the power of influences that are from the Devil—influences that are calculated to lead us into darkness and apostasy; or if I have characters about my house who are filthy, wicked—who curse God and use profane language, having no respect for my religion, for God, for angels, and holy beings—how far do you think I shall be held responsible, should one of my family go into apostasy through this influence which I have thrown around them? Would I be held responsible, or not?

How far is that mother responsible for her daughter, when she surrounds her with influences that are calculated to lead her astray and into darkness? How far can the father be held responsible for the future conduct of his daughters, after surrounding them with pernicious influences, and they should, in consequence thereof, fall away?

It appears to me as though persons in pretty good faith, who think they may stand themselves, will be held responsible for many of these things. It seems to me, if I surrounded my family with evil influences, and they were led astray thereby, I should have nobody else to blame for it but myself.

It is true sons and daughters may go contrary to fathers’ and mothers’ counsel, and parents employ every means in their power to keep them from wandering into by-and-forbidden paths.

Under these circumstances they may not be considered responsible; but when parents place bad influences around their children, or introduce them into their houses, I look quite differently upon the matter of responsibility.

Even at the present time, many are caused to mourn: they have real sorrow of heart, in consequence of their own injudiciousness—of their want of thought and good understanding. They now see where they have missed it; and many a heart will yet sorrow for not pursuing a different course.

Let us not forget these important items, but have our minds stirred up to them, and be careful as to what kind of influences we surround our families with. Let the mother be careful what kind of company she lets her daughter keep. This is the way to preserve their own hearts from bitter sorrow, and their daughters from degradation and death. How far will the father of that young man be held responsible, whose pernicious practices have led him to drunkenness?

I like to have liquor in my house for family use, in case of sickness; and if I could have my own feelings gratified, I would always have it in my house: but I would rather forego all the benefit it would do my family than to see any member of this Church and kingdom, or any true friend of mine, led into drunkenness and into death. I would rather that not a drop more should ever be manufactured, from this time forth, than that it should be the means of destroying one soul.

If my influence and words could blot out of existence the excessive use of it, I would do so. When I see otherwise faithful and intelligent men overcome and rendered perfectly useless by the intemperate use of ardent spirits, I feel like saying, Never let a drop more be made, but let it go entirely out of existence. But when I reflect, I see it is like other temptations of the Devil: men must know the evil as well as the good.

This is all right; and it is to try them, whether they will show their integrity, by wallowing in the mire, or by using it without abusing themselves by it. If men who have an appetite formed for it overcome it, so much greater will be their reward; but if they subject themselves to it, it becomes their lord and master. We see a good many who are controlled by it.

I despise this abominable practice. At the same time, men must have their agency, and do as they please. If the holy influences of the Gospel will not fetch them out of it, I do not know anything that will.

I do not expect any reward for being tempted with ardent spirits, for I have no disposition to be tempted by it. I have no liking for it, although I could be benefited by the use of it, in the way I would use it; but I would rather forego that for my brethren’s sake. I have not that evil desire to overcome. I have other things to overcome; but this is no besetting sin of mine.

May God bless us and help us to triumph over sin, is my prayer in the name of Jesus. Amen.

Intelligence, Etc.

Remarks by President Brigham Young, Delivered in the Tabernacle, Great Salt Lake City, October 9, 1859.

I shall address you this morning upon a subject that is more interesting to me than any other pertaining to the life of man. It is a subject of deep study and research, and has been from age to age among the reflecting and philosophical portions of the human family. The intelligence given to the children of men is the subject to which I allude, and upon which has been expended more intellectual labor and profound thought than upon any other that has ever attracted the attention of man.

The Psalmist has written, “What is man, that thou art mindful of him? and the son of man that thou visitest him? For thou hast made him a little lower than the angels, and hast crowned him with glory and honor.” This passage is but one of many which refer to the organization of man as though it were a great mystery—something that could not be fully comprehended by the greatest minds while dwelling in earthly tabernacles. It is a matter of vital interest to each of us, and yet it is often farthest from the thoughts of the greater portion of mankind. Instead of reflecting upon and searching for hidden things of the greatest value to them, they rather wish to learn how to secure their way through this world as easily and as comfortably as possible. The reflections what they are here for, who produced them, and where they are from, far too seldom enter their minds.

Many have written upon this great subject, and there exists a great variety of reflections, views, and opinions which I have not time to dwell upon in detail. I will merely give you a few texts, or what you may term a textbook. Nor shall I now take time to minutely elaborate any particular point, but will present such views as shall come into my mind, trusting that I shall have your faith and prayers to be able to edify both Saint and sinner, believer and unbeliever.

If the inhabitants of the earth thoroughly understood their own being, their views, feelings, faith, and affections would be very different from what they now are. Many believe in predestination, while others of the Christian world oppose that doctrine and exclusively advocate free grace, free will, free offering, etc.; and each party of Christians has its pet theory or doctrine, upon which it builds its hopes of eternal salvation. Such a course is like five or six hundred men each selecting and running off with a piece of the machinery of a cotton mill, and declaring that he had the cotton mill entire. This comparison may be truly applied to the Christian world as it now is with regard to the holy and divine principles which have been revealed pertaining to eternal life and salvation.

Many of you, no doubt, have concluded that the doctrine of election and reprobation is true, and you do so with propriety, for it is true; it is a scriptural doctrine. Others do not believe this doctrine, affirming with all their faith, might, and skill that free grace and free will are or ought to be the foundation of man’s faith in his Creator. Very well. I can also say to them that free grace and free will are scripturally true. The first-named doctrine is as true as the second, and the second as the first. Others, again, declare that mankind have no will, neither free nor restrained, in their actions; for instance, the Rationalists or Freethinkers, who deny the existence and divinity of the Gods that we believe in. But so far from their believing their own theory, Mr. Neil, of Boston, while in prison for having no religion, wrote an essay, in which he declared that “All is God.”

I might enumerate many more instances, and say that they are all right so far as they go in truth. The doctrine of free will and conditional salvation, the doctrine of free grace and unconditional salvation, the doctrine of foreordination and reprobation, and many more that I have not time to enumerate, can all be fully and satisfactorily proved by the Scriptures, and are true.

On the other hand, many untrue doctrines are taught and believed, such as there being infants, not a span long, weltering in the flames of hell, there to remain throughout the countless ages of eternity, and the doctrine of total depravity. Some have gone so far as to say that a man or woman who wishes to be saved in the kingdom of God—who wishes to be a servant or handmaid of the Almighty, must feel that deep contrition of heart, that sound repentance, and such a sense of his or her unworthiness and nothingness, and of the supremacy, glory, and exaltation of that Deity they believe in, as to exclaim before God and their brethren and sisters that they are willing to be damned. To me that is one of the heights of nonsense; for if a person is willing to be damned, he cares not to make the efforts necessary to secure salvation. All this confusion is in the world—party against party—communities against communities—individuals against individuals. One sets out with five truths and fifteen errors, making the articles of his faith twenty; another dissents from him, rejects those five truths, selects perhaps five more, and adds as many errors as did the former one, and then he comes out a flaming reformer. Men, in dissenting from one another, have too often exercised no better judgment than to deny and dissent from many truths because their ancestors cherished and believed them, which has produced numerous parties, sects, and articles of faith, when, in fact, taking them in mass, they have an immense amount of true principles.

It was the occupation of Jesus Christ and his Apostles to propagate the Gospel of salvation and the principles of eternal life to the world, and it is our duty and calling, as ministers of the same salvation and Gospel, to gather every item of truth and reject every error. Whether a truth be found with professed infidels, or with the Universalists, or the Church of Rome, or the Methodists, the Church of England, the Presbyterians, the Baptists, the Quakers, the Shakers, or any other of the various and numerous different sects and parties, all of whom have more or less truth, it is the business of the Elders of this Church (Jesus, their elder brother, being at their head), to gather up all the truths in the world pertaining to life and salvation, to the Gospel we preach, to mechanism of every kind, to the sciences, and to philosophy, wherever it may be found in every nation, kindred, tongue, and people, and bring it to Zion.

The people upon this earth have a great many errors, and they have also a great many truths. This statement is not only true of the nations termed civilized—those who profess to worship the true God, but is equally applicable to pagans of all countries, for in their religious rights and ceremonies may be found a great many truths which we will also gather home to Zion. All truth is for the salvation of the children of men—for their benefit and learning—for their furtherance in the principles of divine knowledge; and divine knowledge is any matter of fact—truth; and all truth pertains to divinity.

When we view mankind collectively, or as nations, communities, neighborhoods, and families, we are led to inquire into the object of our being here and situated as we find ourselves to be. Did we produce ourselves, and endow ourselves with that knowledge and intelligence we now possess? All are ready to acknowledge that we had nothing to do with the origin of our being—that we were produced by a superior Power, without either the knowledge or the exercise of the agency we now possess. We know that we are here. We know that we live, breathe, and walk upon the earth. We know this naturally, as the brute creation knows. We know that our food and drink come from the elements around us: by them we are nourished, cherished, refreshed, and sustained, with the addition of sleep. We live and breathe, and breathe and live. Who can define and point out the particularities of the wonderful organization of man?

It enters into the minds of but few that the air we inhale is the greatest source of our life. We derive more real nourishment to our mortal tabernacles from this element than from the solid food we receive into our stomachs. Our lungs expand and contract to sustain the life which God has given us. Of the component parts of this great fountain of vitality I have not time to treat; but this interesting information you may gather in part from numerous works on natural philosophy. I will, however, say that the air is full of life and vitality, and its volume fills immensity. The relative terms height, depth, length, and breadth do not apply to it. Could you pass with the velocity of the electric fluid over telegraphic wires, during the continuation of more years than you can comprehend, you would still be surrounded by it and in the bosom of eternity as much as you now are; and it is filled with the spirit of life which emanates from God.

Many have tried to penetrate to the First Cause of all things; but it would be as easy for an ant to number the grains of sand on the earth. It is not for man, with his limited intelligence, to grasp eternity in his comprehension. There is an eternity of life, from which we were composed by the wisdom and skill of superior Beings. It would be as easy for a gnat to trace the history of man back to his origin as for man to fathom the First Cause of all things, lift the veil of eternity, and reveal the mysteries that have been sought after by philosophers from the beginning. What, then, should be the calling and duty of the children of men? Instead of inquiring after the origin of the Gods—instead of trying to explore the depths of eternities that have been, that are, and that will be—instead of endeavoring to discover the boundaries of boundless space, let them seek to know the object of their present existence, and how to apply, in the most profitable manner for their mutual good and salvation, the intelligence they possess. Let them seek to know and thoroughly understand things within their reach, and to make themselves well acquainted with the object of their being here, by diligently seeking unto a superior Power for information, and by the careful study of the best books.

The life that is within us is a part of an eternity of life, and is organized spirit, which is clothed upon by tabernacles, thereby constituting our present being, which is designed for the attainment of further intelligence. The matter composing our bodies and spirits has been organized from the eternity of matter that fills immensity.

Were I to fully speak what I know and understand concerning myself and others, you might think me to be infringing. I shall therefore omit some things that I would otherwise say to you if the people were prepared to receive them.

Jesus Christ says, “And this is life eternal, that they might know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou has sent.” We are not now in a capacity to know him in his fulness of glory. We know a few things that he has revealed concerning himself, but there are a great many which we do not know. When people have secured to themselves eternal life, they are where they can understand the true character of their Father and God, and the object of the creation, fall, and redemption of man after the creation of this world. These points have ever been subjects for speculation with all classes of believers, and are subjects of much interest to those who entertain a deep anxiety to know how to secure to themselves eternal life. Our bodies are organized from the eternity of matter, from such matter as we breathe, and from such matter as is found in the vegetable and mineral kingdoms. This matter is organized into a world, with all its appendages, by whom? By the Almighty; and we see it peopled by men and women who are made in the image of God.

All this vast creation was produced from element in its unorganized state; the mountains, rivers, seas, valleys, plains, and the animal, vegetable, and mineral kingdoms beneath and around us, all speaking forth the wonderful works of the Great God. Shall I say that the seeds of vegetables were planted here by the Characters that framed and built this world—that the seeds of every plant composing the vegetable kingdom were brought from another world? This would be news to many of you. Who brought them here? It matters little to us whether it was John, James, William, Adam, or Bartholomew who brought them; but it was some Being who had power to frame this earth with its seas, valleys, mountains, and rivers, and cause it to teem with vegetable and animal life.

Here let me state to all philosophers of every class upon the earth, When you tell me that father Adam was made as we make adobies from the earth, you tell me what I deem an idle tale. When you tell me that the beasts of the field were produced in that manner, you are speaking idle words devoid of meaning. There is no such thing in all the eternities where the Gods dwell. Mankind are here because they are the offspring of parents who were first brought here from another planet, and power was given them to propagate their species, and they were commanded to multiply and replenish the earth. The offspring of Adam and Eve are commanded to take the rude elements, and, by the knowledge God has given, to convert them into everything required for their life, health, adornment, wealth, comfort, and consolation. Have we the knowledge to do this? We have. Who gave us this knowledge? Our Father who made us; for he is the only wise God, and to him we owe allegiance; to him we owe our lives. He has brought us forth and taught us all we know. We are not indebted to any other power or God for all our great blessings.

We see man upon the earth, and discern that he is endowed with great intelligence, which displays its scope and power in various ways to meet and provide for the exigencies and wants of the human race. Wise statesmen know how to devise and plan for a kingdom, and can closely calculate the results of the policies they adopt. They understand the course to be pursued to induce the people to submit to a wholesome government or to a despotic rule as may please the will of the rulers. There are historians of various grades, philosophers wise and simple, and an exceedingly great variety of capacities and tastes. In our Republican government we see some who are acute politicians, but that seems to be the extent of their knowledge. You may find others who are good statesmen, but poor politicians. Some are excellent mathematicians, and understand and care for but little outside that science. Still, if a man is capable of learning the geography of the earth, he is also capable of learning the laws of the nations that inhabit it, if you will give him time according to his capacity. One scholar in a school may far outstrip the rest; but give them sufficient time, and they can learn what the quick, bright scholar has learned so easily and quickly. If we are capacitated to learn one thing today, we can learn another tomorrow. It is the height of folly to say that a man can only learn so much and no more. The further literary men advance in their studies, the more they discern there is to learn, and the more anxious they are to learn. This is made manifest before us day by day, and is observed upon the face of the whole earth.

The principle of intelligence is within us. Who planted it there? He who made us. That which you see developed in the children of men (you may call it disposition, or whatever else you please), is the force of the mind or the spirit, and the body is a tabernacle organized for its temporary habitation.

It is written of the Savior that he descended below all things. If he did, he descended in capacity. I will merely tell you what I believe on this point. I believe that there never was a child born on this earth with any less capacity than dwelt in the child that was born in a manger of his mother Mary. I believe, according to the natural ability which he received from his mother and from his supposed father Joseph, that there never was a child that descended lower in capacity, or that knew less. Yet, according to the history given of him, his power of mind developed with such wonderful rapidity that when he was but a few years old he propounded questions to the learned doctors of his day which they could not answer, and answered questions propounded to him which the querists could not answer. He increased in wisdom and knowledge, and came into communication with his Father. The Being whom we call Father was the Father of the spirit of the Lord Jesus Christ, and he was also his Father pertaining to the flesh. Infidels and Christians, make all you can of this statement. The Bible, which all Christians profess to believe, reveals that fact, and it reveals the truth upon that point, and I am a witness of its truth. The Apostles who were personally acquainted with Jesus Christ did know and understand what they wrote, and they wrote the truth.

He was endowed with capacity to receive intelligence. We, his brethren, are also endowed with capacity to receive intelligence. And what some would call the volition of the creature—the will of the creature—the disposition, the power of willing or determining, is bequeathed to us in like manner as it is to the Son of God; and it is as independent as it is inherited by the angels or Gods—that is, the will to dispose of this intelligence at our pleasure in doing good or evil. It is held by the followers of Robert Owen that men are more or less influenced entirely in their actions by the force of circumstances: but is there a man or woman in this house that could not walk out, if you wanted to—if your will was set in you to do it? Or sit here until meeting is out, if you are disposed? The volition of the creature is made independent by the unalterable decree of the Almighty. I can rise up or sit still—speak or be silent. Were this not so, I would at once request parents never to correct a child for another disobedient act.

We are organized to be so independent in this capacity as to determine and act for ourselves as to whether we will serve God and obey him in preference to serving ourselves. If we serve ourselves and evil principles, we do not subserve the object of our creation. This element of which our tabernacles are organized is calculated to decompose and return to its mother earth, or to its native element. This intelligence, which might be called divine intelligence, is implanted in mortal or human beings; and if we take a course to promote the principles of life—seek unto our Father and God, and obtain his will and perform it, the spirit will become purified, sanctified, cleansed, and made holy in the body, and the grave will cleanse the flesh. When the spirit overcomes the evil consequences of the fall, which are in the mortal tabernacle, it will reign predominant in the flesh, and is then prepared to be exalted, and will, in the resurrection, be reunited with those particles that formed the mortal body, which will be called together as with the sound of a trumpet and become immortal. Why? Because the particles composing these bodies have been made subject and obedient, by the law of the everlasting Priesthood, and the will and commandment of the Supreme Ruler of the universe, who holds the keys of life and death. Every principle, act, and portion of the lives of the children of men that does not tend to this will lead to an eternal dissolution of the identity of the person.

“Why,” some say, “we thought that the wicked were to be sent to hell to dwell with eternal burnings for evermore.” They go to hell and will stay there until the anger of the Almighty consumes them and they become disorganized, as the elements of the fuel we burn are disorganized by the action of fire and thrown back again to their native element. The wicked will endure the wrath of God and be “turned into hell, with all the nations that forget God.” What will be done with them there? Those who did not persecute the Son of God in the flesh while acting for themselves and following the direction of their own will—those who did not persecute the holy Priesthood of the Son of God—those who did not consent to the shedding of innocent blood—those who did not seek to obliterate the kingdom of God from the earth, will, by-and-by, be sought after.

You read about a first resurrection. If there is a first, there is a second. And if a second, may there not be a third, and a fourth, and so on? Yes; and happy are they who have a part in the first resurrection. Yes, more blessed are they than any others. But blessed also are they that will have part in the second resurrection, for they will be brought forth to enjoy a kingdom that is more glorious than the sectarian world ever dreamed of.

The “Mormon” Elders will tell you that all people must receive this Gospel—the Gospel of Jesus Christ, and be baptized for the remission of sins, or they cannot be saved. Let me explain this to you. They cannot go where God and Christ dwell, for that is a kingdom of itself—the celestial kingdom. Jesus said, “In my Father’s house are many mansions,” or kingdoms. They will come forth in the first, second, or some other resurrection, if they have not been guilty of the particular sins I have just mentioned; and they will enjoy a kingdom and a glory greater than they had ever anticipated. When we talk about people’s being damned, I would like to have all understand that we do not use the term “damnation” in the sense that it is used by the sectarian world. Universal salvation or redemption is the doctrine of the Bible; but the people do not know how or where to discriminate between truth and error. All those who have done according to the best of their knowledge, whether they are Christians, Pagans, Jews, Muhammadans, or any other class of men that have ever lived upon the earth, that have dealt honestly and justly with their fellow beings, walked uprightly before each other, loved mercy, tried to put down iniquity, and done as far right as they knew how, according to the laws they lived under, no matter what the laws were, will share in a resurrection that will be glorious far beyond the conception of mortals.

How many times have I been asked, “Do you believe that such a man as John Wesley will be damned?” I could answer the question either way, for they do not know what it is to be saved or damned. John Wesley is in the spirit world. He did not receive the ordinances of the everlasting Gospel in the flesh, and consequently is not prepared to hold the keys of the kingdom and be a minister of the great work of God in the last dispensation, but is dependent upon others to attain a celestial glory. Has he gone to hell? No. When the spirit leaves the body, it goes into the spirit world, where the spirits of men are classified according to their own wills or pleasure, as men are here, only they are in a more pure and refined state of existence. Do you suppose that John Wesley is lifting up his eyes in hell, being in torment? No; he is talking to those who heard and would not believe him when he was on the earth. He may be asking them whether they do not now see the justice of a reformation from the Church of England mode of religion—whether they do not now see that that Church had gone astray from the true religion, and that he was right. Yes; and they, no doubt, see it as John Wesley does, and are willing to worship God according to the best knowledge they have. As death left him, so judgment will find him, trying to worship God in the best manner he was acquainted with. John Wesley and his true followers will receive a glory far surpassing what they ever thought or dreamed of while under the influence of their greatest inspirations, and they will be saved. Are they also damned? Yes, because they have not attained the victory over the enemy of all righteousness. It is the holy Priesthood of God that gives man the victory in this world, and he begins to reign over the power of the enemy here. The keys of the kingdom of the Son of God outreach and circumscribe the power of the Enemy.

Much has been said about the power of the Latter-day Saints. Is it the people called Latter-day Saints that have this power, or is it the Priesthood? It is the Priesthood; and if they live according to that Priesthood, they can commence their work here and gain many victories, and be prepared to receive glory, immortality, and eternal life, that when they go into the spirit world, their work will far surpass that of any other man or being that has not been blessed with the keys of the Priesthood here.

Joseph Smith holds the keys of this last dispensation, and is now engaged behind the veil in the great work of the last days. I can tell our beloved brother Christians who have slain the Prophets and butchered and otherwise caused the death of thousands of Latter-day Saints, the priests who have thanked God in their prayers and thanksgiving from the pulpit that we have been plundered, driven, and slain, and the deacons under the pulpit, and their brethren and sisters in their closets, who have thanked God, thinking that the Latter-day Saints were wasted away, something that no doubt will mortify them—something that, to say the least, is a matter of deep regret to them—namely, that no man or woman in this dispensation will ever enter into the celestial kingdom of God without the consent of Joseph Smith. From the day that the Priesthood was taken from the earth to the winding-up scene of all things, every man and woman must have the certificate of Joseph Smith, junior, as a passport to their entrance into the mansion where God and Christ are—I with you and you with me. I cannot go there without his consent. He holds the keys of that kingdom for the last dispensation—the keys to rule in the spirit world; and he rules there triumphantly, for he gained full power and a glorious victory over the power of Satan while he was yet in the flesh, and was a martyr to his religion and to the name of Christ, which gives him a most perfect victory in the spirit world. He reigns there as supreme a being in his sphere, capacity, and calling, as God does in heaven. Many will ex claim—“Oh, that is very disagreeable! It is preposterous! We cannot bear the thought!” But it is true.

I will now tell you something that ought to comfort every man and woman on the face of the earth. Joseph Smith, junior, will again be on this earth dictating plans and calling forth his brethren to be baptized for the very characters who wish this was not so, in order to bring them into a kingdom to enjoy, perhaps, the presence of angels or the spirits of good men, if they cannot endure the presence of the Father and the Son; and he will never cease his operations, under the directions of the Son of God, until the last ones of the children of men are saved that can be, from Adam till now.

Should not this thought comfort all people? They will, by-and-by, be a thousand times more thankful for such a man as Joseph Smith, junior, than it is possible for them to be for any earthly good whatever. It is his mission to see that all the children of men in this last dispensation are saved, that can be, through the redemption. You will be thankful, everyone of you, that Joseph Smith, junior, was ordained to this great calling before the worlds were. I told you that the doctrine of election and reprobation is a true doctrine. It was decreed in the counsels of eternity, long before the foundations of the earth were laid, that he should be the man, in the last dispensation of this world, to bring forth the word of God to the people, and receive the fulness of the keys and power of the Priesthood of the Son of God. The Lord had his eye upon him, and upon his father, and upon his father’s father, and upon their progenitors clear back to Abraham, and from Abraham to the flood, from the flood to Enoch, and from Enoch to Adam. He has watched that family and that blood as it has circulated from its fountain to the birth of that man. He was foreordained in eternity to preside over this last dispensation, as much so as Pharaoh was foreordained to be a wicked man, or as was Jesus to be the Savior of the world because he was the oldest son in the family.

Abraham was ordained to be the father of the faithful—that is, he was ordained to come forth at a certain period; and when he had proved himself faithful to his God, and would resist the worship of idols, and trample them under his feet in the presence of their king, and set up the worship of the true God, he obtained the appellation of “father of the faithful.” “For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son.” He knew, millions of years before this world was framed, that Pharaoh would be a wicked man. He saw—he understood; his work was before him, and he could see it from the beginning to the end. And so scrutinizing, penetrating, and expanded are his visions and knowledge, that not even a hair of our head can fall to the ground unnoticed by him. He foreknew what Joseph, who was sold into Egypt, would do. Joseph was foreordained to be the temporal Savior of his father’s house, and the seed of Joseph are ordained to be the spiritual and temporal saviors of all the house of Israel in the latter days. Joseph’s seed has mixed itself with all the seed of man upon the face of the whole earth. The great majority of those who are now before me are the descendants of that Joseph who was sold. Joseph Smith, junior, was foreordained to come through the loins of Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Joseph, and so on down through the Prophets and Apostles; and thus he came forth in the last days to be a minister of salvation, and to hold the keys of the last dispensation of the fulness of times.

The whole object of the creation of this world is to exalt the intelligences that are placed upon it, that they may live, endure, and increase forever and ever. We are not here to quarrel and contend about the things of this world, but we are here to subdue and beautify it. Let every man and woman worship their God with all their heart. Let them pay their devotions and sacrifices to him, the Supreme, and the Author of their existence. Do all the good you can to your fellow creatures. You are flesh of my flesh and bone of my bone. God has created of one blood all the nations and kingdoms of men that dwell upon all the face of the earth: black, white, copper-colored, or whatever their color, customs, or religion, they have all sprung from the same origin; the blood of all is from the same element. Adam and Eve are the parents of all pertaining to the flesh, and I would not say that they are not also the parents of our spirits.

You see some classes of the human family that are black, uncouth, uncomely, disagreeable and low in their habits, wild, and seemingly deprived of nearly all the blessings of the intelligence that is generally bestowed upon mankind. The first man that committed the odious crime of killing one of his brethren will be cursed the longest of anyone of the children of Adam. Cain slew his brother. Cain might have been killed, and that would have put a termination to that line of human beings. This was not to be, and the Lord put a mark upon him, which is the flat nose and black skin. Trace mankind down to after the flood, and then another curse is pronounced upon the same race—that they should be the “servant of servants;” and they will be, until that curse is removed; and the Abolitionists cannot help it, nor in the least alter that decree. How long is that race to endure the dreadful curse that is upon them? That curse will remain upon them, and they never can hold the Priesthood or share in it until all the other descendants of Adam have received the promises and enjoyed the blessings of the Priesthood and the keys thereof. Until the last ones of the residue of Adam’s children are brought up to that favorable position, the children of Cain cannot receive the first ordinances of the Priesthood. They were the first that were cursed, and they will be the last from whom the curse will be removed. When the residue of the family of Adam come up and receive their blessings, then the curse will be removed from the seed of Cain, and they will receive blessings in like proportion.

I have but just commenced my remarks, and have presented you a few texts; and it is now time to adjourn. The exertion required to speak to you somewhat at length seems to injure me. I will therefore stop.

I bless you all, inasmuch as you have desired and striven to do right, to revere the name of Deity, and to exalt the character of his Son on the earth. I bless you in the name of Jesus Christ! Amen.

Reorganization of the High Council—Appointment of Young Men to Offices in the Priesthood, &c

Remarks by President Brigham Young, Delivered in the Tabernacle, Great Salt Lake City, October 8, 1859.

With regard to the High Council, I wish to make a suggestion which has just occurred to me. It seems to me best, in voting for the authorities, to pass over their names for the present. I do not think there is much fault to be found with the High Councilors now in office. We are willing to give them credit for all the good they have done, and we do not wish to know anything against them, although some of them have injured themselves more than they have others. Solomon declared, “Better is a poor and wise child than an old and foolish king, who will no more be admonished.” This is a true saying; and I wish to apply it, in some respects, in the present instance. In the remarks I shall now make, some may think that I am quite plainspoken and frank with my brethren. Grant it: so also I am with myself.

When I was baptized into this Church, it was in its infancy, although a considerable number had been baptized before me, and many of them were older when they were baptized than I was. They improved, their minds expanded, they received truth and intelligence, increased in the knowledge of the things of God, and bid fair to become full-grown men in Christ Jesus. But some of them, when they had gained a little spiritual strength and knowledge, apparently stopped in their growth. This was in the eastern country, and but a few years passed before the fruit trees began to cease bearing fruit. The cherry and plum trees where this work commenced began to fail in fruit bearing, and the black bunches began to increase on their trunks and branches, caused by the depredations of insects which destroy the sap and life of the trees. The apple tree also has nearly ceased bearing in that and the adjacent regions. One of our old neighbors, whose name is Allen, says that good apples have for years been very scarce in that country, where, to my certain knowledge, they used to be excellent and abundant. And in the few that mature, a worm is generally found at the core. So it has been with many who embraced the Gospel in that country: like the fruit trees, they have ceased to grow and increase and bear the fruits of the Spirit.

It is a common adage, “Old men for counsel, and young men for war.” Until men born in the Priesthood grow old therein in faithfulness, I would say, with comparatively few exceptions, “Young men for counsel, and young men for war.” For knowledge and understanding, I would rather, as a general thing, select young men from eighteen years of age—the sons of men who have been in this Church from the beginning, than to select their fathers. Their minds have been but little, if any, trammeled with erroneous traditions and teachings. Let the yoke of the Gospel be put upon those young men brother Joseph referred to in his remarks, who have been sowing their wild oats for years, and they are generally better and more correct in the offices of the Priesthood than many of the grayhaired fathers. They understand more about God, about Jesus Christ, and the government of God on the earth, than do many of the fathers and grandfathers.

It never hurts my feelings to see young exuberant life and animation manifest themselves; but I do not like to hear swearing: to that I strongly object. I also strongly object to their getting drunk, to their pilfering their neighbors’ property, and to their doing anything else that is wrong. I love to see our young men wide awake, ready for anything in the line of right, having their minds bent in the channel of truth. They learn the truth from their childhood, and know but little else, if their parents have done their duty in properly directing the growth of the young branches. Their wild, foolish, childish, boyish caprices will occasionally be exhibited; but when those pass off, you find in them a solid basis of truth and good principle. Some few of those who give rein to their wild and foolish notions, and seemingly give themselves up to destruction, will meet hard times: suffering and trouble will arrest them in their wild career, and then they will begin to inquire after their friends. They will seek those whose bosoms are filled with compassion and goodwill towards them, will cease their follies, and their friends will rejoice over them in their efforts to become good and wise. Do not be discouraged about the follies of the young.

I know that parents are often much troubled about their children. I have heard many relate their troubles and sorrows in this respect, though they are comparatively trifling, unless your children disregard all your tender solicitude and wise counsels and examples, and, when arrived at maturity, forsake you and go headlong to destruction, when you will think that you never had any trouble until then. The want of bread for them in their infancy was no sorrow, when compared with such a trial. Parents—you who continue to live the life of true Christians, and are filled with faith, virtue, and good works, I promise you, in the name of Israel’s God, that you will have your children, and no power can rob you of them; for all will be saved, except the sons of perdition. If they go to hell, you will have the privilege of dragging them from there, if you are faithful. That is the promise made to Abraham. You are aware that the children of Israel acted as badly as the Devil could make them, and the Lord afflicted them in this life, because of the promise he made to their father Abraham that he would save his seed.

You may inquire of the intelligent of the world whether they can tell why the aborigines of this country are dark, loathsome, ignorant, and sunken into the depths of degradation; and they cannot tell. I can tell you in a few words: They are the seed of Joseph, and belong to the household of God; and he will afflict them in this world, and save every one of them hereafter, even though they previously go into hell. When the Lord has a people, he makes covenants with them and gives unto them promises: then, if they transgress his law, change his ordinances, and break the covenants he has made with them, he will put a mark upon them, as in the case of the Lamanites and other portions of the house of Israel; but by-and-by they will become a white and delightsome people.

Brethren, I wish you to understand things precisely as they are. We shall dissolve the present High Council of this Stake. Many of them are far advanced in years, and some of them live at considerable distances from this city. They have labored according to the best of their ability; but I would like to see men who never become so old that they cannot learn. I desire to see everybody on the track of improvement, gaining all the knowledge, power, and advancement possible for them to gain and possess. But so it is: many of the first members in this Church appear as though they never could keep pace with the times, increasing in the knowledge of the truth and improving thereupon.

I will tell you how to expand and increase as far as I know. Let your whole soul—affections, actions, wishes, desires, every effort and motive, and every hour’s labor you perform be with a single eye to the building up the Zion of God on the earth. If you will pursue this course, you will learn every day and make advancements every hour. But when you so love your property as to quarrel and contend about this, that, or the other trifling affair, as though all your affections were placed upon the changing, fading things of earth, it is impossible to increase in the knowledge of truth. The thrones and kingdoms of earth are frequently changing hands. Adventurers rise up or go forth and establish new governments, and in a few short years they are cast down to give place to more successful powers. All earthly things are changing hands. The gold, the silver, and other property pass from my hands to yours, and from yours to the hands of others. Shame on a people that place their affections upon this changing matter! Love God and the things that change not.

I have a little more counsel that I wish to give during this Conference, and you may tell it to your Presidents, Bishops, High Councilors, High Priests, Seventies, &c. My counsel to the Elders of Israel is to let whiskey, brandy, and other strong drinks alone. I will tell you how drunkards appear to me. Although I have been a man of the world, yet I have never seen a moment, since I thought I had a character or had to establish one, when, with very few exceptions, I would count them worthy, in regard to moral character, to wipe my shoes upon, figuratively speaking. I would not abuse them, but I would give them something to kill the life of the liquor, and, when they were sufficiently sober, ask them if they did not think they were extremely foolish. Probably scores, who are not here, are drunk now; and it is my positive counsel and command that drinking liquor be stopped. If I had the influence the world gives me credit for, I would not have a single drunkard, thief, or liar in this society. I do not profess to have that influence, but I can raise my voice against those evils.

In the name of the Lord Jesus Christ, I command the Elders of Israel—those who have been in the habit of getting drunk—to cease drinking strong drink from this time henceforth, until you really need it. But some may think they need it as soon as they go out of this house. Let me be your physician in this matter. So long as you are able to walk and attend to your business, it is folly to say that you need ardent spirits to keep you alive. The constitution that a person has should be nourished and cherished; and whenever we take anything into the system to force and stimulate it beyond its natural capacity, it shortens life. I am physician enough to know that. When you are tired and think you need a little spirituous liquor, take some bread-and-butter, or bread-and-milk, and lie down and rest. Do not labor so hard as to deem it requisite to get half-drunk in order to keep up your spirits. If you will follow this counsel, you will be full of life and health, and will increase your intelligence, your joy and comfort.

As I have already requested, I now again request the authorities of this Church in their various localities to sever from this society those who will not cease getting drunk. If you know a man to be guilty of pilfering, or any species of dishonesty, disfellowship that man in his Quorum, and let his Bishop cut him off from the Church. I have no fellowship with thieves, liars, murderers, robbers, whoremongers, or any such characters. I never have had, and I hope I never shall have. [The congregation exclaimed, “Amen.”] If I had the influence that the wicked accuse me of, I would straighten up the perverse among this people, and bring that Zion we see in vision. They would either repent and do right, or go where society is more congenial to their evil habits and practices.

Brethren, I desire to so live that I can remain with you until my work on the earth is finished. But were I as good as you wish me to be, I could not. Brother Greeley says that Brigham appears to be in no hurry to get to heaven. No: I wish to stay here and fight the Devil until he is bound, and all wickedness is cleansed from the earth, and it is made ready for Christ to come and receive his right. And it is for us to be ready to abide the day of his coming.

May God bless you! Amen.

Progress in Knowledge, &c

Remarks by President Brigham Young, Delivered in the Tabernacle, Great Salt Lake City, October 8, 1859.

In the remarks I am about to offer, I do not design to cast the least reflection upon the honesty, integrity, truthfulness, and faithfulness of this people; but I really feel to praise them. And I repeat what I have frequently said, that, in my opinion, Enoch and his people, during the first twenty-nine-and-a-half years of their history, did not make greater progress in the knowledge of the Father and Son than this people have. This thought gives me great comfort, encouragement, and consolation.

Our traditions and education, from our birth until we embraced this Gospel, were in many instances contrary to the plan of salvation, antagonistic to the word of God, and opposed to his character—not designedly; but we and our fathers groveled in the deepest shades of mental darkness and ignorance touching God, his character, and the Gospel plan. Our teachers were no better than ourselves, for thick darkness covered all. The blind were leading the blind. They are still doing so, and both will fall into the ditch.

Under these considerations, I think that we, as a people, are doing as well as we know how. We are advancing from year to year in the knowledge of God. Before we came into this Church, we knew, comparatively, but little in regard to the true religion of Christ. Is there now a man in all the world, outside of this Church, that can tell the first thing about it? Although they have the Old and New Testament, and day by day scrutinize every letter, word, and sentence of those books, yet they cannot rightly tell one thing in regard to the kingdom of God.

Brother Taylor said that, before he heard this Gospel, he did not even know that it was necessary to be baptized for the remission of sins. He had read the Bible many times and really did not believe it, though he supposed that he believed every word in it. Had a person said to him, “Mr. Taylor, here is the New Testament, which gives a true history of the Savior of the world and of the religion he produced for the salvation of the children of men, but you do not believe it,” Mr. Taylor would have considered himself persecuted for righteousness’ sake, and perhaps would have put the person out of his house.

There is not one of us who professed to be Christians before we embraced this Gospel could have borne to be told that we did not believe all that is written in the Old and New Testaments. We should have deemed such a statement very unwarranted and past enduring; yet such was the fact.

We had read, over and over again, that baptism was for the remission of sins; yet none of us knew that it was true and requisite. We had often read the commission of the Savior to the disciples, that the believer in their words should be baptized to be saved; yet who of us fully believed that he spoke the truth? We read the Bible with the idea that it gave a history of something that was, but is not now, and never will be.

In this state of ignorance and blindness the Gospel found us; yet we have learned many great and glorious truths during the short experience we have had in this Church. We now see the consistency of the vital truths that the ancient Apostles left recorded for the world to read. We might say that the Bible is a guide-board to the world, as it points out the path for them to walk in: it draws a line to guide their conduct.

We have learned much from the Bible. We have also learned much from the Book of Mormon and the Book of Doctrine and Covenants; but all the salvation you can obtain by means of those books alone is comparatively of little value. They contain a history of what other men have done, show the path they walked in, and the way in which they obtained the words of eternal life for themselves; but all the Scriptures from the days of Adam until now cannot, alone, save one individual. Were they all committed to memory so perfectly that they could be recited with the greatest ease, that alone would not save one of the smallest of God’s creatures, nor bring any person nearer the gate of the celestial kingdom. In visiting a foreign nation, an understanding of their language, geography, manners, customs, and laws is very agreeable and beneficial. So the reading of the Bible gives comfort and happiness to the traveler to eternity, and points out to him in part the character and attributes of the Being whom to know is life eternal. We have not yet attained to that knowledge, and the mere reading of the Scriptures can never put us in possession of it.

When the vision of your mind is opened by the Eternal Spirit, you measurably see Zion in its beauty and perfection, and are filled with ecstasies of joy; but when the vision closes, you still find yourselves in this dark and benighted world. In a vision of Zion in its glory, you do not see your own and your brethren’s foibles, while you are struggling from day to day to prepare yourselves to participate in the glory you gaze upon while you are in the spirit.

We are still warring against the darkness and imperfections, temptations and vicissitudes inherent to the flesh in this dark and benighted world; and it is by a steady, unwavering course of daily progression that we can be prepared to enjoy the glories of the celestial kingdom with God our Father.

If a person is baptized for the remission of sins, and dies in a short time thereafter, he is not prepared at once to enjoy a fulness of the glory promised to the faithful in the Gospel; for he must be schooled, while in the spirit, in the other departments of the house of God, passing on from truth to truth, from intelligence to intelligence, until he is prepared to again receive his body and to enter into the presence of the Father and the Son. We cannot enter into celestial glory in our present state of ignorance and mental darkness.

I know that we have been taught from our infancy, and it is now a popular doctrine with all the denominations of the Christians of the nineteenth century, that, when the mortal tenement is committed to the grave, there is an end of all further progress in intelligence and learning with regard to this probation. In support of this idea, they advance the scripture, “If the tree fall toward the south, or toward the north, in the place where the tree falleth, there it shall be.” Again, “Whatsoever thy hand findeth to do, do it with thy might; for there is no work, nor device, nor knowledge, nor wisdom in the grave, whither thou goest.”

The worms have work to do in the grave until the body is reduced to mother earth. But the active, intelligent, divine organization that inhabited the body does not descend with it into the grave to work with the worms; but it goes to the spirit world, and is much more busily engaged there than when it was a tenant in a mortal tabernacle.

Suppose, then, that a man is evil in his heart—wholly given up to wickedness, and in that condition dies, his spirit will enter the spirit world intent upon evil. On the other hand, if we are striving with all the powers and faculties God has given us to improve upon our talents, to prepare ourselves to dwell in eternal life, and the grave receives our bodies while we are thus engaged, with what disposition will our spirits enter their next state? They will be still striving to do the things of God, only in a much greater degree—learning, increasing, growing in grace and in the knowledge of the truth.

The people called Christians are shrouded in ignorance, and read the Scriptures with darkened understandings.

Do you read the Scriptures, my brethren and sisters, as though you were writing them a thousand, two thousand, or five thousand years ago? Do you read them as though you stood in the place of the men who wrote them? If you do not feel thus, it is your privilege to do so, that you may be as familiar with the spirit and meaning of the written word of God as you are with your daily walk and conversation, or as you are with your workmen or with your households. You may understand what the Prophets understood and thought—what they designed and planned to bring forth to their brethren for their good.

When you can thus feel, then you may begin to think that you can find out something about God, and begin to learn who he is. He is our Father—the Father of our spirits, and was once a man in mortal flesh as we are, and is now an exalted Being.

How many Gods there are, I do not know. But there never was a time when there were not Gods and worlds, and when men were not passing through the same ordeals that we are now passing through. That course has been from all eternity, and it is and will be to all eternity. You cannot comprehend this; but when you can, it will be to you a matter of great consolation.

It appears ridiculous to the world, under their darkened and erroneous traditions, that God has once been a finite being; and yet we are not in such close communion with him as many have supposed. He has passed on, and is exalted far beyond what we can now comprehend. Eye hath not seen, ear hath not heard, neither hath it entered into the heart of man to conceive all the things of God. We are not capacitated to receive them all at once; but God, by his Spirit, reveals to our spirits as we grow and become able and capacitated to comprehend, through improving upon every means of grace placed within our power, until we shall be counted worthy to receive all things.

“All is yours,” says the Apostle. Do not become disheartened, give up your labors, and conclude that you are not to be saved. All is yours, if you will but live according to what you know, and increase in knowledge and godliness; and if you increase in these, you will also increase in all things pertaining to the earth; and by-and-by, you will be satisfied that all is the Lord’s, and that we are Christ’s, and that Christ is God’s. All centers in the Father; wherefore let us all be satisfied that he gives to us as we are capacitated to receive.

We need not be discouraged; but, as I have exhorted on another occasion, Let the Elders of Israel manfully man the old ship Zion—let every man faithfully stand to his post, and they will ultimately be worthy to enter into celestial glory. This is all the business we have on hand at present.

Doubtless you understood and bear in mind what brother Taylor said with regard to voting for the authorities of the Church. I wish all the brethren and sisters to vote by raising their right hands, the meaning of which many of you understand. If there are any who do not feel like voting in the affirmative, when the name of one of the authorities in the Church is presented, and they suppose that they have sufficient cause for withholding their support, they may have the privilege of entering their complaints or objections before the Conference. If you present good and sufficient reasons for not voting for an individual, we will give the subject a candid investigation.

We will now present the authorities.

Union, Etc.

A Discourse by Elder John Taylor, Delivered in the Tabernacle, Great Salt Lake City, October 7, 1859.

I have been very much edified since the commencement of this Conference. My heart was led to rejoice yesterday exceedingly, when I saw the spirit and feeling that was manifested among the Saints, and in listening to the remarks made by President Young and others today. I have felt joyful in the Lord, and I bless the name of the God of Israel that I am associated with his Church and kingdom on the earth. These feelings I wish at all times to cherish in my bosom and carry out in my life; and I believe there are hundreds, if not thousands, before me today, who have the same spirit and feeling, and the same desires.

It is true, we have seen, for a few months past, many things that are painful for good men and women to reflect upon. Wickedness has seemed to triumph; but when we see the spirit and feeling that is manifested among the Saints, we are confident that we can find many more faithful men and women among them than the Lord did in Elijah’s day, when idolatry, wickedness, and corruption of various kinds prevailed.

The old Prophet felt a little sorrowful. He thereupon went alone, and there was a voice, as it were the voice of thunder; but the Lord was not in the thunder: there was the voice of an earthquake, but the Lord was not in the earthquake: finally, there was a still small voice whispering in his ear, saying—“What doest thou here, Elijah?” He answered and said—“Lord, they have killed thy prophets and dug down thine altars, and I am left alone, and they seek my life.” But the Lord gave him to understand that it was a mistake, informing him that he had reserved to himself seven thousand men in Israel who had not bowed their knees to Baal. I think he would find more here, without finding so much of the evil which the Prophet complained of in that day and age of the world.

One thing in particular strikes my mind, and probably strikes the minds of many, that the spirit of evil is bold, uproarious, rampant, and fond of exhibiting itself everywhere, while the spirit of righteousness, virtue, integrity, and truth is modest and retiring, and not very anxious to exhibit itself: consequently, when a spirit of this kind prevails, it seems as though the Devil is to pay. When you feel after the heartstrings of the people and touch them with the touchstone of truth, all good men and women will answer to the test, showing that the spirit of truth, of intelligence, of union, of virtue, and integrity still exists and prevails in the bosom of all the faithful so that when we meet together in the capacity of a Conference, every opposing feeling to these noble qualities and truths in the character of a Saint is subdued, the Spirit of the Lord becomes the prevailing influence, and we feel as we have often felt on former occasions.

We realize that we have not lost his Holy Spirit; and if we continue to encourage it, it will be in us a spirit of life, light, intelligence, and truth—in fact, a spirit springing up unto everlasting life. It is the principle embodied in the words of Jesus to the woman of Samaria.

We feel that we are in possession of the principles of eternal life, which are as a well of water within us and around us, and of which we drink and participate in when we live our religion. It emanates from God, issues from the Fountain of life and truth—the Source of all intelligence, and is imparted to us through the medium of the everlasting Gospel. It has enlightened our minds, enlarged our understandings, extended our feelings, informed our judgment—has warmed up our affections to God and holiness, has nourished and cherished us, and put us in possession of principles that we know will abide forever and forever.

We have been seeking, in a great measure, to do the will of our heavenly Father, to keep his commandments, magnify our Priesthood, honor our calling, and do that which is right in the sight of God continually.

Inasmuch as we have done this, the Spirit of God is yet with us—a living, abiding, eternal principle, which is extending, growing, and increasing within us, until we shall be prepared to associate with the Gods of eternity.

What makes us so buoyant and joyful on occasions like this? Why is it that the Spirit and power of God is more visibly manifested at the time of our General Conference, when the authorities of the Church from all parts are assembled together to talk on the things of God, regulate the affairs of his kingdom, to put in order anything that may be wrong, and counsel together pertaining to the interests of Zion and the building up of Israel? It is because there is a union of good feelings, good desires and aspirations; and one spirit inspires the whole, forming a phalanx of power, of faith, and of the Spirit of the Lord. A single taper will give a light, and it is pleasant to look upon; but thousands of the same kind of light make a general illumination. With us it is a time of union, of light, of life, of intelligence, of the Spirit of the living God. Our feelings are one—our faith is one; and a great multitude possessing this oneness forms an array of power that no power on this side of earth or hell is able to cope with or overcome.

We feel mighty today. We are satisfied that we are associated with the kingdom of God upon the earth. We know that this is the Church and kingdom of God, and our temporal and eternal interests are centered in it. We know that it was established for the gathering of Israel, for the redemption of the Saints, for the per manent establishment of the principles of righteousness upon all the earth, for the introduction of correct principles of government, for the salvation of the living and the dead—for the salvation of our progenitors and posterity.

We believe that we, as a body of people, embracing all the various Quorums of this Church and kingdom, are engaged in this one great work; and hence there is a feeling of faith, union, and intensity—or power, if you please—of the Spirit of the living God, that quickens and vivifies the mind, gives energy to the body, and joy to the bosom. In this we all feel to participate. The Lord is here by his Spirit and power, and our hearts are joyful.

Speaking, then, upon the principle of union among the Saints, for this seems to be the topic of conversation at this Conference—union with each other, union in families, union with our Bishops and Wards, union with the Twelve and with the First Presidency, union throughout the Church and kingdom in all its various ramifications—this seems to be the spirit and feeling and teaching that flows from the various speakers who have during this Conference addressed us.

How can this union be brought about more extensively? All agree that union is a great and powerful principle. The several States of this great American confederacy have chosen for their national motto—“E Pluribus Unum,” which means—“Many in one.” They think that union is very good. Professedly every good man thinks that it is good to be united in anything that is good; but the great difficulty with the world is to bring this about. The nations of the world are not united, and each nation is divided and split up, and confusion and the spirit of war and animosity and evil abound everywhere. They are not united, but they are full of jealousy, hatred, strife, envy, and malice.

Witness the late European wars. What did they fight for? Who can tell? They fought for nothing, and they made peace for nothing. I have searched the papers diligently, but I must confess that I have been unable to discover what they fought for; and I question very much if the Emperor of France, the King of Sardinia, or the opposing powers could tell you: yet one hundred thousand men have been sent into eternity to satisfy the caprice of a few individuals, and for what purpose? I cannot tell, and I do not know anybody else that can. I have not met with a man or with a writer yet that knew what they fought for, or what they made peace for. What are they now doing? France is building extra ships, and England is building extra ships. What for? They do not know.

A nation is afraid its neighboring nations are going to possess a little more power than it possesses, and it must create more power to cope with them. That is all the union I know anything about in the world.

What is the union that exists in these United States? And what are the feelings that prevail among them? Pretty much the same that prevail among the European nations.

Look at the animosities, strife, hatred, and jealousy, and the spirit of war that prevail between the North and the South. Yet the Northern and Southern States are said to be united together: they have entered into certain compacts to make what they call “E Pluribus Unum.” How far they are united, the past, present, and future events must declare. What do the world say about the Saints of God? They say we are united, and they are fearful of our union. They say we think as one, act as one, believe as one, and are “led by the nose by one man.”

Horace Greeley says it is nonsense for the United States to send any public officers here, and advises the Government to appoint President Young Governor of the Territory of Utah; for he says he carries the “keys of the Territory in his breeches pocket” anyway.

The world do not like the Saints, because they are united; and another thing is very evident—they do not understand the principle of our union. Some suppose it is a species of Daniteism or terrorism—a sort of tyrannical power that is made use of to bring men down into subjection; and hence, in accordance with these ideas, the Government sent out an army to give protection to the oppressed people of Utah, and escort back all who want to go back to the East or to California, and dare not, for fear of Brigham and the Twelve.

When Governor Cumming came here first, he offered deliverance to the captives in Zion, and told the people in public that if there were any that wanted his protection, it should be had. How many sought it? I think his Excellency’s mind has become better informed since his association with the people. He has found out that, with very few exceptions, the people are well contented to remain in Utah and build up their adopted country.

I speak of this as an example, to show the spirit and feeling that exists in the minds of many of the leading politicians of the United States, and the erroneous ideas they form in relation to us as a people; for Governor Cumming was instructed in relation to this matter. They do err, not knowing the Scriptures, nor the power of God, as the Sadducees did in the days of Jesus. They do err, because they understand not the fundamental principles of the kingdom of God. They do err, because they do not know how it is that this whole people can be controlled by one influence and spirit, and how they are under that control willingly and voluntarily, and of their own free individual action and accord; and so far from their being controlled, it is impossible to drive them out of it.

The world do not know the all powerful influence that pervades the minds of this people, called Latter-day Saints, creating the union they so much wonder at and fear.

The governments of the earth make use of different means to unite their people, or, rather, sustain their power. In some of the despotic governments they have vassals, or serfs, whom they make serve them in the capacity of armies. With these and police forces, they make use of the people to rivet their own chains by concentrated earthly power. They appeal not to the will, judgment, feeling, or spirits of men. They make them obey by force. In this way they bring about a kind of false union. This prevails, to a great extent, in Turkey and Russia; and as far as I can learn, the same prevails in China and Japan, and, to a certain extent, in Austria, Germany, and other European governments. There men are absolutely forced, to a certain extent, to bow down in servile submission to the will of one man in right and in wrong, as the case may be.

The same principle exists, to a great extent, in France, but not so extensively as in those other countries; yet she went forth with magnanimous enthusiasm to deliver downtrodden Italy, while in that very France twenty men were not permitted to meet together without a permit from the police department. Were we assembled in France as we now are, without a license, the police force would have power to possess themselves of the keys and lock up this door, after turning out every one of the congregation.

These are some of the blessings of despotism. That is a kind of union which they enforce, and hence they can command the popular vote for anything they please. The people dare not resist the will of their rulers; they are brought down into subjection by force, bound in chains, and their chains riveted upon them in every imaginable form.

In the British Constitution, as it now stands, there are three powers, all opposed to each other, called kings, lords, and commons. The king pulls one way, the commons another, and the lords another, on the same principle that you prop up a steamboat pipe by chains pulling different ways: the moment you cut one of those chains, down comes the chimney pipe. The British Government presents a sort of pulling policy instead of propping up. It is so with all other political institutions of our day.

The great cause of all this evil is, God has not established their governments, nor framed their laws, nor inspired their lawmakers, nor given wisdom to their kings and emperors. They have governed by their own wisdom, but heavenly intelligence they have not possessed. One evil has followed on the heels of another, corruption has followed corruption, and there has been no man to point them out the right way; or, if there was, they have not listened to his counsels.

What is to be done in this deplorable state of things? The Lord wants to establish a kingdom that shall break in pieces all these kingdoms. The Devil has held the reins long enough; kings and rulers have borne rule without the Lord long enough; the nations have groaned under tyranny and oppression and every kind of maladministration long enough; and it is now time for the Lord to regulate his own vineyard, and put things to right that have been put wrong by the reign of wickedness.

To bring this about, does he speak to the Emperor of France, or to the Emperor of Russia, to the King or Queen of England, or to the President of the United States, to the Emperor of China, to the Ruler of Japan, or to any other earthly power? They would not listen to him. What do they know about God, his rule, or his authority? Nothing at all. What could he do with them? Simply nothing at all. Suppose he were to speak to the Pope, what does he know about God? Nothing.

The Almighty wishes to accomplish a great purpose on the earth in the last days. Whom is he going to speak to, and send to prepare the way for the fulfillment of his latter-day purposes?

Suppose you were God, and placed in such circumstances, and had such a set of kings, governors, rulers, potentates, and priests to deal with, how could you put them right? And suppose you wanted to introduce your form of government upon the earth, your spirit, your law, your intelligence, and the way your government in the heavens is administered—and were you determined to establish your kingdom on the earth, how would you do it? [Voice in the stand: “The only way would be to lead them all into the Red Sea together.“] How could you get at these kings and great men of the earth? You could not. Would they listen to a revelation from God? Verily, no.

You may go to any of the priests of the day, presidents of colleges, and you will find them too great to bow to God: their reputation would be at stake: if God should reveal his will to them, they would be called false prophets, and this they could not endure.

Under the circumstances, what could God do? He could not do better than he has done. Men are now wandering in darkness, like you and I were before the Gospel greeted our ears. What did we know previous to that? Nothing. I did not know that it was necessary to be baptized for the remission of sins until the Gospel taught it to me; yet I knew the Bible from A to Z. I could read a great many things in the prophecies, and make calculations about the Millennium and the gathering of Israel, but did not know the first principles of the Gospel of Christ; and there is not a man here that knew them.

I have traveled extensively in the world, and have never met with a priest or scientific man that knew the first principles of the Gospel of Christ in any country.

What could the Lord do with such a pack of ignorant fools as we were? There was one man that had a little good sense and a spark of faith in the promises of God, and that was Joseph Smith—a backwoods man. He believed a certain portion of Scripture which said—“If any man lack wisdom, let him ask of God, who giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not.” He was fool enough in the eyes of the world, and wise enough in the eyes of God and angels and all true intelligence, to go into a secret place to ask God for wisdom, believing that God would hear him. The Lord did hear him, and told him what to do.

Yes, there was one man that believed God—that had simplicity, honesty, truth, and integrity enough to ask wisdom of him, while the presidents of churches and men of extensive erudition and research sought wisdom from the musty records and uncertain traditions of the ancient fathers. The votaries of the Catholic and Greek churches all do this: they have all sought to their idols for a knowledge of God, except Joseph Smith, who sought true intelligence from him; and he sent his angels, one after another, to instruct him; and thus the Lord commenced to communicate his will, his knowledge, and wisdom to him and others as fast as they were able to receive them.

Joseph Smith was considered a fool—a gold-digger. Although all the world nearly have turned gold-diggers since that, it has become a respectable profession; but it is highly unpopular to be a Prophet and receive revelation from God. And these priests and professors have always been the most bitter opposers of God and his revelations.

Some twenty years ago, when I was out preaching the Gospel, I always expected some priest to pop up and create a disturbance by opposing the truth; and I never had any peace until I met them and made manifest their folly before their own congregations. Then I could go peaceably about my business.

The priests were always the first to oppose the truth, the Bible, the revelations of God, containing the principles God had revealed for the salvation of the human family.

The Lord sent Joseph Smith, gave him the gift of the Holy Ghost, and the spirit of wisdom and intelligence rested down upon him, and he unfolded and made plain the Scriptures to the Elders that first came to him. They were not educated, but they spake as I had never heard man speak before. They knew the Bible a thousand times better than I did. Where did they get their information? From the Bible. Where else? From that record which the Lord revealed through a holy angel to Joseph Smith, and gave him power to translate the same. That record contains wisdom and intelligence we knew nothing about.

Again, God gave sundry revelations, and in them he unfolded things pertaining to our position and the position of men of God who have lived in the different ages of the world, and per taining to the condition of all classes of men and angels in the eternal worlds, the future destiny of the human family, the salvation that has been wrought out for them, and how they are to obtain it.

Again, the Lord has imparted the gift of his Holy Ghost to his people, and opened a communication between the heavens and the earth. Worldly-wise men stumble at these things, while the Saints of God are being built up in intelligence and in light by the administration of angels—by visions of the Spirit of the living God, teaching them, guiding them, and instructing them under all circumstances, opening out their way in time of persecution and trials in a way that the hand of God is visible to all intelligent Saints.

What else did the Lord do through Joseph Smith? He restored the holy Priesthood. And what is that? It is the government of God, whether in the heavens or on the earth—the principle and power by which he regulates, controls, dictates, and manages his affairs, his worlds, his kingdoms, his principalities, his powers, his intelligences, and all things that are underneath him and above him, and with which he has to do. He has restored that Priesthood, and a restoration of that Priesthood necessarily implies a restoration of his rule and power, and an organization of his kingdom and government on the earth. This, therefore, is that kingdom, and is organized according to the revelations, wisdom, communications, or order of God: hence it has its First Presidency, its Prophets and Apostles, its Seventies and High Priests, its Bishops, Teachers, and Deacons, and every appendage that is necessary to completeness, and to promote the happiness and welfare of the human family, and for all purposes of government on this earth and in the heavens. Or, in other words, this organization is a pattern of things in the heavens, and is the mediums or channels through which the blessings of God flow to his people on the earth, and through which intelligence is communicated concerning all subjects with which the Saints are concerned, whether they relate to this world or to the world which is to come.

We are not left to grope any longer in the dark about what kind of government we are to have, for the Lord has revealed it; and if you do not yet know it, you will. Do you want to know what is our Constitution, what our laws, and who are our lawgivers? The Scriptures shall answer—“The Lord is our king, the Lord is our judge, the Lord is our lawgiver, and he will rule over us.” How? Through the Priesthood. Do you want to know what kind of courts, what kind of judge, and what kind of lawyers you ought to have? Go and ask your High Council and Bishops. They will instruct you in relation to your judiciary, and tell you who should judge matters, and regulate them, and put them in order. Do you want to know what kind of morals you ought to be governed by? You ought to be governed by the morals contained in these books. Do you want to learn the duties of husband and wife, of parents and children? The Gospel of Jesus Christ unfolds them, and the Priesthood are the true exponents of that Gospel; in fact, what we have here—the government of God restored again to the earth. We have here a people who are not ashamed to acknowledge God, who are not ashamed to acknowledge his law and his power, who are not ashamed to acknowledge his authority, nor afraid to submit to his laws.

How extensive has this union to be? And who understands anything about correct principles—how to put in order things that are wrong, and straighten up the crooked paths? The same power that governs in the heavens, that rules and regulates the planetary system, that causes seedtime and harvest, day and night, summer and winter, and all the regular changes of the heavenly bodies in their proper succession—this same intelligence is required to govern the world, produce order out of chaos, and bring back that same state of things which has been forfeited in consequence of the transgressions of man—to restore correct government, legitimate rule and dominion, true religion, morals, and science, and every other correct principle; for there is no good or perfect gift that does not proceed from God, either in regard to religion, government, mechanism, or science.

What do we wish to do? To obtain more and more of the same spirit, of the same light, and of the same intelligence. We read some curious manifestations of power that occurred in the days of the disciples of Christ. Philip, after he had baptized the eunuch, was caught up by the Spirit and carried to another place. Much has been developed in latter times as to the application of the power of steam to machinery, and great results have been attained in the application of electricity to the conveyance of intelligence.

The principles always existed, but it remained to be discovered how to apply them to the wants of mankind, which information was given by revelation. But there is one power we cannot yet find out—how to lift ourselves up as Philip did, and pass to another place. Such a power exists, or Philip could not have exercised it. That power we cannot know until the Lord reveals it.

What do we know about the resurrection? What do we know about a great many more things we talk about? We are only, as it were, in a state of embryo. We have scarcely learned the first letters of the alphabet; we have only learned some of the first principles of the Gospel of Christ; but we have not yet learned how to be in perfect subjection to the authorities of the kingdom of God.

We see in part, and we know in part, we prophesy in part, believe in part, and we try in part to do right. The Lord has blessed us with great blessings, but he has only blessed us in part.

We are in the school of the Prophets, trying to learn; and the Lord teaches us by peace and by wars, by prosperity and by adversity. He teaches us by bringing our enemies upon us, and by taking them away from us. He shows forth his great power, and maketh manifest our wickedness and infirmities, leading us to know that our trust and confidence only is in God.

The Lord has given us the blessings of the knowledge of the fulness of the Gospel of Christ, through his servant Joseph Smith. And when he was martyred, the Lord raised up his servant Brigham to be his mouthpiece to tell his mind and will. What for? Because he has got a little handful of people here in these mountains, gathered from the nations of the earth, who are beginning to open their eyes to the truth, and can see men and trees walking, as it were. We sometimes think we were very intelligent and wise; but our actions do not show that we know much.

What we have learned, we have learned from this book, and from this, and from that, and from Joseph Smith, and from a little of the spirit of revelation, which we have obtained by being obedient to the Gospel, by the laying on of hands, and the reception of the Holy Ghost, and by our faith from time to time. In this way we have obtained a little smattering of something pertaining to eternal life: we feel it, and it makes us jubilant and happy; but in reality, the extent of our information is very limited in comparison to the eternity of knowledge that is in store for the faithful. He has organized the different Quorums, authorities, helps, and governments in his Church and kingdom, to convey his will to his people, and through them to the people of the world, to bring them to a knowledge of correct principles, laws, and ordinances, that they may learn to do right and fear him, that there might be a people on the earth who will fear him, acknowledge his law, and submit to his authority, which is the power of the holy Priesthood.

Jesus says, “My sheep hear my voice: they know me and follow me; and a stranger they will not follow, because they know not the voice of a stranger.”

The reason this people will not break up and follow strangers is because they know not their voice. Some few have gone after strangers; but, as it was formerly said, “They went out from us, because they were not of us.” They fell into darkness, and were led astray. But those who have within them the true and living principle of life eternal, it leads them to rejoice: they have something that buoys them up and unites them together. What is it? It is the Spirit of the living God—the Holy Ghost, which flows to them through the proper channel.

Could any of you have that Spirit and not have fellowship with President Young and the other authorities of the Church and kingdom of God? No, you could not.

When you hear a man talk against the authorities of this Church and kingdom, you may know he is sliding downhill. He does not know what spirit influences him; he is ignorant that he is in the dark; and, unless he retraces his steps quickly, he will go overboard. You may set that down as a fact all the time. Why? Because, if this is the Church and kingdom of God, and President Young is the elect of God, and his Council and the Twelve and others are the elect of God, and you seek to injure them, you run a great risk, and will be found fighting against God; for Jesus says, “He that receiveth you receiveth me, and he that receiveth me receiveth him that sent me; and he that rejecteth you rejecteth me, and he that rejecteth me rejecteth him that sent me.”

You cannot say that you love God while you hate your brethren. You cannot say that you submit to the law of God while you reject the word and counsel of his servants.

There was a man in Missouri who said he did not believe in Joseph Smith, because he said he was not a true Prophet. Why? Because the revelations say, “If any man committeth adultery, he shall lose the Spirit of God and apostatize.” “Now, [said he,] I have committed adultery, and have not apostatized.” You can judge where he was. He did not see that he had apostatized when he discarded Joseph as a false Prophet. The Scripture says, “The branch cannot bear fruit of itself except it abide in the vine, neither can you bear fruit except you abide in me.” “If I abide in you and you in me, you may ask what you will, and it shall be granted unto you.” Why? Because there is a spirit of union, of faith, and concentration upon correct principles.

I want to show you the difference between this kind of spirit and the spirit of the world—between this kind of government and the government of the world, and the influence that has been made use of by despotic governments, emperors, kings, and rulers, who have abused the power vested in their hands. What is the difference?

Did anybody force you into this Church and kingdom? Is there a single person here that can say that he was compelled to join this Church? If there is, let him speak. Did anybody force you to come to Utah against your will? If there are any that were coerced, let them speak. [Voices: “No.“] You entered this Church, and came here voluntarily. Did ever anybody force you to stop here when you wanted to leave?

There are some few instances where men have been forced to stay who have been guilty of stealing, and would like to escape, but cannot. There are also men who have wanted to go away without paying their debts, and were followed by their creditors. Independent of those instances, has there ever been any influence exercised over any man that would in the least jeopardize him in liberty in body or in limb? There has not. Then where is there any coercion? I am at the defiance of this congregation and of the world to show it.

Let us look at others. Who places kings, rulers, and potentates upon their thrones? Napoleon Bonaparte was more honest than the rest. When the Pope was about to put the crown on his head, he took it from him, and placed it on his own head, and crowned himself, saying, “I have won it.” Other kings have obtained their authority by the sword, or received it from those who have thus obtained it; and the very people that they coerce and rob of their freedom are made to give them their power, and it is permitted by the Great Ruler of the universe. But in relation to us, we are here of our own accord. We have embraced the Gospel of our own accord. We continue here of our own accord.

I will go a little farther. All the authorities of this Church, from President Young down, will be presented before this Conference for reception or rejection. If any of us have committed any mean act, you have a chance to tell us twice a year. Will they allow that in any other kingdom upon earth? No.

There has not been a President of the United States yet that could have held his office twelve months, if this privilege had been given to the people. Where is there an authority or a government that is subjected to the same ordeal that the authorities of this Church are? Nowhere; and yet people are afraid of bondage.

Great conscience! What bondage can there be that you have not the privilege to resist? People have got to do right, or else be disfellowshipped from this Church. And I tell you now, before you vote for me, if you know anything against me, tell it; or if you know anything against any of the authorities you are called upon to sustain, tell it. But if you do not, and vote to sustain the men God has chosen, you cannot complain if they expect you will sustain them in their endeavors to establish the kingdom of God.

We talk sometimes about Vox populi, vox Dei—the voice of the people is the voice of God; yet, sometimes it is the voice of the Devil, which would be more proper by Vox populi, vox diaboli; for the voice of the people is frequently the voice of the Devil. In the first place, it should be the voice of God, and then the voice of the people.

Formerly God made known his law, and all the congregation said Amen. They acknowledged it. It is so now in the kingdom of God.

If you vote for the constituted authorities of this Church, you must be notoriously mean, and as corrupt as the Devil, if you find fault afterwards with the way in which they manage. I tell you this before you vote, that you may have an understanding of what you are doing. If these authorities are sustained by your voice, it is then the voice of God, and his kingdom is in full organization, going forth to do his will.

What next? The Lord speaks to President Young and manifests his will to him, and he says, Do this, or do that. What is your duty? Why, to do it. A good Saint would never dream of anything else. I should be anxious to know the President’s will, and should think I was knowing the will of God, and should want to be doing it as quick as I could.

There is union in faith and in intelligence. God must have a mouthpiece, and his words must be obeyed. He must speak through his servant, and he to his people, and thus through the various channels. This is the way with the Lord. We read in the creation that the Gods said, “Let there be light.” And the Gods said, “Let the light be divided from the darkness;” and it was so. And the Gods said, “Let there be beasts of the field, and fowls of the air, and creeping things to creep on the face of the earth;” and it was so. The moment that the Gods spoke, there were personages ready to carry out their will and fulfil their designs on the earth. He that is wise can understand.

Jesus taught his disciples to pray. “Our Father who art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done on earth, as it is in heaven.” How is his will done in heaven? In just the way that I have told you.

If you realize the true nature of this prayer which you have often prayed, when President Young, or any of the authorities of this Church would tell you to do anything, it would be done. When this is so, there will be that kind of union we have a right to look for and expect; then the will of God will be done with us as it is done by the angels in heaven; and whenever this kingdom shall extend over all the earth, the will of God will be done over all the earth as it is done in heaven; and there will be one government, one law, one spirit of truth, of light, and of intelligence. That is God’s law, God’s government, God’s Spirit, God’s truth, and the people will be God’s people.

May God bless you all, in the name of Jesus Christ. Amen.

Oneness, &c

Remarks by President Heber C. Kimball, Delivered in the Tabernacle, Great Salt Lake City, October 7, 1859.

I have been much gratified to hear the remarks of brother Turley. And I was exceedingly pleased to see him this morning. I naturally love him, for he is a true man. He is as true as gold that has a little dross in it. There is a good deal of the true metal in him. We all, more or less, partake of the world and the flesh and the Devil, and that is the dross which is in us.

Brother Brigham has given us a text upon oneness; and, in support of it, I would quote another portion of the words of Jesus when he says, “I am the true vine, and my Father is the husbandman:” that is, he sprang from his Father, and was trained and nursed by him. “Every branch in me that beareth not fruit he taketh away: and every branch that beareth fruit, he purgeth it, that it may bring forth more fruit. Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, except it abide in the vine; no more can ye, except ye abide in me. I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing.”

How is it possible for us to exist as true disciples of Christ without partaking of his attributes and the attributes of the Father? If a limb abide in the tree, and the tree in the root, they are one. Upon the same principle, the Father, his Son Jesus Christ, and his disciples are one. The Father gave up his Son to be sacrificed for the sins of the world, that he might draw all men unto him. “Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends. And ye are my friends, if ye do whatsoever I command you.”

He called Apostles—Peter, James, John, and nine others, and committed unto them the keys of his salvation. He says to them—“Ye have not chosen me, but I have chosen you, and ordained you, that ye should go and bring forth fruit, and that your fruit should remain: that whatsoever ye shall ask of the Father in my name, he may give it you.” Jesus Christ is the heir of the Father pertaining to this world, and we are his brethren.

Peter, James, and John committed the same keys to Joseph Smith in this last dispensation, and he committed them to his Twelve Apostles before his martyrdom, Brigham Young presiding over them, who is now our Prophet and leader, and holds the keys of the kingdom of God on the earth in the last days; and he will hold them forever; and Joseph holds those keys in the spirit world, and will continue to hold them—President Young holding them in connection with him, and every other man in his order and standing in this Church holding them in connection with President Young.

Again, Jesus says, “If a man abide not in me, he is cast forth as a branch, and is withered; and men gather them, and cast them into the fire, and they are burned.” It is the nourishment which flows from the true vine that preserves all those who remain in the vine, giving them eternal life. A branch that remains in the vine cannot be burned, but it endureth forever.

You expect our leader, his Council, the Twelve Apostles, and the Bishops to honor their callings because they are your leaders; but they are under no more responsibility to honor their calling, abide in the vine, and live their religion faithfully, than other departments of the Priesthood are. Unfaithfulness would lead to their destruction just as quick as it would lead to yours. It is necessary we should be one, as the branches are one in the vine, that we may partake of the nourishment that cometh from the Father, through the Son and the Holy Ghost, and through the different authorities in heaven and on earth.

I feel to thank God that the little branch that was down in San Bernardino is on its way here; and my prayer to God is that all the distant branches will gather themselves closer and closer together, and unite themselves as one man; and when they have done that, in the name of Israel’s God, we can rise above the world, the flesh, and the Devil; for they can then have nothing in common with us. Let us be one in principle, one in righteousness, one in heart and action, seeking in all the pursuits of our lives the chief interest of the kingdom of God; and in doing this we seek the individual interest of the whole, doing unto one another as we would wish others to do unto us under like circumstances; for upon this practice hang the law and the Prophets. Prophets and righteous men and women of all ages have clung to these principles as perfectly as they could in the flesh. That we may attain to the salvation they have gained, it is necessary we should pursue the same course they pursued to gain it.

If I do not wish a man to take the advantage of me, I should not take the advantage of him. If I do not want a man to steal from me, I should not steal from him. If I want my neighbor to hold my property sacred, I should hold his property sacred.

That which the world calls “Mormonism” is the kingdom of God—the kingdom which Daniel saw; and this kingdom Joseph Smith was sent by the Almighty to establish, with its Priesthood and authorities; and we shall prosper exceedingly, if we cleave to it, keeping ourselves pure and clean.

It is very painful to my feelings when men who hold the holy Priesthood in this Church set an example that is unworthy their high calling, and would influence simple men and women to go astray. Instead of being saviors of men, they destroy them, and will sooner or later have to account for their conduct for the injury they have done by an unwholesome and destructive example.

Let us wake up and keep the commandments of God more perfectly, cleansing our hands from evil actions and our hearts from unholy affections, keeping humble and lowly at the feet of Jesus. I find that I have to live near unto God, exercise all the faith in my possession, and practice all the integrity I can command. An Elder said yesterday, “When a man goes in secret before his God, he does not act the hypocrite; but often before men he will make a beautiful flowery prayer, to be heard of men.” When I was a Baptist, I learned some of their prayers to deliver in public, to tickle the ears of men, and have them say, “What a beautiful prayer that was!” I do not feel so now; but I feel to ask my Father and God for just what I need; and I find it very useful to say, “Father, I ask thee, in the name of Jesus, to teach me how to pray, and inspire me to ask for the things thou desirest to confer upon thy son.” When I go before the Father in this way, I notice I have a powerful spirit of prayer.

It has been said, “A man needs a portion of the Spirit to drive oxen.” [Voice in the stand: “Yes, a double portion of it.”] I know, as well as I know my name is Heber C. Kimball, that a spirit of kindness in a man will beget the same in his animal, in his child, or in persons over whom he exercises control. The Holy Ghost in the people of God will control not only our domestic animals, our families, our servants, and our handmaids, but it will control the armies of men that are in the world, the mountains, seas, streams of water, tempests, famines, and pestilence, and every destructive power, that they come not nigh unto us, just as much as we can keep sickness from us by the power of faith and prayer and good works. If we live our religion, we shall never suffer as the world suffers. We shall not be perplexed with famine and pestilence, with the caterpillar, and other destructive insects, which the Lord will send in the last days to afflict the wicked.

God will sustain us, if we will sustain him and be his friends. But how can you be his friends, except you are friends to his cause and to his servants? You cannot find favor with your God while you are opposed to his authority, or to the ordinances and regulations of his house.

This is the work and kingdom of God, and it will triumph over every opposing foe. Joseph Smith was ordained a Prophet of the Most High. His brother Hyrum was ordained a Prophet and Patriarch to hold the same Priesthood his father Joseph Smith, senior, held. Brother Brigham is Joseph Smith’s successor, and holds the keys of the kingdom of heaven; and every man who stands by him will stand while heaven and earth shall continue, and they will never lack for the comforts of life while the earth stands.

The Spirit of the Lord God was upon every Elder here yesterday, and my prayer is that it may increase upon all the people. If you had a fulness of that Spirit that President Young, brother Heber, brother Daniel, and hundreds of others in this community have got, the sutlers and followers of this army and these merchants would not get another kernel of wheat from us.

I fear you will bring yourselves unto want and sorrow, to hunger and nakedness, through your improvident and reckless procedure in relation to your breadstuffs, and not listening to what has been told you by your best friends. I know, as the Lord God liveth, the words which have been spoken by our President will surely be fulfilled; for his instructions are the words of God to this people.

I do not wish to dwell on this theme all the time; but I know thousands of this people have not bread to subsist upon for three months to come. In many portions of this Territory—the northern part of it for instance, they have not enough grain to last them until another harvest, and supply seed. Then, why do you go and dispose of that wheat when we are threatened with a scarcity? It is written in the New Testament, “But if any provide not for his own, and specially for those of his own house, he hath denied the faith, and is worse than an infidel.”

“Well,” says one, “that means my wife and children; and if I provide for them, it is enough.” Yes; but a man has to provide “for his own,” and especially for those of his own house. Are you not of the family of Christ? Are you not required to provide for the household of faith to which you belong?

If there are members of that household that have not means to step for ward and save themselves, it is our duty to support and encourage them, setting them an example worthy of imitation.

May God bless you. May the peace and blessing of our Father be upon you, in connection with the whole of Israel throughout the earth. Amen.

Union, Etc.

Remarks by President Brigham Young, Delivered in the Tabernacle, Great Salt Lake City, October 7, 1859.

Jesus Christ, in his teachings, made plain the difference between the powers calculated to destroy, annihilate, dissolve, reduce to native element, and those which will eternally endure. In view of this, he prayed to his Father for his disciples, and wished them to pay particular attention to this one principle in their faith. The words he is recorded to have made use of are—“Sanctify them through the truth: thy word is truth. As thou has sent me into the world, even so have I also sent them into the world. And for their sakes I sanctify myself, that they also might he sanctified through the truth. Neither pray I for these alone, but for them also which shall believe on me through their word; That they all may be one; as thou, Father, art in me, and I in thee, that they also may be one in us: that the world may believe that thou hast sent me. And the glory which thou gavest me I have given them; that they may be one, even as we are one: I in them, and thou in me, that they may be made perfect in one.”

The Savior sought continually to impress upon the minds of his disciples that a perfect oneness reigned among all celestial beings—that the Father and the Son and their minister, the Holy Ghost, were one in their administration in heaven and among the people pertaining to this earth. Between them and all the heavenly hosts there can be no disunion, no discord, no wavering on a suggestion, on a thought or reflection, on a feeling or manifestation; for such a principle would differ widely from the character of Him who dictates them, who makes his throne the habitation of justice, mercy, equity, and truth. If the heavenly hosts were not one, they would be entirely unfit to dwell in eternal burnings with the Father and Ruler of the universe.

A perfect oneness will save a people, because intelligent beings cannot become perfectly one only by acting upon principles that pertain to eternal life. Wicked men may be partially united in evil; but, in the very nature of things, such a union is of short duration. The very principle upon which they are partially united will itself breed contention and disunion to destroy the temporary compact. Only the line of truth and righteousness can secure to any kingdom or people, either of earthly or heavenly existence, an eternal continuation of perfect union; for only truth and those who are sanctified by it can dwell in celestial glory. This truth we have, and we offer it, without money or price, to the world who are beguiled, benighted, and deceived by the artful mass of superstition, bigotry, tradition, fashions, customs, cliques, and plans that have been growing and ripening from the days of Adam until now, introducing discord, strife, animosity, anarchy, and crime of every grade, suffering of every kind, and premature death to millions. They are embracing shadows and trying to retain that which will perish in their grasp and leave them desolate. All organized matter must dissolve and return to its native element, unless it is made pure and holy—capable of enduring eternal burnings. All principles, principalities, powers, thrones, kingdoms, dominions, communities, neighborhoods, and individuals, with their actions public and private, their feelings and aspirations, that are not concentrated in the oneness taught by our Savior, will come to dissolution into native element. Says Jesus, “I and my Father are one.” They are one in their faith, purposes, and actions, the Savior being subject to the Father in all things. Again, he says—“For I came down from heaven not to do my own will, but the will of him that sent me.” Again—“I come to do thy will, O God.” Many more of the sayings of Christ might be quoted, which set forth this principle of oneness, that I have upon my mind and wish to impress upon the minds of the people.

I do not hesitate in saying that, if the people will concentrate their faith and works to accomplish the great object of their existence, their troubles, sorrows, anxieties, difficulties, contentions, animosities, and strife would be at end. This idea I wish to apply more particularly to those who are called to act in the capacity of Presidents, Bishops, Counselors, High Councilors, and to every man holding office in this Church; but I also wish it to apply to every member, both male and female. I will say to my brethren and sisters, Were your faith concentrated upon the proper object, your confidence unshaken, your lives pure and holy, every one fulfilling the duties of his or her calling according to the Priesthood and capacity bestowed upon you, you would be filled with the Holy Ghost, and it would be as impossible for any man to deceive and lead you to destruction as for a feather to remain unconsumed in the midst of intense heat. I may not be able to convince you of this fact, but I can tell you that it is true. I can reveal principles that pertain to this oneness—to this holiness of life; but to make the people believe and practice them is another thing. I can preach the Gospel, but I cannot make people obey its mandates when they are not so disposed: that is a matter left entirely to themselves. I can tell you how to avoid your difficulties, jars, contentions, and sorrows. I can tell you how to establish peace, prosperity, plenty, and happiness in your midst, and how to maintain them; but I cannot make you follow my directions, if you are not so disposed. This is also a matter that is left entirely with yourselves; and you must reap the reward of your own doings, whether they be good or evil.

In some instances, the people lose confidence in their Bishops, and the Bishops lose confidence in themselves and in the people. Were it in my power to bring the people to understanding and obedience, I would place them in such a degree of advancement that their Bishop could not live in their midst, unless he administered in his office with holy hands and with pure heart. Then, if he lacked the wisdom and discretion to judge righteously between man and man, he would be filled with the revelations of eternity, to enable him to judge like an angel, to discriminate between right and wrong, to point out the path of duty to everyone, and to designate what is required of each person in his respective calling. But this advancement is for the people and Bishops to obtain for themselves, through the means the Gospel supplies.

I have lived in the days of Prophets and Revelators. I have been subject to rule—to the powers that have been and now are. This is not new to me. My own experience has led me, step by step, from day to day, and from night to night. When fear comes upon the people that a Bishop or President is leading them astray and introducing evil among them, it proves to me that the people are wrong and are destitute of the power of their holy calling. They are willingly deceived. It is folly to say that a community of Saints who are living up to their callings can be led astray by their Bishop or President. There is no such principle in all the kingdoms God has made.

It may be that some pray that their Bishop may be led wrong, that they may get rid of him. If so, is that taking a course to save the children of men? Take a man of the weakest intellect of any in a Ward and ordain him a Bishop, and then let every other man in that Ward be filled with the power of his holy calling; are they not ready and willing to give a word of counsel to their Bishop when they meet him? Their faith is concentrated upon him; they pray for him early and late, that the Lord will fill him with wisdom, enlarge his understanding, open the visions of his mind, and show him things as they are in time and in eternity. You all know that even such a man would become mighty in the house of Israel, if he had the faith of his Ward. The capacities of all sane persons are capable of enlargement. You may take the weakest man in the Church, if he is faithful, and ordain him a Bishop, and he will grow into wisdom, knowledge, strength, power, light, intelligence, and the spirit of his calling. If he does not thus advance, it is because he more or less forsakes his calling and sets his heart upon something besides the holy Priesthood that is placed upon him. There is not a faithful man in this Church but what will increase in his understanding of the ways and duties of life. His mind will expand, the visions of heaven will be opened to him, and truth pertaining to all subjects of art and science will increase within him.

Does not the weakest intellect of a properly organized person know more at ten years of age than it did at five—more at twenty than at ten—more at forty than at twenty, and so continue? Yes. This proves that he has grown, increased, and expanded in his capacity from his infancy. Now I will apply this to an officer in the Church. He once knew but little; he now knows considerable. Any Bishop, under the influence of the prayers and confidence of his brethren and sisters, with a faithful and holy life on his part, will increase in faith and good works, and the rich fruits of his mind will manifest from day to day increased wisdom and intelligence.

You hear the remark that such and such a man is not fit to be a Bishop. I acknowledge that many who are called to be Bishops are not fit for the office, for it is one of the most important offices in the Church to rightly administer in temporal things. A Bishop also ministers in spiritual things, and is required to devote time to the well-being and prosperity of his Ward, like a father to a family. It is an office that keenly tries the patience, faith, and feelings of a man. If the brethren and sisters prayed for that man continually, and lived their religion, he would know how to settle certain business transactions without running to me about this, that, and the other. Brethren would not run to me about things as simple as, “So-and-so has been building a fence on the line between us, and has put his poles wrong end foremost. Will you not counsel him to turn them?” And sisters are running to me about things as simple as, “Sister So-and-so’s hens have laid on my premises, and they do not lay with their heads in the right direction.” Does such conduct proceed from true knowledge among the Latter-day Saints? No. I do not wish to talk about such folly, neither to have my time wasted by visits upon such unimportant subjects. I do not wonder that the Lord suffers us to be more or less abused by our enemies. I do not wonder that the devils laugh at our folly.

Let men and women who profess to be Latter-day Saints live their religion, and they will be filled with wisdom, and all these little trifling traits of life will vanish. If my brother or sister commits an overt act, all I wish to know is whether the wrong was intended. If so, I cannot fellowship you; but I will bear with the inconvenience you have put me to. If no wrong was intended, all is right—we have nothing to say. How is it? Do you seek unto the Lord early and late, constantly, from morning until evening? Are your secret devotions and the impulse of every moment filled with the desire to have the Lord Almighty lead you, direct you, and prepare you for the discharge of every duty in building up his kingdom on the earth and the promotion of righteousness?

I do not wonder that some say that this or that Bishop is not fit for his calling. It is true; for there are Bishops who condescend to notice childish trifles, unworthy the notice of a child five years old. They love the world—are covetous. Their minds are upon this, that, and the other, instead of upon the duties of their office, which are to them a secondary consideration. Such men are not fit for this office.

I will here offer advice that may apply to every officer and member in this Church, from myself down. I will say to wives, whose husbands are unruly and will not walk in the paths of rectitude and truth, Live your religion faithfully; and if you have sons and daughters, let them do the same and be one with you, and you will burn the wicked man out of the house, for he will not be able to resist the power of God that is within you. Let the people in Wards live their religion; let every man and woman be filled with the power of the Holy Ghost, and you will burn out an unfaithful Bishop, without being obliged to complain of him and quarrel him out of the Ward. If you are not one, you cannot be Saints. How can we be one? Shall we seek to establish a perfect oneness by means of the order God has instituted upon the earth? Or shall we set up our individual judgments against that order?

If my individual judgment must be the standard, then farewell to union—farewell to oneness. God can never save us upon any such principle. He is the Author of our existence—the Giver of every good and perfect gift, and he must be obeyed. If he has restored the holy Priesthood to the children of men and organized his Church upon the earth, it is time that we knew it. If we do not know it, let us, in the first place, find out whether his Church is here or not; and wherever we find it, with its keys and powers, let us bow to its mandates and observe religiously its order.

I will here make a few remarks which I think will check some of the complaints from women about their husbands. I acknowledge that many women know much more than their husbands, and for this reason the faith and confidence in them droop; they do not seek to uphold them in the dignity of their position and calling. And again, maybe the husband does not magnify his priesthood, follow diligently the duties of his calling, and increase in the faith of the Gospel, as it is his privilege to do. He should be the head of the wife all the day long. I will venture to say a little more upon this point. I like to see people consistent with the wisdom they profess to have. Were I a woman possessed of great powers of mind, filled with wisdom, and, upon the whole, a magnanimous woman, and had been privileged with my choice, and had married a man, and found myself deceived, he not answering my expectations, and I being sorry that I had made such a choice, let me show my wisdom by not complaining about it. A woman’s wisdom and judgment has failed her once in the choice of a husband, and it may again, if she is not very careful. By seeking to cast off her husband—by withdrawing her confidence and goodwill from him, she casts a dark shade upon his path, when, by pursuing a proper course of love, obedience, and encouragement, he might attain to that perfection she had anticipated in him. When the enemy once gets advantage over you, he is very apt to improve upon it, and to gain a greater when he has another opportunity.

If wives have wicked and unfaithful husbands, if children have wicked and unfaithful parents, if Wards have unfaithful Bishops, and if there are Presidents who are not capable of magnifying their Priesthood and calling, let wives, children, and people seek unto the Lord to be filled with that power of the Holy Ghost that will remove those unfaithful persons to other quarters. Let them remove them by the power of faith in such a way as not in the least to infringe upon the rights of a single person, giving them no just ground for complaint. Let all the Saints fulfil every duty, and manifest in their lives true and full obedience to the commandments and requirements of the Gospel, then our Bishops and presiding officers can say, “God bless you, brother!” or “God bless you, sister! You are following your calling and mission, and magnifying your being on the earth.” If all the people would so live, there would be no High Council or Bishop’s Court necessary to adjudicate upon matters of contention and strife. If a man did not lay his poles on his fence to please me, I would go and turn them, and he would be quite willing that I should be accommodated.

I will give you a text: Except I am one with my good brethren, do not say that I am a Latter-day Saint. We must be one. Our faith must be concentrated in one great work—the building up of the kingdom of God on the earth, and our works must aim to the accomplishment of that great purpose. This people, I am happy to say, are fast improving. In our testimony meeting yesterday, I could not refrain from weeping for joy. What a peaceful, joyous, happy, heavenly spirit rested upon the con gregation. Live so, my brethren and sisters, that you can enjoy that Spirit all the time.

The brethren, in testifying yesterday, used the common expression, “The Lord is here.” If he was not here in person, he was by his ministers, by his angels, by his Spirit. It is well for us that he did not raise the veil; for if he had, we should have been consumed by the brightness of his glory and the majesty of his power. The Lord was here by his Spirit, and he is here in like manner today. The Spirit of the Lord is in the midst of the people. Then why not yield perfect obedience to his Priesthood? If we have it, we are in duty bound to live to it and be guided continually by its sacred order.

Let every man stand in his lot and calling as long as he can, and not complain that this Bishop and that President cannot perform his duty. Why can he not? Because you are exercising your faith against him, which, in many instances, is the reason why he is trammeled. If the faith, spirit, and life of the people are right, they would not be troubled with bad Bishops and bad Presidents, and I would not be so troubled with affairs which should be attended to by others. Live so that you can discern the things of God—so that you can at once discern between the things of God, the things of man, and the things of the Devil.

I would beseech and pray the people to so live that if I do not magnify my office and calling, you will burn me by your faith and good works, and I shall be removed. Salvation is what I am seeking and striving for, and it is also your aim and object. The Lord has restored the Priesthood in our day for the salvation of Israel. Does he design to save anybody else? Yes; he will save the house of Esau, and I hope to live until I see Mount Zion established, and saviors come up to save those poor, miserable beings who are continually persecuting us—all who have not sinned against the Holy Ghost. Our labor is to save ourselves, to save the house of Israel, to save the house of Esau, and all the Gentile nations—everyone that can be saved.

The salvation offered in the Gospel is one of the most consoling, one of the most merciful, one of the most magnanimous principles that can be advanced in all the revelations of God to man. All the sons and daughters of men will be saved, except the sons of perdition.

Brethren and sisters, I feel as calm and serene as the autumn sun of our mountain home. All is right. I have minded my own business, and I intend so to do. I have known many to become rich by minding their own business. I have seldom seen enough affliction to prevent my dropping to sleep in a minute after I had lain down to rest and my business for the day was done, and sleeping as soundly as a healthy child in the lap of its mother. God is at the helm. He guides the ship, and will bring us safely to port. All we have to care about is to take care of ourselves and see that we do right. Let us man the ship manfully, every one standing faithfully and firmly to his post, and she will outride every storm and safely bear us to the harbor of celestial bliss.

I have said but a small part of what I wish to say, but I will give way for others. God bless you! Amen.

Privileges and Duties of the Saints—Home Manufactures, &c

Remarks by President Daniel H. Wells, Delivered in the Tabernacle, Great Salt Lake City, October 7, 1859.

The President, in his remarks this morning, dropped a sentence like this—“Let us manfully man the ship Zion.” To do this I conceive to be the duty of the Elders of this Church and kingdom. It is a privilege which the Almighty has conferred upon us, and one which we should esteem as the greatest that could be conferred upon us: but do we realize this fact? Do we realize that the Lord has revealed to us true knowledge and intelligence—that we have become the happy recipients of true principles of life and salvation revealed from heaven in our day?

None of us, with our present limited understanding of God and his dealings with mankind, can realize fully the extent of our present privileges: but do we understand enough of them to stimulate us to make the work of God the business of our lives? Is the Lord about to establish his kingdom, and is he beating about in the world for recruits to man the ship, and have we enlisted under his banner, to sail with him, and then do we falter—feel cold and lukewarm? This question is for each one to answer for himself.

What is this ship Zion—this great work we have undertaken? How can we do the most good, and how accomplish the work we have undertaken in the best and most approved way? These are questions we must answer for ourselves. Are the people of these mountain valleys Israel? If we are, can we not control and bear rule in a proper manner over all matters that come under our supervision?

If we have faith, which it is the privilege of all the Saints to have, can we not exert a powerful influence among the nations of the earth for our protection and salvation as a people? And may we not be yet more successful in disseminating the principles of life and salvation among all nations? That righteousness may be exalted among men by our efforts, we must nurse and cherish the principles of righteousness in our midst. Can we rebuke evil and walk it under our feet? We can, if we have faith as we ought to have it, and have that oneness the President spoke of this morning. If we have this, we can do all things, because faith is mighty when concentrated in a oneness of action. Let Israel arise and frown down evil, and the fear and the might and the power of the Almighty will burn more and more in the bosoms of the Saints. How can we serve our master and the cause in which we have enlisted in the best possible manner? By being perfectly obedient to those who are placed to preside over us in our various Wards and settlements, and by living above the power of the law, as our President has remarked.

Are we ready now to take hold with one heart and with one mind to man the ship Zion—build a temple for instance? Are you ready, by a skillful and judicious husbandry of the soil, to bring forth its rich fruits, and store them up until you are called upon to contribute your stored wealth, as well as your energies, for the further development and spread of the power and influence of the kingdom of God? Are the mechanics ready, should a call be made upon them to go as preachers of righteousness to the nations, or to engage in any other work that may be allotted them? I say, Are the Elders of this Church ready to spring at once into these various avenues, when they shall be opened again, without a single word of complaint? Are we all willing to devote ourselves, our interest, and all we possess to the building up of this cause and kingdom upon the earth?

I believe a great majority of this people are willing to do this; but I think they might improve in this respect as well as in many others pertaining to their duties as Saints. I think, if they felt to devote themselves and all they have, the hands of the President would be loosed more than they are in many respects, the public works would begin again, and Israel scattered abroad would begin to flock by tens of thousands to the gathering place of the Saints; and I think those who have received benefit from the P. E. Fund Company would strengthen that company by rolling back into their hands the means they have expended for them, the treasury of the Lord would be replenished, and these Gentile stores would be less patronized, and handle less of your cash.

We have been instructed over and over again how to make ourselves independent, and these are some of the things that have been told to us. It is for us to build up the kingdom of God individually, as well as collectively. Union of effort and feeling—practice as well as precept, is what is required. Let every man thus do his duty, and things would be as you would like to see them. Very soon there would be no necessity for millions of dollars’ worth of goods to be brought across the Plains every year, nor of patronizing those who spend nothing whatever to build up our cities or improve our country. There is a lack in this respect in this community—a lack which rests with ourselves. I think our good friends are beginning to learn that the people called “Mormons,” who should be Saints, are really the people of this Territory, and have some rights which they would strenuously preserve from being trampled upon.

By respecting themselves, the Saints would patronize each other as far as they can do so, instead of patronizing those who stand ready to cut our throats on the first favorable opportunity.

A few, however, cannot bring about that state of things so desirable to the many: it requires a union of effort by the whole. The many can freeze out iniquity from our midst, by simply letting them severely alone; and they can patronize home manufactures, if they are disposed to do so, and be united in it. This is of great importance to our community. Many would like to commence manufacturing useful articles, if they could be encouraged by the patronage of the people.

We know not how soon we shall be thrown upon our own resources, and I say, the sooner the better: but I would like to see the day when Israel will do themselves good of their own will and accord, without being obliged to do so.

It has been said that the Devil could make the Saints consecrate, when the Lord could not. The Lord may permit the Devil to do so; but he does not force any man: he leaves all men to act upon their agency.

We have enlisted to build up the kingdom of God. And who are so blind as not to see that much of this work depends upon our producing within ourselves that which we consume? But what is the truth? Why, the very moment a few goods are brought into the market a little cheaper, you get them in exchange for your money, and home manufactures are suspended.

Suppose the gate was shut down upon imported goods for one twelve-months, you would be in the same situation you were in eighteen months ago. I wish to impress this strongly upon your minds. Remember that now is a good time to produce for our own support everything we can.

Do not suffer your flax to go to waste because goods can be bought cheaper than you can make them, and do not let your wool waste for the same cause. Recollect that what you do yourselves is within: it is not an outward expense. If you are obliged to get some things you cannot make, unite together and send for them, and buy them where you can get them the best and cheapest, and not suffer yourselves to be bled to death by those who have no interest in common with you.

By this procedure, you can plainly see that the temporal interests of Israel would be consulted, and there would be some means left to build up a town or a city, and help to gather scattered Israel. This is our business. All other considerations sink into insignificance in comparison to our duty of building up the kingdom of God. My mind continually dwells upon this all-absorbing subject, and I would like to see Israel wise in regard to these important items.

If those who are engaged in home manufactures were fully patronized, they could afford to sell cheaper. The objection is, they charge more for home manufactured articles than better articles of the same kind can be bought for of those who import them: but if they had your best pay, they could probably produce better and cheaper articles. Instead of giving them your best pay, you expect them to take firewood, or some other kind of pay, upon which they cannot sustain their business, and you take your cash to the stores. That is an insurmountable difficulty the home manufacturer has to encounter.

Hundreds of articles can be produced among us that are now brought from the States; and there are those in this community who are skillful in the manufacture of them. I would like to see those artisans commence to produce every kind of useful article within their power, and let the brethren in the different Wards sustain them by freely giving them their support; and as long as they can produce as good an article as can be imported here, give them as good a price as you would give the importer, and in as good pay. I do not care so much what the price of an article is; but I think it should be manufactured and sold here a little cheaper than it can be afforded by the importer.

For instance, to the disgrace of this people, they buy brooms that have been imported from the States. They can bring them here and sell them to you from fifty cents to a dollar each. Can they be raised and made here cheaper than that? They can. Twelve-and-a-half cents per pound is a permanent tariff on the importation of brooms to this country, which the home manufacturer has the benefit of; and he can certainly produce the material almost as cheap as it is produced in the States. I think, then, we should manufacture and sell this article cheaper than it can be afforded by the importer. This prin ciple would be my guide for the price of almost every other article of home manufacture.

I have dwelt a little longer on this subject than I had intended, but my mind has been led out upon it; and I acknowledge I think a good deal about it, for it is an item of vast importance to us to produce that which we consume.

At our meeting yesterday I was much interested. My heart was full to overflowing. I felt very humble. I knew the Spirit of the Lord was with us. I feel so today. When I heard from the congregation how they felt—how they desire to do right, when I heard them exhorting their brethren how they might do this and that for the advancement of the cause of Christ, and to be faithful in the service of the Lord, I felt there was a good time near at hand for Israel—that the ungrateful influences that have been around us were mellowing down, that the dark cloud was beginning to break up, that we were about to be greatly blessed of the Lord our God, and that he is near unto us. I feel so today.

“Mormonism” is not a thing of today only, but it is a lifetime work. Let us take hold of it in the way that we can sustain ourselves and build up the kingdom of God.

To manufacture the articles we consume is all in the line of our daily duty. Everything that is necessary for our subsistence as a kingdom, as families, and as individuals, has to be furnished. We have to live, and we must have rules, regulations, and authorities. We have to dig, plough, raise grain, and produce everything we need. While we live, make rules and regulations, and walk by them, we are building up the kingdom of God. There is every variety of talent and genius needed, and there is a place for every man and woman, wherein they can be useful in build ing up his kingdom. All these ingredients are necessary.

We want what any other community has that is good and great. We want to make the desert blossom as a rose, to build up cities, and make useful and ornamental improvements that will beautify the dwelling places of the Saints—make them lovely and fit habitations for angels.

Should heavenly messengers be sent to our cities, called Zion, what have we to show them that is gratifying and pleasing? Become wealthy? Yes; it is for the inhabitants of Zion to become wealthy, if they only use their means for the building up of the kingdom of God. We have done very well in a great many respects, considering the difficulties we have had to encounter: but the word is—Continue to improve, do better, and never forget that the building up of the kingdom of God is the only business we have on hand. I have thought the people are not aware that the Spirit of the Lord is with them as much as it really is.

When people are striving to do right all the time, they become accustomed to its influences, and they are not apt to mark the progress of their individual improvement as they go along in the faithful performance of their daily duties. If the visions of our minds had been opened twelve years ago to see the Saints as they are situated now in this country, what a vision of remarkable events it would have been to us! And how few would have believed it! If we improve in the same ratio ten years to come, and could now see in vision our situation as a people at the expiration of that time, it would be to us a most glorious vision, and almost past belief.

We have been greatly and marvelously blessed; but we are sometimes forgetful of our blessings and of our ability to do a great many good acts, and too often think there is nothing to do, when there is a great deal to be done. Thus many have become slack in their duties, and have made shipwreck of faith so far that they cannot reclaim themselves. They do not realize that they are living in the blaze of the glory of God continually.

Let me exhort you to be faithful, prayerful, and humble, that you may realize the blessings you enjoy, continue to progress in improvement, and have more abundant blessings poured upon you; for the Lord is willing to pour out blessings as fast as we are prepared to receive them.

Let us spring forth when the word is given to perform any and every duty we are called upon to perform. Let us present a firm and unbroken phalanx of strength against evil of every description, and be united in frowning it down.

We pray that righteousness may be exalted. Let us exalt it ourselves; then the habitations of the Saints will be beautiful in the eyes of God and angels, although some of them may be homely in the eyes of men. Let us build up cities, towns, wards, and families, wherein righteousness shall be exalted; and it will not be a great while before it will spread over the face of the wide world, and wickedness will be walked underfoot.

The Latter-day Saints are on a mission to perform this labor, and it is a great one as well as a glorious one. Let us take hold and do it manfully, always being mindful of those duties we are called upon daily to perform.

Let us be faithful to the covenants we have made. We have made them of our own free will and accord, and have delighted to make them, and blessed God for the privilege. Shall we, then, utterly disregard them—walk them under our feet, as it were? Or shall we treasure them as the most sacred treasure? In the life of the Saint, let the duty of a Saint be the first and foremost consideration; let the public interest be his greatest wish, form the burden of his prayers, and be the chief duty of his life. Let him put away all covetousness, and be wholly devoted to God and his holy religion.

Let us live our religion today, tomorrow do the same, and so continue unto the end of our lives; then the purposes of God will ripen as fast as we can desire them and be prepared for them. This is my exhortation to the Saints.

For my part, I know I have your prayers and faith. I feel it every day of my life, and am exceedingly thankful and grateful to God and his people for this mark of their confidence.

I desire to live to see Zion redeemed, Israel gathered, Jerusalem built up, and the people of God in all the world sustained by the manifestations of the omnipotent power of the Almighty. For this I live: it is more than my meat and drink. The most sacred and cherished wish of my life is to see Israel prevail and become victorious over their enemies—to see the mighty power and wisdom of God, as it is transpiring before our eyes from day to day, more abundantly displayed in their behalf.

We read with considerable satisfaction how Moses led Israel out of Egypt across the desert to the land of Palestine; but do we realize how the Lord and his servant Brigham have led us day by day, month by month, and year by year, from the beginning to the present day? As I have said, the manifestations of the mighty power of God and the marvelous displays of his unsearchable wisdom are so common with us, that we think but little of them; and so it was with Israel of old. It became an old story with them when the Lord interposed his power in their behalf—so much so that, if they did not have miracle after miracle continually before their eyes, they were ready to backslide and go into darkness, and earned for themselves the name of being a stiffnecked generation of people. I hope better things of the Latter-day Saints.

The Prophets of ancient Israel prophesied evil upon them continually, because of their hardheartedness and rebellion, when the Lord would have led them with a gentle hand.

In this generation I do not look for Israel to be scattered on account of their transgressions, although various chastisements may be necessary; but I look for Israel to be gathered from every nation, tongue, and people, to concentrate their energies in building up and establishing the kingdom of God in the latter days. I look for them to be humble, obedient, and ready to receive and perform the work of the Lord, and realize day by day that they are led gently by his hand. It is their privilege to see these things all the time, and continually live in the light; for it is a day of light with the faithful, wherein is no darkness.

I like to see Israel obedient, on hand, and ready to man the ship, and do anything they shall be called upon to do. Let us realize these things, my brethren and sisters, and not get into that sing-song style the world are in. It is for us to keep up with the times.

Let us take hold with our might, and put forth our energies in the place they are most needed; and there let us work diligently, no matter in what department, if it is for the good of Israel, whether it is to plough, sow, reap, dig rocks, rear temples, build cities, preach the Gospel, or gather Israel.

Do you think the Lord will stop in his work? No; his ship will be manned, whether we man it or not; and those who stand in the way of the onward progress of this great work will be overthrown and ridden over.

There is no time or opportunity to stop, for the Lord has undertaken the work, and he does not look backward, nor stay his hand. If we do not wish to be removed out of the way, we must be diligent, active, and energetic in our duty, and respond willingly and at once to any call that may be made upon us by the servants of the Most High.

Let our minds be active, wide awake, and eager to reach out after those things that shall best promote the interests of the kingdom of God. Let us not forget for a moment the mission we are called upon to perform, and not become dull and sluggish in the performance of our duties, and think we have no part or lot in the matter. There is need of every faithful man and woman in this kingdom, and for millions more; and then, by concentrating all these efforts, it is easy to understand what a mighty phalanx Israel will present, making the wicked nations tremble because of their wickedness. There would be a mighty shaking amongst them, if Israel was only united, firm, and steadfast to a man.

If the Saints could offer one prayer, with one spirit, to the Almighty, in behalf of any one measure, I believe that prayer would be promptly answered in a way that would be felt and realized. If Israel will pursue this course, it will not be a great while before they will have things as they want them, not only here but over the face of the wide world; for the kingdom of God will progress, and the kingdoms of this world become subservient to its sway.

May the Lord help us to live to his name’s glory and honor, and for his cause and kingdom on the earth! May he help us to build it up and appreciate the blessings we enjoy—live in the light of truth and intelligence, that our minds may be filled with it continually! Help us to frown down wickedness, and walk it underfoot, both at home and abroad! Help us to send forth the Gospel to all nations, that his angels may always work with us, which they do and will continue to do with us who remain at home and with those who go abroad; and kingdoms and nations will be cast down for the good of his people and the furtherance of his work! That he may help us to do all he has designed we shall perform as a people and as individuals, is my prayer, in the name of Jesus Christ. Amen.

Eternal Life—Blessings and Privileges of Saints

Remarks by President Brigham Young, Delivered in the Tabernacle, Great Salt Lake City, October 6, 1859.

I am pleased with the privilege of standing before the Saints to bear my testimony to the truth and to express some of my thoughts pertaining to eternal life. The knowledge of the truth should be prized by all Saints. There are no people blessed to the same degree as those who are blessed with the words of eternal life. Men may be blessed with the things of this life—may possess all the blessings this world can furnish—may have the honor and glory of man; but all this bears no comparison to the blessings that are bestowed upon those who understand the ways of life and salvation.

One generation passes away, and another succeeds. Mankind are continually changing. Kingdoms and thrones arise, and are gone like a vapor that passeth away. The glory of man is but for a moment. Are the nations that have arisen, flourished, and passed away prepared to dwell in eternal life in another state of existence? We are blessed with the words and way of life, through the Gospel, by One who has deigned to call us brethren—not by adoption, in the strict sense of the word, but is flesh of our flesh and bone of our bone—One who has redeemed us.

The generality of mankind are ignorant of the real relationship that exists between them and Heaven. They do not understand that God is our Father. By adoption? No; but we are his children by a legal inheritance. He gave his only begotten Son, pertaining to the flesh, to redeem the whole family of man.

Who can define the divinity of man? Only those who understand the true principles of eternity—the principles that pertain to life and salvation. Man, by being exalted, does not lose the power and ability naturally given to him; but, on the contrary, by taking the road that leads to life, he gains more power, more influence and ability during every step he progresses therein. Mankind have power given them to propagate their species. An exaltation to the celestial kingdom of God by no means lessens that power. On these points the children of men are shrouded in mystery and uncertainty.

When we say that we are blessed above many of our fellows, we may also say that we have the greatest reason to rejoice in and love our religion, to walk humbly before our God, do good to each other, and forsake all evil and the appearance of it. Is this too much to say and do? Does it rob the blessings the Lord has bestowed upon us of any of their rich enjoyments? The greater our privileges and the greater the blessings bestowed upon us, the more faithfulness and diligence are required in our callings to save the children of men.

When you approach the throne of grace and petition the Father, in the name of that Savior who has redeemed the world, do you use that name as the name of a stranger? If you understand your own religion, you petition that Personage as you would one of your brethren in the flesh. Is this strange to you? It should bring near to you things that pertain to eternity, give your reflections and views a more exalted cast, stamp your daily actions with truth and honesty, and cause you to be filled with the Spirit and power of God.

I have reflected much upon the subject of religion, the world of mankind, their relations one to another and to the Author of their being, and the object of their existence. We are now endowed with that knowledge, a proper improvement upon which will enable us to secure an inheritance in the celestial kingdom of our God. Millions of the inhabitants of this earth have striven to their uttermost—stretched their minds to the greatest extent to become acquainted with what the Lord has seen fit to bestow upon us, without any outlay of labor or energy on our part. He has seen fit to call his servant Joseph Smith, Jun., and submit to him the keys of the kingdom of heaven—to reveal to him the mysteries of salvation, and bring to light things that have been hid for many ages—things that the world have been seeking for—wrestling with the powers of heaven to obtain, that they might know how to make their escape from this wicked world, and secure to themselves a sure abiding place—an inheritance that passeth not away. Thousands have spent their lives—the best part of their days, to search out what has been revealed to us without the least exertion of ours.

When we say that we believe the Gospel and rejoice in it, let us not forget that it is to us a free gift. How far did you travel to obtain it? How much money did you pay for it? What penance did you perform to prove yourselves worthy of it? The blessings we enjoy came to us without money and without price. Have we not great reason to be thankful that the Spirit of the Lord has touched the eyes of our understandings that we may see, and that he has given us his Spirit to bend our dispositions to his requirements?

We talk about our trials and troubles here in this life: but suppose that you could see yourselves thousands and millions of years after you have proved faithful to your religion during the few short years in this time, and have obtained eternal salvation and a crown of glory in the presence of God; then look back upon your lives here, and see the losses, crosses, and disappointments, the sorrows arising from disobedient children—from wicked parents who have opposed their children who wished to embrace the truth, the persecutions from city to city, from state to state, being hunted and driven, you would be constrained to exclaim, “But what of all that? Those things were but for a moment, and we are now here. We have been faithful during a few moments in our mortality, and now we enjoy eternal life and glory, with power to progress in all the boundless knowledge and through the countless stages of progression, enjoying the smiles and approbation of our Father and God, and of Jesus Christ our elder brother.”

The child who has his father’s razor, or any other article dangerous for him to handle, and about the use of which he has no knowledge, when deprived of it, his trials are equal to ours, according to his capacity. We seldom think of the trials of our little ones when we say to them, You must not have this or that; you must do so and so to receive my smiles and approbation; you must not think for a moment that your judgment, wisdom, experience, and wishes are to be compared with mine. Does not the Father of all living conduct himself in this wise towards his children? He has revealed to us that he will prepare us for glory, for life eternal—will preserve our identity forever, if we will be guided by him. But we must be obedient to him, for he understands more than we do. We should destroy ourselves if we were suffered to take our own way; hence we are taught to suffer the Father to point out our path to an eternal duration hereafter, where our present afflictions will appear as flimsy as the shadows of the morning that flee upon the approach of day. God bless you! Amen.