Celebration of the Fourth of July

An Address delivered by Honorable George A. Smith, in Great Salt Lake City, July 4, 1861.

Fellow Citizens—the circumstances under which we are now assembled are those of no ordinary character. The display made on the present occasion and the vast assemblage on this ground indicate in a great degree, I might say perfectly, the result of liberty, of honest industry, and of adherence to the principles of the Constitution of the United States, of which we have been hearing, and the result of strict obedience to those declarations made by our fathers and transmitted down to their posterity.

Although we as a people are placed under circumstances entirely different from those of every other part of our common country, we were forced to come here unprepared, comparatively, for such an undertaking, and have had to contend with the sterile soil and inhospitable climate. We have had to encounter and overcome a great many difficulties arising from our isolated situation; but still we can here successfully pursue the arts of peace: we can enjoy the blessings of liberty.

While almost all the inhabitants of every portion of our common country from north to south, from the Rio Grande to the St. John’s, are engaged in fratricidal strife, and almost every city, town, village, and hamlet today echoes with the sound of fife and drum, calling men to war, we are all enjoying peace.

The procession today was a display of mechanical skill, of agricultural industry, a display of tools and ingenuity of almost every kind, and men at work with them. What little powder we burn is simply in honor of our country’s flag—not to destroy our fellow countrymen.

We have heard something of the hostile preparations that are going on in the Eastern States. I know of no language adequate to describe the true character of the present civil war. It is the height of folly—the extreme of madness, without a parallel in history; and it does seem like illustrating the maxim of Grecian mythology—“Whom the gods would destroy, they first make mad!” North and South rushing to battle over an idea or whim, perfectly heedless as to the consequences.

It was the result of that spirit of oppression and violation of the principles of our national Constitution which drove us here; it is the natural result of the training, the education and the foolery with which priestcraft has blinded the people.

We are at the present time the only people in the United States that are willing to be governed by the Constitution, and to grant to all men the same liberties that we ourselves enjoy—the same privileges and protection which are in accordance with the guarantees in the Constitution and the laws of the United States made in accordance therewith. To be sure, there are a great many who pretend to honor the Constitution; but they are determined in the North and the South that they will fight each other, Constitution or no Constitution.

Now, if the Constitution of the United States was actually the supreme law of the land, we could go back to our possessions in Missouri and Illinois, and enjoy our religion, our property, and the blessings of peace and liberty, and our wives and children, in Jackson County, Missouri, and in Hancock County, Illinois, just as well as we can here, and none would dare to molest us. And until the Constitution becomes the supreme law of the land, no man or people having the misfortune to be unpopular can enjoy liberty, or even be protected outside of these mountains.

Now, brethren, are we not thankful that, at least, we can see the providence of the Almighty in suffering us to be driven into these valleys, where we can enjoy the sweets of true liberty—where none dare molest or make afraid? These are abundant reasons for us to be thankful.

I am aware that many of the school children in this vast assemblage have been detained long enough. I have been pleased with what I have seen and heard. I simply say a few words because my name was on the program for an address.

May the blessings of Israel’s God rest upon you all! Amen.

Testimony and Religion of the Saints

Remarks by Elder Ezra T. Benson, made in the Tabernacle, Great Salt Lake City, April 6, 1861.

I feel truly thankful, brethren and sisters, for the opportunity I enjoy this morning. I trust that we have come together with prayerful hearts before the Lord our God, that his Spirit may be upon us, and that our prayers and all our devotions during this Conference may be acceptable in his sight. If I understand my duty as an Elder in Israel, this should be my object and my desire, not only in coming to Conference meetings, but also in all my associations with the people of God. I feel well in beholding your faces and in having the privilege which I now enjoy of standing before you. I feel that it is a blessed opportunity, and one that should be appreciated by us all. We have the privilege twice in each year of coming up to headquarters to visit the First Presidency and leading authorities of the Church in G. S. L. City; and inasmuch as we have come with pure hearts and clean hands, we shall all have confidence before God and his people who reside here. Our anticipations will be realized. We shall receive such instructions and counsels from our brethren who are called to preside over us as will be for our best good.

I do not feel competent to teach this people; hence I merely rise to bear my testimony to the truth of the Gospel of the Son of God. I testify that Joseph Smith was a Prophet of the Most High, that he was a minister of life to the nations, that he revealed the will of the Father concerning his sons and daughters, that many of the revelations which he gave concerning this nation have already been fulfilled, and that others are being fulfilled before our eyes. I know that he revealed the future destinies of the nations of the earth, and his predictions are being fulfilled to the joy and satisfaction of every Latter-day Saint, and there is no doubt upon our minds in regard to those that are still unfulfilled. Then what shall I do? Shall I cease to bear any further testimony? Or shall I continue to aver the truth of the Gospel we have espoused, and the teachings we have received from Presidents Brigham Young, Heber C. Kimball, and Daniel H. Wells? Yes; these counsels and teachings have been just as good, just as true as the counsels given by the Prophet Joseph Smith.

I now want to ask you a question. What more do you want? What greater things can you ask for than those gifts and endowments which you have received? If we have rejected, or treated coolly and walked underfoot the blessings of the Almighty, remember that we are on the Devil’s ground.

While some are groveling in the dark, drying up in the things of God, and striving to lead into other channels, and doing that which will gratify their own corrupt dispositions, we should be endeavoring to increase in the light and knowledge of the truth, and to set an example that is worthy of all imitation.

Seeing that I have been called upon to make a few remarks, I feel disposed to take for my text, “Latter-day Saint.” If you take up the character of an Elder in Israel—one who has received the Gospel in humility, been ordained to the Holy Priesthood because of his faithfulness, who has preached to the nations of the earth, borne a faithful testimony to the truth of our holy religion, what more do you want? And what more can you ask in proof of that man’s integrity? Do you want to search in the kingdoms of this world for any other testimony than that which we have received? No. Neither do we want to inquire, except in the household of faith, respecting the character of our brethren. The very moment that a man lets go his testimony and the spirit of his religion, where is his faith? And where is his power? They pass into the shade: the testimony first given is laid by; it is put aside—his faith, his wisdom, the power—to receive something else; and the vacuum is filled up with darkness. Is not a man in that situation a suitable subject for the Devil to work upon? Yes, he is. Having set aside the Gospel, closed up the channel of light and the medium through which he received intelligence, he cannot comprehend the things of eternity. He has turned his attention to something else, gone after other gods, become subject to other spirits, from which he receives dreams and visions that lead him on to destruction.

If we who profess to be Saints expect to keep the light of heaven within us, and the candle of the Almighty shining round about us, we must hold fast the beginning of our confidence and strive to increase in the principles of life and salvation.

If I were to go and pray to another God, I should expect that he would give me revelations to suit his own purpose, and that he would lead me out of the path in which I am now striving to walk. He would lead me away from the true and living God, and he would lead me into doubt and darkness.

If we are led by the Spirit of the true and living God, we are always led aright, we are always happy—always cheerful, we rejoice evermore, and pray without ceasing. We need not fear in regard to the Gospel of Jesus Christ, for it is as true today as it was when we first heard it. We have more light, more faith, more knowledge, and consequently more power than we ever had before; and God has just as much right, and he is just as willing to reveal his will unto us as he was twenty years ago.

Let us be prayerful, let us cleanse our hearts from every impurity, and sanctify ourselves before our Heavenly Father, and we shall surely win the prize; but we cannot upon any other condition. This is the promise made to us by the Elders who brought the Gospel to our doors. We were told to cultivate brotherly kindness, virtue, and charity. We were told to nourish and cherish the spirit of wisdom, and to be constantly striving to add to our faith virtue, to virtue knowledge, to knowledge temperance, to temperance godliness, to godliness brotherly kindness, and to brotherly kindness charity; and we were told that, if these things were in us, we should neither be barren nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.

May God bless us all, and enable us to do these things, is my earnest prayer, in the name of Jesus Christ. Amen.

Kingdom of God and the Governments of Men

Remarks by President Daniel H. Wells, made in the Tabernacle, Great Salt Lake City, April 6, 1861.

The text taken by brother Benson, I think, is a very good one; and he has portrayed before us what is necessary to enable us to be one in following out those virtues and principles which are Godlike, and which are calculated to make us one, that we also may become like God. This is our duty and our privilege—to be Godlike, in our ways, to imitate the virtuous, the true, and the good, and, inasmuch as it is possible, to become ultimately as pure and holy as our Father and God. This is the privilege of the human race in our day and generation. We have the light of revelation to guide the souls of men aright—to make ourselves like our Father in heaven.

We have not known these things until within the last few years, since the revelation of the fulness of the Gospel. It is one of the greatest privileges and blessings ever made known to man, clothed with the light of truth and knowledge from the heavens, having a channel of communication opened up, through which we get intelligence from the Father of light, with whom there is no variableness nor the least shadow of turning. This light and knowledge has been imparted to the children of men, and by obedience to its directions they can make themselves like Gods in the eternal worlds. What beauty, what love, what great ness and power, and what exceeding great glory lie before the true-hearted Saint! Let your minds open up to behold in vision the greatness thereof for the moment that you can see what light, greatness, and glory are strewn in, and now illuminate your pathway to cheer you onward through the shifting and varied scenes of life, to the haven of bliss and glory hereafter, continually enlightening your minds, solacing you through life, and enabling you to overcome every difficulty which you may have to encounter in life’s journey.

As sorrow and distress are in the world, we expect that everyone will, more or less, have to drink of the bitter cup. This light, these great gifts, this promise of reward, of happiness, and exaltation, the lovely principles that are unfolded to our view are enough to inspire in the human heart, every day, joy that could not be conceived of by the natural man.

As was asked by brother Benson, what more could we ask to prove to ourselves that this is the work of the Almighty? What more could we have to induce us to pursue the right way? Still, how little are these blessings appreciated by the world at large—yes, and by the Saints of the Most High, in comparison with what they should be. It seems as though we often forget what our real bless ings are, and thereby let darkness creep into our minds and cover up the little light that is in us. We should remember that our religion is designed to redeem a lost world from sin, from the bondage of iniquity, and also from the rule and thralldom of Satan, which have enveloped it for generations, and covered it, as it were, with a thick pall, and well nigh desolated the earth. It is designed now to restore it to and place it in the light, to fill it with intelligence and sanctify it through the truth. Our religion teaches us to draw wisdom from the fountain of wisdom, and to extend it to the minds of others; it opens up to its adherents every privilege which the heart of a righteous man can desire, and it leads on the faithful to glory and honor in worlds of light.

But what is the reverse? What is the other side of the picture? It is confusion, distress of communities, division in families, distress of nations, a fearful looking forward into the future because of the judgments of the Almighty, which they apprehend are near at their doors. Have they any desire to do any better? No. But the wicked are striving to see how they can get more advantages over their neighbor, and thus do worse and serve the Devil better, and almost with railroad speed, that they may see wickedness predominate throughout the length and breadth of the land. The conduct of the wicked leads to darkness and misery in the present as well as in the future.

How thankful, then, we should be that this Gospel and the light of revelation have reached our minds, and caused our bosoms to vibrate with the inspirations of the Holy Spirit. The welcome sound and accompanying power have plucked us as brands from the burning, Then do you not feel thankful that we have this blessed privilege, and that we had understanding enough left with us when this Gospel reached our ears to embrace it? It has been the privilege of the world to do the same; our contemporaries in all nations have the opportunity of becoming acquainted with its blessings. The light of this Gospel has been shed forth, more or less, among all nations of the globe; thousands and millions have heard it, but many only to reject it, because of the pride of life and the lust of the world. Friends and relatives who have dared to differ in opinion with their connections, and to join themselves to an unpopular people, have found that it has cost them their name in society, their character among their fellows, their fortune, and all they possessed. This view having been taken of it by many who have examined its principles, has caused them to reject it.

It is the privilege of the people of this nation, as much so as it has been ours, to receive the benefits of this Gospel: it is also the privilege of our Government to do good to this people; but it is left with them to act according to the dictates of their own consciences. It is not only their privilege, but it is their duty to foster this kingdom; and it was one of the main objects of the Government in laying the whole structure thereof, that it should afford succor and support to the kingdom of God. It was the wish of the Almighty that the principles of liberty and of righteousness should underlie the flag of the Union and the institutions that flow from that Government. “Who could dare to question the rights of conscience?” was a question often asked in revolutionary times. How has the Government of our country performed that important duty towards this people? We only need refer to our past history to answer this question. It ignored the privilege that we claimed, and refused to do its duty. That neglect on the part of our Government caused thousands to be ruined—to be driven forth into the trackless wilds, and for want of ordinary subsistence many weakened and died. The willful neglect of our Government caused the best blood of this generation to be shed; it caused hundreds to die through exposure, and in every respect it has failed to come out and maintain the rights of conscience towards the Saints of the Most High. It would have been far better for us if we had had no pretensions to government at all, than for it thus to have encouraged the hand of the plunderer and of the murderer. We should have fared much better than we did, to say nothing of their finally concentrating their power and their influence to wipe us out of existence, after we had gained a foothold in these dreary deserts.

Then, so far as we are concerned, we should have been better without a government than with such an one. It is a principle in political economy that no government shall be bound together any longer than it is good for its subjects. Whenever any government fails to protect and preserve the rights and interests of its people, they can no longer be expected to render unto it their allegiance and support; hence we see the people occasionally shaking off the chains of tyranny that bind them. Through all this abuse and neglect on the part of the present Government, this people has shown the most devoted loyalty, and they never have breathed a word or exhibited a desire to throw it off. When administered in its legitimate channel, it is one of the best governments upon the face of the whole earth; and if it had been used for the purposes for which it was originally designed, it would have been both stronger and better.

We find no fault with its institutions, neither do we particularly object to its form of government; but it is its administration, and the way its institutions and laws have been abused. The way it is now and has for years past been administered has founded the cause of complaint. It recognizes the principle of self-government, that the people have the right to control. Of that principle we have long been apprised, but it has never been extended to us as a people. Through the arts and plans of politicians, they have managed to deprive Territories of that which is given to the States. This is contrary to the genius of the Constitution which gives the people the right to choose their own rulers: taxation should only be exacted where representation is allowed. These privileges have been withheld from this, as well as from other Territories; and the pattern given for this Territory in the organic act is not materially different from any other. Our offense has been that we have asked for those of our own choosing to rule us. It has been the case, it is true, that they have chosen persons from the States to hold offices in all the Territories, and ostensibly they have made no difference; but this should be considered, that the appointing power has given others the opportunity of making known their preference, and such wishes have generally been considered, with the exception of the people of this Territory.

I am now speaking of the past. Hitherto it has been as I have now mentioned. This Government has been partial in this and in many other respects, and has no real claim upon our affections; but still we seek to preserve those institutions and to keep sacred those wise provisions which are embodied in the Constitution as it was formed by our fathers; and perhaps we are the only people that do seek the salvation of our country at the present time; and it will finally be shown that we are the only people that will stand by its principles, and make it what it was intended to be—an asylum for the oppressed of all nations.

It is truly a strange crisis to which the country has now arrived. It is something like a statement I saw the other day, very truly depicted, though very humiliating to receive, to be compared with an old rotten government like that of Austria—a government naturally crumbling to pieces—a government notorious for its oppression of its subjects for many generations. Another and a new one that has not yet attained its full size presents the same picture to the enlightened world; it also is crumbling to pieces from the same cause—corruption from the center to the circumference. I do not think there is a more corrupt government upon the face of the earth. It seems that when they commenced their war upon us, they commenced to glide the downward road to destruction.

It is patent everywhere that the Government does not look for anything from their public servants but corruption and robbery. They settle all their accounts with this understanding of the subject, and the whole machinery has become corrupt in the sight of Heaven and all good men.

In departing from the principles of truth, of life and mercy, in rejecting the message of salvation that has been sent to them, through the instrumentality of Joseph Smith, the Prophet of the Most High God, who was chosen to open up the work of this last dispensation, they paved the way for their own destruction. They have rolled up against this people in their wrath and in their hatred, and have striven to destroy the Priesthood from the earth. We now begin to see the results. In the days of our tribulations they said to the mobs, “Go on.” Yes, they encouraged our enemies in the perpetration of all their abominable acts. The Prophet of the Lord spoke and told them they should have mobs to their heart’s satisfaction, but it should be among themselves, one State against another, until the whole land should be deluged with the blood of its inhabitants.

When our people applied to the Government to compel the State of Missouri to restore us to our lands, they pretended they could not interfere with a sovereign State; and, as a reward for their conduct, they have now got State’s sovereignty to their heart’s content; and this will continue to be poured back upon them: they will have to walk in the road which they laid out for us, and that which they would have put upon us is now fast coming upon their own heads. What more striking illustration could be brought to bear upon the minds of this people? What course could the Lord pursue that would seem to satisfy mankind more that these are his people, and that this is his work, than that which is being daily acted before all the world? It is as was said of old—this work is as a light set upon a hill. This cause and kingdom are a living, perpetual, and final testimony to the nations that God is with us, though we are despised by the world.

The wicked reject this Gospel and this message from the Almighty, which is given in much mercy for their salvation. The fault must rest upon their own heads; they have certainly been warned time and again. They live in the time of final warning, and they begin to feel the reaction which is coming upon them. They have sent forth their thunderbolts against the Lord’s anointed ones, and the rebound is beginning to take effect upon their own heads. It does seem to me that, if they were honest, they would acknowledge this. But we do not expect them to do it at the present time: they are too far steeped in the follies and wickedness of the world to confess that God has thwarted their designs. Many, perhaps, do see it; but the pride of life and their own wicked desires may prevent them from acknowledging the hand of God in the midst of this people.

We have been sent forth into the world to preach the Gospel, and the Almighty has been with us to take care of us. We need not fear when nations are crumbling to pieces; we need only press on in the way of our duty, and there will always be sufficient light given in this kingdom to lead every Saint of God in the path of duty and of right. It is, then, for every soul to cleave to God, walk in the way of righteousness, to be united in doing good, to be one in heart and in mind—one in purpose and in faith, to live our holy religion, and let outside things take their course; and let us be true to the cause we have espoused, and be ready at a moment’s notice to do anything that may be required of us. Let our hearts and minds swell with thanksgiving to God, strive to obtain his Spirit, and we shall see the propriety of his working among the children of men.

Did any of you ever do anything contrary to your own feelings because you were set to do it? I have one request to make, which is, that when he whom we have all known to be the chosen of God to lead this people requires anything at our hands, let us not only do it, but strive to see a propriety and a consistency in all his plans, that we may thereby increase in our faith to work with his for the redemption of Israel; and we shall soon see the benefit and beauty of doing things with our whole heart. It is very easy to find fault with an enterprise—much more so than to introduce one that would be better. It is much easier to object than to originate. There is evil growing out of this: it breeds division, encourages contention; and hence the necessity of striving to get a right conception of all things.

Let us seek for light from on high, that our actions may be more productive of union. Do you not know that when the earth is redeemed from sin and iniquity, and from the degradation that desolates the whole face thereof, that this people have the promise of inheriting it forever, and that they have now the privilege of establishing the principles of truth upon a firm foundation, never again to be thrown down? Do you not know that it is the privilege of the Saints to take the kingdom and possess it as an everlasting inheritance? And how is this to be done? Is it to be by going forth in martial array, and taking it by force of arms? No. Not so fast: wait a little. It is to be done by snatching from the Devil every inch of ground that we can, and then keeping it. It is to be brought about by observing the principles of salvation which have been revealed from the heavens for the exaltation of the people; it is to be by uniting together that we may become a mighty phalanx against which the surges of iniquity may strike in vain.

I always feel happy by going into a settlement and seeing a few faithful Saints. They are more precious to me than would be the crowns of nations. All this fearful and dark influence that is being gathered together among the wicked, for the purpose of destroying God’s kingdom, is going to be rolled back upon the wicked nations that dwell upon the earth’s surface; and they will be swept off, and the light of truth and the knowledge of God will increase among the faithful inhabitants that remain, until the whole earth will be illuminated by the righteousness of the Saints, and the elect of God will enjoy all the benefits of redemption, unmolested for a thousand years. This, then, is a great and a glorious work—one that will cheer the heart of man; and there is nothing that a man can be engaged in that will at all compare with it.

Let us be faithful before the Lord our God; let us live our holy religion, and be cheered with these heavenly ideas, and with this influence that emanates from our Father and God. Let us go on our way rejoicing; let us be faithful and true, virtuous and holy; and let us, above all things that we do upon the earth, strive with all our power and might to advance the interests of the kingdom of our God. That this may be our purpose, and that in the end of our probation we may be found worthy of the society of the sanctified and redeemed of all ages and nations, is my prayer, in the name of Jesus. Amen.

Rebuking Evil, &c

Remarks by President Brigham Young, made in the Tabernacle, Great Salt Lake City, March 17, 1861.

I wish to present to the people a saying of Solomon’s—“Open rebuke is better than secret love. Faithful are the wounds of a friend; but the kisses of an enemy are deceitful.” I want to say a few words upon the principle contained in this scripture. It is a matter that concerns all people, and is one of the most delicate points in the dispositions of the human family. The inhabitants of the earth are sensitive—their feelings are acute. Infringe upon their judgment, interrupt their tastes, and you disturb the equilibrium of the whole system. To receive a rebuke, to be chastised, to be interrupted in our course, is not pleasant to our feelings. Though we may have ten thousand wrongs that we understand, you know perfectly well that we do not like to have anyone tell us of them. It is one of the worst whirlpools, I may say, for the inhabitants of the earth to get into, and leads directly to destruction—casting down thrones and kingdoms—the very abhorrence we have to be rebuked. No matter what the king does, we as his subjects must say that the king does right and cannot do wrong. That you know very well to be the feelings and teachings of the nations of the earth. The king cannot do wrong, and of course he is not to be rebuked. And when he sends his princes, his ministers, his messengers, to perform duties for him, they say to the people to whom they go—“The king can do no wrong; his agents can do no wrong.” Observe, and you will now see this trait among the nations of the earth.

Who are willing to acknowledge that they are wrong? The feeling of the inhabitants of the earth has been and is—“I will receive no rebuke from you: my judgment, my will, my discretion, my wishes, my passions must reign supreme.” I do not much care what Solomon did in his day—how many individuals he rebuked; but I wish the inhabitants of the kingdom of God to learn, when they are rebuked by a friend, to receive that rebuke kindly, and kiss the rod, and reverence the hand that administers it—to learn that the rebuke of a friend is for our good. This principle is not practiced in other parts of the earth, though I will confine this remark to the civilized nations, more than to the barbarous. In the world the principle of rebuking is walked under foot. No matter what the character of a king is—no matter what the character of a President is—no matter what are the characters of rulers, governors, and other officers—“They can do no wrong,” and they wish to have it so understood. These are the feelings and these the teachings and belief, and not only the belief, but the practice. It is not so in this kingdom; it must not be so; it cannot be so; it has not been so; and I presume many a man has gone out of this Church, because he has been rebuked in his evil course. All such will have the supreme satisfaction, as brother George A. Smith remarked, last Sabbath, when they lift up their eyes in hell, of reflecting upon their former connection with this people, and saying, “We are abused.” What a comfort! What a satisfaction!

We wish the Elders of Israel to understand that when evil is presented, that evil must be rebuked. Could we attribute all the mistakes or evils that we see in men to total depravity, and conclude that there is nothing good within them? Not by any means. If we see one of our brethren out of the way in word or in deed, learn, in the first place, whether that person designs a wrong, or whether he has a desire to do good. Learn whether the spark of the Spirit of God is left within him; and when there is one particle of the light of God within him, and he wishes to do right, do not attribute that wrong word or deed to total depravity. It is a weakness—it is a fault—it is a want of better judgment—it is the want of revelation—it is the want of a correct understanding of things. Attribute it to his weakness; tell him of it kindly, fatherly, brotherly; take him by the hand and tell him the evil he must leave.

How many I have seen, when you tell them of a few of their faults, and say, “Why, brother, you are so and so: do you see how you have missed it here and there? Can you perceive that you have wanted better judgment? What a wrong you have committed in this or that!” who will be at once cast down in their feelings, and will say, “I believe I am good for nothing; I really think I am not worthy of a name in the kingdom of God.” You will hear wise men make this expression. Tell them that they have reported that which is false, not designedly; tell them that they have said thus and so to their friends, or that they have committed this or that act that is unwise, foolish, sinful in its nature; and you will see a wise man, perhaps, rise up and say, “If I am guilty of this, I am not worthy of a name in the kingdom of God.” That is a most unwise expression. Do you expect you are perfect? No. Do you expect to see people that are perfect? No, not for a great while. Do you expect that every trait of your character is perfect? I do not. You may expect this, that if I see a wrong in you, I shall tell you of it. I shall rebuke that wrong, and do it with all kind feelings. What do you say, High Councilors, Bishops, High Priests, and all the officers of the kingdom of God on the earth—will you rebuke a wrong? Yes, most of the Elders of Israel will, and too many will do so in the spirit of malice and personal enmity. When this Elder, and that Elder, and another Elder sees a man do wrong, but his wrong is with his neighbors, a little outside the Elder’s immediate path (the Elder says, “It does not directly infringe upon me, though he is doing wrong with his neighbors“), will he rebuke him? No; he waits until he infringes upon him, and then the Elder rises up in the malice of his heart, and rebukes him in the spirit of anger. That will do hurt: it is not the rebuke of a friend; it is the rebuke of one that has become an enemy.

When you see a person out of the way, no matter whom the injury is inflicted upon, rebuke the individual who commits the evil. Will this do good? Yes, if you rebuke in the spirit of the Gospel—in the spirit of meekness. Rebuke as a father should reprove his children, not as a tyrant rules his servants or slaves. Take this course with your brethren, and you will learn that “Open rebuke is better than secret love,” and that the wounds you make are better than the deceitful kisses of an enemy. This is a principle I have thought much upon. I have talked some about it, and have tried to comprehend the principle, and I have sought to have the people comprehend it. If your neighbor commits an evil upon another of your neighbors, you are under obligations to see that the person who has committed the evil be suitably chastised, as much so as though the wrong had been committed upon you. Now this is hard to believe; but if you wish to correct people, and lead them to life and salvation, what difference is it where the evil is committed, or upon whom? Is it not the duty of a minister of God to correct evil and take it from an individual or from the people, and place them upon saving ground, whenever an opportunity presents itself? It is the duty of every individual.

You need not wait until somebody infringes upon you—until he comes and intrudes upon your premises. If you see your neighbor John turn his horse into the wheatfield of your neighbor William, you pass along. That, I may say, is the road that too many of the Elders of Israel travel in, as well as the great majority of the world. “Oh, it is not my wheat; it is William’s: it is no matter of mine.” When you know that John has turned his horse into William’s wheat, or in any way disturbed his property, or berated his character, or done him an evil, will you wait until he commits an evil upon you? If you do, you are as sure to meet evil with evil as you are to breathe; you will meet wrong in a wrong spirit. But if you will meet evil when it does not personally concern you as an individual, but only as a member of community, you will feel all that fatherly kindness to John that an earthly parent does for his son, and will go to him and point out the wrong, and show him the correct path to walk in, and give him a suitable chastisement. But if you wait until he takes one of your poles from your fence—till he turns a horse or an ox into your wheat—until he picks up a stick of wood from your woodpile, and burns it, and you then meet him, you meet him in a spirit of wrath. You are indignant at such conduct, and you say that you will not put up with it. Is this true? I do not wish to say much about the matter, but I wish to have you understand that the principle of correcting the people—taking their wrongs from them, giving them true principles, instead of their imbibing wrong principles—errors, and practicing them in their lives, is the way for us to be purified and set right.

I have seen Elders covenant to sustain each other at all hazards, under all circumstances, and in all places. Now, what will this amount to? You make the covenant to sustain each other without any reservation whatever, and the first you know, one of the number has done wrong. You meet him, and he says, “You covenanted to sustain me, and that too with an uplifted hand; you promised, in the name of Israel’s God, to sustain me; and now do it. I will hold you to your covenant.” Another does wrong, and you wish to have him rebuked before your Quorum. Says he, “No; you have made a solemn vow that you will sustain me: now do it, or break your covenant.” It amounts to just this, and will lead from step to step in evil.

I have observed, many and many a time, a feeling among the people that “I will not receive this rebuke from you.” I have had quite a number of the brethren tell me—“Brother Brigham, I will not bear this rebuke from you.” My reply is, What are you going to do about it? I will chasten you until I am satisfied. I believe that I have proved to every person that my chastisements have not been in anger, malice, or wrath, but in the spirit of a father; and I believe that all good men I have chastened are satisfied of this fact. I do not know but that some have apostatized whom I have chastened, but they are very few. Once in a while you will find a person, that must have a severe chastisement, leave the kingdom of God; but this is very seldom.

True, there are degrees of feeling and degrees of chastisement, and you are led to chastise one man differently to what you do another. You may, figuratively speaking, pound one Elder over the head with a club, and he does not know but what you have handed him a straw dipped in molasses to suck. There are others, if you speak a word to them, or take up a straw and chasten them, whose hearts are broken; they are as tender in their feelings as an infant, and will melt like wax before the flame. You must not chasten them severely; you must chasten according to the spirit that is in the person. Some you may talk to all day long, and they do not know what you are talking about. There is a great variety. Treat people as they are.

When you consider that you are not worthy to belong to the kingdom of God, wait a moment. Would you like to be a Saint? “Yes; I would give anything in the world—yea, my life, to be a true Latter-day Saint.” What, and then say you are not worthy to have a name in the kingdom of God? That is the most unwise expression you have uttered. We are making Saints of just such characters. I expect to be made a Saint myself, though I have many weaknesses about me. I am going to get rid of them as fast as I can. Have I not a desire to do right? Yes; and the Gospel is designed to make us better and bring us to understanding. When you are rebuked by each other—when brethren meet you and say, “This is wrong in you,” you should receive it kindly, and express your thanks for the reproof, and acknowledge the wrong frankly, and admit that you may frequently do wrong when you do not know it, and say, “I wish you to enlighten my mind, to take me by the hand, and let me go along hand in hand, and strengthen and sustain each other.” What, in your weaknesses? Yes. Do you expect to see a perfect man? Not while you stay here.

To the capacity you are now in, as mortal beings, a certain degree of perfection belongs. Many attain to this, and they have as good desires to be Saints as ever the angel Gabriel had. Then, will you cast a person off for his weaknesses? No. Rebuke him for his weaknesses, and convince him of them, and point out the right path, and see whether he will not walk in it. This is the way I wish the Elders to treat each other. Do not be afraid, nor hesitate, if you can possess the Spirit of Christ, to meet your brother, or your wife, or child, and reprove a wrong in the spirit of meekness. Never be afraid to testify against evil, and you will remove the wrong and do good. But when you have the spirit of envy, and feel, “Such an individual has trampled upon my toes—he has sought to injure my character by speaking evil of me,” you are more or less out of the way. I wish all the Elders thought as I do about character; then they would never trouble themselves about what others said of it. But if you rightly gain influence, preserve that. And if you have been wrong, and that wrong is taken from you, it will create influence for you, and give you favor before God and with the Saints; but if you cling to the evil, it will deprive you of gaining that influence you desire.

I do not know but that kings of the earth would give half their kingdoms, if they could have the affections of their subjects: they know they have them not. No President of the late United States ever had the affections and sympathies of half his constituents. Rulers in the nations would give worlds, if they could have the influence of the people they preside over that I have in the midst of this people. They have not got it. And the man that is now inaugurated President of a part of the States of America would give half of his power, if he could have the influence among his constituents that I have in the midst of the kingdom of God. He cannot get it. Rebuke him, and he will resent it in a moment. Let one of his cabinet—I would not care if it was William H. Seward—go to the President and tell him that he is wrong, and he will at once resent it. He would say, “I think I know as well as you.” And perhaps he does know more than Mr. Seward, upon all points of sound intelligence. James Buchanan would resent it; and even as good a man as Washington was would resent it. He would believe that his dignity was infringed upon, if he had been told that he was in fault.

If you gain a righteous influence, preserve that as you would the apple of your eye. As for your good name before the people, if your brother tells you of your wrongs and shows your faults, what are you going to do about it? Your best plan will be, if you have done wrong, to repent and refrain from that wrong, and ask forgiveness of your brethren and of God, and do wrong no more, and you will regain your influence. If you have done wrong, though all creation says you have not, what does that amount to? Nothing; for they would all be wrong on that point.

Do not throw away a man or a woman, old or young. If they commit an evil today, and another tomorrow, but wish to be Saints and to be forgiven, do you forgive them, not only seven times, but seventy times seven in a day, if their hearts are fully set to do right. Let us make it a point to pass over their weaknesses and say, “God bless you in trying to be better in time to come,” and act as wise stewards in the kingdom of God.

I have spoken longer than I expected to, and wish brother Kimball to address you.

God bless you! Amen.

Establishment of the Kingdom of God—Gathering the Poor, &c

Remarks by President Brigham Young, made in the Tabernacle, Great Salt Lake City, March 3, 1861.

There are a number of subjects I wish to say a few words upon, and I will first make a few remarks pertaining to the kingdom of God on the earth.

It is told us that the earth is the Lord’s, and the fulness thereof. It is also told us that ere long the Lord will possess the earth. Christians are exhorted to be faithful, for eventually Jesus will crown his brethren as kings and priests—not only the Twelve Apostles that brother Broderick referred to this morning, but also all that keep his commands and live faithfully to the requirements of the holy Gospel. We are exhorted to be steadfast and immovable, always abounding in good works. This is our tradition; it is the doctrine we have heard from our youth. Many of you are acquainted with the various doctrines of the Christian world. Some believe, “Once in grace, always in grace.” Others, “A Saint today, a sinner tomorrow, and next day again a Saint,” &c., &c. “The kingdom of God on the earth?” “Has not this kingdom been established long and long ago?” “Why does not the Lord Jesus come to take possession of the earth, as it is his?” These are questions that arise, especially in the minds of critics—of those who are inclined to be infidel in regard to revealed religion; and they inquire of the Christian, “Why does not your God do thus and so? Why does he delay? Why does he permit the enemy to hold possession of the dominion of the Savior?” with many other inquiries that rest in the minds of the people. Perhaps some of you have satisfactorily answered these questions to yourselves, and perhaps you have heard them satisfactorily answered to your minds and understanding by the Elders of Israel.

There is a reason for all this. I have not time this afternoon, and do not wish to confine myself, to say all that my mind would be led to say on the subject. I can say at once, If Jesus had taken the kingdom in the days when he was upon the earth, he would have spoiled the whole plan—he would have ruined the object for which he came into the world. If he had established his kingdom directly after the flood and reigned triumphantly on the earth, the earth could never have answered the ends of its creation—the inhabitants of the earth could not have been accountable. If he had to take possession of the earth at this present time, he would ruin his own scheme—thwart his own plans. It may be a mystery—it is with the many—why the Lord permits this and that, and dictates thus and so. This is for want of intelligence in the intelligent beings that are upon the earth. If they understood the object of the creation of this earth and the inhabitants upon it, these matters would be an easy and pleasing theme to their understandings; they would become natural principles to them, easy to be understood. They would comprehend the design of the Almighty in the formation of these intelligent beings, in the direction of them, the object of the creation of the earth, and the final issue in the end, when all that has been designed of this earth and all consigned to this earth have come upon it, and the work is completed—the winding-up scene has come, when Jesus shall have finished his work pertaining to man and his agency—you will then see that the kingdom will be taken possession of, and that very quickly.

Every mortal being must stand up as an intelligent, organized capacity, and choose or refuse the good, and thus act for himself. All must have that opportunity, no matter if all go into the depths of wickedness. Whether they sustain the kingdom of God and promote the Gospel of salvation, or not, the earth must remain in the hands of men, liable to be acted upon continually by a superior power and authority. Man’s independence must be held inviolate; it must be reserved to each and every individual: all must have the privilege of acting upon it. Until the last spirit that has been designed to come here and take a tabernacle has come upon the earth, the winding-up scene cannot come; I have not time to say what I would like to upon this subject, but will leave it to your own reflection.

Marvel not that the kingdom of God is not in its fulness. Marvel not that you see every man and woman subject to the passions that belong to fallen nature. There never was a Prophet on the earth but what was subject to passions, as we are. Every son and daughter of Adam that has come into this world has been subject to sin, and prone to wander. They must have their times and seasons; and when the day has come in which all things are to be gathered in one, the Lord will gather those things. When the day comes in which Jesus will take possession of the earth (he will take possession of it when the time comes that Satan will be ejected from the inheritance of the children—of the legal heirs), you will find that ejectment will be served, and it will be effectual. It will be effectual upon every tenant or occupant upon the premises of the Almighty, and they will be forthwith removed. But the time is not yet come—the work is not yet finished. Be patient—be coworkers with our Savior and Master until this work is accomplished, and we shall be blessed in our deeds.

I wish to make a few remarks to the brethren in this city in regard to reaching forth their hands and means to assist in gathering the poor Saints. At first, some deemed it inexpedient to call upon the people in this city to assist in sending teams for the Saints; but we have otherwise concluded. We expect that we have more power here than they have in any other place in all the Branches and associations of the Church of Jesus Christ upon the whole earth. We here see for the whole of them, we speak for the whole, and, comparatively speaking, we have more power than is possessed in any other part of the body. If we wish to have a great thing performed, we must take the lead. And when we feel that we are weak and feeble, incapable of doing this or that, with poverty staring us in the face, and the want of means is felt, let every person rise up and consider his calling and standing, and the design of the Almighty.

I will present a comparison from our mechanics. You will find mechanics here who can go to work and build a beautiful house, but they must have all the necessary tools and materials. Another can build a carriage, but he must have the necessary tools and materials. You can find a man who can build a steam engine, but he must have the tools and materials. But you find the mechanics that can go to with an old three-cornered file, a jackknife, a spike gimlet, and an inch augur, and build a wagon in a workmanlike manner, and you would say that he is a superior workman. As the fisherman says, “It is no trick to catch fish, if you have the tools and know how it is done.” It is no development of skill for us to preach the Gospel to the nations, if we have our pockets full of money, and Bible societies and tract societies and missionary societies gathering it for us to pay our expenses—scraping up for us the filthy lucre. I suppose that in such cases we should feel as others do. You know how some of those feel who can go from one side of the earth to the other, and have the privilege of gathering means to go with. The way they feel is shown forth very forcibly in an anecdote of a priest, after a collection had been made. He gathered up the money, and while putting it in his pocket gave out the hymn—“This is the God that I adore.”

You see Elders who start from here without purse or scrip, and cross the Plains with handcarts, and they have ingenuity enough to go from city to city, from country to country, from nation to nation, and circumscribe the earth. In that there is certain skill, talent, and ability, great zeal, or excellent good luck: you must attribute it to something. It would be no great affair for us to gather the Saints, if we had plenty of gold. How many times I have thought I would like a handy place to go to for gold with which to gather the Saints; but where would be our glory and reward, to go from here to Europe, and travel East to China and home again, having been preaching several years, with our pockets full of gold? Where, then, is your great ability? In your pockets—in the god so much adored. But take the men that can travel the earth over, preach the Gospel without purse or scrip, and then go to and lay their plans to gather the Saints. That looks like the work of angels. Does it not look like the work of beings superior to the common people? Do you know that we are called to this work?

If the Lord had called upon some great man, some rich man, some one of the prominent Bishops in the Roman Catholic Church or in the Church of England, or the Pope, to dig the plates out of the earth, and translate them, and publish the Book of Mormon, and then have furnished them with plenty of gold and other means to distribute to the disciples—plenty of wealth, honor, fame, and good name in the midst of the people—would there have been any particular manifestation of a superior being in all this? There would not. The Lord chose Joseph Smith, called upon him at fourteen years of age, gave him visions, and led him along, guided and directed him in his obscurity until he brought forth the plates and translated them, and Martin Harris was prevailed upon to sustain the printing of the Book of Mormon. All this was done in the depths of poverty, obscurity, and weakness. The Book has been translated, printed, and handed to the world; and every time that a man of letters, rhetoric, or profound worldly learning, comes into this Church and undertakes to preach the Gospel, relying upon his worldly wisdom, that man will fail. No matter where upon the earth he undertakes to start this kingdom according to the customs, feelings, fashions, and pride of the world, it will sink as sure as he undertakes it.

I recollect one remark that brother Joseph used to make frequently, when talking to the Elders. No matter what he set them to do, whether he wanted them to go to a foreign land on a mission, or to go into business, he would say, “When you commence, go in at the little end of the horn; for if you do not, but enter at the big end, you will either have to turn round and come out at the end you went in at, or go out at the small end and be squeezed nigh unto death.” Let an Elder hire the best halls in large cities to begin with, and go to lecturing, and it will take him a long time to raise a Branch of this Church. But let him begin among the poor of the earth—those who live in the cellars, and garrets, and back streets; “for,” says the Almighty, “I am going to take the weak things of the earth, and with them confound the wisdom of the wise.” You will see that trait in every step of “Mormonism.” God has chosen the obscure and weak, to bring them up and exalt them. Is not that the work of a God, the performance of this work without money and without price? The Gospel is sent to all the inhabitants of the earth—to the high and the low, the noble and the ignoble, the young and the old. “Here is the Gospel; you are welcome to it.” “Don’t you ask anything for it?” “Not a farthing. It has to go to the world without money and price.” Now, compare this with carrying the Gospel with your pockets full of money; and in the latter case where is your glory and honor?

As an instance, we have men who quarry rock out of the mountains; and we would say to those men, Can you go and quarry rock without the suitable instruments? Says one, “I must have so many picks and wedges, and I must have so many drills of different sizes, and so many sledges and hammers.” Another man says, “I am going to make the tools; I have the ability, and I will make the instruments from the ore in the mountain.” You remember what Nephi did. When he came to the sea, and prepared to build his barge, the Lord showed him the ore, and Nephi made the tools with which he formed his barge. He did not have to go back to Jerusalem to get tools. I would like to see a little more of that skill displayed here than I do at the present time. I am using this comparison to show that we, in our poverty, have this work to do.

As was observed this morning, in a wholesome, lovely, excellent discourse, we will have to go to work and get the gold out of the mountains to lay down, if we ever walk in streets paved with gold. The angels that now walk in their golden streets, and they have the tree of life within their paradise, had to obtain that gold and put it there. When we have streets paved with gold, we will have placed it there ourselves. When we enjoy a Zion in its beauty and glory, it will be when we have built it. If we enjoy the Zion that we now anticipate, it will be after we redeem and prepare it. If we live in the city of the New Jerusalem, it will be because we lay the foundation and build it. If we do not as individuals complete that work, we shall lay the foundation for our children and our children’s children, as Adam has. If we are to be saved in an ark, as Noah and his family were, it will be because we build it. If the Gospel is preached to the nations, it is because the Elders of Israel go in their poverty, without purse or scrip, to preach the Gospel to the uttermost parts of the earth.

If the Elders of Israel could see the true track and thread of faith, they never would say they could not do this or that, but would see at once that we are the head, the law-giving department. We are the eyes, the ears, the mouth; we dictate, and it is for us to lead out in every good work. If we build a Temple here, it will be because we need one; and if we really need one, go to work and build it. Will we count the cost? No. If I am going to build a temple, I am not going to sit down and count the cost. I care not what it will cost. So long as we are occupied in doing a good work, it keeps us out of mischief and unrighteousness, and at the same time enhances the value of our whole property, and beautifies our cities.

If we wish to send for the poor, gather up teams. “But,” say you, “I have not got any.” Then prepare yourselves to go as teamsters, to do anything and everything. As I have not time to make many remarks upon this, let me say to the Elders of Israel, and also the sisters, One-third or one fourth of the time that is spent to procure a living would be sufficient, if your labor were rightly directed. People think they are going to get rich by hard work—by working sixteen hours out of the twenty-four; but it is not so. A great many of our brethren can hardly spend time to go to meeting. Six days is more time than we need to labor. Sixteen hours out of twenty-four is more time than we need to labor, or even ten hours, if that labor is rightly directed. If we labor, let us labor to advantage, so as to accomplish what we design.

I wish to say to the brethren and Bishops here, When we concluded that we would call upon this city for help, we got all we asked for, and more. I say, Credit is due to them. Let me say to you, brethren, I am satisfied; the Spirit that is within me is satisfied. And one thing in particular let me say to you, In all your transactions in these public matters, do not do, unless you want to. As we say to the Saints, Do not pay Tithing, unless you want to; do not help to build up this Temple, unless you want to; do not put forth your hands to one day’s work, unless you want to; do not put forth your hands to help build the Seventies’ Hall, unless you want to. If you grudgingly put forth your means to help to gather the Saints, it will be a curse to you; it will mildew, and every effort you make will wither in your possession. If you do not wish to help, let it alone; but if you really want to help to gather the Saints, turn out with your teams, as you agree to. If you wish this Temple built, go to work and do all you can this season. Some say, “I do not like to do it, for we never began to build a Temple without the bells of hell beginning to ring.” I want to hear them ring again. All the tribes of hell will be on the move, if we uncover the walls of this Temple. But what do you think it will amount to? You have all the time seen what it has amounted to.

I can say, for my comfort and consolation, and for yours too, that we did build two temples, and commenced another. We completed a temple in Kirtland and in Nauvoo; and did not the bells of hell toll all the time we were building them? They did, every week and every day. For our consolation I will say, We are here and not there. You cannot ride from here to Carthage, in Hancock County, Illinois, before breakfast, if you try; and every one that now tries to come from Warsaw or Carthage to the headquarters of “Mormonism” will have to put more crackers in their pockets than they used to. What did they accomplish? They magnified the work of the Lord in the eyes of the nations. They are more afraid of our union than of any other power. They are afraid of the God that is within us. If that union and the power of God is with ten men, they fear that in them more than they fear a hundred thousand men that are not united. We are here, and I am satisfied.

In regard to the acts of this city in turning out teams, we shall send them this season to bring the poor across the Plains; and what will we do another season? Send a great many more. Will the way be hedged up by the wars and distress of nations? I neither know nor care. I am looking for the words of Joseph to be fulfilled. The time will come when men and women will be glad to catch what they can, roll up in a small bundle, and start for the mountains, without team or wagon. That day will shortly come. Hundreds of people in this house are my witnesses, who heard Joseph say, when asked whether we should ever have to leave Nauvoo, “The Saints will leave Nauvoo. I do not say they will be driven, as they were from Jackson County, Missouri, and from that State; but they will leave here and go to the mountains. And the next time the Saints remove, or are caused to remove, they will be turned out of the frying pan, not into the fire, but into the middle of the floor.” If this is not the middle of the floor, I do not know where you will find it. When we left Missouri, we were turned out of the frying pan into the fire; and the next time our enemies succeeded in their warring against us, they cast us into the middle of the floor. I think this is the middle of the floor. Can we look to the back side of it, or to the front side of it? I can look to the south and to the north, and it is a great way to the bed or to the table. I think we are in the middle of the floor. We are here, and not there. “Do you think there will be war, so that we cannot gather the Saints?” I do not know, nor do I care. They must come.

I want to say a few words to those of my brethren who are apt to prophesy evil. Some of the brethren are all the time foreseeing evil that the Saints are going to suffer, and saying that we are going to see harder times than ever before, and that the armies of the Un—hold on—the armies of the nations will yet gather against us. Let them gather: the Lord will perform his work. “But don’t you think we shall be afflicted again?” What if we are? I am not sorry that the army came here. “What are you sorry for?” I am sorry to see so many foolish persons in our midst. If I possessed the influence over this people that it is my right to possess in the midst of the Latter-day Saints, I would have made our enemies pay well for what they bought. But to see the sisters run with butter, eggs, and chickens, and the brethren with their flour and wheat, to their enemies who came here to cut their throats, or else make them renounce their religion, is what pains my heart. Our enemies are ruined, the gold is spent, and we are here where we can procure more. Who has made the money in what is called the “Utah War?” Mr. Floyd, Secretary of War, expected to make a large amount. When he started his crusade, I considered that he would make some five millions of dollars. He has probably done so, and he will lose the whole of it, and will become a stink and a by-word among his friends, and will rot; and very many of you will see it come to pass. This will also come to pass upon every one of those that came here to destroy “Mormonism,” as very many of you will see. The likeliest class that did come here were the gamblers, and they were most of them broke; and all who engaged in the crusade will be broken. When they undertook the job, they did not count the cost.

It is seldom I think of them; but when I get to talking about them, the times we have passed through come up, which were good times. I felt remarkably well through them all. “You, Brigham Young, are a Mormon; you believe in Joseph Smith, and you are not fit to live on the earth.” “You, John, Peter, and Paul, ought to be killed, because you believe in Jesus Christ.” How do you think I feel towards them? One of our sisters lay sick in bed in Far West; and when the mob came in there, one of them took a pitchfork and threatened to stab her with it. She said, “Stick it into me as quick as you please, for you will not do any great things in killing an old woman like me—one who is not able to get off from her bed.” When they hunted us into this desolate wilderness, if you will permit me to use a vulgar figure, I had to put on scores of old-fashioned Pennsylvania breechings; I had to keep putting on another, and another, to hold them within bounds. The Lord said, “Hold on.” He can fight our battles far better than we can. Anger towards them is a poor, miserable feeling; and I am trying to get rid of it. But to reflect on what they have done! Hundreds and hundreds of fathers, mothers, and children have been wasted by the wayside, through their hellish persecutions! I feel that I want to live until I see the earth emptied of such characters. Are all thus mean? No, only those that feel to persecute and destroy the kingdom of God from the earth.

I will tell you another prophecy of Joseph’s, of which both Jews and Gentiles are my witnesses. Joseph said that the bones of hundreds of the Missouri and Illinois mobocrats, who drove the Saints from those States, should bleach on the plains, and their flesh should be meat for wolves. Are you witnesses to that, in coming over the Plains? Yes, hundreds and hundreds of those characters that started to go to the gold mines, their flesh was meat for the wolves, and their bones are there bleaching today, so far as they have not been buried, or entirely rotted away. That is another prophecy of Joseph’s. I do not say that all who differ with us in matters of religion are mobocrats. No: there are as honest men in other churches as there are in ours.

Go into the world among the infidels and the Universalists: they are two good classes of men. Then visit the members of the Church of England, and the Roman Catholic Church, the Baptists, Methodists, Presbyterians, Quakers, Shakers, &c.; and millions of them are as honest as we are. Shall I call them mobocrats? Who are the evildoers? Those who have had the light presented to them, and rejected it. I do not feel as I have represented towards all the children of men, only towards those who have hunted our lives from the beginning—who have hunted the life of every Saint from the beginning. But they have not the power, neither will they have it, to divide this kingdom. This Church will prosper and increase. You understand that, when I talk about those men, I talk about those who have been active, in what? In trying to bring destruction upon us. Have we injured them? No, we have not; at least, I have not, and I hope you have not. Have they any great reason for their usage to us? They have not. I will leave them in the hands of God; and when the time comes, as I have told you, for the present occupants and tenants to be disinherited, the writ of ejectment will be served, and they will be forthwith hoisted from their position, and Jesus will take possession. And, as has been observed this morning, though a terrific thought for all men to be under the control of one, that man will never live on the earth that will not control the inhabitants of the earth, until he can do it with justice and mercy. Do not be afraid: the enemies of God and his Christ will be divided and subdivided all the time, and Jesus will come to reign and rule. You say, “We all like the reign of Christ.” The wicked will not like the Savior half so well as you like me. He would tell them to go to their own place. I honor no other being in heaven and earth more than him; and no man can rule triumphantly until he rules in righteousness. Wherefore have no fears in the least. I will leave this subject.

We want to build this Temple. Now, brethren, shall we do so? Yes; and we will do all that is necessary. The Bishops talked over the matter, and thought sending teams from this city would prevent our putting forth our strength upon the walls of the Temple. But let me tell you that we can do far more on the Temple this year, if we touch it at all, than we could if we did not send our cattle and wagons East. Perhaps some of us cannot understand this, but I trust you will so live that you will see the time when you will understand that God rules in heaven, and does his pleasure upon the earth; and that the cattle upon a thousand hills are his; and that he will control all matters to your benefit, if we are coworkers with him, with a pure heart, and an eye single to the building up of his kingdom, and do what is wanted to be done; and that the more we do the more means we shall have. Let the wicked continue to fight and quarrel, and the Lord will open the path for us, and we can gather the poor Saints for a good while yet. No matter what is done among the States, the earth is the Lord’s, and He will dictate, govern, and control where he pleases; and by-and-by he will take possession of the whole farm—of the whole earth.

It is now time for us to wake up to business. We have had a pleasant winter, and have enjoyed ourselves in the dance, in concerts, and parties. I want to say to the Bishops, now wind up these amusements, and let us go to work. You have often been told that all the amusement Latter-day Saints enjoy, or will enjoy, we have to make. One of the most useful amusements we could have would be for the Seventies and High Priests to meet here, instead of in their small halls, and lecture. Which is the most delightful, to satisfy the wants of the natural body, or those of the intelligent part within us? Which is the most precious? Both.

Little boys play with their wagons, tops, marbles, &c.; little girls with their dolls, cradles, and skipping ropes. They are in the height of their enjoyment, while there sits the mother, whose mind comprehends all the children can enjoy, and then she can see enjoyment far beyond what they are then capable of enjoying. Perhaps her vision is open to see forward into the eternity before her, and that she will be able to preserve her identity in the future existence. Do you not see how easy it is for her to circumscribe all those little children can enjoy? Her feeling is, “I am delighted: it is a great satisfaction to see my children enjoy themselves.” But how would she like to engage in their plays? “It is my joy to see them enjoy themselves.” Do you like to get together in your parties? How are you looked upon by beings in the eternal worlds? Precisely as a mother looks upon her children when they are enjoying themselves and passing their time so kindly with each other. Says the mother, “I do delight in seeing my children enjoy themselves.” I also delight in enjoying myself with the brethren and sisters, and giving to my natural organization the food that the natural body requires. The body requires food, and the immortal spirit requires food; the whole organization requires something to feast upon, and we get up amusements to satisfy it. I say to the Bishops, Now wind up the dancing parties. What do you think, brother Woolley? What do you think, brother Hoagland? [”Yes.“] I presume all the rest feel the same.

I think we will stop dancing parties for a time. Now make your parties around your ploughs; see that your teams are where you can get them, and that your fences are in order, and have your teams and wagons ready to go East. And when you wish to enjoy yourselves with your brethren, you are welcome to this room, to lecture in and present any public business requisite to be done. We have much public work laid out to be done this season. We intend to make some improvements on this Tabernacle, and do something at the Temple, and build the Seventies’ Hall, besides lecture rooms, assembly rooms, &c., in this city; and if we are let alone, in thirty years we shall make quite a city of this place. We also expect to build a theater this season, as a place of amusement for the brethren and sisters. I am not going to have the devils make fun for me: they have fun that will keep them pretty busily occupied. I will never go to hell for fun; and if I have any fun, I wish my brethren and sisters to make it. God bless you! Amen.

Self-Knowledge—Futility of Attempts to Destroy “Mormonism,” &c

Remarks by President Brigham Young, made in the Tabernacle, Great Salt Lake City, February 17, 1861.

Brother Joseph W. Young, in his remarks, alluded to the intelligence to be dispensed to the people here—that which they do not get elsewhere. The brethren come here from the States and from the old countries: they gather from different parts of the world, expecting to learn the great mysteries—the secret things of our God. What do you learn, brothers and sisters? If you are good scholars, you learn to treat your neighbors as they should be treated, and to have the same affections for a person from Ireland or England as you do for one from your own native land. You come here to learn to drive oxen into a canyon, and return without sinning. You come here to learn that every person you see is a little different from you.

Brother Kimball most beautifully compared this people to a tree, remarking that we all receive nourishment from the same fountain. A tree shoots forth; it soon begins to have branches; but you cannot find two limbs precisely alike. A branch puts forth to bear fruit; the tree continues its course upwards; another branch starts out; and if it is a little different from the first branch, should it find fault and complain of the tree because of that difference in shape and capacity? You cannot find two twigs alike. You may examine any tree of the forest and see whether you can find any two leaves that are precisely alike. You cannot. Then you may go to a meadow, and see whether you can find two spears of grass just alike in shape and form. There are no two precisely alike. Examples of that endless variety are now before me.

The greatest lesson you can learn is to learn yourselves. When we learn ourselves, we learn our neighbors. When we know precisely how to deal with ourselves, we know how to deal with our neighbors. You have come here to learn this. You cannot learn it immediately, neither can all the philosophy of the age teach it to you: you have to come here to get a practical experience and to learn yourselves. You will then begin to learn more perfectly the things of God. No being can thoroughly learn himself, without understanding more or less of the things of God: neither can any being learn and understand the things of God, without learning himself: he must learn himself, or he never can learn God. This is a lesson to us; and you cannot learn that abroad which you can learn here.

How simple it appears, how trifling at the first thought, to the noble mind of man that is reaching after eternity and eternal things, to come here to learn to drive oxen, to learn to build houses, to learn to mingle his feelings with his neighbor and treat his neighbor as he is, and to learn that he must not expect every person around him to be precisely like himself; for we see that endless variety renders it impossible. Let every man learn to properly treat his fellow man, for this we come together to learn.

There are a great many other things that it is important to learn, and one in particular is to learn to live and operate on the principle brother Kimball spoke of, that “The earth is the Lord’s, and the fulness thereof.” I am a witness to what brother Kimball said. When I asked him to build a house in Nauvoo, he had not five dollars to begin with. Do you want to know how poor he was? I might tell you that he was as rich as I was, except, perhaps, in his feelings: in that respect I do not think that he was quite so rich as I was there, for I felt like asking no odds of anybody. He had not a farthing when he returned to Nauvoo from England. Upon our return, we found our families comparatively naked and barefoot as we had left them. Who was ready to step forth and help to administer to the comfort and relief of brother Kimball? A certain Apostle managed to take the fleece of the flock that we had raised. Would he let brother Kimball have a dress pattern for his wife Vilate? No. Sister Kimball had not a second dress, and yet brother Kimball could not get a dress pattern from his brother Apostle. He began to build a house, and when it was finished he owed no one. Suppose he had sat down and counted the cost.

There are words said to have been spoken by the Savior—“For which of you, intending to build a tower, sitteth not down first, and counteth the cost, whether he hath sufficient to finish it?” No matter whether he said this or not: it is only a question asked: he did not give it as his counsel or advice. I have built a great many houses, and never counted the cost before I built them. I never wanted to know anything about it. What is to be done? I want some rock. Go and get it. I want some lime. Go and get it. I want a mason: I hire him, and pay him to lay up the walls. I hire my carpenters and painters, and pay them. I want something to put on the walls. Get it and put it on: if it is a frame building, get the timber and put it up. In short, when I want a house, I go to work and put it up, and do not stop until it is done, and never count the cost. “The earth is the Lord’s,” with all its fulness.

When I hear of the brethren and sisters going after gold—the riches and wealth of the earth—I think that if they had it in the spirit world they could not do anything with it there. There are no merchants there with their merchandise—no grog shops there in which to spend money. Those who possess wealth must leave it here for the Saints, and the Saints will become heirs of it; and we wish the people to be ready to receive these and all blessings the Lord has in store for them. Be ready. We were ready when King James Buchanan sent his friends here to initiate us into Christianity. If we had not been ready, your heads and mine might have been cold ere today. We were ready, and we said, “Stop—stay your sad career, until you think.”

Did Thomas H. Benton aid in gathering the Saints? Yes, he was the mainspring and action of governments in driving us into these mountains. He obtained orders from President Polk to summon the militia of Missouri, and destroy every “Mormon” man, woman, and child, unless they turned out five hundred men to fight the battles of the United States in Mexico. He said that we were aliens to the Government, and to prove it he said—“Mr. President, make a requisition on that camp for five hundred men, and I will prove to you that they are traitors to our Government.” We turned out the men, and many of them are before me today; among whom is father Pettigrew—a man that ought to have been asked into the Cabinet to give the President counsel; but they asked him to travel on foot across the Plains to fight our country’s battles against Mexico. We turned out the men, and Mr. Benton was disappointed. He went to his grave in disgrace, and shame covered him. Was he a man of influence in his last days—in the latter portion of his career in public life? When he could not be President, nor be returned again to the Senate, after much exertion he succeeded in being elected a member of the House of Representatives, and at the close of his public career, because the hands of the clock in the Representatives Hall were turned back, and the hands of his watch did not agree with it when at twelve o’clock, said he, “Mr. Speaker, I am not a member of this legislative body.” The Speaker said, “Sergeant-at-Arms, show that gentleman to the door,” and there was scarcely a man in the House that so much as turned his eyes to look. The ground he walked on was disgraced by his step, and his acquaintances shunned him: and so it will be with others.

Brother Kimball says that King James will have to pay the debt he has contracted. He has more on his hands than he will settle for many generations. You will see the old man go down to the grave in disgrace. He has cast off his political friends, and they will all cast him off as a thing of naught, and he will become a hiss and a by-word, and has already.

The London Times speaks of the old man’s being incapable of magnifying the office bestowed upon him. They complain of him now; but, when he was minister from our Government to England, did they not in secret council induce him to pledge himself to destroy the “Mormons,” if they would assist in electing him President? Did they not connive with Buchanan to destroy the “Mormons” from the earth? Did they not send their armies to the north to head us in our retreat, provided King James succeeded in routing us from our homes? I spoke of this to Captain Van Vleit, when he was here. I merely ask these questions, that those who are acquainted with political moves may draw their conclusions upon the workings of governments. But the Lord has given his people power to elude the grasp of our enemies; for he led them in a way they knew not, turned them hither and thither, diverted the blow aimed at our heads, and brought disgrace and ruin on those who sought to bring ruin and destruction upon us. It will take them a great while to pay the debt they have contracted. That Government known as the United States has become like water spilled on the ground, and other governments will follow.

“Kings become nursing fathers,” indeed? Not King James: no. “Queens become nursing mothers?” Will Queen Victoria become a nursing mother to the Saints? I have not one word of fault to find with her as an individual; but the Government holds her; she is fettered. She is a good woman, but she will never nurse the Saints. Will the Queen of Spain? Never. But the kings and queens I am looking upon today will belong to that class; they will be the fathers and mothers to the lost sheep of the house of Israel. There are many sheep on the earth that we have not yet found. We consider ourselves the flock of God—the kingdom of God; and when you travel upon the islands of the sea and among the nations who have never heard the Gospel, you will learn that there are thousands and millions of the sheep that have not heard the voice of the Good Shepherd. They are to be entered into the fold, and we have it to do.

Remember that, “The earth is the Lord’s, and the fulness thereof.” And I can say to the Bishops and brethren of this city, that, in rating teams to send to Florence, they have answered our expectations and more. We shall send and bring up the poor, and shall build, and continue to increase in our ability. Every time we put forth our ability to do good and build up the kingdom of God, according to the means the Lord bestows upon us, our means and ability will be doubled and trebled. Yes, we shall receive tenfold, and, as Joseph said, an hundredfold. Have we witnesses of this? Yes, plenty of witnesses. I will mention one little circumstance. When we were finishing the Temple in Nauvoo, the last year of our stay there, I rented a portion of ground in what was called the Church farm, which we afterwards deeded to sister Emma. Brother George D. Grant worked for me then, and planted the corn, sowed the oats, and said this, that, and the other must be attended to. They called for teams to haul for the Temple, and could not get them. Said I, Put my team on the Temple, if there is not a kernel of grain raised. I said I would trust in God for the increase, and I had as good corn as there was on the farm, though it was not touched from the time we put the seed in to the time of gathering. I proved the fact. I had faith.

The poor miserable apostates there prophesied, and the Gentiles prophesied, and all creation of wickedness seemed to agree that that Temple should not be finished; and I said that it should, and the house of Israel said that it should, and the angels and God said, “We will help you.” Many of you remember my setting my foot on the capstone and addressing the people. We completed the Temple, used it a short time, and were done with it. On the 5th or 6th of February, 1846, we committed the building into the hands of the Lord, and left it; and when we heard that it was burned, we were glad of it.

How many circumstances could I relate to the brethren that God does hold the purse strings of the world! Brother Kimball has slightly alluded to a circumstance, without mentioning the particulars. When brother Heber C. Kimball and I were on the way to England, and were left in a little place called Pleasant Garden, I know, as I know I live, that we had no more than thirteen dollars and fifty cents. This was all we had, that we knew anything about. In the course of the journey, we paid out just about eighty-six dollars, as near as I can recollect, for conveyance, food, and lodging, always finding just money enough in my trunk to pay each bill; and when we arrived at Kirtland Corners, we had just the York shilling left.

I might stand here and relate to the brethren incidents, until you would be tired of hearing. I merely wish to impress upon you the feeling that God holds your purse strings. You may hoard up your gold, keep your cattle on the ranges for the Indians to steal or the winters to destroy, and tie up your hearts as tight as you please; the Lord will let the Indians steal your cattle and thieves your purses—will let calamity come upon you, or permit you to roll in wealth until you go to your own place.

It has been told you that we want to bring the brethren here and give them their endowments, and then let them apostatize if they will, and have done with them. Those who are steadfast and faithful, we will teach to work in the adobie yard, in the quarry, &c.; and learn them to be cleanly and prudent, and teach them what their organization is, that they may understand the things of God.

May God bless you! Amen.

Gathering of the People of God in The Last Days—Return to Jackson County, &c

Discourse by President Heber C. Kimball, made in the Tabernacle, Great Salt Lake City, February 17, 1861.

You have all heard what has been said by brother Joseph W. Young, and you know it to be true, just as well as I do. You also know that it is necessary for us to observe and practice, in order that we may become Saints. He has told us a great many things, and they are all very good.

If all the people would magnify their callings and honor the positions for which they were created, they would do a great deal better than they do. This is considered by some to be but a small matter; but still there is a great deal contained in the expression.

Man is an independent creature, as you were told this forenoon; but every man is accountable for his own acts. Every debt you contract you have got to pay. I shall never pay any of your debts, except I order you to contract them. If you will take counsel and do as you are told, you never will contract any debts that will affect you much. Every sin that I commit while in this tabernacle of flesh I have got to settle; and if any debt is not settled while I am in the flesh, I shall have to pay it hereafter. This will apply to you as well as me, and therefore you need not try to avoid it, for you will have to meet all your accounts.

We are considered to be the saviors of men; we are appointed to save, and not to destroy. We are gathered here in the mountains. Some have gathered themselves by the help of God, others have been gathered by the Church funds. It is not every man that has got the ability to manage his own emigration, though he may have the means; for some men are not capacitated for that kind of business.

Perhaps you will now refer to the Bible to prove that the time is to come when the kings of the earth will gather the Saints together, and when they will bring the sons and daughters of God from afar, and when they will protect and sustain them—when the queens of the earth will have them by their sides and become nursing mothers unto them. We shall not send queens from here to the nations of the earth to teach the people, but the people have got to be brought here up to the heights of Zion; then the kings and queens will instruct them and nurse them, when we have them gathered together.

Now, a great many suppose that this applies to the kings and queens of the various nations; but I can tell you that the kings and queens of the Gentiles will never gather the Saints. I want to know how many of the Latter-day Saints were gathered to these mountains by king James Buchanan? [President B. Young: There were a few teamsters came with the army.] How many did Tom Benton gather? The most of us: that is to say, he was the means of driving us from our homes to this place, which was then a wilderness; but he never helped us. James Buchanan never put forth his hands to aid this people. Will he ever strive to restore this people and make right that which he has made wrong? I don’t suppose he ever will; but as the Lord God liveth, he will have to pay the debt he has contracted with this people. [A voice in the stand: it will take him a great while to do it.] If you wait for him, or for any of the wicked, to take you back to Jackson County, Missouri, you will have to wait some millions of years. And if we should wait for the rotten-hearted kings and queens of the wicked nations to gather us home, we shall have to wait a long time. Possibly some of them may come and look at the place, but they will never come to stay and assist in building up Zion. Many of them will yet drive the Saints from their lands and homes, just as the wicked have driven us from the United States into these mountains of Deseret.

Then who is to gather the people of God? You all say that we are to become a kingdom of kings and priests—of queens and priestesses; and the Bible supports this doctrine. Now, the truth is, you are the very kings and priests that have got to gather the Saints, and your wives have got to school them and nurse them. I might put this in different language, but this will answer the purpose and convey to you the true meaning of the text.

We are informed in the Bible that in the last days the sons of God shall be brought from afar, and his daughters from the ends of the earth; and also that the elect will be gathered from the four quarters of the globe. Now, this will most assuredly be fulfilled, and this is the work which you and I have got to perform. How shall we bring them together? The Scriptures say they shall come upon swift beasts and dromedaries; and I will add mules and oxen.

I tell you honestly that I do not believe that the corrupt kings and queens of the earth will ever gather the Saints of God; but still I acknowledge that they cannot do anything but what will tend to promote the interests of the kingdom of God, any more than James Buchanan could. Every step he took tended to promote this cause and give influence to this people. That very Expedition has opened your eyes so that you can see a great deal farther than you could before, and your perception will increase with your experience. Now, brethren, if you could see the thing just as it is, there is not one of you but what would put forth your means, your hands, and your minds like men and like saviors upon Mount Zion. It is as brother Joseph said—“If you have the right spirit, you will be ready to lend your ability towards the gathering of Israel.”

The Scriptures say that with what measure ye mete, it shall be measured to you again. Then let us all sow good seeds. Let us strive to do good, learn to be one, and to be firmly connected to the Church and kingdom of God—every member partaking of his attributes, and of the spirit of those men who lead us. By pursuing this course we shall be prospered and blest in all things.

You need not wait for any of the kings to gather Israel; you need not wait for anybody else to perform the duties that devolve upon you. We have got to gather the people, and our wives and sisters will become the nursing mothers, for they are the queens spoken of in Scripture. If we will all take this course, we shall be blest of the Almighty; his Spirit will be with us to impart joy and consolation continually.

There is one thing that brother Joseph omitted to tell you. It was presented to his mind, but he did not like to say it; but I will say it. Have your rifles and muskets ready. Keep your powder dry, and have your balls and duckshots ready; for you know not what a day may bring forth. It is our duty to be ready for every change and for every attack of the enemy; for the Lord’s people were always subject to opposition and persecution from their enemies, and they will continue to be so until the kingdom of God triumphs.

Brother Joseph W. Young is going to the Missouri River to fetch the people who are gathering from Europe and various parts of the United States. I intend to do everything I can for the accomplishment of this laudable enterprise. If I could raise oxen sufficient, I would send ten teams and wagons; but if I cannot do this, I will at least send three or four. It is far better to do this than let the Indians steal your cattle, and then you waste your time and property in hunting for them.

When I say anything of myself, there are some people who think it is egotism; but I have always been accustomed, since I came into this Church, to do all I could for its advancement. I am always willing to give anything that is required of me for this kingdom. I have lived in this Church almost thirty years, and I have never been in any situation, however difficult, but the way has been opened for me. I never failed to accomplish anything I set about, and I never shall, if I continue to pursue this course.

I am speaking this by way of encouragement, and brother Brigham knows that I am telling the truth; for when we have been poor, the Almighty has placed means in our hands, and oftentimes so mysteriously that we did not know where it came from. For instance, in Nauvoo we were commanded to build the Temple; and in order to accomplish that, we had to build a great many big houses. Brother Brigham told me to go and build a good house. I had scarcely anything to begin with; but when I got through building I had a span of horses, a wagon, and a yoke of oxen. I could prove this, if it were necessary; for many others did similar things; and the more we built, the more means we had to build the Temple with. In the following February we left. My house was sold for seventeen hundred dollars, intended to be used to help to gather the Saints; but Almon W. Babbitt put it in his pocket, I suppose. I have still got some buildings in Kirtland and in some other places; and if I don’t have them again, those who drove me from them will have to pay a high price for them.

Brethren, I shall go to Jackson County with thousands of this people who will be faithful to their integrity; but we cannot go back until we have built some good houses. Let us honor the plan of salvation, that we may become one. My constant prayer is that the Spirit of oneness may descend upon this people; first upon the Presidency of this Church, and then upon every Quorum and authority thereof.

How is it with a tree? Does it not all partake of the same nourishment, and that sap go to every limb, branch, fiber, and leaf? It does; and it should be so with every man and woman in the Church and kingdom of God.

Let us gather up the Saints, then. Let us also build some good houses. We want to build the Seventies’ Hall, and several other large buildings the present season. We also want to devote a portion of our means to the building of the Temple, that thereby we may have an increase to the blessings of the heavens and of the earth.

I feel very cheerful and happy today. I do not feel any of that contractedness of mind that makes men selfish, penurious, cold-hearted, and of a sad countenance. I find that the more that I have of the Spirit of God, the more cheerful I am; and it is so with all men of God. I know that those Prophets who have lived in my day loved to tell stories and be cheerful: they delighted in a glad heart and a cheerful countenance. Father Smith was one of the most cheerful men I ever saw, and he was harmless as a child. Amen.

Human Intelligence and Freedom—National Administrative Movements, &c

Remarks by President Brigham Young, made in the Bowery, Great Salt Lake City, February 10, 1861.

I have no doubt with regard to the good work of the Lord, referred to by those who have spoken, and it will continue among the nations of the earth. The Lord will bring out the results to his own honor and glory; but are we ready?

The Lord has bestowed great knowledge and wisdom upon the inhabitants of the earth—much truth and knowledge in the arts and sciences. Those nations that deny their God and Savior will have those principles of intelligence taken from them. Are the Latter-day Saints prepared to receive them, enjoy them, and improve upon them, or will those principles have to go to some other kingdom? There is great wisdom in the world; their knowledge in mechanism and the exact sciences is very great. This wisdom will be taken from the wicked. Who will receive it? Is there a people upon the earth prepared to receive this knowledge and this wisdom? There should be. Is it reasonable to suppose that the wisdom God has bestowed upon the nations of the earth should continue upon it? Or should it be taken from the inhabitants of the earth and carried back from whence it came? My faith and my desire are that there should be a people upon the earth prepared to receive this wisdom. It should not be so forfeited as to be taken from the earth, for I question whether it would return again. There should be a people prepared to improve upon their knowledge and wisdom, for all knowledge and wisdom come from God. All true intelligence is the gift of God. He is the true fountain of all knowledge and wisdom.

The query arises in the minds of many with regard to their capability. Is there a principle inherent in the man that loves liquor to let it alone? Or is he compelled to follow his appetite? Is there ability in the man or woman that is inclined to handle that which is not their own, to resist that temptation and learn to be honest and honorable? Is this inherent in the people, or not? I have my own belief about it—my own views. I conceive that man is framed, formed, created, made, fashioned after the image of his God, with a germ in him of that independence that belongs to the Gods; and that independence is to be acted upon, to prepare every person that is exalted to enjoy the society of the sanctified, by a strict obedience to the principles of right. And each and every individual has the ability, the power, to overcome every passion within him, subdue every evil, and ride triumphantly over those passions.

“But,” says the man that is addicted to evil, “If I refrain for a day, the temptation haunts me; if I refrain for a week, I yet am inclined to sip at the poisonous cup. I could hardly endure to see my neighbor drinking the poison draught without joining with him: it is almost impossible for me to resist it.” This is folly in the extreme, for you deny your own senses. There is not a man on the earth but what denies his own judgment when he reasons with himself in this way. I can take or refuse, partake or reject, at my own will and pleasure. That power is inherent in every man and woman upon the earth, to a greater or less degree. In proportion to the intelligence people are endowed with, so do they possess the qualification for bettering their condition by improving their lives and receiving truth for error, light for darkness. And if they continue to overcome every temptation and every evil appetite, they will become masters of them, and will conquer at last, and be counted worthy to be crowned; otherwise they will miss the glory they anticipate.

Cannot people refrain from taking that which is not their own? Speaking of moral religion alone, they can. Cannot an individual, who is in the habit of taking the name of God in vain, resist that temptation? He can, if he chooses. If he cannot easily do so, let him do as a boy who came to this country with me said that he did. He was addicted to swearing; and got a piece of India-rubber to chew when tempted to swear. That person, I think, has not been heard to swear for years. No boy, in his youth, was more addicted to that habit than he was. He did not beat his brains out, but he acts as though he has more brains in his head than he used to have. I was brought up as strictly as any child ever ought to be, with regard to morality; yet, when I went into the world, I was addicted to swearing, through hearing others. I gave way to it, but it was easily overcome when my judgment and will decided to overcome it.

Now, brethren, are you prepared to receive the wisdom that God has bestowed upon the nations? You recollect that this forenoon, we had a few remarks from brother Simms, in which he stated that the greater portion of the inhabitants of the earth were inclined to do right. That is true. There is a monitor in every person that would reign there triumphantly, if permitted so to do, and lead to truth and virtue.

There is not a man living upon the earth but, when he hears the truth, is inclined to believe it and reject error. What prompts them to receive the evil? They yield to the temptation of that Evil One that lies in wait to deceive. The pride of the earth is in wickedness—in the abominations and corruptions of mankind. They delight themselves in their proneness to wander from their God and from the path of rectitude, and pride themselves in their iniquity of every kind. It has become the fashion of the nations of the earth to do evil.

Where is there a nation that acknowledges the Supreme God to be their President and their King? The best form of man-made government upon the earth is that of a nation now breaking to pieces. Have they ever acknowledged God? No. They spurned from their presence the man who would acknowledge that God should reign King of nations as well as King of Saints. Have we proof of this before us? We have. When Joseph Smith rose in the majesty of his calling before God, he saw what we are now hearing of through dispatches received from week to week. The nation is ruined, and will crumble to pieces. They will destroy themselves. Joseph rose up and said—“I will save them, if they will let me.” He stepped forth like a man and proffered his services to save the nation that is now breaking; and he would have saved it, if they had permitted him. What did they bestow upon him in return? They made a martyr of him—I would not like to say a savior, although he is our benefactor. He is the man through whom God has spoken and revealed some of the most glorious principles that ever were revealed to the children of men; yet I would not like to call him a savior, though in a certain capacity he was a God to us, and is to the nations of the earth, and will continue to be. He was not the Only Begotten of the Father, who died for the sins of the world; but he was the Prophet of the Lord, through whom God spoke to the nations and dictated laws by which they were to be governed to secure to themselves eternal life. And when he would have saved the people of the nation, they crowned him a martyr of Jesus. They performed an act that secures to him crowns of glory, immortality, and eternal lives. They succeeded in shedding his blood and that of the Patriarch Hyrum. They shed the blood of the innocent, and the nation said amen to it. Were they aware of it at the seat of Government? I have no doubt they as well knew of the plans for destroying the Prophet as did those in Carthage or in Warsaw, Illinois. It was planned by some of the leading men of the nation. I have said here once before, to the astonishment of many of our own countrymen, that there was a delegate from each State in the nation when Joseph was killed. These delegates held their council. What were they afraid of? You and me? No. They were afraid of those eternal principles God has revealed from the heavens; they trembled and quaked at the sound of them. Joseph would have saved the nation from ruin.

Some have inquired, “Will they patch up the old garment?” Let them apply their new cloth, if they please. Mr. Crittenden has reported a patch to put on the old garment. Let them put it on, and the rent will be made worse. Let them remain as they are, and the garment is worn out. Is the form of the Government ruined? Has its form become evil? No; but the administrators of the Government are evil. As we have said many times, it is the best form of human government man ever lived under; but it has as corrupt a set to administer it as God ever permitted to disgrace his footstool. There is the evil. Can they better the condition of our country? No; they will make it worse every time they attempt to do so. What is the difficulty? Brother Carrington says there is no noble-minded master-spirit to lead out—one whom the rest will follow. They are all master-spirits! They are all smart men! This is the difficulty. They used to have men whom they looked up to, though but very seldom. I can recollect almost every President of the United States. There never was a wise man that was much looked up to or revered until after his death: then the people could revere him—a Jefferson, a Monroe, an Adams, &c. The administration of Andrew Jackson was as good as that of anyone that ever occupied the presidential chair, and he had a great many enemies. What do you think of that, you gentlemen who are acquainted with the United, or rather the once United States—you who have age and experience? You remember the struggle at the election of Andrew Jackson, and so do I. I repeat that his administration was as good as that of any man that ever administered the government. Some of his opponents did not like him very well for some of his political moves. I liked his moves, only he did not go far enough in removing the deposits and spoiling the United States Bank. But the administration of King James Buchanan, what an administration!

Brother Carrington alluded to William H. Seward of New York. He is considered by many as one of the smartest men that ever was in this Government. Were it not that he had the advantages of the learning and wisdom of one of the best men in the Government—had he been a mechanic or farmer, I doubt whether he would have possessed an extra amount of knowledge. “What of his natural abilities?” I do not consider him a man of great ability. He came to Auburn, N.Y., to study law with a gentleman I well knew. That gentleman took him into his office and house a boy, and made a man of him. He was one of the most influential and best men in the country; he was a man of brain and heart, and he took all the pains possible to make something of the boy. After Mr. Seward had been with the Judge a few years, he began to be looked upon as one possessed of a considerable degree of smartness. What would he be, if he was the President? Judging from his late speech, as received in a dispatch, I would suppose that he hardly knew enough to find his way across the little city of Washington. The prospect of his lofty position appears to have nearly ruined his brain.

What is the difficulty with King James? His high position and exalted opinion of himself so addled and bewildered him, that he said, “I am the greatest man in the nation! I am the Chief Magistrate!!”

What shall we do with such men? Perhaps we may call them honorable men in the earth, in order not to hurt the feelings of some by speaking lightly of such talent in our nation. They are so wonderfully smart! That is the difficulty. Every man in Congress is so smart that he is looking to the presidential chair. The boys of West Point and the boys studying law in the nation have their eyes on the presidential chair. The general feeling is—“I am intending to sit there.” They are all looking to the presidential chair, and have been for years—the boy, the middle-aged Congressman, and the greyheaded Senator. The boy says—“I am the best council I can get. I am at West Point, and I shall soon graduate. Generals Washington, Taylor, and Jackson reached the chair of state, and I shall soon be there.” Could he be counseled by anybody? No. Every man is his own counselor, his own general, and his own governor. We used to say, when we were boys—“Hurrah! Every man for himself, and the Devil for us all!” and they will find it to be so.

They are too wise. They will prove, by their conduct, whether they are capable of forming and sustaining a government for the Southern States that have seceded. There is no more a United States. Can they amalgamate and form a government? No. Will they have ability to form a government and continue it? No, they will not. Hear it, Jew and Gentile. Suppose there is a division between the North and South, and the fifteen slave States try to form a permanent government, can they do it? I tell you they cannot. They are too smart. South Carolina is taking the lead, and says she—“We will sit as kings and queens, or revolt from you.” Says Georgia—“We have as smart men in our State as you have, and we will have a President for our State.” “But you cannot,” says South Carolina. How long will it be before some other State, perhaps New York, forms a separate government? And if a State has a right to secede, so has a Territory, and so has a county from a State or Territory, and a town from a county, and a family from a neighborhood, and you will have perfect anarchy.

King James is not so prompt now as he was three years ago, when he sent troops to Utah. South Carolina comes out and boldly declares her secession from the compact of States, and takes possession of all the public property within her borders, except Fort Sumter. There is no Latter-day Saint engaged in this act. One of the most contemptible of characters we ever had here could swear falsely in Washington, and the Government could receive his oath, and make it a basis, with other lies, of sending an army here. William Drummond went to Washington and swore that we were treasoners, and to many palpable falsehoods; and King James could act upon that and send an army here at an expense of, probably, fifty million dollars. Says King James—“Those lies are true.” “What! Receive a lie?” Yes, go and swear to a lie, and the Government can hear that and act upon it. But when South Carolina takes possession of the public funds, of the customhouse, of the arms, arsenal, dockyards, forts, cannon, &c.—“You must not coerce. Do not infringe upon them: they have the right to do this.” What a reign is the reign of King James! It is enough to astound and throw into the shade the wisdom of all nations upon the earth!

What will King Abraham do? I do not know, neither do I care. It is no difference what he does or what any of them do. Why? God will accomplish his own purposes, and they may do or not do; they may take the road that leads to the right, or they may take the road that leads to the left; and whichever road they do take, they will wish they had taken the other. King James pledged himself, at Cincinnati, that on his election to the presidential chair he would take the Island of Cuba, annex a portion of Mexico, and so obliterate the “Mormons,” that “Mormonism” should not be known at the end of his reign. These three things he pledged himself to his party to do. Some gentleman may say that I am mistaken. I am not mistaken; I am telling the truth, and you may believe it or not.

Did he take Cuba? He did not. Did he annex Mexico, or any portion of it? He did not. Did he destroy “Mormonism?” He did not. What has he done? Ruined the nation, at far as he had influence to do so. He began at the wrong end of the race: the course was marked out for him, but he ran the wrong way. He ought to have begun by taking Cuba, then annexed Mexico, or such portion of it as he wanted; and then he might have considered a little about “Mormonism.” If he had just reflected for a moment, he knew Joseph Smith. If he had reflected upon the career of Joseph and the career of this people, he would have seen at once that every time the enemies of this kingdom undertook to trample it under their feet and obliterate it from the earth, the more they spread it abroad and brought it into note and character. But he began at the wrong end, and he has wished, every step he has taken and everything he has done, that he had taken some other step and done something else. One reason of this is, that his will is such that he will ride over his friends and tread them in the dust, and not make the first apology to them. I attribute this to his ignorance. This is not wisdom; it is not greatness, nobility, or magnanimity; but it is sheer ignorance, willful ignorance, know-nothing ignorance; and that is the difficulty.

What will Abraham do? King James says that if Mr. Lincoln takes the oath of office, and enters into the administration of the Government with as great pleasure as he resigns his official duties, he will be a happy man. If I could advise King James, and have him take my counsel, it would be to resign tomorrow morning, and let Mr. Breckenridge be crowned king for three weeks, that another king might come before King Abraham to see what the administration of that king would be. I do not know of anything better that I could advise him.

“Mormonism” will live, and God will promote it; but shall we be prepared to be promoted with it? That is the question with me. It is in my thoughts by day and by night, Shall I be prepared for the things that are coming upon the earth? I will try to be; and if I have an evil appetite, I will overcome it. If I have a disposition to do that which is morally wrong, I will reject that disposition; I will subdue and overcome it. Will you? Then you who drink, lie, steal, or do anything that is morally wrong, or break the commandments of God in any way, or injure your fellow men, cease to do that evil and learn to do well.

I exhort the brethren not to boast over our enemies’ downfall. Boast not, brethren. God has come out of his hiding place, and has commenced to vex the nation that has rejected us, and he will vex it with a sore vexation. It will not be patched up—it never can come together again—but it will be sifted with a sieve of vanity, and in a short time it will be like water spilled on the ground, and like chaff upon the summer threshingfloor, until those wicked stewards are cut off. If our present happy form of government is sustained, which I believe it will be, it will be done by the people I am now looking upon, in connection with their brethren and their offspring. The present Constitution, with a few alterations of a trifling nature, is just as good as we want; and if it is sustained on this land of Joseph, it will be done by us and our posterity. Our national brethren do not know how to do it. They are not capable of controlling their own passions, to say nothing of ruling a nation. What is the reign of a king who cannot control his passions? Will not his subjects sorrow? Yes, they will feel the weight of his wrath, and their backs will ache, and their heads will ache, and they will receive the lash from a heavy hand.

We are serving a King who can control his passions; and who, as brother George Simms remarked in the forenoon, can be touched with the feelings of the infirmities of the weak. Who can be thus touched, except those who have suffered in like manner? None. And no being knows how to control or govern on earth, unless he has been a subject on an earth. No being is fit to rule, govern, and dictate, until he has been controlled, governed, and dictated—has yielded obedience to law, and proved himself worthy, by magnifying the law that was over him, to be master of that law. We are serving a King who wisely controls himself and his subjects. If we are permitted to rule, govern, and control, in the first place we must control our passions until they are in perfect subjection to us. When we have controlled one and got it perfectly mastered, we shall be prepared to control two; and if we can properly rule over two, we can reign over two thousand or over millions as well as two. If you can control one, you are then prepared to control your family; and if you are prepared to control a family, then you are able to control a city; and if a city, then a nation, upon the same principle. That is the way that God hath obtained his power, and that is the way that we shall obtain power.

A large share of the ingenuity of the world is taxed to invent weapons of war. What a set of fools! I wonder if they think that they will never die, unless they kill one another. Is there any danger of their living here forever? Not a bit of it. Let the people alone, and they will die of themselves, without killing them. But much of the skill, ingenuity, and ability of the Christian nations are now devoted to manufacturing instruments of death. May we be saved from the effects of them! As I often tell you, if we are faithful, the Lord will fight our battles much better than we can ourselves. We should be apt to get nervous in fighting battles, and sometimes get into corners where we might almost have to take a little gunpowder to encourage us—to nerve up our energy—or have to burn some under our noses to become a little used to it. When the Lord fights the battles of the Saints, he does it so effectually that nobody gets nervous but the enemy. We might become nervous, and perhaps give way to passion.

We are never going to destroy the enemies of God by the evil passions that are in us—never, no never. When those who profess to be Saints contend against the enemies of God through passion or selfwill, it is then man against man, evil against evil, the powers of darkness against the powers of darkness. But when men who are sanctified, purified, do anything, they will do it with a coolness as if conversing at their firesides with each other; they will do it with the power of the living God. If they are ever called to wipe out their enemies, they will do it without excitement; they have to do it by the power of the Gods, or not at all. They are not going to do it with wicked hands. Are we prepared to receive the blessings, and let the fighting alone? I do not believe much in fighting, and my faith is to escape such a calamity as to war and fight with either friends or enemies. I want to so have power with God, that he will govern and control and guide and direct the steps of our enemies, until they drive into the ditch. How easy it is for the Almighty to direct the steps of our enemies, until they fall off the precipice and are dashed in pieces, without the efforts of his servants.

Let us be faithful, live our religion, govern our passions, and boast not against our enemies because we live to see the commencement of the fulfillment of this prophecy in our day. The prophecies must be fulfilled. Boast not, then, over your enemies. One might say, “Is it not a delight for us to speak of fulfillment of prophecy?” Yes. If it delights your soul, speak to the Saints; but do not boast to the wicked and ungodly that the Lord is coming out of his hiding place to vex the nation. They will learn that soon enough. I have heard Joseph say, “You will see the sorrows and misery of the world and the misery that will be upon this land, until you will turn away and pray that your eyes may not be obliged to look upon it.” Said he, “There are men in this Council that will live to see the affliction that will come upon this nation, until their hearts sink within them.” He did not live here to see it, though he will see it. Can you endure the sight of it? No. Boast not over the misery of your fellow men. God will fulfil his purposes.

Be ready at all times and in all places to do your duty, and be the friends of God. Cease to mingle with the wicked. Many of our Elders seem to believe that Christ and Baal can yet be made friends. How many times Elders of Israel try to make me fellowship the Devil, or his imps, or his servants; also try to make you fellowship your enemies, to amalgamate the feelings of the Saints and the ungodly! It cannot be done; it never was done, and never can be accomplished. Christ and Baal never can be friends. One or the other must reign triumphantly on the earth, and I say that Jesus Christ shall reign, and I will help him; and Baal shall not reign here much longer—the Devil shall not have power much longer upon the land of Joseph. I will be the friend of God and his Son Jesus, my Savior. Let the Elders of Israel and all the Saints be the friends of Jesus and our Father in heaven, and cling to them. Now, take one side or the other. Either be for God, or else walk out and show that you are for the Devil and believe that he will come off conqueror, and that you are going to stick by him. Here are the two powers on the earth—the evil and the good, not to speak of the ten thousand paths they make through the earth, and the various spirits that go to and fro. It is the good and the evil. Will you have the good and refuse the evil? Then be moral Christians, as we frequently say, and was alluded to this morning. There are moral Christians among the heathen, among the Hindoos, and among all nations. God has laid a plan to save all such. His name be praised!

Can you learn a little, and treasure it up in good and honest hearts? Be honest before God and with yourselves, and let that monitor that God has placed within you take the preeminence; and when persons say they are inclined more to evil than good, tell them it is a falsehood. Until they sin away the day of grace, there is something in all persons that would delight to rise up and reject the evil and embrace the truth. There is not a person on the earth so vile but, when he looks into his own heart, honors the man of God and the woman of God—the virtuous and holy—and despises his comrades in iniquity who are like himself. There is not a man upon the earth, this side of saving grace, unless he has sinned so far that the Spirit of the Lord has ceased to strive with him and enlighten his mind, but delights in the good, in the truth, and in the virtuous, and despises his own comrades that are with him day by day. Look into the world and into the hearts of the people, and see what they see in their secret reflections, and they will manifest to you that they delight in and reverence that character that lives a virtuous and holy life. “What do you think of your comrades that drink, curse, swear, carouse, and follow all manner of abominations?” “My heart loathes them,” will be the reply, though they will not tell this only in a whisper in the ears of their fellow beings. But you speak into their hearts, and there it is; and every time they have the privilege of thinking and holding converse with themselves, there is the good that leads to happiness: the evil and misery you all know.

Let truth bear sway, and true integrity shed a charm around your whole being. Rise up for the right in the strength of your own ability. God has bestowed upon you the power to reject the evil and receive the truth; the good, the light, and the virtuous. Cleave to God with all your hearts, that we may be ready for the day that is fast approaching.

May the Lord bless us! Amen.

Duties of the Saints—Organization of Element—Economy, Etc.

Remarks by President Brigham Young, made in the Tabernacle, Great Salt Lake City, January 20, 1861.

It is a great blessing to be able to understand things aright; and how precious the gift of communication! How delightful it is to a person, whose mind is stored with rich ideas, to have power to communicate them to his fellows—to his family, friends, and acquaintances with whom he associates. I really think we do not fully appreciate this blessing and gift as we should. If I can communicate to the audience what I wish to, so that they can understand it perfectly, I shall be very glad—it will satisfy me.

Before me is a sea of faces, and, with but few exceptions, all are professedly Latter-day Saints belonging to the kingdom of God, and are numbered with the family of heaven. They are heirs of God, and are expecting to become joint heirs with Jesus Christ. Were I to ask these Latter-day Saints what they are willing to do to build up the kingdom of God, bear it off to the nations, gather the house of Israel and the honest in heart among the Gentiles, and redeem the Zion of our God, what would be their answer? “Anything we can do we are willing to do—anything we are counseled to do.” Would not every heart respond in this manner? It would. You are frequently told that the Latter-day Saints are as free to confess with the mouth as any people that ever was upon the earth. You are further told that they are willing to sacrifice everything for their religion, and to travel the earth around without purse or scrip; but will they do one thing that is essentially necessary? Yes, a great many will. Will they do one necessary duty that is devolving upon them, which is the starting point—the gate or way to all other duties; that is, seek unto the Lord their God with all their hearts? All are not willing to do this.

This people must be pure in heart. The necessity for this rests upon me day by day, week in and week out, year after year. This people must be sanctified, or they will not be prepared to meet their Lord and Master. This is first of all. It is taught us in all the revelations that we have received in various ways, according to the understanding and gift of communication in those who have communicated this principle to us. But the greatest and most important of all requirements of our Father in heaven and of his Son Jesus Christ, is, to his brethren or disciples, to believe in Jesus Christ, confess him, seek to him, cling to him, make friends with him. Take a course to open and keep open a communication with your Elder Brother or file leader—our Savior. Were I to draw a distinction in all the duties that are required of the children of men, from first to last, I would place first and foremost the duty of seeking unto the Lord our God until we open the path of communication from heaven to earth—from God to our own souls. Keep every avenue of your hearts clean and pure before him. You may inquire whether we would do away with the ordinances of the house of God. This leads you to them, and it is the only thing that can lead the people to a true knowledge of the reality of facts as they exist.

We are aware that the Christian world cling to this one item, passing by every one of the ordinances of the house of the Lord, treating every commandment with lightness. They will pick up perhaps one or two of the ordinances and a few of the commandments; but they are opposed to the residue, and look upon them as a thing of naught. Though the kingdom of God and all the attributes he has dispensed to the children of men are ours (he has placed them upon our heads by ordinances), yet if I should rise up here and tell you that I would rather have these than all the ordinances, the statement would need explanation. First of all, have the mind of Christ within you, and know that we are governed and controlled by his Spirit—by the Comforter, the Holy Ghost—by the influence of heaven; and this leads us to every one of the ordinances of the house of God; wherefore we by no means do them away.

Some of you may ask, “Is there a single ordinance to be dispensed with? Is there one of the commandments that God has enjoined upon the people, that he will excuse them from obeying?” Not one, no matter how trifling or small in our own estimation. No matter if we esteem them nonessential, or least or last of all the commandments of the house of God, we are under obligation to observe them. Nothing will lead us to them, short of the mind of Christ within us to lead us understandingly to observe them to our own benefit. This is what I want of the people, so that we may be prepared, each and all of us, for the things that are coming upon the earth.

We might mention a great many circumstances that are transpiring. We might refer to the prophecies and their fulfillment in these our own times; but this does not bear with so much weight upon my mind to tell the people what the Lord is doing and what he is going to do, as it does to urge the Latter-day Saints to faithfulness, to strict obedience, to every requirement of the Gospel of the Son of God, that we may be prepared for every event as it transpires, no matter whether the prophecies are fulfilled under our eyes or on the other side of the earth. No matter whether we live to see them fulfilled or fall to sleep before they are fulfilled, we must live prepared for the events that will take place preparatory to the coming of the Son of man.

I ask the people what they are willing to do? “All we want to know is what we should do.” My mind is continually exercised to urge the people to faithfulness, that they may have the Spirit of Christ; and being in possession of this mind, everything comes to us naturally. We understand these things we call natural. There is a natural body, and there is a spiritual body. All things are natural, and all are spiritual. Every duty of life, no matter what it is, every requirement necessary to sustain and exalt man, is incorporated in the kingdom of God and in the ordinances of his house—in the duties God requires of his children. It is all in the Church and kingdom of our God. “What! Our labor?” Yes. I sometimes take the liberty of preaching upon economy to this people. Perhaps some are inclined to think that in so doing I transcend my own duties and obligations. I do not. I instruct the husbandman how to till his farm, because I know and understand the nature of the elements that produce grain better than he does. I know how he should prepare the elements for the seed to produce the increase which he desires in the things necessary to sustain himself and family. It is my duty to instruct my brethren, if I understand any branch of business better than they do. If I understand how to make myself comfortable—if I understand better than others do the organization of the elements God has given us ability to operate with for our benefit, it is my duty to instruct them. Here are the elements. They are not made in vain, but are made for the benefit, comfort, convenience, and happiness of God’s children.

There is an infinitude of elements; and if you know more than I do with regard to bringing them together and organizing them for the comfort and happiness of man, it is your duty to impart that knowledge to others. This may appear to some of the Saints as though it was out of the pale of our duty, not strictly incorporated in the ministry; and I want to inform all such that there is not a labor performed under the sun but what we have to render an account of it to our Father and God. There is not an act of man, in any case, in any circumstance, but what is by the gift of God. Every power, ability, capacity, and gift that man possesses is the gift of God; and man must render an account to him for the improvement he makes, no matter what the labor is. No element that we see, no part of the earth, no part or portion of the starry heavens, or of the deep above or below, but what is God’s creation. He organized it. Do we realize this, that every element that now is in existence, that we have any knowledge of, that we can conceive of, is organized by our Father in heaven, and is his property? It is his in time and in eternity. The earth and its fulness are his, and the heavens are his; the height, the depth, the length, and the breadth, all are his. Every capacity that the children of men possess is the gift of God.

Many might ask whether God is the author of sin and iniquity. I have told you many a time that everything is good, is perfect; everything is right, is lovely to look upon, to enjoy; for we received it from our Father and our God. Properly use it, and there is no gift, no blessing, no enjoyment, no happiness in the heavens or on the earth, but what belongs to our Father in heaven; and he is willing to bestow these blessings upon his children. But whence comes evil? It comes when we make an evil of a good. Speaking of the elements and the creation of God, in their nature they are as pure as the heavens. When we see the vanity that is around us, the magnanimity of the Deity, and contemplate the extent of his knowledge, we can enjoy him as supreme in every act, in every path of life, in every portion of life that belongs to the children of men, if we can understand things as they are. Was there ever a spear of grass, or a single grain upon this earth, or in any other kingdom, but what was produced by that beneficent Being? Not one. Behold the vanity and extent of his knowledge in the creation of the elements! Every element is His. The gold? Yes. “He organized and made it,” is a common term used. The silver? Yes. He made it. The diamond? Yes. And every other precious stone? Yes. The rude rock? Yes. The land and all are his. The earth that we walk upon, the air we breathe, and the water we drink are his creation. He organized them and placed them here for our good. Take all the elements that God has created, and do you think we use them, and not abuse them?

What do we see? All the elements that we have any knowledge of are the handiwork of our Father in heaven, and then you see poor, pusillanimous man rise up—a worm of the dust, whose breath is in his nostrils; and if God should say the word and withdraw his supporting hand, he is no more—and says, “This is mine.” He has a purse obtained through the blessings of God, and says, “This is mine.” He has a sack of silver, and says, “This is mine.” He builds a house, and calls it his house. He makes a farm, and says, “This is mine.” This poor, weak man does, who is not capable of making a spear of grass. He cannot sustain his own existence one moment without being dependent on God for the next breath, and yet he says, “These possessions are mine,” and he clings to them with the tenacity of death. This you see in mankind; they hold to the earth as though it was their all. You see this every day of your lives.

When I carefully scan the subject, we cannot, neither in this time nor in the spirit world, possess the least particle of element or our own beings, and call them ours, until we pass the ordeals the Gods have passed, and are crowned with crowns of glory, immortality, and eternal lives. And when we pass through the spirit world and hear the trump of Gabriel sound, and our bodies rise from the dust and again clothe our spirits, even then we are not our own. We have not passed through all the ordeals until the Father crowns a son and says, “You have passed so far in the progression of perfection that you can now become independent, and I will give you power to control and organize and govern and dictate the elements of eternities. There is a vast eternity stretched out before you; now organize as you will.” Not until then shall we possess one particle that is really our own, and yet we see people clinging to the earth.

I am going to reduce my remarks to practical life, and perhaps I shall introduce ideas that some would naturally take exceptions to. I, in the providence of God, am here before you again, and I wish to instruct this people. They say they are willing to do anything for salvation, to build up the kingdom of God on the earth. They are willing to forego everything they can, and undergo all that is possible, to save themselves and the children of men, and bring the day of peace and righteousness upon the earth. Then let all learn that the earth is not ours. Let us learn that these elements are put into our possession to work with and improve, and to determine whether we know how to improve upon them. We wish to see Zion built up—the earth beautified and prepared for the coming of the Son of Man. We are looking forth to the day when Zion will spring into existence and stand forth like a bride prepared to meet her husband, with all the beauty and glory that belong to the kingdom of God on the earth. We shall then see Zion in its beauty. We are looking for this. We look forward to the day when the Lord will prepare for the building of the New Jerusalem, preparatory to the city of Enoch’s going to be joined with it when it is built upon this earth. We are anticipating to enjoy that day, whether we sleep in death previous to that, or not. We look forward, with all the anticipation and confidence that children can possess in a parent that we shall be there when Jesus comes; and if we are not there, we will come with him: in either case we shall be there when he comes.

To think of all this, and then think of the course the Latter-day Saints are taking—the life they live! How do the brethren feel? Is there a feeling that, “This is mine, and that is mine?” Yes; it is as natural for them to say so as to breathe. They are of the earth, earthy. Can we school our own feelings and judgments, our hearts and dispositions, really to be the children of God, and ask our Father whether this is ours, or not which he puts into our possession? Do we ask him what we shall do with the abundance he has put into our possession? I am in possession of houses and lands—I have legally obtained them by my economy. The earth is here, and there is no end to the elements we are using day by day. We look to the right and to the left, and see poverty and distress, though there is less in this community than in any other upon the earth. We all see more or less a lack of wisdom and judgment in providing for the wants of the body; yet there is not that family in this community but what would feed a brother or sister that was hungry, and do so from day to day, so long as might be necessary. With all the lack of wisdom manifested by the people, and their covetousness, there is no community in the world that suffers so little as this.

Is distress among a people caused by the want of element? No. It is through want of ability to bring the elements home to our use and benefit. There is a great scarcity of gold, and you hear some brethren, throughout this Territory, complain of taxation. Really I want to say to all the brethren here, with the Bishops and representatives from different parts of this Territory, and to all the people, that your legislators are very easy—their hand is very light upon you, in the matter of taxation. “Well,” say some of the brethren, “I thought they were hard, rigid, extravagant in establishing a territorial tax of five mills on a dollar.” There must be in the neighborhood of eighty or ninety thousand persons in this Territory, and there are probably more than fifteen thousand men who are subject to taxation. How much tax money do you get? Shall I tell you how much coin was received in taxes last year? Less than twelve hundred dollars from some fifteen thousand men. Do you call this paying a heavy tax? Was this all they were taxed? No; the tax amounted to some twenty odd thousand dollars, and some complain and feel that they are hardly dealt with.

Some complain and say that the tithing is too hard on the people, while at the same time some of our legislators rise up and say, “Considering that we pay such a tax in tithing, we think the Church should make all our public improvements.” The whole amount of coin paid in on taxes last year was in the neighborhood of twelve hundred dollars. In what was the residue of the taxes paid? In wheat, chickens, eggs, butter, city scrip, county and territorial scrip, auditor’s warrants, labor, &c., &c. Is this hard on the people? No. Is there any lack of gold or silver here? These are matters I wish you to understand. How can you understand them in the kingdom of God? You cannot only through the light of revelation, just as you see anything else in truth and with the Spirit of truth, by which means only can you discern truth from error. I want you to learn by the Spirit of truth. There are a good many legislators here, and I want them to go home with these instructions, and put in practice some things they already understand. They are active men, men of wisdom, men of ability and good judgment, men of strong minds; and yet in some things they are more ignorant than children ought to be. The gold is not yours, nor the silver, nor the cattle that roam over these hills and plains; neither are they mine. They are put in our possession, but they belong to Him who owns the whole of them. All we want is the ability to convert them to our own benefit. There is no lack. Has there been a lack of money here? Some of the legislators have been opposed to taxation. I have a right to talk about these things, though I am not Governor, and do not sign nor veto bills passed by the Assembly. I ask again, Is there any lack of money? I will propound one other question—“Will five hundred thousand dollars cover the amount that has been paid by this people to the merchants during last year?” I presume not, though if you had the statistics before you, you would probably find this sum to be not far from the amount. Since 1849, we have probably paid to them at the rate of nearly a million of dollars each year. Is there any scarcity of money? No. Are you fearful that one man is going to get all the gold in the world and sift it to the four winds, so that it never can be gathered? You need have no such fear, for it cannot be destroyed. Are you fearful that all the silver is going to be destroyed, so that we cannot have it? Such fears are groundless, for you cannot destroy a particle of it. What is the difficulty? A want of judgment—a want of true knowledge pertaining to the earth and to the heavens, to the elements and their organization—a want of the power to master the elements, to handle them advantageously and make them useful, and devote them to our own comfort and happiness.

I frequently take the liberty to teach economy to the people. This is natural to me; it agrees with my feelings, experience, and faith. I do not know that during thirty years past I have worn a coat, hat, or garment of any kind, or owned a horse, carriage, &c., but what I asked the Lord whether I deserved it or not—Shall I use this? Is it mine to use, or not? If I had my will satisfied, I would not use a farthing’s worth of anything without its being put to the best use my judgment could dictate, increasing and multiplying it, and bringing forth those things that make men comfortable and happy, using my means in the fear of the Lord for the building up of his kingdom and glory upon the earth. My experience is that this people have too great a tenacity for the goods of this world, and the Enemy thinks he can get the advantage over them in this respect, and he is improving the time.

It is different with us now from what it was three years ago. Then it was, “What is the news from Bridger? From Echo Canyon? From the Plains?” We are not destroyed; but are the Latter-day Saints preparing themselves for the calamities that are coming upon the earth? Or are they covetous? There is no trait in the character of man but what the Devil, the opposer of all good, understands. Our common foe is an ingenious workman; he is a master at his business. Bunyan speaks of a city that was perfectly given up to idolatry, and needed only one devil to watch the whole of it; but one Saint, a poor old man walking through the streets, required a score of devils to watch him. The city was already in possession of the Evil One, and it needed no care or watching. There are scores of evil spirits here—spirits of the old Gadianton robbers, some of whom inhabited these mountains, and used to go into the South and afflict the Nephites. There are millions of those spirits in the mountains, and they are ready to make us covetous, if they can; they are ready to lead astray every man and woman that wishes to be a Latter-day Saint. This may seem strange to some of you, but you will see them. As soon as your spirits are unlocked from these tabernacles, you are in the spirit world, and you will there have to contend against evil spirits as we here have to contend against wicked persons.

This people lie down in carnal security, and complain of this and of that. You know that apostates, who rise up and deny their religion, complain of being oppressed, and find fault with this, that, and the other, and call this imperfect, and that imperfect, and the other imperfect. How many have complained of taxation? Go to Nebraska, Washington, and New Mexico. Is there a Territory that has as light taxes as this? Not one, so far as I know. A great many complain of the taxes in this city; but go to Chicago, St. Louis, or New York, or any other city in the States, and you will find the taxes greater, I think, without exception, than they are here. I know that taxation is complained of in those cities, and that too justly in many instances. In many places the people are taxed to that degree that they never can rise out of their poverty. In London, a watchmaker said to me, “When I earn ten pounds and receive it, eight pounds of it has to go for taxes, which leaves me only two pounds with which to pay my house rent, buy fuel, and feed and clothe my family.” They there complain of taxation, and it is right they should. What do they do with the revenue? In too many instances feed a horde of lazy officers, though I cannot accuse England of this so much as I can some other countries, so far as I know them. The taxation more or less goes in many countries to feed cutthroats, loafers, gamblers, blacklegs, &c. Many of the people who have immigrated to this Territory come from countries where they have been ground down by taxation. We are more lightly taxed than are the people in any other country, so far as I know.

But what I dislike most is, that when the officer requests the taxes, some will lie from morning until night to escape paying them. If any man ought of right to be exempted from paying his taxes, let him refer his case to the County Court and have his taxes remitted. There is a provision in the law for this. I tell you what I say to tax gatherers: I would sell every improvement, every ox, cow, mule, horse, sheep, hog, &c., but what I would have the taxes in the kinds prescribed by law. You may call that hard; but what would the cash portion be, compared to the money that is paid to these merchants? This is what I do not like. Go to a man, and he will declare that he cannot pay his taxes; then go into his house, and he has taught his family to lie; but begin to sell his cow, &c., and it will be, “Stop, Sally; go and bring out that old stocking.” I have proved this. That is what I do not like. I can put up with poverty. If I have only a little buttermilk and salt to my potatoes, I can be satisfied; but a liar I cannot be satisfied with.

Sell every house and every particle of property there is in the Territory, but what you have the proportion in gold and silver, and you will find that there is plenty of money; and it may far better go to do good than to go for nonsense. Much money is spent for paper shoes. Have you any? Yes; and I presume that more than one score of women in this congregation have on that kind of shoes. A large amount of money is paid for ribbons, ruffles, fringes, gewgaws, and baubles in general. These are unnecessary expenses, as they are not incurred particularly for the body’s comfort. I find no fault with them. I like to see women prettily dressed, as well as anybody; but save a portion of the money that is laid out for useless articles, and pay your taxes.

What I am saying is for the benefit of the community. Some of our legislators would vote down every particle of tax, if they had the power. Are they conscientious in this? Yes. But are they wise? No. They have no wisdom on this subject; they do not understand national affairs.

Some complain and say that they are taxed by tithing. We ask no tithing of any man. In this we are as independent as the Lord is. I say, Do not pay another dollar in tithing unless you want to. And to those who say that tithing should defray all classes of public expenditure, I will say, If you will put into my hands one-twentieth instead of one-tenth, I will pay every dollar of expenses for territorial, county, and city purposes. But do I, as Trustee-in-Trust, receive one-fiftieth, or one-hundredth? No. I do not get the tithing on the tithing that is due, and which it is my province to dictate. Are you afraid that I will make a bad use of it? I have plenty of money for my private use. You may wish to know how I get it. I believe I will tell you how I get some of it. A great many of these Elders of Israel, soon after courting these young ladies, and old ladies, and middle-aged ladies, and having them sealed to them, want to have a bill of divorce. I have told them, from the beginning, that sealing men and women for time and all eternity is one of the ordinances of the house of God, and that I never wanted a farthing for sealing them, nor for officiating in any of the ordinances of God’s house; but when you ask for a bill of divorce, I intend that you shall pay for it. That keeps me in spending money, besides enabling me to give hundreds of dollars to the poor, and buy butter, eggs, and little notions for women and children, and otherwise use it where it does good.

You may think this is a singular feature in the Gospel, but I cannot exactly say that it is in the Gospel. Hear it, O ye Elders of Israel; and ye sisters, hear it: There is no ecclesiastical law that you know anything about, to free a wife from a man to whom she has been sealed, if he honors his Priesthood. I do not want you to run after bills of divorce. I would rather be without the money you pay for them. I know where there is plenty of gold. The earth is full of it, and the heavens are full of every good thing; and the heavens and the earth are created for us: therefore be prudent and not covetous; do not cling to property because it is in your possession. Do I own a house? No. I am in possession of houses. I left a good many houses that were in my possession in Nauvoo. I left a number in like manner in Kirtland. I did not leave many houses in Missouri, but I left a number of pieces of land, and there they remain. I received nothing for them, neither do I want anything. Why? Because the Lord has blest me with ability to bring forth the elements and organize them for my own convenience; and if I was stripped and kicked out now, I would be richer in ten years than I ever was. When the gold or silver dollar goes into my pocket, it is not mine: the Lord in his providence places it there, and it is for Him to say what I shall do with it. Do you practice this course? If you do, you do not complain. If our legislators understood this, they would never complain for the people. You ask why I take up this subject. That you may be instructed—that a legislator may not be so unwise as to introduce a bill that taxes be paid in anything that cannot be sold for money.

The people are not as they used to be in regard to tithing. In the days of Joseph, when a horse was brought in for tithing, he was pretty sure to be hipped, or ringboned, or have the poll evil, or perhaps had passed the routine of horse diseases until he had become used up. The question would be, “What do you want for him?” “Thirty dollars in tithing and thirty in cash.” What was he really worth? Five dollars, perhaps. They would perhaps bring in a cow after the wolves had eaten off three of her teats, and she had not had a calf for six years past; and if she had a calf, and you ventured to milk her, she would kick a quid of tobacco out of your mouth. These are specimens of the kind of tithing we used to get. If you give anything for the building up of the kingdom of God, give the best you have. What is the best thing you have to devote to the kingdom of God? It is the talents God has given you. How many? Every one of them. What beautiful talents! What a beautiful gift! It is more precious than fine gold that I can stand here and give you my ideas, and you can rise up and tell me what you think and feel, and thus exchange our ideas. It is one of the precious gifts bestowed upon human beings. Let us devote every qualification we are in possession of to the building up of God’s kingdom, and you will accomplish the whole of it.

A few Sabbaths ago, brother Wells was strenuously talking to you in regard to temperance. No man has a right on the earth, and certainly not in this kingdom, to spend his means and time in drunkenness. Every moment of time belongs to the Lord, and the people demand it. Here are young men stepping on to the stage of action, of whom you have never heard an evil. And every little while one begins to come into note, and it seems as though he had dropped from unfathomable space. “Who is he?” “Such a brother’s son.” “I never heard of him.” What are my calculations? That he is a good man—that he is not a rowdy in the streets. A host are growing up in this way: they spring up like lovely plants, trees, or flowers. Now, young brothers and sisters, is there anything against your characters? Not anything. If you were in possession of all the wealth in the world, it is not worth so much to you as your good characters. Preserve them. If you have a happy influence with your brethren and sisters, preserve it, for it is more choice than fine gold. How many times have I told the Elders, “When you go on missions, be careful to preserve your Godlike dignity and integrity.” I have an experience that is probably equal to that of any man in this kingdom, and no person can say, man nor woman, but that in the dark hour my angelic character has been preserved; and it is more precious to me than all the riches of the earth. The name of king or emperor has always sunk into insignificance when I contrasted it with the character of a man of God—of a person who holds the destinies of men in his hands, and the issues of life and death, and can dispense them to the people. Such a man should preserve himself like a God, or an angel of God.

Hear it, men and women, young and old. Preserve yourselves, and be ready to do what is required at your hands. And Elders of Israel, when you say you are ready and willing to dedicate all to God, never be covetous and selfish; never shrink back at anything you are called to do; but by the help of God become sons of God and joint heirs with Jesus Christ. If you revolt in your feelings against the ordinances and commandments of God, and against the counsel given you by his servants, and continue to do so, you may become angels to the Devil, and it will be through your own conduct. But by the help of God you can be prepared to dwell in the presence of the Father and the Son, and be crowned with him with crowns of glory, immortality, and eternal lives.

I have given you some of my views in regard to tithing, taxation, and yielding willingly to every requirement for building up the kingdom and for the salvation of the people. May God help every one of us to live up to our profession, that we may be saved in his kingdom. Amen.

Unity—Commandments of God, Etc.

Discourse by President Heber C. Kimball, made in the Tabernacle, Great Salt Lake City, January 6, 1861.

It would be very gratifying to me this afternoon if I could speak freely of those things that I have been meditating upon for the last few days. It would be a great satisfaction to me, and doubtless instructive to this congregation, if I could lay before them those things that are revolving in my mind. But instructions to the Saints only appear to be given a word or two at a time, here a little and there a little; and I do not understand that the Lord will ever manifest his will in any other way. This is because of the weakness of humanity and the great variety in the minds of the Saints.

I can say as I have said for years, the religion of Jesus Christ professed by the Church of Latter-day Saints, which Church I have entered into, and of which I have been a member twenty-nine years—I can truly say that it is a hundredfold more precious to me than it was when I first embraced it. My mind was contracted at that time, and I knew but little of the things of God. I will here remark that I do not profess to know much now; still I understand them more perfectly, and I take a more comprehensive view of God and godliness than I did, or was capable of doing when I first received the light of truth. Instead of becoming dark in my mind and growing stereotyped in my ways, I have expanded with the increase of my experience. I feel more acutely, I see more clearly, and I comprehend more perfectly the principles that pertain to life. The older I grow in the Church, the riper I become in my mind, and the more I discover of the beauty and excellency of the plan of salvation.

In regard to treating upon the mysteries of the kingdom, and what are commonly called the great things, or, in other words, going into the top of the tree, or doing as some do who take the tree and cram it down the people’s throats top foremost, I do not believe in anything of the kind, neither have I been taught so to treat the people. I consider that the Elders of Israel should understand well and thoroughly digest the first principles of the doctrine of Christ, for obedience to them will prove the power of God unto salvation to every one that believes and practices them. You know it is written that the Gospel is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth. I can tell you something in connection with this: you may believe what you please—it will do you no good unless you practice it. We are required to manifest our faith by our works, and to work out our salvation with fear and trembling, for it is the Lord that worketh in us to will and to do his good pleasure. If we seek with all our hearts and observe those things that pertain to righteousness, working diligently in his kingdom, he will feel after us and inspire our hearts with his Holy Spirit; and the influence thereof will rest upon us continually: it will enter into every muscle, sinew, and fiber of the body, in proportion to our fitness to receive it. If we render ourselves susceptible of the nourishment that is imparted by the Spirit of God to the spirits that dwell within these mortal bodies, we shall have sufficient light and power to enable our spirits to dictate our bodies, and lead them unto eternal life.

“And behold, he that is faithful shall be made ruler over many things. And again, I will give unto you a pattern in all things, that ye may not be deceived; for Satan is abroad in the land, and he goeth forth deceiving the nations—Wherefore he that prayeth, whose spirit is contrite, the same is accepted of me if he obey my ordinances. He that speaketh, whose spirit is contrite, whose language is meek and edifieth, the same is of God if he obey mine ordinances. And again, he that trembleth under my power shall be made strong, and shall bring forth fruits of praise and wisdom, according to the revelations and truths which I have given you.” (Doc. and Cov., sec. 66, par. 4.)

In the great day of accounts all men will be judged according to the works that are wrought in their natural bodies; and it is of the highest importance that we should consider the final result of our acts.

I am always for the consideration of these little minute things that concern us today. We should always be engaged in doing the things that belong to today. There is but one course that you and I can pursue and be right, and that is, to be sufficiently humble to look at the most minute fibers. The large roots of a tree receive their nourishment through the little fibers, and they receive it from the fountain; and then that nourishment is sent through the main trunk of the tree into the limbs, branches, and twigs. It is just so with the Church of Christ. A similar figure might be made use of in regard to people studying languages. There is no man who has got a good education in the English, French, or German languages, but who has got that knowledge by going into the roots, or what they choose to term the etymology of language.

It is just so with the man who becomes educated in the science of the Gospel of Christ: he begins at the first principles; he learns them thoroughly and practically; and by carrying them out in his daily walk and conversation he becomes educated in the religion of Jesus Christ, which is the only perfect science revealed to man.

When Jesus Christ was upon the earth, he taught the people, saying, “I am the true vine, and my Father is the husbandman. 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. Now ye are clean through the word which I have spoken unto you. 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. 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. If ye abide in me, and my words abide you, ye shall ask what ye will, and it shall be done unto you.” (John, chap. 15, verses 1-7.)

This is precisely the position we occupy in the Church of Christ. If we do not abide in the vine, we shall be cast out; and all the inhabitants of the earth that do not connect themselves to the true vine, Jesus Christ, will become as stubble, and they will be burnt up and become ashes under the soles of the feet of the Saints that will come upon the earth to trim it, adorn it, and make it like the garden of Eden, that they may dwell upon it forever.

If we are in the vine of Christ, we shall bring forth the fruits of righteousness, and our works will be performed daily according to the requirements of the law of God. Except we live daily in the line of our duty, and keep the platter clean inside as well as out, we cannot obtain the blessings promised. If we take this course, we shall live and prosper, and bear off the kingdom independent of those that do evil, for God will nourish and cherish those who do right.

Supposing we compare this Church to a tree, and suppose that one-fourth of the limbs are dead, what use are they to the tree? They are lifeless; and, consequently, the sooner they are taken away the better for the health of the tree. Is there anything lost by lopping off those lifeless limbs? No; for the power and strength that was formerly in the whole tree will enter into that part which is left. Do you not go and clip off the small sprouts, and sometimes some of the bunches of grapes from your vines, in order to make the rest of the vine and the fruit grow larger and stronger? Upon the same principle, this Church has to be proven; for the work of God must and will roll on, and all the opposition in the world cannot stop it. It is a kingdom that is established to remain upon the earth until it subdues every other kingdom and brings them into subjection to the law of God. I know this just as well as I know that I stand here today, and my desire is that you may know it also, and that you may become as the heart of one man. Jesus says, If you are not one, you are not mine. For instance, suppose I come into this stand and offer up a prayer, it is the duty of all present to join with me not only in the sentiments, but to actually allow the very words to pass silently through their minds. In this way we become one; our faith is united, and we answer the requirement of the law of God.

I have frequently said in your hearing that I would give a good deal if I could unfold to you the secret feelings of my heart. I do not know of any better way to get at this than by comparison. I have not language to soar above and spread myself like an eagle, but I desire to present my sentiments in such a way that all will understand. There are none of you but what know right and wrong just as well as I do, and you are obliged to carry out the principles of right.

Has there been any change in the first principles of the doctrine of Christ as revealed by Jesus himself? No: that doctrine stands good, and will forever remain so. Some suppose that the ten commandments given through Moses have been done away; but I can inform you that they are still in force. It will do no harm for me to read those commandments as contained in the 20th chapter of Exodus. They are as follows—

“And God spake all these words, saying, I am the Lord thy God, which have brought thee out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage. Thou shalt have no other gods before me. Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image, or any likeness of anything that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth: Thou shalt not bow down thyself to them, nor serve them: for I the Lord thy God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth generation of them that hate me; And shewing mercy unto thousands of them that love me, and keep my commandments. Thou shalt not take the name of the Lord thy God in vain; for the Lord will not hold him guiltless that taketh his name in vain.

Remember the sabbath day, to keep it holy. Six days shalt thou labor, and do all thy work: But the seventh day is the sabbath of the Lord thy God: in it thou shalt not do any work, thou, nor thy son, nor thy daughter, thy manservant, nor thy maidservant, nor thy cattle, nor thy stranger that is within thy gates: For in six days the Lord made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that in them is, and rested the seventh day: wherefore the Lord blessed the sabbath day, and hallowed it.

Honor thy father and thy mother: that thy days may be long upon the land which the Lord thy God giveth thee. Thou shalt not kill. Thou shalt not commit adultery. Thou shalt not steal. Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbor. Thou shalt not covet thy neighbor’s house, thou shalt not covet thy neighbor’s wife, nor his manservant, nor his maidservant, nor his ox, nor his ass, nor anything that is thy neighbor’s.

And all the people saw the thunderings, and the lightnings, and the noise of the trumpet, and the mountain smoking: and when the people saw it, they removed, and stood afar off. And they said unto Moses, Speak thou with us, and we will hear: but let not God speak with us, lest we die. And Moses said unto the people, Fear not: for God is come to prove you, and that his fear may be before your faces, that ye sin not. And the people stood afar off, and Moses drew near unto the thick darkness where God was.

And the Lord said unto Moses, Thus thou shalt say unto the children of Israel, Ye have seen that I have talked with you from heaven. Ye shall not make with me gods of silver, neither shall ye make unto you gods of gold.

An altar of earth thou shalt make unto me, and shalt sacrifice thereon thy burnt offerings, and thy peace offerings, thy sheep, and thine oxen: in all places where I record my name I will come unto thee, and I will bless thee. And if thou wilt make me an altar of stone, thou shalt not build it of hewn stone: for if thou lift up thy tool upon it, thou hast polluted it. Neither shalt thou go up by steps unto mine altar, that thy nakedness be not discovered thereon.”

You will find in the Book of Doctrine and Covenants that these commandments have been renewed unto us. The Lord says in one place, All old covenants have I caused to be done away; and this is a new and and everlasting covenant. It is even that which was in the beginning; it is that covenant which was made in the days of Jesus. It is that same covenant which the Almighty revealed to Father Adam in the garden of Eden; but it has been renewed in these last days, and hence it is a new and an everlasting covenant. If you would only think of it for a little while, you would remember that we imitate many of those things that were done in former dispensations.

Jesus told the people in his day to seek to enter in at the narrow gate, or, as the New Testament calls it, the “strait gate.” He also told them to seek not to counsel God, but to walk in that path which leads to life; for narrow is the gate that leads to life, and few there be that enter in thereat. And he further says that the wicked will come and say, We have prophesied in thy name, and in thy name done many mighty works. And I will add to this that many of them will have to say, “We have stolen hundreds of cattle from the Mormons, and driven them from their homes, because they preached a new religion.” Still the Lord will say, “I know you not.”

Those covenants that we have made with God were also made in the beginning of the creation. They are now renewed to us; and revelations of this kind are just as binding upon you and me as the words and counsels that come from President Young and others. We are acting in the same capacity that the Apostles and Prophets of former dispensations have acted, and our word will have the same effect upon this generation that theirs had upon the generations in which they lived. We have the same God to worship; the same Jesus lives to save, and he has spoken and renewed this covenant to us and for us, and to remain with us forever and forever.

Brethren, reflect, look at yourselves and see what you are about, consider the positions you occupy, and ascertain if you are acting well your part—if you are speaking the truth and guarding against all manner of evil.

The Book of Mormon informs us that the Devil will come along with all manner of deceitfulness, and persuade the people to lie a little, to steal a little, and to rob your neighbor of anything that lies within your reach. Such a course leads to death and dissolution, and will cause those to mourn hereafter that follow it.

These are mysteries that are worth finding out; and although you may have read them from your childhood, and your mother may have taught them to you from your infancy, yet still they apply to you, and it is very important that you should not forget these small things. Some people come to this country who have been taught these things and many other good lessons; and when they get into these mountains they forget all their claim to the blessings that flow through obedience to the requirements of heaven and the requirements of their parents. Men who hold the Priesthood, and dishonor their fathers and mothers and the servants of God, will see sorrow. But some do this and still consider themselves good men, and they claim that they honor their calling and Priesthood. I will tell you how I feel: when my son turns away from the truth and disregards my counsel, he turns away from God. Why is this so? It is because I am a branch of the vine. I am a limb that is attached to the great tree, and when my son disengages himself from the tree he dishonors me, and by dishonoring me he dishonors the God whom I serve. It is a most excellent thing to find children listening to the admonition of their parents, and especially if they are blest with good ones. Those whose parents are not in the Church should strive to get within them the righteousness of Christ.

When the Adversary begins to tempt a person, he persuades him to do a little thing here, and a little wrong yonder, and persuades him to walk in that course that will cause the disposition to do wrong to increase upon him. The best way to do is to let alone that which is wrong.

These are some of the small things. I am down among the little roots and little vines, entering minutely into the subject of keeping them clean. I wish all to understand who believe on Jesus Christ, that they should repent of all their evil deeds; and the only way that a man can prove his penitence is by forsaking his evil practices and being baptized for the remission of his sins. But what good does it do for a man to come and be baptized—to be overwhelmed in water in the likeness of the death of Jesus Christ, and then to go and partake of those cursed old sins that they have just been washed clean from? I tell you that baptism in such cases brings greater condemnation. When people are baptized, they should then receive the Holy Ghost by the laying on of hands: he will show them things to come, he will dwell with them, and comfort their hearts, and cheer up their spirits.

There never should be a limb upon a fruit tree that is not bearing fruit. But you will see a great many members in this Church who are not bearing much fruit. Where is there an Elder, High Priest, Seventy, Apostle, or Prophet that is not required to bring forth the fruits of Christ, and those that will redound to his glory? Let us pursue that course of life that will make us the friends of our Father and God, friends of his servants Joseph, Hyrum, Peter, Paul, Jesus, and all the Apostles of Christ, and let our friendship extend back to those who are in the spirit world.

Don’t you suppose that the Lord will send his angels to sustain this people? Yes, he will; and if he has to knock these mountains, by which we are surrounded, into ten thousand pieces, in order to accomplish his purposes, he will do it.

It is very easy to be seen that the nation that has oppressed us is going down. The Lord revealed to Joseph Smith something about the judgments that await the inhabitants of the earth, and he said in the revelations that the judgments should commence at the house of God. I will read to you parts of the revelations which speak of these things.

“But, behold, I say unto you that before this great day shall come the sun shall be darkened, and the moon shall be turned into blood, and the stars shall fall from heaven, and there shall be greater signs in heaven above and in the earth beneath; And there shall be weeping and wailing among the hosts of men; And there shall be a great hailstorm sent forth to destroy the crops of the earth. And it shall come to pass, because of the wickedness of the world, that I will take vengeance upon the wicked, for they will not repent; for the cup of mine indignation is full; for behold, my blood shall not cleanse them if they hear me not.

Wherefore, I the Lord God will send forth flies upon the face of the earth, which shall take hold of the inhabitants thereof, and shall eat their flesh, and shall cause maggots to come in upon them; And their tongues shall be stayed that they shall not utter against me; and their flesh shall fall from off their bones, and their eyes from their sockets; And it shall come to pass that the beasts of the forest and the fowls of the air shall devour them up. And that great and abominable church, which is the whore of all the earth, shall be cast down by devouring fire, according as it is spoken by the mouth of Ezekiel the prophet, who spoke of these things, which have not come to pass but surely must, as I live, for abominations shall not reign.” (Doc. & Cov., sec. 10, par. 4, 5.)

“Verily, verily, I say unto you, that when I give a commandment to any of the sons of men to do a work unto my name, and those sons of men go with all their might and with all they have to perform that work, and cease not their diligence, and their enemies come upon them and hinder them from performing that work, behold, it behooveth me to require that work no more at the hands of those sons of men, but to accept of their offerings. And the iniquity and transgression of my holy laws and commandments I will visit upon the heads of those who hindered my work, unto the third and fourth generation, so long as they repent not, and hate me, saith the Lord God. Therefore, for this cause have I accepted the offerings of those whom I commanded to build up a city and a house unto my name, in Jackson County, Missouri, and were hindered by their enemies, saith the Lord your God. And I will answer judgment, wrath, and indignation, wailing, and anguish, and gnashing of teeth upon their heads, unto the third and fourth generation, so long as they repent not, and hate me, saith the Lord your God.” (Doc. & Cov., sec. 103, par. 15.)

“Verily, verily, I say unto you, darkness covereth the earth, and gross darkness the minds of the people, and all flesh has become corrupt before my face. Behold, vengeance cometh speedily upon the inhabitants of the earth, a day of wrath, a day of burning, a day of desolation, of weeping, of mourning, and of lamentation; and as a whirlwind it shall come upon all the face of the earth, saith the Lord.

And upon my house shall it begin, and from my house shall it go forth, saith the Lord; First among those among you, saith the Lord, who have professed to know my name and have not known me, and have blasphemed against me in the midst of my house, saith the Lord.” (Doc. & Cov., sec. 104, pars. 9, 10.)

“Let them importune at the feet of the judge; And if he heed them not, let them importune at the feet of the governor; And if the governor heed them not, let them importune at the feet of the president; And if the president heed them not, then will the Lord arise and come forth out of his hiding place, and in his fury vex the nation; And in his hot displeasure, and in his fierce anger, in his time, will cut off those wicked, unfaithful, and unjust stewards, and appoint them their portion among hypocrites, and unbelievers; Even in outer darkness, where there is weeping, and wailing, and gnashing of teeth. Pray ye, therefore, that their ears may be opened unto your cries, that I may be merciful unto them, that these things may not come upon them. What I have said unto you must needs be, that all men may be left without excuse; That wise men and rulers may hear and know that which they have never considered; That I may proceed to bring to pass my act, my strange act, and perform my work, my strange work, that men may discern between the righteous and the wicked, saith your God.” (Doc. & Cov., sec. 98, par. 12.)

And do you hear it, O Israel? and have you seen it, and felt the pangs of war, when they have sent their army to this Territory, intending to drive us from our homes? As they commenced it upon the house of God, it must go forth upon themselves; for as they measured out to us, it must be measured unto them fourfold.

The nations are already convulsed. Not only the United States, but many of the European nations are feeling the effect of the judgments of the Almighty; and they will continue to be afflicted more and more, until the above revelations are fulfilled. There is no evading the judgments of the Almighty: their only escape is in obedience to the Gospel we have to preach. But do they believe what we have said? No, they do not believe a word of it; and therefore there is but little hope in their case.

Brethren and sisters, let your hearts be open to receive the word of truth, that the Spirit of the Most High may be in you as a well of water, springing up into everlasting life. God bless you forever, and all those that hear these sayings and will render obedience unto the law of God. Peace be upon the righteous, that they may multiply and increase in wisdom and knowledge. I know, as well as I know that I am here, that the Priesthood will be taken from those who dishonor it; for they have no power to hold the oracles of God who do wickedly. They may not all be cut off from the tree, but they are dead, and the Spirit of God does not dwell with them, and therefore there is no life in them.

May the blessings of the Lord our God attend you all, is my prayer. Amen.