Going South—Building the Temple—Murmurers

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A Discourse by President Heber C. Kimball, Delivered in the Tabernacle, Great Salt Lake City, October 7th, 1852, at the General Conference.

The brethren have heard considerable about going south; and I know there is considerable feeling manifested upon this matter. There are a great many persons in this valley, who are working against this operation; I mean fathers and mothers, brothers and sisters, and other relations. Nearly all of these persons have city lots, and they propose to divide them with the emigrants, rather than that they should leave the city; and at the same time take one hundred and fifty or two hundred dollars out of their brethren’s pockets for that which cost them little or nothing; so they have a certain object in view in persuading people to stay in the city. These things have a strong tendency to bind the brethren here. There are also many other things that have the same tendency. They reason among themselves, saying, “If we go to Iron County, or to Millard County, we shall perhaps lose our blessings, our sealings, and our endowments, and many other privileges;” and conclude to stay here for the purpose of obtaining these things. I will tell you that stay here for this purpose, you will not get your blessings as soon as those will who go and settle where they are counseled. For none of you can have these blessings until you prove yourselves worthy, by cultivating the earth, and then rendering to the Lord the firstfruits thereof, the firstfruits of your cattle, of your sheep, and of all your increase. This is how I understand it. Now go and get farms for yourselves while you can.

Those brethren in Iron County, and those that are still at Coal Creek, pretty much all of them, are ironmongers; they were the first to go into the iron and coal business and leave their farms. There are somewhere in the neighborhood of two hundred acres of land under cultivation in those valleys, that you can have the privilege of purchasing, or of cultivating for the time being, until you can make farms for yourselves. In the city of Manti, half of the houses are vacant; there are houses enough empty there to accommodate fifty or a hundred families. In Iron County also there are similar advantages.

Fillmore City, in Millard County, is situated in a very extensive valley. I think we travel, as we are going to Iron County, somewhere in the neighborhood of fifty or sixty miles, and then it extends west far beyond the power of the eyes to see; the fact is, we can see no distant mountains at all in some directions; and there are numerous rich valleys that are connected or which communicate with this, on to Iron County. Millard County we wish to make strong and powerful, for there is the center of the government of the State of Deseret, and where the governor and his associates, some time in the future, will dwell part of the year. There will be a building erected there for the use of the general government of this State and for the general government of the Church and kingdom of God. Then why need you be afraid of the result of anything that is best for you to do? Let grandfather, grandmother, brother or sister, have no influence over you to turn you aside from your duty.

If brother Brigham is not of more consequence to you than your brother or sister, or father or mother, or anything else that pertains to this life, I would not give much for your religion. If you will reflect for a moment, and let the Spirit of the Lord—the spirit of revelation, have place in your bosoms, so that you can foresee the future events which we are approaching, and let your minds expand by the power of the Holy Ghost, you will not hesitate one moment to go to these valleys.

We have no wish to get rid of the Saints, but the counsel that is given them to go and settle those places, is for their best interest, and for the upbuilding of the kingdom of God.

You have arrived safely in this valley, by the providence of God, from Old England, where it rains almost every day, and where they have to keep the lamps lit, sometimes, in order to pass through the streets safely in the day time. Often, when I was there, I had to sit and read in the day time by candle light; and we very seldom durst go out without an umbrella, for if we did, we were sure to get soaked to the skin before we returned. It is not so in this country; and the further you go south, the higher the valleys are, until you go over the rim of the Great Basin, about sixty miles, down to the Rio Virgin. As soon as you get there, you are where it is summer all the year round; but we do not wish you to go there until you are appointed to go. We want you to go where you are sent, for you cannot get your endowments until you have proved yourselves—that is what we intend; it is the mind of brother Brigham, the President of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, and the Prophet of God, who holds the keys of life and salvation pertaining to you, and me, and all the world—not a soul is excepted, neither man, woman, nor child; they all belong to him; for he is the Prophet, he is our Priest, our Governor, even the Governor of the State of Deseret.

I think more of the things that pertain to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, or the kingdom of God, than I do of these little petty territorial matters. I presume if the brethren in this Conference will go into these valleys, and grow wheat, raise cattle, and other products of the earth, and then give one-tenth of all their increase into the Lord’s storehouse; and one-tenth of all they have got now, we shall be able to set to immediately, and build a temple, and finish it forthwith, and abandon the idea of the Church building houses for individuals, to get a few dollars here and there to carry on the public works. Let us attend to the Church matters, and rear that wall round the Temple block as soon as possible, and apply the Church funds to this purpose, instead of putting them into the hands of a few individuals, that would perhaps pay one hundred dollars, or turn in a yoke of cattle, and say, “Build me a house, and then let the Church pay the difference.” They will pay so much, and perhaps the rest of it is sucked out of the vitals of the Church. This is afflicting the Church; it cannot carry this burden, but must and will throw it off, and use the tithing in building a temple, a baptismal font, storehouses, and such things the Church has need of. I do not know whether you have any desire to have a temple built or not. Have you reflected upon it, that we may go to with our might, our means, our substance, and with all we have to build a house to the Lord, to build fonts, that we can attend to the ordinances of salvation for ourselves, our children, our fathers, and mothers, both living and dead? What do you say? If you say we shall do so, raise your right hands. (All hands were up.) It is clear that they will have a temple, brother Brigham.

Now if you will take hold together, and do as you have been told, and go and people those rich valleys, except those who have been counseled to stay here, for if they are wanted here, it is necessary they should stay here; you shall be blessed. Gather up your substance, and go and make farms for yourselves, that you can raise from two hundred to three thousand bushels of wheat next summer. We have been in those valleys two or three times on exploring expeditions, and we are going again next fall, over the mountains, down into the lower world, if the Lord will. We shall thus travel back and forth, and live about as much in one place as in another; for the future we shall keep on the move, going to and fro, and shall never be easy; we never want to be, nor that you should, until the kingdom of God prevails over this earth. We will fill up these mountains, take up the land, and, as they used to say in the States, “become squatters,” and we will become thicker on the mountains than the crickets ever were.

If you can once break up the ranks of the crickets, it breaks up their calculations, and under such circumstances they never will undertake a war upon your crops. In like manner we have to become one, and build a Temple, that we may learn the principles of oneness more fully, to prepare for all things to come, that when we become fixed for war, we may whip out all the enemies of truth, and never yield the point, neither man, woman, nor child that is in Israel.

As for murmurers and complainers and faultfinders, we want to give them some employment, and we shall attend to that part of the business before long. After meeting we will lay the thing before them, and all the murmurers, and complainers, and faultfinders, &c., we want they should raise their right hand to do some good. If they want to vote, we will appoint a meeting at the Council House directly after Conference, and organize them into companies, and appoint a building committee to build brother Brigham a house, and the person who murmurs the worst shall be the President. We will give him the same right which we gave to Father Sherwood; but it was a tie between him and Zebedee Coltrin which should preside; but Father Sherwood’s tongue being more limber, he whipped out Coltrin, and got the Presidency. We will organize a company of males and females, for we calculate to give females an office in that company, and they shall be upon an equal footing with the men. Now there’s a chance for you women who seek to be equal with your husbands. This is sticking to the text brother Brigham gave yesterday. But I believe I will stop speaking for the present.

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