Sermons and Writings Vol. 1

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Kevin Kraut

1840 – 1850

I combat the errors of ages; I meet the violence of mobs; I cope with illegal proceedings from executive authority; I cut the Gordian knot of powers; and I solve mathematical problems of universities with truth-diamond truth; and God is my “right-hand man.” (Joseph Smith, Life of Joseph Smith, the Prophet, George Q. Cannon, p. 432)


compiled and published


Ogden Kraut


Numbers in [ ] are the page numbers

January 1994

I mourn for the depravity of the world; I despise the hypocrisy of Christendom; I hate imbecility of American statesmen; I detest the shrinkage of candidates for office, from pledges and responsibility, I long for a day of righteousness, when he, “whose right it is to reign, shall judge the poor, and reprove with equity for the meek of the earth,” and I pray God who hath given our father a promise of a perfect government in the last days, to purify the hearts of the people and hasten the welcome day.

Joseph Smith, Times and Seasons 2:548


It is a pleasure to present the first in a series of several volumes containing sermons and writings of early LDS Church leaders for about a 50-year period of time-1840 to 1890. The source materials for this collection are generally rare and expensive, and are becoming more and more difficult to obtain, i.e.:

Millennial Star               1840 – 1970

Times and Seasons             1839 – 1846

Wilford Woodruff Journals     1833 – 1898

Deseret News                  1850 – present

Pioneer journals              1840 – 1890

Manuscript histories          1840 – 1890


Sermons included in the Journal of Discourses and subsequent discourse compilations are not reprinted here.


With the exception of a few selected items from the 1830’s (to provide some interesting historical background), this first volume contains information from 1840 through 1850. The content is mostly historical, instructional, and doctrinal, and is not only interesting, but pertinent for the Saints today.


The two major sources for this collection are early issues of the Millennial Star and Deseret News. To emphasize the validity and importance of these long-term periodicals, the following two quotes are included here:


The Millennial Star was the first foreign publication of the church. It was issued at first as a monthly, but afterwards more frequently, semi-monthly, and finally, and now for many years, a weekly. Its publication has been continuous from the time it was started (May 1840 at Manchester, England) until the present-1929 (when CHC was being written). Also the Star has retained the general character imparted to it by its first publishers. “The Millennial Star,” said its Prospectus, “will stand aloof from the common political and commercial news of the day. Its columns will be devoted to the spread of the fulness of the gospel-the restoration of the ancient principles of Christianity-the gathering of Israel-the rolling forth of the kingdom of God among the nations-the signs of the times-the fulfillment of prophecy-recording the judgments of God as they befall the nations, whether signs in the heavens or in the earth, blood, fire, or vapor of smoke-in short, whatever is shown forth indicative of the coming of the `Son of Man’ and ushering in of His universal reign upon the earth.” (Comprehensive H. of C., 2:86, ftnt.)

* * *


He (Heber C. Kimball) then spoke of the Deseret News and encouraged the people to take that paper; said it was one of the best papers in print, as it would afford information from all the settlements in the mountains and also the most important news of the world; also the sermons which were delivered at the stand each Sabbath which were filled with inspiration of the Holy Ghost, and would be profitable to future generations who would think more of them than the present generation does. (Journal of Mary Ellen Kimball, pub. Pioneer Press, 1994, p. 48)


In his day, B.H. Roberts considered the Deseret News as-

. . . “the church organ,” that is to say, it was the medium through which the church administration-the first presidency-continued to disseminate the official communications to the church, the only sense in which there has ever been a periodical recognized as a church organ by the church or its authorities. (CHC 6:360)


With this in mind, it is hoped that the messages presented in this and subsequent volumes will be informative and enlightening to those who read them.

-The Publisher




Revelation to Joseph Smith   .     .     .     .       7

Jan. 12, 1833-Kirtland, Ohio

David Whitmer’s Experience   .     .     .     .       8

with the Prophet Joseph

Oliver Cowdery’s Testimony   .     .     .     .       8

of the Savior and John the Baptist

Addison Everett’s Letter     .     .     .     .     10

to Oliver Huntington

(Re: Joseph/Hyrum Conversation)

Parley P. Pratt’s Testimony  .     .     .     .     12

Nov. 27, 1836

Wilford Woodruff’s Account of Spiritual Gifts  12

during the Kirtland Period-1837

Wilford Woodruff’s Dismay at World .     .     16

Rejection of Gospel

Wilford Woodruff’s Report of Persecution.      .      17

March 16, 1839

Wilford Woodruff’s Reflections.    .     .     .     18

June 21, 1840

Wilford Woodruff’s Vision of the Savior .      .     19

October 15, 1840

Signs to Follow the Believers.     .     .     .     20

Brigham Young-July 30, 1843-Pittsburgh

Good Advice from Brigham Young     .     .     .     20

Nauvoo, Illinois-1843/1844

Benjamin F. Johnson’s Testimony    .     .     .     23

of Brigham Young-Aug. 8, 1844

Brigham Young’s First Address      .     .     .     24

at Trial of Sidney Rigdon-Sept. 8, 1844

Brigham Young’s Second Address     .     .     .     28

at Trial of Sidney Rigdon

Brigham Young’s Third Address.     .     .     .     29

at Trial of Sidney Rigdon

Meeting of the Richards and Young Families     .     31

Jan. 8, 1845-Nauvoo, Illinois

Additional Remarks by Brigham Young.     .     .     33

Jan. 1845-Nauvoo, Illinois

To Officers and Members of the Church    .     .     38

of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints

in the British Islands

Wilford Woodruff-Feb. 9, 1845

Brigham Young’s Conference Address .     .     49

April 6, 1845-Nauvoo, Illinois

Celestial Family Organization.     .     .     .     58

Parley P. Pratt-May 1845

Brigham Young’s Address      .     .     .     .     67

Aug. 3, 1845-Nauvoo, Illinois

Heber C. Kimball’s Address   .     .     .     .     84

Dec. 14, 1845-Nauvoo Temple

Heber C. Kimball’s Remarks   .     .     .     .     87

Dec. 26, 1845-Nauvoo Temple

Report by Temple Recorder    .     .     .     .     87

Dec. 28, 1845-Nauvoo Temple

Heber C. Kimball’s Remarks   .     .     .     .     89

Dec. 28, 1845-Nauvoo Temple

Heber C. Kimball’s Remarks   .     .     .     .     90

Jan. 2, 1846-Nauvoo Temple

Brigham Young’s Remarks      .     .     .     .     93

Jan. 24, 1846-Nauvoo Temple

Plans for Removal to the Rocky Mountains.      .     94

Helen Mar Whitney

Brigham Young’s Remarks      .     .     .     .     97

April 26, 1846-Garden Grove

Brigham Young’s Remarks      .     .     .     .     99

Dec. 14, 1846-Winter Quarters

Brigham Young’s Remarks      .     .     .     .     100

Jan. 16, 1847-Winter Quarters

Wilford Woodruff’s Remarks   .     .     .     .     100

Feb. 16, 1847-Winter Quarters

Brigham Young’s Remarks      .     .     .     .     105

Feb. 23, 1847-Winter Quarters

Brigham Young’s Remarks      .     .     .     .     106

as reported by Wm. Clayton-May 28, 1847

Wilford Woodruff’s Remarks   .     .     .     .     113

May 29, 1847

Wilford Woodruff’s Remarks   .     .     .     .     114

June 1847

Brigham Young’s Remarks      .     .     .     .     118

July 25, 1847-Salt Lake Valley

Wilford Woodruff’s Remarks   .     .     .     .     118

July 28, 1847-Salt Lake Valley

Wilford Woodruff’s Remarks   .     .     .     .     119

July 30, 1847

Wilford Woodruff’s Remarks   .     .     .     .     120

Aug. 8, 1847-Salt Lake Valley

Wilford Woodruff’s Remarks   .     .     .     .     124

Aug. 15, 1847-Salt Lake Valley

Wilford Woodruff’s Remarks   .     .     .     .     127

Dec. 21, 1847-Salt Lake Valley

Wilford Woodruff’s Remarks   .     .     .     .     129

Feb. 13, 1848

Wilford Woodruff’s Remarks   .     .     .     .     132

Feb. 23, 1848-Winter Quarters

Wilford Woodruff’s Remarks   .     .     .     .     135

March 17, 1848

Wilford Woodruff’s Remarks   .     .     .     .     139

April 7, 1848

Wilford Woodruff’s Remarks   .     .     .     .     139

Oct. 18, 1848

Wilford Woodruff’s Remarks   .     .     .     .     140

Nov. 26, 1848

Orson Pratt/Orson Spencer    .     .     .     .     140

Jan. 15, 1849

Brigham Young’s Remarks      .     .     .     .     144

Feb. 25, 1849-Salt Lake Valley

Orson Hyde’s Remarks.  .     .     .     .     .     146

April 6, 1849

The Government of God  .     .     .     .     .     152

June 27, 1849-from The Times & Seasons

Brigham Young’s Remarks      .     .     .     .     157

July 24, 1849-Salt Lake Valley

Wilford Woodruff’s Remarks   .     .     .     .     159

Dec. 4, 1849

Wilford Woodruff’s Remarks   .     .     .     .     161

Dec. 4, 1849

Wilford Woodruff’s Remarks   .     .     .     .     161

Dec. 15, 1849

Wilford Woodruff’s Remarks   .     .     .     .     167

Dec. 28, 1849

Without Money and Without Price    .     .     .     167

  1. C. Dunbar, Jan. 1, 1850

The Constitution of the New State  .     .     170

of Deseret

Jan. 1, 1850

Faith, by William Gibson, H.P.     .     .     .     179

Feb. 1, 1850

Thou Shalt Not Commit Adultery     .     .     .     189

Orson Pratt-March 1, 1850

The Earth: Its Fall, Redemption,   .     .     193

and Final Destiny

Orson Pratt-March 1, 1850

Reflections on Truth.  .     .     .     .     .     202

James Bell-March 15, 1850

Brigham Young’s Discourse.   .     .     .     .     205

General Conference-April 6, 1850

The Gathering and Kingdom of God, Part 1.      .     211

Eli B. Kelsey-April 1850

The Gathering and Kingdom of God, Part 2.      .     217

Eli B. Kelsey-April 1850

To Those Who Have Never Heard      .     .     .     222

the Testimony of a Latter-day Saint

Brigham Young-June 1850

Orson Spencer’s Remarks      .     .     .     .     224

July 1, 1850-Salt Lake City

Brigham Young’s Remarks      .     .     .     .     225

July 1, 1850

Heber C. Kimball’s Remarks   .     .     .     .     227

July 14, 1850-Salt Lake City

Brigham Young’s Remarks      .     .     .     .     228

July 14, 1850-Salt Lake City

  1. A. Smith’s Remarks  .     .     .     .     .     231

July 14, 1850-Salt Lake City

Willard Snow’s Remarks .     .     .     .     .     232

July 14, 1850-Salt Lake City

Brigham Young’s Remarks      .     .     .     .     233

July 24, 1850-Salt Lake City

Oration by Dr. Willard Richards    .     .     .     234

July 24, 1950

Brigham Young’s Remarks      .     .     .     .     243

General Conference-Sept. 6, 1850

Parley P. Pratt’s Remarks    .     .     .     .     244

Sept. 6, 1850-Salt Lake City

Orson Hyde’s Remarks.  .     .     .     .     .     245

Sept. 6, 1850-Salt Lake City

Brigham Young’s Remarks      .     .     .     .     245

Sept. 6, 1850-Salt Lake City

  1. A. Smith’s Remarks  .     .     .     .     .     246

General Conference-Sept. 7, 1850

Brigham Young’s Remarks      .     .     .     .     247

General Conference-Sept. 7, 1850

Orson Hyde’s Remarks.  .     .     .     .     .     247

General Conference-Sept. 7, 1850

Brigham Young on Tithing     .     .     .     .     249

General Conference-Sept. 8, 1850

Heber C. Kimball’s Remarks   .     .     .     .     252

General Conference-Sept. 8, 1850

Parley P. Pratt’s Remarks    .     .     .     .     253

General Conference-Sept. 8, 1850

Heber C. Kimball’s Remarks   .     .     .     .     253

General Conference-Sept. 8, 1850

Parley P. Pratt’s Remarks    .     .     .     .     253

General Conference-Sept. 8, 1850

Brigham Young’s Remarks      .     .     .     .     253

Sept. 15, 1850-Salt Lake City

To the Senators and Representatives.     .     .     259

of the State of Deseret

Brigham Young-Dec. 2, 1850

Sermon at the Bowery.  .     .     .     .     .     265

Brigham Young-Dec. 29, 1850


* * * * *

* * *




Revelation to Joseph Smith

January 12, 1833, Kirtland, Ohio


Thus saith the Lord the time has now come when a decision of such a council would not answer for Zion and all her Stakes:

What will answer for Zion and all her stakes?

Thus saith the Lord, let the First Presidency of my Church be held in full fellowship in Zion and all her stakes until they shall be found transgressors by such an high council — as is named in the 3rd Section 37th verse of the Book of Covenants, in Zion by 3 witnesses standing against each member of said Presidency and said witnesses shall be of long and faithful standing and such also as cannot be impeached by other witnesses before said council.

And when a decision is had by such a council in Zion, it shall only be for Zion; it shall not answer for her Stakes.   But, if said decision be acknowledged by the Council of her Stakes, then it shall answer for her Stakes. But if it is not acknowledged by the Stakes, then such Stakes may have the privilege of hearing for themselves. Or, if said decision shall be acknowledged by a majority of her Stakes, then it shall answer for all her Stakes.

And again, the Presidency of said Church may be tried by the voice of the whole body of the Church of Zion, and the voice of a majority of all her Stakes.  And again, except a majority is had by the voice of the Church of Zion, and a majority of all her Stakes, the charges will be considered not sustained. [8]

And in order to sustain such charge or charges before said Church of Zion or her Stakes, such witnesses must be had as is named above, that is: three witnesses to each president, who are of long and faithful standing that cannot be impeached by other witnesses before the Church of Zion or her Stakes.

And all this saith the Lord, because of wicked and aspiring men, let all your doings be in meekness and in humility before me, even so, Amen.

(From The Scriptory Book of Joseph Smith, pp. 51-52, L.D.S. Church Archives, Salt Lake City, Utah.)


David Whitmer’s Experience

with the Prophet Joseph


Before I knew Joseph, I had learned about him and the plates from persons who declared they knew he had them, and swore they would get them from him.  When Oliver Cowdery went to Pennsylvania he promised to write me what he should learn about these matters, which he did.  He wrote me that Joseph had told him his (Oliver’s) secret thoughts, and all he had meditated about going to see him, which no man on earth knew, as he supposed, but himself, and so he stopped to write for Joseph. . . . When I arrived at Harmony, Joseph and Oliver were coming toward me, and met me some distance from the house.  Oliver told me that Joseph had informed him when I started from home, where I had stopped the first night and how I read the sign at the tavern, where I stopped the next night, etc., and that I would be there that day before dinner, and this was why they had come out to meet me; all of which was exactly as Joseph had told Oliver, at which I was greatly astonished. (Elders’ Journal, 4:16, May 15, 1907)


Oliver Cowdery’s Testimony

of the Savior and John the Baptist


On reflecting further, it was as easy to be seen, that amid the great strife and noise concerning religion, none had authority from God to administer the ordinances of the gospel.  For, the question might be asked, have men [9] authority to administer in the name of Christ, who deny revelation?  When his testimony is no less then the spirit of prophecy?  And his religion bared, built, and sustained by immediate revelations in all ages of the world, when he has had a people on earth?  If these facts were buried, and carefully concealed by men whose craft would have been in danger, if once permitted to shine in the faces of men, they were no longer to us; and we only waited for the commandment to be given, “arise and be baptized.”

This was not long desired before it was realized.  The Lord, who is rich in mercy, and ever willing to answer the consistent prayer of the humble, after we had called upon him in a fervent manner, aside from the abodes of men, condescended to manifest us his will.  On a sudden, as from the midst of eternity, the voice of the Redeemer spake peace to us, while the vail was parted and the angel of God came down clothed with glory, and delivered the anxiously looked for message, and the keys of the gospel of repentance!  What Joy!  What wonder!  What amazement!  While the world were wracked and distracted – while millions were grouping [groping] as the blind for the wall, and while all men were resting upon uncertainty, as a general mass, our eyes beheld-our ears heard.  As in the “blaze of day”; yes more – above the glitter of the May sunbeam, which then shed its brilliancy over the face of nature!  Then his voice, though mild, pierced to the center, and his words, “I am thy fellow servant,” dispelled every fear.  We listened-we gazed-we admired!  ‘Twas the voice of the angel from glory-’twas a message from the Most High! And as we heard we rejoiced, while his love enkindled upon our souls, and we were wrapped in the vision of the Almighty!  Where was room for doubt?  No where: uncertainty had fled, doubt had sunk, no more to rise, while fiction and deception had fled forever!

But, dear brother, think further; think for a moment what joy filled our hearts, and with what surprise we must have bowed, (for who would not have bowed the knee for such a blessing?) when we received under his hand the holy priesthood, as he said, “Upon (you) my fellow servants, in the name of Messiah I confer this priesthood, and this authority, which shall remain upon earth, that [10] the sons of Levi may yet offer an offering unto the Lord in righteousness!”

I shall not attempt to paint to you the feelings of this heart, nor the majestic beauty and glory which surrounded us on this occasion; but you will believe me when I say, that earth, nor men, with the eloquence of time cannot begin to clothe language in as interesting and sublime a manner as this holy personage.  No, nor has this earth power to give the joy, to bestow the peace, or comprehend the wisdom which was contained in each sentence as they were delivered by the power of the holy spirit!  Man may deceive his fellow man; deception may follow deception, and the children of the wicked one may have power to seduce the foolish and untaught, till naught but fiction feeds the many, and the fruit of falsehood carries in its current the giddy to the grave; but one touch with the finger of His love, yes, one ray of glory from the upper world, or one word from the mouth of the Savior, from the bosom of eternity strikes it all into insignificance, and blasts it forever from the mind!  The assurance that we were in the presence of an angel; the certainty that we heard the voice of Jesus, and the truth unsullied as it flowed from a pure personage, dictated by the will of God, is to me, past description, and I shall ever look upon this expression of the Savior’s goodness with wonder and thanksgiving while I am permitted to tarry, and in those mansions where perfection dwells and sin never comes, I hope to adore in that day which shall never cease! (Times & Seasons 2:201)


Addison Everett’s Letter to Oliver Huntington

Feb. 17, 1881


Dear Brother: In answer to your request, I will state that I heard the following conversation between Joseph and Hyrum Smith in the front of the “Mansion,” (Nauvoo) a few days before they were martyred:

Hyrum was telling Joseph that William Law apostatized because Joseph believed in a plurality of Gods.

Joseph said, “Who told him I did?  I did not.”

Joseph went on and said, “Now, brethren, if you will prepare a good lot of seats on the stand, I will preach you a [11] sermon on the plurality of Gods from the 5th and 6th verses of the 1st Chapter of Revelation.”  (He was murdered before he had a chance to preach the sermon.)

In the conversation between Joseph and Hyrum, Oliver Cowdery was spoken of. Joseph said:

“Poor boy!” and went on and said that at Colesville, he and Lovier were under arrest on a charge of deceiving the people.

When they were at the justice’s house for trial in the evening, all were waiting for Mr. Reid, Joseph’s lawyer.  And while waiting the justice asked Joseph some questions, among which was this:

“What was the first miracle Jesus performed?”  Joseph replied, “He made this world, and what followed we are not told.”

Mr. Reid came in and said he wanted to speak to his clients in private and that the law allowed him that privilege, he believed.

The judge pointed to a door to a room in the back part of the house and told them to step in there.

As soon as they got into the room, the lawyer said there was a mob outside in front of the house, “and if they get hold of you, they will perhaps do you bodily injury;

“And I think the best way for you to get out of this is to get right out there,” pointing to the window and hoisting it.

They got into the woods in going a few rods from the house.  It was night and they traveled through brush and water and mud, fell over logs, etc., until Oliver was exhausted; then Joseph helped him along through the mud and water, almost carrying him.

They traveled all night, and just at the break of day Oliver gave out entirely and exclaimed,

“O Lord!  Brother Joseph, how long have we got to endure this thing?”  They sat down on a log to rest and Joseph said that at that very time Peter, James and John came to them and ordained them to the Apostleship.

They had sixteen or seventeen miles to go to get back to Mr. Hale’s, his father-in-law’s, but Oliver did not complain any more of fatigue.

Now, Brother Huntington, I have told you what I heard Brother Joseph tell, almost the only time I ever [12] heard him talk.  It is a source of satisfaction to have seen and heard the Prophet of God.  Yours truly,

(Young Woman’s Journal, Nov. 1890, 2:75-76)


Parley P. Pratt’s Testimony

Nov. 27, 1836


A vast concourse assembled at an early hour.  Every seat was crowded and 4 or 5 hundred people stood up in the aisles.  Br. Smith gave the history of these things relating many particulars of the manner of his first vision &c.  The spirit and power of God was upon him in bearing testimony insomuch that many if not most of the congregation were in tears.  As for myself I can say that all the reasoning in uncertainty and all the conclusions drawn from the writings of others . . . however great in themselves dwindle into insignificance when compared with the living testimony when your eyes see and your ears hear from the living oracles of God.  (P. Pratt’s Papers ms., L.D.S. Archives)


Wilford Woodruff’s Account of Spiritual Gifts

during the Kirtland Period


Mar. 23, 1837.  I repaired to the house of the Lord at an early hour in the morning to spend the day in prayer and fasting with the saints in Kirtland, as this was a day set apart for that purpose.  Immediately after entering the house in company with several other Elders, I went within the veil and we bowed down before the Lord in the Aaronic stand and offered a morning sacrifice, and the Spirit of God rested upon us with joy to our souls.

The time was taken up during the day in each apartment in singing, exhortation, and prayer.  Some had a tongue, others an interpretation, and all was in order.  The power of God rested upon the people.  The gifts were poured out upon us.  Some had the administering of angels and the image of God sat upon the countenances of the Saints.

At 4 o’clock pm the veils were all rolled up together which brought the whole congregation in full view of each other and while the presence of the Lord filled the house, [13] the congregation was far better to preach what the people would call the small things of the Bible than to enter into the visions of Isaiah, Ezekiel, and John &c.

President Sidney Rigdon next spoke and said many important things and impressed it upon the Elders of Israel with great force and eloquence to lay to with their mights this once for the redemption of Kirtland that Israel may be safe and free and have a place to set his foot (for if we do give heed to the word we should sin less).

After the Presidency closed their remarks the twelve were called upon to break bread for the multitude (as Jesus did in the days of the Apostles) that they might all be filled.  They did so and we were all filled and were made glad while feasting with Patriarchs, Prophets, Apostles, Evangelist, Pastors, Teachers, and Deacons.

After the feast was closed, thanks was returned to God with uplifted hands to heaven — this being about the setting of the sun.  All had the privilege of returning to their homes that felt disposed and the rest might spend the night in the house of the Lord in prayer and exhortation, praise and thanksgiving.

At about candle light the meeting commenced with great interest. Joseph requested the congregation to speak their feelings freely and pray according to the spirit.  The saints began to open their mouths and they were filled with language unto edification — one a prayer, another exhortation, some a doctrine and a psalm, others a tongue, some an interpretation.  Prophecy was also poured out upon us and all things was done decently and in order and the night were spent gloriously by the saints.  Much of the gifts of the gospel rested upon us.

One brother clothed with the gift of tongues laid his hands upon my head and prophesied great blessings upon me.  Another Brother possessing the interpretation uttered it unto me to my joy and consolation with the many blessings pronounced upon my head, He rehearsed the blessing that Jacob pronounced upon the heads of Joseph and said that I should possess the blessings of heaven and of earth and be much blessed in my ministry &c.

Much prophecy was uttered upon the heads of many of the Saints in other languages and was interpreted [14] which was glorious.  Thus was this day and night spent gloriously, and those scenes will long be remembered.

Rejoice, O earth, and shout, O heavens, for the natural fruit of the tame olive tree is again manifest in the earth.  The fig tree is putting forth leaves.  The Church of Christ is traveling out of the wilderness with her gifts and graces which edify the body of Christ.  The house of God is reared in beauty and splendor according to the pattern given by the visions of heaven and the revelations of Jesus Christ.

O ye gentiles, come and receive the gospel.  Repent and be baptized for the remission of your sins and receive the Holy Ghost by the laying on of hands and partake of the blessing of God with Israel that you may be hid under the shadow of the Almighty in the day of Gods wrath and indignation upon Babylon which is at hand.

The meeting continued until break of day when we all dispersed to our homes with great joy and consolation.  May the Lord bless the Saints and have mercy upon the poor, the sick and the afflicted and deliver Israel from the Gentile yoke for Jesus’ sake,  Amen.


Apr. 7, 1837.  I spent the day in writing my journal, and when the shades of evening began to appear I repaired to the house of the Lord in company with Elders Milton Holmes and Joseph B. Nobles for the purpose of worshipping God.  We entered one of the stands within the veils and fell upon our knees and Satan appeared also but not to worship God but to deprive us of the privilege.  Satan strove against us with great power by tempting and otherwise.  He at one time drove me from my stand while I was striving with my brethren to enter into the visions of heaven.

Notwithstanding his apparent victory, good grew out of it for by going into the outer Court, I there found Elder Freeman Nickerson, an aged father in Israel who was faithful and prayed to God always.  I solicited him to join us in prayer that we might gain a victory over Satan and get at the hand of God.  He joyfully accepted the invitation and we again entered the stand being four of us in number of one accord in one place.  We had great cause to be united in heart.  We all had traveled together about 1,000 miles in [15] the spring of 1834 for the redemption of Zion.  We at that time offered to lay down our lives and our offering was accepted as was Abram’s.

We felt considering those circumstances that we could kneel down and unitedly get a blessing by faith through Jesus Christ.  We fell upon our knees and began to cry unto God.  Satan departed, temptation found no place in our hearts.  The power of God rested upon us and we were baptized with the Holy Ghost, and the Spirit of God was like fire shut up in our bones.  We were immersed in the liberty of the sons of God.  Many great things were shown unto us.  The power of God and the Spirit of prophesy and revelation rested upon us.  I arose and proclaimed many glorious things upon the heads of my beloved brethren that were present which were dictated in my heart by the Holy Spirit.  And I, Wilford testify in the name of Jesus Christ that many precious things were shown me concerning my brethren by the Holy Spirit in prophecy and revelation.  Our hearts were made glad and we went our way rejoicing.

9th, Sun. morning.  President S. Rigdon addressed the congregation and laid before them their situation as to temporal things as the gentiles are striving to besiege the saints to death.  He also stated that the presidency had used every means for the deliverance of the Church but as many of the Church had refused Kirtland Currency — which was their temporal salvation — in consequence of this they put strength in the hands of their enemies, and those that had done this thing must suffer by it.

Sidney closed and Joseph arose and like the lion of the tribe of Judah, he poured out his soul in the midst of the congregation of the Saints.  But who can find language to write his words and teachings as with an iron pen in a rock that they may stand for future generation to look upon?  A fountain of knowledge rolled from his mouth to the people which was the word of God.  Yea, in the name of God he proclaimed that severe judgment awaited those characters that professed to be his friends and friends to humanity and the Kirtland Safety Society, but had turned traitors and opposed the currency and its friends which has given power into the hands of the enemy and oppressed the poor Saints.  Such have become Covenant [16] Breakers, for which they will feel the wrath of God as true as Joseph is a prophet.

Joseph uttered the feelings of his soul in pain while viewing the poverty and afflictions of Ephraim or the Saints in Kirtland at least that false brethren should be whited walls and bring perils upon the Saints.  Joseph is as a father to Ephraim and to all Israel in these last days.  He mourns because of unbelief and the negligence manifest with many who have received the gospel in obeying the commands of God.  He fears lest but few be left to receive an inheritance.  There is not a greater man than Joseph standing in this generation.  The gentiles look upon him and he is to them like a bed of gold concealed from human view.  They know not his principle, his spirit, his wisdom virtue, philanthropy, nor his calling.  His mind, like Enoch’s swells wide as eternity.  Nothing short of a God can comprehend his soul. (Wilford Woodruff Journal)


Wilford Woodruff’s Dismay

at World Rejection of Gospel


O ye inhabitants of the earth!  Why, will you fight against God?  “It is hard to kick against the pricks” – God is not to be mocked. – He has set his hand again the second time to recover his people, as declared by the prophet Isaiah: and he has said, “I will proceed to do a marvelous work among this people, even a marvelous work and a wonder: for the wisdom of their wise men shall perish;” and so it is, the people are astonished to see the Lord work, and it is truly marvelous in their eyes to see their “wise men” (priests) put down by the striplings whom God has called from the plough and commissioned by direct revelation from heaven to preach his gospel “in all the world.”  God always works by means, and He has chosen the means by which He is to do His “marvelous work” in the last days, which work, is preparatory to the second advent of Christ; and all those who fight against it, will find to their shame, that they are fighting against God – Vain man!  “Hast thou an arm like God? or canst thou thunder with a voice like Him?” (Times and Seasons, editorial 2:234)


Wilford Woodruff’s Report of Persecution

March 16, 1839


I concluded to go and spend the night with Brother Hale and we had an interesting time together in talking about our travels together upon the Islands of the Sea, and also Br. Hale gave me an account of his sufferings and those of his family and all the Saints in Missouri during the past winter.  For they have suffered much from the inhabitants of Missouri who have turned mob with Governor Boggs at their head.  They came upon the Saints from time to time in battle array.  They shot the Saints down like wild beasts and butchered others in cool blood and knocked the brains out of some after they had taken them prisoners.  The soldiers shot down the cattle, cows and hogs of the Saints for the purpose of destroying them.

The Saints at times stood in their own defense and some of their enemies fell before them and in consequence of which the Governor issued orders for the final extermination of the Saints out of the state and sent a general after his own heart to execute his orders forthwith, and this is the cause of their leaving the state and coming to Quincy.  The whole city of Far West had to surrender to the militia.  The Presidency with about 60 others were cast into prison and chains.  They are all delivered excepting eleven persons.  The mob used every exertion to take the life of Joseph and others but through the mercy of God their lives were in the hands of God and not their enemies.

Elder David W. Patten, one of the Twelve Apostles of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter day Saints chosen to bear the keys of this last kingdom was one of the martyrs of the persecution in Missouri in the winter of 1838; he sealed his testimony with his blood.  He died strong in that faith that he had boldly declared through the U.S.A. for the last 7 years of his life, &c. (Wilford Woodruff Journal)


Wilford Woodruff’s Reflections

June 21, 1840


From Adam, man descended and prospered and blessed until he polluted the earth by sin and wickedness to that degree that God destroyed the whole world by a flood except 8 souls, and they went forth and again peopled the earth and were always blessed when they kept the commandments of God and were cursed when they broke them.  God blessed Abram and made covenants with him and his seed.  Though Israel was in slavery as it were under Pharaoh, yet when they cried unto God and were humble, God raised up Moses and delivered them and cursed the Egyptian nation and overthrew them.  God overthrew the Canaanites and gave the land to Israel.

Nation after nation has risen, flourished, and fallen from generation to generation.  Babylon, the excellency of the Chaldeans and the glory of kingdoms, was in her turn laid in the dust, and while the curse of God rested upon many nations for their sins and for Israel’s sake, Israel forgot her God and turned to idols, and proved the Lord to be equal in all His ways by scattering Israel to the four winds of heaven, overthrowing Jerusalem, laying her palaces, synagogues, and temples, in the dust to be trodden down by the gentiles while Judah was driven like the dumb ass under his burden scattered among all nations as corn was sifted in a sieve.

The gentile nations took her lands, were grafted in where Israel was broken off and partook of the fatness of her olive tree, and for a short season brought forth her fruit.  Then Rome arose, and Greece in her turn have both spread themselves like a green bay tree and strove to have their branches reach to heaven while built upon Judah ruin, who at the same time is receiving double at the hand of God for all his sins, Greece and Rome in their turn fall to the ground, and out of Rome comes forth ten kingdoms who are now struggling for the mastery to sway the septre over the earth.

But in vain, in vain, do ye strive O! ye gentiles for this thing.  Ye are only fuel for the fire and tinder for the breath of the Almighty.  Ye have not continued in the goodness of God neither have ye sought to recover Israel.  [19] WO, WO, WO, unto you Rome for you are the mother of harlots, and wo unto all your daughters, England and America not excepted.  Your destruction is sure.  Your condemnation lingereth not and your damnation slumbereth not.  For you are all drunk with the blood of saints.  You have spoiled Judah and Ephraim you have trodden down.  But he will rise again and fulfill the word of God on thee! (Wilford Woodruff Journal)


Wilford Woodruff’s Vision of the Savior

October 15, 1840


I had an interview with Sister Eliza Bromley during the afternoon and she related to me the following vision which she had on the 8th inst:

Lane End Stratfordshire, Oct. 8, 1840

At one o’clock at noon there came a deep sleep upon me, and I slept one hour.  I was awoke with a hand touching me.  I looked around me and saw a personage standing by the side of me clothed in linen.  His face had the appearance of much meekness, love, and light.  I said Oh.  He said, fear not. He came and touched me with his hand.  Then fear departed from me.  I said doth the Lord love me so much?  He said, it is thy faith in the servants of the God of heaven.  Thou hast clothed the naked and fed the hungry and the God of heaven will feed thee forever and forever, and the desire of thy heart shall be granted thee in God’s own time.  No weapon shall prosper against thee for thou art sealed up unto the Lord.

Think it not strange when you see many fall away and some of the Elders of this Church, for the scriptures must be fulfilled.  Many are called but few are chosen.  Thou hast desired to see this day, and when thou goest to thine inheritance, I will go with thee and take care of thee.  One thing I say unto thee thou must not think because some will fall way from their steadfastness that they were not called to their office.  Some have desired their office and some will fall by their desires.  See thou desire no one thing but that which is given thee from the father.  If the Father gives a desire that will be the assurance of the gift, and as desire increases there will be the greater love to the servants of God.  This is the mark the servants of God [20] have to go by and is a mark Satan cannot give. (Wilford Woodruff Journal)


Signs to Follow the Believers

Brigham Young

July 30, 1843, Pittsburgh, Penn.


I asked the following questions, and reasoned thus, Why do the people oppose the gifts and graces of the Gospel?

If a man can get faith by the power of God, and the gift of the Holy Ghost, so as to lay hands upon his wife and children or friends when they lie sick and languishing nigh unto death, and command the fever or disease, or the power of the Destroyer, or even death itself, to cease its work and be still, and the person is relieved, I ask what harm is there in all this?  Or if a man, by faith and humility before God, can get the testimony of Jesus Christ, and prophesy of things to come, or be able to speak in tongues or cast out devils, I ask what harm is there in all this?  Does it do any harm?  No, it does not.

I know the New Testament is true, for I have proved it according to the pattern given, namely, by believing in Christ and obeying the Gospel; and I know that the signs do follow the faithful believers; then I ask, do these things harm anyone?  No, they do not.

Again, the kingdom of God must be concentrated, the people must be together and gathered into one place.  How would the King of France or England look undertaking to reign over a kingdom when their subjects were scattered all over the world, except in France or England?  So with the Saints, they must be gathered together, and this work has already commenced. (Manuscript History of Brigham Young, p 140-141)


Good Advice from Brigham Young

Nauvoo, Illinois


Dec. 28, 1843.  I exhorted the Saints to be subject to the powers that be; said our sufferings are permitted that we may learn by experience the contrast between good and evil, in order to obtain power; “never suffer anger to [21] find a seat in your breast, never get angry, treat all mildly, govern yourselves, control your passions, and it will give your power.  When the temple is done I expect we shall be baptized, washed, anointed, ordained and receive the keys and signs of the Priesthood for our dead, that they may have a full salvation, and thus we shall be saviors on Mount Zion according to the Scriptures.”

Mar. 7, 1844.  Brothers Joseph and Hyrum spoke at length, and I followed them and said,

I wish to speak upon the duty of lawyers, as they have been spoken of this morning.  They were first among the children of Israel to explain the laws of Moses to the common people.

I class myself as a lawyer in Israel.  My business is to make peace among the people; and when any man who calls himself a lawyer takes a course to break peace instead of making it, he is out of the line of his duty.  A lawyer’s duty is to read the law well himself, then tell the people what it is, and let them act upon it, and keep peace; and let them receive pay like any laboring man.

It is desirable for justices of the peace, when men call for writs, to inquire into the merits of the case, and tell the parties how to settle it; and thus put down lawsuits.  To cure lawing, let us pay attention to our own business.

When we hear a story, never tell it again; and it will be a perfect cure.  If your brother mistreats you, let him alone; if your enemy cheats you, let him go; cease to deal with men who abuse you; if all men had taken the straight-forward course that some have, we should not have such disorderly men in our midst.

I have no objection to any man coming here, but I will have nothing to do with men who will abuse me at midnight and at noon day.  Our difficulties and persecutions have always arisen from men right in our midst.     It is the lust of individuals to rob us of everything, and to take advantage of divisions that may arise among us to build themselves up.  I feel that I want every man should stay, and lift up holy lands with; dubiety, wrath, or doubting.

To the men who own land here I would say, do not think you can sell your lands here, and then go off and spend it somewhere else in abusing the “Mormons.”  I tell [22] you nay; for know it, ye people, that Israel is here, and they are the head, and not the tail; and the people must learn it; all those who have gone from us, have gone from the head to the tail.

The grand object before us is to build the Temple this season.

We have heard the effects of slander, and we want to cure and balm; and I want all of you to do the same.  I will tell you what it is, it is to mind our own business, and let others alone; and suffer wrong rather than do wrong; if any one takes your property away, let them alone, and have nothing to do with them.

A Spirit has been manifest to divide the Saints; it was manifest in the last election; it was said if they did not look out, the Saints on the flat, would beat the Saints on the hill.

Great God!  How such a thing looks!  That the Saints should be afraid of beating one another in the election, or being beat.  I would ask who built up this city?  Would steamboats have landed here, if the Saints had not come?  Or could you, even the speculators, have sold your lands for anything here, if the Saints had not come? They might have sold for a few bear and wolf skins, but not for money.

If any of you wish to know how to have your bread fall butter side up, butter it on both sides, and then it will fall butter side up.  Oppose this work and it will roll over you.

When did this work ever stop since it began?  Never!  The only thing the Saints now want to know is, what does the Lord want of us, and we are ready to do it.

Well, then, build the temple of the Lord — keep the Law of God, ye Saints, and the hypocrite and scoundrel will flee out of your midst, and tremble, for the fire of God will be too hot for them.

I expect the Saints are so anxious to work and so ready to do right, that God has whispered to the Prophet, “Build the Temple, and let the Nauvoo House alone at present.”  I would not sue a man if he owed me five hundred or a thousand dollars should he come to me and say he would not pay me. (Manuscript History of Brigham Young, pp. 161-163)


Benjamin F. Johnson’s

Testimony of Brigham Young

August 8, 1844


Of Brigham Young as President of the Church, I will again bear as a faithful testimony that I do know and bear record that upon the head of Brigham Young as chief, with the Apostleship in full, was by the voice of the Prophet Joseph, in my hearing laid the full responsibility of bearing off the kingdom of God to all the world.  And I do further bear this testimony, faithful and true, to the Church and to all the world, that at a conference of the whole Church, at Nauvoo, subsequent to the Prophets’ death and return of the absent Apostles, that I sat in the assembly near to President Rigdon, closely attentive to his appeal to the conference to recognize and sustain his claim as “Guardian for the Church.”  And I was, perhaps, to a degree, forgetful of what I knew to be the rights and duties of the apostleship, and as he closed his address and sat down, my back was partly turned to the seats occupied by Apostle Brigham Young and other Apostles, when suddenly, and as from Heaven, I heard the voice of the Prophet Joseph, that thrilled my whole being, and quickly turning around I saw in the transfiguration of Brigham Young, the tall, straight and portly form of the Prophet Joseph Smith, clothed in a sheen of light, covering him to his feet; and I heard the real and perfect voice of the Prophet, even to the whistle, as in years past, caused by the loss of a tooth said to have been broken out by the mob at Hyrum.  This view, or vision, although but for seconds, was to me as vivid and real as the glare of lightening or the voice I saw and heard in the transfiguration, that for years I dared not tell what was given me of the Lord to see.  But when in later years I did publicly bear this testimony, I found that others had testified to having seen and heard the same.  But to what proportion of the congregation that were present, I could never know.  But I do know this, my testimony, is true.

(“Benjamin F. Johnson Letter to George S. Gibbs”, pp. 21-22)


Brigham Young’s First Address

at the Trial of Sidney Rigdon

Sept. 8, 1844


I will call the attention of the congregation to the subject which is designed to be laid before you today.  But I will first make a request that the police will attend to the instructions given them by the Mayor this morning, and that is, to see that there is perfect order on the outside of the congregation.  We are not afraid of disturbance here, but there is generally some disposed to talk on the outside, which prevents those from hearing who are near them, and we wish all to hear what is said from the stand.

I have frequently thought lately of Paul’s words when he said “much every way,” “some for Paul, some for Apollos, some for Cephus and some for Christ;” and I believe there are a great many here for Christ.  I will make the application of Paul’s words to us: “Much every way.”  Some for Joseph and Hyrum, the Book of Mormon and Doctrine and Covenants, the Temple and Joseph’s measures; and some for Lyman Wight, some for James Emmett and some for Sidney Rigdon, and I suppose some for the Twelve.

The business of the day will result in this thing: all those who are for Joseph and Hyrum, the Book of Mormon, book of Doctrine and Covenants, the Temple and Joseph’s measures, and for the Twelve; they being one party; will be called upon to manifest their principles openly and boldly, and be as decided as they are in their secret meetings and private councils.  If they are for Sidney Rigdon; and believe he is the man to be the first president and the leader of this people, we wish them to manifest it as freely as they do in other places, because this will form another party.

We want all those who are for Lyman Wight and his measures, to show themselves openly and boldly; and all those for James Emmett and his measures, to show themselves.  We wish them to withdraw today without fear and to be as bold here as they are in other places.  They may as well show themselves boldly, for I know where they live, and I know their names;  I can point them out if necessary.  Those who wish to tarry and build up the city [25] and build the Temple, and carry out the measures and revelations of our martyred prophet, we wish to know who they are.  Now all those who decline going either way, but secretly slander the character of Joseph Smith and the Twelve, my fellowship will be withdrawn from them without any further ceremony.  If there should be but ten left, and their lives should be threatened-threatened with destruction by mobs, the Temple not be built, &c., because they are determined to do right, let me be one that is martyred for the truth.  I have traveled these many years in the midst of poverty and tribulation, and that too with blood in my shoes, month after month, to sustain and to preach this gospel and build up this kingdom, and God forbid that I should now turn round and seek to destroy that which I have been laboring to build up.

It is written in the book of Doctrine and Covenants, that the president can be tried before a bishop and twelve high priests, or the high council of the church.  There are many present this morning who were present at the organization of that quorum in Kirtland.  We have here before us this morning, the high council, and Bishop Whitney at their head, and we will try Sidney Rigdon before this council and let them take an action on their case this morning; and then we will present it to the church, and let the church also take an action upon it.  I am willing that you should know that my feelings for Sidney Rigdon as a man, as a private citizen, are of the best kind.  I have loved that man and always had the very best feelings for him; I have stood in defense of his life and his house in Kirtland, and have lain on the floor, night after night, and week after week, to defend him.  There are those who are following Sidney for whom my heart is grieved, I esteem them as good citizens.  But when it touches the salvation of the people, I am the man that walks to the line.

I am informed that Elder Rigdon is sick; I am also informed that he and his party have had a council this morning, and have concluded not to say anything in their own defense, thinking that would be best for them.  I have no idea that Elder Rigdon is any more sick than I am.  Any how, we have a right to try his case, for he had sufficient notice to prepare himself if he had been [26] disposed.  We gave him notice last Tuesday evening, and had it published in the Neighbor, and was he sick he could have sent us word to have the case deferred.  I heard Elder Rigdon’s discourse last Sunday, myself; I heard him pour blessings upon this people in an unbounded degree; I heard him encourage the building up of this city and the Temple; he said he was one with us, and left his blessing upon the congregation.  The congregation says to him, “go in peace.”  I said upon the back of his statements, you see that Brother Rigdon is with us.  I have not seen that Brother Rigdon has been with us since he returned from Pittsburgh; I have known that he was not with us in spirit, but I took him at his word.  The spirit reveals many things which it would not do to tell the public, until it can be proved.  But to come to the point.  On Tuesday last, I heard that Elder Rigdon had a meeting the night previous, and had ordained men to be prophets, priests and kings.  I concluded to go and see Elder Rigdon, and asked Elder Hyde to go with me.  We went into his house, and after the usual compliments, I set down directly opposite him, and took hold of his hand.  I looked him right in the face and asked him if he had a meeting last night, here, in which men were ordained to be prophets, priests and kings? he replied no, we had no meeting here; had we brother Soby?

“Well, did you have a meeting anywhere, Brother Rigdon, in which men were ordained to be prophets, priests and kings?”

“Well, I don’t know; did we have a meeting last night, Brother Soby?  Yes, I believe there was one last night, wasn’t there Brother Soby, up at your house?”

I saw the disposition of Elder Rigdon to conceal the truth and equivocate, and I determined to know the whole secret.  I said to him again, “Elder Rigdon, did you not ordain these men at that meeting last night?”

He replied, “Yes, I suppose I did.”

I then asked Brother Rigdon, by what authority he ordained prophets, priests and kings?

With a very significant air he replied, “Oh, I know all about that!”

I will not attempt to describe the feelings I had, nor the look of his countenance, but he equivocated very much.  He said there was no meeting here last night, and [27] then finally said, I believe there was a meeting at brother Soby’s.  I questioned him till he acknowledged that they ordained men to be prophets, priests and kings.

I then asked Brother Rigdon, “Do you not think really, that you hold keys and authority above any man, or set of men in this church even the Twelve?”

Says he, “I never taught any such doctrine, did I, Brother Soby?”

Says I, “Brother Rigdon, tell me the truth, do you not think so?”

He replied, “Yes, I do.”

Says I, “That tells the whole story.  Brother Joseph never undertook such important business as you are engaged in, without consulting his brethren, and especially the Twelve, if they were present.”  I felt delicate in asking Elder Rigdon these questions, but I knew it was my duty to find out the secret of the whole matter.  To evade answering the questions put to him, he finally said don’t crowd upon my feelings too much; my feelings are tender, and I don’t wish to be crowded.  I then proposed to him that myself and the brethren of the Twelve would call in the evening and converse awhile; and finding matters as before stated, we concluded we would go over to Dr. Richards; and there council together what was best to do on the subject.  In our council we deemed it necessary to demand his license, and say to him he could not hold it any longer, unless he retracted from his present course and repent of his wickedness.  A committee of three was chosen who went over and demanded his license, but he refused to give it up, at the same time saying, “I did not receive it from you, neither shall I give it up to you.”  On the strength of this, we published a notice in the Neighbor that there would be an action on his case before the church today.

We have now the quorum before us, before which he will be tried, with the oldest bishop at their head; and I shall leave the subject for the brethren to take it up, and it is left for us to decide whether we are Latter-Day Saints or not.

President Young said further that the Twelve are to be regarded as witnesses in this trial and not judges.  We present ourselves before the High Council as witnesses, [28] and we are prepared to bring other testimony forward if necessary.  There may be some who will say that this is not a fair trial, because the opposite party are not here.  They have had sufficient notice and time to make their objections, and if they don’t appear to make their defense it will prove to me that they are guilty.  Elder Rigdon has not conducted himself like a man of God He has not conducted like a prophet of God, nor a counselor to the first president, since he came here.  We prefer these charges against him, and the High Council will be obliged to act. (Times & Seasons 5:647-649)


Brigham Young’s Second Address

at the Trial of Sidney Rigdon


President Young arose again and said he wanted to read some testimony which has been presented to him relative to this case, but did not wish to mention the names of the individuals at the present time, if it could be dispensed with.  He continued: honest men may be deceived for a time, but they will generally see their error and turn about.  There are some who are trolling off and wanting to make divisions amongst us.  Brother Sidney says, “If we go to opposing him he will tell all of our secrets!”  But I would say, oh don’t, Brother Sidney!  Don’t tell our secrets, oh don’t!  But if he tells of our secrets, we will tell of his-tit for tat. He has had long visions in Pittsburgh revealing to him wonderful iniquity amongst the saints. Now, if he knows of so much iniquity, and has got such wonderful power, why doesn’t he purge it out?  He professes to have got “the keys of David,” wonderful power and revelations, and he will publish our iniquity!  Oh dear, Brother Sidney, don’t publish our iniquity!  Now don’t!  John C. Bennett said in his exposure, he knew all of Brother Joseph’s secrets, and he would publish them.  Joseph H. Jackson, says he has published all Joseph’s secrets, but nobody believes their tales, because they lie!  And if Sidney Rigdon undertakes to publish all of our secrets, as he says, he will lie the first jump he takes.  If Sidney Rigdon knew of all this iniquity, why did he not publish it sooner?  If there is so much iniquity in this church, as you talk of Elder Rigdon, and you have known [29] of it so long, you are a black-hearted wretch because you have not published it sooner.  If there is not this iniquity you talk of, you are a black-hearted wretch, for endeavoring to bring a mob upon us and murder innocent men, women and children!  Any man that says the Twelve are bogus makers, or adulterers, or wicked men, is a liar; and all who say such things shall have the fate of liars, where there is weeping and gnashing of teeth.  Who is there that has seen us do such things?  No man.  The spirit that I am of tramples such slanderous wickedness under my feet.  And if they take my life I will go where they cannot hurt me.

Brother Joseph did cast off Sidney, and his power and authority was taken from him, and put upon Amasa Lyman.  We told Brother Sidney to come along with us, and if he will do this we will build him up.  Let him do as Elder Amasa Lyman has done.  Now we don’t expect ever to move without revelation, and they that have the keys of the kingdom can get revelation.  If anything would make me fight it would be to hear any one heap charges on Brother Joseph who is dead.  They cannot let the dead alone so great is their corruption and wickedness.

Here is another secret leaked out of their secret meetings.  They say the man of sin spoken of in the revelations, is the Twelve.  A pretty large man I should say.  No, this is the testimony we present before his council to know if we are to fellowship Elder Rigdon any longer.

I shall now wait and see if there is any one to produce testimony in favor of the opposite side of the question. (Times & Seasons 5:664-665)


Brigham Young’s Third Address

at the Trial of Sidney Rigdon


President Young arose and replied — I feel it a duty to make some remarks in reply to what Brother Marks has said with regard to Brother Rigdon’s character.  I have not been beyond the last fall conference to fetch evidence.  There was enough brought forward at the conference, and abundance more could have been presented, but Brother Hyrum pled so hard it was kept back.  Brother Rigdon did [30] enough when he came from Missouri, to cut him off from the priesthood.  He said he never would follow Brother Joseph’s revelations any more, contrary to his own convenience.  He said Jesus Christ was a fool to him in sufferings; was this not enough to cut him off?  There was enough to cut him off long ago, but Bro. Marks has endeavored to soft soap the people.  I have known that Brother Marks “had no evidence but the written word.”  But if this people have no evidence but the written word, it is quite time to go to the river and be baptized for the remission of their sins.  Who cannot see that Elder Rigdon would sacrifice this people?  Brother Marks says, if there are any ordained to offices equal with Elder Rigdon he doesn’t know it.  He doesn’t know all the ordinations, nor he won’t till he knows something more than the written word.

I know the reason why Brother Joseph said all was right between him and Elder Rigdon; he (Rigdon) was whining all the while because of his sufferings.  He wanted to go back to Kirtland.  Brother Hyrum went to Brother Joseph and pled with him again, and begged of Joseph to “bless him, hold on to him, for I believe he will yet straighten out,” and he finally got him ordained.  But did he help Brother Joseph after this?  No.  There was then another revelation given for him to move his family near to Brother Joseph.  He finally did, but did he then go to Brother Joseph and assist him in his councils?  He did not.

If I had the same feelings towards this people that Elder Rigdon and some others have I should hope you would cast us off today.  Elder Rigdon is now preaching secretly to the people, to have them go back to Pittsburgh, go back to the “leeks and onions.”  He has prophesied in the name of God that we won’t build this temple.  As has been previously stated, Elder Rigdon was not in our councils before he went away.  But, Brother Hyrum used to go and see him and labor with him, and Sidney would make great promises, which would cause Hyrum to come and plead with Joseph again, and say, Brother Joseph bless him, he will come back, &c.  He is going contrary to Joseph’s instructions, and he shall not lead the innocent to destruction; I say it in the name of Israel’s God.  His [31] orders were to go to Pittsburgh and build up a kingdom, but he was positively prohibited from taking any one with him from this place, but, now he wants to divide the people and take them somewhere, to the mountains near Pittsburgh.

Elder Rigdon can go to Carthage, and to Warsaw, and he is in no danger from the mob; but can a prophet of God go there with safety?  No, he cannot.  If I was to lay down my authority in this church, they would soon say, Mr. Young, how do you do, I approve of your course.  As to Elder Rigdon’s revelations, they are from the same source as Oliver Olney’s Gladden Bishop’s, Mr. Strang’s, &c.  They are from the Devil.  John C. Bennett passed up the river last Tuesday, and called at the upper landing.  He sent a messenger to Elder Rigdon and wished to see him, and Elder Rigdon would have gone had not a Mr. Lawrence, (who professes no kind of religion) rebuked him.  If you make Sidney Rigdon your president and leader, you will soon have John C. Bennett here, with the Laws and Fosters and all the murderous clan.  Elder Rigdon was the prime cause of our troubles in Missouri, by his fourth of July oration.  He is liable to be deceived, and has already been deceived.  As to a person not knowing more than the written word, let me tell you that there are keys that the written word never spoke of, nor never will.

All I ask of men or women to do, is, if they believe in Sidney Rigdon and want him to lead them, I want they should be bold enough to go with him, and not say they want to tarry with the church.  They say they believe in Joseph Smith, and at the same time all their operations are to destroy and tear down what he has built up. (Times & Seasons 5:666-667)


Meeting of the Richards and Young Families

January 8, 1845, Nauvoo, Illinois


President Brigham Young said, in substance:

As I do not know where to begin, I will begin in the middle and work both ways. With regard to our circumstances of being here this day I would have been happy to have seen the whole family.  We have recorded up to 120 or 130 of Father Young’s family now living, and [32] there is not one-third part of the family present.  There are only a few of them here.  There must be 60 or 80 in the Church. Almost all the posterity are members.  There are some things I will talk about.  When we come to the connections we discover that we all spring back to the settlement of New England about 200 years ago.  It is but a little more than that time when Father Smith, the Goddards, Richards, Youngs and Kimballs were all in one family – as it were.  We are all relations.  It is only three generations back that Brother Joseph Smith’s family were related to this family.  There are only three children of Grandfather and Grandmother Howe – that is, only three families who have embraced the Gospel, but the others must, because the decree has gone forth.  I have preached to them myself, I have done my duty and now I have handed them over to other powers for a time.

There is a great deal might be explained here this day.  I will first set in order before these relations the true order of the Kingdom of God and how the families hereafter will be organized; you have heard Joseph say that the people did not know him; he had his eyes on the relation to blood-relations.  Some have supposed that he meant spirit, but it was the blood-relation.  This is it that he referred to.  His descent from Joseph that was sold into Egypt was direct, and the blood was pure in him.  That is why the Lord chose him and we are pure when this blood-strain from Ephraim comes down pure.  The decrees of the Almighty will be exalted – that blood which was in him was pure and he had the sole right and lawful power, as he was the legal heir to the blood that has been on the earth and has come down through a pure lineage.  The union of various ancestors kept that blood pure.

There is a great deal the people do not understand, and many of the Latter-day Saints have to learn all about it.  In all the Kingdoms of the World you will find that there will be only one King, and all will be governed as one family, every man will preside over his own family.  We will have to work out some of the impurities.  There is a great deal that I have to say and the Brethren will have patience.  Mother Smith is here – she is our Mother, we hold her in a three-fold bond, for we hold her by blood, by the Spirit, and by the gospel.  We are connected together. [33] The human family will find out who are the saviors of the Earth.  The world knew nothing of the office of saviors upon Mount Zion.  If Joseph Smith is not the man of whom the Keys of the Kingdom rest, I would not give the ashes of a rye straw for our Salvation. If I teach my family correct principles and show them the way of Salvation I am in a sense their savior.  There is the same blood of Ephraim running in the veins of the family – and I know who has the blood and the Priesthood to carry the keys to the world.  The decree of the Almighty is so pure that it would seem like blunders in the eyes of the world; but the keys will rest upon the Prophet and there is no power on earth or in hell to take it from him.

This is a subject relating to the baptism for the dead.  We will tell you when the Temple is finished how to redeem your dead.  I want to tell you now, don’t be scared, don’t be frightened, at what I tell you.  The Church does not understand the doctrine that Joseph taught-yet it is plain as the sun at noonday-the order of redeeming our relatives originated in the kingdom of heaven. If our progenitors had kept their records as the Jews anciently did, they would be able to tell exactly where they came from-and see where they run down in one straight line.  We have hundreds ready to be baptized for the dead. (Utah Genealogical and Historical Magazine, 11:106-108)


Additional Remarks by Brigham Young

January 1845, Nauvoo, Illinois


I have been reflecting on my life and the consequences of it and have listened to the remarks that Brother Joseph has been making.  I have seen, and I know why the nations of the Earth have been left in darkness.  They have rejected the Priesthood of God and have gone in the dark themselves and the rising generations have come up in darkness in obedience to their traditions.  The result of it all I seldom talk about.  For my reflections have been since I have been before the people as a public man, that I will build on the foundation of his (Joseph’s) claims and rights.  I suppose it was the first time that Joseph Smith gave to his Father the account of the finding of the records, when there was printed in the newspaper a short [34] paragraph; it was only about a square inch, but it stated that a young man had seen an angel who had told him where to find an Indian Bible, and it went on to inquire what would happen if it should come forth; should we then know about the origin of the Indians?

The night the plates were found, there was a great light in the East, and it went to the West and it was very bright although there was no moon at the time.  I gazed at it in company with my wife.  The light was perfectly clear and remained several hours.  It formed into men as if there were great armies in the West; and I then saw in the northwest armies of men come up.  They would march to the South West and, then go out of sight.  It was a very remarkable occurrence.  It passed on, and continued perhaps about two hours.

Soon after this the Book of Mormon was printed and came into our section of the country.  Brother Joseph Young and Phineas Young saw the elders, and Father Chamberlain preached to Joseph and Phineas in such a manner that they asked him to desist.  Then they went into Canada to preach.  Samuel Smith brought the Book of Mormon into our district, and he preached from it.  I weighed the matter for a year and a half.  I looked at it on all sides.  All other religions I could fathom, I could get to the bottom of all religions that I had any knowledge of, but this new one.  I reasoned on month after month, until I came to a certain knowledge of its truth. I reasoned on revelation and while I was getting into it.  Brother Phineas laid it by.  I saw the two first Elders who preached to my brothers when I calculated to be baptized.  I calculated that I would go into the Church seeing things as they were.  I knew Methodism.

The Methodist preachers used to talk with children in such a manner that I have often prayed, “if there is a God in heaven, save me, that I may know all the truth and not be fooled by such doctrines.”  I saw them get religion all around me.  Men were rolling and bawling and thumping, but it had no effect on me.  I wanted to know the truth that I might not be fooled.  Children and young men got religion but I could not get it till I was twenty-three years old; and then, in order to prevent my being any more pestered about it, I joined Methodism.  I was [35] brought up in the midst of Methodists, Episcopalians, Quakers and Presbyterians.  But when Mormonism came along I fathomed it as far as I could and then I embraced it for all day long, that I might just live and die standing straight in this work.

I took my sleigh and horse and drove right off to Canada about 200 miles. John P. Greene went part way with me as a preacher-and when we were going along, I told him if he didn’t get snagged I’d treat.  Joseph Young when he saw me believed the Book of Mormon. I preached to him first.  And so I claim all of you as the fruit of my labors.  I am the first one of the family that embraced it understandingly.  The Prophet Joseph could not come to our neighborhood then, so I preached to my family and related the truth about the Book of Mormon.  There was one, Nathan Fellows, who had not been out of doors for years, who was ill and always had his head wrapped up.  When he heard the preaching of the fullness of the Gospel he threw away his coat and his stick believing it.

I was baptized in Mendon, Munroe County, New York, by Eleazer Miller, April 9, 1832, and then we went preaching to the North, East, West and South and started the work.  Seven months had scarce passed away when there were a dozen branches raised up.  Father Smith had gone West to Missouri so we were left alone in New York.  Phineas Young and I went into Canada and I preached to my friends.  If my father and mother had said good-bye I should have said good-bye without a tear; for God is my Father, Jesus is my brother and the faithful are my brothers and sisters.  The Prophet Joseph told us to go and preach to our friends.  We did so.  We sowed the seed and now I see the fruits of our preaching.

The rest of our relatives we have handed over to other powers for a season.  If they must of necessity see sorrow to bring them into the Gospel then they must.  If all my family and relatives were here, they would be more than all that are now here today.  There are only three branches of the Howe family here.  Where will this Howe family grow to, when we go back to our great grandfather Goddard?  If he had had the Priesthood and preached to his race, how many hundreds would there now have been?  My mother could sum up from 130 to 150 as her own [36] family today, if she were here alive.  If we were to take Grandfather Goddard’s children and grandchildren, what sort of a number would there be here?  You would want a ten-acre lot to stand them all on.  Then provided great Grandfather Goddard had had the Keys of the Kingdom of Heaven, and was permitted to reign over his posterity, he would now have had a great multitude to preside over.  Then come on down to our Great Grandchildren and trace them back to the main stream – it is like a little fiber; it spreads itself and becomes a mighty river.

If our Grandfather Goddard is permitted to rule as King and Priest over his posterity, and the posterity are raised up as kings and priests to rule over their posterity, our Grandfather Goddard would call together a numerous host.  I will show you the order of the Kingdom as regards my own family; one of my sons is placed here, another there, another there, and so on.  Yet I should be their ruler, savior, dictator, and governor.  They would have an innumerable posterity but all would join in harmony with my counsel; I should console, comfort, and advise them all.  You and your children will rise up and administer unto your children, and you will rule over your posterity, and they may get up in tens, hundreds, thousands, and millions.  Yet all will finally join with Adam who will be the King of all; Seth comes next; Seth rules under his father and over all; so this process will never end.  This is the order of the Kingdom of Heaven, that men should rise up as Kings and Priests of God.  We must have posterity to rule over.  Uncle Haven, Phineas, my brother Joseph, these come next and if my father were here, he would rule over all of us.

I calculate if I am blessed that I will have an innumerable host of my own, the same as Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.  Orson Pratt can tell you the number of the lands and of the stars; but the Lord said of the Patriarchs, “their seed will be innumerable and they shall exceed the number of the Stars, they shall never cease to all eternity.”  Where there is no end, it must be innumerable.  You may get an eternal decrease and thus get down to nothing, but there is no end to an increase.

I’ll tell you about old Israel; do you know what the curse was upon Israel for?  It was for mixing their seed [37] with the Gentile races about them.  I have received a promise that is to remain with me, and the same will be upon you and upon your children.  I would tell you children that inasmuch as you have received this promise, and then if you mix your blood with others I will curse you, and in relation to the Priesthood, you would be cursed or condemned.  For your children, in such mixed unions, would be high-minded and stiff-necked.  The nations have wandered in darkness for centuries.  If they had not mixed their blood, the Priesthood would never have been taken from them.  Abraham was blessed and told that in the Latter Day he would gather his seed up and cleanse and wash them.  God has had regard to the blood of the covenant for his oath’s sake.  That promised blood has trickled down through our parents until now we are here.

I know who has the right to the Keys – the Prophet has!  That blood has been preserved and has been brought down through father to son, and our heavenly Father has been watching it all the time and saw the man that had received the blood pure through descent-that is what Joseph meant the Lord had regard to; and He made promises to the seed of Abraham which he would have fulfilled if it had not been mixed with the Gentiles.  Ephraim is the character who has the pure blood of promise in him.  The Lord has respect unto it.  This doctrine is perfectly plain and simple.  Those who have the right will redeem the nations of the Earth.  The People who had the right to the Priesthood lost it, and the Lord has brought it forth in this our day.  We shall redeem our friends and all the house of Esau will be saved by proxy, by the Priesthood.  When we go into the temple after awhile we will tell you who ought to do the work and how to do it.

Suppose a man and woman want to redeem their friends; perhaps they have lived without the Gospel; the man would be baptized for his father and the woman for her mother; and if the husband has the power of the Priesthood they are jointly baptized-he for the father, she for the mother-he is then washed for the father, she for the mother-he holding the Priesthood redeems the father and mother of the woman.  Again for his father and mother.  She receives the anointing for the woman, and he [38] for the man.  Then they stand as proxy to be sealed up to all eternity, and then they will go through the ordinances in the same way.  Then they are sealed up in the same way for others – we shall have Father Smith with his gray locks.  Joseph, Hyrum, Samuel, all will stand in their order, and we shall be priests and rulers to all eternity.  Let my walk and my life speak for myself.  The joy of the Lord is a great deal more than any one realizes unless he has partaken thereof.  I have now given you text enough for weeks. (Utah Gen. & Hist. Mag., 11:109-113)


To the Officers and Members of the Church

of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints

in the British Islands

by Wilford Woodruff, February 9, 1845



Beloved Brethren, whom I love of a truth, for the truth’s sake that dwelleth in you, and my prayer to God is that it may abide with you for ever. Amen.

It is with no ordinary feelings that I reflect upon the responsibility that is resting upon me, as I enter upon my duties as a servant of Jesus Christ, and a counselor to his Saints, in endeavoring to fill so important a station as is required at my hands; yet, trusting in that God who has sustained his servants in every age of the world, from the death of righteous Abel to Joseph, and has enabled them to accomplish every work which he has required of them; therefore I feel moved upon by the spirit of God to again join my brethren in this land, for the purpose of assisting them in their labors in every good word and work, believing that I shall share in their fellowship and confidence, and be sustained by the prayer of faith, that when called upon I may be enabled to render a satisfactory account of my stewardship, both unto my brethren, and to that God unto whom I am accountable for all my actions.

Impressed with a realizing sense that you desire a true statement of facts concerning the present position, prospects, and intentions of the church in America, I will embody the outlines of the same in this epistle. [39]

Many important events have transpired in America since I took the parting hand with the Saints in this land, in company with six of the quorum of the twelve, together with Elders Hedlock and Burnham, and with them set sail in 1841 for our native country-events that have been calculated to bring both joy and sorrow to our hearts.  Joy unspeakable in the fullness of that light, intelligence, and glory which have been made manifest in the revelation of Jesus Christ, through the mouth of his prophet, in the wisdom of God, for the salvation and exaltation of the sons of men; and sorrow in the loss of our beloved Prophet and Patriarch, who have sealed their testimony with their blood, under the sentence that the laws of the land could not reach them, but powder and ball should.

Beloved brethren, think not that any new or strange thing has happened in this nineteenth century because saints, apostles, patriarchs, or prophets are slain for the word of God and testimony of Jesus Christ, while standing under the shadow of the American eagle, with her wide-spread banners, bearing the motto of equal protection to all her citizens; the same has been characteristic of the times, and marked the history of the ancient patriarchs, prophets, and apostles of God, the Lamb of God Himself, not excepted; that whenever they have been inspired by the great God to lay the foundation of any dispensation or work, for the salvation of men, or benefit of the generation in which they lived, it has come in contact with the notions, traditions, and superstitions of the inhabitants of the earth, who have been ready not only to drive them into the wilderness or caves of the earth, but to persecute them even unto death, however careful they may have been to keep the laws both of God and man.  This was the case with Jesus Christ who held the keys of salvation, not only of the Jews but of the whole world, he was persecuted from the manger to the cross, all manner of evil was spoken against him falsely, and in his last hour, when no testimony could be brought against him, and Pilate was convinced of his innocence, and that he could find no fault in him, and as a testimony washed his hands in their sight, declaring himself to be innocent of His blood, yet the multitude cried out, “crucify him, crucify him, crucify him, his blood be upon us, and upon our [40] children;” accordingly his blood has been upon that nation and their posterity, from generation to generation; it appeared to be the key that sealed their condemnation for the last eighteen hundred years, during which time they have had to suffer for shedding the blood of the Lord’s anointed.

In like manner it may be said of the prophet of God in this dispensation; he has had to flee into the wilderness, to the mountains, and caves of the rocks from time to time, to evade the pursuit of his persecutors, that he might finish the work committed to his charge; suffering many trials and hardships by being stoned and mobbed, often in chains and imprisonments, also being dragged through upwards of forty vexatious lawsuits, and yet never in one instance condemned by the laws of the land, when he had a legal tribunal; and, last of all, under the pledged protection of the honor of the Governor and State of Illinois, Joseph the prophet, and his brother Hyrum, the patriarch, were basely murdered by somewhere near two hundred American citizens, painted like Indians, under the decision that the laws of the land could not reach them, but powder and ball should.

I acknowledge, my beloved brethren, that I blush for my native land, for the name of freedom.  I blush for the name of Christianity and civilization, for such deeds the wild savage of the woods would despise in his heart, and would commit suicide in reflection of being guilty of such crimes.  Yet I have the consolation of believing, that the innocent blood of the Saints, which has dyed the American soil for the truth’s sake, will cry in the ears of the Lord of Sabaoth, until the abettors and perpetrators of such horrid tragedies will have to pay the price of the blood of those righteous men whom they have martyred.

Should any of the Saints have formed an opinion that the apostles, prophets, or Saints of God in the last days would not seal their testimony with their blood, I wish to mark it as an error by citing testimony upon the subject.  John the Revelator, while wrapped in the visions of the Almighty, saw events that were to transpire in the last days, before the second advent of the Messiah; and in the opening of the fifth seal, he “saw under the altar the souls of them that had been slain for the word of God, and [41] for the testimony which they held; and when they asked how long before the Lord would judge and avenge their blood, on those that dwelt on the earth, they were informed they must rest for a little season until their fellow-servants and brethren should be killed as they were.” (Rev. vi. 9, 10, 11.)  Again, John said, in pouring out the plagues upon the earth (xvi. 3) that “he poured out his phial upon the sea, and it became as the blood of a dead man, and every living soul died in the sea; and the third angel poured out his phial upon the rivers and fountains of waters, and they became blood; and the angel said the Lord was righteous in so doing, for they have shed the blood of saints and prophets, and thou hast given them blood to drink, for they are worthy.”

Some may say, it was in the days of Jesus Christ that this was fulfilled — but it was not so; for John lived after, and saw things that should come to pass in the future; and that in the last days the waters were to be turned into blood, because they had shed the blood of prophets and of saints, John also speaks of two other witnesses in Judea that were to be slain; and how many other of the servants of God may be called to seal their testimony with their blood before the coming of Christ is not for me to say.

The Book of Doctrine and Covenants conveys the idea that the prophet, Joseph Smith, might be called to lay down his life.  (See page 126, last of the first paragraph; also page 159, fourth paragraph.)  “Behold, I will give you eternal life, even if you should be slain.”  (page 237, third paragraph) “I have decreed in my heart, saith the Lord, that I will prove you in all things, whether you will abide in my covenant even unto death, that you may be found worthy.”  Hence, instead of the death of the prophet being contrary to the word of God, it is evidently in fulfillment of prophecy and the revelations of Jesus Christ.

The Prophet Joseph was fully aware, for months before his death, that his work was about finished on the earth.  I draw this conclusion from the testimony of his own mouth, in his addresses both public and private.  On the 16th of April, 1844, while delivering an address at the temple in Nauvoo, upon the death of Elder Lorenzo Barnes, whose body lies interred at Idle, near to Bradford, Yorkshire, he remarked that when he died, he wished to [42] have an honorable burial with his father and the Saints in Nauvoo.  He plainly declared that he wished his body to lie beside his father in Nauvoo, for he considered Nauvoo would be a burial place for the Saints.

Again, months before he made the above request, while delivering an interesting address before the Female Relief Society of Nauvoo, he said, “As he had this opportunity, he was going to instruct the society, and point out the way for them to conduct themselves, that they might act according to the will of God; that he did not know that he should have many opportunities of teaching them, as they were going to be left to themselves; they would not have him to instruct them; that the church would not have his instructions long, and the world would not be troubled with him a great while, nor have his teachings; he spoke of delivering the keys to others, and that, according to his prayers, God had appointed him elsewhere.

The Prophet called the Quorum of the Twelve together several months before his death and informed them that the Lord had commanded him to hasten their endowments; that he did not expect to remain himself to see the temple completed, but wished to confer the keys of the kingdom of God upon other men, that they might build up the church and kingdom according to the pattern given.  And the Prophet stood before the Twelve from day to day, clothed with the spirit and power of God, and instructed them in the oracles of God, in the pattern of heavenly things, in the keys of the kingdom, the power of the priesthood, in the knowledge of the last dispensation of the fullness of times.

And as his last work and charge to the Quorum of the Twelve, that noble spirit rose up in all the majesty, strength, and dignity of his calling, as a prophet, seer, and revelator, out of the loins of ancient Joseph, and exhorted and commanded the brethren of the Twelve to rise up, and go forth in the name of Israel’s God, and bear off the keys of the kingdom of God in righteousness and honor in all the world, walking in all holiness, godliness, faith, virtue, temperance, patience, and charity; doing honor to the cause of God in this last dispensation and fullness of times, and when their work was finished to follow his [43] example by boldly meeting death, and sealing their testimony with their blood, for the word of God, and the testimony of Jesus Christ, if necessity required it, that they might be prepared for the reward which is beyond the veil.

Those who were present on those occasions cannot forget such principles, and teachings, as fell from the lips of that noble, but now martyred prophet of God.  Though his body sleeps in the tomb, his testimony lives, not only in the hearts of men, but is on record and will remain in force, while his persecutors will reap a just reward for all their works.

And I hereby bear my testimony unto all men unto whose hands these lines may fall, that I have been acquainted with Joseph and Hyrum Smith, the prophet and patriarch of the Church of Jesus Christ, of Latter-day Saints — have attended their public and private counsels from time to time, during the last ten years of my life, and notwithstanding their enemies have caused the earth to be deluged, as it were, with lies, slanders, and fabrications, with the intent to injure their character and destroy their influence among men, yet I can testify of a truth, that I have never heard either of those men teach, counsel, or advocate, or practice any principle that was contrary to the word of God, virtue, or temperance, or unbecoming men standing in their high and holy calling; but on the contrary I have been astonished at the patience, forbearance, and long-suffering, philanthropy and charity manifested in the lives of those men; and more especially in the beauty, order, knowledge, principles, intelligence and glory manifest in the teachings, counsels, and revelations of Jesus Christ, given through those servants of God, for the benefit of the children of men in this last dispensation.

Soon after the Quorum of the Twelve received their endowment, according to the counsel of the Prophet, they left Nauvoo, (except two) on a mission to the Eastern States.  They had not been long gone ere the persecutors of the Saints were exceedingly mad against them, and sought to find accusation against the prophet, that they might put him to death. [44]

At length the Governor and officers of the State of Illinois having pledged their word, faith, and honor to protect them from violence, the prophet and his brother Hyrum gave themselves up to answer to the charges of their enemies.

They took the parting hand with their aged mother, bid adieu to wife and children, left a circle of many thousands of friends in the lovely city of Nauvoo, who were ready to lay down their lives in their defense against injustice or mobs.  And without either warrant or officer accompanied by two of the Twelve and a few other friends, they rode nearly twenty miles into the camp of their enemies to the town of Carthage.

Before entering the town, the Prophet exclaimed, “I go as a lamb to the slaughter; I am innocent of the crimes whereof I am accused, I die with a conscience void of offense towards God and towards man.”

I need not enter upon the details of the horrid tragedy committed by the murder of our lamented brethren, as you have had all the particulars laid before you; suffice it to say that then fell two as noble men as ever dwelt in flesh in this generation; thus were broken the pledged faith and honor of the governor and the State of Illinois; thus were the laws and institutions of America disgraced in the eyes of the nations of the earth; and the cup of her iniquity filled that she might be prepared for judgment.

When the report of these things reached the Quorum of the Twelve, most of whom were in the Eastern States some fifteen hundred miles from the city of Nauvoo, we assembled together in the city of Boston, and made preparations for immediately returning home to Nauvoo.  Any portion of a veil that remained over our eyes concerning any sayings of the Prophet about his being taken away from us. &c., was now taken off, and we not only saw clearly, but felt deeply in our hearts, respecting many of his sayings while in our midst.

We started together, and in about twelve days we again trod the soil of Nauvoo.  But how great the change, now many thousands of the Saints were in mourning for their lost friends, who had as it were laid down their lives for them, and even the heavens over our heads seemed [45] brooding with gloom over the spilt blood of the prophets; while we ourselves would have been glad to have had the opportunity of setting our houses in order, and have mourned for the martyred prophets for thirty days, as Israel did for Moses, and then have risen up, washed our faces, anointed our heads, and gone about our master’s business.  But we were even deprived of this privilege, for aspiring spirits, who are ever ready to rise up on such occasions, were already active, the most conspicuous of which was manifest in the actions of Sidney Rigdon; the history of which you have had already laid before you in the Times and Seasons, and the Star; his course was such that of necessity we had to commence church business the day following our arrival in the city.

As many spirits have gone out into the world in the last days, one of them was plainly manifest in the prophetic editors of many of the public journals of the day, by prognosticating that as the Prophet was dead, the work of the Latter-day Saints was ended, that they would disperse, and the cause fall away and die.  They might as well have said in the case of the crucifixion of Christ, because He was dead, that his testimony would die, and his apostles desert the cause, and the work fall to the ground to rise no more for ever; but it was the reverse; His testimony just began to be in force; His apostles having the keys of the kingdom, walked up into their calling and magnified the work, three thousand souls uniting with them in one day, while the work spread far and wide.

So will it be in this case; the testimony of the late martyred prophets will now be in force, the principles of light, knowledge, and glory that have flowed from their lips, are too firmly riveted in the hearts of thousands of the Saints to die, but on the contrary must live and bring forth fruit to the honor and glory of God.

We found this kind of spirit and feeling resting upon the Saints on our return to Nauvoo.  Truly they were called to mourn, but had by no means lost their faith; but otherwise, they seemed united together, if possible with a stronger tie, and as the heart of one man, were ready to carry out every measure of the work of God, according to the pattern and foundation laid by the Prophet who had sealed the work with his life. [46]

On the second day after our arrival, Aug. 8th, 1844, we met in a special conference-all the quorums, authorities, and members of the Church that could assemble in Nauvoo.  They were addressed by Elder Brigham Young, the President of the Quorum of the Twelve.  It was evident to the Saints that the mantle of Joseph had fallen upon him: the road that he pointed out could be seen so plainly that none need err therein; the spirit of wisdom and counsel attended all his teachings: he struck upon a chord with which all hearts beat in unison.

He was followed by a number of the Twelve and others, who spoke to the point in an edifying manner, and at the close of the conference, a number of resolutions were formed and votes taken among which was the following: “Do the Saints want the Twelve to stand as the head, as the First Presidency of the Church, and at the head of this kingdom in all the world, and next to Joseph walk up into their calling, hold the keys of this kingdom, and preside over all the affairs of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in all the world?”  All that are in favor of this in all the congregation of the Saints make it manifest by holding up the right hands.  At once there was a sea of hands, a universal vote; a contrary vote was called and not a hand was raised in a congregation of about fifteen thousand Saints.  Sidney Rigdon himself, who was present, did not vote against it, but I think in favor of it.  Confidence and order were firmly established from that hour.  The two oldest bishops were appointed by the Twelve as trustees in trust for the Temple.

The walls of the temple arose much faster than ever before; the laborers upon that house manifested a determination not to leave it until it was finished, even if they obtained nothing but their daily bread for their reward.

The Quorum of the Twelve immediately entered upon their duties by organizing all the quorums of the Church according to the order of God, and carrying out all the views and principles of the Prophet and Patriarch, according to the pattern given them in laying the foundation of this great and mighty work.  They have organized the churches in North America into districts and conferences similar to the organization which they [47] formed with the Saints in Great Britain.  They have organized twelve quorums of the Seventies, seven Presidents to each quorum, who will be prepared after the endowment to go forth unto all nations, bearing glad tidings unto the children of men.

When the Quorum of the Twelve met in council, it seemed wisdom in God, that some one of them should visit the churches in Britain; the lot fell upon me, as you will see from the recommendation of President Brigham Young, to the churches in Europe.  And according to appointment, after passing with my family through all the fatigues and dangers of a journey and voyage of six thousand miles, I am again in your midst; and I am happy to be able to inform you that the progress of the work of the Lord, and the prosperity of the Saints, has never been in as prosperous a condition as at the present time in the United States generally.  All letters and papers up to the latest date from Nauvoo, confirm this statement; peace, union, order and industry prevail.  Great exertions are made by the Saints to establish manufactures in various branches, that all may be employed, and have their wants supplied.  The temple is prospering rapidly, all the capitals were up when we last heard from Nauvoo.

Perhaps some may think that I ought to embody in this address a minute account of the thousand stories and rumors that have been put in circulation by our enemies against the Prophet, Patriarch, the Twelve, and the Saints at large; in answer, I say, that if it was the first time that the followers of God were spoken evil of, and every wicked slander that could be devised put forth against them, I should consider it to be a new thing under the sun. I would spend more time in writing about it; but as every man (according to the scriptures) that will follow Christ, will be hated by the world, and have all manner of evil spoken against him, and as the Saints may look for it, I will give it a passing notice, by saying — that John C. Bennett, and many other enemies and apostates have sought and studied out, and counseled together in order to form those stories and falsehoods that would have a tendency to injure the Saints, and prejudice the minds of the community against them, without any regard to truth; and in this way thousands of reports and stories have been set [48] afloat, many of them so ridiculous and foreign from reason or common sense, that none could believe them, and one would think that the devil himself would be ashamed of such agents.

As to the career of Mr. Sidney Rigdon — I would say, that his late views, opinions and course, have been so foreign and diverse from that of the late Prophet, and the faith of the Saints, or any idea that ever entered their minds in connection with the Kingdom of God, or even his own until of late, that he has had but very little influence, except with a few uneasy spirits who were aspiring after something else than doing the will of God; and if we have been rightly informed, even that influence is dying away; and I have no doubt but that when Mr. Rigdon comes to reflect upon the course he has taken, he will deeply regret having entered upon those measures which will end like airy castles in disappointment.

But, beloved brethren, you may rest assured that the Quorum of the Twelve are determined to carry out the order and principles of the Church according to the law of God, and of righteousness; they will take a decided stand against every principle or practice manifest in the Church contrary to the law of God, of reason, revelation, virtue or holiness.  They are men who have taken upon them the name of Christ with full purpose of heart; they have labored diligently and faithfully all the day long from the beginning to establish the foundation of the fullness of the gospel and plant the principles of eternal truth among the nations.  Many of them have been in your midst; their labors and their diligence you have witnessed; they have spared no pains or sacrifice in planting the work throughout this realm; and they still are willing to labor and spend their lives in the cause, desiring greatly that the temple may be finished, that the Saints may receive their endowments and save themselves and their friends; and that the elders of Israel may go forth clothed with the power of God, the fullness of the priesthood, the keys of the Kingdom of God; that they may be instrumental in his hands of saving the honest in heart and meek of the earth of this generation; that they may be prepared as a bride adorned for her husband, to stand before the Son of Man. (Mill Star, 5:131-142, Feb. 9, 1845)


Brigham Young’s Conference Address

April 6, 1845, Nauvoo, Illinois


I hope there may be faith enough in this congregation of Saints to still the wind and strengthen me so that I may be heard by all of this vast assemblage of people; and in order that my voice may extend and be heard by all, it will be necessary for the brethren and sisters to be as quiet as possible, and I will do my best to speak that you may all hear and understand.

We shall devote this day to preaching, exhortation, singing, praying and blessing children, (such as have not been blessed), and all those who have not been able to come to meeting: such women may be, who have not had their children blessed, and have the privilege this afternoon.

Last Sunday I proposed to the Saints, to speak today on the subject of baptism for the dead in connection with other items, that the Saints may be satisfied, that all doubt and darkness may be removed with regard to certain principles of the doctrine of redemption.

But before I undertake to explain or give correct views upon this important subject, I would say to all those who are satisfied with all the knowledge they have, and want no more: to you I do not expect to be an apostle this day; but for those who are hungering and thirsting after righteousness, I pray, that they may be filled and satisfied with the intelligence of God, even His glory.

What I have stated in the winter past relative to the baptism for the dead, has been a matter of discussion among the elders, and among the brethren and sisters in general, but I will endeavor to show to this congregation of Saints the propriety of it; and that the people could not run at haphazard, and without order to attend to this ordinance and at the same time it be valid and recognized in heaven.

We are building a house at present unto the Lord in the which we expect to attend to the fulfillment of this doctrine; you all believe that this is a doctrine revealed by God to his servant Joseph.  Admitting this to be the fact, that he has revealed through him a plan by which we may bring to life the dead, and bless them with a great and [50] glorious exaltation in the presence of the Almighty with ourselves; still we want to know how to do these things right; to do them in a manner that shall be acceptable to the Almighty, if otherwise he will say unto us at the last day, “ye have not known me right: because of your slothfulness and your wickedness depart from me for I know you not.”  O ye Latter-day Saints!  I don’t want one of you to be caught in that snare, but that you may do things right, and thus be enabled to make your calling and election sure.  I might say the plan of salvation is perfect of itself@it is a system that can save, redeem, honor and glorify all who are willing to apply both male and female; it has been handed down, and known from the days of Adam, and those who will open their eyes to see, their ears to hear, and their hearts to understand, they will acknowledge at once that it is a perfect system; but those whose eyes, ears and hearts are shut up by incorrect tradition and prejudice, they acknowledge by their lives, by their practices, by their walk and conversation, and by their actions in general, that they do not understand it, yet they plead the atonement, and say we believe the atonement is sufficient for all — only believe and he will save you; yet at the same time the Bible, reason, common sense and every other righteous principle positively testifies that there must be means made use of to put you in possession of the blessings of the atonement, as well as any other blessing.

I believe the plan of salvation is compatible, and may be understood and the inhabitants of the world who will come to God can be made acquainted with all the ordinances and blessings by which they may know how to save themselves and their friends, as we know how to build a house, or as the mechanic knows how to make any piece of mechanism; but mechanism is not to be compared with the perfection of the machine of salvation, or with the beauty of the plan of redemption; it is the most perfect system of any other creature under heaven.

The gospel is adapted to the capacity of all the human family, whether they be high or low, rich or poor, bond or free, black or white, young or old; it is adapted to their capacities; all can understand and be saved; no comparison of its purity can be made; you may investigate [51] the laws of nations, and gather together all the laws of the kingdoms of this world, and make a selection of the best part of the purest principles of the laws of justice and equity, and they would not compare, nor would there be any resemblance to the purity of the laws of heaven.  He who gives the law is perfect, and reduces it to the capacity of finite beings in order that they may understand it and then receive more; thus the infinite being gives line upon line, reveals principle after principle, as the mind of the finite being expands, and when he has learned all his life, he will then begin to see that he has not yet entered upon the threshold of the eternal things that are to be gained by the children of men. I have now about got through with my preliminaries, and shall occupy your attention with some items in relation to the doctrine of the baptism for the dead.

I do not say that you have not been taught and learned the principle; you have heard it taught from this stand from time to time by many of the elders and from the mouth of our beloved and martyred prophet Joseph.  Therefore my course will not be to prove the doctrine, but refer to those things against which your minds are revolting. Consequently, I would say to this vast congregation of Saints, when we enter into the temple of God to receive our washings, our anointings, our endowments and baptisms for the saving of ourselves, and for the saving of our dead, that you never will see a man go forth to be baptized for a woman, nor a woman for a man.  If your minds should be in any dubiety with regard to this, call to mind a principle already advanced, that when an infinite being gives a law to his finite creatures, he has to descend to the capacity of those who receive his law, when the doctrine of baptism for the dead was first given, this church was in its infancy, and was not capable of receiving all the knowledge of God in its highest degree; this you all believe.  I would keep this one thing in your minds, and that is that there is none, no not one of the sons and daughters of Adam and Eve, that ever received the fullness of the celestial law at the first of the Lord’s commencing to reveal it unto them.

The doctrine of baptism for the dead you have been taught for some time, and the first account that I heard of [52] it was while I was in England; it was there I got the glad tidings that the living could go forth and be baptized for those who had fallen asleep.  This doctrine I believed before anything was said or done about it in this church; it made me glad when I heard it was revealed through his servant Joseph, and that I could go forth and officiate for my fathers, for my mothers, and for my ancestors, to the latest generation who have not had the privilege of helping themselves; that they can yet arise to the state of glory and exaltation as we that live have a privilege of rising to ourselves.  The next year I came home and requested Brother Joseph to preach upon the subject, which he did I also heard many of the elders preach upon the same subject.

There have been many things said and notions imbibed concerning this doctrine.  Allow me to advance an idea, and it is this: except we attend to this ordinance according to the law of heaven in all things, it will not be valid or be of any benefit either to the living or the dead; when it was first revealed, all the order of it was not made known.  Afterwards it was made known that records, clerks, and one or two witnesses were necessary or else it will be of no value to the saints.

The Lord has led this people all the while in this way, by giving them here a little and there a little; thus He increases their wisdom, and he that receives a little and is thankful for that shall receive more and more and more, even to the fullness of the eternal Godhead, there is no stopping place, but the weak capacity of man cannot understand it unless the spirit of the eternal God is in their hearts, and then they can comprehend but a little of it. In this is the glory, power, and excellency of the gospel of the Son of God to poor weak finite man.

Look, O ye Latter-day Saints, at the nations of the earth: Christendom, look at them; but look at ourselves (although we have received a great deal) yet who is there here that has seen Jesus Christ, that has beheld angels, that has conversed with the spirits of just men made perfect, and the assembly of the church of Enoch, and with God the judge of all?  Who is there here that has been caught up to the third heavens and gazed upon the order and glory of the celestial world? Don’t you see, brethren, [53] we have yet a great deal to learn, but is it not our privilege to be filled with all the fullness of Godliness?  (cries of yes.)  When you receive all that is for you, you will say, O the blindness of Christendom! O the ignorance of the world!  Even the Latter-day Saints that have assembled themselves together at the April conference in the year 1845, will say, what am I?

Joseph in his lifetime did not receive everything connected with the doctrine of redemption, but he has left the key with those who understand how to obtain and teach to this great people all that is necessary for their salvation and exaltation in the Celestial Kingdom of our God.  We have got to learn how to be faithful with the few things.  You know the promise is if we are faithful in a few things, we shall be made rulers over many things.  If we improve upon the small things, greater will be given unto us.

I have said that a man cannot be baptized for a woman, nor a woman for a man, and it be valid. I have not used any argument as yet. I want now to use an argument upon this subject; it is a very short one, and I will do it by asking this congregation, if God would call a person to commence a thing that would not have power and ability to carry it out?  Would He do it? (no.) Well then, what has been our course on former occasions?  Why, here go our beloved sisters, and they are baptized in the river or in the font for their uncles, for their fathers, for their grandfather and great grandfathers.

Well, now I will take you and confirm you for your uncles, for your fathers, for your grandfathers, and for your great grandfathers, and let you go; after a while here comes our beloved sisters, saying, I want to be ordained for my uncle, and for my father, and for my grandfather, and great grandfather; I want my father ordained to the high priesthood and my grandfather.  I want to be patriarch, and you may ordain me a prophet for my uncle!  What would you think about all that, sisters?  Come now, you have been baptized and confirmed for your father, won’t you be ordained for him?  You could cast on a stocking and finish it.  You could take wool and card and spin it and make it into cloth, and then make it into garments.  A person that commences a work and has not [54] ability and power to finish it, only leaves the unfinished remains as a monument of folly.  We will not commence a work we cannot finish, but let us hearken to the voice of the spirit and give heed to his teachings, and we will make ourselves perfect in all things.

I would now call your attention to some of the sayings of the apostle Paul.  I hope you will not stumble at them.  Paul says, “Nevertheless, neither is the man without the woman, neither the woman without the man in the Lord, for as the woman is of the man, even so is the man also by the woman, but all things of God.”  The same Apostle also says, “The woman is the glory of the man.”  Now, brethren, these are Paul’s sayings, not Joseph Smith’s spiritual wife system sayings.

And I would say, as no man can be perfect without the woman, so no woman can be perfect without a man to lead her.  I tell you the truth as it is in the bosom of eternity; and I say so to every man upon the face of the earth: if he wishes to be saved he cannot be saved, without a woman by his side.  This is spiritual wifeism, that is, the doctrine of spiritual wives.

Lest these my sisters should think I give power into the hands of their husbands to abuse them, I would say there is no man has a right to govern his wife and family unless he does it after the order of the Church of Christ.  Unless he does it upon this principle, he need not expect to receive a celestial glory.  He that does not govern as Jesus governs his church, breaks his bonds and solemn obligations to his family.

Now ye elders of Israel will you go and beat your wives?  Will you neglect and abuse them?  You may ask, is that anything about being baptized for the dead, or the laws of the celestial kingdom?

With regard to the laws of the celestial kingdom, I say it always was, and is, and always will be, a system of beauty and order.  When the angel visited Cornelius, and commanded him to send men to Joppa for Peter, who should tell him words whereby he and his house should be saved, would it not have saved a good deal of trouble if the angel had told these words to Cornelius?  It certainly would, but it was not the angel’s privilege; it remained for Peter to do, because it was Peter’s calling; it was Peter’s [55] duty.  In this case we see the principle of order.  Again, in the case of the Savior, did he offer to baptize Paul?  No, he had to go to Damascus, to a certain street, in order to find Ananias, who administered to him.  Thus you see the angel honored Peter, the Savior honored Ananias by permitting them to attend to the calling they had received power to act in. So let fathers honor their families, husbands honor your wives, honor your children that they may learn to honor you; and if you come and are baptized for the father of your wife, and you want your mother baptized for, let your wife do it; give honor to her.  Ananias had the glory and honor of ordaining Paul and sending him to preach.  Christ had done his work, and then gave honor and glory to His servants; when the elders have done their work, let them give their wives honor, and let them say to them, come and be baptized for my mother, and for my sister, and save them, and I will preside over the whole of you.

Thus, let every person stand in their own order, and do that which belongs to them to do, that there may be no confusion; but let order and beauty be the characteristics of this people.  I used to think that the sectarian would certainly get to heaven for they tried hard enough.  And we boys would frequently wish ourselves in heaven with our backs broke that we could not get out again.  The sectarian world is just like that; they are scrabbling up in the greatest confusion, saying to each other, I hope you will get to heaven, and may your back be broke that you cannot get out again, and that is all they know about it.

The religion of heaven teaches us to give every man and every woman their due, that rightly belongs to them.  And he that walks up to his privilege and duty, he has honor and glory, and shall never be removed out of his place.

I have shown to the brethren and sisters that Brother Joseph did not tell them all things at once; consequently you may expect to hear and see many things you never thought of before.  One thing is that we have taken down the wooden font that was built up by the instructions of Brother Joseph.  This has been a great wonder to some, and says one of the stone cutters the other day, “I wonder why Joseph did not tell us the font should be built of [56] stone.”  The man that made that speech is walking in darkness.  He is a stranger to the spirit of this work and knows nothing.  In fact, he does not know enough to cut a stone for the house of God.  There is not a man under the face of the heavens that has one particle of the spirit about him, but knows that God talks to men according to their circumstances.  God knew that old Abraham could not build a temple; therefore, he said unto him, go to the mountain I shall tell thee of, and there offer up your sacrifice.  He tells us to build a house here in this place, according to our means.  And when we get a little more strength, he will say, go now and execute your means upon the next house we have got to build, and it is just to stretch our faith until it shall become exceeding great, that we can command the elements and they will obey.  And when we get into Jackson County to walk in the courts of that house, we can say we built this temple; for as the Lord lives we will build up Jackson County in this generation, (cries of amen.) and we will be far better off with regard to temporal things when we have done, than ever we were before.  If we had the means to build a font in that house, say one of marble, the Lord would just as like as not tell us to cover it with gold just to stretch our faith.

Brother Joseph said to me with regard to the font, “I will not go into the river to be baptized for my friends; we will build a wooden font to serve the present necessity; brethren does that satisfy you?  This font has caused the Gentile world to wonder, but a sight of the next one will make a Gentile faint away.”

This brings to my memory a circumstance that transpired in the temple at Kirtland.  A very pious lady came to see the temple, she walked up and down in the house with her hands locked together, and after the escape of one or two of the sectarians most sanctified groans, she exclaimed, “The Lord does not like such extravagance.”  Poor thing, I wonder how she will walk upon the streets when they are paved with gold; she could not bear to see the temple of God adorned and beautified, and the reason was because she was full of the devil.

I would put you on your guard against those who wear a long face, and pretend to be so holy and so much better than everybody else. They cannot look pleasant [57] because they are full of the devil.  Those who have got the forgiveness of their sins have countenances that look bright, and they will shine with the intelligence of heaven.  If you don’t believe it, try yourselves and then look up into the glass.

We will have a font that will not stick and keep us all the while cleansing it out: and we will have a pool wherein to baptize the sick that they may recover.  And when we get into the font, we will show you the priesthood and the power of it: therefore, let us be diligent in observing all the commandments of God.  Put away all fears of mobs; let not these things trouble you, for I say to the people I believe myself we shall have a healthy season, and that we shall have a summer of peace. The devils will growl without; and if they could get in here, they would growl, but if they do, they must look out.  And I dare venture to say, that there could not be found as healthy a looking congregation in all the United States as I see here this day.

Brethren and sisters, for the sake of your dead and for the sake of yourselves, be faithful and have no feelings in your hearts against one another, but learn to suffer wrong rather than do wrong, and by so doing we will outstrip all our enemies and conquer the evil one, for know ye not that here is Zion?  Know ye not that the millennium has commenced?  We have had Zion upon the earth this fourteen years.  Peace reigns among this people which is Zion.  Union and true charity dwells with this people; this is the most orderly and peaceable people upon the face of the whole earth.  Well, this is Zion, and it is increasing and spreading wider and wider, and this principle of Zion, which is peace, will stretch all over the earth, this is the millennium.

The saints will increase, and continue to increase, and virtue, love, holiness and all good principles, will continue to spread and spread and will rule the nations of the earth.  Who is there that can stop its progress?  None, but it will roll until there is no room for the devil; then he will be bound and shut up.  The principles of the Kingdom of God will prevail, from city to city, from nation to nation, until the devil shall be bound and there is no place for him. They killed the Prophet Joseph for fear he would [58] spread these principles, but it will go and fill the whole earth; this is true and will come to pass as the Lord lives. Amen. (Times and Seasons 6:953-957)


Celestial Family Organization,

Parley P. Pratt

May 1845


Man is an eternal being, both in regard to his material organization, and his mind and affections.

The resurrection from the dead (if quickened by the celestial glory) restores him to life with all his bodily and mental powers and faculties, and consequently associates him with his family, friends, and kindred, as one of the necessary links of the chain which connects the great and royal family of heaven and earth, in one eternal bond of kindred affection and association.

The order of God’s government, both in time and in eternity, is patriarchal; that is, it is a fatherly government.  Each father who is raised from the dead and made partaker of the celestial glory in its fullness, will hold lawful jurisdiction over his own children, and over all the families which spring of them to all generations, forever and ever.

We talk in this ignorant age, of children becoming of age, as it is called; and we consider when they are of age they are free from the authority of their father.  But no such rule is known in the celestial law and organization, either here or hereafter.  By that law a son is subject to his father forever and ever, worlds without end.

Again, we have a rule now established in the earth, by which a woman becomes the wife of a man, and is bound by law to him till death shall separate.

But in the celestial order it is not so, for the plainest of all reasons, viz, the celestial order is an order of eternal life; it knows no death and consequently makes no provision for any.  Therefore, all its covenants and contracts are eternal in their duration, and calculated to bind the several members of a family in one eternal union.

In order to illustrate this subject, and make it perfectly plain to the most simple capacity, we must leave [59] death entirely out of the consideration, and look at men and families just as we would look at them if there was no death.  This we can do with the greatest propriety, because the time was when there was no death, and the time will be again, in which there will be no death.

Our venerable father Adam took our mother Eve for a wife when the human family and the world in which they lived was as free from death as God and his throne.

We would now inquire what kind of a contract was made between them, and also how long it was to endure?  Was it after the power and union of an endless life?  Or was it made to serve a momentary purpose till death shall separate?  The answer is obvious.

This marriage contact must have been eternal, or else it must have admitted the sinful as well as cruel idea of a divorce and final separation during their lives; for let it be borne in mind that they had no death in vies, and no idea of ever being subject to death, even for a moment, at the time the contract was made.

Again, Paul opens a mystery, viz, that we shall not all sleep in the dust; but those who live at a certain time will be changed in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, and will be caught up to meet the Lord and so ever be with him.

Now as some of these will doubtless be husbands and wives, we would inquire when their marriage contract will be fulfilled and come to an end?  They agreed to be each other’s till death should separate (that is, if they were married by the usual ceremonies which now exist).  And behold, death never separated them, for the change from mortal to immortal was instantaneous.

Again, “Christ came to deliver those who through fear of death were all their lifetime subject to bondage.”

Therefore, after the resurrection men live, and live forever, as though death had never been.  In view of this, God declares himself to be the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, who have once died; and yet he claims not to be the God of the dead but of the living.

Again, Paul speaks of another great mystery, viz., “that every man should love his wife, even as Christ loves the Church.” [60]

Now we would inquire whether the love and consequent union of Christ and his Church is to come to an end by death, and a final separation take place in the world to come? or whether, on the other hand, the union is more perfect and complete in the other life than it is in this?  All agree that the love and union of Christ and the Church is eternal, and that it not only continues in the other world, but it is made perfect there.

This being the case, it leads us to the irresistible conclusion, that the love and union of a man and his wife should extend into, and even be more perfect in eternity, or else Paul was very wrong in telling every man to love his wife even as Christ loves the Church.

Having established the fact or principle of eternal union between a man and his wife, we will now proceed to establish the eternal relationship and authority on one hand and obedience on the other, that will exist between parents and children.

To illustrate this principle we have a beautiful and plain precedent.  Jesus Christ and his Father continue to be one in their affection and union since he rose from the dead; and he still yields obedience to the commands of his Father, and has also revealed that he will continue to do so, when he has put down death and all rule and authority and power.  “Then shall the Son also be subject to the Father.”

We hear nothing in all this subject about Jesus Christ ever being of age, so as to be free from all further obligation to obey his Father; but on the contrary, it is clearly revealed that he will always be subject to him.

Now this same Jesus prayed to his Father, as testified to by the Apostle John, that his disciples and those who believed on their words, might be one, even as Christ and his Father are one@not only one with God and Christ, but also one with each other in the same manner and in the same sense that they were one.

Now suppose, in fulfillment of this prayer, a man and his children were his disciples, and finally, in the eternal world, they became one with each other in precisely the same sense that Christ and his Father are one, would not these children be subject to their father in [61] the same manner as Christ is subject to his Father?  Certainly they would.

We have also a most beautiful practical illustration of the principle of continued authority on the part of the father, and obedience on the part of the children in this life, in the family of Jacob.  His sons were, many of them, advanced in years, so far as to become heads of families at the time of going to Egypt for corn.  And yet they all set an example of obedience to their father, insomuch that they would not take Benjamin with them without his consent, even if they starved to death.

It appears, too, that Abraham had the entire control of his son Isaac’s matrimonial affairs, although Isaac was forty years of age at the time of his marriage with Rebecca.

Having now established the fact that the celestial order is designed not only to give eternal life, but also to establish an eternal order of family government, founded upon the most pure and holy principles of union and affection, we will take a review of the celestial family of man as it will exist in the restoration of all things spoken of by the holy prophets.

First: His most gracious and venerable majesty king Adam, with his royal consort queen Eve, will appear at the head of the whole great family of the redeemed, and will be crowned in their midst as a king and priest forever after the order of the Son of God.  They will then be arrayed in garments white as snow, and will take their seats on the throne in the midst of the paradise of God on the earth, to reign forever and ever.  While thousands of thousands stand before him, and ten thousand times ten thousand minister unto him.  And if you will receive it, this is the order of the Ancient of days — the kingdom prepared and organized to meet Jesus when he comes.

This venerable patriarch and sovereign will hold lawful jurisdiction over Abel, Enoch, Noah, Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Joseph, Moses, the prophets, apostles and saints of all ages and dispensations, who will all reverence and obey him as their venerable father and lawful sovereign.

They will then be organized, each over his own department of the government according to their birthright and office, in their families, generations and [62] nations.  Each one will obey and be obeyed according to the connection which he sustains as a member of the great celestial family.

Thus the gradation will descend in regular degrees from the throne of the Ancient of days with his innumerable subjects, down to the least and last saint of the last days, who may be counted worthy of a throne and scepter, although his kingdom may, perhaps, only consist of a wife and a single child.

Such is the order and organization of the celestial family, and such the nature of the thrones, principalities and powers, which are the rewards of diligence.

This kingdom organized and established upon the earth in its beauty and order will be ready for the Son of man.  He will then come in the clouds of heaven and receive it to himself.

Adam and all the other patriarchs, kings, and prophets, will still be subject unto Christ, because he was in the eternal world, the first-born of every creature, and the beginning of the creation of God.  Hence in the patriarchal order, he rules by right of birth.

“If I tell you of earthly things and ye believe not, how shall ye believe if I tell you of heavenly things?”  I might enlarge the subject by connecting the family of Adam with other branches of Christ’s kingdom, and of the celestial family in other planets and worlds, many of which are older and much larger than our earth, but peopled by branches of the celestial family, who are of the same kindred and race that we are, viz., the sons and daughters of God.

I might also tell you of the continued exertions of creative power by which millions of new worlds will yet be formed and peopled by king Adam and his descendants, in the name, and by the authority of Jesus Christ, and by virtue of the holy priesthood which is after the power of an endless life, without beginning of days or end of years, and thus go on enlarging and multiplying, conquering and to conquer, till Abraham’s seed become numerous as the sand; and till the saint of the last days possesses a kingdom and dominion of his own posterity, vastly more numerous than king Adam will possess in the great restoration of all things pertaining to this little earth; but [63] you are not able to receive heavenly things as yet, and therefore I forbear, and let the things of earth suffice, at least for the present; and till the Saints should be counted worthy of endowment, and of an entrance into the sanctuary of our God.  For there shall the greater things be made manifest to those who are overcome and are counted worthy.

I now wish to say a few words on the subject of matrimony, and also on the subject of raising and educating children.

Who that has had one glimpse of the order of the celestial family, and of the eternal connections and relationships which should be formed here in order to be enjoyed there; who that has felt one thrill of the energy and power of eternal life and love which flows from the divine spirit of revelation, can ever be contented with the corrupt pleasures of a moment which arise from unlawful connections and desires?  Or what Saints who have any degree of faith in the power of the resurrection and of eternal life can be contented to throw themselves away by matrimonial connection with sectarians or other worldlings, who are so blind that they can never secure an eternal union by the authority of the holy priesthood which has power to bind on earth that which shall be bound in heaven?

By such a union, or by corrupt, unlawful, and unvirtuous connections and indulgences, they not only lose their own celestial crown and throne, but also plunge their children into ruin and darkness, which will probably cause them to neglect so great salvation for the sake of the love and the praise of the world, and the traditions of men.

O my friends-my brethren and sisters, and especially the younger classes of our community! I beseech you in the fear and love of God, and entreat you in view of eternal glory and exaltation in this kingdom to deny yourselves all the corrupt and abominable practices and desires of the world and the flesh, and seek to be pure and virtuous in all your ways and thoughts, and not only so, but make no matrimonial connections or engagements till you have asked counsel of the spirit of God in humble prayer before him; till you know and understand the [64] principles of eternal life and union sufficiently to act wisely and prudently, and in that way that will eventually secure yourself and companion, and your children in the great family circle of the celestial organization.

I would now say to parents that their own salvation, as well as that of their children, depends to a certain extent on the bringing up of their children, and educating them in the truth, that their traditions and early impressions may be correct.

No parent who continues to neglect this after they themselves have come to the knowledge of the truth, can be saved in the celestial kingdom.

I would earnestly recommend that all sectarian books, tracts, pictures, paintings, etc., which are not according to the truth, be removed from the family circle of the Saints, and that their children be not suffered to read them, at least till the truth has taken hold of their minds sufficiently, that they may be able to contrast the one with the other, and to perceive the difference.  Sectarian sermons and their manner of worship and their Sunday schools are also a great damage to children, being well calculated to rivet upon their young and tender minds the most vague, mysterious, and erroneous notions and principles which may prevent their ever being open to the conviction of the truth.  And even if they should embrace the truth afterwards, they will find their perceptive faculties so blunted and beclouded by early impressions and traditions, that it will continue to retard their progress in the comprehension of truth, insomuch, that many of its plainest and simplest principles will either remain entirely unperceived by them, or else be seen through a glass darkly, as it were, and thus lose much of their force and beauty.

For instance, let a child read a pictorial Bible and examine the pictures.  He at once concludes that these pictures are a part of the original, and that they are true representations of the scenes as they really took place; and they will be very apt to judge of the ordinances and forms of worship just as they saw them pictured.

So with the comments which may be interspersed, or even the headings of the chapters which men have introduced. [65]

Such, then, is the power and influence of early tradition, and such the causes which have been operating for ages, to blind the minds of men on religious subjects, till at length the great majority are rushing en masse to destruction, like the blind into the ditch.  And those who would escape have a hard struggle, both with their own traditions and the opposition of their neighbors, though truth may be set before them so plain, beautiful, and evident, that pure intelligences would wonder and be astonished that it is not immediately embraced.

Father and mothers, can you realize these facts, and not feel a strong sense of obligation resting upon you in regard to your children?  Can you contemplate the present state of the world and not feel an exceeding desire to take your family and flee from the confusion of Babel, and go where you can be associated with the children of light?

Strive, then, by example and precept, to teach your children in the light of truth, and have no more to do with the doctrines, books, creeds, tracts, commentaries, sermons, almanacs, periodicals, romances, meetings and schools, which are calculated to blind their young and tender minds and lead them into error.

My heart is often pained when I enter a house of the Saints, and find their walls ornamented, and their tables, shelves, and bookcases still groaning as it were with the weight of sectarian paintings, books, and trash.  Brethren, I would either sell them at auction to those who wish to purchase, or else I would heap them up and have one good fire; and then I would go to some expense to furnish my family with useful works, such as maps, charts, works of science, and, above all, a good supply of religious information from the true source.

In regard to matrimony, I suppose some will tell me that in the resurrection they neither marry nor are given in marriage.  That is true, for the best of all reasons- because they do it here; and thus bind on earth that which shall be bound in heaven, and that too by God’s own authority; this being the world of preparation and that the world of enjoyment; therefore, there is no need of doing it in that world.

Those who do not understand and attend to the ordinances and authority of God in this world, neither by [66] themselves nor by proxy, are not counted worthy to enjoy the celestial glory in the world to come; therefore, they must remain as they are, and never enjoy that sweet union and exaltation, which is prepared for the Saints of the Most High.

Thus, all are judged according to the deeds done in the body; and that which they sow, they shall also reap.

If they choose in this world to follow the wicked lusts and pleasures of the moment by unlawful connections; or if they choose to be united after the manner of this world by being joined with a companion who is not worthy of an eternal covenant, and of the “seal of the living God,” why then, the consequence is that they enjoy the things of this world and the pleasures and passions thereof; but death closes the scene, and eternity finds them poor wanderers and outcasts from the commonwealth of the celestial family and strangers to the covenant of promise.  Their former covenants come to an end with their life, and in that world they can neither marry nor be given in marriage; consequently, they must remain unassociated in a family capacity, and, therefore, have no kingdom over which to reign, nor any possible means of increasing their own glory.

There will be weeping, wailing, and gnashing of teeth indeed; for who can endure eternal disappointment?

Who can endure to be forever banished and separated from father, mother, wife, children, and every kindred affection, and from every family tie?

For none of our relationships will be recognized by the authorities in that world unless secured to us here in an everlasting covenant which cannot be broken and sealed by the constituted authorities of the living God.

Well did the Lord promise by the mouth of the prophet Malachi that he would send Elijah the prophet before the coming of the great and dreadful day of the Lord; and that he should turn, seal, or bind the hearts of the fathers to the children, and the hearts of the children to their fathers, lest the whole earth should be smitten with a curse.

And if you will receive it, Elijah the prophet has been sent in these last days to man on the earth, and has conferred the keys of the sealing power that others might [67] go forth in his spirit, power, and priesthood, and seal both on earth and in heaven.  But they have done unto some of them whatever they listed, and even so may others perhaps suffer under their cruel hand.

But the keys are on the earth, and shall not be taken from it till the sealing is accomplished.

Therefore, O ye Saints of the most High, build the temple and sanctuary of our God, and gather together thereunto.  For there, saith the Lord, will I reveal unto you the fullness of mine ordinances pertaining to the holy priesthood and preparation by which the living and the dead may be redeemed and associated in the exalted principles of eternal life and joy. Amen. (Mill. Star 5:189-193)


Brigham Young’s Address

August 3, 1845, Nauvoo, Illinois


I have to say to the congregation inasmuch as I have been requested to make some remarks upon the subject of those of our friends who have left us and gone to the world of spirits, I rise so to do this morning.  But I request an interest in the prayers of this people and the faith of those who have faith in God.  My remarks will be somewhat limited upon this subject, as there are other things which occupy my mind, which I wish to speak upon; and free my own feelings, which will deprive me of saying a great deal upon the subject that some may contemplate this morning as being discussed with regard to the immortality of human man.

I will say with regard to the subject of immortality, in all its bearings connected with the existence of matter, in time and in eternity, that pure matter is life, and the principles of life are eternal-which consequently proves at once what has been proved to the Christian world a great many times, that fine element cannot be annihilated, but must abide from eternity to eternity.  And all that I can say with regard to immortality is that we are subject to changes until mortality is swallowed up in immortality and our mortal bodies return to their Mother Earth, and are wakened up by the power of the Almighty and raised incorruptible to the pure element which is not [68] subject to change.  This is the fundamental doctrine of the resurrection.  It is comprehended in a very few words.  But when considered and realized by the mind of man, who is capable of reflection?  Who is capable by the power of faith, to view for one moment the principles of eternal existence?  We find that there is one Eternal resurrection, one eternal change, from one state to another, from one degree to another, until that which is organized is contaminated by sin, which brings dissolution or death.  Here, we are liable to change until all that is overpowered by the principles of eternal life.  And that matter which has been subject to sin or death or change, either of them or all of them, until those things are overcome by the principles of eternal truth, and this material matter connected together is dissolved and united again by the power of perfection, and the body raised to immortality and eternal life; until then, we are subject to changes.  But when we arrive to that state, it gives to every mortal being that degree of glory, power and dominion that crowns him, in the presence of God, or the Father and the Son.  And that makes them equal with the Son and he says he is equal with the Father.  But the mind cannot comprehend it, and understand the bearings of this saying until they can understand the principle of mortal life, of the dissolution of the body, the principle of eternal life, and the resurrection of the body.  This is the doctrine we want to hear about — you who have lost your companions, your children, your fathers and mothers, &c.

I have been requested by Brother Taylor to make a few remarks upon this subject.  He has buried his wife.  Well, it is a matter of mourning and grief.  It is a subject that brings sorrow to us when we lose our companions or our parents or our children or any of our friends.  But everyone who receives an understanding of the principles of immortality, they can say Amen.  So let it be, for there is a change taking place — if it is for the better, praise God, and this is the end of it, and wait till we get our chance and enjoy them again.  I hate to part with my friends; it is sorrowful to my heart, because I delight in their society.  I love the Saints.  I love them better than life.  I love them supremely; I love the Almighty and His commandments a little better.  The supremacy of my love to my brethren is [69] beyond the love of all of this world.  For everything I look upon with my natural eye or handle with my hands, and all things that come in contact with my natural senses here, are fading, are liable to change, and consequently, there is nothing durable, nothing that is substantial; all is liable to pass away, and I be separated from them.

It is like the riches of the world, or the pleasures of the world, or like human life, and all things here; and it is organized perfectly, according to the condition of human man.  Lest some may find fault with the term “human man,” I will offer an explanation.

Are there any beings not liable to change?  Yes, there are millions and millions of them in eternity that have passed through the same ordeals that we are passing through.  There are myriads and myriads of kingdoms the same as us, in this vale of tears.  They have not lost their organization, but are sown in corruption, it is raised in incorruption.  It is sown in dishonor; it is raised in Glory.  It is sown in weakness.  It is raised in power.  It is sown a natural body.  It is raised a spiritual body.

Those who pass from mortality to immortality will be as we are, only they have passed from death unto life.  This is the difference between a human man and those who have passed through the resurrection.

We are here and we love each other’s society, but would you not rather be in a kingdom where you are not liable to lose your limbs, where you will not be liable to have the fever so as to destroy you, where you will not be liable to have the chills and fever, and where you are not liable to accidents that would break your backs or bones, where you are not liable to be drowned if you go upon the waters, or to fall if you should be elevated in the heavens by the power of the Devil.  Would you not love to be in a kingdom of eternal peace, where there is no death, nor sorrow, nor sickness, pain, nor wringing of the heart; tears, mourning, and crying, parting with friends, and a thousand other grievances and circumstances.  Would you not rather be there than here?  Have done your mourning then for those who have gone there.

I want to preach a funeral sermon, for the whole of you that will last you all summer.  But it has become traditional to preach a funeral sermon, for everyone that [70] dies.  This is a Gentile tradition.  Those who die in the Lord have gone to rest.  Let them rest in peace.

We have also received many traditions relative to the observance of the Sabbath, but I will tell you how I should do (if I would do according to my feelings).  I would work upon the first day of the week the same as I would upon another day.  I should not get up here and say to the people, “don’t say anything about elections, harvesting, journeying,” or anything else I would not say or do tomorrow.  But is it my day?  Yes.  Is it the Lord’s day?  Yes it is.  Am I the Lord’s?  Yes.  Is every day the Lord’s day?  Yes.  Well, it is no matter what day we observe or rest upon, if we rest the seventh part of the time.  I don’t remember that I have lived a Sabbath but I broke it; if we kindle a fire, we break it; if we prepare our victuals, we break it, if we eat, we break it.  The fact is, in order to keep the Sabbath, we must lie in bed all day and scarcely breathe.

I take everything in life as it comes.  I live for my friends and will seek to do everything in my power to heal them when they are sick, that is good to nourish and sustain their sinking nature.  And if I could not heal them and they must die, I would call my friends and take them and lay them away carefully, until the morning of the resurrection.  I would sow them, as I would sow any other grain.  You know by experience that no grain will be “quickened, except it die.”  Look in your garden and see if any grain will be quickened and grow.  “It cannot be” except it die.  Well, is it not so with mortal bodies?  Yes, it is.  You know all about it.  Look at these leaves, they fall to the earth that more may come out.  That is the resurrection.  You plant your wheat this fall; next season the seed you sowed will grow and bring forth fruit, because it first died, and then was sown in the ground, which nourished and cherished the seed.  Thus millions and millions of human beings are passing from one state to another, till they get the holy resurrection, till death can get no power over them.  It is just right; they pass off in time to get a short nap, and rise in the likeness of the Savior, and be no more subject to death.

Is not this sufficient to comfort, console, and strengthen us, under the loss of our friends. It is a grief to [71] me to see my brethren fall. I would rather they would live than to die; nevertheless, those that sleep in peace are better off than those that are with us.  Death is but a sleep.  You will experience something like it before 24 hours have passed away.  Every 24 hours that you live, you experience precisely in similitude, the very thing you experience in death and in the resurrection.  When you lay your bodies down to rest, you cannot remember going to sleep.  No, because your senses begin to withdraw from everything around you.  You sit up all night, and between that time and the mourning, you will remember waking many times, but you will never remember going to sleep once.  So it will be in the resurrection, you will fall to sleep, by and by, and your mortal faculties cease to operate.  You will fall to sleep, and sleep a nap, until the morning of the resurrection, when the trumpet blows, and you awake out of sleep.  You will recollect all about what was before you fell asleep; if you have slept a hundred or a thousand years, it is no difference; it is the same to the body with regard to time. You may feel the effects of not being properly refreshed by sleep, but you may awake as often as you please and you will remember the circumstances you were in when you feel asleep.  So it is to our bodies sleeping in the grave; there is no difference.

How often you will hear the father, the mother, the children, and the friends say: I would be willing to take my departure if it were not for some things around I have to leave — my children, my husband, my father, mother and friends, etc.  You will find, by and by, the thread is broken, and away they go.  They fall asleep, and when they go to sleep, they go to dreaming; their spirits go into the spiritual world.  They are willing to be there.  They are glad to be there.  They rejoice to be there and can say to their bodies sleep on, for by and by I shall come and wake you up when the trumpet sounds and the morning comes.

Did you know, that everything you behold here is a similitude of eternal things; and by and by we shall pass to the scenes of eternity; and it will be said of us, as of them that have fallen asleep they have gone to learn the realities of the eternal world.  I would say, sleep on, brethren and sisters, and take your rest, for you have kept the faith of Jesus and shall receive a crown, by and by. [72]

There are a few things that I shall bring up now, before I sit down.  I have said enough of the good of funeral discourses; they have gone, and let them sleep in peace.  And pray the good Lord to bless those that are living, and so help us to order our course, and walk before the Almighty that we may be accepted of Him at the morning of the resurrection.

If I do no more this day than take a text, I will take a text anyhow and perhaps I will hereafter preach upon it.  It is a considerably lengthy one, yet I can reduce it to a sentence or a word.  I will take a text and make it as long or short as I please.  The text: “Hear, oh heavens, and give ear oh earth, and especially the inhabitants of it, and more especially the Latter-day Saints; the Lord our God has spoken.”  And I would carry it out; hear ye, Latter-day Saints the Lord our God has spoken; and let me say to all, both old and young, male and female, be careful you do not forget what the Almighty has said.  Be careful you do not let it die away, and you sleep to wake no more.  Now for a comparison.  I will bring up a circumstance.  Some of the brightest men that ever lived here on the earth, some of the brightest men in this church, men who had the heavens opened unto them, and received revelations, and visions, and heard the voice of the Almighty-they saw angels, and conversed with them, but the sound dies away and they forget the angels, how they looked.  They have forgotten the voice of the Almighty, that voice that made their bones to shake.  And where are they?  They are fallen asleep; their ears are deaf to the voice of the Almighty; they have gone from us, they have turned around and denied the God that brought them.  Is it not so?  You are witnesses to it.

I am going to warn and forewarn you.  I have nothing to say today with regard to those who do not believe the Everlasting Gospel, but my conversation and my remarks are directed to those who say they know the Lord.  How is it with you?  Can you bear prosperity?  Do you know the atmosphere in which you live?  Do you behold the spiritual world?  Do you behold the influence of the power of darkness over you, or under which you sit, and which you have to do with, and grapple with, and labor with, and are groveling under, the mantle woven by the power of [73] him that rules and reigns as the Prince and power of the air, and in the hearts of the children of disobedience?  Do you know the difference between the power of the Almighty and the power of the Devil?

I warn and forewarn you: you have got to take care.  You have got to dig open your eyes and your ears to know the word of the Lord, the sin which is unto death.  I have not had much to say for some time.  I have been passive and quiet.  I have not teased nor chastised you; but mark my words, if the Latter-day Saints do not use and double their diligence and repent of their slothfulness, you will find the hand of the Almighty will be upon you; you will feel His wrath and sore displeasure.  The Saints have had 15 years of sorrow and afflictions. Now can you bear prosperity?  Can you receive everything your hearts desire, and not kick your heels, or fall asleep in carnal security, saying all is well in Zion, Zion is prospering?  I don’t think they need my help.  Are there any here that feel it?  I know of a number that feel it.  It makes their bones ache and they quake under the power of it; only see the spirit of calm and serene negligence; all is right; all is well; only see the union in the Church.  We are all of one heart and one mind, only see how we are blessed.  We are blessed every way — in our fields, in our flocks and our herds, in houses, and lands, in our orchards and vineyards; in silver and gold, etc.  Well, says the Latter-day Saint, I am blessed.  I feel well tonight; we will retire to rest without prayer; or I am tired tonight, we will retire to rest without prayer tonight.  He gets up in the morning and his corn is suffering for want of hoeing; consequently no time for prayers this morning.  Thus, you forget the voice of the Almighty; you see visions and forget them; my fields look so blooming, my cattle so fat and fine, I have almost forgotten how the vision looked, and how the voice of the lord sounded, what the Prophet looked like and what he said.  Come, let us put up our fences, plant our fields, build our houses, and establish ourselves upon a permanent foundation that shall not be rooted up.

Well, it is just right.  “But is it right to lay down and forget the Lord, and you go to sleep?”  No.  It is right to work here, to build good houses, to open extensive farms, etc., but remember the Lord’s hand.  And every time you [74] walk, talk, do business, or anything else, do it in the name of the Almighty; and say, if the Lord will, I will do so and so.  Wake up, ye Latter-day Saints, from your lethargic state.  Rub open your eyes and ears, and learn what you should do to know and keep the commandments of God.  You may ask the question, if this is for every individual?  Yes, it is for everyone of you; it is for myself and then all the rest of you; just as much as I need and as you deserve it.

I am going to carry it out a little further and put you in mind of a few things.  You say, I will do this and I will do that.  Are you not blessed?  Yes. Have not your enemies turned away from you?  Are they not put to flight and confessed in all their plans?  Yes.  Do you remember the Lord in all this?  That it is He that feeds you, protects you and sustains you, in flocks, and in herds, in fields and gardens, which are at this time growing under the weight of His rich bounty.  Do you realize that this is the Lord?  You may say; I do not know anything about it, I know I am blessed and prosper in all things I set my hands to do.  Would you know the difference between an angel sent from the Almighty and an angel sent from the Devil?  Have you power and sense enough to detect truth from error — an angel of the Lord from the Almighty or one from the Devil?  Can you tell whether the Lord has sent upon you a spirit to do wrong because you deserve it or is it for your good?  For many spirits have gone out into the world.  Do you know whether you receive a spirit for your good or for evil?  I know some do not: they cannot discriminate except they do their duty, except they give up their selfishness and every other evil work.  Until they do that, they cannot know; and the first they know, they will follow a spirit they know nothing about; and they are in wretchedness, sickness, pain, and death.  The question may be asked: Is it because they have sinned or done something wrong?  No.  You are sick because you have not got power to throw it away.  A good man is subject to sickness and death as well as any other man, but the man of God is not subject to the death of the soul.  The honest, just, humble and holy man may have pain in body, but his heart won’t ache.  Do you know how to feel calm and serene in your soul-to have peace reign thus?  A peace [75] and calm that is like the zephyr of the heavenly world. I may be racked with pain, my body may be broken down with diseases and reduced to the gates of death, but my soul is as calm as heaven; I am speaking upon the sickness of the soul.  He that is inspired by the spirit of truth is never in sorrow; his head may ache, his bones may be filled with pain, and his flesh mortify, yet his mind is as clear as the sun.  I know it by experience.  I am telling things I know, but until this calm, humble, loving, holy, patient and submissive spirit is cultivated abroad among the Latter-day Saints, they have got to be watched.

There is great peace in the Church, but take care not to get too much peace, for it is possible to get too much peace and union in your hearts — so much that it will lull you to sleep in carnal security.  That is what I mean by having too much peace and union.  We have so much till we cannot get time enough to pray, or to fast, visit the sick, and administer to their necessities, to worship the Almighty; so united, that we cannot get time to build the Nauvoo House. How Heavenly!  How we are united together!  I believe everything you say, brethren; I will take all your counsel and do all you say.  But this is when they get into trouble and want counsel from us, to help them out again.  A people ought to be as willing to take counsel when the sun of prosperity is smiling upon them, as in the time they are shorn of their strength.

I have one thing to pray the people of Nauvoo to stop and that is drunkenness.  I don’t pray God anything about it, but I will by and by if you do not quit it.  I will pray God to strike that grocery with lightening. I pray you stop your drunkenness; I pray the thief to stop his stealing.  What say you about it?  (The people said, Amen.)

I will be like the sectarian a few minutes; I will not hurt any man in the world, but I will pray the Lord to remove such things out of our midst.  I will pray the Lord to strike it with lightening, or cause a mighty rock to fall upon it.  I pray the people to stop it in the first place-not the Lord, for I would be ashamed to ask the Lord to do a thing I would not do myself.  Anecdote of the Quaker.

I say unto the Latter-day Saints: awake to righteousness and sin not; but sorrow, sickness, and death, come upon you, and we be driven to the four winds of [76] heaven.  I would think you would take a hint by this time, after 15 years of sorrow and affliction and losing many good brethren and sisters, and at last our Prophet and Seer.

I would think the Saints would learn righteousness after being under the lash of the Almighty so long.  Do not get so careless that you will not come to prayer meeting.  I have been watching you; I am watching you with eagle’s eyes.

I am all round you and in your midst.  You cannot hide your works from my gaze.  I am watching over you with a jealous eye for your good.  I will continue so to watch you, and will tell you what will save you if you will hearken to it; but those who go their own way will be damned; do not be so united that you cannot get to prayer meeting.

Tomorrow we are going to elect three officers, viz. George D. Walker, county commissioner, Chancy Robinson, school commissioner and Mr. Rose, treasurer.

Now don’t be so united that you cannot turn out to a man and vote, that we may elect men who will maintain the supremacy of the law.  Our enemies will strain every nerve to elect who do not value the rights and privileges of their fellow men, in order to bring death and destruction upon you and upon me and every lawabiding man.  It behooves us, therefore, as a people, for our own safety and salvation, to turn out to a man and give a vote, one-sixth larger than any time before.

I would say of those that keep those nasty swillholes, they are Mormons but not Latter-day Saints; both they and those that frequent such places are fit for nothing but to be trampled under foot of men.

Do not get so sanctified, so holy and so united, that you cannot pray in your families, nor give God the glory and honor Him in all things.  If you do this, as God lives (and I will insure my soul upon it) you will be blessed and prospered in all things as a people; your enemies shall have no power ever to hurt or destroy you, for the Lord will fight for you. But if we take the opposite course, we are bound to destruction, to go down and be obliterated as a people and scattered to the four winds. [77]

But I know it will not be so; I know there is righteousness enough in this Church to balance over the wickedness.  There is always righteousness enough in this Church to stick to the train; it always was so and always will be so.  But if the people get into a self-secure state, and say, all is right; my brethren will do all things right, they have no use for my help, for I place all confidence in them; if you suffer yourselves thus to be rocked to sleep in the cradle of self security, “look out for the hand of the lord is upon you.”  But it won’t be so, for we shall dig at you, and tease you, until you learn to acknowledge the Lord in all things.

There is great peace in the land at this time; but until the people have power to discern between good and evil, it is a dangerous state to be in; for if they do not understand this, before they know they are lulled away into carnal security.  They feel it, however, and begin to say, “I wonder what the matter is, for I do not feel so lively as I have done”; they know not that they are lulled away into carnal security.

Turn out tomorrow, and also a week from tomorrow, and let us put in Jacob B. Backenstos for Sheriff.  If you say your corn is suffering and you can’t come, let it suffer, and be damned; it is as necessary for you to attend to the one as the other for your salvation.  Your corn will not suffer materially. Paul may plant, and Apollos may water, but it is not Paul that gives the increase.  I know who blesses the herds, the flocks, the corn, and the fields; He is a good man and I love Him and mean to serve Him all the days of my life.

Let this people be blessed in this place one year and a half more, as they have been for ten months past.  Let them live in peace and our enemies have nothing to do with us, but let us alone; our flocks, our herds, our fields team with abundance, and our families and friends be blessed with plenty — one year will not pass round till I am left alone to do all the preaching myself and then carry it to all the nations of the earth — while you stop at home and get sick.  The power of the Devil would be woven as a mantle over them and they would rest in carnal security saying. “We are all in peace, all is well in Zion, [78] the Twelve will do it, we need not go to meeting, for God is well pleased with us.”

I stay away from meeting sometimes, but it is when I am on private counsel to transact business for the Church in Nauvoo, and in the eastern states and in England, and in all the world.  Don’t get slothful, are you not Elders of Israel.  Should they not be the best men upon the face of the earth, to have faith, to turn away sickness, be filled with ardent zeal to save nations?  They shall be, or they shall go to the Devil.

Oh ye Seventies, and ye Elders, do you feel after the nations of the earth in your hearts?  Breather to the Almighty God that you may convert your thousands and bring them to a knowledge of the truth.  Oh ye Elders of Israel, listen to the voice of the spirit; obey the counsel that shall be given you, and you shall be satisfied with a fullness.  Many want counsel, but they say in their hearts, counsel me just as I want it myself; I counsel men to their own destruction sometimes, because they desire it.  You must learn to be content and satisfied with what is allotted for you to do and not go to the Devil because you are not the head.

There is my foot, it is just as honorable as any other part of my body, for without my foot how can I walk.  Many say, unless I can be the eye or the head, I will go to Hell.  If I am like a piece of clay, passive in the hands of the potter, the Lord can do something with me; but if I am like a rude stiff lump of clay, I must be ground over again.  Every part of my body is honorable; my head is honored because I bring into subjection every part to it; every member does its own part: the nose smells, the eye sees, the ear hears, the mouth speaks, and tongue tastes, which is all under the direction of the head.  Suppose my hand gets unruly; it is inclined to catch something that belongs to my neighbor and the sheriff finds it in my pocket; is not my whole body dishonored by it?  Yes, it is.  My mouth, my talking faculties, my eyes, my ears, my arms, my legs, my feet, my whole body is dishonored by the folly of that member.  Go and get drunk, and the Latter-day Saints have to bear the sting of it.  If ye cannot keep from stealing, cut it off; for it is better to go in heaven maimed, than have the whole to go into Hell.  We are told the High [79] Council has nothing to do; here is something for them.  You High Council, cut off such characters; spare them not, but sever them for the body.

Wake up, then, and not go to sleep in death and destruction.  Don’t get so as to let us do all the praying.  Go home and pray and know that God has His eye upon you.  Go and repent of all your sins and walk humbly before your God, for the mind of the Almighty never sleeps; and as God lives, every man and every woman shall have all their blessings.  There is no man who can speak before the Almighty, or before his servants, but they know all about them; they cannot walk, talk, nor act in any way, but they know all about them.

Refrain from every excess, especially from those haunts of iniquity with groceries.  There have men come out of those places when I have been passing by, saying, “Brother Brigham Young, will you speak with me?  I want your counsel.”  Their breath would stink like a sweat tub.  Know this, that you are a stink in my nose; I would rather meet a decent swine in the road and shake it by the nose, than you by the hand.  What about a temperance society here?  I would not give that for it (snapping his finger) neither for a religion that had not power.

Elder Kimball showed the right fashion for a lead — Spoke of Elder Richards being protected at Carthage Jail — having on his robe, while Joseph and Hyrum and Elder Taylor were shot to pieces — Said the Twelve would have to leave shortly, for a charge of treason would be brought against them for swearing us to avenge the blood of the anointed ones, and some one would swear it, and we shall have to start some day between sundown and dark.

George Miller said that when near the camp of General Hardin he was shot at, and the sentinel who was near him was killed, but he escaped unhurt, having on his garments.

He then spoke of the design and purpose for which all the signs and tokens and symbols in the garden were given, etc.  Paul said he bore in his body the marks of the Lord Jesus Christ — which was as plainly as he dare allude to these things in meeting.  But the marks Paul alluded to were just such as we now have on our garments. [80]

He spoke of the signs, tokens and penalties, and of the work in general — Said it was the work of God, by which he designs to reinstate man into His presence, etc.

Elder John Taylor confirmed the saying that Joseph and Hyrum and himself were without their robes in the jail at Carthage while Doctor Richards had his on, but corrected the idea that some had said that they had taken them off through fear.

William W. Phelps said Joseph told him one day about that time that he had laid aside his garment on account of the hot weather.

Elder Kimball said word came to him and to all the Twelve about that time

to lay aside their garments and take them to pieces or cut them up so that they could not be found.

The sisters ought not to gather together in schools to pray unless their husbands or some man be with them — every evening at 5 o’clock the High Priests meet for prayer by themselves, clothed in their robes of Priesthood.  Also the High Council and the Seventies.

There are from seven to twelve persons who have met together everyday to pray ever since Joseph’s death — and this people have been sustained upon this principle.  Here is Brother Turley — he has been liberated by the power of God and not of man — and I have covenanted, and never will rest nor my posterity after me until those men who killed Joseph and Hyrum have been wiped out of the earth.

Elder Cahoon had permission to speak at 20 minutes past one.  He bore testimony of the importance of those things which had been spoken.  He rejoiced in the idea that the things he was taught in the beginning were the same things now taught and remembered — and it is so because they are eternal things.

The whole assembly was then formed into 2 circles, one within the other; the signs and tokens were given, the proper attitude for prayer assumed, and Elder Taylor being mouth the whole congregation united with him in prayer to God.  At 10 minutes past 2 the meeting was dismissed and all unclothed themselves of their robes and another congregation which had been waiting in the vestibule of the temple was admitted into the East Room, not being clothed in the garments of the Priesthood. [81]

At 3 o’clock sang “Hosanna”; prayer by Elder Orson Hyde after which by invitation of Elder Kimball who presided (President Young not having been at the Temple today, and the duty of presiding having devolved upon Elder Kimball as the next in succession) Amasa Lyman addressed the assembly.

He said doubtless with most of the present assembly, it is the beginning of a new era in their lives — they have come to a place, the time they never saw before.  They have come to the commencement of a knowledge of things, and it is necessary that they should be riveted on their minds — one important thing to be understood is this, that those portions of the priesthood which you have received are all essential matters — it is not merely that you may see these things but it is a matter of fact — a matter that has to do directly with your salvation — for which you have talked and labored many years.  It is not for amusement you are brought to receive these things — but to put you in possession of the means of salvation and be brought into a proper relationship to God.

Hence, a man becomes responsible for his own conduct and that of his wife if he has one.  It is not designed that the things that are presented today should be forgotten tomorrow — but remembered and practiced through all coming life.  Hence, its a stepstone to approach . . . the face of God.

Having descended to the lowest state of degradation — it is the beginning of a homeward journey.

It is like a man lost in a wilderness and the means with which he is invested there, are to direct him in his homeward journey.  You then see the reason why you are required to put away your vanity, cease to talk of all those things which are not conducive to eternal life.

This is why you are required to be sober, to be honest, that you could ask and receive, knock and it should be opened, and that when you sought for things you would find them.  It is putting you in possession of those keys by which you can ask for things you need and obtain them.  This is the key by which to obtain all the glory and felicity of eternal life.  It is the key by which you approach God.  No impression which you receive here should be lost.  It was to rivet the recollection of the tokens and covenants [82] in your memory like a nail in a sure place, never to be forgotten.

The scenery through which you have passed is actually hanging before you; it is a picture or map by which you are to travel through life and obtain an entrance into the Celestial Kingdom hereafter.  If you are tempted in regard to these things here, you will be tempted when you approach the presence of God hereafter.  You have by being faithful been brought to this point, by maintaining the things which have been entrusted to you.  This is a representation of the Celestial Kingdom.  It is not merely for the sake of talking over these things that they are given to you, but for your benefit and for your triumph over the powers of darkness hereafter.

We want the man to remember that he has covenanted to keep the law of God, and the woman to obey her husband; and if you keep your covenants, you will not be guilty of transgression.

The line that is drawn is for you to maintain your covenants and you will always be found in the path of obedience after that which is virtuous and holy and good and will never be swallowed up by unhallowed feelings and passions.

If you are found worthy and maintain your integrity, and do not run away and think you have got all your Endowment, you will be found worthy after a while, which will make you honorable with God.  You have not yet been ordained to anything, but will be by and by.  You have received these things because of your compliance with all the requisitions of the law, and if faithful you will receive more.

You have learned how to pray.  You have been taught how to approach God, and be recognized.  This is the principle by which the Church has been kept together, and not the power of arms.

A few individuals have asked for your preservation, and their prayers have been heard, and it is this which has preserved you from being scattered to the four winds.

Those who have learned to approach God and receive these blessings — are they better than you?  The difference is, they have been permitted to have these things revealed unto them. [83]

The principles which have been opened to you are the things which ought to occupy your attention all your lives.  They are not second to anything.  You have the key by which if you are faithful, you will claim on you and on your posterity, all the blessings of the Priesthood.

Elder Heber C. Kimball said: the ideas advanced by Brother Lyman are good and true.  We have been taken, as it were, from the earth and have traveled until we have entered the Celestial Kingdom; and what is it for?  It is to personify Adam.  And you discover that our God is like one of us, for he created us in his own image.  Every man that ever came upon this earth, or any other earth will take the course we have taken.

Another thing — it is to bring us to an organization, and just as quick as we can get into that order and government, we have the Celestial Kingdom here.  You have got to honor and reverence your brethren, for if you do not, you never can honor God.  The man was created, and God gave him dominion over the whole earth, but he saw that he never could multiply, and replenish the Earth without a woman.  And He made one and gave her to him.  He did not make the man for the woman, but the woman for the man, and it is just as unlawful for you to rise up and rebel against your husband as it would be for man to rebel against God.

When the man came to the veil, God gave the key word to the man, and the man gave it to the woman. But if a man doesn’t use a woman well and take good care of her, God will take her away from him, and give her to another. Perfect order and consistency make Heaven, but we are now deranged, and the tail has become the head.

We have now come to this place, and all your former covenants are of no account, and here is the place where we have to enter into a New Covenant and be sealed and have it recorded.  One reason why we bring our wives with us is that they may make a covenant with us to keep these things sacred.  You have been anointed to be Kings and Priests, but you have not been ordained to it yet, and you have got to get it by being faithful.  You can’t sin so cheap now as you could before you came to this order.  It is not for you to reproach the Lord’s anointed nor to speak evil of him.  You have covenanted not to do it. [84]

One other thing.  You all want to get garments, and you must not wait to get fine linen or bleached cotton for your garments.  Shirting or sheeting will do for garments.  The women can cut them for the cuts on their husbands.

We don’t want you to come here and take up the time to cut your garments.  Go to a good faithful sister and secret yourselves and make your garments.

We have been crowded too much and we have got to stop it.  And if you have cloth and come here to get your cloth cut, we shall keep it here to make use of it till we get through.  We don’t want one person that has come into the Order the week past, to come into this room during the coming week except those who are to work.  If you want anything let it come in writing.

David Sessions, Gilbert D. Gouldsmith and Elave Ludington volunteered to draw water from the river in barrels for the use of the temple.

Elder Kimball spoke of the confusion which had been in the house hitherto.

None will be permitted to stand at the vail but the one that may be appointed by the President.

You have been washed and pronounced clean, but not from the blood of this generation.

George A. Smith made a few remarks.  He spoke principally in relation to the importance of keeping sacred those signs and tokens and principles which we have received while passing along through the different degrees.

He was followed by Elder Orson Hyde who said a few words in approbation of what had been said by Elder Smith and followed up in the same matters.

The congregation was dismissed by prayer by Elder John Taylor-and soon departed from the temple to their respective houses. (Manuscript History of Brigham Young, Man. D1234, Box 48, Reel #81)


Heber C. Kimball’s Address

December 14, 1845, Nauvoo Temple


We then sang, “O happy souls who pray, &c.” and “Come all ye sons of Zion,” after which President Young introduced the subject of having rules of order to govern [85] all who come here and to regulate our works printed.  He wished to know the minds of the quorum, whether they thought it best.  It was voted unanimously that we think it wisdom to have some rules printed for that purpose.

It was also unanimously voted that President Young introduce the rules.  He then explained that he had some rules drafted last evening, but they were not at the office to be printed ready for tomorrow.  He, however, explained the majority of them, explaining also the order he wished carried out, and then took a vote whether this quorum will sustain him in this regulation. The vote was unanimous in the affirmative.

He then observed that he should henceforth have all the cloth which was intended for robes, garments and aprons, brought and either cut or made in this temple under the superintendance of those who know how to do it right.  There are now scarcely two aprons alike nor two garments cut or marked right, and it is necessary to observe perfect order in this thing, and it never can be done unless we take this course.

A conversation then ensued on the distinction of office or power between a president of Seventies and a member of the High Council or a High Priest.  It arose in consequence of some of the High Council having been washed and anointed by some of the Presidents of Seventies; and inasmuch as there had been some considerable difference in the views of the brethren in regard to the difference of authority between the High Council, Seventies and Presidents, President Young concluded it would be wisdom to have the subject understood at this early stage of business so as to prevent any feelings or disputes arising on the subject hereafter.

He stated that the Seventies are ordained Apostles, and when they go forth into the ministry, they are sent with power to build up the kingdom in all the world, and consequently they have power to ordain High Priests and also to ordain and organize a High Council.

Some of the High Priests have been ready to quarrel on the subject, supposing they had power and authority above the Seventies, and some in their zeal for power have abused and trampled on the feelings of some of the Seventies. [86]

There is too much covetousness in the Church and too much disposition among the brethren to seek after power and has been from the beginning; but this feeling is diminishing and the brethren begin to know better.  In consequence of such feelings Joseph left the people in the dark on many subjects of importance and they still remain in the dark.  We have got to rid such principles from our hearts.

He then referred to the manner in which the cornerstones of this temple were laid as published in the Times and Seasons, and then stated that the perfect order would have been for the Presidency of the Stake to lay the first, or southeast corner; the High Council the 2nd, or southwest corner; the Bishops, the northwest corner; and the Priests the northeast corner, but added the High Priests laid the southwest corner, but they had no right to do it.

He then introduced the subject of the brethren making objections to any person begin permitted to receive their ordinances, and added that when objections were made he should feel bound to determine whether the person making the objections was a responsible person.  If he was not, he should do as he pleased about listening to the objection; but if he was a responsible person he should then listen to the objections.

To make a man a responsible man he must have the power and ability not only to save himself but to save others, but there are those who are not capable of saving themselves and will have to be saved if they are saved at all by those who are capable of doing it; an objection from such would have no weight on his mind.

When a man objects to another receiving the ordinances, he becomes responsible to answer to God for that man’s salvation.  And who knows but if he received the ordinances, he would be saved; but if we refuse to give him the means, he cannot be saved and we are responsible for it.

There is no law to prevent any man from obtaining all the blessings of the priesthood if he will walk according to the commandments, pay his tithes, and seek after salvation, but he may deprive himself of them. (Heber C. Kimball Journal, Mss.)


Heber C. Kimball’s Remarks

December 26, 1845, Nauvoo Temple


President Young said when he began again he should pay no respect to quorums. Every man that comes in is washed and anointed by good men and it makes no difference. Every man that gets his endowment, whether he is High Priest or Seventy, may go into any part of the world and build up the kingdom if he has the keys, or on to any island.  We have been ordained to the Melchizedek Priesthood, which is the highest order of Priesthood, and it has many branches or offices.  And those who have come in here and have received their washing and anointing will be ordained Kings and Priests, and will then have received the fullness of the Priesthood, all that can be given on earth, for Brother Joseph said he had given us all that could be given to man on the earth. (Heber C. Kimball Journal, Mss.)


Report by Temple Recorder

December 28, 1845, Nauvoo Temple


President Brigham Young then arose and said that inasmuch as this congregation that are present are those that have received their endowments, and only a small part of them, therefore I will give some general instructions while the bread and wine are preparing.  The ordinances that you have received in the garden, together with the performances of those things that have been presented, are to represent the creation of the world.  The name that was given to Adam was more ancient than he was.  The name Adam was given him because he was the first man, but his new name pertained to the Holy Priesthood and, as I before stated, is more ancient than he was.  There are 4 penal signs and 4 penal tokens, and should I want to address the throne to inquire after ancient things which refers to present things. And should I want to inquire for future things I would use the 3rd name which refers to the first token of the Melchizedek Priesthood or is the 3rd token that is given and refers to the Son.  The 2nd token of the Melchizedek Priesthood is to be given only in one place and nowhere else, but these [88] signs and tokens that pertain to the Priesthood should never be given anywhere only in such places as belong to the P. H. and that too by none but such as belong to the order of the Priesthood.

But there are not 6 persons that have gone through these ordinances that can offer them correctly, and some have had the presumption to approach this veil, which is the most sacred ordinance that is performed in this house, and have marked the garments wrong.  And levity has been used here which was not pleasing in the sight of the Lord; therefore, I have shut down the gate, and have come to the conclusion that when we commence again, we would make a selection of such persons as are worthy and will give them their endowments first; and when they get their endowment, then the remainder may get their endowment.  I don’t know but what I shall displease some of you, but I don’t care if I do.  There are about 200 persons that are dressed today, and unless I lay an embargo on the brethren, we will not find garments enough to take the company through tomorrow without changing them from one to another.  The Seventies have had about 18 garments made, and this morning there were not more than 5 or 6 to be found.  Some have taken garments and carried them off. I call such conduct stealing and it must be stopped.

Brethren, cease from all lightmindedness and be careful and not take the name of the Lord in vain.  Cease from all evil speaking and backbiting, unless your endowments prove a curse to them, which will certainly bring in condemnation upon all who do not observe the nature of their obligations.  Lay aside all party strife such as the Seventies and the H. P. (High Priests) striving to excel each other in power, this ought to be.  I intend to put a stop to all such feelings.  The H. P. commenced it in Kirtland; the Seventies commenced it in Quincy; and to let it go, we shall soon be split up and divided into parties.  Let the Saints be united that the voice of all be as the voice of one man.  Again the tithing of the brethren is not so promptly attended to since the endowment commenced as it should be. We are now about out of wood and oil.  I want about 1,000 cords of wood cut and hauled this week. Let every man that can lift up an ax go tomorrow and [89] continue until that amount is procured. I again motion that each Quorum furnish the light and oils for themselves to all the above named propositions.  Entire assent was manifested by the multitude. (Seventies Record Book B, pp. 164-165)


Heber C. Kimball’s Remarks

December 28, 1845, Nauvoo Temple


President Young came into the room at quarter before 12. m.

He said he supposed those present were a part of those who have received their endowment, that they were those who desired to be wise and do honor to the cause they have espoused, and bring no reproach upon the character of Him who has given us of the things of His kingdom liberally.  The keys or signs of the Priesthood are for the purpose of impressing on the mind the order of the creation.  In the first place the name of the man is given, a new name, Adam, signifying the first man, or Eve, the first woman.  Adam’s name was more ancient than he was.  It was the name of a man long before him, who enjoyed the priesthood.  The new name should be after some ancient man.  Thus, with your ancient name, your modern name, and the name that was last given you, you inquire concerning things past, present, and future.

After his fall, another name was given to Adam, and begin full of integrity, and not disposed to follow the woman nor listen to her, was permitted to receive the tokens of the priesthood.

I wish you to cease talking about what you see and hear in this place.  No man or woman has a right to mention a word of the appearance of this building in the least, nor to give the signs and tokens except when assembled together, according to the order of the Priesthood, which is in an upper room.  There are not a dozen persons that can give the signs and tokens correctly and the reason is that person would run to that vail, one of the most sacred places on the face of the earth, that had not understood the right manner of giving the signs and tokens. [90]

The order and ordinances passed through here prove the principles taught in the Bible.  First men should love their God supremely.  Woman will never get back unless she follows the man back.  If the man had followed the woman, he would have followed her down until this time.  Light, liberty and happiness will never shine upon men until they learn these principles.  The man must love his God and the woman must love her husband.  The love which David and Jonathan had for each other was the love of the priesthood.

God is a personage of tabernacle.  The Son is a personage of tabernacle.  The Spirit or Holy Ghost is also a personage, but not a personage of tabernacle, but is a personage of Spirit.  God dwells in eternal burnings, puts his hand through the vail and writes on the wall.  Any person that goes through these ordinances, unless they cleanse their hearts and sanctify themselves, and sanctify the Lord, it will burn them.  When we begin again, I shall select those that are worthy.  We shall not be able to have another public meeting here on account of the weight on the floor.  It has already cause the walls to crack, prevents the doors from shutting and will injure the roofs. I see here 200 persons, all clothed in their garments, and tomorrow I suppose we cannot find half enough to work with, unless we lay an embargo on your garments and forbid any of you from carrying away your garments.  When we began, we could dress a company of 30; now we cannot dress 18.  For my right arm I would not say that everybody is honest, for I do not believe they are. (Heber C. Kimball Journal, Mss.)


Heber C. Kimball’s Remarks

January 2, 1846, Nauvoo Temple


No one seemed disposed to use the opportunity, whereupon the President arose and made a short address to those present, himself.  Some of the topics which he spoke upon are as follows:

He alluded to the privilege which we now have of meeting in this house and said that we could worship God in the dance, as well as in other ways.  He alluded to the ordinances of the endowment, and said they must always [91] be attended to in an upper room.  When we see a temple built right, there will be places for the Priests to enter and put on their robes and offer up sacrifices, first for themselves and then for the people.

The way for us to grow and thrive is for us to serve the Lord in all we do.  And as we have called upon the different quorums to meet together once a day, so it will eventually be with the whole church.  There will be houses for them to meet in.  Remember the covenant that we have entered into.  No man is to be filled with lightness, no brother or sister will be allowed to speak evil of his brother or sister or speak against them.  It is the duty of the quorums to meet together; we cannot enjoy it but a short time.

No person is at liberty to reveal anything that takes place here to any mortal upon the face of the earth, unless they know that person to be a good one, and one that the Lord is well pleased with.  We have not the privilege of telling what we have seen here tonight, but we will praise the Lord as we please.

Now as to dancing in this house.  There are thousands of brethren and sisters that have labored hard to build these walls and put on its roof, and they are shut out from any opportunity of enjoying any amusement among the wicked, or in the world, and shall they have any recreation?  Yes!  Where?  Why in the temple of the Lord.  That is the very place where they can have liberty, and we will enjoy it this winter and then leave it.  And we will go to a land where there are at last no old settlers to quarrel with us, where we can say that we have killed the snakes and made the roads.  And we will leave this wicked nation to themselves, for they have rejected the gospel; and I hope and pray that the wicked will kill one another and save us the trouble of doing it.

We cannot have another public meeting in this room, for if we do our roof is ruined.

But this church has obtained already all they have labored for in building this temple; but before we leave here, (I feel it in my bones.) there will be thousands and thousands of men that can go into any part of the world and build up the kingdom and build temples.  If any want [92] to faint, let them faint.  If there are any that don’t want to go with us, don’t urge them.

The U.S. Government says if we let the Mormons go out from this nation, they will give us trouble.  Well, perhaps their fears will come upon them.  Where is there a city of refuge on the face of the earth but this?  They have tried to break us up.  But with all their offices, all their troops, and all their force, we are here yet.  They have got writs out for me, but they have not got me yet; and when they do get me, they will get something else, I assure you.

From Polk down to the nastiest Bogus maker or whiskey seller, it was resolved to break up the Mormons this fall. And if I had hearkened to Col. Backenstos we should have been broken up, and all put out of the way.  But when he received correct instruction, he acted right, and the plan and trap which our enemies laid for us worked so that it gave us the advantage over them; and when he went according to counsel, he came off victorious every time.

And we are hunted and persecuted, and our enemies try to trouble us every way.  And now brethren will it hurt your feelings any if we dance a little?  We need a little recreation.  My mind is continually upon the stretch, because I know that this Church must be saved.  The gospel must be preached to all the world, and temples must be built, and then add to this all minor matters.  I tell you, no man knows nor can know the burden and responsibility that rests upon my mind unless he experiences it.  One thing I will do — I will do my utmost to break down everything that divides.  I will not have divisions and contention.

I mean that there shall not be a fiddle in this church but what has holiness to the Lord upon it, nor a flute, nor a trumpet, nor any other instrument of music; and if they will not make music exclusively for the Lord’s house, they shall not play at all.

If Joseph Smith had lived, we should not have been here at this time; we should have been in some other country.  We can’t stay in this house but a little while.  We have got to build another house, it will be a larger house.  We shall come back here and we shall go to Kirtland, and build houses all over the continent of North America. [93]

Last night we had some of our young folks here, some of our children, and they all covenanted that they would no more mingle with the wicked. (Heber C. Kimball Journal, Mss.)


Brigham Young’s Remarks

January 24, 1846, Nauvoo Temple


I explained to the brethren the object of appointing trustees, and informed them that the trustees would act in concert with Bishops Whitney and Miller while they remained here; and that when the Twelve left, the Bishops would accompany them, and that the trustees now appointed would carry on the finishing of the temple and the Nauvoo House, also dispose of our property, fit out the Saints and send them westward.  It is wisdom to take this course that we may have efficient men to act for and in behalf of the Church and people.  I want Bishop Whitney and Miller here while we are here, and when we go, they will go with us.

We intend to start a company of young men and some few families, perhaps within a few weeks.  This company will travel until they can find a good location beyond the settlements, and there stop and put in a summer crop, that we may have something to subsist upon, and a portion of us remain there until we can make further discoveries.

We are forced to this policy by those who are in authority.  I find no fault with the Constitution or laws of our country; they are good enough.  It is the abuse of those laws which I despise, and which God, good men and angels abhor.

I hope we will find a place where no self-righteous neighbors can say that we are obnoxious to them; I exhort you brethren not to be self-important. We have covenanted to remove the poor that are worthy, and this we intend to do, God being our helper.

Let us walk humbly before the Lord, be upright and sustain yourselves, and realize that we are engaged in a great and important movement.  If any want to stay, let them do it in peace, and should any want to go with us that are not members of the Church, bid them welcome; for I look upon every man that is a true republican as [94] bone of my bone and flesh of my flesh; and if any wish to follow Sidney Rigdon or J. J. Strang I say let them go; we will cut them off from the Church, and let them take their own course for salvation.

I know where the power of the priesthood lies, and I know that the enemy of all righteousness seeks our downfall, but God is our preserver.

A set of bogus makers who recently commenced operations in this city and who are determined to counterfeit coin here by wagon loads and make it pass upon the community as land office money, are determined to be avenged upon us, because we would not permit them to pursue their wicked business in Nauvoo.  They have scattered throughout the country circulating their bogus money and spreading lies and every species of falsehood, saying, that we are engaged in bogus making in order thereby to conceal their crimes and screen themselves from observation and punishment, and at the same time be avenged upon us for not consenting to the establishment of the bogus mints at Nauvoo.

Nevertheless, we may have to suffer repeated wrongs in consequence of those falsehoods that are and which will be circulated about us; but my faith is that God will rule the elements, and the prince and power of the air will be stayed, and the Lord will fight our battles as in the days of Moses; and we will see the deliverance brought to pass.  Although, there may be bloodshed frequently, still this must needs be that the scriptures may be fulfilled.

It is but a small matter for us to lay down our lives if we are prepared for the change; when we take our exit from this world, we go into the society of disembodied spirits, and there become one of those who await the resurrection. (Manuscript History of Brigham Young, pp. 18-22))


Plans for Removal to the Rocky Mountains

Helen Mar Whitney


The Saints of Nauvoo well remember how the Prophet was warned by the Lord to flee to the Rocky Mountains, and had it not been for his wife, Emma, and a few faithless and frightened brethren, he would have come west; but it was otherwise ordained. [95]

We cite Joseph Smith to other items (which he must have forgotten if he ever knew them) that are contained in his father’s life, which was written and published by E. W. Tullidge. It contains an address delivered by Lieutenant General Joseph Smith to the Nauvoo Legion, in the afternoon of June 18, 1844, which was listened to by hundreds who are still living here in Utah, and from it I take the following extracts:

“It is thought by some that our enemies would be satisfied with my destruction; but I tell you that as soon as they have shed my blood, they will thirst for the blood of every man in whose heart dwells single spark of the spirit of the fullness of the gospel.  It is not only to destroy me but every man and woman who dares believe the doctrines that God hath inspired me to teach to his generation.

“We have turned the barren bleak prairie swamps of this state into beautiful towns, farms and cities by our industry; and the men who seek our destruction and cry thief, treason, riot, etc., are those who themselves violate the laws, steal and plunder from their neighbors, and seek to destroy the innocent; heralding forth lies to screen themselves from the just punishment of their crimes by bringing distress upon this innocent people.

“We are American citizens. We live upon a soil for the liberties of which our fathers periled their lives and spilt their blood upon the battlefield. Those rights, so dearly purchased shall not be disgracefully trodden under foot by lawless marauders without at least a noble effort on our part to sustain our liberties.

“Will you stand by me to the death and sustain at the peril of your lives the laws of our country and the liberties and privileges which our fathers have transmitted unto us, sealed with their sacred blood?”  “Aye,” shouted thousands.  He then said; “It is well.  If you had not done it, I would have gone out there,” (pointing to the west), “and would have raised up a mightier people.”

Drawing his sword and presenting it to heaven, the Prophet said: “I call God and angels to witness that I have unsheathed my sword with a firm and unalterable determination that this people shall have their legal rights, and be protected from mob violence, or my blood shall be spilt upon the ground like water, and my body [96] consigned to the silent tomb.  While I live, I will not tamely submit to the dominion of a cursed mobocracy.  I would welcome death rather than submit to this oppression; and it would be sweet, oh, sweet to rest in the grave, rather than submit to this oppression, agitation, annoyance, confusion, and alarm upon alarm, any longer.

“I call upon all friends of truth and liberty to come to our assistance; and may the thunders of the Almighty and the forked lightnings of heaven and pestilence and war and bloodshed come down on those ungodly men who seek to destroy my life and the lives of this innocent people.

“I do not regard my own life.  I am ready to be offered a sacrifice for this people; for what can our enemies do?  Only kill the body, and their power is then at an end.  Stand firm, my friends; never flinch; do not seek to save your lives, for he that is afraid to die for the truth will lose eternal life.  Hold out to the end, and we shall be resurrected, and become like Gods, and reign in celestial kingdoms, principalities, and eternal dominions, while this cursed mob will sink to hell, the portion of all those who shed innocent blood.

“God has tried you.  You are a good people; therefore I love you with all my heart.  Greater love hath no man than that he should lay down his life for his friends.  You have stood by me in the hour of trouble, and I am willing to sacrifice my life for your preservation.  May the Lord God of Israel bless you forever and ever.  I say it in the name of Jesus of Nazareth, and in the authority of the Holy Priesthood, which He hath conferred upon me.”

On the 22nd of June, 1844, Joseph Smith and his brother Hyrum bade their families farewell.  When he came from the house, the record says, “His tears were flowing fast.  He held a handkerchief to his face, and followed after his brother Hyrum without uttering a word.”

They were accompanied by Willard Richards and O. P. Rockwell, and it was after midnight when they started to cross the Mississippi.  Bishop N. K. Whitney and others of their wise and faithful friends also followed them shortly afterwards.  Joseph sent O. P. Rockwell back for horses, and the brethren were packing their provisions, [97] when messengers came with a letter from Emma Smith, asking them to return and deliver themselves up, but at the same time those who were with them begged them not to return.  Joseph sent a messenger to his wife to inquire if she would take her children and flee with him, but she said she “could not give up the mansion.” (“Plural Marriages as Taught by Joseph Smith,” Helen Mar Whitney, pp. 19-22)


Brigham Young’s Remarks

April 26, 1846, Garden Grove


First Address: He that falters or makes a misstep can never regain that which he loses.  Some have started with us and have turned back, and perhaps more will, but I hope better things of you, my brethren.  We have set out to find a land and a resting place where we can serve the Lord in peace.  We will leave some here because they cannot go farther at present.  They can stay here for a season and recruit, and by and by pack up and come on, while we go a little farther and lengthen out the cords and build a few more stakes, and continue on until we can gather all the saints, and plant them in a place where we can build the house of the Lord in the tops of the mountains.

But let any person turn from us and go back to Nauvoo or Voree because we have allowance him and he shall hunger and thirst and shall yet long for the privilege of eating a piece of cold johnny cake with us.

The Lord will bring every man to his covenants even if it must needs be that he serve a probation in hell.  No one can get around his covenants; his solemn obligations must be redeemed.

When Zion’s Camp went up to Missouri, it was considered a great move, but was nothing to compare with this, and he that will continue faithful through this campaign shall always rejoice and shall be crowned with laurels of victory.

I know that we can live on much less provisions than we have been accustomed to.  I have seen corn and beans scattered around the tents of this camp; such wastefulness is sinful in the sight of the Lord, and had [98] this people been not economical and wise in all their movements, there would not be enough provisions.

A young widow who wished to rise in life, hired the servants of a rich widower, and kept them all day counting and recounting a few coppers, making them covenant to tell their master that she had had them counting money all the time, which caused him to think the widow was rich.  Soon after, the widower visited and married her, and supplied her with the same means to keep house with as he had his former wife.  By economy she saved half her allowance, his table was better furnished, and the servants fed better than formerly.

One day being short of means, he asked his wife to lend him some.  She gave him one hundred dollars.  Soon after she gave him five hundred more.  He then asked her how much money she had at their marriage; she replied, “only a few coppers” and then explained the artifice she had used, and told him how she got the money she had lent to him.  He was more pleased with her economy than if she had been rich.

We intend to organize this evening so that every man can go to work to plant, build, dig, etc.

I know that if the people will be united and will hearken to counsel, the Lord will give them every desire of their hearts.  The earth is the Lord’s and the fullness thereof, and he intends that the Saints shall possess it as soon as they are able to bear prosperity.

Second Address:  The Spirit of the Lord and keys of the priesthood hold power over all animated beings.  When father Adam transgressed the law, he did not fall at once from the presence of the Lord but spake face to face with him a long time afterwards.  Men continued to sin and degenerate from generation to generation until they had got so far from the Lord that a veil of darkness sprang up between them so that men could no longer speak with the Lord, save it were through a Prophet.  During this time the earth and all creation groaned in sin, and enmity increased, and the lives of men and beasts decreased.  For this cause the Son of God descended below all things that he might reach every man and that he might return to the Father and have power over all things. [99]

In this dispensation the keys that were committed to father Adam will be restored, and we are to return unto the favor and presence of the Lord.  If we cease hostility with the serpents and lay aside all enmity and treat all animals kindly, begin humble and faithful with long suffering and forbearance, no man need ever have a horse or a cow bitten by a snake.  The serpents would soon become perfectly harmless so that they could be handled without danger; children could play with them without receiving harm. (Manuscript History of Brigham Young, pp. 140-142)


Brigham Young’s Remarks

December 14, 1846, Winter Quarters


I desired the bishops to report the organizations of their wards, their business, number of men, women and children, how many sick, tithing paid, etc., with the totals, that their reports can be seen at a glance.  There are twenty-two bishops here; their reports should all be read in forty-four minutes.  If men who have been in the Church thirteen years cannot do business with dispatch and correctly, the Council must teach them.

The Council requested me to give them instructions.  I told them that unless this people would humble themselves and cease their wickedness, God would not give them much more teaching nor would it be long until the Priesthood would be hunted by those who now call themselves saints.  I told the brethren if the people would do as I said, they would be saved.  I asked my Heavenly Father what he had for me to do, and when he dictated I performed accordingly, and I left the issue with Him, believing that it would come out all right.  As to the complaints about the goods, I said I was ready to render an account; I asked if I were to blame because goods were high in St. Louis or because the freight up the Missouri rose from seventy-five cents to two dollars and twenty-five cents per hundred?  I said I did not want such complaining, and asked why the battalion brethren who sent five thousand dollars from Leavenworth to the Camp of Israel, did not send sixteen thousand dollars.

I desired the bishops to raise a team for Joseph and George Herring, with which they could take their family [100] along to the mountains with us; also desired one day’s more work from the brethren to finish the mill race. (Manuscript History of Brigham Young, pp. 476-477)


Brigham Young’s Remarks

January 16, 1847, Winter Quarters


I remarked that a body pure enough to receive a pure spirit so that an evil spirit can have no influence over it, was susceptible of angelic converse at any time.  I said some men were afraid they would lose some glory if they were sealed to one of the Twelve, and did not stand alone and have others sealed to them.  A Saint’s kingdom consisted of his own posterity, and to be sealed to one of the Twelve did not diminish him, but only connected him according to the law of God by that perfect chain and order of Heaven, that will bind the righteous from Adam to the last Saint.  Adam will claim us all, as members of his kingdom, we being his children. (Manuscript History of Brigham Young, p. 505)


Wilford Woodruff’s Remarks

February 16, 1847, Winter Quarters


I attended the family meeting of President Brigham Young and he addressed the meeting at great length during the day and evening upon many interesting principles.  There were present of the Quorum of the Twelve, Brigham Young, Heber C. Kimball, Orson Pratt, Willard Richards, Wilford Woodruff, George A. Smith, Amasa Lyman and Ezra T. Benson.  After singing and prayers by President Young, he arose to address the meeting and remarked that he had invited the Twelve to be present though they were not of his family, yet I wish them to act free and speak such things as the Lord  shall give them.

Let me state a principle by which you may contemplate much.  For the want of understanding, many have suffered jealousies to arise which afflicted their minds with sorrow, troubles and uneasiness, fearing the Lord loved some others more than themselves. This I have seen in the church ever since its rise. It was manifest in Kirtland.  When the first bishop was ordained, this jealous [101] feeling was manifest.  Some wondered if the Lord would think enough of them to ordain them a bishop.  Father Morley and others that were present can bear record of this fact.  And when the Twelve were chosen, the same feelings existed, and in fact I will not except all of them, for some of them manifested the same feelings when the bishops were ordained.

This spirit has been the overthrow of many in this church, and in fact upon this principle thousands have fallen in all ages.  The Lord gives to every man all the power, influence and authority that he can wield in righteousness and all that his goodness and faithfulness merits; then why should jealousy arise, or what benefit can arise by suffering such feelings to exist?  None at all, but those that cherish such feelings commence trying to pull down everyone that is prospering or gaining influence as Cain did instead of building up and nourishing every promising way and thereby prove himself worthy, and show to his brethren and to God that he loves the cause and by his passive spirit that he is not only willing that others should prosper and gain influence and that he actually loves to see them prosper, for then he does all that he can.  Through himself he helps advance it through others although they receive the honor of it and he still be aware of it.  Such a man will never be forgotten, and to his honor, glory and exaltation there shall be no end.

There is another principle that has caused considerable uneasiness and trouble, i.e. the idea of some men having more wives than one; such tremendous fears take hold of some that they hardly know how to live. Still they can’t die, but begin to whisper and talk around and are actually afraid to go on a mission for fear some man will be sealed to my wife, and when they return home some will be babbling about; you don’t know but what you have got another man’s wife, are afraid to speak to a young woman for fear that she belongs to somebody else or for fear somebody else wants her. (Others deny the faith, as they think, but they never had much, and say that it is all of the devil.)  Such foolishness ought not to be cherished among a wise, prudent people. Admitting the Lord created the same number of women as men at the beginning, and were commanded to multiply and replenish the earth and [102] to fill up the measure of their creation in righteousness, the question is, did they do it?  Answer: No.  They soon disobeyed every commandment and plunged themselves into wickedness and rendered themselves unworthy to raise up seed unto the Lord, and in fact used every means in their power to cut off life and hinder women answering the end for which they were created.  Nine-tenths of them would rebel against the very thing he was created to do; hence, you see the propriety of the Lord’s calling upon men who bear the priesthood to take to themselves wives from among the daughters of men and raise up a righteous seed unto him that they might fill up the measure of their creation and hasten the consummation of his purposes in righteousness in this dispensation according to his words previously spoken through his servants the prophets.  But those who suffer fears mighty righteous and for fear that they are sleeping with other men’s wives — they kick up a dust or broil at home and perhaps abuse their own companion through jealousy, then go off to some woman that does not understand what is right or wrong and tell her that she cannot be saved without a man, and he has almighty power and can exalt and save her and likely tell her that there is no harm for them to sleep together before they are sealed, then go to some doe head of an Elder and get him to say the ceremony, all done without the knowledge of the authority of this Church.  This is not right and will not be suffered.  The God I serve will reward every man openly without his being under the necessity of going secretly and privately palming himself on the credulity of innocent ignorant females.  Such jealousies do exist and were I to say to the elders, You now have the liberty to build up your kingdoms, one half of them would lie, swear, steal and fight like the very devil to get men and women sealed to them.  They would even try to pass right by men and go to Joseph, thinking to get between him and the Twelve.  Some have already tried to use an influence against me, but such jealousies and selfishness shall be stopped; and if the brethren don’t stop it, I will blow it to the four winds by making them all come and be sealed to me, and I to my father, and he and all this Church to Joseph.  When I go astray and give wrong council and lead this people astray, then is time enough to [103] pull me down, and then God will remove me as he has done all others who have turned from the faith.

But to return, I have gathered a number of families around me by the law of adoption and seal of the covenant, according to the order of the priesthood, and others have done likewise-it being the means of salvation left to bring us back to God.  But had the keys of the priesthood been retained and handed down form father to son throughout all generations up to the present time, then there would have been no necessity of the law of adoption, for we would have all been included in the covenant without it and would have been legal heirs instead of being heirs according to promise.  The priesthood is eternal, without the beginning of days or end of life, as the apostle has expressed it, but man through apostasy, which is entire disobedience, has lost or suffered the keys and privileges of the priesthood to be taken away from them and they left to wander in darkness and practice all manner of wickedness until thousands become the vessels of wrath and are doomed to destruction.  For as long as men are without the priesthood, they continue to wander from God and never retrace their steps until it is done by the priesthood, and the idea of the saints being led by false prophets is just a notion according to the light in which they view them.  All the false prophets we have are men who have turned aside from the truth.

The man is the head and God of the woman, but let him act like a God in virtuous principles and godlike conversation, walk and deportment, and such a man will continue to gain influence and power and advance in glory to all eternity. But should they use their power in wickedness as a tyrant, they soon will be called to render an account of their stewardship.  If not found worthy, they will be hurled down to perdition and their family and kingdom be given to another that is more worthy.  Some say that a woman cannot be saved without a man, neither can a man without a woman. Br. Joseph said he had taught the Twelve all that he knew concerning the order of the kingdom, but the difficulty was they could not remember it as he told them, but when it was necessary they would not be at a loss for understanding; and I bear record to the truth of his words before God this day, that I [104] always had an understanding and everything was brought to my mind just as he taught them to us–all the ordinances of the temple, and building of the altars, &c–came to me just right when they were to be attended to and could we now know Br. Hyde, Pratt and Taylor’s feelings, you would say that they could read a man through as soon as they cast their eyes upon him.  The Apostle Paul, while speaking of the fathers and the ancients, said that they without us could not be made perfect.  There was a lack in his day, and still will be to all eternity until the chain of that priesthood is restored and every spirit takes a tabernacle that was foreordained according to the dispensation of the will of God.  I am entitled to the keys of the priesthood according to lineage and blood, so is Brother Heber C. Kimball and many others-have taken kingly power and grades of the priesthood.  This we would have taught in the temple if time had permitted.  Joseph Smith was entitled to the keys of the priesthood according to blood; still he was the fourth son. But when we get another temple built, then we will teach you concerning these things.  Suffice it to say that I will extend the chain of the priesthood back through the apostolic dispensation to Father Adam just as soon as I can get a temple built.  Jesus could have restored the order of the priesthood in his day and brought in the millennium if the people would have hearkened to his instructions, but they rebelled and would not, and it was for this cause that Jesus told them that all the blood that had been shed from righteous Abel down to Zacharias, the Prophet, should be required at their hands.

I have a request to make of my family and that is that they, especially old people, omit calling me their father.  Call me Brother Brigham-I shall feel better when you do, for I do not consider that I am worthy of that appellation-Father, in the priesthood, implies the great head.  The term would be proper to Father Adam. Jesus had reference to the same thing when he told his disciples not to call any man Father on earth for their Father was in heaven. The seal of the covenant that I have been speaking of today was what the apostle saw previous to the destruction of the wicked, when the angel was commanded not to pour out the vials of wrath on the wicked–until the [105] saints were sealed in their forehead, and when this was done they all became Father Adam’s family. Those that are adopted into my family and take me for their counselor-If I continue faithful I will preside over them throughout all eternity-I will stand at their head, and Joseph will stand at the head of this Church and will be their president, prophet and God to the people in this dispensation. When we locate, I will settle my family down in the order and teach them their duty. They will then have to provide temporal blessings for me instead of my boarding from 40 to 50 persons as I now do. I will administer in spiritual blessings to them. I expect to live in the House of the Lord and receive and administer ordinances to my brethren and for the dead all the year round. (Wilford Woodruff Journal, Mss.)


Brigham Young’s Remarks

February 23, 1847, Winter Quarters


I met with the brethren of the Twelve in the Historian’s Office. Conversation ensued relative to emigration westward.  I related the following dream:

While sick and asleep about noonday of the 17th inst., I dreamed that I went to see Joseph.  He looked perfectly natural, sitting with his feet on the lower round of his chair.  I took hold of his right hand and kissed him many times, and said to him: “Why is it that we cannot be together as we used to be?  You have been from us a long time, and we want your society and I do not like to be separated from you.”

Joseph, rising from his chair and looking at me with his usual, earnest, expressive and pleasing countenance replied, “It is all right.”

I said, “I do not like to be away from you.”

Joseph said, “It is all right; we cannot be together yet; we shall be by and by; but you will have to do without me a while, and then we shall be together again.”

I then discovered there was a hand rail between us.  Joseph stood by a window and to the southwest of him it was very light.  I was in the twilight and to the north of me it was very dark. I said, “Brother Joseph, the brethren you know well, better than I do; you raised them up and [106] brought the Priesthood to us.  The brethren have a great anxiety to understand the law of adoption or sealing principles, and if you have a word of counsel for me, I should be glad to receive it.”

Joseph stepped toward me, and looking very earnestly, yet pleasantly said, “Tell the people to be humble and faithful, and be sure to keep the spirit of the Lord and it will lead them right.  Be careful and not turn away the small still voice; it will teach you what to do and where to go; it will yield the fruits of the kingdom.  Tell the brethren to keep their hearts open to conviction, so that when the Holy Ghost comes to them, their hearts will be ready to receive it. They can tell the Spirit of the Lord from all other spirits; it will whisper peace and joy to their souls; it will take malice, hatred, strife and all evil from their hearts; and their whole desire will be to do good, bring forth righteousness and build up the kingdom of God.  Tell the brethren if they will follow the spirit of the Lord, they will go right.  Be sure to tell the people to keep the Spirit of the Lord; and if they will, they will find themselves just as they were organized by our Father in Heaven before they came into the world.  Our Father in Heaven organized the human family, but they are all disorganized and in great confusion.”

Joseph then showed me the pattern, how they were in the beginning.  This I cannot describe, but I saw it, and saw where the Priesthood had been taken from the earth and how it must be joined together, so that there would be a perfect chain from Father Adam to his latest posterity.  Joseph again said, “Tell the people to be sure to keep the Spirit of the Lord and follow it, and it will lead them just right.”


Brigham Young’s Remarks

as reported by Wm. Clayton

May 28, 1847


President Young then addressed the meeting in substance as follows:

I remarked last Sunday that I had not felt much like preaching to the brethren on this mission.  This morning I feel like preaching a little, and shall take for my text, [107] “That as to pursuing our journey with this company with the spirit they possess, I am about to revolt against it.”  This is the text I feel like preaching on this morning, consequently I am in no hurry.  In the first place, before we left Winter Quarters, it was told to the brethren and many knew it by experience, that we had to leave our homes, our houses, our land and our all because we believed in the Gospel as revealed to the Saints in these last days.  The rise of the persecutions against the Church was in consequence of the doctrines of eternal truth taught by Joseph.  Many knew this by experience.  Some lost their husbands, some lost their wives, and some their children through persecution, and yet we have not been disposed to forsake the truth and turn and mingle with the gentiles, except a few who have turned aside and gone away from us, and we have learned in a measure, the difference between a professor of religion and a possessor of religion.

Before we left Winter Quarters it was told to the brethren that we were going to look our a home for the Saints where they would be free from persecution by the gentiles, where we could dwell in peace and serve God according to the Holy Priesthood, where we could build up the kingdom so that the nations would begin to flock to our standard.  I have said many things to the brethren about the strictness of their walk and conduct when we left the gentiles, and told them that we would have to walk upright or the law would be put in force, etc.  Many have left and turned aside through fear, but no good upright, honest man will fear.  The Gospel does not bind a good man down and deprive him of this rights and privileges.  It does not prevent him from enjoying the fruits of his labors.  It does not rob him of blessings.  It does not stop his increase.  It does not diminish his kingdom, but it is calculated to enlarge his kingdom as well as to enlarge his heart, is calculated to give him privileges and power, and honor, and exaltation and everything which his heart can desire in righteousness all the days of his life; and then when he gets exalted into the eternal world, he can still turn around and say it hath not entered into the heart of man to conceive the glory and honor and blessings which God hath in store for those that love and serve Him.  I [108] want the brethren to understand and comprehend the principles of eternal life, and to watch the spirit, be wide awake and not be overcome by the adversary.  You can see the fruits of the spirit, but you cannot see the spirit itself with the natural eye, you behold it not.  You can see the result of yielding to the evil spirit and what it will lead you to, but you do not see the spirit itself nor its operations, only by the spirit that’s in you.

Nobody has told me what has been going on in the camp, but I have known it all the while.  I have been watching its movements, its influence, its effects, and I know the result if it is not put a stop to.  I want you to understand that inasmuch as we are beyond the power of the gentiles where the devil has tabernacles in the priests and the people, we are beyond their grasp, and what has the devil now to work upon?  Upon the spirits of men in this camp, and if you do not open your hearts so that the Spirit of God can enter your hearts and teach you the right way, I know that you are a ruined people and will be destroyed and that without remedy; and unless there is a change and a different course of conduct, a different spirit to what is now in this camp, I go no farther.  I am in no hurry.  Give me the man of prayers, give me the man of faith, give me the man of meditation, a sober-minded man, and I would far rather go amongst the savages with six or eight such men than to trust myself with the whole of this camp with the spirit they now possess.

Here is an opportunity for every man to prove himself, to know whether he will pray and remember his God without being asked to do it every day; to know whether he will have confidence enough to ask of God that he may receive without my telling him to do it.  If this camp was composed of men who had newly received the Gospel, men who had not received the priesthood, men who had not been through the ordinances in the temple and who had not had years of experience, enough to have learned the influence of the spirits and the difference between a good and an evil spirit, I should feel like preaching to them and watching over them and telling them all the time, day by day.  But here are the Elders of Israel, men who have had years of experience, men who have had the priesthood for years,–and have they got [109] faith enough to rise up and stop a mean, low, groveling, covetous, quarrelsome spirit?  No, they have not, nor would they try to stop it, unless I rise up in the power of God and put it down.

I do not mean to bow down to the spirit that is in this camp, and which is rankling in the bosoms of the brethren, and which will lead to knock downs and perhaps to the use of the knife to cut each other’s throats if it is not put a stop to.  I do not mean to bow to the spirit which causes the brethren to quarrel.  When I wake up in the morning, the first thing I hear is some of the brethren jawing each other and quarreling because a horse has got loose in the night.  I have let the brethren dance and fiddle and act the nigger night after night to see what they will do, and what extremes they would go to, if suffered to go as far as they would.  I do not love to see it.  The brethren say they want a little exercise to pass away time in the evenings, but if you can’t tire yourselves bad enough with a day’s journey without dancing every night, carry your guns on your shoulders and walk; carry your wood to camp instead of lounging and lying asleep in your wagon, increasing the load until your teams are tired to death and ready to drop to the earth.  Help your teams over mud holes and bad places instead of lounging in your wagons and that will give you exercise enough without dancing.  Well, they will play cards, they will play checkers, they will play dominoes, and if they had the privilege and were where they could get whiskey, they would be drunk half their time, and in one week they would quarrel, get to high words and draw their knives to kill each other.

This is what such a course of things would lead to.  Don’t you know it?  Yes.  Well, then, why don’t you try to put it down?  I have played cards once in my life since I became a Mormon to see what kind of spirit would attend it, and I was so well satisfied, that I would rather see in your hands the dirtiest thing you could find on the earth, than a pack of cards.  You never read of gambling, playing cards, checkers, dominoes, etc., in the scriptures, but you do read of men praising the Lord in the dance, but who ever read of praising the Lord in a game of cards?  If any man had sense enough to play a game at cards, or dance a little without wanting to keep it up all the time, but [110] exercise a little and then quit it and think no more of it, it would do well enough; but you want to keep it up till midnight and every night, and all the time.  You don’t know how to control your senses.  Last winter when we had our seasons of recreation in the council house, I went forth in the dance frequently, but did my mind run on it?  No!  To be sure, when I was dancing, my mind was on the dance, but the moment I stopped in the middle or the end of a tune, my mind was engaged in prayer and praise to my Heavenly Father and whatever I engage in, my mind is on it while engaged in it; but the moment I am done with it, my mind is drawn up to my God. The devils which inhabit the Gentiles’ priests are here. The tabernacles are not here, we are out of their power, we are beyond their grasp, we are beyond the reach of their persecutions, but the devils are here, and the first thing you’ll know if you don’t open your eyes and your hearts, they will cause divisions in our camp and perhaps war, as they did with the Lamanites, as you read in the Book of Mormon.

Do we suppose that we are going to look out a home for the Saints, a resting place, a place of peace where they can build up the kingdom and bid the nations welcome, with a low, mean, dirty, trifling, covetous, wicked spirit dwelling in our bosoms?  It is vain!  Vain!  Some of you are very fond of passing jokes, and will carry your jokes very far.  But will you take a joke?  If you do not want to take a joke, don’t give a joke to your brethren.  Joking, nonsense, profane language, trifling conversation and loud laughter do not belong to us.

Suppose the angels were witnessing the hoe down the other evening, and listening to the hee haws the other evening; would they not be ashamed of it?  I am ashamed of it.  I have not given a joke to any man on this journey nor felt like it; neither have I insulted any man’s feelings, but I have hollored pretty loud and spoken sharply to the brethren when I have seen their awkwardness at coming to camp.  The revelations in the Bible, in the Book of Mormon, and Doctrine and Covenants, teach us to be sober; and let me ask you elders that have been through the ordinances in the temple, what were your covenants there?  I say you should remember them.  When I laugh I see my folly and nothingness and weakness and am [111] ashamed of myself.  I think meaner and worse of myself than any man can think of me; but I delight in God, and His commandments and delight to meditate on Him and to serve Him, and I mean that everything in me shall be subjected to Him.

Now let every man repent of his weakness, of his follies, of his meanness, and every kind of wickedness, and stop your swearing and profane language, for it is in this camp and I know it, and have known it.  I have said nothing about it, but I now tell you, if you don’t stop it you shall be cursed by the Almighty and shall dwindle away and be damned.  Such things shall not be suffered in this camp. You shall honor God, and confess His name or else you shall suffer the penalty.  Most of this camp belong to the Church, nearly all; and I would say to you brethren, and to the Elders of Israel, if you are faithful, you will yet be sent to preach this Gospel to the nations of the earth and bid all welcome whether they believe the Gospel or not; and this kingdom will reign over many who do not belong to the Church, over thousands who do not believe in the Gospel.  By and by every knee shall bow and every tongue confess and acknowledge and reverence and honor the name of God and His priesthood and observe the laws of the kingdom whether they belong to the Church and obey the Gospel or not; and I mean that every man in this camp shall do it.  That is what the scripture means by every knee shall bow, etc., and you cannot make anything else out of it.

I understand there are several in this camp who do not belong to the Church.  I am the man who will stand up for them and protect them in all their rights.  And they shall not trample on our rights nor on the priesthood.  They shall reverence and acknowledge the name of God and His priesthood, and if they set up their heads and seek to introduce iniquity into this camp and to trample on the priesthood, I swear to them, they shall never go back to tell the tale.  I will leave them where they will be safe.  If they want to retreat, they can now have the privilege, and any man who chooses to go back rather than abide the law of God can now have the privilege of doing so before we go any farther.  Here are the Elders of Israel who have the priesthood, who have got to preach the Gospel, who have [112] to gather the nations of the earth, who have to build up the kingdom so that the nations can come to it; they will stoop to dance as niggers.  I don’t mean this as debasing the Negroes by any means; they will hoe down all, turn summersets, dance on their knees, and haw, haw, out loud; they will play cards; they will play checkers and dominoes; they will use profane language; they will swear!

Suppose when you go to preach, the people should ask you what you did when you went on this mission to seek out a home for the whole Church?  What was the course of conduct?  Did you dance?  Yes.  Did you hoe down all?  Yes.  Did you play cards?  Yes.  Did you play checkers?  Yes.  Did you use profane language?  Yes.  Did you swear?  Yes.  Did you quarrel with each other and threaten each other?  Why yes.  How would you feel?  Your mouths would be stopped and you would want to creep away in disgrace.  I am one of the last to ask my brethren to enter into solemn covenants, but if they will not enter into a covenant to put away their iniquity and turn to the Lord and serve Him and acknowledge and honor His name, I want them to take their wagons and retreat back, for I shall go no farther under such a state of things.  If we don’t repent and quit our wickedness, we will have more hindrances than we have had, and worse storms to encounter.  I want the brethren to be ready for meeting tomorrow at the time appointed, instead of rambling off, and hiding in their wagons to play cards, etc.  I think it will be good for us to have a fast meeting tomorrow and a prayer meeting to humble ourselves and turn to the Lord and he will forgive us.

He then called upon all the High Priests to step forth in a line in front of the wagon and then the bishops to step in front of the High Priests, which being done, he counted them and found their number to be four bishops and fifteen high priests.  He then called upon all the seventies to form a line in the rear of the high priests.  On being counted, they were ascertained to number seventy-eight.  Next he called on the elders to form a line in the rear of the wagon.  They were eight in number.  There were also eight of the Quorum of the Twelve.  He then asked the brethren of the Quorum of the Twelve if they were willing to covenant, to turn to the Lord with all their hearts, to [113] repent of all their follies, to cease from all their evils and serve God according to his laws.  If they were willing, to manifest it by holding up their right hand.  Every man held up his hand in token that he covenanted.  He then put the same question to the high priests and bishops; next to the seventies, and then to the elders, and lastly to the other brethren. All covenanted with uplifted hands without a dissenting voice.

He then addressed those who are not members of the Church and told them they should be protected in their rights and privileges while they would conduct themselves well and not seek to trample on the priesthood nor blaspheme the name of God, etc.  He then referred to Benjamin Rolfe’s conduct, although not a member of the Church, and also referred to the esteem in which his father and mother were held by the Saints generally.

He then very tenderly blessed the brethren and prayed that God would enable them to fulfill their covenants and then withdrew to give opportunity for others to speak if they felt like it. (William Clayton Journal, pp. 189-198)


Wilford Woodruff’s Remarks

May 29, 1847


President Young then spoke of those who were not in the Church, as there were some present, that they would be protected in their rights, but they must not introduce wicked men in the camp, for it would not be suffered.  He then spoke of the standard and ensign that would be reared in Zion to govern the Kingdom of God and the nations of the earth, for every nation would bow the knee and every tongue confess that Jesus was the Christ, and this will be the standard: The Kingdom of God and His Laws and Judgment.  And on the standard would be a flag of every nation under heaven so there would be an invitation to all nations under heaven to come unto Zion.  The saints would have to keep the celestial law, and all nations and religions would have to bow the knee to God and acknowledge that Jesus was the Christ, but they would not be under the necessity of being baptized or embracing the gospel of Christ, but they must acknowledge the reign [114] of Christ.  Then if they felt disposed to reject the gospel and the doctrine, they had a right to, and the saints or inhabitants of Zion had no right to take from their religion or persecute them on account of it or trample upon their rights in any way. Neither should other nations or religions trample upon the rights and privileges of the saints who serve and obey the Lord and keep his commandments; neither would that be suffered as it has been in times past; and upon this principle all men or religions so as to acknowledge His name and His right to reign and let us keep the laws of the Gospel and obey His commandments undisturbed. (Wilford Woodruff Journal, Mss.)


Wilford Woodruff’s Remarks

June 1847


We had a meeting at 10 o’clock.  Heber C. Kimball addressed the meeting in an interesting manner, and was followed by Br. Young who spoke upon the liberty of the gospel.  Showed what it has done for us: Saved us daily, exalted us to glory, immortality, and eternal life, brought us every good thing.  But in doing this, it did not do away with the law of God or the dictation of the Almighty.  Some thought they wanted their liberty to cruise, swear, stray where they were a mind to, run over the mountains, not regard the laws and rules of the camp, but would that be liberty?  No, it would lead to death and not life.  The man that left the camp and went to the mountains last night, had he have met a bear, he would have had the liberty to have run for his life, climb a tree or been destroyed.

The way to worship God the most acceptably is to do each day the very things that will bring the most good to the human family.  There is a great difference to be seen between us as a camp and the Missouri Companies that are going the same road or a part of the way.  They curse and swear, rip and tear, and are trying to swallow up the earth.  But though they do not wish us to have a place on earth, the earth will soon swallow them up and they will go to the land of forgetfulness, while the Saints, if [115] faithful, though they should suffer some privations here, will ultimately inherit the earth and increase in dominion, power, and glory until the Lord shall say to them, go to now; make your thousands of worlds and people them and make such laws to govern them as you are a mind to, for I know you have no disposition to make any laws but those that are good for you; always desire to do good on the earth, and many other goodly words bid He say unto our edification.

He was followed by Orson Pratt who exhorted us to give head to the teaching we had heard and to improve our time in treasuring up useful knowledge that we ought not to spend a moment’s time needlessly.

Meeting dismissed and the Twelve, Colonels, Captains, etc. of the camp met at the President’s wagon to consult upon what measures to adopt to get across the river.  It was finally agreed to go immediately to the mountains with a wagon and team for every two tens and get poles and lash two or four wagons abreast to keep them from turning over and float them across the river with boats and ropes.  So a company of horsemen started for the mountains and teams to draw the poles.

In the evening the flour meal and bacon were distributed through the camp equally that had been received from the Mo. company for ferrying them over.  It amounted to 5-1/2 lbs of flour, 2 lbs of meat and a small piece of bacon to each individual in the camp.

It looked as much of a miracle to me to see our flour and meal bags replenished in the midst of the flour and meal bags replenished in the midst of the Black Hills as it did to have the children of Israel fed with manna in the wilderness.  But the Lord has truly been with us on this journey.  We have had peace and union in our midst, our horses and cattle have been wonderfully preserved from death and accident on the way and our wagons from breaking down.  Great good will grow out of this mission if we are faithful in keeping the commandments of God.

I have taken great delight of late in reading the Book of Mormon seeing the great and glorious things revealed and recorded in that book, and that we are now trying to fulfill the great things or some of them that Lehi, Nephi, Alma, Moroni, Isaiah and many other prophets had in [116] view in the last days in building up Zion, redeeming Israel, warning the nations, and sealing salvation upon the meek of the earth, and laying a foundation that the earth may be prepared for the coming of the Messiah.

14th.  At daylight the first two tens were called together to make arrangements for crossing.  The proposal was made in the camp to lash 4 wagons together and float them, but the current was so strong, many did not like that mode.  We appointed Br. Grover as our captain to direct the rafting over.  We finally concluded to put our poles into a raft, carry teamster, very busy to dodge the stumps and not break his wagon.  One man turned over his ox wagon, smashed the top all to a rock.  There were two children in the wagon, but they were not hurt.  The last 6 miles was as bad as anything we had found.

Having traveled 5 miles uphill and 6 down, total 11 miles, we nooned by a splendid spring in a small birch grove.  We saw more timber during this half day’s travel than we had seen in a month, and the valley both ascending and descending was extremely fertile and covered with vegetation even to the top of the hills.

At the spring where we nooned we were met by Brothers Pack and Mathews from the forward camps.  They brought a letter to us, and informed us it was only 10 miles to the valley of the Salt Lake or great basin and 14 to their camp.  They had explored the country as far as possible and had made choice of a spot to put in seeds.  They considered it the greatest grazing country in the world, but it was destitute of timber as far as they had been.  Several fine streams of fresh water cutting through the valley.

After nooning, we went down into a valley and camped for the night, with hills miles high on each side of us.  I climbed to the top of one hill over 2 miles high.  Was in a high state of perspiration when I reached the top of it.  Whole distance of the day — 15 mi.


July 24th, 1847.  This is an important day in the history of my life and the history of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter day Saints.  On this important day, after traveling from our encampment 6 miles through the deep ravine, valley, ending with the canyon through the last [117] creek, we came in full view of the great valley or basin of the Salt Lake and land of promise held in reserve by the hand of God for a resting place for the Saints upon which a portion of the Zion of God will be built.

We gazed with wonder and admiration upon the vast rich fertile valley which lay for about 25 miles in length and 16 miles in width, clothed with the heaviest garb of green vegetation, in the midst of which lay a large lake of salt water of (?) miles in extent of which could be seen large islands and mountains towering towards the clouds; also the glorious valley abounding with the best fresh water springs, rivlets, creeks, and brooks and rivers of various sizes-all of which gave animation to the sporting trout and other fish while the waters were wending their way into the Great Salt Lake.

Our hearts were surely made glad after a hard journey from Winter Quarters of 1,200 miles through flats of Platt Rivers, steeps of the Black Hills and the Rocky Mountains, and burning sands of the eternal sage regions, and willow swails and rocky canyons, and stubs and stones, to gaze upon a valley of such vast extent entirely surrounded with a perfect chain of everlasting hills and mountains covered with eternal snow, with their innumerable peaks like pyramids towering towards heaven presenting at one view the grandest and most sublime scenery probably that could be obtained on the globe.

Thoughts of pleasing meditations ran in rapid succession through our minds while we contemplated that in not many years the House of God would stand upon the top of the mountains while the valleys would be converted into orchards, vineyards, gardens and fields by the inhabitants of Zion, and the standard be unfurled for the nations to gather thereto.

President Young expressed his full satisfaction in the appearance of the valley as a resting place for the Saints and was amply repaid for his journey.

After gazing awhile upon the scenery, we traveled across the table land into the valley 4 miles to the encampment of our brethren who had arrived 2 days before.  They had pitched their encampment upon the bank of two small streams of pure water and had [118] commenced plowing.  Had broken about 5 acres of ground and commenced planting potatoes. (Wilford Woodruff Journal)


Brigham Young’s Remarks

July 25, 1847, Salt Lake Valley


He, Brigham Young, told the brethren that they must not work on Sunday; that they would lose five times as much as they would gain by it.  None were to hunt or fish on that day; and there should not any man dwell among us who would not observe these rules.  They might go and dwell where they pleased, but should not dwell with us.  He also said no man should buy any land who came here; that he had none to sell; but every man should have his land measured out to him for city and farming purposes.  He might till it as he pleased, but he must be industrious, and take care of it. (History of Salt Lake City, Edward Tullidge, p. 45)


Wilford Woodruff’s Remarks

July 28, 1847, Salt Lake Valley


President Young in his address to the Saints remarked that he was determined to have order in all things and righteousness should be practiced in this land — that we had come here according to the direction and council of Br. Joseph Smith before his death and that he would still have been alive if the Twelve had been in Nauvoo when he recrossed the river from Montrose to Nauvoo.

He spoke of the Saints being driven from place to place and said the only way Boggs, Clark, Lucas, Benton and all the leaders of the mob could have been saved in the day of the Lord Jesus would have been to have come forward voluntarily and let their heads be cut off and let their blood run upon the ground and gone up as a smoking incense before the heavens as an atonement, but now they will be eternally damned.  Also said all the governors and presidents of the U.S.A. had rejected all our petitions from first to last.  And when the Saints were driven from Illinois and perished, as it were, on the prairies, then President Polk sent for a draft of 500 men to go into the [119] army.  What for?  That they might be wasted–entirely wasted away as a people.  If the brethren had not gone, they would have made war upon us, and the Governor of Missouri would have been ordered not to have let us cross the Missouri.  The raising of the Battalion was our temporal salvation at the time and said Polk would be damned for this act and that he, with many of the government men, had a hand in the death of Joseph and Hyrum and that they should be damned for these things.  And if they ever sent any men to interfere with us here, they shall have their throats cut and sent to hell, and with uplifted hands to heaven swore by the Gods of eternity that he would never cease his exhortation while he lived to make every preparation and avenge the blood of the Prophets and Saints.  That he intended to have every hole and corner from the Bay of Francisco to Hudson Bay known to us, and that our people would be connected with every tribe of Indians throughout America.  And that our people would yet take their squaws, wash and dress them up, teach them our language and teach them to labor, and teach them the gospel of their forefathers and raise up children by them and teach the children. And not many generations hence they will become a white and delightsome people, and in no other way will it be done, and that the time was nigh at hand when the gospel must go to the people. … (Wilford Woodruff Journal, Mss.)


Wilford Woodruff’s Remarks

July 30, 1847


I then visited the soldier’s camp and also planted ground.  I found some of our potatoes had rotted.  Some were coming up.  Our corn was up, also beans.

I returned to camp and had a visit from Br. Dexter Stillman.  He wished to come into my family.  Also Br. James Bevin wished to return again to my family as he was with me when he went into the army.

At 8 o’clock all the camps met together and were addressed for more than an hour by President Young in an interesting manner, clothed with the spirit of God.  He expressed his feelings freely concerning the treatment of the government towards us in the same manner as He did [120] on the eve of the 28th.  He informed the brethren that their going into the army proved our temporal salvation at the time, for the Governor of Missouri had already received orders not to let our people pass the Missouri River if we did not enlist.

The government intended to destroy us from off the face of the earth, but through the blessing of God, we are here and I thank my Heavenly Father for it.  And he knew we should prevail.  Zion would arise, the judgments of God would be poured out, the blood of the Prophets would be avenged and their cup would be filled double unto them.  And if we were faithful we should yet have Brs. Joseph and Hyrum and many of the Saints in their resurrected bodies with us on earth and when we died, should not sleep but a little time but should come forth out of our graves with bodies that no mob could kill.  We were much edified with all the remarks he made.

The meeting opened with a shout of Hosannah to God and the lamb repeated three times with its Amen. Br. Young said the Ancient of Days was not as far off as many supposed.

At the close of the meeting I returned to rest meditating upon what I had heard.  An appointment was made for the battalion to prepare a bowery on the morrow for our Sabbath meetings. (Wilford Woodruff Journal)


Wilford Woodruff’s Remarks

August 8, 1847, Salt Lake Valley


The following are some of the remarks made by Wilford Woodruff in his address to the Saints in the fore part of the day written by Thomas Bullock clerk: I have been much edified in the teaching given by Elder Kimball and have reflected much since I came into this valley concerning our situation, our calling, and the work that is required at our hands.  And the words of one of the Apostles will apply well to our case “that when we have done the will of God, we have need of patience that we may obtain the blessings, and though it tarry long, we should obtain it if we continued faithful.”  Of all people that ever lived, we have the greatest reason to be faithful and exercise patience and not be weary in well doing, for we [121] have the greatest work to perform and blessings promised accordingly.

The day has come when the Lord has set his hand with full purpose of heart to establish his Kingdom on the earth, gather Israel, build up Zion and Jerusalem, make an end of sin, and cause all nations to bow the knee and every tongue to confess that Jesus is the Lord and has a right to reign on the earth.  And ye are the people, ye Elders of Israel and Latter Day Saints, that are moved upon and called and chosen to do this work.  Who is sufficient for these things, and what manner of persons ought ye to be?

I rejoice that I enjoy the society of so many of the Saints this day in this glorious valley which has not been polluted by the ungodly gentiles and that I can speak with freedom without being trampled by wicked men.  The difference in the society between the Saints and the gentiles in the United States can only be contrasted between Heaven and Hell in comparison.  For let an elder of this Church depart from New York and travel to St. Louis and let the people know who he is, and he would be in hell all the time and there is a cause.  For he is a prophet, seer and revelator.  Patriarchs and Apostles have been raised up in their midst.  The Church and Kingdom of God has been planted among them, the gospel preached, and salvation freely offered unto all, and what have they done?  They have stoned the Prophets and killed them.  Poured out their blood like water upon the earth, have burned their dwellings and given their goods to the flames, have driven the Apostles with the keys of eternal life and salvation with the entire Church and Kingdom of God out of their midst into the wilderness and the mountains, and they have turned the last key that has sealed and locked fast their condemnation that lingereth not and their damnation that slumbereth not.  And there is the reason why they are full of hell and desire to destroy everything that retains any portion of the spirit of God.

But if it requires all the martyred Saints in Heaven from righteous Abel to Joseph to go forth from the temple in heaven and pour out all the vials of the last plagues upon the United States and open the seals upon them in order to avenge the blood of the Prophets and Saints [122] which they have spilt, it will be done for their blood shall speedily be avenged.  Yea, very speedily.

The Prophet Joseph, the Twelve Apostles, with many of the Elders of Israel and Saints, have been called to pass through scenes of sufferings and privations that would have discouraged an Alexander.  They have had to combat earth and hell, wicked men and devils, sickness and death, burnings, drivings and persecutions.  But have we been discouraged?  No.  The greater the difficulties the more we have been stimulated to action.

What has sustained us and inspired us to action in the midst of these difficulties?  We have been upheld by the power of God that we might fulfill his purposes.  Our spirits have been stirred up by the blood of the martyred Prophets which still cries from the ground to heaven for vengeance and will not rest neither let us until it is avenged.

We have also been moved upon by the spirits of our fathers and progenitors whose bodies have lain in the dust for many generations who received not the gospel in the flesh not having it proffered unto them, but are now waiting for the redemption of their bodies after salvation shall be sealed upon them through the instrumentality of their sons who should embrace the gospel in the fullness of times.

We are also moved upon by the Holy Ghost to accomplish the work of the last days and fullness of times in preparing the earth for the reign of Christ, and to fulfill the promises which was made to the Ancient Prophets and Patriarchs, which promises they drew from the heavens by their faith and faithfulness before the Lord and saw the work that lies before us by the spirit of inspiration, revelation, dreams and the visions of heaven.

Thus, it has been that a combination of causes of eternal and important consequences has stimulated the Prophet, Apostles and Elders to action until they have resolved in their hearts that for Zion’s sake they would not hold their peace and for Jerusalem sake they would not rest, until their righteousness goes forth as brightness and salvation, as a lamp that burneth.

Yea, the time has come for the Lord to establish His kingdom on the earth and to make a short work of it and [123] overthrow the kingdom of the devil, for he has held dominion on the earth for many generations and in one instance undertook to claim his right to all the kingdoms of the world before the Lord when he showed the Savior all the kingdoms of the world and proffered to give them to him if he would fall down and worship him, when in fact the poor Devil did not own one foot of land on the earth.

I feel also that the time has come when we can no more preach salvation to those of the gentiles who have rejected the prophets and killed them and cast the Saints and the gospel out of their midst.  The last time I was through the United States I could not preach salvation to the people, but I could have the spirit of God to preach damnation to them for they were worthy.  I tried to preach a gospel sermon in the temple in Nauvoo to many of the world who were present, but it was hard work to do it.  But I could tell them about their spilling the blood of the prophets and the judgments that must follow them and that they had not got done with Joseph Smith, but he would yet rise in judgment against them and condemn them.

I will close by relating a circumstance that transpired when I was in the Eastern States on my return from England.  I went to the state of Connecticut (my native place) to get my father to bring to Zion.  I thought if Joseph of Egypt was justified in giving commandment to have his bones taken to be buried in Canaan, that I was justified in taking my living father and gathering him with the Saints.  While at his house, I was visited by my father’s sister, Wheeler, who was naturally a good woman and a strenuous Presbyterian. While conversing about our leaving and going so far off, she asked me with tears in her eyes if I supposed we could find any Christian society to associate with.  I replied for God’s sake and our sake I hope not.  She gazed at me with amazement and wondered why I should feel so. I replied that the Christians of this generation in the United States had persecuted us to all intents and purposes, had burned our dwellings, given our goods to the flames, had murdered our brethren, sisters, wives and children, had martyred our Prophets, Patriarchs, and Apostles, and driven the remainder of us [124] from their midst, and should we now desire their society and seek their religion? No! I would rather be in the midst of the grizzly bears of the Rocky Mountains, or mingle with the society of the savages of the forest, than to longer mingle with such Christians or longer bear the fruits of their religion. (Wilford Woodruff Journal)


Wilford Woodruff’s Remarks

August 15, 1847, Salt Lake Valley


Sunday the Camp of Israel met as usual at 10 o’clock and was addressed by President Young in an interesting manner upon an interesting subject much to our edification.  The following are some of the remarks made by President Young:

I am going today to speak upon the subject of the patriarchal Priesthood and by request of Br. Crow say something upon the death of his child that was drowned the other day.  I hope to speak so as to be understood.  There is a reality in eternal things as much as in the things of time which we daily see with our eyes.  When a man has a dream or vision of eternal things, it is an evidence of its truth as much as though he saw it with his own eyes in one sense of the word.  The Lord has hidden from man those things that he knew before he came in the flesh, that he might walk by faith and prove himself while here.  The Lord converses with men on the earth in the form of a servant and by visions and dreams, etc., but He never appears to man in the flesh in the fullness of his glory, for He is as a consuming fire, and a mortal body would perish in an instant.

The Priesthood is again restored on the earth to bring back.  We do not receive all at once but we receive grace for grace.  When Brother Joseph received the Priesthood, he did not receive all at once, but He was a prophet, seer, and revelator before he received the fullness of the Priesthood and keys of the kingdom.

He first received the Aaronic Priesthood and keys from under the hands of John the Baptist.  He then had not power to lay on hands to confirm the Church, but afterwards he received the patriarchal or Melchizedek Priesthood from under the hands of Peter, James and [125] John, who were of the Twelve Apostles and were the Presidency when the other Apostles were absent.  From those Apostles Joseph Smith received every key, power, blessings, and privilege of the highest authority of the Melchizedek Priesthood ever committed to man on the earth which they held.

Some have had fears that we had not power to get revelations since the death of Joseph.  But I want this subject from this time forth to be forever set at rest, and I want this Church to understand from this day henceforth and forever that an apostle is the Highest office and authority that there is in the Church and Kingdom God on the earth.  From whom did Joseph receive his authority?  From just such men as sit around me here (pointing to the Twelve Apostles that sat with him.)  Peter, James and John were Apostles, and there was no noise about their being seers and revelators though those gifts were among them.  Joseph Smith gave unto me and my brethren (the Twelve) all the Priesthood keys, power and authority which he had and those are powers which belong to the Apostleship.

In Joseph’s day we had to ordain Patriarchs.  Could we ordain men to authority greater than we held ourselves?  No.  But it is necessary to have Patriarchs to bless the people that they may have blessings by the spirit of prophecy and revelation sealed upon their heads and their posterity and know what awaits their posterity. Father Smith was the senior Patriarch in the Church and first Patriarch in our day, and afterwards Hyrum was senior Patriarch, for his father sealed it upon his head.  But was their power and authority different from all Patriarchs in the Church? No. They were all alike in their authority in blessing.

Elijah spoke in the Bible that he should come in the last days to turn the hearts of the fathers to the children and the children to their fathers.  The fulfillment of this scripture is manifest in establishing the Kingdom of God and Priesthood on the earth in the last days, and those who hold the keys of the priesthood and sealing power have the spirit and power of Elijah, and it is necessary in order to redeem our dead and save our children.  There is [126] much more importance attached to this than parents are aware of.

In the loss of this child of Brother Crow that was drowned, I felt that I could weep in sorrow if I gave way to my feelings, for I realize it is a loss to the parents to loose little children.  It is true all children are saved.  Their names are written in the Lamb’s book of life which was the case with every spirit that takes a tabernacle on this earth.  Their names were written there before the world was made, and will there remain until they sin against the Holy Ghost.  It will then be blotted out no more to be recorded forever.

But notwithstanding this, can Brother Crow get that child again or any other person their children except there is something done for them on the earth by their parents?  No, they would not.  They would go to God who gave them, but the parents on the earth would not have them.  The parents framed the body to be sure, but the Lord gave the spirit.  What is the body good for without the spirit?

What then can be done?  I will tell you.  A man that has embraced the gospel must be someone who has the Priesthood and keys and power of Elijah and must attend to ordinances for that child, even must be baptized for it as well as to have it sealed to him and then claim his child in the morning of the resurrection and the Lord will give it up to him.  I had my children sealed to me in the temple except one that died, and that I shall leave in the hands of the Lord, until I have another opportunity.

As soon as we get up some adobe houses for our families, we shall go to work to build another temple; and as soon as a place is prepared we shall commence the endowments long before the temple is built and we shall take time, and each step the Saints take let them take time enough about it to understand it.  Everything at Nauvoo went with a rush.  We had to build the temple with the trowel in one hand the sword in the other and mobs were upon us all the while and many crying out, Oh the temple can’t be built.

I told them it should be built; this Church should not fall, and the Lord said if we did not build it, we should be rejected as a Church with our dead.  Why did He say it?  Because the Saints were becoming slothful and covetous [127] and would spend their means upon fine houses for themselves before they would put it into a house for the Lord.  But we went at it and finished it and turned it over into the hands of the Lord in spite of earth and hell and the Brethren were so faithful at it that we labored day and night to give them their endowments.

The children want to be sealed to their parents and parents to their children that they may have blessings in eternity that they will stand in need of.  God promised to Abraham that his seed should be as numerous as the stars of heaven and the sands of the seashore and to his seed there should be no end.  This, of course, would continue through all eternity.  The same blessing is upon our heads if we are faithful, for our eyes have not seen, our ears heard, neither entered into our hearts the great things that God has in store for us.

And when I look upon the great work the Elders of Israel have to perform and look around upon them and see them vain and foolish, it makes me sorrowful.  They forget their calling.  O ye Elders of Israel, think for a moment what manner of persons ought ye to be.  Men who hold the priesthood and keys of salvation and have power to go to the nations of the earth and say here, gentlemen and ladies, I have salvation for you and power to exalt you to celestial glory, or if you reject it to seal you unto damnation.  It is no trifling affair to have power put into your hands to deal with the eternal destinies of the sons and daughters of Adam who form the nations of the earth.

While in the temple at Nauvoo we voted to cut off the gentiles who had rejected the gospel and killed the prophets, and it was recorded on earth; and if it is recorded in heaven, that nation will go down quickly. (Wilford Woodruff Journal)


Wilford Woodruff’s Remarks

December 21, 1847, Salt Lake Valley


I met in council with the Quorum of the Twelve.  We heard the epistle read and corrected.  We then went into council with the Presidency of the Seventies, and Milo Andrews was brought up on trial for abusing his wife, turning her away and marrying another. [128]

Br. Heber C. Kimball addressed the council and said that he had been to the mountains and got an endowment and felt it in his bones and wanted to talk a little.  He said the day had come when iniquity could not be harbored in the church.  And men because they belong to my family or Bro. Brigham Young’s family will not be screened in wickedness.  I would even turn over to the law of God sons out of my own loins if they had done wrong.  Will I suffer iniquity to go unpunished in others more than in my own sons?  I tell you nay.  Br. Andrews has been adopted into my family.  But let the law of God have its demand upon him if it takes his head off, for a man had better enter into life maimed than into hell with all his members.

The accusations against Br. Andrews were then read.  Some he acknowledged to and some were proven against him after which President Young addressed the meeting in an interesting manner and gave good teaching.

He said a man by seeking that which did not belong to him would loose that which he seemeth to have as in this case of Br. Andrews, who by unlawfully marrying this woman, is now left without any wife.  There is no elder in this Church who has any right to marry a woman to a man who has a living wife.

Many men act like fools as soon as they get an idea that women should obey their husbands and be passive in their hands.  They will go to the woods and get a bundle of sticks and commence whipping their wives to make them obey them. In the first place a husband should be a righteous man@a man of God@and rule his household in righteousness and govern his wife with kindness and love and not with a rod, club, or his fist. His conduct to his wife should be such that she will love him with all of her heart. And he should pray to God that his wife and children which are jewels given him might be saved and not taken from him that not anything need be lost which the father hath given him.

He said that many men through their conduct would have taken from them that which they had and given to another.  He said that when a man had a jewel given to him, he ought to prize it and treasure it up and take good care of it and in process of time other jewels might be [129] given him of the Lord.  But he should not undertake to steal them for he could not keep them.

And a man should not be in a hurry to obtain any blessing or exaltation that is not for him; and when he has proved himself faithful in all things before God, there is no good thing that will be withheld from him in time or eternity, and many other good instructions were given.

President Joseph Young followed with interesting remarks and gave it as his opinion that Br. Andrews ought to be cut off from the Church for adultery.  Most of the Quorum of the Twelve spoke upon the subject, also the presidents of the Seventies, after which it was moved and carried that Milo Andrews be cut off from the Church for adultery.  It was also moved and carried that the woman be cut off from the Church for adultery.  It was moved and carried that they both be left in the hands of the Presidents of the Seventies.  Meeting then adjoined and the Twelve went into the recorders office and met in council. (Wilford Woodruff Journal)


Wilford Woodruff’s Remarks

February 13, 1848


Wilford Woodruff arose and said that should I say that I did not desire to address the Seventies, I should do dishonor to my own feelings for I do desire it at this time.  All who know my course when I have been at headquarters with the Presidency either with Joseph, Brigham, or others of the Twelve know that I have never put myself forward to preach or teach the people. Why hath it been so?  Because I have had fine leaders between me and God whose business it is to lead, teach and instruct the inhabitants of Zion. And I have felt it more my duty to sit and hear while with them at headquarters than to put myself forward to teach.

Yet when I have been called upon to speak I have endeavored to do the best I could.  But when I have been abroad in the vineyard, I have had the spirit of my mission and been much blessed in bringing souls into the Kingdom of God.  And I do feel it a privilege to address the Seventies at this time. [130]

Br. Young asked me to speak in the fore part of the evening, but I desired to wait until the Presidency of Seventies had addressed them, and I can now see that it was wisdom for I should not have had the same matter before me that I now have.

I have a number of things resting upon my mind which I wish to lay before you.  Your President Joseph Young has spoken to you in the spirit and power of God tonight and has warned and exhorted you not to defile your Priesthood and calling and not to have your minds all taken with fiddling and dancing.  I have taken more real enjoyment this evening in hearing the teaching giving by your Presidency than I would in hearing a million dollars worth of fiddle strings worn out.

You must not think hard of Br. Joseph Young because he reproves, rebukes, and exhorts you with all long suffering and doctrine, for there is an almighty responsibility resting upon his shoulders as the senior president of the august body of Seventies ordained unto the Apostleship.  And the Lord will hold him responsible for the manner that he watches over the Seventies, and he is stirred up from time to time by the spirit of the God of Israel to reprove you, and the rebukes of a friend are far better than the kisses of an enemy.  And you must not think hard of Br. Young if he does reprove you, for he does it for your good.

It is far better for you to spend your time getting instruction and council than in fiddling and dancing, for while the latter is of no profit to you, the former you will need when you are separated far from your brethren and abroad among the nations of the earth amid the judgments of God which are laying waste the people and while you have to dodge between wind and water to save your head in the midst of persecution and mobs while you are offering salvation to the people.

I have meditated much of late concerning the responsibility we are under to God inasmuch as we bear the priesthood and are numbered among the Lord’s anointed, as angels are watching us and bearing a report of us daily to God.  Should the Lord come down to see us, to see for Himself if the reports of us were correct, what would the Lord think of and how would we like to hear the [131] record read in the morning of the resurrection containing an account of an assembly of the Lord’s anointed at Winter Quarters, upon whom all heaven leaned and depended upon in carrying out the purposes of the Lord in the last dispensation and fullness of times and fulfilling the expectations of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob and all the Holy Prophets and Apostles since the world began in gathering the Jews and rebuilding Jerusalem, gathering the Saints and rebuilding Zion, preparing the way for the endowment of the ten tribes of Israel in the north country and the conversion of the Lamanites in the west, and the warning of all the gentile world that they may be left without excuse when the judgments of God cleanse the earth from sin, wickedness and pollution. And that our prayers should ascend into the heavens for the Lord to avenge the blood of the Prophet Joseph and other saints who have been martyred and slain by gentile mobs in the last days.

While there is so much depending upon us and our prayers, should we be satisfied with the record of this city of the Saints in the eternal world kept by the angels of heaven if we should hear read before an assembled world that the inhabitants of Winter Quarters who were the Lord’s anointed during the winter of 1847 & 1848 spent nine days of their time in fiddling and dancing where they did one in prayer and praise to almighty God?  I say, would we be satisfied with such record?  No, we would not.  Then let us turn from such scenes of folly and spend more time in meetings for preaching, exhortation, and prayer before the Lord.

Br. Joseph exhorted the elders “not to defile their Priesthood.”  I will here say if any man wants to feel the pangs of hell, let him have the Priesthood and let him have immortal glory, eternal life, thrones power dominions, exaltations with all the blessings of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob in view, then let him break the law of God and defile his Priesthood and in a moment he falls from his high estate and all of his exalted hopes vanish in a moment, and when his eyes are open to see things as they are, he sinks in darkness; and we and the very sight of the blessings which he has lost cause a hotter hell thru his soul than fire and brimstone. (Wilford Woodruff Journal)


Wilford Woodruff’s Remarks

February 23, 1848, Winter Quarters


I called upon Br. Richards in the morning. Soon President Young came in.  We went into the office and attended to some business. Br. Brown came in and requested one of us to go and preach the funeral sermon of his daughter who was dead. President Brigham and Joseph Young and myself went to his house.  We found not only his daughter dead, but a number sick in the house.]

The meeting opened by singing and prayer by Joseph Young, after which President Brigham Young arose, addressed the meeting and said that he had a few remarks to make and desired that he might have the Holy Spirit while he spoke.  Said it was better to go to the house of mourning than to the house of feasting, for that was the end of the living and would force upon our minds the truth of the dissolution which we must all pass through.

We mourn for the loss of our friends when they die, but if they die in the Lord they are better off than the living, for they have gained one victory which the living have not.  They are beyond the reach of pain, sorrow, wicked men, devils, and devilish spirits which we are not, for we are daily in the midst of all the suffering that mortal man is heir to.  When will this suffering end?  When we die and not before unless we should live until Satan is bound, but all must pass through death.  Yet, I would be glad to live to assist in binding Satan.

As to the saints, we are being worn out according to the word of the Lord.  We have been driven and persecuted in such a manner that there are few constitutions among us except such as are broken to pieces and ready to fall into the grave, and we are burying up the saints very fast wherever we go.  Over four hundred are laid in the grave in this place and many in all places where we have stopped.  But all of this pain, sorrow, death and affliction will work together for the good of the saints, for these things must needs be in order to work out the purposes of the Almighty and give the saints their exaltation and glory in the eternal world.

The sectarian world with the knowledge they have would, if it were in their power, sweep the fall of man, [133] death, pain, sorrow and affliction with all their attendant evils into oblivion and cause man to have lived eternally, as he was before the fall, that he might never have seen death.  But such a course would in the end have been the greatest curse that could have been heaped upon man, for by so doing, it would entirely have frustrated the design of the Almighty in the creation of man and blocked up the way for his exaltation, glory and greatness.  And the Lord understood the subject so well before either the world or man was formed that a Savior was provided in the Lamb slain from before the foundation of the world to redeem man from eternal death so that by man the debt of the fall, by passing through the temporal death, they receive the power and glory of the resurrection of Jesus Christ, which gives them an immortal body which will receive a far greater glory and power than the mortal body ever could have obtained unto had it not been for the fall.

And I suppose if I had power with the limited knowledge I have, I should sweep from the minds of this people sickness, pain, sorrow, poverty and persecutions and mobbing.  I don’t suppose I should ever have suffered this people to have been driven at all by a mob, but as the Lord knows so much more than we do He has suffered it so to be and it is for a wise purpose in God.  It is for our good and will finally prove for our exaltation and glory in the eternal world, and gives us experience in this life which we otherwise should not have had.

“Adam fell that man might be, men are that they may have joy,” for if they knew no joy they would have no sorrow, and if they did not know misery they would not know happiness.  For man must experience one in order to comprehend and know the other.  Jesus had to descend below all things in order to ascend above all things.  I am fully convinced that all our sorrows and troubles will work out for us a far more exceeding and eternal wait of glory.  Hence, we ought not to murmur or complain at our fate.

It is true we mourn at the loss of our friends and our relatives as those with our hope, for blessed are the dead who die in the Lord from henceforth, saith the spirit, for they rest from their labors and if their friends are faithful, their works will follow them.  But what is the [134] time of our suffering in this life in comparison with eternity?  After we have spent millions of ages in eternity and we look back upon our time here, and it will only look like the twinkling of an eye in comparison, and so it will be in the waiting for the resurrection of our bodies.  But no person can have power to raise the dead except he holds the keys of the resurrection and no man can hold the keys of the resurrection or be ordained unto that power until he has died and been raised from the dead himself — no more than a man has power to baptize a man legally and lay hands upon him for the Holy Ghost and ordain him to the office of an elder who has not been baptized or ordained himself.

Michael, the archangel, (Adam) holds the keys of the resurrection, and after a man is raised from the dead, has an immortal body and receives an ordination to hold the keys of the resurrection from under the hands of Michael or those having authority, he then has power to raise the dead, and not before.  Jesus was the first fruits of the resurrection.  “He had power to lay down his life and power to take it again.”  When he had lain in the grave three days, an angel (some person who was appointed to this work,) appeared, rolled back the stone and called Jesus forth.

We have power here through the priesthood to lay hands upon the sick and they recover, to cast out devils, open the eyes of the blind and unstop the ears of the deaf according to the faith of the children of men.  It is just as easy to raise the dead for one who is ordained unto this power as it is for us to administer in the ordinances of the House of the Lord here.

Sometimes we lay hands upon the sick and they are healed instantly.  Other times with all the faith and medicine they are a long time getting well, and others die.  The spirits of devils who are deprived of tabernacles are constantly making war upon men who have tabernacles and they strive to take up their abode in the tabernacles of men because they have none of their own.  When they get a chance, they will (many of them) crowd into one man and try to reign there, and sometimes they will kill the body and then the spirit of the man and devils all have to leave it.  Sometimes in sickness and weakness the spirits of [135] devils get possession of the body where the spirit of man is pure and overcome it.  But the moment the spirit leaves the body, it is beyond the power and reach of the devils.  Some children are killed in this way, for the devil is making war with everything that has a tabernacle, especially the saints.  And the devil rules a great deal in the hearts of the children of men, and if he cannot go in any other way, he will go into a barrel of whiskey and run down their throats.

And when the saints get into the valley away from the gentiles, the devil will get into the half Mormons, hickory Mormons, and will plead with them to get into them.  But when we consider how little time we have to spend in this life in comparison to eternity, we ought not to consider it a hard matter to be faithful to God and keep his commandments, for when we obtain celestial glory we shall have to explain that it is through the grace of God after all, for the glory far exceeds our suffering in this life.

Many other remarks were made by President Young and meeting was dismissed by Wilford Woodruff. (Wilford Woodruff Journal, Mss.)


Wilford Woodruff’s Remarks

March 17, 1848


I attended a council of much importance in the evening.  The captain of the police, with two others who were members of the Seventies were brought before the Presidency of the Seventies for assault and battery and swearing.  There were present but three of the Presidents of the Seventies, but the High Council was present — also President Young and Wilford Woodruff.  It was agreed by the parties to try the case before the High Council, which was filled up and the charges read.  The defendants did not exactly plead guilty so the testimony was heard on both sides and it was proven there was a fight between them and swearing.

The plaintiff opened the subject.  Called witnesses who testified. The defendants spoke and bore their testimony.  The plaintiff then made his pleas and also his counselor. The defendants then made their plea, also their counselor. Then President Young arose and addressed the [136] council in an interesting manner.  The following is an extract of the clerk’s minutes of the President’s speech:

If all parties are willing, I will now make some remarks.  There are a good many items pertaining to this case.  First, it was to be brought before the President of the 70’s, but they did not profess to have any jurisdiction in the case, only in the trial of their membership but not as a peace officer.  But the High Council can sit as a municipal court and try them for Church fellowship and for a breach of duty as a police officer.

Is it supposed that a public officer cannot do wrong?  I do not think so, and when they do wrong, they should be reproved as well as any other person. I shall speak my mind without any regard to parties’ favor or affection.  This I always calculate to do whether I gain friends or foes.  I have plenty of enemies, but I don’t ask any favors of them. I will not be turned for a moment out of the course of right and justice if it cuts my throat. I shall tell the truth. Some who have pled this cause cannot tell all the truth.

If Mr. Hill did tantalize the police, they had no business to fall upon him and beat him.  I have known Br. Hill for fifteen years; he is given to rough, uncouth conversation and tantalizing men’s feelings, and he won’t apostatize either.

Let me reason the case.  I am a teacher.  I often officiate in that capacity.  For instance, Hosea Stout says that for 8 years he has had a catalogue of names in his own mind of those who would apostatize, and as yet he had not been mistakened.  If a man understands the things of God, he knows well that every saint of God is followed up through life by the powers of hell, of the devil of temptation, and of every snare that can be invented on the earth to make him apostatize, loose his glory and crown.  This I understand.

If I see a man doing wrong or in any way faltering if I take a course to make him believe that he will fall, does not that at once weaken his faith and disarm him of power to stand?  It does.  Don’t I see things as well as the police?  I do.  And if I saw a man that I knew would fall, I would not tell him so, but would try to save him as well as [137] I could-that when he did go, my garments would be clear before God and he could not rise in judgment against me.

I am here to save both Br. Hosea and Hill but not to destroy them.  We are here to the police as police and to inquire into their conduct as elders.  Has not Isaac Hill been afflicted and maimed?  Who sent Hosea Stout to take Isaac Hill as a prisoner?  Nobody.  Was there disorder?  I will admit Isaac Hill was out of order to go into a store in the midst of a contention and undertake to tantalize a mans feelings while he was in anger under pretense of reproving him for swearing.  A far better way would have been for him to have waited until he was calm and composed, then take him to one side and in a friendly manner say,  Br. Hosea, I think your course in the store was not calculated to dignify your office as captain of the police and as a member of the Seventies.  He would then have received it very different from what he did.

I know it is natural for Br. Hill to tantalize.  But that is no excuse for Br. Hosea Stout to fight him.  He should have said I am a peace maker and magnified his office with dignity and honor but instead of that he descended to the spirit of a tantalizer and fell to fighting and swearing.

Policemen should be men of more noble minds than to descend to such things, or suffer their spirits to mingle with such low degrading things.  Hosea Stout did descend to anger and swearing which was disgraceful to a police man.  And men that will practice such things are not fit for policemen.  I know the policemen here are not just right for they will get together for hours and make fun, tell tales, drink whiskey, and get drunk, and that is why they are so angry all the while.  And they don’t pray when they come together.  If they did, when they saw fighting and contention, they would do as John Lytle did when he parted Stout and Hill.  Says he (as he stepped between them and showed one one way and the other the other way), get out of the way.  Stop your fighting.  I am a peace maker and won’t have it.  I never struck a man in my life though I have parted many who were fighting.  I never saw the day but that I thought to myself no good to strike a man.

Now to the police I say stop your balderdash.  Pray with each other.  Now if I have not told the truth, tell me [138] of it.  I mean to reprove the police.  If we don’t get better men in the valley, I will vote against them. They have confessed they are angry.  I want to see the police officiate in their office without getting angry.  If they do not, they disgrace their office.

I know how Brother Hosea Stout feels concerning the spirits that murdered the Prophets and still hang around us, but don’t you know that devils are going to the mountains as well as saints?  We have some of the meanest spirits among us on earth.  The net has hauled in good and bad, and I am watching them continually.  And we have some of the best men with us that swear that are guilty of crime, yet they would lay down their lives for us and for this cause.  There are others who will not gather with the saints because they think the Church is not pure enough for them and they think themselves very pure and will wait until the Saints get pure, holy and righteous; and during all this time they will live with the world in the midst of wickedness of every kind and think it all well.

We have good men and bad men among us, but if I see a bad man or good man that needs reproof, I will give it to him but will I go into a store and strike a man?  No.  Would it make him any better?  No.  But we should be saviors, benevolent and kind, and imitate the example of the Savior.

Men ignorantly fan the flame of mobocracy.  I have feelings about it, and often say cut his infernal throat.  Still I do not mean any such thing.  I am not good enough to do such a thing.  The God of Israel was a God of war.  When Israel went over the Red Sea and the enemies followed, the Lord commanded the waters to overflow them and they obeyed.  When I get good enough, then I can fight to if I have power to command the elements.

Isaac Hill ought to have known better than to have done as he did.  He is no more fit for a High Priest than the police are for their office. When they were by themselves, he should have told him of it quietly.  Is it not so, Isaac? (Isaac: Yes) I am not going to decide the case.  That is for the High Council to do.

Br. Cutler arose made a speech and gave his decision.  Both parties received their reproof and made their confession which was accepted.  President Young said good [139] would grow out of it. Council adjourned. (Wilford Woodruff Journal)


Wilford Woodruff’s Remarks

April 7, 1848


Orson Hyde addressed the meeting from the 25th and 26th chapters of Matthew. Agree with thine adversary quickly while thou art in the way with them, etc.  The adversary is sometime called the devil, but it is not the case in this instance.  But while we are together, so many of us, we should agree with our brother and settle all difficulties with each other while we have an opportunity, lest they will some day come into judgment.  And if we do wrong and block up the way of the souls of men, especially of the saints, their blood will be required at our hands.

And when the saints do wrong, the devil will reproach the Almighty for the conduct of His Saints.  Don’t steal.  It is truly mean.  Wait until God gives us the earth.  A little leaven leavens the whole lump.  Lie a little, steal a little, swear a little, and man may think all is well.  And these things may taste sweet in the mouth, but it will be bitter in the belly and will sting like an adder.

I am opposed to any evil. Men that feel disposed to do evil will always find an excuse for it.  But when a man is tempted to do wrong, let him inquire is there any harm in doing this?  Is there any harm in letting it alone?  Then do right in all things, then there will be no evil to tell upon us. Many good remarks were made. (Wilford Woodruff Journal)


Wilford Woodruff’s Remarks

October 18, 1848


I have had much of the spirit of secret prayer, have poured out my soul in supplication before God with tears of joy, while the visions of my mind have been open at times to see clearly my duty to my God, to my wife and children, to the Saints and world at large.  I have also seen of late the awful certain judgments of God which, like a gathering storm, are ready to burst upon the whole gentile world especially this nation, who have heard the [140] sound of the gospel, rejected it with all the testimony of the servants of God, have stoned and killed the Prophets, are drunk with the blood of martyrs and saints, and at last have driven the entire Church and Kingdom of God with the Priesthood and keys of eternal life and salvation out of their midst into the wilderness and the mountains of Israel.  And by so doing, have turned the last key which seals their condemnation which lingereth not and their damnation which slumbereth not.  Therefore they cannot escape.  Not only the Holy Ghost, but that portion of the spirit of God that enlighteneth every man that cometh into the world, like a faithful ambassador who has finished his work and is rapidly taking his flight from Gentile America and wo, wo, wo is their DOOM! (Wilford Woodruff Journal)


Wilford Woodruff’s Remarks

November 26, 1848


I had an interview with Hiram Kimball.  He sympathizes much with the Foster, Laws, Marks, etc.  He saw Foster out on the prairie by himself very poor and in trouble.  Said he would be willing to sacrifice his last child he has if that would place him back in his former standing in the Church and if he possessed riches he would give it all to have 5 minutes conversation with Joseph Smith.  Kimball said he was very sorry for him and could not help shedding tears for him.  Said he could forgive him with all his heart and advised him to go to the valley and thought all would forgive him.  He seemed to take much interest in that class of people than in building up the Kingdom of God. (Wilford Woodruff Journal)


Orson Pratt/Orson Spencer

January 15, 1849


Beloved Saints, the language of the following letter from our beloved brother, Elder Orson Hyde, is pointedly expressive of a common sentiment that pervades the body of the Church.  We readily respond to the same, feeling a burning indignation towards all offenders of like character. The sharp edge of persecutions whether to [141] unwanted keenness by lewd men, who turn the grace of God into lasciviousness, and bring scandal and stigma upon that priesthood which is ordained to save the human family.  When one member of the priesthood is polluted, however, obscure, the whole body is sickened by the contagion. Speedy amputation often becomes painfully necessary. All heaven is pervaded with one common spirit of indignation. We feel as though something like fratricide, or slaying of our brethren, had been attempted: the wound is in the house of our friends. But Zion will not always mourn.  Judgment is now given into her hand, and the workers of iniquity shall be cut off, and the stench of their detestable deeds will follow them; and when the seducer’s and adulterer’s bones are moldering in the dust, the scent of his abominable deeds will bring upon his memory the bitter imprecations of the righteous.  While the law of God has been but imperfectly appreciated, even by many of the Church, these things may have been bearable through false tradition; yet, the time is now, when the cloak of charity cannot, and will not, screen such offenders.

Two instances of gross lewdness have occurred among the elders of this land, and we have strictly enjoined the prohibition of their rebaptism or reunion with the Church, without a verbal application to the First Presidency, residing far distant in Zion.  Although the spirit of seduction and lewdness has occasionally invaded the Church in its purest state, it has never obtained a particle of fellowship, neither will it do so in any future time, from any faithful servant of God.  And we distinctly say to the Saints in Britain, let no artifice or cunningly devised tale ever be regarded as any apology for this gross immorality. No grade of office whatever will ever authorize anyone to teach or practice this abomination.  This Church is a purifier, and will refine its members as silver; and men must not think to bring into its sacred enclosure the abominations of the Gentiles, who are an adulterous and wicked generation-strange children-conceived in sin and shapen in iniquity.

Not so with the Church of the living God. Their marriage vows are sacred and cannot be violated with impunity: their offspring are legitimate, and not bastards [142] conceived in sin, but holy unto the Lord; and the man or woman in this Church that contributes to illegitimacy, thereby entailing upon his or her offspring the curse of exclusion for the congregation of the Lord, to the third generation, he or she that does it becomes detestable in the eyes of the Lord and all good people, and their condemnation will not slumber.  Let none be deceived in this matter, for the eyes of the Lord will penetrate every work, and the spirit that is confirmed upon the Saints will bear witness against all such like abominations, and no work of iniquity will or and abominable in these things; but they that bear the message of the Lord must be clean: they must keep themselves undefiled or share in the plagues of Babylon.  Pitiable is the condition of that man who has made commerce of the gifts of the priesthood, like Esau.  His strength is gone, like unto Sampson’s when shorn of his locks, and he becomes an easy prey to his enemies.  Who then, among the sons and daughters of men, will lay hold upon the skirts of such fallen reprobates in order to obtain salvation?  Let those who have already spotted their garments with these Gentile practices, prove a sufficient ensample to deter all others.  Let the beaconlight of a few examples keep others from the rocks and quicksands where scattered wrecks fearfully remonstrate and warn!

Dear Brethren, no false delicacy shall forbid us from speaking plainly to you upon this subject.  Lust, when it is conceived, bringeth forth sin.  The pure in heart have no occasion to mistake this infallible precursor and antecedent to sin; it is easily discoverable.  It is only when the invading foe is welcomed and cherished that sin can ever be the result. Here is opportunity afforded to consider, reflect, and beware! Whatever of sexual manners, dress, or intimacy is known to cherish forbidden and ungovernable lusts, may be as surely known to produce sin.  The familiar usage of one nation may not be equally compatible with the purity of another people, accustomed to other usage.  We do not complain of the manners and dress of any nation, so long as they are compatible with purity and the law of God.  The salutation by kissing was practiced in the Jewish nation, and it was tolerated among the members of [143] the primitive church of Christ; but it was by no means a law or necessary duty.

The first transgression introduced the necessity of a covering, and urged the importance of fresh laws regulating acts of decency.  Perfect purity would require no law to determine what is modest or what is perilous to virtue.  The law is made for transgressors.  When men can keep themselves pure in body, soul, and spirit, they then become as wise virgins, and emerge into the perfect law of boundless liberty.  No person can be a successful candidate for the celestial prize that does not keep the law in all these respects.  Men must learn to approximate to that state of perfect purity in which the law is written upon their hearts, so as to supersede the necessity of outward ordinances which will perish with the using.

The pure in heart, who are fully established in the law of continency, might use the ancient salutation of a holy kiss, and other innocent familiarities of a kindred nature, with perfect impunity.  But not so with all.  We have need to write unto some, even as carnal and babes in Christ. Such have not already attained that steadfastness to which the gospel calls them.  What then?  Is it not better that the strong bear the infirmities of the weak, and forego any practices that may cause their brother to offend?

We, therefore, think it wise and expedient and give it as our counsel accordingly, to the English Saints, to abstain entirely from these unbecoming familiarities through which some have been already led into gross transgression.

If the elders want to save their congregations and obtain a good degree for themselves and others in the Kingdom of God, let them abstain, rather, from all appearance of evil.  Let those familiarities which are often the legitimate expression of innocence and the purest love, be avoided, because they may be spoken evil of by those that are without, and because the inexperienced confidence of young members is liable to be betrayed and made a bait to folly and crime. We write unto presidents of conferences as unto wise men, to whom a hint will be sufficient, and who will readily understand what the will of the Lord is in such matters.  We do not wish to multiply arbitrary laws among a people that are destined by the grace of God, and [144] their own trustworthiness, to rise above all law into the region of ineffable light, purity, and glory. But we do, nevertheless, intend to establish laws against the invasion of the unruly and transgressors.  And we wish the elders and holy women who are mothers, to co-operate with us against the intrusion of Gentile abominations.  And we do declare, with all sobriety in the fear of God, and by the authority we hold from God in the holy priesthood, that a curse shall rest upon transgressors, who, with knowing wickedness, shall hereafter violate the laws of virtue and chastity.  This is the voice of the priesthood in Zion, and the voice of God from the foundation of the world.

Hear it, oh, ye Saints throughout the British Isles and adjacent countries!  While God is gathering, and will continue to gather his sons from afar and his daughters from the ends of the earth, He will not tolerate the obstruction of the great and last gathering by the abominations of reprobates, that have been cast out as refuse silver, and by their slanderous tales of abomination, palmed upon His infant cause. (Mill. Star Vol. 11:25)


Brigham Young’s Remarks

February 25, 1849, Salt Lake Valley


It was at this time of gloom that President Young stood before the whole people and said, in substance, that some people had misgivings, and some were murmuring and had not faith to go to work and make their families comfortable; they had got the gold fever and were going to California.  Said he; some have asked me about going.  I have told them that God has appointed this place for the gathering of His Saints, and you will do better right here than you will be going to the gold mines.  Some have thought they would go there and get fitted out and come back, but I told them to stop here and get fitted out.  Those who stop here and are faithful to God and His people will make more money and get richer than you that run after the gold of this world; and I promise you in the name of the Lord that many of you that go thinking you will get rich and come back, will wish you had never gone away from here, and will long to come back, but will not be able to do so.  Some of you will come back, but your friends [145] who remain here will have to help you; and the rest of you who are spared to return will not make as much money as your brethren do who stay here and help build up the Church and Kingdom of God; they will prosper and be able to buy you twice over.  Here is the place God has appointed for His people.

We have been kicked out of the frying pan into the fire, and out of the fire into the middle of the floor, and here we are and here we will stay.  God has shown me that this is the spot to locate His people, and here is where they will prosper; He will temper the elements for the good of his Saints; he will rebuke the frost and the sterility of the soil, and the land shall become fruitful. Brethren, go to, now, and plant out your fruit seeds.

Stretching his arms to the east and to the west, with his hands spread out, he said:

For in these elements are not only all the cereals common to this latitude, but the apple, peach and plum; yea, and the more delicate fruits, the strawberry and raspberry; and we will raise the grapes here and manufacture wine; and as the Saints gather here and get strong enough to possess the land, God will temper the climate, and we shall build a city and a temple to the Most High God in this place.  We will extend our settlements to the east and west, to the north and to the south, and we will build towns and cities by the hundreds, and thousands of the Saints will gather in from the nations of the earth.  This will become the great highway of the nation.  Kings and emperors and the noble and wise of the earth will visit us here, while the wicked and ungodly will envy us our comfortable homes and possessions.  Take courage, brethren.  I can stand in my door and can see where there are untold millions of the rich treasures of the earth–gold and silver.  But the time has not come for the Saints to dig gold. It is our duty first to develop the agricultural resources of the country, for there is no country on the earth that is more productive than this.  We have the finest climate, the best water, and the purest air than can be found on earth; there is no healthier climate anywhere.

As for gold and silver and the rich minerals of the earth, there is no other country that equals this; but let them alone; let others seek them, and we will cultivate the [146] soil; for if the mines are opened first, we are a thousand miles from any base of supplies and the people would rush in here in such great numbers that they would breed a famine; and gold would not do us or them any good if there were no provisions in the land.  People would starve to death with barrels of gold; they would be willing to give a barrel of gold for a barrel of flour rather than starve to death.

Then, brethren, plow your land and sow wheat, plant your potatoes; let the mines alone until the time comes for you to hunt gold, though I do not think this people ever will become a mining people.  It is our duty to preach the gospel, gather Israel, pay our tithing, and build temples.  The worst fear that I have about this people is that they will get rich in this country, forget God and His people, wax fat, and kick themselves out of the Church and go to hell.  This people will stand mobbing, robbing, poverty, and all manner of persecution, and be true.  But my greater fear for them is that they cannot stand wealth; and yet they have to be tried with riches, for they will become the richest people on this earth. (Brigham Young, The Man and His Work, Preston Nibley, pp. 127-128)


Orson Hyde’s Remarks

April 6, 1849


I cannot withhold an expression of my feelings, and hearty thanks for your good will expressed towards us in your unwavering determination to sustain us in our office and calling, and also our brethren in the Valley of the Great Salt Lake. We should be sorry to betray the confidence which you, this day, have reposed in us.  We are glad that there have been no objections raised against us; yet if objections do exist against us, or any one of us in our official proceedings, or in our private capacity, this is the place and now is the time when they can be lawfully and honorably made to our face in the midst of the people. (After a short pause, and no objections made, Mr. Hyde continued and said,) as there are no objections made, I trust that there will be none made in any bye-corner after this, unless we shall do something hereafter that will [147] merit censure.  No whining or complaining about us will be heard.

I wish not to call your attention to the course taken by a certain branch of the church.  It is true that I am a little warm or heated at times, but am fortunately yoked with two counselors who are cool, deliberate and calculating.  These serve to modify and temper my feelings to a degree of moderation that is tolerable.  We have looked for members from this branch to meet with us in council, but they have seldom, if ever done so, cheerfully.  One would naturally conclude that they were all law students. They are very technical and meta-physical, and claim only to have apostatized from dishonesty and crime. The reformation may be a redeeming quality — a saving clause; for they may have learned by experience that the way of the transgressor is hard in those things from which they now claim to have apostatized.  If they have indeed apostatized from such faith and conduct, they have done that which I should charitably hope no other branch in Pottawatamic County could of for the reason that none other may be guilty.  I mean the Silver Creek Branch where Father Cutler has the Presidency.  We look for men clothed with high and responsible priesthood to meet with us in council and mingle their spirits and feelings with ours; and if they are one with us, they will be very apt to do it-particularly when circumstances will allow.

In the first place: In view of that people who are the descendants of Abraham, and the great desire of the Saints that the promises made to their father and reserved to be fulfilled upon their heads in the last days, should be speedily consummated. Some men have suffered enthusiasm to take the helm of their minds, and they have caused us much trouble and awakened a prejudice that has been a strong barrier against our success and prosperity in this matter. Great wheels move slowly, and all these things must move along in the Providence of God, if they move aright.  No enthusiastic flirts-no vain or wild chimera-no mysterious humbug is going to accomplish the great purposes of our Heavenly Father in these days.  If a man has received a plain straight forward and honorable mission, and shall afterwards attempt to wrap [148] it up in mystery, or present it in dark and ambiguous sayings to excite wonder and awaken discontent, you may know that “mystery Babylon” is there, and that the destroying spirit is in the ascendant.

Our martyred prophet, in one of the last councils in which I had the honor to enjoy his company, said: “Tell the red men of the forest that they must bury the tomahawk and live in peace with the white man and among themselves also, and with all mankind.”  This was the teaching given to Father Cutler also by President Young.  He was instructed to go and tell the Indians to bury the tomahawk, and by the permission of Government to build mills, to establish schools, and to take all legal measures to improve their condition-to teach them that Jesus Christ died for them, and that they should repent and be baptized for the remission of their sins.  It is no pleasure to me to take power from a good man, but if possible, to increase it.  I will come to the point.  Because a mission has been given to Father Cutler and Bishop Calkins to do a certain work, they have preached up their own righteousness, neglected their mission and infused into that branch self-righteousness enough to alienate them from the body of the Church.

It is true that there was on a certain occasion a deputation from that branch of the Church, and a private council waited upon them here, consisting of the Presidency of the Church in this place.  They were called up here for an investigation of their doings.  They made satisfactory refractions, and the doings of this Council were written in a letter addressed to the Silver Creek Branch. This letter Father Cutler advised the brethren with him to back up when they returned home. I observed to them that the letter was a true statement of the case; but they seemed to halt over it considerably.  I (–) contents by their testimony to the branch, or go before the High Council, which was to be in session that day, and have an investigation there of their proceedings.  I told them not to take the letter at all, unless they intended to support it to all intents and purposes; for if they did, they would not only alienate that branch still the more from the church, but bring innocent blood on their own heads. They [149] consented to take the letter upon the terms required, and took it.

But how was that letter treated by the branch and by the men who promised to back it up? The testimony is that it was read in detached sentences-some not read at all-moved by one that it be laid under the table, by another that it be laid on the table and wink at the ignorance of the writer or of the thing.  The Council we held I wished to have private, for if the matter had been brought before the High Council and raked as they would have raked it, it would have been a much harder case for them.  I tell you that that mission cannot nor shall not prosper with the present spirit of that branch.  Father Cutler lies a little back in the shade behind the curtain, while Bishop Calkins is his organ and mouth-piece and the “Magnus Apollo” to carry out his measures.

Why are we placed here to preside over the Church?  Because the First Presidency cannot be everywhere present, and consequently cannot be here.  We are placed to act in their stead.  We are their representatives.  If they were here and saw that that mission was being converted into something that they never contemplated, and was having an injurious effect upon the Church and its organization, would they not veto it?  Everybody would say, yes!  Cannot their representatives do the same?  Most assuredly, or else they have no representatives.  We are here under their seal and sanction, and we do not intend to dishonor them.  It matters not then how great any man’s mission may be, if he is within our reach, he can be controlled by the council and authorities of the Church here, particularly if he is going out of his circle and limits; but if he keeps within the limits of his instructions, we have no wish to interfere with him.

If the Silver Creek Branch were as frank and honest as they pretend, they would say, in my opinion, that they regarded Father Cutler as the highest authority on earth — that they consider it more to their advantage, if they make us think they are one with us, so that we will not act upon their case, and thus give them a latitude to privately operate under our sanction.  To our face, their works are with us; but who cannot see that their spirit is against us; nay, feel it also!  And that they bolster themselves up by [150] an affected righteousness, and try to stifle their own convictions of error by magnifying the faults of their brethren.  The wicked subterfuge is resorted to in order to beguile the unwary, that the ancients have visited them, tongues and prophecyings are dealt out so profusely that the market is glutted.  We are weak mortals; but when the Holy Spirit comes upon us, and we take an action upon those who have questioned our power, our right, and our jurisdiction, in order to get a lengthened term to do wrong, they will find, sooner or later, that what we bind on earth is bound in Heaven.

President Orson Hyde, presented a letter written to F. M. Greene by Bishop Calkins, and observed that all know that Br. Greene has been appointed Clerk of the High Council, recorder and historian of the church, and you all know his honorable course, his high standing in the Church, and his good moral character. We have confidence in Br. Greene, and he is always welcome in the Council to do the business of recording for them.

President Geo. A. Smith called upon Robert Campbell to read the letter:

Silver Creek, Jan. 15, 1849.

Br. Greene, Sir; This is to let you know that I have received your copy of the minutes of the special Council, held at Kanesville, on the 15th of December, 1848.  I am much obliged to you for the favor; but would have been a little better pleased had you done justice to the principle of truth, and honesty in those minutes.

I will ask you a few questions which I wish you would take the trouble to answer to relieve my mind and feelings on these matters, viz.  Did not I, myself, ask you into the Council at about the hour of nine or ten o’clock, P. M. to do a little writing for me, to take down some testimonies that were to be given there in my case. (not as a clerk for the Council, but to do me a favor for my own private journal,) which was to be given by W. P. McIntire and others?

Why did you not give G. W. Harris’s testimony as well as McIntire’s?

Why did you not give the motion of G. W. Harris’s seconded by yourself, and voted unanimously according to your agreement the next morning with me in your private [151] room, that all things might show true on both sides of the question?

Why did you not give the outline of G. A. Smith’s talk about the leather breeches, &c. that the spirit of that man might be as plain to the reader as my own?

Why did you say that I made “satisfactory retraction,” when the truth is I did not make any in any shape whatever: But said there might be a shadow of justification under the testimony of McIntire for the course of Orson Hyde. But still the righteous way would have been to have sent to me instead of the branch!

Why did you say I agreed with Orson Hyde “to burn all the letters and papers that had passed between us,” when no letters or papers have ever passed between us?  Again, why did you not send those minutes under your certificate, instead of your official seal?  When it is a well known fact that you were not the clerk of said Council, but were only invited in by me, to do some writing for me as an individual, and that not until the Council had more than half done its business.

Now if you will please answer these few questions, I shall feel better perhaps in my mind, as I wish always to have the best of feelings when there is room for it.  Yours, respectfully, &c.

  1. H. Calkins.

President Geo. A. Smith said, I think this was one of the most insulting letters I have ever heard.  I think the leather breeches fit tighter and tighter. He believed Br. Greene did his duty according to the time and opportunity he had; (–) ins be disfellowshipped from the Church until he makes satisfaction.

President Orson Hyde explained that some who had visited that Branch caught their spirit and returned teaching that the church is separated, that some of its members are here and some in the Valley; that there is no organization here nor in the Valley; that the church is disorganized at present.  Spoke of some wanting us to hold still about their bogus person and their dark designs until they can bring all the evil they can upon this people.  Said also, when I got up that letter, I proposed to Father Cutler and Bishop Calkins to back it up to the Branch. Two [152] others came in, and the question was asked them if they would back it up; and they answered, they would sustain Father Cutler and Bishop Calkins anyhow, showing, they would back them up whether they got the sanction of the Church or not.  Said he felt like putting a veto upon that mission until things are straightened out by the Church; and observed that I want to have Bishop Calkins disfellowshipped until he makes the proper apology to Br. Greene for that letter, and let him give satisfaction to the Council.  I also wish a vote of injunction to be laid upon that mission.  It will test the action of Father Cutler and that branch. (Frontier Guardian, May 2, 1849)


The Government of God

from the Times and Seasons

June 27, 1849


The government of the Almighty has always been very dissimilar to the government of men; whether we refer to his religious government or the government of nations.  The government of God has always tended to promote peace, unity, harmony, strength and happiness; while that of man has been productive of confusion, disorder, weakness and misery.  The greatest acts of the mighty men have been to depopulate nations and to overthrow kingdoms; and whilst they have exalted themselves and become glorious, it has been at the expense of the lives of the innocent — the blood of the oppressed — the moans of the widow, and the tears of the orphan.  Egypt, Babylon, Greece, Persia, Cartage, Rome — each were raised to dignity amid the clash of arms and the din of war; and whilst their triumphant leaders led forth, their ears were saluted with the groans of the dying, and the misery and distress of the human family; before them the earth was a paradise, and behind them a desolate wilderness; their kingdoms were founded in carnage and bloodshed and sustained by oppression, tyranny and despotism.  The designs of God, on the other hand, have been to promote the shivered good of the universal world; to establish peace and good will among men; to promote the principles of eternal truth; to bring about a state of things that shall unite man to his fellow man — cause the [153] world to “beat their swords into plow-shares, and their spears into pruning-hooks”-make the nations of the earth dwell in peace and to bring about the millennial glory-when “the earth shall yield its increase, resume its paradisiacal glory, and become as the garden of the Lord.”

The great and wise of ancient days have failed in all their attempts to promote eternal power, peace, and happiness.  Their nations have crumbled to pieces; their thrones have been cast down in their turn; and their cities, and their mightiest works of art have been annihilated; or their dilapidated towers or time worn monuments have left us but feeble traits of their former magnificence and ancient grandeur. They proclaim as with a voice of thunder, those imperishable truths — that man’s strength is weakness, his wisdom is folly, his glory is his shame.

Monarchial, aristocratic, and republican forms of government, of their various kinds and grades, have in their turn been raised to dignity and prostrated in the dust.  The plans of the greatest politicians, the wisest senators, and most profound statesmen have been exploded; and the proceedings of the greatest chieftains, the bravest generals, and the wisest kings have fallen to the ground.  Nation has succeeded nation, and we have inherited nothing but their folly.  History records their puerile plans, their short lived glory, their feeble intellect, and their ignoble deeds.

Have we increased in knowledge or intelligence?  Where is there a man that can step forth and alter the destiny of nations, and promote the universal happiness of its own subjects, or even their general well being?  Our nation, which possesses greater resources than any other, is rent form center to circumference with party strife, political intrigue, and actional interest, our counselors are panic struck, our legislators are astonished, and our ancestors are confounded; our merchants are paralyzed, our tradesmen are disheartened, our mechanics out of employ, our farmers distressed, and our poor crying for bread.  Our banks are broken, our credit ruined, and our states overwhelmed in debt; yet we are, and have been in peace. [154]

What is the matter?  Are we alone in this thing?  Verily, no.  With all our evils we are better situated then any other nation.  Let Egypt, Turkey, Spain, France, Italy, Portugal, Germany, England, China, or any other nation speak and tell the tale of their trouble — their perplexity and distress, and we should find that their cup was full, and that they were preparing to drink the dregs of sorrow.  England, that boasts of her literature, her schools, ceremony, etc., has her hands specking with the blood of the innocent, abroad; and she is saluted with the cries of the oppressed at home.  Christism, O’Connelius, and Radicalism are gnawing her vitals at home; and Ireland, Scotland, Canada, and the East are threatening her destruction abroad.  Turkey, once the glory of European nations, has been shorn of her strength-has dwindled into her dotage, and has been obliged to ask her allies to her tributary terms of peace; and Russia and Egypt are each of them opening their jaws to devour her.  Spain has been the theater of bloodshed, of misery and war, for years past.  Syria is now convulsed with war and bloodshed.  The great and powerful empires of China, which has for centuries resisted the attacks of barbarians, has become tributary to a foreign foe; her batteries thrown down; many of her sides destroyed, and her villages deserted. We might mention the Eastern rajah; the miseries and oppressions of the Iriah; the convulsed state of Central America; the alteration of Texas and Mexico; the state of Greece, Switzerland, and Poland — say, the world itself presents one great theater of misery, woe, and “distress of nations with perplexity.”  All, all speak with a voice of hundreds, that man is not able to govern himself-to legislate for himself-to protect himself-to promote his good, now the good of the world.

It has been the design of Jehovah, from the commencement of the world, and in his purpose now, to regulate the affairs of the world in his own time; to stand as head of the universe, and take the reigns of government into his own hand.  When that is done, judgment will be administered in righteousness, anarchy and confusion will be destroyed, and “nations will learn war no more.”  It is for want of this great governing principle that all this confusion has existed; “for it is not in man that walketh to direct his steps;” this we have fully shown.

If there was anything great or good in the world, it came from God.  The construction of the first vessel was given to Noah by revelation.  The design of the ark was given by God, “a pattern of heavenly things.”  The learning of the Egyptians and their knowledge of astronomy was no doubt taught them by Abraham and Joseph, as their records testify who received it from the Lord.  The art of working in brass, silver, gold and precious stones, was taught by revelation in the wilderness.  The architectural designs of the temple at Jerusalem, together with its ornament and beauty, were given of God.  Wisdom to govern the house of Israel was given to Solomon and to the judges of Israel; and if he had always been their king, and they subject to his mandate, and obedient to his laws, they would still have been a great and mighty people, the rulers of the universe — and the wonder of the world.  If Nebuchadnezzar or Darlas or Cyrus, or any other king possessed knowledge or power, it was from the same source, as the scriptures abundantly testify.  If then, God puts up one and sets down another at his pleasure — and made instruments of kings unknown to themselves to fulfill his prophecies, how much more was he able, if man would have been subject to his mandate, to regulate the affairs of this world, and promote peace and happiness among the human family.

The Lord has at various times commenced this kind of government, and tendered His services to the human family.  He selected Enoch, whom he directed and gave His law unto and to the people who were with him; and when the world in general would not obey the commands of God, after walking with God, he translated Enoch and his church, and the priesthood or government of heaven was taken away.

Abraham was guided in all his family affairs by the Lord, was told where to go and when to stop; was conversed with by angels and by the Lord, and prospered exceedingly in all that he put his hand unto; it was because he and his family obeyed the counsel of the Lord.  When the children of Israel were chosen, with Moses at their head, they were to be a peculiar people, among whom [156] God could place his name; their motto was “The Lord is our lawgiver; the Lord is our judge; the Lord is our king, and he shall reign over us.”  While in this state they might truly say, “happy is that people whose God is the Lord.”  Their government was a theocracy; they had God to make their laws and men chosen by him to administer them; He was their God, and they were His people.  Moses received the word of the Lord from God himself; he was the mouth of God in Aaron, and Aaron taught the people in both civil and ecclesiastical affairs; they were both one; there was no distinction; so will it be when the purposes of God shall be accomplished; when “The Lord shall be king over the whole earth” and “Jerusalem his throne.”  “The law shall go forth from Zion, and the word of the Lord from Jerusalem.”

This is the only thing that can bring about the “restoration of all things, spoken of by all the holy prophets since the world was”–“The dispensation of the fullness of times, when God shall gather together all things in one.”  Other attempts to promote universal peace and happiness to the human family have proven abortive; every effort has failed, every plan and design has fallen to the ground; it needs the wisdom of God, the intelligence of God, and the power of God to accomplish this. The world has had a fair trial for six thousand years; the Lord will try the seventh thousand himself; … “Watch and pray always,” says our Savior, “that ye may be accounted worthy to escape the things that are coming on the earth, and to stand before the Son of man.”  If Enoch, Abraham, Moses, the children of Israel, and all God’s people were saved by keeping the commandments of God, we, if saved at all, shall be saved upon the same principle.  As God governed Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, as families and the children of Israel as a nation, so we, as a church, must be under his guidance if we are prepared, preserved and sustained.  Our only confidence can be in God; our only wisdom obtained from him; and he alone must be our protector and safeguard, spiritually and temporally, or we fall.

We have been chastened by the hand of God heretofore for not obeying His commands, although we never violated any human law, or transgressed any [157] human precept; yet we have treated lightly His commands, and departed from his ordinances, and the Lord has chastened us sore, and we have felt His arm, and kissed the rod; let us be wise in time to come, and ever remember that “to obey is better than sacrifice; and to hearken than the fat of rams.”  The Lord has told us to build the temple and the Nauvoo House, and that command is as binding upon us as any other; and that man who engages not in these things is as much a transgressor as though he broke any other command — he is not a doer of God’s will, nor a fulfiller of his laws.

In regard to the building up of Zion, it has to be done by the counsel of Jehovah; by the revelations of heaven, and we should feel to say “if the Lord go not with us, carry us not up hence.”  We would say to the saints that come here, we have laid the foundation for the gathering of God’s people to this place, and expect that when the saints do come they will be under the counsel of those that God has appointed.  The Twelve are set apart to counsel the saints pertaining to this matter, and we expect that those who come here will send before them their wise men according to revelations; or if not practicable, be subject to the counsel that God has given or they cannot receive an inheritance among the saints, or be considered as God’s people; and they will be dealt with as transgressors of the laws of God; we are trying here to gird up our loins, and purge from our midst the workers of iniquity; and we hope that when our brethren arrive from abroad, they will assist us to roll forth this good work, and to accomplish this great design; that “Zion may be built up in righteousness; and all nations flock to her standard;” that as God’s people, under his direction, and obedient to His law, we may grow up in righteousness and truth; that when his purposes shall be accomplished, we may receive an inheritance among those that are sanctified. (printed in Frontier Guardian, June 27, 1849)


Brigham Young’s Remarks

July 24, 1849, Salt Lake Valley


President Young rose to rejoice with those that rejoiced, and were it beneficial, could weep for those that [158] do not weep for themselves.  He said, it is two years ago, this day, since I arrived in this valley; but from the multitude of principles, circumstances and ideas that now crowd my mind, I shall have to take them up lightly.  Orson Pratt and Dr. Richards, with a great number of others, had been cutting the roads through the canyons while I was sick on the Weber River; I met with them here between four and five in the afternoon, and now we commemorate this day.  Let us look back to the past: five years ago most of the Twelve were in the eastern States, and had just heard of the death of the Prophet Joseph, and when we returned to Nauvoo, thousands of men wore mourning on their arms, their heads, their hearts; and every sister was veiled in mourning–for what?  Why, in the boasted Republic the governor, lieutenant-governor, sheriffs, officers and subjects, priests and people, had succeeded in shedding the blood of Joseph and Hyrum, the prophet and patriarch.

Did the persecution cease then?  By no means!  The sayings of the prophet were verified, that when they had succeeded in killing him, they would next attempt to kill me and my brethren. Two years ago, many of the oldest, whitest-headed men now before me, and some of the young men, were bearing the flag of the United States triumphantly through the states of Mexico.  We had to leave the United States because we said that Joseph Smith was a prophet and that the Book of Mormon was true.  That is the cause why we are here!  It is pure mobocracy that brought us here.  Some of you now before me went to market in the United States to buy liberty, and you were told that your blood was the price of liberty!  Here is Mr. Taylor-he went to market to buy liberty, and he was pierced with four balls; they tried hard to get all his blood, but he has a little left this day. There is no gentleman who loves good laws, peace, or society, but loves this people.  All good men delight in us as a people, and they delight in truth and righteousness. Mr. Kimball has predicted there would be pestilence, war, distress, and trouble; it’s true, gentlemen; it’s even at the door of the nations of the earth.  There is the rapping at the door, and there is one foot in at the present moment.  It is Mormonism that has brought us here. I will ask, why was it that Joseph Smith could [159] collect together the highest talents in the nation?  Why was it that so much mystery surrounded him?  It was because God was with him, and is with us; the interests of the Saints temporally and eternally are blending together like one man, because the Savior said, except ye are one, ye are none of mine.  You cannot destroy the union of the Saints; there are no difficulties in the laws or constitutions, but many of the administrators are corrupt.  The reason why the murderers of Joseph and Hyrum were not taken up and hanged by Governor Ford, was because of the wicked administrators.  We worship the God that sets up kingdoms and puts them down–He raises up empires and removes them at his pleasure, and he has done as much as to make a king feed on grass, without his being questioned as to his authority.  Why do we not celebrate the 4th of July?  The Declaration of Independence is just as precious to me today as it was twenty days ago!  Has it not the same validity that it had in 1776?  Is it not as good today as it was twenty days ago?  We chose this day that we might have a little bread to set on our tables; today we can see the bread, cucumbers, and beets, that we could not have seen twenty days ago.  Inasmuch as there are some strangers in our midst, I want you to give them their dinner, for they rejoice to see us happy, and I say they are welcome, heartily welcome. (Mill. Star 11:355-356)


Wilford Woodruff’s Remarks

December 4, 1849


Col. Kane remarked, you are better without any government from the hands of Congress than a territorial government. The political intrigues of government officers will be against you.  You can govern yourselves better than they can govern you.  I would prefer to see you withdraw the bill than to have a territorial government for if you are defeated in the State Government, you can fall upon it again at another session if you are not a territorial government.  But if you are, you cannot apply for a state government for a number of years.  I insist upon it.  You do not want corrupt political men form Washington strutting around you with military dress who will [160] speculate out of you all they can.  They will also control the Indian Agency Land Agency, and will conflict with your calculation in a great measure.  You do not want two governments with you.  You have a government now which is firm and powerful, and you are under no obligations to the United States.  You owe them nothing but kicks, cuffs and the treatment of wicked dogs, for that is the only treatment you have received from their hands since you have been a people. (“And the golden rule is what measure men meet out shall be measured to them again.”)

Brigham Young should be your governor.  His head is not filled with law books and lawyers’ tactics, but he has power to see through men and things.  And all counselors, elders and agents should be made to know their place, sustain the head man, and work for the general good in all things and not act from selfish motives or to get some petty office or a little salary.

He said if we did make up our minds to ask for a territory, we should use every exertion in our power to get the assurance of the President that our choice should be granted us in a governor and other officers as Brigham Young for Governor, &c.  But if we could not get their assurance, not to ask for it at all, but await the result.  He said if we were a state, there might be ever so many men come along and say I am judge, I am Col., I am Gen.  You can whistle and ask no odds of them.  But while a territory you cannot do it.  And then their are always so many intrigues to make political parties among you; the first thing you know a strong political party is rising up in your midst who are selfish and against your interests.

Col. Kane requested me to remember what he had said to me as he might not have health to do for us what he was now doing. and he wished his views to be known to the Presidency in the valley. I remarked to him that I would do so and pray for his success in our behalf also for his health, strength and prosperity.  He thanked me and said he should prize our prayers highly.

I felt impressed that Col. Kane was endowed with much wisdom in his work in our behalf, and I think that he had right views of things in general. (Wilford Woodruff Journal)


Wilford Woodruff’s Remarks

Dec. 4, 1849


O Lord, order our cause aright which is before the Congress of this nation.  May all things work together for the good of thy Saints.  Preserve us all from evil of every kind and help us to do thy will in all things on the earth.  O Lord, hasten the gathering of Israel who are cast out and the dispersed of Judea.  May the Lamanites soon blossom like the rose.  May the Zion of God who has risen and gone up into the mountains be clothed upon with righteousness and the power of God.  May the Church become prepared like a bride prepared for the coming of the Bridegroom.  And may the people not only have cause to rejoice in the Holy One of Israel during the AD 1850 but through all time and all eternity. (Wilford Woodruff Journal)


Wilford Woodruff’s Remarks

December 15, 1849


The following speech was delivered by Mr. Copway or Kah-ge-ga-gah-Bow, the Chief of the Ojewa Nation before a large audience in New York City on the eve of Dec. 15. 1849:

Ladies, gentlemen, American Citizens, of necessity my address this evening must be short. Yet I will touch upon a few prominent items which I consider important to the subject in which I feel deeply interested.  There are certain events which stand forth in bold relief of deep interest in the history of every nation under heaven.  Therefore, the history of the Indians or their present condition has also a deep interest-an interest of greater importance than at first presents itself to the mind of the American people. Although it may appear to them as covered with a cloud or buried deep from their view, yet it none-the-less exists. Then listen to me. I have deeply studied the situation and interest of my brethren, the red men, for years and I have resolved to call aloud upon the white men of this nation to give ear to my petitions. If you do not see the Indian orator in your midst making a display of oratory like the white man, it is not because he [162] has not talent but because he has not a chance to exercise it.

First, my object in visiting the United States is to present a petition to this government that they may assist me in concentrating the Indians together, that they may live and not die.  I want Congress to grant them a portion of territory that they can call their own and be concentrated upon it that they not be driven from it any more.  They once were the owners and occupiers of the whole soil of all North America.  The white man came and removed the Indians and has continually driven them until they can see no hope but the grave before them. I now ask for, in their behalf, a territory to settle them upon that they may have a permanent home forever and come under the United States Government. Let them have some form of government and become part and parcel of the United States.  In this matter I have studied the interest of all both the white and redmen.

Give them a Territory that they can call their own where the children can point to the graves of their fathers and say we can now live in peace and be driven no more.  We can visit the graves of our fathers without being driven from them.  And they will be inspired to engage in every laudable undertaking that now marks the course of the white man.

2nd, You can then establish schools among them that will be of benefit to them.  They would obtain knowledge and would make good use of it.  The gospel could then be introduced among them and they would be far more ready to receive it when they find the white man is consistent and willing to do them good.  But when the white man offers the gospel to the Indian one year and the next comes and drives him from his home and the graves of his fathers, he has no faith or confidence in either the white man nor his gospel.

3rd, You can then introduce agriculture among them and they will receive it for they would then see of necessity they must cultivate the land or die.  They could not depend upon game for support, and they would turn their attention to cultivating the soil, making improvements, and taking delight in the same way as the white man. [163]

4th, They would then be in a position where they would be delivered from the ill consequences of constant removing which has continually followed them for many years.  The ill consequences of removing have been multiplied and very great.  This has been one main reason why schools have been unproductive of good among them.  This is also one reason why missionaries have done no more good among them.

The Indians are fast decreasing and passing away.  What is the cause of all this?  There are various causes.  Their constant removing is one cause.  Disease which has been introduced among them by white men in the capacity of traders, missionaries, and emigrants, also the introduction of alcohol, have had a tendency to waste them away; also wars among themselves and wars with white men, all of which have continually wasted away the Indian tribes.

I will here remark that in the origin of the wars with the whites, the conducting of those wars and in the treaties of peace made and broken, the Indians have been badly treated and abused by the whites.  For instance, some ruffian or trader visits the Indians and introduces wild fire or alcohol among them and will get the Indian drunk and perhaps drunk himself, and will cheat them in any way he can, and perhaps kill some of them, and in his career he gets killed himself.  Then the cry goes forth that the savage Indians are killing and murdering the inhabitants of the country.  It is proclaimed in all the public journals of the union.

Yet one side of the story is proclaimed as with peals of thunder throughout the earth, but no voice is raised in behalf of the poor Indian.  Their story is not told.  The world hear it not.  They do not inquire or ask for it.  But as soon as the story of the white man is told and proclaimed to the world, the armies of war must be prepared and soldiers sent forth to drive and kill the Indians and burn their homes and in this way the most desolating and expensive wars have been carried on for many years until we feel it is time for the white man to take a different course with the Indians.

As an example of the bad effects of continually removing the Indians, I would refer you to the Cherokee [164] Nation.  That people were fast improving, following rapidly in the footsteps of the white man; had extensive farms and good dwellings and continued rapidly advancing in improvements until they were suddenly brought to a stand in their curse by being cruelly called upon by the state of Georgia to give up their lands and go away from the graves of their fathers into the wilderness.  And thus it was in that the mighty nation-instead of receiving that support, encouragement, and comfort from the nation that they ought to receive it from, they were forced by the cruel hand of oppression to bow their heads in sorrow and despair as they wend their way to their so-called home in the wilderness where they can find no other hope, only to pass a few more years in sorrow until they shall be called to pass through the same ordeal again — to remove and remove until they are annihilated from off the face of the earth.

O ye white man, what encouragement do you give the Indian to plant, to build, to learn to cultivate the earth, or to receive a religion that professes love, mercy, kindness and truth while those who profess to enjoy it deal out such deeds of oppression and cruelty upon the heads of the red men that it drives them to madness and despair?

Let the American nation stay their hand from this time forth in their oppression and drivings of the Indians lest they drive them beyond a point which the Indian will endure and return a blow upon the head of the white man which will fill many a habitation with death.  Once give the Indians a territory, a home where they can have a full assurance that their ears or those of their children will no more be saluted with a call to remove from their lands.  Then if they do not show forth a spirit of improvement, then cast them off as not worthy of your support or attention.  But until then you are not justified.  Your garments are not clean.

The spirit of the age and times demands that Congress should take immediate action upon this matter.

The Indians cannot retain their lands.  Emigration of the white men are already surrounding them and are in their midst.  And the richness and fertility of the Indian lands are a temptation to the white man and invite him to settle thereon. [165]

The Indians have too much land.  More than what they need to till and cultivate for their support.  Let there be a territory set off on the Northwest of Iowa north of Council Bluffs on the Missouri, on which there is now no white settlement.  And let the Indians east of the Rocky Mountains and in the United States be gathered upon it.  Then let other territories in the west be appropriated and let all the Indians on the North American continent be collected together and taught to cultivate the earth.  They will soon associate themselves together and cease their wars among themselves, also with the white man.  If there is not something of this kind done, the vast emigration through all the Indians lands will soon destroy the game, and then want and starvation will ensue and this will bring on war between the white and red men.

If my proposition is accepted by the American government and they will carry it out, it will be of vast benefit both to the Indians and the people of the United States.

The benefit to the Indians will be it will give them a permanent home where schools can be established among them and their children taught the English language.

Farms can also be opened among them and when they see they have a permanent home for themselves and their children and they have no game to depend upon for food, they will immediately go to work and cultivate the earth like white men.

The gospel can then be introduced among them to a good effect and they will receive it with thankfulness, when they can be made to believe that the hand that deals out the gospel to them is not laying a plan to take advantage of them and preparing a way to drive them from their home and country.  It will also unite not only their interest and attachment towards each other but their regard and interest with that of the United States.

The benefit to the government is less expensive:

1st, Buying their lands and paying them yearly annuities is costing the government immense sums of money.  2nd, the continual transporting of Indians from place to place.  There have already been 96,000 Indians removed by the government.  3rd, the keeping of many Indian agents at great expense to government could then [166] be dispensed with.  4th, fortifications have now to be erected on the borders of all Indian tribes with the intention of keeping the Indians in subjection.  These would not be needed if the Indians were in a territory of their own, for by having their trail clear and no encroachments of the white man upon their borders, there would be no cause for war or fortifications.

I am going to Washington soon to lay my petition before the Congress of the United States and urge them to grant my prayer for the benefit of both the white and red men.  I want your aid.  I want you to sign my petition that the voice of thousands may be heard in behalf of this petition.

I want the names of legislators, governors, and American citizens in general that my prayer may be heard and answered.  Give the North American Indian a home, a place where the soles of their feet can rest in peace.  Then you will do your duty towards them and place them in a situation where you can teach them literature, agriculture and commerce.  Give them the chance the white man has, and I prophesy in the name of the Lord that there will ere long be found among them their philosophers, Franklins, and Washingtons, who would do honor to any civilized or Christian nation on the globe.  But let this nation turn a deaf ear to my petitions and the petitions of the Indians, and continue to oppress them and drive them to desperation, and the hour is near when the campfire will be seen upon many a hill.  The war hoop will reach from one end of the Rocky Mountains to the other.  The Indian will then sell his life as dear as possible and deal out death wherever an opportunity offers.  When this blow is struck, it will be terrible to all. May God forbid that such a blow should fall at all-that the scenes of Bloody Brook should any more be enacted.

American citizens it is to ward off this blow that I now stand before you, that I now call upon this nation bearing a petition unto them.  Will you hear my prayer?  Will you give the Indian his rights?  Will you help bury the hate forever?  Or will you make a grave to bury your dead?  I leave you to decide. (Wilford Woodruff Journal)


Wilford Woodruff’s Remarks

December 28, 1849


The principle of cultivating the memory and concentrating our powers of thought to one focus in conversation upon any important point which we may wish to remember is of great consequence.  We ought not to suffer anything else to occupy our thoughts or attention when we wish to be correct in remembering anything.  And we ought to teach our children to read a piece and see how much they can remember or hear preaching and see how much they can repeat.  One man practiced in this way until he could read and repeat a whole newspaper-advertisements and all. (Wilford Woodruff Journal)


Without Money and Without Price

W.C. Dunbar, January 1, 1850


In my travels among the Saints I have heard the above text often made use of; some through ignorance, and others, because they have small contracted nut-shell souls. The Saints generally are, though poor, a benevolent, kind, and open-hearted people, and considering their limited means, it is almost astonishing to see what they can accomplish. But scattered among them are a few drones, who, while others are putting their hand to the work, go buzzing about, and will not be content themselves, neither will they allow others to be, if they can help it; and when an elder makes his wants known in the shape of a coat, pair of shoes, or travelling expenses; or if the president of a conference requires means to take him to the valley, the grumbler buttons up his pocket, opens his eyes as if quite surprised, and exclaims-the apostles preached without money, and without price.  I thought when I came into this church, I would have nothing to pay-I really think that some people get baptized under the impression that they will save seat-rent and the price of class tickets; and you will hear them speak what a deal they did to the elders that have gone, and in the branch they were formerly connected with.  They will talk things which are not asked of them.  And when they find out the awful mystery that the rent of the [168] Hall has to be paid, that the elder and his family live like any other people, instead of by faith alone, and require clothes, food, a place to cover their heads, and money to pay steamboat and railway expenses; and speak about giving a tenth to build a temple to the Lord of Hosts; where, then, is this mighty champion that made such a noise.  He sneaks out of the way, he begins to find fault, stops away from the meetings, his mind becomes darkened, till finally, the god of this world blinds his eyes – he becomes an apostate, and loses his soul.

Jesus, when sending forth his servants to preach the gospel, tells them neither to provide purse nor scrip, nor two coats, etc., and to preach the gospel without money and without price.  But did he mean that their clothes would never wear out, and that they were for ever to be without money?  No such thing.  He wanted to prove his servants faith, and also if the world would receive them by obeying their words, feeding, clothing, and supplying them with money, if needful and the people able to do it, and by this means prove if they would receive or reject himself, hence he said, “He who receiveth you, receiveth me; and he who rejecteth you, rejecteth me.”  If he had established a missionary fund, given them money to pay their lodgings in the next town, and to build a chapel, let out the seats at so much a month or quarter, and a settled salary for preaching, he could not have proved either of them.  But let us see how the apostles preached without money and without price.  They assembled at Jerusalem according to the Savior’s command, preached the gospel, and the first day baptized 3,000 souls, who sold their possessions and lands, and parted them to all men.  We read in the fourth chapter of Acts that although (they made no charge for preaching) they lacked for nothing; how then did they live?  They who had possessions or lands, sold them, and brought the money and laid it at the apostles’ feet; and one poor man and his wife having sold theirs, and kept back part of the money, were struck dead for lying about it.  I do not suppose that this was to be a lasting rule; no doubt circumstances required it.

The gospel is again sent forth to be preached without money and without price, providing neither purse nor scrip.  It is not how he may get a living that troubles the [169] Latter-day Elder.  He seeks first to build up the kingdom of God, in doing which he leaves country, home, shelter, or food, besides anxiety of mind by day and night, for the salvation of the Saints and prosperity of the kingdom of God.  Who then can give an estimate of the value of such labors.  If we were to sell our property, lands, everything, and lay the money at the feet of the apostles of these days; if we were to clothe them in gold and diamonds from head to foot, would it restore beloved partners, children, brethren, sisters, who, while mobocracy ruled, through privations and persecution laid down in a primitive grave?  Would it be a price for the heavenly intelligence and eternal riches which have been imparted to us by those men, who in the midst of bloodshed and death, beset by apostates and devils in human shape, have nobly stood firm as the mighty champions of Zion?  Verily no, nothing short of a crown and kingdom which fade not away, can be a fit reward; they are worthy, and they shall have it.  Let none be afraid then lest they do too much, as they sow, so shall they reap.  Do not give yourselves concern about the elders saving money.  I never knew one to do so.  If he gets but bread and water, and knows the people can give him no better, he will not grumble.  If he has more than he has use for, he will be first in stretching forth his hand to the needy, or use it in some way connected with the kingdom of God.

I never will deceive people by telling them I want nothing.  I will first preach the gospel, and will add to that, that I am without a home, food, clothes, money, that they may have the privilege of providing the same, and yet preach the gospel without money and without price.  Let the Saints rejoice in having the privilege of administering to the wants of Christ’s servants, that they may be among them to whom it shall be said, “Come ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you.  When I had no home, ye took me in; When hungry, gave me food; Thirsty, gave me drink; Naked, clothed me; Sick and in prison, ye visited me.” (Mill.Star 12:9-17)


The Constitution of the New State of Deseret

January 1, 1850


Whereas, a large number of citizens of the United States, before and since the treaty of peace with the Republic of Mexico, emigrated to and settled in that portion of the territory of the United States, lying west of the Rocky Mountains, and in the great interior basin of Upper California; and

Whereas, by reason of said treaty, all civil organization originating from the Republic of Mexico became abrogated; and

Whereas, the Congress of the United States has failed to provide a form of civil government for the territory so acquired, or any portion thereof; and

Whereas, it is a fundamental principle in all republican governments, that all political power is inherent in the people: and governments instituted for their protection, security, and benefit, should emanate from the same;

Therefore, your committee beg leave to recommend the adoption of the following constitution, until the Congress of the United States shall otherwise provide for the government of the territory hereinafter named and described.

We, the people, grateful to the Supreme Being for the blessings hitherto enjoyed, and feeling our dependence on Him for a continuation of those blessings, do ordain and establish a free and independent government, by the name of the State of Deseret; including all the territory of the United States within the following boundaries, to wit: commencing at the 33rd degree of North latitude, where it crosses the 108th degree of longitude, West of Greenwich; of West longitude; thence North to where said line intersects the dividing ridge of the Sierra Nevada mountains; thence North along the summit of the Sierra Nevada mountains to the dividing range of mountains that separates the waters flowing into the Columbia River, from the waters running into the Great Basin; thence Easterly, along the dividing range of mountains that separates said waters flowing into the Columbia River on the north, from the waters flowing into the Great Basin on [171] the South, to the summit of the Wind River chain of mountains; thence Southeast and South, by the dividing range of mountains that separate the waters flowing into the Gulf of Mexico, from the waters flowing into the Gulf of California; to the place of beginning, as set forth in a map drawn by Charles Preuss, and published by order of the Senate of the United States, in 1848.



The powers of government of the State of Deseret shall be divided into three distinct departments, viz: Legislative, Executive, and Judiciary.


ARTICLE II. — Of the Legislative.

Sec. 1.  The legislative authority of this State, shall be vested in a General Assembly, consisting of a Senate and House of Representatives; both to be elected by the people.

Sec. 2.  The session of the General Assembly shall be annual; and the first session be held on the first Monday of July next; and, thereafter, on the first Monday of December, unless the Governor of the State shall convene the assembly, in the interim, by proclamation.

Sec. 3.  The members of the House of Representatives shall be chosen biennially, by the qualified electors of their respective districts, on the first Monday in August; whose term of office shall continue two years from the day of the general election.

Sec. 4.  No person shall be a member of the House of Representatives, who has not attained the age of twenty-five years; the same to be a free white male citizen of the United States, and an inhabitant of this State one year preceding the time of his election, and a resident of the district or county thirty days next preceding his election; and have, at his election, an actual residence in the district he may be chosen to represent.

Sec. 5.  Senators shall be chosen for the term of four years, at the same time and place of Representatives; they shall be thirty years of age, and possess the qualifications of Representative, as to residence and citizenship.

Sec. 6.  The number of Senators shall not be less than one-third, nor more than one-half of the [172] Representatives; and at the first session of the General Assembly, after this constitution takes effect, the Senate shall be divided by lot, as equal as may be, into two classes; the seats of the Senators of the first class shall be vacated at the expiration of two years, so that one-half of the Senate shall be elected biennially.

Sec. 7.  Each house shall choose its own officers, and judge of the qualification, election, and return of its own members, and contested elections shall be determined in such manner as shall hereafter be determined by law.

Sec. 8.  A majority in each house shall constitute a quorum to do business; but a small number may adjourn from day to day, and compel the attendance of absent members in such manner and under such penalty as each house may provide.

Sec. 9.  Each house shall have all powers necessary for a branch of the General Assembly of a free and independent government.

Sec. 10.  Each member of the Assembly shall be privileged form civil arrest during any session, and going to and returning from the same.

Sec. 11.  Neither house shall, without the consent of the other, adjourn for more than three days; nor to any other place than that in which they may be sitting.

Sec. 12.  The Assembly shall, at its first session, provide for an enumeration of the white inhabitants, and an apportionment for the Senators and Representatives.

Sec. 13.  Each member of the Assembly shall take an oath or affirmation to support the constitution of the United States, and of this State; and members shall, and are hereby empowered to, administer said oath or affirmation to each other.

Sec. 14.  The veto power of the Governor shall be allowed by the Assembly, except on bills, which, when reconsidered, shall be again passed by a majority of two-thirds of those present; and any bill vetoed by the Governor shall be returned within ten days, (Sundays excepted) with his objections; otherwise it shall become a law, unless the Assembly, by adjournment, prevent its return.

Sec. 15.  Every law passed by the Assembly shall take effect from and after due publication of authority. [173]

Sec. 16.  The voters of this State may elect, at the first election, not exceeding seventeen (17) Senators and thirty-five (35) Representatives.


ARTICLE III. — Of the Executive.

Sec. 1.  The executive power shall be vested in a Governor, who shall hold his office for four years.  A Lieutenant Governor shall be elected at the same time, and for the same term, who shall be the President of the Senate.

Sec. 2.  No person shall be eligible for the office of Governor or Lieutenant Governor, who has not been a citizen of the Untied States, and a resident of this State, two years next preceding his election, and attained the age of thirty-five years at the time of his election.

Sec. 3.  The Governor shall be commander-in-chief of the militia, navy, and all the armies of this State.

Sec. 4.  He shall transact all executive business with the officers of government, civil and military; and may require information in writing from the officers of the Executive Department, upon any subject relating to the duties of their respective offices.

Sec. 5.  He shall see that the laws are faithfully executed.

Sec. 6.  When any office shall, from any cause, become vacant, and no mode is prescribed by the constitution and laws for filling such vacancy, the Governor shall have power to fill such vacancy, by granting a commission, which shall expire when such vacancy shall be filled by due course of law.

Sec. 7.  He shall also have power to convene the General Assembly by proclamation, when, in his opinion, the interests of the State require it.

Sec. 8.  He shall communicate by message to the General Assembly, at every session, the condition of the State, and recommend such matters as he shall deem expedient.

Sec. 9.  In case of disagreement in the General Assembly, with regard to the time of adjournment, the Governor shall have power to dissolve the session by proclamation.

Sec. 10.  No person shall, while holding any lucrative [174] office under the United States, or this State, execute the office of Governor, except as shall be prescribed by law.

Sec. 11. The Governor shall have power to grant reprieves and pardons, and commute punishments after convictions, except in cases of impeachments.

Sec. 12.  The Governor shall receive for his services such compensation as shall hereafter be provided by law.

Sec. 13.  There shall be a seal of this State, which shall be kept by the Governor, and used by him officially; and shall be called the Great Seal of the State of Deseret.

Sec. 14.  All grants and commissions shall be in the name and by the authority of the people of the State of Deseret; sealed with the Great Seal of this State, signed by the Governor, and countersigned by the Secretary of State.

Sec. 15.  A Secretary of State, Auditor of Public Accounts, and Treasurer, shall be elected by the qualified electors, who shall continue in office for the term of four years.  The Secretary of State shall keep a fair register of all the official acts of the Governor, and shall, when required, lay the same, together with all papers, minutes and vouchers, relative thereto, before either branch of the General Assembly, and shall perform such other duties as shall be assigned him by law.

Sec. 16.  In case of the impeachment of the Governor, his removal from office, death, resignation, or absence from the State, the powers and duties of the office shall devolve upon the Lieutenant Governor, until such disability shall cease, or the vacancy be filled.


ARTICLE IV. — Of the Judiciary.

Sec. 1.  The judicial power shall be vested in a Supreme Court, and such inferior courts as the General Assembly shall from time to time establish.

Sec. 2.  The Supreme Court shall consist of a Chief Justice and two associates, either two of whom shall be a quorum to hold courts.

Sec. 3.  The judges of the Supreme Court shall be elected by joint vote of both houses of the General Assembly, and shall hold their courts at such time and place as the General Assembly shall direct; and hold their office for the term of four years, and until their successors are elected and qualified. The Judges of the Supreme Court [175] shall be conservators of the peace throughout the State, and shall exercise such other jurisdictions and appellate powers as shall be prescribed by law.

Sec. 4.  The style of all process shall be the State of Deseret; and all prosecutions shall be in the name of and by the authority of the State.


ARTICLE V. — Of Elections.

Sec. 1.  The Governor, Lieutenant Governor, Auditor of Accounts, Treasurer, and Secretary of State, shall be elected by the qualified electors as provided for members of the General Assembly, and at the time and place appointed for holding the same.

Sec. 2.  The returns of every election of Governor, Lieutenant Governor, Auditor, Treasurer, and Secretary of State, shall be sealed up, and transmitted forthwith to the seat of government, directed to the Speaker of the House of Representatives, who shall, during the first week of the session, open and publish them in the presence of both houses of the General Assembly; and the persons receiving a majority of all the legal votes cast for their respective offices, shall be declared duly elected.

Sec. 3.  The Governor, Lieutenant Governor, Auditor, Treasurer, and Secretary of State, shall, before entering upon the duties of their respective offices, take an oath or affirmation, to support the Constitution of the United States, and of this State; which oath, or affirmation, shall be administered by the Speaker of the House of Representatives.

Sec. 4.  The first election for members of the General Assembly, and other officers under this Constitution, shall be held on the first Monday of May next, at the usual places of holding public meetings in the different districts and settlements; at which time and place the qualified voters shall vote for or against the adoption of this Constitution; and if a majority of all the legal votes shall be in favor of its adoption, the same shall take effect from and after said election.

Sec. 5. At the time and place of holding the elections, the qualified electors shall organize the polls by appointing two judges, who shall be authorized to qualify each other, and appoint two suitable persons as clerks; [176] and said judges shall, at the close of said election, seal up the number of votes so cast, and forthwith transmit them to the President of this convention.

Sec. 6.  The returns of the first election herein provided for, shall be made to the Chairman of this convention, who, together with the two Secretaries, shall proceed immediately to open said returns and count the votes; upon ascertaining the persons receiving a majority of votes, they shall forthwith notify them of their election.

Sec. 7.  The General Assembly shall, at its first session, provide by law a general system of election for officers, under this Constitution, and such other officers as may be hereafter created by law.

Sec. 8.  The manner of voting shall be by ballot.

Sec. 9.  The General Assembly shall meet at Great Salt Lake City, which place shall be the seat of government until otherwise provided by law.

Sec. 10.  All white male residents of this State, over the age of twenty-one years, shall have the privilege of voting at the first election, and at the adoption of this Constitution; provided, that no person in the military, naval, or marine service of the United States, shall be considered a resident of this State, by being stationed in any garrison, barrack, military, or naval place, or station within this State, unless otherwise provided for by law.


ARTICLE VI — Of Militia.

Sec. 1.  The militia of this State shall be composed of all able-bodied, white male citizens, between the ages of eighteen and forty-five years, except such as are or may hereafter be exempt, by the laws of the United States, or of this State, and shall be armed, equipped and trained, as the General Assembly may provide by law.

Sec. 2.  All commissioned officers of the militia (staff officers excepted) shall be elected by the persons liable to perform military duty in their respective divisions; and all commissioned officers shall be commissioned by the Governor.


ARTICLE VII. — Amendments of the Constitution.

Sec 1.  If at any time the General Assembly shall [177] deem it necessary, and for the best interest of the State, that this Constitution should be revised, altered, or amended, the Assembly shall cause such revisions, alterations, or amendments, to be published in the same manner as shall be provided for the publication of the statutes; and appoint a day not less than thirty days thereafter, for the electors of the commonwealth to assembly in their several precincts, and vote for, or against, said revisions, alterations, or amendments; and if a majority of said electors shall vote in favor of said revisions, alterations, or amendments, the same shall thereafter become parts and parcels of this Constitution; otherwise, this Constitution shall remain unaltered.


ARTICLE VIII. — Declaration of Rights.

Sec. 1.  In republican governments, all men should be born equally free and independent, and possess certain natural, essential, and inalienable rights, among which are those of enjoying and defending their life and liberty; acquiring, possessing, and protecting property; and of seeking and obtaining their safety and happiness.

Sec. 2.  All political power is inherent in the people; and all free governments are founded in their authority, and instituted for their benefit; therefore, they have an inalienable and indefensible right to institute government, and to alter, reform, and totally change the same, when their safety, happiness, and the public good shall require it.

Sec. 3.  All men shall have a natural and inalienable right to worship God according to the dictates of their own consciences; and the General Assembly shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or of prohibiting the free exercise thereof, or disturb any person in his religious worship or sentiments; provided he does not disturb the public peace, nor obstruct others in their religious worship; and all persons demeaning themselves peaceably, as good members of the State, shall be equally under the protection of the laws; and no subordination or preference of any one sect or denomination to another, shall ever be established by law; nor shall any religious test ever be required for any office of trust under this State. [178]

Sec. 4.  Any citizen of this State, who may hereafter be engaged, either directly or indirectly, in a duel, either as principal or accessory before the fact, shall be disqualified from holding any office under the Constitution and laws of this State.

Sec. 5.  Every person may speak, write, and publish his sentiments on all subjects, being responsible for the abuse of that right, and no law shall be passed to abridge the liberty of speech or of the press.

Sec. 6.  The people shall be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and possessions, from unreasonable searches and seizures.

Sec. 7.  The right of trial by jury shall remain inviolate: and all criminals shall be heard by self, or counsel at their own election.

Sec. 8.  All penalties and punishments shall be in proportion to the offense; and all offenses, where the proof is evident, or the presumption is great.

Sec. 9.  The writ of habeas corpus shall not be suspended unless in case of rebellion, or invasion, or the public safety shall require it.

Sec. 10.  Treason against this State shall consist only in levying war against it, or adhering to its enemies, or giving them aid and comfort.

Sec. 11.  The General Assembly shall pass no bill of attainder, or expost facto laws, or law impairing the obligation of contracts, to hinder the execution of justice.

Sec. 12.  The laws shall not be suspended, but by the legislative or executive authority

Sec. 13.  The right of petition, by the people, shall be preserved inviolate.

Sec. 14.  The right of citizens to keep and bear arms for common defense shall not be questioned.

Sec. 15.  Private property shall not be taken for public use without just compensation.

Sec. 16.  No standing army shall be kept up in time of peace, and the military shall at all times, and in all places, be in strict subordination to the civil power.

Sec. 17.  The enumeration of certain rights, shall not be construed to impair, nor deny others, retained by the people.

(Mill. Star, 12:19-25, Jan. 15, 1850)


William Gibson, H.P.

February 1, 1850


Paul says (Heb.11:1) that faith is the evidence of things not seen.  Faith, then, is believing the testimony of someone concerning something which we have not seen; for if we have seen a thing, we need no other person’s testimony concerning its existence, but we know it for ourselves, and are thereby qualified to bear testimony of it to others.

Faith of itself can never qualify a man to bear testimony to the truth of any thing; he may say he believes it, but unless he speak of that which he knows, or testify to that which he hath seen or heard, no man could be condemned for not believing him (See John 3:11-32).

There is another thing required before any man can be condemned for not receiving the testimony of another, and that is the person testifying must not only have a knowledge of the truth of that to which he bears testimony, but he must be sent to bear it.  Thus Paul reasons (Rom. 10:14): “How can they call on him in whom they have not believed?  How can they believe in him of whom they have not heard?  How can they hear without a preacher, and how can they preach except they be sent?”

This is so reasonable that no wise man will attempt to deny it.  Take an example from things around us: A gentleman wants a certain piece of work done, and employs a number of servants to accomplish it; if someone who had not a knowledge of the master’s will, should come and say to the servants, I think, I suppose, or I believe the master wants you to do so and so, could the master in justice condemn them for not giving heed to his suppositions?  Or, if some old document were found, which contained instructions to some former servants, and because the master was an unchangeable being, that is, would not turn from the thing he had determined to do, men should come and say to the servants now employed, here are the commandments of your master to former servants, and as he does not change from his purposes, it must apply to you; and, says one, I believe from this, that he means you should do so and so; of, no, says another, I [180] suppose he means just the contrary; and I, says a third, think you are both wrong, although we will not be so uncharitable as to say we are sure that either of us are really wrong, but this we will say, that if these fellows do not believe some of us, the master will be sure to punish them.  If he did, would he be acting justly in doing so?  Certainly not.

But suppose the master did reveal his mind to someone, but did not send him to tell the servants; if the man should go without being sent, and begin to command the servants what to do, they could not be condemned for not obeying him, seeing the master did not send him, and he therefore had no authority to command them to do anything.  Upon the same reasoning Paul must be right, when he says, “How can they preach, except they be sent?”

But if the master should call a man, make known his mind to him, and send him to communicate the same to the servants, he would not come, saying, I think the master wants you to do this, or I suppose the master wants you to do that, or I must go and see what the old document says; but he would come, saying, thus saith the master, do so and so; and if they did not do as that man commanded them, then they would be under condemnation, for in receiving him they would have received him that sent him (John 13:20).

Let us suppose that Noah had come to the people in his day and said, I think the Lord wants me to build an ark, and I believe if you do not repent that you will be destroyed by a flood of water; but I will not be so uncharitable as to say that I am positive that I am right, and all who differ from me must be wrong, especially as the whole world are against me.  Could the people in that case have been justly condemned for not believing him?  They could not.

But God revealed to Noah his mind and will concerning that generation, and sent him to declare unto them the things which he had seen and heard; therefore he knew that he was right, though all the world were against him.  He did not need to consult the prophecy of Enoch, nor to come saying, this is my opinion, but he came saying, thus saith the Lord; and thus men were condemned [181] for not obeying him; for in rejecting him, they rejected Him that sent him.

But Noah’s testimony could not save or condemn any but those to whom he was sent-it could neither save nor condemn the inhabitants of Sodom, but Lot’s testimony could, for God revealed his mind to Lot and sent him to them.  So the testimony of Moses could not condemn the Jews in the days of Christ, unless they laid it down to themselves as a rule or law to walk by, and thus made it a matter of conscience; because, for about 400 years, God had not revealed his mind to any man, nor sent anyone to declare it.  Thus, when Jesus came, men were divided in their opinions regarding the old document, viz., the law of Moses; and their faith towards God was taught by the precepts of men-the Pharisee saying, I think Moses meant this-the Sadducee saying, no, I believe he meant the contrary, whilst the Herodian differed from both.  Therefore Jesus says, if I had not come, ye had not had sin, but now ye have no cloak for your sin.

Although God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world, yet their rejection of him proved their condemnation; for this was the condemnation of that generation, that light had come to them, but they loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil; for when they were all divided in their opinions regarding what God required of them, God revealed his will to the Son, and sent him to testify to that which he had seen and heard of the FATHER (John 3:11,32-35, and also 7:26-30).  Neither did he come of himself, but God sent him (John 8:42), for how could he preach except he were sent?  The apostles were sent by Jesus Christ, for he says, as my Father sent me even so send I you; and they were not sent to give opinions to the world, but to testify to that which they had seen and heard (Acts 4:19,20).  One of them was so very uncharitable as to say, we know that we are of God, and all the world lieth in wickedness (1 John 5:19).

After the days of the apostles, men began to make merchandise of the gospel, as foretold by Peter in his second epistle, second chapter, and thus lost that spirit of inspiration which Jesus promised to give to his people to teach them the mind of the Father, to bring all things to their remembrance, and shew them things to come, and [182] having nothing left but a few letters written by those to whom God revealed his mind in former days, and a few commandments which they believe were given by God through Christ and the apostles, they have fallen out about the meaning of the one and the essentiality of the other.

Thus the Episcopalian says, I think God wants men to do this.  Oh, no, says the Presbyterian, I suppose he means just the contrary; and I, says the Methodist, believe that you are both wrong; but none of us are so very uncharitable as to say that we are positive that we are right, and that those who differ from us must be wrong; but upon this we are all agreed, that though it makes no difference which of us men believe, yet if they do not believe either the one or the other, they MUST go to hell.

What absurdity for men, to whom God never gave any revelation of his will – whom he never sent – who are divided among themselves about the meaning of what he formerly revealed – and who dare not say they are sure they are right, and that ALL who differ from them MUST be wrong, to tell men that they will go to hell if they do not believe them!  Such stuff as this shews one thing clearly, and that is, that in the popular religious doctrines of the present day, plain common sense hath no place.

We will now look at the boasted faith of the religious world in the Bible, as being the word of God, and ask upon what is their faith founded?  We answer, on the teachings and traditions of their fathers; and with as much justice may the believer in the Koran or the Talmud claim salvation for his faith, as the Christian for his belief in the Bible.

God is just, and never expects to reap where he hath not sown, nor gather where he hath not strewed, consequently men are responsible only for the light they have received.  In the absence of men sent by immediate revelation to the generation among whom they live, and who can testify to that which they have seen and heard – men are only judged by the law of conscience, as no generation of men can be condemned for not believing and acting upon the revelations given to former generations, unless they have made the faith and observance of them a [183] matter of conscience.  But let us look at things as they exist in the world around us.

Men, in this country, profess to believe the Bible to be the word of God.  But how do they believe it?  Just as they have been taught; for a child whose parents belong to the Church of England, is taught to believe it according to the interpretation given by that Church; another, whose parents belong to the Church of Scotland, is taught to believe it according to the rules of that Church; while those children whose parents belong to the different dissenting societies, are taught to read and believe it according to the faith and traditions of their fathers; while others again, whose parents are infidels, are taught to look upon the Bible as a fable, and religion as a piece of mummery.  So is it also with the Mahometan, the Jew, the Hindoo, and the Hottentot.  They believe in what they have been taught by the traditions of their fathers; and in all these cases their faith towards God, like that of the Jews in the days of Christ, is taught by the traditions, doctrines, and commandments of men; and in this respect the one must be as good as the other in the sight of Him who is no respecter of persons; for such faith can neither save them who hold it, nor condemn those who reject it, only in so far as any one of them, whether Christian, Mahometan, Jew, Infidel, or Pagan believes it to be his duty to do, or to refrain from doing certain things.  He then makes it a matter of conscience, and is therefore justified or condemned according to that law which he hath laid down to himself as right, and which he ought to walk by.

Thus Paul reasons when he said (1 Cor. 10:25), “Whatsoever is sold in the shambles, that eat, asking no questions for conscience sake” and again (Rom. 14:23), “He that doubteth is damned if he eat” and the reason he gives is, that he eateth not of faith, and whatsoever is not of faith is sin.

But it is widely different when God gives a revelation of his will to living men, and sends them forth to bear testimony of the same; then, if rejected, it will prove the condemnation of men; because light had come unto them, but they loved the darkness rather than the light, their deeds being evil.  They will very soon begin to display the [184] evil spirit they have received, by persecuting those who are sent to them-defaming their character-and putting them to death, at the same time condemning the conduct of those who had done so before them.  It was so with the Jew, and it is so with the Christian.

The prophets who lived before Christ came, were persecuted while living and honored when dead.  It was the same with Christ and the apostles, and is the same now.  It may at first sight appear strange, that prophets have always been persecuted while living, and their writings believed, after they were dead, by those who, in their turn, do the same thing; but we must remember, that if their testimony does not seem strange to us now that the thing is past, it is because we have been taught from our childhood to believe it true, and yet it would appear very strange to those who lived in the day when the revelation was given.

Take for instance Noah, Lot, Jonah, Jesus Christ, and the apostles. Noah came to the people in his day and told them of the flood, and they would not believe him, but, says the Christian I believe him, and they were justly condemned for unbelief.  But suppose this professed Bible-believing generation had never heard of the flood, and a man were to come to them as Noah did to the ante-diluvians, and commence to build a boat far from any water, and declare that after a certain time so much rain should fall, and such a flood be produced, that the very world would be overwhelmed, and he was building a boat to save himself and family, how many would believe him?  Would not our holy men call him a fool, or a fanatic, and say it was still harder to believe such a story, than Joseph Smith’s tale about the golden plates and the Book of Mormon?

It is quite possible; nay, it is very likely, that the people in the days of Lot believed in the flood, as well as the Christian world does now; but a shower of fire and brimstone was something new to them; and so when Lot talked to his friends about fleeing out of the city to avoid it, they thought him as great a fool as the Jews did the disciples, when they fled from the destruction of Jerusalem, or as great fools as the would-be Bible-believers of the present day think the Latter-day Saints [185] are when they flee to America to escape the evils that are coming on the nations.

Suppose a man should come to them now with such a tale as Jonah’s-about running away from the Lord-being cast out of a ship, and a whale swallowing him, and living three days in the whale’s belly, what would our pious men, who cannot believe such and absurd story as an angel appearing to a man now, say to such a tale as this?  Would they not say, that it was a disgrace to our holy religion to allow such a fellow to go at large, and he might think himself well off, if they only put him in Bedlam.

Again, when Christ came, he came to an outwardly righteous people, who professed to believe the Bible – who made long prayers, while at the same time they robbed widows’ houses (How like the present state of things!).  They were also a missionary people, so zealous that they compassed sea and land to make a proselyte; but when they had made him, he was twofold more the child of hell than before.

Compare this with the effects produced by the teachings and missionary exertions in this land of Bibles and Parsons, Tracts and Missionaries.  It is true that we have Churches, Sermons, Bibles, Tracts, Parsons, and Missionaries in abundance; but it is also true that we have drunkenness and debauchery, murder and whoredom, tyranny and oppression, priestcraft and confusion, poverty and want; and if the tree is to be known by its fruits, then judge ye of it.

The Jews boasted of their faith in Moses and the prophets.  “We have Moses and the prophets,” they said, “and we want no new revelation.”  It was true their fathers killed these very prophets as impostors and deceivers, but now that they were dead, their testimony was believed.  Tombs were built, and sepulchres were garnished in honor of their memory; and the people in the days of Christ said, if WE had lived in the days of our fathers, we would not have put them to death, nor been partakers of their evil deeds (Mat. 23:29).  But what said Christ of these believers in Moses and prophets?  “Ye are witnesses to yourselves that ye are the children of them who killed the prophets.  Fill ye up then, the measure of your fathers.  Ye serpents, ye generation of vipers, how can ye escape the damnation [186] of hell? for behold, I will send YOU the prophets, wise men and scribes, and some of them YOU will kill, and crucify, and scourge them in your synagogues, and persecute them from city to city, and bring upon yourselves all the righteous blood shed on the earth since the days of righteous Abel” (Mat. 23:31).

And how true was the prediction!  For no sooner did Jesus announce himself as sent from God, and make known to them that they had a living prophet in their midst, even that prophet that Moses declared God should raise up unto them, than these professed believers in Moses – these honorers of the dead, rose up against the living prophet – never rested till they had put to death the Son of God, and scattered, persecuted, and martyred those who were his followers.  Thus, while publicans and harlots got into the kingdom of God, the holy priests and Pharisees were cast out, with all their boasted faith in Moses and the prophets.  But through their unbelief in new revelation, and their persecution of those whom God sent unto them, they brought destruction on their city, temple, and nation!

But now says the Christian, we believe in the testimony of those men whom the Jews martyred, and we honor their memory, for monuments are reared, and churches are built in honor of them.  Have we not Christ’s Church, St. Peter’s Church, St. Paul’s Church, etc., etc., etc.?  If we had lived in the days of Christ and the apostles, we would not have put them to death, nor been partakers with the Jews in their evil deeds, but would have believed those doctrines, for the rejection of which the just judgment of God came upon that unbelieving nation.

Behold, ye are witnesses against yourselves, that ye have the same spirit as those who killed the prophets and apostles; for God hath sent unto you prophets, wise men and scribes, and some of them ye have killed, and others ye have scourged and persecuted from city to city, that upon you may come all the righteous blood shed on the earth since the days of Abel.

Ye condemn the Jews, sabbath after sabbath, as an unbelieving, ungodly nation, who were justly punished for rejecting the testimony of Christ and the apostles; but if Christ had come to you, under the same circumstances, [187] and with the same doctrines which he came with to the Jews, you would have treated him as bad as ever the Jew did.  If Joseph Smith was put to death, and his murder applauded, because he claimed to be a prophet, and bore testimony to the truth of the Book of Mormon, what would the men who killed him, and those who justified his murder, have said had they lived in Christ’s day, and heard the many declarations against him?

Imagine, first, a child born of a poor woman in a stable, and cradled in a manger – the reputed father of the child a poor carpenter: see that same child for 30 years subject to these parents along with the rest of his brothers, James, and Joses, and Simon, and Judas, and his sisters also (Mat 13:55); then hear that same individual, after attaining his thirtieth year, come out and declare that he was the Son of God, and came down from heaven (John 6:30).  Would it not be as hard to believe that the son of poor Mary was the Son of God, and that he whom you knew was born in a stable, came down from heaven, as for you to believe that Joseph Smith was a prophet?  The Jews thought it hard enough (see John 6:42) when they said, “Is not this Jesus the son of Joseph, whose father and mother we know?  How is it, then, that he saith I came down from heaven?”  Would our good Christians have believed him under the same circumstances?  I think they would not.  Why, his very brethren would not believe him (John 7:5), and his friends said he was mad (Mark 3:21).  Would not our Christian friends have thought so too, especially when we hear his next assertion?  To believe that a man whose father and mother they knew – whose place of birth they knew – whose brethren and sisters they knew – and whose age they knew could not exceed fifty years; to believe such a man, when he said he was older than Abraham (John 8:55-58), was rather too much for that wise and pious generation; and I rather think that this present generation, with all their boasted faith and piety, would not have believed it any more than they, especially when we find them too wise to believe in such a simple thing as the appearance of an angel with a message from God to the inhabitants of the earth.

The Jews, those professed believers in dead men’s writings, like the men of the present day, would have no [188] new revelation; and to put down the heresy, they tried the old plan – put him to death; so they crucified him, and after they had nailed him to the tree, they said to him, as they said of Joseph Smith in the present day, if he is what he professes to be, let him deliver himself now, and come down from the cross, and we will believe him; but he did not do so (What a pity!).

So they put him to death, and after they had killed him, they remembered that he said he would rise on the third day, so to prevent the disciples from stealing his body and deceiving the people, by saying he had risen from the dead, these holy men made all things sure – they put a stone on the mouth of the tomb; they sealed the stone; they got a guard of Roman soldiers to watch it; and now they thought all is right.  But no!  An angel came (for they came then sometimes), he rolled away the stone – the keepers became as dead men – and Christ arose to life and immortality.  The soldiers came back and told these holy men what had occurred; but if the people should believe such a thing, then their honor was lost, their craft was in danger; for if they were to own he had risen from the dead, they would have also to own that they were wrong in putting him to death; nay, more, that he who had declared them to be hypocrites, was a righteous man.  They could not stand this, so they gave the soldiers a heavy bribe, to tell them they had fallen asleep, and while they slept, the disciples stole away the body, and these pious men not only saved the soldiers from punishment, but threw all their pious influence in to back up the lie; and of course the people believed them; for who was to oppose them?  None but the poor fishermen – the very men who were charged with stealing his body.

Now, my Christian friends, does not Paul say, if Christ is not risen, your faith is vain and ye are yet in your sins?  What testimony have ye that Christ has risen?  Did you ever see him?  Did any of your parsons ever see him?  If not, on what is your faith founded?  On the testimony of those who stand charged with stealing his body by the soldiers, the priests and the people of that day.  But you will say, the soldiers were bribed.  How do you know that?  The Bible says so.  But who wrote this part of the Bible?  Why, the fisherman and their associates.  So it [189] is still only their testimony that you have for the truth of it.

How often do we hear the priests of the present day say, if Joseph Smith really got the plates containing the Book of Mormon, why did he not shew them to the world, and thus put down the tales of his enemies?  If he had done this, then we might have believed him, but as it is, we have no testimony for the truth of their existence but his own, and some of his own followers.

Did any one ever see Christ, after he rose from the dead, but his own followers?  No (See Acts 10:40,41)!  Then why did he not shew himself to all the people and put down this lie?  If our pious friends had lived then, they would have said it was but reasonable he should do so, especially since he was now immortal, and no man could harm him, but he did not do it (What a pity!).  Why not?  Because faith is to come by HEARING, not by SEEING; that is, hearing the testimony of those he sent, and Jesus says, he that did not believe their testimony should be damned.

Let our Christian friends take care lest their boasted faith prove no better than that of the Jews, and they find at last that the same God who sent the fishermen in former days, hath sent men now to prove the boasted faith of this generation, and with the same commandment too, “go ye into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature.  He that believeth you and is baptized shall be saved, and he that believeth not shall be damned.” (Mill. Star 12:35-37, 50-53)


Thou Shalt Not Commit Adultery

Orson Pratt

March 1, 1850


Because of the transgressions and of the FALSE teachings of some SONS OF BELIAL upon the above subject, the minds of many have become darkened, and because of transgression the truth has been evil spoken of; we, therefore, deem it wisdom to publish our views upon this subject.

It is adulterous in the sight of heaven, for a man and woman to have intercourse with each other, unless they are lawfully and legally married. The desire of the sex, one [190] for the other, is natural, and was instituted for wise purposes – that the earth might be peopled, and that the way might be opened for man to enter upon his second estate in the scale of exaltation.  Is there a man in the kingdom of God, whose mind is not darkened by unholy lust, who cannot see at a glance, the necessity, the absolute necessity that the gratification of those desires should be regulated by law, that the generations of ZION may be pure and legally begotten?

The law was given unto man in the earliest days of his existence upon the earth – was reiterated from time to time – was ratified and confirmed amid the thunders of Mount Sinai; the Son of God witnessed to its truth; and last of all, it has been declared unto us in these last days through the prophet Joseph.  Matthew verse 28:  “But I say unto you, whosoever looketh on a woman to lust after her, hath committed adultery with her already in his heart.”  See, also, Book of Mormon, page 460:  “Wo unto that man and that woman, who having come to a knowledge of the truth, shall defile, or suffer themselves to be defiled.”  See Doctrine and Covenants, sec. xx. par. 4:  “There were among you adulterers and adulteresses; some of whom have turned away from you, and others remain with you that hereafter shall be revealed.  Let such beware and repent speedily, lest judgments shall come upon them as a snare, and their folly shall be made manifest, and their works shall follow them in the eyes of the people.”  Par. 5:  “And verily I say unto you, as I have said before, he that looketh upon a woman to lust after her, or if any shall commit adultery in their hearts, they shall not have the spirit, but shall deny the faith and shall fear; wherefore, I, the Lord, have said that the fearful and the unbelieving, and all liars, and whosoever loveth and maketh a lie, and the whoremonger, and the sorcerer shall have their part in that lake which burneth with fire and brimstone, which is the second death.  Verily, I say, that they shall not have part in the first resurrection.”

We earnestly warn the Saints against all, no matter what their station may be, who shall seek to transgress the law of purity, or shall undertake to make void the law by false teaching.  See Book of Mormon, page 105:  “O the wise and the learned, and the rich, that are puffed up in the pride of their hearts, and all those who preach false [191] doctrines, and all those who commit whoredoms, and pervert the right way of the Lord; wo, wo, wo be unto them, saith the Lord God Almighty, for they shall be thrust down to hell.”  We might make many more quotations from the word of God, highly condemnatory of the sin of adultery, but we trust that the foregoing are sufficient to convince every person who is not wholly given to lasciviousness, that every thing tending towards it is not of God but from beneath.

It is highly necessary for us as a people to put away all sin and uncleanness, that we may enjoy the smiles of our heavenly Father.  This is a wicked and an adulterous generation, and the wrath of God is kindled against the world, because of whoredoms and other abominations; and if we would escape from the plagues and calamities that are about to be poured out upon all nations, we must turn away from evil and cleave unto righteousness.  And we solemnly enjoin, upon all Latter-day Saints, that inasmuch as they do not wish to come under transgression themselves, not to endeavor to screen and cover upon the transgression themselves, not to endeavor to screen and coverup the evil transactions of adulterers, whoremongers, and adulteresses.  Lasciviousness is the ruling spirit of the age in which we live, and its consequences upon society are calculated to, first demoralize, and then destroy, the whole social fabric.

We are happy to be enabled to state that the crime of adultery has been of rare occurrence among us as a people; yet such instances have occurred; and we are desirous to see the Saints even more zealous of good works, and strict in discipline, that transgressors may be made to tremble.  Hereafter, if any man or woman shall know of any Elder, Priest, Teacher, Deacon, or Member endeavoring to seduce or lead away any woman, married or single, in the church or out of it, it will be their duty to make it known to the president of the conference in which the individual transgressing resides.  Let it be done in writing, with the names of the witnesses attached.  If a president of a conference shall be known to be guilty of the same offense, we wish all persons having knowledge of the fact, to make it known to us in writing over their own signatures, in no case making the matter known to the church, until it has [192] been acted upon by those having jurisdiction over the case, and the individual be found guilty.  We also wish to direct the attention of all who have charge of branches or conferences to the following extract from the revelations of God concerning adulterers and adulteresses, who shall seek to enter the church:

“Behold, verily I say unto you, that whatever persons among you, having put away their companions for the cause of fornication, or in other words, if they shall testify before you in all lowliness of heart that this is the case, ye shall not cast them out from among you; but if ye shall find that any persons have left their companions for the sake of adultery, and they themselves are the offenders, and their companions are living, they shall be cast out from among you.  And again I say unto you, that ye shall be watchful and careful, with all inquiry, that ye receive none such among you, if they are married; and if they are not married, they shall repent of their sins, or ye shall not receive them.” (D&C 13:20)

Blessed is the man who shall strive to become acquainted with the law of his God, and keep it, and shall teach others to do likewise, for he shall not be barren or unfruitful, but shall abound in the excellency of the knowledge of his Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.

We have also heard that it is held by some, “that it matters not what persons do, provided there is no witness of the fact, for there will be no record of the matter before the Lord, because no man accuses them.”  We have heard of many wicked, foolish opinions, but we must confess that the above caps the climax.  That any man possessed of common sense, or into whose mind the light of truth has dawned, can, for a moment, entertain such an erroneous opinion is truly astonishing.  We warn every Latter-day Saint to repent and turn away from such a soul-destroying principle, for it has emanated from the enemy of all righteousness.  The Lord will never leave himself without a witness.  The Holy Ghost knoweth all things, and will bear witness of all things unto the FATHER; and according to the words of JESUS, all things shall be written.  See [193] Book of Mormon, page 487: “And behold all things are written by the FATHER; therefore out of the books which shall be written shall the world be judged.” (Mill. Star, Vol. 12:73-75)


The Earth:

Its Fall, Redemption, and Final Destiny

Orson Pratt, March 1, 1850


The earth was formed to be inhabited-it was designed to be the abode of the animated existence – the dwelling place of beings capable of enjoying life and happiness.

At the time of its creation, it was pronounced by its Author to be “very good”. The term “very good”, could have no meaning, unless spoken with reference to beings who should be capable of experiencing some benefit from its construction.  However beautifully formed@however grand and magnificent its motions@however skillfully its elements are combined, or its parts proportioned to each other, yet, if not designed to be connected with perceptive beings, the earth could not be pronounced good.  A mass of inanimate elements cannot be organized in any possible form or proportion so as to benefit or injure itself, and therefore cannot be good or bad with reference to itself.  Goodness and its opposite quality, when applied to unconscious matter, always have reference to conscious beings capable of deriving happiness or misery from these qualities.  This was the meaning of the Creator when he ascribed the quality of goodness to the earth; it contained every necessary ingredient to render happiness to the beings who were designed to occupy it.

After having made every necessary preparation, countless species of living, moving beings came from the spirit world to inhabit earthly bodies, and take up their abode upon this magnificent creation. Among the rest, man – the offspring of deity – left his ancient home – his brother and sister spirits, and came to a world most beautifully adapted to his future wants.  Here he entered a tabernacle of flesh and bones, and received dominion and authority over all the lower orders of existence. Here immortality reigned, and death had no dominion. The [194] elements were so wisely arranged and proportioned, that life was derived from all things ordained for the use of man or beast, fowl or fish.  The nourishing element of life was diffused through the earth, the ocean, and the air.  Life pervaded every vegetable and fruit not forbidden to man.  Life reigned triumphantly throughout this vast creation.  Death was unknown; it had not been seen, heard of, nor experienced in all the varied ranks of earthly beings.

Here then was a creation “very good”, inhabited by beings capable of eternal  existence, both body and spirit. Here was a creation adapted to the wants of all its inhabitants, calculated to preserve unchanged that immortality with which they were endowed.  Here, then, was a creation worth possessing as an eternal abode.  Such was the inheritance given to man, with its vast treasures and sumptuous luxuries – such was the gift of heaven under certain restrictions. These restrictions were not complied with – man fell – a great change came over the fair face of creation-the earth was cursed-sickness, pain, and misery ensued-immortality yielded to mortality – death reigned triumphantly throughout the animal kingdom-the everlasting inheritance on the newly-formed earth was forfeited-all seemed to be lost – forever lost!  While all creation groaned in utter despair and death, a voice was heard, not a voice of wrath and indignation, but the voice of mercy and compassion – the voice of the Creator, proclaiming himself the Redeemer; love flowed through every sentence-man listened with eagerness – the door of hope was opened – despair fled away-all things again assumed a new aspect. The earth, though cursed, was to be redeemed-the body, though corruptible, was again to put on incorruption-all things lost by the first transgression were to be restored again in their primitive excellence and beauty.  Though this great redemption was to be universal, yet the change was to be gradual or progressive, not immediate; the effects of the fall were to continue for a season, until all the inhabitants of the spirit world, designed for this creation, should learn by bitter experience, the unhappy consequences of sin.  Hence, the whole world still groans under the sad effects of the original transgression. [195] Sorrow, mourning, death still prevail-the aged, middle-aged, and infant still feel the force of these evils-all are made partakers in a greater or less degree of the wretchedness and miseries of the fall-none escape-none can proclaim themselves immortal, or free from these direful effects.

The universal redemption of the posterity of Adam from the fall will be fully accomplished after the earth has been filled with its measure of inhabitants, and all men have been redeemed from the grave to immortality, and the earth itself has been changed and made entirely new.

But a universal redemption from the effects of original sin, has nothing to do with redemption from our person sins; for the original sin of Adam, and the personal sins of his children, are two different things.  The first was committed by man in his immortal state; the second was committed by man in a mortal state; the former was committed in a state of ignorance of good or evil; the latter was committed by man, having a knowledge  of  both  good  and  evil.  As the sins are different, and committed entirely under different circumstances, so the penalties are different also.  The penalty of the first transgression was an eternal separation of body and spirit, and eternal banishment from the presence of Jehovah; while the penalty of our own transgressions does not involve a disunion of body and spirit, but only eternal banishment.  The first penalty not only shut man out from the presence of God, but deprived him eternally of a body; the second penalty permits him to retain his body, though in a banished condition.  As the penalties are different, so also is the redemption.  Redemption from the first penalty is unconditional on the part of man; redemption from the second penalty is conditional.  Unconditional redemption is universal; it takes within its scope all mankind; it is as unlimited as the fall; it redeems men from all its effects; it restores to them their bodies; it restores them to the presence of God.

The children of Adam had no agency in the transgression of their first parents, and therefore they are not required to exercise any agency in their redemption [196] from its penalty.  They are redeemed from it without faith, repentance, baptism, or any other act, either of the mind or body.

Conditional redemption is also universal in its nature; it is offered to all, but not received by all; it is a universal gift, though not universally accepted; its benefits can be obtained only through faith, repentance, baptism, the laying on of hands, and obedience to all other requirements of the gospel.

Unconditional redemption is a gift forced upon mankind which they cannot reject, though they were disposed.  Not so with conditional redemption; it can be received or rejected according to the will of the creature.

Redemption from the original sin is without faith or works; redemption from our own sins is given through faith and works.  Both are the gifts of free grace, but while one is a gift forced upon us unconditionally, the other is a gift merely offered to us conditionally.  The reception of the one is compulsory; the reception of the other is voluntary.  Man cannot, by any possible act, prevent his redemption from the fall, but he can utterly refuse and prevent his redemption from the penalty of his own sins.

The earth, like the posterity of Adam, was cursed because of the original sin, and like them, it will be redeemed unconditionally, and restored again into the presence of God.  So far as the original sin is concerned, mankind and the earth, keep pace with each other.  When one falls the other falls also.  When one is redeemed, the other is redeemed also.

Had there been no other sin but that of Adam’s, the redeemed earth would have become the eternal abode of all the posterity of Adam, without one exception.  But both man and the earth have been still further corrupted by other sins.  The posterity of Adam have transgressed the code of laws given since the fall, and subjected themselves to its penalty.  This penalty does not interfere with the first penalty.  Man will be redeemed from the first before the second will be fully inflicted.  When his redemption from the  first death is completed, then comes the judgment, when his own sins will be enquired into, and not Adam’s.  As he stands before the judgment seat, he will find himself entirely innocent of Adam’s [197] transgression, and entirely redeemed from the effects of it, but he still finds himself guilty of his own individual sins, the penalty of which is a second death, not a dissolution of body and spirit like that of the first death, but a banishment from the presence of God, and from the glory of his power.

Redemption from the second death, as we have already observed, is conditional.  Man having voluntarily committed sin, must voluntarily comply with the conditions of redemption; otherwise, he must suffer the penalty.  If any should feel disposed to doubt whether the second penalty will be inflicted, let them look at the infliction of the first, during the last 6,000 years.  The first death with all its attendant evils, has extended its ravages among all nations and generations since the first law was broken.  If God, then, has fulfilled his word in the first provocation to the very letter, why should any one suppose that he will not inflict the second death as penalty of the second provocation?  All generations bear witness to the faithfulness of his word spoken in the garden of Eden; why, then, should we suppose that justice shall be frustrated, and his word become null and void in regard to any future penalty with which  the sinner is threatened?  If the sin of one man brought the first death upon  unnumbered millions, why not the sin of each man bring the second death upon himself?  There is no escape for the sinner from the second death, only through the conditions of the gospel.  All who will believe in Christ, and repent of their sins, and be baptized by immersion for the remission of them, and receive the Holy Ghost through the ordinance of the laying on of hands, and continue faithful in all things unto the end, shall escape the penalty of the second death.  All who reject these conditions must suffer it; for the word of God cannot become void, and justice be thwarted from his stern decrees.

Though all mankind are to be fully redeemed from the effects of the original sin, yet, we have great reason to fear, that but a few will be redeemed from their own sins.  Those few who are redeemed will receive the earth for an eternal inheritance; for the earth, as we have already observed, will be unconditionally redeemed from the curse [198] of the original sin, and so far as that sin is concerned, it will be no obstacle to the earth’s entering into the presence of God.  But as the earth has been corrupted by other sins than the original, it must partake of the curses of the second death after it is redeemed from the curses of the first, unless God has provided a way for its sanctification and redemption therefrom.  It has seemed good unto the great Redeemer to institute ordinances for the cleansing, sanctification, and eternal redemption of the earth, not from the original sin, but from the sins of the posterity of Adam.

The first ordinance instituted for the cleansing of the earth, was that of immersion in water; it was buried in the liquid element, and all things sinful upon the face of it were washed away.  As it came forth from the ocean flood, like the newborn child, it was innocent; it arose to newness of life; it was its second birth from the womb of mighty waters – a new world issuing from the ruins of the old, clothed with all the innocence of its first creation.  As man cannot be born again of water, without an administrator, so the earth required an agency independent of itself, to administer this grand cleansing ordinance, and restore it to its infant purity.  That administrator was the Redeemer himself.

The second ordinance instituted for the sanctification of the earth, is that of first and the Holy Ghost.  The day will come “when it shall burn as an oven, and all the proud, and all that do wickedly shall be as stubble” after which “the glory of God shall cover the earth, as the waters cover the deep.”  Here, then, is a baptism of fire first, then of the Holy Spirit. As man receives the baptism of fire and the Holy Spirit through the laying on of the hands of a legal administrator, so the earth receives the same, not through its own agency, but through the agencies ordained of God.  As man becomes a righteous man by the new birth, so the earth becomes a righteous earth through the same process.  Righteousness will abide upon its face, during a thousand years, and the Savior will bless it with his personal presence.  After which the end soon comes, and the earth itself will die, and its elements be dissolved through the agency of fire.  This death or dissolution of the earth is a penalty of the original sin. [199] Infants and righteous men die, not as a penalty of their own sins, but because Adam sinned; so the earth dies or undergoes a similar change, not because of the transgressions of the children of Adam, but because of the original transgression.  But all mankind are made alive from the first death through the resurrection, so the earth will again be renewed; its elements will again be collected, they will again be recombined and reorganized as when it first issued from the womb of chaos.  As the bodies of the righteous are made immortal, eternal, unchangeable, and glorious, so the earth itself will be so constructed as to be capable of everlasting endurance.  Immortality will be indelibly stamped upon every department of this creation.  It will be crowned with the presence of God the Father, and shine forth in all the splendors of celestial glory.  But who will be its inhabitants?  Those who have passed through the same process of purification, and none else.  As all who partake of the second death, must be banished from the presence of God, it necessarily follows, that they must be banished from the glorified earth; for that is redeemed into the presence of God, and enjoys the glory of his power; and no beings can inhabit it but those  who are sanctified by the same ordinances and law.

As the earth passes through its great last change, two of its principal cities – the Old Jerusalem of the eastern continent, and the New Jerusalem of the western continent, will be preserved from the general conflagration, being caught up into heaven.  These two cities, with all their glorified throng will descend upon the redeemed earth, being the grand capitals of the New Creation.  “Without”- (or exterior to these holy cities, and upon other creations of an inferior order, far separated from the glorified earth) -“will be dogs, and sorcerers, and whoremongers, and murderers, and idolaters, and whosoever loveth and maketh a lie” (Rev. 22:15).  These are they who are banished from the presence of God, and from the glory of a celestial earth.

It is the meek only who shall receive the promised inheritance – they are the lawful heirs. “Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth,” was the promise of the Great Redeemer. [200]

But who are the meek?  By what peculiarities are they distinguished from other men?  There must be some qualities about them far superior to the generality of mankind, or they would not become the exclusive heirs of the new earth.  The law of meekness includes all the laws of the gospel with its ordinances and blessings, priesthood and powers, through obedience to which mankind become justified, sanctified, purified, and  glorified.  Such are the meek of the earth, and none others.  And as the gospel has not been preached nor administered by authority on the eastern hemisphere for the last seventeen centuries, consequently, during that time, there have been none possessed of the requisite qualities of meekness sufficient to entitle them to the promised inheritance upon the new earth.  A few only will be saved – a few only will receive the law of meekness and continue therein.

Different portions of the earth have been pointed out by the Almighty, from time to time, to his children, as their everlasting inheritance.  As instances-Abraham and his posterity, that were worthy, were promised Palestine.  Moab and Ammon-the children of righteous Lot-were promised a portion not far from the boundaries of the twelve tribes. The meek among the Jaredites, together with a remnant of the tribe of Joseph, were promised the great western continent.  The righteous of all nations who shall in this dispensation be gathered to that land, will receive their inheritance in common with the meek who formerly sojourned upon the land.  In the resurrection, the meek of all ages and nations will be restored to that portion of the earth previously promised to them. And thus, all the different portions of the earth have been, and will be disposed of to the lawful heirs; while those who cannot prove their heirship to be legal, or who cannot prove that they have received any portion of the earth by promise, will be cast out into some other kingdom or world, where, if they ever get an inheritance, they will have to earn it by keeping the law of meekness, during another probation.

How great will be the disappointment to the rich – the high, and the noble, who have rejected the messages of eternal truth, sent forth in different ages for the redemption of men, when they find that there is not a foot of the new earth that they can call their own; the whole of [201] it having been lawfully disposed of to the poor and the meek.  Howl, then, ye rich men, who reject the message of the servants of God; for your portion is in this life, and you have no claim upon the everlasting inheritance.  God will rescue the earth from under your dominion, and give it to those unto whom it is promised.  Howl, for the miseries that shall come upon you!

It has been conjectured by some, that the earth will not be sufficiently capacious to accommodate the nations of the righteous.  But such a conjecture will appear erroneous to any one who will exercise his reasoning powers sufficient to calculate the superficial contents of our globe, and compare the same with the probable number of inhabitants who are destined for this creation.

In round numbers, the surface of our terrestrial spheroid contains one hundred and ninety-seven millions of square miles, or over one hundred and twenty-six thousand millions of acres.  Now, if from the creation of the earth, to its final glorification, there should elapse a  period of eight thousand years, or eighty centuries, and if we should suppose the population to average one thousand millions per century (which is probably an average far too great) yet there would be an abundance of room upon the new earth for all this vast multitude.  There would be saved over one acre and a half for every soul.  If the new earth contains only the same proportion of land as the old, there would still be about forty acres for every redeemed soul.  But the new earth is represented by the apostle John, as being without any sea, which increases its capacity for inhabitants above the old four fold.  The farmer who is looking forward to the new earth for his everlasting inheritance, need have no fears of being too much limited in his possessions.  There will be ample room for the delightful pursuits of the agriculturist.  He can have his pleasure grounds-his orchards of the most delicious fruits; his gardens decorated with the loveliest flowers; and still have land enough for the raising of the more staple articles, such as manna to eat, and flax for the making of fine robes, etc.

Who, in looking upon the earth as it ascends in the scale of the universe, does not desire to keep pace with it?  That when it shall be classed in its turn, among the [202] dazzling orbs of the blue vault of heaven, shining forth in all the splendors of celestial glory, he may find himself proportionably advanced in the scale of intellectual and moral excellence?  Who, but the most abandoned, does not desire to be counted worthy to associate with those higher orders of being who have been redeemed, exalted, and glorified together with the worlds they inhabit, ages before the foundations of our earth were laid? O man, remember the future destiny and glory of the earth, and secure thine everlasting inheritance upon the same, that when it shall be glorious, thou shalt be glorious also. (Mill. Star 12: 68-72)


Reflections on Truth

James Bell, March 15, 1850


Truth is the great universal law, whose end is to effect the greatest good to the greatest number, in the best and most economical manner.

It is humanity’s compass o’er the ocean of eternity, it is light shining in a dark place.

Truth is eternal and unchangeable, its nature simple, its character progressive, its power almighty, its value inestimable, its march onward, its path undeviating.  Nothing preceded it, its priority is absolute; it had no origin, it will have no end; it was, and is, and is to be; the Alpha and Omega of all existence.  It remains unchanged amid all the mutations of this ever-changing universe, the alone immoveable, amid all moveable things.  Empires may rise and fall, nations may flourish and pass away, thrones may totter and crumble to dust, yet, diamond truth still lives and reigns, its power unabated, its nature unchanged.  The land and sea may change their places, and the foundations of the earth be restored to their primitive chaos and confusion, the sun and moon may be clothed in blackness, the stars in wild confusion start from their orbits, the heavens and the earth “depart as a scroll”, while “the elements melt with fervent heat”, and the “crash of worlds” takes place; still truth retains its beauty and its brightness, unsullied and unimpaired as ever, while purity and perfection mark its path, and stamp its features with a bold relief. [203]

Men may speculate and theorize, propound and plan, and heap up monuments of their impious folly, while the tide of human opinions may ebb and flow, grow stormy and tempestuous, spreading on the shore of time its foam and filth; yet, truth, like a towering rock still braves its fury, and stands forth with a bold prominency, the fatal reef on which false systems wreck.  As it was in the beginning, “when the morning stars sang together, and the sons of God shouted for joy,” so it is now, and ever will be, even after the mighty angel hath declared that “time shall be no more.”

Truth is so simple that “whoever runs may read”, and a wayfaring man, though a fool in other respects, need not err in this; here the meanest capacity, and the mightiest intellect are placed upon a level, that no man may glory in himself.  The beauty of romance, and the pleasures of the imagination fade by contrast with the sublime simplicity of eternal truth. Through its simplicity are the privileges and responsibilities of all made equal, and the justice, wisdom and mercy of God magnified and greatly extolled.  Nought can withstand the force of truth, for it is quick and powerful, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing, even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.  “Like a hammer that breaketh the rock in pieces,” “it is mighty and effectual, even to the pulling down of the strongholds of sin and Satan, and of spiritual wickedness in high places.”

Darkness and doubt, ignorance and superstition flee before it, as morning mists before the orb of day.  Despots and tyrants fail at its coming; the sceptre of dominion and the reins of government fall from their trembling hands, while the captive and the prisoner burst their bonds, rejoicing in the freedom of the sons of God.  “It converteth the soul, it maketh wise the simple, it rejoiceth the heart and enlighteneth the eyes.”

When other things shall lose their value, and grow insipid to the minds of men, truth shall shine forth with redoubled splendour, its lustre and magnificence heightened by the contrast.  Its price exceedeth that of rubies, and its glory surpasseth that of the diamond as light excelleth darkness. [204]

It goeth forth conquering and to conquer, it runneth swiftly and its course is glorified; it turneth not to the right nor to the left, but perseveres in its onward path, its reward with it, and its work before it.

It is the highest interest of man to come in possession of truth, and his most bounden duty to act strictly in accordance with her golden rules, that by so doing he may become entitled to those blessings which are held in reversion for her faithful and obedient followers.  Opposition to the truth has been in all ages the prolific source of all our evils; while on the other hand, obedience thereto is the highway to holiness and peace, happiness and exaltation, knowledge, power and eternal life.  Eye hath not seen, ear hath not heard, neither hath it entered into the heart of man to conceive, the rewards she hath in store for them that love her; joys unspeakable and full of glory; treasures incorruptible and undefiled, communion with Gods and angels; immortality and eternal life; thrones and dominions, principalities and powers, are among the number she hath been pleased to reveal.

Just in proportion to our knowledge of truth is our responsibility, and just in proportion to our obedience thereto is our righteousness, and according to our diligence in acting upon it, so is our exaltation in the scale of being and intelligence, for there is no righteousness apart from truth, nor honour apart from obedience.

Truth is brighter than the sun, fairer than the moon, and more terrible than an army with banners, “its voice is a voice of majesty and power, mighty in operation.”

Happy, yea, thrice happy is the man who is acquainted with truth, far happier he who authorized and sent, turns many to her paths, for he shall shine as the stars of heaven, and as the brightness of the firmament for ever.

The enjoyment of truth is – liberty.  Confidence in truth is – faith.  Obedience to truth is – righteousness.  The possession of truth is – knowledge.  Submission to truth is – humility.  The action of truth is – power.  The effects of truth are – peace and assurance.  The end of truth is – perfection. (Mill. Star, Vol 12: 94-95)


Brigham Young’s Discourse

General Conference, April 6, 1850


With joy and gratitude to my Heavenly Father, I look upon this congregation with admiration.  I rejoice to see my brethren and my sisters congregate together to worship the Lord.  It is a feast to me to look upon the Saints.  It is a joy and gladness to mingle in their society.  I feel thankful for the goodly number that are safely landed in the mountains.  I look forward to the day when scores of thousands till join us in our secluded retreat.  It is a matter of consolation to me to have the privilege of looking at the Saints.  I can truly say, it is sweeter to me than the honey comb.  The greatest luxury I can enjoy, is to associate with those who delight to serve the Lord with all their hearts.  And in the midst of all afflictions and privations we have the privilege that we never before had, of assembling unmolested from our oppressors.  I esteem the providences of God as a fresh manifestation of his kindness in removing the Saints to this place, improve on the same.  I would be thankful if I could have my feelings satisfied at this conference; to a certain degree they are, and will be.  When I realize what a struggle and labor we have undergone, I would rejoice at the privilege to look at my brethren for days and days.  It is a place of happiness to me @ the day I have long looked for, to enjoy the privileges now around me.  I can truly say, ten or fifteen years ago, I looked upon this people with an expectation that every man and woman would be worn into the grave, their lives spent in preaching, in watching their houses and protecting their families, before we could enjoy the present privilege.  I expected it would be enjoyed by my children, but not by me.  I am disappointed – it is all I could have anticipated – my life, my labor, all that I could anticipate eight or ten years ago, is now realized by me.  The providences of the Almighty speak volumes to me, and say to Israel, be on the look out.  Latter-day Saints, be on the watch-tower.  The providences of God as they are dealt out to the earth speak to us, and should be realized as peals of thunder, that the Lord will cut short his work in righteousness, for a short work will he do on the earth. [206]

I can say to all Israel, it is time we should awake from our lethargy, from our drowsy and sleepy feelings; awake to righteousness, and hasten the work that is upon us, for in a day and hour that we are not aware of, behold, the Son of Man cometh, as fast as the wheels of time roll round, to bring calamities, famine, fire, pestilence, sword, and the destroyer that walks abroad at noon-day, or at midnight, and lays wastes its thousands; nations are revolutionized; kingdoms are tottering and falling: a whole world is in commotion what can we say?  I can say, watch! watch! watch! brethren, and be faithful!  When I came here yesterday morning, my feelings were peculiar; I realized that for years we have been deprived of such a privilege to meet together to worship the Lord.  This is the most comfortable place I have ever seen for the Saints to hold their meetings in at our gathering place.  When I have been abroad in the world, we have had splendid halls; but, at the gathering place, this is the best.  What next, brethren?  Some think I will go to the conference; but if I do, I cannot stay there.  I must go to the kanyons, or hunt my cattle.  I would like to go to conference, but I want to plough my lot, or fence my field, or to go to mill, or to my farm.  This I feel – I felt it yesterday.  I have the same cares that other men have @ the care of my family, the daily labour that is upon me; my business is before me; but I said to my flocks and herds, and teams, now rest: workmen stop your business, all hands; my family prepare to entertain those who call upon us; do the best you can; prepare the best to feed them with; and to all around me, I said rest while I go and worship the Lord; it has been a great struggle, like two immense armies contending; the enemy of all righteousness contending by storms and thunder, that we should not prepare a place to meet; we have been fighting and struggling for years. I recollect four years last February, we left Nauvoo; from that time to this we have been struggling to build a place to assemble in, we were thwarted in getting a Council House, we have not got it yet; we have been two winters idle, and some of the Elders have forgotten there is a God; they have forgotten their covenants, their vows, and their prayers; they have forgotten what they once remembered, as the first and foremost in their hearts.  I will draw cuts [207] with any man who would go and plough tomorrow, which grows the most wheat, by staying here tomorrow and getting our hearts warmed, or go ploughing; I have seen it tried, and proved that when the Lord requires anything of his Saints, and they do it, he can give the increase better, than if they served themselves; there is not the first man who has gained the first picayune by going to a kanyon on Sunday, or by labouring on the Sabbath day; necessity does not drive a man to do it, no such thing, but it is their own dispositions, and the spirit that is in them.  There is no more necessity to go to the kanyons, or hunt your cattle on the Sabbath day, you might as well plough; but some feel that they cannot spare time on a week day.  We have tried it in travelling since we left Nauvoo, and not one time having travelled on the Sabbath day, have we gained by it, but we have lost a day or two the next week to pay for it.  What is the harm?  It proves that you treat lightly the rules of the God of nature, – the God we serve.  The laws that organized the elements knows what they can endure; he said to man, when you have laboured six days, rest one, to refresh your bodies; let your horses and cattle that labour rest; your men and women, let them rest; I don’t mean to rest like Christians, ride ten miles to a meeting, and then ride twenty-five miles for pleasure; but I mean a Saint’s Sabbath: there is not a nation nor a people that keep the Sabbath, not a christian, from the Pope to the latest reformer; there is not one who keeps it, no not one, unless sick, if there is one it is by mistake or by accident.  Now you gain nothing by transforming the ordinances of nature to your own desires; let them all rest, and when the earth has brought forth six years let it rest the seventh; you will not make anything by transgressing any rule of the God of nature, and if our eastern neighbours had done so, their land would have been as good as when they first saw it. I would as soon rest a whole week and let everything rest a week; for have we not worked more than six Sabbaths?  If we tarry a whole week, it would not pay the debt, and the God of nature will bring it all back again. If I hurry this Conference, I have got to hurry every business transaction, and every speech, and then the spirit would not abide with us.  I want you to feel as I feel; stay right here, and spend a week in [208] Conference, if necessary.  A great many persons feel that they are so poor they have to go to the gold mines, they will be in such a hurry they will forget to pray; another cannot spend a week day to go after wood or hunt his cattle; you can see the example, poor they are and poor they will be, and by and by they will wake up in hell.  It is not a polite expression, but it is true doctrine, they will go down to hell, poverty stricken and naked; are those who go to meeting every Sabbath going to get rich?  Not just yet.  They will have more wheat; you may take economy and rest on the seventh day, and he will be the best off.  I am not going to desire anything but the will of my Father in Heaven; if my Father makes me rich I will be contented, and if I am poor I will be contented still, and I will be content with all good men and good people.  It is disgusting to me to see a person love this world in its present organization; look at kings on their thrones, their crowns fall at their feet, their almighty dollars do them no good, their wealth and opulence are gone, nation after nation are dethroned and crumble to ashes.  Take the very youth of beauty; it is laid low in the grave!  Riches take the wings of the morning and fly away; it is beneath the heart of a man who loves God and His spirit.

I wish the brethren to listen to the principles this morning set forth on speculation, and their daily walk; we are here, and it is our duty to sustain ourselves in this place, and also those who will come to us; we have a duty to perform to our brethren; we are under holy christian covenants to assist our brethren who are left in the states, until they are gathered here; remember the poor who are yet in bondage, and say what we can do for our poor brethren this season; it is one of the most important things that we can do, to raise grain to sustain ourselves, and those who come here.

I have a few words to say on Mormonism as it is called, but to us, the doctrine of salvation; I can say I know it is true.  I have known for years and years that Joseph was a prophet. I did not embrace Mormonism, because I hoped it was true, but because it was that principle that would save all the human family that would obey it, and it would make them righteous.  Joseph Smith lived and died a prophet, and sealed his testimony with [209] his blood; he lived a good man, and died a good man, and he was as good a man as ever lived; and the voice of the Lord is still heard for this people.  For myself I am here just as I was in the days of Joseph.  I never pretended to be Joseph Smith.  I am not the man who brought forth the Book of Mormon, but I do testify to the truth of it.  I am an apostle to bear testimony to the Gentiles of this last dispensation, and also to the Jews.  I can say the heart of man is always eager for something, just like little children; we often see children when they have been feasted on pumpkin pie and sweet cake, and other good things, eat until they are filled with pain, and cry for more.  The Elders have had so much revelation, that is has put them in pain, because they did not know how to digest it, and yet they cry for more.  You live and see the time that kings and prophets have desired to see, but have died without the sight.  It is your privilege, and it is mine, to receive revelation, and my privilege to dictate to the church.  Here are a cloud of witnesses from the death of Joseph or the return of the Twelve to Nauvoo, that all thing have been dictated by the Twelve, with your humble servant at their head; could it have been bettered?  Was this people or any other people ever led, fed, or administered to more kindly and faithfully than this people have been by the Twelve and those that helped them?  No, not even in the days of Joseph.  From the day that I was baptized until this present time, I have felt as if I was in another world, in another existence.  I never look back upon the old world, but it is like looking into hell.  I have only one desire, and that is to do the will of my God, and that is all the will I ever had.  I do chastise my brethren, find fault with them, and give them counsel, but the counsel I give let any one say it is not right; I am at the defiance of any one to say that I have not told them just right.

Next thing.  Just as soon as any of the Twelve become dissatisfied, they lop off, they have not the boldness to go to the Council and say “goodbye, I am going to hell my own road;” no, not even John E. Page.  I remember once at the commencement of this church, a necromancer embraced it, but he could not be satisfied; he came and said he had fingered and handled the perverted priesthood [210] so much, the course I have taken is downwards, the devil has too fast hold of me, I cannot go with you; but the rest slide off.

Let me tell you it is the truth of the Lord God Almighty, and if a man will not do right, God will remove him out of his place forthwith.

I never was afraid of Joseph, although many would falter and feared Joseph would go astray.  I did not serve Joseph, but I patterned after the doctrine the Lord has revealed through him.  There was no possibility of Joseph leading the people astray.  If I thought that God would suffer a man to lead a righteous people astray I would not serve him, I would leave him and seek another; I serve the God of Abraham, of Isaac, and Jacob, the God of our fathers; he has called Joseph and will never let him lead this people astray, but when he has done his work he will take him to himself.  I never was afraid of my friends and you need not be; the Lord Almighty will never suffer his people to go astray, unless they as a people want to follow iniquity; never, no never, no never.

Do you know the word of the Lord when you hear it?  It is the will of the Lord that he wants his people to do.  As for revelation, some say it has ceased; it has no such thing.  I could give you revelation as fast as a man could run, I am in the midst of revelation.  Do you want more revelation written? Wait till you obey what is already written.

The last two years of Joseph’s life, Joseph laid out as much work as we can do for twenty years.  I have no disposition to seek for more, until I see these we have, obeyed.  I tell you one thing, if we obey the word of the Lord, this people have got to quit drinking whiskey,, and leave off using so much tobacco, tea, and coffee.  It is not religion to spend our time in light visits, or squandering your time as many have.  When I look at the world and hear the blasts of the devil, I say blow away.  I trust that I shall live to accomplish my designs of fighting the devil, and if I do not live, there are other men who will step into my place who are just as good for a hang on, as I am, or Joseph was.

My feelings are the same as they were when I was baptized, to do the will of my God.  When we have the [211] spirit of the Lord, we work together in oneness, and we shall accomplish the design sooner or later.  Joseph used to say, “do not be scared, I have not apostatized yet;” and he did not.  I say, brethren, I have not apostatized, and there are a good many who have not.  We have got to gather Israel, and see the redemption of Israel, and if I do not live to accomplish it, I shall come back to enjoy it.  I say come on ye Elders of Israel and preach the mysteries of the kingdom. When a principle comes to your understanding, it is no more a mystery; but, behold, the mystery has flown, and all things are easy to be comprehended; all is simple; all is childlike; and all is Godlike. (Mill. Star Vol. 12:273-276)


The Gathering and Kingdom of God

Eli B. Kelsey, April 1850


The subject of the gathering is a great stumbling stone and rock of offense to many who make but a partial investigation of the gospel as revealed through Joseph Smith.  “Why (says the objector) cannot God save me as well in my own native land as in the land of America?  Why is it necessary for me to leave the land of my fathers, and take my journey to the western wilds of a far distant continent?  Nothing is impossible with GOD, and he can save me in one place just as well as another.”  With this consoling reflection they quiet any feeling of uneasiness that may arise in their breasts, from the signs of the times or the declarations of the servant of GOD.  The Lord, no doubt, could do many things that He never will do; and one thing it is quite certain He never will do, and that is, save a man who will not first strive to save himself, by rendering obedience to the principles laid down in the gospel.

The doctrine of the gathering has been taught to a greater or lesser extent, in every dispensation of the gospel that has been given to man.  Enoch preached the gathering in his day; all that gave heed unto his teachings were gathered together unto one place, where, no doubt, they united their strength and reared up a temple to the Lord, in which they were instructed in the knowledge of heavenly things, until they obtained such power with God [212]  faith, that they received translation and were thus delivered from the evils that were coming upon the earth, because the inhabitants thereof had rejected the plan of salvation offered them.  All flesh had become corrupted before God-the earth groaned and travailed because of the dreadful abominations committed upon the face of it and that the benevolent purposes of the Lord towards those who loved Him and kept His commandments might be fulfilled-that it might not be with the righteous as with the wicked.  Enoch and his city were translated to another and fairer realm, where they could bask in the sunshine of His favor, while at the same time His wrath and indignation were poured out upon the inhabitants of the earth, because they rejected the gospel of the gathering taught by Enoch.

At a later date, Noah was sent with a message of warning to the inhabitants of the earth, to make known unto them that the God of heaven had determined to send a flood, that the earth might be baptized with water, and iniquity washed from the face thereof. Noah’s message was a principle of gathering, to a limited extent at least.  It is supposed by many that Noah’s ark was intended as a means of salvation for all who would give heed to his message and repent of their sins.  This is a great mistake.  Noah was never commanded to build an ark for the salvation of a single soul, save those of himself and family.  God, knowing him to be a good man and one who would do as he was commanded in all things, entrusted to him the salvation of a seed of every species of beast, fowl, and creeping thing; and, in the absence of revelation upon the subject, we have every reason to believe that God told them to gather together and unite their strength and build arks, like unto the pattern shown him, for the salvation of themselves and families. If they would not put sufficient confidence in the message sent them to do this, and thus manifest their faith by their works, they were not worthy of salvation and could not obtain it.  I am aware that there are many pious persons who will not receive any revelations of God given through his servant Joseph.

Abraham was commanded to go out from the land of his nativity into a strange land.  He did so, and took with him as many as would believe in the message he had [213] received. He thus obtained favor with God, and by continuing in obedience he ultimately obtained the promise that in his seed all the nations of the earth should be blessed-that he should be the father of the faithful, and that all who should come into the Kingdom of God, from that time forth, should be his children by birth or adoption.

Lot fled out of Sodom to obtain salvation when the cities of the plain were destroyed.  Israel fled out of Egypt to escape from bondage, and to enjoy the blessings of a land of promise.  God stirred up the hearts of Pharaoh and the Egyptians to oppress them with tasks grievous to be borne, that they might be a willing people when the day of his power should come.  I might refer to many examples recorded in the scriptures, where the commandment to “come out of her my people” was gladly obeyed and great blessings obtained thereby.

Jesus endeavored to establish the principle of the gathering among the Jews whilest he was with them in the flesh: “O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, thou that killest the prophets, and stonest them which are sent unto thee, how often would I have gathered thy children together, even as a hen gathereth her chickens under her wings, and they would not.” (Mat. 23:37) We learn from the above, that if the Jews had listened unto Jesus, He would have set up a standard in Jerusalem, unto which the dispersed of Judea could have gathered, and would have been sheltered under its folds from all evil, as the brood are sheltered under the wings of the hen; and because they would not, a curse was to come upon them, and the HOUSE (temple) which they prided themselves so much in having built unto the Lord, should be left desolate.  He would no more enter into it: “Behold, your house is left unto you desolate, as a witness asunder.” They were not to behold Him again, until they had gathered themselves together, “for I say unto you, ye shall not see me henceforth, till ye shall say, blessed is he that cometh in the name of the Lord.” (Matt. 23:39) Having reference to the time, when, having gathered in from their long dispersion, and built up the waste places of Judea, their enemies would come upon them-their city be taken and their women ravished-to a time when destruction appeared inevitable; then would He come to their rescue, [214] and they be led to rejoice with exceeding great joy, because of the mighty deliverance they would at that time receive. (See Zechariah 14.)

The subject of the gathering of Israel in the last days is of the most thrilling interest to every Latter-day Saint, one upon which the ancient Saints delighted to dwell.  The future glory of Zion was a theme which called forth strains of poetic eloquence from Isaiah’s pen.  Jeremiah ceased for a time his mourning and lamentation over Israel’s sins, and broke forth in exclamations of joy and gladness.  Ezekiel, Daniel, Hosea, and their successors had a view of it given them to comfort and console them after a lengthy vision of the desolation and dire calamities that were to come upon Israel, because of transgressions.  Its influence upon their feelings was like that occasioned by the sight of a beautiful oasis in the midst of a desert upon those of the weary traveler.

It has ever been the purpose of the Lord to classify His people and separate them from the wicked and ungodly that He might bring them into such situations as would be favorable for their instruction in principles of righteousness, that they might be governed by laws of His own enactment, which could not be done were they to remain in a scattered condition. For as the heavens are above the earth, so are the ways of the Lord above of sinful men; as light is opposed to darkness, so are His laws opposed to those of all the wicked kingdoms of the earth.  Mankind are much more prone to follow evil than good; of this we have seen@hence God sought to separate them from every other nation, lest they should partake of their sins, and consequently receive of their plagues. Who is there that cannot see the necessity of such a separation?  What affinity hath light with darkness, or the Sons of God with those of Belial? None! Therefore, they should be separated for the best of all reasons: they cannot live together.

God, at sundry times, has endeavored to establish His kingdom upon the earth; in every case it has been thrown down and destroyed.  But He has declared by the mouth of the prophet, Daniel, that in the last days He would set up (begin) a kingdom upon the earth, which should not be thrown down, neither be given to another people (than His [215] Saints). “And in the days of these kings shall the God of heaven set up a kingdom, which shall never be destroyed: and the kingdom shall not be left to other people, but it shall break in pieces and consume all these kingdoms, and it shall stand forever.” (Dan. 2:44)

Five things are essentially necessary in the formation of a kingdom, viz.: 1st, Space (without which no kingdom can exist); 2nd, a King; 3rd, Subjects; 4th, Laws for the government of those subjects; 5th, Officers duly authorized to administer those laws.

We find from reading the next verse, that the kingdom spoken of was to take its rise in a mountainous country, “forasmuch as thou sawest that the stone was cut out of the mountain without hands, and that it break in pieces the iron, the brass, the clay, the silver, and the gold, the great God hath made known to the King what shall come to pass hereafter; and the dream is certain and the interpretation thereof is sure.”

Inasmuch as space is essential to the existence of this kingdom, and we have proven that the center of this space, or at least that portion from whence the kingdom takes its rise is mountainous, it only remains to be proven in what part of the earth’s surface this space is situated; to do this, it will be necessary to take into consideration the location of the various kingdoms forming the great image spoken of by Daniel: 1st, the Babylonian Empire, represented by the head of gold; 2nd, the Medo Persian Empire; 3rd, the Grecian; and 4th, represented by the legs of iron, was the Roman Empire.  The feet and toes, part of iron and part of clay, represent the kingdoms of modern Europe, into which this last great empire was divided.

Hence, it appears that the image lies extended from east to west@the head of gold, and the breast and arms of silver, in Asia; the belly and thighs of brass, extending to the borders of Asia and Europe; the legs of iron, and feet and toes, extending to the western boundaries of Europe.  Now the stone or kingdom spoken of by Daniel, is to smite the image on the feet@to do which it must necessarily come in contact with them from an opposite direction, or from the west.

Where will it come from? The midst of the Atlantic Ocean?  No, for as before shown, it is to take its rise [216] among mountains. Consequently we must of necessity cross to the continent of America in search of it.  Now, that the portion of space in which the kingdom is to take its rise has been traced to the American continent, it remains to be proved in what part of that land it is situated.  Inasmuch as God is the King or Head of the government to be established in the last days, it will only be necessary to prove in what portion of the American continent He will reign, to find where the seat of His kingdom will be. “And I will make her that halteth, a remnant, and her that was cast off, a strong nation, and the Lord shall reign over them in Mount Zion from henceforth, even forever.” (Micah 4:7)

From the above, we learn that the name of the capital of His kingdom is to be called Zion.  Now let us seek for the location of Zion. “Beautiful for situation, the joy of the whole earth is Mount Zion, on the sides of the north, the city of the Great King.” (Psalms 18:2) “I will not give sleep to mine eyes, or slumber to mine eyelids, until I find out a place for the Lord, an habitation for the mighty God of Jacob.  Lo, we heard of it at Ephratah; we found it in the fields of the wood.” (Psalms 132:4-6)  By comparing these passages with those before quoted, we find that Zion is located in the fields of wood (prairies of the wilderness) in the northern part of America.  Indeed we might with propriety consider the Gentile nations of the New World as forming a part of the feet and toes of the image, from the fact that they are the descendants of those inhabiting the kingdoms of modern Europe, and have all the characteristics pointed out by the prophet. (See Daniel 2:41, 44.)

The inhabitants of Zion are to be gathered out of all nations: “For there shall be a day, that the watchman upon Mount Ephraim shall cry, Arise ye, and let us go up to Zion unto the Lord our God.  For thus saith the Lord: Sing with gladness for Jacob, and shout among the chief of the nations: publish ye, praise ye, and say, O Lord, save thy people, the remnant of Israel. Behold, I will bring them from the north country, and gather them from the coasts of the earth, and with the blind and the lame, the woman with child and her that travaileth with child together: a great company shall return thither.” (Jer. 31:6-8)  (Mill. Star, Apr. 1, 1850)    (to be continued)


The Gathering and Kingdom of God

“Come out of her, O my people.”

Eli B. Kelsey, April 1850



Zion is to be the great gathering place of the tribes of Ephraim and Manasseh, and the children of Israel, their companions, together with as many  of the Gentiles as will gather to Zion, and enter with them into a covenant to serve the Lord.  They will thus become Israel by adoption, and heirs of the blessings of the literal seed.  Jerusalem will also come in remembrance before the Lord, as the great center of gathering for Judah, and the children of Israel his companions. “And the Lord shall inherit Judah, his portion in the holy land, and shall choose Jerusalem again.” (Zech. 2:12)

Judah, by right, held the reigns of government until Shiloh (Jesus) came, when the scepter departed from him, and he was no longer a lawgiver to Israel. (See Gen. 49:10.) But after the coming of Shiloh, the scepter, or the rights and blessings of the first born, were to be transferred to Ephraim. “For I am a Father to Israel, and Ephraim is my first born.” (Jer. 31:9) Hence the law is to go forth from Zion, yet Jerusalem will also be blessed with the presence of God. “And many nations shall come and say, Come, and let us go up to the mountain of the Lord, and to the house of the God of Jacob; and he will teach us of his ways, and we will walk in his paths: for the law shall go forth of Zion, and the word of the Lord from Jerusalem.” (Micah 4:2)

The Kingdom of God will continue to increase, while all other kingdoms will decrease.  Its ministers will be sent abroad among all nations, with the proclamation that God has appointed a place for the gathering together of the pure in heart, even Zion, and that He has established her as a place of rest for  His children, as a secure refuge for His elect.

Where they shall be hid up as in the hollow of His hand, whilst His indignation is being poured out upon the residue of mankind, who shall reject His offers of mercy, contained in the proclamation of the gathering?  In the days of Jesus the message of salvation was first delivered [218] to the Jews, and when they had rejected it as nation, it was given to the Gentiles; but in the last days the gospel is to be preached to the Gentiles until the times of the Gentiles be fulfilled.  Until that time all that receive the message of salvation, and gather to Zion, shall become Israel by adoption and be admitted into the family of God.  But when the “times of the Gentiles are fulfilled,” they will be precluded from the rights and blessings of the children of the covenant, and shall become servants to Israel.

“And the son of strangers shall build up thy walls, and their kings shall minister unto thee: for in my wrath I smote thee, but in my favor have I had mercy on thee.  Therefore thy gates shall be open continually; they shall not be shut day nor night; that men may bring unto thee the forces of the Gentiles, and that their kings may be brought.  For the nation and kingdom that will not serve thee shall perish; yea, those nations shall be utterly wasted. . . . The sons also of them that afflicted thee shall come bending unto thee; and all they that despised thee shall bow themselves down at the soles of thy feet; and they shall  call thee, the city of the Lord, the Zion of the Holy One of Israel.”  (Isaiah 60:10-12, 14)

When the Gentile nations shall have rejected the fullness of the gospel, the cup of their iniquity will be full.  Then will the Lord make bare his arm in the eyes of all nations in gathering together the dispersed of Israel, from the four corners of the earth, unto the great centers of gathering for the elect of God, viz: Zion on the western hemisphere, and Jerusalem on the eastern.  Then will He pour out His hot wrath and indignation upon those nations which have oppressed His chosen people, and trodden them under foot for so many generations.

Inasmuch as this article is designed to prove to the honest inquirer after truth that God will establish the kingdom of Heaven upon the earth in the last days, no more to be thrown down, and that the subjects of this kingdom are the pure in heart, that will be gathered out from among all nations, it will be well to show that there are certain laws to be obeyed before a person can be permitted to share in the blessings, rights, and privileges of this great and glorious kingdom. [219]

It must be evident to every believer in sacred writ, that all mankind, through their transgressions, have become aliens and foreigners to GOD, and, consequently, have lost all right to the privileges and blessings of citizenship in His kingdom. All earthly kingdoms have instituted ordinances of adoption, or laws of naturalization, the observance of which is necessary before a foreigner can be admitted to the right of citizenship, thus guarding with jealous care the rights of the natural born citizens.

Is it not reasonable to suppose that God, the greatest of all kings, whose kingdom is the greatest of all kingdoms, and whose blessings of citizenship far exceed those of all other kingdoms, would be equally, yea, far more strict than any earthly king in guarding His kingdom for interlopers and all unworthy persons, by instituting ordinances which would be strict in proportion to the greatness of the blessings to be obtained through their observance; and that He would not leave the administration of those laws a matter of uncertainty, but that He would call and ordain worthy men, whose duty it would be to administer them to all who earnestly sought to be admitted into His kingdom.  We have the most abundant evidence in the scriptures that He has done so in all former dispensations.

It has been before shown that God has at sundry times endeavored to establish His kingdom upon the earth; therefore, if we can find out what the initiatory ordinances were in those days, it will materially assist us in ascertaining what ordinances are necessary to observe to gain admission into His kingdom in the last days. Jesus himself placed the matter beyond dispute in His day for when called upon by a celebrated (divine) teacher of Israel for information upon the subject, He made the following sweeping declaration: “Except a man be  born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God.” (John 3:5) The Redeemer set an example of obedience to the first ordinance, being baptized by John in Jordan.  As the birth of water required an administrator, so does the birth of the spirit.  We find that after the disciples were baptized, or born of water, the apostles laid their hands upon them for the gift or birth of the Spirit.  But, says one, [220] Jesus did not receive the Holy Spirit through the laying on of hands.  True, for there was no man upon the earth in that day who was authorized to administer for the gift of the Spirit.

John held the lesser or Aaronic Priesthood, but not the higher or Melchizedek, therefore, the Holy Ghost descended in the form of a dove and rested upon Him, and a voice from heaven witnessed that He was accepted of the Father.

The children of Israel, although heirs according to the covenant made with their fathers, had to yield obedience to these ordinances before they could be admitted into the enjoyment of the blessings of the kingdom of God. “Moreover, brethren, I would not that ye should be ignorant, how that all our fathers were under the cloud, and all passed through the sea; and were all baptized unto Moses in the cloud and in the sea.” (I Cor. 10:1-2) But, says the objector, even admitting that the children of Israel were baptized by immersion, or born of the water, yet we have no account of hands being laid upon them for the birth of the Spirit.  Granted, yet their being baptized proves that the same initiatory ordinances were in use in the days of Moses as in the days of the Apostles; and it is not at all likely that the great lawgiver of Israel would administer one ordinance and neglect the other; for except they were born of the Spirit, as well as of the water, they could not enter the kingdom of God.

Inasmuch as the kingdom of God is the only kingdom that will endure forever, no man can obtain an eternal salvation out of it; and Jesus says, no man can enter it without first being born of the water and of the spirit. Since the strict observance of those initiatory ordinances was considered necessary to the salvation of the human family in the days of Jesus and the Apostles, it must be evident to every candid-minded person, that as sure as in Him there is no variableness nor shadow of turning, so sure will the order of His kingdom remain unchanged-so sure will all its laws and ordinances remain the same.  If it was unlawful for any man to take upon himself the honor of administering the ordinance of the kingdom in the days of Paul, without being called and ordained as was Aaron, i.e., by revelation, it must be equally so now. [221]

Saul was cursed, and the kingdom rent from him, because he took upon himself to act the part of a priest at the altar. (See 1st Samuel 13:8-15.)

Uzziah, king of Judea, was cursed with leprosy for life, because he sought to offer incense before the Lord without  authority. (See 2 Chron. 26:16-21.)

Fire came out from before the Lord, and consumed Korah and his company, because their inordinate vanity had led them to assume that high and dignified office of a priest and to seek by subtlety to establish their claim to the priesthood in the minds of the congregation; the earth opened her mouth, and swallowed upon all that held up their heads for them. The Lord has never shown the least respect whatever for the offerings of such disobedient priests; but on the contrary, His wrath and indignation have been poured out in times that are past, upon all who have sought to administer in the hands of self-appointed uncalled ministers of the nineteenth century.

The divines of the present day deny the doctrine of immediate revelation, and consequently, have no knowledge of God the Father, nor Jesus Christ, His Son.  For Jesus says, “No man knoweth the Father, save he to whom the Son revealeth Him.” (Matt. 11:27) And in the same verse He says, “No man knoweth the Son but the Father.”  Therefore, no man can know the Son unless the Father reveals Him; at least it was impossible for Peter to know him in any other way. (See Matt. 16:17.) But, says the objector, “God revealed His Son, and the Son revealed the Father unto the Twelve Apostles of the ancient church, and they have handed the knowledge down to us through their writings.”  This is inconsistent; a man may believe in God through the testimony of his fellowman, but he cannot know Him.  If the faithful in the days of Jesus could have known Him and His Father through the testimony of Moses and the prophets alone, it would not have been necessary for Peter to have received a new revelation upon the subject, before he could know that Jesus was the Christ.

I have been thus minute in gathering together and combining the testimony of the ancient prophets, with regard to Zion and its location; also the laws and ordinances necessary to be obeyed before mankind can [222] enter upon the enjoyment of the blessings of the Kingdom of God, in the hope that this article will come under the notice of some persons who are asking themselves the questions previously set forth.

With the faithful Latter-day Saint, there is no uncertainty; he has the most abundant evidence of the establishment of Zion, and of her subsequent exaltation in power, and great dominion in the revelations of God, given through our martyred Prophet, the divinity of whose mission is witnessed and made sure of his understanding by the testimony of the spirit of truth which he has received through his obedience to the mandates of heaven. (Mill. Star, April 15, 1850)


To Those Who Have Never Heard

the Testimony of a Latter-day Saint

Brigham Young, June 1850


Were it not for the veil of darkness that is over the face of the earth, and that man is fallen from that glory which he once enjoyed, all would be living in the sunshine of revelation: it is on account of sin entering into the world, that causes all this darkness, and which makes it necessary for the Lord to speak from the heavens, send his angels to converse with men, and cause his servants to testify of the things of God.

The sound of the gospel always carried terror with it, to the man-made preacher in his pulpit, the lawyer at his desk, the farmer at his plough, and the mechanic at his trade.

Can you make the distinction between truth and evil?  Is the power of the Holy Ghost upon you?  If so, you need not fear all the delusion that all earth or hell can produce.

If anyone should ask the sectarian preachers of the day, where God lives, how he looks, or what is the appearance of his palace, could they answer the question correctly?  No, they could not!  Has he an eye?  Their reply would be, he is all eye, all ear, all mouth, all hand, all feet.  This is a lot of nonsense to me.  I’ll tell you where God lives; the place of his habitation is in the center of His Kingdoms.  This world is but a speck in His Kingdom; [223] but a mighty black one.  There is but one God to us, who is the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, and he is our elder brother, and is the heir of this Kingdom, when purified and celestialized.  Tell them, we are the children of the father of our Lord Jesus Christ.  Do not the Scriptures tell us, that Jesus said, he is the God and father of our Lord Jesus Christ, and the father of our spirits?  There is a spirit in man, and the inspiration of the Almighty giveth it understanding!  Our Father lives in the midst of his Kingdoms, and Jesus tells us to call no man on earth father, for we have one in heaven.  You know he said to Mary, “he is my father and your father, my God and your God!”  The Lord made us just as we should be, and prepared all things to bring us back into his presence.

Ten years ago, it was called heresy for Joseph Smith to be a money digger, and receive revelations; it actually became treason; and the people killed him for it, and now I see hundreds of reverend gentlemen going to dig money.  I despise a man who wont dig for gold; he is a lazy man, and intends to sponge on others.  Do not think that I blame you; all I have to do is, that you have to follow in the wake of “Old Joe Smith”, and paddle away to dig gold; it is a comic, novel thing to me.

We have been driven here, we have made two crops, and there are hundreds of emigrants now coming here, destitute: I say to you, Latter-day Saints, let no man go hungry from your doors; divide with them, and trust in God for more, and those who have a manly spirit, will give us their blessings. I say, treat every man kindly, and especially if there is any prospect of helping them on their journey.  Emigrants, don’t let your spirits be worn down, and shame be to the door where a man has to go hungry away.  Gentlemen, we cannot give you much for your work until after harvest, after that time, we can supply your wants.  Friends, help us to gather our harvest, and then you shall have what you want, and you can then go and gather riches.  There is one class of people who know our past ill treatment, and they go trembling to the doors of my brethren, who feel as though they would give any thing for a cup of warm drink. I say, walk up, strangers, and if any are hungry, feed them a meal, and let them go to those [224] who have to sell, and may the Lord bless you brethren, Amen. (Des. News, June 29, 1850, Vol. 1, No. 3)


Orson Spencer’s Remarks

July 1, 1850, Salt Lake City


We feel obligations to our God for receiving communications from him, and teaching us of his ways.  This is a radical principle of faith among this people.  I contend that immediate revelation is a divine principle, and is necessary for any godly people; all through the Bible, it is recorded that the people believed in immediate revelation, and every man would peril his life to support those principles, as being essential and indispensable to man – Every Bible advocate is a defender of immediate revelation from the heavens.

What an example to behold a world of mankind growing up like a mushroom, here today, and gone tomorrow, and the great God sending a messenger to tell the people to work righteousness, no matter whether bond or free, rich or poor, and how they can attain the kingdom of God, and if man will not believe it, he shall be damned, for so say the scriptures.

Where is there a Government that does not find it necessary to organize?  There is not one!  All find it necessary to observe some legal process, before they can be admitted as a member of the United States.  Should it not be as compatible for God to have some such organization?  Every honest man will admit it, yet many are afraid they will be ensnared; the Devil himself is afraid of being ensnared and entrapped by truth, and so are wicked men, but an honest man will wade right into truth.

Except a man is born of water and of the spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God-some men think they can get into that kingdom, some other way; in heaven, they once dealt with one of the Sons of the Morning, for changing the ordinances, and transgressing the law; he was cast down, and kept in chains and darkness until the judgment day.

God tells us to conform to the terms of admission into his kingdom, and he will give us the spirit to search into all truth, and he will pour his spirit into them more [225] willingly than a mother ever poured her nourishment into her infant child.

It is the duty of every man to join the kingdom of God, hearken to his voice, be baptized forthwith for the remission of his sins, receive his spirit, and then if he dies, all’s right, all’s well.  Look around you, and see who are as happy as the Saints? When the pestilence is stalking about and sweeping its victims from the earth, or the disease in potatoes in Ireland, and cattle in the eastern States; or the distress among the nations of the earth; who so full of thankfulness and gladsome to Almighty God as them? (Des. News, Vol. 1, No. 4, July 6, 1850)


Brigham Young’s Remarks

July 1, 1850


With regard to all people, I will say as Moses said, when he was told that the people were prophesying; I would to God that all his people were prophets, and I would to God that all men were as deluded as the Latter-day Saints, for it produces a peace beyond all price.  All improvements afford mankind happiness to a certain degree; my religion gathers in all the arts, sciences, and improvements of the day, that man ever did make, or can make, and it reaches within the veil; I say nothing short of the wisdom of the almighty can ever make a community happy, and I would to God that all the world were as deluded and happy as I am; our knowledge is extensive, our hope eternal.

To those who consider us as outlaws, and worthless society; if they will only let those walls (the Rocky Mountains) continue to separate us from them, it is an evident fact that we cannot injure them any more.

One thing I consider; Zion is the pure in heart; Zion is a light set on a hill that shines round about.  I have thought, is the Lord going to suffer his people to be hid up?  Is the gospel to be no more preached?  If so, then shut down the gates; but we are the people of God; the gate is not closed; there will be an open door, until all the nations of the earth are faithfully warned.

There is not an honest man that comes to this valley, but crowns this people with their blessings, for [226] their civility, good behavior, industry, and improvements, and our kindness to them.  In any other community the size of this in any part of the earth, you would see several grogshops, drunkenness, a little fighting in the streets, but here there is no such thing; and if we were to lay aside our religion, our Bible, and every thing else of a religious tendency, even then, we should receive the blessings of all the world for our morality, our good behavior, and our civilized society.

The Almighty God never did set up his kingdom on the earth, from the days of Adam to the present time, but it always came in contact with all the other societies of the day, no matter who they are.  Who is to blame for this?  Am I to blame?  Or my brethren?  Suppose you should talk to an angel, or even Jesus Christ, would he not tell you to warn your fellow men of the approaching danger?  As soon as you should lift up your voice and tell them to shun the evil, all creation would blame you, at the same time.  No being, whether priest or people, would say that the angel did wrong, but they will believe Joseph Smith and all his followers are deluded, and yet they profess to believe in the Bible, and on the Lord Jesus Christ most assuredly.

I have heard the reverend priests pray in the pulpit, that the Lord God Almighty would come down in their midst; send Jesus Christ right down among them, and have the angels visit them, and then they would get up and preach, and deny that the angels even were seen, or revelations ever given since the days of the Apostles, and everything they had prayed for…I say it is an insult to the Being they profess to call upon; it manifests their own shame, and by their own words they will hereafter be condemned.  But if I should see an angel, am I to be blamed for that?  Yet the history of the world proves it.  What does good sense, mercy, and justice say?  Pour forth your treasures; let me hear them, and then have an opportunity of judging, for there is a necessity for God to reveal himself.

All creation have got to bow to this; we are now, but by and by we shall NOT BE; no matter who, the king on his throne, or the beggar at his door. [227]

We believe in the Lord Jesus Christ, and that Joseph Smith had revelations, and I believe I have, but many will not believe in being taught by Jesus Christ, and that is ridiculous to me.  If all the world absolutely believed in the word of God, swords would be made into plough-shares, spears into pruning-hooks, and every man be at peace, in his family, kingdom and country, and every man would meet a friend, love would abound, all contentions would cease, and the people would go and inquire of the Lord by the mouth of a prophet what the design of the Creator of this earth is, and they would seek to know more of their eternal state.

I say, blessed is the man who is not ashamed of the Lord in the Legislative Council; blessed is the man who is not ashamed of His name in public or private; blessed is the man who does all the good he can; and blessed is the man who keeps the commandments of the Lord.

Brethren, what is the harm in living in our religion?  In believing all the Christian beliefs, all that is taught in the Holy Bible?  For if I practice the teachings of the Bible, it will make me a good man. Had I the opportunity, I would say to Senators, to Representatives, Governors, Kings, Emperors, and all the leaders of the earth, and to all men, repent of your sins; turn unto the Lord your God, be baptized for the remission of your sins, or you will assuredly be damned.

Friends, help us to gather our harvest, and then you can have grain or flour to help you on your journey; be kind to each other, and take a good feeling with you, and be kind and familiar to each other, and brethren, if a man is without bread, and you have only one meal of food, divide with the stranger, and don’t let him go hungry away, and may the Lord God of Israel bless you, Amen. (Des. News, Vol. 1, No. 4, July 6, 1850)


Heber C. Kimball’s Remarks

July 14, 1850, Salt Lake City


If it was not for the union of this people, we should have a place in our native land at this present time.  This people are not flattered or coaxed; they have the truth told them fearless of the consequences, and because of this [228] union, wicked men are troubled-the republican governments of the world are opposed to a religious man sitting in the Presidential Chair, or the Judgment Seat, and they say we are a dangerous people, because our leaders are holy men.  We are a people, united, and driven from our kindred and our friends, and are not allowed a place in their midst, because we have undertaken to serve God, obey his commandments, and believe in prophets and apostles, who hold the keys of salvation to the children of men; and if the people of the United States will receive our words, it will go well with them; or if they will not heed it, it will go ill with them.

I say, wo unto Missouri, and Illinois, and every State, who justifies the deed of blowing out the brains of those little children, killing our Prophet and Patriarch, and stoning the Priests of the Most High God.

I testify that Joseph Smith was a Prophet of God, and I know it; I know they have slain an innocent man, and we hold the keys and power to save the nation, if they will repent, be born of water, and of the spirit, or they cannot see the kingdom of God; and if ever you expect to dwell with Jesus Christ in the eternal worlds, you have got to take the same steps, and be buried in water as he was, and that by men holding the keys of the kingdom.

This people is an industrious, honest and virtuous people, and desire to keep the commandments of God; we all work her, priests and people; we are happy and are glad to see our friends from the United States.  If it had not been for the priests of the day, you would all have been Mormons at this very moment, and I do not want you to blame me for telling you. (Des. News, July 20, 1850, Vol. 1, No. 6)


Brigham Young’s Remarks

July 14, 1850, Salt Lake City


I have a few minutes to occupy, and I wish to preach several discourses in abstract sentences. All men are inclined to be religious, whether they know it or not.  All are inclined to reverence and adore something although many profess to be irreverent and irreligious. We try to practice religion, but we are not perfect, and yet we may [229] say, many are as perfect as they can be in all sects, not only in the Protestant and Catholic, but in the Pagan and Heathen nations also; they do the very best they know how, and that makes them as perfect in their sphere, as God is in His.

If the law had not come to Saul of Tarshish, sin would not have revived in him, so when light comes, heresy, false principles and everything else, are made manifest – when a man forsakes his evil, and then does right the remainder of his life, he will be blest, and owned of the Lord.

I want to say to every man, the Constitution of the United States, as formed by our fathers, was dictated, was revealed, was put into their hearts by the Almighty, who sits enthroned in the midst of the heavens, although unknown to them, it was dictated by the revelations of Jesus Christ, and I tell you in the name of Jesus Christ, it is as good as I could ever ask for.

The next thing is, I dare raise my voice against wickedness in high places, and if the President, the Senate, the House of Representatives will do wickedly, I will tell them of their sins, as I would the poorest gold digger who goes with his pack on his back; for rest assured, in the latter days offenses must come, but wo be to them by whom they come.

I say unto you, magnify the laws!  There is no law in the United States, or in the Constitution, but I am ready to make honorable and I declare in the presence of God and all holy angels, and all good men, and even the devils in hell, that I never have transgressed any of them.  If Governor Boggs had not ordered out the troops, we should have whipped all the mob that came against us, yet if poor old Boggs himself was to come here, I would feed him, lodge him for the night, and help him on his way.

I see a large community here, and now declare that we will show the world that we will have the best schools, and the best literature on the earth, and even then we will make improvements.

I say unto you, farmers, keep your wheat, for I foresee if you are not careful, starvation will be on our heels; preserve your grain, lest you suffer; preserve every kernel, and if we are prudent, we will have enough.  If a [230] man wants wheat to enable him to go on his journey, let him work, and that will be mutually benefitting each other.  If any man will take in emigrants’ horses into the Big Field for fifty cents a day, he will rue it, for I say the grain SHALL be preserved; and you millers, you have no right to sell your flour to the emigrants, to feed horses and mules, and rob this people of their bread.  What!  Sell bread to the man who is going to earn his one hundred and fifty dollars a day, at the same price as you do to the poor laborer, who works hard here for one dollar a day?  I say, you men who are going to get gold to make golden images, have your golden gods fixed up in your pulpits, pay for your flour!

You who have lived here, you know better!  Have you forgotten that two of our brethren died from eating poisonous greens, when they could not get a particle of bread to eat?  We have always told the emigrants, that we are not able to supply them; don’t depend on this settlement for your supplies; we cannot make this a garden of Eden in one, or two years.  I say unto every man, when you write to your friends, tell them to bring their supplies, and do not depend on this place for your bread.  We are informed by many of the emigrants, that A.W. Babbitt told them, they could get their supplies here, which is probably not true, for Almon W. Babbitt was told positively that we could NOT supply the emigrants with food, but we had to divide the bread which we had for our own families, last year, with them, to keep them alive; and we shall have to do the same this year; and we publish to all travellers, that when we are able to supply them, and they can depend on this place for their supplies, that we will notify them, and then they may rely on obtaining their food, and not be disappointed as many are, this season.

When a stranger comes here, tell him where his teams may recruit, and if you will not give the strangers good counsel, you are not fit for good society.

I add no more – may the blessing of God rest upon you all.  Amen. (Des. News, July 20, 1850, Vol. 1, No. 6)


  1. A. Smith’s Remarks

July 14, 1850, Salt Lake City


We believe the Bible to be of divine origin, and every Latter-day Saint lifts his hand on high, and thanks God that the pure religion is again on the earth.  The kingdom of God which was organized more than 1800 years ago, believed the same religion, and practiced the same doctrines, as we do; and yet every religious sect claims they are right, although differing one from the other; and every sect puts a construction on the Bible to suit their own opinion; for instance, Jesus said, “Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel; he that believeth and is baptized, shall be saved,” etc., while volumes of books have been written to show that baptism is nonessential.

Again, it is written Jesus went DOWN INTO THE WATER; and men have written cartloads of volumes, to show that he did not even wet his feet.

Jesus said, “he that wants to go into heaven, let him follow me,” and then shews that he was buried in water, when he commenced his ministry.  After the death of our Savior, a large number were congregated together in one place, when the Holy Spirit fell on his disciples, and they spake in tongues and prophesied, and devout Jews heard them speak in their own language; when Peter rose up and bore testimony of the death of Jesus Christ, his resurrection, and ascension into heaven, with such power, that a multitude believed, and three thousand were baptized that same day.  If the promise was good on the day of Pentecost, it is good this very day.

Paul, writing to the Ephesians, says that Jesus “gave some apostles, some prophets, pastors and teachers, for the edification of the church and the work of the ministry,” and that is Mormonism.

As the Lord God of Israel lives, I testify that the true gospel is among this people, and that Joseph and Hyrum died as martyrs for the testimony of Jesus.  God has His legal representatives now on the earth, and while this people keep His commandments, they will be prospered.

I call on all people in the name of Jesus Christ, to repent of their sins, and be buried in water for the remission of sins, that they may receive the laying on of [232] hands for the gift of the Holy Ghost, and be prepared to meet the Lord Jesus Christ at his second coming, etc. (Des. News, July 20, 1850, Vol. 1, No. 6)


Willard Snow’s Remarks

July 14, 1850, Salt Lake City


There are many points we differ in from all other people.  One is, we believe most assuredly that there is a just God, who presides over all the human family, and he has revealed his will to the sons of men from time immemorial.  We believe that he has revealed himself in these last days, by the voice of his Holy Spirit, and by revelations, and inspiration to certain persons, as he did in ancient days to Moses and the Apostles, who are gone before us: almost all Christendom believe that he did call his Saints anciently; we believe that, and more too.  We believe that God is a personage of glory and power, and dwells in the midst of his kingdoms, and in the beginning he organized this world, and all the fulness thereof; and when God organized the heavens, by the same power he people it.  We believe the Bible was revealed to Moses and the prophets, to Jesus and his apostles, and was revealed to those men that lived in that day.  We believe that America was organized when Asia was; although it was not known in the eastern world until the days of Columbus, when the Holy Spirit rested on him, and he discovered “a new world”, but he did not create it; he was treated as visionary, because his mind soared away over the deep water.  Until 1492 years after Christ, they had no knowledge of such a place as America, although there was a people living on this continent; their cities, fortifications, graves and temples, and even the red men now living, are a testimony to the fact.  It is reasonable to suppose that one half of the world was created for no purpose, and the other half to have the gospel preached unto them?

God called on an illiterate and unlearned man to reveal these things; we believe further, that this unlearned youth was Joseph Smith, who was murdered by a band of blood-thirsty mobocrats in Illinois, and that Illinois has her garments stained with innocent blood; he was the [233] favored instrument to receive the ministration of angels, and has laid the foundation, and organized the Priesthood after the order of the Son of God, as you will find in the New Testament, with Apostles, Prophets, Pastors, Evangelists, and Teachers.  We believe in the old things, in the order and Priesthood of the Son of God, which is without beginning or end of days, and it is everlasting to all who will receive; these are the tidings of great joy which we preach to all nations wherever we go.  We throw away nothing; claim all that is good, and say to all people, come and partake; this blessing is for you, if you will come and partake; we endeavor to lay up our treasures in heaven, and where our treasure is, there our hearts are also, and for us to live is Christ, and for us to die is eternal gain.  While we live we will do good, and it is not in the power of men or devils to hinder us. (Des. News, July 20, 1850, Vol. 1, No. 6)


Brigham Young’s Remarks

July 24, 1850, Salt Lake City


It is an indispensable duty to acknowledge God in all of our thoughts, exercises, and in every avocation of our life; to return him thanks for all pleasures we enjoy, and the privileges bestowed upon us.  God should be in all our thoughts and acts; further, it should be the case with every man and woman on earth.  The God that we worship is filled with compassion to all his creatures, and he calls them to glory and to live in virtue; everything we do, should be to His glory, and the destruction of sin and sorrow from the earth.  We are this day assembled to celebrate the 2nd anniversary of the arrival of the Pioneers in this valley, 3 years this day the camps came together and were located on city creek; we celebrate this day for our convenience, not as a national deliverance, or independence.  We crave the right to act as free men and free women, and it is our choice to remember that the almighty delivered this people from peril, want suffering, mobocracy & desolation on every hand, and planted us in this peaceful valley, a people who are not afraid to own their God wherever they are; in our exercises this day, we shall take the liberty to exhibit in word our patriotism, [234] independence and good feelings to that government which is said to be free, and extend the arm of protection to every man, woman and child within its corporate powers.

Let us remember our obligations to one another, and our obligations to God, and by a life of good acts, and deeds, we will accomplish our designs.

Inasmuch as your hearts are right before the Lord, you shall be blest, and I bless you in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, Amen. (Des.News, July 27,1850, Vol. 1, No. 7)


Oration by Dr. Willard Richards

July 24, 1850


The day we celebrate.  This is the third anniversary of the entrance of Israel’s pioneers into the land of our possession; the third anniversary of the day on which the plough first turned the sods of this valley since the records of Nephi; a day fraught with greater interest to the family of man, than any other, since the death of Jesus, and that excepted, since the birth of Adam.

Had Adam not been born, his great family had not existed; had Jesus not died, there had been no Savior; were there no kingdom of truth, liberty and freedom, the principles of life and salvation could not be applied to man; and Adam’s birth and Jesus’s death would alike have produced anniversaries of wailing and wo; but, as it is, these events are alike glorious, with this, the day we celebrate, the birth of the latter-day, never-dying freedom.

For six thousand years, or since the days of chaos, the sons and daughters of Michael have been multiplying and walking to and fro on the earth, seeking a resting place; a country of liberty, freedom and equal rights; and occasionally, for a short period of time, with long intervening intervals, a portion of them have enjoyed the object of this search; but as yet, Enoch and his little band, are the only ones left on record, who have succeeded in overcoming their internal and external foes, and of enjoying their freedom until they had become so perfected in the intelligence and privileges granted unto them by an all-wise Creator, that they were fit, as a people, to be transplanted to a more heavenly soil; but they could not diffuse the principles of righteousness they enjoyed among [235] surrounding nations, and earth was not the place for them longer to rest.

Adam, Moses and Elijah, Abraham and Solomon, Nephi, Jesus, and a host of others, in their day, sought to establish the principles of freedom, so that they might remain perpetually to future generations, but sought in vain.  So great has been the wickedness, so intense the darkness that has spread itself over mind, that the Apostles and Prophets, Revelators and Saviors, that have arisen, sent of God in successive ages, have been banished or martyred; and the celestial light that shone through them was only permitted by the wicked to shine on earth long enough to make darkness doubly visible, such as might be felt.

All the ancient prophets and righteous men saw, by faith, that a day of righteousness, a day of freedom, would come on the earth; and they sought to establish it, but wickedness prevailed and forbid. The day of righteousness referred to, is one in which men can worship the God of Abraham, the father of the faithful, in spirit and in truth, with no one to molest or make afraid; and while this day exists, all men will have the privilege of worshipping their diversified gods in any way they choose, provided they will not disturb their neighbors.

Righteousness and freedom consist of a disposition to do right, and the privilege of living according to that disposition; but to men who do wrong, there can be no freedom; they are bound by the power of the devil, and the more perfect the law under which they live, the greater their bondage; while the man who lives under the administration of righteous laws and does right, lives above the law and is free; he does just as he pleases all the time, for he is never pleased to do wrong; consequently the law has no claim on him, and this is all the freedom there is worth living for@in heaven, on earth, or in hell.

The Prophet Daniel foresaw many ages since, that in the latter days, the God of heaven would set up a kingdom that should never be destroyed, and the same God, having his eye on the same kingdom continually, knowing there was no government on earth that would suffer His infant kingdom which he was about to set up, to exist in their midst, inspired wise men to write a constitution, as the [236] foundation for as free, independent and glorious a government as man was then capable of enjoying-and which was adopted as the Constitution of the Untied States of America, more than sixty years since.

While the principles of that Constitution prevailed, while men were governed by them, justice was executed in equity, man was free, and truth looked abroad and rejoiced in the freedom of the people; and, in process of time, God sent His Prophet, in the midst of that people and commenced His work-a work long before predicted, even the establishment of a kingdom that would insure righteousness, liberty and peace to all the inhabitants of the earth. The Constitution, principles and government of which should control the rulers as well as the ruled, and make every man amenable to a higher power, securing universal liberty to right and insuring universal destruction to wrong.

But under the administration of the American Constitution, the inhabitants of the Union had so corrupted their ways before the Lord, and imagined up unto themselves so many strange gods, that there was little space in their midst for the reception of truth; so that when the Prophet Joseph began to proclaim the fullness of the everlasting Gospel, as revealed to him by the angel flying through the midst of heaven, very few could receive it.  The hearts of men were so generally turned towards idols, that it cost him years of hard labor to establish the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, with only six members, on the 6th of April, 1830; and so great has been the ignorance, idolatry, superstition and wickedness of governors and judges, rulers and ruled, priests and people, from that day to the present, that justice, equity and truth have been obliged to hide at mid-day, and flee at midnight, or risk the death of martyrs.

Not that all the inhabitants of the Great American Union have raised the deadly weapon against the principle of eternal truth; far from it. Few, comparatively, have been the actual murderers of the Saints; many have been accessory before the fact; many have rejoiced after the fact; many more have stepped quietly behind the curtain, as they supposed, washed their hands in self complacent innocence, and whispered in each other’s ear, “T’was a [237] mean act, but I’m glad he’s dead.” While millions more in their ignorance thoughtlessness and fear, have remained quiet and peaceful and have not considered, that so long as they remain thus, and do not raise the voice of reprobation against the murderers of God’s Prophets, they are partakers of the evil deeds of their fellow countrymen, and innocent blood is staining the borders of their garments; and ignorant people will have to pay the debt.

Men cannot fight truth, life or salvation without a medium of communication; consequently, when the truth was proclaimed by the Prophet, and men wanted to oppose and fight it, they had to oppose and fight those who believed and received it, who obeyed and practiced it; and those thus receiving the truth, were made the medium of violence against the truth; and the wicked vainly supposed that if they could destroy the channel of communication, that truth itself would cease from the earth. It has not been. It is not against the Saints, as individuals, that the sword has been drawn.  Most of them have lived for a long time like other men, respected and beloved by their neighbors and acquaintances, insomuch that they were sorry to part with them; but, when they embraced the fullness of truth, their wicked neighbors could not bear it. They must drive truth from their midst, and the only way they could accomplish it, was to drive the individuals who had received the truth.  The only way to get at the truth or falsehood, the good or evil spirit that is in a man, is through the medium of the man himself; hence, every man is responsible for his own belief, faith, practice, and the spirit he harbors within himself, whether it be good or evil.

Mormon is the name of an ancient prophet and signifies more good.  “Mormonism,” a new-coined word by the enemy of all righteousness, with which to reproach the Saints of the last days, signifies all truth, present, past and future; and the “Mormon’s” creed is the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth; and this creed is what the devil and all his imps are eternally fighting against, and not against the believers of the creed, only, so far as the truth influences their actions.

From the first opening of the Book of Mormon by the Prophet Joseph in the State of New York, truth found its [238] haters and the Saints their persecutors, from which they retired to Kirtland, Ohio; and in that State, the Prophet was dragged from his bed at midnight, tarred, feathered, pounded, dragged over the frozen ground by his heels, and left for dead by professing Christian preachers and their followers, who doubtless thought they were doing God a service, but did they think they were protecting Joseph in his constitutional rights?

A temple was built at Kirtland, and great improvements were made in the town; persecution followed, and the Saints passed on to Missouri, where they were mocked, scourged, imprisoned, persecuted; their houses burned, goods confiscated, men, women and children indiscriminately massacred, in sight of the constituted authorities; and those who survived, old and young, naked and helpless, driven from Missouri by the exterminating order of Gov. Boggs; while their Prophet and his companions were incarcerated in prison, on the edict of a mock court, and fed on human flesh.

The next refuge of the Saints was at Nauvoo-beautiful for situation, but then a land of bushes, swamps, sloughs, mosquitoes, milasma, fever and ague; a land depopulated by malaria, disease and death; speedily converted into fruitful fields and gardens interspersed dwellings for twenty thousand inhabitants; abounding with fruit and grain in great variety; overlooked by the temple of the Lord; planted and reared at the sacrifice of thousands of lives by an unhealthy climate, and constant fatigue in watching the mob, to prevent the midnight incendiary and assassin.  When Joseph the Prophet and Hyrum the Patriarch were massacred in Carthage Jail, by the hands of a daylight mob, it was while under the arrest and supervision of Governor Thomas Ford, and the pledge of the faith of the State and while his excellency was satiating his appetite at the table of his murdered victim in the city of Nauvoo. O ye Gods of Eternity, did not the Heavens think that this infernal treachery of plighted faith ought to have satisfied all hell?

But were the sons of earth satisfied with the sacrifice? Let the burning houses and grain stacks, the murdered women and children of Hancock County answer! Let the officers and soldiers of Governor Ford, who were [239] sent to Hancock to prevent the legally constituted authorities of said county from fulfilling their oaths, in protecting the citizens from violence and death, answer! Let the tombs respond!

Persecution followed persecution, and mob followed mob, until, for the salvation of the Union, all the Saints who could get away by the skin of their teeth, leaving their houses, gardens, barns, fields, improvements, and millions of wealth, to the prey of devouring avarice, left Nauvoo in February 1846-following Brigham Young, the illustrious and legal successor of Joseph Smith, in the presidency of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, as their prophet and guide; and, like the followers of Abraham, not knowing whither they were going, journeyed westward, in a most inclement year and season; buffeting snows, hail, sleet, wind like a tornado, sometimes not a tent left standing in camp overnight; women and children on the naked earth open to the sky; creeks and rivers impassable; sun, moon, and stars not seen for eleven days at a time; not a spear of grass on the prairie nor bud on the trees; scores of families without a morsel of bread, teams dying with hunger; bending their course west by south to labor occasionally in the borders of Missouri for a morsel of bread; planting a colony at Garden Grove and another at Mount Pizgah; without compass, chart, or guide, or even an Indian trail, looking out and making roads and bridges through the length of Iowa, they arrived at Missouri River in June.

Almost immediately after their arrival, they were followed by Capt. J. Allen, with a call from the general government for five hundred troops for United States service against Mexico, who were immediately marshalled to his order, whilst wives, mothers, sisters, sons, daughters, friends and teams were left standing on the prairie, to risk their fate against famine, tomahawk, cold, disease and death; and by the remaining aged, infirm and boys, all these widows and orphans, through toil and suffering untold, were located on the western bank of the Missouri River at Winter Quarters, and more than seven hundred houses were erected in about ninety days; but with all this labor, toil and building, many were glad to find caves and dens in the earth, where to lay their heads [240] during an inclement winter-without sheep skins or goat skins to cover them or corn enough to satisfy hunger.

The “Mormon Battalion” of more than five hundred effective men, followed their beloved leader, Lieut. Col. Allen, to Ft. Leavenworth, where he died, deeply lamented.  Immediately after the death of Col. Allen, the Battalion was dogged to Santa Fe, under unnecessary and forced marches by that miserable excuse for a human being, Lieut. Smith, which unnecessary force, with the poisons they were compelled to take from a quack surgeon, (broken down shoemaker?) Anderson, broke many of their constitutions, and those who survived, returned from Santa Fe to this place while a great majority continued their march to El Paso, under the command of that worthy model of Irish Generalship, Col. Cook; buffeting rocky canyons, sand plains, trackless deserts; thirst, subsisting on hunger and fresh meat without bread, and making a new road to San Diego, met Gen. Kernney (an honor to his nation), just in time to save him from the grasp of treachery, and California from the reaction of Mexican influence, and the treasonable aspirations of an aspiring demagogue, opened a vein of gold of immeasurable extent, which has been longed for and sought after for centuries, and which has made nations drunk in prospect, and many who survived their toils, returned to their families with less than a day’s wages, having made the nation rich beyond a parallel.

President Young, with a few followers, for a few only could be fitted out for want of means, left Winter Quarters, in April 1847, and making a new road on the north of the Platt to Laramie, repairing the old road from Laramie to Bridger, and forming a new road from Bridger to this place, through defiles and canyons, hitherto supposed to be impassable by mortal man and mountaineers, too, united their strength in this valley and commenced planting this day, three years ago, about one quarter of a mile southeast of this house, with no cheering prospect before them, but the earth covered with black crickets, Indians naked and loathsome, and for their music the dark doleful howl of the prairie wolf.

Compare that prospect with the present: see the thousands and tens of thousands of acres of wheat and [241] other grains in this and the other valleys of the mountains some two hundred miles distant, without a cricket to molest, and say what hath God wrought for the good of his people?  President Young sought diligently to lead this people to a Latter-day Canaan, to a place in the mountains where men could live in peace.  He has done it, and in this journey, God would have no one to guide His servant but His spirit, as it did the father of the faithful thousands of years ago.

To the stranger within my hearing I need add no more, and yet I will say the golden beds of ore which you are seeking after, and for which you have left your pleasant firesides and the ease and luxuries of life, and for which thousands and tens of thousands have and will lay down their lives, you are indebted, under God, to the toil, the suffering, the labors of the “Mormons” and their lonely half fed, patiently waiting widows and orphans.

To the weary traveler who seeks a loaf of bread at our hands, if you find it, under God, you are indebted to the toils and sacrifices of the “Mormons.”

To the United States: if you wanted to know the value of the mountain valleys, you could only learn it through the patriotism and perseverance of the “Mormons;” all others were too limited to explore and settle them, and when settled, too avaricious to cultivate; they think that they can get gold faster by going to the mines.  Hence, if you want to know what will preserve the union of this great and glorious Republic forever, you must learn it of the “Mormons.”

They are your friends and the friends of all men who delight in doing good; and they are ready to lay down their lives for the salvation of their fellow men, who will do right, which all men will do if they practice the principles of the Constitution of the United States inviolate, for it was given to the fathers by the revelations of Jesus Christ, and is verily true.

Before I close, I want to tell my hearers what the Kingdom of God consists of the inhabitants of that kingdom which has been pronounced by the courts of Missouri as treasoners against the general Government.  The Kingdom of God, which Daniel saw would be set up in the last days, which last days are on hand and which [242] kingdom is now set up, consists of securing to every member thereof the privilege of free trade and sailors’ rights, of securing to every man living, the privilege of worshipping God according to the dictates of his own conscience, if he does not disturb his neighbor; whether he be a devotee of Wesley or Mohammet, Calvin or Juggernaut, Knox or Charlemagne, Pope or Protestant-provided he minds his own business, and lets other people alone. This is the faith of “Mormons,” and this should be the prerogative of all civil governments, to protect all men in their religious belief, which is an individual matter between them and their God, and that on personal responsibility alone, and this is all that any civil government has, or ought to have to do with religion, for every man should be responsible to God alone for his religious faith.

Publish this, ye editors of truth, ye servants of God, ye messengers of salvation, ye well wishers to the family of man, that while Mormonism lives, and its leaders are to be found, there may be found the principles of light, of liberty, of truth, according to the Constitution of the U. S. of America, in its purity, practiced and enforced on all its citizens and all of every nation, kindred, tongue, and people, under the whole heaven, who will embrace those principles, will embrace political Mormonism.

What is the difference between the Kingdom of God and all other kingdoms? Simply this: because the Kingdom of God does insure and secure religious freedom of thought and action to all its citizens, provided they do right and keep the laws of the land; and if the Executive, Legislative, and Judicial officers of the United States had executed the laws and principles of the great Charter of the Nation, in righteousness, all men living under their administration, would have exercised religious freedom, according to the intent of that Constitution, for in that are embodied those germs and principles, needful in the origin of a perfect government; and in the event God’s Kingdom could have been set up and prospered in our happy land and the union been perpetuated.

One word more for the United States. If Congress will quit their quarreling and fightings and hard speeches and long speeches and back-biting and face-biting and [243] contentions and evil surmishings and with one heart, and action, and good will, attend to the work of the nation, for which they were elected-

If the legislators of the different states will overcome their personal animosities and political feelings, and devote their time to the good of the people, instead of spending hundreds of ballotings for the election of a presiding officer-

If the authoritative powers of states and nation will speedily turn away from their slothful neglect of the people’s business and of spending the people’s money by millions, without returning a just equivalent, and consider the nation one and not a Northern and Southern two-they may yet preserve our sacred Union; but if they shall continue their present course of operation, no power on earth can save the Union, although we “Mormons” will contend for it so long as a shoe latchet is left with which to tie it together. (Des. News, July 27, 1850)


Brigham Young’s Remarks

General Conference, Salt Lake City,

September 6, 1850


The business before the Conference will be concerning the different quorums and authorities of the Church; the propriety of strengthening the San Pete Settlement, and a call for volunteers to return with Father Morley; a delegation of elders to Germany, and the various states in that country; that be purposed, once more to lay the law of tithing before the people, praying that he might have the spirit to communicate, and the people to understand, and that on Saturday afternoon, Elder Hyde would deliver a lecture on education to the Chancellor and Regents of the University.

I have it in my heart to ask the congregation if Father Morley shall have the right and privilege to select such men as he wishes to go there?

It is as good a valley as you ever saw; the goodness of the soil cannot be beat; there is only one practicable road into it, and that is up Salt Creek.  The inhabitants there, are “No. 1”, and when I was in that valley, I prayed to God that he never would suffer an unrighteous man to live [244] there – I am going to bring before the people the necessity of keeping up the fund for the emigration of the poor.  I declare openly and boldly, there is no necessity for any man of this community to go to the gold mines, to replenish the fund; we have more property and wealth than we are capable of taking care of.  If a man is not capable of improving one talent, what is the use of his getting more?  He is like the foolish child, that could hold but one apple in both his hands, and in reaching for more, he lost what he had. If men only knew how to control what they have, and were satisfied, they would do much better.

I will commence at the north and go to the south settlements, and pick out 25 of our inhabitants as they average, and another man may take 50 of the gold diggers, off hand, and they cannot buy out the 25 who have tarried at home.  Before I had been one year in this place, the wealthiest man who came from the mines, Father Rhodes, with $17,000, could he buy the possessions I had made in one year?  It will not begin to do it, and I will take 25 men in the United States, who have stayed at home and paid attention to their own business, and they will weigh down 50 others from the same place, who went to the gold regions; and again, look at the widows that have been made, and see the bones that lie bleaching and scattered over the prairies.

Brother Joseph suffered himself to be dragged about the country by a mob, and was dragged into something like 46 or 48 lawsuits, yet he triumphed over all of them, and then they murdered him in cold blood, in Carthage Jail, without any shadow of crime attached to him.  I then swore that I never would fee a lawyer again, and we don’t owe one dime, but that we are able to pay at any moment.  If I can keep my credit good with the Almighty, I care not whether men speak evil of me, or not. (Des. News, Sept. 14, 1850, Vol. 1, No. 14)


Parley P. Pratt’s Remarks

September 6, 1850, Salt Lake City


If we carry out the instructions that we continually receive, we shall be the happiest people on the earth; [245] whoever is governed by the kingdom of God, is a happy man, but who realizes it?  It always was the man that was ready, that the Lord would work by; the only thing that should concern us, is, have we the principles of the kingdom of God in our hearts? and is it our desire to fulfil them? (Des. News, Sept. 14, 1850, Vol. 1, No. 14)

Orson Hyde’s Remarks

September 6, 1850, Salt Lake City


I am glad that ways and means have been devised to deposit horses, oxen, wheat, etc., and give checks on the States, where the money can be appropriated to bring on the poor to this place.  The operation is a good one, and it will operate not only in the United States, but in England, and other countries also.  I feel when I get back to Iowa, that I can revive the Saints, as I have both seen and tasted of the fruits of the Valley. (Des. News, Sept. 14, 1850, Vol. 1, No. 14)


Brigham Young’s Remarks

September 6, 1850, Salt Lake City


I am much gratified to see the warmth of feeling for the poor, by Elder Hyde, and I think the best way to relieve ourselves of all our spare horses, and cattle, is to put them into the Poor Fund.  We shall not cease our exertions until Zion is redeemed, and all Israel is gathered.

From the days of Joseph, to the present moment, the prophecies were never fulfilled faster, and that too, upon natural principles; they are miracles and remarkable phenomena to us so long as we do not understand them…

There is one question I wish to ask; it is this: Will this people back that Committee [to oversee the business of the Poor Fund] up the last farthing?  I say they will, and in the end, great joy will be yours; if you will covenant to do it, please signify it by raising the right hand.  (All hands up.)  Gentlemen, that’s the TERROR AMONG THE NATIONS!  You CANNOT get a contrary vote!  THAT’S THE TERROR!  THE UNION OF THIS PEOPLE!

I think our next move will be to have this Committee organized into a Company, and chartered by the State, to sue and be sued, collect and be collected, and dispose of, [246] and do all business as a Company, and then will be the budding and blossoming of one of the greatest operations in all the world.

We do not want to detain this meeting any longer, but at intermission, come forward and enter your names, and what amount you put in, Brother Bullock will enter to your names. (Des. News, Sept. 14, 1850, Vol. 1, No. 14)


  1. A. Smith’s Remarks

General Conference, September 7, 1850


Elder G.A. Smith said to preach the word of life to man is a very high and holy calling, and an important trust committed to any people, and chose for his text, Thessalonians, 1st chapter 5th verse; and divided his text into, firstly, the word of the gospel; secondly, the power of the gospel; thirdly, the power of the Holy Ghost; and fourthly, its assurance.  As the gospel is the power of God unto every soul that believes; he reviewed the birth, crucifixion, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ, and then the commission he gave to his disciples, and his instructions to them, as his witnesses, to testify to the truth, and teach all the things whatsoever he commanded them and their commencing to preach on the day of Pentecost, in fulfillment of their commission; calling on the people to repent and be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ, with the promise of the Holy Ghost, that was to follow, through the ordinance of the laying on of hands.

Men must obey the ordinances of the first principles, or their superstructure is in vain; it is recorded, all power in heaven and on earth is given unto Jesus Christ; therefore he ordered them to go and baptize the people in the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost; and they went in the name of Jesus Christ and did act; and the Comforter proceeded from the Father, and did bring all things to their remembrance, and did teach them things to come; and when the people had obeyed, the Holy ghost fell on them, the promises were fulfilled, and then the people rose up and declared they knew the thing was true.

The sects of the day argue that these gifts and blessings were withdrawn from the earth and they dared [247] not even attend to baptism, or the laying on of hands, although the Savior positively tells us we must obey.

Did God intend that gospel should be applicable to us in all its power and glory, gifts and blessings?  Yes!  They are promised even unto the end of the world; and just as long as there was a being on the earth; and Christ himself gave some apostles, some prophets, teachers, etc., for the work of the ministry, and the edification of the Church.

The whole Christian world have rejected the law, lost its light, have not the power and authority and blessings; and for the want of these things, they are tossed about on every wind of doctrine, and the cunning craftiness of men.

God, in these last days, in his infinite mercy, sent Joseph Smith with the gospel, and the assurance DID FOLLOW THOSE THAT ENTERED IN BY THE DOOR, following the Shepherd of the sheep.  The world united against them, and forty times he was brought before the rulers, when no fault could be found against him; and then he was by wicked priests and crafty men, murdered in cold blood, and his blood was shed on the ground like water.  He bore his testimony to the truth, and sealed it with his blood; and the truth, and sealed it with his blood; and the authority is HERE to administer the ordinances to you and your children, and as many as the Lord our God shall call; its principles are now preached, and we invite you to come forth and receive its blessings, in all its fulness; and may God our Eternal Father bless you all, in the name of Jesus Christ.  Amen. (Des. News, Sept. 14, 1850, Vol. 1, No. 14)


Brigham Young’s Remarks

September 7, 1850, General Conference


I wish it distinctly understood, that there is not an Apostle of Jesus Christ who now lives, or ever did live, or ever will live, but that man’s word is law and gospel to the people if he magnifies his calling.


Orson Hyde’s Remarks

September 7, 1850, General Conference


Education is not confined to letters only, but to the excluding of all darkness, and when a man has ascended [248] to the summit, he can then bask in the light, having nothing to obscure his vision.  Every person is under a responsibility to impart the intelligence that he enjoys, unto others.  The child that is born into this world, is like a blank sheet of paper, susceptible of any impression, and we have cause to be thankful for the place of our birth, that is has been in a country where intelligence has burst from the heavens through the administration of an angel.

Great honor has been conferred on parents, to mold and fashion that mind, which is put into the tabernacle by the Almighty himself, that they may be qualified to fill.  Here is the honor of rearing up children to the glory of our Father in Heaven, and we have an opportunity of rearing it, to offer it to our Father and our God, from whom we received the pledge.

Man originates ideas by external circumstances, and there must be some vehicle to convey his ideas to others, or they are comparatively useless.  How pleasing it is when a man gets hold of a brilliant idea, to be able to convey it to others.  We can conceive ideas as splendid as the heavens, as brilliant as the orbs that roll above us; but when we went to convey our ideas, our language is imperfect.  There was a time when God talked with Father Adam, in the garden of Eden, in a language so perfect and pure as the water that flows in rills around.  Afterwards, God confounded the language, all over the world.  Yet an imperfect language is better than none at all.  If you could bring all the best authors now living together, they will express their ideas in different words, and they will all admit, that our language is imperfect, yet we have to use that which we have, in order to accomplish the object which is before us, and fulfil the obligations we are under, one or the other, by using the instruments already in our midst.

A certain portion of your property ought to be devoted to the education of your children, in order to qualify them to be good representatives.  Let them be full of light and intelligence and then they are able to give an answer to anything.

The schoolmaster is in an exalted sphere in the field of labor.  My feelings are, endow your teachers with a liberal composition and then they will spare no pains to [249] educate your children.  If you sustain the teachers, they will bless you in return; and that people that pays the schoolmaster well, are destined to prosper; and may you increase in knowledge until ignorance is burned up in celestial fire; may God grant it.  Amen. (Des. News, Sept. 14, 1850, Vol. 1, No. 14)


Brigham Young on Tithing,

September 8, 1850, General Conference


We have preached and talked and wrote about it a long while; I will try again to give my views on it, and the things that are; I will give you my knowledge so that you may all understand and be edified.

In the first place, we are in duty bound to pay our tithing: one tenth of all we possess; that is what is required of this people, but there are so many queries and doubts and sentiments, as to leave the principle of tithing in the dark, yet it is simple and easy to be understood, and may be comprehended by the weakest of all Saints; yet there is a general confusion pertaining to the real debt we owe, called tithing.  That debt we all acknowledge, all are willing to subscribe to it, and sign an obligation form, and yet many do not understand that it is the tenth of all we have.  It is as easy to be understood, as it is for the Elders who are sent forth to preach the first principles of the gospel, that men may be saved.  The time has been, when you and I did not understand those easy, simple principles that you read over in the Bible.  You can read all the ordinances in the Bible, and yet many exclaim we know nothing about it, at least the Christian world presents it so, because there is no light in them.

For the real debt of tithing, I will have to suppose characters to bring it to your minds.  Some say they are going to pay their tithing in produce and not in labor, and some say they pay one fifth, instead of one tenth.  I say there is not a man that has ever lived up to the principle of tithing.  I will except many, for they have given all, and then the balance have not paid even the one-fiftieth of their tithing, and in all probability not more than one in a thousand dollars, that has been due as tithing, in the Kingdom of God.  I have been an observer so far as to [250] know, that as a general thing, the law of tithing has not been lived up to.  Those who have promptly acted Saints of the Most High God, and as servants of the Lord, have been ready to give their all; men must come to understanding and then live to it.

I will take the whole community, and represent it as one man, and call his name Mr. A., a member of the Church – I walk up to him and say, Mr. A., tithing is required of you, to help build Temples, feed the poor, the widow and the fatherless, and anything that the law requires; you give the one tenth of all you have for building up the Kingdom of God upon the Earth, to sustain the Priesthood, and for rearing up the Kingdom.  Mr. A. is engaged in many branches of business, merchandizing, trading, farming, and raising grain and cattle; he then retires to his country seat, rides in his carriage, has plenty of spare time, then he goes to the anvil, to the joiner’s bench, etc., etc., and fills a variety of trades, position and characters.  Mr. A. commences with one hundred thousand dollars as capital stock; Mr. A., there is ten thousand dollars due from you, which we want this day.  He pays it and has ninety thousand dollars capital stock on hand.  Every man must do something, no idler is allowed in Zion, every man must go to work, no man must wrap his talents in a napkin, but put it to usury; Mr. A. goes to speculating on cargos of merchandise, cattle, horses, and farms are offered at auction; he puts forth his $90,000 as purchase money, and gains perhaps $410,000, making in all $500,000 in a week, it is quite a supposable case – there is then $41,000 more tithing due, to pay into the store house of the Lord – the balance goes to his capital stock.

We next see Mr. A., his money all gone, going into the canyon after a load of wood, or to the mill for something to eat, we see him ten days toiling and working; he owes the one-tenth of his time and team; when he has worked nine days for himself, then let him take his team and work a day for public works.

We next see him as a carpenter or joiner; set him to work on the public works, and every tenth day is put down to him as credit on tithing. [251]

We next see him a farmer, raising wheat, cattle, horses, sheep, etc.; he sets down and calculates what he has raised, say 100 bushels of wheat at 20 days’ work, we then take ten bushels of wheat for his tithing.  If he idles away 150 days of his time in riding and pleasure, he owes 15 days’ work to the Lord.  If he idles away his own time he has no right to idle away the time of the Lord.  If he has 100 sheep, he pays the one-tenth part of them, and has an increase; he must bring in the one-tenth of his wool, and the one-tenth of his increase, or pay for them, one of the two. Again, he has some cows, and they give so much milk – where are they?  We want the one-tenth of them, with the one-tenth of your butter, cheese, and the one-tenth of your calves.  If Mr. A. has 50 ducks, we want the tithe of them, which is five, and the tithe of the eggs – if you think it is too trifling a matter for you, let us have the whole of them, it is not too trifling for us – we want the tithe of your geese and of all the increase – it may look penurious to you; if it does, hand over the whole of them.  Again, passing by his house, I saw a beautiful garden, with melons, onions, potatoes, etc.  If you bring the one-tenth of all, that is all we ask, we want the one-tenth of what you have got now, and the one-tenth of what you ever will have.

I am knowing of men and women carrying eggs ten or twenty miles to sell, and I have known men to work on the Temple walls half starved to death, while the rich have been rolling in wealth; it seemed to them so trifling to pay the one-tenth of what they had, that they would let men build temples on johnnycake and cold water.

If men hereafter talk about it, it is only for the purpose of making themselves look foolish; the grumblers are the men who have not paid the first cent for tithing since they have been in the Valley.  No man that grumbles ever pays tithing.  We want your labor tithing for all the time you are not raising grain, and while you are raising grain, we want the one-tenth of your increase.  If a man says he is not able to labor, and on that account wants to be excused from tithing on his time, we want him to come and see us every tenth day and sit by and look on, and let us look at him, and then we can tell whether he can labor and is a subject for tithing or not, and whether he feels an [252] interest in the cause, and if any man is not able to come and see us every tenth day, it is the duty of the Bishop to look after him, and see whether he is not a subject for the reception of tithing.

Those who raise grain three months in a year, we want the one tenth of their grain, and then one tenth of their labor for the remaining nine months in the year.

Again, we are doing wonders; it is a miracle to see what has been accomplished by this people.  I feel the nerve of the Almighty, and the light is burning within me, and I feel determined that the Gospel shall be preached and the Kingdom built up, and I will fight the devils all the time, so help me God.  (Loud cries of Amen from the assembly.)  I am willing to do anything to help to roll on this work, and what I do, others ought to be willing to do the same – you see the works and labors of my brethren, and there is not a man in the world, who knows us, but has full confidence in us. (Des. News, Sept. 14, 1850, Vol. 1, No. 14)


Heber C. Kimball’s Remarks

September 8, 1850, General Conference


I have been much interested with the remarks of the President, and I should suppose any person with sense, would now understand the principle of tithing.  It is clear and comprehensive.  We are blest above any other people on the face of the earth – the Lord has prospered us, and such a crop has never been seen as a general thing.

Another thing I have to remark is, do you observe the Sabbath day and keep it holy?  Let us prove to the Lord, Angels and Saints that we will observe it, and then our blessings will be increased in proportion.  As the Lord has said, rest on the Sabbath day, and let your animals rest, that your prayers may be accepted of God.

Many persons having the Priesthood become careless and sin, and then they are cut off from the vine, and cannot regain the ground they have lost in not cleaving to the vine.  Although the branch withers and dies, the life remains in the vine the same as before – then let us take warning and be kind and gentle, subject our passions to ourselves, and be in subjection to the will of God. (Des. News, Sept. 14, 1850, Vol. 1, No. 14)


Parley P. Pratt’s Remarks

September 8, 1850, General Conference


If a man is even an Atheist, he shows bad manners and disrespect to his superiors, and it is a sin against the neighbor who hears him-any man who suffers his children, or servants to do it, is neglectful of his duty.

If persons come here who do not profess any religion, we do not want to hear them sin against us, as a people, by taking the name of God, or his Son Jesus Christ, in vain. (Des. News, Sept. 14, 1850, Vol. 1, No. 14)


Heber C. Kimball’s Remarks

September 8, 1850, General Conference


I call on those brethren who want city lots to leave their names with Bro. Bullock, and he will allot each man his inheritance; and any man who sells his place for more than the improvements which are on it, I shall want it, to pay into the Lord’s Treasury, where it belongs. (Des. News, Ibid.)


Parley P. Pratt’s Remarks

September 8, 1850, General Conference


I call upon the young men to remain cleanly, and abstain from the use of tobacco, and ardent spirits; and in a few years it will be written of you, “that they were perfect in their generation, clean in their houses and their persons: good hearted, gentle, kind, happy and everything that is agreeable; their houses were filled with the spirit of good men, sanctified by the Holy Ghost and where angels delighted to visit”, etc. (Des. News, Ibid.)


Brigham Young’s Remarks

September 15, 1850, Salt Lake City


You can read in the Doctrine and Covenants, when members of this Church are tried, they can appeal from one Court to another, until they attain the highest Court, which is the Conference, and that is the end of all controversy; for it is impossible to get any thing that is [254] wrong passed through any Conference, so long as the majority of the people are righteous, and that is a principle, that will stand for ever and ever; there is nothing that is sanctioned by the people, but what God will own.

Let the Latter-day Saints be humble and faithful to their God, and all is right.  I want this people so to live before the Lord all the time, as to have the light of eternal truth continually dwelling in them. (Des. News, Sept. 21, 1850, Vol. 1, No. 15)

Mission Work: I want to say a few words to the congregation before we dismiss, for we shall be under the necessity of separating soon, and probably we shall hold another meeting this evening.

I have heard the exhortations of the brethren who have spoken to day with joy; they seem to be in a good spirit, and certainly, yea most assuredly, there is the most novelty in Mormonism, that there is in anything upon the face of the earth.  It is musical, it pleases the eye, and the ear, and I may say every sense of the man.

When I heard the brethren exhorting those who are going out on missions, I wished them to impress one thing upon the minds of these elders, for it is necessary that it should be uppermost there, which may be the means of preserving them from receiving stains on their characters from which very probably they may never recover.  If we get a blight upon our characters before the Lord, or in other words lose ground and backslide by transgression, or in any other way, so that we are not up even with the brethren as we are now, we never can come up with them again, but this principle must be carried out by the elders wherever they go, whatever they do, or wherever they are; one thing must be observed and be before them all the time in their meditations, and in their practice, and that is clean hands and pure hearts, before God, angels and men.

If the elders cannot go with clean hands, and pure hearts, they had better stay here, and wash a little longer; don’t go thinking when you arrive at the Missouri river, at the Mississippi, at the Ohio, or at the Atlantic, that then you will purify yourselves, but start from here with clean hands and pure hearts, and be pure from the crown of the [255] head to the souls of your feet.  Then live so every hour; go in that manner, and in that manner labor, and return again as clean as a piece of pure, white paper.  This is the way to go, and if you do not do that, your hearts will ache.  How can you do it?  Is there a way?  Yes!  Do the elders understand that way?  They do.  You cannot keep your own hands clean, and your hearts pure without the help of the Lord; neither will he keep you pure without your own help.

Will you be liable to fall into temptation, and be overtaken by sin?  Yes, unless you live so as to have the revelations of Jesus Christ continually, not only to live in it today or while you are preaching, in prayer meeting, or in a conference, and when you are in one of these meetings, when you are guarded, more particularly by the Spirit, say, that you can get along without the Holy Ghost; you must have it all the time, on Sunday, Monday, Tuesday, and every day through the week, and from year to year, from the time you leave home until you return, so that when you come back, you may not be afraid if the Lord Almighty should come into the midst of the saints and reveal all the acts, and doings, and designs of your hearts in your missions, but be found clean like a piece of white paper, that is the way for the elders to live in their ministry, at home and abroad.

There are a great many things that could be said here, which would add to the comfort and consolation of us all, a great many principles that could be taught to the elders which they must learn when they go abroad.  I will notice one thing with regard to learning.  You will hear a great many elders say, if I could go to preaching, I could become a man like many others, I should receive knowledge and understanding; I should be noted, become a great man, and a wise man.  Many have such feelings, that they are greater who are in the world preaching the gospel than those who remain here.  It is a grand mistake; for if those who have lived with us all the time have not a knowledge of true principles, do not understand the root and foundation of the superstructure, are not filled with knowledge and understanding here, they need not appeal to the gentile world for it; if they have not the foundation within themselves of talent and tact, they need not go [256] abroad for the Spirit of the Lord to instruct them in things they cannot be instructed in here at home, and to obtain improvements where improvement cannot be made.

We may live here year after year, and store up knowledge all the time, and yet not have an opportunity by the Spirit of the Lord, I gain it at the fountain; and if not quite at the fountain head, the highest I am to that place, the more I get; though I have not the privilege of exhibiting it to the people, it is on hand…But am I now to be compared with these exalted characters [Joseph Smith and martyred prophets]?  Not at all, not even with Joseph, and he is at present inferior to others Brother Phelps has named.  But I expect if I am faithful with yourselves, that I shall see the time with yourselves that we will know how to prepare to organize an earth like this, know how to people that earth, how to redeem it, how to sanctify it, and how to glorify it with those who live upon it who hearken to our counsel.

The Father and the Son have attained to this point already; I am on the way, and so are you, and every faithful servant of God.

One of the greatest queries on the minds of the saints, is, to understand the nature, the principle, of the foundation of our existence.  To say nothing about what has been, if you will follow out that which is before you, you can learn all about it.  I have a notion to tell you, though I have not time to say much about it now.  I will however just tell to you the simple story relating to the exaltation of man in the celestial kingdoms of God.  We will take Joseph for instance; he is faithful to his calling, has filled his mission to this earth, and sealed his testimony with his blood; he has done the work his Father gave him to do, and will soon come to the resurrection; his spirit is waiting for the resurrection of the body which will soon be, but has he the power to resurrect that body?  He has not.  Who has this power?  Those that have already passed through the resurrection, who have been resurrected in their time and season, by some person else, and have been appointed to that authority just as you elders have with regard to your authority to baptize.

You have not the power to baptize yourselves; neither have you power to resurrect yourselves, and you could not [257] legally baptize a second person for the remission of sins until some person first baptized you and ordained you to this authority.  So with those that hold the keys of the resurrection to resurrect the saints, Joseph will come up in his turn, receive his body again, and continue his mission in the eternal worlds, until he carries it out to perfection, with all the rest of the faithful, to be made perfect with those who have lived before, and those who shall live after, and when the work is finished, and it is offered to the Father, then they will be crowned, and receive keys and powers by which they will be capable of organizing worlds.  What will they organize first?  Were I to tell you, I should certainly spoil all the baby resurrection that elder Hyde and others ever preached, as sure as the world.

After men have got their exaltation, and their crowns, have become Gods, even the sons of God, are made king of kings, and Lord of Lord, they have the power then of propagating their species in spirit, and that is the first of their operations with regard to organizing a world.  Power is then given to them to organize the elements, and then commence the organization of tabernacles.  How can they do it?  Have they to go to that earth?  Yes, an Adam will have to go there, and he cannot do without Eve; he must have Eve to commence the work of generation, and they will go into the garden, and continue to eat and drink of the fruits of the corporeal world, until this grosser matter is diffused sufficiently through their celestial bodies, to enable them according to the established laws to produce mortal tabernacles for their spiritual children.

This is a key for you.  The faithful will become Gods, even the sons of God, but this does not overthrow the idea that we have a father. Adam is my Father (that I will explain to you at some future time).  But it does not prove that he is not my father, if I become a God; it does not prove that I have a father.

I am on the way to become one of those characters, and am nobody in the world but Brigham Young.  I never have professed to be Bro. Joseph, but Bro. Brigham, trying to do good to this people.  I am no better, nor any more important than another man, who is trying to do good; if I am, I don’t know it.  If I improve upon what the Lord has [258] given me, and continue to improve, I shall become like those who have gone before me: I shall be exalted in the celestial kingdom, and be filled to overflowing with all the power I can wield, and all the keys of knowledge I can manage will be committed unto me. What do we want more?  I shall be just like every other man, have all that I can, in my capacity, comprehend and manage.

I am on my way to this great exaltation; I expect to attain unto it.  I am in the hands of the Lord and never trouble myself about my salvation, or what the Lord will do with me hereafter; it is for me to do the will of God today, and when tomorrow comes, to inquire what is his will concerning me, then do the will of my Father in the work he has appointed me to do, and that is enough for me.  I am serving a God who will give me all I merit when I come to receive my reward, this is what I have always thought, and if I still think so, it is enough for me.

I say to the brethren who are leaving home, when you go from home, leave everything you have got here, don’t take anything with you but the Lord and yourselves.

You will want horses to bear you over the plains, but don’t carry your wives or your children in your hearts or in your affections with you one rod; dedicate them to the Lord God of Israel and leave them at home, and when you are in England or among other nations, no matter where, when you pray for your families pray for them as being in the Great Salt Lake Valley, and do not bring them close to you as though they were in your carpet bag; pray for them where they are.  You must feel, if they live, all right; if they die, all right; if I die all right; if I live all right, for we are the Lord’s and we shall soon meet again.

I wish to say to you that are left here, whose husbands and fathers are going away for a season, don’t cling to them one particle, but let them go as cheerfully as you would give a weary traveler a cup of cold water.  If you live it is all right, and if you fall asleep before they return, it is all right; don’t send your hearts after them one step, not suffer your spirits to cling to them one moment; then you wives in very deed will be blessed, and be helpmeets to your husbands.

But you, dear husband, and keep him in her embraces, that woman is a dead weight to that man, and [259] not an help to him.  Women should be loyal to the cause of God, and help to build up his kingdom by their husbands, in assisting them to fulfill their missions, and if they do not do it they are not a helpmate to their husbands. I know there are a great many here who have had an experience in these things.  It is no matter if they are on the other side of the globe, apart, let them long for each other, and there will be a thread of communication between them; the man cannot be useful in his labors while she is all the time weeping and mourning, every day of her life.  Let a man suffer his mind to be drawn out all the time after his family and he will become inactive in the work of the Lord.

When you leave, understand it, you have neither wife or children; you have handed them all over to the Lord Jesus Christ.  Let the brethren go and say, I will keep my eyes straight before me on the object of my mission, and not look behind me to my family, but I will accomplish my mission, and when I have done, it is all right, I am willing to go home, if the Lord wishes me to do so.

The time is far spent, and it is necessary for our meeting to be brought to a close.  May the Lord bless you, and I say He does bless us; we are greatly blessed above all people upon the face of this earth; let us be faithful to God and the covenant we have made.  Amen. (Des. News, Sept. 21, 1850, Vol. 1, No. 15)


To the Senators and Representatives

of the State of Deseret

Brigham Young, December 2, 1850


GENTLEMEN – Again have our duties brought us together in the capacity of a legislature, for the purpose of establishing government, and prescribing laws and regulations, which shall prove adequate to the wants and necessities of the people.

It is usual upon occasions like this, to lay before the law-making department, a full and concise report of the situation of affairs pertaining to the government, as well as to make such suggestions and recommend such measures as in the opinion of the executive will prove the most advantageous to the body politic.  I propose so to do, [260] so far as I shall have the ability and the means within my reach, reserving unto myself the privilege of completing any report, as circumstances shall dictate or require.

It is probably known to you that Congress has passed an Act to establish the Territory of Utah, and provided for taking the census of Deseret, but as yet, no official announcements have been made; consequently the government of Deseret will continue in all its departments, until such time as it shall be superseded by an organization contemplated under the act of Congress.  Whatever may be effected under the new organization, we have the proud satisfaction, of having sustained a quiet, yet energetic government, under all the vicissitudes incident to new and untried localities, and when the general government shall have assumed to pay the expenditures consequent upon the Indian expeditions, of being comparatively free from debt.

Unlike the golden-browed neighbors of our sister state, no agent of ours is hawking about our state bonds, to obtain the necessary means to defray the sixteen dollars per diem allowance of the members of the legislature.  In this state, no expense has been incurred, by any of the departments of government for services rendered.

The auditor’s report will show, the amounts paid out, being almost exclusively for public improvements, or articles purchased for public use.  And here permit me to remark, that in order to make the settlement of the pecuniary matters of the state more direct and feasible, I wish to direct your attention to the suggestions contained in that report, and recommend their adoption: in defining the duties of all officers in any wise handling the public funds.  In all time to come, it is to be hoped that that enlightened and wise policy will pervade our legislatures, which not requiring laws to restrain, will yet keep their appropriations and allowances within proper limits.  The success of all governments depends upon their having power and ability to perform their various functions, and there is no surer way of crippling their energies and binding their exertions, than plunging them heedlessly and hopelessly into debt; it is far better to assess a tax at once, adequate to all the necessary expenditures of government, than permit an accumulation of indebtedness [261] to harass every department, and the consequent necessity of forced and temporary loans.

Under the fostering care of the government, the subject of education is fast assuming an importance that will reflect great credit upon our exertions.  The board of chancellor and regents of the University have already established schools in various parts of the state, mostly however, without incurring any expense to the institution.  The enlightened course pursued by that board, will unquestionably rebound to the benefit of the institution, as well as to a general system of education, throughout the state, and must certainly meet with your cordial approval, and warmest encouragement.  The situation selected for educational purposes upon the eastern side of the city, will probably be enclosed the ensuing winter, and suitable buildings erected as soon as the necessary funds can be obtained for that purpose.

In extending, and making new settlements, one uniform course has been recommended, that of building and settling in forts in the first instance, and farming in one enclosure.  This course has proven highly successful @ nevertheless, we have been compelled, in order to sustain ourselves and our settlements, to make two expeditions against the native tribes, one against the Timpanogos last February, of which you were informed, the other against a portion of the Shoshones, in September last.  This last expedition was conducted strictly upon the defensive, and every effort made to attain to a peaceful adjustment of all difficulties unfortunately existing.  The Indians having fled, were not encountered by our detachment, but recent reports seem favorable to a peaceful termination.

All the Indians with whom we have had difficulties, are detached or broken off bands from the main tribes; with them, our peaceful relations have never been interrupted.  We have spared no time or expense in endeavoring to conciliate the Indians, and learn them to leave off their habits of pilfering and plundering, and work like other people, but habits of civilization seem not to be in accordance with their physical formation; many that have tried it, pine away, and unless returning to their former habits of living, died in a very short time.  Could they be induced to live peaceably and keep herds of cattle, [262] their condition would very materially be ameliorated, and gradually induce a return to the habits of civilization.

It becomes us to be prepared to repel sudden invasions as they generally come at an unexpected moment.  To this end I would recommend a more efficient organization of the militia, and strict requirements of officer’s reports, and uniform distribution of public service; also, that sufficient means be appropriated to defray the expenses of repairing and housing the public arms, ordinance, etc., and purchasing supplies of camp equipages, baggage, wagons, and teams.

Unparalleled in the history of the times, not a solitary case was reported for trial, before the regular sessions of either the county or supreme courts, during the past year, and no offense beyond the control of justice’s courts having extended jurisdiction, and probably, is partly owing to the requirements of the law, making it the duty of all officers to seek to allay and compromise differences, instead of promoting litigation.

It is highly necessary that a court of probate should be organized, or else the duties of probate courts and public administrator be devolved upon some office now organized.  The estray(?) pound, enclosures, and herding, are each of them subjects requiring your most careful attention, being fruitful sources of complaint, and liable to terminate in litigation.  General laws, specific in their nature, should be passed upon the subject, at as early a day as practicable.

The Bath House, near the Warm Springs, is now completed, and will, it is confidently believed, `ere long, become a source of revenue to the state.

It is highly desirable that the capitalists of this state should introduce machinery for the manufacturing of all kinds of machinery, that will hereafter, be wanted for factories, etc., also stoves, and other articles of heavy exportation should be manufactured by our own enterprise and industry.  Incalculable benefits would result to this community, if they would engage in almost every kind of manufacture, not only iron, but paper, books, woolen, cloth, leather, crockery, stoneware, and sugar.  Upon this last named article I will submit a single estimate for your consideration.  Not more than twenty thousand persons [263] would use 456,250 pounds, allowing only one ounce a day to each person; the expense of the transportation alone, at the low rate of ten cents a pound, would amount to $45,625, a sum adequate to construct the most extensive sugar manufactory, and when considered in connection with the superior quality of the beet, and facility with which it can be raised in these valleys, renders it the most suicidal policy for us to be dependent upon other than our own resources for that article.

In the neighborhood of what has usually been termed Little Salt Lake (now Iron County), our exploring party of last winter discovered inexhaustible beds of the very best of iron ore.  A settlement is now being made at that point.

There is no doubt but that the demand and price consequent upon the distance of any successful competition, will prove sufficient inducement for the capitalists to invest their means, in whatever will necessarily prove a safe investment and ensure an abundant return; any and all kinds of encouragement, by throwing around them an energetic and efficient government, should unquestionably be given.  It is wisdom to let capital be associated in infant settlements, because there is a necessity for it, for a time, but to lay the foundation for monied capitalists to monopolize against labor, is no part of my policy, politics, or religion.  To encourage enterprise in constructing works of magnitude, it may be well to grant privileges, but they should be so guarded, as to be made amenable to the power granting them, at all times, for the abuse of the powers granted, or diverting them to any other object than the one designed.

From this city, a railroad will most probably be constructed to Iron County, as also continuously to Southern California, terminating at San Diego.  Whatever encouragement you may find it in your power to extend to an object so full of interest to our citizens, I shall most readily acquiesce therein, being within the range of my constitutional duties.

Friends, I feel it a privilege, which I believe I appreciate, in having the opportunity I now enjoy, of addressing you upon governmental affairs.

There are many, very many causes conspiring together, which make it a subject of deep fraught interest, [264] to behold as I do this day, in this mountainous and desert land (where three years since, were only found the wild, ferocious beast and roving savage), senators and representatives congregated in a comfortable public building, which would do credit to any state of a free, enlightened, and happy people.  It is a subject of congratulations to me, to you my friends, and to the world, that the all-wise disposer of human evens has so decreed in His providence that the desert and the solitary place shall be made glad, that the area of human freedom shall be extended, and civilization shall rear her habitations amid the silence of the eternal hills, the mighty forests, and lonely islands of the sea.  It is this that has peopled the Atlantic slope of our mountains, furnishing the world with this vast republic of nations, and is now gathering in her fist a few more, to throw over to the Pacific slope, as a counterpoise to trim her otherwise unequally balanced ship of state.

Deseret is not yet three years old, and yet such has been the rapidity of her growth, the extent of her improvements, and the development of her resources, as to command the admiration, and the respect of all whose lot has been cast within her bounds, and those afar off, hearing the glad tidings, are stretching forth their itching palms towards another of those free states where the oppressed go free, and the poor, through ordinary industry, find ample provision.

Forgive a single allusion to the past.  The oppressed became the oppressor, and the oppressed again go forth to form new communities, new settlements, and new governments.  Hence are we here, amid these vast mountains and solitary plains; hence are we here, assembled in solemn council to frame laws for the organization and rule of communities, and what gives zest to the picture, devise such laws and regulations as shall perpetuate, guarantee, and sustain, in time to come, our free and glorious institutions to the latest generation.

Friends, in all your deliberations, I shall be happy to participate, so far as it shall be my privilege, and hoping that unanimity and zeal, wisdom and intelligence, may characterize your exertions for the public good the ensuing session, that when you return, you may be enabled to [265] carry with you the proud conviction of having faithfully discharged your duty to your country and yourselves, is the prayer of your co-laborer, Brigham Young. (Des. News, Jan 11, 1851, Vol. 1, No. 24)


Sermon at the Bowery, Brigham Young

Sunday, December 29, 1850,


I will preach from my old text, “Truth”; my subject is salvation, and my circuit is the world.  If I continue to preach the truth it will do for today.  I wish you to consider the nature of the human mind that is connected with the divine spirit, and while that spirit is in the tabernacle, they act so conjointly in all their operations that the division cannot be made, even by the philosopher, although he can discover the organization-when the spirit enters into the tabernacle they are not to be separated.  We can discover the weaknesses of this organization; for instance, the child, as soon as it can use its hands, wants to handle that which does not belong in it, such as the looking glass, or razor.  This spirit, or mind, or disposition is manifested in every character on the earth.  As soon as the child can stand on its feet, and can travel, it tries to obtain something he should not have.  Its disposition is to grasp after that which is not good for it.  I can find some in this congregation, who have arrived at manhood, they can analyze it; when they come to riper years they discipline the mind as it is called.  The best plan is to discipline the child in the beginning, and when the child is brought into subjection to the rod, it soon learns not to reach beyond itself.  The secret of these remarks I can tell you.

In the first place, here are the elders of Israel, many of them have forgotten the depths of misery they have been in, and they want to go again into the bowels of wickedness, and they cannot discover the difference between a peaceable society, and those that love not God.  If there are but few, there are enough to raise a stench in the whole community.  The elders are forever wanting that which they should not have, and ever desiring to do that, which will mar their peace, and this is applied to all kingdoms that now are or ever will be organized to enjoy [266] immortality and eternal lives, yet it is destined for all to know the bitter and the sweet, and have the knowledge of good and evil.

The child is crazy for a fork or a knife, anything that will hurt it; this seems foolish to you, and some children when they grow up, think they can dictate the father; the old proverb, “young folks think old folks fools, but old folks know young ones to be so,” I apply to the elders of Israel; you think I am foolish, and I know you are; their eyes are after things that do not belong to them, but do they contemplate the walk they should be in for their highest happiness?  No.  Yet there are some as good people here as any one the earth.  You can behold this folly in the child, in grown people, and even in societies, eternally grasping after that which will make them unhappy and miserable.  I can give you the key-if there is no conflict I cannot gain a victory; if I cannot gain a victory, there is no crown of reward.  We should do those things that we ought, and not do those things that we ought not; for instance, I will take the luxuries of life, tea, coffee, tobacco, and spirits-they are all alluded to in the Word of Wisdom.  Why do you use them?  You may reply, it is habit.  I tell you it is because they are narcotic poisons, which operate on the nervous system and cause watchfulness, or sleep-they relax and stimulate, and in the end tend to death; if it was not for that, you would not be attached to them; you would not like them, if they did not hurry you to your graves. They operate on the spirits also; if they did not, you would never desire, through their influence, to do wrong.  When the poisonous article comes in contact, it revolutionizes the system to a certain degree, and that is the reason why men are inclined to do wrong.  We ought to overcome this propensity and gain the victory, not only in temporal things but in spiritual things also.  If you hate a thing that is good, you are inclined to do evil, and that is as great a luxury to the wicked, as the bottle is to the drunkard.  Whenever the time comes that you hate an object or a thing, try and heap blessings on the object, and it will be well for you, for it will take away those feelings, and it is certain that out of the abundance of the heart, the mouth speaketh. [267]

I am looking at a people who have been driven from their homes and firesides, sacrificing their goods to a wicked mob – seeking to find a place where they can be at peace, and when they get common sense enough they will enjoy it.  If you ask the people to pay their tithing, some of them answer they are too poor; or if you ask them to pay their taxes to help build bridges and keep them in repair, they are too poor even to do that; and some cannot even go to Utah when they are wanted – but they can go very well to the gold mines, because that is their God.  If I cannot put away tobacco or spirits, it proves that I am a slave to lust which tends to death.

I behold goodness and kindness in a majority of this people, yet there are few garrs? and sharks that have been caught in the net, that are a disgrace to the whole.  I do actually see men and families, who have not had raiment to wear, or a house to be in, in a sickly country – and now when they are well clad and are living in good houses, they want to leave them and go to California.  I say unto them go your way, you are welcome, I am glad of it, and I do not care how quick they go, for they are corrupt, and want to hear blasphemy from Sunday morning to Saturday evening, to see card tables and drunkenness; many of them are bound to go to hell, where they will see, and hear, and feel the torments of the damned, and the time will come when they will be glad to come out again.

Look again at the child with the fork, it may put out an eye with it, or when it has the razor, it may cut itself.  Many of you, elders of Israel, are just as foolish; I tell you in the name of the Lord God Almighty.  Am I merciful to the weaknesses of man?  I am!  I realize it!  Were it not for the mercy of my Father in Heaven, I should have been cut down like many others.  When I see a man commit folly in his weakness, am I to stretch out my hand to destroy that man?  No!  But I will pull him out of the pit if I can; my heart is open, and I would as soon you could see it as my face.  My Father in Heaven gives me the privilege of life and death, and if this privilege were taken from you, you would be mere machines, and cease to act on your agency.

This people is addicted to, and it is a fault, to be always searching after doctrine, and never improving upon what they have; they want something new, [268] something that they never heard.  I doubt you have not heard all I have said this day. Get up here, ye elders of Israel, and tell what is in you!  It is hard work to get a man to come on this stand, to feed the flock; how dormant you are.  But many of the elders say they want to go away and preach to the people in the world.  Is there any bigger folks than we are, that would hear you?  Yes, there is.  Ye elders of Israel, ye men of God, how much do you know about the Kingdom of God?  And yet you are always wanting to know something more, when you ought to improve upon what you have!

The Prophet Joseph said to me, about sixteen years ago, “if I was to show the Latter-day Saints all the revelations that the Lord has shown unto me, there is scarce a man that would stay with me, they could not bear it.” What is there so horrid, that you cannot bear it?  Every trait in character that has been infused into man, since the fall, is as diametrically opposed as light is to darkness.

Ye elders of Israel, do you know the ways of God?  If the Lord Himself was to speak to tell the Latter-day Saints what to do, He would come in the capacity of an elder in Israel, and He would preach to you@you would hear precisely the very things that you do now.  You may think I do not know, [but I know that it is you who do not know].  Let me reveal a little of the will of the Lord.  If you do not believe that I tell you the very truth as the secret of the heart of God, you never will be nearer to Him than you now are.  If He were to come in His power and glory you would dissolve away and go down to hell.  He will either appear, and you dissolve away, or He will come in the capacity of a man.

Many men think ten times more of a foolish, untimely dancing party, than of a prayer meeting.  The man that knows the things of God, can say as the old Prophet did, “I would rather spend one day with the Lord, than ten thousand days elsewhere.”  One good conference one evening spent in this manner is sweeter to me than all the frolics that can be got up.  Dancing is only to exercise the body, to enable it to attend to things of greater importance. When eternal principles are carried out to [269] every portion of human life, from the birth to the grave, they bring peace and joy in the Holy Ghost.

I will now refer to the Seventies as a body-suppose I should appoint a meeting for tonight; about a dozen would come without any candles-but if I were to say-level this stand for the band that we may have a dance, they would bring the stoves from their wives’ bedsides, and would dance all night, and the house would be filled to overflowing. O foolish elders! You are like the foolish child-you want the fork to put out your eyes; I make the same application to the High Priests and Elders. I feel sometimes that I could cuff every elder’s ears-at other times I could cry over their follies.  I have good reason for these remarks.

Elders, ask yourselves this question- “am I not an Elder-am I not to preach to all, saints and sinners?” The proof of your choice is in your conduct. Now appoint your meetings, and if you want a partner, the Lord will go with you, and the next meeting you appoint, you will have a third person with you.  As for myself, I would rather sit down in the poorest house in this place, and converse on the things of God, than go to 99 out of 100 parties that are got up-and these are my real feelings.  I go to please my brethren.  There is no sin in all the acts of mankind, only to him that makes it a sin.  There is no evil in anything, only to him that makes it so; we ought to do all things that tend to building up the Kingdom, and to the glory of God. (Des. News, Jan. 11, 1851, Vol. 1, No. 24)

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