1866 September 5 Afternoon Remarks in Ogden


1866 September 5 Afternoon Remarks in Ogden



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George D. Watt
George Q. Cannon

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With regard to the remarks just now made by president Wells in relation to the calling into service of the<se> Batallion 500 men to go to Mexico, I will remark that, Thomas H. Benton of Missourii, who seemed to be a deadly enemy to Joseph Smith and to every person who would hearken to his counsel, agitated the idea of calling out 500 men from among the Mormons, He laid it before the president of the United States, and he refused; but, through the influence of his friends and Mr. Benton, the president made the requisition, and we complied with it. Our complying with it disapointed Benton. He had received authority from the war department to call upon Missouri, the State of Iowa, Illinoi and if necessary upon the nation to punish us and compel us to obey if we refused to submit to the requisition. The President and Vice-President of the United States were ancious that Congress would cut us off that district of Country which has since been given to the Potowatomie Indians. This they could not accomplish. The president then instructed the officers that if this people called Mormons were actually going to California or Vanchover Island, when the batalion were discharged to <discharge> allow they <should> to retain their arms, and that Captain Allen should provide wagons and <tro> convey over the plains as many families <should have> as he could taken with them. There was a portion of the officers of the government who were desirous to favor us. I say this to show you that <it is not> all men are not <who are> against us.
The foundation of all our persecutions commenced in the pulpit. The Priests kindled the fire of dissatisfaction and persecution, as the pharasees did in the days of Jesus: "If we let him thus alone, all men will beleive on him: and the Romans shall come, and take away both our place and nation". Joseph Smith had the power to call men around him and they would flock to <around> him, and do just as he said. It was once asked him, why all this was. He answered: "All I do is to tell the people the truth, and they have the principle and power within them to abide it, and delight to follow it. I teach the truth and they follow it." It <that> is <what> this which keeps us of one heart and one mind. If we continue to do right, to deal justly, to walk humbley before God, I will promise you that our true character will be known better in the world abroad than it has been, and we shall gain position that many of us think we shall not gain. By being humble and faithful, we can gain our position among the Nations of the earth -- we can accumulate that influence that is desirable for us to have to live in peace.
We have a multitude of friends in congress; but they are afraid of their preists at home, and they would tell me and brother Hooper, if we were there, that they would like us to enjoy all the privileges of a state; but "if we were to vote for you to come into the union, our bread and butter would be gone". Plurality of wives they care nothing about; but they make this their hobby to <right> <write> try to <against and> get up an influence against the Latter-day Saints. Ask the Gentlemen the middle aged and old gentlemen, if they have more than one wife? No. Have you any wife? No. How have you lived? so and so. Do<nt> you not have women down there? O. yes, plenty of them. Wherever we go, we have a woman, but no wife. It is quite common thus for men to ruin innocense, and they will be damned for it. I recollect a person in <the> Gt. Salt Lake City a Mr. would-be-dictator-and-controler-of-all-things, visible and invisible, went to president Johnson and made his complaints. The president asked him if he thought the Mormons <we are> were any worse in the mountains than they <are> were in Washington. <We have our friends in Washington> We callculate to <gather> take the good wherever we can find it in <from> all the world, and all the truth, and all the righteousness, and all the holiness, and all the virtue and gather it home to Zion. While we are gathering the good, we also gather some bad, but the good predominates anong the Saints. We have friends in the world, and, by and by, they will come to us and enlarge our ranks