1854 November 12 Sermon on the New Birth


1854 November 12 Sermon on the New Birth



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John V. Long
George D. Watt

extracted text

Sermon on The New Birth, &c.
by B. Young.
Delivered in the Tabernacle, on Sunday Nov. 12, 1854.
Reported by J. V. Long.

If there are any in the congregation that think it is their privilege to speak, I am perfectly willing they should have the opportunity; but if it is not particularly the duty of the Brethren, they can omit their speaking and conversation until another time.
I have it in my heart to say a few things upon the principles and ideas of the New Birth, and if I differ from the feelings and the ideas of any of my hearers in any one particular point, or in many points, I can say of a truth that I am after knowledge, and I wish to understand the way of life and salvation, and I hope they will be enabled to hear me through, if such there be as want understanding.
My views are, I presume, like other people's. I have often thought, and I really beleive, that there is more difference in the language we use than in the ideas themselves. If we had been taught to speak and to talk precisely alike, and to use a certain set of words to a certain set of ideas I don't think there would have been the variance there is at the present time.
We are very strenuous, as Christians on the doctrine that is called the New Birth. I have many reflections, and many thoughts, and ideas like other people, and probably some that will not agree with other people's. What I call a New Birth, applying it to the revelations given to us, to save us, to comprise the whole in one word, or one sentence, is that we were imbibing an error, but truth is presented and we receive it; this would comprise the whole of it. But the question is who shall decide what truth is, who shall say what is truth? Well, one says the question directed is answered in these words:-- any matter of fact is truth. But we want to be correct in our views then we will be correct in our feelings; then those who get the truth leave their error. If truth is presented to them, they are convinced of <their error> that truth and they are that degree enlarged; this will apply to each and all of us; Consequently when we receive a truth, though we have no knowledge of it previous to this day, or this moment, we have imbibed errors previously, but now truth is presented and knowledge is increased, to us. Well here we are like children, like babes, we are clothed upon with ignorance,-- we are shut out from light and truth, and from eternity, but the Lord has opened up the way whereby we may receive eternal truth, and if we receive it it will profit us, and we shall be profitted by it.
Christ's words to Nicodemus seem to have troubled him considerably; he could not understand this New Birth. It seems a curious thing, if we have a real translation of what then transpired, that he should have lived as pure as any man possibly could, according to the knowledge he had of the things of God, and yet this was the first time in his life that he had heard the term New Birth: and he marvelled at the saying, so much so that "he turns round and says how can this be"? Why says Jesus you must be born of the spirit or you cannot see the Kingdom of God. Do you understand this? No, I dont see, says Nicodemus, it is not according to logic that I who am old should be born again.
I shall differ from many, no doubt, upon this subject, but the reason why I name it here, is we have had different traditions and feelings about religion in the different countries we came from. For instance, there are a great many of the inhabitants throughout Christendom beleive that naturally, Mentally, and Physically we are opposed to all the true principles of the Gods in eternity, begotten in sin, born in iniquity, clothed in sin and reprobates from the beginning. Did you ever hear such doctrine as this? And if you dont bring your children and have them Christened they will go to hell. Have you ever heard this kind of Doctrine before? Brother Carn was speaking of it this morning, and showing us the condition of the Christian world, in those parts, more particularly where he has been travelling. Those characters are actually taxed beyond what they are able to bear, and they have not the privileges of civil society, but are treated as unworthy of mixing with the religious folks.
Is this the effect of introducing to the people the Bible, or the Book of Mormon? No it is not, for the Book of Mormon does not teach total depravity, and there is no such doctrine taught in the revelations of Jesus Christ, i. E. if the doctrine appears to you as it does to me. It is opposed to every thing that God justifies, it is contrary to every principle God ever revealed, and there is not a word nor shadow of truth about it. I will give you my views upon the subject. If a child be naturally begotten by its parents, it will love truth more than sin before it comes into the world, and after it comes into the world too if its parents do right. Children may and do imbibe errors and evils from their parents; for instance children have been known to imbibe drunkenness from their parents, and some are born into the world thieves, and they seem as if they could not wait until they grow up but they must steal. This is the parents' fault and not that of the child, and when the child grows up it overcomes, or the man spirit or life, that is in the earthly tabernacle overcomes the evils imbibed from the parents. The spirit that lived in the Presence of the father is pure when it leaves there, but when it takes the body it is surprising what a strong, powerful influence the parents seem to have, and that influence seems to overcome the good spirit, and the child takes to stealing. These traits of character in children are produced by the parents, and are not the faults of those children. The spirit that is in the person is pure
But if your spirit, clothed upon with flesh and blood, had not been influenced by those who were the means of bringing it into the world it would have been inclined to virtue and purity as in the beginning; but the influence received from society overcomes this, and hence you see people rush into all kinds of wickedness. We will now suppose a case, that a child receives a Christian education, and as solomon says he will not depart from it. Will he depart from that? No he won't. There is not that child upon the earth, if brought up under proper influences, proper governors, that is brought up under this priesthood and its influences but will do right. And if you want to know more and inquire why children run wild, and why parents in this Church dont control their children, you must examine yourselves, and see if you have always done right and kept your children in the right way. It is possible that a child can be brought up pure, and properly; but will it ever be? Yes it will when parents learn to live <with> an eye and pure before God, but not till then; and then when we have cleansed the inside we will also cleans the outside platter, but this time is not yet come.
Now I will leave this point with regard to children been brought up in the way they should go, if I should say there is not a man now living who understands, you would turn round and say why Bro. Brigham dont you know? No, I dont, I have not got the wisdom to control my family, and I shall not use the iron rod like many do. When the Lord gives me wisdom enough so that my wives will be willing to honor me as I honor God, and not till then; when this time arrives my children will be brought up in the holy priesthood, and in the way they should go. It has got to be done by wisdom and not by wrath or severity. So I cannot talk any more about it, further than to say that naturally any spirit that comes into a tabernacle would cleave to their father in heaven, if it were not for the flesh, and the influence it exercises over the spirit. Well now, here's my position; what do you mean by a new birth? I will tell you. All the people have gone astray like the ancient people of the Lord, for they went astray from the ways of the Lord; the gentiles always were astray, or they would not have been called gentiles, for it is a term used to represent the disobedient. We are of the gentiles, and our red Brethren are of the obedient race. Are the blood of the obedient among the disobedient? Yes, and we are gathering them out by the Gospel. Now Abraham commanded his house, and the Lord blessed him for it, he had wisdom and governed his children according to the Law of God, but how long did they remain obedient? Why it was not long before they corrupted themselves before the Lord, not long before they "transgressed the law, broke the covenant that their fathers had made with their God. Then they wandered in darkness, but it was not long, not many generations before the Lord would call to them and again bring them into his favour, and then they would fall out by the way and break the covenant, and change the ordinances again. Well, Israel broke all the laws, and changed all the ordinances, and broke all the covenants that they had made with their father in heaven. To get language to convey my ideas, perhaps would be difficult, but I will try to make you understand me. Nicodemus comes and says how can I be born again? How can I understand this New Birth? I am old, I cannot be born again, but says Jesus if you and the whole Jewish nation understood things in heaven you would see how you, and all Israel could be born again. He was a good liver, he did what his grand-father and his priest told him, and was very sincere, no doubt. But the whole people, it seems, were ignorant of Jesus, and did not know anything about him, they did not know that an angel could come, neither did they know that Jesus could come; they thought he would come as a King, and hence they made the mistake and took the second coming for the first, and therefore he was in their midst without them knowing it, but to tell the Jews or any other nation that Jesus Christ could be in their midst without them knowing it, would be preposterous in their eyes. I tell you he (Nicodemus) might have understood a New Birth, if he could have been approached and told to throw down the religion of his fathers and look to the Lord he would then have learned that Jesus was the Christ. Jesus would say to him, "all that is necessary is that you should have the spirit of revelation and see me in my true character and office; this is all that is necessary,-- enough of that spirit to see me in my humility." Nicodemus had imbibed all the religion of his fathers and was just as good as a Christian, and was as good a liver as could be found; but something else was necessary the Birth of the Spirit, and hence said Jesus you must be born again, for no man can discern the things of God without the spirit of God.
Every spirit that takes a tabernacle is pure, and all are begotten in heaven, but men forget that those spirits should rule the flesh and not the spirit be subject to the flesh, as is mostly the case. They (men) imbibe error and false principles contrary to the will of the spirit, and if they would notice, they would find that the spirit in their tabernacles is inclined to do good, and they would say like Paul -- "The <flesh> spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak."
But it is no use talking about these things, for I suppose that Paul had gone so far that he could not then control himself. You know I sometimes talk about Paul, but it is no matter saying more here.
Teach your children, and then when that spirit of wrath and anger makes its appearance, it will be subdued by your example and instruction and give way, and you will in this way be enabled to control it. Is this done now? No, parents let these passions rule in their children, and hence the first thing rst thing you know is the devil's to play, they are as mad as thunder, and the little things are not a year old, but still they exhibit these unruly passions, and what is the consequence? Why the first thing they know is all hell's boiling over in the house, and it was so when the mother was carrying it.
Well Nicodemus all you want is to humble yourself before the Iord, and get his spirit, and then says Jesus you will know that I am the Christ, and this the only way to obtain this knowledge. It amounts to this; a man must be converted from error to truth, born again to see the truth. If he has imbibed error, and is born again, and then imbibes errors again, he will be like the old lady, who was about 80 years old, and who had to be born over and over and over again, on account of her many , and I dont know but he would want to be born over and over and over again
I will turn to the traditions of the people, for you know many curious notions are entertained by the people of the world; some beleive if a man or woman receives the spirit of truth, God will save them any way, because they have been appointed to be saved. Well, I expect he will save them, but he will bring them through hell to do it; they will have to wade up to their armpits before they get saved, and then they have to receive that truth which they once rejected, and have their eyes opened........
When men have their eyes opened to see any new truth that is presented to them that is a new birth. Supposing you had 20 new truths presented in the service of this morning, truths you had never heard before, and you received those truths, there are 20 new births this morning, then suppose you receive 20 more this afternoon, and treazure them up in your heart, from these you receive knowledge from the Lord, and you may consider this addition of knowledge a new birth the same as when Jesus told Nicodemus that he must be born again, or he could not see the kingdom of heaven. All you want, says Jesus is to beleive that I am more than an ordinary man, and then if you beleive that my father has sent me, your eyes will be opened, and you will be prepared to receive more light and more truth, if you can only beleive that I am the Christ, why then you will be able to beleive all that I shall leave with my Apostles to purify the chosen seed.
So far concerning the New Birth is actly my faith, it is my experience, in this kingdom that a man must be born again to see the Kingdom of heaven. You all know what the doctrine is to make a man an heir of the Kingdom; when he is born of the spirit he can see the kingdom, and when he is born of the water he becomes a member and an heir to all the blessings of the kingdom of God. Now, you know we have received a great many new ideas since we began to throw off our old traditions; some of us were traditioned to beleive that children were roasting in hell, infants not a span long, those who never knew sin, never committed the first fault, but they had been taken to the priest, nor gone through their order. Well now you have got converted from these ideas to something better, and Elder Carn said this morning concerning those among whom he had been travelling,-"they saw the iniquity of the priests, and drew the Vail away;" this applies to those who are converted from their old traditions to a rational doctrine, to principles more consistent. Then they are taught to know that Joseph Smith was a prophet of God, and that this day it is the privilege of all, who obey the truth, to receive a knowledge of God for themselves, for this is a day of prophets and apostles, and a day of revelation. This is not according to my former faith, for I have taught that there was to be no more prophets nor revelations upon the earth, but the almighty opened the eyes of my understanding to see that I have imbibed erroneous doctrines, and hence I have become converted,--born again.
Is there any prophets in this day? Yes, God has revealed his will and called prophets to deliver his word to the people. Is this really the fact they inquire? We know, says the people, that you read the scriptures and preach, and explain them very different to what our priests do, and we think that your ideas seem very different from those which are entertained and taught by our priests, but still they seem reasonable, and for aught we know they are the words of truth. Well all you want is a new Birth, for you cannot beleive that Joseph was a prophet without been born again of the spirit; you must receive the spirit of truth, the spirit of revelation, or you cannot beleive that Joseph was a prophet of the most high. This is a great mystery, and all the Elders want to do is to get the spirit of the Lord sufficiently to give them influence over the people to humble themselves before the Lord, and learn, and then their eyes will be opened, and they will see and feel that Joseph was a prophet. Have you ever seen people who could beleive that Joseph was a prophet, but who could not beleive that the Book of Mormon was a devine record? I have met with such characters, and perhaps the Lord has not opened their eyes to see any more at the first. Well what shall we do with them? They want to be born again, to receive another portion of light, to receive the spirit of the ord from morning till evening, and from evening till morning to enable them to walk up to their duty, if they have not sufficient faith to hold fast that which they have received until the Lord see fit to open up the vision of their mind, and enable them to see, they will want another birth of the spirit, which will enable them to say "I have been born again and now I know that Joseph was a prophet of God, for it has been revealed unto me."
Well now, let me have a word with my Brethren who lived in the Church when the revelation was given, or vision, as it called in 1832 to Joseph and Sydney upon the different glories any of you remember how many were cut off because they would not beleive it? I do, and I guess Bro. Lamb does, for he was there; this was nonsense, for they would have apostatized any way if they had only have given them time. Now we have got light upon this subject, and we know it to be true. We can now talk about there being one glory of Sun, another glory of the Moon and another of Stars and we feel well about it, but in those days when this revelation was given and we talked of 3 heavens first one and then another would say I dont know nor understand anything about it, and they did not go the right way to work <to get> to get know either. I have actually had it in my feelings, nothing doubting, nothing wavering, in fact I have been taught, says one, that all the heathen nations would be damned, and damned they must be, and damned they shall be, and I will turn round and apostatize. So aggrevated that God said he would bring Saviours upon Mount Zion, and that he would save all the honorable men of the earth; some would prefer being cut off and going to hell, to having the Lord stretch forth his hand to save a few more than they expected would be saved; what the honourable men of the earth be saved? Yes all except the sons of perdition, those who had sinned against the holy Ghost, who had once received that Spirit, tasted of his powerand then turned round and denyed him; yes the Lord said, or showed in the vision that all the sons of Adam should come up in the resurrection and receive a greater glory than they anticipated. I know many who, in consequence of this revelation, turned round and said they would rather go to hell than have the Lord save all the heathen.
When I first heard it, an Elder had brought a Copy in his pocket from Kirtland, and we went out to the woods and read the revelation and then we prayed, and read it and prayed again, and what answer do you think I got? I got it is none of your business, this was the amount of it; I just got the simple answer it is a matter that don't concern you at the present time. This was quite enough, I did not trouble myself further about it, but I knew many who would rather apostatize than have the Lord save the whole human family; of course this was a peice of folly on their part. I said well Lord I know that the Book of Mormon is true, and I felt as I told a Methodist preacher when I was going to Kirtland in company with Bro. Heber and Joseph Young, to see Joseph, for I was not yet acquainted with the prophet. He began to ask me about the prophet, what kind of a man he was, what color he was, and a whole string of other questions, and 0, hell and the Devil was to play soon. We stopt and got dinner, and then says I Bro. Gilmore I know nothing about it; but let him look as he will and be as wicked as the devils in hell, I know that God almighty has revealed the plan of salvation to him. It is nothing to me if those men who are at the head of this Church, get drunk and swear and lie, the Lord God almighty has revealed the plan of salvation through them, and I wish you to understand Bro. Gilmore that I dont embrace Joseph Smith, and I tell you that all the clergymen on the earth put together cannot do the first or least sum that Joseph has brought forth. So he did not get me to the ground to be converted again; I had been converted once and I didn't need any more of it.
What is the difficulty with us here? There are men and women who don't receive and live our doctrines, they cannot see this and the other; and it is because they don't live in their first conversion, and therefore they have need to repent and do their first works over again, and I wish in my heart that all the people who are not living up to their privileges as saints would come forward and repent and do their first works -- be baptized for remission of sins, sins of omission if not commission, and from this time forth live up to their duties and privileges, and then they will know when the lord speaks and when his footsteps are in our streets, then they will be qualified to discern between light and darkness, between truth and error. Live so that you will know the voice of the Lord, and then you will not have to call to the Lord to give you a new birth every time there is a new truth presented to your minds. It would be folly for me to seek to get a new birth to beleive Joseph Smith, and at the same time not be willing to beleive the Book of Mormon, and then go to Joseph and say I cannot beleive in that Book of Mormon, there would be no birth in that at all. What the Apostles mean is for you to receive the spirit of wisdom and understanding, and then you will be prepared for more light and truth, and you will receive revelation as it comes and afterward practice it in your lives and that is a birth that is worth something. I might go on and pick up every doctrine that the Lord gave through Joseph, and show similiar results.
When the Lord revealed the Law on men having more wives, why it made quiet a stir, and even now some apostatize and go to the devil because of this Law; they wont beleive it any way, but there are some who go to work and beleive to much; they get a family around them, when at the very time they cannot control nor govern themselves for six hours; they have got to much faith, and then what, quarelling, marrying, parting, -- I dont want to talk any further about such things. If I could take a cloak and cover up all our follies I should feel glad. I feel sometimes that were I at the gate of hell, I would not let them know our meanness; I should be ashamed to have them know how foolish and mean we are. Well, enough of that for the present.
Well, next is the Law of consecration and tithing. Can you beleive to much of that? No gentlemen, you will not crowd your stomachs with that doctrine; you may be trusted for that; but if ever you get your eyes opened to see the truth and beauty of that doctrine in its purity, you will be astonished that you could not obey when it was first presented. A man cannot beleive what is for his best interest or we should see him more obedient; truly did the prophet say -----
Unless you and I are living up to our privileges, we may possibly be scourged in a way we dont think of; suppose our cattle are drove off or stolen, when we think we are rich 1o, we are poor. But supposing a woman goes to work and tares up her clothes, and in that way becomes reduced to poverty, well this has nothing to do with being poor in reality, but when you see men destroy their grain which belongs to the Lord, he will bring that man to an account for all such things, for that grain belongs to him. And you have not an ox, Cow, Calf or anything but what belongs to him, and you are stewards over all these things, and remember the race is not to rich nor the battle to the strong; the Lord can turn the course of things and cause you to become poor indeed.
Brethren, when you get your eyes open you will be astonished that you could not see your duty, you will be surprised that you have been in ignorance concerning your simple duties. Well, says one, take one half of what I have! Why if you only knew it, the Lord can give more on one tenth than you can raise on the other nine parts. he can give 50 Bushels to the acre or he can give _____________ and O fools and slow of heart not to beleive it. Have any apostatized in consequence of the Law of tithing? Yes, and it is the law that God gave to his ancient people, and it always will be obligatory upon Israel. Have you ever thought of that? Yes, but we are a little dubious we cannot get rich so fast as if we keep all; but you will find by and bye (I gave you a little of my mind last sunday,) that one devourer will follow another until the houses are left desolate, and why? Because the time has come that you beleive in Joseph Smith, the Book of Mormon, and you beleive a great many other things, but you say this law of tithing, I cannot understand it. Well, how many times have you been born again? 0, a great many times; well you have to be born once more then. If you dont obey this law what will be the use of anything or all you have done; you will belike the French weaver
Now I am going to stop, but before doing so I will make a little application; what do you say Brethren and Sisters, shall we from this time forward deal with all who are found getting drunk? Yes, glory be to God we will go in for that. Well now from the first Presidency of this Church right down, if any man be found drunk, cut him off from the trunk of the tree. And I will now go a little further, when this time comes for the Law of tithing to be lived up to by this people, then all who don't obey it we will cut them off from the trunk of the tree, and let all Israel say Amen! (The congregation unanimously responded with a loud Amen!)
For instance supposeing we take up our members that are abroad, bring those saints home, bring all from England, France, Italy &c., and leave just a few of our American Elders, and instead of a yearly increase of 10,000, I would calculate upon 100,000! Those saints being there year after year is a dead weight; many of them are dead weights through inability to emigrate, but when men are dead weights who have the means and ability to gather the quicker we cut them off the better, the tree will prosper all the better without them. Now I just request that every Quorum in this Church will begin to trim up, and cut off all who curse and swear, steal or get drunk, cut them off from the Church, and let all Israel say Amen. (Congregation responded Amen!) And if I do those things cut me off too. I never swear excepting in the pulpit; I never swear when with my family, nor when I am out at work, for I have no occasion to swear at those times.
Well, I say God bless you, in the name of Jesus. Amen.
Sermon B. Young Nov. 12th, 1854
on the New Birth
Page 1, 2 missing

to this new birth of the spirit. Why I make this observation here in, we have had our various educations, and our conseptions of the principles of religion, in the different counteries, neighborhoods and people with whome we have been associated. For instance, there are a great many of the inhabitants of Christiandom that beleives positively that every child that is born into the world, are naturally, spiritually, fisically, and mentally, altogether oposed to every true principle that belongs to the Gods in eternity, that they are begotten in sin, and brought forth in iniquity; prone to wander, reprobates from the beginning. Well how is it carried out? Did you ever hear such docterine as this taught? If you did not go forward now with your childeren to have them Christianed, and if they should happen to die before they are christened they are shurely bound to go to hell. Do you know anything about such docterine? It was presented here this morning by Bro. Carrns when he was taking about these principles. Infants are considered aliens, oposed to God and Godliness, they have missed of salvation, because they did not bring them, and have them christined, and their names recorded,regestered, in the book, <and> to become lawful members of the Church, they are out casts, and forbidden christain society among christian nations, this you know is the fact.
Mormonsam dont teach any such docterine; the bible does not teach it; the book of Mormon does not teach it; nor no revelation God ever gave. Total depravity as it is called then is no such docterine taught in the revelations of the Lord Jesus Christ; that is if the term applies to your understanding as it does to mine; that when a child is born into the world, from the day that it is <born> begotten and receives life, it is opposed to every thing God justifies; it is as big a faulshood as ever was conceived in the ideas of mankind, there is not a word of truth in it, nor the shadow of truth about it.
Now I will give you my own veiws you take a child that is born into the world, if it is a naturally begotten, born, educated child by its parents previous to its coming into the world, and then immediately after that child loves godliness more than it loves sin.
That is the charracter of the inhabitants of the earth, every son and daughter of Adam, if they have <proper> parents, that conduct themselves properly, A child may imbibe a disposition from uncouth parents that will be seen in its infancy and through out its life. For instance, childeren are born drunkards in consequence of their parents being drunkards, and encouraging that apitite in themselves, in the father, and in the mother. Again you see some childeren born into the world that realy it seems as though they could not wait until they have knowlege enough to accomplish natural the child did not put that dissposition there it is the parent, and when the spirit came into the tabernacle, it was orgonised, governed,<governed>, controled, and influenced so much by the parents, that when the child comes into the world, and grows up, the influence that pertains to flesh, from the parents overcomes that which is in them, which is the spirit of the Lord, the spirit of truth or life of man, that that has lived in the presence of the father, and lived at home, and when it comes and takes the body, the influence, the strong, powerful influence that the parents give seems to overcome the pure spirits that comes from God to that degree that the child is inclined to steal; this you know from experience. These traits in the Charracter of people are produced by the wickedness of the parents, but the spirit that is in the person when he does wrong is greived; you never saw a day on the face of the earth, since you remember, but what your spirit that is clothed upon with flesh, and blood, if it could have had its will, its wishes, its disires, it would have been inclined to truth, and virtue. I can call every person to wittness this; it is the case with every person that is born on the earth, but the influence received from parents and from society, overcomes this, and teaches them to do wickedly
Well Now we suppose a case, that a child receives realy a Christian education, that he is realy brought up as Solomon says, precisely as that child should walk in mature years, What do you think? Will he depart from that? No, he wont. There is not that child that lives upon the face of the earth that is born of proper parentage with proper instruction, a proper influence, a proper government, and living by the law of the Celestial kingdom of our God, that begetts and brings forth, and brings up children in this law, and by the power of the priesthood, but what that child, and every child will walk in the way they are brought up. If you inquire why it is that childeren run so at random, you must stop and govern yourselves before you talk about your childeren. Now you inquire, "is it possable that a man or a child can be brought up in the way they should go"? Yes it is. "Will it ever be"? Yes. "When"? Not until parents live santified before the Iord; then childeren can be brought up properly. We are a great way from knowing how to santify ourselves. If we were to purge ourselves from sin, we have to clensed our own hearts; then when we have clensed the in<out>side <of the platter> we can go to work and clense the outside of the cup and platter. This time has not yet come.
Now I leave this point with regard to childeren being brought up in the way they should go, there is not a man now living upon the face of the earth that knows how to bring up a child in the way they should go; if there is, I do not know where they live. Do you want I should say anything more about it? I know you will turn right round and say, "Bro Brigham, do you know how to bring up a child in the way he should go?" No, I do not. "Will you explain that to me?" Yes, It is rather a novel thing, but I have not got wisdom enough yet to govern and controle my family, and I shall not take the means many do to use the iron rod if I never controle them; <but> I shall wait till the Lord Almighty makes me a general enough to govern my family without using an iron hand. When he gives me wisdom enough to bring my family in subjection, What portion of my family? My Wives, when they actually santify themselves before the Lord, and honer me as I honor my God, and my religion, I will begin to talk then about beginning to bring forth childeren in the holy preisthood, that can be brought up in the way they should go; but I have not got wisdom enough for that yet. It has got to be done by wisdom, not by wrath, by Malice, nor by an iron hand of oppression, or severity; it has got to be done by the wisdom of God, and I have not yet obtained that, so I shall not talk anything obtained that, so I shall not talk anything about it further, but let it pass over.
Naturaly every spirit that comes into a tabernacle would honer their father in heaven, if it were not for the curruptions of the world, and of the flesh; Well now here is my position then, What do you mean by a new birth? I tell you what I mean by it. The people have gone astray, the antient covenant people of the Lord, they have gone astray; the Gentiles always were astray, or else they never would have been called Gentiles, it is only a term applied to the <gentiles> dissobedient. We are of the Gentile Nation, tribe, or family, the dissobedient. Our fathers, Mothers, brothers, and Sisters, and ha Sisters, all belong to this Class of the dissobedient. Is not the blood of the <diss>obedient mixed with the dissobedient. Yes. And we are gathering them out that is scattered here and there, that are naturaly obedient. Abraham did command his house, and the Lord blessed him for it. And how long did he command his house? Not long, his childeren we dissobedient; they currupted themselves before the Lord, and before each orher. How long did it continue before they changed all the ordenances of the house of God, before they transgressed his law, changed his ordenances, and broke the everlasting covenant that their fathers had made with their God.
How long would they live? Not many generations would pass before the Lord would visite them again, and call to them, and they would feel after him a short period and then they would fall out by the way, and biginn to transgress again; they began to change the ordenances and this amounted to breaking the Covenant that they and their fathers had made with the Lord. The Lord never breaks his covenants, nor changes; it is the people that breakes the covenants, and changes. Israel transgressed the law changed the ordenance and broke the covenants they had made with their father in heaven.
Now to get language to give you precisely my ideas perhapes it will be difficult to convey the same ideas to you I have in my own mind. For instance here Nicademas comes along, and wants to know about this new birth. In his conversation, Jesus says to him, "you must be born again." "I cannot" says he, "I am old, it is impossable for me to be born again. I have been born once." Says Jesus, "you dont understand, if you did you would actualy know, your true position to the whole jewish nation as you apear to me and to the heavens, you dont understand. It is hard to make you understand; Why? because there is no understanding, nor knowlege in you." Though Nicademas was honest and sincere in keeping the law according to his father, his grandfather, his priest, and those that lived before him, and taught him; he did just as well as he knew how. He belonged to the preists, and fathers, and the whole fraternity of the Isrealites had so far seperated themselves from the Lord they could not know anything about him, they had no idea that an angel could come to that nation without their knowing him; and they had no idea in the world the saviour could come and they not know him; and this is the reason why they misstook him in his first comeing, and why they did not understand the words of the prophets conserning his first and second coming, the two were so blended they could not disstinguish between the two, and they misstook the second <first> coming for his <the second> first coming. To tell the jewish Nation that Christ could be in their midst and they not know him would be preposterous. "We shall know the saviour of Mankind if we were to see him." Now says Nicademas "I cannot be born again", but says Jesus, you must be." We turn that over and call it a New birth. What do I call a new birth,? If Nicademas can be preached to until his understanding was opened, and he could have said at once, "All that is necessary in me is to throw down at my feet the religion <of> my fathers have embibed since the days they transgressed, and persue the path the prophets have marked out, and look to the Lord myself, and let me have testemony from the Almighty, and I will know that Jesus is the Christ." Now says he, "all that is necessary for me to explain it to Nicademas; all that is wanted is for you to have your eyes opened to see me in my new charracter; all that is wanted is for you to receive enough of the Holy spirit, the minister of our father and God, which is called the Holy Ghost, all you need now is enough of that; after you have anointed your eyes to see me in my humility, to know I am the Christ," I say that would have been the New birth. Nicademas had embibed the religion of the jews, and he was just as good a saint, and Isrealite as could be because he lived according to the best of his knowlege, but still somthing is wanted (viz) More revelation, "You must be born again, of the spirit," says Jesus, for no man can discearn the things of God without the spirit of God because they are spiritualy disserned. What is the difficulty? Mans neglect. What do they neglect? What have I been telling you about the Spirit coming into the tabernacle? These spirites are pure and holy, as pure as the angels can be; nothing can be purer in heaven than these infant spirits; these spirits that is begotten and born in the heavens, and then receive a tabernacle or house to dwell in. What do they forget? They forget that that spirit should rule the flesh, instead of the flesh ruling the spirit. As soon as they transgress the law of God they embibe error, faulse faith, faulse beleif. If they would pause and dissirn the things of God as they are they would find the spirit in their tabernacles one that rules, as Paul says, (you know I have said something about Paul before to day). "The spirit is willing but the flesh is weak,"
You must have a thorn in the flesh, but it is no matter talking about Paul perhapes he had given way so far that he could not redress the <wrong> difficulty. You teach the childeren in them is pure and holy, and when that spirir reigns, wrath, malice, strife, anger, and all kinds of wickedness we see in the child will cease. But <know> No. they let the natural passions in the parents rule, and in their first recolections they see people, even the old and gray headed fathers and mothers get up in the Morning, and the devils to pay, they are as madd as thunder. The child catches it in a moment, the little thing not half a year old, that is begging to prattle arround his aquaintences; what does it see? What are almost its first impressions in the mind? Why, all hell is boiling over in the house; it was so in the mother when she was carring it; she had it rankling in her heart; this gives power to the flesh to overcome the spirit within them.
Now Nicademas if you could only understand this, all you want is to call upon the Lord as you have before, and ask with all the faith possable, and humble yourself before the Lord, and get his spirit. Wnat will it do? It will open your eyes, and tell you I am Jesus the Christ. What does it amount to? He is converted from error to the truth. Every time he has truth revealed to him, if he has error he would have a new birth. Something like the old lady that was eighty years of age, she said she had been born over and over, and over again; so with the people, they ought to be born over and over, and over again, and in fact they want a new birth several times a day.
I will return to the traditions of the people. The drocterine of many of the Christians is, that when a man or woman receives the spirit of the Lord that is as they call it the New birth; it secures to them life, and salvation, and it proves they are one of the elect, and God will save them any how; yes I expect they will be saved, (but I throw this in parenthises for a little nonsense) but he will bring them through hell almost all of them; they will have to wade through it to their arm pits, to receive this new birth. That they call the new birth is when any truth is presented to them, and they are converted to that truth, and receive the spirit of the Lord sufficient to receive that new truth, they think it is the New birth to perfection. so it is as far as it goes. Supose you had twenty new truths imparted to you in the services of two hours this morning ideas that never came to you before; and as fast as they were presented you beleived them, and you had the spirit to receive them, and receive them with gladness there is twenty new births this morning, and supose you receive twenty more this afternoon, and you receive it in your faith, and in your understanding, and live up to it; every time you receive anything from the Lord that convinces you of the truth you may call this a new birth, with the same propriety that Jesus did when he applied the ignorance of Nickademas to himself and said he ought to be born again; "all you want is to get the spirit to know me in my New character; you beleive me to be no ordenary character, you want to know me that I am Christ come to die for the sins of the world; if you receive this, and than you have all the truth I leave here with my diciples, that they will give to you little by little, from time to time, to perfect you, and prepare yo" to enjoy the blessing you have anticipated as one of the chosen seed.
So far conserning the New birth is actualy my faith, it is my experience. Now a man must be born again to see the kingdom of heaven. Well you know what the docterine is to make them an heir of that kingdom, a member of the family. When he is born of the spirit he can see the kingdom then if he is born of the <spirit> water. Now for instance you know we have received a great many new ideas in years gone by; people that have been brought up, and traditionated to beleive in the total depravity of infants, that they are roasting in hell as I have heard preists say not a span long; that never knew good from evil upon this earth; that never had the least oportunity garranteed to them, that could be mentioned to secure to them salvation; they never commited the least offence against the law of God on the earth; yet they are damned to hell to all eternity.
You have got converted from that idea as Bro. Carnes said this morning. They <your> see the iniquity of the preists that holds these herds of people, to make them their dupes and slaves, <your> they have got <your> their eyes opened and are converted from this docterine; they are converted from erroneous ideas to the truth. When they hear by and by the docterine that Joseph Smith is a prophet; that now in this day it is the privilege for you to receive testemonies and revelations for your selves, that this is the day of prophets and Apostles, that in this our day God is revealing himself to the inhabitants of the earth. Says you, "that is not according to my former faith; I never supposed that would be in my day. I know they used to have prophets, and Seers, and revelaters, but I have been taught there was to be no more, but I see by the docterine of the bible there must needs be more in the last days. I now see I have been in error on this point; I see the necessity of there being prophets, I beleive the docterine is true; is there any in this day? Yes, it is declared that the Lord has sent a prophet to reveal the preisthood. What is the next inquiry? Is this realy the fact, I cannot understand it. I know the bible, but you read it, and explain it very different from what our preists do, and I think that your docterine <from> of the bible, of the old prophets, and your ideas upon their sayings looks rational but I cannot understand about this Joe Smith being a prophet." AIl you want is the New birth; all that is necessary for that individual or community that is inquiring in this way is to be born again; you cannot think you can be born when you are old; you must be born of the spirit or you cannot beleive that
Joseph is a prophet; you cannot <receive> see the kingdom of God without being born again. You must receive the spirit of the Lord, the spirit of truth, the spirit of revelation if you please, or you must be born again, or you cannot beleive Joseph is the prophet, or was when he was living. It is a great mystery. All the Elder has to do in the world is to teach that people to humble themselves before the Lord that they may get the spirit of the Lord to see and understand; if they humble themselves sufficiently they will receive the spirit of the Lord, their eyes will be opened and understand Joseph was a prophet. Supose they beleive this. Have you ever seen any person that said they beleived Joseph was a prophet, and not understand the book of Mormon? I have. They need to be born again to understand the book of Mormon. If the Lord has not opened the vision of their minds so that they can see and understand for themselves, they want a new birth, they want to be born again. How is that? Nothothing more or less than to keep ourselves humble before the Lord from morning till evening, and from evening till morning, and they are already born to receive the truth. If they are not sufficiently strong in their faith, and ability to hold fast that they receive, they want a new birth. Now then I have been born to beleive that Joseph was a prophet while living, but I have been born again, and I know the book of Mormon is true.
Now let me ask you another question, My Bren. who have been in the church for many years. Do you recolect the time when Joseph and Sideny had the vission, how many was cut off from the Church? I do. Bro. Lamb who sits there and and a number of them from York state.
Here we come up all standing together, we have had faith, and the spirit of revelation sufficient, or suficient of the New birth to know
that Joseph is a prophet, that the book of Mormon is true, "but I do not understand this New revelation given to Joseph and Sidney that speakes of three heavens,"the Telestial glory, and the Terestrial Glory, and the Celestial Glory, and about the suffering of the damned, of them becoming angels to a devil, of angels administering to this kingdom, and the saviour to that, and the father to the other etc. I do not understand anything about any such a revelation. I have actualy had it in my feeling, it has been taught me by my Mother, and by the preists, and I have embibed the faith to beleive that all the heathen nations, and every person that is not converted to my religion will be damned, they must be damned, and they shall be, and I wont receive that revelation, but I will up and apostatise and leave the Church." That is the position of many of them, they are so angary, and so dissapointed, and so overthrown in their own veiws and faith to think that the Lord God Almighty had opened up the way, and was pleased to reveal that in the last days, Saviours should come upon Mount Zion, and save the Men of Esau. They would up and apostatise and go to hell rather than have that docterine true. What have the honerable men of the earth saved, have all classes and conditions saved? Yes, every person who has sprung from Adam and Eve, the whole human family, except those who have sinned against the Holy Ghost, that have known the father, and the son, and received the Holy Ghost and then turned round and denied the whole of it and fought the Lord Almighty; every other one of tne sons and daughters of Adam shall come up and enjoy a glory as much as ever they anticipated in the flesh. I have known a good many say they would rather be damned than have that docterine true. Dont you see they wanted to be born again,
I recolect very well when I got hold of that revelation Joseph Young and I was out preaching; one of the Elders came from Kirkland and he had it written off in his pocket. We took that revelation in the woods on the Sunday Morning, and we read it over and then prayed, and asked the father in the name of Jesus Christ to open the eyes of our understanding that we might know for ourselves. What do you think I got for an answer, "It is none of your buisness." Says I all right then if it is something that does not belong to me at this time let it go, until the Lord shall give me a new birth; I shall not fight against it. I know a great many apostatised rather than to have the docterine of salvation to all the human family true. Pretty soon after I submitted to it, and says I, Lord do Just as you please, it shall not be a stumbling block to me. I know the Book of Mormon is true, that Joseph is a prophet; and that life and salvation is revealed to him. Just as I told an old Methodist preist when I first went up to see Joseph. Br. Kimball and myself went up to see him. Hell and the devil was poured out in Kirkland. This Holy preist was a man who had lived santified for years. He stoped and took dinner with us. when he had got it all pumped out of him says I Brother Gillmore I can tell you, as for Josep Smith how he looks, how high he is, and his deportment I know nothing about, but one thing I do know let him look as he will, and let him act worse than any devil in hell, God Almighty has revealed salvation through him; and you cannot help it. There is the docterine, it is the docterine I embraced, and not man, or any set of men. If <they> he gets drunk every day, and curse and sware, fight and steal, if God Almighty that revealed that bible revealed himself to him I am satisfied; he may act like the devil. Then the old Gentleman stopped saying anything to me. I did not embrace Joseph Smith or any of the Latter-day Saints but the docterine I saw revealed through him.
All the Clergymen upon the earth cannot begin with all their learning and wisdom to produce the least thing that Joseph has brought forth. So the old preist did not get me to be born again on that point. When new revelations come the people want a new birth to see them.
I expect I am consuming <to much> more or your time than I ought to. Every man, and every woman that do not receive and practice, and live every docterine that the Lord Almighty has revealed, it is because they do not live in their new conversion, in their new birth. Now stop, and repent, and do your first works. I wish the whole people that do not live up to the light that the Lord reveals, would just stop and bigin again, and go and be baptised for the remission of sins. If you have not committed any, you have omitted a great many duties; go and repent; I wish the whole people would, and then live from this day forth, that whenever the Lord speakes you will know his voice; when he reveals you will understand, and when his footsteps are plain to be seen walking through the streets you will know them. I want to have the people live so, that at a moment they can disearn between truth and error, light and darkness; between him that serves God, and him that serves him not. That is what I require of the people; the first request I should make, that you know the voice of the Lord, and not have to be converted from day to day, and call upon the Lord to give you a new birth. It would be all folly for me to be born again, <made> to beleive Joseph was a prophet, and not get a birth to beleive the book of mormon. Again it would be folly for me to say I have a new birth to beleive the Book of Mormon is true, and then when <we> I come to Joseph have no faith in him. A birth like that would be of no good to me, it would be all a faulse conception. What the Bible means, what the prophets and apostles mean by the new birth, is to receive the spirit of the Lord, the spirit of wisdom, that when truth is presented to you, you will know it, you will understand it, receive it, and practice it in your lives. That makes a birth that is worth something, it will bring forth to the glory of God, and to the honor and salvation of your own souls.
I might go on and take up every item of docterine Joseph has revealed. When the Lord spoke through him, and gave the revelation that is now public to the world, conserning a man having more wives than one. What do the people do? We have had some apostates upon that principle that go the devil. How do they go? Some by not beleiving, and some by beleiving to much, and they will get round them a family, when they are not capable of governing their own passions, nor of controling themselves one day to be a father in the dignity of Sons of God; they get arround them a family to lead them to disstruction. They have too much faith,-- they are quarraling contending, marring and parting. I am ashamed to talk about it. If I could throw a cloak over it so that nobody could know anything about our meaness here I would do it. If I was at the gates of hell, and the devil and his Court met there I should be ashamed of letting him know about it. You beleive too much.
Now I will touch another point. The Lord also revealed through the Prophet Joseph the docterine of consecration, which is one of the first revelations he received for this people, and after the Consecration law, the law of tithing. Can you beleive to much about that? No Gentlemen I do not think you will hurt yourselves there; your stomachs will never be crowded with beleiving and practicing that docterine too much. I tell you repent, and be converted, You have to be born again to see that. It is just as easy for your eyes to be opened to see, and then when you do see it, and have your eyes opened to the docterine in its truth and purity you may see and be asstonished that you have been so blind, as not to see that no man walks, dwells, builds, goes, or comes, does, or dont do but what the Lord Almighty with some of his messengers are right there with him, and governs and controles all things, and takes from one and gives to another, and truly did the wise man say, "I saw under the sun that the race is not to the swift nor the battle to the strong, neither yet bread to the wise, nor yet riches to men of understanding, nor yet favor to men of skill; but time and chance happeneth to them all" (reporters not. I have quoted this in full) He notices you and me with all we have got. Our Cattle die they starve, they are driven off, and stole, and when we foster to ourselves we are going to get rich, behold we are poor, and we cannot help ourselves. We turn round and say a great many people are not good exonomists. That has nothing to do with being rich or poor. If a woman tares up her dresses when they are not more than half worn out, and leave her towels, and diapers out of doors to rot, or to be carried off that has nothing to do with being rich, or poor, but it is a shame to them. When you see people wasteful God will bring them to an account for it. You do not raise a curnel of wheat but what belongs to him; you cannot raise a cow, or a calf, or anything else but what belongs to him.
But with regard to being rich or poor it has nothing to do with it. When I speake of people doing this or that with what they have in their possession it has nothing to do with their poverty or riches; for the race is not to the swift nor the battle to the strong etc.
These my Bren when you get your eyes open you will be asstonished you have lived in darkness so long. How long will it be before you are converted to the docterine of tithing. I gave you only a few ideas upon it last sabath. "But you will take one half we have from us." You may dig, and plow, and water to raise your crops, and raise from ten to fifty Bushels to the Acre, and it is God that gives the increase or you have none. O fools and slow of heart to beleive.
Has any apostatised because of the docterine of tithing? Yes, A great many as apostatised just because the Lord revealed the law of tithing through Joseph; which <I> was given in the days of old. That law will always continue; it was always obligatory upon the house of Isreal, on the obedient family, and always will be. Supose you give one tenth of your increase, is the Lord able to make it up to you? Yes, if you have faith to beleive he will. Some say they have, but still, "we are a little dubious if we pay our tenth we shall not get rich fast enough, and shall not be able to take care of our families. Hold on, you may learn by and by it is the Lord that gives the increase. I told you last sabath if you did not live up to it you may expect one devourer after another until the people are wasted away, and their houses left to them <to them> desolate; Why because this time has come. You beleive Joseph was a prophet, that God revealed the preisthood through him, and did many great things by him. "But now this law of tithing I cannot understand. How many times have you been born again? A good many times. Now if you aint born again to this docterine what good will any other birth do you? You will be like the branch in its full shooting forth, but by and by the branch whithers, and drops from the tree and it is gone.
I am going to stop now. I will make a little application. What do you say Bren. and Sisters, sall we live according to the law of God as revealed to us (Yes) Very God then, I say Amen Allilujah. I say from the first Quoram down to the least person, if they are found swaring, and getting drunk cut them from the <Church> trunk of the tree. I will go further, and when the time comes that this law of tithing has to be lived up to, every man and every person that has got anything, and dont tithe themselves, I say cut them off from the trunk of the tree, and let them go. You may go to any neighbourhood, I do not care where this <this> kingdom is planted; go where there is churches, and bretheren have been living there for years, and bring them away, and you will make <then> four times more saints you can by preaching and <if you> staying there with them. If we could pick up every man, and woman, and child that is now in England, Irland <and> scotland <and> wales, France, and Jermany etc and only leave a few of our American Elders there to husband the seed that has been left, I would callculate, instead of twenty thousand increase in the year, they would come in by hundereds of thousands. It is a dead weight, every person does not walk up to Mormonisam just as the Lord reveals it. I tell you that unbeleif is a dead weight. Shall we lugg them along; yes, thousands of them through inability. When they are dead weights through inability we must bear with them, but when men are dead weights and have ability, and will not use it, the quicker they are off the tree, the better the tree will grow. I request every presedent of a Quoram to prune that Quoram, and cut off all the members that will get drunk, and carouse; and <then carry out the> are dishonest, and will cheat their neighbors, and steal from one another, I say cutt them off, and let all Isreal say Amen ( Amen) That is my docterine, and when I take the name of God in vaine serve me the same. I do all of my swaring here, and in counsel, When I am in my family, and round about my work I have no occasion to sware, but when I am up here and full of the holly fire of the preisthood, I feel that I can pluck up Mountains.
I have detained you a good while. I say May the God of Isreal bless you bretheren and Sisters, and bless all Isreal, and preserve us to do his will on the earth. Amen