1856 March 30 Discourse


1856 March 30 Discourse



Date (allowed formats: yyyy, yyyy/mm, yyyy/mm/dd)



George D. Watt

extracted text

A Discourse by Presedent Brigham Young
Tabernacle March 30th 1856
Reported by Geo. D. Watt.

every Man is for himself, every woman is for herself, every child is for himself and what next? the devil is for us all. Democratical republicanisam of the age drives people to the point that every person nationally and individually are for themselves. The king upon his thron spends his life in trying to sustain himself; the Lords and dukes knights and majestrates, governors and preists, and all people in authority keep an eye single to their individual agrandisement, and position to maintain their offices, influence and standing in society. The husband and his wife together in the democratic republican world are each for themselves, the father and the son, the Mother and the daughter are each striving to sustain their individual selves, which brings them to the one common issue, the devil for us all. Now <if you have forgoten> not what I am upon, the law of tithing, of sacrifising; giving, administering for the building up of the kingdom of God upon the earth <This> is not a late doctrine; but it has been practised from the days of old, almonst from the first time the Lord communicated with Adam after the fall he gave him a law of sacrifise Now then, we see that Adam in his flocks and herds has just had a begginning, excuse me if I portray my ideas in simplicity, when they had but one cow to give the milk and butter they wanted, and perhaps only two or three sheep that would give just enough wool to make their clothing, <they had> with but a little flax, a pair of Doves etc etc. Now then Adam when your stock increases the first fruits of your flocks that I have committed to you you must sacrifice, and build an Alter as I shall dictate you; and bring the calf, the bullock etc. to this Alter, and draw the blood from it which you presence. You take the animal, and carve it, and divide it thus and so, and place one <part> portion, on one part of the Alter, and another upon another, the blood is prepared to sprinkle, or to disspose of just as I please saith the Lord; I will dictate you in all things how you shall sacrifice unto me. The simple thing I wish to convey to you is this, would it not be hard with but one cow, is it not disstressing, aparently to be required to take the first fruits of it and sacrifice it for the privilege of knowing God, for the privilege of having his kingdom among them and of being worthy to be Members of it; for the privilege of having Angels come to visite them, for the privilege of the promiced Masiah. Now this is a commandment, and the law of sacrifise, and one of the first intimations of it by the communications of the father to his son that was called Adam. When was this law to cease? According to the Great disign of heaven it was to be kept up until the Great sacrifice of the son of God should be made. This was not all, but I bring this in, I care not what you call it. You may call it the law of sacrifice, or you may call it the law of tithing, or anything else you please, but you can see readily that the Lord did require a portion of the benifit, benevolence, mercy, goodness <or> abundance, or whatever you please to call it, that was bestowed upon man. After a time came in what is called the law of tithing, it is so recorded, the people were tithed; Abraham was tithed, and there has never been a high preist upon earth but what has been tithed: the preisthood has never been upon the earth at any time but what the people in order to enjoy the blessing of the preisthood had to be subject to that we call tithing; that is to devote a small portion of their substance and time for the benifit of that preisthood God has commmtted to them. This is evedent from all the revelations of God. I make these remarkes to bring your minds along to what I am thinking upon: Not that my text conveys the idea exactly, that obedience is better than sacrifice, and to hearken than the fat of rams, but it will convey a portion of it. Now you see this law was kept up throughout the life times of the prophets upon the earth. The Heathens persue the same method of sacrificing gathering the idea in the first place from the servants of God that Apostitised from the preisthood, and left it, and went out from the people of God, carrying with them certain rules and ordenances, and regulations of the house of God, consequently the nations that were there got into a system of sacrificing, some even have sacrifised human victims; but <and> if you trace back the practice of sacrificing to its commencement you will trace it to the preisthood,the heathen nations gathered the idea from of God on the earth. The obediens refered to in the text is simply this: the Childeren of isreal wandered in their feelings and affections from the commandments of God; they were the childeren of Abraham the Childeren of the promice; the kingdom was given to them, and the Lord deeded it to them, and it could not be utterly taken from them in any other way than through the suspension of its ordenances with the people. This kingdom never was to depart from the childeren of Abraham, though it could be suspended to the people, one would call it withdrawing fellowship; the people were cut off or suspended for a time; being the people were rejected for the time being from the kingdom deeded to the family of Abraham. When they became wicked, and let the commandments of the Lord they turned to idols and sacrifised to idol Gods, which they had been commanded not to do. In those days the Lord would send a prophet from time to time among the people, and a few would hearken to him, and gather arround him, and a number of the childeren of Isreal for a time would prosper. Again they would go into wickedness, and seemingly the kingdom was taken from them, but in reality this was not the case for they never was cut off until Jesus came but they were suspended from time to time; they would sacrifise to the God of heaven, and then to their idols; and you recollect haveing read in the books of Moses, that they would wander away from the Lord, and from his commandments when the word of the Lord was directly among the people, Moses standing in the place of God, and Aaron being his prophet and mouth peice, notwithstanding this Moses could not withdraw from the people a short time to converse with the Lord in Mount but they must forsake the docterine Moses had delivered to them; had it not been for this Apostacy the law that was written on the tables of Stone never would have been given. A great many people are rejoiced to have revelations, and are all the time ancious for the Lord to give his word and have it written down; but let me tell you if the people had never apostatised, there never would have been a written law from the days of Adam unto now. that is as we have received them, or as we have considered them: there is no necessity for it, for the word of the Lord is with us, the Lord himself is with us, his Angels are with us, he comes when he pleases, and reveals himself when he pleases, and as he pleases; he sends his angels, and has his prophets and mouth peice on the Earth, the living orical is here, what is the use of reading the law when we have the living orical to tell us what to do from time to time. Let me go a little further, the Lord sends his prophets, and they communicate the will of the father to the people, they beleive <and embrace their prophets faith> humble themselves before God and receive the docterins taught by the prophets, exercise the same faith and behold. the vail of the covering is taken away. and they all see and know for themselves that the Lord is with us; would not this be the situation of the people had they not Apostatised and become backsliders in their feelings, would not this be so at the present time provided all the people that here the words of the Lord through his prophet would exercise the same faith as the prophet and live by the same rule, would not their eyes be opened to see? They would. This is one point of docterine you know have in my former disscourses urged upon you very streneously to hearken to and obey that you may have the mind of God in yourselves and know for yourselves just as well as any man or woman can know upon the earth; this is the privilege of all latterday saints. But to him to the Ancients when they were sacrificing some of them would sacrifice under and sacrifice to the sun, to this that and the other, making those different objects the God of their worship. they were not sacrificing unto the God of Abraham but to some other God. What good did it do them? None at all; their sacrifices were of no service to them, they might have killed all the flocks and herds upon the alters they errected to other and it would have valued them nothing. Again we will admit that those sacrifices were not of any value to them but detrimental to their well fare for they wasted their stock and their time, and all they performed in sacrificing in those places, they were offering sacrifices God would not accept, then said the prophet obedience is better than your sacrifices, we admit all this here, they were sacrificing in unrighteousness, slaying their hundereds and thousands of animals. You can read in the bible where they slew their thousands of Cattle far more than the Indians have driven off now by fifty times, all the inhabitants of this Territory put together have not lost as many cattle as the Childeren of Isreal sacrifised in a few days; but says the prophet this does you no good it is a waste of your time. The people may be suposed to cry out what do you want of us; He says hearken, and I will tell you. Your sacrifising amounts to nothing, youare listening to the babbling of this person and the other; You have fauls teachers and faulse prophets among the people, that are grinding them and leading them away. are you obeying the commandments of the Lord? No. You claim to be the childeren of Abraham, but are you doing the works of Abraham? No. They might reply Abraham sacrificed; Very true, he sacrifised not only his bullocks, and rams, and lambs, and heifers, and doves, but he took his only begotten son to sacrifise. Was his sacrifises accepted? they were as you know, consequently this sacrifice of yours does you no good. Now if you will stop and hear, and be instructed says the prophet I will tell you what to do that your sacrifices may be accepted of the Iord. In the first place you must obey the commandments of the Lord. You recollect in the days of Moses, when the childeren of Isreal apostatised, and had backsliden, and forsook their Moses, and wist not where he had gone, they forgot his instructions, how the ded sea was divided, and they went through dry shod, how they were fed with Manna day by day; they had forgotten how Moses smote the rock and water gushed forth that they might quench their thirst when they were perishing upon the desert plains their thirst when they were perishing upon the desert plains, and they went to work and made a calf with the finger rings, and ear drops, and nose jewels etc. they had borrowed of the Egyptians, to sacrifics to, and there they were sacrificing to it when Moses came down from the mount; Do you wonder that he broke to old stone tables; if he had had a book bound as this is he might have dashed it to peices, and said to the people go to hell every one of you. This law never would have been given to the childeren of Isreal but for their wickedness it was give as a yoke upon their necks; the Lord told Moses to write down upon other tables a law that should be to them a yoke. Now if you will
stoop to obey the commandments of the Lord you will then know how to sacrifice in a manner to be acceptable to your God, just as well as Adam, Seth, Noah, Enock, Melchesedic or Abraham. You will know to sacrifise as well as any man that ever lived on the earth; but if you will not listen to the teachings of the voice of God you never will understand how to offer an acceptable offering unto the Lord; if you will obey the commandments of the Lord in the first place it will be a great deal better for you, than to be slaying your cattle in this way to no use; this was a great waste; it took an immence amount of property to keep up the law of sacrifise among the people from the days of Adam to the days of Jesus: then there was tithing beside this. Now it is not A new docterine, but I will drop my remarks on former days, and come right to this valley and to this people. Now we take this people as they are, we can gather a certian class from this community that would go and fight the Indians to their death for this people, or a Mobb. You will find a certain class again a little different to this, they say "if I could be sure of securing to myself salvation and get into the celestial kingdom, I would give all the money and property I possess. Again you can find another class who are willing to travel the wide world over to preach the Gospel in order to obtain salvation, there is nothing you can call upon them to do, they are not willing to perform if by so doing they can be secured in their salvation yearafrer. But these two classes of men will not stop to think, they will not stop and obey the commandments of the lord, they will not hearken to the words of the Lord through his servants. What will they do? They will fight as I have said to the death, travel over the whole earth give their time and strength, they will go any where, and every where, and suffer by sea and Iand every specious of privation they can possably pass through for the sake of the kingdom of God, and after all they will not do as much as stop right here, and keep the commandments of the Lord, You cannot get them to do it; obedience is better then your sacrifices, What shall we do to obey that is the question. do as you are told from this stand. <bretheren> Brother told you this morning that the instructions from this stand was better than all the bibles that could be written; if the fact does not exist that I will state to you wont some of you give us light and knowlege, and show us a better way, it is simply this, if you have not the living oracles of the Lord of hosts, of the God of Abraham, Isaach and Jacob with you to tell you this time and the next time, and have told you from time to time what to do to secure to yourselves eternal salvation; wont you that do know tell us how to go to work to get those oracles; if you have these living oracles with you they are better to you than all that has ever been written from the days of Adam until now. The very item that was stated before us this Morning by our Catholic brother with regard to obedience is an item of docterine and faith, an item of practice that the whole Christian, I will say, the reformed Christian world, that have lived upon the earth in Christendom since the days of the Apostles have never embibed, preserved and kept sacred as Good a docterine as this that our beloved brother taught us this morning to be Catholisisam, they have no docterine for the practical Christians as virteous, as good, as holy as the very docterine taught by the Mother Catholic Church to her subjects as the principle of obedience. It is true our reformers teach us to beleive in the Lord Jesus Christ; they teach us that his blood has clensed and will clense us from all sin, they teach us to have faith in God his father, and they teach us a thousand good morals. a thousand good items of docterine, but taking them all together in this way they are taught and practiced they would not amount to as much in procuring salvation to a people or to an individual, as it would for this whole community to throw away the bible, the book of Mormon, and doctrin and Covenants with every scrap and iota of written revelation that has been given from the days of Adam unto now, and tell the community and the world at large we know nothing about them, but all we know is to do as the people are told in Utah from the stand, and it is a better docterine than all the docterines taught besides. Now is that a hard docterine for any of you; it is pretty salty to tell about burning up the Bible book of Mormon and Docterin and Covenants. I recollect once of taking a text in Nauvoo, and preached a sermon for Bro Joseph. You know I have told you here frequently I was an Apostle of Joseph Smith. I had at one time a great deal of oposition in Nauvoo, in Bro. Joseph's own house. They had meetings there and were actualy laying the foundation to down with the prophet spiritually and saay his influence and his power and destroy the word of God in him, and bring it to naught, and set up the bible, the Book of Mormon etc, as a standard. I recollect going into the house one night and after hearing a tedeious discourse in the same stile that had been kept up for weeks: "Here it is my beloved bretheren, read <where> over the beloved prophet here my beloved bretheren, read the words of Alma, how beautifuly he portrays the Christian life (groaning in the stand) praise the Lord, Now beloved bretheren, Glory to his name for it is good to read the words of the antient prophets for our salvation hangs upon them" etc. This kind of labor had continued a long time at Josephes house. He came to my house, and told me to go over to his house. I said I would meet him there, Says he "Bro Brigham I am not going one step into into my house until after that meeting is over unless you go there and preach. I said if I go I will do the best I can, for there was pretty tall men there, said I I know what the influence is and who preaches there. Well says Joseph "I will not go one step home unless you go with me. I went, and as I have said, after I had heard a long tedious sermon about Isaih, Jeremiah, Moses, Enoch and others, and those of the book of Mormon, gone through with from end to end, and the beautiful writtings and santimonious teachings dwelt upon, and after they had exhausted every partical of water to grind with, they got on the old weel with their feet to tread out enough power to finish the Grist. I was just about as full as ever a Magazine was before exploding. Bro Joseph gave me the hint, and I got up before the whole of them Joseph's Counselors, and the high Counsel were the leading characters there, and says I there is the bible and the Book of Mormon on the top of it, Now I am going to take this for my text, and I will tell you how, I would not give the ashes of a rye straw for them and all they contain. I was just full enough to have the old go off to perfection, and like electricity it went through the congregation, and their bones ached, and their nerves quaked for it was thunder and earthquake within me, to see men standing in high places extoling the writtings of dead prophets and trying to throw in the shade, and silence living ones I proved to them that they were trying to disstroy Josephs influence as the prophet and Seer of God to this people. They saw their error, and arose to make confession of their wrong. I showed them that these books were nothing more than a finger board. Supose now you have a pilot to pilot you back to the United States, who has traveled the plains time and time again, so that he is perfectly aquainted with every rivulet, and stream, with every Mountain hill and valley, on the whole rout, in such a case what the devil do you want with a finger board, excuse me for useing this stile of expressing myself. These books are nothing more than finger boards, Joseph Smith's writtings are nothing else and would be useful in the absence of a living guide, and every Man and woman who walks in the paths he pointed out has learned the text most faithfuly that obedience is better than sacrifice, and to hear than the fat of rams
Do as you are told if you want a living preacher within you, and without that your fat sacrifices are in vain. You may offer up your sacrifices, and bring in your tithing but unless you devote yourselves to God it is in vain.
Some may say on hearing this, "How I am free from paying tithing," I want you should, for what is the use of a man trying to live a latterday saint with the devil in him, and all he does he does it grudgingly, and every time he tryes to perform a duty it is as much as he can do it is a burden to him, it is as much as he can do to pray, or even to pay a dollar in tithing. You see a Man and he says he wants to pay tithing, Yes, some want to pay it in some way they will come with an old broken backed (Mr Editor put in about 6 or 7 horse deseases after "backed") that ought to have been dead 25 years ago, "Now give me a hundered dollars for this horse and I will turn in forty of it on tithing, and pay me the rest in Money Such conduct is a stink in the Nosterils of the Almighty. If you see a cow turned into the yard on tithing you may callculate if you go nigh enough to her, if you have a chaw of tobacco in your mouth she will
Sacrificing and paying tithing are not new things. The law of sacrifice given to Adam was tipical of the great sacrifice that should be made in the Merridian of time. Now obedience is better than sacrifice; and I want to impress this upon your minds, and with this I want to show you if I can one item I do not know that I can command language to portray it before your minds to please me, but it is connected directily in this subject, and contained in this text if it only read to suit me exactly. We hear a great deal said with regard to the agency of mankind; it is an item we do not disspute as a people; there are persons on the earth that say they have no agency, but that God has decreed the acts of the Childeren of men before they take place, which we do not beleive a word of. Now A great Many people think if they are obliged to pay tithing, and pay it strictly they do not act upon their agency. A great many think if they were obliged to pray in their families morning and evening they are a mere machine because they are required to do as they are told, and they cannot do as they please for this they supose takes away their The same class think if they are obliged to come to this meeting on the sunday instead of going to the Canyon or to work on the farm, it takes away their Agency, and could you dig into their hearts, and find what is consealed there, you would find that this very class of people beleive their Agency is taken away from them when they are required to observe any law whatever. This is what I wish to notice if I can bring it before <you> my own mind sufficiently clear, to lay it before you in a lucid manner. If we do actualy observe the law of free agency, and honer that law, we must do it by bringing ourselves in subjection instead of giving way to passion. I do consider and beleive that no person in the world acts upon his agency so independantly, freely and God like, as does the individual that brings into subjection his passions; than man, or person who is inclined to use wicked language, if he never will use language again that would dissgrace an Angel but bring himself under subjection with regard to his language; or if he is inclined to shade that is to tell part of a story, tell it different ways, in public or in private, whether under oath or not if he is inclined to vary from the truth in his conversation, let that person overcome that dissposition, and bring that evil propensity into subjection, and act independantly in <of> his agency. The people think, "I must have the privilege of lieing, this is the negative side of the question, the affirmative of it is for me to bring into subjection every passion of the man, and keep the law of God most perfectly, the negative side of it is I must have the privilege of swarring if I want to, of lieng <or of stealing> or else it takes away from my agency, and I want the privilege of stealing a little. Now some of the brethren beleive in stealing, for I had a piow stole from the public works; if they cannot steal a plow, an ax, a spade or anything they want, and be considered perfectly honest, they beleive their agency is taken from them: that is the feeling of some people. For instance I tell my childeren they must not go to that house, that is a rendesvous for robbers, drunkards, add vile characters of every disscription, they might turn round and say. You deprive me of my agency. No, the affirmative of the question is, I will not deprive you of it but I will make you use it. If they should say, "You take away my agency unless you will allow me to go there and prove that I am an agent before God, they would be under a mistake for that is already proven. I do not want them to stay away, or go there to prove it; for this fact has been demonsterated from the beggining, but I want them tolearn to controle their agency. The affirmative of the question is I cannot prove my agency in a God-like manner, or like an Angel, unless I bring every passion and asperation of my whole being, every influence and surrounding sercumstance that I can controle into subjection to the law of God, that is, the law of right. With me the negative of the question is simply this: I am tempted of the devil, for we all beleive there is an evil influence in the world that besets the childeren of men. For instance I am perplexed in my buisness, I am worried and tried for something goes as I do not want it to go, passion arises in me, if I am in the Canyon with my cattle, I am in the bush, and a twig catches me in the face. The first thought is dam it; "O well that injures no person," but what does it amount to? it is an evil passion that the power of the devil influences and stirs up, that belongs to the organisation of the tabernacle and is independant of the spirit. Now my neighbor <visits> abusesme and provokes me, how do I feel? like something Bro. Kimball quoted here this morning; What would you do? fight them; sware at them, curse them to hell; Yes do anything <I> you could to disstroy <my> your enemy what is it, passion within you. Are you bound to give way to that? Yes, if you want to take away your agency. This is the negative of the ques tion. Men that give way to the evil inclinations that arise in their organisation, has given up their agency. You say. "I am an agent before myself and God to act as I please from the impulse of the Moment." In that case you are like a little wind mill made by a boy, am placed in a window, by the action of the tail behind the mill is kept moving and shifting as the wind shiftsl so it is with those who are controled intirely by their passions. Let me give way to my passion, and my agency is gone; when I get over this, and the evil spirit leaves me, I am free, and left to myself, I have a moment of reflection and I am sorry, and greive that I have been so overtaken. That is human feeling, in a minite afterwards behold the spirit of the Lord comes upon me and tells me to repent; You have done wrong, and your nature is greived at it, and you felt bad, and the spirit of light comes into you, and you, and you turn round and ask God to forgive you. How do you act? Why just as you are acted upon. You may take a carding machine, and rigg the Mill to drive it the oposite way than it should go. Now you see man in his organisation, if he lays down his agency when the devil comes and tempts him he gives way to it, and swares, steals, lies etc, and fight and get drunk when he is tempted to do it. When this spirit is gone he is left to himself, and nature sinks beneath his own acts, and when light and truth comes behold he feels to repent with all his heart and turn to his God; do you see he is acted upon, and made to feel this way and that way as the wind mill is moved by the wind. Where is his Agency? It is laid down. My agency teaches me this: that when I am tempted to sware, to let it alone; I am a man as independent as God and angels. When I am tempted to do any thing wrong, stop says I. I must not do wrong, I am an agent to act for myself, and I must have the mastery of my feelings, and controle and dictate my acts. Let your agency reign supremely, and you will find that you will bring every passion, feeling, reflection, and I was going to say almost the dreams and visions of the night into subjection to the law of Christ. This is the Agency God has bestowed upon you; not to give way to temptation, and be influenced by every passion that may be excuted in the temporal organisation, but love your religion, and keep the commandments, of God to day, and not wait until tomorrow, and not pray only when your it suits <my> your convenience. <as> When you were methodists you would see a man come into a prayr meeting when they had lively times in winter trying to get religion over again, he has been as wicked as a devil all summer, but when he gets into one of these meetings he will repent, and get up and make a confession, and before he would get half through he would turn round and bigin to exhort sinners; this always looked as foolish as the world to me. Another would bigin to exhort sinners to come to the ancious bench; this is folly in the extreme. Do you see the same specious of folly in this people? Yes; you that do not obey your religion, and walk spotless before Jehovah, so as to no every sercumstance, every person that comes before you, and your minds are like a lighted candle you cannot dicide every thing, and it is not your privilege to judge one man woman or child in this community until your whole bodies are full of light, then you may judge.
But you may see men and women come here, As brother has refered to this morning, they pass through the streets, "What a nice house brother Heber has got, what a beautiful habitation brother Parley has got and how wealthy Charles Rich is getting, and see the splendid mansion of brother Brigham, Can that be Mormonisam, O Lord have mercy upon brother Brigham, and they sign deeply within themselves. Dont you say that any man has done wrong until you dont do wrong Dont stone a theif to death until you stop stealing; then if you want to do it I am willing you should. I would as leave people would live their religion and <all> the man that would not take him out and stone him to death as anything else. That is, if the rest of the people were living without sin. Would it not make a dreadful uproar? Yes, in the wilderness of sin, and you here all the wild beasts howling about when one miserable creature was stoned to death in the streets. You wont see it done yet a while, Why? Because I am atraid the first man we selected to stone the sinner would be confederate with him. I would not set a theif to stone a theif to death, if we do set a theif to catch a theif. You that do not live your religion stop judging your bretheren until you are all right yourselves. This brings a little trifling, a small miner principle to mind: there is hardly a man that gets up here and preaches, there is hardly a man that you have deal with that you know in this kingdom but what has this failing in their hearts no matter what is said or done, let any sercumstance occur that may, "did they speak well of me, was there anything said against my name or character," No. Then they are silent, the Holy Preisthood may have been cursed to the lowest hell, the hardest language that can be uttered may have been used against Joseph Smith, Jesus Christ, or against this Kingdom; but have I said anything, done anything, is their anything in my character that the people can pick up against my great big noble self." if all is right with them they care not what is said against the kingdom of God. "No matter what evil you fling against anybody else, is my dear self precious in your eyes, if it is it is all <right> I want." Until this people, and the Elders of Isreal overcome this selfish weakness you will never be fit to lead in the kingdom of God, to dictate the afairs of the kingdom of God on earth, and be the true minister of Jesus as you should be until you lie down in the dust with the fallen prophet, and let the devils howl, I care not what is said against me, is there anything said or done against this kingdom of God on the earth? if there is I am ready to go forth to battle with the sword of justice girded on. The wicked may say what they please against me if they let Jesus and his kingdom alone, this is the failing you and I have got to overcome. <If> Until we do come to this and do learn that we are nothing more than what we by our conduct and lives lay the foundation to become hereafter, we shall never get the blessings we anticipate nor receive the crowns we disire. Until I secure to to myself by my faith, by my good works and progress in my duty in building up the kingdom of God on the earth, until I secure to myself eternal lives, and that is garranteed to me with a warrantee deed, then I may have something to say about my character;
we have all got to come to this,who cares what they say about me, is the kingdom of God assailed, is the oil and the wine hurt, is the precious Holy principles of our religion spoken against, if it is let this arouse your feelings instead of their being arroused at your own individual characters being assailed, whil the character of the kingdom of God is let down as low as hell. Whil some other Elders of lsreal labor at their manual labor or are in the streets, and in the shops, <and> they can hear the name of Joseph Smith, and his character, and the whole kingdom of God traduced to the lowest point, and calmly puff their segars without being at all moved, but let them say Now Such an one I have something against you sir, "What is that you say" then you are on your feet, "What is the matter with Me," I am right, do you infringe upon me." Well says somebody, "I just beleive you are a dishonest man I beleive you are a scoundrel. Walk out of doors sir, and I will dress you out." But they may curse Joseph Smith, and Jesus Christ, and the kingdom of God on the earth until they are tired, and the Elders of Isreal will ride and walk the streets with them, with all the ease imaginable, Shame on you every one of you that will under any sercumstances hear the kingdom of God abused, and not say a word in in its favor. I do not 'say this is so with all, but judge for yourselves. I want to know who has been the most abused, scandalised and degraded, who name and characters have been abused by the wicked world as much as that of the father and the son, I say no other names have been abused equal to theirs.
Now I perceive a difficulty within my own feelings and mind with my language to make you see and understand the item that I want perticularly to lay before you in my last remarks; that is the man or woman who does not beleive and obey, and observe, and carry out in their lives, their own agency is, the man the woman, or the child that gives way to passion when they feel pationate, when they are greived they give way to it, when they are angery they give way to it, when repentance comes upon them they give way to it, or whatever influence or spirit comes upon them they give way to it. I know this is not good it is a docterine I never beleivedin it and I expect I never shall, and I beleive in following out the dictates of the spirit of the holy Gospel, and bring all the rest of the spirits in subjection to it. The person that gives way to the many spirits that has gone forth into the world, and that operates upon the childeren of men lays down his agency, and submits to every wind that blows. And the man or woman that does beleive and observe, and carry out the agency that is given to the childeren of men will observe a law that will exhalt them and increas their knowlege, wisdom, faith and every principle within them and arround them that are callculated to make the childeren of men happy. Is this the principle of free agency to bring into subjection every thing that would desstroy my happiness and glory. I am an agent, now I can do as I please. Then I am determined to do every thing he wishes me to do, who holds controle over me, to make him my friend, then he will have confidence in me, if I am full of integrity towards him. and the confidence in his bosome increases towards me, consequently he holds me as a dearer, and nearer frei as I advance in his confidence, I will take this course, he rules me and governs me, at least let me make him my freind, and prove to him that I am his freind, I have power to observe his law, to honer his name and obey his precepts, and he gave this power to me. I observe and do his will to become his freind, and then I am prepared to receive all his Glory, and I cannot do this upon any other principle. I want to leave my text now in part, saying that obedience is better than sacrifice, and to harken than the fat of rams. This is not fully my mind; but obedience with you to the commandments, but what is the use of my being bashful, just do as I tell you. The man or woman that takes my counsel, as true as they are living beings they will go into the celestial kingdom of God, and the man or woman that will not do this will go to hell, and will be cursed sooner or later, I know that as well as I know the sun shines. I have been looking over this people, and what they have passed through, and the wonderful sacrifices they have made. Now let me tell you there is not a people upon the face of this earth in a temporal point of view that are blessed as this people are with regard to earthly comforts. You may think that is strange, "I thought we were making sacrifices for the Gospel's sake"; No such thing they are in comparrison like that brother refered to this morning to give away an old ragged coat for a new one. As far as I am concerned I can tell you the nature of my sacrifices, I have sacrifised the Christian world that would cut me into insh peices and take the last mouth full of bread and meat from me, and from my wife and childeren upon the slightest pretext imaginable and let us starve to death and they never would have mourned about it one moment I have swaped a neighborhood of that kind of people, for a neighborhood, and people that if I was suffering they would share the last potatoe with me, and if they had two coats they would give me one, if I had not a home, they would say come in and share with me until you can better yourself. That is the sacrifice I made some 25 years ago this summer. I sacrificed a chair factory that I had obtained by my hard labor, I had got me a nice water weel, and turning laith, and every thing necessary for making up furniture, what an awful sacrifice it was indeed, it would be about as much as it would be for me now to sacrifice an acre of land on these salt marshes over here after I had set my stakes down upon it and then was told to leave it; this would be about as much as it was for me to leave my chair factory; the land it stood upon I did not own, but the buildings and improvements I did. What did I get in return for this sacrifice? The comforts and teachings of the Holy Ghost in me, and I went to preach the Gospel, after I had put my childeren out, for I had buried up my wife, and I went and preached the Gospel; and here is some of the fruits of my first labors here to day. I marched into Canada, through the snow and rain to go and preach the Gospel, and back again, and back again, traveling from east to west from the north to the south etc etc. Now look here, on the very start of Mormonism with me I took more comfort and happiness in the spirit I received in this Church and kingdom in one day than I had taken than I had taken in all my life before; just the comfort that I received in my heart, the peace, joy, and permanent satisfaction was more in one day than I had taken in all my life before, indeed there is no comparrison between the two. Does wealth make a person happy? No. You have heard brother tell about his taking up the pick and spade, I tell you the man that can not do that, and go into the dirt, or come to me and go to work at cleaning out my barn, and feel just as well as though he were in my office where my clerks are, he is destitute of Mormonisam. Now look at it in a temporal point of view. I have swaped off neighbors that would cut my throat, spiritualy speaking for sixpence, and take every advantage of me. You have swaped off a society and people where poverty is looked upon as a dissgrace, where the poor are looked upon as dogs, as surfs, the little given to the poor class of people in Russia where they are owned by the wealthy planters, and in many instances they are used about as bad as our southeren slaves; You have swaped a community like this where men that ride in their carriages look upon the poor as dogs. You need not go any further than England to see this; a man that has property and title to drive a carrage and four or even one horse, we will say he is driving as fast as the horses can go, and here is poor childeren picking up crumbs here and there to subsist upon. if the carriage weel should run over one of them and breake its limbs, the rest of the poor creatures get round and cry over the unfortunate and that is all that is done about it. You have swaped away this community for one where the people are more equel, and congenial with one another. What do you see in this community? Why the childeren will come up in the streets and say Bro. Grant May I ride with you, brother Brigham May I ride with you; how many times do you see my carriage full of dirty little childeren that I have picked up in the street that wanted to have a ride with brother brigham, they had run away from their mothers but felt perfectly at home in Bro. Brigham's carriage.
Who among you has more claime to be called a man of rank in this community than your humble servant? Yet he will pick up these childeren in the street. and take them home, and give them <their dinner> something to eat. You cannot get to see a man in high standing in many communities, unless you see them in their carriages surrounded with servants, and all the people gazing at them. I will bet you the Queen of England would not have as many to gaze upon her in the streets of London, as there would be to gaze upon me, <if due notice were given> and the same if I were in the City of New York.
You can now see the change you have made. You have swaped away that people for a people, where the first man in the whole kingdom, in the whole Territory will say to the hungery man that visites his mansion, "come John go in and take dinner with me; "O sir, I dont like as I am in my dirt." O never mind that, I would take the poorest man in the comnunity and seat them on my right hand. What an awful sacrifice you have made, you have sacrificed a society that would kick you into insignificance, for a society where the best and richest will place you at their table, and but you wellcome to their bed rooms to sleep over night;and say come freinds eat with me associate with me for we are one; what a sacrifice. There are certian characters that I actually feell not to associate with, but I do not care if a man has only one leg to his breeches, and one stocking to his foot, and half a shoe, and bear headed, and his coat turned half a dozen times, cross ways, and half up and down. if he is honest I would rather seat him at my table that a rich fool. I would rather take a man that was obliged to beg his bread from door to door, and set him at the head of my table, than any of the princes of the earth who are full of wickedness, and feel myself proud that I have the privilege of associating with one of the sons of my father in heaven. he is my brother, and he is beloved of my father, and that we have associated with in heaven.
You have sacrifised such a community to come here and associate with men who are capable, as far as the influence of this earth is capable of riding in pomp and splender, and hold you beneath them in every respect, how much you have sacrifised! Do you know how to apreciate these blessings? No. You say your feelings are marred, your feelings are tender, and,"I do not understand this, and I do not understand that; and I do not see how it is that some men florish so here, I thought a man of God must be so and so, and so and so, and never dictate only in spiritual affairs." It is not so. Now You have swaped off your affliction, your poverty, your distress, and your every thing else that to make life misserable, for every thing that is callculated to make life miserable you have traded off you misery for comfort, joy, peace and happiness. What a sacrifice!! Now I am coming
to another point that is the toutch stone of the whole world with regard to the with regard to the greatness of the disire of the human family; You may take the world at large, and you will find that there is no object greater to be disired, by the great and small, the high and the low. Now for instance take king George the forth when he was upon the thrown of England, or any of the rest of the kings of Nations. Nepoleon and the Tar for instance, and talk to them privately, and in a manner to dig out the<ir> secrets of their hearts, and get to the center of their feelings, and say, Well now Alexander Nepolean how much would you give if you had the privilege of gathering arround you ten, twelve, or twenty women that you could accknowlege as your wives, and have the laws of your own kingdom sustain you in this, and not any other person but yourselves have the privilege, if you have a hundered Wives, and a thousand childeren, you are capable of sutaining them. What would you give for that privilege? They would give the millions of money for the very privilege that these my brethern enjoy that sit before me to day. Now you know the idea is derided that a man should have more wives than one, the heathen who practice it are looked upon by Christians with the greatest dissgust seemingly, but what would they give for the privilege? but they have to steal that they would be glad to own and have the law sustain them in. You may go to the United States, are are the inhabitants of the United States blessed in their social capacity as this people are? No. You hear they are going to put down the Mormons in consequence of their practicing poligamy; but there is not a Congress man, but would give hundereds of thousands if he had it for the privilege you and I enjoy. They do not have the privilege, and what do they do? They corrupt themselves with onanother, and the kings and potentates of the earth have done it more or less; it was the curse of the Childeren of Isreal they went after strange women, not being satisfied with their own; God would not give them women, and they went and took them contrary to law, and so it is with the kings on their throwns, and with the seneters, representitives, and officers of our very happy Government. The very men that were here last winter those officers, what did they want? To enjoy the blessings we enjoy, and at the same time serve the devil; that they could not do, nor you either <without> you all go to hell if you do not observe the law the Lord has given, this men must observe strictly or they cannot enjoy the blessing of it. The officers that were here tried their best, to enjoy the privileges You enjoy without law, and they will be cursed, and if we observe the law we will be blessed in doing the things they disired to do, for we act by law, and they conterary to law in obtaining the blessings they want.
You may ask why I say this; did you ever stop to think what love is? Bretheren do you love your wives in your youth? Yes, Wives have you ever loved a man? Yes. Have you loved your husbands more than life itself? Yes. Where did that come from, "O I dont know, I know I feel it here, and that is all I know about it." Now let me tell you a secrete, I do not know that you have ever thought of it, the most intense passion of love that can be felt in these mortal tabernacles, is nothing more than a foretaste of the love the eternities are full of in the kingdom of our God. The wicked love as well as the righteous, and iniquity has been practiced because thousands have not understood the law that governs it, and they have committed their overt acts. And then again many that have had the law, and understood it have transgressed it as many of our Elders have. The most sensable, delightful, intense, true gratification of that principle in the human heart is nothing but a principle that the Lord has thrown out a little of to the human family to show them there is such a thing as <earth> love. When this affection is honest, and by the principle that is in the system has come to the full, it is affliction, and in many instances more so than the pains of death because it is not gratified. The pure principle of love is never affliction but in the being who cannot have it gratified. Sin has brought that dissapointment to you that pertains to the fall, the sin that is in the Childeren of men. This very affection that the wicked have just as they have the spirit of God it is theirs inherent, given to them, so this very principle of pure holy love has led thousands, millions of people, nations of people, and the kingdom of God astray to have a disire to attain to that which their love sought after and that too
without law, then say they We will have it any how. When you love an individual a man a woman, or a woman a man, or a parent the child, or the child the parent, now what greater love can a person have on this earth, what deeper affection is there than the sects have for each other; God gave it to share its operations in the <body> beauty of the principle, he has only given us a little of it; God is full of it. Do you not see that the wicked world would give millions if they only had the privilege you and I enjoy? they would. Do they enjoy that we enjoy? No. We can enjoy it by law, and be justified of God and Angels and all the holy beings. Can the wicked enjoy it? No. Everything they do is conterary to law, they are living in open <rebelion> violation to the law of God. God has his law, institutions and government, but they will not <enjoy> bow to it. I ask are they blessed as we are? No, as a community in our social relations there is no people on this earth that are blessed like the Latterday saints. We have the privilege of accumulating, of cultivating the earth of building up cities of making our fine habitations, and enjoy the best carriages that are made on the earth, of having the finest silks and satins that can be made which my sisters ought to ware after they have made them themselves, the greatest beauty and nicety, and taste should be dissplayed and they should enjoy it, God has given it to us. Now I ask you were are your sacrifices? No where. How many are your blessings? They are without bounds or number if you live to god. To close do you not realy think and beleive it is much better to obey the law of God, and sacrifice all you have on the earth?
Now just hearken to the voice of God through his servant, and Glory happiness, lives eternal, salvation throwns, kingdoms worlds above and worlds beneath and eternity with its fullness is ours.
God bless you Amen.