1856 May 4 Sunday Morning Sermon

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1856 May 4 Sunday Morning Sermon

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Sermons

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1856/05/04

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John V. Long

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DISCOURSE
On sympathy, God, trials, necessity of experience etc.,
By President Brigham Young, Tabernacle, Sunday morning, May 4, 1856.
(Reported By J. V. Long.)
I perceive that we are not crowded here this morning; there is room for the people to get seats; I presume that it is in consequence of the rain why the house is not full. Perhaps many of our brethren and sisters feel as though they could enjoy themselves as well at home as they could at this Tabernacle, as for my own part I feel and my wishes are, and I strive to live so as to enjoy the spirit of the Lord at home or abroad, at meeting or at my labor, and I enjoy myself, I don't know but I do quite as well when I am alone as I do when I am in the congregation of the saints, to say that I do any better I do not know that I could; I wish to have the peace of Jesus with me always. A great many times I should tarry at home and try to keep the sabbath were it not for the customs of the day; our traditions bid us go to meeting. If I were to have my own choice with regard to this matter I should devote one seventh part of the time to rest, and that would probably be on the sabbath. It is very laborious to me to be at all the meetings which I attend for I am generally pretty late in my office, very seldom that we are ready to retire till ten or eleven and sometimes 12 O'clock, and especially on saturday evenings, then to be in a hurry in the morning following to get ready to come to the meeting, and directly after meeting closes into business through the intermission counseling and performing the ordinances of the Lord's house, then to meeting again again, and as soon as that closes go into counsel where we generally tarry until evening which makes the duties very laborious to me. Well owing to this and my business through the week I do not devote one fiftieth part of my time to rest.
I will now say to the brethren and sisters who are present that they may all hear without me shouting and hollowing as to a large congregation, therefore if they wish to hear let them come together into the centre of the tabernacle.
If I had brother Lewis here this morning to preach to you it would suit exactly, the congregation could hear him if he were before them; I suppose about as many as are before me heard him last sabbath.
I am pretty fervent in my feelings in regard to accommodating the people in speaking loud, but it is very injurious. In my common conversation I presume that my brethren and sisters notice that I am not a loud speaker; it hurts any person, and they will soon wear out their lungs for they will wear out much sooner by loud speaking. I can talk loud and do, to accommodate the people but it is very hard work for me to do so. But as there are but few here this morning I shall be permitted to speak to you in my own voice. What I shall say to you I do not know, I cannot tell but I will try to say that which is good. If I were to call upon any of the Elders they would feel a diffidence in speaking to you, but I do not, if it is necessary to talk to the people I can preach to one person or to thousands as the circumstances may require. I have been used to speak in small cabins where the rooms would not hold more than thirty, and I have been used to speak to large assemblies, and it makes little difference to me, but it makes a great deal of difference with regard to the feelings of the people whether they are ready and willing to receive the words of truth; this makes quite a difference in my feelings. Well, I say to you you must excuse me if I talk about a great many things, and speak upon a great many items which you would like me to enlarge upon, excuse me if I leave them and go to other matters, things in reference to the Kingdom of God. Many times, many times I say when I am speaking to a congregation in this Tabernacle when my mind opens to things and the Lord takes the veil away and lets me see and understand things that I cannot tell to the people, I forget them; many things pertaining to eternal things. Perhaps you have an experience that will corroberate with my own with regard to the spirit of the Lord, to the vision of the mind. Many times when I am conversing with the people where I am visiting my mind is opened in this way and I would like to tell the people what passes before me, a great many things there are which I would like to tell them, but there is not room, there is not a place. Well this, to many, seems to be a very unreasonable thing. A great many say I am ready to receive anything; I am ready and prepared to hear you say anything that you have a mind to.
I recollect many years ago Br. Joseph said to me, (and he also said it to many others,) but while we were walking alone he said Br. Brigham if I were to reveal to this people all I know there is not a man nor a woman but what would forsake me. I merely said Br. Joseph if you have any presentiment that any thing you might say would hurt me or that I am not capable of receiving anything which you have a knowledge of never say anything or reveal anything to me that I am not capable of receiving; I would beg this as a favor that you would refrain from revealing that to me. This was my feeling, but still there is some that think they can bear anything, and that they are full of the truth, but I tell you it is not so, they can receive but very little. The constiturion of man is such, the organization is such that you cannot enlarge the capacity of a person of a sudden. For instance let the Lord reveal by vision to an individual great and marvelous things pertaining to his kingdom, the laws that governs it, the laws that govern the worlds that are, the lives, and the customs, the habits and the place of abode for the Gods, and the Angels. The Lord can open the mind and let a person see those things but you cannot retain them in your understanding so as to improve upon them, and know what you are doing; there is not a person in the world that can do it, and there never was a prophet that could retain all in his mind which the Lord showed him, and I will venture to say there never was a man upon the earth that could retain in his mind the visions and revelations and the exceeding code of doctrines which many had revealed to them. Persons now may receive many visions and many revelations which they cannot live to nor retain; they are not capacitated to receive and retain so much at the present time, and so it is with us, we are precisely like other people that have lived upon the earth, only in our customs, the organization of man is the same, endued with the same facilties, the same light and truth, the same error, the same darkness, the same passions; the same spirit and active feelings have been in man from the days of Adam until now, precisely the same as they now are, and the only difference from first to last is by their own acts. It is true we see people that are cursed, they show this themselves, we see nations cursed, we see nations overthrown, they go into ignorance. There are nations now upon the earth that if possible are more ignorant than the savages upon these plains, they do not seem to have any good sense about them. Well some people would say that they are not endowed like other people, but this is not so, they are endowed precisely as we are, their spirits came from the same home and mansion or world, and they by the gift of God know and understand things just as we understand. Well then all the alteration and difference is in the acts of the children of men one towards another. We are not capacitated to receive all the truth and intelligence at once. It is true that the christian nations are more enlightened in the arts and sciences, and in the knowledge of letters than any nations that have ever lived upon the earth, yet they are as ignorant of God and Godliness as the heathen, and yet we are but children although we have been in the school many years, but still we are but children. Where the people are righteous and inclined to do good intelligence will increase and this is a source of comfort to me whether it is to others or not. If I can associate with people that desire righteousness and truth I know as the Lord lives that this people with whom I reside will increase until they come to all the knowledge that there is in all the eternities. Can we learn it all at once? No we cannot; we have to learn it by a little at a time, and then that which we learn becomes beneficial, becomes practical; it is knowledge that endures. Again as I observed people receive knowledge by vision and by heavenly manifestations. How many there are that now live upon the earth, and how many there has been upon the earth that have had as great and good visions as any persons that have lived upon the earth, and after all they have made shipwreck of faith? This proves that we have no certainty or assurance by visions, heavenly administrations, or by administration of angels, or the gift of tongues, or by healing, or the discernment of spirits, or any other gift is no assurance that we have secured to ourselves salvation, not in the least. Well now this proves that the people do really need instruction, they need to be schooled, schooled in the things pertaining to our faith, and our religion just as much as we need to school our children in letters, and to learn them to put those letters together into syllables, and syllables into words and words into sentences. Well now we have to be schooled in the things of God just as our children have to attain a common education and upon no other principle. No matter what our traditions have been, it is no matter what our views have been upon this subject. I have related in this desk my own ignorance on this point when I first received the spirit of the Gospel, and this same ignorance is with all of us. I am not the only person that is mistaken, I am not alone. There is not a man nor a woman that has received the spirit of the Gospel and the light and love of it, but that spirit shows them that they are going directly into a state of perfection, and they then imagine that they are above temptation, above the power of satan, and they actually imagine that they are capable of receiving the things of God and of living them, and if they can live so correctly as they imagine to themselves they will actually have Zion on the earth, a perfect society; a community that is filled with the light of life and the power of God would be established. (Brother Hawkins wont you shove up those windows?) Well this is because of our peculiar organization, we see perfection ahead, and do not look at the difficulties which there is between this and that time which is shown us by the spirit.
Now I am not alone in this matter, others have had the same feelings. When I received this Gospel I really beleived in my heart that there would be no more day Books or Ledgers, I beleived that there would be no more necessity of their saying you have got a horse of mine and I want my pay for it, or that you have got my mule and I want the pay for it, or you have my overcoat and I want my pay for it. And I had positively believed that if I could assemble with a people of this kind that there would be no more jarring, no more contentions, no more strife, but that all would be peace and happiness. And this is the case with many others, but we have since learned that this is not the case; this was only the open vision to show what was for us if we secured eternal happiness. Well the vision of the mind opens from time to time and we see what is to be. Why do I have compassion on my brethren and sisters? I suppose it is because I see as they see, and feel as they feel, and I propose that which will be for their benefit, and sometimes my mind is opened to the visions of eternity in its degree whether greater or lesser, and I feel the influence of the celestial kingdom upon me and then all is peace within me. I love the work of Gods hands, I am filled with compassion towards my brethren and sisters, and towards all mankind. Well now this you all know that we feel so when the good spirit is upon us. Well now tomorrow comes and I have and you have another feeling, another spirit. Perhaps I am perplexed with my labor, with my business transactions, I find that some persons has intruded upon my rights, and the first I know I am filled with temptation and there is evil within me. Well all persons know that this is the case. All persons know that it is worthy of all who profess to be Latter days Saints, when they come over themselves then they see and understand that they were wrong, and they are willing to forgive all past differences and faults of their brethren, and they say if you will overlook mine I will yours. But wherein such persons continue to give way to evil and to that influence that leads them into darkness, those persons you will see them take up their axe, and walk, they will pick up their goods and they are for California or the States the first opportunity, but those persons that did wrong yesterday once and perhaps seven times to day and then when the spirit comes down upon them, and they see their error why they repent and forsake the error, they are sorry for what they have done, this is their course. These other characters will say why others were in the fault as well as me, and they will try to excuse themselves, but the honest acknowledge their faults at once.
Well now the Lord has compassion upon us upon the same principle that we have one towards another, precisely the same, for he has experienced those things himself. This is an item that the people can scarcely realize, that our father and our God, him whom we serve, the great Eloheem that he has once been afflicted precisely as we now are. This is really strange we could hardly admit that this is the fact, and still it is good, sound, homemade, every day. I mean good, sound, home manufactured philosophy that will wear ten times as long as our bottled philosophy, you know I mean such philosophy as we get at the stores. There is not a person upon the earth or in the heavens, or any where else that could ever feel or sympathise for you or for me unless that person had suffered as you and I are suffering, this is good, sound philosophy and it will wear like a pair of pantaloons while the bottled stuff will go to the winds. Well here we find mercy, the Lord has compassion upon us. It is true our bible believers can acknowledge that Jesus was tempted in all points as we are, but ask all of them or any of them, any of the christian world do you believe that his father was ever tried as he was? No they will tell you in a moment. Well you know our home made philosophy teaches us that there is not and never was a son but there must have been a father, and if a father he must also be a son, and that there never has been father capacitated to beget sons without he having first past through this ordeal himself. And there never was a father but he must be a son, and there never was a mother but she must have been a daughter, there is no mistake about it. Well now that father that we talk about and Jesus his son have once been precisely as we are, tempted, tried, buffetted and filled with weakness, with pain and sorrow and suffering just as we are. I don't know that he ever had the toothache or the head ache as I have had them, but he was obliged to know sorrow, pain and the infirmities of mortality as well as us, and why? Because he would never know how to enjoy; he could not have the capacity to realize the value of ease, of comfort, of plenty unless he had suffered desease and sorrow, and it never could be known in all the eternities, he never could have occupied his present station without these qualifications, it never was acknowledged upon any other principle.
Well what does this bring us to, the few that are here this morning? It brings us to this one thing that this experience is necessary for us in order to bring us to perfection. Then do not you nor I complain of hard times nor anything that we are called to pass through, for it is right. No person would know the nature of poverty unless they had once been in comfortable circumstances; no person would know and realize the pleasure of ease in their bodies and the benefit of lying down and resting unless they had sometimes been in pain and had experienced sleepless nights and been anxious to rest, no person in any kingdom that understands any thing but by the contrast. No person could know the blessings of life, of light, knowledge, of happines in every particular degree unless they had tasted the opposite in its degree. Though I have said it many times, I tell you again and if all the latter day saints in the midst of these mountains were here I would talk precisely as I do to you. I tell you it brings us to this, if you and I do not endeavor to be all the Lord wishes us we cannot receive the blessings that are prepared for the faithful. And again if you do not know and understand in your systems the uncomfortable, unhappy and the extreme pungent feelings of want you never would know the comfort of fulness, nor will any of this people. I presume that there is many this spring that think the hard times is in consequence of the wickedness of the people; whether it is or not I do not care, but I tell you it is necessary for this people to experience every trial that they can possibly pass through, absolutely necessary that we should be buffeted with satan, that we should be tempted to give ourselves experience, taste the bitter in order that we may have the sweet.
Well then why should we complain? You will hear people complain of loss of property, why bless you if you do not lose your property you never will be prepared to enjoy celestial glory. You know I have told you and the prophet Joseph has told the people that it will take everything that you and I have got to purchase our salvation, no matter how much money you or I have got it will take the whole. Every individual that comes into this church with his gold if there be sacks full and possessions, and come to live in the midst of this people and to enjoy the blessings of this kingdom and to still enjoy the earthly blessings of plenty, and that man whoever he be if he lives and dies so, as the Lord lives that man cannot be crowned; he just cannot. No person can be crowned with glory, immortality and eternal lives upon any other principles than the one of which I have spoken, sacrificing all for the Gospel's sake, for this is the way marked out to us and portrayed in the scriptures, the history of it is given there as well as they could write it. Well then why should we complain? I know it is a time that tries people, but I do not know as their faith is tried. I have heard no complaints among the mass of the people about the hard times, or the suffering for food. Why bless your souls we are not going to starve to death; there is no necessity for this. There is no person that is likely to starve so long as there is a mule to eat. If after trying all means you cannot get anything to eat come up to my house and I will feed you, for I am not a bit afraid of starving while there is a mule, horse, cow, ox or sheep in the country. I do not know that the people do complain, but I think that some of them go hungry, and I think too that there is some who are to blame, and if I had the City before me I would tell them so, they go without a little to long, and very innocently and justifiably so, with me and I do not know but before the Lord. I do not know but there are some that would a little rather go without eating one day too long than to ask for anything, and then let us have the trouble of making a box for them! This is a little to much trouble to have to make a coffin for them; they had better come up to my house and get something to eat, there are but few who are so disposed but I think there are some of this class that would rather die than let me know that they are starving, while there are others that will beg to sell, and they will steal to sell, and there are actually those begging through the streets, begging bread and flour and selling it, and then there are some few that steal. But in the midst of this if we did not know what it was to have hard times and close times or suffering we could not know the opposite, and consequently we should take all these things patiently, and realize that it is actually the dealings of God towards us. If we are called to make sacrifices or what we call sacrifices; if we are called to this it should be done with as cheerful a heart as anything else. What is there that we would not give for the sake of eternal life? And to secure to ourselves this principle and privilege of eternal duration? To endure with the sanctified for ever and for ever while other organizations must evedently become decomposed? And we have this privilege now of securing to ourselves the comfort, happiness and blessing of enduring as the Gods will endure, to be crowned with glory, immortality and eternal lives, and have the privilege of all that can be granted to any being that ever did or ever will exist. Some few will secure all these, and some will secure only an eternal existence, but they wont secure to themselves eternal lives; this will be decided by and by, but it is not for me to decide now. There are persons in this kingdom that will glide along, and they are determined and fully decided that they will not give this or that for their religion, or do this or that, but they will do about right they say, just about what they consider to be right, and there they will stop and say that they will go no further, still they may secure to themselves an eternal existence, but that existence will be in this degree and proportion. What proportion? I do not Know what proportions; it is not for me to decide, but when we get through and the day of retribution comes, then will be the time, and we will find that there is a portion of the people that will secure to themselves an eternal existence singly and individually, but there are others that will secure to themselves an eternal existence and increased This brings the people up to be what we call Gods, while the others will be angels, ministers, servants. Well we might enquire is not this necessary? Yes, it is necessary and absolutely necessary, and can easily see why it is so. It is because you see one person will give way to temptation and say I will give so and so and no more, they will rather have their own will than to do what others say for their good, but you say a word to them about denying the faith, no, no, they will not do that, they believe the Gospel and they hang to it and continue to hang. If I were going to point out any of those characters it would be those that I will find lying and stealing and swearing, but such as never leave you an inch; you may string them up by the neck or hold them down in the water as the man did his wife till she could not, and still she would not call him "old cracklouse," and when you have done this they 'will hold up their hands as a signal that they will not give up, but still they will steal and lie like the devil, but they will believe the Gospel and continue to believe it and they will hang on to it. I said a few minutes since that I would not designate any of those characters, but let it go as it is. Those characters will not obtain eternal lives, but many of them will obtain a glorious resurrection and a kingdom of happiness and peace: thousands and millions of individuals will come the celestial kingdom that will never be crowned. Well what then? Why they are saved, but when you are talking about being saved in one capacity and then another, and then another, and still another, and then another after that, you know they vary. When Jesus was talking about being saved and the difficulties that were in the way the disciples there would be but few of the human family, a small proportion of the vast multitude that will be crowned with the Gods. Then there will be multitudes that will be crowned as the angels, and as individuals, and it is absolutely necessary to have those different characters in the celestial kingdom. And then also there will be multitudes in the Terrestial Kingdom that will be ministered to by messengers appointed, and instead of the inhabitants of the earth being damned and going into a lake of fire and brimstone, no person or persons will ever receive that condemnation, to go away into outer darkness but those who have had the privilege of securing to themselves eternal lives, and have then rejected the Gospel of salvation. No other persons, no not one. We think the heathen nations are in a bad state, and so they are, and we also think our indians are, we call them heathens, but not one person, son or daughter of Adams race will go to that place that is represented in the new testament and said to be Jesus' words written by one of the disciples, where the worm dieth not and the fire is not quenched. Those who have the privilege of all the ordinances and blessings of salvation and then turn round and deny the Gospel will be the only ones to receive that condemnation, but the wicked will be punished, and go into hell. Do we know what hell is? And where hell is? Who can point it out? In many instances where the apostles have been speaking and likewise Jesus in his communications to the people, this earth is compared to hell. Well it is in one sense. If we find out really that hell is anything more or less than this earth, this wicked world, we shall find that it is banishment from the society and presence of holy beings. Although there are degrees of punishment for the wicked as well as degrees of reward, but wherever people live or dwell that have not secured salvation they have not the presence of God the father and Jesus his son, they cannot see them, and when in a state of banishment they are in hell. People will have to be punished for their sins, and banishment from the society of holy beings is as great punishment as they will require to make them sensible that they are suffering for their sins. But if those who receive the Gospel are faithful to their callings in the holy priesthood they will secure to themselves eternal lives, and be brought into the presence of the father and the son, and millions will be banished from the presence of God and from those who are saved with a full and complete salvation, and be subject to the devil, and yet they will be preached to in the spirit and receive their resurrection and many of them go into the terrestial Kingdom and also into the telestial Kingdom where they will be ministered to and where they will rejoice and praise the name of God, although they will not have the privilege of seeing him, while those who attain celestial glory, we among the rest, if faithful will have the privilege of going right back to our father, of being associated with him just as we are with each other here, and be quite as familiar. Just as son or daughter of earthly parents would be after having been absent 5 years, and then returned to give joy to their parents. Suppose that one of us that have children and are parents, and let us be seperated for 5 years, and we would be pleased to see each other, and we should know each other and rejoice with each other. Well it is our privilege to attain this celestial glory and to go right back into the presence of our father and our God, This being our privilege do you ask yourselves this question, will you see the time that you would give worlds on worlds for the privileges that you now enjoy? Do you even reflect, do the saints ever reflect when they go out of the way, and feel passionate and do wrong, do those things that they ought not to do? Do we ask ourselves questions of this kind? Do we as a people reflect upon our own situation? The millions and millions of inhabitants that live upon the earth deprived of the privileges that we enjoy; if we would reflect upon these privileges there would be no feeling only to acknowledge the hand of God in all things, and always say this is his doings, it is his hand. The Lord is bringing about his own purposes
while he permits the evil power to travel to and fro and to assail, to gain influence, to extend abroad his dominions, yet he is under the control of the supreme being, our father and our God. No evil word, no evil principle, nor practice, nor doings of nations, or Kings or of individuals can transpire or be carried on beyond certain bounds; it is held by the power of omnipotence. We have the privilege now of securing this same power to control, far exceeding the power of the enemy. This is the day between the two powers, the power of the devil striving against that of the Almighty. Though the power of the enemy is very great, yet the power of God is still greater, for it has control over the evil principles but the evil has no control over the principles by which the Gods exist, consequently we should take the path that leads to and secures eternal lives which puts us in possession of the power to rule all things through all eternity wherever our influence exists, while yielding to the other power brings us into bondage. Though thousands and millions will escape through the attonement, but they will be subject to the supreme power, and when they have come to their lounds they must stop; this is the end with them, and then the inhabitants of the earth will be brought up to inherit a Kingdom, brought up to exist in their various glories and situations, and they will increase while the other power must decrease.
Well now we have the privilege you know of taking the road that leads to the highest Kingdom that there is in all the eternities that God has filled with glory. When this earth is glorified and brought back into the presence of the father we have the privilege of dwelling upon it, of attaining the highest glory that will be upon this earth. Well now brethren do we reflect?. Do we consider and prize these our privileges? If we do not let us refrain from every evil, abstain from every lustful desire and carnal passion, and try to live our religion. This would be wisdom now for us, would it not? In as much as we have the privilege of attaining the highest glory, exaltation and happiness would we not be foolish to fail in one thing? Let us acknowledge the hand that rules all things, and as I say to you, and you understand the power of the enemy is very great, but still when he has gone to his bounds he has to stop; he has power to afflict us, without the power of the almighty? No. Suppose the power of the enemy was such as to give us a severe trial by an earthquake could he do it contrary to the will of the father? No he could not. If the enemy should bring a toranado or an earthquake to destroy us, our women and children, could the enemy do this without our father permits? He was permitted to afflict Job, and he is permitted to afflict us and what for? To give us experience that we may increase in the world of light, in the knowledge that the Lord has revealed to us, and that he is continually revealing, and we ought to acknowledge the hand of God in one thing as much as another. If the enemy has power to afflict us it is all right. Acknowledge the hand of God, why? Because it is by his permission. If the Lord gives permission to do this I does not do it himself he only gives permission to an evil power to do it. I can tell you one thing that the Lord does not give; he does not give the rhumatism or toothache, or the gout, but he permits the devils to do it; he never gives pain nor sorrow, but he has his agents to do these things whenever it is necessary. He will not send an angel I will insure it; he will not send the angel Gabriel here to throw down my house, and set the bellows going and blow down my barn, but he will perhaps tell him what to do or what to tell somebody else to do. Well now all our afflictions come just precisely in this way, and when you hear a people say that the Lord has done this evil thing in the City you may just say that he has not, but he has permitted evil powers to do it, to do the evil act, and when they have gone far enough there says the Lord now stop. Well it is for us to learn how to order our lives before the Lord, how and what to do, and hence I have frequently observed to my brethren and sisters that we ought to become classical scholars, and to know how to shape our lives. For instance as I am speaking to you I ought to know how and what to say to you, and if I know the best things in the kingdom I ought to know what to reveal and what to keep back; I ought to know at any rate.
Suppose that you and I are visiting and that we get a dozen of the brethren and sisters together what is the subject? Why some person's character; this is the most prominent topic of conversation in visiting parties. Well now we ought to know what to say on all such occasions. And if we hear our neighbor, br. or sister say anything to the injury of a br. or sister we ought to know how to dispose of that without the injury of that br. or sister. Here's a sister perhaps that if she wishes anything to do, she for instance that is sitting on my left suppose that something is said about her and it is blown a bout afterward, it reaches her ears it injures her on account of some Persons circulating what has been said, in a manner that was calculated to do injury to her character. Well if a difficulty arises between two and I am standing here as a medium in the midst of the people, I suppose that I ought to know what to say to both of them, and should not you know what to say so as not to injure either. When you talk brethren and sisters this is an item that you should consider and know what you are to say. When you are talking say what you want but for your own sake and other peoples do not say what other people say. You know I do all my swearing in the pulpit; can any of you prove that I swear any where else? If you can come up here and say so. Well sometimes I talk men, and I perhaps say of a man he is a damned rascal, if he is worthy of it, then it is true. And if I take the liberty of talking about a thief I do not say somebody else says so, but I say he is a thief on my own responsibility, and when you say anything about any person just say it independently, and do not place the responsibility on any other person in the world, and then if that person that you are talking about should get to hear of what you have said, and then comes and tells you what he has said and ask did you say so? Yes I did; and if he lied and you talked about it, say yes you did, you lied like the devil, and what business is it to you if you lied and I am disposed to talk about it what is that to you. And if you will talk about men that are guilty of stealing dont say when they come to you, do not turn round and say it was such a one said so, but say I did say so and it is true, and when you tell it over from one to another, and then you have to trace it and chase it into a mouse hole and there is nothing of it; then if you are right you ought to know it and know what to say. If the Latter day saints will take this course then they are individually responsibible for your own words, and if you injure anybody it will be yourselves, and we ought to learn how to classify our lives, and if we do this, and in dealing deal righteously so as you can meet the father, Jesus our Elder br. or the angel Gabriel, so if you do anything and he comes up did you do so and so with such a man? Answer yes sir I did and what have you to say about it? Did not you know it was wrong? No sir; did you? and just stand the tug as the angel did with Jacob when the angel said he could throw him, and Jacob said he could not, and after trying they found that the angel could not throw him, but he put his finger into Jacob's thigh and put it out of joint, just to show that he had power above him. If we do this we are right.
Suppose that I have not fed the hungry as much as I ought to have done this season, and suppose and angel should come and say Br. Brigham why did you not feed so and so? Did you not know that was wrong? Don't you know that I am the angel Gabriel? Well I do not care if you are God himself I did the best I knew how. What could be said of such persons? Such a man would be forgiven of his since right on the spot. The Latter day saints think they are going to sin ignorantly and they will not do such things, but they are not. Let them live to the law to the light, and do according to the light and knowledge that they obtain from all that they ought not to do; they are called to the fountain head, to look to it for information, and if they sin what can be said? It is a sin of ignorance and nothing else. Well if the people would take this course don't you see that the people would learn that we have got to learn to save ourselves by the spirit of truth, by the attainment of knowledge. We have got to learn to apply our own knowledge and understanding, and the instructions that we receive from time to time, and continually in our lives, that we may have all necessary experience, every necessary qualification for us to be saved. We are not going to be prepared in one day, but we have got to travel, but how long I do not know; I do not know, but I know this of a surety that we have got to live and endure privations but as for been driven as some imagine that we are going to be I do not believe any such thing, there is no place for us upon the earth; we cannot be driven from these mountains, for there is no other place for us. If people say that we might have chosen a more healthy place, a place where there was more timber and more conveniences I cannot help all this we are just in the right place, and we cannot be driven from it; we may have to go from Valley to Valley. Never mind if the grasshoppers or the drouth come, be contented and all will be well. But one thing I am going to urge upon the brethren one important item. The first thing, if we have a plentiful year lay up your provisions for one year, and if you can possibly do it lay up for two years, and then for three years, and so on until you have seven years provisions on hand, and then we will eat the beautiful old wheat; but now all we have to do is to attend to our crops and serve our God and live our religion I know that our brethren are suffering, but I have dictated so as prevent it. There is one thing that I wanted to say to the Bishops had they have been here. The people are running about with their money to buy provisions, but they are not to be had. Let them collect their money together and appoint the Bishop or some else to go and buy beef; go south. Let the people put in their lots, teams, house, household furniture. But says one if I have not got a lot, house nor any furniture what shall I do? Why deed yourself over that you will be responsible for your portion. And let there be a beef creature killed per day, and distribute among the people, and do not boil up the beef with salt, but take your meat and roast it before the fire, and eat it without salt, and then the people will be as healthy as any people in these mountains. But if they were to boil it and salt it they would get sick, but if they roast it and eat without salt they will be just as healthy as the indians, and if you give an indian plenty of beef and keep him from freezing and he will live to be a 150 years old; there is nothing to kill them unless they freeze to death.
Well this is what I wanted to say, let the people select their men and get their beef from the south there is plenty and they can live on it; I could live on it, and I could fat on it. A great many say that they cannot but I say they can. You get some fresh beef and hang it up dont eat it, but the next day take it down, and if it is not good just hang it up, and take it down the next day and so on until it is good, and I assure you that by the seventh day it will be the sweetest meat you ever tasted. This is the way to make it good, and this is the way to make Johnny cake good.
Well I did not intend to say so much when I commenced, but I am going to stop talking now.
May God bless you: Amen