1856 September 14 Sunday Afternoon Remarks

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1856 September 14 Sunday Afternoon Remarks

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Sermons

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1856/09/14

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Leo Hawkins

extracted text

Remarks by President Brigham Young,
Sunday afternoon, Sept. 14. 1856
Reported by Leo Hawkins.

We do not have the privilege of hearing the people bear their testimonies -the people have this privilege, of hearing the testimonies of the Twelve and those who occupy this Stand; when we come down to the particular part of our religion we have but little opportunity of learning the feelings of the people.
I hope my feelings in regard to the people of this Territory are incorrect; but my feelings are, it is of necessity that we appoint elders and send them forth to convert the people. I have inquired of myself, if I was called to go and preach could I raise up branches? For myself and brethren to go, not out of the Territory but to the people and raise up Churches.
Brother Fielding said in his remarks, he knew that the work was true.So they do, or Joseph would never have been killed. I do not mean to make the people believe that Mormonism is true, for all the devils in hell know it is true; for men and women to say that Mormonism is true it is a phantom to me, I am in a difficulty. I would not give a farthing for your pretensions in regard to Mormonism.
To say that this is the best people upon the face of this earth that we have knowledge of, is it boasting? No, it is not, for all the rest of the world are just as wicked as they know how to be; they have got to learn more before they can be any more wicked than they are, they must know more about the Holy Ghost to despise it more than they do.
I wish I was mistaken in my feelings that it is absolutely necessary to raise up churches in this place. They will pretend to believe Mormonism when they do not practice it. I sit here from Sabbath to Sabbath and think, What shall I say to the people? Will they stop their quarreling and contending in their families, -- this jarring, contention. "You lie" My neighbor has stole from me." I do not say that all are of this class, but I want to separate them; the goats from the sheep; they are all good in their places. There are plenty in this place that despise the name of Mormon, and they come and take the sacrament, to pick up a few shillings and then go back to England or France.
I wish we would prepare ourselves for the day that is coming. It is a familiar expression for the Lord to come and search our hearts.--sweep his garner,-- thoroughly purge his floor: there would not be many left if we were purged from sin, -- I judge the people by their works and not by their professions; for people to profess to be Saints and not live up to their profession it is mockery. Some of you will go home and curse your wives and try to disturb the peace of the neighborhood in some shape; you are so blind that you that you cannot see. What do you care about the kingdom of God. Build your Temple, feed the poor, preach the gospel to the four quarters of the earth but I will see you damned before I will give you anything; that is the feeling of the people. God reigns and has his way. When you talk about miracles look back five years ago, seven years ago when you could not get 50 cents a bushel for your wheat the Tithing Office was full and we had to enlarge it, but just as soon as the wheat would bring one dollar a bushel did we get our tithing? No we did not, we have not had the value of one bushel of wheat to one hundred that has been raised in this Territory.
Do they live in peace with their families? No they do not; and there are men right here that lied like the devil last summer, they had wheat and flour, plenty, but lied; they sent their children round begging, and were selling flour all the time. This whole people will be corrupted if we do not lop off those rotten branches. I do wish my feelings deceived me.
I asked a man yesterday if he knew how we got our means to carry on the public works. There is over eight hundred thousand dollars in houses and lots; we own house after house, farm after farm, do you know how we get the money. You may say, I plead for you to pay your tithing: I would not turn my hand over for you to pay another cent of tithing, I would not walk across this block to receive another cent of your tithing. Well then what do you plead for it or? It is for your exaltation, it is for your salvation. Hear the thousands and the thousands who are pleading for their dead friends.
You need not worry about the Temple one particle.
I will show you a contrast:-- appoint a meeting at the Social Hall tomorrow evening and bring your offerings to feed the poor widows, what congregation would you have? Why all together about half a dozen. On Tuesday night, brethren come prepare, for we are going to have a dance, and the whole place would be full; you would run after a fiddle, but would you run to save a fellow creature. It has been tried over and over again.
Many and many a one would lie,--send their children begging when they were selling flour all the time. Go to another family, have you got anything to give to the poor? No we have not, but to the Gentile Come here at 11 o'clock to night and I will let you have fifty or a hundred pounds -- and the righteous have got to suffer with the evil doer.
Brother Kimball told you how to be blessed, this morning. When a spirit of dubiety is upon you trust in the living God for it is he <him> that sustains us all the time -- walk up and do as you are told. If you have sinned repent of that sin, go and be baptized by an Elder who is authorised to preach the Gospel, & build up the kingdom of God and that would lead you into his kingdom. If you believe in the Lord Jesus Christ repent of all your sins and go and be baptized, and have hands laid upon you that you may receive the Holy Ghost and then live in it continually; and then you would cease your contention, I should not have so many women bothering me tomorrow morning with their little foolish tales about their husbands.
Turn on the other hand, God has brought his people to the Vallies of the Mountains, where there are none to molest or make us afraid. Who has been disturbed here? No one. Who led us to these Vallies? No one; it was the Almighty, it was the wisdom of him that does as he pleases. What hinders your praying till you get the spirit of your calling? Nothing but the wicked infernal disposition of your own; you would rather quarrel thah pray, you would rather go and steal from your neighbor than to pray. Perhaps the people are not here, but where is the man who has stolen all my corn -- cut it down in the night. I mean to cut your heads off and send you to hell. Who goes to law? who appeal their cases to the Bishop's Court? Well then let us turn and hear the Elders who are good speakers. Go, you smart young men, go and study law. I will tell an anecdote A young man in choosing a profession decided on the ministry, but soon found that did not answer as the people cared nothing about their souls; he then <resolved> tried doctoring -- that answered some better, but the people cared but little for either soul or body; as a last resort he adopted the law, and that worked to a charm as the people thought more of their Almighty will, than they did of either soul or body. Go to quarrelling -- though since Almon W. Babbitt went away I will give credit to the place, but he will be back here again soon. Some men that frequent this place never had any brains in their skulls, <but> though they have plenty in another place, or to speak politely their brains are below their waistbands. Now you men will you go to night and steal a little more corn, and then go home and quarrel with your wives? You will do just as you please, if you feel disposed. The devil has gained an ascendency over the people. I wish there was righteousness in the High Council to report the wicked and cut them off from the tree They will prove this one to be a theif, that one to be a liar and so on. I just want to take the wicked together from the settlements in this Territory, until they will all leave the Territory. I intend to labor with you until you cease your iniquity, and then cease to harbor it in your houses. I can say that I have a good family they do not rise up to contradict me. I had a man say to me, what would you do if you had a woman that would contradict you? I would kick her so far that she would not come back the next day. I would rather lay down and be cut into inch peices than be nosed by a woman; but says I keep out of my doorway Mr Devil. If I was called to the necessity I would rather take the sword and sever their heads from their bodies than to let them live and corrupt the people. If I had the word, and they were to rise up as Pharaoh King of the Egyptians did, in his power and strength and try to bother them I would do to them as my Father in heaven did: he led them out and told Moses to go along, and he parted the Red Sea, and when he got the Egyptians into the sea and he let the seas come together and he drowned every one of them just as I would have done; there is not a man on this earth that is true to me who not. Bro Candland was saying he was the only one of the family in the Church, it is not so. I have no connection in heaven, earth or hell but what is in this Church. I have no father, mother, brother or sister unless they believe in Jesus and will follow him in the regeneration. That is the solid basis upon which heaven is built, and it is the foundation of the authority and the powers <upon> by which the Gods act and govern and rule in eternity. I do not want to weary your patience but I want those miserable curses to leave, or cease their lying, tattling, thieving, or we will cut them off from the Church. I do not talk to the people around me particularly, but to the whole Church of Latter Day Saints Let the righteous rise up, if they are righteous themselves and report iniquity. When you catch a man stealing kill him, and the man that will not stop his swearing cut him off from the Church; and the family that will not stop quarreling, sever them from the Church
The Temple will do us no good unless we will sanctify ourselves. God bless the humble, and I ask my Father in heaven to put it into the hearts of the iniquitous that they may leave this place, or to put them into the hands of some righteous man and let him cut in The day will come as it was in the days of Israel,-- Take that woman and stone her; that man and kill him, and waste his house. Now do you want to sin, to blaspheme his holy name.
You go to England, and there Church and State are amalgamated. Say the people there we must rise up and cut this thread; we must not have the Church of England to rule us; we must not have the Baptists to rule us; we must not have the Methodists to rule us; we must not have the Presbyterians to rule us. You must deny the people the revelations of Jesus; you may say you believe in Jesus Christ if you blaspheme his name. Well then have the mass to rule over them who will not blaspheme and chuckle and gamble for the spoil; no they cannot get into office of any note that is the Christian world from which we have been driven. I have often thought of what Brother Woodruff said while visiting his friends in Connecticut, and was about to take his father and mother to the West leaving his relatives; he was <about> visited by one of his aunts, a good old Presbyterian, She felt to weep and mourn because her brother and nephew were going into the wilderness away from civilization and christianity, and when she found that they were resolved to go she asked him with tears streaming down her face, "Do you expect you will find any Christians there?" He answered "For God's sake, I hope not, I would rather associate with the wild savages or the grizzly bears of the rocky mountains than to associate with the professing Christians of the present day." She was very much astonished at the answer and inquired what reason he had for this feelings. He said that all the persecution we had received was from the professing Christians, both priest and people. They had robbed us of our property, burned our dwellings, driven us from our homes and inheritances; had murdured our wives, children and brethren; had ravished our women, put our leaders in chains, and in prison, and had fed them on human flesh; and last of all had martyred our prophets in cold blood; these, said he, are deeds which the savage would blush to perform, and which the grizzly bear would never do.
We are delivered from the Christians that have driven us from the face of man, and the time will soon come when the people will apostatize or the heavens will be opened to them. Rise up cleanse my house. Take this man and serve him so. &c. I asked, do they want wickedness to reign over them? They would not have a righteous man to rule over them if they could help it. There are good honest men but they are powerless. This people have got to rise up. <in> No person will be injured unless the Lord Almighty commands it; <and> and the time will come when this people must rise up and cleanse themselves from iniquity. Are they afraid of righteousness? Yes they are; like the Irishman who being brought before the justice, was crying bitterly. The justice told him not to be afraid for he would have justice done him "Faith" said Pat, "and shure that's the very thing I'm afraid of." They are all afraid that justice will be dealt out to them: and every man might just as well be still. I say to the saints stop your wickedness. People come to the Sacrament and babble how much they believe, and not live their religion; I do not like to hear it. I feel to pray for the people, that the honest in heart may be free, and rid of those that are ungodly;-- and I hope the time will come for the line to be drawn. I do not know how soon it may be. Our religion is expressly for this, to improve our minds, and do good to the whole human family. One of the brethren said, when he found Joseph was a son of God it was all right with him. Why bless you every man, woman and child is a son of God. It was meant to be understood. The Lord has chosen this my son to do a great work in the last days.
May the Lord help us to honor our tabernacles
Amen