1856 December 18 Remarks in Legislative Joint Session


1856 December 18 Remarks in Legislative Joint Session


Governor/Territorial Legislature

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Leo Hawkins

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By President Brigham Young, in Joint Session Thursday December 18th. 1856
(Reported by Leo Hawkins)

It is not customary on such occasions as this for a Governor to make his appearance, as I have this morning in this Legislature. I thought that I would come to the House appointed for the gathering of the two Houses and carry out the principles of that Brotherhood which we profess one towards another, consequently I overreached the common rules on such occasions, and I have made my appearance here, and am willing to give such instructions to the two Branches of the Legislature as is necessary from time to time; and my instructions to you this morning would be expressly to be governed, controled, dictated, and prosecute the business that is done in this Legislature by the Holy Ghost. I mean precisely what I say, asking no odds of all the Kingdoms of earth or hell, though it is supposed by the practice of all the Governments upon the earth, that if the law making departments and executive officers were dictated by the God of Heaven that they would transgress the bounds of good order, infringe upon the rights of their fellow men, and not carry out the policy of all governments; and we are well aware that our own government are very tenacious of electing their own officers who make a profession of religion; yet if they knew the necessity of correct principles they would know at once that mankind upon this earth cannot enjoy their rights unless laws are dictated by the God of heaven; though they do not see and understand to trace the effect. There is voted their lawgiver that will give to each one his right; but the Lawgiver of the Celestial code that is put into our possession, <perhaps> proves every man, according to the merits or demerits of their acts; there is no other Lawgiver that can perform this. Consequently we know, if we are <faithf> surrounded with the influences that are fearful with regard to the principles of truth it should not intimidate this Legislative Assembly in the least. God will sustain and preserve his people and execute justice in righteousness, and dispose of all things according to the dictates of his own will, If we act according to his dictation it is true, a legislative body to act upon these principles is a novel thing in our government -- a Republican government; not so in other governments. All the aristocratic governments that we have any knowledge of depend upon their religion to dictate them, but the Republican government is supposed to stand upon the basis of discord and strife, that is the foundation of the Republican government in the estimation of every citizen: it is an incorrect idea conceived in ignorant and uncertain minds. Our government is a republican government, and the government in which we live is a pretended democratic government, but it is not a republican government. It should be no question but it was founded for an express purpose, but opposition, party strife, will never afford that to people that they are seeking for. We should be bound to seek unto the Lord for wisdom, knowledge and understanding to prosecute the business of this territory, as if we were sent on a mission to teach the people the principles of live and salvation; and if we do not seek for the wisdom of God we will not fill the duties on us in this branch of a Republican Government, as is meant to be understood by the term. My counsel is, that every man here seeks to know, what should be done, and then do it for the benefit of this community; and when men have feelings here in their minds that they will slide a little to the right or left -- they will up and maintain another point for the sake of argument, they should cast those feelings from them, for they will draw them into snares.
We are watched as earnestly as ever the prey of a lion, or dog, or cat, or any animal that is seeking their prey: we are watched by all parties, but if we are faithful, God will fight our battles, He has protected his people, and by this time we should have no hesitancy in putting our trust in him, and seek to know what he desires of us, and then seek to do it, regardless of all the world besides; if we wish to shun the snares that are set for our feet, ask God for wisdom to guide us. He alone can dictate this people, and every one meet the reward of their doings, and we reap the reward of ours, and be justified by our good works. If we follow out these principles we shall come off victorious.
We have now sat in a Legislative capacity, this is the sixth session: Congress has reserved to itself the right to veto our laws: up to this time they have not vetoed one. The Senate of the United States, with the President have never returned a mark upon a sheet of paper; asweak and as imbecile as they say we are they have not yet presumed to pick flaws with our enactments.
If the Lord had not sustained this people, and we had not taken that course,--to do what the Lord requires of us <to do> and had followed what is commonly known as republican, our laws would have been ripped to pieces, and we would have been in a snare out of which we would have found it very difficult to extricate ourselves.
Inasmuch as we have had a certain portion of the Spirit of the Lord, seek for more that the reformation have its effect upon this honorable body; let us be dictated by the Holy Ghost, that is my exhortation. It would be better for us to sacrifice our life in doing the things that God wants to have done, that in the end He may bring out the people triumphant. It would be better for us to lose our lives in doing this than to save them here, and lose them hereafter; but if we do this we will save our lives here, and ourselves and the people hereafter. There are many here that feel they can stand it much longer than myself or brother Heber, but in all probability we will see many that are here present buried. With reference to those things that secure to this people eternal life and salvation asking no odds of the kingdoms of darkness, when the brethren wish my counsel they know they have it. I wish them to counsel as Elders of Israel, and not as a Gentile body. I know that a great many have come in here and have felt after they have come in here they must lay their religion off, and come in here and sit as a Gentile stalk with a Gentile root,and they had it according to the wisdom of the world. If you want to tie your feet do it, but if you want to keep your feet loose, bring your religion here, and our God will bring us out victorious
Many will find fault with our changing the seat of Government, It is no more their business than it is the business of the boys who play in the street: you have a right to remove the seat of Government to Carson tomorrow, & from there to Weber and spend the 40 days travelling, and it is none of their business. I want every man to feel so.
I have given you a few items here in this message; I have said but little, I have said all I wanted to say. I know the day we live in; & my admonition is, lay low brethren watch for black ducks, for hell is full of them. I have said a great many things, and all that is necessary is said. If Almon Babbit was here,-- thank God he is not here-- he would have found fault with everything; If there was anything I have been thankful for it is that we have a Secretary that is heart and hand with us. My heart is glad every moment of time that we have the privilege of coming together, and not have a quarrel on hand. We have not come here to build ourselves up in the wealth of the world. It is the Saints that wade through the snows, and have travelled thousands of miles for the sake of living their religion in peace. There are brethren in this body that have circumscribed the world to do good, without coat, pantaloons, or shoes; what for? to Gather riches? No we do not care for riches; it is to save the Children of men, and this is what we have done to save them here, and to save them hereafter. We are attending to temporal things here the same as <the> a Bishop in the Church, laying the foundation for every man that desires Eternal life: let our eye be single to the Kingdom of God upon the earth, that secures salvation to us.
May God bless us. I will bless you, and pray for you all the time; there is no spirit here but what is congenial to mine. I would have crept upon my hands and knees, before I made a profession of religion, to see what I see this morning: Thank God we are here let us improve the time to his honor and glory, and to our exhaltation and salvation. Amen.
Prest Kimball.
Said: Brethren, I feel rather feeble in body, yet I feel mighty in spirit. It is my desire ever to feel mighty in spirit & more so in body; I have no other feelings here in this place. I calculate to hold myself responsible here just as I would in a Church capacity, Brother Brigham is my President; he is my Governor, he is my Prophet, he is my apostle, he is my Preist, and, if you please he is my God, and he shall stand in this capacity in this Legislature; you understand me he shall stand in that capacity in this Legislature or else I do not stay here. It is his right: we are here by ourselves and we will do as we are a mind to, and we have got a secretary that will let us; and there shan't no other secretary nor men that shall dwell in this land that shall live, that wont let us; the wrath of Almighty God be upon that man that stirs his foot in this Territory and undertakes to trammel us. There are my feelings gentlemen; and when Brother Brigham is here, I am here by the side of him; and when he leaves this house he has placed a President over this Territory, or over this Legislature; and because I am down stairs I am not dismissed from this assembly. I have just as much authority when I am down in the cellar as when I am upstairs. Brother Brigham has just as much authority when he is down stairs as when he is up in the chamber. I remember an instance in the Council House of a man snubbing me and saying that the Priesthood had no right in this assembly. I told that man, that should work on him, and he never should forget it He is now in England, and has written to me, and says it has thorned him to this day. That nasty Gentile spirit shan't come here; it dont have place here this winter neither in this house nor in the other house, but God is going to reign here and that triumphantly, and the Kimball day of our release has come and I know it, and it has been my prayers all the time. We are the heirs to this earth and to heaven, and to every thing else, and here's the kingdom of God, and here's the Government of God in Salt Iake, not at Fillmore in that shit hole. I tell you God wont stay there, without we go there, and its a hard case then. These are my feelings Brethern; I feel well, and may this assembly feel as I feel, and much more abundantly, and all hell has nothing to do with us. Thank God we have got a Secretary that can give us a pen without standing and contending -- that is too much for us. We dont want brethren here, that when we are about to depart from this house to take that that don't belong to them, and rob this man of his paper, or his pen, or his inkstand. Lay down your pens on your table, and there theyare to the day of judgement. That's my religion. Let us improve upon the time and be one. I do not want to see a particle of business done in this house unless this people repent and reform, and this every man will see the thing that is wanted and there will be no jars; and you wont see Brother Farr hold of every man's hair. I refer more particularly to him because I am very favorable to him. Let the Holy Ghost get into you and then it is all right. Good heavens you are Brethren. the representatives of the Kingdom of God to sustain and protect this people, and to guard them, and to throw off the shackles, and they shall be off or else we will break necks. I feel first rate I feel just as though I was not scared half to death. I have come into this Legislature, and I was so frightened I did not know what I was about. I have come into this House with different feelings than I ever had before. Brother Brigham shall come in when he has a mind to, and shall have every liberty here, and when he has every liberty I want to know if he has robbed you of anything? No he has made you free. God has called him, and he is the instrument in the hands of God that will make this people free. I understand it, I feel it, I know it, and whatever he tells you to do, do it. He has not said a great deal in that message; it is merely thrown out to satisfy the world
The living oracle is here all the time, and we do not want any other governing power.
God bless you: peace be with you; peace be multiplied upon you, and your families. Amen.

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