1860 October 25 Afternoon Remarks in Pleasant Grove


1860 October 25 Afternoon Remarks in Pleasant Grove



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George D. Watt

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by President Brigham Young Pleasent Grove Oct 25. 1860 21/2 P. M.
Reported by G. D. Watt.
It is good for the saints to assemble themselves together, and to speak often one to another.
I suppose anciently they kept a book of rememberance, and I do not know but they took down the names of those that came to meeting, and probably they had a mark against them that did not attend. It is good to rehearse over to each other our feelings and experence. We have a great many Elders who who are disirous to go out into the world to preach, and there is a good many here that have preached considerably, and have traveled for years. Now bring the Elders of Isreal together, and ask them what the great labor will be to build up Zion in the latterdays and prepare for the coming of the son of man-- prepare for the day of rest which we are all looking for; and what would be the answer? of the whole community of Elders? Why go into all the world and preach the gospel and gather the people. If the farmer wants to gather a productive harvest, he does not let it suffice to go out into the feild and say we shall gather a large crop, and that is all he does. But he must prepare the ground properly, sow the seed, distroy the weeds, hoe the growing crops, and watch over it and care for it continually until it has attained perfection, and is ready to be gathered into the garner of the Iord. So with our Elders, they must labor until the harvest, working continually, watching day and night, for fear the enemy shall come and sow tares in the growing crop, for fear he comes and tares down the fence, and lets in the hungery herds outside to eat up the crop. Now watch. and keep up your fences arround your crops, lest the enemy shall come along and turn in a herd of wild horses to trample under their feet the precious fruit of you toil and labor. The world is the feild, and ye are the husband men, the people are the crop, the devil is the enemy that sowes tares and pulls down the fence, and turns in wild horses to distroy the precious fruit.
If we want you to go and preach the gospel and gather up the people to prepare for the coming of the son of man, it is necessary we should the first lesson. We take up these boys -- all the brethren here the young men that are not covered over with traditions, and superstitions of their fathers, and turn them into the world, can they preach? Yes. Are they capable of meeting all the theoagy there is in the world, and overcome it at there pleasure, meeting the learned divines successfully? Yes. They cannot sustain their position by scripture, or good sensible arguments. Our boys can take the Old and New testament and prove beyond the posability of successful controversy that Mormonism is the truth of heaven, and every person that will hear good sound argument and scriptural testemony will accknowledge that this is the kingdom of God. We are the Zion written about and testified of the scriptures. We gather up our hundreds and thousands and bring them home to Zion. Where are they? Here they are, upon the recourses of their own judgement, and discretion, with their traditions prepossessed notions, feelings, habits, and Customes etc. Bro Wells was asstonished when he found his wheel Barrow at the mouth of the Canyon instead of in his own yard. Sopose he had left it at the mouth of a canyon in York State where he was brought up, would they have stole it there? I think not. You throw off this bondage that is in the midst of the people, and what would they do? You hear people talk about right, You hear occasionally of men being theives -- taking that which is not their own. But I will tell you the traditions of the fathers, and the laws that are bound upon the<ir> necks of the children have hold upon them still. You take off this law, and the bread and the butter, and the goods in the store would be soon in the streets, and the word would be here you men and women help yourselves, and if a man should say anything about it, he would be walked under foot. Frequently I am asstonished at this state of feeling. Because we have been taught that the Gospel is free, that it is the law of God, the law of liberty, and is for the express purpose of forming the judgement, the passions, and the whole habit of man according
to truth and righteousness, and why do not the people live and enjoy these blessings this is what asstonishes me. But when we look about ourselves, and see what a community we have it is very anoying. What do you say brethren who go to the canyon and drop your axe off your Waggons do you ever find it again? Very seldom, or you brethren who <lose> leave a waggon well in the Canyon, do you find it again where you left it? Very seldom. If the theives are all dead here then I will say I have been disappointed for once. Why do such a state of affairs existe as they do? because the people are flowing together from all parts of the earth, and we bring our various traditions, and customes with us; we mingle these traditions and customs together, and it leaves the people like a ship upon the ocean without sail or rudder, compass, or oars, helmsman or pilot, and they are wafted to and fro, by every wind that passes, or by every spirit and power of the air they are tossed too and fro. This is the reason why we see the Saints so unruly. Let me inform you of one thing, You and I have got to live until the law which pertains to the nations of the earth are beneath our feet, and we live a perfect law of liberty. This is what is the matter with the people; they are crazy-- they do not know what to do with their liberty. People talk about bondage in Utah, they truth is they have so much liberty it crazes them; there is no restrictions whatever upon any man or woman to do right, to promote righteousness, justice, truth and mercy and live as close to God as you have a mind to. Live so as to breath the air that flows from the Celestial world, so as to enjoy the light that shines -- that beams forth from the Candle of the Almighty. There is no restrictions upon the people in Utah, but we do not like to have pilfering going on, because we once in a while catch them at it. I understand the Lord catched one man at it in this country and he was cached, and we wish the rest of the theives were cached.
We preach the Gospel and bring the people together, Is this Zion? If you would not think me rude I would tell you that this is indeed a hell of a Zion. O such a Zion as this we have got. Where is your cattle? where is your horses? I feed them down in my lot but whether they are there now or not I do not know, it a hell of a Zion; Where is you cow Sister? You have been milking and making butter and cheese from? We sent her out with the herd boy this morning but we do not know That she will ever turn.-- We have got to live to purify our own hearts, and cleanse the atmosphere we live in until the sinner in Zion will be afraid. What shall they be afraid of? Are they afraid now? No. Was they afraid when the flower of Uncle Sam's army was here? No. but they would rob you before your eyes. Supose we are left by ourselves and still have no law, then we will exercise faith to live our religion so that we will make the sinner in Zion afraid. I will tell you the only thing in the world they will be afraid of, they are afraid of justice. When the Irishman was brought up to be tried he wept. He was asked what he was afraid of. "Ah my honer I fear justice will be done me." I want to see the time when the sinner in Zion will be afraid of justice overtaking him. Dont you think the hypocrite will flee then? Yes. And they are here in our midst by the cord, not by a few individuals, they are here by the cart-load for the loaves and the fishes, they are here for the sake of swindling honest people. What is to be done with the ignorant, <and> those that may be denominated fools; I guess we will save them if they will only be honest. There is a great many that knowes but very little. Do you see any of them in this part of the Country? Yes.
Now here is another difficulty. We travel to preach, and sercumscribe the earth for the sake of gathering the saints, and when we have got them together, we see another class, and you may give them all the specticals you can <have> get and get them all on to them at once, and they will not help their eyes so they can tall a saint from a devil. What will you do with such characters? They will walk in the streets here, and if you give them a precious gift if the Lord was to bestow upon them the riches of eternity, and they should meet a pack of infernal scoundrels from the hot bed of hell they would give the most precious of God to them. Dont you think we have got to keep them to school and train and educate until they learn the things of God, and understand the difference, between the things of God, and the things that are of unrighteousness. When I look at and understand what has got to be done to prepare for the coming of the son of man, it is the easiest part of the work for the Elders to go into the world and <gather out> confound the oposer convince the honest, and bring home the saints to Zion. Now brethren you that feel very ancious to go and preach the Gospel, thinking it would be a great priviledge for you to have a mission I will give you one, you men of wisdom that think you are capable of diserning truth from error -- they can tell in a moment where the truth is, they can divide it from error, in what case? But do you always judge a dificulty as tho' you was both parties? If you will receive it I will give you a mission each and every one of you that are capable of being judges in the midst of the house of Isreal -of instructing the fathers, the sons and the daughters of Isreal. If you cannot do this I shall not promice you success in your teaching. I recommend to each man and woman to live so in their lives each day, hour and moment month and year, so that there shall be no time and place but what you would proud to have your children and the saints in general follow your footsteps. Men will get up and preach, and point out the duties of the pepple, but do they walk in them themselves? If they do not their teachings cannot have the affect -- the same weight they should have. It is but a trifle to tell others how to live.
This is the fulfilment of the law, the law and the prophets hang on this, do right yourselves: set that kind of an example, that you can say to your neighbors, your family, and every person that is aquainted with you, follow my footsteps, then you will be capable of purifying yourselves, and assisting to purify others. Now you see that preaching the Gospel, and gathering home the saints is but a small portion of the labor we have to perform. There is not a place, not a nation or kingdom and people on the face of this earth that needs that faithful labor by the servants of God as is needed in Utah Territory. Now brethren if you want to preach, Sisters if you want to help build up Zion, live so you can say to every person aquainted with you, Sisters daughters, sons, freinds aquaintances, follow my example, follow my footsteps, and you will have the love of God with you, you will have fellowship with the father and the Son Jesus Christ; and you conscense will be void of offence towards God and man. Is not this a good man sisters, to whome you can look for advice and counsel. From this day never let passion rise in your hearts again, never let angery feelings arise in you again to provoke you to do wrong. Never suffer yourselves to speak evil of your neighbors, and be careful not to committ an act in this time or in the time to come that you will regrett, but let every day and hour of your time be so spent that you can look upon it with pleasure. Sisters I give you this mission, and I say to the brethren perform your labor in the kingdom of God faithfuly. We do not ask any person in this Church to pay tithing unless they are disposed to pay it,but we wish the saints to pay their tithing, we wish to have something to opperate with. We wish to rear the walls of our Temple, and finish it. You think shall we finish it? It is not my buisness, or yours, it is not for us to question the Almighty whether we shall finish it or not. I can tell you of two paths before us; if we are disposed to walk up to the line, and come up to the help of the Lord and do every thing required of us, for the building up of the kingdom of God, and rear up this temple we shall finish it. We will withhold our fellowship from those men who refuse to assist to preach the gospel, and rear temples. When men refuse to keep the commandments of the Iord, and walk humbly before him, if they are like currupt branch and unfruitful, sever that lime from the tree, and not let it die there, and become a conducter of deliterious elements to the very heart of the tree, and thus currupt the whole tree. Some here may recollect a dream I told you in Nauvoo, when Sidney Rigdon was there, after the death of Joseph. I had a little dream that spoke more than volumnes to me. I had a beautiful tree I thought, and I thought it was of the sugar maple variaty; it was a fine beautiful young thrifty tree. All at once a number of dead limbs came upon it. Some of these dead limbs were about the size of my little finger, and some were larger. I saw the rain, and wet running into the heart of the tree. I spoke to my freinds and said that tree must be trimedforthwith, or it will certianly be distroyed. And we trimmed it as clean as tho' it had just come out of a mould, and the tree flourished and grew beautifully. Those that will not keep the comnands of the Lord, and dispise his ways, sever them from the tree. I would like to have the people know truth and error for themselves;a great many do that which is seemingly <is> wrong, that perhapes is not so far wrong in their actions, as others realy are that will be called moral men, and there are others that are seemingly a great deal worse that never would injure the tree, but injure themselves.
But we wish those who profess to be the freinds of God to pay their tithing, when they pretend to pay it, and pay it like men of God, and when it comes into the hands of the Bishops, I do not wish them to smuggle it away, but render a strict and faithful account of their stewardship. Do I acuse the Bishops here perticularly? No. They are all alike. Many a bishop feels, "If I could eat it all up I would not let a bit of it go to the General tithing office. If their bellies were bigg enough, they would put every squash, every carrot, every Turnip, every pound of butter, all the beef and Mutton into them if they were to burst the next minute I am disposed not to bear this any longer. You have no doubt heard that we have got a missionary fund, we got twelve thousand dollars in a short time. We are going to send our Elders to the nations of the earth, and suport them at this end of the race, and stop their begging the people to death in a forign land. It has been all their boast to say which has got the most mony and clothing, and goods. The one who gets the most has been considered the most talanted man and the biggest toad in the puddle. I am sorry but there is not a soul of them who have done this but what will dwindle in insignificanse, and will become unknown, as tho' they never had been. The Elders that are now abroad if they continue to follow <up> in the of others that have been abroad heretofore, will lose their influence and power, and all the spirit and marrow in them will leek out of them; God will forsake them, and tell them if they are capable of managing hell fire you shall do, I will let them alone saith the Lord. I am now going to support our Elders, and support their families, and when they go out we callculate them to go out poor, and when they come home we callculate them to come home a little poorer than they started. We do not want their wives and children to suffer, we want them to be comfortable. When I returned from Missions, I never came home with carriages and horses, and goods, and chattles, it is true we are all but boys in this great work, but such men are perfect nobodies. I could name them and point out their paths, and could tell who commenced this kind of speculation, and where they are gone, but I shall not do this. I want to have the bishops understand if brother Walker here received five hundred dollars worth of young stock, we do not want old horses and mules turned upon us instead thereof. And when he receives mony we want the mony paid in. And here is <brother> Bishop Harrington and Bishop <H>Evens, We want him to do likewise, and not take the old stock and turn it into my yard, and keep the young thriving stoke that has been paid in on tithing for himself. Now visit not so bro. Evens (Bishop Evens, "I am sure I do not know")I can prove more bishops guilty of this than they want to have me prove if I should try. Turn the Young heifers into my yard, instead of that old cow that you want to turn out on tithing. This is done by the bishops dayly. They are ten thousand dollars in debt, five thousand dollars in debt, two thousand dollars in debt, fifteen thousand dollars in debt, and they cannot tell where it is gone, and have nothing to show for it to save them from hell. Here is brother Musser I am going to have him on the track of the bishops in this county. What have they done in England by them wonderful light, and the beautiful talants of the Elders, they have done nothing but cut off the members from the Church and <spend> fifty two thousand dollars has been foolishly spent by those poor lazy stinking Elders. How much have I received in four years? The manifesto read at the General Conference showes. Who has paid the debts of the Church, who has to build that temple, and see it built? If I have not got to manage the affair, and see that it is done, who has. I must have your mony. You that pay in mony tithing watch your bishop, and see that it goes to the General tithing office. Come down there, and inquire if your bishops have given you credit for so much cash. I shall not accuse anybody, but I want the bishops here and the people, either to pay your tithing or not pay it, do one of the other, I do not care which you do. I am perfectly able to build that temple myself God being my helper, and Good men and women, we can do without the help of poor scalliwaggs who are called latterdaysaints but are not. Excuse me but there is a great many of them. I do not know there are any here to <night> day nor care, but if they wont come to meeting they are looking after your stock and mine, but if there is any here just take that home to yourselves. There are a great many that have a name here who are nothing more than poor miserable curses, they will eat and drink and waste and distroy <&> everything they lay their hands on, but are never ready to put forth their hands to help to build up. I have talked about this enough. We have to labor and build up temples, until we can redeem and build up Zion, until we can gather the house of Isreal from the lands whither they have been driven -- labor until our hearts are santified, until God rules and reigns within us, and over us in every perticular, and guids us and we continually live under his influence day by day to prepare for the Celestial kingdom of our Father and God. Our natural lives are worth more to us than fine Gold. This is a subject I have reflected upon much. Some waste their time, talant, and lives. If a bishop walks humbly before his God, his life is more precious to him than fine Gold, if he sets that example, and deals in that way that is worthy of imitation, that he can say to his family and neighbors follow me. I can say to the Elders of Isreal, and to the most of the women old and young, if you knew if you knew the worth of your lives, the good you can do to prepare for the life that is to come, and to know how to continue this life when you are in a more happy state -- continue the life in a refined Celestial state-- preserve that to all eternity, is Gold to be compared to it-- the riches of this world? No. All the earth and its fullness is not to be compared which <for it> the worth and exelency of your natural lives. Let us honor them Let us deal uprightly both bishops and people, and walk humbly before God. You may think I am hard on you about tithing. The bishops think I am hard. Wont you just tell how we will get it sofned? I can tell you, fetch on your tithing, and let us have something to biggin with to build a temple, to bestow endowments in upon the people. Do you think this place is any poorer for building this meeting house? Is it not worth a great deal more? is not your property enhanced in value by it. I know it is. I can prove to any sane person the true philosophy of the earth, and the works of the people of the earth that the building up of Cities, and large public buildings increases the riches of every individual. If this people had built a meeting house six times larger than this and worth six times more they would have been six times more rich than they now are. We passed by American Fork. They have no meeting house or we would have stoped there. Let the people make good improvements, and plant out nice orchards, and try to live here, and then you will have plenty to go back to Jackson County with. But if you pinch yourselves up and do nothing, you will be as poor as the Gentiles, and they will not have as much as a bob sled. May the Lord bless you Amen.