1860 October 27 Afternoon Remarks in Provo


1860 October 27 Afternoon Remarks in Provo



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George D. Watt

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BY President Young, Provo. Oct 27th, 1860 P. M.
Reported by G. D. Watt.

I feel proud of this desk. (speak ironically) I wish the boys would come into the <meet> house after the meeting, and carry it out between two sticks. I think it is about eleven years since I first into this neighborhood to talk to the saints. I do not know but this desk is a little better than I found then, but I do not think it is much better. I think this room is a little larger than you had then, but I do not think it looks any more respectable, not one partical and here are the latterday Saints that is to improve the world, and to redeem this earth from the sin that is upon it --from the corruption the hatered, and malice, and wrath-- and to beautify it, and make the place of his feet <glorious> who rules in the heavens glorious. I do not think we are improveing here very fast (shaking the old desk) When we consider what is expected at the hands of the Latterdaysaints, when we see that their own experience leads them right forth into the redemtion of the whole earth from the effects of sin, and to see at the same time the path they walk in it is a little marvolous. Is it not possible for this people after all their experence for them to take hold and handle the things of this world to improve and beutify the earth without loveing it. Is this not possable? I think it is. In this case the Lord would surely make us rich. He But he never will bestow the wealth he has for his saints, until they can use all these things to his names glory, and not lust after them for one moment only to promote the kingdom of God upon the earth. You have had an experience here for a few years past. You know I feel some times like complaining, I find fault with the people. I chasten them; I tell them the truth, with regard to their conduct, and their feelings. Now for instance supose this fall three dollars per bushel was offered for wheat at <the> Camp Floyd. How much do you suppose would be put into the tithing Office, for building the temple, which we wish to commence next spring? There is one here, and another there would bring in the wheat a tenth part of it and put it in the Tithing Office. Do you supose we would get one bushel to a hundered? No. Right in the midst of these latterdaysaints if we should get one bushel to a thousand it would be as much as we could get. But supose our wheat would not bring anything, and they would not buy it, and they would give fifty Cents per pound for butter and cheese, how much of these articalls would they put in the Tithing Office? Not much. These remarkes does not apply to this place alone but to the mass of Latterday Saints. You may go right to the seat of Government, to the nucleus that is formed for the people to gather to Salt Lake City. I do not suppose there is one pound of butter to ten thousand pounds that is made, that is good butter. They pay in that that is stale, sour, this may come into market.-- I have hardly had the pleasure of a good peice of butter to my lips since that cursed Army came here. I hardly seen a peice of cheese fit for a pig to eat, with a very few exceptions since that army came here. Let the people look at themselves, and is it not a marvel. The Lord has said in the Latterdays he would work a marvolous work and a wonder, is this it. I will tell you what else he says, he said he would exhibit the hearts of the children of men, and probe them to the center, and make them manifest what is in them. To me it is indeed marvolous, that men and women that have forsaken their homes, and traveled two, three, five, seven, nine, forteen thousand miles to gather with the saints, and yet the least wind adverse to their feelings will turn them aside from the Holy Commandments of the Lord. This is marvolous to my eyes, and understanding; it is one of the most marvoulous things I was ever obliged to think of
Well there are ten thousand things, which present themselves that are connect with this one way and the other. The disposition of the people, their former traditions etc all come up before me, the talants they possess, and the ability which each one has within them, their natural gifts, and the stability and firmness of charracter that each one has, all this is presented to me.
I do not judge others by myself, I do not wish to mesure others in my measure. If I did I would say right upon this point that I do not care what hell came here for, I have found out Mormonism to be true, and I will support that in spite of all hell, and feed that and nothing else; and if I do not enjoy the spirit of it, I would stick to it purely because of my good gritt, and not turn away to the right or to the left, nor hold fellowship with the ungodly. There is some such in our community if they do not enjoy the spirit of their religion, they will not turn away from it, nor foster anybody that does not belong to it purely out of gritt, which is that determined feeling to support I know to be right. This is not so with the people generally. I told one man here a few years ago, when he was living here palavering arround a set of damnedest set of of curses upon the earth pretending to preach Mormonism, but I told him he did not know the difference between a Mormon and the devils with whome he associated; such men do not know their right hands from their left with regard to the things of God. To live year after year, and not a meeting house here. Who built this barn of a place? I supose one of the cursedest fools that ever lived. Provo is one of the best and richest places in all the Territory for water wood, and soil. What have I seen since the people have come here? They acted the first year they came here as tho' they wanted to distroy every stick of timber on the banks of this river, they cut down hundereds of cords to be flooded off the next spring, or put fire to it burn it off for fear their neighbors would get it. My eyes have seen this. What else have I seen, from the time this settlement commenced here? We come up here sunday to hold meeting, and what do we see? <and here> A horse race got up on sunday, pitching Quoits, playing ball, gambling in their waggons when they had not a house to live, and this they would do from Monday morning to saterday night. That has been here all the time. That is why I talk about this (shaking the old desk with violence). Here in Provo, one of the finest places the Lord Almighty ever created for saints; and see how they live here. Where have you come from? From the United States, from England, from Irland, from from Germany, from Switserland, Scandinavian, from the islands of the sea, and perhapes some from South Africa, and some from the pacific Islands in the Indian Ocean have come here to be Saints, to cultivate the earth, purify our hearts, ween our affections from the world, learn how to build up Zion; how to overcome our own dispositions, and the world and bring all under subjection to the law of Christ. But what do we find quarelling contention, drinking whiskey, and makeing it. Men will come arround me, and say "I want to sell <a little> whiskey to get a little bread for my starving family. I will make a comparrison It appears to me if the City Counsel were in duty bound to give a license to a man to get his bread in this way they are also in duty bound to pass an act compeling the people to buy it, and their children, and thus force the poisonous cup to their neighbors lips, and so they I know question is asked, bro. Brigham have you never made any whiskey? Yes I have one of the best stils in this Territory. Have I made a partical since this army commenced to come here? No and shant until the day of judgement until I need it and can controle it. I never permitted any to be made only for the use and benifit of the people. Some have been for tieing up the mouths of the people so the shall not drink I never was in favor of this course, only in case of our not being agents to ourselves. If I keep a bottle containing spirits to mix with a little camphor to wash my body with, or to administer to any of my family that may be sick I am not obliged to drink it, neither are you. It is good for the washing of the body, and for medicine to apply in many cases of sickness, and in health. I do not wish a law made making it finable for a person making a drop of liquor, neither do I wish to give license to sell it to a man to drink it. The City Counsel met last night to find out if they had power to give license . I see grog shops, and liquor vaults, and hell vaults all over. A number of the brethren have gone to their graves before their time through liquor, and a number more are going. They will drink and will make beasts of themselves if they can. If I was a wife to a such a man, I would put whiskey in every thing he eat, in every potatoe I boild forhim and in every cake. If I made coffee or tea for him I would put whiskey in it, and he should not eat and drink again without eating and drinking whiskey until he would be glad to let it alone. I am looking at the people and seeing how wise they are, and what controle they have over themselves. The people will do anything in the world for their religion except live it day by day; This will not apply to all, a great many of the latterdaysaints are living their religion according to the best of the knowledge. Bro. Hyde was speaking about prayr this morning. Let the man that does not feel like praying in the morning down upon his knees, let him say "John: get down upon your knees sir before your God, for I am boss and open your mouth and say, "O Lord God forgive me for my miserable weakness, and for all my sins "I would repeat the words for him and make him say them after me. I would say have mercy O Lord God upon poor miserable me, and I would make him say his prayrs morning noon and night
And I would not suffer him to take the name of his God in vain. How many is there that do that? In my travels through this Territory from the time we first came into it until now, you may go to the house of a man presiding over a neighborhood, you may go into the house of a bishop, and I do not supose I have met with one to five that prays in their families, president or bishop. Once in a while I will find those who do have prayrs, whether they do it when I am not there or not I do not know, and those that I find do not pray when I am with them, I do not know whether they do it or not when I am not with them. They may say "When you are with us we leave you to guide and dirrect. I do notwish to infringe upon your rights. There is not a man that can say when I entered his house I ever took the lead of his afairs. I am a only waiting the dictates of the Master of the house and I honer him in his place as I wish to honor him and my God. If they ask me to pray, I pray and if they ask me to ask a blessing I do it. and if not I go to bed without as far as he knows.
I pray in fair weather, when there is no storm and when it is stormy I work I do not care whether you pray or not, you are the master of the house and it shall be done according to your dictation. When I am at home I know all about this, I never suffer myself to lay down on my bed without prayrs, and I never suffer myself to go on the buisness of the day without calling my family together and having prayrs, if I am able to. And if I do not feel like making Brigham go down on his marrow bones, and honer his God, and not take his name in vain. A continuation of faithfullness to our duties, I know brings the blessing I know as I know the sun shines if this people will be faithful to their religion, and honer their God, and their own being the riches of eternity belongs to them, and the riches of allthe world is theirs and they will enjoy it through their faithfulness, and no good thing will be with held from them if they walk uprightly. When you complain of poverty it is because of the abscense of faithfulness. How many there is that stumbles and falls. And see how many there is that will obtain property from their neighbors, and not think of paying for it, it is your disposition to wrong a little here, and there, and take the advantage of your neighbors. This must all be done away == it must cease from the midst of this people, and they must go to work and adorn themselves, and the earth, and prepare for the coming of the son of man. How often have you heard me say you ought to build up this place, as though you expected to stay here in time and in eternity,and as tho' it was the only place you ever expect to inhabit. If you are faithful to you God, and he wishes you to remove from this place he will take you to a better. We ought to adorn, set out trees, make substantial fences. I do not think there has been much improvement made for a few years past in this place. Build you a good meeting house. I gave the priviledge years and years ago for the Brethren to bestow labor tithing to build a meeting house. Build your school houses, You ought to have seven or eight school houses in this City, and hire your school teachers, and pay them well, faithfuly and generously Give the brethren and sisters who teach your children a living with you. Teach your children, and bring them up in the way they should go, and when they are old they will not depart from it; but as it is now we bring up our children and away they go, some to Callifornia, some to the states, some to carrying the mail, and to this that and the other, and a portion will stay at home and work with their parents, and do as they ought to do; and some are taking pains to herd our calves, not so much by day as by night; and here is a devilish mess of them, this is one of the greatest places for theiving in all the settlements in this Territorys of this Provo River. I is a place that offers facilities to hide, and shade, and deceive. What should be done with them? Righteousness should be laid to the line, or judgement to the line and righteousness to the plummet. Dont you think we shall have judge Eccles and crusade here again? They have proved themselves a set of poor miserable fools. That is all they did, the whole concern of them, and somewhere in the neighborhood of fifty five millions of money was expended to obliterate Mormonism from the earth, and they have succeeded in hanging one poor miserable gambler that followed them here, and it is all they have done. They turned a few theives loose upon the society, and have not succeeded in hanging either you or me! and no man had they power to destroy only a poor miserable gambler called Furguson, and to accomplish this payed out fifty five millions of dollars. A man went down east, and when he came back, said God favors big guns and armies. I would fight them if I had to fight them alone, until there was not as much left of them as was left of the Killkenney cats, the last that Joseph Smith saw of them was the ends of their tails. God is on our side; and he will rend them to peices, and put them to the sword, and that by one another. They have tried to lie your bishops, and presidents into the Alter. What are you going to do with them? Let judgement be laid to the line and righteousness to the plummet, and sweep away the refuge of lies. Will they send another judge here? Who cares if they do. If the adjudicate in righteousness we will honor the law, and magnify it; but to do as they have let theives run at large, I do not want to talk about it. You brethren and sisters that have followed their tracks one inch remember you do not have my fellowship in so doing. I do not hate them in one sense of the word, and in another I do, I am angery with them. I would do them good to the uttermost if they would let me, and they would do me evil to the uttermost if they had the power. I would save them from their errors and sins, yet they would distroy me if they had the power, and that is the difference.
Righteousness they will hate--the whole world is at war with the kingdom of God upon the earth, and yet we as latter daysaints seem determined to act like fools == like niddy noddies--like a set of mere babies. Rise up in your strength and be men of God, and live your religion-- love your God and serve him, and be proud of your religion, and own it wherever you are. It is the only thing on the face of the earth worth the prid of the hearts of mortal beings. God has placed in us a certian portion of his own divinity, and his kingdom, and Glory, and name is the only thing that is worthy of our attention. Just think the Lord has called you from your native land to be associated together and learn how to oer become the evil disposition that is within us through the fall, and santify the Lord in our hearts, be proud to be numberd with the Saints, honored <with> our God and our religion. Build you a good meeting house, good school houses, and make yourselves comfortable and happy, and adorn your City, for you have one of the most beautiful places in the earth, or in these mountians. There is not a man that apostatises but wants to leave these mountians. I defy any man in the United States to lead you to a country as easy to live in as this. There is not a man here or that ever lived in a country that produces the comforts of life, and as many luxeries, and with as much ease to the people, and with the same amount of laber that can be produced in these vallies; and yet there is something that is very repulsive and forbidding to every apostate and gentile, and that is the Lord Almighty and his cause, it is not the soil and the water, and the Climate. There is not another man on the earth that I have any knowledge of that a man can live more easy in that here. Go into the American bottoms, into the rich vallies of the Mississippi <into> or Missouri, or Illinoi, Virginia or the State of New York, Ohio, or Penselvania, Georgia or Florida, can you live in any of those places with the same ease and comfort? No. You have there to carry the fever and ague 7, 8, and 9 mounths in the year; you have to be buring up your children and you family is sick, and you are in pain and distress, and not many places can rise the comforts of life, but you can here. Can you raise wheat there? Go into any of the States, and what can you do there? They are rich and have the luxeries of life, but have they to work for them? To my certian knowledge men will labor in their corn feilds, hoe their corn and till a few acres, three and four and five times over, and take all the pains possable to harvest it, and whate do they get <for it> Six bushels to the acre, they will sow a bushel of wheat to the acre and often not get more than three pecks, and sometimes two bushels and three bushels to the acre. They can raise a little rye in some <par> parts of the Country. What can you and I do? Go and plow up the ground that has bourn wheat ten years, and we gather from forty to sixty bushels per acre, and in those countries I have mentioned they have to spend eight times the labor on the land, and get only two or three bushells. You take the American bottoms, and you can get hog and hominy, and thirteen months <of thew> year in fever and ague. The have to hurry in the corn that they may have time to have the ague, and get the boards ready expecting to bury some of the family. Trace up and down the Mississippi bottom, and you will not find as many children to fifty millions of people there as you will to a thousand here. This is the best country in the world to raise children, and Saints, and to build up the kingdom of God on the earth.
Now do not deceive yourselves, and think you are going to have the kingdom of God without laboring for it. Being baptised, receiving your endowments etc is not going to prepare you for the Celestial kingdom, every man and woman has got to work dilligently, and promote the Kingdom of God with all their ability, or they will be found wanting.
May the Lord bless you Amen.