1861 March 31 Remarks in the Salt Lake Tabernacle


1861 March 31 Remarks in the Salt Lake Tabernacle



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George D. Watt
Albert Carrington

extracted text

By President Brigham Young, Tabernacle, March 31 1861.
Reported by G.D. Watt.

When I look arround and behold the faces of my brethren and Sisters, I am lead to rejoice, I am made glad.
Not long since I was <looking over> reflecting, upon the travels of this Church, and my own experience in it. It appears but a <few days> short time since, when I was preaching with my brother Joseph Young, <that I> had a very deep anciety to see <some men -- some> some foreign born person, <that is> capable of bearing the gospel to their fellow creatures, come into this church, <besides those that were born in America.> One may exclaim, "that is very strange, for I thought this people were composed almost entirely of English <and the> Scotch, and <and the> Welsh, <and the Irish with a few> with a few Germans, Danes, Italians, Irish, and so on. I did not know <this people were Yankees or> that so many of this people were American born." It seems but <a few years <days> since but> a short time since <that in my deep anciet y to see the spirit of the Gospel spread to other countries Bro> my brother Joseph Young and myself became acquainted with an <a gentleman that was> Independent preacher from England; <he was an indeppendent preacher, an> I had a great desire for that man to receive the gospel, and said, <says I> that will prepare the way that this kingdom may be <bourn> borne to other nations. At this time this may appear singular, but I then had a constant desire <my disire was incessent> to see some foreign born person <man> receive the Gospel, <that could> and bear it to his native country. Perhaps you may <who was not American born. Now you would> think this strange, <perhaps> for many of <all> this congregation <I am now looking upon> are foreign born. A great variety of nations are represented in this Church <I do not know, but you may take the people and gather them together, and you will see them from almost every nation, some from uncivilized nations or communities; and the most of them from civilized nations and communities they are here and mingling with to day. It is a complicated> and persons from several different nations are assembled with us to day. This work <it> is a great curiosity; <it is most singular to see the proserity of the gospel> the prosperity of the gospel is singular and marvelous. It asstonishes the nations; it confounds the wise; and <is a sourse of> causes fear in the hearts of <to> high and low, noble and ignoble. What is the cause <reason> <cause> of <all> this? <can any one tell? Yes, Here is hundereds of men that can bear testimony to the truth of the fact, here is hundereds of Sisters right here who can bear testemony to the same fact. What is the cause of it? Compareing this work with the rise of the Gosel <in> the days of Jesus and the Apostles, <that> the people who <that> have embraced it can say, with those <that> who have carried it to the people, <the words> "For our gospel came not unto you in word only, but also in power, and in the Holy Ghost, and in much assurance; as ye know what manner of men we were among you for your sake". That is what has <done> caused it. This text, which br. <which brother> George A. Smith quoted this mmorning, is very aplicable <to> This Gospel is something more than mere superficial argument. I have beleived, for years, that argument has nothing to do with convincing and converting the peole. You <recollect that> remember a saying <with> in regard to argument and convincing the peopple: - "A man <compelled> convinced against his will, is of the same opinion still." <Then convert a person against their will, and they are of the same opinion still, and> This you canot help; <it> but when truth goes to the heart it affects the person, and he forsakes his faulse traditions in favor of the truth, <we leave our> then the Americans, <national feelings> the English, <leave their national> the Irish, <the> Scotch, <and the> Welsh, <the> French, <the> Germans, <and the> Italians, and <every> all other persons forsake their national feelings, assemble here <and here they assemble together> and become of one heart, and of one mind. <All together> Entirely so? No, you cannot expect <it> that yet; but it is so in the leading fundimental principles of life. In all <that> that pertains to those principles, <human and eternal life> whether of present or future life, they become one, <they> see eye to eye, are of one heart and mind; their faith, <and> feelings, <and> affections, and efforts are all <are> concentratead in <the> gathering <of> the nations of the earth, and saveing <of> them, spiritually? Yes. <and> politicaly? Yes. Moraly? Yes; and in every other sense that can be named in preaching the gospel, <and> gathering the Saints, <and> building up the kingdom of God on the earth, and reareing for the reign of Christ. These are what I call the fundimental principles of life, both the life that now is, and the life that is to come -- eternal life. <What do you think of it English brethren, Scotch brethren, and every other one?
Can you imagine yourselves back to the time when there was not a <member> person in this Church, except a few Americans? As far as I <know> remember, I do not think there was a foreign born member in the Church, until long <and long> after I begun to preach<ed> this gospel. As br. <Brother> George A. Smith remarked, <said to day in his remarkes> if all people had <have> been as free in their feelings to receive the <gospel> truth as those now before me, <We can gaze on now> the whole world would ere this have been converted; I alone have done enough preaching <myself todo> to accomplish this, <and I can pick up> and so, perhaps, have scores and hundreds of <men> the Elders <that can say have, I can say nothing about the residue of the Elders of Isreal> In this connection <and> there is an item of doctrine, <and> faith, beleif, and practice that <you> the Elders should understand, <one that all should who are> especially those whose duty call<ed> them to preach. <and where a man's duty calles him to preach as the first Elders were obliged to preach> When are they clean from the nations when ready to have their feet washed, and receive the blessings of the house of God? When the<ir> diligence of those who <that> have heard them is equel to their own, and not until then. "Jesus said to <his disciples>, Peter, He that is washed, needeth not save to wash his feet, but is clean every whit. An ye are clean, but not all. For he knew who should betray him: therefore said he, ye are not clean," alluding to Judas Iscariet. There is no necessity for <need to> dweling upon this point. <There is a good many things upon my mind I would like to notice.>
It is my delight to contemplate the progress of the gospel on the earth. <As brother Heber says, "it is my pride" I rather think it is mine, If I have any pride as we use the term> I have a great taste for neatness, <I have a great taste> for beauty, for order, and would cary it out all the time, <I am orgonized for order> if I could have my own way and not be confused by others and surounding circumstances. I have a great delight in seeing all creatures <everything that pertains to the creaters of the kingdom of> God <which he> has made and created stand in their order, in their beauty, and exelency, and exhibit the fullness of the disign of their creation. I have a delight in this, <it may be called vanity or pride, I do not know nor care, but if I have any pride I say it is my cheif> and also have great joy and delight <to> in seeing the Saints gather from the nations; <and> and yet when <I look back> I reflect, it seems only a few days, <how> since my soul was drawn out with a fervent desire to hebold some person in this Chruch <that> who could cross the ocean and bear the gospel to <this own> his native land, <and cross the water> or be sent <or go> to other nations. I had the priviledge of crossing the ocean to <the> preach the gospel, and I now have the priviledge of <now of sending> calling upon my brethren to go and do likewise, and I continue to increase in this priviledge. <for they> The Saints are coming from the east, from the west, from the North, and from the South. As Isaiah says, "I will say to the north, give up, and to the south keep not back, bring my sons from afar, and my daughters from the ends of the earth; even every one that is called by my name: for I have createad him for my glory; I have formed him Yea, I have made him." Are they not comeing? They are, some with handcarts, and in various ways. <Now> And the time will come when they will <come on> be brought, for an offering unto the Lord, out of all nations, upon horses, and in chariots- and in litters, <and upon mules> and upon swift beasts, as the children of Isreal <bring> brought an offering in a clean vessel into the house of the Lord. Some of our Elders <will> may tell you that this refers to <Iron> Well it> iron horses; this is immaterial to me for I do not care how the <thing> work is accomplished, if the disigns of the Lord are carried out. <the means is> to me it matters but little <difference to me> whether the<y> people come with steam trains, or ox trains, or Mule trains; they <people> are gathering, and they will gather, and no power <can hinder it. What do you think of it? You think as I do. No power> this side of heaven can hinder it. This work <it> will role on, until the disigns of the Almighty are <shall be> fulfiled. <Now spoking at this people>.
Brother George A., in his remarks, <has> referred to the poor, starving inhabitants of Kansas. I smile <to day it make me laugh> at their foly and nonsense. I may be mistaken, but I beleive the starvation sensation was got up almost if not <quite entirelly> for altogether <is is entirely for a> political purposes and effect. -- <all these long columes filled up with the editors. I can tell you what the Lord can do, he can make you starve to death when you have plenty in the larder. Have you ever seen anybody starve to death in a cook shop? I have. The Lord can make> Still the Lord can cause the nations to starve to death when <with> their graneries, <are full and their> sellers, <full> and <their chambers> other store rooms are full, and their cattle are roaming through their feilds, <and yet they will starve to death> Is this possable? Yes. <Make the comparrison> What do you see, in many instances? <Why the people> Some have <the dispepsy to that degree that they> the dyspesia so severely that their stomachs cannot <receive a morsel of> digest the food <in their stomachs. You see people that have> they receive. Others fevers,-- a consuming influence -- within them <until> to a degree that their systems are not nourished by <cannot receive> food. <Did you ever see anybody like this?> Have you seen persons in these conditions? Yes. When <we think> they talk about the people of Kansas 'starving to death, they might as well talk about a healthy person's <it is like a woman's> starveing <to death> in a well <filled buttery, and the man in the butchers and bakers shops> supplied lardor.
Can you starve this people to death? No. <They> Our enemies may try to do it until doomsday, and they cannot. You <When you look at this subject you> may take <so many> a given <a given> number of people from Missouri <our, and the people in> and Kansas, and give them three times the strength of team we had when we started to come to these vallies, and they cannot <if they die> bring provisions enough to last them until they can raise more <it> But we could come with hipped horses, poor and lame <and> oxen, <with only three servicable legs> and old and rickety <and> waggons, <with one weel, and that rotten, and we had to> and bring our plows, <and our> harrows <draggs, and> seed gran, <and bread stuff and> provisions, <and> household furniture, <and> clothing, and daintires. May trailed along with one waggon and two oxen, and <here they are in this plight comeing> came into the wilderness to raise their provisions. Our enemies thought, <just> "as sure as the <peole stope> "Mormons" stop in <this great basen> the Great Basin the deserts of America --they are "gone in", and that will be the end of "Mormonism"; and we will feast, and rejoice in singing and dancing over their distruction." Can they starve us to death? No. The Lord can prepare <the apetite of every man that they can eat> our stomachs to digest raw hides, <and> and old shoes. <and digest them> The Lord prepared the stomachs of this people to <eat> digest greens, roots, <and> raw hides, etc., and <live on it a little of that or nothing and have> upon that food he blest them with strength and power to raise grain and perform the other labors devolved upon them. Was <is> there no miracle in all this? Was <it> not the hand of the Lord <not> observable in all this? Did the people see it? Some did, about as much they saw His hand in our move South. What could they see? Only the hand of Brigham Young. They could see the land of what they called tyrants, and that is all they could see; but they will see more than that before they get through.
<Scare this People? No. But when we talk about going to the West, alow me to say> I will here remark that we have gone west just far enough <to the west> Can they drive us any farther? No, we can not go <another inch> any farther westward; we <We> have come to the end of our journey in our western traveles. When <we> the Pioneers came here, <that is the pioneers> we met brethren from Callifornia <that> who had gone round <the> Cape Horn in the ship Brooklyn". There was one brother there by the name of fromn Springfeild, Illinoi, who <he> had Nine thousand bushels of wheat ready for us. The brethren and sisters, who went round on the Brooklyn, <were accommodated. They> liked the country, and wanted us to go <west> there. "No", <says> I said to their representative, "When we get into the worst place we can find, there we will stop. The most undisirable spot for the wicked and ungodly is where I am going to stop and raise saints." I knew as well then as I now know what the effect would be, and what would be the feelings and impulse of the nation. Do they love righteousness now? No, no more than they used to. They do not love us <you nor I> any better than they loved Joseph Smith. <If they had us on the pacific, where they could blow down our garden walls.> They brought here twelve big guns, which they called "Twelve Apostles" <here that is twelve big guns, with> to blow <down> down my garden walls. If <If they had us> we were on the banks of the Mississippi;, or on the shores of the Pacific <how they could have given us hail Columbia> we would be in easy The Lord brought us here and I am thankful we are here. Though chastisement is not agreeable to our feelings. As the Apostle says, "Now no chastening for the present seemmeth to be joyous, but grievous: nevertheless afterward it yieldeth the peacable fruit of righteousness unto them which are exercised thereby." Everyone of our driveing, and <transactions;> persecutions gives us an advantage, and places us in positions that we can see was disirable, that we of our own wisdom could not have devised, Yet The Lord has by persecution suffered our enemies to drive us into this position We are here now through all these persecution, and I thank the Lord for it. I feel just as I did when Captain Vanvlete came here wanted to know if he could get this and that for the army, and was all the time teasing me. "Governor Young how many men do you think <you> we have here? depend upon it we have enough to defend our homes, and if they come here to interrupt us, they shall find desolation and nothing else. And every man that would not have moved south or anywhere we told them we would have left them as houseless as the birds that are out of the nest at three days old. We search the scriptures and keep before us certian passages. It is better that a few apostates should perish No. "Nor consider that it is expedient for us that one man should die for the people and that the whole nation perish not," I would read it is better that a few apostates get interupted than to have the whole <nation> family of God distroyed from the earth. Consequently we attend to the buisness ourselves. "How many men have you got Governor Young" More than we want, we have no use for the half of them. "Well" says he, "the government are afraid of you, you are located on the high-way between the Atlantic and the pacific oceans, and the government fears you. How would it do for you to go to Sonora?" Says I we will go there, when we get ready. After much conversation, I summed it by telling him that the Lord had lead this people and "you think you have driven us, so you have but it has been through the will and pleasure of him who dictates the nations of the earth. Says I we are here. When president Poke found we were going to locate in this place, says he Colnal will they locate in the great basin?" I know they will. He brought his hand down on the Colnals knee saying that is the key of the American Contenant Then we have got it? We have, what are we going to do with it? Keep it, I am going to carry it in my pocket all the time. It is the key of the Contenant and they will secede from us, and we will hold the government, and when we get ready we will anaxe them one after another until we bring back the Government as it should b e, not as it has been. "But can you withstand all this force and influence that is against you" says he, "for there is more than an hundered thousand men that have volenteered their services to come against you." More the better says I. "If you distroy your houses what are you going to do?" We are going into the Wilderness as we came here. Where are you going to locate? Anywhere, we are going to stop wherever night overtakes us. "How are you going to live?" says I. If a hundred thousand men are comeing here to fight us, shall they not bring along something to eat? Yes, and as long as they have plenty we shall have plenty too. "Do you think you can defend yourselves. Says I, I want to tell you one thing, and you may write it in your journal, that the Latter daysaints is on the backbone of the old animal and we will rake it from head to tail at our pleasure, and we will never go from here until we are disposed to. We are here, and if we had not left this tabernacle, and had not taken up our goods and left our houses, and consented to have made the sacrifice, you and I would not have been here to day. That I know. All this I saw when Samual Branan met us on Green River. Now we are here, I may say through the mercy of the Lord; it is his goodness, he delights in our doing right, and in being his children, in our being obedient; he delights, in the good acts and good feelings of every man and woman, whose hearts are fully set in them to do right, and to build up the kingdom of God on the earth; he owns them and blesses them. In the midst of all this, let me give you a word that may console you, do expect to see perfection? Does our Father in heaven expect you and I to be perfect as he is in his sphere. I tell you he doese not perfection cosists simply in the perfection of the person as they are, and as they will be. You and I are in the midst of all the weaknesses, ignorance, blindness, unbeleif, darkness and every trait of character that is induced by the enemy through the fall, and are as subject to do evil as the sparks fly upward. We are just as prone to wander, to do evil, and do that we should not do according to our nature in the <flesh> fall as the sparks are to fly upward. How long is this to continue? Until we get through with this probation. You cannot find a promice made or hint given that any man or woman is to be santified in the flesh. No but the grave cleanses, and purifies the flesh, and it is for us to santify the spirit, overcome the body, and prepare for a glorious resurrection. Then the body comes up as pure as the spirit. How many times I have been questioned with regard to Elijah and Enoch and his City. You will learn more about them by and by. You know where they went to, and and the disign of their going away; although my remarkes may be disconected no matter. You see it is the power of truth; every person who has eyes to see can see that it is the power of the truth that binds forigners and makes them one, the middle wall of pitition is taken away, we have become one in our faith, in our disires, and in our efforts. In every respect? No not by any means; I could come to our deal walk, talk, doings, avocations of life, and I could show you that we are far from being one. When sall we be? After a while. We shall find ignorance and folly among them the people just as long as a gentile or anybody will give five sixpences for a bushel of wheat they will be filled with imperfections. You are not half as wise as the children of this world, were they in our situation, and two dollars per bushel was offered them for wheat, they would say you cannot have it, wait until it is tendollars per bushel. Are the people wise, not by any means in these things; are they of one heart and mind by no means <in these things> or those threads that tie us to the ungodly would have been severed long ago If the people had been wise in their deal, in their practices, these threads that tie you to the frivolous rags that is brought here, you and I would have cut them apart, and let them go, and we would have made ourselves rich, and instead of giveing all to our enemies, we would have heaped up treasures of wealth, to send out our Elders to preach the gospel, and gather the poor saints, instead of spending our substance for Naught in those things that are useless to us. In this we are not wise. But in the gathering of the house of Isreal, and building up of Zion we are of one heart and mind in the main. And we are comeing to wisdom and knowledge, and understanding, we are gaining,and by and by we will be one in all things. "We shall have common stock then shall we"? Yes if it is common stock they havein heaven, so we will have it on the earth. This is a subject that the people could not understand They understand what they common stock, or being of one heart and mind and having all things common as it is written here. "And all that beleived were together, and had all things common, and sold their possessions and goods, and parted them to all men as every man had need." Neither was there any among them that lacked, for as many as were possessors of lands or houses sold them, and brought the prices, of the things that were sold, and laid them down at the apostles' feet; and distribution was made unto every man according as he had need".
In this way all things became common with the people anciently. It is a contracted idea as it stands in the New Testament It is a isolated idea, it is no connected. I have not seen the man that could harmonize the words of life the idea of people's living like brutes, Yes they do, and like brutes they will die. Thousands and millions of the inhabitants of the earth are just like what the poet says, "like brutes they live like brutes they die, aparently like grass they florish, until the breath of the Almighty blasts them in everlasting death, they will become like the grass that is prepared for the oven. We will pass that by, and all that pertains to the fulfilment of prophecy, the hastening of the latter day work as many of the brethren say it is esstablished, but to see the rapidity with which the Lord is performing his work is strange work is wonderful. Let our hearts be filled with kindness, and inasmuch as any person no matter who they are if they will receive the gospel spare no pains to bring <forth> life to them, and secure them if possable in the pails of life. Do everything you can to benifit the people. They must have their choice, and they chose darkness rather than light because their deeds are evil. Every man that wishes to leave this people and the kingdom of God they afe as much at liberty to chose death as you and I have to chose life.
They must have that choice God has planted that power within them, and he will not rob them of it. Let those that wish <to> remain, and be faithful, and be filled with the spirit, and power of their religion. You delight in that man, and in that woman, though they labor diligently every day but it is no matter what time you call upon them if you speak of their religion, they are full of it to overflowing. No matter whether they are digging in the feild, or working at the joiners bench, or it may be a woman in the wash tub, or in the parlor, or the brethren in the Canyon. Speak of it and it is the word of life we bring to you and all the inhabitants of the earth, it is the power of God to every one that beleives. They are full of it, we delight in them, and the Lord delights in them. I wish there was more of them.
I will not take up more of your time now.