1861 June 22 Afternoon Discourse in Springville


1861 June 22 Afternoon Discourse in Springville



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John V. Long

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By President Brigham Young, Springville, Saturday Afternoon, June 22, 1861.
(Reported By J. V. Long)

I have a great many things to day and I wish you to profit by them. When br. Woodruff remarked that just so long as the devil lives he will oppose the saints, the question came to my mind "How long will he live"? I tell you the time is coming when he will not live. I will ask a question in a quaker style, that is answer one by asking another. Wno is this formidable foe? Is it not him that claimed the birthright, and claimed to be the Savior of the world? ls it not him that rebelled in heaven against the Savior, against the Father and the Son? ls it not him that was cast out of heaven and down to the earth?
ls he not the opposer and accuser of the brethren that is constantly bringing accusations to the father? ls he not the common opposer of Jesus? What would you say of him? Why, that he is the very old devil. Now don't you know that Jesus is going to destroy death and him that has the power of it.
Now I am going to stop here at present. Suffice it to say that he is the one who was cast down, and who was said to be born in eternity to come to an earth.
Some of the brethren were conversing about giving commandments to people and then them apostatizing, and they were asking what would become of them. Why we are making devils for our own use. By and bye we are going to making earths, and when you see people aposttizing who have received all the keys and power of the priesthood, you may know what will become of them. Then when they have done their work they will be destroyed; then others will be made and when they have done their work they will go out of existence; then others will come and act, and so on, and that is all the sermon I am now going to preach about it.
I am going to refer to br. Kimball's remarks. There will be a discourse published in a short time, that alludes to the same things; and I will explain a little that he did not.
The Bishop has the power and authority over every man in his ward, in his moral religion. The Bishop can take a man up and cut him off for stealing, or defiling his neighbor's bed, an <have> Apostate, High Priest, or anybody else; but when we come to the doctrine of the kingdom of God, the Bishop cannot handle that; that is a matter that is handled by the High Priesthood. The Bishop acts as a father, a ruler and dictator in temporal matters, but when we come to the doctrine of the Kingdom of God that is handled by the superior or greater priesthood. The lesser is blessed of the greater; and I suppose you can understand that.
Well I will explain that <you> the Bishop, the High Priests and others need not be mistaken. Now, for instance, go a little further with regard to the meetings. We will say that we have a mass quorum meeting, and the Bishop has a meeting appointed for Saturday night. The members of the mass quorum say to the Bishop, we have a meeting of our quorum; we would like to attend your meeting, but we cannot. The Bishop wants to repair the streets, to build a house. Well, the High Priests have a kind of quorum and organization; they are ordered to meeting. And the Elders have a quorum, and their priesthood is higher than that under which the Bishop is acting, for he is set apart to and acts in the lesser priesthood. Now Elders, you go to your meeting, and the result is that the Bishop gets a few sisters to meeting, and all the rest are at their quorum meetings; and the Bishop wants men to get some timber, or to do other public work. Now he holds perfect control, and if the High Priests have a meeting they should postpone it and attend to the call of the Bishop.
Now this is what br. Kimball was alluding to, and I will say that in this capacity you must all attend to the business of the ward. You Seventies, say to each other, the Bishop has a meeting, we will omit our meeting to night; we will have it to-morrow night; and it should be so with all these quorums, and then attend to their own affairs afterward. Other Meetings are for fellowship, to instruct each other in the holy ordinances of the priesthood.
Well now, you can see that the Bishop holds perfect control, by the lesser priesthood. And understand now, and don't say as a man did when I went to Bishop Miller's Ward, "how can a Bishop lay hands on to bless a child, or, to confirm a person into the Church?" He could not see that he had to be ordained a High Priest to receive the Bishopric, and that he was a High Priest to rebuke, to encourage, to strengthen, to chasten, to build up, and to act in every capacity as a High Priest. Notwithstanding this is so plain, yet <Bishop> Miller wanted a long explanation of it.
A Priest can baptize, but not confirm, and he can either baptize as a Bishop or a High Priest. An Elder is an appendage to the Melchizidec priesthood, and he can confirm.
Well, how can a Bishop lay on hands? Is he a High Priest? Yes. Well then he can baptize as Bishop or High Priest, and then when he has baptized the people he goes by the authority of the High Priesthood and officiates in the ordinance of laying on of hands, and says, receive ye the Holy Ghost.
Well now, I want to say a few things more upon temporal affairs. When this subject is named the brethren are very ready to rise up and say, br. Brigham, you have no right to control our temporal affairs. But I say I have. Some people are so foolish as to think that we cannot go one step nor touch one thing without infringing upon their temporal affairs, and their privileges. We have many temporal acts connected with our religion. You cannot go into the waters of Baptism without performing a temporal act, officiating in a temporal point of view. Don't you see this? Some that all that is required of them is to be spiritual in and of themselves, and that that will save them. I can tell you that people can believe and continue to be believe till they are damned. Devils believe and tremble. AIl people that have any reasonable degree of knowledge believe and in fact they know Jesus to be the Christ. The devil knew when the child was born in Bethelehem that Jesus was the Christ, or he never would have said -- Herod, take the child.
Now, I am ready to argue it. I say that not only my own talent, but that of the best men belongs to this kingdom and should be used for its advancement and upbuilding; I also say that all our means of whatever quality and kind belongs to this kingdom. Well br. Brigham, we believe it. I know you do but you plaguey hate to have it so. I would not undertake to change it and have it otherwise than as it is. The Lord knows best how to distribute his; he send the Spirit among his people as seemeth him good, and does not let them have too much at once. If many of us were the Lord Almighty we should be apt to give the people that which would damn them, for the people in their ignorance do not know how to use or appreciate the gifts and bounties of the Almighty. If we rightly understood our position we should have our whole interest in the kingdom of God, temporal and spiritual.
If I could have had my own way when the Army was here, I would have taken millions of dollars of gold out of the coffers of the Government, and I would have given it to this people; yes I could easily have taken millions where only thousands was got by the people. But by undertaking to forestall one another they got nothing compared with what they might have done if good management had been looked to in time, and the counsel given observed. Now here is where I stop and allow room for a dash, as you find in language.-- It is no use talking about it, for the people will not obey counsel in regard to their temporal concerns.
Let any body find a gold mine near by here and it would destroy the people. Then if this be their condition, don't tell them to hold on to their grain till they can get their price for it, because they will not be controlled, so long as they remain in their presence ignorance. I have known for years where there is gold in these mountains. Then why do you not discover it? Because I know what will be for the good of this people. Why do you want to take money out of the coffers of the government of the United States? Because I want to make the people rich without corrupting them, and I know how to do it, if they would only let me do it, but they won't. I then fall back upon my old doctrine and say it is all right. If I had my way I would make our enemies eat skinnygalee. I told the people what that was when I went on my trip south. It is milk porridge without any milk in it. Are there any who have been fostering our worst enemies who have done it ignorantly? Yes, they have fostered them that would have cut throat and mine. How long shall this continue and be endured? I tell you it gripes and grinds my gizzard to have to hold on to them and keep them in fellowship. Yes, there are men that will bring these poor degraded cutthroats into my presence with knives in their belts to cut my throat with. I tell you I do not like it.
The people are not rich; they have not got as much gold as they wish to have, they would all doubtless like to have more. If the people will do as they are told they will become the most wealthy people in the world.
Let us all try to build up the kingdom of God on the kingdoms of this world. Let all our affections be placed upon the upbuilding and prosperity of this kingdom. We must do this or our whole affections will be fastened upon the things of the kingdoms of this world, and then the people will be fastened to themselves, which is equal to building up themselves. I am as capacable as any of the people are of doing this, but I will say as I said in Nauvoo, I can sit and shake my big toe and make more money out of it than they can in trading with our enemies. The truth is that I am so calm and easy that when the porridge shower comes, my cup is right side up, while you are in such a hurry that you will jump up and kick the dish over. If you would be still and patient you would get a dish full as well as me. I am naturally still and patient, and I see many men very petulent and exciteable, and they will run after a dime and neglect the dollars, and away they will run, stumbling here and there, and you ask them what they are running and stumbling over, and stay to look you will find that they are tumbling over the dollars.
When I look around me and see this I say all right, and they all appear right in my presence. Now, we have wealth in abundance right here, if we will only exert ourselves to make a good use of the elements that surround us. We can be the wealthiest people upon the earth if we will only learn how to create make and bring into use all those articles which we need for our own conssumption, to satisfy our appetites and accommodate our tastes. Don't you see that we then become independent of all nations and people. But says you we cannot manufacture all that we want. Well, there is a secret connected with this, which is, don't want that which you cannot produce. I have and am still studying this secret, and striving never to want a thing that I cannot get. To be in this state of mind makes a man lie down in peace and be comfortable. When people are told to make their own comforts, they say we cannot make this, that and the other. Then I say let us not want that which we cannot make.
Well now, as to myself I can say that I am a good financier, and I know that I can make money any where. Now these little two penny merchants that you have round here, they are worth nothing. I can see two or three of them here that have got goods from the merchants that have come in from the east, and they have given great prices for them. All those goods were offered to me long before you got them, but I would not buy them because I could not get them at my price. When they <brought> wanted my lumber I brought them to my price and terms. They hired all the merchants to get it on their own terms, but I told Livingston and Bell that they could not get my lumber except upon my terms. But said they why they will pay you money. I said you my tell them that my lumber shall stay and rot before I will let you have it at the price you propose. They paid us five and a half and six dollars per hundred for all the lumber they got. Suppose every body had done this. There was Charlie Hancock up here ripping and taring to get to sell lumber at Camp Floyd; then in Little Cotton Wood and in Tooele they were all running and hurrying to sell their lumber, but I waited till they came to me and then I got my price. You may ask did I ever sell another foot except what I got my price for? No, not I did not. Now suppose these men had come and said what are going to sell lumber at in Big Cotton Wood. I knew that there was scarcely any lumber in the country or I should not have had the privilege of selling much. They also came to me and wanted wheat when there was a prospect of several hundred thousand dollars, but I told them that they could not get it short of seven dollars per bushel, and the consequence was that I sold none. Now suppose the brethren had said what are you going to sell wheat at? We could then have agreed and got our seven dollars per bushel just as well as to have taken any less. I wanted to get rich, to go into a speculation but the brethren were not willing to unite with me, therefore I would not have any thing to do with it, for we are all one company, and I do not go without my company. But I want to inform you that if I choose to draw out I am able to
control the market. I am able to buy every rag of goods and bushel of grain that has been offered in this Territory, but the people don't think of it. If there is a picayune to be had these little two penny merchants are after it. Poor, miserable,little, snotty, stinking merchants that have not a yard of cloth or calico but I have had it offered to me. I offered them twelve and a half cents a pound freight and cost for their goods, and when I cannot buy at that I go without, and before I would given them their price their wagons might have stayed till they had rotted down, and their cloths might have lain on the shelves till the shelves had rotted down.
But says one, I don't think br. Brigham <has> has gotten as much money as he thinks he has. I have enough to control the lumber, the grain and every other article there is in the market, but I do not want, I want the people to do it.
We are one firm. The Latter Day Saints are one company, and if we draw out the company is divided. Now I won't draw out of the firm. The people may sell their wheat at a dollar a bushel, and they may give from forty to sixty cents per pound for their sugar and coffee, still I won't draw out of the firm. lt is as I told you this morning, every Person has a right to be a poor, devilish fool, and every snotty little merchant has perfect liberty to be a shit house if they like.-- You have seen them, how they act and perform.-- They go about begging for a few goods of some miserable gentile, and then in a little while they come around and say br. Brigham I want a little counsel; I have got awfully into debt, I want to borrow a few thousands of dollars. Who has come to me and asked for counsel about going into merchandizing? Not many.
When these merchants want to sell goods they don't come to me, but they will talk to men that are closely connected to me or that are constantly around me. Generally when they want to sell a store of goods they will call on John Sharp, Bishop Smoot and Horace S. Eldredge, who is here to day, and they will say wont you do so and so, and sometimes they have come up to my office. They each say, I want to know if I can get Brigham Young to sign his name to a paper so that I can get my money and be sure of it. Ask Horace Eldredge if he can send or go to St. Louis and get fifty thousand dollars worth of goods in my name.-- Ask if I had complied with the wishes of some gentlemen in New York if I could not have controlled the wheat and bought it. Yes, I could have a hundred thousand dollars in gold at any time, buy up all the grain and grind the faces of the poor as those poor curses have done, and then you would curse me for it; yes even if I bought it at two dollars per bushel and sold it at three dollars, the volley of curses would take away my priesthood, if it were among the possibilities. But they won't get away my wheat, nor lumber until it serves the interests of my priesthood, and I hope to live till I make all the kingdoms of this world subserve the kingdom of our God. I would rather fight all hell out of the Church than to have false brethren within. Joseph always had them. That is why I like Laron Johnson he was with him, and was on his feet and by Joseph's side; and there were others who stood by him in the midst of false brethren, and that is why I like them. A man that is a friend of God, of Jesus and of his brethren, is the man for me, and all creation may talk, but if that man does not do anything to move or destroy my confidence, they could not move me or change my feelings <to> one hair's breadth towards a saint that I knew to be one. lt is as Joseph told Emma when she was railing out against Levi Gifford, whom I knew to be a good man; I knew that he had given his goods and substance to the poor, I knew that he was full of good works and that there was no evil in his heart.
Well, I had a tussle with her about br. Gifford; "now," says Joseph, "you ought to know br. Brigham, he has got to be taken hack and made over again before he will desert one of his friends." She did not know this. All hell may howl around, I will stand by my friends. The Latter Day Saints are my friends, and I intend to stand hy them in every difficulty and trial throgh which they may have to pass.
I want you to hearken, to seek unto the Lord till you get the Spirit of Christ. Ask the Father to give you his Spirit, and don't judge of my ways or acts until you his Spirit; and when you are filled with the power of God then you can judge righteously.
We all profess to be Latter Day Saints, and I am striving to make all that I can for the Church and for the building up of the Kingdom of God, and if it were not for that I would go into speculation. If I had done this since we have been in this Territory I could have been worth a million of dollars. I will tell another circumstance. Before the army came here I had a splendid still house built; I had it in my possession on purpose for the convenience of the community. We could not get any good vinegar. It is true we can make vinegar of molasses and whey, but it won't keep; it is only good for present use. Well, I had a still house, but when I heard of the army coming I shut it up, but I could have made thousands of dollars at that, but I did not want to trade and traffic with the wicked and the ungodly, neither did I want to get your money as these little two penny merchants have, because I knew that such a course would bring the curse of God and of the people upon me. I want to be full of the power of God, and if you do let the liquor, the merchandizing and petty trafficking cease. If every body else dabbles in these things, I will be clean, then if I meet Joseph I can look him in the eye and say, my hands are clean, and I am a partner with you. If we can control ourselves we can make our enemy serve us, and we will make them serve us and the interests of this kingdom yet.
Now I will give you another secret and then I will quit. Here is br. Johnson and br. Wm. Miller, they have got houses, other brethren have got cattle, and they talk about them and claim them, and say here are my chariots, my horses, and mules and cows and sheep. Now I want to know what mankind have in their possession that is their own. Kings upon their thrones, with their millions, I ask is it theirs? I answer no. Their children, their houses, their possessions, none of these things are their own. Mankind has but just one thing upon this earth which they hold, realize and enjoy, and this is for all time and eternity, until they forfeit their right to it; one jewel only. Now of all you can imagine and think of, wives and children, family connections, you have but one thing Your breath, your life, yes the very breath of man is his nostrils. When God says the word I never feel to complain of any thing that transpires. What is ours then? Our free sovreign will. The germ that is planted in the mind of man, to form, to create, to plan a nucleus for God. Then I will a saint; I will command my house; I will serve my God. This is my determination; and I feel to do as I am told by the Almighty. This is all that is yours, and it is all that belongs to any other being upon the earth. I can be a saint or let it alone. I can be a fool or a wise man; I can choose or refuse. This is all that I have in my possession; everything else is reserved. Here are houses and lands, and other things which you raise, are the gifts of God, and you go and peddle them to your enemies. You have the power of doing it, but what is the result? You will be left poor and naked, and you and your children will cry for bread, for the common necessaries of life when there will be no arm to save you from want; when the eye that has been wet with tears is dry, the tears will be spent, the arm will be drawn in, and there will be no eye to pity. This will be the condition of those who violate the counsel that is given. How can I be one with my head, one with Christ except I follow the dictates of the Holy Spirit and of wisdom? It is impossible.
We can control the earth; we can control this Territory from this time forth, if we will do right, and God will never suffer our enemies to come here and control us. It is true that 17,000 men were sent here in the shape of an army that was said to be the flower of the United States army to use us up, to hang you and I, but did they do it? Did they control us? No, they did not. We said they might <control> come in, and when we said we would let them come in they came, went over Jordan and camp, then in a few days they sneaked off into Cedar valley, but did we let the people be subject to our enemies? No, we did not. Porter Rockwell said he could take fifty men and destroy them all. He did not even ask for pistols, he could get along without he said and he could have done it. And when the poor hell hounds of Judges came here, if this people had been Saints they would have marched them out again, but they acted like fools. These men were not your friends nor mine; they would have slain you and I. There is not an abode in this Territory but they would have defiled, if they could, from Gen. Johnston down to the poorest and most miserable soldier; yes, and they would have killed every man and woman if they could have had their own way. Some argue that they have fed and clothed our people, that they have given out money to the poor. How much money has there little pedling merchants given to the people for their chickens and eggs? I said to one man and I will say the same here; they have kissed the gentiles behind for the sake of getting their patronage and oppressing their brethren. Well, you may go it and we will cut you off from the church. I am going to cleanse the inside of the platter. Nobody come to this Territory but to be saints except they come to injure the people. I want to notify you that my knife is out, my sword is unsheathed, and I will kill them before they shall impose upon this people as they have done. They are a set of poor miserable creatures. Neither the government, nor the Judges and soldiers they sent had one particle of power, none but what those poor, miserable saints gave them, and that was obtained through their fostering poor, contemtible creatures. You poor miserable creatures, you have disgraced the name of saint and you ought to be slain; yes you ought to know enough to say to some good man, spill my blood that I may atone for what I have done, but you do not know enough. I would much rather my blood would be spilled a thousand times than to betray my brethren. I would rather have it done than to come up before the great Tribunal and have the charge brought against me of betraying my brethren. This is a close and somewhat strong doctrine, but it is not close as it will be. Who will take vengeance upon the wicked? Why, the Iord will do it, to all those who injure and oppress his servants. They have fished and tried to find out something by which they could get hold of me, but they could not do that. If they wish to stop this work they had better command the Almighty, and then take a cord to hang him, for he dictates this work and he will carry on and bring it off triumphantly.
Gov Cumming told me just what they designed. Talking about the Indians, why says he the troops did not come here to look after the Indians, that was not the purpose; they came after you. Did they get me? I can tell you they will all be in hell before they have that opportunity, and if they come for me it will be for their sorrow, and I will warn them and forewarn them as I did then that if they got a writ for me it would be followed by an execution, for said I will wipe you out, any one of you that comes. They kind of held up. You recollect that old Burr swore, in the Court of the baby Judge, which was ninty days in trying James Ferguson, that I was an important witness, and that I instigated the breaking up of Stiles' Court. He tried his best to get me implicated in the affair. If he don't atone for that I want him to die with rot like Steve Douglass and old Tom Benton did. He will go where they are, and when he comes to learn of their condition he will find them begging of Joseph or some of his brethren to give them a cup of water to cool their parched tongues. The reply will be, O yes we will send the master of lying to you.
Well, brethren and sisters, this is all nonsense; it is all for fun you know.
May the Lord bless the faithful in Israel, is my prayer in the name of Jesus Christ: Amen.