1861 October 8 General Conference Address


1861 October 8 General Conference Address



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George D. Watt

extracted text

Given by President Brigham Young in the Tabernacle in Great Salt
Lake City Oct 8th. 1861. A. M.
Reported by G. D. Watt.

I will give you a few words of docterine, upon which there has been much inquiry, and with regard to which considerable ignorance exists. Br Watt will write it, but it is not my intention to have it published; therefore pay good attention, and store it up in Your memories.
Some years ago, I advanced a docterine with regard to Adam being our father and God, that will be a curse to many of the Elders of Isreal because of their folly. With regard to it they yet grovel in darkness and will. <Yet> It is one of the most Glorious <of> revealments of the econemy of heaven, yet <upon it> the world holds it dirrision. Had I revealed the docterine of baptisam from the dead instead Joseph Smith there are men arround me who would have rediculed the idea until dooms day. But they are ignorant and stupid like the dumb ass. Relative to the docterine I shall
now make known, if any one <feels to squirm> should wish it otherwise, it will not alter the fact in the least. It is the principle of sealing. We are continually sealing women to men; and continually giveing divorses. I now inform every one of my sisters that when they come to get a divorce, paying me ten dollars for it, you may just as well tare off a peice of your shirt tai and lay it by, and call it a diorce, so far as any good that peice of paper called a divorce will do you. I express myself in this wise, not because I admire course figures of language, but, my object is to use language that will rivite the idea I wish to convey upon your memories. Can a woman be freed from a man to whome she is sealed? Yes. But <coming to me for> a bill of divorcement <from me> does not free her. There is no such law given by the God of heaven to the children of men. Moses gave a law to the Children of Isreal as follows. "When a man hath taken a wife, and married her, and it come to pass that she find no favor in his eyes, because he hath found some uncleanness in her: then let him write her a bill of divorcement, and give it in her hand, and send her out of his house. And when she is departed out of his house, she may go and be another man's wife." Jesus, <by> in the Gospel by Math. says, "It hath been said, Whosoever shall put away his wife, let him give her a writing of divorcement: But I say unto you, That whosoever shall put away his wife, saving for the cause of fornication, causeth her to commit adutery: and whosoever shall marry her <that is> (2) that is divorced, commiteth adultery. In the Gospel by Mark it is said. "and Jesus answered and said unto them, (the pharrisees) for the hardness of your heart, he (Moses) wrote you this precept: (refering to the law on divorcement) But from the bigginning of the creation, God made them male and female. For this cause shall a man leave his father and mother, and cleave to his wife; And they twain shall be one flesh: so then they are no more twain, but one flesh. What therefore, God hath joined together, let not man put asunder." I am suffered to give bills of divorcement unto you because of your blindness,
ignorance, and hardness of heart; otherwise it would be a sin in me. How can woman be made free from a man to whome she has been sealed for time and all eternity? There are two ways. All the Elders in Isreal will not magnify their preisthood that are now in the habit of taking women, not careing how they get them; they get them frequently by stealth. I will diverge a little here to comment on they way some get their wives. They will actually commit adultery for the sake of getting a woman sealed to them, but they will probably <be mistaken> find in the morning of the resurrection that they have not attained their end. Wives obtained in this way will be <taken from such> given to those who are more worthy. This I mean to apply to you Elders on my right and left, who forfiet <their> your covenants, and violate the regulations of this holy order of matrimony, which is to live Godly in Christ Jesus every hour of <their> our lives. To return to the thread of the subject before us. If a man magnifies his preisthood, observing faithfully his covenants to the end of his life, all the wives, and children sealed to him, all the blessings, and honers, promised to him in his ordinations and sealing blessings, are immutably and eternally fixed. No power can wrench them from his possession. <There is however, one roise that mus be added here> You may inquire. In case a wife becomes dissatisfied with her husband, her affections <are> lost--, <and> she becomes alianated from him, and wishes to be the wife of another can she not leave him? I know of no law in heaven or on earth by which she can be made free while her husband remains faithful and magnifies his preisthood before God, and he is not disposed to put her away, she having done nothing worthy of being put away. If that dissatisfied wife could behold the <God like> trancendent beauty <the heavenly excelency> of person, the Godlike qualities <of soul> of the resurrected husband she now dispises, her love for him would be unbounded and unutterable. Instead of dispising him she would feel like worshiping
him, he is so holy, so pure, so perfect, and so filled with God in his resurrected body. There will be no dissatisfaction of this kind in the resurrection of the just. The faithful Elders have then proved themselves worthy of their wives, and are prepared to be crowned Gods, to be filled with all (3) the attributes of the Gods that dwell in eternity. Could the <those you who are> dissatisfied ones <have the> see a vision even of the future glorified state of your <men that they now say they cannot bare> husbands, love for them would immediately spring up within You, and no sercumstance could prevail upon you to forsake them. The second way in which a wife can be seperated from her husband, while he continues to be faithful to his God and his preisthood, I have not revealed, except to a few persons in this Church; and a few have received it from Joseph the prophet as well as myself. <This other path a woman may take if she can get a divorce do it in that accordance with the order of heaven> If <she> a woman can find a man holding the keys of the preisthood <and holding> with higher <in> power and authority than her husband <holds>, and he is
disposed to take her he can do so, otherwise she has got to remain where she is. <This is the second way in which a woman can leave her husband to whome she has been sealed to for time and all eternity>. ln either of these ways of seperation, you can discover, there is no need for a bill of divorcement. To recapitulate. First lf a man forfiets his covenants with a wife, or wives, becoming unfaithful to his God, and his preisthood, that wife or wives are free from him without a bill of divorcement. Second. lf a woman claimes protection at the hands of A man, possessing more power in the preisthood and higher keys, if he is disposed to rescue her <of her husband> and has obtainded the consent of her husband to <make he from and> to make her his wife he can do so without a bill of divorcement <by the free consent of her husband> <first asking the> <Then a peice of blank paper will answer just as good a purpose for a bill of divorcement as the bills the sisters get from me> If after she has left her husband, and is sealed to another, she shall again cohabit with him it is illicit intercourse, and extremely sinfull. <Forenter fully into the numerous pperticulars, and the many cercumstances> In a few words I have laid before you this important item of docterine: I have not time to give you an ilaberate discourse, on it <upon this subject> that <would> will answer the thousand and one questions, that may occur to your minds, and show its
workings in social life, to do this would require much time. I will however extend my remarkes a little further. I do not wish any of the Elders to speculate upon what I have now advanced, but ponder these words in your hearts in silence. There may be only a few that can understand this item of docterine, and retain it in their memories as I have spoken it. A few remarks on woman. She is the glory of the man, but she is not at the head in all the creations of God. Pertaing to his children on this earth she is not accountable for the sins that are in the world. God requires obedience (14) from man, he is <the> Lord of creation, and at his hands the sin of the world will be required. <Could> the female portion of the human family fully understand this, they would see that they are objects of tender mercy, and greatly blessed. This no doubt on a casual view appears to my sisters a glorious docterine for them; <on a more casual view of it>, and some might be tempted in their ignorance to take unwarrantable liberties, corrupt themselves with sin, and then <to justify themselves say> take shelter under the docterine that man alone is culpable for the sins they committ. There are, however, <exceptions to this apparantly general rule> restrictions placed upon woman. I will quote a passage of scripture to illustrate this. "And the man that commiteth adultery with another man's wife, even he that commiteth adultery with his neighbors wife, the adulterer and the Adulteress shall surely be put to death." <It would be well also to read the fifth chapter of Numbers. (See Num. 5th Gh> When the crime was thus atoned for <by death> then was she free, and prepared to receive in full the blessings she otherwise would have received <if she> had she not committed sin. Woman must atone for <She> <For all personal> sins committed by <woman under the action> the volition of her own choice, <and knowing that she is violating the restrictions which are placed upon her>; but she will never become an angel to the devil, and sin so far as to place herself beyond the reach of mercy. <They> She will <suffer for their sins, and> suffer all that <they> has strength to suffer according to the venality of <their> her sins. The woman is the glory of the man; what is the Glory of the woman? It is her virginity until she gives it into the hands <of> of the man that will be her Lord and master to all eternity. She <Woman> in many instances trifles with <their> her virtue and <they> will be damned for so doing, if it were not for more than five minutes. <It may be said that women are not to blame. Many are not to blame, they do nothing they should be blamed for But> When a woman can says truly to her husband who magnifies his preisthood "I am as pure as you;," she ought to remember that she is the glory of that Lord. Is it her Glory to have illicit intercourse with a gentile and then be sealed to a good Elder and faithful servant of God? No. She will be damned for it, and suffer the pangs of hell. It is her duty to let wickedness alone. Our sisters are very tenacious with regard to a man having more than one wife. Says the wife "Husband I am capable of making your dinner, I can make your bed, I can attend to your fisical wants, you do not need another woman in this house." Do you not know that that is a curse placed upon woman? Why so? that she may (5) not become an angel to the devil. It is The <docterine of polygamy is> the order of heaven she should sufier in the flesh. <Now will you rise up Sisters, and say you> Will you say you will not suffer in the flesh, that you will not be cursed; <but> that you will have the fullest satisfaction of this life and let the next life take care of itself, "and now Mr husband if you do not make a heaven for me I will leave you." You have a curse upon you that the male portion of the human family have not got; their curse is to toil for a subsistance for themselves and wives and children, to obtain from the ground by the sweat of their brow, bread and fruit etc. "And unto Adam he said, Because thou hast hearkened unto the voice of thy wife, and hast eaten of the tree of which I commanded thee, saying, Thou shalt not eat
of it: cursed is the ground for thy sake; in sorrow shalt thou eat of it all the days of thy life; Thorns also and thistles shall it bring forth to thee; and thou shalt eat the herb of the feild: In the sweat of thy face shalt thou eat bread, etc. Now notice the curse that is placed upon the woman. "Unto the woman he said, I will greatly multiply thy sorrow and thy conception; in sorrow thou shalt bring forth children. And thy disire shall be to thy husband, and he shall rule over thee." Yes your disire shall be for your husband, and he shall ruel over thee." Yes your disire shall be for your husband your souls will long for him, and it <will be> is one of the hardest things you can think of to consent <for> that your husband should take another wife. And when you bring forth it shall be in extreme pain; Were it not for this curse woman would not have suffered pain in child bearing. <Women> She has taken the lead in committing sin, and she will fill her days with sorrow, she shall disire this, and that and the other, and <your> her disposition, and affections, and <your> her whole being <passions> shall be afflicted as much as the man, but his afflictions are <is> of another kind.
Let me say one things to the young girls and what I shall tell you I wish you to ponder in your hearts and say nothing about it, for the wicked world has no buisness with these things, nor half hearted mormons; and if there is any here who <do> will not make a good use of what they hear the evil shall be upon themselves. I wish to say to my young sisters, if you can go into the hands of a man, that will lead you into the kingdom of heaven, and exalt you there to become an eve -- a queen of heaven -- the Wife of a god -- and you can remain with that man whome your soul delights, and you take to him your virginity, you have obtained a treasure that millions of worlds like this could not buy from you, for there is your glory to all eternity. Trifle with this matter, and you will <be> (6) reap sorrow and sore affliction. When you make your choice of a husband for time and eternity, and you are sure you have got your choice hang on to him and not come to me for a bill of divorcement, which amounts to nothing at all; I have told you the only ways that a woman can be freed from a man. There are other items pertaing to this docterine you will learn from time to time. Many have asked for this matter which I have opened to you, you have got it, let it enrich your noble hearts, expand your capacities, aid subduing your ungovernable passions, and encourage everything within you that is God like, and enable you to live a pure and holy life. The whole of mankind, according to the words of the prophets anciently have gone a whoring after strange Gods, they worship they know not what. Men can commit sin with their wives, by violating the law by which we are, this law is pure and holy; and every act of our lives should be to promote that and not distroy it. We should preserve the life that is within us, and permit it to multiply. If any other course is persued in the midst of this people the curse of God will come upon those who do it. We will now adjourn.