1862 June 29 Remarks in the Salt Lake Bowery


1862 June 29 Remarks in the Salt Lake Bowery



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George D. Watt

extracted text

Bowery, <Bowery>
By President Brigham Young, <Made in the tabernacle in G. S. L. City>
June 29, 1862.
Reported by G. D. Watt.

The docterines and principles of our religion in every respect tends to life. I <shall> will now <bring forth> present a few of my reflections upon the principles of death, which is very unusual for me to do. I have endeavored to teach the way of life and salvation for many years, and have not for the first time felt <to> inclined to preach hell and damnation to any congregation. I have always thought that there is enough of this preached in the world. The first <milk> breath we drew <from our mmothers breast> was under hell and damnation preaching, <which> and it continued to be mingled <mixed up> with every <morsel of food we ate> breath until the light and life of the Gospel was made known to us. Since then all our preaching has tended to life; the words were life, the principles were life, and the whole doctrenie and system of the Gospel breathed life everlasting. Since I have embraced this Gospel I have tried every moment to live for life, and to escape death and l have also encouraged every other person, over whome I could exercise any influence, to teach, and practice the principles of life pertaing to our mortal existance, and pertaining to life eternal. By what <ever prosect> sirit I am influenced to make the remarks I am now about to make, I shall leave for God and the people to judge. Whether I shall answer my own feelings, and the expectations and wishes of others, <in the remarks I shall make> I know not, <neither shall I concern myself as to this matter. We are afflicted, we have been in the midst of affliction. We are in the midst of death and carnage; of pain and sorrow, and>
We live in a world of disapointment, where Satan rules" We have no knowledge of God's ever reigning, as it is his right <is> to reign, over the inhabitants of the earth since the fall. There have been a few here and there at times who have done his will and pleasure, according to the best of their ability. <Enoch after laboring> We read "And all the days of Enoch were three hundred <and> sixty and five years: and Enoch walked with God, and he was not, for God took him." Enoch gathered <together> a righteous people, and built a holy City, but the world was not worthy of them, and the Lord took Enoch and his City, and the inhabitants thereof to himself; they <who> were prepared for this translation and glory by the preaching and labors of Enoch. With this exception, we have no knowledge of God's ever reigning over any number of people on this earth at one time, since the fall, "but it has been death upon death, death upon death, from the fall until now.
The matter I wish <to lay before you, and> to make a few remarks upon is a very disagreeable one to me. Those of my hearers who have read history are aquainted with the fact that the most foolish, inconsistant, idiotic, and frenzied characters who have set themselves up as religious leaders have found their followers and suporters. This no doubt arises from a constitutional feeling which exists in all men,more or less, to worship and reverence that which appears to them a superior power. This feeling, undirrected by an enlightened understanding, has constantly lead mankind into the most extravagant and wild fancies, and in many instances into the most unnatural and repulsive practices. Nations might go to wreck and ruin, and the temporal interests of all the people be distroyed, and, comparatively speaking, they would not lay it to heart, <comparatively speaking but infringe, in the least upon their religion, no matter whether it be true or faulse, and they will defend it to the death. All people and nations, <bave their religious rituals> from the Christain to the most degraded pagan, have their religious rituals, and these are dearer to them than all other hearthly considerations, <besides>. We may look upon the religion of the barbarian as a mere fancy of the brain, but it commands in them <also the strongest affection of heart,<which makes them> and causes him to brave the greatest sufferings that it is possable for human nature to bear. <And all those>
All who are aquainted with theologicaland national history <and I> must have .earned <found in in their readings> that the true people of God have never passed through <as> so much suffering for their religion, as the devotees of fauls and fanatical religions have for theirs; among <the> pagan nations they <cruelise> mutilate their persons in a shocking manner, in accordance with their time honored traditions; and are as ready to suffer death in the most horrible formes <as wa> for their diabolical and hellish religious rituels, as the saits of former or of latter days are to suffer death by the hands of their for the enemies testemony of the true and holy religion of heaven. The blessing the Saviour has placed upon those who are persecuted for righteousness' sake, cannot possably be meant for th<em>ose who suffer in an unrighteous cause.
Men who have apostatized from this Church have from time to time, since its orgonization, <got up> devised some of the most ridiculous fancies. <I beleive> I will refer to one or two instances. The notorious Sidney Rigdon, when <in this Church and> and in good standing in this Church, was <a man> highly respected, <for> by these people saints. He was a man of the finest and brightest talants. When he left the way of life and salvation, his light became darkness, and he was permitted to persue a course that covered him with disgrace. He and his followers became so destitute of common decency that under the pretense of mortifying the deeds of the body, they hired a large <in> barn, and invited spectators to see them walk in that barn in a state of perfect nudity. But probably the most <of all the> nonsensical, low, filthy, groveling, idiotic, insane system if it can be called a system, that ever was subscibed to by mortal folly is that which has been festering on the banks of the Weber.
I will try to decend enough to notice that nest of unclean birds, that batch of apostates from the way of salvation, who have been taught principles of truth, of light, life, and intellegence, and the glory and power of the upper world; how to make themselves lovely, <to each other>, how to commend themselves to their fellow beings, <each other, and> to God and angels, and prepare for the society of the holy ones; yet they have fallen from their high and exalted position, and have covered themselves with everlasting shame and disgrace. Our Mechanics have labored night and day in their shops, and our farmers have toiled in the water diches, in the scortching sun, and in the chilly night wartering their grain, to <get> raise means to send on teems to <fetch> bring those poor curses thousands of miles to these vallies to further instruct them in the way of life and salvation.
No person can regrett the affair that took place here a few weeks ago, more than I do; and <if I> could have had my way it would not have occured, but they would have been left to <rot> consume in their own rottonness. I would have said to every <erson> decent person, go beyond the reach of their <stink> stench; and if you want to get rid of it entirely, and cleanse the land of the curruption, after they have used each other up turn the river onto the ground and <cleanse it of its filthiness>.
There is not a man or woman of them, who possesses sense to know right from wrong, <wh> but what in their hearts have consented to the death of every innocent man and woman on the earth, and would have spilled the last drop of innocent blood, had they possessed the power to do so. Is there salvation for them? Yes, if salvation is to be found in the depths of hell. If they could have accomplished their wishes, they would not have left a single vestage of the preisthood of the Son of God on the earth. They are human beings. Will they remain human, to pass on to the divine? No, <But when they transmmigrate it> their rogression will be on a retrograde track. They will go to their mother earth, and to their native elements; How soon, <I do not> know not.
As to the course that has been taken with them, there is a feeling in some to complain. <I had not the least suspicion of the excitement that has existed in the City and in the country, until I heard it from <through> Mr James Monroe Livingston who had just arrived from the States. After he had been here a few days he called up to see me, I supposed he had come <called> on buisness. He staid in my office about thirty minites. I said nothing about what was going on up North and of course manifested no excitement <interest> about the matter in the least, neither did I express myself upon the matter, as he did not name it. He has expressed his surprise afterwards to judge Kinney at my lack of interest "Why" said he, "he sat in his rocking chair as inconserned as though he was ten thousand miles from the seat of war."> I sincerely lament the occurance, it has been painful to my feelings. <I know not what Mr Livingston or any other man could want me to do in the case>. It is generally known that that clan of desperadoes defied the law and its administerators.<To the certian alleged knowledge of many citizens of this Territory, this band to were known to be theives.> It <was also known> is also asserted that if any person guilty of crime resorted to them for protection against the demands of the law, they would pledge themselves to protect them and, if necessary, fight for them. The very leader of that clan <he were> was cut off from this Church as many as five times for adultery and for abuseing his wife. He left a wife and two children in St Louis, where <and there> his abuse to them was so great that the City authorities <of the city> had to take up the matter and release them from him. <If I could have had my way orders would not have been issued to take those men dead or alive. It was told the judge that it would cost the blood of some of this people some of them, if it did not rob of some of those that go to take them. This was not beleived> Many believed that they would not resist the execution of the law, for they were considered to be a set of cowards, but it was found that both men and women would fight, <and> as they always will fight more recklessly, and more wildly for a faulse religion than for a true one
I never heard of a true religion's being fought for -- God fights the battles of his people. Those fanatics did fight, and they did resist the legal posse sent to take those persons named in the writs, <and who> and in resisting a few were killed, and who can help it? The officers went there according to the order of Judge Kinney, <and I shall not say that Judge Kinney did one thing wrong; he tried> who issued the writs upon the sworn affidavits of responsible persons, with a view to magnify the law and administer it faithfully. <The administerators of the law sometimes are exceedingly tenatious, ardent, and sanguine and resolute to see have the law honored and mmagnified. The judge in the bench is so fervent in his duty that he sends out a sherif to take a theif, the sheriff is killed, he sends out another and another with the same result. The judge issues his orders, and the marshal, constable or sheriff expects to serve the warrent or lose thier lives in the performance of their duty.>
I will here make a remark <with> in regard to my counsel to all the officers of Civil law; it has been, and is, observe the law and magnify it. <but shall you hold yourselves at the beck and call of every snotty judge? No, tell them to go to grass> When it is lawful reasonable, and possible for you to obey the commands of a Judge, obey but my counsel is, and has been, and I trust it ever will be, to every Constable, sheriff, <and deputy> Marshal, <and> or deputy, when you go after a poor cursed theif of <and> murderer, risk not your own life, hold it not at the discretion of a malefacter. When you are resisted, be sure that you fire first; let the life of the officer of the law be saved,<and the poor miserable theif go to hell>.
I <cannot say> have not say a word to say against any of the acts of Judge Kinney; he is <very> tanacious to observe and keep the law. <That possey went> I am not the judge, nor the governor, and had not hand in sending out that posse. <but> I am their spiritual adviser, and I advised them to do their duty and save their own lives. I would not give one drop of the blood of thosee two young men who have been killed, for all there was there. I cannot say that the acting governor did any thing wrong; he sought to magnify the law. I am not prepared to say that any person who has been engaged upon the side of the law in this lamentable affair has done anything wrong, though it was confidently asserted <still the judge was told> before <ever> a single man started, <one step> that things would transpire that would give cause for regrett. Do I regrett it? I do.
When the Judge issued the first writ for the leaders of the band, upon the afidavits of respectable citizens who swore that they had their freinds in prison and were about to publicly execute them, instead of their dilivering themselves up to be tried by the law, they requested the Marshal to tell the <supreme judge> Chief Justice that "wee do not regard Judge Kinney nor his papers <we defy him> any more than we do any other horse theif; we defy him." <Had I been a United States supreme Judge, and this had been said to me by a band of lawless characters, I do not know what I should have done if my Adam had prevailed over my better judgement>.
<However>That band could not have existed long <exist>, for it contained the principles of its own overthrow. They did not plow, sow, nor reap. Should a professed prophet tell me that he would feed me, and allow me to steal, to lie, cheat my neighbor, take his life, <steal his cattle>, and promice me to live on the fruits of my neighhor's labor, <or bring it down from heaven to me, or up from beneath,> I should know at once that he <is sent> was from beneath and that his prophecies were of the devil, to lead men to certian and speedy distruction. The Lord Almighty works upon no such principles, but mankind are required by the laws of their existance to accumulate their subsistance, by honest labor, from the elements arround them.
<This> The band on Weber river supposed that they could live without sowing, reaping, or gathering into barns. They did not trouble themselves to build houses or improve, but they expected that God would turn us out of our houses and let them inhabit them. They supposed that they could walk down all law and order with impunity, thinking that God would stricke any man dead that should oppose them in their lawless and fanatical course.
When the posse invested the forte and the men called for by the writ refused to to give themselves up, they <was> were warned to move <out of danger> the women and children out of danger, and a reasonable time was given them to <capitulate> comply with the demands of the officers of the law, but <they still threw contemppt upon> they treated this timely warning with contempt. The first shot was fired when a revelation was being read that they could not be killed; the ball <which> killed two of their party.
I believe <asuradly> that there is no such a thing as a mirical, in the common acceptation of the word by religionists. They suppose a mirical to be "an event or effect contrary to the esstablished constitution and course of things, or a deviation from the known laws of nature". An event or circumstanse <that> that cannot be accounted for by the ignorant and uninlightened, is a mirical to them. Did not Christ <committ> perform a great Mirical when he fed five thousand <persons> men, besides women and children, with a five loves and two small fishes? <fishes>. after which they gathered up twelve baskets full of fragments?. <Yes, it was a Mirical but not in the present day theological sense>. It was not a mirical to the Son of God, for he knew how to call those elements forth to <form> make a full supply of bread and fish. The earth, the atmosphere, and the waters are full of the elements that make food for man and beast. There are laws in the great vocabulary of the universe by which Jesus Christ performed this wonderful increase of bread and fish; these lawes are unknown to us, and the results of their immediate application to the crude elements are to us indeed wonderful, because of our ignorance. This display of superior knowledge and power was to manifest the divinity of the Saviour and of Him <that> who sent him. <He> The Saviour could walk upon the water, and make water into wine, etc. All these wonderful displays were produced <upon the same principle of> by exercising power over the elements to produce the same results that are produced by agricultural operations <and scientific manipulations>.
When the Gospel was first preached to this generation, through <by> the administeration of Joseph Smith the prophet, unbeleif in what is called supernatural manifestations of power was almost universal. Immeidate revelation from God to man was almost universally discarded by the professing christian world. There could only <be found> once in a while be found a man or a family who beleived that God would give revelation now as anciently. Here and there a few hearts would be open to receive the spirit of revelation, but with these few exceptions preists and people universally fought against the principle of revelation. The first Elders of this Church, traveled, and labored, and toiled, and prayed the Lord to open <up> the hearts of the people to receive the truth that God had revealed from the heavens with the preisthood of the Son of God, but the people were slow to listen; <to> they were like the deaf adder that stoppeth her ear, <which> that will not hearken to the voice of charmers, charming never so wisely.
We then could foresee, as <well as> did the apostles antiently, <did> that "for this cause God shall send them strong delusion, that they should beleive a lie: that they all may be damned who beleive not the truth, but had pleasure in unrighteousness." Not long after that period <this> spiritualism spread all over the land, exhibiting startling and wonderful effects to equal if not to <go beyond> exceed the power displayed by the Egyptians in the presence of Moses and Aaron. The spiritualists heal the sick, see visions, <and get> and receive revelations from the spirit world, <and they can not preach any way in the world now only by spiritual manifestations.> They have spiritual lights, spiritual rappings, and spiritual writing. They can produce a facsimile of Joseph Smith's hand writing, <as nigh as ever he wrote it, they will then> call for the spirit of George Washington and give his hand writing, or the hand writing of any other person that has been dead for years. Now this <was> is not done by the spirit of George Washington, or that of Joseph Smith, but by some poor, <wicked damned> miserable, wicked spirit.
I am a firm beleiver in spiritualisam, and always have been. I beleive there <is> are about ten devils to every individual, <who> and they are ready to afflict any person who will try to become a true latterdaysaint. The world is now carried away with <siritual communications> spiritualism; They preach about it <it>. <them>. Mr. Eddy <was that> who was in our City sometime since, <was> was lead by revelation to go to Philidelfphia and give his means for making Sharp's <thorter> rifles, <and he> was worth <scores of> thousands of dollars, and he and his party beleived that not another president of the United States would sit in the presidential chair; <and> they <callculated> also intended to kill every person that would not bow to what they called "This divine spiritual influence." There was, however, another president elected, and their scheme fell through, just as the scheme <as the s> of this band <up north> on the Weber has fallen through.
The meanest curse on the earth can now be a revelator. A man will lie, sware, take the name of God in vain, and be guilty of every damning sin, and <yet> at the same time receive rappings and other manifestations from the spirit<ual> world. There is a class of revelations that tend to death -- they lead the people into darkness, deception, and lies. But when God sends forth his revelations, and sets up his kingdom, every principle <that is> taught by his servants <them> tends to life, wealth, beauty and loveliness, and <every principle callculated> to prepare Mortals for life eternal in the heavens, in the presence of God. This is the religion of the latterdaysaints.
The Lord will cut off the wicked, and I am willing to wait until he does <it. I am too big a coward to commence to do it myself; I do not like the job> When the Lord cleanses the earth, <and> distroyes the wicked and ungodly, and he comes to reign in the midst of his saints, this work will not be done with wicked hands. When the Elders of Isreal love God with all their hearts, work righteousness day by day, cease all iniquity, become santified and prepared for the society of Angels, then they may go forth from conqouring to conqour.
Every time the Lord speaks from the heavens to his people, he tells them what to do to save themselves and their children; he will teach them the principles of industery, cleanliness, frugality, and how to gather arround them the elements callculated to beautify the earth and make the place of his feet glorious. When a revelation tends to <abuse and> disgrace and degrade the human race, to vitiate the taste and feelings, an teaches to mutalate and disfigure the appearance body leading to become uncleaness in <their> words and actions, and living communications, instead of to truthfulness, virtue, holiness, goodness, and godliness, you may know that it is from the devil. Complaints were made to Jesus Christ that his disciples ate <eat> with unwashen hands; very likely they were suffering with hungar, and water was not handy. The life of the body in this case was more than the cleanliness of the <body> hands, or than the observance of a religious custom. They could eat and save the life of their bodies, and wash afterwards when water could be <found> had. But you may <put it down as certian> rest assured that a religion is not of God, that would justify a people living in filthiness by the side of <clear> a stream of <wat> clear water. The Angels are clean, pure, holy, and lovely; and the Lord requires the human race to prepare themselves to enjoy the society of the holy ones.
I teach the people to work and provide for their own wants, and stop <this> riding over the prairies after other person's animals; <to get my my ox or my horse,> but to raise <your> wheat, corn, oats, barley, potatoes, beans, carrots, fruits, and every thing you need, <of this kind> <as well as all the fruit you need> for yourselves and families. Work hard, but not to excess; preserve your bodies; do not sleep where you will take cold, nor eat that which will <mortify your stomachs> injure you, but provide and eat that kind of food that will invogorate the body, prolong life, and give brightness, health, and beauty to the countenance, that you may live to become a hundered years old before gray hairs shall make their appearence. While you try to prolong life, do not neglect to pray for it; and when you have reached the age of a tree, still pray <for it>, that you may live <on> to do good, that your Mental faculties may retain all their fource, and brightness, and increase still more in power and strength.
Be kind to your children. Can you be too indulgent to them? You can indulge them too much in doing wrong, but you cannot be too careful in properly feeding them, in giving them oppertunities to sleep, and in taking care of their health generally. You cannot be too kind to the little creature who cannot make known its wants, nor tell you where its aches and pains are situated. Be careful of that babe; he may yet weild the scepter of nations; do not let him die for want of a little kind attention.
This is the first time I have suffered myself to <name> publicly notice that gang on Weber river, <up north> and I wish never to speak of <it> them again. I say to the Elders of Isreal, if without my consent, you baptize one of those poor miserable curses that have consented to your death and mine, look out for your standing and fellowship. I will not have them in the santum of the Lord; Nevertheless, be kind to them, and feed them. <them> I do not want them on my seats here, let them stand on the outskirts of the Congregation. If they repent, perhapes God will forgive them after a thousand years have passed away. I am willing to feed and cloth <you> them, but I shall <make> want <you> them to work, <for it and hard too> faithfully for what they receive.
It was stated, in a high preists quoram meeting in Ogden, that I had ordered the two leaders of the band who <was> were killed while resisting the officers of the law, to be clothed in temple clothing and laid out decently. I would as soon cloth with temple clothing a wolf who had been shot in the act of devouring sheep in the sheepfold. If you are disposed to give your mess of pottage to the devil, <loo> watch lest you are found by and by without your clothing. I have said enough on this subject.
<As I have already said> God will fight the battles of his people. Ere long he will come out of his hiding place and more and more vex <all> the Nations <more and more> who have killed his prophets. Is he vexing them now by sending a saint to distroy them? No. It is said that we have a set of Danites here; if we are not all Danites, we are all Josephites. I have never yet known <yet> what was ment by Danites, or <the> Distroying Angels, when applied to this people. The Lord has millions of them. Millions of Angels <now are> are now crying to the Lord, "Let us go forth and reap down the earth." The Lord does not need our help in this work of distruction. They are waiting, with sickels in their hands, to cleanse the earth, and prepare it for the meek to inherit, that Jesus may reign over his own, and this beautiful earth be prepared to be celestialized and rolled back <again> into the presence of God. <and be made celestial>.
May God bless the righteous, and let the wicked be overthrown. Amen