1862 August 10 Remarks in Lehi


1862 August 10 Remarks in Lehi



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George D. Watt

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By President Brigham Young, Lehi, Augst lOth, 1862.
Reported by G D Watt.

I have been a traveling Elder in the Church and kingdom of God for many years, and I have not yet got through with my mission. I have again the priviledge this morning of addressing a congregation <of people> who have received the Gospel, and profess to obey in their lives the words of eternal life, which are for our present and eternal salvation. "And this is life eternal, that they might know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ whome thou hast sent." Everything relating to salvation is embraced in this knowledge. To know Cod, is first to know the Saviour; and to know the Saviour, is for man to know himself. <and> This knowledge of one's self cannot be obtained by worldly wisdom, it can only be reached through continued obedience to the Gospel, and to every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God <continually>. For "Where is the wise? where is the scribe? where is the disputer of this world? hath not God made foolishness the wisdom of this world? For after that in the wisdom of God the world by wisdom knew not God, it pleased God by the foolishness of preaching to save them that beleive."
We are in a world of darkness and sin, shut out from the presence of the Lord. This little plannet which we inhabit is far removed from the habitation of our Father and our God. Yet we are the offspring of God, and are not <so far> banished so far from him that his hand cannot reach us; we are not so far sunken in darkness and ignorance that the light of truth and revelation from our Father's presence cannot reach us. Forgetfullness has not been made so thoroughly complete in us as to erace from our spirits all possibility of the least glimmering of our former estate's being made manifest to us, when we are under the influence of the Holy Spirit.
All the family of man have a right to and a claim upon the heritage of God; they are heirs to every blessing that is in the heavens, and they are under the watch care of Him who never sleeps. Mankind are created expressly to dwell with the Gods of eternity forever more. <O> What a thought! when we consider our numerous <great> weaknesses, our comarative nothingness, and how subject we are to faulter and to fall in the way of our duty. Notwithstanding all the weaknesses of mankind, their
endowments are great, <and> they are capacitated to grow in knowledge, to increase in wisdom, until they attain to an understanding of themselves, until they know Jesus their Elder brother, and his Father who sent him, <and until they> obtain power over death, and hell, pass through the resurrection and stand in the presence of God, body and spirit, a living soul redeemed and saved to a fullness of Glory.
Of all people upon the earth the saints, <shoul> with the information they possess, and the glorious future that is spread out before them, should live in peace and harmony with one another, <in their families>, as fathers, mothers, brothers, sisters, husbands, wives, children, freinds, neighbors, and citizens. But all the saints do not yet live with each other entirely without altercation.
The world is full of contention and bitterness, jealousy, and bloody strife. <Een this> Our once happy country is clothed in mourning, drenched in <blod> fratricidal blood, and the war cloud still thickens in density and blackness. <Nor to> Excepting that under which Celestial beings live, a better constitution could not easily be framed to graurd human rights, and give to a nation earthly greatness, power, wealth and Glory, than the constitution of the United States. It opens the gate wide to all men who will live the law of a Celestial world, and protects them while they are preparing to enter the presence of their God. This glorious constitution has been violated by wicked men; the innocent who have cried for redress have been spurned from the nation's judgement seat, <the wicked rule> and the people now weep <bloddy> tears of blood.
Did we know the only wise God and Jesus Christ whome he has sent, <all> altercation would be at an end <in the midst of> among this people. <The> Altercation arises from weakness, and ignorance, and must be bourn with until <until> the <public> minds of the saints shall become further informed, and strengthened by experience and the revelations of Jesus Christ. When my brethren falter, and do that which in my estimation is wrong, it is an item in my experience, to learn whether they sin by disign or by mistake, and judge accordingly. This safe practice I recommend to all my brethren.
Dirrected by the all wise God, and protected by his inscrutable providences, we have been permitted to gather ourselves together in this mountian retreat, that we might not be entangled with the workers of iniquity, but be free from those that delight to do evil, and partake not of their plagues. It is our priviledge to unite ourselves together in one solid compact to bear off the kingdom of God, and gather together the house of Isreal, and this through the mercy of our Father and God. How great are our blessings! Do we esteem the sercumstances in which we are placed as blessings from the hand of God? It is my opinion that a great many of the latterday Saints are filled with thankfulness to overflowing for the blessings of the Iord that have attended and still attend us in all our travels, labors and associations, as a people. We live in the society of those who disire to love and serve God; every disire of their souls is to magnify righteousness, and their hearts only beat for the triumph of truth, and the reign of universal peace under the rule of the kingdom of God. "Blessings are upon the head of the just; but violence covereth the mouth of the wicked". I am satisfied that if we could see the great purposes of the Almighty as they are we should reform our errors more speedily than we do; but moral reform is not the work of a day, it is a life time work; and they are blind indeed who suppose they have attained the goal of perfection, and straightway judge their brethren and sisters, condemn them, and withdraw the hand of fellowship from them for every little trifling error. <If I do wrong> When our brethren sin more through weakness than intention, they have claim upon the compassion <of> and mercy of those who are strong, and more able to resist temptation. Instead of charging home a sin <of> commited in ignorance, as an actual wilful transgression, let us remember that we are also subject to fall, and may need mercy and forgiveness at the hands of our brethren. If we wish our Father in heaven to forgive us our tresspasses, let us be free and willing to forgive the each other's tresspasses.
Our visite this morning is <not to those who have not obeyed the Gospel of Christ, but we visite> to those who have become members of the body of Christ through faith and obediance <to> to the requirements of the Gospel, <to those> who profess to be saints of the Most High, and our teachings and exortations to them must <of necessity> be of another order from that particularly suited <than we would give> to unbeleivers. We have entered on a journey in the streight and narrow way that leadeth to life, and we need to be instructed how we may make sure to ourselves the blessing we disire, and expect to enjoy in the great future. The purpose of my visite is not to discant upon the glories of the great melenium, and portray the trancendant beauties, and incomprehensible glories of the Celestial kingdom of our Father and God, my business is to take the people where I find them, and as they are, and teach them how to live their religion to-day -- <and> how to obtain and enjoy its blessings to-day -- how to walk before their God and each other so as to have fellowship with the Father and the Son by the power of the Holy Spirit, and to have fellowship with all the good that <is> are in the heavens and on the earth.
It is in the econemy of Heaven,-- it is according to the disign of the Great Architect of the heavens and the earth -- that the earth should sustain the creatures that live upon it. It has been disigned that man by certian manipulations of natural laws and elements should surround himself with a great variety of the <natural> comforts of this life, in <for> food, <for> clothing, and <for> habitations. Mankind have <He has> from time immemorial extracted mettles of different kinds from the earth and used them in various ways to facilitate the production of materials for food and raiment, and to prepare <it> them for their <his> use. We read that, Lamech, one of the early decendants of Cane, "took unto him two wives." One of them, named Zillah, "bare Tubalcain an instructer of every artificer in brass and iron." Mankind, under the kind guidence of Heaven, have been progressing in the knowledge of Sciense and art to the present day, culminating to one Great purpose in the econemy of heaven, to be revealed in the latter days. We <put upon man fire and water> place harness of wood and Iron upon fire and water and employ them to card, spin, and weave <our> cotton and wool, saw <our> lumber, haur <our> rock and other heavy weights from place to place, convey our wishes in a few seconds to the ends of the earth, and in short <they may be made> cause them to do an immense amount of labor, to <nearly all our drudgery and> administer much to our ease and comfort, <and> to facilitate <the> building <up of> the Cities of Zion, and to aid materialy in altering the face of the solid ground, for "Every valley shall be exalted, and every mountian and hill shall be made low: and the crooked shall be made streight,and the rough places smooth." The material to form labor saving machinery is here in abundance, <in this State> and we are permitted to <throw> fashion it into shapes suited to making us <healthy>, wealthy, <beautiful> happy and wise.
Some <You> may say, "we want you to stir up our pure minds, that we may have more faith". I cannot give you faith; I can strengthen your faith, and stir you up to fresh diligence in the performance of <your> the duties which pertain to you as individuals, as members of the kingdom of God, as husbands, fathers, mothers, children, etc. It is for our advantage to learn every trait of the life of man; to study him in his weakness, and in his strength, in infancy, maturety, and old age, that we may become wise instructers of our race, and become in <the> every respect, and in every sense of the word saviours of men. It has pleased God to give us the exalted honer of building up his literal kingdom upon the earth. His spiritual kingdom we possess; his litteral kingdom is still in embryo; they must become one, and we must be of one heart and of one mind in producing this oneness of the two kingdoms. The first lesson leading to a successful termination of this work is to learn how to handle to his glory every element God has produced, and placed in our power, <to his glory> and constantly accknowledge his hand in all things.
When we breath the pure mountian air, drink the cool sparkling, limped waters that flow from these mountians, we are partake of two of the greatest of earthly blessings, but shall we worship the blessings or the Giver? I hold in reverence the Giver of all blessings which mortals enjoy; his name I adore, and to him my heart is filled with thankfulness for food, water, raiment, habitations, the society of family and freinds, and for every token of kindness I receive in this world, and for the hope of eternal life in the next through our Lord Jesus Christ.
You have a comfortable house here to worship in; our Father in heaven has given you ability <and> to put together these materials, and to him be all praise. We covet not neither worship the house, but we enjoy the comforts it affords us, and honor our God for the gift.
It is not entirely due to ourselves that we know a little more than the wild natives arround us, <and> for if we <do> have a greater ability than they possess to make our-selves more comfortable than they are, God gave <it to us by he> us that ability and placed us in sercumstances where we could be taught the more refined arts of life. God "hath made of one blood all nations of men for to dwell on all the face of the earth, and hath determined the times before appointed and the bounds of their habitations". By the fource of <tradition> circumstances and the light of revelation we are what we are, and the Glory is the Lord's. We are permitted to surround ourselves with the comforts and blessings of life in abundance, through skilfully <by> handling <skillfully> the elements by which we are surrounded, but when we have acc<umulated>quired horses, chariots, mansions, tempels, orchards, farms, <etc. etc.> silver and gold, wives and children, let us not worship these things, <but> but worship him who, "giveth to the beast his food, and to the young ravens which cry. He delighteth not in the strength of the horse; he taketh not pleasure in the legs of a man. The Lord taketh pleasure in them that fear him, in those that hope in his mercy."
We are one in <the> our veiws of and beleif in the principles of Christ's Gospel, but when we deal with each other <as men of the world> I cannot say that we are yet all one in our veiwes of honesty, and manner of deal. Some <We> are too apt to quarel with <our> a brother about a trifle, that would not enrich us, nor impoverish him. Could we always keep in veiw the words of the Saviour, and practice them only in part, much bitterness would be erradicated from our society, and we should be less acrimonious in our acts and words towards each other. He says, "Give to every man that asketh of thee; and of him that taketh away thy goods, ask them not again. And as ye would that men should do to you, do ye also to them likwise." Let each person professing to be a latterdaysaint strive to become a pateren of piety, so that <you> he can a with confidence invite <your> his brethren and <your> family to walk in <your> his footsteps, and <you> he shall be justified before God and before all good men.
We have received the Gospel, been made happy partakers of its influences; and it is now our duty and our priviledge to learn how to make the kingdoms of this world the kingdoms of our Lord and his Christ; how to build a New Jerusalem on the earth, and how to prepare to meet the heavenly Jerusalem that will come from God out of heaven. As a preparatory step to all this we must learn to live in full fellowship with each other in the love of Christ; unless we do this, we shall certianly fail in gaining the kingdom and the Glory we are seeking. We must become pure in heart, even perfect as our Father in heaven is perfect, and live with each other as he lives with the heavenly hosts. This I wish the Elders to teach and practice.
Many things transpire among this people in their dayly intercourse with each other that <is> are judged to be wrong, when it is not realy known whether they are right or wrong. It is our duty to learn all we can learn here, and when we have practised a life time we shall then find that we fail in a great many things, and have still much to learn. <All we are cappable of learning> We should learn in the fles all that we are capable of learning here. <Have been and got> Have you all received your endowments? No, you have not all sought that privilege at the hands of your Bishops. You may be called hence in an hour you do not look for. <it> It is true your relations can attend to this matter for you <when> after you have gone, but if you had done it for yourselves you would have saved them that labor, and it is better for a man to do his own works of redemtion, when he has the opportunity of so doing, than to wait for others to do <it> them for him. Everything we can do here to prepare ourselves for the next existance, and everything we can learn here before we enter upon the next life we are under obligation to do, and learn, or run the risk of suffering loss. <Amen>
May God bless you. Amen.