1862 October 7 General Conference Address


1862 October 7 General Conference Address



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George D. Watt

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By President Brigham Young, G.S.L. City, Bowery, Oct 7th, 1862 <P.M.>
Reported by G. D. Watt.

This is the <third> second day of our protracted meeting, and some of you may be ancious to return to your homes and to your buisness. Be contented, for wealth and comfort for the saints are in the hands of God, and he will bestow <it> them when and where he pleases. If we live so as to be worthy of earthly riches we shall obtain them, otherwise we shall not.
I will say a few words in behalf of the poor in forign lands, <and> I do not know that I can portray their condition better than it is already known to those who have been there and have endured <themselves> for years what the poor saints there <they> are now suffering. If they could tell their condition to you precisely as it is, I have no question but what the hearts of this people would say "take what we have got and emigrate the poor saints." I have already said, on former occasions, and will now say again, if any man will take the property I have now in my possession at one half its cost and pay in means that I can handle, I will devote every farthing of it to the gathering of the poor, and prove that "He that giveth to the poor shall not lack;" That giving doth enrich a man, and that in <By> withholding <I know> a man will be impoverished. It may be said, that I can safly offer my property for sale, as there is no man in the community able to <can> purchace it; but if you will reflect a
moment you <can clearly see> will readily understand that the Lord <that the Lord> is able at any time to raise up <such> a man with <means> plenty of means and a disposition to take up my offer. The Lord is as able to raise up somebody to do this, as he is to give me property. I am not in possession of a single blessing that the lord has not bestowed upon me. Shall we continue our labors to gather the saints, or shall we become slack in this department of our calling? I think you will all say, "let us continue to gather home the Saints."
Here are brethren on my right and on my left who are ancious to take missions abroad, but it is almost impossable to get them to reflect one moment upon the fact that it is as much their duty to build up Zion at home when required, as it is <as> to travel <abroad> and preach the Gospel abroad. Some say they would like to be sent on a foreign mission to preach the gospel. Are you going to build up Zion any faster by going on such a mission? "I do not know; perhapes if I were sent on a mission I could do more good than by staying at home. Yes, and perhapes you would do more hurt than good. Some people say they would like to assist in building up Zion, to see how it looks. But there are a great many into whose hearts it does not enter that they are expressly called to build up Zion, and gather the Saints. Have you donated anything to assist the Perpetual Emagration Fund? That Fund is based upon <one of the best> good principles -- upon a foundation that is in every respect reliable -- and if carried out according to the rules of that institution it will accomplish all we expect it to and more. If those who are brought here by that Fund would be prompt in refunding the means it has expended for them, our emigration of the poor would be much more extensive than it now is. But many who have reaped great benefit from that institution, in being taken <from> out of poverty from which it was impossible for them <to> eer to be dilivered by their own exertions, and who are now in a state of comparrative wealth, <and> when asked <ask them> to settle their liabilities to that Fund, <and what is their reply?> repply, as a general thing, <it is> "Realy <I> we do not see that we have any thing we can spare for this purpose," when each one <they> possesses <more than fifteen> several hundered dollars worth of property that could, without much discomfort, be devoted to paying his indebtedness, and increasing the fund for gathering the poor, and the poorer brethren <each man of them, and some more than this. The brethren> who <have to> owe that Fund have the priviledge of <paying> working for means to pay their debts, <in labor> if they will do so. Were the dues paid into the Fund then we could <refund this money> send to Liverpool and <to> bring out more of the Poor saints; but we do not get the means to do it with. We have two or three man traveling year after year to collect debts, <who hav> and they scarcly <get> collect enough to pay their expenses. I do not wish to find fault, but I wish the people <would> to live so as to understand things as they are.
How hard it is for a rich man to enter the kingdom of heaven! It is no matter whether a man possesses five dollars, or five millions of dollars,if while <if> he clings to that in his affections he can never find his way into the Celestial kingdom of God. The Latterday Saints have yet to learn that God gives to them all they possess. We have the ability to plow, sow, water, and reap, but God gives the increase; he causes the growth of <makes> the wheat, <grain> and all the fruits of the earth. <grow> Without the blessings of God upon the air, the water, <and> the earth, <upon> our labors, and <upon> the seeds we plant in the ground, we could not possibly receive any crops in return. If the latterdaysaints fully <understood> realized this, they would not be too coveteous to pay their just debts and <to> contribute towards emigrating the poor, and towards the general <the> advancement of the kingdom of God. <generally> The people have yet to learn that the Lord can send an obundance here when he pleases.
Br. Heber C. Kimball prophecied, <when we first> at an early day in the settlement of these vallies and when the people were in great need of clothing, that clothing would be sold in Great Salt lake City cheaper than it could be bought in St. Louis. He said this while the companies of 1848 <we> were on the road here, and after we arrived here. This was at the time a considerably had <a great deal> to beleive, <certainly>, but <two> one year<s> had not passed away before this prophecy was litterally fulfiled. There <is> was a cause for this, as there is for every thing.
The gold was discovered in Callifornia; <and> <which> this caused <a great emagration> large numbers of <the> gold seek<ing>ers <public> to cross the plains, and in their inexperience they <with their waggons> loaded their wagons with everything that was useful for this people. When they arrived in this valley they were satisfied that they could not prosecute their journey while so heavily loaded, <so> and they sold <it> out what they could not take for what they could get, <for it>, and the saints were clothed and comforted. The lord has power to produce stil greater results for the benefit of his people by simple, natural means.
Those who help to role on this kingdom, whether it <is> be by contributing their mites, or by contributing out of their abundance, are blessed of the Lord; still, that which we contribute is the Lord's, <and> and in strictness we own nothing. When this can be fully understood, <by the people> then can we be perfectly free <in our feelings> from coveting and idolizing that wnich does not in reality belong to us. It is written, He that hath pity upon the poor, lendeth unto the Lord; and that which he hath given will he pay him again." If we will go to <put forth> with our might to gather the poor saints, God will abundantly bless all our labors. <abundantly>. If we do not take a course to secure to ourselves the blessings of Heaven, we may expect the earth, the air, and the water to be so unproductive <so> as to make it impossible for man to live here. That, however, will not be, for <we> we wil gather the poor saints, and obtain the blessings of God upon our labors.
This life is most precious to us, let us honor it, and reap every advantage we can in it by devoting every day of it to the building up of the kingdom of God. By doing this we shall add life to life, strength to strength, and truth to truth; gathering to ourselves all the knowledge and all the power God has in store for the faithful to subdue the earth, redeem it and ourselves, and prepare all for the presence of God. When we learn our true position before the Lord we shall then be willing to faithfully do our duties. <faithfully before the Lord>
Ephraim is mixed with all the nations of the Gentiles, and with all the tribes of Isreal. Ephraim is scattered over the face of the whole earth. I am now looking upon the children of Ephraim. The children of Manassa are <is> also here. Ephraim must be gathered first. Joseph became the saviour of his father's house. In the latter days Isreal will bless in Ephraim; "And he blessed them that day, saying, In thee shall Isreal bless, saying, God make thee as Ephraim and as Manasseh". The old patriarch Jacob said of Manasseh, "he also shall become a people, and he also shall be great: but truly his younger brother shall be greater than he, and his seed shall become a multitude of Nations."
We are gathering the Ephraimites, for they are the children of <the> him who holds the birth right, and they must first come from the Nations. <first>. You, my brethren and Sisters, are the decendants of Ephraim. When we have gathered from England all we can, <gather from England> we have not yet done. We may then go on to the Continant and prosecute our labors eastwardly until we reach the Pacific, <or> then we may travel North and South to the poles and gather up the house of Isreal, for they are mixed among all nations. We must not sit down here in Utah in self-security, building our houses, planting our vinyards, enjoying our mountain homes and eating the fruits of our gardens and vinyards, paying no attention to our brethren who are still scattered abroad. There <is> are yet outside more <yet> to enter the Church than have already entered it. We are all children in this great work. We have only just commenced the work, which will continue until the house of Isreal is gathered to the land of their fathers. <To> The law will go from Zion to all nations long before we have done gathering the house of Isreal.
Will Jerusalem be esstablished? It matters not. They <are> Jews are <the> transgressors against the Law of God. They said <let> "His blood be on us and on our children." There are some in this Church who claim to be Jews, but there is not a full blooded Jew in this Church that will remain in it, neither will there <ever> be. They cannot receive <and stay in it> their inheritances <with the family of Jacob> until the whole family of Jacob have first received theirs. <So as> and in the case of <Cain> the decendants of Cain, <for instance> they cannot receive their blessings until all the children of Adam have first received theirs, then will the seed of Cain receive their inheritances with their brethren.
I think there <is> are persons here who are conversant with <witnessed> my first carreer in Mormonisam.' When I gathered with the saints, there were few <men> who had less <to gather> of this world's goods to gather with than I had. I tarried with Joseph five years, preaching the Gospel, attending conferences, and laboring with my hands. At the end of that time I had accumalated property worth five thousand dollars, besides sustaining not less than eight persons in my small family. All my brethren have the same privilege of working as I used to. <do>. Every dime that came into my possession I received <I received> as a gift from God, and I asked wisdom of him <how> to dispose of it to sustain myself and family, and <how> to do good to his kingdom on the earth. I did the best I could with the means put into my hands, and what I could not do the Lord <supplied. <made up> We shall yet learn that twenty five cents <is better> in the hands of a righteous man will go farther in <towards> sustaining a family, <than twenty fie dollars> than twenty five dollars in the hands of a wicked person,
I wish the congregation to listen to the counsel br. Amasy has given us: Viz to always keep before us the bright side of life. We are in a world of sin, darkness, unbeleif, temptation and trial, and if we ever expect to get into the Celestial kingdom of God, we must <abide a revelations to be found in this book, wherein we> learn that the people of God must be tried in all things, even as his servant Abraham was tried, "For by faith Abraham, when he was tried, offered up Isaac." It is well to be prepared to meet every trial through which we may be called to pass in our journey to our Celestial inheritance, that we may meet them with a cheerful, and not with a sad countenances, saying, "God and his kingdom, <or nothing> or nothing," for <me> us .
However I <I would> do not wish <however> to measure others by <in> my standard <with> in regard to <the> power and ability to meet trials. All of us <we> have <all> weaknesses, and we shall continue to have them more of less so long as this mortality continues, <and there are always some who are weaker than others> It is good for all to keep in rememberance the good <which> God has done to us; and as to the evil the devil has sought to bring upon us, let Satan step behind, and let the mercy of God be constantly magnified in our eyes. Some suppose that they have greater trials than they can possibly bear, when in comparrison their trials are as nothing. Think of persons who are in a state of starvation, hated, reviled, and buffeted, scorned, cast out and dispised, with not a freind to speak a comforting word to them, compare your present circumstances and condition with theirs, and then will you say that the latterday saints <your> day saints have trials that they cannot bear? It is <faulse> not so. I have so many freinds here that if I were to gratify them with a shake of mmy hand till they were satisfied, it would tire my arm exceedingly. <I would not be able to get home to my house for hours, and>. Talk of trials! We know nothing about trials in these <in these>
peacefull vales of Deseret.
It <might> may be well to here inquire <here> how many of these mmy brethren would be <to> in laying aside their tobacco. It has been feared by some that we should have to stop work on the temple of God, for want of a supply of tobacco. I would not <lay down> neglect so important a duty, if I was never again <was> permitted to see a peice of tobacco. I should say to this foul weed, <stay there> You are not my master. <by any means" We cannot get the groceries we want and we must go somewhere else to work tor them. <That> Further a man that quites our public <solely> works solely with a <disign> view to better his condition, will sooner or later find that he has made it worse. <worsen it sooner or later. Any> <There is> No man who enlists to build up the kingdom of God, and to observe the counsel of God, <that> can obtain the blessings he seeks by deserting <from> the standard he has engaged to sustain.
<Suppose we> Let us quit chew useing tobacco, <In any shape, though I have told the brethren if they do> or if any continue to they ought to raise it. Our soil and climate are also well adapted to <And for the comfort of the sisters I will say there is not a better climate in the world for the raising and manufactures of> raising tea. and if <this> <than than our climate. If> you raise <the tea> it, I do not object to your drinking it; it is a good medicine. That <specious> kind of food or drink which is the least liable to create an <growing and> ungovernable apetite is the <least> most healthful. <imregnated with poison, and visa, versa.> Few are acquainted with this fact. You may chew lobelia as long as you please, <until dooms day> and you <never> can not acquire <form> an apitite for it as you can for tobacco, opium, tea, coffee, etc., etc. More poison can be extracted from a one ounce of tobacco than can be found in tons of lobelia. There is but little narcotick influence in wheaten bread> I have been in the habit of useing tobacco a great deal in my life, but it is now almost two years and a half since I have tasted it. Has the forsaking of it caused me much suffering? <Look at me, Do I look unusually wrinkled, gray, pale and wan? <More than usualy> It is a year and a half since I have tasted tea. Do you think that I have suffered much <by> through the want of it? Do you think that I am less influenced by the gift and power of the Holy Spirit than formerly? I do not drink tea, <or> Coffee, nor intoxicating drinks. Does abstinance from these <hurt> injure my health or improve it? My appearence will answer this question. Do you think that my mind is less active and clear <blunted in the least> in consequence of not useing these <poisonous substances?> drinks? Brethren, why not abstain <do> as I have done? <in abstaining from these hurtful luxeries. I cannot ask this of the sisters, while a man longs for his tobacco and feels as though he cannot live without it, I have no disposition to say to his wife cease drinking tea, and if you drink tea do not drink it stron. Ye> Elders of Isreal, if <do> you acckowledge that tobacco is your master, <then hide your faces and say that you are not mmen, but simply lhuman beings dictated and> you must also confess that you are more or less lead by appitite instead of sound sense, reason, and the revelations of God.
Now, brethren and sisters, remember your blessings, and murmer not against the Lord your God in they day of your prosperity, least worse may betide you. There is not a man, woman, or child in our Territory that is without bread, and this congregation of over two thousand people <are> is well clad. I behold some <here that> who are clad <by> in material made with their own hands. This is indeed praiseworthy. Substantial home-made clothing will yet become more popular and universal among us, for it <will> bids fair to soon be sheep or no <trousers> coats, cotton or no shirts. I sincerly disire to see that time, and then merchants will cease to bring goods from abroad to this market. I much disire to see the labor of the people classified, to see this kingdom esstablished socialy and politically. We are fast advancing towards the condition in which <this glorious state of things, when> we shall see every man in the most suitable position, <his place>, and doing that which he is called to do.
You <that want> who desire to go and preach the gospel, <to gain renown>, bring on your cattle and grain, and sell them for cash, and put one half of that money into the P. E. Fund to gather the poor.
We want about two hundered more families <more> to go to the cotton district. We wish to strengthen the settlement already formed there, and raise to all the cotton we need for home consumtion.
<Now> Let us contemplate en the Greatness of our blessings, and not be <continually> thinking that our condition is one to be mourned over. <"O br. Brigham what shall I do? I cannot respect my husband; I wish I had a I could respect and look up to." I wish you had. "My husband will not do as I wish him to." All I mean to say about this is,> Let <me> us so walk as to know and be satisfied that <I have done> we are doing right, that <I am> we are in favor with the Heavens, and then if anybody is dissatisfied <I> we cannot help it. When we have taken a course to please our Heavenly Father, then are we pleased with ourselves and with our <heaven> labors, and it <is little> matter little who else is pleased or displeased. <Where in I can please a wife or a child I will do anything they ask, if they ask anything which does not please me to give, then it is no I am master here, and in my house God must reign.> I endeavor to look at the magnitude of my blessings more than at the greatness of my troubles. I do not lay down a single night to sleep, without the sweet joy and satisfaction <to> of knowing that God is my freind, and that all good persons in the kingdom of God are my freinds, and that I am their freind and the freind of all good men. My path through life has been strewen with blessings; I have nothing to complain of; my path to God is light and cheery, and my life is one continued round of favor, mercy and kindness from the hands of my Heavenly Father. I do not know that a <that> person lives who has greater reason than myself to be thankful to God and to worship and praise <the name of God than myself> him. I desire with all my heart to be his faithful son, and I ask him to assist me to be so.
I wish to live until the earth is redeemed, to see the time when Jesus can reign without a murmur or complaint from any one -- when there shall be no voice raised against his reign, and none to complain when the earth and its fullness shall be dilivered into the hands of the Saviour and holy beings. Then shall my soul be satisfied. But until then, O Iord, let me live to contend against the wicked until <every poor unrepentant rotton hearted person shall be swept from the earth, and> the righteous and the good take their places.
The wicked <All such> will go to hell, because they are determined to <have it> do so. They are determined to fulfil the prophecies of Joseph Smith. No man need lift up his heart in prayr to God to turn away the prophecies of Joseph, nor to stop the great work <the Great work> of the Almighty, for his inscrutable purposes will be fulfiled. My soul pities the wicked, and I would that they were righteous.
May God bless you. Amen.