1862 December 7 Remarks in the Salt Lake Tabernacle


1862 December 7 Remarks in the Salt Lake Tabernacle



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George D. Watt

extracted text

by President Brigham Young Tabernacle Dec 7th 1862
Reported by G. D. Watt.

When a servant of God shall speak upon any portion of the subject which pertains to the salvation of man through the redemtion wrought out by the son of God, if <the speaker> he is inspired with the spirit of his <office> calling, and the minds of the people who hear are open to the subject, something new, gratifying, and cheering will always be advanced.
A speaker may speak by the power of the spirit of truth, but if there is no place found for the truth in the hearts, or minds, of the people they cannot be benifited by it. A person may speak the truth while not perticularly under the special influence of the Holy Ghost, yet <but> if the Holy Spirit rests upon the people they will be benifitted and blessed. But to make our associations in this capacity <extremely> mutlay benificial, we should have the spirit of God both to speak and to hear. <unless this is the case we cannot be mmutually benifited> We are babes and sucklings in the things of God, and can only bear to be fed with milk. There are but a few who can bear stronger food. We see in part, under-
stand in part, know in part. We, however have great cause to be thankful that we can aproach the fountian of knowledge, and receive more and more as we have strength to <re> bear it, and wisdom to use it. We are required to increase in faith, hope and charity, in our disires for purity, truth, justice, and <mercy> equity, seeking constantly to be filled with compassion, mercy, and long suffering towards each other. We <are required> should apply our hearts to wisdom that pertains both to the
heavens and to the earth, to the improvement of mankind, in their mental and fisical ability, they may become perfect, and filled with the wisdom and power of God. We are of the earth earthy, we cling to it with great tenacity, and disire to possess every thing which will please the eye gladden the heart and make the body comfortable; with a veiw to prolong its existance here; there is nothing that mankind disires more than immortality. There is nothing they shrink from more than they shrink from death and disolution; yet it is plain to all those who have the light of the Holy Spirit that the whole world are persueing a course dirrectly opposite to that which they <are> so earnestly seek. The things they do not wish to do, in their ignorance they are constantly doing. This is also the case with many of this people called Latterdaysaints. They disire to take a course that will increase and sustain life, that will norish, <and> honor, it and preserve it, and that will bring it into the eternal worlds to continue forever and ever; but they are taking precisely the opposite dirrection, although they have much truth and light. The outside world are not destitute of truth, they have much <a great deal of> truth, on a great many subjects. Probably there is more scientific and philosophical truth developed in the world now than has been in any previous age of its history; and They have many correct ideas with regard to futurity, and the supreme being; though they are ignorant as to how to procure eternal life in his presence. I have been instructed in <from> my boyhood, by my parents and those who professed to be teachers in Isreal to forsake all e vil, to learn to do good, and to fear the Lord and love him with all my mind, might and strength. We understand that the spirit of God is upon all the workmanship of his hands; <it is in the hearts of the inhabitants of the whole earth>; it fills the atmosphere, and rests upon the waters, filling them with life; it impregnates the soul, and giveth life to plants; it is upon every creature small and great, and it is in the hearts of the people. "O Lord how manifold are thy works! in wisdom hast thou made them all: the earth is full of thy riches. So is this great and wide sea, wherein are things creeping unnumerable, both small and great beasts." "These wait all upon thee, that thou mayest give them their meat in due season." "Thou hidest thy face, they are troubled: thou takest away their breath, they die, and return to their dust. Thou sendest forth thy Spirit, they are created: and thou renewest the face of the earth." When a faithful Elder goes forth with the Gospel of the Lord Jesus it carries conviction to the hearts of those who hear it, those who receive it rejoice, while those who who reject it are abandoned by the spirit of God and they hate the Gospel and are filled with great wrath against the Lord's anointed. They are the wicked. "I the Lord am angery with the wicked; I am holding my spirit from the inhabitants of the earth. I have sworn in my wrath, and decreed wars upon the face of the earth, and the wicked shall slay the wicked, and fear shall come upon every man, and the Saints also shall hardly escape; nevertheless, I, the Lord, am with them, and will come down in heaven from the presence of my Father and consume the wicked with unquenchable fire." These words were given to Joseph Smith in 1831.
The preaching of the Gospel maketh beleivers, and they become of one heart and of one mind, and gather themselves together in one place upon the land of Zion, they banish sin from their midst, from their neighborhoods, cities, country, place and nation. This is what the wicked dread, and such an order of things they will try to distroy with all their mights. As the jews said of the saviour, "lf we let him thus alone, all men will believe on him: and the Romans shall come, and take away both our place and nation." The same conviction and the same fear that <is> was carried to the hearts of the people of this age by the preaching of the Gospel in the days of the saviour, is created in the people of this age by the preaching of the same Gospel. <in this age>. They are not willing to bear the scoffs and frowns of a wicked world for righteousness sake; the spirit of truth is withdrawn from them, and they hate the truth, and those who proclaim it; they hate God and love sin, they hate light and love darkness, and take to their bosoms sorrow, misery, desolation and the second death; <the very> the very results they would avoid. Hear it ye Elders of the Church, and all ye inhabitants of the earth, there is no principles of Government any where that is capable of preserving a people individually; or collectively as a perpetual kingdom or Government outside of the religion of our Lord Jesus Christ, possessed by the Iatterdaysaints. This is the truth though all men should reject it. Purity is the parent of happiness, joy, and peace; these are sought for by all Mankind, but they seek them through the means of sin, which is the mother of all the ills that comes upon our race, happiness iludes their grasp, and they fall headlong into the vortex of distruction.
Generations have come and gone, but the world endures, and we are in the world; nations and kingdoms are formed and endure for many years, but they will not endure for ever; they have in them the seeds of their own distruction; they contain a mine of distructive materiel which only needs touching with the match to ignite the whole fabric and burst it to peices; I wish this understood in a political point of veiw. <and> There is nothing outside of the religion of Jesus Christ that can produce laws that will preserve a community, a nation, a world, an individual to a perpetual endurance. I may say truly that there is not another nation under the heavens that abuse the principles of virtue and truth more than the nation which we hail as ours. The name of God is blasphemed from morning until evening by the Great majority of the dignatories of the nation; and they trample under their feet every sacred and holy principle to get the advantage of one another. They do not understand that this course actually produces death to them. But there is an influence gone forth in these days to wake up the saints on the earth, and bring them together, and the kingdom of God will increase until the nations of the earth shall tremble before it, and Jesus Christ will soon reign king of Nations, as he does now king of Saints. Faith comes by hearing the word of God proclaimed by a man sent of God. In this way our understandings are corrected, our judgments informed, and we are taught how to beleive. The old and New testaments have had their influence upon many generations of the human family; its moral precepts have checked the current of iniquity, and has kept the world from falling bodily into total barbarism. Certain evils forbidden by the bible have become unpopular, and their oposite virtues are almost universally taught and practiced. The world therefore is not totaly ignorant of what to do to be saved. There is very few persons on the earth but what are seeking their own good and happiness some in this way and some in that, and many would die to gain some kind of empty renown, they would be willing to be blown up in a magazine, for instance, to be talked of a few <thousand> years. There is but a few however who are so fool hardy. Immence has been the distruction of life and property upon the plains in the search for gold. Thousands have started from the old homestead to the gold feilds of Callifornia with a veiw to save their lives, and redeem their fortunes, and have lost all. In trying to obtain riches, and through that means worldly station and honer they have forsaken their dear ones at home, and <they have> plunged themselves into danger, defeated themselves, and sacrificed life honer station and everything that is dear to sensible men, to a low sordid thirst for wealth, which they supposed could bring to them happiness, and make their name and character immortal. Their bones now whiten the plains, and <or> the sandy deserts of the west, the little all of property and means they possessed is scattered and lost, and their names are <unknown> obliterated <fro> from the scrole of time. "Therefore take no thought, saying what shall we eat? or, what shall we drink? or, Wherewithal shall we be clothed? (For after all these things do the Gentiles seek:) "But seek ye first the kingdom of heaven, and his righteousness, and all these things shall be added unto you."
Looking at <veiwing> the kingdom of Great Britian in a political point of veiw she is one of the most powerful nations upon the earth, veiwing he religiously she is one of the most religious. The rulers of that nation wishes to perpetuate its existance to the latest generation; still the very policies they are and will adopt will bring about its distruction. <Somehow>
Where truth and virtue does not predominate in <any> a nation, its growth and prosperity in political influence, wealth, power, and grandure are only so many steps which lead to its utter overthrow. The American is the best earthly form of Government that we know anything about and we sinserely wish to maintain it; but the very course we are persueing to maintain it will burst it to peices. The cheife seat of the nation cannot be obtained only through bribery, and corruption; hence the true voice of the people is not heard in the choice of their cheif magestrate; but chickanery political wire working and deception are largly employed to secure the rains of Government. No president that has been so elected admires the way in which he has obtained his office, and he is fourced to admitt that he could not obtain it in any other way than to purchace it, and sucomb to the auful corruption that is spread throughout every department of the body politic. The presidential chair thus obtained is a thorney seat; and could we <obtain> learn the real feelings of the present executive of the nation, he wishes he had not sought the uncertian elevation he now occupies. Men do the things they would not and leave undone those things they would. The most intellegent and unprejudiced men of all nations, who are fully aquainted with the spirit and genious of the American form of Government, will give to it the preference over all other earthly Governments for the liberality of its institutions and the broadness of its Charter of equal rights. Could all people of all nations be made thourghly aquainted with the advantages held out to them under such a form of Government as ours, over what they now have under their own Government, they would become united with us, and pure republicism would become universal. Fifty years ago the administeration of our Government was not what it now is; Since that time they have banished prayr to God from their assemblies; they have done with God, they need none of his counsel, and will not have a minister ask any favor at his hands, for guidence and direction; they feel perfectly able to manage their own afairs, and how prettily they are doing it! Their cry has been "away with religion; away with the Latterdaysaints." They succeeded in driving them away, and much to my satisfaction. They are now afraid to admit us as a state into the union of States; <but they are afraid to do it>; The <raise> urge the question of polygamy as the cause, but that is not realy the cause; the true reason is because <of> the power of God Almighty is shed forth upon the minds of this people. There is just enough weight in the vote of Utah to turn the balance to the one side or to the other. The great parties of the Government see this, and dare not introduce into the political arena such a dangerous preponderating influence. We have been trying for years to save the people, and we will save all who will listen to the Gospel of life and salvation. Those who will embrace the fullness of the gospel, and live their religion and follow our council shall go with us into the kingdom of the eternal Father of heaven and earth. These are the things we would do. Let us do them with all our might in the way and manner marked out in the Gospel. I am proud to say that I own my father and God in the midst of this wicked and perverse generation. When we have fought the good fight, kept the faith, have overcome, and safly passed through the ordeals of this mortality, our greatest joy will be because we have loved God, kept his commandments, and asked no odds of the devil and all his emisaries. We are safly lodged in the mountains; we have our nationality, we can at least be called a community I suppose. There is not a constitutional law of the federal Government, that Angels would not refuse <to be governed> to be governed by; and we have no laws in this Territory but what are good and righteous. It is not too much for us to say, we will honor and obey them, and also the laws of our God which do not conflict with the Constitutional laws of our Country. Let us apply our hearts to wisdom and do the things we shall wish we had done when we get through with this world. I wish to govern myself in such a way as never to let an ungovernable passion rise within me. If we can all do this, and subject ourselves wholy to the influence of the holy Spirit of God, and enaugerate a holy life we shall santify our hearts before God, and be prepared to enter his kingdom hereafter. Which may God Grant. Amen.