1865 October 9 General Conference Remarks


1865 October 9 General Conference Remarks



Date (allowed formats: yyyy, yyyy/mm, yyyy/mm/dd)



George D. Watt
George Q. Cannon

extracted text

by President Brigham Young, at the Gen Con. <in> Great Salt Lake City,
October 9th, 1865.
Reported by G. D. Watt
I wish now to deliver a few short discourses to the the Latter-day Saints, <neither> and it does <it> not matter which of them I deliver first, because they are all of equel interest and importance to the Saints, and <will be and> will be spread upon the pages of the "Deseret News" for them to read at their leizure in that order that may suit them.
The first <I> item that presents itself to me is, to call upon the sisters, and <you know> they form an important element of the kingdom of God in the last days. <to call upon them> to listen to the will of God concerning them, that they go to<o> now and manufacture from straw, grass or any other fitting material that grows in these valleys, their bonnets and hats, and cease to sell the barley, the oates, the wheat, etc., to buy imported ones, <and then> or when the wheat and the oates and the barley are all sold, get your husbands to run into debt for that which you can as as well make yourselves as not. <and> I am satisfied that we can make, from materiel grown in these valleys, bonnets and hats as beautiful to look upon as anything that has ever been imported into this territory.
I am addressing myself to the ladies of the kingdom of God, to those who know how to keep their houses, <and> furniture, and beds pure and clean, who can cook food for their husbands and children in a way that it will be <healthy>, clean, tasteful and wholesome. The woman that can do this I call a lady. In this view I differ from the world generally; for the lady of the world is not supposed to know anything about what is going on in the kitchen; her highest ambition is to be sure and be in the fashion, at no matter what cost to her husband or father; she considers that she may as well be out of the world as out of the fashion.
There has been a great deal said upon the subject of Home Manufactoring; and the article of straw <from which hats and bonnets can be made> is the readiest to come at of any other material of which clothing is made. Now, my sisters, will you hearken to those who spend all their time to do you good, <to those> who traverse the world over to gather the Saints -- to preach the Gospel, make <Saints> beleivers and gather them together that they may <be made> become saints <of hereafter?> -- will you hearken to this counsel and obey it? Rye should be sown in the spring, and cut in the proper season, and cured as it should be to make good straw for hats and bonnets, and our boys and girls should braid it, and have it made <into hats and bonnets> up, and save the immence amount of ready means which we have to pay out for that article alone. Will the sisters belonging to the Kingdom of God do this? I might call for a vote of those who are present, and no doubt you <would> all would enter into a covenant to perform this duty, and many very likely would not give the matter another thought. I will not ask you to vote; but I will ask you to do this as a duty, and to commence right away in this City by Wards; and form yourselves into a societies for the accomplishment of this purpose, and see that the little boys and girls, instead of their running wild in the streets, throwing the dust and dirt into their hair and garments from morning until night, are brought into the house, their skins washed clean, their hair combed neatley, and they set to braiding straw. This will teach them to become industrious, and save them from contracting <into> habits of indolence and slothfulness, and be the means of <besides aiding in the> introducing <of> an important branch of industery into our Country. <domestic economy>. How much better this would be than to let <alone> our children <to> waste their time in unnecessary play; they need time to study, time for recreation, and time to be engaged in some useful employment. It is the duty of parents to see that the time of their children is properly appropriated to persuits of usefulness, profit and advantage to themselves, to their parents or gaurdians, and to the kingdom of God at large, that they may grow up to become efficient and worthy citizens of that kingdom.
Bishops, will you see that enough rye is sown to supply <your warads with straw sufficient to supply> the wants of the people of your wards, and see that the crop is harvested when it should be to make good straw for braiding. If you will do this, and the people will not avail themselves of making their own hats and bonnets, there is no complaint can be attatched to you. I have raised crops of rye straw from year to year, and invited the people to use <it> the straw for making bonnets and hats; but, no,
<Mr Livingston or Mr. Holladay> the merchants had imported bonnets, and our ladies <want to> preferred going to the stores and bonnet, and buying them bonnet, and then at a clerk, ahd then at another bonnet and then at another clerk, and what is the price of this and that and the other, and I want to see every thing in the store, and I want to spend my time here, and my rye straw whuld have to lie there without being used year after year. This applies to a few and I wish none to accept this censure only those who have This is one of the mysteries of the kingdom. When will this people be saints indeed? Not until they observe every counsel that is given to them of this kind, doing with their might the things that are required of them. I know <that> it is the will of the Lord that this people should manufacture what they <to> wear and consume; and <besides> in addition to, its being the will of the Lord, <our location and> the liability of our being cut off from supplies, through being so far distant from the great manufacturing districts, to <say nothing of what true economy would suggest, to us> teaches us that it is wisdom and true economy that
we should <persue> adopt this course. The money which this community has expended in <straw> hats and bonnets for men, women and children in the last year would <serve for> bring scores and hundreds of the poor saints from the Old countries to these valleis of Utah. Is it wise in us and pleasing to the Lord, for us to place the means he has blessed us with where it does not belong. while our sons and our daughters instead of idling away their time or being employed in that which does not profit them or us might be engaged in preserving <it> such means among us to be applied in the further progress of the work of God? <instead of their idling away their time, or being employed in that which does not profit them or us.>
My next discourse will be upon merchandizing. We are here in these valleys of the mountains, organized as a people; and we know how we came to be here; and we know the designs of <our enemies> God, and the designs of <our enemies> conserning us; we know <the mark of> distinction which <that> is <held> between this people and the world; these things we understand. <it> Now, we propose to the bishops, presiding Elders and leading members of the Church, <who> that are here assembled to represent the kingdom of God upon the earth, and to all those who are not here <being here at> <are not present in here in every place> who act in these capacities in the various places where there are saints gathered together, <but who are not here at present> to do their own merchandizing and cease to give <your> the wealth which the Lord has given us to those who would destroy the kingdom of God and scatter us to the four winds, if they had the power. Cease to buy from them <every> the gewgaws and frivolous things they bring here to <get> sell to us for our money and means -- means that we should have to bring the poor here, to build our temples, our towers, ornament our public grounds and buildings and to beautify our Cities. For as merchandizing has been generally conducted here, instead of having our means to perform these public works, it has been bourn away by our enemies by the million.
I wish the brethren, in all our settlements, to buy the goods they must have, <and> and freight them with their own teams; and then let <all the> every one of the <very> Iatter-day saints, male and female, decree in their <or her> hearts that <they> <hear the> they will buy of nobody else but their own faithful brethren, who will do good with the money they will <get>. I know <that> it is the will of God that we should sustain ourselves, for, if we do not, we must perish, so far as receiving aid from any quarter, except God and ourselves. If we have not capital ourselves, there are plenty of honorable men whom our brethren can enter into partnership with, who would furnish and assist them whenever they should
receive an intimation to that effect.<If before the kingdom of God> I know it is our duty to save ourselves; the <devil> enemy of all righteousness will do nothing to <save us> help us in that work, neither will his children; we have <got> to preserve ourselves, for our enemies are determined to destroy us. I know it is the duty of this people to build up themselves; for our enemies will not build us up, but they will do their uttermost to tare us down. This will not apply to all; but there are enough to bark and yelpt and growl and snarl till the peaceable good meaning <man> dare not open his mouth. We have thousands of warm-hearted friends <that> who dare not say anything in favor of this people. We have friends in Congress who wish us to become a State in the Union; but they dare not tell of it. No, let them only say <that> in their own districts that they would vote for Utah to become a State, and that would be their political grave, and they know it. If nobody will speak for us, let us speak for ourselves; if no person else will do anything for us, let us do something for ourselves. This is right -- it is politically right, religiously right, nationally right, socially and moraly right, and it is right <every time, it is> in every sense of the word right for us to sustain ourselves.
Let us save that money which we spend for straw bonnets and hats, and the trimmings that are upon them. You may ask me if I think my family will start out with a good example in this direction; I hope <do not think that> they will, <yet> <there is a number of them that will would do it>. If we will be diligent in <pursuing> this kind of economy, and make all we can <make> within ourselves, and send out as little of our ready means as possible, it will <would> place at our controle means, which we do not now command, to gather thousands of the poor saints.
What I am now about to say <all applies more particularly to the brethren for the sisters do not use tobacco as a general thing> is on the subject of the use of tobacco. Let us raise our own tobacco, or quit useing it. In the years 49, 50, 51, 54 and 55, <so> and so long as I <and if you cannot fancy tobacco of your own raising> ketpt myself posted respecting the amount <spent> expended yearly by this people at the stores for articles of merchandize, we spent upwards of one hundred thousand dollars a year for tobacco alone! We now spend considerably more than we did then. <that amount> Let us save this ready means in our country by <quiting> abstaining from the use of this narcotic, or raise it ourselves. <and this will give us quite a purse> By so doing, we will have that amount of means to <thus> circulate in that channels of usefulness and profit <that> which will add to our strength, to our permanancy, and to our influence and importance as a great people. But when we place <the> hundreds of thousands of dollars in the hands of those who are not of us, whose homes are not with us, who spend nothing to build up our country, but come here merely to make fortunes to spend elswhere, we give them so much of our strength, and we are proportionatly weakened. This is poor economy, and is displeasing to the Lord because it retards the development of His purposes. <and is virtually throwing that which is holy to the dogs>.
I will not call upon you to enter into a covenant to do this, for some might break their covenants and that would be a sin, but I want what you<r> do<ing> in this matter to be prompted by a desire to bring to pass some permanant profit and good to yourselves and to the Cause which we represent. I want you to do it as I have done it myself. I have never made a covenant since I entered this Church, only to do good and serve the Lord our God, and in every possible way aid in developing His purposes. The Lord gave me strength to lay aside tobacco, and it is very <as a regular daily practice I do not drink> rarely indeed that I taste tea or Coffee; <I drink it now and then yet> I have no <any> objection to aged persons, when they are fategued and feel infirm taking a little <tea and coffee, or even a little spirits> stimulus that will do them good. It is wrong to use narcotics, <substances, until> for the nervous system is destroyed or injured thereby; but we should maintain a healthy action of all the powers of the body, which should be devoted to the service of our Father and God in building up His kingdom on the earth.
Now, brethren -- Bishops, presiding Elders, influential men, men of property and money, will you go to now and gather up the means in your settlements and set some good reliable men to merchandizeing in every settlement, men who, if they make anything, will devote it to the building up of the kingdom of God upon the earth. I care not how much a man makes, if he only devotes it to proper uses, or <that where it should be devoted, it is very little difference> how rich <a man is> he may be if he make a right application of his riches <a proper use of it>. It is the bad use that men make of their wealth which God objects to. Go to<o>, my brethren, and prepare yourselves forthwith to <s>import the goods you must have, yourselves, and never admit of a store being started in your neighborhood again that you <do> can not controle. It may be asked how you can prevent it. By never spending a dollar with any who will not aid in developing the country and in building it up, <by never spending a dollar but let their rags stay upon the shelves until they rot, for aught you care, and spend your means with those who will do good go with it to the kingdom of God.>
It is the duty of this people to do their own merchandizing. and, If I had the power, I would prevail upon them <people to do their own merchandizing>, to take care of themselves, to provide for themselves, and use their <own> means in a way to benefit and bless themselves, instead of pouring it into the laps of those who <that> will squander <it away>, and make an ill use of it, who will use it to sustain the power of the enemy in his operations against the kingdom of God, <instead of doing that pput it into the hands of those who will build upp the kingdom of God> This is right, and who can say aught against it? Nobody but a fault-finder or an accuser. As it has always been, and will be yet for some time, when the sons of God assemble together Satan will be on hand as an accuser of the brethren, to find fault with those that are trying to do good. <I have ceased to trade and spend money the merchants in this City for some years back. I have not traded one dollar that I know of with those who would distroy us for many years> What I have said on this matter will answer my purpose.
There is another item which I will now notice, and until we learn <these> such things I will promise you that we shall never inheret the Celestial kingdom. We are gathered together for the purpose of learning what to do with this present life, and with the present blessings bestowed upon us. If we do not learn these lessons, how can we expect to be trusted with the <blessings> riches of eternity; for he that is faithful over a few things shall be made ruler over many things. The item I wish to refer to, is the great loss which the people of this Territory suffer yearly in Stock. I have talked about it heretofore many times, and tried to prevail upon the brethren to save their stock. When we are blessed with an increase of Cattle, and we disregard this blessing which the Lord bestowes upon us, we thereby incur His displeasure, and lay ourselves liable to punishment. What <is there an> earthly father <who> would <continue to> bestow blessings upon a son with satisfaction and pleasure while that son <will> would continue to squander them and gamble them away for nothing. After a time that father would <will> withhold his favors, and bestow them upon the more worthy child. The Lord is more merciful than we are; but there may be a termunation to His gifts, if we do not receive them with gratitude and take good care of them when we have <got> them in our Possession. Let the people take care of their cattle and horses, and the man <who> that does not do it will <be> lay himself liable to censure in the eyes of justice
Listen to this advice, for here is economy. We have to gather the people, to send our Elders forth into all the world to preach the gospel to every creature; and when the people are gathered, there is probably not one family to fifty out of those who are brought here that knows anything about cultivating the earth, raising cattle, or doing anything to sustain themselves; we have to learn them this after they come here. We have importuned and plead with <the people> and instructed the people on these topics all the day long, rising early and continuing late until now, and many, a great many have profited by our labors. The citizens of this City are tolerably comfortable, <a great>, a great many of them have an abundance of fruit, and they enjoy it. It is very healthy for them and their children to eat in the season thereof, and it helps many to sustain their families tolerably comfortable; and then they raise a few chickens, and they have <there> one or two pigs <higs> in the pen, and a cow to give them milk and butter; though as the cows <have been> are now fed, they are not very profitable to their owners.
I have lamented much that the people <did> do not take the precaution to feed their <stock> cows. Let those who have cows in the City, sow a little Luceren seed in their gardens, say three or four rods square, and see that it is well cultivated, and you can feed your cows a little of this two or three times a day, and take a little oates or wheat for your labor and get it chopped, and feed them a little of that every day, and give them the weeds you pull out of the garden, and the slops from the kitchen. <and> In this way it is not difficult to keep a cow the year round <all summer and not have her go> over <Jordan> Jordan & six or seven miles for a few dry weeds, and be all day, or as long as <they> she remains there without water and without shade, when she returns <home full of river water and> to the river she fills herself with water <at the river> and comes home looking very full, yet hungry enough to crop the currant bushes where she can reach them, and eat the weeds from under our fenses. This is not right; raise lucern, plant a few hills of corn, and take off the outside leaves of your cabages and give to her; sow your beats and carrots, and what you do not use for greens, save and give to the cow. Save everything that she will eat, and feed it to her in a way that she will relish it and eat it all up; feed it to her fresh, and not suffer it to rot about the kitchen and the doors to become a sickley nuiccense to your children.
By taking this course, you can as well milk eight quarts of milk twice a day as two, according to the quality of the cow and the kind of feed you give her. Thus you have your milk and a little butter, and your meat <from> of your own <pen> raising, and your eggs and chickens, and your fruit; and <thus> you have <got> a living here off an acre and a quarter of land, such a little farm well tilled and well managed, and the products of it economically applied, will do wonders towards keeping and educating a small family, <and> let the little children do their part, when they are nott engaged in their studies, in kniting <sto> their stockings and mittens, braiding straw for their hats, or spinning yarn for their frocks and under clothing. If this people would strictly observe these simple principles of econemy, they would <get> wome become so rich that they would <scarcely be> not have room sufficient to hold their abundance; their store houses would run over with fullness, and their vats with new wine.
Now, cultivate your farms and gardens well, and drive your stock to where they can live through the winter, if you have not feed for them, Do not keep so many cattle, or in orther words more than you can well provide for and make profitable to yourselves and to the kingdom of God. We have hundreds and thousands of fat cattle upon the ranges, and yet we have no beef to eat, or very little. Kill your cattle when they are fat, and salt down the meat, that you may have meat to eat in the winter and some to dispose of to your neighbors for their labor to extend your improvements. Lay up your meat and not let it die on your hands. <It> Such a course is not right, <they> Cattle are made for our use, let us take care of them.
I have now a proposition to make to the Latter-day Saints; and here is the strength and power of Isreal to listen to it. <and that> It is to send five hundred teams to the Missouri river next season -- five hundred good teams, with four yoke of oxen forward of a good wagon, to bring all the poor who <that> have a mind to come to these valleys. There are hundreds who can get to the fruntiers, but no further; and rather than leave their homes in the old countries and be left among strangers in a strange land, they <would rather> stay at home. What do you say, <about it> shall we send down five hundred teams next season? <The Conference was unanimously in favor of this <dicision> movement.) I would suggest that we take cattle and wagons from Utah. <and cattle>. The wagons that are made in the East now are not so good as they were years ago. The demand has made good wagon timber scarse, and it is rather <that it will now be very> difficult to get as good wagons as we got a few years ago.
<I have talked long enough>. Before the time of starting, you will be furnished with a Circular of instructions. May the Lord bless you. Amen.