1866 October 7 General Conference Remarks


1866 October 7 General Conference Remarks



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



George D. Watt

extracted text

by President Brigham Young, at the Semi-Annual Conference, G. S. L. City,
Oct 7th, 1866
Reported by G. D. Watt

I have a few times in my life undertaken to preach to a traveling congregation, but my sermons have been very short, and far between. If a portion of this congregation have to do walking, I will wait until they get through with their pedestrian exercises, and then I will commence my remarks.
I have a few things to lay before this congregation that I think is worthy of my attention and the attention of the latter-day Saints every where, and that are worthy of the attention of those who do not beleive as the Saints do. I shall have a few words for the different classes of people who are assembled here to-day, if I can <manage> elevate my voice so as to be heard.
We have had the preivilege of meeting together many times in this capacity; the Saints enjoy privileges that no other Christian community enjoys. These blessings and privileges <in part> have been enumerated in part before this conference. We have heard the testemony of several of the Apostles this Conference, and I hope that we shall have time to hear from the rest of them who are present. The testemony that has been borne by the Elders in this meeting is verily true. There is no person, who have received the spirit of the Cospel, but what would delight to tell <their> his neighbors, <and their> his friends, <their> his relatives, and those with whom <they> he associates, the things of God which <they have> he has experienced and witnessed <theirselves> himself. There are but few who have the privilege of coming into this Stand to tell to the congregations of the Saints their experience; but they can sit down with their friends by their fire sides, and talk over <the matter> their history and experience in this Church and kingdom.
Most of the civilized nations have had the Gospel preached to them, and many of the barbarous nations. You have heard the brethren testify of what they have received when they beleived and obeyed the Gospel. It is very true that the Christian world <are> is seeking to know the Lord, and to understand His ways; but they do not seek Him in a way to find Him, and to know His will, <but> For revelation from him they have substituted the wisdom of men, and by this they never can find out God. There <is a> are but few individuals who, when they hear the Gospel preached, <who> are willing to humble themselves, and to seek unto the Lord in the name of Jesus for the testemony of the Holy Spirit to bear witness with their spirit <are> in regard to the truth of what they have heard. In this way, and in this way alone, is the Lord to be found. Men can never search out the mysteries of Godliness by the wisdom and learning of this world.
We heard a very strong testemony yesterday from Elder Taylor concerning receiving the Gospel. When I first heard the Gospel, I heard itfrom the most illiterate men that I knew. I cannot say that they were possessed of much more natural or aquired ability than I possessed myself. I heard them in my simplicity and plainness, in the few words which they could use in the English language, and The doctrine which they taught to me, and the testemnony which they bore concerning the New Testament -- the testemony of the Apostles conserning Jesus, and the sayings of the Saviour, and the signs that followed through obedience, I found to be true. I also
found that the teachings of the Elders <we> of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latterday Saints to be a precise pattern of the ancient Gospel taught by Jesus Christ and His Apostles.
There were a great many witnesses in the days of Jesus and the Apostles, and for many years after they were ceased their ministry on earth. We have no history from Gentile historians that contradicts the testemony of Jesus and the Apostles. Some histories as scepticle, but Josephus one of our standard historians, I beleive in no case disputed the testemony and His Apostles; and I think nearly, if not all the Christians historians corroberate the history of Josephus. Although we have only the testemony of eight men left on record that we consider authentic, who have testified to the mission of the Saviour. You will find the names of these eight men written in the New Testament. But in the testemony of the Gospel of the Son of God delivered in this our day, not only twelve men have testefied, but scores and hundreds and thousands. I think I can safely say, before Elder Taylor heard the gospel, these were all testefying that they knew by the power of God that Joseph Smith had a divinec mission; and that the Gospel and preisthood he had received were true. I was a witness of these things at that time, and shall I pretend to say that I would put up my judgement and sincerity against thec decision of the New Testament and the Book of Mormon, and there were Joseph Smith, Oliver Cowdery, David Whitmer, Martin Harris and other witnesses. In the face of all this testemony I thought it was too much for me to set up myself <testemony> against it.
I rejoice exceedingly in the effusion of the Spirit of the Lord through our Elders. It is the sweetest music I ever heard. My testemony of the Gospel of the Son of God, as it is revealed in this our day, has gone forth to the world. Brother Woodruff, in his remarks this morning, refered to the first blessings of the endewment in the temple at Kirtland, and took into consideration the importance of the Mission of an Elder of Isreal. In that endewment brother Joseph, the prophet, explained one saying in the scripture with regard to the washing of the feet of the Apostles. Jesus washed their feet before His death, and pronounced them clean; Joseph Smith washed the feet of the Elders, or assisted therein, and pronounced them clean if they had done their duty. He told the brethren that the<ir> garments of many of them were clean from the blood of this generation. <many of them>.
When I heard the Gospel proclaimed I was diligent to learn whether it was true or false. I had, previous to hearing it, examined every tenet, and every creed of all the Christian denominations <of the ages> I could become acquainted with in my Young days; and, in my judgement, pronounced them all to be <a peice of> folly and entirely unlike the system established by Jesus Christ and His Apostles. I was a firm believer in the Old and New Testaments, in Jesus Christ and in the system of Salvation which he introduced in His day, and, which he told his diciples to go and preach in all the world. When I read the New Testament, and compared the systems held forth for Salvation in Christiandom I came to the conclusion
that there was no such a being <as> living upon the earth as a Bible Christian. I was pronounced an ifidele by professors of religion; <the> Yet the most wicked<est> day I ever saw in my life, I would have been willing, if an high-way had been cast up, to have walked on my knees around the world, <to> if, by doing so, I could have found a man who would have told me the things of God. As for the men who stand in the pulpits teaching the people I looked upon them as blind <men> leading of the blind, knowing nothing of the things of God.
There are a great many smart men living upon the earth, talented theologians, who have taken pains to inform themselves on the subject of Christianity as far as study and learning would aid them. I was aquainted with several learned theologians. One of them had so thorougly studied the bible, he said that if every bible in the world were destroyed, he could
write another one, and not miss <a word> or misspell a word, or make a mistake in the pointing of a single sentence. I heard one of those very learned gentlemen preach at a quarterly Conference of the Methodies persuasion. He labored over two hours to define the Soul of man. This was an item I wanted to learn something about. I could read the Bible with regard to the spirits of men, and the salvation of man, and conserning God and Angels, and devils, and good men and bad men; but when the learned preacher took his text to preach upon the soul of man, I was rejoiced, and expected to be informed and edified upon that subject; and When this talanted man, this great scripturian had exhausted two hours, he wound up the whole with one grand, <concluding> crowning declaration-- that the soul of man is an immaterial substance. I was disapointed, and concluded that he was not an ignorant sectarian preist, but a fool. I was very young at that time, and durst not say a word; for I was only a boy. This preacher left us more ignorant upon the subject of the soul of man than when he found us. If there was a fog over <this> it when he commenced, it was much thicker when he left off than when he began.
Men graduate from institutions of learning to be ministers of the Gospel; they study and pray all their lives; and after all their piety, and penance, religion and learning, eloquence and noise on the subject of Godliness, they <most> generally come to the conclusion that, "Great is the mystry of Godliness; God was manifest in the flesh". It is certainly a mystry to them, and as Jesus said to His diciples, "it is given unto you to know the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven, but to them it is not given." When I heard the Gospel, it commended itself to my understanding, and I learned this one fact, that it is the only true philosophy in existance. It was so understood by the Ancient Apostles and servants of God; for they took pains to warn the saints, to "Beware lest any man spoil you through philosophy and vain deceit, after the tradition of men, after the rudiments of the world, and not after Christ". Man's philosophy is full of ignorance; it is like the bedstead the prophet Isaiah refers to: it "is shorter <than> than a man can stretch himself on it: and the covering narrower than that he can wrap himself in it." We testefy to all, both Saints and Sinners, that this Gospel will be preached to all nations, and then the end will come, which means the end of the reign of the ungodly upon the earth, and not the end of the earth as some have supposed; but all unrighteousness will cease, and God and His people will hold the reins of government upon all the face of this earth, and that is sufficient for us to know.
This kingdom will not be overthrown. When the wicked lay a trap for the overthrow of this Church and kingdom, and spring it, they always have found themselves taken in their own snares. This has been the case from the first organization of this Church to this time. They have succeeded in slaying the prophet, and his myrterdom brings his testemony in force, and the inhabitants of the earth are culpable if they refuse to receive it. The testament is not in force until after the testator is dead. As it is recorded in Pauls' epistle to the Hebrews, "For where a testament is, there must also of necessity be the death of the testator. For a testament is of force after men are dead; other wise it is of no strength at all while while the testator liveth."
We are now partaking of the emblems of the body and blood of Christ. And we do this to show unto our Father in heaven, to Jesus our Saviour, to the Angels and all holy beings in the heavens, and to all the inhabitants of the earth, that we remember Jesus in His death and sufferings and the atonement which he has made for the sins of the world, and that through him we get salvation after we have submited to the requirements of His gospel, and endured in faithfulnes to the end to every word that proceeds out of the mouth of God <to the end> It is customary in the world to have sersmons preached on the occasion of the sacrament; but I will let these few words on that subject suffice for the present; I will, however, add, that Jesus Christ is the Son of God as I am the son of my father, and was born of the virgin Mary. On this all Christians have stumbled and fallen in ignorance, and they will remain until they are willing to admit the truth. In Jesus Christ we have God manifest in the flesh, he was the only one begotten of the Father (in the flesh) full of grace and truth; Was born in humble circumstances, placed in a manger, grew up to manhood, preached the Gospel, established His Church, suffered myrterdom and went back to the Father.
I will now commence my remarks on a few temporal matters which I desire to notice before I take my seat. There is a vast concourse of people here to attend this conference which gives me a fitting opportunity to notice matters which consern us all. Here are those who first made their advent into this valley in 1847, and broke the ground, planted the first potatoes, raised the first corn, sowed the first wheat, set out the first orchards, subdued the country and made it what it is, by means of hard and continued toil. Others have come here who have done nothing to improve the country; but they are here as our visitors and our neighbors, and fellow travelers. My remarks now will be directed more particularly to my brethren and Sisters of the same faith <that I am of> with myself. I shall address myself to good, wholesome Citizens of this City, and the
regions round about. And if any present should happen to be disappointed with regard to the<se matters> course that I shall persue in my remarks, try and be as satisfied as you can, and hear what I shall say.
I came into this valley in the year 1847, with others of my brethren and Sisters, and we commenced to build a fort, and at the same time, <after> we <bond> broke a little ground, <and> planted our beans and peas, and potatoes, and cucumbers and squashes, <a> we also planted a little corn, and sowed a little buckwheat. We found a few Indians here, almost if not quite, in a state of nudity; we also found great numbers of wolves, and hosts of crickets. These were the sole inhabitants of these valleys when we the pionees of 1847 entered them. We commenced to feed the Indians, and, as quick as we could, we comenced to give them some clothing. In a few years we commenced to have fruit; we got grape cuttings from California, and I think in '50 the vines began to boar fruit; in '51 I think, we had a few peaches. We kept improving, and pleading with the people to improve the country by engaging in the different branches of Agricultural and horticultural persuits, and by this means to make this country our future home. From 1847 to 1850, we were here almost entirely by ourselves. In 1849 and 1850 the emigration to the Pacific began to start across the country, via Salt Lake, in search of Gold. In 1850, 1851, and 1852 was the great gold excitement and rush across the country occurred. At that time among the thousands who passed through our settle-
ments there were but few what were kind and affable, and ready to observe the laws of this Territory, or the laws which governed us as settlers here. We had no territorial or state government; but we were actually a <kingdom> republic by ourselves. Sometimes strangers would land among us who had difficulties with each other on the road. They would call upon me, as a general thing, to do something for them. <When> I would call upon the high counsel of the Church to adjust their difficulties, and they would always be satisfied with their decesions. We commenced to elect some officers for the City, and for precincts. <officers>, After that, when difficulties were refered to me, I recommended them to those officers; and they came as nigh satisfying both parties as any courts that were ever held on this earth.
At this stage of our history our sisters could travel round and visite the sick with perfect safety by day or by night; and, in case of being afraid to pass a house for fear of a dog, a sister would have no hesitation in requesting the protection of the first man who might be passing by, who would kindly see her safely out of danger. This state of things continued for years after our settlement here. Do we see the same safety for females here to-day? We do not. Can our sisters walk the streets of the City now without being insulted? Seldom, and yet <in this> we have not much cause to complain, for there is much more safety here for females than in other Cities of the United States. Are men as secure here <the> now as they were then? No. Are our <women> wives and children as secure? No. But
there is a class of men here, who have been termed regenerators, <that> who are trying to introduce civilization among us. I am coming to this point in my remarks directly. There are many in our city and country who do not profess to be of our faith, yet who are good and wholesome citizens, and who, by their example and influence, seek to establish and maintain peace and harmony, decorum and every principle of virtue in the community. They call themselves Gentiles; we call them <Is>; yet we are all gentiles in a
national capacity. Right or wrong, hit or miss, I am going to ask this vast congregation if we shall continue to submit to have gambling hells in this our City? I wish this vast concourse of people to express themselves upon this matter. If it be the mind of this congregation that we no longer submit to the continuance of such houses, let them raise their hands. (All hands were raised and shouts of "No, we will not submit to it") We will blot them out, they shall not contaminate our society.
You must learn this one fact, that in republican Governments, the people are supreme; when they decree this or that shall be done, that decree is supreme and legeslators, Governors, and judges and expounders of the law are mere subordinates all the time and in every case in a republican government. The people are <the> king and the supreme power. (The president now called for a conterary vote, but not a single hand was raised) When by the authority of the City Council such places are put a stop to, who have the supporters of such establishments got to quarel with? With the whole people. Let a judge pass a decree that a grog shope, or a gambling saloon shall be established in our City, and we will give him the privilege to get out of the City as quickly as he can. We will observe every wholesome law; but the man <that> who issues an injunction to the authorities of this City to <keep> try to compel them to let gambling and drinking hells be kept open, the scarcer he is in this community the better it will be for him. We will observe the law; and uphold and defend the adjudicators of all wholesome laws; but suppose this vast concourse of people here assembled to-day should pass judgement upon a criminal charged with murder, and should with one voice condemn him to be hanged, who can say a word about it? Not anybody. It is done by the unanimous voice of the people, and who can help it? Not any body. The voice of the people is supreme, and they will sustain the City Counsel in breaking up every hell hole there is in this City. I am but one, and I wanted to know what the minds of the people would be on this subject. Enough on this subject.
There is another temporal matter I wish to say a few words upon. I refer to claim-jumping There has been a few men <down> jumping claims on our perade ground and on the land on the other side of Jordon. Those lands we have fenced two or three times. And then again there are our cow pastures; we want those gentlemen-claim-jumpers to keep off them, and to keep out of our medows and gardens. Understand me, my friends (I have a good many friends who do not belong to the Church in this City and throughout the United States, men who are gentlemen of heart and honor;) it is not this class of my friends which I am now talking to; but I am talking to a class of men who are searching through the world for chances to get their living out of the labors of others)--Wherever you see a business man who is willing to work his way through this world and do business upon honorable principles to sustain himself and his family, you will see a man who will never do a dishonest action. I am refering to marauders, men who have no conscious, no principle, who are devoid of all honor and respect for other men's rights and property, and they are here, not for the purpose of developing the country, and making themselves industerious and profitable members of society; but they are transient, they care not how quickley they leave here, and they would as lief stay here as any where else. It is to this class of men I address myself, and I warn you to keep off our medows and pasture grounds.
Those lands which I refer to on the other side of Jorden have been fenced at the cost of some $8000.00. The last time the land was <fenced> enclosed it was <done> with poles. King James Buchanan who then presided over <uncle Samdom> the United States sent an army here. They went into that pasture by my permission, and by their delegate, agreed to pay me
so much for the use of it. They burnt up the fence, broke through into a neighboring man's meadow, burnt up his fence and used up his meadow. Aftcr they had made their encampment at Camp Floyd, they swore that they never was in the pasture. The very men who sent an agent, and who hired the pasture in my office, gave their oath that <it> the pasture refered to was four miles from their encampment. I did not care anything about it; I knew they could not burn up the land, and I also knew that they would have a happy time of it to get the land without <getting> obtaining it legally.
Yet these regenerators who have no father, nor mother, nor possessions nor whereabouts go and take up land that nobody has fenced and laid claim to; go and build a city where you can gamble. Go to Stockton; nobody will hinder you from gambling there, and set up your houses of ill-fame, and grog shops and gambling hells. Take up land there, and make a city and a community to suit yourselves; but if you jump my pasture-- well, all I have to say is, Get out of it as fast as you can. But, you sware you won't; then I will give you a preemption right that will last you to the last resurrection. I have said enough on this subject.
There are a few men in <this> our Government and I say they are very few -- who are determined to destroy us, and break us up. Is there one-third of the inhabitants of the United States who would do this? No. <Take away> <Except> Take away the priest<hood> and their influence and you will not find one man to 500 who would want to break us up. The Scribes and Pharasees were the saviour's greatest enemies. They stirred up the minds of the people. The whole multitude of the Scribes and Cheif Preists accused Jesus Christ, before Pilate, "saying, We found this fellow perverting the Nation." And again:' "If we let him thus alone, all men will beleive on him: and the Romans shall come, and take away both our place and nation." They were afraid that Jesus and his party would become the dominant party in s politicle point of vieew. So they say of the Mormons, "if these mormons are let alone, they will become the dominant party". That will as surely come to pass as the Lord lives; the Saints will ultimately rule and reign upon the earth, and this is as sure as the Lord has spoken it. That party which oppress ppeople, and do wrong, will not continue to be the dominant party. They are now, but they will not be when the power of the wicked is broken by the advancing strides of light and truth. "When the righteous are in authority, the people rejoice: but when the wicked beareth rule, the people mourn". We have a time of mourning in our nation, and the end is not yet, the chastening hand of the Almighty has not yet completed its work.
I think these regenerators, as they are called, are simply bummers. I have had the word explained to me and I think I know the meaning of it. There are two classes of bummers, one of our writers says, one class who <do> have nothing, and don't know where they got it; another class who have something, and other folks don't know where they got it. These bummers want our houses and gardens, and wives, and they will not get any of them. Mark it. The Mormons have made all the improvements in this inland country, and have established themselves by their industry and courage, and they now feed their thousands of strangers that stay with them and that are
passing through our country. They have made this country a half-way house, as it were, between the Missouri River and the Pacific <and the atlantic> shores. The strangers who have lived here all agree that this people are the most industrious people upon the earth, and this is said all round the world. Not only do strangers all agree that this is the most industrious people in the world, but that they are the most civil community they ever visited; yet there are a few, and but a few, whom we are making
rich and who are continually trying to destroy us. I say to such ppersons go Go where there is plenty of land, and open farms and build up cities, and make your grog houses if you wish to, and not seek to introduce institutions among us which are contrary to the genius of our moral, religious and civil organization; we will not have them here, we will spew them out, and cleanse the platter.
You say,: "we must do something or go hungery". We have plenty for you to eat. "But, have we not got to do something for it?" Yes, go to work at some productive employment, and cease gambling and drunkenness, for it does you no good, but a great deal of harm. We want to hire a few thousand men now, there is plenty of work to be had in the country, and we shall soon want a few thousands more to work on the railroad. We want them on our streets and on our farms; we want them to build our houses and our stores -- our private and our public buildings -- we want thm to build up our Cities and our Country, and not be continually trying to destroy it. It takes a wise man to build up a City, and any poor drunken, useless, renagade can apply the torch and destroy that which has cost years of toil, and countless treasure to create. That which has taken a life time for a man to accumulate, a child can distroy in a few minutes. Instead of seeking constantly to distroy that which this poor outcast people have accumulated, follow their noble example; build upon the uoccupied lands, and thereby increase the wealth and importance of the American nation, and thus prove yourselves gentlemen and loyal citizens as well by works as loud swelling professions. <that are neither here nor there as to any intrinsic value which they possess.> In this way you will win the respect of all honorable highminded, loyal men. I respect you more to-day than you respect one another, and would do more for you, if you were destitute, than any one of your own class would, for you do not respect yourselves nor one another.

Historical Department, Salt Lake City
Brigham Young Papers--Addresses, 1866 David J. Whittaker

Speech of October 7th, 1866, recorded by George D. Watt
Semi-Annual Conference, Salt Lake City
[Total of 19 pages]
[some spelling and capitalization have been added]

pp. 13-19
I will now speak upon a subject which I think I ought to notice for the for the benefit of a few who are inclined to be giddy-headed, unstable in their ways, and enthusiastic about something they do not understand. You are already apprized of the fact that a son of Joseph Smith the prophet was here is our City not long since. Joseph Smith's first son only lived a few hours; then Joseph Smith, commonly called Young Joseph was born; then Frederick, and then Alexander; it was Alexander who was in our City lately. The people have not heard me say anything about him one way or the other.
I will relate a few facts. The sympathies of the Latterday Saints are with the family of the martyred prophet. I never saw a day in the world that I would not almost worship that woman, Emma Smith, if she would be a saint instead of being a devil. I feel so to-day. There is no good thing, in a temporal point of view, that I would withhold from her; anything that is in my power to do for her, I would willingly do with all my heart, and with an open hand.
There are a few here that knew Joseph Smith, the prophet, and some of them are apostatizing from the work, which the Lord commanded him to found, to run after Young Joseph Smith, the second son of the Prophet, who has no more authority to set himself up as a president and teacher of a people than any other man has in the sectarian world who possesses nothing of the priesthood of the Most High. Young Joseph Smith does not possess one particle of this priesthood. The twelve apostles and the other authorities of this Church would have been exceeding glad if the prophet's family had come with us when we left Nauvoo for the valleys of these mountains. We would have made cradles for them if they had required them and would have fed them on milk and honey. Emma is naturally a very smart woman; she is subtle and ingenious, and she has made all her children believe that myself, brother Kimball, and other members of the Twelve laid the plot which terminated in the death of the prophet. This charge is especially laid to myself. At the time that Joseph was killed I was in the City of Boston, a number of hundred miles away from the scene of the martyrdom. She has made her children inherit lies. To my certain knowledge Emma Smith is one of the damdest liars I know of on this earth; yet there is no good thing I would refuse to do for her, if she would only be a righteous woman; but she will continue in her wickedness.
Not six months before the death of Joseph, he called his wife Emma into a secret council, and there he told her the truth, and called upon her to deny it if she could. He told her that the judgments of God would come upon her forth with if she did not repent. He told her of the time she undertook to poison him, and he told her that she was a child of hell, and literally the most wicked woman on this earth, that there was not one more wicked than she. He told her where she got the poison, and how she put it in a cup of coffee; said he, "you got that poison so and so, and I drank it, but you could not kill me." When it entered his stomach he went to the door and threw it off. He spoke to her in that council in a very severe manner, and she never said one word in reply. I have witnesses of this scene all around, who can testify that I am now telling the truth. Twice she undertook to kill him.
From a dream that I had while on my visit to Logan a short time since, I know that spiritualism is the head and front, and the arm and breast and brain, and the eyes and whole body of Young Joseph's profession and operations. In my dream I saw the Prophet Joseph, and he tried for a while to sustain the old dwelling, and meditated building around it; but he finally concluded to discard it, and swept the ground clean where it stood to put up an entirely new building. Although this is a matter I have not thought of, yet the dream is true, and expresses the true state of the case.
When Alexander Smith came here, we treated him kindly, and I plead with him to accompany us on our visit north. George A. Smith, his cousin, plead with him to accompany us, but to no purpose. Finally, Joseph F. Smith, who was from home, came back, and saw him, and met him is public in this city. Many of this congregation are acquainted with that circumstance. It was asked him what he thought of the endowment. He replied, "I do not mention it, for I do not wish to hear anything about the endowment." "What do you think of the doctrine of polygamy." It is his business to preach against polygamy, and his brother Joseph said that his father never introduced it. Several of the Sisters testified to him that they were sealed to his father. Well, said he, "if he did have any such revelation, or teach any such doctrine, or practice it, he must have got out of the way," or in other words he must have been a fallen prophet, if he ever was a true prophet. That is the conclusion they come to when hard pressed with stern facts. Joseph Smith the prophet taught the gathering; but this new sect deny the gathering.
If there are any Latter-day Saints who wish to be destroyed, run after that family, and I will promise you in the name of the God of Israel that you will be damned. Any person who will follow this man of that man who is wrong, and refuses to submit himself to the ordinances of the house of God and to serve Him and keep His commandments, will perish; all that walk in that path will go to a sure and swift destruction. Young David Smith seems to be the et of the company, he is heart and hand with his brother Joseph, and with a hundred others who are apostates from the true faith of the Gospel, and who were one with the mob who persecuted the slew the prophet. When Joseph the prophet was killed his wife Emma was pregnant. Joseph said, previous to his death, "She shall have a son, and his name shall be called David, and unto him the Lord will look." I am looking for the time when the Lord will speak to David; but let him pursue the course he is now pursuing, and he will newer preside over the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints in time or in eternity. He has got to repent of his sins, and turn away from his iniquity, to cease to do evil, and learn to do well, embrace the Gospel of life and salvation, and be an obedient son of God, or he never can walk up to possess his right. It would be his right to preside over this Church, if he would only walk in the true path of duty. I hope and pray that he and the whole family will repent, and be a holy family. The likeliest son of Joseph Smith's family is dead. [NOTE: this last sentence is lined out with pencil; since all other corrections are in ink, it appears to be a more recent "correction".]
Now, you old Mormons, stop your talking about young Joseph, and about David going to preside over the Church by and by; I wish he was prepared for it, would repent of his sins, and come in at the door, and be one with us, and walk up to the Twelve and the First Presidency, saying, I am one with you, and am your servant. When Sidney Rigdon swelled up and thought he was the most important man in the kingdom [this is the correction from "biggest toad in the puddle"] I told him where his place was, and that the Twelve Apostles would build up the kingdom. Joseph more than one score of times told then both in private and in public, that he rolled the kingdom on to their shoulders, and said to Sidney, we will build it up, and bear it off, and not follow you an inch. What has he come to? He sits in the midst of the woods least mumbling to himself; but scarcely able to speak an intelligent [sic] word; he is almost a lunatic. And where has the rest of the apostates gone? And where will they go? Every one of them, bogus Joseph not excepted, will go to destruction, and the kingdom of God will continue to flourish and spread abroad.
Alexander stated when here, that the Twelve robed his mother of "the last second shirt to her back". Now, I want to tell this congregation what we did for his mother, and there are sitting round me numbers who can bear witness of the truth of the statement I am about to make. After Joseph's death, when the Twelve arrived [sic] home, they selected Newel K. Whitney and George Miller as trustees-in-trust for the Church, and entrusted all the Church property to them, the same as we entrusted it to Joseph when he was living. A farm which the prophet bought of Hugh White, and a quality of land on the flat, where Joseph lived previous to his death, he deeded to his wife Emma. The deed was given in the name of Joseph Smith, Trustee-in-Trust for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. When the Twelve came home, after the death of Joseph, Emma talked poor, poor. In our absence brother Kimball had collected in Wilmington $1300.00 in gold to pay some debts. He got this money from brol W. M. Sanders who now lives at St. George. The question arose in council whether Emma should have that money or not. Brother William Clayton knows all about this circumstance, for he was Joseph's clerk, and he knew where the money was to be paid. Brother Kimball said, "I want to pay Emma this money, and let her do as she pleases with it." So he paid it over to her. Whether she paid the debt with it or not I am not prepared to say; but brother William Clayton can tell; but I think we had to pay the debt. This is according to my recollection.
Instead of Emma being robbed by the Twelve, a few days after the death of Joseph she went over to Hyrum's house. Hyrum had a large ring which he wore, and Joseph had one, and Don Carlos had one, these three rings were all alike. She asked Hyrum's wife to let her see that ring. Hyrum's widow brought her the ring, she took it and put it in her pocket. She went over to Don Carlos' widow and wanted to see that ring; she took that also and put it in her pocket, and I think she also took the portrait of Hyrum. Instead of the Twelve robbing her when goes and takes those things from her sisters. She was not satisfied yet. She wanted the Cleveland farm, situated about four miles from Quincy. She thought if she had that farm, she could live. Newel K. Whitney had bought an old bible; Joseph had run through it and made a good many marks in if for the new translation. This book belonged to Newel K. Whitney. Emma had it in her possession. She wished to exchange this book for the Cleveland farm. She got the deed for the farm; but she was not ready yet to give up the bible. She complained about her poor, little, fatherless children, and she kept up this whine until she got the farms when wanted, and besides these farms she owned city property worth fifty thousand dollars. We gave her deeds for the farm at Quincy and for the farm on the prairie by the burying ground. We gave her all she asked for. She had made her children inherit lies. Alexander Smith was a little boy when these circumstances transpired, and he believes what his mother has told him. We gave her those farms, and this does not look like robing [sic] her.
I wanted to mention these things, because there are a great many of this people who are ignorant of these circumstances. She got the last acre of land that was in the hands of the Trustee-in-Trust; it all went to Emma for her benefit. When we left Nauvoo my wife carried her crockery to Emma, and I am sure that others did the same. We gave her everything we could not carry away, and let her do as she pleased with them. I recollect very well I had a nice carriage built in 1845. About the time it was done, Mother Smith said, "how rejoiced I am that carriage which Joseph promised to me is done." I sent her the carriage, and I do not know but that I would have taken off my shirt and given to any of the Smith family and run the risk of getting another. Now, you who have got but little sense wait until you get a little more, and stop talking and speculating about Young Joseph or any body else. God is the captain of this company, the general of this army of Saints, and the President of the Church, its ruler and dictator. If I am the instrument which He chooses to use in the prosecution of His great work, it is all right. I am just as willing as any other man to be used.
I told you in the first place that Mormonism is true. There are some other little items that should be mentioned; but I have already spoken at length and I will postpone mentioning them until another time. When we shall adjourn the Conference I am unable to say. We will continue our services until the spirit of the Lord shall signify to us when to bring our Conference to a close. Let the people feel satisfied and contented to spend a few days to worship the Lord, and let not their earthly affairs give them trouble; for the heavens are full of days and nights, and we shall live to enjoy them. May God Bless you. Amen.