1866 September 7 Remarks in Wellsville


1866 September 7 Remarks in Wellsville



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George D. Watt
George Q. Cannon

extracted text

Wellsville, Sep. 7th.

I would like to talk to the brethren and sisters here and in other places, and I do all I feel I can do. I will say to the Latter-day Saints that I am encouraged and strengthened. It was observed here by brother Pheneas H Young that the Saints pray for me. They do, and according to their faith and prayers I should understand as much about this people as any other man that lives on the earth. It is according to the faith and prayers of the people in Wellsville that I should be endowed with all the wisdom, knowledge, faith, power and understanding that <are> necessary for me to dictate, guide, and direct the affairs of the kingdom of God upon the earth. I am happy to say to you that your prayers are answered. I do feel to bear witness that this is a good people; that the Latter-day Saints are doing as well as we could expect. Still, when the vision of the mind is opened to see into futurity, and the <what> perfection we have yet got to <arive at> reach, when we look at ourselves and at others, and think that we are far short of doing our duty, we might think that we shall never be fit <able to make> for the kingdom of God, and that we shall have to give up the work. It is not so. All things considered, Enoch, and the Church over which he presided in his day, did not make the advancement in righteousness that this people have done. This is encourging to me and to you. We will not give up the Old ship Zion; but we will hang on to it and stay aboard. To leave the old ship would <would> be the same as if a person would jump over board when out <the> in the open see, with no vessel in sight or hope of escape from drowning.
I thank you my brethren and sisters for the manifestation of the good feelings which you have displayed <on> in bidding myself and company welcome to your City. Such demonstrations of welcome which we constantly meet on our visits to the settlements are very gratifying, and are apreciated by myself and my brethren who travel with me, though I do not view them as respects paid to me as an individual outside of the Holy Preisthood <and> which I bear. It is the Holy Preisthood which the people are honoring, and not the poor frail vessels which bear it, and they shall be blessed in <it> doing so; and we feel in our hearts to bless and encourage them.
I am thankful to meet with you in this comfortable little <dwelling> meeting house. It is a credit to the people of this town. It gives <prestige to your city> character and adds value to your City property. In building public buildings, and dwelling houses, in opening farms, and planting orchards and vineyards, we expend little else than our time, and that is our own. It is our duty to improve upon the blessings which the Lord has bequeathed to us, and be diligent in making for ourselves comfortable dwellings, and improve our farms and cities and viliges, doing every thing we possibly can to make our own clothing, and in every way possible stop this exhausting drain upon our wealth for forign goods.
I should like to see the people of this place build a nice, <fort> substantial fort, and have quantities of grain laid away in it, <for> and thus be prepared for a day of scarcity. I would like also to see good corrals within range of the fort, where your cattle can be safely defended from Indian depredations. I should rejoice very much to see this. You are more exposed here, <to> in case of Indian agression, than the people of San pete. How do you know when the spirit of war will come upon the Indians in <the> your vicinity? How do you know when the Lord will commence to chasten the wicked of the land by the Lamanites? Your situation here is a hundred times more dangerous than is the situation of the people in the South. In the South the Indians are few, weak and imbecile. Here in the North they are large, athletic, robust men, and good marksmen, and in case of war with the Whites, they can gather allies for a hundred miles round. If the Iord should let the enemy of all righteousness stir up even Wash-a-keek, if circumstances should occur to make him our enemy, if it is so designed to chasten us for our sins and unfaithfulness, it would be well for us to have a fortification to flee into where we may have a <respite from> shelter from the bullets of the enemy, where we can <to> beseech the Lord to turn away His wrath from us, and where we may make known to him our repentance and good resolutions. The people who have been gathered in from the few little settlements on the west side of the valley, cannot return with my consent, unless they agree to build good forts for the protection
of their wives and children and property, and be able to bid defiance to the red men. Give me 50 men, whom <that> I could pick out of <this> Gt. Salt Lake City, I would not be afraid to go <down> on the sevier and make a settlement, and could live there, and there are not Indians enough in that country to disturb us.
It would be wise for you to make good improvements with your time. I will venture to say that there is no settlement in this <settlement> Territory, but what there is time enough spent unimproved every year that would have built them a meeting house worth $20.000. Here is a good place for your schools, <worship>, parties, and theatrical representations. Are you any poorer for building this house? No; you are worth more to-day. Suppose you <got up> put up a few nice public buildings and dwelling houses, and plant fruit and shade trees, and put up neat and substantial fences, etc. Then when <men> strangers would pass through your town they would be attracted by its neat and thrifty apearance, and would desire to live with you. When you go to heaven do<nt> you not expect to find a very beautiful place? and when you see the angels, do you not expect to <find> see beautiful beings? <and> When you look upon the Lord God, our Father, you will see a beautiful man. Should not we patern after heavenly things? Yes, all the time, and pay our devotions to God, and live so that we have the Holy Ghost for our constant companion. This is the first and foremost of our duties. May God bless you.