1866 September 9 Remarks in Logan


1866 September 9 Remarks in Logan



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George D. Watt
George Q. Cannon

extracted text

Logan, Sep 9th.

I am thankful for the privilege of again meeting the brethren and sisters <again> in this place. So far as I am conserned I wish you all to consider yourselves shaking hands heartily with brother Brigham, with a good hearty God bless you from him. It is almost time to close the meeting for the morning; but I will take the liberty of talking to the people before I close. It is over a year since we visited you last, and held a meeting with the people here, and it may be another year before we come again to visit you. Let this be as it may, I think it will be profitable for us to spend the time we have now to the best advantage and as much of it as we feel to occupy. When our afternoon meeting is dismissed we shall turn our faces to the South. We have come here to bless you, to cheer and comfort you, and I shall commence my remarks and continue them as the spirit of the Lord shall operate upon my mind.
In the first place, I wish to <refer rel> lay before you my reflections <called in> while bro. Wells was talking. While he was talking I observed that the court in session in G. S. L. City is a mock court in fact. The Government of the United States gave to us a charter. On the 8th of Sep. 1850 was passed what is called the organic act for <bring> this Territory. <so far into the Union>. In that act they gave power to the Legislative assembly of this Territory to direct and appoint the times of holding courts. They have done so. I do not <dis>remember now the day of the month, but it was in the month of March that the only Court was to be held in G. S. L. City, or in that part of the district over which the honorable judge presides, and they are generally held in that City. <on the last of March>. That law is is as specific as law can be made. The Hon. Judge was in the City of Washington, then and there arrayed against the people of Utah as you heard yesterday. He telegraphed through for the Clerk <Marshal> to adjourn<ing> the Court for a certain period, at which time he hoped to reach here; but failed to do so. <along until he arrived in Utah>. Now the question arises whether they had power to adjourn the Court, for there was was no court yet in session. It is not my intention to argue the point with regard to this adjournment. He adjourned his court by telegraphic dispatches or letter until some time in <the latter part of> may, and then he presumed to open <to open> the March term of the Court. I do not profess to be profound in law; but I understand the principles of law sufficiently to know that <it is a violation of the> the law passed by the Congress of the United States in 1862, I think in the month of July, <it is> called the anti-poligamy law is not a greater transgression against the genius of the institutions and the Constitution of our Country <acts of all legislative bodies pertaining to the general government, and the legislature of this territory> than it is for a man to presume to hold a court when he pleases <ag> in violation to the law made to govern the holding of courts. He might as well go to California, Texas, the State of Oregon or to any other territory or state outside of Utah and hold courts as to hold a courts in Utah outside of the specified time. This is my <so I read and> understanding <law> of this matter; And so I <this is why the matter> have <been> spoken of it.
I have a few things to say to this people pertaining to their condition here. You are not ignorant of the counsel which has been given you with regard to building forts. I will direct your minds to the wall which you have commenced to build around this public square close by here. If it is to be finished as it is begun, it will not be competant to keep out boys of two and a half years of age; and I think at three years old they could come up against it with their sticks, dig out the stones and go through. By what I have now said you can judge how much I approve of it. I say to the people of this City, do not disgrace yourselves by building such a wall. Build a good wall of quarried rock not less than four feet thick at the foundations and three feet thick at the top, and fourteen or fifteen feet high. If you undertake to build a wall at all, build one that will be a blessing to you. You may ask what will be the need of such a wall. I cannot tell all that is in the future; and if you have the Holy Ghost you can understand what is in the future for yourselves. However, it is necessary for you to have a fort here. Make one that will be substantial, one that will secure your meeting house when you get it done. Commence and finish a good wall, and build your meeting house, one that you will be proud of. You may ask why you have got to work so hard, and have your time engaged thus and so. Our time is all the capital stock we have with our bone an sinew. Mankind are much in the habit of wasting their time. If labor wase correctly directed by wise men, there need be no such person on the whole earth known by the appelation of beggar; there is no necessity for <of> a person or a famiiy being without the comforts of life. Where the milions are kept drudging all their days to enrich the few it is in consequence of the selfishness and wickness of the few.
The Latter-day Saints in <of> this country we have gathered from the work shops, factories and fields of the old world. They must live; they need food and raiment, and habitations. Shall we call upon you to-day for a donation to bestow upon the poor to buy their bread for a week a month or a year? This policy you perceive would ruin any community or nation on earth. What is the true policy? Teach them how to maintain themselves. This, instead of making all poor, will make all rich. Our success in these mountains is simply reduced to this fact, namely, that we know how to direct the labor of the people so that they can make themselves comfortable. I think I am safe in saying that there is in this little city as many as one-third of its inhabitants who before they came to America never owned a cow, a horse or ox, they never owned a wagon, or a carriage, a plow or <an> a harrow, a sheep, <or> a pig or a chicken. Now they have their grain stacks in their yards; they have <got> their cows; they have a few sheep, and their swine and chickens around them. They raise their own bread and churn their own butter; they raise their own beef and pork, and mutten, and eggs, and fruit, and vegetables; they live in their own houses, and thus the people are comfortable and happy pertaing to their daily subsistance; want is removed for from them, and they are literaly independant and free. Not only this, but they are able to expend much for the redemption of their friends who are still in the old countries. This season not less than five hundred thousand dollars will be expended by the saints in this territory to bring the poor saints up to these mountains from forign countries. I do not think we can do otherwise than what we are doing, that is, to bring the Saints here <and teach them> and teach them how to live, and gather around them the comforts of life, and trust in God, leaving the results of our orks to him.
Bishop Maughn is the presiding bishop <of> in this valley; inquire of him how much money has been paid <in> the past year on tithing to assist in building up our temples, school houses, meeting houses, tabernacles, etc., etc., and for the gathering of the Saints, the sustaining of the aged and helpless poor, and the support of the preisthood. Some have paid a little. I do not know how much has been paid in this valley; but <not> not a great deal this season. It has cost this people this year not less than sixty thousand dollars in money besides sending their teams and their men for the saints. Have you paid any of this money, brethren and Sisters? No; not a dime of it; I have <got> to pay these bills. I do it just as I do every thing else; all that I can do I do, and leave the rest in the hands of God to accomplish. Thus far, I am happy to say, instead of having fifty, sixty, and seventy thousand dollars come on me to pay with a few weeks' notice, as has been the case, we have not a dollar of indebtedness this year in the States. If there is a little indebtedness, it is with the brethren; and it will be brought to this country with them, and we can pay it off here. This, however, is a subject I did not intend to speak upon.
With regard to our settlements, there are a number in the north that have been called in for protection in case of Indian difficulty. The brethren are anxious to know whether they can go back again. They will have my consent to go back on these conditions: that they build good forts where their women and children can be safe, and good corrals for their stock, and so situated that they can defend their stock with their rifles from the forts. You say you have faith. I am glad of it; but if I do not fulfil the works that are required of me, my faith is dead, as James <sa> writes, faith is dead without works, being alone. The people <of> in the South said they had faith, and would not build forts as they were counseled to do. You know how far their faith without works have saved them. The people down there were told not to travel unless in a company sufficiently
strong for protection. Yet, lives have been lost by neglecting to observe this counsel. <Four of the brethren that had great faith traveled, turned out their cattle, camped and went to sleep, three out of the four lost their lives.> Numerous instances of this kind occured, which I will not stop to enumerate. I will say to the settlements in this valley and in Bear lake <River> Valley: you are exposed to ten times more danger in these valleys than the people were on the Sevier. Suppose the Lord should undertake to chasten this people by the Bannocks and Washakeek, would not they be effectually chastened? and would it not be because they would not obey His counsels? Caution is the parent of safety. There is no necessity for anybody ever <to be <being> killed by the Indians. Shall we trust an Indian? Yes; to a peice of bread, to some flour and potatoes, whether he ever pay for them or not. But shall we lie down and sleep, with the Indians around us, without a gaurd? Never. I never have done it. A cheif remarked once to an Indian agent that the White man is uncertain; we know that the Indian is uncertain. If the Indians have a design to steal your cattle this fall, you may expect a greater manifestation of friendship from them, previous to their making a raid upon your stock, than at any other time. Treat them kindly, and give them no occasion to be angry, and be always ready for them. Many of the brethren feel as the outsiders do, or <and> as those do who have come in battle array against the Indians. Two or three years ago last winter, in the month of February, the soldiers were called upon to visit a camp of Indians, some of whom had been commiting depredations. Pokotello was the Indian who committed those depredations. He went to that camp of soldiers to trade and they
gave him plenty of powder and lead. Notwithstanding this freindship manifested towards the Indians by the government officers, they had to go and kill 225 men women and children; I suppose their bones are lying over there now. The soldiers lost 152 of their numbers in doing that bloody work. This <promis> general masacre of men women and children for the fault of one Indian was rewarded by making the leader of the<r> soldiers who did the a brigadier General. This was his reward for murdering those Indians, old men women and children, for the wariers were gone.
This is not the kind of treatment that <you and> we must mete out to these <Indians> Lamanites; it must be of a friendly character. You may read the history of the settling of America, and you cannot find another settlement of whites that has <become> been established <as a settlement> with as little blood shed as has attended the settlement of this colony. We have had our trouble; but nothing to compare with the settlement of other portions of the land. The history of the settlement of central America, and along the coasts to the northern British possessions, is one continued <and it presents> one scene of killing, scalping, and stealing of women and children.
The Indian tribes are of the house of Isreal, and we must exercise a saving influence over them. As a general thing the whites do not like to do this, and are not willing to have them in their cities and in their fields. If this country belongs to any people on the earth, it belongs to the Lamanites. It is true our government has the land in possession by contract; it was cedede to the government of the United States by the Mexican Government; but in the eyes of justice, truth love and mercy, if this country belongs to anybody it belongs to these poor Lamanites which we have to feed and shelter. Do you want to conquor them? Be kind to them. They are coming here for hundreds of miles around to fill the places of those who have passed away. You ask them why they come here, they will tell you that this people feeds the Indians and do not kill them. The fact exists that this <people> Lamanites must come to this people for shelter, food and intruction, for the words of life, and for their standing, before the heavens, which they are entitled to after they have suffered the law. These are the very people <that> who has to save them; <that has> who have to teach them the principles of agriculture, and the arts of civilization, and <that has> wo have to give them the words of life <and> contained in the Gospel of salvation. <They are not only coming to us by scores and hundreds; but they will flock to this people by tens and scores of thousands> Still have we got to guard against them, and build forts against them, and be ready for them? Yes; until the Lord God shall open their minds and give them revelation; until the scales fall from their eyes, and they understand things as they realy are. I would much rather be chastened by the Lamanites than by others <a good deal>; but it is in the hearts of many to slay them wherever they are found. I consider when a man steps out with his rifle and shoots down an innocent Indian, he is guilty of murder; and if I had my way, and was to ajudicate such a case, I would have blood for blood, an eye for an eye, and a tooth for a tooth. He that sheds man's blood by man shall his blood be shed. This is law and justice. But to take another view of the matter, if a man should come against me to take my life, I would kill my adversary, if I could; and, in doing so, would not spill innocent blood thereby any means.
The line can be drawn, and every man can know his right, and arive at what is justice in the sight of the heavens, and the laws of all nations, whether those laws are acted upon or not. We can readily tell what is truth, justice and mercy, by <and> the attributes with which we are endowed, and the attributes in our Father in heaven. He must have no anger against the Lamanites; they are already suffering the wrath of God in their ignorance; What for? <for> Because their fathers rejected the gospel
of the Son of God, and turned away from His ways, <for doing> as the<y> descendants of Israel have done upon other lands. The children of Isreal were sold into the hands of their enemies time after time, and suffered the wrath of God because they transgressed the laws, changed the ordinances, and broke all the covenants they had made with their God; hence his wrath was enkindled against them. The Lamanites were not sold into the hands of the other nations; but the Lord suffered them to overcome the Nephites for the same reason that the Isrealites in <Jur> the land of Palestine were sold into bondage, and the Lord also cursed the Lamanites with ignorance and darkness of skin, with a lothsome disposition, leaving them to wander in ignorance and filth from generation to generation, until the curse should be removed. The time is at hand when the curse will be taken from them, and a nation of them will be born in a day. We are the ministers in the hand of God to bring about this great work. We pray for them all the day long, we constantly pray for the house of Isreal and these Lamanites are of the house of Isreal. We must continue to do this, <until> and to be kind, until that deadly and ferocious hate they bear for the whites shall disapear. <You are here isolated from our settlements on the other side of this range of mountains, we have the wire close by for telegraphic communication>
Much has been said regarding this people and their history, in our preachings and exortations. What is it that gathers the people from all nations? It is the spirit of gathering that comes into their hearts of the people <that> who embrace the gospel. There sits a man that was first baptized in England by bro. Heber C. Kimball -- Geo. D. Watt, our reporter. How long was it, after he was baptized, before it was revealed to him that America was the gathering place of the Saints? Geo. D. Watt <tha> was the first man who was baptised in a forign land, and he was the first to bear testemony by revelation and the Spirit of prophecy that America was the gathering place for the Saints in the latter days, and that in America Zion would be built up. This was manifested to him by the Holy Ghost. Others caught the same Spirit, and so it spead from Saint to Saint. It was this Spirit that brought Geo. D. Watt to America; it was the influence of the same Spirit that has brought this people from the different nations where they have formerly lived. We can produce a great many languages among this people, more I presume than can be produced among any other body of religious people that now exists.
It has been wondered why we do not have high schools <and>, and acadamies <for> of learning in the higher branches of education, the same as they have in New York and Philidelphia. We have advanced more in <l9> nineteen years, in every branch of learning and industry than the<y have done> people of those States did in 150 years, and this will apply to
any other place on the Continent of North and South America. We have not our Collages and seminaries of learning, but we have gathered together the learning of the world, which pertains to Law, to religion, <and> to mechanics, and to philosophy. And this community can produce more children, according to their numbers, than any community in the world. They say we are ignorant, but when it comes to the learning of the day, we have <have> more learned persons in our community according to its size than can be found in any other community in the world.
The net of the Gospel gathers of all kinds. I have sometimes told the people, when they tell us how mean we are, what <poor> poor, mean <curses> folks we can be, that we can beat them at any thing they may start up. We have in our community some of the meanest men in the world. How mean are they? Just as mean as they wish to be. The Gospel will make good men of bad men, and it will make good men better. The Gospel teacheth him that stealeth to steal no more; if he has violated the laws of God and man, to do so no more. "Let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts; and let him return unto the Lord, and he will have mercy upon <upon> him; and to our God, for he will abundantly pardon". It also takes the gospel to prepare men to become Angels to the devil, as much as it does to prepare men to enjoy the society of holy Angels in the presence of
the father and the Son. None are <exempt from> beyond the <pails> bounds of mercy if they will hearken to the proclamation of the Gospel, and embrace it and live according to its precepts. All mankind are capable of doing this. This people have progressed and improved as far <as> and as much as we could expect them to do. As for myself I do not know but that I am as good as I want to be; I do not want to leave the people. Joseph Smith used to say: "brethren and Sisters, if I were as righteous a man as you want me to be I could not stay with you another day; the Lord would take me home. I want to stay with you."
I want to stay with this people. They are progressing finely, and they are gaining in faith and in hope, and in practice. It has been our practice to reason with the people, and show them why such and such duties are required of them, that they may perform them with a willing heart and ready hand, and perform them as unto the Lord. Men of contentious minds come into this community and try to stir up strife; but their success is very small. There are a few of this people only who do not live their religion and are influenced more or less by contentious spirits.
Much has been said about the one-man power among the Mormons. I wish I possessed it to the digree that some suppose I do. Do you inquire how much of this power I would like to possess? I would like to possess power to call all men into that gospel -- to have them beleive and obey it. If I had that power in the midst of the Latter-day Saints, I would have them live their holy religion, be humble and watchful and prayerful, serving their God with an undivided heart; I would have them be faithful and true to their covenants to one another, and their God; I would have them never <to> commit a sin hereafter, but always live so that the Holy Ghost would be their constant companion from day to day and from night to night, that they might be made fit subjects to dwell with the Father and the Son in the Celestial Kingdom. We exort and plead with the brethren and Sisters to do this, and to cease their contentions and quarallings and become perfectly united. To live to God is the easiest life to live; and to try to be a latter-day Saint, without enjoying the spirit of the Gospel, is one of the hardest lives to live that any man ever tried to live. I feel in my heart to bless you, and to bless your families, your flocks and your herds, and your substance, and the land that you occupy, and the mountains and valleys and the fountains of water. I pray <for> every day for all the good on the face of the whole earth. I bless you in the name of Jesus Christ. Amen.