1866 September 10 Remarks in Brigham City


1866 September 10 Remarks in Brigham City



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George D. Watt
George Q. Cannon

extracted text

Afternoon, 2 o'clock
Brigham City, Sep l0th. 1866.

We profess to be Latter-day Saints, and to be honest with God, with one another and with ourselves. Herein the Latter-day-Saints fail very materially. For instance, send a bishop throug to set up telegraph poles with his men, and they will not do the work honestly, either in supplying the poles, or, setting them in the ground. All that we do should be done upon the principles of honor and strict integretty. Surley the outsiders give me credit of being honest in my deal; my credit and influence are as good as any other man's in the western country, and I will venture to say, in New York and in all the States this side. This influence and credit are gained through <through> honesty and integretty with the outside world. They have lost confidence in <with> one another and we have got to restore it, by taking an honest course, and by walking uprightly.
Many a person professing to be a saint<s> will run into debt with the Mormon merchants, and not be punctual in paying their debts, and then if they have a hundred dollars of ready money, they will go by the <people> brethren who have accommodated them, and spend <them> it with men who are seeking constantly to destroy this people. The brethren who will do this might just as well put a sharp butcher knife into the hands of an Indian who is your deadly foe. The one would be just as honest and as truthful, as virteous and God-like and saint-like as the other. These very temporal things that we constantly talk about are some of the laws of life, and we can discern the difference between them and the laws of death. It is inherent in us to observe the laws of life, for we seek to preserve ourselves, and to accumalate around us means to help ourselves, to help our brethren, and send the gospel to the nations, and gather the saints, and then we teach them how to maintain themselves and their families. In this way we can distribute the law of life among the people.
It has been said that wheat, and oats, <and> barley and other grain are going to be very low in price. You recollect a few years ago that we undertook to distribute to this People the law of life, and we had our meetings throughout the Territory, and <we had> our delegates apointed, and held a general convention. In that convention we did agree that we would not give away our grain, our labor, our strength and our wealth to strangers for naught. We told the people that they could do just as they pleased, the grain was their own, and they could keep it until they could
get three or five dollars per bushel for it. It has been a practice of mine never to make my <means> wants larger than my means. Can this people do the same? They can; they can raise what they want to eat, and make a little cloth, and if they make their means wants come within the extent of their means, they will never be under the necessity of selling their wheat until they get their price. There are scores of thousands of men in the country, who are passing from one gold excitement to another, who do not produce grain, but they get the bread and vegetables the Mormons have raised. We work and toil late and early, get our grain together, and our other produce, and then we get up wants <enough> upon an extensive scale, and we must sell our grain, must rush it into the market, until it will not bring one-half of what it is worth, and thus we are poor.
We are trying to do away with the old traditions and customs of the old world. We desire all men to be comfortable and well provided for. We wish the poor man to be paid well for his labor, that he may by economy and judicious management earn for himself a competancy. We wish to do away with the old custome of keeping men ignorant and poor, that the rich may profit and fatten by their labor. We wish this great community to be wise, to be self-sustaining and independent. We wish our brethren to be educated, and able to fill any office, whether civil or religious; and we wish to see this whole community rise to intellegence, <and> wealth, and influence. Now here is the law of life. Take a course to preserve yourselves, and to provide for yourselves the comforts of life. Although selfpreservation is inherent in every person from first being born into the world; yet they are few who know how to profit by the numerous circumstances which are favorable to the accomplishment of this end; hence, our brethren need teaching, both by precept and example. If we do not labor wisely and delegently to preserve the life we now possess, we run a great risk of losing the life which is to come. It is our privilege to sustain ourselves, to benifit ourselves, and exalt ourselves in wisdom and power, and in all the Godlike qualifications given to man.