1867 August 25 Remarks in the Provo Bowery


1867 August 25 Remarks in the Provo Bowery



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George D. Watt

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by Pres. B. Young. Provo. Aug. 25 1867 (meeting held in the Bowery)
Reported by G. D. Watt.

If the people will give me their strict attention I will try to speak to them <in> so that <manner> they call all hear me. The congregation is large, and it is not easy to speak here. I will first say to the people at this meeting that the Indians that have been abscent from the settlements for some <time> two years past wish the privilege of returning, to again abide in and about the settlements in peace, and in safety. We had a few of them with us yesterday. We told them that when their Indians came in to tell them to come in the road, and not through the bushes, and skulking through the grass, but come in the road, with their rifles covered up, and their bows and arrows in their sheilds, and come in as friends. They are callculating to bring those unruly Indians to peace, and make good peace and make good peace with them if they can. I say still further, that Black Hawk has gone South to visit those little dissafected bands and persuade them to quit their depredations on the whites. He wishes to make peace, and I think that his conversation and his acts probably prove it. The superintendent Major Head has been to Uinti to see him, he would not consent for Head to leave him until he <Head> cut off his hair, for he did not want to be an Indian any longer, but he wanted to look like the whites Indian. Tabby requested that I should say this to the people at this meeting.
Treat them well, but one thing remember, be on your watch. They are very much as the Indian in York State said the whites were, good, but uncertain; these Indians want to be good but they are quite uncertain many of them. We have heard a great deal at this <meeting> Conference -- in the meeting house and in the Bowery-- One of the best discourses I have heard -- although they were all good -- was the remarks of brother Geo. D. Watt. The theory of our religion is a practical theory, it is to practice goodness while we <are> live upon the earth. We have the oracles of the
Gospel, we have the truth with us, we have the ordenances of the house of God, we have everything we could ask for, to perfect ourselves, and prepare ourselves to enjoy the celestial kingdom of our Father and God. What is next to be done? It is for us to reduce the theory of our religion to practice. This is my constant teaching to the people. It is very excellent to know and understand the things of God as far as we can, to know and understand His dealings with his children, the purpose and design of the organization of the earth and the peopling of it, and its final redemption. It is very pleasing to contemplate these great subjects, and such mental exercises would be very profitable if we strove at the same time to reduce them to practice. We had a history this morning of the great celebration of the first marriage that took place on this earth; I have been trying to find an account of the ceremony. I can find nothing more than that the Lord presented the woman to the man, saying this is bone of thy bone, and flesh of thy flesh, I cannot find any account of a ceremony, the Lord gave the woman to the man, and this is all the ceremony that I can find. So it is in this our day with regard to Marriage. The revelations which the Lord has given to us on Celestial marriage teaches us that no man has a right to take a wife except she be given unto him of the Lord; consequently my counsel to all the brethren and sisters <is> of this Church is to prove themselves worthy of receiving their endowment previous to their marriage, and then approach the alter, and be sealed for time and all eternity, then they commence life correctly; and if they will continue to <then> persue the every day life of a Christian, reducing the theory of their religion to life's practice to the end of their days, they will be entitled to eternal life in the presence of the Father and the Son.
We have many things to say to the people with regard to purifying ourselves and preparing ourselves fully to enjoy the blessings <of> the Lord has in store for His saints. He has ready great blessings for the enjoyment of His people; but the weakness, ignorance, darkness, and blindness of the Saints is so great that it is impossible for the Lord to bestow upon them the fullness of His blessings. Yet we are learning a little, we are improving a little. it is now 37 years since this Church was organized. When we consider the raw material which has continually been gathered in year by year I wonder at its progress. It was much unlike the City of Enoch, he had his own children, he practiced what we are now publicly teaching. <for> The first time I ever broached this subject in public was last evening in counseling to the young men and women to marry. This was the practice of Enoch and his friends. They had children born in their midst, which they taught in the ways of the Lord. Still Enoch had to wrestle with the Lord and pleade with the people, and practice faithfully his religion for over 300 years to make his people perfect. When you consider this people gathered from the sinks of curruption and misery of the lower world to these mountains to be sanctified I think our progress is as great as that of the people of Enoch, and perhaps a little greater; I think that our progress is greater than that of the people of Enoch, in the practice of Godliness. If we can realy get the people to understand that it is necessary to be one in all our temporal operations then we can be united as one great family of Saints. We are already one with regard to the ordenances of the house or God, with regard to the faith of Jesus Christ, and the plan of salvation, on all these subjects we are one with a very few exceptions. It now remains for us to become united in all our temporal conditions to prepare us to receive the further blessings of the Lord, which he has in store for us. With regard to our Spirits, and the spirits still waiting to take tabernacles I think that I have had some intimation of the facts as they exist in the eternities of the Gods. I think that there are thousands of spirits that are anxious to enter into mortal bodies; and so great is their anxiety to do this, they will enter into these brothel houses rather than be deprived of a tabernacle. According to the history which Abraham has given us the Lord has reserved noble spirits to come forth in the latter times. Parents observe the Spirits of your children, and you will see a disposition in the great majority of the<m> children born in this Church to be more intellegent and wise, and in every way more superior than the children that are born outside. You cannot find that integretty in the children <that are> not of this people as you can find in the children of the Saints. You cannot rule them with abuse, for in them you will find spirits hard to grapple with, but you can lead them in the path of truth and righteousness, they can be
lead with a thread, yea, with a hair. Our school teachers mistake the dispositions of our children very much. There is only here and there one who knows how to controle the children of the latter-day Saints. Suppose we call upon brother Joseph, brother William, <or> brother Henery or any other young brother to go out preaching for two or three years; when they return from their Missions how many souls have they saved and gathered into this kingdom. Some may not have been the means of converting one, others may have baptized many but few of them ever gather to the gathering place of the Saints and there remain faithful unto death. Elders Orson Pratt and Orson Hyde have traveled and preached more than any two man in the <world> church, and have been the means of <gathering> baptizing a great many people I asked them last evening what portion of the people they had baptized and gathered had remained faithful; about one third I think. How many of the whole number has remained in the Church? About one half, so that you get about one sixth part that has remained in the Church and faithful to this day. I beleive I have been as successful in my labors, and has baptised as many people as any other single man in this Church who have remained firm and steadfast. We want not only an emmigration from the old world but we want to prepare the way for an emmigration from the heavens. Now is a good time to put an idea in the minds of the people. Next year we shall very likely send for the poor, and I am willing that George should have some of those girls he tells about if he will send for them. But in the first place I say marry these young girls and commence this emmigration at home. Who is it that finds the money to sustain our forign emmigration? Do you my brethren and Sisters who have been brought here by the perpetual Emmigration Fund? Are you willing to pay into the Treasury what you have got from it. There is now over $900.000 owing to that fund. If we had this money we could send for the poor saints, we could bring them here independant of George's help. Those who have means, should assist in bringing the poor from the old counteries. There has not been a season for 15 years when we gathered the Saints but what your humble servant has backed up a hundred and forty thousand dollars, which amount <I> he has been obliged to get and pay. I do not robb any body for it. If there is 500 girls in England waiting to be sent for, and will not get married there I want you should raise means and send for them. If I raise the money to send for the parents and little ones, will you raise enough to send for those girls. The expenses attending the teams we have sent, is about five hundred thousand dollars a year, then there is the provisions down east, clothing and tents and wagons which will amount to about forty thousand more, which has to be raised in cash. Will you think of this? If you will I will let the matter <now> rest for the present. You will excuse me if I continue a little further the subject of marriage. It is a matter that I have said little about until last evening and to day, besides I am no match maker; But if you knew now that there is a thousand souls in the Spirit world, the children of our Father <and God> in heaven that are waiting, longing, desiring, anxious to come here to this Continent, and those Spirits have had the promise of coming here in 1867 and 68, <and> but you will not put yourselves in <positions> circumstances to prepare them tabernacles, then they must go into the State New York or somewhere else and <perhaps> take tabernacles of parents who are oposed to the truth,
and who will teach their children to fight the Gospel of Jesus, rebel against every holy principle revealed from heaven, <and> until they become wicked, ungodly, devilish. When you take this view of the case, I ask, is there any responsibility resting on the people here? There is. On the other hand, <you> the boys and girls raised among this people of good parents, they are brought up in the faith of the gospel, to beleive all that we beleive, and their minds and their affections are as pure and as clean as the driven snow, and they will live so as to have the spirit of the Lord. Let every one of us purify ourselves, that our hearts may be like a peice of white paper ready for the Lord to write upon it what He pleases, that the Holy Ghost may endite upon them the will of the Father continually. For explanation I will say that many a man and woman who have had the Spirit of the Lord are just as enthusiastic and wild in some of their expressions and doings, and just as far from the Spirit of the Holy Gospel, and the Holy Preisthood as the East is from the west; yet they are honest, and their intentions are good. The Lord could take a child and learn it to read a thousand times sooner than our school teachers can, but he does not do this, for the simple reason that he has put this power in our possession, and it is for us to use it. One of the best men I ever saw in my life, I knew him when a methodist, and as a Mormon Elder, one of the first Mormon Elders I ever saw, and as good a man as ever lived, yet he did not know enough to hoe a row of potatoes six feet across, without getting on to a dozen rows: yet he was a right good preacher, but the Holy Ghost did not teach him how to hoe potatoes and get his living, because these principles and powers are put in our possession <for us> to improve upon and learn without asking the Lord to be our school master. True he learned our parents how to sow up the fig leaves, and then they learned how
to make themselves garments of the skins of animals. While bro. Orson Pratt was telling you a good deal about this great holy wedding, the first that was ever celebrated, I thought about father Adam; he helped to make the world, to organize this earth, which was orgonized expressly for him. He is the king and the Lord of this earth; when he came here he came with an understanding that he would do just as you and I do. He would go to sleep and dream for 6 hours. What we call dreaming are the reflections of the mind in sleep <when> that cannot be remembered at all times when in a state of wakefulness. We come to this world, and forgot the past and commence a new. When the people are prepared to profit by the knowledge which the Lord has revealed there is much to be told them; but I will say
this to you, every spirit that is prepared to occupy a body on this earth -- <having> has been born of parents in heaven, and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. When father Adam and Mother Eve became mortal by eating of the fruits of this earth they were then prepared the mortal tabernacle, and they were prepared to organize and form living spirits long before that, now they are prepared to form mortal bodies for their <living> spiritual children to dwell in. His former works and experience Adam had forgotten a great deal of, but he once knew it all before hand.
As to the great wedding bro. Orson has been telling us about is nothing more or less than this, Adam's father came to him, saying <th> here is the wife you have had so long, now you are going to have one wife to take with you to yonder earth, and if any of your other wives ever go to an earth to become the mother of all living, to become an Eve, it will be to another earth not to that one. She is called Eve because she is the mother of all living, and she is the queen of that earth. Adam is the Lord of the Earth and the father of all living on this earth, as Eve is the mother of all living on this earth. There is much to learn on these matters, and it is pleasant to know conserning them, yet we should consern ourselves more about this, Will we as Latter-day Saints sanctify ourselves and become one so as to be able to receive the blessings which the Lord has for us. I care little about those theories, we may know and understand many of them but what will it profit us unless we serve God? Nothing at all. If we an only become one so that we can raise and save our grain, and perform all works necessary for salvation temporal and spiritual theories will take care of themselves. Let the Sisters young and old form themselves into a manufacturing society and all agree that they will not be expensive to their husbands, and abandon the idea that a married woman has got to be sustained by her husband in idleness, and be provided with every thing she may see or want or she will get a bill and go to a man that will thus provide for her. Our young ladies had better stop and reflect, and understand themselves as they are, and know that it is their duty to learn to labor for themselves, to sustain themselves, and when a young man wants to marry any of you, but cannot sustain you as he would like to do, be able to say to him, 'but I can maintain myself. I can earn all I want to eat and drink and ware. It is said that "seven women shall take hold <of the skirts> of one man, saying, We will eat our own bread, and wear our own apparel: only let us be called by thy name, to take away our reproach." Brother Watt has not got on his home made linnen coat, but he has got on pantaloons of the same kind of material that I am certain will ware from five to ten years. He says he can raise and manufacture silk cheaper and easier than he can raise and manufacture flax. In china they ware silk constantly because it can be produced easily in great abundance, and when manufactured into cloth is <of> more durable than any other textile material known; and we have got as good a silk countery as the chinees have; there is no better on this earth. If we can raise silk cheaper than we can flax we should do so. We have had too many gold mines in our vicinity of late, and we know little about the raising of suitable material, and the manufacture of our clothing. We will call the elements together and orgonize them for the health, wealth, comfort and beauty of the people of God. Gold does us no good, except to make ornements of. If we had been as prudent as we should have been in the past, to day we might have been waring ornements of silver and ornements of Gold, and could have obtained them much easier than the beads and cheap ornements which you now ware around your necks. The people have done well in observing the word of wisdom the past season. For years past I have been in the habit of drinking a warm drinks which we call contentment, I have given this up and drink cold drink all the time, and I can say that I do not think that I have ever taken so much comfort in drinking cold water in all my life as I have this season past. May God bless you. Amen.