1867 July 14 Afternoon Remarks in the Salt Lake Bowery


1867 July 14 Afternoon Remarks in the Salt Lake Bowery



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David W. Evans

extracted text

Discourse by President Brigham Young, delivered in the Bowery,
Gt. Salt Lake City, Sunday afternoon July 14th, 1867.
Reported by David W. Evans.

We like to hear and see <all> and prove all and then preserve that which is good. Brother Gibbs asked the privilege to stand before this congregation this afternoon to relate a vision. What that vision is I do not know. I had a vision and told him that he could not talk to this people so as to be interesting, for they could not hear him. He said, <using an English expression) that when he got "agate" he was very loud; but there is no prospect of his getting "agate." And then to talk about visions, and <then> to tell about beasts, and horns and sectarians and this, that and the other that he knows nothing about, is all nonsense. If he has got a vision, I say let him write it, and we will get somebody to read it so that all the people can hear. We have no objection to any man rising here to instruct the people if he has any instruction to impart; we like to hear them. True, it is the first time Bro. Gibbs ever stood in this stand to my knowledge. I never saw him before; yet we are just as willing that he should preach as any other man. If he has a word for the people, we want to hear it; but I think we will all agree that if a man has a vision and he cannot tell it so that the people can hear it, it had better be written and read to them. We have a great many things to say to the inhabitants of the earth. Bro. Gibbs thinks if the <inhabitants> people would now stop and reflect, and read so as to understand, that they would be benefitted. Why, we have been telling them that for nearly forty years. This is the thirty-sixth year of my Career in telling the people what to do that they might be saved in the Kingdom of God. Do you think they will hear what Bro. Gibbs has to say? Why, it is no more than the buzzing of afly. What do the people care for all we can say to them? Nothing. Will they stop and <learn> reflect, and learn the causes of their afflictions and troubles? Not for one minute. They think they know it all; they have great ideas concerning their power to guide and direct themselves and the nations of the earth. They do not know and understand that man can <appoint but that God> propose, but God only, can dispose. They have power to guide their steps and to direct their ways; but they have not the power to bring forth the results of their acts, that is in the hands of the Lord. We need not talk nor preach to them. When a nation, like the Jewish nation, says take this man Jesus and crucify him, and let his blood
be upon us and upon our children, it will be upon them until the day that Jesus will appear again, and no power can hinder it. And when a nation says "kill the prophet of the Lord," the judgments of the Lord will be poured upon that nation until it is wasted away. What is the use of talking to them? You might as well talk to one of these little posts standing here. There is just as much reason in this old dry pine here as in the hearts of the children of men when they are lifted up against God and His counsel. We might as well talk to a dry tree. But we talk to the few, and as it is written, one of a city and two of a family will believe & be gathered together. Will they believe by counties, cities or neighborhoods? They will not, though I can say that we have seen wonders with regard to people believing. But let one of our elders go to this city, or that city, and preach in a neighborhood where inhabited by Presbyterians, <or> Methodists or Baptists and but few will believe and receive the gospel. There was one instance in England, in the county of Hereford where a whole people received the gospel. Brother Woodruff went there in the fall of 1840 or the Spring of 1841 and he preached the gospel to a man named Thomas Kington now living in Cache Valley, who had <raised sever> founded a Society called the United Brethren. This society had quite a number of branches and eighty-six preachers. Bro Woodruff preached to these societies and, <with two> all the eighty-six ministers, with the exception of two, received the gospel. But this is the only instance of the kind in all the preaching of the Iatterday Saints from the time the gospel was brought forth <till> until now.
We will now ask a blessing on the water -- O, God the Eternal Father we ask Thee in the name of Thy son Jesus Christ to bless and sanctify this water to the souls of those who shall partake of it, that they may do it in remembrance of thy Son Jesus Christ whose blood was shed for their sins; that we may witness to Thee, O God, the Eternal Father, that we are willing to take upon us the name of Christ that we may have his spirit to be with us always. Amen.
In the preaching of the gospel, as I have observed, the elders go forth in their weakness and proclaim the truth to high and low, to rich and poor, to noble and ignoble. The gospel is free to all. Come, partake, receive; here <is> are the bounties of the Almighty, here is the feast prepared for the human family. Receive, accept, partake, enjoy without money and without price. But who are they who believe? Very few. The ordinances of the gospel are simple and plain; they have been established for ever, and will be worlds without end. Go and preach to the people, tell them that Jesus, <died> who suffered and died upon Calvary as the Saviour of the world, came to redeem and save <the world> all that
will come to him. Do the people believe this? Why, the Christians say they believe it; but I will here make a simple application, <of the> quoting the words of the Saviour when the Jews professed to be the children of Abraham. declaring that they were his literal descendants. Jesus said "if he were the children of Abraham his works would ye do." They might have <been> descended from the loins of Abraham, but they were not the children of the Covenants made with him. Christians profess to believe in the Lord Jesus Christ; but I make the application that if they did they would keep his commandments. Is this requiring more of Christians than we should require of them? I think not. If ye are believers in the Lord Jesus Christ, make it manifest to all the world by keeping his commandments. They are not very onerous. Jesus says, "My yoke is easy and my burden is light. If we are, really, believers in the Lord Jesus Christ, why not do as he has commnded? You recollect, on one occasion, when he was teaching the people, they said his sayings were hard, and they exclaimed "who then can be saved." Jesus says again <"straight> "strait is the gate and narrow is the way that leads to the lives, or that leads to life, and few there be that find it. When we go amongst the Methodists, Quakers, Presbyterians, the followers of the Church of England or among any others who profess to believe in the Lord Jesus Christ as their Saviour, and ask them to do the works that he required of his disciples in ancient days and they would turn round and say "who then can be saved"? <Why, all that will do his will>. We can answer the question very readily by sayng that every man and woman who will do the will of Jesus shall be saved. If we believe, why not <receive the> be willing to obey the ordinances of his gospel. We have preached this doctrine to the people for more than one score of years. Hundreds and thousands of elders have been to nation after nation, island after island, and people after people to proclaim that Jesus is the Christ and the Saviour of the world, and let all who believe in him make it manifest by their works. All who believe in him must do as he has said to inherit eternal life. The Christian world profess to believe on the Lord Jesus, but it is only a historical belief. It is not a belief founded upon the revelations; <of> but they believe because their parents and priests believe. But who are the real believers on the Lord Jesus Christ? They who make their faith manifest by going down into the waters of baptism -- being baptized, <or> immersed or buried <in under> with Christ in baptism for the remission of sins,; coming forth, then, out of the water and receiving the laying on of hands of those who have authority to say "by the power of the holy priesthood of the Son of God receive ye the Holy
Ghost." This proves that a man or woman believes on the Lord Jesus Christ. But we prove we are not believers when we commence to contend, saying "these ordinances are done away, and there is no need of this or that; and, O, yes we believe in baptism, but we take a bowl of water and dip our hands into it and lay them upon the head of an individual, <s sayu> saying we baptize you." This is no baptism at all; this is changing the ordinances, just as the Children of Israel did precisely. And when they declare that the laying on of hands and the gifts are done away with,
and begin to contend and argue with their false philosophy, it proves to the Heavens, to Angels, to Jesus and the ministers of the Cross of Christ that they are not the sheep of the Saviour. <I am talking this a, am to refer to what Bro> Bro. Gibbs thinks that if <the> the people could hear what he has on his mind they would stop right straight and repent; but it is all folly. They will not for me, nor for Joseph, for Bro. Wells, Bro. Heber, Bro. Taylor nor for any other man, and if the Saviour were on the earth again in the flesh they would crucify him as readily as the Jews did. We go and say to the people "if you will believe on the Lord Jesus Christ with all your heart and repent of your sins, go down into the waters of baptism and come forth in newness of life, and receive the laying on of hands for the Holy Ghost, then it is your privilege to <speat> speak with tongues, to have the spirit of prophecy, the discerning of spirits
and all the gifts of the gospel, and the Holy Ghost shall fulfil his office upon you by bringing things past past and present to your remembrance, and He shall show you things to Come. But who will believe our testimony in relation to these things. A very few, and we are gathering them together. We are sending our elders to the nations of the earth with the cry "behold the Lord cometh, prepare ye the way of the Lord. The angel of the Lord has flown <tho> through the midst of heaven, has delivered the keys to the Priesthood, the Lord is gathering His elect and the time is near at hand when all things will be gathered into one. The Lord has spoken from the Heavens, Jesus has revealed himself, he has established his Church and has placed therein prophets, apostles, evangelists, pastors and teachers for the perfecting of his Saints." This is our cry to the nations, and there are occasionally one of a city and two of a family who believe and receive the gospel. Their hearts are opened, they receive the truth and bow in submission to the ordinances of the gospel. The Holy Ghost <with> witnesses to them "this is the way of life, walk ye in it." The spirit of gathering then takes possession of them and straightway they want to come home to Zion. <This is> It is this that has brought this people together and holds them together. It is this spirit that gives them influence and power, and, though <I> I know it thrills the nations, <it is true>, it is this which creates that <oneness> oneness so conspicuous in our midst; this union in every purpose and pursuit. When a man is nominated for governor, representative, sheriff or for any other office, <this is why all the peopple vote for him> ecclesiastical or political, that is why all hands are lifted up for <the man> him who is nominated. We dread it" say the powers of darkness; We are divided and subdivided and we wish you to be the same." We shall not, God being our helper; but we will go forward until we become of one heart and one mind in all things here on the earth as we are with regard to the ordinances of the gospel, then we will live as a family. We will learn by and by that we are one family. Now we are aliens to one another and we feel very distant, And if <we> I see cattle destroying my neighbor's field, I feel unconcerned for they are not in my field. By and by this people will learn that the interest of one is the interest of all and they will become one in temporal matters as much as they are in spiritual things. Do you calculate to see this day? I do. Then we will live as a family. I shall not follow this subject at present.
We have a great many transient visitors here, in our community, and we have quite a <community> number of <our> permanent residents who are the descendants of Judah, and we have some few of other tribes. If they come to our meetings will they be converted? No, you might as well try to convert one of these posts to the Christian religion as to convert a Jew; if he is ever converted and stays in the Church it proves that he has not a drop of the blood of Judah in him. We have Christians too, come here to visit us, and many of them are very kind, friendly and <corteo> courteous. But some of them complain sometimes. I will mention one instance, of a very refined gentleman who, I understand, came to meeting once and heard Bro. Kimball preach. He said that if he had had a wife, daughter, mother or sister in the Congregation he should have taken them by the hand and led <them> her out, the language of the speaker was so indecent. Now, I will promise you one thing, you take that man in the dark and he is a thousand times more corrupt than Heber C. Kimball, though in the light he is very refined, I so much so that I will venture to say that he dare not read the Bible. Do you believe, <if> you divines and members of religious bodies? that I can read find in the Bible such language as Bro. Heber C. Kimball never used in this stand? If you do not, just read the Bible and you will be satisfied. Take English ministers, no matter whether they belong to the Church of England, Methodists or any other body, and <they will> their ears would not be offenced at Bro. Heber's language, because they are not so cursed corrupt as we Yankees are. I will tell a story to illustrate. <There was> A young lady <at a party> in Massachusetts was at a party; they were having baked beans. She would take a knife and fork and cut a bean <n> in two, she could not open her mouth wide enough to take a bean at once. By and by she found her way to the kitchen <and I> where she helped herself more freely; finally she reached the buttery, and her partner happening along about the same time chanced to look through the casing, saw her helping herself to a big tablespoonful at a time. That illustrates the thing exactly. I want to say here that when our English brethren and sisters come here they will sit and hear Bro. Heber without being offended. Why? Because they are taught not to be so deceitful with regard to
language as we are, they receive things as they are, and that is proper. I want to say to ladies and gentlemen who object to Bro. Kimball's language, go and read the Bible, and he or she who is offended with <Bro.> our beloved Bro. Kimball on this account, is corrupt, no matter whether they are English or Yankee. I have known Bro. Kimball now about forty-three years, and you take him in the dark or when alone and he is as a delicate a man as you can find. When he gets up here he talks things as they are; I do not. He is not so big a hypocrite as I am, and in this respect he is better than I am. I say this for outsiders and for those who are within the pale of the Church. Do not be offended, nor turn a deaf ear to the sayings of Bro Heber C. Kimball, for if you do, you turn a deaf ear to the voice of the Almighty. "But," say you, "does he always speak the words of the Lord"? No, but his honesty and integrity are as <s> sterling as <that> the Angel Gabriel's. I use the best language I have at my command, and though I may <once in a w> sometimes overstep the bounds of strict decorum, I never design to infringe on the most delicate ear. We have friends who attend here to hear us preach, why do they not believe the gospel? Can you tell? Well, the Lord knows and some of his people know too. When I preach the gospel by the power of God sent down from Heaven, no matter whether I am standing in the pulpit of a Methodist or Presbyterian meeting house, the Holy Ghost will <witn> bear witness of the truth <of> and the honest will believe. Was it not so with you my brethren and sisters? it was. When you heard the gospel proclaimed by the power of God the spirit witnessed to you of its truth and you had honesty enough to receive it. How is it with others? Well, a great many apologies may be made for some, the force of tradition is so strong that it seems as though it was impossible for them to receive anything out of the circile of their traditions, and they may be honest too. We have revelations that explain all this, and there is a place for them -- the honorable men of the earth they who speak well of this people. I will here explain a little, so that you will not be deceived, Latter-day Saints. There have been, and probably there are men now and women, too, in this Community who
will be blessed in this eternity because they say nothing against Zion, but <who> on all occasions have a word to say in its praise. The Lord has a blessing for such individuals and they will surely receive it. Will they go into the Celestial kingdom? I am not saying anything about that, but they will be blessed of the Lord. They are they who are honest, truthful, virtuous and upright, If they cannot see and understand the truth, and the Lord <dr> does not see fit to speak to them by His spirit so as to shake them like an earthquake and make them receive it <the truth> and they pass it by, but yet they have nothing against Zion, the gospel, against Jesus or against His disciples, they will receive blessings that the priest who contends against this work will never have the privilege of <enjoying> seeing, much less of receiving; their hearts will never conceive the blessings that will be enjoyed by these honorable men of the world who have always a good word for the just, and who are never disposed to ricidule or disgrace, or even to <d> traduce the character of him or of her who walks uprightly. I shall now leave these general remarks, <fo> as I have a sermon to preach to the elders of Israel. I do not know how long it
will be, nor whether to commence it now or not; it concerns our mechanics. I want the elders of israel now to hearken. How many are there here to-day, if I were to ask them to rise on their feet, who have entered into Covenant with God, holy angels, and their brethren to hearken to Counsel, and when required to do a thing, that they will do it? I expect, if this question were asked, that most of the elders of Israel would rise to their feet, ready to Av> avow that they, with uplifted hands, have covenanted with Israel's God that they would do as they were counselled. Now my brethren do you, or do you not feel that it is obligatory upon you to do so? If you feel that it is, I can make my discourse very short. It will be simply to request all who can nail a lath <a> on that tabernacle to <come go> be there to-morrow morning by seven o'clock with hammer or hatch-et to nail lath on those brackets and finish that lathing. This request extends to the masons likewise. "Why," say you, "I have a little job here or there." Never mind it, let it alone. "But I am working for a man who will get somebody else if I do not attend to it." No, he will not if he is a Latter-day Saint. Come you masons and all of you who can lath and whitewash and I will give you thirteen working days to finish that part that is already <finis> commenced. Is it hard to request this? Is it too much to ask of the elders of Israel. I want <you> to tell you something here. There is one man here a very fine workman at lathing and plastering. He has been several years working here and there, and he has got immensely rich. A good many have done that, he is one of them. When he left our service he was tolerably well off, but he must go and get rich. When he was asked to go and work on the Tabernacle his first question was "Can you pay me." Said I, "do I owe you anything"? "No" said he, "but <I> I want flour and I want store pay, and I want this and I want that." And he has worked for years and has got so rich that he is not a meal before hand. So it will be with every man who works without <tha> being guided and dictated by his leaders, unless he has leave to go and help himself, then it will be all right. This is only one instance, <but> but it will apply to quite a number who have tried to get rich their own way. I can say to all such characters as I used to say to men who went west, to the gold mines. I would say to them, you <can> go and get rich, but I will stay here and build up Zion; and when you have done your best at the gold mines, you can send back here, if you have not a mind to come, and I will drop dollars, eagles or half eagles with you, and the man who has got the most shall take the pile: And you may take all, from first to last, who have gone to California to get gold, and I am able to buy every one of them. With regard to the gold mines, reported recently discovered out east yonder, I can say that some of the people are perfectly crazy about them. One bishop came to me the other day and said he understood that I and bro. Kimball and bro Wells had each sent ten men out there, and it was the counsel for the people to go. I want to say <her> that I will give a promise, that every man who stays here and works and pays attention to building up Zion, & trusts in God will be able to buy any ten of them that go after gold. I will now inform the Latter-day Saints that I have not sent anybody to the gold mines. I have consented for a few to go who wanted to go, one man in particular who has spent the whole of the spring and summer hunting for When I learned this I said to him go after gold, and try and save yourself. He got up his company and away he went. But as for me advising any man on the face of the earth to do anything but to build up the Kingdom of God, I am at the defiance of any man to say so. We want to do a great many things, the finishing of this tabernacle is a little item. We will have the west end and the centre finished, and then <get up a bench at the east end, and have it finished before Conference> try and get it seated and have a better place to sit, sing and preach in than we hae now. I cannot see half the people when they come here it is so dark overhead. I want to look at them, especially the ladies, they look so fine. I want to get the tabernacle done so that I can see you. I guess this will do for this sermon.
I will now preach a short sermon to the bishops, and will make the application to all the Presidents from the President of the Church down to the last elder in the Church.
I will commence with the Bishops, and preach a portion of the sermon I
preached to them while at Cottonwood, a week to-day. I will ask them a few questions. I say, <bro. Bish> bro. bishop is it your privilege to swear, to lie, to take that which is not your own, to break the sabbath, to drink a little whiskey, to chew a little tobacco, to drink a good deal of tea and coffee? I told them last sabbath that if they <possess> have any such privileges they <possess> have that which I do not possess. <I asked> If this is not your privilege then it is not the privilege of any member of your ward; but let a bishop drink a little whiskey, lie, <swer> swear, steal, break the sabbath, cheat and deceive a little and it gives a license to the whole of his ward to follow suit. This applies to every president & apostle as well as to the bishops. <It applies also to> I can say to my
brethren, the apostles, you follow Christ and keep his commandments, <of> and do all things required by the Lord just as you wish the people to do so. Perhaps, in your minds, you say how is it with you Bro. Brigham, Heber & Daniel, do you swear, lie, cheat & deceive your neighbor? <I will say as far as I am concerned, I do my sw> How is it with you Bro. Presidents? <I can says> lf you do these things you do wrong. As far as I am concerned I do my swearing in the pulpit so you may judge; and I will say further, that if you live your religion and follow Christ as I do, I calculate we will go into the Celestial Kingdom. It is the privilege of the Latter-day Saints to live and preserve themselves in purity. As I preached at Conference, there is not a sister in this Church but what can do good. <without influence> neither is there a man, however humble, in this Church, without his influence; therefore let your conduct be such that it will be worthy of imitation. Live truthfully, virtuously keep the commandments of God and serve him with an undivided heart, and seek to build up Zion on the earth. And when the word is "build a tabernacle," build it; "or build a temple," build it; or <leave> do this or that, leave off your tea, tobacco or whiskey and take no more of it. <heed> take heed to the counsel given and do what you are required. You all know this will lead you to life. It is the privilege of the Latter-day Saints to live their religion; but there is not a man or woman in this Church who has license, from him who leads you on the earth, and then back to Joseph, Peter, James, John, <and then to
the Father> Jesus and <to> the Father, to sin, <There is not one soul who has a license to sin>, and if you do it, it is on your own responsibility. This is a short sermon to the bishops, and I want them to treasure it up in their hearts and remember it. <It> say to all the bishops it is your privilege to live your religion, but it is not your privilege to Sin; it is not your privilege to set an example to your wards that will lead them astray. You need not refer to anything that Peter, James, John, Paul or any of the rest of them <to> did to excuse you; you need not refer to anything that was done in the days of Joseph or Hyrum or anybody else that ever lived on the earth. You have the commandments of the Lord Almighty couched in this book, (the Bible) the Book of Mormon, and the Book of Doctrines of Covenants. They contain the articles of our faith. Read them all ye Christians, lay them to heart, adopt them in your lives and it will be well with you. How many will do this? Just as I said in the beginning "one here and another there." But Jesus said "my sheep hear my voice and a stranger they will not follow."
Now be careful that you follow the voice of the good shepherd, that you follow the commandments of God. Ask of Him who gives liberally to all, and you can receive for yourselves, and you <can> will know when you hear the truth and when you hear that which is not true for the Holy Ghost will bear witness unto you.