1845 January 6 Remarks in Nauvoo

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1845 January 6 Remarks in Nauvoo

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Sermons

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1845/01/06

extracted text

pm Brigham Young again spoke in substance as follows:

I have been reflecting on my life and the consequences of it and have listened to the remarks that Brother Joseph has been making. I have seen, and I know why the nations of the Earth have been left in darkness. They have rejected the Priesthood of God and have gone in the dark themselves and the rising generations have come up in darkness in obedience to their traditions. The result of it all I seldom talk about. For my reflections have been since I have been before the people as a public man, that I will build on the foundation of his (Joseph's) claims and rights. I suppose it was the first time that Joseph Smith gave to his Father the account of the finding of the records, when there was printed in the newspaper a short paragraph; it was only about a square inch, but it stated that a young man had seen an angel who had told him where to find an Indian Bible, and it went on to inquire what would happen if it should come forth; should we then know about the origin of the Indians? The night the plates were found, there was a great light in the East and it went to the West and it was very bright although there was no moon at the time. I gazed at it in company with my wife. The light was perfectly clear and remained several hours. It formed into men as if there were great armies in the West; and I then saw in the northwest armies of men come up. They would march to the South West and, then go out of sight. It was a very remarkable occurrence. It passed on, and continued perhaps about two hours. Soon after this the Book of Mormon was printed and came into o-r section of the country. Brother Joseph Young and Phinehas Young saw the elders, and Father Chamberlain preached to Joseph and Phinehas in such a manner that they asked him to desist. Then they went into Canada to preach. Samuel Smith brought the Book of Mormon into our district, and he preached from it. I weighed the matter for a year and a half. I looked at it on all sides. All other religions I could fathom, I could get to the bottom of all religions that I had any knowledge of, but this new one. I reasoned on month after month, until I came to a certain knowledge of its truth. I reasoned on revelation and while I was getting into it, brother Phinehas laid it by. I saw the two first Elders who preached to my brothers when I calculated to be baptized. I calculated that I would go into the Church seeing things as they were. I knew Methodism. The Methodist Preachers used to talk with children in such a manner that I have often prayed, "if there is a God in heaven, save me, that I may know all the truth and not be fooled by such doctrines." I saw them get religion all around me. Men were rolling and bawling and thumping, but it had no effect on me. I wanted to know the truth that I might not be fooled. Children and young men got religion but I could not get it till I was twenty-three years old; and then, in order to prevent my being any more pestered about it I joined Methodism. I was brought up in the midst of Methodists, Episcopalians, Quakers and Presbyterians. But when Mormonism came along I fathomed it as far as I could and then I embraced it for all day long, that I might just live and die standing straight in this work. I took my sleigh and horse and drove right off to Canada about 200 miles. John P. Greene went part way with me as a preacher--and when we were going along I told him if he didn't get snagged I'd treat. Joseph Young when he saw me believed the Book of Mormon. I preached to him first. And so I claim all of you as the fruit of my labors. I am the first one of the family that embraced it understandingly. The Prophet Joseph could not come to our neighborhood then, so I preached to my family and related the truth about the Book of Mormon. There was one, Nathan Fellows, who had not been out of doors for years, who was ill and always had his head wrapt up. When he heard the preaching of the fulness of the Gospel he threw away his coat and his stick believing it.
I was baptized in Mendon, Munroe County, New York, by Eleazer Miller April 9, 1832, and then we went preaching to the North, East, West and South and started the work. Seven months had scarce passed away when there were a dozen branches raised up. Father Smith had gone West to Missouri so we were left alone in New York. Phinehas Young and I went into Canada and I preached to my friends. If my father and mother had said goodbye I should have said goodbye without a tear; for God is my Father, Jesus is my brother and the faithful are my brothers and sisters. The Prophet Joseph told us to go and preach to our friends. We did so. We sowed the seed and now I see the fruits of our preaching. The rest of our relatives we have handed over to other powers for a season. If they must of necessity see sorrow to bring them into the Gospel then they must. If all my family and relatives were here they would be more than all that are now here today. There are only three branches of the Howe family here. Where will this Howe family grow to, when we go back to our great grand Father Goddard? If he had had the Priesthood and preached . to his race how many hundreds would there not have been? My mother could sum up from 130 to 150 as her own family today, if she were here alive. If we were to take Grandfather Goddard's children and grand children what sort of a number would there be here? You would want a ten acre lot to stand them all on. Then provided great Grand Father Goddard had had the Keys of the Kingdom of Heaven, and was permitted to reign over his posterity he would now have had a great multitude to preside over. Then come on down to our Great Grand Children and trace them back to the main stream--it is like a little fibre, it spreads itself and becomes a mighty river.
If our Grand Father Goddard is permitted to rule as King and Priest over his posterity, and the posterity are raised up as kings and priests to rule over their posterity, our Grand-Fathers Goddard would call together a numerous host. I will show you the order of the Kingdom as regards my own family; one of my sons is placed here, another there, another there, and so on. Yet I should be their ruler, savior, dictator, and governor. They would have an innumerable posterity but all would join in harmony with my counsel; I should console, comfort, and advise them all. You and your children will rise up and administer unto your children, and you will rule over your posterity, and they may get up in tens, hundreds, thousands, and millions. Yet all will finally join with Adam who will be the King of all; Seth comes next; Seth rules under his father and over all; so this process will never end. This is the order of the Kingdom of Heaven, that men should rise up as Kings and Priests of God. We must have posterity to rule over. Uncle Haven, Phinehas, my brother Joseph, these come next and if my father were here, he would rule over all of us.
I calculate if I am blessed that I will have an innumerable host, of my own, the same as Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. Orson Pratt can tell you the number of the lands and of the stars; but the Lord said of the Patriarchs, "their seed will be innumerable and they shall exceed the number of the Stars, they shall never cease to all eternity." Where there is no end, it must be innumerable. You may get an eternal decrease and thus get down to nothing, but there is no end to an increase.
I'll tell you about old Israel; do you know what the curse was upon Israel for? It was for mixing their seed with the Gentile races about them. I have received a promise that is to remain with me, and the same will be upon you and upon your children. I would tell you children that inasmuch as you have received this promise, and then if you mix your blood with others I will curse you, and in relation to the Priesthood, you would be cursed, or condemned. For your children, in such mixed unions, would be high-minded and stiff necked. The nations have wandered in darkness for centuries. If they had not mixed their blood, the Priesthood would never have been taken from them. Abraham was blessed and told that in the Latter Day he would gather his seed up and cleanse and wash them. God has had regard to the blood of the covenant for his oath's sake. That promised blood has trickled down through our parents until now we are here. I know who has the right to the Keys--the Prophet has! That blood has been preserved and has been brought down through father to son, and our heavenly Father has been watching it all the time and saw the man that had received the blood pure through descent--that is what Joseph meant the Lord had regard to; and He made promises to the seed of Abraham which He would have fulfilled if it had not been mixed with the Gentiles. Ephriam is the character who has the pure blood of promise in him. The Lord has respect unto it. This doctrine is perfectly plain and simple. Those who have the right will redeem the nations of the Earth. The People who had the right to the Priesthood lost it, and the Lord has brought it forth in this our day. We shall redeem our friends and all the house of Esau will be saved by proxy, by the Priesthood. When we go into the temple after awhile we will tell you who ought to do the work and how to do it. Suppose a man and woman want to redeem their friends; perhaps they have lived without the Gospel; the man would be baptized for his father and the woman for her mother; and if the husband has the power of the Priesthood they are jointly baptized he for the father she for the mother--he is then washed for the father, she for the mother--he holding the Priesthood redeems the father and mother of the woman. Again for his father and mother--she receives the anointing for the woman, and he for the man. Then they stand as proxy to be sealed up to all eternity and then they will go through the ordinances in the same way. Then they are sealed up in the same way for others--we shall have Father Smith with his grey locks. Joseph, Hyrum, Samuel, all will stand in their order, and we shall be priests and rulers to all eternity. Let my walk and my life speak for myself. The joy of the Lord is a great deal more than any one realizes unless he has partaken thereof. I have now given you text enough for weeks.