1854 April 16 Sunday Afternoon Remarks
Date (allowed formats: yyyy, yyyy/mm, yyyy/mm/dd)
To view the original document through the Church History Library's catalogue, go to
Remarks by Pres. Brigham Young in the Tabernacle
Great Salt Lake City April 16th 1854 P. M.
I have a few observations to make to the people.
When intellegence begins to increase in a community, or in the mind of an individual they can perceive in its fountain that which seems to conflict. Still we may obtain wisdom sufficient to know how to parcel off every principle of truth, until seeming contradictions give place to perfect harmony.
What Bro. Hyde has said to you concerning the minds of the people has started this reflection in my mind, and I realy wanted to give him a joke; I think I will venter to do so.
In his first remarks he told us, if it were <realy> necessary and he felt as though he could not well do without a good spree, he would get a bottle of right down good spirit and retire to his closet; <and> I recomnend his choice of good spirits, and perfectly agree with him on that point with only one exception; I should want some of the best boys along to enjoy it with me. In his last remarks he represents the poor boys here -- our young men, to be in a dolful state,-- they are lonesome and rejected, and no confidence can be put in them by the young ladies. What a pity, and all the difference between the poor dissconsolate boys,-- Elder Hyde <is> and myself is, that we have got old and cunning, we do not let the folks see our freaks, we do it in secret so that they cannot know it, but the boys have their freaks in the broad day light.
When we old and experiensed ones want to sky lark we know how to do it <alone> without exposing ourselves, but the boys have not had the experience we have, and they do what they do openly. <So that after all the only differences between the boys and the old men>
There are tens of thousands that can bear wittness that the bodies of the youth have been overcharged with labor, almost from time imaemorial. In the manufacturing districts of England and other Nations they are put in the facturies very young, where they are confined constantly; in a few years their Constitutions are broken so that they never can regain a state of perfect health again while they live.
Do you know that men and women are worked to death before they have reached maturity of age and groth? And further, do you know that Millions of childeren are born into the world that were worked to death before they <were born?> breathed the vital air? Their mothers worked them to death.
The Mind of man as well as his body attains to strength and activity by degrees. If, on the other hand, too much labor is exacted from the mind of a child it will <also> break down the constitution of the intelect. This is certainly so.
This declaration presents an idea before the minds of the people that seemingly conflicts with the antiquated docterine and practice of "bring up your children as strictly as possable." This is all right; but what parent knows precisely when, and how often <to put <give> time to a child> to free the child from restriction that the wild burst of unexperienced youth may have vent, so as to keep the constitution of both body and mind sound and healthy? Who can mould <and so controle> their feelings to a certain definite rule, to make them think, speak, and act according to strict propriety; improving every moment of their time in some useful employment, and still keep their constitutions unimpaired? Few parents understand how to do this.
Here we are in our ignorance; we have not <get a> attained to a knowlege of all truth; we know but little, with the privilege of learning still more, not only in the <as to how to> training of our childeren but in every thing else.
If childeren were <are> trained as some parents wish them to be it would break the constitution of their intelect. "What shall we do then"? you inquire.? Always teach them good morals both by precept and example; give them good counsel; teach them holy principles, and show them the way of life and salvation, point out to them the difference between good and evil, right and wrong; and give to them knowlege, and instruction that will take root in their minds, and be the subject of their thoughts, that they may learn to discer, between light and darkness, between that which is of God, and that which is not of him.
And when they are grown up to become agents to themselves, as you and I, then if they want to go to Callifornia let them enjoy the liberty of their own choice. As I told a person not long since, if my sons or daughters wish to go to Callifornia after receiving instructions from me, I say to them, go and be damnd, I shall not follow you there, or ask any odds of you, You may go to hell cross lots if you will; I do not bind you or take away your agency. I enjoy mine, and you must needs have yours.
Now I tell you truly, that men and women in this Church bring up their childeren to be a perfect set of dumies; they have sense but it is perfectly confined in one certian channel, and from it they cannot turn either to the right or left.
<Now I> I will refer your minds to facts that are arround us. Did any of you ever see a Master spirit arise in this Church in a man that had been educated, and brought up in the old, strict, streight and <gold old way> narrow path, and were never alowed to be free long enough to do any thing to violate the law of God or man, but from Monday morning to Saterday night, and from one year end to another were bound to walk in such a path neither turning to the right nor the left; I ask again have you ever seen a Master spirit in such a person? I say No. For a Master spirit cannot be shut up and trameled in such a way, but Samson like it would snap the cords assunder and think and act freely.
From these wild boys you see riding through town here will arise some of the mightiest men ever Isreal will produced; some of them will be the most powerful men that is on the face of the earth in their day, or that ever was on the earth.
I know this presents a picture that you do not fully understand, many of you. Be kind to you childeren and diligently teach them the right and the good way, and when your daughters have grown up, and wish to marry let them have their choice in a husband, if they know what their choice is, but if they should happen only to geuss at it, and marry the wrong man, why; let them try again, and if they do not getin the right place the second time, let them try again. That is the way I shall do with my daughters, and it is the way I have already done. I have only married off two girls, but I shall have a lot of them ready by and by; if they say I want such a man to be my husband, take him is the word; and if he is a mere cipher in community perhapes if I can get my hand round him I can lead him in a way to make him a mighty man in Isreal. Take this man or that man if you want them my girls, I give you good counsel about it, nevertheless you shall have your own Agency in the matter even as I want mine.
Now to revert back to some of my first remarks. I have told you the difference between the old and young men; we old chaps know how to hide ourselves,-we know how to walk and not have men see us,-- but the <young> boys and girls exhibit every weakness openly. I am as ancious for my young Bren. as Bro. Hyde can be; no man wants to see holy young men more than I do <have> but I know they are in their youth,-- in their childhood. I know in a measure what human nature is; it must be acted out; you can lead it; guide and educate it, but you cannot banish it from the system except you kill it entirely; all the santifying influences that has been told <of> from this stand, or from any other, never will change a person so as to make anything but mortal of him. Such principles will give power to conquer evil passions,-- power to govern, and reign triumphantly over them;-- but do not kill human nature in order to controle it; do not with a tyrant hand render it inactive.
Who of our boys will go to Callifornia to get A gentile woman for a wife, or to the States? From the first of my aquaintance with Mormonisam to this day have I ever known one Mormon boy to look for A wife out of this Church. But the Mormon girls may be seen associating with gentiles almost any day, riding in carriages in the broad open day with men who hate God and his servants, and the holy Gospel which they preach. It is not the boys that are after Gentile women, but the Mormon girls are after Gentile men. The Mormon boys never thing of looking outside this Church for wives.
Bro. Hide speaks my mind with regard to his daughters. If my daughter wished to marry a good man of seventy years of age, and he had seventy wives, I should not think of with holding my consent. e I a girl I would much rather trust myself with a righteous old man, who has been proved, than trust myself with a man by who has not been proved. They however all have to be trusted in the first place <with> by somebody. If young Bren. come and wanted- to marry my daughters, and they <were> are equely ancious to be married to them, I would tie them up, take them home and make them good men if possable.
We send men out to preach of all ages; and if the boys who go to California would speak out, their real feelings, <it> would be in words like the following, "If you will send us on a Mission we would be satisfied;" they would rather go to preach the Gospel than do anything else.
Who among our Missionaries returns home with their shirts clean, it is the boys all the time. The old men come home with their shirts besmeared from the Collar down; and this hits men who are in this Congregation, even that ought to know better.--
Do not be disscouraged boys. I am preaching for the boys a little. I do not wish to see a persons mind so corrupt in this community as to look to the bowels of hell for a companion. There is not a righteous man or woman in this community old or young if they have mature thought, and <can> reflection, that will ever look<ed> out of this Church for a companion. But if they travel, trade, work, or marry it is with those that serve God,-- it is with the Saints and nobody else.--
If a young man who wants to hire, would rather hire with somebody out of the Church, than with a good man in the Church, then is that person not a righteous man,--he does not know what righteousness is,-- he may have a smattering of religion,-- want to have <have> a claim to saintship and godliness,-- but he has only a <but> very shallow conseptions of the principles of Godliness. A Man who wants to trade and do buisness with the wicked in preference to the saints, <they> <and> <will> walk in darkness; those that volenteer to go among <with> the wicked to show them the way of life, <the wicked become their freinds and they> must of necessity dwell with <with> them, and if possable make them their freinds. But a man who has nothing to do but live, and sustain his family, and still disires to mingle with the wicked for the dimes when he has no occasion to do it, he does not understand righteousness. I need not undertake to prove this for you can easily know it for yourselves. No Saint in the community wishes to mingle with the devil, for what has light to do with darkness, or Christ with Bailial.
I have only just hinted at what was in my mind, for it is too extensive, and too various a picture to fully deleniate this afternoon. I have told you what to do with your childeren, train them in the way they should go and teach them principles they should know; and when they have a privilege of acting for themselves let them act as independently as you have acted for yourselves.
I do not vary Any in my remarks from Bro. Hyde but I wanted to joke a little, and pleade the cause of the young Men. We have had missionaries come home here every <last> Season old men, men of experience, and where are they? You do not know. What have they done? You do not know.
But when the boys come home they are men; they are firm, substantial, faithful, and correct in docterine, and in their walk and conversation. I tell you these old men cannot hold a candle to the boys of from forteen to eighteen years of Age who have been brought up in this Church, when they stand up to preach and elucidate the docterines of Christ <this Church>.
It is as I told you some time since about Bro. John Smith our Patriarch. Some say he is too young, but, he can seal a Patriarchal blessing upon the heads of the people better than any old man in this Church. His mind has never been tramelled with the unhallowed docterins of Sectairnisam, Nor suffered the withering blight of vice, but it is free, active, and noble, and it expands, and is still callculated to expand, to understand all things. It is just so with all our boys.
May the Lord bless us, and preserve us Amen.