"For This is Life Eternal" (October 8, 1854)
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FOR THIS IS LIFE ETERNAL
PRESIDENT BRIGHAM YOUNG
Delivered in General Conference
October 8th, 1854
I purpose to speak upon a subject that does not immmediately concern your or my welfare.
I expect in my remarks I shall allude to things that you search after as being absolutely necessary for your salvation in the Kingdom of God. It is true, if you are faithful and diligent, they are things that will be fully made known to you in due time-at the proper time, according to the will of the Lord. But as many among us are preaching, lecturing, contemplating upon and conversing about things away beyond our reach sometimes, I wish to gratify the people by speaking upon these subjects; for I think upon them as well as you. I meditate upon the future and the past as well as you, and I now gratify myself by gratifying the people.
In the first place, I wish to say to all men and women who believe in the Lord Jesus Christ-in the Holy Bible, and in the revelations that have been given at sundry times from the days of Adam to the present, I request that I may have your faith and prayers united with mine that whatever the Lord is pleased to give to the Latter-day Saints through your humble servant this afternoon, he may give it, and that he does not wish to give, he may retain, and keep from you. I make this request of the Saints for this reason: I know by my experience, by the visions of eternity, that God reveals things to individuals that do not belong to the Church at large at present, or that do not yet belong to the masses. That I know.
It is natural for the people to desire that which is not beneficial to them. It is so in temporal things, and it is so in things that are spiritual. That I know.
Again, the Lord blesses his people with temporal things in abundance, and wishes to bless them with knowledge and understanding that is not for the world of mankind who do not believe in him. That I also know.
I may say things this afternoon that do not belong to the world. What if I do? I know the Lord is able to close up every person's mind who have eyes but see not, hearts but do not understand; so I may say what I please with regard to the Kingdom of God on the earth, for there is a veil over the wicked that they cannot understand the things which are for their peace.
Jesus said at one time, "It is not meet to take the children's bread and give it to the dogs."* This saying applies to all the dispensations that have been brought forth to the children of men from the days of Adam until now.
* Mathew 15:26; Mark 7:27
I wish the congregation to understand in connection with my sayings thus far, that the Latter-day Saints believe in God the Father, in Jesus Christ his son, in the Holy Ghost, God's minister, and in the Celestial Law, or, in other words, the ordinances of the House of God, which, if obeyed, are calculated to save intelligent beings, exalt the, and bring them back into the presence of their God.
I will tell you what I believe still further than this, though I do not pretend to say that the items of doctrine and ideas I shall advance are necessary for the people to know, or that they should give themselves any trouble about them whatever. I believe in the eternities of worlds, saints, angels, kingdoms, and Gods in eternity without beginning. I believe the Gods never had a beginning, neither the formation of matter, and it is without end; it will endure in one eternal round, swimming in space, basking, living, and moving in the midst of eternity. All the creations are in the midst of eternity, and that is one eternity, so they move in one eternal round. Consequently, when you hear philosophers argue the point how the first God came, how intelligence came, how worlds came, and how angels came, they are talking about that which is beyond their conception, about that which never was, and never will be, worlds without end. It manifests their folly. It shows they know nothing of such matters, and if they do know some things they have a right to know, there are things they have no right to know. This pplies to all classes of mankind.
These are my views with regard to the Gods and eternities. Do you wish I should particularize? Then can you, by any process of reasoning or argument, tell whether it was an apple that bore the first seed of an apple, or an apple seed that made the first apple? Or, whether it was the seed of a squash that made the first squash, or a squash that bore the first squash seed? Such abtruse questions belong to the philosophy of the world. In reality there never was and never will be a time when there was not both the apple and the apple seed.
You must be patient with me, as I am not well enough to preach to such a large congregation in the open air, and labor on words without sessation; you must allow me to take my own time. I will proceed a little further with my preliminaries before I commence my subject.
Inasmuch as I have taken the ground that there never was a beginning, nor end, I wish to say further: There is an eternity of elements, and an eternity of space, and there is no space without a kingdom; neither is there any kingdom without a space.* Were the best mathematician to multiply figures from the time he first commenced to learn at five or then years of age until he is one hundred years old, or until he has exhausted the capacity of figures known to man, he can then tell no more about the number of the creations of God, in comparison, than a mere child who knows nothing whatever of figures. There is no beginning, no end; there is no bound, no time when the elements will cease to be organized into bodies, with all the variety you have a faint specimen of on this earth.
* Doctrine and Covenants 88:37
There are philosohers who believe that this earth upon which we stand has been in existence for millions of ages. I wish to advance a few items that will open the minds of these philosophers, that they may be like well instructed scribes who treasure up in their hearts the mysteries of the Kingdom of God, the principles of eternity, those who wish to be taught eternal principles, and become true philosophers. Their minds can reach forth into the unlimited fields of eternity and still discover no end to the boundless expanse, and to its fullness.
There is no necessity of creating a world like this and keeping it in one unalterable state or condition for the express purpose of bringing intelligent beings upon it, while there is an eternity of
matter yet to be organized. And when we have lived as long as the best mathematicians among you can figure by millions, billions, trillions, etc. and exhausted all your wisdom and knowledge and figures, you are then in the midst of eternity where you began. A true philosoher wishes to grow and increase continually. He wishes his mind to expand and reach forth until he can think as God thinks, as angels think, and behold things as God beholds them.
You recollect I told you in the commencement, I should talk about things that did not particularly concern you and me, but the people want to hear something in advance of their present knowledge; they want to find out if there is anything more for us to learn. When you have lived through eternities to come, learning continually, you may then enquire, "Brother Brigham, is there anything more for me to learn?" My reply to such an inquiry would be, "Yes, there is an eternity of knowledge yet to learn."
Search after wisdom, get knowledge and understanding, and forget it not. And be not like the fool whose eyes are on the ends of the earth, or like the misers who are around us here. They are so craving, and anxious after property that if they saw a picayune on the wall opposite to me there, they would run over forty dollars to secure that picayune. Their eyes are on earthly riches to the neglect of riches that are more enduring. There are a great many persons who are so anxious to learn about eternity, Gods, angels, heavens and hells, that they neglect to learn the first lessons preparatory to learning the things they are reaching after. They will come short of them.
I wish to speak a few words about the Bible as I have hinted at it. The ordinances of the Kingdom of God on the earth are the same to the children of Adam from the commencement to the end of his posterity pertaining to the carnal state on this earth, and the winding up scene of this mortality. With regard to the Bible, we frequently say we believe the Bible, but circunstances alter cases, for what is now required of the peole may not be required of a people that may live a hundred years hence. But I wish you to understand with regard to the ordinances of God's House, to save the people in the Celestial Kingdom of our God, there is no change from the days of Adam to the present time, neither will there be until the last of his posterity is gathered into the Kingdom of God.
Those who are not acquainted with our doctrine are astonished, and say, "That is strong indeed. We thought no such thing as preaching faith, repentance and baptism was practised in ancient, or old testament times." I can tell you that no man from the days of Adam, no woman from the days of Eve to this day, who has lived, or who is now living upon the earth will go into the kingdom of their Father and God, to be crowned with Jesus Christ, without passing the same ordinances of the House of God you and I have obeyed. I wish you distinctly to understand that. There are many duties and callings spoken of in the scriptures, and there are many no written; those for instance which are handed out to you by your president as circumstances require; those imposed by the president of the Church of God, or by the president of any portion of it, are duties as necessary to be observed as though they were written in the Bible. But these requirements, duties, callings etc. change with the circumstances that surround the people of God. But when you speak of the system of salvation to bring back the children of Adam and Eve into the presence of our Father and God, it is the same in all ages, among all peole, and under all circumstances, worlds without end. Amen.
I think these preliminaries will satisfy me, and I feel prepared to take my text: it is the words of Jesus Christ, but where they are in the Bible I cannot tell you now, for I have not taken pains to look at them. I have had so much to do, that I have not read the Bible for many years. I used to be a bible student; I used to read and study it, but did not understand the spirit and meaning of it. I know well enough how it read. I have read the Book of Mormon, the Book of Doctrine and Covenants and other revelations of God which he has given to his people in latter times. I look at them and contrast the spirit and power of them with my faithfulness. My clerks know how much time I have to read. It is difficult for me to snatch time enough even to cat my breakfast and supper, to say nothing of reading. I tell you my text is in the Bible, and reads as follows: "And this is life eternal, that they might know thee, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom thou hast sent."*
I will now put another text with this, and then after, a few remarks. It is one of the sayings of the Apostle Paul: "For though there be that are called gods, wheter in heaven, or in earth (as there be gods many and lords many) but to us there is but one God, the Father, of whom are all things, and we in him; and one Lord Jesus Christ, by whom are all things, and we by him."+ This God is the father of our Lord Jesus Christ and the father of our spirits. I feel inclined here to make a little scripture. (Were I under the necessity of making scripture extensively I should get Brother Heber C. Kimball to make it, and then I would quote it. I have seen him do this when any of the Elders have been pressed by their opponents and were a little at a loss. He would make a scripture for them to suit the case that never was in the Bible, though none the less true, and make their opponents swallow it as the words of an apostle or one of the prophets. The Elder would then say, "Please turn to that scripture gentlemen, and read it for yourselves." No, they could not turn to it, but they recollected it like the devil for fear of being caught.) I will venture to make a little: This God is the God and father of our Lord Jesus Christ precisely as he is our father, varying from mortality to immortality, from corruptable to incorruptable, and that is all the difference. He is the God and father of our Lord Jesus Christ, both body
* John 17:3 + 1 Corinthians 8:5-6
and spirit; and he is the father of our spirits, and the father of our flesh in the beginning. You will not dispute the words of the Apostle, that he is actually the God and father of our Lord Jesus Christ, and the father of our spirits. You may add these words to it or let it alone, it is all the same to me: that he is not only the father of our spirits, but also of our flesh, he being the founder of that natural machinery trough which we have all obtained our bodies.
Do you wish me to simplify it? Could you have a father without having a grandfather? or a grandfather without having a great-grandfather? I never heard of but one circumstance that varied from this rule, and that was a son of the Emerald Isle who said he was born of one of his aunts. Does this unlock to your understandings how the Lord Almighty is our natural father? He set the great machine to working. If you cannot see this truth now, you will if you are faithful and patient.
I will now quote another scripture: "And hath made of one blood all nations of men for the dwell on all the face of the earth, and hath determined the times before appointed, and the bounds of their habitation."# From these words we understand that God has made of one blood all the inhabitants that are upon the earth, that have been, and all that will be in the future will be of the same blood as those that have been. Do you believe that scripture? I do, with all my heart. I believe we are all of one flesh, blood and bones. We are made of the same matter-the same elements. We have sprung from one mother earth. Matter was brought together from the vast eternity of it that exists, and this tiny sphere upon which we stand was organized. Then comes the world of mankind, the beasts, fishes, fowls, and every living thing to dwell upon the earth after its kind; and vegetation of every kind to support the animal life upon it until the organization of this world was perfected in all its variety, being brought from the eternity of matter and prepared for intelligent beings to dwell upon, wherein to prepare themselves to dwell eternally in the presence of their Father and God. Those who keep this, their second estate, and do honor to their being, and answer the design of their creation, shall be exalted to inhabit the earth, and live upon it when it shall be celestial and brought back into the presence of God, there to dwell for ever and ever.
Before I proceed any further I will ask a question, and I would like you men and women of intelligence to understand and watch well, to see if I keep the thread of truth-whether I preach to you according to the law and the testimony, according to the words of the prophets, of Jesus Christ and his apostles and according to the words of angels. Mark ye well my sayings, and see if you can pick any flaw in them, if you think you can do so. When you come to the proper place to be corrected you may then receive instructions that will do you good. The question I wish to ask is simply this-and I put it to all the Elders of Israel and to all the men and women of intelligence in Israel which pertain to the kingdom of God on earth, and if the whole world were before me I would ask them the same question: Can any man or set of men officiate in dispensing the laws and administering the ordinances of the world legally, without first obeying those laws and
# Acts 17:26
submitting to those ordinances themselves? Do you understand me? If a foreigner wishes to become a citizen of the United States he must first become subject to this government. Must you not first acknowledge and obey the laws of this government? certainly you must. Then apply this to the Kingdom of God on earth and ask yourselves if any man has the power, the influence, the right, the authority to go forth and preach this gospel and baptize for the remission of sins unless he himself has, in the first place, been baptized, ordained and legally called to that office. What would the Elders of Israel, and every other sensable man, say to this? They would all decidee at once with me that no man can lawfully officiate in any office in the Kingdom of God, or in the governments of men, he has not been called to and the authority of which has not been bastowed upon him. I am not going to talk a thousand things to you, but I wish to tell you a few, and desire you to understand them and connect them together.
There are a few more questions I would like to ask, for the simple reason of bringing the minds of the people to bear upon certain items of principle and the philosophy of the Kingdom of God on earth, that they may know how heavely things are; but I will pass on and notice some of the texts I have quoted. Before I proceed, however, I will put one more question-at the same time I wish you to bear in mind the one I have just asked; do not forget that no man has authority to officiate in the ordinances of heavenly or earthly governments only so far as he has obeyed them himself. Now, to know the only wise God and Jesus Christ whom he has sent will put the man, woman, congregation or nation in possession of eternal life. Are the hearts of the Latter-day Saints prepared to have eternal life given to them in mass and say there shall be no more apostacy, but bring them all up that they may know and understand the gods, eternities, creations, heavens, hells, kingdoms, thrones, principalities and powers? It cannot be done. The sheep and goats are together; the wheat and the tares are growing together; the good and the bad are mixed and they must so remain until the time when Jesus Christ will say, "Gather my sheep into my fold, gather my wheat into my garner and let the tares and chaff and stubble be burned." This is not yet.
Now if you believe what you have heard me say, you will believe there are lords many and gods many; and you will believe that unto us, the inhabitants of this earth there is but one God with whom we have to do; and according to the tenor of the Bible, we believe there are many, very many, who have entered into power, glory, might and dominion, and are gathering around them thrones, and have power to organize elements and make worlds, and bring into existence intelligent beings in all their variety who, if they are faithful and obedient to their calling and creation, will in their turn be exalted in eternal kingdoms of the gods. Do you believe that? You and I have only one God to whom we are accountable, so we will let the rest alone and search after the one we have to do with; let us seek dilligently after him, the very being who commenced this creation.
(Asked blessing on the bread)
We will now make our inquiries with regard to our position with the God with whom we have to do. You will please recollect all ye elders in Israel, for I want you to be instructed by my remarks that you may not fall into errors, that you have tested the question in your own minds with regard to the rights of officiation in ordinances. Now I wish to ask you if you have any conception or idea as to the creation of the world. "O yes," you reply, "a great many of us have a tolerable idea of it, but still, there are mysteries we do not understand. There are some things in the Bible about the creation that seem to be dark. We have learned some things in this kingdom we do not understand, and that do not correspond with the reading of the Bible."
Let me open the eyes of your understanding. There has never been a time when the creations of worlds commenced. They are from eternity to eternity in their creations and redemption. After they are organized they experience the good and the evil, the light and the dark, the bitter and the sweet as you and I do. There never was a time when there were not worlds in existence as this world is, and they pass through similar changes in abiding their creation preparatory to exaltation. Worlds have always been in progress, and eternally will be.
Every world has had an Adam and an Eve, named so simply because the first man is always called Adam and the first woman, Eve. And the oldest son has always had the privilege of being ordained, appointed and called to be the heir of the family if he does not rebel against the Father, and he is the Savior of the family. Enery world that has been created has been created upon the same principle. They may vary in their varieties, yet the eternity is one: it is one eternal round. These are things that scarcely belong to the best of this congregation. There are items of doctrine and principles in the bosom of eternity that the best of the Latter-day Saints are unworthy to receive. if the visions of their minds were opened to look unto the vast creations and gaze upon the power and glory and goodness and exaltation of the gods they would exclaim: "Woe is me, I am undone. I am of unclean lips."* But we will look at it a little. Do any of you know anything about the creation of thie world? "O yes, we understand a good deal about it from the account given in the Bible." So you read in the Bible of there being three persons in one God; many religionists in the world believe in a three-in-one god, however, I do not wish to spend time to deliberate upon the notions adopted by the sectarians-the world is full of them. There are lords many and gods many according to the Bible; it does not contradict the doctrine, neither can you find a single passage that does away with that idea.
But let us turn our attention to the God with whom we have to do. I tell you simply, he is our father, the God and father of our Lord Jesus Christ, and the father of our spirits. Can that be possible? Yes, it is possible. He is the father of all the spirits of the human family. All things are first made spiritual and brought forth into his kingdom. The spirits of all the human family were begotten by one father. Now be watchful, for if I have time, and feel able, I shall communicate something in connection with this you are not expecting. Yes, every son and daughter of Adam according to the flesh can claim one parentage. The Heathen and the Christian, the Jew and the Gentile, the high and the low, the king and
* See Isaiah 6:5
the beggar, the black and the white. All who have sprung from Adam and Eve have one father. "Then you make it out we are brethren and sisters." Certainly, for the whole human family are made of one blood, of the same material. They are all begotten and brought forth by one parentage, and from one generation to another they are of one flesh and blood and of one kindred. The God and father of our Lord Jesus Christ is the father of our spirits.
I began at the end and shall probably finish at the beginning of my discourse, but it is no matter which end a man begins at for the first shall be last and the last first, which proves it is one eternal round-it is one eternity. Elohim looked round upon the eternity of matter, and said to his associates and those whom he was pleased to call upon at that time for his counselors, with regard to the elements, worlds, planets, kingdoms and thrones; said he, "Yahovah Michael, see that eternal matter on all sides, this way and that way? We have already created worlds upon worlds, shall we create another world? yes. Go and organize the elements yonder in space."-not empty space, for there is no such thing. Once in a while earthquakes and the extensive destruction of combustable matter by fire will come nigh making empty space for perhaps the millionth part of a second.-"Yehovah Michael, go and create a world. Make it, organize it, form it and then put upon it every thing in all the variety that you have seen, that you have been in the habit of being associated with in other worlds; of beasts, birds, fowls, fish, and every insect and creeping thing." And finally, "The whole eternity of element if full of life, bring it together and make of it living creatures." Yahovah Michael goes and does as he is told.
What I am now going to tell you will no doubt astonish the whole of you. When Yahovah Michael had organized the world and brought from another kingdom the beasts, fish, fowl and insects, and every tree and plant with which we are acquainted, and thousands that we never saw; when he had filled the earth with animal and vegetable life, Michael, or Adam, goes down to the new made world and there he stays. Do you suppose he went there alone? Moses made the Bible to say his wife was taken out of his side-was made of one of his ribs. I do not know anything to the contrary of my ribs being equal on both sides. The Lord knows if I had lost a rib for each wife I have I should have had none left long ago. Some try to say how many wives the Governor of Utah has got, but if they can tell they can tell more than I can, for I do not know how many I have. I have not counted them up for many years. I did not know how many I had before I left the United States, I had so many. I heard that I had ninety. Why bless your souls, ninety is not a beginning. You might ask me if I have ever seen them all. I answer, No; I see a few of them I pick up myself, here. I have lots and scores I have never seen nor shall not until the morning of the resurrection.
Now about the rib. As for the Lord taking a rib out of Adam's side to make a woman of, he took one out of my side just as much. "But Brother Brigham, would you make it appear that Moses did not tell the truth?" No, not a particle more than I would that your mother did not tell the truth when she told you that little Billy came from a hollow toadstool. I would not accuse your mother of lying any more than I would Moses. The people in the days of Moses wanted to know things that were not for them, the same as your children do when they want to know where their little brother came from. And he answered them according to their folly, the same as you did your children.
Now some will be ready to say, "We always heard these Mormons did not believe the Bible." I believe all the truth that is there, and that is enough for me and for you to believe.
"Then the Lord did not make Adam out of the dust of the earth?" Yes he did, but I have not got to that part of my discourse yet. Adam was made of the dust of the earth. "Was he made of the dust of this earth?" No, but of the dust of the earth whereon he was born in the flesh, that is the way he was made. He was made of dust. "Did the Lord put into him his spirit?" Yes, as the Lord put into you your spirit. He was begotten of a father and brought forth as you and I were, and so are all intelligent beings brought forth form eternity to eternity. Man was not made the same as you make and adobie to put in a wall. Moses said Adam was made of the dust of the ground, but he did not say of what ground. I say he was not made of the dust of the ground of this earth, but he was made of the dust of the earth where he lived, where he honored his calling, believed in his savior or elder brother, and by his faithfulness was redeemed and got a glorious resurrection.
All creatures that dwell upon this earth are made of the elements that compose it, which are organized to see if they will abide their creation, and be counted worthy to receive a resurrection. "What, every flesh?" Yes, every flesh, for all flesh pertaining to this world is made of the dust of this earth. It is all made from the same material according to the will and leasure of him who dictates all things. Our bodies are composed of the same material that composes this earth: they are composed of the water, air and solid earth, either of which will resolve back to their native fountain. "How many elements are there?" I do not know, any more than you. They have never all been classified by science, though scientific gentlemen have tried to do it.
I tell you more: Adam is the father of our spirits. He lived upon an earth, he did abide his creation and did honor to his calling and priesthood and obeyed his master or lord, and probably many of his wives did the same, and they lived and died upon an earth and then were resurrected again to immortality and eternal life. "Did he resurrect himself?" You inquire. I want to throw out a few hints upon the resurrection as it seem to come within the circuit of my ideas, whether it ought to come within the circuit of my remarks or not. I believe we have already acknowledged the truth established that no person can officiate in any office he has not been subject to himself, and been legally appointed to fill; that no person in this kingdom can officiate in any ordinance he himself has not obeyed. Consequently, no being who has not been resurrected possesses the keys of the power of resurrection. That you have been told often. Adam, therefore, was resurrectred by some one who had been resurrected.
I will go a little further with this lest some of you will be querying, doubting and philosophizing this away. It is true Jesus said, "I lay down my life that I might take it again. No man taketh it from me, but I lay it down of myself. I have power to lay it down and I have power to take it again."* I do not doubt the power of Christ, but did he prove that in his resurrection? No. But it is proved that an angel came and rolled away the stone from the door of the sepulchre and did resurrect the body of the Son of God. "What angel was this?" It is not for me to say. I do not know him. If I ever did know him it is so long since, I have entirely forgotten who it was. That Jesus had power to lay down his life and power to take it up again I do not dispute. Neither do I dispute but what an angel came that was sent by the father of our Lord Jesus Christ to roll away the stone from the sepulchre and resurrect the Son of God. Suffice it so say that he was some character who had himself been resurrected.
"Is there any further proof with regard to this sacred order of the Kingdom of God on the earth?" O yes, you can find it in all the scriptures, for instance, when the Savior appeared to Paul of Tarsus, on the road. In answer to the question, "Lord, what wilt thou have me to do?"+ he was told to go into the city of Damascus and it should be told him there what to do. In the meantime Ananias was sent to him, who baptized and ordained him. Jesus would not do this because he had servants on earth whose special duty it was to administer these ordinances. Again, the angel that appeared to Cornelius would not officiate in the ordinances of the Gospel, but told him to send men to Joppa to the house of one Simon the Tanner and call for one Peter etc.,# whose duty it was to do it; he being called and ordained to that power. Many more instances of this kind might be quoted, but the above will suffice to illustrate the principle.
Now, many inquiries will be made about the Savior, such as: Who is he? Is he the father of Adam? Is he the God of Adam? When Christ has finished his labor and presented it to his father, then he, Adam, will receive a fullness. That is all easily understood by me. He cannot receive a fullness of the kingdoms he has organized until they are completed. If he sends his servants off to the right and to the left to perform a certain labor, his kingdom is not complete until his ministers have accomplished every thing to make his kingdom complete and returned home again. Many inquire, "Who is this Savior?" I will tell you what I think about it.
As we say, "I reckon," and as the Yankees say, "i guess;" but I will tell you what I reckon. I reckon that Father Adam was a resurrected being with his wives and posterity, and in the Celestial Kingdom they were crowned with glory, immortality and eternal lives, with thrones, principalities and powers, and it was said to him, "It is your right to organize the elements, and to your creations and posterity there shall be no end, but you shall add kingdom to kingdom and throne to throne, and still behold the vast eternity of unorganized matter." Adam, then, was a resurrected being. And I reckon our spirits and the spirits of all the human family were begotten by Adam and born of Eve. "How are we going to know this?" I reckon it. And I reckon that Adam came into the Garden of Eden and did actually eat of the fruit that he, himself, planted. And I reckon there was a previous understanding and the whole plan was previously
* John 10: 17-18 + Acts 9:6 # See Acts 10
calculated, before the Garden of Eden was made, that he would reduce his posterity to sin, misery, darkness, wickedness, wretchedness and to the power of the devil, that they might be prepared for an exaltation, for without this they could not receive one.
I reckon that all things were first made spiritual preparatory to the natural organization. "What was the use of all this? Could not spirits be happy?" Yes, as far as they could. These Indians that roam upon the plainsand upon the mountains are comparatively happy in their degraded condition because they do not know the comforts of civilized life. They can lay upon the ground, pull up sage brush to form a temporary shield against the cold, and get plenty of lizards and crickets to eat, and they are happy. We would want a comfortable house to live in and something comfortable to eat; something that is suited to our nature, ability, taste and appetite. We would not be happy and satisfied short of that, so our spirits are as happy as they know how to be. Were you now to live without a house you could not be happy, neither could the spirit be happy without a tabernacle which is the house of the spirit. When the spirit enters the body it is pure and good, and if the body would be subject to the spirit it would always be taught to do the will of the Father in heaven. But the spirit is interwoven with the flesh and blood; it is subjected to the body, consequently Satan has power over both. I reckon the Father has been through all this.
Do you recollect what I told the brethren who came across the plains this season when they were perplexed by their oxen and were calling upon God to give you grace to perform the labor which lay before you? He could not sympathize with you or know the nature of your trials if he had not passed through the same himself. He knew just as much about crossing the plains and the trials connected with it as any of us.
The inquiry will arise among those who are strenuous and tenacious for the account given by Moses as to Adam. "Did not Adam die?" Yes, he died. "Does not the Bible say he died?" I do not know nor care, but I think it would be hard to find where he died, or where Moses died,* though I have no doubt Moses died, and Adam also; just as you and I have to die and be laid away in the bowels of mother earth. That, however, Moses did not see fit to tell us.
Adam planted the Garden of Eden, and he, with his wife Eve, partook of the fruit of this earth until their systems were charged with the nature of earth, and then they could beget bodies for their spiritual children. If the spirit does not enter into the embryo man that is forming in the womb
Gen. 5 ch. 5 v. And all the days that Adam lived were nine hundred and thirty years; and he died.
Deut. 34 ch. 5-6 v. Moses the servant of the Lord died there in the land of Moab, according to the word of the Lord. And he buried him in a valley in the land of Moab, over against Beth-peor; but no man knoweth of his sepulchre to this day.
of the woman the result will be a false conception; a living intelligent being cannot be produced. Adam and Eve begot the first mortal bodies on this earth, and from that commencement every spirit that was begotten in eternity for this earth will enter bodies thus prepared for them here, until the winding up scene, and that will not be until the last of these spirits enters and earthly tabernacle.
Then, I reckon that the children of Adam and Eve married each other. This is speaking to the point. I believe in sisters marrying brothers and brothers having their sisters for wives. Why? Because we cannot do otherwise; there are none others for me to marry but my sisters. "but you do not pretend to say you would marry your father and mother's daughter?" If I did not I would marry another of my sisters that lives over in another garden. The material of which they are organized is just the same. There is no difference between them and those who live in this garden. Our spirits are all brothers and sisters, and so are our bodies; and the opposite idea to this has resulted from the ignorant and foolish traditions of the nations of the earth. They have corrupted themselves with each other, and I want them to understand that they have corrupted their own flesh, bood and bones, for they are of the same flesh, bood and bones as all the family of the earth.
I am approaching the subject of our marriage relations Brother Hyde lectured upon, but I shall not have time or strength to say much about this. But, I reckon that Father Adam and Mother Eve had the children of the human family prepared to come here and take bodies; and when they come to take bodies they enter into the bodies prepared for them; and that body gets an exaltation with the spirit when they are prepared to be crowned in Father's kingdom. "What, into Adam's kingdom?" Yes.
As to my talking what I want to say at this time I shall not do it. I am exhausting myself. I have to speak loud, and it is hard labor.
I tell you, when you see your father in the heavens you will see Adam: when you see your mother that bore your spirit you will see Mother Eve; and when you see yourselves there you have gained your exaltation, you have honored your calling here on the earth, your body has returned to its mother earth, and somebody has broken the chains of death that bound you and given you a resurrection.
How are you going to get your resurrection? You will get it by the president of the resurrection pertaining to this generation, and that is Joseph Smith Jun. Hear it all ye ends of the earth: if ever you enter into the kingdom of God it is because Joseph Smith let you go there. This will apply to Jews and Gentiles, to the bond and free, to friends and foes. No man or woman in this generation will get a resurrection and be crowned without Joseph Smith says so. The man who was martyred in Carthage jail, state of Illinois, holds the keys of life and death to this generation. He is the president of the resurrection in this dispensation and he will be the first to rise from the dead. When he has passed through it then I reckon the keys of the resurrection will be committed to him. Then he will call up his apostles. You know I told you last conference I was an apostle of Joseph Smith. And if faithful enough I expect Joseph will resurrect the apostles. And when they have passed through the change and received their blessings I expect he will commit to them the keys of the resurrection and they will go on resurrecting the saints, every man in his own order.
I want to say a little more about marriage relations so that you may understand what my views are. When you get your resurrection you are not yet exalted, but by and by the Lord Jesus Christ, our elder brother, the Savior of the world, the heir of the family, when he has put down Satan and destroyed death, then he will say, "Come, let us go home into the presence of the Father." What will become of the world then? It will be baptized with fire. It has been baptized with water, and it will then be cleansed by fire and become like a sea of glass, and be made celestial. And Jesus Christ, our elder brother, will take the whole earth with all the saints and go with them to the Father, even to Adam, and you will continue to receive more and more intelligence, glory, exaltation and power.
I want to tell you a thing with regard to parents, wives, brothers and sisters, etc. The time will come when it will be told where this man and that woman shall be placed. The real blood of Joseph will be selected out from among the tribes of Israel and every man and woman will be put in their places and stand in their order where the Lord should say, "Who have you brought with you?" Your reply would be, "My wife and children." but in reality you have only with you your brothers and sisters. The Father would say, "These are my children." When you meet your Father in Heaven you will know him and realize that you have lived with him, and rested in his bosom for ages gone past, and he will hail you as his sons and daughters, our brothers and our sisters.
As to a man having more wives than one, this is startling indeed to the traditions of the people. With regard to it being the law of the Lord for a man to have only one wife or for a man to have no wife, it is no such thing. All that, rests in the traditions of the peole and in the doings of legislative bodies; that is all there is about wives in the world, as to the having many or none. It is corruption for men to deny the truth, for men to work iniquity, to defile themselves and to betray the innocent.
If there are any of my friends who do not belong to the Church here, I want to tell you one thing. I will take all the sin there is before God and angels in men having one wife, two wives, ten, of fifty wives, that will use them well, upon my own shoulders, if they will acknowledge them, support them, raise children by them and bring them up as well as they know how. I say I will take all the sins there is in this, of the whole of the Latter-day Saints, and place them with one sin of you poor devils who when you were young men courted that poor innocent girl and made her believe you would marry her, then got her in the family way and left her to the wide world. You poor curses. This one sin of yours will weigh down all the sins of the Latter-day Saints together and go down about enough for you to be damned in the bottomless pit, while the elders of Israel will be exalted among the Gods. There are scores and hundreds and thousands of these poor girls upon the streets of the cities of the United States. "Why Governor, did you ever see any o them?" Yes, lots of them, in that neighborhood and in the other neighborhoods. I have found respectable families where a young mechanic, a merchant, a lawyer or farmer or some other poor miserable wretch, fit for nothing but the fire of hell, would insinuate themselves into the family, court the daughter, win her affections, desire her, and then forsake her and then boast of your achievements and rejoice over your success. But weep and howl for the miseries that shall come upon you, you poor damned wretches. I want to cut their damned throats, and I will if I catch any of them doing it here. I should hold myself guilty before God and angels if I did not sweep the earth of such low wretches. I will not ask the Lord to do a dirty trick I would not do myself. Let them prowl around my daughter and I will slay them, yes, as fast as I can come to them. What more will I do? When I find a young woman caught in this snare, I will take her to my house and say, "You shall have a home with me and my family."
I only know these iniquities by observation. I was never of such sins. The wickedest day I ever saw I would not betray an innocent female, but instead of prostituting them I would tell them how to do right and teach them the way of life and salvation, and see them safe in the Kingdom of God if they would obey my counsel. But you will take a poor, helpless, innocent creature, and lead the unsuspecting victim nigh to the altar of marriage and then run the innocent lamb. You poor cursed gentiles; go and weep and howl. In New York alone there are over eighteen hundred prostitutes licensed in that city, to corrupt themselves for hell. And I want to tell every man that is going to hell that it is full of such creatures; so full that their elbows stick out of the windows.
Instead of creating such an awful state of society as this presents, we take to ourselves wives, acknowledge them, raise their children, school them and try to teach them the way of salvation. Let me tell you what they should do in the city of New York, that righteous city, and to other cities where there are thousands of licensed houses of ill fame besides thousands of private ones that are not licensed, but go under different appelations: They should set fire to every poor filthy debaucher and collect the illegitimate children, as they are called, that are running in the streets, and wash them and school them and teach them righteousness and not suffer them to mingle with those that mingle unlawfully together. Also take the women and wash them clean and put them to work at spinning, weaving and at other useful employment in the country. As they now exist they want to die. They have lost their charater and nothing appears in the future for them but a life of wretchedness of the lowest grade. There are thousands of these poor women who would bless the first person who should kill them. They do not wish to kill themselves, but live they must, and disguise their real feelings. Let the world cleanse themselves before they talk about Utah. And when they get sanctifies and become purer than we are they may come and give us a few upon purity. It is a subject I did not wish to name, but in my remarks I seemed to run on to it and could not well avoid it.
I wish you to understand well the position I have taken and the nature of the remarks I have made. Profit by them, both saints and sinners. You have had things laid before you that do not belong to the world, nor to men and women who calculate to aostatize. They blon to the wise; to those who are serving God with all their hearts. Now let me say to the wicked in heart. You cannot remember a word off this discourse unless you remember it in the Lord. I might reveal all there is in eternity, and those who have not their hearts on righteousness would know nothing about it, nor be in the least instructed.
I commenced with Father Adam in his resurrected state, noticed our spiritual state, then our temporal or mortal state and traveled until I got back to Father Adam again. After considering all this, what have you seen that makes it appear we are not brethren and sisters? Does it appear that we are not because we are commanded to multiply and replenish the earth? Do you think when you run into grandchildren and great-grandchildren etc., that by and by there will be no connection? They are just as much connected in spirit and body, in flesh, blood and bone, as your children are that you bear off your own body.
This is something pertaining to our marriage relation. The whole world will think, "What an awful thing it is." What an awful thing it would be if the Mormons should just say we believe in marrying brothers and sisters. Well we shall be under the necessity of doing it because we cannot find anybody else to marry. The whole world are at the same thing, and will be as long as man exists upon the earth.
I feel as though I had said enough. I have talked long enough for my own good, and we shall bring our conference to a close.