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Journal of Discourses/11/42
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Volume 11, UNION—PERSECUTION—THE NATURE OF THE KINGDOM OF GOD—TRADING WITH ENEMIES—THE JEWS—ON THE MURDER OF DR. ROBINSON
|Weakness of the Human Mind—Extortion—Imperfection of the Human Judgment—Introduction of Machinery→|
| Remarks, by President BRIGHAM YOUNG, in the Tabernacle, in Great Salt Lake City, Sunday, Dec. 23rd, 1866. (REPORTED BY G. D. WATT.)
(Online document scan Journal of Discourses, Volume 11)
I will try to speak to the people. I shall need silence in the house, and the close attention of my hearers. I expect the faith of the Saints even without asking for it. The faithful will exercise faith, and pray always for all who are within the reach of mercy. The good desire good to all. I have words to say to the good, and also to the froward—to the righteous and to the unrighteous—to the Saint and the sinner.
I wish in the first place to address myself to those who profess to be Latter-day Saints upon the subject of the faith that we have embraced. As to the ordinances of the Gospel we are united, we are one; but I will inquire are we one in all temporal matters? Are we one, as we are exhorted to be by the Savior and by his disciples? Jesus prayed, "Neither pray I for these alone, but for them also which shall believe on me through their word: that they all may be one; as thou, Father, art in me, and I in thee, that they also may be one in us; that the world may believe that thou hast sent me. And the glory which thou gavest me, I have given them; that they may be one, even as we are one; I in them and thou in me; that they may be made perfect in one, and that the world may know that thou hast sent me and hast loved them as thou hast loved me." We should very much dislike not to be acknowledged as the Saints of the Most High God, and the disciples of his Son Jesus Christ. Are we one, as the Savior prayed that his disciples might be? If we are, then are we a happy people; if we are, then are we a powerful and influential people. Jesus had power to do many miracles so-called; he changed water into wine, fed thousands upon a few loaves and fishes, and raised the dead.
If we were one, we should then prove to heaven, to God our Father, to Jesus Christ our elder brother, to the angels, to the good upon the earth, and to all mankind that we are the disciples of the Lord Jesus Christ. If we are not one, we are not in the true sense of the word the disciples of the Lord Jesus. What is necessary to constitute a Saint, or a disciple of Jesus? It is simply this: a strict obedience to all the requirements of the ordinances of the house of God, and to be one in all things as the Father and the Son are one, which will prepare every person for a life of usefulness, and fill them with joy, peace, life, intelligence, good feelings for themselves, for their friends; and for their enemies—good feelings for the world of mankind at large. This spirit of oneness fills them with good desires, with good hopes, and qualifies them to administer good to every person who has determined to cease to do evil and learn to do well. We are constantly taught to love and serve God, and keep his commandments. If we do this, then are we his disciples and preparing ourselves to accomplish a great and good work.
Are the people who are living in this mountainous country, who profess to be members of the Church of Christ, Latter-day Saints indeed? It is true they have left their former homes and friends and come to this distant land to enjoy the privilege of worshipping God according to the revelations He has given unto us, where no one could molest or make us afraid, or break us up as a community again, drive us from our homes, take possession of our farms and rob us of everything we possess. We are here for the purpose of enjoying the fruits of our labours, for the purpose of serving God with an undivided heart. Still, we are prone to wander and come short of faithfully fulfilling all our duties. We are nevertheless, in these mountains. You inquire if we shall stay in these mountains. I answer yes, as long as we please to do the will of God, our Father in heaven. If we are pleased to turn away from the holy commandments of the Lord Jesus Christ, as ancient Israel did, every man turning to his own way, we shall be scattered and peeled, driven before our enemies and persecuted, until we learn to remember the Lord our God and are willing to walk in his ways.
"But," says one, "I thought that we were to suffer persecution for righteousness' sake." I would to God that all our persecutions were for righteousness' sake, instead of for our evil doings. Still, as I have often remarked, I never believed that the righteous have ever suffered as much as the wicked. Jesus Christ said to his disciples, "These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation, but be of good cheer: I have overcome the world." I admit that the Saints anciently "were stoned, they were sawn asunder, were tempted, were slain with the sword; they wandered about in sheep skins, and goat skins; being destitute, afflicted, tormented; they wandered in deserts, and in the mountains, and in dens, and caves of the earth." We are still further informed by historians that the Apostle Peter was crucified, head downwards; and John, the beloved disciple, was thrown into a cauldron of boiling oil, but escaped unhurt. Yet in all this suffering and persecution, they were blessed and comforted and rejoiced though in tribulation.
Since I embraced the Gospel, with many of my brethren, I have been broken up and compelled to leave my home five times, yet we live as a people, and are as comfortable and as well off as our neighbors who do not belong to the Church; and I do not know that our enemies hate us any more than they hate each other. The sufferings that have come upon the Latter-day Saints, through persecution, will not compare in severity with the sufferings which have come upon the wicked in our own day. I desire and pray in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ that I may live so that the wicked and haters of good will not like me very well. It is impossible to unite Christ and Baal—their spirits cannot unite, their objects and purposes are entirely different; the one leads to eternal life and exaltation, the other to death and final destruction. I esteem the persecutions which we suffer as a light thing. We have an object in view, and that is to gain influence among all the inhabitants of the earth for the purpose of establishing the kingdom of God in its righteousness, power and glory, and to exalt the name of the Deity, and cause that name by which we live to be revered everywhere, that he may be honored, that his works may
be honored, that we may be honored ourselves, and deport ourselves worthy of the character of his children.
Whoever lives a few years more will see suffering among the wicked until their hearts sicken. If I have one wish which is greater than another, it is, if I had the power, to make men do right; to make them stop their swearing, their lying, their deceiving, to stop trying to injure the innocent, and begin to be honest and upright in all their dealings with one another and honor the name of the Deity. This is the worst wish I have ever had in my heart towards my fellow beings. The great object of my life is to establish the kingdom of God upon the earth. The Latter-day Saints are one in their faith in the great leading doctrines of the Church, but are they one in their efforts to establish the kingdom of God, that must be established upon the earth in the latter days?
It may be asked what I mean by the kingdom of God. The Church of Jesus Christ has been established now for many years, and the kingdom of God has got to be established, even that kingdom which will circumscribe all the kingdoms of this world. It will yet give laws to every nation that exists upon the earth. This is the kingdom that Daniel, the prophet, saw should be set up in the last days. What Daniel saw should come to pass in the latter times is believed by nearly all the religious societies of Christendom. The only great difference between us and them is in the method of its establishment. The mother Church, in trying to establish it, expected that they had to make holy Catholic Christians of everybody who lived on the earth.
If the Latter-day Saints think, when the kingdom of God is established on the earth, that all the inhabitants of the earth will join the church called Latter-day Saints, they are egregiously mistaken. I presume there will be as many sects and parties then as now. Still, when the kingdom of God triumphs, every knee shall bow and every tongue confess that Jesus is the Christ, to the glory of the Father. Even the Jews will do it then; but will the Jews and Gentiles be obliged to belong to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints? No; not by any means. Jesus said to his disciples, "in my Father's house are many mansions; were it not so I would have told you; I go to prepare a place for you, that where I am, there ye may be also," &c. There are mansions in sufficient numbers to suit the different classes of mankind, and a variety will always exist to all eternity, requiring a classification and an arrangement into societies and communities in the many mansions which are in the Lord's house, and this will be so for ever and ever. Then do not imagine that if the kingdom of God is established over the whole earth, that all the people will become Latter-day Saints. They will cease their persecutions against the Church of Jesus Christ, and they will be willing to acknowledge that the Lord is God, and that Jesus is the Savior of the world.
If the Latter-day Saints were one politically and financially, and in all their endeavors to build up the kingdom of God, there would be a great power in the midst of this people. There has been considerable said of late touching a class of men that are here who call themselves "gentiles." I do not know whether they are "Gentiles" or not; I have no doubt but that some of them are do not think they know the meaning of the term they apply to themselves;
but they are welcome to it if it pleases them. Much has been said and printed about the "Mormons" spoiling the "Gentiles" here, and bringing their lives and property into jeopardy. We know that hundreds of thousands of dollars go into their hands yearly from this community, which many of them freely spend to bring, if possible, swift destruction on the very people who have made them rich.
In yesterday's Daily Telegraph you will see a card addressed to the authorities of the Church, and you will also see my answer to it. There is a class of men who are here to pick the pockets of the Latter-day Saints, and then use the means they get from us to bring about our destruction. They want my houses, and your houses, and the priviliege [privilege] of defiling our beds; and if there is any thing said or done about it, lying dispatches are sent to the General Government to get an army sent out here as quickly as possible, for "O dear, we are in danger; and need protection!" What are you in danger of? You have not the privilege of driving a stake on any lot of land you want for the purpose of claiming it, when it has been owned and improved for years. There is a lot opposite the theatre that I took the fence off and rented to the City Council for a hay market. A man whom I now see in this congregation suggested its occupancy; said he, "why does not somebody go and sleep on it, and survey it in the morning and claim it." If anybody had done so, undoubtedly he would have got a preemption right that would have lasted him as long as he would have wanted it. It is such men as these, who are striving with all their might to rob us of our homes, of our rights and privileges of the country which, by our industry, we have made—it is these men that we should cease to deal with. We should be of one heart and mind, and be determined not to put means in their power to create trouble for us, and bring us to sorrow. The laws of self-preservation demand this of us. Do I wish this to apply to all outsiders? I do not, for there are just as good men who do not belong to the Church, as those who do, as far as they know and understand. There are men with whom we deal who are gentlemen inside and out, men who would not steal my property, and rob me of every right and privilege which belongs to me as an American citizen. They would not insinuate themselves into my family and try to take from me my wife without a legal process, or my daughter without the consent, of the parties concerned. These are the men with whom we should deal, and let alone those who are here to destroy the Latter-day Saints.
I was a little sorry, though I do not know that I ought to be, to see certain names attached to the card I have referred to, and I do not now believe that they mean, by attaching their names to it, what the document shows to the world. It shows that the persons, whose names are there signed, are in open opposition to the people called Latter-day Saints. Shall we foster such a band of men? No.
I understand there are a few men in Congress—and I am glad to think that they are very few—who go so far as to say that the Latter-day Saints never should be permitted to own a foot of land in America, and they will do all they can to deprive us of this privilege; and there are men here who entertain the same ideas, and they will do all they can to wrest our possessions from us. Men of this class have followed us like
bloodhounds in all our wanderings as a people from the beginning to this day; and I have thought for sometime that I should lift my voice to the Latter-day Saints to become sufficiently of one heart and of one mind to let this class of men severely alone. I say, from merchants, lawyers, editors, farmers, mechanics, and all individuals who will give succor to such a class of men and to the paper which they have published here, withdraw your support. If he is a lawyer, let him alone. If he is a merchant, pass by his store or place of business; serve the mechanic the same; and let every enemy of this people become satisfied that they cannot look to us for support while they, at the same time, are seeking with all their might to bring about our destruction. I am giving you my counsel upon this matter, that you have no deal or communication with men who would destroy you. For it is written, "He that receiveth you, receiveth me; and he that receiveth me, receiveth him that sent me."
You say you have dealt with your enemies, and they have treated you kindly, and you can get things cheaper from them than from your brethren, and you will spend your money where you please, etc. You have the privilege of doing so, and the result of such a course you can easily learn. Those very men you are dealing with are wishing and desiring with all their hearts that they had the power to destroy the influence of Brigham Young and his counsellors, and the apostles and the elders of this Church: "If we had the power we would destroy them from the face of the earth." Do they hate Brigham Young and his friends? They do. Are you a Saint, can you be a Saint, without their hating you as they hate me and my friends, and Jesus Christ and his Father? Are you so shortsighted and blind as to believe that you can be fellowshipped by the wicked, and be a Saint? If such is the case, you had better repent of your sins and be baptised forthwith, before the water freezes up. It is your privilege to trade where you please; but if you trade with your enemies, I will promise you that you will expose yourselves to wicked influences, and, finally, be cut off from the Church, without the necessity of our trying you for your fellowship because you trade at this store or at that store. We shall do no such thing as try you for your fellowship because you trade where you please. All men have power to do good, or to do evil; they have power to serve God or the devil, and we do not wish to deprive, any person, Saint or sinner, of this liberty. We advise you; we give you good and safe counsel. You are at liberty to listen to good advice or not. You are at liberty to be guided by good counsel, if you will. If you observe it, blessings to you will be the result. If you abide not by it, you will walk in darkness. Neglect your duty to your God and your brethren and you will commit evils for which you will be tried for your fellowship and be severed from the Church.
We advise you to pass by the shops and stores of your enemies, and let them alone, but give your means into the hands of men who are honest men, honorable men, and upright men—men who will deal justly and truly with all. Shall we deal with the Jew? Yes. With those who call themselves Gentiles? Certainly. We calculate to continue to deal with them; but shall we mingle our spirits together, and be
of their faith? No. We will have our religion, serve our God, and build up his kingdom on the earth; and our friends may have the privilege of eating and drinking and enjoying themselves as well as we, if they get it honestly.
Let the Latter-day Saints be agreed upon their temporal and financial interests. I will ask the question: Do you think the Father and the Son are agreed in their political views and their financial operations? Why every Christian in the world says yes, and we say yes; and we cannot be one, in the sense Jesus prayed for us to be, without this. Would you like to live at ease and get rich? Would you like to keep your homes in this city? I know you would. You can do so by being one in all things. There is much envy in the hearts of men with regard to this city. They want to possess it. They see it as the great emporium of the west—as the great nucleus of commercial wealth in the interior of America. Who will make it so? The Lord. But they do not know this. They imagine that this will be done solely by the industry of the "Mormons." We could burn up this city, and lay it waste, and go to another district of country and make a city just as good as this, and as desirable, in a few years, by the help of the Lord. I have frequently wondered why our neighbors do not go and settle in some other place, and build up a great city the same as we have done; but no, they want the "Mormons" to build cities for them to possess. This we shall do no more for them, if I can help it. If we build cities we mean to possess them.
A word to the sisters. You run to this store and to that store, and you do not think that men who are used to and are acquainted with the tricks of trade know how to buy you. You want an article that has been sold, we will say, at two dollars at the other stores, you get it for two-thirds of what you would have to pay them. By means of this device, and a proper use of velvet lips, and a whine of sympathy, this sister and that brother is bought. "O it is hard that we cannot go and spend our money where we please." You may go and trade where you please, I tell you, with the promise that, by and by, you will go out of the Church, and you will go to destruction. And why is this? Because light has come into the world, but if you are disposed to choose darkness rather than light, it will prove that your deeds are evil. Will you come to the light? I am holding it up before you. I am telling the Latter-day Saints how to make themselves useful in the world, how to make themselves happy and comfortable and secure, that they can not be moved out of their place. But give your means to your enemies, and you lay a foundation for your perfect overthrow.
The Bishop of the 13th Ward tried to collect school taxes from some of the "Gentile" population. They refused to pay, and suits were commenced before the District Court. That court decided that we had no right to make a law to collect taxes to build schoolhouses. In any of our neighboring Territories an opposite decision would have been given; but here expounders of the law encourage outsiders not to pay a single dollar of taxes if they can help it, or do anything to improve the city, to erect public buildings, or to maintain public peace and good order. The policy of the traders to whom I have referred, is to get all the people's money they possibly can, to send men to Wash-
ington to howl for an army to come to Utah.
There is a gentleman present this afternoon who said, "we want an army here, not to injure the people, but to get our hands into the public pocket, and our arms too up to the shoulders. I want myself to get one hundred thousand dollars." What else do they want an army here for? As a means of getting into my houses and into yours, to defile our beds and drive us from our homes. That they will never do again; it never will take place. If the Latter-day Saints will cease supporting such men, they will leave our borders without our buying them out at the rates they propose. They are already sold at an exceedingly cheap rate. There are gentlemen here who are men of honor, and they may be found even among the Jews.
Let me here say a word to the Jews. We do not want you to believe our doctrine. If any professing to be Jews should do so, it would prove that they are not Jews. A Jew cannot now believe in Jesus Christ. Brother Neibaur, who thinks he is a Jew, is a good Latter-day Saint; he has not any of the blood of Judah in his veins. The decree has gone forth from the Almighty that they cannot have the benefit of the atonement until they gather to Jerusalem, for they said, let his blood be upon us and upon our children, consequently, they cannot believe in him until his second coming. We have a great desire for their welfare, and are looking for the time soon to come when they will gather to Jerusalem, build up the city and the land of Palestine, and prepare for the coming of the Messiah. When he comes again he will not come as he did when the Jews rejected him; neither will he appear first at Jerusalem when he makes his second appearance on the earth; but he will appear first on the land where he commenced his work in the beginning, and planted the garden of Eden, and that was done in the land of America.
When the Savior visits Jerusalem, and the Jews look upon him, and see the wounds in his hands and in his side and in his feet, they will then know that they have persecuted and put to death the true Messiah, and then they will acknowledge him, but not till then. They have confounded his first and second coming, expecting his first coming to be as a mighty prince instead of as a servant. They will go back by and by to Jerusalem and own their Lord and Master. We have no feelings against them. I wish they were all gentlemen, men of heart and brain, and knew precisely how the Lord looks upon them.
The Latter-day Saints, in all their travels, have not been as rebellious as the Children of Israel were. Here we are, and the kingdom of God has to be built up by us, and we have a warfare on hand. We have men in our midst who are as full of lies and enmity against this people as the air is full of matter, who are constantly trying to bring evil upon this community. We have the principles and powers of darkness to combat; they stalk abroad at noon-day and in the night, and their influences are at work in secret chambers. We must contend against them.
I will return to our present condition of affairs. I do not think the Government of the United States collects one-hundredth part of the revenue which is due to them for liquor sold by importers and those who manufacture liquor here in this Territory, though I may be mistaken
in this. The City Council manufacture liquor and they pay the revenue due on it to the Government, and I am of the opinion they are the only ones in this Territory who promptly do so.
I mean to hold this subject, of not supporting our enemies, before the people, until I get the Saints to build up the kingdom of God unitedly, and let our open and secret enemies alone. Let the Saints spend their money with those merchants who pay their taxes and seek to build up this place and develop the country. Let our enemies alone. "What, all the outsiders?" Not by any means. I trade with outsiders all the time. We trade with them abroad in the east, and by and by we shall trade with them in China and Japan, and with other nations of the world. Our course is upward and onward. "Mormonism" is not going to die out.
My counsel to the Latter-day Saints is to let all merchants alone who seek to do evil to this people. Those who will do well, deal righteously and justly, will be one with us in our financial affairs. There is nothing uncommon in this course. We see it carried out in almost every city in the Union. The Roman Catholics will deal with their friends in preference to their enemies. The same may be said of the Methodists, and of almost every religious sect in Christendom. The same also will apply to political factions. Do you not think that it would be impolitic for us to pursue an opposite course to this? Should we not be of one heart and mind in our temporal interests as well as in our spiritual? What interest have we upon the earth, only to build up the kingdom of God and share and enjoy the benefits arising from this labor? Have you any interest in the "Gentile" nations? Have you any interest in building up "Gentile" cities, as they are called? You have not. Your whole interest is embraced in building up the kingdom of God.
While I advise my brethren to withdraw all support from their enemies, I would have it distinctly understood that we deport ourselves in a friendly and neighborly manner towards our friends. This I calculate always to do; and I shall require something more of them by and by. We shall expect them to open their mouths and use their pens for the right, the just and the honorable. With them we will deal, and together build up settlements and cities, and produce peace and harmony in the country, instead of anarchy and war. I wish our friends to lift their voices against those vile wretches who are seeking to destroy an innocent and industrious people. We wish them to write, and send their testimony to these who will publish it to the world, that the Latter-day Saints are doing as near right as any people. There are some who do it, and more will do it by and by. We will be known and understood better than we have been. Sustain those who sustain this kingdom, and those that fight against it, cease to sustain them.
I am disposed to make a few remarks with regard to a circumstance that transpired here a short time ago; I refer to the death of Dr. Robinson. I have preached here a number of times since he was killed in the street, and have never referred to the subject here. Ex-Governor Weller was assisted in the investigation of this matter by the best counsel that could be got. The great drift of that investigation was to trace that murder to the pulpit of the Tabernacle. I sent word to them by those who I thought would
tell them while they were in session where they sat day after day and week after week, not to cease their investigations until they had traced that murder to Brigham Young if it was possible. I also sent word to them to call upon Brigham Young for examination. There is a gentleman here this afternoon who has said that he knows all about it. If he does, why does he not tell of it; and privately he places the murder upon President Brigham Young. Why do you not testify to what you know before the Courts? If President Young is guilty of any such crime, trace it to him. There are some things that Brigham has said he would do; but has never happened to do them; and that is not all, he prays fervently, to his Father and God that he may never be brought into circumstances to be obliged to shed human blood. He never has yet been brought into such a position. Still, let me find a dog in my bedroom I would not say that he would be very safe; I hope he will never get there. If I should find a dog in my buttery, or in my bedroom as some have, I fear they would give their last howl. I hope and pray they never will come there. If they jump my claims here, I shall be very apt to give them a pre-emption right that will last them to the last resurrection. I hope no man will ever venture so far as to tempt me to do such a thing. The Latter-day Saints will never again pull up stakes and give their possessions to their enemies. You think that you can get the Government to help you to do this. It will never be done worlds without end. (A unanimous amen.) We are going to live our religion, and be fervent in the service of our God.
I see a notice in the Daily Telegraph that they are going to send a detective here to trace the murderers of Dr. Robinson. It is published to the world that the murdered man had no enemies only in the City Council. He had no enemies there. Were it not that there are many outsiders here to-day I would like the Saints to know how I feel about all such dastardly transactions. I will tell the Latter-day Saints that there are some things which transpire that I cannot think about. There are transactions that are too horrible for me to contemplate.
The massacre at Haun's mill, and that of Joseph and Hyrum Smith, and the Mountain Meadow's massacre and the murder of Dr. Robinson are of this character. I cannot think that there are beings upon the earth who have any claim to the sentiments and feelings which dwell in the breasts of civilized men who could be guilty of such atrocities and it is hard to suppose that even savages would be capable of performing such inhuman acts. To call a physician out of his bed in the night under the pretext of needing his services, and then brutally kill him in the dark, is horrible. "Have you any idea who did that horrible deed?" I have not the least idea in the world who could perpetrate such a crime. I say to all concerned, cease not your efforts until you find the murderers; and place the guilt where it belongs. I have not said this much before on that matter, and should not have spoken of it now, if the excitement which it created had not passed away. I do not care about the outsiders hearing this, as their opinion is neither here nor there to me; the Saints, however, are welcome to my views upon this matter. If the outsiders think that I am guilty of the crime, let them trace it to me and prove it on me.
If any man, woman or child that
ever lived has said that Brigham Young ever counseled them to commit crime of any description, they are liars in the face of heaven. If I am guilty of any such thing, let it be proved on me, and not go sneaking around insinuating that Brigham knows all about it. Infernal thieves will come into my public office and sit ten minutes, and then go out and lead thoughtless persons into the practice of thieving, saying: "It is all right; I have been up to see the President." Such men will be damned. This will answer my mind for the present. This, however, is not all I shall say on this subject; but shall, so help me my Father in heaven, in the name of Jesus, continue my exertions until the Latter-day Saints shall cease supporting their enemies and learn to build up the kingdom of God. If the Latter-day Saints will live their religion, they will increase in political and commercial strength and influence, power and glory on this earth, until we shall be above and entirely out of the reach of those miserable creatures who are continually seeking our overthrow; and we shall go upward and onward, and rise, and continue to rise and increase, until the kingdom of God is fully established on the earth.
The genius of our religion is to have mercy upon all, do good to all, as far as they will let us do good to them. So far as any people will let the Lord do good to them, so far will he do it. We preach life and salvation to all. "But we will not have your doctrine, we will be Jews." Be Jews; be honest Jews and live your religion that was given to you by Moses. Let every other religious sect do the same. Let the fraternity of the brotherhood keep their oaths and covenants and vows, and they will be honest, upright men, and gentlemen. May the Lord bless you. Amen.