Brother Woodruff has just given us a sketch of many things, touching
upon the Prophets, the welfare of Israel, and the sorrow and
desolation that will finally fall upon the wicked; and the wicked
among us will not escape, any more than will those in the world.
I was thinking considerably upon what he said about the wickedness
that is creeping into our midst, and of that wickedness being
rebuked. I want my brethren and sisters to understand that
only those who are guilty are rebuked. Our rebukes do not touch the
innocent, nor affect them one hair's breadth. When you use the whip
the lash will, perhaps, hit a person who sits in the outer edge of the
congregation, and one in this, and another in that part of the room.
It is intended for them, and not for those it does not hit. You will
not hear any man or woman, enter a complaint, or find any fault with
brother Brigham, or brother Heber, except that person who is hit.
When you load your musket with buckshot, or coarse shot, and fire into
a flock of ducks or geese, you never will see any flutter except the
wounded. When you see a person flutter, you may know that is the
character who is hit, and is the one who ought to be hit.
I was reflecting, yesterday, whether I had any articles left of all I
had when I came into this Church, and I found that I had one chest
which brother Brigham Young made and painted at my house, and my wife
has a little tin trunk which her father gave her before she was
married, and I have one earthen tea canister which I made about the
time I was married. I think those are the only articles left of those
I had when I came into this Church. What is the reason? I have been
driven from my possessions, and robbed of the things which were given
me by my father and mother, and of those given to my wife by her
I reflect upon these things, and when I see sin working in our midst
like the leaven in a measure of meal, I feel to rebuke it; and I would
rather die in the valleys of the mountains than be driven again. I am
against sin, and I am one with those who are against it. We are at war
with it, and with the devil and with his works; and so is every good,
honest, virtuous, holy Saint.
Will you sit down and go to sleep? Will you rock yourselves in your
easy chairs and see the leaven of iniquity working in our midst?
(Voices, "No") Don't say no, and then do it. I have never injured any
gentleman, by speaking in this congregation. None of my remarks have
had reference to a true gentleman, but I have reference to those who
take a course to pollute this people; they are the ones who deserve
There are men and women in our midst, and perhaps some who profess
"Mormonism," who would take my life in a moment, if they dare, and
the life of President Young. As for death, I do not trouble myself
much about it. When the time comes for me to depart from this life and
go into what we call eternity, to pass through the veil, it is,
simply, to leave the body to rest awhile, and blessed are the dead who
die in the Lord, for their sleep shall be sweet unto them. Death is
merely a sleep to the body, and all the fear I have concerning it is
what arises from my traditions. I was taught in my youth that after
death I had to go directly into the bowels of hell, and go down, down,
down, because there is no bottom to it. I am not troubled about any
such thing as that, for I never expect to see any worse hell than I
have seen in this world. And those who do not the works of
righteousness, and are not worthy to be gathered with the spirits of
the Saints, will go into precisely such society, in the world of
spirits, as they are now in.
The spirits of the Saints will be gathered in one, that is, of all who
are worthy; and those who are not just will be left where they will be
scourged, tormented, and afflicted, until they can bring their spirits
into subjection and be like clay in the hands of the potter, that the
potter may have power to mold and fashion them into any kind of
vessel, as he is directed by the Master Potter.
When the Lord spoke to Jeremiah He told him to go down to the potter's
house, and there he would cause him to hear His words. When he went
down to the potter's house, "Behold, he wrought a work on the wheels."
The potter tried to bring a lump of clay in subjection, and he worked
and tugged at it, but the clay was rebellious, and would not submit to
the will of the potter, and marred in his hands. Then, of course, he
had to cut it from the wheel and throw it into the mill to be ground
over, in order that it might become passive; after which he takes it
again and makes of it a vessel unto honor, out of the same lump that
was dishonored, because it would not be subject to the potter, and
was, therefore, cut from the wheel, and put through another grinding
until it was passive. There may ten thousand millions of men go to
hell, because they dishonor themselves and will not be subject, and
after that they will be taken and made vessels unto honor, if they
will become obedient, and God will make us, who are His servants,
bring about His purposes. Can you find any fault with that?
The Lord said to Jeremiah, "O house of Israel, cannot I do with you
as the potter? Behold, as the clay is in the potter's hand, so are ye
in mine hand." They dishonored themselves and were rebellious, and I
have cut them off and thrown them in the mill, and they shall grind
until they are passive. And I have taken a gentler lump, to see if I
cannot make a vessel unto honor. By and by that lump will dishonor
itself, and be thrown back into the mill, and God will take Israel and
make of them a vessel unto honor.
Some time ago, when I spoke to the congregation in words of rebuke, it
made a wonderful stir with a few men, that is, with those who were
hit, and with those who were filled with sympathy for them, because
they were such fine, accomplished gentlemen. After I went home from
the council that same evening, I dreamed that I was at work at my old
trade of making pots, that I had a kiln, and that brothers Brigham,
Grant, and others were there. The kiln was full of earthen vessels,
and we had burnt wood in the arches until it became red hot, but the
blaze was coming out of the flues. It did not draw as we wished it to,
for the wood was not sufficiently dry. We went and got some good, dry
wood, but were gone sometime, and when we came back the kiln got
considerably low in heat. We put in some dry wood, and soon brought it
back to the same heat it had before we left it. But when I began to
look around, I saw a great many vessels, off on one side, that were
not good for anything, they would not stand the fire and began to fall
in when nobody was touching them; a whole tier of them fell in at a
time. Said I, "Why have you made these vessels so thin? You have made
them two-thirds larger than they ought to be, with the amount of clay
that is in them. Their skin is too thin, you have stretched them too
far, and not given them the thickness in proportion. What shall we do
with them? Let us break them up and put them into the mill, and grind
them up again. The material is good, but they all need making over."
Do you understand that dream? The Elders or somebody else, had
stretched those vessels too much; they had got the big head, that is,
their heads were larger than the substances would sustain, and they
fell in—the vessels fell in. The clay was good, but the vessels were
made too big in the start; we must not stretch them too much. Potters
always work according to the amount of clay on hand; if it is a small lump they make a small vessel, and make it all the way of a
thickness, as near as possible.
In the dream, I discovered that there were many just such thin
characters all around us, and they fell in because we touched some of
them. I have touched many people here, both men and women, who profess
to be Latter-day Saints, and I hurt them just as bad as I hurt some
strangers. But I never hurt the feelings of a true Saint, nor of a
stranger who is a gentleman, no, not one of them. I hurt scoundrels
who will take a course, and have taken a course, to pollute
themselves, and to put the leaven of corruption and wickedness in the
midst of this people. I am directly opposed to such characters, and to
their principles. Do you understand why? Because I have been driven
and afflicted, until there is hardly a vestige of anything left which
I had when I came into "Mormonisim."
I am plain and definite in my language, and I use plain figures, and
now and then one that is sometimes considered vulgar, by those who are
themselves vulgar. To those who are pure, all things are pure, but to
those who are impure, all things are impure. Again, when you are pure,
righteous—without sin, you think, many times, that everybody else is
without sin. When I see, hear, and know of practices in our midst,
that are impure, I will go against them. Gentlemen, you may expect
this, I would rather die, than undergo what I have already undergone
in the travel from Nauvoo to this place, under the same circumstances.
When we left that city, between one and two hundred souls were
attached to me, and looked to me for bread, and I had to travel to
this land when it seemed as though I could not live under the load.
And President Young was in the same situation with another company
attached to him, and thus we traveled through sorrow, misery, and
Now, if any persons wish to begin another scrape, and desire to again
break us up, and to corrupt this people, and to bring death, hell, and
the devil into our midst, come on, for God Almighty knows that I will
strive to slay the man who undertakes it. [The congregation said,
I am opposed to corruption; I wish every man to keep himself pure,
whether he is Jew, or Gentile, or Latter-day Saint; keep yourselves
pure. I do not allow my women to fondle with other men, or to sit in
their laps, and they must not suffer other men to kiss or hug them, if
they do, I will cast them off. Let my wives alone, and let my
daughters alone, except you have my permission to pay them attention,
and do as you wish to be done by.
I talk plainly, I am not afraid, for I am my heavenly Father's friend,
and I am a friend to all His sons and daughters, whether they make a
profession of religion or not, but they must not undertake to pollute
this people. I delight to have strangers come to my house, and they
shall have the privilege of visiting and associating with me, and I
will associate with them, on condition that they behave like true
"Mormonism" is meat and drink to us, it is sweeter than the
honeycomb; it is life to us, and to the world it is poison. "Mormonism" is
true, it is righteous, and we are a pure people, with but very few
I know that there are some who cultivate unwholesome principles and
practices. The old saying is, "Birds of a feather will flock
together," so they will, perhaps, leave us. I am plain, and I will
tell you what I think of you. If a man rebels, I will tell him of it,
and if he resents a timely warning, he is unwise.
Notwithstanding I am a plain spoken man, I never had a
difficulty that would bring me before a court of my country. I dislike
and despise dissension, war, and bloodshed, and that is why I am not
pleased with the lawyers. I may like their persons, but God knows that
I do not like their works nor their principles, when they strive to
produce confusion and contention here, after we have made laws which
suit us, good laws, and as few of them as possible.
This people are a good people, and I love them as I love my life. But
I would rather lay down my life, than to again pass through what I
have already endured.
I have never yet shed man's blood, and I pray to God that I never may,
unless it is actually necessary. I have never had occasion to fight,
but I have often stood, with my firelock in readiness, guarding the
Prophet Joseph (with brother Brigham and others), for his life was
sought all the time, and that too in Kirtland, Ohio, that civilized
country. I stood by him until his death, and I will stand by President
Young in like manner, God helping me, and so will thousands of this
people, and I know it.
God grant that this spirit may rest upon you, ye Elders of Israel, ye
servants of God, upon you, mothers in Israel, and upon you, daughters
of God. May it abound in you, and be inherited by your posterity, that
you may become like angels of God, and stand in the defense of Israel.
These are the blessings I seal upon all of you. Be virtuous and pure,
and keep your hands from everything that is not your own, and restore
everything that is your neighbor's.
Do as you would wish to be done by, and God will bless you forever.
Lay aside all covetous, penurious, and narrow, contracted feelings,
cast them off. Be one, brethren. Let each family be one with its head,
and let that head be united with the Presidency, and then we are one
and God is for us, and who can be against us?
May God instruct you, and cause these principles to enter deep into
your hearts and multiply within you, from this time henceforth, and
- Heber C. Kimball