I believe, with brother Kimball, that many of this people partake of
the sacrament unworthily. Some will steal their neighbor's spade, or
his crowbar, or wood from his pile, or cabbages and potatoes from his
garden, or hay from his stack, or go into his yard and milk his cows,
and commit numerous other sins, and the next day come here and partake
of the sacrament.
When I see persons very religious outwardly, I always look for them to
commence stealing the first opportunity they have, and on the next day
expect to hear them speak in tongues in some class meeting, or
ward meeting, and give the interpretation of tongues, or relate some
remarkable dream or vision. I noticed another thing in this
Tabernacle. When it was first completed, brother Brigham wanted a
certain number of seats reserved for his family. Now, would you
believe that some of the most pious old ladies and sisters in the
Church would be at the four doors of this Tabernacle by seven o'clock
in the morning, that they might crowd into seats reserved for the
President's family and crowd them out. Those are professedly the most
pious among us; bless you, they are professedly just as full of
religion as they can be.
I wish to see people come to meeting right and in order; to do so they
must be right at home, they must be right all the while.
I seriously question, when some people are baptized, whether they do
not come out of the water the same poor miserable devils as they went
There must be a foundation in the people, the right standard in the
breast, and that must be inherent in the people more or less, or else
our professions are in vain. I, therefore, want every person to leave
the bread in the salvers, and the water in the cups, and not partake
of the sacrament, unless they are right. I want every thief, and every
unrighteous person to let the bread alone.
If I could have one prayer effectually answered forthwith, it would
put a stop to a great many evils in Israel, to say the least of it.
But as the work of reformation increases among the people, our
President says, and it is so, that we may look for the workings of an
opposite power. The solution he gave last night, in the High Priest's
Quorum, is the best explanation that I have heard concerning the fogs
that we have felt for some time past. The principle was this, that as
we advance in the light and in the truth, the arch adversary and his
associates will make a corresponding effort to darken our minds and
becloud our atmosphere, and thereby throw us into the fog.
I am aware that we have only a few among us but what feel determined
to reform; the great majority wish to live their religion, and I am
glad of it. I believe that the majority of this congregation that are
here today actually intend to do right. Now do not let the devil
cheat you; and if the devil marshals his forces against you and
beclouds your minds, tell him that you are serving the God of Israel.
If you are in the dark and cannot get light, keep a firm hold on the
foundation of truth, and be determined not to be jostled off it.
Brother Kimball frequently alludes to discords in families. I was
listening, as I came along the street, to a Bishop who spoke of
discord in a certain family in his Ward. The person he alluded to has
but one wife and is said to be a fine man, and his wife is said to be
a fine woman, and of good parentage. They have some five promising
children, but that woman wants to forsake her husband and go to her
You may sum up the difficulties in families throughout the country,
and you will find ten to one more jars in families where there is but
one wife, than in families where there are a number.
I believe there has been a disposition, on the part of some men and
women to break the strong tie that ought to bind families together,
but I do not believe they will accomplish much. I look for our
relations to be permanent and the institutions of the Church to be
eternal, because they are perfectly right; I now refer more
particularly to our family organizations. But there is more or less
discord in families, I would like it to cease altogether; and
I would actually like the day to come in Israel, when the people will
not only love the doctrines and revelations of the Lord Jesus Christ,
but rejoice that they live in the day when the Prophet Joseph has
brought them forth.
To the man I have just now been alluding to, say to that wife, "Go to
your darling people then." If she wished to leave me, and the Almighty
had blessed me with the means, I would bless her and bestow upon her
everything I could. I would give her all my cattle, horses, and other
property, and say, "God bless you, go and prosper, if you can." If
necessary, I would rise at midnight and write her out the neatest bill
she ever saw, and I would figure it all over with flowers and doves,
and bedeck it with red ribbons.
I make these remarks, not that I have had any difficulty with my own
family, but because there is a principle I wish to speak upon. I
believe that men should lead their families, and not drive them. Some
people do not understand the difference between leading and driving a
flock of sheep. Brother Willes has seen the shepherds and their flocks
in the Eastern countries, and can tell you the difference in the
management of flocks in those countries and America. In America the
sheep are driven; in the East the shepherds lead their flocks. The
American and English spirit, and also the spirit of some other
nations, places the sheep in front and the shepherd must follow.
If there is any difficult place, a stream to ford, or a slippery log
to walk on, the American's spirit is to try his wife first on the log,
to drive his wife and children across first; he must drive. I do not
like that, though some men are almost compelled to do so, because the
women are determined to lead.
I have traveled with brother He ber, and I never saw a milder man in my
life, when everything is right and people keep out of his track. But
when they get in his path he is obliged to tread on their heels, for
they cannot walk so fast as he can. He is not to blame for that; they
are to blame.
In the early ages of the world there was a youth imprisoned by the
ruler of the people. His parents went to the ruler and pled with him
to release their son, but they could not prevail at first. They then
wept and tore their reverend locks from their heads to move the ruler
to pity, and when they had done this he released their son from
prison. The historian remarks that it was not so much the weakness
existing in the youth's parents that caused them to tear their hair,
as it was the obstinacy in the ruler; they were obliged to take that
course, resort to such means, to effect their purpose.
Am I to blame for scolding the people? Not at all. Is brother Heber?
Not at all. Is he to blame for chastising an unruly wife? No. If she
gets in his path and he steps on her heels, is he to blame? No, and if
she is hurt thereby, it is the result of her own acts.
What will be the result of the chastisements given to this people? I
answer, if they heed them, they will bring them into the true path. It
is the situation of the people that prompts the teachings they now
receive from God's servants. If all the people did right, they would
not be chastised at all. If a man's family conduct themselves right,
do you suppose that a consistent, reasonable man will find fault with
them? No. If all the people in a Ward do right, will the Bishop
chastise them? No; but if they do not do right, the Bishop is placed
under the necessity of coming forth, clothed in the armor and power of
the Almighty, to put them right, and of calling upon the teachers to assist him in this work. And when the people repent and are
found to be on the right track, the Bishop lays the rod on the shelf.
This is the case with brother Brigham. Does he chastise this, that,
and the other man, because he likes the job? No. You know that he is
mild, and is a father to this people; and were I to take any exception
to his course, it would be on account of his being so merciful. Why?
Because he is more merciful than I am. When he extends mercy to the
people, he deals it out more lavishly than I would, unless the Lord
should lead me as he does him. I have not so much mercy, so much of
God and eternal life in me as brother Brigham has in him; it does not
belong to me to have so much, for he stands at the fountain of life;
he descends below all things and ascends above all things to this
I hear men undertake to laugh and joke in their familiar chat with
each other, and say that they heard brother Brigham say this or that,
and that they saw brother Brigham do this, that, or the other, and
strive to justify themselves on that account. But brother Brigham
commands an influence that you do not command, and cannot be thrown
off the line of propriety and truth, as easily as you and I. When men
do not know the power that constrains them, they ought to be cautious
how they speak and how they act.
Brother Brigham is a father to the Quorums of this Church; and when
the people are right, has he a disposition to chastise them? No, he
has a fatherly feeling to bless them, and so has brother Heber. I do
not know whether I have as much of that feeling as either of them,
with regard to the Church, but I do not suppose that there is a man on
the earth that is fonder of children than I am. If I do not like old
people so well as some do, I like children well enough to balance the
I would be glad to see more peace, mercy, truth, equity, justice, and
righteousness made manifest in the midst of this people. We want the
hay, the straw, the wood, the stubble, the dross, and every impure
principle burnt up. When a man is wrong and will turn round and do
right, I love him better than I did before. We do not feel like
casting you off, like casting you into the mire, and saying "God
Almighty damn you." "Get out of the mud and may the Lord God of Israel
bless you" is what we say. I had rather bless ten men than curse one.
I am not led to curse, but I am led to chastise iniquity, to bring out
the alloy, expose sins and bring to light that which is wrong among
the people; but I do not want to curse them.
I tell you that the devil is working against us, and Lucifer is in the
land. Did you know that he had come to this country? Let me tell you
the news today, if you have not heard it; he has come to this country
and has been seen, the real old fellow himself, the same Lucifer that
was cast down from heaven.
Another thing; did you know that all hell is let out for noon? The
master is in the schoolhouse, therefore. When we talk of hell we mean
uncle Jim, uncle Bill, uncle Sam, and all our uncles and cousins over
the wide world. We mean old Babylon, the confusion that is over the
But thanks be to our God, and to high heaven, the light of God is here
and the truth of God is here, and we have waged a war with Lucifer,
under the banner of the Lord Jesus Christ. May we be able to stand in
the contest and overcome. We bring no railing accusation against our
common enemy, but we tell him and his host that they must surrender.
We say to the sinners in Zion, be afraid, you must surrender to
the Lord Jesus Christ. We say to you, Saints, rub up your armor, gird
on the sword of the Almighty and walk forth to battle, and never yield
Some men say that they feel sick and faint, and weary, when they see
so much darkness among the people. I feel as though I could say to the
mountains and to all hell, get out of my way, or I will kick you out;
I am not going to surrender. I want no poor pussyism around me; hang
not your sickle on the tree to rust, but make it still sharper, and
cut more grain in one day than you have ever done; and tell the devil
that you are ahead of him. You old men, that let your sickles rust,
take them down and sharpen them up, and walk into the fields and reap
down the grain, that there may be wheat in the house of our God, for
the harvest is great and the reapers are few.
I am not of that class that believes in shrinking; if there is a fight
on hand, give me a share of it. I am naturally good natured, but when
the indignation of the Almighty is in me I say to all hell, stand
aside and let the Lord Jesus Christ come in here; He shall be heir of
the earth; the truth shall triumph, the Priesthood and Christ shall
I had rather fight the devils that are out of tabernacles, than those
that are embodied. The grand difficulty we have to encounter is from
devils that enter into you; they take possession of your houses, and
then we have to fight devils in tabernacles. We want the devils cast
out of you, and the power of God and the light of the Almighty to
shine in you as a lamp.
The result of the teachings we are receiving, if practiced, will
reform the whole community. When you are right we will cease to
chastise, we will cease to rebuke; we will cease throwing the arrows
of the Almighty through you, we will cease telling you to surrender,
to repent of all your sins. But until you do this, we will continue to
throw the arrows of God through you, to hurl the darts of heaven upon
you and the power of God in your midst; and we will storm the bulwarks
of hell, and we will march against you in the strength of the God of
Israel. And by the power of the Priesthood restored by the Prophet
Joseph, by the light of heaven shed forth by brother Brigham and his
associates, we expect to triumph; and in the name of Jesus Christ, we
do not mean to surrender to evil.
- Jedediah M. Grant