We expected that this congregation would have been assembled and
seated by ten o'clock, or by a quarter past ten at the latest; it is
now twelve, lacking five minutes, and near the time when we should be
moving to the place of burial.
The time is so far advanced that I shall not presume to answer my
feelings, in my remarks on this occasion. I expected to have had time
enough for offering some of my feelings and views, with regard to the
living and the dead. True, it would take me a long time to reveal to
you what is in my heart, but I expected to have had time to bestow a
portion thereof on this congregation.
I will say to those here assembled, and especially to those more
immediately connected with brother Grant in the capacity of a family,
you have no cause for mourning, neither have we. True, we were very
fond of the company and society of brother Grant; brother Jedediah was
a man we all loved, and we would have liked to have had him stayed with
us; we would have been pleased in longer enjoying his society here.
But this our place of abode is only temporary; we are on a journey; we
have only to winter and summer, as it were. Brother Grant has got
through here, and has gone to his spiritual place of abode for a
season. Not that he has reached his journey's end, nor will he, until
he has again received this body that now lies before me. Every
material part and portion pertaining to his body, to the temporal
organization that constitutes the man, will clothe his spirit again,
before he is prepared to receive the place and habitation that is
prepared for him, yet he has gone to his spiritual home for a season.
I am aware of the feelings of families and friends on such occasions.
Many times I can govern and control my feelings, at other times I
cannot. When I can control my own feelings, I can collect my thoughts
and express my ideas as clearly as my language will permit.
In the few remarks that I will make today, I will not go to the Bible,
to the Book of Mormon, nor to the Book of Doctrine and Covenants, for
my text, for I will give you a text which comprehends the sermon also,
so that if I do not dwell directly upon it, I trust that what I say
will be true, for it will be incorporated in my text, and the text
alone will be a sermon.
On this occasion I will say, as on other occasions, blessed are they
that hear the Gospel of salvation, believe it, embrace it, and live to
all its pre cepts. That is the text, and a whole sermon in and
Time will not permit me to tell, only in part, wherein they are
blessed, how and with what they will be blessed, for it takes a
lifetime to prepare for this blessing.
Some people would have to live to be a hundred years of age, in order
to be as ripe in the things of God as was brother Grant, whose body
now lies lifeless before us; to be as ripe as was the spirit which
lately inhabited this deserted earthly tabernacle.
There are but few that can ripen for the glory, the immortality that
is prepared for the faithful; for receiving all that was purchased for
them by the Son of God; but very few can receive what brother Grant
has received in his lifetime. He has been in the Church upwards of
twenty-four years, and was a man that would live, comparatively
speaking, a hundred years in that time. The storehouse that was
prepared in him to receive the truth, was capable of receiving as much
in twenty-five years as most of men can in one hundred.
Though we might say that the time has been short which he has had to
prepare himself in the flesh for receiving all that is treasured up
for the faithful, yet there are but few men in this Church that ever
will be prepared to receive what he will receive, though they live
thirty, fifty, seventy-five, or a hundred years or to the coming of
the Son of Man; there are but few men that will be prepared to receive
the same degree of glory and exaltation that brother Jedediah will
receive. This may be attributed to the peculiar organization of man.
It is not every man that is capable of filling every station, though
there is no man but what is capable of filling his proper station, and
that, too, with dignity and honor to himself. When you find a person
that is capable of receiving light and wisdom, one that can descend to
the capacity of the weakest of the weak, and can comprehend the
highest and most noble intelligence that can be obtained by man, can
receive it with all ease, and comprehend it, circumscribe it,
understand it from first to last, that is the man that can ripen for
eternity in a few years; that is the individual who is capable of
occupying stations that many cannot occupy.
Brother Grant we were well acquainted with, and there is no person but
what laments his departure from this world. But what will we mourn
for? I want to ask myself that question, as I have a great many times.
What will you mourn for, because brother Grant has gone where he can
do more good? No, we will not mourn for that. Will we mourn because he
has overcome all his enemies here, all that are opposed to Jesus
Christ and to his Gospel, because he has won the prize? Will we mourn
He is prepared to dwell with Prophets, with brother Joseph, with the
ancient Apostles, with Moses, with Abraham, and to dwell in the
presence of Jesus Christ. We will not mourn for that. What will we
mourn for? He has lost nothing, but has gained all.
Why do we mourn? Perhaps it will be difficult for me to tell you, yet
I know. It is not the knowledge that God has given you or me, that
causes us to mourn; it is not the Spirit of the Gospel that produces
within us a mournful feeling; it is not the Spirit of Christ, the
knowledge of eternity, of God, or of the way of life and salvation.
Our mourning proceeds from none of those causes. What causes us to
mourn? Neither more nor less, to me and so far as I can convey my idea
by language, than the earthly weakness that is in us. It is not the
knowledge of the Almighty, the power of God, the light of
eternity, but it is the darkness, the weakness, the ignorance, the
want of that eternal knowledge, so far as I can conceive, that makes
any person mourn here on the earth. If this conveys the idea to you,
as it does to me, it will satisfy me.
Mourning for the righteous dead springs from the ignorance and
weakness that are planted within the mortal tabernacle, the
organization of this house for the spirit to dwell in. No matter what
pain we suffer, no matter what we pass through, we cling to our mother
earth, and dislike to have any of her children leave us. We love to
keep together the social family relation that we bear one to another,
and do not like to part with each other; but could we have knowledge
and see into eternity, if we were perfectly free from the weakness,
blindness, and lethargy with which we are clothed in the flesh, we
should have no disposition to weep or mourn.
Perhaps it is not proper for me to make a few remarks with regard to
this day's operations. Funeral ceremonies have often borne upon my
mind with considerable, I will say, weight, and especially since I
came into the vestry at the time appointed for the services to
commence. I have often reflected with regard to paying particular
respect to that which is useless, to that which is nothing at all to
us. And while waiting in the vestry, I was pondering upon how many
bands of music attended Jesus to the tomb, upon what the procession
was, how many were crape, who mourned, and the situation of the
There are but few of us but what have been honored with as convenient
a place for a birth as was Jesus, though I presume that his mother was
comparatively comfortable while lying on the hay in the manger; there
are but few of us but what have had the privilege of a house to be
I was reflecting upon how many here were to lament and mourn for Him
when he went out of the world; and the few that did mourn had to make
their escape, like going on to Ensign Peak; they had to stand afar off
to mourn, and durst not be seen near the place of the crucifixion.
When the body had hung on the cross until eight, Joseph begged the
privilege of taking it down and carrying it to the tomb.
I was reflecting further. Suppose brother Grant could speak to us this
day, he would deprecate to the lowest degree the fuss and parade we
are making. He would say, "Away with you; stop your blowing of horns,
beating of drums, and hoisting of colors. Give my body a place to lay
and rest, and do not consider me better than other men. Take my body
and bury it deep enough, so that it can rest where the floods cannot
wash it out, where it can remain until the trumpet sounds, when I may
awake up and help you again."
Perhaps it is not proper for me to make these remarks, yet I hope they
will not injure the feelings of anyone. But I say to each and every
one of you, whether I die in this city, or wherever I die, when my
spirit leaves my body, know ye that that tabernacle is of no use,
until the command comes for it to be resurrected; and I do not want
you to cry over it, nor make any parade, but give me a good place
where my bones can rest, that have been weary for many years, and have
delighted to labor until nearly worn out; and then go home about your
business, and think no more about me, except you think of me in the
spirit world, as I do about Jedediah.
I have not felt, for one minute, that Jedediah is dead; I feel he is
with us just as much as he was a week or a month ago.
The few words I say will perhaps be a consolation to you, and
perhaps not, but I tell you some of my feelings and views.
I want you all to remember this; when I die, let your flags remain in
their proper places, omit your parade, and lay me away where I can
rest. And I do not wish any of you to cry and feel badly, but prepare
yourselves to fight the devils while you live, and after you pass
through the veil; and let me tell you, that there we will do a great
deal more than we can here.
Another thing I want to promise you, every one of you, if you will be
faithful; I promise it to myself. True, brother Grant was a great help
to me; he stood by me, and was willing to come and go, and to do
whatever was requested of him, in order to take the burden from me;
but I tell you that we will have not only four, but an hundredfold
for him, just as good, and so we will for every good man that lies
down; I promise you that. Brother Grant we call a great man, a giant,
a lion; but let me tell you that the young whelps are growing up here
who will roar louder than ever he dare, and instead of there being
two, or three, or four, there are hundreds of them.
Perhaps many of you will think I am not correct in my views, that I am
enthusiastic, that I am mistaken; but let me tell you that the very
sons of these women that sit here will rise up and be as great as any
man that ever lived, and as far beyond Jedediah, or myself, and
brother Heber, as we are in the Gospel beyond our little children. I
am not going to gather the lions of the forest from the sectarian
world, that is not where I am going to get them, but the mothers in
Israel are going to rear them. They will raise hundreds and thousands
that will know more about the things of God in twenty years than
Jedediah did in his life time, which was forty years. Will they know
more than I do? Yes.
I do not make any calculation, and never did, but that my boys who are
now growing up will be as far beyond me, at my age, as I am beyond the
knowledge I had in my infancy. We will not mourn for that, will we?
No. For one I am comforted, if I can overcome the weakness that is
upon me, which is the result of ignorance; that pertains to the
flesh—to fallen nature. The cause of mourning does not pertain to God,
nor to the things of God, but arises from the weakness of human
When we lose such men as we have since we came into the valleys of the
mountains, such men as brother Whitney, brother Willard, brother
Jedediah, brother Orson Spencer, and many others, it is a matter of
Brother Grant can now do ten times more than if he was in the flesh;
do you want to know how? He is in the spirit world, he has conquered
death and hell, and will the grave, when he again assumes his body. He
is no more subject to the devils that dwell in the infernal regions;
he commands them, and they must go at his bidding; he can move them
just as I can move my hand. Do you know how that is done? It is done
by the principle in me that is called will, which principle God has
planted in all intelligences according to the capacity bestowed upon
them. That intelligence is in us; we may call it will; it is the power
of life in every creature and in all intelligences, and by that power
I stretch out my arm and bring it to me again at my pleasure, I look
to the right or to the left, and I speak according to the dictates of
my will. When I govern myself, I do this or that, I rise up to go to
that city and return again, I sit down and rise up, and do what I
When men overcome as our faithful brethren have, and go where they see Joseph, who will dictate them and be their head and
Prophet all the time, they have power over all disembodied evil
spirits, for they have overcome them. Those evil spirits are under the
command and control of every man that has had the Priesthood on him,
and has honored it in the flesh, just as much as my hand is under my
Do you not think that brother Jedediah can do more good than he could
here? When he was here the devils had power over his flesh, he warred
with them and fought them, and said that they were around him by
millions, and he fought them until he overcame them. So it is with you
and I. You never felt a pain and ache, or felt disagreeable, or
uncomfortable in your bodies and minds, but what an evil spirit was
present causing it. Do you realize that the ague, the fever, the
chills, the severe pain in the head, the pleurisy, or any pain in the
system, from the crown of the head to the soles of the feet, is put
there by the devil? You do not realize this, do you?
I say but little about this matter, because I do not want you to
realize it. When you have the rheumatism, do you realize that the
devil put that upon you? No, but you say, "I got wet, caught cold, and
thereby got the rheumatism." The spirits that afflict us and plant
disease in our bodies, pain in the system, and finally death, have
control over us so far as the flesh is concerned. But when the spirit
is unlocked from the body it is free from the power of death and
Satan; and when that body comes up again, it also, with the spirit,
will gain the victory over death, hell, and the grave.
When the spirit leaves the tabernacle of flesh and goes into the
spirit world, it has control over every evil influence with which it
comes in contact, and when it takes up the body again, then the body
also, with the spirit, will have control over every evil spirit that
is in a tabernacle, if there is any such being, just as far as the
spirit that has the Priesthood had control over evil spirits.
Perhaps you do not understand me. Take a spirit that has gone into the
spirit world, does it have control over corruptible bodies? No. It can
only act in the capacity of a spirit. As to the devils inhabiting
these earthly bodies, it cannot control them, it only controls
spirits. But when the spirit is again united to the body, that spirit
and body unitedly have control over the evil bodies, those controlled
by the devil and given over to the devils, if there is any such thing.
Resurrected beings have control over matter as well as spirit.
Brother Grant's body which lies here is useless, is good for nothing
until it is resurrected, and merely needs a place in which to rest;
his spirit has not fled beyond the sun. There are millions and
millions of spirits in these valleys, both good and evil. We are
surrounded with more evil spirits than good ones, because more wicked
than good men have died here; for instance, thousands and thousands of
wicked Lamanites have laid their bodies in these valleys. The spirits
of the just and unjust are here. The spirits that were cast out of
heaven, which you know are recorded to have been one-third part, were
thrust down to this earth, and have been here all the time, with
Lucifer, the Son of the Morning, at their head.
When a good man or woman dies, the spirit does not go to the sun or
the moon. I have often told you that the spirits go to God who gave
them, and that He is everywhere; if God is not everywhere, will you
please tell me where He is not? The moment your eyes are opened upon
the spirit land, you will find yourselves in the presence of God, for
as David says, "If you take the wings of the morning and fly
to the uttermost parts of the earth, He is there; and if you make your
bed in hell, behold He is there."
You are in the presence of God, and when your eyes are opened you will
understand it. Brother Grant's spirit is in the presence of God; and
he is with Joseph, when he is not required to be somewhere else. He is
at work for the benefit of Zion, for that is all the business that
Joseph and the Elders of this Church have on hand.
You and I have yet to deal with evil spirits, but Jedediah has control
over them. When we have done with the flesh, and have departed to the
spirit world, you will find that we are independent of those evil
spirits. But while you are in the flesh you will suffer by them, and
cannot control them, only by your faith in the name of Jesus Christ
and by the keys of the eternal Priesthood. When the spirit is unlocked
from the tabernacle it is as free, pure, holy, and independent of them
as the sun is of this earth. Jedediah can now do more for us than he
could by longer staying here.
Where do you suppose the spirits of our departed friends are? Where
they ought to be; they are here, on the other side of the earth, in
the East Indies, in Washington, &c.; they are controlling the fallen
spirits here, or somewhere else. They could not control the spirits of
evil men while here, only by faith, but now one of our departed
brethren can control millions of disembodied evil spirits; while they
were in the flesh they were afflicted by them. Is this not a great
consolation to us? Someone may ask me for the proof for my
statements, and may enquire whether it is in the Bible; yes, every
word of it. I could prove it every word from that book, but I do not
need to go to the Bible, my scripture is within me.
Brother Kimball could tell what I will now just touch upon better than
I can, for he heard it; I will, however, say a few words about it. A
short time before his death, brother Jedediah went to the world of
spirits two nights in succession, and saw perfect order amongst them.
He saw many of the Saints whom he was acquainted with, and saw his
wife Caroline and his child that was buried on the route across the
Plains, and dug up and eaten by the wolves. She said to him, "Here is
my child; you know it was eaten up by the wolves, but it is here, and
has taken no harm." It was the spirit of the child he saw. He came
back to his body, but did not like to enter it again, for he saw that
it was filthy and corrupt. He also told how his brethren and family
felt, when he told them what he saw in the spirit world. He said that
his friends felt like saying, "Well brother Grant, maybe it is so,
and maybe it is not so; we do not know anything about it."
You know nothing about what I am telling you concerning the spirit
world any more than brother Grant's friends knew about what he told
them. Why? Because we are encumbered with this flesh, we are in
darkness; the flesh is the veil that is over the nations. When we go
from the body, we have eyes to see spiritual things and understand
I have not answered my feelings, and cannot, owing to the lateness of
the hour. It wanted but five minutes to twelve when I began to speak,
and it is now time to bring the services to a close.
I hope you will remember what I have said, for it is true; and if you
do not, I hope it will be told to you until you do. May God bless you.