While those young boys have been speaking, a few thoughts occurred to
my mind, which I thought I would speak for their comfort; for I desire
to do them good.
If a father, for instance, had a large, extensive family, his object
would be to do them good, to promote their interest and happiness, to
put into their hands power, knowing that they could not accomplish
much alone, and that they would have to take or obtain assistance from
that family. The son that would take the deepest interest—that would
devote himself the most faithfully to promote the designs of the
father and head of that family, for the happiness and prosperity of
the whole, would increase in power and influence faster than any other
one; for the father would be disposed to put as much power and
influence into his hands as it would be possible for him to receive,
and as would be for the benefit of the family.
That would be the principle upon which all the members of that family
would increase in knowledge, influence, and power above others. It
would be by having the faculty, the feeling, and the disposition and
desire to carry out the mind of the father, and that, too, for the
benefit and exaltation of the whole family.
In order to do this, every particle of power, influence, and ability
that a son holds, he should hold in subjection to the will of his
father, be ever ready to carry out his commands; and his object and
aim should be to obtain influence with his father; and then he would feel like holding everything that he obtained subject to the
control of the father. No matter if he had obtained great temporal
influence—no matter whether his influence be of an intellectual or
spiritual character—no matter whether he obtained his influence by
his knowledge of books, the study of science—whether he had obtained
farms, or lands, or riches, or whether he had his influence by
obedience to his father's will, he would hold all at the control of his
father, for the general good of the family. Just so far as he had this
in him would he gain influence with his father and get the power upon
him which it is absolutely necessary for him to possess.
If men would search deep into their own hearts, they would discover
that their desires and feelings, and in fact many things which they do
and say, are not in accordance with the mind and will of the Lord.
These boys do not profess to have received much—not a great deal of
knowledge; but yet they are willing to do that which they are set to
do: they place all upon the altar to be used as the master pleases;
and herein lies their strength to carry out those great and glorious
designs for the salvation of this people and the rolling forth of the
Gospel of Jesus Christ. It matters not how little they are, or how
little they have received, inasmuch as they keep faithful and
discharge the duties devolving upon them, the Lord will make them
powerful for the rebuking of iniquity, and for the establishment of
the kingdom of God, and to minister to those that dwell upon all the
face of the land.
Now, when a person receives intelligence from the Lord, and is willing
to communicate that for the benefit of the people, he will receive
continual additions to that intelligence; and there is no end to his
increase so long as he will hold fast to the faith of the Lord Jesus
Christ; and so long as he will hold himself in readiness to operate
here, go there, and work for the Lord, travel abroad to the nations of
the earth, or to travel among the mountains of Israel, that individual
is bound to become strong and mighty in the power of God and in the
intelligence of eternity.
You, brethren, that are here in these valleys have a certain privilege
which you ought to appreciate—namely, that of consecrating your
property to the Lord. If you want to know the secret and principle
upon which you may become rich, it lies in contributing your means and
in putting your property into the hands of the leaders of this Church.
When a man has much property, he is very apt to fix his heart upon it.
Some have one thousand dollars' worth of property, some five thousand
dollars, and some more; and I fear that many are using their means in
a way that will prove a curse instead of a blessing; and when the Lord
says, Give me your property, we are not unanimously ready to answer
In this respect, however, we are beginning to learn, and in some
degree answering the call. We are beginning to learn that it all
belongs to the Lord, and that he has given us a little power by which
we have acquired some knowledge of his will and his designs concerning
us. Take the man who has a large share of this world's goods, and
examine what kind of a man he is—try his spirit, and you will
generally find that it is often one of the greatest trials that can
come upon him, to be called upon to part with any of his property.
If you please, you may contrast such a person with these boys who have
been addressing you, and you will find them ready and on hand to do
anything that may be required at their hands. Those youths are more willing and pliable in the hands of the servants of God than
many men who have been in the Church from the beginning.
Lately, however, you have learned the principle to some extent, and
the power of God has been manifested, so that you are now ready to
give a little of your means for the building up of the kingdom of God;
and by-and-by I presume you will progress like some others have done,
and be ready to put all upon the altar.
Take this people at the present time—consider what they possess—then
inquire how many of them have consecrated their property, and you
will find that the amount consecrated is a mere nothing compared with
that which the people actually possess.
I tell you, brethren, that although this may seem a small matter, yet,
if we cling to the property that we possess as the wicked do to
theirs, we shall never obtain that which we are trying for. We must
learn to obey the word of the Lord. Why is it that we do not talk more
about consecration? It is because brother Brigham does not care
anything about it, only that he wishes the people to take a course to
secure themselves against the powers of the Evil One, that he may not
gain any control over them or their families.
If this people who live in these valleys of the mountains are willing
to put their property into the hands of the Trustee-in-Trust, that it
may be preserved for the benefit of the kingdom, and will continue to
live their religion as they have done the past few months, they and
their property will become sanctified to the Lord; and thus we will
show to all nations and people that we have learned a principle that
they know nothing of and that they have nothing to do with—show them
that when we can get a little property, we put it where the Lord can
use it just as He pleases.
This is a practice and a principle the world knows nothing of; but
when this people deed over their property, they understand what they
are about; they know that they will eventually be exalted to possess
all that is desirable—the land, the houses, the vineyards, the cattle,
the gold, the silver, and all the riches of the heavens and of the
earth. The Lord says, All these things are mine; and because of the
willingness of my people, all will be restored back to me; and then I
will put them in possession of all the riches of eternity.
This is the only principle upon which we can secure the promised
blessings. "Then," says one, "why is it not talked about more than it
is?" If the people do not see it now, and cannot act upon it with the
light and knowledge they have already received, if they cannot see the
principle by which they can be established, it follows, as a matter of
course, that they cannot be established in our Father's kingdom.
It is the design of the Almighty to work into the hearts of the people
the principles to operate upon, in order to obtain an eternal
exaltation and glory; and if we do not see them now, with the
instruction already given unto us, we shall have to learn them by
experience more severe.
We have not the power to do anything without the assistance of the
Spirit of the Lord; but do we all know that the Gospel we preach is
true? Do we know as well as those little boys know, who have been
speaking to you? They do actually know that this is the work of God;
but some of them do not really comprehend that they understand as much
truth as they do. But the truths of the Gospel of Christ are in
them, and through them; for they were born in the Gospel, and hence
they are born Latter-day Saints. The root of the matter is in them,
and they are preserved by the good hand of the Lord; for He has
His eye upon them, and designs to use them in a future day. What they
possess of influence, means, or knowledge, they are ready to put to
their Father's use.
Let these boys go into a High Council, and, by the Spirit that is in
them, they will give better judgment than those old men do; and I can
safely say this, and that, too, on brother Brigham's responsibility;
for I have heard him say it a number of times.
Do I feel sure of this? Yes, I do; for the fact of the matter is, they
do not know anything about error: they know nothing but truth, while
we old fogies, who are so filled up with tradition ought to think
twice before we dare to speak once.
In this way I look upon the movements of those young men in contrast
with the actions of the old fogies. They are lively, energetic, always
on hand, by night or by day, to carry expresses or to do anything
required of them.
Brethren, I feel first-rate today, and I know that you do, by the
light that beams forth from your countenances. There is one thing upon
my mind, which I will speak upon before I conclude. I want my brethren
to understand it, because that and the things we have heard pertain to
our exaltation and glory. They lie deep, but still they are important.
Let us go forth and do precisely as we are told; and just as fast as
we increase, so will we have to use that spiritual knowledge which is
given unto us in a way that will aid in building up the kingdom of
God: and it is just so with what little property and means you have
got; it must all be upon the altar. You must get rid of this little,
mean, nasty spirit, and walk in the light of God. Let your minds
expand, and be on hand for every duty that is placed upon you.
There are men right before me who have done but little for the kingdom
of God, and who, if they knew what would be for their good, would go
within twenty-four hours and say to President Young, There is a
thousand, or five or ten thousand dollars, which I will donate for the
benefit of the kingdom.
But, then, I realize that we are children yet, and we have not
learned our duties fully. It is true that once in a great while there
is a man who can break out from the common track of doing things, and
such a man will increase in influence, in the knowledge of God, and in
the riches of eternity. There are men who will do this at the present
time; but by and by all the Saints of God will more generally learn
the principle and obey it.
May the Lord bless you, is my prayer, in the name of Jesus Christ.