It is with much pleasure that I arise, this morning, to address you,
my brethren and sisters; and I hope to have your undivided attention,
and to share liberally the benefits of your prayers.
My object is to enlighten your understandings, and to strengthen your
faith, so far as I may be able. The responsibility of a public speaker
in this Church is truly great, especially when his official standing
and character are of such a nature as to give to his words a weight
and an importance commensurate with the high position which he may be
called to occupy.
The husbandman is ever desirous to procure the very best qualities and
kinds of seeds to plant and sow in the earth. One principal reason is,
he must himself eat of the products of the seeds that he plants and
sows. So, also, the speaker that plants certain principles in the
hearts of his audience must himself eat the fruits thereof sooner or
later; and it should be our aim to avoid planting any principle in the
hearts of our hearers, the fruits of which would set our teeth on
edge, or shed upon us an inglorious reputation. Therefore, the fruits
of any principle, true or false, inculcated by me, will as naturally
and as necessarily fall to my lot, as the seeds of any grain or plant,
when ripe, will fall back into the earth, from whence it sprung.
Truth, therefore, is my delight: and if I know and understand myself,
I have no delight in anything else. Truth came from God as a precious
magnet. It is a part of himself, and he who possesses it possesses a
property that may be attracted, with its possessor, to the great
source and fountain of truth—even to God himself.
True it is that we are here in the valleys of the mountains for the
word of God and for the testimony of Jesus Christ; and it is also
true that, after being robbed and plundered of our worldly
fortunes because of the hatred of an unbelieving world, excited
against us because of our religion, we are exiles here today, having
been denied citizenship in the States from which we came. Our Prophets
have been cruelly martyred in cold blood, under the plighted faith of
a great State for their protection from all unlawful molestation. We
have seen how much such promised protection was worth in the days of
Joseph and Hyrum; and would it be worth any more now? Rather trust in
the God of Heaven, in these mountains, than in any such rotten
promises that may be made only to beguile us and deliver us up to
The woman spoken of by John the Revelator as being driven or fleeing
into the wilderness, after having brought forth the man-child, is said
to be the Church by our wise orthodox commentators upon holy writ. Be
it so. The Latter-Day Saints fled from the face of the serpent monster
into this vast wilderness and desert, and it appears the serpent cast
out a flood of water from his mouth to destroy the woman. This is
highly figurative language; yet is there anyone present who can
favor us with a better solution of the matter than the waters or
troops which the United States are now sending here to destroy us? God
grant that the earth and the heavens also may help the woman!
Plausible may be the pretenses of these troops; yet if their real
object is not to persecute every man and woman that will stand by the
Prophets and servants of God, and uphold them, then I do not read
correctly the manifestations to me. How far they may be able to carry
out their plans, time will determine.
Once, however, a man put forth his hand to steady the ark of God. It
reeled to and fro. It was in a cart, drawn by oxen. Probably it might
have pleased Uzzah better if it had been put into a stately carriage,
drawn by two or four fine steeds; but he ventured to put forth his
hand to steady the ark of God, and was smitten of God at once for his
presumptuous interference with the affairs of the great I AM. I
suppose there are seeming irregularities in the affairs of Utah that
Uncle Sam does not like, and he puts forth his hand in the shape of an
army to right up and steady the ark of God.
As the Book of Mormon has been brought to the notice of Congress, by a
quotation from its pages, respecting a man having but one wife, unless
commanded of God to have more; and though such command has been given
to the Latter-day Saints, yet I omit comment thereon at this time, and
proceed to give another quotation from the same book, which appears to
have a bearing upon the present aspect of affairs. (Third European
edition, page 28.) The Prophet Nephi, in vision, saw the vast
multitudes of men upon the face of this land, America, and said that
there were save two churches only. The one is the church of the Lamb
of God, and the other is the church of the devil; and whoso belongeth
not to the church of the Lamb of God belongeth to that great church
which is the mother of abominations and the whore of all the earth.
"And it came to pass that I looked and beheld the whore of all the
earth, and she sat upon many waters; and she had dominion over all the
earth, among all nations, kindreds, tongues, and people.
"And it came to pass that I beheld the church of the Lamb of God, and
its numbers were few, because of the wickedness and abominations of
the whore who sat upon many waters; nevertheless, I beheld that the
church of the Lamb, who were the saints of God, were also upon all the
face of the earth; and their dominions upon the face of the
earth were small, because of the wickedness of the great whore whom I
"And it came to pass that I beheld that the great mother of
abominations did gather together multitudes upon the face of all the
earth, among all the nations of the Gentiles, to fight against the
Lamb of God.
"And it came to pass that I, Nephi, beheld the power of the Lamb of
God, that it descended upon the saints of the church of the Lamb, and
upon the covenant people of the Lord, who were scattered upon all the
face of the earth; and they were armed with righteousness and with the
power of God in great glory.
"And it came to pass that I beheld that the wrath of God was poured
out upon the great and abominable church, insomuch as there were wars
and rumors of wars among all the nations and kindreds of the earth.
And as there began to be wars and rumors of wars among all the
nations which belonged to the mother of abominations, the angel spake
unto me, saying: Behold, the wrath of God is upon the mother of
harlots; and behold, thou seest all these things—And when the day
cometh that the wrath of God is poured out upon the mother of harlots,
which is the great and abominable church of all the earth, whose
founder is the devil, then, at that day, the work of the Father
shall commence, in preparing the way for the fulfilling of his
covenants, which he hath made to his people, who are of the house of
In view of the sentiment contained in the foregoing quotation, I am
led to believe that whatever branch of the great and abominable church
shall lead the way to fight against the Lamb of God, will have a
greater task to perform than they are aware of. It is not merely a
little handful of Latter-day Saints that they have to contend with;
but, it is with all the celestial powers. This, however, they do not
believe; and, consequently, like the unthinking horse, they rush to
What a direct bearing the foregoing quotation has upon the present
signs of the times! It is as correct as though he was writing the
history of the past. Is not this an evidence of its truth? The
scenes are rolling on in the very track of the prophecy; and while our
eyes see, let us fear God, and be grateful to his name; while our
enemies, having eyes, see not, but boldly rush on to destruction.
I feel disposed to bring to your notice other sayings of ancient and
also of modern times, touching the events of these days.
The Book of Mormon, in a dozen places, tells the fate of the Gentile
nations, if they shall harden their hearts against this work when it
shall be brought to their knowledge; and also the fate of everyone
that shall fight against it or its followers: so I will not detain you
with quotations upon this subject. You all know them, or ought to.
Read the Book of Mormon.
In the month of December, 1833, soon after the Saints' troubles began,
in Jackson County, Missouri, the Prophet Joseph had a revelation from
the Lord respecting the Saints there, in which he says—"Let them
importune at the feet of the judge (for protection and redress); And
if he heed them not, let them importune at the feet of the governor;
And if the governor heed them not, let them importune at the feet of
the president; And if the president heed them not, then will the Lord
arise and come forth out of his hiding place, and in his fury vex the
nation; And in his hot displeasure, and in his fierce anger, in his time,
will cut off those wicked, unfaithful, and unjust stewards, and
appoint them their portion among hypocrites and unbelievers; Even in
outer darkness, where there is weeping, and wailing, and gnashing of
"Pray ye, therefore, that their ears may be open to your
cries, that I may be merciful unto them, that these things may not come
upon them. What I have said unto you must needs be, that all men may
be left without excuse; That wise men and rulers may hear and know
that which they have never considered; That I may proceed to bring to
pass my act, my strange act, and perform my work, my strange work, that
men may discern between the righteous and the wicked, saith your God."
Did the Saints importune at the feet of the Judge and of the Governor?
Yes, they did, in all humility and sincerity. What was the result?
About the same as if you were to importune with the thief and robber
to protect you from abuse and restore to you the stolen treasure. They
heeded not the petition. Then importunity was made at the feet of the
President, not only in writing, but also by the Prophet Joseph in
person; and what did this avail? It elicited this answer—"Your cause
is just, but we can do nothing for you." Sovereignties must manage
their own affairs. Congress nor the Executive can interfere. So the
President heeded them not.
Now, when will the Lord's time come to vex the nations, &c.? It is not
for me to say; yet it would be a time very opportune, when the nation
shall begin to dictate to an organized State or Territory in matters
of their own internal policy and municipal regulations. When we were
in distress and trouble, the nation had no power to help us; but when
we attempt to help ourselves and to rid our community of lying and
corrupt men, then the nation can send her armies against us. Well, be
it so. It is all right, and will hasten the downfall of the mighty
image of Nebuchadnezzar; and the power that falls upon "this stone"
will be broken, and the stone rejected by the builders will become the
head of the corner.
As Joseph Smith has sealed his testimony with his blood, his testament
is now of force; and I will quote again from a revelation given
through him, on Fishing River, Missouri, June 22, 1834—"Therefore it
is expedient in me that mine elders should wait for a little season,
for the redemption of Zion. For behold, I do not require at their hands to
fight the battles of Zion; for, as I said in a former commandment,
even so will I fulfil—I will fight your battles."
Although, here is a great and precious promise; yet do not suppose
that we are to sit down in idleness or indifference and share this
promise; but remember this commonsense, homemade scripture, "God
helps those who help themselves." Therefore, let us neglect no duty on
our part, but be ready, not only for the powers of this world and the
powers of darkness, but for the day of judgment and eternal glory in
the mansions of our God.
If armies from the East and from the West are approaching our
Territory, to offer protection and removal to all who wish it, and to
deal out death and ruin to all the balance, the hand of the Lord is in
it. He will send forth his angels, and gather out of his kingdom all
things that offend and that do iniquity. He may use any beings that he
has made, or that he pleases, and call them his angels or messengers.
The Devil himself is an angel of God, but a fallen one.
Again, the presence of an armed force will prove to ourselves, to God,
and angels, which we possess the most of—the fear of God or the fear
of man. We are commanded to fear not them that can kill the body, and
after that have no more that they can do; but we are required to fear
Him who is able to destroy both soul and body in hell. But there is
one Scripture which says—"When the enemy shall come in like a flood,
the Spirit of the Lord shall lift up a standard against him." He will
make the wrath of man to praise him, and the remainder of
wrath he will restrain. We have all got to die at some time, and why
should we object to the time or the manner? If we are right before the
Lord, and in the discharge of our duty, it matters not when or how we
I will venture here to relate an open vision had by brother Stephen M.
Farnsworth, of Pleasant Grove, Utah County, while he was residing in
Nauvoo, previous to the death of the Prophets Joseph and Hyrum. Some
may possibly think and say, it was manufactured for this occasion. But
there are many here under the sound of my voice who heard brother
Farnsworth relate the vision years ago. I will tell it as correctly as
my memory will allow me.
In the spring of 1844, brother Farnsworth started out after dinner, to
go to work on the Temple as usual. The sun shone brightly as he walked
down Parley Street towards the place of his labor, when suddenly the
sky became overcast, and a drizzling rain set in. He stood amazed, and
saw a tumult and excitement among the people about the Temple, and a
great excitement in the lower part of the town. He wondered what it
could mean. Presently he was told that the Saints had to leave Nauvoo
and take a great journey to the west. So great was the journey that it
seemed almost impossible for him to perform it. Now he could see
numerous trains of covered wagons and teams crossing the Mississippi
River, and bending their course westward as far as the eye could
reach. He also hitched up and joined the trains, and the journey did
not seem so arduous as he first anticipated. He saw the Twelve
Apostles in the crowd; but saw neither Joseph nor Hyrum.
They journeyed westward a great distance, and finally came to a place
where they intended to locate. They stopped, and began to make
improvements: but distress and starvation stared them in the face, and
it really seemed to him that they must perish; but soon there began to
be plenty of everything to eat, &c. This lasted quite a time: then
there began to be scarcity again, and famine seemed to prevail; yet he
saw none die of starvation, yet great distress among the people. Then
there began to be plenty again—enough to eat of everything desirable.
The people all appeared in one place, with large, strong hoops around
them in a body. The Twelve followed brother Brigham with mallets and
fierce countenances, and vigorously drove those hoops upon the people
until it did seem that they would be pinched or squeezed to death.
Still they resolutely continued to drive the hoops. Dark clouds now
began to arise, and a general gloom prevailed. The hoops were all the
time being driven tighter and tighter.
About this time, an army or force of the enemy came into the
neighborhood and offered protection to all who wished it. The
darkness of the clouds, and their awfully threatening aspect are now
past description. The people burst those hoops and sallied out like a
flock of sheep, and more than one-half of them went to the enemy for
protection. The scene was so awfully frightful that he was just on the
eve of flying himself; but a thought occurred to him to hold on a
little longer. He did so. Dark, angry, and frightful were the clouds,
indeed! Now is your hour and the power of darkness! Presently the
cloud over the Saints burst, and light beamed upon them.
This cloud rolled off upon the enemy and those who had fled to them
for protection: and oh! the scenes of death, lamentation, and mourning
that occurred in the enemies' camp beggar all description. The burning
wrath of earth, heaven, and hell, in fiery streams of molten lava
seemed to leave not one alive to tell the tale. It did not
stop here, but rolled throughout the United States, carrying the same
desolation in its track. The faithful band of brethren left, then
followed Brother Brigham up into a large open cave, where there was
everything good to eat and drink that heart could desire. The shouts
of hosannahs!—the songs of praise and thanksgiving to God for the
deliverance wrought for them rent the air and made the mountains echo
the praises of our God. From this cave they journeyed, I need not say
where; but, suffice it to say, no opposition had any effect upon them.
The power of God was with them, and His voice was in their camp.
There is much more to this vision which I deem unnecessary to write.
But after it was all over, brother Farnsworth came to himself,
standing in Parley Street on a beautiful sunshiny day. No covered
wagons or excitement in town or about the temple. When he came to
himself, he concluded that his exercises were of the Devil, from the
fact that he saw neither Joseph nor Hyrum in all the scenes; but it
was Brigham, brother Kimball, and the Twelve. Before these scenes
began to really take place, Joseph and Hyrum were killed at Carthage,
and consequently were not seen by brother Farnsworth.
I relate this from memory, being some months since I heard brother
Farnsworth tell it at his residence in Pleasant Grove; but, in the
main, it is as he told me, so far as I have related it. There are
those here to whom brother Farnsworth told it more than twelve years
ago, and they know whether I tell it as he did.
I have considerable confidence in this vision, for two reasons. First,
brother Farnsworth is a correct man: his character is without spot or
blemish. Secondly, this vision corresponds with a hundred and one
other sacred things written in ancient and modern times. And I may add
a third reason—it has all been fulfilled to the very letter, so far
as time would allow.
I am fully inclined to believe that all these sayings, both ancient
and modern, must mean something; and God will defend a people who
trust in him—a people whose prayers are ascending up into His ears day
and night for protection and redress. He will steady His own ark
without the aid of voluntary service, and will signify the fact in
unmistakable terms to such as volunteer a crusade against him or his
cause. Did not God create the heavens and the earth? Has he no rights?
Must he have no voice in the affairs of this world, without being
indicted, arraigned, and tried for treason?
If we cannot live by trusting in God, do we wish to live at all? What
enlightened Latter-day Saint can see any charm in this world to chain
or bind him here, when his hope and his trust are in Christ his
Savior? To talk about a religion to a Latter-day Saint that has no
living Prophet or Apostle in it—that has no living God in it, who can
and will speak to his creature, man, in this day, is to talk to him of
an egg without meat, a body without spirit, an eye without sight, or
an ear without hearing. To make a Latter-day Saint, or even a Mormon,
if his heart were ever touched with the fire of truth, into any kind
of orthodox Christian, would require as much faith and skill as it
ever did to turn water into wine, or to feed five thousand men, women,
and children with five loaves and two fishes.
After apostatizing from this Church, some may join some of the sects
for popularity's sake, or for the sake of making money or a living,
and profess to believe all about the God without body, parts, or
passions: but secretly they say, You are fools—you are in the dark—you
worship, you know not what. Scores of apostates, that have
left this Church and returned to it again, have confessed these very
things. While they outwardly affect to believe the dogmas of the
religious world, they secretly pity and despise. I mean such as are
not past feeling.
Do our enemies object to some being frightened away from here by the
glass of truth being held before them to enable them to see themselves
as God sees them, and have become frightened at their own moral
deformities and left? Will the time not come when none of the
uncircumcised in heart or the unclean can enter the abodes of the
Saints? If the old Prophets have told us the truth, such times must
come; and if they now begin to be foreshadowed, think it not strange!
"Zion will be redeemed with judgment, and her converts with
righteousness. And the destruction of the transgressors and of the
sinners shall be together, and they that forsake the Lord shall be
I feel and know that I am a poor, weak, unprofitable servant, at best.
My life is of no great value, when compared with the value and
importance of this kingdom; and I have lately thought that it would be
about the height of my ambition to lose my life to save that of some
better man. I know not what I will do; but I pray God my heavenly
Father that I may do my duty and honor His name and cause with my
every and latest breath. I have tried to do right and to live my
religion. I have sought the Lord day and night, and still seek Him,
and by His grace shall continue to seek Him until I can fall upon His
neck and embrace Him, and say, "Thou art my Father;" and He will say
to me, "Thou art my son!" I have no righteousness to boast of. I have
no oil to spare.
But if sore trials must come, even to the laying down of our lives, I
do not know that I can ask for the time to be prolonged with any hope
of being much better. I mean to be about as good as the light and
knowledge I have will allow me. Full of imperfections as I am, my
heart, soul, and spirit feel to bless the Saints with all who wish
them well; and the enemies that would persecute the Saints—that would
try to overthrow the kingdom of God on the earth, and ensnare the feet
and shed the blood of the Prophets of God, let their blessings be
turned into cursings, their prayers become sin, and the stain of
innocent blood blast their hopes forever, if they repent not.
Mormonism is true. The Priesthood of God is on the earth, and is
destined to bear rule not only in heaven, but in the earth also; and
likewise in every part of God's dominions. This makes the Devil and
all his subjects angry at the Saints, and they wish to kill us off.
Kill just as many and just as soon as God will let you. In this
respect, I ask no favors of any man in this lower world. I ask God to
be my friend, and to give me grace and strength to be His friend so
long as I live in this world.
Ye Saints of latter day be humble, meek, and childlike. Be fearless
and resolute. God grant unto you and me hearts of iron and nerves of
steel, abounding with faith, hope, and charity, full of every good
work, and no evil work. Pray in faith that God may guide our leaders
aright, and that wise and profitable counsels may be given them for
us, and we possess hearts to appreciate and obey. The Lord dictate the
policy of his kingdom, and shield his faithful ministers from the
snares of this world, and of death, until we shall have completed our
earthly mission; and then may our exit shed a luster upon the cause
which our lives have been devoted to sustain.