I did not expect to be called upon to address you this afternoon; but
I always feel ready to speak of the things pertaining to the kingdom
of God, whenever I am called upon.
Brother Kimball said he would like to hear me say something about the
RIGHTS of "Mormonism." The rights of "Mormonism" are so
extensive, that it would be very difficult to speak of them all in one
discourse. We have the right to live. That is "Mormonism." We have the
right to eat and drink, and to pursue that course that we may think
proper, so long as we do not interfere with other persons' rights. We
have a right to live free and unmolested; and there is no law, human
or divine, that rightfully has a right, if you please, to interfere
with us. We have a right to think, and we have a right, after we have
thought, to express our thoughts, and to write them, and to publish
them. We possess as many rights and as much liberty in relation to
this as any other persons; and there is no law, human or divine, that
can rightfully rob us of those liberties or trample upon our rights. We
have a right to worship God according to the dictates of our own
conscience; and no man, legally, in this land, has a right to
interfere with us for so doing. We have a right to believe in and
practice as we please in relation to matrimony. We have a right to
choose whether we will have one wife or twenty; and there is no law of
the land that can legally interfere with us; neither is there a man
that I have met with, that professed to be a man at all, that can say
that we are acting illegally. We have a right to secure the favor of
God, and we have rights as the citizens of the kingdom of God. We have
rights upon earth, and we have rights in heaven; we have rights that
affect us and our posterity and progenitors, worlds without end; and
they are rights that no man can interfere with. We have a right to our
own Governor, as brother Kimball says; we have a right to our own
Judges; we have a right to make our own laws and to regulate our own
These are some of the rights that belong to us; but when you come to
talk about rights, they are so various, complicated, and extensive,
that it is difficult, without reflection, to enumerate them. They
exist with us here and all around us, and they are rights that affect
us, our progenitors, and posterity, worlds without end. But in regard
to some of the things with which we are more intimately connected, we
have our individual, our social, and political rights, so far as
existing here as a people is concerned. I do not know but that you
will think that I am for sticking to my text pretty well: however, I
will try, as well as I can, to do justice to it.
If we look at the very foundation of government, we may enquire, How
were governments formed? Who organized them? And whence did they
obtain their power? It is a subject for deep thought and reflection,
and one that very few have understood; nor is it very easy to
define, definitely, the rights of man politically, socially, and
Now, I will suppose there was no government in the world, but that we
were thrown right back into the primitive state, and that we had to
form a government to regulate ourselves; what would be the position?
Why, the strong man would intrude upon the weak, even as a strong
animal intrudes upon a weaker, taking from it its rights; for that is
a natural animal propensity that exists in all the creatures, as well
as in man.
How was society organized? Upon natural principles. I am not now
speaking about God and his government, but upon the rights of man. If
there were a few bullies in the land, and we had to organize the
government anew, the people would combine to protect themselves
against them to protect themselves against those who had injured them,
that would rob them of their labor, of their cattle, of their grain,
or of anything they might have.
What would be the result of this course? It would be that a
combination would exist that would organize to protect themselves,
that the weak might be protected in his rights, that the feeble might
not be trampled under foot. This would be the natural construction and
organization of society.
Very well; when society became large and extensive, and could not
convene in a general assembly to represent themselves, they would send
their representatives, who would combine to represent their interests
by delegation, or proxy.
Who would those individuals represent? They would represent the
parties of that neighborhood, of that state, of that country or
district of country that sent them, would they not? And what would you
think of those men that were sent, if they attempted to rule over
those who sent them? Why, you would say, "Come back here, you rascals,
and we will send others; we sent you to represent us, and now you are
combining to put your feet upon our necks."
This has been the case ever since governments were organized; and
hence have arisen governors, kings, and emperors. They have generally
contrived to get the reins of power into their own hands; and, through
the cunning of priestcraft and kingcraft, they have generally managed
to bring the people under their feet and to trample upon their rights.
Such has been the case in the nations of Europe and Asia. It is, in
fact, the history of the world.
By what right have any kings obtained their dominions? Has it been
from God? No. Has it been from the people? No. How did they get in
possession of their kingdoms? How was France organized? How England?
How Germany? And how were other states and nations organized? They
have been organized because men usurped power, brought into subjection
other men, trampled under foot their rights, and made slaves of them,
and made them carry out their laws, and do their pleasure without any
peculiar interest in the things that were done. And those men, instead
of governing the people according to the principles of righteousness
and truth, have generally made yokes and put them on their necks, and
trampled them in the dust—so much so, that in many of the countries of
Europe you cannot travel but you must have a passport; and every
little upstart has a right to examine it and to stop you, if he likes.
You have to ask a right to stop in cities, and they will prevent you
when they please, and not only strangers, but their own citizens; and
there are many European cities now, where, if a father was to receive
his own son into his house, if he had been absent without the
permission of the police, he would be subject to a heavy fine.
It is the governors of the people that bring them into subjection in
this manner, until the people think that kings and priests have
rights—and they have no rights—until they think that presidents,
governors, and kings are the persons who possess certain inalienable
rights, and that no one has a right to interfere with them.
Kings, presidents, and priests combined govern men, body and soul. The
first fetter them in their bodies and liberties, and the latter in
their minds and consciences; and the human family, instead of being
free, are literally and almost universally in a state of vassalage.
At the time of the Reformation, men began to break off their political
fetters and to claim their rights, both politically and religiously.
Many people talk of that event as a church concern alone: it was as
much a political matter as anything else. The causes that prompted
them to take the steps they did were both religious and political, the
benefits accruing only very limited and partial; still it was a
resistance to tyranny and oppression. The kings that sustained the
Reformers did so merely upon political grounds, and not that they
cared for their religion.
What made people come from the old countries to this land? It was
because they were oppressed in England, in Germany, and in other
states, and they fled from that power which sought to bind chains upon
their necks. And why were they determined to flee from that
government into this country? Because the mother country tried to make
them subject to institutions and laws that they were unwilling to
submit to, and because she wanted to put yokes upon their necks.
Then the mother country sent armed men over here, and sought to
enforce their armed minions upon the people; but they would not submit
to it; for it was on that very account that they had fled from their
Such were the feelings of your fathers, and these were the things they
talked about, a few years ago; and on account of the encroachments of
the parent government, they took up the sword, and declared that they
would live or die free men.
What was that freedom for which they contended? Just what I said a few
minutes ago; it was the right to think, the right to speak, the right
to act, the right to legislate, and the right to worship God according
to the dictates of their own consciences, and the right to do their
own business without being interfered with.
We have come here to this land as citizens of the United States; and
why have we come? Because there were men who sought to rob of us our
rights, and because there was not sufficient purity and justice in the
Government to protect us in our rights—because magistrates,
constables, judges, governors, presidents, and officers of state,
either directly or indirectly drove us, or suffered us to be
driven—suffered us to be dispossessed of that which legally belonged
Who are we? We are men made in the image of God, possessing the rights
of other men. We have turned this desert into a flourishing field, and
the desert has blossomed as the rose, and God has blessed our labors.
And whom have we interfered with? Have we gone over to the States and
interfered with them? Have we gone over to California and interfered
with them? Have we gone to Oregon? Have we gone to New Mexico? Have we
gone to any State and interfered with their rights, their laws, their
immunities, or their privileges? I say we have not.
Well, then, what right has anybody to interfere with us? Oh,
because they have got the power! That is, there is no right to it;
there is no legal authority to it; there is no more right to it than
there is in a bully and a blackguard insulting a little, weak man,
because he has the power to do so. They have just the same authority
that a large ox has to goad a small one, because he has the power.
They dare not interfere with some nations as they are doing with us:
they dare not interfere with England or France, for fear of the
consequences; and it is nothing but a principle of nasty little
meanness that would try to interfere with us, and try to make you
believe that they are the lords of creation. Great God! Who are they?
Poor, pusillanimous curses, that have not manhood nor gentility enough
about them to be gentlemen. They have just the same right that the
highwayman has to put his hands into your pockets and take out your
Who led us here? Not the Christians of the United States, nor their
governors, legislators, nor president. Who provided for us? Did the
Government of the United States? Verily, no. Who built the houses in
this city? Who made the improvements around it and through this
Territory? Did the inhabitants of the United States? No. But they have
done all that lay in their power to discourage us in every possible
way. Who have fed you and clothed you? Your own right hands—your own
energy and industry, by the blessing of the Almighty.
Then by what right, and by what authority, in the name of God, and in
the name of every principle of right, honor, and integrity, have they
a right to interfere with us?
"Oh," say they, "the land belongs to us." Ah! indeed; and I
where you got it from? "Oh, we got it by right of treaty with Mexico."
And whence did the Mexicans obtain it? Who treated with those Indians?
Did they pay them for it? "No: but they are good Christians, and the
Indians are poor savages; and what right have savages to land?" Where
are their deeds and their right of possession? Will anybody tell me?
"Oh, we took it because we had the power, and the United States took
it from Mexico, because they had power."
It is just like a lot of boys playing together, and one of them steals
the other's marbles because he has the power; and then another steals
them, and calls them his, because he is a little more powerful than
the other: or, when one man meets another and robs him of what he has,
then two more go and take from him what he has stolen from the first
The simple fact in the case is, they say, "You are left upon our land,
and therefore you must be in subjection to us, and we must rule over
you." But even on this principle they are at fault; for we, if there is
any glory in the conquest, sent five hundred men, and possess equal
rights with them as American citizens.
In speaking upon this subject once before, I showed you that, by the
Constitution and the very genius of our Government, they had no right
to interfere with us.
Again, on the common principle of justice, where did they get their
rights to interfere with us? They did not bring us here, nor cultivate
our farms; they did not send us either schoolmasters or priests to
teach us; and we are not indebted to them for anything else. I would
like to know what right they had to interfere with us? They have not
a right upon religious grounds; for they kicked us out because of our
religion; and, consequently, they have nothing to do with that. It is
not because we have learned any morals of them; for we got our morals
from a superior source. We have not learned either our
religion or morality from them. We have not had them to cultivate our
farms nor to build our houses. They have not done anything for us.
In relation to the land, I will suppose they did steal it, which they
did. They obtained it because they had the power, and Mexico obtained
it upon the same principle: the United States made a quarrel with the
latter nation, because they knew they could bring them into
subjection, and they intended to capitulate for California before they
began the quarrel, and they took it upon those grounds. But that is
righteousness—that is purity, truth and holiness, in the eyes of a
corrupt and mighty nation.
We have got a little place that nobody else would live upon; and I
will warrant that if any other people had been here, half of them
would have died, the last two years, of starvation. But they cannot
let us alone. This is their greatness—this their magnanimity, and this
is the compassion manifested by the fathers of our great country. Of
course we must feel patriotic; we cannot but feel strongly attached to
such a kind, such a benevolent, such a merciful Government as we have
got! How can we feel otherwise? They would take from us the right to
live, and then it would be in their hearts to sweep us from the face
of the earth; but they cannot do it.
There is no right associated with this matter; there is no justice
about it. There are old rights and privileges the people used to have,
and we have our rights. In the first place, we have a God that lives,
and He will help us to take care of them, to maintain and preserve
them. Then look at this in whichever light you please, you cannot
change it: we are citizens of the United States, and have a right to
the soil, if they did steal it.
I am ashamed of being associated with such things, but we cannot help
ourselves; we are a part of the people, and we had to partake of their
When we came here, we came as American citizens; and we had just as
much right to be here as any other American citizens in the United
They have made a religious pretext to rob us of the right of
preemption—that is because we have more wives than one. This is the
course they have pursued towards us.
Have they a right to force upon us judges and send officers under a
military escort? The very act says they are afraid of something. Have
they a right to send those men to rule over us, without our having a
voice in the matter? I say they have not, according to the laws which
exist among men; they have not according to the principles of justice
and truth; they have not according to the principles upon which this
Government is established: but they want to rule over us contrary to
the principles of the Government; and, as you have expressed it, you
have a right to withstand it.
God be thanked, there are not as many sneaks here as there are in the
old country: men here dare think and speak.
Well, these are our feelings and some of our rights; but I will speak
to you of other rights; for we have greater rights, that I have not
yet touched upon.
[Blessed the sacramental cup.]
I speak of those other things because they are inalienable rights that
belong to men—to us as American citizens—to us as citizens of the
world; but there are other rights, other grounds upon which we claim
The Lord God has spoken in these last days; he has revealed the
fulness of the everlasting Gospel; he has restored that Gospel in
all its fulness, blessings, richness, power, and glory; he has
put us in possession of the principles of eternal life; and he has
established his kingdom upon the earth, and we are the legitimate
heirs and inheritors of this kingdom. He has established his
Priesthood, revealed his authority, his government, and his laws; and
the grand reason why there is union and power here, and nowhere else,
is because it emanated from God.
When we talk over those other things, we are under a lesser law, that
we can any of us keep and that we have kept. We are not rebelling
against the United States, neither are we resisting the Constitution
of the United States; but it is wicked and corrupt usurpers that are
oppressing us and that would take our rights from us.
To speak of our rights as citizens of the kingdom of God, we then
speak of another law, we then move in a more exalted sphere; and it is
of these things we have a right to speak.
God has established his kingdom; he has rolled back that cloud that
has overspread the moral horizon of the world; he has opened the
heavens, revealed the fulness of the Everlasting Gospel, organized his
kingdom according to the pattern that exists in the heavens; and he
has placed certain keys, powers, and oracles in our midst; and we are
the people of God; we are his government. The Priesthood upon the
earth is the legitimate government of God, whether in the heavens or
on the earth.
Some people ask, "What is Priesthood?" I answer, "It is the legitimate
rule of God, whether in the heavens or on the earth;" and it is the
only legitimate power that has a right to rule upon the earth; and
when the will of God is done on earth as it is in the heavens, no
other power will bear rule.
Then, if we look at it in this point of view, we are standing in a
peculiar position; we are standing here as the representatives of God,
and the only true representatives he has upon the earth; for there is
not another power or government upon the earth that acknowledges God
for their ruler, or head, but this: there is not another.
Why did we come here? We came here because the people drove us, and
because the Lord would have us come here; for it was necessary we
should come into our secret places, and hide ourselves till the
indignation of the Lord be overpast—until the Lord has shaken our
enemies by the nape of the neck, as it were, until nations and empires
are overthrown. We came to serve our God, to a place where we could
more fully keep his commandments—where we could fulfil his behests
upon the earth. This is the reason why we came here.
Well, then, if we are the only people that God acknowledges as a
nation, have not we a right to the privileges which we enjoy? Who owns
the gold, the silver, and the cattle upon a thousand hills? God. Who,
then, has a right to appoint rulers? None but him, or the man that he
Who has ruled the earth? Who has borne sway? Man, who, by the power
of the sword, has got possession of thrones, powers, and dominions,
and has waded through seas of blood.
You read history, and what is it? A history of the depopulation of the
nations, brought on by the overthrow of empires, and through the
tyranny and ambition of wicked men, who have waded through seas of
blood in order to possess themselves of that power which they now
If we go to the United States and enquire into their rights, we may
ask, have they a right to drive back the Indians, from time to time,
and dispossess them of their rights? So long as they purchased of them
it was well enough; but when they forced them into a swap,
just as the Indians did with some of the traders back here, and made
them trade on their own terms, that is something which they have no
right to do; and, to use the language of one of the Indian Chiefs,
"They have not left room for us to spread our blanket." Have they
purchased this Territory of them? No—nor made any arrangements to do
so; but they have taken possession of it.
What authority has the President of the United States, or the
Representatives of the several States? They have no authority but what
the people give them, according to the institutions of the United
What authority had England over this land before they came here and
took possession? None.
By what right, then, do nations and governments rule generally? Do
they rule by the grace of God? I will tell you. They rule by the power
of the sword.
Read the history of England, France, Germany, Spain, Portugal, and
other nations, and you will find they obtain their authority by their
swords; and then, when they have obtained, they go to work and
sanctify it; they appoint and anoint kings by the grace of God and
through the agency of their priests. That is the way they get their
authority, and that is all the authority they have.
When the Pope was going to put the crown upon the head of Napoleon, he
said, "Here, let me put that on; I won it myself." But they generally
want the priests to put it on.
You may go into any court in the world and say, "Thus saith the Lord,"
and they will kick you out. Try it and see.
[Voices: "You have tried it." ]
No man can go and say, "Thus saith the Lord" amongst them; for they
would put a straightjacket on him, if he was a respectable man; if he
was not, they would kick him out. Such is the feeling of the people
and the condition of the world, and yet they profess to worship God
that rules on high.
Where does God rule on earth? Is he listened to in any nation? Is
there any that will acknowledge him and his authority? I will tell you
the nearest that I ever saw of it. It was Nicholas of Russia: he was
an autocrat, you know. Some years ago, when they had the cholera very
bad there, a feeling prevailed among the inhabitants that the wells
had been poisoned: a mob arose, and they were going to kill many; but
Nicholas went in amongst them and said, "My children, this is not so;
this is the hand of God. Let us fall on our knees, and acknowledge our
sins, and ask him to forgive us."
That is the nearest to acknowledging God that I have heard of among
the nations; but as to their authority, it is not there. Their
emperors and rulers have been the most beastly in their conduct and
oppressive in their acts of any other nations that rule under heaven.
Now, where can you find a nation that acknowledges God? They are very
religious. Why, the Queen of England is said to be "Defender of the
Faith." Then it is not the faith of the Church of America—it is not
the faith of the Church of France, nor of Germany, nor anywhere else,
except the Church of England. Where did she get her right from? She is
the descendant of a line of kings.
Henry the Eighth, some time since, wrote a book against the
Protestants, and the Pope gave him the title of "Defender of the
Faith," which faith he afterwards sought to destroy, rebelled against
the Pope, and started the Reformation, because the Pope would not
allow him to divorce his wife. Hence the Protestant kings and
queens of England have stolen the Roman Catholic title, to rule or
defend the faith of the Protestants by kings and queens, whom they now
How do they anoint them? They anoint them by their Bishops, who
declare them to be kings and queens by the grace of God. Go back,
however, to their origin, and you will find that their kingdoms were
first obtained by the sword; they stole their kingdoms and power, and
then got priests to sanctify the theft.
Go back in England to the time of William the Conqueror, and you will
find that he was a usurper; he was a Norman and a wholesale robber;
and then, when he had subdued the Anglo-Saxons, the priests turned
round and anointed him king by the grace of God. That is a fair
example of the other European nations, and is all the authority that
any of them had.
What is the Government of the United States? It does not profess any
religion. There is no religion nor priesthood connected with it
nationally, only they allow, or profess to allow, everybody to worship
God according to the dictates of their own consciences; but nationally
they are a nation of infidels. They have no national creed, no
national religious institutions; and hence the absurdity of
interfering with us, when forsooth they have none themselves, and they
do not want that we should have any.
Do they seek to acknowledge God in their acts? Or, is there any other
nation that profess to acknowledge God? There are the Mahomedans, they
had a Prophet, and professed to be governed by him. There is some talk
about his being a false one: he might have been, or he might have been
a true one, for aught I know; I leave them in the hands of God.
The Mahomedans have a certain faith or profession, which is spoken of
in the Koran, or Alkoran. They, however, like the rest, obtained their
nationality by the sword. We cannot find a nation upon the earth that
has obtained its dominion or power to rule from God. If there is any
people, except this people, I know them not.
The Lord has said, "If ye observe my law, ye have no need to break the
law of the land." We have not broken the law of the land, and we do
not mean to, although he has revealed to us his will and given us
certain privileges and immunities that he never gave to any other
people. Still, we have not broken the law, and there is not another
people who maintain the laws of the United States as faithfully as
this people do.
Why, they are in storm and trouble every way in the United States, and
here is the most perfect peace and the best morality that can be found
in the world by a thousandfold: yes, it is a thousandfold better
than I have seen in any part of the earth where I have been. There is
not a place that can compare with it; and nothing but the very Devil
himself could inspire the hearts of the children of men to make war
against such a people as this.
What are we engaged in? We are engaged in building up the kingdom of
God, and many of you have been ordained by the revelations of the
Almighty to hold the power and authority of the Holy Priesthood.
Besides this, you have been ordained kings and queens, and priests and
priestesses to your Lord; you have been put in possession of
principles that all the kings, potentates, and powers upon the earth
are entirely ignorant of: they do not understand it; but you have
received this from the hands of God.
The kingdom is put upon the shoulders of President Young and this
people to carry it out, and by whom? By the Lord God—by him who holds dominion throughout the universe; by him who created all by
the word of his power; by him who said, "Let there be light, and there
was light;" by him who spake, and the worlds rolled into existence. By
him you received rights that are not of this world—rights that flow
from the great Eloheim.
What are we going to do, then? We are going to establish the kingdom
of God upon the earth. This is our privilege—our right, if you please.
But I consider it a high privilege—the greatest boon that can be
bestowed upon mortals on the earth, to be the representatives of God.
Let me say another thing. The people of the earth, their legislators,
their princes, their kings, and their emperors, if they ever get
salvation, have got to have it through us: if they obtain a celestial
kingdom, they have got to go through the door that God has appointed,
and there is no other way for it.
What are we doing here? We are here to stand up in defense of our
individual rights—to stand up for our farms, our families, and our
property, if it be necessary. Property! Why great conscience! It is
just like the chaff and straw; and I was glad to see when the vote was
taken, that if it was necessary to burn every house and all our
property, every hand went right up for it. I was glad to see you
appreciate these things.
Would we fight for these things? Just so far as I am concerned, they
might take what I have got, and go to Gibraltar with it, or to
Halifax; and I would say, You poor, miserable, corrupt creatures, take
But this is not all. The Lord has put us into a place where we cannot
dodge, if we wish. We have asked for the blessing of his kingdom, and
he has poured out blessings upon us, and there is no backing out. God
has rolled his kingdom upon our should ers; and now I ask, as a poet
did some years ago,
"Shall we, for fear of feeble man,
The Spirit's course in us restrain?"
Shall we, for fear of those miserable curses, barter away eternal
lives? Shall we set at naught those principles that God has imparted
to us? Shall we exchange the pearl of great price, the riches of
eternity, for the dirt and filth that the Gentiles wallow in? I know
we do not feel like it.
Brother Kimball says we have to stand up to what we say, and the Lord
will bring us to it; and I will tell you what I heard Joseph say years
ago. He said, if God had known any other way that he could have tried
Abraham better than he did, he would have put it upon him. And he will
try us to see whether we will be faithful to the great and high
calling that he has put upon us.
What are we doing? God has seen proper to establish his kingdom upon
the earth, and here is that kingdom—that stone which has been cut out
of the mountain without hands, and it is rolling forth to fill the
A great charge is committed to us as a people: it is for us to walk up
to the rack, resist the powers of darkness, and bear off the kingdom
of God, that the powers of darkness may be rolled back with all their
We are placed in this position to see if we will let the kingdom of
God be trampled under foot of men. It is not a little thing, but it is
one that is associated with our progenitors and posterity, as eternal
beings, having to do with the past, the present, and the future.
The little stone was to smite the image on the toes; and I would not
be surprised if there was to be a monstrous kicking—particularly, as
brother Kimball says, if there should be any corns on the toes.
It is not whether we can stop here, and eat and drink, and
say, poor pussy, and put off the evil day. It is not an evil day; it
is a day of rejoicing—a day of bursting off the fetters from us; it is
a day when every son and daughter of God ought to sing, Hosannah to
the God of Israel! We know we used to sing sometimes,
"We'll burst off all our fetters, and break
the Gentile yoke,
For long it has beset us, but now it shall
No more shall Jacob bow his neck;
henceforth he shall be free,
In Upper California:
O! that's the land for me," &c.
We used to sing that years ago, and we can sing it now; but we have
got to do it. Yes, it is "Yankee doodle do it."
Well, what are we doing? We are laying the foundation for salvation
for ourselves, for our progenitors, for our children, and our
posterity after us, from generation to generation. The foundation of
liberty, whereby the bond that has been on the neck of the nations,
shall be burst asunder; for it is here that liberty shall spring from.
Here is a nucleus—a band of brethren inspired from on high, having the
oracles of God in their midst—the only people that are taught by the
revelations of God. Here is the place where the standard is to be
erected to all nations.
We were talking, sometime ago, about our rights: these are our
duties; we have got through with our rights. There is an old motto
that they have got very conspicuously in England; it is this—"England
expects every man to do his duty."
What is a man's duty here? It is obedience to the oracles of God that
are in our midst; and so long as we keep the commandments of God, we
need not fear any evil; for the Lord will be with us in time and in
"But," says one, "I have got a son, who has gone out upon the
and perhaps the soldiers will kill him." Let them kill him. [President
Kimball, "There can be more made." ] I suppose there can.
Did you ever know your sons were in possession of eternal life, and
that this is only a probation or a space between time and eternity? We
existed before, in eternity that was, and we shall exist in eternity
that is to come; and the question only is, whether it is better to die
with the harness on, or to be found a poor, miserable coward.
All that I said to my son Joseph, after blessing him, before he went
out, was, "Joseph, do not be found with a hole in your back." I do not
want any cowardice—any tremblings or feelings of that kind.
What of our friends that have gone behind the veil—are they dead? No;
they live, and they move, in a more exalted sphere. Did they fight for
the kingdom of God when here? Yes, they did. Are they battling for it
now? Yes; and the time is approaching when the wicked nations have to
be destroyed; and the time is near when every creature is to be heard
saying, "Honor, and power, and might, and majesty, and dominion be
ascribed to him that sitteth upon the throne, and to the Lamb forever
We have got to bring this about, whether we do it in this world or
that which is to come. I have seen the time I could have died as
easily as to have turned my hand over; but I did not feel like it.
[President H. C. Kimball: "You did not have time." ]
Supposing I live, I have got a work to do; and if I die, I shall still
be engaged in the cause of Zion. Why, great conscience! What
difference does it make? They can only kill the body. And do not we
know that we have an interest beyond the grave? That we have drunk of
that fountain which springs up into eternal lives? Then what
difference does it make?
These are my feelings. If it is for life, let it be for life; and if
it is for death, let it be for death, that the spirit may move in a
more exalted sphere; and then all is well with us. If we live, we live
to God; and if we die, we die to God; and we are God's, anyway.
We have friends gone behind the veil. There are Joseph, Hyrum,
Willard, Jedediah, and many of our friends that are there, and they
have been moving and acting there for years; and if any of us are
called to go, it is all right: there is a Priesthood there to regulate
things, as well as here; and if we have to go there, we might as well
go by a ball as by a fever, or any other distressing disease. I want
to go with the harness on; and if others go a little before us, does
it make any difference? Do not you know the old Apostle said, "They
without us cannot be made perfect?" Could they attend to these
ordinances that are being attended to here on earth while they are
there? No, they cannot. Can you do what they are doing? No, you
cannot; but when you get there you can.
When in the old country you were striving to get here, many of you had
friends here; and when you came, they would say, "I am glad to see
you, brother William, and sister Jane, or Mary, or Elizabeth." Now,
when a person dies, you say, "I am glad to
see you go, but still I am
sorry that you are going."
I remember saying so to uncle John Smith. When I went to see him, I
felt that his time was come, and I said, "I am glad you are going, but
still I am sorry to part with you;" and said, "I hope you will carry
my respects to our friends behind the veil." He said, "I will."
We have angels that are ministers of salvation; we have Joseph, Hyrum,
Willard, Jedediah, and lots of others that are engaged in rolling on
the work of the Lord in the upper worlds. What if they want any of us?
Why, let us go, old men or young men. What if we are called by a ball,
or die by a fever, what difference does it make?
What! Are we all going to die together? God has designed and said he
would establish his kingdom upon the earth, and that the Devil shall
not reign forever; but he whose right it is shall come and take the
kingdom, and possess it forever and ever.
Now, brother Brigham has said all is right, and he is the
representative of the Almighty upon the earth, and it is for us to
stand by him and obey him; and he says, "Rejoice, and live your
religion, and all shall be well." Is not that the voice of God? It is.
Shall we not listen to it? Yes; and we will maintain our rights as
citizens of the United States.
I pray that God may bless you, in the name of Jesus Christ. Amen.