I presume, brethren and sisters, that we all feel measurably thankful
and grateful that we have had the privilege of receiving the fulness
of the Gospel—that we have been counted worthy to be gathered out from
among the nations, to meet in these valleys of the mountains for the
purpose of receiving instruction, learning the mind and will of our
Heavenly Father, and of preparing ourselves for those things that are
coming upon the earth.
But, at the same time, I presume to say that we do not all of us fully
comprehend the blessings and privileges that are prepared in the
Gospel for us to receive. We do not fully comprehend and we do not
have before our view the things which await us in the eternal worlds,
nor, indeed, the things which await us in this life and that are
calculated to promote our peace and happiness and to answer the
desires of our hearts.
The Lord has established certain constitutional desires and feelings
in our bosoms; and it is so with all mankind—with the whole human
family. There are implanted and interwoven in their constitutions
certain desires and capacities for enjoyment—desires for certain
things that are in their nature calculated to promote our peace and
well-being, that answer their feeling and promote their happiness. But
how to obtain the gratification of those capacities and desires, the
world do not know nor understand. But the Lord has seen fit to put us
in the channel and in the way of understanding those things by being
faithful and walking in the light of the Holy Spirit, and receiving
truth, and eventually coming in possession of everything that our
hearts desire in righteousness, to promote our peace and happiness and
the highest things that pertain to glory and exaltation in the eternal
We frequently, in the multitude of cares around us, get forgetful, and
these things are not before us; then we do not comprehend that the
Gospel is designed and calculated in its nature to bestow upon us
those things that will bring glory, honor, and exaltation—that will
bring peace and glory. We are apt to forget these things in the midst
of the cares and vexations of life; and we do not fully understand
that it is our privilege, and that the Lord has placed it in our reach to pursue that Gospel whereby we may have peace within us
All this trouble and vexation of mind is but a matter of the present;
and if we keep the light of the Spirit within us, we can so walk in
the Gospel that we can measurably enjoy peace and happiness in this world;
and while we are traveling onward, striving for peace and happiness
that lie in our path, in the distance, we shall have a peace of mind
that none can enjoy but those who are filled with the Holy Spirit.
Now, let a worldly man once conceive that it is in his power, after a
succession of years of trial and difficulty, to come in possession of
worldly riches and wealth, and of all things that his heart can
desire, what is he not willing to do? Why, he is willing to labor and
toil; and although dressed in poverty and in rags, and with but little
of the comforts of this life, yet, so long as he has a sure testimony
that eventually he is coming in possession of all the desires of his
heart, he urges forward undaunted and full of courage. He has within
him a secret desire and hope that the people around him do not
comprehend. When the people think there is nothing like peace and
happiness about him, he is full of peace; and he has a secret and
strong assurance that he is coming in possession of that which he has
wished for and that his heart is seeking for.
In the Gospel we have received, by the light thereof and by the power
thereof, we see that by-and-by we are coming into possession of those
things that we have so long desired and labored for. Those who are
not in possession of this Spirit do not understand that the Lord God
of our fathers has revealed himself unto us; and although many of them
have had a like opportunity, yet they have not made use of it to
acquire that knowledge.
Through a continual course of progression, our heavenly Father has
received exaltation and glory, and he points us out the same path; and
inasmuch as he is clothed with power, authority, and glory, he says,
"Walk ye up and come in possession of the same glory and happiness
that I possess."
In the Gospel those things have been made manifest unto us, and we are
perfectly assured that, inasmuch as we are faithful, we shall
eventually come in possession of everything that the mind of man can
conceive of—everything that heart can desire.
Well, then, in the midst of poverty and deprivations, or in the midst
of comforts and conveniences, still these hopes are the secret springs
of our joys. We see that our heavenly Father does provide us with
everything we need; we see that we are in the sure path to come in
possession of those richer blessings that are promised; and nothing in
this world can, or ever will, place an impediment in our way to
prevent us from receiving those blessings.
Is not our liberty, our comfort in the everlasting Gospel, the
assurance that we shall receive all the reward that is made sure to
the faithful children of God? Then where is the man that is not
willing to set fire to his substance—that is not willing to yield
everything for the salvation of himself and the people, if that be the
principle upon which salvation is to be obtained?
Let a man have the visions of the Almighty unfolded to his view, and
see in yonder heavens the government of the eternal worlds—let him
see the liberty and joy that are to be participated in, and let him
see that the Gospel gives all to this man, and he is willing in his
heart and in his feelings to yield everything to the will of God, that
he may come in possession of those things. Will such a man
pursue a course that will eventually throw him out of the kingdom?
Will he give up those blessings and those prospects for a little
comfort, or for a little of this world's goods, or to enjoy the
comforts of this life for a season?
Where is there cause to mourn? Where is there cause for the Saints to
wear long faces? Where is there cause for weeping or repining ? There
is none; but it is life or death that is set before us. Principalities
and powers are ours, if we continue faithful; sorrow and banishment,
if we disregard the Gospel.
What can we wish for more than is comprehended in our religion? If we
will stand firm upon the rock, and will follow the Spirit that has been
placed in our bosoms, we shall act right in the way of our duties—we
shall act right to those who are placed over us—we shall act right,
whether in the light or in the dark.
Where is the man that will turn aside and throw away those prospects
that are embraced in the Gospel which we have received? In it there is
satisfaction, there is joy, there is stability, there is something
upon which to rest our feet, there is a sure foundation to build upon,
and upon which to yield that which is required of us.
When the enemy is near, and when the stormy clouds arise, and the
war clouds approach, even then we can feel free and quiet, and be
satisfied that all is right in Israel. It is only for us to be ready
to do our duty, to serve our President with all our heart, with all
our might, with all our feelings, with all our property and energies,
and with all things that the Lord has put into our hands.
Let the power that God has put into our hands be used; for herein lies
a continued advancement in dominion, in power, and in knowledge. We
should be ready at all times to exer cise all the power, means, and
influence we possess in the service of our God, and resignedly follow
out the directions of our President and those that are appointed over
Let us be like little children, ready and willing to do as we are
commanded by the powers that we should obey. Let us be obedient to the
voice of truth, and ever be found in the path of duty; and there let
us continue. Let a man do this, and he continues to advance; he will
grow in the knowledge of God, and in influence, and in everything that
is good. We may well be said to be a people of one mind, for we are
the Saints of the living God. The Saints who are brought from the
nations of the earth—those who have been gathered together in one, are
the ones who hold the birthright to reign on the earth.
It is a good thing, brethren, to be a Saint. We are as children; we
have to pass through the state of infancy, of childhood, and of youth,
before we can arrive at manhood; and we have to learn by degrees.
There are some who do not learn and who do not improve as fast as they
might, because their eyes and their hearts are not upon God. They do
not reflect, neither do they have that knowledge which they might
have: they miss a good deal which they might receive. We have got to
obtain knowledge before we obtain permanent happiness; we have got to
be wide awake to the things of God.
Though we may now neglect to improve our time, to brighten up our
intellectual faculties, we shall be obliged to improve them sometime.
We have got so much ground to walk over; and if we fail to travel
today, we shall have so much more to travel tomorrow. We should try
to learn and understand how we may best perform our daily duties, and
learn what enjoyment it is our privilege to receive.
Wives and children fail in a great many instances to enjoy
that which they might enjoy, because of tradition—because of not
employing their minds in reflection. Take an individual family in
Zion, for instance, and you will see that there is not that amount of
enjoyment that there might be, provided they would act up to their
privileges; for then they would receive the blessings in store for
The husband has to learn to give proper counsel and direction; he has
to learn how to manage his wives and his children, and it takes him
some time to learn how to manage wisely and to bestow comfort upon
each member of his family.
Our children, if we are diligent in cultivating in ourselves the pure
principles of life and salvation, will grow up in the knowledge of
these things, and be able with greater facility than ourselves to
promote the orders of heaven and establish happiness and peace around
them. But our traditions are so interwoven with our nature that it
requires more time and effort on our part for us to learn.
It does not trouble some women to follow out the counsel of their
husbands: they will serve them in faithfulness—they will honor and
respect the power of the Priesthood that is upon their husbands. In
this respect they do well and enjoy themselves in doing so, as every
woman will; but in the relationship that exists between them and other
wives of that man, you are very apt to see a little discord.
And some men will at once fall into the channel of obedience, while it
takes other men quite a length of time to learn that principle and
carry it out. While a man is full of the Spirit and power of the
Almighty, he perceives the line of duty in a moment.
There are men who will follow the counsel of President Young in every
particular; but set such a man to preside over men who have not that
fulness of light that he has, and he will find difficulty in governing
those men: they have to think about it and study about it.
It requires more energy and more strength of purpose in a man to
follow out the counsel of one who is just above him than it is to
follow a man that is a long way ahead of him. So it is in regard to
the women; they can follow the counsel of their husband and do as he
wishes much better than they can regard one another. But we should do
our duty, if it not so pleasing to ourselves.
We are all imperfect and full of weaknesses; we have not become
perfect in the things of God; and hence we have to suffer for one
another. Now, in my dealings with the brethren, I have more difficulty
in getting along with the man that is ignorant than with him who can
see his duty. I perceive that the ignorant man is weak—that he is
blind; and inasmuch as I have to suffer from his wrong, because he has
not learned to control his passions, it becomes a greater virtue in me
to be patient with him; for there is more required of me.
Well, so it may be with some women. You very seldom find that husbands
and wives are perfect; but perhaps it is very well that the husband is
not perfect, because, if he was, he would be placed at a great
distance from his wives. It requires a great exertion on the parts of
wives to keep pace with their husbands.
You all perceive more imperfections in those around you than you do in
yourselves. It is much more difficult for wives to learn than it is
for husbands, because women have not the degree of light and knowledge
that their husbands have; they have not the power over their passions
that their husbands have: therefore, they have to suffer one
for another until they get power over themselves like unto those that
have advanced more fully in the knowledge of our God.
There is a struggle all the time, and it requires exertion on our part
to know how to manage, how to move, and how to come in possession of
the greatest amount of happiness. Let wives pursue an even course with
regard to their husband; let them bear with his faults; let them be
united and live in peace, and they will increase in light and
intelligence. Let the one that has got the most light learn to be the
most forbearing, for the sake of her husband and for the sake of the
principles of truth. If the Lord has made one woman more perfect than
another, and given her more intelligence than her sisters, let her
show more mercy and patience in overlooking their faults. By this
means a wife will gain influence and favor with her husband, with her
sisters, and with her heavenly Father. She thus advances herself and
puts herself in a position to enjoy all that is for the righteous. The
whole is summed up in this—DO RIGHT.
The man that has the most influence will enjoy the most, and the most
is required of him. It is so with you women. If any of you have more
knowledge and influence than the others, more is required of you; you
have the more to endure.
Let families put themselves in possession of all the good they can—be
in a position to do right, and be continually in the path to
exaltation and glory. We should all think of these things and practice
them. If you want to know how to be great, good, and happy, and how to
advance faster in the principles of exaltation and perfection, why,
then, set yourselves to work to find out how you can do the most
good. You, women, do this, and learn how you can best serve your
husbands. You, men, learn how you can best serve President Brigham
Well, it may be more glory for you, sisters, to serve your husbands,
than to serve each other; but you have got to learn to do both, and
you will get all the honor and glory that you are capable of
receiving. But some do not conceive of this: they think that it
matters not whether they love their husbands or not, so long as they
do not let them know it. But if they do not put themselves in the way
of acting properly, they bring darkness and trouble upon themselves.
For instance, if one of my fingers is injured, I feel that injury all
over my body. So also if a man has several wives, and one of them gets
injured, he feels the injury that is put upon that wife. Some women
think, if they can do all that is required by their husbands, that is
all that is required. That is very good; but it is a wild, fanciful
notion to think that this is all that is called for. But if you will
set to with all your energy to bless your husband in serving him and
those around him, and endeavoring to make them all happy, because
they desire exaltation and happiness, then you are in the line of your
duty. This requires an exertion; it requires faith, prayer, and the
Spirit of the Lord to enable you to carry out this operation.
But you, sisters, have made rapid advances in consideration of where
you stood a few years ago. Well, still continue in the good work and
attend faithfully to those things that pertain to your duties and to
the stewardship appointed you. See that the little, trifling
misunderstandings in domestic concerns do not poison your happiness.
And you, brethren, attend to those duties that pertain to your calling
and Priesthood, and know that the Lord has called us to receive the
fulness of the Gospel.
We are his Saints, his sons, and his daughters, and all things
are open to us; the treasures of time and of eternity are
ours—everything is ours, if we will serve our God in faithfulness,
even to the sacrifice of all we possess. There lies the preparation
for happiness hereafter.
Brethren and sisters, may the Lord bless you! I ask it in the name of