I do not allow myself to make any apologies when I get up to speak,
because it is against my feelings—it is against my principle.
I have listened to what brother Lorenzo has said, and I have felt
well. It is my desire, if I suggest anything, to suggest that which is
profitable—which will do good. Language is too frail to express the
rich sentiments of the hearts of the Saints; the tongue fails to utter
the glory and the pleasures of the kingdom of God. It cannot do it;
language fails. There is a display of the Holy Spirit in the
understanding that surpasses all language; it cannot be told; it is
past being told or described. This is right; it is as it should be,
for language is poor: the best we know of is poor.
I am not precisely like some of our Elders who think that unless
somebody is talking all the time, nobody can be edified. It is true
that we come together to be edified by hearing each other speak: but
when a body of people come together, that body should bring the agency
of the Holy Spirit with them; and I drink of the fountain of
intelligence, whether anybody speaks or not.
We have prayed many years—we have sought many years for the blessings
which we now begin to enjoy.
I feel to rejoice in these things. I feel to be glad at the prospects
that are before us. I feel to be glad; and whatever may be the result
of the present crisis, I am glad in my heart. I never felt so in my
life; and it is not I alone, but it is the whole people of the Saints.
I believe that in this thing we all feel pretty much in the same
spirit. I know that as long as we dwell in mortality, it is
impossible for us to obtain that happiness which is in store for the sancti fied. It is impossible for me, at the present, to obtain
and retain the fulness of that pure spirit that I wish to obtain.
We dwell in impure elements—in an atmosphere that is and has been
corroding from the beginning, for it is controlled by the Devil, the
"prince and power of the air." But we can seek the atmosphere that
comes from heaven, and that is pure. When we came to dwell in the
tabernacles that are so corrupt, we were placed very far beneath the
high privileges we shall attain to. We mix ourselves with the spirit
of the times; we condescend to weaknesses that the time will come when
we shall be ashamed of before the angels and before sanctified beings.
When we condescend to anything that is mean, we feel ashamed; we feel
the blush to come upon us, and we know that is not in keeping with the
Holy Spirit. I presume it is so with you. I feel assured that you are
somewhat sensible of your weaknesses. If the enemies of the Saints
should make inroads upon the privileges of the Saints of God, what
will it argue?
If such should be the case, it will argue that their hearts are not
united. I do not presume to say that this will be the result of the
present contest; but, on the contrary, I believe that this people are
so much united that God will hold his hand over them, for they are his
favorites—they are the seed of his choosing; and there his power,
however variable it may be, will ever be successful.
I must prophesy. I feel it in me all the time, because I see something
of the faith and prayers of this people year after year; and hence I
must prophesy. It has been a hard struggle with the people of God, and
you have read and thought how the Saints must succumb; but it has
seemed a sort of second nature that the enemies of truth must
persecute the people of God; and when they are out of their reach,
they must still follow them up and persecute them with a perseverance
that is worthy of a better cause.
There is a handful of people in these valleys. They have come to erect
his Temple, build the towers of Zion, to attend to the ordinances of
the Gospel, and prepare for the great things that await the earth. All
our children, and a large portion of our brethren and sisters, and a
large portion that persecuted their brethren and sisters here have all
got to learn that God has made all of one blood, and that we are all
the children of our common parent. They follow us up here, and what
for? To shed the blood of Prophets and Apostles and all good men. Yes,
we can say it has been so ever since the commencement of this work.
Our enemies are not sane. They are no more sane after they set their
hands against this people. The administrators of the Government that
we live under are just as insane as they can be. They do not
comprehend that those men who stand at our head hold the keys of
salvation; but I do believe that they have a desire in them to
extirpate the last vestige of hope that is upon the earth. This is the
folly and meanness of man, to destroy those who hold the power and the
keys of salvation to the inhabitants of the whole earth!
Who is it that is at the head of this? It is the Devil, the mighty
Lucifer, the great prince of the angels, the brother of Jesus. He left
the province of his Father, and took with him a third part of his
Father's kingdom, and there was no other alternative but to banish
him. God would have saved him if he could; but he could not. Lucifer
and all his host went away to themselves, and they are our foes; they
are after us, and they are after this whole people; and I tell
you they are as thick as I want them. Perhaps the air is clearer here
than in any other place; but perhaps I am wrong. There may be more
devils here than in any other country, and we are certainly more free
from their power than any other people under heaven. Be this as it
may, I know that there is a victory to be gained, and we have to gain
It reminds me of an anecdote of a man who was traveling. He saw a
devil as he was traveling, and the devil was asleep; and he was asked
the reason, and, the answer was, the people were asleep. When he came
back, the devil was running. He inquired what was the matter; and the
answer was, the people are waked up. It has been precisely so from the
time that Joseph Smith found the plates: the Devil has been after him,
and after this people to the present.
We are safe in retreating; and here is the best retreat that we have
ever found, right in these mountain fastnesses. But does persecution
cease now we are here? No, sir. If it did, it would be jeopardizing
what has been spoken. What is this for? And how is it we are so safe?
It is because the Holy Spirit of God aids us and sanctifies us, and it
consecrates and devotes us to his service, and that is the safety of
I tell you now, this is a good place; but without the sanctifying
power of the Holy Spirit to amalgamate the Saints and make them of one
heart and one mind, could they live here? No, they could not. But by
living their religion, they can live here or anywhere else where the
Lord has a mind to put them. It is the conduct of the people that must
Although these mountains are good and like the ramparts of some other
countries—of Switzerland and of Scot land—yet, take away the union that
exists in the midst of this people, and then how would it be?
We have many advantages here, and yet God has seen fit to manifest and
reveal the necessity of union, and of this people being of one heart
and one mind. He has located us here in these mountains to give us an
opportunity of taking advantage of these blessings which we enjoy,
that we might receive benefits from the advantages of these high
Are we safe? We are, so long as we are united and keep the
commandments of God. But, brethren and sisters, this must be our
strength. Our trust must be in the Lord. No one can understand for
another, but it is each for himself. I know when I am right, but I
cannot always tell when you feel right. When all my family are filled
with the spirit of union and show a becoming deference to me as their
head, I see there is a good spirit prevailing. Then I say all is
peace, all is happiness, all is paradise under my roof. Then there is
no enemy that pervades my house.
You should know when you are right and when you feel right; that is,
when there is no jealousy, when there is no animosity within
us—nothing that is contrary to the spirit of the Gospel. When our
desires and the feelings that are constantly brooding over our minds
are to do all the good we can—when our desires are to see the glory of
God, to see the Saints made happy and comfortable, then we are right,
for that is the spirit that unites the Saints together; that is the
spirit that makes them one.
There is a good deal to be done, notwithstanding we have advanced
considerably. The history of our past experience shows we have made
great advances, and now a period in our history has arrived that is
more eventful—one that is more absorbing to the Saints than
any past period of our history. I have no doubt, when we view this
period in years that are to come, that we shall be able to give a
brighter account of our progress than we have done in any times that
are gone by. This will assuredly be the case.
We never were placed in the position we are now in. We are situated
here, and our enemies are close by us. There have been steps taken by
them that place us in a different position to what we ever were in
before; and who shrinks? I do not, and I do not know that anybody else
I praise God and thank him for it, that we are placed in a position
where we dare to declare the truth to the world and to the nation to
which we have been connected, and where our brethren now have the
independence to declare the truths of God and say what steps we will
take in defense of our wives and children.
Whether I die on a scaffold or while preaching the Gospel to the
wicked through iron grates, yet I should rejoice. I leave the result
in the hands of God, and pray that he will rule all things in a way
that will be for the salvation of his Saints and for the upbuilding of
his kingdom. My heart rejoices and I feel right, and that the Lord
will overrule all for our good.
Brethren and sisters, I feel that short sermons are the best, and I
feel that there is a degree of the power of God among the people to
such an extent that I have never before realized. What is the reason
of this? You know for the last year past many have turned from their
sins, and, I trust, have forsaken them. There has been a great change;
for where darkness and carelessness prevailed, and almost wholly
pervaded the minds of the people, I perceive there is an increase of
faith in the promises of God—an increase of interest in the cause and
kingdom of God upon the earth. Many are laying aside personal
interests to sacrifice all for the building up of the kingdom of God,
and all seem to be trying who can be the most successful.
I rejoice in this, and I say that nothing could be a better symptom of
the gifts and graces of the Gospel being in the people. I feel that
God has blessed this people, even beyond my most sanguine
expectations, though I always believed that God would save us and
bring us through. But it is no matter, if it takes twenty-five years
to do that which might be accomplished in one—it is all right—it is
all through faith. If there is faith enough in this people to do in
one hour what is the ordinary work of years, it would be brought about
by the simple act of faith.
If it takes us years to gain that experience which we could learn in a
day, it is our own fault. The Lord declared to his disciples that he
had many things to say to them, but they could not bear them at that
time, for they could not bear all things; therefore he had to give
them instructions by piecemeal, because they could not bear the
fulness of the light.
It is so now. It is but little that the Saints can bear, and I want
you to bear it in your minds, for every move of the Holy Spirit
softens the hearts of the people: there is with it an accompanying
blessing; there is something that warms the conscience and makes the
spirit tender. The heart should be susceptible and pliable to the
touch of the Spirit. Do not forsake that—do not drive that out of your
heart, but make yourself more and more acquainted with the Spirit and
power of God. A man may pass through all the ordinances of the house
of God, but he must have the impress of the Holy Ghost upon his mind,
or he cannot receive that fulness of joy and happiness which
he might have. When the Spirit of God melts the heart, it runs through
a man's system, and it is like melted ore. But when the heart becomes
hard, there is no penetrating it. This is a serious state to be in.
I tell you there is the power of God in this Tabernacle, and we may
feel that we are arrested by the power of God until we should be
carried out of that door; and then, perhaps, the next moment, we lose
that feeling and become the natural man again. We should strive to get
that influence and keep it.
All our domestic arrangements are to be subservient to that Spirit,
otherwise we are on the background—we are taking the back track, which
never should be the case with the Saints. When a man gets the power of
God and the Spirit of the Lord, he is right.
I would not be afraid to warrant everything that I possess upon the
earth, if this people will be faithful and live so as to enjoy the
fulness of the Spirit of God, that no enemy can successfully invade
We want to be happy. This is our ultimate and eternal boon—happiness.
You may point me to an individual that is not seeking for happiness,
but I tell you the ultimate design of each and every one is happiness.
I tell you a man's mind is susceptible of feelings that cannot be
satisfied without happiness.
Well, home is our paradise—home is our heaven. We can make a heaven in
our own bosom—we can make it at home. I never can be joyful or happy
without a heaven at home; but when I have it there, I feel well, let
winds blow high or low—let adversity come, or prosperity.
I do believe that it is the design of the Almighty to bless this
people with prosperity. But I tell you, brethren, I should be afraid
of myself, if I had this world's goods. I tell you the pathway through
adversity is the safest way to heaven. When men get prospered, they
get lifted up, and then they lose the Spirit of God.
Let us not murmur or repine at poverty. We never shall know the
contrast, if we drink the bitter cup all the day long; but we shall
enjoy the blessings.
I pray God to strengthen you and to arm you with faith and patience to
endure all you may be called to pass through, with elasticity of
feeling, and with the gifts and graces of the Gospel, that will fill
you with light and life—with quickness of perception.
That you and I may be what we profess to be, is my prayer. God bless
you, brethren and sisters! Amen.