I can truly say that I feel like a little child in relation to the
things pertaining to the kingdom of God, which are wisdom, knowledge,
and righteousness revealed to man.
I have been comforted while hearing my brother speak. His words have
been truthful. His admonition has been good to the Saints, and his
exhortation has been such as we should all reduce to practice in our
When I stand before the Saints, I can only feel to thank the Lord and
bless the name of Israel's God. Why? Because he has led his people in
the way they should go for their salvation. While contemplating upon
the scenes the Latter-day Saints have passed through, and those through
which the Saints in former ages have passed, I discover that there is
a striking resemblance between the two. Indeed, they are of one
family; they have embraced the same principles and are trying to carry
out the doctrines taught and practiced by the Prophets and by Jesus
Christ our Redeemer and elder Brother, when he said, "The kingdom of
heaven is like seed cast into the ground, and some of it took root,
but long since has the Master taken his journey into a far country,
and the vineyard has been let out to husbandmen;" and thank God that
we live in the time of harvest, because I always find the time of
harvest more joyful than the seed time.
There is a great harvest to be performed, and the Elders of Israel
have been engaged in that harvest for many years past, and some of the
wheat has been gathered out and placed in the garner of the Lord.
I have contemplated, while sitting here this morning, as to what would
have been the condition of the Latter-day Saints, supposing we had
been let alone in Kirtland. Every meditating mind can contemplate at a
glance the situation this people would have been in today.
Supposing we had been left to ourselves in the pleasant groves of
Missouri, which we shall, thank heaven's King, by-and-by occupy, with
none to disturb us; but the time has not come yet—I say, had we been
permitted to stay there, could the Lord have fulfilled the words of
the Prophets, which were spoken by the inspiration of the Holy Spirit,
concerning this people in the latter day? Verily no.
Suppose we had been permitted to remain in the city of Nauvoo,
Illinois, could the words of the Prophets have been fulfilled
concerning this people in our day? No. But the Lord, by his unseen
hand and outstretched arm, and by his wisdom, which is beyond the
comprehension of finite beings, led his people to this place prepared
and reserved by him as chambers of safety for his Saints, in
fulfillment of the words of all the holy Prophets since the world
You that are acquainted with the words of the Prophets can
remember that the Lord has promised through them, that he would hide
his people in the last days while his wrath and indignation should
pass through the wicked nations of the earth.
What is the testimony of the Elders of Israel in relation to the
situation and circumstances of the nations of the earth, where they
have traveled for the last few years? Does it not portray to us the
most horrible scene of suffering? Abominations of the lowest caste are
practiced among those nations that bear the fair title of Christian
nations, and they have sunk the deepest of all others in degradation,
wickedness, and wretchedness.
Is the Lord vexing the nations? Yes; and there is no place where the
Lord could better secure his people than in these valleys, behind
these towering bulwarks which his enemies cannot throw down. Powder
and ball cannot move them. Behind these the Lord has securely planted
his little flock, where he has nourished and cherished it by Prophets
and Apostles, and watered it with the dews of heaven, strengthening it
with manna—the bread of heaven, inspiring the hearts of his servants
to give unto it that nourishment that is necessary to make it grow and
prosper, until its branches run over the wall and Zion becomes
terrible to her enemies when they shall come up to war against her.
The Prophets have truly spoken of this day and looked upon it with
admiration. When I call to mind that I have the honor of being a
member of that Church which the Lord Almighty has planted in the
latter day, it fills my heart with sensations of joy and gladness
which language fails to express or communicate.
My brother said his heart leaped with joy on the 24th of July, when
the declaration of independence was made. My meditations and
sensations were, no doubt, something like those of the fathers who
fought for the liberty and independence we ought now to enjoy. They
were glad of the dawning privilege of worshipping God in their own
way, and of worshipping that God they chose to worship, whether it was
the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, or none at all.
Did they not have to fight for that liberty? Yes. Should any of the
sons of Zion fall in the contest for similar privileges in our day,
thank heaven's King, they will have the privilege and honor of
sealing their testimony with their blood, and of becoming martyrs in
the latter day to Heaven's cause. Will their mothers, fathers,
brothers, and sisters have any reason to mourn because their son or
brother has died a martyr to Heaven's cause? No; for they will wear a
martyr's crown, which makes it more desirable for us to go out in the
defense of Heaven's cause, and lose our lives to establish this
kingdom and help to sustain it upon the earth, or to dwindle away in
sickness, hunger, and thirst, brought upon us from the ungodly conduct
of our enemies.
Have not a great many already fallen victims to their cruelty? Yes.
Have not I seen many women and children consigned to the silent grave
because of their cruelty? I have; and all because we are the friends
of God. Were we standing in open defiance of the mandates of king
Immanuel, would they be our enemies? No. They are the enemies of
Jesus, our elder Brother, who has for a long time withdrawn himself,
as he said in the parable, when he compared the kingdom of heaven to a
man who let out his vineyard and took a journey into a far country.
Jesus has taken his journey; but thanks be to heaven's King—to God,
our heavenly Father, he has said in these last days, "My son,
take to yourself the kingdom, because it is yours, for Lucifer has
borne rule long enough on that planet: now, you go to work and
revolutionize that planet, and purify and sanctify it from the
wickedness and abominations that exist upon it, that it may be
prepared and brought back to my presence."
This is the work in which we are now engaged. If there should be a man
or woman of the character that has been spoken of this morning, that
wishes to go away from this people, I wish they would go. Every honest
Latter-day Saint has felt and prayed, and his prayer has been in the
morning, at noon, in the evening, and at midnight, that God would
sweep his vineyard and purify it and prune it of all the dead
branches, that they may be burned and blown away by the wind, like the
chaff of the summer threshingfloor.
Now, was it not the prayer of every faithful Saint that God would set
his furnace in Zion and burn out the chaff and the branches which are
withered up and dried, that nothing but the bearing branches might be
left—the pure in heart—that there might be no jarring strings, no
backbitings, slander, stealing, or any evil thing among the Saints of
God who dwell in Zion? We have seen such things here to a certain
extent. I feel glad in my heart, and feel as though I could jump up
and cry "Hallelujah!" and "Glory!" like a Methodist, because the
kingdom of God is set up and given to the Saints of the Most High. The
yoke of oppression is broken off, and independence is given to us as
far as is now necessary and required, that the kingdom of God may
advance on the earth. Why not rejoice and be glad?
There are some appendages to all this, and one little item drops into
my mind now—one of the simplest things in the world—that is, for the
sisters, if they have not the privilege of knitting mittens and
stockings, to go to work and make pieces of patchwork, or anything
that will keep the brethren warm that are out in the mountains. No
doubt but we shall see tight times; but the Lord will guide his
servants, and his kingdom will prosper, and every Saint will learn how
to appreciate blessings when we have them; but there is no occasion
for any person to be afraid.
There have been a great many things prophesied here in the way of
common conversation. I suppose that a good many of the Saints think
that when the old Prophets, Jeremiah, Isaiah, and others prophesied,
they used to get down on a bench and kneel before the congregation, or
get into a dark closet, where they could speak through a knothole and
have their scribe write it, or perhaps have a coffee sack covered over
their heads, and ashes sprinkled over that.
I have heard men prophesy here every Sabbath day; and in a thousand
years after today, when we read over their prophecies, the prophecies
spoken by the old Prophets will sink into insignificance and will be
forgotten. Even as the wonders of the last days, in gathering Israel,
will throw into the shade of forgetfulness the mighty miracles at the
Red Sea and in the wilderness, so it will be a thousand yearn hence,
when we read over the prophecies delivered in the year 1857. Why?
Because there is a great deal more pending now than formerly.
We now see our brethren called to go into the mountains, and this
people are expending much to defend the cause of Zion.
We acknowledge brother Brigham Young as President of this Church: we
have long acknowledged him as such; also brother Heber C. Kimball is
his first, and brother Daniel H. Wells as his second Counselor. This
Quorum constitutes an embodied power. Where does it center?
In the head, and it compares with the triune Godhead—the Father, Son,
and Holy Ghost. Are these three men who compose the First Presidency
one? They are. God has ordained them on earth to fulfil his purposes,
build up his kingdom, cast down Babylon, establish righteousness on
the face of all the earth, cleanse this planet from corruption, and
prepare it for a dwelling place for immortal Saints.
Has not the Lord embodied all the Priesthood and power of his kingdom
in the head of the First Quorum of his Church? Yes. Where should the
power of this people be centered? In that personage whom God has
ordained to lead his people; and, as I have prayed myself, not that
the Lord would tell me anything particularly about the armies of the
enemies of God, but make it known to his servants Brigham, Heber, and
Daniel—that he would give such counsel to his servant Brigham as would
be necessary for the advancement of his kingdom, the destruction of
Satan's empire and the downfall of Babylon, the spread of truth, and
the universal reign of peace on this planet, until the land of Joseph
is purified and the people of God return and go back with pure hearts
and contrite spirits to Jackson County, according to the words of the
servants of God, and build the great Temple of the Lord, according to
the words of the Prophet Joseph.
Well, here we are, a free people. We are at liberty to go out in the
defense of Zion, which we never could do before. The Elders have been
to the nations, and besought the people to repent and leave off their
wickedness, to reform, and be baptized, and be saved, crying as John
the Baptist did, "The kingdom of heaven is at hand."
Had the nations opened the door to the servants of God to freely
preach among them, before this time the Gospel would have been sounded
in every ear; and when that is done, Jesus says the end shall come.
When the olive tree begins to put forth its buds, know we that summer
is nigh. The stone that is cut out of the mountains without hands has
begun to roll, and it will fall on the feet, toes, and legs of the
image, and crush great Babylon to pieces: by its power the nations
will be broken.
I have long prayed that the Lord Almighty would destroy the nation
that gave me birth, unless the rulers thereof repent. Yes, I pray that
it may be broken to pieces and become like an old vessel that is
broken and thrown out to rot and to return to its native elements.
Let us keep the commandments of God, and all will be right. I want to
say a word in relation to our present position. It becometh you and I
to be valiant for the truth. All the Latter-day Saints have said they
are willing to stand up in defense of the cause of truth.
The old Methodists used to say, when they got up in the pulpit to
speak as I have today, that they were ready to defend Zion's cause at
any risk. They knew but little about Zion and her cause and the
principles of eternal truth. But they have been revealed and taught to
us from the stand, Sabbath after Sabbath. No people have been blessed
with the privileges of the Gospel of the Son of God as we have.
We are free, for Christ has made us free; and the Apostle says, "Whom
the Son makes free, is free indeed." If you are free by the blood of
the covenant, and have redeemed yourself by its requirements, see that
you bring no spots upon your garments; betray not your trust, but be
constant to the truth, and stand a witness for it under every
circumstance in which you may be placed.
Will the Lord give strength? Yes, and all the power, victory,
and glory we need. The Lord has courageous men and women in the last
days; and I believe there is as much courage among the women as there
is among the men. I want them to have courage enough to pray for their
husbands and sons, instead of being afraid, and not say, when one of
the brethren comes into your house, "Do you think any of the brethren
will be killed?" The Lord will dictate that; you need have no anxiety
Lorenzo Dow told the people, on a certain occasion, "You old
professors, go home and take down your Bibles that have lain on the
shelf until you can write damnation in the dust that has collected on
them, and read the old Prophets, and see what the Lord did for his
people of old." The Lord, at one time, sent forth his angel in the
time of battle and slew a hundred, fourscore-and-five thousand souls
in one night. At another time, when the people of God went forth to
battle, and they were afraid, the servant of the Lord stood before
them and encouraged them, exhorting them with words of consolation,
saying, "The Lord is at the head of his armies."
Brethren, trust not altogether in the weapons which are in your hands;
but when you fight, pray, and let your meditations be unto your God;
and the Lord will regard you, and answer your prayer, and fight your
battles, as he did in the days of the Philistines, when they defied
the armies of Israel. The Lord gives victory to his people; but we
should all the time be willing to come up to the help of the Lord
against the mighty, whenever it is necessary.
May God bless you, in the name of Jesus Christ! Amen.
- Lorenzo D. Young