It is with peculiar feelings, brethren and sisters, that I arise to
speak a few moments; and I have as good a right to apologize for
standing before you as any other man; but I have no apologies to make,
for the simple reason that I am glad of an opportunity to express in
public a few of my feelings.
I have not been with the people called Latter-day Saints as long as
some of my brethren; but I have been with this people twenty-five
years, and I have observed closely their meanderings, their toils, and
their labors. I have seen them in prosperity, but it remained only
for a short time; and I have seen them in adversity, suffering from
nakedness and hunger; and last of all, I have seen them in these
peaceful valleys, with none to harm them or make them afraid.
The ten years past have been a sabbatic year to the Church of Jesus
Christ of Latter-day Saints—a jubilee—a time of rest.
I will not go into the detail of all the scenes that the Latter-day
Saints have passed through since the organization of this Church on
the 6th of April, 1830, which most of you are acquainted with, either
by experience or by reading the history of this people. Suffice it to
say that, as a people, we have had more peace during our sojourn in
these mountains, and we have enjoyed ourselves better than ever we
did before. I believe, for one, that I have in some degree appreciated
this day of rest which I have enjoyed with you, for I have felt in my
spirit that it was a blessing to be here; and I believe that all the
Saints of God have felt this, to a certain extent.
The Lord showed this place unto his servants, the First Presidency of
this Church, and the few pioneers who accompanied them; and from that
day to the present I have involuntarily felt like shouting, "Glory!
Hallelujah!" Yes, I have felt this, and feel it now.
Is this because I am now more courageous than I was fifteen or twenty
years ago? No. It is because, with you, I have prayed, hundreds of
times, that we might enjoy the freedom of the sons of God; and I can
now behold the faint glimmerings of the dawn of that day when the
Saints will be free to serve their God and go forth untrammeled in
the accomplishment of his purposes, in the building up of his kingdom,
and in the establishment of righteousness in the earth.
Have we not great cause for rejoicing in the prospects before us? If we
love truth more than error, virtue more than vice, honor and
integrity more than baseness and degradation, then surely our hearts
will be glad and our souls will rejoice in the God of our
salvation, that we live and are engaged in a work which will result in
the final extinction of wickedness and abomination from the earth.
Within the last twelve months I have seen this people become more
humble and prayerful, and I have seen them renew their covenants; I
have seen them make restoration and restitution, and give the pledge
of their sincerity and integrity; and I have seen the Spirit of the
Lord poured out upon them. This also gives me exceeding joy; it
affords me comfort and sweet consolation.
Do I see this good spirit continue to manifest itself among the
people? Yes, I do. We have wise men to stand at the head to lead and
guide us. The Lord God of Abraham, by the revelation of his Holy
Spirit, guides the ship in which we sail. "Is this true?" says one.
Yes, it is. Does the Lord acknowledge us as his people? Yes, he does.
How long will he continue to do so? Just so long as we continue to be
his faithful children—just so long as we continue to fulfil our
covenants with the Lord our God and to one another.
Should any man cherish the spirit of war and the spirit of revenge in
his bosom, and feel that he wants to go out and fight and tear down
everything before him? The man who feels this does not feel as I do. No:
my feelings and the feelings of the people of God should always be
Our nerves should not be so unstrung at any time as Sidney Rigdon's
were, when he picked up his spyglass to look at General Clark's army,
and could not hold the glass still enough to see anything. We must
quiet our nerves and always be cool and deliberate.
Is there safety for us, unless we trust in the Lord? No. There is no
other refuge. He is our only shield and protector. The Lord fought the
battles of his people in ancient times, and he can do it again.
Is it the people in the Territory of Utah that our enemies are and
have been contending with? No: they are contending against the Lord
of Hosts—against the kingdom of God, the Priesthood of the Most High.
Is it the United States alone that are arrayed against the kingdom of
God and his Priesthood? No; but it is the whole empire of Satan's
kingdom—even the whole world.
We do not go into the United States alone to preach the Gospel; but we
go everywhere upon the face of the whole earth—to every continent and
island—to every nation and tongue.
The confusion and wickedness of which we speak are not in the United
States only; but they are in every place on the earth, excepting this,
which is Zion, so far as we are the pure in heart.
We have not to go particularly to one place or nation to find
opposition and the spirit to persecute and destroy this people. It is
in every place; for this kingdom has to contend with the powers of
earth and hell. Is the Lord able to bring his cause to a successful
issue? He is, most assuredly.
I tell you, brethren and sisters, and I want to impress it on your
minds, that the stay and the staff of Israel are in the holy
Priesthood that is vested in the First Presidency and in the body of
the people. We are not to trust in the arm of flesh, but we are to
trust on the strength of Israel's God, and live so that our conduct
will warrant us a confidential application to Him in the hour of
Can we trust in the man whom God has ordained and appointed to lead
his people? Yes, we can trust in him as God's agent and
representative, through whom we may know his will concerning us; and
by faithfully following his instructions, he will lead us in
the way of everlasting life. If we do this, though we may suffer the
loss of all that we possess on the earth, and even lay down our mortal
bodies for the Gospel's sake, God will reward us in this world an
hundredfold, and in that which is to come he will crown us with
Brethren, let us individually—yea, let every man and woman, every
Bishop, every Elder, every High Priest, every Deacon, and every member
of the Church of Jesus Christ stand firm for the cause of God in their
place and station. Let every man who has a family preside over that
family as a man of God; and if he has no more to preside over than old
Henry Sherwood had, when Captain Clark asked him who he presided over,
and he answered that he presided over himself and his wife—let him do
it in love and mercy and righteousness before God.
I was in Kirtland, I was in Far West, and in Davis County; and my
feelings are just the same today as they were when brother Hyrum
Smith announced that brother Joseph was in bonds, and that we were all
prisoners, and required to give up our arms. I said that I would
rather die a free man than submit to such tyranny. I am a valiant man,
you know, when I am a long way from danger.
May God bless us, and bless all Israel in the tops of the mountains
and everywhere else, and make them our friends, is my prayer, in the
name of Jesus Christ. Amen.
- Lorenzo D. Young