I wish to deliver a short discourse, which may, perhaps, become a
lengthy one before the close of this Conference.
I will now give the text, and probably shall call upon the brethren to
fill out the sermon. I do not know that I can refer you to the Bible
for the particular chapter and verse, to find the text; but the text
may be given here, and the book referred to hereafter.
The text is the Right of Heirship. I will, however, make an addition
to the Scripture before I proceed further with my remarks, and say,
The Right of Heirship in the Priesthood; for unquestionably this will
be connected with the text and brought into the discourse.
In the little that I shall say, I will endeavor to point out the
items of doctrine and the right view to be contemplated and spoken
upon by the brethren; for I wish this subject to be properly
Pertaining to the kingdom of God, to this earth, to the organization
of it, to the bringing forth of the children of men upon it, to the
preparatory Gospel or law to fit and prepare them, after receiving
their tabernacles, to enter again into the presence of their Father
and God, this heirship, this right did belong, still belongs,
and forever will belong to the firstborn son in every family of
This is understood from the Bible, not only by the Latter-day Saints,
but also by the Christian world. Jesus Christ, first begotten of the
Father, of all the rest of the children, and of all they possess,
alone is the lawful heir. This is no mystery.
After passing over the ages and generations of the children of men for
about six thousand years, we will come to the present congregation and
say the right of heirship is the same now that it was in the
beginning. It is as it was and as it ever will be, worlds without end.
This I wish the Latter-day Saints to understand a little better than
they have heretofore. I will give you my reason.
For instance, there are sisters in this Church that have been bereaved
of their husbands, who died full of faith in the holy Gospel and full
of hope for a glorious resurrection to eternal life. One of them is
visited by a High Priest, of whom she seeks information touching her
situation and that of her husband. At the same time, the woman has a
son twenty-five years of age, who is an Elder in one of the Quorums of
Seventies, and faithful in all the duties connected with his calling.
She has also other sons and daughters. She asks this High Priest what
she shall do for her husband, and he very religiously says to her,
"You must be sealed to me, and I will bring up your husband, stand as
proxy for him, receive his endowments and all the sealing, keys, and
blessings, and eternal Priesthood for him, and be the father of your
Hear it ye mothers! The mother that does that barters away the sacred
right of her son. Does she know it? No. This has been done in hundreds
of instances, though innocently and in ignorance, which makes it
excusa ble. For my own part, I am willing to wink at the ignorance of
the people, and I believe our heavenly Father is.
But you that will hear and be made to understand the true principles
that govern this matter, go from this place and do hereafter as has
been done in bygone days; and instead of the children being robbed of
their just rights, the woman shall lose her children, and they shall
yet stand in their place and be put in the possession of their rights.
What is to be done? Let mothers honor their children. If a woman has
a son, let her honor that son.
But a mother may say, "My son is only five years old. I never had but
one son among a number of daughters. I am advancing in years, and may
die before I can be sealed to my husband." Let that son wait until he
is old enough to officiate for his father; and though you may go into
your grave, let your son do his duty, and [you] never hang to the
skirts of a man that is avaricious.
You may see a great many miserly persons with regard to dollars and
cents. It is just as natural for men to be miserly with regard to
their religious blessings. You may see hundreds of Elders who say to
the sisters, "Come and be sealed to me," crawling round to make the
holy ordinances of God a matter of speculation to administer to their
avaricious dispositions. They will tell you that you will go into
eternity and find yourselves without husbands, and cannot get an
exaltation—that you cannot have this, that, or the other, unless you
are sealed to them. I am free, and so are you. My advice to the
sisters is, Never be sealed to any man unless you wish to be. I say to
you High Priests and Elders, Never from this time ask a woman to be
sealed to you, unless she wants to be; but let the widows and children
I will refer you to a discourse I delivered here last season
upon the subject of the resurrection and the millennium, setting forth
before the people the work to be accomplished in that period of time.
We have at least one thousand years, counting three hundred and
sixty-five days, five hours, forty-eight minutes, and fifty-seven
seconds to the year, if I recollect right, wherein the Elders of
Israel will enter holy temples of the Lord and officiate for just such
persons as you and I, that have done the work we were called to do in
our day, whether it was much or little. There will be hundreds of
thousands of the sons of Jacob to administer in these temples for you
and me. Joseph, Hyrum, father Smith, and many others will be there to
dictate and preside. Joseph will stand at the head of this
dispensation and hold the keys of it, for they are not taken from him:
they never were in time; they never will be in eternity. I shall be
there if I live or if I die. If I die, my brethren or my children will
officiate for me. I shall lose nothing through death. Magnify your
calling in this Church, and I will warrant you an exaltation just as
good and as great as you can ask for.
I might notice many more items pertaining to this matter; but the
Elders going round telling the sisters they must be sealed to them, or
they cannot get an exaltation, particularly has wounded my feelings.
How ignorant such men are! This to me is like a shadow. To talk about
it is sheer nonsense. Let every man and woman magnify their calling in
the kingdom of God, and he will take care that we have our
Sisters come to me and inquire what they shall do, saying, Brother A
or B taught me so and so. They are as wild as the deer on the
mountains. Their ideas and calculations are derogatory to every shade
of good sound sense and to every principle of the Priesthood of
Brethren, learn to be patient and submissive to your duty and callings
in life, and not be anxious to accumulate to yourselves that which,
when you have obtained, you are at a loss to know what to do with.
There are scores of men in this house that, if they could pile up an
almost unlimited amount of gold, in a short time would not possess one
dime of it. There are also scores of Elders here who, if they had five
hundred women sealed to them and a thousand children, would destroy
themselves and those over whom they exercise any influence. They would
not know what to do with them. You want to have another wife: but do
you use well the one you have got? It is a bad omen to me when a man
wants another wife, and the one he has got is ready to leave him. If
you cannot keep the jewel you already possess, be cautious how you
take more, lest you lose them both.
I did not design to speak long, as it hurts me. I think I have laid
out the text before the brethren plain enough for them to preach upon
it. I wish them so to exhibit the subject before the people, that they
may carry it away in their understandings.
Let me hear no more of this "You must be sealed to me, or you cannot
get an exaltation." If a man gets the widow of a good man, sealed,
married to him, with a view to hold control over and rob every child
in that family of their birthright, he will be mistaken. It will not
be. I say to you, my brethren, young men, you Elders, Rise up and
magnify your calling, honor the Priesthood; and if a man has stepped
up and married your mother under the influence of such an expectation,
TURN HIM OUT OF YOUR HOUSE, AND MAINTAIN YOUR BIRTHRIGHT.