If this people will live up to their profession—that is, every Elder,
High Priest, Teacher, Apostle, and every person in the Church of Jesus
Christ of Latter-day Saints, they never will be troubled; that is, we
shall never be under the necessity of shedding much of the blood of
our enemies. You have heard me say often that I do not believe God
designs that we should delight in shedding blood.
In a revelation which God gave to Joseph Smith, he says, "It is not
pleasing in my sight for man to shed blood of beasts, or of fowls,
except in times of excess of hunger and famine." Go and read it for
yourselves. If he is not well pleased with us when we shed the blood
of beasts when we have no need of it, would it not be much more
displeasing to him were we to shed the blood of man unnecessarily? It
is not the Spirit of God that leads a man or woman to shed blood—to
desire to kill and slay. When the time comes that we have need to shed
blood, then it will be necessary we should do it, and it will be just
as innocent as to go and kill an ox when we are hungry or in the time
Brother George A. referred to one revelation where the Lord says, "It
is my business to provide for my Saints." Some people rest assured
that God is going to open the heavens and rain down manna, or send the
nations of the Gentiles in here and let us take the spoil, because he
has said he will provide for his Saints in the last days.
Many have not even planted a peach tree, an apple tree, a plum tree,
nor a currant bush in their gardens. There are many gardens, within
half-a-mile of this Tabernacle, destitute of fruit trees of any kind.
And again, you may see many city lots that are not cultivated nor
planted with corn, wheat, potatoes, or any other vegetable; but the
people who own them expect that God is going to provide for them
without their cooperation.
I will ask you a question, you that have not raised even a kernel of
grain on your gardens. What is the reason of this? Is it not because
you have not planted it? You have not had a peach nor an apple. Why?
Because you have not planted the trees; and do you ever expect to? No,
not while the earth stands, water runs, and grass grows. Such people
never will be provided with these necessaries, except some other man
Here is the earth, the air, the water, and you have been
exhorted to cultivate these valleys and raise grain, and provide for
yourselves individually and collectively. But, say you, God said to
Joseph, "It is my business to provide for my Saints in the last days."
"Behold, it is said in my laws, or forbidden, to get in debt to thine
enemies; But behold, it is not said at any time that the Lord should
not take when he please, and pay as seemeth him good. Wherefore, as ye
are agents, and ye are on the Lord's errand; and whatever ye do
according to the will of the Lord is the Lord's business. And he hath
set you to provide for his saints in these last days, that they may
obtain an inheritance in the land of Zion. And behold, I, the Lord,
declare unto you, and my words are sure and shall not fail, that they
shall obtain it. But all things must come to pass in their time.
Wherefore, be not weary in well-doing, for ye are laying the foundation
of a great work. And out of small things proceedeth that which is
great." —Doc. & Cov., sec. xxi. par. 6.
We have been driven from our native land and birthplace, many of us,
and God has brought us into these rich valleys, and says he, "Go to
and cultivate, and raise grain, and provide for yourselves seven
years' provisions." That is the way he is going to provide for you—to
tell you, like a good father tells his sons, how to provide for
yourselves. "Here I will provide land for you, and seed," &c. Now, go
to and cultivate the soil, increase the seed, and provide for your
wants. Now, that is good logic—good reasoning: it is not vain
In this congregation there are hundreds of men who have not a mouthful
to eat, only as they get it from their neighbors from day to day, or
from week to week; and if others had not gone to and raised
provisions, they would have perished, every one of them, for a
temporal subsistence. Is God going to rain down manna? He will not do
it until we are brought into circumstances to require it. Will he
remove a mountain? No—not until the house of Israel are brought into
such straitened circumstances that there is no way for their escape,
except God removes a mountain for their deliverance.
The Lord says, "In the last days it is my business to fight the
battles of my Saints." If it is his business, he will take his
children to do it; and we are his children. You may think that comes
right in contact with the revelations of Jesus Christ; but it is not
so. Why does our President, our Governor, order out three thousand men
to be in the mountains? To fulfil your prayers. What do you pray for?
"O Lord," say you, "I ask thee, in the name of Jesus Christ, to hedge
up the way of our enemies, that they may never come here." We had to
send some three thousand men to fulfil your prayers. Who is going to
fight the battles of the Lord, if not his people? They have got to
stand in defense of this kingdom and Church of God in the last days.
If our enemies are prevented from coming here, they are prevented
because of the Saints of God. Would they have been prevented from
coming here if our brethren had not gone out there and hedged up their
way? God will take his few valiant servants in the last days, and
with them use up the world and bring every kingdom and dominion into
subjection to the kingdom of God.
Do you suppose you are going to sit here on your seats and in your
habitations, and never step forth to the help of the Lord? Nearly one
year ago, the last who came in with handcarts were brought in out of
the mountains. Would they have been in our cities and congregation
today, had we not gone out and brought them in? Through our
faith and works they were saved from death; and many of them have
brought forth sons and daughters unto God in the valleys of the
mountains. Would they have done this if we had not stepped forth and
manifested our faith by our works in delivering them from death?
I think there is a Scripture somewhere that says, "By your works you
are justified;" and again, "Obedience is better than sacrifice." It is
the works that God expects. I may have faith as much as I please, and
sit in my house and keep my boys at home, and exhort this people to
stay at home; but will that hedge off the way of our enemies? No.
Will our enemies come here? No, except we let them. God gives us that
privilege. We have the right to let them in here or keep them out; and
we choose to keep them out, and we shall do it by the help of God, and
we shall prevail over every nation, tongue, and people; and every
president, king, governor, judge, and every Latter-day Saint that lift
their hands against this Church and kingdom shall be confounded and
frustrated in their attempts. What! A Saint do this? Yes, a Saint that
turns back unto the Devil takes into his tabernacle the worst spirits,
which make him many times worse than he was at the first.
When pigs are washed in soapsuds, they look clean, and you would
think them almost nice enough to live in the house; but no sooner have
you washed them than they will go into the nastiest mudhole they can
find and muddy themselves all over from head to foot. Now, do they not
look worse than before they were washed? It is just so with you, when
you turn from your righteousness: you are worse than before you
entered into the Church of Christ.
Make your preparations this present season to go to and cultivate the
soil, and raise everything you can, and then we shall have plenty. We
have done the best we can; and if our enemies come upon us, God will
throw them into our power, and they will become subject to us. "Now,"
says the Lord, "Take that spoil and consecrate it unto my people." The
Lord will provide for his Saints when necessary, and in his own way.
Are these things interesting to you, brethren? They are what you have
to do, every man of you that belongs to the house of Israel. Are there
goats in our midst? Bless your souls, if there were not, there would
be more diseases than there now are. It is said that goats, because of
their strong smell, have power over diseases. Take a little
assafoetida and put it on a child's stomach, and certain contagious
diseases will not come unto it, probably because the assafoetida
stinks so much worse than anything else.
I do not say there are many goats now. There is, however, one goat—I
do not know whether it is in the congregation or not. His face is
longer than Lorenzo Dow's; and when you see such a man as that, you
may know who I mean. Amen.
- Heber C. Kimball