I have been much gratified to hear the remarks of brother Turley. And
I was exceedingly pleased to see him this morning. I naturally love
him, for he is a true man. He is as true as gold that has a little
dross in it. There is a good deal of the true metal in him. We all,
more or less, partake of the world and the flesh and the Devil, and
that is the dross which is in us.
Brother Brigham has given us a text upon oneness; and, in support of
it, I would quote another portion of the words of Jesus when he says,
"I am the true vine, and my Father is the husbandman:" that is, he
sprang from his Father, and was trained and nursed by him. "Every
branch in me that beareth not fruit he taketh away: and every branch
that beareth fruit, he purgeth it, that it may bring forth more fruit.
Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself,
except it abide in the vine; no more can ye, except ye abide in me. I
am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him,
the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing."
How is it possible for us to exist as true disciples of Christ without
partaking of his attributes and the attributes of the Father? If a
limb abide in the tree, and the tree in the root, they are one. Upon
the same principle, the Father, his Son Jesus Christ, and his
disciples are one. The Father gave up his Son to be sacrificed for the
sins of the world, that he might draw all men unto him. "Greater love
hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.
And ye are my friends, if ye do whatsoever I command you."
He called Apostles—Peter, James, John, and nine others, and committed
unto them the keys of his salvation. He says to them—"Ye have not
chosen me, but I have chosen you, and ordained you, that ye should go
and bring forth fruit, and that your fruit should remain: that
whatsoever ye shall ask of the Father in my name, he may give it
you." Jesus Christ is the heir of the Father pertaining to this world,
and we are his brethren.
Peter, James, and John committed the same keys to Joseph Smith in this
last dispensation, and he committed them to his Twelve Apostles before
his martyrdom, Brigham Young presiding over them, who is now our
Prophet and leader, and holds the keys of the kingdom of God on the
earth in the last days; and he will hold them forever; and Joseph
holds those keys in the spirit world, and will continue to hold
them—President Young holding them in connection with him, and every
other man in his order and standing in this Church holding
them in connection with President Young.
Again, Jesus says, "If a man abide not in me, he is cast forth as a
branch, and is withered; and men gather them, and cast them into the
fire, and they are burned." It is the nourishment which flows from the
true vine that preserves all those who remain in the vine, giving them
eternal life. A branch that remains in the vine cannot be burned, but
it endureth forever.
You expect our leader, his Council, the Twelve Apostles, and the
Bishops to honor their callings because they are your leaders; but
they are under no more responsibility to honor their calling, abide
in the vine, and live their religion faithfully, than other
departments of the Priesthood are. Unfaithfulness would lead to their
destruction just as quick as it would lead to yours. It is necessary
we should be one, as the branches are one in the vine, that we may
partake of the nourishment that cometh from the Father, through the
Son and the Holy Ghost, and through the different authorities in
heaven and on earth.
I feel to thank God that the little branch that was down in San
Bernardino is on its way here; and my prayer to God is that all the
distant branches will gather themselves closer and closer together,
and unite themselves as one man; and when they have done that, in the
name of Israel's God, we can rise above the world, the flesh, and the
Devil; for they can then have nothing in common with us. Let us be one
in principle, one in righteousness, one in heart and action, seeking
in all the pursuits of our lives the chief interest of the kingdom of
God; and in doing this we seek the individual interest of the whole,
doing unto one another as we would wish others to do unto us under
like circumstances; for upon this practice hang the law and the
Prophets. Prophets and righteous men and women of all ages have clung
to these principles as perfectly as they could in the flesh. That we
may attain to the salvation they have gained, it is necessary we
should pursue the same course they pursued to gain it.
If I do not wish a man to take the advantage of me, I should not take
the advantage of him. If I do not want a man to steal from me, I
should not steal from him. If I want my neighbor to hold my property
sacred, I should hold his property sacred.
That which the world calls "Mormonism" is the kingdom of God—the
kingdom which Daniel saw; and this kingdom Joseph Smith was sent by
the Almighty to establish, with its Priesthood and authorities; and we
shall prosper exceedingly, if we cleave to it, keeping ourselves pure
It is very painful to my feelings when men who hold the holy
Priesthood in this Church set an example that is unworthy their high
calling, and would influence simple men and women to go astray.
Instead of being saviors of men, they destroy them, and will sooner
or later have to account for their conduct for the injury they have
done by an unwholesome and destructive example.
Let us wake up and keep the commandments of God more perfectly,
cleansing our hands from evil actions and our hearts from unholy
affections, keeping humble and lowly at the feet of Jesus. I find that
I have to live near unto God, exercise all the faith in my possession,
and practice all the integrity I can command. An Elder said yesterday,
"When a man goes in secret before his God, he does not act the
hypocrite; but often before men he will make a beautiful flowery
prayer, to be heard of men." When I was a Baptist, I learned some of
their prayers to deliver in public, to tickle the ears of men, and
have them say, "What a beautiful prayer that was!" I do not
feel so now; but I feel to ask my Father and God for just what I need;
and I find it very useful to say, "Father, I ask thee, in the name of
Jesus, to teach me how to pray, and inspire me to ask for the things
thou desirest to confer upon thy son." When I go before the Father in
this way, I notice I have a powerful spirit of prayer.
It has been said, "A man needs a portion of the Spirit to drive oxen."
[Voice in the stand: "Yes, a double portion of it." ] I know, as well
as I know my name is Heber C. Kimball, that a spirit of kindness in a
man will beget the same in his animal, in his child, or in persons
over whom he exercises control. The Holy Ghost in the people of God
will control not only our domestic animals, our families, our
servants, and our handmaids, but it will control the armies of men
that are in the world, the mountains, seas, streams of water,
tempests, famines, and pestilence, and every destructive power, that
they come not nigh unto us, just as much as we can keep sickness from
us by the power of faith and prayer and good works. If we live our
religion, we shall never suffer as the world suffers. We shall not be
perplexed with famine and pestilence, with the caterpillar, and other
destructive insects, which the Lord will send in the last days to
afflict the wicked.
God will sustain us, if we will sustain him and be his friends. But
how can you be his friends, except you are friends to his cause and to
his servants? You cannot find favor with your God while you are
opposed to his authority, or to the ordinances and regulations of his
This is the work and kingdom of God, and it will triumph over every
opposing foe. Joseph Smith was ordained a Prophet of the Most High.
His brother Hyrum was ordained a Prophet and Patriarch to hold the
same Priesthood his father Joseph Smith, senior, held. Brother Brigham
is Joseph Smith's successor, and holds the keys of the kingdom of
heaven; and every man who stands by him will stand while heaven and
earth shall continue, and they will never lack for the comforts of
life while the earth stands.
The Spirit of the Lord God was upon every Elder here yesterday, and my
prayer is that it may increase upon all the people. If you had a
fulness of that Spirit that President Young, brother Heber, brother
Daniel, and hundreds of others in this community have got, the sutlers
and followers of this army and these merchants would not get another
kernel of wheat from us.
I fear you will bring yourselves unto want and sorrow, to hunger and
nakedness, through your improvident and reckless procedure in relation
to your breadstuffs, and not listening to what has been told you by
your best friends. I know, as the Lord God liveth, the words which
have been spoken by our President will surely be fulfilled; for his
instructions are the words of God to this people.
I do not wish to dwell on this theme all the time; but I know
thousands of this people have not bread to subsist upon for three
months to come. In many portions of this Territory—the northern part
of it for instance, they have not enough grain to last them until
another harvest, and supply seed. Then, why do you go and dispose of
that wheat when we are threatened with a scarcity? It is written in
the New Testament, "But if any provide not for his own, and specially
for those of his own house, he hath denied the faith, and is worse
than an infidel."
"Well," says one, "that means my wife and children; and if I provide
for them, it is enough." Yes; but a man has to provide "for
his own," and especially for those of his own house. Are you not of
the family of Christ? Are you not required to provide for the
household of faith to which you belong?
If there are members of that household that have not means to step
for ward and save themselves, it is our duty to support and encourage
them, setting them an example worthy of imitation.
May God bless you. May the peace and blessing of our Father be upon
you, in connection with the whole of Israel throughout the earth.
- Heber C. Kimball