You have all heard the remarks and sentiments of brother Wells. His
exhortations are very good; they will make you and every soul who
obeys them free, because truth is life, and life is light.
I do not believe there is a man here today but what knows that the
doctrine taught today is truth. It is the word of God—the revelations
of Jesus Christ to every one that hears, and salvation to all who
yield obedience to it and carry it out practically. Your faith without
works is vain. The religion which you and I believe in requires us to
live by its precepts—to be Saints in very deed. It is life, joy, and
peace to those who practice it, and condemnation to those who despise
Brother Wells has made some excellent remarks on the practice of
drinking liquors. The results of this evil are seen everywhere; but to
say that it leads to all manner of evils would be as far out of the
way as the saying that the love of money is the root of all evil; for
there are hundreds of men in the world that do not drink a drop, and
they are as full of wickedness as any men upon the face of the earth.
Drinking liquor is a habit you may easily become habituated to:
drinking one dram creates an appetite for a second. It is just so with
a man who commences telling lies: he commences with a little childish
lie, believing that it will do no harm, and so he continues on until
he becomes an habituated liar. These things become habits, and men
bend their minds to them by degrees. The same may be said of stealing:
persons addicted to stealing first began by stealing some trifling
thing—perhaps a halfpenny or a penny; from that they get to a
picayune, sixpence, and a dollar, and they then become habitual
thieves. I could mention many things that we as a people permit
ourselves to do.
Some will tattle about their neighbors, and they will be very busy at
what we call backbiting, or, more properly speaking, telling lies.
These are evils that will eventually lead a man down to death.
People may say there is no sin in stealing from an unbeliever; but I
tell you that the man who will do it will, if I let him have the
chance, steal from me; and such a course will lead them down to death
and destruction. And I now prophesy that the day will come when the
man who will do this will become poor, and be a vagabond upon the
earth; and probably it may affect his children, if they partake of the
These are my sentiments, in the presence of God, angels, and men.
Brethren, these very men who lie and steal will try to hide their own
sins by saying that the Presidency both do this and sanction it. God
will curse all who say such things, and all Israel will say Amen. If I
knew that I must draw my last breath in ten minutes from now, I should still know that I am telling the truth. There are many of
these characters of whom I am speaking, who do not drink any liquor at
all; and then, again, we know that there are many who do indulge.
Every murder that has been committed in this Territory has been done
under the influence of liquor; and I will here remark that the most of
them have been men who deserved to die; and, furthermore, I think it
would be quite as well if there were a great many more on the same
Brother Wells has truly remarked that the world and all hell combined
cannot stop this great and mighty work. This is the Church of Jesus
Christ of Latter-day Saints, established by revelation from heaven;
and of this I feel proud to bear testimony.
So far as the world are concerned, I care no more about them than I do
about the snow that is upon the ground, except they repent and obey
the Gospel. They cannot effect anything one way or the other.
Brother Wells states that all the trouble and annoyances he fears are
those that may arise among ourselves. I wish to see these things
cultivated in the hearts of the people, or rather stored up for
cultivation. The question was asked, Whence is all this sorrow and
pain? These things arise from men and women who profess to be
Latter-day Saints. This I consider one of the most irritating and
tormenting things upon this earth.
Saints, rise up to the dignity of men and women in Christ Jesus, do
right, learn to be men, learn to lay aside every bad practice, cease
your drinking, and put away everything else that is evil. Let us be
one; let us try and live so that all will be as one man, or one drop
of water, and thus partake of each other's principles and attributes,
and of the attributes of God, that angels may be our associates by
night and by day.
If this people will take this course, and live their religion in all
things, I can prophesy in the name of Israel's God that you will never
have to fire a gun, for the Lord will send his angels to do the work
of destruction among the wicked. The Almighty will lead the wicked as
a man leads a horse, at pleasure. Brethren, why don't you live your
religion, magnify your callings, and honor God in all things you do
and say? Be humble and prayerful; be faithful to your duties at all
I am speaking plainly to you: you may perhaps call it scolding, but I
am speaking of unrighteous practices—such as will bring trouble upon
you, and a final dissolution. Tell me of a man that understands what
has been said here this afternoon, who does not know this as well as I
do? Why do I say this? Because here is light, knowledge, and
revelation handed to you every Sabbath by President Young and others.
This is plain and easy to be understood by all the Saints who have
been here and partaken of the words of life that have been dispensed
to the people for the last few years.
I have pride in the improvement that I see among the people, and I
have great satisfaction in seeing my family do right, living an humble
life, and setting an example that is worthy of imitation. I am also
proud of the industry that I behold around me, in seeing the people
making their own clothing. In this my family greatly improve, and I
delight in it, for it is setting a good example before my children. I
delight in seeing my children temperate, and it would please me more
if they would not touch liquor at all. Then my sons would be
honorable and filled with the power of God, and that would be the
height of my ambition, to see my sons and daughters walking in the way
of life and salvation, my sons becoming kings and priests of
the Most High, and my daughters becoming mothers in Israel, like unto
Abraham, Moses, Sarah, and Rebecca of old.
You might suppose that I am proud of this coat or any other clothing
that I wear, like many people in this Church who make dress their god.
It is true, when I am kept warm by wearing good clothes, that I feel
comfortable and thankful; but I do not set my heart upon clothes; and
I would like to see you Elders of Israel act upon the same
principle—to be honorable and upright in all things. I would like to
see every soul of you doing right and carrying with you a holy
influence. I feel as honorable, and yet as humble, as if I were in
the presence of God and his holy angels.
There are some of our people who do not believe that angels have
anything to do with us; but I can tell you that angels are here
today. Who are they? They are men who hold the same Priesthood as
President Young and his brethren. They are engaged in this work
individually and collectively. They are the characters who watch over
you Seventies and Elders: they want to save you and bear you off
victoriously. I know this, for they have been with me and administered
If we are faithful, the victory will be ours; and all the combined
powers of the wicked nations of the earth, aided by all the devils
from the infernal regions, cannot remove this people out of their
present location, neither can they stay the progress of the work in
which we are engaged; but it is the wickedness that will rise up in
the Church that will cause us trouble. It is now as it was in the days
of Jesus and the Prophets. We read in the Book of Mormon that the
Gadianton robbers came down from the mountains—they robbed, plundered,
and in many instances slew the Saints. I can tell you, brethren and
sisters, that we have similar characters in these mountains, who are
making pretty rapid progress in preparing to destroy this people. This
I know to my sorrow.
When we take hold of men in this kingdom, we want to make something of
them: in many instances they are dishonest, and we cannot do much with
them. But in regard to the people of the world, I do not trouble much
about them: they do not live the religion of Jesus Christ—they do not
profess to live it, but they think that we are all fools for following
Joseph Smith and Brigham Young. We know our religion is true—we
profess to live its principles; but if we turn against it, we have
more knowledge, and hence more power to operate against it.
You have frequently heard of brother Hyde, brother Russell, and myself
being afflicted with devils in England. There were legions of them
came upon us and sought to destroy us: but we were not alone; our
guardian angels were there to assist us, and they delivered us out of
the danger, and out of the power of our enemies.
Brethren, be of good cheer, lift up your heads and your hearts in
purity before God, and rejoice in the strength of the Holy One of
Israel, for the wicked shall not overcome, but we will ride off
victoriously and sing songs of praise and triumph.
The day will come when the Lord our God will empty the earth of all
her wicked inhabitants, for he is going to cleanse this earth from
wickedness and prepare it for the abode of the righteous; and you may
rest assured that it will take a tremendous shaking and an
unprecedented great fire to purify this earth ready for the Saints of
May the Lord bless you all, brethren and sisters, and all the faithful
and righteous Saints that live upon the earth, that they may be
prepared for the coming of the Lord Jesus, is my prayer. Amen.
- Heber C. Kimball