Brethren and sisters, I will occupy a short time, and then give way
for others who may wish to address you.
We are trying to be Saints, and intend to keep trying. We are for the
kingdom of God, and are not going to the moon, nor to any other planet
pertaining to this solar system; but are determined to have a heaven
here, and are going to make it our selves, by the help of God and his
angels. We have been traditionated that when we were prepared to be
saved, we ought then to pass from this stage of existence, and that
then we never would have anything more to do with this earth; for all
our connections and associations with it, as pertaining to this life,
also passed away, and we should see and know nothing about it
in the future. This is not according to the design, as we believe, of
God and his providences and works. It is not the work of the Lord to
organize an earth and destroy it. That is not the system he has
devised. His plan is to organize an earth, people it with intelligent
beings, present to them the principles of eternal life, and bestow
upon them the keys thereof, that they may be able to prepare
themselves to dwell to all eternity, and to bring forth their increase
to dwell with them. This our belief.
When the light of the Gospel came, truth sprang out of the ground, and
the heavens were opened. The plan by which God works is rational, and
meets the capacity of his children. This earth is the home he has
prepared for us, and we are to prepare ourselves and our habitations
for the celestial glory in store for the faithful. None will be
destroyed except those who receive the oracles of truth and reject
them. None are condemned except those who have the privilege of
receiving the words of eternal life and refuse to receive them.
From Adam to the least and last of his posterity, none will be
condemned and suffer as we were taught in our youth. The Christian
world teach that the heathen and everybody else, except a few
belonging to the Catholic church, the Church of England, or some of
the orthodox sects of the day, are to be cast into a lake of fire and
brimstone. The Bible teaches that the wicked will be turned into hell,
with all the nations that forget God. That is true. How many nations
do you think have forgotten him? The Lord will save all, except those
who have the privilege of life everlasting and reject it.
What is our duty? To promote the kingdom of God on the earth. Every
person that confines his thoughts and labors to happifying his own
family and immediate friends will come far short of performing the
duties devolving upon him. Every sentiment and feeling should be to
cleanse the earth from wickedness, to purify the people, sanctify the
nations, gather the nations of Israel home, redeem and build up Zion,
redeem Jerusalem and gather the Jews there, and establish the reign
and kingdom of God on the earth. Let that be the heart's desire and
labor of every individual every moment.
I am extremely happy, and my joy increases according to my
understanding and the sensibility God has given me, that this people,
called Latter-day Saints, are improving—that they improve every year,
and increase in the knowledge and understanding of the dealings and
providences of God, and understand themselves more and better. You may
ask, "How do you know this?" Because it is before me, and plain to be
seen. True, there are some rude persons within our borders, and too
much stealing is carried on. How is it with you? Are you in the
stock-driving business? Do any of you belong to the class of
marauders, pilferers, drunkards, or swearers? The very great majority
of this people are striving to improve themselves before their God and
their brethren. The wicked seek to destroy the kingdom of God, and it
is for us to build it up, and promote righteousness upon the earth.
When we do this, we shall promote honesty in all our conduct and
As we increase in understanding we shall increase our efforts to adorn
our minds, our families, our possessions, and our neighborhoods, and
seek to promote every pure, holy, graceful, and delightful principle,
custom, habit, or whatever else pertaineth to correct human conduct.
This will increase the Spirit of life in the people, and will make the
aged beautiful as well as the young. Without the Spirit of
truth, without the Spirit of Christ, people will become hateful and
disagreeable, or what the English term ugly, and the Yankees, homely;
or, as others express it, ordinary looking. The Spirit of truth
beautifies and lights with intelligence an otherwise forbidding
countenance. We need it to beautify both the body and mind.
I do not see much, if any, improvement in this settlement during the
past three years. True, you lost time and labor in moving south; but
if you labor all your lives, and God does not bless your labors,
they are in vain. He can give you possessions and great wealth, as he
gave Job. In a short time he added to Job much more than he had even
previously possessed. If your hearts are pure and holy, the Lord can
in a short time restore to your settlement fourfold.
How many times have I asked the Latter-day Saints what they could do
with regard to building the New Jerusalem? Suppose the word were to
come to us that Jesus had appointed a certain time in which he would
again visit this earth, and that he wanted a place prepared for him;
or the command, "Go forth, ye Latter-day Saints, and begin to build
the New Jerusalem, and prepare to receive the city of Enoch that will
come down out of the heaven;" where is the man competent to go and
collect stone fit to lay in the first tier of the foundation of the
walls of that city? To judge from their improvements, there is hardly
a man capable of judiciously directing the labor of even two
men—hardly a man that can properly erect a gristmill or a building
for carding machines. Where are your useful machinery, your beautiful
habitations your fertile gardens, your lovely walks, and magnificent
palaces? You may reply, "We are not going to stop here, but are going
to the Center Stake of Zion," and so you pass on in comparative
inactivity, and attempt only to build log houses or mud shanties. If
you had the spirit of your calling, you would be anxious to build the
best houses you could, and make the best gardens, fields, and
vineyards, though you knew that you would not enjoy them one day after
they were completed.
I will here quote the words of the Savior—"And I say unto you, Make
to yourselves friends of the mammon of unrighteousness; that, when ye
fail, they may receive you into everlasting habitations. He that is
faithful in that which is least is faithful also in much: and he that
is unjust in the least is unjust also in much. If therefore ye have
not been faithful in the unrighteous mammon, who will commit to your
trust the true riches? And if ye have not been faithful in that which
is another man's, who shall give you that which is your own?" Now, he
that is unfaithful in building a house, or in making a garden, an
orchard, a farm, or in beautifying what is in his possession, who will
commit to that man or people the great things of the kingdom of God
that are to be attained on this earth?
I cannot preach upon the words quoted more effectually than I do in
building, improving, and occupying upon the talent God has given to
me. If it is ability to dictate the making of a road, dictate it, or
make it as others dictate. Where is the man that made a road in a
canyon as it should be made, until I dictated it? Men go into canyons
and drive up and down hills where it requires six horses to haul up or
hold back an empty wagon, and break their animals' legs, and kill men
and boys. Who has broken wagons on roads that I have dictated? No
one. In such canyons persons soon save more in cattle, wagons, time,
and labor, than the roads cost. Why do not the rest of the brethren
I know how to build a meetinghouse—how to place the first and last
stone and piece of board, and how to put on the first and last touch
of paint. I know how to build a mill and put the machinery in it, and
I intend to keep improving as long as I live. There are mechanical
branches that I do not understand, but I am constantly trying to
learn. Should I live—and I would not then be a very old man—to hear
the command, "Return and build the Center Stake of Zion," I intend to
know how to build it.
You may say, "If you know all about it, there is no necessity for our
learning anything concerning it." We cannot be in every place; and
though we could, every man, woman, and child should improve as rapidly
as possible. Parents should know how to teach their children, women
should learn to make the most beautiful cloth, and men should become
skilled in raising sheep, and in the improvement of all kinds of
stock, and in making all kinds of useful machinery. It is said we are
yet young. True; but we ought to, at least, make a beginning. Not one
woman in ten, that I ever saw, thoroughly understands keeping a house.
Why do not women learn to be housekeepers? They may reply—"Brother
Brigham, if you will teach us, we will keep our houses according to
your instructions." I could go into your houses and tell you item by
item. Your husbands may furnish fine furniture and glass and
chinaware, and some of you suffer your children to mar and break it.
Give children such playthings as they cannot break, and with which
they cannot hurt themselves. Were I now to go into one of your houses,
perhaps I should hear the mistress inquiring for the dishcloth; but
Sal does not know where it is: the last she saw of it little Abraham
or Joe was playing with it outdoors. Where is the milk pail? Turned
bottomside up on the hogpen.
What I say of housewives will fully apply to farmers and mechanics. I
labored many years as a mechanic, and in the darkest night I could
put my hand upon any tool I used. You may call this boasting, but it
is not. It is merely mentioning the order in which I kept my shop.
When a farmer has done with his ploughs, he should put them under
shelter until they are again wanted. When harness is taken off, it
should be so hung up that you can go at any time of night and find it,
or a saddle, bridle, saddle blanket, or any other trapping, and be
ready at once, without a hostile Indian's being able to see you, or
being made aware of your preparations, through your being obliged to
take a light to hunt scattered articles.
We have been toiling and delving at home, and now you see us enjoying
ourselves, without one word of discord. A week ago today we passed
this settlement, with several men, women, children, horses, mules, and
vehicles; and I ask the company whether a single person has been found
out of his place? We have traveled in order and peace,
notwithstanding our dispensing with a formal organization. "Where is
the captain of the company?" I do not know, unless I am he. We have
traveled in the order in which persons joined us, and I do not think
a rash word has been spoken by any man, woman, or child since we left
Great Salt Lake City. What does this prove? That when the law of God
is written on the hearts of a people, every person will know his
place. It proves that we are improving.
Law is for the disobedient and lawless. When a people are made free in
Christ, and come to understanding, they will know that there is a place for everybody, and everyone will seek to fill his own
place, and every hand will be reached forth to promote the kingdom of
God on the earth. Our business is not merely to prepare to go to
another planet. This is our home. We are to purify our hearts, our
habitations, our families, associations, settlements, states, and
country, until improvement circumscribes the whole earth, and
sanctifies it, and prepares it to be brought back into the presence of
our Father and God.
When your eyes are open, you will see that this earth has fallen from
the glory and presence of the Father, to pass through certain ordeals,
together with the people upon it. And by and by, when Jesus reigns and
rules King of nations, he will say to his Father—"Here is my work!
Here are my brethren! Here is my redemption—the fruit of my labor! I
have ceased not to contend with the Enemy until I have put him under
my feet. I have destroyed death, and him that has the power of death."
You work hard. Study to apply your labor to advantage, and you will
accomplish much more, without wearing yourselves out so fast. If you
have to roll a log, cut down a tree, etc., study how to take advantage
of the work. Contrive to accomplish your work with the least
expenditure of strength.
You have rich land, good water, a pure atmosphere, and one of the
pleasantest locations in the Territory. Adorn your houses and your
city. I marvel to see you contented to live as you do. I have passed
much of my life in a log house, but do I like bedbugs and darkness?
No. I love light. Were I obliged to live in a log house, I would have
it plastered and whitewashed, that it might be neat and pleasant.
Study order and cleanliness in your various occupations. Adorn your
city and neighborhood. Make your homes lovely, and adorn your hearts
with the grace of God.
May the Lord bless you. Amen.