I have no desire to detain you here and weary you, for there has been
more said now than you can retain in your minds. All the items that
have been advanced by brother Young are very good. When you reflect
and take into consideration the religion of Jesus Christ, viewing it
from the beginning to the present time, you can easily see that it is
for you and I and every man upon the face of the earth to be wide
awake to our duties, to be Saints, to be righteous, virtuous, pure,
and holy men and women. It is all to be comprehended in the words of
James the Apostle. He says, "Faith without works is dead, being
Now, our position is such that we are required to manifest that which
is in us by our works. The following reasoning by the Apostle James is
excellent upon this subject—"What doth it profit, my brethren, though
a man say he hath faith, and have not works? can faith save him? If a
brother or sister be naked, and destitute of daily food, And one of you
say unto them, Depart in peace, be ye warmed and filled;
notwithstanding ye give them not those things which are needful to the
body; what doth it profit? Even so faith, if it hath not works,
is dead, being alone. Yea, a man may say, Thou hast faith, and I have
works: shew me thy faith without thy works, and I will shew thee my
faith by my works. Thou believest that there is one God; thou doest
well: the devils also believe, and tremble. But wilt thou know, O vain
man, that faith without works is dead? Was not Abraham our father
justified by works, when he had offered Isaac his son upon the altar?
Seest thou how faith wrought with his works, and by works was faith
made perfect? And the scripture was fulfilled which saith, Abraham
believed God, and it was imputed unto him for righteousness: and he
was called the Friend of God. Ye see then how that by works a man is
justified, and not by faith only. Likewise also was not Rahab the
harlot justified by works, when she had received the messengers, and had
sent them out another way? For as the body without the spirit is dead,
so faith without works is dead also." (James, chap. 2, verses 14-26.)
Can you tell me about anything that has been accomplished without
works? It matters not how much faith you have got, except you have
works with it. We read in the Book of Doctrine and Covenants that men
can accomplish much by faith; but of course that faith must be
accompanied by works. Whenever a man of God undertakes to do anything,
he does it by the power of faith and works. Upon this principle the
Lord brings about his purposes, and there never was anything of any
moment accomplished upon any other principle. The Almighty has said
that in the latter days he will send forth his angels to inflict
punishment upon the wicked, and that a certain angel shall blow his
trumpet, proclaiming that time shall be no more. An angel will also be
sent forth to destroy the wicked, or, as the Scriptures say, "to reap
down the earth."
There is virtue in the words of a man of God; and when he rises to
address the people, he tells them his message plainly, commands them
to repent of their sins and to be baptized for the remission of them;
after which he promises them the gift of the Holy Ghost. Then, when
persons are received into the Church, they begin their lives anew, as
though they had never sinned, and thus go on unto perfection.
We are told to work out our salvation by our faith, and with fear and
trembling. And cannot you readily see that works are required at the
beginning of our career, and from that time to the end of our lives?
Where is there a man in the world that ever raised a crop of grain
without works? If a man wishes to raise a crop of wheat, he first
ploughs the ground, then he drags it; he next sows the wheat; and when
the dry season comes on in this country, he irrigates it; when it is
ripe he reaps it, hauls it home, stacks it; and when he gets ready,
thrashes it, takes it to the fanning mill, from there to the grist
mill, where it passes through the smutter; it is then ground, bolted,
and taken home ready for use. And every process that the wheat passes
through is controlled by works. And it is so with us: we are required
to perform works of righteousness all the day long.
Brethren, you are required to be very diligent and cautious; and, as
brother Joseph said, Be careful not to put in anything that will sour
and destroy the good that you do. Take good care of all the good you
get; increase in faith and in good works; for, as James says, "Faith
without works is dead, being alone."
Then go on with your works of righteousness; be diligent and faith ful in all things committed to your charge. Let the Elders be at
their posts, and be ready to administer in the ordinances of the house
of God whenever duty requires it of them. If the Elders will be
faithful, the power of God will attend them in their administrations;
but if the people to whom they administer have not repented, they will
not receive the remission of their sins, nor the gift of the Holy
Ghost; for that Spirit will not dwell with that person who does not
honor his calling, and who is not sincere and truly penitent before
the Almighty. You may go to meeting and sit from one day's end to
another, and it will not profit you anything, if you do not perform
the works of righteousness required by the law of heaven.
I can live my religion, whether at home or abroad, whether I sit here,
preach to the people, or do anything else that pertains to my calling
and position. If it is necessary for me to preach, I rejoice in doing
it, or in the performance of any other duty. If I do not confess, I
shall be condemned.
I have noticed that there are not many of those "counter-jumpers" come
to meeting: the saloon keepers are not much better. It is hard times
with them; there is not much money stirring now; the business is
almost done on credit nowadays. What do you think I think of old
greyheaded men who sell whiskey all the week, and then come to meeting
on Sunday? I do not fellowship such men, be they young or old; I
disfellowship them all. I cannot fellowship the old men who have loved
it from their youth, and then go and give it to young men, and lead
them to destroy their bodies and defile the earth. It is drunkenness
that leads to whoredom and abominations of every kind, and brother
John Alger, senior, who sits before me, knows it as well as I do. He
knew me when I was a mere boy, and there was not a drunkard in all
that district of country; but now they are nearly all drunkards in
that part of the State; yes, men and women are leading each other to
destruction. Then who can have any feelings against me for talking
against these things?
I wish now to speak of works. Let us consider those principles and
ordinances that lead to life. The doctrines we teach are good and
wholesome, and every man and woman that will observe them will be
saved; they will be at peace at home and abroad. Do you think it will
inspire a man who is already honest to become a Latter-day Saint? No;
I am just the same in that respect now as I was before I embraced the
Gospel. I was honest then, and I am honest now, and brother Alger
knows it. The man that will be dishonest with what we call Gentiles
will rob me, if I give him an opportunity. You should be as honest
with those comers and goers as you are with me. God has never given
you the right to be dishonest. There are too many such characters in
our midst. Sometimes I am sorry, sometimes I am glad, and sometimes I
am ashamed of what I see and hear. How long will such things continue?
Not many years, I can tell you. Our Father will sweep them from the
land, and that man who is honest, although he does not profess
religion at all, will be saved; but those who profess and do not
possess the spirit of their profession, and who do not live up to
their privileges, will be cast out. None can stand or endure the
trying day, except those who are active and diligent in the discharge
of their duties.
There are some people who think I am very hard, and occasionally
pretty rough in my sayings; but I can tell you that I am not as severe
as I ought to be, considering the persons and cases I have got
to deal with. When I see people taking a course to lead them to
destruction, I feel anxious to save them from falling. I know that I
am a poor frail mortal, liable to err; but I know better than to cheat
or rob a neighbor, and so does every man that has been baptized into
this Church; but men give way to temptation. If men steal, they know
they are doing wrong and sinning against God.
In regard to trials that brother Joseph was speaking of, I consider
that I never had any that affected me; and if anybody ever rejoiced in
tribulation, I did when I had to break up and go and make a new home.
When the proper time comes, we shall all have the privilege of
attending to the ordinance necessary for the salvation of our dead. My
brothers and sisters and all my relatives almost died before the
Gospel was revealed; and when we get a Temple built, I will go forth
and be baptized for them, and bring them to enjoy that which is their
right. At present I have to say to you, brethren and sisters, Live the
life of the righteous, do that which is required for the benefit of
the living, and the day will come when you can go through the
ordinances of the house of God for the dead.
I am free to acknowledge that a great majority of this people are
improving, and I am sorry to say that a few of them are retrograding.
Some have become contaminated by associating with this army. They are
responsible for this themselves, for God never suffered an army to
come here to corrupt the people, but to try them—to prove them in this
as well as in other things. It is true the army has been a curse to
many, more so than any previous influence with which they have come in
contact. We have to be tried, and this has been suffered, to see what
we would do. Many who have come here would, if they had an
opportunity, debauch our families—seduce our wives and daughters.
There are some honorable exceptions to this, and those who would not
do it here would not do it at home.
There are many enemies of ours that look upon us as the outcasts of
all creation, because of our religion. I expect to see the day when
they will have to come and be our servants, and they cannot avoid
This is the Church and kingdom of God, and the religion we have
embraced is the Gospel of Jesus Christ, and it will ere long prevail
over the whole world, and the wicked cannot prevent it. Do you think
they believe it? Yes, the Congress of the United States have more
trouble about us than they have about the whole world besides.
This is a day of judgment; hurricanes are passing over the land and
terrifying the inhabitants of the earth; and this is not the end. Many
persons who profess to know have been predicting that in the year 1861
more events of a marvelous character would take place than in any
previous year; but whether this is the case or not, I know that the
judgments of God will pass over the earth.
In conclusion, I feel to bless this land, these valleys, mountains,
waters, also our herds and flocks; I feel to bless all the righteous,
and predict judgments upon the wicked. Let the Elders who meet to pray
after the holy order of the Priesthood ask the Father to hasten the
consummation of his work, that the Saints may inherit the earth.
God bless you all forever! Amen.
- Heber C. Kimball