Brethren and sisters, I feel to bear my testimony to what we have
heard this morning. I have accompanied the President upon this trip,
an account of which he has so ably laid before you; and I do not feel
that I could add anything in regard to the description which he has
given of our journey through the southern settlements. He has given
you a full descriptive account of the journey and of the things that
have transpired, and I can truly say that I never enjoyed myself
better upon a journey or pleasure excursion that afforded me greater
satisfaction than this has done. I have accompanied him many times on
trips of this kind, and I think I have enjoyed this a little better
than any other.
It seemed that new ideas and new scenes arose before us all the time;
it seemed that the Lord was multiplying and increasing the people
called Latter-day Saints. They were scattered through the country in
almost every nook and corner where they could take advantage of a few
acres of fertile land. There they were busily engaged endeavoring to
subdue it. This was pleasing to behold.
We were everywhere met with kindness and hospitality, and all the
people seemed glad to see us and to have us tarry with them. When we
left one place, many of the brethren would follow us to the next, to
hear of the word of the Lord. In fact, in all of the southern
settlements, our hearts were continually rejoiced in seeing the
thousands that flocked around us, and in seeing their endeavors to
learn what would best promote the cause and kingdom in which we are
all engaged. It seems as though the Territory was enlarging and the
places fit for the habitations of men were becoming more numerous,
and, as the people have frequently been told, that when they began to
crowd together, other places would open and fountains of water spring up, sufficient for the increasing wants of this people.
We now feel that it is so—that the places are multiplied—that fertile
spots and fountains of water are springing up and being discovered in
these valleys of the mountains for the habitations of the Saints of
the Most High God.
This land is choice above all other lands for the Saints of God, for
there is no other land that I know of by travel, by description, or by
report, that combines so many and such great facilities and advantages
to benefit the Saints of the Most High. Here can be produced the
things that are necessary for the comfort and benefit of man; and with
these elements that have lain dormant so long is combined the
blessings of the most secure places and the most formidable barriers
against interruptions from any foreign foe. I feel every time I think
of it, as I stated south, that every mountain ridge, the wide and
extended plains, and even sagebrush, I look upon as a friend to the
Saints, and that they are thrown around them as an insurmountable
barrier against those who desire the overthrow of the kingdom of God
upon the earth. But here we are, where can we draw from the elements
those things that we need—where we are protected from those that seek
our overthrow and destruction.
The Lord our God has done this, and has brought this people to it.
Here is a land prepared for us, where we can build and inhabit,
multiply and increase, and become a great and a mighty people. My
heart has rejoiced when I have reflected upon those things—when I have
reflected and looked at the facilities put into our hands for the
improvement and advancement of this people. The olive, the cotton, and
all those things which come from warm climates, can be raised in
abundance. The soil is very rich, light, and loose, and suit able for
the growing of those fine provisions and commodities of life that are
grown in southern localities, such as indigo, tobacco, cotton, and
many other articles that cannot be raised in this northern part of the
Territory: they can be cultivated in great abundance in the southern
portions of Utah.
It will not do to abuse it like we do heavier soils: it is light and
will easily waste away; but, if properly cultivated, it will produce
very abundantly. It is not so well adapted to wheat as the soil in
this and the other northern counties. The willow, if planted alive
like fence stakes, will grow like a hedge, and make a beautiful
appearance. That country is also very suitable for the peach culture.
True, we can raise very good ones here, but the climate is far more
suitable in Washington County. Apricots also do well there, and apples
and plums come to maturity very early. Take that in connection with
this part of the Territory, and see what we can do. We can raise the
flax, the pork, the beef, and the sheep, and we can get up an exchange
of commodities with the people in the southern settlements, and
furnish them the things which they cannot produce so easily, and in
exchange receive what they have to dispose of, and thereby establish
an international trade between the people of the north and south in
It will not be long before there will be a string of towns and
villages on each side of the present settlements of this Territory,
from Skull Valley on the west to the Sevier Lake, Lower Beaver, and
the sink of Coal Creek to the Mountain Meadows; on the east, from the
headwaters of the Rio Virgin to the headwaters of the Sevier, and by
way of Sanpete to the head of the Provo, Weber, and Bear Rivers, and
to Cache Valley.
There is land and locations, with water privileges in
abundance, and then we are finding more continually: the people are
extending their settlements on all sides, making a complete cord of
settlements on the east and west of our present locations.
It rejoices my heart to see Zion spread herself abroad in these
valleys of the mountains—to see her lengthening her cords and
strengthening her Stakes. What else rejoices me? It rejoices and makes
glad my heart to see that righteousness predominates in the midst of
the Saints of the living God. This, I am happy to say, is the case,
although there are some who do very little towards building up the
kingdom of God, while there are many that do things towards building
up the Devil's kingdom; but this is not as it should be. We have come
here to get rid of doing that; we have come to establish peace and
righteousness upon the earth; we have come here because the Lord
wanted us and all his people to form a nucleus where his chosen ones
could rally round and build up a kingdom.
All nations are in darkness and are corrupt before the Lord, and he
has set his hand to establish a kingdom that shall be righteous—to
establish the principles of truth and virtue, that will form a nucleus
for his kingdom, which we have so much desired to see in our day and
generation. This is the nucleus in these valleys of these mountains.
The Lord has done everything upon his part that seems to be necessary.
I do not know what more he could have done, but he is willing all the
time to help us.
Those who profess to be Saints of the Most High God—those whom he has
chosen to guide and dictate his people are the men that we should
uphold by our faith, prayers, and means. The Lord has said, "Here is
the land which I have preserved for my Saints, and here is my servant
Brigham whom I have appointed: he will preside over you; he will lead
you." Therefore let us abide the counsels he imparts unto us, and go
to and develop the resources of this land; and in doing this in
righteousness before the Lord we build ourselves up temporally and
spiritually, and the principles we have so dearly loved will be
Let us be united and go forth at the word as we shall be dictated to
do, and let us drop everything that is the least displeasing at the
sound of our President's voice. Inasmuch as we have done wrong
heretofore, let us do it no more, but let us get hold of the same
spirit by which he is actuated. Let us, then, follow our leader, and
not pursue any other path; for he that followeth not with us
May the Lord bless us and enable us to live our religion, is my prayer
in the name of Jesus. Amen.
- Daniel H. Wells