Brigham Young was the Moses of the Mormons, from Smith's death until his own, in 1877. During that period of over thirty years, "Brother Brigham" (or, more formally, "President Young") was the secular and religious leader, without real challenge, of the growing Mormon society, which became one of the few real theocracies in the modern western world. His word was law, whether it was a directive to colonize a distant valley, to build a factory, to avoid certain fashions in dress, or a pronouncement on weighty theological or scientific matters. In every sense, Young's words were understood - and were meant by him to be so understood - as the sayings of a prophet, the statements of the mouthpiece of God on earth. His official title (in addition to his secular title as Governor of the Territory) was "Prophet, Seer and Revelator, and President of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints." He was also known unofficially as the "Lion of the Lord" (History of the Church 7:434).
Although it was Joseph Smith's revelations from God which had established the church, every good Mormon believed that God was continuing to reveal important knowledge through Smith's successor (just as today, every good Mormon believes - and is required to believe - that the present president of the Mormon church is receiving revelation from God for the guidance and enlightenment of the church).
In 1997 the church published a lesson manual of about 370 pages for use of its adult members in their weekly class meetings for the coming year. It was called Teachings of Presidents of the Church: Brigham Young. It caused an immediate sensation, both in the non-Mormon world and among knowledgeable Mormons, because it did not accurately reflect either the man's life or his teachings, its editors obviously endeavoring to gloss over - or even omit completely - what many new or potential converts might find surprising or even objectionable.
For example, although the Mormon church was known throughout the world for its practice of polygamy during Young's entire leadership of the church, and although Young was a devout defender, proponent, and practitioner of polygamy, no mention is made of polygamy in this book, either of the doctrine itself, or of Young's harem of wives. Wherever Young is quoted on the subject of domestic relations, when he mentioned "wives" in his sermons, the editors have substituted "[wife]."
In the one-page "Historical Summary" which lists the supposedly important events of Young's life (page vii), beginning with his birth and concluding with his death, the editors list the coming of the railroad, the organization of the Mutual Improvement Associations, and his role in the building of two temples, but there is not a hint of Young's 52 wives, his 15 divorces/separations, or his 55 children. (For a listing, click here). Nor is any mention of Young's polygamy to be found in Chapter 1, "The Ministry of Brigham Young," even though on page 6 the opportunity was ideal:
Before the [Nauvoo] temple was completed, Joseph Smith privately introduced President Young and other members of the Twelve to temple ordinances, including baptism for the dead, the temple endowment, and family sealings...Not a word about "plural marriage."
Nor is any mention made in this manual of Young's doctrines of Adam as God, of "Blood Atonement," or of his anti-Negro doctrines.
No prophecies by Young are cited in the manual. One may suppose that the omission is because so few were ever fulfilled.
In the introduction of this church lesson manual, the editors caution against readers consulting source materials:
"...the sources [of the extracts from Young's sermons] will not be readily available to most members. These original sources are not necessary to have in order to effectively study or teach from this book. Members need not purchase additional references and commentaries to study or teach these chapters. The text provided in this book, accompanied by the scriptures [the Bible, Book of Mormon, Doctrine and Covenants, and Pearl of Great Price], is sufficient for instruction."
The purpose of this article is to provide a summary of some of Brigham Young's teachings and prophecies which are NOT included in the sanitized manual provided by the authorities of the church. They are arranged by category. Many of the excerpts are rather long, but length was preferred over brevity to avoid any charge that Young's words were "taken out of context," which is a charge Mormons frequently make against their critics.
See also the comments on the official manual by Brian C. Madsen and John Farkas
Words marked like this indicate original emphasis; words marked like this indicate emphasis added for this article.
Brigham Young wrote very little; there is scarcely a single book with his name as author. But he was a great preacher, and his sermons are masterpieces of that art. Therefore the primary source for Brigham Young's teachings is his sermons, most of which are recorded verbatim in The Journal of Discourses (hereafter referred to as "JoD"), in 26 volumes. These sermons were published under the authority of the church, and, apparently, the supervision of Young. There is no indication that I am aware of that Young ever recanted or corrected a sermon of his, once it was published in the JoD.
The following statement appears in the preface to volume 8, page iii:
The Journal of Discourses deservedly ranks as one of the standard works of the Church, and every rightminded Saint will certainly welcome with joy every Number as it comes forth from the press as an additional reflector of "the light that shines from Zion's hill."
I have tried many years to live according to the law which the Lord reveals unto me. I know just as well what to teach this people and just what to say to them and what to do in order to bring them into the celestial kingdom, as I know the road to my office. It is just as plain and easy. The Lord is in our midst. He teaches the people continually. I have never yet preached a sermon and sent it out to the children of men, that they may not call Scripture. Let me have the privilege of correcting a sermon, and it is as good Scripture as they deserve. The people have the oracles of God continually. In the days of Joseph, revelation was given and written, and the people were driven from city to city and place to place, until we were led into these mountains. Let this go to the people with "Thus saith the Lord," and if they do not obey it, you will see the chastening hand of the Lord upon them.   - JoD 13:95 (January 2, 1870)Some leaders of the modern church have stated that Brigham Young did not always teach correct doctrine. The modern church repudiates Young's doctrine of Adam-God, for example (see below). They would obviously include the above statement among those false doctrines. One must ask, then, what good is a prophet?
I am here to give this people, called Latter-day Saints, counsel to direct them in the path of life. I am here to answer; I shall be on hand to answer when I am called upon, for all the counsel and for all the instruction that I have given to this people. If there is an Elder here, or any member of this Church, called the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, who can bring up the first idea, the first sentence that I have delivered to the people as counsel that is wrong. I really wish they would do it; but they cannot do it, for the simple reason that I have never given counsel that is wrong; this is the reason.   - JoD 16:161 (August 31,1873)
All that Brigham Young prophesies is true
Brother Heber has been prophesying. You know that I call him my Prophet, and he prophesies for me. And now I prophesy that, if this people will live their religion, the God of heaven will fight their battles, bring them off victorious over all their enemies, and give to them the kingdom. That is my prophecy. I said amen to all that brother Heber prophesied, for it is true; and he may say amen to all that I prophesy, for it is also true. - JoD 5:167 (August 30, 1857)Brigham Young is a dictator, but if he preached false doctrine, he would immediately be detected
But to return to my question to the Saints, "How are you going to know about the will and commands of heaven?" By the Spirit of revelation; that is the only way you can know. How do I know but what I am doing wrong? How do I know but what we will take a course for our utter ruin? I sometimes say to my brethren, "I have been your dictator for twenty-seven years_over a quarter of a century I have dictated this people; that ought to be some evidence that my course is onward and upward. But how do you know that I may not yet do wrong? How do you know but I will bring in false doctrine and teach the people lies that they may be damned? Sisters can you tell the difference? I can say this for the Latter-day Saints, and I will say it to their praise and my satisfaction, if I were to preach false doctrine here, it would not be an hour after the people got out, before it would begin to fly from one to another, and they would remark, "I do not quite like that! It does not look exactly right! What did Brother Brigham mean? That did not sound quite right, it was not exactly the thing!" All these observations would be made by the people, yes, even by the sisters. It would not sit well on the stomach, that is, on the spiritual stomach, if you think you have one. It would not sit well on the mind, for you are seeking after the things of God; you have started out for life and salvation, and with all their ignorance, wickedness and failings, the majority of this people are doing just as well as they know how; and I will defy any man, to preach false doctrine without being detected; and we need not go to the Elders. of Israel, the children who have been born in these mountains possess enough of the Spirit to detect it. - JoD 14:205 (August 13, 1871)Brigham Young's duty is to dictate even in the details of everyday life
If I could see my brethren and my sisters as willing to be taught, led and directed in the little trifling affairs of life, with regard to their [p.298] food, raiment, houses, and labors, and how to make themselves useful and not waste their time and strength on that which does them no good; if I could see this people as willing to be taught in these things as they are in the great things_the revelations of the prophets, and what Jesus has said, and the beauties of eternity, and the excellency of the millennium, and what great men and women we are going to be, that would be delightful. But what would you be good for if you were in that condition? Nothing. What would you do? Nothing at all. Learn to be good for something. We have these things to learn here, or, if not here, somewhere else; and if we are not willing to learn here, and practice what we know for the benefit of ourselves, and improve on the grace God gives to us, how can he bestow his blessings upon us in the next state of existence? He will not do it; we have to learn and be willing to be taught here.Everything must be done by revelation
To return to the subjects of merchandizing and merchants. I know, and knew sixteen years ago as well as I do to-day, that from the very first the merchants who came here were laying the foundation for the uprooting of this people unless we had exceeding great faith; and that every dollar that was given to them was given to ruin you and me, and to destroy the kingdom of God on the earth. Can you believe this? "I do not know anything about that," says one, "but I think I shall go where I call buy my calico the cheapest, and I do not know that it is any of your business where I buy my ribbons, hats or coats; I think that it is my business." It is just as much my business, Latter-day Saints, to dictate in these things as it is in regard to the sacrament we are partaking of here to-day. Do the people know it? It is strange to them. Because your priests in England, France, Germany, in the Eastern or Southern states, and the islands of the sea, did not preach such doctrine, you cannot receive it. Did they preach baptism for the remission of sins? No. Then why receive it? Our fathers and priests did not preach any such doctrine as that a man has a right to dictate in temporal matters. Now by the same kind of reasoning, it might be proved that you could never receive the doctrine of baptism for the remission of sins. Why? Because the priests did not preach it; your fathers did not tell you that it was correct doctrine, and why did you receive it? Well, you did receive it, and the Spirit of the Lord bore witness that it was true. The Spirit also bore witness that you should have hands laid upon you for the reception of the Holy Ghost; and that the gifts of tongues, of prophecy, of faith, and the healing of the sick were to be enjoyed by the Saints. Now ask the Father in the name of Jesus whether I am telling you the truth about temporal things or not, and the same Spirit that bore witness to you that baptism by immersion is the correct way according to the Scriptures, will bear witness that the man whom God calls to dictate affairs in the building up of his Zion has the right to dictate about everything connected with the building up of Zion, yes even to the ribbons the women wear; and any person who denies it is ignorant. There is not a man or woman in the world who rises up against this principle but what is ignorant; all such are destitute of the spirit of revelation and enjoy not the Spirit of Christ.
Do I want to dictate? No, I am just as far from that, naturally, as a [p.299] man can be; it is not in my heart. How glad would I be to be excused from this. Would I not rejoice to be left to mind my own concerns, and to attend to my own business, providing for the wants of my family and enjoying myself just as much as you? Yes. But the Spirit prompts me to perform the labors which devolve upon me, to plead with and urge the people to act for their own benefit. If this people would hearken to the counsel, given them, and be of one heart and one mind in their temporal affairs, can you not see the result? - JoD 11:297-299 (February 3, 1867)
The Lord is building up Zion, and is emptying the earth of wickedness, gathering his people, bringing again Zion, redeeming his Israel, sending forth his work, withdrawing his Spirit from the wicked world, and commencing to build up his kingdom. Can this be done without revelation? No. You will not make a move, or do anything - plant corn, build a hall or a temple, make a farm, or go to the States, - no, not a thing towards building up Zion, without the power of revelation. - JoD 9:144 (July 28, 1861)
Joseph Smith holds the keys of this last dispensation, and is now engaged behind the vail in the great work of the last days. I can tell our beloved brother Christians who have slain the Prophets and butchered and otherwise caused the death of thousands of Latter-day Saints, the priests who have thanked God in their prayers and thanksgiving from the pulpit that we have been plundered, driven, and slain, and the deacons under the pulpit, and their brethren and sisters in their closets, who have thanked God, thinking that the Latter-day Saints were wasted away, something that no doubt will mortify them - something that, to say the least, is a matter of deep regret to them - namely, that no man or woman in this dispensation will ever enter into the celestial kingdom of God without the consent of Joseph Smith. From the day that the Priesthood was taken from the earth to the winding-up scene of all things, every man and woman must have the certificate of Joseph Smith, junior, as a passport to their entrance into the mansion where God and Christ are - I with you and you with me. I cannot go there without his consent. He holds the keys of that kingdom for the last dispensation - the keys to rule in the spirit-world; and he rules there triumphantly, for he gained full power and a glorious victory over the power of Satan while he was yet in the flesh, and was a martyr to his religion and to the name of Christ, which gives him a most perfect victory in the spirit-world. He reigns there as supreme a being in his sphere, capacity, and calling, as God does in heaven. Many will exclaim - "Oh, that is very disagreeable! It is preposterous! We cannot bear the thought!" But it is true. - JoD 7:289 (Oct 9, 1859)Joseph Smith's personal faults do not matter
I never preached to the world but what the cry was, "That damned old Joe Smith has done thus and so." I would tell the people that they did not know him, and I did, and that I knew him to be a good man; and that when they spoke against him, they spoke against as good a man as ever lived. I recollect a conversation I had with [p.78] a priest who was an old friend of ours, before I was personally acquainted with the Prophet Joseph. I clipped every argument he advanced, until at last he came out and began to rail against "Joe Smith," saying, "that he was a mean man, a liar, money-digger, gambler, and a whore-master;" and he charged him with everything bad, that he could find language to utter. I said, hold on, brother Gillmore, here is the doctrine, here is the Bible, the Book of Mormon, and the revelations that have come through Joseph Smith the Prophet. I have never seen him, and do not know his private character. The doctrine he teaches is all I know about the matter, bring anything against that if you can. As to anything else I donor care. If he acts like a devil, he has brought forth a doctrine that will save us, if we will abide it. He may get drunk every day of his life, sleep with his neighbor's wife every night, run horses and gamble, I do not care anything about that, for I never embrace any man in my faith. But the doctrine he has produced will save you and me, and the whole world; and if you can find fault with that, find it. - Journal of Discourses, Vol. 4, p.77 (November 9, 1856)This statement seems to contradict Doctrine and Covenants 50:26-28:
26 He that is ordained of God and sent forth, the same is appointed to be the greatest, notwithstanding he is the least and the servant of all.Whoever does not acknowledge Joseph Smith as a prophet is of the Antichrist
27 Wherefore, he is possessor of all things; for all things are subject unto him, both in heaven and on the earth, the life and the light, the Spirit and the power, sent forth by the will of the Father through Jesus Christ, his Son.
28 But no man is possessor of all things except he be purified and cleansed from all sin.
For unbelievers we will quote from the Scriptures - "Whosoever believeth that Jesus is the Christ is born of God." Again - "Hereby know ye the Spirit of God: Every spirit that confesseth that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh, is of God." I will now give my scripture - "Whosoever confesseth that Joseph Smith was sent of God to reveal the holy Gospel to the children of men, and lay the foundation for gathering Israel, and building up the kingdom of God on the earth, that spirit is of God; and every spirit that does not confess that God has sent Joseph Smith, and revealed the everlasting Gospel to and through him, is of Antichrist, no matter whether it is found in a pulpit [p.177] or on a throne, nor how much divinity it may profess, nor what it professes with regard to revealed religion and the account that is given of the Saviour and his Father in the Bible. They may say that they acknowledge Him until doomsday, and he will never own them, nor bestow the Holy Spirit upon them, and they will never have visions of eternity opened to them, unless they acknowledge that Joseph Smith is sent of God. Such people I call unbelievers. They tell about believing in Jesus Christ, but they might as well talk about birds understanding the Hebrew language. This statement is no more positive than true. - JoD 8:176 (September 9, 1860)
But as it was in the days of our Savior, so was it in the advent of this new dispensation. It was not in accordance with the notions, traditions, and pre- conceived ideas of the American people. The messenger did not come to an eminent divine of any of the so-called orthodoxy, he did not adopt their interpretation of the Holy Scriptures. The Lord did not come with the armies of heaven, in power and great glory, nor send His messengers panoplied with aught else than the truth of heaven, to communicate to the meek, the lowly, the youth of humble origin, the sincere enquirer after the knowlege of God. But He did send His angel to this same obscure person, Joseph Smith jun., who afterwards became a Prophet, Seer, and Revelator, and informed him that he should not join any of the religious sects of the day, for they were all wrong; that they were following the precepts of men instead of the Lord Jesus; that He had a work for him to perform, inasmuch as he should prove faithful before Him. - JoD 2:171 (February 18, 1855)Mormon scholars have been unable to find any indication that Brigham Young ever referred to the account of Joseph Smith's First Vision as it now appears in the Pearl of Great Price. Hugh Nibley admitted: "A favorite theme of Brigham Young's was the tangible, personal nature of God, which he never illustrates by any mention of the first vision." (Improvement Era, November 1961, page 868)
Men who become sons of God MUST enter into polygamy
I wish here to say to the Elders of Israel, and to all the members of this Church and kingdom, that it is in the hearts of many of them to wish that the doctrine of polygamy was not taught and practiced by us. It may be hard for many, and especially for the ladies, yet it is no harder for them than it is for the gentlemen. It is the word of the Lord, and I wish to say to you, and all the world, that if you desire with all your hearts to obtain the [p.269] blessings which Abraham obtained, you will be polygamists at least in your faith, or you will come short of enjoying the salvation and the glory which Abraham has obtained. This is as true as that God lives. You who wish that there were no such thing in existence, if you have in your hearts to say: "We will pass along in the Church without obeying or submitting to it in our faith or believing this order, because, for aught that we know, this community may be broken up yet, and we may have lucrative offices offered to us; we will not, therefore, be polygamists lest we should fail in obtaining some earthly honor, character and office, etc," - the man that has that in his heart, and will continue to persist in pursuing that policy, will come short of dwelling in the presence of the Father and the Son, in celestial glory. The only men who become Gods, even the Sons of God, are those who enter into polygamy. Others attain unto a glory and may even be permitted to come into the presence of the Father and the Son; but they cannot reign as kings in glory, because they had blessings offered unto them, and they refused to accept them. - JoD 11:268-269 (Aug 9, 1866)Give up polygamy and the Devil will rejoice
We are told that if we would give up polygamy - which we know to be a doctrine revealed from heaven, and it is God and the world for it - but suppose this Church should give up this holy order of marriage, then would the devil, and all who are in league with him against the cause of God, rejoice that they had prevailed upon the Saints to refuse to obey one of the revelations and commandments of God to them. - JoD 11:239 (June 3, 1866)Give up polygamy and you will be damned
Now if any of you will deny the plurality of wives, and continue to do so, I promise that you will be damned; and I will go still further and say, take this revelation, or any other revelation that the Lord has given, and deny it in your feelings, and I promise that you will be damned. - JoD 3:266 (July 14, 1855)The present President and Prophet, Gordon B. Hinckley, appears to disagree with Brigham Young. Hinckley has stated in public interviews that polygamy is not "doctrinal." (Interview with Larry King in 1998).
Polygamy is essential to Mormonism
To return to our starting point, the great question of what Congress demands. We have shown that in requiring the relinquishment of polygamy, they ask the renunciation of the entire faith of this people. No sophistry can get out of this. "Mormonism" is true in every leading doctrine, or it is false as a system altogether. The question for the wise heads of the nation will be, whether Government can constitutionally enforce a law which makes such a demand upon a people. Conclude how they will, before this people will renounce the glorious hopes their faith inspires, before they will renounce that faith for which they have given up home, father, mother, and broken asunder the dearest ties, or before they will put the brand of infamy upon the brows of their own children, or write "house of ill fame" with their own hands upon their Territorial doors, they will await the "extermination" to which they are invited.
There is no half way house. The childish babble about another revelation is only an evidence of how half informed men can talk. The "Mormons" have either to spurn their religion and their God, and sink self-damned in the eyes of all civilization at the moment when most blest in the practice of their faith or go calmly on to the same issue which they have always had - "Mormonism" in the entirety the revelation of God, or nothing at all. - Millennial Star 27:675-676 (1865)
Now for my proposition; it is more particularly for my sisters, as it is frequently happening that women say they are unhappy. Men will say, "My wife, though a most excellent woman, has not seen a happy day since I took my second wife;" "No, not a happy day for a year," says one; and another has not seen a happy day for five years. It is said that women are tied down and abused: that they are misused and have not the liberty they ought to have; that many of them are wading through a perfect flood of tears, because of the conduct of some men, together with their own folly.Women may leave a husband to marry a man higher in authority
I wish my own women to understand that what I am going to say is for them as well as others, and I want those who are here to tell their sisters, yes, all the women of this community, and then write it back to the States, and do as you please with it. I am going to give you from this time to the 6th day of October next, for reflection, that you may determine whether you wish to stay with your husbands or not, and then I am going to set every woman at liberty and say to them, Now go your way, my women with the rest, go your way. And my wives have got to do one of two things; either round up their shoulders to endure the afflictions of this world, and live their religion, or they may leave, for I will not have them about me. I will go into heaven alone, rather than have scratching and fighting around me. I will set all at liberty. "What, first wife too?" Yes, I will liberate you all.
I know what my women will say; they will say, "You can have as many women as you please, Brigham." But I want to go somewhere and do something to get rid of the whiners; I do not want. them to receive a part of the truth and spurn the rest out of doors.
I wish my women, and brother Kimball's and brother Grant's to leave, and every woman in this Territory, or else say in their hearts that they will embrace the Gospel - the whole of it. Tell the Gentiles that I will free every woman in this Territory at our next Conference. "What, the first wife too?" Yes, there shall not be one held in bondage, all shall be set free. And then let the father be the head of the family, the master of his own household; and let him treat them as an angel would treat them; and let the wives and the children say amen to what he says, and be subject to his dictates, instead of their dictating the man, instead of their trying to govern him.
No doubt some are thinking, "I wish brother Brigham would say what would become of the children." I will tell you what my feelings are; I will let my wives take the children, and I have property enough to support them, and can educate them, and then give them a good fortune, and I can take a fresh start.
I do not desire to keep a particle of my property, except enough to protect me from a state of nudity. And [p.56] I would say, wives you are welcome to the children, only do not teach them iniquity; for if you do, I will send an Elder, or come myself, to teach them the Gospel. You teach them life and salvation, or I will send Elders to instruct them.
Let every man thus treat his wives, keeping raiment enough to clothe his body; and say to your wives, "Take all that I have and be set at liberty; but if you stay with me you shall comply with the law of God, and that too without any murmuring and whining. You must fulfil the law of God in every respect, and round up your shoulders to walk up to the mark without any grunting."
Now recollect that two weeks from to morrow I am going to set you at liberty. But the first wife will say, "It is hard, for I have lived with my husband twenty years, or thirty, and have raised a family of children for him, and it is a great trial to me for him to have more women;" then I say it is time that you gave him up to other women who will bear children. If my wife had borne me all the children that she ever would bare, the celestial law would teach me to take young women that would have children.
Do you understand this? I have told you many times that there are multitudes of pure and holy spirits waiting to take tabernacles, now what is our duty? - to prepare tabernacles for them; to take a course that will not tend to drive those spirits into the families of the wicked, where they will be trained in wickedness, debauchery, and every species of crime. It is the duty of every righteous man and woman to prepare tabernacles for all the spirits they can; hence if my women leave, I will go and search up others who will abide the celestial law, and let all I now have go where they please; though I will send the Gospel to them.
This is the reason why the doctrine of plurality of wives was revealed, that the noble spirits which are waiting for tabernacles might be brought forth. ...
Sisters, I am not joking, I do not throw out my proposition to banter your feelings, to see whether you will leave your husbands, all or any of you. But I do know that there is no cessation to the everlasting whining of many of the women in this Territory; I am satisfied that this is the case. And if the women will turn from the commandments of God and continue to despise the order of heaven, I will pray that the curse of the Almighty may be close to their heels, and that it may be following them all the day long. And those that enter into it and are faithful, I will promise them [p.57] that they shall be queens in heaven, and rulers to all eternity.
"But," says one, "I want to have my paradise now." And says another, "I did think I should be in paradise if I was sealed to brother Brigham, and I thought I should be happy when I became his wife, or brother Heber's. I loved you so much, that I thought I was going to have a heaven right off, right here on the spot.
What a curious doctrine it is, that we are preparing to enjoy! The only heaven for you is that which you make yourselves. My heaven is here - [laying his hand upon his heart]. I carry it with me. When do I expect it in its perfection? When I come up in the resurrection; then I shall have it, and not till then. But now we have got to fight the good fight of faith, sword in hand, as much so as men have when they go to battle; and it is one continual warfare from morning to evening, with sword in hand. This is my duty, and this is my life.
But the women come and say, "Really brother John, and brother William, I thought you were going to make a heaven for me," and they get into trouble because a heaven is not made for them by the men, even though agency is upon women as well as upon men. True there is a curse upon the woman that is not upon the man, namely, that "her whole affections shall be towards her husband," and what is the next? "He shall rule over you."
But how is it now? Your desire is to your husband, but you strive to rule over him, whereas the man should rule over you. Some may ask whether that is the case with me; go to my house and live, and then you will learn that I am very kind, but know how to rule.
If I had only wise men to talk to, there would be no necessity for my saying what I am going to say. Many and many an Elder knows no better than to go home and abuse as good a woman as dwells upon this earth, because of what I have said this afternoon. Are you, who act in that way, fit to have a family? No, you are not, and never will be, until you get good common sense. Then you can go to work and magnify your callings; and you can do the best you know how; and on that ground I will promise you salvation, but upon no other principle.
If I were talking to a people that understood themselves and the doctrine of the holy Gospel, there would be no necessity for saying this, because you would understand. But many have been (what shall I say? pardon me, brethren,) hen pecked so much, that they do not know the place of either man or woman; they abuse and rule a good woman with an iron hand. With them it is as Solomen said "Bray a feel in a mortar among wheat, with a pestle, yet will not his foolishness depart from him." You may talk to them about their duties, about what is required of them, and still they are fools, and will continue to be.
Prepare yourselves for two weeks from to morrow; and I will tell you now, that if you will tarry with your husbands, after I have set you free, you must bow down to it, and submit yourselves to the celestial law. You may go where you please, after two weeks from to-morrow; but, remember, that I will not hear any more of this whining. - JoD 4:55-57 (September 21, 1856)
"But there was a way in which a woman could leave a man lawfully--when a woman becomes alienated in her feelings and affections from her husband, it is his duty to give her a bill and set her free--it would be fornication for a man to cohabit with his wife after she had thus become alienated from him. . . . Also, there was another way in which a woman could leave a man-- if the woman preferred a man higher in authority and he is willing to take her and her husband gives her up. There is no bill of divorce required, in [this] case it is right in the sight of God." - Conference Reports, 8 Oct. 1861, reported by George D. Watt, LDS archives; also found in the journal of James Beck, 8 Oct. 1861, LDS archives, as cited in Campbell and Campbell, New Mormon History, ed. Quinn, p 195 n 45
Brigham Young's doctrine consists of several elements, which must be put together from several of his utterances:
Adam is the father of our spirits, the physical father of Jesus, and is our God
The question has been, and is often, asked, who it was that begat the Son of the Virgin Mary. The infidel world have concluded that if what the Apostles wrote about his father and mother be true, and the present marriage discipline acknowledged by Christendom be correct then Christians must believe that God is the father of an illegitimate son, in the person of Jesus Christ! The infidel fraternity teach that to their disciples. I will tell you how it is. Our Father in Heaven begat all the spirits that ever were, or ever will be, upon this earth; and they were born spirits in the eternal world. Then the Lord by His power and wisdom organized the mortal tabernacle of man. We were made first spiritual, and afterwards temporal.Some have objected to the Adam-God doctrine, but it is true
Now hear it, O inhabitants of the earth, Jew and Gentile, Saint and sinner! When our father Adam came into the garden of Eden, he came into it with a celestial body, and brought Eve, one of his wives, with him. He helped to make and organize this world. He is MICHAEL, the Archangel, the ANCIENT OF DAYS! about whom holy men have written and spoken - HE is our FATHER and our GOD, and the only God with whom WE have to do. Every man upon the earth, professing Christians or non-professing, must hear it, and will know it sooner or later. They came here, organized the raw material, and arranged in their order the herbs of the field, the trees, the apple, the peach, the plum, the pear, and every other fruit that is desirable and good for man; the seed was brought from another sphere, and planted in this earth. The thistle, the thorn, the brier, and the obnoxious weed did not appear until after the earth was cursed. When Adam and Eve had eaten of the forbidden fruit, their bodies became mortal from its effects, and therefore their offspring were mortal. When the Virgen Mary conceived the child Jesus, the Father had begotten him in his own likeness. He was not begotten by the Holy Ghost. And who is the Father? He is the first of the human family; and when he took a tabernacle, it was begotten by his Father in heaven, after the same manner as the tabernacles of Cain, Abel, and the rest of the sons and daughters of Adam and Eve; from the fruits of the earth, the first earthly tabernacles were originated by the Father, and so [p.51] on in succession. I could tell you much more about this; but were I to tell you the whole truth, blasphemy would be nothing to it, in the estimation of the superstitious and over-righteous of mankind. However, I have told you the truth as far as I have gone. I have heard men preach upon the divinity of Christ, and exhaust all the wisdom they possessed. All Scripturalists, and approved theologians who were considered exemplary for piety and education, have undertaken to expound on this subject, in every age of the Christian era; and after they have done all, they are obliged to conclude by exclaiming "great is the mystery of godliness," and tell nothing.
It is true that the earth was organized by three distinct characters, namely, Eloheim, Yahovah, and Michael, these three forming a quorum, as in all heavenly bodies, and in organizing element, perfectly represented in the Deity, as Father, Son, and Holy Ghost.
Again, they will try to tell how the divinity of Jesus is joined to his humanity, and exhaust all their mental faculties, and wind up with this profound language, as describing the soul of man, "it is an immaterial substance!" What a learned idea! Jesus, our elder brother, was begotten in the flesh by the same character that was in the garden of Eden, and who is our Father in Heaven. Now, let all who may hear these doctrines, pause before they make light of them, or treat them with indifference, for they will prove their salvation or damnation.
I have given you a few leading items upon this subject, but a great deal more remains to be told. Now, remember from this time forth, and for ever, that Jesus Christ was not begotten by the Holy Ghost. - JoD 1:50-51 (April 9, 1852)
[That] reminds me that brother Joseph B. Nobles once told a Methodist priest, after hearing him describe his god, that the god they worshipped was the "Mormons'" Devil - a being without a body, whereas our God has a body, parts, and passions. The Devil was cursed and sent down from heaven. He has no body of his own; therefore he is constantly endeavouring to obtain possession of the tabernacles belonging to others. Some have grumbled because I believe our God to be so near to us as Father Adam. There are many who know that doctrine to be true. Where was Michael in the creation of this earth? Did he have a mission to the earth? He did. Where was he? In the Grand Council, and performed the mission assigned him there. Now, if it should happen that we have to pay tribute to Father Adam, what a humiliating circumstance it would be! Just wait till you pass Joseph Smith; and after Joseph lets you pass him, you will find Peter; and after you pass [p.332] the Apostles and many of the Prophets, you will find Abraham, and he will say, "I have the keys, and except you do thus and so, you cannot pass;" and after a while you come to Jesus; and when you at length meet Father Adam, how strange it will appear to your present notions. If we can pass Joseph and have him say, "Here; you have been faithful, good boys; I hold the keys of this dispensation; I will let you pass;" then we shall be very glad to see the white locks of Father Adam. But those are ideas which do not concern us at present, although it is written in the Bible - "This is eternal life, to know thee, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom thou hast sent." - JoD 5:331-332 (October 7, 1857)
I do not marvel that the world is clad in mystery, to them He is an unknown God; they cannot tell where He dwells nor how He lives, nor what kind of a being He is in appearance or character. They want to become acquainted with His character and attributes, but they know nothing of them. This is in consequence of the apostacy that is now in the world. They have departed from the knowledge of God, transgressed His laws, changed His ordinances, and broken the everlasting covenant, so that the whole earth is defiled under the inhabitants thereof. Consequently it is no mystery to us that the world knoweth not God, but it would be a mystery to me, with what I now know, to say; that we cannot know anything of Him. We are His children. [...summary of the history of the human race...] Thus you may continue and trace the human family back to Adam and Eve, and ask, "are we of the same species with Adam and Eve?" Yes, every person acknowledges this; this comes within the scope of our understanding.Adam came from another planet
But when we arrive at that point, a vail is dropt, and our knowledge is cut off. Were it not so, you could trace back your history to the Father of our spirits in the eternal world. He is a being of the same species as ourselves; He lives as we do, except the difference that we are earthly, and He is heavenly. He has been earthly, and is of precisely the same species of being that we are. Whether Adam is the personage that we should consider our heavenly Father, or not, is considerable of a mystery to a good many. I do not care for one moment how that is; it is no matter whether we are to consider Him our God, or whether His Father, or His Grandfather, for in either case we are of one species - of one family - and Jesus Christ is also of our species. - JoD 4:217-218 (February 8, 1857)
Were I to fully speak what I know and understand concerning myself and others, you might think me to be infringing. I shall therefore omit some things that I would otherwise say to you if the people were prepared to receive them.God the Father is the father of Jesus "pertaining to the flesh"
Jesus Christ says, "And this is life eternal, that they might know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom thou has sent." We are not now in a capacity to know him in his fulness of glory. We know a few things that he has revealed concerning himself, but there are a great many which we do not know... All this vast creation was produced from element in its unorganized state; the mountains, rivers, seas, valleys, plains, and the animal, vegetable, and mineral kingdoms beneath and around us, all speaking forth the wonderful works of the Great God. Shall I say that the seeds of vegetables were planted here by the Characters that framed and, built this world - that the seeds of every plant composing the vegetable kingdom were brought from another world? This would be news to many of you. Who brought them here? It matters little to us whether it was John, James, William, Adam, or Bartholomew who brought them; but it was some Being who had power to frame this earth with its seas, valleys, mountains, and rivers, and cause it to teem with vegetable and animal life.
Here let me state to all philosophers of every class upon the earth, When you tell me that father Adam was made as we make adobies from the earth, you tell me what I deem an idle tale. When you tell me that the beasts of the field were produced in that manner, you are speaking idle words devoid of meaning. There is no such thing in all the eternities where the Gods dwell. Mankind are here because they are the offspring of parents who were first brought here from another planet, and power was given them to propagate their species, and they were commanded to multiply and replenish the earth. The offspring of Adam and Eve are commanded to take the rude elements, and, by the knowledge God has given, to convert them into everything required for their life, health, adornment, wealth, comfort, and consolation. Have we the knowledge to do this? We have. Who gave us this knowledge? Our Father who made us; for he is the only wise God, and to [p.286] him we owe allegiance; to him we owe our lives. He has brought us forth and taught us all we know. We are not indebted to any other power or God for all our great blessings. - JoD 7:285-286 (Oct 9, 1859)
He [Jesus] increased in wisdom and knowledge, and came into communication with his Father. The Being whom we call Father was the Father of the spirit of the Lord Jesus Christ, and he was also his Father pertaining to the flesh. Infidels and Christians, make all you can of this statement. - JoD 7:286 (Oct 9, 1859)Adam and Eve are the parents of our spirits
Adam and Eve are the parents of all pertaining to the flesh, and I would not say that they are not also the parents of our spirits. - JoD 7:290 (Oct 9, 1859)God is the father of our spirits
Do you read the Scriptures, my brethren and sisters, as though you were writing them a thousand, two thousand, or five thousand years ago? Do you read them as though you stood in the place of the men who wrote them? If you do not feel thus, it is your privilege to do so, that you may be as familiar with the spirit and meaning of the written word of God as you are with your daily walk and conversation, or as you are with your workmen or with. your households. You may understand what the Prophets understood and thought - what they designed and planned to bring forth to their brethren for their good.People refuse to believe what God revealed: Adam is God
When you can thus feel, then you may begin to think that you can find out something about God, and begin to learn who he is. He is our Father - the Father of our spirits, and was once a man in mortal flesh as we are, and is now an exalted Being.
How many Gods there are, I do not know. But there never was a time when there were not Gods and worlds, and when men were not passing through the same ordeals that we are now passing through. That course has been from all eternity, and it is and will be to all eternity. You cannot comprehend this; but when you can, it will be to you a matter of great consolation. - JoD 7:333 (October 8, 1859)
How much unbelief exists in the minds of the Latter-day Saints in regard to one particular doctrine which I revealed to them, and which God revealed to me - namely that Adam is our Father and God...
We say that Father Adam came here and helped to make the earth. Who is he? Is is Michael, a great prince, and it was said to him by Eloheim, "Go ye and make an earth." What is the great mystery about it? He came and formed the earth. ...Father Adam came here, and then they brought his wife. "Well," says one, "Why was Adam called Adam"? He was the first man on the earth, and its framer and maker. He, with the help of his bretheren, brought it into existence. Then he said, "I want my children who are in the spirit world to come and live here... I want my children that were born to me in the spirit world to come here and take tabernacles of flesh, that their spirits may have a house, a tabernacle or a dwelling place as mine has, and now where is the mystery?" - Deseret News, June 18, 1873; photocopy in Banister, For Any Latter-day Saint, p. 86
There are sins that men commit for which they cannot receive forgiveness in this world, or in that which is to come, and if they had their eyes open to see their true condition, they would be perfectly willing to have their blood split upon the ground, that the smoke thereof might ascend to heaven as an offering for their sins; and the smoking incense would atone for their sins, whereas, if such is not the case, they will stick to them and remain upon them in the spirit world.Adulterers must atone with their blood; "Love thy neighbor" may require you to shed his blood
I know, when you hear my brethren telling about cutting people off from the earth, that you consider it is strong doctrine; but it is to save them, not to destroy them. ...
I do know that there are sins committed, of such a nature that if the people did understand the doctrine of salvation, they would tremble because of their situation. And furthermore, I know that there are transgressors, who, if they knew themselves, and the only condition upon which they can obtain forgiveness, would beg of their brethren to shed their blood, that the smoke thereof might ascend to God as an offering to appease the wrath that is kindled against them, and that the law might have its course. I will say further; I have had men come to me and [p.54] offer their lives to atone for their sins.
It is true that the blood of the Son of God was shed for sins through the fall and those committed by men, yet men can commit sins which it can never remit. As it was in ancient days, so it is in our day; and though the principles are taught publicly from this stand, still the people do not understand them; yet the law is precisely the same. There are sins that can be atoned for by an offering upon an altar, as in ancient days; and there are sins that the blood of a lamb, of a calf, or of turtle doves, cannot remit, but they must be atoned for by the blood of the man. That is the reason why men talk to you as they do from this stand; they understand the doctrine and throw out a few words about it. You have been taught that doctrine, but you do not understand it. - JoD 4:53-54 (September 21, 1856)
Brother Cummings told you the truth this morning with regard to the sins of the people. And I will say that the time will come, and is now nigh at hand, when those who profess our faith, if they are guilty of what some of this people are guilty of, will find the axe laid at the root of the tree, and they will be hewn down. What has been must be again, for the Lord is coming to restore all things. The time has been in Israel under the law of God, the celestial law, or that which pertains to the celestial law, for it is one of the laws of that kingdom where our Father dwells, that if a man was found guilty of adultery, he must have his blood shed, and that is near at hand. But now I say, in the name of the Lord, that if this people will sin no more, but faithfully live their religion, their sins will be forgiven them without taking life.Kill the thieves on the spot
You are aware that when brother Cummings came to the point of loving our neighbours as ourselves, he could say yes or no as the case might be, that is true. But I want to connect it with the doctrine you read in the Bible. When will we love our neighbour as ourselves? In the first place, Jesus said that no man hateth his own flesh. It is admitted by all that every person loves himself. Now if we do rightly love ourselves, we want to be saved and continue to exist, we want to go into the kingdom where we can enjoy eternity and see no more sorrow nor death. This is the desire of every person who believes in God. Now take a person in this congregation who has knowledge with regard to being saved in the kingdom of our God and our Father, and being exalted, one who knows and understands the principles of eternal life, and sees the beauty and excellency of the eternities before him compared with the vain and foolish things of the world, and suppose that he is overtaken in a gross fault, that he has committed a sin that he knows will deprive him of that exaltation which he desires, and that he cannot attain to it without the shedding of his blood, and also knows that by having his blood shed he will atone for that sin, and be saved and exalted with the Gods, is there a man or woman in this house but what would say, "shed my blood that I may be saved and exalted with the Gods?"
All mankind love themselves, and let these principles be known by an individual, and he would be glad to have his blood shed. That would be loving themselves, even unto an eternal exaltation. Will you love your brothers or sisters likewise, when they have committed a sin that cannot be atoned for without the sheding of their blood? Will you love that man or woman well enough to shed their blood? [p.220] That is what Jesus Christ meant. He never told a man or woman to love their enemies in their wickedness, never. He never intended any such thing; his language is left as it is for those to read who have the Spirit to discern between truth and error; it was so left for those who can discern the things of God. Jesus Christ never meant that we should love a wicked man in his wickedness.
Now take the wicked, and I can refer to where the Lord had to slay every soul of the Israelites that went out of Egypt, except Caleb and Joshua. He slew them by the hands of their enemies, by the plague, and by the sword, why? Because He loved them, and promised Abraham that He would save them. And He loved Abraham because he was a friend to his God, and would stick to Him in the hour of darkness, hence He promised Abraham that He would save his seed. And He could save them upon no other principle, for they had forfeited their right to the land of Canaan by transgressing the law of God, and they could not have atoned for the sin if they had lived. But if they were slain, the Lord could bring them up in the resurrection, and give them the land of Canaan, and He could not do it on any other principle.
I could refer you to plenty of instances where men, have been righteously slain, in order to atone for their sins. I have seen scores and hundreds of people for whom there would have been a chance (in the last resurrection there will be) if their lives had been taken and their blood spilled on the ground as a smoking incense to the Almighty, but who are now angels to the devil, until our elder brother Jesus Christ raises them up - conquers death, hell, and the grave. I have known a great many men who have left this Church for whom there is no chance whatever for exaltation, but if their blood had been spilled, it would have been better for them. The wickedness and ignorance of the nations forbid this principle's being in full force, but the time will come when the law of God will be in full force.
This is loving our neighbour as ourselves; if he needs help, help him; and if he wants salvation and it is necessary to spill his blood on the earth in order that he may be saved, spill it. Any of you who understand the principles of eternity, if you have sinned a sin requiring the shedding of blood, except the sin unto death, would not be satisfied nor rest until your blood should be spilled, that you might gain that salvation you desire. That is the way to love mankind. - JoD 4:219-220 (February 8, 1857)
If you want to know what to do with a thief that you may find stealing, I say kill him on the spot, and never suffer him to commit another iniquity. That is what I expect I shall do, though never, in the days of my life, have I hurt a man with the palm of my hand. I never have hurt any person any other way except with this unruly member, my tongue. Notwithstanding this, if I caught a man stealing on my premises I should be very apt to send him straight home, [p.109] and that is what I wish every man to do, to put a stop to that abominable practice in the midst of this people. - JoD 1:108-109 (May 8, 1853)Kill apostates
I say, rather than that apostates should flourish here, I will unsheath my bowie knife, and conquer or die. [Great commotion in the congregation, and a simaltaneous burst of feeling, assenting to the declaration.] Now, you nasty apostates, clear out, or judgment will be put to the line, and righteousness to the plummet. [Voices, generally, "go it, go it."] If you say it is right, raise your hands. [All hands up.] Let us call upon the Lord to assist us in this, and every good work. - JoD 1:83 (March 27, 1853)
Brother Taylor has just said that the religions of the day were hatched in hell. The eggs were laid in hell, hatched on its borders, and then kicked on to the earth. They may be called cockatrices, for they sting wherever they go. Go to their meetings in the Christian world, and mingle in their society, and you will hear them remark, "Our ministers dictate our souls' salvation;" and they are perfectly composed and resigned to trust their whole future destiny to their priests, though they durst not trust them with one single dollar beyond their salaries and a few presents. They can trust their eternal welfare in the hands of their priests, but hardly dare trust them with so much as a bushel of potatoes. Is that principle here? Yes, more or less. - JoD 6:176 (January 17, 1858)Whosoever does NOT confess Joseph Smith is of God is of AntiChrist
For unbelievers we will quote from the Scriptures - "Whosoever believeth that Jesus is the Christ is born of God." Again - "Hereby know ye the Spirit of God: Every spirit that confesseth that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh, is of God." I will now give my scripture - "Whosoever confesseth that Joseph Smith was sent of God to reveal the holy Gospel to the children of men, and lay the foundation for gathering Israel, and building up the kingdom of God on the earth, that spirit is of God; and every spirit that does not confess that God has sent Joseph Smith, and revealed the everlasting Gospel to and through him, is of Antichrist, no matter whether it is found in a pulpit [p.177] or on a throne, nor how much divinity it may profess, nor what it professes with regard to revealed religion and the account that is given of the Saviour and his Father in the Bible. They may say that they acknowledge Him until doomsday, and he will never own them, nor bestow the Holy Spirit upon them, and they will never have visions of eternity opened to them, unless they acknowledge that Joseph Smith is sent of God. Such people I call unbelievers. They tell about believing in Jesus Christ, but they might as well talk about birds understanding the Hebrew language. This statement is no more positive than true. - JoD 8:176 (September 9, 1860)Only two churches on the earth
How many churches are there upon the earth? Two. Let everybody speculate just as much as they please [p.283] about this, there are no more, and the earth never saw but two, and there never will be but two. If one is for good, what must the other be? Why, for evil? If one is right, what must the other be? Why, wrong. And there cannot be two just right without being one. - JoD 13:282-283 (Oct 30, 1870)
It is a great blessing to the seed of Adam to have the seed of Cain [the negro race] for servants. - Brigham Young Addresses, MS d 1234, Box 48, folder 3, LDS Church Historical Dept., as cited in Tanner, The Changing World of Mormonism, p. 132, and in Tanner, Mormonism: Shadow or Reality?, 5th ed., p. 293A.Immediate death for whites who marry blacks - it will always be so!
The rank, rabid abolitionists, whom I call black-hearted Republicans, have set the whole national fabric on fire. Do you know this, Democrats? They have kindled the fire that is raging now from the north to the south, and from the south to the north. I am no abolitionist, neither am I a proslavery man; I hate some of their principles and especially some of their conduct, as I do the gates of hell. The Southerners make the negroes, and the Northerners worship them; this is all the difference between slaveholders. and abolitionists. I would like the President of the United States and all the world to hear this.The Civil War will not end slavery
Shall I tell you the law of God in regard to the African race? If the white man who belongs to the chosen seed mixes his blood with the seed of Cain, the penalty, under the law of God, is death on the spot. This will always be so. - JoD: vol.10 p. 110: (March 8, 1863)
What is the cause of all this waste of life and treasure? To tell it in a plain, truthful way, one portion of the country wish to raise their negroes or black slaves and the other portion wish to free them, and, apparently, to almost worship them. Well, raise and worship them, who cares? I should never fight one moment about it, for the cause of human improvement is not in the least advanced by the dreadful war which now convulses our unhappy country. Ham will continue to be the servant of servants, as the Lord has decreed, until the curse is removed. Will the present struggle free the slave? No; but they are now wasting away the black race by thousands. Many of the blacks are treated worse than we treat our dumb brutes; and men will be called to judgment for the way they have treated the negro, and they will receive the condemnation of a guilty conscience, by the just Judge whose attributes are justice and truth.Utah should have the right to introduce slavery
Treat the slaves kindly and let them live, for Ham must be the servant of servants until the curse is removed. Can you destroy the decrees of the Almighty? You cannot. Yet our Christian brethren think that they are going to overthrow the sentence of the Almighty upon the seed of Ham. They cannot do that, though they may kill them by thousands and tens of thousands. - JoD 10:250 (Oct 6, 1863)
It is not the prerogative of the President of the United States to meddle with this matter, and Congress is not allowed, according to the [p.40] Constitution, to legislate upon it. If Utah was admitted into the Union as a sovereign State, and we chose to introduce slavery here, it is not their business to meddle with it; and even if we treated our slaves in an oppressive manner, it is still none of their business and they ought not to meddle with it. - JoD 4:39-40 (Aug 31, 1856)Cain's mark: a flat nose, black skin, no intelligence
You see some classes of the human family that are black, uncouth, un- comely, disagreeable and low in their habits, wild, and seemingly deprived of nearly all the blessings of the intelligence that is generally bestowed upon mankind. The first man that committed the odious crime of killing one of his brethren will be cursed the longest of any one of the children of Adam. Cain slew his brother. Cain might have been killed, and that would have put a termination to that line of human beings. This was not to be, and the Lord put a mark upon him, which is the flat nose and black skin. Trace mankind down to after the flood, and then another curse is pronounced upon the same race - that they should be the "servant of servants;" and they will be, until that curse is removed; and the Abolitionists cannot help it, nor in the least alter that decree. How long is that race to endure the dreadful curse that is upon them? That curse will remain upon them, [p.291] and they never can hold the Priesthood or share in it until all the other descendants of Adam have received the promises and enjoyed the blessings of the Priesthood and the keys thereof. Until the last ones of the residue of Adam's children are brought up to that favourable position, the children of Cain cannot receive the first ordinances of the Priesthood. They were the first that were cursed, and they will be the last from whom the curse will be removed. When the residue of the family of Adam come up and receive their blessings, then the curse will be removed from the seed of Cain, and they will receive blessings in like proportion. - JoD 7:290-291 (October 9, 1859)
Why are so many of the inhabitants of the earth cursed with a sin of blackness? It comes in consequence of their fathers rejecting the power of the Holy Priesthood, and the law of God. They will go down to death. And when all the rest of the children have received their blessings in the Holy Priesthood, then that curse will be removed from the seed of Cain, and they will then come up and possess the priesthood, and receive all the blessings which we now are entitled to. - JoD 11:272 (Dec 23, 1866)
If the "old fogies" take a little tobacco, a little whisky, or a little tea and coffee, we wish you boys to let it alone, and let those have it who have long been accustomed to its use. It is far better for these my brethren, who are young and healthy, to avoid every injurious habit. There are a great many boys here who are in the habit of chewing tobacco, they should stop it, and take no more, they are better without it. Some may turn round and say, "Father, do you think so?" Yes, let the old folks have it, but you young, smart gentlemen, let it alone. - JoD 2:271: (Apr 8, 1855)Brigham Young's distillery
When there was no whisky to be had here, and we needed it for rational purposes, I built a house to make it in. When the distillery was almost completed and in good working order, an army was heard of in our vicinity and I shut up the works I did not make a gallon of whisky at my works, because it came here in great quantities, more than was needed. I could have made thousands of dollars from my still, which has ever since been as dead property. Have others followed my example in this? They have not, but there was a whisky shop established here and another there. Some have even told me that they would starve if they did not make whisky. I said to them, make it then, and be damned, for they will be damned anyhow. Am not I able to make whisky? Yes; there stands the still and the still-house to this day, which I have never used and from which I might make thousands of dollars. Have I made whisky and sold it in what some call whisky street? No. Had I done so how many would have hailed me with, "You are a good man, brother Brigham, and you are the right man to lead Israel; thank God for such a man: he keeps a whiskey shop, drinks liquor, trades with our enemies and hugs them to his heart as long as there is any money in their pockets, and takes them to his house and introduces them to his wives and daughters; what a blessed man brother Brigham is." - JoD 10:206 (June 7, 1863)Saints should produce their own tobacco, tea, coffee
I do not think that another community can be found anywhere more capable of taking care of themselves than are the Latter-day Saints. It is true that we do not raise our own tobacco: we might raise it if we would. We do not raise our tea; but we might raise it if we would, for tea-raising, this is as good a country as China; and the coffee bean can be raised a short distance south of us. ...[discussion of silk production]... We can sustain ourselves; and as for such so-called luxuries as tea, coffee, tobacco and whiskey, we can produce them or do without them. - JoD 11:113-114 (1865)Proper use of brandy, wine, tea
If a person is weary, worn out, cast down, fainting, or dying, a brandy sling, a little wine, or a cup of tea is good to revive them. Do not throw these things away, and say they must never be used; they are good to be used with judgment, prudence, and discretion. Ask our Bishops if they drink tea every day, and in most cases they will tell you they do if they can get it. - JoD 12:28 (April 7, 1867)Brigham Young's use of tobacco and tea
... it is not my privilege to drink liquor, neither is it my privilege to eat tobacco. Well, bro. Brigham, have you not done it? Yes, for many years, but I ceased its habitual practice. I used it for toothache; now I am free from that pain, and my mouth is never stained with tobacco. It is not my privilege to drink liquor nor strong tea and coffee although I am naturally a great lover of tea. - JoD 12:29 (April 7, 1867)Saints should make their own wine
When we administer the sacrament of the Lord's Supper, I wish as good wine as can be made in any country, and that too made by ourselves from grapes grown in our own mountain valleys. - JoD 9:108 (Jan 5, 1860)
We had better labor to produce and treasure up the golden wheat, the fine flour, the pure wine, the oil of the olive, and every product for food and clothing that is adapted to our climate. I anticipate the day when we can have the privilege of using, at our sacraments pure wine, produced within our borders. I do not know that it would injure us to drink wine of our own make, although we would be better without it than to drink it to excess. And it would be better for us to do without gold and silver, than to ruin ourselves with them. - JoD 10:300 (June 4, 1864)Use of tea and coffee in Young's family
If I am tried in any point in this world, it is with regard to the bearings of my own conduct to my own family. I have told them, and tell them, and talk to them, and talk about it, and ask them, Am I in the line of my duty while I can feed women and children who do nothing but sit and fold their hands, and wear out their clothing, and dress them in finery, and pamper them, and they get so that good beef, pork, bread, butter, cheese, tea, coffee, and sugar, with fruit, and all kinds of garden sauce, are no rarity to them at all, and their appetites are poor and they cannot eat? This is the case with me in my family. If there is any trial upon me, it is to know whether I am in the line of my duty in this matter.
Should not I take my tea and coffee, my beef and pork, and every other good thing, and put it into the hands of the men who sweat over the rock for the Temple, instead of feeding men, women, and children, who do not strive to do all they are capable of doing? I am tried on that point, and I must say that if there is anything in the world that [p.99] bothers me, it is the whining of women and children to prevent me from doing that which I know that I ought to do. - JoD 5:98-99 (Aug 2, 1857)
The elements of which this terra firma is composed, are every moment either composing or decomposing. They commence to organize or to compose, and continue to grow until they arrive at their zenith of perfection, and then they begin to decompose. When you find a rock that has arrived at its greatest perfection, you may know that the work of decaying has begun. Let the practical chemist make his observations upon a portion of the matter of which this earth is composed; and he will find, that just as quick as it is at its perfection, that very instant it begins to decompose. ...Adam came here from an other planet, brought seeds, animals and a wife with him
Gold and silver grow, and so does every other kind of metal, the same as the hair upon my head, or the wheat in the field; they do not grow as fast, but they are all the time composing or decomposing. - JoD 1:219 (October 9, 1852)
See the quotations under Adam-God above. See also JoD 3:319 and 8:243-244.
The moon and sun are inhabited
Who can tell us of the inhabitants of this little planet that shines of an evening, called the moon? When we view its face we may see what is termed "the man in the moon," and what some philosophers declare are the shadows of mountains. But these sayings are very vague, and amount to nothing; and when you inquire about the inhabitants of that sphere you find that the most learned are as ignorant in regard to them as the most ignorant of their fellows. So it is with regard to the inhabitants of the sun. Do you think it is inhabited? I rather think it is. Do you think there is any life there? No question of it; it was not made in vain. It was made to give light to those who dwell upon it, and to other planets; and so will this earth when it is celestialized. Every planet in its first rude, organic state receives not the glory of God upon it, but is opaque; but when celestialized, every planet that God brings into existence is a body of light, but not till then. Christ is the light of this planet. - JoD 13:271 (July 24, 1870)Dark skin of the American Indian is caused by their ancestors' sins
These Indians [in Utah] are the seed of Israel, through the loins of Joseph who was sold into Egypt; they are the children of Abraham, and belong to the chosen seed; were it not so, you would never have seen them with dark, red skins. This is in consequence of the curse that has been placed upon them, which never would have come upon them in the world, had their fathers not violated the order of God, which was formerly among them; for in proportion to the light they sinned against, so were they reduced by the curse of God, which has been visited upon their children for many generations. - JoD 1:106 (May 8, 1853) (see also Book of Mormon 2 Nephi 5:21, Alma 3:6, 3 Nephi 2:15)
I have frequently told you, and I tell you again, that the very report of the Church and kingdom of God on earth is a terror to all nations, wheresoever the sound thereof goeth. The sound of "Mormonism" is a terror to towns, counties, states, the pretended republican governments, and to all the world. Why? Because, as the Lord Almighty lives and the Prophets have ever written the truth, this work is destined to revolutionize the world and bring all under subjection to the law of God, who is our lawgiver. - JoD 4:41 (August 31, 1856)
Fulfillment: This prophecy remains unfulfilled more than 150 years later.
Whites will never be allowed to marry blacks
Shall I tell you the law of God in regard to the African race? If the while man who belongs to the chosen seed mixes his blood with the seed of Cain, the penalty, under the law of God, is death on the spot. This will always be so. - JoD: vol.10 p. 110 (March 8, 1863) [see the complete cite in the section on the Negro, above]
Since 1978 the LDS church has sanctioned marriages of black Mormons to white Mormons.
War will not free the slaves; Blacks will not be free or hold the priesthood until all whites have had the chance to receive it
... the Lord put a mark upon him [Cain], which is the flat nose and black skin. Trace mankind down to after the flood, and then another curse is pronounced upon the same race - that they should be the "servant of servants;" and they will be, until that curse is removed; and the Abolitionists cannot help it, nor in the least alter that decree. How long is that race to endure the dreadful curse that is upon them? That curse will remain upon them, [p.291] and they never can hold the Priesthood or share in it until all the other descendants of Adam have received the promises and enjoyed the blessings of the Priesthood and the keys thereof. Until the last ones of the residue of Adam's children are brought up to that favourable position, the children of Cain cannot receive the first ordinances of the Priesthood. They were the first that were cursed, and they will be the last from whom the curse will be removed. When the residue of the family of Adam come up and receive their blessings, then the curse will be removed from the seed of Cain, and they will receive blessings in like proportion. - JoD 7:290-291 (Oct 5, 1859)Civil War will continue many years, until Missouri is emptied for the Mormons to return
1. The slaves were freed, as the Abolitionists had hoped, with the adoption of the Thirteenth Amendment, December 18, 1865, as a direct result of war.
2. The LDS church reversed its ban on ordaining Blacks to the priesthood in 1978; they made no claim that the entire "residue of the family of Adam" had been given that opportunity.
President Lincoln called out soldiers for three months, and was going to wipe the blot of secession from the escutcheon of the American Republic. The three months are gone, and the labour is scarcely begun. ... they have begun to empty the earth, to cleanse the land, and prepare the way for the return of the Latter-day Saints to the centre Stake of Zion.Civil War won't free the slaves
Have we inheritances there? When I left the State of Missouri, I had a deed for five pieces of as good land as any in the State, and I expect to go back to it. ... Will we return and receive an inheritance there? Many of the Saints will return to Missouri, and there receive an inheritance. ... Will it be over in six months or in three years? No; it will take years and years, and will never cease until the work is accomplished. There may be seasons that the fire will appear to be extinguished, and the first you know it will break out in another portion, and all is on fire again, and it will spread and continue until the land is emptied. Will they all be killed? No. - JoD 9:142-143 (July 28, 1861)
1. The Civil War lasted not quite four years more, until April, 1865, not "years and years."
2. The War did not prepare the way for the return of the Saints to Missouri.
3. The Saints have not returned to Missouri.
4. Brigham Young did not return to his five pieces of land.
5. The land was never "emptied."
What is the cause of all this waste of life and treasure? To tell it in a plain, truthful way, one portion of the country wish to raise their negroes or black slaves and the other portion wish to free them, and, apparently, to almost worship them. Well, raise and worship them, who cares? I should never fight one moment about it, for the cause of human improvement is not in the least advanced by the dreadful war which now convulses our unhappy country. Ham will continue to be the servant of servants, as the Lord has decreed, until the curse is removed. Will the present struggle free the slave? No; but they are now wasting away the black race by thousands. Many of the blacks are treated worse than we treat our dumb brutes; and men will be called to judgment for the way they have treated the negro, and they will receive the condemnation of a guilty conscience, by the just Judge whose attributes are justice and truth.Mormon leaders will be treated like monarchs by 1882
Treat the slaves kindly and let them live, for Ham must be the servant of servants until the curse is removed. Can you destroy the decrees of the Almighty? You cannot. Yet our Christian brethren think that they are going to overthrow the sentence of the Almighty upon the seed of Ham. They cannot do that, though they may kill them by thousands and tens of thousands. - JoD 10:250 (Oct 6, 1863, also at Millennial Star 25:787
Fulfillment: The slaves were freed beginning with the Emancipation Proclamation of January 1, 1863, and culminating in the adoption of the Thirteenth Amendment to the Constitution December 18, 1865, as a direct result of the Civil War, thus apparently "destroying [a decree] of the Almighty."
In the days of Joseph it was considered a great privilege to be permitted to speak to a member of Congress, but twenty-six years will not pass away before the Elders of this Church will be as much thought of as the kings on their thrones. - JoD 4:40 (Aug 31, 1856)Utah will never be admitted to the Union if the church has to abandon polygamy
Fulfillment: Rather than 1882 bringing high honor to Mormon leaders, it was the year of the Edmonds Anti-Polygamy Act of Congress, making almost all Mormon leaders into felons. Congress that year refused to seat the elected delegate from Utah Territory because he was a polygamist. The following decade found many Mormon leaders in the penitentiary, rather than honored like kings.
I heard the revelation on polygamy, and I believed it with all my heart, and I know it is from God - I know that he revealed it from heaven; I know that it is true, and understand the bearings of it and why it is. "Do you think that we shall ever be admitted as a State into the Union without denying the principle of polygamy?" If we are not admitted until then, we shall never be admitted. - JoD 11:269 (Aug 19, 1866)Children of apostates will get a dark skin
Fulfillment: The church disavowed the practice of polygamy in 1890 and Utah was admitted to the Union in 1896. It is generally understood that its admission was a quid pro quo for giving up polygamy.
Why are so many of the inhabitants of the earth cursed with a sin of blackness? It comes in consequence of their fathers rejecting the power of the Holy Priesthood, and the law of God. They will go down to death. - JoD: 11:272 (August 19, 1866)Apostates will be crushed into insignificance
If I were to forsake this kingdom, the car of righteousness would roll over and crush me into insignificance; and so it will every other man that gets out of the right path. - JoD 4:41 (August 31, 1856)Saints will return to Missouri about 1869
I expect this temple will stand through the millennium . . . and this is the reason why I am having the foundation of the temple taken up. . . . If we do not hurry with this, I am afraid we shall not get it up until we have to go back to Jackson County [Missouri], which I expect will be in seven years. - spoken at the laying of the foundation of the Salt Lake Temple (Journal History, 22 Aug. 1862, LDS archives, cited in Campbell, "Divorce among Mormon Polygamists" in The New Mormon History, ed. Quinn, p 185)Millennium has already begun
Fulfillment: The Mormons did not return to Missouri.
Brethren and sisters, for the sake of your dead and for the sake of yourselves, be faithful and have no feelings in your hearts against one another, but learn to suffer wrong rather than do wrong, and by so doing we will outstrip all our enemies and conquer the evil one, for know ye not that there is Zion? know ye not that the millennium has commenced? We have had Zion upon the earth this fourteen years. Peace reigns among this people which is Zion. - April 6, 1845, reported in Times and Seasons 6:12:956 (July 1, 1845)Temple in Jackson County will be built in Brigham Young's generation
Fulfillment: Few Mormons accept this announcement; the church is still officially waiting for the Millennium to begin.
God knew that old Abraham could not build a temple, therefore he said unto him, go to the mountain I shall tell thee of, and there offer up your sacrifice. He tells us to build an house here in this place [Nauvoo], according to our means. And when we get a little more strength, he will say, go now and execute you means upon the next house we have got to build, and it is just stretch our faith until it shall become exceeding great, that we can command the elements and they will obey. And when we get into Jackson county to walk in the courts of that house, we can say we built this temple for as the Lord lives we will build up Jackson county in this generation, (cries of amen,) and we will be far better off with regard to temporal things, when we have done, than ever we were before. - Times and Seasons 6:956 (April 6, 1845)Utah will be a sovereign nation
Fulfillment: No LDS temple was built in Jackson County in that generation. The site dedicated by Joseph Smith for the temple there still has no temple on it.
"...that the time is not far distant when Utah shall be able to assume her rights and place among the family of nations. - letter to Thomas L. Kane, September 1, 1858, in Eberstadt, Western America, 111, cited by Klaus J. Hansen in "The Metamorphosis of the Kingdom of God," in The New Mormon History, ed. Quinn, p 227Brigham Young will be President of the United States
Fulfillment: Utah never became a sovereign nation.
In twelve years I will either be President of the United States or will dictate who shall be! - no date, reported in Orrin Porter Rockwell by Harold Schindler, 1966, p 250, cited in Tanner, Mormonism: Shadow or Reality? p 195LDS church will lose the priesthood if it gives the priesthood to Negro
Fulfillment: Nothing like this ever occurred.
The Lord told Cain that he should not receive the blessings of the priesthood nor his seed, until the last of the posterity of Able [sic] had received the priesthood, until the redemption of the earth. If there never was a prophet, or apostle of Jesus Christ spoke it before, I tell you, this people that are commonly called negroes are the children of old Cain... They cannot bear rule in the priesthood for the curse on them was to remain upon them, until the residue of the posterity of Michal [sic; i.e. Adam] and his wife [Eve] receive the blessings... Let this Church which is called the kingdom of God on the earth; ... suppose we... here declare that it is right to mingle our seed with the black race of Cain, that they shall come in with us and be partakers with us of all the blessings God has given to us. On that very day and hour we should do so, the priesthood is taken from this Church and kingdom and God leaves us to our fate. The moment we consent to mingle with the seed of Cain the church must go to destruction - we should receive the curse which has been placed upon the seed of Cain, and never more be numbered with the children of Adam who are heirs to the priesthood until that curse be removed. - (no date) Brigham Young Addresses, MS d 1234, Box 48, folder 3, LDS Church Historical Dept., as cited in Tanner, The Changing World of Mormonism, p. 132, and in Tanner, Mormonism: Shadow or Reality?, 5th ed., p. 293A.The "Deseret Alphabet" will make English easier
Fulfillment: Many would suggest that this prophecy was fulfilled. In 1978 the church began to ordain Blacks to the priesthood, and to permit interracial marriages among its members, thus reversing what had been church policy for many decades.
[The "Deseret Alphabet" was a Mormon phonetic alphabet which was invented to replace the English (Latin) alphabet in all Mormon books.]
There are a few items I wish to lay before the Conference before we dismiss, which I think we shall do when we get through our meeting this afternoon. One of these items is to present to the congregation the Deseret Alphabet. We have now many thousands of small books, called the first and second readers, adapted to school purposes, on the way to this city. As soon as they arrive we shall distribute them throughout the Territory. We wish to introduce this alphabet into our schools, consequently we give this public notice. We have been contemplating this for years. The advantages of this alphabet will soon be realized, especially by foreigners. Brethren who come here knowing nothing of the English language will find its acquisition greatly facilitated by means of this alphabet, by which all the sounds of the language can be represented and expressed with the greatest ease. As this is the grand difficulty foreigners experience in learning the English language, they will find a knowledge of this alphabet will greatly facilitate their efforts in acquiring at least a partial English education. It will also be very advantageous to our children. It will be the means of introducing uniformity in our orthography, and the years that are now required to learn to read and spell can be devoted to other studies. - JoD 12:298 (Oct 8, 1868)
Fulfillment: Scriptural passages written in the Deseret Alphabet appeared in the Deseret News in 1859. Orson Pratt transcribed further materials that were published in New York City, printed with type designed and cast there, at a total cost of $18,500. These included first and second school readers in 1868 and the Book of Mormon and a third reader of excerpts from it in 1869. Although few of these books were sold, some Sunday schools as well as territorial schools used them.
In 1873 Pratt estimated the cost of printing a meager library of 1,000 titles at $5 million - prohibitively expensive for a sparse population in a subsistence economy. Those already literate had little incentive to learn the Deseret Alphabet, while illiterates would have had very little to read. The death of President Young in 1877 marked the end of efforts on its behalf. - Encyclopedia of Mormonism, Vol.1, "Deseret Alphabet"
In 1857 it is estimated that eleven thousand troops were ordered here; some seven thousand started for this place, with several thousand hangers on. They came into this Territory when a company of emigrants were traveling on the south route to California. Nearly all of that company [p.110] were destroyed by the Indians. That unfortunate affair has been laid to the charge of the whites. ... but to this day they [the federal authorities] have not touched the matter, for fear the Mormons would be acquitted from the charge of having any hand in it, and our enemies would thus be deprived of a favorite topic to talk about, when urging hostility against us. - JoD 10:109-110 (Apr 7, 1862)Fact: It has now been established that the massacre was organized by white Mormons, and that Brigham Young knew this when he made this statement in 1862. See Juanita Brooks, The Mountain Meadows Massacre, Univ. of Oklahoma Press, 1991, and Will Bagley, The Blood of the Prophets: Brigham Young and the Massacre at Mountain Meadows, Univ. of Oklahoma Press, 2002.
Emma Smith was responsible for the establishment of the RLDS church
Emma Bidamon [i.e., Emma Smith, Joseph Smith's widow, who later married a Mr. Bidamon] is a wicked wicked, wicked woman and always was and she is at the bottom of this whole matter... Joseph [i.e., the first president of the RLDS church, Joseph Smith III, the son of Joseph Smith, Jr.] is led bye his mother and is now accting [under] the directions of Emma... I know more of Emma Joseph Alexander and David [Emma's and Joseph's sons] than they know of them selves." - Journal of Edmund C. Briggs, No. 2, 1863- 64, August 11, 1863, RLDS Archives, cited in Avery, From Mission to Madness, p 73.Fact: Emma Smith and her oldest son, Joseph III, were initially extremely reluctant to associate themselves with the Reorganization. The Reorganization was well under way before either of them were associated with it. Brigham Young carried a great life-long animosity toward the Prophet's widow because of her opposition to polygamy and her refusal to acknowledge Young as the legitimate successor to her husband.
Mormonism is a terror to the world
I have frequently told you, and I tell you again, that the very report of the Church and kingdom of God on earth is a terror to all nations, wheresoever the sound thereof goeth. The sound of "Mormonism" is a terror to towns, counties, states, the pretended republican governments, and to all the world. Why? Because, as the Lord Almighty lives and the Prophets have ever written the truth, this work is destined to revolutionize the world and bring all under subjection to the law of God, who is our lawgiver. - JoD 4:41 (August 31, 1856)Some witnesses of the Book of Mormon were afterwards left to doubt and disbelieve that they had ever seen an angel
Some of the witnesses of the Book of Mormon, who handled the plates and conversed with the angels of God, were afterwards left to doubt and to disbelieve that they had ever seen an angel. One of the Quorum of the Twelve - a young man full of faith and good works, prayed, and the vision of his mind was opened, and the angel of God came and laid the plates before him, and he saw and handled them, and saw the angel, and conversed with him as he would with one of his friends; but after all this, he was left to doubt, and plunged into apostacy, and has continued to contend against this work. There are hundreds in a similar condition. - JoD: vol. 7 p. 164 (June 5, 1859)Mormons are not all righteous
We have in our community the worst creatures that the world can produce; the Gospel net must gather them of necessity, or the swing of Jesus, and what he knew of the kingdom in the last day would not come to pass. There are as bad men and women within the pales of this Church as there are upon this earth, and the Gospel being preached to them prepares them to become devils. As you have frequently been told, that is the only way men can become devils; they must have the knowledge to sin against the Holy Ghost, or yet the day of redemption awaits them, one or the other.
Suppose I was preaching in the world, and they should alledge that some of the people in Utah swore, stole, and were wicked in many ways, I would acknowledge it to be the case. They might then inquire, "Why do you say that you have got the Gospel of salvation? and why do you come to us to preach, seeing that your own people do wickedly?" I would reply that the kingdom of heaven is like unto a net that gathers fish of all kinds, therefore we must have the good and the bad in Utah, or else it cannot be the kingdom of heaven.
We have some of the bad, and those who pass through our settlements, or sojourn in our midst for a brief period, become familiar with those who are wicked, but do not become acquainted with the righteous. The great majority of this people are righteous, but the worldlings seek out and mingle with the few wicked here, because both those classes love the spirit of the world.
As to the great argument against the kingdom of God, because there are some evil doers in the Church, I will take the principles and doctrines taught by Jesus and his Apostles, and show that these go to prove and substantiate the fact that this is the kingdom of God. Why? Because we can produce the meanest curses there are on the earth, those who take all the revelations given by the Almighty, and every influence [p.77] and revelation they can get from the devil, and make use of them to add sin to sin. This fact is also another proof that all hell is against this people, for there is not a person in the world, that gives way to wickedness, but what has antipathy against this people.
Now hearken, O ye Texians; do you say there are are people here who are wicked? So we say. Could I wish things to be otherwise? No, I would not have them different if I could. We can produce the best men and the worst, the best women and the worst, and thus prove, according to the sayings of Jesus Christ and his Apostles, that this is the kingdom of God, or at least answers to the Savior's description of that kingdom.
Were I in Texas I would say, let me tell you that I have not embraced any man on this earth, in my faith, but I have embraced the doctrine of salvation, and it is no matter what the people do in Utah. Here is the doctrine of salvation, talk against that, prove that to be false, or find a flaw in it, if you can. As for the people, they cannot save you. Never embrace a man in your faith, for that is sectarianism.
There are many of the men and women now before me who have looked for a pure people, and have supposed that that was a proof of the truth of our doctrines, but they will never find such a people until Satan is bound, and Jesus comes to reign with his Saints. The doctrine we preach is the doctrine of salvation, and it is that which the Elders of this Church take to the world, and not the people of Utah.
Some of the Elders seem to be tripped up in a moment, if the wicked can find any fault with the members of this Church; but bless your souls, I would not yet have this people faultless, for the day of separation has not yet arrived. I have many a time, in this stand, dared the world to produce as mean devils as we can; we can beat them at anything. We have the greatest and smoothest liars in the world, the cunningest and most adroit thieves, and any other shade of character that you can mention.
We can pick out Elders in Israel right here who can beat the world at gambling, who can handle the cards, cut and shuffle them with the smartest rogue on the face of God's foot-stool. I can produce Elders here who can shave their smartest shavers, and take their money from them. We can beat the world at any game. - JoD 4:76-77 (Nov 9, 1856)
Now, Elders of Israel, ... If you have the right to buy and sell and get gain, to go here and there, to do this and that, to build up the wicked and the ungodly, or their cities, you have rights that I have not got. I have the right to build up Zion, but I have no right to build up a city in wickedness. - JoD 12:31 (April 7, 1867)Anyone dealing with Gentiles should be excommunicated
And you, sisters, cease trading with any man or being in this city or country who does not belong to the church. If you do not, we are going to cut you off from the church, for we are determined not to be driven or broken up again, and we are determined to deal with love and sustain our nation, our community. We mean to live here. We came 1,400 miles to get away from that power which is trying to get into our midst to break us up again. We have subdued the country and made it fruitful, and have fed hundreds of thousands passing on their way east and west, and we calculate to stay here if you will do as I tell you, and cease trading with those who are not of us. Do you suppose that Jesus did not understand the spirit and the feelings of the world when He said, "He who is not for us is against us." Every man and woman of intelligence that ever was or ever will be upon the earth is either for God or against Him. - JoD 12:315 (November 29, 1868)Saints should be self-sufficient
I wonder what the Latter-day Saints would say, to-day, in this matter. Do you think we had better hold on to the ground we have already gained from the enemy? We have gained a little in this co-operative system. We feel for each other and try to assist each other. But let me tell you what I am going to do. I do not expect to merchandize with our enemies to any great extent, but to cut it off just as fast as we can. I expect us to raise our own silk here. I would have had plenty for hundreds of silk dresses this year if I could hays been blessed with some person who would have taken care of my silk worms and done justly by me. Raise your own silk, I will raise mine. Raise your own wool, work it and then wear it, and stop going anywhere to purchase goods. Let us sustain ourselves, for by and by Babylon will fall. What will be the result? The merchants will stand and look at one another worse than they do in this city. No man will buy their merchandize; and they will look here and there for a customer; but there will be no one to buy their merchandize, and the cry will be, "Babylon is fallen, is fallen!" Is this day coming? Yes; just as sure as we are now living. We are hastening it with all possible speed, as fast as time and circumstances will admit, when it will be said, "Babylon is fallen, is fallen!" - JoD 13:93 (Jan 2, 1870)Women's Fashions
I wish to call the attention of our sisters to our Relief Societies. We are happy to say that many of them have done a great deal. We wish them to continue and progress. During this Conference, many of the ladies have, worn very nice straw hats of home manufacture. This is commendable, and this course should be presevered in, until our hats and dresses are the workmanship of our own hands. To my view no trimming for a hat looks more beautiful than a nice straw rosette, bow or button; it looks better than a feather or artificial flower. In our Relief Societies we wish to introduce many improvements. We wish our sisters of experience to teach the young girls not to be so anxious for the gratification of their imaginary wants, but to confine themselves more to their real necessities. Fancy has no bounds, and I often think it is without form and comeliness. We are too apt to give way to the imagination of our hearts, but if we will be guided by wisdom, our judgment will be corrected, and we will find that we can improve very much. - JoD 12:298 (Oct 8, 1868)
Now, then, leaving the useless things which the brethren use - tea, coffee, tobacco, beer, whiskey, etc., I will allude to some that the sisters use and wear, such as tea, coffee, snuff, tobacco, opium, and then the ruffles, bows, puffs, trimmings, and this, that, and the other that they wear on their dresses that are useless. What shall we do in regard to these things? My senses tell me that the children of Zion should forsake every needless fashion and custom which they now practise. My wives dress very plainly, but I sometimes ask them the utility of some of the stripes and puffs which i see on their dresses. I remember asking a lady this question once, and enquired if they kept the bed bugs and flies away. Well, if they do that they are very useful; but if they do not, what use are they? None whatever. Now, some ladies will buy a cheap dress, say a cheap calico, and they will spend from five to fifteen dollars worth of time in making it up, which is wasting so much of the substance which God has given them on the lust of the eye, and which should be devoted to a better purpose. - JoD 18:74 (Aug 31,1875)Labor-saving Machines
Now, then, labor is our capital, and the source and creator of all the wealth that we possess; and I feel it a duty to say to the sisters as well as the brethren, that we must stop the course that has been so generally pursued among the Latter-day Saints, of spending time and means for nothing. I will mention one article to illustrate, and that is the sewing machine. A sewing machine that costs twenty-two dollars to manufacture, we pay one hundred and twenty-five dollars for; for one that costs fourteen dollars to manufacture, we pay eighty-five dollars; and for one that costs sixteen dollars, we pay one hundred. And then, when a man gets his wife a sewing machine, she will spend from five to fifteen dollars worth of time in making a dress. This is wasting time; and we want the brethren and sisters to understand that when they waste time, they are wasting the capital stock which God has given them to improve upon here upon the earth. Says one - "I have nothing to do." You very easily can have if you wish for it.More on silk
...Now, we want the sisters, as well as the brethren, to use their capital stock to the very best advantage. And we wish them to make their own fashions in regard to dress; but if they will not do that, then copy the fashions of Babylon only so far as they are useful; then stop, go no further, and sustain and uphold trade with the outside world only so far as it is really necessary. If the sisters remain with us they will do as they are told; and if they do this we say - You are at perfect liberty to go and renew your covenants by baptism; but if you will not live according to the instructions that are given, we object to you renewing your covenants; we do not wish you to say one thing and do another. We shall require the sisters to take hold and do something for themselves. Where does our knitting come from? Everybody goes to the store to buy knitted goods; but this is not right, we ought to knit our own stockings. If the sisters want some little hoods or jackets for their children they go to the store for them, they are very cheap there. Yet we raise the best of wool here, and we are spinning it just as nice as in any factory in the world. We have knitting machines and all the material necessary, and we have also the ability to knit or weave all the hoods, jackets, drawers, undershirts, etc., that we need; and if the sisters will do their duty, they will do their own knitting and prepare this Fall to raise silk another year. I have been at thousands of dollars expense in encouraging the people here to raise silk, but they do not do it, and in this respect, as in many others, they have neglected their duty, for it is their duty to take hold of this industry. The sisters will say to their husbands - "I want so and so, and I want you to give me the money to buy it." Instead of this, I say, let the sisters go to work and raise some silk, and this will find them and their children profitable employment. If you have not got any mulberry trees, plant out some immediately, they are here by the hundreds and thousands in nurseries, and as soon as possible raise silk, and that when raised and thoroughly cured, will bring the money. Then you can raise the money, without having to call on your husbands. Now if a man buys a sewing machine for his wife, she wants a hired girl to run it; at least, I will say that some women take this course, and they spend their time uselessly and waste the capital stock which God has given them. - JoD 18:75 (August 31, 1875)
Our ladies wear imported [p.114] silk, when in reality this is one of the finest silk countries in the world. The mulberry tree which produces the natural food of the silk worm, flourish on all our bench lands, and our climate is adapted to the healthy condition of the silk worm. I would recommend the planting and propagating of the mulberry tree as shade trees, and as ornamental trees; they also yield a great abundance of excellent fruit. Let our cities and gardens be adorned with trees that are both ornamental and useful. Our young ladies can be amused and profitably employed in feeding that useful insect, in winding and spinning their silk into sewing silk, and into yarn, which can be converted into silks and satins of the finest texture and quality; for we have in our community artisans who can do this work as well as it can be done in any country in the world. - JoD 11:113-114 (1865)
Listing of Brigham Young's wives