[Apostle Wilford Woodruff Journal] 16th I have A vary severe Cold & horseness. This was one of the most interesting days of my life. I attended the family meeting of President Brigham Young And he addressed the meeting at great length during the day and evening upon many interesting principles. There were present of the quorum of the Twelve B Young H. C. Kimball O. Pratt W. Richards W. Woodruff G. A. Smith A Lyman & E. T. Benson.
After singing and prayer by President Young He Arose to address the meeting & remarked that He Had invited the Twelve to be present though they were not of his family. Yet I wish them to act free and speak such things as the Lord shall give them.
Let me state a principle by which you may contemplate much. For the want of understanding many have suffered jealeousies to arise which afflicted their minds with [borrowed?] troubles and uneasiness fearing the Lord loved some others more than themselves. This I have seen in the Church ever since its rise. It was manifest in kirtland when the first Bishop was ordained this jealeous feeling was manifest. Some wondered if the Lord would think enough of them to ordain them a Bishop. Father Morley and others that were present can bare record of this fact. And when the Twelve were Chosen the same feelings exhisted & in fact I will not except all of them for some of them manifested the same feelings when the Bishops were ordained. This spirit has been the overthrow of many in this church. And in fact upon this principle thousands have fallen in all ages.
The Lord gives to every man all the power influence and authority that He can wield in righteousness and all that his goodness & faithfulness merits. Then why should jealousies arise or what benefit can arise by suffering such feelings to exhist? None at all. But those that Cherish such feelings commence trying to pull down every one that is prospering or gaining influence as Cain did instead of building up & nourishing every promising tree & thereby prove himself worthy & show to his brethren & to God that He loves the cause & by his passive spirit that He is not ownly willing that others should prosper & gain influence that He actually loves to see them prosper for then He does all that he can through himself. He helps advance it through others although they recieve the honor of it and he still be aware of it. Such a man will never be forgotten and to his honor glory and exhaltation there shall be no end.
There is another principle that has Caused considerable uneasiness and trouble ie the Idea of some mens having more wives than one. Such tremen-dious fears take hold of some that they hardly know how to live. Still they cant die. [They] begin to whisper and talk around [I] Am actually afraid to go on a mission for fear some man will be sealed to my wife, & when they return home some will be babbing about, you dont know but what you have got another mans wife, are afraid to speak to a young woman for fear that she belongs to somebody els or for fear somebody els wants her. (Others deny the faith as they think but they never had much) and say that it is all of the devil &c. Such foolishnish ought not to be cherished among a wise & prudent people.
Admitting the Lord Created the same number of women as men at the begining and were Commanded to multiply & replenish the earth & to fill up the measure of there Creation in righteousness; the question is did they do it? Answer No. They soon disobeyed every commandment & plunged themselves into wickedness and rendered themselves unworthy to raise up seed unto the Lord & in fact used every means in there power to cut of life & hinder woman answering the end for which they were created; nine tenth of them would rebel against the vary thing he was created to do. Hence you see the propriety of the Lord's Calling upon men who bears the priesthood to take to themselves wives from among the daughters of men & raise up a righteous seed unto him that he might fill up the measure of there creation and hasten the consumation of his purposes in righteousness in this dispensation according to his words previously spoken through his servents the prophets.
But those who suffer fears & jealousey to aris in there bosoms either back right out or get to be mighty Righteous & for fear that they are sleeping with other mens wife they Kick up a dust or broil at home & perhaps abuse there own Companion through jealousy then go off to some woman that does not understand what is right or wrong & tell her that he has she cannot be saved without a man and he has almighty power & can exhalt & save her & likely tell that there is no harm for them to sleep together before they are sealed then go to some doe head of an Elder & get him to say the ceremony all done without the knowledge of the Authority of this Church. This is not right & will not be suffered. The God I serve will reward every man openly without his being under the necessity of going secretly & privately palming himself on the credulity of innocent ignorant females.
Such jealeousies do exhist & were I to say to the Elders you now have the liberty to build up your kingdoms one half of them would lie, swear, steal, & fight like the vary devil, to get men & women sealed to them. They would even try to pass right by me & go to Joseph thinking to get between him & the Twelve. Some have already tryed to used an influence against me but such jealeouses & selfishness shall be stoped & if the brethren do not stop it I will blow it to the four winds by making them all come & be sealed to me & I to my Father & He and all this Church to Joseph.
When I go astray & give wrong council & lead this people astray then is time enough to pull me down & then God will remove me as he has done all others who has turned from the faith.
But to return, I have gatherd a number of families around me by the law of adoption & sealed the covenant according to the order of Adoption the priesthood and others have done likewise it being the means of salvation left to bring us back to God. But had the keys of the priesthood been retained & handed down from father to son throughout all generations up to the present time then there would have been no necessity of the law of Adoption for we would have all been included in the covenant without it & would have been legal heirs instead of being heirs according to promise. The pristhood is eternal without the begining of days or end of life as the Apostle has expressed it.
But man through Aposticy which is entire dis-obediance has lost or suffered the keys & privileges of the Priesthood to be taken away from them & they [were] left to wander in darkness and practice all manner of wickedness untill thousands became the vessals of wrath & were doomed to destruction. For as long as men are without the Priesthood they continue to wander from God & never retrace their steps untill it is done by the priesthood, & the Idea of the Saints being led by fals Prophets is just a notion according to the light in which they view them. All the fals prophets we have are men who have turned aside from the truth.
The man is the head & God of the woman, but let him act like a God in virteous principles & God like conversation, walk and deportment & such men will continue to gain influence & power and advance in Glory to all eternity. But should they use there power in wickedness as a tyrant they soon will be Called to render an account of their stewardship. If not found worthy they will be hurled down to perdition & their family & kingdom be given to another that is more worthy. Some say that a woman cannot be saved without a man. Neither can a man without a woman.
Br Joseph Said he had taught the Twelve all that he knew concerning the order of the kingdom but the difficulty was they Could not remember it as he told them, but when it was necessary they would not be at a loss for understanding; & I bear record to the truth of his word before God this day that I always had an understanding & evry thing was brought to my mind just as he taught them to us. All the ordinances of the Temple & building of the Alter &c came to me Just right when they were to be at
tended to & could we now know Br Hyde, Pratt & Taylor feelings you would say that they could read a man through as soon as they Cast there eyes upon him.
The Apostle Paul while speaking of the Fathers & the Ancients said that they without us could not be made perfect. There was a lack in his day & still will be to all eternity untill the Chain of that Priesthood is restored & evry spirit take a tabernacle that was fore ordained according to the dispensation of the will of God.
I am entitled to the Keys of the Priesthood according to linage & Blood. So is Brother H. C. Kimball & many others [ ] Have taken Kingly power & grades of the Priesthood. This we would have taught in the Temple if time had permitted. Joseph Smith was entitled to the Keys of the Priesthood according to Blood. Still He was the fourth son. But when we get another Temple built then we will teach you concerning those things.
Suffice it to say that I will extend the Chain of the Pristhood back through the Apostolic dispensation to Father Adam just as soon as I can get a temple built. Jesus could have restored the order of the Pristhood in his day & brought in the Mil-lenium if the people would have harkened to his instructions but they rebelled & would not, & it was for this cause that Jesus told them that all the Blood that had Been shed from Righteous Abel down to Zechariah the Prophet should be required at there hands.
I have a request to make of my family & that is that they (esspecially old people) omit calling me their Father. Call me Brother Brigham. I shall feel better when you do for I do not consider that I am worthy of that Appelation. Father in the Priesthood implies the great head. The term would be proper to Father Adam. Jesus had reference to the same thing when He told his deciples not to call any man Father on earth for their Father was in heaven.
The seal of the covenant that I have been speaking off to day was what the Apostle saw previous to the destruction of the wicked when the Angel was commanded not to fear pour out the vials of wrath on the wicked untill the saints were sealed in their forehead & when this was done they all became Father Adams family.
Those that are Adopted into my family & take me for their Councellor if I Continue faithful I will preside over them throughout all Eternity. I will stand at their head, and Joseph will stand at the head of this Church & will be there President Prophet & God to the People in this dispensation. When we Locate I will settle my family down in the order & teach them there duty. They will then have to provide temporal Blessings for me instead of my boarding from 40 to 50 persons as I now do. I will administer in spiritual Blessings to them. I expect to live in the House of the Lord & recieve & administer ordinances to my Brethren & for the dead all the year round.
President H C Kimball arose & addressed the meeting some moments. Bore testimony that what President Young had said was true & rejoiced to meet with them &c. Br O Pratt also addressd the meeting a few moments. Bore testimony to the truth & also rejoiced to meet with them.
There was then an intermission untill after supper. The table was well furnished & supplyed. 40 persons could be seated at the Table at a time. The men were seated to the right with there companion oposite them commencing with the Twelve President Young at there head. Then in order the adopted Children begining with the 1st that was adopted. The Band Choir kept their seats, & continued there sweet strains of music while the guest were partaking of the rich festival.
While at the table Brother Thomas Wolsay & John Tippets entered the House. They came direct from the Mormon Battlion 280 miles south of Santale on the River Riogrand. On the 10th of Nov 1846 they Piloted 56 sick men to Fort Purbulo whare Capt Brown esstablishment were Stationed. From there came in on Pack mules. Were 50 days on the way. Were taken prisoners twice by the Indians. Once was sentenced to death by the Pawnees. Were 30 days without bread & 4 days without much of any thing to eat. Brought a package of 137 letters. Brought good account from fort Purbulow but rather unfavorable from the Battalion. Their faces were coverd with hair & there persons resembled a mountaineer. It was a miracle that the lives of the men were saved from the Indians & Cold. They were seated to the table in the [guarb?] they arived in.
Their arival produced no small stir through the Camp. Men & women came in all directions to enquire after there friends in the Armey.
After the men were refreshed we went into Council with them & they rehearsed the situation of the Battallion. That they had been on half rations for three weeks when they left them & no prospects of more than half rations should they attempt to cross [the] mountains this winter. However report reached Sant[a fe after] they arived that the Battalion had taken the Alpasio a strong hold between the Riogrand and the Mountains without the fireing of a gun. If this report is true the Bat[talion] will have an abundance of suppoort & likely take up winter quarters.
Many other remarks were made & President Young said that if they had harkened to his Council not a man of them would have fallen but would have returned to their friends in perfect safety.
At 7 oclok we returned to the Council House. Found the Saints rejoicing in what [they] had heard through the day. Elder Isaac Morley said that his soul was filled with rejoicing to see the beauty & Harmony of the family Connecting links of the Priesthood that had been taught this day: And when I look at the family Connexion I cannot but acknowledge him my leader in all things & He looking to Joseph the Martered Prophet who has gone to prepare the way for us, and can do more for us than He could do if He was here. This Pristhood spoken off is from all Eternity & will lead to eternity & will exhalt the Saints to be Gods through faithfulness.
President Young arose & continued his remarks upon the law of adoption. Granted the Brethren the privilege of asking questions when they did not fully comprehend his meaning. The Lord introduced the law of adoption for the benefit of the children of men as a school master to bring them back into the covenant of the Priesthood. This Principle I am aware is not clearly understood by many of the Elders in this Church at the present time as it will Hereafter be: And I confess that I have had ownly a smattering of those things but when it is necessary I will attain to more knowledge on the subject & consequently will be enabled to teach & practice more and will in the mean time glorify God the bountiful giver.
I have heard Elders say they were not dependant upon any man. I then considerd & do now that it was saying more than I can say, for I consider that we are all dependant one upon another for our exhalta-tion & that our interest is inseperably connected. (For example) what can my family do without me supposing they were to all turn away from me? I hold the Keys over them through which they are to receive there exhaltation. Would they not be like sheep without a shepherd & would be devoured by the wolves? They Certainly would. Then let us Change the position, & say that I would cut off all my family. Then what glory would I have with nobody to rule over but my own dear little self? To tell you my feelings I would rather be annihilated than to be in that situation. This is another strong proof of the Apostles saying when he declaired that they without us could not be made perfect. Neither can you without me nor I without you be made perfect ie if we are faithful & without faithfulness there is no perfection on any consideration.
This rule applyes to the whole Human family. This is the torment & misery of the disobedient spirits that they cannot be made perfect, unless some scheme should hereafter be introduced for their redemption. They are now without tabernacles to dwell in ownly such as they have taken possession off unlawfully [and] usurped power over, it being a part of their agency that was [bes]towed [upon] them which they used to the consumation of there unhappy [-] wretched estate, it
being the reward & fruits of there doings having been given over to all manner of wickedness permitted to afflict the handy work of the Lord untill they fill up the cup of their iniquity & the Lord sayeth unto them thou wicked & disobedient spirit thou shalt not have power any longer to afflict my people or destroy the works of my hands. You have forefeited your agency & wrought thy fulness. Depart Hence to the pit that I have prepared for thee, & this is there torment, that their power & agency is taken away. They are left to regret that it was through their own disobediance that they Cut the thread of there own salvation, the reflections of which ownly serve to torture & increase there torment & that would be the situation of my family should they cut themselves off from me.
I use my family for an example, not that I have the least fears of their ever doing so, for I have none. I feel happy this night because we are of one mind. Still should I believe that we were perfect & Could not advance any further I should not be Happy but to the honor power & glory of the faithful there is no end.
For your satisfaction I will show you a rule by which you may Comprehend the exhaltation of the faithful. I will use myself as A figure, & say that I am ruling over 10 sons or subjects ownly & soon each one of them would have 10 men sealed to them & they would be ruler over them & that would make me ruler over 10 Presidents or Kings whareas I was ruler over 10 subjects ownly or in other words I ruled over one Kingdom but now I rule over 10. Then let each one get 10 more. Then I would be ruler over 100 Kingdoms & so on continued to all eternity & the more honor & glory that I could bestow upon my sons the more it would add to my exhaltations.
But to clip the thread of your exhaltation then whare would be your glory? It would be like the fallen angels or devils that kept not their first esstate but were reserved in everlasting chains of darkness unto the judgment of the great day. Others fell from heaven were thrust down to hell; But if you wish to advance hold up the hands of your file leader & boast him a head. Should you have ten legions of trains following on after you, you should say to your file leader push ahead for I am coming with my train boasting him up at the same time instead of trying to pass by him. This would stimulate him & he would say come on my boys I will travel as fast as you can & on we would go in one solid train to all Eternity.
Before I close I will answer one question that has been asked me repetedly. Should I have A father Dead that has never herd this gospel, would it be required of me to redeem him & have him adopted unto some roans family And I be adopted unto my Father? I answer No. If we have to attend the ordinances of redemption for our dead relatives we then become their saviors & were we to wait to redeem our dead relatives before we Could link the Chain of the Priesthood we would never accomplish it.
Many other remarks were made & while addressing the females Said Sisters if you expect to call me Br Brigham I want you to be Cleanly. Keep your faces, hands & skin Clean from head to foot your Clothes dishes & Houses clean Also your Children & teach them manners, & when you mix up Bread dont have a dozen flies in your tray.
I know that the women generally rule there Husbands & the Children their Mothers. But when A woman under takes to rule me I want Her to be so secret about it that I Cannot Catch Her at it. Now I do not want the Brethren from my remarks to abuse there wives but treat them kindly: Do there Heavy luging but dont wash there dishes as some men do.
At the close of the remarks there was a little exercise by music & dancing & the meeting was disraised.
[source: Wilford Woodruff's Journal: 1833-1898 Typescript, Volumes 1-9, Edited by Scott G. Kenney, Signature Books 1993, http://amzn.to/newmormonstudies]