Mormon History, Mar 26, 1847 (Afternoon)

[Brigham Young Sermon] I have it in this conference to lay before the people a subject that has heretofore greatly interested the saints. My reflections, judgment, knowledge and the Spirit of the Lord tells me its right. I reason on natural philosophy it proves to be right. I look at the people in their poverty, richness and health. I propose the old principle and see if it cannot be revived. I never trou- bled myself to teach a great deal but it will do its office and perform its duties without any restriction on the [-] and congenial to all the principles of righteousness. Will the Latter-day Saints at this time once think of the Word of Wisdom and take the money that we pay for tobacco, etc. And make some [-] and clothe your children, it is a general practice to ask God to do that which we won't do ourselves. I think to propose to the pioneers to leave out the 10 lb coffee and take 20 of flour. The word of wisdom says tobacco is good for cattle. Rheumatism is compared to screwing this hand in a vice, and then give an Almighty surge and that is gout. In former days it was the lest of fellowship, neither is it cursed in the word of wisdom itself. It is a principle naturally taught. The word of wisdom is temperance in all things. This eating and drinking in or great we come in the misery of man. I am the man and not my [-], I don't have pains that I may get through which I desire. There is no food, drink, vegetable, mineral or every thing that is not attached to it without there is [-] in it. But tobacco, opium. The end thereof is worse than the beginning. Man tends dominion and dust he is, and to dust he must return. When you go to a stake of Zion you will have to quit it. Those who cannot overcome, you may know who is king, tobacco or the man. We have not asked you to fast or have a sacrament meeting. This meeting looks like it used to be at Nauvoo, to see the thousands gather around the stand. I am for a reformation, you don't go to a stake of Zion and prosper with these habits. When we are gone from here, you will find men rising up in you midst and say the in and out of [-] peace. It don't belong to them to lead the camp, follow me. The Twelve I can prove by the Doctrine and Covenants ought to be preaching. If there is a man can dictate to the saints, who will warn them from their danger, bring him home, and will all vote for him. You will find just such men here when we are gone. If the women don't straiten them out, I am a man, while we are here. The old be curtain remains pretty still. You will hear a many things if you don't see right. When a man has a errand from the Almighty he comes out and declares them like a man. I receive all [-] as they come along and then judge them. When a man carries the spirit of the Lord you will know it, or if the spirit of the devil, or of a spirit of their own. Who has a [-] body you may not expect to see much then, you may expect to see all kings of faces. I warn you and forewarn you, you may do just as you please, if such characters do come along I hope they will take all the chaff out of the wheat. It is necessary we should have false prophets, lions, devils, etc. So that you may choose the good and refuse the evil. It is good for this people to commence sacraments, fasts, prayer meetings and observe the word of wisdom, if a man cant do without a little tobacco, put you king in your mouth and chew him up. If a man cannot reign over himself what king of a thing would he be to others. When a man can preside over himself he can preside over others. There is a great deal of whining about some men having more wives than one, now I tell you there are but few men who are worthy of having a wife. If a man is liable to give way to his passions, who would like to trust themselves in you power. You have to have power with God, them you can control yourself and others. No man can have power unless it is given him by the Almighty. There are more in the world waiting for you that you can take care of. Wait sixteen years more and see what will come, you will be perfectly astonished. There are principles going in the Elders of Israel that have to be stopped. It is not the work of the Lord that a mean cunning fellow should have a wife. If a man who has the Holy Ghost and backslides, the first thing they want is to shed innocent blood. Brother Joseph Smith's life was taken, it was concocted, grew, in the breasts of those who professed to be his best friends. When the Marshall was in town I knelt down to my Father and prayed that I might be delivered. Brother Miller went down. The Marshall said you are my prisoner. It was a perfect burlesque, to take him to Carthage and never ask him his name. I hope I may live many years and do a good work on the earth. Why not begin a good work now, and they will be healthier that they have been since they came into the W. Country. You need not be afraid of sickness, you will be healthy and happy, use salad, and let whiskey, tobacco, etc alone. I don't want you to say you'll do without it, and add a lie. When a man or woman really wants a cup of tea of a little spirits in the time of sickness, have it and them throw it away again. We want you to learn about the [-] now. The law of God is a perfect law of liberty. Have men filled with the Holy Ghost that they may judge all matters on prin- ciples of righteousness. Take the facts as they are, put the right on the right hand and the wrong on the left. We have men if they are not righteous judges now they mead to be. We have said to the herdsmen, let the poor and the widows have the cattle. Scores of men turn around and wont pay a cent. Don't you see a defect in the common course of law? Get half a dozen righteous men, go and enquire into what they have got. Set the righteous men to work and they will judge right and do right. Is it right to oppress the poor, is it right for me to keep two coats and my neighbor none? We want to start the pioneer companies soon. We want each company to send a [-] send few teams up to Pawnee Village to carry feed. I don't want to have any borrowing or lending. Every wagon has got to be searched and see that you have enough provision to last eighteen months. You may meet with accidents and lose your food. Some may make their calculation what they will eat. We shall stay as long as we can on the opposite side of the mountains. Come through before snow fills up the mountains, and according to the report you will act. It wont be five years before the Yankee boys ransack the entire country and see what can be done. If it is necessary for all to go from here. I would risk starving to death, take your cows and put on your leads and fasten you children on. When we do all we can, then the Lord will help up to do the rest'- I don't contemplate giving an explanation of these things to the whiners. I sum it up and tell the whole concern. I don't ask any favors of them, its not your business what I do. I know what that [-] ought to have done and what they have done, and know what their covenants were. If I had had the goods I would have filed them out to them in twenty days. We have been at hundreds of dollars expense for the sisters and we don't even get thankful for it. They may grin but they cant grow the tree down, nor the coon out of the tree. I am as clean as a shed of white paper before the Lord and I ask no favors. We calculate to take all the women to the mountains who we think would apostatize, and those who are faithful let them stop here. You don't not that I tell you this just to keep you good. We want the soldiers women to go who can go comfortably. We don't expect any to go who cannot go comfortably. Many of the poor fellows have died, and the experience of those who don't apostatize they would not take the whole U.S. For it. If they had done as we had told them, all would have been well, but they gambled, drunk, many will perish because they did not obey the council given. If they die in the flesh they will come forth in the day of God Almighty. If they do not deny the truth, and so will a many of this company perish unless they walk straight. It's not to be found in history, or the knowledge
of man that any people ever did more or better than we have done in Winter Quarters. Yet we ought to sanctify our hearts and bear off the kingdom triumphantly, [-] in all faith and righteousness until you get perfect. According to sin [-] we ought to increase in grace until we accomplish the work the Lord has given us to do. We have the savages around us. All the Christian world at war with us. Devils inside and out, wherever we go? Therefore I exhort you to all diligence and faithfulness. I propose we adjourn until next Sunday at ten and to have the sacrament in the afternoon. -- Winter Quarters, Nebraska [Thomas Bullock Minutes, LJA; Thomas Bullock—LDS Church Reporter, 1844-56.C, Archives, Church History Library, Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Salt Lake City, Utah.; GCM, Archives, Church History Library, Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Salt Lake City, Utah..; General Church Minutes. Selected Collections from the Archives of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints DVD 1 (2002)]

[The Complete Discourses of Brigham Young, Ed. Richard S. Van Wagoner, Smith-Pettit Foundation, Salt Lake City (2009)]

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