Mormon History, Sep 2, 1849

[Brigham Young Sermon] I hope to have the Spirit of the Lord to direct me that you may be instructed - there are great many subjects that might occupy my attention - but I shall confine myself to the power and policy of man - I have contemplated the organization and design of man, whether he is perfectly independent or dependent - whether he is a compact body, or whether he is acted upon, they have occupied as much argument or reasoning as any to the final destiny of man - some say we are mere machines - by some we come to exist, and not to exist, all these are conjured up by man not being directed by the wisdom of the Lord, who rules all things - to say that they are materially different in their feelings would be different for me to decide, but I am strongly inclined to think when untold do not vary a great deal, but told vary a deal. I look upon my own existence to the light within me. If I have talent given me, I shall venture to tell them in part - for an explanation on this point would require many words to convey the idea unless [-] words are given, it would require volumes to explain - there is a spirit in every human being and living creature the inspiration of the Almighty giveth it understanding, without that, we could not convey it to another man - consequently my doctrine is absolutely no man or woman can understand the things of God unless the Almighty giveth understanding - the whole of the gospel is founded on that principle, we must know by the revelations of Jesus Christ - recollect I apply a Sp. yet philosophy applies life to all. the proof of life is an extension - proof of death is a contraction or decomposition - wherever we see in mineral, vegetable or animal creation that you take away life - contraction ensues - I throw round all this life immortality, God is in all - the light of all, through all, and is soul of all that he has - the organization of man is matter - I organized man in my own estimation free and independent - almighty and all powerful in every point of light power to bring into existence and destroy - form and deform - change and decompose - as in one being a God - again being as helpless and dependent as any creature can be - bring them together and mankind is brought forth for nobler purposes to be exalted to Godhead - if I say to you that you hear things never taught by Joseph, don't be frightened, mankind is without beginning of days or end of years mankind is coming forth from organized matter, and commenced in eternity, the facts of the case to me, all things were created spiritual, then temporal, disorganized and wait for a reorganization - and then spiritual again - in starting point as man the principle of eternal lives and every property that pertains to angels - power to produce existence - and then exalt him - no he has not - in eternal light it is power light, excellence and beauty and inseparably connected with Godhead - he is organized in the germ the seed, for the purpose of passing through certain ordeals - with privilege of increasing - expanding multiplying until he brings up beings similar to himself, and glorifies them in himself - I view all mankind brought in existence by Him under His watchful care and control - and he is in it all - we hear men preach where we used to be and how we used to act before we came into this world - if there is any such thing I have forgotten it all - but I view mankind born in the spirit and goes through the same, subjected to all powers of many - clothed upon with flesh and blood and who wanders this vail precisely as he brings his creatures - he is subject to temptation - descends below all things that he may ascend above all things - I don't preach them as being scripture - yet I view the spirit as put into my tabernacle free and independent - as a judge and law giver, and as matter, though refined - my spirit takes a tabernacle according to the agency of the principle of intelligence, one is as important as other and all is brought forth by wisdom of the Lord Jehovah. Then look at the body - I must take my supper and breakfast. I must feed this body or it loses its strength and will decompose - I am partaking of same elements as my body is composed of, if I do not it ceases to exist - my spirit has to eat same as my body and that of the same source from which it came - I view myself as perfectly helpless in beginning - why did Jesus say call no man on earth your father, but he is in heaven, he has been on earth and has attained to the power and glory same as we have the privilege - it is not reasonable to call any man our father, sire, or originator, who is our creator - if we have not power to create the creature we are not the sire, originator - suppose I was to beget 10,000 tabernacles and the spirit did not enter in - we do not see anything we have not the power to give that life - suppose parents were to beget millions of tabernacle and God does not give the spirits - you would see a lifeless lump of clay - it would return to its elements, all men on this earth could not give the optic nerve, or the brain to give hearing, its no such thing - our Father in Heaven gives life and he has power to carry it through - a woman can not go through and be baptized for her husband, brother or father - it is a simple thing - I have power to make a tabernacle and God can give life - if I have power to finish I have power to commence - in the revelation we are to become Sons of God - in New Testament we are to be like Jesus Christ - we shall wake up in his likeness and be like the Savior - and pas from one station to another and be the means of redeeming millions - at the very moment that a thing is revealed, stop, clerk don't write but if he has said write that ye shall become the Sons of God - it would not do it - many things have been turned in some way - I see myself a perfect independent being to act in and of myself because God the Eternal Father brought me spiritual, now temporal - again spiritual - I see all brought into existence perfectly as independent as any in eternity - and again as helpless as child in mothers lap - my spirit dwells in this earthly house, brought forth for glory, for the express purpose of becoming like him that brought it forth - being fashioned like our Father, the Spirit of the Lord, it is folly to think that we cannot act without being acted upon - men has power to control the circumstances - yet he would never have power to act, open hand - or open an eye but the two extremes do exist - and he does act perfectly independent. I was brought here by circumstances and now I mean to control circumstances - and as long as I can keep a march - I control circumstances - both principles do certainly exist - I am organized to posses all this power - he has a soul in him and the Spirit of the Lord giveth it light - and spirit of the devil giveth it darkness my spirit organization requires support and I draw it from the Lord, my mind acts upon things not discerned by the natural eye. I can discern a man's spirit by the Spirit - and can talk and converse with him - Many of the LDS know how to enjoy life without sin - If I do all the Lord dictates me to do, and I control myself, I do all my Father requires of me and then I do it in and of myself. I was begotten, born, lived, enjoyed - have taken a degree of exaltation and am capable of enjoying more, and if I do honor to him that sent me I shall then enjoy more - and do honor to the Father of endless lives - I am controlled at times by a principle of evil and of good and I act independent of others - and in the house of a soldier he is tried in the thick cloud of billows - he is shielded in a cloud of darkness and lights - not knowing his friend from his enemy - the time to try a LDS is when the Lord leaves the spirit same as he left the Son of God - he was left to act independent for himself, he was not always in the presence of the enemy or clothed by the spirit of his father. Father took away his spirit, and Jesus walked up like a man of integrity, he said he knew the way to death - and walked into it '- [-] my body is fond of eating and my spirit is fond of eating also. I
want to feast my mind - my mind is on a continual stretch and I have to bring my mind to a focus twenty times in a hour - and I have come here to rest my mind and want to let it rest - and want the body to overpower the mind for a short time - with me it is all the time mental and now I want to rest - if any man will try the experiment, he will find it out for himself - every man of the LDS is scrutinizing the acts and looks of Brigham - for me to undertake to step into Joseph's shoes - let any other man try it a short time and he will find as if his head was splitting - now for the [-] the Lord may do just as he pleases, he can carry on his own work and may do it or let it alone as he thinks best - but my mind best be released into to retain its elasticity - if I do not receive it does not feed materiality - and if my soul is not materiality I do not expect to know what materiality is - although we cannot see it by finite eyes, or handle it - yet it exists subject to the good and the evil - and which I am let by - but if they both leave me, I act as an independent being - no man understands the resurrection to explain it, or preach it, those who have gone through the resurrection receive the keys, every person on the earth can only officiate in that which he has received - and you nor I will ever know what the resurrection is until we receive the resurrection by our file leaders - I am not dependent on any man for baptism or ordination - why I have received it - but I shall follow Joseph when he is let through - he will turn around and lead us through - and when we are resurrected, they turn around and beget spirit, they organize a world - and begin to bring forth their progeny upon it - when they are brought into existence we then have power to form a world - but just wait a little while and you will know I never believed that Father Adam was made out of a chunk of clay - he was - and we will find him at the head of the whole - it should be our policy to take a course never to create unjust, unhallowed feelings - always stand with outstretched arms to forward the work - to live never to have a difficulty - with their families or any one - it is for me to set the part. Elders, if you wish to see this kingdom prevail be at peace in your families and neighborhoods - don't contend for land quarrels - or words - a person should feel as though he had not character but its in the hands of the Lord, all contentions jars and animosities should cease. if this people will copy examples I give and carry it out - its all I ask of them - my feelings cannot be separated from that man, whose aim is to build up the kingdom of God some Elders are wonderfully afraid of having their dignity offended. a man may have acted the fool but where is the man that never has done wrong. I expect my brethren will overlook my weakness and I will overlook theirs - and until they tear themselves from me - they never can be separated from me - be careful brethren and don't do wrong when you know it - cease that - do good to all and serve God with all your hearts'- We have dropped the idea of labor tithing and let the brethren pay the labor tithing in money - and we employ men and pay them which is the best - I want the brethren up here to say - are you going to give us a lift or no? if you are not going to pay tithing say so. -- Salt Lake City [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..; Leonard J. Arrington Papers, Special Collections, Merrill-Cazier Library, Utah State University, Logan.. (A reference reading LJA 12-55-5, 10, means LJA Series 12, Box 55, Folder 5, page 10.) 9-12-5, 2-8]

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

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