Brigham Young

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Brigham Young

Brigham Young (June 1, 1801August 29, 1877) was the second prophet and president of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. He was also the first governor of the Utah Territory.

Sourced[edit]

1840s[edit]

  • It is enough. This is the right place. Drive on.

1850s[edit]

  • 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...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.
  • Some of you may doubt the truth of what I now say, and argue that the Lord could teach him. This is a mistake. The Lord could not have taught him in any other way than in the way in which He did teach him. You believe Adam was made of the dust of this earth. This I do not believe, though it is supposed that it is so written in the Bible; but it is not, to my understanding. You can write that information to the States, if you please-that I have publicly declared that I do not believe that portion of the Bible as the Christian world do. I never did, and I never want to. What is the reason I do not? Because I have come to understanding, and banished from my mind all the baby stories my mother taught me when I was a child. But suppose Adam was made and fashioned the same as we make adobies; if he had never drunk of the bitter cup; the Lord might have talked to him to this day, and he would have continued as he was to all eternity, never advancing one particle in the school of intelligence. This idea opens up a field of light to the intelligent mind. How can you know truth but by its opposite, or light but by its opposite? The absence of light is darkness. How can sweetness be known but by its opposite, bitter? It is by this means that we obtain all intelligence.
  • Will the Constitution be destroyed? No: it will be held inviolate by this people; and, as Joseph Smith said, "The time will come when the destiny of the nation will hang upon a single thread. At that critical juncture, this people will step forth and save it from the threatened destruction." It will be so.
  • In my conversation, I shall talk and act as I please. Still I am always aware, when speaking in public, that there are those present who are disposed to find fault with this people, and to try to raise a prejudice against them; and they will pick up isolated words and sentences, and put them together to suit themselves, and send forth a garbled version to prejudice the world against us. Such a course I never care anything about; for I have frequently said, spoken words are but wind, and when they are spoken are gone; consequently I take liberties in speaking which I do not allow when I commit my sentiments to writing.
    • Journal of Discourses 2:179 (February 18, 1855)
    • Young predicts that people will take his written words and rearrange them to suit themselves.
  • I will tell you what this people need, with regard to preaching; you need, figuratively, to have it rain pitchforks, tines downwards, from this pulpit, Sunday after Sunday. Instead of the smooth, beautiful, sweet, still, silk-velvet-lipped preaching, you should have sermons like peals of thunder, and perhaps we then can get the scales from our eyes. This style is necessary in order to save many of this people.
  • 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 spilt 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 ... 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 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.
  • 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 taken in a gross fault, that he has committed a sin he knows will deprive him of the exaltation 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 would say, 'shed my blood that I might 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 shedding of their blood? Will you love that man or woman well enough to shed their blood?...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.


  • 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

1860s[edit]

  • Angels are those beings who have been on an earth like this, and have passed through the same ordeals that we are now passing through. They have kept their first estate far enough to preserve themselves in the Priesthood. They did not so violate the law of the Priesthood and condemn themselves to the sin against the Holy Ghost as to be finally lost. They are not crowned with the celestial ones. They are persons who have lived upon an earth, but did not magnify the Priesthood in that high degree that many others have done who have become Gods, even the sons of God. Human beings that pertain to this world, who do not magnify or are not capable of magnifying their high calling in the Priesthood and receive crowns of glory, immortality, and eternal lives, will also, when they again receive their bodies, become angels and will receive a glory. They are single, without families or kingdoms to reign over. All the difference between men and angels is, men are passing through the day of trial that angels have already passed through.
  • Which would you part with first-your tobacco, your whisky, or your religion? Your tea, or your religion? Which would you shake hands with and bid good-bye for ever-your coffee, or your religion? I should think I had disgraced the man that stands before you this day, if I loved any object on the earth better than I love my religion and my God.
  • 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 the Company were destroyed by the Indians. That unfortunate affair has been laid to the charge of the whites. A certain judge that was then in this Territory wanted the whole army to accompany him to Iron county to try the whites for the murder of that company of emigrants. I told Governor Cumming that if he would take an unprejudiced judge into the district where that horrid affair occurred, I would pledge myself that every man in the regions round about should be forthcoming when called for, to be condemned or acquitted as an impartial, unprejudiced judge and jury should decide; and I pledged him that the court should be protected from any violence or hindrance in the prosecution of the laws; and if any were guilty of the blood of those who suffered in the Mountain Meadow massacre, let them suffer the penalty of the law; but to this day they 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. "The Mountain Meadow massacre! Only think of the Mountain Meadow massacre!!" is their cry from one end of the land to the other.
  • [I]f you have in your hearts to say…”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 blessing offered unto them, and they refused to accept them. The Lord gave a revelation through Joseph Smith, His servant; and we have believed and practiced it.
  • Now, there is no harm in a teapot, even if it contains tea, if it is let alone.
  • I very well recollect the reformation which took place in the country among the various denominations of Christians-the Baptists, Methodists, Presbyterians, and others-when Joseph was a boy. Joseph's mother, one of his brothers, and one, if not two, of his sisters were members of the Presbyterian Church, and on this account the Presbyterians hung to the family with great tenacity. And in the midst of these revivals among the religious bodies, the invitation, "Come and join our church," was often extended to Joseph, but more particularly from the Presbyterians. Joseph was naturally inclined to be religious, and being young, and surrounded with this excitement, no wonder that he became seriously impressed with the necessity of serving the Lord. But as the cry on every hand was, "Lo, here is Christ," and "Lo, there!" Said he, "Lord, teach me, that I may know for myself, who among these are right." And what was the answer? "They are all out of the way; they have gone astray, and there is none that doeth good, no not one. When he found out that none were right, he began to inquire of the Lord what was right, and he learned for himself. Was he aware of what was going to be done? By no means. He did not know what the Lord was going to do with him, although He had informed him that the Christian churches were all wrong, because they had not the Holy Priesthood, and had strayed from the holy commandments of the Lord, precisely as the children of Israel did.
    • Journal of Discourses 12:67 (June 23, 1867)
    • Young’s recollection of religious excitement and events leading up to Joseph Smith, Jr.’s first vision.
  • The Gospel that we preach is the power of God unto salvation; and the first principle of that Gospel is, as I have already said, faith in God, and faith in Jesus Christ His Son our Savior. We must believe that he is the character he is represented to be in the holy Scriptures. Believe that he told the truth when he said to his disciples, "Go ye forth and preach the Gospel to every creature; he that believeth and is baptized shall be saved, but he that believeth not shall be damned." We must believe that this same Jesus was crucified for the sins of the world, that is for the original sin, not the actual individual transgressions of the people; not but that the blood of Christ will cleanse from all sin, all who are disposed to act their part by repentance, and faith in his name. But the original sin was atoned for by the death of Christ, although its effects we still see in the diseases, tempers and every species of wickedness with which the human family is afflicted.

1870s[edit]

  • I have heard some make the broad assertion that every word within the lids of the Bible was the word of God. I have said to them, "You have never read the Bible, have you?" "O, yes, and I believe every word in it is the word of God." Well, I believe that the Bible contains the word of God, and the words of good men and the words of bad men; the words of good angels and the words of bad angels and words of the devil; and also the words uttered by the ass when he rebuked the prophet in his madness. I believe the words of the Bible are just what they are; but aside from that I believe the doctrines concerning salvation contained in that book are true, and that their observance will elevate any people, nation or family that dwells on the face of the earth. The doctrines contained in the Bible will lift to a superior condition all who observe them; they will impart to them knowledge, wisdom, charity, fill them with compassion and cause them to feel after the wants of those who are in distress, or in painful or degraded circumstances.
  • Some, in their curiosity, will say, "But you Mormons have another Bible! Do you believe in the Old and New Testaments?" I answer we do believe in the Old and New Testaments, and we have also another book, called the Book of Mormon. What are the doctrines of the Book of Mormon? The same as those of the Bible…"What good does it do you, Latter-day Saints?" It proves that the Bible is true. What do the infidel world say about the Bible? They say that the Bible is nothing better than last year's almanack; it is nothing but a fable and priestcraft, and it is good for nothing. The Book of Mormon, however, declares that the Bible is true, and it proves it; and the two prove each other true. The Old and New Testaments are the stick of Judah. You recollect that the tribe of Judah tarried in Jerusalem and the Lord blessed Judah, and the result was the writings of the Old and New Testaments. But where is the stick of Joseph? Can you tell where it is? Yes. It was the children of Joseph who came across the waters to this continent, and this land was filled with people, and the Book of Mormon or the stick of Joseph contains their writings, and they are in the hands of Ephraim. Where are the Ephraimites? They are mixed through all the nations of the earth. God is calling upon them to gather out, and He is uniting them, and they are giving the Gospel to the whole world. Is there any harm or any false doctrine in that? A great many say there is. If there is, it is all in the Bible.
  • It has been observed here this morning that we are called fanatics. Bless me! That is nothing. Who has not been called a fanatic who has discovered anything new in philosophy or science? We have all read of Galileo the astronomer who, contrary to the system of astronomy that had been received for ages before his day, taught that the sun, and not the earth, was the centre of our planetary system? For this the learned astronomer was called "fanatic," and subjected to persecution and imprisonment of the most rigorous character. So it has been with others who have discovered and explained new truths in science and philosophy which have been in opposition to long-established theories; and the opposition they have encountered has endured until the truth of their discoveries has been demonstrated by time. The term "fanatic" is not applied to professors of religion only...I will tell you who the real fanatics are: they are they who adopt false principles and ideas as facts, and try to establish a superstructure upon a false foundation. They are the fanatics; and however ardent and zealous they may be, they may reason or argue on false premises till doomsday, and the result will be false. If our religion is of this character we want to know it; we would like to find a philosopher who can prove it to us. We are called ignorant; so we are: but what of it? Are not all ignorant? I rather think so. 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. God gives light to our eyes.
  • I suppose that, if we were in the congregations of some of our Christian fellow-countrymen, we would not hear any children crying. I believe they have none in some societies. I am very happy to hear the children crying when it is really necessary and they cannot be kept from it. One thing is certain, wherever we go there is a proof that the people are keeping the commandments of the Lord, especially the first one—to multiply and replenish the earth.
  • If you should have visits here from those professing to be Christians, and they intimate a desire to preach to you, by all

means invite them to do so. Accord to every reputable person who may visit you, and who may wish to occupy the stands of your meeting houses to preach to you, the privilege of doing so, no matter whether he be a Catholic, Presbyterian, Congregationalist, Baptist, Free-will Baptist, Methodist, or whatever he may be; and if he wishes to speak to your children let him do so. Of course you have the power to correct whatever false teachings or impressions, if any, your children may hear or receive.

  • You will probably have what is called a Christian Church here; they will not admit that we are Christians, but they cannot think us further from the plan of salvation as revealed from heaven than we know them to be, so we are even on that ground, as far as it goes.
  • [T]ake the Bible just as it reads; and if it be translated incorrectly, and there is a scholar on the earth who professes to be a Christian, and he can translate it any better than King James's translators did it, he is under obligation to do so, or the curse is upon him. If I understood Greek and Hebrew as some may profess to do, and I knew the Bible was not correctly translated, I should feel myself bound by the law of justice to the inhabitants of the earth to translate that which is incorrect and give it just as it was spoken anciently. Is that proper? Yes, I would be under obligation to do it. But I think it is translated just as correctly as the scholars could get it, although it is not correct in a great many instances. But it is no matter about that. Read it and observe it and it will not hurt any person in the world. If we are not to believe the whole of the Bible, let the man, whoever he may be, among the professed Christians, who thinks he knows, draw the line between the true and the false, so that the whole sectarian world may be able to take the right and leave the wrong. But the man Christ Jesus, who has revealed himself in the latter days, says the Bible is true and the people must believe it. Let us believe it, and then obey it.
  • I say, if you want to enjoy exquisitely, become a Latter-day Saint, and then live the doctrine of Jesus Christ.
    • Deseret News: Semi-Weekly, 1 (30 June 1874)

Race[edit]

  • "You see some classes of the human family that are black, uncouth, uncomely, disagreeable and low in their habits, wild, and seemingly deprived of nearly all the blessings of the intelligence that is generally bestowed upon mankind....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."
    • Journal of Discourses, vol. 7, p. 290.
  • "In our first settlement in Missouri, it was said by our enemies that we intended to tamper with the slaves, not that we had any idea of the kind, for such a thing never entered our minds. We knew that the children of Ham were to be the "servant of servants," and no power under heaven could hinder it, so long as the Lord would permit them to welter under the curse and those were known to be our religious views concerning them."
    • Journal of Discourses, vol. 2, p. 172.
  • "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."
    • Journal of Discourses, vol. 10, p. 110.
  • "For their abuse of [the Black African] race, the whites will be cursed, unless they repent."
    • Journal of Discourses, Vol.10, p.110



Apostates[edit]

  • 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 simultaneous 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.
    • Journal of Discourses 1:83 (March 27, 1853)
    • Young describing his feelings upon awakening from a dream in which he "saw two ruffians, whom I knew to be mobbers and murderers, and they crept into a bed, where one of my wives and children were..."

Thieves[edit]

  • 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.

(reference is incorrect)

Joseph Smith[edit]

  • I can sum up all the arguments used against Joseph Smith and "Mormonism” in a very few words, the merits of which will be found in "OLD JOE SMITH. IMPOSTOR, MONEY DIGGER. OLD JOE SMITH. SPIRITUAL WIFE DOCTRINE. IMPOSTURE. THE DOCTRINE IS FALSE. MONEY DIGGER. FALSE PROPHET. DELUSION. SPIRITUAL WIFE DOCTRINE. Oh, my dear brethren and sisters, keep away from them, for the sake of your never dying souls. FALSE PROPHETS THAT SHOULD COME IN THE LAST DAYS. OLD JOE SMITH. ANTI-CHRIST. MONEY DIGGER, MONEY DIGGER, MONEY DIGGER. And the whole is wound up with an appeal, not to the good sense of the people, but to their unnatural feelings, in a canting, hypocritical tone, and there it ends.

Polygamy[edit]

  • I will now say, not only to our delegate to Congress, but to the Elders who leave the body of the Church, that he thought that all the cats and kittens were let out of the bag when brother Pratt went back last fall, and published the Revelation concerning the plurality of wives: it was thought there was no other cat to let out. But allow me to tell you, Elders of Israel, and delegates to Congress, you may expect an eternity of cats, that have not yet escaped from the bag. Bless your souls, there is no end to them, for if there is not one thing, there will always be another.
  • This is the reason why the doctrine of plurality of wives was revealed, that the noble spirits who are waiting for tabernacles might be brought forth


  • Just ask yourselves, historians, when was monogamy introduced on to the face of the earth? When those buccaneers, who settled on the peninsula where Rome now stands, could not steal women enough to have two or three apiece, they passed a law that a man should have but one woman. And this started monogamy and the downfall of the plurality system. In the days of Jesus, Rome, having dominion over Jerusalem, they carried out the doctrine more or less. This was the rise, start and foundation of the doctrine of monogamy; and never till then was there a law passed, that we have any knowledge of, that a man should have but one wife.
  • [W]e shall continue to do it until God tell us to stop, or until we pass into sin and iniquity, which will never be.
  • Some of these my brethren know what my feelings were at the time Joseph revealed the doctrine; I was not desirous of shrinking from any duty, nor of failing in the least to do as I was commanded, but it was the first time in my life that I had desired the grave, and I could hardly get over it for a long time. And when I saw a funeral, I felt to envy the corpse its situation, and to regret that I was not in the coffin...
    • Journal of Discourses 3:266 (Jul. 14, 1855)

Wealth[edit]

  • The worst fear that I have about this people is that they will get rich in this country, forget God and his people, wax fat, and kick themselves out of the Church and go to hell. This people will stand mobbing, robbing, poverty and all manner of persecution, and be true. My greater fear for them is that they cannot stand wealth; and yet they have to be tried with riches, for they will become the richest people on this earth.
    • Preston Nibley, Brigham Young, the Man and His Work, 128.

First Vision[edit]

  • 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 knowledge 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.
    • Journal of Discourses 2:170-171 (February 18, 1855)
    • Young comments on Joseph Smith’s visions. This quote is often presented in a heavily edited form which reads: "The Lord did not come…But he did send his angel to this same obscure person, Joseph Smith Jun.,…"
  • The Lord chose Joseph Smith, called upon him at fourteen years of age, gave him vision, and led him along, guided and directed him in his obscurity.


  • You read in the revelations given to John on the Isle of Patmos, concerning the latter days, that a voice was heard crying to the Saints in Babylon-"Come out of her, O my people, be not partakers of her sins, lest ye receive of her plagues, for her sins have reached unto heaven," etc. Has this voice been heard? Yes, the Latter-day Saints have heard it. Has the angel flown through the midst of heaven and delivered the Gospel to the children of men? Yes, we believe all this. Do we believe that the Lord sent his messengers to Joseph Smith, and commanded him to refrain from joining any Christian church, and to refrain from the wickedness he saw in the churches, and finally delivered to him a message informing him that the Lord was about to establish his kingdom on the earth, and led him on step by step until he gave him the revelation concerning the plates? Yes, this is all correct. Did Joseph receive these revelations? He did. Did the heavenly messengers come to Joseph, and commit to him the keys of the Aaronic Priesthood? Yes, we believe all this. Did they commit to him the keys of the Melchizedek Priesthood? Yes. This is all correct, we believe all this.
  • Why was Joseph Smith persecuted? Why was he hunted from neighborhood to neighborhood, from city to city, and from State to State, and at last suffered death? Because he received revelations from the Father, from the Son, and was ministered to by holy angels, and published to the world the direct will of the Lord concerning his children on the earth.

Persecution[edit]

  • I will take the Government of the United States, and the laws of Missouri and Illinois, from the year 1833 to 1845, and if they had been carried out according to their letter and spirit, they would have strung up the murderers and mobocrats who illegally and unrighteously killed, plundered, harassed, and expelled us. I will tell you how much I love those characters. If they had any respect to their own welfare, they would come forth and say, whether Joseph Smith was a Prophet or not, "We shed his blood, and now let us atone for it;" and they would be willing to have their heads chopped off, that their blood might run upon the ground, and the smoke of it rise before the Lord as an incense for their sins. I love them that much. But if the Lord wishes them to live and foam out their sins before all men and women, it is all right, I care not where they go, or what they do.
  • We have the proof on hand, that instead of the laws being honored, they have been violated in every instance of persecution against this people; instead of the laws being made honorable, they have been trampled under the feet of lawyers, judges, sheriffs, governors, legislators, and nearly all the officers of the government; such persons are the most guilty of breaking the laws. To diverge a little, in regard to those who have persecuted this people and driven them to the mountains, I intend to meet them on their own grounds. It was asked this morning how we could obtain redress for our wrongs; I will tell you how it could be done, we could take the same law they have taken, viz., mobocracy, and if any miserable scoundrels come here, cut their throats. (All the people said, Amen.) This would be meting out that treatment to wicked men, which they had measured to innocent persons. We could meet them on their own ground, when they will not honor the law, but will kill the Prophets and destroy the innocent.
  • I would rather that this people should starve to death in the mountains, than to have the Lord Almighty hand us over to a cursed, infernal mob. I would rather go down to the grave in peace than to fight a mob, unless the Lord would give me enough Saints to fight and kill the poor devils; in such case I wish to live and fight them. But I never want to see a mob again drive and tread under foot the Saints.

Adultery[edit]

  • You say, "That man ought to die for transgressing the law of God." Let me suppose a case. Suppose you found your brother in bed with your wife, and put a javelin through both of them, you would be justified, and they would atone for their sins, and be received into the kingdom of God. I would at once do so in such a case; and under such circumstances, I have no wife whom I love so well that I would not put a javelin through her heart, and I would do it with clean hands. But you who trifle with your covenants, be careful lest in judging you will be judged. Every man and women has got to have clean hands and a pure heart, to execute judgment, else they had better let the matter alone. Again, suppose the parties are not caught in their iniquity, and it passes along unnoticed, shall I have compassion on them? Yes, I will have compassion on them, for transgressions of the nature already named, or for those of any other description. If the Lord so order it that they are not caught in the act of their iniquity, it is pretty good proof that He is willing for them to live; and I say let them live and suffer in the flesh for their sins, for they will have it to do.
  • There is not a man or woman, who violates the covenants made with their God, that will not be required to pay the debt. The blood of Christ will never wipe that out, your own blood must atone for it; and the judgments of the Almighty will come, sooner or later, and every man and woman will have to atone for breaking their covenants. To what degree? Will they have to go to hell? They are in hell enough now. I do not wish them in a greater hell, when their consciences condemn them all the time. Let compassion reign in our bosoms. Try to comprehend how weak we are, how we are organized, how the spirit and the flesh are continually at war.
  • 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.


Mountain Meadows massacre[edit]

  • Kanosh the Pauvantee [Pauvant] Chief with Several of his band vis[i]ted me gave them some council & presints. A Spirit Seems to be takeing posses[s]ion of the Indians to assist Isreal. I can hardly restrain them from exterminating the "Americans"
    • Diary of Brigham Young 1857, p. 71 (September 1, 1857)
    • Comments written by Young in his diary less than a week before the Mountain Meadows massacre.


“In the name of Jesus Christ, the Son of God, I do solemnly obligate myself ever to conceal, and never to reveal, the secret purposes of this society called the Daughters of Zion. Should I ever do the same, I hold my life as the forfeiture.”

- Portion of the Danite Constitution, as quoted in Senate Document 189 of the 2nd session of the 26th Congress

“I from this day declare myself the Avenger of the blood of those innocent men, and the innocent cause of Zion.”

- Danite pledge to the Prophet, Alanson Ripley to “Dear brethren in Christ Jesus,” with Joseph Smith, Hyrum Smith, Caleb Baldwin, Alexander McRae, and Lyman Wight identified by initials at end of letter, April 10, 1839, see Hill, Quest for Refuge, p. 100 and Quinn, The Mormon Hierarchy: Origins of Power, p. 113

“He [Brigham Young] uttered this sentiment with such a wicked working of the lower jaw and lip, and such an almost demon spirit in his whole face, that quite disposed to be incredulous on those matters. I could not help thinking of the Mountain Meadows massacre, of Danites and Avenging Angels, and their reported achievements.”

- New York Tribune, July 15, 1865

[There is] “... only [one] known visit of Joseph or Hyrum Smith to Danite meetings... evidence indicates that Rigdon was present on more than one occasion, perhaps several.”

- Leland H. Gentry, “The Danite Band of 1838,” BYU Studies, v. 14, Summer 1974, p. 443

“The method chosen by the Latter-day Saints to rid themselves of their dissenting Brethren was unfortunate since it furnished the dissenters with further proof that the Saints were inimical to law and order.”

- Gentry, “History of the Latter-day Saints In Northern Missouri From 1836 to 1839,” Ph. D. dissertation, Brigham Young University, 1965, p. 171; see also LeSueur, The 1838 Mormon War in Missouri, p. 46

“There is no question that Latter-day Saint rangers burned buildings at Millport and Gallatin... It is certain that some Danites played the thief, and it is possible, although unproven, that one or two were murderers.”

- William G. Hartley, BYU professor, My Best For the Kingdom, p. 69, 42

Miscellaneous[edit]

  • Never let a day so pass that you will have cause to say, "I will live better to-morrow,"
  • When the wicked have power to blow out the sun, that it shines no more; when they have power to bring to a conclusion the operations of the elements, suspend the whole system of nature, and make a footstool of the throne of the Almighty, they may then think to check “Mormonism” in its course, and thwart the unalterable purposes of heaven. Men may persecute the people who believe its doctrines, report and publish lies to bring tribulation upon their heads, earth and hell may unite in one grand league against it, and exert their malicious powers to the utmost, but it will stand as firm and immovable in the midst of it all as the pillars of eternity. Men may persecute the Prophet, and those who believe and uphold him, they may drive the Saints and kill them but this does not affect the truths of “Mormonism” one iota, for they will stand when the elements melt with fervent heat, and the heavens are wrapt up like a scroll and the solid earth is dissolved. “Mormonism” stands upon the eternal basis of omnipotence. Jehovah is the “Mormonism” of this people, their Priesthood and their power; and all who adhere to it will, in the appointed day, come up into the presence of the King Eternal, and receive a crown of life.
  • Go to the United States, into Europe, or wherever you can come across men who have been in the midst of this people, and one will tell you that we are a poor, ignorant, deluded people; the next will tell you that we are the most industrious and intelligent people on the earth, and are destined to rise to eminence as a nation, and spread, and continue to spread, until we revolutionize the whole earth. If you pass on to the third man, and inquire what he thinks of the "Mormons," he will say they are fools, duped and led astray by Joe Smith, who was a knave, a false Prophet, and a money digger. Why is all this? It is because there is a spirit in man. And when the Gospel of Jesus Christ is preached on the earth, and the kingdom of God is established, there is also a spirit in these things, and an Almighty spirit too. When these two spirits come in contact one with the other, the spirit of the Gospel reflects light upon the spirit which God has placed in man, and wakes him up to a consciousness of his true state, which makes him afraid he will be condemned, for he perceives at once that "Mormonism" is true. "Our craft is in danger," is the first thought that strikes the wicked and dishonest of mankind, when the light of truth shines upon them. Say they, "If these people called Latter-day Saints are correct in their views, the whole world must be wrong, and what will become of our time-honoured institutions, and of our influence, which we have swayed successfully over the minds of the people for ages. This Mormonism must be put down."
  • The greatest fear I have is that the people of this Church will accept what we say as the will of the Lord without first praying about it and getting the witness within their own hearts that what we say is the word of the Lord.
    • Deseret News, 9 Dec. 1857, 317
  • I am more afraid that this people have so much confidence in their leaders that they will not inquire for themselves of God whether they are led by Him. I am fearful they settle down in a state of blind self-security, trusting their eternal destiny in the hands of their leaders with a reckless confidence that in itself would thwart the purposes of God in their salvation, and weaken that influence they could give to their leaders, did they know for themselves, by the revelations of Jesus, that they are led in the right way. Let every man and woman know, by the whispering of the Spirit of God to themselves, whether their leaders are walking in the path the Lord dictates, or not. This has been my exhortation continually.

Other[edit]

  • Don't try to tear down other people's religion about their ears, Build up your own perfect structure of truth, and invite your listeners to enter in and enjoy it's glories.
    • The Life Story of Brigham Young, p. 149-150
  • Honest hearts produce honest actions.
    • Discourses of Brigham Young, p. 232


Misattributed[edit]

  • I am the voice of God and anyone who doesn't like it will be hewn down. God has revealed to me that I have the right and the power to call down curses on anyone who tries to invade our lands. Therefore, I curse the gentiles.
    • Words spoken by an actor portraying Young in the movie September Dawn, an account of the Mountain Meadows massacre. This exact statement has not been attributed to a known source, and may be a paraphrase of a statement made by Young on March 2, 1856: "The time is coming when justice will be laid to the line and righteousness to the plummet; when we shall take the old broad sword and ask, "Are you for God?" and if you are not heartily on the Lord's side, you will be hewn down." (Journal of Discourses 3:226)

External links[edit]

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