Minutes of the August 1852 Special Conference

Reid L. Neilson and R. Mark Melville, "Minutes of the August 1852 Special Conference," in The Saints Abroad: Missionaries Who Answered Brigham Young's 1852 Call to the Nations of the World, ed. Reid L. Neilson and R. Mark Melville (Religious Studies Center, Brigham Young University; Salt Lake City: Deseret Book, 2019), 285–316.

Source Note

Minutes of Conference. Featured version published as a Deseret News extra in Salt Lake City, September 14, 1852, Church History Library. We have featured only the minutes for Saturday, August 28, when the missionaries’ assignments were announced. We have not included the minutes for Sunday, August 29, when Apostle Orson Pratt publicly announced the practice of plural marriage or the related first printing of Joseph Smith’s July 12, 1843 (Doctrine and Covenants 132) revelation on marriage. See Crawley, Descriptive Bibliography of the Mormon Church, 2:354–57.

Document Transcript

A Special Conference of the Elders of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day-Saints, assembled in the Tabernacle, Great Salt Lake City, August 28th, 1852, 10 o’clock, a.m., pursuant to public notice.

Present, the First Presidency, Brigham Young, Heber C. Kimball, Willard Richards.

Presiding Patriarch, John Smith.

Of the Twelve Apostles, Orson Pratt, John Taylor, Wilford Woodruff, Geo. A. Smith, Ezra T. Benson, Erastus Snow, and Franklin D. Richards.

Of the First Presidents of the Seventies, Joseph Young, Henry Herriman, Zera Pulsipher, Albert P. Rockwood, Jedediah M. Grant.

Presidency of High Priests quorum, John Young, Reynolds Cahoon, Geo. B. Wallace.

Presiding Bishop, Edward Hunter, and about two thousand elders.

Clerk of Conference, Thomas Bullock.

Reporter, G. D. Watt.

Called to order by Prest. Kimball.

The choir sung a Hymn. Prayer by elder Geo. A. Smith. Singing.

President Kimball presented the business of the conference in the following speech:

We have come together to day, according to previous appointment, to hold a special conference to transact business, a month earlier than usual, inasmuch as there are elders to be selected to go to the nations of the earth, and they want an earlier start than formerly. There will probably be elders chosen to go to the four quarters of the globe to transact business, preach the Gospel, &c.

I recollect reading in one of the revelations in the Book of Doctrine and Covenants, where the Lord says, “If a man, inasmuch as he is an elder, has a desire in his heart to preach the Gospel, he it is that is called to preach the Gospel.” On the other hand, the Scriptures or some of the other Revelations of God, say, that many are called, but few are chosen; when a man has that desire in his heart he is called, but perhaps not a great many will be chosen to go forth and preach the Gospel.

I suppose you are all aware, by the information that we have received from our brethren the Apostles, who have lately returned from foreign missions, that the work of God has commenced in many nations of Europe, and upon the islands of the sea; still there are many nations where the Gospel door has not yet been opened in a direct way, though the foundation has been laid for the introduction of the Gospel among them, and indirectly the door has been opened to all nations, that is, it has been opened into the main room, still there are a great many adjacent rooms, leading from that, that have yet to be opened with the smaller keys.

I want to say one thing before we proceed to the business of calling and setting apart those who have to go from this place to the nations, this season; we have made a selection of a considerable number of elders to leave home and go abroad; this may be repugnant to the feelings of some; they may think it is a hazardous undertaking, but at the same time, to go now is nothing to compare with going out to preach the Gospel fifteen years ago, when they had to go not only without purse or scrip, but without any knowledge that there was a friend to take them by the hand when they arrived at their destination; now they cannot go to any part of the world, scarcely, but they will find themselves among the saints.

It is a pleasure to preach the truth, I will say, to those who love to do the will of the Father, as it was with Jesus Christ; for says he, Father, not my will but thine be done; I wish to know nothing but thy will, and that I will do until I spend my life. Did he not do this? He did. You require that same spirit and determination to carry out the same purpose; and I beg and beseech of you, brethren, you that shall be chosen, when you are elected, to go, if you don’t live until you get to the United States; for when men are called and set apart to the ministry, to go to the nations of the earth, if they refuse to go it is death to them, that is, to their characters as faithful elders in Israel; they go down and not up, backward and not forward. I merely speak of this from my own experience, for I have had one in this church of upwards of twenty years. I was raised up as it were with the prophet; I lived with him to the day of his death. As to our present prophets and elders, bro. Brigham Young I have lived with, with him I have traveled, and with him I have suffered. I have eat and slept with him, and been by his side almost my whole life. I could say with propriety, and I can say it with truth, that Joseph Smith was a Prophet of God, a Seer, a Revelator, an Apostle of Jesus, and was ordained directly under the hands of Peter, James, and John; and he died a Prophet, and Hyrum died a Patriarch of Jesus, a father in Israel.

Brother Brigham Young is the successor of Joseph Smith, and a better man never lived upon the earth, nor ever sought the interest of this people more fervently from morning until night, and vice versa, than he has done. Did he not travel in the days of Joseph? He did, from the time he came into the church until the death of Joseph, and so did I. Did we ever hesitate for one moment? No, not for a moment.

Jesus sought to do the will of his Father in Heaven; so it was our duty to do the will of Joseph; and now it is the duty of us all to do the will of Brother Brigham, for he reveals to us the will of God, which is his will. We will do his will as an elder, as a Prophet, as an Apostle of Jesus Christ, holding the same keys that Peter of old held, the same that Joseph Smith held as an Apostle. You all believe this, don’t you, without an exception? Well, if this is your faith, if this is your determination, I want you should manifest it by raising your right hands, and saying aye. {A literal forest of hands was the result of this call, and the spacious hall trembled when a simultaneous aye burst from the mouths of over 2,000 persons.} There it is, and it cannot be any other way.

I say to those who are elected to go on missions, go, if you never return, and commit what you have into the hands of God—your wives, your children, your brethren and your property. Let truth and righteousness be your motto, and don’t go into the world for anything else but to preach the Gospel, build up the kingdom of God, and gather the sheep into the fold. You are sent out as shepherds to gather the sheep together, and remember that they are not your sheep, they belong to him that sends you; then don’t make a choice of any of those sheep, don’t make selections before they are brought home and put into the fold; you understand that. Amen.

Elder Geo. A. Smith said:

What has been said brethren and sisters, is verily true. This kingdom of God has been built up by His distinguished blessings, and the exertion and energy of those whom God has called to bear it off. When men refuse to fulfil their callings, and magnify them in the proclamation of the fullness of the gospel to the nations of the earth, they certainly lay the foundation for their own ruin. When men, on the other hand, become so puffed up in their own estimation as to think that the kingdom of God could not roll forth without their mighty exertions, they fall into transgression; they are fools in Israel, and their greatness will vanish like smoke.

The fact is, God has planned for us the best sieve that could be imagined. He is determined to sift the nations with the sieve of vanity, and he has placed us here on the edge of the mountains, where a little shaking of the winds will cause everything without weight, easily to slide off to the diggings; and in this way the work of sifting is going on daily, and hourly, and yearly, from time to time, according to the nature of the materials that happens to be thrown upon the sieve.

No doubt many of us may be called upon, if not to-day, at some other time, to bear the message of the gospel of salvation to the nations of the earth; for this was one of the commandments of the prophet. He enjoined upon us that we preach the gospel to all nations; that we should send forth the word to all people; this responsibility has been laid upon the priesthood of the church, and they are required to fulfil this commandment. There is not an elder, a priest, a teacher, or a member of this church but what bears a share of this responsibility.

The missions we will call for during this conference, are generally, not to be very long ones; probably from 3 to 7 years will be as long as any man will be absent from his family. If any of the elders refuse to go, they may expect that their wives will not live with them; for there is not a Mormon sister who would live with a man a day, who would refuse to go on a mission. There is no other way for a man to save his family; and in order to save himself he must fulfil his calling, and magnify his priesthood in proclaiming the fullness of the gospel to the nations of the earth; and this, certainly, ought to be the greatest joy to the family of any man, who feels the importance of building up the kingdom, that he is actually considered worthy in these last days to be one of the number to go forth, as one of the horns of Joseph, to push the nations together; to gather out the honest in heart; to run for the prize which we all labor for.

I feel deeply interested in these matters, and I hope and pray that every man who is called upon to go forth on missions to preach the gospel, may have the faith of the church upon their heads, and that they may lift up their voices in faith before the people, that the light of truth may be a lamp in their path, and that by their exertions, and the blessings of God, it may be lighted up in distant nations.

I recollect a little incident in history, that is told of William the conqueror. After he had been king in England twenty years, he became very corpulent. In consequence of a little joke upon his corpulency, by the French king, he declared war, and the declaration was made in these words: “tell my fair uncle I will pay him a visit, and I will bring along tapers enough to set all France on fire.” You may suppose we are sending out but a few elders, probably not more than one hundred or one hundred and fifty; but we intend to continue the work; and send out elders enough to set the world on fire, spiritually.

Elder J[ohn]. Taylor remarked,

Bro. George [Smith] was talking about setting the world on fire. I think when the elders have traveled through the world as far as some of us have, and seen the rottenness and weakness of their institutions, the folly and corruption that everywhere prevail, they will find that it is pretty near time as the prophets have said, for it to be burned up, and all its works.

But I suppose it is necessary, before the world is burned up, that the good wheat should be saved, and gathered into the garner, and prepare to take a fresh start in peopling the earth, and placing affairs upon a proper foundation.

There is no person that reflects upon the condition of the world, as it now exists, but his heart must be pained, must be filled with sympathy for the inhabitants of the earth. I have gazed upon their proceedings myself; I have watched their follies, abominations, and corruptions; I have seen them with my own eyes, until I have wept over them. They seem to me to be regardless of God, heaven, hell, eternity, or anything else; and there are thousands and tens of thousands, and millions of people upon the continent of Europe, that would like no better employment, than to go into deadly combat, and destroy one another.

The people talk about how corrupt we, the Latter Day Saints are. If all they say about us be true, it is only a tithing of what you will find in the world. I have told them to look at home; to examine their own firesides, and they would find plenty of corruption and abomination. They are living without God in the world; without hope; and they are dying without hope; consequently they are careless, profligate and reckless.

The Lord has shone upon us; he has lit up a candle of intelligence in our souls; has imparted to us the principles of eternal truth; opened the heavens, and sent his holy angel to put us in possession of principles that will exalt us in the scale of intelligence among men, and raise us up to be associates of the Gods in the eternal worlds.

Then shall we, who have thus been blessed with the visions of eternity; with light and intelligence; we who are filled with the Spirit of God burning in our hearts; who have gazed upon the hidden things of eternity, and contemplated the purposes of God in their majesty and glory; I say, shall we shrink from the task of going forth to snatch these fallen sons of men from everlasting burning?—Should we refuse to do so, it would testify that we had not a single spark of humanity in our bosoms, and were not fit to live in the world; much less to associate with the Gods in the eternal worlds.

I know you have a desire to do these things; but I will tell you, there are many things that are calculated to try the feelings of men.

Those who have to go out, have to put their noses to the grindstone and keep it there, and let them grind at it, and not murmur a word, and then, before it is healed, put it there again, and bear it all the time, and go along without saying anything, for you know it is a sin in the religious world to get angry. You need not attempt to go without faith in God; and you will have need of all the wisdom and intelligence you can command. You cannot go and convert the world all at once, for it is too far sunken in folly and vice. This reminds me of a dream a brother had in France. He said he thought he was trying to kindle a fire on the seashore; every time he attempted to light it, a wave came, and rolled over it, and he could hardly accomplish it until the tide began to recede, and then he considered he would build up a fire when the wood got dry.

You need not think of going abroad into the world, and going, as the Methodists sing, “on flowery beds of ease,” for a great many consider you as impostors; and as a general thing, you are looked upon as suspicious characters, to say the least of it; and you will be closely watched. If you go to those foreign nations, your footsteps will be traced; no matter how privately you may make your entrance, or how privately you may take your departure; it will all be known to the police authorities, and they can give all the information required, touching your movements.

It was not more than ten minutes after I had taken the cab and started to the railway station to take my last departure from France, when one of the High Police came to inquire after me. The gentleman with whom I stayed, was a very affectionate friend to me, and he kept the police in conversation for two hours, speaking very highly of me; he told them I was a respectable, high-minded man, &c. The police told him of every place I had been at since I came to Paris; when I came to France; what hotel I staid in, and when I went to England, and how long I staid there; when I went to Germany, and how long I staid there; what books I had printed, &c., &c. He gave my friend a most minute account of every step I had taken, and all this is recorded in the books of the police. They have a congress of police among the nations of Europe, by which they can transmit information about every person who appears as a public character in any of those nations.

This is the way you will be watched. If you go to any of these nations, it will be necessary for you to use the greatest wisdom and prudence, and that you should pray to God to guard you in all things.

This police authority did not come after me until I had finished my work. I suppose they would not have injured me for I had broken no law; but this is their policy: with it we have nothing to do, and I should recommend you strictly to obey all police regulations, and never interfere with any national, civil or police institutions, or regulations. I suppose they might have telegraphed after me if they wished; but I took another course, not, however, knowing that they were after me; I turned off the main route to go by a little seaport town, and I missed the whole concern, and was in France a week longer, and they knew nothing about me. I was out of their track, and came off safe. The Lord blessed me, and I have been blessed as much in these nations, as anywhere else.

You may talk about difficulties, and what you have passed through here and there; but we should not be men, if we did not have difficulties to meet with; and we always feel much better when we have conquered them.

This is the difference between us and the world—they meet with difficulties, and they quash down under them; while we ride over them, and become victorious. This is the reason why there are so many institutions among the Gentiles that come to nought—they meet with difficulties, and fall before them; we meet with the same, but we have a God at the helm, and we triumph over them.

Another elder and myself stayed in a hotel in a small town for about a week—the landlord of which was an infidel. After we had been there two or three days, I told the landlord I was a religious man; he replied, “Oh, you are religious, are you? Religion is a pack of nonsense.” I told him I cared as little about most of the religion of christendom as he did; but the one I believed in, I told him, would benefit both body and soul, in time and in eternity. I talked to him a little about it, and he began to feel much interested.

I told him about the success and the prosperity that attended our works; and finally he said, I don’t know but I will sell out and go to America, for I am tired of France. I said, I will tell you where you will find a first rate place to settle down in that country; and directed him to Iowa. He spoke to an elder that was with him, after I had gone away, and said, “I don’t like the way Mr. Taylor speaks to me.” Why? said the elder. “He speaks as though he wants to push me off on one side somewhere, and I want to go where he is; you have got the right religion, and had I have found this, I should have been a religious man.”

I talked to another gentleman who came in, who wanted to be introduced to me,—a man of good education, and talked the English language as well as I did. We talked about everything, almost, until religion came on in the conversation. When I was preparing to leave, the gentleman said, “O Mr. Taylor, I wish you would stay three or four days more here, and I will introduce you to a rich sugar manufacturer; and there is a gentleman living in a castle not far from here, I will introduce you to him.[”] They felt as sorry at my going away as though I had stayed with them 12 months; and they came more than a mile to see me off, and bid me good bye, and prayed God to bless me, before I left.

You will see many such things as these. I could have introduced the gospel in the whole of that country, had I had time. You will find that the Spirit of the Lord will go before you, and prepare the way. I had men come to me and say, God bless you; you are the man I dreamed about. That is the kind feeling that operates upon the people in those parts, as well as in other parts of the world; the Spirit of the Lord goes before his servants.

I recollect associating with some medical professors, American gentlemen, who had come to Paris for the purpose of attending medical lectures, &c., at l’Ecole de Medicine, and visiting the hospitals; and though we were Mormons, they were glad to have our society, and seemed to feel a desire to associate with us. We talked Mormonism to them, and many other things.

These men came there, remained two or three months, and went away; nobody cared anything about them, only just as much as they paid their way, and that was all. We went there and planted the gospel in the hearts of the people; and they feel as all other people do who are members of this church; the Spirit of God was with them, and we could rejoice in the bosom of our friends, and talk of the things of God, and the blessings he gives to his people. I looked at these doctors, and I said to myself, you poor, miserable creatures; you wander round the world, without the Spirit and blessings of God, and nobody cares for you, whether you live or die; while we come here, to plant the standard of truth in the hearts of the people, and can rejoice with them in its blessings.

If any of you go into those countries, you will find as warm-hearted people as you will find anywhere else. Brothers F[ranklin]. D. Richards and E[rastus] Snow can bear testimony of this. The gospel has the same effect in their hearts, as it has in yours. I won’t occupy your time farther. May God bless you in the name of Jesus; amen.

Elder Ezra T. Benson said:

I feel thankful for the privilege to occupy a few moments at this conference, and to give my testimony concerning the work of the Lord in these last days.

I feel thankful that we are here, and that we are blessed with the spirit of truth, which is one of the greatest blessings in the kingdom of God. When we have the spirit of truth dwelling in our hearts, we are ready, and not only ready but willing to do the things that is required at our hands.

We have been hearing, this morning, that there are many that will be called to go to the nations of the earth; I feel that I can say that there is not an individual that will be called upon, if he has the spirit of the Lord, or of Mormonism in his heart, but what will respond to the call with all his soul; he will feel to thank God and his brethren that he is worthy to be called with such an high and holy calling as to be a messenger of salvation; for I do actually know by experience, that there is no calling under the heavens among the children of men, that is so desirable, and so great as to go and preach this gospel.

If a man will magnify his priesthood he can do more in one hour in the vineyard, preaching the gospel, and gathering the saints in one, if he is sent to do so, than he can do here in ten, laboring with his hands for himself, for his family, and for the kingdom of God on the earth. For it is impossible for us to retain the spirit of God,—it is impossible for us to love the Lord, or even keep in good fellowship with this people, unless we do as we are told. Inasmuch as there are honest people in the earth, scattered among the nations, is it pleasing in the sight of God for us to sit down here (unless we are commanded to do so,) and refuse to give them the truth? It is perfectly right to tarry here, and prepare for the saints who are gathering, unless we are commanded otherwise.

I wish to say a few words to those who shall be called upon to go to the nations. The time is now, I feel persuaded of it, for us, elders in Israel, to work while the day lasts,—to work while there is time and opportunity,—while God is softening the hearts of the people; now is the time for the elders to visit the nations, and tell them what they know concerning this great work in the last days; and when we do well for the kingdom of God, we do well for ourselves; when we do well for the people among the nations of the earth, we do well for ourselves; if we go and do as we are told, and that is, to preach what we actually know, and verily believe.

If it be possible, point out one man, an elder in this church, who has gone out to preach the gospel, and has been faithful in the kingdom of God, that has not been blessed, and his family has been blessed. There is not an instance on the records of this church, showing when a man has gone forth to proclaim the truth, that he has not been blessed. The opposite is the case: they have always returned home rejoicing, with their hearts filled with the love of God. Well then, brethren, let us go, if we are called upon, and proclaim the good news, that God is doing a great work in the valleys of the mountains; that God has called his prophet, his apostles, and other servants to proclaim the glad tidings to the children of men, to those who sit in darkness, and the shadow of death.

We have the name of being the best feeling people upon the face of the earth; and I will tell you furthermore, we just have the name of being the best people there is in the world; and the time is not far distant when the nations will seek for counsel at the feet of the servants of God. Why? Because we seek wisdom at the hand of God; because we are led by the revelation of Jesus Christ; because we live humble, and are honest before God, and he will pour out his blessings upon our heads, to enlighten our minds, and give us visions and revelation, so that we cannot be led estray. I know this from the testimony that I receive.

I can bear testimony that God has been with me. Why? Because I have gone and done just as I have been told. It is because it was my determination, my will, and my desire to do the thing I was sent to do. We had a little to do with mobs it is true.—They undertook to mob me a little, and bro. Grant said, when he heard of it in Washington, he was glad of it. {A voice in the stand, “and so was I.”} I was too, because I felt when they were trying to mob me, and seek my life, I was better than they were; if I had not been, they would not have tried to destroy me from the earth. They ran me into bro. Farnsworth’s potatoe hole; to be sure, I ran in there, and thought it was a first rate place to hide; I staid there a couple of hours, and reflected upon mobs, upon the things of the kingdom, and called upon my Father in heaven, by the authority of the holy priesthood, and I felt as though I could whip all the mobs in Missouri; if it had been wisdom to do so, and the best course for me to take, I would have gone out and whipped the whole posse of them. {A voice from the stand, “yes, after they had all gone away.”}

Many in Kanesville wanted me to wrestle with them. I said, I don’t wrestle with any except from Salt Lake; but I can tap you on the head, as I would a little boy, if that will do you any good; but when I see a man from Salt Lake full of good works, I consider it an honor to wrestle with a man of that class; but I don’t have any thing to do with the low, degenerated characters who do nothing else but wrestle and gamble; but I said if you don’t believe I can wrestle, try me, and I will end you up a few times. They thought I was a very stout man, and it passed off just as well as though I had tried my dexterity upon them.

To close up the whole matter, I feel thankful to God that I am here; I am blessed; and the people here, and that are on the road, are also blessed.

Now is the time for the elders to go forth and preach the gospel; the Lord will soften the hearts of the people; and if mobs are stirred up, it is all for the good of the saints.

When satan begins to grin and show his teeth, you may know there are sheep not far off. Only put your trust in God, and he will keep you, and preserve you as in the hollow of his hand. Be comforted, brethren, whether you go to the nations of the earth, or stay at home. It is just as necessary for men to live humble here, as it is for them to live humble when they go there; for satan is not dead yet, and brother Brigham says he is glad of it. It is necessary he should live on the earth a little while longer, to stir up the saints by way of remembrance of the covenant they have made, and I have become perfectly reconciled concerning the things of the kingdom, and am so from day to day.

Let God do as he pleases, and call whom he pleases, and send whom he pleases abroad, and tell whom he pleases to remain at home, it is all the keeping of his commandments, and one station is as honorable as the other. If a man is told to tarry at home, he is as honorable as that messenger who is going to the nations of the earth. But if we sit down and consult the natural man, consult our own private feelings, and say here is my poor wife, here are my children, and here is my farm that I have earned with my own hands; I know how I came by my hard earned property; how can I go and preach under these circumstances, all my property and all my fair calculations will be knocked into pie. Supposing they are, let them all go; there is plenty more farms, and everything else; we are in the world, and it is filled with the elements, and we have the keys and the power to work and organize them, make them honorable, and contribute to our happiness and earthly comfort.

What is there more honorable than to carry a message of the gospel from this people? You have the prayers and the faith of your brethren, the prayers and the faith of the whole priesthood. Who is there that cannot go and do good under these circumstances? If there are any such men, they are not fit to live upon the earth. If a man is not fit to tarry at home, he is not fit to send abroad; and if he is not fit to send abroad, he is not fit to tarry among the people of God, only to be a scourge and a stumbling block to them.

Then let us rejoice; and if I should give way to my feelings, I should shout glory, hallelujah! and I would call upon every individual to feel that the great God is with them, and he is your Father, and you are his sons and daughters, and have a right to the legacy of eternal life; and not be bowed down in your minds, and say, I don’t know, I am afraid I am not worthy to go preaching; if you get the testimony of the Spirit of the Lord, you belong to the great family of God; and if you have the testimony of Jesus abiding in your heart, you may rejoice all the day long.

Have we anything to fear? No! What did the President say the other day? He said, he had not anything to fear; but if he should have any fears, it would be, that this people would sit down and lull themselves to sleep, and forget the kingdom of God. Can a man do this when he feels the Spirit of truth in his heart? No. He will long to go to the nations of the earth, and be willing to be handled like the clay in the hands of the potter. We do not care what his testimony or knowledge has been; it is the abiding witness we want from day to day; it is that which carries a man safe through, according to my experience; it is then that we have no need to fear.

In the days of Nauvoo, there were fears; there was death. The people were afraid this thing and the other would be wrong; that bro. Joseph would get wrong; that we should have to submit to principles and doctrines contrary to the doctrines of Jesus Christ, &c. From the experience we have already had in the kingdom of God, has any person a right now, to such fears, or such a thought for a moment? No. He knows that the principles that have been taught by the Prophet Joseph, brother Brigham, Heber, and Willard, and by every good man in this church, are correct principles; and that these men have been borne off triumphantly over every trial and difficulty they have been called to pass through. The elders, therefore, can go to the nations with their consciences as clear as drifting snow, and with the satisfaction that all is right in Zion, and that we are led by the best men upon the face of this earth. Are you afraid to bear this testimony to this perverse generation? No.—The Spirit of the Lord will back you up and put to silence the slanderers in the Gentile world. I have known it by experience; I have not been insulted in any congregation, when I have taught the principles of God as they are taught in the valleys of the mountains; every dog has been obliged to close his mouth, and has not even dared to exhibit his teeth.

All is right; all is glorious; Mormonism will continue, should it come hot or cold; should it blow high or low; for God sustains it. When you feel so, brethren, you feel right; you feel strong, and ready to combat with your enemies; right is written upon your commissions; you are mighty in the right to do right; so that you are perfectly willing that all the devils in hell should know your works; that God, angels, and your brethren should know; and when you are called home, you will return like lions in strength; you will feel well; you will feel blessed.

While you are gone, prayers are ascending in your behalf, and in the behalf of your families; and every blessing you need is poured out abundantly upon you, and your hearts are filled with gladness.

This is the way to live; in the midst of the saints, in the world; and when the bowels of hell are moved with wrath against you, and devils belch out their fury, you are then ready to withstand them. Suppose bro. Taylor had been guilty of any wickedness in his travels; the whole country would have known it. Just so it is in the U.S. or anywhere else; if a man does not do right, but intends to feed his passions and carnal appetite, it would be better for him to turn round and say, brethren, good bye to Mormonism.

We cannot hide anything from God’s Spirit, and from his servants; I know this to be true. Then let us put the rough and ready side out, and let the word be, Come on, all hands, and build up the kingdom of God. This is my determination; and if God will give me strength and wisdom, and the good blessings of my brethren, it is my determination to shape my affairs so, that when I go away, I can be gone any length of time, and not be like the man who went upon the Indian expedition in Utah—he had not got fairly started, before he wanted to return. What’s the matter? “O dear, I have married me a wife, and cannot go.”

I am glad in my heart, and I say, God bless brothers Brigham, Heber, and Willard; they are the counsel of heaven to this people, and I mean to honor them in the earth, wherever I go; and I would preach down in the bowels of hell the same as I do here, and not be ashamed of it. My story all the time is, Hurrah for Mormonism!

There is a jolly lot of fellows coming on from Kanesville, and other places; eight or ten thousand Mormons will come in here this season. They are a good people. Are the good brethren and sisters here thinking about it? Are they willing to take them by the hand, and say, brother, sister, come to my house, and I will make you welcome to this or to that—to comfort their hearts after the toils of such a journey? They are a good people; as good a people as you are, and just as willing to be counselled. My heart yearns after them, and I want you to feel after them likewise, by rendering them all the assistance in your power, until they are comfortably located.

I only throw out these few hints, that you may be prepared to act, when you receive the proper instructions from your President. There are musicians coming, who perform upon almost all kinds of musical instruments; the lame are coming; the blind, and the widows, and the fatherless. I did not stop to make any selections; but I said, come on, all of you. We have among them big men and little men, big women and little women; grandfathers and grandmothers; and for ought I know, great grandfathers, and great grandmothers; but if they are not, they will be when they get here; for we have the name of raising the most children, and the best on the earth; and it will be very curious if we do not carry out what they all say we are guilty of.

I told them in Pottawatomie, that we wanted good men to mingle with the saints; we are sent out to preach to a people who wish to do good to their fellow men, and be saved in the kingdom of God; and if you are not willing to obey the gospel, and build up the kingdom, you cannot stand among this people; for God intends to raise up a holy race before him in the last days, to do his will in all things. After we have warned the nations, we will return home, and raise a holy posterity before the Lord; therefore we want good men, and praying men; for I have no confidence in any man who does not pray. It is as much as I can do to live, and pray all the time; and after all, I suppose I may say, like the good old Methodist, I leave undone those things I ought to do, and do the things I ought not.

I do not feel that I have any animosity in my heart, to any man on the earth; if a man will be my enemy, and is determined to be, all I ask of him is to keep out of my way; I will not injure him, but let him get all the glory and exaltation he can, and I will not throw the ashes of a rye straw in his path.

I can feel sensibly, that there has been an increase of union and faith among the people here, since I left here last fall; it is either in me, or in you. (A voice in the stand, it is in both.) It is in both, brother Brigham says. Let this union and this faith continue to increase, until we are brought into the presence of our God; and may this be the happy lot of us all; amen.

President Young remarked:

The morning is far spent, but before we close the morning service, I would like to present before the Conference the names of a few elders who have been selected to take missions.

I suppose the brethren understand the object of this special Conference: it is for the purpose of transacting business pertaining to foreign missions, and of giving to the brethren an opportunity to cross the plains before the cold weather. We shall send them out from this Conference.

I wish to say to the brethren, I am thankful, and I rejoice in the Lord my Savior, for his choice blessings which we enjoy. It was observed by bro. Benson, that bro. Brigham has but one fear concerning this people; it is true.

I do not fear all the devils in hell, or all the mobs that could be raised; but, if I have any fear, it is upon this ground, that the people, in their blessings, should forget the Lord their God. I do not say that this is the case with this people, but if there is danger to be anticipated, it is in the slackness of the people to remember the Lord when the fostering hand of providence is pouring out blessings upon them, and round about them, all the day long.

This has been in former times, when the blessings of the Lord have been poured out upon the people. It is written in the Bible concerning ancient Israel, that they got fat and kicked against the Lord their God. You may understand the expression as you please; they forgot the Lord, and began to trust in the wisdom of man. They forgot their prayers, and the duties they owed to one another; and they fell back into a careless, carnal security, and became like the rest of the world.

This is the only ground on which I would have fear, were I to entertain any. As I have often said, and the same I can say again, it is too late in the day for this people, ever to be cast off, or disowned by the Lord. The work the Lord promised to do is too nigh accomplished, and he has promised to make a short work on the earth. This work has some time since commenced, and if any of the people will not serve their God, and do the work he has given them to do, they will be removed out of the way and that speedily. It is too late in the day for this people to apostatize, and the priesthood to be taken again from the earth; so there is not much ground for fears even in this respect.

A few words to the elders of Israel with regard to the building up of the kingdom of God. Suppose every man who has wanted to go out to preach, (and almost every elder has wanted to go,) suppose they had all gone six years ago last fall, and left Nauvoo entirely destitute of elders, and attended diligently to preaching, up to this time. Would there have been a place prepared for the gathering of the Saints from all the world? No. There would have been no place for the elders to gather them to; there would have been no standard reared or rallying point for the people. Do you preach the gathering of Israel and the redemption of Zion? You do; and when you had got through this, and found all the rest had been neglected, what would be the situation of the elders of Israel? Their mouths would be closed up and sealed; they would not have any more influence among the people, than those doctors and philosophers in France, spoken of by elder Taylor; they came, they tarried, and if they paid for what they had it was all right; they went, and no person cared for them, or sought after them; it would have been the same with the elders of this church.

The whole machinery is in operation and complete; that when the elders go forth to preach the gospel, every man carries with him a two-edged sword; pierces the hearts of the people by the spirit of the gospel which he goes to proclaim; but if the work is in progress only in part, his sword is blunted at once; it has no edge; it is incomplete, and does not pierce the hearts of the people, consequently he had better have staid at home.

Why I make these remarks is, that we may understand that unless this work is in progress, as a whole, it is not complete; we are found wanting, and not prepared to do the work we are called and sent to do. Now it is just as necessary for us to come to these valleys, and build houses, make fences, erect school-houses, rear up places of worship, and prepare for the gathering of Israel, as it is to go and preach to Israel to influence them to gather. The one is just as honorable, and as acceptable in the sight of God, as the other; and those that labor faithfully at home, will be crowned with those that labor faithfully abroad. Those who are selected to remain at home, receive as those who are selected to go abroad.

It is unnecessary for me, for any of the Twelve, or for any of my brethren to rise up here to preach to the elders to infuse the spirit of preaching in them, for we have had to hold them back with a cable rope, as it were, to keep them from going to preach. There is no lack of the spirit of the gospel in the elders of Israel, for we have been teased all the time to give them permission to go out and give vent to the spirit within them; but had we listened to them, you and I would not have had this commodious house to preach in this day. All the elders would have been off preaching, and there would not have been enough left to have made the women and children comfortable.

What is to be done? Obey council. They do, and how far? Enough to scare the whole world. Look at the spirit that is in the midst of this people, and that overshadows them. What influence does this have upon the nations of the earth? It fills them with terror and awe, and when they reflect, and reason, it fills them with astonishment, that there is a people on the earth, in the present confused revolutionary state of the nations, that will hearken to counsel and be of one heart and one mind; they are filled with fear and astonishment, and they dread the union that is among this people more than they dread the Lord Almighty upon his throne. This is a pretty positive proof that this people are willing to hearken to the counsels of heaven.

Bro. Benson proclaims in our hearing that this spirit has increased since he left here last fall. It has, and I expect it has grown in his own bosom; it has in mine. What do you think about it yourselves, brethren, would you not be ready also to acknowledge that the same spirit is increasing in your bosoms, a spirit of love, and union, and of faith in your calling? I think there are a great many who can say, and say it truly, that this Spirit of the Lord has greatly increased in their hearts for six or eight months past, or for a year; were it not so, we should not be found growing in the knowledge of the truth. This is our labor, our business, and our calling to grow in grace, and in knowledge from day to day, and from year to year.

I wish to say to this congregation, and I wish them to say to the families of the brethren who are not here to day, and I would like all the inhabitants of these valleys to hear it; when our brethren who are on the plains, come with their families into this city, or into any of the settlements of the Latter Day Saints, sit down and calmly make a calculation in your own hearts, how you would wish a neighborhood of Latter Day Saints to receive you, if you had been journeying across the plains this season. Ponder it over in your minds, and place yourselves in the situation of a pilgrim traveling across the plains, and after a hard and fatiguing summer’s work, now we have got home; imagine yourselves at the doors of your brethren who have plenty. Here are their gardens groaning with the abundance of the products of the earth, with potatoes, beets, and cabbage; here is milk and butter, and fine flour in great quantities; here are the tomatoes and garden vegetables of every description; now you say I have got home to my brother’s door, and he has got plenty. What would you wish these brethren to do to you? Ask that same question to your neighbors, and get them to answer it. I can tell you what you would they should do to you; you would wish them to say, come brother or sister into my garden, and help yourselves to some garden sauce; walk in here, and take and eat and make yourselves glad. And if they turn round and say, brother, how shall I pay you for what I get; then you cannot hear that, for it is something that is altogether out of the question? The Lord gave it to me, now come and help me to eat it. That do the emigrant saints, every one of you. I know it is the will of the Lord you should do it; and I know if he should speak to you himself, he would tell you the same thing. I tell you just as it is, and that is just as good precisely, as though another came and told you. Then the brethren will feel joyful; their hearts will be made glad; and they will know that you are actually growing in the knowledge of the truth.

There are a great many coming; bro. Benson says all are coming, even the great grand daddies, and great grand mammies; uncles and aunts, all are coming, and I am glad of it; I rejoice, for it puts us in a position that we can send out elders from this place into all the world; whereas, before, our circumstances needed all the men we had here to prepare for the gathering of the saints. Now the time has come that we can send out our little parties to gather up Israel, and preach the gospel to the nations before the end comes.

The reports we have heard from our brethren are favorable, cheering, and rejoicing to every heart. Those who are coming from the islands of the sea, and from the old countries, where the elders have been sent, those from Pottawatomie and the States are coming home; for the present, this is the place of gathering; here the standard is reared for the Latter Day Saints from all nations, that they may spread out from this place, and fill up other places until all the continent of America, which is the land of Zion, shall be peopled with the saints of the Most High.

Question; when are we going back to Jackson county? Not until the Lord commands his people; and it is just as much as you and I can do to get ready to go, when he does command us.

Bro. [Ezra] Benson and [Jedediah] Grant have been successful in their missions. Bro. Benson says some of the brethren were glad when he was mobbed. I was glad of it; for every mobbing difficulty will add glory upon the heads of the humble, faithful and contrite in heart; it serves to prove and give them experience, it shows them the contrast between the one and the other; all this is preparatory for the saints to enter into their rest, and for the wicked to receive their punishment. Bro. Benson has been successful; and I thank the Lord Almighty, that he turned the key here last fall, and caused a tremendous commotion among the political elements, earthquake, thundering, and lightning, above and below the earth, with great excitement; this gathered a great many more saints than if it had been fair weather all the time. This clashing and noise of the elements stirred up the people in Pottawatomie, and then they wanted to go to the mountains; like bro. George A. Smith in the latter days of Nauvoo, he wanted to go to the mountains, or to California, or to Oregon, he was not very particular; what for? Simply because he was obliged to go somewhere. The saints who are coming now from Pottawatomie, were obliged to leave for the valleys of the mountains, why? Because they had to run somewhere. Do you suppose I am sorry because of persecution? No! I never was in my life; but I have thanked God a thousand times that the devil is not yet bound, for if he had been, the saints would have gone to sleep; and if there could be such a thing, they would have been blotted out of existence, with all their intelligence, and the earth have received them into its bowels. Light, knowledge, truth, wickedness of every kind, the works of the Almighty, and the works of the devil, all conspire to roll on the great work that the Lord Jesus Christ is doing upon the earth; every person and power in their own order.

I do not wish to detain the congregation longer this morning; bro. [Heber] Kimball set before you the object of the meeting, and I have hinted at it. We will now read over a few names that we have selected. May the Lord God of Israel bless you, in the name of Jesus Christ, Amen.

The clerk read 98 names of individuals who had been proposed to foreign missions.

Singing. Benediction by Geo. A. Smith.

Adjourned for 1 1-2 hour.


2 p. m.

Conference called to order by Prest. Young.

Singing. Prayer by Prest. J. Young. Singing.

The following elders were then appointed to their several missions.

Europe.—England. Daniel Spencer, Charles A. Harper, Isaac Allred, John Van Cott, Mellen Attwood, Cha[u]ncey G. Webb, Charles Smith, Sylvester H. Earl, David Grant, Thomas W. Treat, Benjamin Brown, James [P]. Park, Perr[i]grine Sessions, Osman M. Duel, John A. Hunt, James Pace, William Burgess, jr.[,] Levi Nickerson, William Glover, Edward Martin, Levi. E. Riter, John S. Fulmer, Richard Cook, John Oakley, William Clayton, William Pitt, John C. Hall, William Woodward, James G. Willie, Daniel D. McArthur, Moses Thurston, John Perry, William Emp[e]y, Spicer Crandell, John Mayer, Elias Gardner, Noah T. Guymon.

Ireland . Daniel Toner, John McDonald.

Wales. Dan Jones, Daniel Daniels, Thomas Jeremy,

France. Andrew L. Lamoreaux.

Germany. George Mayer, George C. Riser, Jacob F. Secrist, William Taylor.

Capital of Prussia. Orson Spencer, Jacob Houtz, Moses Clough.

Norway. Eric G. M. Hogan, Canute Peterson.

Denmark. George Percy.

Gibraltar. Edward Stevenson, Nathan T. Porter.

Asia.—Hindoostan. Nathaniel V. Jones, Amos M. Musser, Samuel A. Wooley, Richard Ballantyne, Robert Skelton, William Fotheringham, William F. Carter, Truman Leonard, Robert Owen.

Siam. Cha[u]ncey W. West, Sterne Hotchkiss.

China. Hosea Stout, James Lewis, Chapman Duncan.

Africa.—Cape of Good Hope. Jesse Haven, Leonard I. Smith, William Walker.

America.—Nova Scotia and British Provinces. John Robinson, A. D. L. Buckland, Benjamin T. Mitchell, Joseph Millet.

West Indies. Jesse Turpin, Darwin Richardson, Alfred B. Lambson, Aaron Farr.

British Guiana. James Brown, Elijah Thomas.

Texas. Preston Thomas, Williams Camp, Washington Jolley.

New Orleans, John Brown.

St. Louis, Horace S. Eldredge.

Iowa. Daniel Miller.

Washington City. Orson Pratt.

Australia. Augustus Farnham, William Hyde, Burr Frost, John Hyde, Josiah W. Fleming, Paul Smith, James Graham, John S. Eldredge, Absalom P. Dowdle.

Sandwich Islands. William McBride, Ephraim Green, Egerton Snider, James Lawson, Thomas Kairnes, Nathan Tanner, Reddick N. Allred, Reddin A. Allred, Benjamin F. Johnson.

Elder O. Pratt said:

The congregation have seen manifested the determination of these brethren who have been appointed to go on their respective missions. If it be the minds of this assembly that all of these brethren whose names have been read shall fulfil their several appointments, you will manifest it by the uplifted hand. (The manifestation was unanimous.)

I will make a few observations by permission. When I see so many of my brethren, feeling a desire to go to the nations, to different parts of the earth, it truly is a cause of great rejoicing to my heart. When I read occasionally, letters and communications that are published in the Millennial Star in regard to the spread of this work among the different nations, it is a cause of joy to me which is indescribable. And when I see the brethren going forth to the different nations, I almost feel as though I wanted to go to all these different places at the same time myself, to go with my brethren and be instrumental with you in trying to build up this kingdom among the nations. There is certainly no work in which the servants of God can be engaged, that is so pleasing and joyful to the mind, as to be engaged in the work of the holy ministry, in trying to persuade the honest in heart among the nations to receive the truth.

This generation have been calling a long time for miracles, but one of the greatest miracles in the last days, in my estimation, is the fact, that scores and hundreds of the missionaries of the Latter Day Saints are traversing the globe, going from nation to nation, upon the principle that the ancient Apostles traveled, namely, without purse or scrip. Is not that a miracle? Has there any such thing happened before, for many generations, as people traveling over the whole earth, starting from their homes without purse or scrip? If you should go upon your own business, and the Lord had not a hand in the matter, it would be nine chances out of ten, if you did not perish before you returned; and perhaps, nine chances out of ten, if you ever obtained means to accomplish your journey, and pay your passage from place to place. But where is there an example of any faithful man in this church, since the year 1830, that has gone forth, trusting in the Lord God of Israel with mighty prayer, but what has been sustained, upheld, and preserved to return again in honor, unless they have fallen perhaps by sickness, or have died martyrs in testimony of the truth.

We find, then, that the Lord has actually wrought miracles in scores, and hundreds of instances, in sustaining his servants among foreign nations, in foreign lands, where it would be almost impossible for people that were on their own business to have accomplished anything, or to have traveled among them. What has the Lord said upon this subject? He commands us in a revelation given September 22nd, 1832 as follows: “Therefore let no man among you (for this commandment is unto all the faithful who are called of God in the Church unto the ministry) from this hour, take purse or scrip, that goeth forth to proclaim this gospel of the kingdom.” This was a command given 20 years ago this next September. Says one, that looks rather hard. It does not look hard at all, for that same God that gave the commandment is able to bear you up, he is able to sustain you. Perhaps this might have had reference, more particularly, to those who are actually in their fields of labor; this may be the case, for traveling to your field of labor is one thing, and laboring in it is another. There may actually be instances, where an elder is obliged, circumstances being such, to take some means to assist him until he shall arrive at his field of labor, but when he gets there, then depend upon the Lord God of Israel, and the people, to feed and sustain him. I am not going to say, but what it will apply in traveling to the field of his labor, at any rate I would not be afraid to trust the God of Israel to assist me in going to my field of labor, as well as to assist me after having arrived there.

What would be the best thing, then, for these elders who are going forth? As a general thing, I would say to them, if you have any cash, leave it with your wives and children to comfort their hearts, to support them in your absence, and be a blessing to them. And if you can get mules and horses to carry you from here to the States, when you get on the frontiers sell them, and they will bring you in a little cash to carry you through the mobocratic divisions of the country (a voice in the stand “send that back.”) The Lord will always provide some way to get along; and the faithful servant of God has nothing to fear only his own weakness, and his own imperfections and follies; these are the things that he has need to fear the most. If an elder gets unfaithful when he is abroad, he is sometimes apt to get into straight places, but if he is diligent in prayer, in doing the work of the Lord, striving in faith to live humbly before him; setting a proper example before his brethren and the people among whom he labors, he will find that the Lord will bear him off victorious; his power will be upon him, and when he administers in the words of life, it will be by the power and wisdom of the Holy Spirit; when he administers in the ordinances of the church the blessings of Jehovah will follow; when he says to the sick, be thou healed in the name of Jesus Christ,—behold! It is done; when he commands, the lame will leap like an hart: the power of the Lord God of Israel will be made manifest through his faithful servants, and they have nothing to fear.

Brethren, I will prophesy that the power of the Lord God of Israel will be with you to a far greater extent, than what has been poured out in days that are passed; and the way will open before you, and the Lord will visit the hearts of the people before you arrive among them, and make manifest to them by visions and dreams that you are the servants of God before they shall see your faces; and you will receive heavenly visions to comfort you, and dreams to give you knowledge of the things of God, if you prove faithful before him. I will prophesy this in the name of the Lord God of Israel, and you will find that his power will be more conspicuously made manifest through your administrations on these missions than has ever taken place since the rise of this church.

How often have I reflected upon the words of the Savior, which were given expressly to his servants; they were not given to the whole church, but to his servants who were engaged in the work of the ministry. He said, “Take no thought for the morrow, what ye shall eat or what ye shall drink, or wherewithal ye shall be clothed. Consider the lilies of the field; they toil not, neither do they spin; yet Solomon or the kings of this world are not arrayed like one of these. And if God so clothe the grass which to-day is, and to-morrow is thrown into the fire, how much more shall he clothe you, if you are not of little faith? Therefore, take no thought for these things.” You will find, brethren, if you go forth, trusting in the Lord, that whatever you need, it will be ministered to you in the very moment, and you will return again with your hearts filled with joy, and your bodies comfortably clothed, and means in your pockets to assist your families when you return to them, and with souls as seals to your ministry, with whom you shall rejoice in time and in eternity.

I have oftentimes thought of another saying in the Book of Mormon, concerning the parable of the vineyard, delivered by one of the old, ancient prophets; he said, that “the servants of God shall go forth and labor for the last time;” and the prophecy says, “behold they were few, and the Lord labored with them.” Among all the servants, that had labored in previous dispensations, the parable does not condescend to say, that the Lord labored with them, although he no doubt did. But here it is expressly said, that the laborers were few, and the Lord labored with them. And after the vineyard was pruned, and was no more corrupt, he called up his servants and said, behold, you see I have done according to my will, and ye shall have joy with me in the fruit of my vineyard. This truly seems to be characteristic of the way and manner this gospel is going to the nations. It does not go according to the will of man, neither according to his inferior judgment, but according to the will of God. It breaks forth on the right hand, and on the left; and the servants of God are sent forth by his will and authority; and if they are faithful, he has ordained them to labor in his vineyard; and the prophecy says, they will be faithful, and they shall keep the commandments of the Lord of the vineyard, in all things.

Try to have this prophecy fulfilled upon your heads; keep the commandments of the Lord of the vineyard in all things, that his blessings may be upon you; that when you set to your hands with the pruning-knife, to prune and train up the branches of the trees of the vineyard, and dig around their roots, the power of the everlasting God may rest upon you, and the vineyard where you labor. Keep the commandments of the Lord in all things, that you may have joy with him in the fruits of the vineyard, when the work is finished. May he bless you as he did Abraham, and his servants of old, that you may do the work he has appointed to you in faith, and prayer, and perseverance, that you may bring home your thousands, and rejoice in the midst of the mountains.

Elder Franklin D. Richards followed in a short speech, not reported.

Prest. H. C. Kimball motioned that elder Orson Pratt take a mission to Washington to preach the gospel, and preside over the saints in the United States, Upper and Lower Canada, and the British Provinces in North America. Seconded and carried unanimously.

Elder J. M. Grant, and W. W. Phelps severally addressed the audience.

Prest. Young said:

I want to say a few words to the congregation before we dismiss, for we shall be under the necessity of separating soon, and probably we shall hold another meeting this evening.

I have heard the exhortations of the brethren who have spoken to day with joy; they seem to be in a good spirit, and certainly, yea most assuredly, there is the most novelty in Mormonism, that there is in anything upon the face of the earth. It is musical, it pleases both the eye, and the ear, and I may say every sense of the man.

When I heard the brethren exhorting those who are going out on missions, I wished them to impress one thing upon the minds of these elders, for it is necessary that it should be uppermost there, which may be the means of preserving them from receiving stains on their characters from which very probably they may never recover. If we get a blight upon our characters before the Lord, or in other words lose ground and backslide by transgression, or in any other way, so that we are not up even with the brethren as we are now, we never can come up with them again; but this principle must be carried out by the elders wherever they go, whatever they do, or wherever they are; one thing must be observed and be before them all the time in their meditations, and in their practice, and that is clean hands and pure hearts, before God, angels and men.

If the elders cannot go with clean hands, and pure hearts, they had better stay here, and wash a little longer; don’t go thinking when you arrive at the Missouri river, at the Mississippi, at the Ohio, or at the Atlantic, that then you will purify yourselves, but start from here with clean hands and pure hearts; and be pure from the crown of the head to the soles of your feet. Then live so every hour; go in that manner, and in that manner labor, and return again as clean as a piece of pure, white paper. This is the way to go, and if you do not do that, your hearts will ache. How can you do it? Is there a way? Yes! Do the elders understand that way? They do. You cannot keep your own hands clean, and your hearts pure without the help of the Lord; neither will he keep you pure without your own help.

Will you be liable to fall into temptation, and be overtaken by sin? Yes; unless you live so as to have the revelations of Jesus Christ continually, not only to live in it to-day or while you are preaching, in a prayer meeting, or in a conference; and when you are out of these meetings when you are guarded more particularly by the Spirit, say, that you can get along without the Holy Ghost; you must have it all the time, on Sunday, Monday, Tuesday, and every day through the week, and from year to year, from the time you leave home until you return, so that when you come back, you may not be afraid if the Lord Almighty should come into the midst of the saints and reveal all the acts, and doings, and designs of your hearts in your missions; but be found clean like a piece of white paper; that is the way for the elders to live in their ministry, at home and abroad.

There are a great many things that could be said here, which would add to the comfort and consolation of us all. A great many principles that could be taught to the elders which they must learn when they go abroad. I will notice one thing with regard to learning. You will hear a great many elders say, if I could go to preaching, I could become a man like many others, I should receive knowledge and understanding, I should be noted, become a great man, and a wise man. Many have such feelings; that they are greater who are in the world preaching the gospel than those who remain here. It is a grand mistake; for if those who have lived with us all the time have not a knowledge of true principles; do not understand the root and foundation of the superstructure, are not filled with knowledge and understanding here, they need not appeal to the gentile world for it; if they have not the foundation within themselves of talent and tact, they need not go abroad for the Spirit of the Lord to instruct them in things they cannot be instructed in here at home, and to obtain improvement where improvement cannot be made.

We may live here year after year, and store up knowledge all the time, and yet not have an opportunity of exhibiting it to others, but if I have knowledge by the Spirit of the Lord, I gain it at the fountain; and if not quite at the fountain head, the nigher I am to that place, the more I get; though I have not the privilege of exhibiting it to the people, it is on hand whenever the time comes it should be used. It is a vain idea to suppose that we can send elders into the world who have not got good common sense, to make men of them; if they have good sense here, they will have it yonder; if they have good sense yonder, they will have good common sense here; whether they are there or here does not alter the foundation that is in them. If the elders have natural ability, and have obtained great wisdom or learning, to go abroad gives them an opportunity to improve upon what they have.

I want to refer to the last speech made here. Bro. Phelps feels very joyful, as the rest of us do. When we hear the glad tidings of salvation among the nations, it gives a spring to our feelings, and fills us with unspeakable joy.

Perhaps in the case before us, as in others, we might say that men become children; we are children in the first place, then become men; and in the second place men become children in their understanding. As to the correctness of the exalted views that bro. Phelps has of myself, I leave it to the congregation to decide for themselves; but to place me on a par with the personages he has named who have overcome, and entered into the presence of God; or even to compare me with Joseph Smith our martyred Prophet is too much; though I expect, if I am faithful, I will be as great as they are now, and so can every other faithful man. But am I now to be compared with these exalted characters? Not at all, not even with Joseph, and he is at present inferior to others bro. Phelps has named. But I expect if I am faithful with yourselves, that I shall see the time with yourselves that we will know how to prepare to organize an earth like this; know how to people that earth, how to redeem it, how to sanctify it, and how to glorify it with those who live upon it who hearken to our counsel.

The Father and the Son have attained to this point already; I am on the way, and so are you, and every faithful servant of God.

One of the greatest queries on the minds of the saints, is, to understand the nature, the principle, or the foundation of our existence. To say nothing about what has been, if you will follow out that which is before you, you can learn all about it. I have a notion to tell you, though I have not time to say much about it now. I will however just tell to you the simple story relating to the exaltation of man in the celestial kingdom of God. We will take Joseph for instance; he is faithful to his calling, has filled his mission to this earth, and sealed his testimony with his blood; he has done the work his Father gave him to do, and will soon come to the resurrection; his spirit is waiting for the resurrection of the body which will soon be; but has he the power to resurrect that body? He has not. Who has this power? Those that have already passed through the resurrection, who have been resurrected in their time and season, by some person else, and have been appointed to that authority just as you elders have with regard to your authority to baptize.

You have not the power to baptize yourselves; neither have you power to resurrect yourselves; and you could not legally baptize a second person for the remission of sins until some person first baptized you and ordained you to this authority. So with those that hold the keys of the resurrection to resurrect the saints; Joseph will come up in his turn, receive his body again, and continue his mission in the eternal worlds until he carries it out to perfection, with all the rest of the faithful, to be made perfect with those who have lived before, and those who shall live after; and when the work is finished, and it is offered to the Father, then they will be crowned, and receive keys and powers by which they will be capable of organizing worlds. What will they organize first? Were I to tell you, I should certainly spoil all the baby resurrection that elder Hyde and others ever preached, as sure as the world.

After men have got their exaltation, and their crowns; have become Gods, even the sons of God; are made king of kings, and Lord of Lords; they have the power then of propagating their species in spirit, and that is the first of their operations with regard to organizing a world. Power is then given to them to organize the elements, and then commence the organization of tabernacles. How can they do it? Have they to go to that earth? Yes, an Adam will have to go there, and he cannot do without Eve; he must have Eve to commence the work of generation, and they will go into the garden, and continue to eat and drink of the fruits of the corporeal world, until this grosser matter is diffused sufficiently through their celestial bodies, to enable them according to the established laws to produce mortal tabernacles for their spiritual children.

This is a key for you. The faithful will become Gods, even the sons of God; but this does not overthrow the idea that we have a father. Adam is my Father, (this I will explain to you at some future time) but it does not prove that he is not my father, if I become a God; it does not prove that I have not a father.

I am on the way to become one of those characters, and am nobody in the world but Brigham Young. I never have professed to be bro. Joseph, but bro. Brigham, trying to do good to this people. I am no better, nor any more important than another man, who is trying to do good; if I am, I don’t know it. If I improve upon what the Lord has given me, and continue to improve, I shall become like those who have gone before me: I shall be exalted in the celestial kingdom, and be filled to overflowing with all the power I can wield; and all the keys of knowledge I can manage will be committed unto me. What do we want more? I shall be just like every other man, have all that I can, in my capacity, comprehend and manage.

I am on my way to this great exaltation; I expect to attain unto it. I am in the hands of the Lord and never trouble myself about my salvation, or what the Lord will do with me hereafter; it is for me to do the will of God to-day; and when to-morrow comes, to enquire what is his will concerning me, then do the will of my Father in the work he has appointed me to do, and that is enough for me. I am serving a God who will give me all I merit when I come to receive my reward, this is what I have always thought, and if I still think so, it is enough for me.

I say to the brethren who are leaving home; when you go from home, leave everything you have got here, don’t take anything with you but the Lord and yourselves.

You will want horses to bear you over the plains, but don’t carry your wives or your children in your hearts or in your affections with you one rod; dedicate them to the Lord God of Israel and leave them at home; and when you are in England or among other nations, no matter where, when you pray for your families pray for them as being in the Great Salt Lake Valley, and do not bring them close to you as though they were in your carpet bag; pray for them where they are. You must feel, if they live, all right; if they die, all right; if I die all right; if I live, all right, for we are the Lord[’]s and we shall soon meet again.

I wish to say to you that are left here, whose husbands and fathers are going away for a season, don’t cling to them one particle, but let them go as cheerfully as you would give a weary traveler a cup of cold water. If you live it is all right, and if you fall asleep before they return, it is all right; don’t send your hearts after them one step, nor suffer your spirits to cling to them one moment; then you wives in very deed will be blessed, and be help meets to your husbands.

But if a wife should yet cling round a husband’s neck and say, O! how I love you, dear husband, and keep him in her embraces, that woman is a dead weight to that man, and not an help to him. Women should be loyal to the cause of God, and help to build up his kingdom by their husbands, in assisting them to fulfil their missions, and if they do not do it they are not a helpmate to their husbands. I know there are a great many here who have had an experience in these things. It is no matter if they are on the other side of the globe, apart, let them long for each other, and there will be a thread of communication between them; the man cannot be useful in his labors while she is all the time weeping and mourning, every day of her life. Let a man suffer his mind to be drawn out all the time after his family and he will become inactive in the work of the Lord.

When you leave, understand it, you have neither wife or children; you have handed them all over to the Lord Jesus Christ. Let the brethren go and say, I will keep my eyes straight before me on the object of my mission, and not look behind me to my family; but I will accomplish my mission, and when I have done, it is all right, I am willing to go home, if the Lord wishes me to do so.

The time is far spent, and it is necessary for our meeting to be brought to a close. May the Lord bless you; and I say he does bless us; we are greatly blessed above all people upon the face of this earth; let us be faithful to God and the covenant we have made, Amen.

Adjourned till to-morrow 10 a.m.

Benediction by Prest. Young.