To be found in the "General Discourses":



A discourse  delivered  by President Brigham  Young,  in  the

Tabernacle, Great Salt Lake City, January 16, 1853.


        The plan of salvation or, in other words, the redemption

of  fallen beings, is a subject that should occupy the  attention

of  all  intelligence that pertains to fallen beings.  I  do  not

like  the term fallen beings, but I will say, subjected  intelli-

gence, which term suits me better--subjected to law, order, rule,

and  government.   All intelligences are deeply engaged  in  this

grand object; not, however, having a correct understanding of the

true  principle  thereof,  they wander to and fro,  some  to  the

right,  and  some  to the left.  There is not a  person  in  this

world,  who is endowed with a common share of intellect,  but  is

laboring  with  all his power for salvation.  Men vary  in  their

efforts to obtain that object, still their individual conclusions

are,  that  they will ultimately secure it.   The  merchant,  for

instance,  seeks with unwearied diligence, by night and  by  day,

facing misfortunes with a determined and persevering  resistance,

enduring losses by sea and by land, with an unshaken patience, to

amass  a  sufficient  amount of wealth to enable  him  to  settle

calmly down in the midst of plenty in some opulent city, walk  in

the  higher classes of society, and perchance receive  a  worldly

title, or worldly honor, and enjoy a freedom from all anxiety  of

business, and constraint by poverty, throughout the remainder  of

his life.  He then supposes he has obtained salvation.


        Descend from the busy, wealth-seeking middle classes,  to

the  humbler grade of society, and follow them in  their  various

occupations  and pursuits, and each one of them is  seeking  ear-

nestly that which he imagines to be salvation.  The poor, ragged,

trembling mendicant, who is forced by hunger and cold to drag his

feeble  body from under some temporary shelter, to seek a bit  of

bread, or a coin from his more fortunate fellow-mortal, if he can

only obtain a few crusts of bread to satisfy the hunger-worm that

gnaws  his vitals, and a few coppers to pay his lodgings, he  has

attained to the summit of his expectations, to what he sought for

salvation,  and   he is comparatively happy,  but  his  happiness

vanishes with the shades of night, and his misery comes with  the

morning  light.   From the match-maker up to the  tradesman,  all

have an end in view, which they suppose will bring to them salva-

tion.  King, courtier, commanders, officers, and common soldiers,

the  commodore,  and  sailor before the  mast,  the  fair-skinned

Christian, and the dark-skinned savage, all, in their  respective

grades  and  spheres  of action, have a certain  point  in  view,

which, if they can obtain, they suppose will put them in  posses-

sion of salvation.


        The Latter-day Saint, who is far from the bosom  of  the

Church, whose  home is in distant climes, sighs,  and  earnestly

prays each day of his life for the Lord to open his way, that  he

may mingle with his brethren in Zion, for he supposes  that  his

happiness would then be complete, but in this  his  expectations

will be in a measure vain, for happiness that is real and lasting

in its nature cannot be enjoyed by mortals, for it is  altogether

out of keeping with this transitory state.


        If a  man's capacity be limited to the  things  of  this

world, if he reach no further than he can see with his eyes, feel

with his hands, and understand with the ability of  the  natural

man, still he is as earnestly engaged in securing his  salvation,

as others  are, who possess a superior intellect, and  are  also

pursuing the path of salvation, in their estimation,  though  it

result in nothing more than a good name, or the honors  of  this

world.  Each, according to his capacity--to the natural organiza-

tion of the human system, which is liable to be operated upon  by

the circumstances and influences by which it is surrounded, is as

eager  to obtain that which he supposes is salvation, as I am  to

obtain salvation in the Eternal world.


        The  object of a true salvation, correctly  and  minutely

understood,  changes  the  course of mankind.   Persons  who  are

taught by their teachers, friends, and acquaintances, are  tradi-

tionated,  from their youth up, into the belief that there is  no

God,  or intelligent beings, other than those that they see  with

the natural eye, or naturally comprehend; that there is no  here-

after; that at death, all life and intelligence are  annihilated. 

Such  persons  are as firm in their belief, and as  strenuous  in

argument,  in  support of those doctrines, as others are  in  the

belief of the existence of an Eternal God.  The early customs and

teachings  of parents and friends, to a greater or  less  degree,

influence  the minds of children, but when they are  disposed  to

inquire  at  the  hands of Him who has  eternal  intelligence  to

impart  to  them, when their understandings  are  enlarged,  when

their minds are enlightened by the Spirit of truth, so that  they

can see things that are unseen by the natural eye, they may  then

be corrected in their doctrine and belief, and in their manner of

life, but not until then.


        How difficult it is to teach the natural man, who compre-

hends nothing more than that which he sees with the natural  eye! 

How  hard it is for him to believe!  How difficult would  be  the

task  to  make the philosopher, who, for many years,  has  argued

himself into the belief that his spirit is no more after his body

sleeps  in  the grave, believe that his  intelligence  came  from

eternity,  and is as eternal, in its nature, as the elements,  or

as the Gods.  Such doctrine by him would be considered vanity and

foolishness,  it would be entirely beyond his comprehension.   It

is  difficult, indeed, to remove an opinion or belief into  which

he has argued himself from the mind of the natural man.  Talk  to

him  about angels, heavens, God, immortality, and eternal  lives,

and it is like sounding brass, or a tinkling cymbal to his  ears;

it  has no music to him; there is nothing in it that  charms  his

senses, soothes his feelings, attracts his attention, or  engages

his  affections, in the least; to him it is all vanity.   To  say

that  the human family are not seeking salvation, is contrary  to

my  experience, and to the experience of every other person  with

whom  I have any acquaintance.  They are all for salvation,  some

in  one way, and some in another; but all is darkness and  confu-

sion.  If the Lord does not speak from heaven, and touch the eyes

of  their  understanding by His Spirit, who can  instruct,  guide

them  to good?  who can give them words of eternal life?   It  is

not  in  the power of man to do it; but when the Lord  gives  His

Spirit to a person, or to a people, they can then hear,  believe,

and be instructed.  An Elder of Israel may preach the  principles

of the Gospel, from first to last, as they were taught to him, to

a  congregation ignorant of them; but if he does not do it  under

the influence of the Spirit of the Lord, he cannot enlighten that

congregation  on  those principles, it is impossible.   Job  said

that  "There is a spirit in man, and the inspiration of  the  Al-

mighty  giveth them understanding."  Unless we enjoy that  under-

standing in this probation, we cannot grow or increase, we cannot

be made acquainted with the principles of truth and righteousness

so  as  to  become exalted.  Admit that the Spirit  of  the  Lord

should  give  us understanding, what would it prove  to  us?   It

would  prove to me, at least, and what I may safely say  to  this

congregation,  that  Zion is here.  Whenever we are  disposed  to

give  ourselves  perfectly  to righteousness, to  yield  all  the

powers  and  faculties of the soul (which is the spirit  and  the

body,  and it is there where righteousness dwells); when  we  are

swallowed up in the will of Him who has called us; when we  enjoy

the  peace and the smiles of our Father in Heaven, the things  of

His  Spirit, and all the blessings we are capacitated to  receive

and improve upon, then are we in Zion, that is Zion.(This is  one

tall order! no?)  What will produce the opposite?  Hearkening and

giving way to evil, nothing else will.


        If  a  community of people are perfectly devoted  to  the

cause of righteousness, truth, light, virtue, and every principle

and attribute of the holy Gospel, we may say of that people's the

ancient  Apostle  said  to his brethren, "Know ye  not  your  own

selves,   how  that  Jesus  Christ  is  in  you,  except  ye   be

reprobates;"  there is a throne for the Lord Almighty to sit  and

reign upon, there is a resting place for the Holy Ghost, there is

a  habitation of the Father and the Son.  We are the  temples  of

God, but when we are overcome of evil by yielding to  temptation,

we deprive ourselves of the privilege of the Father, the Son, and

the  Holy Ghost, taking up their abode and dwelling with us.   We

are the people, by our calling and profession, and ought to be by

our  daily  works, of whom it should be truly said, "Ye  are  the

temples  of our God."  Let me ask, what is there to  prevent  any

person in this congregation from being so blessed, and becoming a

holy  temple fit for the in-dwelling of the Holy Ghost?  Has  any

being in heaven or on earth done aught to prevent you from becom-

ing  so blessed?  No, but why the people are not so privileged  I

will  leave  you to judge.  I would to God that  every  soul  who

professes to be a Latter-day Saint was of that character, a  holy

temple  for the in-dwelling of the Father, the Son, and the  Holy

Ghost,  but  it is not so.  Is there any  individual  within  the

sound  of  my  voice to day, that has  received  the  Holy  Ghost

through  the principles of the Gospel, and at the same  time  has

not received a love for them?  I will answer that question.  Wait

and  see who it is that falls out by the way; who it is  in  whom

the seed of truth has been sown, but has not taken root; and then

you  will know the individuals who have received the  truth,  but

have never received a love of it--they do not love it for itself.


     What a delightful aspect would this community present if all
men and women, old and young, were disposed to leave off their own

sins and follies, and overlook those of their neighbors; if  they

would cease watching their neighbors for iniquity, and watch that

they  themselves might be free from it! if they were trying  with

all their powers to sanctify the Lord in their hearts, and  would

prove, by their actions, that they had received the truth and the

love of it! if all individuals would watch themselves, that  they

do not speak against the Father, the Son, the Holy Ghost, nor  in

short  against any being in heaven or on earth.  Strange as  this

may appear, there have been men in this Church that have done it,

and probably will be again!  If this people would be careful  not

to  do anything to displease the spirits of those who have  lived

on the earth, and have been justified, and have gone to rest, and

would  so conduct themselves, that no reasonable being  upon  the

face of the earth could find fault with them, what kind of socie-

ty  should we have?  Why every man's mouth would be  filled  with

blessings,  every man's hand would be put forth to do  good,  and

every woman and child in all their intercourse would be  praising

God, and blessing each other.  Would not Zion be here?  It would. 

What hinders you from doing this?  What is the Lord or the people

doing  to cause this one and that one to commit sin with  a  high

hand, in secret and in the open streets?


        If Elders of Israel use language which is not proper  for

the lips of a Saint, such Elders are under condemnation, and  the

wrath of God abides upon them, those who do it have not the  love

of  truth in their hearts, they do not love and honor  the  truth

because  it  is the truth, but because it is powerful,  and  they

wish  to join with the strongest party.  Do they love  light  be-

cause  it  is light? virtue because it is  virtue?  righteousness

because  it  is  righteousness?  No.  But  these  principles  are

almighty in their influence, and like the tornado in the  forest,

they  sweep all before them, no argument can weigh against  them,

all  the philosophy, knowledge, and wisdom of men may be  set  in

array against them, but they are like chaff before a mighty wind,

or  like  the morning dew before the sun  in  its  strength--such

Elders  embrace truth because it is all-powerful.  When a man  of

God  preaches the principles of the Gospel, all things  give  way

before  it, and some embrace it because it is so mighty.  But  by

and  bye those characters will fall out by the way,  because  the

soil  has not depth to nourish the seeds of truth.  They  receive

it,  but  not the love of it; it dies, and they  turn  away.   If

every  person  who has embraced the Gospel would love  it  as  he

loves  his life, would not society wear a different  aspect  from

that of the present?


        I  do not intend to enter into a detailed account of  the

acts  of  the people, they are themselves acquainted  with  them;

people  know  how they themselves talk; and how  their  neighbors

talk;  how husband and wife agree in their own houses,  and  with

their neighbors; and how parents and children dwell together.   I

need  not  tell these things, but if every heart  were  set  upon

doing  right, we then should have Zion here.  I will give you  my

reason for thinking so.  It is because I have had it with me ever

since I was baptized into this kingdom.  I have not been  without

it from that day to this.  I have therefore a good reason for the

assertion I have made.  I live and walk in Zion every day, and so

do  thousands  of others in this Church and kingdom,  they  carry

Zion with them, they have one of their own, and it is increasing,

growing,  and  spreading continually.  Suppose  it  spreads  from

heart  to heart, from neighborhood to neighborhood, from city  to

city, and from nation to nation, how long would it be before  the

earth  would become revolutionized, and the wheat  gathered  from

among the tares.  (Are there more tares proportionally among  the

single  adults  than the married adults?)  The wheat  and  tares,

however, must grow together until harvest.  I am not,  therefore,

disposed  to  separate  them yet, for if we pluck  up  the  tares

before the harvest, we may destroy some of the good seed,  there-

fore  let  them grow together, and by and bye  the  harvest  will



        There is another thing, brethren, which I wish you to

keep constantly before your minds, that is with regard  to  your

travels  in  life.  You have read, in the  Scriptures,  that  the

children of men will be judged according to their works,  whether

they  be  good  or bad, If a man's days be filled  up  with  good

works,  he will be rewarded accordingly.  On the other  hand,  if

his days lie filled up with evil actions, he will receive accord-

ing to those acts.  This proves that we are in a state of exalta-

tion,  it  proves that we can add to our knowledge,  wisdom,  and

strength,  and that we can add power to every attribute that  God

has  given  us.  When will the people realize that  this  is  the

period  of time in which they should commence to lay the  founda-

tion of their exaltation for time and eternity, that this is  the

time  to  conceive, and bring forth from the heart fruit  to  the

honor  and  glory of God, as Jesus did--grow as he did  from  the

child, become perfect, and be prepared to be raised to salvation? 

You  will find that this probation is the place to increase  upon

every little we receive, for the Lord gives line upon line to the

children of men.  When He reveals the plan of salvation, then  is

the time to fill up our days with good works.


        Let us fill up our days with usefulness, do good to  each

other,  and cease from all evil.  Let every evil  person  forsake

his  wickedness.  If he be wicked in his words, or in  his  deal-

ings,  let  him forsake those practices, and pursue a  course  of

righteousness.   Let every man and woman do this, and  peace  and

joy will be the result.


        A few words more upon the subject of the eternal exist-

ence of the soul. It is hard for mankind  to  comprehend  that

principle. The philosophers of the world will concede that  the

elements  of which you and I are composed are eternal,  yet  they

believe that there was a time when there was no God.  They cannot

comprehend  how it is that God can be eternal.  Let me  ask  this

congregation, Can you realise the eternity of your own existence? 

Can you realise that the intelligence which you receive is  eter-

nal?  I can comprehend this, just as well as I can that I am  now

in possession of it.  It is as easy for me to comprehend that  it

will  exist  eternally, as that anything else will.   I  wish  to

impress  upon your minds the reality that when the body which  is

organized for intelligence to dwell in, dies, and returns to  its

mother  earth,  all the feelings, sensibilities,  faculties,  and

powers of the spirit are still alive, they never die, but in  the

absence  of the body are more acute.  They are organized  for  an

eternal  existence.  If this congregation could  comprehend  that

the  intelligence  that is in them is eternal in its  nature  and

existence;  if they could realize that when Saints  pass  through

the vail, they are not dead, but have been laying the  foundation

in  these  tabernacles for exaltation, laying the  foundation  to

become Gods, even the sons of God, and for crowns which they will

yet receive--they would receive the truth in the love of it, live

by  it, and continue in it, until they receive all knowledge  and

wisdom,  until they grow into eternity, and have the  vail  taken

from before their eyes, to behold the handiworks of God among all

people,  His goings forth among the nations of the earth, and  to

discover  the rule and law by which He governs.  Then could  they

say of a truth, We acknowledge the hand of God in all things, all

is right, Zion is here, in our own possession.


        I have thus summed up, in a broken manner, that which  I

desired to speak.  We are not able to comprehend all things,  but

we can continue to learn and grow, until all will  be  perfectly

clear to our minds, which is a great  privilege  to  enjoy--the

blessing of an eternal increase.  And the man or woman who  lives

worthily is now in a state of salvation.


        Now, brethren, love the truth, and put a stop to every

species of  folly.  How many there are who come to me  to  find

fault with,  and enter complaints against, their  brethren,  for

some trifling thing, when I can see, in a moment, that they  have

received no intentional injury!  They have no compassion on their

brethren,  but,  having passed their judgment,  insist  that  the

criminal shall be punished.  And why?  Because he does not exact-

ly  come up to their standard of right and wrong!  They  feel  to

measure  him  by the "Iron Bedstead principle"--"if you  are  too

long, you must be cut off; if too short, you must be  stretched." 

Now this is the height of folly. I find that I have enough to  do

to  watch myself.  It is as much as I can do to get  right,  deal

right,  and act right.  If we all should do this, there would  be

no  difficulty, but in every man's mouth would lie "May the  Lord

bless you."  I feel happy, as I always told you.  Brother Kimball

has  known  me thirty years, twenty one of which I have  been  in

this  Church;  others have known me twenty years; and  there  are

some here who knew me in England; I had Zion with me then, and  I

brought  it with me to America again, and I now appeal  to  every

man and woman if I have not had Zion with me from first  entering

into the Church, to the present time! Light cleaves to light, and

truth to truth.  May God bless you.  Amen.