Quote mining/Journal of Discourses

Quote mining in the Journal of Discourses

The Journal of Discourses is a rich source for critical quote miners who wish to rip quotes from 19th century Church leaders out of their context. This page illustrates some commonly used mined quotes and notes which critical sources they are used in.

Source Quote Mined quote Critical use


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I am at the defiance of the rulers of the greatest nation on the earth, with the United States all put together, to produce a more loyal people than the Latter-day Saints. Have they, as a people, broken any law? No, they have not. Have the United States? Yes! they have trampled the Constitution under their feet with impunity, and ridden recklessly over all law, to persecute and drive this people. Admit, for argument's sake, that the "Mormon" Elders have more wives than one, yet our enemies never have proved it. If I had forty wives in the United States, they did not know it, and could not substantiate it, neither did I ask any lawyer, judge, or magistrate for them. I live above the law, and so do this people. Do the laws of the United States require us to crouch and bow down to the miserable wretches who violate them? No. The broad law of the whole earth is that every person has the right to enjoy every mortal blessing, so far as he does not infringe upon the rights and privileges of others. It is also according to the acts of every legislative body throughout the Union, to enjoy all that you are capable of enjoying; but you are forbidden to infringe upon the rights, property, wife, or anything in the possession of your neighbor. I defy all the world to prove that we have infringed upon that law. You may circumscribe the whole earth, and pass through every Christian nation, so called, and what do you find? If you tell them a "Mormon" has two wives, they are shocked, and call it dreadful blasphemy; if you whisper such a thing into the ears of a Gentile who takes a fresh woman every night, he is thunderstruck with the enormity of the crime. The vile practice of violating female virtue with impunity is customary among the professed Christian nations of the world; this is therefore no marvel to them, but they are struck with amazement when they are told a man may have more lawful wives than one! What do you think of a woman having more husbands than one? This is not; known to the law, yet it is done in the night, and considered by the majority of mankind to be all right. There are certain governments in the world, that give women license to open their doors and windows to carry on this abominable practice, under the cover of night. Five years ago the census of New York gave 15,000 prostitutes in that city. Is that law? Is that good order? Look at your Constitution, look at the Federal law, look at every wholesome principle, and they tell you that death is at your doors, corruption in your streets, and hell is all open, and gaping wide to inclose you in its fiery vortex. To talk about law and good order while such things exist, makes me righteously angry, Talk not to me about law.

Critics claim: Brigham Young said that he lived "above the law."

Jerald and Sandra Tanner, The Changing World of Mormonism (Moody Press, 1979), 220.( Index of claims )


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What would a man of God say, who felt aright, when Joseph asked him for his money? He would say, "Yes, and I wish I had more to help to build up the kingdom of God." Or if he came and said, I want your wife?" "O yes," he would say, "here she is; there are plenty more."

There is another main thread connected with this; that I have not brought out. You know in fishing with the hook and line, if you draw out suddenly on the line when you have got a large trout, you may break your line; you must therefore angle a little, and manage your prize carefully. I would ask you if Jehovah has not in all ages tried His people by the power of Lucifer and his associates; and on the other hand, has He not tried them and proved them by His Prophets? Did the Lord actually want Abraham to kill Isaac? Did the Prophet Joseph want every man's wife he asked for? He did not, but in that thing was the grand thread of the Priesthood developed. The grand object in view was to try the people of God, to see what was in them. If such a man of God should come to me and say, "I want your gold and silver, or your wives," I should say, "Here they are, I wish I had more to give you, take all I have got." A man who has got the Spirit of God, and the light of eternity in him, has no trouble about such matters.

I am talking now of the present day. There was a time when we could be tried pretty severely upon these points, but I now could pick you out hundreds of men that cannot be tried in this way, but they will hand over every thing they possess. They understand the nature of such doctrines, and the object of such requirements. They know it is to prove the people, both men and women, and to develop what they will do. How can the Priesthood judge the people, if it does not prove them.

If ever you are brought into the presence of God, and exalted to a seat in His celestial kingdom, it will be by virtue of the Holy Priesthood, therefore you have got to be proved, not only by being tempted by the devil, but the Priesthood will try you—it will try you to the core. If one thing won't try you, something else will be adopted, until you are like the passive clay in the hands of the Potter. If the Lord our God does not see fit to let the devil loose upon you, and mob you, He will employ some other means to try you, as in a crucible, to prove you as gold is tried seven times in the furnace.

Jedediah Grant, Journal of Discourses 2:14.

Jedediah Grant "excused" Joseph's marriages to married women by stating that it was a way to "try the people of God to see what was in them."

Fawn M. Brodie, No Man Knows My History: The Life of Joseph Smith (New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 1945), 346. ( Index of claims )


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I will remark that brother Orson has clearly shown how the Bible has come into our hands, in order to convince the people of the necessity of positive proof for the validity of the Book of Mormon, the Book of Doctrine and Covenants, and that Joseph Smith was a true Prophet of God, and to prove that our testimony, witnesses, evidence and knowledge of these facts are ten thousand times more than can be produced in favor of the Bible, unless a man has the power of God to testify to it, for there can be no proof in its favor short of revelation.

This we have known all the time, we have understood it from the beginning. That made us very anxious, in the days of Joseph, to get the new translation [recall that Emma and the RLDS had the JST manuscripts at this point, so Brigham had no access to them]; but the Bible is good enough just as it is, it will answer it very well when I was preaching in the world....The Bible is good enough as it is, to point out the way we should walk, and to teach us how to come to the Lord of whom we can receive for ourselves.

Critics claim: The "Inspired Version" [i.e., Joseph Smith Translation] of the Bible has been a "source of much embarrassment" for leaders of the Church, and provide this citation as evidence.

Jerald and Sandra Tanner, The Changing World of Mormonism (Moody Press, 1979), 383.( Index of claims )


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I recollect a conversation I had with a priest who was an old friend of ours, before I was personally acquainted with the Prophet Joseph. I clipped every argument he advanced, until at last he came out and began to rail against "Joe Smith," saying, "that he was a mean man, a liar, money-digger, gambler, and a whore-master;" and he charged him with everything bad, that he could find language to utter. I said, hold on, brother Gillmore, here is the doctrine, here is the Bible, the Book of Mormon, and the revelations that have come through Joseph Smith the Prophet. I have never seen him, and do not know his private character. The doctrine he teaches is all I know about the matter, bring anything against that if you can. As to anything else I do not care. If he acts like a devil, he has brought forth a doctrine that will save us, if we will abide it. He may get drunk every day of his life, sleep with his neighbor's wife every night, run horses and gamble, I do not care anything about that, for I never embrace any man in my faith. But the doctrine he has produced will save you and me, and the whole world; and if you can find fault with that, find it. He said, "I have done." If he acts like a devil, he has brought forth a doctrine that will save us, if we abide by it. He may get drunk every day of his life, sleep with his neighbor's wife every night, run horses and gamble...But the doctrine he has produced will save you and me and the whole world. Fawn M. Brodie, No Man Knows My History: The Life of Joseph Smith (New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 1945), 145-6. ( Index of claims )


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Brother James Brown, has it not been good for you to be here to-day? [Yes.] God bless you, if you will only live your religion, and let brother Brigham, brother Heber, and brother Daniel live theirs; for he is our brother now and always was. If you will rise up and let us rise a little higher, you will see no particular difference in us, but the difference will be in you. Rise up, and do not hold us down.

As we are members of one body, except we cut you off from us we never can rise, unless you rise. If you will cleanse the platter, and throw out the dead men's bones that corrupt it, and all wicked things, you will rise; you will not feel so much difference, only you will be calm and composed, and you will not find any wild fire in the people. They swell when they have got wild fire, until their corporations are larger, figuratively speaking, than a dozen of mine. The Holy Ghost does not make a man act in any such way.

Why do I keep talking these things over? Because I want you to understand them and get the Spirit of God and let its peaceable influence be upon you; then you will know the spirit of men and things. Read the Bible, the Book of Mormon, and every other good book, and keep busy at some good thing or other, and stop your quarrelling. There is a great deal of quarrelling in the houses, and contending for power and authority; and the second wife is against the first wife, perhaps, in some instances. But that is done away in my family, and there is none of it in brother Brigham's, nor in brother Wells', nor in any family where they have common sense.

If every member of my body performs its office and does its duty, according to the order and government of God, then I want to know of one member is any better than another? Is any one of my fingers any better than another, if each one fulfils its calling? If one of these fingers sticks itself where it should not be, it brings dishonour on the whole body; and there are certain men and women who have dishonoured themselves and this whole community. John Hyde, probably, was living in adultery before he went from here, or if not, he was after he went from here, and he lost the Spirit of the Lord God. Any man that will do such wickedness, cannot keep the Spirit of God.

Do right, and let the Bishops and Missionaries understand their duty, and they may be the means of palliating your sins and making you comfortable for life. There are women in this congregation who have, probably, been seduced by Elders, by High Priests and men in authority. What do those women think? They believe that I am guilty of the same sin, and that brother Brigham and brother Wells, and every other good man, is alike guilty. Read the words of Alma over and over, and learn how he talked to his son. The people in that age would not hear the words of Alma, nor the words of his brethren, because of the wickedness of his son Corianton. I am showing you the cause of such iniquity, and the desolation it brings on the human family.

Heber C. Kimball remarked on the "great sorrow" of plural marriage.


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I have known men from Nauvoo, men who were there worth $150 or $200,000, come here with nothing but a handkerchief, containing a change of shirts, under their arms. They left their property there; and what we did not leave in hell's kitchen we left at Devil's Gate. The devil has a gate where he may catch everything that is not to do us good, but that is calculated to create a craving appetite for that which is not here....

Supposing that I have a wife or a dozen of them, and she should say, "You cannot be exalted without me," and suppose they all should say so, what of that? The never will affect my salvation one particle. Whose salvation will they affect? Their own. They have got to live their religion, serve their God, and do right, as well as myself. Suppose that I lose the whole of them before I go into the spirit world, but that I have been a good, faithful man all the days of my life, and lived my religion, and had favour with God, and was kind to them, do you think I will be destitute there? No, the Lord says there are more there than there are here. They have been increasing there; they increase there a great deal faster than we do here, because there is no obstruction. They do not call upon the doctors to kill their offspring; there are no doctors there, that is, if they are there, their occupation is changed, which proves that they are not there, because they have ceased to be doctors. In this world very many of the doctors are studying to diminish the human family.

In the spirit world there is an increase of males and females, there are millions of them, and if I am faithful all the time, and continue right along with brother Brigham, we will go to brother Joseph and say, "Here we are brother Joseph; we are here ourselves are we not, with none of the property we possessed in our probationary state, not even the rings on our fingers?" He will say to us, "Come along, my boys, we will give you a good suit of clothes. Where are your wives?" "They are back yonder; they would not follow us." "Never mind," says Joseph, "here are thousands, have all you want." Perhaps some do not believe that, but I am just simple enough to believe it.

Help brother Brigham along, help brother Heber, brother Daniel, the Twelve, and every other good person. I am looking for the day, and it is close at hand, when we will have a most heavenly time, one that will be romantic, one with all kinds of ups and downs, which is what I call romantic, for it will occupy in full all the time, so that we may never become idle, nor sleepy, nor cease being active in the things of God, which will prevent dotage.

Mormon men believed that they "could have all the wives they wanted." Heber C. Kimball said that in the resurrection, he could have "thousands" of wives.

Jerald and Sandra Tanner, The Changing World of Mormonism (Moody Press, 1979), 234.( Index of claims )


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Brother Brigham was speaking this forenoon, showing what an influence he has over this people. I want to know if he has any over a man or woman that is not in this vine, he being the head now? When Joseph was here, he was the head of the vine in the flesh; but since he stepped away, brother Brigham is head of the vine, and we are connected to it; all you men and women, and then all the Saints throughout the world are connected to that vine to which he is connected; and he has power and influence over them, because they partake of his nature and his element, and he partakes of the element that came through Joseph, and Joseph from Peter, and Peter from Jesus, and Jesus from the Father, and then it extends through all the Quorums that pertain to the house of Israel….

What! of those that do not belong to this Church? Yes, just as much as those that do; and they cannot get salvation upon any other principle. Well, now, you need not think that is a tight jacket; for I will tell you it is a jacket you have all to wear. You may grunt, and you may take a course to kill this people and destroy the Prophet. Good God! there will a hundred come up where you kill one. Bless your souls, if a man is a Prophet, and that Prophet has a posterity, his whole posterity are prophets. Tell about raising up kings, and priests, and prophets unto the Most High God! You may kill brother Brigham: kill him, if you can; but I tell you, you will never do it nor his brother Heber, until the times comes.

Joseph Smith would be looked upon as a god.

Jerald and Sandra Tanner, The Changing World of Mormonism (Moody Press, 1979), 448.( Index of claims )


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In conversing with brother Marsh, I find that he is about the same Thomas that he always was—full of anecdotes and chit-chat. He could hardly converse for ten minutes without telling an anecdote. His voice and style of conversation are familiar to me.

He has told you that he is an old man. Do you think that I am an old man? I could prove to this congre[ga]tion that I am young; for I could find more girls who would choose me for a husband than can any of the young men.

Brother Thomas considers himself very aged and infirm, and you can see that he is, brethren and sisters. What is the cause of it? He left the Gospel of salvation. What do you think the difference is between his age and mine? One year and seven months to a day; and he is one year, seven months, and fourteen days older than brother Heber C. Kimball.

"Mormonism" keeps men and women young and handsome; and when they are full of the Spirit of God, there are none of them but what will have a glow upon their countenances; and that is what makes you and me young; for the Spirit of God is with us and within us.

When brother Thomas thought of returning to the Church, the plurality of wives troubled him a good deal. Look at him. Do you think it need to? I do not; for I doubt whether he could get one wife. Why it should have troubled an infirm old man like him is not for me to say. He read brother Orson Pratt's work upon that subject, and discovered that the doctrine was beautiful, consistent, and exalting, and that the kingdom could not be perfect without it. Neither can it be perfect without a great many things that the people do not yet understand, though they will come in the own due time of the Lord.

  • The Tanners cite this page for the claim that Brigham Young had "fifty or sixty" wives, and boasted of his ability to obtain more.
  • Click here for analysis
Jerald and Sandra Tanner, The Changing World of Mormonism (Moody Press, 1979), 233.( Index of claims )


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  • The authors provide the following quote from Heber C. Kimball as one of "a few examples which show the confusion concerning the First Vision which existed after Joseph Smith's death"

"Do you suppose that God in person called upon Joseph Smith, our Prophet? God called upon him; But God did not come himself and call..."

  • The authors continue by stating that "Heber C. Kimball went on to explain that rather than God coming Himself, He sent messengers to Joseph Smith. He went on to state:

Why did he not come along? Because he has agents to attend to his business, and he sits upon his throne and is established at head-quarters and tells this man, 'Go and do this,' and it is behind the vail just as it is here. You have got to learn that." (Heber C. Kimball, Journal of Discourses 6:29.).

Jerald and Sandra Tanner, Mormonism—Shadow or Reality?, 5th edition, (Salt Lake City: Utah Lighthouse Ministry, 1987), 154.


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...thus we are the only people that understand anything about the present position or the cause of the organization of the world and of man, and that understand anything correctly about a preparation for a future state; that we are the only people that know how to save our progenitors, how to save ourselves, and how to save our posterity in the celestial kingdom of God; that we are the people that God has chosen by whom to establish his kingdom and introduce correct principles into the world; and that we in fact are the saviours of the world, if they ever are saved;—when we reflect upon these things, there is something connected with them that is calculated to make our hearts swell with gratitude and thrill with joy; and when we feel the consoling influence of the Spirit of the Most High God resting upon us and round about us, and the visions and glories of the future that we are destined to enjoy are open to our minds, if we are faithful, and the great events that are about to transpire in the last days are manifested to our minds, there is something in them that is calculated to cause us to sing, Hosanna!—hosanna to the Lord God of Hosts!

—John Taylor

...we are the only people that know how to save our progenitors, how to save ourselves, and how to save our posterity in the celestial kingdom of God;...we in fact are the saviours of the world...


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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 do not 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 do not make a choice of any of those sheep; do not make selections before they are brought home and put into the fold. You understand that. Amen.

It is claimed that LDS leaders were worried that the missionaries would "take the best women."


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The Book of Mormon, therefore, is the only record (professing to be Divine) which condemns plurality of wives as being a practice exceedingly abominable before God. But even that sacred book makes an exception in substance as follows—"Except I the Lord command my people." The same Book of Mormon and the same article that commanded the Nephites that they should not marry more than one wife, made an exception. Let this be understood—"Unless I the Lord shall command them." We can draw the conclusion from this, that there were some things not right in the sight of God, unless he should command them. We can draw the same conclusion from the Bible, that there were many things which the Lord would not suffer his children to do, unless he particularly commanded them to do them. The Book of Mormon, therefore, is the only record (professing to be divine) which condemns the plurality of wives as being a practice exceedingly abominable before God.


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...privilege of the law of the celestial kingdom, of receiving revelation, of enjoying the keys and power of the blessings of the Priesthood as sons of God. What other people have these privileges? No other that we have any knowledge of. This brings us under deep obligation to one another, to angels, to Jesus, and to God our Father. We have to live close to the Lord, in order to have his Spirit to learn and understand what he requires of us. You hear some say—"I wish I had influence and power, and were in a situation to do good!" Is there a man in this community deprived of the privilege of doing all the good his heart can desire? You can every day live to promote the cause of our God, and your whole lives can be filled with doing good.

The travels and labours of the Elders about to go on missions will throw them into positions which will cause them to seek unto the Lord. They need to live their religion, to go forth with pure hearts and clean hands, and then preach the Gospel by the power of God sent down from heaven. They should touch not and taste not of sin, and when they return they should come pure and clean, ready to meet the Saints with open countenances. To all appearance, the Elders on missions have been in the habit of making their pockets a matter of more consideration than the souls of men. I am not going to suffer this any longer.

I want every Elder to make his calculations to get rich here, and not go abroad to get riches from the Saints there. Plan and operate here to make as much property as you please; and if you can put it in a shape to gather the Saints, do so; and when you are abroad use every sovereign to emigrate the poor. You may have one shirt on and one at the washerwoman's, and decent and comfortable clothing; but what you obtain over this must be used to gather the poor. "May I obtain money enough to come home?" Yes. "How many coats and pantaloons may we bring, and how many trunks packed with clothing of the most expensive kinds, for our wives and children?" I utterly forbid this practice. I forbid your bringing or sending home silk dresses and the like. Send and bring home the poor. I forbid your coming home in your carriages; I forbid your going out preachers and coming home merchants, but come home bringing your sheaves with you the souls of the children of men—spirits clothed in tabernacles. I forbid the Elders of Israel coming home as they have; but men, women, and children must be all the property, means, wealth, glory, and power that they bring home.

O ye gentiles, let me tell you that every Elder will do as I have told him, when he learns that the opposite course is wrong. And let me tell you that you will see the day when you will wish that you were "Mormon" Elders. By-and-by the Elders of Israel will have gold and silver for plates, cups, saucers, &c.; and when we have adorned and furnished our houses we will have gold and silver to pave our streets, and their enemies will be in hell, unable to raise a decent fiddler there, or any liquor, for it will all burn up, and every decent fiddler will go into a decent kingdom: we will have them. We are going to have the kingdom of God and the fulness thereof, and all the heights and depths of glory, power, and knowledge; and we shall have fathers and mothers, and wives and children.

Brother Cannon remarked that people wondered how many wives and children I had. He may inform them that I shall have wives and children by the million, and glory, and riches, and power, and dominion, and kingdom after kingdom, and ....

The Tanners cite this page for the claim that Brigham Young had "fifty or sixty" wives, and boasted of his ability to obtain more.


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I will now pass to my third text. I can say with confidence, that there is no people on the face of this earth that pay more respect to females than do this people. I know of no community where females enjoy the privileges they do here. If any one of them is old and withered and so dried up that you have to put weights on her skirts to keep her from blowing away, she is so privileged that she is in everybody's dish or platter—her nose is everywhere present—and still she will go home and tell her husband that she is slighted. Here we see the marked effect of the curse that was in the beginning placed upon woman, their desire is to their husbands all the time. It is also written, "and he shall rule over you." Now put the two together. Nobody else must be spoken to, no other body must be danced with, no other lady must sit at the head of the table with her husband.

A few years ago one of my wives, when talking about wives leaving their husbands said, "I wish my husband's wives would leave him, every soul of them except myself." That is the way they all feel, more or less, at times, both old and young. The ladies of seventy, seventy-five, eighty, and eighty-five years of age are greeted here with the same cheerfulness as are the rest. All are greeted with kindness, respect, and gentleness, no matter whether they wear linsey or silks and satin, they are all alike respected and beloved according to their behaviour; at least they are so far as I am concerned.

It may be all well enough if a woman can attain faith to throw off the curse, but there is one thing she cannot away with, at least not so far as I am concerned, and that is, "and he shall rule over thee." I can do that by causing my women to do as they have a mind to; and at the same time they do not know what is going on. When I say rule, I do not mean with an iron hand, but merely to take the lead—to lead them in the path I wish them to walk in. They may be determined not to answer my will, but they are doing it all the time without knowing it. Kindness, love, and affection are the best rod to use upon the refractory. Solomon is said to have been the wisest man that ever lived, and he is said to have

Brigham Young spoke of the "problems" of plural marriage.


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I have taught for thirty years, and still teach, that he that believeth in his heart and confesseth with his mouth that Jesus is the Christ and that Joseph Smith is his Prophet to this generation, is of God; and he that confesseth not that Jesus has come in the flesh and sent Joseph Smith with the fulness of the Gospel to this generation, is not of God, but is anti-christ.

—Brigham Young

He that confesseth not that Jesus has come in the flesh and sent Joseph Smith with the fullness of the Gospel to this generation, is not of God, but is anti-christ.
  • Mormonism Research Ministry


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We are in the hands of the Almighty as a people, and He is able to take care of us. We entertain no antipathies against any person or community upon this earth; but we would give eternal life to all, if they would receive it at our hands—we would preach the truth to them and administer to them the ordinances of the gospel. But, it is said, you believe in polygamy, and we cannot receive the gospel from your hands. We have been told a great many times that polygamy is not according to Christianity. The Protestant reformers believed the doctrine of polygamy. Philip, Landgrave of Hesse, one of the principal lords and princes of Germany, wrote to the great reformer Martin Luther and his associate reformers, anxiously imploring them to grant unto him the privilege of marrying a second wife, while his first wife, the princess, was yet living. He urged that the practice was in accordance with the Bible, and not prohibited under the Christian dispensation. Upon the reception of this letter, Luther, who had denounced the Romish church for prohibiting the marriage of priests, and who favored polygamy, met in council with the principal Reformers to consult upon the letter which had been received from the Landgrave. They wrote him a lengthy letter in reply, approving of his taking a second wife, saying:—

"There is no need of being much concerned for what men will say, provided all goes right with conscience. So far do we approve it, and in those circumstances only by us specified, for the gospel hath neither recalled nor forbid what was permitted in the law of Moses with respect to the marriage. Jesus Christ has not changed the external economy, but added justice only, and life everlasting for reward. He teaches the true way of obeying God, and endeavours to repair the corruption of nature."

This letter was written at Wittemburg, the Wednesday after the feast of St. Nicholas, 1539, and was signed by Martin Luther, Philip Melancthon, Martin Bucer and five other Reformers, and was written in Melancthon's own handwriting.

The marriage was solemnised on the 4th of March, 1540, by the Rev. Denis Melanther, chaplain to Philip. Philip's first wife was so anxious "that the soul and body of her dearest spouse should run no further risk, and that the glory of God might be increased," that she freely consented to the match.

This letter of the great Reformer's was not a hasty conclusion on their part that polygamy was sanctioned by the gospel, for in the year 1522, seventeen years before they wrote this letter, Martin Luther himself, in a sermon which he delivered at Wittemburg for the reformation of marriage, clearly pronounced in favor of polygamy.

These transactions are published in the work entitled "History of the variations of the Protestant churches."

Ladies and gentlemen, I exhort you to think for yourselves, and read your Bibles for yourselves, get the Holy Spirit for yourselves, and pray for yourselves, that your minds may be divested of false traditions and early impressions that are untrue. Those who are acquainted with the history [128]

of the world are not ignorant that polygamy has always been the general rule and monogamy the exception. Since the founding of the Roman empire monogamy has prevailed more extensively than in times previous to that. The founders of that ancient empire were robbers and women stealers, and made laws favoring monogamy in consequence of the scarcity of women among them, and hence this monogamic system which now prevails throughout all Christendom, and which has been so fruitful a source of prostitution and whoredom throughout all the Christian monogamic cities of the Old and New World, until rottenness and decay are at the root of their institutions both national and religious. Polygamy did not have its origin with Joseph Smith, but it existed from the beginning. So far as I am concerned as an individu[a]l, I did not ask for it; I never desired it; and if I ever had a trial of my faith in the world, it was when Joseph Smith revealed that doctrine to me; and I had to pray incessantly and exercise faith before the Lord until He revealed to me the truth, and I was satisfied. I say this at the present time for the satisfaction of both saint and sinner. Now, here are the commandments of the Lord, and here are the wishes of wicked men, which shall we obey? It is the Lord and them for it.

I pray that the Spirit of Truth may find its way to each heart, that we may all love the truth more than error, and cling to that which is good that we may all be saved in the kingdom of our God. Amen.

Brigham said that monogamy was a "fruitful source of prostitution and whoredom"


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We wish to obtain all that father Abraham obtained. I wish here to say to the Elders of Israel, and to all the members of this Church and kingdom, that it is in the hearts of many of them to wish that the doctrine of polygamy was not taught and practiced by us...It is the word of the Lord, and I wish to say to you, and all the world, that if you desire with all your hearts to obtain the blessings which Abraham obtained, you will be polygamists at least in your faith, or you will come short of enjoying the salvation and the glory which Abraham has obtained. This is as true as that God lives. You who wish that there were no such thing in existence, if you have in your hearts to say: "We will pass along in the Church without obeying or submitting to it in our faith or believing this order, because, for aught that we know, this community may be broken up yet, and we may have lucrative offices offered to us; we will not, therefore, be polygamists lest we should fail in obtaining some earthly honor, character and office, etc,"—the man that has that in his heart, and will continue to persist in pursuing that policy, will come short of dwelling in the presence of the Father and the Son, in celestial glory. The only men who become Gods, even the Sons of God, are those who enter into polygamy. Others attain unto a glory and may even be permitted to come into the presence of the Father and the Son; but they cannot reign as kings in glory, because they had blessings offered unto them, and they refused to accept them (emphasis added).

Brigham Young said that the only men who become gods are those who enter into polygamy.


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"Well, brethren and sisters, try and be Saints. I will try; I have tried many years to live according to the law which the Lord reveals unto me. I know just as well what to teach this people and just what to say to them and what to do in order to bring them into the celestial kingdom, as I know the road to my office. It is just as plain and easy. The Lord is in our midst. He teaches the people continually. I have never yet preached a sermon and sent it out to the children of men, that they may not call Scripture. Let me have the privilege of correcting a sermon, and it is as good Scripture as they deserve. The people have the oracles of God continually. In the days of Joseph, revelation was given and written, and the people were driven from city to city and place to place, until we were led into these mountains. Let this [discourse] go to the people with "Thus saith the Lord," and if they do not obey it, you will see the chastening hand of the Lord upon them. But if they are plead with, and led along like children, we may come to understand the will of the Lord and he may preserve us as we desire. (JD 13:95, 2 January 1870)

Brigham Young claimed that his sermons were the same as scripture.


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Who can tell us of the inhabitants of this little planet that shines of an evening, called the moon? When we view its face we may see what is termed "the man in the moon," and what some philosophers declare are the shadows of mountains. But these sayings are very vague, and amount to nothing; and when you inquire about the inhabitants of that sphere you find that the most learned are as ignorant in regard to them as the most ignorant of their fellows. So it is with regard to the inhabitants of the sun. Do you think it is inhabited? I rather think it is. Do you think there is any life there? No question of it; it was not made in vain. It was made to give light to those who dwell upon it, and to other planets; and so will this earth when it is celestialized.

—Brigham Young

Who can tell us of the inhabitants of this little planet that shines of an evening, called the moon?... when you inquire about the inhabitants of that sphere you find that the most learned are as ignorant in regard to them as the ignorant of their fellows. So it is in regard to the inhabitants of the sun. Do you think it is inhabited? I rather think it is. Do you think there is any life there? No question of it; it was not made in vain.


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I feel like exhorting my brethren and sisters to abstain from everything prohibited in the Word of Wisdom, and to live in accordance with its principles as near as our climate and the productions of our country will permit. So far as intoxicating drinks are concerned, it is worse than madness and folly for men to indulge in them. There is something comparatively innocent in tea, coffee or tobacco when compared with intoxicating drinks....I say, brethren and sisters, let us observe the Word of Wisdom. We are doing a great business in the tea, coffee and tobacco in the Co-operative Store. When we first established it we thought we would not sell tobacco at all; but pretty soon the Superintendent asked the Directors if he might not bring in some poor kind of tobacco to kill the ticks on the sheep. It was very soon discovered that unless they sold tobacco, so many Latter-day Saints used it, that a successful opposition could be run against them on the tobacco trade alone, and they had to commence it, I believe, under the plea that it was brought on to kill the ticks on sheep. Shame on such Latter-day Saints, so far as tobacco is concerned. We are doing a great business in tea, coffee, and tobacco in the Cooperative Store.


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About this time came a revelation concerning baptism for the dead. I know that in my traveling and preaching, many a time, I have stopped by beautiful streams of clear, pure water, and have said to myself, "How delightful it would be to me to go into this, to be baptized for the remission of my sins." When I got home Joseph told me it was my privilege. At this time came a revelation, that the Saints could be baptized and re-baptized when they chose, and then that we could be baptized for our dear friends, but at first it was not revealed that a record should be kept of those who were baptized; but when he received an additional revelation to that effect, then a record was kept. Hundreds and thousands, I suppose, were baptized before any record was kept at all, and they were baptized over, and a record kept of the baptisms and the names of the administrator, those who acted for the dead, and of the dead, and of the witnesses. You can read in the Book of Doctrine and Covenants, the letter that Joseph wrote when he was away from home in regard to having witnesses at these baptisms. I relate this to show you that the Lord did not reveal everything at once; but I need not dwell on this any longer. Hundreds and thousands, I suppose, were baptized before any record was kept at all, and they were baptized over, and a record kept ... the Lord did not reveal everything at once; but I need not dwell on this any longer


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Ask the brethren why they do this, and the ready reply will be, "Is it not my privilege to find a gold mine, or a silver mine, as well as others?" As far as I am concerned I would say, "Yes, certainly it is your privilege, if you can find one." But do you know how to find such a mine? No, you do not. These treasures that are in the earth are carefully watched, they can be removed from place to place according to the good pleasure of Him who made them and owns them. He has his messengers at his service, and it is just as easy for an angel to remove the minerals from any part of one of these mountains to another, as it is for you and me to walk up and down this hall.

—Brigham Young

...these treasures that are in the earth are carefully watched; they can be removed from place to place...


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...two weeks before I left St. George, the spirits of the dead gathered around me, wanting to know why we did not redeem them. Said they, "You have had the use of the Endowment House for a number of years, and yet nothing has ever been done for us. We laid the foundation of the government you now enjoy, and we never apostatized from it, but we remained true to it and were faithful to God." These were the signers of the Declaration of Independence, and they waited on me for two days and two nights. I thought it very singular, that notwithstanding so much work had been done, and yet nothing had been done for them. The thought never entered my heart, from the fact, I suppose, that heretofore our minds were reaching after our more immediate friends and relatives. I straightway went into the baptismal font and called upon brother McCallister to baptize me for the signers of the Declaration of Independence, and fifty other eminent men, making one hundred in all, including John Wesley, Columbus, and others; I then baptized him for every President of the United States, except three; and when their cause is just, somebody will do the work for them.

I have felt to rejoice exceedingly in this work of redeeming the dead.

Wilford Woodruff "felt he had saved" all of the presidents of the United States, except for three.