Discourses of Brigham Young

Discourses of Brigham Young : 31 : 354 : - Discourses of Brigham Young : 31 : 367 : 4



Theocratic Government -- I believe in a true republican theocracy, and also in a true democratic theocracy, as the term democratic is now used; for they are to me, in their present use, convertible terms. 6:346.

What do I understand by a theocratic government? One in which all laws are enacted and executed in righteousness, and whose officers possess that power which proceedeth from the Almighty. That is the kind of government I allude to when I speak of a theocratic government, or the Kingdom of God upon the earth. It is, in short, the eternal powers of the Gods. 6:346-347.

If the Kingdom of God, or a theocratic government, was established on the earth, many practices now prevalent would be abolished.

One community would not be permitted to array itself in opposition to another to coerce them to their standard; one denomination would not be suffered to persecute another because they differed in religious belief and mode of worship. Every one would be fully protected in the enjoyment of all religious and social rights, and no state, no government, no community, no person would have the privilege of infringing on the rights of another; one Christian community would not rise up and persecute another. 6:343.

But few, if any, understand what theocratic government is. In every sense of the word, it is a republican government, and differs but little in form from our National, State, and Territorial Governments; but its subjects will recognize the will and dictation of the Almighty. The Kingdom of God circumscribes and comprehends the municipal laws for the people in their outward government, to which pertain the Gospel covenants, by which the people can be saved; and those covenants pertain to fellowship and faithfulness.

The Gospel covenants are for those who believe and obey; municipal laws are for both Saint and sinner.

The Constitution and laws of the United States resemble a theocracy more closely than any government now on the earth, or that ever has been so far as we know, except the government of the Children of Israel to the time when they elected a king.

All governments are more or less under the control of the Almighty, and, in their forms, have sprung from the laws that he has from time to time given to man. Those laws, in passing from generation to generation, have been more or less adulterated, and the result has been the various forms of government now in force among the nations; for, as the Prophet says of Israel, "They have transgressed the laws, changed the ordinances, and broken the everlasting covenant."

Whoever lives to see the Kingdom of God fully established upon the earth will see a government that will protect every person in his rights. If that government was now reigning upon this land of Joseph, you would see the Roman Catholic, the Greek Catholic, the Episcopalian, the Presbyterian, the Methodist, the Baptist, the Quaker, the Shaker, the Hindo, the Mahometan, and every class of worshipers most strictly protected in all their municipal rights and in the privileges of worshiping who, what, and when they pleased, not infringing upon the rights of others. Does any candid person in his sound judgment desire any greater liberty? 6:342-343.

In the sincere observances of the principles of true religion and virtue, we recognize the base, the only sure foundation of enlightened society and well-established government. 2:178.

I have had some people ask me how I manage and control the people. I do it by telling them the truth and letting them do just as they have a mind to. 14:162.

Republican Government -- There is no other platform that any government can stand upon and endure, but the platform of truth and virtue. 10:108.

How can a republican government stand? There is only one way for it to stand. It can endure; but how? It can endure, as the government of heaven endures, upon the eternal rock of truth and virtue; and that is the only basis upon which any government can endure. 9:4.

What is a true republican government is easily answered. It is a government or institution that is perfect -- perfect in its laws and ordinances, having for its object the perfection of mankind in righteousness. This is true democracy. 7:10.

Individual self-government lies at the root of all true and effective government, whether in heaven or on earth. Those who govern should be wiser and better than the governed, that the lesser may be blessed of the greater. Were this so, then the people would willingly repose their dearest interests to the trusts of their rulers or leaders, and with a feeling of pleasure bow to and carry out to the letter their instructions and conclusions on all matters that pertained to the general good. This will apply to great kingdoms and mighty nations, to small companies of immigrants crossing the plains, or to the home circle. A republican government in the hands of a wicked people must terminate in woe to that people, but in the hands of the righteous it is everlasting, while its power reaches to heaven. 10:19.

Suppose this people inhabiting these mountains are broken off entirely from the nations of the world, rendering no allegiance to any earthly power combined or isolated; free to make laws, to obey them, or to break them; free to act, to choose, and to refuse, and, in every sense of the word, to do as they please, without any fixed order of government whatever, and they make a constitution a system of government for mutual protection and advancement in the principles of right, to be framed according to the best wisdom that can be found in this community; -- I say, let them govern themselves by a republican system of government, selecting a man from their midst to preside over them. 7:11.

A true system of civilization will not encourage the existence of every abomination and crime in a community but will lead them to observe the laws Heaven has laid down for the regulation of the life of man. There is no other civilization. A truly civilized person is one who is a real gentleman or lady; in language and manners he is truly refined, and gives way to no practice that is unhallowed or uncomely. This is what we are after, and trying to attain to. 12:287.

I believe in a true republican government; but where is the man capable of exhibiting in their true character the principles of such a government? 7:10.

The man who fights with coolness and calculation in moral and domestic reform will win every time. 10:205.

God and Governments -- Every government not ordained of God, as we have just been hearing, will, in its time, crumble to the dust and be lost in the fog of forgetfulness. 14:93.

If your eyes were opened, you would see his hand in the midst of the nations of the earth in the setting up of governments and in the down-fall of kingdoms -- in the revolutions, wars, famine, distress, and wretchedness among the inhabitants of the earth. In these manifestations you would discern the footsteps of the Almighty just as plainly as you may see the footsteps of your children upon the soft earth. 7:144.

Why are they thus led to sow the seeds of their own destruction? Because the kingdoms of this world are not designed to stand. When men are placed at the head of governments who are actually controlled by the power of God -- by the Holy Ghost -- they can lay plans, they can frame constitutions, they can form governments and laws that have not the seeds of death within them, and no other men can do it. 4:267.

In the laws of every government now on this earth, there are certain principles in their constitutions that will ere long sap the foundations of their existence; and so it will be, so long as men continue to persist in ruling and making laws, in regulating and controlling by human wisdom alone, and in issuing their mandates and sending their officers to administer laws, made by the wisdom of man. 4:267.

If a nation transgresses wholesome laws and oppresses any of its citizens or another nation, until the cup of iniquity is full, through acts that are perfectly under its own control, God will hurl those who are in authority from their power, and they will be forgotten; and he will take another people, though poor and despised, a hiss and a by-word among the popular nations, and instill into them power and wisdom; and they will increase and prosper, until they in turn become a great nation on the earth. 6:146.

Great and mighty empires are raised to the summit of human greatness by him, to bring to pass his inscrutable purposes, and at his pleasure they are swept from existence and lost in the oblivion of antiquity. All these mighty changes are pointing to and preparing the way for the introduction of his Kingdom in the latter times, that will stand forever and grow in greatness and power until a holy, lasting, religious and political peace shall make the hearts of the poor among men exult with joy in the Holy One of Israel, and that his Kingdom is everywhere triumphant. 9:368.

Fitness of Rulers -- No being is fit to rule, govern, and dictate, until he has been controlled, governed, and dictated, -- has yielded obedience to law, and proved himself worthy, by magnifying the law that was over him, to be master of that law. 8:324.

What is the reign of a king who cannot control his passions? Will not his subjects sorrow? Yes, they will feel the weight of his wrath, and their backs will ache, and their heads will ache, and they will receive the lash from a heavy hand. 8:324.

Labor and Politics -- Put a community in possession of knowledge by means of which they can obtain what they need by the labor of their bodies and their brains, then, instead of being paupers they will be free, independent and happy, and these distinctions of classes will cease, and there will be but one class, one grade, one great family. 16:20.

Do you wish to possess enlarged influence in a political point of view? Gather around you the poor and honest of mankind and bestow your charity on them, not by giving them in the way that charity is almost universally understood, but supply them labor that will pay an interest on the outlay of means and, at the same time, afford food, raiment and shelter to the laborer; in this way the man of means becomes a benefactor to his race. 10:193.

If you wish to gain power in the minds of any people, give them the same opportunity that you possess to become independent and self-sustaining, and endow them with all the wisdom and knowledge that they are capable of receiving, and let them increase with you and unitedly grow and become strong. 10:190.

Saints and Politics -- I stand for Constitutional law, and if any transgress, let them be tried by it, and, if guilty, suffer its penalty. 10:109.

I say God speed everybody that is for freedom and equal rights! I am with you. Whom do we want to fill our public offices? We want the best men that we can find for governor, president and statesmen, and for every other office of trust and responsibility; and when we have obtained them, we will pray for them and give them our faith and influence to do the will of God and to preserve themselves and the people in truth and righteousness. 13:274.

If we live our religion, honor our God and his Priesthood, then we shall honor every wholesome government and law there is upon the earth and become aliens to all unrighteous, unjust and unlawful administrators, wherever they may be found. In the various nations, kingdoms and governments of the world are to be found laws, ordinances and statutes as good as can be made for mortal man. 10:41.

Are we a political people? Yes, very political indeed. But what party do you belong to or would you vote for? I will tell you whom we will vote for: we will vote for the man who will sustain the principles of civil and religious liberty, the man who knows the most and who has the best heart and brain for a statesman; and we do not care a farthing whether he is a whig, a democrat, a barnburner, a republican, a new light or anything else. These are our politics. 13:149.

If nobody will speak for us, let us speak for ourselves; if no person else will do anything for us, let us do something for ourselves. This is right; it is politically right, religiously right, nationally right, socially and morally right, and it is right in every sense of the word for us to sustain ourselves. 11:140.

Let those called Latter-day Saints so learn wisdom as to carry out the true principles of government, that they may be able to govern and control all things wisely. 7:64.

The Constitution of the United States, an Inspired Document -- We mean to sustain the Constitution of the United States and all righteous laws. 9:157.

We will cling to the Constitution of our country, and to the government that reveres that sacred charter of freemen's rights; and, if necessary, pour out our best blood for the defense of every good and righteous principle. 10:41.

It was observed this morning that the Government of the United States was the best or most wholesome one on the earth, and the best adapted to our condition. That is very true. 2:310.

To accuse us of being unfriendly to the Government, is to accuse us of hostility to our religion, for no item of inspiration is held more sacred with us than the Constitution under which she acts. As a religious society, we, in common with all other denominations, claim its protection. 2:175.

The signers of the Declaration of Independence and the framers of the Constitution were inspired from on high to do that work. But was that which was given to them perfect, not admitting of any addition whatever? No; for if men know anything, they must know that the Almighty has never yet found a man in mortality that was capable, at the first intimation; at the first impulse, to receive anything in a state of entire perfection. They laid the foundation, and it was for aftergenerations to rear the superstructure upon it. It is a progressive -- a gradual work. 7:14.

The general Constitution of our country is good, and a wholesome government could be framed upon it, for it was dictated by the invisible operations of the Almighty; he moved upon Columbus to launch forth upon the trackless deep to discover the American Continent; he moved upon the signers of the Declaration of Independence; and he moved upon Washington to fight and conquer, in the same way as he moved upon ancient and modern Prophets, each being inspired to accomplish the particular work he was called to perform in the times, seasons, and dispensations of the Almighty. God's purposes, in raising up these men and inspiring them with daring sufficient to surmount every opposing power, was to prepare the way for the formation of a true republican government. They laid its foundation; but when others came to build upon it, they reared a superstructure far short of their privileges, if they had walked uprightly as they should have done. 7:13.

We believe that the Lord has been preparing that when he should bring forth his work that, when the set time should fully come, there might be a place upon his footstool where sufficient liberty of conscience should exist, that his Saints might dwell in peace under the broad panoply of constitutional law and equal rights. In this view we consider that the men in the Revolution were inspired by the Almighty, to throw off the shackles of the mother government, with her established religion. For this cause were Adams, Jefferson, Franklin, Washington, and a host of others inspired to deeds of resistance to the acts of the King of Great Britain, who might also have been led to those aggressive acts, for aught we know, to bring to pass the purposes of God, in thus establishing a new government upon a principle of greater freedom, a basis of self-government allowing the free exercise of religious worship.

It was the voice of the Lord inspiring all those worthy men who bore influence in those trying times, not only to go forth in battle but to exercise wisdom in council, fortitude, courage, and endurance in the tented field, as well as subsequently to form and adopt those wise and efficient measures which secured to themselves and succeeding generations, the blessings of a free and independent government.

This government, so formed, has been blessed by the Almighty until she spreads her sails in every sea, and her power is felt in every land. 2:170.

This, then, is our position towards the Government of the United States and towards the world, to put down iniquity, and exalt virtue; to declare the word of God which he revealed unto us, and build up his Kingdom upon the earth. And, know all men, Governments, Nations, Kindreds, Tongues, and People, that this is our calling, intention, and design. We aim to live our religion, and have communion with our God. We aim to clear our skirts of the blood of this generation, by our faithfulness in preaching the truth of heaven in all plainness and simplicity; and I have often said, and repeat it now, that all other considerations of whatever name or nature, sink into insignificance in comparison with this. To serve God and keep his commandments, are first and foremost with me. If this is higher law, so be it. As it is with me, so should it be with every department of the Government; for this doctrine is based upon the principles of virtue and integrity; with it, the Government, her Constitution, and free institutions are safe; without it no power can avert their speedy destruction. It is the life-giving power to the Government; it is the vital element on which she exists and prospers; in absence she sinks to rise no more. 2:176.

The Saints Will Yet Save the Constitution -- When the day comes in which the Kingdom of God will bear rule, the flag of the United States will proudly flutter unsullied on the flagstaff of liberty and equal rights, without a spot to sully its fair surface; the glorious flag our fathers have bequeathed to us will then be unfurled to the breeze by those who have power to hoist it aloft and defend its sanctity. 2:317.

How long will it be before the words of the prophet Joseph will be fulfilled? He said if the Constitution of the United States were saved at all it must be done by this people. It will not be many years before these words come to pass. 12:204.

When the Constitution of the United States hangs, as it were, upon a single thread, they will have to call for the "Mormon" Elders to save it from utter destruction; and they will step forth and do it. 2:182.

The present Constitution, with a few alterations of a trifling nature, is just as good as we want; and if it is sustained on this land of Joseph, it will be done by us and our posterity. 8:324.

I expect to see the day when the Elders of Israel will protect and sustain civil and religious liberty and every Constitutional right bequeathed to us by our fathers, and spread these rights abroad in connection with the Gospel for the salvation of all nations. I shall see this whether I live or die. 11:262.

Religious Liberty Should be Observed -- The Government of the United States, and the President of the United States ought to treat the religion of the Latter-day Saints as they do Methodism, Presbyterianism, Quakerism, Shakerism, and many other isms, and say, "Here, I wish you to hold your tongues about the `Mormons,' for they have just as good a right to their religion as you have to yours." And when the people petition for this or that (as the right of petition should never be denied), it is the duty of those who are addressed to hearken to the petitions of the people. 2:186.

Are not our religious sentiments as sacred to us as to any other portion of the community? And should it not be the duty, as well as the pride, of every American citizen to extend that provision of the Constitution to us which he claims for himself? And is not that sacred instrument invaded and broken as much in debarring and excluding this people from its privileges, rights, and blessings, as it would be if your rights and privileges were thus invaded? No, gentlemen, we have broken no laws, our glorious Constitution guarantees unto us all that we claim. Under its broad folds, in its obvious meaning and intents, we are safe, and can always rejoice in peace. All that we have ever claimed, or wish to, on the part of the Government, is the just administration of the powers and privileges of the National Compact. 2:172.

I pause now to ask, Had not Joseph Smith a right to promulgate and establish a different, a new religion and form of worship in this Government? Every one must admit he had. This right was always held sacred, for upon it was based the religious liberty of every citizen of the Republic. It was a privilege held sacred in the bosom of every class of people; no judge dared invade its holy precincts. No legislator nor governor ventured to obstruct the free exercise thereof. Whenever the iron hand of oppression and persecution has fallen upon this people, our opposers have broken their own laws, set at defiance and trampled under foot every principle of equal rights, justice, and liberty found written in that rich legacy of our fathers, The Constitution of the United States. 2:171.

Whether our religion is believed by any other people or not, it is by us, and no power or authority in the Government can lawfully or righteously molest us in the peaceable and quiet enjoyment thereof. It cannot be done without law, and surely the Government has no right to make any law concerning it, or to prevent the free exercise thereof. 2:177.

The Government of the United States has never engaged in a crusade against us as a people, although she has remained silent, or refused us, when appealed to for redress of grievances. She has permitted us to be driven from our own lands, for which she had taken our money, and that too with her letters patent in our hands, guaranteeing to us peaceable possession. She has calmly looked on and permitted one of the fundamental and dearest provisions of the Constitution to be broken; she has permitted us to be driven and trampled under foot with impunity. Under these circumstances, what course is left for us to pursue? I answer that, instead of seeking to destroy the very best Government in the world, as seems to be the fears of some, we, like all other good citizens, should seek to place those men in power, who will feel the obligations and responsibilities they are under to a mighty people; who would feel and realize the important trusts reposed in them by the voice of the people who call them to administer law under the solemn sanction of an oath of fidelity to that heaven inspired instrument, to the inviolate preservation of which we look for the perpetuity of our free institutions. 2:175.

Opposed to Corrupt Administrators of Law -- I do not lift my voice against the great and glorious Government guaranteed to every citizen by our Constitution, but against those corrupt administrators who trample the Constitution and just laws under their feet. 5:232.

It is a pretty bold stand for this people to take, to say that they will not be controlled by the corrupt administrators of our general Government. We will be controlled by them, if they will be controlled by the Constitution and laws; but they will not. Many of them do not care any more about the Constitution and the laws that they make than they do about the laws of another nation. That class trample the rights of the people under their feet, while there are many who would like to honor them. All we have ever asked for is our Constitutional rights. We wish the laws of our Government honored, and we have ever honored them; but they are trampled under foot by administrators. 5:231.

I repeat that the Constitution, laws, and institutions of our Government are as good as can be, with the intelligence now possessed by the people. But they, as also the laws of other nations, are too often administered in unrighteousness; and we do not and cannot love and respect the acts of the administrators of our laws, unless they act justly in their offices. 6:344.

The President of the United States -- As I have already stated, the President of the United States should be a perfect pattern for all the people to walk after; so also should the Vice-President, the members of the Cabinet, and of Congress, the Governors of States and Territories, and in fine, all the officers in the Government, be patterns for the people to imitate. 2:183.

And the people should concentrate their feelings, their influence, and their faith to select the best man they can find to be their President, if he has nothing more to eat than potatoes and salt -- a man who will not aspire to become greater than the people who appoint him, but be contented to live as they live, be clothed as they are clothed, and in every good thing be one with them. 7:12-13.

When the best man is elected President, let him select the best men he can find for his counselors or cabinet; and let all the officers within the province of the Chief Magistrate to appoint, be selected upon the same principle to officiate wisely in different parts of the nation. 6:345.

The Government of the United States is republican in form, and should be in its administration, and requires a man for President who is capable of communicating to the understanding of the people, according to their capacity, information upon all points pertaining to the just administration of the Government. He should understand what administrative policy would be most beneficial to the nation. He should also have the knowledge and disposition to wisely exercise the appointing power, so far as it is constitutionally within his control and select only good and capable men for the office. he should not only carry out the legal and just wishes of his constituents, but should be able to enlighten their understanding and correct their judgment. And all good officers in a truly republican administration will constantly labor for the security of the rights of all, irrespective of sect or party. 7:63.

In the free and independent Government of the United States, who in the eyes of the Almighty ought to have the privilege of sitting in the Presidential chair, to be countenanced, adored, loved, and reverenced in his capacity, and be justified therein by the heavenly hosts? It is that man who is sanctified before God, and who loves the Lord Jesus with all his heart, or in other words, who is endowed with wisdom from on high, and has revelations, visions, and dreams, giving him understanding to provide for the welfare of every portion of the nation, and a willingness to preserve to every one their fair and just religious rights, as well as political, for the good and benefit of all. In the eyes of eternal justice, only such a man has a right to that office. They are afraid to put a man there who is a professor of religion, lest he favor his own party. A man is a fool that would do that, when he has laws to preserve and keep inviolate towards all religious denominations. 2:188-189.

In our Government a President is elected for four years, and by custom re-elected but once, thus limiting the time of any one person to but eight years at most. Would it not be better to extend that period during life or good behavior; and when the people have elected the best man to that office, continue him in it as long as he will serve them?

Would it not be better for the States to elect their Governors upon the same principle; and if they officiate unjustly, hurl them from office? If a good man is thus elected and continues to do his duty, he will keep in advance of the people; and if he does not, he does not magnify his office. Such is the Kingdom of God, in comparison. 6:345.

Is a man fit to be President of the United States, who will bow and succumb to the whims of the people? No. A President should learn the true situation of his constituents, and deal out even-handed justice to all, utterly regardless of the clamor of party. 5:126.

We want men to rule the nation who care more for and love better the nation's welfare than gold and silver, fame, or popularity. 7:12.

Who is the most suitable judge between man and man? The man who is the most capable of judging between right and wrong; let him sit upon the judgment seat, and do not ask him whether he is a Democrat, a Whig, a Tory, or a Republican. Is he a just man, and will he render an impartial judgment? If so, I care not to what political party he belongs; I am content that he should adjudicate between me and my neighbor. 10:193.

Political Parties -- It has been told me from my youth up that opposition is the life of business, especially in the political arena. It is opposition that has ruined our nation, and has been, is and will be the ruin of all nations. 10:190.

When the people's affections are interwoven with a republican government administered in all its purity, if the administrators act not in virtue and truth it is but natural that the people become disaffected with mal-administration, and divide and sub-divide into parties, until the body politic is shivered to pieces. 10:108.

Parties in our Government have no better idea than to think the Republic stands all the firmer upon opposition; but I say that it is not so. A republican government consists in letting the people rule by their united voice, without a dissension, -- in learning what is for the best, and unitedly doing it. That is true republicanism. 5:228.

States' Rights -- Suppose there is a division between the North and South, and the fifteen slave States try to form a permanent government, can they do it? I tell you they cannot. How long will it be before some other States, perhaps New York, forms a separate government? And if a State has a right to secede, so has a Territory, and so has a county from a State or Territory, and a town from a county, and a family from a neighborhood, and you will have perfect anarchy. 8:322.

If we are what we profess to be -- a republican Government, there is no State in the Union but what should be amenable to the general Government holding to the old English rights in Rhode Island. Then Congress, with the President at their head, could meet and veto every act made by any department of the Government, if it was necessary. So let Congress come together when any of the States transcend the bounds of right and hold them amenable for their actions. The general Government should never give any portion of the nation license to say they are free and independent. This should only apply to the nation as a whole. 7:13.

So it is with States and Territories. Let them be unduly fostered and sustained by the general Government, and it will lead them into idleness, inactivity, and corruption; they will not be as spirited and active as when they are made to rely upon their own resources. 2:321.

Forebodings of the Civil War -- The nation that gave me and many of you birth is very nigh to the hours of sorrow. Their cup is very nigh filled to the brim. They reject the servants of God; they reject the Gospel of salvation; they turn away from the principles of truth and righteousness; and they are sinking in their own sins and corruptions. I would that they would have mercy on themselves. I will pray the Lord to have mercy on them, but I pray them to have mercy on themselves to return to the Lord, forsake their wickedness and learn righteousness, and then God would have mercy on them, and bestow his blessings upon them, if they would receive them. 4:371.

What will be their condition when the Spirit of the Lord is withdrawn? They will whet the knife to cut each other's throats, and as Brother Hooper remarked, try to make Mason and Dixon's the dividing line; but that will not remain, for they will cross it to destroy each other, and the sword and fire will be prevalent in the land. 8:147-148.

Yes, his mercy yearns over the Nation that has striven for a score of years to rid the earth of the Priesthood of the Son of God and to destroy the last Saint. He has mercy upon them, he bears with them, he pleads with them by his Spirit, and occasionally sends his angels to administer to them. Marvel not, then, that I pray for every soul that can be saved. 8:124.

War -- If I had my wish, I should entirely stop the shedding of human blood. 10:108.

There is a spirit which prompts the nations to prepare for war, desolation, and bloodshed -- to waste each other away. 8:174.

From the authority of all history, the deadly weapons now stored up and being manufactured will be used until the people are wasted away, and there is no help for it. The spirit of revolution goes on through the nations: it never goes back. 8:157.

Do not be discouraged when you hear of wars, and rumors of wars, and tumults, and contentions, and fighting, and bloodshed; for behold they are at the thresholds of our doors. 4:369.

Does one nation rise up to war with another without having motives, and those which they will substantiate as being good and sufficient? Will one people rise up to war with another people, except the motive that moves them is of a nature to justify them in their own minds and judgment for doing so? No. There is not a people upon the face of this earth that would do so; they all calculate to do that which seemeth good to them. 3:88.

The difficulty with the whole world in their divisions and sub-divisions, is that they have no more confidence in each other than they have in their God, and that is none at all, no, not one particle. This confuses nations, and breaks them up; it weakens them, and they tumble to pieces. It disturbs cities and countries, and really the seeds of destruction are within those kingdoms where the people have not confidence in each other. 4:296.

Wars, commotions, tumults, strife, nation contending against nation, and people against people, have all been governed and controlled by him whose right it is to control such matters.

Among wicked nations, or among Saints, among the ancient Israelites, Philistines, and Romans, the hand of the Lord was felt; in short, all the powers that have been upon the earth, have been dictated, governed, controlled, and the final issue of their existence has been brought to pass, according to the wisdom of the Almighty. Then my testimony is, it is all right. 1:163.

Of one thing I am sure; God never institutes war; God is not the author of confusion or of war; they are the results of the acts of the children of men. Confusion and war necessarily come as the results of the foolish acts and policy of men; but they do not come because God desires they should come. If the people, generally, would turn to the Lord, there would never be any war. Let men turn from their iniquities and sins, and, instead of being covetous and wicked, turn to God and seek to promote peace and happiness throughout the land, and wars would cease. We expect to see the day when swords shall be turned into ploughshares, spears into pruning hooks, and when men shall learn war no more. This is what we want. We are for peace, plenty and happiness to all the human family. 13:149.

Our traditions have been such that we are not apt to look upon war between two nations as murder; but suppose that one family should rise up against another and begin to slay them, would they not be taken up and tried for murder? Then why not nations that rise up and slay each other in a scientific way be equally guilty of murder? "But observe the martial array, how splendid! See the furious war horses, with their glittering trappings. Then the honor and glory and pride of the reigning king must be sustained, and the strength and power and wealth of the nation must be displayed in some way; and what better way than to make war upon neighboring nations, under some slight pretext?" Does it justify the slaying of men, women, and children that otherwise would have remained at home in peace, because a great army is doing the work? No: the guilty will be damned for it. 7:137.

The very Indians who massacre men, women, and children on the plains, have their religious ceremonies and pray to their God for success in killing men, women, and children. The French and Austrians meet and slay one another by hundreds and thousands; and thousands of women and children who were not engaged in battle are also sacrificed by the folly of those Christian wars. The instigators of those wars are just as guilty of murder, before God, as the Indians are for killing the men, women, and children who are passing through their country. What is the difference in the eyes of our Father and God? It is just as much murder to kill, unjustly, a million at a blow as it is to kill one, though Dr. Young has stated that "One murder makes a villain; millions make a hero." Were I to make war upon an innocent people, because I had the power, to possess myself of their territory, their silver, gold, and other property, and be the cause of slaying, say fifty thousand strong, hale, hearty men, and devolving consequent suffering upon one hundred thousand women and children, who would suffer through privation and want, I am very much more guilty of murder than is the man who kills only one person to obtain his pocket-book. 7:137.

Woman Suffrage -- Now, sisters, I want you to vote also, because women are the characters that rule the ballot box. 1:218.


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