5th President of the The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints
September 13, 1898 – October 10, 1901

President of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles (April 7, 1889 – September 13, 1898)

Member of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles (August 29, 1877 – September 13, 1898)

Assistant Counselor in the First Presidency (May 9, 1874 – August 29, 1877)

General Conference Addresses

  • October 1857 General Conference
    • The Blessings and Privileges of the Saints, Etc.
      • “All this trouble and vexation of mind is but a matter of the present; and if we keep the light of the Spirit within us, we can so walk in the Gospel that we can measurably enjoy peace and happiness in this world; and while we are traveling onward, striving for peace and happiness that lie in our path, in the distance, we shall have a peace of mind that none can enjoy but those who are filled with the Holy Spirit.”
      • “Let a man have the visions of the Almighty unfolded to his view, and see in yonder heavens the government of the eternal worlds—let him see the liberty and joy that are to be participated in, and let him see that the Gospel gives all to this man, and he is willing in his heart and in his feelings to yield everything to the will of God, that he may come in possession of those things. Will such a man pursue a course that will eventually throw him out of the kingdom? Will he give up those blessings and those prospects for a little comfort, or for a little of this world’s goods, or to enjoy the comforts of this life for a season?”
      • “Let us be obedient to the voice of truth, and ever be found in the path of duty; and there let us continue. Let a man do this, and he continues to advance; he will grow in the knowledge of God, and in influence, and in everything that is good. We may well be said to be a people of one mind, for we are the Saints of the living God. The Saints who are brought from the nations of the earth—those who have been gathered together in one, are the ones who hold the birthright to reign on the earth.”
      • “You all perceive more imperfections in those around you than you do in yourselves. It is much more difficult for wives to learn than it is for husbands, because women have not the degree of light and knowledge that their husbands have; they have not the power over their passions that their husbands have: therefore, they have to suffer one for another until they get power over themselves like unto those that have advanced more fully in the knowledge of our God.”
      • “There is a struggle all the time, and it requires exertion on our part to know how to manage, how to move, and how to come in possession of the greatest amount of happiness. Let wives pursue an even course with regard to their husband; let them bear with his faults; let them be united and live in peace, and they will increase in light and intelligence. Let the one that has got the most light learn to be the most forbearing, for the sake of her husband and for the sake of the principles of truth. If the Lord has made one woman more perfect than another, and given her more intelligence than her sisters, let her show more mercy and patience in overlooking their faults. By this means a wife will gain influence and favor with her husband, with her sisters, and with her heavenly Father. She thus advances herself and puts herself in a position to enjoy all that is for the righteous. The whole is summed up in this—DO RIGHT.”
    • Wisdom Gained By Experience, Etc.
      • “Sailors and mariners become wise, useful, and qualified for their stations only by experience. Storms, tempests, and hurricanes have to occur in order to give them that experience. If all was calm, and storms never arose at sea, where would the mariner get the experience that is necessary for him to have, that when storms do occur and difficulties arise, when the ship sails out upon the ocean, he shall be prepared to manage and guide his vessel safely into port. If there are individuals on board that have never experienced storms, or perhaps have never ventured away from land before, when storms arise, you see that trepidation of spirit that you do not witness in those that have had experience. So it is with ourselves in the Gospel of Jesus Christ, we have to learn by the things that take place around us and act in the stations assigned us by the circumstances that transpire and the experience we gain.”
      • “Where the Lord plants us there we are to stand: when he requires us to exert ourselves for the support of these holy principles, that we are to do; that is all we need to trouble ourselves about; the rest our Heavenly Father will take care of. But it need not surprise us that difficulties and storms arise—that we see hurricanes playing about us—that we see war clouds gather thick and fast about us; this need not be surprising. Where there is no trial there can be no deliverance; where there is no temptation the power of God cannot be made manifest to any great extent.”
      • “We have suffered and we shall have to suffer again; and why? Because the Lord requires it at our hands for our sanctification.”
  • April 1857 General Conference
    • Filial Duty—Consecration, Etc.
      • “When a person receives intelligence from the Lord, and is willing to communicate that for the benefit of the people, he will receive continual additions to that intelligence; and there is no end to his increase so long as he will hold fast to the faith of the Lord Jesus Christ; and so long as he will hold himself in readiness to operate here, go there, and work for the Lord, travel abroad to the nations of the earth, or to travel among the mountains of Israel, that individual is bound to become strong and mighty in the power of God and in the intelligence of eternity.”
      • “When a man has much property, he is very apt to fix his heart upon it.”
      • “Let us go forth and do precisely as we are told; and just as fast as we increase, so will we have to use that spiritual knowledge which is given unto us in a way that will aid in building up the kingdom of God: and it is just so with what little property and means you have got; it must all be upon the altar. You must get rid of this little, mean, nasty spirit, and walk in the light of God. Let your minds expand, and be on hand for every duty that is placed upon you.”

Other Reported Addresses

  • Union of the Saints, Etc., Delivered at the Tabernacle, Salt Lake City, March 1, 1857
    • “We talk considerably in regard to the principle of loving our neighbors as well as we love ourselves; we talk about it, and we sometimes think about it, but how much do we really enter into the spirit of these things, and see that the difficulty lies within ourselves. We must understand that we have got to act upon certain principles by which we can bind ourselves together as a people, to bind our feelings together that we may become one, and this never can be accomplished unless certain things are done, and things that require an exertion on our part. How would you go to work to bind yourselves together? How would a man go to work to unite himself with his neighbor? If two men were associated together who had never been acquainted, how would they go to work to secure each other’s friendship, attachment, and affection one towards another? Why something would have to be done, and that not by one party only, but would have to be done by one as well as by the other. It would not answer for one to do the business alone; it would not do for one to answer those feelings and do the work himself, but in order to become as one in their sentiments and affection, the action of both would be requisite.”
    • “I have heard brother Kimball state that when he was very much downhearted, he would find somebody worse than himself, and endeavor to comfort him up, and by so doing he would comfort himself, and increase in spirit and in life. It is upon this principle that I am speaking.”
    • “If you want to secure the friendship and affections of our friends, go to work and comfort them with that light which you have received, remembering those blessings came down from God, and that by doing this you are only doing what every man should do.”
    • “Those of you who have got the Priesthood, go and make friends among the individuals by whom you are surrounded; or select one and try to start his feelings, his faith, his circumstances, and his mind, and try to enlighten them, and if they are sinners, endeavor to save them from their sins, and bring them from their bondage in which they are placed, to participate in the light and liberty which you participate in, for in this way you can do good through the information which the Lord has imparted to you. In this way you will discover that their minds will be drawn out towards you, and their affections will be gained and centered upon you.”
    • “But there is a fearfulness in the minds of the people, they are afraid to trust their substance in the hands of the Lord, but if we expect acts of kindness and affection; if we understand our true position, and want to secure the affections of the Almighty and all good men, so that they will be bound to us, we have got do something that will secure to us those affections, and other manifestations of that kindness which we have previously participated in.”
    • “You, brethren, that are going forward in any undertaking, and that want to get rich, and that want to make large farms, to get many wives, and to extend your household and your popularity, you make up your minds to make your wives comfortable, to feed and clothe your children, and do those things that are required of you. But while you are engaged in this, let your minds be expanded to comprehend and look after the interest of your friends that are around you, and where it is in your power to secure benefits to you friends do so, and in so doing, you will find that those things which you need will come into your hands quicker than if you labor entirely to secure them to yourselves, independent of regarding the interests of your friends. I know this is a good and important principle.”
    • “Let a man go and trample upon the rights of a brother, and how long would it take him to destroy that feeling of confidence that had heretofore existed between them? And when once destroyed, how long will it take to establish that feeling which once existed between them? It will take a great while. This is what we have to place our eye upon; I feel it so; in all our thinking, in all our movements, and in our secret meditations, we want to let our minds reflect upon the interests of all around; and to consider that they have rights and privileges as well as ourselves; we ought to have this firmly established in our minds.”
  • Man Must Use His Energies, Etc., Delivered at the Tabernacle, Salt Lake City, January 18, 1857
    • “I understand that we are brethren together, that we are of the same Father in the celestial worlds, and that if we knew each other as we should, if each one was endowed by the power of God, our sympathies would be excited more than they are at the present time, and there would be a desire on the part of every individual to study in their own minds how they might do their brethren good, how they might alleviate their sorrows and build them up in truth, how to remove the darkness from their minds. If we understood each other and the real relationship which we hold to each other, we should feel different from what we do; but this knowledge can be obtained only as we obtain the Spirit of life, and as we are desirous of building each other up in righteousness.”
    • “If we do not exercise those faculties given us, and get the Spirit of the Lord, but little information will be received from speakers, even though ideas may be communicated of great value and worth. Notwithstanding, ideas may be communicated in a very broken style, if the people will exert themselves, as a boy should at school, they will soon learn that they will never return from meeting without their minds being benefited by the speakers.”
    • “The question is asked, “Why are we under obligations to follow counsel?” Because that counsel possesses those qualities necessary to make us better here, and to exalt us to honor and glory hereafter. If it were not so, there would be no obligation on our part to follow counsel. A minor is under obligation to follow his father’s counsel, for that counsel is designed to make him happy while in the state of boyhood, and to qualify him to act in an after state, in a state of manhood. That counsel is designed to benefit that father who gave it, as well as the son to whom it is given. It is the father’s privilege to counsel as shall be for the benefit of that father, and as shall contribute to the greatest happiness of that boy while in his boyhood, so that it shall benefit him to the greatest extent when he shall arrive at the state of manhood.”
    • “If that counsel, if that intelligence, that is deposited in the President of this Church, was calculated to bring misery and misfortune and unhappiness upon the people, and to undo or hinder that which their nature is susceptible of receiving, then it would not be upon that principle of which we have been speaking. But it is our privilege to follow it; and if we carry out the principles that are established in our nature and that are being taught us, we shall keep rising and being exalted. If we follow that counsel, we shall advance in those principles that pertain to happiness in this world and the world to come.”
    • “It is just so in regard to matters that pertain to the things of God. We have to exert ourselves and go from grace to grace, to get the law of action so incorporated in our systems, that it may be natural to do those things that are required of us. The son cannot always see the intrinsic benefit of a father’s counsel when it is given, but that which he does know is that his father has a right to give that counsel; he also knows that he is in duty-bound to act in accordance with that counsel and that knowledge. By acting in that way he will feel well, and he will do his duty.”
  • The Saints Have not Magnified Their Calling, Etc., Delivered at the Tabernacle, Salt Lake City, January 4, 1857
    • “Brethren, most of you hold high and important positions in this kingdom, indeed but few men have lived on the earth that were placed in so important and responsible situations; the salvation of the present world, also many generations past and generations to come look to you for life, exaltation, and happiness. High Priests, Seventies, and ye Elders of Israel, are you this day prepared with wisdom and power to officiate for the living and the dead, and to lay a pure and holy foundation through your wives and children, that salvation may go forth to the rising generations; or have you neglected qualifying yourselves in your holy callings, and let the cares of the world occupy your entire thoughts and attention, and your minds become dull, your spiritual armor rusty and but little room found in you for the Holy Ghost to abide?”
    • “It is the case with many in this community that instead of preparing themselves for positions in the eternal world, they have been satisfied with the cares of this life, and attending to those things which have been for the comfort of themselves and their wives and children; they have been satisfied in exercising themselves in this small way of ambition.”
    • “Now I will respect a man because he is a High Priest, a Seventy; I respect him, I honor him because he is the anointed of the Lord, but can I respect him as I wish to do, and move in him and he in me, unless he moves in the same spirit, and moves heart and hand with me, and is willing to clear out iniquity with me? When the Holy Ghost teaches and inspires me to lift my hand against that which is causing our destruction and is bringing sin among the people, how can we be inspired and walk in the same spirit unless our minds are one, and unless we are united in all things?”
    • “We have got to attend to our duties, make use of that intelligence which is given us, that we may be one with each other. The High Priesthood have got to do this, every husband must do this, that he may be full of the Holy Ghost, that he may be the means of sanctifying his wife and his children, and that he may be an instrument in the hands of the Lord of extending the kingdom of God, and of aiding in the accomplishment of His purposes.”
    • “When a man is full of sin he is not capable of lifting his voice to teach his family. How does a man expect he can be a Patriarch to a large family when he is going on in sin and darkness, and is becoming more blind to the things of the kingdom? He goes forward and gathers other wives and increases his family, but how does he expect to teach them when he is not susceptible of instruction himself? I tell you he will see the day when he will be too late and will have to stand out of the way. A man has to look well at the foundation upon which he builds; a man has to look to the Lord for strength, he has to be purified and sanctified, and he has to purify those that are around him, and among that number will be his one wife, if she is worthy of salvation, and if she is susceptible of being saved. He must have sufficient in him of the saving principle to impart to her, and inasmuch as she can conform to that, she can thereby become sanctified, and be prepared for an exaltation; but if he cannot get faith enough to receive the principles of life and salvation, so that he can communicate those truths to others, he may get one wife, and then he may get another, and after that another, and still another, and then he is worse off than before, and is no nearer to the kingdom of God, but much farther off.”
    • “It becomes the duties of fathers in Israel to wake up and become saviors of men, that they may walk before the Lord in that strength of faith, and that determined energy, that will insure them the inspiration of the Almighty to teach the words of life to their families, as well as to teach them when they are called into this stand. Then all our words will savor of life and salvation wherever we go, and wherever we are.”
    • “When a man is not willing to sacrifice for the benefit of his brethren, and when he knows that he trespasses upon the feelings of his brethren, and yet he has not that love which will enable him to make satisfaction, that man is not right before the Lord, and where is the love of that individual for his brother?”
    • “This quarrelling and bickering will not do; it is the work of salvation we are engaged in. Now for an example, and what is the use of going to heaven for an example when there is one here? The Presidency of this Church are one, there is no jar existing between them; and the Twelve Apostles have got to be one like them, and when we see perfect union with ourselves, we expect others to imitate our example. Did you ever see us rebel when the Presidency saw fit to chastise us? No, we are one with them, and we will not stop the Spirit that is in them, nor attempt to stop up the channel through which the Holy Ghost designs to prepare us for that which is to come. Did they see proper to chastise, we will not rebel, neither will we lose our confidence in them.”

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