How Divisions Were Introduced Into the Christian World—The Gospel Perfect, But Its Teachers Imperfect—The Priesthood and Its Restoration.
Discourse by President Brigham Young, delivered in the Bowery, Great Salt Lake City, June 23, 1867.
Reported By: David W. Evans.
I recollect preaching once in the old bowery with regard to our Father and God, the Being we worship and whom we think so much of. There was a Baptist minister present; he was staying at my house. He was a kind, friendly man, and was on his way to the gold mines. He was sitting beside me. I wanted to leave [p. 69a] him in a puzzle. I would not tell him, but brought him right to the point, and there left him. When we got home, said he, “Oh! brother Young, you came right to the point exactly, and I did pray that you might tell us what kind of a being God is.” I replied, “I left you in a puzzle on purpose for you to guess it. You have read it frequently, and you can hardly read the Bible at all without reading precisely what kind of a being our Father is.” Said he, “I am not aware that I know anything about it.”
I asked him if he could tell me what kind of a being Adam was. “Oh! Adam was a man like I am.” I asked him if he believed in the history of the creation, as given in Genesis by Moses, for if he did he would find that God said to His associates, “Let us go down and make man in our own image and likeness.” Gen. 1:26 He believed the history given by Moses, and had read the passage to which I referred. “Then,” said I, “you must believe that Adam was created in the exact image of the Father.” Gen. 1:27 He had never thought of that in his life. I told him I had read that many times to Christians and to Christian ministers, but they would not believe what was in the Bible. Says Jesus, “Whosoever has seen me has seen the Father.” John 14:9 He is the Being the Latter-day Saints worship; He is a man-God. Can you get a better term than that—a God-man? It is said that Jesus is the only begotten of the Father. John 1:14 It is strange that people cannot understand it, but they cannot unless they are told. How can we know unless we are told, and how can we tell the people unless the Lord tells us to do so? Faith comes by hearing the word of God Rom. 10:17 declared, and this must be declared by those having authority. This character whom we serve is God, the God and Father of our Lord [p. 69b] Jesus Christ 2 Cor. 11:31 and the Father of our spirits, Heb. 12:9 if the Apostle tells the truth; if he has not, who can correct him unless they have a revelation from the heavens? I have had a great many ministers tell me that I must understand that spiritually. I have told them that I read and understood it just as it was, and if it was not right, and they could give the correct meaning (which it was impossible for them to do without revelation), they were under condemnation before the Lord if they did not do so. That would stop them.