Brigham Young on Sabbath, Traditions, and Revelations

Excerpt from Brigham Young, Journal of Discourses 8:57 “The Privileges of the Sabbath, etc…”


You do not see me here every Sabbath. Perhaps some of you wonder why. I will tell you in a very few words. If I had my own choice, and could have my own dictation with regard to physical and mental labor, I would set apart, for the express benefit of man, at least one-seventh part of the time for rest. There are but very few Sabbaths that I have ever kept in strictly resting from my labors—permitting both body and mind to rest. Perhaps assembling here on the Sabbath is a rest to many, though it is not very much of a rest. To those who have been laboring all the week to the utmost extent of their strength, it may be somewhat of a rest to sit on these hard benches; but when I come here I have a constant labor on my mind. This congregation, the Saints throughout the world, and the world of mankind in general are before me. I think for them all. I would like to take one-seventh part of the time to rest; but I do not often have this privilege. If I had my own mind, I would devote the time for meetings like this within the measure of the six days, and on the seventh, rest from all my labors, for the express purpose of renewing the mental and physical powers of man. They require it, as the Lord well knew; hence he established a day of rest. The natural tendency of the physical powers of man is to decay; and to preserve them as long as possible, they need this retirement from labor—this rest—this ease. I very seldom enjoy this privilege.

Our customs are more or less like the customs of our fathers, and their influence is often stronger upon us than any law. There is not a law of God, nor a law of any nation that exercises so strong an influence upon us as do our traditions at times, to bind us to certain customs, habits, and ceremonies: consequently, to carry out the old traditions, we observe this day of rest as we now do. Father went to meeting on the seventh day, and the priests and all good people go to meeting on that day. It has been the custom from time immemorial. Some men and women walk miles to attend meetings; some men walk as many as ten miles, hold two or three meetings, walk back, and are in their workshops by five o’clock on Monday morning. Custom binds us to this, and here we are today in compliance with its force.

Brother Hyde spoke of a revelation which he tried to find in the Book of Doctrine and Covenants. That revelation was reserved at the time the compilation for that book was made by Oliver Cowdery and others, in Kirtland. It was not wisdom to publish it to the world, and it remained in the private escritoire. Brother Joseph had that revelation concerning this nation at a time when the brethren were reflecting and reasoning with regard to African slavery on this continent, and the slavery of the children of men throughout the world. There are other revelations, besides this one, not yet published to the world. In the due time of the Lord, the Saints and the world will be privileged with the revelations that are due to them. They now have many more than they are worthy of, for they do not observe them.

 

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John Robertson

I am nothing more than a regular member of the church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

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