Heritage Gateways

Official Sesquicentennial K-12 Education Project
sponsored by the Utah State Board of Education, the BYU-Public School Partnership and the Utah Education Network

William Clayton Journals

August 1, 1847

Location: Salt Lake Valley (the right place), Utah - The end destination for the trek across the plains.

Summary: The Brethren unite to have meetings in which to discuss their religion and their building plans for their city.

Journal entry: SUNDAY, 1ST. We have had another cool windy night. At ten o'clock in the morning the brethren assembled for meeting under the bower on the temple lot, all the members of the quorum of the Twelve being present except President Young who is quite sick again.

After the meeting had been opened by singing and prayer by Elder G. A. Smith, Elder Kimball arose and made some remarks to the following effect, as reported by Brother Bullock : " I would enquire whether there is a guard out around our cattle; if not let one be placed immediately. The Indians left here very suddenly this morning and we don't know their object. If we don't take good care of what we have, we will not have any more. It is all in the world we shall ever have, for to him that receiveth I will give more. We are the sons of God and He will go with us as we would do to our children, and inasmuch as I am faithful in taking care of my neighbors " goods, I shall be entitled to the same from them, for we are commanded to do unto others as we want others to do to us. Every penurious man who takes advantage of others will come down to poverty. If we have to follow the steps of our Savior we have to follow and experience the same things; you will have to feel for men so as to know how to sympathize with them and then you can feel for them. I feel for this people and grow more feeling for them every day. Our Father in Heaven is more tender to us than any mother to her little child. If I am faithful to serve others, others will be willing to serve me."

Orson Pratt requested the prayers of the Saints in his behalf : It is with peculiar feelings that I arise before so many of the Saints in this uncultivated region inhabited by savages. My mind is full of reflection oil the scenes through which we have passed and being brought through the deserts of sage to this distant region. God's ways are not as our ways. It is not wisdom that the Saints should always foresee the difficulties they have to encounter for then they would not be trials.

We expected some revelations to take place and behold they are revealed in the Book of Mormon and Doctrine and Covenants, for we are to congregate among the remnants of Joseph. We did think our wives and children would be built up among the strongholds of the gentiles, we thought we should be as Missourians to them. Jehovah had different purposes. He designed that this people should lye brought out almost as all entire people. The Book of Mormon never would have been fulfilled if the Saints had not left the gentiles as a people, for when the gentiles rejected the Gospel it was to be taken among the laminites. So long as the Gospel, the Priesthood and the main body of the people remained with them, the fulfillness of the Gospel was not taken away from the gentiles.

This movement is one of the - greatest that has taken place among this people. I feel thankful as one of the Twelve for the privilege of coming out as one of the pioneers to this glorious valley where we can build up a city to the Lord. For many years I have not read that good old book, but I remember the predictions in it and some that are now very nearly fulfilled by us. Isaiah says, (Chapter 62) speaking of the City of Zion, it shall be sought out, a city not forsaken, etc. Many in this congregation know what is meant by the garments of salvation and the robe of righteousness. Righteousness and praise shall spring forth - before all the nations of the earth and they will not hold their peace. There are many of you that feel you can cry day and night to the people in the cause of righteousness until it shall triumph. "For as a young man marrieth a virgin, etc.,this belongs and refers to us. "I will no longer give thy corn to be meat for thine enemy." This has not been fulfilled heretofore but will be. The corn that we toil to raise from the earth, it shall not be given to our enemies, they that gather it shall eat it, and they shall drink in the courts of His holiness. This wine is also to be drunk in the courts of the Lord's house. We have gathered out the stones out of the road and thousands will yet fulfil this prophecy. It has reference to the latter times that were to dawn upon the world in the last dispensation. "Thou shalt be called, Sought out, A city not forsaken." If ever there was a place sought out it is this, we have enquired diligently and have found it. This cannot refer to Jerusalem, but to this very place, point in a spot that the pioneers have found where a city shall be built unto the Lord, where righteousness will reign and iniquity not be allowed. Isaiah and Joel both spake very plainly on this subject. It shall come to pass in the last days that the house of the Lord shall be established," etc. In what part of the earth could it be established more than in this place where this congregation is gathered. In the midst of the spire & of the mountains we have found a place large enough to gather a few thousand of the Saints. You may travel Europe, Asia, Africa and America but you cannot find a place much higher where any people can raise crops and sustain themselves.

The house of the Lord will be established on the tops of the mountains when we shall have once reared here. The experience of the Saints proves that there was no house of the Lord, and we call say : travel over this earth but you cannot find the house of the Lord. The Lord most give the pattern of the building and order it, and give directions to lits servants. The Lord wants His house built precisely to the pattern that he gives and He is bound to speak to and bless and make them His own children in that hinise and I verily believe I shall see it and see tbousands come flocking to the house to learn the way of salvation. And I want to see the time that I shall see thousands raising their voices on this consecrated land. There are many testimonies in the prophets all bearing upon this subject. Joseph, in the Book of Doctrine and Covenants speaks of this very subject and it appears there will be some sinners in Zion who will be afraid and a devouring fire will rest upon every dwelling place in Zion. "He that walketh righteously" etc, "He shall dwell on high, bread shall be given him, his water shall - be sure." Isaiah was on the eastern continent when he spoke this and was speaking of a very distant place. It will be pretty difficult to get a ship of war up to this place. When we get used to this healthy climate, the people will not say, I am sick, but will he able to smile at the gentiles. Thev will, grow lip strong and will not be in jeopardy from sickness. The wilderness shall become as a fruitful field and a fruitful field as a forest. We know the time will come that the great Jehovah will cause springs of water to gush out of the desert lands and we shall see the lands survive that the gentiles have defiled.

Isaiah speaks of the heritage of Jacob being in a high place. This is about four thousand feet above the level of the sea and the high mountains will still catch the hail and we shall be in a low place. We will not feel discouraged but will feel full of vigor and circumscribe all things to the very heavens, for this is what we desire above all things. Let us endeavor to covenant in our hearts, that we will serve the Lord; that we will keep His commandments and obey His counsel. I wish that all of us should be faithful and as President Young said the other evening, every man is expected to do his duty. The Lord will be with us still; He will shield, guard and defend us by day and be our refuge by night, and our salvation. I feel to say in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ, you shall be blessed if you keep the commandments of God. Amen."

Elder Kimball hopes the brethren will be attentive to what they hear for if you bring an evil upon this people you will bring destruction upon yourself. If you do things according to counsel and they are wrong, the consequences will fall on the heads of those who counseled you, so don't be troubled. I do not want to be wrapped in the skins of some men who have taken a course that has brought destruction upon themselves and others, and their evel has to answer for it. I am a man that would not speak to a man's daughter to marry her until I have first spoken to her father and another also, and then it is done by common consent. But I preach the truth, every word of it.

President Young instructed the Battalion last evening and counseled them for their comfort and the counsel is for the brethren to keep their guns and their powder and their balls and lead and not let the Indians have it for they will shoot down our cattle. They stole guns yesterday and had them under their blankets and if you don't attend to this you are heating a kettle of boiling water to scald your own feet. If you listen to counsel you will let them alone and let them cat the crickets, there's a plenty of them.

I understand they offered to sell the land and we were to buy it of them, the Utahs would want pay for it too. The land belongs to our Father in Heaven and we calculate to plow and plant it and no man will have power to sell his inheritance for he cannot remove it; it belongs to the Lord. I am glad I have come to a place where I feel free. I am satisfied and we are in a goodly land. My family is back. My teams are helping on several families and leaving ours. If my family were here I would not go over that road again. I believe in Brother Joseph's religion which he said was a key that would save every man or woman, and that it is for every man to mind his own business and let other people's business alone.

We will all have farms and cultivate them and plant vineyards, and if we are faithful, five years will not pass away before we are better off than we ever were in Nanvoo. If we had brought our families along everybody else would have come and we must lose another year. We could not bring all the soldier's families for the same reason that we did not bring all our families. I thank the Lord that there are so many of the soldiers here. If thev had tarried in Winter Quarters there would have been many more deaths among them. We brought many of these pioneers to save their lives, many of them were very sick and were carried out of their beds and put into the wagons. They have mostly recovered their health and we have been prosperous and have been permitted to arrive here alive. There has not one died on the journey, nor an ox nor horse nor anything except one of Brother Crow's oxen which was poisoned. We lost several horses by accident and we shall be prosperous on our journey back again if we are faithful, those of us who go, and we shall see and enjoy the society of our families again. We will one day have a house built here and have the forts and go into the house and administer for our dead.

Elder Richards then read an order from Lieut. Cooke of the Mormon Battalion on the Pacific, after which Elder Bullock read a letter from Jefferson Hunt to James Brown, dated July 6, 1847, after which and a few other remarks, the meeting was dismissed.

At 2:25 the congregation assembled and opened by singing and prayer by Elder Woodruff. Bread and water were then administered by the bishops after which Elder Richards, after a few preliminary remarks read the "Word and will of the Lord," as given in Winter Quarters. Elder Kimball made some remarks and the brethren manifested that they received and would obey the revelations by uplifted hand. He was followed by remarks by Elder Amasa Lyman, mostly sustaining the positions taken by the previous speakers. Elder Kimball again rose to lay before the brethren some items of business, whereupon it was decided that the three companies form into one camp and labor together that the officers be a committee to form the corral, and that the corral be formed tomorrow. That horses and mules be tied near the camp at nights; that we build houses instead of living in wagons this winter; that we go to work immediately putting up houses; that we work unitedly; that the houses form a stockade or fort to keep out the Indians; that our women and children be not abused and that we let the Indians alone.

Colonel Rockwood remarked that a log house 16 by 15 would cost forty dollars and one of adobes half as much. Captain Brown was in favor of setting men to work building both log and adobe houses to hasten the work. Captain Lewis said that inasmuch as timber is scarce and we have spades and shovels and tools enough, as many as can be used, he is in favor of building adobe houses and saving the timber. Lieutenant Willis said You can put up an adobe house before a man could get the logs for a log house. Adobe houses are healthy and are the best for equinoxial gales. Elder Brannan has a man in California who will take three men, make adobes for a thirty foot house, build the house and put a family in it in a week. His printing office was put up in fourteen days and a paper printed. Elder Richards said we want brick made and lime burned. If wood is put into houses it will be a waste of it. We want all the timber, to make floors and roofs. We want the walls up and we are men enough to put them up in a few days and have the women protected. It was voted to put tip a stockade of adobe houses. Samuel Gould and James Drum reported themselves as lime burners. Sylvester H. Earl, Joel J. Terrill, Ralph Douglas and Joseph Hancock reported themselves as brick makers.

Elder Kimball then remarked that those who intend to send ox teams back to Winter Quarters must be ready a week from tomorrow morning. If the cattle's feet are too tender, have them shod, or have new shoes in the wagons. Those oxen to rest and be released from plowing, etc. Do not get the Indians around here. I want you to have nothing to do with them. After a few remarks on general items, the meeting dismissed.

Source: William Clayton's Journal

Published by the Clayton Family Association, and edited by Lawrence Clayton. To the best of our research, this contents of this book are no longer under copyright.