Do I love murderers and mobocrats as I do good men? No. Do I pray for them? Yes, that the Lord would judge them out of their own mouths, and that speedily.
We plead all the time to be let alone, and to be permitted to live in peace, and not to be whipped and abused without cause, for we are "flesh of your flesh, and bone of your bone;" then why not let us enjoy our piece of cake, as we let you enjoy yours? For this we plead, and plead, and plead continually, but "No," say they, "we will chastise you because we have the power to do it; we will whip you because we are stronger than you."
I will take the Government of the United States, and the laws of Missouri and Illinois, from the year 1833 to 1845, and if they had been carried out according to their letter and spirit, they would have strung up the murderers and mobocrats who illegally and unrighteously killed, plundered, harassed, and expelled us. I will tell you how much I love those characters. If they had any respect to their own welfare, they would come forth and say, whether Joseph Smith was a Prophet or not, "We shed his blood, and now let us atone for it;" and they would be willing to have their heads chopped off, that their blood might run upon the ground, and the smoke of it rise before the Lord as an incense for their sins. I love them that much. But if the Lord wishes them to live and foam out their sins before all men and women, it is all right, I care not where they go, or what they do.
I have but one fear concerning this people in the Valleys of the Mountains, I have but one trembling sensation in the nerves of my spirit, and that is, lest we do not live the religion we profess. If we will only practice what we profess, I tell you we are at the defiance of all hell. But if we transgress the law God has given us, and trample His mercies, blessings, and ordinances under our feet, and treat them with the indifference which I have thought that some occasionally do, not fully realizing the obligations that they are under to their God, I have feared that in consequence they would be overcome, and that the Lord would let them be scattered and smitten. But only let them live their religion, and I have no more fears with regard to their being driven, and with regard to their enemies having power over them, than I have with regard to these mountains being blown over upon this city. I am willing to fight, or to go; to run, or to stay; or to do anything else that the Lord Almighty requires of me for His Kingdom's sake, and then to lay down my life for His cause. But I swear by the Gods of eternity that I will not suffer men in our streets, and in our houses, to corrupt this people and overthrow them, the Lord and good men being my helpers.
To whom do I allude, but to those who wish to destroy this people? Not one, I am not opposed to any man or set of men who are here, there, yonder, or anywhere else, but I am opposed to wickedness and vice, wherever they may be found in the whole earth; I am opposed to unrighteousness, and I always intend to be.
I prefer to remark upon subjects as they present themselves to my mind; though I might prepare a course of lectures, and confine myself to given subjects, as I have often done; but when I am in this stand I hoist the gate and let the flood run, not caring which way it goes, or how.
What happened when I chastised a runaway officer? I did not say one rash word to him, nor chastise him half as much as he deserved; but I told him what he was, and how he looked to me; what he was sent here for, and what he should be, if he magnified his office. Before the meeting was out the word was, "O! we are agoing to be driven; here is a mob coming." Said I, "Get out of my way, or I will kick you out; what are you afraid of?" "O! of the Government of the United States?" I replied, "Let me die and go to my Father in heaven, before I stoop to that abominable wickedness; I never will stoop to it, so help me God." What was the result of the course I then took? He was chastened, and our Chief Justice who is now here told him in Washington, that he was chastened for his own iniquity, and said to him, "I expect they did not chastise you half enough." Do you suppose that I am agoing to crouch down, and suffer this people to bow down continually to the rod of corruption? No. Come on with your knives, your swords, and your faggots of fire, and destroy the whole of us, rather than we will forsake our religion. Whether it is true or false is none of your business; whether the doctrine of plurality of wives is true or false is none of your business. We have as good a right to adopt tenets in our religion as the Church of England, or the Methodists, or Baptists, or any other denomination have to in theirs. Our doctrine is a Bible doctrine, a patriarchal doctrine, and is the doctrine of the Gods of eternity, and of the heavens, and was revealed to our fathers on the earth, and will save the world at last, and bring us into Abraham's bosom, if we ever get there. Are the officers of the Government the judges of our religion? It is none of their business whether it is true or false. I know whether it is true or not, and that is enough for me; you know, brethren and sisters, and that is enough for you. If they do not believe it, we do not trouble them with it. We say that we will meet you as friends, and as neighbors, as "flesh of our flesh, and bone of our bone," but not, as the world meet you, upon the platform of corruption and iniquity. We are not there, neither will we meet you there; but we will hail you as friends, and as brethren, pertaining to the citizenship of the Government; so we hail the officers who are now with us. And if the gallant gentleman who is now in our midst had received the commission of Governor of this Territory, as was reported, and had accepted it, I would have taken off my hat and honored the appointment; and this people would have been just as passive and submissive to him as ever they could be to me. That I will warrant and vouch for. If they wish to send a Governor here, and he is a gentleman, like the one I have referred to, every heart would say, "Thank God, we have a man to stand at our head in a gubernatorial capacity; a man who has got a good heart, and is willing that we should enjoy the federal rights of the Constitution as well as himself." I am with all such men, heart and hand. But for a man to come here and infringe upon my individual rights and privileges, and upon those of my brethren, will never meet my sanction, and I will scourge such a one until he leaves; I am after him. But I will say, to the praise of the gallant gentleman referred to, if there was going to be a gentleman called upon to be our Governor, there is not a man, out of the Kingdom of God, that I would listen to sooner, and feel more confidence and cordiality towards, than to him. I wish this meed of praise could be awarded to every officer in the Government, but it cannot. We have some of the most corrupt, damnable, mean curses here that ever disgraced the earth; some who even wish to carry the holy sanctuary in one hand, and a jug full of whiskey in the other, and follow a whore and have a saint trail behind them to hold up their garments to prevent their drabbling. They are like the pilot fish to the shark, serving to lead him to his victim. I despise them; and so does every good man. Show your colors, gentlemen, and let us know what and who you are, as I do, that all the earth may see and hear.
Have I any feelings against the man who has a true heart for constitutional rights? I have nothing but love and good feelings for all such. What have I for the sinner, the hypocrite, the unbeliever, the ungodly, the liar, the sorcerer, the whoremonger, and the adulterer? I have nothing but chastisement for them, until they repent of their wicked ways, and turn to God and find mercy.