Discourse, 11 April 1844–B

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The chairman made some remarks on the absence of brother the cause of absence, and his good feelings towards the council &c
He then went on to say that for the benifit of mankind and succeeding generations he wished it to be recorded that there are men admitted members of this honorable council, who are not members of the church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, neither profess any creed or religious sentiment whatever, to show that in the organization of this [p. [116]] kingdom men are not consulted as to their religious opinions or notions in any shape or form whatever and that we act upon the broad and liberal principal that all men have equal rights, and ought to be respected, and that every man has a privilege in this organization of choosing for himself voluntarily his God, and what he pleases for his religion, inasmuch as there is no danger but that every man will embrace the greatest light. God cannot save or damn a man only on the principle that every man acts, chooses and worships for himself; hence the importance of thrusting from us every spirit of bigotry and intollerance towards [p. [117]] a mans religious sentiments, that spirit which has drenched the earth with blood— When a man feels the least temptation to such intollerance he ought to spurn it from him. It becomes our duty on account of this intollerance and corruption—the inalienable right of man being to think as he pleases—worship as he pleases &c being the first law of every thing that is sacred—to guard every ground all the days of our lives. I will appeal to every man in this council beginning at the youngest that when he arrives to the years of Hoary age he will have to say that the principles of intollerance and bigotry never had a place in this [p. [118]] kingdom, nor in my breast, and that he is even then ready to die rather than yeild to such things. Nothing can reclaim the human mind from its ignorance, bigotry, superstition &c but those grand and sublime principles of equal rights and universal freedom to all men. We must not despise a man on account of infirmity. We ought to love a man more for his infirmity. Nothing is more congenial to my feelings and principles, than the principles of universal freedom and has been from the beginning. If I can know that a man is susceptible of good feelings & integrity and will stand by his friends, he is my friend. The only thing I am afraid of is, that I will not live long [p. [119]] enough to enjoy the society of these my friends as long as I want to. Let us from henceforth drive from us every species of intollerance. When a man is free from it he is capable of being a critic. When I have used every means in my power to exalt a mans mind, and have taught him righteous principles to no effect—he is still inclined in his darkness, yet the same principles of liberty and charity would ever be manifested by me as though he embraced it. Hence in all governments or political transactions a mans religious opinions should never be called in question. A man should be judged by the law independant of religious prejudice, hence we want in our [p. [120]] constitution those laws which would require all its officers to administer justice without any regard to his religious opinions, or thrust him from his office. There is only two or three things lacking in the constitution of the . If they had said all men all born equal, and not only that but they shall have their rights, they shall be free, or the armies of the government should be compelled to enforce those principles of liberty. And the President or Governor who does not do this, and who does not enforce those principles he shall lose his head. When a man is thus bound by a constitution he cannot refuse to protect his subjects, he dare not do it. And when a Governor [p. [121]] or president will not protect his subjects he ought to be put away from his office.
I can cloth[e] the old skeleton (referring to a figure used by to shew his views of the present constitution) although it was an old dead horses head, but it is not necessary for it only requires two or three sentences in a constitution to govern the world. Only cloth the officers of government with the power of free tolerance and compel them to exercise and enforce those principles and we have what we want. Give our Marshal the power of free tolerance and see if he would not exercise it. Only think! When a man can enjoy his liberties and has the power of [p. [122]] civil officers to protect him, how happy he is”. [p. [123]]