Brigham Young’s St. George Sermon, May 1876

Mormon cosmology is an interest of mine, and a sermon of President Young’s in St. George, Utah shows us something of his ideas about the cosmos, the relation of science to religion, sex in heaven, and even a little about Adam:

God being the author of all Truth, if I speak the truth, I speak the word of the Lord. Science may shake hands with my religion. The Scriptures had been dissected and culled and but little of what was, remains now. If we are not Christ-like, we are not Christians. The religion taught by Jesus is what we have received, and profess to carry out. First, have we learned the character of him I believe in? His character seemed natural to Him. He took the divinity of the Father in mortality and sanctified that mortality. Who is the Father? The one that begot his Spirit, begot him in the womb of the Virgin Mary. The Christian world does not know this. It will not receive the Light that has come into the world, but chooses darkness rather than light. This disposition in them, is why they are constantly at war with us.

Where is Heaven? He said he had never seen the sectarian priest or preacher that could answer the question. What are our conceptions of heaven? Even among us we shall find various definitions–happiness &c., &c. Shut the people only in this city and let them receive nothing but truth, throw error over the wall. Take truth and it will sanctify until all are pure–their flesh is purified until they begin to live on angel’s food, until all become pure and holy. See angels? Yes. The Son of Man comes and goes; the Father comes, by thus having overcome, and this having taken place here what place shall we call it? Why–Heaven, because that is the only appelation that we know. Is there in the heaven of heavens a leader? Yes, and we cannot do without one and that being the case, whosoever he is, may be called God. Joseph said that Adam was our Father and God, and himself being a leader, he too, was their God. If you could see this earth, it is like a mote to some other planets. What is in the sun? Can astronomers tell who lives there? No. It is filled with the glory of the Gods. The fixed stars are glorified worlds, filled with beings who are passing through degrees of perfection, every one of those spheres is a glorified sun and has a Ruler,–God. This is simple to understand under the inspiration of God. A man or woman who lives strictly according divine light, reflects that light, so that they eventually become a source of light. Jesus said some were so, but depart from the increasing power of this light and we become like the blind groping for the wall.

Every power for good in man, is of God, is inside of our religion. A scientist has said that science was coming in contact with religion; but it is not so. All true science is ours when it is fully understood. Our minds are limited.

He referred to the doctrine of plural marriage having been revealed from Heaven. Men who desire to rule with a rod of iron oppose its practice. A man with one wife and one child received a promise because he was righteous, obedient to God’s word. Abraham to thy Seed there shall be no end. The children of Abraham are still increasing and are practically dictating the affairs of the world. I doubt not that Abraham was resurrected together with his wives at the resurrection of Our Savior, and that they, and many other righteous ones, are helping the Savior to complete the work which, when prepared, the Savior will present to His Father. Abraham, however, stays not his work, he begets spiritual beings and sends them to various worlds to continue the work, and there is no end to their creations; first spiritual, then temporal, and then spiritual. Sectarians know nothing about this principle, but it is the eternal course of the Gods.

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