“Have the people come out from the nations? Yes. Have we separated ourselves from the nations? Yes. And what else have we done? Ask ourselves the question, Have we not brought Babylon with us? Are we not promoting Babylon here in our midst? Are we not fostering the spirit of Babylon that is now abroad on the face of the whole earth? I ask myself this question, and I answer, Yes, yes, to some extent and there is not a Latter-day Saint but what feels that we have too much of Babylon in our midst. The spirit of Babylon is too prevalent here. What is it? Confusion, discord, strife, animosity, vexation, pride, arrogance, selfwill and the spirit of the world. Are these things in the midst of those called Latter-day Saints? Yes, and we feel this. . . . I have come to this conclusion, which I have preached for years and years and years, and Joseph preached it up to the time of his death, that the people must leave Babylon and confusion behind them, and be the servants and handmaidens of the Lord; they must be His family. They have gathered out from Babylon, and they must prepare themselves to stand in holy places, preparatory to the coming of the Son of Man. 1
I wonder what the Latter-day Saints would say, today, in this matter. Do you think we had better hold on to the ground we have already gained from the enemy? We have gained a little in this cooperative system. We feel for each other and try to assist each other. But let me tell you what I am going to do. I do not expect to merchandise with our enemies to any great extent, but to cut it off just as fast as we can. I expect us to raise our own silk here. I would have had plenty for hundreds of silk dresses this year if I could have been blessed with some person who would have taken care of my silkworms and done justly by me. Raise your own silk, I will raise mine. Raise your own wool, work it and then wear it, and stop going anywhere to purchase goods. Let us sustain ourselves, for by and by Babylon will fall. What will be the result? The merchants will stand and look at one another worse than they do in this city. No man will buy their merchandise; and they will look here and there for a customer; but there will be no one to buy their merchandise, and the cry will be, “Babylon is fallen, is fallen!” Is this day coming? Yes; just as sure as we are now living. We are hastening it with all possible speed, as fast as time and circumstances will admit, when it will be said, “Babylon is fallen, is fallen!” 2
We are called upon as individuals, each of us who form this community, to come out from the wicked world, from Babylon. All those who believe the history given by John, the “beloved disciple,” know that the time would come when the Lord would call upon all people, who believe in Him, delight to do His will, and seek to understand the requirements of heaven, to gather out from the midst of Babylon. John wrote plainly in reference to this gathering, and we have believed it. We are called upon to come out from among the wicked, as it is written, “Come out of her, O my people,” that is, come out of Babylon. What is Babylon? Why, it is the confused world: come out of her, then, and cease to partake of her sins, for if you do not you will be partakers of her plagues. . . . This people have got to be self-sustaining, if they believe in the revelations given to them. You will find by and by that this same Babylon, which the Saints of God are required to leave, will fall. Will there be anybody left on the face of the earth? Yes, probably millions. Who will they be? Why the servants and handmaidens of the Almighty, those who love and serve Him. Now, I will ask the question, suppose this is true concerning the gathering out of the Saints, and that Babylon, or a confused and wicked world, will cease its operations as they are now going on, and the time spoken of shall have come, when the merchants will mourn and weep because there is no one to buy their merchandise, will the inhabitants of Zion go down to buy their silks and satins and keep up his trade? No. By and by there will be a gulf between the righteous and the wicked so that they cannot trade with each other, and national intercourse will cease. It is not so now, they can pass from one to the other with ease. But if this is the Kingdom of God and if we are the Saints of God—I leave you all to judge for yourselves about this—are we not required to sustain ourselves and to manufacture that which we consume, to cease our bartering, trading, mingling, drinking, smoking, chewing and joining with all the filth of Babylon? 3
The Lord has given you and me the privilege of gathering up from among the wicked. “Come out of her my people,” are some of the last words revealed through his servant John in the last of the revelations given in the New Testament. And one of the last writers we have here in this book—John the Revelator—looking at the Church in the latter days, says: “Come out of her, my people”—out of Babylon, out of this confusion and wickedness, which they call “civilization.” Civilization! It is corruption and wickedness of the deepest dye. It is no society for you, my people, come out of her. Gather out where you can pray, where you can have meetings and sacraments; where you can meet, associate, and mingle together; where you can beautify the earth and gather around you the necessaries of life, and make everything as beautiful as Zion, and begin to establish Zion on the earth; sanctify yourselves, sanctify your houses, the lands that you live upon; your farms, the streams of water that flow through your cities, country places and farms; sanctify your hills and mountains and valleys, and the land around about, and begin to build up Zion. Now, “come out of her, my people,” for this purpose, “and partake not of her sins, lest ye receive of her plagues.” After all these revelations and commandments the people who profess to be Saints will mingle with the wicked, and foster those who would cut their throats, and feed and clothe, and give them everything they can gather together.4
If I had charge of such a society as this to which I refer, I would not allow novel reading; yet it is in my house, in the houses of my counselors, in the houses of these Apostles, these Seventies and High Priests, in the houses of the High Council in this city, and in other cities, and in the houses of the Bishops, and we permit it; yet it is ten thousand times worse than it is for men to come here and teach our children the a b c’s, good morals, and how to behave themselves, ten thousand times worse! You let your children read novels until they run away, until they get so that they do not care—they are reckless, and their mothers are reckless, and some of their fathers are reckless, and if you do not break their backs and tie them up they will go to hell. That is rough, is it not? Well, it is a comparison. You have got to check them some way or other, or they will go to destruction. They are perfectly crazy. Their actions say, “I want Babylon stuck on to me; I want to revel in Babylon; I want everything I can think of or desire.” If I had the power to do so, I would not take such people to heaven. God will not take them there, that I am sure of. He will try the faith and patience of this people. I would not like to get into a society where there were no trials; but I would like to see a society organized to show the Latter-day Saints how to build up the kingdom of God. . . . leave Babylon in Babylon—leave everything and come here to worship the living God, and learn of his ways, that we may walk in his paths. 5
- Brigham Young, “Cease to Bring in, Etc.”, Journal of Discourses, vol. 17, pp. 36-46, April 18, 1874.
- Brigham Young, “Latter-day Saint Families, Etc.”, Journal of Discourses, vol. 13, pp. 87-95, February 2, 1870.
- Brigham Young, “Salvation Temporal and Spiritual, Etc.”, Journal of Discourses, vol. 12, pp. 281-289, October 8, 1868.
- Brigham Young, “How Saints Should Order Their Vocations”, Journal of Discourses, vol. 11, pp. 291-305, February 3, 1867.
- Brigham Young, “The Order of Enoch”, Journal of Discourses, vol. 15, pp. 220-229, October 9, 1872.