Mormon History

Brigham Young Preaching on Hidden Gold - 1877

The Salt Lake Daily Tribune August 15, 1877


The Prophet on Mineral Desposits and Mining.

New Light on Gold Bibles, and How to Get Rich.

Some Serious Questions to Leading Mormons.


Let those who imagine that Mormonism is modifying itself to suit the tenor of progressive thought, read the following extracts from a sermon delivered by Brigham Young, in Farmington, on the 17th of July last. It cannot be charged that they are "Tribune lies," for they are copied from the News, Brigham's official organ, and the "lie" part of them, therefore, emanate[s] from the Prophet. His inspired utterances were devoted to the brethren who are seeking after gold, and on this head he tells us something which ye honest miner should store up in his mind. He says:

"But do you know how to find such a mine? No, you do not. These treasures that are in the earth are carefully watched, they can be removed from place to place according to the good pleasure of Him who made them and owns them. He has His service, and it is just as easy for an angel to remove the minerals from any part of one of these mountains to another, as it is for you and me to walk up and down this hall. This, however, is not understood by the Christian world, nor by us as a people."

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"I presume there are some present who have heard me narrate a circumstance with regard to the discovery of a gold mine in Little Cottonwood Canyon, and I will here say that the specimens taken from it, which I have in my possession today, are as fine specimens of gold as ever were found on this continent. A man whom some of you well know, brought to me a most beautiful nugget. I told him to let the mine alone.

"When General Conner came here, he did considerable prospecting; and in hunting through the Cottonwoods, he had an inkling that there was gold there. Porter, as we generally call him, came to me one day, saying, 'They have struck within four inches of my lode, what shall I do?' He was carried away with the idea that he must do something. I therefore told him to go with the other brethren interested, and make his claim. When he got through talking I said to him, 'Porter, you ought to know better; you have seen and heard things which I have not, and are a man of long experience in this Church. I want to tell you one thing; they may strike within four inches of that lode as many times as they have a mind to, and they will not find it.' They hunted and hunted, hundreds of them did; and I had the pleasure of laughing at him a little, for when he went there again, he could not find it himself." (Laughter by the congregation.)

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"I will tell you a story which will be marvelous to most of you. It was told me by Porter, whom I would believe just as quickly as any man that lives. When he tells a thing he understands, he will tell it just as he knows it; he is a man that does not lie. He said that on this night, when they were engaged hunting for this old treasure, they dug around the end of a chest for some twenty inches. The chest was about three feet square. One man who was determined to have the contents of that chest, took his pick and struck a hole into it, and split through into the chest. The blow took off a piece of the lid, which a certain lady kept in her possession until she died. That chest of money went into the bank. Porter describes it so (making a rumbling sound); he says this is just as true as the heavens are."

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"I believe I will take the liberty to tell you of another circumstance that will be as marvelous as anything can be. This is an incident in the life of Oliver Cowdery, but he did not take the liberty of telling such things in meeting as I take. I tell these things to you, and I have a motive for doing so. I want to carry them to the ears of my brethren and sisters and to the children also, that they may grow to an understanding of some things that seem to be entirely hidden from the human family. Oliver Cowdery went with the Prophet Joseph when he deposited these plates * * * there was a portion of them sealed, which you can learn from the Book of Doctrine and Covenants. When Joseph got the plates, the angel instructed him to carry them back to the hill Cumorah, which he did. Oliver says that when Joseph and Oliver went there, the hill opened and they walked into a cave, in which there was a large and spacious room. He says, he did not think, at the time, whether they had the light of the sun or artificial light, but that it was just as light as day. They laid the plates on a table; it was a large table that stood in the room. Under this table there was a pile of gold plates as much as two feet high, and there were altogether in this room more plates than probably many wagon loads; they were piled up in the corners and along the walls. The first time they went there the sword of Laban hung upon the wall; but when they went again it had been taken down and laid upon the table across the gold plates; it was unsheathed, and on it was written these words: 'This sword will never be sheathed again until the kingdoms of this world become the kingdom of our God and his Christ.'"

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I have known places where there were treasures in abundance, but could men get them? No. You can read in the Book of Mormon of the ancient Nephites hiding their treasures, and of their becoming slippery; so that after they had privately hid their money, on going to the place again, lo and behold it was not there, but was somewhere else, but they knew not where. The people do not understand this; I wish they did, for they wuld then do as I do, pay attention to the legitimate business that God has given them to perform."

These are the words of the Prophet Brigham, who speaks by inspiration. In his church there are some men who are credited with having good horse sense. Among them are John Sharp, a director of the Union Pacific Railroad, John T. Caine, W. H. Hooper, William Jennings, SEptimus Sears, Heber P. Kimball, Feramorz Little, Lewis S. Hills, and several others. Now we want to ask these gentlemen candidly, if they have to swallow all of this yarn in order to get the whole of Mormonism. We can conceive very readily how they accept polygamy, but that Hill Cumorah business, and stacks of gold bibles -- cart loads of them -- do you, gentlemen, really take in all of that?...

Note: The above excerpts from Brigham Young's June 17, 1877 discourse at Farmington, were reprinted from the Deseret News, into the Journal of Discourses, vol. 19, pp. 36ff.