Brigham, while denying involvement in Brassfield's death, appears to condone it.

Apr 6, 1866
Speech / Court Transcript
Brigham Young
Scribed Verbatim

"Thirty-Sixth Annual Conference," Deseret News 15, no. 19 (April 12, 1866): 4

George D. Watt, Deseret News
Brigham Young, S. Newton Brassfield, Joseph Smith, Jr., Amasa Mason Lyman
Latter-day Saints

I will now take the liberty of making a statement to this congregation, and to this community — to those who are Saints and those who are not Saints — to the Jew and the Greek — to the Christian and Gentile, the old, the middle-aged, the youth and children — in regard to the circumstance which has occurred here in our city within a few days past. The question is asked by thousands, no doubt, "Is this according to Brother Brigham's counsel? Is this done by counsel, and does Brother Brigham justify such things?" Whether I justify that act or not is not the property of any other person living; it is my own.

"Brother Brigham, did you counsel any such thing as killing Mr. Brassfield?"

I did not. I know no more about it than you do. That which has transpired I have merely heard, and that which instigated the killing of that man is not known to me.

"Suppose a man should enter your house and decoy away from you a wife of yours, what would you do under the circumstance?"

I would lay judgment of the line, and righteousness to the plummet, so help me God. I say that for myself and not for another. I am for defending the truth of God and the ordinances of His house. I have enlisted to be His servant, and a co-worker and fellow labor with Him, and with my elder brother, Jesus Christ, and to sustain His laws, and the liberty to proclaim the doctrine of salvation to the world; and I am on hand to do so. We say that this is right, others say that it is wrong. As it was observed by Elder Amasa M. Lyman in his remarks here, we dare do a great many things, and leave the result in the hands of God; for he rules and over rules, guides and dictates, and controls the acts of the children of men; and he does so in a very different way from what they wish at many times.

We dare defend ourselves against the attacks of thieves and robbers; we dare preach the truth; we dare baptize people into the Kingdom of God — into the household of faith; we dare teach them the principles of life and salvation, though I'll help me growl and roar, and threaten and vomit forth it's dark insinuations. God will exalt the dust, and the wickedly and the ungodly will fail to maintain themselves in their wickedness. We dare do all this; we dare tell the world that Joseph Smith was a man of God — a Prophet of the Lord — when he was here in the flesh — that he is now a man of God, and still a Prophet of the Most High. The Holy Priesthood was delivered to him, and he delivered it to others, in which Priesthood we have greatly rejoiced. That this is true, ye are my witnesses. This congregation know whether "Mormonism" is true or not; they know it by the power of God, they know it, not merely because some man has said so, but they know it by the revelations of the Lord Jesus Christ.

I have taken this opportunity on this occasion, to see what I have relating to the killing of Mr. Brassfield for entering the house of one of the Saints and stealing away his wife. Where I absent from my home, I would rejoice to know that I had friends there to protect and guard the virtue of my household; and I would think of God for such friends.

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