History of the Word of Wisdom, Apr 22, 1861

-- Apr 22, 1861
[Apostle Wilford Woodruff Journal] 22 I attended a surgical operation at 11 oclok today. Dr Anderson Cut out a fleshy tumor near the armpit of Sister Daniel Thomas near the size of a tea Cup. She was under the influence of Cloriform. I spent most of the day in the office. (1)

-- May 23, 1861
[Apostle Wilford Woodruff Journal] President Brigham Young steped into the House of G. A. Smith & gave a short Sermon but vary powerful. He rebuked the speculators among us vary sharply those who are trading with the Armey & Gentiles & still profess to be Saints. Some remarks I herd at the Close as I was not in at the Begining. He said I marvel at the patience I have had with such men. Here is B F. Stewart & his Brother & hundreds of others I Could name. Bishop Warren is another. They are a stink in my norstrials. They will trade with our Enemies and sustain them and they would let in all Hell upon us for a few dimes. They would like to open a gold mine, Esstablish whiskey & Hore Shops or do any thing for Money & be hail fellows well met with the[re?] Damned Curses, They would Get my throat if they had the power.... (1)

-- Sep 1, 1861
[Apostle Wilford Woodruff Journal] Sept 1 Sunday I met with my Quorum in the morning & attended meeting in the Tabernacle all day. N. V. Jones C V Spencer, J. Gates & Presidet Young preached in the fore noon & D. H. Wells in the afternoon followed by President Young. He delivered one of the plainest discourses I ever herd him deliver upon following the fashions of the Gentiles, wearing Hoops, making & selling whiskey, stealing &c. It was a vary plain strong discourse. (1)

-- Nov 24, 1861
[Apostle Wilford Woodruff Journal] 24 Sunday I met with my Quorum in the Morning, After which I rode to Fort Harriman. Charles W. Penrose & John Taylor spoke in the forenoon. James A. Little spoke a short time followed by Presidet Young 40 minutes who spoke upon practical religion. Requested the Elders to Quit drinking whiskey, Coffee, using tobaco &c and lay aside every bad practice. I preached in the evening at Fort Harriman. 25 mils. (1)

-- Dec 24, 1861
[Apostle Wilford Woodruff Journal] 24 I spent apart of the day in the Legislature the Afternoon. I met in the New Hall in the 14 ward at 10 oclok for the purpose of dedicating the House. Mrs Woodruff with several others of the Sisters have been at work night and day almost for several days in making the Curtains & trimings for the windows and doors in order to get it ready for the Dedication. Brother Edington took the supervision of the whole triming of the House. Presidet Young arived at about 11 oclok. He Called upon me to offer the Dedication Prayer.

The following Dedication Prayer was offered by W Woodruff:

O God our Eternal Father we present ourselves before thee this Morning in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ to Dedicate this House unto Thee, and we ask for thy Holy Spirit to bring all things to our rememberance which may be necessary in the dedication of this House. We dedicate the Foundation of this building together with the ground upon which it Stands that it may be Holy from the Commencemet to the name of [the] Most High. We dedicate the Foundation with the rock Mortar and timbers and all things appertaining thereto that it may be Holy unto the Lord. We dedicate the walls of this House with the adobies, the mortar and every thing appertaining thereto that it may be Holy unto Thee.

We dedicate the door with the Joists boards and nails thereof that the same may be Holy unto Thee. We also dedicate the windows with the sash, glass, putty and every thing pertaining thereto also the curtains with the trimings thereof and the shades that they may be Holy unto the Lord. We dedicate the doors with the Hinges screws locks, latches, and every thing pertaining thereto that they may be Holy unto Thee the Lord our God. We dedicate the Roof with the rafters, boards, shingles, lath, nails Plastering, Cornice, ornamental work and all things appertaining thereto that Evry thing may be Holy and Consecrated unto Thee. We dedicate the stand the pulpit the seats the floor the Boards the paint and evry thing belonging thereto also the Benches and seats in this room that they may be Holy unto the Lord.

And we pray that this dedication may be acceptable, that this house and the ground whare on it stands may be Holy unto Thee. And we ask that thy Blessings may rest upon the Bishops and Priests and Elders who may occupy this Stand that they may be inspired to speak unto the Edifycation of this people and that they may magnify the Holy Priesthood given unto them. And we pray that this House may be Clean and every thing Clean and pure which dwells therein. O God the Eternal Father we dedicate this House unto thee and thy kingdom for the purpose of Preaching, teaching, instruction, singing, & prayer, and for the teaching of Our Children and for Lawful and innocent recreation.

We pray that thy protecting Care may be over this House that it may be protected from fire and winds and Every Evil Elemet. And O God we pray that the spirit and power of darkness may have no dominion here that thy Saints may inherit this place in peace, that no Enemy may have power in this House. And should the day Ever Come that the Enemies of thy Saints should have dominion in this Land, grant that this Building may be destroyed from the foundation and not one Stone left upon another that the wicked and unholy may never inherit this House, nor this City nor any of the Houses of thy Saints which have been dedicated unto thee. Grant to accept of this dedication we beseech of Thee that thy spirit may rule and reign in this House. And may thy Saints not worship this House nor any thing appertaining to this Earth, but may they worship the Lord of Hosts and help do thy will and Esstablish thy kingdom upon the Earth. And if anything there be pertaining to this Building or the gr
ound upon which it stands that we have not named before thee Grant that it may be Holy, that all things pertaining thereto with the dedication thereof may be acceptable unto Thee which we ask in the name of Jesus christ our Redeemer Amen.

At the Close of the Dedication Prayer President Young addressed the Saints. The following are some of the remarks which he made:

He said as I have the privilege of speaking I hope I may be actuated by the spirit of intelligence. As Brother Woodruff has asked the Lord in his prayer so I feel to say amen to the whole of it even to the destruction of the Buildings if our Enemies ever had power to possess it. But I do not think we shall ever be driven from this inheritance. I am satisfied we never shall be if we live our religion & do our duty. Here we are gathered together from all the Nations of the Earth. Like the net Cast into the Sea it gathers both good & bad and each one works out what is in him.

While Brother Woodruff was offering the dedication Prayer I was wondering if they dedicated there School Houses anciently. They dedicated Solomons Temple but I dont know as they did there School Houses. But we should dedicate ourselves and all we have unto the Lord. We still have some among us who still wish to mingle with the wicked. They still want to introduce Mr Devil to me & to this people and such would hender the progress of the kingdom of God.

I am pleased to meet with you here to day. I see the taste which you have displayed in the finishing of this house which I like and admire. Pardon me for quoting a remark of a man from the north in seeing the 13 ward Assembly room, proped up to keep them from falling down. He said the glory of the Bishop of the 13 ward had departed. But I hope the glory of the bishop of the 14 ward will not depart as did the 13 ward. I hope this House will not fall down.

I am pleased to see that you have brought together the Elements which surround you and Erected a Beautiful Hall which is a pleasure to meet in. Even the most wicked take pleasure in beholding that which is beautiful & lovely.

I delight to meet here. My soul is full of Blessings for this people. We are living in a world of sin yet we are approaching to the light and travelling together. As Latter Day Saints we should dedicate our all to God. The gospel of Jesus Christ is to make good men better and to put them in a position to receive Happiness Joy and glory to the fullness of the Capacity of man.

Many Elders pray that they may have Confidence in God. But I pray that I may live so that God may have Confidence in me. I think it folly to pray that I may have Confidence in God for He is right all the time and if we will live so that he may have Confidence in us we will do well.

It is our duty to make all the improvemet we Can while we live. All that we see here on the Earth is a similitude of what is in heaven. We have the Elements all around us to beautify & adorn Zion but we should not set our hearts upon Gold or silver or any thing upon Earth But sanctify the Lord in our Hearts. Then we shall partake of Eternal life.

I say to the 14 ward if you occupy this House in the fear of God it will prove a Blessing to you. In the time of the persecution in Missouri we had to walk up & sign a Deed of trust to pay the Expenses of the mob in driving out the Saints. They said Jo Smith Could not make the saints Consecrate but we Can make them Consecrate.

The Saints here Complained of paying a little tax and a little tithing money. I dont know but the Lord will let us pay a little money tax to the Devil. The Governmet requires a direr tax of some $27,000 dollars. When you have parties in this House dont admit drunken men into it.

Another principle I wish to speak of if the Bishop wishes to invite a Gentile in dont let the people Complain about it for when a Gentile Comes in here and the priesthood rules the Gentiles Can do no hurt. But Let an Elder or any latter Day Saints go & attend a party among the Gentiles whare they reign and it is vary different. That would be rong. We should never bow down to the wicked. We should never descend but asscend & try to Elevate others to our standard.

Men Come here from the States & profess to be asstonished at our History and improvements and they Come here Expecting to accomplish that which they will not do. Most of the Officers which the Government have Sent here are a Hiss and a By word and a stink in the nostrails of all good men and there never was a wickeder man than the Presidet of the United States and so are his associates vary wicked men.

I hope we will strive to magnify our lives which God has given us, for we shall either go on to life Everlasting, or descend to Everlasting destruction. If we were all pure in heart as we should be we would have power to hold our Children & not bury them as we now do. Now go to & dedicate your hearts & your houses and all you have unto God.

I feel to bless you in the name of the Lord. We are in a world of Sin, darkness & temptation, and any man who will not be faithful to this life how Can He Expect to obtain Eternal Life? We have got the kingdom of God Esstablish on the Earth and what we Cannot Bind to the kingdom of God we will let go.

President Young was followed by D. H. Wells & O Hyde. They both made many good remarks.

I spent the Afternoon in the Legislature and in the evening I attended a party at the 14 ward School House the first Held in the Hall. (1)

1 - Wilford Woodruff's Journal: 1833-1898 Typescript, Volumes 1-9, Edited by Scott G. Kenney, Signature Books 1993, http://amzn.to/newmormonstudies

LDS History Chronology: the Word of Wisdom

Mormon Timeline: the Word of Wisdom