Brigham young: Capitalism skeptic, Part 2

Updated: Aug 24


This week, quotes from Brother Brigham on economics.


“Brethren, we are gathering to this beautiful land, to build up Zion… But since I have been here I perceive the spirit of selfishness. Covetousness exists in the hearts of the Saints… Here are those who begin to spread out, buying up all the land they are able to do, to the exclusion of the poorer ones who are not so much blessed with this world’s goods, thinking to lay foundations for themselves only, looking to their own individual families, and those who are to follow them.


“Now I want to tell you, that Zion cannot be built up in any such way… I see signs put out, Beer signs, speculative schemes are being introduced. This is the way of the world, Babylon indeed, and I tell you in the name of the God of Israel, if there is not repentance… and a turning from such ungodliness, covetousness and self-will, you will be broken up and scattered from this choice land to the four winds of Heaven.”


“I have seen many cases… where the young lady would have to take her clothing on a Saturday night and wash it, in order that she might go to meeting on the Sunday with a clean dress on. Who is she laboring for? For those who, many of them, are living in luxury. And, to serve the classes that are living on them, the poor, the laboring men and women are toiling, working their lives out to earn that which will keep a little life in them. Is this equality? No! What is going to be done? The Latter-day Saints will never accomplish their mission until this inequality shall cease on the earth.”


“The Latter-day Saints, in their conduct and acts with regard to financial matters, are like the rest of the world. The course pursued by men of business in the world has a tendency to make a few rich, and to sink the masses of the people in poverty and degradation. Too many of the elders of Israel take this course. No matter what comes they are for gain – for gathering around them riches; and when they get rich, how are those riches used? Spent on the lusts of the flesh.”


“There are men in this community who, through the force of the education they have received from their parents and friends, would cheat a poor widow out of her last cow, and then go down upon their knees and thank God for the good fortune He has sent them and for his kind providence that enabled them to obtain a cow without becoming amenable to any law of the land, though the poor widow has been actually cheated.”


And to close, a quote from Gandhi:


“Earth provides enough to satisfy every man’s need, but not enough for every man’s greed.”


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