Mormon Quotes

Whiskey

Brigham Young
When there was no whiskey to be had here, and we needed it for rational purposes, I built a house to make it in. When the distillery was almost completed and in good working order, an army was heard of in our vicinity and I shut up the works. I did not make a gallon of whiskey at my works, because it came here in great quantities, more than was needed. I could have made thousands of dollars from my still, which has ever since been as dead property. Have others followed my example in this? They have not, but there was a whiskey shop established here and another there. Some have even told me that they would starve if they did not make whiskey. I said to them, make it then, and be damned, for they will be damned anyhow. Am not I able to make whiskey? Yes; there stands the still and the still‑house this day, which I have never used and from which I might make thousands of dollars. Have I made whiskey and sold it in what some call Whiskey Street? No. Had I done so how many would have hailed me with, 'You are a good man, brother Brigham, and you are the right man to lead Israel; thank God for such a man: he keeps a whiskey shop, drinks liquor, trades with our enemies and hugs them to his heart as long as there is any money in their pockets, and takes them to his house and introduces them to his wives and daughters; what a blessed man brother Brigham is.'
Brigham Young, Journal of Discourses 10:206 (JournalOfDiscourses.com)
Brigham Young
You go through the wards in the city, and then through the wards in the country, and ask the Bishops — 'Do you keep the Word of Wisdom?' The reply will be 'Yes; No, not exactly.' 'Do you drink tea?' 'No.' 'Coffee?' 'No.' 'Do you drink whiskey?' 'No.' 'Well, then, why do you not observe the Word of Wisdom?' 'Well, this tobacco, I cannot give it up.' And in this he sets an example to every man, and to every boy over ten years of age, in his ward, to nibble at and chew tobacco. You go to another ward, and perhaps the Bishop does not chew tobacco, nor drink tea or coffee, but once in a while he takes a little spirits, and keeps whiskey in his house, in which he will occasionally indulge — Go to another ward, and perhaps the Bishop does not drink whiskey nor chew tobacco, but he 'cannot give up his tea and coffee.' And so it goes on through the whole church. Not every Bishop indulges in one or more of these habits, but most of them do. I recollect being at a trial not long since where quite a number of Bishops had been called in as witnesses, but I could not learn that there was one who did not drink whiskey, and I think that most of them drank tea and coffee. I think that we have some bishops in this city who do not chew tobacco, nor drink liquor nor tea nor coffee to excess.... If a person is weary, worn out, cast down, fainting, or dying, a brandy sling, a little wine, or a cup of tea is good to revive them. Do not throw these things away, and say they must never be used; they are good to be used with judgment, prudence, and discretion. Ask our bishops if they drink tea every day, and in most cases, they will tell you they do if they can get it.
Brigham Young, Journal of Discourses 12:402 (JournalOfDiscourses.com)
Brigham Young
When there was no whiskey to be had here, and we needed it for rational purposes, I built a house to make it in. When the distillery was almost completed and in good working order, an army was heard of in our vicinity and I shut up the works. I did not make a gallon of whiskey at my works, because it came here in great quantities, more than was needed. I could have made thousands of dollars from my still, which has ever since been as dead property. Have others followed my example in this? They have not, but there was a whiskey shop established here and another there. Some have even told me that they would starve if they did not make whiskey. I said to them, make it then, and be damned, for they will be damned anyhow. Am not I able to make whiskey? Yes; there stands the still and the still‑house this day, which I have never used and from which I might make thousands of dollars. Have I made whiskey and sold it in what some call Whiskey Street? No. Had I done so how many would have hailed me with, 'You are a good man, brother Brigham, and you are the right man to lead Israel; thank God for such a man: he keeps a whiskey shop, drinks liquor, trades with our enemies and hugs them to his heart as long as there is any money in their pockets, and takes them to his house and introduces them to his wives and daughters; what a blessed man brother Brigham is.'
Brigham Young, Journal of Discourses 10:206 (JournalOfDiscourses.com)
Joseph F. Smith
Some of our pretend pious people, a few years ago, were shocked and horrified by seeing the symbol of the All‑Seeing Eye and the words 'Holiness to the Lord' in gilt letters over the front of Zion's cooperative Mercantile Institution. Especially was this the case with some of our brethren when they found these letters over the drug department of Z.C.M.I. Why was it? Why some of these pious (?) Mormons found that Z.C.M.I. under the symbol of the All‑Seeing Eye and the sacred words, 'Holiness to the Lord,' said tea and coffee, and tobacco, and other tings possibly that Latter‑day Saints ought not to use; and at the drug store, Z.C.M.I. kept liquors of various kinds for medicinal purposes. It was terribly shocking to some of the Latter‑day Saints that under these holy words liquor should be kept for sale. Has it injured me, in any sense of the word, because Z.C.M.I. drug store kept liquor for sale? Has it made me a drunkard? Have I been under the necessity of guzzling liquid poison? Have I made myself a sot because liquor was kept for sale by Z.C.M.I.? I am not worse for it, thank the Lord. And who else is? No one, except those pious Mormons (?) who in open day or under the cover of night would go into the drug store and buy liquor to drink.... Those who were most horrified at seeing the All‑Seeing Eye and 'Holiness to the Lord' over the front door of Z.C.M.I., I will guarantee are the ones that have bought the most tea and coffee, tobacco and whiskey there.... It does not matter to me how much tea and coffee Z.C.M.I. sells, so long as I do not buy it. If I do not drink it am I not all right? And if the poor creature that wants it can get it there, that ought to satisfy him. If he could not get it there, he would not patronize Z.C.M.I. at all, but would go some where else to deal.
Joseph F. Smith, Conference Report, April 1898, p. 11
Gordon B. Hinckley
In 1933, there was a movement in the United States to overturn the law which prohibited commerce in alcoholic beverages. When it came to a vote, Utah was the deciding state. President Heber J. Grant, then President of this Church, had pleaded with our people against voting to nullify Prohibition. It broke his heart when so many members of the Church in this state disregarded his counsel. How grateful, my brethren, I feel, how profoundly grateful for the tremendous faith of so many Latter‑day Saints who, when facing a major decision on which the Church has taken a stand, align themselves with that position.
Gordon B. Hinckley, April 2003 General Conference, "Loyalty"
Joseph Smith III
About 1842, a new and larger house was built for us.... Father proceeded to build an extensive addition running out from the south wing to the east.... At any rate, it seemed spacious then, and a sign was put out giving it the dignified name of 'The Nauvoo Mansion,' ... Mother was to be installed as landlady, and soon made a trip to Saint Louis.... When she returned Mother found installed in the keeping‑room of the hotel ‑ that is to say, the main room where the guests assembled and where they were received upon arrival — a bar, with counter, shelves, bottles, glasses, and other paraphernalia customary for a fully‑equipped tavern bar, and Porter Rockwell in charge as tender. She was very much surprised and disturbed over this arrangement, but said nothing for a while... she asked me where Father was. I told her he was in the front room... Then she told me to go and tell him she wished to see him. I obeyed, and returned with him to the hall where Mother awaited him. 'Joseph,' she asked, 'for the spiritual head of a religious body to be keeping a hotel in which is a room fitted out as a liquor‑selling establishment.' He reminded her that all taverns had their bars at which liquor was sold or dispensed. Mother's reply came emphatically clear, though uttered quietly: 'Well, Joseph, ... I will take my children and go across to the old house and stay there, for I will not have them raised up under such conditions as this arrangement imposes on us, nor have them mingle with the kind of men who frequent such a place. You are at liberty to make your choice; either that bar goes out the house, or we will!' It did not take Father long to make that choice, for he replied immediately, 'Very well, Emma; I will have it removed at once' — and he did.
Joseph Smith III, The Saint's Herald, January 22, 1935, p. 101
Hubert Howe Bancroft
Stills were afterward obtained from emigrants, and the manufacture and sale of alcohol were later controlled by the city councils. The first bar‑room in S.L. City, and the only one for years, was in the Salt Lake House, owned by President Young and Feramorz Little. It was opened for the accommodation of travelers, whose requirements would be supplied by some one, and it was thought by the brethren that they had better control the trade than have outsiders do so.
Hubert Howe Bancroft, History of Utah, p. 540, footnote 44
Ezra Pierce
Did young Joe drink? Everybody drank them times.... They would have it at huskings, and in the harvest field, and places of gathering; the Smiths did not drink more than others.
Ezra Pierce, Saint's Herald, v. 28, no. 11, June 1881, p. 163
Ezra Pierce
[It was] common then for everybody to drink, and to have a drink in the field; one time Joe, while working for some one after he was married, drank too much boiled cider. He came in with his shirt torn; his wife felt bad about it, and when they went home, she put her shawl on him.
Ezra Pierce, Saint's Herald, v. 28, no. 11, June 1, 1881, p. 167
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