Brigham Young, “Proclamation: For a Day of Praise and Thanksgiving for the Territory of Utah,” Ensign, Nov 1971, 40
I, Brigham Young, Governor of the Territory aforesaid, in response to the time-honoured custom of our fathers at Plymouth Rock, by the Governors of the several States and Territories, and with a heart filled with humiliation, and gratitude to the Fountain of all good, for His multiplied munificence to His children, have felt desirous to, and Do Proclaim Thursday, the First Day of January, Eighteen Hundred and Fifty-Two a Day of Praise and Thanksgiving for the citizens of this our peaceful Territory; in honour of the God of Abraham, who has preserved His children amid all the vicissitudes they have been called to pass; for His tender mercies in preserving the nation undivided in which we live; for causing the Gospel of His kingdom to spread and take root upon the earth, beyond the power of men and demons to destroy; and that He has promised a day of universal joy and rejoicing to all the inhabitants who shall remain when the earth shall have been purified by fire and rest in peace.
And I recommend to all the good citizens of Utah, that they abstain from everything that is calculated to mar or grieve the Spirit of their heavenly Father on that day; that they rise early in the morning of the first day of the new year, and wash their bodies with pure water; that all men attend to their flocks and herds with carefulness; and see that no creature in their charge is hungry, thirsty, or cold; while the women are preparing the best of food for their households, and their children ready to receive it in cleanliness and with cheerfulness; then let the head of each family, with his family, bow down upon his knees before the God of Israel, and acknowledging all his sins and the sins of his household, call upon the Father, in the name of Jesus, for every blessing that he desires for himself, his kindred, the Israel of God, the universe of man; praying with full purpose of heart and united faith, that the union of the United States may be preserved inviolate against all the devices of wicked men, until truth shall reign triumphant, and the glory of Jehovah shall fill the earth; then in the name of Jesus, ask the Father to bless your food; and when you have filled the plates of your household, partake with them, with rejoicing and thanksgiving; and if you feel to make merry in your hearts, sing a song of thanksgiving, and lift up your hearts continually in praise and acknowledgment of the unbounded mercies you are momentarily receiving. I also request of all good and peaceful citizens, that they abstain from all evil thinking, speaking, and acting on that day; that no one be offended by his neighbour; that all jars and discords cease; that neighbourhood broils may be unknown; that tattlers and strife may not be remembered; that evil surmising may be forgotten; that all may learn the truth, and have no need of Priests to teach them; that all may be well, and have no need of doctors; that all may cease their quarrels, and starve the lawyers; that all may do as they would be done unto, so that perfect love which casteth out all fear may reign triumphant, and there shall be nothing to disturb the quiet of an infant in all the Territory of Utah; that there be no contention in the land; and that the same peace may extend its influence to the utmost bounds of the Everlasting Hills, and from thence to the habitation of every man and beast, to the ends of the earth, till the leopard shall lie down with the kid, the lion shall eat straw like the ox, and the babe shall lay his hand upon the cockatrice’s den, and find peace to its soul.
I further request, that when the day has been spent in doing good; in dealing your bread, your butter, your beef, your pork, your turkeys, your molasses, and the choicest of all the products of the vallies of the mountains, at your command, to the poor; that you end the day in the same order, and on the same principle that you commenced it; that you eat your supper with singleness of heart, as unto the Lord, after praise and thanksgiving, and songs of rejoicing; remembering that you cannot be filled with the Holy Spirit, and be preparing for celestial glory, while the meanest menial under your charge or control, is in want of the smallest thing which God has given you power to supply; remembering that that menial is dependent on you for its comforts, as you are dependent on your God for your constant support. Retire to your beds early, that you may be refreshed, and arise early again, and so continue until times and seasons are changed; or, finally, I say unto you, let the same process be continued from day to day, until you arrive unto one of the days of Kolob (where day is 1000 of our years), the planet nearest unto the habitation of the Eternal Father.
Done at the Executive Office, Great Salt Lake City; in witness whereof I have hereunto set my hand, and caused the seal of the Territory to be affixed, this 19th day of December, a.d. 1851, and of the independence of the United States, the seventy-sixth.^ Back to top