Monday, May 18, 2009

Fun with Brigham Young

A few months after Margaret's birth, I came across this Brigham Young quote. I thought it was fun.

Would you want doctors? Yes, to set bones. We should want a good surgeon for that, or to cut off a limb. But do you want doctors? For not much of anything else, let me tell you, only the traditions of the people lead them to think so; and here is a growing evil in our midst. It will be so in a little time that not a woman in all Israel will dare to have a baby unless she can have a doctor by her. I will tell you what to do, you ladies, when you find you are going to have an increase, go off into some country where you cannot call for a doctor, and see if you can keep it. I guess you will have it, and I guess it will be all right, too. -Journal of Discouses, page 225
This is in the section of Brigham Young's view of Zion and a perfect society. He also disliked lawyers as you can see right before this quote. This was said at October General Conference in 1872. I imagine what the people were thinking when he said this; this was at a time where it was a rarity for a doctor to attend a birth. "Afraid to give birth without a doctor?! Why, Sister M did that last week and Sister B the week before!"

Just sharing this because I think it's fun.

20 comments:

  1. As interesting as that is we have to remember that is his journal and was never meant to be taken as scripture and was merely his own conclusions not those intended for the church.

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  2. Of course. I'm not saying, "This is doctrine!" I just thought it was fun to share considering the circumstances around Margaret's birth. Even I didn't "go off into some country where you cannot call for a doctor" living 3 blocks from the biggest, baddest hospital in the valley. :)

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  3. Not all lawyers are evil ;) There's an interesting book I came across while at school, about Joseph Smith's use of an appreciation of herbs, etc. Very interesting. *B

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  4. I think Brigham Young's quotes are really funny, this one included. I have to agree with is conclusions though.

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  5. I read a few biographies on Emma Smith a couple of years back. It seems she was quite the herbalist. In the years that she lived in Nauvoo after the Saints went west, she kept such a store of herbs that the doctor in town would often refer people to her for herbs. I would assume that she had a great knowledge of herbs her whole life.

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  6. I love Brigham Young! He also said "When man desires to live as long as a tree, his diet will be fruit."

    Of course its not doctrine, but which member of the chuch is going to call him a fool and say his opinions are stupid????? I ask you that!

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  7. Doctors and Lawyers both have a lot of power and some abuse that power. I would stay away from both unless completely necessary. That is an interesting quote from Brigham Young.

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  8. I love that quote :)

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  9. PS- that was me commenting, under my future lawyer of a husband ;) Also, I meant "use of AND appreciation..." I think Emma and I would have been great friends! *B

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  10. Bruce R McConkie also said that a black man would never hold the Priesthood. Our current prophet seems to support doctors, lawyers and even immunizations.

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  11. Oh man, I think this just became one of my all time favorite quotes! Isn't it funny how times change-- not always for the better.

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  12. Mubba, like I said in the comments above, I know this isn't doctrine and I'm not trying to give that impression. I just thought it was a fun quote.

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  13. Love it! Thankyou. I think that I met missionairies (elderly sisters) who read the Discourses. They said UB is great. Its so rare to hear that. I don't always agree with the prophets but sometimes they produce pure gems - doctrine or not.

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  14. I like that quote! I personally like doctors when it comes to having babies, but in general, we try to avoid them! In our experience, they seems to do more harm than good! (Not that they're all bad, but we have seen our share of bad ones!)

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  15. That is really neat! Thanks for sharing!

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  16. It is a fun quote. :D

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  17. I (on quite the opposite hand) am afraid to give birth WITH a doctor there. Doctors are effective when something is wrong...there is nothing "wrong" about child birth.

    Oh and Bruce R. McConkie wasn't a prophet so I'm not sure what that meant?

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  18. That quote is awesome. Of course it isn't doctrine, but it's cool!

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  19. Re: Christa

    I'm pretty sure that I've always sustained the Twelve Apostles as prophets, seers and revelators. But maybe you didn't, so whatever.

    What I'm saying is that many general authorities have said things that aren't to be taken as doctrine and that circumstances change with time. Yes, I know that Heather already said she isn't stating that it is doctrine. And there's nothing wrong with wanting a doctor present for a birth. Even in Brigham Young's time, many women at least used midwives.

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  20. thanks for posting because I have been trying to find this. I am lds and I find in my own church people have many different opinions. of coarse this was a long time ago but I think that almost all of it can be related today. the problem was he was a horrible speaker and didn't word things correctly and you have to read closely. when it comes to child birth I don't see him saying doctors are evil just that it is a growing problem with doctors in general. we get a bruise and demand a doctor. In a poor way he was expressing that women will be scared to have it without a doctor and that if you can't afford it or chose not to have intervention you will have it and be okay. doctors have a purpose and are needed but not in every instance. I am glad he said it because in my experience my births would have been perfect except for the intervention of doctors that weren't necessary. also it is important to know the history but we believe in a current prophet because we are learning a little at a time with each prophet and believe in modern revelation.

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