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you cannot hide the heart when the mouth is open

You have been taught the standard of right. Now subdue your rebellious passions, dismiss everything that you know or consider to be wrong, and embrace that which is better. Get wisdom and all the light you possibly can, and never live another twenty-four hours without the Holy Spirit of the Lord, and that will give you joy, peace, comfort, light, and intelligence, by which you can grow in grace and in the knowledge of the Lord Jesus Christ. I cannot reach these attainments, neither can you, only by the light and intelligence which flow from heaven. You may say, "Brother Brigham, you are like the rest of us: we see our faults, but we do not like to acknowledge them; we like to have them covered up and kept out of the sight of our neighbors." If you find a secret fault, dismiss it secretly. Let your faults go behind you; turn them overboard, and for ever disown them. If no person but yourselves has seen your faults, you are blessed. You may then get rid of them without their being made manifest to others.
If men and women, and more especially women, for they love chit-chat, when they feel in any way bad, or a little cross, or feel as though somebody is out of the way, and feel like finding fault with their neighbor and exposing this one's fault and the other one's fault, would only be as secret on the faults of others as they are on their own, it would be beneficial to their welfare and that of their neighbors. When a person opens his mouth, no matter what he talks about, to a person of quick discernment, he will disclose more or less of his true sentiments. You cannot hide the heart, when the mouth is open. If you want to keep your heart secret, keep your mouth shut.
Some say, "I feel as though I must boil over, and I must talk to relieve myself." All hell is boiling over; but does that make it any better? No. If you let your tongue run, and it scatters the poison that is in you, it sets the whole being on fire. The Apostle James says, "And the tongue is a fire, a world of iniquity; so is the tongue among our members, that it defileth the whole body, and setteth on fire the course of nature, and it is set on fire of hell." And again, "But the tongue can no man tame: it is an unruly evil, full of deadly poison." Are you aware of this, sisters and brethren? If you keep silent, you can master your feelings, can subdue your passions, and ultimately become masters of them and banish them from you. If you give way to your unbridled tongues, you increase anger within you, and the first you know your blood is boiling with wrath. That is what the Apostle meant when he wrote, "It setteth on fire the whole course of nature, and it is set on fire of hell." It is hell that sets it agoing. If you find that you cannot keep your tongue still, get some India-rubber and chew it with all your might. Do as brother Joseph Sharp did when he assisted in conveying Mrs. Mogo to the soldier's camp. He considered that the soldiers rather imposed upon him and his brother Adam, and he was for fight; but Adam, who is not so impetuous, coaxed him into the wagon, where he laid down on his face, and in two hours chewed up almost a whole plug of tobacco. In such cases a good piece of India-rubber is better cheaper, and will last longer; though it would be better for you to chew up a whole plug of tobacco than to have a real quarrel with your tongues. You would not in a long time get over the effects of a quarrel: it would be like a cankerworm to your souls.
There is not a person on the earth, that has sense enough to know what experience is, but what, if they would bridle their tongues and subdue their passions, could say, "I have not injured anybody—no, not even myself." It is no matter how you are tempted, if you do not give way to temptation; but if you give way to temptation, it carries you to destruction. If you give way to your angry feelings, it sets on fire the whole course of nature, and is set on fire of hell; and you are then apt to set those on fire who are contending with you. When you feel as though you would burst, tell the old boiler to burst, and just laugh at the temptation to speak evil. If you will continue to do that, you will soon be so masters of yourselves as to be able, if not to tame, to control your tongues,—able to speak when you ought, and to be silent when you ought.  (emphasis added)

Brigham Young, Journal of Discourses 6:74-75


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