My exhortation to every man, woman, and child that has named the name of Christ—my positive command to you, which I urge upon you, and which it is your imperative duty to hearken to and obey, is to so live every moment that there will not be a dark spot upon your lives—that you can say every night, "The last is the best day I have ever lived. God be praised that I have been enabled to so live this day that I can go to sleep with a clear conscience." In short, so live that when you wake in the spirit world you can truthfully say, "I could not better my mortal life, were I to live it over again." I exhort you, for the sake of the house of Israel, for the sake of Zion which we are to build up, to so live, from this time, henceforth, and forever, that your characters may with pleasure be scrutinized by holy beings. Live godly lives, which you cannot do without living moral lives.
A man can commit sin, and return to the Lord and receive forgiveness; but who has the assurance that he will have power to repent? Who has the right and privilege granted unto him to swear, or to take that which is not his own and make use of it for himself? I know of no such right. Who has a right to commit adultery? If anyone has such a permit from the Almighty, bring it forth and let us read it to the congregation, that we may know it. Who has a right to bear false witness? Who has a right to defile himself by getting drunk? If you have this right, let us see it. If you have a right to disgrace your wives and children in the eyes of the people, and God says it is just and true, bring out your authority and let us see it. I know of no person who has a right to sin.
"Brother Brigham, don't you sometimes sin?" If I do, it is none of your business; and the whole of you are not smart enough to catch me in a wrong. Look back at my life since I have been preaching the Gospel, and point out, if you can, the iniquity I have committed. "Have you not taken the name of God in vain?" Not the first time have I ever used the name of my Savior, or the name of a holy angel, or the name of the mother of Jesus, or the name of our Father in heaven with trifling feelings. "Have you not taken that which was not your own?" No; and I have not been able to get half of what is my own. I am going to have much more than I now have—not twice or thrice, but a hundredfold more. I never yet felt that I had license to commit a sin; and if I have not, who has?
Some may imagine that I am boasting: you may call it what you please. God has preserved my feet and tongue, and I am here today, though not so good as I ought to be; and you are not so good as you ought to be: there is a chance for us all to be much better. Where is there a boy in this community who has the right to disgrace his father by sin? Where is the daughter who has the right to disgrace her mother by defiling herself? Have you such a license, young women? Have you such a license, young men? If you cannot show your license to commit sin, we shall consider you impostors, and that you have no right and do not belong to our society. We will disfellowship all such men and women, whether old or young: they are already disfellowshipped in my feelings.
Brigham Young Journal of Discourses 8:162