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    Mormonism.ca - Story Of

In Illinois

A State Of Civil War
After Smith's Death - Rigdon's Last Days
After The War
Attitude Of The Mormons During The Southern Rebellion
Beginning Of Active Hostilities
Blood Atonement
Brigham Young
Brigham Young's Death - His Character
Brigham Young's Despotism
Colonel Kane's Mission
Early Political History
Eastern Visitors To Salt Lake City - Unpunished Murderers
Even More On The History Of Mormonism
Even More On The Religious Puzzle
Facility Of Human Belief
First Announcement Of The Golden Bible
From The Mississippi To The Missouri
From The Rockies To Salt Lake Valley
Fruitless Negotiations With The Jackson County People
Gentile Irruption And Mormon Schism
Gifts Of Tongues And Miracles
Growth Of The Church
History Of Mormonism
How Joseph Smith Became A Money-digger
In Clay Caldwell And Daviess Counties
Introductory Remarks
Last Days At Kirtland
More On Mormonism Social Puzzle
More On The History Of Mormonism
More On The Religious Puzzle
Mormon Treatment Of Federal Officers
Mormonism The Political Puzzle
Nauvoo After The Exodus
Notes On The History Of Mormonism
Organization Of The Church
Preparations For The Long March
Progress Of The Settlement
Public Announcement Of The Doctrine Of Polygamy
Radical Dissensions In The Church - Origin Of The Danites - Tithing
Renewed Trouble For The Mormons - The Burnings
Rivalries Over The Succession
Sidney Rigdon
Smith A Candidate For President Of The United States
Smith's Falling Out With Bennett And Higbee
Smith's First Visits To Missouri Founding The City And The Temple
Smith's Ohio Business Enterprises
Smith's Picture Of Himself As Autocrat
Social Aspects Of Polygamy
Social Conditions In Nauvoo
Some Church-inspired Murders
The Building Up Of The City - Foreign Proselyting
The Camps On The Missouri
The Different Accounts Of The Revelation Of The Bible
The Directions To The Saints About Their Zion
The Evacuation Of Nauvoo - The Last Mormon War
The Everlasting Gospel
The Expulsion From Jackson County The Army Of Zion
The Expulsion Of The Mormons
The Fight Against Polygamy - Statehood
The Final Expulsion From The State
The First Converts At Kirtland
The Following Companies - Last Days On The Missouri
The Foreign Immigration To Utah
The Founding Of Salt Lake City
The Hand-cart Tragedy
The Institution Of Polygamy
The Last Years Of Brigham Young
The Mormon Battalion
The Mormon Bible
The Mormon Purpose
The Mormon War
The Mormonism Of To-day
The Mormons In Politics - Missouri Requisitions For Smith
The Mormons' Beliefs And Doctrines Church Government
The Mountain Meadows Massacre
The Murder Of The Prophet - His Character
The Nauvoo City Government - Temple And Other Buildings
The Peace Commission
The Pioneer Trip Across The Plains
The Political Puzzle
The Political Puzzle Continued
The Reception Of The Mormons
The Reformation
The Religious Puzzle
The Religious Puzzle Notes
The Settlement Of Nauvoo
The Smith Family
The Social And Society Puzzle
The Social Puzzle
The Social Puzzle Notes
The Spaulding Manuscript
The Suppression Of The Expositor
The Territorial Government - Judge Brocchus's Experience
The Witnesses To The Plates
Translation And Publication Of The Bible
Uprising Of The Non-mormons Smith's Arrest
Wild Vagaries Of The Converts


The Story Of The Mormons

A State Of Civil War
After The War
Attitude Of The Mormons During The Southern Rebellion
Beginning Of Active Hostilities
Blood Atonement
Brigham Young's Death - His Character
Brigham Young's Despotism
Colonel Kane's Mission
Early Political History
Eastern Visitors To Salt Lake City - Unpunished Murderers
Facility Of Human Belief
First Announcement Of The Golden Bible
From The Mississippi To The Missouri
From The Rockies To Salt Lake Valley
Fruitless Negotiations With The Jackson County People
Gentile Irruption And Mormon Schism
Gifts Of Tongues And Miracles
Growth Of The Church
How Joseph Smith Became A Money-digger
In Clay Caldwell And Daviess Counties
Last Days At Kirtland
Mormon Treatment Of Federal Officers
Nauvoo After The Exodus
Organization Of The Church
Preparations For The Long March
Progress Of The Settlement
Radical Dissensions In The Church - Origin Of The Danites - Tithing
Sidney Rigdon
Smith's First Visits To Missouri Founding The City And The Temple
Smith's Ohio Business Enterprises
Social Aspects Of Polygamy
Some Church-inspired Murders
The Camps On The Missouri
The Different Accounts Of The Revelation Of The Bible
The Directions To The Saints About Their Zion
The Everlasting Gospel
The Expulsion From Jackson County The Army Of Zion
The Fight Against Polygamy - Statehood
The First Converts At Kirtland
The Following Companies - Last Days On The Missouri
The Foreign Immigration To Utah
The Founding Of Salt Lake City
The Hand-cart Tragedy
The Last Years Of Brigham Young
The Mormon Battalion
The Mormon Bible
The Mormon Purpose
The Mormon War
The Mormonism Of To-day
The Mormons' Beliefs And Doctrines Church Government
The Mountain Meadows Massacre
The Peace Commission
The Pioneer Trip Across The Plains
The Reformation
The Smith Family
The Spaulding Manuscript
The Territorial Government - Judge Brocchus's Experience
The Witnesses To The Plates
Translation And Publication Of The Bible
Wild Vagaries Of The Converts



Brigham Young








Brigham Young, the man who had succeeded in expelling Rigdon and
establishing his own position as head of the church, was born in
Whitingham, Windham County, Vermont, on June 1, 1801. The precise
locality of his birth in that town is in dispute. His father, a
native of Massachusetts, is said to have served under Washington
during the Revolutionary War. The family consisted of eleven
children, five sons and six daughters, of whom Brigham was the
ninth. The Youngs moved to Whitingham in January, 1801. In his
address at the centennial celebration of that town in 1880, Clark
Jillson said, "Henry Goodnow, Esq., of this town says that
Brigham Young's father came here the poorest man that ever had
been in town; that he never owned a cow, horse, or any land, but
was a basket maker." Mormon accounts represent the elder Young as
having been a farmer.

His circumstances permitted him to give his children very little
education, and, when sixteen years old, Brigham seems to have
started out to make his own living, working as a carpenter,
painter, and glazier, as jobs were offered. He was living in
Aurelius, Cayuga County, New York, in 1824, working at his trade,
and there, in October of that year, he married his first wife,
Miriam Works. In 1829 they moved to Mendon, Monroe County, New
York.

Joseph Smith's brother, in the following year, left a copy of the
Mormon Bible at the house of Brigham's brother Phineas in Mendon,
and there Brigham first saw it. Occasional preaching by Mormon
elders made the new faith a subject of conversation in the
neighborhood, and Phineas was an early convert. Brigham stated in
a sermon in Salt Lake City, on August 8, 1852, that he examined
the new Bible for two years before deciding to receive it. He was
baptized into the Mormon church on April 14, 1832. His wife, who
also embraced the faith, died in September of that year, leaving
him two daughters.

Young married his second wife, Mary A. Angel, in Kirtland on
March 31, 1834. His application for a marriage license is still
on file among the records of the Probate Court at Chardon, now
the shire town of Geauga County, Ohio, and his signature is a
proof of his illiterateness, showing that he did not know how to
spell his own baptismal name, spelling it "Bricham."

Young began preaching and baptizing in the neighborhood, having
at once been made an elder, and in the autumn of 1832, after
Smith's second return from Missouri, he visited Kirtland and
first saw the prophet. Mormon accounts of this visit say that
Young "spoke in tongues," and that Smith pronounced his language
"the pure Adamic," and then predicted that he would in time
preside over the church. It is not at all improbable that Joseph
did not hesitate to interpret Brigham's "tongues," but at that
time he was thinking of everything else but a successor to
himself.

Young, with his brother Joseph, went from Kirtland on foot to
Canada, where he preached and baptized, and whence he brought
back a company of converts. He worked at his trade in Kirtland
(preaching as called upon) from that time until 1834, when he
accompanied the "Army of Zion" to Missouri, being one of the
captains of tens. Returning with the prophet, he was employed on
the Temple and other church buildings for the next three years
(superintending the painting of the Temple), when he was not
engaged in other church work. Having been made one of the
original Quorum of Twelve in 1835, he devoted a good deal of time
in the warmer months holding conferences in New York State and
New England.

When open opposition to Smith manifested itself in Kirtland,
Young was one of his firmest defenders. He attended a meeting in
an upper room of the Temple, the object of which was to depose
Smith and place David Whitmer in the Presidency, leading in the
debate, and declaring that he "knew that Joseph was a prophet."
According to his own statement, he learned of a plot to kill
Smith as he was returning from Michigan in a stage-coach, and met
the coach with a horse and buggy, and drove the prophet to
Kirtland unharmed. When Smith found it necessary to flee from
Ohio, Young followed him to Missouri with his family, arriving at
Far West on March 14, 1838. He sailed to Liverpool on a mission
in 1840, remaining there a little more than a year.

In all the discords of the church that occurred during Smith's
life, Young never incurred the prophet's displeasure, and there
is no evidence that he ever attempted to obtain any more power or
honor for himself than was voluntarily accorded to him. He gave
practical assistance to the refugees from Missouri as they
arrived at Quincy, but there is no record of his prominence in
the discussions there over the future plans for the church. The
prophet's liking for him is shown in a revelation dated at
Nauvoo, July 9; 1841 (Sec. 126), which said:--

"Dear and beloved brother Brigham Young, verily thus saith the
Lord unto you, my servant Brigham, it is no more required at your
hand to leave your family as in times past, for your offering is
acceptable to me; I have seen your labor and toil in journeyings
for my name. I therefore command you to send my word abroad, and
take special care of your family from this time, henceforth, and
forever. Amen."

The apostasy of Marsh and the death of Patton had left Young the
President of the Twelve, and that was the position in which he
found himself at the time of Smith's death.

One of the first subjects which Young had to decide concerned
"revelations." Did they cease with Smith's death, or, if not, who
would receive and publish them? Young made a statement on this
subject at the church conference held at Nauvoo on October 6 of
that year, which indicated his own uncertainty on the subject,
and which concluded as follows, "Every member has the right of
receiving revelations for themselves, both male and female." As
if conscious that all this was not very clear, he closed by
making a declaration which was very characteristic of his future
policy: "If you don't know whose right it is to give revelations,
I will tell you. It is I."* We shall see that the discontinuance
of written "revelations" was a cause of complaint during all of
Young's subsequent career in Utah, but he never yielded to the
demand for them.

* Times and Seasons, Vol. V, pp. 682-683.


At the conference in Nauvoo Young selected eighty-five men from
the Quorum of high priests to preside over branches of the church
in all the congressional districts of the United States; and he
took pains to explain to them that they were not to stay six
months and then return, but "to go and settle down where they can
take their families and tarry until the Temple is built, and then
come and get their endowments, and return to their families and
build up a Stake as large as this." Young's policy evidently was,
while not imitating Rigdon's plan to move the church bodily to
the East, to build up big branches all over the country, with a
view to such control of affairs, temporal and spiritual, as could
be attained. "If the people will let us alone," he said to this
same conference, "we will convert the world."

Many members did not look on the Twelve as that head of the
church which Smith's revelations had decreed. It was argued by
those who upheld Rigdon and Strang, and by some who remained with
the Twelve, that the "revelations" still required a First
Presidency. The Twelve allowed this question to remain unsettled
until the brethren were gathered at Winter Quarters, Iowa, after
their expulsion from Nauvoo, and Young had returned from his
first trip to Salt Lake valley. The matter was taken up at a
council at Orson Hyde's house on December 5, 1847, and it was
decided, but not without some opposing views, to reorganize the
church according to the original plan, with a First Presidency
and Patriarch. In accordance with this plan, a conference was
held in the log tabernacle at Winter Quarters on December 24, and
Young was elected President and John Smith Patriarch. Young
selected Heber C. Kimball and Willard Richards to be his
counsellors, and the action of this conference was confirmed in
Salt Lake City the following October. Young wrote immediately
after his election, "This is one of the happiest days of my
life."

The vacancies in the Twelve caused by these promotions, and by
Wight's apostasy, were not filled until February 12, 1849, in
Salt Lake City, when Lorenzo Snow, Erastus Snow, C. C. Rich, and
F. D. Richards were chosen.





Next: Renewed Trouble For The Mormons - The Burnings

Previous: Rivalries Over The Succession



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