Brigham Young: “The Man for the Hour Will Be Ready Whenever the Hour Strikes”

January 27, 1998


The year 2000 is fast approaching, and more than passing interest is being expressed in many quarters as a global populace makes the transition from one millennium into the next. On the BYU campus, my friend Dr. Gordon E. Stokes and his colleagues in the Department of Computer Science are viewing the wreck created by CBOL (Common Business Oriented Language) programmers in the 1960s and 1970s,

when they ignored good design and set up a date field with just two digits, 00. In doing so they sowed the seeds of a business world nightmare in the year 2000 when many accounts, bookings, and benefits will experience disastrous results if the necessary corrections are not made.1

It’s panic time, and Software Magazine has just published its “Year 2000 Survival Guide.”2

In Great Britain, Prime Minister Tony Blair has said that the Millennium Dome, now being constructed on the prime meridian at Greenwich, will be “the most exciting thing to happen anywhere in the world in the year 2000.”3 A Washington, D.C., announcement has been made of a White House Millennium Project, “a yearlong celebration of American history, science, and culture,” replete with “millennium evenings at the White House” featuring noted speakers. Washington has also contacted a number of world leaders to discuss mutually beneficial millennium celebrations. One spokesperson observed, “This is a chance to reflect on our collective past and where we’re going together.”4

In the waning moments to the year 2000, I am sure that individually and unitedly as a Latter-day Saint community we will take occasion to reflect on our own collective past and to contemplate the future. Saints everywhere can look back with thankful hearts that we were part of this particular millennial era in which the gospel of Jesus Christ was restored in its fullness, an era when strong men and women received the word gladly and carefully laid the foundation for our own belief. This is a very unique block of time by eternal standards.

Among the key figures profoundly influencing the restoration process in the departing millennium has been President Brigham Young—truly a man for the ages. The First Presidency and Quorum of the Twelve Apostles have announced that in the years 1998 and 1999 an important element of the course of study for the Melchizedek Priesthood quorums and the Relief Society classes of the Church will be drawn from the book entitled Teachings of Presidents of the Church: Brigham Young. It is intended that every person in the Church eighteen years and over will receive a personal copy of this volume through a ward or branch. I am informed that approximately 4,000,000 copies have been published to meet current and anticipated needs in the years ahead and that there are some twenty-three language translations.

The work is designed to be part of your permanent home library and is stitched across the back for durability—not simply glued. In the introduction to the text, this statement is made: “This book reflects the desire of the First Presidency and the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles to deepen the doctrinal understanding of Church members and to awaken within them a greater desire to know the things of God.”5 The Ensign magazine has recently featured articles on the components of the new course of study in both the December 1997 and January 1998 issues. And for the February 1998 printing, BYU’s Ronald W. Walker has written an exceptional piece called “Brigham Young: Student of the Prophet.”6

Like you, I am excited about the prospect of absorbing the wealth of gospel understanding embedded in such a study. Although threads of President Young’s life are found throughout the new volume, the primary concentration is designedly on his teachings. Believing that your two-year study might be enhanced by some additional understanding of how the man was made, I would like to speak with you today about the historical Brigham and his early ministry.

Following the death of President Joseph F. Smith in 1918 and the transition of administration to President Heber J. Grant, apostle Orson F. Whitney reflected on the lives of the seven prophets who had thus far graced the dispensation of the fullness of times. He wisely observed:

Each succeeding President of the Church ought to vary in some respects from all other incumbents of that high and holy position. For this reason: The work of the Lord is always progressing, and consequently always changing—not its principles, nor its aims; but its plans, its instruments, and its methods of procedure. These are constantly changing, in order to meet new conditions and profit by them. Hence a variety of leaders is essential. To-day is not Yesterday, nor will To-morrow be To-day. The Lord provides the men and the means whereby He can best work, at any given time, for the carrying out of his wise and sublime purposes. The Man for the Hour will be ready whenever the Hour strikes.7

Though he himself was hundreds of miles away, the literal hour struck for Brigham Young at Carthage Jail precisely at “5 o’clock, 16 minutes, and 26 seconds” on the afternoon of June 27, 1844. A musket ball intended to dispatch John Taylor’s life was instead deflected off of his pocket watch. The hands of the smashed timepiece recorded the very instant when an infuriated mob besieged the prison and poured a murderous fire into jailer Stigall’s upstairs apartment.8Brother Taylor recalled:

It certainly was a terrible scene, streams of fire as thick as my arm passed by me as these men fired. . . . [It] was far from pleasant to be so near the muzzles of those fire arms as they belched forth their liquid flame and deadly balls.9

The Prophet Joseph Smith and his brother Hyrum were slain in the attack, and an inexorable moment of transition was set in motion for Brigham Young, president of the Quorum of the Twelve.

Brigham Young said of the Prophet Joseph Smith:

The Lord had his eye upon him, and upon his father, and upon his father’s father, and upon their progenitors clear back to . . . Adam. He has watched that family and that blood as it has circulated from its fountain to the birth of that man. He was foreordained in eternity to preside over this last dispensation.10

The Prophet Joseph Smith taught that “every man who has a calling to minister to the inhabitants of the world was ordained to that very purpose in the Grand Council of heaven before this world was.”11 I have no doubt that Brigham Young was also the recipient of a heavenly appointment and had a “watched” bloodline in his capacity of successor in office to the Prophet Joseph Smith.

Perhaps we can briefly establish a few ancestral roots for President Young. His father, John Young, was recruited at age sixteen in the 4th Massachusetts Brigade of Musketry, returning home to Hopkinton, Middlesex, Massachusetts, from the Revolutionary War in 1783.12 He became acquainted with nineteen-year-old Abigail Howe, nicknamed Nabby. She is described as being “a little above medium height” and having “blue eyes, with yellowish brown hair, folded in natural waves and ringlets across her shapely brow.” Nabby and her four sisters were identified by those who knew them as being “pretty girls, vivacious, musical and very popular.” These talented young women “were all singers and many social affairs were brightened by the duets and simple folk songs essayed by the Howe sisters.”13

Highly impressed by her refined and pious nature, John Young asked for the hand of Abigail Howe. The couple entered the bonds of matrimony on October 31, 1785, at Hopkinton.14 However, Nabby’s marriage was carried out “solely against the will of her parents, particularly her Father, for he thought it rather beneath him that his daughter should choose a servant boy, brought up in the kitchen” of Colonel John Jones—and an orphan at that!15

Daughters Nancy and Fanny were soon added to the Young household before John looked west, locating his little family in the Platauva district of east-central New York in what was then the township of Coxsackie, Albany County (where the village of Durham, Greene County, now stands). Another child, Rhoda, was born here on September 10, 1789.16

It was in this wilderness setting that John and his neighbor were attacked by a large black bear. The bear had been treed by dogs. Against John’s advice, his neighbor had wounded the treed bear with a load of shot, which only served to enrage the creature. John stood his ground and finally dispatched the attacker by jamming a long, sharpened stick into the bear’s mouth and throat, “which after a severe struggle brought the furious animal dead at his feet.”17

Nabby had a difficult time adjusting to these decidedly primitive surroundings. She was “full of fear and cares, together with a delicate state of health” when she wrote to her family in Hopkinton and explained her “lonely situation.” Her father, Phinehas Howe, “started two sleighs after his lost child, and her family.” John rather resented the intrusion on his affairs, as he thought their circumstances promising. However, yielding to the entreaties of his wife and the teamsters, who had been instructed not to return without her, the Youngs journeyed back to Hopkinton.18

Five additional siblings were born between 1791 and 1799. John, Jr., Nabby, Susannah, Joseph, and Phinehas Howe swelled the family ranks before John again left Hopkinton—this time for the Green Mountains of Vermont.19 Locating in the township of Whitingham, Windham County, John homesteaded 51 H acres purchased from his brother-in-law, Joseph Mosley, Sr. On what is known today as Brigham’s Hill, the ninth child and future prophet was born on June 1, 1801.20 Susa Young Gates and Leah D. Widtsoe affirmed, “His name Brigham was the surname of his uncle, Phinehas Brigham, who married his mother’s sister, Susanna.” However, Leonard J. Arrington has stated that Brigham was named “after the surname of Nabby’s maternal grandparents,” who were Sibil Brigham and Ebenezer Goddard. Local historian Doris Kirkpatrick averred that “substantial evidence points to the fact that John Young named his ninth child ’Brigham’ out of respect for his friend and contemporary—John Brigham of Whitingham.”21 I suspect that someday we may have to ask Brother Brigham, “Just where did you get that handle?”

Brigham’s mother was not well at the time of his birth. As a family member later reported, Nabby was “not robust in her constitution, she burned up her fires of youth in impetuous toil while constantly on the move with her pioneering husband.”22 During her mother’s perpetual sickness, daughter Fanny stepped in to assist with the newborn, “for the child had to be nursed from the bottle, and no one could pacify him but his sister Fanny, who was passionately fond of him. If need be she would have laid down her life for him.”23

Because of an ongoing controversy as to just where Brigham Young was born in Whitingham, I once spent ten days working with Arthur D. Wheeler, the town clerk, in hunting down the elusive site of origin.24 In off moments I had the opportunity to walk in the vast stillness of the Green Mountains and enjoy some contemplative periods standing on the banks of Sadawaga Pond. In that setting, which is still pristine, I gained a vibrancy of feeling for the Young family that is only engendered while in those selfsame environs so familiar to them. As S. Dilworth Young remarked:

If one listened, one could hear the z-r-r-r z-r-r-r of a cross cut saw as the older boys felled trees, intermingled with the thump! thump! of an ax as they trimmed off limbs. If one listened intently, he could hear the Gee! Haw! of John Young as he guided the oxen pulling the hand plow among the stumps.25

John’s restlessness again uprooted the family in 1804, and they journeyed to Sherburne, Chenango County, New York. Joseph Young stated:

The first place of our Residense was on one of the Hills of what was subsequently (Sherburne was Divided) called Smyrna at a farmhouse owned By a Man By the name of Philip Truax here we Spent the two first years [of] our Pilgramage.26

The Youngs eventually situated themselves some three miles southwest of the village of Smyrna, near Cold Brook, and on the road between “Dark Hollow” and “German Hollow.”27 In the midst of the hard labor demanded of an agrarian society, Susa Young Gates observed:

Father, mother, children, all of them, loved and made music. The mother was a choir singer in the Methodist congregation, where she and her God-fearing husband worshipped. Parents and children read and studied the Scriptures and they were eager students of the primitive schools of their neighbourhood during such periods as their almost nomadic life permitted.28

The family later moved to the Genoa/Lansingville area, where on June 11, 1815, the weak frame of Nabby finally gave out entirely at age forty-nine. Tuberculosis was the principal cause. Lorenzo Dow Young, her last child, said:

She frequently called me to her bedside and counseled me to be a good man that the Lord might bless my life. On one occasion she told me that if I would not neglect to pray to my Heavenly Father, he would send a guardian angel to protect me in the dangers to which I might be exposed.29

Brigham, who deeply loved his mother and was dutiful to her influence, reminisced:

Of my mother—she that bore me—I can say, no better woman ever lived in the world than she was. I have the feelings of a son towards her: I should have them—it is right; but I judge the matter pertaining to her from the principles and the spirit of the teachings I received from her.

Would she countenance one of her children in the least act that was wrong according to her traditions? No, not in the least degree.30

In all, eleven children had graced the household of Nabby and John—six girls and five boys. As was stated concerning that household, “All the children developed personal integrity; and each one on hearing the Gospel, accepted it with whole heart.”31

Local historians Richard Palmer and Karl Butler have found some accounts that strongly suggest that Nabby is buried in the old White Settlement Cemetery, a half-mile west of the village of Lansingville.32 I have stood with these men in that cemetery in an attempt to trace the vestiges of her final resting place.

On the move once again, the family situated themselves in the area of Tyrone and the “Sugar Hill” district of Steuben (now Schuyler) County. John purchased one hundred acres in “a dense forest fifteen miles from any settlement.”33 On one occasion fourteen-year-old Brigham and eight-year-old Lorenzo Dow were left home alone with an empty flour barrel for two days while their father traveled to the Indian trading establishment at Painted Post to exchange sixty pounds of maple sugar for needed flour. Hungry from the lack of nourishment, the boys spotted a robin, which lingered a moment too long. Securing his father’s musket, Brigham took careful aim and shot the bird. The robin, when properly boiled, and a creative additive of “two or three spoonfuls of flour” thumped out of the family barrel “with a stick,” provided a nourishing meal.34 I suggest to you students that at the appropriate time and place you may wish to stash away a few edibles for the lean days. Drawing your substance from nature isn’t always what it’s cooked up to be.

Referring to those challenging days at Tyrone, Brigham Young reported, “I have seen the time that I had not food to satisfy the craving of my nature,” and further commented, “I know what it is to be in poverty, and to be destitute of the raiment necessary to keep my body warm.” He learned to be “very close and economical,” he said, “for my father had to do it.”35

Brigham’s father proposed marriage to Hannah Dennis Brown in the Sugar Hill district about 1817. Hannah was a widow with a family of her own. She and John had three additional children. Hannah later struggled with the introduction of Mormonism into her Mendon household and would only join John, who gathered with the Saints in Kirtland, after nearly two years of separation. When John and the other members of the Young family elected to follow the Prophet to Missouri, Hannah again chose to return to her people in New York.36 It was an era of soul-wrenching decision making for many.

The year 1817 proved a pivotal point for Brigham. He related, “When I was sixteen years of age, my father said to me, ’You can now have your time; go and provide for yourself’; and a year had not passed away before I stopped running, jumping, wrestling and the laying out of my strength for naught.”37 On reflection, we can each imagine our own state of preparedness to provide for ourselves at age sixteen. I have been forever grateful for a nurturing home and the old Logan 5th Ward that saw me through the vulnerable years until I could hit the road running at a more opportune time. The pure economics of the day often forced an early departure from the home.

Brigham Young was a self-made man—he had no formal education outside of a few days of schooling. What do you do when it’s crunch time and you’re on your own? Like many of you, he went interviewing. Brigham simply said, “I laid out my strength in planing a board.”38 Packing his limited belongings, he journeyed to the community of Auburn in Cayuga County, New York, and called upon the woodworking shop of John C. Jeffries, who advertised his wares “Chair Making, Sign Painting and Gilding.”39 He apprenticed himself to Jeffries and was taught the trades of carpenter, painter, and glazier (one who sets window glass). Numbers of you seniors will soon be plying your trade for a new boss in the workplace. Brigham described his initial assignment:

The first job my boss gave me was to make a bedstead out of an old log that had been on the beach of the Lake for years, water-logged and watersoaked. Said he—”There are tools, you cut that log into right lengths for a bedstead. Hew out the side rails, the end rails and the posts; get a board for a head board, and go to work and make a bedstead.” And I went to work and cut up the log, split it up to the best of my ability, and made a bedstead that, I suppose, they used for many years.40

Years later Brigham commented to an “old time friend,” George Hickox, on his own continued work ethic from those New York years to the present:

I have believed all my life that, that which was worth doing was worth doing well, and have considered it as much a part of my religion to do honest, reliable work, such as would endure, for those who employed me, and to attend to the services of God’s worship on the Sabbath.41

His skill as a craftsman was later demonstrated on such building projects as the house of Judge Elijah Miller, which was eventually occupied by William H. Seward, Lincoln’s secretary of state. The ornate mantelpiece within is reportedly his.42

While pursuing a new job manufacturing furniture, buckets, and pails south of Bucksville (later Port Byron, New York), Brigham courageously attempted to save the life of a little infant. His attention was drawn by the frantic appeal of a woman whose baby had become lost. Suspecting that it might have tumbled into the water flume carrying water to the wheel that turned their lathes, Brigham first stopped the mill wheel, then dove into the flume and began feeling around the bottom. He touched the child, clutched and pulled her from the water. However, as he began to administer artificial respiration, the mother suddenly grabbed the child and ran to her home with the lifeless form, thus preventing the very act that may have saved its life.43

It was at this time that he met and began to court eighteen-year-old Miriam Angeline Works from the town of Aurelius. Miriam is described as being “a beautiful blonde, with blue eyes, a finely chiselled face and wavy hair. She possessed a gentle, uncomplaining spirit and in every way most loveable.”44 The couple mutually agreed to affiliate with the Methodist persuasion following their October 5, 1824, wedding vows.45 Brigham and Miriam lived for a short season at Haydenville, then located in Port Byron. Both homes still stand. Just at the time Joseph Smith and his scribes were in the process of translating the Book of Mormon in 1828, Brigham Young, Miriam, and a Port Byron addition, little Elizabeth (born September 26, 1825), took up residence on the John Young farm in Mendon, New York.46 Brigham built a home for his father on the road leading south from the village of Mendon.47 John’s home was later split in two, and both halves face one another across the Cheese Factory Road.48

Brigham also constructed a home and mill back in the property for himself. The mill had a “sizable undershot waterwheel to power the machinery.”49 He again established his woodworking trade, doing custom orders in the area. I might add, parenthetically, that thanks to a timely purchase by the Skabelund brothers, Lynn and Robert, of Logan, Utah, in 1979, the home of John Young and the site of Brigham’s mill are now owned by the Church.50

Lorenzo Dow Young said of his father’s religious preference, “He was at first an Episcopal Methodist, but afterwards, in common with many others, became a Reformed Methodist.”51 John’s sons, John, Jr., Joseph, Phinehas, Brigham, Lorenzo Dow, and a son-in-law, John Portineus Greene, also affiliated with Methodism, and, for the most part, were associated with the Reformed Methodists, being preachers and exhorters for that organization.52 The Reformed Methodists were quite an exclusive denomination, numerically speaking. First organized in 1814, by 1844 the sect numbered just 3,000 in the United States and Canada. Its membership never exceeded 5,000 before merging with the Methodist Protestant Church.53

I am convinced that, like Saul of Tarsus, the Lord wanted Brigham Young in his kingdom. He seems to have gone out of his way to appear to Saul on the road to Damascus (Acts 9:1–22), and in a fashion found Brigham on the Mendon to Ionia road. There was no possible way for Brigham to escape. Though I am obviously exaggerating the point, let me say that it is not by much. Trace the events of his conversion with me. Brigham was first introduced to the Book of Mormon in the spring of 1830. Samuel Smith visited with Phinehas Young, who was dining at the Tomlinson Inn in the township of Mendon during April 1830. Samuel stated to him, “There is a book, sir, I wish you to read.” He then affirmed, “If you will read this book with a prayerful heart, and ask God to give you a witness, you will know of the truth of this work.” Thinking he would expose the erroneous nature of the work, Phinehas related: “I commenced and read every word in the book the same week. The week following I did the same, but to my surprise I could not find the errors I anticipated, but felt a conviction that the book was true.”54

This copy then began to circulate through the family.

In June 1830 Samuel Smith returned to the Mendon/Bloomfield area and placed a copy of the Book of Mormon on loan in the home of Brigham’s sister, Rhoda Young, wife of John Portineus Greene, and that copy, too, was passed among family members.55 Both of these books are variously mentioned as being instrumental in the conversion of Brigham Young.

Joseph and Phinehas Young were entertained at the home of Solomon Chamberlain in August 1830. The two brothers were on their way to Upper Canada (Ontario Province) to preach Reformed Methodism in the Kingston/Earnestown area. They stopped at Solomon’s home on the Pilgrimport Road in Lyons Township. Solomon was a former Reformed Methodist, but he had been baptized into Mormonism in Seneca Lake by the Prophet Joseph Smith during April 1830. He preached to Joseph and Phinehas from the Book of Mormon. When he had spoken to them for almost two hours, Phinehas told him, “Hold on . . . it was not good to give a colt a bushel of oats at a time. . . . But it made little difference to him, he still talked of Mormonism.”56

Upon his departure from Canada, Phinehas joined his brother Brigham in attending a conference of the Reformed Methodists at Manlius Center in Onondaga County, New York. Solomon Chamberlain had also come to the conference to preach the Book of Mormon. Solomon recalled:

I met about 40 of their preachers and labored with them for two days to convince them of the truth of the Book of Mormon, and they utterly rejected me, and the Book of Mormon. One of their greatest preachers so called, by the name of Buckly, (if I mistake not) abused me very bad, and ordered me off from their premises. . . . At this conference was Brigham and his brother Phinehas Young, they did not oppose me but used me well.57

It remained, however, for Elders Alpheus Gifford and Eleazer Miller and others from the branch in Columbia, Bradford County, Pennsylvania, to complete the conversion cycle of Brigham Young and his family. There was a tiny pocket of Mormonism down in Bradford and Tioga counties, Pennsylvania, which was initially fanned into flame by Alpheus Gifford, who with his companions came through the Mendon/Victor area in 1831. He and Elder Miller returned again in 1832. In the intervening time, the Young family had made two visits to the Columbia Branch in Pennsylvania. After two years of intensive investigation, Brigham Young was prepared for baptism at the hands of Elder Miller at Mendon.58 Speaking of Eleazer’s great humility, Brigham confided:

If all the talent, tact, wisdom, and refinement of the world had been sent to me with the Book of Mormon, and had declared, in the most exalted of earthly eloquence, the truth of it, undertaking to prove it by learning and worldly wisdom, they would have been to me like the smoke which arises only to vanish away. But when I saw a man without eloquence, or talents for public speaking, who could only say, “I know, by the power of the Holy Ghost, that the Book of Mormon is true, that Joseph Smith is a Prophet of the Lord,” the Holy Ghost proceeding from that individual illuminated my understanding, and light, glory, and immortality were before me. I was encircled by them, filled with them, and I knew for myself that the testimony of the man was true.59

On Sunday, April 15, 1832, Brigham Young was baptized.60 Remembering that memorable event, he said, “I recollect the Sunday morning on which I was baptized, in my own little mill stream.”61 Brigham also recalled that Elder Miller confirmed him at the water’s edge, after which

we returned home, about two miles, the weather being cold and snowy; and before my clothes were dry on my back he laid his hands on me and ordained me an elder, at which I marvelled. According to the words of the Savior, I felt a humble, childlike spirit, witnessing unto me that my sins were forgiven. [Miriam was baptized] about three weeks afterwards.62

As he did with Saul of Tarsus and Brigham Young, the Savior reaches out to each of us in his infinite goodness and gives us the opportunity to follow him. Brigham Young was seeking the Spirit by study and by faith when he received a personal confirmation. Thereafter his legs never faltered and his lips never quivered in that conviction. Reflecting on the spirit that pervaded his every action following his baptism, he later declared:

I wanted to thunder and roar out the Gospel to the nations. It burned in my bones like fire pent up. . . . Nothing would satisfy me but to cry abroad in the world, what the Lord was doing in the latter days.63

Over the next several months he performed local missions in such communities as Hector, Avon, Warsaw, Henrietta, “Reding” (Reading?), Hornby, and Patten.64

Tragedy visited the Young home later that year on September 8, 1832. His wife, Miriam, succumbed to the ravages of consumption (tuberculosis) that had long racked her frame. She had been a virtual invalid from the affliction. A daughter recalled her father’s reminiscing of those difficult days prior to her death:

[He] got breakfast for his wife, himself, and the little girls, dressed the children, cleaned up the house, carried his wife to the rocking-chair by the fireplace and left her there until he could return in the evening. When he came home he cooked his own and the family’s supper, put his wife back to bed and finished up the day’s domestic labours.65

After laying Miriam to rest in the Tomlinson Corners Cemetery on Boughton Hill Road, Brigham and his two daughters moved into the household of Heber C. and Vilate Kimball for an eighteen-month period. Vilate mothered Elizabeth and little Vilate, namesake of this benefactor.66

Like so many of his contemporaries, Brigham Young wanted to meet the Prophet. Brigham, his brother Joseph, and Heber C. Kimball went to visit Joseph Smith at Kirtland during September–October 1832. Brigham declared:

Here my joy was full at the privilege of shaking the hand of the Prophet of God, and received the sure testimony, by the Spirit of prophecy, that he was all that any man could believe him to be, as a true Prophet.67

And, in turn, Joseph Smith recorded that same incident:

I received a visit from Elders Joseph Young, Brigham Young, and Heber C. Kimball from Mendon, Munroe [Monroe] County, New York. They spent four or five days at Kirtland, during which we had many interesting moments. At one of our interviews, Brother Brigham Young, and John P. Greene spoke in Tongues, which was the first time I had heard this gift among the brethren, and others also spoke, and I received the gift myself. Brother Joseph Young is a great man, but Brigham is a greater, and the time will come when he will preside over the whole Church.68

In New York, Brigham continued to labor as a missionary both locally and in Upper Canada.

The Youngs and Kimballs migrated to Kirtland, Ohio, in 1833. It was here that Brigham and other family members applied their craftsmanship in helping to build the new temple. He also took time to became better acquainted with Miss Mary Ann Angell, a sister who had been converted and baptized by John Portineus Greene in Ontario, New York. Mary Ann had gathered to Kirtland with the Saints in 1833. The two were married on February 18, 1834.69

When the Lord called for the “strength of his house” to restore the Missouri Saints to their Jackson County homes in 1834 (see D&C 103), Brigham and Joseph Young were among those who immediately responded and undertook the long march with Zion’s Camp. On returning to Kirtland, Brigham was accosted by an apathetic Mormon who challenged the purposes of the camp. It is needless to say that the man was a member of the Church who did not have the faith necessary to make the journey.

“Well,” said the scoffer, “what did you gain on this useless journey to Missouri with Joseph Smith?” “All we went for,” promptly replied Brigham Young. “I would not exchange the experience I gained in that expedition for all the wealth of Geauga county.”70

Brigham Young was among nine members of Zion’s Camp who were called to fill the original Quorum of the Twelve Apostles on February 14, 1835. And Joseph Young was named one of the seven presidents of the Quorum of Seventy that same month. In his capacity as an apostle, Brigham attended a council meeting in the Kirtland Temple following the dark days of apostasy associated with the demise of the Kirtland Safety Society Bank. A member of the opposition advanced the question of how they could drop Joseph Smith as president and sustain David Whitmer in his place. Without hesitation Brigham came to the Prophet’s defense:

I rose up and told them in a plain and forcible manner that Joseph was a prophet, and I knew it; and that they might rail at and slander him as much as they pleased, they could not destroy the appointment of the Prophet of God; they could only destroy their own authority, cut the thread which bound them to the Prophet and to God, and sink themselves to hell. . . . The meeting was broken up without the Apostates being able to unite on any decided measures of opposition. . . .

During this siege of darkness I stood close by Joseph, and with all the wisdom and power God bestowed upon me, put forth my utmost energies to sustain the servant of God, and unite the quorums of the church.71

Brigham Young proved to be such an able defender of the Prophet that the apostates sought to still his voice by doing him bodily harm or even taking his life. In order to save himself, it was necessary to flee Kirtland for Missouri. On the morning of December 22, 1837, he made his escape. Elder Young reported:

I left Kirtland in consequence of the fury of the mob, and the spirit that prevailed in the apostates, who threatened to destroy me because I would proclaim, publicly and privately, that I knew, by the power of the Holy Ghost, that Joseph Smith was a prophet of the Most High God, and had not transgressed and fallen as apostates declared.72

Is it any wonder that Brigham Young was subsequently identified by his fellows as “the lion of the Lord”?73

From his place of momentary respite in Dublin, Indiana, Brigham aided the impoverished Joseph Smith when he, too, was forced to flee Ohio for his life in January 1838.

The Prophet said, “Brother Brigham, I am destitute of means to pursue my journey, and as you are one of the Twelve Apostles, who hold the keys of the kingdom in all the world, I believe I shall throw myself upon you, and look to you for counsel in this case.”

Brigham replied, “If you will take my counsel, it will be that you rest yourself, and be assured, Brother Joseph, you shall have plenty of money to pursue your journey.”74 A Brother Tomlinson had been trying to sell his place for some time and asked Brigham Young for direction. Timely advice was given, and within a few days the property sold at a profit. A grateful Brother Tomlinson shared his good fortune with Brigham, and he then gave Joseph Smith $300 to continue his flight.75

When the Prophet was incarcerated in Liberty Jail, as a result of the infamous extermination order of Governor Lilburn W. Boggs, Joseph called upon the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, especially in the persons of Brigham Young and Heber C. Kimball, to organize the exodus of the troubled Saints from that state under appointment of the First Presidency. Temporarily the Twelve were responsible for the affairs of the Church.76

On April 18, 1839, it was Brigham Young who rallied available members of the Quorum of the Twelve in Quincy, Illinois, to accompany him back to Far West, Missouri, to initiate the fulfillment of the requirements specified in Doctrine and Covenants 118. The revelation directed the Twelve to depart for their European missions from the site of the Lord’s house, commencing on April 26, 1839. Brigham Young declared to those present, “The Lord God had spoken, and it was our duty to obey and leave the event in his hands and he would protect us.” This was admittedly an act of great courage on all their parts in the face of death threats from the mobber Samuel Bogart and others should they return to Caldwell County. In the early morning of April 26, the Twelve and a small group of Saints assembled at the southeast corner of the temple lot. There, hands were laid on the heads of Wilford Woodruff and George A. Smith, and they were ordained as apostles as they sat on the southeast cornerstone.77

The completion of that same revelatory assignment soon took nine members of the Quorum of the Twelve to Great Britain (including Orson Hyde) in 1840–41, where, as Ron Esplin has explained:

These labors of the Twelve in England under Young’s direction marked the beginning of the quorum functioning as a united and effective entity. . . . Young carefully nurtured harmony and the full participation of his associates in the decisions and labors of the Quorum. In England he labored diligently and with success to shape the Twelve into a quorum capable of functioning with united strength and wisdom rather than merely as a collection of individuals.78

On their return from England, these members of the Quorum of the Twelve became, as it were, the Prophet’s right hand. And as has been stated, they “remained unalterably united behind Joseph and his teachings.”79

Brigham Young, Heber C. Kimball, and Willard Richards were among a select group of men who were the first recipients of the Lord’s endowment at the hands of the Prophet on May 4, 1842, in Joseph’s Red Brick Store—this before the availability of a temple. Joseph Smith explained:

I spent the day in the upper part of the store . . . in council with General James Adams, of Springfield, Patriarch Hyrum Smith, Bishops Newel K. Whitney and George Miller, and President Brigham Young and Elders Heber C. Kimball and Willard Richards, instructing them in the principles and order of the Priesthood, attending to washings, anointings, endowments and the communication of keys pertaining to the Aaronic Priesthood, and so on to the highest order of the Melchisedek Priesthood, setting forth the order pertaining to the Ancient of Days, and all those plans and principles by which any one is enabled to secure the fullness of those blessings which have been prepared for the Church of the First Born, and come up and abide in the presence of the Eloheim in the eternal worlds.80

Brigham Young later directed the administration of some 5,615 endowments to the Saints in the Nauvoo Temple before the exodus to the West.81

With a growing sense of urgency, the Prophet Joseph Smith felt the necessity of giving the Quorum of the Twelve all of the keys required to conduct the business of the kingdom, should anything happen to himself. Joseph convened the Quorum of the Twelve in the Red Brick Store during a time frame that, according to best evidence, fell between March 23 and April 4, 1844.82

The text of the Prophet’s remarks were related by Parley P. Pratt, who remembered him saying to them:

“I know not why; but for some reason I am constrained to hasten my preparations, and to confer upon the Twelve all the ordinances, keys, covenants, endowments, and sealing ordinances of the priesthood, and so set before them a pattern in all things pertaining to the sanctuary and the endowment therein.”83

Elder Pratt then explained:

Having done this, he rejoiced exceedingly; for, said he, the Lord is about to lay the burden on your shoulders and let me rest awhile; and if they kill me, continued he, the kingdom of God will roll on, as I have now finished the work which was laid upon me, by committing to you all things for the building up of the kingdom according to the heavenly vision, and the pattern shown me from heaven.84

Of particular note, Elder Pratt said the Prophet

proceeded to confer on elder Young, the President of the Twelve, the keys of the sealing power, as conferred in the last days by the spirit and power of Elijah, in order to seal the hearts of the fathers to the children, and the hearts of the children to the fathers, lest the whole earth should be smitten with a curse.

This last key of the priesthood is the most sacred of all, and pertains exclusively to the first presidency of the church, without whose sanction and approval or authority, no sealing blessing shall be administered pertaining to things of the resurrection and the life to come.85

Elder Orson Hyde was likewise a witness to the Prophet’s preparation of the Twelve for their leadership role and the investiture of priesthood keys. In a letter from Samuel W. Richards to Franklin D. Richards, August 23, 1844, Samuel commented on Orson’s observations of the Prophet’s last charge to the Twelve:

Orson Hyde told last Sunday what it was for, that they were in Council with Joseph so much last spring [1844]. He said that Joseph was preparing them for the work that they have now got to do which is to hold the keys and build up this kingdom in all the world. Joseph committed unto them all the keys of the Priesthood otherwise the fulness would not have been upon the Earth now he is taken away. He also took them through all the ordinances which is necessary for the Salvation of Man, that they haveing experienced them all, by passing through them, might be prepared to lead the People in the path which they had trod when hed had finished his work ordained and anointed the twelve to lead this people and build upon the foundation which he had laid he was filled with joy & sayes he it is now but little matter what becomest of me.86

At the moment the Prophet Joseph Smith and his brother Hyrum were murdered at Carthage, Illinois, Brigham Young and Wilford Woodruff were seated in a railroad station in Boston, Massachusetts. Brigham said:

I felt a heavy depression of Spirit, and so melancholy I could not converse with any degree of pleasure. Not knowing anything concerning the tragedy enacting at this time in Carthage jail, I could not assign my reasons for my peculiar feeling.87

His premonition of June 27 was not confirmed until July 16 in Peterboro, New Hampshire, where a letter directed to a local Saint from Joseph Powers in Nauvoo verified the awful news to him and Orson Pratt. The two sat in stunned silence. Brigham recalled:

The first thing which I thought of was, whether Joseph had taken the keys of the kingdom with him from the earth; brother Orson Pratt sat on my left; we were both leaning back on our chairs. Bringing my hand down on my knee, I said the keys of the kingdom are right here with the Church.88

Affirmation of Joseph’s death sped the return of the Twelve to Nauvoo. In the City of Joseph the apostles found Sidney Rigdon proffering a “guardianship” vs. the leadership of the Quorum. A special meeting of the Church was held at the “grove” on Thursday morning, August 8, 1844, to choose a guardian or a president and trustee under the auspices of the Twelve. After lengthy remarks by Sidney Rigdon in the morning assemblage, Brigham Young spoke briefly and then in the afternoon session addressed the vast congregation at some length. In the course of his delivery he stated:

For the first time in my life, for the first time in your lives, for the first time in the kingdom of God in the 19th century, without a Prophet at our head, do I step forth to act in my calling in connection with the Quorum of the Twelve, as Apostles of Jesus Christ unto this generation—Apostles whom God has called by revelation through the Prophet Joseph, who are ordained and anointed to bear off the keys of the kingdom of God in all the world.89

As he spoke, many of his hearers became aware of a marvelous transformation taking place before their eyes in his “voice, person and manner.” While in the process of delivering this important sermon, his whole being was transfigured, and it appeared to numbers of his hearers as though Joseph, not Brigham, was speaking. The mantle or form of the Prophet Joseph was manifested upon the person of Brigham Young. A spiritual confirmation of Brigham Young’s leadership role was experienced by a significant number of the congregation.90

After a succession of other speakers, business was conducted by Brigham Young. At the instigation of Sidney Rigdon, the proposition of an apostolic presidency was presented first. By universal vote, under the law of common consent, the Saints proclaimed their support for Brigham Young and the Twelve Apostles. This automatically negated the need to vote on Rigdon’s tendered “guardianship.”91

“The Man for the Hour will be ready whenever the Hour strikes”: President Young had been prepared in the councils of eternity for that very hour.92Throughout his life he firmly maintained, “What I have received from the Lord, I have received by Joseph Smith: he was the instrument made use of.”93 He also declared:

Joseph Smith has laid the foundation of the kingdom of God in the last days; others will rear the super-structure. . . .

. . . I know that he was called of God, and this I know by the revelation of Jesus Christ to me, and by the testimony of the Holy Ghost. Had I not so learned this truth, I should never have been what is called a “Mormon,” neither should I have been here to-day. . . .

. . . Joseph told us that Jesus was the Christ, the Mediator between God and man, and the Saviour of the world. He told us that there was no other name in the heavens nor under the heavens, neither could there be, by which mankind could be saved in the presence of the Father, but by and through the name and ministry of Jesus Christ, and the atonement he made on Mount Calvary.94

Brigham Young has been a man for the ages—most certainly a millennium man. I have tried to give you some sense of the emerging Brigham and those traits, already forged, that directed his later and better known achievements in the West. I pray that we, as a community of Saints, will take occasion to carefully read, digest, and ponder his words in the remaining moments before the year 2000. I can personally testify that for the inquiring mind the seeds of the gospel of salvation are implanted in his inspired discourses.


1. Personal interview with Dr. Gordon E. Stokes, January 16, 1998, Brigham Young University.

2. Software Magazine, special issue, January 15, 1998.

3. Robert Barr, “Millennium Dome Promises 2000 Excitement,” Daily Herald, Provo, Utah, January 14, 1998, p. A7.

4. “Hillary Goes Millennial,” Periscope section, Newsweek, January 19, 1998, p. 4.

5. Teachings of Presidents of the Church: Brigham Young (Salt Lake City: The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, 1997), p. v.

6. Don L. Searle, “Major Curriculum Changes in Priesthood and Relief Society, Ensign 27 (December 1997): 6–12; “With ’the Tongues of Seven Thunders,’”Ensign 28 (January 1998): 50–53; Ronald W. Walker, “Brigham Young: Student of the Prophet,” Ensign 28 (February 1998): 50–57.

7. Orson F. Whitney, “The Man for the Hour,” Millennial Star 83, no. 49 (December 8, 1921): 778; emphasis added.

8. Willard Richards, “Two Minutes in Jail,” Nauvoo Neighbor, July 24, 1844, p. 3.

9. John Taylor’s account of the Martyrdom, August 23, 1856, Branch Mills, Westport, Connecticut, pp. 49–49 (because of a numbering error there are two different pages, both numbered 49, that cover the quote), Library Archives, Historical Department of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, hereafter cited as LDS Church Archives.

10. Brigham Young in Journal of Discourses, 26 vols. (London: Latter-day Saints’ Book Depot, 1854–86), 7:289–90, hereafter cited as JD.

11. Joseph Fielding Smith, comp., Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith (Salt Lake City: Deseret Book Company, 1976), p. 365.

12. M. Hamlin Cannon, “A Pension Office Note on Brigham Young’s Father,” American Historical Review 50 (October 1944): 82–90; “History of the Church,” Juvenile Instructor 16, no. 5 (March 1, 1881): 52. For an extended discussion of John Young’s Revolutionary War record, see also Gene Allred Sessions, Latter-day Patriots: Nine Mormon Families and Their Revolutionary War Heritage (Salt Lake City: Deseret Book Company, 1975), pp. 24–28, 192–93.

13. Susa Young Gates, “Mothers of the Latter-day Prophets: Abigail Howe Young,” Juvenile Instructor 59, no. 1 (January 1924): 4.

14. S. Dilworth Young, “Here Is Brigham . . .”: Brigham Young—the Years to 1844 (Salt Lake City: Bookcraft, 1964), p. 17; Susa Young Gates, “Notes on the Young and Howe Families,” Utah Genealogical and Historical Magazine 11 (January 1920): 180.

15. Fanny Young to Phineas Howe Young, January 1, 1845, p. 30, microfilm 281261, Harold B. Lee Library, Brigham Young University. When John was but six years old, his father, Joseph Young, a medical practitioner, was apparently killed by a falling tree; see S. Dilworth Young, “Here Is Brigham,” p. 14, and Leonard J. Arrington, Brigham Young: American Moses (New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 1985), pp. 7–8.

16. “Manuscript History of Brigham Young,” p. 1, microfilm call no. CR 100 150, LDS Church Archives. The township of Coxsackie had been created on April 7, 1788; see Thomas F. Gordon, Gazetteer of the State of New York (Philadelphia: T. K. and P. G. Collins, 1836), p. 472.

17. Fanny Young to Phineas Howe Young, January 1, 1845, pp. 40–42.

18. Ibid., January 1, 1845, pp. 42–44.

19. S. Dilworth Young, “Here Is Brigham,” p. 18.

20. Larry C. Porter, “Whitingham, Vermont: Birthplace of Brigham Young—Prophet, Colonizer, Statesman,” in Susan Easton Black and Larry C. Porter, eds.,Lion of the Lord: Essays on the Life and Service of Brigham Young (Salt Lake City: Deseret Book Company, 1995), pp. 4–5.

21. Porter, Lion of the Lord: Essays, p. 5.

22. Susa Young Gates, “Mothers of the Latter-day Prophets,” pp. 4–5.

23. Joseph Young, “Autobiographical Sketch” [ca. 1872], p. 2, LDS Church Archives.

24. Porter, Lion of the Lord: Essays, pp. 6–13.

25. S. Dilworth Young, “Great-Grandson Recounts Birth of Brigham Young,” Church News, May 29, 1971, p. 4.

26. Joseph Young Diaries 1844–1881, May 10, 1879, vol. 6, pp. 7–8, LDS Church Archives; see also Porter, Lion of the Lord: Essays, pp. 14–15.

27. Richard F. Palmer and Karl D. Butler, Brigham Young: The New York Years (Provo: Charles Redd Center for Western Studies, 1982), pp. 2–3.

28. Susa Young Gates and Leah D. Widtsoe, The Life Story of Brigham Young (New York: Macmillan Company, 1930), p. 3.

29. Palmer and Butler, Brigham Young: The New York Years, pp. 3–4; see also James Amasa Little, “Biography of Lorenzo Dow Young, 1890,” p. 1, unpublished manuscript, LDS Church Archives; James Amasa Little, “Biography of Lorenzo Dow Young,” Utah Historical Quarterly 14 (1946): 25.

30. Brigham Young discourse, August 15, 1852, JD 6:290.

31. Young, “Great-Grandson,” p. 4.

32. Palmer and Butler, Brigham Young: The New York Years, p. 4.

33. Arrington, Brigham Young: American Moses, p. 12; Palmer and Butler, Brigham Young: The New York Years, p. 5.

34. “Lorenzo Dow Young Diary and Reminiscences, 1881–1888,” January 20, 1888, LDS Church Archives; James Amasa Little, “Biography of Lorenzo Dow Young, 1890,” p. 207, unpublished manuscript, LDS Church Archives; Arrington, Brigham Young: American Moses, p. 12.

35. Arrington, Brigham Young: American Moses, p. 12; Brigham Young discourse, August 2, 1857, JD 5:97.

36. Palmer and Butler, Brigham Young: The New York Years, pp. 6, 76–77; Arrington, Brigham Young: American Moses, pp. 12, 16, 20, 36; “Manuscript History of Brigham Young,” p. 2, LDS Church Archives.

37. Brigham Young discourse, November 6, 1864, JD 10:360.

38. Ibid.

39. Palmer and Butler, Brigham Young: The New York Years, pp. 12–13.

40. Brigham Young discourse, August 31, 1875, JD 18:76.

41. Brigham Young, Salt Lake City to George Hickox, Canandaigua, New York, February 19, 1876, LDS Church Archives.

42. Personal interview with assistant curator of the William Seward Home, Auburn, New York, May 19, 1995; see also Palmer and Butler, Brigham Young: The New York Years, p. 13.

43. S. Dilworth Young, “Here Is Brigham,” pp. 41–42; Arrington, Brigham Young: American Moses, pp. 14–15.

44. Gates and Widtsoe, The Life Story of Brigham Young, p. 5; see also Palmer and Butler, Brigham Young: The New York Years, pp. 19–21.

45. Arrington, Brigham Young: American Moses, pp. 15–16; Palmer and Butler, Brigham Young: The New York Years, p. 19, verifies the date of their wedding as October 5, 1824.

46. “Manuscript History of Brigham Young,” pp. 10–11, LDS Church Archives. Although Brigham Young specifies 1829 as the time of their arrival, the store records of Mendon merchant Milton Sheldon show that Brigham was purchasing groceries and supplies in 1828; see J. Sheldon Fisher, “Brigham Young as a Mendon Craftsman: A Study in Historical Archeology,” New York History 61, no. 4 (October 1980): 434.

47. Anah B. Yates, “The Pioneers of Mendon,” Honeoye Falls Times, February 2, 1922, in Palmer and Butler, Brigham Young: The New York Years, p. 25.

48. Interview with J. Sheldon Fisher, Mendon, New York, August 15, 1992. The front portion of the house on the NE corner of the intersection of State 64 and Cheese Factory Road, at No. 981, is the front part of John Young’s original home. At some juncture it was separated from the back portion of the house at No. 984 and moved across the street to its present location. See also Sheldon Fisher, “Brigham Young as a Mendon Craftsman,” pp. 435–46.

49. Arrington, Brigham Young: American Moses, p. 18; J. Sheldon Fisher, “Brigham Young as a Mendon Craftsman,” pp. 434–40.

50. Interview with Lynn A. Skabelund, January 23, 1996. Lynn A. Skabelund, a building contractor and developer in Logan, Utah, procured a Monroe County, New York, land deed for 73 acres from Robert H. and Marian J. Hutchinson of Mendon Township on January 31, 1979. He was joined in that acquisition by his brother, Dr. Robert E. Skabelund, a Logan physician. They deeded their purchase to the LDS Church on December 28, 1983.

51. Porter, Lion of the Lord: Essays, p. 6.

52. Elden J. Watson, ed., Manuscript History of Brigham Young: 1801–1844 (Salt Lake City: Smith Secretarial Service, 1968), pp. ix–xi, xiv–xv, xvii, xxii–xxiii. John Portineus Greene had reportedly left the Methodist Reformed Church and joined the Methodist Protestant Church in 1828; see Andrew Jenson,Latter-day Saint Biographical Encyclopedia (Salt Lake City: Andrew Jenson History Company, 1914), 2:633.

53. I. Daniel Rupp, An Original History of the Religious Denominations at Present Existing in the United States (Harrisburg: J. Y. Humphreys, 1844), pp. 466, 474; Emory Stevens Bucke et al., eds., The History of American Methodism (New York and Nashville: Abingdon Press, 1964), 1:623–24.

54. “History of Brigham Young,” Millennial Star 25, no. 23 (June 6, 1863): 360–61.

55. Ronald K. Esplin, “Conversion and Transformation: Brigham Young’s New York Roots and the Search for Bible Religion,” Lion of the Lord: Essays, pp. 33–34.

56. Watson, Manuscript History of Brigham Young: 1801–1844, pp. xix–xx; Larry C. Porter, “Solomon Chamberlain—Early Missionary,” BYU Studies 12, no. 3 (spring 1972): 317.

57. Porter, “Solomon Chamberlain—Early Missionary,” p. 317; see also Watson, Manuscript History of Brigham Young: 1801–1844, pp. xx–xxiii.

58. Esplin, “Conversion and Transformation,” pp. 34–40; V. Alan Curtis, “Missionary Activities and Church Organizations in Pennsylvania, 1830–1840,” (master’s thesis, Brigham Young University, April 1976), pp. 67–102.

59. Brigham Young discourse, June 13, 1852, JD 1:90.

60. Some histories have recorded his baptism as being on April 14, 1832, but Brigham Young specifically corrected this to be April 15, when he stated, “It is thirty years the 15th day of next April (though it has accidentally been recorded and printed the fourteenth) since I was baptized into this Church”; see JD 9:219.

61. Brigham Young discourse, July 17, 1870, JD 13:211.

62. “Manuscript History of Brigham Young,” pp. 10–11, LDS Church Archives.

63. Brigham Young discourse, February 20, 1853, JD 1:313.

64. Brigham Young Papers, 1832–1878, MS 1234, LDS Church Archives.

65. Gates and Widtsoe, The Life Story of Brigham Young, p. 5.

66. Esplin, “Conversion and Transformation,” p. 43.

67. “Manuscript History of Brigham Young,” p. 11, LDS Church Archives. Joseph Smith recorded the visit of Brigham Young and his friends coming to Kirtland as being “about the 8th of November” 1832 rather than September–October 1832; see Joseph Smith, History of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, ed. B. H. Roberts, 6 vols. (Salt Lake City: Deseret Book Company, 1964), 1:295–97, hereafter cited as HC; Dean C. Jessee, The Papers of Joseph Smith, 2 vols. (Salt Lake City: Deseret Book Company, 1989), 1:386, n. 2.

68. Jessee, The Papers of Joseph Smith, 1:386, n. 2.

69. Arrington, Brigham Young: American Moses, p. 37.

70. HC 2:xxii–xxiv; emphasis in original.

71. Edward W. Tullidge, Life of Brigham Young (New York: n.p., 1876), pp. 82–83.

72. Ibid., p. 84.

73. Willliam W. Phelps, “The Answer,” Times and Seasons 5, no. 24 (January 1, 1845 [misprinted as 1844]): 761.

74. Tullidge, Life of Brigham Young, pp. 84–85; HC 3:2.

75. Ibid., p. 85; HC 3:2.

76. Ronald K. Esplin, “The Emergence of Brigham Young and the Twelve to Mormon Leadership, 1830–1841” (Ph.D. dissertation, Brigham Young University, 1981), pp. 360–91.

77. “Manuscript History of Brigham Young,” pp. 25–28, LDS Church Archives; HC 3:306–8, 336–40.

78. Esplin, “The Emergence of Brigham Young,” p. 429.

79. James B. Allen, Ronald K. Esplin, David J. Whittaker, Men with a Mission: 1837–1841 (Salt Lake City: Deseret Book Company, 1992), pp. 309–10.

80. HC 5:1–2.

81. Russell R. Rich, Ensign to the Nations (Provo: Brigham Young University Publications, 1972), p. 3; HC 7:542–81, cumulative endowment total.

82. Ronald K. Esplin, “Joseph, Brigham and the Twelve: A Succession of Continuity,” BYU Studies 21, no. 3 (summer 1981): 319.

83. Parley P. Pratt, “Proclamation,” Millennial Star 5, no. 10 (March 1845): 151.

84. Ibid.

85. Ibid.

86. Samuel W. Richards, to Franklin D. Richards, August 23, 1844, LDS Church Archives, in Ronald K. Esplin, “A Preliminary Look at Evidence for Joseph Smith’s ’Last Charge’ to the Twelve Apostles,” unpublished manuscript; emphasis in original.

87. Watson, Manuscript History of Brigham Young: 1801–1844, p. 169.

88. Ibid., pp. 170–71.

89. HC 7:231–32.

90. HC 7:236n; see also Lynne Watkins Jorgensen and BYU Studies staff, “The Mantle of the Prophet Joseph Passes to Brother Brigham: A Collective Spiritual Witness,” BYU Studies 36, no. 4 (1996–97): 125–204.

91. HC 7:239–40; see also “Special Meeting,” Times and Seasons, September 2, 1844, pp. 637–38.

92. Whitney, “The Man for the Hour,” p. 778; see also John Taylor discourse, April 13, 1879, JD 21:94.

93. Brigham Young discourse, August 29, 1852, JD 6:279.

94. Ibid., August 31, 1862, JD 9:364–65.

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Larry C. Porter

Larry C. Porter was a BYU professor of Church history and doctrine when this forum address was given on 27 January 1998.