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Brigham Young

Brigham Young c. 1870
Born Brigham Young
June 1, 1801(1801-06-01)
Whitingham, Vermont
Died August 29, 1877 (aged 76)
Salt Lake City, Utah Territory
Cause of death Ruptured appendix
Resting place Salt Lake City, Utah, United States
Title Governor of Utah Territory
Church President
Children 56
Signature
Website
brighamyoung.org
LDS Church President
Ordained December 27, 1847 (aged 46)
Predecessor Joseph Smith, Jr.
Successor John Taylor
LDS Church Apostle
Called by Three Witnesses
Ordained February 14, 1835 (aged 33)
Reason for ordination Initial organization of Quorum of the Twelve
End of term August 29, 1877 (aged 76)
Reason for end of term Death
Reorganization at end of term No apostles immediately ordained[1]
LDS Church General Authority
Quorum of the Twelve Apostles
Called by Three Witnesses
Start of term February 14, 1835 (aged 33)
End of term December 27, 1847 (aged 46)
End reason Became President of the Church
President of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles
Start of term April 14, 1840 (aged 38)
End of term December 27, 1847 (aged 46)
End reason Became President of the Church
President of the Church
Start of term December 27, 1847 (aged 46)
End of term August 29, 1877 (aged 76)
End reason Death

Brigham Young (pronounced /ˈbrɪɡəm/; June 1, 1801 – August 29, 1877) was an American leader in the Latter Day Saint movement and a settler of the western United States. He was the President of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS Church) from 1847 until his death and was the founder of Salt Lake City and the first governor of Utah Territory, United States. Brigham Young University was named in his honor.

Young had a variety of nicknames, among the most popular being "American Moses,"[2] (alternatively the "Modern Moses" or the "Mormon Moses")[3] because, like the Biblical figure, Young led his followers, the Mormon pioneers, in an exodus through a desert, to what they saw as a promised land. Young was also dubbed the "Lion of the Lord" for his bold personality, and was commonly called "Brother Brigham" by Latter-day Saints. Young was a polygamist and was involved in controversies regarding black people and the Priesthood, the Utah War, and the Mountain Meadows massacre.

Contents

Early life until Joseph Smith's successor

Young was born to a farming family in Whitingham, Vermont and worked as a traveling carpenter and blacksmith, among other trades.[4] Young first married in 1824 to Miriam Angeline Works. Though he had converted to the Methodist faith in 1823, Young was drawn to Mormonism after reading the Book of Mormon shortly after its publication in 1830. He officially joined the new church in 1832 and traveled to Upper Canada as a missionary. After his first wife died in 1832, Young joined many Mormons in establishing a community in Kirtland, Ohio. Young was ordained a member of the original Quorum of the Twelve Apostles in 1835, and he assumed a leadership role within that organization in taking Mormonism to the United Kingdom and organizing the exodus of Latter Day Saints from Missouri in 1838.

While in jail awaiting trial for alleged treason charges, Joseph Smith, president of the church, was killed by an armed mob in 1844. Several claimants to the role of church President emerged during the succession crisis that ensued. Before a large meeting convened to discuss the succession in Nauvoo, Illinois, Sidney Rigdon, the senior surviving member of the church's First Presidency, argued there could be no successor to the deceased prophet and that he should be made the "Protector" of the church.[5] Young opposed this reasoning and motion. Smith had earlier recorded a revelation which stated the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles were "equal in authority and power" to the First Presidency,[6] so Young claimed that the leadership of the church fell to the Twelve Apostles.[7] Many of Young's followers would later reminisce that while Young spoke to the congregation, he looked or sounded similar to Joseph Smith, to which they attributed the power of God.[8] For many in attendance at this meeting, this occurrence was accepted as a sign Young was to lead the church as President of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles. Young was ordained President of the Church in December 1847, more than two and a half years after Smith's death. Rigdon became the president of a separate church organization based in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania and other potential successors emerged to lead what became other denominations of the movement...

Governor of Utah Territory

As colonizer and founder of Salt Lake City, Young was appointed the territory's first governor and superintendent of American Indian affairs by President Millard Fillmore. During his time as governor, Young directed the establishment of settlements throughout Utah, Idaho, Arizona, Nevada, and parts of southern Colorado and northern Mexico. Under his direction the pioneers built roads and bridges, forts, irrigation projects, and established public welfare, organized a militia, and pacified the Native Americans. Young organized the first legislature and established Fillmore as the territory's first capital. In 1856 he organized an efficient mail service. In 1858 he stepped down to his successor Alfred Cumming.

Brigham Young (seated near the middle, wearing a tall beaver hat) and an exploring party camped at the Colorado River in 1870

Church Presidency

Initial actions as church president

After three years of leading the church as the President of the Quorum of the Twelve, in 1847 Young reorganized a new First Presidency and was declared president of the church on December 27, 1847. Repeated conflict led Young to relocate his group of Latter-day Saints to a territory in what is now Utah, then part of Mexico. Young organized the journey that would take the faithful to Winter Quarters, Nebraska, in 1846 , then to the Salt Lake Valley. Young arrived in the Salt Lake Valley on July 24, 1847, a date now recognized as Pioneer Day in Utah.

Polygamy

Mormonism and polygamy
The wives and children of Joseph F. Smith, nephew of Joseph Smith Jr., circa 1900.

The LDS church under Brigham Young is perhaps best known for its practice of polygamy. Though most historians think that polygamy among Latter Day Saints was taught and practiced by Joseph Smith, Young's predecessor, many adherents to other Latter Day Saint denominations such as the Community of Christ believe that polygamy in the Mormon church originated under Brigham Young. The church's first official statement on the subject was given by Brigham Young in 1853 after the church had arrived in Utah. Young's words came nine years after the purported original revelation by Joseph Smith, and five years after the Mormon Exodus to Utah following Smith's death in Illinois.

Family life

Young was perhaps the most famous polygamist of the early American church, marrying a total of 55 wives, 54 of them after becoming a Latter Day Saint.[9] He stated that upon being taught about plural marriage, "It was the first time in my life that I desired the grave."[10] By the time of his death, Young had 56 children by 16 of his wives; 46 of his children reached adulthood.[11]

Sources have varied on the number of Young's wives due to differences in what observers have considered to be a "wife".[9] There were 55 women that Young was sealed to during his lifetime. While the majority of the sealings were "for eternity", some were "for time only". However, it is suspected that not all of the 55 marriages were conjugal,[9] and Young did not live with a number of his wives or publicly hold them out as wives, which has led to confusion on numbering.[9] This is in part due to the complexity of how wives were identified at the time. If a woman was married and her husband died, she was often remarried to someone else in proxy of her former husband so that all of the children she should have became her former husband's children. Furthermore, for a time women were having themselves sealed to men without a man even knowing about it.

Of his 55 wives, 21 had never been married before; 16 were widows; six were divorced; six had living husbands; and the marital status of six others are unknown.[9]

In 1856, Young built the Lion House to accommodate his sizable family. This building remains a Salt Lake City landmark, together with the Beehive House, another Brigham Young family home. A contemporary of Young wrote: "It was amusing to walk by Brigham Young's big house, a long rambling building with innumerable doors. Each wife has an establishment of her own, consisting of parlor, bedroom, and a front door, the key of which she keeps in her pocket".[12]

At the time of Young's death, 19 of his wives had predeceased him, he was divorced from ten, and 23 survived him, with the status of four unknown.[9] In his will, Young shared his estate with the 16 surviving wives who had lived with him; the six surviving non-conjugal wives were not mentioned in the will.[9]

Grave marker of Brigham Young

Circumstances leading to banning the priesthood from black members

Brigham Young is generally credited with having been responsible for revoking the priesthood and temple blessings from black members of the LDS Church, who had been treated equally in this respect under Joseph Smith's presidency.[13]

During the Mormon flight from Illinois towards Utah in 1847, Brigham Young received a letter informing him of an inter-racial marriage by the son of a prominent black member, Walker Lewis. The letter was written by William Ivers Appleby, a Mormon elder, who desired to know if interracial marriage was an acceptable practice. Appleby sent the letter to Young at Winter Quarters, Nebraska, but Young was actually in Utah, and therefore did not receive Appleby's missive until December 1, 1847, when he returned to Winter Quarters. Quite coincidentally, Appleby himself arrived in Winter Quarters on December 2. Young read Appleby's letter and then had him personally report to Young and the eight apostles who were then in Nebraska.[14] In 1863, Young reported that he said, "Shall I tell you the law of God in regard to the African race? If the white man who belongs to the chosen seed mixes his blood with the seed of Cain, the penalty, under the law of God, is death on the spot. This will always be so" (Journal of Discourses, vol. 10, p. 110).[15]

After settling in Utah in 1848, Brigham Young announced a priesthood ban which prohibited all men of black African descent from holding the priesthood.[13] In connection, Mormons of African descent could not participate in Mormon temple rites such as the Endowment or sealing. These racial restrictions remained in place until 1978, when the policy was rescinded by President of the Church Spencer W. Kimball.[16]

Conflict with U.S. government

Shortly after the arrival of Young's pioneers, the new Mormon colonies were incorporated into the United States through Mexican Cession, Young petitioned the U.S. Congress to create the State of Deseret. The Compromise of 1850 instead carved out Utah Territory, and Young was installed as governor. As governor and church president, Young directed both religious and economic matters. He encouraged independence and self-sufficiency. Many cities and towns in Utah, and some in neighboring states, were founded under Young's direction. Young's leadership style has been viewed as autocratic.[17]

When federal officials received reports of widespread and systematic obstruction of federal officials in Utah (most notably judges), U.S. President James Buchanan decided to install a non-Mormon governor. Buchanan accepted the reports of the judges without any further investigation, and the new non-sectarian governor was accompanied by troops sent to garrison forts in the new territory. The troops passed by the bloody Kansas–Missouri war without intervening in it, as it was not open warfare and only isolated sporadic incidents. When Young received word that federal troops were headed to Utah with his replacement, he called out his militia to ambush the federal column. During the defense of Deseret, now called the Utah War, Young held the U.S. Army at bay for a winter by taking their cattle and burning supply wagons. The Mormon forces were largely successful thanks to Lot Smith. Young made plans to burn Salt Lake City and move his followers to Mexico, but at the last minute he relented and agreed to step down as governor. He later received a pardon from Buchanan. Relations between Young and future governors and U.S. Presidents were mixed.

Mountain Meadows massacre

Statue of Young overlooking Brigham Young University

A controversial issue is the extent of Young's involvement in the Mountain Meadows massacre,[18] which took place in Washington County in 1857. Leonard J. Arrington reports that Brigham Young received a rider at his office on the same day. When he learned what was contemplated by the members of the Mormon Church in Parowan and Cedar City, he sent back a letter that the Fancher party be allowed to pass through the territory unmolested.[19] Young's letter supposedly arrived two days too late, on September 13, 1857. As governor, Young had promised the federal government he would protect immigrants passing through Utah Territory. But he had also allegedly told local Native American leaders that they had his permission to steal cattle from these wagon trains.[citation needed] Over 120 men, women and children were killed by the Mormons and their Native American allies. It is clear that local Mormons were the principal perpetrators. United States Army officer James Henry Carleton was sent to investigate the massacre and was convinced that the Mormons were the perpetrators. Only children survived, the murdered members of the wagon train (known as the Fancher Party) were left unburied, and the surviving children were cared for by local Mormon families. The remains of about forty people were found and buried and Carleton had a large cross made from local trees, the transverse beam bearing the engraving, "Vengeance Is Mine, Saith The Lord: I Will Repay" and erected a cairn of rocks at the site. A large slab of granite was put up on which he had the following words engraved: "HERE 120 MEN, WOMEN AND CHILDREN WERE MASSACRED IN COLD BLOOD EARLY IN SEPTEMBER, 1857. THEY WERE FROM ARKANSAS." For two years the monument stood as a warning to those travelling the Spanish Trail through Mountain Meadow. Some claim that, In 1861, Young brought an entourage to Mountain Meadows and had the cairn and cross destroyed, while exclaiming, "Vengeance is mine and I have taken a little".[20] However, others claim it was torn down and then re-built in 1864 by the U.S. military[21]

Other notable actions

Young organized the Mormon Tabernacle Choir and in 1850 founded the University of Deseret, which is now the University of Utah. In 1875, just two years before his death, he founded Brigham Young Academy, which later became Brigham Young University. In 1950, the state of Utah donated a marble statue of Young to the National Statuary Hall Collection at the United States Capitol.[22]

Death

Before his death in Salt Lake City at 4:00pm on August 29, 1877,[23] Young was suffering from 'cholera morbus and inflammation of the bowels'.[24] His funeral which took place on September 2, 1877, was held in the Tabernacle with an estimated 12,000 to 15,000 people in attendance.[25]

Works

Reference in literature

Sir Arthur Conan Doyle based his first Sherlock Holmes novel, A Study in Scarlet, on Mormon history, mentioning Young by name. When asked to comment on the story, which had "provoked the animosity of the Mormon faithful", Conan Doyle noted, "all I said about the Danite Band and the murders is historical so I cannot withdraw that though it is likely that in a work of fiction it is stated more luridly than in a work of history." However, Doyle's daughter stated that "You know father would be the first to admit that his first Sherlock Holmes novel was full of errors about the Mormons." [26]

Mark Twain devoted a chapter and much of an appendix to Brigham Young in his book Roughing It.

Notable descendants

Brigham Young has several noteworthy descendants:

See also

Notes

  1. ^ A year after Young's death, Orson Hyde died and Moses Thatcher was ordained an apostle. The First Presidency was not reorganized until 1880-10-10, after which Francis M. Lyman and John Henry Smith were ordained. Orson Pratt died in 1881, and the Quorum of the Twelve did not have twelve members again until 1882-10-16, when George Teasdale and Heber J. Grant were ordained.
  2. ^ Newsroom — The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints
  3. ^ Trails of Hope: Overland Diaries and Letters, 1846–1869 - Maps: Their Use by Overlanders
  4. ^ Sheret, John G.: Brigham Young: Carpenter and Cabinet Maker
  5. ^ Roberts, B. H. (ed.) History of the Church, vol. 7, ch. XVIII.
  6. ^ Doctrine and Covenants 107:23-24.
  7. ^ Roberts, B. H. (ed.) History of the Church, vol. 7, ch. XIX.
  8. ^ Harper 1996; Lynne Watkins Jorgensen, "The Mantle of the Prophet Joseph Smith Passes to Brother Brigham: One Hundred Twenty-one Testimonies of a Collective Spiritual Witness" in John W. Welch (ed.), 2005. Opening the Heavens: Accounts of Divine Manifestations, 1820-1844, Provo, Utah: BYU Press, pp. 374-480; Eugene English, "George Laub Nauvoo Diary," BYU Studies, 18 [Winter 1978]: 167 ("Now when President Young arose to address the congregation his voice was the voice of Bro[ther] Joseph and his face appeared as Joseph's face & should I have not seen his face but heard his voice I should have declared that it was Joseph"); William Burton Diary, May 1845. LDS Church Archives ("But their [Joseph Smith and Hyrum Smith's] places were filed by others much better than I once supposed they could have been, the spirit of Joseph appeared to rest upon Brigham"); Benjamin F. Johnson, My Life's Review [Independence, 1928], p. 103-104 ("But as soon as he spoke I jumped upon my feet, for in every possible degree it was Joseph's voice, and his person, in look, attitude, dress and appearance; [it] was Joseph himself, personified and I knew in a moment the spirit and mantle of Joseph was upon him"); Life Story of Mosiah Hancock, p. 23, BYU Library ("Although only a boy, I saw the mantle of the Prophet Joseph rest upon Brigham Young; and he arose lion-like to the occasion and led the people forth"); Wilford Woodruff, Deseret News, March 15, 1892 ("If I had not seen him with my own eyes, there is no one that could have convinced me that it was not Joseph Smith"); George Q. Cannon, Juvenile Instructor, 22 [29 October 1870]: 174-175 ("When Brigham Young spoke it was with the voice of Joseph himself; and not only was it the voice of Joseph which was heard, but it seemed in the eyes of the people as though it was the every person of Joseph which stood before them").
  9. ^ a b c d e f g Jeffrey Odgen Johnson, “Determining and Defining ‘Wife’ — The Brigham Young Households”, Dialogue: A Journal of Mormon Thought, vol. 20, no. 3 (Fall 1987) pp. 57-70.
  10. ^ "Polygamy and the Church: A History". The Mormons: People & Events. WGBH Educational Foundation. 2007-04-30. http://www.pbs.org/mormons/peopleevents/e_polygamy.html. Retrieved 2007-05-29. 
  11. ^ = brigham7 "Brigham Young Biography". Brigham Young University. http://unicomm.byu.edu/about/brigham.aspx?content = brigham7. Retrieved 2007-07-01. 
  12. ^ DeHegermann-Lindencrone, Lillie. "The Sunny Side of Diplomatic Life, 1875–1912". Project Gutenberg. http://www.gutenberg.org/files/13955/13955-h/13955-h.htm. Retrieved 2006-07-18. 
  13. ^ a b Bush, Jr, Lester E; Armand L. Mauss (1984). Neither White nor Black: Mormon Scholars Confront the Race Issue in a Universal Church. Midvale, Utah: Signature Books. pp. 54–65, 70. ISBN 978-0941214223. http://www.signaturebookslibrary.org/neither/neither3.htm#Chapter3. 
  14. ^ Lewis, Elder Q. Walker (2006). ""An example for his more whiter brethren to follow"". John Whitmer Historical Association Journal]. http://people.ucsc.edu/~odonovan/elder_walker_lewis.html#_ftnref110.  Information obtain threw a letter in the LDS Church Archives titled “William I. Appleby to Brigham Young”, May 31, 1847
  15. ^ [1]
  16. ^ [2]
  17. ^ "Brigham Young", MSN Encarta. Archived 2009-10-31.
  18. ^ Eakin, Emily (2002-10-12). "Reopening a Mormon Murder Mystery; New Accusations That Brigham Young Himself Ordered an 1857 Massacre of Pioneers". New York Times: p. Section B, Page 9, Column 2. http://select.nytimes.com/gst/abstract.html?res=F10E17F6395E0C718DDDA90994DA404482&showabstract=1. 
  19. ^ Brigham Young to Isaac C. Haight, Sept. 10, 1857, Letterpress Copybook 3:827–28, Brigham Young Office Files, LDS Church Archives
  20. ^ Sally Denton (2003). American Massacre: The Tragedy at Mountain Meadows, September 1857 (New York: Vintage Books, ISBN 0375726365) p. 210.
  21. ^ "Mountain Meadows Monument, Salt Lake Tribune, May 27, 1874.
  22. ^ Brigham Young
  23. ^ Death of Brigham Young, The New York Times, August 30, 1877 http://query.nytimes.com/gst/abstract.html?res=9D06E5D7133FE63BBC4850DFBE66838C669FDE
  24. ^ Brigham Young's Health, The New York Times, August 29, 1877 http://query.nytimes.com/gst/abstract.html?res=9501E6D7133FE63BBC4151DFBE66838C669FDE
  25. ^ Brigham Young's Funeral, The New York Times, September 3, 1877 http://query.nytimes.com/gst/abstract.html?res=9803EFD7133FE63BBC4B53DFBF66838C669FDE
  26. ^ Sherlock Holmes creator Arthur Conan Doyle impressed by Mormons
  27. ^ a b c Jenson, Andrew. Biographical Encyclopedia of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (Salt Lake City, Utah: Deseret Book and A. Jenson Historical Co., 1901–1936) 1:42, 121, & 518
  28. ^ a b Gates, Susa Young Gates; Leah D. Widtsoe (1930). Life Story of Brigham Young. New York: Macmillan. pp. 388. ISBN 0836958861. 
  29. ^ a b Cracroft, R. Paul. "Susa Young Gates: Her Life and Literary Work." Master's thesis, University of Utah, 1951.
  30. ^ Reviews for Mahonri Young: His Life and Art – contains many biographical details
  31. ^ "Who Is Orson Scott Card?". Hatrack River – The official web site of Orson Scott Card. Hatrack River Enterprises Inc. 2009. http://www.hatrack.com/osc/about-more.shtml. Retrieved 25 August 2009.  paragraph 9
  32. ^ Reeve, W. Paul; Utah History to Go! (February 1995). "Captain Richard W. Young and Spanish-American War". History Blazer. State of Utah. http://historytogo.utah.gov/utah_chapters/statehood_and_the_progressive_era/captainrichardwyoungandspanish-americanwar.html. Retrieved 25 August 2009.  paragraph 2
  33. ^ Tanner, Sandra; Jerald Tanner. "About Us". Utah Lighthouse Ministry. http://www.utlm.org/navaboutus.htm. Retrieved 25 August 2009.  paragraph 3
  34. ^ "Steve Young Profile". espn.go.com. 1999-09-27. http://static.espn.go.com/nfl/profiles/profile/0128.html. Retrieved 2009-03-12. 
  35. ^ The Pulitzer Murder Case, The Virtual Dime Museum, 2008-05-29, accessed 2009-04-30 paragraph 5

References

External links

Political offices
Preceded by
None
Governor of Utah Territory
1850–1858
Succeeded by
Alfred Cumming
Church of Latter Day Saints titles
Preceded by
Joseph Smith, Jr.
President of the LDS Church
December 27, 1847 – August 29, 1877
Succeeded by
John Taylor
Preceded by
Thomas B. Marsh
President of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles
March 17, 1839 – December 27, 1847
Succeeded by
Orson Hyde
Preceded by
David W. Patten
Quorum of the Twelve Apostles
February 14, 1835 – December 27, 1847
Succeeded by
Heber C. Kimball

Quotes

Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From Wikiquote

Brigham Young

Brigham Young (June 1, 1801August 29, 1877) was the second prophet and president of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. He was also the first governor of the Utah Territory.

Contents

Sourced

Public speaking

  • In my conversation, I shall talk and act as I please. Still I am always aware, when speaking in public, that there are those present who are disposed to find fault with this people, and to try to raise a prejudice against them; and they will pick up isolated words and sentences, and put them together to suit themselves, and send forth a garbled version to prejudice the world against us. Such a course I never care anything about; for I have frequently said, spoken words are but wind, and when they are spoken are gone; consequently I take liberties in speaking which I do not allow when I commit my sentiments to writing.
    • Journal of Discourses 2:179 (February 18, 1855)
    • Young predicts that people will take his written words and rearrange them to suit themselves.
  • I will tell you what this people need, with regard to preaching; you need, figuratively, to have it rain pitchforks, tines downwards, from this pulpit, Sunday after Sunday. Instead of the smooth, beautiful, sweet, still, silk-velvet-lipped preaching, you should have sermons like peals of thunder, and perhaps we then can get the scales from our eyes. This style is necessary in order to save many of this people.

Humor

  • I suppose that, if we were in the congregations of some of our Christian fellow-countrymen, we would not hear any children crying. I believe they have none in some societies. I am very happy to hear the children crying when it is really necessary and they cannot be kept from it. One thing is certain, whereever we go there is a proof that the people are keeping the commandments of the Lord, especially the first one—to multiply and replenish the earth.

Adam

  • Now hear it, O inhabitants of the earth, Jew and Gentile, Saint and sinner! When our father Adam came into the garden of Eden, he came into it with a celestial body, and brought Eve, one of his wives, with him. He helped to make and organize this world. He is MICHAEL, the Archangel, the ANCIENT OF DAYS! about whom holy men have written and spoken-He is our FATHER and our GOD, and the only God with whom WE have to do. Every man upon the earth, professing Christians or non-professing, must hear it, and will know it sooner or later. They came here, organized the raw material, and arranged in their order the herbs of the field, the trees, the apple, the peach, the plum, the pear, and every other fruit that is desirable and good for man; the seed was brought from another sphere, and planted in this earth. The thistle, the thorn, the brier, and the obnoxious weed did not appear until after the earth was cursed. When Adam and Eve had eaten of the forbidden fruit, their bodies became mortal from its effects, and therefore their offspring were mortal...It is true that the earth was organized by three distinct characters, namely, Eloheim, Yahovah, and Michael, these three forming a quorum, as in all heavenly bodies, and in organizing element, perfectly represented in the Deity, as Father, Son, and Holy Ghost.
  • Some of you may doubt the truth of what I now say, and argue that the Lord could teach him. This is a mistake. The Lord could not have taught him in any other way than in the way in which He did teach him. You believe Adam was made of the dust of this earth. This I do not believe, though it is supposed that it is so written in the Bible; but it is not, to my understanding. You can write that information to the States, if you please-that I have publicly declared that I do not believe that portion of the Bible as the Christian world do. I never did, and I never want to. What is the reason I do not? Because I have come to understanding, and banished from my mind all the baby stories my mother taught me when I was a child. But suppose Adam was made and fashioned the same as we make adobies; if he had never drunk of the bitter cup; the Lord might have talked to him to this day, and he would have continued as he was to all eternity, never advancing one particle in the school of intelligence. This idea opens up a field of light to the intelligent mind. How can you know truth but by its opposite, or light but by its opposite? The absence of light is darkness. How can sweetness be known but by its opposite, bitter? It is by this means that we obtain all intelligence.
  • Some have grumbled because I believe our God to be so near to us as Father Adam. There are many who know that doctrine to be true. Where was Michael in the creation of this earth? Did he have a mission to the earth? He did. Where was he? In the Grand Council, and performed the mission assigned him there. Now, if it should happen that we have to pay tribute to Father Adam, what a humiliating circumstance it would be! Just wait till you pass Joseph Smith; and after Joseph lets you pass him, you will find Peter; and after you pass the Apostles and many of the Prophets, you will find Abraham, and he will say, "I have the keys, and except you do thus and so, you cannot pass;" and after a while you come to Jesus; and when you at length meet Father Adam, how strange it will appear to you present notion. If we can pass Joseph and have him say, "Here; you have been faithful, good boys; I hold the keys of this dispensation; I will let you pass;" then we shall be very glad to see the white locks of Father Adam. But those are ideas which do not concern us at present, although it is written in the Bible—"This is eternal life, to know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom thou hast sent."
  • When you tell me that father Adam was made as we make adobies from the earth, you tell me what I deem an idle tale. When you tell me that the beasts of the field were produced in that manner, you are speaking idle words devoid of meaning. There is no such thing in all the eternities where the Gods dwell. Mankind are here because they are the offspring of parents who were first brought here from another planet, and power was given them to propagate their species, and they were commanded to multiply and replenish the earth. The offspring of Adam and Eve are commanded to take the rude elements, and, by the knowledge God has given, to convert them into everything required for their life, health, adornment, wealth, comfort, and consolation. Have we the knowledge to do this? We have. Who gave us this knowledge? Our Father who made us; for he is the only wise God

Apostates

  • I say, rather than that apostates should flourish here, I will unsheath my bowie knife, and conquer or die. (Great commotion in the congregation, and a simultaneous burst of feeling, assenting to the declaration.) Now, you nasty apostates, clear out, or judgment will be put to the line, and righteousness to the plummet. (Voices, generally, "go it, go it.")If you say it is right, raise your hands. (All hands up.) Let us call upon the Lord to assist us in this, and every good work.
    • Journal of Discourses 1:83 (March 27, 1853)
    • Young describing his feelings upon awakening from a dream in which he "saw two ruffians, whom I knew to be mobbers and murderers, and they crept into a bed, where one of my wives and children were..."

The Bible

  • I have heard some make the broad assertion that every word within the lids of the Bible was the word of God. I have said to them, "You have never read the Bible, have you?" "O, yes, and I believe every word in it is the word of God." Well, I believe that the Bible contains the word of God, and the words of good men and the words of bad men; the words of good angels and the words of bad angels and words of the devil; and also the words uttered by the ass when he rebuked the prophet in his madness. I believe the words of the Bible are just what they are; but aside from that I believe the doctrines concerning salvation contained in that book are true, and that their observance will elevate any people, nation or family that dwells on the face of the earth. The doctrines contained in the Bible will lift to a superior condition all who observe them; they will impart to them knowledge, wisdom, charity, fill them with compassion and cause them to feel after the wants of those who are in distress, or in painful or degraded circumstances.
  • Some, in their curiosity, will say, "But you Mormons have another Bible! Do you believe in the Old and New Testaments?" I answer we do believe in the Old and New Testaments, and we have also another book, called the Book of Mormon. What are the doctrines of the Book of Mormon? The same as those of the Bible…"What good does it do you, Latter-day Saints?" It proves that the Bible is true. What do the infidel world say about the Bible? They say that the Bible is nothing better than last year's almanack; it is nothing but a fable and priestcraft, and it is good for nothing. The Book of Mormon, however, declares that the Bible is true, and it proves it; and the two prove each other true. The Old and New Testaments are the stick of Judah. You recollect that the tribe of Judah tarried in Jerusalem and the Lord blessed Judah, and the result was the writings of the Old and New Testaments. But where is the stick of Joseph? Can you tell where it is? Yes. It was the children of Joseph who came across the waters to this continent, and this land was filled with people, and the Book of Mormon or the stick of Joseph contains their writings, and they are in the hands of Ephraim. Where are the Ephraimites? They are mixed through all the nations of the earth. God is calling upon them to gather out, and He is uniting them, and they are giving the Gospel to the whole world. Is there any harm or any false doctrine in that? A great many say there is. If there is, it is all in the Bible.
  • [T]ake the Bible just as it reads; and if it be translated incorrectly, and there is a scholar on the earth who professes to be a Christian, and he can translate it any better than King James's translators did it, he is under obligation to do so, or the curse is upon him. If I understood Greek and Hebrew as some may profess to do, and I knew the Bible was not correctly translated, I should feel myself bound by the law of justice to the inhabitants of the earth to translate that which is incorrect and give it just as it was spoken anciently. Is that proper? Yes, I would be under obligation to do it. But I think it is translated just as correctly as the scholars could get it, although it is not correct in a great many instances. But it is no matter about that. Read it and observe it and it will not hurt any person in the world. If we are not to believe the whole of the Bible, let the man, whoever he may be, among the professed Christians, who thinks he knows, draw the line between the true and the false, so that the whole sectarian world may be able to take the right and leave the wrong. But the man Christ Jesus, who has revealed himself in the latter days, says the Bible is true and the people must believe it. Let us believe it, and then obey it.

Christians

  • If you should have visits here from those professing to be Christians, and they intimate a desire to preach to you, by all means invite them to do so. Accord to every reputable person who may visit you, and who may wish to occupy the stands of your meeting houses to preach to you, the privilege of doing so, no matter whether he be a Catholic, Presbyterian, Congregationalist, Baptist, Free-will Baptist, Methodist, or whatever he may be; and if he wishes to speak to your children let him do so. Of course you have the power to correct whatever false teachings or impressions, if any, your children may hear or receive.
  • You will probably have what is called a Christian Church here; they will not admit that we are Christians, but they cannot think us further from the plan of salvation as revealed from heaven than we know them to be, so we are even on that ground, as far as it goes.

Thieves

  • If you want to know what to do with a thief that you may find stealing, I say kill him on the spot, and never suffer him to commit another iniquity. That is what I expect I shall do, though never, in the days of my life, have I hurt a man with the palm of my hand. I never have hurt any person any other way except with this unruly member, my tongue.

Joseph Smith

  • I can sum up all the arguments used against Joseph Smith and "Mormonism” in a very few words, the merits of which will be found in OLD JOE SMITH. IMPOSTOR, MONEY DIGGER. OLD JOE SMITH. SPIRITUAL WIFE DOCTRINE. IMPOSTURE. THE DOCTRINE IS FALSE. MONEY DIGGER. FALSE PROPHET. DELUSION. SPIRITUAL WIFE DOCTRINE. Oh, my dear brethren and sisters, keep away from them, for the sake of your never dying souls. FALSE PROPHETS THAT SHOULD COME IN THE LAST DAYS. OLD JOE SMITH. ANTI-CHRIST. MONEY DIGGER, MONEY DIGGER, MONEY DIGGER. And the whole is wound up with an appeal, not to the good sense of the people, but to their unnatural feelings, in a canting, hypocritical tone, and there it ends.

Polygamy

  • I will now say, not only to our delegate to Congress, but to the Elders who leave the body of the Church, that he thought that all the cats and kittens were let out of the bag when brother Pratt went back last fall, and published the Revelation concerning the plurality of wives: it was thought there was no other cat to let out. But allow me to tell you, Elders of Israel, and delegates to Congress, you may expect an eternity of cats, that have not yet escaped from the bag. Bless your souls, there is no end to them, for if there is not one thing, there will always be another.
  • This is the reason why the doctrine of plurality of wives was revealed, that the noble spirits who are waiting for tabernacles might be brought forth
  • [I]f you have in your hearts to say…”we will not, therefore, be polygamists lest we should fail in obtaining some earthly honor, character and office, etc,"-the man that has that in his heart, and will continue to persist in pursuing that policy, will come short of dwelling in the presence of the Father and the Son, in celestial glory. The only men who become Gods, even the Sons of God, are those who enter into polygamy. Others attain unto a glory and may even be permitted to come into the presence of the Father and the Son; but they cannot reign as kings in glory, because they had blessing offered unto them, and they refused to accept them. The Lord gave a revelation through Joseph Smith, His servant; and we have believed and practiced it.
  • Just ask yourselves, historians, when was monogamy introduced on to the face of the earth? When those buccaneers, who settled on the peninsula where Rome now stands, could not steal women enough to have two or three apiece, they passed a law that a man should have but one woman. And this started monogamy and the downfall of the plurality system. In the days of Jesus, Rome, having dominion over Jerusalem, they carried out the doctrine more or less. This was the rise, start and foundation of the doctrine of monogamy; and never till then was there a law passed, that we have any knowledge of, that a man should have but one wife.
  • [W]e shall continue to do it until God tell us to stop, or until we pass into sin and iniquity, which will never be.
  • Some of these my brethren know what my feelings were at the time Joseph revealed the doctrine; I was not desirous of shrinking from any duty, nor of failing in the least to do as I was commanded, but it was the first time in my life that I had desired the grave, and I could hardly get over it for a long time. And when I saw a funeral, I felt to envy the corpse its situation, and to regret that I was not in the coffin...

Journal of Discourses 3:266 (Jul. 14, 1855)

    • Brigham Young on the subject of the practice of polygamy

The Constitution

  • Will the Constitution be destroyed? No: it will be held inviolate by this people; and, as Joseph Smith said, "The time will come when the destiny of the nation will hang upon a single thread. At that critical juncture, this people will step forth and save it from the threatened destruction." It will be so.

First Vision

  • The Lord did not come with the armies of heaven, in power and great glory, nor send His messengers panoplied with aught else than the truth of heaven, to communicate to the meek the lowly, the youth of humble origin, the sincere enquirer after the knowledge of God. But He did send His angel to this same obscure person, Joseph Smith Jun., who afterwards became a Prophet, Seer, and Revelator, and informed him that he should not join any of the religious sects of the day, for they were all wrong; that they were following the precepts of men instead of the Lord Jesus; that He had a work for him to perform, inasmuch as he should prove faithful before Him.
    • Journal of Discourses 2:170-171 (February 18, 1855)
    • Young comments on Joseph Smith’s visions. This quote is often presented in a heavily edited form which reads: "The Lord did not come…But he did send his angel to this same obscure person, Joseph Smith Jun.,…"
  • The Lord chose Joseph Smith, called upon him at fourteen years of age, gave him vision, and led him along, guided and directed him in his obscurity.
  • I very well recollect the reformation which took place in the country among the various denominations of Christians-the Baptists, Methodists, Presbyterians, and others-when Joseph was a boy. Joseph's mother, one of his brothers, and one, if not two, of his sisters were members of the Presbyterian Church, and on this account the Presbyterians hung to the family with great tenacity. And in the midst of these revivals among the religious bodies, the invitation, "Come and join our church," was often extended to Joseph, but more particularly from the Presbyterians. Joseph was naturally inclined to be religious, and being young, and surrounded with this excitement, no wonder that he became seriously impressed with the necessity of serving the Lord. But as the cry on every hand was, "Lo, here is Christ," and "Lo, there!" Said he, "Lord, teach me, that I may know for myself, who among these are right." And what was the answer? "They are all out of the way; they have gone astray, and there is none that doeth good, no not one. When he found out that none were right, he began to inquire of the Lord what was right, and he learned for himself. Was he aware of what was going to be done? By no means. He did not know what the Lord was going to do with him, although He had informed him that the Christian churches were all wrong, because they had not the Holy Priesthood, and had strayed from the holy commandments of the Lord, precisely as the children of Israel did.
    • Journal of Discourses 12:67 (June 23, 1867)
    • Young’s recollection of religious excitement and events leading up to Joseph Smith, Jr.’s first vision.
  • You read in the revelations given to John on the Isle of Patmos, concerning the latter days, that a voice was heard crying to the Saints in Babylon-"Come out of her, O my people, be not partakers of her sins, lest ye receive of her plagues, for her sins have reached unto heaven," etc. Has this voice been heard? Yes, the Latter-day Saints have heard it. Has the angel flown through the midst of heaven and delivered the Gospel to the children of men? Yes, we believe all this. Do we believe that the Lord sent his messengers to Joseph Smith, and commanded him to refrain from joining any Christian church, and to refrain from the wickedness he saw in the churches, and finally delivered to him a message informing him that the Lord was about to establish his kingdom on the earth, and led him on step by step until he gave him the revelation concerning the plates? Yes, this is all correct. Did Joseph receive these revelations? He did. Did the heavenly messengers come to Joseph, and commit to him the keys of the Aaronic Priesthood? Yes, we believe all this. Did they commit to him the keys of the Melchizedek Priesthood? Yes. This is all correct, we believe all this.
  • Why was Joseph Smith persecuted? Why was he hunted from neighborhood to neighborhood, from city to city, and from State to State, and at last suffered death? Because he received revelations from the Father, from the Son, and was ministered to by holy angels, and published to the world the direct will of the Lord concerning his children on the earth.

Persecution

  • I will take the Government of the United States, and the laws of Missouri and Illinois, from the year 1833 to 1845, and if they had been carried out according to their letter and spirit, they would have strung up the murderers and mobocrats who illegally and unrighteously killed, plundered, harassed, and expelled us. I will tell you how much I love those characters. If they had any respect to their own welfare, they would come forth and say, whether Joseph Smith was a Prophet or not, "We shed his blood, and now let us atone for it;" and they would be willing to have their heads chopped off, that their blood might run upon the ground, and the smoke of it rise before the Lord as an incense for their sins. I love them that much. But if the Lord wishes them to live and foam out their sins before all men and women, it is all right, I care not where they go, or what they do.
  • We have the proof on hand, that instead of the laws being honored, they have been violated in every instance of persecution against this people; instead of the laws being made honorable, they have been trampled under the feet of lawyers, judges, sheriffs, governors, legislators, and nearly all the officers of the government; such persons are the most guilty of breaking the laws. To diverge a little, in regard to those who have persecuted this people and driven them to the mountains, I intend to meet them on their own grounds. It was asked this morning how we could obtain redress for our wrongs; I will tell you how it could be done, we could take the same law they have taken, viz., mobocracy, and if any miserable scoundrels come here, cut their throats. (All the people said, Amen.) This would be meting out that treatment to wicked men, which they had measured to innocent persons. We could meet them on their own ground, when they will not honor the law, but will kill the Prophets and destroy the innocent.
  • I would rather that this people should starve to death in the mountains, than to have the Lord Almighty hand us over to a cursed, infernal mob. I would rather go down to the grave in peace than to fight a mob, unless the Lord would give me enough Saints to fight and kill the poor devils; in such case I wish to live and fight them. But I never want to see a mob again drive and tread under foot the Saints.

Adultery

  • You say, "That man ought to die for transgressing the law of God." Let me suppose a case. Suppose you found your brother in bed with your wife, and put a javelin through both of them, you would be justified, and they would atone for their sins, and be received into the kingdom of God. I would at once do so in such a case; and under such circumstances, I have no wife whom I love so well that I would not put a javelin through her heart, and I would do it with clean hands. But you who trifle with your covenants, be careful lest in judging you will be judged. Every man and women has got to have clean hands and a pure heart, to execute judgment, else they had better let the matter alone. Again, suppose the parties are not caught in their iniquity, and it passes along unnoticed, shall I have compassion on them? Yes, I will have compassion on them, for transgressions of the nature already named, or for those of any other description. If the Lord so order it that they are not caught in the act of their iniquity, it is pretty good proof that He is willing for them to live; and I say let them live and suffer in the flesh for their sins, for they will have it to do.
  • There is not a man or woman, who violates the covenants made with their God, that will not be required to pay the debt. The blood of Christ will never wipe that out, your own blood must atone for it; and the judgments of the Almighty will come, sooner or later, and every man and woman will have to atone for breaking their covenants. To what degree? Will they have to go to hell? They are in hell enough now. I do not wish them in a greater hell, when their consciences condemn them all the time. Let compassion reign in our bosoms. Try to comprehend how weak we are, how we are organized, how the spirit and the flesh are continually at war.
  • The time has been in Israel under the law of God, the celestial law, or that which pertains to the celestial law, for it is one of the laws of that kingdom where our Father dwells, that if a man was found guilty of adultery, he must have his blood shed, and that is near at hand. But now I say, in the name of the Lord, that if this people will sin no more, but faithfully live their religion, their sins will be forgiven them without taking life.

Blood atonement

  • There are sins that men commit for which they cannot receive forgiveness in this world, or in that which is to come, and if they had their eyes open to see their true condition, they would be perfectly willing to have their blood spilt upon the ground, that the smoke thereof might ascend to heaven as an offering for their sins, and the smoking incense would atone for their sins, whereas, if such is not the case, they will stick to them and remain upon them in the spirit world ... I do know that there are sins committed, of such a nature that if the people did understand the doctrine of salvation, they would tremble because of their situation. And furthermore, I know that there are transgressors, who, if they knew themselves, and the only condition upon which they can obtain forgiveness, would beg of their brethren to shed their blood, that the smoke thereof might ascend to God as an offering to appease the wrath that is kindled against them, and that the law might have its course. I will say further; I have had men come to me and offer their lives to atone for their sins. It is true that the blood of the Son of God was shed for sins through the fall and those committed by men, yet men can commit sins which it can never remit. As it was in ancient days, so it is in our day.
  • Now take a person in this congregation who has knowledge with regard to being saved in the kingdom of our God and our Father and being exalted, one who knows and understands the principles of eternal life, and sees the beauty and excellency of the eternities before him compared with the vain and foolish things of the world, and suppose that he is taken in a gross fault, that he has committed a sin he knows will deprive him of the exaltation he desires, and that he cannot attain to it without the shedding of his blood, and also knows that by having his blood shed he will atone for that sin, and be saved and exalted with the Gods, is there a man or woman in this house but would say, 'shed my blood that I might be saved and exalted with the Gods?' All mankind love themselves, and let these principles be known by an individual and he would be glad to have his blood shed. That would be loving themselves, even unto an eternal exaltation. Will you love your brothers or sisters likewise, when they have committed a sin that cannot be atoned for without the shedding of their blood? Will you love that man or woman well enough to shed their blood?...I have known a great many men who have left this Church for whom there is no chance whatever for exaltation, but if their blood had been spilled, it would have been better for them. The wickedness and ignorance of the nations forbid this principle's being in full force, but the time will come when the law of God will be in full force.

Angels

  • Angels are those beings who have been on an earth like this, and have passed through the same ordeals that we are now passing through. They have kept their first estate far enough to preserve themselves in the Priesthood. They did not so violate the law of the Priesthood and condemn themselves to the sin against the Holy Ghost as to be finally lost. They are not crowned with the celestial ones. They are persons who have lived upon an earth, but did not magnify the Priesthood in that high degree that many others have done who have become Gods, even the sons of God. Human beings that pertain to this world, who do not magnify or are not capable of magnifying their high calling in the Priesthood and receive crowns of glory, immortality, and eternal lives, will also, when they again receive their bodies, become angels and will receive a glory. They are single, without families or kingdoms to reign over. All the difference between men and angels is, men are passing through the day of trial that angels have already passed through.

Word of Wisdom

  • Which would you part with first-your tobacco, your whisky, or your religion? Your tea, or your religion? Which would you shake hands with and bid good-bye for ever-your coffee, or your religion? I should think I had disgraced the man that stands before you this day, if I loved any object on the earth better than I love my religion and my God.
  • Now, there is no harm in a teapot, even if it contains tea, if it is let alone.

Mountain Meadows massacre

  • Kanosh the Pauvantee [Pauvant] Chief with Several of his band vis[i]ted me gave them some council & presints. A Spirit Seems to be takeing posses[s]ion of the Indians to assist Isreal. I can hardly restrain them from exterminating the "Americans"
    • Diary of Brigham Young 1857, p. 71 (September 1, 1857)
    • Comments written by Young in his diary less than a week before the Mountain Meadows massacre.
  • In 1857 it is estimated that eleven thousand troops were ordered here; some seven thousand started for this place, with several thousand hangers on. They came into this Territory when a company of emigrants were traveling on the south route to California. Nearly all of the Company were destroyed by the Indians. That unfortunate affair has been laid to the charge of the whites. A certain judge that was then in this Territory wanted the whole army to accompany him to Iron county to try the whites for the murder of that company of emigrants. I told Governor Cumming that if he would take an unprejudiced judge into the district where that horrid affair occurred, I would pledge myself that every man in the regions round about should be forthcoming when called for, to be condemned or acquitted as an impartial, unprejudiced judge and jury should decide; and I pledged him that the court should be protected from any violence or hindrance in the prosecution of the laws; and if any were guilty of the blood of those who suffered in the Mountain Meadow massacre, let them suffer the penalty of the law; but to this day they have not touched the matter, for fear the Mormons would be acquitted from the charge of having any hand in it, and our enemies would thus be deprived of a favorite topic to talk about, when urging hostility against us. "The Mountain Meadow massacre! Only think of the Mountain Meadow massacre!!" is their cry from one end of the land to the other.

Danites

  • Is there war in our religion? No; neither war nor bloodshed. Yet our enemies cry out "bloodshed," and "oh, what dreadful men these Mormons are, and those Danites! how they slay and kill!" Such is all nonsense and folly in the extreme. The wicked slay the wicked, and they will lay it on the Saints.

Miscellaneous

  • Go to the United States, into Europe, or wherever you can come across men who have been in the midst of this people, and one will tell you that we are a poor, ignorant, deluded people; the next will tell you that we are the most industrious and intelligent people on the earth, and are destined to rise to eminence as a nation, and spread, and continue to spread, until we revolutionize the whole earth. If you pass on to the third man, and inquire what he thinks of the "Mormons," he will say they are fools, duped and led astray by Joe Smith, who was a knave, a false Prophet, and a money digger. Why is all this? It is because there is a spirit in man. And when the Gospel of Jesus Christ is preached on the earth, and the kingdom of God is established, there is also a spirit in these things, and an Almighty spirit too. When these two spirits come in contact one with the other, the spirit of the Gospel reflects light upon the spirit which God has placed in man, and wakes him up to a consciousness of his true state, which makes him afraid he will be condemned, for he perceives at once that "Mormonism" is true. "Our craft is in danger," is the first thought that strikes the wicked and dishonest of mankind, when the light of truth shines upon them. Say they, "If these people called Latter-day Saints are correct in their views, the whole world must be wrong, and what will become of our time-honoured institutions, and of our influence, which we have swayed successfully over the minds of the people for ages. This Mormonism must be put down."
  • I say, if you want to enjoy exquisitely, become a Latter-day Saint, and then live the doctrine of Jesus Christ.
    • Deseret News: Semi-Weekly, 1 (30 June 1874)
  • The Gospel that we preach is the power of God unto salvation; and the first principle of that Gospel is, as I have already said, faith in God, and faith in Jesus Christ His Son our Savior. We must believe that he is the character he is represented to be in the holy Scriptures. Believe that he told the truth when he said to his disciples, "Go ye forth and preach the Gospel to every creature; he that believeth and is baptized shall be saved, but he that believeth not shall be damned." We must believe that this same Jesus was crucified for the sins of the world, that is for the original sin, not the actual individual transgressions of the people; not but that the blood of Christ will cleanse from all sin, all who are disposed to act their part by repentance, and faith in his name. But the original sin was atoned for by the death of Christ, although its effects we still see in the diseases, tempers and every species of wickedness with which the human family is afflicted.
  • It has been observed here this morning that we are called fanatics. Bless me! That is nothing. Who has not been called a fanatic who has discovered anything new in philosophy or science? We have all read of Galileo the astronomer who, contrary to the system of astronomy that had been received for ages before his day, taught that the sun, and not the earth, was the centre of our planetary system? For this the learned astronomer was called "fanatic," and subjected to persecution and imprisonment of the most rigorous character. So it has been with others who have discovered and explained new truths in science and philosophy which have been in opposition to long-established theories; and the opposition they have encountered has endured until the truth of their discoveries has been demonstrated by time. The term "fanatic" is not applied to professors of religion only...I will tell you who the real fanatics are: they are they who adopt false principles and ideas as facts, and try to establish a superstructure upon a false foundation. They are the fanatics; and however ardent and zealous they may be, they may reason or argue on false premises till doomsday, and the result will be false. If our religion is of this character we want to know it; we would like to find a philosopher who can prove it to us. We are called ignorant; so we are: but what of it? Are not all ignorant? I rather think so. Who can tell us of the inhabitants of this little planet that shines of an evening, called the moon? When we view its face we may see what is termed "the man in the moon," and what some philosophers declare are the shadows of mountains. But these sayings are very vague, and amount to nothing; and when you inquire about the inhabitants of that sphere you find that the most learned are as ignorant in regard to them as the most ignorant of their fellows. So it is with regard to the inhabitants of the sun. Do you think it is inhabited? I rather think it is. Do you think there is any life there? No question of it; it was not made in vain. It was made to give light to those who dwell upon it, and to other planets; and so will this earth when it is celestialized. Every planet in its first rude, organic state receives not the glory of God upon it, but is opaque; but when celestialized, every planet that God brings into existence is a body of light, but not till then. Christ is the light of this planet. God gives light to our eyes.
  • It is enough. This is the right place. Drive on.
    • Spoken on first sight of the Salt Lake Valley, attributed to Young by Wilford Woodruff (July 24, 1847)

Unsourced

  • A good man, is a good man, whether in this church, or out of it.
  • Any young man who is unmarried at the age of twenty one is a menace to the community.
  • Don't try to tear down other people's religion about their ears, Build up your own perfect structure of truth, and invite your listeners to enter in and enjoy it's glories.
    • The Life Story of Brigham Young, p. 149-150
  • Honest hearts produce honest actions.
    • Discourses of Brigham Young, p. 232
  • I don't care about my character here on earth.I don't care about what other people think or say about me, all I care about is my standing before the Lord.
  • I never cared but for one thing, and that is, simply to know that I am right before my Father in Heaven. If I am this moment, this day doing the things God requires of my hands, and precisely where my Father in Heaven wants me to be, I care no more about tomorrow than though it would never come.
  • I want to live perfectly above the law, and make it my servant instead of my master.
  • If I had a choice of educating my daughters or my sons because of opportunity constraints, I would choose to educate my daughters.
  • It is wise for us to forget our troubles, there are always new ones to replace them.
  • There is no knowledge, no light, no wisdom that you are in possession of, but what you have received it from some source.
  • Zachary Taylor is dead, and in hell. And I am glad of it.
    • Sometime after President Taylor's death (July 9, 1850). Another version is "We have just received word that Zachary Taylor is dead and has gone to hell" - believed to have been part of an address to an LDS congregation.

Ficticious Quotes Attributed to Young

  • I am the voice of God and anyone who doesn't like it will be hewn down. God has revealed to me that I have the right and the power to call down curses on anyone who tries to invade our lands. Therefore, I curse the gentiles.
    • Words spoken by an actor portraying Young in the movie September Dawn, an account of the Mountain Meadows massacre. This exact statement has not been attributed to a known source, and may be a paraphrase of a statement made by Young on March 2, 1856: "The time is coming when justice will be laid to the line and righteousness to the plummet; when we shall take the old broad sword and ask, "Are you for God?" and if you are not heartily on the Lord's side, you will be hewn down." ( Journal of Discourses 3:226)

Quotes about Young

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Brigham Young

Brigham Young (June 1, 1801August 29, 1877) was the second president of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and the first Governor of the American state of Utah. Young was born in Vermont. He took over as president of the Mormon church in 1847 after the death of Joseph Smith, Jr in 1844. Brigham Young University is named after him. John Taylor replaced Young as leader of the church three years after the death of Young.








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