Brigham Young

Brigham Young

Whitingham, Windham County, Vermont, USA
Death 29 Aug 1877 (aged 76)
Salt Lake City, Salt Lake County, Utah, USA
Burial Salt Lake City, Salt Lake County, Utah, USA
Memorial ID 1137 · View Source
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Religious Leader. Second President of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints (LDS), also known as the Mormons. He is revered today by his followers for his wisdom and leadership in the building of the Mormon Church in Utah. He is controversial for his belief in plural marriage and his role in the late 1850s in a dispute with the Federal Government. Born the 9th child of 11 to a poor farmer in Whitingham, Vermont, his father, John Young, moved his family to upstate New York, where Brigham became an itinerant carpenter and painter. Raised a Methodist, he married Miriam Works in 1824, and moved to Cayuga County, New York, where he plied his trade of carpentry and painting. In 1829, he moved to Mendon, Monroe County, New York, where he saw the Book of Mormon for the first time. He quickly joined the LDS Church, being baptized on April 14, 1832. After his wife's death on September 8, 1832, he became more convinced of the correctness of his new religion, and began preaching and converting others to the LDS faith. In the fall of 1833 he moved to Kirtland, Ohio, and married Mary Ann Angell, who took care of his two children from his first wife, and bore him several additional children. In February 1835, he was named one of the first 12 Apostles of the LDS Church. In the next several years, he performed missionary missions in New York and Missouri, and working as a carpenter and painter helping to build the Kirtland Temple. In 1839, he went to Missouri to help the Mormons there move to Nauvoo, Illinois. In 1840, he went to England to perform missionary work, returning to Nauvoo periodically. While in New York in 1844, he learned of the death of Joseph Smith, Founder, first President and Prophet of the LDS Church, and he hurriedly returned to Nauvoo. Speaking powerfully to the dispirited people of Nauvoo, he rallied them and was quickly given authority as President of the Church. In 1846, the Mormons were forced from Nauvoo, Illinois, and Brigham Young determined to lead them to a better land where they would not be persecuted. He and 147 others arrived in the Salt Lake valley on July 24 1847. Young was ill, and when he saw the valley for the first time, he stated, "This is the Place." Salt Lake City was built with his guidance. From 1851 to 1858, he served as the first Governor of Utah Territory. While in Utah, he had a vision that God would allow the Mormons to have multiple wives. Before his death, he had 29 wives and 56 children, for which he was highly criticized by many people. From 1856 to 1858, relations between the Mormons and the Federal Government deteriorated, with the eastern press playing up popular fear that the polygamous Mormons were about to declare their independence from the United States. President James Buchanan ordered the United States Army to Utah, to reestablish Federal control. This force, under command of Colonel (and future Confederate General) Albert Sidney Johnson, remained in Utah until the outbreak of the Civil War. Brigham Young established the LDS Church firmly in the West, seeing to its expansion, growth and stability. He laid the groundwork for Utah's eventual entrance into the Union as a state, and was a political force throughout the latter half of the 1800s. It can be truly said that he helped to build and settle the West. His dying words were reportedly a call to the first LDS Prophet, "Joseph! Joseph!"

Bio by: Kit and Morgan Benson

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  • Maintained by: Find a Grave
  • Added: 31 Dec 2000
  • Find a Grave Memorial 1137
  • Find a Grave, database and images ( : accessed ), memorial page for Brigham Young (1 Jun 1801–29 Aug 1877), Find a Grave Memorial no. 1137, citing Mormon Pioneer Memorial, Salt Lake City, Salt Lake County, Utah, USA ; Maintained by Find A Grave .