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Brigham Young

Brigham Young was the second president of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints or Mormon Church, as it is commonly known.

Brigham Young was born June 1, 1801 in Whittingham, Vermont. He was brought up with strict moral training and his mother, who died when he was 14, "taught her children to honor the name of the Father and the Son, and to reverence the Bible; she said, 'Read it, observe its precepts, and apply them to your lives as far as you can; do everything that is good; do nothing that is evil; and if you see any person in distress, administer to their wants.'"1

After marrying Miriam Works in 1824, Brigham Young and his wife joined the Methodist Church but Brigham Young still "sought a church organized after the pattern Jesus had established with a system of ordinances and all the gifts of the gospel."2

After listening to the LDS missionaries Brigham Young struggled to decide if he could sacrifice everything for the Mormon Church. Then as a missionary bore testimony Brigham Young said, "that the Holy Ghost illuminated his understanding"3 and he knew the Mormon Church was true.

Shortly after joining the Mormon Church and being baptized, in 1832, Brigham Young's wife died leaving him with two young daughters. Two years later he married Mary Ann Angell.

After meeting Joseph Smith, Brigham Young knew that Joseph was a prophet of God. Brigham Young then devoted himself to the Lord's work serving a number of missions in the United States and Great Britain. Teaching many people about the Mormon Church and the restored gospel of Christ. In 1835 he was selected to be a member of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles.

After the martyrdom of Joseph Smith, as the head of the Quorum of Twelve Apostles, the full responsibility of the Mormon Church fell upon the shoulders of Brigham Young. At the age of 43, Brigham Young assumed the daunting task of relocating a large population of Latter-day Saints. He told the Mormons gathered at Nauvoo, "Brother Joseph, the Prophet, has laid the foundation for a great work, and we will build upon it."4

In the winter of 1847, suffering extreme persecution, Brigham Young led the Mormon saints across the Mississippi River to Winter Quarters, Iowa. There the Saints began preparations for the journey to Utah.

Brigham Young led the first exodus of Mormon pioneers and arrived at the Salt Lake Valley on July 24, 1847. As Brigham Young looked out over the valley he said, "This is the right place."5

The gathering of Mormons continued for decades and under the direction of Brigham Young eighty thousand Latter-day Saints made the journey westward in wagon train and handcart companies. They came in response to the prophet Brigham Young's declaration that God had called the Saints "together from the uttermost parts of the earth… to become of one heart and of one mind in all our operations and endeavors to establish Christ's spiritual and temporal kingdom upon earth."6 After the Mormons arrived in Salt Lake City Brigham Young sent many of them to colonize about 400 settlements throughout the west.

Brigham Young served as the Prophet and President of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints for 33 years. At his death on August 29, 1877 one of the apostles serving with President Brigham Young said, " During the thirty-three years that he has presided over the Church… his knees have never trembled, his hands have never shook; he has never faltered or quailed. However threatening the surroundings or prospects may have been, he has never been dismayed; but at those times he has exhibited such serene confidence and faith, and uttered such words of encouragements, as to comfort and sustain all the people, and to call forth their love and admiration. The Lord, however, not only blessed him with valor, but He endowed him with great wisdom. His counsels, when obeyed, have been attended with salvation, and as an organizer and administrator he has no superior."7

References:

(1) Teachings of Presidents of the Church – Brigham Young, pg 1

(2) Teachings of Presidents of the Church – Brigham Young, pg 2

(3) Teachings of Presidents of the Church – Brigham Young, pg 3

(4) Teachings of Presidents of the Church – Brigham Young, pg 7

(5) http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_Salt_Lake_City

(6) Teachings of Presidents of the Church – Brigham Young, pg 9

(7) Teachings of Presidents of the Church – Brigham Young, pg 12



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