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biosby (Brigham Young ** )

 A biographical overview of the life of Brigham Youngthe second President of the Church of Jesus Christ 

Following is a brief summary of some major events in the life of Brigham Young, a member of the original Quorum of the Twelve Apostles and the 2nd President of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.


  • Brigham Young was born on June 1, 1801 in Whitingham, Vermont to John Young and Abilgail Howe.  He was the 9th of 11 children.
  • He had only 11 days of formal schooling.
  • By training and by trade, he was a carpenter, painter, and glass-maker.
  • He was baptized a member of the Church in April of 1832.
  • On at least two occasions in November of 1832, the Prophet Joseph prophesied that Brigham Young would eventually preside over the Church. (see “My Servant Brigham”, by Richard N. Holzapfel, pages 1-2)
  • He participated in Zion’s Camp in May, June, and July of 1834, marching from Kirtland, Ohio to western Missouri under the direction of Joseph Smith.
  • He was ordained an apostle on February 14, 1835 by Oliver Cowdery, Martin Harris, and David Whitmer. He was the third oldest member of the original Quorum of the Twelve, at age 35 years and 3 months.
  • He served many missions during his lifetime, including the following: Canada in 1833, eastern United States in 1833, New England in 1836, New York in 1837, the British Isles in 1838, and the eastern United States in 1844.
  • He was nicknamed “the Lion of the Lord” by W. W. Phelps.
  • He received his temple endowments on May 4, 1842 in Nauvoo, Illinois, under the hands of the prophet Joseph Smith.
  • He supervised the administration of temple ordinances to over 6000 Saints in the Nauvoo Temple before the Saints were expelled from Illinois.
  • He led, supervised, and oversaw the migration of 1000’s of Saints from western Illinois to the valley of the Great Salt Lake. For this monumental and overwhelming achievement he has been called “The American Moses”.
  • On September 20, 1850, he was appointed the first Governor of the Territory of Utah by President Millard Fillmore.
  • He officially announced the practice of plural marriage in 1852.
  • Brigham fathered 56 children during his lifetime. Also, 146 of his grandchildren and 22 of his great-grandchildren were born during his lifetime. Sixteen of his wives gave birth to all of his children.
  • He is mentioned prominently in four sections of the Doctrine and Covenants (124, 126, 136, 138).
  • He played a significant role in the plans for, construction of, or dedication of the following temples: Kirtland, Nauvoo, Salt Lake, St. George, Logan, and Manti.
  • He asked nothing of the Saints that he was not willing to do or give himself.
  • He was one of the most persuasive, dynamic, powerful, and inspiring orators in the Church, then or since. Over 1000 of Brigham’s sermons and talks were recorded.
  • He broke ground for the Salt Lake Temple on February 14, 1853.
  • In October of 1856, he movingly implored the Saints to hasten to the rescue of the Martin and Willie handcart pioneers who were stranded in eastern Wyoming by early winter storms.
  • In the fall of 1857, he placed the Utah Territory on full military alert in anticipation of the arrival of a large army to purportedly quell a Mormon uprising.
  • He had his 5 remaining teeth pulled on April 28, 1862, and he wore dentures from that point on.
  • On February 4, 1864, he ordained three of his sons to the apostleship. These three were Brigham Young, Jr, Joseph Angell Young, and John Willard Young.
  • Brigham Young died on August 29, 1877. The last words he spoke in mortality were “Joseph, Joseph, Joseph!”
  • President Hinckley paid this wonderful tribute to Brigham Young: “…To me, he stands as a leader whose equal I do not know. He was a man who had great vision, who pondered grand designs, who built nobly and solidly, and who at the same time mingled among the people as their prophet, seer, and revelator. Great was his wisdom, tremendous his accomplishments.” (Church News, 3 May 1997, page 6).

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