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Brigham YOUNG

American Brigham YOUNG

American leader in the Latter Day Saint movement and a settler of the Western United States

Source :  Tim DOWLING

Born: on June 01, 1801 in Whitingham, Vermont, USA
Died: on August 29, 1877 in Salt Lake City, Utah Territory, USA


Biography

Young was born to a farming family in Whitingham, Vermont and worked as a travelling carpenter and blacksmith, among other trades. 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. 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, so Young claimed that the leadership of the church fell to the Twelve Apostles. Many of Young's followers would later reminisce that while Young spoke to the congregation, he looked or sounded exactly like Joseph Smith, to which they attributed the power of God. These recollections indicate an experience of some kind that persuaded them that the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles was to lead the church with Young as the Quorum's President. 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.

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See Also :

- Category American politician, Mormons