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Brigham "Bring ‘em" Young was a Mormon spiritual leader and American politician who took over the main branch of the Church of Latter Day Saints after the death of Joseph Smith, Jr. in Carthage, Illinois. After becoming the second President and Prophet, Young led the Mormons to the American West and founded Salt Lake City, which would become the capital of Utah and the de facto capital of the Church of Latter-Day Saints. His force of personality kept the Mormons together in the face of adversity, and kept them from going the way of many other religious movements born in the same era.
Young was a racist and is credited as being the person in early LDS history who instituted the policy of barring blacks from the priesthood. Yes, the University is named after him, "in his honor" so to speak.
Searching for meaning
Brigham Young was born in Vermont to a poor family. Before he married, he became a Methodist, but insisted on a full-immersion Baptism.:13 His independent streak made him ill-fitted for the regimented life of Methodism, and he became attracted to an offshoot of Methodism mixed with peculiar notions from the mind of one Joseph Smith, Jr. This group was known as "The Church of Jesus Christ" at the time.
When Joseph Smith and his brother Hyrum were killed in Carthage, the "Council of 12" was left in disarray. Brigham Young became the de facto leader by virtue of his seniority and fearsome mien. Shortly after Brigham Young's ascendency, he was made the Second President and Prophet in law, as well as spirit.:118-126
The Mountain Meadows massacre
- Signature Books Library
- Brigham Young: Pioneer Prophet, John G. Turner ISBN: 978-0-674-04967-3
- The Mountain Meadows Massacre of 1857 and the Trials of John D. Lee: An Account
- Utah & Salt Lake City -1851, Central Pacific Railroad Photographic History Museum