Brigham Young, Jr.

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Brigham Young, Jr.
Photo of Brigham Young, Jr.
President of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles
October 17, 1901 (1901-10-17) – April 11, 1903 (1903-04-11)
December 9, 1899 (1899-12-09) – October 10, 1901 (1901-10-10)
End reason Death of Lorenzo Snow, which dissolves the First Presidency, returning First Counselor Joseph F. Smith to the Quorum of the Twelve as President of the Quorum.[1] One week later, Smith is made President of the Church and Young again becomes President of the Quorum.
Quorum of the Twelve Apostles
August 29, 1877 (1877-08-29) – April 11, 1903 (1903-04-11)
Assistant Counselor in the First Presidency
May 9, 1874 (1874-05-09) – August 29, 1877 (1877-08-29)
Called by Brigham Young
End reason Dissolution of First Presidency upon death of Brigham Young
Counselor in the First Presidency
June 8, 1873 (1873-06-08) – May 9, 1874 (1874-05-09)
Called by Brigham Young
End reason Called as Assistant Counselor in the First Presidency
Quorum of the Twelve Apostles
October 9, 1868 (1868-10-09) – June 8, 1873 (1873-06-08)
Called by Brigham Young
End reason Called as Counselor in the First Presidency
LDS Church Apostle
February 4, 1864 (1864-02-04) – April 11, 1903 (1903-04-11)
Called by Brigham Young
Reason Brigham Young's discretion[2]
at end of term
George Albert Smith ordained
Personal details
Born Brigham Young, Jr.
(1836-12-18)December 18, 1836
Kirtland, Ohio, United States
Died April 11, 1903(1903-04-11) (aged 66)
Salt Lake City, Utah, United States
Resting place Salt Lake City Cemetery
40°46′37″N 111°51′29″W / 40.777°N 111.858°W / 40.777; -111.858 (Salt Lake City Cemetery)
Spouse Catherine C. Spencer
Helen E. Armstrong
Jane Carrington
Abigail Stevens
Rhoda E. Perkins
Parents Brigham Young
Mary Ann Angell

Brigham Young, Jr. (December 18, 1836 – April 11, 1903) served as president of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS Church) from 1899 until his death. His tenure was interrupted for one week in 1901 when Joseph F. Smith was the president of the Quorum.

Early life[edit]

Young was born in Kirtland, Ohio, the son of Brigham Young and Mary Ann Angell. Young's twin sister Mary died at age seven from the effects of injuries received at age two in a wagon accident.[3] At age twelve Young drove an ox cart across the plains, reaching Salt Lake City in 1848.[3] Young served as a guard and scout in the following years operating in Salt Lake Valley and the surrounding canyons.[3]

Young married Catherine Curtis Spencer, a daughter of Orson Spencer with exactly the same name as her mother, on 15 November 1855.[3]

In Utah Territory, Young became a member of the reconstituted Nauvoo Legion. He was involved in the rescue of the Willie and Martin Companies of Mormon handcart pioneers. He also served in the Utah War with the troops that worked to halt the advance of Johnston's Army.[4]

In 1861, Young was made a member of the Salt Lake Stake high council.[3]

Early years as a general authority[edit]

Brigham Young Sr. ordained his son Brigham Young Jr. an apostle at the young age of 27 in 1864. However, he was not placed in the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles until four years later in 1868. In 1868, he was also a Representative to the Territory of Utah Legislative Assembly.[citation needed] Young Jr. also served as a counselor to his father in the First Presidency of the church from April 8, 1873 until his father's death on August 29, 1877.

Missions to Europe[edit]

From 1862 to 1863 Young served as a church missionary in England, spending most of the time in London.[3] During this time he also accompanied Joseph F. Smith on a trip to Paris, France.[5]

In 1864, Young returned to Europe, this time with his wife Catherine as his companion. He was an assistant to mission president Daniel H. Wells. In 1865, when Wells left for Utah, Young succeeded him as president of the European Mission.[3] Brigham and Catherine's son Hoseph Angel Young II was born in England in 1866 while he was still serving as mission president.[6]

As president of the European Mission of the church in 1866 and 1867, Young preached in France, Switzerland, Germany, Denmark, Sweden, Norway, Russia, the United Kingdom and Ireland. Young also oversaw the emigration of British Latter-day Saints to Utah Territory.[7] It was from a conversation as Young was about to return to Utah at the end of his time as mission president that Charles W. Penrose wrote the hymn "Beautiful Zion For Me".[8]

From October 1890 until February 1893 Young served for a second time as the president of the European Mission.[9] The mission was headquartered in Liverpool, England and Young directly supervised missionary work in the British Isles while also serving as a leader over the mission presidents of the various missions on the European continent.

Colonization and church assignment in America[edit]

In the western United States, Young was involved in the colonization of Cache Valley, southern Utah and the extension of Mormon settlements into New Mexico and Arizona. Young was also involved at times with the LDS settlements in the Mexican state of Chihuahua.[4]

In 1867, Young was involved with the formation of the Deseret Sunday School Union to provide centralized direction to the Sunday schools of the church.[10]

During 1868, Young acted as his father's agent in finding workers for the Utah portion of the First Transcontinental Railroad.[3]

From 1869 until 1877, Young presided over the Latter-day Saints in Cache Valley, closely assisted by William B. Preston who was serving as the regional presiding bishop.[11] During this time Young co-owned a feed and livery stable in Soda Springs, Idaho with Solomon Hale.[12]

In 1877, Young, Erastus Snow and Wilford Woodruff dedicated parts of the St. George Temple under the general direction of Brigham Young.[13]

From 1877 to 1880 Young served as an editor of the Deseret News along with George Q. Cannon.[14]

In 1878, Young and Moses Thatcher selected the site for the Latter-day Saint settlement in the Star Valley of Wyoming. In August 1878, Young dedicated the valley as a place for the gathering of the Latter-day Saints.[15]

In February 1883, Young went on a tour among the Navajo and Hopi peoples with many other church leaders, including Heber J. Grant.[16]

In 1883, Young convinced the residents of Jonesville, Arizona to rename it Lehi.[17] It is today part of Mesa, Arizona.


Young practiced plural marriage. His first wife was Catherine Curtis Spencer. Among their children was Brigham Spencer Young, who would later serve as president of the Northwestern States Mission of the church.[18]

In 1857 Young married his second wife, Jane Carrington, a daughter of Albert Carrington.[3]

Young's wife Abigail Stevens was one of his younger wives. Their daughter Klara Young Cheney, born in Fruitland, New Mexico in 1894, turned 100 years old in 1994.[19] Abigail and Brigham Jr.'s last daughter, Marian Young, was also born at Fruitland on 15 January 1899. She died on 22 November 2004, less than two months short of her 106th birthday. She was the last grandchild of Brigham Young to die.[20]


Young served several terms in the Utah Territorial Legislature.[3]

President of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles[edit]

Young was ordained an apostle before Joseph F. Smith but was not placed in the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles until after Joseph F. Smith. However, It was not until 1900 that a clear decision was made giving Joseph F. Smith seniority in the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, since he had been a member of the First Presidency since becoming an apostle.[21] Young had served as the president of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles since the previous president, Franklin D. Richards, had died on 9 December 1899. When church president Lorenzo Snow died on 10 October 1901, Joseph F. Smith served as president of the Quorum until he was made church president on 17 October 1901. When Smith became president, Young again assumed the position of president of the Quorum of the Twelve. Young is the only person to have served two non-consecutive terms as president of the Quorum.


Brigham Young, Jr.'s grave marker.
Brigham Young, Jr.'s grave marker.

Young died in Salt Lake City, Utah at age 66. He was buried at Salt Lake City Cemetery.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ The LDS Church at that time did not draw a distinction between President of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles and Acting President of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles. In that time, the person who in the modern church would be called the Acting President was set apart as the President of the Quorum. The second-most senior apostle was not set apart as the President of the Quorum if they were a member of the First Presidency, which Smith was.
  2. ^ Brigham Young ordained three of his sons in 1864 without adding them to the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles. However, Young, Jr. became a member of the Quorum of the Twelve in 1868 after Heber C. Kimball died and George A. Smith was removed from the Quorum to join the First Presidency.
  3. ^ a b c d e f g h i j Jenson, Andrew. Biographical Encyclopedia of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (Salt Lake City, Utah: Deseret Book and A. Jenson Historical Co., 1901–1936) 1:121.
  4. ^ a b Flake, Lawrence R. "Brigham Young, Jr." in Garr, Arnolds K., Donald Q. Cannon and Richard O. Cowan, ed., Encyclopedia of Latter-day Saint History (Salt Lake City, Utah: Deseret Book, 2000) p. 1379–1380.
  5. ^ Jenson. Biographical Encyclopedia. 1:66.
  6. ^ Susa Young Gates, "Genealogy of the Brigham Young Family", Utah Genealogical Register, Vol. 13
  7. ^ Cannon, George Q. and Wilford Woodruff, Faith Promoting Series: Gems For the Young Folks, p. 19
  8. ^ Heber J. Grant, Conference Report, April 1926, p. 147.
  9. ^ Roberts, B. H. Comprehensive History of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (Provo, Utah: Brigham Young University Press, 1965) p. 89
  10. ^ Poleman, B. Lloyd. "Sunday School" in Ludlow, Daniel H., ed., Encyclopedia of Mormonism (New York: MacMillan, 1992) p. 1425
  11. ^ Jenson, Andrew. Encyclopedic History of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Salt Lake City, Utah: Deseret News Press, 1941, p. 105.
  12. ^ Jenson. Biographical Dictionary. Vol. 2, p. 168
  13. ^ Woodruff, Wilford. "Living By the Spirit" in Stuy, H. Bryan, ed., Collected Discourses, 1888–1898 (Glendale, California and Woodland Hills, Utah: B. H. S. Publishing, 1987–1992) Vol. 5.
  14. ^ Jenson. Encyclopedic History. p. 187
  15. ^ Church News, 1992-08-08, p. Z5.
  16. ^ Grant, Conference Report, Oct. 1942, p. 25.
  17. ^ Jenson. Encyclopedic History. p. 426
  18. ^ Conference Report, Oct. 1926, p. 2.
  19. ^ Church News, 1994-12-24.
  20. ^ Church News, 2004-12-04, p. Z12.
  21. ^ Cowan, Richard O. The Church in the 20th Century. (Salt Lake City, Utah: Bookcraft, 1985) p. 14
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints titles
Preceded by
Franklin D. Richards
President of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles
December 9, 1899–October 10, 1901
Succeeded by
Joseph F. Smith
Preceded by
Joseph F. Smith
President of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles
October 17, 1901–April 11, 1903
Succeeded by
Francis M. Lyman
Preceded by
Joseph F. Smith
Quorum of the Twelve Apostles
1868–April 8, 1873
August 29, 1877–April 11, 1903
Succeeded by
Albert Carrington