Zina D. H. Young
|Zina D. H. Young|
|3rd General President of the Relief Society|
|April 8, 1888– August 28, 1901|
|Called by||Wilford Woodruff|
|Predecessor||Eliza R. Snow|
|Successor||Bathsheba W. Smith|
|First Counselor of the General Presidency of the Relief Society|
|June 19, 1880– April 1888|
|Called by||Eliza R. Snow|
|Predecessor||Sarah M. Cleveland|
|Successor||Jane S. Richards|
|Born||Zina Diantha Huntington
January 31, 1821
Watertown, New York, United States
|Died||August 28, 1901
Salt Lake City, Utah, United States
|Resting place||Salt Lake City Cemetery
|Spouse||Henry B. Jacobs
Joseph Smith, Jr.
|Children||3, plus 4 adopted.|
|Website||Zina D. H. Young|
Zina Diantha Huntington Jacobs Smith Young (31 January 1821 – 28 August 1901) was an American social activist and religious leader who served as the third general president of the Relief Society of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS Church) from 1888 until her death. She was a polygamous wife of Joseph Smith, and later Brigham Young, each of whom she married while she was still married to her first husband, Henry Jacobs.
Zina Huntington was born in Watertown, New York the eighth child of William and Zina Baker Huntington. She was taught household skills, such as spinning, soap making, and weaving, and received a basic education. She developed musical talent by learning to play the cello. In 1835, when Zina Huntington was fourteen, her family was contacted by Hyrum Smith and David Whitmer, missionaries of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. With the exception of her oldest brother, the entire family joined the newly formed church. Zina was baptized by Hyrum Smith on August 1, 1835.
After receiving advice from Joseph Smith, Sr., Zina's father sold their property and relocated to the Church's headquarters in the community of Kirtland, Ohio. Zina was a member of the Kirtland Temple Choir. Nineteen months later, they moved again to Far West, Missouri. They arrived in Far West at a time of violence between Missouri residents and the newly arrived Mormons. After Missouri Governor Lilburn Boggs issued the Extermination Order, Zina's father helped coordinate the evacuation of church members to Illinois. During an 1839 cholera epidemic in Nauvoo, Illinois, Zina and her mother became ill. Her mother died but she recovered after receiving care in the home of Joseph and Emma Smith. Zina was eighteen years old.
Marriages and children
Zina recorded in her autobiography that when she was twenty and being courted by Henry Bailey Jacobs, she received a secret proposal from the prophet, Joseph Smith, Jr. As Smith was already married to his wife Emma, Zina claimed Smith explained to her that the Lord was restoring the ancient order of plural marriage (Van Wagoner 1992, p. 44). Zina declined the proposal and on March 7, 1841 she married Jacobs. Nauvoo mayor John C. Bennett conducted the ceremony.
Zina wrote that within months of her marriage to Jacobs, Smith sent word to her that he had "put it off till an angel with a drawn sword stood by me and told me if I did not establish that principle upon the earth I would lose my position and my life."  She and Smith were married on October 27, 1841, a date Zina celebrated as her anniversary of her marriage to Smith. At the time of her marriage to Smith, she was about seven months pregnant with a child (Zebulon William Jacobs), which has been confirmed to be that of Jacobs by DNA evidence. Jacobs was eventually aware of the wedding, because after Smith's death in 1844 Jacobs stood by while Zina was sealed to Smith in the Nauvoo Temple. After the 1841 wedding, Zina and Henry Jacobs continued to live together, except when he was away serving a mission Zina and Henry Jacobs had another son, Henry Chariton Jacobs, on March 22, 1846, almost two years after Smith's death.
Soon after Joseph Smith was killed in 1844, Zina was married to Brigham Young. In May 1846, Brigham Young called Henry Jacobs to serve a mission to England. During Jacobs' absence, Zina began living openly in a marital relationship with Brigham Young, and continued to do so for the rest of her life, without ever obtaining a divorce from Henry Jacobs. She had one child with Brigham Young, Zina Prescinda Young, in 1850.
One account, written by a former Mormon, states that soon before Henry was to leave on his mission, after the Latter-day Saints had left Illinois and were camped in Iowa,
- Brigham Young spoke in this wise, in the hearing of hundreds: He said it was time for men who were walking in other men's shoes to step out of them. "Brother Jacobs," he says, "the woman you claim for a wife does not belong to you. She is the spiritual wife of brother Joseph, sealed up to him. I am his proxy, and she, in this behalf, with her children, are my property. You can go where you please, and get another, but be sure to get one of your own kindred spirit."
Henry struggled with the arrangement and, in later years wrote to Zina, “...the same affection is there...But I feel alone...I do not Blame Eny person...may the Lord our Father bless Brother Brigham...all is right according to the Law of the Celestial Kingdom of our God Joseph.”
In later life, Zina commented that women in polygamous relationships "expect too much attention from the husband and . . . become sullen and morose. . . ." She explained that "a successful polygamous wife must regard her husband with indifference, and with no other feeling than that of reverence, for love we regard as a false sentiment; a feeling which should have no existence in polygamy."
Church service and leadership
After the death of Joseph Smith, Jr., Zina Young joined the Mormon Exodus to the Rocky Mountains, arriving in Utah in September 1848. After migrating to the Salt Lake Valley, Zina Young became involved in a number of public service activities. She became a school teacher and studied obstetrics under Dr. Willard Richards. As a midwife, she "...helped deliver the babies of many women, including those of the plural wives of Brigham Young. At their request, she anointed and blessed many of these sisters before their deliveries. Other women in need of physical and emotional comfort also received blessings under her hands." (Ludlow, p. 654) In 1872, she helped establish Deseret Hospital in Salt Lake City and served on its board of directors and for twelve years as president. She also organized a nursing school, with courses in obstetrics. In 1876, Zina was appointed president of the Deseret Silk Association, Utah's Silk Industry, a group which for 30 years attempted to cultivate silk worms and mulberry trees for the local production of cloth. She was also involved in LDS temple work, acting as matron to female temple workers.
When the LDS Relief Society was reorganized in 1880, Zina was selected as first counselor by President Eliza R. Snow. The new presidency was active in refining the society's organization and functions, and helped develop additional church auxiliaries, including the Young Ladies' Retrenchment Association and the Primary Association for Children. Zina was active in the temperance and women's suffrage movements, and, in the winter of 1881-82, attended the Women's Conference in Buffalo and a National Woman Suffrage Association convention in New York. In addition to Snow, Zina counted other prominent women in the Relief Society as her friends, including Bathsheba Smith and Emmeline B. Wells. (Bradley and Woodward, p. 197)
In 1888, following the death of Eliza R. Snow, Zina succeeded her as the Relief Society's third general president and served as president until her death in 1901. In 1891, she was a vice president for the Utah National Council for Women. Zina died on August 28, 1901 at age 80.
- Ludlow, Daniel H, ed. (1992). "Biographical Register of General Church Officers". Encyclopedia of Mormonism. New York: Macmillan Publishing. p. 1651. ISBN 0-02-879602-0. OCLC 24502140 Free on-line version here.
- Todd Compton, In Sacred Loneliness, 1997, pp.77 – 79
- Bradley and Woodward,"Plurality, Patriarchy, and the Priestess", Journal of Mormon History 20, Spring 1994, p. 93
- Zina Young, "Joseph the Prophet His Life and His Mission as Viewed By Intimate Acquaintances", Salt Lake Herald Church and Farm Supplement, Jan. 12, 1895
- Bushman 2005, pp. 439–40; Brodie 1971, pp. 465–66; Quinn 1994, pp. 633.
- Brodie 1971, p. 465.
- Perego 2005.
- Compton 1997, pp. 81–82.
- Richard S. Van Wagoner, Mormon Polygamy: A History, pp. 44-45
- Zina and Her Men:An Examination of the Changing Marital State of Zina Diantha Huntington Jacobs Smith Young
- William Hall, The Abominations of Mormonism Exposed, 1852, pp. 43-44.
- Charity Never Faileth at lds.about.com
- Allen, James B.; Glen M. Leonard (1976), The Story of the Latter-day Saints, Salt Lake City, Utah: Deseret Book Company, ISBN 0-87747-594-6
- Beecher, Maureen Ursenbach, ed. (Spring 1979), "All Things Move in Order in the City: the Nauvoo Diary of Zina Diantha Huntington Jacobs", BYU Studies 19 (3): 285–320
- Bradley, Martha Sonntag; Woodward, Mary Brown Firmage (1994), "Plurality, Patriarchy, and the Priestess: Zina D. H. Young's Nauvoo Marriages", Journal of Mormon History 20 (1): 84–118.
- Bradley, Martha Sonntag; Woodward, Mary Brown Firmage (2000), Four Zinas: A Story of Mothers and Daughters on the Mormon Frontier, Salt Lake City: Signature Books, ISBN 1-56085-141-4
- Brodie, Fawn M. (1971), No Man Knows My History: The Life of Joseph Smith (2nd ed.), New York: Knopf, ISBN 0-394-46967-4
- Bushman, Richard Lyman (2005), Joseph Smith: Rough Stone Rolling, New York: Knopf, ISBN 1-4000-4270-4
- Compton, Todd (1997), In Sacred Loneliness: The Plural Wives of Joseph Smith, Salt Lake City: Signature Books, ISBN 1-56085-085-X
- Higbee, Marilyn, ed. (Fall 1993), "'A Weary Traveller': The 1848-1850 Diary of Zina D. H. Young", Journal of Mormon History 19 (2): 86–125
- Ludlow, Daniel H., ed. (1992), Church History: Selections from the Encyclopedia of Mormonism, Deseret Book Company, ISBN 0-87579-924-8
- Moore, Carrie A. (May 28, 2005). "Research focuses on Smith family". Deseret Morning News (Deseret News). Retrieved 2 August 2006.
- Peterson, Janet; Gaunt, LaRene (1990), Elect Ladies: Presidents of the Relief Society, Salt Lake City, Utah: Deseret Book Company, ISBN 0-87579-416-5
- Perego, Ugo A.; Myers, Natalie M.; Woodward, Scott R. (2005), "Reconstructing the Y-Chromosome of Joseph Smith, Jr: Genealogical Applications", Journal of Mormon History 32 (2): 70–88
- Quinn, D. Michael (1994), The Mormon Hierarchy: Origins of Power, Salt Lake City: Signature Books, ISBN 1-56085-056-6
- Van Wagoner, Richard S. (1989), Mormon Polygamy: A History, Salt Lake City, Utah: Signature Books, ISBN 978-0-941214-79-7.
- Zina D. H. Young at Find a Grave
|The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints titles|
Eliza R. Snow
|President of the Relief Society
April 8, 1888 –August 28, 1901
Bathsheba W. Smith
Sarah M. Cleveland
|First Counselor in the general
presidency of the Relief Society
June 19, 1880 –April 1888
Jane S. Richards