Talk:Brigham Young

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The location of Brigham Young's grave is wrong on this article: he's not in the Salt Lake City Cemetery, he's in the Mormon Pioneer Memorial Monument (park), aka the Brigham Young Historic Park, aka the Brigham Young Family (Memorial) Cemetery.

The address is 140 East First Avenue, SLC, which places this on First Avenue (between North Temple and South Temple), just east of State Street; the location is essentially a pocket park. Eliza R. Snow is also buried there. -- (talk) 22:37, 10 October 2011 (UTC)

For images of the park/monument/cemetery, please see commons:Category:Mormon Pioneer Memorial Monument. -- (talk) 15:22, 12 October 2011 (UTC)
Thank you, added link here to Mormon Pioneer Memorial Monument. —Eustress talk 19:45, 17 October 2011 (UTC)
Great new article! However one minor thing still needs to be fixed in the text of this semi-protected article: the text in the last sentence of the "Death" section still says "He was buried at Salt Lake City Cemetery." -- (talk) 00:07, 18 October 2011 (UTC)
Perhaps you should create an account? In the meantime, I fixed the error and added a citation. —Eustress talk 00:56, 18 October 2011 (UTC)
Some users are unable to edit via an account for various reasons, usually involving the computer they access WP on. Good Ol’factory (talk) 00:56, 20 October 2011 (UTC)

Edit request from , 21 October 2011[edit]

{{edit semi-protected}} In the second paragraph under the section of Controversial Teachings there is a discussion of an incident between William Appleby and Brigham Young regarding Blacks in the LDS Church. The sixth sentence is an introduction to a quote by Brigham Young from the Journal of Discourses. The introduction to this quote indicates that in 1863 Brigham Young was recounting what he told Appleby back in 1847 at Winter Quarters. However that is not the case; the talk given in 1863 is not related to the encounter with Appleby in the least. And neither are any of the other twelve references Brigham Young makes regarding Blacks in the Journal of Discourses. The quote should be deleted because it is not relevant to the incident. However, if you insist on using it then the introduction to the quote should simply read, “In 1863 Young said this regarding Blacks…” and add one or two of the other eleven quotes that shed a clearer light on the subject. Thank you!

R3miguy (talk) 23:59, 21 October 2011 (UTC)R3miguy

Thank you for your input. I re-evaluated the text and removed extraneous information. However, the quote in question still appears insightful. Can you propose a more complete passage that would help readers interpret the quote in the proper context? —Eustress talk 00:39, 22 October 2011 (UTC)
I've removed the {{edit semi-protected}} template, for now - as it's partially done, and up for discussion. If another specific request is required, please add a new {{edit semi-protected}}. Thanks,  Chzz  ►  07:50, 22 October 2011 (UTC)

I’m sorry; I fail to see how the quote is insightful, just inflammatory and offensive, especially in the 21st Century (though quite common for the 19th Century, when it was made). But regarding your stated point – Brigham Young – Controversial Teachings – Blacks in the Priesthood, I think there are better representative quotes of Brigham Young’s teachings in Journal of Discourse. For example, in 1866 Young said, “Why are so many of the inhabitants of the earth cursed with a sin of blackness? It comes in consequence of their fathers rejecting the power of the Holy Priesthood, and the law of God. They will go down to death. And when all the rest of the children have received their blessings in the Holy Priesthood, then that curse will be removed from the seed of Cain, and they will then come up and possess the priesthood, and receive all the blessings which we now are entitled to. The volition of the creature is free; this is a law of their existence, and the Lord cannot violate his own law; were he to do that, he would cease to be God. He has placed life and death before his children, and it is for them to choose. If they choose life, they receive the blessings of life; if they chose death, they must abide the penalty. This is a law which has always existed from all eternity, and will continue to exist throughout all the eternities to come. Every intelligent being must have the power of choice, and God brings forth the results of the acts of his creatures to promote his kingdom and subserve his purposes in the salvation and exaltation of his children. If the Lord could have his own way, he would have all the human family to enter into his church and kingdom, receive the Holy Priesthood and come into the celestial kingdom of our Father and God, by the power of their own choice.” (Journal of Discourses, 11:272). Or this one: in 1855 Young said, “The conduct of the whites towards the slaves will, in many cases, send both slave and master to hell. This statement comprises much in a few words. The blacks should be used like servants, and not like brutes, but they must serve. It is their privilege to live so as to enjoy many of the blessings which attend obedience to the first principles of the Gospel, though they are not entitled to the Priesthood.” (Journal of Discourse 2:184)

However, if I misunderstand you and your point is in fact to find inflammatory and offensive statements by Brigham Young then you have succeeded in finding one of many if not hundreds and keep it as it is. There is no justifying it or finding a better way to interpret such a statement.

And given that you recognized the change made in 1978 I am sure you are familiar with what the LDS Church leaders have said about earlier justifications and explanations about this subject: they don’t matter. We have a living Prophet to teach us what Heavenly Father would have us know and do at this time, regardless of what He may have told them to do 150 years ago.

Thank you for your time in considering my input for your entry — Preceding unsigned comment added by R3miguy (talkcontribs) 12:05, 25 October 2011 (UTC)

I think we should avoid trying to decide what we as individuals think would be an appropriate reflection of Young's speeches and teachings. A better approach for an encyclopedia to take is to consider what other sources report on in this regard. It just so happens that the quote that is included is one that is very commonly quoted in works about Young. This may indeed be because authors have searched out the most "inflammatory" statement they can find, but when authors have done this time and time again, it's fair for an encyclopedia to reflect that, I think. The other quotes you have included are legitimate and are interesting, but they are seldom referred to by other sources. Good Ol’factory (talk) 20:59, 25 October 2011 (UTC)

Did you know Brigham Young lived in Auburn, NY as well? This is known fact and documented[edit]

Brigham Young, worked in Auburn , NY as a Carpenter ,glazier, and painter apprentice for John C. Jeffries Woodworking shop when he turned 16. Owners of several old houses in Auburn today claim the distinction of having a “Brigham Young mantelpiece.” Before that (1816) he worked as a "chore boy" for Reed and Wadsworth Farms on W. Genesee St., and worked in what was claimed "the oldest asparagus bed in the county" on the corner of Grover St.

Dr. Sylvester Willard wrote an extensive paragraph in his diary, expressing unrestrained jubilation on the report of the death of that "libertine" Brigham Young. Dr. Willard utterly despised Young. According to Prof. Walter Long, one of the mantles in what is now the Cayuga Museum was crafted by Young. Perhaps in the course of his work, he made an advance on one of the Willard daughters..,(my speculation) which might explain Willard's wrath. Willard regarded himself as a "humble Christian man," (as long as not too much strain was manifest on his funds) and was often forgiving of most human failings. He further regarded his daughters a perfect examples of the fair sex. Neither of them ever married. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 19:14, 23 October 2011 (UTC)

Where are the references that support this claim? Without them, there isn't much that can be done with this material. -- (talk) 18:26, 24 October 2011 (UTC)

The answer is simple - You can contact the Cayuga County Museum, Auburn, NY. Hope that helps. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 09:18, 27 November 2011 (UTC)

That would not be considered a reliable source; since information gathered this way is by definition not published, it is not considered verifiable to Wikipedia's standards. -- (talk) 01:24, 29 November 2011 (UTC)


A recent contrib to this article (dif) butchers the name of the LDS Church. Can someone fix this? I can't because this article is semi-protected. -- (talk) 18:20, 14 November 2011 (UTC)

Done--ARTEST4ECHO (talk/contribs) 18:24, 14 November 2011 (UTC)

Succession Crisis[edit]

This statement "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" is POV. Whether or not the Young's election inspired the recollections or the recollections inspired Young's election is matter of considerable historical debate. The statement can be easily neutralized by swapping it with the preceding sentence and removing the allusion to the recollections: "The majority in attendance were persuaded that the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles was to lead the church with Young as the Quorum's President"Mormography (talk) 12:55, 28 May 2012 (UTC)

For this article to be objective, we must allow accounts of Young's alleged transformation of voice and appearance to that of Joseph Smith. To leave it out would be a violation of WP's policy on verifiable sources. An explanation of what persuaded a majority of the people in attendance to vote for Young as the new Church leader is both appropriate and necessary for this article. I for one vehemently object to the change you propose. Unless the consensus decides to omit the material and implement this change, I say, why don't you leave well enough alone? --Jgstokes-We can disagree without being disagreeable (talk) 01:38, 29 May 2012 (UTC)
I think perhaps what could be done to satisfy both sides is that we do not delete mentioning such accounts, but rather that we rephrase it to allow for the possibility that Young's election inspired the recollections rather than vice versa. This is an issue that has been debated by various historians (including believing Mormon researchers such as Richard S. Van Wagoner) and I don't think there is a consensus view on the issue among historians. But what is not in dispute is that there were dozens of these types of recollections years after the fact, but none in the immediate years following 1847. Good Ol’factory (talk) 01:55, 29 May 2012 (UTC)
Jgstokes, it is not a matter of leaving well enough alone as it is a matter that has been contested for sometime. It is not clear from your response if you genuinely do not understand or are just pretending. The what has describe by Good Olfactory, in the article footnotes, and here is what you have not addressed. The POV in the article now will need to be removed according to wikipedia policy until you figure out how to eloquently included the discussion in the article. Mormography (talk) 01:36, 2 June 2012 (UTC)
Jgstokes, also please note that your argument that "we must allow accounts of Young's alleged transformation" was never disputed in the proposed or implement changes. The proposed and implemented changes do not remove mention of these accounts, just the POV spin.Mormography (talk) 01:50, 2 June 2012 (UTC)

Caricature of Young's Wives[edit]

I'd just like to note that I feel slightly uneasy about the cartoon of Young's wives included in this article. I see from the Archive to this talk page that in the past there's been a little discussion of this, but there didn't seem to me to be any overwhelming strength of opinion one way or the other. Personally, I find the picture a little disquieting in the way it is presented: I don't think plural marriage was really like that. It's slightly un-nerving to see it presented in quite this way in an article about a man who many people believe was simply doing his best during a time of great difficulty for his community. I don't particularly want to censor the cartoon, but is there some way it can be attached to discussion of non-LDS criticism of LDS doctrines, so that it is more fairly presented in context? Thank you. RomanSpa (talk) 00:00, 13 February 2013 (UTC)

Appropriateness in this article aside, the cartoon references the apocryphal "long bed" story (and illustration) found in chapter 15 of Mark Twain's 1872 book Roughing It. This would have been far more recognizable to a well-read audience at the time of BY's death in 1877 than it is today. We do also have Latter Day Saints in popular culture (previously named "Portrayals of Mormons in popular media"), which attempts to give general cultural context to depictions like this. -- (talk) 17:50, 14 February 2013 (UTC)

New Scholarship[edit]

I'd like to suggest expanding the section on Young's polygamous marriages, in light of new scholarship by John G. Turner in his book, "Brigham Young: Pioneer Prophet." Turner's research shows some of the tensions within the Young family as a result of polygamy, including Young's fondness and even preference for Amelia Folsom, his taking on younger wives in his later years, and the disparate support the various women received from Young. Turner's book should also be included in the reference section, or a further reading section. Jphatch (talk) 20:24, 22 February 2013 (UTC)

What you call "new scholarship", other Wikipedians would refer to as violating WP standards of NPOV. The subject of Young's polygamy should be and has been treated neutrally. As it now stands, it provides an impartial view of the subject. But all of this is, of course, just MHO. I would be willing to participate in a discussion about this with other Wikipedians, and if they decide to include this new information, I am sure it could be done in a neutral way. If the consensus wants it, I would have no objection including it. It just seems a little anti-polygamy anti-Young, and we must always be careful with such sources to ensure that the NPOV is preserved. That's my two cents on the matter. Any other thoughts? --Jgstokes-We can disagree without being disagreeable (talk) 04:00, 23 February 2013 (UTC)
As pointed out by Craig L. Foster in this [1] article in Interpreter: A Journal of Mormon Scripture it seems that the complaints about Brigham Young taking younger wives largely come from August Adams Cobb, who quite possibly had severe mental health issues, and should not be taken as representative of the views of anyone else.John Pack Lambert (talk) 23:18, 11 December 2013 (UTC)

Use of Quotes[edit]

The following quote in the section "Controversial Teachings" has been edited by an anonymous user ( as of Sept. 23, 2014):

In 1863, Young stated "Shall I tell you the law of God in regard to the African race? If the white man who belongs to the chosen seed mixes his blood with the seed of Cain, the penalty, under the law of God, is death on the spot. This will always be so...For their abuse of that race, the whites will be cursed, unless they repent."

A previous version of the article omits the last sentence and I reverted the change only to have it added again. Anonymous user claims that the additional sentence is necessary for understanding what Brigham Young was talking about in the speech. Without it, anonymous claims, the quote is simply "selective and inflammatory" and ought to be removed if not placed in context.

I reviewed the source from which the quote is taken and disagree with the necessity of the additional sentence for a few reasons. First, the beginning and end of the quote (as anonymous has changed it to read) are separated by nearly an entire paragraph of text. Removing this much of a quote without explanation is unacceptable in nearly all styles of writing. Second, the topic that the quote is used in is on the LDS Church prohibiting men of African ancestry from being ordained to the priesthood. Young, in the sentence in question, is clearly talking about slavery. If anonymous wishes to create a section on Young's views on slavery, the sentence would be perfect and I would not contest it. Third, and this is just the feeling I get rather than speaking with anonymous individually, the addition of the sentence with the reasoning given seems to have been simply to protect Young from looking bad in what is otherwise a fairly WP:NPOV article. Carlaldrich (talk) 19:01, 23 September 2014 (UTC)

Based in the section the current quote is included in the article, it implies that Brigham Young said that interracial marriage warranted the capital punishment, when no where else in his writing I can find such a statement. But, reading this quote in context, it is clear that Brigham Young was not referring to whether blacks should be allowed to hold the priesthood or not, nor was he referring to interracial marriages when he referred to "mixing blood", but he was referring to slavery and other abuses done by whites to blacks (emphasis mine):

The rank, rabid abolitionists, whom I call black-hearted Republicans, have set the whole national fabric on fire. Do you know this, Democrats? They have kindled the fire that is raging now from the north to the south, and from the south to the north. I am no abolitionist, neither am I a proslavery man; I hate some of their principles and especially some of their conduct, as I do the gates of hell. The Southerners make the negroes, and the Northerners worship them; this is all the difference between slaveholders and abolitionists. I would like the President of the United States and all the world to hear this.

Shall I tell you the law of God in regard to the African race? If the white man who belongs to the chosen seed mixes his blood with the seed of Cain, the penalty, under the law of God, is death on the spot. This will always be so. The nations of the earth have transgressed every law that God has given, they have changed the ordinances and broken every covenant made with the fathers, and they are like a hungry man that dreameth that he eateth, and he awaketh and behold he is empty.

The following saying of the prophet is fulfilled: "Now also many nations are gathered against thee, that say, Let her be defiled, and let our eye look upon Zion. But they know not the thoughts of the Lord, neither understand they his counsel: for he shall gather them as the sheaves into the floor. Arise and thresh, O daughter of Zion, &c." God rules in the armies of Heaven and does his pleasure upon the earth, and no man can help it. Who can stay the hand of Jehovah, or turn aside the providences of the Almighty? I say to all men and all women, submit to God, to his ordinances and to His rule; serve Him, and cease your quarrelling, and stay the shedding of each other's blood.

If the Government of the United States, in Congress assembled, had the right to pass an anti-polygamy bill, they had also the right to pass a law that slaves should not be abused as they have been; they had also a right to make a law that negroes should be used like human beings, and not worse than dumb brutes. For their abuse of that race, the whites will be cursed, unless they repent.

I am neither an abolitionist nor a pro-slavery man. If I could have been influenced by private injury to choose one side in preference to the other, I should certainly be against the pro-slavery side of the question, for it was pro-slavery men that pointed the bayonet at me and my brethren in Missouri, and said, "Damn you we will kill you." I have not much love for them, only in the Gospel. I would cause them to repent, if I could, and make them good men and a good community. I have no fellowship for their avarice, blindness, and ungodly actions. To be great, is to be good before the Heavens and before all good men. I will not fellowship the wicked in their sins, so help me God.

You are reading surreptitious motives into my edit that I do not have. He clearly was referring to the slavery, the "shedding of each other's blood", "For [whites] abuse of that race", based on the context of the quote. So I contend that either the quote should be amended to clarify, or removed. Thanks. (talk) 20:47, 23 September 2014 (UTC)
Thanks for responding. I noticed this section of this talk page after adding my comments that touches on this quote, so it's obviously not a new issue with this article: Talk:Brigham_Young#Edit_request_from_.2C_21_October_2011. I'm not entirely sold on the necessity of the added sentence in the context of where the quote is placed and I also don't feel that it is taken out of context. However, I see where you are coming from in that it may be too far away from the issue of blacks and priesthood and could be removed altogether. The other information in the paragraph is probably sufficient. I say we leave it as-is for a few days and see if someone else can offer an opinion before removing or altering the quote.
There appear to be multiple articles that deal with the issue of African ancestry and Mormonism: Wikipedia search for "Mormon" and "black". Perhaps a good project for someone would be to combine some of them and fix the multiple issues on them. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Carlaldrich (talkcontribs) 22:08, 23 September 2014 (UTC)
  • Comment. This is probably a matter of interpretation that could be taken in different ways by different individuals, but all sources that I have seen that have commented on Young's quote discuss the quote with the understanding that it is about a restriction on interracial marriage, or more specifically, interracial sex or interracial procreation. The key words seem to be "mixes [the] blood"; I find it difficult to accept that this means anything other than procreation involving two parties of different races. Of course, what really matters is not our individual interpretations, but what secondary sources say about this. I think the issues related to slavery are no doubt related, as evidenced by Young bringing them up in the same sermon, but I don't think we need to "mix" the issues (bad pun intended) by including the ellipsis and the added phrase as proposed. Unless someone can point to some reliable secondary sources which interpret all this differently. But as it stands the article needs to make it clear that this quote is not directly related to the priesthood ban as such, but rather relates to his opinion on interracial relationships. Good Ol’factory (talk) 23:08, 23 September 2014 (UTC)
  • Comment. I'm inclined to agree that drawing these two quotes together with ellipses in the way that anonymous proposed would create an impression that I don't think is warranted based on the source material. I also agree, however, that this quote seems misplaced in the current article. It's not an opinion specifically on blacks and the priesthood - the subject of the paragraph where it's currently placed - but rather on interracial unions. It is certainly, however, controversial and therefore in my opinion probably merits mention under the "Controversial Teachings" section, albeit with more context.Spinner145 (talk) 16:07, 24 September 2014 (UTC)

Early period[edit]

I suggest adding the following information, based closely on the recent Turner biography:

He did not join the movement immediately, but stood on the fringe for another year, closely monitoring the moral behavior of the converts. After two of his brothers converted, he did join, and immediately dedicated himself as a full-time missionary and church activist. At age 31 Young was Of medium height, hearty, barrel chested, with Sandy red hair, clean-shaven, with blue-gray eyes. He had lived a life of poverty and hardship, with little or no formal education, but with an intense religiosity. Mormonism resembled the radical evangelical culture of the intensely religious "burned over district" of upstate New York. It emphasized practices that were otherwise out of fashion, such as speaking in tongues, and prophecy. Young converted to Mormonism because it satisfied a profound skepticism based in his rationalism and intense reading of the Bible. It displayed all the spiritual gifts that he demanded that for testimony.[ref] John G. Turner, Brigham Young: Pioneer Prophet (Harvard University Press, 2012) pp 27-31[/ref] Rjensen (talk) 07:51, 30 July 2015 (UTC)
Okay I will add it in. Rjensen (talk) 09:04, 30 July 2015 (UTC)
You have to allow people time to respond. As I learned early in my Wikipedia career, a few hours doesn't cut it. I will revert your edit until the consensus has a chance to respond.--Jgstokes (talk) 05:38, 31 July 2015 (UTC)

External links modified[edit]

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Season 5 is not over[edit]

The section under fictional references says this: "In the Season 5 season finale of "False Prophets," Brigham Young's son, Phineas, attempts to murder his father. Phineas believed he was the chosen one to go forward to lead the Mormons instead of his father."

The remaining episodes start June 11th. The above is not accurate.

I tried to edit this on my own but once again the "gods of Wiki" tear down anyone that is not part of their exclusive group. I hope and pray for a competitor. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 09:25, 12 May 2016 (UTC)

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Thumbnail Picture[edit]

The picture that is supposed to be of Brigham Young (circa 1870) is actually of neo-Nazi David Duke, probably of somewhat later vintage than 1870 -- especially since he's wearing a audio headset. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 01:46, 14 September 2016 (UTC)