Little Bits of History

Promised Land

Posted in History by patriciahysell on July 24, 2014
Brigham Young

Brigham Young

July 24, 1847: Brigham Young arrives in Salt Lake Valley. Young was born in Whitingham, Vermont and worked as a travelling carpenter and blacksmith. He converted to the Methodist church in 1823 and married in 1824. He converted to Mormonism shorting after reading the Book of Mormon in 1830 and officially joined the new church in 1832. He traveled as a missionary to Upper Canada and after his wife died (1832) he was back in Kirtland, Ohio and established a community there. He was ordained as one of the original Quorum of the Twelve Apostles in 1835 and took on a leadership role in which they hoped to export Mormonism to the UK. He also helped organize the exodus from Missouri in 1838.

In 1844 Joseph Smith, president of the church, was killed by an armed mob while in jail on charges of treason. A succession crisis followed and Young and Sidney Rigdon argued over who should take leadership. Young’s argument prevailed and he was ordained President of the Church in December 1847. Rigdon left the church and started his own sect. Because of ongoing conflict within the Mormon church, Young decided to take the faithful followers to Winter Quarters, Nebraska and then on to Salt Lake Valley arriving on this day and establishing Salt Lake City. The day is known as Pioneer Day. Just 29 days after arriving, on August 22, the Mormon Tabernacle Choir was organized.

Pioneer Day is celebrated in Utah and also in some regions of the surrounding states with a strong Mormon presence. The day is devoted to the memory of the forced flight from Nauvoo, Illinois as well as other eastern US places and the finding of a new home out west. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints members walk portions of the Mormon Trail – the 1,300 mile route covered by those fleeing persecution. Today, the trail is part of the United States National Trails System. While Pioneer Day has strong ties to the Mormons of the region, it is celebrated by everyone regardless of faith or nationality. Many government offices and businesses are closed for the day.

Pioneer Day was first celebrated in 1857 but was interrupted by Johnson’s Army coming near at the start of the Utah War. While Utah Territory was occupied by federal troops, the day was not celebrated but when Lincoln initiated a hands-off policy in 1862, it was once again observed. In 1880, fifty years after the Church was founded, the Golden Jubilee was celebrated with tens of thousands of people participating. Anti-polygamy laws were placed and there were subdued celebrations with the 1886 event being more of a mourning for the people jailed for polygamy. By 1897 the laws were repealed, the celebrations returned, and it was a happy day once again.

True independence and freedom can only exist in doing what’s right.

Don’t try to tear down other people’s religion about their ears. Build up your own perfect structure of truth, and invite your listeners to enter in and enjoy it’s glories.

If I had a choice of educating my daughters or my sons because of opportunity constraints, I would choose to educate my daughters.

It is wise for us to forget our troubles, there are always new ones to replace them. – all from Brigham Young

Also on this day: The Manly Peak – In 1911, Machu Picchu was found – again.
Tennessee – In 1866, the first seceded state is admitted back to the Union.
Oh, Henry – In 1901, William Porter was released from prison.
Eastland – In 1915, the SS Eastland capsized.