Brigham Young Winter Home Script
(State of Utah)
HOME HISTORICAL SITE
67 West 200 North
St. George, Utah 84770
The Brigham Young winter home is a popular tour site in St. George, Utah. The winters in St. George are very mild compared to that of Northern Utah, so many times Brigham and his family would spend the winter here. The original portion of the home was begun in 1869 and completed in 1871. The front addition was completed in 1873. St. George's winter climate helped Young's rheumatism. From this home he supervised the building of the St. George Mormon Temple. Tours are conducted from 9:00 a.m. to dusk, daily.
BRIGHAM YOUNG Winter Home
In 1925, a noted American biographer, not of the "Mormon" faith, wrote these words about Brigham Young: "As a statesman Brigham Young is one of the few Americans deserving of the adjective great. In a situation of precariousness and importance he showed himself a man of resourcefulness and sturdiness, and his personality contributed as much as that of any one man to the development of the western half of the United States".
He was born of humble parents in a log cabin on June 1, 1801, at Whitingham, Vermont. the son of a veteran of the Revolutionary War, he worked on his father's farm as a youth. His mother died when he was fourteen, and he hired out as an apprentice to learn the trade of a carpenter, cabinet maker, painter, and glazier-skills that were to come in handy in his later years when he would build cities.
Brigham Young's formal schooling consisted of eleven days of instruction under a traveling schoolmaster. However, his mother taught him to read, and he was a natural student and a keen observer of events and of the world around him. As were many great men of his time in history, he was a self-made man.
At the age of thirty, in 1832, Brigham Young accepted the Book of Mormon as truth and joined the Church, being baptized at Mendon, April 14, 1832. Soon after, his wife, brothers and sisters, and aged father also joined the Church. From that time forward, the motivating force in the life of Brigham Young was his devotion to the Lord Jesus Christ and to his gospel and his church.
In the years that followed, he worked diligently in behalf of the Church, serving missions, accepting newer and greater responsibilities, enduring hardships at the hands of persecutors, helping to build the city of Nauvoo, Illinois, and eventually becoming one of the foremost Church leaders under the Prophet Joseph Smith.
After the Prophet Joseph Smith was martyred by a mob at Carthage, Illinois, in 1844, Brigham Young succeeded him as prophet and leader of the Church. He was later sustained as the second President of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
In the winter of 1846, Brigham Young led the Latter-day Saints from Nauvoo into the wilderness. Behind them, mobs sacked their beloved city and destroyed their newly built temple.
The exodus of thousands of people in covered wagons across the plains to Utah is an epic of human industry and endurance unexcelled in American history. Never before had such a large mass of people braved the hostile wilderness and attempted to cross the prairies to the Rocky Mountains. George Bernard Shaw was later to say of Him:
"Brigham Young lived . . . to become immortal in history as an American Moses by leading his people through the wilderness into an unpromised land".
Brigham Young led his people to the Great Salt Lake Valley where they founded a great commonwealth. In the years to come, he laid the groundwork for agricultural and industrial development, established a peaceful coexistence with the Indians, served as territorial governor, and for thirty-three years directed the spiritual and temporal affairs of the church, bringing thousands of colonists from all parts of the world to settle in the West.
Sites for construction of temples were dedicated under Brigham Young's direction in Salt Lake City, St. George, Logan, and Manti, Utah. He lived to see a temple completed only on the St. George site, but the others were begun during his lifetime.
An ardent advocate of education, President Young founded the Deseret University, now the University of Utah; the Brigham Young Academy, now the Brigham Young University; and the Brigham Young College, now discontinued.
A leader in experimental agriculture in the west, Brigham Young conducted an experimental farm on the outskirts of Salt Lake City to determine which crops would best accommodate themselves to the Utah climate. His work in irrigation also set patterns for years to come.
He was a friend to Indians. His policy, "it is better to feed them that to fight them," paved the way for lasting friendships and a peace with Indians that could not otherwise be achieved.
As did many prophets and patriarchs of Old Testament times, Brigham Young had more than one wife. He was the father of fifty- seven children. Joseph Smith had received divine revelation directing him to re-establish this ancient practice of polygamy.
When Congress later enacted laws prohibiting polygamy, the Church, which teaches obedience to law, issued a declaration forbidding the practice. Since 1890, the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has neither sanctioned nor permitted polygamy, and its practice by a member is grounds for excommunication from the Church.
Half a century later, an English journalist, Harold J. Shepstone, summarized Brigham Young's accomplishments and attributes with these words of tribute:
"In the development of those desert wastes, Brigham Young dug canals, imported plants and animals, built railways and telegraphs, established industries and banks, constructed theaters and universities, and encouraged literature, music, and art. The hand press for the newspaper and the machinery for the first sugar factory were brought by ox-teams across a thousand miles of desert sand. He planned and erected temples and tabernacles still used by his people today and the wonder of modern architects. He was the founder of hundreds of cities and settlements and the Governor of one of the Territories of the United States.
At the same time he took care of an almost constant stream of immigration from the Old world and across the American continent, establishing men in places where they could be independent and subsist themselves, all the while acting as their spiritual leader, adviser, and guide.
He possessed, in superlative degree, qualifications that always go with greatness: intelligence, loyalty, faith and courage. It is possible to disagree with his religious belief, but it is not possible on the record of history, to question his sincerity nor his superb statesmanship."
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