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Brigham Young

Joseph Smith’s death created a crisis as to who would lead his church. Brigham Young, who at the time was President of the Twelve, was one of many who claimed successorship.


1846, February Tensions in Nauvoo are high after Joseph Smith’s death. Brigham Young organizes the first exodus to the Great Salt Lake Valley.
1847, July 24 Brigham arrives with about 148 men, women and children. They found Salt Lake City. He is officially ordained as the second prophet of the LDS church in December that year.
1852, April 9 Brigham delivers his “Adam, Our Father and Our God” discourse at the General Conference, teaching that Adam is God the Father.
1852, August 29 In a special conference, the church publicly acknowledges the practice of polygamy. Brigham had as many as 55 wives. He also married at least six former wives of Joseph Smith.
1853, February 14 Construction begins on the Salt Lake City Temple.
1857-1858 Utah War. U.S. President James Buchanan appoints Alfred Cumming to replace Brigham as Governor of Utah, and dispatches 2,500 troops to ensure a peaceful transfer of power. Fearing the worst, Brigham mobilizes a militia to intercept the U.S. Armed Forces. An estimated 150 people die during the year-long confrontation.
1862 United States President Abraham Lincoln signs the Morrill Anti-Bigamy Act targeting the LDS church.
1870, January 2

Brigham preaches that all his sermons are scripture.

I have never yet preached a sermon and sent it out to the children of men, that they may not call Scripture.

Brigham Young

— Brigham Young

Second Mormon prophet
"Preaching the Gospel, etc."
Salt Lake City Tabernacle
Journal of Discourses, Vol. 13, p. 95

1870, July 24

Brigham delivers a discourse at the Salt Lake City Tabernacle where he declares the moon and sun are inhabited.

Who can tell us of the inhabitants of this little planet that shines of an evening, called the moon? When we view its face we may see what is termed "the man in the moon," and what some philosophers declare are the shadows of mountains. But these sayings are very vague, and amount to nothing; and when you inquire about the inhabitants of that sphere you find that the most learned are as ignorant in regard to them as the most ignorant of their fellows. So it is with regard to the inhabitants of the sun. Do you think it is inhabited? I rather think it is. Do you think there is any life there? No question of it.

Brigham Young

— Brigham Young

Second Mormon prophet
"The Gospel—The One-Man Power"
Salt Lake City Tabernacle
Journal of Discourses, Vol. 13, p. 269

1876 Changes to the Doctrine and Covenants
Section 2 and 13 are added and back dated to September 21, 1823, to make it seem that Elijah had promised the priesthood to Joseph Smith before the founding of his church. Section 101, which prohibited polygamy is removed and replaced with Section 132, which authorizes polygamy.
1877, August 29 Brigham Young dies. He was the longest serving Mormon prophet. John Taylor becomes the third Mormon prophet.
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B. H. Roberts
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