Brigham Young's Homes

Brigham Young's Homes

Brigham Young's Homes

Brigham Young's Homes

Excerpt

Once when Brigham Young was simultaneously president of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, governor of Utah Territory, and head of the territorial militia, a visitor methodically addressed him by all of his assorted ecclesiastical, governmental, and military titles. Young replied, “Sir, you have omitted my most cherished titles—carpenter, painter, and glazier.” Brigham Young is most frequently remembered as a colonizer and builder on a massive scale. He led the dispossessed Latter-day Saints across hundreds of miles of plains and mountains, then directed their settlement in the Great Basin. He supervised the building of religious structures, organized the distribution of land in newly founded cities, and dispatched pioneer companies to build permanent settlements from San Bernardino, California, to Fort Bridger, Wyoming. He instigated and directed public works, including the Salt Lake Theater, the Council Hall, the public baths at the warm springs, the territorial prison, and various roads, bridges, and railroads. Yet Brigham Young was also a builder on a very personal level, and for him some of the most important projects he ever made or directed to be made were his own homes.

Whether his projects were large-scale or small, whether he built them with his own hands or directed the labors of others, Brigham Young recognized the value of both public and private buildings and demonstrated ingenuity and skill in making them functional, beautiful, and sturdy. “For Brigham, every activity of man’s daily life was a part of religion.” Houses were places for the necessary functions of life—eating, sleeping, working—but they were also places to pray, to study scriptures, and to promote the growth of the souls who lived in them.

In this book dedicated researchers have identified, described, and explained the uses of each of the many homes Brigham Young established for his wives and families. Such a study allows us a better perspective on this remarkable man and his equally remarkable family. We can also see into the times in which they lived, recognize the values on which they operated, and understand a little better how they managed to build a thriving civilization, time and again, in the face of opposition most of us will never have to know.

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