Brigham Young: A Photographic Journey


Photographs and artifacts span the life and ministry of the Church’s second President.

As we study Teachings of Presidents of the Church: Brigham Young as part of the 1998–99 Melchizedek Priesthood and Relief Society curriculum, we read the following on page 1: “Brigham Young was the second President of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, the colonizer and builder of a great commonwealth of Latter-day Saints in the American West, and a devoted husband and father. He was a faithful disciple and Apostle of the Lord Jesus Christ. ‘Jesus is our captain and leader,’ he testified (DNW [Deseret News Weekly], 24 May 1871, 5). ‘My faith is placed upon the Lord Jesus Christ, and my knowledge I have received from him,’ he affirmed (DNW, 21 Nov. 1855, 2). His life was centered in building up and sustaining the kingdom of the Lord Jesus Christ on the earth.”

Following are photographs that help us learn more about President Brigham Young.

The birthplace of Brigham Young

The birthplace of Brigham Young—Whittingham Village, Windham County, Vermont—as it appeared in January 1913, photo by George Edward Anderson.

Brigham Young lived in this house in Port Byron, New York

Newly married and not yet baptized a member of the Church, Brigham Young lived in this house in Port Byron, New York.

President Brigham Young, age 51

President Brigham Young, age 51, ca. 1852.

President Young, age 54

President Young, age 54, ca. 1855.

Lion House and Beehive House

Lion House and Beehive House, serving respectively as office and residence of President Young, 1860, photo by Charles W. Carter.

Cherry wood secretary made by Brigham Young

Cherry wood secretary made by Brigham Young in Mendon, New York, before 1832, courtesy of MCHA.

Two of Brigham Young’s carpentry tools

Two of Brigham Young’s carpentry tools—a block plane and a marking gauge, courtesy of MCHA.

President Young, age 71

President Young, age 71, ca. 1872.

President Young’s winter home in St. George

President Young’s winter home in St. George, photographed ca. 1935.

The compass used by Brigham Young

The compass used by Brigham Young on the trek west to the Salt Lake Valley in 1847, courtesy of MCHA.

Grave of President Young

Grave of President Young in Salt Lake City, ca. 1882, photo by Charles W. Carter.

[photos] Photos courtesy of LDS Church Archives, except as noted

[photos] Above, left: Signature of President Brigham Young from a 2 1/2-by-4-inch calling card, 1875, courtesy of Gregory P. Christofferson. Inset: Hand-forged fireplace shovel made by Brigham Young in Mendon, New York, before 1832, courtesy of Museum of Church History and Art (MCHA). Above, top: Brigham Young, age 44, ca. 1845, copy of a daguerreotype taken in Nauvoo, Illinois.

[photos] Background: Brigham Young’s home in Nauvoo, Illinois, photographed 1907. Center, left: Salt Lake Temple foundation and Tabernacle, ca. 1870, photo by Charles W. Carter. Below, left: Letter from President Brigham Young in 1866 reflecting a renewed impetus to move forward on construction of the Salt Lake Temple, courtesy of Gregory P. Christofferson. Below: President Young, age 62, ca. 1863.

[photo] Center: Book of Mormon, published in England, 1841, under direction of Brigham Young, courtesy of MCHA.

[photo] Below, right: A promissory note signed by Brigham Young on 16 March 1830, wherein he agreed to help repay a loan by making “Good kitchen chairs at fifty cents a piece”.

[photo] Background: President Young selected the site and presided over the dedication of the St. George [Utah] Temple, photo courtesy of Utah State Historical Society.

[photo] Right, below: A place setting of the monogrammed china dishes used by the Young family and their dinner guests; also, the brass bell President Young rang to call his family to dinner and prayer, courtesy of MCHA.