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Joseph Young (April 7, 1797 ‚Äď July 16, 1881) was an early convert to the Latter Day Saint movement and was a missionary and longtime general authority of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS Church). He was an elder brother of Brigham Young.

Young was born in Hopkintonmarker, Massachusettsmarker, the eighth child born to John Young and Abigail (Nabbie) Howe.

In 1830, while he was a preacher for the Methodist Church in Upper Canada, Young was introduced to the Book of Mormon by his younger brother Brigham. Joseph eventually abandoned the Methodist faith and was baptized a member of the Church of Christ by Daniel Brown in Columbiamarker, Pennsylvaniamarker on April 6, 1832; Brigham followed his brother's example and became a member of the church one week later. Later in April 1832, Joseph was ordained to the priesthood office of elder by Ezra Landon. Immediately following his ordination, Young began a mission for the church, preaching in New York and Upper Canada in the spring and summer of 1832 with his brother Phineas.

In November 1832, Young joined the gathering of Latter Day Saints in Kirtlandmarker, Ohiomarker, where he met Joseph Smith, Jr., the founder of the church. Shortly after arriving in Kirtland, Smith asked Young to depart on another mission for the church to Upper Canada, which he served over the winter months of 1832 and 1833.

On February 18, 1834, Young married Jane Adeline Bicknell in Kirtland. The couple would eventually have eleven children.

Young accompanied Joseph Smith and others in a journey to Independence, Missourimarker in 1834 as part of Zion's Camp. In 1835, Smith selected Young to be one of the leaders of the Seventy of the church. Young was ordained to the office of Seventy on February 28 and was ordained as one of the seven presidents of the First Quorum of the Seventy on March 1. After it was discovered that the senior president of the Seventy, Hazen Aldrich, had previously been ordained to the office of high priest, Aldrich surrendered his position in the quorum. As a result, Young became the senior or seventh president of the Seventy. He would retain this position in the church from 1835 until his death.

As a Seventy, Young served several more missions for the church, including one to New Yorkmarker and Massachusettsmarker with Burr Riggs in 1835 and one to his relatives in the eastern United Statesmarker with his brother Brigham in 1836.

Young participated in many significant events in early Latter Day Saint history. He was present at the dedication of the Kirtland Templemarker in 1836. Young was also present at Haun's Millmarker, Missourimarker when it was attackedmarker by those who opposed the Mormon presence in Missouri. He left Missouri with the Latter Day Saints in consequence of the extermination order which had been issued by Lilburn W. Boggs.

Young received his endowment in Nauvoomarker, Illinoismarker on February 3, 1844, just months before Joseph Smith was killed. He was selected by Smith as an inaugural member of the Council of Fifty on March 1, 1844. When Smith was killed on June 27, 1844, Young was campaigning in Ohiomarker on behalf of Smith's bid for the presidency of the United States.

Like many early Latter Day Saints, Young practiced plural marriage. In 1846 he was married to Lucinda Allen, Lydia Hemming, and Mary Ann Burnham in the Nauvoo Temple. Later, in 1868, he married Sarah Jane Kinsman in the Salt Lake Temple. Young would eventually father a total of ten children with his plural wives.

Young and his four wives left Illinois in 1846 and settled in Winter Quarters, Nebraska, and later Carterville, Iowamarker. He and his wives left Carterville in 1850 to join the Latter Day Saints who had followed his brother Brigham to the Salt Lake Valley in Utah Territory. Young arrived in Salt Lake Citymarker in September 1850. The Youngs travelled in the Wilford Woodruff pioneer company.

In 1870, Young served a final mission for the church to the British Islesmarker. He died at and was buried at Salt Lake Citymarker at the age of 81. At the time of his death, Young had served as a general authority or a missionary of the church for nearly fifty years.

See also


  • Esshom, Frank. Pioneers and Prominent Men of Utah. Salt Lake City: Western Epics, 1966.
  • Flake, Lawrence R. Mighty Men of Zion: General Authorities of the Last Dispensation. Salt Lake City: Karl D. Butler, 1974.
  • Jenson, Andrew. Latter-day Saint Biographical Encyclopedia. Vol. 1. Salt Lake City: Andrew Jenson History Company, 1901.

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