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Posted 11 Jun 2001   For week ended June 08, 2001
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Sent on Mormon-News: 10Jun01

By Rosemary Pollock

Brigham Young's 200th Birthday Celebrated

SALT LAKE CITY, UTAH -- A celebration was held Friday, June 1, honoring the 200th birthday of Brigham Young, second president of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. At a luncheon sponsored by This Is the Place State Park and funded by George S. and Delores Dore Eccles Foundation, President Gordon B. Hinckley spoke Friday evening at the Mormon Tabernacle on Temple Square.

"I stand in absolute awe of Brigham Young," President Hinckley said. "No other American entrepreneur accomplished what he did." "He built a lively economy in a desert wasteland. It took a man of firmness and determination to do what he did," President Hinckley added.

On the occasion of Brigham Young's 200th birthday, President Hinckley confessed that he spoke to an oil painting of the frontier prophet that hangs on a wall behind his desk. "Brother Brigham, today you are 200 years old," Hinckley told the image Friday morning. "I thought I heard him reply, 'Yes and I'm still going strong,'" Hinckley joked to a luncheon crowd of 900 at the Grand America in Salt Lake City earlier in the day.

The day-long recognition was honored by members of Young's extended family, including his only living grandchild. Members of the church and family were present for a special Mormon Tabernacle Choir concert, including talks by a great-great-grandson and by President Gordon B. Hinckley.

Young was born June 1, 1801, in Whitingham, Vermont. He grew up in New York state and coverted to the Mormon church in 1832, two years after it was organized. He assumed leadership of the church after Joseph Smith's assassination in 1844 and directed members to settle as many as 400 colonies throughout the West.

"They weren't like other communities in the West that sprouted up because of nearby mines, et cetera," said Craig L. Foster of the Mormon History Association. "They were settled with society intact. Young worked out city planning, water and social issues in advance," Foster added.

"If he hadn't been the leader of a religious movement that was not well liked, I think historians would rank him as one of the greatest leaders in American history," Foster said. "His impact on the West is incalculable."

Brigham Young founded Salt Lake City in 1847 and was elected governor of Utah, then called Deseret, in 1849. He died in 1877. Salt Lake City resident Rebecca Timmins said she felt fortunate to attend the celebration with her family. "I wanted my children to have an understanding of the sacrifices made by Brigham Young, and the legacy he has brought to our family and the church," Timmins said.


Mormons Celebrate 200th Anniversary
Washington Post (AP) 2Jun01 N6
By Christy Karras: Associated Press Writer

Happy Birthday, Brother Brigham
Salt Lake Tribune 2Jun01 N6
By Peggy Fletcher Stack: Salt Lake Tribune

2 leaders are honored on Brigham's birthday
Deseret News 2Jun01 N6
By James Thalman and Lynn Arave: Deseret News staff writers
Brigham Young, the American Moses, kingdom builder and family man was celebrated Friday in song, speeches and bronze.

Brigham Young's 200th birthday celebrated
BYU NewsNet 2Jun01 N6
By Larry Furr: NewsNet Staff Writer

LDS president gets award from Gov. Leavitt
Ogden UT Standard-Examiner 2Jun01 N2
By JaNae Francis


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