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James F. Stoddard IV and Aaron R. Halsell

The day is Thursday, August 8, 1844. Six weeks to the day have passed since the martyrdom of the Prophet Joseph Smith on June 27, 1844. The majority of the Twelve Apostles have recently returned from missions 1 and some are still stunned and disheartened by the loss of their Prophet. Upon their arrival they find “Sidney Rigdon busy among the Saints, trying to establish his claim to the presidency of the Church.” 2 According to a report issued by the Times and Seasons:

[A] special meeting of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, convened at the stand in the city of Nauvoo, President Brigham Young, called the audience to order, and arranged the several quorums according to their standing, and the rules of the church. The meeting had been previously called, as stated, to choose a guardian, or trustee for said church. 3
Sidney Rigdon
Sidney Rigdon

Opinions differ, 4 either Sidney Rigdon, former First Counselor in the First Presidency, 5 or the Quorum of the Twelve with Brigham Young at their head. The audience is divided as the polished and eloquent Sidney Rigdon commences his message. The old gentleman is charismatic and the arguments are compelling to some of the flock. 6

Brigham Young, a man fiercely loyal to the Prophet Joseph Smith, current President of the Twelve and later to become known as the “Lion of the Lord”, takes the stand. Suddenly, the people arise “en-masse to their feet astonished.” 7 One eyewitness later remembered, “it appeared that Joseph had returned and was speaking to the people.” 8 As Brigham Young commences speaking, hundreds in the audience believe “in every possible degree it [is] Joseph’s voice, and his person, in look, attitude, dress and appearance [it is] Joseph himself, personified”. 9 William Hyde later remembers:

[Brigham Young] then called upon the saints to know if they would receive the Twelve and let them stand in their place as the First Presidency of the Church in the absense of Joseph. The vote was unanimous in the affirmative. On this day it was plainly manifest that the mantle of Joseph had rested upon President Young. 10

Fact or fiction?

If the transfiguration never occured, the foundations of our LDS faith & history are weakened.

While not one dissenting hand was raised at that conference, thousands today are leaving the Church believing that Brigham Young was not the Prophet Joseph’s legal successor. Was Brigham Heaven’s choice? The transfiguration of Brigham Young is a key assertion in this debate. If the Lord miraculously transfigured Brigham Young’s appearance, Brigham Young was divinely sanctioned as Joseph Smith’s successor. If this transfiguration never took place, the very foundations of our LDS faith and history are weakened.

Richard S. Van Wagoner
Richard S. Van Wagoner

Both detractors and supporters of the transfiguration recognize that the date of August 8, 1844, is a binding one. 11 While many Mormon historians agree that something miraculous occurred on that day, a growing number are viewing this story as a mere remnant of Mormon folklore. In other words, it is an exaggerated legend from our pioneer past. The late LDS author Richard S. Van Wagoner, considered to be a “trailblazer in Mormon studies”, 12 writes:

The legend is now unsurpassed in Mormon lore, second only to Joseph Smith’s own account of angelic ministrations and his “first vision.” 13

. . . When 8 August 1844 is stripped of emotional overlay, there is not a shred of irrefutable contemporary evidence to support the occurrence of a mystical event either in the morning or afternoon gatherings of that day. 14

Why does the transfiguration matter?

Joseph Smith and Brigham Young
Joseph Smith and Brigham Young (Attribution: Ken Lund)

If the transformation was nothing more than a myth, the argument can easily be made that President Young merely wrestled the mantle away from Sidney Rigdon by popular vote. 15 Where does that leave the Church today? If Brigham Young was not divinely appointed as the successor of Joseph Smith can one recover from such a misdirection and remain “the one and only true Church?”

We currently have access to 141 accounts of the event. The number of individuals who recorded the event totals to 125. Sixty-one of these are first-hand documents, including personal journals, autobiographies and direct testimonies chronicled in Church publications. The remaining 63 are biographical works by family members or historical compilations. 16

First recorded accounts emerge

Despite the numerous first and second hand accounts, a popular theory dismisses these statements because they were not written until many years after the event. The critics question whether or not the transfiguration occurred because a number of testimonies were written after the Saints had settled in Utah.

Pioneer accounts of the transfiguration
Attribution: Jeff Nelson

Van Wagoner insists Albert Carrington is the first to mention the mantle experience in 1857, thirteen years after the deciding conference in Nauvoo. In a discourse delivered in the Salt Lake bowery, Elder Carrington said that he couldn’t tell Brigham from Joseph. According to Van Wagoner’s premise, there was soon no shortage of pioneers embellishing the story further and making the claim that they had witnessed the miracle, too. Van Wagoner states:

The paramount dilemma with retrospective transfiguration recountings is why so many otherwise honorable, pious people recalled experiencing something they probably did not. A rational and likely explanation for this faulty group memory is that a “contagious” thought can spread through the populace to create a “collective mind.” 17

Is Albert Carrington’s statement the first? If so, that could bolster the idea that our “otherwise honourable” ancestors were caught up in such a mass deception. However, this thesis actually ignores the data that there were, in fact, many more renditions in previous years. The chart below displays how many eyewitnesses wrote of their mantle experience each year following 1844:

Accounts in Years Following the Transfiguration Event

As noted, within a year of the “transfiguration” the miracle had been referred to several times. It was even described in explicit detail in many private accounts at least as early as 1851.

Additionally, a significant number of these dates have been taken from the publication of biographies that state they were compiled or copied from original journals. Cases such as James Harvey Glines, 18 William Hyde 19 and others. These entries were very likely written the day of, or soon after August 8th.

Groupthink?

If these eyewitness reports were the result of psychological “groupthink” we could expect the Saints to begin jotting down their accounts when the idea was allegedly first noised abroad. The testimonies would have been recorded in a condensed period of time. The chart below illustrates how many renditions of the Transfiguration were first recorded from 1844 until the year 1925.

Accounts of Transfiguration Over Time

Thus we see, there is no specific timeframe for a spike in the accounts. Even considering the brief remarks made in the 1857 discourse, keep in mind that the most detailed statement of the transformation, written by George Q. Cannon, was not published until the year 1870. If the mantle experience really was mere “Mormon folklore”, how did so many sporadic records emerge eighteen or more years before the first comprehensive declaration even became available to the Church abroad?

Additionally, there is no central location for the supposed “myth” to develop as Van Wagoner’s “collective delusion” would require. Witnesses recorded their testimonies from various locations: some still living in Nauvoo, some throughout Utah ranging from the northern to the southernmost tip, some into Idaho and the Arizona territories, and some locales as remote as the island of Tubuai. 20

An analysis of the accounts clearly testifies that the accounts of the transfiguration of Brigham Young could not have been the result of a contagion memory or “group think”.

Was Brigham Young divinely sanctioned by God?

President Brigham Young (Is there evidence for the transfiguration of Brigham Young?)
President Brigham Young (ca. 1846)

If the transfiguration occurred, this mighty miracle is a manifestation to the Saints, both past and present, of God’s divine sanction of President Brigham Young. Many among the current membership would do well to consider carefully before criticizing him as a “product of his time”. 21 Was he a man burdened by prejudice and a hunger for power? 22 Did President Young have an inconsistent 23 and corrupted view of doctrine? 24 Did President Young depart from the foundation laid by the Prophet Joseph Smith? Or have some in our generation re-imagined the character of Joseph Smith and worked to redefine the Restoration? The validity of the transfiguration is a crucial element in discovering the answer.

In Part 2, we will explore the accounts and investigate whether the eyewitness testimonies agree and whether their differences call the validity of the experience into question.

Free audio of transfiguration accounts

Notes:

  1. Smith, Joseph Fielding. Essentials in Church History. Deseret Book. 387.
  2. Little, James A. Jacob Hamblin: A Narrative of His Personal Experience, as a Frontiersman, Missionary to the Indians and Explorer. Grantsville, UT: LDS Archive, 1997. Print. 19–20. also Corbett, Pearson H. Jacob Hamblin, the Peacemaker. Salt Lake City: Deseret Book, 1952. Print. 21-22.
  3. Times and Seasons, September 2, 1844
  4. “There were so many opinions as who would be the leader of the Saints at that time. Sidney Rigdon was sure he was the man.” Eunice Billings Warner Snow Tells Her Own Story, Writings of Eunice Billings Snow (1910). January 3, 1830–November 25, 1914.
  5. History of the Church. 6:47–48. Mosiah Hancock remembered, “I had seen the Prophet proclaim these words before the people, ‘I have carried Sidney Rigdon long enough—I now throw him from my shoulders. If my brother Hyrum wishes to pick him up and carry him, he may—I carry him no longer.'” Hancock, Mosiah Lyman. Autobiography of Mosiah Lyman Hancock. 1834–65, Church Archives.
  6. “Sidney Rigdon came to the stand and tried to show to the people that he was the rightful successor of Joseph. And his arguments were so powerful that many were almost persuaded to believe him such.” Crosby, Caroline Barnes. Memoirs Begun at Tubuai, Society Islands, 1851, holograph, unpaged, Church Archives; Crosby, Caroline Barnes. The Papers of Jonathan and Caroline Crosby, unpaged, microfilm, FHL Archives.
  7. Pace, William Bryam. Diary of William Bryam Pace and Biography of His Father, James Pace. typescript, 7, Perry Special Collections.
  8. Ibid.
  9. Johnson, Benjamin F. My Life’s Review (reprint, Mesa, Ariz.: Lof- green Printing, 1979), 103–4.
  10. Hyde, William. The Private Journal of William Hyde, 1868. holograph, 64–67, and typescript, 21–23, Church Archives; Hyde, William. The Private Journal of William Hyde. typescript, 13–15, microfilm, FHL Archives.
  11. Snuffer, Denver, Jr. “Interpreting History, Part 9.” Denver Snuffer. N.p., 5 Feb. 2012. Web.
  12. DeGroote, Michael. “Richard Van Wagoner, Historian, Dies at 64.” Deseret News. 12 Oct. 2010. Web. <http://www.deseretnews.com/article/700072904/Richard-Van-Wagoner-historian-dies-at-64.html>.
  13. Van Wagoner, Richard S. Making of a Mormon Myth. 159.
  14. Ibid, 178.
  15. Waterman, Alan Rock. “Why Mormon History Is Not What They Say.” Why Mormon History Is Not What They Say. N.p., 25 July 2010. Web. <http://puremormonism.blogspot.com/2010/07/why-mormon-history-is-not-what-they-say.html>
  16. Both Ronald W. Walker and Lynne Watkins Jorgensen bring the number to 101.
  17. Van Wagoner, Richard S. Making of a Mormon Myth. 181.
  18. Glines, James Harvey. Reminiscences and Diary, March 1845–December 1899
  19. Hyde, William. The Private Journal of William Hyde, 1868. holograph, 64–67, and typescript, 21–23, Church Archives; Hyde, William. The Private Journal of William Hyde. typescript, 13–15, microfilm, FHL Archives.
  20. Jorgensen, Lynne Watkins. “The Mantle of the Prophet Joseph Passes to Brother Brigham: A Collective Spiritual Witness.” Brigham Young University Studies, vol. 36, no. 4, 1996, pp. 131.
  21. “Question: Are prophets simply “men of their time,” without any special ability to guide the Church?” FairMormon. N.p., n.d. Web.
  22. Snuffer, Denver, Jr. “Emma, Lucy and Brigham.” Denver Snuffer. N.p., n.d. Web. <http://denversnuffer.com/2015/05/emma-lucy-and-brigham/>.
  23. Hales, Laura H., ed. A Reason for Faith: Navigating LDS Doctrine & Church History. Provo, UT: Religious Studies Center, Brigham Young U, 2016. Print.
  24. Snuffer, Denver, Jr. “Sorting Things Out, Part 5.” From the Desk of Denver Snuffer. N.p., n.d. Web. <http://denversnuffer.blogspot.com/2012/07/sorting-things-out-part-5.html>. see also Arrington, Leonard J. Brigham Young: American Moses. New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 1985. Print. 201.
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32 Comments on "Is there evidence for the transfiguration of Brigham Young?"

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Jesse @ BuildingZion.org
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This article’s logic suggests:
If Brigham’s transfiguration didn’t occur,
Then he wasn’t a prophet, and, Sidney Rigdon should have been.

I don’t buy this because Joseph’s revelation in D&C 107 suggests the Twelve were ultimately in charge. The Twelve were “equal in authority” to the First Presidency (D&C 107:24). But, they also were the ones who “appointed and ordained” the First Presidency (vss.22 & 58).

The transfiguration could have been a Mormon myth, but that doesn’t negate the word of the Lord to Joseph regarding the role and relationship of the Twelve and the First Presidency.

Bruce Woodruff
Guest
Hi Jesse! I’m a little confused why you came to that conclusion. You don’t quote anything from the article that you directly disagree with. Here’s what the article said about why the transfiguration of Brigham Young is important: “The transfiguration of Brigham Young is a key assertion in this debate[over who was the next divinely appointed prophet]. If the Lord miraculously transfigured Brigham Young’s appearance, Brigham Young was divinely sanctioned as Joseph Smith’s successor.” I agree with you (and the authors of the article probably would as well) that both the Prophet Joseph’s statements and D&C 107 point to Brigham… Read more »
Jack of Hearts
Guest
“I’m a little confused why you came to that conclusion.” I’m not Jesse, but this is what made my jaw drop and supports his reading of the article (though I agree that the bit about Sidney Rigdon having a right to the presidency is an extrapolation and not present in the text): “Was Brigham Heaven’s choice? The transfiguration of Brigham Young is a key assertion in this debate. If the Lord miraculously transfigured Brigham Young’s appearance, Brigham Young was divinely sanctioned as Joseph Smith’s successor. If this transfiguration never took place, the very foundations of our LDS faith and history… Read more »
Bruce Woodruff
Guest
Jack of Hearts, “”If this transfiguration never took place, the very foundations of our LDS faith and history are weakened.” But this is simply not true.” The transfiguration supports the line of authority that current LDS members believe in. Many claimed leadership over the church, and knowing who was the next prophet was not just important for them but also for us. The transfiguration leaves no doubt. If this account is a bunch of lies propagated by those in favor of Brigham Young, then it does undermine his position as the next prophet in the latter days (not to mention… Read more »
Jack of Hearts
Guest
“The transfiguration supports the line of authority that current LDS members believe in. . . . The transfiguration leaves no doubt.” The account does support the line of authority, but it is overreaching to say that it leaves no doubt. This article itself is proof enough that there are questions surrounding the account. It is the witness of the Spirit that leaves no doubt, and nothing else. It is inviolate, and with it, nothing can undermine Brigham Young’s position as a prophet of the Lord. “All objections . . . basically hinge on whether Joseph Smith and his successors were… Read more »
Elsie
Guest
I’m not Bruce, but one question I have about your first statement: Was the transfiguration NOT a witness of the Spirit to those saints? or to us today? Honest question. You suggest that the fact that there IS an article on this topic is suggestive of opposition to the event or that it was unproven and of sketchy evidence. The fact that there IS opposition is nothing new to Mormonism; we’ve had it since the Fist Vision, not to mention in Christ’s time. In fact, it’s actually a GOOD sign. Many believe in the BOM and not the living prophets.… Read more »
Elsie
Guest
Thank you for this article! I agree with Aaron Halsell and James Stoddard. I recently saw some discussion from active church members defaming the prophet Brigham Young (saying he wasn’t a prophet, didn’t have priesthood keys, etc…) I’d heard other comments about it in Sunday school as well, and the complaints and justification didn’t line up with other impressions that I had received. It’s so refreshing to hear truth about him as portrayed in this article! Here’s a quote from Brigham Young’s funeral address that says exactly what I feel: Like all great men, he has had bitter enemies. No… Read more »
Bruce Woodruff
Guest
I looked up the statements of Wilford Woodruff, my 4th great grandfather and an apostle. He was very clear on the topic: “I know this work is of God. I know Joseph Smith was a Prophet of God. I have heard two or three of the brethren testify about brother Young in Nauvoo. Every man and every woman in that assembly, which perhaps might number thousands, could bear the same testimony. I was there, the Twelve were there, and a good many others, and all can bear the same testimony. The question might be asked, why was the appearance of… Read more »
Tomi
Guest

I really appreciate the work of the Stoddards. We live in such a time of “alternate truths” that this research becomes so very important. I also think it is important for those of us who have ancestors who lived during important historical times, and who recorded eyewitness accounts, stand up and share them with others. Perhaps this is one of the many reasons all of us, but especially young people are being encouraged to do family history work– so that we can proclaim truth to misinformation!

Jack of Hearts
Guest

30+ years later he was very clear, yes, but his diary entry for August 8, 1844 (one of his longest, clocking in at nearly 2200 words), makes no mention of it. In fact, his journal indicates that he did not even attend the morning meeting when Young and Rigdon addressed the congregation.

Jeanne
Guest

“Every man and every woman in that assembly, which perhaps might number thousands, could bear the same testimony. I was there, the Twelve were there, and a good many others, and all can bear the same testimony.” (Wilford Woodruff, Journal of Discourses 15:81)

Jack of Hearts, are you calling President Wilford Woodruff (the fourth President of the Church) a liar?

Jack of Hearts
Guest

No. Are you? On August 8th, 1844, he wrote, “The Twelve spent their time in the fore part of the day at the office” and “in the afternoon met at the grove.”

Jeanne
Guest
You attempted to discount President Woodruff’s eyewitness account (shared by Bruce), stating that: “30+ years later he was very clear, yes, but his diary entry for August 8, 1844 (one of his longest, clocking in at nearly 2200 words), makes no mention of it. In fact, his journal indicates that he did not even attend the morning meeting when Young and Rigdon addressed the congregation.” My question still stands, do you believe President Woodruff was lying when he shared his eyewitness account in 1872? You conveniently did not mention that President Young also spoke in the afternoon, according to Wilford… Read more »
Jack of Hearts
Guest

“My question still stands, do you believe President Woodruff was lying when he shared his eyewitness account in 1872? You conveniently did not mention that President Young also spoke in the afternoon, according to Wilford Woodruff’s August 8th, 1844 entry.” And you conveniently did not mention that the transformation took place in the morning. So thus my questions still stands.

Jeanne
Guest
Why would you suggest that the transfiguration occurred in the morning? Two meetings occurred on August 8th. The first meeting began at 10 o’clock and Sidney Rigdon spoke for one hour and a half. As one eyewitness observed, “he was as dry as sticks”. Brigham Young appeared near the end, called for an afternoon meeting and spoke after 2pm. President Joseph Fielding Smith (one of our Church historians, the grandson of Hyrum Smith and the President of the Church) summarized the event based on the primary sources and eyewitness accounts: “At the close of the morning meeting, President Brigham Young… Read more »
Jack of Hearts
Guest

“Why would you suggest that the transfiguration occurred in the morning?”
While accounts and reconstructions of the timeline differ, the majority support the occurrence of the transfiguration when Brigham Young suddenly rose at the close of the morning meeting. For example, https://rsc.byu.edu/archived/firm-foundation/8-six-days-august-brigham-young-and-succession-crisis-1844

Bruce Woodruff
Guest
Jack of Hearts, Did you read your own source? After speaking of Rigdon’s long-winded address, your own source says: “Anxious to forestall a morning vote, [Brigham Young] on the spot announced such a meeting for 2:00 p.m. the same day.” No mentions of transfiguration accounts in the morning meeting. In fact, this source almost exactly mirrors the source Jeanne shared. While the aforesaid source is not entirely to my liking in the way it presents Brigham Young and transfiguration accounts, it most certainly contains the facts – facts you are attempting to ignore. The source you shared later says: “For… Read more »
Jack of Hearts
Guest

The article clearly says that “when Young first rose to speak” the transfiguration happened. That would have been in the morning meeting.

“Would you still like to claim my ancestor and apostle (later prophet) to be a liar?” Never once have I claimed that. A mistake does not equal a lie.

“evidence for afternoon accounts is already proven.” No, evidence for that exists, but evidence also exists for transfiguration during the morning meeting; nothing is proven.

Caleb Young
Guest
Jack of Hearts, Your source says “when Young first rose to speak”. This could be interpreted to mean the end of the morning meeting, but could also be speaking of the afternoon meeting where he actually addressed the people. Interesting to note that the exact phrase your source uses is the one Joseph Fielding Smith used in reference to the afternoon meeting. Coincidence? Perhaps. However, Joseph Fielding Smith’s account predates your source and was probably used in writing your source. While you have refrained from outright calling him a liar, you have attacked his integrity by claiming or suggesting that… Read more »
Jack of Hearts
Guest
“[Y]ou have attacked his integrity by claiming or suggesting that he simply made up or exaggerated this story.” I have neither claimed nor suggested any such thing, anymore than I would over discrepancies in Joseph Smith’s First Vision accounts. “We know that Wilford Woodruff was indeed present at the afternoon meeting – and that meeting is the one that sources already confirm to be when the transfiguration happened.” No, they don’t. I mean, some do. But some don’t too. With evidence on both sides, no one’s proving anything aside from potentiality. “Could transfiguration accounts in the morning exist? Of course.… Read more »
Bruce Woodruff
Guest
Thanks Caleb for your input. That’s exactly what I was getting at. Maybe anything isn’t 100% proven by the evidence that has been brought up. But that wasn’t the point. Caleb is right on the point: that it trashes the arguments of those who claim my ancestor was lying because he was not there. Wilford Woodruff is probably the only person alive at the time who would be able (or even try) to remember Brigham Young’s address all day long so he can write the whole thing in his journal. Because of his journal entry, we know he was there… Read more »
Jack of Hearts
Guest
“Caleb is right on the point: that it trashes the arguments of those who claim my ancestor was lying because he was not there.” Not exactly. I mean, I have no reason to believe he was lying, but him saying he was there isn’t incontrovertible proof, given that it is a 30+ year old memory and people forget things. The article I linked to pointed out how Brigham Young forgot that he in fact did not attend the Twelve’s meeting that morning; misremembering is not lying. Good thing too, since there are accounts of the transfiguration supporting both the morning… Read more »
Bruce Woodruff
Guest
“Not exactly.” It does indeed. I didn’t say you were among that group, but they do exist and the facts DO trash their argument. “I mean, I have no reason to believe he was lying.” Is there a reason then that you continue to debate this topic? You could not oppose my stance so you simply hinted an insult at the memory of an apostle who could remember an address nearly word for word all day so he could write it in his journal. “People forget things.” Indeed they do, but they don’t just ‘happen’ to remember and record 141… Read more »
Hannah
Guest
Jack of Hearts, I think you might want to consider this . . . “I will here Say God has inspired me to keep a Journal and History of this Church and I warn the future Historians to give Credence to my History of this Church and kingdom for my Testimony is true, and the truth of its Record will be manifest in the world to Come for I with Presidet Brigham Young and others of us will soon be in the spirit /world/ with Joseph, Hyrum David, Heber, Willard, Ezra T, George A Smith, and A Host of other… Read more »
Jack of Hearts
Guest

“Was Brigham Heaven’s choice? The transfiguration of Brigham Young is a key assertion in this debate. If the Lord miraculously transfigured Brigham Young’s appearance, Brigham Young was divinely sanctioned as Joseph Smith’s successor. If this transfiguration never took place, the very foundations of our LDS faith and history are weakened.” As others have pointed out, this is incredibly unnecessary theological weight for this event. The Church in no way comes close to having its foundations weakened if recollection of this event is indeed folklore because its foundations are in Christ.

bboy4liberty
Guest
I was reading through the comments and was disappointed to see what I feel is a nit-picky and negative attitude. Choosing one sentence that you want to tear down instead of supporting the truth and importance of the transfiguration seems kind of like a ‘hater’ attitude. I think that the point that they were trying to get across is that if the transfiguration can be doubted, then it is much easier to raise questions about the legitimacy of current priesthood authority and a living prophet. I, for one, really appreciated the evidence confirming that the keys of the kingdom really… Read more »
Jack of Hearts
Guest
“I think that the point that they were trying to get across is that if the transfiguration can be doubted, then it is much easier to raise questions about the legitimacy of current priesthood authority and a living prophet.” And that’s simply not true. As I wrote above, President Benson was crystal clear that a testimony of the Book of Mormon is also a testimony of the Prophet and of his successors in the presidency of the Church. Whether this transformation of Brigham Young took place is immaterial to a witness of the Spirit about the Book of Mormon. “Choosing… Read more »
bboy4liberty
Guest
While I in no way wish to minimize the role of the Book of Mormon, history makes it very clear how important the transfiguration was. Before it happened, the church was split over who was to succeed Joseph (and remember that this includes men and women who all knew the prophet personally AND had a very strong testimony of the Book of Mormon)–even these good saints felt unclear on how the line of authority would pass. The transfiguration brought them all to a unanimous consensus. Do we dare think that we can ignore, belittle, and minimize the role of an… Read more »
Jack of Hearts
Guest
“The transfiguration brought them all to a unanimous consensus.” No, it didn’t. Many members never followed the Twelve, including some present at that meeting. “Jack of Hearts, dare you place your testimony of priesthood keys and power above that held by the early saints?” Excuse me? Nothing my comments suggest that I place my testimony above that of the early Saints. I’m simply defending what President Benson taught: “All objections . . . basically hinge on whether Joseph Smith and his successors were and are prophets of God receiving divine revelation. . . . The only problem the objector has… Read more »
Bruce Woodruff
Guest
Jack of Hearts, “No, it didn’t.” Picking at words is not useful or helpful to your point here. Chapter (or section) 8 in Preach My Gospel is titled ‘Use Time Wisely’ and discusses a missionary’s schedule and goals. After reviewing the chapter, I am unable to find your reference, nor do I have access to A Witness and a Warning. Do you have a more exact page number in Preach My Gospel or another reference? I definitely agree that all questions hinge on testimony. So long as we act in faith, use an eternal perspective, and give heed to divinely… Read more »
Julie
Guest

Another great article! These articles are so fantastic, as they are so well researched, thought provoking and I love the use of reason in each of them.

The story of Joseph’s mantle resting upon Brigham happened. I am not sure why so many people want to throw the story out and are trying so hard to change the narrative. I have read many personal accounts on the saints witnessing the event. One just needs to read their own words to hear and feel the spirit. http://scottwoodward.org/brighamyoung_transfiguration.html

Loved the article! Can’t wait for part 2!

David Mohr
Guest

From a different perspective, I would say what matters is that Brigham Young was the actual leader as witnessed by the growth of the Church and the non-growth of any of the others wishing to take leadership. The only one that can lead the Church is the one chosen by God. If any of the others were supposed to have been the true leader, then why do we not see their church thriving as the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints is?

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