Tuesday, August 01, 2006

The Office Journal of President Brigham Young 1858-1863 Book D


The Office Journal of President Brigham Young 1858-1863 Book D


Of all the sons and daughters of Adam ever to be born on planet Earth,
without a doubt, President Brigham Young was the most recorded. Yet,
this notwithstanding, to date, relatively little of what was recorded
about his life and administration has been published. In 1970, after
the death of David O. McKay, Apostle Joseph Fielding Smith was called
to be the next President of the Church. This left a vacancy for the
office of Church Historian and Leonard Arrington was called to fill
the vacancy. It was during his tenure as Historian, that the papers of
President Young were finally catalogued. This was no small task, as
there are 200 boxes of papers pertaining to his administration, among
which were 600 stenographically reported speehes and more than 30,000
pages of letters and correspondence. On top of this, and aside from
the two hundred boxes, there is also a 57 Volume history of his
administration, the manuscript of which is nearly 50,000 pages in
length. Yet notwithstanding this great repository of information, as
already stated, to date relatively speaking, very little of what was
recorded has been published. There are a total of 12 known diaries or
Journals which were kept by President Young and his clerks, and
probably there are others pertaining to the last decade of his life
which have not yet come to light.

* * * * * *

The publication of this present record (i.e. Book D) is by far the
most extensive Journal record of President Young's administration ever
to be published.


The records which are to be found in Appendix A, B, C and D constitute
the major sources of information regarding the doctrinal conflict
between President Brigham Young and Apostle Orson Pratt. Contained
therein are the minutes of four different meetings which were held
between the First Presidency and Quorum of the Twelve. The purpose of
the meetings was to investigate the doctrinal teachings of Orson
Pratt. The first of these was held on the 27th of January 1860, and
the others, three months later, on the 4th and 5th of April. The
minutes of these meetings are published here for the first time, in as
complete a form as possible. They are included in this work because
they are fundamental to the Historical Period to which this Journal
pertains. Shorter accounts of these same meetings can be found under
date in this journal — however, while it is true that each record is
unique to itself, the minutes which follow convey a much broader
perspective of what was actually said and done. Of the four meetings,
that of the 27th of January was the most completely recorded — it was
stenographicly reported by George D. Watt. Wilford Woodruff was so
impressed with the importance of this occasion, that he transcribed
nearly the entire Watt account into his personal journal. The original
manuscript of the April 4th meeting is difficult to read —
nevertheless with considerable effort, most of it is legible, and all
that can be read is reproduced in appendix B. The two meetings which
were held on April 5th were reported by Thomas Bullock, and are easily
read. A sloppy typescript of the April 4th meeting was circulated in
historical circles in the late 1970s. Inaccurate Citations and Out of
Context Statements were taken from this typescript, as well as from
other relevant documents, and published in 1980 and 1982, with the
obvious intent of casting President Young and the Priesthood
Government of his administration in a negative light. In the case of
the 1980 article, in some instances the author actually went so far as
to deliberately alter documents in order to cast aspersion upon
President Young. Hopefully the publication of these records will
inspire a renewed interest in the teachings of the Second Prophet of
the Restoration, and a new investigation into the Doctrinal Conflict
between Orson Pratt and his brethren of the Twelve and First

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