This article originally appeared in Vol.62, No.1 (2015) of Pioneer Magazine.
by Pioneer Magazine
More than anything else, the guiding force behind brigham young’s commitment and dedication as a parent was his faith in the overruling providence of God. After his conversion to Mormonism, religion motivated his every act and colored everything he saw and did. None who knew Brigham were ignorant of what was important in his life.
“I am proud of my religion. It is the only thing I pride myself in, on the earth. I may heap up gold and silver like the mountains; I may gather around me property, goods, and chattels, but I could have no glory in that, compared with my religion; it is the fountain of light and intelligence; it swallows up the truth contained in all the philosophy of the world, both heathen and Christian; it circumscribes the wisdom of man; it circumscribes all the wisdom and power of the world; it reaches to that within the veil. Its bounds, its circumference, its end, its height, and depth, are beyond the comprehension of mortals, for it has none.”
An authority on child behavior has noted that for children to increase their faith in God “they need to hear their parents render unto him that which is his…. Parents who themselves are filled with the consciousness of God’s hand in all things will transmit this feeling to their children.” Brigham Young’s children had ample opportunity to cultivate this perception.
Even when circumstances as unhallowed as what Brigham called “that interminable alimony outrage” pressed upon his mind in the wake of divorce proceedings by a plural wife, he still saw the hand of God. Brigham Jr. reported visiting his father one day as the case was being adjudicated and finding him “in excellent spirits[,] confident in God and willing to submit to his providences.” He noted that his father had just paid $3,000 to lawyers in the case “and [he] assures me that he will pay the [$]9,500 alimony if necessary without any fuss. He sayd the Lord has given me all I have. If He permits this why should I complain?”
Brigham reminded his son Willard, who was serving in the military:
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“Our daily toil, however humble it may be, is our daily duty, and by doing it well we make it a part of our daily worship. But, whatever be our labor, calling, or profession, we should hold our skill, knowledge, and talents therein, subservient to the accomplishment of the purposes of Jehovah, that our entire lives, day by day, may be made to praise Him, and our individual happiness secured by the consciousness that we are fulfilling the purpose and design of our presence here on the earth.”