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Ascension of Brigham Young (Part 5 of 7)

Denver Snuffer will tell us about how the Law of Adoption affected Brigham Young’s plan for succeeding Joseph Smith.  We’ll focus more on the sealing power, and the polygamy affidavits were used to support polygamy that helped Brigham Young’s ascension to leadership in the Church.

Denver:  But the idea of Adoption had a profound effect on the history of the Church. Because Brigham Young led the first company, they come in. This is the place. They settle down. He has himself anointed a king and a priest in the log cabin that was built. Then the king returns across the plains, back to Winter Quarters. On his way back, he runs into the company that had John Taylor and Parley Pratt in it. John Taylor and Parley Pratt had some kind of sealing adoption organization put together for the companies. They lead in the migration. When Brigham Young met them, they had reorganized the companies that they were in, contrary to the way that Brigham Young had adopted folks together in the ceremonies in Nauvoo.

So now they were in defiance of the priesthood by what they done. Well, they were members of the Quorum of the Twelve. The vote that was taken on August 8 of 1844 was that the Quorum of the Twelve would take care of the Church, not Brigham Young. It was the Quorum. So, John Taylor, and Parley Pratt didn’t regard Brigham Young as having any right to rule and reign or dictate over them. They were doing what they thought best after they saw how the company functioned. They realigned the adoptions as they were going West. Well, Brigham Young fumed from there all the way back to Winter Quarters.

Check out our conversation….

Snuffer tells his version of how Brigham Young used sealing ordinance to consolidate his leadership and power in the LDS Church.

Don’t miss our other conversations with Denver!

440: Why Denver Changed on Joseph’s Polygamy

439: Denver’s Outreach to Hebrews/Native Americans

438: Is Trinity in Lectures on Faith/Book of Mormon?

437: New Scriptures in Remnant Movement

5 thoughts on “Ascension of Brigham Young (Part 5 of 7)

  1. A fascinating continuation of this polygamy discussion. (including the bits about Brigham’s ideas about sealing adoption into the family of God) So many little details I had never heard before your podcast here.

    One clarification that I think got lost due to the conversation moving along: D&C 132 did not make it into the Teachings and Commandments volume that you ordered. You’ll find an appendix ( that goes over why. That said, I know Denver did post an attempt at fixing D&C 132 (which he described in your interview) to his blog a while back:

  2. Thanks Vaughn. I didn’t know that about 132. And Amazon apparently lost my copy! It still isn’t here, but I do have both versions of the BoM that Denver offers. I hope that comes tomorrow!

  3. When you say “Denver offers” … I think it would be better to say the “movement offers.” Denver is recognized as an inspired teacher in the movement, but things in the movement happen without his knowledge. While he eventually became involved in the scripture project, it existed in two groups of people before he suggested they combine efforts. And after that he helped more in an advisory role, and the bulk of the labor was done by many who remain relatively unknown.

    This may seem trivial, but I think it’s important as the movement’s success hinges partly on shaking off LDS traditions of hierarchy, control, and obeisance.

  4. It’s hard for me to take seriously the things Brigham Young advocated (using Gods name), when the church has gone back on every major doctrine he established as doctrine (Adam-God, Blood Atonement, Prophet Vengeance, Blacks and the Priesthood, et cetera).

    But, of course, all of those can be tied back to Joseph Smith according to Brigham Young, so maybe the church has really gone back on Joseph . . .

    Good interview, though.

  5. M, thanks for that clarification. I wasn’t quite sure how to word that. I am very interested to find out what what happens to the movement after Denver passes away. We’ll talk about the unusual leadership of the movement.

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