The ways in which Brigham Young magnified that authority are legion and legendary. His spirit still hums close to the surface of Salt Lake City — a sense of golden largess. It is there like a benediction on Temple Square.
Hike up to Ensign Peak and you can almost hear the sound of his voice say something like: No nonsense, just get the job done. Obey — always obey the head with unswerving faith. Push forward, give all you have, then wait for the Lord God to bear you up.
This was the spirit of the seasoned, enlightened, dedicated Brigham Young. He knew who stood at the head of the kingdom: Jesus Christ. And he never pretended to be the man Joseph was, but he intended to follow in his footsteps as faithfully as human flesh and immortal spirit might. Joseph had taught him how to love, and the Spirit continued to tutor his ways, so that he could say to the Saints: “God bless the humble and the righteous, and may He have compassion upon us because of the weakness that is in our nature. And considering the great weakness and ignorance of mortals, let us have mercy upon each other” (“Discourses of Brigham Young,” p. 272).
The mighty spirits are there; the influence of their reality can never be dimmed beyond our discerning. We are not meant to let the distractions of this world blind our eyes and stop our ears. They fought the good fight for our sakes.
At some places, in the stillness, they can both teach us and bless us, and our very love for what they are and what they gave can hone our spirits and hallow our way.
Susan Evans McCloud is author of more than 40 books and has published screenplays, a book of poetry and lyrics, including two in the LDS hymnbook. She has six children. She blogs at susanevansmccloud.blogspot.com.
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