Fortunate for my readers, I have finished watching the PBS documentary about the Mormons, but not without a comet’s tail of inspiration from these hardworking, family-oriented, non-drinking, upright Utahans.
Many know that the two most important figures in Mormon’s founding were Joseph Smith and Brigham Young. Smith was the guy who found the gold plates, wrote the Book of Mormon, wedded quite a few damsels and was killed in Carthage, Illinois by an angry mob (apparently a not-too-uncommon way to go back then). He was the proverbial charismatic leader: surefooted, sweet-tongued and good looking. Like Jim Morrison or Tupac Shakur, his glamorous legacy was embalmed by an early death.
Young was the stalwart—more of a Randy Newman or Tom Petty figure. Stolid, long-lived, awkward and not-so-easy on the eyes (see pic above). After Smith’s murder, it was the corpulent Young who led the Mormon’s slog across the plains and over the mountains to Salt Lake City. If Smith was the hare, Young was the tortoise.
Throughout the early years of Young’s tenure as Mormon leader, he was plagued by doubt. He was not blessed with Smith’s speed-dial-with-God variety of inspiration. He didn’t think himself worthy of his position until a vision in 1847. Continue reading “Facing Doubt and Indecision the Mormon Way”