A Young Folks' History of the Church HTML version
President Young and his party followed the next day. President Wilford Woodruff was
with him and we will let him tell of it:
"On the 24th I drove my carriage, with President Young lying on a bed in it, into the open
valley. When we came out of the canyon into full view of the valley, I turned the side of
my carriage around, open to the west, and President Young arose from his bed and took a
look at the country. While gazing on the scene before us, he was enwrapped in vision for
several minutes. He had seen the valley before in vision, and now he saw the future glory
of Zion and of Israel as they would be, planted in the valleys of these mountains. When
the vision had passed, he said:
"'It is enough. This is the right place. Drive on.'"
On August 26th, President Young and a company of one hundred and seven persons,
started on the return trip to Winter Quarters. On the Sweetwater river they met two large
companies of Saints on the way to the valley, following the trail of the pioneers. There
was great rejoicing, as the Saints now for the first time knew where they were to locate.
These companies arrived safely in Salt Lake valley in September and October.
President Young and company arrived at Winter Quarters October 31. All was well with
the Saints, and they were prospering.
And now a very important event took place. From the death of Joseph the Prophet up to
this time the Church had been led by the Twelve. Now it was decided to reorganize the
First Presidency, and at a meeting held in Winter Quarters, December 5, 1847, the
Twelve chose Brigham Young as President of the Church. He chose Heber C. Kimball
and Willard Richards as his counselors, and these now became the First Presidency. This
action of the Twelve was sustained at a conference of the Church on the 27th.
Thus the work prospered. Many meetings were held, and the Church was set in order.
Missionaries were sent to the world, and the Saints, now that they had another gathering
place, began to flock towards the new Zion in the mountains. Winter Quarters was
deserted and a new settlement founded across the river. It was called Kanesville (now
Council Bluffs) in honor of Thomas L. Kane who did many kind acts for the Saints.
In the spring of 1848 the Saints on the Missouri river were busy getting ready for the
move to the mountains. They started about the beginning of June, organized into three
large companies, all led by President Young. Altogether there were 2,417 people, 793
wagons, herds of horses and cattle, a great many sheep, pigs, chickens, etc. Here was
surely, if not a nation, a whole city moving. They followed in the trail of the first
companies and arrived in Great Salt Lake valley in September and October.
Topics.—1. The march of the pioneers. 2. Arrival in Salt Lake valley. 3. The
reorganization of the First Presidency. 4. The main companies.
Questions and Review.—1. How many persons were in the first or pioneer company? 2.
What was the object of the company? 3. How long were they on the journey? 4. Describe
their route. (See map). 5. What did trappers and hunters say of Salt Lake valley? 6. When
did the main body reach Salt Lake valley? 7. When did President Young arrive? 8. What
did he say about the place? 9. Why did the pioneers know very little about irrigation? 10.
Who returned to Winter Quarters? 11. Whom did they meet? 12. What took place