Brigham Young Family Cemetery at SLC Rededicated After Renovation | News, Sports, Jobs


Photo provided, Intellectual Reserve

Bust of Brigham Young at the newly renovated family cemetery in Salt Lake City on Saturday, October 22, 2022.

One block east of the Salt Lake City Temple of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Brigham Young’s family had a beautiful strawberry field. This piece of land became the burial place of the second President of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and Governor of the Utah Territory. Many members of his family tree are also buried there.

On Saturday, after two years of renovations, the Brigham Young family cemetery in downtown Salt Lake City was rededicated.

In addition to Young, a 150-year-old monument is the final resting place of Eliza R. Snow, second president of the Church’s General Relief Society and famous Latter-day Saint poet.

Utah Area President Kevin W. Pearson presided over the rededication ceremony and praised the sacrifices of the early pioneering Latter-day Saints who settled in Utah under Young’s leadership.

“It would be impossible to overstate (Brigham Young’s) impact on the state of Utah and the ‘pioneer corridor,'” Elder Pearson said. “It has been said that ‘history is the fulfillment of prophecy.’ Nowhere is this truer than in the times and lives of the early pioneer saints who came to the Great Salt Lake Valley.

Photo provided, Intellectual Reserve

A statue of Brigham Young reading to his grandchildren has been added to the renovated family cemetery in Salt Lake City, shown Saturday, October 22, 2022.

Part of the cemetery is dedicated to the legacy of early pioneers, including William Clayton and Snow, whose poems were later adopted as Latter-day Saint hymns that continue to be sung in religious congregations today.

A monument to Snow was also restored during the renovation. It commemorates the words of one of his poems, later adopted as a hymn, “Oh my father”.

“The Young family buried here gave their all to this vision of community because of their unwavering belief in the eternal nature of the human soul and the eternal nature of the human family. They worked out together on this very earth the things that would make their family eternal,” said Emily Utt, curator of historic sites in the Church History Department.

Planning for the renovation of the family cemetery began in April 2020. Several church departments have worked together to preserve the historic integrity of the site. The cemetery has over 40 graves, the vast majority of which are unmarked. To avoid disturbing the graves, georadar technology was used to find their precise location, according to a church press release.

The contractors dug by hand, which proved difficult when two layers of concrete about 10 inches thick were discovered under the sandstone-paved walkway. Particular care has been taken to restore and reinforce the original work of the site, such as the wrought iron fence from the pioneer period and the sandstone wall on the perimeter of the cemetery.

“We have tried to create an open, inviting and peaceful atmosphere where the Spirit can be felt. Also, a place to reflect on the past and help us be inspired as we move forward in our lives,” project manager Greg Green said during remarks at the rededication.

Besides Brigham Young, other graves marked in the cemetery include his wives – Mary Ann Angell, Lucy Ann Decker, Emmeline Free, Mary Van Cott, and Snow – as well as his children, Joseph Angell Young and Alice Young Clawson.

The Brigham Young Family Cemetery was dedicated as a Mormon Pioneer Memorial on June 1, 1974, the 173rd anniversary of Brigham Young’s birth. A statue in the center of the park honors the 6,000 Latter-day Saint pioneers who lost their lives crossing the western plains of the United States into Utah. Other monuments in the cemetery honor the life of Brigham Young and early Latter-day Saints.


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