Susan Easton Black, one of the great historians of our age, reveals for the first time the private friendship between Joseph Smith and Brigham young. Though these two men grew up in close proximity to each other, they didn’t meet until Brigham was in his thirties. Their first meeting, which involved speaking in tongues and led to Joseph prophesying that one day Brigham would “preside over this Church,” proved to be a harbinger of their future relationship.
But these two giants of the Restoration, indeed of the American West, didn’t always see eye to eye, though their friendship never faltered. Joseph’s inexperience in certain matters led to doubts in the minds of many, indeed to apostasy, but Brigham, nearly five years older, saw beyond the inexperience to a man of prophetic vision called by God himself.
Over time a respectful relationship grew into a deep and abiding friendship, with both men willing to sacrifice their all for the kingdom – and for on e another. What led to this deep commitment? What created this mutual trust and loyalty, even when others abandoned them? The answer lies in the foundation of their love, which was also the foundation of their undying faith. They knew. They knew God, and they knew each other.
This great friendship, which began in the eternities and certainly continues there now, is the story of two men’s faith, commitment, and love.
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