Towards the end of August 1877, Brigham was ill and in pain. The doctors called his condition “cholera morbus,” but a medical historian has identified it as an infection from a ruptured appendix. Because of his pain, he was given opiates so he slept much of the time.2
Brigham was moved to a bed near an open window where he could get some fresh air, and his loved ones could gather around him. He seemed to revive a little. Brigham looked out the window and glanced toward heaven, calling, “Joseph, Joseph, Joseph,” as if he were speaking to the prophet Joseph Smith.
Shortly thereafter, the family knelt around his bed as Brigham’s brother, Joseph Young, offered a prayer. Brigham’s daughter Zina said, “I was impelled to open my eyes, and father’s face was radiant with inward glory. It seemed that a cloud of light surrounded him . . . The husband, the father, the leader, the chosen prophet of God, lay sleeping before our eyes never more on earth to give his words of counsel, of wisdom.”
The day was August 29, 1877. The Lion of the Lord was dead.