Joseph Smith

Joseph Smith
Prophet, Seer and Revelator

Saturday, April 30, 2011

Brigham Young, Educating Women

Brigham felt it was important to educate women as well as men. He wanted women to learn about whatever they were interested in. “We think the sisters ought to have the privilege to study various branches of knowledge . . . they may . . . study law and physic [medicine], or become good bookkeepers . . . In following these things they but answer the design of their creation.”8

Ellis Reynolds lived in Pleasant Grove, Utah with her family. Her mother died when she was fourteen; and after her father remarried, she stayed with her grandparents. On a visit to Salt Lake City, she met one of Brigham’s step sons and was introduced to the Young family. Brigham saw Ellis again when he visited Pleasant Grove. He was impressed with her intelligence and zest for life, and invited her to come live at the Beehive house and go to school with his children.

Two years later Ellis married Milford Shipp and began her family. Her thirst for knowledge was so strong that she arose every morning at four a.m. to study before her husband and children awoke. At the age of twenty-eight, she left for medical school in Philadelphia with the blessing of her husband and Brigham. She completed her education and returned to Utah to practice medicine.

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Brigham's Actions on Skipping School

Brigham had so many children of his own that he started a school for just his family. Don Carlos, Brigham’s son, cut school often because he loved to go with the men who drove Brigham’s wagons. When Brigham found out about it, he took Don Carlos to the barn and gave him a wagon hitched with two blind mules. Brigham told Don Carlos he could work hauling produce and ice around town, and bringing wood from the canyons.6 Guiding blind mules around the city was a difficult task, but Don Carlos was determined to succeed. He worked hard and accomplished the responsibilities given him.

Don Carlos soon became a good teamster, earning the right to drive the best team in the stables. At the age of twelve he was responsible enough to haul a load of wheat fifty miles north to Logan, Utah and back. However, he got tired of driving and was glad to get back to school.

Don Carlos graduated from the family school and then attended the University of Deseret in Salt Lake City. He went on to study in New York, obtaining a degree in engineering. He returned to Utah to pursue his interest in architecture. Being hired as Church architect, he was given the opportunity to redesign the towers of the Salt Lake Temple which were originally to be made out of wood covered with tin. He also designed the Church Administration Building on South Temple in Salt Lake, and the original Brigham Young University building in Provo.

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Brigham Young and Education

We might ask, when shall we cease to learn? I will give you my opinion about it: never, never.
Brigham Young
Before the pioneers came west, Brigham urged them to bring copies of books, maps, paper, pencils and other things that would be helpful in teaching children to read. So books and note pads were tucked into blankets in the wagon beds and brought west. At Brigham’s request, the Saints who sailed around South America brought with them a large library of school books.

The first school in the Salt Lake Valley opened in October of 1847, in an old military tent shaped like a wigwam erected in the middle of the fort. The teacher, Mary Jane Dilworth, sat on an old camp stool, and the students sat on logs. Some of the pupils brought slates to write on and others had paper and pencils. But a few wrote on smooth logs or dried bark with a piece of charcoal.

The first day of school, the teacher began with a prayer and then each pupil learned a psalm from the Bible. In the winter, schools were opened for adults. Several languages were taught, including Hebrew, Greek, and Latin. A series of classes cost $1.20 and an individual lecture was $0.20.