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Lorenzo Dow Young

(1807-1895)
Lorenzo Dow Young

Lorenzo Dow Young's Preparation for the Gospel

Lorenzo Dow Young, younger brother of Brigham Young, was born in 1807 in New York. His mother was a devout woman, and instilled faith and hope in her sons. Lorenzo remembered her telling him to be faithful in prayer, and God would send a guardian angel to protect him from danger. Sadly, she died in 1814, but the affect she had on her sons was unmistakable.

A few years later, when Lorenzo was 9 years old, he had a dream that made a deep impression on him:

"I thought I stood in an open, clear space of ground, and saw a plain, fine road, leading, at an angle of 45 degrees, into the air, as far as I could see. I heard a noise like a carriage in rapid motion, at what seemed the upper end of the road. In a moment it came in sight. It was drawn by a pair of beautiful, white horses. The carriage and harness appeared brilliant with gold. The horses traveled with the speed of the wind. It was made manifest to me that the Savior was in the carriage, and that it was driven by His servant. The carriage stopped near me, and the Savior inquired where my brother Brigham was. After informing Him, He further inquired about my other brothers, and our father. After I had answered His inquiries, He stated that He wanted us all, but He especially wanted my brother Brigham. The team then turned right about, and returned on the road it had come."

Lorenzo was frightened, and interpreted the dream as a warning that they were all about to die. However, his father convinced him that there might be a more optimistic interpretation, and he was reassured.

Lorenzo had some experiences in his youth that reminded him of his mother's promise about prayer. He was once thrown from a startled horse but had his foot caught in the stirrup; he dangled just above the ground as the horse kicked and whirled. In that great danger, he said he was "suddenly impressed" on how to free himself from the horse, which he managed to do; he was not badly hurt, and observed, "The promise my mother made me flashed into my mind, and I felt thankful to the Lord that I had been preserved from serious harm by a kind providence."

Lorenzo recalled several experiences with religious revivalism in his youth; he listened to the messages of various churches, but could not feel a desire to join their congregations. This brought ridicule and pressure from friends and ministers; one church leader "told me that I had sinned away the day of grace, and my damnation was sure. He asserted that he would never offer another prayer for me. Although religious in my nature, even at that early age, sectarian religion seemed empty and void."

Lorenzo was injured on an accident, and was in poor health for some time. During his recovery, while he was staying with some friends, he noted:

"One day I lay on a bed to rest where I could see the family in their ordinary occupations. All at once I heard the most beautiful music. I soon discovered from whence it came. Standing side by side, on the foot board of the bedstead on which I lay, were two beautiful, seraph-like beings, about the size of children seven or eight years old. They were dressed in white, and appeared surpassingly pure and heavenly. I felt certain that I was fully awake, and these juvenile personages were realistic to me. With their disappearance the music ceased. I turned and asked two of my sisters, who were, in the room, if they had not heard the music. I was much surprised to learn that they had heard nothing."

This spiritual sensitivity, developed in Lorenzo's youth, set the stage for further experiences and eventually for his conversion and service in the kingdom.

More tomorrow...

(See "Lorenzo Dow Young's Narrative" in _Fragments of Experience, Sixth Book of the Faith-Promoting Series_, p. 22ff)

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