Doctrine & Covenants/Church History
Lesson 33
President Brigham Young Leads the Saints

Lesson Highlights

A study of this lesson will help us understand the process of succession in Church leadership and to show how Brigham Young began preparing the Saints for their journey west.

Scripture references for study:  D&C 107:2224; Our Heritage, pages 6671
    Note: Underlined scripture references have been hyperlinked to the LDS Scriptures at and will open in a new window.

Lesson 33 Handout (PDF)

Succession In The Presidency 


Claims To Leadership.

The Transition.

Almost immediately, apostate groups began to spring up, claiming they were the legitimate successor to Joseph Smith. These included:

The Last Days In Nauvoo

The Beginning of the End.

The Leadership of Brigham Young.

The Last Days In Nauvoo.

Preparations For Leaving Illinois.

The Exodus Begins.

The Exodus From Nauvoo

February 15 1846:  Brigham Young, Willard Richards, and George A. Smith, along with a large company of Saints, cross the Mississippi on the ice and continued nine miles to Sugar Creek where a camp was established for the exiles.

The Nauvoo Covenant.

From this time (February 1846), a steady stream of Saints left Nauvoo throughout the winter and spring. By September 1846 the city of Nauvoo stood almost empty.

That first night at Sugar Creek the weather was inclement and extremely cold. Nine babies were born.

March 1, 1846:  Brigham Young resumes the trek westward through Iowa. The march across Iowa was difficult and often disorganized.

April 14, 1846:  Ellen Kimball received a letter from Nauvoo. It contained news of the birth of a son to William Clayton. The following morning Clayton went off by himself and in joy and gratitude wrote the words to Come, Come, Ye Saints.

April 1846:  That same month while Heber Kimball's party was camped on Medicine Creek, a rattlesnake bit one of Heber's horses. Without hesitation he quieted the animal, handed its reins to someone, and laid his hands on the animal's head, blessed it, and rebuked the poison; the horse recovered. To those who wondered at the propriety of this Heber answered: "It is just as proper to lay hands on a horse or an ox and administer to them in the name of the Lord, and of such utility, as it is to a human being, both being creatures of His creation, both consequently having a claim to his attention." (Heber C. Kimball, p135)

June 1846:  Five hundred wagons had reached Council Bluffs, the junction of the Missouri and Platte Rivers. In addition, as many as 2,500 wagons and 12,000 Saints were scattered across Iowa from Council Bluffs to Nauvoo.

Brigham Young


A Brief History of Brigham Young.

For additional information see Prophets of the Restoration - Brigham Young at

Gospel Doctrine Notebook

Record your thoughts on the history discussed in this lesson. In what ways can you show your support for the Lord's prophet?

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Changes last made on:  19 June 2017