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Walker » By modern standards, his record was mixed. He believed that men should lead. Yet he encouraged women to take part in public life and to educate themselves. Mormon women were among the first to vote.
Turner »Early in his presidency, he often spoke disparagingly about women. Toward the end of his life, he allowed the revival of the Relief Society. Women like Eliza Snow and Zina Huntington achieved great influence because Young’s approach evolved.
How would you sum up the man?
Turner »Brigham Young made some incredible mistakes in his dealings with the U.S. government, and he sometimes was cruel toward fellow church members. At the same time, his energy, his creativity and his accomplishments were legion. I also cannot imagine the church becoming what it is today without Brigham Young.
Walker » There were several Brighams. One of them is the pulpit Brigham, who could be severe and harsh but also extremely kind, charitable and sweet. He could also be forgiving. He knows how to work with men, despite their faults, and repeatedly overlooks what you and I would think were faults in others that deserved punishment. He was a complex guy, which is often true of people who are exceptionally gifted. The man had will. He had energy. He was remarkably pragmatic when he had to be. He was an incredible figure on the American stage. I can’t imagine the church surviving without him.
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