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History of Brigham Young, Utah
Taken from the Utah History Encyclopedia (Links Added)

Young's commitment to Mormonism was further strengthened as a result of his initial meeting with Joseph Smith, whom he found to be a dynamic, charismatic leader and believed to be a true prophet of God. From this point on, Young threw his full energies and talent into promoting Mormonism. In the process he fulfilled several Church missions and other assignments including participation in the Zions' Camp expedition of 1834. He rose quickly through Church ranks and by 1835 had been appointed to the Council of the Twelve Apostles. In 1838 he took charge of the Mormon exodus to Illinois in the wake of the Church's expulsion from Missouri. By this time Young was the senior member of the Council of the Twelve.

In 1840 Brigham Young traveled to England, where he took charge of missionary efforts, supervising the dramatic growth of Mormonism in that country. Following his return to Nauvoo in 1841, Young affirmed his complete loyalty to Joseph Smith by embracing the controversial and still-secret practice of polygamy, despite his initial personal reluctance. Young's commitment was underscored by his eventual marriage to a total of 55 wives (accounts differ) and fathering of fifty-seven children by sixteen of these women.

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