quoted by Leonard Arrington,
Brigham Young: American Moses
Brigham arose and reportedly said, "We have just received word that Zachary Taylor is dead and has gone to hell."
Some federally appointed officers present on the occasion objected and asked Brigham to apologize during the afternoon meeting.
Brigham obliged in that meeting. He again walked to the pulpit, where he said, "We announced this morning that Zachary Taylor was dead and gone to hell - I am sorry!"
Brigham's reply was classic:
"Madam: I have this day examined the records of baptisms for the remission of sins in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, and not being able to find the name of 'Elizabeth Green' recorded therein I was saved from the necessity of erasing your name therefrom. You may therefore consider that your sins have not been remitted, and you may consequently enjoy the benefits therefrom."
from Brigham Young to Elizabeth Green)
In August of 1861 Twain (Samuel Clemens) visited Salt Lake with his brother Orion Clemens who was Secretary of the Territory of Nevada. Arrington summarizes some of Twain's notes about their meeting with Brigham Young:
"They spoke, according to Twain, of Utah, the Indians, Nevada, and 'general American questions.' Twain tried to "draw him out" on the Mormons' high-handed attitude toward Congress, "but he never paid any attention to me . . . He merely looked around at me, at distant intervals, somewhat as I have seen a benignant old cat look around to see which kitten was meddling with her tail."At the end of the interview Brigham reportedly patted Mark Twain on the head and asked Orion, "Ah - your child, I presume? Boy, or girl?"
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