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Brigham Young Talks to Norwegian Oxen

  Compiled and written by David Kenison, Orem Utah            

  Pioneers in Utah - 1844

When Joseph and Hyrum Smith were martyred on June 27, 1844, many of the Twelve Apostles were away on missionary journeys or other affairs, mostly in eastern states. It was almost 2 weeks before confirmed reports reached the brethren.

In August of 1844, the Twelve Apostles had been called back to Nauvoo because of the crisis in Church leadership. Sidney Rigdon would soon oxenarrive and lay claim to the being the "guardian" of the Church.

An interesting story is recorded on August 3, 1844, as Brigham Young was returning to Nauvoo with other leaders. The brethren encountered a company of Norwegians who were apparently on their way west. There is no mention if the Norwegians were members of the Church or not.

"The Twelve continued their journey through the day and night by stage. While upon their journey they overtook a company of Norwegians who were traveling with ox teams, and heavily loaded wagons one of which was stuck fast in the mud, blocking up the road, while several of them were whipping the oxen and bawling to them in the Norwegian language, which seemed to frighten the oxen, but they were unable to move the wagons on.

"After sitting and looking at them a moment, President Young got out of the coach and stepped up, and took the whip out of the hands of one of the Norwegians, telling them all to stand out of the way.

"He then talked to the oxen in a tongue which was not understood by Norwegians or English, and touching them lightly with the whip, they instantly pulled the wagon out of the mud and continued the journey, much to the astonishment of the Norwegians and the surprise and amusement of the passengers on the stage."

History of the Church 7:224

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