Brigham Young was a man of, we might say, decided opinions. We might easily say something much stronger than this – many people have, with good reason. He was excitable – get him in the pulpit, or provide him with an audience in his office, or even have him dictate a letter rather than scratch it out by hand, and he was apt to let his tongue and his temper run away with him when he condemned adultery, apostasy, and marrying outside the faith. There is no shortage of scandalously temperamental, righteously indignant, temperamentally outspoken sayings – however you want to characterize them – that create the public impression of Brigham Young as a dictatorial, harsh, judgmental, overbearing man.
Those are the quotations people love to trot out. These quotations hardly reflect the full man, though.
I like Brigham Young because he preached fire and brimstone … but then he practiced mercy.