Seymour B. Young

Preston Nibley, “Clifford E. Young: Assistant to the Council of the Twelve,” Improvement Era, March 1957, 145–46

Seymour Bicknell Young, the second son of Joseph Young, was born in Kirtland, Ohio, October 3, 1837. His childhood was spent with his parents in Ohio, Missouri, and Illinois, as they followed the Latter-day Saints in their wanderings. At Haun’s Mill, Missouri, his mother carried him through a rain of bullets to hide him from a savage mob. He remembered being lifted up in the arms of his mother at Nauvoo, in June 1844, to obtain a view of the Prophet Joseph Smith and his brother Hyrum as they left their homes for the last time and journeyed to Carthage, and to their martyrdom. At the age of thirteen he drove an ox team across the plains to Utah. When he was nineteen, he was called on a mission to England. The journey across the plains was made 'by the handcart method.’ After his return to Salt Lake City he was married to Ann Elizabeth Riter, on April 14, 1867.

Looking towards a profession in life, Seymour B. Young took up the study of medicine in the offices of two prominent Salt Lake physicians, Anderson and Benedict. In 1871 he traveled eastward to New York City and matriculated at the University of New York, receiving his degree in March 1874.

While practicing medicine in Slat Lake City, October 1882, he was called to the First Council of the Seventy. In 1893 he became the senior president of that quorum and served in this capacity until his death on December 15, 1924.

At his funeral, held in the Assembly Hall on December 19, President Anthony W. Ivins paid him the following tribute:

“I knew him as a man of gentleness, of love, of kindness, of humility, and of service. Wherever he was or whatever the circumstances might be, these were his outstanding characteristics. And with this there went that other qualification so essential to real manhood—when occasion required he was a soldier with the courage of a soldier. And so he always appealed to me to be a man, if service to others justifies such expectation, to whom the words of the Savior might aptly apply. His first devotion, his first service and love were to God, whom he recognized as his Father; and after that Seymour B. Young loved his neighbor, loved and served his fellow. That there is laid up for him a crown of everlasting life, a crown of glory; that he has, through his works while in mortality, earned glory and exaltation and everlasting life in the presence of his Father and God, and the Redeemer of the world, I have no doubt at all; and this after all is the only achievement of man which counts for very much. He has lived beyond the allotted age of man; his life of service has been extended ahs the lives of few men are.”

At the same service Dr. George W. Middleton paid tribute to Ann Elizabeth Riter Young, the wife of the deceased:

“By the side of my friend stood a noble woman, through the heat and burden of the day. She was a reflex of all his Christian virtues and had added the savouring grace of rationality. When he was a struggling medical student, she stood valiantly by the hearthstone, to defend their tender offspring and to help furnish him the sinews of war. With a sagacity that was unusual for the sex, she helped to plan the family budget and to formulate the method of the family activities. But a few weeks ago Dr. Young told me this story and gave full credit to one to whom credit was due. . . . A large and highly respected family of sons and daughters have inherited the sterling qualities of these noteworthy parents and are reflecting in their successful lives the precept and example which emanated from that family altar.”