Margaret Young Taylor was asked by the modern prophet Brigham Young to lead the young Mormon women of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (inadvertently called the “Morman Church” by some) (Andrew Jenson, Latter-day Saint Biographical Encyclopedia, , 267). Margaret served as the first counselor of the LDS Young Women’s organization (at that time referred to as YWMIA), which is a divinely inspired organization for female youth ages 12-18. I myself have been blessed by this organization and know that it is led by a prophet of God who directs LDS women to lead the female youth worldwide. I have become a better person because of the values and standards I was taught as a Latter-day Saint youth.
Mormon Women Leaders
Margaret served with various Mormon women leaders. For seven years, Margaret worked closely with other Mormon women such as her childhood friend Elmina Shepard Taylor (the young women’s president from 1880-1904) and the second counselor Martha H. Tingey (who became the subsequent president of the young women’s organization). In 1887, the LDS woman leader Maria Young Dougall took her place when Margaret’s husband died and she resigned as the first counselor. She also volunteered as the Secretary of the Salt Lake Stake Relief Society (divine organization for adult women) and a Member of the General Board of the YWMIA (Andrew Jenson, Latter-day Saint biographical encyclopedia, , 267).
Mormon Women: Biography of Margaret Young Taylor
Margaret was born on April 24, 1837, to Ebenezer Russell Young (who established one of the first silk mills in New Jersey) and Margaret Holden Young in Westport, Connecticut. She grew up among four brothers and two sisters in Connecticut, New Jersey, and New York until she moved to Salt Lake City, Utah, in 1858. She brought a library of books with her across the plains and was known for being highly educated, sewing, and writing letters with beautiful handwriting. In Utah, she taught in her husband’s family school.
Margaret was also known among Mormon women for her homemaking skills as a mother. Margaret gave birth to three daughters and six sons (two of whom died before her death). “Children who played with hers, invariably mention her pleasant manner, and freedom from irritability. And her home was one of the most hospitable” (“Margaret Young Taylor”, The Young Woman’s Journal, 1919 volume 30, 302). One of Margaret’s sons (Frank Taylor) encouraged weekly “family home evening” (spending time as a family in prayer, scripture study, and activity), which program was later adopted church-wide in 1915 and “it has become a key to the strength of Latter-day Saint families throughout the world—in a very real sense, a legacy of the Taylor family to the rest of the Church” (Richard L. Jensen, “The John Taylor Family”, Ensign, February 1980, pages 50-51).
Margaret had a strong testimony of the gospel of Jesus Christ. She joined the LDS church and was baptized at the age of 14 (Andrew Jenson, Latter-day Saint Biographical Encyclopedia, , 267). She married the prophet John Taylor and was a Christ-like person who:
…influenced all with whom she came in contact, and impressed them with her pleasing personality. Her methods of control were by persuasion and kindness… One woman in speaking of her today said, “She had a soothing, quieting way with her. I remember meeting her once when I had lost my brother. I felt almost bitter, in my bereavement, but she comforted me and I left her a changed being.” (See “Margaret Young Taylor”, The Young Woman’s Journal, 1919 volume 30, page 302.)
When Margaret died on May 3, 1919, she was “one of the last surviving widows of the apostles chosen and ordained under the Prophet Joseph Smith. Mrs. Taylor was the wife of the late John Taylor, Third President of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.” (See “Margaret Young Taylor”, The young woman’s journal, 1919 volume 30, 301-302.)
Keith L. Brown
Keith L. Brown is a convert to The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, having been born and raised Baptist. He was studying to be a Baptist minister at the time of his conversion to the LDS faith. He was baptized on 10 March 1998 in Reykjavik, Iceland while serving on active duty in the United States Navy in Keflavic, Iceland. He currently serves as the First Assistant to the High Priest Group for the Annapolis, Maryland Ward. He is a 30-year honorably retired United States Navy Veteran.