Volume 7 Title Page | BYU Studies

Volume 7 Title Page

Volume 7

Brigham Young

Period II
From the Manuscript History of Brigham Young
and Other Original Documents

An Introduction and Notes by B. H. Roberts

Deseret Book Company
Salt Lake City, Utah

Mount Ensign
(Cover Indent-gravure)

[Page v]

"All ye inhabitants of the world, and dwellers on the earth, see ye, when he lifteth up an Ensign on the mountains; and when he bloweth a trumpet, hear ye."—(Isa. 18:3)

On the cover of each of the six preceding volumes of this series of the History of the Church, Period I, there has appeared in low relief an indent-gravure of some prominent place: the Hill Cumorah, the Kirtland Temple, the Liberty Prison, the Nauvoo Mansion, and the Carthage Jail; and for this Period II, volume VII, since it brings us in its action into Salt Lake valley, a Utah subject of first importance is selected, viz. "Mount Ensign". It is generally referred to as "Ensign Peak". Elder Woodruff, among those who first climbed the Mount, says in his Journal entry of that date—July 16, 1847:

"We went on top of a good high peak in the edge of the mountain, which we considered a good place to raise an Ensign. So we named it 'Ensign Peak' or 'Hill'."

Captain J. W. Gunnison, refers to it in his The Mormons, 1856, (pp. 33-4), as "Ensign Mound."

President Young refers to the Mount as "Ensign Hill", on the occasion of recording the incident of Addison Pratt receiving his endowments on its summit, in October, 1849. (See Comprehensive History of the Church, Century I, vol. iii, p. 386, footnote 10); so that while referred to generally in early days as "Ensign Peak", is was not exclusively known by that name; and as it was dedicated for such purpose and used as a "House of the Lord" for giving the sacred mysteries of the Temple ritual—a new sanctity attaches to it. It a sacred "Mount", as much as "Mount Lebanon", the "Mount of Transfiguration", "Mount Sinai", or "Mount Zion", where the Temple of Jerusalem stood. And since this western mountain in the edge of a group of mountains was used as a Temple of God, "Mount" is both more euphonious and implies sacredness rather than "Peak" does. Hence the name here used is suggested—"Mount Ensign."

[Page vi]

The significance of "Ensign" in the literature of the Church of the New Dispensation—in connection with this "Mount"—is that it has reference to the intent of the church "in these last days", to raise an "Ensign" to the nations, known as the "Standard of Zion", which would be an "Ensign" made up of the flags of all nations, indicating that its message was to be "to every nation, kindred, tongue and people", symbolized in this flag, or "Ensign". The matter is referred to in some remarks of President Young made on the 29th of May, 1847, when he mentioned to his Camp of Pioneers the raising of such an "Ensign" in the place to which they were going. Elder Woodruff made note of it in his daily Journal of that date, and drew in the margin of his Journal the rough outline of such a flag. It was this "Ensign" that the small group of Pioneers referred to when on top of the "Mount" to which they had climbed, as being "a good place to raise an Ensign."