George A. Smith, an early Apostle and member of the first Mormon pioneer company, explained that Brigham Young had seen Ensign Peak and the Salt Lake Valley in vision long before he entered it:

After the death of Joseph Smith, when it seemed as if every trouble and calamity had come upon the Saints, Brigham Young, who was President of the Twelve, then the presiding Quorum of the Church, sought the Lord to know what they should do, and where they should lead the people for safety, and while they were fasting and praying daily on this subject, President Young had a vision of Joseph Smith, who showed him the mountain that we now call Ensign Peak, immediately north of Salt Lake City, and there was an ensign fell upon that peak, and heard Joseph say, “Build under the point where the colors [the flag or ensign] fall and you will prosper and have peace.”

The Pioneers had no pilot or guide, none among them had ever been in the country or knew anything about it. However, they travelled under the direction of President Young until they reached this valley.

When they entered it President Young pointed to that peak, and said he, “I want to go there.”
From the summit of Ensign Peak, the Brethren could see the entire valley. The soil looked good to them, and the water from what would be called City Creek was clear and refreshing. They encouraged some exploration as well as the immediate planting of crops. To the north and west lay the waters of the Great Salt Lake. Of the valleys before them, President Young said, “This is the place whereon we will plant the soles of our feet, and where the Lord will place his name amongst his people.”



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