1 June 1871
Anniversary Celebration; Lion House, Salt Lake City, Utah Territory
Pres. Brigham Young,
Beloved Husband, Father & Friend,
Wishing to carry out, to the letter, the Programme of this auspicious day, in which a brief address is included, we beg your indulgence for a few moments.
Realizing our inability to bestow as much honor, and as high tribute of affectionate respect as the occasion demands, we have adopted the form of a surprize in order to add to the effect, and enhance the pleasures resulting from our efforts to give you an agreeable entertainment in celebrating this, the seventieth anniversary of your Birth-day.
It is a subject of mutual congratulation that your <eventful> life has been prolonged to this period; and no testimonial that we can confer is capable of truthfully representing our appreciation of your worth and goodness. If the world knew you, as we know you, all parts of the inhabited civilized earth would, this day, echo one grand, universal expression, wishing you long life and happiness; and your broad heart, overflowing with love and kindness, would meet a corresponding warm response from the appreciative bosom of humanity.
No man living has been invested with as many responsibilitities involving the interests and welfare of mankind, and no man ever discharged public duties more faithfully; and yet, with all this, [n.p.] your kindness to, and care for the comfort, convenience and wellbeing of your numerous family, are deservedly proverbial. But on this subject, silence might be most appropriate, for surely, all the powers of language couched in the most eloquent strains of expression would fall so far short of reality and the deep feelings of our hearts, as to seemingly desecrate the holy altar of gratitude. Words are insufficient: May God help us to fully illustrate the sentiment in our lives.
Although your life has already numbered the years which have heretofore designated the allotted term of human existence, as we are now living under the New Dispensation, comprizing the prolongation of the life of man, we may, through the blessing of God, anticipate many future years added to your life.
In wishing you many returns of the day, we are not prompted entirely by personal and selfish motives, for we realize that you are a mighty instrument in the hand of God for the good of Zion, in the establishment of His Kingdom, and the promulgation of truth for the amelioration of the condition of degenerated humanity.
In the full exercise of all your mental and physical faculties, may you live many years and continue to battle with ignorance and error until the Priesthood of God is triumphant: and may you enjoy the satisfaction of seeing your family emulate your noble example.
May you live till the rulers of every nation on earth shall [n.p.] acknowledge the wisdom of God in your administration—seek unto you for counsel, and recognize you as you truly are, the friend of God and man.
May you live till your soul is satisfied.
Lion House, June 1, 1871. [n.p.]