M E N U
Mary Graham Young, an interview with President Robert D. Young, her son
MARY GRAHAM was born in Glasgow, Scotland, 4 April 1830. When Mother was about fourteen years of age, the family was living in Kirkintilloch where they had moved from Glasgow. Her father was on his death bed (the mother having died some time before this) when an Elder of the Church came to the door with a tract. Her father read it and he said: "Mary, my girl, that is true. I believe that. I believe that young man has come with the true Gospel. I won't be able to remain long with you, but you look for the true Gospel described in this tract, and if ever you find it, you can safely embrace it."
After the death of her father, orphaned Mary became a servant girl in the Allen family. They were wealthy people. When they learned she was investigating Mormonism they became angry. The son John said she was injuring their business; people were saying, "That little Mary Graham is attending Mormon meetings, and still is your servant girl." The family decided something had to be done. People were beginning to think that the Allen's were sympathetic with the Mormons. Their attitude became very bitter.
One night it was dark and rainy. Mr. Allen thought this would provide a real test. So he told Mary that it was up to her now, that she must either denounce Mormonism or leave. He said: "There is the door. You take your choice, either our home and renounce Mormonism, or out of our home into the night." She cried about it. Naturally she would like to stay; but she could not denounce Mormonism for she knew it was true. "I would be falsifying," she replied, "if I said it was not true. My father told me it was true when he was on his death bed. And I know it is true for myself." And out into the bleak night walked the orphan girl, with only a shilling in her pocket.
She went to a friend of her father who owned Town Head Hall, and said she would like to hire the hall for the Mormon Elders to preach in. The man hesitated, then she said he would rent it to her if she had the money. She said she had only a shilling. He said, "That won't pay for the hall." He said, "I always loved and admired your father. You may have the hall for one shilling." She handed him the last shilling she had on earth for the rent of the hall.
At the meeting the Elders discovered her plight and gave her a blessing, promising her she would never want.
Just before her death, she called her children to her and told them this story and said: "You may never be asked to give all that you have for the Gospel's sake, but if you are, give it. I would like you to be as liberal with the Lord as he has been to you. I am eighty years of age and I have never wanted. That blessing has been fully realized. So I leave this with you children, that even if it takes the last cent you have for the Church, it is the finest thing you can ever do."
Mr. Allen and his family were impressed by her courageous departure. They concluded something extraordinary must have impelled that girl to walk out in a night like she did with only a shilling. They knew her as one of the sweetest, best, and most beautiful girls of their acquaintance. Mr. Allen said, "I cannot help but feel that there is something more to Mormonism than we understand; it cannot be just a man-made religion." He and his family investigated; joined the Church and emigrated to Utah.
In the meantime Mary secured employment as a servant girl in another home. When about 21 she became attached to a young man, Archibald M. Young, who had never joined any church and disbelieved in the current religious teachings. She explained the Gospel and he later joined the Church.
They were married and had thirteen children born in Scotland. In 1872 they came to Utah. When they arrived in Salt Lake City, they were met and warmly greeted by the Allen family, who had been here for many years. The Allen's took them in their home and gave the most wonderful banquet in their honor which could be provided in the city.
"You are the cause of our being in the Church," they declared.
Mother could not help contrasting in her heart this kindly reception with the night they had cast her adrift for her religion.
ARCHIBALD F. BENNETT: Her example and testimony made a lasting impression on her children. All of them went through the temple, and as long as she lived all her grandchildren also. At her death on 15 May 1911 she then had 125 descendants. And among her now numerous descendants, President Robert D. Young stands as a pillar o faith in the Church and in the Temple.
In our Genealogical Library we have a microfilm record of the old Branch Record of Kirkintilloch, giving the names and interesting facts about the members. In that record I found these interesting items:
"MARY GRAHAM, born in Glasgow, Barony parish, Lanark, Scotland, 4 April 1830; baptized at Kirkintilloch 28 June 1849." You will notice that her date of birth is 4 April 1830, and not 26 July...
(my copy runs out here...this copy was page 3 & 4 of a larger document...I do not know where the original is located. D.Whittaker 12/27/95).