The Red Brick Store

Not long ago a new LDS web site was launched: The Red Brick Store. The web site describes itself like this:

“A collaboration amongst editors of Mormon-related journals and magazines to nurture and share good writing and good thinking in Mormonism.”

One of The Red Brick Store contributors, Stephen Carter told Mormon Times,

“We wanted the blog’s name to draw its resonance from Mormon history…. The Red Brick Store was Joseph Smith’s store in Nauvoo. It was where the Relief Society was organized, where the first endowments were performed and where Joseph Smith finished translating the Book of Abraham. It was also an important gathering place for the Nauvoo Saints.”

This is not all Joseph’s Red Brick Store was known for. Reading the article in Mormon Times reminded me of another Red Brick Store story found in Fawn Brodie’s No Man Knows My History reprinted below.

“[A] self-possessed eighteen-year-old English girl, Martha Brotherton, chose to speak her mind. Brigham Young, who had not been lax in following his prophet’s lead [in taking plural wives], had set his heart on the high-spirited English lass. He took her to the famous rendezvous over Joseph’s store, locked the door, and proceeded with the curious, bobtailed, hortatory courtship that was becoming so common in the city:

“‘Brother Joseph has had a revelation from God that it is lawful and right for a man to have two wives… If you will accept of me I will take you straight to the celestial kingdom, and if you will have me in this world, I will have you in that which is to come, and brother Joseph will marry us here today, and you can go home this evening, and your parents will not know anything about it.’

“When the girl demurred and begged for time, Brigham called in Joseph, who also urged her to make an immediate decision. ‘Just go ahead and do as Brigham wants you to,’ he said, and added with a laugh: ‘He is the best man in the world, except me.’ Then he went on more seriously: ‘If you will accept of Brigham, you shall be blessed – God shall bless you, and my blessing shall rest upon you…and if you do not like it in a month or two, come to me, and I will make you free again; and if he turns you off, I will take you on.’

“‘Sir, it will be too late to think in a month or two after,’ Martha answered wryly. ‘I want time to think first.’

“To this the prophet replied: ‘But the old proverb is, “Nothing ventured, nothing gained.”‘

“Finally and reluctantly they let her go home, where she promised to pray in secret for guidance. The moment she arrived, however, she wrote down the whole episode while it was still fresh in her memory, and showed it to her parents. The Brothertons in high dudgeon took a steamboat to St. Louis, but not before they had given Martha’s recital enough circulation so that everyone in Nauvoo knew it within a week. Eventually Martha published her account in a St. Louis paper.” (306-307)

Though Martha’s character was badly maligned by Mormons in Nauvoo and her story condemned as a base falsehood, after her death Brigham Young was sealed to her by proxy in the Salt Lake Endowment House on August 1st, 1870 (see Mormon Polygamy: A History, page 26, footnote 7).

About Sharon Lindbloom

Sharon surrendered her life to the Lord Jesus Christ in 1979. Deeply passionate about Truth, Sharon loves serving as a full-time volunteer research associate with Mormonism Research Ministry. Sharon and her husband live in Minnesota.
This entry was posted in Marriage and Singlehood, Mormon History and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

54 Responses to The Red Brick Store

  1. rick b says:

    no need to be formal, you do not need to add the “Mr” if you knew me, you would understand.

    It is funny though how this law that is eternal and enslaves people by scaring them to submit or fear eternal damnation only lasted the lenght of JS and BY’s life. rick b

  2. Ralph says:


    I do not know why God said that this was an everlasting law. I do not know God’s mind. But can I show a few passages in the OT and apply your logic to them and see what we get out of them. I will just put the reference in because writing them out will take over 2000 words.

    Exodus 30:20-22; Genesis 13:14-16; Exodus 12:14; Exodus 21:6; Exodus 27:21; Genesis 17:7, 10 & 13; Exodus 4:24-26

    In these verses God uses the words “for ever” and “everlasting covenant” to describe the events, rituals, etc. For instance in Genesis 17 God makes an everlasting covenant with Abram and then says that circumcision will be part and parcel of that covenant – Genesis 17:7And I will establish my covenant between me and thee and thy seed after thee in their generations for an everlasting covenant, to be a God unto thee, and to thy seed after thee. 10 This is my covenant, which ye shall keep, between me and you and thy seed after thee; Every man child among you shall be circumcised. 13 He that is born in thy house, and he that is bought with thy money, must needs be circumcised: and my covenant shall be in your flesh for an everlasting covenant.

    God almost kills Moses because he did not circumcise his son, but his wife saved his life by doing the job for him (Exodus 4:24-26).

    Yet in the NT God says that we do not need to be circumcised anymore. So why the change? If God knew that He was going to do away with it after the Atonement was performed then why say it was an “everlasting covenant”?

    Then the other verses above discuss the Feast of the Passover being celebrated “for ever”, but Christianity do not celebrate it, they celebrate Easter on a different date to the Passover.

    The one that is very interesting is Exodus 21:5-6 – it says that the servant will serve the master for ever. Now how can that be? Will that servant still serve his master after they both die? I thought that the faithful would serve God after they died, not their slave master from earth.

    So as it says in the Bible – God’s ways are not our ways and His thoughts are not our thoughts. I do not know why He said that it was an everlasting covenant and it ‘seems’ to have only lasted less than 100 years. But why all the references in the OT about ‘for ever’ principles and ‘everlasting covenants’ when they were all removed after Jesus’ atonement?

  3. rick b says:

    I would say that for the most part these thing fall into the category that Heb. 10:1 here speaks of.

    “1 For the law having a shadow of good things to come, and not the very image of the things, can never with those sacrifices which they offered year by year continually make the comers thereunto perfect.” Heb. 10:1.

    The things promised to Abraham for example were the beginning of the prophesied New Testament and were fulfilled therein. You can read Romans 4 and Galatians 3-4 say, they bear witness to this.

    When it comes to speaking of the servant serving his master forever then I think that a little common sense would tell us that it is referring to the extent of the servants physical life, or the masters for that matter.

    The blood being a sign forever in Exodus was fulfilled in Christ as an everlasting covenant of being saved by grace through faith in the shed blood of Jesus Christ. Exodus foreshadowed this. Rick b

  4. Ralph says:


    I agree that Jesus blood is an eternal sacrifice, but that takes the place of the sacrifices made in the temple/tabernacle – it does not take the place of the Feast of the Passover which God says in the OT will be celebrated forever by His people (which you are one of). So why don’t you celebrate the Passover?

    Again, circumcision was supposed to be part of the Abrahamic covenant and be forever. Why does the NT say we do not need to be circumcised anymore? Hebrews 10:1 does not answer this part of the question.

    If God says something is ‘forever’ don’t you think that is exactly what He means? So I can see no other way of interpreting the verse about the servant serving his master because that was part of the Mosaic Law which was given by God to Moses and the Israelites.

    But if you are going to stick with what you have said above then you need to admit that God can say “forever” and “eternal” and not mean it, or have a different meaning in mind. This then reflects on the question you had about polygamy being an everlasting law – maybe God has another meaning in mind, or He didn’t actually mean ‘everlasting’.

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