Zina Young Card

A Willing and Obedient Daughter

When Zina Young heard a bell summoning her to a meeting in the parlor of the Lion House, she may have thought nothing unusual was about to happen. But what her father, President Brigham Young, had to say probably surprised her. He asked his teenage daughters to be better examples to others by giving up something very dear to them—the ruffles and flounces that made their dresses stylish.

Zina was an artistic girl who enjoyed drama and acting. Why did she have the courage to give up her beautiful ruffles? Zina gave us a clue about why she responded obediently when she wrote about her life as one of the prophet’s daughters:

“President Young was so just, so tender, so noble, and his children were taught by their mothers to obey him implicitly. But his rules were few. The time for instruction and association with him was found when evening came and he would ring the old prayer bell that would bring the whole family together for prayers in the spacious parlor. Oh, those prayers! It seemed as if he talked face to face with God. They have been a tie that bound the family with sacredness and devotion that is rarely found. . . . He used to have his children sing and dance for him. They had a music teacher, dancing master, and a governess, for he appreciated an education and did all in his power to give everyone in his family an opportunity for knowledge and improvement and culture.”

—Zina Young Card

(“A Biographical Sketch of the Life of Zina Young Williams Card,” Mar. 26, 1930, 2–3, Zina Card Brown collection, MS 4780, Box 5, Fd. 14, It. 1, Church History Library, Salt Lake City)