Zina D. H. Young

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Zina Diantha Huntington Young was the third General President of the Relief Society and served for 13 years from 1888 to 1901. During "Aunt Zina's" presidency, the Society became incorporated and affiliated with the National Council of Women.

Early Life

Mormon Zina D H Young
Zina Huntington was born in Watertown, New York on January 31, 1821, the eighth child of William and Zina Baker Huntington. Both of her parents died as a result of persecutions heaped on The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

In 1835, Zina was baptized a member of the at the age of fourteen by Hyrum Smith. Zina received the gifts of speaking and interpreting tongues also in that year and retained and used those throughout her life.

On March 7, 1841, Zina was civilly married to Henry Bailey Jacobs. They had two sons, Zebulon William and Henry Chariton Jacobs. She was later sealed to Joseph Smith, Jr. as a plural wife. After Smith's death, she married Brigham Young on February 2, 1846, at age twenty-five. They were married for thirty-one years and had one daughter, Zina Presendia Young. She also reared four of Young's children by Clarissa Chase after their mother's death.

Much of Zina's life was devoted to teaching children but as teachers became more numerous, she turned her attention to public service aiding the Relief Society's charitable work. Zina was skilled in obstetrics and often lent her nursing skills and faith to those in need.

Relief Society Service

Zina was assigned by Brigham Young to establish sericulture, or silk production in Utah, while she served as first counselor to Eliza R. Snow. She despised silkworms, but overcame her repugnance and fulfilled her assignment.

After Eliza R. Snow's death, Zina was sustained as General President of the Relief Society at the April 1888 General Conference. John Taylor was president of the Church. Also at that time the Society's Central Board was enlarged to seven officers by adding the offices of Assistant and Corresponding Secretaries.

1889 brought welcome changes for Zina and her board. Heretofore, Board members had become expert at repairing wagon wheels and harnessing and unharnessing teams during their travels to instruct branches of the Relief Society. In April 1889, a call went out to all stake Relief Societies to send representatives to a General Conference of Relief Society to be held the evening of Saturday, April 6, 1889. Twenty stakes were represented at that first Relief Society Conference, some of whom had traveled over 500 miles to attend by rail or carriage.

Other Church Service

Zina was a worker in the Endowment House and later served in the Salt Lake Temple until the time of her death.


  • The Relief Society General Board Association, History of Relief Society 1842-1966, 1966.
  • Derr, Cannon, and Beecher; Women of Covenant: The Story of Relief Society; Deseret Book Company; 1992. ISBN 0-87579-593-5