This is the Place

The spot where Woodruff’s carriage paused is now marked by Mahonri Young’s fine monument, erected in the centennial year;the highest achievement of Mormon art commemorates the high moment of the Mormon hegira. It is popularly called the “This is the Place” monument, because Brother Brigham is supposed to have said, after remaining a moment lost in a vision, “It is enough. This is the right place, drive on.” It is a great statement, one that gathers up in a phrase history and hope and fulfillment, and it is now an ineradicable part of the Mormon myth. But as Dale Morgani pointed out, the phrase was not part of the original record. It does not seem to have been coined until the fiftieth anniversary of the Church, thirty-three years after the Mormon leader was brought to the brink of the valley. Woodruff’s journal, written at the time of the arrival, reports that Brigham “expressed his full satisfaction in the appearance of the valley as a resting-place for the Saints, and was amply repaid for his journey”; and Brigham’s own journal for that day says only that they had to cross Emigration Creek eighteen times before emerging from the canyon and joining the main camp at 2:00 P.M.