“Elder S. Dilworth Young Dies,” Ensign, Sept. 1981, 73–74
We must stand true
Stand true as Joseph stood;
Be good as he was good;
And faithful be, as he
—S. Dilworth Young
Standing true and faithful to the last, Elder Seymour Dilworth Young, 83, an emeritus member of the First Quorum of the Seventy, died 9 July 1981 of congestive heart failure at a Salt Lake City hospital. Only five days earlier, he and Sister Young had returned to Utah from Southern California, where he had directed the Los Angeles Temple Visitors’ Center for two years and four months. His death closed a term of Church service spanning thirty-six years as a General Authority, including service as the first Senior President of the First Quorum of the Seventy.
Elder Young was born 7 September 1897 in Salt Lake City to Seymour B. and Carlie Louine Young Clawson Young. He graduated from Salt Lake’s Granite High School and attended Weber College for one year. (The rest of his education, he once quipped, came at the “University of Hard Knocks.”)
During World War I, Elder Young served in Europe with the 145th Field Artillery. Upon his return to the United States, he was called as a missionary to the Central States in 1920, where he served until late 1922.
Elder Young married Gladys Pratt 31 May 1923 in the Salt Lake Temple. They had two children: Dilworth Randolph Young, who was killed in military action in Belgium in 1944, and Leonore, now Mrs. Blaine P. Parkinson of Ogden, Utah. Following the death of his wife Gladys, Elder Young married Huldah Parker 4 January 1965.
He served as a professional Boy Scout executive in the Ogden Area Council from 1923 to April 1945, at which time he was appointed a member of the First Quorum of the Seventy. In 1947 he and his wife were called to preside over the New England Mission, headquartered in Cambridge, Massachusetts. They served in that position until 1951.
In 1975 Elder Young was sustained a member of the newly reorganized First Quorum of the Seventy. That same year he received the David O. McKay Humanities Award from Brigham Young University. He was given Emeritus General Authority status in September 1978.
Elder Young has been widely known by members of the Church as an author and a poet. Among his published books are Adventure in Faith, Young Brigham Young, More Precious Than Rubies, a book of poetry entitled Here Stand I—Looking! and a biography of his great-grandfather, Brigham Young. The Ensign has published a number of his poems through the last decade.
Many Saints have expressed their love and admiration for Elder Young and his wife, especially those in Southern California who had witnessed the Youngs’ devotion to their calling as directors of the Los Angeles Visitors’ Center. “He endeared himself to the hearts of thousands of Saints in this area with his delightful personality and subtle wit,” said Sister Kit Poole, Communication Director for the Santa Ana Region.
One of the highlights of the Youngs’ Los Angeles service was the establishment of a garden monument to women, based on the Relief Society Monument to Women in Nauvoo, Illinois. “He was always personally involved with whatever went on at the Center,” wrote Sister Poole. “When the monument garden was being built, he could often be seen out there, early in the morning, in overalls with a handkerchief bound around his head, weeding and watering the tender new plants.
“There were many recipients of his kindnesses. All who performed at the Visitors’ Center received hand-written notes of thanks from him. Sister Maryann Mendenhall, musical director of many of the major productions at the Center, said that after one performance she received a beautiful loaf of bread—baked by the loving hands of Elder S. Dilworth Young.
“The Los Angeles Temple has stood on Santa Monica Boulevard many years, and yet few in the community have realized that there was a Visitors’ Center in back of it. Because of the work of Elder S. Dilworth Young, the community is now more aware of the Center, and thousands have attended the special weekend cultural programs and concerts held there.”
In his address as a member of the First Quorum of the Seventy in the Church semiannual conference on 1 October 1978, Elder Young summarized the lessons of his life in these words:
“I testify that he who obeys the commandments and thus seeks the virtuous, righteous life will find the pearl of great price of knowledge of the Son of God who is our Savior, and, finding this, will have joy. If in addition he loves and serves his fellowmen, he will add a chain of pearls and will find eternal life in the presence of his Heavenly Father and that Savior.
“We obey the ordinances which make exaltation possible.
“We follow and obey the code of conduct which makes it certain.”