“Ensign Peak Commemoration,” Ensign, Oct. 1993, 74
The symbolic raising of an ensign to the nations signaled the gathering to Zion of Saints worldwide and was fulfillment of scriptural prophecy, President Gordon B. Hinckley, First Counselor in the First Presidency, told almost 1,500 people attending a July Ensign Peak commemoration program and family hike.
The hike was held 146 years to the day since President Brigham Young and his party hiked to the summit, noted President Hinckley. Interestingly, 26 July 1847 was a Monday, as it was this year.
“[The Saints] arrived in the valley on a Saturday,” President Hinckley said. “They worshipped on the Sabbath, and Brigham Young spoke to them. … He told them they should not work on the Sabbath day; that if they did so, they would lose five times as much as they would gain.
“I wish that message were published a little more loudly.”
On the following day, President Young and his party climbed the peak, where they looked over the valley that would be their new home. It was at this point they lifted up an ensign to all nations. (See Isa. 5:26; Isa. 11:12.) “I don’t know whether it was a flag. I don’t know whether it was a yellow bandanna handkerchief, which the best records seem to indicate, or what it was,” said President Hinckley. “But I’m confident that on their minds was this tremendous matter of establishing an ensign to the nations. I marvel at their foresight. I marvel at their courage.”
When President Hinckley concluded his remarks, a bugle sounded and several hundred people in attendance hiked to the top of the peak, where Elder Loren C. Dunn of the Seventy, then president of the Utah Central Area, presided over a short question-and-answer session.
Elder Dunn noted that the block in Salt Lake City where the City and County Building now stands was originally supposed to be the center of the budding community. However, the Salt Lake Temple block became the center instead.
“We have historical evidence to point out that Brigham Young came here and got a reading of the valley, looked over the entire valley. He told various people later that before he entered the valley, he had seen the city of Salt Lake in a vision, and where the temple was to be located, and it was pointed out to him by an angel standing on a conical hill. The inference is that Brigham Young probably came here to get his bearings and to find out how the city would be laid out and where the temple would be located.”
An Ensign Peak project currently scheduled for completion in 1996 includes a nature park, trail system, and information stations around the peak.