From Historian to Dissident
Bruce N. Westergren, editor
Kirtland Ohio May 26, 1835.
Soon after our arrival in this place we held many counsels, an[d] in particular I will here notice [those] in which were several selections made, for particular individuals according to the dictation of the Spirit of the Lord through Joseph the Revelator. for inheritances in Zion1 as follows. first,
Martin Harris 1 Hiram Smith 11
J. Smith Jr 2 J. Smith Sen. 12
Oliver Cowdery 3 Peter Whitmer sr. 13
David Whitmer 4 John Whitmer 14
Sidney Rigdon 5 F. G. Williams 15
Edward Partridge 6 W. W. Phelps 16
Isaac Morley 7 S[amuel]. H. Smith 17
John Corrill 8 Wm. Smith 182
N. K. Whitney 9 D.C. Smith 19
Reynolds Cahoon 10 Christian Whitmer 20
[p. 72]Jacob Whitmer 21 Joseph Coe 50
Peter Whitmer Jr 22 Daniel Stanton 51
Joseph Knight 23 Freeborn Demillo 52
Newel Knight 24 Lewis Abbot 53
Joseph Knight Jr. 25 Jesse Hitchcock 54
Hezekiah Peck 26 John Smith 55
Ezekiel Peck 27 Adolphus Chapin 56
Philo Dibble 28 Able Pryer 57
Calvin Bebee 29 George Pitkin 58
Isaaih Bebee 30 Truman Brace 59
Titas Billings 31 Edmund Durfee 60
T[homas]. B. Marsh 32 Brigham Young 61
Hiram Page 33 A. C. Grant 62
Simeon Carter 34 David Pettegrew 63
Jared Carter 35
Soloman Daniels 36
J. M. Burk 37
P. P. Pratt 38
Orson Pratt 39
John Murdock 40
John Johnson 41
Luke Johnson 42
Lyman E. Johnson 43
Orson Hyde 44
Joshua Lewis 45
Soloman Hancock 46
Levi Hancock 47
Zebedee Coltrin 48
Lyman Wight 49
The following are the names of the twelve5
T[homas]. B. Marsh
D[avid]. W. Patten6
P[arley]. P. Pratt
H[eber]. C. Kimball8
L[yman]. E. Johnson10
W[illiam]. E. Mc Lellin
J[ohn]. F. Boyinton.12
On the morning of the fifth of May the twelve took leave of their families and brethren, to fill their first mission under this commission, being commissioned to carry the gospel to Gentile and also unto Jew. having the keys of the gospel to unlock and then call on others to promulgate the same.
About the same time there were 70 high priests chosen, who were called Elders, to be under the direction of the twelve and assist them according to their needs, and if seventy were not enough, [they were to] call 70 more until 70 times 70.
Out of the first 70 were selected chosen and ordained for Presidents 7, viz.
Zebidee Coltrin 113
Sylvester Smith 214
Leonard Rich 315
[p.142]The charge given by Oliver Cowdery, David Whitmer, and Martin Harris, together with their blessings you will find recorded in the history kept by the twelve and also by the Seventies.19
2. William Smith, younger brother of the prophet Joseph Smith, was born on March 13, 1811, in Royalton, Windsor County, Vermont. He was baptized into the church June 9, 1830, by David Whitmer and ordained a teacher on October 5. On October 25, 1831, following the family’s move to Ohio earlier that year, William was ordained a priest; on December 19, 1832, he was ordained an elder by Lyman E. Johnson. On June 21, 1833, William was ordained a high priest.
Smith married Caroline Amanda Grant on February 14, 1833; they had two children.
In 1834 William marched to Missouri with Zion’s Camp. On February 15, 1835, following the disbanding of the Camp and his subsequent return to Ohio, Smith was ordained an apostle and made a member of the original Quorum of the Twelve. In connection with his new calling, Smith filled a mission to the eastern states with the rest of the Twelve during the summer and fall of 1835.
Like others during this period, William’s faith in the new religion wavered. On October 30, 1835, he was charged with possessing a “rebellious spirit.” In a revelation dated November 3, 1835, he was called upon to humble himself and repent. Smith was tried for “unchristian conduct” on January 2, 1836, but the next day he confessed his sins and was forgiven.
During the winter of 1835-36 William attended the Hebrew [p.143]School in Kirtland. In March 1836 he participated in the dedication of the Kirtland temple. He became a charter member of the Kirtland Safety Society Anti-Banking Corporation in January 1837.
On September 27, 1837, William left Kirtland with the prophet Joseph and several others for a trip to Caldwell County, Missouri; they arrived late in October. William returned home to Kirtland shortly afterwards to prepare his family for the move to Missouri. They left in the spring of 1838. Following the expulsion of the Mormons from the state of Missouri during the winter of 1838-39, the family settled in Plymouth, Illinois.
While living in Illinois, Smith’s faith continued to wax and wane. He was disfellowshipped on May 4, 1839, then restored to full fellowship on May 25. When the Quorum of the Twelve left to serve a mission in the British Isles that summer, William refused to go. He did, however, serve another mission in the eastern states in the summer of 1843, returning to Nauvoo on April 22, 1844. He received his endowment in the Nauvoo temple on May 12, 1844. During the rest of May and June, William again served a mission in the eastern states. He returned to Nauvoo after he received word of the murders of Joseph and Hyrum Smith and supported the Quorum of the Twelve as they took up the reins of leadership following the death of the prophet.
Smith was ordained Presiding Patriarch of the church on May 24, 1845; during the following summer he gave several patriarchal blessings.
William’s family life changed drastically during this period. His wife, Caroline, died on May 22, 1845. Shortly afterwards, he took on the responsibilities entailed under the covenant of plural marriage. He married Mary Jane Rollins on June 22, 1845, and later that year was sealed to Mary Ann West, Mary Jones, Priscilla Mogridge, and Sarah and Hannah Libbey.
Smith was dropped as a member of the Quorum of the Twelve and as Patriarch to the church on October 6, 1845; he was excommunicated on October 12 for apostasy. Later that fall [p.144]William left on a trip for the eastern states to preach against Brigham Young; he returned to Nauvoo in March 1846.
After his excommunication, William associated with several different apostate LDS factions, including one-year membership (1846-47) with the group established by James J. Strang. In 1847 he established his own church, the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. This group, however, disintegrated within a short period of time. Early in 1860 William was rebaptized into the LDS church by J. J. Butler; however, he subsequently withdrew from the church and, in 1878, joined the Reorganized Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints.
In the meantime Smith continued to form polygamous relationships, largely with women who had once been associated with the Mormon church. He married Roxie Ann Grant on May 18, 1847; they had two children. Sometime before 1858 he married Eliza Elise; they became the parents of three children. In 1858 Smith moved his extended family to Lee County, Iowa.
Smith died in Osterdock, Clayton County, Iowa, on November 13, 1893 (Cook, Revelations, 276-77, 342; LDSBE, 1:86-87; and Steven L. Shields, Divergent Paths of the Restoration, 4th rev. ed. [Los Angeles, CA: Restoration Research, 1990], 53-55)..
3. The date for this meeting is incorrect. It was held February 14, 1835 (see HC, 2:180-200; B. H. Roberts, A Comprehensive History of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Century I, 6 vols. [Provo, UT: Brigham Young University Press, 1965], 1:371-76).
5. Whitmer only listed eleven apostles in this manuscript. William Smith’s name was left off. This omission may have been deliberate rather than accidental: David Whitmer reflected on what may have been a general bias against William Smith in an 1885 interview with Zenas H. Gurley (Lyndon W. Cook, ed., [p.145]David Whitmer Interviews: A Restoration Witness [Orem, UT: Grandin Book Co., 1991], 157). It may be that John Whitmer shared in this opinion.
David was converted to the LDS church by his brother, John, David traveled from Michigan to Fairplay, Indiana, early in 1832 and was baptized on June 15; two days later he was ordained an elder by Elisha Groves. Shortly afterwards David returned to Michigan as a missionary for the Mormon church. In September he moved to Kirtland, Ohio, arriving sometime in October.
The rest of Patten’s life was largely occupied by missionary work and other church services. He was ordained a high priest on September 2, 1832, by Hyrum Smith. From October 1832 through February 1833, David filled a mission in Pennsylvania; the following month, March 1833, he left on another mission, this time to the eastern states with Reynolds Cahoon. In New York the pair established several branches of the churh. The two returned to Kirtland in the fall of 1833.
After returning, Patten participated in the construction of the Kirtland temple. David was sent to Clay County, Missouri, with William Pratt on December 19, 1833, with letters to church leaders in Missouri from authorities in Kirtland; he remained in Missouri until the arrival of Zion’s Camp in June 1834. During the fall of 1834 Patten went to Tennessee on a mission with Warren Parrish.
On February 15, 1835, Patten was ordained an apostle in Kirtland, Ohio, under the hands of David Whitmer, Martin Harris, and Joseph Smith. That summer he accompanied the Quorum of the Twelve on their mission to the eastern states. The next spring, following the quorum’s return to Kirtland, Patten participated in the dedication of the Kirtland temple in March 1836. He served a mission to Kentucky and Tennessee that year as well.
[p.146]Patten and his wife moved to Far West, Missouri, sometime late in 1836. During the spring of 1837 David filled another mission in the eastern states. On February 10, 1838, following the rejection of the presidency of the church in Missouri by the Saints, Patten was called to serve with Thomas B. Marsh as a presidency pro tem over the church in Missouri.
David also played a role in the so-called “Mormon War” in Missouri in 1838. He was authorized to lead a body of Caldwell County militia to rescue kidnapped Mormons being held by a mob encamped on the Crooked River in Ray County, Missouri, on October 24, 1838; the next day, during the dawn attack on mob positions, Patten was mortally wounded and died. He was buried in Far West, Missouri, on October 27, 1838; his wife died in Nauvoo on January 5, 1841 (Cook, Revelations, 226, 332; LDSBE, 1:76-80).
7. Orson Hyde was born on January 8, 1805, in Oxford, New Haven County, Connecticut; by 1817 he had lost both of his parents. Two years later he moved to Ohio, where he became a member of the Methodist church in 1827. About this same time he took up residence with Sidney Rigdon and his family and converted to the Campbellite movement.
Hyde was baptized into the LDS church on October 2, 1831, by Sidney Rigdon, and ordained an elder shortly after. He served a number of missions for the church, starting with a call in January 1832 to serve in the eastern states with Samuel H. Smith. During their eleven-month mission the pair baptized sixty people. Early in 1833 Hyde served a mission with Hyrum Smith in Erie County, Pennsylvania.
Following their return to Kirtland, Hyde continued his activity in church affairs. During 1833 he attended the School of the Prophets. On June 6, 1833, he was called to serve as a clerk to the First Presidency. Later that year he was sent to Missouri with John Gould in an attempt to get the governor of Missouri to redress the grievances of the Saints. They left Kirtland in mid-August and returned on November 25. The [p.147]following spring Orson returned to Missouri as a member of Zion’s Camp.
Hyde assumed family responsibilities as well. He married Marinda Nancy Johnson on September 4, 1834; they had ten children.
On February 15, 1835, Hyde was called and ordained an apostle and a member of the Quorum of the Twelve; that summer he joined the Twelve in serving a mission to the eastern states.
Orson had his problems as well: he was disfellowshipped on August 4, 1835, for “defaming” Sidney Rigdon; however, he was restored to fellowship September 26.
Once restored, Hyde continued his church activities in Kirtland. In March 1836 he attended dedicatory ceremonies of the Kirtland temple; in the winter of 1835-36 he attended the Hebrew School. During the summer he served a mission to Upper Canada. After returning, he was sent to Columbus, Ohio, to seek a corporate charter from the state legislature for a bank in Kirtland; he returned to Kirtland about January 1, 1837, after seeing the Saints’ application rejected. In spite of the state’s refusal, a financial organization was organized in the city known as the Kirtland Safety Society Anti-Banking Corporation.
8. Heber C. Kimball was born on June 14, 1801, at Sheldon, Franklin County, Vermont. With his family, he moved to West Bloomfield, Ontario County, New York, in 1811. He learned blacksmithing from his father and the potter’s trade from his brother Charles.
By 1822 Heber was living in Mendon, New York. He married Vilate Murray in November 1822; they had ten children. Kimball was initiated into Masonry in Victor, New York, in 1823.
Heber was baptized into the Mormon church in April 1832 by Alpheus Gifford and ordained an elder shortly afterwards. He traveled to Kirtland, Ohio, to meet the prophet Joseph Smith that fall; he arrived in November. A year later Kimball moved his family there.
[p.148]Kimball marched with Zion’s Camp during the spring of 1834, returning to Ohio from Missouri on June 20. He arrived in Kirtland on July 26. A month later he had established a pottery in the Kirtland area. During the winter of 1834-35 he attended the School of the Prophets.
Heber was ordained an apostle on February 14, 1835, and filled a mission to the eastern states that summer with the rest of the Quorum of the Twelve. He returned to Kirtland on September 25.
In March 1836 Kimball participated in the dedication of the Kirtland temple. On May 10, 1836, he left for a mission in upstate New York and Vermont, returning to Kirtland on October 2. In January 1837 he became a charter member and stockholder in the Kirtland Safety Society Anti-Banking Corporation.
On June 4, 1837, Heber was called to serve a mission in England with the rest of the apostles. He left Kirtland June 13, 1837, and returned May 22, 1838, having established the gospel in the British Isles and, with the rest of the Twelve, having baptized nearly 1,500 people. Finding the church in the process of moving to Missouri, Kimball packed up his family and left Kirtland; they arrived in Far West on June 25, 1838. After the Saints were expelled from the state, the Kimballs moved to Illinois, settling in Nauvoo during the summer of 1839.
In September 1839, in company with the rest of the Quorum of the Twelve, Kimball returned to the British Isles on another mission. He returned to Nauvoo from England on July 1, 1841. Heber received his endowment on May 4, 1842, and that fall filled a mission in Illinois; he returned in November. On March 11, 1844, he became a member of the Council of Fifty.
In addition to his church activities, Heber was active in civic affairs as well. He was elected to the Nauvoo City Council on October 23, 1841.
Kimball entered the practice of plural marriage in Nauvoo, marrying Sarah Noon in 1842; they became the parents of three children. He married Sarah Ann Whitney in 1846; they had [p.149]seven children. During 1846-47 he also married Lucy Walker, with whom he had nine children; Prescinda Huntington, with whom he had two children; Clarrisa Cutler, with whom he had one child; Emily Cutler, with whom he had one child; Mary Ellen Abel, with whom he had one child; Ruth Reese, with whom he had three children; Christeen Golden, with whom he had four children; Anna Gheen, with whom he had five children; Amanda Green, with whom he had four children; Harriet Sander, with whom he had three children; Ellen Sanders, with whom he had five children; Frances Swan, with whom he had one child; Martha Knight, with whom he had one child; and Mary Smithies, with whom he had five children.
Heber left Nauvoo again in May 1844 for the eastern states, serving a mission campaigning for the election of Joseph Smith as president of the United States. He returned to Nauvoo on August 6, 1844. Supporting Brigham Young and the rest of the Twelve, Kimball prepared his extended family and the rest of the Saints to leave Illinois. Kimball finally left Nauvoo late in 1846. That year the family reached Winter Quarters, Nebraska, where they remained until 1847.
Kimball entered the Salt Lake Valley with the advance company of pioneers on July 24, 1847; on October 31, 1847, he was back in Winter Quarters. The following May Heber moved his family to the Valley, arriving in September.
On December 27, 1847, Heber was sustained as a counselor to Brigham Young in the First Presidency of the church. He served in that capacity until his death in 1868.
While Kimball was residing in Utah, he again became an active participant in civic and territorial matters. He was elected lieutenant governor of the provisional State of Deseret in 1849 and also served in the territorial legislature.
Heber C. Kimball died June 22, 1868, in Salt Lake City, Utah (Cook, Revelations, 263-64, 340; LDSBE, 1:34-37; Orson F. Whitney, Life of Heber C. Kimball, An Apostle [Salt Lake City: Bookcraft, 1974]; and Stanley B. Kimball, Heber C. Kimball: Mormon Patriarch; and Pioneer [Urbana: University of Illinois Press, [p.150]1981]). For a history of the missionary work accomplished in England by the Quorum of the Twelve, see James B. Allen, Ronald K. Esplin, and David J. Whittaker, Men with a Mission: The Quorum of the Twelve Apostles in the British Isles, 1837-1841 (Salt Lake City: Deseret Book Co., 1992).
9. Luke Johnson was born on November 3, 1807, in Pomfret, Windsor County, Vermont. He was baptized into the Mormon church on May 10, 1831, by Joseph Smith; Christian Whitmer ordained Johnson a priest shortly afterwards. Sometime before October he was ordained an elder. During 1831 Johnson also filled a mission for the church with Robert Rathburn in southern Ohio and Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. In southern Ohio they joined with Sidney Rigdon, preaching the gospel in the New Portage, Ohio, area, and together baptized about fifty people.
Luke was ordained a high priest on October 25, 1831. During 1832-33 he filled a mission to Virginia and Kentucky with Seymour Brunson and Hazen Aldrich; they baptized more than a hundred people.
Johnson married Susan H. Poteet on November 1, 1833; they became the parents of six children.
On February 17, 1834, Johnson was called to serve as a high councilor in Kirtland. That spring and summer he traveled to Missouri with Zion’s Camp.
Luke Johnson was ordained an apostle and a member of the original Quorum of the Twelve on February 15, 1835; that summer he served a mission in the eastern states with the rest of the quorum, returning to Kirtland in September. During the winter of 1835-36 Luke attended the Hebrew School in Kirtland and participated in the dedication of the Kirtland temple in March 1836. Johnson later served a mission in New York and Upper Canada, returning to Kirtland that fall.
Johnson was a charter member and a stockholder in the Kirtland Safety Society Anti-Banking Corporation in January 1837. Following the collapse of the bank that year, Johnson became alienated from Joseph Smith, filing charges against the [p.151]prophet in May for “speaking reproachfully against the brethren.” Johnson was disfellowshipped on September 3, 1837, and formally excommunicated from the church in December 1838.
After leaving the LDS church, Johnson taught school in Cabell County, Virginia, as well as studying medicine. Following completion of his studies, Johnson returned to Kirtland, where he became a practicing physician.
Luke returned to the Mormon church on March 8, 1846, being baptized in Nauvoo, Illinois, by Orson Hyde. In March 1847 he married America Morgan Clark, with whom he had eight children. The family arrived in the Salt Lake Valley in July 1847.
Johnson received his endowment on April 1, 1854, and subsequently settled in St. John, Tooele County, Utah, where he was called to serve as a bishop.
Luke Johnson died in the home of his brother-in-law, Orson Hyde, in Salt Lake City, Utah, on December 9, 1861 (Cook, Revelations, 11011, 146; LDSBE, 1:85-86).
10. Lyman E. Johnson was born on October 24, 1811, in Pomfret, Windsor County, Vermont. About 1820 his family moved to Hiram, Ohio. Lyman was baptized a Mormon in February 1831 by Sidney Rigdon and ordained an elder on October 25, 1831, by Oliver Cowdery. On November 1, Johnson was ordained a high priest.
Johnson was called to serve a mission with Orson Pratt on January 25, 1832; the pair left for the eastern states on February 3, preaching in Pennsylvania, New York, New Jersey, Vermont, New Hampshire, Connecticut, and Massachusetts. They returned to Kirtland in February 1833, having baptized more than a hundred people.
Lyman served several other missions in the eastern states as well. He left Kirtland with Orson Pratt on March 26, 1833, and returned on September 28, having baptized fifty people. Johnson left again with Pratt, this time on November 27, 1833, and returned to Kirtland on February 13, 1834. He was also called [p.152]to fill a mission in Upper Canada with Milton Holmes on February 20, 1834.
Johnson marched to Missouri with Zion’s Camp in 1834. On February 14, 1835, he was ordained an apostle.
Sometime before 1836 he married Sarah Lang; they had two children.
Lyman was a charter member of the Kirtland Safety Society Anti-Banking Corporation in January 1837; after the bank collapsed shortly afterwards in the Panic of 1837, he claimed to have lost $6,000. In May, Johnson charged Joseph Smith with slander and lying. On September 3 he was temporarily disfellow-shipped. He moved to Far West, Missouri, late in 1837, where he associated with LDS dissenters. Johnson was excommunicated for apostasy on April 13, 1838, in Far West.
By 1842 the family had moved to Iowa, where Lyman practiced law in Davenport and Keokuk.
Lyman Johnson died on December 20, 1886, at Prairie du Chien, Wisconsin, having drowned in the Mississippi River (Cook, Revelations, III, 146; LDSBE, 1:91-92).
11. Brigham Young was on born June 1, 1801, in Whittingham, Windham County, Vermont. He moved with his family to Sherburne, New York, in 1804, and from there to Auburn, New York, in 1813. Around 1822 Young joined the Methodist church. He married Miriam Works in Aurilius, New York, on October 8, 1824; they had two children. Brigham was employed as a carpenter, joiner, painter, and glazier. In 1829 the family moved to Mendon, New York.
Brigham first saw the Book of Mormon in the spring of 1830. He was baptized on April 14, 1832, by Eleazer Miller and ordained an elder, by his own account, “before the shirt was dry on my back.”
Young’s first wife, Miriam, died on September 8, 1832. The following October and November, Brigham traveled to Kirtland, Ohio, to meet Joseph Smith. In December he filled a mission to Upper Canada, the first of what was to become many. After a [p.153]short return to Mendon, New York, in February 1833, he went on a second mission to Upper Canada which lasted from April to August 1833. In September, Young moved to Kirtland.
On February 18, 1834, Brigham married Mary Ann Angell; they had six children. During the spring and summer of 1834 he participated in the march of Zion’s Camp to Missouri. After returning to Kirtland, he assisted in the construction of the Kirtland temple.
Brigham Young was ordained an apostle on February 14, 1835, and left for a mission to the eastern states with the rest of the Quorum of the Twelve in May. He returned to Kirtland in September 1835.
During the fall and winter of 1838-36 Young attended the Hebrew School in Kirtland. In March 1836 he participated in the dedication of the Kirtland temple.
Brigham became a charter member and stockholder in the Kirtland Safety Society Anti-Banking Corporation in January 1837. Unlike many others, however—including five members of the Quorum of the Twelve—he did not blame the bank’s failure on the prophet. Young remained one of the steadiest and most trusted friends Joseph Smith had during his lifetime.
Young filled several more missions for the church before the Saints left Ohio for Missouri. With Willard Richards, he served a mission in the eastern states which lasted from March to June 1837, and then another mission to New York and Massachusetts which went from June through August.
Brigham moved his family to Missouri on December 22, 1837, arriving in the town of Far West on March 14, 1838. Expelled from the state with the rest of the Saints late that year, Young organized the evacuation of the Mormons from Missouri and the move to Illinois.
Young and his family located temporarily in Quincy, Illinois, in February 1839, following their move from Missouri, and moved to Montrose, Iowa, in May.
Filling a call given to the Quorum of the Twelve, Young left Nauvoo on a mission to the British Isles on September 14, 1839, [p.154]arriving on April 6, 1840. While the Twelve were serving in England, a reorganization of the Quorum by Joseph Smith caused Brigham Young to be called to serve as president; this move came on January 19, 1841. Brigham left Britain with most of the rest of the Twelve on April 21, 1841, and returned to Nauvo on July 1.
Young was active in Nauvoo civic affairs as well. He was elected a member of the Nauvoo City Council on September 4, 1841. On April 7, 1842, he became a Mason. On March 11, 1844, he attended his first meeting of the Council of the Fifty. He was elected lieutenant general of the Nauvoo Legion on August 31, 1844—a position that Joseph Smith had filled before his death.
Young received his endowment on May 4, 1842; on June 15 he married his first plural wife, Lucy Ann Decker. They became the parents of seven children. He took on further family responsibilities over the years, marrying Harriet E. Cook in 1843; Clarissa Decker in 1844, with whom he had five children; Clarissa Ross in 1844, with whom he had four children; Emily Dow Partridge in 1844, with whom he had seven children; Louisa Beman in 1846, with whom he had five children; Margaret Maria Alley in 1846, with whom he had two children; Emmeline Free in 1846, with whom he had ten children; Margaret Pierce in 1846, with whom he had one child; Zina D. Huntington in 1846, with whom he had one child; Lucy Bigelow in 1847, with whom he had three children; Eliza Burgess in 1852, with whom he had one child; Harriet Barney in 1856, with whom he had one child; Mary Van Cott in 1865, with whom he had one child.
Brigham left again on a mission to the eastern states, this time to collect funds from the Saints for the Nauvoo House and Nauvoo temple; he left in July and returned in September 1843. He went on another mission east to campaign for Joseph Smith’s candidacy as president of the United States, leaving on May 21, 1844, and returning on August 6, 1844.
In the confused days that followed the prophet’s death, [p.155]Brigham asserted the right of the Quorum of the Twelve to lead the church. Many people who listened to him speak during the meetings that were called for August 7 later claimed they saw him transfigured into the prophet, evidence that the mantle of leadership was new his as president of the Quorum of the Twelve. The majority of the Saints voted to sustain Young and the rest of the Quorum as the leaders of the church.
As president of the Twelve, Young directed the preparations for the march West and supervised the exodus from Nauvoo. He left Nauvoo on February 15, 1846; that fall he stopped the trains and established the town of Winter Quarters on the banks of the Missouri River in what is now Nebraska.
Young left Winter Quarters for the Rocky Mountains on April 14, 1847; his advance party arrived in the Salt Lake Valley on July 24, 1847. Leaving most of the company behind to attend to plowing and planting, Young returned to Winter Quarters on August 18. He was ordained president of the church and the First Presidency was reorganized on December 5, 1847, at Kanesville, Iowa. Young set out on his return to the Salt Lake Valley on May 26, 1848, arriving on September 20.
Brigham was elected governor of the provisional State of Deseret on March 12, 1849. He was appointed governor of the officially organized Territory of Utah by President Millard Fillmore on September 20, 1850. He also served as federal Indian Superintendent for the territory.
During the rest of his life, Brigham founded hundreds of settlements which stretched from Canada to Mexico and west into Nevada and California, organizing local church units, calling missionaries, and related activities. He was actively involved in the economic life of Utah, building local railroad lines and lobbying successfully for the final stretches of the new intercontinental railroad and the overland telegraph to be completed in the Territory.
Brigham Young died in Salt Lake City on August 29, 1877 (Cook, Revelations, 279-81, 343; LDSBE, 1:8-14; Leonard J. Arrington, Brigham Young: American Moses [New York: Alfred A. [p.156]Knopf, 1985]; Andrew F. Ehat, “Joseph Smith’s Introduction of Temple Ordinances and the 1844 Mormon Succession Question,” M.A. thesis, Brigham Young University, 1982; Ronald K. Esplin, “The Emergence of Brigham Young and the Twelve to Mormon Leadership, 1830-1841,” Ph.D. diss, Brigham Young University, 1981; and “Joseph, Brigham and the Twelve: A Succession of Continuity,” Brigham Young University Studies 21 [Summer 1981]: 301-41).
12. John F. Boynton was born on September 20, 1811, in Bradford, Essex County, Massachusetts. He was baptized in September 1832 in Kirtland, Ohio, by Joseph Smith and ordained an elder by Sidney Rigdon. He filled a mission that year with Zebedee Coltrin in Pennsylvania and a second one in Maine that lasted from 1833 through 1834.
On February 15, 1835, Boynton was ordained an apostle and a member of the original Quorum of the Twelve; shortly afterwards he left with the rest of the Twelve on their mission to the eastern states. John married Susan Lowell on January 20, 1836. Boynton entered the mercantile business with Lyman E. Johnson, a trade he maintained until after he apostatized and was disfellowshipped from the Quorum of the Twelve on September 3, 1837, in Kirtland, another spiritual victim of the Kirtland Safety Society Anti-Banking Corporation failure. The following Sunday he made a complete confession and was forgiven, but since his subsequent actions showed he had not truly repented of his sins, he was formally excommunicated from the church shortly afterwards.
After leaving the church, Boynton associated briefly with Warren Parrish and several other excommunicated church leaders in establishing a group known as the Church of Christ. After the group disintegrated, he settled in Syracuse, New York, becoming a noted scientist and inventor. He never again became a member of any other religious group.
John F. Boynton died on October 20, 1890, in Syracuse, New York (LDSBE, 1:91; Steven L. Shields, Divergent Paths of the Restoration 4th rev. ed. [Los Angeles, CA: Restoration Research, 1990], 22-23).
13. Zebedee Coltrin was born on September 7, 1804, in Ovid, Seneca County, New York; in 1814 he accompanied his family when they moved to Strongsville, Cuyahoga County, Ohio. Sometime before 1828, Coltrin married Julia Ann Jennings; they had five children, all of whom died in infancy.
Zebedee was baptized on January 9, 1831, by Solomon Hancock and confirmed a member of the church on January 19 by Lyman Wight. Two days later he was ordained an elder by John Whitmer.
Coltrin was called to travel to Missouri with Levi W. Hancock on June 6, 1831. On the way there, the two stopped and preached in several locations. In Winchester, Indiana, they baptized a number of people and established a large branch of the church there. Zebedee returned to Kirtland from Missouri on June 15, 1832; on July 17 he was ordained a high priest.
Coltrin was one of the original students in the School of the Prophets when it opened in January 1833. On July 20, 1834, he was called on a mission to Upper Canada; that spring he marched to Missouri with Zion’s Camp.
Coltrin was ordained a member of the First Quorum of the Seventy on February 28, 1835; on March 1 he was ordained one of the Seven Presidents of the Seventy. He was released from the presidency of the quorum on April 6, 1837
In 1836 Zebedee went back to class at the School of the Prophets in Kirtland. In March he participated in the dedication of the Kirtland temple. Coltrin was also a stokholder in the Kirtland Safety Society Anti-Bannking Corporation in 1837.
Coltrin settled his family in Nauvoo in 1839. Shortly afterwards, he returned to Kirtland, where, on May 22, 1841, he was called to serve in the Kirtland Stake presidency. By 1842, after the Kirtland Stake had been formally dissolved, he was back in Nauvoo.
Zebedee left Nauvoo for the eastern states to campaign for [p.158]Joseph Smith’s presidential candidacy in April 1844; he returned to Nauvoo after receiving word of the prophet’s death. On December 22, 1845, he received his endowment in the Nauvoo temple.
Coltrin left Illinois with the rest of the Saints in 1846. After settling temporarily in Winter Quarters, he arrived in the Salt Lake Valley with the advance company on July 24, 1847. He returned to Winter Quarters shortly afterwards and brought his family back to the valley with him; they arrived in 1851. In 1852 Coltrin was called to settle in Spanish Fork, Utah. On May 31, 1873, he was ordained a patriarch by John Taylor.
Sometime during this period he married Mary Lott; they had eight children.
Zebedee Coltrin died in Spanish Fork, Utah County, Utah, on July 21, 1887 (Cook, Revelations, 75-76, 138; LDSBE, 1:190).
14. Sylvester Smith, no known relation to Joseph Smith, was born about 1805. In 1830 the census listed him as a resident of Amherst, Lorain County, Ohio. He was baptized into the Mormon church and ordained an elder sometime before June 1831. Sylvester was ordained a high priest on October 25, 1831, by Oliver Cowdery.
Smith was called to preach with Gideon Carter on January 25, 1832. The two traveled together from Ohio to Vermont, preaching along the way. They left the Kirtland area on April 5, 1832, and returned in August, having baptized several converts.
Sylvester assisted in laying the foundation stones for the Kirtland temple on July 23, 1833; in 1834 he marched to Missouri with Zion’s Camp.
Proving to be a contentious person during the march of the Camp, he was tried in August 1834 for “traducing” the character of Joseph Smith; upon confession of his sins, he was subsequently forgiven.
Smith was appointed a member of the Kirtland high council on February 17, 1835; on February 28 he was ordained a Seventy. He was ordained to the presidency of the Seventy on [p.159]March 1. During August and September he served as clerk for the high council, and on January 25, 1836, he was called as an acting scribe for Joseph Smith.
Sylvester attended the School of the Prophets and later the Hebrew School in Kirtland. In January 1836 he attended the solemn assembly called to meet in Kirtland. In March he participated in the dedication of the Kirtland temple.
Smith was released from the Kirtland high council on January 13, 1836, and from the presidency of the Seventy on April 6, 1837.
Smith was also a charter member and stockholder in the Kirtland Safety Society Anti-Banking Corporation in January 1837. He became a vocal opponent of Joseph Smith following the failure of the bank, and by 1838 he had left the church (Cook, Revelations, 156, 311; LDSBE, 1:191).
15. Not much is known about Leonard Rich. His name is first mentioned in the history of Joseph Smith in connection with a council of high priests and elders held in Kirtland, Ohio, on February 12, 1834. In this meeting he was tried for transgressing the Word of Wisdom and for “selling the revelations at an extortionary price while journeying east with Father Lyons.” Rich confessed his sins and the council forgave him upon his promise to reform his life.
In 1834 Leonard marched to Missouri with Zion’s Camp and, on February 28, 1835, was ordained to the First Quorum of the Seventy; shortly afterwards he was called into the presidency of the quorum and took an active part in the public affairs of the church for some time. Having previously been ordained a high priest, Rich was released from the Seventy and joined the high priest’s quorum.
In September 1837 Rich’s actions were again called into question; a letter written by the prophet simply says, “Leonard Rich and others have been in transgression, but we hope they may be humble, and ere long make satisfaction to the Church; otherwise they cannot retain their standing.” The outcome is not [p.160]known (LDSBE, 1:189-90).
16. Hazen Aldrich’s birthdate and birthplace are not known. He was ordained a high priest sometime before 1834. Aldrich marched to Missouri with Zion’s Camp during the spring and summer of 1834. On February 28, 1835, he was ordained a member of the First Quorum of the Seventy and called into the quorum presidency shortly afterwards. Since he was a high priest, however, on April 6, 1837, he was released from the presidency and rejoined the high priest’s quorum.
During the great schism which occurred in the church following the failure of the Kirtland Safety Society Anti-Banking Corporation in 1837, Aldrich became alienated from the church and apostatized. He subsequently joined the Brewster movement and published a paper in Kirtland called The Olive Branch; the first issue came off the presses in August 1848.
Aldrich became a leader in the Brewster movement and finally emigrated to California, where he died (LDSBE, 1:186-87; for information on the Brewsterites and Aldrich’s involvement with them, see Shields, Divergent Paths of the Restoration, 55-56).
17. Joseph Young, an older brother of Brigham Young, was born on April 7, 1797, in Hopkinton, Middlesex County, Massachusetts. He joined the Methodists while still a young man and eventually became a preacher.
18. Levi Hancock was born on April 7, 1803, in Old Springfield, Hampden County, Massachusetts. In 1805 the family moved to Ontario County, New York; about 1820 they were in Chagrin, Ohio. Levi became a cabinetmaker by profession and a good musician.