WE herein propose to give short sketches of the lives of the Twelve Apostles in the order in which they were chosen.
LYMAN E. JOHNSON.
Lyman E. Johnson, though the youngest of the Twelve chosen in 1835, and for that reason ranked as number twelve in the final arrangement, was the first chosen. He was the son of John and Elsa Johnson, and was born in Pomfret, Windsor County, Vermont, October 24, 1811.
He was baptized in February, 1831, by Sidney Rigdon. In November, 1831, he was mentioned by revelation in connection with his brother Luke, Orson Hyde, and W. E. McLellin, in a commission to preach the gospel and administer its ordinances. (Doctrine and Covenants 68:1.) He labored as a missionary in Ohio, the Eastern States, and Nova Scotia.
In 1834 he went to Missouri in Zion's camp. In February, 1835, he was ordained an apostle of the Quorum of Twelve; after that he was constantly engaged in the ministry until the fall of 1836, when partaking of the spirit of speculation then so prevalent in Kirtland, he commenced merchandising.
At a conference held in Kirtland, September 3, 1837, he was rejected as an apostle and suspended from fellowship, for leaving the duties of his calling and engaging in other occupations.
On the 10th he was restored to fellowship and permitted to retain his apostleship It does not appear, however, that he quit his merchandising at that time.
On the 13th of April, 1838, he was expelled from the church at Far West, Missouri, for what cause does not
appear. It is said that he remained friendly to his former associates, and made frequent visits to Nauvoo.
Some time after his expulsion he removed to Davenport, Iowa, and engaged in the practice of law; thence to Keokuk, where he continued the practice.
He met his death December 20, 1856, by being drowned in the Mississippi River at Prairie du Chien, Wisconsin.
We have no information regarding his family.
Brigham Young was the second apostle chosen in February, 1835, but ranked third when arranged in the order of their age, on May 2, 1835. He was born in Whitingham, Windham County, Vermont, June 1,1801. When a boy, his parents moved to Chenango County, New York, where his early years were spent in farming. When twenty years old he united with the Methodist Church, and his early religious training was in the communion of that society.
On October 8, 1824, he married Miss Miriam Works and resided in Cayuga County, New York, until 1829, following the trades of carpenter, glazier, and painter. He then removed to Monroe County, New York, where, in 1830, he first saw a Book of Mormon, brought there by Samuel H. Smith. He was baptized April 14, 1832, by Eleazer Miller. On September 8, 1832, his wife died, leaving two small children. Soon afterward he went to Kirtland, Ohio, and made the acquaintance of the Prophet. The following winter he spent in missionary work in Canada, in company with his brother, Joseph Young. In July, 1833, he removed his family to Kirtland. In February, 1834, he married Miss Mary Ann Angel. In the summer of 1834 he went with Zion's Camp to Missouri.
He was ordained an apostle February, 1835, and afterwards did considerable missionary work in the Eastern States.
He left Kirtland, Ohio, in December, 1837, and arrived at Far West, Missouri, in March, 1838, where he resided until February, 1839, when he removed to Atlas, Pike County, Illinois; thence to Quincy; thence to Commerce; thence to Montrose, Iowa.
In September, 1839, he accompanied others of his quorum on a mission to England, where he did some effectual labor; and at a meeting of the quorum held at Preston, April 14, 1840, he was chosen president of the Twelve.
He returned to Nauvoo, July 1,1841, and took an active part in church affairs, as well as doing some missionary work in the Eastern States, until the death of Joseph and Hyrum Smith in June, 1844.
On August 8, 1844, the church assembled in Nauvoo voted to support "the Twelve in their calling." (See Times and Seasons
, volume 5, page 638. ) The Twelve, with Elder Young at their head, (William Smith, John E. Page, and Lyman Wight dissenting,) assumed that this vote sustained them as the presiding quorum of the church; and proceeded to act in that capacity for as many as would receive them, until the exodus westward in 1846. He was one of the pioneer company, and reached Salt Lake Valley, July 24, 1847, and returned East after deciding to settle in the Valley.
At Council Bluffs, Iowa, December 5, 1847, a part of his quorum (John Taylor and P. P. Pratt, besides the three mentioned above-William Smith, John E. Page, and Lyman Wight being absent), resolved to elevate Elder Young to the office of President of the Church. This was ratified December 27, 1847, by about one thousand members of the church who assembled at Kanesville, now Council Bluffs, Iowa, out of a total membership of about one hundred and fifty thousand.
In 1848 he emigrated to Utah, where he served as president for those who were willing to accept his leadership, until his death, which occurred on August 29, 1877.
HEBER C. KIMBALL.
Heber C. Kimball was the third apostle chosen, but ranked fourth in the order of age. He was born June 14, 1801, in Sheldon, Franklin County, Vermont. When he was ten years old his parents moved to Ontario County, New York. When nineteen years old he went to Mendon, Monroe County, New York, and learned the trade of potter with his brother Charles, with whom he remained until he was
twenty-one years old. In November, 1822, he married Miss Vilate Murray. Immediately afterwards he bought out his brother Charles and followed the potter's trade for over ten years. In April, 1832, he was baptized by Elder Alpheus Gifford, and in September of the same year he accompanied Brigham and Joseph Young to Kirtland.
In 1833 he removed to Kirtland, Ohio, and in 1834 was a member of Zion's Camp.
In February, 1835, he was ordained an apostle, and accompanied his quorum on a tour of the eastern churches, organizing conferences and setting in order the churches.
In the summer of 1837, accompanied by Orson Hyde and others, he went on a mission to England, and opened the work there, having great success. He was absent on this mission about eleven months, during which time he and his colleagues had baptized about fifteen hundred persons.
Soon after returning from England he removed to Far West, Missouri, arriving there July 25, 1838.
He took an active part in the exciting scenes enacted there. His efforts in behalf of his imprisoned brethren were constant and untiring. Through dangers and difficulties his vigilance never wavered, and everything he could do was done for their comfort, safety, and final release.
In September, 1839, he started on his second mission to England, this time associated with the majority of his quorum.
After a little more than a year's labor he returned to America, and was active in church affairs about Nauvoo, and in missionary labor, until the death of Joseph Smith.
In 1844 he stood with Brigham Young and the majority of his quorum in taking control of affairs.
In December, 1847, when Brigham Young assumed the Presidency, Elder Kimball was selected as First Counselor, which place he occupied until his death, which occurred at Salt Lake City, Utah, June 22, 1868.
Orson Hyde was the fourth chosen of the first Twelve, but when arranged according to age he was the fifth. He was
the son of Nathan and Sally Hyde, and was born in Oxford, New Haven County, Connecticut, January 8, 1805. When seven years old his mother died and he was placed under the care of a gentleman by the name of Nathan Wheeler, who when he was fourteen years old took him to Kirtland, Ohio. He remained with Mr. Wheeler until he was eighteen years old. He worked at several occupations, among others clerking for Gilbert and Whitney in Kirtland.
In 1827, during a religious revival, he embraced the Methodist faith and was appointed a class leader. Subsequently, under the preaching of Sidney Rigdon, he became identified with the Disciples. Soon afterward he began preaching this new faith and founded several churches in Lorain and Huron counties, Ohio, and in 1830 was appointed their pastor.
In the latter part of the year the Book of Mormon was presented to his churches. He first opposed it, speaking publicly against it, but subsequently he was converted, and on October 31,1831, was baptized by Sidney Rigdon. He was soon after ordained a high priest and entered actively into missionary labor. On February 17,1834, he was chosen a member of the High Council, and in the same year he went with Zion's Camp to Missouri, and in company with Elder P. P. Pratt called on Governor Dunklin. On September 4, 1834, he married Miss Marinda N. Johnson, sister of Apostles Luke S. and Lyman E. Johnson.
In February, 1835, he was ordained an apostle, and with his colleagues traveled extensively, setting in order the churches.
In 1837, in company with H. C. Kimball and others, he assisted in opening the English mission, remaining from America nearly one year; after which he removed to Far West, Missouri, and in October, 1838, just before the mob militia marched on Far West, he and Thomas B. Marsh apostatized, went to Richmond, and by making affidavit to certain questionable things, contributed to incense the public feeling against the church and authorities.
He was suspended May 4,1839, at Quincy, Illinois.
On June 27,1889, at Commerce, Illinois, he returned, made
confession of wrongdoing and was restored to fellowship and also to his standing in the Quorum of Twelve.
At the spring conference of 1840, he and Elder John E. Page were appointed a mission to Jerusalem. Elder Page failed to go and Elder Hyde proceeded alone. He visited England, Germany, and Egypt, and after many hardships reached the Holy Land.
On Sunday morning, October 24, 1841, he offered from the Mount of Olives a prayer recorded elsewhere in this work, dedicating the land for the gathering of Israel. He arrived home in December, 1842.
In consequence of his action in Missouri many had lost confidence in him, and did not believe he would fulfill the mission; nor did they believe when he returned that he had done so. Doubts exist unto this day with some, but we know of no sufficient reason for these doubts. From all the circumstances with which we are acquainted we conclude that he performed this mission faithfully.
In 1844 he stood with his quorum, and followed the fortunes of the Utah faction to the time of his death, which occurred at Spring City, Utah, November 28, 1878.
DAVID W. PATTEN.
David W. Patten was the next one of the Twelve in the order of selection, but in the arrangement according to age he was number two. He was born in the State of New York about the year 1800.
He was religiously inclined and in his early life was constantly seeking for truth. He first heard of the Book of Mormon in 1830. On June 15,1832, he was baptized in Green County, Indiana, by his brother, John Patten, and ordained an elder on the 17th, by Elisha Groves. He entered zealously into missionary labor and was among the most faithful men in the church, doing missionary work in Michigan, Ohio, Pennsylvania, New York, and in the Eastern States; in all of which he was quite successful.
He went to Missouri early in 1834, accompanied by William Pratt, to bear dispatches from the church authorities to the scattered members in Clay County who had recently
been expelled from Jackson County. They accomplished this mission after much toil and suffering, arriving in Clay County, March 4, 1834.
In September, 1834, accompanied by Warren Parrish, he started on a mission to Tennessee, where they accomplished some acceptable work, but were subjected to much persecution. He returned to Kirtland sometime the following winter, where in February, 1835, he was chosen and ordained an apostle, and with his quorum traveled through the Eastern States and Canada. He returned to Kirtland in September, 1835, where he remained until after the dedication of the Temple in March, 1836, when he went again to Tennessee on a mission, accompanied by his wife. Here he met Wilford Woodruff, and shortly after they were joined by Warren Parrish. They were harrassed [harassed] by persecution and by prosecution under color of law, but nothing was established against them.
In September, 1836, he left Tennessee and with his wife journeyed to Far West, Missouri. In 1837, he took a mission east, and the same year returned to Missouri.
On February 10, 1838, at the time David Whitmer, W. W. Phelps, and John Whitmer were deposed, Thomas B. Marsh and David W. Patten were elected Presidents pro tempore of the church in Missouri, and served in that capacity until the arrival of the First Presidency from the East.
On October 25, 1838, Elder Patten received a mortal wound in an engagement with the mob in Caldwell County, Missouri, from which he soon afterwards died. He was buried in Far West, October 27. Of his family we have no account.
Joseph Smith thus wrote of him:-
"Brother David W. Patten was a very worthy man, beloved by all good men who knew him. He was one of the Twelve Apostles, and died as he lived, a man of God, and strong in the faith of a glorious resurrection, in a world where mobs will have no power or place. One of his last expressions to his wife was, 'whatever you do else, O! do not deny the faith.'"-Millennial Star, vol. 16, p. 408.
LUKE S. JOHNSON.
Luke S. Johnson was the sixth apostle chosen, but in the arrangement according to age he was the eighth. He was the son of John and Elsa Johnson, and was born in Pomfret, Windsor County, Vermont, November 3, 1807. He was baptized by Joseph Smith in June, 1831. He was soon after ordained a priest by Christian Whitmer, and commenced active work as a missionary. Subsequently he was ordained a high priest by Joseph Smith, after which he traveled and preached extensively in Ohio, Virginia, and Kentucky. He was married November 1, 1833, to Miss Susan H. Proteet, in Cabell County, Virginia, whose acquaintance he made on his missionary tour.
At the organization of the High Council, February 17, 1834, he was chosen a member, and the following summer went to Missouri with Zion's Camp. In February, 1835, at the organization of the Apostles' quorum, he was chosen and ordained a member of that quorum. With his quorum he visited Canada and the East. He also partook of the spirit of speculation, neglected the duties of his office, and at a conference held at Kirtland, Ohio, September 3, 1837, he with his brother Lyman, and John F. Boynton, was rejected. On the 10th they made confession and were received into fellowship, and permitted to retain their apostleship. He however did not renew his diligence sufficiently to restore confidence, and was subsequently rejected by the church. He continued friendly to the church during the life of Joseph, and after his death affiliated with the organization under the Twelve and with them went West, where he died in Salt Lake City, Utah, December 9, 1861.
WILLIAM E. M'LELLIN.
William E. McLellin was the seventh of the apostles chosen, but in the final arrangement he was the sixth. He was born in Tennessee about the year 1806. In 1831 he heard the gospel preached by some of the elders while they were on their way to Missouri. As soon as he could arrange his business he followed them to Independence; and was baptized by Hyrum Smith. He afterwards visited Kirtland,
and did considerable missionary work in different places.
On July 3, 1834, he was chosen a member of the High Council of Zion, in Clay County, Missouri. Soon after he went again to Kirtland, where he was engaged for a time as a teacher in the school of the elders. He was ordained an apostle in February, 1835.
On May 11,1838, he was expelled from the church at Far West, Missouri, for apostasy; and during the trouble in Missouri he used all his influence against the leaders of the church. In 1845 he was identified with the movement under Rigdon, warmly indorsed [endorsed] his claims, and on April 8 of that year was appointed one of the Twelve Apostles in Rigdon's organization.
In 1847 he with others at Kirtland, Ohio, effected an organization which they claimed was a reorganization of the church, and called on David Whitmer to assume the presidency, claiming that he was ordained by Joseph Smith on the 8th of July, 1834, as his successor. In March, 1847, Elder McLellin, by the authority of this organization, commenced the publication of a paper at Kirtland, called The Ensign of Liberty, in which he contended that the proper name of the church was "The Church of Christ," and advocated the claims of David Whitmer as President of the Church. In 1847 Elder McLellin went west, and in September called on David Whitmer, Jacob Whitmer, and Hiram Page, at Richmond, Missouri, who accompanied him to Far West, to visit John Whitmer. The five counseled together, and during their counsel received several communications through David Whitmer. As a result of this counsel and instruction given in these revelations through David Whitmer, Elder McLellin, who had previously been rebaptized at Kirtland, Ohio, rebaptized these four men and reordained them high priests, and also ordained David Whitmer to the Presidency, and John Whitmer to be his counselor.
This organization so far as we know was short lived, and after struggling in vain to perpetuate it, the participants abandoned the effort. Elder McLellin finally settled at Independence, Missouri, where he died on Tuesday, March 13, 1883
JOHN F. BOYNTON.
J. F. Boynton was the eighth apostle chosen, but in the final arrangement he was the eleventh. He was born September 11, 1811, in Bradford, Essex County, Massachusetts; and was baptized at Kirtland, Ohio, in September, 1832, by Joseph Smith; and soon after was ordained an elder by Sidney Rigdon. Was actively engaged in the ministry until his ordination to the office of apostle, in February, 1835.
He accompanied his quorum on their journey through the Eastern States and Canada, returning to Kirtland in time to fulfill an engagement with Miss Susan Lowell, on January 20, 1836, by which she became his wife. The ceremony was performed by President Joseph Smith. Subsequently, he entered into the mercantile business with Lyman E. Johnson.
On September 3, 1837, he with Luke S. and Lyman E. Johnson was disfellowshiped, and like them he made confession on the 10th, and was restored. In 1838, his quorum refused to sustain him.
For many years he resided at Syracuse, New York, where we understand he died a few years ago, a respected citizen.
He was ever on friendly terms with his former associates, doing nothing against the church, but frequently speaking a word in its favor. He never joined any other church, but was skeptical regarding religion. For many years he traveled through the United States, lecturing on natural history and geology. In 1853 and 1854 he was on a geological surveying expedition to California by appointment of the Government.
O. Pratt was the ninth apostle chosen, but in the final arrangement was the tenth. He was the son of Jared and Charity (Dickinson) Pratt, and was born in Hartford, Washington County, New York, September 19, 1811. In his youthful days he was a diligent student, and for his time and the opportunities offered he was a good mathematician and bookkeeper. He also became quite proficient in geography and surveying. These things were of great value to him in after life.
On the day he was nineteen years old he was baptized at Canaan, Columbia County, New York, by his brother Parley P. In October, 1830, he went to Fayette, New York, to visit the Prophet, where a revelation was given concerning him, and he was soon after ordained an elder.
Early in 1831 he went on foot to Kirtland, Ohio, preaching and baptizing by the way. For many years he was among the most able and active missionaries of the church. On February 2, 1832, he was ordained a high priest; and in 1834 he was a member of Zion's Camp in its memorable march to Zion. On July 7, 1834, he was ordained one of the standing High Council of Zion.
He was not present at the time of his selection as an apostle in February, 1835, having not yet returned from Missouri; but he arrived on April 26, and was on the same day ordained. On July 4, 1836, he was married to Miss Sarah M. Bates, whom he had baptized in Sacket's Harbor, New York, the year previous. On July 4, 1839, he assisted his brother Parley and companions to escape from Columbia jail, Missouri.
In the spring of 1840 he with others of his quorum went to Europe, where he labored faithfully in England and Scotland, returning to America in the spring of 1841. He was for a time Professor of Mathematics in Nauvoo University.
In 1844 he stood with the majority of the Twelve, and in 1847 was a participant in the proceedings which sought to elevate Brigham Young to the Presidency. He emigrated westward with that people and the remainder of his life was devoted to their service. He was probably the best scholar among them, and is the author of several works. He died at his home in Salt Lake City, Utah, October 3, 1881.
William Smith was tenth apostle chosen, but in the final arrangement was the ninth. He was the sixth son of Patriarch Joseph Smith and Lucy (Mack) Smith, and brother of Joseph Smith the Prophet. He was born in Royalton, Vermont, March 13,1811. His early life was of course spent with the family, with the history of which the reader is sufficiently
acquainted. He was baptized soon after the organization of the church, by Oliver Cowdery, and was subsequently ordained a teacher. He was an active and zealous missionary during the early days of the church. Subsequently he was ordained an elder; and in June, 1833, he was ordained a high priest. On February 14, 1833, he was married to Miss Caroline Grant, daughter of Joshua Grant, by whom he had two daughters; namely: Mary Jane; born January, 1835; Caroline L.; born August, 1836.
He was ordained an apostle at the organization of that quorum in February, 1835. In the spring of 1838 he removed to Far West, Missouri, and was an active participator in the exciting scenes of the times. On May 4, 1839, he was suspended from exercising the functions of his office, but for what cause we are not informed. On the 25th of the same month he was reinstated by action of his quorum.
When the Twelve went to Europe in 1839 and 1840, he failed to accompany them. This was the occasion of much criticism. He explained his reasons in a letter published in Times and Seasons, December 15, 1840, as follows:-
"D. C. Smith; Dear Brother:-I improve the opportunity of writing to you, that through the medium of the Times and Seasons the brethren may be informed, respecting the discharge of my duty for some time past. I am the more disposed to do so as many have thought my course of conduct strange and have had hard feelings respecting me. I do not wish to exonerate myself from all blame, but merely wish to state the circumstances in which I have been placed, which have been a barrier to my preaching the gospel to the extent which my calling and standing in the church many would suppose it was my duty to do.
"I can assure you that it is not because I have any doubts respecting the work of the last days, or that I have been destitute of the love of God, or a desire that Zion should not flourish; but because my impoverished situation has rendered it necessary for me to use every exertion to support my family. And we read in the New Testament, 'that he who will not provide for his own household is worse than an infidel and hath denied the faith.'
"Unfortunately for me, poverty has been my lot ever since I was called to the ministry; and it has been through much tribulation that I have had to labor in the vineyard since that."-Times and Seasons
, vol. 2, p. 252.
In the winter of 1842-43 he was a member of the Illinois Legislature elected from Hancock County, and his service, so far as we have learned, gave general satisfaction.
After the death of his brothers, William Smith never fully agreed with Brigham Young and his colleagues; yet he submitted to be ordained, under their hands, to the office of Patriarch to succeed his brother Hyrum, but without relinquishing his position as a member of the quorum of Twelve. Subsequently, however, he refused to affiliate with them, renounced their claims to the Presidency, and announced his claim to preside over the church temporarily as the guardian of the eldest son of his brother Joseph, who, he contended, was the rightful successor. He had some following for a time, but the organization that he effected gradually declined, and was finally disrupted. After many moves he finally settled at Elkader, Iowa, where he resided many years.
On April 9, 1878, on his request and by action of General Conference, he was received into the Reorganization on his original baptism, and the next day by the same authority his name was enrolled with the High Priests' Quorum. After reuniting with the church he did some missionary work, but his age prevented him from being very active. A certain inaccurate historian has written that he officiated as Patriarch in the Reorganized Church, but this is a mistake. He was connected with the High Priests' Quorum until his death, which occurred November 13, 1893, at his home in Osterdock, Clayton County, Iowa.
THOMAS B. MARSH.
Thomas B. Marsh was the eleventh apostle chosen, but in the final arrangement he was the first. He was born in Acton, Middlesex County, Massachusetts, November 1, 1799. The family removed to New Hampshire, and when he was fourteen years of age he left home and went to Vermont, thence to Albany, New York; and then to New York City.
In the two last named places he worked in hotels. The day he was twenty-one years old he was married to Miss Elizabeth Godkin. After his marriage he entered the mercantile business in New York; thence he went to Boston, Massachusetts, where for seven years he was engaged in a type foundry.
While at Boston, he united with the Methodist Church, but subsequently withdrew from them, and stood aloof from all religious societies, until he united with the Latter Day Saints.
He visited the printing office of E. B. Grandin, at Palmyra, New York, while the Book of Mormon was in press. He obtained some advanced sheets, visited Joseph Smith, Sen., where he met Oliver Cowdery, and from him received an account of the plates and the translation. He returned home taking the sheets with him and presented them with the account to his wife who received it. Mr. Marsh entered at once into correspondence with Oliver Cowdery and Joseph Smith the Prophet, and in September, 1830, he removed to Palmyra, and soon afterward was baptized by David Whitmer. Shortly after he was ordained an elder. In 1831 he removed with the church to Kirtland, Ohio. At the June conference of 1831 he was ordained a high priest.
Soon after, in obedience to revelation. he journeyed to Missouri in company with Selah J. Griffin. He returned to Kirtland in the spring of 1832, and in November of the same year removed to Missouri and located in Jackson County, on the Big Blue. In the troublesome times of 1833 he shared the fate of his brethren in being driven from his home. He spent the winter in Lafayette County, thence removed to Clay County, where on July 7, 1834, he was ordained a member of the High Council in Zion. The following January he returned East and engaged actively in missionary work.
He was not present when he was chosen an Apostle, in February, 1835, but arrived in Kirtland in the April following when he was ordained, and subsequently was elected President of the quorum. The summer of 1835 he accompanied his quorum on their eastern mission, and subsequently he returned to Missouri, where he assisted in the
settlement of difficulties in Clay County, and with the church moved to Caldwell County.
On February 10, 1838, he and David W. Patten were appointed presidents pro tem. of the church in Missouri. In October, 1838, as set forth elsewhere he apostatized and made affidavit to some questionable things at Richmond, Missouri, which increased the persecution against the church. He located in Clay County, Missouri; and later in Richmond, Ray County. Of his life there we know but little.
He emigrated to Utah in 1857, having previously united with the organization under Brigham Young. He died at Ogden, Utah, in January, 1866. In the Ogden cemetery a neat marble monument marks his resting place on which is chiseled the following inscription:-
"Thomas B. Marsh, First President of the Twelve Apostles of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. Born at Acton, Massachusetts, November 1, 1799. Died January, 1866. Erected by his friends, July 17,1893."-Saints' Herald
, vol. 42, p. 470.
PARLEY P. PRATT.
Parley P. Pratt was the twelfth apostle chosen, but in the final arrangement he was the seventh. He was the third son of Jared and Charity Pratt. He was born April 12, 1807, in Burlington, Otsego County, New York. In October, 1826, he left his home and friends and journeyed westward, and spent the winter in solitude, in the forest, about thirty miles west of Cleveland, Ohio. In the spring he made some improvements and then returned to his home, where on September 9,1827, he was united in marriage to Miss Thankful Halsey. In the October following they set out for the wilderness of Ohio, where they succeeded in making a comfortable home.
In 1829 Elder Sidney Rigdon came into the neighborhood preaching, and Mr. Pratt became identified with the movement then becoming so popular under Rigdon, Alexander Campbell, Scott, and others, and began shortly after to preach the new doctrine. In August, 1830, accompanied by
his wife, he left their Ohio home and returned to New York. where he first saw the Book of Mormon. After some travel and diligent inquiry he was baptized in Seneca Lake, New York, by Oliver Cowdery, September 1, 1830, and the same evening he was ordained an elder.
In October, 1830, a revelation was given directing Elder Pratt with others to go on a mission to the West; accordingly in the same month, accompanied by Oliver Cowdery, Peter Whitmer, and Ziba Peterson, he started on that eventful mission, an account of which has been recorded in these pages. From this mission he returned alone to report their labor, and in 1831 was ordained a high priest. Again he went up to Missouri, accompanied by his brother Orson.
He afterwards settled in Jackson County, Missouri, and was among those banished from the county in 1833 by the violence of the mob. On July 7,1834, he was ordained a member of the High Council in Zion, in Clay County, Missouri.
In February, 1835, he was ordained an apostle at Kirtland, Ohio, and in the following summer went with his quorum on its eastern mission. In 1836 he did missionary work in Canada. On March 25,1837, his wife died at Kirtland, Ohio. In the summer of 1837, when so many turned away from the faith at Kirtland, he was to some extent affected by this spirit of apostasy; but he subsequently recovered from it, and made confession of his wrong. In this year he published from New York the first edition of the "Voice of Warning." Though he afterwards published other works, this was his masterpiece. Sometime during this year, or early in 1838, he was the second time married, espousing Mrs. Mary Ann (Frost) Stearns, widow of Nathan Stearns.
In May, 1838, he settled in Caldwell County, Missouri, and in October of the same year was among those demanded by General Lucas and delivered as prisoners by Colonel Hinkle. With Joseph Smith and his fellow prisoners he was taken to Independence, and thence to Richmond, where they had a mock trial before Judge King; but when others were sent to Liberty he was retained at Richmond. He afterward obtained a change of venue to Boone County and
was lodged in jail at Columbia, from whence he escaped on July 4, 1839, making his way to Illinois.
In 1840 he accompanied his quorum on its mission to Europe, and was made editor of the Millennial Star, which that year made its first appearance. In 1841 when the rest of his quorum returned to America he was left in charge of the mission. In the autumn of 1842 he returned to America.
In 1844 he indorsed [endorsed] the action of Brigham Young and other members of his quorum, and with them he went West. He was not present at Council Bluffs in 1847 when the action was taken which sought to make Elder Brigham Young President. He with John Taylor of his quorum was in Utah at the time. He, however, continued to associate with Young and his fellows until his death. He was killed about twelve miles north of Van Buren, Arkansas, May 14, 1857, by an enraged man by the name of Hector H. McLean, who was jealous of his wife and Elder Pratt. He was buried about one mile from where the tragedy occurred.