The Mormon Hall of Fame honors Latter-day Saints who have made a major impact on their Church or in society. This honor was first bestowed on 30 persons by a board of judges ranging from authors, historians, professors, politicians, and other leaders and professionals.
Judges are invited by the organization to serve, without pay, and to recommend further participants who might also be invited to be judges. The organization believes that the larger the pool of judges, over time, the better the decisions will be in the future with the selection of additional inductees. The organization will select two individuals every year for induction into the Hall of Fame.
Members of the Mormon Hall of Fame are not ranked in any way as to their importance, but are listed simply in alphabetical order by last name.
Listed Below are the current members of the Mormon Hall of Fame:
Benson, Ezra Taft
Ezra Taft Benson was born in Idaho in 1899. His great-grandfather was an apostle named Ezra T. Benson. After World War II Benson took relief supplies into Europe. That story is told in Frederick W. Babbel's book On Wings of Faith. While serving as an apostle himself he served as U.S. Secretary of Agriculture, the only member of President Eisenhower's cabinet that served the full 8 years. He was known for his conservative political views and books and warned the Saints against both socialism and communism. While serving as Secretary of Agriculture the FBI kept a file on him. See Ezra Taft Benson's FBI File. When he became President of the Church he stressed the Book of Mormon. He wrote chapters in the books Repentance and Hope and Prayer.
There are two significant biographies on Benson: Ezra Taft Benson, A Biography by Sheri Dew, and Ezra Taft Benson, Statesman, Patriot, Prophet of God by Frances Gibbons. (Part of a set by Gibbons)
Here is a list of books and pamphlets by Ezra Taft Benson:
A Labor of Love, The 1946 Mission of Ezra Taft Benson; A Witness and a Warning; An Enemy Hath Done This; Come Unto Christ; Cross Fire, My Eight Years with Eisenhower; Debt, and Increasing Threat; Farmers at the Crossroads; Freedom to Farm; God, Family, Country, Our Three Great Loyalties; So Shall Ye Reap; The Constitution, a Heavenly Banner; The Red Carpet; The Threat to Our Freedom; This Nation Shall Endure; Title of Liberty.
Browning, John M.
Browning is one of the most important gun-makers of all time. He had well over a hundred patents and invented his first gun while still a teenager. He had a lasting influence on the firearms industry.
He served a two-year mission in Georgia, before working in his father's gun shop, which helped launch his own career in gun-making. John's father, Jonathan Browning, had moved west with the Saints in Nauvoo, Illinois, and he himself had many gun patents.
John invented guns that were used all over the world. One machine gun helped the United States win the Spanish-American war.
In 1914, Browning was inducted into the Order of Leopold, a Belgian society honoring accomplished military personnel. Only the Belgian King can grant such membership. Generals George Patton and Dwight D. Eisenhower are also members.
See John M. Browning, American Gunmaker.
In 1830 Oliver Cowdery was next in line to Joseph Smith's authority, and he has been called the Second Elder in the Church. He was one of the "Three Witnesses" and was the first Church Recorder. He once wrote an editorial entitled Valedictory.
He later accused Joseph Smith of adultery and wrote an excuse about why he was leaving the Church.
Once outside the Church he was asked by William E. McLellin, also out of the Church, about his having seen an angel. Cowdery told him that he and David Whitmer saw the same thing and could not have been deceived. He seems to have always stayed true to what he claimed he saw.
He later rejoined the Church.
Books on Oliver Cowdery: Greenhalgh, Joseph Hyrum. Oliver Cowdery, The Man Outstanding, Gunn, Stanley R. Oliver Cowdery, Second Elder and Scribe, Legg, Phillip R. Oliver Cowdery, The Elusive Second Elder of the Restoration.
Farnsworth, Philo T.
Philo was a young farmboy who conceived the basic principles of the television at the early age of thirteen. In 1926 he predicted how much the television would change the entire world.
At age twenty-one he "made the first modern electronic transmission on September 7, 1927." From 1927 to 1963 he had obtained about 100 patents, including Television System, Television Receiving System, Television Scanning and Synchronizing System, Luminescent Screen, Image Dissector, Projection Apparatus, and Cathode Ray Tube.
See Donald Godrey's Philo T. Farnsworth. Also see Dedication of the Statue of Philo T. Farnsworth.
Grant, Heber J.
Heber Jeddy Grant was the seventh President of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. He was born in 1856 and died in 1945. He served one term in the legislature of the Territory of Utah. He served for 37 years in the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles. He would then serve for 27 years as President of the Church.
Grant was a Democrat but was not happy with President Franklin D. Roosevelt. He was also very disappointed when Utah voted to repeal Prohibition.
Grant created the postition Assistant to the Twelve, he expanded the Church education programs, and he made the Word of Wisdom mandatory for temple recommends.
He had three wives.
He wrote Gospel Standards which has been printed in softcover, hardcover and in leather. There is a biography entitled Heber J. Grant, Man of Steel, Prophet of God, by Francis Gibbons. (Part of a larger set on the Prophets). There is a somewhat rare pamphlet by Grant called Message from President Heber J. Grant. He loved to sign books and give them as gifts and he is well-known for having the most beautiful handwriting of any of the Prophets. He often gave signed copies of these titles as gifts: The Prince of Peace, Love and the Light and Up From the Hills. Other biographies on Grant include Qualities That Count and Heber J. Grant, Highlighs in the Life of a Great Leader. Also see The Testimony of President Heber J. Grant.
Martin Harris is well-known for befriending the Prophet and paying for the first pubication of the Book of Mormon by morgaging his farm. His wife was opposed to his support of the Mormons and is largely believed to have stolen the 116 missing pages of the original manuscript of the Book of Mormon.
Harris later helped finance the pubication of the Book of Commandments. He became one of the "Three Witnesses" to the Book of Mormon plates, testifying that he saw the plates and an angel.
Harris was excommunicated in 1837 but later rejoined the Church and moved to Utah. Brigham Young helped him move to Utah and he was welcomed back into full fellowship.
See The Man Who Knew and The Martin Harris Story.
Hinckley, Gordon Bitner
Gordon B. Hinckley was the 15th President of the Mormon Church. He became known as a temple builder since more temples were built or announced under his leadership than at any other time. Included in the long list of temples was the historic reconstruction of the Nauvoo temple in Illinois. He was also very open with the press and did many interviews, such as with Mike Wallace and Larry King. He also implemented the Perpetual Education Fund. It was under his leadership that the First Presidency released the Proclamation on the Family. He also built the Conference Center, which houses many more people than the old Tabernacle.
President Hinckley also wrote such books as Stand A Little Taller, Way to Be!, One Bright Shining Hope, Be Thou An Example, What of the Mormons, and others. His best-seller, actually a national best-seller, was Standing For Something.
There are two major biographies on President Hinckley. One by Sheri Dew called Go Forward With Faith, and Shoulder For the Lord by George M. McCune. There are also two volumes: Discourses of Gordon B. Hinckley Vol.1 and Discourses of Gordon B. Hinckley Vol.2.
Hunter, Howard W.
Howard W. Hunter was born in 1907 in Idaho. He served as Apostle for 35 years. At age 86 he became President of the Church in 1994. He emphasized temple worthiness and invited alienated and former members of the Church to return to the fold.
At BYU, while speaking to a large audience, he was approached by a man claiming to have a pipe bomb. He told Hunter to read a statement or he would detonate the bomb. Hunter bravely refused to read the statement and eventually students jumped the would-be bomber.
Hunter served for a very short time, passing away in 1995. He wrote That Ye Might Have Joy. There is a biography by Eleanor Knowles called Howard W. Hunter. There is a Spanish edition and even a Special Commemorative Edition of that title. There is a volume called The Teachings of Howard W. Hunter. His signature is one of the rarest and most expensive of all the more modern prophets. See a signed copy of Howard W. Hunter.
Kimball, Heber C.
Heber C. Kimball was born in Vermont in 1801. He became good friends with Brigham Young while they both resided in Mendon, New York, just a short distance from Palmyra. Eventually he and Brigham saw a vision in the sky and it helped lead them both to the Church.
Much later, in Utah, when Brigham was the President of the Church, Heber was one of his counselors. Their friendship truly lasted for the rest of their life. While Brigham was the Prophet of the Church, Brigham once stated that "Heber is my prophet."
Heber would become the first Mormon missionary to go to Europe. He practiced plural marriage and took over 50 wives–perhaps setting a record for the most wives of any polygamist man in the Church.
He would help Brigham shuttle the Saints across the plains to the Great Salt Lake Valley and would serve Brigham faithfully for many years until his death in 1868. He had become famous among the Saints for his many prophecies.
See the book The Life of Heber C. Kimball by Orson F. Whitney. Also see Kate Carter's Heber C. Kimball, his Wives and Family and President Heber C. Kimball's Journal. See Stanley Kimball's Heber C. Kimball, Mormon Patriarch and Pioneer and Address to My Children.
A unique and rare little pamphlet is Prophetic Sayings of Heber C. Kimball to Amanda H. Wilcox.
Kimball, Spencer W.
Spencer Kimball was a grandson of Heber C. Kimball. He became the Church's twelfth President. He was born in the Utah Territory but grew up in Arizona. He had a life-long interest in the Indian Placement Program.
Kimball was well-known for his rough voice, after many complications with throat cancer. He was considered a humble servant of the Lord with a soft and kind demeanor.
He and Ezra Taft Benson were ordained Apostles on the same day, but Kimball would be first in seniority, and both would go on to become President.
A very popular biography in the Church was Spencer W. Kimball by Edward L. Kimball and Andrew E. Kimball. Edward Kimball also wrote Lengthen Your Stride. The Presidency of Spencer W. Kimball. Spencer Kimball wrote the following books: Faith Precedes the Miracle, Hidden Wedges, Marriage and Divorce, My Beloved Sisters, One Silent Sleepless Night, President Kimball Speaks Out, Proclaiming the Gospel, Revelation Through the Ages. He also contributed to Prayer, Priesthood, Woman, and Answers for Young Latter-day Saints. Other interesting books are Honoring Spencer W. Kimball on His Eighty-Fifth Birthday and A Noble Son: Spencer W. Kimball. Another very popular book is The Teachings of Spencer W. Kimball, and there is another biography in the Gibbons series: Spencer W. Kimball, Resolute Disciple, Prophet of God.
McConkie, Bruce R.
Bruce Redd McConkie was born in Ann Arbor, Michigan, in 1915, to Oscar McConkie and Margaret Vivian Redd. He would eventually marry Amelia Smith, daughter of Church President Joseph Fielding Smith.
He served in military intelligence in World War II, and retired a Lieutenant Colonel. He was called as an Apostle in 1972 and quickly became the favorite speaker and author of many of the Saints.
His ground-breaking book, Mormon Doctrine, became a household favorite among the Saints and has sold over 1 million copies since it was first published in 1958. The book was revised along the way, especially to tone down some of the very frank comments, but it has remained a "Mormon classic."
He also wrote many other volumes, a six-volume Messiah Series, a three-volume Doctrinal New Testment Commentary, and A New Witness for the Articles of Faith. He also compiled a three-volume set of the sermons and writings of Joseph Fielding Smith called Doctrines of Salvation.
Before he died of cancer he gave an astounding final conference talk testifying of the Savior. (Conference Cassettes). There are two great biographies on Elder McConkie, one by his son called The Bruce R. McConkie Story and one by Dennis B. Horne entitled Bruce R. McConkie, Highlights From His Life and Teachings. [It was also published in a limited edition leather in red and in black leather].
McKay, David O.
David O. McKay was the ninth president and prophet of the Mormon Church. His ministry largely pushed education. He was born in Huntsville, Utah, in 1873.
He became President of the European Mission and eventually became the Sunday School Superintendent. At age 77 he became the President of the Church. His main emphasis was on the family, famously saying "No other success can compensate for failure in the home."
He was a favorite with U.S. President Lyndon B. Johnson, who believed him to be the spiritual giant of America.
President McKay authored many books: Ancient Apostles, Secrets of a Happy Life, True To The Faith, There is also a biography on President McKay by Francis Gibbons entitled David O. McKay, Apostle to the World, Prophet of God. Another more thorough biography is David O. McKay and the Rise of Modern Mormonism by Gregory A. Prince and William Robert Wright. Also see the book by Clare Middlemiss called Cherished Experiences.
He was pictured on the cover of one issue of The Improvement Era. And even on a second Improvement Era.
Hugh Nibley was one of Mormonism's greatest scholars and historians. He was the author of many Mormon books and was a favorite professor at BYU. Once, at a graduation ceremony he said, "We stand here in the robes of a false priesthood." The organization called FARMS (Foundation of Ancient Research and Mormon Studies) was largely built upon his writings and those of his colleagues. [Many of those scholars have now formed an organization called The Interpreter Foundation].
Nibley wrote many books: Abraham in Egypt, An Approach to the Book of Mormon, Approaching Zion, Lehi in the Desert and the World of the Jaredites, Message of the Joseph Smith Papyri, An Egyptian Endowment, Myth Makers, Nibley on the Timely and the Timeless, Since Cumorah, Temple and Cosmos, The World of the Prophets, Tinkling Cymbals and Sounding Brass, When the Lights Went Out.
There are books about Nibley as well: Of All Things: A Nibley Quote Book, Sergeant Nibley.
Phelps, William Wine
Phelps was a personal friend of Joseph Smith. Eventually he helped the mobs and caused Joseph great personal harm. Later on he wrote a letter to Joseph Smith asking for forgiveness and to be allowed back into the fold.
Joseph's letter back to Phelps was one of complete forgiveness stating that the prodigal had returned. Both letters were in poetry form and are quite eloquent.
Phelps published the Book of Commandments which has become very rare and collectible. One copy sold for almost $400,000 and rumors abound that privately they have gone for more, maybe even over a Million Dollars! Eborn Books sold a single leaf (2 pages) for $60,000!
Later, in Utah, Phelps printed the Deseret Almanac. He wrote many of our most popular hymns, such as "Praise to the Man" and "The Spirit of God Like A Fire Is Burning." Phelps was one of the authors who wrote a Document Showing the Testimony Given Before the Judge....on the Trial of Joseph Smith Jr. and Others For High Treason... He contributed to the Millennial Star, The Messenger and Advocate, and the Times and Seasons.
Orson Pratt is one of Mormonism's most colorful personalities. He was an Apostle and Scientist. One could say that "Orson Pratt's mind went where no other Mormon had gone before."
Pratt wrote books on the doctrines of the gospel such as The Seer, Remarkable Visions, The New Jerusalem, True Repentance, and others.
He also wrote books on science, i.e. Key to the Universe, or a New Theory of its Mechanism, The Great First Cause, The Absurdities of Immaterialism, and New and Easy Method of Solution of the Cubic and Biquadratic Equations.
Another interesting title involving Pratt is Conflict in the Quorum. Also see The Life and Thought of Orson Pratt by Breck England.
Pratt, Parley P.
One of Mormonism's most famous Apostles. His conversion story is a classic one, worth the read by any Latter-day Saint or non-member. His Autobiography is quite detailed and is right there in the heart of early Mormon history. He wrote many books and pamphlets and is considered to be one of the main doctrinal authorities in the Church. Two of his books remain popular classics in the Church even today; Key to Theology and Voice of Warning. His pamphlet, Angel of the Prairies is ever so slightly science fiction.
Pratt wrote many Church hymns and poems as well. He served as an Apostle in the Church and was murdered in the South, an event that some say sparked the Mountain Meadows Massacre in Utah.
Parley was the brother of fellow Apostle Orson Pratt.
Pratt's autobiography is a must-read for any Latter-day Saint. It was originally published as Life and Travels of Parley Parker Pratt (also in leather) but has been reprinted many times since, mostly under the title The Autobiography of Parley Parker Pratt. (Softcover edition). There are other great biographies on Pratt such as Reva Stanley's The Archer of Paradise, A Biography of Parley P. Pratt and
Other important books on Pratt include: The Millennial Hymns of Parley Parker Pratt, Parley P. Pratt and the Making of Mormonism, and The Writings of Parley Parker Pratt. Pratt also contributed to publications such as The Contributor, The Millennial Star, and The Journal of Discourses.
Roberts, Brigham Henry (B. H.) 1857-1933
Roberts basically wrote the history of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. He was a prolific writer, contributing many works, including History of the Church (7 vols) and two major Mormon classics: Missouri Persecutions and The Rise and Fall of Nauvoo. Robert H. Malan wrote a biography on Roberts called B. H. Roberts, A Biography. His nephew, Richard Roberts, wrote a family history on B. H. Roberts' family entitled A History of the B. H. Roberts Family. A fantastic biography on Roberts was by Truman Madsen called Defender of the Faith, The B. H. Roberts Story.
Roberts was elected by early Utahns to represent them in the U.S. Congress, but he was denied his seat because he had three wives. Roberts had a pathetic childhood, beautifully told in the biography by Madsen.
He became a prominent writer of Mormon history. His works include a unique fictional story entitled Corianton. He wrote other popular works such as The Seventy's Course in Theology, The Mormon Battalion, Rasha the Jew (published earlier in a Jewish paper), Joseph Smith the Prophet-Teacher, Outlines of Ecclesiastical History, The Gospel, The Mormon Doctrine of Deity and a two volume masterpiece called Defense of the Faith and the Saints. In 1895 he wrote a New Witness for God and later he wrote an extended three volume set entitled New Witnesses for God.
Smith, Emma 1804-1879
Emma Hale was born in Pennsylvania in 1804. She was a year older than her husband Joseph Smith Jr. Joseph and Emma eloped and were married in 1827, against the wishes of her father.
According to a revelation that Joseph had Emma was an "elect lady" in the Church. She became the first Relief Society President in 1842. She was also the one to put together the Church's first hymnal.
She endured many trials including the murder of her husband at the hands of a mob. She did not go west with the Church, but instead stayed in Nauvoo, aligned herself with the Reorganized Church, and remarried Lewis C. Bidamon.
A biography on her by King and Avery is called Mormon Enigma: Emma Hale Smith, Prophet's Wife, Elect Lady, Polygamy's Foe. Emma was so opposed to polygamy that the RLDS Church spent many decades claiming that Joseph had never been associated with the practice at all, and that it came from Brigham Young.
Other books about Emma: Emma, the Dramatic Biography of Emma Smith, by Ann and Keith Terry. Beloved Emma. The Illustrated Life Story of Emma Smith, by Lori E. Woodland and Liz Lemon Swindle. Margaret Gibson wrote Emma Smith: Elect Lady, and Susan Easton Black wrote Emma Smith, An Elect Lady. Erwin Wirkus wrote Judge Me Dear Reader, Emma Smith Tells Her Own Story and Kimberly Jo Smith (a descendant of Joseph and Emma Smith) did a cd entitled The Journey, A Glimpse of the Lives of Joseph and Emma Smith. Buddy Youngren wrote Reflections of Emma. An RLDS author, Roy Arthur Cheville, wrote Joseph and Emma Smith, Companions... Gracia Jones wrote The Priceless Gifts; Celebrating the Holidays with Joseph and Emma Smith and Emma and Joseph, Their Divine Mission, and Emma's Glory and Sacrifice. A very rare and expensive, and little-known title, is Ancestry and Posterity of Joseph Smith and Emma Hale.
Smith, George Albert
George Albert Smith was the 8th President of the Mormon Church. In 1892 he married one of Wilford Woodruff's granddaughters.
J. Golden Kimball was his Mission President when he served a mission in the South. When he was called as an Apostle, in 1903, his father, John Henry Smith, was also serving as an Apostle. He later served as President of the Quorum of the Twelve and became the prophet about 2 years later.
He wrote the book Sharing the Gospel with Others. The only biography on Smith is by Francis M. Gibbons and there is also a book entitled The Teachings of George Albert Smith. There is a biography by Francis Gibbons entitled George Albert Smith, Kind and Caring Christian, Prophet of God.
Hyrum was Joseph's brother and friend. He was always there to back him up and support him, and even died with him at Carthage jail in 1844.
He was one of the 6 original members of the Church when it was organized. He was the 2nd Patriarch of the Church and was an Apostle, served in the First Presidency, and was the Assistant President of the Church. His wife was Mary Fielding Smith.
Hyrum was the father of Joseph F. Smith and the grandfather of Joseph Fielding Smith.
There are chapters on Hyrum in Bridgstock's The Joseph Smith Family and in Kyle R. Walker's United by Faith. Popular biography on Hyrum: Hyrum Smith: Patriarch by Pearson H. Corbett. A more recent biography is Hyrum Smith - A Life of Integrity, by Jeffrey S. O'Driscoll. A unique item about his burial is Still "Side by Side" the Final Burial of Joseph and Hyrum Smith. An 1882 book The Martyrs tells the story of the martyrdom, but a massive 850-page volume, Murder of the Mormon Prophet, gives a much more detailed examination.
Smith, Joseph F. 1838-1918
Joseph F. Smith was the grandson of Hyrum Smith, and the sixth President of the Church. He was born in Missouri in 1838 at a time of much mobocracy.
His father Hyrum was killed along with his uncle Joseph Smith Jr. in 1844. He would eventually move west with the Saints. He would serve two missions in Hawaii and one in England, and also serve in Utah's Nauvoo Legion.
He was ordained an Apostle by Brigham Young. He served as First Counselor in the First Presidency, Second Counselor in the First Presidency, President of the Quorum of the Twelve, and became President of the Church in 1901.
When Mormon Apostle Reed Smoot was elected to the U.S. Senate, Joseph F. Smith had to testify before Congress. The Church was put under the microscope. A reading of the "Reed Smoot hearings," is absolutely fascinating.
Joseph Fielding Smith wrote a biography entitled: Life of Joseph F. Smith, Sixth President of the Church. Another book is Joseph F. Smith: Reflections on the Man and His Times.
Smith, Joseph Fielding 1876-1972
Joseph Fielding Smith was born in 1876. He was the son of Church President Joseph F. Smith, and grandson of Hyrum Smith, brother of the Prophet Joseph Smith Jr.
Joseph Fielding was returning from his mission the same year his father was made sixth President of the Church. Joseph Fielding himself would become the Church's tenth President in 1970. Before that he had served as President of the Quorum of the Twelve, Acting President of the Twelve, Counselor in the First Presidency, and Church Historian.
He is know as a scriptorian and was often called upon to answer doctrinal questions. Subsequently he wrote many doctrinally oriented books, such as the five-volume Answers to Gospel Questions.
He once served as treasurer of the Genealogical Society of Utah and some of his earlier books were published by that organization. He wrote several books including the two-volume set Church History and Modern Revelation, also found in 4 softcover manuals, and Essentials in Church History, The Restoration of All Things, Man–His Origin and Destiny, Seek Ye Earnestly, The Signs of the Times, and others. He also wrote a series of 59 articles on doctrinal topics published in the Church News in 1930 and 1931 called A Peculiar People (just recently published in hardcover).
One of his daughters, Amelia, married Bruce R. McConkie and it is said that the two of them had many doctrinal conversations. President Smith was 96 years old when he died in 1972.
Smith, Joseph Jr. 1805-1844
Joseph Smith was the founder and first Prophet and President of the Mormon Church. He established the Church, translated the Book of Mormon, restored the Aaronic and Melchizedeck priesthoods, founded the city of Nauvoo and eventually became mayor of that city.
He founded the Relief Society, established the Nauvoo legion and became a General over it, under the direction of the Governor of the State of Illinois. He built temples in Kirtland, Ohio, and in Nauvoo. He also gave the Church the "Standard Works" or official scriptures, including the Book of Commandments (later the Doctrine and Covenants) and the Pearl of Great Price.
He also gave us the New Translation of the Bible, or Inspired Version. Most of the doctrines of the Church can be traced back to him. Ultimately he gave his life for the Saints in Nauvoo when he was unlawfully charged with treason, unlawfully imprisoned, and then murdered in cold blood in the neighboring town of Carthage, in1844.
The best book on the martyrdom of Joseph Smith is LeGrand Baker's Murder of the Mormon Prophet. (There is also a dvd documentary based on that book). See the short trailer about this documentary. Another book on the martyrdom, by Davis Bitton, is The Martyrdom Remembered. The best biography on Joseph Smith is Rough Stone Rolling by Richard Bushman. Other great books on Joseph Smith are Hyrum Andrus's Joseph Smith the Man and the Seer and Backman's Joseph Smith's First Vision.
If you want to read about what he may have looked like; portraits, alleged photographs, the meaurements of his head, the pictures of his (and Hyrum's) skulls, etc... then check out In Search of Joseph or Millions Shall Know Brother Joseph Again, both by S. Michael Tracy. There is also a dvd documentary based on the book Millions called Picturing Joseph (produced by Nick Galieti). See the Picturing Joseph Trailer Here.
Smith, Joseph Sr.
Joseph Smith Sr., father of the Prophet Joseph, was born in 1771, in Massachussetts. He and his wife had eleven children. When young Joseph told him of his visit by Moroni he became an unwavering supporter of the new Prophet.
He became the first Patriarch of the Church and was also one of the "Eight Witnesses" to the Book of Mormon. He also became an Assistant Counselor to the First Presidency.
"Father Smith" served faithfully for the rest of his life. He died in Nauvoo in 1840. There is a chapter on Joseph Smith Sr. in Ben Bridgestock's The Joseph Smith Family. There is also a chapter on Joseph Sr, by Mark L. McConkie, in Kyle R. Walker's United by Faith.
Smith, Lucy Mack
Lucy Smith was born in New Hampshire in 1775. She was the mother of the Prophet Joseph Smith Jr., and the wife of Joseph Smith Sr., the first Patriarch of the Church.
She was not only "Mother of the First Family of Mormonism" but she became the "Mother of the Whole Church." It was her strength and concern that helped to care for all of the Saints in the early days of the Church.
Hardship was endured continually. She lived to see all of her sons die or be murdered, except for William. But she saw him apostatize. She wrote the book Biographical Sketches of Joseph Smith, the Prophet, and His Progenitors for Many Generations, later re-titled, History of Joseph Smith by His Mother. Then there was the Revised and Enhanced History of Joseph Smith by His Mother. Lavina Fielding Anderson wrote a chapter on Lucy in Kyle R. Walker's United by Faith and there is also a chapter in Bridgstock's The Joseph Smith Family.
She supported Brigham Young but never moved west with the Saints. She remained by Emma and her children, who also never moved west.
Snow, Eliza R.
Eliza Roxcy was born in Massachussetts in 1904. She was a member of Sidney Rigdon's Reformed Baptist Church. Rigdon and many others in the congregaton joined The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
Eliza moved to Nauvoo and began to teach. She ultimately became one of Joseph Smith's plural wives. She was the sister of Church President Lorenzo Snow.
Eliza later became a plural wife to Brigham Young and moved west with the Saints. Eliza became popular as a poetess and even prophetess. She was a great defender of polygamy and in 1870, in the Salt Lake tabernacle, in front of thousands of women she asked, "Do you know of any place on the face of the earth, where woman has more liberty, and where she enjoys such high and glorious privileges as she does here, as a Latter-day Saint?"
She was sometimes known as "Sister Snow" or "Aunt Eliza"—even when serving as the new President of the Relief Society. As were many Mormon women, she became involved in the suffrage movement. They were visited by Susan B. Anthony (seen in photo above) and eventually Mormon women (and non-Mormon women) gained the right to vote in the Territory of Utah long before women voted in any State.
She is the author of books such as the two-volume set of Poems, Religious, Historical, and Political. She also wrote Correspondence of Palestine Tourists, Hymns and Songs Selected...for the Primary Associations for the Children of Zion, Biography and Family Record of Lorenzo Snow, and others.
She also wrote music including O My Father.
Keith and Ann Terry wrote the biography Eliza. Also see Eliza R. Snow, An Immortal.
Lorenzo Snow was born in Ohio in 1814. He was the fifth President of he Church. He and his sister were originally Baptists but joined the Church in the early 1830s.
He became President of the Church in a time of much turmoil and controversy. The Church was heavily in debt and the U.S. government was aggressively hunting down polygamists and throwing them in prison.
Snow gave many sermons on the principle of tithing and within a decade the Church's financial problems were resolved.
He is often credited for the slogan or phrase, "As man now is, God once was; as God now is, man may be." For a book on his teachings see The Teachings of Lorenzo Snow (in hardcover) and in leather.
Biographies on Snow: The Life of Lorenzo Snow, Fifth President of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, by Thomas Cottam Romney. Lorenzo Snow, Spiritual Giant, Prophet of God, by Frances Gibbons, (one volume ina series by Gibbons).
Talmage, James E.
One of Mormonism's most prolific writers. He brought the Church some of its most popular classics, i.e. Jesus the Christ and The Articles of Faith, and other lesser-known titles like The Great Apostasy, The Philosophical Basis of Mormonism, The Pittsburgh Conference on Mormonism, The Story of Mormonism, and The Vitality of Mormonism. His book, The House of the Lord, was rushed to print in 1912 because it contained many photographs of the interior of the Salt Lake temple, including the Holy of Holies. This was done because it was discovered that a night janitor had allowed an anti-Mormon photographer into the building during the night and he was going to publish his photographs so the world could see inside. But the Church beat him to the punch! He also wrote The Deseret Museum Bulletin in 1911 and Anthon Henrik Lund, In Memorium in 1921. James Talmage also wrote these pamphlets: The Book of Mormon, An Account of Its Origin, The Form of Godliness, The Living and the Dead, Progression Beyong the Grave and Resurrection of the Dead. A very popular little book on Talmage is called The Parables of James E. Talmage, and a popular booklet is called Understanding Talmage.
Talmage also wrote non-LDS books; actually books to be used in schools: First Book of Nature, Domestic Science, and The Great Salt Lake.
Biography on Talmage: The Talmage Story. Also see The Essential James E. Talmage.
Taylor, John ~ 1808-1887
Taylor was the third President and Prophet of the Mormon Church. He was born in England and to this day is the only Church President born outside the United States of America.
He and his wife were converted in Canada, by Apostle Parley P. Pratt. Taylor was made President of the Church in 1880. Under his leadership the Primary Association was organized.
He was in the jail with Hyrum and Joseph when they were killed. Later, in Utah, with a national frenzy against polygamy, he even found himself on a wanted poster, as federal authorities looked everywhere for him.
His entire administration was virtually underground. Taylor died in 1887, the same year the Edmunds-Tucker Act officially disincorporated the Mormon Church and the federal government seized Church money and property.
A popular biography by B. H. Roberts is entitled Life of John Taylor. Books written by or about Taylor: Mediation and Atonement, The Government of God, Succession in the Priesthood, On Marriage, and The Destiny of Woman. All five of those titles are available in one volume: The Works of John Taylor. See also Marriage - Ballard-Jenson Correspondence, President John Taylor, The John Taylor Papers, The Gospel Kingdom, Champion of Liberty, The Last Pioneer, John Taylor, Forgotten Man, The Kingdom or Nothing, Witness to the Martyrdom, Items on Priesthood, John Taylor, Messenger of Salvation, Courageous Defender of Truth, Leaders in Zion, An Epistle... (1886) and the more rare and expensive items, The Mighty John Taylor and John Taylor Nauvoo Journal. A biography entitled John Taylor by Francis Gibbons, which is part of the Prophets Series.
John Taylor was involved in the translation of the Book of Mormon into French. John Taylor discourses are found in The Journal of Discourses. Taylor was also the owner and editor of an early Mormon newspaper called The Mormon as well.
Wilford Woodruff was born in Connecticut in 1807. He became the fourth President of the Church. He is most remembered for the "Manifesto" which discontinued the practice of plural marriage in the Church.
He first met Joseph Smith in Kirtland, Ohio. He participated in Zion's Camp, and also served missions in Arkansas, Kentucky, Tennessee, Maine, and in England.
Woodruff had countless brushes with death, narrowly escaping it on multiple occasions. But he would live on the complete a series of journals that are invaluable in the history of the Church. His multi-volume work covers most of the early years of the Church up to the turn of the century. He died in 1898.
A classic biography on President Woodruff is Wilford Woodruff–History of His Life and Labors, by Matthias F. Cowley. There is also a biography by Francis Gibbons, Wilford Woodruff, Wondrous Worker, Prophet of God [part of the Prophets Series]. [Click here for an extremely rare Brown Leather Set]. In 1845 he issued Proclamation of the Twelve Apostles ...to all the Kings... and in 1887 issued An Epistle of the Council of the Twelve. Many of his sermons are found in the Journal of Discourses. He wrote Leaves From My Journal and later there was a wonderful full set of the Wilford Woodruff Journals by Signature Books. One of the Church Employee Christmas Gift Edition volumes is Discourses of Wilford Woodruff. Thomas G. Alexander wrote Things in Heaven and Earth - The Life and Times of Wilford Woodruff. Also see The Necessity of Having the Holy Ghost, The Illustrated Story of President Wilford Woodruff, Highlights in the Administration of Wilford Woodruff, The Mind and Will of the Lord, Indexed Discourses of Wilford Woodruff, and he had articles in early volumes of the Millennial Star. The Collected Discourses volumes also have some of his works.
Brigham Young was born in 1801 in Vermont. (Joseph Smith was also born in Vermont.) He converted from Methodism and soon became an ardent follower of the new faith. He and his friend, Heber C. Kimball, lived in the little town of Mendon, New York, and after seeing a "vision in the sky" ultimately heard the gospel and accepted it.
Brigham loved Joseph Smith greatly. No one mourned the loss of "the Prophet" more than he did. He once commented, "I feel like shouting Hallelujah, all the time, when I think that I ever knew Joseph Smith, the Prophet." He also said, "I can truly say, that I invariably found him to be all that any people could require a true prophet to be, and that a better man could not be."
In Nauvoo he was a member of the Nauvoo legion. (Seen in uniform above). He served a mission in Canada.
He became second President of the Church, led the pioneers from Nauvoo to Utah, established the Territory of Utah, settled Salt Lake City, and re-established the Nauvoo legion. He immediately divided the Salt Lake Valley into 19 wards (See "And There Were Nineteen" in the book Tales of a Triumphant People.) He is known as a great colonizer, having sent the Saints out to settle over 300 towns in multiple States. He was known by such names as "Brother Brigham" and "the Lion of the Lord."
Brigham was appointed to be the first governor of the Territory of Utah. He practiced polygamy and his enemies have probably exaggerated his participation in it. He was also accused of sending out Danites to kill non-Mormons and has even been accused of ordering the Mountain Meadows Massacre–something that there is absolutely no evidence for. The fact is that he was a great leader, an "American Moses" or a "Mormon Moses." He was beloved by the Saints of his time, and still is today.
His legacy in the United States and in the West goes unparalleled today. He died in 1877 and his dying words were "Joseph, Joseph, Joseph."
In 1940 there was a movie entitled Brigham starring Tyrone Power, Dean Jagger, and Linda Darnell.
Probably the most popular biography on Brigham Young is Brigham Young, American Moses, by Leonard J. Arrington. But here is a list of many more volumes on Brigham Young: A Child's Story of the Prophet Brigham Young by Neeley; Discourses of Brigham Young by Widtsoe; Manuscript History of Brigham Young 1801-1844, Manuscript History of Brigham Young 1846-1847 by Watson; Brigham Young's Wives, Children and Grandchildren; Brigham Young the Man and His Works by Preston Nibley; Here is Brigham by S. Dilworth Young; Brigham Young the Colonizer by Milton R. Hunter; Diary of Brigham Young (1857); Young Brigham Young by S. Dilworth Young; Letters of Brigham Young to His Sons; Brigham Young, Modern Moses, Prophet of God, by Frances Gibbons; The Essential Brigham Young by Eugene Campbell; The Life Story of Brigham Young by his daughter Susa Young Gates and Leah Widtsoe; Brigham Young, His Wives and Family (a booklet by the Daughters of the Utah Pioneers); Pictures and Biographies of Brigham Young and His Wives (1896); The Life of Brigham Young by Edward Anderson; The Teachings of President Brigham Young Volume Three by Collier; and Brigham Young, The New York Years.