Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Called By Joseph Smith: The Original Quorum of the Twelve Apostles

Now to the original Quorum of the Twelve Apostles. They were called and then arranged by age in their seniority. For those called after, seniority went by ordination date.

The Original Twelve:
Thomas B. Marsh, David W. Patten, Brigham Young,
Heber C. Kimball, Orson Hyde, William E. McLellin,
Parley P. Pratt, Luke S. Johnson, William Smith,
Orson Pratt, John F. Boynton, Lyman E. Johnson

(November 1, 1799 - January 1866)

Apostle - 1835
President of Q12 - 1835
Excommunicated - 1839
Rebaptized - 1857

Marsh was an early convert, baptized in 1830 just months after the Church had been organized. As the oldest of the original 12 called, he became de facto the President of the Quorum.  The story goes that he was upset over a dispute between his wife and another Mormon woman over milk from a cow, but he also was opposed to the actions of the Danites, and he signed an affadavit on October 24,1838, against Joseph Smith, claiming that Smith wanted to take over the state of Missouri, then the US, then the world. It fueled hysteria already brewing agains the Mormons in Missouri. In fact, the very next day was the Battle of Crooked River where three Mormons (including my great-great-great-grandfather Gideon H. Carter) were killed. Soon, Gov. Boggs signed the Extermination Order.

Marsh moved to Utah a humble man in 1857 and rejoined the church, but never again held significant leadership positions.

(November 14, 1799 - October 25, 1838)

Apostle - 1835
Killed - 1838

Patten joined the church in 1832 and immediately went on several short missions for the church. He was renowned for healing people whereever he preached. In Missouri he engaged in Danite activities and helped loot the non-Mormon town of Gallatin after it had been abandoned.

When three Mormon men were kidnapped and brought near Crooked River, he led a group of men to go rescue them. He wore a white coat that day, making him an easy target. The men were freed, but Patten was shot in the belly, and he died from his wounds that night, surrounded by loved ones, and he bore his testimony to the end.

(June 1, 1801 - August 29, 1877)

Apostle - 1835
President of Q12 - 1840
President/Prophet - 1847

Young's first wife died shortly after he joined the Church in 1832. Young did many missions for the Church, including to Canada and England. After Marsh's excommunication and Patten's death, Young became the most senior Apostle. He embraced the doctrine of polygamy when Smith presented to him.

After Smith's death in 1844, he argued that the Quorum had all the keys and authority of the Priesthood, and that they should lead the Church. Wilford Woodruff and others would later claim that Young had the voice and face of Joseph Smith when he made his case to the congregation as to who should lead the church.

By 1847, Young wanted to reorganize the First Presidency, and the other Apostles eventually agreed. He set the precedent for the senior Apostle to become the next President of the Church. He also ruled in 1875 that if a member was removed from the Quorum and re-added, their seniority started over. Had he not done this, Orson Hyde would have succeeded him as the third President of the Church, but Hyde had been removed from the Quorum for a month in 1839.

(I'm actually reading Leonard Arrington's 1984 biography of Brigham for the first time right now.)

(June 14, 1801 - June 22, 1868)

Apostle - 1835
First Counselor - 1847

It's fun to imagine how different the course of LDS history would be if Heber C. Kimball had been born three weeks earlier. (Or if Brigham's older brother Phineas had been made an Apostle as the Three Witnesses originally wanted.)

Kimball was always a loyal follower. He was also a successful missionary, particularly in England. He accepted polygamy and even gave his 14-year-old daughter Helen to Joseph Smith as a plural wife. After Smith's death, he threw his support behind Brigham Young and the other Apostles, and he was Young's First Counselor upon the reorganization of the First Presidency.

Kimball died at age 67 from injuries from an accident.

(January 8, 1805 - November 28, 1878)

Apostle - 1835
Disfellowshipped - 1838
Reinstated - 1839
President of Q12 - 1847
Lost seniority - 1875

Hyde was a member of Sidney Rigdon's congregation, and he joined the LDS church with Rigdon. He was an early companion to Hyrum and Samuel H. Smith on missions. By 1838, he was disenchanted with Smith and he co-signed Marsh's October 24, 1838, affadavit. While he was disfellowshipped and removed from the Quorum, he recanted the affadavit and asked to be reconciled with the church instead of excommunicated from it. They restored him to the Quorum in 1839.

In 1841 he travelled to Jerusalem and Palestine, and he dedicated the land for a future gathering of the Jews.

Because of Young's 1875 ruling about seniority, Hyde went from being next in line to fourth. Hyde died just over a year after Young.

(January 18, 1806 - April 24, 1883)

Apostle - 1835
Excommunicated - 1838

McLellin was 29 when he was ordained an Apostle, and he was among those who lost faith in Joseph Smith after the collapse of the Kirtland Safety Society. he became an active enemy of Smith and the church after his excommunication, even robbing Smith's home while he was in Liberty Jail.

While Smith was prisoner, McLellin asked the sheriff for the right to flog him. The sheriff said he'd allow if Smith could fight back. Smith agreed, as long as his irons were off. McLellin didn't want to fight unless he could then have a club. Smith agreed, but the sheriff refused to allow it, believing McLellin would have too much the advantage.

After Smith died, McLellin looked to Sidney Rigdon, then David Whitmer, then James J. Strang, before ultimately siding with the Church of Christ Temple Lot spinoff, which exists to this day with about 7000 members.

(April 12, 1807 - May 13, 1857)

Apostle - 1835
Killed - 1857

Pratt was a profilic missionary and spokesman for the Church. In 1830, he came across a copy of the Book of Mormon, believed it, and had to discover the church behind it. He found Hyrum Smith and was soon baptized by Oliver Cowdery.

After being ordained an Apostle, he served missions all over the world, including South America and the Pacific islands.

He was one of the prisoners held with Joseph and Hyrum Smith in Liberty Jail for six months.

While he was traveling the eastern States, he was hunted down by Hector McLean, the estranged first husband to Eleanor, one of Parley's plural wives. Hector had been a drunkard and wife-beater when he was married to her, and he shot and stabbed Parley, who died from his wounds within hours.

His murder sent shockwaves throughout the Church and helped raise the paranoia that was ramping up in Utah.

(November 3, 1807 - December 9, 1861)

Apostle - 1835
Excommunicated - 1838
Rebaptized - 1846

Luke was part of the original Twelve with his brother Lyman and his brother-in-law Orson Hyde. He served a few missions and was a big defender of the Church, but after the Kirtland Safety Society went under, he lost confidence in Smith and was eventually excommunicated.

After Smith's death, Luke sought to reconcile with the Quorum of the Twelve. hyde rebaptized him in 1846, but he never again held high office.

(March 13, 1811 - November 13, 1893)

Apostle - 1835
Excommunicated - 1845

When the Three Witnesses were commissioned to select the 12 Apostles, they'd suggested Brigham Young's brother Phineas, but Joseph Smith fought for his younger brother William, and he got his way. Each of the three would later express their regret.

William was a wild-card and was known to get into physical fights with Joseph. When Joseph and Hyrum died, William sided with Brigham Young, but by the October 1845 General Conference, Parley P. Pratt refused to sustain him as an Apostle, and the rest of the church followed suit. Williams was furious and went to the press for revenge. By December he was excommunicated.

He looked around at other off-shoots, joining Strang's group for a time. He tried starting his own church with himself as president, but that died off quickly. He reached out in 1860 to rejoin the LDS church, but then he became a soldier in the Civil War, and afterwards showed no interest in rejoining. He joined the RLDS Church, where his nephew Joseph Smith III was president, and stayed with them until his death.

(September 19, 1811 - October 3, 1881)

Apostle - 1835
Excommunicated - 1843
Reinstated - 1843

Orson was baptized on his 19th birthday by his older brother Parley. He instantly went on several short missions, and longer ones after his ordination as an Apostle. When he got back from his mission in Scotland in 1841, he did not agree with polygamy and was upset that his wife Sarah said Joseph Smith had asked her to become one of his spiritual wives. Orson sided with his wife against Smith and was eventually excommunicated for it. A few months later, he reconciled with Smith and was fully reinstated, rejoining the Quorum of the Twelve. Pratt eventually took on ten wives, which Sarah resented, and she eventually became an outspoken anti-polygamy advocate.

In 1852, Pratt wrote a series of articles in The Seer outlining LDS doctrine. A few years later, the First presidency condemned his writings.

Were it not for Brigham's 1875 change in seniority policy, not only would Orson Hyde have been the third prophet, but Orson Pratt would've been the fourth.

(September 20, 1811 - October 20, 1890)

Apostle - 1835
Excommunicated - 1838

Boynton was a medical student when he joined the church in 1832. He was among the group who split with Smith over the failure of the Kirtland Safety Society and felt like they'd been promised by God it would not fail. He was part of the mass group with Oliver Cowdery, David Whitmer and the Johnson brothers that were excommunicated after declaring Smith a fallen prophet.

Boynton never rejoined the church, but he became a prominent inventor. He designed torpedoes during the Civil War and later patented the soda fountain.

(October 24, 1811 - December 20, 1859)

Apostle - 1835
Excommunicated - 1838

He was the youngest of the original twelve, only 23 when ordained an Apostle. He was a successful missionary in his time, but like many others, he fell away after the Kirtland Safety Society failed. He and his brother Luke were both excommunicated but while Luke returned to the church later, Lyman never did.


So, of the original Twelve, six were excommunicated by Smith, and a seventh shortly after his death. Of those ex'd, three rejoined the church, and one was restored as an Apostle. Two others were killed, one before Smith, one after.

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