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Charles W. Penrose: Wikis


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Charles W. Penrose
Full name Charles William Penrose
Born February 4, 1832(1832-02-04)
Place of birth London, England
Died May 16, 1925 (aged 93)
Place of death Salt Lake City, Utah
LDS Church Apostle
Called by Joseph F. Smith
Ordained July 7, 1904 (aged 72)
Ordination reason Death of Abraham O. Woodruff
End of term May 16, 1925 (aged 93)
End reason Death
Reorganization at end of term No apostles ordained[1]
LDS Church General Authority
Quorum of the Twelve Apostles
Called by Joseph F. Smith
Start of term July 7, 1904 (aged 72)
End of term December 7, 1911 (aged 79)
End reason Called as Second Counselor in the First Presidency
Second Counselor in the First Presidency
Called by Joseph F. Smith
Start of term December 7, 1911 (aged 79)
End of term March 10, 1921 (aged 89)
End reason Called as First Counselor in the First Presidency
First Counselor in the First Presidency
Called by Heber J. Grant
Start of term March 10, 1921 (aged 89)
End of term May 16, 1925 (aged 93)
End reason Death

Charles William Penrose (4 February 1832 – 16 May 1925) was a member of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS Church) from July 7, 1904. Penrose was also a member of the First Presidency of the church under Church Presidents Joseph F. Smith and Heber J. Grant from 1911 until his death.

Penrose was born in London, England. It is said that he learned to read the scriptures by the age of four. He was introduced to the church and baptized at the age of eighteen on May 14, 1850 in London. He also met and married his wife Lucetta Stratford there. The couple had three children.

After joining the church, Penrose was called to a mission of seven years, preaching throughout England. In 1861, he emigrated to Utah. After arriving, he was called on yet another mission to England. Upon his return, he settled in Ogden, Utah. There he became involved in newspaper publishing, eventually becoming the editor of the Deseret News in Salt Lake City. Penrose was known for his writing, including missionary tracts and for penning lyrics for LDS hymns, including God of Our Fathers, O Ye Mountains High, and Up, Awake, Ye Defenders of Zion.

Some claim that Penrose, with the assistance of a few others, wrote the 1890 Manifesto. However, this claim has been refuted. George Reynolds testified in the Smoot Hearings before the U.S. Senate that he, Charles W. Penrose, and John R. Winder edited the manifesto that President Wilford Woodruff delivered, preparing it for publication.

Penrose was called to the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles and ordained an apostle on July 7, 1904 after the passing of Elder Abraham O. Woodruff. After John Henry Smith (the Second Counselor to President Joseph F. Smith) died, he was called and set apart as Second Counselor in his stead on December 7, 1911. James E. Talmage filled the vacancy in the Quorum of the Twelve caused by President John Henry Smith's death and Charles W. Penrose's call as Second Counselor. He also served as Second Counselor for President Heber J. Grant when the First Presidency was reorganized on November 23, 1918 after the death of President Joseph F. Smith. On March 10, 1921, he was set apart as First Counselor in the same presidency to replace President Anthon H. Lund who had died eight days earlier. He served there until his death, four years later in Salt Lake City from chronic prostatitis.[2]


Some of Penrose poems were put to music and became LDS hymns. "Up, Awake, Ye Defenders of Zion", originally a militant hymn containing references to trials of LDS members in the central United States and the threatening United States government (ironically set to the melody for “Columbia, Gem of the Ocean,” thus asserting the Saints’ true patriotism, despite their alleged “rebellion”), became an anthem for LDS members during the difficulties preceding and during the Utah War of 1857-58.[3]

Some of Penrose lyrics appear in the current LDS hymnal, including:

  • Beautiful Zion for Me
  • God of Our Fathers, We Come Unto Thee
  • O Ye Mountains High
  • School Thy Feelings
  • Up, Awake, Ye Defenders of Zion (with modified lyrics, 1985)
Grave marker of Charles W. Penrose.


  1. ^ Charles W. Nibley replaced Penrose in the First Presidency, but Nibley was not ordained as an apostle.
  2. ^ State of Utah Death Certificate
  3. ^ Cracroft, in Walker and Dant, pp. 149-150


External links

Religious titles
Preceded by
George Albert Smith
Quorum of the Twelve Apostles
July 7, 1904–December 7, 1911
Succeeded by
George F. Richards


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