Orson Hyde: Wikis


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Orson Hyde
Born January 8, 1805(1805-01-08)
Place of birth Oxford, Connecticut
Died November 28, 1878 (aged 73)
Place of death Spring City, Utah Territory
LDS Church Apostle
Called by Three Witnesses
Ordained February 15, 1835 (aged 30)
Ordination reason Initial organization of Quorum of the Twelve
End of term November 28, 1878 (aged 73)
End reason Death[1]
Reorganization at end of term Moses Thatcher ordained
LDS Church General Authority
Quorum of the Twelve Apostles
Called by Three Witnesses
Start of term February 15, 1835 (aged 30)
End of term May 4, 1839 (aged 34)
End reason Removed from Quorum by a vote of the church
Quorum of the Twelve Apostles
Start of term June 27, 1839 (aged 34)
End of term January 11, 1846 (aged 41)
End reason Disfellowshipped and removed from Quorum
Quorum of the Twelve Apostles
Start of term January 14, 1846 (aged 41)
End of term November 28, 1878 (aged 73)
End reason Death
President of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles
Start of term December 27, 1847 (aged 42)
End of term April 10, 1857 (aged 52)
End reason Brigham Young rules that the President of the Quorum is to be the person with the longest uninterrupted service in the Quorum, as opposed to the person who entered the Quorum at the earliest date, thus making John Taylor the new President of the Quorum

Orson Hyde (January 8, 1805 – November 28, 1878) was a leader in the early Latter Day Saint movement and an original member of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles. He was the President of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS Church) from 1847 to 1875 and was a missionary of the LDS Church in the United States, Europe, and the Ottoman Empire.


Early life

Hyde was born in Oxford, in the U. S. state of Connecticut. He was raised in nearby Derby, Connecticut, under the care of Nathan Wheeler. In 1819, when he was just 14 years of age, he walked from Connecticut to Kirtland, Ohio to care for a piece of property Wheeler had purchased. While employed as a retail clerk in Kirtland, Hyde became involved with the Reformed Baptist Society, also called Campbellites, through the preaching of Sidney Rigdon.

Church membership and service

When Oliver Cowdery and other Latter Day Saint missionaries preached in Kirtland in late 1830, Hyde spoke publicly against the "Mormon Bible". However, when his former minister, Sidney Rigdon joined the Latter Day Saint church, Hyde investigated the claims of the missionaries, and was baptized by Rigdon on October 30, 1831. Hyde was called on a succession of missions for the church, serving with Hyrum Smith, Samuel H. Smith, and John Gould. In 1832 he was among the first missionaries in Connecticut;[2] he was also among the first missionaries from the church to preach in Maine and Massachusetts.

Hyde marched with Zion's Camp in 1834. He was ordained an apostle of the church on February 15, 1835 as one of the original twelve, being fifth in seniority. An apostolic mission with Heber C. Kimball to Great Britain in 1837 to 1838 was successful in bringing thousands of converts to the faith.

Upon returning from Britain, during a period of persecution and internal dissension, Hyde wrote that he felt God was no longer with the church. He left the church in October 19, 1838 with Thomas B. Marsh, the presiding member of the Twelve. Marsh explained the reasons for their dissent in an affidavit which he and Hyde signed on October 24, 1838 in Richmond, Missouri. These included their contention that the Mormons had organized into a company known as the Danites, "who have taken an oath to support the heads of the church in all things that they say or do, whether right or wrong" and that Mormon and Danite vigilantes had burned and looted non-Mormon settlements in Daviess County.[3] Marsh and Hyde also claimed that Joseph Smith planned to "to take the State, & he professes to his people to intend taking the U.S. & ultimately the whole world."

The testimony of Marsh and Hyde added to the panic in northwestern Missouri and contributed to subsequent events in the 1838 Mormon War. Because a Mormon attack was believed imminent, a unit of the state militia from Ray County was dispatched to patrol the border between Ray and Mormon Caldwell County to the north. On October 25, 1838, reports reached Mormons in Far West that this state militia unit was a "mob" and had kidnapped several Mormons. The Mormons formed an armed rescue party and attacked the militia in what became known as the Battle of Crooked River. Although only one non-Mormon was killed on the Missourian side, initial reports held that half the unit had been wiped out. The Mormons suffered more casualties: Gideon Carter died in the battle and David W. Patten and Patrick Obanion died from wounds they received in the battle.[4] This attack on the state militia, coupled with the earlier expulsion of non-Mormons from Daviess County led Missouri's governor to respond with force. On 27 October he called out 2,500 state militia to put down what he perceived as a Mormon rebellion and signed what became known as the "Extermination Order".[5]

Because he had signed the Richmond affidavit with Marsh, Hyde was disfellowshipped (disciplined, but not removed from membership) in 1838. On May 4, 1839, a church conference in Quincy, Illinois voted to remove Hyde and William Smith from the work of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles. The leadership of the church invited the two to explain their actions. On June 27, Hyde returned to the church and publicly explained himself, asking to be restored. The fall conference, October 6 to 8, 1839, voted to restore both Hyde and William Smith as apostles.

Hyde had also left church activity, and thus the quorum, on October 19, 1838. When dealing with seniority in the council in 1875, long after the death of Joseph Smith, Brigham Young ruled that, if a council member had been disciplined and removed from the council, his seniority was based on the date of readmission. By this ruling, in June 1875, both Hyde and Apostle Orson Pratt were moved down in quorum seniority. So, when Hyde repented in 1839, he effectively joined the quorum as a new member. As a result of this ruling, John Taylor replaced Hyde as President of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles in 1875 and Taylor rather than Hyde succeeded Brigham Young as President of the Church after Young's death.[6]

Orson Hyde memorial park, Jerusalem, in modern Israel
Orson Hyde memorial park, Jerusalem, in modern Israel

Mission to Jerusalem

One of Hyde's most significant missions was a call to preach in Jerusalem. From April 1841 to December 1842, he proselyted in Palestine.

Originally he was supposed to travel with John Page, another prominent Mormon, but Page never showed up in New York and Hyde left without him. According to the minutes of the meeting on April 6, 1840, at which Hyde was dispatched he was "to visit the cities of London, Amsterdam, Constantinople, and Jerusalem; and also other places that he may deem expedient; and converse with the priests, rulers, and elders of the Jews, and obtain from them all the information possible, and communicate the same to some principal paper for publication, that it may have a general circulation throughout the United States." His letter of introduction claimed that “The Jewish nations have been scattered abroad among the Gentiles for a long period; and in our estimation, the time of the commencement of their return to the Holy Land has already arrived.”

Hyde spent from April 1841 to December 1842 in Jerusalem. He recorded that before dawn on October 24, 1841 he climbed up the Mount of Olives overlooking the city, then both wrote and recited a prayer, part of which reads:

"Now, O Lord! Thy servant has been obedient to the heavenly vision which Thou gavest him in his native land; and under the shadow of Thine outstretched arm, he has safely arrived in this place to dedicate and consecrate this land unto Thee, for the gathering together of Judah's scattered remnants, according to the predictions of the holy Prophets -- for the building up of Jerusalem again after it has been trodden down by the Gentiles so long, and for rearing a Temple in honor of Thy name. Everlasting thanks be ascribed unto Thee, O Father, Lord of heaven and earth, that Thou hast preserved Thy servant from the dangers of the seas, and from the plague and pestilence which have caused the land to mourn. The violence of man has also been restrained, and Thy providential care by night and by day has been exercised over Thine unworthy servant. Accept, therefore, O Lord, the tribute of a grateful heart for all past favors, and be pleased to continue Thy kindness and mercy towards a needy worm of the dust.”[7]

Having dedicated Jerusalem and Palestine for the ingathering of the Jews, Hyde departed the mountain after building a small altar with stones. Later the site would be purchased by Brigham Young University, a university operated by the LDS Church, and an ‘Orson Hyde Park’ was to be established. Hyde traveled home through Europe, stopping in Germany to produce the first LDS Church pamphlets in German.

Later life

After the death of Joseph Smith, when the majority of the Latter Day Saints left Nauvoo for Iowa Territory, Hyde was asked to stay behind and oversee the completion and dedication of the Nauvoo Temple in 1846. Hyde returned to England to preside over the British mission from 1846 to 1847. Hyde was then placed in charge of the Camps of Israel in the Midwest in 1848. He remained in Council Bluffs, Iowa until 1852. During the settlement of Utah Territory, Brigham Young called Hyde to lead settlement groups to Carson Valley, Nevada and the SanpeteSevier District in Utah.

Hyde married Nancy Mirinda Johnson, in Kirtland, Ohio, on September 4, 1834. He practiced plural marriage and had eight additional wives and fathered 32 children. He died on November 28, 1878, and was succeeded in the apostleship by Moses Thatcher. He is buried at Spring City, Sanpete County, Utah.


  1. ^ Hyde was removed from the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles by votes of the church between 1839-05-04 and 1839-06-27 and was disfellowshipped and removed from the Quorum between 11 and 14 January 1846. However, Hyde retained his apostleship during these times.
  2. ^ Deseret Morning News Church Almanac, 2006 ed., p. 190
  3. ^ Document, p. 57.
  4. ^ Baugh, p. 106.
  5. ^ Baugh, pp. 108–09.
  6. ^ (Bergera 1992).
  7. ^ Orson Hyde's Dedicatory Prayer, Sunday morning, October 24, 1841, accessed 2008-02-26.


For information on his experience in Jerusalem see his letter is reprinted in chapter 26 of volume 4 of History of the Church, under the subtitle "Elder Orson Hyde’s Letter -- His Prayer of Dedication on the Mount of Olives." For a separate account see Michael Oren, Power, Faith and Fantasy. New York, W.W. Norton, 2007. P. 142. See also Greenberg pp. 238-239.

External links

Religious titles
Preceded by
Brigham Young
President of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles
December 27, 1847–June 1875
Succeeded by
John Taylor
Preceded by
Heber C. Kimball
Quorum of the Twelve Apostles
February 15, 1835–May 4, 1839
Succeeded by
William E. M'Lellin
Preceded by
George A. Smith
Quorum of the Twelve Apostles
June 27, 1839–November 28, 1878
Succeeded by
William Smith


Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From Wikiquote

Orson Hyde (January 8, 1805November 28, 1878) was a leader in the Latter Day Saint movement and an original member of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles.


  • It will be borne in mind that once on a time, there was a marriage in Cana of Galilee; and on a careful reading of that transaction, it will be discovered that no less a person than Jesus Christ was married on that occasion. If he was never married, his intimacy with Mary and Martha, and the other Mary also whom Jesus loved, must have been highly unbecoming and improper to say the best of it. I will venture to say that if Jesus Christ were now to pass through the most pious countries in Christendom with a train of women, such as used to follow him, fondling about him, combing his hair, anointing him with precious ointment, washing his feet with tears, and wiping them with the hair of their heads and unmarried, or even married, he would be mobbed, tarred, and feathered, and rode, not on an ass, but on a rail. What did the old Prophet mean when he said (speaking of Christ), "He shall see his seed, prolong his days, &c." Did Jesus consider it necessary to fulfil every righteous command or requirement of his Father? He most certainly did. This be witnessed by submitting to baptism under the hands of John. "Thus it becometh us to fulfil all righteousness," said he. Was it God's commandment to man, in the beginning, to multiply and replenish the earth? None can deny this, neither that it was a righteous command; for upon an obedience to this, depended the perpetuity of our race. Did Christ come to destroy the law or the Prophets, or to fulfil them? He came to fulfil. Did he multiply, and did he see his seed? Did he honour his Father's law by complying with it, or did he not? Others may do as they like, but I will not charge our Saviour with neglect or transgression in this or any other duty. At this doctrine the long-faced hypocrite and the sanctimonious bigot will probably cry, blasphemy! Horrid perversion of God's word! Wicked wretch! He is not fit to live! &c, &c. But the wise and reflecting will consider, read, and pray. If God be not our Father, grandfather, or great grandfather, or some kind of a father in reality, in deed and in truth, why are we taught to say, "Our Father who art in heaven?" How much soever of holy horror this doctrine may excite in persons not impregnated with the blood of Christ, and whose minds are consequently dark and benighted, it may excite still more when they are told that if none of the natural blood of Christ flows in their veins, they are not the chosen or elect of God. Object not, therefore too strongly against the marriage of Christ, but remember that in the last days, secret and hidden things must come to light, and that your life also (which is the blood) is hid with Christ in God.
  • I discover that some of the Eastern papers represent me as a great blasphemer, because I said, in my lecture on Marriage, at our last Conference, that Jesus Christ was married at Cana of Galilee, that Mary, Martha, and others were his wives, and that he begat children. All that I have to say in reply to that charge is this—they worship a Savior that is too pure and holy to fulfil the commands of his Father. I worship one that is just pure and holy enough "to fulfil all righteousness;" not only the righteous law of baptism, but the still more righteous and important law "to multiply and replenish the earth." Startle not at this! for even the Father himself honored that law by coming down to Mary, without a natural body, and begetting a son; and if Jesus begat children, he only "did that which he had seen his Father do."
  • At the time our Prophet and Patriarch were killed, or at least soon afterwards, when the Twelve returned to Nauvoo, their immediate circumstances were not altogether agreeable and pleasant or profitable. But suffice it to say we had a meeting, a Conference, at which President Young was the centre of attraction. On his rising to speak, and as soon as he opened his mouth, I heard the voice of Joseph through him, and it was as familiar to me as the voice of my wife, the voice of my child, or the voice of my father. And not only the voice of Joseph did I distinctly and unmistakably hear, but I saw the very gestures of his person, the very features of his countenance, and if I mistake not, the very size of his person appeared on the stand. And it went through me with the thrill of conviction that Brigham was the man to lead this people. And from that day to the present there has not been a query or a doubt upon my mind with regard to the divinity of his appointment; I know that he was the man selected of God to fill the position he now holds.

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