Amasa Lyman

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Amasa Lyman
Amasamlyman.gif
Quorum of the Twelve Apostles
October 6, 1845 (1845-10-06) – October 6, 1867 (1867-10-06)
End reason Stripped of Apostleship and position in Quorum for repeatedly teaching false doctrine
Counselor in the First Presidency
February 4, 1843 (1843-02-04) – June 27, 1844 (1844-06-27)
Called by Joseph Smith, Jr.
End reason Dissolution of First Presidency upon the death of Joseph Smith, Jr.
Quorum of the Twelve Apostles
August 20, 1842 (1842-08-20) – January 20, 1843 (1843-01-20)
Called by Joseph Smith, Jr.
End reason Dropped from Quorum due to an excess of apostles occasioned by the readmission of Orson Pratt to the Quorum
Latter Day Saint Apostle
August 20, 1842 (1842-08-20) – October 6, 1867 (1867-10-06)
Called by Joseph Smith, Jr.
Reason Excommunication of Orson Pratt[1]
End reason Stripped of Apostleship for repeatedly teaching false doctrine
Reorganization
at end of term
No apostles ordained[2]
Personal details
Born Amasa Mason Lyman
(1813-03-30)March 30, 1813
Lyman, New Hampshire, United States
Died February 4, 1877(1877-02-04) (aged 63)
Fillmore, Utah Territory, United States
Resting place Fillmore Cemetery
38°57′16″N 112°18′41″W / 38.9544°N 112.3114°W / 38.9544; -112.3114 (Fillmore Cemetery)
Spouse 8
Children 38
Parents Roswell Lyman
Martha Mason

Amasa Mason Lyman (March 30, 1813 – February 4, 1877) was an early leader in the Latter Day Saint movement and was an apostle of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS Church). He was also a counselor in the First Presidency to founder and President of the Church Joseph Smith, Jr.

Early life and conversion[edit]

Amasa Lyman was born in 1813 in Lyman, New Hampshire, the third son of Roswell Lyman and Martha Mason. In the spring of 1832, Lyman met two traveling Latter Day Saint missionaries, Orson Pratt and Lyman E. Johnson. He was baptized a member of the Church on 27 April 1832 by Johnson. On 28 April, Lyman was confirmed by Pratt.

After becoming a Latter Day Saint, Lyman traveled 700 miles to Palmyra (town), New York, where he hoped to meet Joseph Smith and Martin Harris. (Smith and Harris had lived in the Palmyra area when they published the Book of Mormon and organized the Church in 1830). When Lyman arrived in Palmyra, he discovered that Smith had moved to Ohio the previous year, and was visiting to Missouri.

Determined to join the Latter Day Saints in Ohio, Lyman found temporary employment on the farm of Thomas Lackey, who had bought Harris' farm. (Harris sold it to raise money for the publication of the Book of Mormon). After working for two weeks, Lyman earned enough money to take a ship from Buffalo, New York to Cleveland, Ohio. From Cleveland, Lyman walked the 45 miles to Hiram, where he was told Smith and his family were living. When Lyman met John Johnson, the owner of the Smiths' house, he discovered Johnson was the father of the missionary who had baptized him just weeks before. Johnson invited Lyman to live at his house and work on his farm. Lyman did so from 5 June until August 1832. Lyman met Joseph Smith on 1 July, when Smith returned to Hiram from his Missouri visit.

Missionary service and church leadership[edit]

In August 1832, Smith told Lyman that "the Lord requires your labors in the vineyard.".[3] Lyman agreed to serve a mission for the Church. On 23 August, Lyman was ordained an Elder by Smith and Frederick G. Williams. The following day, he departed with Zerubbabel Snow as a missionary. Lyman served with Snow and William F. Cahoon in the eastern states, preaching as far east as Cabell County, Virginia, in present-day West Virginia. On 11 December 1833, Lyman was ordained a High Priest by Lyman Johnson and Orson Pratt, the same elders who had taught and baptized him in 1832.

Lyman returned to Church headquarters in Kirtland, Ohio in May 1835. At a Conference of the Church in June, Lyman was called by Joseph Smith to be a member of the newly organized First Quorum of the Seventy. In 1836, Lyman received the "Kirtland Endowment" in the Latter Day Saints' Kirtland Temple.

Marriage and family[edit]

In 1835, Lyman married Louisa Maria Tanner in Kirtland. They had eight children.[4]

In April 1844, Joseph Smith taught Lyman the principle of plural marriage. "As he warmly grasped my hand for the last time," Lyman later recalled, "[Joseph said] brother Amasa, go and practice on the principles I have taught you, and God bless you."[5] Soon Lyman married his first and second plural wives, Diontha Walker and Caroline Partridge.[citation needed]

In 1846, Lyman married four additional wives: Eliza Maria Partridge (one of numerous widows of Joseph Smith and the 25-year-old sister of Lyman's wife Caroline); Pauline Phelps, Priscilla Turley, and Cornelia Leavitt. In 1851, Lyman married his eighth and final wife, Lydia Partridge, a sister of his wives Caroline and Eliza.[citation needed]

Additional missions[edit]

Lyman served several missions for the Church, preaching in Vermont, New Hampshire, New York, Wisconsin, Illinois, and Tennessee. In 1838, Lyman followed Smith to Far West, Missouri, where Smith relocated the headquarters of the Church. Lyman participated in the Battle of Crooked River, a skirmish between Latter Day Saints and a Missouri militia unit from Ray County, which occurred on 25 October 1838.

In 1839, Lyman traveled with the Latter Day Saints to their new headquarters in Nauvoo, Illinois. In 1841 Lyman was appointed regent of the newly organized University of Nauvoo. On 20 August 1842, Smith called Lyman to serve as an Apostle of the Church. Lyman filled a vacancy in the Quorum of the Twelve, created by the group's excommunication of Apostle Orson Pratt. Five months later, on 20 January 1843, Pratt was rebaptized and restored to his former position in the Quorum of the Twelve. As the most junior and "thirteenth" Apostle, Lyman was excluded from the Quorum.

On 4 February, Smith called Lyman to serve as an additional Counselor in the First Presidency. Due to the turbulence of the years 1843 and 1844 for the Latter Day Saints, especially after Smith's death, Lyman was never sustained at a Conference of the Church to this position.

Follower of Brigham Young[edit]

In July 1844 while traveling, Lyman learned that Smith and his brother Hyrum had been killed by a mob at Carthage, Illinois. He returned to Nauvoo. When Apostles Brigham Young, Heber C. Kimball, Wilford Woodruff, Pratt, and Lyman Wight arrived in Nauvoo on 6 August, Lyman sided with the group of Latter Day Saints who supported the leadership of Young and the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, as opposed to that of Sidney Rigdon, Smith's First Counselor in the First Presidency.

Young restored Lyman as a member of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles on August 12, 1844. In 1847, Lyman and his seven wives and children traveled with the Saints who followed Young to the Salt Lake Valley in present-day Utah.

Charges of heresy and excommunication[edit]

In 1860, Young appointed three of the twelve Apostles: Lyman, Charles C. Rich, and George Q. Cannon, to the presidency of the Church's European Mission. On 16 March 1862, Lyman preached a sermon in Dundee, Scotland, which all but denied the reality of and the necessity for the atonement of Jesus Christ, which was a central tenet of the LDS Church. His speech appeared to have been overlooked for years. Perhaps a political challenge[attribution needed] prompted Lyman's being brought before the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles on 21 January 1867 to answer for his heretical words. Lyman confessed his error and apologized to the Quorum personally. He wrote a letter of apology to the general membership, published in the Deseret News.

But, months later, Lyman began publicly preaching the substance of his 1862 Dundee speech. As a result of his failure to live up to his confession and apology, the church stripped Lyman of the Apostleship on October 6, 1867; he was excommunicated from the church on May 12, 1870.

Lyman died at Fillmore, Millard County, Utah Territory. He and seven of his eight wives were the parents of a total of 38 children. Lyman never returned to the church after his excommunication.

By direction of Church President Joseph F. Smith on January 12, 1909, Lyman was posthumously reinstated as a church member and an Apostle.

Notable descendants[edit]

Chart: the eight wives[edit]

- # - Year of
Marriage
Name Her Age His Age # of
Children
- 1 - 1835 Louisa Maria Tanner 17 22 8
- 2 - 1843 Diontha Walker 27 30 0
- 3 - 1844 Caroline Partridge 17 31 6
- 4 - 1846 Eliza Maria Partridge 23 33 5
- 5 - 1846 Paulina Eliza Phelps 19 33 7
- 6 - 1846 Priscilla Turley 17 33 6
- 7 - 1846 Cornelia Leavitt 21 33 2
- 8 - 1853 Lydia Partridge 23 40 4

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ Pratt was rebaptized and readmitted to the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles on 1843-01-20. After this occurred, Lyman was dropped from the Quorum of the Twelve and joined the First Presidency as a counselor to Joseph Smith, Jr.
  2. ^ Joseph F. Smith was added to the Quorum of the Twelve after Lyman was removed from the Quorum, but Smith had previously been ordained an apostle on July 1, 1866.
  3. ^ Amasa M. Lyman, "Amasa Lyman's History", Millennial Star, vol. 27, no. 31 (5 Aug 1865), p 487, Brigham Young University
  4. ^ Louisa Maria Tanner Lyman went by the name Maria, so sometimes she was called "Maria Louisa," but census records, correspondence, and the Tanner family history show her name to be "Louisa Maria." Tanner, George S. (1974). "Louisa Maria Tanner Lyman". John Tanner and His Family. Salt Lake City, Utah: John Tanner Family Association. pp. 262–274. 
  5. ^ Amasa M. Lyman, "Amasa Lyman's History", Millennial Star, vol. 27 no. 35 (2 Sept 1865), p. 553, Brigham Young University

References[edit]

External Resources[edit]

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints titles
Preceded by
Lyman Wight
Quorum of the Twelve Apostles
August 12, 1844–October 6, 1867
Succeeded by
Orson Pratt
Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints titles
Preceded by
Lyman Wight
Quorum of the Twelve
August 20, 1842–January 20, 1843
Succeeded by
Orson Pratt
Preceded by
John Smith
As "Assistant Counselor"
Counselor in the First Presidency
February 4, 1843 (1843-02-04)–June 27, 1844 (1844-06-27)
With: John Smith
Vacant
First Presidency reorganized
Title next held by
Joseph F. Smith