Amy B. Lyman

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Amy B. Lyman
Photo of Amy Lyman
8th General President of the Relief Society
January 1, 1940 (1940-01-01) – April 6, 1945 (1945-04-06)[1]
Called by Heber J. Grant
Predecessor Louise Y. Robison
Successor Belle S. Spafford
End reason Requested to be released
First Counselor in the general presidency of the Relief Society
October 7, 1928 (1928-10-07) – January 1, 1940 (1940-01-01)
Called by Louise Y. Robison
Predecessor Jennie B. Knight
Successor Marcia K. Howells
Personal details
Born Amy Cassandra Brown
(1872-02-07)February 7, 1872
Pleasant Grove, Utah Territory, United States
Died December 5, 1959(1959-12-05) (aged 87)
Salt Lake City, Utah, United States
Resting place Wasatch Lawn Memorial Park
40°41′52.08″N 111°50′30.12″W / 40.6978000°N 111.8417000°W / 40.6978000; -111.8417000
Spouse Richard R. Lyman
Parents John Brown
Margaret Zimmerman

Amy Brown Lyman (February 7, 1872 – December 5, 1959) was the eighth general president of the Relief Society of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS Church) from 1940 to 1945.

Born in Pleasant Grove, Utah Territory, Amy Cassandra Brown was the 23rd of 25 children born to her polygamist father, John Brown. John Brown was a leader of the Mississippi Saints, a group of Mormons from Mississippi who knowing that Brigham Young and the rest of the Quorum of the 12 had began the exodus of the Mormons from Nauvoo, Illinois early in 1846 decided that the best way to join up with the main body of the LDS Church was to go west and meet in the mountains. They spent the winter in Pueblo, Colorado where they were joined by the Mormon Battalion sick detachment, and then traveled north to meet up with the advanced company under Brigham Young.


Lyman in 1914

Amy Brown attended high school at Brigham Young Academy (BYA).[2] For part of her time at BYA Amy lived in the home of Karl G. and Anna Meith Maeser. It was at the Academy she met Richard Lyman, her future husband who would later become an apostle of the LDS Church in 1918.

Amy and Richard's plans to marry were postponed because the University of Michigan did not allow married students at the time and that was where Richard was studying. Amy worked as a teacher at BYA from 1888-1894.[3] Amy and Richard's marriage in 1896 in the Salt Lake Temple was performed by Joseph F. Smith. After this Amy went with Richard as he studied at Cornell University and the University of Chicago. While in Chicago Amy became involved in Settlement House programs and associated with Jane Addams.

Prior to the Second World War, Lyman accompanied her husband, Richard R. Lyman, to England where he presided over the European Mission of the church.

Utah House of Representatives[edit]

Lyman also served a term as a member of the 14th Utah State Legislature. During that time she pushed for statewide support of the federal Sheppard-Towner Act, which provided for federally-financed instruction in maternal and infant health care and gave 50-50 matching funds to individual US states to build women’s health care clinics. It was one of the most significant achievements of Progressive-era maternalist reformers.

LDS Church Service[edit]

Social welfare department[edit]

In 1919 Lyman founded and headed the Relief Society Social Service Department, as part of the church's Relief Society program. She would head the department for 16 years. In 1973, the organization became a corporation separate from the church's Relief Society and renamed LDS Social Services.

As head of the Social Service Department, Lyman created a training program in which stake delegates attended classes in family welfare work. They would then returned to their stakes and to teach these lessons to the members of the church. Over 4,100 women were trained using these classes, which provided valuable to local officials through the Great Depression.

Relief Society presidency[edit]

From 1928 to 1940, Lyman was the first counselor to president Louise Y. Robison in the Relief Society general presidency Lyman succeeded Robison as President in 1940 and served until 1945.

Requested release[edit]

In 1943, the LDS First Presidency discovered that Richard Lyman had been cohabitating with another woman since 1925, which resulted in his excommunication on November 12, 1943 for violations of the law of chastity. Due to the marital problems resulting from her husband's infidelity, Lyman requested that she be released. She was honorably released on April 6, 1945 and was succeeded by her second counselor Belle S. Spafford.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Ludlow, Daniel H, ed. (1992). "Biographical Register of General Church Officers". Encyclopedia of Mormonism. New York: Macmillan Publishing. p. 1641. ISBN 0-02-879602-0. OCLC 24502140 Free on-line version here. 
  2. ^ Francis M. Gibbons. George Albert Smith: Kind and Caring Christian, Prophet of God. (Salt Lake City: Deseret Book, 1990) p. 5
  3. ^ Ernest L. Wilkinson. Brigham Young University: The First 100 Years. (Provo: BYU Press, 1975) Vol. 1, p. 579

Further reading[edit]

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints titles
Preceded by
Louise Y. Robison
General President of the Relief Society
January 1, 1940 (1940-01-01)–April 6, 1945 (1945-04-06)
Succeeded by
Belle S. Spafford
Preceded by
Jennie B. Knight
First Counselor in the general
presidency of the Relief Society

October 7, 1928 (1928-10-07)–January 1, 1940 (1940-01-01)
Succeeded by
Marcia K. Howells