Elizabeth Ann Whitney

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Elizabeth Ann Whitney
Photo of Elizabeth Ann Whitney
ca. 1870
Second Counselor in the general
presidency of the Relief Society
1866 – December 5, 1887 (1887-12-05)
Called by Eliza R. Snow
Predecessor Dormant
Successor Bathsheba W. Smith
Second Counselor in the general presidency of the Relief Society
March 17, 1842 (1842-03-17) – 1844
Called by Emma Hale Smith
Predecessor Founding Member
Successor Dormant
Personal details
Born Elizabeth Ann Smith
(1800-12-26)December 26, 1800
Derby, Connecticut, United States
Died February 15, 1882(1882-02-15) (aged 81)
Salt Lake City, Utah, United States
Resting place Salt Lake City Cemetery
40°46′37″N 111°51′29″W / 40.777°N 111.858°W / 40.777; -111.858 (Salt Lake City Cemetery)
Spouse Newel K. Whitney
Parents Gibson Smith
Polly Bradley

Elizabeth Ann Smith Whitney (December 26, 1800 – February 15, 1882) was an early Latter Day Saint leader, and wife to Newel K. Whitney, another early Latter Day Saint leader.

Early life and marriage[edit]

Elizabeth Ann Smith was born in Derby, Connecticut to Gibson Smith and Polly Bradley.[1] She left her parents at about age 18 and moved with her liberated aunt Sarah Smith to Kirtland, Ohio, where at age 20 she met her future husband Newel K. Whitney. Married on October 20, 1822, the couple quickly accumulated wealth and status in their community.


Whitney and her husband were among the inner circle of early Mormonism with Joseph Smith and later Brigham Young, with whom they would travel west and settled in Salt Lake City, Utah Territory with.

In Kirtland, Elizabeth and her husband joined the Disciples of Christ led in the area by Sidney Rigdon. The teachings of this group, which denied it had power to give the gift of the Holy Spirit, led the couple to pray for that gift. In response to that prayer, the couple claimed to have seen a vision and a voice stating, "Prepare to receive the word of the Lord, for it is coming!"

In November 1830, Whitney and her husband met Mormon missionary Parley P. Pratt, who had been preaching in Kirtland. Because of Pratt's preaching they were baptized into the Church of Christ, which had been established in April 1830 by Joseph Smith. The answer to Whitney's prayer, as she tells it, came later in February 1831, when she and her husband met Joseph Smith, who arrived in Kirtland and stayed at their house.

LDS Church service[edit]

In 1842, Whitney became one of the original leaders of the Relief Society, with Emma Hale Smith, Sarah M. Cleveland, and Eliza Roxcy Snow (who had been her acquaintance in Kirtland). Whitney served as the second counselor under Emma Smith.[2]


Elizabeth died in Salt Lake City and was buried in Salt Lake City Cemetery.


  1. ^ Biography of Elizabeth Ann Smith Whitney
  2. ^ Nauvoo Relief Society Minute Book, p. 8
Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints titles
First Second Counselor in the general
presidency of the Relief Society

March 17, 1842 (1842-03-17) – 1844
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints titles
Dormant Second Counselor in the general
presidency of the Relief Society

1866 – December 5, 1887
Succeeded by
Bathsheba W. Smith