Ezra Booth

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Ezra Booth (born 1792 in Connecticut) was an early member in the Latter Day Saint movement.

Booth had been a popular Methodist minister before going to Kirtland, Ohio with John and Alice (Elsa) Johnson in 1831. After witnessing Joseph Smith, Jr. healing Elsa's arm, Booth became a convert and was baptized and ordained an elder in May 1831, and later was ordained to be a high priest by Lyman Wight on June 3, 1831.[1]

On June 6, 1831, Booth was called to go to Missouri with Isaac Morley and "preach[] the word by the way."[2] Booth began his mission by preaching the Book of Mormon to a large audience in Bates Corners, Norton Township, Ohio in June 1831. On August 4, 1831, Booth was one of fourteen elders attending the a “Special Conference” in Kaw township, Jackson County, Missouri, “held by special commandment of the Lord” called by Joseph Smith Jr.[3]

On September 6, 1831, Booth was "silenced from preaching as an Elder" by Smith, Sidney Rigdon, Oliver Cowdery and others. The Prophet Joseph Smith expressed that this was because of Booth's dissension towards the leaders of the Church, and his apparent lack of humility.[4] A prophecy by Smith came a few days later, and stated that

I, the Lord, was angry with him who was my servant Ezra Booth, and also my servant Isaac Morley, for they kept not the law, neither the commandment; they sought evil in their hearts… They condemned for evil that thing in which there was no evil; nevertheless I have forgiven my servant Isaac Morley.[5]

Less than three days after being "silenced from preaching as an Elder", and after only being a member for five months, Booth renounced Mormonism in the first of nine letters to be published in the Ohio Star, beginning in November 1831.[6] In Norton Township (the area Booth was sent to on his mission), the effect of Booth's letters is such that "the public feeling was, that 'Mormonism' was overthrown"[7] until Reynolds Cahoon, David Whitmer, and Lyman E. Johnson arrived on a mission.

Information about Booth after 1831 is scarce. However, he did marry a couple in Mentor, Ohio on January 16, 1832 and later created the “Church of Christ”. His “Church of Christ" claimed that Joseph Smith, Jr. was a false prophet and that the Book of Mormon was not true. The church had several meetings and soon disbanded.

He is buried in a graveyard not far from the Johnson home in Hiram, Ohio.

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ Johnson, Luke (1864), "The History of Luke Johnson (by himself)", in Wells, DanielH., The Latter-Day Saints' millennial star, No. 53 26, London: Latter-Day Saints' Book Depot, p. 834, retrieved July 28, 2010 
  2. ^ Doctrine and Covenants 52:23.
  3. ^ “Special Conference held by special commandment of the Lord.
  4. ^ Smith, Joseph (September 1, 2004), "XVI. The Founding of Zion", in Roberts, B.H., History of Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints: History of Joseph Smith the Prophet Part One, Kessinger Publishing, p. 216 
  5. ^ Doctrine and Covenants 64:15–16.
  6. ^ Letter send to Ohio Star by Ezra Booth.
  7. ^ Van Wagoner, Richard S. (1994), "Tarred and Feathered", Sidney Rigdon: A Portrait of Religious Excess, Salt Lake City, UT: Signature Books, p. 110, ISBN 1-56085-030-2, retrieved July 28, 2010, "[Cited from the] Journal History (31 Dec. 1831) -- multi-volume daily history of the church compiled by official church historians" 

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