Frederick G. Williams
|Frederick G. Williams|
|Second Counselor in First Presidency|
|February 18, 1833– November 7, 1837|
|Called by||Joseph Smith, Jr.|
|End reason||Removed from position by vote of the church|
|Born||Frederick Granger Williams
October 28, 1787
Suffield, Connecticut, United States
|Died||October 10, 1842
Quincy, Illinois, United States
Frederick Granger Williams (October 28, 1787 – October 10, 1842) was a ship’s pilot, teacher, physician, editor, justice of the peace, and early leader of the Latter Day Saint movement, serving in the First Presidency of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints from 1833 to 1837.
Williams was born at Suffield, Connecticut to William Wheeler Williams and Ruth Granger. He married Rebecca Swain in December 1815. By 1828 he was living in Chardon, Ohio and moved to Kirtland in 1830. While in Ohio, he associated himself with Sidney Rigdon and the Disciples of Christ. When Oliver Cowdery and other early Latter Day Saints were traveling through Kirtland, they taught and baptized many in Rigdon’s congregation, including Williams.
On July 20, 1832 Williams was appointed scribe to Joseph Smith and joined the church’s leading council the next year. He was a member of the committee appointed to publish the Doctrine and Covenants, a portion of the church’s canon, as well as the church’s first hymnal, compiled by Joseph Smith’s wife, Emma, under the auspices of F.G. Williams & Co. in 1835.
In 1837 Williams was elected a justice of the peace in Kirtland, appointed an officer in the Kirtland Safety Society, dropped from the First Presidency, and moved to Far West, Caldwell, County, Missouri. Although there is no record of excommunication, he was rebaptized in August 1838. He was excommunicated, in absentia, in March 1839 while Joseph Smith was in Liberty Jail, but restored to fellowship at a church conference presided over by Joseph Smith in April 1840. He died at Quincy, Illinois October 10, 1842.
As a scribe and counselor to the prophet, Williams became a close friend and confidant of Joseph Smith, Jr. Joseph and Emma Smith named one of their sons Frederick Granger Williams Smith (June 20, 1836 - April 13, 1862).
The lineage of Williams continues in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints to this day. Williams’s great-great-grandson, and namesake, Frederick Granger Williams, served as president of the Recife, Brazil Temple (2009-2012) and is currently a professor at Brigham Young University.
- Skidmore, Velma Williams (2002), "Found at Last: The Final Resting Place of Frederick Granger Williams", Mormon Historical Studies 3 (2): 229–239
- Hart, John L. (19 August 2006), "Illustrious Ancestor", Church News
- Frederick G. Williams from Grampa Bill's G.A. Pages, courtesy of the Internet Archive
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