John W. Taylor (Mormon)

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John W. Taylor
Johnwtaylor.gif
Quorum of the Twelve Apostles
April 9, 1884 (1884-04-09) – October 29, 1905 (1905-10-29)
Called by John Taylor
End reason Resigned from Quorum in opposition to church's stance against plural marriage
LDS Church Apostle
April 9, 1884 (1884-04-09) – May 11, 1911 (1911-05-11)[1]
Called by John Taylor
Reason Death of Charles C. Rich
End reason Excommunicated for opposition to church's stance against plural marriage
Reorganization
at end of term
No apostles ordained[2]
Personal details
Born John Whittaker Taylor
(1858-05-15)May 15, 1858
Provo, Utah Territory, United States
Died October 10, 1916(1916-10-10) (aged 58)
Forest Dale, Utah, United States
Cause of death Stomach cancer
Resting place Salt Lake City Cemetery
40°46′37.92″N 111°51′28.8″W / 40.7772000°N 111.858000°W / 40.7772000; -111.858000

John Whitaker Taylor (May 15, 1858 – October 10, 1916) was a member of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS Church) and was the son of John Taylor, the third president of the church. While he was an apostle, he was excommunicated from the LDS Church for opposing the church's abandonment of plural marriage.

Family and occupation[edit]

John W. Taylor was born in Provo, Utah Territory while his parents John Taylor and Sophia Whitaker were taking shelter there, along with other church members, during the Utah War. He married May Leona Rich (daughter of John Taylor Rich & Agnes Young) on 19 October 1882 and moved to Cassia County in Idaho, to ranch. As a practitioner of plural marriage, he later married Nellie Todd, Janet Maria Wolley, Eliza Roxie Welling, Rhoda Welling and Ellen Georgina Sandberg. He also worked as a county clerk, and a newspaper editor, among many other things.

His son Samuel W. Taylor became his biographer, and a prolific writer of fiction and non-fiction.

Church service and conflict[edit]

Taylor was ordained as a deacon around 1872 and as a teacher in 1874. He also served as missionary in the United States, Canada and England. Taylor was asked to be an apostle and member of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles of the church by his father. He was ordained on May 15, 1884, his 26th birthday.

Taylor was a staunch believer in the doctrine of plural marriage, and had six wives and thirty-six children. Although the church officially forbade the practice with the 1890 Manifesto, Taylor continued to privately marry additional wives and under pressure resigned from the Quorum of the Twelve in October 1905. Matthias F. Cowley also resigned from the Quorum over the plural marriage dispute. The following February, Marriner W. Merrill died. The three new vacancies were filled in the April 1906 General Conference by George F. Richards, Orson F. Whitney, and David O. McKay.

Taylor disputed with the Quorum of the Twelve often after his resignation. He was finally excommunicated from the church in 1911, but he remained a believer up to his death. He died of stomach cancer at his home in Forest Dale, Salt Lake County, Utah, at 58 years of age.[3] He was buried at Salt Lake City Cemetery.

In August 1916,[when?] Taylor was posthumously baptized by proxy and reinstated into the church by two stake presidents. However, a year later, the First Presidency officially stated that the reinstatement was null and void. He was later officially rebaptized and on May 21, 1965 received the ordinance of Restoration of Blessings (and Priesthood) by proxy under the hands of Joseph Fielding Smith, President of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, with the unanimous approval of the First Presidency and Quorum of the Twelve Apostles.[4]

Honors[edit]

The Taylor Stake of the LDS Church, which was headquartered in Raymond, Alberta, was named in Taylor's honor. As an apostle, Taylor had made considerable efforts to assist the Mormon settlers in Canada. The Taylor Stake was renamed the Raymond Alberta Stake in the 1970s.

In the 2000s, the town of Raymond built a street named Taylor Street in his honor. An LDS Church chapel was built on the street, and it is named the Taylor Street Chapel.

Grave marker of John W. Taylor.

See also[edit]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ Taylor resigned from the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles in April 1905; however, he remained an ordained apostle of the church until his excommunication in 1911.
  2. ^ Since Taylor had been removed from the Quorum of the Twelve in 1905, his excommunication occasioned no vacancy in the Quorum of the Twelve.
  3. ^ State of Utah Death Certificate
  4. ^ Recorded in the Church Almanac and confirmed by the office of the Church Historian (Marlin K. Jensen) 12/04/2008

References[edit]

  • Terrence C. Smith & Reed Turner (eds.) (2001). A Planting of the Lord : A Century of the Latter-day Saints in Raymond, 1901–2001 (Raymond, AB: Raymond Alberta Stake) ISBN 0-9689691-0-0
  • Samuel W. Taylor (1971). Family Kingdom (Salt Lake City, Utah: Zion Book Store) ISBN 0-914740-14-8

External links[edit]

Media related to John W. Taylor (Mormon) at Wikimedia Commons

Religious titles
Preceded by
Heber J. Grant
Quorum of the Twelve Apostles
May 15, 1884–April, 1905
Succeeded by
Marriner W. Merrill