Joseph S. Murdock

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Joseph Stacy Murdock
Joseph Stacy Murdock.jpg
Born (1822-06-26)June 26, 1822
Hamilton, New York
Died February 15, 1899(1899-02-15) (aged 76)
Heber City, Utah
Occupation Farmer
Known for Mormon pioneer, Bishop, Colonizer
Religion The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints
Spouse(s) Eunice Sweet,
Eliza Clark,
Adeline Warner,
Jane Sharp,
Elizabeth Hunter,
Parents Joseph Murdock,
Sally Stacy

Joseph Stacy Murdock (June 26, 1822 – February 14, 1899) was an American colonizer, leader, and Latter-day Saint hymn writer. He wrote the words to "Come Listen to a Prophet's Voice."

Early years[edit]

Joseph was born in upstate New York in 1822. While there, he married Eunice Sweet. He and his family were taught by a Latter-day Saint missionary and were baptized into that church. They had a desire to live with others of their faith and moved to Nauvoo, Illinois in 1841.[1]

He and his wife migrated with the Mormon population to the Utah Territory in Daniel Spencer's 1847 Mormon pioneer company.[2]

Joseph Murdock was asked by Brigham Young to enter the practice of plural marriage and was sent to jail for doing so in 1889.[3] He had six wives: Eunice Sweet, Eliza Clark, Adeline Warner, Jane Sharp, Elizabeth Hunter, and Pernetta. He also had 32 children.


After arrival in Utah, Brigham Young assigned Murdock the task of helping establish settlements in several areas in what is present day Utah, Arizona, and Nevada. He participated in the creation of American Fork, Utah, Heber City, Utah, Carson City, Nevada, and Muddy River (an abandoned settlement along the then southern Utah territory and northern Arizona territory, now in Nevada and called the Moapa Valley).[4]

Published Poet[edit]

Joseph Stacy Murdock contributed his poetry to the Book of Hymns, for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, when he wrote Hymn #21 "Come Listen To A Prophet's Voice". The Hymn was put to music by Joseph J. Daynes, a friend of Joseph Stacy Murdock. The Hymn was based on the friendship that was fostered between Murdock and the former President of the Latter-Day Saint Church, the Prophet Joseph Smith Jr. Joseph Stacy Murdock served as one of the Prophet Joseph Smith's bodyguards, and thus came to know him personally. The Poem that later became the Hymn, was Murdock's personal testimony regarding Joseph Smith's calling as Prophet of the LDS Church.

Heber City[edit]

In 1860, Joseph Murdock was set apart as a bishop by Brigham Young and sent to preside over the Latter-day Saints in Heber City and vicinity.[5] In this capacity he served as both the ecclesiastical and political leader for this new settlement.

On August 20, 1867, he negotiated a peace treaty with Chief Tabby, the local Ute Indian chief, to end hostilities between the Ute Indians and the local settlers in Heber City. This was one of the turning points which lead to the end of the Utah Black Hawk War.

His home in Heber City is registered with the National Register of Historic Places[6]

Later life[edit]

After working to establish cities throughout the west, Joseph settled in Heber City and worked as a farmer. He continued to serve in leadership positions in his church throughout his life. He died of pneumonia at the age of 76 on February 14, 1899.[7]


  1. ^ Joseph Stacy Murdock's Journal (unpublished)[unreliable source?]
  2. ^ Church Archives Database on wagon and handcart pioneers
  3. ^ Andrew Jenson, Church Chronology: A Record of Important Events Pertaining to the History of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, p. 174.
  4. ^ Thompson, George; Humphreys, Alan Glen (1987), Advancing the Mormon frontier: the life and times of Joseph Stacy Murdock -- pioneer, colonizer, peacemaker, BYU Press, p. [page needed], OCLC 22712972 
  5. ^ Jenson, Andrew. Encyclopedic History of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, (Salt Lake City: Deseret News Press, 1941) p. 328
  6. ^ National Register of Historic Places.
  7. ^ The Wasatch Wave, February 17, 1899.

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