Moses Thatcher

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Moses Thatcher
Moses Thatcher.jpg
Quorum of the Twelve Apostles
April 9, 1879 (1879-04-09) – April 6, 1896 (1896-04-06)
Called by John Taylor
End reason Dropped from the Quorum by a vote of the church
LDS Church Apostle
April 9, 1879 (1879-04-09) – August 21, 1909 (1909-08-21)[2]
Called by John Taylor
Reason Deaths of Brigham Young and Orson Hyde[1]
at end of term
No apostles ordained[3]
Personal details
Born Moses Thatcher
(1842-02-02)February 2, 1842
Sangamon County, Illinois, United States
Died August 21, 1909(1909-08-21) (aged 67)
Logan, Utah, United States

Moses Thatcher (2 February 1842 – 21 August 1909) was an apostle and a member of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS Church). He was one of only a few members of the Quorum of the Twelve to be dropped from the Quorum but to remain in good standing in the church and retain the priesthood office of apostle.

Early life[edit]

Moses' parents were Hezekiah and Alena Kitchen Thatcher. Moses was born in Sangamon County, Illinois. The Thatcher family joined the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints in 1843, and moved to Macedonia, Illinois and later to Nauvoo. Together with the main body of the church, they began their trek westward in 1846 and arrived in the Salt Lake Valley in September 1847.

Hezekiah and Alena, with seven of their eight living children (including Moses), departed for California in 1849, seeking to acquire wealth through the Gold Rush. They returned to Utah Territory in 1857. Moses, only fifteen years of age, was called to serve a mission for the church, from which he returned in 1858. In 1859, the family settled in Cache Valley, where Moses helped Hezekiah locate canal and mill sites.

From 1860 to 1861 Moses studied at the University of Deseret. From 1866 to 1868 he served a second mission, this one to the United Kingdom and France. He later served as the church's first mission president in Mexico.

Apostolic service[edit]

Moses Thatcher was called to be an apostle and a member of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles in April 1879. He was called to replace Orson Hyde, who died on November 28, 1878.

At the April 1896 General Conference of the church, Thatcher was dropped from the Quorum of the Twelve in consequence of his not being "in harmony" with the other leaders of the church about a proposed policy called "The Political Rule of the Church," commonly referred to as "the political Manifesto." This policy would have required LDS Church officials to obtain approval from their priesthood superiors in the church prior to taking on "any position, political or otherwise." This statement was signed by all the apostles at the time except Thatcher, who refused on grounds of conscience, citing the church's long-standing position on neutrality in political matters. (Apostle Anthon Lund also did not sign the document due to his absence while presiding over the church's European Mission.)[4]

However, Thatcher was not excommunicated from the church and held the priesthood office of Apostle until his death. Thatcher remained supportive of the church after being removed from the Quorum, testifying on many occasions of the divinity of the work and the divinity of the calling of its leaders. Matthias F. Cowley was called to replace Thatcher in the Quorum of the Twelve.

Post-Quorum of the Twelve Service[edit]

After being removed from the quorum, Thatcher testified in the Reed Smoot Investigation held before the Senate Committee on Privileges and Elections. He was supportive of the church and its positions.

Thatcher died at his home on August 21, 1909 in Logan, Utah. He is buried in the Logan, Utah Cemetery.


  1. ^ After Thatcher was added to the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles it still was only composed of 11 apostles.
  2. ^ Thatcher was removed from the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles by a vote of the church in 1896; however, he retained the priesthood office of apostle until his death.
  3. ^ Since Thatcher was not a member of the Quorum of the Twelve when he died, his death did not create a vacancy that needed to be filled by the calling of a new apostle.
  4. ^ B. H. Roberts, Comprehensive History of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints 6:330–336.

External links[edit]

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints titles
Preceded by
Albert Carrington
Quorum of the Twelve Apostles
April 9, 1879 – April, 1896
Succeeded by
Francis M. Lyman