Benjamin F. Johnson

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Benjamin F. Johnson
Photo of Benjamin F. Johnson
Personal details
Born Benjamin Franklin Johnson
(1818-07-28)July 28, 1818
Chautauqua County, New York, United States
Died November 18, 1905(1905-11-18) (aged 87)
Mesa, Arizona, United States
Resting place City of Mesa Cemetery
33°26′18″N 111°49′58″W / 33.4383°N 111.8329°W / 33.4383; -111.8329 (City of Mesa Cemetery)
Spouse(s) Melissa Bloomfield LeBaron
Mary A. Hale
Sarah Melissa Holman
Susan Adelaide Holman
Sarah J. Spooner
Harriet N. Holman
Parents Ezekiel Johnson
Julia E. Hills
Relatives Joel H. Johnson (brother)

Benjamin Franklin Johnson (July 28, 1818 – November 18, 1905)[1] was an early member of Latter Day Saint Movement, and a member of the Council of Fifty and a formerly private secretary to Joseph Smith. He served fourteen terms in the Utah State Legislature and was also a brickmaker, merchant, tavern keeper, leatherworker, farmer, nurseryman, and beekeeper.[2]

Early life[edit]

Born to Ezekiel Johnson and Julia Hills at Pomfret, New York, he moved to Kirtland, Ohio in 1833. He married Melissa Bloomfield LeBaron on Christmas Day, December 25, 1841.

Latter Day Saint Movement[edit]

Johnson was baptized into the Church of the Latter Day Saints at Kirtland by Lyman E. Johnson in the spring of 1835. Heber C. Kimball ordained him an elder March 10, 1839 at Far West, Missouri and John Smith ordained him a high priest in 1843 at Ramus, Illinois. He served as a missionary for his new faith to the eastern United States and Upper Canada between 1840 and 1842. He was appointed to Joseph Smith’s Council of Fifty in 1843.[2]

In 1838 he moved to Adam-ondi-Ahman, Missouri. He moved to Springfield, Illinois in 1839, Ramus (later Webster) in 1842, Nauvoo in 1845, and Bonaparte, Iowa Territory in 1846. In 1848 he arrived in the Salt Lake Valley with The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS Church) and served in the Utah territorial legislature from 1855 to 1867. Johnson left Utah for the Arizona Territory in 1882, settling in Tempe before going to Colonia Diaz, Chihuahua, Mexico in 1890 and returning to Arizona in 1892. He died at Mesa.[2]

Plural marriage[edit]

Johnson's sister married Joseph Smith as a plural marriage. Johnson records the event where Joseph Smith approached Johnson about the arrangement:[3]

Johnson himself was a noted polygamist, and had 7 wives.[4]


Johnson was the brother of hymnwriter Joel H. Johnson.[5]

LeBaron Family[edit]

In 1955, the LeBaron Family, who form the Church of the Firstborn of the Fulness of Times, a Mormon fundamentalist sect headquartered in northern Mexico, by claimed priesthood authority through Benjamin.[6][7]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Date of death from LeBaron 1966, p. 309
  2. ^ a b c Biography of Benjamin F. Johnson, The Joseph Smith Papers (accessed January 10, 2012)
  3. ^ From E. Dale LeBaron, Benjamin Franklin Johnson: Friend to the Prophets (Provo, UT: Grandin Book Company, 1997), 219–234
  4. ^ My Life's Review - The Autobiography of Benjamin F. Johnson (1818-1903) 1997 ISBN 0-910523-27-4 Published By: Grandin Book Company, 116 West Center, Provo, Utah 84601
  5. ^ Johnson, Benjamin F. (1947). My Life's Review. Independence, MO: Zion's Printing & Publishing Co. p. 7. 
  6. ^ Janet Bennion (2004). Desert Patriarchy: Mormon and Mennonite Communities in the Chihuahua Valley (Tucson: University of Arizona Press) ISBN 0-8165-2334-7
  7. ^ Brian C. Hales (2006). Modern Polygamy and Mormon Fundamentalism: The Generations After the Manifesto (Salt Lake City, Utah: Greg Kofford Books) ISBN 1-58958-035-4


External links[edit]