Benjamin L. Clapp
|Benjamin L. Clapp|
|First Seven Presidents of the Seventy|
|December 2, 1845– June 7, 1859|
|End reason||Excommunicated for apostasy|
|Born||Benjamin Lynn Clapp
August 19, 1814
West Huntsville, Alabama
|Died||October 31, 1865
Ane C. Diedrick
|Parents||Ludwick Lewis Clapp
Margaret Ann Loy
Clapp was born in West Huntsville, Alabama and married Mary Schultz in 1832. He was baptized at some point before February 26, 1836, when Wilford Woodruff ordained him a priest. He served with Woodruff as a missionary in Kentucky, where Woodruff recorded the following experience:
"While traveling in the night, with Brother Benjamin L. Clapp and others, a tremendous storm of wind and rain overtook us. We came to a creek which had swollen to such an extent by the rain, that we could not cross without swimming our horses; several of the company were females. We undertook to head the stream, to ford it; but in the attempt, in the midst of the darkness and the raging of the wind and rain, we were lost in the thick woods, amidst the rain, wind, creeks and fallen treetops. We crossed streams nearly twenty times. I was reminded of Paul's perils by water; but the Lord was merciful unto us in the midst of our troubles, for while we were groping in the dark, running the risk of killing both ourselves and animals, by riding off precipitous bluffs, a bright light suddenly shone round about us, and revealed our perilous situation, as were upon the edge of a deep gulf. The light continued with us until we found a house, and learned the right road; then the light disappeared, and we were enabled to reach the house of Brother Henry Thomas, at nine o'clock, all safe, having rode twenty miles, five hours in the storm; and we felt to thank the Lord for our preservation."
Clapp was set apart as one of the Seven Presidents of the Seventy on December 2, 1845. He replaced Daniel S. Miles, who had died. After moving west, he settled in Ephraim, Utah Territory where he conflicted with Bishop Warren S. Snow. He was subsequently dropped from the Presidency and excommunicated for apostasy on April 7, 1859. Jacob Gates took his place in the church hierarchy.
Clapp died in Liberty, California on October 31, 1865, "with a firm conviction of the truth of the latter-day work." By this time, some of his wives and children had become members of the RLDS Church and he likely would have done so as well had he lived longer, as the rest of his family converted after his death.