Jedediah M. Grant

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Jedediah M. Grant
Second Counselor in the First Presidency
April 7, 1854 (1854-04-07) – December 1, 1856 (1856-12-01)
PredecessorWillard Richards
SuccessorDaniel H. Wells
LDS Church Apostle
April 7, 1854 (1854-04-07) – December 1, 1856 (1856-12-01)
ReasonDeath of Willard Richards[1]
at end of term
Daniel H. Wells ordained and added to the First Presidency
First Seven Presidents of the Seventy
December 2, 1845 (1845-12-02) – April 7, 1854 (1854-04-07)
End reasonCalled as Second Counselor in the First Presidency
Personal details
BornJedediah Morgan Grant
(1816-02-21)February 21, 1816
Windsor, New York, United States
DiedDecember 1, 1856(1856-12-01) (aged 40)
Salt Lake City, Utah Territory, United States
Resting placeSalt Lake City Cemetery
40°46′37″N 111°51′29″W / 40.777°N 111.858°W / 40.777; -111.858 (Salt Lake City Cemetery)
ParentsJoshua and Athalia H. Grant

Jedediah Morgan Grant (February 21, 1816 – December 1, 1856) was a leader and an apostle of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS Church). He was member of the First Council of the Seventy from 1845 to 1854 and served in the First Presidency under church president Brigham Young from 1854 to 1856. He is known for his fiery speeches during the Reformation of 1856, earning the nickname "Brigham's Sledgehammer". Grant is the father of Heber J. Grant, who later served as President of the Church.

Early life[edit]

Jedediah M. Grant was born February 21, 1816, to Joshua Grant and Athalia Howard in Windsor, New York. He was baptized into the Church of Christ by John F. Boyington on March 21, 1833, at age 17.[2] By age 18, he had participated in Zion's Camp, marching from Kirtland, Ohio, to Missouri under the direction of Joseph Smith.[3] Though the physical objectives of the march were not met, many members later became leaders in Smith's church. Grant's close relationship with these men from such an early age would last the rest of his life.

Grant was among the first Latter Day Saint missionaries to go to Maryland, North Carolina, and Virginia.[4] His preaching efforts in the Toms River area of New Jersey in the late 1830s led to the conversion of members of the Ivins family.[4]

Grant was one of a group of men (which also included Brigham Young, Wilford Woodruff and George A. Smith) who were called in 1844 to campaign for Smith's election to President of the United States.

Church leader[edit]

After Smith's death, Grant was called to serve as a President of the Seventy. As a Seventy, he assisted with the trek westwards and the settling of the Salt Lake Valley. He would later become the first mayor of Salt Lake City, Utah, serving in that position from 1851 until his death. Morgan County, Utah, and Morgan, Utah, are both named for him. In 1854, Grant was ordained an apostle, but he did not become a member of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles. Instead, he was called to the First Presidency as Young's Second Counselor, filling the vacancy left by the death of Willard Richards.

Grant served in the Utah Territorial Council in 1851.[5]

Sermons during the Mormon reformation[edit]

In 1856, Grant was called by Young to tour the northern sections of Utah Territory, calling the Latter-day Saints to repentance. Grant inspired the Mormon Reformation of 1856 as he delivered fiery speeches on this tour. He issued a call for rebaptism of all the members of the area. Grant's speeches earned him the title "Brigham's Sledgehammer." The effects of his speeches were felt almost immediately; members throughout the area, as well as in distant parts, were rebaptized to signify their commitment to renew their commitments to the LDS Church and the gospel.[6]

As a member of the First Presidency, Grant spoke on multiple occasions on the doctrine of Blood Atonement:

"It is their right to baptize a sinner to save him, and it is also their right to kill a sinner to save him, when he commits those crimes that can only be atoned for by shedding his blood. If the Lord God forgives sins by baptism, and there is another law that certain sins cannot be atoned for by baptism, but by the shedding of the blood of the sinner, query, whether the people of God be overreaching the mark, if they should execute the law to save such? They used to do it sufficiently. We would not kill a man, of course, unless we killed him to save him."[7]

"I say, that there are men and women that I would advise to go to the President immediately, and ask him to appoint a committee to attend to their case; and then let a place be selected, and let that committee shed their blood."[8]

Death and descendants[edit]

Grave marker of Jedediah M. Grant.

Grant contracted pneumonia after his vigorous tour. He died on December 1, 1856,[9] just nine days after his son, Heber J. Grant, was born to his wife Rachel Ridgeway Ivins. He was buried at Salt Lake City Cemetery.

Like many early Mormons, Grant practiced plural marriage, a form of polygyny. He had a total of seven wives, among them Susan Fairchild Noble Grant, who wrote reminiscences of early life in Utah and was a leader in the Relief Society after Grant died. By his wives, Grant had 11 children (10 biological, one adopted). His son, Heber, became the LDS Church's seventh president.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Grant replaced Richards as a member of the First Presidency. Although he was an ordained apostle, Grant was never a member of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles.
  2. ^ Biography Archived 2012-01-05 at the Wayback Machine of Jedediah Morgan Grant, Joseph Smith Papers (accessed January 6, 2012)
  3. ^ "Deseret News | 1856-12-10 | Obituary". Retrieved 2019-05-10.
  4. ^ a b 2005 Deseret Morning News Church Almanac (Salt Lake City, Utah: Deseret Morning News, 2004) pp. 197, 213, 220, 254.
  5. ^ Territory of Utah Legislative Assembly Rosters 1851-1894
  6. ^ Peterson, Paul H. (1989), "The Mormon Reformation of 1856–1857: The Rhetoric and the Reality", Journal of Mormon History, 15: 59–88, archived from the original on 2011-06-13.
  7. ^ Deseret News, July 27, 1854
  8. ^ Journal of Discourses 4:49, Rebuking Iniquity, September 21, 1856
  9. ^ "Deseret News | 1856-12-03 | A Mighty Man Has Gone to Rest". Retrieved 2019-05-10.


  • Sessions, Gene Allred. Mormon Thunder: A Documentary History of Jedediah Morgan Grant. University of Illinois Press, 1993. ISBN 0-252-00944-4.
  • Young, Brigham (December 4, 1856), "On the Death of President Jedediah M. Grant", in Watt, G.D. (ed.), Journal of Discourses Delivered by President Brigham Young, His Two Counsellors, and the Twelve Apostles, and Others, 4, Liverpool: S.W. Richards, pp. 129–134.
  • Kimball, Heber C. (December 4, 1856), "Remarks at the Funeral of President Jedediah M. Grant", in Watt, G.D. (ed.), Journal of Discourses Delivered by President Brigham Young, His Two Counsellors, and the Twelve Apostles, and Others, 4, Liverpool: S.W. Richards, pp. 135–138.

External links[edit]

Political offices
New office Mayor of Salt Lake City
Succeeded by
Abraham O. Smoot
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints titles
Preceded by
Willard Richards
Second Counselor in the First Presidency
April 7, 1854 – December 1, 1856
Succeeded by
Daniel H. Wells