Leman Copley

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Leman Copley (March 25, 1781 – December 1862) was an early convert to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.[1] Born in Connecticut,[2] Copley moved to Rutland County, Vermont[3] sometime before 1800 and was living in Thompson Township,[4] Ohio by 1820.[5] Prior to his conversion to the Church of Christ, Copley was a Shaker.[3]

In March 1831, Copley was called by Joseph Smith, through a revelation to preach the gospel to the Shakers along with Sidney Rigdon and Parley P. Pratt.[6][7]

When the members of the branch of the Church of Christ from Colesville, New York[8] came to settle in Ohio, Copley was persuaded to consecrate his large farm[9] (of nearly 1000 acres)[7] for their settlement. When he and the church had a falling out he forced them all to leave.[10] Joseph Smith received a revelation to have the "Colesville Saints" go to Missouri,[11] where God would reveal to Smith the location of the land of Zion.[12] This was the beginning of the church's movement to Missouri[13][14] and the dual centers of church activity (i.e. Kirtland, Ohio and Independence, Missouri).[15][16]

In June 1831, Copley was excommunicated from the church. He was readmitted to the church in October 1832.[17] He served another mission with Doctor Hurlbut.[18]

Sometime before 1850 Copley moved to Madison, Ohio,[2] where he died in May 1862.[2][19]


  1. ^ Intellectual Reserve (2016). Revelations in Context: The Stories behind the Sections of the Doctrine and Covenants. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. ISBN 978-1-4651-1885-1.
  2. ^ a b c John Whitmer (1995). From Historian to Dissident: The Book of John Whitmer. Signature Books. p. 66. ISBN 978-1-56085-043-4.
  3. ^ a b Lyndon W. Cook (1981). The Revelations of the Prophet Joseph Smith: A Historical and Biographical Commentary of the Doctrine and Covenants. Seventy's Mission Bookstore.
  4. ^ Mormon Historical Studies. Mormon Historic Sites Foundation. 2007.
  5. ^ Biography of Leman Copley, The Joseph Smith Papers (accessed 21 December 2011)
  6. ^ Lynn F. Price (1 February 1997). Every Person in the Doctrine and Covenants. Cedar Fort. pp. 31–2. ISBN 978-1-4621-0500-7.
  7. ^ a b Randal S. Chase (1 December 2010). Church History Study Guide, Pt. 1: 1805-1832. Plain & Precious Publishing. p. 354. ISBN 978-1-937901-04-2.
  8. ^ Susan Easton Black; Charles D. Tate (1 June 1993). Joseph Smith: the prophet, the man. Religious Studies Center,, Brigham Young University. ISBN 978-0-88494-876-6.
  9. ^ Donna Hill (October 1983). Joseph Smith: The First Mormon. Signature Books.
  10. ^ Randal S. Chase (1 December 2010). Church History Study Guide, Pt. 1: 1805-1832. Plain & Precious Publishing. pp. 361–. ISBN 978-1-937901-04-2.
  11. ^ Richard Lyman Bushman (18 December 2007). Joseph Smith: Rough Stone Rolling. Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group. ISBN 978-0-307-42648-2.
  12. ^ Duane S. Crowther (1 January 2008). Prophecies of Joseph Smith. Cedar Fort. ISBN 978-0-88290-842-7.
  13. ^ Terryl L. Givens; Matthew J. Grow (4 October 2011). Parley P. Pratt: The Apostle Paul of Mormonism. Oxford University Press. pp. 60–. ISBN 978-0-19-991330-5.
  14. ^ Milton Vaughn Backman (1 October 1983). The heavens resound: a history of the Latter-day Saints in Ohio, 1830-1838. Desert Book Co. ISBN 978-0-87747-973-4.
  15. ^ John J. Hammond (2012). A Divided Mormon Zion: Northeastern Ohio Or Western Missouri?. Xlibris Corporation. ISBN 978-1-4691-9005-1.
  16. ^ Terryl Givens (2004). The Latter-day Saint Experience in America. Greenwood Publishing Group. pp. 19–. ISBN 978-0-313-32750-6.
  17. ^ Brigham Young University Studies. Brigham Young University Press. 1979. p. 97.
  18. ^ Joseph Smith Papers. "Hurlbut, Doctor Philastus". Joseph Smith Papers.
  19. ^ Joseph Smith (1989). The Papers of Joseph Smith: Autobiographical and Historical Writings. Deseret Book Company. p. 480. ISBN 978-0-87579-199-9.