Richard Ballantyne

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Not to be confused with Richard Ballantine or Richard Bannatyne.
Richard Ballantyne
Photo of Richard Ballantyne
Personal details
Born (1817-08-26)August 26, 1817
Whitridgebog, Roxburghshire, Scotland
Died November 8, 1898(1898-11-08) (aged 81)
Ogden, Utah, United States
Resting place Ogden City Cemetery
41°13′57″N 111°57′44″W / 41.2325°N 111.9622°W / 41.2325; -111.9622 (Ogden City Cemetery)
Organization Founder of the LDS Sunday School
Spouse(s) Mary Pierce
Caroline A. Sanderson
Huldah M. Clark
Children 23
Parents David Ballantyne
Ann Bannerman

Richard Ballantyne (August 26, 1817 – November 8, 1898) was the founder of the Sunday School of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, having begun the program in December 1849.[1][2] He was also a Mormon pioneer and missionary.

Ballantyne was born in Whitridgebog, Roxburghshire, Scotland, where he was a Sunday school teacher in the Relief Presbyterian Church. In December 1842, Ballantyne became a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, being baptized in the Firth of Forth at Leith. In 1843 he and a number of his family members emigrated to Nauvoo, Illinois, where the majority of the Latter Day Saints were gathering. On February 17, 1847, Ballantyne married Hulda Meriah Clark, and they emigrated to Utah Territory in 1848 with the Mormon pioneers.

While living in Salt Lake City, Ballantyne asked for permission from his bishop to establish a Sunday school for some of the Latter-day Saint children. Having been granted permission, he held the first LDS Church Sunday School meeting in his home on December 9, 1849.[3] Approximately 50 students were in attendance. Sunday School was organized church-wide in 1867.

In 1852, Ballantyne was called to serve a church mission to India.[4] He worked there with little success from 1853 to 1855.

Like many early Latter-day Saints, Ballantyne practiced plural marriage. He married Huldah M. Clark in 1847, Mary Pierce in 1855, and Caroline Sanderson in 1857[5] He was the father of 23 children. His sister Jane was a plural wife of John Taylor, who was president of the LDS Church for from 1880 to 1887.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Webb, Robert C. The Real Mormonism: A Candid Analysis of an Interesting But Much Misunderstood Subject in History. Kessinger Publishing, 2006, p. 303. ISBN 1-4254-9016-6.
  2. ^ McFarland, John Thomas, et al. The Encyclopædia of Sunday Schools and Religious Education. T. Nelson & Sons, 1915, p. 690.
  3. ^ Alward, Benjamin B. A Look at Mormonism: Pictorial Highlights of the Church and Its People. Deseret Book Co., 1956.
  4. ^ Jenson, Andrew. Church Chronology: A Record of Important Events Pertaining to the History of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Kessinger Publishing, 2004, p. 48. ISBN 1-4179-6854-0.
  5. ^ The Utah Genealogical and Historical Magazine. Genealogical Society of Utah, v.2 1911, p. 172.


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