Though Elder Lorenzo Dow Booth died at an early
age and remains a fairly obscure character in Church history, the few snippets
of information we glean from his life indicates that he was a hard worker,
faithful to the Gospel, and loyal to the Prophet.
Lorenzo Booth was born October 13, 1807 in
Scipio, New York, the eldest of the three sons listed by the Ancestral
File as being born to John Calvin Booth and Jane Hawlet.
He was introduced to the Church and baptized as a
young man and at an early date for by 1834, he had volunteered to accompany
the Prophet Joseph Smith on Zions Camp,
the expedition to relieve the suffering saints in Zion from the depredation
of the Missouri mobocrats. We read of a couple of incidents along the way
that give some insight into Lorenzo's character and position in the Church.
As the brethren prepared for Zions Camp, they sought
to provide for their families during their absence which they knew not
what the duration might be. Brigham Young took the family of Lorenzo Booth
into his own home that the two families might strengthen one another during
the men's absence. This seems unlikely to have occurred without some pre-existing
relationship or bond between the families.
On one occasion, when Joseph remonstrated with the
camp about an incident involving a dog, murmuring began that Joseph cared
more about the dog than about the men. It was Lorenzo acting with Brigham
Young and several others who quelled the murmuring tongues.
After Zions Camp was dismissed and the members began
their return journey to the Kirtland area, Lorenzo accompanied Joseph,
Hyrum, and William Smith. We might surmise that this opportunity for more
intimate association with the Prophet both arose from a heightened spiritual
position and led to further enlightenment.
In 1835 Lorenzo was ordained a Seventy and called into
membership of the newly created First Quorum of the Seventy. As such, he
was recognized as a man of attainment, a leader among the saints. And so,
it is not surprising that about 1837 he married Parthenia Works. Parthenia
bore Elder Booth seven children.
These must have been good times for the Booths. Lorenzo
was affluent enough to subscribe to the Kirtland Safety Society and become
a shareholder thereof. Unfortunately, we may assume that like others, he lost it all
when the Society went belly-up. We have no indication, however, that he
failed of faith.
Although we do not read of Lorenzo during the Missouri
era, we find him with the body of the saints in Nauvoo in 1847 where he
died at the early age of forty. He is said to have died of exposure to freezing
water, or hypothermia. The account did not give details of how the accident
Grampa Bill is indebted to Trent Lofgren for locating a picture
of Elder Booth.