Grampa Bill's General Authority Pages
Lyman E. Johnson. Lyman E. Johnson

1811 - 1856

  • Born 1811 Pomfret, Vermont
  • Baptized 1831
  • Ordained Elder 1831
  • Ordained High Priest 1831
  • Mission to Ohio, the Eastern States, and Nova Scotia 1832-33
  • Participated in Zion's Camp 1834
  • Ordained Apostle 1835
  • Missions to Eastern States 1835 and 1836
  • Disfellowshipped for Apostasy 1837; Restored the same year
  • Excommunicated 1838
  • Drowned in Mississippi River 1856

    Lyman E. Johnson was born October 24, 1811, at Pomfret, Vermont, and baptized in February, 1831, by Sidney Rigdon. He was ordained an elder October 25, 1831, by Oliver Cowdery, and a high priest Nov. 1, 1831, by Sidney Rigdon; called to the ministry in Nov., 1831, by revelation, and performed missionary labor in Ohio, the Eastern States and Nova Scotia.

    In 1834 he went to Missouri as a member of Zion's Camp, and was ordained an apostle Feb. 14, 1835, in Kirtland, Ohio, under the hands of Oliver Cowdery, David Whitmer and Martin Harris. Soon afterward he performed a mission to the Eastern States. He studied the Hebrew language in the winter of 1835-36, and after returning from another mission to the East in the fall of 1836 he entered into merchandising and soon after apostatized. At a conference held in Kirtland Sept. 3, 1837, he was disfellowshipped, but as he made confessions, he was restored to his former standing a few days later. His repentance, however, not being genuine, he was excommunicated from the Church at Far West, Mo., April 13, 1838.

     Mathias Cowley reported, "Lyman Johnson had wonderful manifestations given unto him; but when he fell into transgression . . . the power and authority that had distinguished him before was withdrawn." "I remember hearing President Snow say on more than one occasion, how determined Lyman E. Johnson was to see an angel from the Lord. He plead [sic] with and teased the Lord to send an angel to him until he saw an angel; but President Snow said the trouble with him was that he saw an angel one day and saw the devil the next day, and finally the devil got away with him."

   Until his death he remained friendly to his former associates, making frequent visits to Nauvoo, after the Saints had located there. He relinquished his business of merchandising and commenced to practice law, locating himself at Davenport, Iowa. A few years later he removed to Keokuk, where he continued his practice, and was finally drowned in the Mississippi river at Prairie du Chien, Wis., Dec. 20, 1856.

   Lyndon W. Cook, The Revelations of the Prophet Joseph Smith, p.111
   Andrew Jenson, LDS Biographical Encyclopedia,Vol. 1, p.91
   Encyclopedia of Mormonism, Vol.4, Appendix 1
   2005 Church Almanac, p.63

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