Adapted from LDS Biographical Encyclopedia.
George Teasdale was one of the Twelve Apostles, being
ordained in 1882, He was the son of William Russell Teasdale and Harriet
Henrietta Tidey, and was born Dec. 8, 1831, in London, England. Being naturally
of a studious and thoughtful disposition, he obtained the best education
that could be had at the public schools and the London University After
leaving school, he entered the office of an architect and surveyor. But
did not remain in this employment long, owing to the dishonesty of the
employer. Later he learned the upholstering business.
Although his mother was a member of the church of
England, he was not at all impressed by the doctrines which were advanced
and was not confirmed into the church. Still, he received many impressions
on religious subjects from his mother, and from his childhood up he was
a student of the Scriptures. In the year 1851, he learned for the first
time something of the principles of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day
Saints. This information came to him through a tract issued by the Tract
Society of the church of England, entitled "Mormonism." Shortly after this,
a man who belonged to the Church came to work at the establishment where
Brother Teasdale was employed. Although this brother was a plain, unassuming
man, he bore a powerful testimony, and there was no doubt in his mind as
to the truthfulness of this work. His fellow-workmen ridiculed him and
argued with him, but he was never overcome. So impressive was this humble
man's testimony that at least one of his associates was led to investigate
the principles of the gospel as he explained them.
Brother Teasdale became interested in this unpopular
religion, and, as is always the case, he met with opposition from his friends
and acquaintances. They endeavored to show him the folly of the step which
they feared he was about to take, and told him that all his bright
prospects for life would be ruined if he persisted in such a course. But
when a mind such as that possessed by George Teasdale becomes convinced
that a thing is right, it requires more than the opposition of friends
to turn it from its purpose. Therefore, without allowing, their ridicule
to alter his determination, he rendered obedience to what he knew was a
law of God.
After his baptism, Aug. 8, 1852, he, like nearly
all young converts, felt that many would believe his testimony. The gospel
was so plain to him, and as he had nothing to gain by testifying to something
that was not true, he felt that all who heard him must be convinced. However,
he learned by experience, during his very early days in the Church, that
it is a difficult matter to convert this generation to the truth. He was
ordained a Priest and later an Elder, and spent much of his time in preaching
and giving lectures on religious subjects. During this time he learned
how necessary it is to have the Spirit of the Lord in speaking on the principles
of the gospel. He had very little time for study, and, he tells us, he
was not naturally a speaker, his first efforts in this direction being
total failures; but later, when he was called to go out to speak, he dedicated
his labors to the Lord and asked His assistance, and of course was successful.
While laboring in this way Elder Teasdale made the
acquaintance of Miss Emily Emma Brown, and in the year 1853 they were married.
From this time until her death in 1874, this good lady was a great help
to her husband, In the course of his ministry in England they had many
trials to pass through—trials of poverty, of being ridiculed by former
friends—but through it all, Sister Teasdale was ever the true, consistent
Latter-day Saint, helping her husband by her counsel and by the fortitude
which she exhibited during all the trials through which they passed.
Later in life Elder Teasdale heard and, being converted
to the principle, obeyed the law of plural marriage, taking good, faithful
women as his wives. His zeal in spreading the truth caused his selection
as president of the Somerstown branch of the London conference. In addition
to this he was clerk of the conference, auditor of the book agency accounts,
and President of the tract-distributing association.
With all these duties his time was, of course, completely
taken up, especially in view of the fact that his labor in these callings
was entirely gratuitous, and he was compelled to devote a portion of his
time to earning a livelihood; but in the year 1857, he was called upon
to give his whole time to the work of the ministry. Obedience to this call
required the giving up of an excellent position, and the breaking up of
a pleasant, comfortable home. Elder Teasdale had determined to devote his
life to the work of God, and here was an opportunity for him to show how
firm this determination was. He decided to accept the call, and in this
course he was encouraged by his wife. He sold his possessions, made his
wife as comfortable as possible and entered upon his new duties. The peace
and joy which always accompany the performance of religious duties were
felt by him, and he greatly enjoyed his labors, presiding over the Cambridge
conference. Though often footsore and weary from his long walks, the Spirit
of the Lord brought happiness to his heart. In 1858, he presided over three
conferences, the Wiltshire, Landsend and South conferences; in 1859, he
was given charge of the Scottish mission, which included the Edinburgh,
Glasgow and Dundee conferences. In 1861 he was released to come to Zion.
Here another trial awaited him. Two of his children
had died and two were still spared. From his long missionary labor, his
means were all exhausted, and he and his family were compelled to make
the ocean voyage in the steerage of an emigrant ship, the "Underwriter."
On his arrival in Florence, Nebraska, he was called to assist Elder Jacob
Gates in keeping the accounts, etc., of the emigration, owing to which
he did not leave there until the last company of the season arrived, then
he crossed the plains in Captain Sextus E. Johnson's company, which arrived
in Great Salt Lake valley Sept. 27, 1861.
Here he found a new experience, and for the first
six months taught school in the Twentieth Ward, Salt Lake City. He also
became associated with the Tabernacle choir, under the leadership of Brother
James Smithies. In 1862 he was engaged to take charge of Pres. Brigham
Young's merchandise store, by which he had the privilege of becoming
familiar with that excellent man and his family. In the fall of 1867 he
took charge of the General Tithing Store, and in 1868 was appointed on
a mission to England. He crossed the plains with mule teams, and on his
arrival in New York stayed to assist in that season's emigration, at the
close of which he crossed the ocean in the steamship "City of Antwerp,"
with Elder Albert Carrington, who was
on his first mission to England, and Jesse N. Smith, who was appointed
to the charge of the Scandinavian Mission.
On his arrival in Liverpool, Sept. 9, 1868, he was
appointed to labor in the "Millennial Star" office. The next year, being
called to assist Elder William C. Staines In the emigration business at
New York, he crossed the ocean in the steamship "Colorado," and remained
there until the close of that season's emigration, returning home in the
fall of 1869.
Zion's Cooperative Mercantile Institution was then
being started, and he obtained employment in that institution, from one
responsibility to an other, until he had charge of the produce department.
In 1875 he was appointed on a mission to the Southern
States, and labored in Tennessee, North Carolina and Virginia. On being
released in the fall of 1876, he returned home by way of Philadelphia,
visited the Centennial Exhibition and the Niagara Falls. On reaching Salt
Lake City, after resting awhile, he was again employed in Zion's Co-operative
Being called to the charge of the Juab Stake of Zion,
he was ordained a High Priest and set apart for this position under the
hands of Pres. Brigham Young. This caused him to resign an excellent position
in Z. C. M. I., but he soon found suitable ways and means by which he could
comfortably sustain his family. While residing in Nephi he was engaged
in the tithing office, took contracts for the construction of a portion
of the Utah Southern Railroad, acted as president of the Nephi Co-operative
Store, and was also connected with other enterprises. He also served in
two sessions of the Utah legislature, namely those of 1880 and 1882.
In October, 1882, he was called by revelation to
the Apostleship and was ordained to that high and holy position Oct. 13,
1882, by Pres. John Taylor. In 1883 he took a
six months' mission to the Indian Territory, returning to Salt Lake City
in October, 1883. In 1884 his labors were chiefly among the Saints from
Snake river, Idaho, north, to St. George, Washington county, Utah, south.
He also visited the Temples of Logan and St. George, attending to work
in ordinances for the dead, etc. In January, 1885, he left home on a visit
to the Saints in the southern country, in Nevada and Arizona. From there
he went to Old Mexico, and assisted in forming a colony in that land. Thence
he was called on a mission to Europe, to assist Pres. Daniel H. Wells,
and afterwards to succeed him in the presidency of the European Mission.
He arrived in Liverpool Nov. 30, 1886, and after
traveling quite extensively in the various conferences of Great Britain,
he entered upon the responsible duties of his office as president of the
mission in February, 1887. He acted in that capacity till 1890, when he
was released to return home. While on that mission he traveled through
France, Switzerland, Germany, Denmark, Sweden, Norway and the British Isles.
Since his ordination to the Apostleship, Elder Teasdale's
life was almost entirely devoted to his calling in the Church. If not absent
from home on foreign missions, he spent his time in traveling among the
Stakes of Zion, preaching to the people and exhorting them to live lives
of Latter-day Saints. In all his labors at home or abroad, he always took
advantage of every opportunity to lift his voice against sin and iniquity,
and to declare the glad message of great joy which is so dear to him. Throughout
all his ministry he appeared to have the same spirit which was exhibited
by Paul of old when he said, "Woe is unto me, if I preach not the gospel."
Notwithstanding the years Brother Teasdale spent
in the missionary field and in laboring among the Saints at home, he felt
at times that he was not reaching enough ears, and this feeling prompted
him to write the tracts. "Glad Tidings of Great Joy," and "The Restoration
of the Everlasting Gospel," thousands of which were distributed by missionaries
in the world. "Elder Teasdale," wrote Elder Hugh J. Cannon, "has always
been greatly interested in the Sunday school work. While president of the
Juab Stake, he also acted as Stake Superintendent of Sabbath Schools, and
for some time he was teacher of the primary class in the vestry of the
Nephi Tabernacle. For several years he was a member of the Deseret Sunday
School Union Board. In his talks to the children he endeavored to impress
upon their minds the value of a well-spent life and the necessity of living
near to the Lord, and in this connection reminded them of the importance
of keeping the Word of Wisdom.
One of the most striking characteristics of Apostle
Teasdale was that he was always the same. Wherever you met him he had the
same genial, quiet way which made friends of all with whom he came in contact.
And one of the first impressions made on new acquaintances was that he
was a man of God. His life was so taken up with his spiritual duties that
he took more delight in conversing on this subject than on any other. "Out
of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaketh," was well illustrated
in the case of Apostle Teasdale. His heart was full of the gospel, and
of a love for his fellowmen, and knew so well how the principles of truth
have benefited him, and that mankind could not do without them and make
a success of this life, he took delight in bringing these principles to
their attention. On every question which came before him for consideration,
his first desire was to find out what the will of the Lord is on the subject,
and few men were more tenacious than he in doing what he understood the
will of the Lord to be. Not only did Apostle Teasdale preach the gospel,
but he endeavored by his daily life to show that he believed what he taught.
If an honest, upright life would benefit others, it would also benefit
him. His life was spent, therefore, in striving, by precept and example,
to lift mankind through the saving principles of truth, to a higher plane."
George Teasdale died June 20, 1907 at Salt Lake City,