A biographical overview of the life of John Taylor,
the third President and Prophet of the Church of Jesus Christ
Following is a brief summary of some major events in the life of John Taylor, who served as the third President of the Church of Jesus
Christ of Latter-day Saints
- John Taylor was born on November 1, 1808 in Milnthorpe, England to James and Agnes Taylor. He was the second of 12 children, and the second son. Six of the 12 children died before reaching the age of 10.
- In 1830, he emigrated from England to Canada. He married Leonora Cannon on January 28, 1833 (age 24).
- By profession, he was a barrel maker and a wood turner.
- He was baptized, along with his wife, on May 9, 1836 by Elder Parley P. Pratt in Black Creek near Georgetown, Ontario, Canada (age 27).
- Elder Taylor was ordained an apostle by Brigham Young and Heber C. Kimball on December 19, 1838 (age 30).
- He served his first mission to England from 1839 to 1841 (age 30 to 32).
- He became skilled as an editor and publisher, and because of his unflagging oral and written support of the Church, he was referred to as “The Champion of Liberty and Defender of the Faith”.
- He was incarcerated with Joseph and Hyrum at the time of the martyrdom (June 27, 1844). During the assault, he was struck by several bullets. One miraculously hit his pocket watch, preventing a probable fatal injury.
- He served a second mission to England in 1846 and 1847 (age 37 to 38).
- He served a mission to France and Germany 1849 to 1852 (age 40 to 43).
- He presided over the Eastern States mission from 1854 to 1857.
- During his lifetime, he resided in England, Canada, Missouri, Illinois, Iowa, and Utah.
- Upon the death of Brigham Young on August 29, 1877, he became the leader of the Church as the President of the Quorum of the
- On October 10, 1880, he was sustained as the third President of the Church (age 71).
- In 1884, he dedicated the Logan Temple (age 75).
- He died in 1887 at age 78 in Kaysville, Utah.
- Major trials in Elder Taylor’s life included the expulsions from Missouri and Illinois, crossing the plains, and leading the Church during a period of intense persecution.
- Elder George Q. Cannon paid President Taylor this stirring tribute: “Steadfast to and immovable in the truth, few men have ever lived who have manifested such integrity and such unflinching moral and physical courage as our beloved President, John Taylor. He never knew the feeling of fear connected with the work of God. But in the face of angry mobs, and at other times when in imminent danger of personal violence from those who threatened his life, …he never blanched – his knees never trembled, his hand never shook.” (Deseret News, July 26, 1887)