Information concerning the baptisms of the Presidents of the Church
- Joseph Smith: The Prophet Joseph was baptized on Friday, May 15, 1829 (age 23 years 5 months) by Oliver Cowdery in the Susquehanna River near Harmony, Susquehanna County, Pennsylvania. Joseph was re-baptized on April 6, 1830, the day the church was organized, to signify official membership in the new Church of Jesus Christ.
- Brigham Young: President Young was baptized on Saturday, April 14, 1832 (age 30 years 10 months) in his own millpond near Mendon, Monroe County, New York, by Eleazar Miller, one of the early missionaries of the Church.
- John Taylor: President Taylor was baptized on Monday, May 9, 1836 (age 27 years 6 months) in Black Creek near Georgetown,Ontario, Canada. He and his wife were baptized by Elder Parley P. Pratt, a member of the Quorum of the Twelve.
- Wilford Woodruff: President Woodruff was baptized on Tuesday, December 31, 1833 (age 26 years 10 months) in an icy stream near Richland, Oswego County, New York. He was baptized by Zera Pulsipher, an early missionary for the Church (see D&C 124:138).
- Lorenzo Snow: President Snow was baptized on Friday, June 3, 1836 (age 22 years 2 months) in the Chagrin River near Kirtland, Lake County, Ohio. He was baptized by Elder John F. Boynton, a member of the Quorum of the Twelve.
- Joseph F. Smith: President Smith was baptized on Friday, May 21, 1852 (age 13 years 6 months) in City Creek, Salt Lake City, Salt Lake County, Utah. He was baptized by Heber C. Kimball, who at the time was 1st Counselor in the First Presidency and was married to Joseph’s mother.
- Heber J. Grant: President Grant was baptized on Thursday, June 2, 1864 (age 7 years 6 months) in a wagon box rigged up as an outdoor font behind Brigham Young’s school in Salt Lake City, Salt Lake County, Utah
- George Albert Smith: President Smith was baptized on Thursday, June 6, 1878 (age 8 years 2 months) in City Creek in Salt Lake City, Salt Lake County, Utah, by James Moyle.
- David O. McKay: President McKay was baptized on Thursday, September 8, 1881 (age 8 years 0 months) in Spring Creek near Huntsville, Weber County, Utah, by Peter Geertsen.
- Joseph Fielding Smith: President Smith was baptized on Saturday, July 19, 1884 (age 8 years 0 months) by his father, Joseph F. Smith, in Salt Lake City, Salt Lake County, Utah. The records do not say exactly where President Smith was baptized, but since it was a hot summer day, he was probably baptized outdoors in City Creek.
- Harold B. Lee: President Lee was baptized on Sunday, June 9, 1907 (age 8 years 2 months) in Bybee Pond, an old lime-kiln near Clifton, Franklin County, Idaho, by Lester Bybee, the owner of the lime-kiln.
- Spencer W. Kimball: President Kimball was baptized on Saturday, March 28, 1903 (8 years 0 months) by his father, Andrew Kimball, in the hog-scalding tub that was also used as the family’s bathtub. This occurred in Thatcher, Arizona. His father stood outside the tub, which some people felt was not a correct way to baptize. To be sure that Spencer was properly baptized, he was baptized again on October 5, 1907 (age 12 years 6 months) in the Union Canal in Thatcher, Arizona, just one block away from his home.
- Ezra Taft Benson: President Benson was baptized on Sunday, August 4, 1907 (age 8 years 0 months) in the Logan River Canal near his home in Whitney, Franklin County, Idaho. President Benson was baptized by his father, George Taft Benson. This information was obtained from Sarah Benson Eveleth, President Benson’s sister.
- Howard W. Hunter President Hunter was baptized on Sunday, April 4, 1920 (age 12 years 5 months) in the Natatorium, a large indoor swimming complex in Boise, Ada County, Idaho.
- Gordon B. Hinckley: President Hinckley was baptized on Monday, April 28, 1919 (age 8 years 10 months) by his father, Bryant S. Hinckley, in the baptismal font of the First Ward in the Liberty Stake in Salt Lake City.
- Thomas S. Monson: “I recall the time I approached baptism, when I was eight years of age. My mother talked with me about repentance and about the meaning of baptism; and then, on a Saturday in September of 1935, she took me on a streetcar to the Tabernacle baptistry on Temple Square. At the time it was not as customary as it is now for fathers to baptize their children, since the ordinance was generally performed on a Saturday morning or afternoon, and many fathers were working at their daily professions or trades. I dressed in white and was baptized. I remember that day as though it was yesterday and the happiness I felt at having had this ordinance performed.” Ensign, May 2007, “Tabernacle Memories”
- Russell M. Nelson: President Nelson was baptized at age 16, along with his siblings. His baptism would have occurred in 1940. Since he was raised in Salt Lake City, it is likely that his baptism occurred there. Anyone with more information about President Nelson’s baptism, please share it with me.
(Most of this information was obtained from The Friend, August 1997, pages 42-43)
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