Asa Dodds


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By Susan Easton Black

Soon after joining the Church, Asa accepted a mission call to preach the message of the Restoration with Orson Pratt. “About the first of October [1831],” Orson Pratt wrote, “I started on foot for Ohio, in company with Asa Dodds, preaching by the way, as commanded of the Lord through the Prophet. Brother Dodds stopped in Indiana, but I continued my journey, although suffering much from the ague.”1

On January 25, 1832 Asa was in attendance at a Church conference held at the home of Gideon Carter in Amherst, Ohio. In recalling the conference, the Prophet Joseph Smith said, “At this conference much harmony prevailed, and considerable business was done to advance the kingdom, and promulgate the Gospel to the inhabitants of the surrounding country.”2 The Prophet Joseph was presented, sustained, and set apart as President of the High Priesthood of the Church at the conference.3 In addition, the Prophet received a revelation for “certain elders, who . . . desired to learn more in detail as to their immediate duties” (D&C 75: Introduction).

Among the elders was Asa Dodds and Calves Wilson. The Prophet received a revelation for these two brethren: “And again, I say unto my servant Asa Dodds, and unto my servant Calves Wilson, that they also shall take their journey unto the western countries, and proclaim my gospel, even as I have commanded them” (D&C 75:15). Whether the two men fulfilled the appointed mission is unknown.

Eight days after the Amherst Conference, Asa was ordained a high priest by Hyrum Smith. As to his faithfulness and whereabouts after the ordination, little is known. It is presumed that he no longer affiliated with the Church. By February 1833 Asa was residing near Fayette, Missouri. By May 1835 he had moved to Paris, Tennessee. In 1850 he was reported to be living in Farmington, Ohio, working as a stonemason.4

1. Elden J Watson, ed., The Orson Pratt Journals (Salt Lake City: Elden Jay Watson, 1975), p. 11.

2. Smith, History of the Church, 1:242-243.

3. Revelations, 25 January 1832-A1 [Doctrine and Covenants 75:1-22]. Joseph Smith Papers.

4. US Federal Census, 1850.

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