By 1820 Daniel and his family were living in Bath, New Hampshire, and attending the Universalist Church with neighbors and friends. The preaching of Orson Pratt and Lyman E. Johnson in April 1832 in that small community changed Daniel’s longstanding commitment to the Universalist Church. Daniel and his family embraced the Restoration message. Four years after he had entered baptismal waters, he moved his family to Kirtland, Ohio, a city of the Saints. In Kirtland, Daniel was ordained an elder by Reuben Hedlock on February 28, 1836, and a seventy by Hazen Aldrich on December 20, 1836.
On April 1837, at age sixty-four, Daniel was named one of the Seven Presidents of the Seventy. Two weeks later, he chaired a quorum meeting in the Kirtland Temple. At the meeting, the seven presidents resolved that they would personally “discard the practice of ball playing, wrestling, jumping and all such low and degrading amusements, and above all the use of ardent spirits of any kind.”1
Daniel joined other faithful in leaving Kirtland and heading to Far West, Missouri. On March 29, 1838, the Prophet Joseph Smith wrote,
Brothers Brigham Young, Daniel S. Miles, and Levi Richards arrived here when we [the Smith family] did. They were with us on the last part of our journey, which ended much to our satisfaction. They also are well. They have provided places for their families, and are now about to break the ground for seed.2
Daniel put down roots in Far West, anticipating years of residency. But such was not to be. He, like other faithful Latter-day Saints, was forced from his home and property by angry mobs. Daniel abandoned his belongings and fled for his safety, and that of his family, out of the state of Missouri to Illinois.
Daniel settled in Commerce, Illinois (later known as Nauvoo). There he continued to serve as one of the Seven Presidents of the Seventy. He also served as a temporary member of the Nauvoo High Council (D&C 124:138).
Little is known of the events that led up to his death. What is known is that after attending the October 1845 general conference of the Church, he “was taken sick.”3 Daniel died on October 12, 1845, at the home of Josiah Butterfield at age seventy-three. Joseph Young, the senior president of the Seventy, said of Daniel that he was “a man of good faith, constant in his attendance at the meetings of the council, until the time of his death, which occurred at quite an advanced stage of his life.”4
1. “The Presidents of the Seventy,” Messenger and Advocate 3, no. 6 (May 1837), 511.
2. History, 1838–1856, volume B-1 [1 September 1834–2 November 1838], 785. Joseph Smith Papers.
3. Hosea Stout Diary, 2 vols., typescript, 2:77. L. Tom Perry Special Collections, Harold B. Lee Library, Brigham Young University, Provo, UT.
4. Andrew Jenson, Latter-day Saint Biographical Encyclopedia, 4 vols. (Salt Lake City: Andrew Jenson History Company, 1901) 1:192.