David Dort was a relative of the Prophet Joseph Smith. He married Joseph’s cousin Mary Mack. After her death he married her sister Fanny Mack. Both of his wives were daughters of Stephen Mack, the brother of Lucy Mack Smith.
While residing in Pontiac, Michigan, David, a farmer and miller by trade, was introduced to the Restoration by his aunt, Lucy Mack Smith. When Lucy learned that her son Hyrum would be taking a journey to Michigan, she “thought it would be a good opportunity to visit the family of my brother, General Mack.” She accompanied Hyrum on his journey and “remained in this section of country about four weeks, during which time [she] labored incessantly for the truth’s sake, and succeeded in gaining the hearts of many, among whom were David Dort and his wife.”1
In 1831 David entered baptismal waters. From that point until May 1834, he attended worship services in the Huron Michigan Branch. When Hyrum Smith came to Michigan seeking recruits for Zion’s Camp, David joined his cousin on the march to Missouri, hoping to assist Latter-day Saints who had been forced from their homes in Jackson County. When Zion’s Camp was disbanded in July 1834, David returned to his family in Pontiac.
By 1836 he and his family had moved from Pontiac to Kirtland. David served on the Kirtland High Council in 1837 before moving onto Far West, Missouri. He served on the Far West High Council in 1838 until the government sanctioned extermination order forced him and other faithful Saints to leave the state. Before leaving, David covenanted to assist fellow Saints in their flight from Missouri.2
In 1839 David and his family were settled in Commerce, Illinois. On January 19, 1841 he was called by revelation to serve on the Nauvoo High Council (D&C 124:132). Two months later, David died on March 10, 1841 at age forty-eight.
1. Lucy Mack Smith, History, 1845, Document Transcript. Joseph Smith Papers.
2. Smith, History of the Church, 3:253.