Samuel Williams


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D&C 124:137

By Susan Easton Black

Samuel, a native of Massachusetts, was a resident of Kirtland, Ohio. He accepted the message of the Restoration and entered baptismal waters. He received a patriarchal blessing on December 6, 1836, from Joseph Smith Sr. before joining other Latter-day Saints in Northern Missouri. Samuel suffered with the Saints from religious persecution and a government-sanctioned extermination order. Before he fled from Missouri, he entered into a covenant to assist other Saints as they journeyed to Illinois.1

From 1839 to 1846, Samuel resided in Nauvoo, Illinois. In that “city beautiful,” he was ordained an elder on October 6, 1839. On January 19, 1841, the Prophet Joseph Smith received a revelation calling Samuel to be a counselor to elders quorum president John Hicks: “And again, I say unto you, I give unto you John A. Hicks, Samuel Williams, and Jesse Baker, which priesthood is to preside over the quorum of elders” (D&C 124:137).

When John Hicks withdrew from the Church and apostatized, Samuel was appointed to take his place as elders quorum president in Nauvoo.2 He was also called to be a temporary or substitute member of the Nauvoo High Council. 

When persecution raged in Illinois and members were advised to journey west in 1846, Samuel crossed the Mississippi River to reach Iowa. He crossed the loess hills of Iowa and settled for a season in Winter Quarters. In that remote encampment of the Saints, Samuel was ordained a high priest on December 24, 1846. 

He journeyed with the David Evans Company across the plains to the Rockies, arriving on September 17, 1850, in the Salt Lake Valley. According to the US Federal Census of 1850, Samuel was employed as a stonecutter in Salt Lake City and possessed a real wealth of $75.3 He died on November 10, 1855, in Ogden, Utah, at age sixty-six.

1. See Smith, History of the Church, 3:252.

2. See Smith, History of the Church, 7:297.

3. US Federal Census, 1850.

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