Simeon Carter

(1794-1869)

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D&C 52:27; 75:30

By Susan Easton Black

Simeon Carter was the oldest of the four Carter brothers—Simeon, Gideon, Jared, and John Carter—named in the Doctrine and Covenants. In 1830 Parley P. Pratt met Simeon and wrote:

We were in the act of reading to [Simeon] and explaining the Book of Mormon, when there came a knock at the door, and an officer entered with a warrant from a magistrate … to arrest me on a very frivolous charge. I dropped the Book of Mormon in Carter’s house. …

He read it with attention. It wrought deeply upon his mind, and he went fifty miles to the church we had left in Kirtland, and was there baptized [February 1831] and ordained an Elder. He then returned to his home and commenced to preach and baptize. A church of about sixty members was soon organized.1

Simeon attended the fourth conference of the Church held on June 3–6, 1831, at the schoolhouse on Isaac Morley’s farm. At the conference, he was ordained a high priest by Lyman Wight. On June 7, 1831, the Prophet Joseph Smith received a revelation calling Simeon to journey to Missouri with Solomon Hancock (see D&C 52:27).

As Simeon Carter and Solomon Hancock traveled through the states of Ohio, Illinois, and Indiana to reach their westward Zion, they preached the message of the Restoration in small towns along the way. Simeon wrote of being “thankful that he had been spared & preserved to go to the land of Zion & also thanked the Lord that his feet had trod[d]en upon the consecrated ground which was the inheritance of the saints.”2

On January 25, 1832, Simeon was again called to serve a mission: “Wherefore, let my servant Simeon Carter and my servant Emer Harris be united in the ministry” (D&C 75:30). As it turned out, Emer Harris went on a mission with his brother Martin Harris, and Simeon went on a mission with his brother Jared Carter. According to The Evening and the Morning Star of February 1833 and March 1833, success attended the Carter brothers:

Brothers Simeon and Jared Carter, we understand, have done wondrous works in Vermont, in breaking down prejudice in a wonderful manner. Better than one hundred have been brought into the kingdom, in a few months past, by their instrumentality.3

I [Simeon] have baptized in all about seventy, and the Lord has kept me and supported me. The church at this place [Cincinnati, Ohio] is expecting to go up to Zion next summer.4

Brother Simeon Carter built up a new church in Hanover, Indiana, while on his way to this place last winter, containing twenty seven members.5

By 1833 Simeon had settled in Jackson County, Missouri. An account of the troubles he witnessed in Jackson was printed in the Messenger and Advocate:

Elder [Simeon] Carter writes that he has met with some persecution. … A gang of about 20 men, armed, came to escort him before a court, but after a hearing he was discharged, though not without being threatened by the rabble that if he did not leave the country immediately, he would be dealt with in a different manner. He however appointed meetings, and continued to proclaim the gospel of our Lord, and hold up the truth to a dying people with as much zeal as before.6

As problems in Jackson County escalated, Simeon abandoned his holdings and fled across the Missouri River to Clay County. He then journeyed to Kirtland, where he volunteered to march with Zion’s Camp in hopes of restoring the Saints of Jackson County to their lands of inheritance. When the camp disbanded, Simeon took up his residence in Clay County. There he was assigned with John Corrill, Parley P. Pratt, and Orson Pratt “to teach the disciples how to escape the indignation of their enemies, and keep in favor with those who were friendly disposed.”7

Within two years, Simeon moved on to Far West, Missouri. He was wounded in the Battle of Crooked River while fighting in defense of the Saints. Although he had endured much for the sake of the gospel, his testimony did not falter. Simeon said in December 1838—

he did not think that Joseph was a fallen Prophet, but he believed in every revelation that had come through him. … He did not think that Joseph would be removed and another planted in his stead. … He was still determined to persevere and act in righteousness in all things, so that he might at last gain a crown of glory, and reign in the kingdom of God.8

Simeon served a mission to England from 1846 to 1849. In 1851 he accepted a call from Brigham Young to settle in Box Elder Creek, Utah. Simeon died on February 3, 1869, in Brigham City, Utah, at age seventy-four.

1. Parley P. Pratt, Jr., ed., Autobiography of Parley P. Pratt (Salt Lake City: Deseret Book, 1985), 36, 39.

2. Donald Q. Cannon and Lyndon W. Cook, eds., Far West Record Minutes of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, 1830–1844 (Salt Lake City: Deseret Book, 1983), 22.

3The Evening and the Morning Star, February 1833, 69.

4The Evening and the Morning Star, February 1833, 70.

5The Evening and the Morning Star, March 1833, 84.

6Messenger and Advocate, March 1835, 93.

7. Smith, History of the Church, 2:137.

8. Smith, History of the Church, 3:225.

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