Joshua Grant Iii


Thursday, Mar 5, 1778
Stonington, Connecticut


Thursday, Mar 21, 1833
Erie, New York (?)
Age: 55
Baptized by: Elder Boynton (?)


Saturday, Jan 7, 1865
Altona, Illinois
Burial: Goshen, Illinois
Age: 86

Lived in Nauvoo Baptism: claims the parents were baptized   Name: Joshua Grant Gender: Male Relationship to Primary Person: Self (Head) Father: Joshua Grant Mother: Mary Morgan Birth Date: 5 Mar 1778 Birth Place: Stonington, New London, Connecticut, USA Death Date: 7 Jan 1865 Death Place: Altona, Knox, Illinois, USA Residences: Missouri Windsor, Broome, New York, USA; 1807-1814 Union, Broome, New York, USA; 1816 Naples, Ontario, New York, USA; 1818-1827 LDS Temple Ordinance Data: Baptism Date: March 8, 1898 Endowment Date: April 18, 1900 Sealed to Spouse Date: October 5, 1933 Sealed to Parents Temple: Provo, Utah, UT, USA   From   Name: Joshua Grant Sources: Page 169; Author: Salt Lake City; Title: Salt Lake City Cemetery, 134; Page 120; Author: Church of Jesus Christ; Title: History of the Church, 6 volumes. 5:369; Ensign July 1979, page 48 - Born in Connecticut; married Sullivan County, New York Athalia HOWARD; parents of 12 children; living near Erie, Pennsylvania when Amasa LYMAN & Orson HYDE taught them the gospel, 1833, Kirtland, Far West, Alton, Knox, Illinois (about 60 miles northeast of Nauvoo); did not come west; only 3 of his children did; the others remained in the midwest   From   Grant, Jedediah Morgan, second counselor to President Brigham Young from 1854 to 1856, was the son of Joshua and Thalia Grant, and was born Feb. 21, 1816, in Windsor, Broome county, N. Y., He was baptized March 21, 1833, by John F. Boynton. In the spring of the following year, when he was eighteen years of age, he accompanied “Zion’s Camp” in the wonderful march to Missouri, and the fatigues, privations, trying scenes and arduous labors endured by that handful of valiant men exhibited a goodly portion, for one so young, of that integrity, zeal, and unwavering effort and constancy in behalf of the cause of truth, that in variably characterized his life. The experience the young men of this expedition obtained, on this memorable journey, was such as few ever pass through in life. While the history of Zion’s Camp has not been fully written, and, like the history of the Latter-day Saints in general, never will be in its fulness, enough is known to show that every man, who carried himself faithfully, without murmuring, through the dangers, diseases and difficulties of that most trying period, was a hero of the first quality and had laid foundation stones of life on which he could forever build. On returning to Kirtland, Brother Grant was ordained an Elder, and later (Feb. 28, 1835), he was ordained a Seventy under the hands of Joseph Smith and others. In connection with Elder Harvey Stanley he was also appointed to his first preaching mission. They started May 22, 1835, and spent the summer in the labors of the ministry, preaching and baptizing converts. In the winter of 1835-6, Bro. Grant assisted in the labors upon the Kirtland Temple, where he received the blessings of the House of the Lord. He was appointed to a mission in the East, but participated, before leaving the Temple, in the great manifestations of the power and glory of God, which characterized the labors there from the time of its dedication March 27, 1836, until the Elders, who were then called to go on missions, departed for their fields of labor. He was among that happy number who received from the lips of the prophet much valuable counsel and instruction relating to the duties of the priesthood. Bro. Grant started upon his mission April 13, 1836, going to New York State, where he preached a great deal in many places and raised up a branch of the Church at Fallsburg. He baptized twenty-three persons, among whom was his brother Austin. He returned to Kirtland, March 6, 1837, and remained there until the 6th of the following June, when he commenced a missionary tour to the south—the field in which his greatest missionary labors and achievements were accomplished. He passed through the States of Ohio, New York, Pennsylvania, etc., and reached North Carolina, where he labored assiduously, proclaiming the gospel in court houses, chapels and other places of assembly as frequently as circumstances permitted. He became extensively known and acquired considerable fame, as an adroit scriptorian and debater, in certain discussions held with Methodist divines whom he never feared nor declined to meet. His uniform success in overthrowing their sophistry and false theology by the forcible and conclusive way he presented the truth, won many friends and some converts. On the conclusion of his mission he returned to Kirtland and made preparations for final [p.57] removal to Missouri. He started Oct. 9, 1838, and arrived at Far West on the 12th of November. He called at this time at Richmond jail to see his brother George D. Grant, to whom he had previously first presented the gospel, and who was then imprisoned with the prophet and others on account of their religious faith. Brother Grant passed through the trials of the expulsion from Missouri, being driven, with his fathers family from Far West to Illinois; they located in Knox county, where Jedediah remained several months preaching and baptizing. In May, 1839, he made a trip to Nauvoo, but hastened to Quincy to attend a conference held there June 1, 1839, at which time be was called on a mission to Virginia and North Carolina. This was the signal for opening the Southern States mission in earnest. With the Elders associated with him, among them his brother Joshua, an extensive field was at once occupied;meetings were held in all available places: baptisms were quite numerous and several large branches were organized. At Burk’s Garden, Tazewell county, Virginia, where Brother Grant made headquarters, a branch of more than sixty members soon sprang up and great interest excited by the populace in the labors of the traveling and local Priesthood. Brother Grant’s name was everywhere spoken of; his ready speech, logical argument, fearless and daring denunciation of sin, powerful exhortations to repentance and testimony of the restoration of the gospel, were taken up by rich and poor, high and low, and commented upon. They won many converts and left impressions on many others which are fresh in their memories even to the present time. Many very interesting episodes marked this active, incessantly laborious period of his life, among others one, which led to a painful and disagreeable accident, resulting in breaking the bones of his nose. The Saints still living in that region remember the striking peculiarities of his ministry and events which made it so successful. Several Elders who have labored in the Southern States of late years have brought with them home many anecdotes about Elder Grant, which show that his memory is still kept sacred among the people of the South. Among these anecdotes we present two which the late Elder Theodore B. Lewis very graphically tells in the “String of Pearls:” “In the early part of President Grant’s ministry in that country, he gained quite a reputation as a ready speaker, frequently responding to invitations to preach from such subjects or texts as might be selected at the time of commencing his sermon, by those inviting him. In time it became a matter of wonder with many as to how and when he prepared his wonderful sermons. In reply to their queries he informed them that he never prepared his sermons as other ministers did. ‘Of course, I read and store my mind with a knowledge of gospel truths,’ said he, ‘but I never study up a sermon.’ Well, they did not believe he told the truth, for, as they thought, it was impossible for a man to preach such sermons without careful preparation. So, in order to prove it, a number of persons decided to put him to test, and asked him if he would preach at a certain time and place and from a text selected by them. They proposed to give him the text on his arrival at the place of meeting, thus giving him no time to prepare. To gratify them he consented. The place selected was Jeffersonville, the seat of Tazewell county, at that time the home of the late John B. Floyd, who subsequently became secretary of war, and many other prominent men. The room chosen was in the court house. At the hour appointed the house was packed to its utmost capacity. Mr. Floyd and a number of lawyers and ministers were present and occupied front seats. Elder Grant came in, walked to the stand and opened the meeting as usual. At the close of the second hymn, a clerk, appointed for the occasion, stepped forward and handed the paper (the text) to Elder Grant, who unfolded it and found it to be blank. Without any mark of surprise, he held the paper up before the audience, and said: ‘My friends, I am here today according to agreement, to preach from such a text as these gentlemen might select for me. I have it here in my hand. I don’t wish you to become offended at me, for I am under promise to preach from the text selected; and if any one is to blame, you must blame those who selected it. I knew nothing of what text they would choose, but of all texts this is [p.58] my favorite one. You see the paper is blank (at the same time holding it up to view). You sectarians down there believe that out of nothing God created all things, and now you wish me to create a sermon from Nothing, for this paper is blank. Now, you sectarians believe in a God that has neither body, parts nor passions. Such a God I conceive to be a perfect blank, just as you find my text is. You believe in a church without prophets, Apostles, Evangelists, etc. Such a church would be a perfect blank, as compared with the Church of Christ, and this agrees with my text. You have located your heaven beyond the bounds of time and space. It exists nowhere, and consequently your heaven is blank, like unto my text. Thus he went on until he had torn to pieces all the tenets of faith professed by his hearers, and then proclaimed the principles of the gospel in great power. He wound up by asking, ‘Have I stuck to the text and does that satisfy you?’ As soon as he sat down, Mr. Floyd jumped up and said: ‘Mr. Grant, if you are not a lawyer, you ought to be one.’ Then turning to the people, he added: ‘Gentlemen, you have listened to a wonderful discourse, and with amazement. Now, take a look at Mr. Grant’s clothes. Look at his coat: his elbows are almost out: and his knees are almost through his pants. Let us take up a collection. As he sat down another eminent lawyer Joseph Stras, Esq., still living in Jeffersonville, arose and said: ‘I am good for one sleeve in a coat and one leg in a pair of pants, for Mr. Grant.’ The presiding elder of the M. E. church, South, was requested to pass the hat around, but he replied that he would not take up a collection for a ‘Mormon’ preacher. ‘Yes you will,’ said Mr. Floyd; ‘Pass it around,’ said Mr. Stras, and the cry was taken up and repeated by the audience, until, for the sake of peace, the minister had to yield. He accordingly marched around with a hat in his hand, receiving contributions, which resulted in a collection sufficient to purchase a fine suit of clothes, a horse, saddle and bridle for Brother Grant, and not one contributor a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, though some joined subsequently. And this from a sermon produced from a blank text. At another time, Elder Grant was challenged by a very eminent Baptist preacher, named Baldwin, to a discussion. Brother Grant consented. The place chosen was the fine, large church of his proud and imperious antagonist. Mr. Baldwin was described to me, as a man, overbearing in his manner—a regular browbeater. When the time came for the discussion, the house was densely crowded. Umpires were chosen, and everything was ready to proceed, when Brother Grant arose and said: ‘Mr Baldwin. I would like to ask you a question before we proceed any farther.’ ‘Certainly so,’ said Baldwin. ‘Who stands at the head of your church in southwest Virginia?’ Mr. Baldwin very quickly and austerely replied, ‘I do, sir; I do.’ ‘All right,’ said Brother Grant; ‘I wished to know that I had a worthy foe.’ Mr. Baldwin looked a little confused for a moment, and then said: ‘Mr. Grant, I would like to ask you, who stands at the head of your church in southwest Virginia?’ Brother Grant arose and with bowed head replied, ‘Jesus Christ, sir.’ The shock was electrical. This inspired answer completely disarmed the proud foe, and the humble servant of God again came off victor.” Having completed his southern mission in 1842, Elder Grant returned to Nauvoo. He left the kind-hearted people of Virginia with tears in their eyes. They had learned the principles of life from his utterances and daily example, and loved him as the messenger of heaven sent to save them. For five days previous to his departure, a protracted series of meetings was held at Burk’s Garden, when hundreds attended and the Elders were kept busy preaching to the large congregations, and baptizing and confirming converts. In June, 1843, Brother Grant went to Philadelphia to preside over the Saints there. He remained in that city, making many valued friends and officiating in the duties of his office, until March, 1844, when he again reached Nauvoo. His stay, however, was short, for on the 9th of the following May he started, in company with Elders Wilford Woodruff and George A Smith, on a preaching expedition through Illinois, the intention being to continue the tour eastward through several States. From this mission, however, he was suddenly recalled, and was in Nauvoo at the time of the martyrdom of the Prophet [p.59] and Patriarch June 27, 1844. He proceeded at once to carry the tidings of this awful tragedy to the Apostles and other Elders in the Eastern States and resumed his station at Philadelphia. Previous to leaving Nauvoo, July 2nd, he was married to Miss Caroline Vandyke, Bishop Newel K. Whitney officiating. His wife accompanied him to Philadelphia. His mission there was made particularly remarkable by the position he took in regard to Sidney Rigdon’s peculiar apostate doctrines and the efforts of his followers to establish his claim to the guardianship of the Church. Certain letters, which Brother Grant Published upon these subjects, were so clear, as were all his writings, and the strictures upon Rigdon’s course so manifestly just, that they at once quelled the fears of the doubling Saints, and exhibited in plainness the true position of the faithful as well as the assumption of the ambitions apostate. In May, 1845, Elder Grant returned to Nauvoo, and in the following winter received the blessings of the House of the Lord, assisting, also, in administering those sacred ordinances to many others. He was chosen and set apart as one of the First Seven Presidents of Seventies Dec. 2, 1845, under the hands of Apostles Brigham Young, and others. He was among the first who left Nauvoo in the exodus of 1846, crossing the river in February, and with the body of the Saints turning his back upon the tyrannical oppression of mobs and treacherous friends to seek an asylum of peace in the fastnesses of the mountains of the great West. From Winter Quarters he went east in the Winter of 1846-7, on a short mission, during which he purchased the materials for making a flag, which for several years floated over “the land of the free and the homes of the blest” in Salt Lake City, and was familiarly known as “the mammoth flag.” After transacting important business in the interests of the exodus, he returned, in June, 1847, to the Missouri river, and was appointed captain of the third hundred of the emigrating Saints which he successfully led to Great Salt Lake valley, arriving in the following October. A year after, with characteristic energy and promptness, he went out beyond Fort Bridger with several men and teams to relieve President Willard Richards and company and assist them in. May 26, 1849, he was elected brigadier-general of the first brigade of the Nauvoo Legion, and later (Oct. 23. 1852), he was promoted to the major-generalship of the First Division, which military office he held until his death. He was an efficient officer, valiant, energetic and just. In the difficulties with the Indians he manifested considerable skill, and always was regarded as eminently jealous of the rights of the red men as well as of the safety of the whites. In the fall of 1849, Elder Grant went to the States on business, together with about forty missionaries, who elected him captain of the company. Among the number were Apostles John Taylor, Erastus Snow, Lorenzo Snow and Franklin D. Richards, Bishop Edward Hunter, and several other prominent Elders. They had reached the banks of the Platte river some distance west of Fort Laramie and were camped for noon on a cold, wintry day, in a horseshoe bend of the river, when they were attacked by a large war party of the Cheyennes who were painted and equipped for war, on their way out to engage with a hostile band of the Crows. With the utmost energy the animals were got together and fastened, and a line in open rank formed from the river’s bank to face the Indians and prevent them from surrounding the party. The missionaries pursued their way without further molestation. Elder Grant accomplished the object of his mission and returned to the Valley the following year in charge of a merchant train. Great Salt Lake City was incorporated Jan. 19, 1851, and at the first election held under the charter on the first Monday of the next April, Jedediah M. Grant was elected Mayor, which office he magnified in an eminent degree and held uninterruptedly, by the unanimous vote of the people, until his death. During the period of his administration, the first ordinances for the government, safety and general welfare of the people were enacted, forming the basis of the municipal regulations under which the city has grown and prospered to the present time. On the organization of the Territory of Utah, certain officials appointed by the President of the United States found the situation in Utah, on their arrival there, not to their liking; and after a [p.60] few months’ sojourn, during which they did nothing for their own glory, nor for the government or the people, they returned to the East and united in framing a report to the administration at Washington, which grossly misrepresented the people of Utah and contained many outrageous charges against them, calculated to influence public opinion and to prejudice the government officials in their intercourse with the Territory. For the purpose of counteracting whatever evil effects the “runaway judges” report might have and of setting fairly before the country the situation of the people in the mountains—then so isolated and remote from the inhabited part of the continent—Mayor Grant was called to go to Philadelphia and New York, and do what he could to gain the public attention, while he exploded the falsehoods of the judges and set the matter right respecting the new Territorial ward which had been adopted. He addressed some letters to James Gordon Bennett, the elder, which were published in the New York “Herald.” They had an electrical effect. The “report” fell flat and the runaway officials never recovered from the wholesome exposure of their conduct. The New York “Herald” letters, after creating considerable sensation in the great cities and doing most effectual work in Washington, were printed in pamphlet form and widely circulated in the East. A highly characteristic feature of this pamphlet was the introduction of pungent proverbs as head and foot lines on each page, in black type, which were selected with singular discernment for their appropriate relation to the text as well as for their finer humor and superior sense. Brother Grant was chosen speaker of the House of Representatives in the legislative assembly of Utah, in 1852, and at the three subsequent sessions, filling that office with dignity and honor, to the fullest satisfaction of the members over whom he presided. As a legislator he was quick and talented and brought to the lawmaking department a high practical sense of justice and right, which qualified him to propose and render valuable aid in framing wholesome laws for the political and domestic welfare of the community. But his great work, which preserves the memory of President Grant in the hearts of the Latter-day Saints, was in his ecclesiastical calling. In 1854 he was ordained an Apostle and chosen and set apart to be second counselor in the First Presidency, succeeding Willard Richards in that calling. In this position he was distinguished for the burning zeal that seemed to fire his bosom and keep him ever at work dispensing the blessings of the gospel to the people and awakening within them that enthusiasm and sincerity necessary to the faithful believer in pursuing the life of a Saint, and which was ever exemplified in the career of Brother Grant. His zeal hardly had bounds, except those of the God-given intelligence which preserved him from fanaticism, but he loved the work of the Lord with his whole heart and dedicated without reserve his might, mind and strength to its accomplishment. The exemplary faith and devotion of such a man inspired his fellows to efforts of godliness that they would never dream of if left to themselves, and this quality so preeminently displayed by Brother Grant, brought him to the front as the main leader, under the counsel of president Young, of the Great Reformation of 1856-7. The last six months of his life he labored indefatigably and beyond his physical strength in starting and rolling on that famous revival which kindled a fire in the midst of Zion that was joyfully felt by the Saints the whole world over, and caused sinners to tremble and many to flee from the habitations of the Saints. The thousands who responded to the eloquent appeal of this inspired speaker as he journeyed from town to town, proclaiming the truth to the people, is the best evidence of his power that could be given. Among the reforms urged were cleanliness of person and property, repentance and confession of wrongs committed between man and man, according to the Church law governing offences, and a very great deal was said in regard to training children in habits of industry, to make them self-reliant and independent. Restitution for wrongs done was required, and the people were urged to purify themselves from every shadow or stain of evil doing, that they might participate in the blessings of the sacrament and other ordinances worthily. The spirit [p.61] of the Reformation was one of humility and mutual forgiveness rather than of strict discipline or law. There were comparatively few excommunications, but there was a universal revival of spiritual life and energy, such as the Saints had never before witnessed in the Church. The pre-eminently useful labors of President Grant in the reformation exhausted the vital force of his strong constitution, and were followed by a brief and severe illness, from which he was unable to recover. His prostration caused gloom among the people, but was made the occasion to him of receiving, before death, some of the most remarkable manifestations that are ever given to men in the flesh. At Elder Grant’s funeral Heber C. Kimball gave the following account thereof: “I will not stoop to the principle of death. I could weep, but I will not. There is a spirit in me that rises above that feeling, and it is because Jedediah is not dead. I went to see him one day last week, and he reached out his hand toward me. He could not speak, but he shook hands warmly with me. * * * I laid my hands upon him and blessed him, and asked God to strengthen his lungs that he might be easier; and in two or three minutes he raised himself up and talked for about an hour as busily as he could, telling me what he had seen and what he understood, until I was afraid he would weary himself, when I arose and left him. He said to me: “Brother Heber, I have been into the spirit world two nights in succession, and of all the dreads that ever came across me, the worst was to have to again return to my body, though I had to do it. ‘But oh,’ says he, ‘the order and government that were there. When in the spirit world, I saw the order of righteous men and women; I beheld them organized in their several grades, and there appeared to be no obstructions to my vision; I could see every man and woman in their grade and order. I looked to see if there was any disorder there, but there was none; neither could I see any death, nor any darkness, disorder or confusion.’ He said that the people he saw were organized in family capacities, and when he looked at them, he saw grade after grade, and all were organized and in perfect harmony. He would mention one item after another, and say, ‘Why, it is just as Brother Brigham says it is; it is just as he has told us many a time.’ He saw the righteous gathered together in the spirit world, and there were no wicked spirits among them. He saw his wife Caroline, who was the first person that came to him. He saw many that he knew, but did not have conversation with any but his wife. She came to him, and he said that she looked beautiful and had their little child that died on the plains, in her arms. She said, ‘Mr. Grant, here is little Margaret; you know the wolves ate her up, but it did not hurt her; here she is all right.’ ‘To my astonishment,’ he said, ‘when I looked at families, there was a deficiency in some; there was a lack, for I saw families that would not be permitted to come and dwell together, because they had not honored their calling here.’ He asked his wife, where Joseph and Hyrum and Father Smith and others were. She replied, ‘They have gone away ahead, to perform and transact business for us.’ He also spoke of the buildings he saw there, remarking that the Lord gave Solomon wisdom and poured gold and silver into his hands, that he might display his skill and ability; and said that the temple erected by Solomon was much inferior to the most ordinary building he saw in the spirit world. ‘In regard to gardens,’ said Brother Grant, ‘I have seen good gardens on this earth, but I never saw any to compare with those that were there. I saw flowers of numerous kinds, and some with fifty or a hundred different colored flowers growing on one stalk.’ We have many kinds of flowers on the earth, and I suppose those very articles came from heaven, or they would not be here.’ Some may marvel at my speaking about these things, for many profess to believe that we have no spiritual existence. But do you not believe that my spirit was organized before it came to my body here? And do you not think there can be houses and gardens, fruit trees and every other good thing there? The spirits of those things are made as well as our spirits, and it follows that they can exist upon the same principles. After speaking of the gardens and the beauty of everything there, Brother Grant said that he felt extremely sorrowful at having to leave so beautiful a place and come [p.62] back to earth, for he looked upon his body with loathing, but was obliged to enter it again.” This imperfect account of the wonderful vision of those two nights as related by Elder Kimball was listened to with rapt attention by the large audience, and was repeated for years after by many who heard it. A profound sensation was produced by its narration, for it unfolded to many minds details of the glory of the spirit world that they had not realized from reading the general expressions in which the revelations tell of them. President Grant breathed his last, Dec. 1, 1856, and his spirit went joyfully to mingle with those of his friends, family and brethren who had gone before. He was forty years of age when he died, but had spent those years to such advantage in laboring for the welfare of his fellow men that he was mourned by thousands, and left in their memories a name that will be forever cherished as a symbol of virtue, integrity and honor. The editor of the “Deseret News,” in closing his obituary, says: “Brother Grant needs no eulogy, and least of all such an one as our language could portray, for his whole life was one of noble and diligent action upon the side of truth, of high toned and correct example to all who desire to be saved in the Kingdom of our God. As a citizen, as a friend, a son, a husband, a father, and above all as a Saint, and in every station and circumstance of life, whether military, civil, or religious, he everywhere, and at all times, shed forth the steady and brilliant light of lofty and correct example, and died, as he lived and counseled, with his ‘armor on and burnished.’ Though the Saints deeply feel his departure, yet they can fully realize that it redounds to his and our infinite gain.” (For further particulars see “Contributor,” Vol. 4; “Millennial Star,” Vol. 19, p. 185, Vol. 42, p. 755; Faith Promoting Series, Book 2, pp. 43-52.)   From    


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