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Francis M. Lyman

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Title: Francis M. Lyman  
Author: World Heritage Encyclopedia
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Subject: John Henry Smith, Franklin D. Richards (Mormon apostle), Heber J. Grant, George F. Richards, Moses Thatcher
Collection: 1840 Births, 1916 Deaths, 19Th-Century Mormon Missionaries, American General Authorities (Lds Church), American Mormon Missionaries in Finland, American Mormon Missionaries in Palestine, American Mormon Missionaries in Russia, American Mormon Missionaries in the United Kingdom, American Mormon Missionaries in the United States, Apostles (Lds Church), Deaths from Pneumonia, Infectious Disease Deaths in Utah, Members of the Council of Fifty, Members of the Utah Territorial Legislature, Mormon Missionaries in England, Mormon Missionaries in Europe, Mormon Pioneers, People from Farmington, Utah, People from Fillmore, Utah, People from McDonough County, Illinois, People from Tooele County, Utah, Presidents of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles (Lds Church)
Publisher: World Heritage Encyclopedia

Francis M. Lyman

Francis M. Lyman
President of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles
October 6, 1903 (1903-10-06) – November 18, 1916 (1916-11-18)
Quorum of the Twelve Apostles
October 27, 1880 (1880-10-27) – November 18, 1916 (1916-11-18)
Called by John Taylor
LDS Church Apostle
October 27, 1880 (1880-10-27) – November 18, 1916 (1916-11-18)
Called by John Taylor
Reason Reorganization of First Presidency[1]
at end of term
Stephen L Richards ordained
Personal details
Born Francis Marion Lyman
(1840-01-12)January 12, 1840
Good Hope, Illinois, United States
Died November 18, 1916(1916-11-18) (aged 76)
Salt Lake City, Utah, United States

Francis Marion Lyman (January 12, 1840 – November 18, 1916) was a member of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS Church). He was the President of the Quorum from 1903 until his death.

Lyman's father and son were also apostles in the church: his father was Amasa M. Lyman and his son was Richard R. Lyman. Both his father and son were excommunicated from the church while serving as apostles.


  • Early life 1
  • Adult life and service 2
  • Mission in England 3
  • Fillmore 4
  • Tooele County 5
  • Apostleship 6
  • Notes 7
  • External links 8

Early life

Francis M. Lyman was born as the first son of Amasa M. Lyman and Louisa Maria Tanner in Good Hope, Illinois. That spring, the family moved to Iowa. About one year later, they moved to Nauvoo, Illinois, to be with the main gathering of Latter Day Saints. In 1843, they moved again to Alquina, Indiana. In 1844, after the death of Joseph Smith, they moved back to Nauvoo.

Lyman's father left with the first group to travel on the Mormon Exodus to the West. His family moved to Winter Quarters in June 1846 under the care of his maternal grandfather. His family set out to the Salt Lake Valley in 1848. Though only 8 years old, Lyman helped drive a yoke of cattle and the wagon. He was baptized by his father in the Elkhorn River on July 1, 1848, and arrived in the Salt Lake Valley on October 19, 1848.

By 1851, when Lyman was 11 years old, his father and Charles C. Rich purchased land in San Bernardino, California. Lyman helped drive the animals from Salt Lake to California.he The family settled there and he became busy with tending the animals and driving them across the desert from Utah Territory to California. Lyman was present at the laying of the cornerstone of the Salt Lake Temple on April 6, 1853.

Adult life and service

In 1856, at about 16 years of age, Lyman received the Melchizedek priesthood and ordained an elder by his father. In 1857, he was called on a mission to Great Britain. He was stopped at Salt Lake City and told to turn back to bring the settlers in California to Utah. The outbreak of the Utah War had prevented his mission.

Lyman married Rhoda Ann Taylor on November 18, 1857.

In 1859, Lyman and his family settled in Farmington, Utah. He was ordained to the seventy on January 7, 1860, by John S. Gleason. He built a cabin in Beaver, Utah, for his wife and son, and he left on his delayed mission in the spring of 1860.

Mission in England

En route to New York City, Lyman arriving in Kirtland, Ohio, and was shown through the Kirtland Temple by Martin Harris. Lyman left the United States through the port of New York and arrived by steamer in Liverpool, England, on July 27, 1860.

Lyman served as a missionary for roughly two years. Upon release from his mission, he accompanied about 800 immigrants back to the United States; they arrived in New York on June 25, 1862, where he was appointed president of the group. By early July, they had arrived in Florence, Nebraska. Lyman was reunited with his wife in Beaver, Utah, in the middle of October.


In March 1863, LDS Church president Brigham Young asked Lyman to settle in Fillmore, Utah. The next fourteen years of his life were spent there, where he engaged himself in leadership in church, politics, business, and manufacturing. Among his positions and honors were:

  • assistant assessor of United States internal revenue
  • lieutenant-colonel of the first regiment of militia in the Pauvan District at 25
  • member of the House of the General Assembly of the State of Deseret
  • a member of the 17th, 18th, 22nd and 23rd sessions of the Utah Territorial legislature
  • county clerk and recorder
  • superintendent of schools
  • prosecuting attorney

When a stake was formed in Fillmore, Lyman was ordained to the office of high priest. Later he was called to be a member of the stake high council.

On October 4, 1869, Lyman married his first plural wife, Clara Caroline Callister. Her grandfather was John Smith, Joseph Smith's uncle. Lyman and Callister's son Richard R. Lyman would serve as an apostle from 1918 to 1943.

Lyman was called on a second mission to England and left Salt Lake City on October 20, 1873, arriving in Liverpool on November 12. During this mission, he also visited and proselytized in Wales, Scotland, Denmark, Germany, Switzerland, and France. He returned to Utah with 300 immigrating Latter-day Saints in October 1875.

Tooele County

In April 1877, Lyman was called to preside over the Tooele Stake, which was organized June 24, 1877, in Tooele County, Utah. He involved himself in the politics of that county as well. By August 1878, Lyman was elected county recorder and representative to the territorial legislature.

Since 1874, Tooele County had been led by politicians of the Liberal Party and was nicknamed the Tooele Republic. In 1878, the legislature passed a resolution providing for the registration of voters. After allegations of corruption and excessive spending by the Liberal Party, which left the county in debt, the People's Party won the election of 1878. However, Liberal Party officials refused to count the votes, and declared themselves the winner of the election. Lyman was key in challenging the election results. After the case was heard by the courts, the People's Party was declared the winner on March 29, 1879. As a result of his victory in this instance, Lyman had earned a reputation for fighting government corruption.


At the October General Conference held on October 10, 1880, Lyman and John Henry Smith were sustained as members of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles. Because he was absent from the conference on a mission to survey parts of southern Utah, Nevada, and Arizona, Lyman was ordained an apostle on October 27 by church president John Taylor.

Lyman visited nearly every town in the West with members of the church his apostleship. He also maintained a detailed daily record of his business as an apostle.

In early 1883, Lyman served a mission to the Indian people of the Unitah and Ouray in Utah. He was overwhelmed with the calling. Climbing to the summit of a mountain on the borders of the Indian territories, Lyman found a flat spot and felt inspired to pray. He poured out his heart on the mountain, and turned towards the work. Facing anti-Mormon Indian agents and working among a people he knew very little about was a daunting task.

With his company of men, Lyman set out and preached vigorously. The Indian agents were receptive and allowed them to preach freely. Members of the Utes had joined them, and they were most effective in preaching to their fellow natives. Many Indians received the Book of Mormon and their preaching and were baptized. Lyman returned to Provo, Utah, on May 28, 1883.

Lyman was called to minister over the European Mission in 1901. He set about several key reforms and expanded the number of mission homes throughout Europe. In 1903, Lyman and Joseph J. Cannon visited and preached in Finland and Russia.

In spring 1902, Lyman visited Palestine and offered up a solemn prayer on the Mount of Olives. In 1903, Brigham Young, Jr. died, making Lyman the President of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles. He returned to Utah in 1904. Soon after returning home, he went to Washington, D.C., to testify in the Reed Smoot hearings before the Senate Committee on Privileges and Elections.

Lyman died in his home of pneumonia on November 18, 1916.[2] Stephen L Richards was called to replace him in the Quorum of the Twelve after his death. Heber J. Grant replaced him as President of the Quorum of the Twelve.


  1. ^ Lyman and John Henry Smith were ordained apostles on the same date. After their ordinations, there were still only 11 members of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles.
  2. ^ State of Utah Death Certificate.

External links

  • Grandpa Bill's G.A. Pages: Francis M. Lyman

Religious titles
Preceded by
Brigham Young, Jr.
President of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles
April 11, 1903 – November 18, 1916
Succeeded by
Heber J. Grant
Preceded by
Moses Thatcher
Quorum of the Twelve Apostles
October 27, 1880 – November 18, 1916
Succeeded by
John Henry Smith
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