Birth Date: November 1, 1808 Death Date: July 25, 1887 Years as President: 1880–1887
“I would rather trust in the living God than in any other power on earth.”
John Taylor was born November 1, 1808, in Milnthorpe, Westmorland, England. An 1832 immigrant to Toronto, Canada, he was a cooper and part-time Methodist minister. He and his wife, Leonora, joined the Church in 1836. Two years later, he became an Apostle and enjoyed close association with Joseph Smith and Brigham Young. John Taylor accompanied Joseph Smith to Carthage, Illinois, in June 1844 and was seriously wounded when Joseph Smith was killed. He was sustained as President of the Church on October 10, 1880, during one of the most challenging periods in Church history. The Church was persecuted for the practice of plural marriage and many Latter-day Saints were being fined, imprisoned, and denied the vote due to their beliefs and practices. President Taylor organized members to meet this trial of their faith and for the last two and one-half years of his life administered the affairs of the Church from the seclusion resulting from anti-polygamy legislation. After seven eventful years as President, he died July 25, 1887, in Kaysville, Utah.