From the Life of President John Taylor

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Defender of the Faith

Ensign, August 1998, 54; New Era, January 1972, 27

Elder John Taylor was a man who stood up for his beliefs. Many people called him “Defender of the Faith.” One example of his courage happened when he went to Columbus, Ohio, to speak at a Church conference.

Church member 1: Elder Taylor, many people from the town will be there. Many of them wish to tar and feather you tonight.

Church member 2: Our advice is to not go and so avoid this danger altogether.

John: I did not come to Ohio to be scared off. I will go and speak. If you do not want to come with me, I will go alone.

When Elder Taylor arrived, he started by telling the congregation that he was from Canada—a country still ruled by a monarch.

John: Gentlemen, I now stand among men whose fathers fought for and won freedom, the greatest blessing ever given to the human family.

John: I have been informed that you plan to tar and feather me for my religious opinions. Is this what you have inherited from your fathers? If so, you now have a victim!

Elder Taylor then opened his vest.

John: Gentlemen, come on with your tar and feathers. Your victim is ready!

No one moved. No one spoke. No one came forward. After a pause, he spoke for three hours!

After the conference, community leaders came up to speak with him.

Leaders: Mr. Taylor, we apologize for any bad intentions of some of the community members.