The First Bishop

Edward Partridge was the first bishop of the restored Church. Since 1850 he has also been regarded as the Church’s first Presiding Bishop. Born in 1793, he became dissatisfied with the religions of his day while in his 20s. After investigating the Church, he was baptized in 1830 by the Prophet Joseph Smith. The Prophet said of Bishop Partridge, “He was a pattern of piety, and one of the Lord’s great men, known by his steadfastness, and patient endurance to the end” (“History of Joseph Smith,” Times and Seasons, 15 September 1843, 320).

Edward became bishop less than two months after his baptism (see D&C 41:9), and he certainly needed the “patient endurance” mentioned by the Prophet Joseph. He and his family were harshly persecuted. On one occasion he was dragged from his home and tarred and feathered by a mob.

After a serious illness, Bishop Partridge died in Nauvoo in May 1840. He was only 46 years old. Of Edward Partridge, the Lord said, “His heart is pure before me, for he is like unto Nathanael of old, in whom there is no guile” (D&C 41:11). In the Doctrine and Covenants we learn that the Lord received Bishop Edward Partridge unto Himself (see D&C 124:19).

Leadership Tip

Effective leaders are also good teachers. A government official once asked the Prophet Joseph Smith how he was able “to govern so many people” and “preserve such perfect order.” The Prophet replied, “I teach them correct principles, and they govern themselves” (as quoted by John Taylor, “The Organization of the Church,” Millennial Star, 15 November 1851, 339). Elder Dallin H. Oaks of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles explained, “Well-taught doctrines and principles have a more powerful influence on behavior than rules” (“Gospel Teaching,” Liahona, January 2000, 96). Great leaders motivate by sharing knowledge and by being faithful examples. They inspire their followers to do good.

It Happened in October

Following are a few significant events that happened in Church history during the month of October.

17 October 1830: Parley P. Pratt, Oliver Cowdery, Peter Whitmer Jr., and Ziba Peterson left on a mission to the Lamanites (see D&C 32). On their way they taught and baptized Sidney Rigdon and a congregation of his followers in the area of Kirtland, Ohio.

2 October 1917: The Church Administration Building was completed in Salt Lake City. Today the building houses the offices of the First Presidency, the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, and other General Authorities.

1 October 2000: President Gordon B. Hinckley dedicated the Boston Massachusetts Temple—the Church’s 100th operating temple.

Right, from top: Portrait of Edward Partridge; detail from Missouri Burning, by Glen S. Hopkinson

Go into the Wilderness, by Robert T. Barrett; photograph of the Church Administration Building by Welden C. Andersen; painting of the Boston Massachusetts Temple by James Porter; detail from Brother Joseph, by David Lindsley