Grampa Bill's General Authority Pages
No picture available James Foster

1775 - 1841

  • Born 1775
  • Baptized by 1834
  • Married Abigail Glidden; six children
  • Zion's Camp 1834
  • Ordained  Elder by 1835
  • Called to First Council of Seventy 1837
  • Participated in Kirtland Camp 1838
  • Died 1841 Jacksonville, Illinois

    James Foster was born 1 April 1775 but neither the locale nor his parentage is known. He was baptized before 1834. James Foster was married to Abigail Glidden by whom he fathered six children.

    He joined the Prophet Joseph Smith in the famous Zion's Camp expedition to succor the Suffering Saints of Zion in 1834. James was ordained an Elder by 1835. He was privileged to participate in the solemn assembly in the Kirtland Temple 1837.

    Elder Foster was ordained a President of First Quorum of Seventy 6 April 1837 under the hands of Sidney Rigdon and Hyrum Smith, to fill a vacancy caused by Leonard Rich joining the High Priests quorum. Strangely, he was also called as a temporary member of Kirtland High Council simultaneous with his calling as Seventy 1837.

    When the flames of apostasy arose in Kirtland he joined the prophet and the faithful in the organization and march of the famed Kirtland Camp of 1838 in which those loyal to the Prophet removed to Zion in Missouri. Scarcely a year later Elder Foster was expelled from Missouri in 1839.

    James was tried for impropriety at April 1841 general conference in Nauvoo. Based on the charges and testimony, it was initially decided to remove him from Church rolls. Brother Foster requested the right to speak in his own behalf which right was granted. The History of the Church does not record the extent or content of his remarks nor whether they involved confession or denial, but they must have been convincing and persuasive for the Council reversed its decision and he retained his positions in the Church. It appears that Elder Foster, instead of gathering with the Saints at Nauvoo, settled at Jacksonville, Morgan county, Ill., and had no direct communication with his brethren. It was also reported at Nauvoo that he took sick and died Dec. 21, 1841, in the 66th year of his age, and was buried in Morgan county, Ill., near the Illinois river. (The History of the Church implies that Foster was dropped from the First Quorum of the Seventy prior to his death but the notation is somewhat ambiguous.) Whatever the reason for Elder Foster's departure from the Presidency of the Seventy, Albert P. Rockwood was subsequently called to fill the vacancy.

   History of the Church, multiple citations; see index
   Lyndon W. Cook, The Revelations of the Prophet Joseph Smith, p.256
   LDS Biographical Encyclopedia, Andrew Jenson, Vol. 1, p.191
   Encyclopedia of Mormonism, Vol.4, Appendix 1
   2005 Church Almanac, p.70

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