Orson Hyde was the son of Nathan Hyde and Sally Thorpe.
He was born 8 January 1805 in Oxford, New Haven County, Connecticut. Orson
lost both parents by 1817 and resided with Nathan Wheeler and his family
until 1823. By about 1819, the family had moved to Ohio where in 1827 Orson
became a member of Methodist Church.. He resided with Sidney Rigdon for
some time and joined Campbellite movement.
Orson was baptized into LDS Church by Sidney
Rigdon on October 2, 1831 and ordained an Elder the same month. He
was appointed by revelation to accompany Samuel H. Smith on mission to
Eastern States January 25, 1832. He and Elder Smith baptized sixty
converts during their eleven month mission. In 1833, he attended the School
of the Prophets, then went on a Mission to Erie County, Pennsylvania, with
Smith. He was named Clerk to First Presidency 6 June 1833.
He was sustained a member of the Kirtland High Council
February 1834, whence he served for one year. Then in February 1835. he
answered the call to become a member of Zion's Camp.
Orson married Marinda Nancy Johnson on September
4, 1834. The marriage would be blessed by ten children. Later he would
practice plural marriage and had a total of thirty-two children of record.
Orson Hyde was ordained an Apostle February 15, 1835.
and went on a Mission to the Eastern States in the summer of 1835. On the
4th of August of 1835, he was disfellowshipped for defaming Sidney
Rigdon. With a tearful plea for restoration, he was granted full fellowship
September 26, 1835.
Orson served a Mission to England 1837-38. The mission
was most successful with hundreds baptized into Church.. He arrived in
Kirtland, Ohio May 21, 1838. He then moved to Far West, Missouri, arriving
about mid-July 1838.
By 1838, Orson had become disaffected with the Prophet
and signed an false affidavit against Joseph Smith on October 24, 1838.
He was disfellowshipped in 1838 but was restored to former position on
June 27,1839. He settled in Illinois 1839 but left on a Mission to Eastern
States 14 November 1839. He returned to Nauvoo January 1840.
Here the singular event for which Orson Hyde is best
known began to emerge. He was appointed to take a mission to Jerusalem.
He left Nauvoo 15 April 1840 and arrived in Jerusalem 21 October 1841.
Though the Mission was of little success in convert baptisms, on a fair
morning October 24, 1841 he dedicated land of Israel for return of Jews.
The Zionist movement began to take root shortly thereafter and Jews from
around the world have found refuge in that small nation.
Elder Hyde received his Temple Endowment on December
2, 1843. He was named a member of the Council of Fifty March 13,
1844. Then carried a petition drafted by Joseph
Smith to Washington, D.C., 1844. Thus he was not with the Saints when
Joseph and Hyrum were foully murdered. He joined with the Saints, however,
on their exodus from Nauvoo to the West in 1846. He settled at Council
Bluffs, Iowa for a spell and from there left on a second mission to England
1846-47. On his return, he presided over Church at Winter Quarters 1847-50.
Although by 1847, he had become the President of the Twelve, in 1875 President Brigham Young adjusted his seniority to reflect the time he had been readmitted
to the Twelve. Thus he did not become Presiding Officer of the Church when
President Young died in 1877.
Elder Hyde and his family moved to Utah 1850. He returned
to Kanesville in fall of 1850. Again to Utah and back to Kanesville 1851.
Then settled in Utah 1852. He died in Spring City, Utah November 28 1878.