Grampa Bill's General Authority Pages
Orrin P. Miller Orrin P. (Porter) Miller

1858 - 1918

  • Born 1858 Mill Creek, Utah
  • Baptized 1867
  • Ordained Priest 1877
  • Ordained Elder 1881
  • Married Elizabeth Marinda Morgan 1882, Endowment House; eleven children
  • Ordained Seventy 1884
  • Bishop, Stake President
  • Second Counselor to Presiding Bishop 1901-1907
  • First Counselor to Presiding Bishop 1907-1918
  • Died 1918 Salt Lake City, Utah

This biographical sketch adapted (additions and tense changes) from the LDS Biographical Encyclopedia, compiled and edited by Andrew Jenson, Volume 1, page 307 and volume 3, page 764 and from other sources.
    Orrin Porter Miller , Counselor to the Presiding Bishop and President of the Jordan Stake of Zion, was the son of Reuben Miller and Ann Craner, and was born Sept. 11, 1858, in Mill Creek, Salt Lake county, Utah.

    He was baptized June 16, 1867, by Edward F. M. Guest and confirmed on the same date by Washington Lemmon. He was ordained a Priest Dec. 9, 1877, by Reuben Miller; ordained an Elder Nov. 6, 1881, by Alexander Hill, and became a member of the 13th quorum of Elders in the Salt Lake Stake of Zion. Nov. 10, 1881.

    He married Elizabeth Marinda Morgan of Mill Creek, in the Endowment House, Salt Lake City, Daniel H. Wells officiating. The couple's marriage was blessed with the birth of eleven children listed by the Ancestral File. On July 22, 1882, his father died, being stricken with paralysis. Later in 1882, after the settling up of his father's estate, he moved to Riverton, having fallen heir to eighty acres of land under his will.

    On February 10, 1884, he was ordained a Seventy by Enoch B. Tripp at South Jordan Ward and became a member of the 33rd quorum of Seventy. In May, 1885, he was set apart to preside over the Riverton branch, under the jurisdiction of Bishop Wm. A. Bills. Then on August 8, 1886, the Riverton branch was organized as a Ward when he was ordained a High Priest and Bishop and set apart to preside over the same, with Jesse M. Smith and Gordon S. Bills as his counselors.

    On January 24, 1887, he was elected president of the Riverton ecclesiastical corporation. In 1887 he became a member of the county central committee and also served one term as a member of the Territorial central committee of the People's party. For six years he acted as deputy registrar under the famous Utah commission. Aug. 6, 1889, he was elected a member of the county board of commissioners for Salt Lake county. This was the last term the People's party had control. In July, 1891, he was elected a member of the first Democratic Territorial central committee after the division on party lines.

    He served as a member of a board of arbitration appointed by the First Presidency, with Bishop Sheets and Elder John Nicholson, in the interests of the people of Deseret; also acted as agent of Presiding Bishop William B. Preston from 1886 to 1900, in receiving hay, grain, etc., from all the Wards in the south end of Salt Lake county. Oct. 1, 1897, he was appointed a special agent by Bishop Preston to look after Church sheep.

    At the division of the Salt Lake Stake, he was chosen to preside over the Jordan Stake, which was organized January 21, 1900, being set apart by Elder Francis M. Lyman, with Elders Hyrum Goff and James Jensen as counselors. In March, 1900, at the request of Apostle Lyman, he changed his residence from Riverton to Union Ward in order to become centrally located in the Stake. President Miller said:' "I rejoice in the gospel and in the testimony of Jesus; and I have accepted in my heart every principle revealed through the Prophet Joseph Smith and have been greatly blessed of the Lord in my ministerial labors." At a meeting of the First Presidency and Twelve Apostles held Oct. 24, 1901, Pres. Miller was chosen as second counselor to Presiding Bishop William B. Preston.

     He took hold of his new office with great zeal, having exhibited marked ability as a president of the Jordan Stake and in handling stock and other property belonging to the Church. He continued as second counselor to Bishop Preston until Dec. 11, 1907, when he was chosen as first counselor to Bishop Charles W. Nibley. This position he held until July 7, 1918, when he died in Salt Lake City.

    The following was published editorially in the Deseret Evening News of July 8, 1918:

    "The State loses a choice citizen, the Church an efficient leader and servant, and the people a tried and sturdy friend by the death of Bishop Orrin P. Miller. . . . He was of the best type of the native Utahan, unassuming but dependable, quiet but firm, patient but steadfast, an observer and a listener rather than a performer or a talker, but wise in council, conservative in outlook and of excellent sagacity as a man of affairs. Moreover, he was a man of the people, always approachable; and in his high ecclesiastical position as counselor in the Presiding Bishopric, he demonstrated a fine conception of that beautiful part of the Bishop's calling which consists in being 'good to the poor'—than which, we venture to think, there is no better proof of the true Christian, be he leader or layman.

    While Bishop Miller's virtues were mostly such as would be called homely, they nevertheless sustained successfully many acid public tests; and with his growth in years and prominence, so also grew he in men's confidence and esteem. Correct habits of his life and the lightly-borne physical burdens of matured middle age seemed to give warrant that many years of usefulness were still before him—but this was not to be. To say that no one will be found precisely to fill his place is an obvious truism that can be remarked of any useful man who dies in the harness. And yet human experience is that, much as such men may be needed, other men come forward to fill the gaps and the world wags on as before. No doubt it will always be so; and yet, in an exceptionally literal and sincere sense it can be said of Orrin P. Miller that he will be long and deeply mourned and by many thousands . . . the more fondly remembered because so sorely missed."

    Andrew Jenson, LDS Biographical Encyclopedia, Vol. 1, p.307
    Andrew Jenson, LDS Biographical Encyclopedia, Vol. 3, p.764
    2005 Church Almanac, p.94

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