Grampa Bill's General Authority Pages
John Edward Page
(from graphic by Nancy Harlacher)
John Edward Page

1799 - 1867

  • Born 1799 Trenton, New York
  • Married Lorain Stevens; three children
  • Baptized August 18, 1833
  • Received Melchizedek Priesthood and ordained Elder September 12, 1833
  • Ordained an Apostle 1838
  • Disfellowshipped and removed from Twelve 1846
  • Excommunicated 1846
  • Died 1867 DeKalb County, Illinois

     Grampa Bill herewith cites an autobiography of John E. Page published in the Millennial Star:

     The subscriber was born of Ebenezer and Rachel Page, their first child, February 25, A.D. 1799. My father was of pure English extraction, my mother of English, Irish and Welsh extraction. My place of birth was Trenton township, Oneida County, state of New York. [Grampa Bill here inserts the fact that according to the Encyclopedia of Mormonism John E. Page married Lorain (sic) Stevens and fathered three children.]

    I embraced the faith of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, and was baptized August 18, 1833, by the hands of Elder Emer Harris, (own brother to Martin Harris, one of the three first witnesses to the divinity of the Book of Mormon). I was ordained an elder under the hands of Elders Nelson Higgins, Ebenezer Page, Jun., and others. My baptism took place in Brownhelm, Lorain County, Ohio; my ordination in Florence, Huron County, of the same state, on the 12th of September 1833.

    I moved to Kirtland, Geauga County, Ohio, in the fall of 1835.

    On the 31st day of May, 1836, I started on a mission to Canada West, Leeds County. I was gone from my family seven months and twenty days.

    On the 16th day of February 1837, I again left Kirtland with my family of wife and two small children, taking with me all the earthly goods I possessed, which consisted of one bed and our wearing apparel of the plainest kind, to continue my mission in the same region of country as before.

    In July following, the commandment came forth for me to occupy a place in the Quorum of the Twelve.

     On the 14th day of May 1838, I started with a company of Saints, made up of men, women and their children, for the state of Missouri, where we landed, in the first week of October, with a company occupying thirty wagons, at a place there called DeWitt, some six miles above the outlet of Grand River, on the north side of the Missouri River, where we were attacked by an armed mob, and by them barbarously treated for near two weeks.

     We then went to Far West, Caldwell County, where we united with the general body of the Church, and with them participated in all the grievous persecutions practiced on the Church by means of a furious mob, by which means I buried my wife and two children as martyrs to our holy religion, who died through extreme suffering for the want of the common comforts of life, which I was not allowed to provide even with my money.

    On the 19th of December 1838, at Far West, Elder John Taylor and myself were ordained as apostles under the hands of Elders B. [Brigham] Young and H. [Heber] C. Kimball, in the Quorum of the Twelve, to fill some vacancies in the quorum which had happened by apostasies"

    The mission to western Canada which enjoyed such success began somewhat less auspiciously. President Thomas S. Monson recounts:
    Remember when the Prophet Joseph Smith went to John E. Page and said to him, 'Brother Page, you have been called on a mission to Canada.'

    "Brother Page, struggling for an excuse, said, 'Brother Joseph, I can't go to Canada. I don't have a coat to wear.'

    "The Prophet took off his own coat, handed it to John Page, and said, 'Wear this, and the Lord will bless you.'

    "John Page went on his mission to Canada. In two years he walked something like 5,000 miles and baptized 600 converts.

    Elder Page's demurral at this mission call would not be his last difficulty in accepting directions from the Lord. He was called, along with Orson Hyde, to dedicate the Holy Land for the return of the Jews. He and Elder Hyde started on their mission, but Elder Page turned aside and was not present when that momentous calling was fulfilled. From the Documentary History of the Church, we read:

   "Elder Hyde did as he said he would and spent some time in New York, London and other cities on the continent of Europe, before he proceeded to the Holy Land. However, the enthusiasm of John E. Page died out, he never left the shores of the United States. In June, 1841, he was still in Philadelphia gathering funds to enable him to sail with Orson Hyde. While in Philadelphia Elder George A. Smith met him and chided him for his delay and requested that he be prepared to sail with Orson Hyde, two days after this interview. Although Elder Page had money in hand enough for his passage to Europe, he refused to go, so Elder Hyde had to travel alone."

    Shortly thereafter Elder Page became embroiled with some difficulty with the saints at Philadelphia and in the fall of the year President Hyrum Smith wrote him, directing him to return to Nauvoo. After some delay, he did so but from that time forward seemed to have been in chronic disagreement with Joseph and the Twelve.

    Like a number of others, John E. Page claimed, after Joseph's martyrdom, a call to lead the Church by special appointment. The Church rejected his claims, though for the moment he kept his position with the Twelve.

    John E. Page was called to serve in the Coucil of Fifty but did not sustain their efforts in setting up the exodus to the west. He was disfellowshipped January 9, 1846, at Nauvoo and excommunicated June 27th of the same year after urging the saints to follow the wretched apostate James J. Strang. He later helped the Church of Christ-Temple Lot (Hedrikites) obtain posession of the Independence Missouri Temple lot. Notwithstanding his disaffection with the Church and his excommunication therefrom, in 1850 he listed his occupation as "Mormon Clergyman." John E. Page died in well-deserved obscurity October 14, 1867 at DeKalb County, Illinois at the age of sixty-eight.

    Smith, History of the Church Multiple citations; see index
    Millennial Star; Vol. 27 (1865) pp.103-4
    The Ensign; January, 1998, p.2
    1999-2000 Church Almanac; p.57
    Andrew Jenson, LDS Biographical Encyclopedia; Vol. 1, p.92
    Lyndon W. Cook, The Revelations of the Prophet Joseph Smith, p.232

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