Grampa Bill's General Authority Pages
Zera Pulsipher Zera Pulsipher

1789 - 1872

  • Born 1789 Rockingham, Vermont
  • Married Polly Randall 1810; one child
  • Married Mary Ann Brown; sixteen children
  • Baptized 1832
  • Ordained Elder 1832
  • Mission to Upper Canada 1837
  • Ordained Seventy; set apart to First Council of Seventy 1838
  • Took part in Kirtland Camp 1838
  • Received endowments 1845
  • Excommunicated 1862
  • Rebaptized & ordained High Priest 1862
  • Died 1872 Hebron, Utah

    Zera or Zerah Pulsipher was one of the First Seven Presidents of Seventies from 1838 to 1862. He was born June 24, 1789, in Rockingham, Windham county, Vermont, the son of John Pulsipher and Elizabeth Dutton. In his youth he served in the wars of his country and heard the fulness of the gospel preached in the State of New York.

    Zera Pulsipher married Polly Randall 6 November 1810. The couple had but one child, Harriet Pulsipher, as Polly died as a young woman. After Polly's death, Zerah married Mary Ann Brown by whom he is said to have fathered sixteen children. Twelve appear in his entry on the Ancestral File.

    He was baptized and ordained to the ministry January 11, 1832, after which he traveled and preached extensively through the Eastern States and Canada. Among those baptized by him was Pres. Wilford Woodruff.on December 31, 1833.  He removed to Kirtland, Ohio, in 1835.

    Elder Pulsipher served a  Mission to Upper Canada October-December 1837. He baptized twenty-nine persons before returning to Kirtland.

    When the bulk of the Saints removed from Ohio, to Missouri in the famous Kirtland Camp, in 1838, Elder Pulsipher was one of the commissioners appointed to lead said camp, having previously (March 6, 1838) been ordained and set apart as one of the First Seven Presidents of Seventies, under the hands of Joseph Young and James Foster. He and his family located in Daviess County, Missouri in 1838. After passing through the Missouri persecutions, he became a resident of Nauvoo, and is mentioned in the famous revelation given through the Prophet Joseph Jan. 19, 1841.

     Elder Pulsipher was one of those who were priviledged to receive their endowments in the Nauvoo Temple prior to the flight from Illinois. He received his endowment 12 December 1845.

     Zera Pulsipher crossed the plains to Utah, arriving 22 September 1848. He was chosen to serve as Captain of his pioneer company. After the exodus of the Saints from Illinois, he shared in all the hardships endured by his people on the plains and mountains and arrived in Great Salt Lake valley in 1847 or 1848. For twenty-four years after that he was a resident of the valleys of Utah, and thoroughly learned the hardship of pioneer life.

    In Utah, Elder Pulsipher practiced plural marriage. He married Prudence McNanamy 12 July 1854. The couple had no known children. He married Martha Hughes 18 March 1857. Five children: Martha Ann, Mary Elizabeth, Zerah James, Sarah Jane, and Andrew Milton.

    In some manner, he exceeded the bounds of his authority in exercizing the Sealing Power, and was subsequently released from the Presidency of the Seventy. He was then called before the First Presidency of the Church April 12, 1862. It was there voted, that he be rebaptized, reconfirmed and ordained to the office of a High Priest. Subsequently he was ordained a Patriarch. Elder John Van Cott was chosen as his successor in the First Council of Seventies.

    Elder Pulsipher was the father of seventeen children, eight of whom came to the mountains with him. At the time of his death, which occurred at Hebron, Washington county, Utah, January 1, 1872, his posterity included 65 grandchildren and 37 great-grandchildren.

    LDS Biographical Encyclopedia; Vol. 1, p.194; Compiled and edited by Andrew Jensen
    The Revelations of the Prophet Joseph Smith; p. 270; by Lyndon W. Cook
    Encyclopedia of Mormonism; Vol.4, Appendix 1
    The History of the Church; Multple citations. See index.

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