Elder Lyman Royal Sherman was born May 22, 1804, the
second child of eight born to Elkenah Sherman and Asenath Hurlbut. He is
variously described as having been born in Salem, Massachusetts or
in Monkton, Vermont. Lyman married Delcena Didamia Johnson on January 16,
1829 by whom he would father six children.
Benjamin F. Johnson, his brother-in-law, in writing
his autobiography, spoke of Lyman meeting secretly with family members
to read the Book of Mormon, such was the opposition to the work in his
neighborhood. Nevertheless Lyman and his wife embraced the Gospel
and were baptized in January of 1832.
A year later in 1833, Lyman and his family joined
the saints by moving to Kirtland, Ohio. He was privileged to assist in
laying the cornerstones of the Kirtland Temple in July of the same year.
Lyman Sherman was soon afterward ordained a High Priest.
In 1834 Lyman answered the call and joined the Zion's
camp expedition to provide relief to the saints who were suffering persecution
among the mobocrats of Missouri. As a result of his faithfulness he was
ordained a Seventy on February 28 of 1835 and assigned to the First Quorum
of Seventy and set apart as a president thereof. When it was found that
he had previously been ordained a High Priest, he was released from the
Presidency of the Seventy and invited to take his place among the High
Priests. Josiah Butterfield was called to take
his place in the Presidency.
In the latter part of 1835, Lyman became somewhat
exercised concerning the will of the Lord and that which he should do.
He was told of the spirit to seek counsel under the hands of the Lord's
Prophet. Accordingly, he approached Joseph Smith
December 26, 1835 "for," said he, "I have been wrought upon to make known
to you my feelings and desires, and was promised that I should have a revelation
which should make known my duty." He was given a personal revelation
through Joseph which we have as the 108th Section of the Doctrine and Covenants:
1 VERILY thus saith the Lord unto you, my servant Lyman: Your
sins are forgiven you, because you have obeyed my voice in coming up hither
this morning to receive counsel of him whom I have appointed.
2 Therefore, let your soul be at rest concerning your spiritual
standing, and resist no more my voice.
3 And arise up and be more careful henceforth in observing
your vows, which you have made and do make, and you shall be blessed with
exceeding great blessings.
4 Wait patiently until the solemn assembly shall be called
of my servants, then you shall be remembered with the first of mine elders,
and receive right by ordination with the rest of mine elders whom I have
5 Behold, this is the promise of the Father unto you if you
6 And it shall be fulfilled upon you in that day that you shall
have right to preach my gospel wheresoever I shall send you, from henceforth
from that time.
7 Therefore, strengthen your brethren in all your conversation,
in all your prayers, in all your exhortations, and in all your doings.
8 And behold, and lo, I am with you to bless you and deliver
you forever. Amen.
Even as he had participated in laying the cornerstones
of the Kirtland Temple in 1833, he was likewise privileged to participate
in its dedication in 1836. On October 10, 1837 he was called to fill a
vacancy in the Kirtland High Council. He was to hold this position but
a year before removing with his family to join the saints in Far West,
Missouri in October of 1838. There he was called to serve as a temporary
High Councilor on December 13, 1838.
And there also he suffered the depredations of the
savage mob. He succumbed to the vicious attacks and harsh Missouri Winter
on January 27, 1839 in Far West, Caldwell County, Missouri, not having
been notified in this life that he had been called to the Holy Apostleship
and a position among the Twelve. He thus became one of the early martyrs
to the restored Gospel.
His family, left to fend for itself, made its way
to Nauvoo, where on January 24, 1846, his faithful wife Delcena Didamia
Johnson was sealed to him by proxy for all eternity. His family remained
faithful and made the exodus to the Great Basin. Delcena died in 1854 in
Salt Lake City.