Image of John Taylor


Lifetime: 1808 - 1887 Passed: ≈ 136 years ago


Religious Leader


United Kingdom

John Taylor

John Taylor was an English-born religious leader who served as the third president of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS Church) from 1880 to 1887. He is the first and so far only president of the LDS Church to have been born outside the United States.

Taylor was born in Milnthorpe, Westmorland (now part of Cumbria), England, the son of James and Agnes Taylor. He had formal schooling up to age fourteen, and then he served an initial apprenticeship to a cooper and later received training as a woodturner and cabinetmaker. He claimed that as a young man, he had a vision of "an angel in the heavens, holding a trumpet to his mouth, sounding a message to the nations"—which he would later identify as the angel Moroni. He was christened in the Church of England, but joined the Methodist church at sixteen. He was appointed a lay preacher a year later, and felt a calling to preach in North America. Taylor's parents and siblings emigrated to Upper Canada (present-day Ontario) in 1830. Taylor stayed in England to dispose of the family property and joined his family in Toronto in 1832. He met Leonora Cannon from the Isle of Man while attending a Toronto Methodist Church and, although she initially rejected his proposal, married her on 28 January 1833.

Between 1834 and 1836, John and Leonora Taylor participated in a religious study group in Toronto. The group discussed problems and concerns with their Methodist faith, and quickly became known as the "Dissenters." Other members included Joseph Fielding and his sisters Mary and Mercy, who later also became prominent in the Latter Day Saint movement. While in Toronto, Taylor continued to work in his trade as a woodturner.

Taylor died on 25 July 1887, from congestive heart failure in Kaysville, Utah Territory. Taylor was buried at the Salt Lake City Cemetery in The Avenues, Salt Lake City, Utah. For two years after his death, the church again was without a presidency. The Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, with Wilford Woodruff as president of the quorum, assumed leadership during this interim period. In the April 1889 church general conference, the First Presidency was reorganized with Wilford Woodruff as the president. Six months later, in the October general conference, Anthon H. Lund was called to fill Woodruff's vacancy in the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles.

Books by John Taylor

The Government of God Cover image

The Government of God

Governments Reflection Moral Planets Christianity Religious Laws Earth Jesus God Saints Seasons

The Kingdom of God, is the government of God, on the earth, or in the heavens. The earth, and all the planetary systems, are governed by the Lord; they are upheld by his power, and are sustained, directed, and controlled by his will. We are told, tha...