John Taylor (Latter Day Saints)

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For other people named "John Taylor", see John Taylor.
Photograph of John Taylor, date unknown.

John Taylor (November 1, 1808 – July 25, 1887) 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.


On the appearance of God the Father, Jesus Christ and Moroni to Joseph Smith, Jr.

  • Again, there are other things associated with these matters, all bearing more or less upon the same points. When God selected Joseph Smith to open up the last dispensation, which is called the dispensation of the fullness of times, the Father and the Son appeared to him, arrayed in glory, and the Father, addressing himself to Joseph, at the same time pointing to the Son, said, "This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased; hear ye him."
    December 31, 1876
    Journal of Discourses 18:325-6
  • When Jesus sent forth his servants formerly he sent them to preach this Gospel. When the Father and the Son and Moroni and others came to Joseph Smith, he had a priesthood conferred upon him which he conferred upon others for the purpose of manifesting the laws of life, the Gospel of the Son of God, by direct authority, that light and truth might be spread forth among all nations.
    March 2, 1879
    Journal of Discourses 20:257

On the first vision of Joseph Smith, Jr.

  • None of them was right, just as it was when the prophet Joseph asked the angel which of the sects was right that he might join it. The answer was that none of them are right. What, none of them? No. we will not stop to argue that question; the angel merely told him to join none of them that none of them were right.
    March 2, 1879
    Journal of Discourses 20:167
This quote is discussed by Mormon critics Jerald and Sandra Tanner as an illustration that John Taylor believed it was an angel rather than God the Father and/or Jesus Christ that had visited Joseph Smith, Jr. (Jerald and Sandra Tanner, The Changing World of Mormonism (1979; ISBN 0-8024-1234-3, page 164. The Changing World of Mormonism is a revision of the Tanners' 1963 book Mormonism: Shadow or Reality?).

Other quotes

  • [A]s a commencement the Lord appeared unto Joseph Smith, both the Father and the Son, the Father pointing to the Son said, "this is my beloved Son in whom I am well pleased, hear ye him" Here then, was a communication from the heavens made known unto man on the earth, and he at that time came into possession of a fact that no man knew in the world but he, and that is that God lived, for he had seen him, and that his Son Jesus Christ lived, for he also had seen him.
    January 4, 1880
    Journal of Discourses 21:65

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