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John Edward Page (February 25, 1799 – October 14, 1867) was an early leader in the Latter Day Saint movement.

Born in 1799 in Trenton, New Yorkmarker, Page was the son of Ebenezer and Rachael Page. He was baptized into the Church of Christ, established by Joseph Smith, Jr., in Brownhelmmarker, Ohiomarker in August 1833 by missionary Emer Harris, brother of Martin Harris, a witness to the Book of Mormon. After his conversion, he was ordained an Elder. He relocated to Kirtland, Ohiomarker in 1835, and joined the growing body of church members in that region. Page served two missions in Canada, the first beginning in May 1836 and the second in February 1837. By his count, he baptized some 600 persons.

Page was called as a member of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles in July 1838. Shortly thereafter, he moved his family to Missourimarker, settling in Far Westmarker in Caldwell County in October 1838. Life was difficult for the new Missouri settlers. Page left personal accounts of attacks by mobs of Missouri residents, both while with the wagon train and while residing in Far West. He noted that he ...buried one wife and two children's as martyrs to our holy religion, since they died through extreme suffering for the want of the common comforts of life.(Roberts, History of the Church 3:241) Page received his ordination to the office of apostle in Far West, Missouri on December 19, 1838 from Brigham Young and Heber C. Kimball.

Page and fellow apostle Orson Hyde were called to travel and preach in the Holy Land and dedicate the land for the return of the Jews. He and Hyde started on their mission, but Page had a change of heart and never left the United States. In June, 1841 in Philadelphiamarker, apostle George A. Smith sought him out and encouraged him to complete his preparations and sail with Hyde in two days time. Page refused to go. While in Philadelphia, Page became involved in a controversy with some of the Pennsylvanian saints which led to a directive from Hyrum Smith instructing him to return to Nauvoo, Illinoismarker.

After the death of Joseph Smith, Jr., Page made a claim to the leadership of the Church. The Church under the direction of Brigham Young rejected his claim, but retained him in his position with the Twelve. Page was then called to serve in the Council of Fifty to help plan and facilitate the Church's move to the Rocky Mountains. After urging the saints to follow James J. Strang as leader of the Church, Page was excommunicated on June 27, 1846 from The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Ezra T. Benson was called by Young to replace him.

Although Page was an Apostle under Joseph Smith, Jr. and President of the Quorum of the Twelve under James J. Strang, he came to reject both leaders as "fallen prophets". He later became affiliated with both the organization of James C. Brewster and Hazen Aldrich and finally that of Granville Hedrick. He was instrumental in helping the Church of Christ (Hedrikites) obtain possession of the Independence Missouri Temple lot.

Page died in 1867 in DeKalb County, Illinoismarker.

Notes



References

  • Quist, John. "John E. Page: Apostle of Uncertainty," in Mormon Mavericks, John Sillito and Susan Staker (eds.), Salt Lake City: Signature Books, 2002.
  • Roberts, B. H., Editor. History of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints by Joseph Smith, the Prophet. Deseret News, Salt Lake City, Utah 1948.


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