David J. Evans letter to David John
L. Tom Perry Special Collections is pleased to announce the availability of a new digitized collection: David J. Evans letter to David John (MSS 3995). The letter is dated August 27, 1879, and in it, Evans resigns as bishop in Lehi, Utah, because of health concerns.
David J. Evans (1804-1883) was a member of the Quorum of the Seventy and served for twenty-eight years as a bishop for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Lehi, Utah. In April 1833, Evans was baptized into the Church and in that same month he sold the farm to fund his missionary work. In 1834, he joined Zion’s Camp and was ordained to the First Quorum of the Seventy by Joseph Smith and Sidney Rigdon. On May 20, 1836, he left Ohio with a company of Church members to go to Missouri. He settled in Shoal Creek, Missouri with his family, and was involved in the battle at Haun’s Mill. In December, he and his family left Missouri because of the mob violence. After resettling in Payson, Illinois, Evan’s wife Abigail, died. Evans then moved to Nauvoo where he married Barbara Ann Ewell on November 23, 1841. After emigrating to Salt Lake Valley, Evans was called as a bishop in Lehi, Utah, on February 15, 1851. Evans was bishop for twenty-eight years until he requested to be released because of his failing health. During this time he was a member of the first Utah legislature, the Colonel of the Militia, and the Major of the Lehi Military District. Evans died on June 23, 1883, in Lehi, Utah.
David John (1833-1908) was the stake president of the Utah Stake for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and a member of Brigham Young University’s Board of Trustees. Born in Wales, John was raised in a Baptist family and was studying for the ministry when he joined The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in 1847. His parents were adamantly opposed to his joining the Church, so following the advice of Orson Pratt (an Apostle in the Church) he stopped associating with the Church until 1856. In the June of 1856, he served a mission in Wales and became the president of the Flintshire Conference in December. From 1857 to 1858 he served as a counselor in the presidency of the Welsh Mission. He married Mary Wride on February 8, 1860 in Cardiff, Wales, and they had nine children together. In 1861, John and his wife emigrated to Utah with their family and in 1862 John was called as a counselor in the Provo 3rd Ward. He served in this bishopric for fifteen years. From 1877 to 1901, John was a counselor in the Utah Stake, which covered all of Utah County at the time. In 1883, he became the presiding bishop of Utah Stake as well. John also served as the Utah Stake Sunday School Superintendent from 1865 to 1893. John also married Jane Cree in 1865 and in 1887 was imprisoned temporarily for his beliefs about and participation in polygamy. From 1901 to 1908 John served as the president of Utah Stake and he was also a member of the Brigham Young University Board of Trustees during that time. John died on December 24, 1908, in Provo, Utah.