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TitleLewis Dunbar Wilson
Publication TypeBook Chapter
Year of Publication2021
AuthorsBlack, Susan Easton
Book TitleRestoration Voices Volume 1: People of the Doctrine and Covenants
Number of Volumes2
PublisherBook of Mormon Central
CitySpringville, UT

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Lewis Dunbar Wilson


D&C 124:132

Lewis was baptized on May 23, 1836, in Green Township, Ohio. Four months after he entered baptismal waters, he was ordained an elder. A notice of his ordination was printed in the November 1836 edition of the Messenger and Advocate.[1] Lewis served a brief mission with his brother George Wilson in May 1837 before moving to Far West, Missouri, in August of that year. Due to religious persecution and a government-sanctioned extermination order, Lewis fled from Far West across the Mississippi River to Illinois.

Angered by the way he was treated in Missouri, Lewis wrote a Missouri Redress Petition outlining the wrongs committed against him by the extermination order and the militia who executed the order:

I hereby certify that I purchased from Congress Two hundred and forty acres of land lying in Caldwell County and State of Missouri and Was compelled to leave the same on acount of the order of the executive of the State.

When the Malitia came to Far West they took from me a valuable Horse which broke up my team I made extertions to obtain it again but without success. I was obliged to part with my land (in order to make up my team and for means to get me conveyed out of the State) for one sixth of the value.[2]

In 1839 Lewis was ordained a seventy and later that same year, a high priest. He was named by revelation to serve on the Nauvoo High Council (D&C 124:132). In July 1843 he joined his brethren in an attempt to rescue the Prophet Joseph Smith from Missourians “at all hazards and bring him to Nauvoo.”[3] Because of his bravery in the rescue attempt, Lewis was assigned to be a bodyguard of the Prophet.

After the martyrdom of Joseph Smith, Lewis guarded the citizens of Nauvoo until the Latter-day Saint exodus in 1846. He then fled with other faithful across the Mississippi River to Iowa. He settled temporarily in the Latter-day Saint encampments of Garden Grove and Kanesville, Iowa. He then journeyed on to the Rockies, arriving in the Salt Lake Valley on September 9, 1853. Lewis and his family made their home in Ogden, Utah. There he served once again as a high councilman. Lewis died on March 11, 1856, in Ogden at age fifty.

[1] See Messenger and Advocate 3 (November 1836): 415.

[2] Clark V. Johnson, ed., Mormon Redress Petitions Documents of the 1833–1838 Missouri Conflict (Provo, UT: Religious Studies Center, Brigham Young University, 1992), 554.

[3] History, 1838–1856, volume E-1 [1 July 1843–30 April 1844], 1655. Joseph Smith Papers.


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Scripture Reference

Doctrine and Covenants 124:132