About Brigham Henry Roberts
Wikipedia Biographical Summary:
"...Brigham Henry Roberts (March 13, 1857 – September 27, 1933) was a Mormon leader, historian, and politician who published a six-volume history of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS Church) and was denied a seat as a member of United States Congress because of his practice of plural marriage..."
"...Roberts was born in Warrington, Lancashire, England, the son of Benjamin Roberts, an alcoholic blacksmith and ship plater, and Ann Everington, a seamstress. In the year of his birth both parents converted to the LDS Church. Benjamin Roberts then abandoned his family. Roberts later wrote, "My childhood was a nightmare; my boyhood a tragedy..."
"...Assisted by the Perpetual Emigrating Fund, B. H. Roberts and a sister left England in April 1866. In Nebraska they joined a wagon train and proceeded to walk—for much of the way barefoot—to Salt Lake City, where they were met by their mother, who had preceded them. In 1867, Roberts was baptized into the LDS Church by Seth Dustin, who two years later became his stepfather. Dustin eventually deserted his family, and "after several reappearances, he finally disappeared completely." Ann Dustin was granted a divorce in 1884..."
"...Roberts became a miner and participated in the gambling and drinking typical of that time and place. (He was once disciplined by a Salt Lake bishop, and alcohol "would not only beat him to his knees but to his elbows and chin.") But Roberts eventually learned to read and, after a series of menial jobs, was apprenticed to a blacksmith while attending school. He then became a "voracious reader, devouring books of history, science, philosophy," and especially the Book of Mormon and other Mormon religious texts. In 1878 Roberts married Sarah Louisa Smith (they eventually had seven children), and in the same year he graduated first in his class from University of Deseret, the normal school precursor of the University of Utah..."
"...After graduation (and the birth of his first child) Roberts was ordained a Seventy in his local church branch and taught school to support his family. The LDS Church sent him on a mission to Iowa and Nebraska, "but because the cold weather was hard on his health, he was transferred to Tennessee in December of 1880." There he rose to prominence as the president of the Tennessee Conference of the Southern States Mission.
"...On August 10, 1884, a mob in the small community of Cane Creek murdered two LDS missionaries and two members of the Mormon congregation. (One of the latter had killed a member of the mob before he was in turn slain.) At some personal risk, Roberts disguised himself as a tramp and recovered the bodies of the two missionaries for their families in Utah Territory..."
"...During a brief return to Utah, he took a second wife, Celia Dibble, by whom he had eight children. In December 1886, while serving as associate editor of the Salt Lake Herald, Roberts was arrested on the charge of unlawful cohabitation. He posted bond to appear in court the next day and that night left on a mission to England..."
"...In England, Roberts served as assistant editor of the LDS Church publication the Millennial Star and completed his first book, the much reprinted, The Gospel: An Exposition of Its First Principles (1888). Later that year he was ordained to the First Council of Seventy..."
"...Returning to Salt Lake City in 1888, as full-time editor of The Contributor, he was chosen as one of the seven presidents of the First Council of the Seventy, the third highest governing body in the LDS Church. "Tiring of evading federal authorities," Roberts surrendered in April 1889 and pled guilty to the charge of unlawful cohabitation. He was imprisoned in the Utah Territorial Prison for five months. Following his release he moved his families to Colorado and married a third wife, Dr. Margaret Curtis Shipp (his third marriage was childless), either shortly before or shortly after Wilford Woodruff, president of the LDS Church, issued the 1890 Manifesto that abolished plural marriage.(Robert's third wife was seven years his senior and had obtained a degree in obstetrics. Roberts seemed to prefer Margaret's company, "and this created some trouble" with his other families—although Roberts continued to have children by his other wives.) Roberts resigned as an editor of the Salt Lake Herald in 1896 giving his reason that the position that the paper had taken on the recent ‘Manifesto’ was apt to place him in a false light..."
"...Roberts asserted that the authenticity of the Restoration must “stand or fall” on the truth of Joseph Smith’s claim that the Book of Mormon was the history of an ancient people inscribed on a cache of gold plates; and Roberts predicted that if church leaders did not address the historical problems of church origins and possible anachronisms in the Book of Mormon, these problems would eventually undermine “the faith of the Youth of the Church.”
"...Roberts continued to affirm his faith in the divine origins of the Book of Mormon until his death in 1933; but as Terryl Givens has written, "a lively debate has emerged over whether his personal conviction really remained intact in the aftermath of his academic investigations..."
"...Regardless of his ultimate religious beliefs, most scholars would accept the judgment of Brigham Madsen that Roberts possessed a "deeply embedded integrity, and above all...fearless willingness to follow wherever his reason led him. He could be abrasive in his defense of stubbornly held beliefs, but he had the capacity to change his views when confronted with new and persuasive evidence." To Leonard J. Arrington, Roberts was "the intellectual leader of the Mormon people in the era of Mormonism's finest intellectual attainment."..."
SOURCE: Wikipedia contributors, 'B. H. Roberts', Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia, 20 March 2012, 15:05 UTC, <http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=B._H._Roberts&oldid=482910779> [accessed 17 June 2012.
B. H. Roberts's Timeline
March 13, 1857
Warrington, Warrington, England, United Kingdom
September 27, 1933
Salt Lake City, Salt Lake, Utah, United States