HomeEventsLinksDescendantsContact UsAbout This SiteName Index


Morris Phelps:  His Diary
From the book "Hyrum Smith Phelps Families" 1995 edition

Morris Phelps, son of Spencer Phelps and Mary Keneippe, was born December 20, 1805, in Northampton, Hampshire county, Massachusetts.  Married Laura Clark, March 28, 1826.  Had five children whose names were Pauline Eliza, Mary Ann, Harriett Wright, Joseph Morris, and Jacob Spencer.  Jacob Spencer died in Macedonia, Illinois, March 13, 1843 from scalds.  Was buried in Macedonia graveyard. 

Morris Phelps and wife were baptized into the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints in August, 1831 in the DePage River, Cook County, Illinois.  They left that place October 14 for Missouri, arriving in Independence, Jackson County, Missouri to Clay County.  Here I rented a farm.  Zions Camp came, cholera came amongst the saints generally.  September 30 I left my family and started with David Patten, Orrin Parish and E.H. Groves on a mission.  Was sent through Illinois, Indiana, and Ohio.  Built up two branches of the church one in Calhoun County and one in Cook County, Illinois.  Baptized father T. B. Clark and his wife Polly Heden.  I was now laboring with C. C. Rich Sr.  In June I started for Kirtland, Ohio where I  arrived  in  August.  On  the 17th, I  was  ordained  a  High  Priest  by  W. W.  Phelps  and  John  Whitmer  in  the Temple.

Worked on the Temple for three months.  Attended the dedication of the Temple.  Received my endowments.  There was ordained councilor to Carlos Smith, president of the high priest quorum.  Heard Many marvelous prophecies, many of which I have lived to see fulfilled.  On the 6th day of April, I started home to my family.  My brother went with me, arriving home June 3.

About the 5th day of June, I baptized my brother Orrin and my daughter Paulina in Ray County, Missouri.  From there we were driven by a mob to Far West, Caldwell County, Missouri.  In the fall of 1837 was again attacked by the mob under pretense of militia.  My property confiscated, and on the 12th of December 1837 was made a prisoner.  Was put in jail where I remained until July 4, 1839 from which I made my escape with Parley P. Pratt Sr. by the assistance of Orson Pratt and John Wesley Clark and my wife Laura Clark to Quincy, Adams County, Iowa.  Made a short stay with my family in Montrose, Iowa.  In September started on a mission east.  Took my wife Laura and her son Joseph Morris, then our youngest child.  On the 14th day of October, I arrived at Kirtland, Ohio.  During the winter we traveled and preached the gospel.  In the spring started back to Nauvoo preaching by the way.  We arrived in Nauvoo in July.  Rested a few days, got our children together and settled in Macedonia, 25 miles east of Nauvoo.  Here we lived in peace and quiet a short time. Here my wife Laura, by over exertion and exposure by traveling day and night, acting in the capacity of midwife, took sick on the 1st of February and died on the 9th of February 1842.

A few months previous to her death, she beheld a vision in which she saw the great suffering of the saints in Nauvoo.  She beheld many slain in battle and otherwise killed outright by a mob.  And the entire expulsion of the saints from Nauvoo.  She saw them travel in great bodies and great was their suffering.  It seemed to her that the road was blotted out behind and she knew not where they were going.  After she saw this vision, she often said to me, she could not endure the trouble that was ahead and was to come upon them.  She said she had endured all she could stand to endure.

She was buried in Nauvoo in the old graveyard, southwest corner, in the southwest corner of the city.

In 1842, March 27, I married Sarah Thompson.  She was born March 20, 1820 in the town of Pomphet, state of New York.  Sarah bore me seven children. the oldest Laura Ann, born February 16, 1843 in Macedonia.  In 1843 I moved to Nauvoo.  Laura Ann Died 21st of January and buried in the Nauvoo graveyard.  Sara Diantha, second daughter, born February 25, 1845 in Nauvoo, died February 28 1845.  Hyrum Smith, Sarah's third child, born February 26, 1846 in Nauvoo. 

I worked on the Temple in Nauvoo and shared with the Saints in their persecutions and troubles and sacrifice of property, poverty and distress.  Also in their blessings, washings and anointings.  Also Sarah, my wife, [received her initiatory endowments] about the last of January, 1846.

About this time Paulina Eliza, my daughter, married Amasa M. Lyman, (now an apostate).  At the same date Mary Ann was married to C. C. Rich Sr. both upon the altar in the Temple at Nauvoo, Illinois.  About the 15th of February 1846 Laura Clark was sealed to me.  Sarah Thompson acting proxy for Laura.  Laura died without receiving her endowments.  Sarah was sealed at the same date that of Laura in the Temple.

February 1846, the last of the pioneer company left Nauvoo, crossing the river; I remained in Nauvoo until June 14.  I crossed the river into Iowa.  Stopped at William O. Clark's a few weeks to make preparations for the western wilds of the Rocky Mountains.  On the 28th day of June I was appointed captain of a company of 63 wagons, teams, bound for Salt Lake City.  Arrived in Salt Lake City, September 27, 1851.  Settled in Alpine City, Utah County.  Made a farm, built a sawmill.