Erastus Snow

From MormonWiki
Jump to: navigation, search

Erastus Fairbanks Snow (November 9, 1818 - May 27, 1888), born in St. Johnsbury, Vermont, was a member of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS Church) from 1849 to 1888. Snow was also a leading figure in Mormon colonization of Arizona, Colorado, and New Mexico.

Snow Canyon State Park (near St. George, Utah) and the town of Snowflake, Arizona (along with William J. Flake) are named after Erastus Snow.

Snow joined the Church in Vermont in the early 1830s. One of the missionaries who taught him the restored gospel was Orson Pratt. His brother, Zerubbabel Snow joined the Church before he did.

He moved to Kirtland, Ohio, but spent most of the time the Church was based in Kirtland on missions, primarily in Pennsylvania. He later served a mission to Salem, Massachusetts, where he baptized several converts including Nathaniel Ashby, a man with whom he shared a duplex when they both resided in Nauvoo, Illinois.[1] His success here was viewed as a fulfillment of the Lord's statement in Doctrine and Covenants Section 111 that he had treasure in Salem.

Erastus Snow was in the first Mormon pioneer company to cross the plains. He was one of the first two Mormons to enter the Salt Lake Valley, the other being Orson Pratt.[2]

Snow was ordained a member of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles on February 12, 1849. This was the same day Charles C. Rich, Lorenzo Snow, and Franklin D. Richards were ordained.

In October 1849 general conference, Snow was called to lead a mission to Scandinavia. He had as a companion a Danish convert, Peter O. Hansen, who had joined the Church in Boston. They focused most of their efforts on Denmark, but another convert had joined them, John E. Forsgren, who preached the gospel in Sweden.[3][4] While serving as a missionary in Denmark, Snow baptized the first Icelanders to join the church, ordained them to the priesthood, and sent them back to Iceland to preach the gospel.[5] Before the end of his mission Snow began the publication of a church periodical in Danish.

Later in the 1850s Snow served as the presiding church authority in the mid-west United States, using St. Louis as his base. He returned to Utah in 1857 and engaged in farming.

In 1860 Snow went with Orson Pratt on a mission to the Eastern States. By the time they reached the Eastern United States Abraham Lincoln had been elected president. With the impending war,they were able to get many church members who had stayed in the east as well as many recent converts to move to Utah.

Much of this migration happened in 1861 after the American Civil War had begun. After returning to Utah in 1861, Snow was made the apostle in charge of the Southern Utah Settlements.

Erastus Snow's daughter Elizabeth was the wife of Anthony W. Ivins and the mother of Antoine R. Ivins.


  1. Larson, Karl Andrew. Erastus Snow: The Life of a Missionary and Pioneer for the Early Mormon Church. (University of Utah Press:Salt Lake City, 1971) p. 80.
  2. Allen, James B. and Glen M. Leonard. The Story of the Latter-day Saints 2nd Edition. p. 256-257.
  3. Deseret Morning News Church Almanac, p. 319
  4. Mulder, William. "Homeward to Zion" (Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 1957)
  5. Larson, Karl Andrew. Erastus Snow: The Life of a Missionary and Pioneer for the Early Mormon Church. (University of Utah Press:Salt Lake City, 1971) p. 225.

External resources