Jane Johnston Black

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Jane Johnston Black was an early Church pioneer. She was born on June 11, 1801, in Ireland. Her father was a Wesleyan Methodist minister and she took on his ministry at age 16 when he died. She preached of Christ for four years. She gave up her ministry when she married William Black Jr. in 1822 and together they had four children. In about 1834, the family moved to Manchester, England, for work. While there, Jane and William heard Mormon Missionaries William Clayton and Joseph Fielding. They joined The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in 1839.

While William went on a mission to the British Isles, Jane took her children to Nauvoo, Illinois. Like many who joined the Church and traveled to Nauvoo, she was able to meet the Prophet Joseph Smith. He called her to give medical aid and comfort to the Saints.

William joined his family in Nauvoo in 1843. On the day of the martyrdom of Joseph and Hyrum Smith, John Taylor needed surgery for the wounds he sustained in the Carthage Jail. He asked that Jane be there for the surgery, and she helped nurse him to health afterward.

Jane left Nauvoo without William—he had traveled to Canada to obtain his military pension for his family to move with the Saints. Brigham Young issued her a call to care for the sick and deliver babies on the trek to Utah territory and promised her she would not lose a mother or child on the way; she didn’t. William joined his family at Winter Quarters and they traveled west in 1850.

After arriving in Utah, Jane and her husband and children were called to help settle the Manti area, then Spring City, and finally St. George. They later moved to Rockville. She died in about 1890.