Oliver Granger was an early member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. He was born in Phelps, New York, on February 7, 1794. He had been a member of the Methodist church and a licensed exhorter.
In 1813, he married Lydia Dibble. He was baptized into the Church of Jesus Christ and ordained an elder by Brigham and Joseph Young around 1832 or 1833. He moved to Kirtland, Ohio, in 1833 and served a mission to the eastern United States. He also worked on the Kirtland Temple. He was ordained a high priest in 1836 and thereafter served a mission to New York. In 1837 he was appointed to the Kirtland high council.
He left Kirtland and traveled to Far West, Missouri, in June 1838, but after one month, he was directed to return to Kirtland to settle the past debts of the First Presidency, as recorded in a revelation given through Joseph Smith in July 1838, recorded in Doctrine and Covenants 117:12–15:
- Let him contend earnestly for the redemption of the First Presidency of my Church, saith the Lord; and when he falls he shall rise again, for his sacrifice shall be more sacred unto me than his increase, saith the Lord.
- Therefore, let him come up hither speedily, unto the land of Zion; and in the due time he shall be made a merchant unto my name, saith the Lord, for the benefit of my people.
- Therefore let no man despise my servant Oliver Granger, but let the blessings of my people be on him forever and ever.
Joseph Smith wrote, “As I was driven away from Kirtland without the privilege of settling my business, I . . . employed Colonel Oliver Granger as my agent, to close all my affairs in the east.” (History of the Church 3:164).
His work to settle the accounts was not easy and he did not succeed. Yet one creditor said, “Oliver Granger’s management in the arrangement of the unfinished business of people that have moved to the Far West, in redeeming their pledges and thereby sustaining their integrity, has been truly praiseworthy, and has entitled him to my highest esteem, and ever grateful recollection.”
Granger was appointed to preside over the Church in Kirtland in 1839. He died there in 1841.
He is not a prominent figure in the history of the Church of Jesus Christ. In the October 2004 General Conference, President Boyd K. Packer said of him,
- Oliver Granger was a very ordinary man. He was mostly blind having “lost his sight by cold and exposure” (History of the Church, 4:408). The First Presidency described him as “a man of the most strict integrity and moral virtue; and in fine, to be a man of God” (History of the Church, 3:350).
- When the Saints were driven from Kirtland, Ohio, in a scene that would be repeated in Independence, Far West, and in Nauvoo, Oliver was left behind to sell their properties for what little he could. There was not much chance that he could succeed. And, really, he did not succeed!
- But the Lord said, “Let him contend earnestly for the redemption of the First Presidency of my Church, saith the Lord; and when he falls he shall rise again, for his sacrifice shall be more sacred unto me than his increase, saith the Lord” (D&C 117:13).
- What did Oliver Granger do that his name should be held in sacred remembrance? Nothing much, really. It was not so much what he did as what he was.
The Lord said of him in the July 1838 revelation:
- I remember my servant Oliver Granger; behold, verily I say unto him that his name shall be had in sacred remembrance from generation to generation, forever and ever. 
Granger died in August 1841 at the age of 47.