T. B. H. Stenhouse

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Thomas Brown Holmes Stenhouse was a respected Latter-day Saint missionary and served in England, Switzerland, and Italy alongside Lorenzo Snow and Joseph Toronto.

He had been appointed by Apostle Lorenzo Snow in 1850 to open up missionary work in Switzerland, was called in January, 1854, to preside over the work in Italy as well as in Switzerland, as this missionary field lay mostly just across the Alps, which formed the boundary line of Switzerland on the south.

Stenhouse was born on February 21, 1825, in Dalkeith, Scotland. He was baptized in England in 1845.

In 1855, he and his wife, Fanny, emigrated to Utah Territory. He wrote articles for the widely read New York Herald and the Deseret News.[1] He also founded and edited the Daily Telegraph, Salt Lake’s first daily newspaper, which ran from 1864 to 1868.

In 1863, he was sent to Washington, D. C. to meet with President Abraham Lincoln “to gauge the president’s openness to letting the Saints govern themselves” at the time of the new antibigamy laws. At the conclusion of his meeting with the president, Lincoln told Stenhouse, “You go back and tell Brigham Young that if he will let me alone, I will let him alone.”[2]

However, Stenhouse and his wife grew to oppose the practice of plural marriage and the leadership of Brigham Young. Stenhouse had entered the practice with a second wife who bore him two children. His and Fanny’s eldest daughter had become a polygamous wife of one of Brigham Young’s sons. He and Fanny left The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and were excommunicated.

They joined with William S. Godbe and his New Movement[3], which grew into the formation of The Church of Zion.

Stenhouse and his wife continued writing and speaking against the Church and publishing exposés on the Church. His most famous work is The Rocky Mountain Saints: A Full and Complete History of the Mormons (1873).

Stenhouse died in San Francisco, California, on March 7, 1882.