Leonora Cannon Taylor

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Leonora Cannon Taylor was an early convert to The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and the wife of John Taylor, third president of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

She was born on October 6, 1796, at Peel, Isle of Man. After her father died at sea when she was thirteen, she was hired as a lady’s companion and lived with her in London until Leonora was in her twenties. While in London, she joined the Methodist Church.

When she returned to the Isle of Man, she became friends with the daughter of a private secretary to Lord Aylmer, the newly appointed governor of Canada. The daughter insisted that Leonora travel to Canada as her companion, and after prayerful consideration—which included a compelling dream—she moved with her friend to Toronto.

While in Toronto, Leonora attended a Bible class taught under the direction of John Taylor. They had much in common, despite the twelve-difference in their age. He proposed marriage—he was twenty-five and she was thirty-seven—which she declined. But after a dream that convinced her that he was to be her husband, she accepted his proposal and they were married on January 28, 1833.

In 1836, Parley P. Pratt came to Toronto and they rented him a room in their home. Leonora and John attended his study lessons, studied, and prayed, and were baptized on May 9, 1836. They gathered with the Saints, first in Kirtland, Ohio, and then in Far West, Missouri, Quincy, Illinois, Montrose, Iowa, and finally Salt Lake City, Utah (in 1847). During the next eighteen years of their married life, her husband spent nine of them away from home as a missionary. He was with the Prophet Joseph Smith in Carthage when Joseph and Hyrum were martyred. While John was recuperating from the wounds he sustained there, Leonora wrote an appeal to Illinois Governor Thomas Ford, asking that the murderers be brought to justice.

She and her husband had four children. He had thirty more children with his plural wives. Leonora died on December 9, 1868.