From time to time I like to summarize and highlight one of the early leaders of the LDS restoration movement.
The past significance of this person in the 2nd watch and his future importance in the 3rd watch has largely been obscured, misunderstood or forgotten.
Take a good look at this person; he may be visiting us soon.
Do you know who he is?
Here are a few interesting details about him-
- This amazing man had pursued the British and Tecumseh’s Indian forces in Sandusky during the War of 1812.
- In July 1830 his mother joined the Alexander Campbell’s Reformed Baptists
- In November 1830 his wife Rebecca was converted to the restored gospel by Oliver Cowdery, Parley P. Pratt (h), Ziba Peterson, and Peter Whitmer Jr. He continued to study the Book of Mormon, overcome his skepticism, and be baptized and ordained an elder the same day..
- He is the one who owned and donated the sacred land to the church that the Kirtland Temple was built one.
- On August 3, 1831 he was present with Joseph Smith, Sidney Rigdon,, Oliver Cowdery, Martin Harris, Newel Knight, W. W. Phelps, Ezra Booth, Joseph Coe, and Peter Whitmer Jr. at the temple site in Independence Missouri when Sidney dedicated the site and Joseph laid “a stone at the North east corner of the contemplated Temple in the name of the Lord Jesus of Nazareth.”
- On October 25, 1831 he was ordained to the High Priesthood (3rd and highest Melchizedek Priesthood) by Oliver Cowdery.
- On January 6, 1833 in an unpublished revelation the Lord said to him, “Behold I Say unto you… Listen to the word of Jesus Christ your Lord and your Redeemer thou hast desired of me to Know which would be the most worth unto you, behold blessed art tho[u] for this thing. now I say unto you my Servant Joseph is called to do a great work and hath need that he may do the work of translation for the Salvation of Souls. Verily verily I Say unto you thou art called to be a Councillor & Scribe unto my Servant Joseph Let thy farm be consecrated for bringing forth of the revelations and thou Shalt be blessed and lifted up at the Last day even so Amen”
- March 8 1833 He is called by revelation to the First Presidency of the High Priesthood- “And again, verily I say unto thy brethren, Sidney Rigdon and …. their sins are forgiven them also, and they are accounted as equal with thee in holding the keys of this last kingdom”
- On March 18, 1833 Joseph ordains him and Sidney “to be equal with him in holding the keys of the Kingdom and also the Presidency of the High Priesthood.”
- On November 19, 1833 Joseph puts the following entry into his diary about this amazing man- “Brother …. is one of those men> in whom I place the greatest confidence and trust for I have found him ever full of love and Brotherly kindness he is not a man of many words but is ever wining because of his constant mind he shall ever have place in my heart and is ever intitled to my confiden<ce> [*] He is perfectly honest and upright, and seeks with all his heart to magnify his presidency in the church of ch[r]ist… God grant that he may overcome all evil: …The Lord hath appointed him an inheritance upon the land of Zion. Yea, and his head shall blossom. <And he shall be> as an olive branch that is bowed down with fruit: even so; Amen.
- On July 1, 1834 he was discharged as “council to the commander in Chief of the Army of the Lord’s house, & also the duties of quartermaster & many others to which he was appointed … his garments are cl[e]ar of the blood of all with whom he has associated in this region, & he has important duties to do in the East … ” Signed by Lyman Wight and Sylvester Smith.
- September 24, 1834 selected as member of committee “to arrange the items of the doctrine” for the church with Joseph, Oliver, and Sidney. This becomes the 1835 Doctrine and Covenants.
- In 1835 he helped organize and became a Trustee of the School of the Prophets and he also taught in the school of the prophets.
- He was on the Kirtland Temple building committee and saw the Kirtland temple in vision. “Joseph received the word of the Lord for him to take his two counselors, ….. and Sidney Rigdon, and come before the Lord and He would show them the plan or model of the house to be built. We went upon our knees, called on the Lord, and the building appeared within viewing distance. I being the first to discover it. Then all of us viewed it together. After we had taken a good look at the exterior, the building seemed to come right over us, and the makeup of this hall seemed to coincide with what I there saw to a minutia.”
- On March 27, 1836 at the dedication of the House of the Lord, he, sees an angel enter through a window and sit down between himself and Joseph Sr. The angel remains through the prayer. He also, “bore testimony that the Savior, dressed in his vesture without seam, came into the stand and accepted of the dedication of the house, that he saw him, and gave a description of his clothing and all things pertaining to it.”
- June 29, 1836 Joseph and Emma name their second son after this man.
- November 7, 1837 dropped from the First Presidency in Far West. “Joseph discovered that a large amount of money had been taken away by fraud, from this bank. He immediately demanded a search warrant of Esquire Williams, which was flatly refused. “I insist upon a warrant,” said Joseph, “for if you will give me one, I can get the money, and if you do not, I will break you of your office.””Well, break it is then,” said Williams, “and we will strike hands upon it.””Very well,” said Joseph, “from henceforth I drop you from my quorum, in the name of the Lord.” Williams, in wrath, replied, “Amen.”Joseph entered a complaint against him, for neglect of duty, as an officer of justice; in consequence of which the magistracy was taken from him, and given to Oliver Cowdery
- On July 8, 1838 revelation: this man and W. W. Phelps have lost their standing, but may be ordained elders and serve missions abroad.
- In March 17, 1839 he was excommunicated in absentia with George M. Hinkle, Sampson Avard, W. W. Phelps, Thomas B. Marsh (h), John Corrill, and others. It appears they were charged with leaving the church “in the time of our perils, persecutions and dangers, and were acting against the interests of the Church.”
- On April 8, 1840 in Nauvoo, he requests forgiveness from the church. Hyrum presents his case to the conference. Vote to receive him back into fellowship. At the Church conference held in April of 1840 in Nauvoo, “Frederick G. Williams presented himself on the stand, and humbly asked forgiveness for his conduct, and expressed his determination to do the will of God in the future. His case was presented to the conference by President Hyrum Smith, when it was unanimously resolved, that Fredrick [sic] G. Williams be forgiven, and be received into the fellowship of the Church.
- Brother Williams remained in the Church the rest of his life (2 years) . His home was in Quincy, Illinois,53 where he continued to practice medicine; but he made frequent trips to Nauvoo to treat and visit his longtime friend, the Prophet. On his last visit, Joseph Smith put his arm around him and said, “Brother Frederick, I hate to see you return home; you are going there to die.” Frederick answered, “I am already a dead man.”54 He died a short time later at his home in Quincy of a hemorrhage of the lungs–although his son Ezra thought it was more of a broken heart55–on 10 October 1842, two years before the Prophet’s martyrdom.
- On October 10, 1842 Frederick Granger Williams died in Quincy of a “hemorrhage of the lungs.”
- In section 90 verses 1-6 it tells us that the keys of the kingdom will remain with Joseph Smith in life and in death… however, a close look at those verses appears to reveal that in fact the keys of the kingdom will remain with all three members of the presidency of the high priesthood in life and death… namely, Joseph Smith, Sidney Rigdon and Frederick G. Williams. Indeed that section goes on to inform us that when the first laborers of the last kingdom return, it will be through the administration of Joseph Smith that the word of the Lord will continue to come forth to Sidney and Frederick and it is through the 3rd watch ministry of Sidney and Frederick that the word of the Lord will go forth to the ends of the earth!
- Praise the Lord God of Israel for the past and future ministry of Frederick G. Williams.