- First Latter-day Saint Elder who died while laboring as a missionary in a foreign land
- Zion's Camp Veteran
- LDS 1st Quorum of Seventy
Lorenzo Dow Barnes was born 22 March 1812 in Tolland City, Hampden County, Massachusetts, United States to Phineas Barnes (1770-1855) and Abigail Smith (1777-1849) and died 20 December 1842 Bradford, West Yorkshire, England, United Kingdom of unspecified causes. He married Isabella Pratt (1824-1897) 1840 in Illinois, United States.
The 1830's saw a great Protestant religious revival sweep across the United States that was called the "Second Great Awakening" and was characterized by much emotional preaching, spiritual and social reform movements and a surge in membership growth for a great many Christian denominations.
This period also saw the rise of a new Church of Christ that was organized in early 1830 by its young prophet-leader, Joseph Smith (1805-1844), and after 1838 was formally named The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. This church group was frequently called the "Mormon Church" or "Latter-day Saints" (LDS) for its belief in a new set of holy scriptures called "The Book of Mormon". For better or worse, this new religion generated a lot of attention in this region.
Missionaries of this church taught that it was not a reform movement or protest movement but a "restoration" of the original church with completeness of the full of doctrine of the gospel of Jesus Christ including the ministering of angels, the restored priesthood, lost scripture, revelations, prophecy, living apostles, the gifts of the spirit and much more. This message had profound impact on many who subsequently left all to follow the Prophet and the Church. In many cases their faith was so strong as to push these early converts to endure many difficult hardships and sacrifices and to eventually journey over a thousand miles westward to settle in the Great Salt Lake Valley. (See also New Religion (LDS 1830).)
The son of a New England farmer, Lorenzo removed with his parents to the eastern part of Ohio in 1815 and thence, in 1816, moved to Norton, Medina County, Ohio, where he became a convert to "Mormonism" and was baptized by Elder Thomas Gorden June 16, 1833. He was ordained an Elder by Sidney Rigdon (1793-1876) on July 18, 1833, soon after which he went to Kirtland, Ohio, the headquarters of the Church at that time.
While there he was called on a mission by the council of High Priests and left Thompson Aug. 1, 1833, in company with Elial Strong. On this mission to western Ohio they held a number of meetings in Lerado, Westville, Harmony, Jamestown, Pomfret and Perrysburgh and in the regions round about. Bro. Barnes returned to Kirtland in October and during the winter of 1833-1834 he taught school at Norton.
One of the most interesting episodes in the early history of LDS Church was the march of Zion's Camp (1834). The members of the Church in Missouri were being persecuted, and the Prophet Joseph made it a matter of prayer and received a revelation on February 24, 1834. The Lord instructed the Prophet to assemble at least one hundred young and middle-aged men and to go to the land of Zion, or Missouri. (See D&C 130:19–34.)
Zion’s Camp, a group of approximately one hundred and fifty men, gathered at Kirtland, Ohio, in the spring of 1834 and marched to Jackson County, Missouri. By the time they reached Missouri, the camp had increased to approximately two hundred men.
LDS Quorum of Seventy
Created by the Mormon Prophet Joseph Smith (1805-1844) in early 1835, the Quorum of Seventy was to act as traveling and presiding ministers for the newly created The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Many of these men performed notable works for the early church, living near then church headquarters in Kirtland, Ohio. The Quorum of Seventy itself did not meet as a governing body of the church and was not renewed until reorganized by the church in 1976.
Eastern States Mission
In the spring of 1835, he was ordained one of the first Seventy, and commenced preaching through several counties of Ohio. In 1835 he took a mission to Virginia, and having a limited education and an impediment in his speech, he was frequently singled out by the sectarian preachers as an object of attack. He held several debates with the clergymen of different denominations and had unusual success, for, the close of every debate was followed by baptisms. By faith and perseverence he overcame the impediment in his speech and became an orator of superior powers.
In June, 1838, he was ordained a High Priest and became a member of the High Council of Adam-ondi-Ahman, and in September of that year he was sent on a mission to the Southern and Eastern States; traversing on foot the states of Ohio, Kentucky, Pennsylvania and Virginia, preaching without purse or script. In 1839 he built up a large branch of the Church in Chester county, Pennsylvania, and established many other branches in different parts of the Eastern States. He continued his labors until the year 1841 when he led a company of Saints to Nauvoo.
In the fall of the same year (1841) he was sent on a mission to England, and labored for a short season in and about Manchester. From there he went to the Cheltenham conference, in Gloucestershire, where he labored until the general conference, held in England, when he received an appointment to preside over the Bradford conference, where he labored faithfully until his death, which occurred Dec. 20, 1842.
Bro. Barnes was possessed of most untiring perseverence, industry and application, and wore out his life by constant preaching and exposure. At the following general conference held in England, the American Elders and many of the Saints donated the sum of five pounds five shillings and six pence ($26.00) for the purpose of erecting over his grave, at Idle, Yorkshire (where his remains were interred) a stone, upon which is found the following epitaph:
"In memory of Lorenzo D. Barnes, who died on the 20th of December, 1842, age 30 years. He was a native of the United States, an Elder in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, a member of the High Priests' quorum and also of Zion's Camp in the year 1834, and the first gospel messenger from Nauvoo who has found a grave in a foreign land."
The remains of Elder Barnes were subsequently shipped to Utah and interred in the city cemetery in Salt Lake City and the 2nd quorum of Seventy has erected a modest monument over his grave.