Reynolds Cahoon

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Question: Reynolds Cahoon is mentioned in D&C 52:30; 61:35; 75:32; 94:14. What special name did the Prophet Joseph Smith give to Reynolds Cahoon’s seventh child?

Answer: Reynolds Cahoon was born 30 April 1790 in Washington County, New York. After he was married, he moved to Harpersfield, Ohio. At the outbreak of the War of 1812, Reynolds left his young bride and enlisted in the United States militia. In 1825 he moved closer to Kirtland, where he labored as a farmer and opened a small business for tanning leather and making shoes.

When Reynolds heard the Mormon missionaries preach, he accepted the gospel and was baptized on 12 October 1830 by Parley P. Pratt. Less than a year later, forty-one-year-old Reynolds was called to travel to Missouri on a mission with Samuel H. Smith. They suffered greatly from want of food and rest on their travels. They then returned to Kirtland, where Reynolds served in many positions of trust. He served on the temple building committee, was a counselor to Bishop Newel K. Whitney, and later served as a counselor in the stake presidency. He served at least seven more missions before 1834, having such companions as Hyrum Smith, David Patten, Thomas B. Marsh, David Whitmer, and Orson Pratt.

In 1834 while giving Reynolds Cahoon’s seventh child a blessing, the Prophet Joseph named and blessed the child with the name of Mahonri Moriancumer. The Prophet explained, “The name I have given your son is the name of the brother of Jared; the Lord has just shown (revealed) it to me.”

In 1838 Reynold’s family fled from persecution in Kirtland to Missouri and settled among the Saints in the Adam-ondi-Ahman Stake, until Governor Boggs’ extermination order forced them to flee to Illinois. They never received a cent for their nice home or property in Ohio or Missouri. While living in Missouri, Reynolds was a counselor to John Smith and later in the same position as counselor to John Smith in Montrose, Iowa.

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In Nauvoo, Illinois, Reynolds he was a member of the Council of Fifty, and served on the building committee for the Nauvoo House, the Mansion House, and the Nauvoo Temple.

On 22 June 1844 Reynolds was asked by the Prophet to guard the Mansion House. About 9 p.m. Hyrum came out of the Mansion House, followed by the Prophet Joseph, and Hyrum told Reynolds that Joseph was going to have to flee to the Rocky Mountains to save his life. They then headed down towards the Mississippi River and made their way across the River in a small boat to Montrose.

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The next afternoon, Emma gave Reynolds a letter to deliver to the Prophet Joseph requesting that Joseph return and give himself up. The Governor had pledged to give him protection and a fair trial. When the Prophet and Hyrum made the decision to return, the Prophet Joseph instructed Reynolds to gather documents for the promised trial. This trial never materialized, as the Prophet and Hyrum were martyred in Carthage Jail on June 24. Reynolds was then arrested for treason, but the case was dismissed.

In 1846 Reynolds moved his family to Winter Quarters and then, in 1848, trekked across the plains to the Salt Lake Valley, with the Brigham Young Company. Here he held several responsible positions: supervisor of road repair, manager of the Church farm, and sergeant-at-arms of the Utah territorial legislature.

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In his declining years Reynolds moved to Cottonwood, Utah, to live with his son. He died on 29 April 1861 in South Cottonwood at the age of seventy. He is buried in the Salt Lake City Cemetery.

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A Deseret News obituary states that Reynolds was "a true friend to the prophet of God while he was living; full of integrity and love for the truth and always acted cheerfully the part assigned him in the great work of the last Days."

Source: Who's Who in the Doctrine & Covenants by Susan Easton Black; FamilySearch.org