Thomas Grover III

Thomas Grover III.jpg

Question: Thomas Grover III is mentioned in D&C 124:132. How much gold did Thomas give to the Church when he returned from California?

Answer: Thomas Grover III was born 22 July 1807 in Washington County, New York. He began working full time as a cabin boy at age twelve. Thomas married and purchased a fifty-acre farm in western New York. When Thomas first heard the Mormon missionaries preach, it didn’t take long for him to be converted. He was baptized in September 1834 by Warren A. Cowdery, brother of Oliver Cowdery.

Less than a year later, Thomas sold his farm for five hundred dollars and moved to Kirtland. This money was given to purchase building materials needed for the construction of the Kirtland Temple. Thomas was called to the high councils in Kirtland and Far West and then Nauvoo.

In Nauvoo, Thomas was called to be captain and an aide-de-camp on the general staff of the Nauvoo Legion, personal bodyguard to the Prophet, and missionary to Mississippi, Michigan and Canada. When Joseph was kidnaped by Wilson and Reynolds, Brother Grover was one of the number who rescued him. Also, when Joseph was imprisoned at Rock Island, Illinois, his release was effected by Thomas Grover and Stephen Markham. The Prophet gave Thomas a sword which was a precious heirloom and which is now in the Hall of Relics at the State Capitol of Utah.

Thomas was among the first to leave Nauvoo in February 1846. While crossing the Mississippi River on a flatboard, most of his possessions were lost or damaged when a “filthy wicked man” squirted some tobacco juice into the eyes of one of his oxen and the wagon went into the river. The generosity of other pioneers enabled Thomas to proceed across Iowa to Council Bluffs, then to Winter Quarters, and then to join the vanguard company of pioneers in 1847. At the Platte River Thomas constructed and managed a ferry that would be used by thousands of emigrants.

Thomas arrived in the Salt Lake Valley in October 1847 and settled his family in Centerville and then Farmington. At the request of Brigham Young he left Farmington to settle disturbances among the Saints in California. Gold, having been discovered in California, Thomas joined in mining until 1849 when he returned to his family in the Salt Lake Valley. He turned over to the church one hundred pounds of gold. He also gave five hundred dollars for the construction of the Salt Lake Temple. The gold Thomas kept for himself helped him buy 150 cattle.

Davis County Courthouse

Davis County Courthouse

Thomas worked hard and became prosperous. During the 1850s he was prominent in civic affairs, serving as a representation of Davis County in the Utah legislature, a member of the Counties and Public Works Committee, a member of the Deseret Agricultural and Manufacturing Society, and a probate judge for Davis County.

Old Farmington rock chapel.jpg

He donated the land the Farmington chapel was built on where the first Primary was held..

On 16 February 1886, Thomas attended sacrament meeting in the Farmington Ward, and at the end of the meeting he bore testimony that the Gospel was true and that Joseph Smith was a true Prophet of God. By Thursday of that week he had died from pneumonia. A promise given to him by Hyrum Smith in a patriarchal blessing was fulfilled: “Your name will be written in the chronicles of our brethren and perpetuated by your posterity unto the latest generation.”

Thomas Grover III gravesteone.jpg

He died 20 February 1886 and is buried in the Farmington City Cemetery.

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