Q: Zebedee Coltrin is mentioned in D&C 52:29. Who was Zebedee Coltrin and what sacred remembrance did he have while attending the School of the Prophets?
A: Zebedee Coltrin was born in September 1804 in New York. In 1814 he moved with his parents to Strongsville, Ohio, where he grew to manhood and accepted the Methodist faith of his father. Then in January 1831 he and his father listened to the preaching of Solomon Hancock, a Mormon elder. That evening Zebedee saw a vision “of a number of men dressed in white robes.”
He was baptized the next day in a pond near his father’s farm by Elder Hancock, and twelve days later was ordained an elder by John Whitmer.
In Zebedee’s most quoted account from the Kirtland era, he describes this sacred remembrance while attending the School of the Prophets: “I saw a personage passing through the room as plainly as I see you now [high priests in Spanish Fork]. Joseph asked us if we knew who it was and answered himself, ‘That is Jesus, our elder brother, the Son of God’.”
Zebedee was among those who had to flee Kirtland, then Missouri, and then Nauvoo, Illinois. His wife died in Ohio, and Zebedee married Mary Mott in 1843 in Nauvoo. From Nauvoo, Zebedee fled with his family to Winter Quarters. He was in the vanguard company that journeyed to the Salt Lake Valley in 1847.
Through the years, Zebedee recorded his several missionary assignments in his journal. He served in Missouri, Illinois, Iowa, and Wisconsin. Zebedee finally settled in Salt Lake before accepting a settlement call to Palmyra near the Spanish Fork Canyon in 1852. There he helped pioneer the community, assisting in building schools, bridges, meetinghouses, and roads.
Zebedee served as a city councilman for Spanish Fork, and for several years he was a home missionary, president of the Utah Stake high priests quorum, and a frequent speaker at pioneer celebrations and reunions. In 1873 Zebedee was ordained a patriarch by John Taylor and served for fourteen years. He gave over one thousand patriarchal blessings, including blessings to Melvin J. Ballard and George Albert Smith. He offered the benediction at the dedication of the Logan Temple. Zebedee died in 1887 in Spanish Fork at the age of eighty-two.
Source: Who's Who in the Doctrine & Covenants by Susan Easton Black