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Kenneth Mays
Statue of President Taylor at the recreated Bluff Fort, where the Hole-in-the-Rock Saints settled at the end of their historic journey.

Elders John Taylor and Parley P. Pratt led a large company of members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints from eastern Nebraska to Utah in 1848. He settled in Salt Lake and was actively engaged in countless church activities and projects for several decades.

When President Brigham Young died in 1877, John Taylor began leading the LDS Church as president of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles. President Taylor led the church in this capacity for three years and then as president of the church for the next seven.

Kenneth Mays
Recreated Bluff Fort, where the Hole-in-the-Rock Saints settled at the end of their historic journey.

In 1879-80, President Taylor issued a call for the Saints to move and settle in the region of the San Juan River in southeastern Utah. This led to the creation of the famous Hole-in-the-Rock trail, ending at what is now Bluff, Utah.

He also reissued the call for Saints to settle in the region of the Little Colorado River in northeastern Arizona. There the Honeymoon Trail was utilized so that the Saints could journey to the St. George Temple to participate in ordinances that were otherwise not available.

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In spite of great financial hardships, President Taylor authorized church support for Brigham Young Academy, which later became BYU. Under his leadership the Assembly Hall, iron works, a paper mill and Deseret Hospital were either continued or completed. The Logan Temple was also completed and dedicated by President Taylor. Because of anti-plural marriage laws, he spent time in hiding.

In late November 1886, President Taylor made his final move to the farmhouse of Thomas F. Roueche in Kaysville, Davis County. From that home, which is no longer extant, he continued to lead the church the best he could considering the circumstances. President Taylor quietly passed away in the Roueche home on July 25, 1887.