George Q. Cannon and the British Mission

George Q. Cannon was both a product of and a contributor to the British Mission. He was converted in Liverpool in 1840 and returned as mission president in the 1860s. His conversion story really begins with his aunt Leonora Cannon. She had emigrated to Toronto, Upper Canada, where she met and married John Taylor, likewise an emigrant from England. A Mormon missionary, Parley P. Pratt, converted and baptized the young couple in May 1836. Following their baptism, the Taylors moved to Kirtland, Ohio, and subsequently to Missouri and Illinois. Called to serve as an Apostle in 1838, John Taylor went with others of the Quorum of the Twelve on a mission to England in 1839, carrying a letter of introduction to George Cannon from his wife Leonora. This “referral” gave him easy access to the Cannon home in Liverpool. After Elder Taylor’s initial visit, George Q. Cannon’s mother told him, “George, there goes a man of God. He is come to bring salvation to your father’s house.” Elder Taylor met with the family again and introduced them to the Church by singing some of the hymns of Zion, testifying to the divine calling of Joseph Smith, and loaning the family a copy of the Book of Mormon. The Cannons studied the book with great zeal. Upon completing the book George Cannon concluded, “an evilminded man could not have written it, and a good man would not have tried to write it with the intent to deceive.” The Cannon family was baptized and emigrated to Nauvoo, arriving in the spring of 1843.

Published in BYU Studies Quarterly 27:1
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