Marinda was born 24 June 1815 in Pomfret, Windsor County, Vermont, United States to John Johnson (1779-1843) and Mary Elsa Jacobs (1781-1870) and died 24 March 1886 Salt Lake City, Salt Lake County, Utah, United States of unspecified causes.
28 June 1815–24 Mar. 1886. Born in Pomfret, Windsor Co., Vermont. Daughter of John Johnson and Alice (Elsa) Jacob. Baptized into LDS church, Apr. 1832, in Hiram, Portage Co., Ohio. Moved to Kirtland, Geauga Co., Ohio, 1833. Married Orson Hyde, 4 Sept. 1834, in Kirtland. Moved to Far West, Caldwell Co., Missouri, 1838. Lived in Missouri, 1838–1839. Moved to Nauvoo, Hancock Co., Illinois. “Married or sealed” to Joseph Smith, Apr. 1842 or May 1843. Moved to Council Bluffs, Pottawattamie Co., Iowa Territory, 1846. Migrated to Salt Lake City, 1852. Divorced husband Orson, Apr. 1870, in Sanpete Co., Utah Territory. Died in Salt Lake City.
Miranda was an active member in the Mormon Church and an eyewitness to many critical events that occurred in its infancy. Life and faith would not have been easy in such turbulent times.
Early Life in Ohio
Miranda was born in Windsor County, Vermont and at a very young age her family moved to Hiram Ohio. There they became familiar with Joseph Smith and his new church. Joseph, Emma and their infant adopted twins were invited to stay with the John Johnson family for a period of time. They stay there for an extended time and Joseph would record there some significant doctrinal revelations for the church that are contained in the Doctrine & Covenants.
Allegations of sexual impropriety were frequently made against Joseph Smith Jr. In 1832 Ohio, a the most significant mob attack of the time was made against and was based in part on allegations made by one of Miranda's brothers. An angry mob arrived at the door on the night 24 March 1832. Luke Johnson, later to be one of the twelve apostles, was still single at twenty-five and living with his parents when the incident occurred. He wrote:
[W]hile Joseph was yet at my father’s, a mob of forty or fifty came to his house, a few entered his room in the middle of the night, and Carnot Mason dragged Joseph out of bed by the hair of his head; he was then seized by as many as could get hold of him, and taken about forty rods from the house, stretched on a board, and tantalized in the most insulting and brutal manner; they tore off the few night clothes that he had on, for the purpose of emasculating him, and had Dr. Dennison there to perform the operation [castration]; but when the Dr. saw the Prophet stripped and stretched on the plank, his heart failed him, and he refused to operate. The mob … in attempting to force open his jaws, they broke one of his front teeth to pour a vial of some obnoxious drug [aqua-fortis, a poison] into his mouth. The mob [then] became divided [because they] did not succeed, … but [instead had to settle for] poured tar over him, and then stuck feathers in it and left him … [then] part of the mob went to the house that Sidney Rigdon occupied, and dragged him out, and besmeared him with tar and feathers. Persons identified as being part of this attack besides Mason and Dr. Dennison, included Simonds Ryder, Warren Waste, Jacob Scott, a man named Fullar, and Eli Johnson. Many of these men had recently apostatized from the church. The mob action of March 24th, appears to have occurred for two reasons. Ryder said the attack occurred because “a plot was laid to take their property from them and place it under the control of Smith.” Eli Johnson was more specific. He was troubled because Smith and Rigdon were urging his brother John Johnson to “let them have his property,” and was “furious because he suspected Joseph of being intimate with his sister [actually she was his sixteen year old niece], Nancy Mirinda Johnson, and he was screaming for Joseph’s castration.” Unsolicited sexual behaviors may have been the more urgent reason.
Note: Luke Samuel Johnson (1807-1861) would later serve as one of the leading apostles of the Mormon Church and defended smith from criticism on a number of occasions. He left the church in 1838 because of the financial panic in Kirtland and "other reasons". But later years he rejoined the church and followed the group to Illinois and Utah.
Also note that Miranda was baptized into the Mormon church very soon after this event occured at her house.
Marriage to Orson Hyde
Life in Nauvoo
A House Divided - Feb 1979 Ensign - LDS Church magazine - history of the John Johnson Family]
When Orson left for England, Marinda was left with a three-week-old baby. Many years later, it was said of her that she experienced “what so many ‘Mormon’ women have since felt, the cares and anxieties of the wife and mother when the husband is on a mission in a foreign land, and the sustaining influence of the Holy Spirit that enabled her to bear cheerfully—even happily—the many scenes of hardship and persecution that all the old members of the Church have endured.” (Journal History, 24 Mar. 1886, p. 3) This was one of many times Marinda was asked to wait for her husband as he traveled the globe in Church service.
Marinda was the only one of the Johnson family known to have moved to Nauvoo. There she experienced joy in living the gospel and sorrow as she bade farewell to her husband on his frequent missions for the Church. Undoubtedly one of her greatest trials came when Orson fulfilled a mission to Palestine, traveling approximately twenty thousand miles. In his dedicatory prayer on the Mount of Olives he particularly remembered his family at home:
“Though Thy servant is now far from his home … yet he remembers, O Lord, his … family, whom for Thy sake he has left … The hands that have fed, clothed, or shown favor unto the family of Thy servant in his absence, or that shall hereafter do so, let them not lose their reward, but let a special blessing rest upon them, and in Thy kingdom let them have an inheritance when Thou shalt come to be glorified in this society.” (History of the Church, 4:458)
This prayer was heard, and the answer given only nine days later in a revelation to the Prophet Joseph. The Lord instructed Joseph Smith that Marinda should have a better place to live, “in order that her life may be spared.” Joseph was further directed to importune the Ebenezer Robinson family to provide for her and her children until Orson returned from his mission. The Robinsons were promised that as they provided for Marinda ungrudgingly, she would be a blessing to them. Finally, Marinda was charged to follow the living prophet “in all things whatsoever he shall teach unto her,” and promised that this would prove to be a blessing to her. (History of the Church, 4:467.)
Revelation recorded by Joseph Smith - 2 Dec 1841 - for Marinda Johnson while her husband, Orson Hyde was on his important 3 year mission to dedicate the Holy Land for the Gathering of Israel:
"Verily thus saith the Lord unto you my servant Joseph, that inasmuch as you have called upon me to know my will concerning my handmaid Nancy Marinda Hyde—behold it is my will that she should have a better place prepared for her, than that in which she now lives, in order that her life may be spared unto her; therefore go and say unto my servant, Ebenezer Robinson, and to my handmaid his wife—Let them open their doors and take her and her children into their house and take care of them faithfully and kindly unto my servant Orson Hyde returns from his mission, or until some other provision can be made for her welfare and safety. Let them to these things and spare not, and I the Lord will bless them and heal them if they do it not grudgingly, saith the Lord God; and she shall be a blessing unto them; and let my handmaid Nancy Marinda Hyde hearken to the counsel of my servant Joseph in all things whatsoever he shall teach unto her, and it shall be a blessing upon her and upon her children after her, unto her justification, saith the Lord."
Marriage to Joseph Smith
While still married to Orson Hyde, Marinda was married to Joseph Smith (1805-1844), the Mormon Prophet, in 1842, at age 27. This appears to be while Orson was on his long mission to Jerusalem (1840-1843), but immediately afterwards, Joseph arranged for her to live with the Robinson family to provide for her and the children. Marinda had no descendants with Joseph.
Settlement in Utah
Marinda Johnson Hyde made a lasting contribution in the establishment of Utah. After coming to Utah in 1852, she and her husband settled in the Seventeenth Ward. In 1868 she became the ward’s Relief Society president, serving in that position until her death. She also was a member of the board of directors of the Deseret Hospital in Salt Lake. She sought the rights of Mormon women at a time when much of the nation was attempting to destroy the rights of all Latter-day Saints and was selected as a member of a committee which drafted a resolution against some of the vicious antipolygamy legislation being considered in Congress. (See Millennial Star, vol. 32, p. 113.) She also was one of fourteen women who drafted a resolution thanking the acting governor of Utah, S. A. Mann, for signing the act that gave the women in Utah the right to vote, the second such act in the United States.
(See Journal History, 19 Feb. 1870, p. 4; also see Russell R. Rich, Ensign to the Nations, Provo, Utah: Brigham Young University Publications, 1972, pp. 372–73. Utah women were, the first to vote but the second to get the franchise.)
The year before her death, Marinda was honored on her seventieth birthday as being one of the oldest living members of the Church, having been baptized in 1831. She died 23 March 1886 in Salt Lake City. Her husband, Orson, had died previously on 28 November 1878.
Sometime in the 1860s, Marinda separated from her husband as the 1870 US Census shows them in two different locations. The 1870 US Census shows her running a boarding house in the Salt Lake 18th Ward, with a Federal Judge as one of the residents.
1870 US Census
US Census taken on 27 June 1870 for Salt Lake City 18th Ward. Household #22. It appears that Marinda operated a boarding house. Orson and Marinda are separated at this time.
- Marinda Hide F/55 - B: Vermont
- Alonzo Hide M/22 - B: Iowa
- Zina Hide F/12 - B: Utah
- Anna Lee F/28 - B: Norway - Domestic Servant
- Olive Williams F/20 - B:England - Domestic Servant
- Able White M/38 - B: New Hampshire - Bank Cashier
- Sarah White F/18 - B: New York
- Mary Devenport F/24 - B: New York - School Teacher
- Sirus Hawley M/55 - B:New York - U.S. Judge
- Sofia Hawley F/47 - B:New York
- Marinda N. Hyde: Female / Died 24 Mar 1886, Salt Lake City, Utah. Born 28 June 1815, Pomfret, Windsor, Vermont. Marital Status: Widowed. Spouse's Name: Orson Hyde
|Offspring of Marinda and Orson Hyde (1805-1878)|
|Nathan Hyde (1835-1835)|
|Laura Marinda Hyde (1837-1909)|
|Emily Matilda Hyde (1839-1909)|
|Orson Washington Hyde (1843-1843)|
|Frank Henry Hyde (1845-1908)|
|Alonzo Eugene Hyde (1848-1910)||28 February 1848 Council Bluffs, Pottawattamie County, Iowa, United States||15 June 1910 Salt Lake City, Salt Lake County, Utah, United States||Annie Maria Ballantyne Taylor (1849-1909) Annie Maria Ballantyne Taylor (1849-1909) Ellen Amelia Wilcox (1850-1927)|
|Delia Ann Hyde (1849-1907)|
|Heber John Hyde (1852-1853)|
|Mary Lavinia Hyde (1854-1855)|
|Zina Virginia Hyde (1858-)|