William W. Phelps
(1792-1872) was born at Hanover, New Jersey. Well educated, Phelps was an aspirant for the office of lieutenant governor of New York at the time he first learned of Mormonism through reading the Book of Mormon
and talking with Sidney Rigdon. He visited Kirtland in 1831, was baptized, and became active in editorial work, establishing the Evening and Morning Star
. One of the Prophet\'s scribes, he assisted in preparing the first hymnal. Excommunicated in 1839, he returned to fellowship in 1841 and fulfilled a mission to the eastern states. He was implicated in the difficulty surrounding the destruction of the Nauvoo Expositor
and was summoned to be tried for treason with Joseph Smith at Carthage. He accompanied the pioneers to Utah, where he became one of the first regents of the University of Deseret and a representative in the Utah legislature.
Included in 75 Significant Mormon Poets