Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Randolph & Myrza Alexander

One of the families that joined the Church in Tennessee was that of Randolph and Myrza Alexander.

Randolph Alexander was born on 22 March 1802 in South Carolina to Angus Alexander and Unity Murphy. He and Myrza Alexander (a distant cousin of Randolph's) were married on 11 June 1830 in Weakley Co, Tennessee. They had three children: Thomas in 1831, Susan in 1830, and Adaline in 1835.

While they were living in Weakley Co, Tennessee, they met Wilford Woodruff and David Patten. The missionaries were refused permission to preach at the Thompson Creek Baptist Church. Randolph, however, owned the land next to the Church and invited them to preach there. Soon afterwards Randolph and his family accepted the gospel and were baptized on 7 August 1836. Some of Randolph's cousins also joined the Mormon Church.

Randolph allowed missionaries to preach at his home and preached himself at least a little since he had been "run off for preaching Mormonism" in an unnamed town some twenty miles from Murfreesboro, Tennessee. At a conference in September 2-4, 1836 Randolph was ordained and Elder.

Although Myrza was pregnant, they decided to join the saints in Far West, Missouri. Along the way, in Memphis, their fourth child was born on 4 March 1837. They choose the name Moroni Woodruff Alexander, with an obvious reference to the Book of Mormon and to honor the missionary that taught them, Wilford Woodruff.

They were driven from Far West and moved to Quincy, Illinois, and later to Nauvoo. There they lived until the saints were driven out. After a year in Winter Quarters, the moved to Utah and eventually settled in Washington County. Randolph died 12 March 1879. Myrza died 23 July 1880.

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