John Taylor was the third president of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Born in Milnthorpe, Westmoreland, England, in 1808, he was christened in the Church of England and later became a Methodist lay preacher. A woodturner by trade, with limited formal education, he became noted for his culture and refinement.
In 1832 Taylor followed his family to Toronto, Canada, where he joined the Mormon Church in 1836. Ordained an apostle in 1838, he proselyted in the British Isles, France, and Germany. While in Europe he supervised the translation and publication of the Book of Mormon in a French and a German edition. In Nauvoo, Illinois, Taylor proved to be a capable writer and journalist. He edited the Times and Seasons from 1842 to 1846, and the Nauvoo Neighbor from 1843 to 1846. He founded the L'Etoile du Deseret ("Star of Deseret") in France, and Zion's Panier ("Zion's Banner") in Germany in 1851. In New York City he published a series, The Mormons, from 1854 to 1857. His more than twenty pamphlets and a book in defense of Mormon beliefs and practices earned him the appellation "Champion of Liberty" from his believers.