Famous Poet, Pioneer, and Mormon Hymn Writer, my G.G.-Uncle Joel H. Johnson, Brother of BFJ

While growing up, Mother talked about her amazing Great-grandfather B.F. Johnson — amazing not only because he was one of the American West’s and Mormondom’s early pioneer heroes (he helped forge the last frontier, Utah); but also because he figured big in how her father Dayer LeBaron claimed he acquired his “scepter of power.”

Mother also told me about her G. grandfather BFJ’s creative brother, Joel H. Johnson (Mother’s brother Joel Franklin LeBaron’s namesake), another famous Mormon pioneer: He settled Bountiful, Utah, among other Utahan towns.

Joel H. Johnson was the oldest of sixteen children. He not only held the notable status of being a brother of Benjamin Franklin Johnson/BFJ — He was also a prolific poet and hymn writer.

He composed one of my favorite hymns, “High on the Mountaintop.”

In checking Joel J. out on Wikipedia, this is some of what I learned (The following copied from Wikipedia):

Joel J. Johnson’s journal contains 736 hymns. Collections of his writings were published in the pamphlet “Voice from the Mountains” in 1881 and a 344-page book of poems in 1882. His most sung hymn, “High on the Mountain Top”, was written on February 19, 1853. 

Other estimates place Johnson’s total work in writing hymn texts and poems at about 1,000.[16] The only other hymn by Johnson in the current English edition of the LDS Church hymnal is “The Glorious Gospel Light Has Shone” (no. 283).

I brought out in an earlier blog that bipolar [1] problems often run in the genes of creative people. My MexicoLeBaron/Emmerson/McDonald/Johnson family line was anything if not creative.

It’s pleasant to dwell, for a change, on some of the many great things about my LeBaron-Johnson Family line; rather than discussing only mental-illness challenges in my Mexico-LeBaron family and extended family —

Though part of the purpose for blogging about my lineage IS to unravel and reveal lies and lore; and the “whys ‘n’-wherefores” of the unusual amount of mental illness that pounded especially my Grandmother Maud and Grandfather Dayer’s family — the Mexico-LeBarons.

My grandfather Dayer’s son by his first wife Barbara Bailey and his six children by his third wife Onie Jones never, far as know, showed signs of mental illness—no delusions of grandeur, narcissism, Angels visiting them, voices speaking to them, sexual perversion, paranoia, pathological lying, and so forth.
Therefore, it bears taking a second look at bloodline, beliefs, background, and parenting.

[1]- NOTE:
In Mania/ Type I Bipolar Disorder the mood becomes abnormally heightened, accompanied by hyperactivity and a reduced need for sleep.

This state lasts in the afflicted individual for a time; then he/she generally returns to his/her normal state … until perhaps another episode of mania/ bipolar split occurs.

My G.G.-Uncle Joel Johnson’s Hymn: “High on the Mountain Top”

*Continued July 4 , 2019, in Pt 34, A-P: The LeBaron Madmen: Button, Button; Who’s Got the Button?

2 thoughts on “Pt 34-P: Benjamin F. Johnson’s Bro, Joel Johnson: Creativity and Bipolar Disorder

  1. Ironically, I was reading a wiki page on Joseph Smith’s wives and two of them were Benjamin and Joel’s sisters: Delcena and Almeera (sp), your GG aunts. Then, I stumbled across your post on Joel. Yes, as soon as I saw his name, I realized he was your uncle’s namesake. I have often wondered from whom your other relatives names came. Some of them are obvious. Others are not.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you for this feedback. Yes, I know that Joseph Smith was Benjamin Franklin Johnson, et Al’s, brother-in-law twice over. Joseph Smith even wanted to marry another one of BFJ’s sisters, Esther Melita Johnson — but she was already engaged to marry David Tully LeBaron, I believe. Without going back and doing some review, I don’t recall all the names exactly; but this gives you some idea.

      I wonder who you are — and why your interest in topics I’m writing about; but I’m happy to get your feedback and to know you are reading my blog.


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