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WE have no information enabling us to write of the early life of Bishop Miller. In January, 1841, he was called by revelation to succeed Bishop Partridge as Presiding Bishop of the church, and of him the revelation states:-
"My servant George Miller is without guile; he may be trusted because of the integrity of his heart; and for the love he has to my testimony, I, the Lord, love him: I, therefore, say unto you, I seal upon his head the office of a bishopric, like unto my servant Edward Partridge, that he may receive the consecrations of mine house, that he may administer blessings upon the heads of the poor of my people, saith the Lord. Let no man despise my servant George, for he shall honor me."
He was also chosen President of the High Priest's Quorum, to succeed Don C. Smith, and a member of the building committee of the Nauvoo House. In 1843 he went with Lyman Wight to the Wisconsin pineries to obtain lumber for the temple and Nauvoo House.
After the death of Joseph Smith, though not in full accord with Brigham Young and others, he remained with them, acting as Bishop and Trustee in Trust, until the exodus in 1846. He then started with them, but could not or did not agree with Young and others, and this was the cause of some disturbance on the way, the particulars of which we do not know. The only charge, however, that we have seen against him was in the language of Andrew Jensen, of the Utah Church, author of the "Historical Record":-
"Bishop George Miller was unmanageable; he would not observe order, and could not be controlled. Finally President Young was compelled to say that he would be disfellowshiped from the camp unless he repented."
When the camp stopped at Winter Quarters and Kanesville, Bishop Miller with a small following moved on up the river about one hundred and fifty miles and located for the winter at the mouth of the Running Water.
In the spring of 1847 he returned to Winter Quarters, but when it was resolved to send out the pioneers to select a location in the West, Bishop Miller objected, and soon after went to Texas and joined with Lyman Wight who was advocating the right of "Young Joseph" to lead the church. That Lyman Wight had been preaching the claims of Young Joseph sometime before August, 1848, is evident from an attack made upon him in the Gospel Herald, (Voree, Wisconsin,) August 31, 1848. An extract from a letter now before us written by Bishop Miller to J. J. Strang, from Austin, Texas, June 12, 1849, will be of interest and explain some of his motives:-
"I was baptized in the summer of 1839, by John Taylor, then one of the Twelve; and in the summer of 1840 was ordained a high priest, under the hands of Bishop Knight, Hyrum and Joseph Smith; and in January, 1841, I was called to the Bishopric, and set apart by the First Presidency, and under the hands of Elder Marks. And at the fall conference after the death of Don Carlos Smith, I was called and set apart as President of the Quorum of High Priests, with my counselors Noah Packard and Amasa Lyman.
"On this wise I now find myself in Texas, an isolated, frail being. In the spring of 1844 Joseph organized a council of fifty. I was one of that number. The question arose in regard to settling those saints in the South, that were making lumber in Wisconsin, for building the temple and Nauvoo House. The decision of the council was had, and Lucian Woodworth, George Miller, and Lyman Wight appointed to settle the company and their families, and procure a place for a stake for the gathering of the saints; whereupon Lucian Woodworth forthwith started to Texas and returned about the first of May. He negotiated with Samuel Houston (then President of the Republic of Texas) for a district of country to colonize the before-mentioned saints upon, which was to have been ratified at the meeting of the Texan Congress
the ensuing fall. On the part of the church we were to send commissioners or delegates to meet the Texan Congress, clothed with the authority of the church, to complete the negotiations for the aforesaid purpose. Woodworth, Brown, Wight, and myself were understood to be the delegates for said purpose. Immediately upon this decision, all or most of the before-mentioned council were sent on missions during the presidential canvass. I was sent to Kentucky, and Lyman Wight to Washington City.
"Whilst I was in the vicinity of Harrodsburg, Kentucky, on the morning of the 28th of June, 1844, Joseph appeared to me in a dream, and told me of the assassination of himself and Hyrum. I returned to Nauvoo. You are aware of many things that have taken place since in regard to the church. Lyman Wight took the lumbermen and others and left, and with them one of my sons. Lucian Woodworth and myself applied to Brigham Young, President of the Twelve, in his assumed standing, for the necessary outfit in papers, etc., to take with us to meet the Texan Congress. He dissolved the appointment. I started with the camp, came to Texas to look after my son. I have preached some and a few have believed; but I have not baptized any, because of the distracted state of the minds of believers in regard to the Presidency, etc. And until recently I have been disposed to get an inheritance in Missouri, and then stand still and see the salvation of God."
Subsequently Bishop Miller became identified with James J. Strang. We know but little of his history since that time.
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