Francis Marion Lyman was born in Walnut Grove Township, McDonough County, Illinois, in January 1840, the son of Amasa Mason Lyman. His parents, after escaping from mobs persecuting the Mormons in Missouri, were staying there with friends. The family later lived in Nauvoo, Illinois, and migrated to Utah with the Mormon pioneers in 1848. He was called as an apostle in 1880. At the time of his death in 1916, he was serving as president of the Council of the Twelve of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter- day Saints
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