Stories from the Life of Porter Rockwell

by John W. Rockwell, Jerry Borrowman

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Paperback SKU 5123224

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When Orrin Porter Rockwell died of a heart attack in 1878, his name was as well known as Brigham Young's. Cowboys sang songs about him, and newspapers had frequently printed scandalous accounts about the malicious Mormon "destroying angel." But to many, Rockwell was a guardian angel, and it could be easily said he saved far more lives than he took. It seems history tells two contrasting narratives about one of the West's most controversial men. Yes, at times Porter Rockwell could act violently, yet he was overly generous to those in need. At least two dozen peopled died at his hand, yet in every instance, he was exonerated. As the ninth person baptized into the restored Church, Porter was central to the early growth of the Church, even though he was never called to positions of leadership. He was called a saint and a sinner, a lawman and a criminal, a hero and a villain. Indians feared him, saying he was impossible to kill, but some people traveled hundreds of miles to try. Although his death by natural causes likely disappointed the many outlaws seeking his life, it also fulfilled a prophecy given by Joseph Smith that no bullet or blade would ever harm Porter Rockwell.

A friend of Joseph Smith's since childhood and later his bodyguard, Porter saved the life of the Prophet more than once. Porter also served as a bodyguard to Brigham Young and helped guide the first pioneers across the plains to the Salt Lake Valley. He became a legend as a frontiersman, a marksman, and a man of iron nerve. And though may outsiders characterized Porter Rockwell as a notorious, vengeful murderer, those who knew him saw him as a protector, a miraculous healer, and a loyal friend.

About the Authors

John W. Rockwell

John W. Rockwell has spent his life teaching students history, especially U.S. history and history of the Wild West. He taught in Duchesne, Utah, and then in Taylorsville, Utah, at Eisenhower Junior High and Taylorsville High School for most of his career. He received the Distinguished Faculty Award from the National Honors Society in 2008. John has also worked on the Lehi City Historical Preservation Commission and has been involved in historical restoration and preservation projects throughout Lehi, Utah. John served an LDS mission in Mexico and has followed his ancestor Porter’s footsteps with a lifelong service in the Church.

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Jerry Borrowman

Jerry Borrowman is an award-winning author of historical fiction and nonfiction. He has written about World Wars I and II, the Great Depression, and the Vietnam War. He is the recipient of the George Washington National Medal from the Freedoms Foundation at Valley Forge. Jerry and his wife, Marcella, raised four children and live in the Rocky Mountains.

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Average rating:

(based upon 6 reviews)

A hero of mine
By , Submitted on 2019-06-18

I had no prior knowledge of who Porter Rockwell was before reading this book other than he was the Prophet's body guard. However, after reading this book Porter Rockwell became a hero of mine. As a result, I named my first born son Rockwell. I have never read about a more humble, courageous, and loyal man than Porter Rockwell. I highly recommend this book. If you want more details on anything you can check out his biography which has a ton of cited references in the back. However, I find this book more useful for sharing stories about him around a campfire or in a church talk than the longer biography because of the shorter and more concise format.

Quick to read, showed both sides to many stories, fell in love with Orrin Porter Rockwell
By , Submitted on 2015-02-25

I enjoyed the relaxed writing style. I found the authors allowed me to decide about Porter and his actions by an unbiased presentation of the facts.
I enjoyed seeing Our Prophet Joseph Smith through Porter's eyes and the History of the Church.
Thank you for wrting this.

Couldn't put it down.
By , Submitted on 2015-02-25

Porter is of legend status in L.D.S. history. I found the authors to have written a book that people of many ages can enjoy reading.

Could have been a lot better
By , Submitted on 2015-02-25

The title is exciting. Good cover. But, this was the hardest book to get through. Lots of grammar mistakes. It read like the book was written in just a week or two. I would like to see the book rewritten by a professional author.

Good read, some errors
By , Submitted on 2015-02-25

From my personal knowledge of church history, I noticed some inconsistencies with dates, etc. Some typos but minor. Wonderful insights into Rockwell's interesting life stories.

By , Submitted on 2015-02-25

This book was a fast read, stories that have been written in other books. A great fan of Rockwell but this was disappointing, was hoping for new stories.

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