Board Member Candidate Biographies

Please consider the following individuals for the position of Board Member for the Hyrum Smith Family Association. Log in to the web site and vote for up to 7 individuals at Voting at Annual Meeting of the Hyrum Smith Family Association.

Claudia Sanborn

I’m replying with enthusiasm and excitement to hopefully be chosen to be on the Board of Directors of Hyrum Smith Family Foundation. I have always been very proud to be related to this Royal Family and have always wanted to contribute and do whatever I could to honor this family. I have always kept in touch with Eldred and Hortense Smith for many years and even when I lived in California they came and did a wonderful fireside with the relics.
Recently I have just met with DeeJay Bawden and he is now working on the bust of John Smith, the son of Hyrum. He said it will be done for the Aug reunion and will be available for any of the posterity to purchase. I have talked to Michael Kennedy several times and have sent histories of John Smith. I’m hoping he might find some of the histories useful and incorporate them in his new movie he said he is working on. I have suggested that he might want to do a movie on Joseph and Hyrum. I have also volunteered to help with the 5K race for the upcoming Aug reunion. I ran the Leatherneck Marathon in the 1980’s when I lived in Lake Forest Calif. I do have a background in this area.
I have attended BYU. I have been a nurse for 20 yrs. I graduated from Saddleback College and attended Chapman University in nursing. I am now semi-retired as a nurse and now do travel nurse and have traveled all over the United States. I’m very available to attend meetings monthly and more if needed. I live in Gunnison Utah and come to Salt Lake City usually at least once a month to visit my mother and other friends and relatives. I have been a Director of Nurse and many leadership callings in the Church. I have a current temple recommend and attend the Manti temple usually at least once a month. I really want to help on this committee and have some wonderful ideas. I love the Church and know it is true. I hope you can use me.
Sincerely, Claudia Sanborn
P.S. I’m related to Hyrum Smith, then John Smith, then Joseph Smith, Joseph Alvin Smith, then my mother Lorraine Smith.

Richard J. Nelson

Richard J. Nelson is honored to be a member of the Hyrum Smith Family Association. For the last 21 years he has lived in New England, and he currently resides in New Hampshire with his wife and three girls who range in age from 16 to 10 years old. After serving a two-year mission in Italy for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Rick graduated from Brigham Young University in 1992 with a double major in physics and Italian. He attended the Massachusetts Institute of Technology for graduate school, earning a master’s degree and a Ph.D. He is currently enrolled in the Master of Liberal Arts in Business Management program at the Harvard University Extension School, and currently works for Solid State Scientific Corporation as the Vice President of Spectral Sensors, where he helps manage the direction of research and development of specialized sensors for the military. In his spare time, Rick enjoys spending time with his family, fulfilling his calling as bishop, reading, singing and playing piano (sometimes in a band!), and researching his family history. His travels for education and work have taken him far and wide, and his interests are many, yet he is always humbled by his earthly heritage and feels the desire to share that legacy with his family. As a member of the board, Rick would focus on making Hyrum’s early history in New England accessible to all who want to explore this beloved founder-in-aide of a new religious tradition, such as: publication of a booklet on sites of interest in Hyrum’s young life; a conference–perhaps in New England–focused on Hyrum and his ancestors; and investigating, securing, and marking locations of family interest in the New England area.

Melonie Cannon

I have been going to Smith Family reunions for as long as I can remember. For me, there has always been an “awe” factor when the oldest Smith descendants were asked to stand up. These are people I have long admired. It would be an honor to serve on the Hyrum Smith Board and represent his descendants and help move the love Hyrum had for his family forward. I have a deep love for Hyrum and hope that through association activities, education, programs, and service opportunities, his descendants will feel that same love. Thank heavens for the internet that can bring us all together in one place!

Professionally, my background is in education and writing. I have a M.Ed. from the University of Utah. I taught school until my son was born and we moved to Germany and Washington State. When my husband retired from the military, we moved to Utah. I currently edit and write for Segullah, an LDS women’s literary magazine. This has provided me with many opportunities including running a local writing conference and meeting amazing people. I am a teacher’s aide for drama (focusing on Shakespeare) and teach holistic medicine classes. Personally, we have four children that keep us very busy. I enjoy reading, dancing, acting, baking, working on personal writing projects, and learning something new…every day.

Emily Hoehne

My name is Emily Joy Hoehne. I am the fourth great-granddaughter of Hyrum Smith and daughter of Christian & Corenna Cannon. After growing up in Blackfoot, Idaho, I moved to Provo, Utah, where I graduated from Brigham Young University with a Bachelor of Science in economics and found my sweetheart, Joseph Hoehne. In my spare time, I can be found studying the life of my ancestors, tickling the ivories, playing the flute, or studying a foreign language.
To date, our family interacts on a very short basis. As a member of the Hyrum Smith Family Association board, I would like to utilize social media resources (i.e., Facebook, LinkedIn, blogs, our family website) to help family members meet and interact with each other on a daily basis and have an avenue to share family stories. The family stories could be gathered and distributed in the family newsletter and website frequently. We are currently connected as a family on, but we need opportunity to interact. Connecting and building relationships with each other using social media resources can help us fulfill our grandmother Lucy’s dream of no empty chairs.

Robert Smith Clark, Jr

Robert Smith Clark, Jr. is the Assistant Athletics Director for the University of New Mexico. He leads the major gifts efforts, including capital projects, planned giving and endowments. He also leads annual giving initiatives for Lobo Athletics and serves as an Adjunct Professor in the College of Education. Prior to UNM, he was the Executive Director of the Angelo State Athletic Foundation. Prior to Angelo State, he was the Special Assistant to the Sr. Associate Athletic Director and a Compliance Coordinator at Texas A&M University, and coached football at Occidental College.
He received his Ph.D. from Texas A&M, master’s and bachelor’s degrees from Occidental College. He currently serves in a bishopric in Albuquerque and served an LDS mission in Romania and the Republic of Moldova.

His expertise in non-profit fundraising, media relations, education and pedagogy would be a tremendous asset as a member of the Board of Directors for the Hyrum Smith Family Foundation.

Don H. Lee

As a child, my father taught me stories about my ancestors, of Hyrum and Jerusha and their children. They have long been precious to me and much of my life in recent years has been devoted to learning more of them and being sure that my descendants know of them. I have written and published 7 volumes of family history to aid in this. I have for over 12 years been a life member of the Sons of Utah Pioneers and have served on the board of the Ogden Pioneer Chapter for nine years and was the Chapter President last year. I am currently an associate editor of the SUP Trail Marker Newsletter and am a member of the SUP National Board. I worked at the Ogden Regional Family History Center for some time and was an associate director over their computer systems for part of that time.

I am a retired Scientific Computer Programmer, having worked at Thiokol for over 33 years. I worked on the design of the Space Shuttle boosters and other motors.

As I have studied about my ancestors, I have found that many people know almost nothing about them. When I ask someone about what they know of Jerusha Barden, I get blank looks; while most know Mary Fielding, few know of Jerusha. I am currently in the process of finalizing a book about the life of this wonderful lady that I hope will help to fill this gap. I feel that many of Hyrum’s children fall into this same situation, few know who they are and what they have done.
If elected to the board I would like to initiate projects to research the lives of family members and make their stories available to our family and the rest of the world. This would be a consolidated effort utilizing the talents of several of our family members. These stories should not be lost.

Bryan S. Larson

Thank you for your consideration for a position on the board of directors for the Hyrum Smith Family Foundation. I would like to share a little about myself and why I think I might be a valuable asset to the organization.

I began researching my own family history shortly after earning my Doctor of Pharmacy degree from the University of Utah. My interest in family history quickly grew into a passion which I have pursued extensively. After several years, I felt that I needed to expand beyond my own computer and in 2008, I created my own family history website, using a great tool called TNG. I quickly became adept at manipulating and customizing my website and had the opportunity to build family history websites for the Joseph Smith Jr. and Emma Hale Smith Historical Society. Through this endeavor, I have worked closely with Michael Kennedy on the Joseph Smith side and this is also how I was introduced to Eldred Smith. Since my initial work with the Joseph Smith, Jr. and Joseph Smith, Sr. family history websites, I have turned this work into a small business and have worked on dozens of family history focused websites. My experience in this area has ranged from building very small websites for individuals to giving significant presentations to M. Russell Ballard in Salt Lake City, Joe Ricketts (founder of TD Ameritrade) in New York City and leading a discussion at RootsTech 2013.

While I have done much work that is much different from the field in which I earned my degree, I have put my education to good use as well. I have worked for the University of Utah College of Pharmacy doing contract work with Utah Medicaid since 2007. Since starting there, I have introduced many measures to improve our processes as well as proposed ideas for saving the state money without compromising care for Medicaid recipients. What I bring to the organization is a passion for family history and historical preservation combined with a proven track record of innovative ideas and creativity.

Milton E. Smith

My name is Milton E. Smith; I go by the nickname of “Mitt.” I am the youngest son of Joseph Fielding Smith, who was the son of Joseph F. Smith, the son of Hyrum Smith and Mary Fielding Smith. My first wife (Donna Smith), who passed away at age 29, was the youngest sister of Eldred G. Smith. Therefore our three oldest children are descendents of Hyrum Smith through both of Hyrum’s wives, Jerusha Barden and Mary Fielding. Their names are Terri Ballstaedt, Randy Smith, and Ruth Steed. I would suppose that I am one of only a few family members remaining in mortality that claim Hyrum Smith as a Great-Grandfather; that is with only one great. I am familiar with the recent activities and goals of the Hyrum Smith Foundation and pledge to support those goals whether returned to the board or not. I have tried to be loyal to the Smith Family heritage as a faithful member of the Church. I currently serve as a sealer in the Mount Timpanogos Temple, and have previously served as a mission president and temple president in Central America.

Thanks again. Mitt Smith

John S. Beardall

John S. Beardall is a native of Springville, Utah and a third great grandson of Hyrum Smith. He worked in aerospace and defense industries as a physicist, including 38 years in New Mexico and Washington, D.C. before retiring to serve a “mission to his grandchildren” mostly living in Utah.

In the spirit of the revelation of the Lord Jesus Christ, given through Joseph Smith to his elder brother Hyrum Smith (found in Doctrine and Covenants, section 11), I would propose the Hyrum Smith Family Organization, instead of memorials of stone and wood, consider providing educational grants, scholarships, resources for missionary service (including senior couples) to those in need, etc. to be awarded to descendants of Hyrum Smith; especially grants to support the education of those who desire to teach the Gospel, and to ultimately fund religious education and learning at a university level through an endowed Hyrum Smith Chair in Religious Education and Mormon Studies at some appropriate university.

The Lord spoke to Hyrum, “Seek not for riches but for wisdom…;” “first seek to obtain my word…But now hold your peace; study my word which hath gone forth among the children of men, and also study my word which shall come forth among the children of men, or that which is now translating, yea, until you have obtained all which I shall grant unto the children of men in this generation, and then shall all things be added thereto. …until the time which is in my wisdom that you shall go forth. Then …“Say nothing but repentance unto this generation…;”

I think educational support for Hyrum Smith’s descendants who desire to follow this admonition is worthy of family consideration.
ohn Smith Beardall American Fork, Utah

Jennifer Bruggeman

My name is Jennifer Bruggeman. I am a descendant of Hyrum Smith through his oldest daughter Lovina. I live in Toquerville, UT. I have 5 children and my youngest is 8 months.
You asked me to write a few lines about my bio and my interest in the Hyrum Smith Organization. Here are a few thoughts… I have been a data steward for the Joseph Smith Sr and Lucy Mack Family Organization for many years now. I find the work fulfilling and a joy to be a part of. I haven’t attended any of the meetings , but with things like Skype and other internet resources, I have been able to attend. I am capable of using the computer. I have access to ancestral quest and feel that I am proficient in basic things and can find my way around pretty well. I am the family history consultant in my ward, so new.familysearch and family tree are familiar to me.
Perhaps the other more important reason, is the love I have for the Hyrum Smith family. I found out about 10 years ago, that I was a direct descendant, and it has changed my life. In just a few short years, I have researched and documented all of my maternal and paternal grandparents, clear back to the 1500’s. I have ensured that temple work has been completed, and have obtained photographs and life stories of each of them. My purpose now I feel, is to share this information with all of the members of my family. I believe that our children and grandchildren need to know how important this is and how important they are, so that the legacy can continue.
I would like to help in any way I can. If not the board, then certainly in any capacity that you find appropriate. Thank you for your consideration. Jennifer Bruggeman

Angela Smith Harper

My name is Angela Smith Harper. I was born and raised in Bluffdale, Utah. I was raised by wonderful parents and had a great childhood. I was raised in the church and have a very strong testimony of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. I am a 5th generation Granddaughter of Hyrum Smith and am very proud to be part of such an amazing family. I graduated from High school in 1995 from Bingham High School, I then went on to attend college at the Salt Lake Community College, I did not finish school but am planning to go back and get my degree in Wildlife Management from Utah State this fall. I am currently 36 years young. I Married In 2007 and was later sealed to my Husband in 2011. We have a 15 year old daughter from a previous relationship and my husband has adopted her, as her biological father signed his rights over. After we were married we moved to a small town called Honeyville, it is located in Northern Utah. I am a stay at home mom but have worked in a variety of settings. I have a many skills, I am very competent with computers and many various programs, I can type over 60 wpm, 10 key by touch and many more office related skills. I also work very well with the public. My skills range from Playing the piano to tinkering with tools and fixing the car, to mending fences and pulling calves. I am a very quick learner and can do anything I set my mind to.

I served on the local Planning and Zoning Commission for the town until my term was up last year. Currently I am a local 4-h leader and have a group of kids ranging from 8-16 that ride in our horse club. My husband and I have a variety of animals that we raise and care for, I am an animal lover and we have just about some of everything from large animals to small. My husband works for an oil company based out of Rock Springs Wy. and is gone for 2 weeks at a time. It is difficult to do all the work with just my daughter and I, but we manage.

As a family we love to spend time together and do a lot of camping, fishing, and hunting. We go as often as possible. Family is a huge part of my life and I try to take advantage of every moment together.
I would love to be on the Board of Directors and be part of such an amazing group. I may not have the fancy college degrees, but I am a hard worker and am dedicated to the tasks that I take on.
Thank you for your consideration. Sincerely , Angela Harper

Matthew C. Ballard

Matthew C. Ballard grew up in Cache Valley and Alpine, Utah. He served a mission in Brazil for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, and then attended Brigham Young University, where he met his wife Alina. At BYU, Matt received a bachelor’s degree in International Studies with an emphasis in Law and Diplomacy. He then earned a Juris Doctor degree from Washburn University School of Law in Topeka, Kansas. After graduating from law school, Matt spent four years at the law firm of Kirton & McConkie in Salt Lake City before accepting an invitation from one of the firm’s clients, Intermountain Healthcare, to join its office of in-house counsel. Matt’s legal work for Intermountain includes medical malpractice defense, Medicaid appeals, healthcare licensing issues and general litigation. He and Alina live in Clearfield, Utah with their six children.

Matt is a descendant of Hyrum Smith through Joseph F. Smith’s great-grandson Elder M. Russell Ballard, and would be honored to serve in any capacity that will help to preserve Hyrum’s remarkable legacy. Matt would like to see the Hyrum Smith Family Association (1) continue its focus on purchasing, securing and maintaining historical sites that relate to Hyrum’s life; (2) raise and donate funds to institutions of higher learning for the creation of scholarships, endowed faculty chairs and educational programs named after Hyrum; and (3) to organize and facilitate reunions of Hyrum’s posterity and seminars open to the general public designed to increase awareness of Hyrum’s life and his contributions to society.

Donald Poulter

I grew up in Ogden,Utah and received a b.a. degree from the University of Utah in liberal arts and a masters in hospital administration from UCLA. I served a mission to Germany and was an officer in U.S Army Intelligence for two years. I worked at the LDS HOSPITAL and was the ceo of the Primary Children’s Medical Center for Twenty years. I am retired and would have the time and interest in serving on the board. I have been a member of the Mormon History Assoc. for many years.And I have had the pleasure of serving as Eldred Smith,s home teacher,also for many years!

Renee Horton

My name is Renee Horton. I am a descendant: Karen Renee Platt; Karen Ruth Startup; Elbert Harris Startup; Martha Artemissa Harris; Martha Ann Smith; Hyrum Smith. I use my middle name.

I am interested in the becoming a member of the Board of Directors. I know that this is a little late to be contacting you about this. One of the reasons for this, recently I was contacted by a young missionary who happened to be a family member. I have been doing a lot of genealogy research over the years. I had recently reserved a marriage sealing for Hyrum and Mary Felding. As I know that they are already sealed, I reserved it so that someone else could not duplicate the ordinance. I contacted a friend of mine who is in Salt Lake on a Family History Mission and works in Data Quality. In talking with him, I discussed the possibility of me having administrative rights to edit the Smith Family records. One of the things that would need to be done is to have permission of the family and/or work with the family to do this. It would be a Family History calling and I (or someone in the family) could take on the responsibility for correcting the Smith Family records. Right now these records are locked and the only ones that can edit the records need to have administrative rights.

Either way, I am still interested in helping out and would like some information. I will be contacting Jared Glade as well. I know that he has the family database on

Renee Horton

John Huefner

My only bio is that I am the eldest of Helen’s children (Helen – Hyrum Gibbs Smtih– Hyrum Fisher Smith – John Smith – Hyrum Smith), and offer to represent Helen’s posterity. I don’t need the fame nor the money as a board member

E. Gary Smith

I am currently the temporary board chair, the son of the late Patriarch Eldred G. Smith. I am a mostly retired attorney and an active mediator on the Utah State Court Roster of Mediators. I am the co-author of Lost Legacy: The Mormon Office of Presiding Patriarch published by University of Illinois Press. I see the main mission of the organization as raising money (tough work) to purchase sites that relate to Hyrum’s past history.

Jared Glade

My father served in the Air Force for 29 years, so I grew up around the world. One of the things that I learned was how important it is to foster family connections.

It would have been great to have today’s technology available when we lived in England for 3 years. This is where I started programming computers, and I have been doing so for over 30 years.

I work as a database administrator for Optum, a division of UnitedHealth Group.

I have been serving on the Joseph F. Smith and Joseph Smith, Sr. Family Associations since 1999. I have been maintaining the Joseph Smith, Sr, Hyrum Smith and Joseph F. Smith web sites during that time. Most recently, I created the Hyrum Smith Family Tree on and wrote the application to maintain the Contact database for the Hyrum Smith Family.

My greatest joy is when a family member contacts me through one of these web sites and we are able to connect and share information. We still have a lot of family members to find, and I know that we will develop great projects to work on that have significance for the Hyrum Smith family.

Thank you for considering me for the position of Board Member.

Jared F. Glade

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