Joining the Church in 1838 catapulted William Clayton into new activities and associations, took him from England to the United States, and offered him soul-satisfying spiritual experiences.
As Joseph Smith's friend and scribe, Clayton kept extensive journals and was the one who recorded the revelation on plural marriage. He also wrote the first history of the Nauvoo Temple.
As a pioneer, Clayton wrote the words to the hymn "Come, Come Ye Saints," and compiled the Latter-day Saints' Emigrants' Guide. He was among Salt Lake City's original settlers and worked in a variety of religious, economic, and civil activities.
Clayton was faithful, but he had his share of human frailties. Even though his wives considered him a good husband—so far as plural marriage allowed—why did some divorce him?
William Clayton's life encompassed nearly all the joys and struggles that could come to a Church member of his day. Yet "no toil nor labor" did he fear. His story, in many respects, echoes the soul-stirring words of his immortal Mormon pioneer anthem.