Charlotte Orme of Derby branch: Woman of Great Faith

by Jim Sherlock

Charlotte Orme
Charlotte Orme

Joining the church in Derby in 1908, alongside her husband Frank, the following year Charlotte Orme bore her testimony in the Millennial Star:


I feel it my duty to bear testimony to the truthfulness of the gospel taught by the Latter-day Saints, and also to the divinity of the mission of the Prophet Joseph Smith. I thank my Heavenly Father for directing His servant, Elder Alonzo J. Gilbert, to my door with glad tidings which have brought peace and joy to my soul. If anyone had told me prior to that time that I would one day be numbered among the Latter-day Saints, or 'Mormons,' as they are known in the world, I would not have believed him, for I had been led to believe that 'Mormonism' was a very corrupt system.

Elder Gilbert gave me some tracts containing the first principles of the gospel. He afterwards had a conversation with me in which he proved to me from the Bible that I had not a true conception of God; that the god in whom I believed (a god without body, parts, or passions) was not the God of the Scriptures. I greatly enjoyed the conversation; the subject was very interesting to me, for, to tell the truth, I had never been able to understand the doctrine of the Trinity as taught by the Church of England, in which church I had been brought up.

I was a Sunday School teacher in the English church for over ten years, and it was quite a trial to me to sever my connection with the members of that church with whom I had laboured so long. Some of those who were once my friends have turned against me and denounced me, while others have tried hard to get me to go back and join their ranks. But that I cannot do, for the Lord has revealed to me that the course I have taken is the right course.

At first, I was not satisfied with regard to the teaching of the elders concerning baptism - that it is essential to salvation, so I prayed to the Lord about the matter, and He showed me in a dream that baptism is a necessary ordinance to our salvation. Next, I wanted to know if Joseph Smith were a true Prophet of God. So, I prayed to the Lord again concerning this matter, and He heard and answered my prayers. One night He gave me a dream or vision, and in it I saw the Prophet Joseph healing a sick man. This was a testimony to me that the Prophet was called of God.[1]

I feel grateful to the Lord for sending His servants to my home. They have taken delight in teaching me the principles of the everlasting gospel, and I have learned many precious truths from them. I have proved them to be men of God, true, virtuous, and upright.

The strength of her faith never wavered over the next four decades.[2] Her granddaughter Geraldene records that when Charlotte died in 1949,

During her lifetime she held every office a woman can hold in the Church except Relief Society President.[3]

During the war years and the Great Depression between them, it was the sisters of the Church in many cases who bore the brunt of the austerity that accompanied the time. An indication of the strength of Charlotte’s faith is found in a story told by Geraldene, whom she brought up. She tells of a time in 1926 during a lengthy general strike; she was seven years old:

After the men returned from the war, there was a General Strike  Everyone came out on strike . . . for several weeks no-one was working. Nobody had money; it was a pretty tough deal. We always had the food storage. Even back then, they told us to have food storage,

so we didn’t have a problem. Women would come and say to grandma, “It’s Thursday when you clean your bedrooms; can I come and help?” She wouldn’t pay them, but they would get a basket of groceries to take home. I remember very well seeing baskets of groceries

leaving the house. I said to grandma, “What are we going to do when the food is all gone?” She replied, “Where is your faith? The Lord sent the ravens to feed Elijah!” I had visions of these big birds bringing food and wondered if they would bring people food or bird food.

Such was the faithful example of this good woman, reflecting her own desires expressed in the Millennial Star almost two decades earlier:

The desire of my heart is that I may be true and faithful to the covenants I have made with the Lord, and that I may be the means of bringing souls to Him. I hope this humble testimony may do good to someone. I pray the blessings of the Lord to be with His people.

Your sister in the gospel,

9 Young Street, Derby.

Charlotte Orme

This article has been extracted from “We’re Building the Church!” The Story of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Derby England, by James R. Sherlock. Second edition, 2022.

[1] Millennial Star, January 21, 1909, pp. 37-38. Online at:

[2] Charlotte Orme passed away in December 1949 at the age of 78.

[3] Orme Anthony, Geraldene, Autobiography of Geraldene Anthony Orme. Unpublished manuscript