Morris was the son of Morris D. and Sahre Rosenbaum, a Jewish couple living in Fordon, Prussia. When Morris was 13 years old, he took a job as a clerk in a store. After working there for six years, he decided to visit America.
When he arrived in New York City, Morris had little money so he bought a few dollars worth of goods and peddled them in a basket in the outskirts of the city. After leaving New York, Morris traveled to Pennsylvania, New Orleans, and California. While in San Francisco, he heard about a Mormon settlement in Carson Valley and was curious enough to visit. He liked the people and wanted to learn more about their faith. When everyone in the settlement left for the Salt Lake Valley, Morris joined them.
In Salt Lake City, Morris became acquainted with Alexander Neibaur, who was a matchmaker and the first Jewish person to join the Mormon Church. Morris became the second and was baptized on March 27, 1858. He married Alexander’s daughter Alice the same year.
The couple ultimately settled in Brigham City. On April 5, 1868, Morris also married Abigail Snow Caldwell, daughter of Lorenzo and Harriet Snow. He supported his families as the County Assessor and a merchant.
On March 26, 1880, Morris received a missionary call to Germany. He accepted but wanted church officials to know, “. . . I never preached a sermon in my life.”