Wells and his wife Almena Thorpe emigrated to Utah Territory in 1889. He gained employment as a clerk in the office of the LDS Church's presiding bishop.
In 1918, Presiding Bishop Charles W. Nibley asked Wells to become his second counselor. When Nibley was replaced by Sylvester Q. Cannon, Wells stayed on as the second counselor in the Presiding Bishopric of the church. Wells served as a general authority until the end of Cannon's tenure in 1938.