George Albert Smith

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LDS Prophet George Albert Smith

George Albert Smith (b. April 4, 1870; d. April 4, 1951) was Prophet and eighth President of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. He was called at the age of 33 to the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles. As church President, he championed a massive welfare assistance to Europe following World War II. In 1931, he served on the advisory board of the National Council of Boy Scouts of America. George reconciled 1200 Mexican members that created a Church schism. He was responsible for expanding programs to help American Indians. A person of compassion, he worked especially in the interests of the youth of the church, the troubled, the poor, and the underprivileged. [1]

Contents

Early Life

Born in Salt Lake City, Utah the son of father John Henry Smith, mother Sarah Farr and grandson of prophet George A. Smith, who was an apostle and counselor to President Brigham Young. His father John Henry Smith, was an apostle and counselor to President Joseph F. Smith. As a young boy he was taken ill with typhoid fever. The doctor told him to stay in bed three weeks. A young George asked for his ward teacher Brother Hawks to come and administer to him that he might be healed. The next day he was playing outside, completetly healed. He was positive the Lord had healed him, forever grateful for his recovery. George worked in the ZCMI factory and as a salesman, traveling by wagon throughout Utah. He attended Brigham Young Academy and the University of Utah (then called University of Deseret). In 1903, Smith was president of the Young Men's Mutual Improvement Association overseeing forty wards. He was often sick and his life became a constant struggle against physical weakness. His illness was diagnosed only at the end of his life as lupus erythematosus. May 25, 1892, George Albert Smith married Lucy Emily Woodruff, the daughter of Wilford Woodruff, Jr. After World War I, Smith inaugurated friendly relations with governments and visited missionaries and Saints in Ireland, Scotland, France, Switzerland, Norway, Denmark, Sweden, and Germany.

Eighth President

George Albert Smith was selected president of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles. Two years later, Smith became president of the church, May 21, 1945, at the age of seventy-five. President Smith gained international prominence as a scout, earning highest honors, the Silver Beaver, and the Silver Buffalo. As President, he had a keen interest in identifying and marking historic sites. More than a hundred historic monuments and markers were erected. In 1937, he took the initiative in organizing the Utah Pioneer Trails and Landmarks Association. Smith both taught and lived the two great commandments to "love the Lord thy God" and to "love thy neighbour as thyself." [2] After World War II, the Church shipped 133 railroad carloads of food, clothing, and bedding, along with thousands of individual eleven-pound packages to war-torn Europe. His administration headed a delegation to the nation's capital to initiate plans to help Native Americans. President Smith revitalized missionary work. The number of missionaries rose to more than 5,000, and the number of wards and branches increased from 1,273 to 1,492, and stakes from 149 to 179. Some 200 new meetinghouses were built. New LDS hospitals were built and existing hospitals expanded. President Smith dedicated the Idaho Falls Temple. Smith met with United States President Harry S. Truman. President Smith was Time magazine’s “Man of the Year,” 21 July 1947. George died on April 4, 1951, on his eighty-first birthday.

Quotes

  • “I would not be an enemy to any living soul.”
  • "Brethren and sisters, let us go to our homes. If our houses are not in order, let us set them in order. Let us renew our determination to honor God and keep His commandments, to love one another, to make our homes the abiding place of peace. Each of us can contribute to that in the homes in which we live."
  • “Heavenly Father . . . has called me to go to many parts of the earth, and more than a million miles have been traversed since I was called into the ministry. I have traveled in many lands and climes, and wherever I have gone I have found good people, sons and daughters of the living God who are waiting for the gospel of Jesus Christ, and there are thousands, hundreds of thousands, millions of them, who would be accepting the truth if they only knew what we know”

References

  1. History of George Albert Smith Online Utah
  2. George Albert Smith Light Planet
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