Heber J. Grant

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LDS Prophet Heber J. Grant

Heber Jeddy Grant (b. November 22, 1856; d. May 14, 1945) was prophet and seventh President of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Heber would enforce the ban on plural marriages and excommunicated member Churches that refused loyalty to the directive. He developed The Avenues section of Salt Lake City. In 1936, Heber established the LDS Welfare Program and administered the LDS health code known as the Word of Wisdom. Due to the Church's expansion, Heber created a new group of General Authorities, Assistants to the Twelve Apostles. His authority conveyed strength and resolution. He repeatedly spoke of the need for charity, duty, honor, service, and work. Heber was the last surviving member of the church's Council of Fifty. His 26 year administration would be the second longest in Church history. [1]

Contents

Early Life

Heber was born to Jedediah M. Grant and Rachel Grant in Salt Lake City, in the Utah Territory. His father had served as Brigham Young's counselor in the First Presidency. He grew up without his father who died nine days after his birth. Heber and Rachel moved to a "widow's cabin" on Main Street. Rachel supported the family by sewing and taking in boarders. Many evenings, a young Heber would help his mother by pumping the sewing machine treadle. Heber was enrolled in good private schools, beginning with Brigham Young's school. Following frontier practice, he left school at age 16. In 1875, Grant was called as a counselor to the president of the Young Men's Mutual Improvement Association at age nineteen. He became an insurance business man. In addition to the insurance agency, he was owner or principal investor in leading agricultural entities, a livery stable, a leading Salt Lake City newspaper, a bank, the famed Salt Lake Theatre, and the Utah Sugar Company. [2] His hard work paid off, Heber would earn ten times what the average Utah salary was. He was appointed by Brigham Young as assistant cashier of Zion's Savings Bank. Before the age of 24, he received his church's call to preside over the Tooele Stake. Twice he proselytized among the dangerous Yaqui Indians in Mexico, and his many tours to the Southwest earned him the title "the Arizona Apostle." [3] At age 26, President John Taylor appointed him to the Council of Twelve Apostles. The hard times of the 1890s and his subsequent mission calls to Japan and Great Britain ended his business career.

Seventh President

Heber was made president of the Quorum of Twelve in 1916 and in 1918 became Church President. Utah agriculture and farming had suffered during the Great Depression. President Grant maintained the financial solvency of Mormonism. He managed to alter long-standing negative stereotypes about Utah and her people. He frequently spoke to influential national groups and businesses. He visited U.S. presidents Warren G. Harding, Calvin Coolidge, Herbert Hoover, and Franklin D. Roosevelt in Washington, D.C. During his administration, Heber helped in the Hollywood production of the Union Pacific and Brigham Young. President Grant would dedicate three new temples and sixteen new missions. During his leadership, Mormon population increased twofold. He succeeded in putting the Church and the Utahn people in a positive light from a misunderstood pioneer religion to a vibrant respected religion of the twentieth century.

Death

He died in Salt Lake City 1945 and was eulogized by a friend, "He was a valiant pioneer and a great fighter," "He wrote his own epitaph in the achievements that caused the desert to blossom as a rose." In the book Go Forward with Faith: The Biography of Gordon B. Hinckley it was written that "He was a giant of a man whom I loved.” Joseph Anderson, President Grant’s secretary, wrote: “No one will ever know how many mortgages on homes of widows he paid out of his own funds. Time and again he would inquire as to his bank balance. He had no special interest in the accumulation of money except for the good he could do with it.” [4]

Quotes

  • “No matter in what land we may dwell the Gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ makes us brothers and sisters, interested in each other, eager to understand and know each other.”

References

  1. Heber J. Grant Light Planet
  2. HEBER J. GRANT University of Utah
  3. Heber J. Grant Light Planet
  4. Heber J. Grant ldsces.org
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