George Albert Smith: Wikis


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George Albert Smith
Full name George Albert Smith, Sr.
Born April 4, 1870(1870-04-04)
Place of birth Salt Lake City, Utah Territory
Died April 4, 1951 (aged 81)
Place of death Salt Lake City, Utah
LDS Church President
Ordained May 21, 1945 (aged 75)
Predecessor Heber J. Grant
Successor David O. McKay
LDS Church Apostle
Called by Joseph F. Smith
Ordained October 8, 1903 (aged 33)
Reason for ordination Death of Brigham Young, Jr.
End of term April 4, 1951 (aged 81)
Reason for end of term Death
Reorganization at end of term Marion G. Romney ordained
LDS Church General Authority
Quorum of the Twelve Apostles
Called by Joseph F. Smith
Start of term October 8, 1903 (aged 33)
End of term May 21, 1945 (aged 75)
End reason Became President of the Church
President of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles
Start of term June 21, 1943 (aged 73)
End of term May 21, 1945 (aged 75)
End reason Became President of the Church
President of the Church
Start of term May 21, 1945 (aged 75)
End of term April 4, 1951 (aged 81)
End reason Death

George Albert Smith, Sr. (April 4, 1870 – April 4, 1951) was the eighth president of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS Church).


Early life

Born in Salt Lake City, Utah Territory, Smith was one of nineteen children of Mormon apostle John Henry Smith and one of his plural wives, Sarah Farr. His grandfather, for whom he was named, was also an LDS Church apostle as well as a cousin of Church founder Joseph Smith, Jr. John Henry Smith and George Albert Smith are the only father and son pair to have been members of the Quorum of the Twelve at the same time, having served in the Quorum together between 1903 and 1910.

Smith attended high school at Brigham Young Academy, graduating in 1884. He next graduated from the University of Deseret (later the University of Utah) in 1888. In 1896, he had joined the Republican Party and campaigned for William McKinley, who became President of the United States. He also favored Theodore Roosevelt, McKinley's successor.

While surveying for a railroad as a young man, Smith's eyesight was permanently impaired by glare from the sun. After 1903, Smith found his frequent travels debilitating, and began to show prominent symptoms of physical weakness. He was eventually diagnosed with lupus erythematosus, a chronic debilitating autoimmune disease.

Smith was known for his patriotism, joining various American patriotic groups and was an ardent supporter of the Boy Scouts. In 1934, the National Council of the Boy Scouts of America awarded him the prestigious Silver Buffalo Award. Smith was an avid genealogist and family historian and was named National Vice President of the Sons of the American Revolution in 1922.

Marriage and family

In 1892, Smith married Lucy Emily Woodruff, the daughter of Wilford Woodruff, Jr., in the Manti Temple. The couple later had three children. Lucy had spent much of her time growing up in the household of her grandfather Wilford Woodruff, and looked on him as almost more of a father than a grandfather.[1] Smith's son George Albert Smith, Jr. became a professor at Harvard Business School.

LDS Church service

Just prior to his marriage to Lucy, Smith served as a Mutual Improvement Association missionary throughout many areas in Southern Utah.

Smith and his new wife Lucy were missionaries in the LDS Church's Southern States Mission under President J. Golden Kimball from 1892 to 1894. Smith was appointed mission secretary.

Smith was called to be a member of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles in 1903. From 1920 until 1923 Smith served as president of the British and European Missions of the church. In this capacity, he preached in the United Kingdom, Ireland, France, the Netherlands, Switzerland, and Germany. From 1921 to 1935, Smith was the general superintendent of the church's Young Men's Mutual Improvement Association. In 1935 he was succeeded in this position by Albert E. Bowen.

With the death of President Rudger Clawson, in 1943, Smith was sustained as President of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles and served in the position for two years.

Administration as President of the Church

Smith became president of the church on May 21, 1945 with the death of Heber J. Grant. When World War II ended, Smith helped send supplies to Europe and was also known for his efforts to revitalize missionary work. He publicly denounced the activities and political influence of the American Ku Klux Klan. Smith dedicated the Idaho Falls Idaho Temple on September 23, 1945. Over his lifetime, he traveled approximately a million miles fulfilling church assignments.[2]

George Albert Smith was the first president of the church to visit Mexico while in office. He went there to complete the reconciliation and return to the church of a group of apostate Mexicans known as the "Third Conventionists".[3]

Monument to four generations of a branch of the Smith family, prominent in LDS history.
George Albert Smith's grave marker


Smith died in Salt Lake City from systemic lupus erythematosus.[4]


  • Smith, George Albert (1951). Sayings of a Saint. Alice K. Chase.  
  • —— (1948). Sharing the Gospel With Others: Excerpts from the Sermons of President Smith. compiled by Preston Nibley. Deseret News Press.  
  • —— (1996). Robert McIntosh and Susan McIntosh.. ed. The Teachings of George Albert Smith, Eighth President of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Bookcraft, Inc..  


  1. ^ Gibbons, Francis M. "George Albert Smith: Kind and Caring Christian: Prophet of God"
  2. ^ George Albert Smith, "Devotional", 1950-01-01.
  3. ^ Gerry R. Flake, “Mormons in Mexico: The First 96 Years,” Ensign, Sep. 1972, p. 20.
  4. ^ State of Utah Death Certificate

External links

Religious titles
Preceded by
Heber J. Grant
President of the LDS Church
May 21, 1945–April 4, 1951
Succeeded by
David O. McKay
Preceded by
Rudger Clawson
President of the
Quorum of the Twelve Apostles

June 21, 1943–May 21, 1945
Succeeded by
George F. Richards
Preceded by
Hyrum M. Smith
Quorum of the Twelve Apostles
October 8, 1903–May 21, 1945
Succeeded by
Charles W. Penrose
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