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John Henry Smith
Full name John Henry Smith
Born September 18, 1848(1848-09-18)
Place of birth Carbunca, Iowa
Died October 13, 1911 (aged 63)
Place of death Salt Lake City, Utah
LDS Church Apostle
Called by John Taylor
Ordained October 27, 1880 (aged 32)
Ordination reason Reorganization of First Presidency[1]
End of term October 13, 1911 (aged 63)
End reason Death
Reorganization at end of term Charles W. Penrose added to First Presidency; James E. Talmage ordained
LDS Church General Authority
Quorum of the Twelve Apostles
Called by John Taylor
Start of term October 27, 1880 (aged 32)
End of term April 7, 1911 (aged 62)
End reason Called as Second Counselor in the First Presidency
Second Counselor in the First Presidency
Called by Joseph F. Smith
Start of term April 7, 1911 (aged 62)
End of term October 13, 1911 (aged 63)
End reason Death

John Henry Smith (September 18, 1848 – October 13, 1911) was a member of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles and the First Presidency of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS Church). He was a prominent politician in Utah and played an important role in the process whereby Utah made the transition from a territory to a state of the United States.


Church service

In 1874 and 1875 Smith served as a missionary in Europe. He spent most of this mission in England, particularly in and around the city of Birmingham.

From 1875 to 1880 Smith was the bishop of the Salt Lake 17th Ward, which included the Salt Lake Temple within its boundaries.

In October 1880, LDS Church President John Taylor called Smith to be a member of the Quorum of the Twelve. On October 27 of that year, he was ordained an apostle by Wilford Woodruff, who at that time was President of the Twelve. Smith served in that capacity until the death of First Presidency member John R. Winder in 1910; he was then asked by Church President Joseph F. Smith to take Winder's place as a member of the First Presidency. John Henry Smith served in this capacity until his death the next year.

Political contributions

Monument to four generations of a branch of the Smith family, prominent in LDS history.
Back of monument.
Headstone of John H. Smith.

In 1882 Smith was elected a member of the Utah Territorial Legislature.

John Henry Smith was also a prominent Republican in Utah politics. Smith was unanimously elected by the 107 delegates to be the Chair of the Utah Constitutional Convention that was held between 4 March and 8 May 1895. The result of the Convention was a draft Constitution for the proposed State of Utah, which was accepted by the United States Congress in 1896 when Utah officially became a State of the United States.

Marriage and family

Born in Carbunca, Iowa, Smith was the son of Latter-day Saint Apostle and member of the First Presidency George A. Smith and Sarah Ann Libby.

Smith practiced plural marriage, and was the father of 19 children, one of whom was George Albert Smith, who also became an LDS Apostle and went on to serve as the 8th President of the Church. 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. John Henry Smith was also the father of Nicholas G. Smith.

Smith died of a pulmonary hemorrhage[2] at and was buried at Salt Lake City, Utah.


  1. ^ Smith and Francis M. Lyman were ordained apostles on the same date. After their ordinations, there were still only 11 members of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles.
  2. ^ State of Utah Death Certificate


Religious titles
Preceded by
Francis M. Lyman
Quorum of the Twelve Apostles
October 27, 1880–April 7, 1910
Succeeded by
George Teasdale


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