VISITING LDS PROPHET GRAVES
(Ron Andersen, © December, 2001)
Salt Lake City Cemetery (Upper & Lower Halves)
SALT LAKE CITY CEMETERY
|Address:||200 N Street, Salt Lake City, UT 84103|
|Directions:||East on N Temple to 950 East (N Street). North to 4th Avenue.|
|Phone:||596-5020 (Salt Lake City Corporation)|
|Burials:||105,300 (year 2000)|
The Salt Lake City Cemetery contains about 120 acres of ground, lying between N and U Streets and Fourth Avenue and the Wasatch Boulevard. The Jewish and Catholic cemeteries directly adjacent on Fourth Avenue and the Boulevard are privately owned, but the Japanese cemetery west of the Mausoleum is part of the Salt Lake City cemetery proper.
It is laid out in rectangular plats lettered from A to X in the order of their development. Between the plats are the principal streets. These, extending from east to west, are named Main, Center, Cypress and East Streets. Each plat is subdivided into blocks whose dimensions are two by six or eight rods. A single lot, one rod square, will hold eight adult graves. On the sexton's records, each grave is numbered by plat, block, lot and grave, so that each grave is located exactly.
George B. Wallace, who once had an extensive lumber business in Boston, employing hundreds of men, and acted as undertaker in Nauvoo, and his wife Melissa lost two children the first year they were in the valley. Wallace is said to have dug the first civilized graves in the Valley. The first interment was of Mary M. Wallace, his own child, Sept. 27, 1848 (two months before the first burial in the Kimball & Whitney Cemetery).
The Journal History of the Church for 1849 has the following entries: "Feb. 17, 1849.... The Council met in Phelp's schoolroom at 10:30 a.m.... Daniel H. Wells, Joseph Heywood and George B. Wallace were appointed a committee to select a suitable place for a burying ground." A few weeks later Pres. Brigham Young attended a Council meeting in the schoolroom. "Daniel H. Wells, of the committee on selecting a site for a burying ground, said the committee were now prepared to report. They thought the most suitable place was northeast of the city. Twenty acres was included in the survey."
It was natural that Mr. Wallace should lead the committee to his two little graves. They were the first burials in that location and became the first entries on the record. A beautiful granite monument now marks the spot on Plat C, Lot 6. The Civil War veterans have a fine flagpole on the same plat.
In January of 1851, an ordinance having been passed by the General Assembly of the state of Deseret "Incorporating Great Salt Lake City," a city council was organized which administered the affairs of the graveyard. The following extracts were taken from the minutes of the council:
Feb. 1856. Mayor Jedediah M. Grant instructed the committee on municipal laws to take some measures in fencing the burying ground.
N. V. Jones represented to the council that in the western part of the 15th Ward (east side of the Jordan River between 300 South and South Temple Streets), where water can be obtained by digging at a depth of three feet, the inhabitants inter their dead in many instances on their lots, and the waters continually filtering through the corpse must be unwholesome and liable to engender disease. The committee was also instructed to get up an ordinance forbidding any persons to inter their dead on their lots, and requiring such persons as have interred their dead on their lots to remove them to the burying ground in the graveyard, unless by petition they are otherwise permitted to bury on their lots.
April 1856. The subject of permitting certain deceased persons interred upon their city lots remain undisturbed was taken into consideration by the council. When it was motioned and carried that the deceased family of President H. C. Kimball now interred upon his city lot be suffered to remain; That the remains of the departed father and mother of George A. Smith viz. John Smith, patriarch, and wife, his consort, be permitted to remain where they are interred.
June 23, 1863. Ald. Clayton and members of the council said that complaints had reached them in regard to the manners in which graves had been dug verging some of them 15 from the line; Coffins also made too long; also that the road leading through the graveyard was open for teams passing to camp, and the ground was desecrated by parties of men resorting there for drinking and recreation; also that the wall was old and rusty; and that for the proper interment of the dead a new hearse should be obtained. Messrs. Sheets, Burton and McKean were appointed a committee to bring in a report to the council.
July 7, 1863. The special committee reported as follows;
To the Mayor and City Council
GentlemenYour committee to whom was referred the subject of changing the road passing through the cemetery, and repairing the wall, with other matters pertaining thereto, respectfully report that they have located a road beginning at a point on the Old Road east of the cemetery and running a south-easterly direction until it intersects South Temple Street. The estimated cost for grading said road is from one to two hundred dollars, and the wall around the cemetery is in a very dilapidated condition and the estimated cost for repairs and putting up suitable gates is from ten to twelve hundred dollars. Your committee would recommend the measures be taken at an early date to have the newly located road graded, the wall around the cemetery repaired, and that a good hearse be procured at the expense of the city. (The report was adopted and the committee instructed to complete the work.)
Sept. 15th (1863). The new sexton, Frederick. A. H. F. Mitchell, complained that graves protruded into the road, and that vehicles drove over lots, knocking down head boards, etc. He asked for improvements of the roads and bridges, and for a stone house 12 x 14 feet to be erected to serve as a shelter and to house tools. Corner stones are to be placed to mark the plats, the east gate is to be closed, and a complete plat of the cemetery is to be made. The sexton asked five dollars be charged for use of the hearse, horses, and two men on the day of a funeral.
Feb. 22nd (1864). Resolution passed the council prohibiting the burial of murderers in the city cemetery.
May 10, 1864. The council approved the following charges to be made by the sexton:
Coffin, per running foot $1.75 Recording $ .25
Digging grave 2.00 Recording certificate .25
Grave over 4 feet 3.00 Lot 12.00
Conveying Coffin to City 1.50 Lot in Ravine for less.
Conveying dead to grave 3.50 Porter engaged per day 2.00
The LDS Church owned the cemetery at first and a burial site was free. It was smaller then. When the city wall was built, it came east on 4th Avenue, then south at N Street, the SW corner of the cemetery. When the city took control a few years later, the cost for a plot was 25 cents. Not until the turn of the century did the city treat the cemetery as a Victorian park. As of June 8, 1994, there were 112,584 persons buried on 252 acres. The cost now is $600 for a grave site, $100 for perpetual care, and $300 for opening and closing the grave. The LDS Church owns a portion of the sites left, some being reserved for the poor.
The beautification of the cemetery has depended upon the water supply. Some families cleared their lots, fenced them in, or surrounded them with a stone coping, and planted trees and hardy shrubs that survived with the natural rainfall. In 1881 a well was dug to the depth of nearly 1,000 feet, then abandoned. For thirty years, the opening was guarded with a barbwire fence and warning notices of "Danger" and "Keep Out." Finally in 1915 the well was filled in. Today this Block 19 contains the Chinese cemetery with its delicately lettered granite headstones scarcely protruding above the green grass and very near the site of the old well was placed a Chinese joss house, a square cement box where, when a burial took place, a part of the clothing of the deceased, prayers written on paper, and incense were burned.
When the high water line was piped in from upper City Creek and the equalizing reservoir built, water under a good pressure became available to every part of the cemetery. Many of the upper plats are equipped with a sprinkling system. With the water came beauty. In 1900, the Park Plat just north of the sexton's house was opened with perpetual care. A large section of this plat is reserved for the veterans of the Spanish American War. A fine flagpole is there and the number of white marble headstones is attractive.
In 1906, perpetual care was extended to the whole cemetery and by 1915 such a growth of trees and shrubs, many of them evergreens, had developed that the hillside was nearly a forest.
A number of the plats in the cemetery are of special interest. The Strangers' Plat is northeast of the main entrance in Plat B, Block 4 and contains the remains of those who died in early days while en route to or from California during the gold rush.
To the northeast on a grassy western slope in Plat T is what is known as Pauper's Field. Here are buried those without relatives or friends to care for them or are unknown to the authorities. No matter who the person is, he has a decent burial. Either a minister, Mormon elder, or the sexton dedicates the grave.
At the head of Center Street are five blocks given by the city to the LDS
Church for the burial of their indigent poor, and others. Near the southwest
corner of the first block is a handsome monument erected by Mormon elders
to the memory of Chief Whaanga, a Maori chief who joined the Church years
ago and came here from New Zealand with many of his people.
LDS Prophets, most are buried in the Salt Lake City Cemetery
(Most of the material is taken from "My Kingdom Shall Roll Forth: Readings in Church History," 1979.)
Grave locations are identified, working from the largest to the smallest geographical spot, as in (Plat, Section, Sub-section, within sub-section). Locations listed (in parentheses) were taken from the Utah State Historical Society Burial Data at:
1. (1830 - 1844) Joseph Smith (Buried in Nauvoo) 23 Dec 1805 - 27 Jun 1844
2. (1847- 1877) Brigham Young (Buried in Young's private cemetery on First Avenue) 1 Jun 1801 - 29 Aug 1877
3. (1880 - 1887) John Taylor (F-11-9-- ) 1 Nov 1808 - 5 July 1887
Born in England. Lay Methodist preacher in Toronto before being converted by Parley P. Pratt. Became an apostle, Dec 1838. Known as "Living Martyr" for surviving the shooting at Carthage [he was shot 4 times and carried a ball in his leg until he died]. Two missions to England, one to France. Edited the "Times and Seasons" and "Nauvoo Neighbor." Canonized the Pearl of Great Price as scripture. Organized Mormon Battalion.
1877 - De facto president of the Church as senior apostle.
1878 - Organized the Primary Association.
1880 - Declared a "Jubilee Year" [based on Old Testament practice] and forgave half of the $802,000 owed the P.E.F., and distributed 1,000 cows and 5,000 sheep to the indigent members to replace some of the thousands lost in the severe winter of 1879-80.]
Sustained as prophet (Oct. Conf.)
1882 - Wrote "The Mediation and Atonement of Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ."
(13 Oct) Received revelation to appoint George Teasdale and Heber J. Grant as apostles and Seymour B. Young a Seventy.
1883 - Seventies quorums reorganized. Revelation received from the Lord indicating, "What ye have written is my will, and is acceptable unto me..."
1884 - Dedicated the Logan Temple (17 May).
Had 15 wives. Died in West Kaysville (25 Jul 1887), while on the underground, hiding from federal authorities to avoid prison for practicing polygamy.
When the Twelve were taught the doctrine of celestial marriage, including plural wives, by Joseph Smith, Taylor wrote, "I had always entertained strict ideas of virtue, and I felt as a married man that this was to me, outside of this principle, an appalling thing to do. ...Hence, with the feelings I had entertained, nothing but a knowledge of God, and the revelations of God, and the truth of them, could have induced me to embrace such a principle as this."
To Zina Young Williams, dean of women at the BY Academy in Provo and daughter
of Brigham, Pres. Taylor said, "I have been visited by your father. He
came to me in the silence of the night clothed in brightness and with a face
beaming with love and confidence told me things of great importance and among
others that the school being taught by Brother [Karl G.] Maeser was accepted
in the heavens and was part of the great plan of life and salvation; ...and
there was a bright future in store for the preparing for the children of the
covenant for future usefulness in the Kingdom of God, and that Christ himself
was directing, and had a care over this school."
(1889 - 1898) Wilford Woodruff (C-6-10-1-E) 1 Mar 1807 - 2 Sept 1898
Fourth President of the L.D.S. Church, 1889-98. Oversaw completion of Salt Lake Temple and dedicated it. Served over 30 years as assistant L.D.S. Church historian, was key in writing official Church history, and establishing procedures for temple LDS temple work. Travelled thousands of miles on foot as a missionary and mission president. Buried with his 5 wives; Phoebe W. Carter, Emma Smith, Sarah Stocking, Sarah Brown and Mary Jackson.
1833 - Baptized. 1834 - Participated in Zion's Camp. 1835 - Began his first journal ("The first book of Wilford" with the phrase, "When in the course of human events...")
1839 - Becomes an apostle
1856 - Appointed Church Historian
1858-1877: President of the Deseret Agricultural and Manufacturing Society (predecessor of the Utah State Fair Board)
1877 - First president of the St. George Temple
1880 - Received two revelations in Arizona.
1887 - De facto president of the Church
1888 - Dedicated the Manti Temple
1889 - Sustained as President of the Church
1890 - Issued the official Declaration ("Manifesto") on plural marriage.
1893 - Dedicated the Salt Lake Temple
1894 - Ended the practice of "adoption" (sealings to Joseph Smith or other prominent Church leaders).
Created the Genealogical Society of Utah (May).
1898 - Died in San Francisco (2 Sep).
Pres. Woodruff suffered a number of accidents and near death experiences in his life. He summarized them as follows, "I have broken both legs, one of them in two places; both arms, both ankles, my breastbone, and three ribs; I have been scalded, frozen, and drowned; I have been in two wate wheels while turning under a full head; I have passed through a score  of other hairbreadth escapes.. The repeated deliverances from all these remarkable dangers I ascribe to the mercies of my Heavenly Father. In recalling them to mind I always feel impressed to render the gratitude of my heart, with thanksgiving and joy, to the Lord. I pray that the remainder of my days may pass in His service, in the building up of His Kingdom."
The two most well-known revelations Pres. Woodruff received dealt with temple
work (doing work for "Founding Fathers," Presidents of the United
States, and other prominent men and women) and the ending the practice of
5. (1898 - 1901) Lorenzo Snow (Buried in Brigham City) 3 Apr 1814 - 10 Oct 1901
1850 - Opened Italy and Switzerland to missionary work.
Created the best city co-op in the history of the LDS Church in Brigham City.
President of the Salt Lake Temple.
Visited by the Savior in the Salt Lake Temple after the death of President John Taylor.
Visiting the drought-stricken church members in St. George, he had a revelation on the necessity of church members to pay their tithing. They did, rain came, and the Church solved its indebtedness problem.
(1901 - 1918) Joseph F. Smith (PARK-14-12-2-E) 13 Nov 1838 - 19 Nov 1918
Son of Hyrum Smith. Fatherless at age 6. Helped mother cross the plains, age 9. Orphaned at age 13, called on a mission at age 15. Overcame alcohol and especially chewing tobacco habit that he picked up on his mission to Hawaii that lasted at least 20 years. Served missions in Hawaii, Europe, and U.S. Held many government positions, business leader, teacher and farmer.
1867 - Ordained an apostle, age 28.
1880 - Counselor to Pres. John Taylor, age 41.
1901 - Becomes President of the Church, first to do so without a waiting period.
1906 - First President of the Church to tour Europe.
1909 - First Presidency issued a statement on the doctrine of "The Origin of Man," to counter false ideas being accepted by people based on Charles Darwin's "Origin of Species.
1916 - First Presidency issued a "doctrinal exposition" on the Father and the Son (Elohim is the literal father of our spirits; Christ is his son [physical and spiritual creation]. Christ is the father 1) of creation (this earth), 2) of those who abide in His gospel (are born of Him), and 3) by divine investiture of authority (as firstborn of the spirit, as the only begotten of the Father in the flesh, and as the only sinless person to live on the earth, he and the Father became one).
1918 - Oct. Conf. He received a revelation on the salvation of the dead (D&C 138), added in 1976.
Died 19 Nov.
(1918 - 1945) Heber Jeddy Grant (N-2-1-2-E) 22 Nov 1856 - 14 May 1945
First L.D.S. Church President to be born in Utah, 22 Nov 1856. His father, Jedediah M. Grant, SLC's firs mayor and counselor to Brigham Young died 8 days later. Raised by a single mother, Rachel Ivins Grant. Dedicated to self-improvement, from singing (he was tone-deaf) to sports (he couldn't throw, but eventually played on a championship team) to writing (went to undecipherable "hen-scratching" to being paid to create beautiful documents), etc. He sacrificed personal finances to help others and save the Church, financially, more than once, and was so dedicated and honest, he became a successful businessman in many areas and gained the respect of all Utahns. He became a rich man, but gave it away. He and his ten daughters went weekly to the temple. He was a General Authority for 63 years. During his administration, strict adherence to the Word of Wisdom became a requirement to enter the temple.
1880 - President of Tooele Stake, age 23.
1882 - Ordained an apostle, age 25.
1884 - Married (May 27) Hulda Augusta Winters and Emily Harris Wells, all three were 27.
1918 - President of the Church, age 62.
President Grant once told of the circumstances surrounding his call to the
apostleship and his struggle to fill it at such a young age.
"There are two spirits striving within us always, telling us to continue our labor for good, and one telling us that with the faults and faimings of our nature we are unworthy. I can truthfully say that from October, 1882, until February, 1883,.that spirit followed me day and night telling me that I was unworthy to be an Apostle of the Church, and that I ought to resign. When I would testify of my knowledge that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of the Living God, the Redeemer of mankind, it seemed as though a voice would say to me: "You lie! You lie! You have never seen Him."
While on the Navajo Indian reservation with Brigham Young, Jr., and a number of others, six or eight, on horseback, and several others in "white tops," riding along with Lot Smith at the rear of that procession, suddenly the road veered to the left almost straight, but there was a well beaten path leading ahead.
I said: "Stop, Lot, stop. Where does this trail lead? There are plenty of foot marks and plenty of horses' hoof marks here." He said, "It leads to an immense gully just a short distance ahead, that it is impossible to cross with a wagon. . . ."
"I want to be all alone. Go ahead and follow the crowd." ...
"As I was riding along to meet them on the other side I seemed to see, and I seemed to hear, what to me is one of the most real things in all my life, I seemed to see a Council in Heaven. I seemed to hear the words that were spoken. I listened to the discussion with a great deal of interest. The First Presidency and the Council of the Twelve Apostles had not been able to agree on two men to fill the vacancies in the Quorum of the Twelve. There had been a vacancy of one for two years, and a vacancy of two for one year, and the Conferences had adjourned without the vacancies being filled. In this Council the Savior was present, my father was there, and the Prophet Joseph Smith was there. They discussed the question that a mistake had been made in not filling those two vacancies and that in all probability it would be another six months before the Quorum would be completed, and they discussed as to whom they wanted to occupy those positions, and decided that the way to remedy the mistake that had been made in not filling these vacancies was to send a revelation. It was given to me that the Prophet Joseph Smith and my father mentioned me and requested that I be called to that position. I sat there and wept for joy. It was given to me that I had done nothing to entitle me to that exalted position, except that I had lived a clean, sweet life. It was given to me that because of my father having practically sacrificed his life in what was known as the great Reformation, so to speak, of the people in early days, having been practically a martyr, that the Prophet Joseph and my father desired me to have that position, and it was because of their faithful labors that I was called, and not because of anything, I had done of myself or any great thing that I had accomplished. It was also given to me that that was all these men, the Prophet and my father, could do for me; from that day it depended upon me and upon me alone as to whether I made a success of my life or a failure. . . .
"No man could have been more unhappy than I was from October 1882, until February, 1883, but from that day I have never been bothered, night or day, with the idea that I was not worthy to stand as an Apostle, and I have not been worried since the last words uttered by Joseph F. Smith to me [in 1918]: "The Lord bless you, my boy, the Lord bless you; you have got a great responsibility. Always remember this is the Lord's work and not man's. The Lord is greater than any man. He knows whom He wants to lead His Church, and never makes any mistake. The Lord bless you." [In Conference Report, Apr. 1945, pp. 4-5]
8. (1945 - 1951) George Albert Smith (I-5-15-1-E) 4 Apr 1870 - 4 April 1951
Founding President of Utah Pioneer Trails and Landmarks Assoc. Helped organize Pioneer Trails and Landmarks Association. Known for his compassion. Businessman. Politician. Grandson of George A. Smith.
1882 - Received a patriarchal blessing, age 12, from Zebedee Coltrin,
which indicated that he would one day become an apostle.
1883 - Began working in ZCMI's overall factory, age 13.
1892 - Married Lucy Emily Woodruff, daughter of Pres. Woodruff, age 22. Helped save Tabernacle from burning down (while visiting his fiancé, he noticed a burning ember light on the wooden shingles).
1903 - Became an apostle, age 33.
1904 - Writes his personal creed, a list of his most serious goals and aspirations, which would guide him throughout his life.
* I would be a friend to the friendless and find joy in ministering to the needs of the poor.
* I would visit the sick and afflicted and inspire in them a desire for faith to be healed.
* I would seek out the erring one and try to win him back to a righteous and a happy life.
* I would not seek to force people to live up to my ideals, but rather love them into doing the thing that is right.
* I would live with the masses and help to solve their problems that their earth life may be happy.
* I would not knowingly wound the feeling of any, not even one who may have wronged me, but would seek to do him good and make him my friend.
* I would overcome the tendency to selfishness and jealousy and rejoice in the success of all the children of my Heavenly Father.
* I would not be an enemy to any living soul.
* Knowing that the Redeemer of mankind has offered to the world the only plan that will fully develop us and make us really happy here and hereafter, I feel it not only a duty but also a blessed privilege to disseminate this truth.
1909-1912: Illness prevents him from being active in the quorum. He
has a vision of his (more than 300 pound) grandfather, Apostle George Albert
Smith, who inquired "What have you done with my name?" (They both
had the same name.) His reply, "I have never done anything with
your name of which you need be ashamed.' He stepped forward and took me in
his arms, and as he did so, I became conscious again of my earthly surroundings.
My pillow was as wet as though water had been poured on it - wet with tears
of gratitude that I could answer unashamed."
1922 - Elected vice-president of the National Society of the Sons of the American Revolution.
1931 - Elected a member of the National Executive Board of the Boy Scouts of America.
1945 - War in Europe ends, May 8. He becomes President, May 14.
1947 - Utah pioneer centennial celebrated.
1951 - Died, April 4th.
9. (1951 - 1970) David Oman McKay (WEST-3-79-1-W) 8 Sept 1873 - 18 Jan 1970
Oversaw phenomenal church growth. Mantra: "Every member a missionary!" Popular teacher, received many honors and awards. General Superintendent of the Sunday School for 16 years and Church Commissioner of Education for 2 years. Often quoted Shakespeare.
1890s Prayed fervently for a heavenly manifestation to strengthen
his testimony. Didn't happen or even later while on his mission.
1897 - Graduated from the U of U, age 24; class president, valedictorian, played piano & football.
1897 - Mission to Great Britain. During a very spiritual and inspirational conference, other missionaries were witnessing angels, etc. He saw nothing and was discouraged. His mission president, James McMurrin, said to him, "Let me say to you, Brother David, Satan hath desired you that he may sift you as wheat, but God is mindful of you. If you will keep the faith you will yet sit in the leading counsels of the Church."
1899 - Faculty member of Weber Stake Academy (Ogden)
1901 - Married Emma Ray Riggs, age 27
1906 - Ordained an apostle, age 32.
1920-21: Toured missions throughout the world.
1921 - Savali, Samoa (May 10). Onboard ship, he fell asleep about 10 P.M. and beheld a vision. In the distance I beheld a beautiful white city. Though far away, yet I seemed to realize that trees with luscious fruit, shrubbery with gorgeously-tinted leaves, and flowers in perfect bloom abounded everywhere. The clear sky above seemed to reflect these beautiful shades of color. I then saw a great concourse of people approaching the city. Each one wore a white flowing robe, and a white headdress. Instantly my attention seemed centered upon their leader, and though I could see only the profile of his feathures and his body, I recognized him at once as my Savior! The tint and radiance of his contenance were glorious to behold! There was a peace about him which seemed sulime - it was divine!
The city, I understood, was his. It was the City Eternal; and the people following him were to abide there in peace and eternal happiness.
But who were they?
As if the Savior read my thoughts, he answered by pointing to a semi-circle that then appeared above them, and on which were written in gold the words: "These Are They Who Have Overcome The World - Who Have Truly Been Born Again!"
When I awoke, it was breaking day over Apia harbor.
1934-51: Second Counselor to Presidents Grant and Smith.
1951 - Sustained as President of the Church.
1952-58: Visited Chuch around the world; dedicated Los Angeles, New Zealand, London temples.
1961 - First Council of Seventy ordained high priests; Church correlation effort begins.
1962 - Home teaching and 8-year curriculum plan unveiled.
1963 - Ward Councils and PECs created. General committees created for home teaching, welfare, genealogy, and missionary work.
1965 - Home Evenings reemphasized.
1965 - Chose two additional counselors.
1967 - Regional Representatives of the Twelve are first called.
"Man's chief concern in life should not be the acquiring of gold, or of fame, or of material possessions. It should not be development of physical powers, nor of intellectual strength, but his aim, the highest in life, should be the development of a Christ-like character...
The true purpose in life is perfection of humanity through individual effort, under the guidance of God's inspiration. Real life is response to the best about us."
"Spirituality is the consciousness of victory over self and communion with the Infinite."
When he was sustained as the President of the Church, April 9, 1951, he stated, "I pledge to you that I shall do my best so to live as to merit the companionship of the Holy Spirit, and pray hee in your presence that my counselors and I may indeed be partakers of the divine spirit.'"
Pres. McKay, talking once to the First Presidency and Twelve, urged them
to give time for more meditation so that they could tune in with spiritual
forces that they had a right to and should expect to direct them in their
work. He said, "The best time for me is early in the morning when my
mind and body are rested. But when the inspiration comes, and it can come
just as clearly as though you were taking down a telephone and dialing in
for information; when the Lord tells you what to do, you have to have the
courage to do what he instructs you." [Conf. Report, Oct., 1962, pp.
(1970 - 1972) Joseph Fielding Smith (PARK-14-14-1-EAST) 19 July 1876 -
2 July 1972
Founded the Genealogical Society of Utah, which evolved into the LDS Church's family history department. Wrote many books answering theological questions and countering evolutionist theories, all proceeds going to the genealogical society.
1885+: Read the Book of Mormon twice before age 10. He also read the
New Testament during lunch breaks and while walking to and from work.
1896 - Patriarchal blessing promises, "It shall be thy duty to sit in counsel with thy brethren and to preside among the people." (Age 20)
1898 - Married Louie Emyla Shrtliff (age 22).
1899 - Mission to England
1901 - Clerk in the Church historian's office.
1906 - Assistant Church historian, age 30.
1908 - First wife died; married Ethel Georgina Reynolds.
1910 - Ordained an apostle by his father, Pres. Joseph F. Smith.
1919 - Counselor to Salt Lake Temple president.
1921-70: Church Historian (69 years spent in the Church history office).
1922 - Published first book, Essentials in Church History, age 45.
1934 - Becomes president of the Genealogical Society, age 57.
1937 - Second wife, Ethel, died.
1938 - Married Jessie Ella Evans. He is 61.
1945 - President of the Salt Lake Temple.
1965 - Counselor to Pres. McKay.
1970 - President of the Church, age 93.
Health Services Department created, Church Education System reorganized, new church magazines (Ensign and New Era) created as part of Church correlation.
1971 - Presided over the first area general conference, Manchester, Eng. His wife, Jessie, died.
Joseph never wasted a moment. Following in his father's footsteps, he arose early, which became his formula for getting more work done. He instilled this same habit in the lives of his children. His son recalled, "Somehow it seemed immoral to lie in bed after 6. Of course, I only tried it once. Father saw to that."
For years he carried a sack lunch to his office, so he could keep working through the noon hour. "That gives me an extra 300 hours per year." One day a sister of his called on him at the office and scolded him for not taking a nap after lunch. She cited by name half a dozen of his associates who had long done so. "Yes," he replied, "and where are they today? All dead!"
11. (1972 - 1973) Harold Bingham Lee (WEST-6-76-1-E) 28 Mar 1899 - 26 Dec 1973
Originator of the LDS Church's welfare system. Salt Lake Co. Commissioner, Director Salt Lake Dept. of Streets & Public Improvements. Educator.
1916 - Teaches school at Silver Star School, near Weston, Idaho, age
1917 - Principal of the 4-room school at Oxford, Idaho, age 18.
1920 - Western States Mission, age 21; served in Denver, Colorado, area.
1923-28: Principal in the Granite School District, age 24-29.
1923 - Married Fern L. Tanner. He is 24.
1929 - President of the Pioneer Stake, age 31.
1932 - Appointed a member of the Salt Lake City Commission, age 32.
1936 - Becomes a member of the first Church security (welfare) committee, having begun a welfare program in his stake to ease the burdens suffered during the Great Depression.
1937 - Becomes managing director of the Church welfare system, tours Church with Elder Melvin J. Ballard introducing and organizing the program.
1941 - Ordained an apostle, age 42.
1961 - As chairman of the general priesthood committee, he helps develop the correlation program.
1962 - His wife died. He is 63.
1963 - Married Freda Joan Jensen, becomes a member of the board of directors, American Red Cross.
1970 - Counselor to President Joseph Fielding Smith.
1972 - Sustained as President of the Church (Oct).
(Nov) Announced a new program for the single adults in the Church.
Harold's father, Samuel, was the youngest of 12 children born to Margaret McMurrin Lee in a dugout and the only one to survive. Samuel's mother died shortly after delivering Samuel.
Harold was reared on a small farm in Idaho. When he was about 8 years of age, his father took him to a farm some distance away to get work. Said Harold, "While he worked I tried to busy myself with things that a young boy would. The day was hot and dusty and I played about until I was tired. Over the fence there was a broken-down shed that looked very interesting to me. In my mind I thought of this broken-down shed as a castle that I would kike to explore, so I went to the fence and started to climb through to go over to that shed. There came a voice to me that said this very significant thing, Harold, don't go over there.' I looked about to see who was speaking my name. My father was way up at the other end of the field. He could not see what I was doing. There was no speaker in sight. Then I realized that someone that I could not see was warning me not to go over there. What was over there, I shall never know, but I learned early that there are those beyond our sight that could talk to us. [In Conf. Report, Mexico Area Conf., 1972, pp. 48-9.]
"May I impose upon you for a moment to express appreciation for something that happened to me some time ago, years ago. I was suffering from an ulcer condition that was becoming worse and worse. We had been touring a mission, my wife, Joan, and I were impressed the next morning that we should get home as quickly as possible, although we had planned to stay for some other meetings.
"On the way across the country, we were sitting in the forward section of the airplane. Some of our Church members were in the next section. As we approached a certain point en route, someone laid his hand upon my head. I looked up; I could see no one. That happened again before we arrived home, again with the same experience. Who it was, by what means or what medium, I may never know, except I knew I was receiving a blessing that I came a few hours later to know I needed most desperately.
"As soon as we arrived home, my wife very anxiously called the doctor. It was now about 11 o'clock at night. He called me to come to the telephone, and he asked me how I was; and I said, Well, I am very tired. I think I will be all right.' But shortly thereafter, there came massive hemorrhages which, had they occurred while we were in flight, I wouldn't be here today talking about." [Conf. Report, Apr. 1973, p. 179.]
12. (1973 - 1985) Spencer Woolley Kimball (WEST-13-44-3-WEST) 28 Mar 1895 - 5 Nov 1985
Twelfth President of the L.D.S. Church, 1973-85. Devoted to improving opportunities for Native Americans. Worked in banking, insurance and real estate. Also buried here is his beloved wife Camilla Eyring Kimball. Intelligent and independent, she was a role model for many. The stone has a piece of petrified wood on each side.
1906 - Patriarchal blessing promised he would do a great work among
the Lamanites (age 11).
1914 - Ordained a priest (Jun), an elder (Sep), a seventy by Uncle J. Golden Kimball and called on a mission (Oct), age 19.
1917 - Married Camilla Eyring, age 22.
1938 - President, Mt. Graham Stake, age 42.
1943 - Apostle (age 48).
1946 - Chairman, Church Indian Committee (age 51).
1951 - Loses his voice through a serious throat ailment. Voice restored following a blessing (age 56).
1957 - Throat cancer, one and one-half vocal cords are removed (age 62).
1969 - Publishes Miracle of Forgiveness, (age 74). Five steps: 1) Conviction of and sorrow for sin, 2) Abandonment of sin, 3) Confession of sin, 4) Restitution for sin, 5) Doing the will of the Lord.
1972 - Doctors implant an artificial aortic valve and graft a coronary artery;
published Faith Precedes the Miracle (age 77)
1973 - Dec. President of the Church (age 78).
1974 - Apr. Major address to the Reg. Rep. on expanding missionary work ("Every member a missionary"); name extraction program begun church-wide; foreign temples announced.
1976 - Sections 137 & 138 added to Doctrine & Covenants
Assistants to the Twelve become members of the Quorum of the Seventy
1977 - Land of Poland dedicated; Jordan River Temple announced.
1978 - Revelation permits Blacks to receive priesthood blessings.
In an Oct. 1943 Conference address 85 days after his call to the apostleship, July 8, he said, "I was virtually speechless. My heart pounded fiercely... I remember reading that Jacob wrestled all night, until the breaking of the day,' for a blessing; and AI want to tell you that for eighty-five nights I have gone through that experience, wrestling for a blessing. Eighty-five times, the breaking of the day has hound me on my knees praying to the Lord to help me and strengthen me and make me equal to this great responsibility that has come to me. I have not sought positions nor have I been ambitious. Promotions have continued to come faster than I felt I was prepared for them."
13. (1985 - 1994) Ezra Taft Benson (Buried in Preston, Idaho) 4 Aug 1889 - 30 May 1994
1953 - 1960 Secretary of Agriculture under Pres. Eisenhower
1986 - Inactive members invited back into activity.
- Members need to cleanse the "inner vessel."
- Emphasized reading and living according to the Book of Mormon
14. (1994 - 1995) Howard W. Hunter (WEST-12-36-3-E) 14 Nov 1907 - 3 Mar 1995
14th President of L.D.S. Church, 5 June 1994-3 Mar 1995, shortest Presidency to date. Attorney. Buried next to first wife, Clara Jeffs Hunter. Smallest marker of any LDS prophet.
Kindlier and gentlier people, Temple Recommend - a goal and prized possession
15. (1995 - ) Gordon Bitner Hinckley (WEST_3_178_2W) 23 Jun 1910 - 27 Jan 2008
- Temples, history, public relations.
- Travelled the world, visiting members and dedicating temples and historic sites and monuments; nationally publicized interviews.
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