Joseph F. Smith’s Succession to the Presidency

Dennis B. Horne

Dennis B. Horne,Joseph F. Smith’s Succession to the Presidency,” in Joseph F. Smith: Reflections on the Man and His Times, ed. Craig K. Manscill, Brian D. Reeves, Guy L. Dorius, and J. B. Haws (Provo, UT: Religious Studies Center; Salt Lake City: Deseret Book, 2013), 265–78.

Dennis Horne is a technical writer for the Materials Management Department of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Salt Lake City. He is also an independent researcher and author.

Joseph F. Smith was the first person born in the Church to become its President. Yet a child when his father, Hyrum, and his uncle Joseph Smith were martyred, as the years passed and he grew in prominence and good works, his name became linked with prophecies of his eventual succession. Further, authoritative decisions solidifying the succession process placed him in a position to fulfill these inspired predictions, causing him to become the prophet, seer, revelator, and senior Apostle of God on the earth.

Joseph F.’s Succession Predicted

In 1864, Joseph F. Smith was sent to the Sandwich (Hawaiian) Islands along with Elders Ezra T. Benson, Lorenzo Snow, and a few others in order to remove from office an apostate who had usurped authority in the mission for self-aggrandizement.

Their sailing vessel dropped anchor outside the Lahaina Harbor at Maui, and the elders prepared to navigate a smaller boat ashore. With a storm causing high seas, Joseph F. emphatically refused to join the others and sought to dissuade them from leaving until the waves calmed. The other brethren, feeling he acted insubordinately, left him behind and started for shore. Soon, however, Joseph F.’s fears were realized, and a large wave capsized their craft. All passengers were thrown into the ocean, and Elder Snow soon drowned beneath sixty feet of water. Some native islanders managed to find and retrieve his body, and the brethren present initiated life-saving measures. Miraculously, about an hour later, he returned to life and fully recovered.

Evidently, during this near-death experience, Elder Snow received a revelation concerning Joseph F.’s future. Snow declared that “the Lord revealed to him that this young man, Joseph F. Smith, . . . would someday be the prophet of God upon the earth.” [1]

President Heber J. Grant commented further on this dramatic experience: “Lorenzo Snow was drowned. . . , and it took some hours to bring him to life again. At that particular time the Lord revealed to him the fact that the young man, Joseph F. Smith, . . . would some day be the Prophet of God. . . . It was revealed to him then and there, that the boy, with the courage of his convictions . . . who stayed on that vessel, would yet be the Prophet of God. Lorenzo Snow told me this upon more than one occasion, long years before Joseph F. Smith came to the presidency of the Church.” [2]

Charles W. Penrose, managing editor of the Deseret News in 1901, witnessed another such prophetic occasion. Of Joseph F.’s succession he wrote: “It also fulfills a prediction made many years ago in the Tabernacle in Ogden city by Apostle Wilford Woodruff. In a public meeting, that venerable Church leader prophesied that Joseph F. Smith would one day occupy the position formerly held by his uncle the Prophet Joseph. We were present on that occasion and made a mental note of the prediction, which was very forcible and impressed itself strongly upon the minds of many persons in the congregation, and particularly of prominent men who were on the stand at that time.” [3]

Further, Joseph F.’s cousin and fellow Apostle, Elder John Henry Smith, testified in an October 1901 meeting in Lehi, Utah, of receiving a personal revelation or vision of the same nature. An associate reported that John Henry Smith said, “I saw the man who now presides over the Church in the very place he now occupies. At the same time I saw the Plates and sacred things given to Joseph, and my testimony was as clear as it could be.” [4]

Apostolic Ordination and Setting Apart as a Member of the Quorum of the Twelve

Two years after the resolution of the Hawaiian Mission matter, on July 1, 1866, President Brigham Young felt a distinct impression while meeting with some of the presiding Brethren. He said: “Hold on, shall I do as I feel led? I always feel well to do as the Spirit constrains me. It is my mind to ordain Brother Joseph F. Smith to the Apostleship, and to be one of my counselors.” President Young then ordained Joseph F. as an Apostle and as an Assistant Counselor to the First Presidency. He also asked that the ordination be kept confidential until a vacancy arose in the Quorum of the Twelve and Joseph F. could be publicly sustained. [5]

This sustaining and subsequent entry into the Quorum of the Twelve occurred over a year later at the October 1867 general conference. In this order of events it is important to recognize that Joseph F. was ordained an Apostle after Elder Brigham Young Jr., but he was set apart as a member of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles before Elder Young. The timing of these actions would become an important succession question in later years.

Quorum Disunity in the Late 1880s

By the time President John Taylor died in July of 1887, the Quorum of the Twelve had not been able to meet and function as a complete unified council for some three years and had suffered from various internal conflicts. Some of the younger members of the Twelve had resented the administrative styles of President Taylor and his First Counselor, George Q. Cannon. They therefore emphatically resisted reorganizing the First Presidency without assurance that they would have greater influence on major decisions, especially those related to Church finances and their own position as a presiding Quorum in the Church. Despite all that President Woodruff (the quorum president) and others could do, they were unsuccessful in attaining a united consensus within the quorum for two years. President Woodruff had not hesitated to seek for reorganization himself, but in consequence of the quorum’s disharmony, he had been forced to delay until 1889. [6]

This struggle for unification weighed heavily on President Woodruff even after he became Church President, and he determined, under inspiration, to forestall future similar troubles. Thus, in December of 1892, President Woodruff called Lorenzo Snow into a sitting room by his office for a private interview. Elder Snow later related:

He said, and spoke with much feeling and energy, “I have an important request to make of you which I want you to fulfill. A few months ago while on a visit to St. George I came near dying. I have no lease of my life, and know not how soon I may be called away, and when I go I want you, Brother Snow, not to delay, but organize the First Presidency. Take George Q. Cannon and Joseph F. Smith for your counselors; they are good, wise men of experience.”

Of course I was much surprised, and said, “President Woodruff, am I to receive this as a revelation?” I do not call to mind the words of his answer, but they were such as gave me the impression that he wished me to regard it as such. Without thought or considering of the impropriety of such questions, I continued: “President Woodruff, is this the place I am to occupy?” He hesitated a moment, then replied, “It is according to the order.” I asked if he had mentioned this matter to his counselors. He said, “No, not to anyone.” I told him I wished he would; I understood from his answer that he would do so.

The interview was brief, I think not over five or six minutes. As we arose to return to the President’s office he said, “Brother Snow, now do not neglect to organize as I have told you, it may prevent much trouble. [7]

President Snow’s greatest success as President of the Twelve was to unify the Council of the Twelve in spirit and purpose. President Woodruff did as Elder Snow asked and informed his counselors of the need to reorganize immediately upon his death. [8]

A Succession Question Is Settled

When President Woodruff died in 1898 and the First Presidency was consequently dissolved, Elder Brigham Young Jr. took a seat in the council room senior to that of Joseph F. Smith, feeling that because he was ordained an Apostle before Joseph F., he was naturally the senior of the two. This seniority arrangement had not gone unquestioned, but the issue had remained unaddressed while Joseph F. Smith was in the First Presidency and Brigham Young Jr. was not yet a senior Apostle, as the point was largely moot. [9]

As instructed by President Woodruff, and under the unifying and sustaining influence of the Holy Spirit upon the Quorum of the Twelve, President Snow reorganized the First Presidency quickly and without the troubles and delays of the past. Also at this time, President Snow spoke to Joseph F. of spiritual impressions that he had received: “At the time of the organization of the First Presidency after the death of President Woodruff, President Snow said to Joseph F. Smith that the Spirit whispered to him that Joseph F. Smith would succeed him as President of the Church. This statement President Smith recorded in his journal at that time.” [10] At general conference three years later, President Smith himself remembered:

As soon as the news reached us of the death of President Woodruff, who was in California at the time, President Lorenzo Snow said to me, “it will be our duty to proceed as soon as possible to reorganize the Presidency of the Church.” As you are aware, after the burial of the remains of President Woodruff, he proceeded at once to do this. In this connection I may tell you another thing. President Snow said to me, “you will live to be the President of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, and when that time comes you should proceed at once and reorganize the Presidency of the Church.” This was his counsel to me, and the same was given to the Twelve Apostles. In accordance with this principle and with the injunction of President Snow, within one week after his death the Apostles proceeded to designate the new Presidency of the Church, and we did it strictly in accordance with the pattern that the Lord has established in His Church, unanimously. [11]

By March of 1900, with Presidents Snow and Cannon noticeably aging and with Franklin D. Richards, President of the Twelve, having passed away, the issues of dates of ordination and setting apart to the Quorum of the Twelve regained significance and needed settling. Joseph F. recorded:

Presidents Snow, Cannon and I had a confidential talk together, introduced by President Cannon, relative to the choosing of a President of the Twelve. President Snow said: “It is President Cannon’s right to stand at the head of the Twelve, but if he did he would have to resign his counselorship in the Presidency,” and plainly intimated that he could do so if he chose. He then said to President Cannon: “If you and I were not here it would be the right of Brother Joseph F. Smith to stand where I am now, and if I were not here, it would be yours right now.” President Cannon expressed his desire to possess and enjoy every right that belonged to him but suggested that matters go along for the present as they are and that the Presidency meet with the Twelve and take the lead. [12]

(As yet there was no provision established for an Acting President of the Twelve.) Joseph F. further wrote of this discussion: “Brigham’s (Brigham Young Jr.) position in the quorum was talked over and President Snow favored and practically decided that Brigham Young—ranked next to [after] me in the council of Apostles. This decided the question, as it was decided by President John Taylor.” [13]

Although the First Presidency had decided among themselves that date of entrance into the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles determined apostolic seniority, their decision still needed the unified acceptance of the Quorum of the Twelve—including Elder Young himself. This ratification took place shortly thereafter, on April 5. Joseph F. again recorded:

We [the First Presidency] met with the eleven Apostles [in the temple]. . . . It was unanimously decided that the acceptance of a member into the council or quorum of the Twelve fixed his rank or position in the Apostleship. That the Apostles took precedence from the date they entered the quorum. Thus today, President Snow is the senior Apostle. President George Q. Cannon next, myself next, Brigham Young next, Francis M. Lyman next, and so on to the last one received into the quorum. In the case of the death of President Snow, President Cannon surviving him, would succeed to the Presidency, and so on according to seniority in the Apostleship of the Twelve; that ordination to the Apostleship under the hands of any Apostle other than to fill a vacancy in the quorum, and authorized by the General Authorities of the Church did not count in precedence; that if the First Presidency were dissolved by the death of the President, his counselors having been ordained Apostles in the Quorum of the Twelve would resume their places in the quorum, according to the seniority of their ordinations into that quorum. This important ruling settles a long unsettled point, and is most timely. [14]

Over the summer of 1900, President Snow became seriously ill, prompting him (despite his poor health) to further solidify the decision reached in the April temple meeting. On July 12, “President Cannon informed the council [of the Twelve] that President Snow came into the office yesterday, and in chatting with him desired the minutes of the Council of April 5th last passed upon, he having heard of them and approved of them himself. The minutes referred to the succession in the presidency and seniority of the Apostles quorum; and on motion of President Joseph F. Smith, and seconded by Elder Brigham Young, the minutes were unanimously approved.” [15]

Joseph F. Smith Becomes the Senior Apostle after the Prophet

It did not take long for another major event to change Joseph F. Smith’s position in the Twelve. President George Q. Cannon died in April of 1901, leaving Joseph F. second only to the prophet in seniority. The Journal History of the Church relates that “President Snow was deeply impressed [moved] when the information of President Cannon’s death was communicated to him as was also President Joseph F. Smith.” [16] While both were grieved, this news doubtless caused Joseph F. to reflect deeply on his new position as the senior Apostle on earth after President Snow.

President Snow did not move to replace President Cannon with a new counselor for six months. Over the summer and fall of 1901, President Snow became ill, first with symptoms of heat stroke and then with a severe cold that confined him to bed when October general conference arrived. Since his illness prevented him from attending all sessions himself, “he requested that word be sent to President Joseph F. Smith to the effect that he would not be at the opening session of the General Conference and for President Smith to take charge.” [17] President Snow spoke once at the last session, and then requested that Joseph F. present the names of the General Authorities for a sustaining vote, with his own name as First Counselor and Elder Rudger Clawson’s name as Second. [18] President Clawson served in the First Presidency for only four days and was never set apart. (President Smith did not reselect him as a counselor.) [19]

President Snow’s Passing

After the conference, President Snow continued to spend most of his time in bed. By October 9, his condition had become alarmingly serious. Joseph F. described the events as they unfolded:

On the morning of Wednesday, October the 9th, the directors of the Salt Lake and Los Angeles Railway Corporation, of which I was one, met with [President Snow] in the Beehive House instead of the President's Office, as we had been wont to do, and after the meeting, by his request we administered to him. We then thought, with him, that he was suffering from an ordinary cold on the lungs, and of course looked for his speedy recovery. At five o’clock the same day Sister Snow came into the office bearing the request that some of the brethren come and administer to President Snow, who was just reviving from a sinking spell. Myself, Brother John Henry Smith and others went immediately to his bedside, and it was apparent then that he was seriously and dangerously sick. After administering to him we urged the calling in of a physician. . . . [They] pronounced the President’s ailment to be pneumonia, and their opinion was to the effect that unless there was a decided change for the better, hope for recovery could not be consistently entertained.” [20]

Neither the doctor’s care nor the priesthood administrations seemed to convey hope of recovery, for the Lord’s will was otherwise. The Journal History continues the story:

Presidents Smith and Clawson were at the office early this morning, and learned that President Snow’s condition had not improved and had been quite serious at intervals during the night.

President Smith presided at the meeting of the brethren in the Temple today. President Snow was the subject of most earnest prayer, all the brethren feeling alarmed over his condition.

During the services, and while a letter . . . was being read, Elder Arthur Winter [an office clerk] came into the room where the council was, with a message from Sister Snow who asked that the brethren come to the Bee Hive house at once as it was feared that President Snow was dying. Brother L. John Nuttall [another employee in the President’s Office] also came bearing the same message. The brethren immediately arose, closed the meeting. . . and then repaired to the bedside of President Snow, which was in the reception room, being the southwest room of the house which was for the time being turned into his bedroom. Although quite conscious, it was clearly seen that President Snow was rapidly sinking. A great number of his family was at the bedside. Prayer was offered at the instance of President Smith, with Brother Clawson mouth [speaking]. . . . What few words were spoken by [President Snow] after this were addressed to members of his family in answer to questions by them. He made no attempt to speak to President Smith or any of the Brethren. Soon, however, his speech became unintelligible and when he attempted to speak he was not understood. At about 1:15 he began to sink rapidly and passed away at 3:35 pm. [21]

With President Snow’s death, Joseph F. Smith became the senior Apostle on the earth; from this perspective the prophet’s demise affected no one else more than him. Yet even with this profound spiritual and emotional weight resting on him, practical considerations demanded prompt attention. After the undertaker had removed President Snow’s body, President Smith met with the deceased prophet’s sons to make funeral arrangements. [22]

The Journal History notes that the following day,

A meeting of the Apostles was arranged for this morning at 10 o’clock at the office. . . . The object of this meeting was chiefly to arrange for the pallbearers and speakers at the funeral services. It was decided that no special speakers be named, but that the time be occupied by several of the older Apostles who should make brief remarks. . . . President Smith sought the mind of the brethren as to whether it would be proper for the Apostles to now act as the presiding quorum of the Church, or the counselors, until after the burial. The brethren generally accorded to the counselors the right to act until after the funeral services, and this according to precedent. [23]

Joseph F. Smith Becomes the President of the Church

On October 17, four days after President Snow’s funeral, the following took place during the regularly scheduled temple meeting of the Quorum of the Twelve:

Elder John Henry Smith moved that the question of reorganizing the First Presidency be considered, seconded by Elder Brigham Young, and carried.

President Joseph F. Smith speaking to the motion, said that he would deplore very much anything that would look like premature haste in a step to reorganize the First Presidency, and he would not do it for all the world if he thought for a moment there was division of sentiment in relation to it. He then went on to show reason why a reorganization should take place because of business matters pending and requiring the attention of the Trustee-in-Trust, and a special conference would have to be called to ratify the appointment of a Trustee-in-Trust.

Elder Brigham Young stated that his mind was clear that the First Presidency ought to be organized, and he nominated Joseph F. Smith as President of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. This motion was seconded by the entire Council, all speaking in concert. Brother Young put the motion, and it was carried unanimously. President Smith expressed his gratitude for the unanimous feeling of the brethren. He named Elder Brigham Young as President of the Twelve Apostles, and also said that he would select John R. Winder and Anthon H. Lund as his first and second counselors, and recommended them for the consideration of the council. Elder John Henry Smith moved that these brethren be sustained as counselors to the President. Motion seconded by Brother Clawson and carried. [24]

President Smith’s selection of John R. Winder, who had been serving as a counselor in the Presiding Bishopric, rather than Rudger Clawson, caused some mild surprise since the choice had not been anticipated. “Unexpected to him and to the public,” the Deseret News editorialized, explaining that while such a decision was by no means unprecedented, it had been viewed as customary for many years to choose members of the Twelve for counselors in the First Presidency. [25] Bishop Winder served as First Counselor until his death but was never ordained an Apostle.

Continuing from the Journal History: “The work of setting apart was then attended to. President Joseph F. Smith, in accordance with his own wish, was ordained by Patriarch John Smith, . . . all the brethren present laying their hands on these brethren and assisting.” [26] There are two items mentioned herein worth further notice: (1) the mention of both “setting apart” and being “ordained,” and (2) the unusual but legitimate step of inviting John Smith, the Church Patriarch and Joseph F.’s half brother, to act as voice for the blessing. The terms setting apart and ordained as used here were interchangeable and simply meant that Joseph F. became the President of the high priesthood of the Church and the one man holding the right to exercise and direct all priesthood keys on the earth; the prophet, seer, and revelator. [27] John Smith, the Church Patriarch, did not hold apostolic authority, but by acting as voice with the Twelve helped give Joseph F. the blessing by the power of the Melchizedek Priesthood. President Smith had already been given all apostolic keys, rights, and powers at the time of his ordination by President Young. [28]

These Brethren further decided to call a special general conference on November 10 for the purpose of sustaining the new First Presidency and other newly called leaders.

A week later at the regular temple meeting of the First Presidency and Twelve on October 24, President Smith felt to nominate a new Apostle to fill the place vacated by Anthon H. Lund’s advancement to the First Presidency. After some preliminary business,

President Smith arose and said, I believe in being frank with my brethren. I am going to make a suggestion and leave the result in your hands. I would be glad if we all had sons worthy of the apostleship, for I would like to see the sons of the apostles brought forward as far as possible. I feel that this is right. I now nominate, as it is my privilege so to do, my son, Hyrum M. Smith, to fill the vacancy in the quorum of Apostles and will leave the matter entirely with the brethren. All present spoke, one by one, and endorsed the nomination. Apostle [John] H. Smith said that while he heartily endorsed the nomination, he felt that doubtless some fault would be found with our action, but at the same time he realized that there would be some to find fault with any action that might be taken in the premises. Pres. Smith made brief remarks. Was profoundly thankful to the brethren for the unanimity that had been manifested. No doubt some might find fault with the action of today, but faultfinders will always be in evidence among the people. He felt that it was his right to do as he had done. Hyrum is a good, honest, faithful, virtuous boy, and he had no doubt but that he would magnify the apostleship. [29]

Joseph F.’s son Hyrum was sent for and “having arrived he was informed of his selection by the council to become a member of the Quorum of Twelve Apostles. After several of the brethren had spoken of the duties that would be expected of him as an Apostle [the apostolic charge], Brother Hyrum expressed his willingness to accept, and he was set apart, all of the brethren laying their hands on his head, and President Smith officiating [voicing the ordination].” [30]

The day before the conference, the order of announcing names for sustaining was discussed:

The Presidency met at the office this morning at 9:30 to discuss arrangements for the general conference. They had a talk in private yesterday afternoon in the office regarding the manner in which the authorities should be sustained, more particularly referring to the place the Patriarch of the Church should occupy in the presentation of the general authorities. Of late year it has been the custom to present his name after those of the Apostles, whereas in the early conferences of the Church his name followed those of the First Presidency, and President Smith remarked now that he was perfectly clear on this point that this was the place the Patriarch should occupy in the presentation of the authorities. However, after some discussion and consideration this question was left open for the present and it was decided not to make any change at present.” [31]

President Smith’s Second Counselor, President Lund, concerned with the troubling questions of succession such name positioning might raise, had persuaded the new prophet not to make the change. [32]

In his talks given at the special conference, President Smith spent time reviewing the inspiration received by the prophets related to the timing of the reorganization of the First Presidency and committed to rely heavily on his counselors, saying he would do nothing of importance without their support. Those spiritually attuned Latter-day Saints present felt the solemnity of the occasion. One wrote: “A special general conference of the Church was held in the Tabernacle; a most imposing, impressive scene was witnessed in the afternoon when the officers were voted in [sustained]. . . . The spirit and teachings of the conference were excellent.” [33]

President Smith now moved forward magnifying the sacred office of President of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and prophet of God on earth, with each day bringing a growing awareness of the weighty responsibilities placed upon him. Some three weeks after the general conference in which he was sustained as President of the Church, he shared his feelings with a close associate. Among other things, Joseph F. wrote:

When confronted by the stern reality of the situation, I hardly know how to express the feelings of appreciation which well up in my heart; for I now keenly realize, as others have before me, that the eyes of the Lord, and those whom we have been wont to look up to, who are now on the other side of the veil, as well as my associate brethren in the flesh, are now directed towards me, as they have been towards my predecessors. But in contemplating the seriousness of the responsibility imposed upon me by the Lord and my brethren, its burden is at once comparatively lightened in the realization of the fact that you and I are the servants, servants of Him whom we have listed to obey; that the kingdom is the Lord’s, and that it is for Him to guide and direct, and us to follow. . . . My mind naturally runs backward at times; and the men who have figured prominently in their time now appear to be nearer and stand out more clearly and conspicuously, perhaps, than ever before; and I cannot help but wonder at the things which have been accomplished through them when the conditions surrounding them are considered. [34]

Thus began the Joseph F. Smith administrative era of Church history.


[1] Summary and quotation found in Joseph Fielding Smith, Life of Joseph F. Smith, Sixth President of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (Salt Lake City: Deseret Book, 1969), 212–16; see also Eliza R. Snow Smith, Biography and Family Record of Lorenzo Snow (Salt Lake City: Deseret News, 1884), 276–84.

[2] Heber J. Grant, “Inspiration and Integrity of the Prophets,” Improvement Era, August 1919, 847–48.

[3] Editorial, Deseret News, October 18, 1901 (Charles Penrose was hired by President Snow as managing editor in December 1898 and later became a counselor in the First Presidency to Joseph F.); and Journal History of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, October 18, 1901; hereafter cited as JH; see also A Ministry of Meetings: The Apostolic Diaries of Rudger Clawson, ed. Stan Larson (Salt Lake City: Signature Books, 1993), 339; hereafter cited as Rudger Clawson journal; and Smith, Life of Joseph F. Smith, 324.

[4] As quoted in Anthon H. Lund, Danish Apostle: The Diaries of Anthon H. Lund, 1890–1921, ed. John P. Hatch (Salt Lake City: Signature Books, 2006), 159; hereafter cited as Anthon Lund journal.

[5] Smith, Life of Joseph F. Smith, 227. At the same time, President Young “also admonished the brethren to keep the fact of this ordination to themselves, for it was wisdom that it should not be revealed at that time, although it should be recorded.”

[6] For a detailed review of these circumstances, see Ronald W. Walker, Qualities That Count: Heber J. Grant as Businessman, Missionary, and Apostle (Provo, UT: BYU Studies, 2004), 43:1, 195–229; and Dennis B. Horne, Latter Leaves in the Life of Lorenzo Snow (Springville, UT: Cedar Fort, 2012), 201–7, 224–28, 237, 240–59, 266.

[7] Lorenzo Snow interview, December 3, 1892, interviewed by Wilford Woodruff, MS 3558, Church History Library, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints; emphasis added; see also Horne, Latter Leaves in the Life of Lorenzo Snow, 227–28.

[8] See Joseph F. Smith, in Conference Report [Special Conference], November 10, 1901, 71; see also Smith, Life of Joseph F. Smith, 319.

[9] See Travis Q. Mecham, “Changes in Seniority to the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints” (master’s thesis, Utah State University, 2009), 45–57, esp. 48.

[10] Smith, Life of Joseph F. Smith, 324.

[11] Joseph F. Smith, in Conference Report [Special Conference], November 10, 1901, 71.

[12] Smith, Life of Joseph F. Smith, 310.

[13] Smith, Life of Joseph F. Smith, 310.

[14] As quoted in Smith, Life of Joseph F. Smith, 310–11 (April 5, 1900); see also JH, April 5, 1900, and Rudger Clawson journal, April 5, 1900.

[15] JH, July 12, 1900. Elder Young’s seconding of the motion affirms his willingness to abide by the decision of the First Presidency and Twelve with no reservations, especially in connection with his formal motion during the later meeting of October 17, 1901, that Joseph F. Smith be sustained as Church President.

[16] JH, April 12, 1901.

[17] JH, October 4, 1901.

[18] See LeRoi C. Snow, “A Matter of History,” Improvement Era, March 1937, 149.

[19] See James R. Clark, comp. Messages of the First Presidency (Salt Lake City: Bookcraft, 1966), 3:343; see also B. H. Roberts, A Comprehensive History of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (Salt Lake City: Deseret News, 1957), 6:362.

[20] Joseph F. Smith, “The Last Days of President Snow,” Juvenile Instructor, November 15, 1901, 688; see also Clark, comp., Messages, 3:6; and JH, October 9, 1901.

[21] JH, October 10, 1901; see also Joseph F. Smith, “The Last Days of President Snow,” Juvenile Instructor, November 15, 1901, 688–91, also found in Clark, Messages, 3:6–10.

[22] See JH, October 10, 1901.

[23] JH, October 11, 1901.

[24] JH, October 17, 1901. Further, “Brother Marriner W. Merrill moved that President Joseph F. Smith be Trustee-in-Trust for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. The motion was seconded and carried unanimously. It was also moved that President Smith be made president of the Salt Lake Temple, with Brother John R. Winder as his assistant.”

[25] Editorial, Deseret News, October 18, 1901, 1.

[26] JH, October 17, 1901.

[27] When Lorenzo Snow was blessed by George Q. Cannon on becoming Church President, the term set apart was used, not ordain. See JH, October 10, 1898.

[28] See Smith, Life of Joseph F. Smith, 227, where Joseph F. Smith was given “all the authority, power, and keys of this holy apostleship” by President Brigham Young; see also Hoyt W. Brewster Jr., Prophets, Priesthood Keys, and Succession (Salt Lake City: Deseret Book, 1991), 87–90.

[29] Rudger Clawson journal, 341.

[30] JH, October 24, 1901; see also Rudger Clawson journal, 341. Hyrum Smith died at age forty-five after serving less than seventeen years as a member of the Quorum of the Twelve.

[31] JH, November 10, 1901.

[32] “I had a private talk with the President and told him that I hesitated somewhat in making this change. While John Smith was a humble man there might come a man who was ambitious and might cause us trouble. In case of the First Presidency being disorganized and the Apostles presiding he might have to take a place behind them, and when the counselors and apostles are put up for Prophets, Seers, and Revelators he would be passed” (Anthon Lund journal, 164).

[33] Journal of Richard S. Horne, unpublished, November 10, 1901; copy in author’s possession.

[34] President Joseph F. Smith to President F. M. Lyman, December 2, 1901, correspondence, MS 1325, box 33, folder 3, Church History Library; available in Richard E. Turley Jr., ed., Selected Collections of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (DVD), vol. 1, under date.