85 years ago today - Apr 7, 1937

[Heber J. Grant]

I do not know how to express my gratitude to the Lord that my son-in-law, Willard R. Smith, received as first choice four votes from members of the Council of the Twelve Apostles to fill the vacancy in the quorum of the Twelve. I had told my wife of it, and how happy I was to think that one of my sons-in-law was to be my associate with the Presidency and Apostles, and no other person had more than a single vote as first choice. But after rejoicing over these votes I received Brother John A. Widtsoe's letter, naming the two men he would like, and he was not one of those who voted for my son-in-law, but he put a post-script stating that if it were not for the fact that he was is brother-in-law, his first choice would be Albert E. Bowen. The minute I read this I had the impression that Albert E. Bowen was the man who ought to fill the vacancy. ...

I am happy beyond expression that I was about to overcome my natural feelings and love for my son-in-law and the desire to be associated with him, and to name the man that I feel confident the Lord desired should be a member of the Council.

[Regarding his not choosing Richard W. Young as an apostle:] ... I prayed about it and I was impressed to name Melvin J. Ballard, and I followed my impression, although Richard was at the time my nearest and dearest friend. One of the Apostles said to me after our meeting, when Brother Ballard was sustained:

'Brother Grant, you have broken my heart. I felt absolutely certain of the man you were about to name.'

I smiled and said: '2My dear brother, it will perhaps help to heal your broken heart if you realize that I must have broken my own heart in not naming the man that you would like.' ...

[The Diaries of Heber J. Grant, 1880-1945, Abridged, Digital Edition Salt Lake City, Utah, 2015]

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