80 years ago today - Sep 17, 1942

[Heber J. Grant]

... I have known of course the feelings of some of the brethren to the effect that the great grandson of Patriarch John Smith should be made the Patriarch, and I have tried to feel that he was the right man. I have prayed earnestly to the Lord that if he were the right man the Lord would give me a manifestation to that effect, and I have never received it. Just recently I assured the Lord that I was very anxious that something be done and that I had made up my mind if the brethren were a unit in favor of this young man I might surrender and put him in, but I would not give my approval. ... Every time I have tried to appoint this young man [Eldred G. Smith] I have had a stupor of thought, and I could not do it. It breaks my heard for the sake of his mother and brother to have to tell them or ask someone else to do so, and I know it will almost kill them because they feel the boy ought to have the position. I have spoken to all the brethren and told them that if I named a man I would like them not to tell anybody he was not their choice, because we admit no man to our Council except that he understands that when we discuss a subject and the Council approves of it that a man, although he may have the opposite view, is expected to surrender that view and to be one with the majority. I realize that there never was a day when we could quite seem to be united as one on this man.... I have talked this morning with Brother Lee, he is the last to whom I have spoken, and all the brethren have manifested a very fine spirit in having him as their choice, and I nominate for your approval Brother Hyrum M. Smith's son, a grandson of the Prophet Joseph F. Smith'Brother Joseph F. Smith the third.

On the matter being put to a vote all the brethren voted unanimously in favor of the nomination. ...

I feel very happy with the selection and the voting, and I feel that it is worth a lot. My recollection is that it was very often talked of that Brother Brigham tried to get Joseph F. to take the two offices, but he was so loyal to his older brother he would not take the office of Patriarch. Brother Brigham felt he ought to be both an Apostle and a Patriarch. That was when I was a young man.

[Minutes (Present: Presidents Heber J. Grant, J. Reuben Clark, Jr., Rudger Clawson, Elders George F. Richards, Joseph Fielding Smith, Richard R. Hyman, John A. Widtsoe, Charles A. Callis, Albert E. Bowen, Sylvester Q. Cannon, and Harold B. Lee), as quoted in Minutes of the Apostles of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, 1910-1951, Privately Published, Salt Lake City, Utah 2010]

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