July 19, 1876
July 2, 1972
Years as President:
“Our mission is to preach the doctrines of salvation in plainness and simplicity as they are revealed and recorded in the scriptures.”
Joseph Fielding Smith, the son of Joseph F. Smith, was born on July 19, 1876, in Salt Lake City and spent his entire life in Church service. During nearly three-quarters of a century, he was a missionary, Church historian, president of the Genealogical Society and of the Salt Lake Temple, an Apostle, and Church President. In addition, he supervised the evacuation of LDS missionaries from Europe prior to World War II, dedicated four countries in the Far East for missionary work, and inaugurated the first area conference of the Church in 1971. He became President of the Church on January 23, 1970, at the age of 93. As one of the Church's most prolific writers, Joseph Fielding Smith's numerous books and articles helped educate generations of Latter-day Saints about the history and doctrine of the Church. Under President Smith's administration, missionary work continued to grow, the Ogden and Provo temples were dedicated, several Church departments were restructured, and the Church magazines were consolidated. On July 2, 1972, President Smith died quietly at his home in Salt Lake City.