Lorenzo Snow


“God has looked upon thee from all eternity and has been bountiful in gifts; he has given thee intelligence, talent and great faculties of mind that thou mightest be useful in his cause. Thou hast a great work to perform. God has called thee to the ministry; thou must preach the gospel to the inhabitants of the earth. Thou shalt become a mighty man. Thou shalt have great faith … thou shalt have power … to rend the veil and see Jesus Christ at the right hand of the Father. … there shall not be a mightier man on earth than thou. …” (Improvement Era 22:655, June 1919.)

This was the patriarchal blessing given by Joseph Smith, Sr., to twenty-two-year-old Lorenzo Snow when he joined the Church in 1836, and these marvelous promises were fulfilled during the eighty-seven years of Lorenzo Snow’s life (1814–1901).

Lorenzo Snow was ordained an apostle in 1849. He became the fifth President of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in 1898. Although President only three years, he rescued the Church from financial ruin by urging the Saints to live the law of tithing.

A great missionary, he preached in the Southern states, England, Italy, Switzerland, Holland, Malta, India, and Hawaii. As President of the Church he expanded the missionary program, opening fields of labor as far away as Japan.

In describing the fifth president of the Church, historian Elder B. H. Roberts wrote: “President Snow was … in manners elegant, refined, and gentle; persuasive, but forceful; and it was said of him that he could say and do the hardest things in the gentlest, quietest manner possible to man. … No man among his frontier and pioneer associates could endure more physical hardships or sustain more prolonged and intense mental exertion than he could. He possessed keen business instinct, as well as a highly sensitive spiritual nature.” (History of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, 6:384–85.)