President Harold B. Lee is the new President of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. He was set apart for this new position by Elder Spencer W. Kimball, now President of the Council of the Twelve, on July 7, 1972, in the Salt Lake Temple. President Lee nominated and set apart his two new counselors—President N. Eldon Tanner as first counselor and President Marion G. Romney as second counselor.
Upon assuming the leadership of the Church, President Lee said, “The greatest message that one in this position could give to the membership of the Church is to keep the commandments of God for therein lies the safety of the Church and the safety of the individual. There could be nothing that I could say that would be a more powerful or important message today.”
President Harold Bingham Lee was born March 28, 1899, in Clifton, Oneida County, Idaho, a son of Samuel Marion and Emeline Bingham Lee. President Lee was one of six children.
President Lee began his prominent Church career as a missionary to the Western States Mission in 1920. He has served in numerous positions in the Church while also making impressive contributions as a businessman, educator, and public official.
President Lee was made a member of the Council of the Twelve on April 6, 1941. In January of 1970 he became first counselor in the First Presidency to President Joseph Fielding Smith.
President Lee married Fern Lucinda Tanner on November 14, 1923, in the Salt Lake Temple. She died September 24, 1962. He married Freda Joan Jensen on June 17, 1963. President Lee has one living daughter, Mrs. L. Brent Goates.
President Nathan Eldon Tanner has served as counselor to three presidents of the Church. He served as counselor to the late President David O. McKay for over six years and to President Joseph Fielding Smith for two and one-half years. President Tanner was born in Salt Lake City on May 9, 1898. His family moved to Canada when he was three years old, and he lived there until his Church calling brought him to Salt Lake City. President Tanner is married to Sara Isabelle Merrill and they have five daughters. President Tanner became a citizen of the United States on May 2, 1966.
President Marion G. Romney, new second counselor in the First Presidency, has been a member of the Council of the Twelve since October 6, 1951. President Romney has served in many important positions in the Church and has been instrumental in helping form and guide the great Welfare Program of the Church.
President Romney was born in September 1897 in Colonia Juarez, Mexico, to George S. and Artemesia Redd Romney. President Romney attended school in Mexico until revolutionary activities forced his family to flee the country. He practiced law in Salt Lake City for a number of years.
President Romney married Ida Jensen in the Salt Lake Temple on September 12, 1924, and they have two sons.