George Albert Smith, October 6, 1903; Tuesday

-- October 6, 1903; Tuesday
At one o'clock today the First Presidency and Apostles and Patriarch met at the President's Office for the purpose of filing the vacancy in the quorum of the Twelve Apostles, caused through the death of Brigham Young [Jr.], resulting in the choice of George Albert Smith, who was sustained at this afternoon's session of the conference. (1)

-- Oct 6, 1903
George Albert Smith is presented to general conference as new apostle. "A cold wave passed over the congregation," general authority J. Golden Kimball writes, "and many expressed themselves to me as disgusted. . . . It is nepotism of the strongest kind since the days of Brigham Young." (2)

[George Albert Smith Journal] "Have had a busy day in the Land Office. At 3-30 P.M. I left for home to take my children to the fair.

"Was met at my door by sister Nellie C. Taylor who congratulated me with much earnestness. I was nonplussed (sic) at first but she soon told me I had been voted in that afternoon as a member of the Quorum of Twelve Apostles. I though (sic) she was mistaken and told her so. She felt confused and returned to the Tabernacle to ascertain if she was wrong. Later I was met by her and others who corroborated the matter. I was completely dumbfounded and could hardly believe it possible at this time, although I felt that I might someday succeed my Father as my Patriarchal blessing under the hands of Zebedee Coltrin indicated that I might become an Apostle." (3)

-- Oct 7, 1903
Release of Francis M. Lyman, European mission-- This letter constituted notice to Francis M. Lyman in Europe that he had been released as President of the European Mission, and sustained as President of the Quorum of Twelve Apostles in absentia. ...

Dear Brother,

Your favor of the 22nd ult., with its encouraging items of news from the missions in Europe came to hand in the midst of the sessions of a very enjoyable general conference, wherein much valuable instruction was given and a very sweet spirit prevailed. On Sunday, the opening day, there was probably the largest attendance ever gathered at a conference in this dispensation. The regular and two overflow meetings were held in the afternoon, at which it is estimated fourteen thousand persons were present.

Yesterday, 6th inst., several matters were considered which will be of special interest to you. You were presented and sustained as the president of the Council of the Twelve Apostles; you were released from the presidency of the European mission to return home and Elder Heber J. Grant was appointed to succeed you in the duties of that responsible and honorable position. We cannot at this writing tell you the exact date that Brother Heber will leave here for Liverpool, but it is his intention to do so as early as his circumstances will permit. With regard to these details we expect to write you more fully in the immediate future.

The vacancy in the Quorum of the Twelve, caused by demise of President Brigham Young was also filled, Elder George A. Smith being chosen and unanimously sustained to fill that position. We are satisfied you will rejoice with us in the choice of the Lord in this selection, and that, if present, you would have heartily joined your vote and voice with ours in sustaining him. ...

Your brethren and fellow laborers, JOSEPH F. SMITH, JOHN R. WINDER, ANTHON H. LUND. {1903-October 7-MS 65:683, (October 22, 1903).} (4)

-- Thursday, Oct. 8, 1903
[Apostle John Henry Smith [father] Diary] Salt Lake City

At 10 a.m. all of the first presidency and Myself, George Teasdale, Heber J. Grant, John W. Taylor, Matthias F. Cowley, Abraham O. Woodruff, Rudger Clawson, Reed Smoot, Hyrum M. Smith, and George A. Smith of the Twelve, Patriarch John Smith and Secretary George F. Gibbs met in the Temple.

President Joseph F. Smith was mouth in ordaining George A. Smith a high Priest and an Apostle. All present but George F. Gibbs had their hands upon his head. I accepted the fact that President J. F. Smith was mouth as an answer to my wish unexpressed in words.

Reports were made and an appointment made for tomorrow to hear Heber J. Grants report of his Mission to Japan.

The Presidency withdrew and the Apostles gave a charge to George A. Smith and he responded in an aceptance of their good feeling. (5)

-- Thursday, Oct 8, 1903
[Apostle Rudger Clawson Diary] Salt Lake City. Clear and cool. 10:25 a.m. Meeting at the temple. Present: Presidents Jos[eph] F. Smith, [John] R. Winder, and Anthon H. Lund, and Elders [John Henry] Smith, [George] Teasdale, Heber J. Grant, [John] W. Taylor, Matthias F. Cowley, Abraham O. Woodruff, Rudger Clawson, Reed Smoot, Hyrum M. Smith, [George] A. Smith, [John] Smith, the patriarch, and the clerk. Song, "The Happy Day Has Rolled On." Prayer by Pres. Jos. F. Smith, and Elder Clawson at the altar. Song, "How Pleasant 'Tis to See."

Conference appointments: Beaver, Elder Hyrum M. Smith; Emery, Elder Cowley; Utah, Elders Grant and Taylor. The minutes of Oct. 1 were read and approved.

Pres. Lund moved that Elder [Joseph A.] Jones, whose name had been recommended for bishop of Cherry Creek, Malad Stake, be presented to the people of the ward. Carried. Elder Geo. A. Smith was then ordained an apostle in the quorum of the Twelve Apostles under the hands of the brethren above named, Pres. Smith being mouth.


Elder Jno. H. Smith reported that he attended the general conference, as did all the other brethren. He also reported the meeting of the Twelve with the mission presidents and said that more experienced elders were needed in the field. Elder Teasdale assisted in setting missionaries apart yesterday. The other brethren reported their attendance at the conference.

Elder Woodruff read the notes that he had taken at the meeting of the Twelve and mission presidents, showing among other things the financial status of the missions in the United States. Most of them are self-supporting.

Elder Grant suggested that the headquarters of the British Mission, namely 42 Islington, Liverpool, be abandoned and new headquarters established with the erection of a new building. He believed that he could raise by voluntary donation at least $25,000 for this purpose before leaving and he had no doubt that he could raise a similar amount in Gt. Britain. The English people would certainly be as liberal in this matter as had been the Scandinavian saints for their headquarters.

Pres. Smith remarked that a strenuous effort was being made to cancel the church indebtedness and he did not want any move made that would affect the payment of tithes on the part of the saints. Elder Grant replied that he could raise the money in a way that the tithes would not be affected. It was moved and carried that this question go over until tomorrow morning at 10 a.m. at the temple. Meeting adjourned. Benediction by Elder Woodruff.

Pres. Smith withdrew with his counselors after instructing Elder Jno. H. Smith to deliver the charge to the new apostle. Elder Jno. H. Smith, addressing Elder Geo. A. Smith, said in part. You should understand that you are now wedded to a tie stronger than life or death. You are subject to the counsel and direction of the Presidency and your quorum, and your field of action is the whole world. You are to attend your quorum meetings regularly. It is presumed that you accept all the principles of the gospel and that you accept and sustain with your whole soul the First Presidency as now organized, and that you accept and sustain Francis M. Lyman as president of the quorum of the Twelve with the members thereof. You are to respond to the calls of the Presidency though it should take you from a sickbed, though it should cost you your life. The obligation is placed upon you to express when called upon clearly and boldly your views even though you may differ with your brethren, b
ut you

must in all cases submit to the decisions and judgment of your quorum. It is your duty to preach the gospel and lead an exemplary life. It is your duty to serve God and fear no man.

Each of the brethren present spoke briefly a word of counsel and welcome to Elder Geo. A. Smith, who in a few earnest words expressed his determination to magnify his apostleship. It became the sense of the council, that all matters which are brought by the President to the council should be discussed and decided here and not be referred back to the Presidency for action. It was clearly apparent that when the President submitted a matter to the council, he expected a decision and to immediately refer the matter back to the Presidency, as had been done in some instances, would be in bad taste.

Meeting adjourned. Benediction by Jno. Smith, Pat. (6)

1 - First Presidency and Quorum of the Twelve minutes
2 - Advent Adam website (defunct) - based on
3 - Journals of George Albert Smith
4 - Clark, James R., Messages of the First Presidency (6 volumes)
5 - White, Jean Bickmore, Church, State, and Politics: The Diaries of John Henry Smith, Signature Books in association with Smith Research Associates, Salt Lake City, 1990,
6 - Stan Larson (editor), A Ministry of Meetings: The Apostolic diaries of Rudger Clawson, Signature Books in association with Smith Research Associates, Salt Lake City, 1993,

LDS History Chronology: George Albert Smith

Mormon History Timeline: The life of George Albert Smith