George Albert Smith, 1945

-- 1945
Church Membership at end of year: 979,454

New Converts : 25,450

Percent Change from previous year: 2.67% (1)

-- During December, 1945
Annual Christmas message-- The annual Christmas message of the First Presidency for 1945 looks back on the war years and gives consolation to loved ones whose family circle was temporarily broken by death. "May all who mourn find in Christ that peace which supplants sorrow with faith and hope." (2)

-- During 1945-1949
[BYU] The postwar influx of veterans under the presidency of Howard S. McDonald (1945-1949) put concerns of enough enrollment to rest, and the campus was soon dotted with converted war surplus buildings to accommodate an enrollment that reached 5,400 in 1947-48. (3)

-- During 1945
[David O. McKay] Sustained and set apart as second counselor to President George Albert Smith. (4)

[Ezra Taft Benson] Following the end of World War II hostilities in 1945, Benson was sent by LDS Church President George Albert Smith to Europe where he spent eight busy months coordinating relief and recovery efforts among Mormons in Europe. This experience intensified his dislike of tyranny, cruelty, and injustice. (5)

[Fawn McKay Brodie] Following her move from Chicago to Hanover, New Hampshire, and then to Washington, D.C., Fawn Brodie did the research and writing for her first biography, the life of Joseph Smith, a task that consumed her energies for seven years. It was completed in 1945 following the Brodies' move to New Haven, Connecticut, and published under the title No Man Knows My History. A widely reviewed but extremely controversial work, this biography asserted that Mormonism's founder was in some respects a conscious fraud, and that in developing the doctrines associated with his movement, he was primarily influenced by ideas and forces in his nineteenth-century American environment. (6)

Improvement Era absorbs the Liahona-Elder's Journal, which began publication in 1907. (7)

-- Jan 4, 1946
[President George Albert Smith Journal] after Statehood dedication at Tabernacle, "Edith drove car we took Nobe Warrum and Bp Hunt home." (8)

-- Jan 20, 1946
Council of Twelve recommends that all stake presidents and bishops engage in "a program of revival and motivation of the 'Home Evening' as a Church wide project." citing previously unfulfilled instructions in this regard by First Presidency in 1915. (9)

-- Jan 21, 1946
Priesthood leadership and returning servicemen-- The letter outline a program for the priesthood leadership of the Church in assuming its responsibility for the servicemen returning from World War II.

January 21, 1946 To: Stake Presidencies, Priesthood Quorum Presidents and Bishops:

Dear Brethren:

Since the ending of the war, the military authorities have conducted a program for releasing service men to civilian life. Already large numbers have been released and it is understood this program is to continue until the last man now in service has returned to his home. It is our feeling that the Church can and must play an important part in the readjustment of these men now returning from the armed forces of our country. It now becomes our task to assist our Latter-day Saint service men to bridge over the time when they return as "heroes for achievements in war" until they may resume their peace-time occupations and become "heroes in peace and peace-time occupations." Every priesthood officer in the Church is now requested to assume his responsibility in so far as it pertains to returning service men under his immediate priesthood jurisdiction. To the end that our responsibility in this matter may be properly and effectively met, this letter is sent for your study and in

Separation Centers

As now announced, the army and navy have established thirty (30) or more "separation" or demobilization centers throughout the United States, through which men now in the army and navy must pass in order to be mustered out of service. Each separation center will receive and "process" those who reside in the region in which each separation center is designed to serve. At these centers, each returning service man will receive information as to what he may expect as privileges and opportunities under the so-called "GI Bill of Rights."

It is likely that the majority of service men who are members of the Church will be mustered out of service at separation centers located on the west coast or at four of these designated centers, located as follows:

Fort Douglas, near Salt Lake City, for men whose homes are in Utah, Idaho, Montana, Wyoming and Nevada.

Camp Beale, near Marysville, California for men whose homes are in California.

Fort Lewis, near Tacoma, Washington, for men whose homes are in Washington and Oregon.

Fort Bliss, near El Paso, Texas, for men whose homes are in Arizona, New Mexico, and the western part of Texas.

L.D.S. Service Men's Homes

During the course of the war, by direction of the First Presidency, there have been established Homes for service men of the Church in areas having the largest concentration of Church members in military service. These Homes have been established for the convenience and use of our boys while they are stationed at nearby camps, and make available suitable facilities and provide such activities from time to time as are thought essential to the best interests of Church members in military service who desire to take advantage of them. It is planned that as our boys are demobilized, overnight sleeping accommodations may be provided at these Homes as required. These Homes are located as follows:

Salt Lake City, Utah 41 North State Street (1-1/2 miles from Fort Douglas)

Laie, Oahu 4 Beretania Street Honolulu, T. H.

Marysville, California "F" Street (About 12 miles from Camp Beale)

* Oakland, California 6 Alice Street

* San Diego, California 23rd and "C" Streets

(*These are near large navy personnel concentration points)

It is likely that at Fort Lewis, Tacoma, Washington, and at Fort Bliss, El Paso, Texas, there may never be many members of the Church at any one time passing through these centers. In such cases, our men in uniform may receive from the members of the Church residing in these localities the help they might otherwise have secured at a Service Men's Home.

Where travel conditions will permit, some parents may desire to meet their sons in the city where they may be sent for separation from the service. Meetings between relatives and service men may be arranged at these Service Men's Homes.

Stake Supervision of Program for Returning L.D.S. Service Men

It is requested that the stake presidency immediately give instructions to the Stake Melchizedek Priesthood Committee and make them responsible, under the direction of the stake presidency, for the supervision and the stimulation of a program suggested in this letter for the benefit and blessing of these young men as they return home. The Stake Melchizedek Priesthood Committee is to be charged with the responsibility of interviewing the president of each Melchizedek Priesthood Quorum in the stake, the Welfare Committee Chairmen of the Quorums and also the ward bishops to discuss any facts that are pertinent to the returning service men's welfare. In some stakes where service men's committees for returning veterans are functioning, these might be invited to assist the Stake Melchizedek Priesthood Committee in this work.

The Bishop's Responsibility

It is suggested that the bishop have a private interview with each young man from his ward as he returns from military service, and if he is a young or newly-married man, an interview with the young couple together. This interview by the bishop should be in the true spirit of his calling as father of the ward with ample opportunity being given for a full discussion of problems or questions each young man or couple might wish to discuss. In wisdom the bishop should give such counsel as the Spirit of the Lord may direct. Some wards are planning suitable home-coming parties at stated intervals to show due respect and appreciation for the sacrifices made and services rendered. As soon as possible, each returning service man, if he is properly qualified, should be assigned to some Church activity.

What the Quorums Should Do

Quorum officers should see to it that each service man is visited immediately upon his return by members of the quorum presidency. If quorums have been following instructions and have been in regular correspondence with him during his absence, this home-coming contact will be undoubtedly easier and productive of much good. Quorum officers should see to it that regular correspondence is carried on with members of their quorum who are not yet released from military service. The quorum members should become "job finders" if necessary, and by cooperative effort in other ways, demonstrate their feeling of brotherhood in the rehabilitation of those who may require aid beyond that which the individual's family can provide in order that each returning service man be assisted in his efforts to become satisfactorily readjusted to civilian life. Inquiries made by quorums of Stake Welfare or Stake Agricultural Committees may reveal possibilities for those seeking business or farming op
portunities within their communities or elsewhere where land opportunities are available. Welfare projects, recreational activities, house parties, week-night study classes, and Welfare production projects of the quorum will provide splendid opportunities for the quorum to build these returning service men into the warmth of a friendship and brotherhood that will go far toward restoring shattered nerves and the reducing of tensions resulting from war.

What the Family Can Do

Those in the stakes and wards, who are assigned to the responsibility of assisting returned service men to become adjusted to home and peace conditions after their war experiences, should keep in mind the important part that must be played by the families in this work. We cannot stress too much the importance of the members of a service man's family doing all they can to assist in this readjustment. They can provide a healthful atmosphere in the home, they can go far toward assisting their returning service man to become active in the ward and in the quorum. Stake and ward officers should encourage the family to take full responsibility in this regard, realizing that a cooperative effort between the family and the Church officers will accomplish far more than a lone effort on the part of but one of these groups.

Stake Presidency The stake presidency are asked to become responsible for seeing that the suggestions contained in this letter are properly carried out and that the proposed program is successfully promoted in the interest of Church members returning from military service. We believe that the promotion of activities looking to the spiritual welfare of our thousands of young men bearing the holy priesthood, who are returning from war, is one of the greatest obligations confronting us today. We are certain that your vigilant attention to this matter will pay great dividends in the strength and character of our young manhood.

We are sending herewith sufficient copies of this letter for each member of the stake presidency, high council, ward bishops and priesthood quorum presidents in your stake. Will you please see that the necessary meetings are called as soon as possible to discuss the contents of this letter and to lay plans at once for the carrying out of these suggestions.

Ever praying the Lord's choicest blessings to attend your efforts in this great work, we are, Sincerely your brethren GEO. ALBERT SMITH, J. REUBEN CLARK, JR., DAVID O. MCKAY, First Presidency. {1946-January 21-Original circular letter, L.D.S. Church Archives, Salt Lake City, Utah; also Church News, v. 4 no. 7, February 9, 1946.} (2)

1 - Wikipedia, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints Membership History,
2 - Clark, James R., Messages of the First Presidency (6 volumes)
3 - Utah History Encyclopedia: BYU,
4 - Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Teachings of Presidents of the Church: David O McKay, Salt Lake City, Utah
5 - Utah History Encyclopedia: Ezra Taft Benson,
6 - Utah History Encyclopedia: Fawn McKay Brodie,
7 - Sherry Baker: Mormon Media History Timeline: 1827-2007,
8 - Journals of George Albert Smith
9 - Advent Adam website (defunct) - based on

LDS History Chronology: George Albert Smith

Mormon History Timeline: The life of George Albert Smith