George Albert Smith, May 31, 1934

-- May 31, 1934
The Boy Scouts of America awards Elder George Albert Smith the Silver Buffalo, the highest honor awarded by the BSA. Elder Smith is the first Latter-day Saint leader to be so honored. (1)

-- Sept 20, 1934
[Apostle George Albert Smith Journal] "Thursday Sep 20 Met with the Council at Temple President Ivins urged strongly that we withold (Sic) judgment in all cases until the evidence is all in." (2)

-- 1934. September 23
(Anthony W. Ivins) : Died of a heart attack at his home at 519 B. Street, Salt Lake City, at the age of eighty-two. Buried in the Salt Lake City Cemetery. (3)

-- During 1934
[George Albert Smith] In 1934, he received the Silver Buffalo Award, the highest award given to a scouter in the United States. (4)

-- Jan 3, 1935
[Apostle George Albert Smith Journal] "Thursday Jan 3. 35. At office early Met in Council at Temple. Changes of importance to the Church were intimated by the President." (2)

-- Jan 10, 1935
In a change of policy, members of the Quorum of the Twelve were released from auxiliary leadership positions as presiding officers and general board members. (5)

[Quorum of Twelve] In a change of policy, members of the Quorum of the Twelve were released from auxiliary leadership positions as presiding officers and general board members. (5)

-- Jan 18, 1935
Quorum of Twelve Members Released from Auxiliary Organization Positions-- 935-January 18 Improvement Era 38:134, March, 1935.

This letter of release is dated January 18, 1935. The actual release of members of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles as the Superintendency of the Y.M.M.I.A. took place on January 10th, as indicated in the letter.

This action constituted another step in reorganization of the pattern of Church government. According to this letter, "It has been seventeen years since one of the First Presidency so officiated" as the Superintendent of the Y.M.M.I.A. Now it became necessary to release members of the Quorum of Twelve Apostles from so presiding and place the responsibility on other shoulders, leaving the First Presidency and Quorum of Twelve Apostles free to perform their prime functions as outlined in the revelations.

January 18, 1935. Elders George Albert Smith, General Superintendent, Richard R. Lyman, First Assistant, Melvin J. Ballard, Second Assistant, and members of the General Board of the Young Men's Mutual Improvement Association.

Dear Brethren:

For some time past it has been evident that the growth of the Church and the ever-increasing demands upon the time and strength of the General Authorities would make imperative the releasing of members of the First Presidency and of the Council of the Twelve from the direct responsibility of presiding over the general boards of the auxiliary organizations. It has been seventeen years since one of the First Presidency so officiated.

It is now deemed advisable, indeed absolutely necessary, to relieve members of the Twelve of their duties not only as presiding officers, but also as members of the general boards. The duties of the Apostleship, as well as the health of the individuals, demand that this action be taken without further delay.

Accordingly, at the regular weekly meeting of the First Presidency and the Council of the Twelve held in the Salt Lake Temple, Thursday, January 10, Elders George Albert Smith, Richard R. Lyman, and Melvin J. Ballard, were honorably released as Superintendent, First Assistant, and Second Assistant Superintendent, respectively, of the Young Men's Mutual Improvement Association of the Church. This action was accompanied by a keen and heartfelt appreciation of the able and untiring devotion of these brethren to a great and noble cause. Under their leadership the M.I.A. work has achieved high and worthy distinction. Most truly their accomplishments should bring to their souls the satisfaction and peace that come from successful achievement.

With the consideration of the necessity of relieving the Twelve, there has been associated also the advisability of reorganizing all of the general boards of the auxiliary organizations. Such a course seems to possess much merit; first, because to require persons to contribute so much of their time to what might, without occasional changes, grow to be considered a lifelong position is hardly fair; and secondly, because of the personal development acquired, others should be given an equal opportunity with their associates to serve in these responsible positions of leadership.

This policy to reorganize the auxiliary boards has been unanimously approved by the First Presidency and the Council of the Twelve.

It is recommended, therefore, that with the retiring Superintendency the members of the General Board of the Young Men's Mutual Improvement Association also be, and are, hereby honorably released from their respective positions. This action will give the newly appointed General Superintendency free and open field from which to select the new Board.

Evidently, some of the present members if they again be called, should be willing to renew their labors as officers and members of the General Board; for none of the accomplishments, nor the mighty impetus given to the cause of Mutual work should be lost, which might be the case if all the experience and ability acquired through years of intelligent thought and devotion were replaced by entirely new representatives. Let us retain all present worthy achievements that they may be an inspiration to the new members to climb to yet greater heights. To this end the new Superintendency will be requested and urged to consult freely Elders Smith, Lyman and Ballard, with respect to the reorganization of the new Board.

In extending this honorable release to the Superintendency and members we cannot refrain from expressing our highest commendation for your willing and unselfish service to the welfare of young men and young women of the Church. Nor have your efforts been confined alone to Church members. Like a light that throws its rays in all directions, your influence has radiated into the lives of unnumbered thousands who otherwise, perhaps, would not have been guided into the paths of truth as revealed in the restored Gospel of Jesus Christ. As "echoes roll from soul to soul and go forever and forever," so will your worthy efforts continue to live in the lives of those whom you have inspired and blessed.

Twenty years ago the membership of the Young Men's Mutual Improvement Association was 33,506; today it is 65,000. Yet this remarkable increase in enrollment is but a slight indication of the great growth during the period. The careful management of the Era, its increasing influence for good, books and pamphlets published and circulated, reading courses promulgated, increased efficiency in classwork and leadership, new and effective organization in the Scouts, Vanguard, M Men, Senior and Adult Departments, the excellency of conventions, and the far-reaching and uplifting influence that have led tens of thousands of men and women into wholesome activity in cultural, social and spiritual realms-these and other achievements unmentioned will stand as everlasting monuments to your integrity, devotion and unselfish service.

As you now enter into other fields of equally worthy and high endeavor, may God's choicest blessings attend you, and the guiding influence of His holy Spirit be your constant companion. Sincerely your brethren, HEBER J. GRANT, J. REUBEN CLARK, JR., DAVID O. MCKAY, First Presidency. {1935-1951} (6)

1 - The Woodland Institute 'On This Day Historical Database,'
2 - Journals of George Albert Smith
3 - Van Wagoner, Richard and Walker, Steven C., A Book of Mormons,
4 -
5 - Church News: Historical Chronology of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints,
6 - Clark, James R., Messages of the First Presidency (6 volumes)

LDS History Chronology: George Albert Smith

Mormon History Timeline: The life of George Albert Smith