George Albert Smith, December, 1947

-- During December, 1947
To the Latter-day Saints everywhere-- (A brief report at the close of 1947 by President George Albert Smith "To the Latter-day Saints Everywhere." Mention is made of the missionary and welfare accomplishments of the Church and of the Utah Pioneer Centennial.) {1947-December-Improvement Era 50:797, December, 1947.} (1)

-- During 1947
[Black History] A Church First Presidency investigation concerning the racial situation among Brazilians finds "the racesbadly mixed" because "no color line is drawn among the mass of the people" and that "a great part of the population of Brazil is colored." In Brazil, a shift occurs to using Patriarchal Blessings as the means for determining whether the Priesthood ban applies. (2)

The Church reached the 1 million-member mark. May, The vast project of revising early scripture translations and translating the scriptures into additional languages was begun by the Church offices. (3)

This Is the Place monument revealed by Church President George Albert Smith in conjunction with the 1947 Pioneer Centennial. (4)

[George Albert Smith] He was president of the International Irrigation and Dry Farm Congress in 1918, president for sixteen years of the Society for Aid to the Sightless, and in 1947 chairman of the state-sponsored commission that celebrated Utah's settlement centennial. (5)

-- Jan 3, 1948
Organization of LDS Film Council "to appraise motion pictures and decide upon their suitability for entertainment and educational purposes." (6)

-- During January, 1948
Counsel for a New Year-- COUNSEL FOR A NEW YEAR By President George Albert Smith

As we face another New Year, I thank my Heavenly Father from the depths of my soul for my membership in the Church to which he gave the name of his Beloved Son, Jesus Christ.

I thank him for the guidance that has come to us through the revelations that have been given to this Church, and among them, I am reminded of a portion of the 28th chapter of II Nephi, indicating an all too prevalent attitude which reads as follows:

"Yea, and there shall be many which shall say: Eat, drink, and be merry, . . . nevertheless, fear God-he will justify in committing a little sin; . . ." (2 Ne. 28:7-8.)

Think of that-the suggestion that a little sin will be justified! Yet in the very first revelation contained in the Doctrine and Covenants we find these words:

"For I the Lord cannot look upon sin with the least degree of allowance." (D&C 1:31.)

Yet there are those who would say that because it is a little sin our Heavenly Father does not care. Continuing the quotation from 2 Nephi:

". . . yea, lie a little, take the advantage of one because of his words," (2 Ne. 28:8.)

Think of what that means, the whisperings of the adversary to lie a little. Whether it be a lie intended to affect an individual a religious organization, a business organization, or a political organization the lie will brand the one who tells it, and sooner or later he will have to account for the wrong he has committed.

". . . yea, lie a little, take the advantage of one because of his words, dig a pit for thy neighbor; there is no harm in this; and do all these things, for tomorrow we die; and if it so be that we are guilty, God will beat us with a few stripes, and at last we shall be saved in the kingdom of God." (Ibid.)

That is what the adversary of righteousness is saying to the children of men. That is what Lucifer, who goes about defiling people, is breathing into the souls of whomsoever he can. That is the kind of doctrine that is being disseminated in the world by some of those who ought to be the leaders of morality and also of righteousness. But to you, my brethren and sisters, the obligation has been given that you must refute such things as these when you know of them.

We read further:

"Yea, and there shall be many which shall teach after this manner, false and vain and foolish doctrines, and shall be puffed up in their hearts, and shall seek deep to hide their counsels from the Lord; and their works shall be in the dark." (Ibid. 28:9.)

And then further:

"And others will he pacify, and lull them away into carnal security, that they will say; All is well in Zion; yea, Zion prospereth, all is well-and thus the devil cheateth their souls, and leadeth them away carefully down to hell.

"And behold, others he flattereth away, and telleth them there is no hell; and he saith unto them: I am no devil, for there is none-and thus he whispereth in their ears, until he grasps them with his awful chains, from whence there is no deliverance.

"Yea, they are grasped with death, and hell; and death, and hell, and the devil, and all that have been seized therewith must stand before the throne of God, and be judged according to their works." ([bid., 28:21-23.)

That is the word of a prophet of the Lord, spoken centuries ago, of what would exist in the world, and I bear you my witness that this is a condition that does exist in the world in the day and age in which we live. And as your brother, I plead with you that in the dignity of your membership in the great Church of the Lamb of God, you resist the insidious temptations of the adversary and that in your homes and elsewhere you teach and exemplify virtue and righteousness. See that the teachings of the Lord are so disseminated that every soul who comes within your portals will enjoy the blessings that are the result of the companionship of the Holy Spirit.

I know that this is God's work. But I know also that the adversary is awake; his end is drawing near, and he is putting forth every effort in every conceivable way to blind the eyes of the children of men.

During these troublous times when so many are in distress, seeking happiness and not finding it, the best recipe that I could give to obtain happiness would be: Keep the commandments of the Lord.

As members of this Church we may not excuse ourselves as the people of the world may who have not been properly taught and do not understand.

Therefore, watchmen upon the towers of Zion, see to it that you do not shirk your responsibility. See to it that you do not turn aside from the opportunities that our Heavenly Father has placed in your way to be helpful.

Let us go forward, loving our fellow men, always desiring their uplift and blessing, carrying the gospel message in such a way that the adversary shall have no power to stay it.

Get the Spirit of God and keep it. And the only way we will keep it is by living near him, by keeping his commandments. The only way to peace for this world is the pathway of the gospel of Jesus Christ our Lord. There is no other. {1948-January-Improvement Era 51:11, 37, January, 1948.} (1)

1 - Clark, James R., Messages of the First Presidency (6 volumes)
2 - Crapo, Richley, Chronology Pertaining to Blacks and the LDS Priesthood,
3 - Church News: Historical Chronology of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints,
4 - Sherry Baker: Mormon Media History Timeline: 1827-2007,
5 - Utah History Encyclopedia: George Albert Smith,
6 - Advent Adam website (defunct) - based on

LDS History Chronology: George Albert Smith

Mormon History Timeline: The life of George Albert Smith