George Albert Smith, Jan 30, 1947

-- Jan 30, 1947
Temple prayer circle patterns not to be used or imitated outside temples-- Church Archives, Salt Lake City, Utah.

Prayer circle patterns as held in the temples of the Church are not to be duplicated or imitated outside of the temples. (1)

[Temple] [T]here is a custom in some areas and among some organizations of having group prayers in which those participating, sometimes kneeling and sometimes standing, arrange themselves in a circle and then hold each other's hands while the prayer is being offered. From these reports that come to us it would seem obvious that the effort is to duplicate as nearly as possible the procedure of the sacred prayer circle. This innovation is not in accordance with the due order of the Church and should be discontinued at once. Where groups are assembled together, the prayers should be offered in the ordinary way we offer prayer as in our public services as at Sacrament meetings, priest hood meetings, and other like gatherings. This rule does not ex clude groups from kneeling in prayer on proper occasions, but it is intend ed to exclude all simulations of the regular prayer circle. [George Albert Smith, J. Reuben Clark Jr., and David O. McLay, circular letter, Jan. 30, 1947] (2)

-- Feb 28, 1947
Following is a transcript for the minutes of the meeting [Feb. 20, 1947] of the First Presidency and the Council of The Twelve, which is self-explanatory: Elder Joseph Fielding Smith called attention to an inquiry from President ElRay Christiansen of the Logan Temple on the following matter: A couple have adopted legally an infant child, born illegitimately, and are desirous that the names of the natural parents be not placed upon the records. "In discussing this matter the Brethren were agreed that in cases of this kind the names of the natural parents should not appear on the record, and that the names of the couple who are adopting the child should appear as parents. On motion this became the sense of the Council. President George F. Richards was requested to convey this same information to all the temples." [George F. Richards to Edward J. Wood, Feb. 28, 1947, copy in Buerger Papers] (2)

-- March 1947
Recalling when he was recovering from a long ilness: "I thought I was on the shore of a lake and I found that I was alone. I saw a trail through the woods and concluded that I would follow it; soon I saw a man coming towards me. As he neared me I discovered that he was my grandfather [George Albert Smith]. As we met, he said, 'I'd like to know what you have done with my name.' 'Grandfather,' I answered, 'I have never done anything with your name that you need to be ashamed of.' I then became conscious, and I made up my mind that I would never do anything to harm his good name." (3)

-- Mar 10, 1947
Meeting the spiritual needs of young men drafted into military service-- Salt Lake City, Utah.

This letter of instructions to Presidents of Stakes and Missions outlines a plan to meet the spiritual needs of young men in the armed services.

If the plans of the military authorities of the United States are put into operation, it will mean the entry into the Service of great numbers of our young men. The spiritual guidance of these young men while in the Service is a matter of prime concern to the parents of the men and to the Church. (Excerpt.) (1)

-- Mar 22, 1947
Last weekly list of excommunicated Mormons in CHURCH NEWS. Final list gives names in California, Florida, Maine, Massachusetts, Nevada, and Utah. (4)

-- Apr 2, 1947
Revelation on counselors for Mission Presidents-- MISSION HEADS WILL SELECT TWO COUNSELORS TO FORM PRESIDENCY

Speaking of these instructions as a revelation received by President George Albert Smith, Elder Spencer W. Kimball, member of the Quorum of the Twelve, said of the occasion at which he was present:

"The revelations come as requested and needed; for instance, in 1947, when President George Albert Smith was President of the Church, there came a revelation to the Church regarding missions, and counselors were given to mission presidents for the first time. That was immediately published all through the Church, in the Church Section of the Deseret News, an official letter to all mission presidents, and everybody in the Church had access to the knowledge of that change in the policy of the Church within a matter of days after it had been given. It was not necessary that that revelation be included in the Doctrine and Covenants. They are all in the minutes and in the files. Revelations are continuous, and this Church is based on revelation." (Speeches of the Year, Brigham Young University, January 13, 1967.)


ÃÂ. President David O. McKay presented to those assembled the matter of each mission president having two counselors to assist him in the missionary work. The primary responsibility of the mission president is to contact personally the missionaries under his jurisdiction as frequently as possible, and through such contacts gain their love and confidence, and to assist them in every way possible to adjust their lives to the missionary program of the Church. To aid the mission president in making it possible for him to spend the major part of his time with the missionaries, the First Presidency and the Council of the Twelve Apostles have approved a plan whereby mission presidents will be given counselors. It is suggested that the first counselor may be an experienced local man and that the other counselor may be selected from one of the outstanding missionaries in the field. These two counselors will work with the mission president in supervising the work of each mission.

The counselors are to be selected by the mission president, but before they are spoken to, their names are to be sent to the Office of the First Presidency for approval. If approved, the counselors will then be set apart by one of the General Authorities. In the Pacific Missions the counselors will be set apart by the president of the Pacific Mission, representing the First Presidency and the Council of the Twelve; in the European missions the counselors will be set apart by the president of the European Mission, representing the First Presidency and the Council of the Twelve. It is suggested that the mission president divide the responsibilities of the mission work with the counselors and that he hold regular council meetings with them at least once a month or oftener if circumstances permit.

These counselors will be released with the mission president and the new mission president will be given the same opportunity of selecting his two counselors. Usually, the counselors will be selected from those either residing or laboring as missionaries in the missions, but in the event the mission presidents desire counselors living in the stakes of Zion, special consideration by the First Presidency will be given these particular requests.

The counselors to the mission presidents are to be paid their actual traveling expenses, but are not to be given a maintenance allowance. If they use their own automobiles, mileage at the rate of 6 cents per mile will be paid from the mission funds. At the end of each month the counselors to the mission president, if they have done any official traveling, should complete Form 31-AFP and present it to the mission president who will check the items listed on the form and, if in order, will approve. Reimbursement from the General Mission Funds will be made to the counselors for their official traveling expense. The traveling expense of the mission counselors will be charged to a special account entitled, "Mission President's Counselors Traveling Expense," and a copy of Form 31-AFP should be filed with the vouchers in the General Accounting Records of the mission and available for audit at any time.

All present seemed very pleased with the announcement made by President McKayÃÂ. {1947-April 2-Church News, April 12, 1947; also Report of meeting with Mission Presidents, Salt Lake Temple, April 2, 1947.} (1)

1 - Clark, James R., Messages of the First Presidency (6 volumes)
2 - Anderson, Devery; The Development of LDS Temple Worship, 1846-2000: A Documentary History,
3 -
4 - On This Day in Mormon History,

LDS History Chronology: George Albert Smith

Mormon History Timeline: The life of George Albert Smith