George Albert Smith, Oct 30, 1947

-- Oct 30, 1947
Special fast day to aid European Saints-- Announcement of a special fast day for the relief of sufferers of war-torn Europe.


The hearts of all our people have gone out to the suffering peoples of Europe. We have sent to our Saints in Europe large quantities of food and clothing which have greatly relieved their distress. We are continuing to send to them from our Welfare supplies to the extent possible, having in mind our own absolute necessities here. How much we send in the future will depend upon how fully the people cooperate in carrying out the Welfare program.

But the time has come when we should make our due contribution towards helping to feed and clothe the millions who are still unrelieved in the countries of Europe where the ravages of war have caused such great woe, grief, and suffering.

The Council of the First Presidency and Quorum of Twelve have, after careful and prayerful consideration, been led to fix the regular December Fast Day of this year as a day on which the Saints, each of them, may contribute the greatest sum they feel they can give to the relief of the sufferers of war-torn Europe. The total sum collected on this day will be sent to recognized organizations having in charge general relief measures for Europe.

The Lord has commanded us to feed the hungry and clothe the poor. Remember the word of Paul to the Corinthians:

"But this I say, he which soweth sparingly shall reap also sparingly; and he which soweth bountifully shall reap also bountifully.

"Every man according as he purposeth in his heart, so let him give; not grudgingly, or of necessity; for God loveth a cheerful giver."

We exhort every man, woman, and child claiming membership in the Church to give cheerfully on the regular December Fast Day-one Fast Day out of the twelve regularly held during the year-as much as he can possibly spare from his own needs. And in judging his needs, let him remember how much more he has than have the European sufferers.

Let us remember the teachings of our Lord on that last day in the Temple before His crucifixion:

"Then shall the King say unto them on His right hand, Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world:

"For I was an hungered, and ye gave me meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me drink: I was a stranger, and ye took me in:

"Naked, and ye clothed me; I was sick, and ye visited me: I was in prison, and ye came unto me.

"Then shall the righteous answer him, saying, Lord, when saw we thee an hungered, and fed thee? or thirsty, and gave thee drink?

"When saw we thee a stranger, and took thee in? or naked, and clothed thee?

"Or when saw we thee sick, or in prison, and came unto thee?

"And the King shall answer and say unto you, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren; ye have done it unto me."

As we give, so will the Lord bless us. GEO. ALBERT SMITH, J. REUBEN CLARK, JR., DAVID O. MCKAY, First Presidency. {1947-October 10-Church News, November 8, 1947.} (1)

-- Nov 18, 1947
Report on special fast day-- Church Archives, Salt Lake City, Utah.

A follow-up letter to the announcement of October 30, 1947, of a special fast day for the relief of sufferers from the war in Europe. The wards were to still retain that portion of the fast day funds normally collected during the month of December, using December, 1946, as the model. The Church would then make up from general tithing funds the amount thus retained by the wards and the full amount collected on this special fast day would be sent from Church headquarters "to the appropriate agency distributing general relief in Europe." (1)

-- Nov 29, 1947
The First Presidency announces to the Saints in North America that the regular December fast day will be dedicated to relieving the suffering of the people in Europe resulting from World War II. About $210,000 is collected and distributed to Europeans of all faiths by an agency not connected with the Church. (2)

-- Dec 20, 1947
President George Albert Smith announced that following the end of World War II, the Church had the responsibility to carry the gospel to the people at home and abroad, a missionary posture leading to the internationalization of the Church. (3)

-- 1947
Church Membership at end of year: 1,016,170

New Converts : 19,665

Percent Change from previous year: 1.97% (4)

1 - Clark, James R., Messages of the First Presidency (6 volumes)
2 - The Woodland Institute 'On This Day Historical Database,'
3 - Church News: Historical Chronology of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints,
4 - Wikipedia, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints Membership History,

LDS History Chronology: George Albert Smith

Mormon History Timeline: The life of George Albert Smith