"President Joseph Fielding Smith

"In January 1841 the Lord gave a revelation to the Church, calling Hyrum Smith to '. . . be a prophet, and a seer, and a revelator . . . [to] act in concert also with Joseph [Smith, his brother] . . . and receive, and be crowned with the same blessing and glory, and honor, and priesthood, and gifts of the priesthood, that once were put upon . . . Oliver Cowdery.' (D & C 124:94-95.) He was promised, furthermore, that his name should be had in 'honorable remembrance from generation to generation, forever and ever.' (Ibid., 96.)

"How literally that promise has been fulfilled, not alone through his unexcelled devotion and loyalty to truth which won for him a martyr's crown, but also through an illustrious posterity who have borne his name! Hyrum's son, Joseph F. Smith, became the sixth president of the Church. Today, his oldest living grandson, Joseph Fielding Smith, is the president of the Council of the Twelve Apostles of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. In an almost unbroken chain, the name of Hyrum Smith has for 115 years been had in 'honorable remembrance' in the presiding councils of the Church. Such are the rewards of his sacrifice and loyalty to the Church and kingdom of God.

"President Joseph Fielding Smith has inherited in rich measure the dauntless courage and the unswerving devotion to duty which have characterized the lives of his noble ancestors. For more than forty-six years as a member of the Council of the Twelve he has been a fearless defender of the faith and an untiring preacher of the gospel of repentance. In his vigorous denunciation of the theories of men which would negate the truths of the restored gospel, he has often drawn the criticisms of some of the exponents of the theories he has assailed, but seldom has he failed to win the admiration and respect of his severest critics because of his scholarship and the consistency of his course, which is as undeviating as the stars of heaven. No one ever has had occasion to question where he stood on any controversial issue.

"We who labor in the Council of the Twelve under his leadership have occasion to glimpse the true nobility in his character. Daily we see continuing evidences of his understanding and thoughtful consideration of his fellow workers in making our assignments and in co-ordinating our efforts to the end that the work of the Lord might move forward. We only wish that the entire Church could feel the tenderness of his soul and his great concern over the welfare of the unfortunate and those in distress. He loves all the saints and never ceases to pray for the sinner.

"With remarkable discernment, he seems to have but two measures in arriving at final decisions. What are the wishes of the First Presidency? Which is best for the kingdom of God? In his profound gospel writings and in his theological dissertations, he has given to his associates and to the Church a rich legacy which will immortalize his name among the faithful.

"President Smith was born July 19, 1876, in Salt Lake City, Utah. It is our honor to join with his remarkable family who have such a deep affection for him, and with the host of friends and admirers who love the truth, in extending to him on his eightieth birthday our affectionate regards and sincerest felicitations, and to declare to the world, as was said of his noble grandsire: 'From age to age shall [his] name go down to posterity as [a] gem for the sanctified.' (See ibid., 135:6.)

"In the true brotherhood of the Master,
Members of the Council of the Twelve Apostles"

(Inprovement Era, July 1956, p. 495; all bracketed comments and elipses in original.)