"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
"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.)