Eldred G. Smith

Eldred G. Smith

LDS Biography
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Eldred G. Smith

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Eldred Gee Smith (born January 9, 1907) holds the position of patriarch emeritus to The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS Church) and held the calling of Patriarch to the Church of the same church between 1947 and 1979. In 2009, Smith surpassed Joseph Anderson as the oldest-lived general authority in the history of the LDS Church, and in January 2011 he surpassed David O. McKay as the longest-serving general authority in LDS Church history.

Eldred Smith was born in Lehi, Utah. His father was Hyrum G. Smith, who was Presiding Patriarch of the LDS Church between 1912 and 1932. Eldred Smith is a great-great-great-nephew of Joseph Smith, Jr.

At the time of Eldred's birth, a new Presiding Patriarch was usually chosen based on the principle of patrilineal succession. However, instead of choosing Eldred to replace his father, Church President Heber J. Grant appointed Eldred's cousin Joseph Fielding SmithNot to be confused with Joseph Fielding Smith, LDS apostle and later president of the LDS Church. to be Presiding Patriarch in 1942. After Joseph Fielding Smith was released from the position in 1946 by Church President George Albert Smith for being involved in a homosexual relationship, Eldred was selected as the next Presiding Patriarch.

Eldred Smith graduated from LDS High School in Salt Lake City and then the University of Utah. From 1926 to 1929, he served as a LDS Church missionary in the Swiss-German Mission. Smith...
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