John Henry Smith

John Henry Smith

LDS Biography
LDS Biography Less

John Henry Smith

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John Henry Smith (September 18, 1848 – October 13, 1911) was a member of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles and the First Presidency of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS Church). He was a prominent politician in Utah and played an important role in the process whereby Utah made the transition from a territory to a state of the United States.

Church service

In 1874 and 1875 Smith served as a missionary in Europe. He spent most of this mission in England, particularly in and around the city of Birmingham.

From 1875 to 1880 Smith was the bishop of the Salt Lake 17th Ward, which included the Salt Lake Temple within its boundaries.

In October 1880, LDS Church President John Taylor called Smith to be a member of the Quorum of the Twelve. On October 27 of that year, he was ordained an apostle by Wilford Woodruff, who at that time was President of the Twelve. Smith served in that capacity until the death of First Presidency member John R. Winder in 1910; he was then asked by Church President Joseph F. Smith to take Winder's place as a member of the First Presidency. John Henry Smith served in this capacity until his death the next year.

Political contributions

In 1882 Smith was elected a member of the Utah Territorial Legislature.

John Henry Smith was also a prominent Republican in Utah politics. Smith was unanimously elected by the 107 delegates to be the Chair of the Utah Constitutional Convention that was held between 4 March and 8 May 1895. The...
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