PROPHETS — Family Relationships
QUESTION: Two of our Church Presidents were nephews to previous Church Presidents. Can you name these two nephews and their two uncles who all served as Church Presidents?
ANSWER: President Joseph F. Smith was the son of Hyrum Smith, the brother of the Prophet Joseph Smith. Thus Joseph F. Smith was the nephew of the Prophet Joseph. President Spencer W. Kimball was the son of Andrew Kimball. Andrew Kimball was the twin brother of Alice Kimball Smith, a wife of President Joseph F. Smith. Thus, Spencer W. Kimball was a nephew of President Joseph F. Smith.
QUESTION: Nine of our Church presidents have had a wife pass away while they were serving as Church President. Can you name these nine brethren?
ANSWER: 1) Brigham Young married Clarissa Ross on September 10, 1844 in Nauvoo, Illinois, and she passed away on October 17, 1858 in Salt Lake City, Utah. President Young served as Church President from 1847 until 1877. 2) John Taylor married Sophia Whittaker on April 23, 1847 in Winter Quarters, and she passed away on February 28, 1887. President Taylor served as Church President from 1880 until 1887. 3) Wilford Woodruff married Mary Ann Jackson on March 15, 1846 in Winter Quarters, and she passed away on October 25, 1894 in Salt Lake City. President Woodruff served as Church President from 1889 until 1898. 4) Lorenzo Snow married Mary Adaline Goddard in March of 1845 in Nauvoo, Illinois, and she passed away on December 28, 1898 in Salt Lake City. President Snow served as Church President from 1898 until 1901. 5) Joseph F. Smith married Sarah Ellen Richards on March 1, 1868 in Salt Lake City, and she passed away on March 22, 1915 in Salt Lake City. President Smith served as Church President from 1901 until 1918. 6) Joseph Fielding Smith married Jessie Evans Smith on April 12, 1938 in Salt Lake City, and she passed away on August 3, 1971. President Smith served as Church President from 1970 to 1972 7) Ezra Taft Benson married Flora Smith Amussen on September 10, 1926 in Salt Lake City, and she passed away on August 14, 1992 in Salt Lake City. President Benson served as Church President from 1985 until 1994. 8) Gordon B. Hinckley married Marjorie Pay on April 29, 1937. She passed away on April 6, 2004. President Hinckley was set apart as president of the Church on March 12, 1995. 9) Thomas S. Monson married Frances Beverly Johnson October 7, 1948 in Salt Lake City, and she passed away on May 17, 2013.
QUESTION: How many of the mothers of our latter-day prophets lived long enough to see their sons serve as the President of the Church? How many of these same mothers were alive when their sons were ordained apostles?
ANSWER: The only mother of a church president who was alive during her son’s service as President is Lucy Mack Smith, mother of the Prophet Joseph. Joseph was martyred in 1844 and Lucy Smith died in 1856. Eight of the mothers of our church presidents were alive when their sons were ordained apostles. These eight are Lucy Mack Smith (Joseph Smith), Agnes Taylor (John Taylor), Rachel Ridgway Ivins Grant (Heber J. Grant), Sarah Farr Smith (George Albert Smith), Julina Lambson Smith (Joseph Fielding Smith), Louisa Emeline Bingham Lee (Harold B. Lee), Nellie Marie Rasmussen Hunter (Howard W. Hunter), and Gladys Condie Monson (Thomas S. Monson).
QUESTION: Can you identify the first prophet (future prophet) who was born to LDS parents and the first prophet (future prophet) born in the 20th century?
ANSWER: The first prophet born to LDS parents was Joseph F. Smith, the son of Hyrum Smith and Mary Fielding. The first prophet born in the 20th century was Howard W. Hunter, being born on November 14, 1907 (Presidents Lee and Benson were born in 1899, and President Kimball was born in 1895).
QUESTION: President Gordon B. Hinckley had two close relatives who served as apostles. Can you name these two apostles?
ANSWER: The two apostles who were relatives of President Hinckley are Joseph B. Wirthlin and Alonzo A. Hinckley. Gordon Bitner Hinckley and Joseph Bither Hinckley were cousins, having the same grandfather (Brenemen Barr Bitner) but different grandmothers. President Hinckley’s uncle, Alonzo Hinckley, served as an apostle in the 1930’s. Alonzo was a brother of Bryant Stringham Hinckley, President Hinckley’s father.
QUESTION: Four of our latter-day prophets have had sons serve as apostles. Can you name these four prophets?
ANSWER: Following are the four prophets with sons as apostles (the sons are listed after the fathers) — Brigham Young (Joseph A. Young, Brigham Young Jr., John Willard Young), John Taylor (John W. Taylor), Wilford Woodruff (Abraham O. Woodruff), and Joseph F. Smith (Hyrum Mack Smith, Joseph Fielding Smith).
QUESTION: One of our prophets was not only the son of an apostle, but he was also the son-in-law of an apostle. Can you name this prophet?
ANSWER: Heber J. Grant was the son of Jedediah M. Grant, an apostle who served as a counselor to Brigham Young. He was also the son-in-law of Daniel H. Wells, another apostle that served as a counselor to Brigham. President Grant was married to Emily Harris Wells, Daniel H. Wells’ daughter.
QUESTION: One of our apostles had the unique privilege of being considered ‘the son of President Joseph Smith’. Can you name this apostle and the circumstances surrounding this designation?
ANSWER: Heber J. Grant was the apostle with this unique designation. He wrote of this is his own personal journal thusly: “I then spoke for 15 minutes. Brother Joseph F. Smith followed, occupying the remainder of the time. He announced that he looked upon me as being the seed actually of the Prophet Joseph Smith under the new and everlasting covenant, my mother having been sealed to the Prophet for all eternity, and only married to my father [Jedediah M. Grant] for time.
This remark was called forth because of Joseph E. Taylor saying that the Lord would not forget the seed of the Prophet Joseph Smith, but that they would be remembered”. Joseph F. Smith did not mention my name, but he announced that the Lord had not forgotten the seed of the Prophet Joseph, that his seed held the high priesthood in the church, and that he had a son who was sitting not far from where he was then standing. I knew Brother Smith meant me as on other
occasions he had referred to me as the son of President Joseph Smith.” (Succession In The Church, Durham and Heath, page 125-126)
QUESTION: One of our Church presidents had a brother serve as one of the Seven Presidents of the Seventy. Can you name the prophet and his brother?
ANSWER: President Brigham Young’s older brother, Joseph Young, was ordained as one of the Presidents of the Seventy on February 28, 1837.
QUESTION: One of our Church presidents had a son serve as one of the Seven Presidents of the Seventy. Can you name the prophet and his son?
ANSWER: President John Taylor’s son, William Whitaker Taylor, was sustained as one of the First Seven Presidents on April 7, 1880. He died 4 years later at the age of 30.
QUESTION: One of our Church presidents had a father that served as one of the Seven Presidents of the Seventy. Can you name the prophet and his father?
ANSWER: President Heber J. Grant’s father, Jedediah Morgan Grant, was set apart as one of the Seven Presidents of the Seventy December 2, 1845, at the age of 29. Jedediah M. Grant was later ordained an apostle and served as a counselor to President Brigham Young.
QUESTION: One of our church presidents called his nephew to serve as his first counselor in the First Presidency. Can you name the prophet and his nephew?
ANSWER: President John Taylor called his nephew, George Q. Cannon to serve with him in the First Presidency. President Taylor was married to Leonora Cannon, who was the sister of George Cannon, the father of George Q. Cannon.