PROPHETS — Miscellaneous
QUESTION: Two of our Church Presidents have had warships named after them. Can you name these two Church Presidents?
ANSWER: The “SS Joseph Smith” (hull number 1119) and the “SS Brigham Young” (hull number 633) were both Liberty cargo ships, the largest class of civilian-made warships ever built. These Liberty-class ships were the workhorses of World War II, as they could carry almost 5,000 tons of cargo. The “SS Joseph Smith” was launched in June of 1943 and it eventually sunk due to cracks that developed in the hull. The “SS Brigham Young” was launched in September of 1942 and served in the Pacific theater. It was decommissioned at Pearl Harbor in 1946 and then towed to San Francisco. In 1973 it was sold to California buyers for scrap metal.
QUESTION: Only one of our Presidents of the Church was serving as a General Authority when called to the apostleship. Can you name
this President of the Church?
ANSWER: The only Church President who was serving as a General Authority when called to the apostleship is President Gordon B. Hinckley. President Hinckley was sustained as an Assistant to the Twelve on April 6, 1958, and as an apostle on September 30, 1961.
QUESTION: What did President Ezra Taft Benson say was the greatest thing that a father could do for his children?
ANSWER: President Benson said that the greatest thing a father could do for his children was “to love their mother”.
QUESTION: One of our prophets served as President of the Church AND as a stake president concurrently. Can you name this prophet?
ANSWER: The Prophet Joseph served as the president of the Kirtland Stake, the first stake organized in this dispensation, while he was serving as the President of the Church. The Kirtland Stake was formed on February 17, 1834.
QUESTION: Two of our Church Presidents served as the President of the Salt Lake Temple before serving as Church President. Can you name them?
ANSWER: Presidents Lorenzo Snow and Joseph Fielding Smith both served as the President of the Salt Lake Temple.
QUESTION: Which of the Presidents of the Church in this dispensation have served as a counselor in the First Presidency before serving
as President of the Church?
ANSWER: Seven of our Church presidents served as a counselor in the First Presidency before serving as President of the Church. These seven are Presidents Lorenzo Snow, Joseph F. Smith, David O. McKay, Joseph Fielding Smith, Harold B. Lee, Gordon B. Hinckley, and Thomas S. Monson. President Snow served as a Counselor and as an Assistant Counselor to President Brigham Young and President Joseph Fielding Smith served as Counselor to President David O. McKay in the First Presidency.
QUESTION: Only two of our latter-day apostles have served as Church President, 1st Counselor in the First Presidency, 2nd Counselor in the First Presidency, and as an additional counselor in the First Presidency. Can you name these two faithful brethren?
ANSWER: The two brethren who have served as Church President and as 1st, 2nd, and additional counselor in the First Presidency are Elders Joseph F. Smith and Gordon B. Hinckley. President Smith served as 1st Counselor to Lorenzo Snow, 2nd Counselor to Presidents Snow, Woodruff, and Taylor, and as an additional counselor to Brigham Young. President Hinckley served as 1st Counselor to Presidents Hunter and Benson, 2nd Counselor to President Kimball, and as an additional counselor to President Kimball.
QUESTION: One of our Church presidents had no public funeral. Can you name this prophet and the reason why no public funeral was held for him?
ANSWER: The Church president who had no public funeral was President Joseph F. Smith, who died on November 19, 1918. No funeral
was held because an influenza epidemic was raging at the time in northern Utah. Large public gatherings were discouraged, in the hope that the spread of this disease would be curtailed.
QUESTION: All but six of our Church presidents served as a missionary or as a mission president in the British Isles. Can you name the
six who did not?
ANSWER: The six presidents of the Church who did not serve as either a missionary or a mission president in the British Isles were Joseph Smith, Harold B. Lee, Spencer W. Kimball, Howard W. Hunter, Thomas S. Monson, and Russell M. Nelson. Joseph Smith served several missions in the eastern United States, President Lee served as a missionary in the Western States Mission, President Kimball served as a missionary in the Central States Mission, President Monson served as a mission president in Canada (part of the British Commonwealth, but not in the British Isles!), and President Nelson served in the Naval Reserves during his early twenties.
QUESTION: Only four Church presidents did not dedicate a temple during their tenure as President of the Church. Can you name these four presidents?
ANSWER: The four Presidents of the Church who did not dedicate a temple during their tenure as president are Brigham Young, Lorenzo
Snow, Joseph F. Smith, and Harold B. Lee.
QUESTION: How many of our Church presidents have served as a Stake President and which of them was called to serve as a Stake
President at the youngest age?
ANSWER: Eight of our fifteen Church presidents have served as Stake Presidents. Joseph Smith served as the President of the Kirtland Stake when he was 28 years old, Heber J. Grant was called at age 24 to preside over the Tooele Stake, Harold B. Lee was called at age 31 to preside over the Pioneer Stake, Spencer W. Kimball was called at age 43 to preside over the Mount Graham Stake, Ezra Taft Benson presided over stakes in both Boise, Idaho and Washington D.C., Howard W. Hunter was called at age 43 to preside over the Pasadena Stake, Gordon B Hinckley was called at age 46 to preside over the East Millcreek Stake, and President Russell M. Nelson presided over the Bonneville Stake in Salt Lake City. President Grant was thus the youngest of the seven to be called as a Stake President.
QUESTION: Only 4 times in Church history have we sustained a new Church president who was chronologically older than the
recently-deceased Church president whom he replaced. Can you name the 4 instances?
ANSWER: Brigham Young replaced Joseph Smith, with Brigham Young being 4 years and 7 months older than Joseph Smith. Wilford Woodruff replaced John Taylor, with Wilford Woodruff being 1 year and 8 months older than John Taylor. Spencer W. Kimball replaced Harold B. Lee, with President Kimball being exactly 4 years older than President Lee (Presidents Lee and Kimball shared the same birthday, March 28). President Russell M. Nelson replaced President Thomas S. Monson, President Nelson being 2 years and 11 months older than President Monson
QUESTION: Only once in this dispensation have three future Presidents of the Church come into the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles sequentially (one right after the other). Can you name these three prophets?
ANSWER: The three presidents of the Church who came into the Quorum of the Twelve sequentially are Harold B. Lee, Spencer W. Kimball, and Ezra Taft Benson. Harold B. Lee was ordained an apostle and joined the Quorum on April 10, 1941. The next two brethren to be ordained apostles and join the Quorum were Spencer W. Kimball and Ezra Taft Benson on October 7, 1943. Interestingly, John Taylor and Wilford Woodruff came into the Quorum of Twelve sequentially (December 19, 1838 and April 26, 1839, respectively), as did Howard W. Hunter and Gordon B. Hinckley (October 15, 1959 and October 5, 1961, respectively). We almost had another grouping of three with Presidents Hunter, Hinckley, and Monson, but Elder N. Eldon Tanner was ordained an apostle between Presidents Hinckley and
QUESTION: Remarkably, only two of the brethren who have served as president of the Church have served as a bishop of a ward. Can you name these two prophets?
ANSWER: Presidents Howard W. Hunter and Thomas S. Monson are the only presidents of the Church in this dispensation who served as the bishop of a ward. President Hunter was called as the bishop of the newly-organized El Sereno Ward of the Pasadena Stake on August 27, 1940. He was ordained a High Priest and a Bishop by Elder Joseph F. Merrill of the Quorum of the Twelve. President Monson served as the bishop of the 6th-7th Ward of the Pioneer Stake.
QUESTION: Before President Thomas S. Monson became the 16th President of the Church, it was accurate to say that one of the previous presidents of the church was, at some point during his life, alive concurrently with every other church president in this dispensation. Can you name this prophet? (This question was suggested by Louis Epstein, a wonderful scholar of LDS history.)
ANSWER: The church president that was alive concurrently with every other church president, with the exception of President
Monson, was President Joseph F. Smith. He was born six years before the prophet Joseph was martyred, and he died eight years after Gordon B. Hinckley was born. All other presidents of the church, excepting President Monson, either were born after Joseph Smith was martyred or died before Gordon B. Hinckley was born.
QUESTION: Consider an alphabetical listing of all of the brethren who have been called to the apostleship in this dispensation. In this alphabetical list, there are three groupings of church presidents. Obviously, Joseph Smith, Joseph F. Smith, and Joseph Fielding Smith
would be listed sequentially on this list. Can you name the four church presidents in the other two groupings?
ANSWER: Spencer W. Kimball and Harold B. Lee are listed sequentially in this alphabetical list, as are Wilford Woodruff and Brigham Young. Interestingly, there is one other Kimball, one other Woodruff, and three other Youngs on the list, but they do not fit in between the prophets alphabetically. Also of interest is the fact that Gordon B. Hinckley and Howard W. Hunter are only separated by one other apostle, that being Jeffrey R. Holland. Presidents Monson and Nelson are separated by two other apostles (George Q. Morris and Henry D. Moyle).
QUESTION: Two future presidents of the Church were ordained apostles on the same day. Can you name these two brethren?
ANSWER: Presidents Spencer W. Kimball and Ezra Taft Benson were ordained to the apostleship on October 7, 1943. They were both ordained by President Heber J. Grant.
QUESTION: Two of our prophets in this dispensation were baptized twice. Can you name the prophets and the circumstances of their two baptisms?
ANSWER: 1) The Prophet Joseph Smith was baptized twice. He was baptized by Oliver Cowdery on May 15, 1829 in the Susquehanna River, as directed by John the Baptist. He was also baptized on April 6, 1830, the day the church was organized, to signify his official membership in the Church of Jesus Christ. 2) President Spencer W. Kimball was baptized twice. His first baptism was on his 8th
birthday, being baptized by his father in a hog-scalding tub. His father knelt outside the tub as he baptized his son. Some years later, the
propriety of a baptism performed without the baptizer being in the water with the person being baptized was brought into question. The decision was made to re-baptize Spencer. On his 12th birthday, his father baptized him in a canal near their home.
QUESTION: One of our presidents of the Church was ordained an apostle by a brother who had the same name as the brother who
set him apart as President of the Church. Can you name this president of the church and the two brethren who ordained him and set him apart?
ANSWER: President David O. McKay was ordained an apostle by Joseph Fielding Smith (Joseph F. Smith) and was set
apart as the President of the Church by Elder Joseph Fielding Smith, son of Joseph F. Smith.
QUESTION: One of our Presidents of the Church, as a young man, received a mission call to serve in the Swiss-German Mission. However, he served his mission in the Central States Mission. Can you the name the prophet and relate the circumstances of this unique situation?
ANSWER: In May of 1914, Spencer W. Kimball received a mission call to serve in the Swiss-German Mission. This was an exciting prospect for Elder Kimball, as he had studied the German language in high school. But in July of 1914, the political situation in Europe changed dramatically. A Serbian student assassinated Archduke Francis Ferdinand, heir to the throne of Austria-Hungary. World War I ensued later that summer. Due to the European war, Elder Kimballs mission assignment was changed to the Central States Mission, headquartered in Independence, Missouri. Though disappointed that he wouldnt serve in Europe, Elder Kimball was quickly reconciled
to this change because his father, his step-mother, and his older brother had all served missions in this same area.
QUESTION: During what period of time in this dispensation was the largest number of current and future prophets living concurrently?
ANSWER: From June 23, 1910 when Gordon B. Hinckley was born, until November 19, 1918 when President Joseph F. Smith died,
there were TEN current and future prophets alive. The ten were Joseph F. Smith, Heber J. Grant, George Albert Smith, David O. McKay, Joseph Fielding Smith, Harold B. Lee, Spencer W. Kimball, Ezra Taft Benson, Howard W. Hunter, and Gordon B. Hinckley. And again, from August 21, 1927 when Thomas S. Monson was born, until May 14, 1945 when President Heber J. Grant died, there were TEN current and future prophets living. There were two other periods of time when NINE current or future prophets were living concurrently.
QUESTION: One of our future prophets was appointed as public accountant and dispensing agent in the United States Land Office in Salt Lake City at the young age of 27. He was appointed by President William McKinley. Can you name this future prophet?
George Albert Smith was the accountant and agent appointed by President McKinley.
QUESTION: President William McKinley was assassinated in the Music Hall of the Pan American Exposition in Buffalo, New York while serving as our nations 25th president. One of our future prophets was present in the Music Hall when the assassination took place and actually heard the gun shots that took the presidents life. Can you name this future prophet?
ANSWER: George Albert Smith was in New York on government assignment, and happened to be present in the building in which President McKinley was assassinated.