Biography of Joseph F. Smith

November 13, 1838 – November 19, 1918
Utah Pioneer – Missionary – Apostle – President
Counselor to Three Presidents
Sixth President of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints
Born to Patriarch Hyrum and Mary Fielding Smith November 13, 1838, in Far West, Missouri

His father, Hyrum Smith, was martyred by mobs at Carthage Jail, with his uncle, the Prophet Joseph Smith, on the fateful day in June, 1844.

He lived with his mother in Nauvoo, Illinois until they made the Mormon trek to Winter Quarters on the Missouri River in 1846 – 1847.

In the spring of 1848 they traveled by ox team and covered wagons to the Valley of the Great Salt Lake, arriving September 23, 1848.

His mother died in the summer of 1852, leaving Joseph F. and orphan at the age of 14.

In 1854, at the age of 15, he went to the Sandwich Islands [Hawaii] on a Mission.

During 1860 to 1863 he filled a Mission in England.

The year 1864 found him again in the Sandwich Islands Mission Field.

On May 5, 1866, he married Julina Lambson.

He was ordained an Apostle of the Church in 1867.

In 1874 he presided over the European Mission.

In 1880 he was made a Counselor to President John Taylor in the First Presidency of the Church.

In 1889 he became a Counselor to President Wilford Woodruff.

In 1898 he became Counselor to President Lorenzo Snow.

On October 10, 1901, he became President of the Church, at the age of 64, which position he held until his death, November 19, 1918.

Many important buildings were constructed during his administration, namely:

  • The Bishop’s Building
  • The Hotel Utah
  • The L.D.S. Hospital
  • The L.D.S. Church Office Building
  • The Alberta Temple
  • The Hawaiian Temple

In addition, he authorized the purchase of the Prophet Josephs Smith’s birthplace at Sharon, Vermont; the Carthage Jail; the Joseph Smith, Sr. Farm at Palmyra.

He was great in intellect, in courage, in affection, and integrity. He was methodical in all his work, exemplary in his living, and loved his fine family.

Hundreds of descendants now live to honor his great name, and people everywhere revere his memory.