The View from the Family and Neighbors

“The View from the Family and Neighbors,” Ensign, Aug. 1972, 44–45

The View from the Family and Neighbors

Recently several members of President Smith’s family and neighbors were called upon to address a large body of students and to talk about their memories of President Smith. Following are some of their accounts:

His daughter, Julina S. Hart: “Occasionally on a Saturday when there would be no stake conference and when Father was at home, he would roll up his sleeves and go in the kitchen and make pies. Not two or three—but twelve or fifteen! Mother would plead, rather quietly, ‘Oh, Daddy, we don’t need that many pies. Besides, pies aren’t good when they’re stale.’ But you know, I never saw a pie get stale. They didn’t last that long; we’d enjoy them, and he’d see that we gave some away to neighbors or someone who needed cheering up.”

His son-in-law, Eldon Hart: “I would like it to be known that he had the greatest capacity for the discernment of truth that I have ever seen in a man. I had the opportunity of working with three great men, three Nobel prize winners, and I think I know whereof I speak. He was a master teacher and an astute student of all subjects. He was not the least bit impressed by man’s so-called academic learning. I can see in my mind his face light up as he would talk of Latter-day Saints who he had felt once were going astray through their academic philosophies. He would contact them, sit down with them, and discuss the gospel and bear his testimony. Many of those men have thanked him many times for his love in approaching them. He often quoted the scripture, ‘Men are ever learning, but never coming to an understanding of the truth.’”

A fellow ward member, Mary Barnes: “The grit and determination of President Smith are famous. I remember that once in our city there was a controversy over Sunday closing for businesses. President and Sister Smith decided that they would only do their shopping at places that closed on Sunday and obeyed the Sabbath. One of the stores they had enjoyed was a little store near the city. One day this store announced that they would begin selling on Sunday. So President and Sister Smith made a point of going to the owner and explaining to him that they had enjoyed shopping at his store but would not be able to continue because they did not want to patronize a store that didn’t obey the Sabbath. Sometime later, they were happy to hear that this man, who had then been somewhat inactive in the Church, had bought out his partner in the store, closed his store on Sunday, and had become active in the Church. The Smiths resumed their trading with him and heard the man testify that since he had gone into partnership with the Lord, his business had prospered even though he had previously thought that he would need to open on Sunday. It may also interest you to know that the President informed the manager of one of the nation’s largest stores that they could no longer patronize his store either, for the same reason of Sunday selling. President Smith was absolutely fearless, yet always courteous, in defense of gospel ideals.”