“Harold B. Lee,” Ensign, Nov. 1976, 144
“President Harold B. Lee was a mighty prince among us. He was a dynamic leader, one easy to follow. … He truly measured up as a prophet of God in every way—in leadership, perception, activity, and in his responses.” (President Spencer W. Kimball, Ensign, Feb. 1974, pp. 86, 22.)
“He was determined to do all in his power to further the work of the Lord and to build people.”(N. Eldon Tanner, Ensign, Feb. 1974, p. 93.)
“Humility before God and fearlessness before men were the essence of his character. … [He was] a mighty man of God, my long-time friend, President Harold Bingham Lee, prophet, seer, and revelator.” (Marion G. Romney, Ensign, Feb. 1974, p. 95.)
Thus spoke those most intimately associated with the eleventh President of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Harold B. Lee, when he died December 26, 1973, after serving as a president for 1 1/2 years.
He was born in humble circumstances in Clifton, Idaho, on March 28, 1899. Of his early days, President Lee once said, “We had everything money could not buy.” (Ensign, Nov. 1972, p. 4.) He became a member of the Council of the Twelve in 1941. As a stake president during the Depression he helped initiate the Church Welfare System. He was intimately associated with the program for many years. He was the chairman and planner of the Church correlation program and a major force in the reorganization of Church youth programs. Chairman of numerous general committees of the Church, he devoted thirty-three years of service as a General Authority.
In 1941, Elder John A. Widtsoe said: “He is full of faith in the Lord; abundant in his love of his fellowmen; loyal to Church and State; self-forgetful in his devotion to the Gospel; endowed with intelligence, energy, and initiative; and gifted with eloquent power to teach the word and will of God. The Lord … will make him a mighty instrument in carrying forward the eternal plan of human salvation.” (Improvement Era, May 1941, p. 288.)