Lorenzo Snow 1814–1901

“Lorenzo Snow 1814–1901,” Friend, Apr. 1980, 45

Lorenzo Snow

The rooms that April morning had been beautifully decorated with flowers and potted plants, for it was President Snow’s eighty-seventh birthday. On the mantle of the northeast parlor stood a gorgeous bouquet of American beauty roses. Early that morning, before the president was up, there had come a knock at the door of the Beehive House. When it was opened, there stood two little girls almost hidden behind armloads of stunning red roses. They explained that the flowers were for President Snow.

With radiant faces, the children were conducted directly to the prophet’s bedroom. There they sang two or three songs. President Snow was deeply touched by the serenade and said he would cherish the memory all of his life.

Always a student, Lorenzo loved to read. When his boyhood friends couldn’t find him, one of them would often comment, “He’s hid up with his book.”

Lorenzo later became a teacher and a community builder. He was chosen by President Brigham Young to lead fifty families to an area later known as Brigham City, to strengthen the settlements there. His work was interrupted when he was called on another mission—this time to the Hawaiian Islands.

After the ship’s arrival there, Lorenzo and his companions were going ashore in a smaller vessel, when suddenly an immense wave capsized their tiny craft and washed them overboard. After righting the boat, all were accounted for except Lorenzo. A frantic search turned up his lifeless body. His companions and the boatman quickly made for shore, administering to Lorenzo on the way. Reaching land they rolled him over an empty barrel until the water was out of him. Then they were impressed to take turns applying mouth-to-mouth resuscitation, a life-saving technique little known at that time. Lorenzo miraculously recovered from this terrifying experience, for the Lord had other important work for him to accomplish.

Back in Brigham City he helped to organize a cooperative mercantile store that featured home industries.

At eighty-four years of age, Lorenzo Snow became the fifth president of the Church. Shortly thereafter he had a miraculous experience wherein he saw the Lord in one of the halls of the Salt Lake Temple after he had been seeking His guidance in earnest prayer.

President Snow is remembered best for his encouragement of the Saints to pay a full tithing, for his wise decisions in helping the Church to get out of debt, and for expanding the missionary system throughout the world.

Illustrated by Howard Boughner