George Albert Smith Saves the Tabernacle
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“George Albert Smith Saves the Tabernacle,” Friend, Apr. 2001, 32–33

From the Lives of the Church Presidents

(Adapted from The Illustrated Story of President George Albert Smith, by Joy N. Hulme, pages 6–8, 47; and The Lord Needed a Prophet, by Susan Arrington Madsen, pages 122–123.)

George Albert Smith Saves the Tabernacle

George Albert Smith
Events in the life of George Albert Smith

Illustrated by Mike Eagle

George Albert Smith was born during the week of April general conference, 1870. Many people came to Temple Square that week to see the balcony that had just been added to the Tabernacle.

A boy: Two thousand extra seats, and it’s still crowded in here!

As a young man, George Albert often went to visit Lucy Woodruff, who lived just across the street from the almost-finished Salt Lake Temple.

Lucy: George Albert, look at that beautiful hot air balloon.

George: I think it’s going to hit the Tabernacle!

George Albert ran to call the fire department from the nearest telephone. But when the firefighters got to Temple Square, they discovered that the gates were locked and that the night watchman didn’t have a key.

George: We have to break in fast!

Fire man: Line up, men. We’ll charge the gate on the count of three.

Working together, the men and firefighters put out the blaze. The Tabernacle was saved!

Lucy: George Albert, you’re a hero!

Later, after marrying Lucy and serving a mission, Elder George Albert Smith gave many sermons in the Tabernacle as member of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles.

He also became the first president of the Church to give a general conference talk on television. Many people saw on TV the Tabernacle that, years before, George Albert Smith had helped protect from fire.

If you’d like to learn more about President Smith do the “President George Albert Smith Crossword” on page 15.