Teachings of Presidents
Historical Summary

“Historical Summary,” Teachings of Presidents of the Church: George Albert Smith (2010)

“Historical Summary,” Teachings: George Albert Smith

Historical Summary

The following chronology provides a brief historical framework for the teachings of President George Albert Smith presented in this book.

1870, April 4

Born in Salt Lake City, Utah, to John Henry and Sarah Farr Smith.


His father, John Henry Smith, serves a mission in Great Britain. George Albert is four years old when he leaves.

1880, October 27

John Henry Smith is ordained an Apostle.


John Henry Smith serves as president of the European Mission.


George Albert Smith begins working in a clothing factory at age 13.


Begins working for a railroad company. He suffers permanent damage to his eyes because of his work.

1891, September–November

Serves a mission in southern Utah for the Young Men’s Mutual Improvement Association.

1892, May 25

Marries Lucy Emily Woodruff in the Manti Utah Temple.


Serves a mission in the southern United States, beginning just a few weeks after his marriage. Lucy joins him four months into the mission.

1903, October 8

Ordained an Apostle by President Joseph F. Smith.


Writes his “personal creed,” a list of 11 ideals that he commits to live by (see pages 1–2 of this book).


Suffers from serious health problems.


Presides over the European Mission.


Serves as general superintendent of the Young Men’s Mutual Improvement Association.


Elected vice president of the National Society of the Sons of the American Revolution. He serves in this office until 1925 and then again in 1944 and 1946.

1930, September

Helps organize the Utah Pioneer Trails and Landmarks Association to locate and mark Church historic sites. He is elected as the organization’s first president.

1933, July 27

Becomes president of the Society for the Aid of the Sightless in Utah.

1934, May 31

Receives the Silver Buffalo, the highest award given by the Boy Scouts of America.


Supervises the publication of the Book of Mormon in braille.

1937, November 5

Lucy dies at the age of 68 after an extended illness.

1938, January–July

Visits the missions of the Church in the South Pacific, including stops in Hawaii, Samoa, Tonga, Tahiti, New Zealand, and Australia.

1943, July

Set apart as President of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles.

1945, May 21

Set apart as President of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

1945, September 23

Dedicates the Idaho Falls Idaho Temple.

1945, November 2

Meets with United States president Harry S Truman to discuss efforts to send aid to Europe after World War II.

1946, May

Visits members of the Church in Mexico, the first President of the Church to do so. Presents a copy of the Book of Mormon to Mexican president Manuel Ávila Camacho.

1947, July 24

Dedicates This Is the Place Monument and commemorates the centennial of the pioneers’ arrival in the Salt Lake Valley.


Church membership reaches one million.

1949, September 30– October 2

Participates in the first-ever televised broadcast of general conference.

1951, April 4

Dies in Salt Lake City, Utah, on his 81st birthday.