Teachings of Presidents
Historical Summary

“Historical Summary,” Teachings of Presidents of the Church: Joseph F. Smith (2011), viii–x

“Historical Summary,” Teachings: Joseph F. Smith, viii–x

Historical Summary

This book is not a history, but rather a compilation of gospel principles as taught by President Joseph F. Smith. However, in order to put the teachings in a historical framework, the following list is provided to summarize some of the milestones in his life that have most immediate relationship to his teachings. This summary omits some important events in his personal life, including his marriages (plural marriage was being practiced in the Church at that time) and the births and deaths of his children, to whom he was devoted.

1800, February 9:

Hyrum Smith, Joseph F. Smith’s father, born in Tunbridge, Vermont.

1801, July 21:

Mary Fielding, his mother, born in Honidon, England.

1837, December 24:

Marriage of Hyrum Smith and Mary Fielding, Kirtland, Ohio.

1838, November 13:

Joseph F. Smith born in Far West, Missouri.

1844, June 27:

Joseph and Hyrum Smith martyred, Carthage Jail (5; numbers in parentheses show Joseph F. Smith’s age).

1846, September– September 1848:

Mary Fielding Smith family treks from Nauvoo to Salt Lake City (7–9).

1852, May 21:

Joseph F. Smith baptized by President Heber C. Kimball (13).

1852, September 21:

Mary Fielding Smith dies in Salt Lake City (13).


Serves mission to Sandwich Islands (Hawaii) (15–19).


Serves mission to Great Britain (21–24).


Special mission to Hawaii with Elders Ezra T. Benson and Lorenzo Snow (25–26).


Member of territorial legislature; also 1867–70, 1872, 1874, 1880, 1882.

1866, July 1:

Ordained an Apostle and Counselor to the First Presidency (27).

1867, October 8:

Set apart as a member of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles (28).

1874–1875, 1877:

Two terms as president of the European Mission (35–36, 38).

1877, August 29:

Death of President Brigham Young, Salt Lake City (38).

1880, October 10:

Sustained as Second Counselor to President John Taylor (41).

1887, July 25:

Death of President John Taylor, Kaysville, Utah (48).

1889, April 7:

Sustained as Second Counselor to President Wilford Woodruff (50).

1890, September 24; October 6:

Manifesto received; Official Declaration 1 accepted by the Church (51).

1893, April 6:

Dedication of the Salt Lake Temple by President Wilford Woodruff (54).

1898, September 2:

President Wilford Woodruff dies, San Francisco, California (59).

1898, September 13:

Sustained Second Counselor to President Lorenzo Snow (59).

1901, October 10:

Death of President Lorenzo Snow, Salt Lake City (62).

1901, October 17:

Ordained and set apart as President of the Church (62).

1901, November 10:

Sustained as President of the Church in a special conference (62).

1906, July–September:

First President of the Church to tour Europe during his administration (67).

1909, November:

First Presidency issues the doctrinal exposition “The Origin of Man” (70).


YMMIA adopts the Boy Scout program, named MIA Scouts (72).


Granite Seminary in Salt Lake City houses first released-time classes.


YWMIA adopts the Campfire Girls summer program; 1914, replaced with year-round Beehive Girls program (74).

1913, July 27:

Dedicates the site for the Alberta Temple (74).

1915, April 27:

The First Presidency urges members to hold regular home evenings (76).

1915, June 1:

Dedicates the site for the Hawaii Temple (76).

1916, June 30:

First Presidency and the Twelve issue the doctrinal exposition “The Father and the Son” (77).

1918, October 3:

Receives the Vision of the Redemption of the Dead, which became Doctrine and Covenants 138 (79).

1918, November 19:

Dies in the Beehive House, Salt Lake City (80).


End-of-year statistics: 495,962 members; 75 stakes; 839 wards; 22 missions.