Grampa Bill's General Authority Pages
Heber J. Grant

1856 - 1945
  • Born 1856 Salt Lake City, Utah
  • Baptized as a child
  • Ordained a Seventy 1871 at age of fifteen!
  • Married Lucy Stringham 1877, six children; later practiced plural marriage
  • Ordained Apostle and called to the Twelve 1882
  • Opened and Presided over Japanese Mission 1901-1903
  • President of European Mission 1903-1905
  • President of the Twelve 1916-1918
  • President of the Church 1918-1945
  • Died 1945 Salt Lake City, Utah

    Heber J. Grant was the seventh President of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and the first not to have known the Prophet Joseph Smith personally. He was also the first to be born in the west and thus was not part of the Exodus from Nauvoo. Still, his birth before the completion of the Trans-Continental Railroad would solidify a claim that he was indeed a Mormon pioneer.

    Heber Jeddy Grant was born November 22, 1856, in Salt Lake City to Jedediah M. Grant and Rachel Ridgeway Ivins Grant. Although named for his father, his middle name was actually Jeddy rather than Jedediah. Heber associated from a young age with Church and territorial leaders. His father served as Brigham Young's counselor in the First Presidency and as mayor of the city, and his mother enjoyed the society of the leading women of the LDS community. His father, however died when Heber was only nine days old. His mother refused to accept aid from the Church and the family moved to a "widow's hut" and took in boarders to make expenses.

    This poverty, perhaps, set a pattern in young Heber's life. From an early age he was an entrepreneur and eventually became an astute businessman. Indeed, he perceived a conflict between his business acumen and his spiritual calling when called to the Twelve. He experienced an epiphany in which the Lord convinced him that his was a talent which the Church could use.

    Heber J. Grant practiced plural marriage, the last of the presidents of the Church to do so. He took as his first wife Lucy Stringham on November 1, 1877. She bore him six children. Later he was married to Hulda Augusta Winters May 26, 1884. The Ancestral File does not list any children from this union. The very next day on May 27, 1884, Elder Grant took his third wife Emily Harris Wells. Five children are listed from this union. Though a godless federal government forced the dissolution of the latter two marriages, surely they will be one family in the eternities.

    Heber was ordained a Seventy in 1871 at the tender age of fifteen and was called as President of the Tooele Stake when only twenty-three. He was ordained an Apostle in 1882. He was privileged to open the Japanese Mission in 1901 and served as its president until 1903 when he returned home but was almost immediately sent to preside over the European Mission.

    Heber J. Grant became President of the Twelve in 1916 and succeeded Joseph F. Smith as President of the Church in 1918. During his administration, he was privileged to dedicate three temples, and to organize the welfare program. It would prove to be a blessing to all of Europe following World War II.

    President Heber J. Grant died in 1945 in Salt Lake City, Utah.

   LDS Biographical Encyclopedia, Andrew Jenson, Vol. 1, p.147
   LDS Biographical Encyclopedia, Andrew Jenson, Vol. 3, p.746
   Encyclopedia of Mormonism, Vol.4, Appendix 1
   Prophets and Apostles of the Last Dispensation, Lawrence R. Flake, p. 67
   2005 Church Almanac, p.54

Selected Discourses
Being Faithful Latter-day Saints
Note: Although he was called to the Twelve and ordained an Apostle in 1882, it is 1887 before Grampa Bill is able to find a discourse by Elder Heber J. Grant... and this is only a few very short remarks delivered at the Funeral of President John Taylor.
Funeral of President John Taylor
29 July 1887
Laying Up God's Blessings
Note: This is the earliest General Conference talk that Grampa Bill has been able to locate for Elder Heber J. Grant. In it he refers to his youth compared to the other General Authorities.
General Conference, 9 October 1887
Progress Depends on Obedience
Note: Although this is Elder Grant's first General Conference talk in the then new Twentieth Century, he makes no mention of the fact.
General Conference, 7 April 1900
A Pledge of Faithful Service
Note: This is President Grant's address to the 89th Annual General Conference, following the Solemn Assembly in which he was sustained as President of the Church.
General Conference, 1 June 1919
The Idler Shall Not Have Place in the Church
Note: In 1937, War Clouds were gathering over Europe and the world was in the depths of the Great Depression. That year, President Heber J. Grant toured the Missions of Europe and instituted the Church Security Program (later called the Church Welfare Program). In this discourse, delivered to the 118th Semi-Annual Conference, President Grant delivers a report of his visit to Europe and declaims the curse of idleness and its twin sister, the dole. And while he was on a roll, he railed against violators of the Word of Wisdom.
General Conference, 1 October 1937
Path of Duty
Note: The year 1945 brought much joy and much sorrow to the Saints. It would bring Victory in Europe in May, and then three months later Victory in the Pacific, the end of World War II. But in April, there was still fighting and our young men were still dying. 1945 would also bring the death of the much beloved Heber J. Grant, but on 6 April he was still alive, and although too ill to attend the 115th Annual General Conference, he prepared this address which was delivered by Joseph Anderson, Clerk of the Conference. An interesting sidebar: in compliance with government regulations and requests based on wartime security measures, attendence at the Conference was limited to about 2,000 instead of the more usual 15,000.
General Conference, 6 April 1945

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