Grampa Bill's General Authority Pages
David A. Smith David A. (Asael) Smith

1879 - 1952

  • Born 1879 Salt Lake City, Utah
  • Baptized 1887; Aaronic Priesthood as a youth; Melchizedek Priesthood as a young man
  • Married Emily Jenkins; nine children
  • Ordained High Priest 1907
  • Second Counselor to Presiding Bishop 1907-1918
  • First Counselor to Presiding Bishop 1918-1938
  • Died 1952 Salt Lake City, Utah

    This biographical sketch is adapted primarily from the two entries for Bishop Smith found in the LDS Biographical Encyclopedia. (Vol. 3, p.775 and Vol. 4, p.224)
    David Asael Smith, first counselor in the presiding bishopric of the Church, was born May 24, 1879, in Salt Lake City, Utah, the son of President Joseph F. Smith and Julina Lambson. He was baptized May 24, 1887, on his eighth birthday, and as a boy and youth he held successively the three grades of the lesser Priesthood, Deacon, Teacher and Priest. In the first and second quorums named he acted as second counselor to the president.

    Later, when he was ordained an Elder he was chosen as second counselor to the president of the sixth quorum of Elders, and still later he acted as second counselor in the presidency of the Liberty Stake Y. M. M. I. A. While residing in the Salt Lake Stake, before the division into four Stakes, in 1904, Elder Smith was a member of the Stake Sunday School Board.

    For five years he was before the public in an official capacity, two years as chief clerk and two years as chief deputy in the county clerk's office in Salt Lake City. On January 24, 1900 David A. Smith married Emily Jenkins (daughter of Bishop Thomas Jenkins and Mahala Elmer), who was born Nov. 17, 1878. This marriage was blessed with nine children, namely, David Jenkins, Mahala, Asael Jenkins, Alfred Jenkins, Edward Jenkins, Robert Jenkins, Elmer Jenkins, Hyrum Jenkins, and Louise.

    During 1900 and 1901 he was a member of the Salt Lake Stake Sunday School Board, and when the Granite Stake was organized he was sustained [p.225] as a stake supervisor of Religion Class work and later became a member of the newly organized Liberty Stake and was sustained and served as a counselor in the superintendency of the Stake Y. M. M. I A., also as a member of the Stake Sunday School Board.

    When Charles W. Nibley, in December, 1907, was chosen as presiding Bishop of the Church, David A. Smith was chosen as his second counselor, being ordained both High Priest and then Bishop under the hands of the First Presidency, Pres. Anthon H. Lund being mouth. After the death of Orrin P. Miller, Brother Smith was set apart to the position of first counselor. For a number of years he had charge of the L. D. S. Hospital, and later held the position of supervising trustee and vice president of the board of trustees. He was associated with many important business enterprises in Salt Lake City and elsewhere.

    When Bishop Sylvester Q. Cannon was called as Presiding Bishop on June 4, 1925, he re-called Bishop Smith as his first Counselor. Bishop Smith continued to serve until April 6, 1938 when Bishop Cannon was ordained an apostle

    Bishop Smith also served as a member of the general board of the Deseret Sunday School Union. Posessing a fine singing voice Bishop Smith also served as president of the Mormon Tabernacle Choir.

    Bishop Smith died April 6, 1952 at the age of 72 in Salt Lake City, Utah.

    Andrew Jenson, LDS Biographical Encyclopedia, Vol. 3, p.775
    Andrew Jenson, LDS Biographical Encyclopedia, Vol. 4, p.224
    Encyclopedia of Mormonism, Vol.4, Appendix 1
    2005 Church Almanac, p.12

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