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.