Grampa Bill's General Authority Pages
Douglas H. Smith Douglas H. (Hill) Smith

1921 - 2009

  • Born 1921 Salt Lake City, Utah
  • Baptized as a child; Aaronic Priesthood as a youth; Melchizedek Priesthood as a young man
  • Married Barbara Bradshaw 1941; seven children
  • Elders Quorum President, Bishop, Stake President, Regional Representative, Temple Sealer
  • First Quorum of Seventy 1987-1989
  • Second Quorum of Seventy 1989-1992
  • Honorably released from Second Quorum 1992
  • Died January 2009

    The following biographical sketch is adapted from the "News of the Church: Elder Douglas H. Smith of the First Quorum of the Seventy" published in the Ensign for May 1987 on the occasion of Elder Smith's call to the First Quorum of the Seventy.
    When President Spencer W. Kimball called Barbara B. Smith to serve as general president of the Relief Society in October 1974, he turned to her husband and asked: “Will you be able to support your wife in this assignment?”

    Douglas H. Smith replied, “Yes. She has supported me for over thirty years in the positions I’ve held, and I’ll certainly be happy to support her.” And he did.

    With his recent call to the First Quorum of the Seventy, Elder Smith, sixty-five, now has need of his family’s support. And there is no doubt that he has it.

    Ready support for family members seems to come naturally to the Smiths. All seven children now have families of their own, but they still live near each other and Elder Smith calls them almost every day. They have frequent family dinners. The monthly Smith Family News, including articles from each family, is “a wonderful way to keep in touch and to keep a history of what’s happening in the family,” Sister Smith says. Every summer they get together for a two- to three-day activity. And for the past five years, they’ve held an annual family conference for everyone twelve and older.

    Support is extended to others as well. Elder Smith had lunch with his mother once a week as long as she lived. And for years the Smiths have had someone living with them: her father, her aunt (who lived with them for twenty years until she was in her nineties), a boy from Taiwan, a girl from South Africa, and several others needing a place to live for an extended period of time.

    Douglas H. Smith was born 11 May 1921 in Salt Lake City to Virgil H. and Winifred Pearl Hill Smith. “Our lives were built around the Church,” he says, “And I’ve always had a strong testimony.” The closest he came to choosing another path came one Sunday when, as a deacon, he felt baseball’s beckoning call and decided to skip Sunday School. Sitting in the bleachers at the ball park, he heard a voice next to him:

    “Great game, isn’t it?”

    When he turned to reply, he was stunned to find his dad sitting there; the father had missed his son at church and had come to find him.

    Elder Smith is well known in his family for his motto: “Choose you this day whom ye will serve; … but as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord” (Josh. 24:15). After marriage in the temple in 1941, he became an Aaronic Priesthood adviser, then elders quorum president, bishop’s counselor, and bishop. Later he served as high councilor, stake president’s counselor, stake president, and regional representative. Most recently he has served as a temple sealer and, with his wife, has team-taught the Gospel Doctrine class.

    The day after graduating from the University of Utah in 1942, he got a job at Utah Home Fire Insurance Company. Sixteen years later, he was president of the company. And after another fourteen years, in 1972, he also became president of Beneficial Life Insurance Company, a position his father had held. He has also served as executive vice-president and general manager of Deseret Management Corporation and as chairman or member of the board of several other banking and insurance organizations. Active in community circles as well, he served for over nine years as chairman of the Salt Lake LDS Hospital Board and has also served with such organizations as Freedom Foundation of Valley Forge, American Cancer Society, and Boy Scouts of America.

    “When President [Ezra Taft] Benson called me,” says Elder Smith, “I told him that a long time ago we made commitments to the Lord and we intend to keep them. Now we’re simply being asked if we meant it. The answer is yes.”

    Elder Smith seved but two years of his five-year call in the First Council of the Seventy. On April 1, 1989, he was called into the newly organized Second Quorum of the Seventy where he faithfully completed the remainder of his calling. Elder Douglas Hill Smith was honorably released October 3, 1992.

    Elder Douglas Hill Smith, who served in the Quorums of the Seventy from 1987 to 1992, passed away at home January 29, 2009. He served in many capacities within the Church and was involved in many businesses in Utah

    "News of the Church: Elder Douglas H. Smith...," Ensign May 1987 (principal source)
    “The Sustaining of Church Officers,” Ensign, May 1989, p.17
    “The Sustaining of Church Officers,” Ensign, Nov. 1992, p.20
    2005 Church Almanac, 84

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