Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Eldred G Smith

Eldred G Smith was the last functioning Presiding Patriarch of the Church and as such was a direct descendant of Hyrum, the brother of the prophet Joseph.

While at BYU one Sunday evening I went to a fireside where Elder Smith was the speaker. I was fascinated by all that he knew and by the things he talked about that I had never even read about. Of course as a relatively new convert (this was after my mission, so I had been a member for about 4 years), all this stuff that everyone else had grown up with was intriguing.

I remember he was talking about the box that Joseph had commissioned to keep the plates in and safe while he was translating them. Joseph described it as being a wooden box, or chest, with a lid and a lock.

Then Eldred Smith reached down under the podium, brought something out and put it down in front of him and declared "This is the box".

I was so moved by the experience that I have never forgotten it. I even went up afterwards so that I could see it. It was plain and worn with age. And it had held the golden plates.


Jonathan Felt said...

In 1993 I journeyed to Keene, NH after having met Elder Smith at a wedding. I was on my mission when he was put into "emeritus" status by President Kimball and that's all I knew. When I saw him at the wedding I asked how his retirement from the church was going and he informed me he was not retired and was no emeritus. fascination and respect for him grew from that time. While in Keene I arranged for Elder Smith and Sister Smith to come out to present their fireside to the membership there. He and I were both thrilled because we were doing the fireside in the same place Lucy Smith was born (Gilsum, NH is only about 4 miles from the that chapel). As I greeted him at the airport with our Bishop he handed me the box to carry. When I visit him from time to time in the Joseph Smith Memorial Building on the 2nd floor the directory sign placard says, "Church Patriarch."

motherof8 said...