When it was announced that U.S. Senator Reed Smoot could not make his speaking engagement, people were disappointed at first, but soon forgot the Senator when they were wowed by the replacement speaker. Who replaced the Senator?
a. Thomas S. Monson
b. Gordon B. Hinckley
c. David O. McKay
d. LeGrand Richards
When Joseph Fielding Smith became president of the Church on 23 January 1970, some members wondered why the Lord chose him to be president of the Church; why at ninety-three years of age were the burdens of the kingdom placed on his shoulders? There were many answers to this question. An article in the Church Section of the Deseret News stated: “In preserving President Smith to succeed his illustrious predecessor, President David O. McKay, the Lord maintains an invaluable bridge over the generations, still holding us close to the Prophet Joseph Smith and the fundamentals of our divinely founded faith. . . President Smith’s own father knew the Prophet well, as a boy, and he knew the Prophet’s family too. President Smith’s father, who lived through the martyrdom in which he lost his own father, the Patriarch, bore constant testimony to Joseph Fielding Smith concerning the reality of the work.”
President Harold B. Lee gave his testimony of the Lord’s will in the calling of so old a man to hold this most demanding office: “[The Lord] knows whom he wants to preside over this church, and he will make no mistake. The Lord doesn’t do things by accident. He has never done anything accidentally.”
The Lord purposely spared the life of Joseph Fielding Smith, who outlived fifteen of the apostles called after him and was in the Quorum of the Twelve longer than any man in this dispensation, having been ordained on 7 April 1910. The Lord preserved him so that for two and a half years he could preside over the Church, lending to those Saints his tremendous understanding of Church doctrine and knowledge of the scriptures, his orthodoxy, and his uncompromising commitment to revealed truth.
Flake, Lawrence R., Prophets and Apostles of the Last Dispensation, (Provo, Utah: Religious Study Center, Brigham Young University, 2001), 95-96.