Chronology of the First Presidency (LDS Church)

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What follows is a chronological table that sets out the changes in the composition of the First Presidency of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS Church) through time.[1]

Date range President of the Church
(and Assistant Presidents)
First Counselor Second Counselor Other Counselors
(3C = Third Counselor)
C = Counselor
AC = Assistant Counselor)
Change from previous organization
8 March 1832 –
3 December 1832
Joseph Smith, Jr.
Jesse Gause[2]
Rigdon.gif
Sidney Rigdon[2]
Initial organization of First Presidency[2]
3 December 1832 –
18 March 1833
Jesse Gause excommunicated
18 March 1833 –
5 December 1834
Rigdon.gif
Sidney Rigdon
Frederick G. Williams.jpg
Frederick G. Williams
Sidney Rigdon called as First Counselor; Frederick G. Williams called as Second Counselor
5 December 1834 –
3 September 1837
Joseph Smith, Jr.
(Oliver Cowdery)
Oliver Cowdery called as Assistant President of the Church
3 September 1837 –
7 November 1837
Oliver Cowdery (AC)
Hyrum Smith (AC)
John Smith (AC)
Joseph Smith, Sr. (AC)
Hyrum Smith, John Smith and Joseph Smith, Sr. called as Assistant Counselors; Oliver Cowdery also given the title of Assistant Counselor
7 November 1837 –
11 April 1838
Hyrum Smith ca 1880-1920.png
Hyrum Smith
Oliver Cowdery (AC)
Joseph Smith, Sr. (AC)
John Smith (AC)
Frederick G. Williams rejected as Second Counselor at church conference; Hyrum Smith called as Second Counselor
11 April 1838 –
14 September 1840
Joseph Smith, Jr.
Joseph Smith, Sr. (AC)
John Smith (AC)
Oliver Cowdery excommunicated
14 September 1840 –
24 January 1841
John Smith (AC)
Death of Joseph Smith, Sr.
24 January 1841 –
8 April 1841
Joseph Smith, Jr.
(Hyrum Smith)
William-law-pic.jpg
William Law
Hyrum Smith called as Assistant President of the Church; William Law replaces Hyrum Smith as Second Counselor
8 April 1841 –
25 May 1842
Joseph Smith, Jr.
(Hyrum Smith)
(John C. Bennett)[3]
John C. Bennett called as Assistant President[3]
25 May 1842 –
4 February 1843
Joseph Smith, Jr.
(Hyrum Smith)
John C. Bennett disfellowshipped
4 February 1843 –
18 April 1844
John Smith (AC)
Amasa Lyman (C)
Amasa Lyman called as Counselor
18 April 1844 –
27 June 1844
Apostasy of William Law
27 June 1844 –
27 December 1847
No organized First Presidency: Death of Joseph Smith, Jr. and Hyrum Smith; dissolution of First Presidency
27 December 1847 –
11 March 1854
Brigham Young by Charles William Carter.jpg
Brigham Young
Heber Chase Kimball-2.png
Heber C. Kimball
Willardrichards.gif
Willard Richards
First Presidency reorganized after deaths of Joseph Smith, Jr. and Hyrum Smith
11 March 1854 –
7 April 1854
Death of Willard Richards
7 April 1854 –
1 December 1856
Jedediahmgrant.gif
Jedediah M. Grant
Jedediah M. Grant called as Second Counselor
1 December 1856 –
4 January 1857
Death of Jedediah M. Grant
4 January 1857 –
1 July 1866
Daniel H. Wells2.jpg
Daniel H. Wells
Daniel H. Wells called as Second Counselor
1 July 1866 –
22 June 1868
Joseph F. Smith (C)
Joseph F. Smith called as Counselor
22 June 1868 –
7 October 1868
Death of Heber C. Kimball
7 October 1868 –
8 April 1873
GeorgeAlbertSmith.jpg
George A. Smith
George A. Smith called as First Counselor
8 April 1873 –
9 May 1874
Joseph F. Smith (C)
John Willard Young (C)
George Q. Cannon (C)
Brigham Young, Jr. (C)
Lorenzo Snow (C)
Albert Carrington (C)
John Willard Young, George Q. Cannon, Brigham Young, Jr., Lorenzo Snow, and Albert Carrington called as Counselors
9 May 1874 –
1 September 1875
Joseph F. Smith (C)
John Willard Young (AC)
George Q. Cannon (AC)
Brigham Young, Jr. (AC)
Lorenzo Snow (AC)
Albert Carrington (AC)
Titles of all additional counselors (except Joseph F. Smith) changed from Counselor to Assistant Counselor
1 September 1875 –
8 October 1876
Joseph F. Smith (C)
John Willard Young (AC)
George Q. Cannon (AC)
Brigham Young, Jr. (AC)
Lorenzo Snow (AC)
Albert Carrington (AC)
Death of George A. Smith
8 October 1876 –
29 August 1877
John Willard Young.jpg
John Willard Young
Joseph F. Smith (C)
George Q. Cannon (AC)
Brigham Young, Jr. (AC)
Lorenzo Snow (AC)
Albert Carrington (AC)
John Willard Young called as First Counselor
29 August 1877 –
10 October 1880
No organized First Presidency; Death of Brigham Young; dissolution of First Presidency
10 October 1880 –
25 July 1887
John Taylor seated in chair.jpg
John Taylor
George Q. Cannon - Brady-Handy.jpg
George Q. Cannon
JFS First Presidency 1905 large.jpg
Joseph F. Smith
First Presidency reorganized after death of Brigham Young
25 July 1887 –
7 April 1889
No organized First Presidency; Death of John Taylor; dissolution of First Presidency
7 April 1889 –
2 September 1898
Wilford Woodruff 1889.jpg
Wilford Woodruff
George Q. Cannon - Brady-Handy.jpg
George Q. Cannon
JFS First Presidency 1905 large.jpg
Joseph F. Smith
First Presidency reorganized after death of John Taylor
2 September 1898 –
13 September 1898
No organized First Presidency; Death of Wilford Woodruff; dissolution of First Presidency
13 September 1898 –
21 April 1901
Lorenzosnow.jpg
Lorenzo Snow
George Q. Cannon - Brady-Handy.jpg
George Q. Cannon
JFS First Presidency 1905 large.jpg
Joseph F. Smith
First Presidency reorganized after death of Wilford Woodruff
21 April 1901 –
6 October 1901
Death of George Q. Cannon
6 October 1901 –
10 October 1901
JFS First Presidency 1905 large.jpg
Joseph F. Smith
Rudgerclawson.gif
Rudger Clawson
Joseph F. Smith called as First Counselor; Rudger Clawson called as Second Counselor.
NOTE: These counselors were sustained but not set apart due to the death of Snow 4 days later
10 October 1901 –
17 October 1901
No organized First Presidency; Death of Lorenzo Snow; dissolution of First Presidency
17 October 1901 –
27 March 1910
JFS First Presidency 1905 large.jpg
Joseph F. Smith
John R. Winder.jpg
John R. Winder
Anthon H. Lund.jpg
Anthon H. Lund
Reorganization of First Presidency after death of Lorenzo Snow
27 March 1910 –
7 April 1910
Death of John R. Winder
7 April 1910 –
13 October 1911
Anthon H. Lund.jpg
Anthon H. Lund
John Henry Smith.jpg
John Henry Smith
Anthon H. Lund called as First Counselor; John Henry Smith called as Second Counselor
13 October 1911 –
7 December 1911
Death of John Henry Smith
7 December 1911 –
19 November 1918
Charleswpenrose.gif
Charles W. Penrose
Charles W. Penrose called as Second Counselor
19 November 1918 –
23 November 1918
No organized First Presidency; Death of Joseph F. Smith; dissolution of First Presidency
23 November 1918 –
2 March 1921
Heber J Grant.jpg
Heber J. Grant
Anthon H. Lund.jpg
Anthon H. Lund
Charleswpenrose.gif
Charles W. Penrose
Reorganization of First Presidency after death of Joseph F. Smith
2 March 1921 –
10 March 1921
Death of Anthon H. Lund
10 March 1921 –
16 May 1925
Charleswpenrose.gif
Charles W. Penrose
Anthony W. Ivins2.jpg
Anthony W. Ivins
Charles W. Penrose called as First Counselor; Anthony W. Ivins called as Second Counselor
16 May 1925 –
28 May 1925
Death of Charles W. Penrose
28 May 1925 –
11 December 1931
Anthony W. Ivins2.jpg
Anthony W. Ivins
Charles W. Nibley 1931.JPG
Charles W. Nibley
Anthony W. Ivins called as First Counselor; Charles W. Nibley called as Second Counselor
11 December 1931 –
6 April 1933
Death of Charles W. Nibley
6 April 1933 –
23 September 1934
J. Reuben Clark2.jpg
J. Reuben Clark
J. Reuben Clark called as Second Counselor
23 September 1934 –
11 October 1934
Death of Anthony W. Ivins
11 October 1934 –
14 May 1945
J. Reuben Clark2.jpg
J. Reuben Clark
David O. McKay.jpg
David O. McKay
J. Reuben Clark called as First Counselor; David O. McKay called as Second Counselor
14 May 1945 –
21 May 1945
No organized First Presidency; Death of Heber J. Grant; dissolution of First Presidency
21 May 1945 –
4 April 1951
George Albert Smith.jpg
George Albert Smith
J. Reuben Clark2.jpg
J. Reuben Clark
David O. McKay.jpg
David O. McKay
Reorganization of First Presidency after death of Heber J. Grant
4 April 1951 –
9 April 1951
No organized First Presidency; Death of George Albert Smith; dissolution of First Presidency
9 April 1951 –
19 May 1959
David O. McKay.jpg
David O. McKay
Stephen L Richards.jpg
Stephen L Richards
J. Reuben Clark2.jpg
J. Reuben Clark
Reorganization of First Presidency after death of George Albert Smith
19 May 1959 –
12 June 1959
Death of Stephen L Richards
12 June 1959 –
22 June 1961
J. Reuben Clark2.jpg
J. Reuben Clark
Henry D. Moyle.JPG
Henry D. Moyle
J. Reuben Clark called as First Counselor; Henry D. Moyle called as Second Counselor
22 June 1961 –
6 October 1961
Hugh B. Brown.jpg
Hugh B. Brown (3C)
Hugh B. Brown called as Third Counselor
6 October 1961 –
12 October 1961
Death of J. Reuben Clark
12 October 1961 –
18 September 1963
Henry D. Moyle.JPG
Henry D. Moyle
Hugh B. Brown.jpg
Hugh B. Brown
Henry D. Moyle called as First Counselor; Hugh B. Brown called as Second Counselor
18 September 1963 –
4 October 1963
Death of Henry D. Moyle
4 October 1963 –
28 October 1965
Hugh B. Brown.jpg
Hugh B. Brown
N. Eldon Tanner2.jpg
N. Eldon Tanner
Hugh B. Brown called as First Counselor; N. Eldon Tanner called as Second Counselor
28 October 1965 –
29 October 1965
Thorpe B. Isaacson (C)
Thorpe B. Isaacson called as Counselor
29 October 1965 –
6 April 1968
Thorpe B. Isaacson (C)
Joseph Fielding Smith (C)
Joseph Fielding Smith called as Counselor
6 April 1968 –
18 January 1970
Thorpe B. Isaacson (C)
Joseph Fielding Smith (C)
Alvin R. Dyer (C)
Alvin R. Dyer called as Counselor
18 January 1970 –
23 January 1970
No organized First Presidency; Death of David O. McKay; dissolution of First Presidency
23 January 1970 –
2 July 1972
Joseph Fielding Smith.jpg
Joseph Fielding Smith
Harold B. Lee2.jpg
Harold B. Lee
N. Eldon Tanner2.jpg
N. Eldon Tanner
Reorganization of First Presidency after death of David O. McKay
2 July 1972 –
7 July 1972
No organized First Presidency; Death of Joseph Fielding Smith; dissolution of First Presidency
7 July 1972 –
26 December 1973
Harold B. Lee2.jpg
Harold B. Lee
N. Eldon Tanner2.jpg
N. Eldon Tanner
Marion G. Romney2.jpg
Marion G. Romney
Reorganization of First Presidency after death of Joseph Fielding Smith
26 December 1973 –
30 December 1973
No organized First Presidency; Death of Harold B. Lee; dissolution of First Presidency
30 December 1973 –
23 July 1981
Spencer W. Kimball3.JPG
Spencer W. Kimball
N. Eldon Tanner2.jpg
N. Eldon Tanner
Marion G. Romney2.jpg
Marion G. Romney
Reorganization of First Presidency after death of Harold B. Lee
23 July 1981 –
27 November 1982
Hinckley 2007 10.png
Gordon B. Hinckley (C)
Gordon B. Hinckley called as Counselor
27 November 1982 –
2 December 1982
Death of N. Eldon Tanner
2 December 1982 –
5 November 1985
Marion G. Romney2.jpg
Marion G. Romney
Hinckley 2007 10.png
Gordon B. Hinckley
Marion G. Romney called as First Counselor; Gordon B. Hinckley called as Second Counselor
5 November 1985 –
10 November 1985
No organized First Presidency; Death of Spencer W. Kimball; dissolution of First Presidency
10 November 1985 –
30 May 1994
Ezra Taft Benson.jpg
Ezra Taft Benson
Hinckley 2007 10.png
Gordon B. Hinckley
Thomassmonson.jpg
Thomas S. Monson
Reorganization of First Presidency after death of Spencer W. Kimball
30 May 1994 –
5 June 1994
No organized First Presidency; Death of Ezra Taft Benson; dissolution of First Presidency
5 June 1994 –
3 March 1995
Howard W. Hunter.jpg
Howard W. Hunter
Hinckley 2007 10.png
Gordon B. Hinckley
Thomassmonson.jpg
Thomas S. Monson
Reorganization of First Presidency after death of Ezra Taft Benson
3 March 1995 –
12 March 1995
No organized First Presidency; Death of Howard W. Hunter; dissolution of First Presidency
12 March 1995 –
10 August 2007
Hinckley 2007 10.png
Gordon B. Hinckley
Thomassmonson.jpg
Thomas S. Monson
James E. Faust2.jpg
James E. Faust
Reorganization of First Presidency after death of Howard W. Hunter
10 August 2007 –
6 October 2007
Death of James E. Faust[4]
6 October 2007 –
27 January 2008
Henry B. Eyring.jpg
Henry B. Eyring
Henry B. Eyring called as Second Counselor
27 January 2008 –
3 February 2008
No organized First Presidency; Death of Gordon B. Hinckley; dissolution of First Presidency
3 February 2008 –
Thomassmonson.jpg
Thomas S. Monson
Henry B. Eyring.jpg
Henry B. Eyring
Dieter F. Uchtdorf3.jpg
Dieter F. Uchtdorf
Reorganization of First Presidency after death of Gordon B. Hinckley[5]

See also[edit]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ For purposes of this chart, the First Presidency of the LDS Church is assumed to be a continuation of the First Presidency established by Joseph Smith in 1832.
  2. ^ a b c Gause and Rigdon were never formally designated as "first" and "second" counselor. However, one researcher has provided several pieces of circumstantial evidence which suggest that Gause could be regarded in today's terms as Smith's "first" counselor. See Quinn, D. Michael (1983). "Jesse Gause: Joseph's Smith's Little Known Counselor". BYU Studies 23 (4): 487–493 at 489–490. 
  3. ^ a b Smith appointed Bennett to serve "as Assistant President until President [Sidney] Rigdon's health should be restored.": History of the Church, 4:341. However, since Rigdon was a member of the First Presidency but not the Assistant President, many have speculated that Bennett's intended role was as a fill-in for Rigdon as a counselor in the First Presidency. Unlike both Oliver Cowdery and Hyrum Smith, Bennett was not ordained to the priesthood office of apostle and he was not given all of the keys of the priesthood. Therefore, it appears that Bennett's status as "Assistant President" may not have been commensurate with the position held by Cowdery and Hyrum Smith.
  4. ^ "President James E. Faust dies at age 87". Deseret Morning News. 2007-08-10. Retrieved 2007-08-10. 
  5. ^ "LDS President Gordon B. Hinckley dies at age 97". Deseret Morning News. 2008-01-27. Retrieved 2008-01-27.