Heber J. Grant
|Heber J. Grant|
|7th President of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints|
|November 23, 1918– May 14, 1945|
|Predecessor||Joseph F. Smith|
|Successor||George Albert Smith|
|President of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles|
|November 18, 1916– November 23, 1918|
|End reason||Became President of the Church|
|Quorum of the Twelve Apostles|
|October 16, 1882– November 23, 1918|
|Called by||John Taylor|
|End reason||Became President of the Church|
|LDS Church Apostle|
|October 16, 1882– May 14, 1945|
|Called by||John Taylor|
|Reason||Reorganization of First Presidency and the death of Orson Pratt|
|Reorganization at end of term||Matthew Cowley ordained|
|Born||Heber Jeddy Grant
November 22, 1856
Salt Lake City, Utah Territory, United States
|Died||May 14, 1945
Salt Lake City, Utah, United States
|Resting place||Salt Lake City Cemetery
Hulda Augusta Winters
Emily Harris Wells
Heber Jeddy Grant (November 22, 1856 – May 14, 1945) was the seventh president of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS Church). He was ordained an apostle on October 16, 1882, the same day as George Teasdale. Grant served as church president from November 23, 1918 until his death in 1945, which makes him the longest-serving church president during the twentieth century.
Early life 
Grant was born in Salt Lake City, Utah Territory, the son of Rachel Ridgeway (née Ivins) and Jedediah Morgan Grant. Jedediah was a counselor in the First Presidency to Brigham Young. Rachel was a native of New Jersey where she had converted to the LDS Church at about age 20. Her cousin and later brother-in-law (he married her older sister Anna), Israel Ivins, was the first person baptized a Latter-day Saint in New Jersey.
Jedediah Grant died when Heber was nine days old. After Jedediah's death, Rachel married Jedediah's brother George Grant, but he fell into alcoholism so she divorced him. Rachel became the dominant influence in Heber's life. Rachel served for many years as president of the 13th Ward Relief Society in downtown Salt Lake City.
Heber J. Grant was known for his determination in achieving goals seemingly beyond his reach. As a child, he desired to join the baseball team that would win the Utah Territorial championship, although others believed him to be too physically awkward to be a successful baseball player. In response, he purchased a baseball and practiced throwing the ball against his barn until he developed his skill sufficiently to join the baseball team that would win the Utah Territorial championship.
There were not any free public schools in Salt Lake City when Grant was a child, but his mother managed to keep him enrolled in various schools as he was growing up.
In similar fashion, he expressed a desire to be a successful bookkeeper, although many of his associates criticized his penmanship. He likewise practiced his penmanship until such a point where he was invited to teach penmanship at one of the local academies.
Business activities 
After working as a bookkeeper for people in the insurance business in 1877 Grant became an assistant cashier with Zion's Savings Bank. Shortly after that he opened an insurance busines with Nephi Clayton. Later he was a partner with D. W. Jennings. He later founded an additional insurance agency in Ogden and for a time owned the Ogden Vinegar Works.
Grant continued to be involved in business activities after his call as an apostle. He founded many new businesses including a bank. He was a founder of the Utah Sugar Company and also the main founder of the Salt Lake Theatre.
Grant lost a large amount of money in the panic of 1893 and never personally recovered from its adverse financial effects. He was also the main person who negotiated new financing to the LDS Church in New York at that time that kept the church going until Lorenzo Snow's late-1890s call for tithing got the church in a better financial situation.
Church service 
Grant was made a block teacher, similar to the modern position of home teacher, while a youth which was rare at the time. He was ordained a Seventy at age 15, which was also rare at the time.
In June 1875 when the first Young Men's Mutual Inprovement Association (YMMIA) was organized in the Salt Lake 13th Ward, Grant who was then 19, was called to serve as a counselor to Junius F. Wells in the presidency of this organization.
In 1880 Grant was made president of the Tooele Utah Stake, moving there with his wife Lucy and their children. About this time Lucy's illness began. In 1882 Grant was called as a member of the Quorum of the Twelve. Early on in his service in the quorum he made many trips to Arizona earning the title "The Arizona Aposle". Grant twice served missions among the Yaqui in Mexico.
His early church assignments included service on the Church Salary Committee and the Sunday School General Board. Grant was made Second Assistant in the Superintendency of the General YMMIA in 1898. When Joseph F. Smith became president of the church, and also simultaneously head of the YMMIA, Grant was made First Assistant, serving in this postion until he became church president.
In 1901, Grant was sent to Japan to open the church's Japanese Mission and he served as its president until 1903 when he returned home but was almost immediately sent to preside over the British and European missions of the church. He returned from the British mission in 1905.
Grant succeeded Joseph F. Smith as president of the LDS Church in November 1918. However, he was not sustained in the position by the general church membership until June 1919, due to the influenza pandemic of 1918 forcing a delay of the church's traditional springtime general conference.
During his tenure as church president, Grant enforced the 1890 Manifesto outlawing plural marriage and gave guidance as the church's social structure evolved away from its early days of plural marriage-based families. In 1927, he authorized the implementation of the church's "Good Neighbor" policy, which was intended to reduce antagonism between Latter-day Saints and the United States government. Grant dedicated the first temples outside of Utah since before Utah was established as the church headquaters. The first was the Laie Hawaii Temple, followed by the Cardston Alberta Temple (the first outside the United States), and the Mesa Arizona Temple. The church also began the Idaho Falls Idaho Temple, though it was not completed until after his death.
Also under Grant the first stakes outside the intermountain west were organized. The first stake in Los Angeles was organized in the 1920s. He still operated on old methods, such as personally asking LeGrand Richards to move to California with the intention of calling him as a stake president there. Grant also personally negotiated the purchase of the land where the Los Angeles California Temple would be built.
In the 1930s stakes were organized in New York and Chicago, and in the 1940s in Portland, Oregon and Washington D.C. Grant presided at the dedication of an LDS Chapel in Washington D.C. in 1933 which was seen to mark a new phase in the church expanding thoughout the nation.
In 1935, Grant excommunicated members of the church in Short Creek, Arizona that refused to sign the loyalty pledge to the church that included a renunciation of plural marriage. The renunciation action signaled the formal beginning of the Mormon fundamentalist movement, and some of the excommunicated members went on to found the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints.
One of Grant's greatest legacies as president is the welfare program of the LDS Church, which he instituted in 1936. He said, "our primary purpose was to set up, insofar as it might be possible, a system under which the curse of idleness would be done away with, the evils of a dole abolished, and independence, industry, thrift and self-respect be once more established amongst our people. The aim of the Church is to help the people help themselves." His administration also emphasized the practice of the LDS health code known as the Word of Wisdom. Until Grant's administration, adherence to the health code was not compulsory for advancement in the priesthood or for entrance to temples. (Allen and Leonard, p. 524) Grant also placed strong emphasis on the importance of sacrament meeting attendance, and oversaw expansion of the seminary program and the creation of the institute of religion.
Also under Grant's administation the position of Assistant to the Quorum of the Twelve was created.
Grant died in Salt Lake City, Utah from cardiac failure as a result of arteriosclerosis. As the final surviving member of the church's Council of Fifty, his death marked the formal end of the organization. Grant was buried at Salt Lake City Cemetery.
Grant was a very strong supporter of Prohibition.
Grant was the last LDS Church president to practice plural marriage. He married a first time in 1877 and then twice more in 1884. By the time he became church president only one of his wives, Augusta, was still alive.
Lucy Stringham 
Grant married Lucy Stringham (1858–1893) on November 1, 1877. She was a daughter of Briant Stringham, one of those who came to Utah with Brigham Young in 1847. Briant Stringham also served as a probate judge in Cache County, Utah and was a noted stock raiser in early Utah who for a time had the assignment to oversee the animals that had been given to the LDS Church as tithing. He also served as a counselor to Edwin D. Woolley in the bishopric of the 13th Ward.
Lucy had been closely associated with Heber essentially from her birth, and they attended Mary Cook's school together. Like Grant, she was a member of the 13th Ward. It was not until Grant broke off his courtship with Emily H. Wells (see below) that he started actively courting Lucy. Lucy was however initially reticent to fully accept Heber's advances, seeing herself as just a temporary replacement for Emily, but after he regularly walked her home from church services for several weeks without being invited into the Stringham home, she gave up and invited him in, with them marrying only a few months later. For a time Lucy was a school teacher.
Heber felt very close to Lucy and on an early assignment as a member of the Quorum of the Twelve in Arizona, traveling with Brigham Young, Jr., the later was surprised at how many letters to Heber wrote to Lucy.
Lucy and Heber would become the parents of six children. Heber praised Lucy's "business foresight and judgment" and credited her with much of his business success. She died in 1893, after a long illness during which he gave constant, tender devotion to her, as he had throughout their marriage.
Augusta Winters 
Grant married Hulda Augusta Winters (1856–1952) on May 26, 1884. She was for a time a school teacher. She was said to be the ablest school teacher in Utah Territory. In the late 1880s Augusta took up residence in New York City to try and prevent Heber's arrest on polygamy charges. Augusta bore him one daughter. She accompanied Grant to Japan when Grant was sent to open the Japanese Mission in 1901. August would often travel with Heber when he was president of the church, especially when he went to address non-Mormon audiences. She died in 1952.
Emily H. Wells 
Grant married Emily Harris Wells (1857–1908) on May 27, 1884. She was a daughter of Daniel H. Wells.
Emily and Grant were five months apart in age and from Emily's birth she had been Grant's next-door neighbor. They were among the most prominent young orators in Salt Lake society in the 1870s, both connected with the "Wasatch Literary Association", and Grant was a counselor to Emily's brother in the 13th Ward YMMIA presidency. The marriage of Heber and Emily was expected by all who knew them. However, Emily then announced publicly her opposition to polygamy. This caused a falling-out between Grant and Emily.
Emily was a full-sister of Briant H. Wells, who was Major General in the United States Army. Another of her brothers, Heber M. Wells, later the first governor of the state of Utah, stayed with her for part of the time of her exile in Manassa.
Emily attended the University of Deseret. For a time she was a school teacher. In 1883, Grant asked Emily to marry him, which considering she had not renounced her dislike for polygamy and he was already married to Lucy was in many ways a very daring move on his part. She initially declined his requiest. Emily had a change of heart and she and Grant married on May 27, 1884. Since the Edmunds Act had been enacted in 1882, the situation of Mormon polygamists was far worse than it had been a decade earlier when Emily had first renounced polygamy. To avoid Grant having to go to prison on charges of unlawful cohabitation, Emily went to England to live at the LDS mission home to have her first child. She returned to the United States 16 months later and moved between multiple locations in Utah Territory and Idaho to avoid capture.
In 1889, to avoid being forced to testify in pending unlawful cohabitation charges against her husband, Emily went to Manassa, Colorado, where she stayed for a year-and-a-half. Grant accompanied her on the train-ride from Pueblo to Manassa, having been on a different train on the previous part of the journey to avoid arrest. Grant stayed two weeks, setting up for Emily the most comfortable house in the town, and leaving his mother to help Emily. She remained in Manssa until March 1891 when she returned to Salt Lake City.
Emily and Heber were the parents of four daughter and a son. The son, Daniel Wells Grant, died while he was still a child. Emily's last child was born in 1899 when she was 42, the same year Grant pleaded guilty to unlawful cohabitation and paid a $100 fine.
Emily accompanied Heber when he served as mission president in England, bringing her four daughters plus two of Lucy's daughters. Francis M. Lyman looked unfavorably upon this new innovation of the mission presidents wife actively serving with him. Due to having their daughters with them, the Grants relocated the mission home to a more respectable part of Liverpool.
- Grant, Heber J. (1941). Gospel Standards: Selections from the Sermons and Writings of Heber J. Grant. compiled by G. Homer Durham. Improvement Era.
- —— (1970). A Japanese Journal. compiled by Gordon A. Madsen.
- —— (2002). Teachings of Presidents of the Church: Heber J. Grant. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. LDS Church publication number 35970.
See also 
- Grant and George Teasdale were ordained apostles on the same date. After their ordinations, the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles again had twelve members.
- Ronald W. Walker. "Rachel R. Grant: The Continuing Legacy of the Feminine Ideal". in Donald Q. Cannon and David J. Whittaker, ed., Supporting Saints: The Life-Stories of Nineteenth Century Mormons (Provo, Utah: BYU Religious Studies Center, 1985) p. 17-42
- Walkter, Heber J. Grant article, Encyclopedia of Mormonism
- Francis M. Gibbons, Heber J. Grant:P Man of Steel, Prophet of God (Salt Lake City: Deseret Book, 1979), p. 27
- Walker "Heber J. Grants"
- Ensign Feb. 1976
- Ron Walker's bio of Grant in Encyclopedia of Mormonism, 70s were at the time a local priesthood office considered between that of elder and high priest. Presently there are virtually no cases where the LDS Church ordains men to the Melchizedek priesthood before age 18.
- Walker, Encyclopedia of Mormonism"
- BYU Religious Studies Center article on the Young Men Organization
- Walker, "Grant"
- LDS Church Almanac, 2010 Edition, p. 144
- "Work and Self-Reliance". Teachings of Presidents of the Church: Heber J. Grant. Retrieved 2008-03-30.
- State of Utah Death Certificate
- D. Michael Quinn, "The Council of Fifty and Its Members, 1844–1945." BYU Studies 20(2) (Winter 1980), 180.
- Ronald W. Walker bio of Heber J. Grant from Encyclopedia of Mormonism
- Gibbons, Grant, p. 32
- Gibbons, Grant, p. 32-33
- Ronald W. Walker, "Jedediah and Heber", Ensign, July 1979
- LDS women's history
- Teachings of Presidents of the Church: Heber J. Grant, p. xviii.
- Walker, "Jedediah and Heber"
- >Ronald W. Walker, "A Mormon 'Widow' in Colorado: The Exile of Emily Wells Grant", Arizona and the West Vol. 25, no. 1, p. 6
- Walker, "A Mormon 'Widow' in Colorado", p. 7
- Ronald W. Walker, "A Mormon 'Widow' in Colorado: The Exile of Emily Wells Grant", Arizona and the West Vol. 25, no. 1, p. 5
- Gibbons, Grant, p. 31
- Salt Lake Daily Tribune, 1899-09-09.
- Walker, Ronald W. (2004), "Heber J. Grant's European Mission, 1903-1906", BYU Studies (Provo) 43 (1): 264
- Millenial Star article on the death of Emily Wells Grant
- Salt Lake Telegram article on Emily's death
Further reading 
- Allen, James B.; Glen M. Leonard (1976). The Story of the Latter-day Saints. Deseret Book Company. ISBN 0-87747-594-6.
- Johnson, Sherrie Mills (January 2004). "Heber J. Grant: A Prophet for Hard Times". Ensign: 57.
- Daniel H. Ludlow, ed. (1992). Church History, Selections from the Encyclopedia of Mormonism. Deseret Book Company. ISBN 0-87579-924-8.
- Quinn, D. Michael (1980). "The Council of Fifty and Its Members, 1844 to 1945". BYU Studies 20 (2): 163–98.
Media related to Heber J. Grant at Wikimedia Commons
Joseph F. Smith
|President of the Church
November 23, 1918–May 14, 1945
George Albert Smith
Francis M. Lyman
|President of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles
November 18, 1916–November 23, 1918
Anthon H. Lund
|Quorum of the Twelve Apostles
October 16, 1882–November 23, 1918
John W. Taylor