Nathan Eldon Tanner

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Nathan Eldon Tanner
N. Eldon Tanner2.jpg
First Counselor in the First Presidency
December 30, 1973 (1973-12-30) – November 27, 1982 (1982-11-27)
Called by Spencer W. Kimball
Reason Reorganization of First Presidency
First Counselor in the First Presidency
July 7, 1972 (1972-07-07) – December 26, 1973 (1973-12-26)
Called by Harold B. Lee
Reason Reorganization of First Presidency
End reason Dissolution of First Presidency upon the death of Harold B. Lee
Second Counselor in the First Presidency
January 23, 1970 (1970-01-23) – July 2, 1972 (1972-07-02)
Called by Joseph Fielding Smith
Reason Reorganization of First Presidency
End reason Dissolution of First Presidency upon the death of Joseph Fielding Smith
Second Counselor in the First Presidency
October 4, 1963 (1963-10-04) – January 18, 1970 (1970-01-18)
Called by David O. McKay
Reason Death of George Q. Morris
End reason Dissolution of First Presidency upon the death of David O. McKay
Quorum of the Twelve Apostles
October 11, 1962 (1962-10-11) – October 4, 1963 (1963-10-04)
Called by David O. McKay
Predecessor Gordon B. Hinckley
Successor Thomas S. Monson
LDS Church Apostle
October 11, 1962 (1962-10-11) – November 27, 1982 (1982-11-27)
Called by David O. McKay
Reason Death of George Q. Morris
Reorganization
at end of term
No apostles ordained
Assistant to the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles
October 8, 1960 (1960-10-08) – October 11, 1962 (1962-10-11)
Called by David O. McKay
End reason Called to the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles
Member of the Legislative Assembly of Alberta
In office
August 22, 1935 – August 5, 1952
Constituency Cardston
Predecessor George Stringam
Successor Edgar Hinman
Speaker of the Alberta Legislative Assembly
In office
1936 – 1937
Predecessor George Johnston
Successor Peter Dawson
Minister of Lands and Mines
In office
January 5, 1937 – April 1, 1949
Predecessor Charles Ross
Premier William Aberhart and
Ernest Manning
Minister of Forestry, Lands and Wildlife
In office
April 1, 1949 – September 9, 1952
Predecessor Ivan Casey
Premier Ernest Manning
Minister of Mines and Minerals
In office
April 1, 1949 – September 9, 1952
Predecessor Ernest Manning
Premier Ernest Manning
Political party Social Credit
Personal details
Born (1898-05-09)May 9, 1898
Salt Lake City, Utah, United States
Died November 27, 1982(1982-11-27) (aged 84)
Salt Lake City, Utah, United States
Resting place Salt Lake City Cemetery
40°46′37.92″N 111°51′28.8″W / 40.7772000°N 111.858000°W / 40.7772000; -111.858000
Nationality Canada Canadian and United States American
Occupation Teacher, Politician, Religious Leader

Nathan Eldon Tanner (May 9, 1898 – November 27, 1982) was a teacher, municipal and provincial politician from the Canadian province of Alberta, and leader of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS Church). He was born in Salt Lake City, Utah, United States, but his family soon moved to Aetna outside of Cardston, Alberta, where he was raised.

Tanner served as a member of the Legislative Assembly of Alberta from 1935 to 1952 sitting with the Social Credit caucus in government. During his time in office he served as Speaker of the Legislative Assembly from 1936 to 1937 and as a cabinet minister in the governments of William Aberhart and Ernest Manning from 1937 to 1952, serving in various portfolios related to resource industries.

Early life[edit]

Tanner was born on May 9, 1898 in Salt Lake City, Utah. His family had a farmstead just south of Cardston, Alberta. He grew up in southern Alberta, attending grade school in the town of Aetna and high school at Knight Academy in Raymond and receiving some post-secondary education at Calgary Normal School.[1]

Tanner began his working life at a grocery store and butcher shop. He obtained a job teaching at a small school in Hill Spring in 1919. He met his future wife, Sara Isabelle Merrill, at the school and married her on December 20, 1919.[1]

In addition to teaching, Tanner established his own general store (which also became the local post office) to supplement his family income. The store was successful enough that he left his first teaching job in Hill Spring to run the store full-time.[1]

Tanner eventually became a high school teacher in Cardston. He got his start in the political arena serving as a councillor on Cardston Town Council.[1]

Political career[edit]

Tanner was drafted to run for a seat to the Legislative Assembly of Alberta for the first time in the 1935 Alberta general election. He ran as a Social Credit candidate in the electoral district of Cardston. He won the three-way race, easily defeating incumbent United Farmers MLA George Stringam.[2]

After the election, and despite his complete lack of parliamentary experience, Tanner was chosen to be Speaker of the Alberta Legislature when the first session of the 8th Alberta Legislative Assembly began. He filled that role until 1937 when he was appointed as a cabinet minister.[3]

Premier William Aberhart appointed Tanner to the Executive Council of Alberta (cabinet) as the Minister of Lands and Mines on January 5, 1937. He ran for a second term in office in the 1940 Alberta general election with ministerial advantage. Tanner barely kept his seat, winning a hotly contested two-way race against Independent candidate S.H. Nelson.[4]

Tanner ran for a third term in office in the 1944 Alberta general election. He faced a three-way race and won easily despite his popular vote dropping slightly from the previous election. The popular vote of the opposition candidates collapsed.[5]

The 1948 Alberta general election would see Tanner run for his fourth term in office. He easily won a two-way race over Liberal candidate Briant Stringam to hold his seat.[6]

A year after the 1948 election, Premier Manning changed Tanner's ministerial portfolio. Lands and Mines was changed to Lands and Forests and he was also given the Mines and Minerals portfolio. He served in both of those ministries until his retirement from the Legislature at dissolution in 1952.

Life in the LDS Church[edit]

In 1960, Tanner was called to be an Assistant to the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles and a full-time general authority of the LDS Church. In the church, he preferred to be referred to as "N. Eldon Tanner". In 1962, George Q. Morris's passing created a vacancy in the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, which Tanner was called to fill in October 1962. He was the quorum's junior member one year later when he was called into the First Presidency as second counselor to church president David O. McKay. Tanner remained in this position for the presidency of Joseph Fielding Smith (1970–1972), and then became first counselor to Smith's successor Harold B. Lee, remaining first counselor to Lee and Spencer W. Kimball until his own death.

During Kimball's presidency, Tanner read the church's announcement that race was no longer to be a barrier to ordination to the priesthood in general conference.

Not long afterward, Tanner's health deteriorated and it became impossible for him to shoulder the burdens of his office. With Kimball and second counselor Marion G. Romney also ailing, the decision was made to add Gordon B. Hinckley as an additional counselor to the First Presidency on July 23, 1981. Tanner remained first counselor until his death the following year at age 84.

Death[edit]

Tanner was a member of the First Presidency when he died on November 27, 1982. No additional individuals were added to the First Presidency after his death, and therefore no apostles were ordained as a result of his death.

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d Hugh B. Brown (November 1972). "President N. Eldon Tanner: A Man of Integrity". Ensign (The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints). p. 13. 
  2. ^ "Cardston Official Results 1935 Alberta general election". Alberta Heritage Community Foundation. Retrieved April 29, 2010. 
  3. ^ "May 16, 2006". Parliamentary Debates (Hansard) (Legislative Assembly of Alberta): 1593. 
  4. ^ "Cardston Official Results 1940 Alberta general election". Alberta Heritage Community Foundation. Retrieved April 29, 2010. 
  5. ^ "Cardston Official Results 1944 Alberta general election". Alberta Heritage Community Foundation. Retrieved April 29, 2010. 
  6. ^ "Cardston Official Results 1948 Alberta general election". Alberta Heritage Community Foundation. Retrieved April 29, 2010. 

External links[edit]

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints titles
Preceded by
Harold B. Lee
First Counselor in the First Presidency
July 7, 1972 – December 26, 1973
December 30, 1973 – November 27, 1982
Succeeded by
Marion G. Romney
Preceded by
Hugh B. Brown
Harold B. Lee
Second Counselor in the First Presidency
October 4, 1963 – January 18, 1970
January 23, 1970 – July 2, 1972
Preceded by
Gordon B. Hinckley
Quorum of the Twelve Apostles
October 11, 1962 – October 4, 1963
Succeeded by
Thomas S. Monson
Political offices
Preceded by
George Stringam
Member of the Legislative Assembly of Alberta
August 22, 1935–August 5, 1952
Succeeded by
Edgar Hinman
Preceded by
George Johnston
Speaker of the Alberta Legislative Assembly
1936 –1937
Succeeded by
Peter Dawson