W. Wallace Smith

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W. Wallace Smith
Photo of W. Wallace Smith
Prophet Emeritus
April 5, 1978 (1978-04-05) – August 4, 1989 (1989-08-04)
Prophet–President of the Church
October 6, 1958 (1958-10-06) – April 5, 1978 (1978-04-05)
Predecessor Israel A. Smith
Successor Wallace B. Smith
Reason Doctrine of Lineal succession
End reason Granted emeritus status
Counselor in the First Presidency
April 2, 1950 (1950-04-02) – October 8, 1958 (1958-10-08)
Called by Israel A. Smith
Predecessor John F. Garver
Successor Maurice L. Draper
Reason Death of John F. Garver
End reason Became Prophet–President of the Church
Council of Twelve Apostles
April 7, 1947 (1947-04-07) – October 8, 1958 (1958-10-08)
Called by Israel A. Smith
Predecessor John W. Rushton
Successor Donald O. Chesworth
Reason Honorable release of Rushton
End reason Called as counselor in the First Presidency
Personal details
Born William Wallace Smith
(1900-11-18)November 18, 1900
Lamoni, Iowa, United States
Died August 4, 1989(1989-08-04) (aged 88)
Independence, Missouri, United States
Resting place Mound Grove Cemetery
39°6′41.20″N 94°25′34.78″W / 39.1114444°N 94.4263278°W / 39.1114444; -94.4263278
Alma mater University of Missouri
Spouse Rosamund Bunnell Smith
Children Wallace B. Smith
Rosalee Smith Elser
Parents Joseph Smith III
Ada R. Clark
Website Our History: W. Wallace Smith

William Wallace Smith ((1900-11-18)November 18, 1900—August 4, 1989(1989-08-04) (aged 88)) was a grandson of Joseph Smith, Jr. and Prophet-President of the Reorganized Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints (now known as the Community of Christ),[1] from October 6, 1958 to April 5, 1978, when he retired to "emeritus" status.[2]

Biography[edit]

W. Wallace Smith was born in Lamoni, Iowa on November 18, 1900 to Joseph Smith III and his third wife Ada R. Clark.[3] Smith graduated from the University of Missouri in 1924. He entered the ministry of the RLDS Church in 1928 and was ordained an apostle and joined the Council of Twelve Apostles on April 7, 1947, after the honorable release of John W. Rushton.[4] On April 2, 1950, Smith was called as counselor to Israel A. Smith, his half brother, in the First Presidency, and was replaced in the Quorum of the Twelve by Donald O. Chesworth. Smith died in Independence, Missouri on August 4, 1989.[5]

President of the Church[edit]

Smith was the third of his father's sons to succeed to the presidency of the church, assuming the presidency after the deaths of his brothers Frederick M. Smith and Israel A. Smith.[6]

Church Growth[edit]

Following a 1960 worldwide missionary tour, W. Wallace Smith's tenure as church president saw substantial overseas growth in the church, especially in Africa, Latin America, and the Far East. Also during his administration, the church saw significant doctrinal and practical changes, characterized by vigorous efforts in ecumenism, liberalism and internationalization of the group's message.

The Independence Temple of Zion[edit]

The building of temples is part of the overall tradition of the Latter Day Saint movement. For several decades the idea of building of an "Independence Temple of Zion" had been part of RLDS Church tradition.[7] However, nothing specific had been said or done by the leadership of the RLDS Church for several decades.[6] In 1972, W. Wallace brought the concept to the forefront in a document that called for "defining the purpose and selecting the place for erecting a temple."[7][8]

Breaking with lineal succession[edit]

In 1958, instead of calling Lynn Smith to replace his father in the office of Presiding Patriarch, W. Wallace Smith named Roy Cheville to the office, in a break with an RLDS traditional doctrine of lineal succession.[9]

The following chart explains the inter-relationship of the offices of President of the Church (also known as "Prophet-President") and Presiding Patriarch (also known a Presiding Evangelist) in the Smith family, and the doctrine of Lineal succession, of pre and post-reorganization in the Community of Christ.
 
 
 
 
Joseph Smith, Sr.jpg
Joseph Smith, Sr.
1771–1840
Presiding Patriarch
(1833–40)
 
Lucy Mack Smith2.jpg
Lucy Mack Smith
1776–1856
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Hyrumsmith.gif
Hyrum Smith
1800–1844
Presiding Patriarch
(1841–44)
Joseph Smith, Jr. portrait owned by Joseph Smith III.jpg
Joseph Smith, Jr.
1805–1844
President of the Church
(1830–44)
 
EmmaSmith.jpg
Emma Hale Smith
1804–1879
Elect Lady
Williamsmith.gif
William B. Smith
1811–1893
Presiding Patriarch
(1845)
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Bertha Madison Smith.jpg
Bertha Madison
1843–1896
 
Joseph Smith III(2).jpg
Joseph Smith III
1832–1914
Prophet-President
(1860–1914)
 
Ada Clark
1871–1914
Alexander Hale Smith.jpg
Alexander Hale Smith
1838–1909
Presiding Patriarch
(1897–1902)
David Hyrum Smith.jpg
David Hyrum Smith
1844–1904
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Frederick M. Smith2.jpg
Frederick M. Smith
1874–1946
Prophet–President
(1914–46)
Israel A. Smith.jpg
Israel A. Smith
1876–1958
Prophet–President
(1946–58)

W. Wallace Smith
1900–1989
Prophet–President
(1958–78)
 
 
Frederick A. Smith.jpg
Frederick A. Smith
1862–1954
Presiding Patriarch
(1913–38)
Elbert A. Smith.jpg
Elbert A. Smith
1871–1959
Presiding Patriarch
(1938–58)

Retirement[edit]

Smith designated his son, Wallace B. Smith as his successor in 1976, and on April 5, 1978 he became the first president of the church to retire to "emeritus" status — all previous presidents had served until their deaths.[2] To ensure a smooth transition, W.W. Smith read a letter of resignation shortly before his son was ordained.

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ Questions and Answers on Church Name Change
  2. ^ a b W. Wallace, Smith. "Doctrine and Covenants: Appendix F". Doctrine and Covenants of the Reorganized Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. Independent RLDS / Restoration Branches. Retrieved 8 September 2011. 
  3. ^ Jones, Gracia. "Joseph Smith III". The Joseph Smith Jr. and Emma Hale Smith Historical Society. Retrieved 7 September 2011. 
  4. ^ "D&C 140 3-4a". Doctrine and Covenants of the Reorganized Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. Independent RLDS / Restoration Branches. Retrieved 8 September 2011. 
  5. ^ "D&C 142:1b-142:2". Doctrine and Covenants of the Reorganized Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. Independent RLDS / Restoration Branches. Retrieved 8 September 2011. 
  6. ^ a b "Our History: W. Wallace Smith (1958-1978)". Official website of the Community of Christ. Community of Christ. Retrieved 8 September 2011. 
  7. ^ a b Steven C. Kellogg, "Temples of the Restoration," Saints Herald 118 (September 1971):10-12, 30-31; (October 1971):15-17, 48-49; (November 1971):18-20, 32-34.
  8. ^ W. Wallace, Smith. "D&C 150:8". Doctrine and Covenants of the Reorganized Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. Independent RLDS / Restoration Branches. Retrieved 8 September 2011. 
  9. ^ "D&C 151:1a and 2". Doctrine and Covenants of the Reorganized Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. Independent RLDS / Restoration Branches. Retrieved 8 September 2011. 

References[edit]

  • Richard P. Howard, The Church Through the Years, Herald House: 1992.

External links[edit]

Community of Christ titles
Preceded by
None
Prophet Emeritus
April 5, 1978–August 4, 1989
With: Wallace B. Smith
Succeeded by
N/A
Preceded by
Israel A. Smith
Prophet–President
October 6, 1958–April 5, 1978
Succeeded by
Wallace B. Smith
Preceded by
John F. Garver
Counselor in the First Presidency
April 2, 1950–October 8, 1958
Succeeded by
Maurice L. Draper
Preceded by
John W. Rushton
Council of Twelve Apostles
April 7, 1947–April 2, 1950
Succeeded by
Donald O. Chesworth