This week in Church history

25 years ago

The death of President Joseph Fielding Smith on July 2, 1972, and the ordination of President Harold B. Lee to succeed him were reported in the Church News issue of July 8, 1972.

"President Harold B. Lee was ordained and set apart as the 11th president of the Church in the Salt Lake Temple Friday, July 7," the Church News wrote. He chose President Nathan Eldon Tanner and President Marion G. Romney as his counselors, and President Spencer W. Kimball became president of the Quorum of the Twelve.

President Lee and President Tanner served as President Smith's counselors during the 2 1/2 years that President Smith served as president of the Church.

Speaking at President Smith's funeral, President Lee said: "Brother Tanner and I have loved this man these last two-and-one half years. It hasn't been pretended. He begat love because he loved us, and we've stood as he stood by and trusted us."

According to the June 15, 1972, Church News, President Lee was the first native of Idaho to become president of the Church, and was also "the first president of the Church to assume this position after serving as first counselor in the First Presidency."

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