'Much accomplished' in brief tenure

Although President Lorenzo Snow served only three years as the fifth president of the Church, much was accomplished during that brief period.

As a result of President Snow's emphasis on paying a full and honest tithe, the Church began paying off heavy debts that had accrued when the government confiscated Church property through the Edmunds-Tucker Law. President Snow also encouraged the expansion of missionary work into other parts of the world. (Emerson R. West, Profiles of the Presidents, p. 163.)Even at age 84 - the age when he was called as prophet - President Snow was a vigorous man, a trait he had exhibited his whole life. Born and raised on a farm, he knew the meaning of heavy labor, but he also understood the importance of an education. President Snow was the first of the Church presidents to have some college education.

President Snow fulfilled five missions during his lifetime: Southern States, Great Britain, Italy-Switzerland, Hawaii, Europe-Holland. He was undying in his willingness to share the gospel.

As an apostle, he led a group of 50 families to Brigham City, Utah, where he helped establish that community. He was instrumental in founding several of the town's factories and businesses. (Preston Nibley, The Presidents of the Church, pp. 153-155.)

"I had expected to find intellect, intellectuality, benevolence, dignity, composure and strength depicted upon the face of the President of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints; but when I was introduced to President Lorenzo Snow for a second I was startled to see the holiest face but one I had ever been privileged to look upon," wrote the Rev. Doctor Prentis, a well-known writer and lecturer of the time, after meeting President Snow. "His face was a poem of peace, his presence a benediction of peace. In the tranquil depths of his eyes were the `home of the silent prayer' and the abode of spiritual strength."

"But over all," Bryant Hinckley observed In Faith of Our Pioneer Fathers, ["President Snow's] distinguished trait was his absolute simplicity, not a lack of knowledge, but an inherent love of truth and distaste for untruth and indirection. . . .

"Of all men that we have known, Lorenzo Snow, in his last days, looked most like a Prophet. When you met him, you felt that you were in the presence of one who had stepped out of a finer world; one who was fit to mingle with the elect in the holiest places."


Articles on this page may be used in conjunction with the gospel doctrine course of study.

Information compiled by Kellene Ricks.

Sources: LDS Biographical Encyclopedia, by Andrew Jenson; Profiles of the Presidents, by Emerson R. West; The Presidents of the Church, by Preston Nibley; Essentials in Church History, by Joseph Fielding Smith; and Deseret News 1989-1990 Church Almanac.

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