This week in Church history

25 years ago

President Joseph Fielding Smith's 95th birthday on July 19, 1971, was to be spent much the same as every other day in his life - engrossed in work.

Plans for the day did not include the traditional celebrations, noted the July 17, 1971, issue of the Church News. Rather, President Smith preferred to commemorate each birthday with a full day of work, to be followed with a gathering of his sons and daughters later.

It was customary for President Smith to celebrate by joining his descendants - which totaled about 180 - at a local park where he greeted every one and gave each a small gift.

Even at 95, President Smith had never had an operation and had seldom been hospitalized. His secret, he said, was work.

"I've done and seen many things in the service of the Lord," he said.

Quote from the past

Everyone should learn something new every day. I sincerely hope your greatest search is in the realm of spiritual things, because it is here that we are able to gain salvation and make the progress that leads to eternal life in our Father's kingdom. - First Presidency message prepared by President Joseph Fielding Smith in the May 1971 issue of the Ensign.

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