Heber J. Grant

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Heber J. Grant, Mormon prophet 1918-1945

Heber J. Grant was the seventh prophet and president of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. He was known for guiding the Church through some of its toughest times including the Great Depression and World War II.

Heber J. Grant was born on November 22, 1856, the son of Jedediah M. Grant and Rachel Ridgeway Ivins Grant. His father died only nine days after his birth. Heber and his mother had very little, but his mother worked hard to provide for him. As a young boy, Heber had the opportunity to meet Brigham Young. After that initial meeting, Brigham Young invited the boy (about six at the time) to come visit him whenever he liked. Heber J. Grant said of his friendship with Brigham Young,

I learned not only to respect and venerate him, but to love him with an affection akin to that which I imagine I would have felt for my own father, had I been permitted to know and return a father’s love (Preston Nibley, The Presidents of the Church, 13th ed., p.218 - 219).

At just fifteen, Heber was ordained to the office of Seventy. Heber finished school at 16 and was hired to work for a bank. In 1877, Heber married Lucy Stringham. Heber eventually had ten daughters and two sons; both sons died as children. He was a devoted father, and when he was not home because he was traveling on Church business, he would send letters to each child. When he was 23, he received a call to be a stake president.

In 1882, at only 25, Heber J. Grant was called as an Apostle. He served as an Apostle for 37 years. As an apostle, he visited communities of Native Americans and worked with Church leaders to call and set apart priesthood holders to labor among them. He became a member of the general superintendency of Young Men's Mutual Improvement Association, and he also became business manager of the Improvement Era, which he helped found. He organized and presided over the Japanese Mission, and served as president of British and European Missions. He became President of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles on November 23, 1916.

On November 23, 1918, at age 62, Heber J. Grant became the President of the Church. The April General Conference for that year had to be postponed because of a worldwide influenza epidemic, which killed over 20 million people. The start of President Grant's presidency foreshadowed all the hard times through which Grant would guide the Church. President Grant started the welfare program of the Church as a way to combat the devastation of the Great Depression. He also directed the building of three new temples, the opening of 16 new missions, the microfilming of family history records, the establishment of the weekly Mormon Tabernacle Choir radio program, Music and the Spoken Word, and the first General Conference broadcast over radio. Heber J. Grant served as prophet and president of the Church for 26 years until his death in 1945.

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Quotes from President Heber J. Grant

  • "Our enemies have never done anything that has injured this work of God, and they never will. I look around, I read, I reflect, and I ask the question, Where are the men of influence, of power and prestige, who have worked against the Latter-day Saints? … Where are there people to do them honor? They cannot be found. ... Where are the men who have assailed this work? Where is their influence? They have faded away like dew before the sun. We need have no fears, we Latter-day Saints. God will continue to sustain this work; He will sustain the right."
Gospel Standards, comp. G. Homer Durham, 1941
  • “No matter in what land we may dwell the Gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ makes us brothers and sisters, interested in each other, eager to understand and know each other.”
“Christmas Greetings from the First Presidency,” Improvement Era, Dec. 1932
  • "You can not transfer to others that which you get yourself. I can no more give a man a testimony of this gospel than I can eat for him. I can tell him how to get it. I can tell him of the blessings of God to me. But each and every man must live the gospel if he expects to obtain an individual testimony of the divinity of this work. It has been tested all over the world by men and women who have been hated and abused and persecuted by their own flesh and blood, because they have joined this Church; but in answer to humble prayer, and by doing the things that God has told them to do, they have received the light and the knowledge and the testimony regarding the divinity of this work."
“First Presidency Stresses Value of Personal Testimony in Tabernacle Talks: President Heber J. Grant,” Deseret News, June 1934

See also Quotes from the Prophets

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Presidents of the Mormon Church
Joseph Smith | Brigham Young | John Taylor | Wilford Woodruff | Lorenzo Snow | Joseph F. Smith | Heber J. Grant | George Albert Smith | David O. McKay | Joseph Fielding Smith | Harold B. Lee | Spencer W. Kimball | Ezra Taft Benson | Howard W. Hunter | Gordon B. Hinckley | Thomas S. Monson | Russell M. Nelson