Eighth President of the Church, 1945–1951
Testimony of Joseph Smith
“Joseph Smith was only a boy [23 years old] when the hands of Peter, James and John were laid upon his head and he was ordained to the Melchizedek Priesthood,—he and Oliver Cowdery. A little later Joseph Smith was directed to organize a Church. He was only a young man, but he organized it under the direction of the Redeemer of mankind. . . . I have no doubt there were many who looked upon this young man as an upstart, and thought it was ridiculous that one who had not been educated to become a leader should presume to lead. But he was like the other servants of our heavenly Father who have lived upon the earth, who have been called by the Lord to perform a special labor, and the lack of knowledge pertaining to the things of this world did not preclude the possibility of the Lord’s giving unto him information that made him equal and even superior in many respects to those who had possessed great earthly opportunities that were denied him” (in Conference Report, Apr. 1927, 83).