(Part eleven of a series compiled by Dennis B. Horne)
President Smith was the grandson of Hyrum Smith, brother to the Prophet Joseph Smith. He was and still is considered one of the great expounders of doctrine and interpreters of the scriptures in this dispensation. He became President of the Church with the death of President David O. McKay. He felt a special responsibility and therefore took pleasure in teaching about his forebears and the mission they performed as church leaders. His words reflect that obligation:
I want to say to all those who are listening at this particular time that I have a testimony that Joseph Smith was a Prophet of God, and is, for his work has not ceased, for a righteous man's work does not cease: Joseph Smith was a righteous man when he died; I know that he was called, appointed by our Father in heaven; that he received revelation and guidance from the Son of God that would be of benefit and a blessing to all men if they would receive it.
Now in what I have to say I wish to direct my remarks to those who are not members of the Church, if there are any such listening. I want them to know that I believe this sincerely and absolutely. That is my faith. I think I can say safely it is my knowledge, by the gift of God, that Joseph Smith in the year 1820 did see the Father and the Son; that the Father introduced his Son; that the Son spoke to him, asked him what he wanted to know, and gave him counsel; told him what to do, with the promise that eventually other light would come and the fulness of the gospel, which was not then upon the face of the earth, would be restored.