Nicholas G. Smith

Assistant to the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles (April 6, 1941 – October 27, 1945)
Acting Patriarch to the Church (February 4, 1932 – 1934)

General Conference Addresses

  • October 1945 General Conference
    • Sustaining His Brother
      • “They speak of peace, but is there peace? When you read in the papers of the constant bickering, the avarice of men that has been spoken of from this pulpit during this conference, the desire to get that which other men have, how tragic it is. It is this thing that causes dissension and trouble throughout the universe, and that has been warned against since the beginning of time, which has such a hold upon the people. We Latter-day Saints have a great responsibility, and as Latter-day Saints if we could but live our religion, what an effect it would have upon the people. As we go through our villages and towns, and see our membership working in the fields upon the Sabbath day, we wonder what they are thinking of whether they are thinking of giving or only of getting. If we could just mend that one thing and remember to observe and keep holy the Sabbath day, then we would be better able to give, because the Lord would bless us so that we could give in greater abundance.”
  • April 1945 General Conference
    • Keep the Sabbath Day
      • “As I have traveled about attending your conferences, of necessity I have had to travel on Sundays throughout the intermountain states, and I have seen men in the fields plowing, and hauling their hay, and putting their grain into the stacks. I have seen lined up on this sacred Sabbath day many people in front of the moving picture theatres waiting to purchase their tickets. I have noted crowds lined up at sporting events, buying their tickets that they might go in and participate in that recreation upon this holy day.”
      • “So I would appeal, my brethren, to you who are the presiding officers in the Church, that in your actions nothing can be laid at your door that would cause anyone to start on that path of desecrating the Sabbath day.”
  • October 1944 General Conference
    • Prayers Answered
      • “Now, I do not pretend to know how the Lord can hear and answer all these prayers, but I do know that from my infancy my mother taught me to go to my Heavenly Father in prayer, that the Lord loves little children, and that he would answer my prayers. I have been amazed as I have met up with difficulties to discover how solutions came to problems. Surely the Lord does hear and answer prayer, and if we have a praying family, and these boys and girls who have been undergoing these terrible experiences come back, they will be mighty happy to join in those prayers.”
      • “Now the men who sit in this congregation today are the men whom our Heavenly Father will hold responsible for the lives that the men and women and children live in the stakes of Zion in the Church—a million of them. I am sure there would not be one here who would fail to have his family prayers, or who would do anything secretly or openly that would make a living soul start on that road that leads to destruction. I know you love the people. My association with you as I have been working, visiting in the stakes at the conferences, visiting with the brethren, has convinced me of the fact that that spirit is abounding amongst the leadership of the Church, and it should be—a spirit of humility, a spirit of prayer.”
      • “Prayer is not any unusual thing, of course. Prayers have always been answered.”
  • April 1944 General Conference
    • Delinquency of Parents
      • “We should be more exemplary, all of us. On this block there stands a temple dedicated many years ago; an institution that should attract all the members of the Latter-day Saint Church. The Prophet Joseph Smith was very explicit in his instructions in regard to temple work. Brigham Young declared it would be the greatest work performed by man on this earth. Each of the presidents of the Church has been just as emphatic in the importance of temple work.”
      • “We want the Latter-day Saints from this time to trace their genealogies as far as they can and be sealed to their fathers and mothers; have children sealed to parents and run this chain through as far as you can get it. This is the will of the Lord to his people. I pray God that as a people our eyes may be opened to see, our ears to hear and our hearts to understand the great and mighty work that rests upon our shoulders and that the God of heaven requires at our hands.”
  • October 1943 General Conference
    • We Cannot Hide our Sins
      • “Brethren, none of us who holds the Priesthood and the right of leadership in this Church can get so far away but that there will be someone who will know what we are doing. We cannot hide our sins.”
      • “Peace will come and can come when we can get the same feeling into the hearts of others that is in our hearts.”
  • April 1943 General Conference
    • Kindness
      • “Brethren, we all have our responsibilities and our difficulties to face, but bishops, presidents of branches, you who come in such close contact with the members, never fail to put your arms around them and encourage them. Kindness above all else will keep them close to you and the Church.”
  • October 1942 General Conference
    • Quorum Reports
      • “I have noticed that practically nothing is being done with respect to the request President Grant made some years ago, that we work with those who are addicted to liquor and tobacco; and I find in one quorum where there are forty-four members and not one of them is reported as observing the Word of Wisdom. Now, I think perhaps the secretary has neglected to fill in the answer in his hurry to get the job over. In other quorums I find where a third of the quorum members use liquor and tobacco, I am sure that these things are not pleasing to our Heavenly Father. But if the quorum secretaries would be more careful—if the presidencies of quorums would check upon these questions and the answers before they sign the reports and see that they are properly filled out and if quorums would only send in their reports—we have some quorums that haven’t sent in their reports all this year, yet—to me it is rather strange after laboring in the mission field, and having one hundred percent response when you ask the missionaries to do something, to come home and work with the Priesthood and find that it runs as low as four percent who are active in some stakes.”
  • October 1941 General Conference
    • Grateful for the Church
      • “I am grateful for a Church that is practical, grateful for a Church that reaches into our everyday lives and makes us happy. No one can live the Gospel of Jesus Christ and not be happy. No matter what our difficulties may be or what our trials may be, there is always someone near by in our Church to help us. I found it to be true in Europe; in South Africa likewise, and in the far north of Alaska; always the same spirit, always the same love ; always the desire upon the part of the presiding Authorities to bless and encourage and protect. What a Church is ours! What love goes out to the people! What love and devotion are expressed by the people and shown by the people for their leadership! How glorious it is to have men who are willing to sacrifice and give, as our leaders do, to be with us and to bless us!”

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