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Heber J. Grant is the “One” Man 

          Just prior to his passing in November of 1918, Joseph F. Smith encouraged his successor, Heber J. Grant, saying: “Always remember this is the Lord’s work, and not man’s.  The Lord is greater than any man.  He knows who He wants to lead His Church, and never makes any mistakes.”[1]  Sustained as Church President days later, President Grant had originally received his calling as a member of the Quorum of the Twelve in an uncanonized revelation given through President John Taylor at Salt Lake City, 13 October 1882.[2]  Following his ordination, Apostle Grant received a vision wherein, “The Savior was there; the Prophet Joseph was there; my father [Jedidiah M. Grant] and others that I knew were there...”  At that time his calling to the Twelve was confirmed to him and he felt qualified to stand as a Special Witness of Jesus Christ.[3]

          As Church President, Heber J. Grant quickly addressed the issue of unauthorized polygamy giving “very pointed and forceful instructions to presidents of stakes, Bishops, and other officers respecting their duty in cases of suspected violation of the rule of the Church against advocating or practicing plural marriage.  He went so far as to say that all unions of this kind entered into now that no authority in the Church is operative in solemnizing them, places the parties thereto in an adulterous relation.”[4]  In so doing, he was increasing the distance between authorized plural marriages contracted between 1841 and 1904 and the ceremonies performed thereafter.[5]


[1]  Quinn, Extensions of Power, 816.

[2]   Messages of the First Presidency, 2:348; My Kingdom Shall Roll Forth, 50-51.  See Musser, The Four Hidden Revelations, 11.  Also in Truth 14:141-54 (November 1948).

[3]   Conference Report, October 1942, 26.

[4]   James E. Talmage Diaries, 2 June 1919; italics added.

[5]   Richard R. Lyman, who was sustained a member of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles in 1918, contracted a plural marriage in 1925 (Bell, “Living the Principle,” 62; Quinn, “Plural Marriage After Manifesto,” typescript, 20; Extensions of Power, 669-670).  He was excommunicated in 1943 for “violating the Christian Law of Chastity.”  Eleven years later Richard R. Lyman was rebaptized and died in full fellowship in 1963.  See also Hilton, “Polygamy in Utah Since Manifesto,” 19.