A year following his call to become president of the Tooele Stake, the twenty-four-year-old Heber J. Grant stopped by the Salt Lake studio of Charles Savage, the pioneer photographer. The conversation took an unexpected turn. He told me, Elder Grant wrote in his journal, “to put it down that within one year I would be a member of the Twelve Apostles.”
One year and a few days later, young Heber received his call. The assignment led the new apostle’s two closest friends, Anthony W. Ivins and Richard W. Young, to write letters of encouragement. Their correspondence reveals that Savage’s prediction was by no means unique. “I have long felt that your destiny was sure,” Ivins wrote from his mission in Mexico, “but hardly looked to see you go into the Quorum so soon. The sooner in, however, the sooner you become accustomed to the harness and to the life of usefulness which is before you.” Likewise Young’s letter, parts of which appear below, suggests that only the timing of Grant’s apostolic call surprised his friends; in addition it etches a revealing character portrait of the future LDS president.