Journal 43:1 | BYU Studies

Journal 43:1

Volume 43:1 (2004)
Called as an Apostle at age 25, Heber J. Grant was acutely aware of his inadequacies. Feeling unseasoned and unsure, he questioned whether he had the "qualities that count" for such a position. Yet he took solace in his faith: "There is one thing that sustains me and that is the fact that all powers, of mind or body, come from god and that He is perfectly able and willing to qualify me for His...Read more


I remember the telephone call well. Picking up the receiver, I heard my secretary's voice telling me of an incoming call. "Brother Walker," she said, "Grover Cleveland is on the phone and wants to speak with you." In a way, that phone call began this book. Read more


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Jedediah and Heber Grant

On December 1, 1856, Elder Wilford Woodruff and Elder Franklin D. Richards left the Church historian's office for the home of Jedediah Grant, less than a block away. The hour was late, about 10:30 in the evening. It had snowed several inches during the day, and the weather was turning cold. Read more

Rachel R. Grant: The Continuing Legacy of the Feminine Ideal

We can imagine ourselves visiting Aunt Rachel Grant, longtime president of the Thirteenth Ward Relief Society and one of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saint's "leading ladies," at her home on Salt Lake City's Second East Street. In the year of our visit, 1890, her two-story, plastered adobe home partakes of the prevailing feminine ideal that stresses homemaking and handicraft. The... Read more

Growing Up in Early Utah: The Wasatch Literary Association, 1874-1878

One day in early February 1874, Jim Ferguson, sensing the forlorn hope of advancing his courtship with Minni Horne, suggested to Ort (Orson F.) Whitney and another of the boys that they organize a reading society. Ferguson "had heard, no doubt, of fond couples 'reading life's meaning in each others eyes,'" Whitney later mused, "and that was the kind of reading that most interested him" Since the... Read more

Young Heber J. Grant: Entrepreneur Extraordinary

When lecturing at the Harvard Law School, Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes told students they could do anything they wanted to in life, if only they wanted to hard enough. Later in a private aside he added, "But what I did not tell them was that they had to be born wanting to." Heber J. Grant was born wanting to be an entrepreneur. Young Heber consumed the commercial news of the New York Weekly... Read more

Crisis in Zion: Heber J. Grant and the Panic of 1893

In late June 1893, Heber J. Grant, a pencil-thin, bewhiskered young man, waited nervously in the downtown office of New York businessman John Claflin. Thirty-six years old and conservatively dressed, Grant was a member of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and president or director of at least a dozen Salt Lake City—based businesses. A financial... Read more

Heber J. Grant and the Utah Loan and Trust Company

Before 6:00 A.M. on May 29, 1897, the portly and veteran Apostle Brigham Young Jr., himself ailing due to an attack of dropsy, called at the Heber J. Grant household to pray a blessing upon his associate. He found that "Bro Grant . . . had a poor night but he was going to the hospital with firm faith that all would be well." The day before, Grant awoke with severe appendix and advanced... Read more

A Mormon "Widow" in Colorado: The Exile of Emily Wells Grant

As the southbound Denver & Rio Grande train pulled out of the depot at Salt Lake City in November 1889, Emily Wells Grant breathed a sigh of relief, and relaxed. As a plural wife of Elder Heber J. Grant, she was used to dodging United States marshals. Her recent crisis, she admitted, was of her own making. Why had she insisted on attending her father's seventy-fifth birthday celebration in... Read more

Grant's Watershed: Succession in the Presidency, 1887-1889

Events during 1887-89, during Elder Wilford Woodruff's succession to the Presidency of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, remains an important but largely untold story—a time when differing views divided the Church's General Authorities and when the policies and procedures for installing a new president of the Church were tested and confirmed. These years are also important for the... Read more

Strangers in a Strange Land: Heber J. Grant and the Opening of the Japan Mission

When Heber J. Grant returned from a two-week vacation in Pacific Grove, California, in February 1901, the news he heard at first seemed favorable. One of his associates in the Quorum of the Twelve, Francis M. Lyman, had been asked to preside over the Church's European Mission. Elder Grant congratulated himself that "missionary lightning had once more escaped me," "heaved a sigh of relief," and... Read more

Heber J. Grant's European Mission, 1903-1906

Elder Heber J. Grant landed in Liverpool, England, in November 1903, and by the first of the year he officially assumed his new position as president of the European Mission. The mission began at Tromso, Norway; and ran to Cape Town, South Africa; with Iceland and India serving as distant east-west meridians. While the church had branches in each of these extremities, Grant's field of labor was... Read more