On May 28, 1952, President Israel A. Smith prepared and signed the following statement and placed it in the hands of his counselor, Elder F. Henry Edwards. After the death of President Smith on June 14, 1958, this document was brought to the attention of the Council of Twelve and other general church officers, and at the World Conference of 1958 it was unanimously approved by the quorums and orders of the priesthood and by the Conference assembly. The Conference ordered its insertion in the Doctrine and Covenants.
Elder William Wallace Smith was ordained as President of the High Priesthood and prophet, see, and revelator to the church at the Auditorium at Independence, Missouri, on October 6, 1958.
To the church and to the Council of Twelve Apostles:
1. As I am about to go overseas and realize the usual hazards of travel, and being ever conscious of the uncertainties of life and the certainty of death, and in order that my demise, whether soon or longer postponed, may not cause confusion, I hereby declare that in the event of my death, whenever it shall occur, my brother, William Wallace Smith, should be selected to succeed me as president of the high priesthood of the church, this having been manifested to me by the Lord at the time he was chosen and set apart as an apostle and again when he was called to be a counselor and member of the Quorum of the First Presidency, at the General Conference of 1950.
2. I feel at liberty to make this appointment at this time because he has become better acquainted with the members since he was called in 1947 and has proved himself to the body.
3. This action is taken by me pursuant to the authority vested in me by the terms of Section 43 of the book of Doctrine and Covenants, in connection with other references in the law, notably paragraph 8 of Section 127, all as interpreted by my father, the late President Joseph Smith, in the Saints’ Herald of March 12, 1912, and all of which I believe is in complete harmony with precedents established by the church in General Conferences of 1860, 1915, and 1946.
(Signed) Israel A. Smith
Witnessed this 28th day of May, 1952
F. Henry Edwards
G. Leslie Delapp