Biographies of Four Apostles

At the annual General Conference held in Kirtland, Ohio, the Quorum of Twelve Apostles on April 7, 1887, presented the following:

We, of the Quorum of the Twelve, report to your honorable body, that we are now ready and willing to transact such business as may be properly referred to us in our present condition, being but five in number. We note with gladness the progress made in the general work, but can but regret our inability to perform important work, which seems so essential to the present and future safety and prosperity of the cause. We earnestly call your attention to the present condition of our quorum. We have but seven members, one of whom is in a distant land. Thus you will see that the second quorum of the church, as a quorum, does not exist in the land of America. Will your honorable body adopt such measures as you may deem proper, with a view to bettering our condition. We deem this as important a matter as can engage the attention of the conference; and we believe that God is willing to hear our prayer, and relieve us from this embarrassment.

JAMES CAFPALL, Acting Secretary.
—The Saints' Herald, vol. 34, p. 293.

Based upon the above report, the following preambles and resolution were adopted on the 8th.

Whereas, The depleted condition of the Quorum of the Twelve, and the important character of work needing to be done by it, has led the present members thereof to request this body to take some action regarding it, and

Whereas, They have expressed a belief that God is willing to hear and answer our prayers at this time regarding the matter, and

Whereas, The Quorum of Seventy have expressed anxiety in the same direction; therefore, be it

Resolved, That we unitedly ask the President of the church to present the case again before the Lord, and that we, also, go before the Lord in earnest, humble prayer and fasting, that he may give instruction regarding this matter, and all other matters representing present need for further revelation to his church.—The Saints' Herald, vol. 34, p. 294.

Subsequently a resolution was passed setting apart Saturday, April 9, as a day of fasting and prayer for prayer. This day was so observed; and in answer to prayers offered, a revelation [Doctrine and Covenants 119] was given on the 11th, in which James W. Gillen, Heman C. Smith, Joseph Luff, and Gomer T. Griffiths were called to the office of apostles. Elders Gillen, Luff, and Griffiths were ordained at this conference; Elder Smith not being present did not receive ordination until a year later. This revelation also gave important instructions upon other subjects. (RLDS History of the Church 4:563–564)

These four men, called by God to be special witnesses of the Lord and the truth of His Gospel, had a significant impact upon the Church. Their biographies are important so that we might remember the tremendous sacrifices they made and the great work they did to promote His Gospel in these latter days. To read them, click on the links below. Each will open in a separate tab.

May we one day be counted worthy enough to sacrifice our lives as did they for the sake of the Kingdom of Zion.

James W. Gillen Heman C. Smith Joseph Luff Gomer T. Griffiths