Elder Eldred G. Smith lived longer than any former General Authority of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. He died Thursday evening, April 4. He was 106.
The First Presidency of the Church released the following statement on the passing of Elder Smith: “The Church has lost a valued friend and respected leader with the passing of Patriarch Eldred G. Smith. He was a man who lived a Christ-centered life as he faithfully served as Patriarch to the Church. We pray for the Lord’s blessing to be upon his family at this tender time.”
Elder Smith served as Patriarch to the Church from 1947 to 1979 and traveled to many stake conferences with members of the First Presidency and Quorum of the Twelve.
The office of church patriarch was first held by Joseph Smith Sr., the father of the prophet Joseph Smith. Eldred G. Smith is the great-great-grandson of Hyrum Smith, and his father also served as Patriarch from 1912 to 1932.
Elder Smith was the last person to serve in the position. The position has not been filled since he was granted emeritus status in 1979.
At the time of his passing, Elder Smith was believed to be the oldest man in Utah.