Elder Smith, a direct-line descendant of Joseph Smith Sr., the first patriarch to The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, was called to serve as church patriarch in April 1947. In October 1979 he was give the status of patriarch emeritus. He was the eldest and longest-serving LDS general authority at the time of his death.
Borrowing from Old Testament language to refer to his friend as “a man of God” and “an honorable man,” LDS Church President Thomas S. Monson joined hundreds of friends and family members Wednesday morning in paying tribute to Elder Eldred Gee Smith, who died last Thursday at 106.
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