50 years ago

After serving for nearly six years as the eighth president of the Church, President George Albert Smith died on his 81st birthday, April 4, 1951, following an extended illness, reported the April 11, 1951, Church News.

General Conference daytime sessions the following Saturday, April 7, were postponed for the funeral of President Smith.

Speaking at the funeral, President Smith's first counselor, President David O. McKay, said, "President George Albert Smith has proved the truth of Christ's paradoxical saying, 'He that will lose his life for my sake, shall find it.' "

President Smith was born in Salt Lake City. He was ordained an apostle in 1903 and was set apart as president of the Church May 21, 1945, succeeding President Heber J. Grant.

President McKay was sustained as the ninth president of the Church during a Solemn Assembly in the Monday Morning, April 9, session of general conference. Also sustained were his counselors, President Stephen L Richards as first counselor and President J. Reuben Clark Jr. as second counselor.