“…to hear the voice of the Lord”, Harold B. Lee silences a critic
President Joseph Fielding Smith was 93 years old when he was sustained and set-apart as the Prophet and President of the Church. The following incident occurred at that time:
“A member of the Church approached Elder Harold B. Lee, who was now President Smith’s 1st Counselor in the First Presidency and also the President of the Quorum of the Twelve, and cynically asked why the brethren proposed President Smith as prophet, seeing that he was so old and feeble and in such poor health. The member of the Church wanted to know why they hadn’t selected a younger man who would be able to carry out the demanding duties that the office required.
Elder Lee, displaying great wisdom, asked this man, “What do you think it takes to be the Prophet of the Lord’s Church?”
The man replied, “I think that the prophet would need to have a great understanding of the workings of the priesthood, the Relief Society, the youth programs of the Church, gospel doctrine, Church welfare, Church finances, and many such things!”
Elder Lee firmly responded, “Brother, you are dead wrong. The President of the Church is surrounded by capable and qualified brothers and sisters to administer in all these areas. The essential qualification for the Prophet of the Lord is the ability to hear the voice of the Lord! Now, brother, this sweet prophet of ours has been an apostle of the Lord Jesus Christ for over six decades. He has stood boldly as a special witness of Jesus Christ during all of those years. Wilford Woodruff, at one time, was his home teaching companion! Now I ask you, brother, do you think Joseph Fielding Smith can recognize the voice of the Lord?”
A humbled and submissive brother had learned a great truth from an inspired apostle.