Letter of Sympathy About the Death of Mormon Leader Joseph Fielding Smith
Dear President Lee:
Mrs. Nixon and I were deeply saddened to learn of the death of Joseph Fielding Smith, and on behalf of all Americans, we send our sincere sympathy to the members of the Church and to President Smith's family.
For over 70 years from his first days as a missionary, then as a leading religious scholar, and finally as the tenth President of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints--Joseph Fielding Smith gave enormously to others, helping them to find greater fulfillment in their relationship to God. As son of another president of the Church and grandnephew of its first president, he received a rich heritage from the past; perhaps his greatest accomplishment was the way he carried forward and enriched that legacy for the future.
I had the privilege of enjoying the friendship of Joseph Fielding Smith in the closing years of his life. This was a profound experience for me, and I know that men and women everywhere have lost a devoted and inspirational leader.
To you and others who will now guide the Church, Mrs. Nixon and I send our prayers and warmest best wishes.
[President Harold B. Lee, The Council of the Twelve, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, 47 East South Temple Street, Salt Lake City, Utah]
Note: Mr. Smith, 95, died in Salt Lake City, Utah, on July 2, 1972. He was named to the Council of the Twelve of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in 1910 and became president of the Council in 1951. He was president and prophet of the Church from 1970.
Secretary of Housing and Urban Development George W. Romney and Senator Wallace F. Bennett of Utah represented President Nixon at the funeral services in Salt Lake City.
The text of the letter was made available to the press at San Clemente, Calif.
Richard Nixon, Letter of Sympathy About the Death of Mormon Leader Joseph Fielding Smith Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project https://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/node/254625