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Doctrine and Covenants

Section 138

April 10, 1940-Independence, Missouri. Following the release of Elbert A. Smith and the resignation of F. M. McDowell from the First Presidency, President Frederick M. Smith received inspired instruction in October, 1938, to select Israel A. Smith and L. F. P. Curry to serve as his counselors. The action was approved by the Quorum of Twelve at that time and confirmed by the 1940 General Conference.

Appointments to the First Presidency-G. Leslie DeLapp is called to be Presiding Bishop-The task of establishing Zion requires peace and harmony

To the Saints in General Conference Assembled:

1a As a result of the conditions existing when the Joint Council of First Presidency, Quorum of the Twelve, and Presiding Bishopric met in October, 1938, Brother Floyd M. McDowell, second counselor, presented his resignation to me to take effect immediately.

1b This left the President without counselors; and to meet the situation, acting under such inspirational impulsions as were given me at the moment, I presented the names of Brethren Israel A. Smith and Lemuel F. P. Curry to fill the vacancies in the First Presidency, these selections being unanimously approved by the Quorum of Twelve.

1c I suggested, to the brethren named, the wisdom of at once entering upon their tasks in the Presidency.

1d This was done; and there was thrown upon Brother Curry a double responsibility, for it was thought best for him to continue his work as Presiding Bishop until further instructions were given.

1e Acting further under the impulsion referred to, I now present the names of Israel A. Smith and Lemuel F. P. Curry for ratification as counselors in the First Presidency, Brother Curry to be released from further responsibility as Presiding Bishop.

2 To effect necessary reorganization of the Presiding Bishopric, let G. Leslie DeLapp be selected and ordained as Presiding Bishop, he being left free to nominate his counselors in due time.

3a Let the church again be admonished that the task of establishing Zion presses heavily upon us.

3b Barriers and hindrances to the achievement of this goal should be removed as speedily as possible and practicable.

3c To lay securely the foundations for Zion and her buildings, the work should be accomplished in peace and harmony. Unity should prevail.

3d To this end, all the Saints should work together in the rich fraternity which can and will prevail among them when they keep faithfully the commandments.

3e Great blessings are in store for the church if it will in faith and saintly devotion go forward in its tasks. Frederick M. Smith President of the Church Independence, Missouri April 10, 1940