President Frederick Madison Smith died March 20, 1946, and was succeeded as prophet, seer, and revelator by his brother, Elder Israel A. Smith. The need to fill the quorum of the First Presidency was urgent, and the newly ordained president gave this his immediate and prayerful attention. The following revelation was presented to the quorums and to the Conference by President Israel A. Smith early in the Conference sessions. After it had been approved in the usual manner, and those named had been ordained to their respective offices, the work of the Conference proceeded under the direction of the newly constituted Presidency.
To the Quorums and to the General Conference; Beloved Brethren:
Realizing our urgent need to receive light and instruction in order that the quorums might be filled, I have wrestled in prayer to God in my weakness, on behalf and in the interest of the church, sensing deeply that it has been but a few hours ago when the burden of the church was laid upon me, yet in confidence and faith that God will not fail the church when called upon.
In the early hours of yesterday and today I was blessed by the Spirit in power and assurance such as I have never before experienced. The mind of the Lord was manifested to me, and in the order named my brethren have been presented to me, as follows, and accordingly I have written:
[Sec 139:1a] "It is my will, saith the Spirit, that my servants of the Quorum of Twelve, John F. Garver and F. Henry Edwards, be ordained and set apart to be counselors to my servant, the president of the church, and to be presidents in the Quorum of the First Presidency.
[Sec 139:1b] "They are my chosen vessels and are qualified by experience. Their apostleship is extended in presidency and if they will go forward in loving service, their ministry will be very effective.
[Sec 139:2a] "To fill one of the vacancies in the Quorum of Twelve Apostles, I have presented to my servant the name of D. Blair Jensen of the High Priests Quorum, who is called and chosen to this office, and should be ordained and set apart as a special witness in the Quorum of Twelve."
[Sec 139:2b] My heart has been made to rejoice, as I feared that through my weakness and inexperience, the work of the church might suffer loss. I present this word to you soon after its reception, and, as I write, it is confirmed again unto me.
[Sec 139:2c] May God bless you in your deliberations; and if the quorums and the body shall have this message confirmed unto them, I shall rejoice, and I have faith that the church thereby will be blessed.
Your servant in Christ,
Israel A. Smith
President of the Church
Independence, Missouri, April 9, 1946