Religion: The Senior Apostle

Rattling off memorized Portuguese phrases and well-remembered American hymns, an ebullient, white-haired apostle of Jesus last week exhorted Mormon converts in Brazil to "know in your hearts that Joseph Smith is the true prophet of God." The speaker's evangelical fervor poured forth naturally: he was Joseph Fielding Smith, 84, grandnephew of the founder, grandson of the prophet's martyred brother Hyrum, son of former Mormon President Joseph F. Smith, and himself senior member of the Council of the Twelve (the group of elders who are the spiritual and administrative leaders of the church). Traveling through southern Brazil on the first leg of...

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