Lorenzo Snow

From Academic Kids


Lorenzo Snow (April 3, 1814October 10, 1901) was the fifth President (1898-1901) of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, and the last president of the 19th century.

Lorenzo Snow was the fifth child and first son of Oliver and Rosetta Snow, residents of Mantua, Ohio, who had left New England to settle on a new and fertile farm in the Ohio valley. Despite the labor required on the farm, the Snow family valued learning and saw that each child had educational opportunities. Lorenzo received his final years of education at Oberlin College, a Presbyterian institution. When not engaged in church service, Lorenzo Snow made his living as a school teacher.

By 1835, Lorenzo's mother, Rosetta Pettibone Snow, and his older sister Eliza Roxcy Snow, had joined the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. Eliza was also to become a prominent Latter-day Saint leader. Eliza soon moved to the church headquarters in Kirtland, Ohio, and worked as a school teacher. She invited Lorenzo to visit her and attend a school of Hebrew newly established by the church. During his visit there, in June of 1836, Lorenzo was baptized by John F. Boynton, a member of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles.


Church Service

Actions as Church President

As he began his tenure as president, President Snow had to deal with the aftermath of legal battles with the United States over the practice of plural marriage. Men engaging in plural marriage were still being arrested and confined in Utah Territory. However, many members of the LDS church did not chose to accept the validity of the 1890 Manifesto written by President Wilford Woodruff, and there was a strong division of opinion even in the priesthood heirarchy of the church.

The LDS church was also in severe financial difficulties, some of which were related to the legal problems over plural marriage. President Snow approached this problem first by issuing short terms bonds with a total value of one million dollars. This was followed by emphatic teaching on God's law of tithing. It was during this time that the Church officially adopted the principle of tithing, the payment of 10% of one's earnings, as a hallmark of membership. In a short period of time, the members' practice of paying a tithe reduced the church's debt and financial difficulties to a managable level.

Lorenzo Snow died of pnuemonia in Salt Lake City, Utah in 1901, and was succeeded in office by Joseph F. Smith.


  • Allen, James B. and Leonard, Glen M. The Story of the Latter-day Saints. Deseret Book Co., Salt Lake City, UT, 1976. ISBN 0-87747-594-6.
  • Beecher, Maureen Ursenbach and Paul Thomas Smith. "Lorenzo Snow". Encyclopedia of Mormonism. New York: Macmillan, 1992.
  • "Lorenzo Snow". Presidents of the Church. Salt Lake City: Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, 1979.
  • Ludlow, Daniel H., Editor. Church History, Selections from the Encyclopedia of Mormonism. Deseret Book Company, Salt Lake City, UT, 1992. ISBN 0-87579-924-8.
  • Nibley, Preston. The Presidents of the Church. Deseret Book Company, Salt Lake City, UT, 1974. ISBN 0-87747-414-1.
  • Smith, Joseph Fielding. Essentials in Church History. Salt Lake City: Deseret Book Company, 1964.


  1. Brigham Young called 4 men in 1849 to the Apostleship and as members of the Quorum of Twelve to fill the vacancies created by the reconstitution of the First Presidency. These were Charles C. Rich, Lorenzo Snow, Erastus Snow, and Franklin D. Richards.

Preceded by:
Wilford Woodruff
President of the LDS Church
September 13, 1898October 10, 1901
Succeeded by:
Joseph F. Smith
Preceded by:
Wilford Woodruff
President of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles
April 7, 1889September 13, 1898
Succeeded by:
Franklin D. Richards

Template:Series box Template:End boxde:Lorenzo Snow


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