The Lord’s Appearance to Lorenzo Snow
In 1933, LeRoi C. Snow wrote about the Savior’s appearance to his father, Lorenzo Snow, within the confines of the Salt Lake Temple in 1898. At this time, Lorenzo Snow was the President of the Quorum of Twelve Apostles and next in line to succeed Wilford Woodruff as Prophet, Seer and Revelator and President of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. He relates:
For some time President Woodruff’s health had been failing. Nearly every evening President Lorenzo Snow visited him at his home. This particular evening the doctors said that President Woodruff could not live much longer, that he was becoming weaker every day. President Snow was greatly worried. We cannot realize today what a terrible financial condition the Church was in at that time—owing millions of dollars and not being able to pay even the interest on its indebtedness.
LeRoi went on to relate that his father repaired to the Salt Lake Temple and,
. . . there plead to the Lord to spare President Woodruff’s life, that President Woodruff might outlive him and that the great responsibility of Church leadership would not fall upon his shoulders. Yet he promised the Lord that he would devotedly perform any duty required at his hands. . . .
. . . [On 2 September 1898, after receiving word of the death of Wilford Woodruff, President Snow] went to his private room in the Salt Lake Temple.
While in the temple President Snow,
. . . poured out his heart to the Lord. He reminded the Lord how he plead for President Woodruff’s life to be spared, that President Woodruff’s days would be lengthened beyond his own; that he might never be called upon to bear the heavy burdens and responsibilities of the Church. “Nevertheless,” he said, “Thy will be done. I have not sought this responsibility but if it be Thy will, I now present myself before Thee for Thy guidance and instruction. I ask that Thou show me what Thou wouldst have me do.”
After finishing his prayer he expected a reply, some special manifestation from the Lord. So he waited,—and waited—and waited. There was no reply, no voice, no visitation, no manifestation. He left the . . . room in great disappointment. Passing through the Celestial room and out into the large corridor a glorious manifestation was given President Snow which I relate in the words of his grand-daughter, Allie Young Pond. . . .
According to President Snow’s grand-daughter,
One evening while I was visiting grandpa Snow in his room in the Salt Lake Temple, I remained until the door keepers had gone and the night-watchmen had not yet come in, so grand-pa said he would take me to the main front entrance and let me out that way. He got his bunch of keys from his dresser. After we left his room and while we were still in the large corridor leading into the celestial room, I was walking several steps ahead of grand-pa when he stopped me and said: “Wait a moment, Allie, I want to tell you something. It was right here that the Lord Jesus Christ appeared to me at the time of the death of President Woodruff. He instructed me to go right ahead and reorganize the First Presidency of the Church at once and not wait as had been done after the death of the previous presidents, and that I was to succeed President Woodruff.”
Then grandpa came a step nearer and held out his left hand and said: “He stood right here, about three feet above the floor. It looked as though He stood on a plate of solid gold.” Grand-pa told me what a glorious personage the Savior is and described His hands, feet, countenance and beautiful white robes, all of which were of such a glory of whiteness and brightness that he could hardly gaze upon Him.
Then he came another step nearer and put his right hand on my head and said: “Now, grand-daughter, I want you to remember that this is the testimony of your grand-father, that he told you with his own lips that he actually saw the Savior, here in the Temple, and talked with Him face to face.”
She never did, and thankfully she recorded it so that others might know of the Lord’s loving guidance which He gives to those who guide His Church.
The above account can be found in LeRoi C. Snow’s “An Experience of My Father’s.” The Improvement Era, Sep 1933. 677. See also “Lorenzo Snow – Fifth President of the Church”. Presidents of the Church – Student Manual. 2003.