The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints has announced the passing of church patriarch Eldred G. Smith, who died April 4 at age 106. A statement from the church noted that he lived longer than any Mormon general authority, and was believed to be the oldest living person in Utah.
The statement reads, "The Church lost a valued friend and respected leader with the passing of Patriarch Eldred G. Smith. He was a man who lived a Christ-centered life as he faithfully served as Patriarch to the Church." On January 9, current church president Thomas S. Monson visited Smith. "Eldred Smith is my good friend," he said at the time, "We have traveled many miles together. I love and respect this man."
Smith was the last person to hold the title Patriarch to the Church. He held the position from 1947 until 1979, when he was named Emeritus General Authority, a job he kept until his death. He is survived by his five children.
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