Lorenzo Snow Sees Jesus Christ in the Salt Lake Temple
President Snow sought guidance from The Lord after receiving word that President Wilford Woodruff had died. President Snow's family recorded his experience in their personal journals.
President Snow's daughter, Alice writes, "Upon hearing that President Wilford Woodruff was gravely ill, Elder Lorenzo Snow, who was both President of The Salt Lake Temple and The Quroum of Twelve Apostles, knelt at the sacred altar in the Holy of Holies in the Salt Lake Temple and there plead to the Lord to spare President Woodruff's life. President Snow prayed that President Woodruff might outlive him and that the great responsibility of Church leadership would not fall upon his shoulders. But he also 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 again to the same altar and 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 some sort of manifestation or special reply from the Lord. So he waited,—and waited—and waited but no reply came. No voice, no visitation, no manifestation. He left the altar and the room in great disappointment. Passing through the Celestial room and out into the large corridor he finally received the glorious manifestation he was hoping for."
Lorenzo Snow's grandaughter, Allie Young Pond, writes about what happened next in her journal.
"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 grandpa 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 grandpa 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.'
"'He stood right here, about three feet above the floor. It looked as though he stood on a plate of solid gold.'
"Grandpa 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."
"'Now granddaughter, I want you to remember that this is the testimony of your grandfather, 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.'"
Allie Young Pond, personal journal
Alice Armeda Snow Young Pond personal journal
Susan Arrington Madsen, "The Lord Needed a Prophet"