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Wilford E. Smith papers

Identifier: MSS 7936

Scope and Contents

Collection contains books written by Wilford E. Smith on both his life and the Gospel of Jesus Christ, scrapbooks of his wedding, war service and other greetings' correspondence, magazines, newsclippings, and other materials concerning his time as a mission president in Fiji, and reel to reel tapes of trips taken by Wilford E. and Ruth Smith. Materials date from between 1934 and 2000.


  • 1934-2000


Language of Materials

Materials in English and Bislama.

Conditions Governing Access

Open for public research.

Conditions Governing Use

It is the responsibility of the researcher to obtain any necessary copyright clearances. Permission to publish material from the Wilford E. Smith papers must be obtained from the Supervisor of Reference Services and/or the L. Tom Perry Special Collections Board of Curators.

Biographical History

Wilford E. Smith (born 1916) was a Mormon missionary and college professor in Utah.

Wilford Emery Smith was born May 16, 1916, in Holladay, Utah. He grew up on his family farm and attended Irving School in Holladay. From 1932 to 1934, he attended Granite High school. In April 1935 he joined the Civilian Conservation Corps. On September 2, 1936, he was called to be a missionary for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in New Zealand and served there from 1936 to 1939.

After his mission he attended Brigham Young University with the intention of training to become a school teacher. He also met Ruth Christensen in 1939 and they married on August 31, 1940. They had five children. He transferred to the University of Utah in 1940. In June 1943 he graduated wth a bachelor's degree from the School of Education with a major in sociology and a minor in psychology.

In 1944, he was commissioned as a first lieutenant in the Army and served in the South Pacific during the Second World War. He was awarded battle stars for the Leyte and Okinawan campaigns. He was an active reservist from 1946 to 1976 and retired as a full colonel, receiving the Meritorious Service Medal. He became a professor of sociology at Brigham Young University in 1948 after completing his master's degree in Educational Administration and received his Ph.D. at the University of Washington in 1952.

In 1981, he was called to serve as a mission president in the Fiji Suva Mission. He has served in various other positions in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints as well as on multiple educational boards.


2 oversize boxes (2 linear ft.)

2 cartons (2 linear ft.)


Arranged into four series: 1. Books, 1936-2000. 2. Personal papers, 1934-2000. 3. Scrapbooks, 1934-1952. 4. Audiotapes, 1977.

Custodial History

Donated by Wilford E. Smith in August 2011.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Donated; Wilford E. Smith; August 2011.


Utah and American West and LDS cultural, social, and religious history (20th Century Western & Mormon Manuscripts collection development policy, 5.VII, 2007).

Processing Information

Processed; Elizabeth West; August 2011.

Register of Wilford E. Smith papers
Elizabeth West
2011 August 24
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Language of description note
Finding aid written in English in Latin script.

Repository Details

Part of the L. Tom Perry Special Collections Repository

1130 HBLL
Brigham Young University
Provo Utah 84602 United States