"God sometimes does His work with gentle drizzle, not storms. Drip. Drip. Drip." - John Newton (Amazing Grace)
Question #90465 posted on 10/07/2017 8:14 p.m.
Q:

Dear 100 Hour Board,

With the recent passing of Elder Hales I wondered if any other apostles or prophets have died in the time between the first and last sessions of one conference?

-A merman hey

A:

Dear Mormon Merman,

While it seems unlikely, it is possible that some other apostles or prophets have died between the first and last sessions of one conference. I set out to find possible candidates by searching this handy dandy list of apostles on Wikipedia for apostles who had died within a week of the first beginning of either April or October. when conference is normally held. My search yielded these 4 candidates with their death dates listed to the right:

  • Orson Pratt October 3rd 1881
  • Lyman Wight March 31st 1858
  • George Albert Smith April 4th 1951
  • J Rueben Clark October 6th 1961

Then I had to see which days General Conference was held using this handy list to see if any of these 4 died on a day of conference. All died at least 2 days away from General Conference, so it appears that Elder Hales is the only apostle to pass away between sessions of General Conference.

Peace,

Tipperary

posted on 10/08/2017 11:32 p.m.
Here’s some fun facts about when George Albert Smith died right before conference started. Things went forward as normal. However, it was explicitly stated that David O. McKay presided as President of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, and J. Reuben Clark (who had been in the First Presidency and never in the Twelve) was called “Elder Clark” publicly for the only time in his 30 years of Church service.

They held President Smith’s funeral as a conference session on Saturday, replacing a regular session. Sunday morning the solemn assembly was held, and the new First Presidency was sustained.