October, 21, 2015

Abraham O Smoot: An Exemplar of Leadership, Dedication, and Sacrifice

By Jessica Reschke

Abraham Smoot

One of BYU’s contributors, Abraham O. Smoot, was highlighted during this year’s Homecoming. Smoot served as Chairman of the Board of Trustees for Brigham Young Academy, where he applied his great leadership skills. Some of these skills had come from his past experience serving as mayor of Salt Lake City and Provo.

Smoot demonstrated dedication and sacrifice, and also provided financial support to the growing academy. Shortly after creating the Academy in 1876, Brigham Young asked Smoot to support the growing academy. Even though President Young died in 1877, he continued to give further instruction to Smoot through visitations. Around 1890, President Young took Smoot to a city where Christ had visited and told Smoot, “You are not to come here until those buildings for the Brigham Young Academy are completed. The growth of the [C]hurch depends upon the growth of the Brigham Young Academy[,] for it is only through knowledge that people will come to understand the Church.” Furthermore, in 1892 Smoot recalled that President Young “appeared to me and . . . said[, ‘] . . . [Y]ou need not worry about the Academy or about how means can be obtained to build the structures which have been commenced, for the way will be opened.[’]

Abraham O. Smoot should be greatly respected for his obedience and willingness to take on such an immense task of helping to build up the Academy in spite of the limitations and financial difficulties at that time. Smoot is a great example of acting in faith and being in tune with the Spirit to receive revelation and guidance. Thanks to Brother Smoot’s efforts and contributions, Brigham Young Academy was able to grow and be strengthened, which helped to establish what is known as Brigham Young University today.

1 Abraham O. Smoot. Photograph. byu. Harold B. Lee Library, L. Tom Perry Special Collections, 09
Sep. 2015. Web. 12 Oct. 2015.
2 Abraham O. Smoot, “Abraham O. Smoot’s Mission” Education in Zion Gallery.