A few weeks ago, I began to scan and catalog notes from previous research projects. One of my notes from a project on the development of the notion of the post-mortal spirit world caught my eye. It is a telegram sent from Heber J. Grant to Edna Lambson Smith, the wife of President Joseph F. Smith, in the wake of her son, Hyrum Mack Smith’s, death. I thought this note was a lovely expression of affection and empathy from Grant and don’t really have anything to do with it, research-wise. I figured I would post it here and see if it inspired somebody else. At any rate, it’s been exactly 97 years since the telegram was sent, and presumably, received.
Salt Lake City, Utah, Jan. 29, 1918
Sister Edna L. Smith
My Dear Sister Smith:
It is 2 a.m. and I have been awake for an hour, and during this time my thoughts have been with President Smith, yourself, Sister Ida, and her family, and I have most earnestly supplicated our Father to bless and comfort you all in this time of deep sorrow.
Coming home from California on the train I wrote a letter of sympathy to Ida and sent her a copy of a letter to my brother-in-law and his wife and copies of a hymn and a poem. I sent these hoping and praying that there might be some words of comfort for her in them and for her dear ones.
With the prayer that you, too, may be blessed and comforted by reading Sister Woodmansee’s hymn and “The Changed Cross,” also of the Lord’s goodness to me, I am sending you copies of the hymn, the poem and the letter to Brother and Sister Winters.
My Bryan’s beautifully expressed words on immortality are inspired and comforting.
Hyrum in every deed lived a life of “True Nobility,” as so beautifully expressed by Mr. Guest in his little book of poems.
From the bottom of my heart I pray God’s choicest blessings to attend you in this time of deep sorrow.
With love for you and yours, I am,
Your affectionate brother,
HEBER J. GRANT
 By Edward A. Guest
 By William Jennings Bryan
 William Jennings Bryan.