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Kenneth Mays
The 178-foot grain elevator in Welfare Square, Salt Lake City, was constructed in 1940.

From 1923-1948, the Harold B. Lee family lived in four different homes on the west side of Salt Lake City.

As stake president, he knew that many members of his stake were unemployed and needed material assistance. President Lee found ways for many to work for the assistance they received. One of those ways was the construction of the Pioneer Stake Gymnasium (now Harold B. Lee Hall). A good portion of the materials used were salvaged or donated, and the labor was traded for material assistance.

Kenneth Mays
The Pioneer Stake Gymnasium was later renamed Harold B. Lee Hall.

In April 1935, President Lee met with the First Presidency and was asked to create a welfare plan that might be used by the whole church. Upon receiving that assignment, President Lee drove up City Creek Canyon in Salt Lake. There, he sought and received divine direction for how he might proceed.

A year later, President Heber J. Grant “announced the establishment of a centrally directed welfare program called the Church Security Plan.” Harold B. Lee was called to be the managing director of that program. (See "Pure Religion: The Story of Church Welfare Since 1930," by Glen L. Rudd, pages 41-42.)

In 1941, Harold B. Lee was called to be a member of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles. His wife, Fern Tanner Lee, passed away in September 1962. Several years later, he had to return home from Hawaii because of the unexpected death of his daughter, Maurine. She was 40 years old and expecting her fifth child at the time.

Comment on this story

President Lee traveled to many places, including the Holy Land. These journeys could be exhausting (see "Harold B. Lee: Prophet and Seer," by L. Brent Goates, page 488). Interestingly, it was at one site close to the home he was living in where he had some particularly powerful experiences: the Institute of Religion adjacent to the University of Utah (see "Harold B. Lee: Prophet and Seer," pages 394 and 555).

President Lee passed away on Dec. 26, 1973. He was buried in the Salt Lake City Cemetery.