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  • Marion Isabelle Sims Smith Spafford was the ninth general president of the Relief Society of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints from April 6, 1945 until October 3, 1974. She served longer in this capacity than any other woman in the history of the Relief Society. Spafford was also the second counselor to president Amy B. Lyman from 1942 to 1945. In 1974, Spafford was succeeded by Barbara B. Smith. Born in Salt Lake City, Utah Territory to John Gibson Smith and his wife the former Hester Sims. She was their seventh and last child. Spafford served under six presidents of the church, from Heber J. Grant to Spencer W. Kimball. During her tenure as president, the society grew from just over 100,000 members to more than one million spanning several dozen countries. Spafford oversaw the discontinuance of the Relief Society Magazine in 1970 and promoted the Ensign as the primary magazine for the women of the church. Spafford was the founder of the LDS Church's social services program, the program that is today LDS Family Services. Spafford was a member of the National Council of Women of the United States, and served as its president from 1968 to 1970.

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