When former Prime Minister Winston Churchill died on January 24, 1965, admirers around the world honored him for his lifetime of achievements, particularly his role in World War II. Latter-day Saints remembered him for one role unappreciated by the rest of the world: He had been Home Secretary in 1910-1911, at a time when mob violence threatened to expel American LDS missionaries and suppress the Church in Great Britain. Rather than caving to public pressure, Churchill conducted a thorough investigation, concluding at last that “the extensive enquiries which were made did not reveal any grounds for legislative action.”
The Millennial Star recalled this honest service from more than a half century earlier in its tribute to
A Great and Noble Man
Latter-day Saints throughout the world have joined with their neighbours these past weeks in mourning the death of Sir Winston Churchill.
As people from many lands have come in their thousands to pay their last respects in Westminster Hall and later at the graveside, so we, as Mormons, have bowed our heads and thanked God once again for the strength, inspiration and integrity of this “great and noble” statesman.
As our minds go back over the years of the Second World War; as we read again and listen again to the immortal words that lifted this nation up from the sufferings of defeat in France to the joys of victory in Berlin … let us, as Mormons, not forget that but for the strength, but for the honesty of this man in years gone by when Latter-day Saints throughout this land of ours were being persecuted, some tarred and feathered, surrounded by the vilest of lies, attacked from the pulpits of other churches, that but for THIS man Mormons in Great Britain would have been driven into the sea and the preaching of the truth banned from these shores.
We will never forget; we will ever be grateful … for there can be no doubt in our hearts that the hand of God rested upon this son and inspired him in his finest hours.