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- The History of Joseph Smith by His Mother
- Lucy Mack Smith, History, 1844–1845
- Lucy Mack Smith, History, –, Page , bk. 
Of this history, President Joseph F. Both old and young will be pleased as well as benefited by the perusal of its pages. To read this book is to know Joseph Smith more intimately and to be inspired by the insights and stories surrounding the events of this beloved prophet's life.
View more products by Lucy Mack Smith. I loved the stories in this book. But I could not stand the reader. It was read without much feeling. It reminded me of the way the ensign articles are read. Young had not authorized its publication and believed it contained historical errors. In , Young and his counselors in the First Presidency of the church formally recalled the Liverpool edition. It was not until that the church released an authorized edition, in serial form in the Improvement Era.
Smith and Elias Smith. Subsequently, other popular editions have appeared. She illuminates the family setting that fostered the birth of Mormonism and retells incidents and interactions recounted nowhere else. She was present at many seminal events and offered insights no one else could provide. Adversity and persecution are vividly evident, as are hard work, faith, love, and testimony. She also provided details and perspective about missions, moves, travels, mobbings, and arrests that are not available elsewhere.
He soon left the main, and commenced preaching again, which he continued until his death. The history of Lovisa and Lovina, my two oldest sisters, is so connected and intenvoven that I shall not attempt to separate it. They were one in faith, in love, in action, and in hope of eternal life. They were always together, and when they were old enough to understand the duties of a Christian, they united their voices in prayer and songs of praise to God. This sisterly affection increased with their years, and strengthened with the strength of their minds.
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The pathway of their lives was never clouded with a gloomy shadow until Lovisa's marriage, and removal from home, which left Lovina very lonely. In about two years after Lovisa's marriage, she was taken very sick, and sent for Lovina. Lovina, as might be expected, went immediately, and remained with her sister during her illness, which lasted two years, baffling the skill of the most experienced physi- cians; but at the expiration of this time she revived a little, and showed some symptoms of recovery.
I shall here relate a circumstance connected with her sickness, which may tiy the credulity of some of my readers, yet hundreds were eye witnesses, and doubtless many are now living, who, if they would, could testify to the fact which I am about to mention. As before stated, after the space of two years she began to manifest signs of convalescence, but soon a violent re-attack brought her down again, and she grew worse and worse, until she became entirely speechless, and so reduced that her attendants were not allowed to even turn her in bed.
She took no nourishment ex- cept a very little rice water. On the third night, about two o'clock, she feebly pronounced the name of Lovina, who had all the while watched over her pillow, like an attendant angel, observing every change and symptom with the deepest emotion. Startled at hearing the sound of Lovisa's voice, Lovina now bent over the emaciated form of her sister, with thrilling interest, and said, "my sister!
They did so, though with reluctance, as they supposed she might live a few moments longer, if she did not exhaust her strength too much by exerting herself in this manner. Having raised her in bed, they assisted her to dress; and although, when they raised her to her feet, her weight dislocated both of her ankles, she would not consent to return to her bed, but insisted upon being set in a chair, and having her feet drawn gently in order to have her ankle joints replaced. She then re- quested her husband to bring her some wine, saying, if he would do so she would do quite well for the present.
Soon after this, by her own request, she was assisted to cross the street to her father-in-law's, who was at that time prostrated upon a bed of sickness. When she entered the house he cried out in amazement, "Lovisa is dead, and her spirit is now come to warn me of my sudden departure from this world. She talked to them a short time, and then sang a hymn, after which she dis- missed them, promising to meet them the next day at the village church, where she would tell them all about the strange manner in which she had been healed.
The following day according to promise, she proceeded to the meeting house, and when she arrived there a large congregation had collected. Soon after she entered, the minister arose and re- marked, that as many of the congregation had doubtless come to hear a recital of the strange circumstance which had taken place in the neighborhood, and as he himself felt more interested in it than in hearing a gospel discourse, he would open the meeting and then give place to Mrs.
The minister then requested her to sing a hymn; she accord- ingly did so, and her voice was as high and clear as it had ever been. Having sung, she arose and addressed the audience as fol- lows: When she sat down, her husband and sister, also those who were with her during the last night of her sickness, arose and testified to her appearance just before her sudden recovery. Of these things she continued to speak boldly for the space of three years.
At the end of which time she was seized with the consumption which terminated her earthly existence. She lingered three years. During which time she spoke with much calmness of her approaching dissolution, contemplating death with all that serenity which is characteristic of the last moments of those who fear God, and walk uprightly before him. She conjured her young friends to remember that life upon this earth cannot be eternal. Hence the necessity of looking beyond this vale of tears, to a glorious inheritance, "where moths do not corrupt, nor thieves break through and steal.
The task, though a melancholy one, I cheerfully per- formed, and, although she had much other attention, I never allowed myself to go an hour, at a time, beyond the sound of her voice while she was sick. A short time before she breathed out her last moments, which was in the night, she awakened me, and requested that I would call father and mother, for she wished to see them, as she would soon be gone. When they came, she said, "Father and mother, now I am dying, and I wish you to call my young associates, that I may speak to them before I die.
After talking a short time to them, she stopped, and, turning to her mother, said, "Mother, will you get me something to eat? And I have called you here to give you my last warning — to bid you all farewell, and beseech you to endeavor to meet me where parting shall be no more. Although I was but thirteen years old, she was so emaciated that I could carry her with considerable ease. As I was carrying her to bed, my hand slipped. At this she cried out, "Oh! Sister, that hurt me. I was well assured, that this was the last sad office I should ever perform for my sister, and the thought that I had caused her pain in laying her on her death bed, wounded me much.
Soon after this, she passed her hand over her face, and again remarked, "My nose is now quite cold. Having led my readers to the close of Lovina's life, I shall return to Lovisa, of whom there only remains the closing scene of her earthly career. In the course of a few months subsequent to the death of sister Lovina, my father received a letter from South Hadley, stat- ing that Lovisa was very low of the consumption, and that she earnestly desired him to come and see her as soon as possible, as she expected to live but a short time. My father set out immediately, and when he arrived there, he found her in rather better health than he expected.
In a few days after he got there, she resolved in her heart to return with him at all hazards. To this her father unwillingly consented, and, after making the requisite preparations, they started for Gilsum. They traveled about four miles, and came to an inn kept by a man by the name of Taff. Here her father halted, and asked her if she did not wish to tarry a short time to rest herself. She replied in the affirmative. By the assistance of the landlord, she was presently seated in an easy chair. My father then stepped into the next room to procure a little water and wine for her.
He was absent but a moment; however, when he returned it was too late, her spirit had fled from its earthly tabernacle to return no more, until recalled by the tramp of the archangel. My father immediately addressed a letter to mother, informing her of Lovisa's death, lest the shock of seeing the corpse unex- pectedly should overcome her. And as soon as he could get a coffin, he proceeded on his journey for Gilsum, a distance of fifty miles. She was buried by the side of her Sister Lovina, according to her own request.
The following is part of a hymn composed by herself, a few days previous to her decease: My soaring thoughts now rise above — Oh fill my sjuI with heavenly love. Father and mother, now farewell; And husband, partner of my life, Go to my father's children, tell That lives no more on earth thy wife, That while she dwelt in cumbrous clay, For them she prayed both night and day. My friends, I bid you all adieu; The I ord hath called, and I must go — And all the joys of this vain earth, Are now to me of little worth: Thus closes this mournful recital, and when I pass with my readers into the next chapter, with them probably may end the sympathy aroused by this rehearsal, but with me it must last while life endures.
My brother Stephen, who was next in age to Jason, was born in the town of Marlow, June 15, I shall pass his childhood in silence, and say nothing about him until he attained the age of fourteen, at which time he enlisted in the army, the circumstances of which were as follows: A recruiting officer came into the neighborhood to draft sol- diers for the Revolutionary war, and he called out a company of militia to which my brother belonged, in order to take therefrom such as were best qualified to do miltary duty. My brother, being very anxious to go into the army at this time, was so fearful that he would be passed by on account of his age, that the sweat stood in large drops on his face, and he shook like an aspen leaf.
Fortunately the officer made choice of him among others, and he entered the army and continued in the service of his country until he was seventeen. During this time he was in many battles, both on land and sea, and several times narrowly escaped death by fam- ine; but, according to his own account, whenever he was brought into a situation to fully realize his entire dependence upon God, the hand of Providence was always manifested in his deliver- ance. Not long since I met with an intimate acquaintance of my brother Stephen, and requested him to furnish me such facts as were in his possession in relation to him; and he wrote the follow- ing brief, yet comprehensive account, for the gratification of my readers: I have been personally acquainted with Major Mack and his family ever since I can remember, as I lived in the same town- ship, within one mile and a half of the Major's farm, and two miles from his store, and eight miles from Chelsea, the county seat of Orange county, where he conducted the mercantile and tinning business.
My eldest brother went to learn the tinning business of the Major's workmen. The Major being a man of great enterprise, energetic in business, and possessed of a high degree of patriotism, launched forth on the frontiers of Detroit, in the year if I recollect rightly , where he immediately commenced trading with the Indians.
He left his family in Tunbridge, on his farm, and while he was en- gaged in business at Detroit he visited them — sometimes once in a year, in eighteen months, or in two years, just as it happened. I visited Detroit, November 1, , where I found the Major mer- chandising upon quite an extensive scale, having six clerks in one store; besides this, he had many other stores in the territory of Michigan, as well as in various parts of Ohio.
His business at Pontiac was principally farming and building, but in order to facilitate these two branches of business, he set in operation a saw and flour mill, and afterwards added different branches of mechan- ism. He made the turnpike road from Detroit to Pontiac at his own expense. He never encouraged idleness, or the man above his business. In , having been absent from Detroit a short time, I returned.
The Major was then a member of the Council of the territory, and had acted a very conspicuous part in enhacing its prosperity and enlarging its set- tlement; and it was a common saying, that he had done much more for the territory than any other individual. In short, the Major was a man of talents of the first order. He was energetic and untiring. He always encouraged industry, and was very cautious how he applied his acts of charity.
Respectfully by Horace Stanly.
The History of Joseph Smith by His Mother
My brother was in the city of Detroit in , the year in which Hull surrendered the 'territory to the British crown. After a short service in this office, he was ordered to surrender. At this his indignation was roused to the highest pitch. He broke his sword across his knee, and throwing it into the lake, exclaimed that he would never submit to such a disgraceful compromise while the blood of an American continued to run through his veins. This drew the especial vengeance of the army upon his head; and his property, doubtless, would have been sacrificed to their resentment, had they known the situation of his affairs.
But this they did not know, as his housekeeper deceived them by a strata- gem, related by Mr. At the surrender of Detroit, not having as yet moved his family hither, Major Mack had an elderly lady, by the name of Trotwine, keep- ing house for him. The old lady took in some of the most distinguished British officers as boarders. She justified them in their course of con- duct towards the Yankees, and, by her shrewdness and tact, she gained the esteem of the officers, and thus secured through them the good will of the soldiery, so far as to prevent their burning what they supposed to be her store and dwelling, both of which were splendid buildings.
The Major never forgot this service done him by the old lady, for he ever afterwards supported her handsomely. Thus was a great amount of goods and money saved from the hands of his enemies. But this is not all: The building and goods were burned. As soon as the English left the territory, he recommenced business, and removed his family from Tunbridge to Detroit. Here they remained but a short time, when he took them to Pontiac; and as soon as they were well established or settled in this place, he himself went to the city of Rochester, where he built a saw- mill.
But, in the midst of his prosperity, he was called away to experience another state of existence, with barely a moment's warn- ing, for he was sick only four days from the time he was'first taken ill until he died, and even on the fourth day, and in the last hour of his illness, it was not supposed to be at all dangerous, until his son, who sat by his bedside, discovered he was dying. He left his family with an estate of fifty thousand dollars, clear of encumbrance. Of my sister Lydia I shall say but little; not that I loved her less, or that she was less deserving of honorable mention; but she seemed to float more with the stream of common events than those who have occupied the foregoing pages; hence fewer incidents of a striking character are furnished for the mind to dwell upon.
She sought riches and obtained them; yet in the day of pros- perity she remembered the poor, for she dealt out her substance to the needy, with a liberal hand, to the end of her days, and died the object of their affection. As she was beloved in life, so she was bewailed in death. Daniel comes next in order.
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He was rather worldly-minded, yet he was not vicious; and if he had any peculiar trait of char- acter, it was this — he possessed a very daring and philanthropic spirit, which led him to reach forth his hand to the assistance of those whose lives were exposed to danger, even to the hazard of his own life. Daniel objected, saying it was a dangerous place to swim in, yet they were determined, and three went in; but, going out into the stream rather too far they were overpowered by the current, and a kind of eddy which they fell into, and they sank immediately.
At this, Daniel said, "Now, gentlemen, these men are drown- ing; who will assist them at the risk of his life? At this, he sprang into the water, and, diving to the bottom, found one of them fastened to some small roots. Daniel took hold of him, and tore up the roots to which he was clinging, and brought him out, and then told the by-standers to get a barrel, for the pur- pose of rolling him on it, in order to make him disgorge the water which he had taken.
He then went in again, and found the other two in the same situation as the first, and saved them in like manner. After rolling them a short time on the barrel, he took them to a house, and gave them every possible attention, until they had so far recovered as to be able to speak. As soon as they could talk, one of them fixing his eyes upon Daniel, said, "Mr. We are now assured that you have not only wisdom to counsel, but when men have spurned your advice, you still have that greatness of soul which leads you to risk your own life to save your fellow man. No, I will never leave you as long as I live, for I wish to convince you that I ever remember you, and that I will never slight your counsel again.
My youngest brother, Solomon, was born and married in the town of Gilsum, state of New Hampshire, where he is still living; and although he is now very aged, he has never traveled farther than Boston, to which place his business leads him twice a year. He has gathered to himself in this rocky region, fields, flocks, and herds, which multiply and increase upon the mountains. He has been known at least twenty years, as Captain Solomon Mack, of Gilsum; but as he lives to speak for himself, and as I have to do chiefly with the dead, and not the living, I shall leave him, hop- ing that, as he has lived peaceably with all men, he may die happily.
I have now given a brief account of all my father's family, save myself; and what I have written has been done with the view of discharging an obligation which I considered resting upon me, inasmuch as they have all passed off this stage of action, except myself and youngest brother. And seldom do I meet with an in- dividual with whom I was even acquainted in my early years, and I am constrained to exclaim — "The friends of my youth! I shall now introduce the history of my own life. I was bom in the town of Gilsum, Cheshire county, state of New Hampshire, on the eighth of July, When I arrived at the age of eight years, my mother had a severe fit of sickness.
She was so low that she, as well as her friends, entirely despaired of her recovery. During this sickness she called her children around her bed, and, after exhorting them always to remember the instructions which she had given them — to fear God and walk uprightly before him, she gave me to my brother Stephen, requesting him to take care of me, and bring me up as his own child, then bade each of us farewell. This my brother promised to do; but, as my mother shortly recovered, it was not necessary, and I consequently remained at my father's house until my sister Lovisa was married.
Some time after this event I went to South Hadley, to pay Lovisa, who was living there, a visit. I returned home to my parents in about six months, and re- mained with them in Gilsum until the death of Lovina. Soon after which, my brother Stephen, who was living at Tunbridge, Vermont, came to my father's on a visit; and he insisted so earnestly on my accompanying him home, that my parents consented. The grief occasioned by the death of Lovina was preying upon my health, and threatened my constitution with serious injury, and they hoped that to accompany my brother home might serve to divert my mind and thus prove a benefit to me.
For I was pensive and melan- choly, and often in my reflections I thought that life was not worth possessing. To accomplish this, I spent much of my time reading the Bible, and praying; but notwithstanding my great anxiety to experience a change of heart, another matter would always interpose in all my meditations — if I remain a member of no church, all religious people will say I am of the world; and if I join some one of the different denominations, all the rest will say I am in error.
No church will admit that I am right, except the one with which I am associated. This makes them witnesses against each other; and how can I decide in such a case as this, seeing they are all unlike the Church of Christ, as it existed in former days! While I remained at Tunbridge, I became acquainted with a young man by the name of Joseph Smith, to whom I was subse- quently married. I continued with my brother one year, then went home. I was at home but a short time, when my brother came after me again, and insisted so hard upon my returning with him, that I concluded to do so.
And this time I remained with him until I was married, which took place the next January. Here, I would like to give the early history of my husband, for many facts might be mentioned, that doubtless would be highly interesting; but as I am not able to give them in order, I shall de- cline making the attempt, and in the place thereof shall insert a transcript from the record of his family, beginning with Samuel Smith, who was the son of Robert and Mary Smith, who came from England.
Children of Samuel and Rebecca Smith. First Mary, born Aug. Second Samuel, born Jan. Elizabeth, born July 8, ; married to Eliezer Gould; died March 15, Hephzibah, born May 12, ; married to Wm. Robert, born April 25, Susanna, born May 2, ; died May 5, Hannah, born April 5, ; married to John Peabody; died Aug.
First Samuel Smith died July 12, His wife Rebecca Smith, March 2, Third Samuel, born Oct. Children of first Asael died Oct. Mary, born June 4, ; married to Isaac Pierce, Dec. Fourth Samuel, born Sept. First Silas, born Oct. Sarah, born May 16, ; married to Joseph Sanford, Oct. Children of fourth Samuel and Frances Wilcox. Charles, born Potsdam, St. Eliza, " " Mar. Harvey, " " Apr. Harriet, " " Apr. Stephen, " " May 2, Mary, " " May 4, Catherine, " " July 13, Royal, " " July 2, Sarah, " " Dec.
Lucy Mack Smith, History, 1844–1845
Children of John C. Polly " " Oct. Marshall " " March 18, Ephraim, born March 13, ; died March 24, Emily " " Sept. Esther " " Sept.
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Martha " " June 9, Second Silas " " June 6, ; died June 6, Eunice was born April 29, Miranda " " June 17, Horace a " June 8, Susan a " June 20, Mary 1 1 " April 25, Laura a " Feb. Children of first Silas died Sept. Charles was born Nov. Charity a April 1, ; u June 2, Sixth Samuel " a Oct. Stephen a June 8, ; a Feb. Third Asael " a Oct. Children by his second wife Mary Aikens Smith died Apr. Jesse Nathaniel " " Dec.
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Caroline " " June 6, Lovina was born Sept. Mary " " June 27, ; died May 29, John " " Sept, 22, Second Hyrum " " April 27, ; died Sept. Jerusha " " Jan. Sarah " " Oct. Children of Hyrum Smith and Mary, his second wife! Martha Ann " " May 14, Julia Murdock Smith,adopted daughter, was born April 30, Third Joseph was born Nov. Don Carlos " " June 13, ; died Aug. Mary Smith died Jan. Children of Samuel Smith and Levira, his second wife. Mary Jane was born Jan.
Children of Calvin and Sophronia Stoddard. Eunice was born March 22, Maria " " April 12, Children of Wilkins J. Elizabeth was born April 12, Alvin " June 7, Smith, son of first John Smith, was married to Bathsheba W. Bigler, July 25, Children of George A. George Albert, was born July 7, ; died Nov. Bathsheba " " Aug. Having now given all the names belonging to the family of Smith, I shall take up another lineage, namely, that of the Mack family, commencing with my grandfather Ebenezer Mack.
His son Solomon was born in the town of Lyme, state of Connecticut, Sept. Calvin was born Nov. Orlando a " Sept. Chilon a " July, 26, Third Solomon a " May 23, Amos a " May 1, Dennis a " Oct. Merrill u " Sept. Esther tt " April 2, Rizpah a " June 5, Soon after I was married, I went with my husband to see my parents, and as we were about setting out on this visit, my brother Stephen, and his partner in business, John Mudget, were making some remarks in regard to my leaving them, and the conversation presently turned upon the subject of giving me a marriage pres- ent.
Mudget, "Lucy ought to have something worth naming, and I will give her just as much as you will. This check I laid aside, as I had other means by me sufficient to purchase my housekeeping furniture. Having visited my father and mother, we returned again to Tunbridge, where my companion owned a handsome farm, upon which we settled ourselves, and began to cultivate the soil. We lived on this place about six years, tilling the earth for a liveli- hood. In , we rented our farm in Tunbridge, and moved to the town of Randolph, where we opened a mercantile establishment. When we came to this place we had two children, Alvin and Hyrum.
We had lived in Randolph but six months when I took a heavy cold, which caused a severe cough. To relieve this, every possible exertion was made, but it was all in vain. A hectic fever set in, which threatened to prove fatal, and the physician pronounced my case to be confirmed consumption. During this sickness, my mother watched over me with much anxiety, sparing herself no pains in administering to my comfort, yet I continued to grow weaker and weaker, until I could scarcely endure even a foot-fall upon the floor, except in stocking-foot, and no one was allowed to speak in the room above a whisper.
While I was in this situation, a Methodist exhorter came to see me. On coming to the door, he knocked in his usual manner, and his knocking so agitated me that it was a considerable length of time before my nerves became altogether quieted again. My mother motioned him to a chair, and in a whisper informed him of my situation, which prevented his asking me any questions. He tarried some time, and while he sat he seemed deeply to meditate upon the uncertainty of my recovering; in the mean time, he showed a great desire to have conversation with me respecting my dying.
As he thus sat pondering, I fancied to myself that he w T as going to ask me if I was prepared to die, and I dreaded to have him speak to me, for then I did not consider myself ready for such an awful event, inasmuch as I knew not the ways of Christ; besides, there appeared to be a dark and lonesome chasm, between myself and the Savior, which I dared not attempt to pass.
Lucy Mack Smith, History, –, Page , bk. 
I thought I strained my eyes, and by doing so I could discern a faint glimmer of the light that was beyond the gloom which lay immediately before me. When I was meditating upon death, in this manner, my visitor left; soon after which my husband came to my bed, and took me by the hand, and said, "Oh, Lucy! The doctors have given you up; and all say you cannot live. My mind was much agitated during the whole night. Sometimes I contemplated heaven and heavenly things; then my thoughts would turn upon those of earth — my babes and my companion. During this night I made a solemn covenant with God, that, if he would let me live, I would endeavor to serve him according to the best of my abilities.
Shortly after this, I heard a voice say to me, "Seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you.