The following is a chronological listing of each of the published chapters of The Revised and Enhanced History of Joseph Smith by His Mother. Please click on any chapter or section to read or reread it, or to catch any you have missed.
Can you imagine what a boon it would be if the mother of any of the great men or women of the world had written their biographies? What if we had personal insights no other historian could give from the mother of George Washington or Joan of Arc? As Latter-day Saints, we have that kind of remarkable resource on the life of Joseph Smith, written by his mother Lucy Mack Smith, a rare thing indeed. Read this introduction.
In this article, published yesterday, we talked about how Lucy’s Preliminary Notes were extensively edited before they became the book we have had for years in the Church. Many readers asked, “Did Brigham Young edit Lucy’s book, and if so why?” Here’s the answer.
Editors’ Note: In serializing Lucy Mack Smith’s History, we have purposely omitted the first 7 chapters. They are all about Lucy Mack Smith’s father, Solomon Mack, and about each of her siblings. Chapter 8, where we begin, starts with the marriage of Joseph Smith, Sr. and Lucy Mack Smith in January of 1796.
An introduction to the early life of Lucy Mack, her visits to Tunbridge, Vermont, and subsequent marriage to Joseph Smith. July 8, 1775 to January 24, 1796. Click here to read this chapter.
Revised and Enhanced History of Joseph Smith by His Mother–Chapter 9
A wedding present of one thousand dollars from Stephen Mack and John Mudget to Lucy. Six years on the farm at Turnbridge, Vermont. Two children, Alvin and Hyrum, added to the Smith family. Move to Randolph, Vermont. January 1796 to spring 1802. Click here to read this chapter.
Lucy’s sickness and near death at Randolph, Vermont. Fall 1802. Click here to read this chapter.
Joseph Smith Sr. begins the business of crystallizing ginseng root. He exports a large quantity to China but is taken by fraud and deceit, and the entire venture fails. He loses his business in Randolph and has to sell the Tunbridge farm. Visit of Jason Mack, brother of Lucy, and final correspondence from Jason before his death. Fall 1802 to late spring 1803. Click here to read this chapter.
Lucy’s dream to the two beautiful trees by a very pure and clear stream in a magnificent meadow. Interpretation is given about Joseph Smith Sr. and his older brother, Jesse Smith. Spring or summer 1803. To read this chapter, click here.
The Smiths move from Tunbridge to Royalton, then to Sharon, Windsor County, Vermont, where they rent a farm from Solomon Mack, Lucy’s father. Births of Joseph Jr., Samuel Harrison, Ephraim, and William mentioned. First and second in a series of seven visions or dreams given to Joseph Smith Sr. First, the dream of the box, and second, the dream of the tree of life. Summer 1803 to late summer 1812. Click here to read this chapter.
The Smiths settle in Lebanon, New Hampshire. The older children start school. Typhoid fever epidemic rages, and all the Smith children contract the disease. Sophronia’s ninety-day siege, near death, and miraculous recovery.
Seven-year-old Joseph Smith Jr. suffers from a large fever sore, then contracts osteomyelitis in his left leg. Doctors perform an experimental operation on Joseph’s leg in an attempt to save it. The details you may never have heard about the miracles and courage that surrounded this time of Joseph’s life.
Successive Crop Failures Force the Smiths to Move to Western New York–Chapter 16
The Smiths move to Norwich, Vermont. Three successive years of crop failures lead to the decision of the Smith family to move to Palmyra, New York. They obtain one hundred acres of virgin land. Record of Joseph Smith Sr.’s third and sixth visions.
Assassination attempt upon fourteen-year-old Joseph. The seventh and final vision of Joseph Smith Sr. Religious excitement in the region of Palmyra. Young Joseph wants to know which church he should join. Account of the First Vision. Account of the first three visits of the angel Moroni.
Joseph tells his father of the visits of Moroni. His father believes every word and tells Joseph to do as he is commanded. Joseph goes to the hill and finds the ancient record hidden in a stone box. Joseph is shown by contrast the powers of darkness and light. Moroni informs Joseph that the time has not yet come for the record to come forth. Evening after evening Joseph teaches his family about the ancient inhabitants of America.
Alvin Smith’s illness and death. He speaks to each of his brothers and sisters and to his parents, encourages them, and bids them farewell. Cause of his death is determined. His funeral. Alvin’s great zeal for the work of the Lord.
November 15, 1823 to end of November 1823.
A man tries to unify the churches in Palmyra. Joseph gives a prophecy about Deacon Jessup that is fulfilled. Joseph goes to the hill September 22, 1824, and is unable to obtain the plates. A lesson from the angel on keeping all the commandments. Joseph works for Josiah Stowell in Harmony, Pennsylvania. The frame house is completed. Joseph becomes acquainted with Emma Hale.
Evil-designing men purchase deed to Smith property and press for immediate eviction of the Smiths. Mr. Durfee helps them, and they become tenants on their own land. Joseph’s and Hyrum’s marriages. Three-hour reprimand from Moroni to Joseph. The time is near for the plates to be received.
Joseph Knight and Josiah Stowell arrive at the Smith home on September 20, 1827. Joseph and Emma go to the Hill Cumorah. Joseph receives the plates from the angel Moroni. Description of the Urim and Thummim. Money diggers gather and by evil means conjure to find the gold plates. Joseph hides the plates in an old birch log. Joseph brings the plates home and is accosted by three men. Admonition of Moroni to Joseph.
Detailed description of the breastplate. Mob action. Hiding the plates under the hearthstone in the house and then in the cooper’s shop. Martin Harris involves himself in the work. Dealing with Lucy Harris. Lucy Harris’s remarkable dream. Joseph and Emma move to Harmony, Pennsylvania. Martin and Lucy Harris visit soon thereafter. Lucy Harris actively tries to destroy Joseph’s reputation.
Martin Harris pleads with Joseph to take the sacred manuscript to show to his family. The Lord finally consents to let Martin take the 116 pages, with a solemn covenant to show them only to five of his family members. Emma gives birth to a son who soon after dies. Emma’s precarious health condition. Joseph leaves for Palmyra to find Martin. A stranger assures Joseph’s safe passage home. The “Book of Lehi” manuscript is lost.
How Martin Harris Lost the 116 Pages–-Chapter 25
Events in the life of Martin Harris leading to the loss of the 116 manuscript pages. He first shows the manuscript to those he is allowed to, but then forgets his sacred covenant and begins showing it to others. The manuscript is stolen. His crops are blighted and destroyed by a thick fog.
Joseph Smith Sr. and Lucy go to see Joseph Jr. and Emma in Harmony, Pennsylvania. Joseph relates details of what happened after the manuscript was stolen. Joseph goes through time of repentance and finally obtains forgiveness. Parts of D&C 3 and 10 are quoted. Joseph Sr. and Lucy meet Emma’s parents, Isaac and Elizabeth Hale.
Sickness in the Smith household. Oliver Cowdery is hired to teach school in Manchester. Oliver becomes acquainted with the history of Joseph Smith Jr. and desires to become a scribe for him. Smiths are forced to move to their old cabin. Oliver and Samuel Smith go to Harmony, Pennsylvania, to see Joseph. Oliver acts as scribe for Joseph in the translation of the Book of Mormon. Joseph and Oliver receive the Aaronic Priesthood and the ordinance of baptism.
Lucy Harris raises a vexatious lawsuit against Joseph Smith Jr. Mrs. Harris gathers witnesses. Mother Smith prays fervently for her son’s protection and receives a direct answer. Conflicting witnesses are confounded. Martin Harris boldly testifies as to Joseph Smith’s integrity and the work of the Lord.
Joseph is commanded to write David Whitmer and ask him to move them to Fayette, New York. David Whitmer wants a witness of the work. Three strangers arrive and in an extraordinary fashion finish all remaining farmwork. David makes the trip to Harmony and gets Joseph and Oliver. The translation process continues in the home of Peter Whitmer Sr.
Translation of the Book of Mormon is completed. Oliver Cowdery, David Whitmer, and Martin Harris receive divine witness of the work. Testimony of the Three Witnesses. Testimony of the Eight Witnesses. Contract negotiations completed for publication of the Book of Mormon with E. B. Grandin of Palmyra. Mob gathers to stop Joseph and is confounded. Copyright secured. Careful instructions are given concerning protection of the sacred manuscript.
Group of religionists meet and plan to thwart the work of publishing the Book of Mormon. Mother Smith spends the night with the manuscript in a trunk under her bed. She contemplates many scenes she has passed through. Three men visit the Smiths with intentions of distracting Lucy, seizing the manuscript, and immediately burning it. Their scheme fails.
Work of printing the Book of Mormon continues. Hyrum Smith is led by the Spirit to go to the press on the Sabbath. He and Oliver Cowdery discover Abner Cole pilfering the Book of Mormon, publishing it in a series in his small newspaper. They ask him to cease and desist. Joseph is brought in from Pennsylvania, warns Cole he will use the law, and convinces Cole to stop his illegal activities. Citizens of Palmyra combine and agree to never purchase the “gold bible.” The Book of Mormon is published.
Legal organization of the Church at the home of Peter Whitmer Sr. in Fayette, New York. Joseph’s parents are baptized. Samuel Harrison Smith called on a mission to surrounding area. An account of his challenges. He meets with John P. Greene.
Joseph Smith Sr. and Don Carlos set out on a mission to bring the gospel to the extended Smith family. They are well treated by all the family, save Jesse. Extract from brother John Smith’s journal. Meeting with Parley P. Pratt.
A Quaker calls upon Joseph Smith Sr. to pay a debt for fourteen dollars. Joseph cannot pay but is given the option to burn the Book of Mormon and be forgiven the debt. Joseph refuses and goes to jail. A large mob gathers to pilfer the Smith home when only Lucy and little Lucy are present. Mother Smith prays that her family will be safe. Son William Smith arrives and immediately breaks up the mob. Samuel goes to help his father in jail. Joseph Sr. works for thirty days in the jail yard to pay his debt, preaches the gospel, and baptizes two people.
Samuel’s account of his third mission to Livonia, New York. John and Rhoda Greene, Phineas Young, Brigham Young, and others join the Church through Samuel’s efforts. The Smiths move from the farm at Manchester to Waterloo, New York, and are treated with great kindness and enjoy a season of peace.
Parley P. Pratt, Ziba Peterson, Peter Whitmer Jr., and Oliver Cowdery are called on a mission to the Lamanites. Lucy’s description of the indomitable Emma. The four missionaries stop in Ohio to preach the gospel, and hundreds respond to the message of the Restoration, including Sidney Rigdon and Edward Partridge. Sidney and Edward come to Waterloo to meet the Prophet. The Lord commands the Church to gather in Ohio. Joseph and Emma move to Kirtland, Ohio.
Lucy Mack Smith leads a group of families from Fayette (Waterloo), New York, to Kirtland, Ohio, the gathering place for the Saints. They sing hymns and preach sermons along the Erie Canal. They arrive at Buffalo and the harbor is closed because of ice. The Saints murmur because of their ill comfort, hunger, and thirst, but Lucy continues to encourage and strengthen them. She calls upon them to exercise their faith and the way will be opened for them. The twenty-foot-thick ice bursts apart like the roar of thunder and they make their passage out of the harbor, then upon Lake Erie to Fairport, Ohio. Joyous meeting with the Prophet Joseph. Safe arrival in Kirtland.
The Smiths settle on a farm in Kirtland. Joseph, Samuel, and Hyrum leave on missions for Missouri. Lucy Mack Smith inserts a number of revelations given at this time concerning the building up of Zion, the keeping of the commandments, and the preaching of the gospel among the congregations of the wicked, including, in part or whole, D&C 52, 58, 59, 60, and 61 of the Doctrine and Covenants.