by Aleah Ingram
Emma Smith is one of the most fascinating characters of the Restoration. She is remembered for her unrelenting strength and ability to overcome hardships. On the anniversary of her birth, which took place on July 10, 1804, in Harmony, Pennsylvania, here are ten interesting facts you may not have known about Emma Smith.
ONE. Emma wasn’t planning on eloping. In 1827, Emma was visiting a Mr. Stowell and his family in New York. She saw Joseph there, who she had been courting for seventeen months. She would write : “I had no intention of marrying when I left home; but, during my visit at Mr. Stowell’s [Joseph]…urged me to marry him, and preferring to marry him to any other man I knew, I consented.”
TWO. The angel Moroni told Joseph he would receive the gold plates and other hidden items in September if he brought with him the right person. After looking into the seer stone, Joseph discovered the right person was “Emma Hale.” Nine months after their marriage, Emma drove the wagon to the Hill Cumorah and waited while Joseph gathered the plates.
THREE. Emma toiled thousands of extra hours so that Joseph had the time to accomplish of the work of the Lord.
FOUR. Emma was considered an herb doctor and often went among the sick to administer medicine.
FIVE. Joseph and Emma were distant cousins. Both had ancestors on the Mayflower.
SIX. Emma opposed using the word “benevolent” in the name of the newly founded women’s society, as suggested by Joseph Smith and Elder John Taylor. Benevolent was a popular word for women’s societies of the day and Emma did not want the church’s women’s society to be associated with the world. After discussion, it was decided that the society would be called the Female Relief Society of Nauvoo.
SEVEN. The current hymnbook of the Church has twenty-six of the hymns that appeared in Emma’s 1835 hymnal, which she compiled after revelation from the Lord.
EIGHT. Emma had a beautiful soprano voice. Records state she often sang obbligato parts in choral groups and filled the Smith home with sweet music.
NINE. Brigham Young sent money to Emma through a Church attorney to pay off the debts of Joseph Smith and the Church in Nauvoo. The attorney, Almon Babbit, kept all the money for himself and neither Brigham nor Emma ever knew.
TENTH. Emma saw Jesus Christ and Joseph in a dream before her death.