I am helping to publicize and promote a marathon run that honors the memory of Joseph and Hyrum Smith. It is being held on May 27th this year, which is Memorial day weekend. The run starts in Nauvoo, and ends in Carthage.
Would you be able to help us get the word out about this marathon through your website or an email to Smith family members?
For more information, you can look at our website, which is:
https://www.roadtocarthagemarathon.com. It will give you the details of the entire weekend of plans for the race.
If you have any questions, please let me know.
Media Relations Specialist
Road to Carthage Marathon
Two apostles — Elder M. Russell Ballard of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and Elder Lachlan Mackay of the Community of Christ (both descendants of Joseph Smith Sr. and Lucy Mack Smith) — met with more than 400 cousins in Nauvoo, Illinois, on Aug. 6 to commemorate the 25th anniversary of the Smith families coming together to beautify, enlarge, landscape and increase access to the Smith Family Cemetery.
Elder Mackay, a great-great-great-grandson of the Prophet Joseph Smith, and Elder Ballard, a great-great-grandson of the Prophet’s brother Hyrum, laid wreaths on the graves of Joseph Smith Sr., Lucy Mack Smith, Joseph Smith, Emma Hale Smith and Hyrum Smith. They were assisted by Anina Luff, Elder Mackay’s mother; and Katie Clayton, one of Elder Ballard’s granddaughters. Elder Ballard said that two of Joseph’s other brothers, Don Carlos Smith and Samuel Smith, are buried in the cemetery but the exact location of their graves isn’t known.
During the ceremony, the family also placed a marker to honor Lewis C. Bidamon, Emma’s second husband and the last to be buried in the cemetery. Elder Mackay spoke of Bidamon’s welcoming generosity, his humor and his caring of Emma’s sons. “For raising [Joseph Smith Jr.’s] children I will be eternally grateful. I am just thrilled we are finally able to mark Lewis’ grave,” Elder Mackay said.read more
15 June 2016
Samuel H. Smith, though not as well known as his older brothers Joseph and Hyrum Smith, played an influential role in the early history of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. In 1829 he moved to Harmony, Pennsylvania, to work Joseph’s farm while Joseph translated the Book of Mormon,and he even briefly served as Joseph’s scribe. He was the third person baptized after the Aaronic Priesthood was restored, and he was chosen as one of the Eight Witnesses to see and handle the plates from which the Book of Mormon was translated. When the Church was organized, Samuel was one of the six original members. It seems fitting, then, that Samuel was called as the first missionary of the newly organized Church. read more
By Nancy Fontaine
Descendants of Joseph Smith, founder of the Mormon Church, have created a scholarship at the Geisel School of Medicine to honor and give thanks for a pioneering surgery that Dartmouth’s Dr. Nathan Smith performed on young Joseph.
Two hundred years ago, a surgeon in rural New Hampshire saved a young boy’s leg and possibly his life. This was no ordinary treatment, however. The surgeon was Dr. Nathan Smith, founder of Dartmouth’s medical school; the child was Joseph Smith, who later founded the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints; and the surgery was far ahead of its time.read more
All Aboard–25th Anniversary of the Smith Family Cemetery Dedication
We will not have two separate tours, but rather we will have one Train/Bus tour. We have filled all of our original reserved spots on the train, but we have secured a second contract with Amtrak. We are very excited about the number of reservations we have received. There’s still time to join us on the Train/Bus trip to Nauvoo. We will take reservations until it fills. We already have 75 commitments and only 35 more spots available.read more
Church History Museum
Heidi Bennett -
This tiny gold bead is easy to overlook among all the larger artifacts in the museum, but it carries a story that gives us important insight into the faith and character of the Prophet Joseph Smith’s parents.
In 1830, Joseph Smith Jr. published the Book of Mormon and formally organized the Church in Fayette, New York. Many people, however, were not pleased with these events.
Later that year, a man came to the home of the Prophet’s parents, Joseph Sr. and Lucy Mack Smith, to collect a debt of $14. That amount back then would be worth about $300 to $350 today. Father Smith told the man that he could pay him only $6 at that moment but that he would pay the rest when he could.
Lucy recalled that the man refused that proposal, but he offered to forgive the entire debt if Joseph Sr. would burn all the copies of the Book of Mormon in the Smith home. Joseph replied, “No si[r] I shall not do that.”
“Very well,” the man replied, “thee shall go to jail then.”
At this point, fearing for her husband, Lucy stepped in and took the gold beads from her neck, saying, “These beads are the full value of the remainder of the debt— . . . I beg of you to take these and be satisfied.”
When he refused her offer, Lucy declared, “You think by this to compel us to deny the work of God and to destroy a book which we know has be[en] brought forth by the gift of the Holy Ghost but sir we shall not burn the book of Mormon nor deny the inspiration of the Almighty.”
The creditor was unmoved, and he had the constable take Joseph Smith Sr. to a debtor’s prison, where he would remain for nearly a month. Joseph Sr. later told his son Samuel, “Immediately after I left your mother, the men by whom I was taken commenced using every possible argument to induce me to renounce the Book of Mormon; saying how much better it would be for [me] to deny that silly thing, than to be disgraced, and imprisoned.”Joseph Sr. ignored their taunts and was consoled that he “was not the first man, who had been imprisoned for the truth’s sake.”
During his imprisonment, he worked as a cooper until he was able to earn enough money to satisfy the debt. Joseph Sr. preached to his fellow inmates and converted two of them to the gospel.
This ordeal is one of many that the Smiths endured as they wholeheartedly supported their son Joseph Smith Jr. in his role as Prophet. This single gold bead, though of little monetary value, represents the great value of the Smiths’ unshakable faith.
Lynn and Tanya Bascom, an LDS couple from Bountiful, Utah, went on vacation this past June, touring some of the nation’s historical sites in the Boston, Massachusetts, area. At the home of John Quincy Adams, they found an 1841 copy of the Book of Mormon that originally belonged to someone very special in Church history — Emma Smith, wife of the Prophet Joseph Smith.
“We went back East for a wedding in Nantucket,” said Lynn Bascom. “My wife was born in Cape Cod, and we love to visit the New England area.” While they were there, Brother and Sister Bascom decided to visit some historical sites associated with the family of John Adams in Quincy, Massachusetts.
The final stop on the Adams historical sites tour is the Old House at Peacefield, the home of John Quincy Adams. “In his will, John Quincy Adams requested that his library of books be preserved in a fireproof structure,” said Brother Bascom. “The library is actually a quaint little cottage that is a separate stone building [housing] more than 14,000 volumes. They put in sky lights so you can see the vast array of books there.”
The National Park Service oversees the tour of the Adams’ historic homes and a park ranger led the tour that the Bascoms attended. “The guide doing the tour asked us where we were from, and we told him we were from Utah,” said Tanya Bascom. “He asked us if we would be interested in seeing a copy of the early edition of the Book of Mormon and directed us to a table in the library that contained several books. About six feet away from us was an 1841 copy of the Book of Mormon given to Charles Francis Adams by the Prophet Joseph Smith.”
“My wife asked if we could touch the Book of Mormon but we were told ‘no,’” said Brother Bascom. “There was also no photography allowed in the home. It was nice the guide threw it out there that the book existed. There was a large table of books that were out for display, and we could see it just a few feet away. We had taken this tour before and never noticed the Book of Mormon.”
The story might have ended there without the help of Utah historian Ron Fox, a member of the Salt Lake 14th Ward. The Bascoms shared their experience with him when they returned home from their vacation and then he went to work trying to find out more. Working with the National Park Service, he obtained photos of the Book of Mormon. The results were astonishing.
The photos showed the spine of the book, indicating that it had been Emma Smith’s personal copy. “A few of the copies of the 1841 Book of Mormon, the first to be published in England, were engraved with the names of early Church leaders,” said Brother Fox. “Joseph, Emma and Hyrum all had their own copies, as well as the members of the Quorum of the Twelve and their wives. No one knew where Emma’s copy was until now. Now I wonder where Joseph Smith’s copy is. Somebody might have an 1841 copy of the Book of Mormon with the name Joseph Smith engraved on it and not realize it was his personal copy.”
The photos also revealed that Joseph Smith had personally signed the book and Adams had documented the receipt on the same page underneath Joseph Smith’s name. Adams wrote in the Book of Mormon he received, “The above is the autograph of the chief of the Mormons who gave me this book at Nauvoo on the 15th of May 1844.” It was signed C. F. Adams.
“Joseph Smith did not sign more than a handful of copies of the Book of Mormon,” said Brother Fox. “This signature and the fact that it was Emma’s copy means the book would be worth a great deal if it were on the public market, probably in excess of a million dollars or more.”
To understand the significance of this discovery, it is important to substantiate the historical accuracy with the journal accounts of the two men who visited Nauvoo in May of 1844. Charles Francis Adams Sr. was the son of President John Quincy Adams and grandson of President John Adams. He was serving in the Massachusetts State Senate at the time of his visit and would later become a member of the U.S. House of Representatives. His traveling companion was Josiah Quincy Jr. He was serving as a member of the Boston city council at the time of his visit and was elected the mayor of Boston the following year in 1845. They decided to make a stop in Nauvoo. Both of them recorded separate experiences in their journals.
From the journal of Charles Francis Adams, May 14, 1844: “As we went on it became very necessary that we should settle upon our course. Quincy [Josiah Quincy Jr., Adams’ traveling companion] wished to stop at Nauvoo, the city of the Mormons and see something of Joe Smith, the prophet.”
Traveling on the Steamer boat Amaranth, the two stopped in Nauvoo. “At the door of a two-story wooden house with a sign post before it, we stopped and were introduced to the celebrated Joe Smith,” writes Adams. “A middle-aged man with a shrewd but rather ordinary expression of countenance, unshaved and in clothes neither very choice nor neat. The whole air of the man was that of frank but not coarse vulgarity. He received us civilly and forthwith introduced us into his house.” (In the early 19th century, “vulgar” meant “common, but not necessarily disgusting” [A Guide to Eighteenth-Century English Vocabulary, Jack Lynch, 14 April 2006, p. 21])
While in Nauvoo, the prophet Joseph Smith entertained, housed and fed them. They visited the construction site of the Nauvoo Temple, discussed religion and politics and Adams and Quincy both saw the Egyptian mummies and manuscript Joseph had procured. Adams writes, “He then took us down into his mother’s chamber and showed us four Egyptian mummies stripped and then undertook to explain the contents of a chart or manuscript which he said had been taken from the bosom of one of them.”
“I think it important to note that Joseph was happy to meet with these men,” said Brother Fox. “They were important in their time, a son of the president of Harvard and son and grandson of the president [of the United States], and at the time President John Quincy Adams was still alive. These were both elected officials and I believe Joseph was looking to build the creditability of the Church in the East and to get help for the Church from the attacks of its enemies.”
The possibility that two copies of the Book of Mormon were given out, one to each visitor, is hinted at in the book Figures of the Past From the Leaves of Old Journals by Josiah Quincy Jr. He writes, “I have before me some relics of my visit to Nauvoo. Here is the Book of Mormon, bearing the autograph which its alleged discoverer and translator wrote, at my request.”
Quincy also shared his impressions about his visit with the Prophet Joseph Smith. “He had already traversed the roughest part of the way to that coveted position,” he wrote. “Born in the lowest ranks of poverty, without book-learning and with the homeliest of all human names, he had made himself at the age of thirty-nine a power upon earth. Of the multitudinous family of Smith, from Adam down (Adam of the “Wealth of Nations,” I mean), none had so won human hearts and shaped human lives as this Joseph. His influence, whether for good or for evil, is potent today, and the end is not yet.”
“It’s thrilling that there is a copy of the Book of Mormon out there with such a wonderful background,” said Brother Bascom. “It’s fascinating to think that it is part of the Quincy Library and interesting how it fits his diary. Establishing these historical moments with historical artifacts dispels a lot of the misconceptions out there that Joseph Smith was not real or Mormonism is fiction.”
Sister Bascom said, “From the whole experience I was left with this thought: John Adams and his family were part of bringing new freedoms to the people of the United States. Through freedom of religion, the Book of Mormon and the gospel of Jesus Christ were allowed to flourish. This is a token of what Adams fought for and therefore he passed the blessing of the restoration of the gospel on to us. Not a lot of people know how much they have been blessed by his efforts. This is one of the hidden gems about this historical tour.”
The LDS Church News is an official publication of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. The publication’s content supports the doctrines, principles and practices of the Church.
By Steve & Frances Orton and Joy Ercanbrack
“Walking in their Shoes” was designated as the theme for the 2014 Joseph Smith Sr. and Lucy Mack Smith Family Reunion. The family gained a deeper respect for our ancestors who lived in the Independence, Missouri area as we toured Far West, Adam-ondi-Ahman, and the sacred Liberty Jail. We learned that God does not abandon us, just as he did not abandon Joseph and Hyrum when they were unjustly imprisoned in the Liberty Jail. Truth does prevail and the mercies of God will be revealed.
The opening meeting was held in the beautiful Community of Christ Stone Church on Thursday, July 31. Dan Larsen welcomed the family to the Kansas City area. Lach Mackay read a welcome letter to the family from Cousin Wallace B. Smith who was recovering from surgery. Steve and Frances Orton presented a history of past reunions and family events and discussed how this reunions activities would go. Reports were given by Bob Smith from Samuel’s family and the iDig project. Phillip Beem discussed the family website and passed on information from Michael Kennedy. Daniel Adams shared the hopes and interests of upcoming events the Joseph Smith Sr. and Lucy Mack Smith Family Association are working on.
The highlight of the evening was hear the memories of Anina Mackay Luff as she reflected on the early reunions and said as she looked in the eyes of newly discovered cousins, she could see the eyes of her family. To end Thursday night’s meeting Joy Ercanbrack introduced our theme of “Walking in their Shoes” and then honored those family members who attended the 1973 Independence Reunion.read more