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
By Steve & Frances Orton and Joy Ercanbrack
We extend a heartfelt thank you to the many family members who went the extra mile to help make the 2014 Reunion such a great success! Please log on to the website to see pictures and read the full account of the reunion.
The family gained a deeper respect for our ancestors who lived in the Independence, Missouri area as we toured Far West, Adamondi-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 family met in the beautiful Community of Christ Stone Church and received gracious welcomes and family news, history, website, iDig info and news of upcoming events. Lach Mackay read a welcome letter to the family from Cousin Wallace B. Smith who was recovering from surgery.read more
Independence, Missouri was chosen for the reunion this summer to celebrate important anniversaries in our family history; the dedication of the temple lot as well as one of the original Smith reunion held in Independence more than forty years ago. Our theme “Walking in their Shoes” will help us remember our Smith ancestors who lived in Missouri, their efforts to build Zion, and courage as they faced great trials.
Our Grandmother Lucy Mack wrote that while living in Missouri the Smith family numbered about 24. (Several of the Smith women were expecting babies.) Included in the group were eleven children eight years old and under.
Persecutions the family faced are difficult to imagine. Agnes Smith, wife of Don Carlos, waded the Grand River with her babies in arm after the mob burned their home to the ground. Within days of giving birth to a son, Samuel’s wife, Mary, was told she had to move immediately to Far West traveling alone in the rain in an open lumber wagon. These are just two examples illustrating their plight.
For some Missouri may be remembered as a place of sadness, in contrast, scriptures revealed to Joseph in Liberty Jail are a source of hope. We wish to share this hope through our family service project of collecting shoes for a women and children’s shelter in the Independence area. Your donation of new shoes or small contribution of cash will purchase shoes for young children and mothers in need, who have left their homes with little in hand, much like our Smith ancestors had to do.
As we serve together our family bond is strengthened and we become part of a greater purpose to ensure the Smith name is known for good. Donations can be made now. We’ll also have a collection shoe box at the reunion.
Thank you for your kindness,
Steve and Frances Orton
Joseph Smith Sr. and Lucy Mack Smith Reunion Committee
Steve & Frances Orton
Joseph Sr. & Lucy Mack Smith Family Reunion Co-Chairs
Home: 801-226-6054, Fax: 801-452-6567
Steve: email@example.com, mobile: 801-787-8172
Frances: firstname.lastname@example.org, mobile: 801-310-8686