Mary Duty Smith, grandmother of the Prophet Joseph, arrives in Kirtland and dies ten days later. Joseph Smith Sr. and John Smith perform a mission to the East, visiting many of their extended family and trying to further convince them of the Restoration. Hyrum’s wife, Jerusha, passes away in Kirtland.
May 10, 1836 to October 13, 1837
In the year 1836, my husband and his brother John were sent on a short mission to New Portage. While there they administered patriarchal blessings and baptized sixteen persons.
Soon after they left for New Portage, their aged mother arrived in Kirtland from New York, after traveling the distance of five hundred miles. We sent immediately for my husband and his brother, who returned as speedily as possible and found the old lady in good health and excellent spirits. She rejoiced to meet so many of her children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren, whom she expected never to see.
In two days after her sons John and Joseph arrived, she was taken sick and survived but one week, at the end of which she died, firm in the faith of the gospel, although she had never yielded obedience to any of its ordinances. Her age was ninety-three years.
In a short time after her death, my husband and his brother John took a journey to visit branches of the Church in the East, and the following is a sketch from the journal of John Smith of this tour:
“We traveled through New Hampshire, and on our way we visited Daniel Mack, who was Joseph’s brother-in-law. He treated us very kindly but was unwilling to hear the gospel. We traveled thence up the Connecticut River to Grafton. Here we found our sister Mary, whom we had not seen for twenty years. The prejudice of her husband had become so strong against Mormonism, that she was unwilling to treat us even decently. From this place we went to Vermont, through Windsor and Orange Counties, and found many of our relatives, who treated us kindly, but would not receive the gospel. We next crossed the Green Mountains to Middlebury. Here we found our oldest sister, Priscilla, who was very much pleased to see us and received our testimony. We stayed with her overnight, and the next day set out for St. Lawrence County, New York, where we had one brother and a sister. Having arrived at his brother’s (who was Jesse Smith), we spent one day with him. He treated us very ill. Leaving him, we went to see our sister Susan. I had business about ten miles on one side, and during my absence, Jesse pursued Joseph to Potsdam, with a warrant, on a pretended debt of twelve dollars, and took him back to Stockholm. Not satisfied with this, he abused him most shamefully, in the presence of strangers; and he exacted fifty dollars of him, which Joseph borrowed of brother Silas, who happened to be there just at that time from Kirtland, and paid Jesse this sum, in order to save further trouble.
“The meekness manifested by brother Joseph upon this occasion won the feelings of many, who said that Jesse had disgraced himself so much that he would never be able to redeem his character.
“From Potsdam we went to Ogdensburg, when to our joy we found Heber C. Kimball, who had raised up a small branch in that place. These were the first Latter-day Saints we had seen in traveling three hundred miles. On the tenth of October, we returned home.”
About one year after my husband returned from this mission, a calamity happened to our family that wrung our hearts with more than common grief. Jerusha, Hyrum’s wife, was taken sick and, after an illness of perhaps two weeks, died while her husband was absent on a mission to Missouri. She was a woman whom everybody loved who was acquainted with her, for she was in every way worthy. The family were so warmly attached to her that had she been our own sister they could not have been more afflicted by her death.