By Daniel Adams
Father and Mother Smith knew as well as anyone what it meant to be refugees. But their trials had also allowed them to glimpse eternity. They saw their heavenly home and what their family could be, and this knowledge, like that of the saints before, gave them the strength to endure, to continue to dream of their heavenly home.
This year marks the 200th anniversary of Father and Mother Smith being driven from their home, and having to rebuild once again, in a tiny log cabin in Palmyra, New York. Here they would find a short refuge until they would be forced again to leave. Here Father and Mother Smith read the Bible to their children and plead for divine protection. Here, Joseph Sr. told his children of his remarkable dreams of the restoration. Here Lucy would tell her children how God answered her desperate prayers in a grove of trees. Here Joseph would read the invitation of the Apostle James and determine to ask of God
what he should do. Here the heavens would rend and the Angel Moroni would descend to reveal a mighty work and a wonder. Here, the family gathered nightly to hear Joseph recount his remarkable visions of the ancient inhabitants of this continent. Here the Smith boys and girls grew
strong in faith and work, believing that God was watching over their family. This place, more than any other, symbolized what can be ours – no matter the coming persecution, trials and difficulties – when we dream of our heavenly home.
On this 200th anniversary, the Joseph Sr. and Lucy Mack Smith descendants have the opportunity to gather in Salt Lake and help current refugees who
have been driven from their homes and lost their worldly possessions. We will be building bunk beds for refugee children and their families. We would like them to know that God is aware of them, that our family understands to some degree what it means to be refugees, and now with this gift, perhaps they too can dream of a heavenly home.