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The History of Joseph Smith by His Mother

4.37  ·  Rating Details  ·  4,197 Ratings  ·  353 Reviews
Amidst confusion over several versions of this mother's account of her son, Mormon prophet Joseph Smith, his 5th great grandson for the family foundation reaffirms this version developed in 1996 by Scot & Maurine Proctor, "who restored Lucy's language and feeling through verification with the original notebook."
Paperback, 328 pages
Published September 1st 2000 by Covenant Communications Inc. (first published 1853)
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Trinna
Oct 09, 2012 Trinna rated it really liked it
I loved reading this book written by Joseph's Mother, Lucy. It is a wonderful book depicting the joys and sorrows of the Smith family from her view. I was a bit surprised that the title is named the History of Joseph Smith, as it seems to hold more of a history of the entire Smith family. Joseph was mentioned much less than I thought he would be. That is not bad, just different than I pictured. It was nice reading thru Lucy's eyes and picturing her viewpoint. She was a very loving, faithful devo ...more
Beth
Feb 19, 2008 Beth rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Okay, can I just say that I ROCK for finishing this book? It took a lot of perseverence, lemme tell ya.

I picked it up at the library last November or so. “Hey,” I thought to myself. “This would be a good thing to read right now, with all the celebrations of Joseph Smith going on for the 200th anniversary of his birth.” (Remember that? Yeah, it was kind of awhile ago.)

Despite my slow-going approach to reading the book, it was interesting and, for the most part, very readable.

Mother Smith includes
...more
Robin
This wasn't really what I expected. It was however really good! I'm glad to have read it. It didn't have all of Church history and all the events. It seemed more of Lucy's memories. I read stuff I didn't know, more about the Smith family and all of Joseph's siblings. Lucy was a spunky little lady and wasn't afraid to speak up! Impressive.
Cindy Phillips
Feb 18, 2016 Cindy Phillips rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
I can honestly say this is one of my favorite books. The testimony of Joseph Smith from his mother is much more real to me because I am a mother myself. I can't imagine watching my child go through all the things that he did. It seems to me that his family would be the first to abandon him if he were lying. They went through so many trials as well as the prophet just by being related to him. This book strengthened my testimony of Joseph Smith and was very informational about what happened in the ...more
Kate
Oct 12, 2009 Kate added it
The Preface to the book is clear that there was circumstances in the life of Lucy Mack Smith that may have rendered portions of the account inaccurate (e.g. her age when it was transcribed), but by and large this book gives satisfactory and intimate view of the Smith family.

Some things I found interesting were:
Lucy Mack Smith did not seem to favor Joseph Smith Jun. in the account. Though he was called as the prophet, she did not make him the 'star' so to speak.

Another think that interested me wa
...more
Cailean
Feb 13, 2012 Cailean rated it it was amazing
Amazing testimony-building book, detailing many events in the life of the Prophet Joseph Smith. The way his mother writes is compelling and her descriptions and explanations are vivid. She starts off with the history of some of her own family members, which are both heartbreaking and fascinating. Most of the book, however, focuses on Joseph's childhood and events before during and after the Sacred Grove experience. I do wish there were less gaps in time, especially during his life as Prophet, bu ...more
Jill
I have wanted to read this book for many years and since I am teaching the Doctrine and Covenants to my primary class this year, I thought that this would be the perfect time to study the life of Joseph Smith, as seen through his mother's eyes. I was unprepared for what ended up being a heart-wrenching, inspiring and faith-promoting experience. Why had I never pondered more on what it must have been like for Joseph's mother? What kind of a woman must she have been to have raised a prophet of God ...more
Dan
Jul 21, 2008 Dan rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Mother Smith's memoirs have been essential reading for LDS members for over a century. In this edition the editors have utilized an original manuscript neglected by previous editors to bring her narration more into line with her own dictation. Lucy Mack Smith's voice clearly comes through, and the work is well annotated with chapter notes.

If you want to learn about the religious atmosphere in early to mid nineteenth century America, then you should put down the textbook. Lay aside the secondary
...more
Greg
I read this biographical narrative about the Prophet Joseph Smith shortly after returning home from a mission for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. I wanted to know more about him, and starting with the recollections and observations of his mother seemed like a good start. I wasn't wrong.

Clearly, this is not a professional biography, and is potentially subject to all of the biases, inaccuracies, and other problems that go with what is essentially a collection of memories. However,
...more
Lori Bond
Jun 02, 2012 Lori Bond rated it it was amazing
I loved this book. As an LDS member I am fascinated by the life of our first Prophet. This book really added to my testimony. There were parts that made me feel very upset at the things the Prophet and his family and all the Saints of that Era had to go through. I was in tears for the sorrow I know his mother felt from the loss of so many children and grandchildren and a few of their wives not to mention the loss of her husband. At the very end she gives her testimony. It was so powerful I just ...more
Wendy
Feb 03, 2015 Wendy rated it it was amazing
With all the tragedy, hell, misery, and death that Joseph and his family went through, you'd think he'd recant everything and say "Never mind, I made all of this stuff up; I don't want all of this trouble", if the church wasn't true. They continued on in their testimonies because the truth was restored to the earth. How could they deny it? This is one thing this account from his mother re-affirmed to me...the testimony that Jesus Christ's Church was restored through this great prophet. I read th ...more
Greg
Like every reader or writer of history, I view it through the lens of my own experiences, thoughts, and cultural predispositions. I am LDS, and so my beliefs and faith certainly play a part in what I read and how I perceive a book's value. Additionally, Lucy Mack Smith was not a historian, even a "pop" historian like some I could mention. She was just a mother who wanted to share her love for her son and her own convictions about the work he initiated. Keeping that in mind, this is an awesome bo ...more
Trish
Apr 07, 2009 Trish rated it really liked it
I read this book while I was in college, but had a desire to go back and read it again now that I'm a mother. Though I'm very familiar with the events of the restoration, there were a number of things that I didn't know and/or had forgotten.

The entire Smith family (and nearly all of the early members of the LDS Church) were such incredible people. The trials they endured were so hard for me to even read about. I can't imagine having actually lived them.

I loved the footnotes added throughout the
...more
Mariel
Jun 21, 2008 Mariel rated it it was amazing
This might be my most favorite book of all time. Lucy Mack Smith is a natural author. She's so talented, strong, opinionated, sensitive...I really loved this lady after reading this book. There is so much to the life of Joseph Smith that we don't hear in church. We hear mostly the basic, watered down version of stories. This is an accurate account of all the awesome happenings in Joseph's lives...but with 10 times the details. This is the abridged version, which I've heard that some prefer...bec ...more
Laurie Dewberry
Oct 13, 2011 Laurie Dewberry rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites, faith
I got this book with my free iPad Deseret Book app, and thought I'd give it a try. Holy cow! I could not put this book down, and read it in two days. I had heard a lot of pieces of this history of course in many lessons over the years, but never like this. I think every member of the LDS church should read this history. I couldn't help but cry my eyes out a couple times as I read because of the sheer emotion and heartache. After reading this, I will certainly add Lucy Mack Smith to my list of he ...more
Katie Bastian
Feb 25, 2011 Katie Bastian rated it it was amazing
This book is incredible!! It has brought church history to life for me. It blows my mind how much these people all had to endure. I learned a lot of things I'd never heard before-like the fact that Samuel Smith died a month after Joseph and Hyrum, from a fever that came as a result of over exertion trying to get away from the mob that killed his brothers. So really, that day killed three of the Smith brothers.

I have such a respect for Lucy Mack Smith-she was called a "prophetess" and received so
...more
Daren
Dec 01, 2008 Daren rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The pages of this history are filled with an honest and love filled account of Joseph Smith's history which will bring an honest reader closer to an understanding of the love that flowed from the Smith family for the gospel of Jesus Christ. This history by Lucky Mack Smith does not lack inaccuracies, as opposed to a polished, technical, detail oriented account which must be left for academia. Surely each of these types of historical literature has its place, but this account will give a reader a ...more
Grandma
Jun 29, 2007 Grandma rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: everyone
I loved hearing about the Prophet Joseph Smith from his mother. She gives an up front view of what was happening in their family from the time Joseph was a little boy. It is so neat that he came from good ancestors who were religious. It is wonderful how his family supported him from the beginning and enjoyed sitting around together in the evening discussing the things he was learning from angels and from the Book of Mormon.
Bryan
Sep 14, 2009 Bryan rated it really liked it
This book written by Joseph Smiths’ mother gives a great supplementary view of the life of Joseph Smith. Having read much by and about Joseph Smith most of the book was old news. The things that did stick out were how Joseph Smiths experience affected the lives of his family members. The large amount of persecution that Joseph Smith faced was fully lived and felt by his family members.
Tom Nysetvold
Feb 28, 2014 Tom Nysetvold rated it really liked it
Most of the general historical content is stuff anyone with a basic grounding in Church history will know; the real value of this book lies in its perspective and a handful of insights, anecdotes, etc. spread through it. It's interesting to read from Lucy's perspective, in part because she traveled less than many Church leaders and has a more fixed geographical frame of reference. The discussion of the earliest history of the Church is rich and gave me more of a feel for Martin Harris, Oliver Co ...more
Sue
Sep 27, 2008 Sue rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves:
I learned so much from this book about the era in which Joseph Smith lived. My testimony of him has grown stronger knowing what is family went through to bring the gospel forward. An excellent source for anyone wanting to know more about the Prophet and his family.
Tom Seely
Jan 29, 2015 Tom Seely rated it really liked it
I thought this was a very good book about the Prophet Joseph Smith.Who better to write a book about the Prophet then his own Mother.My Testimony has been strengthened to night after finishing this book.I strongly suggest this book.So go read it!
Joanne
Jan 14, 2009 Joanne rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I loved getting to know Lucy as well as Joseph Smith and his whole family better when I read this book. There were some incredible insights I gained. I also appreciated the notes added to this recent edition.
Laura
May 28, 2008 Laura rated it it was amazing
I have read this book before and loved learning of LDS history as seen through the eyes of one amazing little woman, Lucy Mack Smith. She also gives insight into the Prophet Joseph Smith that isn't found elsewhere.
Brady
Aug 06, 2014 Brady rated it liked it
A high-level history. I don't feel like the title should be "History of Joseph Smith" because it was so comprehensive of other people. She began with the history of her grandparents, her parents, and her siblings before really diving into her own story. Then there is a lot said about all of her children. I felt like the book was largely about her rather than her son, Joseph. I did not like the narrator, either. There were too many "gee dees" throughout the book. Although there were some interest ...more
Heatherterrybell
Took me five years to read but it was worth it!! I had a hard time reading some because it was so sad, but I learned a lot of new things.
Crystal Souter
Sep 08, 2009 Crystal Souter rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I'm still reading this book but I've learned so much already about the awesome prophet Joseph Smith and what his life was really like. Good stuff.
Reggie
I enjoyed reading about Joseph from his mother's perspective. Especially during his early years as that's when all the details are shared.
Larsen
Jan 19, 2015 Larsen rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
My reading of an earlier edition of this book led me to believe that there was no point in reading a newer edition, but I was wrong. Even the history of the history is worth reading to learn how perspective, understanding, and appreciation has evolved. I read this book while I was a senior missionary in Nauvoo immersed in everything there related, but even still this book added significantly to my personal perspective, understanding, and appreciation for the Prophet Joseph Smith, his life, his w ...more
Brian Smith
Feb 11, 2008 Brian Smith rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Everyone
Loved it Loved it Loved it. Awesome first person accounts of many of the times in the Prophet's life.
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Lucy! 2 29 Mar 10, 2012 04:58PM  
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Lucy Mack Smith was the mother of Joseph Smith, Jr., founder of the Latter Day Saint movement. She is most noted for writing an award-winning memoir: Biographical Sketches of Joseph Smith, the Prophet, and His Progenitors for Many Generations. She was an important leader of the movement during the life of Joseph.
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“In 1761, we moved to the town of Marlow, where we remained until we had four children. When we moved there it was no other than a desolate and dreary wilderness. Only four families resided within forty miles. Here I was thrown into a situation to appreciate more fully the talents and virtues of my excellent wife; for, as our children were deprived of schools, she assumed the charge of their education, and performed the duties of an instructress as none, save a mother, is capable of. Precepts accompanied with examples such as hers, were calculated to make impressions on the minds of the young, never to be forgotten.” 0 likes
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