History of Joseph Smith by His Mother: Revised and Enhanced
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History of Joseph Smith by His Mother: Revised and Enhanced

4.38 of 5 stars 4.38  ·  rating details  ·  3,215 ratings  ·  311 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."
Hardcover, 506 pages
Published August 18th 1996 by Bookcraft Pubs (first published 1853)
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Trinna
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
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.
Beth
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
Kate
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
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
Dan
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
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
Trish
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
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
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
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
Angie
Reading this book has helped me to understand and appreciate the prophet, Joseph Smith, in an entirely new way. This wonderful book, written by his mother (obviously), tells personal experiences that took place throughout the prophet's life. Though I have heard many of the stories before, I was never fully able to understand the weight of what took place. I love the prophet, Joseph Smith, and so much appreciate the ability to get to know him better.

I would recommend this book to anyone that has...more
Bryan
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
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
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.
Laura
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.
Brian Smith
Feb 11, 2008 Brian Smith rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Everyone
Loved it Loved it Loved it. Awesome first person accounts of many of the times in the Prophet's life.
Randy
If you ever think your life is hard...read this book.
Bessie
I give it 5 stars

what else- very good
Erin
Apr 02, 2009 Erin rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Anyone who loves History about the Church of Jesus Chirst of Latter-day Saints.
This was the second time I have read this book, and I loved it even more. I am so amazed and the detail of every story in this book. Mother Smith was an amazing woman, with faith and courage to face all the trials she had. I love these stories she writes, you do not hear these in your Gospel Doctrine class. Well, my class did, once. I never tire of hearing stories about the History of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

A Personal Story: I have been sick for the last few days, reall...more
Joe Wisniewski
This is a truly remarkable read. It wasn't quite what I thought it would be, but again, after consideration, it is exactly what a mother would write.

But more than that, I was astonished by some of the brutal hardships that the early pioneers had to endure, in general and specifically as being the matriarch of the Smith family. That family was prepared generations before Joseph arrived on the scene, for the mantel that he was to ultimately bear.

The physical hardships coupled with on one hard the...more
Rachael
Well, it only took me six months, but I finally got around to finishing this! It was fascinating on many levels; I was particularly motivated to read it because I taught Seminary for a semester last fall & we were studying Church history. It is interesting to see which events and people she included and which she omitted when looking back on her life.

Lucy Mack Smith was one tough lady to endure so very much hardship in her life. I don't know how she had the strength to keep going when all bu...more
Cami
I had no idea this book existed until it came as a free download on my Deseret Bookshelf app. Talk about an unknown (to me) gem! It is a true privilege to hear about Joseph Smith's life from the mouth of his own mother! Every chapter is a delightful story (well, except the last few chapters which are terribly heartbreaking). Joseph Smith, Junior's affinity for the Holy Bible, praying in the woods, and seeing visions did not come out of nowhere. His mother had many visions/spiritual confirmations...more
Priscilla
Awesome book! It's interesting to read a biography told from a mother's perspective. There were a few stories that I've already heard (like Joseph getting leg surgery at age 7 without the use of anesthesia) but there were also unfamiliar stories (such as fascinating stories about Joseph's aunts and uncles). The book isn't so much as details of a church's history and it's prophet as it's a book about a mother's son. It has a much more personal tone.

Some things I learned for the first time from th...more
The Thousander Club
Adam C. Zern shares his thoughts:

"I am a Latter-day Saint and have read and written about other 'mormon-centric' books in the past. The History of Joseph Smith by His Mother seems like a pillar of church history. It's a highly referenced book, which reveals something about Joseph and especially his family that other books simply aren’t able to do; it was written by his mother after all. Although I think it's somewhat of a misnomer to call the book The History of Joseph Smith since its focus wand...more
Afton
Amazing. I took one of the very best Church History courses at BYU, by Susan Easton Black, and I fell in love with Church History. I love to learn more and I love to study it.

This book, written as a narration by Lucy Mack Smith (mother of Joseph Smith) is a remarkable record. There are so many interesting details about the heritage of the Smith family and the Mack family, and it really brings the events of the restoration into perspective. Reading about the life of the prophet and the Smith fami...more
Rebecca
If you wanted to learn about someone what is the best source? A distant and removed from time and space, unbiased stranger? An acquaintance with a personal agenda? Or that person's mother?

Probably a mixture of each would give a more balanced viewpoint, but the perspective of a mother is a unique and genuine one, with insights into personality that most others never garner. So in the telling of the life of Joseph Smith, his mother's account is one that deserves approbation.

These are all stories...more
Karl Gee
I was suprised to find that this is NO dry account of Lucy Mack Smith's memories. Full disclosure, I am perfectly content with dry historical accounts (my major is history). But this is, in fact, really good story-telling. I don't want to exaggerate, but at times I was reminded of a Mark Twain adventure novel. The author captures the humor, tragedy, and adventure that is the life of Joseph Smith, his family, and the early Saints. You DON'T have to be a believer in the church to enjoy these stori...more
Niki
I was hoping for a little more about Joseph Smith with this book, I have heard so many great things about it. It was more of a family history of Lucy Mack than stories about Joseph Smith. There was a lot of interesting information about her family and the other children and some things about Joseph.

I really enjoyed reading this book as it gave a broader picture of the people right aroud Joseph Smith at the time of the Restoration. It was great to read it right from the words of his mother and h...more
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Lucy! 2 27 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.
More about Lucy Mack Smith...
Biographical Sketches Of Joseph Smith, The Prophet And His Progenitors For Many Generations Pioneer Stories History of the Prophet Joseph (Deseret Alphabet Edition) (Deseret Alphabet Classics) (Volume 18) History of Joseph Smith by His Mother, Lucy Mack Smith History of Joseph Smith by His Mother: THE UNABRIDGED ORIGINAL VERSION with ADDED ROUGH DRAFT By Lucy Mack Smith

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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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