Beth's Reviews > History of Joseph Smith by His Mother: Revised and Enhanced

History of Joseph Smith by His Mother by Lucy Mack Smith
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's review
Feb 19, 2008

really liked it
Read in April, 2006

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 lots of things I had heard before through the scriptures (or through The Work and the Glory ;-)), but there’s plenty of interesting tidbits and facts about the Smith family that I learned. I had heard that Alvin, Joseph’s older brother, had died before the church was restored (but after the First Vision), but I had never heard why — he had some minor ailment and an inexperienced doctor gave him something that more or less poisoned him.

It was inspiring to read about Mother Smith, who despite the many trials she faced, remained firm in her faith. Even in her younger years, she lost her sisters; she had stillborn children and babies who only lived a few weeks; her children became sick with typhoid fever (prompting the problems with Joseph’s leg when he was young); her family underwent financial hardship after financial hardship; and her son’s life was sought after even before he had his Vision (and, of course, many times afterwards). Her husband and sons were imprisoned many times and she lost numerous grandchildren. After arriving in Nauvoo, Mother Smith lost a husband, four sons, a daughter-in-law, and two grandchildren in the course of just a few years. You cannot help but ache with gratitude for this woman’s strength.

The editors of this volume did a nice job with the book, too. There were tons of endnotes which helped place events in context. By reading the notes, I felt like I was getting a better-rounded picture of Church History. I especially appreciated their work on the “characters” of the book. For every figure in Church History mentioned in the book, they included a biographical sketch of that person in the endnotes, including things like when and where they had joined the Church, important events surrounding their service in the Church, and what happened to them following that point in Mother Smith’s story (apostasy, continued service in the Church, martyrdom, etc.) It was a great book to learn more about Church History in just one volume.

This book was long and a little tedious at times — but it was valuable reading.
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message 1: by Asgore (new)

Asgore I am related to him. :D

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