Lucy Mack Smith


“When the Prophet Joseph Smith was a very young boy, he watched and learned about faith in God from his mother, Lucy Mack Smith. Lucy sought answers by searching the scriptures, and Joseph too employed the practice, turning to the Bible for guidance as his mother had.

“Lucy also solved family problems by privately seeking the Lord’s help through prayer. One day, experiencing discord in her family regarding the subject of religion, Lucy said she ‘retired to a grove of handsome wild cherry trees not far distant and prayed to the Lord.’

“Lucy also prayed with great faith when faced with personal health issues, when Joseph nearly lost his leg to osteomyelitis, and when Joseph’s sister Sophronia almost died from typhoid fever. Regarding Sophronia’s illness, Lucy wrote: ‘I gazed upon my child. … My husband and I clasped our hands together and fell upon our knees by the bedside and poured our grief and supplications into his ears.’ Sophronia lived. I am confident that Lucy’s children often witnessed her praying with faith and receiving answers to those prayers.

“Lucy prayed in faith for guidance, and Joseph too retired to a grove of trees, where he prayed with faith, seeking an answer from the Lord as his mother had.

“Like Lucy, we must show our children and youth how to strengthen their faith and testimony of Jesus Christ by strengthening our own through studying the scriptures and through prayer, personally as well as with them.”

Mary N. Cook, First Counselor, Young Women General Presidency
Be an Example of the Believers,” October 2010 General Conference


“I love the message of Sister Lucy Mack Smith, who, frail and failing with age, rose to speak to her sisters in an early Relief Society meeting in Nauvoo. I want you to remember, she is a woman who had been a powerhouse—a great leader. She was very much the kind of woman I see in Relief Society today. But that day she said, ‘We must cherish one another, watch over one another, comfort one another and gain instruction that we may all sit down in heaven together.’

“Those words speak of the sisters becoming ‘instruments in the hands of God.’ Which one of us does not long to be cherished, watched over, comforted, and instructed in the things of God? How does it happen? One kindness, one expression of love, one thoughtful gesture, one willing hand at a time.”

Kathleen H. Hughes, First Counselor, Relief Society General Presidency
That We May All Sit Down in Heaven Together,” October 2005 General Conference


“Lucy prepared herself early in her marriage to raise a prophet. On one occasion she became seriously ill, and the doctors said she would die. Lucy records that she ‘made a solemn covenant with God that if He would let me live I would endeavor to serve him according to the best of my abilities.’ After a voice assured her that she would live, she told her mother, ‘the Lord will let me live, if I am faithful to the promise which I made to him, to be a comfort to my mother, my husband, and my children.’
“She gave continual encouragement, support, and strength to her son, Joseph the Prophet. His mother was the first person with whom young Joseph shared some of his momentous experiences of the Sacred Grove. Years later, he shared with her the joy and relief he felt when the Lord allowed others to view the sacred plates of gold. Lucy wrote that ‘Joseph threw himself down beside me, and exclaimed, … ‘you do not know how happy I am: the Lord has now caused the plates to be shown to three more besides myself. They have seen an angel … and they will have to bear witness to the truth of what I have said, for now they know for themselves, that I do not go about to deceive the people, and I feel as if I was relieved of a burden which was almost too heavy for me to bear.’ ‘
“The Prophet’s mother shared also in his sorrows, sufferings, and persecutions. One time a mob took Joseph and his brother Hyrum prisoner and threatened to shoot them. The two brothers were confined under a cloth cover in a wagon. Their courageous mother risked her life and forced her way through the hostile mob to comfort her sons. Joseph and Hyrum could not see their mother and could only extend a hand from under the confining cover. As Lucy’s hand and the hands of her sons touched, the wagon drove off, literally tearing the sorrowing mother from her two sons.
“Her determination to testify to the restoration of the gospel may have led her to dictate her well-known History of Joseph Smith. This was a major undertaking in her day. The book’s importance to the Church today is immeasurable! It contains many details of the Prophet Joseph’s life that might never have been known otherwise. It stands as a monument to the devotion of Lucy Mack Smith and her family.
“Like great parents of all ages, Lucy turned to prayer for divine help to sustain her family. During the march from Ohio to Missouri known as Zion’s Camp, Joseph and Hyrum were seriously ill with cholera, and their lives were almost taken. At one point, ‘Hyrum sprang to his feet and exclaimed, ‘Joseph, we shall return to our families. I have had an open vision, in which I saw mother kneeling under an apple tree; and she is even now asking God, in tears, to spare our lives. … The Spirit testifies, that her prayers … will be answered.’ ’
“In the exercise of agency, and in the divine providence of God, Lucy’s sons, Joseph and Hyrum, ultimately sealed their testimonies with their blood. As the grieving mother looked upon their lifeless remains, she cried, ‘My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken this family!’ As a kind blessing to a faithful mother, the Lord softened her grief and granted to her the peace that only God can bestow. A voice spoke to her soul: ‘I have taken them to myself, that they might have rest.’ ”
M. Russell Ballard, Quorum of the Twelve Apostles
The Family of the Prophet Joseph Smith,” October 1991 General Conference

“The boy prophet, Joseph Smith, was blessed not only with a great father but also with a superb mother, Lucy Mack, who influenced a whole dispensation.”
Neal A. Maxwell, Presidency of the Seventy
The Women of God,” April 1978 General Conference



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