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Lucy Mack Smith (1775–1856)

Teoksen The History of Joseph Smith by His Mother tekijä

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Sisältää nimen: Lucy Mack Smith

Sisältää myös: Lucy Smith (2)

Image credit: Lucy Mack Smith. From the American Phrenological Journal (1839-1850).

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Associated Works

At the Pulpit: 185 Years of Discourses by Latter-day Saint Women (2017) — Avustaja — 50 kappaletta, 2 arvostelua
Pioneer Stories (1940) — Avustaja — 28 kappaletta
Missionary Experiences (1942) — Avustaja — 11 kappaletta
A Believing People: Literature of the Latter-Day Saints (1974) — Avustaja — 9 kappaletta
Sunstone - Issue 123, July 2002 (2002) — Avustaja — 1 kappale

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So apparently there is a version of this book with endnotes and commentary. I would have infinitely preferred that edition.

Lucy Smith was a woman of her time--- which is a good thing in many ways(though I was often infuriated at the way she often had to find a man to do things. This is why feminism is a good thing). However, America, in the 1800s, spoke and wrote a different language. And that makes the reading difficult.

She was tough. I dare you to read Hyrum's enclosed report of the Jackson County wrongs without experiencing some sort of horrified disgust for the perpetrators and admiration for those, like her, who made it to Illinois. That abuse explains a lot of our culture's issues(I think). And should make US more charitable and less adopting of contempt. Finding a reason for behavior doesn't mean that we don't need to fix the issue. It's just something some have never addressed. And it needs to be so we can move on and address OUR issues.

She was generous. Her comments about her children and Emma were made before they took care of her for years as a widow.

I found a lot to admire and, as I have said before, it's hard to rate a life. But I really would have preferred that other version. I think my favorite section was the explanatory preface from her grandson, Joseph F. Smith, at the beginning. It was charitable, honest, and accurate.

And it is oddly connected to the trending (hopefully always and not just now) topic of racism and bigotry. Read it and see for yourself.
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OutOfTheBestBooks | 4 muuta kirja-arvostelua | Sep 24, 2021 |
Chapter 1 tells the courage of her father.

Chapter 2 is quite sad. Her brother had the misfortune of his beloved betrothed being stolen from him. When she found out she had been tricked, her health failed and she died within 2 years.

Chapter 3 - the death of her two sisters.

Chapter 4 is about her brother Stephen. He acquitted himself honorably in fighting the Brittish. His housekeeper saved a store of his from being burned. He died after only 4 days illness leaving his family with an estate of fifty thousand dollars, clear of encumbrance.

Chapter 8 - 10 Her conversion to the Lord.

Chapter 11 Joseph Smith senior defrauded in business & Brother Jason

Chapter 12 Continuation of her religious activity; A dream of two trees (her husband had his brother)

Chapter 13 Joseph sr. has a tree of life vision.

Chapter 14 All children sick with Typhus. Sophronia healed.

Chapter 16 Defrauded by creditors; Abused by the man hired to transport the family to New York.

Chapter 17 "I now come to the history of Joseph."

Chapter 28 The first lawsuit against Joseph Smith brought by the wife of Martin Harris. The witnesses so contradicted each other that the judge dismissed the case "and told them to go home about their business, and trouble him no more with such ridiculous folly. And they did go home perfectly discomfited." (Page 116)

Chapter 29, 30 At time an angel would take the plates.

"When Joseph was about starting for Palmyra, where the writings were to be executed, Dr. McIntyre came in and informed us, that forty men were collected in the capacity of a mob, with the view of waylaying Joseph on his way thither; that they requested him (Dr. McIntyre) as they had done once before, to take command of the company, and, that upon his refusing to do so, one Mr. Huzzy, a hatter of Palmyra, proffered his services, and was chosen as their leader."
"On hearing this, I besought Joseph not to go; but he smiled at my fears, saying, "Never mind, mother, just put your trust in God, and nothing will hurt me today." In a short time he set out for Palmyra. On his way thither, lay a heavy strip of timber, about half a mile in width, and, beyond it, on the right side of the road, lay a field belonging to David Jacaway. When he came to this field, he found the mob seated on the string fence running along the road. Coming to Mr. Huzzy first, he took off his hat, and good-naturedly saying, "Good morning, Mr. Huzzy," passed on to the next, whom he saluted in like manner, and the next, and so on till he came to the last." (Page 155)

"Emma's health at this time was quite delicate, yet she did not favor herself on this account [that of preparing clothing for missionaries being sent out], but whatever her hands found to do, she did with her might, until so far beyond her strength that she brought upon herself a heavy fit of sickness, which lasted four weeks. And, although her strength was exhausted, still her spirits were the same, which, in fact, was always the case with her, even under the most trying circumstances. I have never seen a woman in my life, who would endure every species of fatigue and hardship, from month to month, and from year to year, with that unflinching courage, zeal, and patience, which she has ever done; for I know that which she has had to endure—she has been tossed upon the ocean of uncertainty—she has breasted the storms of persecution, and buffeted the rage of men and devils, which would have borne down almost any other woman. It may be, that many may yet have to encounter the same—I pray God, that this may not be the case; but, should it be, may they have grave given them according to their day, even as has been the case with her." (Page 190)

I first read this as a teen, and found it well worth rereading.

The edition that I read is based on the 1853 edition, which according to this web page had some intimate details edited out.
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bread2u | 4 muuta kirja-arvostelua | Jul 1, 2020 |
History of Joseph Smith by His Mother
by Lucy Mack Smith
Bookcraft (1979)
Review by Karl Wolff

History of Joseph Smith by His mother is one of the oddest books in the history of American religious literature. Joseph Smith, Jr. was the Prophet, Seer, and Revelator of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. The Latter-day Saints (LDS) are also known by their nickname, "The Mormons." In the History of Joseph Smith, we get the biography of Prophet Joseph as told by his mother. Beginning with her family history, we read of Joseph's birth, struggles with his faith, receiving The Record (later to become The Book of Mormon), the development and persecution of the early Church, and the martyrdom of the Prophet Joseph and his brother Hyrum.

Mormonism is a uniquely odd American religion.* This isn't another off-the-cuff insult to the religion, but more of a grudging historical and cultural appraisal. One can't simply sweep Mormonism under the carpet or dismiss it as yet another crackpot religion founded by a charlatan. That's too easy and too binary. Either/or judgment calls don't forward intellectual investigation. Ivy League eminence Harold Bloom wrote an admiring appraisal of Mormonism in The American Religion: The Emergence of a Post-Christian Nation. When Mitt Romney became a real contender for the Presidency and The Book of Mormon: the musical is a Broadway smash, there's no excuse for not being educated on this particular religion.

Joseph Smith, Jr. and the Latter-day Saints have had no shortage of histories, biographies, and cultural appraisals written about them (by both insiders and outsiders). History of Joseph Smith by His mother is arguably the most odd. The oddness occurs because Mormonism has developed and grown within such a short period of time. Joseph Smith, Jr. (1805 - 1844) short life encompassed the latter part of Revolutionary America and the onset of Jacksonian democracy. This is key to understanding the Prophet's revelations and the nature of Mormon theology. History gives relatively short shrift to the revelations and theology, focusing more on family history, everyday trials and tribulations, and the journey from upstate New York to Nauvoo, Illinois.

Joseph Smith received his revelations and translated the Book of Mormon amid the Second Great Awakening (1790 - 1840), a major Protestant revival. This revival brought about populist and egalitarian religious sentiment. Circuit riding preachers and raucous tent revivals criss-crossed the nation, especially the East Coast. But Mormonism was different. During his youth, Joseph felt much anxiety and confusion about what denomination to join. Through his vision of the Angel Moroni, he came to the conclusion that he had to found his own church since all others were in apostasy. As years went by, he received more revelations, from angels, prophets, and Jesus and Jehovah. The latter two being men with physical form. Other specific "American" concepts include Jesus's post-crucifixion mission to the Americas. The Prophet also believed both the Garden of Eden and the Last Judgment would take place on American soil. And the controversial concept of man becoming like gods is a distinctly American idea. (Brigham Young, not Joseph Smith, originated this idea in 1852.) While it sounds blasphemous, it speaks toward the egalitarian zeitgeist that swept the country during Andrew Jackson's presidency.

He created two levels of priesthood (Aaronic and Melchizedek), preached about the three levels of Heaven (Terrestrial, Telestial, and Celestial). He also taught about "celestial marriage," an important sacrament in the Church. To Gentiles (aka Non-Mormons), celestial marriage means polygamy. While this was one of the flashpoints that created animosity against the Mormons, celestial marriage gets no mention in History. Upon first blush, it would appear that Joseph Smith had a monogamous relationship with his wife Emma.

Why the whitewash? A telling hint is History's initial publication date. Originally published in 1853, Brigham Young opposed it, saying it was full of errors. A corrected version appeared in 1902. The date is especially important, since 1902 was after Utah was granted statehood. As other Western states received statehood, Utah remained a territory. Why? The short answer is polygamy. Young also opposed it because the book looks favorably on William Smith, a possibly successor to the Prophet Joseph. Harold Bloom in The American Religion likens Mormonism to Islam, not only because both faiths follow the revelations of a prophet. Like Islam, the Mormons had a succession crisis. Following the Prophet's martyrdom, many competing factions rose up. The faction with Brigham Young as the successor to Joseph Smith sees itself as the one true legitimate Church. Although a perfunctory look on Wikipedia has several Mormon factions and off-shoots existing today.

The History of Joseph Smith by His Mother offers a unique perspective on an American icon. Persecuted in their day and even subject to an "Extermination Order" by the Governor of Missouri, Mormonism has transformed from a strange heretical off-shoot of Christianity into a major, legitimate denomination.

*For an even-handed history of Mormonism, see Mormon America by Richard N. Ostling and Joan K. Ostling.
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kswolff | 4 muuta kirja-arvostelua | May 15, 2015 |
This book was very well-written. In fact based on my assumption that Joseph Smith was an uneducated farm boy, I was surprised at how well the author wrote. My biggest problem with the book is that it read like propaganda. She went out of her way to portray her family and friends in a very positive light while demonizing anyone who was against Joseph and his fledgling church. It was lacking in integrity.
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jimocracy | 4 muuta kirja-arvostelua | Apr 18, 2015 |


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