|Born||7 Mar. 1743/4, Topsfield, Essex County, Massachusetts|
|Died||31 Oct. 1830 Stockholm, St. Lawrence County, New York|
|Spouse||Mary Duty (1767)|
|Father||Samuel Smith, Jr.|
|Children||Jesse Smith Priscilla Smith Joseph Smith Sr. Asahel Smith Mary Smith Samuel Smith Silas Smith John Smith Susanna Smith Stephen Smith Sarah Smith|
“Love of liberty was diffused into my soul by my grandfathers while they dandled me on their knees.” (Joseph Smith, History of the Church, 5:498)
Visit of Joseph Smith Sr. to Asael after RestorationSoon after the Church was organized, my husband set out, with Don Carlos, to visit his father, Asael Smith. After a tedious journey, they arrived at the house of John Smith, my husband’s brother. His wife Clarissa, had never before seen my husband, but as soon as he entered, she exclaimed, “There, Mr. Smith, is your brother Joseph.” John, turning suddenly, cried out, “Joseph, is this you!” “It is I,” said Joseph, “is my father yet alive? I have come to see him once more, before he dies.” For a particular account of this visit, I shall give my readers an extract from brother John Smith’s journal. He writes as follows:—
“The next morning after brother Joseph arrived, we set out together for Stockholm to see our father, who was living at that place with our brother Silas. We arrived about dark at the house of my brother Jesse, who was absent with his wife. The children informed us, that their parents were with our father, who was supposed to be dying. We hastened without delay to the house of brother Silas, and upon arriving there were told, that father was just recovering from a severe fit, and, as it was not considered advisable to let him or mother know that Joseph was there, we went to spend the night with brother Jesse.
“As soon as we were settled, brothers Jesse and Joseph entered into conversation respecting their families. Joseph briefly related the history of his family, the death of Alvin, &c. He then began to speak of the discovery and translation of the Book of Mormon. At this, Jesse grew very angry, and exclaimed, ‘If you say another word about that Book of Mormon, you shall not stay a minute longer in my house, and if I can’t get you out any other way, I will hew you down with my broad axe.’
“We had always been accustomed to being treated with much harshness by our brother, but he had never carried it to so great an extent before. However, we spent the night with him, and the next morning visited our aged parents. They were overjoyed to see Joseph, for he had been absent from them so long,(15 years ) that they had been fearful of never beholding his face again in the flesh.
“After the usual salutations, enquiries, and explanations, the subject of the Book of Mormon was introduced. Father received with gladness, that which Joseph communicated; and remarked, that he had always expected that something would appear to make known the true Gospel.
“In a few minutes brother Jesse came in, and on hearing that the subject of our conversation was the Book of Mormon, his wrath rose as high as it did the night before. ‘My father’s mind,’ said Jesse, ‘is weak, and I will not have it corrupted with such blasphemous stuff, so just shut up your heads.’ Brother Joseph reasoned mildly with him, but to no purpose. Brother Silas then said, ‘Jesse, our brother has come to make us a visit, and I am glad to see him, and am willing he should talk as he pleases in my house.’ Jesse replied in so insulting a manner, and continued to talk so abusively, that Silas was under the necessity of requesting him to leave the house.
“After this, brother Joseph proceeded in conversation, and father seemed to be pleased with every word which he said. But I must confess that I was too pious, at that time, to believe one word of it.
“I returned home the next day, leaving Joseph with my father. Soon after which, Jesse came to my house and informed me, that all my brothers were coming to make me a visit, ‘and as true as you live,’ said he, ‘they all believe that cursed Mormon book, every word of it, and they are setting a trap for you, to make you believe it.’
“I thanked him for taking so much trouble upon himself, to inform me that my brothers were coming to see me, but told him, that I considered myself amply able to judge for myself in matters of religion. ‘I know,’ he replied, ‘that you are a pretty good judge of such things, but I tell you, that they are as wary as the devil. And I want you to go with me and see our sisters, Susan and Fanny, and we will bar their minds against Joseph’s influence.’
“We accordingly visited them, and conversed upon the subject as we thought proper, and requested them to be at my house the next day.
“My brothers arrived according to previous arrangement, and Jesse, who came also, was very careful to hear every word which passed among us, and would not allow one word to be said about the Book of Mormon. They agreed that night to visit our sisters the following day, and as we were about leaving, my brother Asael took me aside and said, ‘Now, John, I want you to have some conversation with Joseph, but if you do, you must cheat it out of Jesse. And if you wish, I can work the card for you.’
“I told him that I would be glad to talk with Joseph alone, if I could get an opportunity.
“‘Well,’ replied brother Asael, ‘I will take a certain number in my carriage, and Silas will take the rest, and you may bring out a horse for Joseph to ride, but when we are out of sight, take the horse back to the stable again, and keep Joseph over night.’
“I did as brother Asael advised, and that evening Joseph explained to me the principles of ‘Mormonism,’ the truth of which I have never since denied.
“The next morning, we (Joseph and myself) went to our sisters, where we met our brothers, who censured me very sharply for keeping Joseph over night—Jesse, because he was really displeased; the others, to make a show of disappointment.
“In the evening, when we were about to separate, I agreed to take Joseph in my wagon twenty miles on his journey the next day. Jesse rode home with me that evening, leaving Joseph with our sisters. As Joseph did not expect to see Jesse again, when we were about starting, Joseph gave Jesse his hand in a pleasant, affectionate manner, and said, ‘Farewell, brother Jesse!’ ‘Farewell, Jo, for ever,’ replied Jesse, in a surly tone.
‘I am afraid,’ returned Joseph in a kind, but solemn manner, ‘it will be for ever, unless you repent.’
“This was too much for even Jesse’s obdurate heart. He melted into tears; however, he made no reply, nor ever mentioned the circumstance afterwards.
“I took my brother twenty miles on his journey the next day, as I had agreed. Before he left me, he requested me to promise him, that I would read a Book of Mormon, which he had given me, and even should I not believe it, that I would not condemn it; ‘for,’ said he, ‘if you do not condemn it, you shall have a testimony of its truth.’ I fulfilled my promise, and thus proved his testimony to be true.”
(Lucy Smith, Biographical Sketches of Joseph Smith the Prophet, p.154)