11) LUCY MACK SMITH: Was the Prophet’s mother, Lucy Mack Smith, given to vanity and extravagance? What was the character of Mother Smith?

Associated Locations:

  • Gilsum, New Hampshire – Lucy Mack Smith Birthplace

Associated Dates:

  • July 8, 1775 – Lucy Mack Smith Born

Prophetic Statements

Joseph F. Smith

Though poor, his parents were honest and good; they delighted in the truth, and it was their honest desire to live according to the best light within them.  Love and good will to all found expression in their hearts and actions, and their children were imbued with like sentiments.  They were firm believers in God, and trusted in his watchcare over his children. They had frequently received manifestations of his loving kindness, in dreams, visions, and inspirations, and God had healed their little ones, in answer to prayer, when they were nigh unto death.  It was in such an atmosphere that the boy [Joseph] was raised.1

Joseph Fielding Smith

Lucy Mack was a woman of exceptional talent. She was descended from John Mack, a Scotch immigrant of 1669, who came to Connecticut from Scotland. It is thought that the Mack family dropped their original name, retaining the prefix only because of persecution on account of religious belief during the religious wars in the British Isles. It is thought that part of their coat of arms was a boar’s head. The Scotch families of MacDougal and McTavish have as part of their coats-of-arms a boar’s head erased. One branch of the Mack family believes that the original name was McDerman. About the year 1795, Lucy Mack went to Tunbridge, Vermont, to spend some time with her brother Stephen and while there she became acquainted with Joseph Smith, son of Asael, and they were married January 24, 1796.

From that time forth they met with many reverses because of the treachery of trusted friends. These trials and the desire to better their condition impelled them to remove to Western New York. Without any doubt the hand of the Lord was in this, for he had a mission for Joseph, Jr. to perform, and to accomplish it successfully it was necessary that he be in the vicinity of the Hill Cumorah. Surely the Lord works in a marvelous way to bring to pass his purposes. Lucy, the mother of the Prophet and Patriarch shared with her husband all the hardships, drivings and persecution of those early days in New York, Ohio, Missouri and Illinois. She was loyally devoted to the mission of her son and had an abiding testimony in the work which he was called upon to usher into this unbelieving and wicked world with the hope that many might be saved.2

Supporting Statements

William Smith

“The people in our neighborhood were very much stirred up with regard to religious matters by the preaching of a Mr. Lane, an elder of the Methodist Church, and celebrated throughout the country as a “great revival preacher.”

My mother, who was a very pious woman and much interested in the welfare of her children, both here and hereafter, made use of every means which her parental love could suggest, to get us engaged in seeking for our soul’s salvation, or (as the term then was) “in getting religion.” She prevailed on us to attend the meetings, and almost the whole family became interested in the matter, and seekers after truth. I attended the meetings with the rest, but being quite young and inconsiderate, did not take so much interest in the matter as the older ones did. This extraordinary excitement prevailed not only in our neighborhood but throughout the whole country. It extended from the Methodists to the Baptists, from them to the Presbyterians; and so on until finally, almost all the sects became engaged in it; and it became quite the fashion to “get religion.” My mother continued her importunities and exertions to interest us in the important of seeking for the salvation of our immortal souls, until almost all of the family became either converted or seriously inclined.” 3

  1. Joseph F. Smith, Improvement Era, Vol 21, December 1917, p. 167
  2. Joseph Fielding Smith, Church History and Modern Revelation, 4 vols. [Salt Lake City: The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, 1946-1949], 1: 7.
  3. William Smith, 1883, pp.6-7
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