Christ-like Character Traits
Fondness for Children
A prominent trait of Joseph Smith’s character, which was perhaps more marked in his early career than was the case after public cares and responsibilities multiplied upon him from so many sources, was his natural fondness for children. In Kirtland, when wagon loads of grown people and children came in from the country to meeting, Joseph would make his way to as many of the wagons as he could and cordially shake the hand of each person. Every child and young babe in the company were especially noticed by him and tenderly taken by the hand, with his kind words and blessings. He loved innocence and purity, and he seemed to find it in the greatest perfection with the prattling child. 1
Caring for Little Children
My father loved young Joseph Smith and often hired him to work with his boys. I was about six years old when he first came to our home. I remember going into the field on an afternoon to play in the corn rows while my brothers worked. When evening came, I was too tired to walk home and cried because my brothers refused to carry me. Joseph lifted me to his shoulder, and with his arm thrown across my feet to steady me, and my arm about his neck, he carried me to our home. 2
Mosiah L. Hancock
It was the disposition of the Prophet Joseph when he saw little children in the mud to take them up in his arms and wash the mud from their bare feet with his handkerchief. And oh how kind he was to the old folks, as well as to little children. He always had a smile for his friends, and was always cheerful. 3
- George A. Smith, The Juvenile Instructor, XXVII, (January 1, 1892), p. 24; Hyrum L. Andrus and Helen Mae Andrus, comps., They Knew the Prophet [Salt Lake City: Bookcraft, 1974], 46.
- Mrs. Palmer, “Stories from the Notebook of Martha Cox, Grandmother of Fern Cox Anderson,” Church Historian’s Library, Salt Lake City, Utah; Lee C. LaFayette, “Recollections of Joseph Smith,” Church Historian’s Library, Salt Lake City, Utah; Hyrum L. Andrus and Helen Mae Andrus, comps., They Knew the Prophet [Salt Lake City: Bookcraft, 1974], 1.
- Autobiography of Mosiah L. Hancock, Brigham Young University Library