History of the Church Series

January 24, 2018
History of the Church Series
Membership of Certain of Joseph Smith's Family in the Western Presbyterian Church of Palmyra
Author James B. Allen Author Milton V. Backman Jr.

This daily feature is an introduction to a full article by James B. Allen and Milton V. Backman Jr. Each Wednesday we focus on an aspect of church history, beginning in New York in the early 19th century and progressing throughout the year to Utah in the 20th century. To read the full text of this article, follow the link below.

When Joseph Smith wrote his personal history in 1838, he said that about the time of his first vision, in 1820, four members of his family had joined the Presbyterian faith: his mother, Lucy; his brothers, Hyrum and Samuel; and his sister Sophronia. Until recently Mormon historians have presented little corroborating evidence, but an examination of the Presbyterian Church records in Palmyra has shown that at least three of the Smiths were part of that congregation in 1828, although by that time they had become inactive.