Lucy Mack Smith Speaks to the Nauvoo Saints | BYU Studies

Lucy Mack Smith Speaks to the Nauvoo Saints

Lucy Mack Smith Speaks to the Nauvoo Saints
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The Historians Corner Item
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Lucy Mack Smith Speaks to the Nauvoo Saints

Ronald W. Walker

From the moment Joseph Smith declared his revelation of a visiting angel and the existence of the golden plates, the character of the Smith family has been important. Were the Smiths the God-fearing folk that they and most traditional Latter-day Saint accounts said they were? Or were family members the idle and unstable people that D. P. Hurlbut's Palmyra affidavits made them out to be? This issue's Historians' Corner adds another piece of evidence. A key personality in question is Lucy Mack Smith, Joseph Smith's mother. Like many nineteenth-century American women, she deeply influenced her children, nine of whom lived to adulthood. But her influence was stronger than that of many women because in the Smith household her husband, Joseph Smith, Sr., usually acceded to her domestic industry and initiative. What kind of woman was she? What values did she teach her children?

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