Joseph and Emma, but mostly Emma
“The Lord takes many away, even in infancy, that they may escape the envy of man, and the sorrows and evils of this present world; they were too pure, too lovely, to live on earth; therefore, if rightly considered, instead of mourning we have reason to rejoice as they are delivered from evil, and we shall soon have them again.” History of the Church, 4:553
The following was written by Gracia N. Jones, Emma’s Smith’s great, great grand-daughter. You can also find the full article written, about Emma here. The following excerpts, I found touching, and give comfort and hope.
Emma is a wonderful example of a Women of Hope.
“Although Emma’s life was filled with much persecution and sorrow, even bitterness on occasion, it appears that Emma endured her tribulations with great forbearance and maintained her faith in God. Writing to her son in 1869, she said, “I have seen many, yes very many, trying scenes in my life which I could not see … where any good could come of them.” She added this testimony: “But yet I feel a divine trust in God, that all things shall work for good.” 16 ” An Accounting, of their children. “During their seventeen-year marriage, nine children were born to Joseph and Emma, and they adopted two. Emma’s first three children died shortly after birth: Alvin in 1828 and twins in 1831. They adopted twins, Joseph and Julia Murdock (born on May 1), whose mother, Julia, had died the day after the birth of Emma’s twins, leaving a bereaved husband unable to care for the infants. Little Joseph Murdock died in March 1832 as a result of exposure during an incident of mob violence. The following November, Emma gave birth to a healthy son, Joseph Smith III. Although Emma enjoyed little Julia and Joseph, she grieved over her lost babies. The Lord comforted Emma in her patriarchal blessing: “Thou hast seen much sorrow because the Lord has taken from thee three of thy children. In this thou art not to be blamed, for he knows thy pure desires to raise up a family, that the name of my son [Joseph Smith, Jr.] might be blessed. And now, behold, I say unto thee, that thus says the Lord, if thou wilt believe, thou shalt yet be blessed … and thou shalt bring forth other children, to the joy and satisfaction of thy soul, and to the rejoicing of thy friends.” 4 Emma’s faith was rewarded: Frederick was born in 1836, and Alexander (my forebear) in 1838. Don Carlos was born in 1840, but he died fourteen months later. An unnamed son was stillborn on 6 February 1842; and David Hyrum was born in 1844, four months after the death of his father. Emma’s faith was rewarded: Frederick was born in 1836, and Alexander (my forebear) in 1838. Don Carlos was born in 1840, but he died fourteen months later. An unnamed son was stillborn on 6 February 1842; and David Hyrum was born in 1844, four months after the death of his father.”
The Bond of Emma and Joseph
The Prophet wrote in his journal, reflecting on a visit from Emma while he was in great danger and difficulty in 1842: “With what unspeakable delight, and what transports of joy swelled my bosom, when I took by the hand, on that night, my beloved Emma—she that was my wife, even the wife of my youth, and the choice of my heart. Many were the reverberations of my mind when I contemplated for a moment the many scenes we had been called to pass through, the fatigues and the toils, the sorrows and sufferings, and the joys and consolations, from time to time, which had strewed our paths and crowned our board. Oh what a commingling of thought filled my mind for the moment, again she is here, even in the seventh trouble—undaunted, firm, and unwavering—unchangeable, affectionate Emma!” 11 From Quincy, Illinois, in March 1839,
Emma expressed her loyalty to Joseph in these words: “I shall not attempt to write my feelings altogether, for the situation in which you are, the walls, bars and bolts, rolling rivers, running streams, rising hills, sinking valleys and spreading prairies that separate us, and the cruel injustice that first cast you into prison and still holds you there. … Was it not for conscious innocence and the direct interposition of divine mercy, I am very sure I never should have been able to have endured the scenes of suffering that I have passed through … but I still live and am yet willing to suffer more if it is the will of kind heaven, that I should for your sake … and if God does not record our sufferings and avenge our wrongs on them that are guilty, I shall be sadly mistaken. … You may be astonished at my bad writing and incoherent manner, but you will pardon all when you reflect how hard it would be for you to write when your hands were stiffened with hard work and your heart convulsed with intense anxiety … but I hope there is better days to come to us yet. … I am ever yours affectionately. Emma Smith.” 8 That Emma maintained a lifelong commitment to Joseph as a prophet and to the authenticity of the Book of Mormon is well documented. The Relief Society minutes for March 1844 show her reasoning: “If he [Joseph Smith] was a prophet, which he is, … ,” Emma said. Long years later, Emma said to Parley P. Pratt, who visited her in Nauvoo, “I believe he [Joseph] was everything he professed to be.” 17 PROMISES FULFILLED! Emma lived almost thirty-five years after the martyrdom of her Prophet-husband.
She died 30 April 1879 in her seventy-fifth year. In her last years she was greatly loved, and in the last hours of her life she was attended by her family: Louis Bidamon, Julia, Joseph III, 26 and Alexander. According to Alexander, Emma seemed to sink away, but then she raised up and stretched out her hand, calling, “Joseph! Joseph!” Falling back on Alexander’s arm, she clasped her hands on her bosom, and her spirit was gone. Both Alexander and Joseph thought she was calling for her son Joseph, but later, Alexander learned more about the incident. Sister Elizabeth Revel, Emma’s nurse, explained that a few days earlier Emma had told her that Joseph came to her in a vision and said, “Emma, come with me, it is time for you to come with me.” “As Emma related it, she said, ‘I put on my bonnet and my shawl and went with him; I did not think that it was anything unusual. I went with him into a mansion, and he showed me through the different apartments of that beautiful mansion.’ And one room was the nursery. In that nursery was a babe in the cradle. She said, ‘I knew my babe, my Don Carlos that was taken from me.’ She sprang forward, caught the child up in her arms, and wept with joy over the child. When Emma recovered herself sufficient she turned to Joseph and said, ‘Joseph, where are the rest of my children.’ He said to her, ‘Emma, be patient and you shall have all of your children.’ Then she saw standing by his side a personage of light, even the Lord Jesus Christ.” 27 Milestones in the Life of Emma Hale Smith 10 July 1804 Born at Harmony, Pennsylvania.
18 Jan 1827 Marries Joseph Smith, Jr., at South Bainbridge, New York.
15 Jun 1828 Son Alvin is born and dies; buried at Harmony.
28 Jun 1830 Emma baptized at Colesville, New York.
Aug 1830 Emma confirmed a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Jan 1831 Emma’s last farewell to her parents.
2 Feb 1831 Arrival at Kirtland, Ohio.
30 Apr 1831 Twins are born and die at Morley Settlement.
May 1831 Joseph and Emma adopt Julia and Joseph Murdock, twin infants of Joseph and Julia Murdock, after their mother dies from complications relating to childbirth.
24 Mar 1832 Joseph Smith beaten by mob at Hiram, Ohio; baby Joseph exposed to cold during mobbing.
27 Mar 1832 Joseph Murdock Smith, age ten months, dies as result of exposure.
6 Nov 1832 Son Joseph Smith III born at Kirtland, Ohio. 9 Dec 1834 Emma receives her patriarchal blessing.
1835–1836 Hymnal compiled by Emma published. The hymnal compiled in 1835 The Lord asked Emma “to make a selection of sacred hymns.” (D&C 25:11.) The hymnal, compiled in 1835, was actually published in 1836. (Courtesy of LDS Archives.)
20 Jun 1836 Son Frederick Granger Williams Smith is born at Kirtland, Ohio. Jan 1838 Smith family flees Kirtland, Ohio; travels across Ohio, Indiana, and Illinois.
Feb 1838 Family crosses frozen Mississippi River into Iowa.
14 Mar 1838 Family arrives at Far West, Missouri.
2 Jun 1838 Son Alexander Hale Smith is born at Far West, Missouri.
Nov 1838 Church leaders are arrested. Joseph is imprisoned in Liberty Jail. Emma visits him three times:
8 December 1838;
20 December 1838; and 21 January 1839. 7 Feb 1839 Emma and family leave Far West, Missouri.
14 Feb 1839 Emma and children arrive at Quincy, Illinois.
22 Apr 1839 Joseph arrives at Quincy after nearly six months of unjust confinement in Missouri.
9 May 1839 Smiths move to Commerce (Nauvoo), Illinois.
13 Jun 1840 Son Don Carlos is born.
15 Aug 1840 Baptism for the dead is taught by Joseph Smith; Emma is baptized soon after in the Mississippi River in behalf of her mother and sister.
7 Aug 1841 Joseph’s brother, Don Carlos, dies.
15 Aug 1841 Son Don Carlos, age fourteen months, dies.
6 Feb 1842 Birth of unnamed stillborn son.
17 Mar 1842 Relief Society is organized; Emma chosen as president. Summer/Fall
1842 Joseph is in hiding. Emma and children are ill; Emma nearly dies. Joseph returns home to bless his family.
17 Aug 1842 Emma writes a letter to Governor Carlin defending Joseph.
18 Jan 1843 Grand celebration at Joseph and Emma’s home for their sixteenth wedding anniversary and his acquittal.
Spring 1843 Joseph becomes mayor of Nauvoo.
28 May 1843 Emma sealed to Joseph for eternity.
31 Aug 1843 Smiths move into the Mansion House.
By 28 Sep 1843 Emma receives her endowments. Fall 1843 Emma supervises women’s temple ordinances October 1843 through February 1844.
17 May 1844 Joseph accepts nomination to run for president of the United States.
22 Jun 1844 Joseph is ordered to Carthage, Illinois, for hearings; faced with the prospect of certain death, Joseph crosses to Iowa side of the Mississippi River.
23 Jun 1844 Joseph and Hyrum decide to go to Carthage, Illinois. 24 Jun 1844 Emma and Joseph see each other for the last time.
27 Jun 1844 Emma serves dinner to Governor Ford and sixty of his men in Nauvoo Mansion House about 5:00 p. m. Emma learns about 10:00 p. m. that Joseph and Hyrum have been shot and killed.
17 Nov 1844 Son David Hyrum Smith is born.
Feb 1846 Emma remains in Nauvoo when Saints go west.
12 Sep 1846 Emma leaves with her family as mobbers invade Nauvoo; she goes to Fulton, Illinois, then returns four months later. 23 Dec 1847 Emma marries “Major” Louis C. Bidamon.
1856 Emma takes in orphaned Elizabeth Agnes Kendall, eight years old, and rears her as her own daughter.
14 May 1856 Lucy Mack Smith dies, having spent the last three years of her life in Emma’s care.
22 Oct 1856 Joseph III marries Emmeline Griswold. 1857 Emma’s nephew Samuel H. B. Smith visits her.
13 Sep 1857 Son Frederick Granger Williams Smith marries Annie Marie Jones.
6 Apr 1860 Son Joseph III becomes president of RLDS.
23 Jun 1861 Son Alexander Hale Smith marries Elizabeth Agnes Kendall.
13 Apr 1862 Son Frederick Granger Williams Smith dies.
1866 Emma gives Joseph’s revision of Bible to Joseph III to print.
About 1870 Emma begins caring for Charles, six-year-old son of Louis Bidamon and Nancy Abercrombie.
10 May 1870 Son David Hyrum marries Clara C. Hartshorn.
1871 Emma and family move into rebuilt Nauvoo House, later renamed Riverside Mansion.
1875 Emma’s sons leave Nauvoo; Alexander moves to northern Missouri, and Joseph III moves to Iowa.
1877 Emma’s adopted daughter, Julia, suffering from cancer and deserted by her husband, comes to live with Emma.
17 Jan 1877 Emma’s son David Hyrum committed to Illinois State Asylum.
Feb 1879 Last testimony given by Emma in an interview with her sons. Emma testifies that Joseph Smith was a prophet, relates her experience with the Book of Mormon, testifies of her belief in the divine origin of the Book of Mormon.