January 3, 2024

Marriage of Joseph Smith to Emma Hale

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Heavenly Father knew exactly what Joseph Smith needed to fulfill his calling as prophet, and that was the right person at his side. Emma Hale, was strong, intelligent, and a stable partner for the young prophet through his life. Looking back through history it is clear to see Joseph meeting and marrying Emma Smith was directed by God. Joseph was told by the angel Moroni that he was to bring “the right person” to the hill to obtain the plates, even before meeting Emma Hale. Joseph was looking for “the right person” when he met Emma Hale and their partnership was exactly what the restored Church of Jesus Christ needed.

Emma was twenty-one years old when she met Joseph Smith, and he twenty. Emma was described as “well turned, of excellent form. . . With splendid physical development.” “She moved with slow precision but was capable of doing an amazing amount of work in little time.”

Looking back at the time of the meeting of Joseph and Emma, a man named Buddy Young gave this description of Joseph:

“Six feet, two inches tall, fair-complexion, nearly twenty. He had penetrating blue eyes and light brown hair. Curiously, he combined a boyish shyness with a mannish self-confidence. His rough independence belied his awkwardness and lack of formal education and kept him from feeling inferior for lack of social experience. He would often say what was on his mind without regard for its appropriateness.”

Joseph spoke to multiple people in his life on the prospect of marrying Emma, seeking advice and direction from different adults. Some recorded documents show Joseph spoke with Martin Harris, his mother, Lucy, and his employer, Joseph Knight.

To his mother, Lucy Mack he said “that he had felt lonely, ever since Alvins death, that he had come to the conclusion of getting married if we had no objections. He thought that no young woman that he had ever was acquainted with was better calculated to render the man of her choice happy than Miss Emma Hale, a young lady whom he had been extremely fond of since he first introduced her.”

Joseph was ready to marry Emma, but Emma’s father did not like the idea of his daughter marrying Joseph. Joseph sought the approval of Isaac Hale, for Emma’s hand in marriage two separate times. Isaac refused Joseph both times.

Even with her fathers disapproval, Emma and Joseph married January 18, 1827. The young couple had left to visit the Stowells. Emma said he had no intention, when she left home to marry Joseph, but did ended up marrying him.

Emma said: “preferring to marry him to any other man I knew, I consented.”

The couple was married in South Bainbridge, New York.

The summer after their marriage, Emma wrote to her father asking to retrieve her clothing, cow, furniture and other belongings. When Joseph met with Emma’s father, Isaac Hale he was upset with Joseph for marrying Emma without his approval. The ‘teary eyed’ father accused Joseph of stealing his daughter. Joseph also wept. Isaac Hale agreed to help the young couple if Joseph would give up “digging for gold, and looking into stones”. This occurred before Joseph had received the gold plates, and translating the plates was still in Joseph’s future. On September 22, 1827, Joseph received the gold plates from the Hill Cumorah and began the translation of the record.


“Joseph Exploring the life and ministry of the prophet” p 63-64

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