February 13, 2024

When Joseph F. Smith Saw Emma again

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Nauvoo, the Beautiful, is a reflective, calm small city with few inhabitants today. It is a contrast to what it was, in the time of Joseph Smith, when the population rivaled Chicago. There was much happening all the time in Nauvoo while Joseph Smith was alive, but after the death of Joseph and Hyrum Smith everything changed for the city. Nobody suffered more from the deaths of Hyrum and Joseph than their young families. The Smith family split up, with some moving west with the Saints and other staying in Nauvoo. Hyrum's family, led by his wife, Mary Fielding Smith, went with the Saints to Utah. Emma, Joseph's wife and Lucy Mack Smith, Joseph's mother chose to stay in Nauvoo. Thousands of miles separated the two families for years, until Joseph F. Smith returned to Nauvoo and met with his Aunt, Emma Smith.

Joseph F. Smith, the son of Hyrum Smith lost his father, Hyrum and age six and his mother when he was a teenager. After the death of his mother he was called on multiple missions, starting at age 15. His first mission was the Sandwich Islands, also known as Hawaii, is his most famous. When Joseph F. returned home from his Hawaii there was trouble, again for the Saints in Utah. Utah was going through the Utah War. Joseph F. helped where he could in the war, but soon was called on another mission to England. While on his way to England, he stopped to see his Aunt, Emma Smith.

This stop in Nauvoo was the first time Joseph F. Smith had returned to Nauvoo since his family had departed with the rest of the Saints to cross the plains. Joseph F. and a cousin had stopped to gather some artifacts and do some Church History work, and interview certain people.

It was an emotional time for Joseph F. when he stopped to see Emma Smith. Emma recognized him right away saying "I would have known you anywhere". Going on to say Joseph F. looked just like his father, Hyrum.

As Joseph F. was leaving she said something like "will you be wandering?" which was the phrase for doing missionary work.

He said "quite a lot of that before I return home"

"are you fond of it?" Emma said, as if to ask if he is really committed to this.

He said "to be truthful, I would rather be at home".

With tears in her eyes she said "someday I hope all of us will be able to stay home with our families."

The Smith family sacrificed much for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. There was so much heartache left in the Smith family from the cruel murders of Joseph and Hyrum Smith. The Church moved on to Utah, and found a place in the Rocky Mountains, but the members of Joseph and Hyrums families were left without their fathers and husbands for the rest of their lives. The best thing about about the gospel of Jesus Christ is that although the stories are sad and unfinished, without closure, or hope is the hope of the gospel, "Whether in this life or the next, all will be made right.” quote by Neil L. Andersen.

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