Lucy Mack Smith

Lucy Mack Smith
Lucy Mack Smith

Time Period

1820-1860

Subject Categories

Everyday Life, Religion, Writers

Notable Facts

Mother of the Mormon prophet, Joseph Smith Jr. Wrote the memoir, "Biographical Sketches of Joseph Smith, the Prophet, and His Progenitors For Many Generations."

Personal Information

Date of Birth

07/08/1775

Date of Death

05/14/1856

Primary Residence

Tunbridge

Religion

Presbyterian/ Mormon

Ethnicity

Caucasian

Historical Significance

Lucy Mack Smith was the mother of the Mormon prophet, Joseph Smith Jr. She wrote the memoir, "Biographical Sketches of Joseph Smith, the Prophet, and His Progenitors for Many Generations."

Lucy Mack was the youngest of eight children born to Solomon and Lydia Gates Mack. She grew up in a deeply religious household in Gilsum, New Hampshire. While visiting her brother Stephen in Tunbridge, Vermont, she met her future husband, Joseph Smith Sr., whom she married on January 24, 1796. Her brother and his business partner provided her with a generous dowry of $1,000. Smith and her husband moved to Tunbridge, Vermont in 1802, where Joseph Smith Sr. opened a store. Lucy Smith grew seriously ill and had little hope for survival, but after much prayer, she heard the voice of Christ and began to recover. From then on, she was on a constant quest to find religious instruction and was baptized, although not into a particular church.

The Smith family struggled financially, and after losing their farm in Tunbridge, they moved multiple times, living in Royalton, Tunbridge, and Sharon, where Joseph Smith Jr. was born. In 1811, the Smith family moved to Lebanon, New Hampshire, where Lucy Smith felt stable enough to enroll the older children in school. Unfortunately, typhoid fever struck the area, and by the time the family was healthy, they found themselves in financial difficulty. They moved to Norwich, Vermont where they worked as tenant farmers and suffered three years of successive crop failure. This led Joseph Sr., Lucy, and their eight children to move to Palmyra, New York, where they spent some time trying to decide what local church they should join. Fourteen-year-old Joseph asked God which church to choose and experienced what is now known as the "First Vision." After confessing what he had seen to a pastor, the persecutions against the family began. Smith was supportive of her son and believed that he spoke the truth when he presented the stories of the Book of Mormon. She traveled with him as he spoke his message, and even after Joseph Jr. was martyred in 1844, her religious conviction remained strong. Smith wrote "Biographical Sketches of Joseph Smith, the Prophet, and His Progenitors For Many Generations," in 1853. This has been reprinted as "The Revised and Enhanced History of Joseph Smith by His Mother," edited by Scot Facer Proctor and Maurine Jensen Proctor. She planned to travel to Utah once a Mormon settlement was established, but died in Nauvoo, Illinois in 1856.

Organizations or Movements

  • The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints

Occupations

  • Farmer
  • Author.

Additional Information (Bibliography)

  • Lucy Mack Smith Link

  • Meridian Magazine Link

  • Bates, Irene. "Lucy Mack Smith: First Mormon Mother." Link