Lucy Mack Smith was mother of the Prophet Joseph Smith Jr. She was his main biographer. Beginning in 1844, shortly after the death of her son, Joseph, she wrote a family history, and of the early days of the church. The original work has been digitized and is available as part of the Joseph Smith Papers. The history gives some 200 names and hundreds of details, most of which have been verified by other contemporary records. Besides the facts, "her history burns with the dedication that made the events of the Restoration possible. She achieved religious greatness-as a mother and as a dynamic contributor to the infant church. Furthermore, her history is irreplaceable," her goal having been to "give 'the particulars of Joseph's getting the plates, seeing the angels at first, and many other things which Joseph never wrote or published' (Lucy Smith to William Smith, Jan. 23, 1845, HDC)."
Death: 14 May 1856. Nauvoo, Illinois
Lucy Mack, daughter of Solomon Mack and Lydia Gates Mack, was born in Gilsum, New Hampshire, July 8, 1775. She attended school in Gilsum and in Montague, Massachusetts, which was supplemented by her mother, who had been a teacher. Her "speeches and writing reveal an intelligent believer who used English capably."
Stephen Mack, Lucy's brother, took her on a visit to Tunbridge, Vermont. There she met Joseph Smith, who would become her husband. She considered his family to be "worthy, respectable, amiable, and intelligent." They were married 24 January 1796.
Lucy was given a dowry of $1000 by her brother and his business partner. Joseph owned a farm valued at almost that amount. Unfortunately, these assets were used pay a debt when their export business failed because of a dishonest agent.
The couple spent 20 years living in Vermont and New Hampshire towns. They recovered their prosperity through the schoolteaching of Joseph Smith, Sr., farming and home industry.
Family sickness in 1812-1813 and frozen crops in 1814-1816, caused the family to move to Palmyra, New York, in 1816. Joseph preceded her and she followed bringing a few goods and eight children (18-a few months).
In the Palmyra area the family was able to recover economically. They contracted to purchase 100 acres. They cleared about 40 acres, built fences and buildings, had a coopering business, made maple sugar, and grew fruit and wheat.
The "revelations" of their son Joseph and the beginnings of the new church caused trials and the enmity of their neighbors. Lucy Smith made two more migrations in her life, "one in the spring rains on the way to Missouri in 1838 and a move to Illinois in the wet snows of early 1839."
Her husband, Joseph Smith, Sr., died in late 1840. Before his death, "he blessed his children and expressed love for his 'most singular' wife, promising her that her last days would be her best days." However, Lucy would endure more grief. Lucy lost two infant sons early, and her son, Alvin, had died in 1824. During the four years after Joseph Sr.'s death, her son Don Carlos died of sickness in 1841, sons Joseph and Hyrum were murdered by a mob (June 1844) and a month later, July 1844, her son Samuel died of sickness.
Through all this tragedy Lucy "never lost her faith in God, in the revelations to her son, and in the destiny of her family."
Joseph and Emma Smith aided her until 1844. Her daughter Lucy Millikin took care of her for some years, and in her final years Emma cared for her once more. "Feeble and unable to write, she impressed visitors with her spiritual and social vitality." She died May 14, 1856, at nearly eighty-one.
Lucy was deeply religious. She had been raised in a pious, god-fearing house, and she continued this tradition with her own offspring. When she was a teenager, two of her older sisters died in their 30s. Their courageous deaths and personal revelations of life after death and Christ's love influenced their younger sisters already existent belief in God.
Joseph and Lucy were "active seekers." As a young mother, Lucy herself became critically ill. She pleaded to be allowed to bring up her children and comfort her husband. A voice spoke to her promising her life and she vowed to serve God completely. She asked a minister to baptize her and tried Presbyterianism, but found it lacking. She investigated Methodism, but was opposed by her unaffiliated husband. He was having dreams that promised answers in the future. He dreamed he was a pliant tree, and that he would receive the full truth of God.
The goal of their years in New York: "Whilst we worked with our hands we endeavored to remember the service of [God] and the Welfare of our souls." She tells how the prayers of her son Joseph were answered, and how early on but not immediately she had knowledge that an angel revealed the Book of Mormon. Lucy described handling the Urim and Thummim and the ancient breastplate. She believed in the divinity of the Book of Mormon and wrote her brother in 1831: "I want you to think seriously of these things, for they are the truths of the living God." 
Lucy did some missionary work for the early church, taking a group from New York to Ohio and teaching her Mack relatives in Detroit.
"She and most of her sons' widows were in the first companies receiving higher ordinances in the Nauvoo Temple. She received washings and anointings on December 11, 1845, and the Endowment the following day."
Although Lucy chose to stay in Nauvoo with her family, she gave her blessing to the Twelve and their plans for the exodus. "I feel that the Lord will let Brother Brigham take the people away." 
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