Recollections of the Prophet Joseph Smith
This is the testimony ordinary people who Were acquainted with the Prophet Joseph Smith, to help you understand what kind of a person he was.
Source: An Early Church Publication; Juvenile Instructor, "Recollections of the Prophet Joseph Smith," The Juvenile Instructor 27 (1892)
The Night Of The Falling Stars; Prophecy Fulfilled
Joseph Having Been Tarred And Feathered
A Witness To The Vision Of The Three Degrees Of Glory
Fondness Of Children
Impressions Of Him As A Prophet Of God
Meeting Him Confirmed The Testimony Born By The Spirit
His Appearance And Testimony
Recollection Of Being Healed By The Prophet
Helping Children Who Were Stuck In The Mud
Borrowing A Baby To Comfort His Wife Who Lost Her Babe.
Public Prayer For Those Who Accused Him
Predicting The Weather
Leading Zion’s Camp
Advice To Missionaries On Prayer And Preaching
Employing Some Young Men In Need
Building A Log Cabin For A Widow
Praying For Something Better To Eat
You Would Do Well To Tie Your Horse
Prophecy That The Saints Would Leave Missouri
An Enquiry About The Safety Of A Mother’s Son
Chided For Being Bowed In Spirit
Wrestling With A Bully
Why Is Not More Revealed
Predictions Of Death In Zion’s Camp
First Impressions Concerning His Appearance And Character
A Man Raised From The Dead
More Words Of Joseph’s Personality
Why He Played Ball With The Boys
On one occasion Joseph was preaching in Kirtland sometime in the fall of 1833. Quite a number of persons were present who did not belong to the Church, and one man, more bitter and skeptical than others, made note with pencil and paper of a prophecy uttered on that occasion, wherein Joseph said that "Forty days shall not pass, and the stars shall fall from heaven."
Such an event would certainly be very unusual and improbable to the natural man, and the skeptic wrote the words as a sure evidence to prove Joseph to be a false Prophet.
On the thirty-ninth day after the utterance of that prophecy a man and brother in the Church, by the name of Joseph Hancock, who is yet living, in Payson, Utah, and another brother were out hunting game and got lost. They wandered about until night, when they found themselves at the house of this unbeliever, who exultingly produced this note of Joseph Smith's prophecy, and asked Brother Hancock what he thought of his Prophet now, that thirty-nine days had passed and the prophecy was not fulfilled.
Brother Hancock was unmoved and quietly remarked, "There is one night left of the time, and if Joseph said so, the stars will certainly fall tonight. This prophecy will all be fulfilled."
The matter weighed upon the mind of Brother Hancock, who watched that night, and it proved to be the historical one, known in all the world as "the night of the falling of the stars."
He stayed that night at the house of the skeptical unbeliever, as it was too far from home to return by night, and in the midst of the falling of the stars he went to the door of his host and called him out to witness what he had thought impossible and the most improbable thing that could happen, especially as that was the last night in which Joseph Smith could be saved from the condemnation of "a false prophet."
The whole heavens were lit up with the falling meteors, and the countenance of the new spectator was plainly seen and closely watched by Brother Hancock, who said that he turned pale as death, and spoke not a word.
After that event the unbeliever sought the company of any Latter-day Saint. He even enticed Mormon children to keep him company at his house. Not long afterwards, too, he sent for Joseph and Hyrum to come to his house, which they did, but with no noticeable results, for I believe he never received the gospel. Philo Dibble "Recollections," JI 27 (1892), p.22 - p.23
I was with Joseph the next morning after he was tarred and feathered by a mob in the town of Hiram. After he had washed and dressed in clean clothes, I heard him say to Sidney Rigdon, who was also tarred and feathered, "Now, Sidney, we are ready to go on that mission," having reference to a command of God to go to Jackson County, Missouri, and which they had deferred to comply with until they should have accomplished some work which they had planned, but never did accomplish.
“The vision which is recorded in the Book of Doctrine and Covenants [D&C 76] was given at the house of "Father Johnson," in Hiram, Ohio, and during the time that Joseph and Sidney were in the spirit and saw the heavens open, there were other men in the room, perhaps twelve, among whom I was one during a part of the time-- probably two-thirds of the time,--I saw the glory and felt the power, but did not see the vision.
The events and conversation, while they were seeing what is written (and many things were seen and related that are not written,) I will relate as minutely as is necessary.
Joseph would, at intervals, say: "What do I see?" as one might say while looking out the window and beholding what all in the room could not see. Then he would relate what he had seen or what he was looking at. Then Sidney replied, "I see the same." Presently Sidney would say "what do I see?" and would repeat what he had seen or was seeing, and Joseph would reply, "I see the same."
This manner of conversation was repeated at short intervals to the end of the vision, and during the whole time not a word was spoken by any other person. Not a sound nor motion made by anyone but Joseph and Sidney, and it seemed to me that they never moved a joint or limb during the time I was there, which I think was over an hour, and to the end of the vision.
Joseph sat firmly and calmly all the time in the midst of a magnificent glory, but Sidney sat limp and pale, apparently as limber as a rag, observing which, Joseph remarked, smilingly, "Sidney is not used to it as I am." Philo Dibble "Recollections," JI 27 (1892), p.22 - p.23; Elder Philo Dibble, who was born at Peru, Pittsfield, Massachusetts, and who now resides at Springville, Utah County, Utah, is one of the oldest living members of the Church.[in 1892] He embraced the gospel on the 16th of October, 1830, in Kirtland, Ohio.
I will speak of a prominent trait of his character which was perhaps more marked in his early career than was the case after public cares and responsibilities multiplied upon him from so many sources. I mean his natural fondness for children. In Kirtland, when wagon loads of grown people and children came in from the country to meeting, Joseph would make his way to as many of the wagons as he well could and cordially shake the hand of each person. Every child and young babe in the company were especially noticed by him and tenderly taken by the hand, with his kind words and blessings. He loved innocence and purity, and he seemed to find it in the greatest perfection with the prattling child. Louisa Littlefield "Recollections," JI 27 (1892), p.24; Sister Louisa Y. Littlefield, was born in the town of Hector, Tompkins County, New York, May 1st, 1822, and was baptized into the Church at Kirtland, Ohio, in 1834. Here she first met the Prophet, of which she says, "I felt an assurance when I first beheld Joseph Smith that he was a Prophet of God.
I was favorably impressed with his noble mien, his stately form and his pleasant, smiling face and cheerful conversation. Before I ever saw Joseph Smith I was satisfied that he was a man inspired of God, and when I beheld him if anything further could have increased my knowledge of him being a Prophet of the Lord, I was confirmed. During my acquaintance with him from 1839 until 1844, his teachings and examples were strong proof to me of his divine calling, without the inspiration of the Lord. I was an attentive listener and observer of the teachings, sayings and example of the Prophet Joseph Smith from the first time I saw him till the month of May, 1844, at which time I left Nauvoo for the state of New York on a mission. And being quite familiar with the history of his life as written, I remember many sayings recorded that I heard him utter. In common with those who were acquainted with his public life and doings in the midst of the Saints in Nauvoo, I had great joy and satisfaction in listening to his teachings. James Phippen "Recollections," JI 27 (1892), p.24; Elder James Worthington Phippen, whose home is in Salt Lake City, was born October 12th, 1819, in Springfield, Clark County, Ohio. He was baptized into the Church on the 3rd of February, 1839, in Fredonia, Chautauqua County, New York.
I was a mere boy, between thirteen and fourteen years old, when I first met the Prophet. His appearance as a man won my reverence for him; but his conversation and public teaching--all attended by a power truly Godlike-- established me in the faith and knowledge of his prophetic mission which strengthened with the lapse of years until he sealed his testimony with his blood in the jail at Carthage, in 1844
The Spirit of the Lord had previously testified to me, in the state of Michigan, that Joseph Smith was a Prophet of God, and when I beheld him at Salt River, where Zion's Camp was resting near Brother Burget's house, the spirit of truth furnished me with an additional evidence of his divine mission. I bear my testimony that he was a Prophet of God. Lyman Littlefield "Recollections," JI 27 (1892), p.65; Elder Lyman O. Littlefield, who resides at Smithfield, Cache County, Utah, joined the Church in Clay County, Missouri, being baptized by Peter Whitmer, in 1834. He first saw the Prophet Joseph in Zion's Camp, in Missouri, that same year.
His appearance was that of a fine, portly gentleman, six feet high, weighing about two hundred pounds. He was pleasant and kind. His character was unimpeachable among the Saints. They loved him and he loved them.
My testimony of Joseph Smith is that he was a Prophet of the living God, and held the keys of the Holy Melchizedek Priesthood, and of the everlasting gospel to this generation; and that he saw God and His Son Jesus Christ, and talked with them, and also holy angels who ordained him to this priesthood, and talked with and called him to establish God's Church upon the earth again in our day. I know these things are true by the testimony of the Spirit given unto me.
My heart has been made glad by the sayings of the Prophet many times, in fact whenever I heard him. When Joseph was kidnapped in Dixon, his brother Hyrum called for volunteers, and I volunteered to go to rescue Joseph. I felt willing to lay down my life for him. I loved him, and have ever believed that that offering of mine was acceptable to the Lord. I recollect Joseph was preaching one day outdoors to a large congregation. When he said, "I understand that a man in the meeting has offered a thousand dollars for my head. I wonder if he will get it!" and then he kept on preaching. William Fawcett Recollections," JI 27 (1892), p.66; Elder William Fawcett, now residing in St. George, Washington County, Utah, and whose native town is Malton, Yorkshire, England, where he was born December 13th, 1814, embraced the gospel on January 1st, 1840. He saw the Prophet Joseph for the first time on the 12th of April, 1843, at the steamboat landing in Nauvoo.
The Prophet Joseph was often at my father's house. Some incidents which I recollect of him made deep impressions on my child-mind. One morning when he called at our house, I had a very sore throat. It was much swollen and gave me great pain. He took me up in his lap, and gently anointed my throat with consecrated oil and administered to me, and I was healed. I had no more pain nor soreness. Margarette Burgess "Recollections," JI 27 (1892), p.66
Another time my older brother and I were going to school, near to the building which was known as Joseph's brick store. It had been raining the previous day, causing the ground to be very muddy, especially along that street. My brother Wallace and I both got fast in the mud, and could not get out, and of course, childlike, we began to cry, for we thought we would have to stay there. But looking up, I beheld the loving friend of children, the Prophet Joseph, coming to us. He soon had us on higher and drier ground. Then he stooped down and cleaned the mud from our little, heavy-laden shoes, took his handkerchief from his pocket and wiped our tear-stained faces. He spoke kind and cheering words to us, and sent us on our way to school rejoicing. Was it any wonder that I loved that great, good and noble man of God? As I grew older I felt to honor and love him, for his mission to earth in restoring the gospel of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.
I will relate another incident which occurred. Joseph's wife, Sister Emma, had lost a young babe. My mother having twin baby girls, the Prophet came to see if she would let him have one of them. Of course it was rather against her feelings, but she finally consented for him to take one of them, providing he would bring it home each night. This he did punctually himself, and also came after it each morning. One evening he did not come with it at the usual time, and Mother went down to the mansion to see what was the matter, and there sat the Prophet with the baby wrapped up in a little silk quilt. He was trotting it on his knee, and singing to it to get it quiet before starting out, as it had been fretting. The child soon became quiet when my mother took it, and the Prophet came up home with her. Next morning when he came after the baby, Mother handed him Sarah, the other baby. They looked so much alike that strangers could not tell them apart; but as Mother passed him the other baby he shook his head and said, "This is not my little Mary." Then she took Mary from the cradle and gave her to him, and he smilingly carried her home with him. The baby Mary had a very mild disposition, while Sarah was quite cross and fretful, and by this my mother could distinguish them one from the other, though generally people could not tell them apart. But our Prophet soon knew which was the borrowed baby. After his wife became better in health he did not take our baby anymore, but often came in to caress her and play with her. Both children died in their infancy, before the Prophet was martyred. Margarette Burgess "Recollections," JI 27 (1892), p.66; Sister Margarette McIntire Burgess, who now resides in St. George, Washington County, Utah,
At the time William Smith and others rebelled against the Prophet, as recorded in his history, when the walls of the Kirtland Temple were raised but a few feet above the ground. I attended a meeting "on the flats," where "Joseph" presided. Entering the schoolhouse a little before meeting opened, and gazing upon the man of God, I perceived sadness in his countenance and tears trickling down his cheeks. I naturally supposed the all-absorbing topic of the difficulty must be the cause. I was not mistaken. A few moments later a hymn was sung and he opened the meeting by prayer. Instead, however, of facing the audience, he turned his back and bowed upon his knees, facing the wall. This, I suppose, was done to hide his sorrow and tears.
I had heard men and women pray--especially the former--from the most ignorant, both as to letters and intellect, to the most learned and eloquent, but never until then had I heard a man address his Maker as though He was present listening as a kind father would listen to the sorrows of a dutiful child. Joseph was at that time unlearned, but that prayer, which was to a considerable extent in behalf of those who accused him of having gone astray and fallen into sin, that the Lord would forgive them and open their eyes that they might see aright-- that prayer, I say, to my humble mind, partook of the learning and eloquence of heaven. There was no ostentation, no raising of the voice as by enthusiasm, but a plain conversational tone, as a man would address a present friend. It appeared to me as though, in case the veil were taken away, I could see the Lord standing facing His humblest of all servants I had ever seen. Whether this was really the case I cannot say; but one thing I can say, it was the crowning, so to speak, of all the prayers I ever heard. After the prayer another hymn was sung.
When Joseph arose and addressed the congregation, he spoke of his many troubles, and said he often wondered why it was that he should have so much trouble in the house of his friends, and he wept as though his heart would break. Finally he said: "The Lord once told me that if at any time I got into deep trouble and could see no way out of it, if I would prophesy in His name, he would fulfill my words," and added: "I prophesy in the name of the Lord that those who have thought I was in transgression shall have a testimony this night that I am clear and stand approved before the Lord." The next Sabbath his brother William and several others made humble confessions before the public. What their testimonies were, I never knew. Daniel Tyler "Recollections," JI 27 (1892), p.128; Brother Tyler was born in Semproneous, Cayuga County, New York, November 23, 1816. He joined the Church in Springfield, Erie County, Pennsylvania, January 16, 1833. At this place he first met the Prophet, who came there to his father's house. His impression of the Prophet's character was, as he states, "That he was a meek, humble, sociable and very affable man, as a citizen, and one of the most intelligent of men, and a great Prophet."
At a conference in Nauvoo, Illinois, in the afternoon, while Sidney Rigdon was preaching one of his most powerful and eloquent sermons, the heavens began to gather blackness. He observed this and said to the Prophet, "Is it going to rain?" He answered, "Yes, and we had better dismiss the meeting, and let the people go home and not get wet." The conference was held under a large tree. The speaker replied, "I wish you to know I am not through, for I am as full of preach as my skin can hold," and sat down. President Smith said to the audience. "You had better hurry home as soon as the meeting is dismissed, or you will get wet. We are going to have a heavy rain." The services were dismissed without singing, I think, when all started for their homes. Those who lived nearby reached their residences, while those from the suburbs had either to run into neighboring houses or take the pelting wind and rain. .
The writer, with several others, who resided in the eastern part of the city, while running at the top of their speed, reached an empty cabin just as the rain began to pour, where we remained fully a half hour, until the clouds moved away. The next day being fair, Elder Rigdon finished his discourse.
On another occasion, when the Nauvoo Legion was on parade, the heavens began to blacken as if to rain. The people began to get uneasy, and some were preparing to leave. Joseph arose in his saddle and shouted, "Attention, Legion! Don't break the ranks-- it is not going to rain. If it rains enough to wet through your shirt sleeves, the Lord never spoke by my mouth!"
It had already begun to sprinkle rain, but it ceased, the clouds passed away and drill continued as long as it was desirable. There are probably many living now who will remember these latter circumstances. Daniel Tyler "Recollections," JI 27 (1892), p.128
My first recollection of seeing the Prophet Joseph Smith was at a place about sixty or seventy miles from Kirtland, where two companies of Zion's Camp met. My impression on beholding the Prophet and shaking hands with him was, that I stood face to face with the greatest man on earth. I testify he was a Prophet of God.
Zion's Camp, in passing through the state of Indiana, had to cross very bad swamps, consequently we had to attach ropes to the wagons to help them through, and the Prophet was the first man at the rope in his bare feet. This was characteristic of him in all times of difficulty.
We continued our journey until we reached the Wakandaw River, having traveled twenty-five miles without resting or eating. We were compelled to ferry this stream; and we found on the opposite side of it a most desirable place to camp, which was a source of satisfaction to the now weary and hungry men. On reaching this place the Prophet announced to the camp that he felt impressed to travel on; and taking the lead, he invited the brethren to follow him.
This caused a split in the camp. Lyman Wight and others at first refused to follow the Prophet, but finally came up. The sequel showed that the Prophet was inspired to move on a distance of some seven miles. It was reported to us afterwards that about eight miles below where we crossed the river a body of men was organized to come upon us that night.
When we reached Salt Creek, Missouri, Allred settlement had prepared a place to hold meeting in. Joseph and Hyrum Smith and others were on the stand at the meeting when some strangers came in and were very anxious to find out which of them were Joseph and Hyrum, as they had pledged themselves to shoot them on sight. But the Prophet and his brother slipped away unobserved, being impressed that there was danger of their lives being taken. John M. Chidester "Recollections," JI 27 (1892)., p.151
Speaking about praying to our Father in Heaven, I once heard Joseph Smith remark, "Be plain and simple and ask for what you want, just like you would go to a neighbor and say, I want to borrow your horse to go to mill." I heard him say to some elders going on missions, "Make short prayers and short sermons, and let mysteries alone. Preach nothing but repentance and baptism for the remission of sins, for that was all John the Baptist preached." Henry Bigler "Recollections," JI 27 (1892)., p.151
Elder Henry W. Bigler, whose home is in St. George, Washington County, Utah, was born on the 28th of August, 1815, in Harrison County, Virginia. He joined the Church in July, 1837.
After arriving in Nauvoo we were five or six weeks looking for employment, but failed to get any. One morning I said to my brother- in-law, "Let us go and see the Prophet. I feel that he will give us something to do." He considered a short time, then consented to go. On arriving at his house we inquired for the Prophet. We were told he was over the road. So we went over, and found him in a little store selling a lady some goods. This was the first time I had had an opportunity to be near him and get a good look at him. I felt there was a superior spirit in him. He was different to anyone I had ever met before; and I said in my heart, he is truly a Prophet of the most high God.
As I was not a member of the Church I wanted Henry to ask him for work, but he did not do so, so I had to. I said, "Mr. Smith, if you please, have you any employment you could give us both, so we can get some provisions?"
He viewed us with a cheerful countenance, and with such a feeling of kindness said, "Well, boys, what can you do?"
We told him what our employment was before we left our native land.
Said he, "Can you make a ditch?"
I replied we would do the best we could at it.
"That's right, boys," and picking up a tape line he said, "Come along with me."
He took us a few rods from the store, gave me the ring to hold, and stretched all the tape from the reel and marked a line for us to work by.
"Now, boys," said he, "can you make a ditch three feet wide and two and a half feet deep along this line?"
We said we would do our best, and he left us. We went to work, and when it was finished I went and told him it was done.
He came and looked at it and said, "Boys, if I had done it myself it could not have been done better. Now come with me."
He led the way back to his store, and told us to pick the best ham or piece of pork for ourselves. Being rather bashful, I said we would rather he would give us some. So he picked two of the largest and best pieces of meat and a sack of flour for each of us, and asked us if that would do. We told him we would be willing to do more work for it, but he said, "If you are satisfied, boys, I am."
We thanked him kindly, and went on our way home rejoicing in the kindheartedness of the Prophet of our God.
In November of the same year I was baptized into the Church, and from that time until the martyrdom of our Prophet, I often had the privilege of seeing his noble face lit up by the Spirit and power of God, as he taught the Saints the principles of eternal life. James Leech "Recollections," JI 27 (1892)., p.152
In 1838 Joseph and some of the young men were playing various outdoor games, among which was a game of ball. By and by they began to get weary. He saw it, and calling them together he said: "Let us build a log cabin." So off they went, Joseph and the young men, to build a log cabin for a widow woman. Such was Joseph's way, always assisting in whatever he could. Edwin Holden "Recollections," JI 27 (1892), p.153;
In my early years I used to often eat at the table with Joseph the Prophet. At one time he was called to dinner. I being at play in the room with his son Joseph, he called us to him, and we stood one each side of him. After he had looked over the table he said, "Lord, we thank Thee for this Johnny cake, and ask Thee to send us something better. Amen." The corn bread was cut and I received a piece from his hand.
Before the bread was all eaten, a man came to the door and asked if the Prophet Joseph was at home. Joseph replied he was, whereupon the visitor said, "I have brought you some flour and a ham."
Joseph arose and took the gift, and blessed the man in the name of the Lord. Turning to his wife, Emma, he said, "I knew the Lord would answer my prayer."
From this time to his death I always revered and honored him, and when but a boy of ten or twelve years have in Nauvoo often said to him I was ready to die for him. John Smith "Recollections," JI 27 (1892), p.172
When playing in the yard of the old white mansion, in Nauvoo, with Joseph and Frederick, two of his sons, a gentleman drove to the gate and asked if the Prophet Joseph Smith was at home; when he (the Prophet) sprang up from the grass plat, and, shaking the dust from his clothing, replied that he was. The gentleman then drove his one horse up to a tie post and left the lines lying loose, and got out and came into the house. When about half way to the house Joseph said, "Mr., I think you would do well to tie your horse; he might get a scare and run away and break your carriage."
The gentleman replied, "I have driven that horse for some years and never tie him. I am a doctor and cannot afford to tie up at every place I call."
Joseph repeated, "You had better tie, all the same. Your horse might get a scare and run away."
The doctor replied, "No fear."
Joseph seemed quite uneasy, and got up several times from his chair on the porch or stoop. Suddenly the horse started up the street and struck a wheel against a post and scattered the pieces for a block or more. The doctor sprang to his feet, and looking after the horse, cried out to Joseph, "I'll be d--d if you ain't a Prophet!" John Smith "Recollections," JI 27 (1892), p.172; John Smith was born November 17th, 1828, at Potsdam, St. Lawrence County, New York. He was baptized at Kirtland, Geauga County, Ohio.
On another occasion he preached and chastised the rich, or those who had money, for buying land at government price and selling it in small lots to their poor brethren at a high price. He said the Lord was not pleased with their conduct. "You say I am a Prophet. Well, then, I will prophesy, and when you go home write it down and remember it. You think you have been badly treated by your enemies; but if you don't do better than you are now doing, I prophesy that the state of Missouri will not hold you. Your sufferings have hardly commenced." I think about eighteen months after this we all left the state. David Osborn "Recollections," JI 27 (1892), p.17; I was born in Virginia, March 31st, 1807. Was baptized in July, 1835, in Greene County, Iowa.
In February, 1841, my brother John was in jail, in the hands of the Missourians, about two hundred miles from home, and my dear widowed mother was very much concerned about his safety. On one occasion she was crying and fretting about him.
When I saw her in trouble, I asked what was the matter.
She replied that she was afraid the Missourians would kill her dear son John, and she would never see him again.
I was strongly impressed to have her let me go to the Prophet Joseph and ask him if my brother would ever come home. She was very desirous for me to do so.
As the Prophet Joseph only lived about three miles from our house I got on a horse and rode to his home. When I reached there, Sister Emma Smith said that he and his son Joseph had just gone up the river near Nauvoo to shoot ducks. I rode up to them, when the Prophet inquired about my mother's welfare.
I told him that Mother was very sad and downhearted about the safety of her son John; and she had requested me to come and ask him as a man of God whether my brother would ever return home.
He rested on his gun, and bent his head for a moment as if in prayer or deep reflection. Then, with a beautiful beaming countenance, full of smiles, he looked up and told me to go and tell Mother that her son would return in safety inside of a week. True to the word of the Prophet, he got home in six days after this occurrence. This was a great comfort to Mother for her son had been absent about six months. Joseph Taylor "Recollections," JI 27 (1892), p.202; Elder Joseph Taylor was born June 4th, 1825, in Warren County, Kentucky.
In the spring of 1841 my parents were both baptized into the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, and soon after started for Nauvoo in company with some other Saints. After reaching their destination the company camped for a few days on the bank of the Mississippi until they had opportunity to find homes, a Brother Sherwood kindly giving them the use of one small log house which he owned.
While the Saints camped here the Prophet visited them. A meeting was held in the aforementioned log house. I remember that when the Prophet came into the room he shook hands with all, old and young, who had assembled. I cannot remember much that was said that day in meeting, as I was so very young, but one incident of the day's proceedings fastened itself so firmly upon my mind that I have never forgotten it.
Brother Joseph was sitting with his head bent low, as if in deep thought, and had not spoken for a few minutes, when one of the elders present began to chide him for being bowed in spirit, and said, "Brother Joseph, why don't you hold your head up and talk to us like a man?"
Brother Joseph presently answered the elder by calling his attention to a field of ripening grain, saying that many heads of grain in that field bent low with their weight of valuable store, while others there were which, containing no grain to be garnered, stood very straight.
Proof of the correctness of his words was given shortly after, as the elder to whom they were addressed soon after apostatized and went back east.
I know of a surety that Joseph Smith was a Prophet of God, and have had abundant testimony that the work which he established is the work of our Father in Heaven. Henrietta Cox "Recollections," JI 27 (1892), p.203; Henrietta Cox. the daughter of Josiah and Ascenath Jones. born March 8th, 1835, in the town of Mansfield, Lolland County, Connecticut.
“He came to a large crowd of young men who were wrestling, that being the popular sport in those days. Among the boys there was a bully from La Harpe, I believe. He had thrown down everyone on the ground who took hold of him. When Joseph came to the crowd… he was invited to wrestle with this bully. The man was eager to have a tussle with the Prophet, so Joseph stepped forward and took hold of the man. The first pass he made Joseph whirled him around and took him by the collar and seat of his trowsers and walked out to a ditch and threw him in it. Then, taking him by the arm, he helped him up and patted him on the back and said. "You must not mind this. When I am with the boys I make all the fun I can for them." Calvin Moore "Recollections," JI 27 (1892), p.255; Bishop Calvin W. Moore, a veteran of the Mormon Battalion, was born on the 21st day of July, 1829
I heard Joseph Smith say that there was enough revelation given for the present time; but the question was asked, "Why was not more revealed?" He replied that if all was revealed many would seek his blood. He said that he had laid the foundation of the greatest work that ever was inaugurated and had qualified men to carry it on. He added also: "And I roll the responsibility upon the Twelve Apostles. I am going to rest.'"
Wiley Allred "Recollections," JI 27 (1892), p.255 - p.256; Elder Wiley Payne Allred, of Emery, Emery County, Utah, was born in Bedford County, Tennessee, May 31, 1818.
Going up with Zion's Camp he made a prediction that if they (the members of the camp) did not quit their jarring and contentions, some of them would die off like rotten sheep; and it was fulfilled to the letter. There were 13 died of the cholera in the camp, and he then called the brethren together and said there would not another one die, and no more deaths occurred.
The cholera that started in that camp, spread over the country, so that as we went back home the various towns we passed through, were afflicted with it, and it still continued to the eastern country. Edson Barney "Recollections," JI 27 (1892), p.256; Edson Barney, of St. George, Washington County, Utah, was born June 30, 1806, in Ellisburgh, Jefferson County, New York, and joined the Church May 15, 1831, in Amherst, Loraine County, Ohio.
My first impressions were that he was an extraordinary man--a man of great penetration; was different from any other man I ever saw: had the most heavenly countenance, was genial, affable and kind, and looked the soul of honor and integrity.
I know him to be what he professed to be--a true Prophet of God, and the Lord through him restored the everlasting gospel and every ordinance and endowment that will lead us into the celestial kingdom.
Bathsheba Smith "Recollections," JI 27 (1892), p.344; Sister Bathsheba W. Smith, of Salt Lake City, widow of the late President George A. Smith, was born May 3rd, 1822, near Shinnston, Harrison County, West Virginia, and joined the Church August the 21st, 1837
About the month of August, 1856, William D. Huntington and I went into Hobble Creek Canyon to get a tree or log suitable for making drums. After we had finished our labor and started for home, both of us riding on the log, our conversation naturally turned upon the doctrines of the Church and experiences of the past, when the life and labors of the Prophet Joseph were touched upon. This subject aroused into more than usual earnestness the mind and conversation of my associate.
He said that in Nauvoo he lived in the family of and worked for Joseph Smith at the time the Prophet had such a wonderful time with the sick, when nearly everybody was stricken down and he himself was among the afflicted, and was one of those who were healed by Joseph. He said he had been sick some weeks and kept getting weaker, until he became so helpless that he could not move. Finally he got so low he could not speak, but had perfect consciousness of all that was passing in the room. He saw friends come to the bedside, look at him a moment and commence weeping, then turn away.
He further stated that he presently felt easy, and observing his situation found that he was in the upper part of the room near the ceiling, and could see the body he had occupied lying on the bed, with weeping friends, standing around as he had witnessed in many cases where people had died under his own observation.
About this time he saw Joseph Smith and two other brethren come into the room. Joseph turned to his wife Emma and asked her to get him a dish of clean water. This she did; and the Prophet with the two brethren accompanying him washed their hands and carefully wiped them. Then they stepped to the bed and laid their hands upon the head of his body, which at that time looked loathsome to him, and as the three stretched out their hands to place them upon the head, he by some means became aware that he must go back into that body, and started to do so. The process of getting in he could not remember; but when Joseph said "amen," he heard and could see and feel with his body. The feeling for a moment was most excruciating, as though his body was pierced in every part with some sharp instruments.
As soon as the brethren had taken their hands from his head he raised up in bed, sitting erect, and in another moment turned his legs off the bed.
At this juncture Joseph asked him if he had not better be careful, for he was very weak. He replied, "I never felt better in my life," almost immediately adding, "I want my pants."
His pants were found and given him, which he drew on, Joseph assisting him, although he thought he needed no help. Then he signified his intention to sit in a chair at or near the fireplace. Joseph took hold of his arm to help him along safely, but William declared his ability to walk alone, notwithstanding which, the help continued.
Astonishment had taken the place of weeping throughout the room. Every looker-on was ready to weep for joy; but none were able or felt inclined to talk.
Presently William said he wanted something to eat. Joseph asked him what he would like, and he replied that he wanted a dish of bread and milk.
Emma immediately brought what he called for, as one may easily comprehend, every hand was anxious to supply the wants of a man who, a few moments before was dead, really and truly dead! Brother Huntington ate the bowl of bread and milk with as good a relish as any he ever ate.
In a short time all felt more familiar and conversation upon the scene that transpired followed. William related his experiences and the friends theirs.
Joseph listened to the conversation and in his turn remarked that they had just witnessed as great a miracle as Jesus did while on the earth. They had seen the dead brought to life.
At the close of his narrative to me William Huntington remarked:
"Now I have told you the truth, and here I am a live man, sitting by the side of you on this log, and I testify that Joseph Smith was a Prophet of God." Levi Curtis "Recollections," JI 27 (1892), p.385
My first introduction to the Prophet Joseph Smith, was in May, 1837, at Kirtland, Ohio; and on the 4th of June, following, I again met him at Brother John Gaylard's house in Kirtland, where a small company of friends had gathered to witness the ceremony of my marriage to Robert B. Thompson, the Prophet performing the ceremony.
There were present on this occasion several of the Twelve Apostles with their wives, also the aged Patriarch Joseph Smith and his wife-- father and mother of the Prophet--and also my brother Joseph Fielding and my sister Mary, who soon afterward became the wife of Hyrum Smith.
After the marriage ceremony was over we listened with joy and profit to the words of instruction and counsel which fell from the inspired lips of Joseph Smith, each word carrying to our hearts deeper and stronger convictions that we were listening to a mighty Prophet of God. And yet there was not the slightest appearance of ostentation or conscious power on his part; he was as free and sociable as though we had all been his own brothers and sisters, or members of one family. He was as unassuming as a child.
In a social gathering of the Saints at the Bowery near the site of the temple, I saw him rejoicing with the people, perfectly sociable and without reserve, occasionally uttering jokes for their amusement and moving upon the same plane with the humblest and poorest of his friends; to him there were no strangers and by all he was known as the Prophet and a friend of humanity. Still he had enemies, and they were always bitter, who wolf-like toward the lamb, hated him not so much as they thirsted for his blood, because their deeds were evil and their natures and their appetites had fallen to crave for violence and delight in vengeance.
I saw him by the bedside of Emma, his wife, in sickness, exhibiting all the solicitude and sympathy possible for the tenderest of hearts and the most affectionate of natures to feel. And by the deathbed of my beloved companion, I saw him stand in sorrow, reluctantly submitting to the decree of Providence, while the tears of love and sympathy freely flowed. Joseph took charge of the funeral ceremonies, strictly adhering to my husband's wish that there should be no military or other display at his burial as had been but a short time before on the occasion of the burial of Joseph's brother, Don Carlos, both having been officers in the legion. Mercy Thompson "Recollections," JI 27 (1892), p.398; She was born in Honidon, Bedsfordshire, England, June 15, 1807.
I have played ball with him many times in Nauvoo. He was preaching once, and he said it tried some of the pious folks to see him play ball with the boys. He then related a story of a certain prophet who was sitting under the shade of a tree amusing himself in some way, when a hunter came along with his bow and arrow, and reproved him. The prophet asked him if he kept his bow strung up all the time. The hunter answered that he did not. The prophet asked why, and he said it would lose its elasticity if he did. The prophet said it was just so with his mind, he did not want it strung up all the time.
Recollections of Joseph Smith, the Prophet; William Allred "Recollections," JI 27 (1892), p.471; Elder William M. Allred, of St. Charles, Bear Lake County, Idaho, was born in Bedford County, Tennessee, December 24th, 1819, and was baptized in Salt River, Monroe County, Missouri, September 10th, 1832