Skip to main content

Smith, Joseph, Jr., 1805-1844

 Person

Dates

  • Existence: 1805-1844

Biographical History

Joseph Smith, Jr. (1805-1844) was a Mormon prophet and founder of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

Joseph Smith, Jr. was born on December 23, 1805, to parents Joseph Sr. and Lucy Mack Smith. He was the fifth of eleven children. He worked on the family farm in Vermont and later in western New York. A series of remarkable spiritual experiences prepared him for his prophetic calling. Beginning in 1820 at Palmyra, New York, Joseph Smith saw God the Father and Jesus Christ in vision. Through revelation, he translated and published the Book of Mormon, organized The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints on April 6, 1830, and received revelations to guide the Church. By inspiration, he called Apostles and other Church leaders, defined doctrines, and taught the principles and ordinances that would lead to exaltation. Under his leadership, Latter-day Saints founded communities in Ohio, Missouri, and Illinois. He was sustained as First Elder of the Church on April 6, 1830. On June 27, 1844, at Carthage, Illinois, Joseph Smith died a martyr to his faith.

Citation

Book of Mormon. Japanese. Morumon-kyō, 1909 (1950 printing): t.p. (Josefu Sumisu [in Japanese])

Book of Moemon. Armenian. Girkʻ Mōrmōni, 1937: t.p. (Kart. Chōzēf Smitʻh)

Britannica.com, Oct. 13, 2010 (Joseph Smith, originally Joseph Smith, Jr. (b. Dec. 23, 1805, Sharon, Vt., U.S.; d. June 27, 1844, Carthage, Ill.), Mormon prophet and founder of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints)

The Book of Mormon, 1830: title page (Joseph Smith, Junior)

Doctrine and covenants of the Church of the Latter Day Saints, 1835: title page (Joseph Smith, Junior)

Encyclopedia of Mormonism, page 1331 (Joseph Smith, Jr. (1805-1844), the Prophet Joseph Smith, founding prophet of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints; born December 23, 1805 in Sharon, Vermont; moved to Palmyra, N.Y. in 1816; founded the Church in Fayette, N.Y. April 6, 1830; migrated with the Church to Kirtland, Ohio in 1831; then to Far West, Missouri in 1838; finally to Nauvoo, Ill. (which he founded) in 1839; killed by a mob in Carthage, Ill. June 27, 1844)

Found in 29 Collections and/or Records:

Job Smith autobiography and letters received

 File — Folder: 1
Identifier: MSS SC 2202
Scope and Contents Typewritten autobiography and photocopies of handwritten letters received by Smith. Also included are typescripts of Job Smith's "Recollections" of the first president of the Mormon Church, Joseph Smith (1805-1844), and photocopies of handwritten and typewritten certificates. The letters are from prminent Mormon Church leaders. Also included is a photocopy of a handwritten patriarchal blessing received by Smith.
Dates: 1860-1902

Joseph Smith affidavit

 File — Folder: 1
Identifier: MSS 1021
Scope and Contents Photocopy of a handwritten and signed statement. Smith stated that he was "elected Sole Trustee" of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints for life. The item was notarized in Nauvoo, Illinois, for Hancock County.
Dates: 1841

Joseph Smith, Jr. articles of lease

 Collection — Folder: 1
Identifier: Vault MSS 783
Scope and Contents Handwritten lease agreement between Jospeh Smith (1805-1844) and James Adams (d. 1843) and Elezer van Drezer dated 15 Nov. 1841. The manuscript is signed by Joseph Smith. The item leases the right to keep ferries across the Mississippi River from Nauvoo, Illinois to Zarahemla, Iowa for twenty years for the sum of $10,500.
Dates: 1841 November 15

Joseph Smith letter

 File — Folder: 1
Identifier: MSS SC 1799
Scope and Contents Photocopy of a handwritten letter from Joseph Smith (April 29, 1844) to Charles C. Rich concerning the court martial of Wilson Law.
Dates: 1844 April 29

Joseph Smith letter

 Collection — Folder: 1
Identifier: Vault MSS 36
Scope and Contents Photograph of a handwritten and signed letter, dated 17 June 1844, and addressed to John P. Greene. Smith writes about his concerns on the possibilities of mob actions near Nauvoo, Illinois.
Dates: 1844 June 17

George Spilsbury autobiography

 File — Multiple Containers
Identifier: MSS 117
Scope and Contents Handwritten autobiography with a photocopy of the item. The volume includes handwritten copies of letters received and patriarchal blessings of family members. Spilsbury writes about travelling in southern Utah as a patriarch, gives a brief description of his mission to Wales, talks about some of the prophecies of the first president of the LDS Church, Joseph Smith (1805-1844), and describes the exodus west of Mormons from Nauvoo, Illinois to Utah. Dated from 1843 to 1911.
Dates: 1843-1911

Nathan Tanner autobiography

 File — Folder: 1
Identifier: MSS 836
Scope and Contents Photocopy of a handwritten autobiography. Tanner writes about joining the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in 1831; participating in Zion's Camp in 1834; life in Kirtland, Ohio; his mission to the Eastern States for the Church; and his life in Far West, Missouri, and in Nauvoo, Illinois. He also tells about his interaction with early leaders of the Church and about troubles with mobs in Missouri and Illinois.
Dates: approximately 1854

Eliza Westover letter

 File — Folder: 1
Identifier: MSS 371
Scope and Contents Photocopy of a handwritten letter with a typescript of the item. Westover writes to "Lew" in response to his questions about the first president of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Joseph Smith (1805-1844). She outlines her life and tells of her conversion to the LDS Church, her life in Nauvoo, Illinois, the death of Joseph Smith, and her migration to Utah.
Dates: 1916

James W. Woods memoirs

 File — Folder: 1
Identifier: MSS SC 1060
Scope and Contents Photocopied typescript of an autobiography. In 1882 when Woods was "upwards of eighty years of age" he was interviewed for several weeks probably by Edgar R. Harlan with a stenographer present who wrote down the conversations. These materials were later condensed and pertinent portions were woven into a narrative. As a lawyer in Iowa, Woods was involved in many legal actions of that state. Woods was hired by Joseph Smith (1805-1844) to serve as his counselor when he and his brother Hyrum...
Dates: 1882