Joseph Smith Jr.
was born December 23, 1805, the fifth of eleven children
of Joseph Sr. and Lucy Mack Smith. "I was born . . . of
goodly parents," said Joseph, "who spared no pains to
instruct me in the Christian religion."1 His parents stressed
personal religion and encouraged Joseph to seek his
"soul's salvation" in Jesus Christ.2
parents loved the Lord. Lucy eventually joined one of the
local churches, but continued to search for something more.
"I therefore determined," said Lucy, "to examine my
Bible, and, taking Jesus and his disciples for my
guide, to endeavor to obtain from God which man could
neither give nor take away."3
Joseph Smith Sr., found peace in Bible study and seeking
God in prayer. Under his leadership, the family met morning
and evening for prayer, hymns, and scripture reading.
At times Joseph Sr. taught his children "in his own
home school and used the Bible as a text."4
The devotion to
God that Joseph saw in his parents strengthened his
confidence and faith to seek divine truth.
1. In The
Papers of Joseph Smith, ed. Dean C. Jessee
(1989), 1:3; spelling and capitalization modernized.
2. William Smith,
William Smith on Mormonism (1883), 6.
3. Lucy Smith,
History of the Prophet Joseph Smith, rev.
George A. Smith and Elias Smith, (1902), 45.
4. Mark L.
McConkie, The Father of the Prophet: Stories
and Insights from the Life of Joseph Smith, Sr
Learn more about Joseph Smith's search for truth as a boy.
Learn more about the Smith family log home.
Read an article about Joseph Smith's family.