A gold watch, a cloak, rusty farm tools, and slate pencils from a bygone era. These common items from the 1800s are meaningful because they come from the daily life of Joseph Smith.
Because he lived 200 years ago, looking at artifacts from the Prophet’s life helps us understand him better. Makenzie Head, a teen from Cedar Hills, Utah, visited the Museum of Church History and Art to see these items. She wrote that viewing artifacts from the Prophet Joseph’s life “has really given me a better understanding of how he lived and the different things he had during his life that are so different from what we have now. What also amazed me were the many things that were actually used by the Prophet. It definitely strengthened my testimony of him.”
Following are some photos of the artifacts that were on display or are stored at the Church museum.
Caption information provided by Mark Staker, museum curator. This article also appeared in the December 2006 Liahona and New Era.
Photographs by Welden C. Andersen, except as noted; photograph of shirtfront courtesy of the Museum of Church History and Art; background by Jed Clark; watch shown courtesy of the Lavorn G. Sparks family
Photographs of earring, bead, hair, and slate courtesy of the Museum of Church History and Art; photographs of surgical tools and crutch by Craig Dimond; cloak: gift of Vienna Jacques; surgical instruments: gift of Rolla Burns Williams; lock of hair: gift of Clara W. Beebe and A. E. Hyde Jr.