Lucy Mack Smith, the mother of Joseph Smith, the Prophet, recorded his birth with these words: “We had a son whom we called Joseph after the name of his father; he was born December 23, 1805” (History of Joseph Smith, page 46).
The Smith family felt that they had a special Christmas gift when little Joseph was born just two days before Christmas. Neighbors who came to help Joseph’s mother rejoiced with them.
When Joseph was born, his oldest brother, Alvin, was seven years old. Hyrum, the next brother, was five, and his sister, Sophronia, was two. The family was living in Sharon, Vermont, on a farm owned by Solomon Mack, Joseph’s mother’s father. Solomon Mack had been a soldier in the days of George Washington and had settled in the frontier area of New England.
Joseph’s father, Joseph Smith, Sr., was a well-built man, standing six feet four inches (1.9 m). During the winter months he taught school, and in the summer he farmed. He was also a talented carpenter and built houses and made split-wood chairs. He dug wells and built stone fences too.
Joseph’s mother, Lucy Mack Smith, was a good mother and teacher to her children. She added to the family income by making tablecloths and decorating them with oil paints. Eventually nine children were born to this family, although Ephraim died when only eleven days old. The parents taught their children to love the Lord and to believe in the Bible.
Today there is a monument and a visitors center at the site of the birthplace of the Prophet. A rocking chair like the one that Lucy Mack Smith sat in to rock her Christmas baby can be seen in front of the hearthstone there in the cabin. The monument is one way that we remember and honor the prophet Joseph for restoring the gospel in the latter days. The early members of the Church remembered his birthday with festive celebrations. We can remember the birth of the Prophet Joseph Smith and show our praise and admiration for him by living the principles that he taught.
Remove pages from magazine and cut out oval frame and figures.
Glue piece of colored paper behind frame, then add cutouts as you retell story of Prophet’s birth.
Discuss importance of Joseph Smith’s family and how they were prepared to accept him as prophet. Read 2 Nephi 3:14–15 [2 Ne. 3:14–15] and following statement made by Grandfather Asael Smith in 1791, long before Joseph was born: “It has been borne in upon my soul that one of my descendants will promulgate [put into action, begin] a work to revolutionize [change] the world of religious faith” (Emma Marr Petersen, The Prophet’s Story for Young People, page 11).
Dress children and adults to portray Smith family, and have each one tell about the person he represents.