A Faithful Girl Named Emma

By Mark Staker

Church History Department

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How much do you know about the faithful little girl who grew up to be the wife of the Prophet Joseph Smith?

Emma Hale was born on July 10, 1804. She lived on a farm with her father and mother and her eight brothers and sisters. Some of her aunts, uncles, and cousins lived nearby.

The Hale farm was in Harmony, Pennsylvania, in a beautiful valley along the bank of the Susquehanna River. Emma could pick apples from the orchard. She could watch baby lambs play, and she could help gather vegetables from the big garden. When the snow started to melt, she could watch her father collect maple sap in big buckets. She could help her mother boil the sap until it finally turned into maple sugar.

When she was a baby, Emma was baptized into a Christian church, and she went to Sunday School when she was a girl. The Church of Jesus Christ had not been restored yet.

One day when Emma was about eight years old, she went to pray in the woods. She was worried about her father because he did not have a strong faith in Jesus Christ. While Emma was praying, her father came into the woods to go hunting. When he overheard his young daughter praying for him, he was very touched. His faith in the Lord was strengthened.

Emma grew to be a tall, intelligent girl. She was an excellent reader and writer. When she was 21, a hardworking and intelligent young man named Joseph Smith came to live at the Hale home. Emma Hale had a good character and a quick wit. She was a virtuous young woman. No wonder she and Joseph chose each other as husband and wife!

Left: illustrations by Julie Rogers