Mormon Literature Sampler:
To Emma Smith
June 6th Greenville, Floyd County
I would inform you that Brother Martin has arrived here and brought
the pleasing news that our families were well when he left them which
greatly cheered our hearts and revived our spirits. We thank our
Heavenly Father for his goodness unto us and all of you. Martin
arrived on Saturday the same week he left Chagrin having a prosperous
time. We are all in good health. Brother Whitney's leg is gaining and
he thinks he shall be able to perform his journey so as to get home
about the 20th.
My situation is a very unpleasant one although I will endeavor to
be contented, the Lord assisting me. I have visited a grove which is
just back of the town almost every day where I can be secluded from
the eyes of any mortal and there give vent to all the feelings of my
heart in meditation and prayer. I have called to mind all the past
moments of my life and am left to mourn and shed tears of sorrow for
my folly in suffering the adversary of my soul to have so much power
over me as he has had in times past but God is merciful and has
forgiven my sins and I rejoice that he sendeth forth the Comforter
unto as many as believe and humbleth themselves before him.
I was grieved to hear that Hiram had lost his little child. I think
we can in some degree sympathize with him but we all must be
reconciled to our lots and say the will of the Lord be done.
Sister Whitney wrote a letter to her husband which was very
cheering and being unwell at that time and filled with much anxiety it
would have been very consoling to me to have received a few lines from
you but as you did not take the trouble I will try to be contented
with my lot knowing that God is my friend; in him I shall find
comfort. I have given my life into his hands. I am prepared to go at
his call. I desire to be with Christ. I count not my life dear to me
only to do his will ....
I am happy to find that you are still in the faith of Christ and at
Father Smiths. I hope you will comfort Father and Mother in their
trials and Hiram and Jerusha and the rest of the family. Tell
Sophronia I remember her and Kalvin in my prayers. My respects to the
rest. I should like to see little Julia and once more take her on my
knee and converse with you on all the subjects which concerns us,
things I cannot is not prudent for me to write. I omit all the
important things which could I see you I could make you acquainted
with. Tell Brother Will that I and Brother Whitney will arrange the
business of that farm when we come. Give my respects to all the
Brethern, Br. Whitney family, tell them he is cheerful and patient and
a true brother to me.
I subscribe myself your husband. The Lord bless you. Peace be with
[you] so farewell until I return.
Joseph Smith Jr.
*This letter from Joseph to Emma was written from Greenville,
Indiana, where Joseph was nursing Bishop Newel K. Whitney, who had
been injured in a coach accident. While attending Whitney, Joseph was
poisoned, vomiting so heavily as to dislocate his jaw. He was
instantly healed by Bishop Whitney. The letter to Emma, written during
the four weeks Bishop Whitney was bedfast, is a rich glimpse into the
Prophet's constant struggle to remain worthy. See LaMar C. Berrett,
"An Impressive Letter from the Pen of Joseph Smith," BYU Studies
11 (Summer 1971): 517-23. Unlike the other letters included here, this
letter was written in Joseph's own hand.