edited by Mary Audentia Smith Anderson
This book is more than autobiography. It is the story of the growth of an institution. The thorough identification of the life of Joseph Smith III with that institution makes it to that extent biography. However, because its pages deal intimately with the men and events in the dissolution of the Church at Nauvoo and over sixty years of the growth of the Reorganized Latter Day Saint Church, it is history. Here for the first time these important facts and inside viewpoints are made available to the Church in a permanent form for reference and preservation.
The first President of the Reorganization had a deep and continued passion to discover the truth with regard to his father’s life, whether that truth were pleasant or painful. His unceasing efforts to trace down every connection which his father had with alleged polygamous relations took him on several trips to Utah. He employed his skill as a lawyer to cross-examine the witnesses, and gives the Church the results of these personal interviews.
After you have read this book, you will know better the men who pioneered in the Reorganization and labored faithfully to make the name of Latter Day Saints honorable again.
This work is mostly the writing of the man mentioned in its title. Much of it was written the latter part of his life from records to which he alone had access. His son, Israel A. Smith, acted as his secretary for a number of years; therefore, the book contains his labors. Mrs. Benjamin Anderson, a daughter, edited the original manuscript which appeared serially in the Saints’ Herald from 1934-1937. Mrs. Alfred Hulmes, a granddaughter, selected the portions of these memoirs which went into the present volume. The publishers found it necessary to further reduce the manuscript to keep the cost of the volume within its present limitations. That which finally entered into the publication of this book is rich in historical lore and most enjoyable reading.