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JOSEPH SMITH AND HIS PROGENITORS


by Lucy Mack Smith

This book is also known by a long name and a short name—Biographical Sketches of Joseph Smith the Prophet and His Progenitors for Many Generations and simply Mother Smith's History.

When it was first published in 1853, it was spoken and written of quite highly, the preface having been written by Orson Pratt. Soon after its publication, and after many were sold, President Brigham Young, under the plea that it was a false history and would do mischief, ordered its suppression. The Saints were counseled to give them up, either freely or in exchange for other works of the LDS Church, that they might be destroyed. Under this order large numbers were destroyed. Few were preserved—some of which fell into the hands of those now with the Reorganization.

For this destruction we see no adequate reason, unless it was the fear that a plain story told by the mother of the first president of the Church might possibly convey views opposed to the then ruling powers.

Beginning in 1880 this book was published by the RLDS Church; later the LDS Church published an edited version of “Mother Smith’s History.”