“Smith Descendants Improve Nauvoo Burial Ground,” Ensign, Aug. 1991, 77–78
Descendants of Joseph and Hyrum Smith are joining together to renovate and landscape the Smith family cemetery in Nauvoo where the Prophet and twenty-six other family members are buried.
An 1867 plea by Emma Smith to fix up the burial site, along with visitors’ limited access to the area, provided family members with good reason for tackling the project, which is scheduled for completion this month. Last year, descendants of the Smith family formed the Joseph and Hyrum Smith Family Foundation with the goal of improving the historic cemetery.
The site overlooks the Mississippi River and is next to the log homestead where Joseph and Emma lived before moving to the Mansion House. Buried at the site, in addition to the Prophet, are his parents, Emma, and his brothers Hyrum, Samuel, and Don Carlos.
Approved plans call for new monuments to be placed on the graves of Joseph, Emma, and Hyrum, as well as a patio and lighted brick walkway. A new sprinkler system will be installed, and additional trees and flower beds will be planted.
Elder M. Russell Ballard of the Quorum of the Twelve, a great-great-grandson of Hyrum Smith, is participating in the scheduled August 4 dedication ceremony.
“I am sure there will be personal joy and satisfaction for each one of us in knowing that we helped provide a pleasing resting place from which these great ancestors of ours can rise on the morning of the resurrection,” Elder Ballard said.