Trials for Joseph and Emma

“Trials for Joseph and Emma,” Friend, Sept. 2008, 36–37

From the Life of the Prophet Joseph Smith

Trials for Joseph and Emma

Adapted from Mark L. Staker, “Remembering Hiram, Ohio,” Ensign, Oct. 2002, 35, 37; see also Teachings of Presidents of the Church: Joseph Smith (Melchizedek Priesthood and Relief Society course of study, 2007), 171.

Trials for Joseph and Emma, left page

Illustrations by Sal Velluto and Eugenio Mattozzi

In Ohio, Emma Smith gave birth to twins—a girl and a boy. The babies lived for only three hours. Another Latter-day Saint woman had twins on the same day. She became very weak and died. Her husband, John Murdock, needed help raising the twins.

I cannot care for these babies myself, but I want them to be taught in the faith.

Can you raise them?


One night Joseph and Emma stayed up late to take care of the babies, who were both sick. A mob of angry men came into the home. The men grabbed Joseph and carried him away from the house.

The wicked men hurt Joseph and poured hot tar on him.

When the mob left, Joseph was very weak. He crawled back to the house. When Emma saw Joseph hurt, she fainted.

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Joseph’s friends carefully washed him.

Sunday morning—the next day—Joseph preached to the congregation as usual. Some of the men from the mob came to listen.

Joseph and Emma’s baby son caught a bad cold the night the mob attacked Joseph. A few days later, the baby died. But Joseph and Emma continued to have faith in Heavenly Father’s plan of salvation.