“Praise the Prophet,” Tambuli, Dec. 1990, 12
Lucy Mack Smith, the mother of Joseph Smith, the Prophet, recorded his birth with these words: “We had a son whom we called Joseph after the name of his father; he was born December 23, 1805” (History of Joseph Smith, page 46).
The Smith family felt that they had a special Christmas gift when little Joseph was born just two days before Christmas. Neighbors who came to help Joseph’s mother rejoiced with them.
When Joseph was born, his oldest brother, Alvin, was seven years old. Hyrum, the next brother, was five, and his sister, Sophronia, was two. The family was living in Sharon, Vermont, on a farm owned by Solomon Mack, Joseph’s mother’s father. Solomon Mack had been a soldier in the days of George Washington and had settled in the frontier area of New England.
Joseph’s father, Joseph Smith, Senior, was a well-built man, standing 1.9 meters tall. During the winter months he taught school, and in the summer he farmed. He was also a talented carpenter and built houses and made chairs. He dug wells and built stone fences too.
Joseph’s mother, Lucy Mack Smith, was a good mother and teacher to her children. She added to the family income by making tablecloths and decorating them with oil paints. Eventually nine children were born to this family, although Ephraim died when only eleven days old. The parents taught their children to love the Lord and to believe in the Bible.
Today there is a monument and a visitors center at the site of the birthplace of the Prophet. The rocking chair that Lucy Mack Smith sat in to rock her Christmas baby can be seen in front of the fireplace; it is from their log cabin home. The monument is one way that we remember and honor the prophet Joseph for restoring the gospel in the latter days. The early members of the Church remembered his birthday with festive celebrations. We can remember the birth of the Prophet Joseph Smith and show our praise and admiration for him by living the principles that he taught.